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Black Crow

Heresy 206: of Starks and Walls

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2 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

The short answer to the question is because its their home and they have no need to kneel to anyone - the present assumed emergency being exceptional.

Which, in roundabout fashion, circles back to what I consider the underlying question: while the Free Folk might be disinclined to kneel, they will do so under extraordinary circumstances (and accept the protection of the Wall, in Dalla's case), so how did the folk beyond the Wall become "beyond the Wall" in the first place? 

The appeal of those lands would be freedom from authority for the wildlings and freedom from violence for the giants and CotF, yet there must obviously come a point where the problem of the Others is worse than the problems south of the Wall; this is not noteworthy if the people of the Far North only migrated there after the Others have become the stuff of legend, but if they were living there (or driven there) while the Others were present, the implications are potentially significant.

Under the latter scenario, if the Free Folk, giants, and CotF are occupying the far north while the Others are still active, still to be occasionally encountered, this would suggest that either persecution from men south of the Wall was so brutal as to make the threat of the Others preferable, or the threat of the Others is not entirely as it appears to be--that they are not mindless killers that will seek to kill all hot blooded life by default.

It is probably obvious at this point that you and I agree as to why the CotF are living in the Haunted Forest, on the "Other" side of the Wall, but the provenance of the Free Folk is a bit more murky.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think I recall some round table discussion where they indicated that George was testing them as to how much thought they put into the book. 

This is why I think George asked that question as well--he wasn't using mystery solving as a standard to determine whether or not they were qualified showrunners; the answer didn't have to be correct, it just had to demonstrate legitimate interest in the books, had to give him some sign that they had actually read ASOIAF.

In that case, Lyanna, Ashara, Wylla, etc. probably would have all been satisfactory answers, as long as they spoke of them in such a way that demonstrated actual enthusiasm for ASOIAF, as opposed to enthusiasm for adapting what they had been told is a popular book series--the latter likely being the sorts of people GRRM is more used to meeting in prior efforts to adapt his books.

Edited by Matthew.

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19 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Yeah. That is the thing. There is a difference between a wikipedia article, the asoiaf search function and the actual book. Brandon the Builder is suggested but the suggestion can also be read as another Bradon later. And it is subtle hinted that it was from another Brandon for overthrowing the Night's King. And in my book the "sustenance and support" is written in italic. Something the search function does not have. And a meaning I would not get out of the search function. 

Here is the passage from the book:

"Who holds this land?" Jojen asked Bran.

"The Night's Watch," he answered. "This is the Gift. The New Gift, and north of that Brandon's Gift." Maester Luwin had taught him the history. "Brandon the Builder gave all the land south of the Wall to the black brothers, to a distance of twenty-five leagues. For their...for their sustenance and support." He was proud that he still remembered that part. "Some maesters say it was some other Brandon, not the Builder, but it's still Brandon's Gift...."

Sustenance and support are italicized, because Brandon is quoting what Maester Luwin taught him. I didn't see anything that referred to the Long Night, just that it could be another Brandon Stark. There does seem to be a Brandon just about every generation.

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22 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

Which, in roundabout fashion, circles back to what I consider the underlying question: while the Free Folk might be disinclined to kneel, they will do so under extraordinary circumstances (and accept the protection of the Wall, in Dalla's case), so how did the folk beyond the Wall become "beyond the Wall" in the first place? 

The appeal of those lands would be freedom from authority for the wildlings and freedom from violence for the giants and CotF, yet there must obviously come a point where the problem of the Others is worse than the problems south of the Wall; this is not noteworthy if the people of the Far North only migrated there after the Others have become the stuff of legend, but if they were living there (or driven there) while the Others were present, the implications are potentially significant.

Under the latter scenario, if the Free Folk, giants, and CotF are occupying the far north while the Others are still active, still to be occasionally encountered, this would suggest that either persecution from men south of the Wall was so brutal as to make the threat of the Others preferable, or the threat of the Others is not entirely as it appears to be--that they are not mindless killers that will seek to kill all hot blooded life by default.

It is probably obvious at this point that you and I agree as to why the CotF are living in the Haunted Forest, on the "Other" side of the Wall, but the provenance of the Free Folk is a bit more murky.

Sure a few wildlings now and then climb the Wall to raid villages and go back over again, but there are too many for all of them to come over the Wall. I don't know the exact numbers of wildlings, but it's in the thousands. If they all climbed over it would start a war. 

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I don't think the Others are mindless killers.  They leave Craster alone, most likely he is useful to them.  They also duel 1 on 1 in an almost chivalrous way instead of attacking all at once. 

I still think Lady Stoneheart is our example of the Others' way of thinking.   She is driven by hatred and somewhat 1 dimensional thinking,  but not to the point she can't intelligently scheme to accomplish her goals.  Her hatred also isn't equally towards everyone,  it is directed.

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

The first gift - aka Brandon's Gift - was supposedly given by Brandon the Builder to the Watch for their sustenance. The New Gift was Queen Alysanne's idea, and it angered the Starks, but it's not depopulated. There are holdfasts, most notably Queenscrown, and there are northern clans that live there.

True, but they are few in number and its very heavily emphasised in text how the population drops away the further north we go from Winterfell. In terms of deterence distance and a lack of people seem more effective in keeping the Wildlings at bay than the Wall does, conversely a more robust population would sustain the Watch better. The Wall and its guardians appear to be in something of a limbo.

Returning to the Roman parallel, Hadrian's Wall did not mark the northern limit of the Roman Empire. That was actually the Antonine Wall about 100 or so miles further north, which was then abandoned along with the lands between the Walls in favour of creating client kingdoms to act as a buffer zone. Unless you count Craster there's no attempt at anything like that on either side of the Wall because there are too few people let alone kingdoms on either side of it - emphasising once again that it was never built to protect Westeros from the Wildlings

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

Which, in roundabout fashion, circles back to what I consider the underlying question: while the Free Folk might be disinclined to kneel, they will do so under extraordinary circumstances (and accept the protection of the Wall, in Dalla's case), so how did the folk beyond the Wall become "beyond the Wall" in the first place? 

The appeal of those lands would be freedom from authority for the wildlings and freedom from violence for the giants and CotF, yet there must obviously come a point where the problem of the Others is worse than the problems south of the Wall; this is not noteworthy if the people of the Far North only migrated there after the Others have become the stuff of legend, but if they were living there (or driven there) while the Others were present, the implications are potentially significant.

Under the latter scenario, if the Free Folk, giants, and CotF are occupying the far north while the Others are still active, still to be occasionally encountered, this would suggest that either persecution from men south of the Wall was so brutal as to make the threat of the Others preferable, or the threat of the Others is not entirely as it appears to be--that they are not mindless killers that will seek to kill all hot blooded life by default.

It is probably obvious at this point that you and I agree as to why the CotF are living in the Haunted Forest, on the "Other" side of the Wall, but the provenance of the Free Folk is a bit more murky.

I used to interpret them as being descended from the survivors of lost kingdoms destroyed during the Long Night - the Fist being a reminder of that - and their disdain for kings and nobles reflecting the failure of their ancient rulers to protect them, If I'm no longer sure of that its because I'm no longer sure of who really built the Wall and why.

As to the threats they face however I still maintain that the knowledge they have of the blue-eyed lot suggests a long history of contact with something that appears in winter, in the dark and in the deep woods and is something to be avoided rather than confronted in dark alleys. There's something nasty in the woods which will get you if you're not careful, but so long as you keep clear the threat is tolerable - which doesn't seem so far away from what Sam finds in the archives - and of course we have Craster.

If there has indeed been prolonged contact of this kind then we need to consider what has changed now and why, or, given how little we've actually seen of Craster's boys, whether the supposed threat is real and if not what's really going on

Edited by Black Crow
silly spelling mistake

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9 hours ago, Matthew. said:

there is also a more-than-occasional bad habit within Heresy specifically of people turning things into proxy arguments against people that are not present, about topics that are not under discussion

It's an ongoing issue on many subjects pertaining to ASOIAF, and closely related to the problem of fake news in political circles.  

It came up earlier in this very thread, in fact, when someone claimed GRRM was not to be believed on the time required to build the Wall.  

I said GRRM has only ever given one answer on that and asked for a contrary SSM showing otherwise.  I did not get an answer, which settled that point.

8 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Obviously their answer wasn't too far from what GRRM looked for, or they wouldn't be making TV shows.

You should read your own link.  It says he asked them who Jon's mother was, not who Jon's parents are.  

Mother ≠ parents. 

8 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

a link to an article isn't proof of anything.

If you could show me a link to a legitimate SSM in which GRRM said he asked D&D to name Jon's parents, I would then have to change my position.  There isn't one; he asked them the mother.  People who claim it was the parents are simply perpetuating fake news.

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3 hours ago, JNR said:

It's an ongoing issue on many subjects pertaining to ASOIAF, and closely related to the problem of fake news in political circles.  

It came up earlier in this very thread, in fact, when someone claimed GRRM was not to be believed on the time required to build the Wall.  

I said GRRM has only ever given one answer on that and asked for a contrary SSM showing otherwise.  I did not get an answer, which settled that point.

 

 

And then there's semantics :D

There is indeed as you well know a contrary SSM:

If time is permiting would you mind giving a brief description on how the wall was constructed?

Much of those details are lost in the mists of time and legend. No one can even say for certain if Brandon the Builder ever lived. He is as remote from the time of the novels as Noah and Gilgamesh are from our own time. But one thing I will say, for what it's worth -- more than ice went into the raising of the Wall. Remember, these are "fantasy" novels

GRRM does not specifically address the timescale here and you are free to continue the argument, but the matter is not settled :commie:

 

 

 

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I remember GRRM talking about Cyvasse (sorry I don't have the link) saying many would love him to publish official rules or buy the rights to sell an official cyvasse game.  GRRM went on to say he won't do it, because unless someone comes up a game as good as chess, it would cheapen cyvasse,  and how important it is to leave some details undefined.

I wouldn't be surprised if GRRM leaves a lot undefined we are asking about here.   That said, I still believe we will learn the real reason for the Wall, the Others and the seasons being off.

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10 hours ago, JNR said:

It came up earlier in this very thread, in fact, when someone claimed GRRM was not to be believed on the time required to build the Wall.

Sometimes GRRM contradicts himself in the same interview. Take this interview: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Hornwood_Inheritance_and_the_Whents

First he states in length the inheritance rules, then he talks about the contradicting viewpoints and how they are resolved in precedents. Only to end with "The bottom line, I suppose, is that inheritance was decided as much by politics as by laws. In Westeros and in medieval Europe both."(1) in a book series where almost nothing is about inheritance rules. The only time he actually used inheritance was in the case of Joeffrey. This was then all thrown out of the window by Renly and now we have a Westeros were Florents, Starks, Baratheons, Targaryens and a lot of other houses are disinherited upon death and instead Boltons, Tyrells or other Lords without any claim take over. Just because they can. And subsequently any inheritance discussion among fans leads to the one comment that always appears: "the political stronger claimant wins". no matter the quality of the claim I may add. With Cersei's (and Robert's) bloodthirst on top of it.

And this last sentence (1) is the contradiction of GRRM in himself. It cannot be a law if it is ignored left and right. And if it is no law, there can be no rules as he states them in the first part of the interview. 

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12 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Sometimes GRRM contradicts himself in the same interview. Take this interview: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Hornwood_Inheritance_and_the_Whents

First he states in length the inheritance rules, then he talks about the contradicting viewpoints and how they are resolved in precedents. Only to end with "The bottom line, I suppose, is that inheritance was decided as much by politics as by laws. In Westeros and in medieval Europe both."(1) in a book series where almost nothing is about inheritance rules. The only time he actually used inheritance was in the case of Joeffrey. This was then all thrown out of the window by Renly and now we have a Westeros were Florents, Starks, Baratheons, Targaryens and a lot of other houses are disinherited upon death and instead Boltons, Tyrells or other Lords without any claim take over. Just because they can. And subsequently any inheritance discussion among fans leads to the one comment that always appears: "the political stronger claimant wins". no matter the quality of the claim I may add. With Cersei's (and Robert's) bloodthirst on top of it.

And this last sentence (1) is the contradiction of GRRM in himself. It cannot be a law if it is ignored left and right. And if it is no law, there can be no rules as he states them in the first part of the interview. 

They are claiming the throne based on right of conquest, which is how Aegon, and then Robert, got it in the first place.

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Just now, Feather Crystal said:

They are claiming the throne based on right of conquest, which is how Aegon, and then Robert, got it in the first place.

That is exactly the point. Right of conquest has zero to do with inheritance. 

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15 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Sometimes GRRM contradicts himself in the same interview. Take this interview: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Hornwood_Inheritance_and_the_Whents

First he states in length the inheritance rules, then he talks about the contradicting viewpoints and how they are resolved in precedents. Only to end with "The bottom line, I suppose, is that inheritance was decided as much by politics as by laws. In Westeros and in medieval Europe both."(1) in a book series where almost nothing is about inheritance rules. The only time he actually used inheritance was in the case of Joeffrey. This was then all thrown out of the window by Renly and now we have a Westeros were Florents, Starks, Baratheons, Targaryens and a lot of other houses are disinherited upon death and instead Boltons, Tyrells or other Lords without any claim take over. Just because they can. And subsequently any inheritance discussion among fans leads to the one comment that always appears: "the political stronger claimant wins". no matter the quality of the claim I may add. With Cersei's (and Robert's) bloodthirst on top of it.

And this last sentence (1) is the contradiction of GRRM in himself. It cannot be a law if it is ignored left and right. And if it is no law, there can be no rules as he states them in the first part of the interview. 

I don't see that as contradicting himself.He's merely reflecting the legal and political events of medieval Europe.

He does cite the Wars of the Roses in that interview,I do believe.

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10 hours ago, JNR said:

It's an ongoing issue on many subjects pertaining to ASOIAF, and closely related to the problem of fake news in political circles.  

This is still an abstract observation: that sometimes people believe something about the Fantasy Novels that they think is a fact, when it is actually unproven--while the actual conversation was a loose, theoretical discussion of the Wall.

In this instance, the observation "this theoretical discussion is theoretical" was not offered as a truth in contrast to a lie, it was offered, by your own elaboration, as pre-emptive: a slippery slope argument. A logical fallacy, coming on the heels of straw man arguments, either/or fallacies, argument from incredulity, faulty analogy.

This is symptomatic of arguing where "argument" is a flawed approach in the first place, for the very reason you elaborate: that we can only imagine what has happened during the Age of Heroes and the construction of the Wall, we can only imagine what is untrue. 

This is not something that has been forgotten, but rather, is so self-evident that people spring into exchanging what they believe rather than wasting time with what they disbelieve, because the latter is simultaneously too broad and too narrow. 

For example, to list all of the the things that the Black Gate isn't (it isn't a blueberry pie, it isn't two kids standing on each other's shoulders in a Black Gate costume, etc.) is tedious, and to argue against people's propositions when one cannot factually refute someone's position inevitably leads to using fallacious arguments to attempt to present someone's propositions as ridiculous--and so, bad faith creeps in.

Which is not to say that disagreement is to be avoided, but given that the context is theoretical discussion of a piece of fiction, disagreement more ideally manifests as comparing interpretations, rather than focusing strictly on disbelief. 

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17 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I used to interpret them as being descended from the survivors of lost kingdoms destroyed during the Long Night - the Fist being a reminder of that - and their disdain for kings and nobles reflecting the failure of their ancient rulers to protect them, If I'm no longer sure of that its because I'm no longer sure of who really built the Wall and why.

Two points of view I've been wavering between is that the early wildlings were either sacrifice fodder - blood for the weirwood, offerings for the Others - and given little choice but to become "godly" or face destruction, or that they were like the crannogmen, and used to be the closest allies of the CotF.

As is often the case, some of it comes down to the NK; was he simply operating as a "typical" LC of the era, and unfairly maligned? Was he a rogue that had to be dealt with by both sides of the Wall, which the Stark in Winterfell seized as an opportunity to change the nature of the Watch and the Wall?

For example, was Joramun acting strictly on the interests of the Free Folk, or was he acting on behalf of all the Beyond-the-Wallers, and joining with the Stark-in-Winterfell to bring down a dangerous LC that truly was carving out a kingdom of his own, and perhaps abusing magic that was at his disposal?

I raise the latter because I have questions over the creation/function of the Horn of Winter, and its ultimate fate. If the Free Folk of the era were just a bunch of raiders, then why wasn't the Horn used to deal with the Watch and Wall once and for all? My crackpot is that the Horn was made with CotF magic, that it functioned as leverage (respect the Pact, or we'll sound the Horn of Winter), and that if the Horn had fallen out of their possession, it would have been a major turning point.

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22 minutes ago, redriver said:

I don't see that as contradicting himself.He's merely reflecting the legal and political events of medieval Europe.

We could discuss this endless. I will ask you directly. Do you, by any means, use the north american version of inheritance as stated under 3.1 oxford dictionary ? https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inherit

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6 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

We could discuss this endless. I will ask you directly. Do you, by any means, use the north american version of inheritance as stated under 3.1 oxford dictionary ? https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inherit

Ok,I'll bite.That seems like a fair definition.

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Posted (edited)

I'm still perplexed. Why does the House of Undying have a entryway that is a facsimile of the Black Gate?

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

When they reached the door—a tall oval mouth, set in a wall fashioned in the likeness of a human face—the smallest dwarf Dany had ever seen was waiting on the threshold. He stood no higher than her knee, his faced pinched and pointed, snoutish, but he was dressed in delicate livery of purple and blue, and his tiny pink hands held a silver tray. Upon it rested a slender crystal glass filled with a thick blue liquid: shade of the evening, the wine of warlocks. "Take and drink," urged Pyat Pree.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IVI

Then she stopped, she found herself in yet another dank stone chamber

. . . but this time the door opposite was round, shaped like an open mouth, and Pyat Pree stood outside in the grass beneath the trees. "Can it be that the Undying are done with you so soon?" he asked in disbelief when he saw her.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Outside a long dim passageway stretched serpentine before her, lit by the flickering orange glare from behind. Dany ran, searching for a door, a door to her right, a door to her left, any door, but there was nothing, only twisty stone walls, and a floor that seemed to move slowly under her feet, writhing as if to trip her. She kept her feet and ran faster, and suddenly the door was there ahead of her, a door like an open mouth.

Dany encounters the door like a mouth three times: entering, leaving and once in the middle of her passage.  So I wonder if this in another depiction of the god Trios. 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Ugly Little Girl

One time, the girl remembered, the Sailor's Wife had walked her rounds with her and told her tales of the city's stranger gods. "That is the house of the Great Shepherd. Three-headed Trios has that tower with three turrets. The first head devours the dying, and the reborn emerge from the third. I don't know what the middle head's supposed to do.

Once again, the Faceless Men seem to be a factor in the construction of the House of Undying or the sorcery of the doors themselves.  Before Dany reaches the inner sanctum she must pass doors like the entryway to the House of Black and White.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward.

Any thoughts?

 

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

Two points of view I've been wavering between is that the early wildlings were either sacrifice fodder - blood for the weirwood, offerings for the Others - and given little choice but to become "godly" or face destruction, or that they were like the crannogmen, and used to be the closest allies of the CotF.

As is often the case, some of it comes down to the NK; was he simply operating as a "typical" LC of the era, and unfairly maligned? Was he a rogue that had to be dealt with by both sides of the Wall, which the Stark in Winterfell seized as an opportunity to change the nature of the Watch and the Wall?

For example, was Joramun acting strictly on the interests of the Free Folk, or was he acting on behalf of all the Beyond-the-Wallers, and joining with the Stark-in-Winterfell to bring down a dangerous LC that truly was carving out a kingdom of his own, and perhaps abusing magic that was at his disposal?

I raise the latter because I have questions over the creation/function of the Horn of Winter, and its ultimate fate. If the Free Folk of the era were just a bunch of raiders, then why wasn't the Horn used to deal with the Watch and Wall once and for all? My crackpot is that the Horn was made with CotF magic, that it functioned as leverage (respect the Pact, or we'll sound the Horn of Winter), and that if the Horn had fallen out of their possession, it would have been a major turning point.

Why not a third possibility, that the wildlings are the "Others" and responsible for abusing magic and creating white walkers?

But how to explain the willingness of Joramun to ally with the Lord of Winterfell?

1) First off - I wonder about that horn and it's purpose, because the only horns with any purpose are the ones that the Watch uses to identify who is approaching the Wall, and the kind used to bind dragons.

2) Secondly - we have limited information as to why Joramun joined with the Stark of Winterfell. Perhaps it was similar to Mance "joining" Ramsay? Joramun's story could have been a bit more complicated as well.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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