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Black Crow

Heresy 206: of Starks and Walls

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

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

Or the abuse of magic began in Qaarth - the heart of corruption.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

A long stone table filled this room. Above it floated a human heart, swollen and blue with corruption, yet still alive. It beat, a deep ponderous throb of sound, and each pulse sent out a wash of indigo light. The figures around the table were no more than blue shadows. As Dany walked to the empty chair at the foot of the table, they did not stir, nor speak, nor turn to face her. There was no sound but the slow, deep beat of the rotting heart.

 

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

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

My apologies, I did not mean to imply that that was an exhaustive list of what I think is possible regarding the Free Folk, more that those are two specific ideas I've been chewing on lately, under a scenario in which the Others may have once functioned as sentinels of the Haunted Forest.

As you say, the Others could be the result of human abuses of human sorcery--possibly sorcery the FM brought with them from Essos, or possibly an abuse of CotF magic, independent of the wishes of the CotF.

For example, I am reminded of Leaf cautioning Bran that Eddard is gone, and warns "do not seek to call him back from death;" this might straightforwardly be an observation that such an act is futile (would produce no results), but it might be a more ominous warning of unintended consequences, and magic not yielding the results that one hopes for.

42 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

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.

If tales of the "Nights Queen" and "sacrificing to Others" are true, it may be that history is repeating itself with Mance, and Joramun's position was one of desperation.

In any case, Joramun's fate and nature seem uncertain--did he, like other Kings beyond the Wall, break his strength against the Wall or Winterfell, or does he exit the stage with the resolution of the NK affair?

To relate this to the mystery of the Horn, the potential significance is that it may go toward the chain of possession (assuming the Horn wasn't destroyed, or ever existed in the first place); the Horn might have been buried with Joramun or passed onto a trusted ally. OTOH, if he was defeated by either the Watch or Winterfell, it raises the possibility of the Horn passing into the hands of one or the other.

It is hardly novel at this point to suggest that one possible location for the Horn is the Winterfell crypts, but I find that idea particularly appealing in the context that Brandon the Breaker claiming the Horn may have been robbing the "magic" side of the Wall of an important tool.

Edited by Matthew.

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3 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

For example, I am reminded of Leaf cautioning Bran that Eddard is gone, and warns "do not seek to call him back from death;" this might straightforwardly be an observation that such an act is futile (would produce no results), but it might be a more ominous warning of unintended consequences, and magic not yielding the results that one hopes for.

This is actually how I took it as well - that it is possible and that Bran would not be happy with the outcome. We've seen what happens when the dead are brought back to life. They are a shell of their former selves. Drogo was breathing, but that was about it, and Catelyn is filled with the desire for revenge against anyone associated with the Red Wedding.

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7 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

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.

Although I can't produce a link he has told us that explanations for the seasons will be forthcoming and has very firmly declared that they have nothing to do with astrophysics, eg; a wobbly or eliptical orbit. As to the blue-eyed lt:

http://www.westeros....w_in_Barcelona/

Is there a closer relationship between the children of the forest and the Others than there might seem to be?
Possibly, possibly. It's a topic that will be developing as the story continues, and so I can't say much more right now.

http://www2.canada.c...8&sponsor=Xerox

Fans of the novels are eagerly awaiting Martin’s final two instalments of the seven-part series. In particular, they are eager to learn more about the White Walkers — or The Others — a mysterious, undead race seemingly bent on humanity’s destruction. “(We’ll learn more about their) history, certainly, but I don’t know about culture,”he said. “I don’t know if they have a culture.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am reminded that at the L.A. Worldcon in 2006, George was on a panel and he was talking a bit dismissively about the cookie-cutter fantasies with a Dark Lord that's the ultimate evil, wants to destroy the world, etc. and he said, you know, nothing is ever that black and white in reality, history's greatest villains and monsters were, from their own perspective, heroic, etc. And he basically said he didn't want to write about a Dark Lord sort of situation.

And so someone [at the LA Worldcon in 2006] followed up asking, Well, what about the Others? They seem pretty clearly evil. He paused and then smiled and said we'd have to keep reading to see where that goes. It implied to me that, yes, there's more to the Others than what we've seen so far.

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2 hours 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.
 

I'm not sure about either, but reading your post reminds me of the question I posed about the King Beyond the Wall title. That perspective does suggest that they originated long long ago below the Wall.

If so, whether they went voluntarily or not, was it an ill-fated attempt to colonise the "empty" lands beyond the Wall which may have come to grief at the ill-omened Fist.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Although I can't produce a link he has told us that explanations for the seasons will be forthcoming and has very firmly declared that they have nothing to do with astrophysics, eg; a wobbly or eliptical orbit.

Ah...too bad. I'd be interested in reading that SSM. As for the seasons I've offered my theory of the time loop. Time is moving forward, but in a circular fashion like a wheel, or like a dragon eating it's own tail which is what a few of the characters mention. They're all stuck in this time loop where the same events keep happening over and over on a seasonal basis with four seasons completing one time loop before the events start all over again. Some of the characters even refer to specific roles that certain people are "playing", like Melisandre's belief that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, or how Ygritte tells Jon that his father is Bael just because he's the Bastard O'Winterfell...that's the way the role is supposed to go.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Ah...too bad. I'd be interested in reading that SSM. As for the seasons I've offered my theory of the time loop. Time is moving forward, but in a circular fashion like a wheel, or like a dragon eating it's own tail which is what a few of the characters mention. They're all stuck in this time loop where the same events keep happening over and over on a seasonal basis with four seasons completing one time loop before the events start all over again. Some of the characters even refer to specific roles that certain people are "playing", like Melisandre's belief that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, or how Ygritte tells Jon that his father is Bael just because he's the Bastard O'Winterfell...that's the way the role is supposed to go.

If you are really into that theory you should look for the fixed roles (the 7 would be a good start) and then define the start and end of the loop. The problem I have with your theory is, that it is hopping all over the place. Citing events within the same season and then jumping to other events seasons in between.

Edited by SirArthur

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30 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

If you are really into that theory you should look for the fixed roles (the 7 would be a good start) and then define the start and end of the loop. The problem I have with your theory is, that it is hopping all over the place. Citing events within the same season and then jumping to other events seasons in between.

I'm trying to demonstrate the existence of a time loop by providing examples. The maiden abduction event is just one event that seems to happen during the summer, and since the most current summer lasted 9-10 years that particular event happened multiple times. How many did I find so far? Six? Seven? But maybe we should keep this discussion on my Time Loop thread?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Black Crow said:

If so, whether they went voluntarily or not, was it an ill-fated attempt to colonise the "empty" lands beyond the Wall which may have come to grief at the ill-omened Fist.

Going back far enough in the timeline, this is what I believe to be the origins of the very earliest humans beyond the Wall, and I also agree that the Fist may have been a decisive location.

That it is in the midst of a deep forest is conspicuous, and leads me to personally suspect that either:

a.) The Hammer of the Waters failed to stop the FM at the Neck, and the war was going poorly for the CotF, with humanity pushing well into the far northeast in their pogrom, before some decisive moment prompted the Pact

b.) Or, after the Pact, a group of FM pushed into the depths of the Haunted Forest in violation of the Pact, prompting CotF retaliation

Thus, when I speak of the Free Folk as either fodder or friends of the CotF, I suppose I am more accurately speaking about what they might have become after pushing that far to the north, and facing the consequences.

Benevolently, they might have grown close to the CotF of the Haunted Forest in the aftermath of the Pact and embraced their gods and magic--or, in the case of the Thenns, at least respected the distribution of land established by the Pact. 

To question it from a different angle: what does it mean for Joramun to have been a King-beyond-the-Wall (which, if I'm not mistaken, is Qhorin's characterization of his status, but not a title that any of the Free Folk use in reference to Joramun) in that era? Was he strictly representing a bunch of human tribes, or a broader coalition? Was he an ambitious raider, in the manner of modern Wildling Kings-beyond-the-Wall?

Presumably, extraordinary magic would have gone into a Horn that is capable of destroying the Wall.

Edited by Matthew.

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14 minutes ago, Matthew. said:


To question it from a different angle: what does it mean for Joramun to have been a King-beyond-the-Wall (which, if I'm not mistaken, is Qhorin's characterization of his status, but not a title that any of the Free Folk use in reference to Joramun) in that era? Was he strictly representing a bunch of human tribes, or a broader coalition? Was he an ambitious raider, in the manner of modern Wildling Kings-beyond-the-Wall?
 

That's what I find odd about the title. Its perfectly understandable for Qorhin Halfhand or Jeor Mormont or Eddard Stark, all sitting within the realms of men to refer to Mance Rayder or anybody else as a King-beyond-the-Wall because he is on the other side of the Wall; but why should Wildlings refer to him thus?

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14 hours ago, Black Crow said:

There is indeed as you well know a contrary SSM

You mean when GRRM said "no one knows" etc, he was even including himself?  

So when GRRM said the Wall took "hundreds of years to complete and thousands of years to reach its present height," that remark was invalid... because the series author didn't know what he was talking about?  

Well... that would be taking narrative unreliability to new heights.    :D

However, if this is your case, you're going to have to stop quoting the Shaw interview about Rhaegar giving orders to the KG... because that remark is invalid too.  

And you're going to have to stop quoting GRRM on the subject of fever dreams, because that remark is invalid too.

Meanwhile, I think it's best to believe GRRM when he says flat, unambiguous things like this.  Another instance would be "Rhaegar was cremated" -- that's so clear and simple (just like the time required to build the Wall) that it rules out any theory in which Rhaegar is still alive, for me at least.

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7 hours ago, Matthew. said:

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.

Not at all.  Of course we can imagine true things.  

In fact, my historical position has always been that the traditional timeline is roughly accurate.  And the traditional timeline comes from book analysis by fans, not from GRRM, who was never so thoughtful as to supply us with any sort of formal timeline, spelled out on a page.

However, all speculation is needless when GRRM plainly tells us something applying to the Age of Heroes... not as a POV character, not as a narrator of any sort, but as himself, the series author, who lives in our world, in answering a question from someone else who lives in our world.

This is the case in SSMs, magazine interviews, etc., and he does it so rarely, it's worth paying attention and believing him, because surely he is the leading authority on ASOIAF.   

When he says dragons lived all over once, after being asked about dragons living in Westeros in ancient times, do you believe him?  I do.  

(I also note the "Horn of Joramun" burned by Melisandre appears to be both organic and so gigantic as to be attributable to very few creatures besides dragons, if any... but that's my speculation, and it might be untrue.)

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7 hours ago, SirArthur said:

Sometimes GRRM contradicts himself in the same interview

Actually, that SSM begins with GRRM flatly stating that there are really no absolute certainties in such matters:

Quote

Well, the short answer is that the laws of inheritance in the Seven Kingdoms are modelled on those in real medieval history... which is to say, they were vague, uncodified, subject to varying interpertations, and often contradictory.

Everything he says thereafter spells out that point -- "they were vague, uncodified, subject to varying interpretations, and often contradictory" -- in detail. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, JNR said:

Not at all.  Of course we can imagine true things.  

I apologize for the poor phrasing; what I meant is that one cannot, for example, demonstrate that the Black Gate isn't the Night's King, they can only imagine that that premise is untrue--and that, in the context of forums advocacy, such a position is beginning in the same logically questionable territory as presenting a theory, with the compound problem of attempting to persuade people toward disbelief, to prove a negative.

My point is that there are certain circumstances where one might aspire to dialectic method, but in practice the conversation is being pushed further away from logical territory, rather than closer--often with an emphasis on incredulity.

Unavoidably, there is an element of the personal in interpreting art, particularly in interpreting those portions upon which the author has elaborated least.
 

3 hours ago, JNR said:

When he says dragons lived all over once, after being asked about dragons living in Westeros in ancient times, do you believe him?  I do.  

(I also note the "Horn of Joramun" burned by Melisandre appears to be both organic and so gigantic as to be attributable to very few creatures besides dragons, if any... but that's my speculation, and it might be untrue.)

Yes, I believe him. And although his "there were dragons all over, once" is vague enough (unless he has given some subsequent answer on the topic) that there is no clear timeline - for example, 'once' could mean hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago - I certainly hope for more recent dragon activity, relatively speaking, especially in relation to mysteries like Moat Caitlin and dragonsteel.

I also agree with you about the horn, though it may be that it comes from GRRM's 'shaggy unicorns,' if they were inspired by E. sibiricum.
 

4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

That's what I find odd about the title. Its perfectly understandable for Qorhin Halfhand or Jeor Mormont or Eddard Stark, all sitting within the realms of men to refer to Mance Rayder or anybody else as a King-beyond-the-Wall because he is on the other side of the Wall; but why should Wildlings refer to him thus?

Perhaps they wear what Westeros intends as pejorative ("beyond the Wall") as a badge of honor. In any case, I'll be blunt in my crackpottery, and say that I suspect that Joramun - and perhaps the Horned Lord as well - was something akin to a druid, rather than a monarch, raider, or conqueror. 

Edited by Matthew.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Matthew. said:

My apologies, I did not mean to imply that that was an exhaustive list of what I think is possible regarding the Free Folk, more that those are two specific ideas I've been chewing on lately, under a scenario in which the Others may have once functioned as sentinels of the Haunted Forest.

As you say, the Others could be the result of human abuses of human sorcery--possibly sorcery the FM brought with them from Essos, or possibly an abuse of CotF magic, independent of the wishes of the CotF.

For example, I am reminded of Leaf cautioning Bran that Eddard is gone, and warns "do not seek to call him back from death;" this might straightforwardly be an observation that such an act is futile (would produce no results), but it might be a more ominous warning of unintended consequences, and magic not yielding the results that one hopes for.

If tales of the "Nights Queen" and "sacrificing to Others" are true, it may be that history is repeating itself with Mance, and Joramun's position was one of desperation.

In any case, Joramun's fate and nature seem uncertain--did he, like other Kings beyond the Wall, break his strength against the Wall or Winterfell, or does he exit the stage with the resolution of the NK affair?

To relate this to the mystery of the Horn, the potential significance is that it may go toward the chain of possession (assuming the Horn wasn't destroyed, or ever existed in the first place); the Horn might have been buried with Joramun or passed onto a trusted ally. OTOH, if he was defeated by either the Watch or Winterfell, it raises the possibility of the Horn passing into the hands of one or the other.

It is hardly novel at this point to suggest that one possible location for the Horn is the Winterfell crypts, but I find that idea particularly appealing in the context that Brandon the Breaker claiming the Horn may have been robbing the "magic" side of the Wall of an important tool.

I think Bloodraven and Leaf are lying to Bran.  When in the tree in the past, he is also told he cannot speak to Ned, but Ned heard him.  Leaf and BR aren't necessarily malicious, just trying to stop him from doing things that could cause harm. 

We also have dreams where the 3ec seems to be trying to stop Bran.  I wanted to reread that part, but can't find it. 

Edited by Brad Stark

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

Actually, that SSM begins with GRRM flatly stating that there are really no absolute certainties in such matters:

Everything he says thereafter spells out that point -- "they were vague, uncodified, subject to varying interpretations, and often contradictory" -- in detail. 

Agreed on both points.

I see that you refuse to read the World of Ice and Fire book.May I ask why?

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Just a few thoughts on how the time loop might work...

The time it takes for the planet to rotate and to travel around the sun is still consistent with a 24 hour day, 365 days per year, so the extended seasons cannot have a physical cause. The time loop must be magical in nature, and right now its looking like history itself is what gets repeated. Which begs the question: for what logical reason would anyone want to repeat history?

In the Dr Strange movie he placed a spell on time and put it into a continual time loop before he approached Dormammu. That way if he's killed the loop will restart and he'll come alive again. This coming back to life theme seems rampant in ASOIAF, so I am wondering if the Last Hero actually died? But because he had come to them for help, and they were compelled to provide "guest right", the Children of the Forest put "history" in a continual loop so that mankind would not die.
 

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1 hour ago, The Hidden Dragon said:

@Black Crow I think this may be the SSM you were referring to earlier regarding the seasons http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1623

Thanks for that, its interesting;

He assured us that we will someday find out how seasons work in his world, and that it will not be a scientific explanation because hello, it's a fantasy novel. He said that some fans have written him with fantastic explanations involving two suns, one of which is a black dwarf but that they will be disappointed.

I have a feeling that I've read a different version of this, presumably at a different convention but this one is more than good enough for me :commie:we will find out - and it won't be "rocket science"

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21 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I think Bloodraven and Leaf are lying to Bran.  When in the tree in the past, he is also told he cannot speak to Ned, but Ned heard him.  Leaf and BR aren't necessarily malicious, just trying to stop him from doing things that could cause harm. 

I'd question whether he was actually communicating anything to Lord Eddard, but I agree that they are lying. Bran, especially if he is not just a greenseer but the prince, may have powers which could be very dangerous if he isn't ready to fly solo,

That being said is GRRM happy to employ such a cliche?

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