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Black Crow

Heresy 207 :skinchanging

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8 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

distance winterfell - wall x 4 ~ north - south distance argentinia.

I actually invested time to research your claims you throw around here. Should be your job, not mine. 

 I love your claims and I would never ignore them.They are way too interesting!

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31 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Its an old heresy that the she-wolf wasn't killed by a unknown stag [the dead one in the mummers' version is an invention of the mummers and doesn't figure in the book] but by Gared using an antler-bone dagger - a cruder version of the one carried by Val. Actual surviving ones appear to have been specifically used for ritual purposes

This is not correct.It was Ned Stark himself who withdrew "A foot of shattered antler,tines snapped off,all wet with blood"

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33 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Its an old heresy that the she-wolf wasn't killed by a unknown stag [the dead one in the mummers' version is an invention of the mummers and doesn't figure in the book] but by Gared using an antler-bone dagger - a cruder version of the one carried by Val. Actual surviving ones appear to have been specifically used for ritual purposes

Yes, but I don't remember if we visited the question of why he'd do that.

Assuming he did this, and the Starks were meant to have the wolves, he went to Winterfell of purpose.  And the wolf was dead for a while, meaning Gared could have safely left, but hung around waiting to be executed. 

And was this part of a ritual that by coincidence foreshadowed Ned's death?  Or was it meant to send a message?

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2 hours ago, redriver said:

This is not correct.It was Ned Stark himself who withdrew "A foot of shattered antler,tines snapped off,all wet with blood"

Its the fact that it had the tines snapped off which raised the suspicions

Actually, reading that line again begs the question as to why the smell of corruption if the blood is still wet. It might provide Gared with an alibi, but there's something fishy going on.

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A large dead animal would smell before it dried up.  Bran, and maybe BR have been associated with the smell of death.  I wonder if that could be related. 

In real life, no way a large dead animal stays around a cold climate long enough to rot without being scavenged,  especially with newborn pups unharmed. 

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2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Yes, but I don't remember if we visited the question of why he'd do that.

Assuming he did this, and the Starks were meant to have the wolves, he went to Winterfell of purpose.  And the wolf was dead for a while, meaning Gared could have safely left, but hung around waiting to be executed. 

And was this part of a ritual that by coincidence foreshadowed Ned's death?  Or was it meant to send a message?

Oh I think that there was certainly a message.

As to Gared, the Wolf may not have been dead for so long as implied - see above and my earlier comment - and there are two possibilities beyond blind co-incidence:

One, it was simple bad luck that he delivered the package by killing the she-wolf near Winterfell and was then snaffled as he tried to escape

Two, he was being controlled up the point he performed the ritual killing, and was then cast loose, lost and utterly bewildered

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2 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

A large dead animal would smell before it dried up.  Bran, and maybe BR have been associated with the smell of death.  I wonder if that could be related. 

In real life, no way a large dead animal stays around a cold climate long enough to rot without being scavenged,  especially with newborn pups unharmed. 

Exactly so

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I don’t know why “wet with blood” has more weight than the smell of corruption. Blood pools upon death so I don’t see why it cannot be both wet and smelling of corruption. Khal Drogo’s wound became corrupted with infection while he was yet alive. Maybe it took awhile for the direwolf to die?

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It depends how you interpret 'wet with blood'.  This could mean the wound is bleeding, or was bleeding recently enough to be covered in blood that hasn't dried.  If so, the wolf died recently,  or could even be alive, just beyond any chance of recovery.

My interpretation is much looser, mostly just means that the wolf wasn't mummified.  The antler was wet with liquid.  Likely the liquid was water with a reddish color from myoglobin and degraded proteins, and little if any actual blood (like the juice on supermarket meat),  but that sounds far less poetic. 

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7 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I don’t know why “wet with blood” has more weight than the smell of corruption. Blood pools upon death so I don’t see why it cannot be both wet and smelling of corruption. 

pools and clots

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3 hours ago, Black Crow said:

pools and clots

This is triggering my Ick reflex.  :D

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Some thoughts after rereading this several times:

1) This is the first chapter in the series and would have been written very carefully.  I am tempted to brush any issues off as carelessness on GRRM's part, but I know that isn't the case.

2) The "foot of shattered antler, tines snapped off" is exactly how I'd describe a crude horn dagger.  This makes so much more sense than a fight with a stag who somehow lost the tines off its antler, snapped it, buried it in the neck of the wolf, and broke it off.

3) The antler was inside the wolf.  Assuming it killed the wolf, it would be bloody at the time.  Clotting and drying would be minimal inside the wolf.  I wouldn't expect the dagger to be "dripping with blood" but it wasn't, it was only wet.

4) The smell of corruption is described as 'faint', but "eyes crawling with maggots" suggest the wolf was dead a long time.

5) The time doesn't add up, the wolf was dead too long for the pups to still be alive.  Ned is "surprised she lived long enough to enough to whelp".  Everyone has a bad feeling, Jory says "It is a sign".  We aren't picking up subtle clues, it is obvious to everyone there.  I wonder if the wolf was a wight or similar, killed before it was sent South.

6) We don't get anything at all on Gared.  We've been assuming he was scared by something and fled South.  But the last we see of him is muttering "No fire" under his breath (which itself is kind of weird, maybe he was controlled then).  Then he is beheaded, and we really only know about his state from people at the execution.  Rob says he died bravely, Jon said he died of fear.  We assume Jon is correct, but we don't know.  2 paragraphs later, Bran asks "Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?", referring to himself and his brothers, but I wonder if GRRM also meant Gared.

7) I can't help wonder if Gared was sent south by the Others or someone on their side, or by someone against them.  This is crucial, as whoever it was is who gave the Stark's the wolves.  I keep going back to thoughts of the Starks as evil Kings of Winter who's servants, the Others, sent a tribute.

8) Gared could have been controlled by someone the whole journey.  He could have been himself and completely sane until being surprised to find out he'd be executed - which would certainly scare me.  We don't really even know how much time past.

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In the mummer's version...

Spoiler

The first Night's King was created by a ritual an obsidian dagger into his heart.  I wonder if something similar happened to momma wolf.  An antler dagger through the neck into the brain or heart and a magic dead direwolf to carry the Stark's tribute.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think we can all agree there are some curiosities in the first chapter.  For me, it's hard to know how seriously to take them because GRRM's said that he wrote the first chapter rather quickly, out of inspiration... before he had really even thought out most of his world.

I'm sure he went back and changed some things here and there before AGOT was published. 

But I'm doubtful we'll ever get an explanation for how a direwolf came to have exactly six cubs, of the right sexes, to map exactly to the Stark kids... one of which was clearly set off from the others in location and appearance and hence, mapped even more perfectly to Jon.  That seems more like Raw Inspiration GRRM than Careful Planner GRRM, to me.

Re how the direwolf died -- it seems conceivable that someone stabbed it with a crude bone dagger and that eventually killed it, instead of a stag breaking off an antler.

That it was Gared who did this seems a doubtful matter, though, because that would mean:

• Gared knew about the Black Gate

• He escorted a pregnant direwolf from beyond the Wall through the Black Gate

• Together, an amicable duo, they trekked five hundred miles south to Winterfell

• Each night as they camped, the enormous fierce wild direwolf crashed peacefully near Gared, or hunted... instead of ripping out his throat and munching on Gared

• On getting to Winterfell, Gared stabbed the direwolf, and it died

• Somehow Gared also arranged for the Stark party to find the dead direwolf and its cubs on the same day he himself was decapitated

This scenario strikes me as awkward.  I'm also pretty sure Mama Direwolf is not a wight, because its corpse lacks the dry smell wights have (because they have literally been freeze-dried), it has blood (wights have none, having been freeze-dried), no one comments on its icy blue eyes, and I also can't picture a dead direwolf sustaining non-wighted, growing cubs inside it for any period of time.

Edited by JNR

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2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

1) This is the first chapter in the series and would have been written very carefully.  I am tempted to brush any issues off as carelessness on GRRM's part, but I know that isn't the case.

GRRM has previously stated that ultimately all of this saga originated in a mental picture which came to him of men in mediaeval dress clustered around a dead animal in a forest, and the rest is history or words to that effect.

It may therefore have been written very carefully with mysteries, or it may have been dashed off very quickly with uncorrected mistakes. I suspect it was largely the former, but while we can try to construct a narrative which makes sense of it, some mysteries are never created to be solved. I expect that given its origin it was, at least substantially, one of the original chapters submitted with the synopsis, but GRRM remember is a gardener not an architect and seedling early chapters like this one with mysterious plants need not necessarily see them flower into maturity.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JNR said:

I think we can all agree there are some curiosities in the first chapter.  For me, it's hard to know how seriously to take them because GRRM's said that he wrote the first chapter rather quickly, out of inspiration... before he had really even thought out most of his world.

I'm sure he went back and changed some things here and there before AGOT was published. 

But I'm doubtful we'll ever get an explanation for how a direwolf came to have exactly six cubs, of the right sexes, to map exactly to the Stark kids... one of which was clearly set off from the others in location and appearance and hence, mapped even more perfectly to Jon.  That seems more like Raw Inspiration GRRM than Careful Planner GRRM, to me.

Re how the direwolf died -- it seems conceivable that someone stabbed it with a crude bone dagger and that eventually killed it, instead of a stag breaking off an antler.

That it was Gared who did this seems a doubtful matter, though, because that would mean:

• Gared knew about the Black Gate

• He escorted a pregnant direwolf from beyond the Wall through the Black Gate

• Together, an amicable duo, they trekked five hundred miles south to Winterfell

• Each night as they camped, the enormous fierce wild direwolf crashed peacefully near Gared, or hunted... instead of ripping out his throat and munching on Gared

• On getting to Winterfell, Gared stabbed the direwolf, and it died

• Somehow Gared also arranged for the Stark party to find the dead direwolf and its cubs on the same day he himself was decapitated

This scenario strikes me as awkward.  I'm also pretty sure Mama Direwolf is not a wight, because its corpse lacks the dry smell wights have (because they have literally been freeze-dried), it has blood (wights have none, having been freeze-dried), no one comments on its icy blue eyes, and I also can't picture a dead direwolf sustaining non-wighted, growing cubs inside it for any period of time.

However, as to the particulars, I'm now persuaded that the point of entry into the realms of men both for Gared and the She-wolf was the Gorge, not the Black Gate.

As to the rest I'd like to suggest a scenario which accounts for the proximities.

First, we're left in no doubt that the six pups come from the Old Gods as a gift for the six children of Winterfell, and that they grow up together as wargs and that the surviving pairs are becoming one, able to share their consciousness.

In order for this to happen, the she-wolf needs a guide to bring her close to Winterfell: enter Gared, controlled not by Bloodraven or anyone else from afar, but by the she wolf.

Then comes the tricky bit. She has to die. Obviously enough she can't trot up to the gates of Winterfell, whelp her pups and ask for a receipt. Nor can she risk being hunted and slain by men because the pups will die too.

She therefore finds a suitable spot by the road, offers her throat to the bone dagger and turns Gared loose to be taken and so lead Winterfell to the pups. Job done.

Edited by Black Crow

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

I think we can all agree there are some curiosities in the first chapter.  For me, it's hard to know how seriously to take them because GRRM's said that he wrote the first chapter rather quickly, out of inspiration... before he had really even thought out most of his world.

I'm sure he went back and changed some things here and there before AGOT was published. 

But I'm doubtful we'll ever get an explanation for how a direwolf came to have exactly six cubs, of the right sexes, to map exactly to the Stark kids... one of which was clearly set off from the others in location and appearance and hence, mapped even more perfectly to Jon.  That seems more like Raw Inspiration GRRM than Careful Planner GRRM, to me.

Re how the direwolf died -- it seems conceivable that someone stabbed it with a crude bone dagger and that eventually killed it, instead of a stag breaking off an antler.

That it was Gared who did this seems a doubtful matter, though, because that would mean:

• Gared knew about the Black Gate

• He escorted a pregnant direwolf from beyond the Wall through the Black Gate

• Together, an amicable duo, they trekked five hundred miles south to Winterfell

• Each night as they camped, the enormous fierce wild direwolf crashed peacefully near Gared, or hunted... instead of ripping out his throat and munching on Gared

• On getting to Winterfell, Gared stabbed the direwolf, and it died

• Somehow Gared also arranged for the Stark party to find the dead direwolf and its cubs on the same day he himself was decapitated

This scenario strikes me as awkward.  I'm also pretty sure Mama Direwolf is not a wight, because its corpse lacks the dry smell wights have (because they have literally been freeze-dried), it has blood (wights have none, having been freeze-dried), no one comments on its icy blue eyes, and I also can't picture a dead direwolf sustaining non-wighted, growing cubs inside it for any period of time.

Gared went through the Black Gate, climbed the Wall or went through the Gorge, then walked five hundred or so miles south to Winterfell - or at least his body did.  I don't think there is a way around that.

However the direwolf got there, it wasn't behaving naturally.  Just as unbelievable that it was there in the first place as it avoiding tearing out Gared's throat.

We do need an explanation for Gared's time between his "no fire" mumbling and decapitation.  The most naive and simple assumption is he saw something, got scared and ran as far as he could away from it.  I don't buy that because:

1) Gared was an experienced ranger close to death several times before.  If he were willing to desert to save his life, he likely would have done so before.  He also knew being caught would mean his death, and have the skills to avoid doing so.  He certainly could have been terrified of something, but not just losing his own life.

2) If he saw an Other, I don't believe he simply turned and ran.  They killed Royce and Will and if they wanted Gared dead, he would be.  Either they deliberately let him escape, they used him, or someone else intervened.

3)  If seeing an Other is enough to terrify Gerad, it certainly didn't have that effect on Royce or Will.  They may have been scared, but weren't terrified out their wits.

4) We don't get much description of Gared's behavior on being caught, but the lack of description seems odd.  We'd expect him to either make excuses about why he fled, beg for his life, or try to warn people about what he saw.  We don't know for certain that he didn't, but it seems at odds with Robb's comment that he died bravely.  I imagine a man who looked scared but didn't say much.

 

This gives the following explanations:

1) Gared was used by the Others, possibly told to go South to Winterfell and take the wolf, possibly that he'd be executed when he turned up.  He could have ran any number of other errands first.

2) Same thing, but Bloodraven, Coldhands, or whoever else saved him from the Other's told him to do so.

3) Someone took control of his body.

4) The Other's deliberately let him leave, the direwolf arrived by coincidence, and there is some other explanation why he went to Winterfell rather than Castle Black.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

However, as to the particulars, I'm now persuaded that the point of entry into the realms of men both for Gared and the She-wolf was the Gorge, not the Black Gate.

As to the rest I'd like to suggest a scenario which accounts for the proximities.

First, we're left in no doubt that the six pups come from the Old Gods as a gift for the six children of Winterfell, and that they grow up together as wargs and that the surviving pairs are becoming one, able to share their consciousness.

In order for this to happen, the she-wolf needs a guide to bring her close to Winterfell: enter Gared, controlled not by Bloodraven or anyone else from afar, but by the she wolf.

Then comes the tricky bit. She has to die. Obviously enough she can't trot up to the gates of Winterfell, whelp her pups and ask for a receipt. Nor can she risk being hunted and slain by men because the pups will die too.

She therefore finds a suitable spot by the road, offers her throat to the bone dagger and turns Gared loose to be taken and so lead Winterfell to the pups. Job done.

I have significant doubt the six pups come from the Old Gods.  They are probably gifts, but could be from the Children, the Others, Bloodraven or someone we don't know.  They might be part of some sort of bargain, pact or treaty.  We do know there are statue's of older Starks with their wolves, so this isn't something new.  Someone was sending the Starks wolves, and it is as much a question of why as why they stopped.

I can understand using Gared as a guide for the wolf, but he isn't needed.  Nymeria runs around the forest south of the Wall just fine without a guide.

I don't understand why the she wolf had to die if she was there on her own free will.  She could have welped the pups and left them.  She'd take a risk staying alive with the pups, but the risk is worse with her dead.  She certainly didn't need to die days before the pups were found.  I think she had to die so the pups would bond with the Starks instead of with her, especially if she wasn't there on her own free will.

 

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1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

I have significant doubt the six pups come from the Old Gods.  They are probably gifts, but could be from the Children, the Others, Bloodraven or someone we don't know.  They might be part of some sort of bargain, pact or treaty.  We do know there are statue's of older Starks with their wolves, so this isn't something new.  Someone was sending the Starks wolves, and it is as much a question of why as why they stopped.

I can understand using Gared as a guide for the wolf, but he isn't needed.  Nymeria runs around the forest south of the Wall just fine without a guide.

I don't understand why the she wolf had to die if she was there on her own free will.  She could have welped the pups and left them.  She'd take a risk staying alive with the pups, but the risk is worse with her dead.  She certainly didn't need to die days before the pups were found.  I think she had to die so the pups would bond with the Starks instead of with her, especially if she wasn't there on her own free will.

 

I would say that the Old Gods, the tree-huggers, Craster's boys and Bloodraven are all in it together and that there may still be a connection between the six walkers and the six pups which is yet to be revealed

As to the she-wolf we have sacrifices enough in the magic to find it unsurprising and the point which I'm also making is the the importance of direwolves is such that its reasonable to suggest that the she-wolf [and possibly her paired warg if there is one] is directly involved rather than a mere tool controlled by someone or something else.

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