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Black Crow

Heresy 207 :skinchanging

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3 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

This may have been covered before, but I stumbled across this SSM dealing with this topic from another thread:..

Its an intriguing one because the Baratheon/Stark conflict symbolism is very explicitly articulated in text by Catelyn, so his response does suggest that there's something more in there

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5 hours ago, MaesterSam said:

 

There was no need for the direwolf to be warged to get it to travel south. We hear from Mormont (someone quoted it above) that herds of other animals were all traveling south, just as the wildling villages were abandoned. All living things (except COTF) were moving south. This is an instinctive reaction either to the presence of the Others or to the approaching winter. Animals move south in the winter. Especially pregnant ones with future pups to feed. As others have pointed out, Winterfell is directly south of the Gorge, and so it makes sense that she would be passing through the area. 

 

 

Maybe I'm thinking of a different passage, but I'm not sure that's correct.  Here is the passage I'm thinking of:

Quote

Mormont reached out and clutched Tyrion tightly by the hand.  "You must make them understand.  I tell you, my lord, the darkness is coming.  There are wild things in the woods, direwolves and mammoths and snow bears the size of aurochs, and I have seen darker shapes in my dreams."

"In your dreams," Tyrion echoed, thinking how badly he needed another strong drink.

Mormont was deaf to the edge in his voice.  "The fisherfolk near Eastwatch have glimpsed white walkers on the shore."

This time Tyrion could not hold his tongue.  "The fisherfolk of Lannisport often glimpse merlings."

"Denys Mallister writes that the mountain people are moving south, slipping past the Shadow Tower in numbers greater than ever before.  They are running, my lord... but running from what?"

I don't think there is any indication that the 'wild things" are crossing the Wall, it just appears that they are becoming more noticed in the woods (presumably by the rangers).  But it does seem some wildlings are slipping past the Shadow Tower, perhaps through the gorge.

I think the more interesting passage is that fisherfolk are glimpsing white walkers on the shore.  Do we have any idea if these are the same white walkers that Royce, Will, and Edgar come across?  Apparently the fisherfolk are living to spread the tale.  Nor do there appear to be tales of any wights around Eastwatch, which seem to accompany the white walkers.

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20 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

The point I was making that the Black Gate does not figure in the proposed version of Bran's journey beyond the Wall later in the story, which argues against it being a factor in the she-wolf coming south, ie; he hadn't yet thought of the Black Gate way back in '93

And the point I'm making - eg, no description of the contents of Bran I, even though they were already in his head at that time - is that the letter did not delve into all of the ideas he had at that time, much less all of the ideas that would subsequently develop. The three years between the 1993 letter and the actual publication of AGOT are an eternity for a 'gardener' author.

The 1993 letter also suggests that Dany would bumble into a cache of (living? unpetrified?) dragon eggs, yet in the story GRRM actually wrote, the pyre is clearly important.

To be clear, this is not a for/against argument relating to the actual idea - since, to reiterate, my own expectation is that Gared fled alone through the gorge in a half mad state - I'm arguing against the idea that the 1993 letter should be cited in textual discussion; it is, at best, an interesting relic, one that by GRRM's own admission (as per TheFattestLeech) contains a fair amount of bullshitting.

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19 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Its an intriguing one because the Baratheon/Stark conflict symbolism is very explicitly articulated in text by Catelyn, so his response does suggest that there's something more in there

I've wondered if the symbolism may have more to do with the Green Men, then House Baratheon.

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4 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I don't think there is any indication that the 'wild things" are crossing the Wall, it just appears that they are becoming more noticed in the woods (presumably by the rangers).  

I think Sam's argument would be that those beasts - particularly the mammoths - are only being encountered in the woods because they are being pressured out of their (presumably) preferred habitats.

Similarly, during the Great Ranging, the desolation and quiet of the Haunted Forest is noted by the rangers on their way to Craster's Keep--not just the emptied villages, but even animals are hard to find:
 

Quote

Four empty villages, no wildlings anywhere, even the game seemingly fled. The haunted forest had never seemed more haunted, even veteran rangers agreed.

It seems fair to suggest that some of the animals that have fled would have crossed the Wall.

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2 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

And the point I'm making - eg, no description of the contents of Bran I, even though they were already in his head at that time - is that the letter did not delve into all of the ideas he had at that time, much less all of the ideas that would subsequently develop. The three years between the 1993 letter and the actual publication of AGOT are an eternity for a 'gardener' author.

The 1993 letter also suggests that Dany would bumble into a cache of (living? unpetrified?) dragon eggs, yet in the story GRRM actually wrote, the pyre is clearly important.

To be clear, this is not a for/against argument relating to the actual idea - since, to reiterate, my own expectation is that Gared fled alone through the gorge in a half mad state - I'm arguing against the idea that the 1993 letter should be cited in textual discussion; it is, at best, an interesting relic, one that by GRRM's own admission (as per TheFattestLeech) contains a fair amount of bullshitting.

That is because Bran 1 was included alongside the letter, and the reason I cited the synopsis is not because of anything it contained but because it suggests that GRRM had not yet thought of the Black gate when he wrote Bran 1 back in '93.

And that in turn is why I'm content that that the she-wolf and Gared, whether singly or in company slipped past the Shadow Tower rather than passed through the Black Gate

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7 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I've wondered if the symbolism may have more to do with the Green Men, then House Baratheon.

Are you perchance thinking of this passage?

"Maybe he came from the Isle of Faces,” said Bran. “Was he green?” In Old Nan’s stories, the guardians had dark green skin and leaves instead of hair. Sometimes they had antlers too, but Bran didn’t see how the mystery knight could have worn a helm if he had antlers. “I bet the old gods sent him.”

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3 hours ago, Black Crow said:

That is because Bran 1 was included alongside the letter, and the reason I cited the synopsis is not because of anything it contained but because it suggests that GRRM had not yet thought of the Black gate when he wrote Bran 1 back in '93.

And that in turn is why I'm content that that the she-wolf and Gared, whether singly or in company slipped past the Shadow Tower rather than passed through the Black Gate

Why? Both the letter and the written chapters absolutely would have been built upon unrevealed (at that point in the story) plot elements that GRRM had thought of--and, to be clear, there is no telling how much Bran I would have been rewritten between 1993 and 1996.

More succinctly, this is a line of argument that sets aside interpreting the text, and instead attempts to play mind reader to a circa 1993 GRRM--"here's what GRRM wasn't thinking at that point in time." From the outset, this is a flawed venture.

GRRM's process is such that the evolution of his internal vision is impossible to track: eg, when he wrote the 1993 letter he may have envisioned the Starks coming upon a direwolf of the Wolfswood that had died giving birth, by the publication of AGOT he envisions her as a direwolf of the Haunted Forest, killed by a stag, and by ACOK he re-envisions her as (once again) a wolf of the Wolfswood, ritually sacrificed by a Green Man to tie her to the Reeds, the Isle of Faces, and the 3EC...and so on and so on.

GRRM is clearly comfortable with following a new inspiration, so long as it doesn't outright contradict what has come before--and, conveniently enough, the text is written with enough ambiguity and unanswered questions that he can choose which 'seeds' in his garden he likes best.

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19 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Are you perchance thinking of this passage?

"Maybe he came from the Isle of Faces,” said Bran. “Was he green?” In Old Nan’s stories, the guardians had dark green skin and leaves instead of hair. Sometimes they had antlers too, but Bran didn’t see how the mystery knight could have worn a helm if he had antlers. “I bet the old gods sent him.”

Yes, that's the one.

It might actually be obliquely referenced during the Hand's tourney as well:

Quote

Ser Balon Swann also fell to Gregor, and Lord Renly to the Hound.  Renly was unhorsed so violently that he seemed to fly backward off his charger, legs in the air.  His head hit the ground with an audible crack that made the crowd gasp, but it was just the golden antler on his helm.  One of the tines had snapped off beneath him.  When Lord Renly climbed to his feet, the commons cheered wildly, for King Robert's handsome young brother was a great favorite.  he handed the broken tine to his conqueror with a gracious bow.  The Hound snorted and tossed the broken antler into the crowd, where the commons began to punch and claw over the little bit of gold, until Lord Renly walked out among them and restored peace.

The Hound as a stand in for the Direwolf, and Renly a stand in for the Green Men.  

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11 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I love that SSM about the dead direwolf, because GRRM's aspirations as an artist stand in such total contrast to the way fandoms want to engage with works of art; whereas he hopes to engage the higher order literacy skills - inference, synthesis, creative thinking -, within the world of advocating for The One True Interpretation and meticulously maintained wikis, such skills (especially creative thinking) are anathema, heretical.

GRRM certaily draws with green and black in his paintings. Our little green friends vs the MiBs. I'm just not sure the direwolf scene has the same colors all over it.

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9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think the more interesting passage is that fisherfolk are glimpsing white walkers on the shore.  Do we have any idea if these are the same white walkers that Royce, Will, and Edgar come across?  Apparently the fisherfolk are living to spread the tale.  Nor do there appear to be tales of any wights around Eastwatch, which seem to accompany the white walkers.

I'm not really surprised. We have discussed the "edge of the darkness" Will was seeing before. I always thought it was some foehn wind, however recently it occured to me that the Shivering sea may have it's name for a reason and the "edge" was more like the mirror from the sea far in the distance. 

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8 hours ago, Matthew. said:

Why? Both the letter and the written chapters absolutely would have been built upon unrevealed (at that point in the story) plot elements that GRRM had thought of--and, to be clear, there is no telling how much Bran I would have been rewritten between 1993 and 1996.

More succinctly, this is a line of argument that sets aside interpreting the text, and instead attempts to play mind reader to a circa 1993 GRRM--"here's what GRRM wasn't thinking at that point in time." From the outset, this is a flawed venture.

GRRM's process is such that the evolution of his internal vision is impossible to track: eg, when he wrote the 1993 letter he may have envisioned the Starks coming upon a direwolf of the Wolfswood that had died giving birth, by the publication of AGOT he envisions her as a direwolf of the Haunted Forest, killed by a stag, and by ACOK he re-envisions her as (once again) a wolf of the Wolfswood, ritually sacrificed by a Green Man to tie her to the Reeds, the Isle of Faces, and the 3EC...and so on and so on.

GRRM is clearly comfortable with following a new inspiration, so long as it doesn't outright contradict what has come before--and, conveniently enough, the text is written with enough ambiguity and unanswered questions that he can choose which 'seeds' in his garden he likes best.

I really don't understand where you're coming from on this one. We have the chapter before us. There is neither text nor an SSM to tell us how the she-wolf came to die where she did. All we have is pure speculation which originated and remains solely within Heresy that the she-wolf may have passed the Wall by means of the Black Gate, which would in turn have required Gared to pilot her. I am now arguing that this particular aspect of the theory is unlikely because a much more straightforward alternative route has been identified and also because the 1993 synopsis betrays no thought of the Black Gate.

The origin of the she-wolf remains speculative and GRRM has only said that we need to figure out the symbolism for ourselves.

All that I'm doing is trying to keep it simple by discarding one of the more elaborate aspects of a particular theory.

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9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think the more interesting passage is that fisherfolk are glimpsing white walkers on the shore.  Do we have any idea if these are the same white walkers that Royce, Will, and Edgar come across?  Apparently the fisherfolk are living to spread the tale. 

I've always read this one as the fishermen sitting safely offshore in their boats. As to their possible identity we know nothing. I really wouldn't be surprised if they turned out to be one and the same given that we've see so few of them anyway, but that being said they are a very long way from the ambush site

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16 hours ago, redriver said:

WUT?

Yes, I recall some kind of discussion about it here once.  I just don't remember the details but something along the lines that Craster's mother offered him up to the Watch at one point.   I think this had something to do with the number of Craster's daughters matching the number of forts along the Wall.  It came to mind again on another thread discussing the Thing that comes in the Night and reports that it was seen a hundred years after the apprentice boys died.  The boys shambling along behind it.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

It wasn't the sentinels, he knew. The sentinels never left the Wall. But there might be other ghosts in the Nightfort, ones even more terrible. He remembered what Old Nan had said of Mad Axe, how he took his boots off and prowled the castle halls barefoot in the dark, with never a sound to tell you where he was except for the drops of blood that fell from his axe and his elbows and the end of his wet red beard. Or maybe it wasn't Mad Axe at all, maybe it was the thing that came in the night. The 'prentice boys all saw it, Old Nan said, but afterward when they told their Lord Commander every description had been different. And three died within the year, and the fourth went mad, and a hundred years later when the thing had come again, the 'prentice boys were seen shambling along behind it, all in chains.

Not sure how they could be 'seen' in chains after a hundred years.  Seen in a dream perhaps.  How these could be the same boys from a hundred years past or if anyone was alive to recognize them is a good question. 

The Thing that comes for the 'prentice boys in the current story is Coldhands.  Bran is an apprentice greenseer, Sam an apprentice maester and Jojen is perhaps an apprentice green dreamer. 

Sam is bound or chained in sense when he takes the vow not to speak of Bran and is strangely silenced.

Craster's boys come to mind since something comes to collect them either at birth or later when they are young boys. 

So I wonder if the apprentice boys were originally wildlings given over to the Watch and then tested by the thing with many faces.  Perhaps when Bran sees the bones of failed greenseers impaled on ice spears, he is seeing the 'prentice boys who died.

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11 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Yes, I recall some kind of discussion about it here once.  I just don't remember the details but something along the lines that Craster's mother offered him up to the Watch at one point.   I think this had something to do with the number of Craster's daughters matching the number of forts along the Wall. 

There's a story in the text that Craster himself was the son of a Crow, but when his mother turned up at the Wall with the babe in her arms and begged to be allowed in, the rest of the Watch jeered, blew horns and chased her off.

As I recall the discussion it had nothing to do with Craster's daughters and the number of forts, but rather revolved around the possibility that it was really the women who were running things, not Craster, and that his mother was trying to break the cycle/curse, ie; all the sons were given up save the last, whose fate was to father the next generation of sons. 

If so, history is repeating itself with Gilly and her son, Craster's last son, who unlike Craster has been given shelter within the Wall - albeit with a certain expectation that his brothers will come looking for him

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19 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

There's a story in the text that Craster himself was the son of a Crow, but when his mother turned up at the Wall with the babe in her arms and begged to be allowed in, the rest of the Watch jeered, blew horns and chased her off.

As I recall the discussion it had nothing to do with Craster's daughters and the number of forts, but rather revolved around the possibility that it was really the women who were running things, not Craster, and that his mother was trying to break the cycle/curse, ie; all the sons were given up save the last, whose fate was to father the next generation of sons. 

If so, history is repeating itself with Gilly and her son, Craster's last son, who unlike Craster has been given shelter within the Wall - albeit with a certain expectation that his brothers will come looking for him

If the Thing is involved with collecting the boys; then perhaps the heavy curse is a devil's bargain to spare wildling boys if boys are only provided by Craster's wives.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Jon III

She punched him again. "Craster's more your kind than ours. His father was a crow who stole a woman out of Whitetree village, but after he had her he flew back t' his Wall. She went t' Castle Black once t' show the crow his son, but the brothers blew their horns and run her off. Craster's blood is black, and he bears a heavy curse." She ran her fingers lightly across his stomach. "I feared you'd do the same once. Fly back to the Wall. You never knew what t' do after you stole me."

They do seem to acknowledge that Craster's father was a crow since his blood is also black.

I guess I'm trying to find the alternate interpretation for Old Nan's story as it relates to current events.  The Thing comes for children with skinchanging abiility, I suspect.  Craster's father may have been such a crowAll skinchangers are brothers if we take Borroq at this word.

Patchface also tells us that under the sea the crows are white as Jon Snow.  Jon could end up being the most powerful warg in the story. 

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As for the direwolves, there is the 'small but significant plot devlce' whereby direwolves and wargs are blocked by the Wall.  Perhaps the mother direwolve was drawn to Winterfell by the presence of the Stark children. 

As mentioned, Jon could 'hear' his direwolf and this is the wolf that is mute.  So it may be that his third eye was already opened when he found Ghost. 

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

If the Thing is involved with collecting the boys; then perhaps the heavy curse is a devil's bargain to spare wildling boys if boys are only provided by Craster's wives.

They do seem to acknowledge that Craster's father was a crow since his blood is also black.

I guess I'm trying to find the alternate interpretation for Old Nan's story as it relates to current events.  The Thing comes for children with skinchanging abiility, I suspect.  Craster's father may have been such a crowAll skinchangers are brothers if we take Borroq at this word.

 

Ah well that harks back to earlier suggestions that Craster is akin to a sin-eater. Everyone knows what he does and despises him for it, but at the same time he's tolerated and even supported because for so long as he pays the tithes to Hell their own children are safe.

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18 hours ago, Matthew. said:

And the point I'm making - eg, no description of the contents of Bran I, even though they were already in his head at that time - is that the letter did not delve into all of the ideas he had at that time, much less all of the ideas that would subsequently develop. The three years between the 1993 letter and the actual publication of AGOT are an eternity for a 'gardener' author.

The 1993 letter also suggests that Dany would bumble into a cache of (living? unpetrified?) dragon eggs, yet in the story GRRM actually wrote, the pyre is clearly important.

To be clear, this is not a for/against argument relating to the actual idea - since, to reiterate, my own expectation is that Gared fled alone through the gorge in a half mad state - I'm arguing against the idea that the 1993 letter should be cited in textual discussion; it is, at best, an interesting relic, one that by GRRM's own admission (as per TheFattestLeech) contains a fair amount of bullshitting.

Here's what The Fattest Leach reported:

  • The Outline: George said he was "pissed" that the outline was posted in the office building and that someone took photos and shared them. He said it was a letter for him and the publisher only. He was very firm when telling this and it showed on his face. 
    • He then said that he is not good with writing outlines, making book deadlines, and that often in outlines he was "making shit up", and "characters changed along the way". Side note: I know he said other things in past interviews, so interpret this as you will. * “quoted” words are his words exactly. 
    • He went straight from talking about the references in the actual books, to the "differences" in the outline from then to now. He did say that he still knows who sits the iron throne and the end game of the main 5, but also included Sansa, but did not give any details (for obvious reasons).

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

Patchface also tells us that under the sea the crows are white as Jon Snow.  Jon could end up being the most powerful warg in the story. 

Or if they're white they're dead and resurrected as wights...and Jon, who might be dead - will also be raised, but perhaps as something more cognizant ala Coldhand-ed.

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