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The Fattest Leech

Re-read: Wildings are the Others

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the re-read. This thread was sparked by a side conversation from another thread that grew too big to be handled there.

I am not the originator of this theory. Questions about this hypothesis should be directed to @Feather Crystal , but I am going to post here the important parts of the conversation from the other thread so that we can resume with the space needed. I will update this main post as often as I can, or as requested by the theory originator. Please use direct book sources to help support your ideas and to help puzzle things ideas out. https://asearchoficeandfire.com/

*   *   *

  1. The "thing" that the Watch has forgotten is that the wildlings are the Others. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8152544
  2. Jon is the "Bastard O'Winterfell" and as such his father is Bael. Bael may be Mance, but he may also be some other ironborn wildling from beyond the Wall. Tormund makes regular trips over the Wall, and the text suggests he is the father of "bears" or rather Mormonts. I think its telling that Mormont gives Jon his family sword, because it suggests Jon's father is from beyond the Wall as well. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8152652
  3. Jon is drowning and needs to be resuscitated in the tradition of the Ironborn. He has more of the north in him, because he's got a wildling Ironborn father and a Stark mother - both groups are of First Men descent. The Ironborn are First Men just as much as Starks, but are called "Others", because they were shunned and feared due to their working of magic. It takes the sacrifice of Children to make the marriage of water and air work. I wonder if Val will be able to capture one to sacrifice? Maybe that's what takes the 9 days? OK - I'll put aside my tinfoil hat for the time being. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8152699
  4. I think the Ironborn are the Others, and the First Men that the Children tried to cutoff from the mainland with their hammer of waters. The hammer separated the Iron Islands from the mainland, and are called "Iron" Islands, because "iron" is an element used in warding. Basically severing them from the mainland was a type of warding. It didn't stop them, however because they made the sea their strength thereby being reborn from the iron ward that was used against them.  http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8153024
  5. The ice magic that the Others practice requires blood sacrifice as well, along with the elements of water and air, but I think Craster's sons are a red herring. His story is meant to make us think that "children" are being sacrificed to make white walkers. The tale of the Nights Kings crime of "sacrificing to the Others" also makes us immediately think of children, however I assert that since the two opposing sides of Children versus humans are working two opposing types of magic, each side has to sacrifice the other in order to work their respective magic. Conclusion: I believe the Others were sacrificing Children (of the Forest) to create their white walker soldiers. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8153024
  6. OK, I've gathered up a few passages to support the following thoughts:

    1) The wildlings believe the Wall was built to keep them contained.

    2) "Jon Snow" is an evil name.

    3) Wildlings also hate "Starks".

    4) The wildlings are the Others, and the creators of the white walkers.

    5) Mance is a divine predator - they feel their cause is righteous - akin to Native Americans breaking free of the reservation and taking back their territories.

    6) They plan to rise up after they're allowed through the Wall.

    7) The wildlings are behind Jon's stabbing/mutiny.

    8) Just like Old Nan says, they hate iron.

     

    Ygritte says “kneelers” are thieves 

      The ground was littered with pine needles and blown leaves, a carpet of green and brown still damp from the recent rains. It squished beneath their feet. Huge bare oaks, tall sentinels, and hosts of soldier pines stood all around them. On a hill above them was another roundtower, ancient and empty, thick green moss crawling up its side almost to the summit. “Who built that, all of stone like that?” Ygritte asked him. “Some king?” 

      “No. Just the men who used to live here.” 

      “What happened to them?”   

      “They died or went away.” Brandon’s Gift had been farmed for thousands of years, but as the Watch dwindled there were fewer hands to plow the fields, tend the bees, and plant the orchards, so the wild had reclaimed many a field and hall. In the New Gift there had been villages and holdfasts whose taxes, rendered in goods and labor, helped feed and clothe the black brothers. But those were largely gone as well. 

      “They were fools to leave such a castle,” said Ygritte. 

      “It’s only a towerhouse. Some little lordling lived there once, with his family and a few sworn men. When raiders came he would light a beacon from the roof. Winterfell has towers three times the size of that.” 

      She looked as if she thought he was making that up. “How could men build so high, with no giants to lift the stones?” 

      In legend, Brandon the Builder had used giants to help raise Winterfell, but Jon did not want to confuse the issue. “Men can build a lot higher than this. In Oldtown there’s a tower taller than the Wall.” He could tell she did not believe him.

    <snip>

      “This land belongs to the Watch,” Jon said. 

      Her nostrils flared. “No one lives here.” 

      “Your raiders drove them off.”

      “They were cowards, then. If they wanted the land they should have stayed and fought.” 

      “Maybe they were tired of fighting. Tired of barring their doors every night and wondering if Rattleshirt or someone like him would break them down to carry off their wives. Tired of having their harvests stolen, and any valuables they might have. It’s easier to move beyond the reach of raiders.” But if the Wall should fail, all the north will lie within the reach of raiders. 

      “You know nothing, Jon Snow. Daughters are taken, not wives. You’re the ones who steal. You took the whole world, and built the Wall t’ keep the free folk out.” 

      “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

      “The gods made the earth for all men t’ share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. My trees, they said, you can’t eat them apples. My stream, you can’t fish here. My wood, you’re not t’ hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I’ll chop ’em off, but maybe if you kneel t’ me I’ll let you have a sniff. You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t’ be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t’ kneel.”

    <snip>

    “And men can’t own the land no more’n they can own the sea or the sky. You kneelers think you do, but Mance is going t’ show you different.”

     

    Wildlings choose their leaders and they won’t kneel:

      You don’t become King-beyond-the-Wall because your father was. The free folk won’t follow a name, and they don’t care which brother was born first. They follow fighters.

      “You can kill your enemies,” Jon said bluntly, “but can you rule your friends? If we let your people pass, are you strong enough to make them keep the king’s peace and obey the laws?” 

      “Whose laws? The laws of Winterfell and King’s Landing?” Mance laughed. “When we want laws we’ll make our own. You can keep your king’s justice too, and your king’s taxes. I’m offering you the horn, not our freedom. We will not kneel to you.”

     

    If you force the wildlings to kneel they will rise up at the first chance:

      “Free folk do not kneel,” Val told her. 

      “Then they must be knelt,” the queen declared.   

      “Do that, Your Grace, and we will rise again at the first chance,” Val promised. “Rise with blades in hand.”

     

    Jon Snow and Starks are “evil” and “disliked”: 

      Sheathing his dirk, he wrenched Longclaw free from the body of the man he’d killed. “You are my captive, Ygritte.” 

      “I gave you my name.” 

      “I’m Jon Snow.”

      She flinched. “An evil name.” 

      “A bastard name,” he said. “My father was Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.”

     

    Why is “Jon Snow” an evil name? It cannot be because he’s a bastard, and it cannot be because he’s a Stark, because Ygritte reacted to “Jon Snow”. Was there a historical Jon Snow that had something to do with the wildlings being forced beyond the Wall?

      Mance Rayder laughed. “As you wish. Jon Snow, before you stands Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker, Horn-blower, and Breaker of Ice. And here also Tormund Thunderfist, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts.” 

      “That sounds more like me,” said Tormund. “Well met, Jon Snow. I am fond o’ wargs, as it happens, though not o’ Starks.”

     

    Bastards are accepted in wildling society - so why is Jon Snow’s name “evil”?

      “Do you mislike the girl?” Tormund asked him as they passed another twenty mammoths, these bearing wildlings in tall wooden towers instead of giants. 

      “No, but I . . .” What can I say that he will believe? “I am still too young to wed.” 

      “Wed?” Tormund laughed. “Who spoke of wedding? In the south, must a man wed every girl he beds?” 

      Jon could feel himself turning red again. “She spoke for me when Rattleshirt would have killed me. I would not dishonor her.” “You are a free man now, and Ygritte is a free woman. What dishonor if you lay together?” 

      “I might get her with child.” 

      “Aye, I’d hope so. A strong son or a lively laughing girl kissed by fire, and where’s the harm in that?” 

      Words failed him for a moment. “The boy . . . the child would be a bastard.”

      “Are bastards weaker than other children? More sickly, more like to fail?” 

      “No, but—”   

      “You’re bastard-born yourself. And if Ygritte does not want a child, she will go to some woods witch and drink a cup o’ moon tea. You do not come into it, once the seed is planted.” 

      “I will not father a bastard.”

      Tormund shook his shaggy head. “What fools you kneelers be….

     

    Evidence that Wildlings are the Others

    The Halfhand had suspected that the wildlings had gone up into the bleak and barren Frostfangs in search of some weapon, some power, some fell sorcery with which to break the Wall . . .

      Most of the column was out of the foothills now, oozing down along the west bank of the Milkwater like honey on a cold winter’s morning, following the course of the river into the heart of the haunted forest. (The wildlings were following the path the white walkers and wights took to attack the Fist.)

    The Last of the Giants song:

    “Ooooooh, I am the last of the giants, 

    my people are gone from the earth.

    The last of the great mountain giants, 

    who ruled all the world at my birth,

    Oh, the smallfolk have stolen my forests, 

    they’ve stolen my rivers and hills.

    And they’ve built a great wall through my valleys

    and fished all the fish from my rills,”

    In stone halls they burn their great fires, 

    In stone halls they forge their sharp spears. 

    Whilst I walk alone in the mountains, 

    with no true companion but tears. 

    They hunt me with dogs in the daylight, 

    they hunt me with torches by night. 

    For these men who are small can never stand tall, 

    whilst giants still walk in the light. 

    Oooooooh, I am the LAST of the giants, 

    so learn well the words of my song. 

    For when I am gone the singing will fade, 

    and the silence shall last long and long.

     

    After the song:

      “Why are you weeping?” Jon asked. “It was only a song. There are hundreds of giants, I’ve just seen them.” 

      “Oh, hundreds,” she said furiously. “You know nothing, Jon Snow. You— JON!” 

     

    After Jon’s careless words is when he’s attacked:

      Jon turned at the sudden sound of wings. Blue-grey feathers filled his eyes, as sharp talons buried themselves in his face. Red pain lanced through him sudden and fierce as pinions beat round his head. He saw the beak, but there was no time to get a hand up or reach for a weapon. Jon reeled backward, hisfoot lost the stirrup, his garron broke in panic, and then he was falling. And still the eagle clung to his face, its talons tearing at him as it flapped and shrieked and pecked. The world turned upside down in a chaos of feathers and horseflesh and blood, and then the ground came up to smash him. 

      The next he knew, he was on his face with the taste of mud and blood in his mouth and Ygritte kneeling over him protectively, a bone dagger in her hand. He could still hear wings, though the eagle was not in sight. Half his world was black. “My eye,” he said in sudden panic, raising a hand to his face. 

      “It’s only blood, Jon Snow. He missed the eye, just ripped your skin up some.” 

      His face was throbbing. Tormund stood over them bellowing, he saw from his right eye as he rubbed blood from his left. Then there were hoofbeats, shouts, and the clacking of old dry bones. 

      “Bag o’ Bones,” roared Tormund, “call off your hellcrow!” 

      “There’s your hellcrow!” Rattleshirt pointed at Jon. “Bleeding in the mud like a faithless dog!” The eagle came flapping down to land atop the broken giant’s skull that served him for his helm. “I’m here for him.” 

      “Come take him then,” said Tormund, “but best come with sword in hand, for that’s where you’ll find mine. Might be I’ll boil your bones, and use your skull to piss in. Har!” 

      “Once I prick you and let the air out, you’ll shrink down smaller’n that girl. Stand aside, or Mance will hear o’ this.” 

      Ygritte stood. “What, is it Mance who wants him?” 

      “I said so, didn’t I? Get him up on those black feet.” 

      Tormund frowned down at Jon. “Best go, if it’s the Mance who’s wanting you.” 

      Ygritte helped pull him up. “He’s bleeding like a butchered boar. Look what Orell did t’ his sweet face.” 

      Can a bird hate? Jon had slain the wilding Orell, but some part of the man remained within the eagle. The golden eyes looked out on him with cold malevolence. “I’ll come,” he said. The blood kept running down into his right eye, and his cheek was a blaze of pain. When he touched it his black gloves came away stained with red. “Let me catch my garron.” It was not the horse he wanted so much as Ghost, but the direwolf was nowhere to be seen. He could be leagues away by now, ripping out the throat of some elk. Perhaps that was just as well.

     

    Rattleshirt had been sent by Mance to bring him to where he was - which was at the top of the Fist of the First Men the day after the Nights Watch was attacked. As they drew nearer the snow was falling faster, the drifts were deeper, the wind was colder, and night was falling. All signs that white walkers were in the area. Jon could see the great hill even through the blowing snow - The Fist of the First Men. Jon noted that the wildlings were crawling over the dead garrons like flies, stripping them of saddles, bridles, packs, and armor, and hacking them apart with stone axes.  They were even prying horseshoes from their hooves. There were ravens flapping from one dead horse to the next and Jon wondered if they were Nights Watch ravens. Mance was at the top of the hill. Under his black wool and red silk he wore black ringmail and shaggy fur breeches, and on his head was a great bronze-and-iron helm with raven wings at either temple. Is Mance "Ossa Ravenhead", a Viking warrior god of wisdom and strength? Wearing a winged helmet is commonly used to depict Celts, but the shaggy fur breeches imply he’s wearing a ritual costume that projects the wearer’s intention to become a divine predator.

     

    Mance blames Jon for the attack:

    “You should never have lied to me, Jon Snow,” said Mance.

      “The Old Bear commanded,” said Jon. “This place was high and strong, and he made it stronger. He dug pits and planted stakes, laid up food and water. He was ready for . . .” 

      “. . . me?” finished Mance Rayder.

     <snip>  

    …when the dead walk, walls and stakes and swords mean nothing. You cannot fight the dead, Jon Snow. No man knows that half so well as me.”

     

    When Stannis was riding to attack - Mance could hear his warhorn. Jon remembered Mance’s words about the dead walking, and Varamyr said something was coming from the east:

      Harma scowled. “East? The wights should be behind us.”

    How would Harma know where the wights were? 

     

    When they finally realized that the soldiers weren’t from Castle Black nor Eastwatch they were upset by the iron:

      “Mance!” the shout came. It was a scout, bursting from the trees on a lathered horse. “Mance, there’s more, they’re all around us, iron men, iron, a host of iron men.” http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8156334

     

Edited by The Fattest Leech
clarified a word

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@Feather Crystal Your ideas on the other thread needed a garden ^_^. You have some interesting ideas and I felt that I was not getting the whole picture because it was so spaced out between the other discussion. I know I initially answered you there last night (probably more like super early this a.m.) but I will continue here with you and all who want to join in :cheers:

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12 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

@Feather Crystal Your ideas on the other thread needed a garden ^_^. You have some interesting ideas and I felt that I was not getting the whole picture because it was so spaced out between the other discussion. I know I initially answered you there last night (probably more like super early this a.m.) but I will continue here with you and all who want to join in :cheers:

Thank you for opening this reread discussion, and I apologize if I’ve derailed your Nymeria thread!

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2 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Thank you for opening this reread discussion, and I apologize if I’ve derailed your Nymeria thread!

No problem at all.

As I mentioned, I wasn't able to follow your theory very well with all of the other stuff we were discussing (and my broken up time here). This could potentially be a big topic, which are usually spurred from side discussions in other threads. Such is the way of the forum.

Please let me know if I should change anything in the main post.

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@Feather Crystal I have some thoughts as to this part of your theory.

40 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:
  1. Jon is the "Bastard O'Winterfell" and as such his father is Bael. Bael may be Mance, but he may also be some other ironborn wildling from beyond the Wall. Tormund makes regular trips over the Wall, and the text suggests he is the father of "bears" or rather Mormonts. I think its telling that Mormont gives Jon his family sword, because it suggests Jon's father is from beyond the Wall as well. http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/142886-nymeria-is-poised-to-return/&do=findComment&comment=8152652

First, I am totally down with the idea that Tormund is a husband to a Mormont bear :agree:. And if Tormund is, then he would have done some free folk "stealing" to get her, and I expect that Maege (?) would have put up the expected and customary female fight, only for her to be the one in the end to give the approval to go ahead.

As to Longclaw, I guess I see it more that LC Mormont was the protector of the realm, as the king in King's Landing is supposed to be but isn't, and that LC Mormont giving Jon Longclaw is "passing the fire/steel torch" of protector of the realm to Jon. Here is the list of what the king is supposed to be:

  • the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm,

Jon Snow would be the first Jon Snow in the series. Unless I missed it (and I may have), I don't think we have another Jon Snow in current story or the World history.

I am one of those that does not see Jon desiring the Iron Throne by any means, whether he is "entitled" to it or voted in. His arc just does not seem to be going that way. In my opinion his arc is going to be Jon Snow, King of Winter. I think the Stark words "Winter is coming" is a sorta prediction of the northern "hero" that will be there to stop the undead, based on history. I do think Jon and Bran will have to be the ones to work together to help put this imbalance of magic back in order, and it may possibly be foreshadowed in the phrase about Jon is an armor of ice- ice being Bran and his magicks.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

They are all gone. They have abandoned me.
Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. "Snow," an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she'd appeared.
 
And we have seen before that not all armor is literal. Sansa sorta kinda weaves spells with her words:

A Clash of Kings - Sansa I

"Is that what 'they' say, Your Grace?"
Joffrey frowned. Sansa felt that she ought to say something. What was it that Septa Mordane used to tell her? A lady's armor is courtesy, that was it. She donned her armor and said, "I'm sorry my lady mother took you captive, my lord."

And (much less popular opinion warning) I think this Jon being armored in ice also foreshadows the future:

A Storm of Swords - Daenerys III

Ser Jorah had no answer. He only smiled, and touched her hair, so lightly. It was enough.
That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper's rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.
She woke suddenly in the darkness of her cabin, still flush with triumph. Balerion seemed to wake with her, and she heard the faint creak of wood, water lapping against the hull, a football on the deck above her head. And something else.

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Thanks for starting this, @The Fattest Leech! I wanted to reply to @Feather Crystal and to you but didn't want to derail the other thread. I'm at work at the mo, but will get back w/ a few thoughts on this very interesting discussion! :cheers:

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1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

@Feather Crystal I have some thoughts as to this part of your theory.

First, I am totally down with the idea that Tormund is a husband to a Mormont bear :agree:. And if Tormund is, then he would have done some free folk "stealing" to get her, and I expect that Maege (?) would have put up the expected and customary female fight, only for her to be the one in the end to give the approval to go ahead.

As to Longclaw, I guess I see it more that LC Mormont was the protector of the realm, as the king in King's Landing is supposed to be but isn't, and that LC Mormont giving Jon Longclaw is "passing the fire/steel torch" of protector of the realm to Jon. Here is the list of what the king is supposed to be:

  • the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm,

Jon Snow would be the first Jon Snow in the series. Unless I missed it (and I may have), I don't think we have another Jon Snow in current story or the World history.

I am one of those that does not see Jon desiring the Iron Throne by any means, whether he is "entitled" to it or voted in. His arc just does not seem to be going that way. In my opinion his arc is going to be Jon Snow, King of Winter. I think the Stark words "Winter is coming" is a sorta prediction of the northern "hero" that will be there to stop the undead, based on history. I do think Jon and Bran will have to be the ones to work together to help put this imbalance of magic back in order, and it may possibly be foreshadowed in the phrase about Jon is an armor of ice- ice being Bran and his magicks.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

They are all gone. They have abandoned me.
Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. "Snow," an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she'd appeared.
 
And we have seen before that not all armor is literal. Sansa sorta kinda weaves spells with her words:

A Clash of Kings - Sansa I

"Is that what 'they' say, Your Grace?"
Joffrey frowned. Sansa felt that she ought to say something. What was it that Septa Mordane used to tell her? A lady's armor is courtesy, that was it. She donned her armor and said, "I'm sorry my lady mother took you captive, my lord."

And (much less popular opinion warning) I think this Jon being armored in ice also foreshadows the future:

A Storm of Swords - Daenerys III

Ser Jorah had no answer. He only smiled, and touched her hair, so lightly. It was enough.
That night she dreamt that she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper's rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent. Some small part of her knew that she was dreaming, but another part exulted. This is how it was meant to be. The other was a nightmare, and I have only now awakened.
She woke suddenly in the darkness of her cabin, still flush with triumph. Balerion seemed to wake with her, and she heard the faint creak of wood, water lapping against the hull, a football on the deck above her head. And something else.

 

We do have a lot to agree on, but the biggest disagreement is Jon's armor of "ice"...it's "black ice" and not just "ice". This appears to put him in opposition to the wildlings, which is further indicated by his dream of holding a red sword and fighting the wildlings with "burning shafts" (fire). And even though I'm not a big proponent of RLJ, the use of "black ice" might indicate a fiery Targaryen source combined with northern ice. It could also just be a connection to the Azor Ahai symbolism, which again is a "fire" hero.

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In my mind black ice = obsidian. 

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Posted (edited)

@Feather Crystal,  I took the liberty of moving your reply to me from the Nymeria thread to this one so we can carry on w/o derailing the other thread. Sadly, I don't have the time to go over every detail at the moment, but there are a couple of things that stood out to me and I wanted to at least comment on those now. 

I'll add a few of my own thoughts to the bullet points below (that's all I can manage right now), but I'll keep the rest of your reply to me because I really want to get back to it all when I have some free time. :)

 

21 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

OK, I've gathered up a few passages to support the following thoughts:

1) The wildlings believe the Wall was built to keep them contained.

They don't. And actually, they can't even. The construction of the Wall took hundreds of years, and if we're talking about its height, it's thousands of years instead. So, the notion that the Free Folk - or anyone for that matter - got "trapped" north of the Wall doesn't make any sense. 

Quote

2) "Jon Snow" is an evil name.

Sure. What is the Free Folk's fiercest enemy? The weather. The cold, and the first thing most associate w/ the word snow is cold weather. Ygritte has just been captured by the NW, the bloke who captured her is called Snow, and all of the above. Hence, "Snow is an evil name". My two penny worth. 

Quote

3) Wildlings also hate "Starks".

Sorry, I don't think you've made a good case here... the only textual support you provided was Tormund saying he likes wargs but doesn't like Starks. That's a very far cry from "the free folk hate the Starks". Heck, it's a far cry even from "Tormund Thunderfist hates the Starks".  

Quote

4) The wildlings are the Others, and the creators of the white walkers.

I haven't seen any evidence for this... you claim the free folk took the same path that the WWs did. I'll take your word for it, for argument's sake - not saying you are wrong, just that I won't look into it and accept the claim - but what of it? It proves nothing. From what I remember there aren't an awful lot of options to navigate the region, and that should be especially true when we're talking about thousands and thousands of people. 

I don't mean to be a pain, but I still don't see how you've made that connection and reached this conclusion.

Quote

5) Mance is a divine predator - they feel their cause is righteous - akin to Native Americans breaking free of the reservation and taking back their territories.

Their cause is survival, so yeah, it is a very righteous one in my book. 

Quote

6) They plan to rise up after they're allowed through the Wall.

How can you know that? There's no indication this is the case. I'm curious, why do you think this? Because Val was trying to enlighten Selyse? 

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7) The wildlings are behind Jon's stabbing/mutiny.

Here I'm afraid you'll have to elaborate a lot more... I can't find even a hint of textual support for this, nor understand the reasoning behind it.

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8) Just like Old Nan says, they hate iron.

And? ON says the WWs hate iron. And the guy warning Mance about the "iron" when they're attacked is simply telling Mance these are well-armed men; men carrying proper weapons and armour, unlike them. 

Quote

 

Ygritte says “kneelers” are thieves 

  The ground was littered with pine needles and blown leaves, a carpet of green and brown still damp from the recent rains. It squished beneath their feet. Huge bare oaks, tall sentinels, and hosts of soldier pines stood all around them. On a hill above them was another roundtower, ancient and empty, thick green moss crawling up its side almost to the summit. “Who built that, all of stone like that?” Ygritte asked him. “Some king?” 

  “No. Just the men who used to live here.” 

  “What happened to them?”   

  “They died or went away.” Brandon’s Gift had been farmed for thousands of years, but as the Watch dwindled there were fewer hands to plow the fields, tend the bees, and plant the orchards, so the wild had reclaimed many a field and hall. In the New Gift there had been villages and holdfasts whose taxes, rendered in goods and labor, helped feed and clothe the black brothers. But those were largely gone as well. 

  “They were fools to leave such a castle,” said Ygritte. 

  “It’s only a towerhouse. Some little lordling lived there once, with his family and a few sworn men. When raiders came he would light a beacon from the roof. Winterfell has towers three times the size of that.” 

  She looked as if she thought he was making that up. “How could men build so high, with no giants to lift the stones?” 

  In legend, Brandon the Builder had used giants to help raise Winterfell, but Jon did not want to confuse the issue. “Men can build a lot higher than this. In Oldtown there’s a tower taller than the Wall.” He could tell she did not believe him.

<snip>

  “This land belongs to the Watch,” Jon said. 

  Her nostrils flared. “No one lives here.” 

  “Your raiders drove them off.”

  “They were cowards, then. If they wanted the land they should have stayed and fought.” 

  “Maybe they were tired of fighting. Tired of barring their doors every night and wondering if Rattleshirt or someone like him would break them down to carry off their wives. Tired of having their harvests stolen, and any valuables they might have. It’s easier to move beyond the reach of raiders.” But if the Wall should fail, all the north will lie within the reach of raiders. 

  “You know nothing, Jon Snow. Daughters are taken, not wives. You’re the ones who steal. You took the whole world, and built the Wall t’ keep the free folk out.” 

  “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

  “The gods made the earth for all men t’ share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. My trees, they said, you can’t eat them apples. My stream, you can’t fish here. My wood, you’re not t’ hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I’ll chop ’em off, but maybe if you kneel t’ me I’ll let you have a sniff. You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t’ be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t’ kneel.”

<snip>

“And men can’t own the land no more’n they can own the sea or the sky. You kneelers think you do, but Mance is going t’ show you different.”

 

Wildlings choose their leaders and they won’t kneel:

  You don’t become King-beyond-the-Wall because your father was. The free folk won’t follow a name, and they don’t care which brother was born first. They follow fighters.

  “You can kill your enemies,” Jon said bluntly, “but can you rule your friends? If we let your people pass, are you strong enough to make them keep the king’s peace and obey the laws?” 

  “Whose laws? The laws of Winterfell and King’s Landing?” Mance laughed. “When we want laws we’ll make our own. You can keep your king’s justice too, and your king’s taxes. I’m offering you the horn, not our freedom. We will not kneel to you.”

 

If you force the wildlings to kneel they will rise up at the first chance:

  “Free folk do not kneel,” Val told her. 

  “Then they must be knelt,” the queen declared.   

  “Do that, Your Grace, and we will rise again at the first chance,” Val promised. “Rise with blades in hand.”

 

Jon Snow and Starks are “evil” and “disliked”: 

  Sheathing his dirk, he wrenched Longclaw free from the body of the man he’d killed. “You are my captive, Ygritte.” 

  “I gave you my name.” 

  “I’m Jon Snow.”

  She flinched. “An evil name.” 

  “A bastard name,” he said. “My father was Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.”

 

Why is “Jon Snow” an evil name? It cannot be because he’s a bastard, and it cannot be because he’s a Stark, because Ygritte reacted to “Jon Snow”. Was there a historical Jon Snow that had something to do with the wildlings being forced beyond the Wall?

  Mance Rayder laughed. “As you wish. Jon Snow, before you stands Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker, Horn-blower, and Breaker of Ice. And here also Tormund Thunderfist, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts.” 

  “That sounds more like me,” said Tormund. “Well met, Jon Snow. I am fond o’ wargs, as it happens, though not o’ Starks.”

 

Bastards are accepted in wildling society - so why is Jon Snow’s name “evil”?

  “Do you mislike the girl?” Tormund asked him as they passed another twenty mammoths, these bearing wildlings in tall wooden towers instead of giants. 

  “No, but I . . .” What can I say that he will believe? “I am still too young to wed.” 

  “Wed?” Tormund laughed. “Who spoke of wedding? In the south, must a man wed every girl he beds?” 

  Jon could feel himself turning red again. “She spoke for me when Rattleshirt would have killed me. I would not dishonor her.” “You are a free man now, and Ygritte is a free woman. What dishonor if you lay together?” 

  “I might get her with child.” 

  “Aye, I’d hope so. A strong son or a lively laughing girl kissed by fire, and where’s the harm in that?” 

  Words failed him for a moment. “The boy . . . the child would be a bastard.”

  “Are bastards weaker than other children? More sickly, more like to fail?” 

  “No, but—”   

  “You’re bastard-born yourself. And if Ygritte does not want a child, she will go to some woods witch and drink a cup o’ moon tea. You do not come into it, once the seed is planted.” 

  “I will not father a bastard.”

  Tormund shook his shaggy head. “What fools you kneelers be….

 

Evidence that Wildlings are the Others

The Halfhand had suspected that the wildlings had gone up into the bleak and barren Frostfangs in search of some weapon, some power, some fell sorcery with which to break the Wall . . .

  Most of the column was out of the foothills now, oozing down along the west bank of the Milkwater like honey on a cold winter’s morning, following the course of the river into the heart of the haunted forest. (The wildlings were following the path the white walkers and wights took to attack the Fist.)

The Last of the Giants song:

“Ooooooh, I am the last of the giants, 

my people are gone from the earth.

The last of the great mountain giants, 

who ruled all the world at my birth,

Oh, the smallfolk have stolen my forests, 

they’ve stolen my rivers and hills.

And they’ve built a great wall through my valleys

and fished all the fish from my rills,”

In stone halls they burn their great fires, 

In stone halls they forge their sharp spears. 

Whilst I walk alone in the mountains, 

with no true companion but tears. 

They hunt me with dogs in the daylight, 

they hunt me with torches by night. 

For these men who are small can never stand tall, 

whilst giants still walk in the light. 

Oooooooh, I am the LAST of the giants, 

so learn well the words of my song. 

For when I am gone the singing will fade, 

and the silence shall last long and long.

 

After the song:

  “Why are you weeping?” Jon asked. “It was only a song. There are hundreds of giants, I’ve just seen them.” 

  “Oh, hundreds,” she said furiously. “You know nothing, Jon Snow. You— JON!” 

 

After Jon’s careless words is when he’s attacked:

  Jon turned at the sudden sound of wings. Blue-grey feathers filled his eyes, as sharp talons buried themselves in his face. Red pain lanced through him sudden and fierce as pinions beat round his head. He saw the beak, but there was no time to get a hand up or reach for a weapon. Jon reeled backward, hisfoot lost the stirrup, his garron broke in panic, and then he was falling. And still the eagle clung to his face, its talons tearing at him as it flapped and shrieked and pecked. The world turned upside down in a chaos of feathers and horseflesh and blood, and then the ground came up to smash him. 

  The next he knew, he was on his face with the taste of mud and blood in his mouth and Ygritte kneeling over him protectively, a bone dagger in her hand. He could still hear wings, though the eagle was not in sight. Half his world was black. “My eye,” he said in sudden panic, raising a hand to his face. 

  “It’s only blood, Jon Snow. He missed the eye, just ripped your skin up some.” 

  His face was throbbing. Tormund stood over them bellowing, he saw from his right eye as he rubbed blood from his left. Then there were hoofbeats, shouts, and the clacking of old dry bones. 

  “Bag o’ Bones,” roared Tormund, “call off your hellcrow!” 

  “There’s your hellcrow!” Rattleshirt pointed at Jon. “Bleeding in the mud like a faithless dog!” The eagle came flapping down to land atop the broken giant’s skull that served him for his helm. “I’m here for him.” 

  “Come take him then,” said Tormund, “but best come with sword in hand, for that’s where you’ll find mine. Might be I’ll boil your bones, and use your skull to piss in. Har!” 

  “Once I prick you and let the air out, you’ll shrink down smaller’n that girl. Stand aside, or Mance will hear o’ this.” 

  Ygritte stood. “What, is it Mance who wants him?” 

  “I said so, didn’t I? Get him up on those black feet.” 

  Tormund frowned down at Jon. “Best go, if it’s the Mance who’s wanting you.” 

  Ygritte helped pull him up. “He’s bleeding like a butchered boar. Look what Orell did t’ his sweet face.” 

  Can a bird hate? Jon had slain the wilding Orell, but some part of the man remained within the eagle. The golden eyes looked out on him with cold malevolence. “I’ll come,” he said. The blood kept running down into his right eye, and his cheek was a blaze of pain. When he touched it his black gloves came away stained with red. “Let me catch my garron.” It was not the horse he wanted so much as Ghost, but the direwolf was nowhere to be seen. He could be leagues away by now, ripping out the throat of some elk. Perhaps that was just as well.

 

Rattleshirt had been sent by Mance to bring him to where he was - which was at the top of the Fist of the First Men the day after the Nights Watch was attacked. As they drew nearer the snow was falling faster, the drifts were deeper, the wind was colder, and night was falling. All signs that white walkers were in the area. Jon could see the great hill even through the blowing snow - The Fist of the First Men. Jon noted that the wildlings were crawling over the dead garrons like flies, stripping them of saddles, bridles, packs, and armor, and hacking them apart with stone axes.  They were even prying horseshoes from their hooves. There were ravens flapping from one dead horse to the next and Jon wondered if they were Nights Watch ravens. Mance was at the top of the hill. Under his black wool and red silk he wore black ringmail and shaggy fur breeches, and on his head was a great bronze-and-iron helm with raven wings at either temple. Is Mance "Ossa Ravenhead", a Viking warrior god of wisdom and strength? Wearing a winged helmet is commonly used to depict Celts, but the shaggy fur breeches imply he’s wearing a ritual costume that projects the wearer’s intention to become a divine predator.

 

Mance blames Jon for the attack:

“You should never have lied to me, Jon Snow,” said Mance.

  “The Old Bear commanded,” said Jon. “This place was high and strong, and he made it stronger. He dug pits and planted stakes, laid up food and water. He was ready for . . .” 

  “. . . me?” finished Mance Rayder.

 <snip>  

…when the dead walk, walls and stakes and swords mean nothing. You cannot fight the dead, Jon Snow. No man knows that half so well as me.”

 

When Stannis was riding to attack - Mance could hear his warhorn. Jon remembered Mance’s words about the dead walking, and Varamyr said something was coming from the east:

  Harma scowled. “East? The wights should be behind us.”

How would Harma know where the wights were? 

 

When they finally realized that the soldiers weren’t from Castle Black nor Eastwatch they were upset by the iron:

  “Mance!” the shout came. It was a scout, bursting from the trees on a lathered horse. “Mance, there’s more, they’re all around us, iron men, iron, a host of iron men.”

 

Edited by kissdbyfire
I meant "wargs" not "warts", you dumbass auto correct

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Posted (edited)

Dropping this thought here before I read the post above.

I really found Matthew’s explanation (also here) of the symbolism compelling regarding the flaming arrows in Jon’s dream flying up and hitting the Watch as being Jon’s guilty conscience. At least this is my take away. His decisions killed his brothers, so the fire arrows are his own, even while he’s wielding a flaming sword against the wildlings.

Actually, I’m going to expand on Matthews explanation and add to it, and it may change the interpretation a bit. The dream could be prophetic and supportive of what I’ve been saying, that Jon’s decision to allow the wildlings through will end up biting him in the ass. It cost him the lives of some of his men, and after they’re through the wildlings will attack the Watch.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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19 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Dropping this thought here before I read the post above.

I really found Matthew’s explanation (in the current Heresy thread) of the symbolism compelling regarding the flaming arrows in Jon’s dream flying up and hitting the Watch as being Jon’s guilty conscience. At least this is my take away. His decisions killed his brothers, so the fire arrows are his own, even while he’s wielding a flaming sword against the wildlings.

Actually, I’m going to expand on Matthews explanation and add to it, and it may change the interpretation a bit. The dream could be prophetic and supportive of what I’ve been saying, that Jon’s decision to allow the wildlings through will end up biting him in the ass. It cost him the lives of some of his men, and after they’re through the wildlings will attack the Watch.

After who is through w/ what? B/c there's no doubt in my mind the free folk will fall on the conspirators like a ton of bricks, but I don't think that's what you meant. :)

 

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Posted (edited)

1)No.
2)Non.
3)Nein.
4)нет
5) I agree that magic requires sacrifices, but won't comitt to a closer interpretation until and if we get more info.
6)Mental Acrobatics

In conclusion: Nope.
New theory: We need WoW so this madness can stop.

Edited by Orphalesion

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27 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Dropping this thought here before I read the post above.

I really found Matthew’s explanation (in the current Heresy thread) of the symbolism compelling regarding the flaming arrows in Jon’s dream flying up and hitting the Watch as being Jon’s guilty conscience. At least this is my take away. His decisions killed his brothers, so the fire arrows are his own, even while he’s wielding a flaming sword against the wildlings.

Actually, I’m going to expand on Matthews explanation and add to it, and it may change the interpretation a bit. The dream could be prophetic and supportive of what I’ve been saying, that Jon’s decision to allow the wildlings through will end up biting him in the ass. It cost him the lives of some of his men, and after they’re through the wildlings will attack the Watch.

I’m still struggling to see the evidence or hints that the wildlings are going to attack the Watch. At the moment they are treating with him like he is their “king”. And many have already run off because they are scared of the fire people Mel, Stannis, and Selyse.  

The Weeper causing trouble? Sure.

Mance (if not dead)? I think yes. Mance seems to be the Westerosi (original) version of the Tattered Prince. Mance is the primary Tattered Prince as he more prominent in the story. But they seem to be parallels for each other. Watch one to see how the other will follow. 

Also, I still am not seeing how the free folk are birthing the icy Others? 

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

After who is through w/ what? B/c there's no doubt in my mind the free folk will fall on the conspirators like a ton of bricks, but I don't think that's what you meant. :)

 

I know I'm proposing some contrary ideas and you're just not seeing it - at least not yet.

I do think Jon has made a mistake, and was influenced by his love of Ygritte, but he's fooling himself if he thinks the very nature of the wildlings have changed just because of him...because that's what you and The Fattest Leech are basically saying. The wildlings are enemies of the Watch and there's no way that they've all changed their minds just because Jon let them through the Wall. 

28 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I’m still struggling to see the evidence or hints that the wildlings are going to attack the Watch. At the moment they are treating with him like he is their “king”. And many have already run off because they are scared of the fire people Mel, Stannis, and Selyse.  

The Weeper causing trouble? Sure.

Mance (if not dead)? I think yes. Mance seems to be the Westerosi (original) version of the Tattered Prince. Mance is the primary Tattered Prince as he more prominent in the story. But they seem to be parallels for each other. Watch one to see how the other will follow. 

Also, I still am not seeing how the free folk are birthing the icy Others? 

Orell's and Varamyr's hatred of Jon manifested itself with the eagle attack. Rattleshirt called him a "hellcrow" and a "faithless dog". The only reason why the wildlings haven't killed him yet is because Mance hasn't allowed it.

The icy white walkers are made of frozen water. In order to freeze the water it needs the rising cold winds. The combination of water and air are the two gods of the Ironborn: the Drowned God and the Storm God, but magic also requires blood sacrifice to work.

This theory cannot be proven with a small handful of passages when it involves all of the books, and didn't occur to me until I studied the titled chapters.

I'll continue to post evidence with my interpretation. 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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26 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I know I'm proposing some contrary ideas and you're just not seeing it - at least not yet.

Contrary to what, the text? It's a genuine question, b/c for something to be contrary, it must be contrary to something. 

26 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I do think Jon has made a mistake, and was influenced by his love of Ygritte, but he's fooling himself if he thinks the very nature of the wildlings have changed just because of him...because that's what you and The Fattest Leech are basically saying. The wildlings are enemies of the Watch and there's no way that they've all changed their minds just because Jon let them through the Wall. 

What nature? And no, that's absolutely not what I'm saying. The NW sees the free folk as their enemy, and that's on the NW, the institution that has forgotten its true purpose. 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

They don't. And actually, they can't even. The construction of the Wall took hundreds of years, and if we're talking about its height, it's thousands of years instead. So, the notion that the Free Folk - or anyone for that matter - got "trapped" north of the Wall doesn't make any sense. 

“You know nothing, Jon Snow. Daughters are taken, not wives. You’re the ones who steal. You took the whole world, and built the Wall t’ keep the free folk out.”

Is Ygritte lying or does she simply not know her own history? 

 

19 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Sure. What is the Free Folk's fiercest enemy? The weather. The cold, and the first thing most associate w/ the word snow is cold weather. Ygritte has just been captured by the NW, the bloke who captured her is called Snow, and all of the above. Hence, "Snow is an evil name". My two penny worth. 

The current Lord of Winterfell is a legitimized bastard. Jon and Ramsay are "brothers" in the sense that they have the same bastard last name. Jon Snow, Ramsay (Snow) Bolton, and Mance Rayder are a repeat of when the Lord of Winterfell joined forces with the King Beyond the Wall to overthrow the Nights King. The pink letter claims that Ramsay captured Mance and has him in a cage. Perhaps Joramun's alliance with Winterfell was a bit more complicated than the story suggests? If history repeats itself then Joramun was the Lord of Winterfell's prisoner, the Lord was a legitimized bastard, and the Nights King was bastard born as well. This would make "Snow" an evil name. 

19 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I haven't seen any evidence for this... you claim the free folk took the same path that the WWs did. I'll take your word for it, for argument's sake - not saying you are wrong, just that I won't look into it and accept the claim - but what of it? It proves nothing. From what I remember there aren't an awful lot of options to navigate the region, and that should be especially true when we're talking about thousands and thousands of people. 

Why would the white walkers and wights attack LC Jeor Mormont's camp at the Fist and leave the wildlings trailing less than a day's ride behind them unmolested? The wildlings are following the white walkers, and yet Harma says the wights are behind them. There are only a small handful of white walkers, and they serve in the capacity of military leaders with the wights as their soldiers. If the white walkers are in front of the wildlings and the wights are behind them, then it's more than a coincidence that Mance is dressed as a divine predator with his winged helmet and shaggy fur pants while his "officers" strip the dead horses of weapons, leather, and horseshoes. Jon takes note of the snow and cold air surrounding Mance at the top of the Fist and darkness has not yet fallen.

Jon says: He was ready for . . .” 

  “. . . me?” finished Mance Rayder.

 <snip>  

…when the dead walk, walls and stakes and swords mean nothing. You cannot fight the dead, Jon Snow. No man knows that half so well as me.”

Mance said Jeor was readying the camp against "Mance". And that no man knows that you can't fight the dead half so well as Mance. Why would Mance know this more than anybody? He didn't say no man knows this half so well as the wildlings. He just said "as me"...as in singular.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Contrary to what, the text? It's a genuine question, b/c for something to be contrary, it must be contrary to something. 

What nature? And no, that's absolutely not what I'm saying. The NW sees the free folk as their enemy, and that's on the NW, the institution that has forgotten its true purpose. 

 

Contrary to popular opinion. The reader is persuaded to sympathize with Jon, and Jon slowly changes his opinion of the wildlings based on his love for Ygritte. He catches glimpses of their side of the story, but he mistakenly believes he's made friends. When Ygritte says "you" built the Wall to keep the wildlings out, Jon says: “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

Jon forgets how "wild" Ygritte is, and then she says or does something that reminds him...but he keeps forgetting.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Other-izing

otherize (third-person singular simple present otherizes, present participle otherizing, simple past and past participle otherized)

  1. (transitive) To make or regard (a person, social group, etc.) as alien or different.

 

  “Where are the rest of you?” Bran asked Leaf, once. 

  “Gone down into the earth,” she answered. “Into the stones, into the trees. Before the First Men came all this land that you call Westeros was home to us, yet even in those days we were few. The gods gave us long lives but not great numbers, lest we overrun the world as deer will overrun a wood where there are no wolves to hunt them. That was in the dawn of days, when our sun was rising. Now it sinks, and this is our long dwindling. The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well. In the world that men have made, there is no room for them, or us.” 

  She seemed sad when she said it, and that made Bran sad as well. It was only later that he thought, Men would not be sad. Men would be wroth. Men would hate and swear a bloody vengeance. The singers sing sad songs, where men would fight and kill.

(Me talking now)

Yes, men would be wroth. Wroth enough to build a Wall to imprison their enemies. The Children point out that the giants are both "bane" and "brother". We otherize people in order to justify our actions against them.

 

Jon realizes that the Others are just humans:

  “The Wall is only a few hours south of here,” said Jon. “Why not seek shelter there? Others yielded. Even Mance.” 

  The wildlings exchanged looks. Finally one said, “We heard stories. The crows burned all them that yielded.”

  “Even Mance hisself,” the woman added. 

  Melisandre, Jon thought, you and your red god have much and more to answer for. “All those who wish are welcome to return with us. There is food and shelter at Castle Black, and the Wall to keep you safe from the things that haunt these woods. You have my word, no one will burn.” 

  “A crow’s word,” the woman said, hugging her child close, “but who’s to say that you can keep it? Who are you?” 

  “Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and a son of Eddard Stark of Winterfell.” Jon turned to Tom Barleycorn. “Have Rory and Pate bring up the horses. I do not mean to stay here one moment longer than we must.” 

  “As you say, m’lord.” One last thing remained before they could depart: the thing that they had come for. Iron Emmett called forth his charges, and as the rest of the company watched from a respectful distance, they knelt before the weirwoods. The last light of day was gone by then; the only light came from the stars above and the faint red glow of the dying fire in the center of the grove. 

  With their black hoods and thick black cowls, the six might have been carved from shadow. Their voices rose together, small against the vastness of the night. “Night gathers, and now my watch begins,” they said, as thousands had said before them. Satin’s voice was sweet as song, Horse’s hoarse and halting, Arron’s a nervous squeak. “It shall not end until my death.” 

  May those deaths be long in coming. Jon Snow sank to one knee in the snow. Gods of my fathers, protect these men. And Arya too, my little sister, wherever she might be. I pray you, let Mance find her and bring her safe to me. 

  “I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children,” the recruits promised, in voices that echoed back through years and centuries. “I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post.” 

  Gods of the wood, grant me the strength to do the same, Jon Snow prayed silently. Give me the wisdom to know what must be done and the courage to do it. 

  “I am the sword in the darkness,” said the six, and it seemed to Jon as though their voices were changing, growing stronger, more certain. “I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.” 

  The shield that guards the realms of men. Ghost nuzzled up against his shoulder, and Jon draped an arm around him. He could smell Horse’s unwashed breeches, the sweet scent Satin combed into his beard, the rank sharp smell of fear, the giant’s overpowering musk. He could hear the beating of his own heart. When he looked across the grove at the woman with her child, the two greybeards, the Hornfoot man with his maimed feet, all he saw was men.

(Me talking now)

Just because Jon realizes that the Others are just "men", doesn't mean he's dissolved their threat by allowing them through the Wall. They were imprisoned for a reason. Building a 700 foot Wall was easier than working through solutions. Diplomacy is harder than killing.

 
Edited by Feather Crystal

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The wights are a manufactured threat created by the wildings

After Jon and Ygritte made it over the Wall:

  “The worst is behind us.” Jon tried to sound confident. “Don’t be frightened.” He tried to put an arm around her. 

  Ygritte slammed the heel of her hand into his chest, so hard it stung even through his layers of wool, mail, and boiled leather. “I wasn’t frightened. You know nothing, Jon Snow.” 

  “Why are you crying, then?” 

  “Not for fear!” She kicked savagely at the ice beneath her with a heel, chopping out a chunk. “I’m crying because we never found the Horn of Winter. We opened half a hundred graves and let all those shades loose in the world, and never found the Horn of Joramun to bring this cold thing down!”

 

Is it possible that Mance told the wildlings they were looking for a horn when his true intentions were to dig up the dead to raise as wights? My suspicions are born from the fact that the wildlings traditionally burn their dead, so in order to get wights he needed dead bodies.

 

Ironborn connection to wights:

“What is dead may never die,” his uncle echoed, “but rises again, harder and stronger..."

 

Jon found burned remains in the Whitetree weirwood:

  He knelt and reached a gloved hand down into the maw. The inside of the hollow was red with dried sap and blackened by fire. Beneath the skull he saw another, smaller, the jaw broken off. It was half-buried in ash and bits of bone. 

  When he brought the skull to Mormont, the Old Bear lifted it in both hands and stared into the empty sockets. “The wildlings burn their dead. We’ve always known that. Now I wished I’d asked them why, when there were still a few around to ask.”

 

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