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The Fattest Leech

Re-read: Wildings are the Others

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On 4/5/2018 at 10:59 PM, Feather Crystal said:

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.

I disagree that Jon changed his mind because of his love for Ygritte. Jon changes his mind because of his experiences he has himself within these free folk people.

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

A vast blue-white wall plugged one end of the vale, squeezing between the mountains as if it had shouldered them aside, and for a moment he thought he had dreamed himself back to Castle Black. Then he realized he was looking at a river of ice several thousand feet high. Under that glittering cold cliff was a great lake, its deep cobalt waters reflecting the snowcapped peaks that ringed it. There were men down in the valley, he saw now; many men, thousands, a huge host. Some were tearing great holes in the half-frozen ground, while others trained for war. He watched as a swarming mass of riders charged a shield wall, astride horses no larger than ants. The sound of their mock battle was a rustling of steel leaves, drifting faintly on the wind. Their encampment had no plan to it; he saw no ditches, no sharpened stakes, no neat rows of horse lines. Everywhere crude earthen shelters and hide tents sprouted haphazardly, like a pox on the face of the earth. He spied untidy mounds of hay, smelled goats and sheep, horses and pigs, dogs in great profusion. Tendrils of dark smoke rose from a thousand cookfires.
This is no army, no more than it is a town. This is a whole people come together.
 
This brings another question to mind. What are your thoughts on Osha taking care of Rickon and bringing him to Skagos? Each of the surviving Stark boys who have made it (sorry Robb :() have/will survive because they each have a 'spearwife' of sorts that goes along next to them almost as a familiar. And each of these spearwives are also connected to water in some way; Osha in the pond, Meera from the watery crannogs, Val and her Nymeria cosplay ;), Milkwater, watery walls, etc. Rickon has Osha, Bran has Meera, and Jon has Val. Actually, if we expand a little and look at Sansa's placement in the Vale, and her close connection once removed to the 'wildlings' there, Sansa looks to have her own spearperson in her future as well. Arya... not sure how literal hers will be because she seems to be the shieldmaiden herself.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/8/2018 at 3:52 PM, Feather Crystal said:

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.”

 

This is an interesting one that has come up in other threads past. It seems that the free folk have not always burned their dead or there would not be graves to open.

A Storm of Swords - Jon VI

Maester Aemon paused, washcloth in hand. "The Horn of Winter is an ancient legend. Does the King-beyond-the-Wall truly believe that such a thing exists?"
"They all do," said Jon. "Ygritte said they opened a hundred graves . . . graves of kings and heroes, all over the valley of the Milkwater, but they never . . ."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

Ser Godry gave a pull on the rope. The King-Beyond-the-Wall had no choice but to stumble after him, the rope choking off his words. When he lost his feet, Godry dragged him the rest of the way. Mance was bloody when the queen's men half-shoved, half-carried him to the cage. A dozen men-at-arms heaved together to hoist him into the air.
Lady Melisandre watched him rise. "FREE FOLK! Here stands your king of lies. And here is the horn he promised would bring down the Wall." Two queen's men brought forth the Horn of Joramun, black and banded with old gold, eight feet long from end to end. Runes were carved into the golden bands, the writing of the First Men. Joramun had died thousands of years ago, but Mance had found his grave beneath a glacier, high up in the Frostfangs. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Ygritte had told Jon that Mance never found the horn. She lied, or else Mance kept it secret even from his own.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

"Melisandre burned the Horn of Joramun."
"Did she?" Tormund slapped his thigh and hooted. "She burned that fine big horn, aye. A bloody sin, I call it. A thousand years old, that was. We found it in a giant's grave, and no man o' us had ever seen a horn so big. That must have been why Mance got the notion to tell you it were Joramun's. He wanted you crows to think he had it in his power to blow your bloody Wall down about your knees. But we never found the true horn, not for all our digging. If we had, every kneeler in your Seven Kingdoms would have chunks o' ice to cool his wine all summer."
  • “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!”
  • 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.”

The fact that the Night's Watch has forgotten its true purpose and has since shifted focus from Others to free folk, which in turn mistakes them for the false enemy, appears to mean a lot in this story. Mormont first gives us this clue, as Mormont sees the value in free folk knowledge and he even offers to escort Craster and his wives back south of the wall to help protect them. Jon then carries on this tradtion, as was passed to him symbolically when LC Mormont passed on his family sword that "skinchanged" from a bear to wolf.

And I don't think Ygritte knows what the horn of winter actually is. She is probably believing a tale of a tale that is old as time and brought back into "existence" as a task set by Mance. A bard's truth is a different sort of truth, and singers lie for a living.

Edited by The Fattest Leech
Always with the bad spelling, I am.

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Posted (edited)

I cannot deny the existence of graves, but the assertion that the wildlings burn their dead is also true. So which is it? Are graves a more ancient tradition as hinted by the fore said  “thousand” year old horn? It may be that burning is the newer and preferred means to deal with the dead, so as to not join the ranks of wights. Traditions aside, it doesn’t change the fact that they deliberately opened graves. If they wanted to prevent the “shades” from rising, they would have burned the remains.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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11 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I disagree that Jon changed his mind because of his love for Ygritte. Jon changes his mind because of his experiences he has himself within these free folk people.

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

A vast blue-white wall plugged one end of the vale, squeezing between the mountains as if it had shouldered them aside, and for a moment he thought he had dreamed himself back to Castle Black. Then he realized he was looking at a river of ice several thousand feet high. Under that glittering cold cliff was a great lake, its deep cobalt waters reflecting the snowcapped peaks that ringed it. There were men down in the valley, he saw now; many men, thousands, a huge host. Some were tearing great holes in the half-frozen ground, while others trained for war. He watched as a swarming mass of riders charged a shield wall, astride horses no larger than ants. The sound of their mock battle was a rustling of steel leaves, drifting faintly on the wind. Their encampment had no plan to it; he saw no ditches, no sharpened stakes, no neat rows of horse lines. Everywhere crude earthen shelters and hide tents sprouted haphazardly, like a pox on the face of the earth. He spied untidy mounds of hay, smelled goats and sheep, horses and pigs, dogs in great profusion. Tendrils of dark smoke rose from a thousand cookfires.
This is no army, no more than it is a town. This is a whole people come together.
 
This brings another question to mind. What are your thoughts on Osha taking care of Rickon and bringing him to Skagos? Each of the surviving Stark boys who have made it (sorry Robb :() have/will survive because they each have a 'spearwife' of sorts that goes along next to them almost as a familiar. And each of these spearwives are also connected to water in some way; Osha in the pond, Meera from the watery crannogs, Val and her Nymeria cosplay ;), Milkwater, watery walls, etc. Rickon has Osha, Bran has Meera, and Jon has Val. Actually, if we expand a little and look at Sansa's placement in the Vale, and her close connection once removed to the 'wildlings' there, Sansa looks to have her own spearperson in her future as well. Arya... not sure how literal hers will be because she seems to be the shieldmaiden herself.

Yes, Jon has visions of deja vu, but I still believe Ygritte played the biggest role in changing Jon’s view, not just because of love, but due to their varied conversations where she would say, “you know nothing, Jon Snow”, and then educate him with her viewpoint.

i had not noticed the pairing of Stark to spear wife, so you’ll have to fill me in. What is the significance?

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Posted (edited)

A possible link between the Others and the wildlings is hinted in the world book

  Quote

Archmaester Fomas's Lies of the Ancients—though little regarded these days for its erroneous claims regarding the founding of Valyria and certain lineal claims in the Reach and westerlands—does speculate that the Others of legend were nothing more than a tribe of the First Men, ancestors of the wildlings, that had established itself in the far north. Because of the Long Night, these early wildlings were then pressured to begin a wave of conquests to the south. That they became monstrous in the tales told thereafter, according to Fomas, reflects the desire of the Night's Watch and the Starks to give themselves a more heroic identity as saviors of mankind, and not merely the beneficiaries of a struggle over dominion.

@Tucu posted the above and the following comment on the current Heresy thread:

  I would expect the relationship to be subtle. The Others would end being a conspiracy of leaders of some groups of CoTF, some tribes of First Men and the weirwoods; first created to survive the Long Night, ended by Brandon the Breaker and now reborn to survive the clash of Ice and Fire.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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On 4/5/2018 at 10:54 AM, The Fattest Leech said:

*   *   *

  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

I don’t even understand... are you trying to say that Others are different than White Walkers (which is not the case), or that Wildlings are secretly the Cold Creatures we see in the very first chapter of the very first book? I’m confused 

On 4/5/2018 at 10:54 AM, 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

Is there anything to support this idea besides the story of Bael? Because yes, Jon is the bastard of Winterfell, but Lyanna and Rhaegar isn’t enough to fit for you? Is the suggestion here that Lyanna was pregnant with a wildling baby or that Jon isn’t Lyanna’s?

On 4/5/2018 at 10:54 AM, The Fattest Leech said:
  1. 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

The Iron born are likely of Furst Men decent, although they may have come across the sunset sea... let’s say they were First Men with a Weirwood of their own and the Iron Islands were once connected... the break almost certainly happened when the Wall went up not when the hammer of waters was called, I say this because the Grey King ruled until the age of heros and on his death his sons fought over the islands, his death likely coincides with the death of their Weirwood (Nagga’s Bones). But all that pillaging and all those salt wives are going to water down the blood after enough generations, if that’s something which matters at all.

On 4/5/2018 at 10:54 AM, The Fattest Leech said:
  1. 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

I still don’t understand... we know there are scary ice demons from the very first chapter... what do you mean Ironborn are Others? 

On 4/5/2018 at 10:54 AM, The Fattest Leech said:
  1. 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

White walkers are others... same thing

The horn blew thrice long, three long blasts means Others. The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows, the monsters of the tales that made him squeak and tremble as a boy, riding their giant ice-spiders, hungry for blood . . .

Also just a detail, but remember the Andal’s brought Steel to Westeros... the First Men used Iron... and I don’t know why this came to mind, but I always thought I was missing something with this quote...

"Would you pay us with our own coin?" Ulf son of Umar said. "Why should we need the father's promise, when we have the son's?"
"I said nothing of need," Lord Tywin replied. "My words were courtesy, nothing more. You need not join us. The men of the winterlands are made of iron and ice, and even my boldest knights fear to face them."
Oh, deftly done, Tyrion thought, smiling crookedly.

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I don’t even understand... are you trying to say that Others are different than White Walkers (which is not the case), or that Wildlings are secretly the Cold Creatures we see in the very first chapter of the very first book? I’m confused 

Is there anything to support this idea besides the story of Bael? Because yes, Jon is the bastard of Winterfell, but Lyanna and Rhaegar isn’t enough to fit for you? Is the suggestion here that Lyanna was pregnant with a wildling baby or that Jon isn’t Lyanna’s?

The Iron born are likely of Furst Men decent, although they may have come across the sunset sea... let’s say they were First Men with a Weirwood of their own and the Iron Islands were once connected... the break almost certainly happened when the Wall went up not when the hammer of waters was called, I say this because the Grey King ruled until the age of heros and on his death his sons fought over the islands, his death likely coincides with the death of their Weirwood (Nagga’s Bones). But all that pillaging and all those salt wives are going to water down the blood after enough generations, if that’s something which matters at all.

I still don’t understand... we know there are scary ice demons from the very first chapter... what do you mean Ironborn are Others? 

White walkers are others... same thing

The horn blew thrice long, three long blasts means Others. The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows, the monsters of the tales that made him squeak and tremble as a boy, riding their giant ice-spiders, hungry for blood . . .

Also just a detail, but remember the Andal’s brought Steel to Westeros... the First Men used Iron... and I don’t know why this came to mind, but I always thought I was missing something with this quote...

"Would you pay us with our own coin?" Ulf son of Umar said. "Why should we need the father's promise, when we have the son's?"
"I said nothing of need," Lord Tywin replied. "My words were courtesy, nothing more. You need not join us. The men of the winterlands are made of iron and ice, and even my boldest knights fear to face them."
Oh, deftly done, Tyrion thought, smiling crookedly.

 

hey there @LiveFirstDieLater

This is actually not my theory. I simply started the thread to give it more space because it grew like wildvines from another thread.

This is @Feather Crystal hypothesis. FC can answer these questions way better than I can.

Cheers :cheers:

Edited by The Fattest Leech
clarified a word

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21 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

hey there @LiveFirstDieLater

This is actually not my theory. I simply started the thread to give it more space because it grew like wildvines from another thread.

This is @Feather Crystal hypothesis. FC can answer these questions way better than I can.

Cheers :cheers:

Makes sense, intrigued but confused... happy Friday! 

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The definition of "Others' includes white walkers, wights, and the humans that created them.

Lets push Jon's parentage to the side for now. It's really not all that relevant for this theory, and I don't want to derail this discussion by going off on a tangent.

The First Men brought bronze. Bronze is also associated with magic. The Andals are credited with bringing iron. Iron is a known substance used to ward against magic.The crown of the King in the North is of a bronze circlet surrounded by nine iron swords, which to me symbolically sends the message that the King in the North defeated a magical opponent. This goes along with the name of Winterfell sounding like the defeat of winter, and the motto "Winter is Coming". Put it all together and it would appear the Starks took Winterfell by conquest.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Makes sense, intrigued but confused... happy Friday! 

I think that the Others have two separate dimensions:

-one is a campaign to create a fake terrible enemy that hates all living things. A great tool to control the actions of your own population and scare away desperate foreigners during events like the Long Night

-the other dimension is who is behind the campaign. In my opinion this is a conspiracy of weirwoods, greenseers, CoTF and some leaders of human and giant tribes. Direwolves might also be part of this (or at least act as their agents). They operate like like black ops or covert operations groups.

The WW are just magical shadows not very different than the shadow assasins created by Mel. There is a good reason that the term "white shadow" is only used for three entities in the books: the WW, the Kingsguard and Ghost; I see them as knights/protectors of the conspirators.

These are quotes about the white shadows. You can see that the term is either used for the WW or for protector figures (KG and Ghost):

Quote

Will saw movement from the corner of his eye. Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness. Then it was gone


They walked, with Ghost pacing along beside Jon like a white shadow. "I leave on the morrow," Tyrion said.

"We have white shadows in the woods and unquiet dead stalking our halls, and a boy sits the Iron Throne," he said in disgust.

"The cold gods," she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows."

"We do not ride for the Wall. We ride north, after Mance Rayder and these Others, these white shadows and their wights. We seek them, Gilly. Your babe would not be safe with us."

Joffrey was galloping at his side, whey-faced, with Ser Mandon Moore a white shadow on his left.

 Men ran from him and he ran after them, clambering up over the rail to the next ship and then the next. His two white shadows were always with him; Balon Swann and Mandon Moore, beautiful in their pale plate
 
 He's talking about bleeding stars and white shadows and dreams and . . . if we could find out more about these dragons, it might help give him ease
 
 Dany glimpsed Ser Barristan sliding closer, a white shadow at her side
 
 Ghost padded after him, a white shadow at his side.
 
 Ghost ran with them, a white shadow at Jon's side.

 

 

Edited by Tucu

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8 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I think that the Others have two separate dimensions:

The Paper Marios of Westeros

8 minutes ago, Tucu said:

-one is a campaign to create a fake terrible enemy that hates all living things. A great tool to control the actions of your own population and scare away desperate foreigners during events like the Long Night

But the Others are real, we know this, it is literally the very first chapter of the story.

8 minutes ago, Tucu said:

-the other dimension is who is behind the campaign. In my opinion this is a conspiracy of weirwoods, greenseers, CoTF and some leaders of human and giant tribes. Direwolves might also be part of this (or at least act as their agents). They operate like like black ops or covert operations groups.

Ah, then less intrigued, as we know the Others are real, there isn’t a fake publicity campaign. 

8 minutes ago, Tucu said:

The WW are just magical shadows no very different than the shadow assasins created by Mel. There is a good reason that the term "white shadow" is only used for three entities in the books: the WW, the Kingsguard and Ghost; I see them as knights/protectors of the conspirators.

Since we don’t know much about the Others and even less about what the shadow babies are I have no idea how you came to this conclusion or what you mean by making it...

and don’t forget the Weirwood in Varamyr’s chapter... it’s a pale shadow amidst the snow.

It’s probably not a mistake that the phrase white shadow is used in each case... but be careful... kingsguard in Ned’s dream are not shadows, explicitly...

Moore is, but that’s fright before he tries to kill Tyrion. 

Barista gets called one in Dance... but it also makes sense in the context of a bodyguard... not to mention it begs the question of what the parallel is.

Are the Kingsguard Others, or perhaps the Others are bodyguards and are sworn not to have children... 

Its hard to make conclusions, but I simply can’t leap to them being a conspiracy together.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The Paper Marios of Westeros

But the Others are real, we know this, it is literally the very first chapter of the story.

Ah, then less intrigued, as we know the Others are real, there isn’t a fake publicity campaign. 

Since we don’t know much about the Others and even less about what the shadow babies are I have no idea how you came to this conclusion or what you mean by making it...

and don’t forget the Weirwood in Varamyr’s chapter... it’s a pale shadow amidst the snow.

It’s probably not a mistake that the phrase white shadow is used in each case... but be careful... kingsguard in Ned’s dream are not shadows, explicitly...

Moore is, but that’s fright before he tries to kill Tyrion. 

Barista gets called one in Dance... but it also makes sense in the context of a bodyguard... not to mention it begs the question of what the parallel is.

Are the Kingsguard Others, or perhaps the Others are bodyguards and are sworn not to have children... 

Its hard to make conclusions, but I simply can’t leap to them being a conspiracy together.

I think that GRRM left a lot of hints of the true nature of the Others. This one is well known

Quote

“Sam the Slayer!” he said, by way of greeting. “Are you sure you stabbed an Other, and not some child’s snow knight?

We also have the strange case of Val safely reaching Tormund on her own. Later she appears like this:

Quote

Then Ghost emerged from between two trees, with Val beside him.

They look as though they belong together. Val was clad all in white; white woolen breeches tucked into high boots of bleached white leather, white bearskincloak pinned at the shoulder with a carved weirwood face, white tunic with bone fastenings. Her breath was white as well … but her eyes were blue

All dressed in white and with blue eyes. Reminds you of something?

Edited by Tucu

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12 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I think that GRRM left a lot of hints of the true nature of the Others. This one is well known

We also have the strange case of Val safely reaching Tormund on her own. Later she appears like this:

All dressed in white and with blue eyes. Reminds you of something?

I believe that Symeon Star Eyes was an Other (White Walker) who wandered Westeros before the Wall was built... that’s the connection. And explains knights riding around in armor before the annals brought steel to Westeros.

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=symeon&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=tmk&scope[]=acok&scope[]=twow&scope[]=twoiaf&scope[]=asos&scope[]=thk&scope[]=trp&scope[]=affc&scope[]=tss&scope[]=tpatq

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I believe that Symeon Star Eyes was an Other (White Walker) who wandered Westeros before the Wall was built... that’s the connection. And explains knights riding around in armor before the annals brought steel to Westeros.

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=symeon&scope[]=agot&scope[]=adwd&scope[]=tmk&scope[]=acok&scope[]=twow&scope[]=twoiaf&scope[]=asos&scope[]=thk&scope[]=trp&scope[]=affc&scope[]=tss&scope[]=tpatq

He might be a reference to the WW, but there is not enough info (yet).

Here are extra quotes that might point towards who the Others really are. This one is from the world book:

Quote

Mern III (the Madling) showered gold and honors on a woods witch who claimed that she could raise armies of the dead to throw the Andals back

So, in the past wood witches and wights were believed to be related.

The world book also hints that some wood witches might be CoTF. It is likely that the Ghost of High Heart is one of them.

Quote

Jenny of Oldstones was accompanied to court by a dwarfish, albino woman who was reputed to be a woods witch in the riverlands. Lady Jenny herself claimed, in her ignorance, that she was a child of the forest.

From Leaf, we know that they CoTF can walk the world of men without being noticed:

Quote

For him. The Bran boy. I was born in the time of the dragon, and for two hundred years I walked the world of men, to watch and listen and learn. I might be walking still, but my legs were sore and my heart was weary, so I turned my feet for home."

We also have the tale of Brandon Ice Eyes:

Quote

When old King Edrick Stark had grown too feeble to defend his realm, the Wolf's Den was captured by slavers from the Stepstones. They would brand their captives with hot irons and break them to the whip before shipping them off across the sea, and these same black stone walls bore witness.
"Then a long cruel winter fell," said Ser Bartimus. "The White Knife froze hard, and even the firth was icing up. The winds came howling from the north and drove them slavers inside to huddle round their fires, and whilst they warmed themselves the new king come down on them. Brandon Stark this was, Edrick Snowbeard's great-grandson, him that men called Ice Eyes. He took the Wolf's Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he'd found chained up in the dungeons. It's said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south. Your Seven don't know winter, and winter don't know them."
Davos could not argue with the truth of that. From what he had seen at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, he did not care to know winter either. "What gods do you keep?" he asked the one-legged knight.
"The old ones." When Ser Bartimus grinned, he looked just like a skull. "Me and mine were here before the Manderlys. Like as not, my own forebears strung those entrails through the tree."
"I never knew that northmen made blood sacrifice to their heart trees."
"There's much and more you southrons do not know about the north," Ser Bartimus replied.

And we have Ygrette's view on the nature of the wall

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"It's made of ice," Jon pointed out.

"You know nothing, Jon Snow. This wall is made o' blood."

So there are hints that weirwoods, CoTF, followers of the Old Gods,blood sacrifices, necromancy and ice magic are all linked.

 

Edited by Tucu

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Posted (edited)

Since white walkers are magical creatures, they shouldn't be bound to human restrictions on travel. Just like dragons can travel great distances by flying, I'm thinking white walkers can ride the cold, high winds and appear anywhere where conditions allow for their presence.

White walkers are frequently referred to as shadows. After Melisandre's shadowbaby disappeared Stannis was still alive, but weakened by the experience. We don't know for sure the process to create white walkers, but I suspect it includes blood sacrifice like the dragon hatching ritual did. If dragons are fire made flesh with the souls of humans inside, then ice made flesh would also have humans inside. It would make sense for there to be a type of rebirth - a transformation from human into ice. 

Reading over the Prologue to GOT hints at how a group of eight wildlings may have been sighted (by Will) right as they began this transformation. They are all laying as if asleep, (well seven are laying - one is up a tree) but by the time Will brings Waymar Royce and Gared back to where he saw them, they were gone. Will noted that the firepit had not been used. Recall that Dany used a pyre to hatch the eggs, but if humans can be transformed into white walkers, then the cold would be used to "burn" the bodies to death, just as night is falling with a full moon.

How many white walkers come out of the woods to kill Waymar? I'm thinking the sole woman up the tree with the "far-eyes" was the priestess that was conducting the transformation, and I suspect she climbed down and walked away remaining human, with only the seven men being transformed.

PROLOGUE - (some bits omitted for clarity and to shorten)

  “The camp is two miles farther on, over that ridge, hard beside a stream,” Will said. “I got close as I dared. There’s eight of them, men and women both. No children I could see. They put up a lean-to against the rock. The snow’s pretty well covered it now, but I could still make it out. No fire burning, but the firepit was still plain as day. No one moving. I watched a long time. No living man ever lay so still.”

  “Did you see any blood?”

  “Well, no,” Will admitted.

  “Did you see any weapons?”

  “Some swords, a few bows. One man had an axe. Heavy-looking, double-bladed, a cruel piece of iron. It was on the ground beside him, right by his hand.”

  “Did you make note of the position of the bodies?”

  Will shrugged. “A couple are sitting up against the rock. Most of them on the ground. Fallen, like.”

  “Or sleeping,” Royce suggested.

  “Fallen,” Will insisted. “There’s one woman up an ironwood, half-hid in the branches. A far-eyes.” He smiled thinly. “I took care she never saw me. When I got closer, I saw that she wasn’t moving neither.” Despite himself, he shivered.

...snip...

  The knight’s smile was cocksure. “Will, lead us there. I would see these dead men for myself.”

...snip...

  “Why are you stopping?” Ser Waymar asked.

  “Best go the rest of the way on foot, m’lord. It’s just over that ridge.”

  Royce paused a moment, staring off into the distance, his face reflective. A cold wind whispered through the trees. His great sable cloak stirred behind like something half-alive.

  “There’s something wrong here,” Gared muttered.

  The young knight gave him a disdainful smile. “Is there?”

  “Can’t you feel it?” Gared asked. “Listen to the darkness.”

  Will could feel it. Four years in the Night’s Watch, and he had never been so afraid. What was it?

...snip...

   Will made no sound as he climbed. Behind him, he heard the soft metallic slither of the lordling’s ringmail, the rustle of leaves, and muttered curses as reaching branches grabbed at his longsword and tugged on his splendid sable cloak.

  The great sentinel was right there at the top of the ridge, where Will had known it would be, its lowest branches a bare foot off the ground. Will slid in underneath, flat on his belly in the snow and the mud, and looked down on the empty clearing below.

  His heart stopped in his chest. For a moment he dared not breathe. Moonlight shone down on the clearing, the ashes of the firepit, the snow-covered lean-to, the great rock, the little half-frozen stream.

  Everything was just as it had been a few hours ago.

  They were gone. All the bodies were gone.

  “Gods!” he heard behind him. A sword slashed at a branch as Ser Waymar Royce gained the ridge. He stood there beside the sentinel, longsword in hand, his cloak billowing behind him as the wind came up, outlined nobly against the stars for all to see.

  “Get down!” Will whispered urgently. “Something’s wrong.”

Edited by Feather Crystal

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The wildlings had Ser Waymar Royce's sword. First, it's description:

  Royce slid gracefully from his saddle. He tied the destrier securely to a low-hanging limb, well away from the other horses, and drew his longsword from its sheath. Jewels glittered in its hilt, and the moonlight ran down the shining steel. It was a splendid weapon, castle-forged, and new-made from the look of it.

 

Waymar's sword when fighting the Others:

  Ser Waymar Royce found his fury. “For Robert!” he shouted, and he came up snarling, lifting the frost-covered longsword with both hands and swinging it around in a flat sidearm slash with all his weight behind it. The Other’s parry was almost lazy. When the blades touched, the steel shattered.

  A scream echoed through the forest night, and the longsword shivered into a hundred brittle pieces, the shards scattering like a rain of needles. Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.

 

Later - Will finds the remains of the sword:

  He found what was left of the sword a few feet away, the end splintered and twisted like a tree struck by lightning. Will knelt, looked around warily, and snatched it up. The broken sword would be his proof. Gared would know what to make of it, and if not him, then surely that old bear Mormont or Maester Aemon. Would Gared still be waiting with the horses? He had to hurry.

  Will rose. Ser Waymar Royce stood over him.

  His fine clothes were a tatter, his face a ruin. A shard from his sword transfixed the blind white pupil of his left eye. The right eye was open.

  The pupil burned blue. It saw.

  The broken sword fell from nerveless fingers. Will closed his eyes to pray. Long, elegant hands brushed his cheek, then tightened around his throat. They were gloved in the finest moleskin and sticky with blood, yet the touch was icy cold.

 

When the wildlings passed through the Wall a broken sword was tossed in one of the carts the Watch had ready:

  As they passed, each warrior stripped off his treasures and tossed them into one of the carts that the stewards had placed before the gate. Amber pendants, golden torques, jeweled daggers, silver brooches set with gemstones, bracelets, rings, niello cups and golden goblets, warhorns and drinking horns, a green jade comb, a necklace of freshwater pearls … all yielded up and noted down by Bowen Marsh. One man surrendered a shirt of silver scales that had surely been made for some great lord. Another produced a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt.

 

The smiling enemy:

  “You wanted warriors, didn’t you? Well, there they are. Every one worth six o’ your black crows.”

  Jon had to smile. “So long as they save those weapons for our common foe, I am content.”

  “Gave you my word on it, didn’t I? The word of Tormund Giantsbane. Strong as iron, ’tis.” He turned and spat.

  Amongst the stream of warriors were the fathers of many of Jon’s hostages. Some stared with cold dead eyes as they went by, fingering their sword hilts. Others smiled at him like long-lost kin, though a few of those smiles discomfited Jon Snow more than any glare. None knelt, but many gave him their oaths. “What Tormund swore, I swear,” declared black-haired Brogg, a man of few words. 

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Posted (edited)

@Feather Crystal

There were 6 WW (1 for each direwolf and Stark child)

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They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first. Three of them … four … five

I have seen the mention of Waymar's sword ending with the wildings. It is suspicious although the wildlings are scavengers.

BTW, I just noticed that there was a wolf nearby:

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Somewhere off in the wood a wolf howled.

...

“Wind. Trees rustling. A wolf. Which sound is it that unmans you so, Gared?”

 

Edited by Tucu

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Tucu said:

@Feather Crystal

There were 6 WW (1 for each direwolf and Stark child)

I have seen the mention of Waymar's sword ending with the wildings. It is suspicious although the wildlings are scavengers.

BTW, I just noticed that there was a wolf nearby:

 

The quote in the book has ellipses after the word "five" indicating there could (perhaps) be more. 

It seems like a deliberate hint that one of the wildlings had a broken sword similar in description to Waymar's. Why point this out unless its important?

Edited by Feather Crystal

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23 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

The quote in the book has ellipses after the word "five" indicating there could (perhaps) be more. 

It seems like a deliberate hint that one of the wildlings had a broken sword similar in description to Waymar's. Why point this out unless its important?

I agree that GRRM left hints about the Others in the prologue and then built on it for people to find out on rereads.

We have the wolf, the sword and the woods answering Waymar in what looks like the True Tongue. This is from the Prologue

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Down below, the lordling called out suddenly, "Who goes there?" Will heard uncertainty in the challenge. He stopped climbing; he listened; he watched.

The woods gave answer: the rustle of leaves, the icy rush of the stream, a distant hoot of a snow owl.

And this is from the World Book:

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He was taken to a secret place to meet with them, but could not at first understand their speech, which was described as sounding like the song of stones in a brook, or the wind through leaves, or the rain upon the water

 

Edited by Tucu

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25 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I agree that GRRM left hints about the Others in the prologue and then built on it for people to find out on rereads.

We have the wolf, the sword and the woods answering Waymar in what looks like the True Tongue. This is from the Prologue

And this is from the World Book:

 

I agree that the rustle of leaves, the icy rush of the stream, and the wind all could be interpreted as the True Tongue, but I currently don't believe the Children of the Forest are part of this new awakening of white walkers and wights. The Children helped defeat the Others and warded their magic into the Wall. I understand that many readers suspect Bran is behind the return of the Others, but I think it's due to the removal of the wards that has allowed magic to return. Somehow this warding has been removed, magic was released, and I suspect Euron had something to do with that, because Damphair has a bad memory of a squeaky, iron hinge opening. IMO Euron is Bloodraven's (and now Bran's) opposing force, and that is why we see parallels. There could be another greenseer under Whitetree allied with the wildlings, but since Bloodraven sits underground and Euron walks the earth, I for one don't really expect another greenseer underground other than Bran. Euron is the crow's eye seeing all from high above, and the gods of water and wind are behind his power - and since water and wind are his gods, perhaps these noises are coming from powers connected to him?

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