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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Reread

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OMG, i totally missed the start of this re-read .... @Seams .... can I join in now with my observations and such even though you all have passed me by?
 
I certainly won't be able to analyze and speculate on the level that you (and all the thread contributors) have made but maybe some of my questions and observations can trigger some ideas?

Have you completed tSS & tMK yet?

 

 

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On 8/10/2018 at 9:06 PM, Yaya said:

OMG, i totally missed the start of this re-read .... @Seams .... can I join in now with my observations and such even though you all have passed me by?
 
I certainly won't be able to analyze and speculate on the level that you (and all the thread contributors) have made but maybe some of my questions and observations can trigger some ideas?

Have you completed tSS & tMK yet?

Hi, Yaya. Feel free to join the discussion. I have not yet started my own analysis of The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight. I exhausted myself on The Hedge Knight and took a break from this thread. But I mean to get back to it one of these days.

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On 4/13/2018 at 9:25 AM, Seams said:

Pennytree as an entrance to the Otherworld

The woman in Bracken's bed (her name is Hildy) personifies both the teats and Pennytree.

Skip this if you hate wordplay, but a little anagram - paired with a remark by Jaime - offers another clue about the purpose or symbolism of Pennytree in the story. Here's the bit with Jaime:

... Jaime smiled at the woman in the bed. She had one hand over her left breast and the other between her legs, which left her right breast exposed. . . . When she felt Jaime's gaze she covered her right nipple, but that revealed her mound. "Are all camp followers so modest?" he wondered. "If a man wants to sell his turnips, he needs to set them out."

"You been looking at my turnips since you came in, ser." The woman found the blanket and pulled it up high enough to cover herself to the waist, then raised one hand to push the hair back from her eyes. "And they're not for sale, neither."

Jaime gave a shrug. "My apologies if I mistook you for something you're not. My little brother has known a hundred whores, I'm sure, but I've only ever bedded one."

(ADwD, Jaime I, Chap. 48)

The anagram is this:

Pennytree = neep entry.

"Neep" is the Scottish and northern English word for turnip. That explains why GRRM chose that particular odd metaphor for Jaime's conversation with Hildy.

But what does this mean for the larger ASOIAF story?

We know that root vegetables are important in part because Davos Seaworth chooses to be The Onion Knight when Stannis knights him. Davos thinks to himself that he smuggled "life" in the form of onions on his first secret mission into Storm's End and death in the form of Melisandre on his next mission there. Root vegetables come up at feasts including when Bran must choose which dishes to send to which honored guests at Winterfell and he sends a plate of turnips to Big and Little Walder. But roots are major symbols throughout the books.

The Hildy / turnip interlude and the matching anagram indicate that Jaime's departure with Brienne will involve entering a magical "mound" like those found in Celtic legends - an entrance to the Underworld. If I understand correctly, the Celts allowed for multiple Underworlds with multiple entrances. Jaime's "guide" to this Pennytree entrance was Hoster Blackwood, so he may be entering the Blackwood underworld. Or maybe Pennytree is the neutral entrance between two other entrances (Raventree and Honeytree). Maybe, like the Black Gate beneath the Night Fort, the entry can be opened only by an authorized party - the Black Gate opens only for a brother of the Night's Watch; maybe Pennytree opens only for ... a member of the King's Guard? Jaime is that and Brienne was a member of the Rainbow Guard. And there is constant, strong King's Guard interaction and build-up in the Dunk & Egg stories.

[Edit: I think the King's Guard requirement may be correct. Part of Jaime's interaction with Hildy involves her asking whether he has a wife (he tells her he has a sister) and he calls attention to his white cape (asking her to note that he is a member of the King's Guard and therefore has no wife). She then leaves without finding one shoe (a sort of Cinderella allusion, I think, inviting Jaime to come after her) and gives his crotch a squeeze as she passes him. She wants him to come after her.]

I'm not saying that Jaime and Brienne are literally going to ride their horses into a hole in the ground and interact with Children of the Forest (although that's always a possibility). I believe that Brienne's entire quest through the Riverlands has an Otherworld quality to it, and the "entry" into another world can be figurative, not a literal part of the plot.

So this Dunk & Egg stuff is taking us deep into ASOIAF, which is what I hoped. But it could get quite complex in terms of symbolism. For instance, what more do we need to know about turnips and the underworld? I remember that Bran was unhappy that Rickon allowed Little and Big Walder to play in the Winterfell crypt - he felt that was a Stark place and the Walders were not the kind of guests who should be allowed in there. But he sent the Walders a plate of turnips at the Harvest Feast and sent Nan and Hodor a plate of sweets, thinking this was an expression of his love for them. This is the opposite of Lord Blackwood agreeing to give up Honeytree to Lord Bracken, a gesture intended to rot Bracken's teeth. Was Bran steering each of these characters toward different entrances to the Underworld?

I would also note that Jaime compares Hildy to Cersei and he earlier compared Ser Ryman Frey's camp follower, the Queen of Whores, to Cersei as well.

Not much time at the moment, but so many story parrallels to the Nights Watch storyline as well... right down to a queen of Whores. 

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