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The Three-Eyed-Crow is Old Nan, not Bloodraven

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I imagine that D&D asked Martin about the identity of the 3EC since it is one of the big questions.  However, they didn't call Bloodraven the 3EC but the three eyed raven instead, which doesn't exist in the book at all.  I wonder why they made this change since only book readers would know the difference.  

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16 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

it's hard to think GRRM would intentionally set out to misdirect "the masses" while allowing the savants to see the truth

The crow vs. raven distinction is important in Norse myth, and I think George has adopted that.  Crows are Loki's animals and are tricksy and evil, ravens are Odin's animals and are wise and knowledgeable (his ravens Hugin and Munin, "thought and memory")

But I get the impression that George has disdain for plebs and doesn't care what the masses get out his stories.  Cercei's walk of shame shows what he thinks of smallfolk.

Quote

If anything, the jeers and shouts were cruder here. Her walk had not taken her through Flea Bottom, so its denizens had packed onto the lower slopes of Aegon's High Hill to see the show. The faces leering out at her from behind the shields and spears of the Poor Fellows seemed twisted, monstrous, hideous. Pigs and naked children were everywhere underfoot, crippled beggars and cutpurses swarmed like roaches through the press. She saw men whose teeth had been filed into points, hags with goiters as big as their heads, a whore with a huge striped snake draped about breasts and shoulders, a man whose cheeks and brow were covered with open sores that wept grey pus. They grinned and licked their lips and hooted at her as she went limping past, her breasts heaving with the effort of the climb. Some shouted obscene proposals, others insults.

He is not writing for them.  I think he is writing to and for the top tier of writers throughout history--alive and dead, trying to one-up them. 

 

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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On 28/04/2018 at 5:32 AM, the trees have eyes said:

The bolded is kind of the point.  Since the Others and the 3EC are such a major part of the story it's hard to think GRRM would intentionally set out to misdirect "the masses" while allowing the savants to see the truth.  For minor mysteries or hidden easter eggs, sure, but not for major plot drivers or the heart of the story.  As either Butterbumps or JCRB said a long time ago on this forum - the art of storytelling is for the story to flow not to have a sudden jarring break where you realise everything has been a lie or a set-up a la M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense or even more apt The Village).

Thanks for pointing out that GRRM in fact created that saying.  I have to admit it feels so familiar that I instinctively understood what it meant and equated it with the much earlier saying.  It seems extremely likely that GRRM expected that.  The first meaning - both pot and kettle being black - is the only one I am aware of  and though I note wikipedia allows for the contradictory meaning you mention I have never heard anyone use it with that meaning.  It would be confusing if it had two contradictory meanings, no?  I have to assume GRRM understands what the common phrase means and has not set out to subvert it's meaning as part of a master plan to deliberately confuse us.  Good heavens.

:agree:

And I'll add that even tough there are tons of hidden Easter eggs, obscure and not so obscure references, and many, many rw myths and stuff Martin uses, one thing we shouldn't forget is who the author is. Or better said, who he isn't, and that's an elitist. The idea that he set out to write a story where only a selected few will "get it" while the unwashed masses will miss all the meaningful stuff, all the true hints etc is very hard for me to believe. 

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10 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The crow vs. raven distinction is important in Norse myth, and I think George has adopted that.  Crows are Loki's animals and are tricksy and evil, ravens are Odin's animals and are wise and knowledgeable (his ravens Hugin and Munin, "thought and memory")

But I get the impression that George has disdain for plebs and doesn't care what the masses get out his stories.  Cercei's walk of shame shows what he thinks of smallfolk.

He is not writing for them.  I think he is writing to and for the top tier of writers throughout history--alive and dead, trying to one-up them.

Norse mythology has a rich vein to mine for inspiration or symbolism.  And so do countless other real world cultures.  GRRM takes what he wants or what appeals to him and creates his own cultures and myths that are influenced by many different sources, sometimes a fusion, sometimes more familiar (The Seven for instance).  In this instance transposing the antipathy you mention from Norse mythology into story isn't apparent from what we have read so far.  If I saw a large black bird I would struggle to say whether it was a raven, rook, jackdaw or crow, all classed under the genus crow in the corvidae family by the way.  Maybe I'm just a city boy or maybe GRRM did not excpect his readership to study Norse mythology and the taxonomy of bird species but to follow the story instead.

I often hear on forums that GRRM is writing for the attentive reader.  Of course he is but the meaning of that seems to get deliberately twisted into a carte blanche to develop any theory however wild or flimsy (not a direct comment on this thread but a general point) and becomes the reader trying to squeeze whatever they want or can into the story sometimes in earnest, sometimes just in fun.  So I struggle with ideas like Old Nan being the 3EC because it does not flow in story unless you argue that GRRM disdains plebs, is writing a mass market best selling series that is actually only meant to be understood or worked out by a few polymaths, and is intent on misdirecting us in broad strokes rather than in small specifics (certain parentages or responsibility for certain murders).

I don't agree at all that GRRM despises his readership. That seems a weird idea to throw out.  And the thing is that the patrician / plebeian distinction, like any class one, is based on birth not ability.  GRRM is very much a plebeian, albeit a very gifted one, and he's not writing for the optimates but for the general public.

50 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

:agree:

And I'll add that even tough there are tons of hidden Easter eggs, obscure and not so obscure references, and many, many rw myths and stuff Martin uses, one thing we shouldn't forget is who the author is. Or better said, who he isn't, and that's an elitist. The idea that he set out to write a story where only a selected few will "get it" while the unwashed masses will miss all the meaningful stuff, all the true hints etc is very hard for me to believe. 

Agree.  That argument is just an endorsement of a conspiracy lover's wet dream or any contrarian interpretation: "of course you believe what "the author / they" told you but that's because you aren't smart or savvy enough to get it".

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On 4/26/2018 at 1:06 PM, the trees have eyes said:

Genuinely curious here: do you think the majority of the readership see any real difference between a crow and a raven or see them as similar, if not essentially the same?  It seems a rather thin reed to hang anything momentous off...

After all, as you point out yourself "the crow calling the raven black" is a common saying.  It's used to point out that the behaviour of a person is indistinguishable from another who they happen to be criticising but of course leads to a comparison not a contrast, so to the opposite of what you are arguing.

 

On 4/26/2018 at 1:29 PM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I believe they are chosen because they are similar yet distinct... most reader probably conflate the two... but I believe that to be intentional misdirection or camouflage on the part of GRRM.

(Emphasis added.)

On 4/28/2018 at 5:32 AM, the trees have eyes said:

The bolded is kind of the point.  Since the Others and the 3EC are such a major part of the story it's hard to think GRRM would intentionally set out to misdirect "the masses" while allowing the savants to see the truth.  For minor mysteries or hidden easter eggs, sure, but not for major plot drivers or the heart of the story.  As either Butterbumps or JCRB said a long time ago on this forum - the art of storytelling is for the story to flow not to have a sudden jarring break where you realise everything has been a lie or a set-up a la M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense or even more apt The Village).

Thanks for pointing out that GRRM in fact created that saying.  I have to admit it feels so familiar that I instinctively understood what it meant and equated it with the much earlier saying.  It seems extremely likely that GRRM expected that.  The first meaning - both pot and kettle being black - is the only one I am aware of  and though I note wikipedia allows for the contradictory meaning you mention I have never heard anyone use it with that meaning.  It would be confusing if it had two contradictory meanings, no?  I have to assume GRRM understands what the common phrase means and has not set out to subvert it's meaning as part of a master plan to deliberately confuse us.  Good heavens.

I don't know how this turned into a discussion of whether GRRM writes for elitists or for general enjoyment. I don't see that implied in what LiveFirstDieLater indicated about the use of crows and ravens in the story. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding the ensuing discussion.

I realize that I am exceptional in my enjoyment of the literary elements in the stories, so people probably think I'm an elitist. To me, it's like the period I went through in middle school, reading every Agatha Christie I could get my hands on. I love looking for clues and trying to solve a mystery before the author reveals the "real" solution. I hate to think that makes me an elitist.

I used to preface my comments in this forum with an acknowledgement that the stories are designed to be enjoyed on many levels, and that it's perfectly valid to focus on the plot alone. When I heard that the author intended the books to be enjoyed in new ways on each re-reading, I realized that these were my kind of books, with layers of detail, allusion, metaphor and even "whodunnit?" mysteries to be solved.

I don't see why the author has to prioritize one audience over another - he is writing a great story as well as a complex literary work. He may hope that people will come for the, "sexy, sexy, sexy; stabby, stabby, stabby," as Peter Dinklage put it in one interview, but stay for the, "Why do the eggs finally hatch?" and "Why is Arya's sword called Needle?" and "Why does Sansa think that Sandor kissed her?" thoughts and discussions. Or that they will start to ponder what the similarities and differences are between crows and ravens, and why both would be prominently featured in the books.

The reference to M. Night Shyamalan's "surprise twist" confuses me - are you saying that his movies do not qualify as artful storytelling? I haven't seen all of his films - I did see The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I thought they were wonderful stories and well told. I loved that there was a surprise twist and, of course, realized that the screenwriter had given us clues all along, if I had been paying better attention. The earlier movies were very popular, so I don't think there was a deliberate attempt to be elitist or to appeal to a narrow audience.

There's no denying that GRRM does use "unexpected" plot twists in ASOIAF - the death of Ned Stark and the Red Wedding being two examples. I don't think he is tricking his readers when he uses plot developments like this. If readers recall the line from Dany's wedding to Khal Drogo, she says something about the Dothraki not considering a wedding feast to be memorable unless someone dies. So the author gave us a hint and then followed up on it in a way we didn't expect. This is a good story-telling technique! But people can enjoy the shock and horror of the Red Wedding even if they didn't pick up on the line from the Dothraki wedding, and connect it to the wedding at The Twins. And I don't accuse the author of being an elitist for using an unexpected twist to spice up the plot.

I have to assume I've misunderstood something in the comments that flowed from the valid observation that GRRM is deliberately juxtaposing crows and ravens in the books. This has nothing to do with appealing to "savants" vs. "masses" - it is a set of symbols (part of a larger motif of birds and flight) and can be taken at face value or pondered as a clue about deeper meaning. There is no judgment being passed by the author if people choose not to pursue a deeper analysis.

P.S. I know tone can be misunderstood on the Internet. I'm not mad, although I do feel as if the comment by LiveFirstDieLater was unfairly misconstrued. I do get irritated by comments that entirely reject the idea that there are layers of deeper meaning in the author's writing. This is the first time in this forum that I've seen comments that equate writing with deeper literary aspirations with elitism. I hope I misunderstood the points being made.

 

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1 hour ago, Seams said:

P.S. I know tone can be misunderstood on the Internet. I'm not mad, although I do feel as if the comment by LiveFirstDieLater was unfairly misconstrued. I do get irritated by comments that entirely reject the idea that there are layers of deeper meaning in the author's writing. This is the first time in this forum that I've seen comments that equate writing with deeper literary aspirations with elitism. I hope I misunderstood the points being made.

 

I wasn't thinking about anything @LiveFirstDieLater said when I replied to @the trees have eyes. What I said about Martin not being an elitist was because of what @By Odin's Beard had said. I was simply disagreeing w/ what s/he said, pasted below.

12 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

But I get the impression that George has disdain for plebs and doesn't care what the masses get out his stories.  Cercei's walk of shame shows what he thinks of smallfolk

 

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1 hour ago, the trees have eyes said:

If I saw a large black bird I would struggle to say whether it was a raven, rook, jackdaw or crow, all classed under the genus crow in the corvidae family by the way.

We only have crows where I live, and the first time I went out west and saw I raven I was genuinely startled how big it was--literally twice the size, and its voice is totally different.  There is no confusing the two. 

 

1 hour ago, the trees have eyes said:

I don't agree at all that GRRM despises his readership.

Not to further derail this discussion, but I think George has a pretty dim view of humanity in general.  In Tuf Voyaging he sterilizes an entire planet of aliens who refuse to control their breeding.  In Seven Times Never Kill Man, the Jaenshi are his ideal form of society, very small-scale tribes of 30 individuals, living at peace with nature and each other, and everything is in balance.  This is contrasted with the Steel Angels who are militarist-expansionist totalitarians who just expand and consume nature, and bulldoze forests.  He kills most of the Steel Angels off, and they begin to turn into Jaenshi.  Jaenshi = Jainism, a religion of India that emphasizes living in harmony with nature.  

The Steel Angels are communist China (their uniforms are green/brown and they have red collars, just like the People's Liberation Army uniforms, they are highly regimented, and everyone eats the same amount of bland rations) and the Jaenshi are Tibet.  The Chinese destroyed thousands of Tibetan Monasteries when they invaded, the Steel Angels destroyed the pyramids when they invaded.  It is about fake communism destroying real communism.

In ASOIAF the Starks' way of life is portrayed as the one of the best.  There are no politics, they keep to themselves, its is sparsely populated, everything is calm and orderly, they live in peace with nature with the most part, and there are not huge disparities between the haves and have-nots.  Contrast this with his depiction of King's Landing.  How this figures into the story is that mankind brings their own destruction upon them, by being so shitty and straying too far from nature and balance.

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13 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

But I get the impression that George has disdain for plebs and doesn't care what the masses get out his stories.  Cercei's walk of shame shows what he thinks of smallfolk.

If anything, the jeers and shouts were cruder here. Her walk had not taken her through Flea Bottom, so its denizens had packed onto the lower slopes of Aegon's High Hill to see the show. The faces leering out at her from behind the shields and spears of the Poor Fellows seemed twisted, monstrous, hideous. Pigs and naked children were everywhere underfoot, crippled beggars and cutpurses swarmed like roaches through the press. She saw men whose teeth had been filed into points, hags with goiters as big as their heads, a whore with a huge striped snake draped about breasts and shoulders, a man whose cheeks and brow were covered with open sores that wept grey pus. They grinned and licked their lips and hooted at her as she went limping past, her breasts heaving with the effort of the climb. Some shouted obscene proposals, others insults. 

He is not writing for them.  I think he is writing to and for the top tier of writers throughout history--alive and dead, trying to one-up them.

 

39 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Not to further derail this discussion, but I think George has a pretty dim view of humanity in general. 

...

In ASOIAF the Starks' way of life is portrayed as the one of the best. 

In my opinion, the author's attitude toward his readers and his views of society are two different things. He absolutely takes a "dim view" of war, power mongers, highborn vs. lowborn snobbery, and organized religion. Also of violence and sexual violence. He doesn't see the logic of "one size fits all" rules that give a pass to cannibalism, for instance, as long as it doesn't violate the norms of "guest right." But these are universal themes, not scoldings for "plebeian" readers or a way of singling out "bad" people who should be ashamed of their behavior - he is saying that we all live in grey areas and we all have an inflated sense of our own goodness relative to the "bad" behavior we see in others.

The passage about Cersei's walk of shame is not GRRM expressing his personal view of humanity - it's Cersei's POV. We are not surprised that she sees monsters all around her when she is forced to walk naked through the city. Recall that she rode in an enclosed room on wheels all the way from King's Landing to Winterfell and back - she is almost always depicted in enclosed spaces. The details of the people she describes are all symbolic, not just random horrific things that GRRM pulled out of a hat to make Cersei's path as gruesome as possible. I believe you can compare Cersei's walk of shame chapter to Dany's experience in the House of the Undying although the details link to other scenes in the books as well.

On first or even second reading, I agree that the Starks are portrayed as "the good guys" - they have more POVs than other characters, for one thing, so we take at face value that their story and perspective is the "right" way to interpret events. But the re-reading helps to plant the seeds of doubt: Ned executed a Night's Watch deserter, but Jeor Mormont did not. Was Ned's act truly just, or should he have taken Jeor's approach? Catelyn seems like a loving mom and loyal wife, but she was horrid to Jon Snow. Was that truly necessary? Sansa was a little girl but she was also a snob. The Stark way of life is entirely dependent on living as lords over a vast region filled with crofters and other smallfolk. Is that truly a good and just way of life? We assume that the Boltons are horrible because Ramsay is such a violent nutjob and because we are predisposed to like the Starks. But what if the Bolton enmity for the Starks is a logical outgrowth of their fear and loathing for wargs? I would be nervous if I lived near a family that could turn into wolves and eat human flesh. I don't think it's unreasonable that Stark neighbors might have a problem with that.

And maybe this brings us back to Old Nan. She is not a Stark. She tells stories about some creepy characters who, she claims, were Starks. It's not clear that she is passing judgment on these characters, just that she is transmitting information that Bran seems to need or should know. I do think that GRRM holds storytellers from the oral tradition in high esteem. Singers such as Symon Silver Tongue and Merillion are flawed human beings but also truth-tellers who are persecuted. And he has told us to pay more attention to Nan's folk tales than to the prophecies. On the other hand, we know that he sees Citadel-trained historians as panderers to the Iron Throne, not as reliable recorders of truth. I think Old Nan's story-telling function makes her a good candidate for the three-eyed crow, who is also tasked with helping Bran to see and understand things beyond the superficial, current moment. GRRM puts himself in the same category, I would think, and hopes his readers will find deeper messages and truths in his writing.

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34 minutes ago, Seams said:

The passage about Cersei's walk of shame is not GRRM expressing his personal view of humanity - it's Cersei's POV. We are not surprised that she sees monsters all around her when she is forced to walk naked through the city. Recall that she rode in an enclosed room on wheels all the way from King's Landing to Winterfell and back - she is almost always depicted in enclosed spaces. The details of the people she describes are all symbolic, not just random horrific things that GRRM pulled out of a hat to make Cersei's path as gruesome as possible. I believe you can compare Cersei's walk of shame chapter to Dany's experience in the House of the Undying although the details link to other scenes in the books as well.

I can't get on board with the idea that that passage is just describing ordinary people transmogrified when seen through the lens of Cersei's ultra-elitism.  They are truly abhorrent people, cockroaches, twisted, monstrous, hideous, the product of hundreds of years of dysgenic breeding.  This is what living in large cities does to humans.

Quote

Tyrion Lannister was not pleased by much of what he saw. The streets of King's Landing had always been teeming and raucous and noisy, but now they reeked of danger in a way that he did not recall from past visits. A naked corpse sprawled in the gutter near the Street of Looms, being torn at by a pack of feral dogs, yet no one seemed to care.

Quote

I saved you all, Tyrion thought. I saved this vile city and all your worthless lives.

He turned to face the hall, that sea of pale faces. "I wish I had enough poison for you all."

 

 

1 hour ago, Seams said:

On first or even second reading, I agree that the Starks are portrayed as "the good guys"

I wasn't really suggesting that they are "the good guys", just that their way of life is closer to what George thinks is appropriate for human beings, closer-knit communities, without huge discrepancies between rich and poor.

Quote

On the benches below, Winterfell men mixed with smallfolk from the winter town, friends from the nearer holdfasts, and the escorts of their lordly guests

 

However, even the Starks' way of life is offensive to the hunter/gatherer Wildlings

Quote
Longspear Ryk joined in, singing, "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," Ygritte and Tormund sang back at him in turn, in suitably gigantic voices.

The smallfolk are destroying nature, destroying nature is bad. 

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On 28/04/2018 at 10:32 AM, the trees have eyes said:

The bolded is kind of the point.  Since the Others and the 3EC are such a major part of the story it's hard to think GRRM would intentionally set out to misdirect "the masses" while allowing the savants to see the truth.  For minor mysteries or hidden easter eggs, sure, but not for major plot drivers or the heart of the story.  As either Butterbumps or JCRB said a long time ago on this forum - the art of storytelling is for the story to flow not to have a sudden jarring break where you realise everything has been a lie or a set-up a la M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense or even more apt The Village).

Thanks for pointing out that GRRM in fact created that saying.  I have to admit it feels so familiar that I instinctively understood what it meant and equated it with the much earlier saying.  It seems extremely likely that GRRM expected that.  The first meaning - both pot and kettle being black - is the only one I am aware of  and though I note wikipedia allows for the contradictory meaning you mention I have never heard anyone use it with that meaning.  It would be confusing if it had two contradictory meanings, no?  I have to assume GRRM understands what the common phrase means and has not set out to subvert it's meaning as part of a master plan to deliberately confuse us.  Good heavens.

True, true. While ASOIAF does have a great deal of secrets and mysteries to be revealed, I have to try and stop myself from being swept up in all the conspiracies since I'm very impressionable... at least, until I double check things. :lol:

Truth is the longer I go on the less I buy into these "everything is a deception" theories. I'm getting a little fatigued with the idea that I can't take any piece of information in the books for granted. If GRRM fills these books with nothing but shock twist after shock twist that a majority of people have little to no chance of working out then not only would it be jarring for first time reads (and casual readers, of whom, most readers of the books make) but the novelty is gone on the re-read.

So, even though I really do enjoy theories about the 3EC and have speculated a lot about who he might "really" be in the past, I must admit that recently (having completed a Bran re-read) I have come to the conclusion that the 3EC probably really is just Bloodraven. There really hasn't been any major red flag to think otherwise. Really, Bran getting to that cave and discovering that the mysterious and magical 3EC is creepy, ugly and scary looking old man mangled up in a tree is shock enough and the fact he is Brynden Rivers is a reveal in itself. Now we know it's BR who's been calling out to Bran, we get to look forward to the next question... what's BR's plan and what does he want?

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1 hour ago, Seams said:

the author's attitude toward his readers...

The following might be a meta-commentary on his love-hate relationship with his fans:

Quote

The Winds of Winter - Mercy

"Not until the second act."

"I always give Wendeyne's titties a nice squeeze when I rape her in The Anguish of the Archon, the dwarf complained. "She likes it, and the pit does too. You have to please the pit."

That was one of Izembaro's "wisdoms," as he liked to call them. You have to please the pit. "I bet it would please the pit if I ripped off the dwarf's cock and beat him about the head with it," Mercy replied. "That's something they won't have seen before." Always give them something they haven't seen before was another of Izembaro's "wisdoms," and one that Bobono had no easy answer for. "There, you're done," Mercy announced. "Now see if you can keep in your breeches till it's needed."

 

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On 24.4.2018 at 11:37 PM, Megorova said:

It's a logical assumption, that when Mirri was in Asshai, Quaithe was her teacher

No!
I would say a logical assumption is, that there must be more than one Shadowbinder in Asshai...
Surely shadowbinding and dark magic is not a common trade as baking bread or beeing a carpenter, but Asshai is the center of shadowbinding, I think it high likely that there are more than just one teacher there.
For sure, this does not rule out the possibility that Quaite and MMD get in contact there, but it is not certain!

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1 hour ago, The Chequered Raven said:

No!
I would say a logical assumption is, that there must be more than one Shadowbinder in Asshai...
Surely shadowbinding and dark magic is not a common trade as baking bread or beeing a carpenter, but Asshai is the center of shadowbinding, I think it high likely that there are more than just one teacher there.
For sure, this does not rule out the possibility that Quaite and MMD get in contact there, but it is not certain!

I made that conclusion, not based on the fact, that Quaithe is a shadowbinder, and Mirri also was a shadowbinder, thus Quaithe was Mirri's teacher. Not like that. More like - all three of them - Marwyn, Mirri and Quaithe are more progressive, and simultaneously more lanient people, than others from their surrounding. Like Marwyn is interested in magic, even though he's a maester. And he also shared his knowledge with a foreign mage, furthermore a woman. And among other maesters, he is considered to be a grey sheep (though probably his superiors, and his peers, doesn't know even about half of his transgressions). Mirri offered to help Khal Drogo, even though he wasn't one of sheepmen. And Quaithe is a traveler. How many single women are there, that travel alone in ASOIAF world? Single in a sense that she's not part of some group, like Red Priests, or Pureborn of Quarth, or like Dany, that travels with her meager khalasar. Aside from Melisandre, that quickly found for herself a devoted supporter, in Stannis, Quaithe is the only woman in ASOIAF, that is a loner, and not member of some group, which is unusual for women of that time and world.

It's like those three are all black sheep. And we know that two of them did knew each other. Furthermore, the place where they have met, is the same place from which Quaithe came. Thus it's likely that all three of them, when they were in Asshai, has met each other, because they are alike, so fate (or common interests) brought them together.

And of course the biggest clue, is that when Mirri was performing shadow magic, she summoned someone (a man and a woman), that came into Drogo's tent, unnoticed by others, in the same manner as Quaithe came to Dany, when she was on board of Balerion ship, and in Meereen. That woman helped Dany to deliver her baby, and Dany in her fevered half-unconsciousness state, saw that woman as a whispering stars, and a person with Valyrian features. And that man as Jorah, who is a man from Westeros, so that mysterious man also was from Westeros (he also spoke in Common tongue, and said that Rhaegar was the last dragon, thus he is someone from 7K). So whom and why would Mirri summon with her shadow magic, in that situation, when she needed medical help for Dany and her unborn child? -> Mirri's ex-teacher maester Marwyn, and Quaithe/Shiera (probably to give her support in magic part of what was happening. Because based on what Dany experienced during that half-dream - both what her own body felt, and what felt unborn baby inside of her, that labor was magic-assisted).

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On 4/28/2018 at 1:36 AM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Because he's teaching Bran what he needs to know to help defeat the Others. Not sure how you missed that.

Could you give me a quote? I’m not sure where you are getting that except the tv show

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That's not blinding him, it's trying to open his third eye.

It does both...

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The crow took to the air, cawing. Not that, it shrieked at him. Forget that, you do not need it now, put it aside, put it away. It landed on Bran's shoulder, and pecked at him, and the shining golden face was gone.

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You completely misread what I wrote. I was talking about Cersei. She committed treasonous incest. There was nothing illegal about Bloodraven sleepig with his sister. 

My bad, and depends who you ask I suppose...

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He was sent to the wall for violating guestright, not for kinslaying. The guy was a distant cousin and it was arguably the best thing to do for the stability of the realm. Bloodraven is quite Machiavellian.

It was his half brother’s son’s son, his grand nephew... 

I do not think it was good for the realm, I suspect Bloodraven meant for the Great Council to elect him.

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The imagery seemed pretty clear to me, and it wasn't frozen roots. The roots of trees are underground where it's warmer. 

In the falling dream:

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There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

And here are the trees, those jagged spires of ice:

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But the air was sharp and cold and full of fear. Even Summer was afraid. The fur on his neck was bristling. Shadows stretched against the hillside, black and hungry. All the trees were bowed and twisted by the weight of ice they carried. Some hardly looked like trees at all. Buried from root to crown in frozensnow, they huddled on the hill like giants, monstrous and misshapen creatures hunched against the icy wind. "They are here."

Fear check, snow and cold check, the wights are death so check, and the weirwood grove is the spires of ice.

And Bones:

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"Bones," said Bran. "It's bones." The floor of the passage was littered with the bones of birds and beasts. But there were other bones as well, big ones that must have come from giants and small ones that could have been from children. On either side of them, in niches carved from the stone, skulls looked down on them. Bran saw a bear skull and a wolf skull, half a dozen human skulls and near as many giants. All the rest were small, queerly formed. Children of the forest. The roots had grown in and around and through them, every one. A few had ravens perched atop them, watching them pass with bright black eyes.

The bones of a thousand dreamers are impaired on the points of the Weirwood roots

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I didn't say Jojen communicated with the 3EC. I said 3EC has been in contact with him. The contact does not have to be two-ways.

He isn’t a greenseer, he just has green dreams, he just has visions he has to interpret on his own. 

Like Mel, he can be wrong...

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The Dreadfort is east-northeast of Winterfell. Far more east than north. And since Coldhands was to take him to the 3EC and Coldhands can't go south of the Wall, that means 3EC is north of the Wall.

Only if Coldhands is really taking him to the three eyed crow... and isn’t just a monster taking them to other monsters like Bran flat out suggests during their journey.

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The Ghost of High Heart's vision is actually one of the easiest ones to decode. Drowned crow = a guy called Crow's Eye, who is Ironborn and thus supposedly an adherent of the Drowned God. The man without a face is a Faceless Man hired to kill Balon. The fact that the crow is perching on the man's shoulder indicated that Euron is the one who hired the FM.

Euron mentions a crow telling him he could fly. That's no coincidence. Crowfood Umber is actually missing an eye. Euron has both of his. The patch doesn't conceal an empty socket or damaged eye, but as Theon calls it "a black eye shining with malice."

We don’t know that there is only one crow appearing in dreams, that was the point, again something Bran suggests, I’m not just pulling it out of thin air.

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Also Euron's personal coat of arms includes a red eye. Who do we know who has a red eye, not two, but one red eye? Bloodraven.

Presumably his evil eye is red and black... I believe he seeks to follow in the Line of Harren the Black and will try to bend the Weirwoods of the Gods Eye to his will... without going to much into the sample winds chapter, the old gods do not appear impaired on his iron throne.

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Jojen and Meera came to Winterfell. That's what I wrote. Their father sending them does not make that invalid. Jojen himself says they are to take him to the 3EC. He doesn't say it at first of course, because he has to feel out the situation and get to know Bran a bit before he mentions it. You don't just go talking to strangers about three-eyed birds and prophecy.

We don’t know much about Jojen’s motivations or reasoning here actually... he says he dreamed of the winged wolf and the crow, but only decided it was Bran later. How he came to the conclusion the three eyed crow was beyond the wall is never explained. This is a glaring omission! Remember the little grandfather isn’t Old Nan, and his “wisdom” shouldn’t be trusted without question, he’s a kid, kids make mistakes.

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They clearly believe the 3EC is north of the Wall, and they were sent to Winterfell for the purpose of taking Bran to him. Jojen may not fully understand it all, but Howland knew what was what, or he never would have sent them to Bran.

Howland sent them to Winterfell, not beyond the Wall.

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Not in the text. Bloodraven is both a raven and crow anyway, so your point is moot.

No he’s not, we went over already up thread about how Bloodraven is no longer a crow by his own admission, he says he was once a crow, no longer, he abandoned his post. 

I don’t know how many times I can say it, but crows are not the same as ravens. The text makes this clear.

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Yes I do. We don't know how much of that was truth, how much was propaganda, and how much was added later because it sounded good.

Sorry, I trust Nan over some Old Maester 10 times out of 10.

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Night's King was supposedly bewitched by a woman (possibly an Other or half-Other) who he made his queen, turned the Night's Watch into his own private army, and was found to have been sacrificing to the Others. The only thing we've got close to sacrificing to the Others in these books would be Craster, giving them his sons. Bloodraven has no sons to give to them, has not declared himself a king, has no queen, and is not bewitching the Night's Watch.

Interesting that you read “flew down from the wall and caught her” as being seduced... 

What do you call Coldhands if not bound by sorcery?

Also, Night has not fallen yet, Winter is Still Coming... Heralded by a white raven.

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A character having suspicions does not equal those suspicions being true, especially in this series. It would be odd if Bran didn't have any suspicions.

Ok, but we might also consider that the suspicions aren’t baseless...

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Interesting interpretation you've added to the text. I can think of other reasons why Sam can't tell anyone.

1. Someone might come and interrupt Bran's training to crown him King in the North.
2. Someone might come and interrupt Bran's training to finish him off.
3) Anyone who comes looking for Bran will be prey to the Others and become even more wights in the frozen army headed for Westeros.
4) Not only will no one believe Sam but they'll call him crazy and discount everything he has to say, which would be a problem later on when Sam may be the one person to whom everyone needs to listen.

His bones... we want no seekers disturbing his bones... but I’m the one adding interpretation? Lol

Just pause and think about what you are saying for a second... the dead are walking, winterfell has been sacked, Bran’s brother is Lord Commander of the Nights Watch, but they don’t want to tell him? Because he might not believe them?

The better question by far is why hasn’t Bloodraven reached out to the Nights Watch if he’s really still on their side? 

Bloodraven hasn’t said anything about stopping Others, the good of mankind, or anything about any other benevolent ends... unless you have some textual support for your assumption that he’s got noble motivations?

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No one said anything about Bran's legs being fixed. Jojen didn't, Meera didn't, the 3EC didn't, Coldhands didn't, and I certainly didn't.

Bran does... when he questions over and over again if all is as it seems...

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Odin can be called anything you like. GRRM uses things from history and mythology for inspiration. He does NOT create carbon copies of them within his stories. He's said before there are no one-to-one correlations.

I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this is a very odd response to my just providing another nickname after you did... crow call the raven black much?

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There is nothing in the text to indicate that Bloodraven's lair is the Heart of Winter.

See above.

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Bran had to fly a long way north of the Wall to get to the HoW. The cave is nowhere near as far from the Wall as the HoW is.

I’m not gonna break out a ruler... but come on... this is wild speculation

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And if the lair was the HoW that would make Bloodraven The Great Other, which is ridiculous because he's half-Targaryen/half-Blackwood and wasn't around when the Others first showed up. Not to mention that Mel thinks he's The Great Other which pretty much guarantees he isn't.

What?!? I’m not convinced there is a great other any more than I am there is a r’hloo... but yes I think that Bloodraven is behind the return of the Others.

Again I have to ask, do you have any evidence that he’s up there guarding the realms of man?

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And there are no people with dragonblood, silver hair, and purple eyes in the real world. This is fiction, and GRRM has definitely not made any kind of point about major differences between the two. He actually links them together.

Wrong... as I’ve tried to point out over and over, he literally made up an expression about them, used it in every book, and has ravens and crows visibly fighting with each other and not getting along...

This isn’t something I’m just pulling out of nowhere, it’s a repeated theme, try a search of ice and fire for “raven crow”...

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Maester Aemon's words there.

Poor cousins aren’t the same thing, they are related sure (like Bloodraven and Seastar) but are not the same... he even gets into the diet, you’ll notice Mormonts Raven is different.

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Bloodraven is still wearing his blacks, and not dead. He is still working to protect Westeros, and everyone else now, against the biggest threat they've ever faced. He's still a crow, whether he thinks of himself that way or not. He is the sword in the darkness, the watcher north of the Wall, the shield that guards the realms of men, and his watch shall not end until his death.

Do you have any basis for this or are you just repeating over and over your faith that he’s a “good guy”?

Because as I’ve said, Bloodraven himself says he’s not a crow anymore... 

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No, not really. He flew in the dream, but that's nothing compared to skinchanging birds and using them to do recon for a massive war that's coming up between men and ice demons.

I think you will find that Wars are usually between men and men. Even when dragons and Others are involved, I doubt there will be a dark lord Sauron with hordes of orca to paint as monochromatic villains... not do I think the Others are just an elaborate doomsday clock.

I find it far more likely men are responsible for men’s woes.

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I pretty much stick with the text and what can reasonably inferred from it on this, combined with my decades of reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. I'm not against the idea that there's more going on than is explicitly stated on the page, but you've made some leaps here that require a specific interpretation of the text, and 99% of the evidence for those leaps are found only in that interpretation.

I think you have room for improvement in your reading, writing and critical thinking skills department, but that’s ok, practice makes perfect! 

But go back and read that Sam/Coldhands path and please explain to me how I’m the one bassing 99% on leaps... because it is wild to me that you can read that and twist it into a promise of safety and help for the good of humanity without using any textual support at all... then accuse me of making assumptions.

People who live in glass castles shouldn’t throw stones.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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On 4/28/2018 at 5:32 AM, the trees have eyes said:

The bolded is kind of the point.  Since the Others and the 3EC are such a major part of the story it's hard to think GRRM would intentionally set out to misdirect "the masses" while allowing the savants to see the truth.  For minor mysteries or hidden easter eggs, sure, but not for major plot drivers or the heart of the story.  As either Butterbumps or JCRB said a long time ago on this forum - the art of storytelling is for the story to flow not to have a sudden jarring break where you realise everything has been a lie or a set-up a la M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense or even more apt The Village).

Are we reading the same books?

It has been three Bran chapters in the total of Dance where he has been at Bloodraven’s Lair... three chapters filled with spooky and doubt. Doubt by Bran, doubt by Jojen, and doubt by Meera...

I think when the series is read after knowing how it goes, this won’t seem some big twist.

It’s like ending Arya’s chapter with the Hound saying hurry up or you’ll miss your uncles bloody wedding... it’s not really gonna give away the plot, but when you go back it slaps you in the face... 

The voice as sharp as swords and Old Nans needles going click click click is gonna feel like that.

On 4/28/2018 at 5:32 AM, the trees have eyes said:

Thanks for pointing out that GRRM in fact created that saying.  I have to admit it feels so familiar that I instinctively understood what it meant and equated it with the much earlier saying.  It seems extremely likely that GRRM expected that.  The first meaning - both pot and kettle being black - is the only one I am aware of  and though I note wikipedia allows for the contradictory meaning you mention I have never heard anyone use it with that meaning.  It would be confusing if it had two contradictory meanings, no?  I have to assume GRRM understands what the common phrase means and has not set out to subvert it's meaning as part of a master plan to deliberately confuse us.  Good heavens.

No, he is hiding the truth in plain sight... it is an excuse to mention both birds together over and over again... not only that but it’s used often in a context of betrayal and secrets.

As I said above, while it seems like Bran has been hiding with Bloodraven forever to us, it’s been three chapters, and frankly reading them again, it’s not very secret how dark and evil that place is...

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On 4/29/2018 at 7:02 AM, kissdbyfire said:

:agree:

And I'll add that even tough there are tons of hidden Easter eggs, obscure and not so obscure references, and many, many rw myths and stuff Martin uses, one thing we shouldn't forget is who the author is. Or better said, who he isn't, and that's an elitist. The idea that he set out to write a story where only a selected few will "get it" while the unwashed masses will miss all the meaningful stuff, all the true hints etc is very hard for me to believe. 

The story isn’t done yet, if you expect there to be no more reveals in the plot I don’t know what to tell you, but in retrospect this isn’t going to see like pulling the rug out, it’s going to be explained, and on a reread will be obvious. 

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21 hours ago, Faera said:

So, even though I really do enjoy theories about the 3EC and have speculated a lot about who he might "really" be in the past, I must admit that recently (having completed a Bran re-read) I have come to the conclusion that the 3EC probably really is just Bloodraven. There really hasn't been any major red flag to think otherwise. Really, Bran getting to that cave and discovering that the mysterious and magical 3EC is creepy, ugly and scary looking old man mangled up in a tree is shock enough and the fact he is Brynden Rivers is a reveal in itself. Now we know it's BR who's been calling out to Bran, we get to look forward to the next question... what's BR's plan and what does he want?

Hey I get it, there are a lot of theories and they can’t all be true... but I have to believe that GRRM didn’t just stop putting twists into the tale after the first five books full of them.

We only have three Bran chapters with a bloodraven, ones I would argue are full of giant red flags...

But, I agree, the big question is what is Bloodraven’s plan and what does he want... because if he want to help mankind, his actions make no sense at all, he hasn’t warned anyone even with simple things like maybe you should try obsidian against the Others... he doesn’t send Coldhands to help the Watch, he sends him to retrieve Bran for him.

Butback to the big question, what does Bloodraven want?

The prevailing opinion seems to be the good of the realm and world peace... but why?

It seems far more likely to me that he’s still pissed about not getting the woman or the crown... that’s a much more human motivation, and men would be wroth. 

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16 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The story isn’t done yet, if you expect there to be no more reveals in the plot I don’t know what to tell you, but in retrospect this isn’t going to see like pulling the rug out, it’s going to be explained, and on a reread will be obvious. 

And? I don't see how that has anything to do w/ the post you quoted... I must be missing something. By he way, I agree w/ what you just said. :dunno:

 

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And? I don't see how that has anything to do w/ the post you quoted... I must be missing something. By he way, I agree w/ what you just said. :dunno:

 

Glad to hear it!

haha sorry just getting caught up, and I think there was some confusion over who was saying what...

Im trying to agree that it’s not an elitist/common issue, nor is it about hints so obscure only some people will get it, I think the reader isn’t supposed to figure it out before hand, but on a reread the clues jump out... that’s the beauty of well written foreshadowing and dramatic irony, along with other literary tools.

cheers

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31 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Im trying to agree that it’s not an elitist/common issue, nor is it about hints so obscure only some people will get it, I think the reader isn’t supposed to figure it out before hand, but on a reread the clues jump out... that’s the beauty of well written foreshadowing and dramatic irony, along with other literary tools.

cheers

Exactly.

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