Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

LiveFirstDieLater

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

Recommended Posts

42 minutes ago, Wizz-The-Smith said:

"Most of him has gone into the tree," explained the singer Meera called Leaf. "He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know."  [Bran III, ADWD]

If Leaf was a native English speaker the phrase "he has lived" would indicate that the person being referenced is still alive.  If the person was dead they would say "he did live" or "he lived"  But I don't know how proficient she is in English, ESL speakers misuse phrases all the time.   Also, I think there is a difference between the CoTF's concept of death and ours.  Don't they all live second lives in the trees and birds? 

The second part "beyond his mortal span" indicates that he is dead.  There was his mortal span of life, that ended, now we are beyond that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Concern trolling.  I love that skit, and being compared to it is a great honor.

Okay, I said I was walking away from this conversation but I didn`t say that I wasn`t going to read along after I left.  I`m  pretty sure that this quoted bit is you calling me a troll.  That is offensive.  My only participation in this thread took place because I didn`t agree with your opinion that Brynden Rivers is dead.  Relax.  Lighten up.  People disagreeing with you is just one one of those things that happens in life. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, White Ravens said:

Okay, I said I was walking away from this conversation but I didn`t say that I wasn`t going to read along after I left.  I`m  pretty sure that this quoted bit is you calling me a troll.  That is offensive.  My only participation in this thread took place because I didn`t agree with your opinion that Brynden Rivers is dead.  Relax.  Lighten up.  People disagreeing with you is just one one of those things that happens in life. 

 

No, you were not the concern troll, you and I were having a perfectly reasonable discussion, and reasonable differences of opinion were being debated.  I noted in jest that the course of the conversation suddenly resembled the Monty Python dead parrot sketch--which I thought was funny.  I did not mean for that reference to be offensive, nor did you seem to take offense at that reference, but then somebody else stepped in to be offended on your behalf, it was that person who I said was concern trolling. 

I am actually pretty zen, and disagreement is what moves the debate forward.  As John Stuart Mill says:

Quote

If there are any persons who contest a received opinion, or who will do so if law or opinion will let them, let us thank them for it, open our minds to listen to them, and rejoice that there is some one to do for us what we otherwise ought, if we have any regard for either the certainty or the vitality of our convictions, to do with much greater labor for ourselves.

So, thank you for your service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I am not sure how literal you were being with the "ravens don't have teeth" idea, so if you already know what I am about to say, then just skip this post. Brynden Bloodraven Rivers' commands a group of loyal (weirwood) bowmen called the Raven's Teeth. The idea that the arrowheads are the play on words is what the teeth are.

Also, birds all have an "egg tooth" to help them crack out of their shells, revealing the dragonlette withi.... ugh, never mind. You see where this is going, including the constant in-world euphemism of hatching "dragons" from Eggs.

I’m not familiar with an egg tooth...

But a bird’s teeth is a classic example of supposedly impossible things from nature... from things like this was Gleipnir made. Wikipedia list the following:

sound of a cat - Varamyr Sixskins (or if you believe Mance sent him, the Catspaw)

beard of a woman - Selyse and/or Mel

roots of a mountain - Royce (first men of the Vale since no Weirwood grows in the Eyrie)

sinews of a bear - Mormont

breath of a fish - Lady Stoneheart or Patchface

spittle of a bird - Raven’s Teeth

I would suggest that of course the parallel here isn’t perfect, but the Wall is described as a ribbon and is what is holding back the end of an age. These are people who have gone to or from the Wall.

And mostly I’m just having fun...

The ribbon which holds back Fenrir until Ragnarok, Gleipnir, breaks when he gets free of his bondage and consumes Odin.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found the passages about the CoTF and their afterlife

Quote

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one. The singers of the forest had no books. No ink, no parchment, no written language. Instead they had the trees, and the weirwoods above all. When they died, they went into the wood, into leaf and limb and root, and the trees remembered. All their songs and spells, their histories and prayers, everything they knew about this world. Maesters will tell you that the weirwoods are sacred to the old gods. The singers believe they are the old gods. When singers die they become part of that godhood."

Bran's eyes widened. "They're going to kill me?"

"No," Meera said. "Jojen, you're scaring him."

"He is not the one who needs to be afraid."

Jojen says "when they die, they went into the wood" but Bran interprets this as "you have to die to go into the wood." 

Quote

"It is given to a few to drink of that green fountain whilst still in mortal flesh, to hear the whisperings of the leaves and see as the trees see, as the gods see," said Jojen. "Most are not so blessed. The gods gave me only greendreams. My task was to get you here. My part in this is done."

Jojen tells him, "yes, for most people you do have to die to go into the wood, but a few can go into the wood while still alive"--and Bran is one of those few, and Brynden was as well.  Where is Jojen getting this info from?

Quote

Then he realized he was not alone.

"Someone else was in the raven," he told Lord Brynden, once he had returned to his own skin. "Some girl. I felt her."

"A woman, of those who sing the song of earth," his teacher said. "Long dead, yet a part of her remains, just as a part of you would remain in Summer if your boy's flesh were to die upon the morrow. A shadow on the soul. She will not harm you."

"Do all the birds have singers in them?"

"All,"

 

The relationship of the CoTF and the Weirwood directly parallels the Shkeen and the Greeshka from A Song For Lya.  When an individual approaches the end of their life, they willingly sacrifice themselves to the hive-mind, to nourish it and to join their consciousness to the collective.  Hodor finds a whole chamber full of enthroned CoTF.  I don't think they consider it death though--it is second life.

When the Shkeen go into the Greeshka, it digests their body within a couple days, the weirwood takes a lot longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Found the passages about the CoTF and their afterlife

Jojen says "when they die, they went into the wood" but Bran interprets this as "you have to die to go into the wood." 

Jojen tells him, "yes, for most people you do have to die to go into the wood, but a few can go into the wood while still alive"--and Bran is one of those few, and Brynden was as well.  Where is Jojen getting this info from?

 

The relationship of the CoTF and the Weirwood directly parallels the Shkeen and the Greeshka from A Song For Lya.  When an individual approaches the end of their life, they willingly sacrifice themselves to the hive-mind, to nourish it and to join their consciousness to the collective.  Hodor finds a whole chamber full of enthroned CoTF.  I don't think they consider it death though--it is second life.

When the Shkeen go into the Greeshka, it digests their body within a couple days, the weirwood takes a lot longer.

I found this whole passage interesting...

First, it falls in line with what we learned from Varamyr and seems oddly similar to the impression Arya gets when wearing another person’s face... part of a person remaining behind in the flesh they occupied before they died.

Except that we know the Children are small in number and long in life, while birds are the opposite, they are large in number and short in life.

This presents a very practice issue, since it’s pretty much inconceivable that a Child occupied each and every raven before dying... this means that the ravens house “old spirits”, for lack of a better term, of Children who have gone into the Weirwood but who never occupied that particular bird while alive.

The whole conspiracy of ravens is connected to the Weirwood. 

It would seem that Bloodraven’s Lair is filled with ravens, not crows.

Meanwhile, the Gods Eye appears to harbor the crows...

Quote

The air was full of birds, crows mostly. From afar, they were no larger than flies as they wheeled and flapped above the thatched roofs. To the east, GodsEye was a sheet of sun-hammered blue that filled half the world. Some days, as they made their slow way up the muddy shore (Gendry wanted no part of any roads, and even Hot Pie and Lommy saw the sense in that), Arya felt as though the lake were calling her.

The lake “was” calling...

The crows “were” calling...

Or just a typo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I’m not familiar with an egg tooth...

I have chickens, that is why I know of the egg tooth. ^_^

A mother bird delivers her young encased in an eggshell; an external protective covering consisting of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The shell protects the chick until it is ready to survive in the outside world. The chick breaks open the shell when it is strong enough and ready. Since the beak and the claws of the bird are not fully developed and cannot penetrate the eggshell, the "egg tooth" is the unusual structure that helps the bird break through the shell. It is only found in emerging chicks and lost soon after hatching, after it is used to penetrate the hard shell that once protected the embryo.[1]

In birds, the process of breaking open the eggshell is commonly referred to as pipping. (Pypar, or Pip, in the story is also a good friend of Jon).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_tooth

Quote

But a bird’s teeth is a classic example of supposedly impossible things from nature... from things like this was Gleipnir made. Wikipedia list the following:

A more important question if IF GRRM is using this list if impossibles in his story, then how is he recreating something new that fits his writing style and prose? He does not do a one-to-one ripoff of any material, Norse included.

Quote

sound of a cat - Varamyr Sixskins (or if you believe Mance sent him, the Catspaw)

I believe the full phrase is something about the sounds of a cat's paws, or footsteps. Cat's are notoriously silent in real life, and in the story the catspaw does go unnoticed until the last second before the attack (much like cat's in real life). And there is most likely more than one in-story suspect for a silent cat, the other being Arya in her faceless man training. And Catelyn is now a "silent sister" in her own gory way.

Just because you mentioned it, I do not think Mance sent the catspaw.

Quote

beard of a woman - Selyse and/or Mel

Selyse is a bearded dragon. She is another fire woman of the series, along with her companion Melisandre, and she vampire sucks this persona off of her (semi-distant) fire Targ husband, Stannis. This is why GRRM put them together, so that Selyse could be a type of fire-dragon-queen. Melisandre is the new fiery version of Night's Queen and Selyse is the new fiery version of Night's King, now Queen, cuz' dragons are flexible with gender and all.

Quote

roots of a mountain - Royce (first men of the Vale since no Weirwood grows in the Eyrie)

Also, think of all of the "wormways" and hollow tunnels and hills we have in the story. Roots are also a foundation, not just the outstretching of "limbs". The doom of Valyria and the cataclysm of digging too deep under the volcanoes into the seven hells also comes to mind.

Quote

sinews of a bear - Mormont

I admit that I don't get why this is a supposed "impossible" thing. Not from you, but from what the list includes. Sinew is a simply a tough, fibrous tissue that connects the bones. Translate that in to ASOAIF,, the bones remember, and the bear Mormont is the one holding the NW toegther and LC Mormont is the first one to give the "the watch must remember it's true purpose" speech to Samwell, which later Jon, who is also has a bear totem symbol, Jon also remembers and has near the same speech himself. The bones remember and the wall is only as strong as the brothers who hold it (damned Marsh and co "breaking" the wall).

Quote

breath of a fish - Lady Stoneheart or Patchface

I can see that!

Quote

spittle of a bird - Raven’s Teeth

Sure, the arrows of the Raven's Teeth. I can see that.

Quote

I would suggest that of course the parallel here isn’t perfect, but the Wall is described as a ribbon and is what is holding back the end of an age. These are people who have gone to or from the Wall.

And mostly I’m just having fun...

The ribbon which holds back Fenrir until Ragnarok, Gleipnir, breaks when he gets free of his bondage and consumes Odin.

 

It fun to have fun :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

But a bird’s teeth is a classic example of supposedly impossible things from nature... from things like this was Gleipnir made.

And mostly I’m just having fun...

The ribbon which holds back Fenrir until Ragnarok, Gleipnir, breaks when he gets free of his bondage and consumes Odin.

I like it.  Also, we have a phrase here, "it's as rare as hen's teeth" meaning "it does not exist"  I forget to mention that before.

 

Change of subject, but while rereading Bran's cave chapters, the horror of Bran body-snatching Hodor struck me.  Sweet little Bran is guilty of one of the worst possible things one person can do to another. 

Quote

The big stableboy no longer fought him as he had the first time, back in the lake tower during the storm. Like a dog who has had all the fight whipped out of him, Hodor would curl up and hide whenever Bran reached out for him. His hiding place was somewhere deep within him, a pit where not even Bran could touch him.

Bran is worse than a dog-beater.  "To eat of human meat was abomination, to mate as wolf with wolf was abomination, and to seize the body of another man was the worst abomination of all."  And he commits this "worst abomination" just so he can explore some caves because he is bored and upset that he can't climb anymore.

Quote

He summoned all the strength still in him, leapt out of his own skin, and forced himself inside her.

Thistle arched her back and screamed.

Abomination. Was that her, or him, or Haggon? He never knew. His old flesh fell back into the snowdrift as her fingers loosened. The spearwife twisted violently, shrieking. His shadowcat used to fight him wildly, and the snow bear had gone half-mad for a time, snapping at trees and rocks and empty air, but this was worse. "Get out, get out!" he heard her own mouth shouting. Her body staggered, fell, and rose again, her hands flailed, her legs jerked this way and that in some grotesque dance as his spirit and her own fought for the flesh. She sucked down a mouthful of the frigid air, and Varamyr had half a heartbeat to glory in the taste of it and the strength of this young body before her teeth snapped together and filled his mouth with blood. She raised her hands to his face. He tried to push them down again, but the hands would not obey, and she was clawing at his eyes. Abomination, he remembered, drowning in blood and pain and madness. When he tried to scream, she spat their tongue out.

This is maximum psychological torture--probably worse than anything Ramsey Snow ever did.  Are we supposed to think Bran worse than Ramsey?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I have chickens, that is why I know of the egg tooth. ^_^

A mother bird delivers her young encased in an eggshell; an external protective covering consisting of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The shell protects the chick until it is ready to survive in the outside world. The chick breaks open the shell when it is strong enough and ready. Since the beak and the claws of the bird are not fully developed and cannot penetrate the eggshell, the "egg tooth" is the unusual structure that helps the bird break through the shell. It is only found in emerging chicks and lost soon after hatching, after it is used to penetrate the hard shell that once protected the embryo.[1]

In birds, the process of breaking open the eggshell is commonly referred to as pipping. (Pypar, or Pip, in the story is also a good friend of Jon).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_tooth

Well shit, the more you know, always liked that Pyp fellow!

Actually I had to double take, but the very first use of “the crow calling the raven black”:

Quote

"Ho," said Pyp. "Listen to the crow call the raven black. You're certain to be a ranger, Toad. They'll want you as far from the castle as they can. If Mance Rayder attacks, lift your visor and show your face, and he'll run off screaming."

Lift your visor, showing your face, like breaking out of the shell?

Quote

A more important question if IF GRRM is using this list if impossibles in his story, then how is he recreating something new that fits his writing style and prose? He does not do a one-to-one ripoff of any material, Norse included.

I completely agree, these parallels help me to see fun references and interesting angles... none of it is going to be perfect or exact and shouldn’t be read to too tooo far into.

Especially because I think he’s flipped a lot of the Norse stuff on its head by having set the story during an age when things are out of whack, and bringing an end to that age may not be “evil”, it seems to me that generally the forces of good and evil have been flip flopped...

Quote

I believe the full phrase is something about the sounds of a cat's paws, or footsteps. Cat's are notoriously silent in real life, and in the story the ctaspaw does go unnoticed until the last second before the attack (much like cat;s in real life). And there is most likely more than one in-story suspect for a silent cat, the other being Arya in her faceless man training.

Just because you mentioned it, I do not think Mance sent the catspaw.

Fair enough! And I agree there are a bunch of cat references, really I was looking for things in relation to the Wall/Watch, I’m just firing from the hip here because it seemed a fun idea to run with...

Quote

Selyse is a bearded dragon. She is another fire woman of the series, along with her companion Melisandre, and she vampire sucks this persona off of her (semi-distant) fire Targ husband, Stannis. This is why GRRM put them together, so that Selyse could be a type of fire-dragon-queen. Melisandre is the new fiery version of Night's Queen and Selyse is the new fiery version of Night's King, now Queen, cuz' dragons are flexible with gender and all.

Interesting, I’m not sure I agree about Mel being a new Night Queen, I suspect she might be Bloodraven and Seastar’s kid, destined to be consumed like the rat king consumes its young. Or if anything Euron’s something...

But I see the parallels for sure... generally though I see Stannis as a false flag for all these things, not the true steel.

Quote

Also, think of all of the "wormways" and hollow tunnels and hills we have in the story. Roots are also a foundation, not just the outstretching of "limbs". The doom of Valyria and the cataclysm of digging too deep under the volcanoes into the seven hells also comes to mind.

It funny, I thought immediately of Valeria  and the Faceless men being “rooted” beneath the mountains there as well!

Quote

I admit that I don't get why this is a supposed "impossible" thing. Not from you, but from what the list includes. Sinew is a simply a tough, fibrous tissue that connects the bones.

Ive read a few theories on this... either it is because Bears have short sinews which weren’t good for use making anything.

Or the idea I like better, is that it really means the nerves or sensibilities... in other words bears are merciless and it requires the nonexistent feelings of a bear. 

Quote

Translate that in to ASOAIF,, the bones remember, and the bear Mormont is the one holding the NW toegther and LC Mormont is the first one to give the "the watch must remember it's true purpose" speech to Samwell, which later Jon, who is also has a bear totem symbol, Jon also remembers and has near the same speech himself. The bones remember and the wall is only as strong as the brothers who hold it (damned Marsh and co "breaking" the wall).

Mormont also gives Jon Longclaw, his sentimental family sword...

Quote

I can see that!

Sure, the arrows of the Raven's Teeth. I can see that.

It fun to have fun :D

Funny how that works!!

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Found the passages about the CoTF and their afterlife

Jojen says "when they die, they went into the wood" but Bran interprets this as "you have to die to go into the wood." 

Because Bran loves scary stories, not the stupid kissing ones (so he tells himself), and it is because of Old Nan and her amping things up to
Bran to get his little kid imagination going. However, Bran is learnign through experience, much like Jon is with the free folk, that what they have been taught is the enemy, someone who appears as a cliché dark lord, is actually not the truth. The bones remember.

And George has set up a prototype to the Bran-Bloodraven training in other stories as well. The Greeshka are more of a fire element (jealous, hungry, consuming) than the weirwood trees. This story is even more specific to the Bran plot points because it includes a Jojen and Meera type, a Bittersteel and Shiera type (just broader here), and "shipping" with is just another way of saying skinchanging or going from vessel to vessel whether it be air car, spaceship, steamboat, wolf, dragon, etc.

* * *

Holt was set to working in the drive room, an austere place of muted lights and bare metal and computer consoles. Cain narKarmian showed him what to do.
Holt remembered narKarmian too. An old, old man, too old for shipwork he would have thought; skin like soft yellow leather that has been folded and wrinkled so many times that there is nowhere a piece of it without a million tiny creases, eyes brown and almond-shaped, a mottled bald head and a wispy blond goatee. Sometimes Cain seemed senile, but most often he was sharp and alert; he knew the drives, and he knew the stars, and he would talk incessantly as he worked.
“Two hundred standard years!” he said once as they both sat before their consoles. He smiled a shy, crooked smile, and Holt saw that he still had teeth, even at his age—or perhaps he had teeth again. “That's how long Cain's been shipping, Holt. The very truth! You know, your regular man never leaves the very world he's born on. Never! Ninety-five per cent of them, anyway. They never leave, just get born and grow up and die, all on the same world. And the ones that do ship—well, most of them ship only a little. A world or two or ten. Not me! You know where I was born, Holt? Guess!”
Holt shrugged. “Old Earth?”
Cain had just laughed. “Earth? Earth's nothing, only three or four years out from here. Four, I think. I forget. No, no, but I've seen Earth, the very homeworld, the seeding place. Seen it fifty years ago on the—the Corey Dark, I'd guess it was. It was about time, I thought. I'd been shipping a hundred fifty standard even then, and I still hadn't been to Earth. But I finally got there!”
“You weren't born there?” Holt prompted.
Old Cain shook his head and laughed again. “Not very! I'm an Emereli. From ai-Emerel. You know it, Holt?”
Holt had to think. It was not a world-name he recognized, not one of the stars his father had pointed to, aflame in the night of Ymir. But it rang a bell, dimly. “The Fringe?” he guessed finally. The Fringe was the furthest out-edge of human space, the place where the small sliver of the galaxy they called the manrealm had brushed the top of the galactic lens, where the stars grew thin. Ymir and the stars he knew were on the other side of Old Earth, inward toward the denser starfields and the still-unreachable core.
Cain was happy at his guess. “Yes! I'm an outworlder. I'm near to two hundred and twenty standard, and I've seen near that many worlds now, human worlds and Hrangan and Fyndii and all sorts, even some worlds in the manrealm where the men aren't men any more, if you understand what I'm saying. Shipping, always shipping. Whenever I found a place that looked interesting I'd skip ship and stay a time, then go on when I wanted to. I've seen all sorts of things, Holt. When I was young I saw the Festival of the Fringe, and hunted banshee on High Kavalaan, and got a wife on Kimdiss. She died, though, and I got on. Saw Prometheus and Rhiannon, which are in a bit from the Fringe, and Jamison's
World and Avalon, which are in further still. You know. I was a Jamie for a bit, and on Avalon I got three wives.
And two husbands, or co-husbands, or however you say it.
I was still shy of a hundred then, maybe less. That was a time when we owned our own ship, did local trading, hit some of the old Hrangan slaveworlds that have gone off their own ways since the war. Even Old Hranga itself, the very place.
They say there are still some Minds on Hranga, deep underground, waiting to come back and attack the manrealm again. But all I ever saw was a lot of kill-castes and workers and the other lesser types.”
He smiled. “Good years, Holt, very good years. We called our ship Jamison's Ass. My wives and my husbands were all Avalonians, you see, except for one who was Old Poseidon, and Avalonians don't like Jamies much, which is how we arrived at that very name. But I can't say that they were wrong. I was a Jamie too, before that, and Port Jamison is a stulty priggy town on a planet that's the same.
“We were together nearly thirty standard on Jamison's Ass. The marriage outlasted two wives and one husband. And me too, finally. They wanted to keep Avalon as their trade base, you see, but after thirty I'd seen all the worlds I wanted to see around there, and I hadn't seen a lot else. So I shipped on. But I loved them, Holt, I did love them. A man should be married to his shipmates. It makes for a very good feeling.” He sighed. “Sex comes easier too. Less uncertainty.”
By then, Holt was caught. “Afterward,” he asked, his young face showing only a hint of the envy he felt, “what did you do then?”
Cain had shrugged, looked down at his console, and started to punch the glowing studs to set in a drive correction. “Oh, shipped on, shipped on. Old worlds, new worlds, man, not-man, aliens. New Refuge and Pachacuti and burnt-out old Wellington, and then Newholme and Silversky and Old Earth. And now I'm going in, as far as I can go before I die. Like Tomo and Walberg, I guess. You know about Tomo and Walberg, in here at Ymir?”
And Holt had only nodded. Even Ymir knew about Tomo and Walberg. Tomo was an outworlder too, born on Darkdawn high atop the Fringe, and they say he was a darkling dreamer. Walberg was an Altered Man from Prometheus, a roistering adventurer according to the legend. Three centuries ago, in a ship called the Dreaming Whore, they had set off from Darkdawn for the opposite edge of the galaxy. How many worlds they had visited, what had happened on each, how far they had gotten before death—those were the knots in the tale, and schoolboys disputed them still. Holt liked to think that they were still out there, somewhere. After all, Walberg had said he was a superman, and there was no telling how long a superman might live. Maybe even long enough to reach the core, or beyond.
He had been staring at the console, daydreaming, and Cain had grinned over at him and said, “Hey! Starsick!” And when Holt had started and looked up, the old man nodded (still smiling), saying, “Yes, you, the very one! Set to, Holt, or you won't be shipping nowhere!”
But it was a gentle rebuke, and a gentle smile, and Holt never forgot it or Cain narKarmian's other words. Their sleep-webs were next to each other and Holt listened every night, for Cain was hard to silence and Holt was not about to try. And when the Laughing Shadow finally hit Cathaday, as far in as it would

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I like it.  Also, we have a phrase here, "it's as rare as hen's teeth" meaning "it does not exist"  I forget to mention that before.

 

Change of subject, but while rereading Bran's cave chapters, the horror of Bran body-snatching Hodor struck me.  Sweet little Bran is guilty of one of the worst possible things one person can do to another. 

Bran is worse than a dog-beater.  "To eat of human meat was abomination, to mate as wolf with wolf was abomination, and to seize the body of another man was the worst abomination of all."  And he commits this "worst abomination" just so he can explore some caves because he is bored and upset that he can't climb anymore.

This is maximum psychological torture--probably worse than anything Ramsey Snow ever did.  Are we supposed to think Bran worse than Ramsey?

I take this as a sign that Bloodraven isn’t interested in being a good teacher, nor is he interested in following the laws of gods or men, as he’s shown over and over.

Bran doesn’t know any better... despite Lewin teaching him not to treat Hodor as an animal.

Also, worth noting that Nan is always hitting Hodor...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I take this as a sign that Bloodraven isn’t interested in being a good teacher, nor is he interested in following the laws of gods or men, as he’s shown over and over.

Bran doesn’t know any better... despite Lewin teaching him not to treat Hodor as an animal.

Also, worth noting that Nan is always hitting Hodor...

Ah she's just giving him a clout when he needs it is all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I take this as a sign that Bloodraven isn’t interested in being a good teacher, nor is he interested in following the laws of gods or men, as he’s shown over and over.

It is also interesting that the things that the "gods" forbid are exactly the things that the gods (weirwoods) are known for doing.  Violating guest right, eating the flesh of men, body snatching.  As you said the Rat Cook seems to be a metaphor for the weirwood, condemned to eat its own children. 

Robb Stark and the King's of Winter in the Crypts also deny the notion of guest right.  They will not be disarmed in their own home, even in death.  And they seal themselves up in weirwood-proof tombs.  It is like Bran learned something from his time in Bloodraven's cave, and applied that when he founded House Stark as Brandon the Builder.

Also, Robur is Latin for "strength", and, by derivation, "hard timber" or "oak"  and Stark means “strong, stiff, obstinate, severe" or "rigid in or as if in death"

Calls to mind "What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger " and "unbowed, unbend, unbroken"

 

1 hour ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Bran doesn’t know any better... despite Lewin teaching him not to treat Hodor as an animal.

Like you say Luwin did teach him right from wrong, and Hodor fought Bran the best he could, and Bran knew what he was doing was wrong and tried to justify it by saying "I just want to be strong again for a while. I'll give it back, the way I always do."  The way a child justifies stealing because they "were going to give it right back" even when they weren't.

How old was Joffrey when he sliced open that mother cat and took the kittens out?  Did Joffrey's age make him any less of a psychopath?  And by all the laws of gods and men, what Bran does to Hodor was worse than Joffrey and that cat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

It is also interesting that the things that the "gods" forbid are exactly the things that the gods (weirwoods) are known for doing.  Violating guest right, eating the flesh of men, body snatching.  As you said the Rat Cook seems to be a metaphor for the weirwood, condemned to eat its own children. 

I don’t think all the old gods are the same, and so it no surprise the ones found north of the wall are the “abominations”.

35 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Robb Stark and the King's of Winter in the Crypts also deny the notion of guest right.  They will not be disarmed in their own home, even in death.  And they seal themselves up in weirwood-proof tombs.  It is like Bran learned something from his time in Bloodraven's cave, and applied that when he founded House Stark as Brandon the Builder.

I see no evidence the tombs are Weirproof... or what that has to do with guest right... if anything they are placed below the Godswood for the exact opposite reason in Raventree Hall. It’s possible Winterfell is different, but I don’t see any reason to think so... especially since Nan says there are huge rats and spiders down in the lower levels.

35 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Also, Robur is Latin for "strength", and, by derivation, "hard timber" or "oak"  and Stark means “strong, stiff, obstinate, severe" or "rigid in or as if in death"

Stark usually means severe and/or bare in appearance or outline. 

As in, “Arya has dark hair, in stark contrast to her siblings”

35 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Calls to mind "What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger " and "unbowed, unbend, unbroken"

Not really...

35 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Like you say Luwin did teach him right from wrong, and Hodor fought Bran the best he could, and Bran knew what he was doing was wrong and tried to justify it by saying "I just want to be strong again for a while. I'll give it back, the way I always do."  The way a child justifies stealing because they "were going to give it right back" even when they weren't.

How old was Joffrey when he sliced open that mother cat and took the kittens out?  Did Joffrey's age make him any less of a psychopath?  And by all the laws of gods and men, what Bran does to Hodor was worse than Joffrey and that cat. 

Goes both ways, kids can do horrible things out of curiosity and innocence, but also can be incredibly cruel without remorse... shows how much of our feelings are acquired along the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Because Bran loves scary stories, not the stupid kissing ones (so he tells himself), and it is because of Old Nan and her amping things up to
Bran to get his little kid imagination going. However, Bran is learnign through experience, much like Jon is with the free folk, that what they have been taught is the enemy, someone who appears as a cliché dark lord, is actually not the truth. The bones remember.

Clearly I have a different take...

Nan doesn’t tell a different story because of querulous Bran... She tells the same story... the last hero and bran the builder are the same guy... Nan isnt confusing  Brandons, Bran is confusing stories.

And I’m going to have to disagree about the dark lord assessment too... a cliche being twisted is the Tolkien Elves who are ready to fade into the West now that their age is over, and the wise old wizard who is going to teach Bran the higher mysteries. 

Sometimes the good guys are handsome and pretty and the pale corpse lord is behind the legions of the undead.

But given there are so many parallels, including how BR’s making the same promises the Undying made Dany, and we saw how that ended up going, I’m all but convinced Branis in real trouble (and his companions even more so). 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Clearly I have a different take...

Nan doesn’t tell a different story because of querulous Bran... She tells the same story... the last hero and bran the builder are the same guy... Nan isnt confusing  Brandons, Bran is confusing stories.

Hmm, I agree that what Nan says (mostly) is almost true. It is hard to get it 100% when they are tales of tales. The comment I made above is simply how Bran likes scary stories. I was taking it from this:

  • "That's not my favorite," he said. "My favorites were the scary ones." He heard some sort of commotion outside and turned back to the window. Rickon was running across the yard toward the gatehouse, the wolves following him, but the tower faced the wrong way for Bran to see what was happening. He smashed a fist on his thigh in frustration and felt nothing.
"Oh, my sweet summer child," Old Nan said quietly, "what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."
"You mean the Others," Bran said querulously.
"The Others," Old Nan agreed. "Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks." Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, "So, child. This is the sort of story you like?"
"Well," Bran said reluctantly, "yes, only …"
 
  • "Your own folk. In fear. Some will hate you if they know what you are. Some will even try to kill you."
    Old Nan told scary stories of beastlings and shapechangers sometimes. In the stories they were always evil. "I'm not like that," Bran said. "I'm not. It's only dreams."
    "The wolf dreams are no true dreams. You have your eye closed tight whenever you're awake, but as you drift off it flutters open and your soul seeks out its other half. The power is strong in you."

And as much as I love Old Nan, we should scrutinize and parse out the meaning behind her version of the stories. They seem akin to the Targ king that told exaggerated stories to his children just as fanciful childrens tales. There is truth in there, but you have to part the sheep from the goats. Or, not swallow it whole :wacko:

  • Bran wasn't so certain. The Nightfort had figured in some of Old Nan's scariest stories. It was here that Night's King had reigned, before his name was wiped from the memory of man. This was where the Rat Cook had served the Andal king his prince-and-bacon pie, where the seventy-nine sentinels stood their watch, where brave young Danny Flint had been raped and murdered. This was the castle where King Sherrit had called down his curse on the Andals of old, where the 'prentice boys had faced the thing that came in the night, where blind Symeon Star-Eyes had seen the hellhounds fighting. Mad Axe had once walked these yards and climbed these towers, butchering his brothers in the dark.
    All that had happened hundreds and thousands of years ago, to be sure, and some maybe never happened at all. Maester Luwin always said that Old Nan's stories shouldn't be swallowed whole. But once his uncle came to see Father, and Bran asked about the Nightfort. Benjen Stark never said the tales were true, but he never said they weren't; he only shrugged and said, "We left the Nightfort two hundred years ago," as if that was an answer.
     
57 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

And I’m going to have to disagree about the dark lord assessment too... a cliche being twisted is the Tolkien Elves who are ready to fade into the West now that their age is over, and the wise old wizard who is going to teach Bran the higher mysteries. 

Sometimes the good guys are handsome and pretty and the pale corpse lord is behind the legions of the undead.

But given there are so many parallels, including how BR’s making the same promises the Undying made Dany, and we saw how that ended up going, I’m all but convinced Branis in real trouble (and his companions even more so). 

 

Just to be clear, because maybe I missed it, but is this the "dark lord" reference you are referring to?

Q: Another element I liked about the series was the moral relativism of many of the characters. Too many Fantasies rely on the shorthand of truly evil villains in the absolute moral sense, but your characters, while they might commit terrible acts, generally do so either from short-sighted self-interest or because they truly believe they are acting for the best. Was this a deliberate decision, or is it just more interesting to write this way?

GRRM: Both. I have always found grey characters more interesting than those who are pure black and white. I have no qualms with the way that Tolkien handled Sauron, but in some ways The Lord of the Rings set an unfortunate example for the writers who were to follow. I did not want to write another version of the War Between Good and Evil, where the antagonist is called the Foul King or the Demon Lord or Prince Rotten, and his minions are slavering subhumans dressed all in black (I dressed my Night's Watch, who are basically good guys, all in black in part to undermine that annoying convention). Before you can fight the war between good and evil, you need to determine which is which, and that's not always as easy as some Fantasists would have you believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Hmm, I agree that what Nan says (mostly) is almost true. It is hard to get it 100% when they are tales of tales. The comment I made above is simply how Bran likes scary stories. I was taking it from this:

  • " "My favorites were the scary ones."
  • "So, child. This is the sort of story you like?"
"Well," Bran said reluctantly, "yes, only …"
 
  • Old Nan told scary stories of beastlings and shapechangers sometimes. In the stories they were always evil. "I'm not like that," Bran said. "I'm not. It's only dreams."
    "The wolf dreams are no true dreams. You have your eye closed tight whenever you're awake, but as you drift off it flutters open and your soul seeks out its other half. The power is strong in you."

And as much as I love Old Nan, we should scrutinize and parse out the meaning behind her version of the stories. They seem akin to the Targ king that told exaggerated stories to his children just as fanciful childrens tales. There is truth in there, but you have to part the sheep from the goats. Or, not swallow it whole :wacko:

It’s hard to take anything 100% literally...

But let’s not confuse Bran’s mistakes with Nan’s... that was the point I was trying to make.

Again here, we can be almost positive that in all Nan’s stories of beastlings and shapechangers are NOT evil... this is Bran not understanding the story. So yes we need separate the wheat from the chaff, but we also need to be careful about what sources we use for our information.

Bran doesn’t realize some of the stories about his ancestors are about wargs... he’s a summer child, he doesn’t know about fear.

I laughed at the George quote about the old Targ king talking about going beyond the wall, classic George-speak, call them children’s stories when in ASoIF the children’s stories might be the most reliable sources of information we get.

And it’s worth noting how many of Nan’s tales were about Targaryens and the South, not just about the North.

Quote
 
Just to be clear, because maybe I missed it, but is this the "dark lord" reference you are referring to?

Q: Another element I liked about the series was the moral relativism of many of the characters. Too many Fantasies rely on the shorthand of truly evil villains in the absolute moral sense, but your characters, while they might commit terrible acts, generally do so either from short-sighted self-interest or because they truly believe they are acting for the best. Was this a deliberate decision, or is it just more interesting to write this way?

GRRM: Both. I have always found grey characters more interesting than those who are pure black and white. I have no qualms with the way that Tolkien handled Sauron, but in some ways The Lord of the Rings set an unfortunate example for the writers who were to follow. I did not want to write another version of the War Between Good and Evil, where the antagonist is called the Foul King or the Demon Lord or Prince Rotten, and his minions are slavering subhumans dressed all in black (I dressed my Night's Watch, who are basically good guys, all in black in part to undermine that annoying convention). Before you can fight the war between good and evil, you need to determine which is which, and that's not always as easy as some Fantasists would have you believe.

Again I think George knows exactly what he is doing here, I’ll try to find this other quote from him about Saruman I’m thinking of... because remember,

Saruman was the White wizard, a good guy who Gandalf goes to for help (basically an angel), but ends up not only being a villain, but burning the shire in petty vengeance at the end of the tale. He is the more interesting human villain.  

I don’t see Bloodraven as beyond human motivations (like others hating everything which lives, or zombies). I think he is a man who tried everything he could, was willing to do whatever it takes, and feels wronged by the woman, the kingdom, and the world. 

There will be something remarkable if he can really pull of having this corpse lord pass for the better part of a decade as a good guy right under everyone’s nose... because I strongly believe there will be a lot of forehead smacking (probably myself included at some point) if Winds ever comes out.

 I jumped into the Children/elves comparison... because I really can’t believe they aren’t wroth.

Also, Bloodraven is white... but look at this lecture from Mormont all the way back in Game and tell me it doesn’t seem to ring a little to close to home for Bloodraven:

Quote

 

"At evenfall, as the sun sets and we face the gathering night, you shall take your vows. From that moment, you will be a Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch. Your crimes will be washed away, your debts forgiven. So too you must wash away your former loyalties, put aside your grudges, forget old wrongs and old loves alike. Here you begin anew.
"A man of the Night's Watch lives his life for the realm. Not for a king, nor a lord, nor the honor of this house or that house, neither for gold nor glory nor a woman's love, but for the realm, and all the people in it. A man of the Night's Watch takes no wife and fathers no sons. Our wife is duty. Our mistress is honor. And you are the only sons we shall ever know.
"You have learned the words of the vow. Think carefully before you say them, for once you have taken the black, there is no turning back. The penalty for desertion is death." The Old Bear paused for a moment before he said, "Are there any among you who wish to leave our company? If so, go now, and no one shall think the less of you."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How will we know if Old Nan is the 3EC?  She's been disappeared from the story and I'm not expecting her to show up again.  She fits the Crone as storyteller, the one who passes on history and folklore more than someone who intervenes directly in Bran's dreams.  In this story, the crone peers through the door of death and in doing so, lets the first raven enter the world.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn I

Even as she set the quill aside and asked for sealing wax, Catelyn sensed that the letter was like to be too little and too late. Maester Vyman did not believe Lord Hoster would linger long enough for a raven to reach the Eyrie and return. Though he has said much the same before . . . Tully men did not surrender easily, no matter the odds. After she entrusted the parchment to the maester's care, Catelyn went to the sept and lit a candle to the Father Above for her own father's sake, a second to the Crone, who had let the first raven into the world when she peered through the door of death, and a third to the Mother, for Lysa and all the children they had both lost.

The door of death or death's door certainly does describe Bran's condition; but specifically 'door of death' sounds like the Black Gate or someone who can use it to access the metaphysical plane.  I've likened to Black Gate to the mysterious middle head of the god Trios; the one that nobody understands.  It seems to me that Bran has used it to make a connection with Jon in the Tree-Bran/Ghost-Jon encounter.  When Tree-Bran touches Ghost; he not only awakens Jon's third eye; he forges a connection with Jon.  A link that I think Jon can also use at some point to connect with Bran.  Jon has not yet learned how to use the power of the Wall or more specifically the Black Gate.

The 3EC has a voice 'as sharp as swords'.  That seems more relevant to Jon than Old Nan's clicking needles. Arya's Needle is a sword of another kind.  One that will be used for crooked stitching. 

Again, I suspect that Patchface tells us the identity of The Crow:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XI

They found Her Grace sewing by the fire, whilst her fool danced about to music only he could hear, the cowbells on his antlers clanging. "The crow, the crow," Patchface cried when he saw Jon. "Under the sea the crows are white as snow, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh." Princess Shireen was curled up in a window seat, her hood drawn up to hide the worst of the greyscale that had disfigured her face.

Old Nan and Mormont tells us that crows are liars and men of the Watch:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon I

"I've always known that Robb would be Lord of Winterfell."

Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. "A lord's one thing, a king's another." He offered the raven a handful of corn from his pocket. "They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You'll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they'll call Your Grace. Singers will praise every little thing he does, while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon . . . and I'll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it."

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran IV

"It was just a lie," he said bitterly, remembering the crow from his dream. "I can't fly. I can't even run."

"Crows are all liars," Old Nan agreed, from the chair where she sat doing her needlework. "I know a story about a crow."

It's Jon who is pre-occupied with thoughts of Bran:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Jon II

Yet under the frail cage of those shattered ribs, his chest rose and fell with each shallow breath.

"Bran," he said, "I'm sorry I didn't come before. I was afraid." He could feel the tears rolling down his cheeks. Jon no longer cared. "Don't die, Bran. Please. We're all waiting for you to wake up. Me and Robb and the girls, everyone …"

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Jon II

"I have to go now," Jon said. "Uncle Benjen is waiting. I'm to go north to the Wall. We have to leave today, before the snows come." He remembered how excited Bran had been at the prospect of the journey. It was more than he could bear, the thought of leaving him behind like this. Jon brushed away his tears, leaned over, and kissed his brother lightly on the lips.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Jon III

Tyrion Lannister laid a hand on his arm. "Jon," he said. "I am truly sorry."

Jon scarcely heard him. He brushed off Tyrion's hand and strode across the hall. He was running by the time he hit the doors. He raced to the Commander's Keep, dashing through drifts of old snow. When the guards passed him, he took the tower steps two at a time. By the time he burst into the presence of the Lord Commander, his boots were soaked and Jon was wild-eyed and panting. "Bran," he said. "What does it say about Bran?"

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Jon III

"Crippled," Mormont said. "I'm sorry, boy. Read the rest of the letter."

He looked at the words, but they didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Bran was going to live. "My brother is going to live," he told Mormont. The Lord Commander shook his head, gathered up a fistful of corn, and whistled. The raven flew to his shoulder, crying, "Live! Live!"

We're also told that if Jon were to help any of his siblings that he would have to come them in secret and disguised:

Quote

 

A Game of Thrones - Jon IX

Tyrion Lannister had claimed that most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it, but Jon was done with denials. He was who he was; Jon Snow, bastard and oathbreaker, motherless, friendless, and damned. For the rest of his life—however long that might be—he would be condemned to be an outsider, the silent man standing in the shadows who dares not speak his true name. Wherever he might go throughout the Seven Kingdoms, he would need to live a lie, lest every man's hand be raised against him. But it made no matter, so long as he lived long enough to take his place by his brother's side and help avenge his father.

He remembered Robb as he had last seen him, standing in the yard with snow melting in his auburn hair. Jon would have to come to him in secret, disguised. He tried to imagine the look on Robb's face when he revealed himself. His brother would shake his head and smile, and he'd say … he'd say …

 

Of course these thoughts are about Robb, but they would be no less true for Bran.  Jon would have to come in secret (in Bran's dreams) and in disguise (as the 3EC) without telling Bran that he is his brother.

Added:  I agree that the 3EC is not Bloodraven.  He's too far gone into the tree to identify as a crow.  He doesn't think of himself as a crow any longer.  He is more likely to appear as a tree just as Bran appears to Jon as a tree.

Jon is the only man of the Watch to have a 3rd eye and identify as a crow with a strong association with sword symbolism.  He's also the character most strongly motivated to help Bran.

As for Jon appearing to Bran before his third eye is fully opened; we also have the conundrum of Bran appearing to Jon, as the sapling tree, before he has crossed the Wall.   We're being given events that don't fit with the stream of time travelling from present to future.  But we've also been told that the standard rules don't apply to greenseers.  I think Martin's magical device for making these things happen centers around the Black Gate and what it does.  It's not just a physical gateway, but a metaphysical gateway where the rules around time can be bent.  This isn't science, it's magic. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2018 at 2:15 PM, Seams said:

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.

< snip >

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.

Not to breathe life into a discussion after it has died down but as others have noted, the "elitism" view came from a post by Odin's Beard about GRRM despising his readership (and apparently humanity in general) and not from anyone's literary preferences or interpretations.

The crow vs raven debate was a seperate, if related discussion about whether a detailed knowledge of Norse mythology or the taxonomy of birds was essential to following the hints GRRM has (or hasn't) placed in story to clue us in to the misdirection he has cleverly crafted or hidden in plain sight ("I see dead people", "nah, he obviously doesn't mean me...").  This really and simply hinges on whether the individual reader feels there is any particular reason to doubt who the guy in the cave is and what his intentions are: if the reader feels there is a reason then we are into whether the crow / raven is a distinction most people would notice and whether this is mastercraftsmanship or just confirmation bias like the corn code theory.

GRRM has thrown in lots of little mysteries and surprises along the way, some yet to be resolved, others yet to come but the point about "The Sixth Sense" and "The Village" in particular is that the huge twists both those stories had showed that the main characters were not inhabiting the world they thought they were.  There is nothing elitist here, it's just a particular technique of his.  The arguments that the road Bran has been on since AGOT (with Howland Reed sending his children, one granted green dreams, to guide Bran to the threee eyed crow) is a huge misdirection or manipulation is something that will appeal (or not) to individual readers.  The line of reasoning that the antipathy between raven and crow in Norse mythology was a clue or support for this was something I questioned as I find it a very slender branch to hang such a large theory off.

In general I don't think I am reading a Shyamalan script or following the classical murder mystery of Agatha Christie with all the red herrings and dead ends that implies but an epic fantasy with an incredibly broad and rich history, culture and mythos and some deliberately vague and unexplained elements.  What I don't see is the support for the doublecross or misdirection on a a gargantuan scale that is being argued for: that feels more like a conspiracy theory than following the story.

On 4/29/2018 at 3:43 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

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.

But does that mean GRRM would expect a global or even modest readership to be similarly savvy to how different ravens and crows are?  Wolves and Lions, Ice and Fire, Kneelers and free folk, Horselords and Lamb Men, the distinctions are symbolic as well as extremely obvious visually.  Crows and Ravens?  Not so much.

On 4/29/2018 at 6:46 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

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 breedingThis is what living in large cities does to humans.

The bolded is, I think, you projecting too much.  The scene shows the ordinary folk of King's Landing, warts and all, given licence to take pleasure in one of their betters being humiliated.  It's not pretty but nor is it some kind of social or political commentary about people degenerating into monsters.  It's how ordinary folk act when given opportunity to take some small revenge on someone deeply unpopular who lived an immeasurably better and privileged life and subjected them to hardship (don't forget the city nearly starved during the siege, Joffrey firing his crossbow off The Red Keep at people coming to beg for food or the riot where the High Septon was killed).  Cersei doesn't get to see poor people close up on the city streets or have people treating her like a commoner so it hits home with a vengeance in her pov.  And it's true she despises them ("Let them eat cake" to borrow from Marie Antoinette) but that says nothing about the author.

On 4/30/2018 at 3:45 PM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

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.

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...

I don't know.  Are we?  Magic is a sword without a hilt and now we have had a glimpse of the nature of the godhood of the old gods and what happens to greenseers when they are enthroned it looks grisly and frightening indeed.  But does that make it evil?  Magic has a price, we know that, Mel's shadowbabies, Arya seeing through the faces of dead people in her training in the House of Black and White, Mirri Maz Duur burning on the pyre to hatch Dany's dragons, the resurrections of Beric Dondarrion and Catelyn Stark.  It is meant to make us uncomfortable and if the cave appear dark and creepy to a child and gloomy and forboding then there is no surprise there: they are trapped underground in the root system with a near dead / symbiotic spirit guide!  That does not determine that it must be evil and a trap any more that Beric's creepiness implied he was evil.

On 4/30/2018 at 5:12 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

The description we get of Bloodraven was crafted to raise extreme red flags about this guy--he is a partially decomposed grisly talking corpse.

The man who was Lord Brynden is dead, and has been dead for a number of years.  His life force was drained by the weirwood and the desiccated corpse animated by the weirwood is all that remains. 

If Bran almost loses his identity after a few days of warging into Summer, what would being in the weirwood for ~50 years do to Bloodraven?  How much of him do we honestly think is left?

Is it?  Beric Dondarrion was resurrected six (seven?) times and looked like hell yet he worked to protect the smallfolk.  Catelyn Stark has mushrooms growing on her face.  There is a price to be paid for magic and just because a greenseer following the natural course of becoming one with the weirwoods at the end of his life (think of all the other dreamers further down in the cave) appears disturbing to us does not make it a red flag that something evil is afoot.  Just something we don't fully understand, like all of GRRM's religion or magic it is deliberately mysterious not clearly defined by rules or explained by processes.

He's not dead.  There has been a rather odd debate about whether he is or not but he appears to be going into the tree and this appears to be the fate of all the previous greenseers in the cave and how the weirwoods have eyes.  He still retains his consciousness and ability to speak but given his almost symbiotic state he is merging into the weirnet to become part of the collective / symbiotic / magical organism that is the "Old Gods" and that I doubt GRRM will ever explain how this works (if he knows himself, much better to leave it open and to the imagination).

On 5/1/2018 at 9:34 AM, White Ravens said:

I read it quite differently.  He's not dead, he's lingering.  He's not a corpse animated by the weirwood.  The merging of man and root isn't very pretty but I think that the roots are sustaining him and have been doing so for years, extending his lifetime decades beyond what men typically live, allowing him to observe more and learn more.

That's how I read it.  The roots have kept him alive but the price is his merging into the tree, a process still ongoing.

On 5/1/2018 at 3:39 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

Bloodraven's bodily processes have ceased, he is described as being dead 10 different ways.  Part of his face has rotted away, his skull shows through, and he has mushrooms and branches growing out of his head.  The weirwood is not sustaining him, it was robbing him--using him up, it is a vampiric parasite bleeding him dry.  (Just like the Undying wanted to do to Dany.)  Now the only thing keeping him "alive" is the weirwood roots running through him, and it supplies the bare minimum for any sort of functioning. "the last coal in a dead fire" "Most of him has gone into the tree."  Most, as in >50%, almost all, the majority of.  Only a small fraction of Brynden remains.  How long after Bran and company arrive at the cave is it until Bloodraven introduces himself as Brynden?  His personal identity almost gone.  He is more like a talking hand-puppet of the weirwood at this point, like the weirwood is doing an impersonation of Bloodraven.  He is a desiccated husk.

"Lord Brynden drew his life from the tree, Leaf told them. He did not eat, he did not drink. He slept, he dreamed, he watched."

And you conveniently avoided the text that suggests that just the mere fact of being in the network as long as he has been would have caused him to lose his identity to it. 

When Stoneheart and Beric get resurrected, what gets reanimated is not the same person that died, its vital processes have stopped, it is changed.  It is a zombie that has some of the memories of the host, but it is not the living person anymore.

GRRM has kept this all deliberately vague - as you have to do when dealing with magic and other impossible things.  Beric could and did die again a number of times, requiring Thoros to resurrect / reanimate him.  Whether you want to call him a fire zombie or a walking corpse is up to you.  Brynden has not actually died, his lifespan has been unnaturally lengthened by the roots of the tree however you want to try and rationalise or articulate that process and what it actually means but he is still alive if in an unusual way.  And the relationship is symbiotic not parasitic as he clearly gets something out of it - increased lifespan - and seems to fully understand and accept what is happening to him even if the reader cannot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2018 at 1:22 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

If Leaf was a native English speaker the phrase "he has lived" would indicate that the person being referenced is still alive.  If the person was dead they would say "he did live" or "he lived"  But I don't know how proficient she is in English, ESL speakers misuse phrases all the time.   Also, I think there is a difference between the CoTF's concept of death and ours.  Don't they all live second lives in the trees and birds? 

The second part "beyond his mortal span" indicates that he is dead.  There was his mortal span of life, that ended, now we are beyond that. 

The quote seems clear: "he has lived beyoned his mortal span"  is saying he has lived longer than his normal life span "and yet he lingers" makes it unambiguously clear he is still alive.  "For us, for you, for the realms of Men" is the reason he is lingering, the motivation for him to cling to life despite living longer than he should or ordinarily would.  "Only a little strength remains in his flesh" indicates he doesn't have much time left but he is still there.  If he was living a second life in the tree there would be no need for her to comment on the strength remaining in his flesh and that is a direct contradiction of a second life, it's still the magically / symbiotically elongated first life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×