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Heresy 210 and the Babes in the Wood

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7 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

Again, I am new, so I appreciate any explanations to my questions, however dumb they may be.

I understand that we think the ToJ isn’t what it seems, but why do we think it’s a sacrificial altar? Why do we think a child or children or anyone was ritually sacrificed there? I am not saying that it’s wrong but where in the canonical text are we led to this impression?

I’m at work now so I don’t have the time to go back into the whole theory now, so stick around here a bit and I’ll try later to get into my thought process a bit.  But to give you a teaser, it started as an attempt to answer the question as to why the Sphinx is the riddle not the riddler.

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19 minutes ago, Tucu said:

To complement the Moloch/bull/Hightower theme, we have the the bat of House Whent; in central american mythology they have Camazotz, a bat god associated with sacrifice, death and night. This god is also identified with the god of fire.

Yep and we don’t even have to look that far to connect a Harrenhal bat to child sacrifice

Quote

My old ma used to say that giant bats flew out from Harrenhal on moonless nights, to carry bad children to Mad Danelle for her cookpots.

 

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8 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I’m at work now so I don’t have the time to go back into the whole theory now, so stick around here a bit and I’ll try later to get into my thought process a bit.  But to give you a teaser, it started as an attempt to answer the question as to why the Sphinx is the riddle not the riddler.

Oh! How interesting. Thank you for taking the time to do that. Can't wait to read.

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

I've been beating this drum for a while now.  It's more of a furnace with a chimney.  There is a biblical parallel to the Caananite god, Moloch (depicted as a man with the head of a bull), the valley of Hinnom (a geographic parallel to the Prince's Pass in the Red Mountains where the tower of joy resides), and Gehenna.

Per Milton's Paradise Lost:

"Passing children through fire" seemed to be the common expression for child sacrifice back in the day.  The children were literally burned to death.  Now look where the tower of joy resides:  In the Prince's Pass.  Or in other words, where the prince is passed through fire.

 

1 hour ago, PrettyPig said:

It’s what the middle head is for.  Brilliant.

 

1 hour ago, PrettyPig said:

And believe it or not, this connects to both Bael (Ba’al) and Ashara Dayne.   Wow.

Replying to all three above. I agree with the symbolism as suggested. I just disagree that we're dealing with a single event, and I disagree with the location of the tower.

I think there was an attempt to resurrect Rhaegar after the three Kingsguard found his body in the Trident. They lifted him from the water and brought him inside his pavilion. I think the three Kingsguard had been out searching for him like Dany's bloodriders are currently searching for her at the end of Dance. I suspect Rhaella was with them, guarding her, as per Aerys orders. Rhaella was pregnant with Dany, but stayed outside the tent. She learned that lesson when Ser Duncan carried her outside the Summerhal tragedy. I think Ned arrived at the Trident after Rhaegar was already dead, came upon the resurrection ritual, and prevented its completion. The cremation would have followed, but not before Ned saw some pretty crazy shit like what Dany saw in the tent with Mirri, and then he continued on to Kings Landing. He arrives there also after the worst of the fighting happened, and sees the slaughter of the Sack.

I think the main takeaway from Ned's timing is that he avoided the Battle of the Bells. He arrived at the Trident after Rhaegar was already dead, so he should have avoided quite a bit of conflict. Then, he arrived at Kings Landing after the Sack. So when were his men killed?

I agree that child sacrifice had been a Targaryen practice, and that Aerys II was an ardent practitioner, but I am not so sure Rhaegar himself ever ordered it. I strongly suspect that the tower of joy wasn't in Dorne, but rather inside Kings Landing and part of the Red Keep. Rhaegar probably called it the tower of joy sardonically, because he knew what his father was doing inside it, and it may have been the biggest reason he wanted to overthrow his own father.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I agree that the use of "as it had been in life" is an indication that the events of the dream had similar elements, such as the faces of Ned's men. These were men that rode with Ned. He says that but he also says the years have leeched his memories.

The "leeched" comment is interesting in retrospect, since leeching brings to mind Roose Bolton, and Jon's tells us that he believes that Ned didn't trust Roose at all. I have toyed with the idea that Roose knows something of what went down with Ned and his companions. Something about leeches makes me think that part of Ned's memories were taken from (like Bran's memories of Jaime and Cersei and the push from the tower); Roose might not be involved, but I don't count him out, either.

 

2 hours ago, Lady Rhodes said:

We know that Rhaegar and Lyanna were together, either by force or as willing companions.

 

1 hour ago, Lady Rhodes said:

It’s heavily implied, but of course, it is implied as a kidnapping. I am of the opinion that it was a willing companions situation and that Rhaegar persuaded her to his line of thinking-I don’t know if they were in love or not, but I think it was a mutual agreement. 

Heavily implied is one of the biggest traps I think that GRRM is setting us up for in this story. Implication is not solid information by any means, and the text only gives us one time when Rhaegar and Lyanna are in the same location, and that is Harrenhal. The rest is what the fans  have created, me included, for a while. But then I really started to questions what was implied and what was in the text, and a whole lot of my head canon slide away, like Valyria into the sea.

The only time in the book that Lyanna is associated with Dorne is in the appendix of Game, as "died in the mountains of Dorne", but that appendix also gives us that Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are Robert's children, even when we know by the end of the story that this is not true.

Two short stories I read by GRRM several years ago that really opened my eyes to what he is capable of as far as implication and deception as a story teller are The Way of Cross and Dragon and This Tower of Ashes.  I have never looked at his work the same way again!

 

1 hour ago, PrettyPig said:
3 hours ago, St Daga said:

The burned clear comment from this dream is also interesting. One could consider that House Whent, House Hightower and House Dayne have some dragonblood in their veins, and the fact that their "faces burned clear" does make me wonder if these three men, if they were together, were actually sacrifices of some sort. Burning is an interesting modifier/adjective to use in this case, I think.

You may be on to something here.   Most people here have seen some form of my Mirri’s Tent / TOJ parallel essay or know the gist of it at least - that, broken down, these two events mirror each other.   

However, a continuation of that is in the aftermath- such as Ned tearing down the tower and Dany building hers....the huge PLATFORM on which she burns Drogo, Mirri, and herself, and then walks out with three newborn dragon babies.  

What if the tower of joy....wasn’t really a tower at all?    Or rather, it was a very specific TYPE of tower?

I now need a reread of Dany X, stat!

Perhaps this is something to consider, that what ever the toj was, it was only recently constructed, and therefore easy to pull down.  Dany's platform/tower burns mostly to ash (except for bits of bone and wood and ember), but her ritual was completed. Perhaps what Ned came across was never completed? And Dany uses what is available to her in the Dothraki sea, which is grass and some tree's and treasures that the Khalasar left behind, An alter in Dorne could be built with stones, as well as timber.

As to the idea of burned clear, "burned clear" is a phrase that is only used twice in the whole text of the five published novels, and it is used both times in Game. In Ned's toj fever dream, and in Jon IV, when he and Sam are looking up at the wall.

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The Wall loomed before them, glimmering palely in the light of the half moon. In the sky above, the stars burned clear and sharp. "Are they going to make me go up there?" Sam asked. His face curdled like old milk as he looked at the great wooden stairs. "I'll die if I have to climb that."

There is something important in the star's burning clear, and that it is Jon's observation and Sam is with Jon at this time. And Ghost! Early in our story, we are told that ice and cold can burn, and the eyes of the Other's and wights "burn" blue! This will sound crack pot, I am sure, but were the eyes of the three "kingsguard" (if they were there) burning blue? Ned does give us reference in his dream to "blue like the eyes of death". SAD was supposedly holding a sword that seems to resemble what we think the Other's carry, and both the kingsguard and the Other's are referred to as white shadows! And Ghost!

 

1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

Interesting.  Then why would Ned kill them to stop them?  Just let them sacrifice themselves.  Unless of course there was to be a fourth (or fifth, or sixth?) sacrifice, like Dany who voluntarily walked into the fire.  Of course a babe, can't exactly consent to that could he or she?

Perhaps to stop them so whatever they are trying to accomplish will fail! It's possible there are more sacrifices needed but my guess is that Ned wanted to stop what might be happening, even if he didn't fully understand it. It's  just something I am putting together in my head. Honestly, until earlier, it never occurred to me that the kingsguard could be a sacrifice, I always assumed it was children, if a sacrifice was needed. But children are not necessarily what we see in Drogo's pyre, so perhaps the age of the subject doesn't matter, but something else. It's a very loose working thought in my head... And truly, MMD and Dany were the only living people in Drogo's fire, so the sacrifice might have been what happened outside of Drogo's tent, and that involved more than three deaths, I think, and was mostly unsuccessful, since Drogo was not reborn in the way Dany intended. Maybe it's several steps to building the perfect sacrifice... I am rambling now...

 

1 hour ago, PrettyPig said:

I don’t think it was themselves they were sacrificing.   

George has been trolling us this whole time with his misleading description.  The TOJ isn’t a tower in the traditional sense...it’s a freaking sacrificial altar.  A round one, probably multi-level, made of stone.

This is a great thought, but why would Ned think that Rhaegar called it the tower of joy? Rhaegar was dead at this point, or as far as we know. Perhaps it was called this a part of plans that Rhaegar had put in motion long before his death? Or perhaps this is a clue to us that Rhaegar was not dead?

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3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The account of Ned's fever dream comes after he and his men were attacked by Jaime and his men after coming out of Chataya's brothel. The details of this attack show up in his fever dream, most notably his last waking vision of the Red Keep walls turning red with blood. I have no doubt that some of Ned's men died at the tower of joy. What I do doubt is the location of the tower, and that the Kingsguard and Lyanna were there.

Ned's fever dream is a combination of multiple events. Some that happened early on in the Rebellion, some that happened afterward, and some that occurred immediately before he's injured by Jaime. Add a little symbolism into the mix and you get the dream.

Ned does having waking moments where he's comparing the details of the "old" dream to real life, and I've said this many times before: the men at the tower of joy were not Kingsguard - they were just ordinary men. You seem to be willing to discard details that don't make sense to you, like strapping Lyanna's dead corpse to his horse - which I might point out isn't even in the dream nor even in his waking thoughts, but you need to push away what I'm going to call the "concluding-fill-in-the-blanks thoughts" and focus strictly on the text, which are:

Five of Ned's men died - one of which that Ned continuously names is Martyn Cassel, but the rest of the named men may not have perished at the tower of joy with Martyn as indicated by Ned's thoughts that he knew their faces as well as his own once, but the years leech at a man's memories: 

 

That 3 ordinary men at the tower of joy died. Ned said his men faced three ordinary men, but in his dream they were not ordinary.

 

Ned's fever dream ends with his sword fight with Arthur being interrupted by Lyanna's scream of "Eddard", and then he is awoken by Vayon Poole. The dream doesn't actually include any details about pulling the tower down, nor making the cairns. What I find extremely interesting is that no where in the text does anyone have any waking recollection where the tower of joy is located. We assume it's in Dorne in the red mountains, because that's where it's located in Ned's dream, but remember his last waking thought was of the Red Keep's walls turning red with blood. Having the Red Keep turn red with blood is an obvious nod to the Sack of Kings Landing where there was a great slaughter of people who were tricked into opening the gates. 

When Ned thinks of Martyn Cassel being "buried far to the south" we are tempted to believe this means south of where Ned is currently sitting in Kings Landing, but the context is about where to bury Rory Cassel. Ned said Rory would want to be buried at Winterfell with his grandfather, because obviously is father is buried further south than Winterfell.

 

GRRM has written a magic trick - a slight of hand that persuades the reader to follow a misdirect. Magic tricks look implausible, but there are real hidden things going on in the background while our attention is diverted. 

This is brilliant.

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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

Yep and we don’t even have to look that far to connect a Harrenhal bat to child sacrifice

 

And there is one more to complete the trio. Arthur Dayne the Sword of the Morning and his link with the Morning Star ceremony of the Pawnee that involved child sacrifice (the last known case in 1838)

Edited by Tucu

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42 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I think the main takeaway from Ned's timing is that he avoided the Battle of the Bells. He arrived at the Trident after Rhaegar was already dead, so he should have avoided quite a bit of conflict. Then, he arrived at Kings Landing after the Sack. So when were his men killed?

Ned and his men were at the Battle of the Bells.

Quote

 

Stoney Sept was the biggest town Arya had seen since King's Landing, and Harwin said her father had won a famous battle here.
 
"The Mad King's men had been hunting Robert, trying to catch him before he could rejoin your father," he told her as they rode toward the gate. "He was wounded, being tended by some friends, when Lord Connington the Hand took the town with a mighty force and started searching house by house. Before they could find him, though, Lord Eddard and your grandfather came down on the town and stormed the walls. Lord Connington fought back fierce. They battled in the streets and alleys, even on the rooftops, and all the septons rang their bells so the smallfolk would know to lock their doors. Robert came out of hiding to join the fight when the bells began to ring. He slew six men that day, they say. One was Myles Mooton, a famous knight who'd been Prince Rhaegar's squire. He would have slain the Hand too, but the battle never brought them together. Connington wounded your grandfather Tully sore, though, and killed Ser Denys Arryn, the darling of the Vale. But when he saw the day was lost, he flew off as fast as the griffins on his shield. The Battle of the Bells, they called it after. Robert always said your father won it, not him." ASOS-Arya V

 

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And so he swept down on Stoney Sept, closed off the town, and began a search. His knights went house to house, smashed in every door, peered into every cellar. He had even sent men crawling through the sewers, yet somehow Robert still eluded him. The townsfolk were hiding him. They moved him from one secret bolt-hole to the next, always one step ahead of the king's men. The whole town was a nest of traitors. At the end they had the usurper hidden in a brothel. What sort of king was that, who would hide behind the skirts of women? Yet whilst the search dragged on, Eddard Stark and Hoster Tully came down upon the town with a rebel army. Bells and battle followed, and Robert emerged from his brothel with a blade in hand, and almost slew Jon on the steps of the old sept that gave the town its name. ADWD-The Grffin Reborn

And I think Ned arrived at the Ruby Ford after Robert had killed Rhaegar, but he didn't miss the Battle of the Trident. The rebel force more than likely engaged at the same time, but Robert and Ned would have been commanding men from different locations of the battle.

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They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer stove in the dragon and the chest beneath it. When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor. AGOT-Eddard I

Quote

"Mercy is never a mistake, Lord Renly," Ned replied. "On the Trident, Ser Barristan here cut down a dozen good men, Robert's friends and mine. When they brought him to us, grievously wounded and near death, Roose Bolton urged us to cut his throat, but your brother said, 'I will not kill a man for loyalty, nor for fighting well,' and sent his own maester to tend Ser Barristan's wounds." He gave the king a long cool look. "Would that man were here today." AGOT-Eddard VIII

Perhaps the Battle of the Trident is where Ned's friends died at, though! The friends he views as wraiths in his toj dream.

 

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 The worst part of this is that all this deep analysis won't be resolved and we can turn, slice and dice each sentence upside down and backwards again forever. 

And when it doesn't get resolved the magic of the author becomes a failure to most and a feast for freaks to few.

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40 minutes ago, alienarea said:

This is brilliant.

Thank you kind Ser, I try to adhere as close to the text as I can, but I often make mistakes just as St Data has pointed out to me below. But, before I get to that, I want to add why I think Ned's fever dream inserts Dorne as being the location of the tower of joy: it's because Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon were slaughtered in Maegor's holdfast, the real tower of joy. Notice that GRRM doesn't capitalize the name in the text. If it was an actual tower in the Prince's Pass he'd capitalize it as The Tower of Joy - not the tower of joy.

King Maegor I was a cruel man who  craved violence, death, and absolute mastery over all he deemed his. His savagery in the field and his harshness toward defeated enemies was frequently remarked upon. He had six wives, with the last three known as the Black Brides. Isn't that interesting that Maegor and his six wives make seven in the tower, with three of them known as Black Brides? Also notable is how Maegor's physique is described as "bull-like". After the completion of the tower named after him, he killed everyone who had labored on it.

Quotes listed in the wiki about Maegor:

Maegor, the First of His Name, came to the throne after the sudden death of his brother, King Aenys, in the year 42 AC. He is better remembered as Maegor the Cruel, and it was a well-earned sobriquet, for no crueler king ever sat the Iron Throne. His reign began with blood and ended in blood as well.[4]

—writings of Maester Yandel

What demon possessed him none could say. Even today, some give thanks that his tyranny was a short one, for who knows how many noble houses might have vanished forever simply to state his desire.

—writings of Maester Yandel

Aegon the Conqueror had commanded it built. His son Maegor the Cruel had seen it completed. Afterward he had taken the heads of every stonemason, woodworker, and builder who had labored on it. Only the blood of the dragon would ever know the secrets of the fortress the Dragonlords had built, he vowed.

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

King Maegor wanted no rats in his own walls, if you take my meaning. He did require a means of secret egress, should he ever be trapped by his enemies, but that door does not connect with any other passages.

—Varys to Tyrion Lannister

What did she care what Maegor the Cruel had decreed three hundred years ago? Instead of taking the swords out of the hands of the faithful, he should have used them for his own ends.[23]

—thoughts of Cersei Lannister

 

Maegor's holdfast was where Cersei took refuge with all the women of the Red Keep during the Battle of the Blackwater, but she also has Ser Illyn guard the door, so that he could execute the women instead of the enemy breaching the tower and doing worse things, like rape and torture before death. Maegor's holdfast is a castle within a castle, complete with it's own moat and drawbridge. It is my suspicion that Ned had PTSD from what occurred at Maegor's holdfast during the Sack.

 

33 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Ned and his men were at the Battle of the Bells.

And I think Ned arrived at the Ruby Ford after Robert had killed Rhaegar, but he didn't miss the Battle of the Trident. The rebel force more than likely engaged at the same time, but Robert and Ned would have been commanding men from different locations of the battle.

Perhaps the Battle of the Trident is where Ned's friends died at, though! The friends he views as wraiths in his toj dream.

 

Thank you for correcting me before my thoughts went any further down that road for Ned and his men. He was Robert's van, so I should have been more careful and reviewed the various battles before stating that he avoided serious conflict. I want to reread the passages that you've supplied along with what is known about Maegor I, because I think I saw a few parallels to the Rebellion while I was skimming the wiki, and I want to compare what's in the books before presenting anything further about it.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

think there was an attempt to resurrect Rhaegar after the three Kingsguard found his body in the Trident. They lifted him from the water and brought him inside his pavilion. I think the three Kingsguard had been out searching for him like Dany's bloodriders are currently searching for her at the end of Dance. I suspect Rhaella was with them, guarding her, as per Aerys orders. Rhaella was pregnant with Dany, but stayed outside the tent. She learned that lesson when Ser Duncan carried her outside the Summerhal tragedy. I think Ned arrived at the Trident after Rhaegar was already dead, came upon the resurrection ritual, and prevented its completion. The cremation would have followed, but not before Ned saw some pretty crazy shit like what Dany saw in the tent with Mirri, and then he continued on to Kings Landing. He arrives there also after the worst of the fighting happened, and sees the slaughter of the Sack.

And although I disagree with the timing of your scenario somewhat, I actually agree with the premise of Rhaegar being removed from the Trident.    In fact, there is some pretty wild GRRM Fun With  Mirrors textual evidence to confirm it, too.     And long have I yearned for an UnRhaegar scenario to unfold, too, so if there’s even a .001% chance that this could happen, I am going to find it and be all over it.  LOL    Lo and behold, I did find a potential route for that scenario, and I’m still eyeballing Saltpans as the mechanism for this to even be possible – how many times have I yapped about the various historical uses of salt?   Oh, and while I agree that there was a pregnant woman involved in whatever ritual was going down, I don’t think it was *Rhaella*.

1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

I agree that child sacrifice had been a Targaryen practice, and that Aerys II was an ardent practitioner, but I am not so sure Rhaegar himself ever ordered it. I strongly suspect that the tower of joy wasn't in Dorne, but rather inside Kings Landing and part of the Red Keep. Rhaegar probably called it the tower of joy sardonically, because he knew what his father was doing inside it, and it may have been the biggest reason he wanted to overthrow his own father.

Won’t disagree with this, either – in fact, I am thinking of that weird place in the Red Keep that has the Targaryen sigil in mosaic on the floor, plus the areas of the Black Cells that Tyrion isn’t allowed to see, with the braziers and all that.    Aerys (and maybe some long before Aerys) was up to no good down in the dark places.

52 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Perhaps this is something to consider, that what ever the toj was, it was only recently constructed, and therefore easy to pull down.  Dany's platform/tower burns mostly to ash (except for bits of bone and wood and ember), but her ritual was completed. Perhaps what Ned came across was never completed? And Dany uses what is available to her in the Dothraki sea, which is grass and some tree's and treasures that the Khalasar left behind, An alter in Dorne could be built with stones, as well as timber.

I suspect the opposite –I keep referring to the Mirri Tent / TOJ comparision as a parallel, but if you read through the whole thing (whichever version, I’ve dumped it all over by now) it is actually full of inversions/opposites...following the series motif of „The first door on the right...is the last door on the left!“     Anyway, Dany’s funeral pyre platform is, like you say, constructed hastily in situ of materials happenstance lying around – the inverse of this, however, is a structure far more solid and stable that has been around a long time.     I am wondering if perhaps this was a sacred Targaryen happy place, specifically constructed for their weird ritual dragon voodoo.      It may not have been in service for a while, but Rhaegar had plans to fix that.

54 minutes ago, St Daga said:

There is something important in the star's burning clear, and that it is Jon's observation and Sam is with Jon at this time. And Ghost! Early in our story, we are told that ice and cold can burn, and the eyes of the Other's and wights "burn" blue! This will sound crack pot, I am sure, but were the eyes of the three "kingsguard" (if they were there) burning blue? Ned does give us reference in his dream to "blue like the eyes of death". SAD was supposedly holding a sword that seems to resemble what we think the Other's carry, 

 

Oooh, I like the association with „burning clear“ and the blue eyes of the Others!    It also possibly changes the meaning of „these were no ordinary three“...nothing ordinary about wight KG!!

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1 hour ago, St Daga said:

There is something important in the star's burning clear, and that it is Jon's observation and Sam is with Jon at this time. And Ghost! Early in our story, we are told that ice and cold can burn, and the eyes of the Other's and wights "burn" blue! This will sound crack pot, I am sure, but were the eyes of the three "kingsguard" (if they were there) burning blue? Ned does give us reference in his dream to "blue like the eyes of death". SAD was supposedly holding a sword that seems to resemble what we think the Other's carry, and both the kingsguard and the Other's are referred to as white shadows! And Ghost!

If you want to go full crackpot on the ToJ dream, notice that a Stark is commanding 6 shadows that fight with shadow swords. Like the shadow assassins or the white shadows.

Quote

Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.

“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow

This is from Renly's assasination:

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"I do not know. Sorcery, some dark magic, there was a shadow, a shadow." Her own voice sounded wild and crazed to her, but the words poured out in a rush as the blades continued to clash behind her. "A shadow with a sword, I swear it, I saw. Are you blind, the girl loved him! Help her!"

And this is from the AGoT prologue:

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A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees.

 

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If its page 22 its time to move on to Heresy 211, [and if you're up for it to continue the present conversation] but before we go I'll just stick my couple of cents in.

As you know I prefer to shy away from over-analysis.

GRRM has warned that dreams are rarely literal and that this one was also a fever dream by implication even less literal

Think about how our own dreams work. As some of you know I used to be in the army. It was a long time ago but I used to have an old dream which sometimes had me waking up shouting. I'm not going to go into the details but it featured a vivid memory of something that really happened, only in the dream it was transposed to a different [but equally familiar] location entirely. This kind of displacement I find is common in dreams with the geography and the chronology of events being screwed.

I won't quote Lord Eddard's dream again in detail cos you know it well enough, but there are three quite different elements.

There is the fight. Given his waking input I see no reason to challenge this as a memory, but as I've argued before its a memory of a pre-arranged rendezvous in which the tower was simply a landmark at which to meet. The words were said and the outcome was as bloodily pointless and futile as he remembered.

Lyanna's death was as he remembered it and there is a connection but there's no reason at all and plenty of reasons otherwise to suppose that she didn't die in the tower.

Similarly, the business of the cairns no doubt happened but it didn't need to happen five minutes after Ser Arthur Dayne breathed his last. It could more plausibly have been done later and perhaps even after Lord Eddard had visited Starfall.

The point being that all three are true but may not have happened at the same time and in the order dreamed by Lord Eddard.

And a final thought on those lines. Eddard was reluctant to fight and evidently held Ser Arthur Dayne in high regard - but why? They may have met at Harrenhal but there is no evidence of an attachment prior to the war, and despite his slaying Ser Arthur the Daynes seem far more kindly disposed to Lord Eddard than the mere returning of his sword would justify.

So shuffle the pack. Lyanna dies as he remembers. The promise or at least one of the promises, concerned Jon's father - Ser Arthur - which Lord Eddord broke by later slaying him in that rencounter by the Tower. Afterwards, after Starfall and whatever befell Ashara and her child, The fateful tower was torn down and the cairns were built in memory.

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37 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Won’t disagree with this, either – in fact, I am thinking of that weird place in the Red Keep that has the Targaryen sigil in mosaic on the floor, plus the areas of the Black Cells that Tyrion isn’t allowed to see, with the braziers and all that.    Aerys (and maybe some long before Aerys) was up to no good down in the dark places.

Is it possible that these places are in the lower levels of Maegor's holdfast? That's where all the secrets are - the completion of which marked the laborers for death.

I think when Ned goes to see Robert in his bloody bed inside the royal apartments in Maegor's Holdfast - it's a replay of when Ned arrived during the Sack. There were three Kingsguard guarding Robert. Ser Boros Blount guarded the far end of the bridge. Ser Preston Greenfield stood at the bottom of the steps, and Ser Barristan Selmy waited at the door of the king’s bedchamber. Is it possible that while Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Armory Lorch were scaling the tower, that Hightower, Dayne, and Whent were in the same positions as Blount, Greenfield, and Selmy?

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Welp, if we’re going to talk shadows and sacrifice, sounds like it might be time to unload some of my crazy-in-progress about Rhaegar and Stannis.    Will save for the new thread.

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

And there is one more to complete the trio. Arthur Dayne the Sword of the Morning and his link with the Morning Star ceremony of the Pawnee that involved child sacrifice (the last known case in 1838)

Oh wow.  I was completely unaware of this one.  My knowledge of Native American rituals and mythology isn’t great.  But yea, this fits last like a glove.  Good find.

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52 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Thank you for correcting me before my thoughts went any further down that road for Ned and his men. He was Robert's van, so I should have been more careful and reviewed the various battles before stating that he avoided serious conflict. I want to reread the passages that you've supplied along with what is known about Maegor I, because I think I saw a few parallels to the Rebellion while I was skimming the wiki, and I want to compare what's in the books before presenting anything further about it.

Harwin's conversation with Arya was fresh in my mind, as I read it just a couple weeks ago. It's a lot of text to remember and sometimes when I read back through something, I am surprised that the text doesn't seem to say what I think it said before! If that makes any sense...

46 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Won’t disagree with this, either – in fact, I am thinking of that weird place in the Red Keep that has the Targaryen sigil in mosaic on the floor, plus the areas of the Black Cells that Tyrion isn’t allowed to see, with the braziers and all that.    Aerys (and maybe some long before Aerys) was up to no good down in the dark places.

This?

Quote

And all for naught. They found only darkness, dust, and rats. And dragons, lurking down below. He remembered the sullen orange glow of the coals in the irondragon's mouth. The brazier warmed a chamber at the bottom of a shaft where half a dozen tunnels met. On the floor he'd found a scuffed mosaic of the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen done in tiles of black and red. I know you, Kingslayer, the beast seemed to be saying. I have been here all the time, waiting for you to come to me. And it seemed to Jaime that he knew that voice, the iron tones that had once belonged to Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone. AFFC-Jaime I

This is a good find. Why is their a brazier that looks like a dragon at the bottom of a shaft? Creepy, now that I am thinking about child sacrifice by fire, but this passage never really caught my attention before.

51 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Anyway, Dany’s funeral pyre platform is, like you say, constructed hastily in situ of materials happenstance lying around – the inverse of this, however, is a structure far more solid and stable that has been around a long time.     I am wondering if perhaps this was a sacred Targaryen happy place, specifically constructed for their weird ritual dragon voodoo.      It may not have been in service for a while, but Rhaegar had plans to fix that.

Are you thinking this place in in the Red Keep? Or somewhere outside of the Red Keep?

52 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Oooh, I like the association with „burning clear“ and the blue eyes of the Others!    It also possibly changes the meaning of „these were no ordinary three“...nothing ordinary about wight KG!!

It does seem like quite a contradiction, though. This idea of the Others and blue eyes that burn really bring to mind the ice aspect of our story, but that contradicts with what we know of Targaryen rituals and fire. But, if you throw MMD's song into the mix of blue eyes and fire, then you get a form of a song of ice and fire. Which is what Dany see's when she looks upon Rhaegar and baby Aegon. So, does this hint that baby Aegon was meant to be THE sacrifice of all sacrifices?

30 minutes ago, Tucu said:

If you want to go full crackpot on the ToJ dream, notice that a Stark is commanding 6 shadows that fight with shadow swords. Like the shadow assassins or the white shadows.

Quote

Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.

“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow

This is from Renly's assasination:

Quote

"I do not know. Sorcery, some dark magic, there was a shadow, a shadow." Her own voice sounded wild and crazed to her, but the words poured out in a rush as the blades continued to clash behind her. "A shadow with a sword, I swear it, I saw. Are you blind, the girl loved him! Help her!"

And this is from the AGoT prologue:

Quote

A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees.

 

I actually do have some thoughts on the similarities in the toj and prologue scenes. I have a growing pile of sticky notes with some wild ideas! :D

22 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Welp, if we’re going to talk shadows and sacrifice, sounds like it might be time to unload some of my crazy-in-progress about Rhaegar and Stannis.    Will save for the new thread.

Sounds fun!

 

24 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I think when Ned goes to see Robert in his bloody bed inside the royal apartments in Maegor's Holdfast - it's a replay of when Ned arrived during the Sack. There were three Kingsguard guarding Robert. Ser Boros Blount guarded the far end of the bridge. Ser Preston Greenfield stood at the bottom of the steps, and Ser Barristan Selmy waited at the door of the king’s bedchamber. Is it possible that while Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Armory Lorch were scaling the tower, that Hightower, Dayne, and Whent were in the same positions as Blount, Greenfield, and Selmy?

At the Red Keep? Certainly we see this imagery repeated in the toj dream and when Ned approaches Robert's "king" chamber. But Rhaegar was never king. So, could someone have tried to revive Aerys? Who would want to do this?

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3 minutes ago, St Daga said:
30 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I think when Ned goes to see Robert in his bloody bed inside the royal apartments in Maegor's Holdfast - it's a replay of when Ned arrived during the Sack. There were three Kingsguard guarding Robert. Ser Boros Blount guarded the far end of the bridge. Ser Preston Greenfield stood at the bottom of the steps, and Ser Barristan Selmy waited at the door of the king’s bedchamber. Is it possible that while Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Armory Lorch were scaling the tower, that Hightower, Dayne, and Whent were in the same positions as Blount, Greenfield, and Selmy?

At the Red Keep? Certainly we see this imagery repeated in the toj dream and when Ned approaches Robert's "king" chamber. But Rhaegar was never king. So, could someone have tried to revive Aerys? Who would want to do this?

King Aerys was holding Elia and her children hostage. If anyone commanded the Kingsguard to do anything it would have been to guard Elia and her children. No one was trying to revive Aerys. And Rhaegar was dead already at the Trident. The two events were separate. Rhaegar died at the Trident. Initially i was thinking the three Kingsguard lifted Rhaegar from the water, but it could have been other men just like men from the khalisar became Dany's bloodriders after Drogo's cremation. My thoughts are now changing to a new theory that Hightower, Dayne, and Whent were guarding Elia and her children who were locked in the royal apartments of Maegor's Holdfast. Ned and his men had to cut through the Kingsguard in an effort to save Elia and her children from Gregor and Armory. He couldn't save them just like he couldn't save his sister.

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