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Heresy 212 The Wolves

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 Welcome to Heresy 212, the latest version of the long-running and sometimes rather quirky thread where we take an in-depth look at the story and in particular what GRRM has referred to as the real conflict, not the Game of Thrones, but the Song of Ice and Fire and the true nature of apparent threat which lies in the North, hidden in the Haunted Forest and those magical Otherlands which lie beyond the Wall.

 The thread is called Heresy because with The Wall, the Watch and a Heresy, back in 2011, we miserable heretics were the first to challenge the orthodoxy that the Wall is the last best hope of mankind; to question whether the three-fingered tree-huggers really are the kindly elves Bran once thought them to be and above all question also the popular assumption that Jon Snow is some bloke prophesied way out east and known there as Azor Ahai, who is going to ride out of the sunrise on a dragon, save the world by immolating the Icy lot and then ascend the Iron Throne to reign over dust and ashes. Instead we’re increasingly wondering whether the Starks theselves might have a rather dark [but forgotten] secret in their past, which some of us are beginning to suspect may be tall and gaunt, with characteristic long Stark faces and are very very cold. Winter after all is coming and it aint going to be pretty when it does.

 We don’t all of us agree on this, or anything else for that matter, but as a free-ranging discussion group within Westeros we can safely claim to have been around for a while now and discussed an awful lot of stuff over the years since the thread cycle started in late 2011. Some of the ideas have been overtaken by events and some seemingly confirmed by GRRM’s increasingly sparse SSMs and by the earlier stages of the mummers’ version before it firmly moved into weird fan-fiction.

 However GRRM has also told us that when it comes to writing he is very much a gardener and this thread cycle follows that style, preferring the discussion to be free-ranging and organic in nature rather than fixed in tram lines.

 So dig in, enjoy yourself and if it comes to a fight just remember the local house rules; stick to the written text, have respect for the ideas of others and above all conduct the debate with great good humour.

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So if the wolves know, why do they know? Are they in direct communion with the Wood, because we're being given to believe that it doesn't see time as linear. If that is how the wolves know we're not talking about predicting the future but knowing what is happening and what threats must be opposed

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16 hours ago, JNR said:

Summer is a direwolf, to whom no one has told any prophecies... but there he is, howling his lungs out for no apparent reason. 

What's his motive?

To turn this around, do you think Cersei would have worried about Maggy the Frog's prophecy if she had never met Maggy the Frog or heard the prophecy?

1) How does Summer know how to bark at animals or how to hunt ? Maybe the explanation "it's in his nature" is a bit sloppy. But I see the direwolves more a magic beings, magic made flesh if you will. 

"Grey Wind was restless too," Robb said. His auburn hair had grown shaggy and unkempt, and a reddish stubble covered his jaw, making him look older than his fifteen years. "Sometimes I think they know things … sense things …" Robb sighed. "I never know how much to tell you, Bran. I wish you were older."

2) the motive ? I think, as with most direwolf barking, he wants to warn of danger. 

3) of course she would not have worried. But that is the thing with prophecies. Can they be avoided ? Isn't Cersei knowing about the prophecy already part of the future the prophecy tells ? If nobody knows about a prophecy, will it still happen ? It is a bit of a chicken - egg problem and a bit of "does a tree make a sound when he falls and nobody is around to hear it ?"

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I have another "philosophical" question: If a female human is skinchanged by another human, let's say a woman is skingchanged by another woman and the skinchanged woman gets pregnat: who's child is it ? In the weird world of GRRM I can see a story around Lyanna skinchange Elia or Ashara and then get pregnant and deliver the child. Or the other way around, although I do not know who the femals skinchanger would be in that case. 

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I can't explain why, but the wolves do seem to have a reaction when Lannister's are near or involved. Summer before Bran's fall, Ghost with Tyrion when Jon first meets him is rather odd, uncertain and wary are the words Jon uses to describe him. Summer, Grey Wind and Shaggy when Tyrion returns to Winterfell, Nymeria with Joffrey, Grey Wind is quite ferocious in battle and is rumored to have eaten Stafford Lannister's heart, then we have Grey Wind just prior to the Red Wedding, which is a Lannister plot put into action by the Frey's it seems. There is something about those direwolves and the Lannister lion's that involves some unforeseen friction. Lady is the only wolf who has no incident with the Lannister's (except her killing ordered by Cersei) but Sansa was also blind to the shine of the Lannister golden family. Cersei also has some concept that the wolves are a problem for her family and perhaps that goes back to the howling of the direwolves?

Perhaps it's a premonition that the wolves have, perhaps it's because the wolves know about the wheel that keeps turning, (if indeed their is a Wheel of Time happening here, which certainly seems like the case), or perhaps there is some knowledge that we haven't been given yet that will tie it all together.

 

 

Bringing the above post from St Daga over here so that I have a chance to respond.

GRRM said one of the major conflicts of Lannister versus Stark is inspired by the real life War of the Roses - the struggle for power between two branches of House Plantagenet of Lancaster and York. To me it's quite obvious why the wolves react with such viciousness to the Lannisters - it's because they are responsible for Lyanna's kidnapping, and for orchestrating the whole Rebellion!

During the War of the Roses there was a man - Warwick the Kingmaker. His given name was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury, who was originally on the side of York, but switched to the Lancaster side, and who was instrumental in the deposition of two kings. Warwick was the wealthiest and most powerful English peer of his age, with political connections that went beyond the country's borders. I believe GRRM's Kingmaker is Tywin Lannister. Ah, some day when the next book or two is finally published (we all hope) you will look back and realize that the evidence was there all along. :cool4:

Thank you Tucu for providing the link to my thread - The Wildlings are the Others, which Fattest Leach basically created in order to rid me from her own thread Nymeria is Poised to Return:blushing:

Edited by Feather Crystal

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The current generation of Starks is not the first to have wolves. But do we know how far back this stopped?  We assume Ned never had one, but do we even know that? 

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Probably nothing to do with wolves, but someone was asking about Waymar's sword:

https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/76yb7o/spoilers_extended_dance_with_me_then_the_fate_of/

 

The sword itself is nothing special.  The question is what happened to it between the GOT prologue and ADOD prologue, if this is in fact the same sword.

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7 hours ago, SirArthur said:

the motive ? I think, as with most direwolf barking, he wants to warn of danger

Well, we certainly agree about that. 

I'm just saying that quite unlike Cersei -- who demonstrates a clear cause --> effect sequence -- Summer evidently knows things in that scene that he simply has no way to know.  He is howling at nothing, whereas Cersei is reacting to a prophecy of doom that was told to her face.

For me, it's also clear that Summer is warning Bran, not encouraging Bran.  He never howled at Bran as Bran climbed before, or Bran would be used to it and not feel a "strange chill."

Then we have the bit about Ghost that Matthew pointed out. Ghost simply does not like the Fist before the attack on the Watch.  There is, just as with Summer, no evident explanation.  Jon finds it puzzling and I think this is GRRM's way of telling us perhaps we should be puzzled too. 

But after the attack, when Jon and Mance visit the site, Ghost is fine going onto the Fist.  From ASOS: 

Quote

Ghost padded beside their garrons as Jon and Ygritte descended the Fist.

So it appears to me that Ghost knew in some extraordinary way that this was a site where No Good Was About To Happen... but once it happens, he also knows the danger is in the past.

21 hours ago, Black Crow said:

So if the wolves know, why do they know? Are they in direct communion with the Wood, because we're being given to believe that it doesn't see time as linear.

If they do have information from this source (and weirwoods do seem a likely source of such information, don't they? -- recall Jaime rescued Brienne because of his prophetic dream on a weirwood pillow), it's probably incomplete and confusing... much as it is with human prescience. 

Lady shows no sign of having a clue what Ned is going to do to her, or fear of that physical area, and Grey Wind might have howled on sight of the Twins, especially when Robb returns, but he didn't do that, either.

So perhaps what makes Ghost and Summer special in this area is that they are better at interpreting foreknowledge (which might be related to Ghost having his eyes open before the other pups).

Edited by JNR

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2 minutes ago, JNR said:

Lady shows no sign of having a clue what Ned is going to do to her,

This, also, probably foreshadows Sansa, who similarly does not seem to understand what GRRM may well be gearing up to do to her.  She lags far behind her siblings in comprehending the reality in which she lives.

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Bringing the above post from St Daga over here so that I have a chance to respond.

GRRM said one of the major conflicts of Lannister versus Stark is inspired by the real life War of the Roses - the struggle for power between two branches of House Plantagenet of Lancaster and York. To me it's quite obvious why the wolves react with such viciousness to the Lannisters - it's because they are responsible for Lyanna's kidnapping, and for orchestrating the whole Rebellion!

During the War of the Roses there was a man - Warwick the Kingmaker. His given name was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury, who was originally on the side of York, but switched to the Lancaster side, and who was instrumental in the deposition of two kings. Warwick was the wealthiest and most powerful English peer of his age, with political connections that went beyond the country's borders. I believe GRRM's Kingmaker is Tywin Lannister. Ah, some day when the next book or two is finally published (we all hope) you will look back and realize that the evidence was there all along. :cool4:

If Lyanna's spirit did somehow send the wolf pup's to  Ned's children, this does make some sense. I don't doubt that Tywin could have orchestrated the events leading up to Robert's rebellion. And even been behind what we know of Lyanna's kidnapping. It seems possible. I do hesitate to believe that Robert had anything to do with Lyanna's kidnapping, but you might convince me yet! :D So, IF Lyanna sent the wolf pup's, then it stands to reason that she might communicate a level of Lannister distrust to the wolves. But it is also possible that she might not have sent the pups.

All of those incidents with the dire wolves v Lannister happened in the first book except for Robb's Red Wedding situation, so it seems that GRRM was not messing around with the foreshadowing in book 1. Almost heavy handed, which does give me a moment to pause. Is it TOO much? He also has a level of misleading us (and his characters) and so I wonder if it's possible that whatever guides the wolf pup's could be trying to help stir up trouble between Stark and Lannister, not just warn of it? Or sending a completely wrong message to the Stark's about the Lannisters?

 

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13 minutes ago, JNR said:

For me, it's also clear that Summer is warning Bran, not encouraging Bran.  He never howled at Bran as Bran climbed before, or Bran would be used to it and not feel a "strange chill."

We don't have any idea how often Bran climbed and we have no textual information that tells us that Summer saw Bran climb before this incident the day of the fall/push. 

Quote

He hadn't been up to the broken tower for weeks with everything that had happened, and this might be his last chance. AGOT-Bran II

So it's possible this might have been the first time that Bran was climbing since they got the direwolf pups.

And while Summer might not have encouraged Bran's climb, the wording "the howling chased him all the way up the tree" is kind of odd. Chased as in pursued? Why chased as opposed to followed?

Chase is sometimes used as a way to describe animals that are hunted.

It also seems like Summer's howling only is noted while Bran is climbing the sentinel tree. Does the howling stop after Bran reaches the castle wall and towers?  Bran doesn't it mention after he is out of the tree. Howling is mentioned three times in the chapter. The first two times are when Bran is climbing the tree, and the third and final time, after Bran falls, we are told "somewhere off in the distance, a wolf was howling. Crows circled the broken tower, waiting for corn", but we aren't told that the howling comes from Summer. Probably, but maybe not.

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29 minutes ago, St Daga said:

If Lyanna's spirit did somehow send the wolf pup's to  Ned's children, this does make some sense. I don't doubt that Tywin could have orchestrated the events leading up to Robert's rebellion. And even been behind what we know of Lyanna's kidnapping. It seems possible. I do hesitate to believe that Robert had anything to do with Lyanna's kidnapping, but you might convince me yet! :D So, IF Lyanna sent the wolf pup's, then it stands to reason that she might communicate a level of Lannister distrust to the wolves. But it is also possible that she might not have sent the pups.

I never promoted the idea that Lyanna sent the direwolf pups. I believe the old gods of nature sent the pups, presumably to help the Starks "to win", or be around until Westeros has returned to "normal", or at least a return to a place on the wheel of time that the Children feel righted some past wrong. Leaf did tell Bran that the wolves would outlast them all.

29 minutes ago, St Daga said:

All of those incidents with the dire wolves v Lannister happened in the first book except for Robb's Red Wedding situation, so it seems that GRRM was not messing around with the foreshadowing in book 1. Almost heavy handed, which does give me a moment to pause. Is it TOO much? He also has a level of misleading us (and his characters) and so I wonder if it's possible that whatever guides the wolf pup's could be trying to help stir up trouble between Stark and Lannister, not just warn of it? Or sending a completely wrong message to the Stark's about the Lannisters?

What are you saying regarding the Red Wedding? I'm not sure I'm following... I think the Red Wedding was foreshadowed, and Tywin wrote many letters negotiating with the Freys and Boltons. He may not have planned the exact details of Red Wedding himself, but he likely knew something of what Walder Frey was planning.

The first book, AGOT, is full of foreshadowing, but as first time readers we had no idea. For me, most of the foreshadowing, parallels, and inversions didn't fully come to light until I'd read the books more than once.

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, we certainly agree about that. 

I'm just saying that quite unlike Cersei -- who demonstrates a clear cause --> effect sequence -- Summer evidently knows things in that scene that he simply has no way to know.  He is howling at nothing, whereas Cersei is reacting to a prophecy of doom that was told to her face.

For me, it's also clear that Summer is warning Bran, not encouraging Bran.  He never howled at Bran as Bran climbed before, or Bran would be used to it and not feel a "strange chill."

Then we have the bit about Ghost that Matthew pointed out. Ghost simply does not like the Fist before the attack on the Watch.  There is, just as with Summer, no evident explanation.  Jon finds it puzzling and I think this is GRRM's way of telling us perhaps we should be puzzled too. 

But after the attack, when Jon and Mance visit the site, Ghost is fine going onto the Fist.  From ASOS: 

So it appears to me that Ghost knew in some extraordinary way that this was a site where No Good Was About To Happen... but once it happens, he also knows the danger is in the past.

If they do have information from this source (and weirwoods do seem a likely source of such information, don't they? -- recall Jaime rescued Brienne because of his prophetic dream on a weirwood pillow), it's probably incomplete and confusing... much as it is with human prescience. 

Lady shows no sign of having a clue what Ned is going to do to her, or fear of that physical area, and Grey Wind might have howled on sight of the Twins, especially when Robb returns, but he didn't do that, either.

So perhaps what makes Ghost and Summer special in this area is that they are better at interpreting foreknowledge (which might be related to Ghost having his eyes open before the other pups).

As to Summer and Bran climbing, I took it as foreshadowing and that Summer didn't know Bran was in danger or anything else.  If he did, it completely blows my theory that BR sent the wolves and made Bran fall. 

As to Ghost, I assumed he reacted to whomever left the dragonglass and horn. The wolves might react to the smell of the Children or undead, even if they weren't dangerous. 

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16 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

As to Summer and Bran climbing, I took it as foreshadowing and that Summer didn't know Bran was in danger or anything else.  If he did, it completely blows my theory that BR sent the wolves and made Bran fall. 

As to Ghost, I assumed he reacted to whomever left the dragonglass and horn. The wolves might react to the smell of the Children or undead, even if they weren't dangerous. 

Its not a bad theory but I think that it overstates the importance of Bryn Blackwood, who has long gone into the wood.

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3 hours ago, St Daga said:

We don't have any idea how often Bran climbed

Seriously, now.

Quote

His mother often said that Bran could climb before he could walk. Bran could not remember when he first learned to walk, but he could not remember when he started to climb either, so he supposed it must be true.

Quote

 

As angry as he was, his father could not help but laugh. "You're not my son," he told Bran when they fetched him down, "you're a squirrel. So be it. If you must climb, then climb, but try not to let your mother see you."

Bran did his best, although he did not think he ever really fooled her.

 

This demonstrates Bran's climbing was not just ongoing, and constant, but so strongly a part of his personality it couldn't be defeated by any amount of parental disapproval.  

As we read above, Bran climbed so often, he wasn't even sure if he'd managed to keep his mother from knowing he was doing it.

3 hours ago, St Daga said:

He hadn't been up to the broken tower for weeks with everything that had happened, and this might be his last chance.

All this shows is that Bran hadn't climbed that particular tower recently.

Meanwhile Winterfell is gigantic, Bran was a constant climber, and certainly Bran was accompanied by Summer on a routine basis by this point in the story.  So the concept that Bran had never before climbed in front of Summer seems a doubtful one to me.

1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

I took it as foreshadowing and that Summer didn't know Bran was in danger or anything else.  If he did, it completely blows my theory that BR sent the wolves and made Bran fall. 

Well, we know from GRRM's remarks in multiple interviews that that very first chapter simply popped into GRRM's head of of nowhere, before he had even begun to think of this world.  So I'm not really sure he had any basis for the direwolves in his head at that point and I'm not sure we'll ever get one, either.

Re foreshadowing, certainly, it's that... but aside from that first chapter, which was just pure inspiration, GRRM is also pretty careful that his characters, including the direwolves, don't act without some reason for it.   

If a prophecy is going to come true, for instance, it's going to come true for a sequence of very good reasons.  An example would be Sansa showing up for the ASOS feast with poison in her hair -- "purple serpents" per the Ghost's prophecy. 

The reason she has poison in her hair is that the Queen of Thorns put that poison there... and the reason for that is that she can't tolerate the idea of Joffrey abusing her granddaughter Margaery... which Sansa has told her earlier may well happen because Joffrey is a monster.  And the reason Sansa knows he's a monster is that she herself was Joffrey's fiancee  and has seen his vile behavior many times, such as when he had her stripped topless and ordered that she be beaten bloody (only to be overridden by Tyrion).

So the prophecy comes true, but there's always an A --> B --> C --> D logic to it too.

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5 hours ago, JNR said:

This, also, probably foreshadows Sansa, who similarly does not seem to understand what GRRM may well be gearing up to do to her.  She lags far behind her siblings in comprehending the reality in which she lives.

In my first read I just took Lady as very trusting towards Ned in that scene. But it makes me think when I imagine robb and Grey Wind. 

It's kind of confusing with Grey Wind. We can explain Summer's behaviour through his link with tree-Bran. We can explain Nymeria's behaviour as extension of Arya's feelings. Shaggydog has fear, but Grey Wind and the Twins is really a strange one in that regard.

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7 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

What are you saying regarding the Red Wedding? I'm not sure I'm following... I think the Red Wedding was foreshadowed, and Tywin wrote many letters negotiating with the Freys and Boltons. He may not have planned the exact details of Red Wedding himself, but he likely knew something of what Walder Frey was planning.

The first book, AGOT, is full of foreshadowing, but as first time readers we had no idea. For me, most of the foreshadowing, parallels, and inversions didn't fully come to light until I'd read the books more than once.

I am just saying the foreshadowing was often and early in the first book. The direwolves and the Lannisters. And when you look back, GRRM wasn't really being that subtle about it. I am not saying anything about the red wedding, only that of all the examples that I used, Grey Wind's reaction at the Twins (in Storm, as he has no reaction when they are at the twins in Game) is the only incident that comes a bit later in the story. 

But, it is a bit odd that Grey Wind does have no problem with the Twins the first time they are there, though. If the wolf has a knowledge of future events, why doesn't he have a "feeling" about the Twins and the Frey's the first time around? So, while the Red Wedding foreshadowed in Storm, there seems to be none of this weird direwolf "premonition' toward the Frey's in Game or even Clash, which is rather mysterious? Did something happen that changed the wheel, and then the Red Wedding happened, when it didn't happen previous times that the wheel went around?

 

7 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I never promoted the idea that Lyanna sent the direwolf pups. I believe the old gods of nature sent the pups, presumably to help the Starks "to win", or be around until Westeros has returned to "normal", or at least a return to a place on the wheel of time that the Children feel righted some past wrong. Leaf did tell Bran that the wolves would outlast them all.

No, but I thought you implied it by giving the wolves knowledge in regards to Lyanna's situation specifically. I believe it is Voice that thinks that Lyanna sent the direwolf pup's to the Stark children through the weirnet.

But I am still not sold that the Stark's are the goal in fixing the wheel of time. They might be, but the Lannister's might be as well. Until we have a conclusion to this story, I think it's hard to determine something like this. We don't know what the fix might be, if there needs to be a fix at all.

My understanding is that Leaf was talking about magic and beasts when she said the direwolves would outlast them all. She is talking about the CotF, the "great" lions of the western hills, the unicorns, the mammoths, the giants; mythical beasts. There is no place for them in the world that man has built. So, it seems to me that the direwolves will not outlast mankind. But reading through the lines, does she mean the direwolves as physical beasts, or does she mean the Stark's as well? That's the mystery in her statements, at least for me.

 

 

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So, why is Summer barking at Tyrion ? Did Tyrion send the catspawn ? Unless he has memory loss I guess not.

Edited by SirArthur

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