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R+L=J&M [Part III] - THE original inspiration for ASOIAF: Romulus/Remus, twin founders of Rome, children to 'Rhea Silvia', nursed by a 'she-wolf'. Rome = White Harbor

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Part I & Part II - Must read first before continuing

 

Hey its me again, that crazy map guy with something less crazy to talk about.

In my research for R+L=J&M, White Harbor has came up in my map theory, and their sigil is a merman with a trident. To me, a part of a trident represents R+L=J&M via the Ruby Map theory. For a while I was unable to pinpoint the significance of White Harbor, until now. After having some free time, I re-read Davos' ADWD chapters and oh boy...........

In White Harbor, we have the old Wolf's Den, which is loosely based on the Roman mythology of the Lupercal: the cave of the 'she-wolf' that milk-nursed twins Romulus & Remus. Lupercal is the founding site of Rome.

 

R&R = J&M
According to the Roman myth, taken from Wikipedia:

Quote

Romulus and Remus were born in Alba Longa, one of the ancient Latin cities near the future site of Rome. Their mother, Rhea Silvia was a vestal virgin and the daughter of the former king, Numitor, who had been displaced by his brother Amulius. In some sources, Rhea Silvia conceived them when their father, the god Mars visited her in a sacred grove dedicated to him. Through their mother, the twins were descended from Greek and Latin nobility.

Seeing them as a possible threat to his rule, King Amulius ordered them to be killed and they were abandoned on the bank of the river Tiber to die. They were saved by the god Tiberinus, Father of the River, and survived with the care of others, at the site of what would eventually become Rome. In the most well-known episode, the twins were suckled by a she-wolf, in a cave now known as the Lupercal. Eventually, they were adopted by Faustulus, a shepherd. They grew up tending flocks, unaware of their true identities. Over time, they became natural leaders and attracted a company of supporters from the community.

When they were young adults, they became involved in a dispute between supporters of Numitor and Amulius. As a result, Remus was taken prisoner and brought to Alba Longa. Both his grandfather and the king suspected his true identity. Romulus, meanwhile, had organized an effort to free his brother and set out with help for the city. During this time they learned of their past and joined forces with their grandfather to restore him to the throne. Amulius was killed and Numitor was reinstated as king of Alba. The twins set out to build a city of their own.

After arriving back in the area of the seven hills, they disagreed about the hill upon which to build. Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill, above the Lupercal; Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. When they could not resolve the dispute, they agreed to seek the gods' approval through a contest of augury. Remus first saw 6 auspicious birds but soon afterward, Romulus saw 12, and claimed to have won divine approval. The new dispute furthered the contention between them. In the aftermath, Remus was killed either by Romulus or by one of his supporters. Romulus then went on to found the city of Rome, its institutions, government, military and religious traditions. He reigned for many years as its first king.

Even though GRRM would not fully plagiarize this Roman myth from start to the end, he does take A LOT of elements:

  • Princess Rhea Silvia = Prince Rhaegar Targaryen with his silver hair
  • She-wolf = Lyanna
  • Mars = The Old Gods tampering with R+L
  • King Numitor, father of the princess = King Aerys, father of the prince
  • King Amulius the usurper = King Robert the usurper
  • Faustulus the shepherd = Eddard Stark

 

  • Off-topic: Royal Roman Lineage The 'Tarquinius' = 'Targaryen' name (probably)

 

The Original Muse?
I believe this was the FIRST inspiration of AGOT & ASOIAF for GRRM...even earlier than the War of the Roses.
In a Rolling Stone magazine interview, the first thing that inspired GRRM to write AGOT was Bran watching the beheading of a Night's Watch deserter AND a dead mother direwolf nursing orphan pups, killed by antlers of a stag (the symbolic usurping king).
What if this beheading was to foreshadow Ned Stark's beheading?

What if the GRRM's big personal changes to Romulus/Remus myth was that:

  • It was boy/girl twins
  • The twins were separated
  • King Numitor was killed
  • The she-wolf was killed by the King Amulius, the usurper
  • The shepherd Faustulus was later executed by the King's evil 'son'

Will ASOIAF end the same way as Romulus/Remus? Probably not, but who knows.

 

Tampering of a Royal Lineage by the Gods, aka A Game of Thrones
In the Roman myth, Romulus & Remus's father is Mars, God of War. It is debated that Mars either raped or seduced Rhea Silvia. Regardless, the royal lineage was tampered by the Gods.
In ASOIAF, Rhaegar may have loved Lyanna, even though everyone thought he raped her. And according to my Gods' Plan theory, Rhaegar & Lyanna was a lineage tampered by the Old Gods, when they sent Howland Reed to the Tourney from the God's Eye.

 

Rome on a Map
In my Ruby Map theory, the Green Fork of the Trident that separated at "The Twins" and lands in Greywater Watch, symbolizing Meera Reed is a secret Targaryen.
But the rest of the Ruby Map theory used "Pointing" as the indicators for the Targaryen bloodline.
Meera's ruby lands at Greywater Watch, but it points to White Harbor.
Was this GRRM's tribute of Jon/Meera's twin story to the Roman twin story of Romulus/Remus?
White Harbor's sigil is a merman with a Trident after all.

 

When In Rome
I believe when GRRM was describing the city of White Harbor, he was reflecting on his personal time spent in the city of Rome (assuming he was ever in Rome).
Rome = White Harbor

  • Tiber River = White Knife
  • Whitewashed stone monuments = whitewashed stone walls
  • Lupercal (She-wolf's cave) = "Wolf's Den"
  • Romulus founded Rome at Lupercal = King Jon Stark founded the Wolf's Den of White Harbor
  • Fontana del Tritone, merman with fishes at his feet = Old Fishfoot statue, merman holding a trident, pointing towards the Wolf's Den
  • Both fountains are located at a square with cobblestone floors   

 

Wylla & the Wolf's Den
I can't explain this part that well, but its connected somehow:
"Wylla" = Jon's Dornish wet-nurse, most likely Meera's too
"Wylla" Manderly, Stark fan-girl from White Harbor
White Harbor = Wolf's Den = Lupercal = the she-wolf that wet-nursed the twins in the Roman myth

Maybe the Wolf's Den in White Harbor is where shepherds Ned & Howland physically separate Jon & Meera to Winterfell & Greywater Watch, after arriving from Starfall by ship. The dead she-wolf is in the Wolf's Den too...as Lyanna's dead body that was brought back from TOJ.

BTW: Old Fishfoot has one prong broken off of his Trident. With my Ruby Map theory, one of the three prong of the Trident symbolizes R+L=J&M. Does this broken prong represent the Meereenese Knot? I guess I will save this for Part IV.
 

Edited by The Map Guy
Sorry I didn't put this in the thread "Reference and Homage" because R+L=J&M is not officially confirmed or written in the books

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Romulus and Remus, where one twin kills the other, is a version of what many consider to  be the oldest proto Indto Europen myth of all: the founding of a new world, dynasty, country based on killing a twin or relative.  The dead one becomes the new entity, the living one rules it.  You see it in Odin slaying Ymir, the Manu and Menus myth, in Vedic myth, even the Tiamat myth.

George has been playing with this idea throughout.  The Bloodstone Emperor killing his sister.  Azor Ahai killing his wife.  The valonqar killing Cersei.  Kinslaying, the ultimate taboo.

The part in your myth about the two being shepherds is also reflected in his story of the original Valyrians being shepherds who find the 14 Flames and go on to found Rome, ahem, Valyria.

So he's been scattering this myth around a lot and putting his own stamp on it.

I like your connection to White Harbour and the Wolf's Den.

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19 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Romulus and Remus, where one twin kills the other, is a version of what many consider to  be the oldest proto Indto Europen myth of all: the founding of a new world, dynasty, country based on killing a twin or relative.  The dead one becomes the new entity, the living one rules it.  You see it in Odin slaying Ymir, the Manu and Menus myth, in Vedic myth, even the Tiamat myth.

George has been playing with this idea throughout.  The Bloodstone Emperor killing his sister.  Azor Ahai killing his wife.  The valonqar killing Cersei.  Kinslaying, the ultimate taboo.

The part in your myth about the two being shepherds is also reflected in his story of the original Valyrians being shepherds who find the 14 Flames and go on to found Rome, ahem, Valyria.

So he's been scattering this myth around a lot and putting his own stamp on it.

I like your connection to White Harbour and the Wolf's Den.

Thanks for the insight and mythology lesson...always nice to learn new things.

Valyria does resemble a lot like ancient Roman culture, but on a map I always thought it looked like Greece. Greece and Rome do have their similarities.

White Harbor being Rome has other similarities I didn't mention, only because I don't know if its true or not:

  • The 7 hills may be why there are 7 kingdoms in Westeros
  • Tiber Island may be the Seal Gate
  • The Umbria region of Italy in its geographical reference to Rome may be the area House Umber rules in its geographical reference to White Harbor
  • The Aurelian/Servian Wall may be the whitewashed stone walls of White Harbor

There may be other White Harbor = Rome references I missed...but without a doubt, Fontana del Tritone IS Old Fishfoot.

 

5 hours ago, Brianstorm said:

You both forgot Cain and Able! Adam and Eve are technically twins when you think about it as well.

I guess you are just adding to Lady Barbrey's list

 

Jon & Meera still have not met each other yet......don't know if GRRM would have them kill each other though.

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3 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

Thanks for the insight and mythology lesson...always nice to learn new things.

Valyria does resemble a lot like ancient Roman culture, but on a map I always thought it looked like Greece. Greece and Rome do have their similarities.

White Harbor being Rome has other similarities I didn't mention, only because I don't know if its true or not:

  • The 7 hills may be why there are 7 kingdoms in Westeros
  • Tiber Island may be the Seal Gate
  • The Umbria region of Italy in its geographical reference to Rome may be the area House Umber rules in its geographical reference to White Harbor
  • The Aurelian/Servian Wall may be the whitewashed stone walls of White Harbor

There may be other White Harbor = Rome references I missed...but without a doubt, Fontana del Tritone IS Old Fishfoot.

 

I guess you are just adding to Lady Barbrey's list

 

Jon & Meera still have not met each other yet......don't know if GRRM would have them kill each other though.

Just dredging it up from a class I took in Comparative Myth 20 years ago.

I have a question for you since you're the Map Guy.  Do you know what those little mouseholes were on the maps in WoIaF?  Sorry to digress!

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1 minute ago, Lady Barbrey said:

 

I have a question for you since you're the Map Guy.  Do you know what those little mouseholes were on the maps in WoIaF?  Sorry to digress!

They were an artistic flourish by the artist, not something directed by GRRM.

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These comparisons are always fun to read. 

First it was the Roman Kingdom, then the Republic, after that was the Empire.

Maybe Robb is the Caesar in this story: First king (Dictator) after three hundred years of Targaryen rule (500 years of Roman Republic), undefeated in battle, but stabbed to death by his subordinates in what seemed to be a peaceful event. However, the Republic wasn't really restored, just like the 7K won't last, their destruction is inevitable. The Empire lived for another 1500 years despite Caesar's death. 

Octavius took over Rome after being named as Caesar's heir in his will, like probably Jon Snow is named Robb's heir in his will. Octavius was Caesar's adopted son, Jon Snow is Robb's adopted brother, by his father of course.

Well it's one parallel among the thousands other which you can drove, but while we're waiting for the remaining two books, why not.

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On 11/4/2018 at 1:41 AM, Lady Barbrey said:

I have a question for you since you're the Map Guy.  Do you know what those little mouseholes were on the maps in WoIaF?  Sorry to digress!

Where are these little mouse-holes on TWOIAF? I can't spot them

 

 

On 11/4/2018 at 1:55 AM, dmfn said:

I ❤️ Map Guy! 

Love you too! I didn't forget you for defending me for Meereenese Knot the first time around! :bowdown:

 

On 11/4/2018 at 5:01 AM, The Sunland Lord said:

These comparisons are always fun to read. 

First it was the Roman Kingdom, then the Republic, after that was the Empire.

Maybe Robb is the Caesar in this story: First king (Dictator) after three hundred years of Targaryen rule (500 years of Roman Republic), undefeated in battle, but stabbed to death by his subordinates in what seemed to be a peaceful event. However, the Republic wasn't really restored, just like the 7K won't last, their destruction is inevitable. The Empire lived for another 1500 years despite Caesar's death. 

Octavius took over Rome after being named as Caesar's heir in his will, like probably Jon Snow is named Robb's heir in his will. Octavius was Caesar's adopted son, Jon Snow is Robb's adopted brother, by his father of course.

Well it's one parallel among the thousands other which you can drove, but while we're waiting for the remaining two books, why not.

Thanks. Neat parallel, perhaps GRRM intended to write Robb's assassination as Caesar's. Maybe even Jon Snow's too.

Since we are on Roman history, perhaps the White Harbor = Rome also reflects that the cities has an original religion and a new religion.

White Harbor had the Old Gods, until the Manderly's brought the Faith of the Seven from the Reach. Now the city has both.

The Romans has their Greek/Roman gods, until their emperor Constantine the Great converted into Christianity. Eventually Rome/Vatican City became the capital of the Roman Catholic Church.

Speaking of Greek/Roman mythology, I predicted Jon & Meera's light-bring powers may be lightning in Part II, would this be reference to the power of Zeus/Jupiter?

 

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On 11/4/2018 at 2:01 AM, The Sunland Lord said:

These comparisons are always fun to read. 

First it was the Roman Kingdom, then the Republic, after that was the Empire.

Maybe Robb is the Caesar in this story: First king (Dictator) after three hundred years of Targaryen rule (500 years of Roman Republic), undefeated in battle, but stabbed to death by his subordinates in what seemed to be a peaceful event. However, the Republic wasn't really restored, just like the 7K won't last, their destruction is inevitable. The Empire lived for another 1500 years despite Caesar's death. 

Octavius took over Rome after being named as Caesar's heir in his will, like probably Jon Snow is named Robb's heir in his will. Octavius was Caesar's adopted son, Jon Snow is Robb's adopted brother, by his father of course.

Well it's one parallel among the thousands other which you can drove, but while we're waiting for the remaining two books, why not.

Jon being stabbed to death is reminiscent of Caesar's death, et tu brute, and all that, and is reminiscent again of the same twin death, as he is stabbed by his brothers of the Watch.

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L GRR Martin is using a lot of mythological references. And a lot of Roman/Latin myths too.

For instance, you may also compare the oldest version of Didone’s myth - prior to Virgil’s Aeneid - to Daenerys.

Talking about Aeneid, however, I am pretty sure that the description of “Val” when she comes back at the Wall, matches quite a lot with the first description of Lavinia ( the Latin woman Aeneas - the ancestor of Romolus and Remus - will marry).

In addition... Targaryen are Valyrians, right?

But both “Val” and Valyrian, are pretty close to the surname of an ancient noble house of Ancient Rome: that of the Gens (family) Valeria.

That of... Valeri (plural)

Among them, there was Marcus Valerius... Corvinus (raven), who’s told to have defeated a giant, with the help of a raven that repeteadly flew on the giant’s face.

Sounds familiar? It should.

But there’s more than that...The family was also said to discent from a lady called Valeria ”Luperca”. 

As you may get “luperca” is closed to luperculus/a thus to wolf/she wolf.

In addition, the myth about her, it’s an interesting one.

I don’t have enough time now to translate it all for you.

But essentially you have a lady (Valeria) who’s about to kill herself with a sword (just like nissa nissa) to end a plaugue, when all of a sudden a eagle stops her in a scene that looks a lot that of Orell’s Eagle, attacking Jon.

And... Orell’s etymology is interesting too. Orell comes from the Latin name Aurelius. And Aurelius meaning is “Golden”. Gold/Golden was associated to the authority of the state - keep in mind that Rome was a Republic, then an Empire (the monarchy plays an irrelevant part in its history), in short to the authority of Rome itself. And that was also symbolized by... the Aegle. Full circle.

That is only to say... Martin uses a lot of bits and bites.

We may find tons of these references.

But just because of that, I honestly believe there is not path.

There is not a myth he used or he is using in particularly.

He uses them all, to put together a story that in the end will be a different one.

However, before closing this post, I have a gift for you... about Rea Silvia and the city of Alba Longa.

Regardless the debate around the true etymology of that city name, which is not 100% clear (scholars still debate this issue) well.. let me say that in Italian (I am Italian)  therefore in the language more close to old Latin, “Alba longa” means... Long Down (not  Night). Actually, we’d say Lunga instead of Longa. But for us Longa still sounds as old Italian, XVIII century Italian, not even Latin. That to say how much that meaning sounds obvious to us.

And there is even more about that too...

Because in Italian, just like in Latin, we have two different words to say Dawn.

One is Alba from Albus (Latin= White)

The other is Aurora from Aus (root: burning, thus red... and golden like the sun too -> see before Aurelius).

Since I am pretty sure GRRM knows all of this, or at least that he knows about other myths, other tales whit characters whose manes sometimes are tied to Aus, sometimes to Albus/a, ... here is why (I guess) the red and burning (aus) sword of Azhor Ah Ahi is not.. Dawn, the white (albus) sword of the Morning.

And I also (or only) sure... that somehow GRR Martin is using the combination of coulors white/red so much as he’s doing in ASOIF because.... he’s basically trolling us.

Edit: one more thing.... now that I have said this all, think again about the scene next to Mance’s tent, when Dalla is about to give birth, Jon and Val meet again and suddenly Stannis shows up. Orell’s... aegle burns. Literally. In this context it makes perfectly sense at the same time.. none or to too many.

Edited by skystark

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4 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

Thanks. Neat parallel, perhaps GRRM intended to write Robb's assassination as Caesar's. Maybe even Jon Snow's too.

Since we are on Roman history, perhaps the White Harbor = Rome also reflects that the cities has an original religion and a new religion.

White Harbor had the Old Gods, until the Manderly's brought the Faith of the Seven from the Reach. Now the city has both.

The Romans has their Greek/Roman gods, until their emperor Constantine the Great converted into Christianity. Eventually Rome/Vatican City became the capital of the Roman Catholic Church.

Accurate.

Here comes the part when Constantine makes Constantinople the capital of the Roman Empire, and it remains so until the end (330-1453). So yeah, the Roman Empire's capital is actually not Rome after Constantine, for more than a thousand years. Christianity becomes official religion in 380.

In the fifth century, the Western Roman Empire collapses. After that, Byzantine Empire (previously known as Eastern Roman Empire) becomes the successor of the old Empire, therefore Constantinople is sometimes called "The New Rome."  

Since on the territories of the Empire (previously Republic and Kingdom) lived many different peoples, they worshiped different Gods.

So Romans were accepting different Gods from different peoples they got in touch with, but cared to keep the Greek Gods above all. For the most part, they were practical. They believed in what suited them, and were making sacrifices they saw fit.

On the Wolf thing: Romans practiced the so called "Lupercalia", or "Februa" (purification). 

Interesting, the ritual demanded sacrifice of a goat and a dog. (Gregor the Dog, fed Hoat (Goat) meat to the Stark (the Wolves) vassals at Harrenhal, including Wylis Manderly)

So the two "Luperci" ("brothers of the wolf", members of the Lupercalia priesthood) sacrificed the animals, after which their foreheads were painted with blood, and than cleaned with wool soaked in milk. After this, they laughed, cut pieces of the flayed skin, and ran naked around. But their running was supposed to end at the Lupercal, the cave where according to the legend, the she-wolf was breastfeeding Romulus and Remus. This ritual was believed to bring fruitfulness and prosperity.    

Quote

Speaking of Greek/Roman mythology, I predicted Jon & Meera's light-bring powers may be lightning in Part II, would this be reference to the power of Zeus/Jupiter?

 

Sorry, gonna have to read your post you are referring to first, and maybe write after.

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7 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

Where are these little mouse-holes on TWOIAF? I can't spot them

I'm an idiot, i got confused and started looking for mouseholes on tLoiaf lol...wrong book

4 hours ago, skystark said:

I have a gift for you... about Rea Silvia and the city of Alba Longa

Grazie for the gift...I guess "White" Harbor = "Alba" Harbor from Alba Longia

Thanks for the etymology, latin, history & mythology lessons...sunland lord, skystark & lady barbery...reading ASOAIF must be more rewarding when you can immediately reference the story to a historical knowledge we already know. I was never much a history guy, every time I open a history book, my eyes are drawn to the maps lol

 

 

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Can you put what all the letters stand for at the beginning of the post? I like to know what I'm reading first or I won't read it. Maybe it's just me but whatever. Constructive feedback. See ya!

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14 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

I'm an idiot, i got confused and started looking for mouseholes on tLoiaf lol...wrong book

Grazie for the gift...I guess "White" Harbor = "Alba" Harbor from Alba Longia

Thanks for the etymology, latin, history & mythology lessons...sunland lord, skystark & lady barbery...reading ASOAIF must be more rewarding when you can immediately reference the story to a historical knowledge we already know. I was never much a history guy, every time I open a history book, my eyes are drawn to the maps lol

 

 

 

To recap:

Alba Longa = Long (Longa) Dawn (Alba).

That said, sure Albus = White.

But why... Harbor? I see not connection at the moment. I’ll think about it.

 

 

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16 hours ago, rustythesmith said:

Can you put what all the letters stand for at the beginning of the post? I like to know what I'm reading first or I won't read it. Maybe it's just me but whatever. Constructive feedback. See ya!

"Rhaegar Targaryen conceives with Lyanna Stark and gives birth to Jon Snow & Meera Reed [Part Three] - THE original inspiration for A Song of Ice and Fire: Romulus & Remus, twin founders of Rome, children to 'Rhea Silvia', nursed by a 'she-wolf'. Rome is symbolically White Harbor"

...sorry, the subject title of the thread won't let me fit everything 

 

2 hours ago, skystark said:

 

To recap:

Alba Longa = Long (Longa) Dawn (Alba).

That said, sure Albus = White.

But why... Harbor? I see not connection at the moment. I’ll think about it.

 

 

Wonder if it has anything to do with Longclaw & Dawn. Maybe we are on to something. How do you say Longclaw and Dark Sister in Latin?

 

"Harbor" is easy. Aside from a bay of water, harbor in English also means a place of shelter (noun) or to shelter (verb). For example: "Harboring a fugitive"

The Lupercal and the she-wolf "harbored" the twin Romulus/Remus. Perhaps GRRM is suggesting the Wolf Den did the same for Jon & Meera for a little bit.

Jon may symbolically represent the "outer harbor" (something that is hidden but more obvious) and Meera may symbolically represent the "inner harbor" (something that is hidden and not obvious)

From my Part Four of the "Rhaegar Targaryen conceives with Lyanna Stark and gives birth to Jon Snow & Meera Reed" theory:
"Castle Stair was a street with steps, a broad white stone way that led up from the Wolf's Den by the water to the New Castle on its hill. Marble mermaids lit the way as Davos climbed, bowls of burning whale oil cradled in their arms. When he reached the top, he turned to look behind him. From here he could see down into the harborsBoth of them. Behind the jetty wall, the inner harbor was crowded with war galleys. Davos counted twenty-three. Lord Wyman was a fat man, but not an idle one, it seemed." (Davos II ADWD)

I really like that "Both of them." is in one single sentence...so much emphasis, so much power, and yet so lonely at the same time.
If it wasn't for R+L=J&M, why would these two "harbors" have their own sentence? What is so significant about the harbors physically or geographically?

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I understand that this isn't a perfect analogy of the Romulus Remus myth, but wouldn't it be closer if Lyanna was acting as a nursemaid to twins rather than as the mother to twins?  Somewhat analogous to Gilly's role after she leaves the Wall.

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3 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I understand that this isn't a perfect analogy of the Romulus Remus myth, but wouldn't it be closer if Lyanna was acting as a nursemaid to twins rather than as the mother to twins?  Somewhat analogous to Gilly's role after she leaves the Wall.

Yea GRRM is not going to duplicate the myth entirely, just taking a lot of the same characters, re-naming them, and give them different roles.

Explaining it would be confusing, but you are right, Lyanna would be the nursemaid if we followed the myth.

If GRRM followed the myth exactly:
Rhaegar (aka Rhea Silvia) = 1/2 parent
Old Gods = 1/2 parent
Lyanna (she-wolf) = Nurse maid

GRRM's version:
Rhaegar = Father
Lyanna (J&M's actual mother) = She-wolf Mother sent by the Old Gods
Wylla (J&M's suspected mother) = Nurse maid 
 
Don't bother trying to find the parallel or solve it mathematically, its there and its not there at the same time.

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19 hours ago, The Map Guy said:

"Rhaegar Targaryen conceives with Lyanna Stark and gives birth to Jon Snow & Meera Reed [Part Three] - THE original inspiration for A Song of Ice and Fire: Romulus & Remus, twin founders of Rome, children to 'Rhea Silvia', nursed by a 'she-wolf'. Rome is symbolically White Harbor"

...sorry, the subject title of the thread won't let me fit everything 

 

It is just bothersome to have to dig through peoples essays to find what the essay is about so that I can decide whether I want to read it. I think all you have to do is explain what the M means because it isn't at all obvious who the M is supposed to be in the title. If there is ambiguity in the title people will be annoyed if you don't explain the title immediately, and then they won't bother investing time into reading your stuff because you didn't give them that basic courtesy. It's like those titles that go "Why did ____ do this thing?" and then you open it to find out which character goes in the blank. But instead you have to read for 20 minutes before the author will tell you the name. I think they think it creates interest or mystery but it does the opposite.

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