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Feather Crystal

Heresy 214 The Last Heretic

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Black Crow is on vacation until Christmas, so I will play guest-host until his return.  :cool4:

The discussion at the end of Heresy 213 was about motives and alliances of Val, Mance, Craster, and the old gods, so that is where we'll pickup. Also fair game is speculation on what Black Crow has been up to or will be doing while he was/is away. AND...I would be remiss if I didn't copy BC's standard introduction:

Welcome to Heresy 214, 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 themselves 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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Thank you for opening this one, Feather Crystal. Obviously, in case Black Crow extends his absence, the torch has been passed on to you.

I haven't been seriously participating for a while, but the previous heresy has resparked my interest.

I am thinking about a connection between the woman in Bran's WeirwoodVision when he watches the sacrifice (of a Brandon Stark?), the Night King's bride and Val. Maybe they are one and the same, or it's an maternal line?

Also, I pick up a connection between Val and Hel, the nordic goddess, which fits in with Mance's winged helmet.

And Bran watching his own sacrifice from the past (my theory) leads to a time loop, possibly explaining for the seasons to be out of synch. The winter will end with Bran being sacrificed again

(-> Corn King) ?

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33 minutes ago, alienarea said:

Thank you for opening this one, Feather Crystal. Obviously, in case Black Crow extends his absence, the torch has been passed on to you.

I haven't been seriously participating for a while, but the previous heresy has resparked my interest.

I am thinking about a connection between the woman in Bran's WeirwoodVision when he watches the sacrifice (of a Brandon Stark?), the Night King's bride and Val. Maybe they are one and the same, or it's an maternal line?

Also, I pick up a connection between Val and Hel, the nordic goddess, which fits in with Mance's winged helmet.

And Bran watching his own sacrifice from the past (my theory) leads to a time loop, possibly explaining for the seasons to be out of synch. The winter will end with Bran being sacrificed again

(-> Corn King) ?

Well, somebody had to do it. May as well be me! I've been a part of this thread since 2011 and I want to help BC keep it going - and give him a break! It's amazing how long it has continued!

This weirwood vision (memory) that Bran tapped into is interesting. Here's the whole passage. I've included parts leading up into the main passage, because I think there's important information we need to consider, like how heart trees are the first trees greenseers learn to see through. In my opinion, the use of "Brandon" Stark indicates that the man sacrificed was also named Brandon, and this might be a ritual we're witnessing. The woman wielding the sickle is likely a priestess. I also highlighted the words, "a man must know", because it sounds so much like Jaqen H'Ghar.

Quote

 

“Close your eyes,” said the three-eyed crow. “Slip your skin, as you do when you join with Summer. But this time, go into the roots instead. Follow them up through the earth, to the trees upon the hill, and tell me what you see.”

  Bran closed his eyes and slipped free of his skin. Into the roots, he thought. Into the weirwood. Become the tree. For an instant he could see the cavern in its black mantle, could hear the river rushing by below.

  Then all at once he was back home again.

  Lord Eddard Stark sat upon a rock beside the deep black pool in the godswood, the pale roots of the heart tree twisting around him like an old man’s gnarled arms. The greatsword Ice lay across Lord Eddard’s lap, and he was cleaning the blade with an oilcloth.

  “Winterfell,” Bran whispered.

  His father looked up. “Who’s there?” he asked, turning …

  … and Bran, frightened, pulled away. His father and the black pool and the godswood faded and were gone and he was back in the cavern, the pale thick roots of his weirwood throne cradling his limbs as a mother does a child. A torch flared to life before him.

  “Tell us what you saw.” From far away Leaf looked almost a girl, no older than Bran or one of his sisters, but close at hand she seemed far older. She claimed to have seen two hundred years.

  Bran’s throat was very dry. He swallowed. “Winterfell. I was back in Winterfell. I saw my father. He’s not dead, he’s not, I saw him, he’s back at Winterfell, he’s still alive.”

  “No,” said Leaf. “He is gone, boy. Do not seek to call him back from death.”

  “I saw him.” Bran could feel rough wood pressing against one cheek. “He was cleaning Ice.”

  “You saw what you wished to see. Your heart yearns for your father and your home, so that is what you saw.”

  “A man must know how to look before he can hope to see,” said Lord Brynden. “Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood. Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. They root and grow and die in one place, and that river does not move them. The oak is the acorn, the acorn is the oak. And the weirwood … a thousand human years are a moment to a weirwood, and through such gates you and I may gaze into the past.”

  “But,” said Bran, “he heard me.”

  “He heard a whisper on the wind, a rustling amongst the leaves. You cannot speak to him, try as you might. I know. I have my own ghosts, Bran. A brother that I loved, a brother that I hated, a woman I desired. Through the trees, I see them still, but no word of mine has ever reached them. The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it.”

  “Will I see my father again?”

  “Once you have mastered your gifts, you may look where you will and see what the trees have seen, be it yesterday or last year or a thousand ages past. Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come. Certain moths live their whole lives in a day, yet to them that little span of time must seem as long as years and decades do to us. An oak may live three hundred years, a redwood tree three thousand. A weirwood will live forever if left undisturbed. To them seasons pass in the flutter of a moth’s wing, and past, present, and future are one. Nor will your sight be limited to your godswood. The singers carved eyes into their heart trees to awaken them, and those are the first eyes a new greenseer learns to use … but in time you will see well beyond the trees themselves.”

  “When?” Bran wanted to know.

  “In a year, or three, or ten. That I have not glimpsed. It will come in time, I promise you. But I am tired now, and the trees are calling me. We will resume on the morrow.”

  Hodor carried Bran back to his chamber, muttering “Hodor” in a low voice as Leaf went before them with a torch. He had hoped that Meera and Jojen would be there, so he could tell them what he had seen, but their snug alcove in the rock was cold and empty. Hodor eased Bran down onto his bed, covered him with furs, and made a fire for them. A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees.

  Watching the flames, Bran decided he would stay awake till Meera came back. Jojen would be unhappy, he knew, but Meera would be glad for him, He did not remember closing his eyes.

  … but then somehow he was back at Winterfell again, in the godswood looking down upon his father. Lord Eddard seemed much younger this time. His hair was brown, with no hint of grey in it, his head bowed. “… let them grow up close as brothers, with only love between them,” he prayed, “and let my lady wife find it in her heart to forgive …”

  “Father.” Bran’s voice was a whisper in the wind, a rustle in the leaves. “Father, it’s me. It’s Bran. Brandon.”

  Eddard Stark lifted his head and looked long at the weirwood, frowning, but he did not speak. He cannot see me, Bran realized, despairing. He wanted to reach out and touch him, but all that he could do was watch and listen. I am in the tree. I am inside the heart tree, looking out of its red eyes, but the weirwood cannot talk, so I can’t. Eddard Stark resumed his prayer. Bran felt his eyes fill up with tears. But were they his own tears, or the weirwood’s? If I cry, will the tree begin to weep? The rest of his father’s words were drowned out by a sudden clatter of wood on wood. Eddard Stark dissolved, like mist in a morning sun. Now two children danced across the godswood, hooting at one another as they dueled with broken branches. The girl was the older and taller of the two. Arya! Bran thought eagerly, as he watched her leap up onto a rock and cut at the boy. But that couldn’t be right. If the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself, and he had never worn his hair so long. And Arya never beat me playing swords, the way that girl is beating him. She slashed the boy across his thigh, so hard that his leg went out from under him and he fell into the pool and began to splash and shout. “You be quiet, stupid,” the girl said, tossing her own branch aside. “It’s just water. Do you want Old Nan to hear and run tell Father?” She knelt and pulled her brother from the pool, but before she got him out again, the two of them were gone.

  After that the glimpses came faster and faster, till Bran was feeling lost and dizzy. He saw no more of his father, nor the girl who looked like Arya, but a woman heavy with child emerged naked and dripping from the black pool, knelt before the tree, and begged the old gods for a son who would avenge her. Then there came a brown-haired girl slender as a spear who stood on the tips of her toes to kiss the lips of a young knight as tall as Hodor. A dark-eyed youth, pale and fierce, sliced three branches off the weirwood and shaped them into arrows. The tree itself was shrinking, growing smaller with each vision, whilst the lesser trees dwindled into saplings and vanished, only to be replaced by other trees that would dwindle and vanish in their turn. And now the lords Bran glimpsed were tall and hard, stern men in fur and chain mail. Some wore faces he remembered from the statues in the crypts, but they were gone before he could put a name to them.

  Then, as he watched, a bearded man forced a captive down onto his knees before the heart tree. A white-haired woman stepped toward them through a drift of dark red leaves, a bronze sickle in her hand.

  “No,” said Bran, “no, don’t,” but they could not hear him, no more than his father had. The woman grabbed the captive by the hair, hooked the sickle round his throat, and slashed. And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man’s feet drummed against the earth … but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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The most intriguing part of your quote is the very end:

..., Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

Since the current Brandon Stark is always referred to as Bran, and we do not have any preceding account of tasting (of blood) being   possible in WeirwoodVision, I have to conclude that the man being sacrificed is Brandon Stark.

Now, which Brandon Stark would be sacrificed?

The most famous one, Bran the Builder. Who is also the last hero and the original Night King. This is a bit of a stretch, but we do not know the name of the last hero and we do not know the name of the original Night King. And if the last hero escaped the Others he was certainly a man without fear.

So he escaped the Others, and then he build the wall. And the bride he spied lead to him becoming the Night King. His brother, the Stark of Winterfell brought him down. We are not told what happened to him, I conclude he was sacrificed like current Bran saw (and the bride/Val was the price for escaping the Others?).

Now, back to the current time. If Bran hadn't been pushed out of the window by Jaime, he might have ended up at the wall like second son Stark's often do (he always wanted to be a knight).

Has Val been coming for Bran, only to find Jon in his place?

If this is true, the the story were to end with Bran overthrowing (and sacrificing?) Jon, breaking the loop???

I didn't check any of this with the books recently, I hope memory serves well.

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25 minutes ago, alienarea said:

The most intriguing part of your quote is the very end:

..., Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

Since the current Brandon Stark is always referred to as Bran, and we do not have any preceding account of tasting (of blood) being   possible in WeirwoodVision, I have to conclude that the man being sacrificed is Brandon Stark.

Now, which Brandon Stark would be sacrificed?

The most famous one, Bran the Builder. Who is also the last hero and the original Night King. This is a bit of a stretch, but we do not know the name of the last hero and we do not know the name of the original Night King. And if the last hero escaped the Others he was certainly a man without fear.

So he escaped the Others, and then he build the wall. And the bride he spied lead to him becoming the Night King. His brother, the Stark of Winterfell brought him down. We are not told what happened to him, I conclude he was sacrificed like current Bran saw (and the bride/Val was the price for escaping the Others?).

Now, back to the current time. If Bran hadn't been pushed out of the window by Jaime, he might have ended up at the wall like second son Stark's often do (he always wanted to be a knight).

Has Val been coming for Bran, only to find Jon in his place?

If this is true, the the story were to end with Bran overthrowing (and sacrificing?) Jon, breaking the loop???

I didn't check any of this with the books recently, I hope memory serves well.

All that you suggest is possible, especially if the character Bran is inspired by Dr Strange, or another Marvel character (who's name I cannot remember) that Pretty Pig told us about that lived multiple lives in various time loops simultaneously.

Bran could be the latest reincarnation of every Brandon Stark in history. One of the earlier, or maybe the earliest, Brandon Starks may have used magic to place Westeros in a time loop much like Dr Strange did to defeat Dormammu.

It is also possible that the last two visions are connected. The pregnant woman praying for revenge might be the daughter of the man who's throat was slit by the bronze sickle.

If time is being manipulated by a Dr Strange inspired Bran, then Bran has the power to end the spell. Dr Strange used a stone called the Eye of Agamotto. That's not to say that the same would have to be the case in GRRM's world. Maybe it does require sacrifice to break the spell? 

My personal thoughts about Jon are is that he is dead, but will be resurrected into a type of Coldhands. What would it take to kill such a creature?

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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14 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

All that you suggest is possible, especially if the character Bran is inspired by Dr Strange, or another Marvel character (who's name I cannot remember) that Pretty Pig told us about that lived multiple lives in various time loops simultaneously.

Bran could be the latest reincarnation of every Brandon Stark in history. One of the earlier, or maybe the earliest, Brandon Starks may have used magic to place Westeros in a time loop much like Dr Strange did to defeat Dormammu.

It is also possible that the last two visions are connected. The pregnant woman praying for revenge might be the daughter of the man who's throat was slit by the bronze sickle.

If time is being manipulated by a Dr Strange inspired Bran, then Bran has the power to end the spell. Dr Strange used a stone called the Eye of Agamotto. That's not to say that the same would have to be the case in GRRM's world. Maybe it does require sacrifice to break the spell? 

My personal thoughts about Jon are is that he is dead, but will be resurrected into a type of Coldhands. What would it take to kill such a creature?

 

Sleeping with fire?

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14 minutes ago, alienarea said:

Sleeping with fire?

Sleeping or is this a euphemism for sex? Because I don't think Coldhands does either. :lmao:

 

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1 minute ago, Feather Crystal said:

Sleeping or is this a euphemism for sex? Because I don't think Coldhands does either. :lmao:

 

I thought euphemism.

But in this reverse cycle Jon may get resurrected by fire (no spoilers) and has to die by ice.

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I have wondered if the original Ice sword will come into play. Come to think of it - where did this idea come from that Ned’s sword wasn’t the original?

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7 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I have wondered if the original Ice sword will come into play. Come to think of it - where did this idea come from that Ned’s sword wasn’t the original?

because it is valyrian steel and that steel is only around 500 years old ? 

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@Feather Crystal

Continuing from 213; I don't expect symmetry between the Fire and the Ice forces. I actually not even expect a team Ice as the white cold will not be a sentient being, just a dangerous (un)natural force.

The fire forces (specifically the followers of R'hllor) are the ones that believe in a dual world in which ice and fire are opposed. The Others would be a more a holistic group freely mixing multiple types of magic.

Quote

"If ice can burn," said Jojen in his solemn voice, "then love and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one."

The land is one and magic probably too. This is why we can have fire (Bloodraven), ice (Bran) and earth (the CoTF) in the same cave working together with necromancy (wights) guarding the entrance . I will not be surprise if Theon (water) joins them.

With regards to the Last Hero; we can compare him being chased by wights and WW to the way Sam and Bran are guided by being chased and then rescued.

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17 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I have wondered if the original Ice sword will come into play. Come to think of it - where did this idea come from that Ned’s sword wasn’t the original?

From Cat in GoT

Quote

Four hundred years old it was, and as sharp as the day it was forged. The name it bore was older still, a legacy from the age of heroes, when the Starks were Kings in the North.

 

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10 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

because it is valyrian steel and that steel is only around 500 years old ? 

 

Quote

 

Catelyn had no love for swords, but she could not deny that Ice had its own beauty. It had been forged in Valyria, before the Doom had come to the old Freehold, when the ironsmiths had worked their metal with spells as well as hammers. Four hundred years old it was, and as sharp as the day it was forged. The name it bore was older still, a legacy from the age of heroes, when the Starks were Kings in the North.


 

Ninja'd by Tucu :ninja:

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5 minutes ago, Tucu said:

@Feather Crystal

Continuing from 213; I don't expect symmetry between the Fire and the Ice forces. I actually not even expect a team Ice as the white cold will not be a sentient being, just a dangerous (un)natural force.

The fire forces (specifically the followers of R'hllor) are the ones that believe in a dual world in which ice and fire are opposed. The Others would be a more a holistic group freely mixing multiple types of magic.

The land is one and magic probably too. This is why we can have fire (Bloodraven), ice (Bran) and earth (the CoTF) in the same cave working together with necromancy (wights) guarding the entrance . I will not be surprise if Theon (water) joins them.

With regards to the Last Hero; we can compare him being chased by wights and WW to the way Sam and Bran are guided by being chased and then rescued.

I agree that there really is only one magic and one god, just two sides of the same coin, which is the very nature of duality. One cannot exist without the other. If fire could defeat ice it would destroy itself in the process.

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5 minutes ago, Tucu said:

From Cat in GoT

 

Very curious that the original Ice is nowhere to be seen. If the greatsword, Dawn was forged from the heart of a fallen star ten thousand years ago during the Age of Heroes, why hasn't Ice remained in physical form? Dawn is milky white and reflects light, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, and snow reflects the light of the moon. In this dualistic world I would expect Ice to be the opposite of Dawn in appearance. Something dark and black and blazing with the light of the sun. The sun is a ball of flame, so Ice should be on fire - the same burning blade Jon imagines himself wielding in his dream where he's armored in black. 

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13 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Very curious that the original Ice is nowhere to be seen. If the greatsword, Dawn was forged from the heart of a fallen star ten thousand years ago during the Age of Heroes, why hasn't Ice remained in physical form? Dawn is milky white and reflects light, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, and snow reflects the light of the moon. In this dualistic world I would expect Ice to be the opposite of Dawn in appearance. Something dark and black and blazing with the light of the sun. The sun is a ball of flame, so Ice should be on fire - the same burning blade Jon imagines himself wielding in his dream where he's armored in black. 

The original Ice melted when Brandon the Breaker tried to sharpen it using a dragonglass whetstone :-)

Edited by Tucu

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29 minutes ago, Tucu said:

The original Ice melted when Brandon the Breaker tried to sharpen it using a dragonglass whetstone :-)

I know this was meant as a joke, but humor is funny because something about it is true.

Brandon the Breaker was the Lord of Winterfell that joined with Joramun to bring the Nights King down. A couple thoughts flitted across my mind about this. Did Brandon the Breaker break the sword, and that is why Ser Waymar Royce's sword broke as a reversal of that event? (6-7 Watch-men against 1 undead Lord Commander) And did the Nights King originally have possession of Ice? Mormont's family sword, Longclaw, might be a repeat of a Lord Commander having a family sword at the Wall.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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It's the old question if Westeros is feature-complete and if every name has to reappear in the story. I mean the old parts of the crypts are collapsed and the oldest tower in Winterfell has the same stylistic features (Gargoyles) as the tower at Dragonstone, that was build around 500 years ago. 

I would say the old Ice was just given to one of the Stark kings, but as far as I know we only have longswords, not two handed weapons.

So maybe the old Ice was an iron longsword or a longsword in general and that's the reason the statues have longswords ? But then again longswords are a technology level as much as twohanded swords. So I doubt they could produce them during the long night. :dunno:

Edited by SirArthur

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