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Cowboy Dan

Begin with an End: An Ignorance of Ice and Fire

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     In this post I'll be going over the first and last chapters of AGOT and evidencing how they mirror each other heavily. The mirroring is not a perfect one-to-one comparison but focuses on three characters as archetypal stand-ins for one another. The posting was inspired by the reddit mod /u/joemagician's post The Killing of a Ranger in which he puts forth the idea of the prologue encounter between Waymar Royce and the Others as a test for the trio of rangers. Using that idea as a foundation I am seeking to prove the chapter as a whole is a ritualistic initiation rite for Waymar while the second half of the post focuses on Dany's successful ritual of fire. The two chapters will be looked at in isolation, with one exception, so no evidence from any of Dany's other chapters will be included. This is designed as a close reading of the text with an eye for direct connections and as such I'll be relying on the text itself to evidence these connections. This is why much of the post relies on passages from the text rather than me simply stating what is there to be read. My intent is to simply guide the reader between these similarities and differences between the chapters.

 

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"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.

"The wildlings are dead."

"Do the dead frighten you?" Ser Waymar Royce asked with just the hint of a smile.

Gared did not rise to the bait. He was an old man, past fifty, and he had seen the lordlings come and go. "Dead is dead," he said. "We have no business with the dead."

"Are they dead?" Royce asked softly. "What proof have we?"

“Will saw them,” Gared said. “If he says they are dead, that’s proof enough for me.

Will had known they would drag him into the quarrel sooner or later. He wished it had been later rather than sooner.

“My mother told me that dead men sing no songs,” he put in. “My wet nurse said the same thing, Will,” Royce replied. “Never believe anything you hear at a woman’s tit. There are things to be learned even from the dead.” His voice echoed, too loud in the twilit forest.

 

     With those words the series begins. It seems an innocuous exposition of what will transpire in the prologue but we are already being hit over the head with some serious information.

     The key subtext throughout the prologue is the theme of ignorance. This ignorance is shown by each of the Night's Watch trio in their interactions. First is Gared's feigned ignorance of Waymar's jab. In the chapter he consistently show obedience despite bristling at Royce's arrogance. Royce is the most ignorant of the three and his mistakes make up the bulk of this half of the analysis. Last is Will's critical error leading to Waymar's death.

     Here we begin with Waymar's first mistake. He wants to learn from the dead but may not like what he learns. His voice echoes loudly, implying neither Will nor Gared's voices echo in the dark of the forest. Another mistake to start for our young hero.

 

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“Yes, m’lord.” There never was a week when he did not draw a dozen bloody watches. What was the man driving at? “And how did you find the Wall?”

“Weeping,” Will said, frowning. He saw it clear enough, now that the lordling had pointed it out.

“They couldn’t have froze. Not if the Wall was weeping. It wasn’t cold enough.”

Royce nodded. “Bright lad. We’ve had a few light frosts this past week, and a quick flurry of snow now and then, but surely no cold fierce enough to kill eight grown men. Men clad in fur and leather, let me remind you, with shelter near at hand, and the means of making fire.” The knight’s smile was cocksure. “Will, lead us there. I would see these dead men for myself.”

And then there was nothing to be done for it. The order had been given, and honor bound them to obey.

 

     Throughout the chapter Will and Gared do everything in their power to prevent Waymar from meeting these dead men but Waymar is out to prove himself and disregards the guidance of his veteran ranger regarding dead men. His inquiries are well-reasoned but ultimately foolish.

     Certain his dead men aren't dead from the cold, Waymar commands Will to press forward, unknowing his dead men are not exactly dead. Yet another mistake for young Royce.

 

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“Perhaps my lord would care to take the lead?”

Ser Waymar Royce did not deign to reply.

Somewhere off in the wood a wolf howled.

 

     Will asks his leader to, well, lead. Waymar chooses not to take the lead in reaching the ritual site. Chalk up one more mistake for Waymar.

 

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“The trees press close here,” Will warned. “That sword will tangle you up, m’lord. Better a knife.”

“If I need instruction, I will ask for it,” the young lord said. “Gared, stay here. Guard the horses.”

Gared dismounted. “We need a fire. I’ll see to it.”

“How big a fool are you, old man? If there are enemies in this wood, a fire is the last thing we want.”

“There’s some enemies a fire will keep away,” Gared said. “Bears and direwolves and … and other things …”

Ser Waymar’s mouth became a hard line. “No fire.”

Gared’s hood shadowed his face, but Will could see the hard glitter in his eyes as he stared at the knight. For a moment he was afraid the older man would go for his sword. It was a short, ugly thing, its grip discolored by sweat, its edge nicked from hard use, but Will would not have given an iron bob for the lordling’s life if Gared pulled it from its scabbard.

Finally Gared looked down. “No fire,” he muttered, low under his breath.

Royce took it for acquiescence and turned away. “Lead on,” he said to Will.

 

     We see Waymar disregard more advice in quick succession. Should've used a knife. Should've used fire. Should've taken the lead. The narration points to Will's ignorance with the last line quoted, just as it did with his echoing voice. Gared is dejected over the lack of fire and his inability to sway his commander, not agreeing with him. He recognizes the potential death sentence for what it is and nearly kills Waymar in Will's assessment. It is worth noting Waymar's insistence on not starting a fire is reasonable to keep from being easily spotted by enemies. He simply fails to heed the experience, --and fears -- of his two comrades' desires to stave off worse threats than Wildlings. Can't young Royce stop making these mistakes?

 

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"Your dead men seem to have moved camp, Will."

Will's voice abandoned him. He groped for words that did not come. It was not possible. His eyes swept back and forth over the abandoned campsite, stopped on the axe. A huge double-bladed battle-axe, still lying where he had seen it last, untouched. A valuable weapon …

"On your feet, Will," Ser Waymar commanded. "There's no one here. I won't have you hiding under a bush."

Reluctantly, Will obeyed.

Ser Waymar looked him over with open disapproval. "I am not going back to Castle Black a failure on my first ranging. We will find these men." He glanced around. "Up the tree. Be quick about it. Look for a fire."

Will turned away, wordless. There was no use to argue.

 

     Will resigns himself to his fate at Waymar's hand. He recognizes what his commander does not: living men would not abandon such a valuable weapon. This is Waymar's last mistake before his fateful encounter with the Others.

     The Watch has forgotten their true enemy and with it their most valuable weapon against them. Waymar needed not just fire or a knife but a knife of fire, as Sam later will. He needed a dagger of obsidian.

     Before wrapping up this chapter let's look over Will's fatal mistake.

 

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Will had known they would drag him into the quarrel sooner or later. He wished it had been later rather than sooner.

 

     Will does not want to be part of a petty quarrel between a hotheaded young lord and a grizzled ranger. WIll agrees with Gared's position despite not saying so openly.  He does not take an active part in the ritual on Waymar's behalf resulting in both of their demises.

 

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"Will, where are you?" Ser Waymar called up. "Can you see anything?" He was turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand. He must have felt them, as Will felt them. There was nothing to see. "Answer me! Why is it so cold?"

 

     Will does not call out to Waymar from his sentinel perch and condemns Waymar with his inaction, as he subconsciously feels Waymar has condemned him. Upon his living death Waymar exacts his revenge for Will's silence in life by choking the life from him quite literally, giving Will eternal silence in death for his transgression.

     The chapter is rife with Waymar's unknowing ignorance causing his and Will's demise. In my large post I made the claim that the Others are ice dragons, a stance I will stand by here. A Game of Thrones begins with a failed forging of ice, ending with a shattered sword and ends with a successful forging of fire, resulting in three flaming swords: Daenerys' dragons. This is another mirrored occurrence. The three dragon eggs themselves crack, which could be seen as the dragon's first voice, the cry they make as they are taken from the womb of their eggs. Conversely Will's voice is the one who cracks, not any dragon egg parallel and the Other's voice responds in kind, described "like the cracking of ice on a winter lake". Whereas Waymar's naïve ignorance causes him to fail, Dany's informed ignorance leads to her accomplishment as Mother of Dragons.

 

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Bound hand and foot, Mirri Maz Duur watched from the dust with disquiet in her black eyes. "It is not enough to kill a horse," she told Dany. "By itself, the blood is nothing. You do not have the words to make a spell, nor the wisdom to find them. Do you think bloodmagic is a game for children? You call me maegi as if it were a curse, but all it means is wise. You are a child, with a child's ignorance. Whatever you mean to do, it will not work. Loose me from these bonds and I will help you."

"I am tired of the maegi's braying," Dany told Jhogo. He took his whip to her, and after that the godswife kept silent.

 

     Gared and Will are bound by honor to Waymar's Will, just as Jorah is to Daenerys. Mirri Maz Duur is bound conversely by force to Daenerys' will. This is an example of how the two separate trios are archetypal stand-ins that do not perfectly mirror one another but fulfill similar roles due to the differing outcomes of the rituals.

 

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"My … queen," Ser Jorah said, going to one knee. "My sword that was his is yours, Daenerys. And my heart as well, that never belonged to your brother. I am only a knight, and I have nothing to offer you but exile, but I beg you, hear me. Let Khal Drogo go. You shall not be alone. I promise you, no man shall take you to Vaes Dothrak unless you wish to go. You need not join the dosh khaleen. Come east with me. Yi Ti, Qarth, the Jade Sea, Asshai by the Shadow. We will see all the wonders yet unseen, and drink what wines the gods see fit to serve us. Please, Khaleesi. I know what you intend. Do not. Do not."

"I must," Dany told him. She touched his face, fondly, sadly. "You do not understand."

"I understand that you loved him," Ser Jorah said in a voice thick with despair. "I loved my lady wife once, yet I did not die with her. You are my queen, my sword is yours, but do not ask me to stand aside as you climb on Drogo's pyre. I will not watch you burn."

"Is that what you fear?" Dany kissed him lightly on his broad forehead. "I am not such a child as that, sweet ser."

"You do not mean to die with him? You swear it, my queen?"

"I swear it," she said in the Common Tongue of the Seven Kingdoms that by rights were hers.

 

     In this chapter Jorah and Mirri are archetypal stand-ins for Will and Gared respectively. Both sets of followers are afraid of the cold and fire taking life. Will and Gared are afraid for themselves while Waymar is unafraid until meeting the Others. Mirri Maz Duur becomes afraid when she realizes what Dany intends to do regarding the pyre and Jorah is afraid for Dany's sake, while Dany herself is unafraid to the point of seeming mad.

      I said I would stick to these two chapters but I will make one exception here. When Gared is described by Bran directly before his beheading he is "bound hand and foot" just as Mirri Maz Duur is in the funeral pyre.

 

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Fewer than a hundred were left. How many had Aegon started with? she wondered. It did not matter.

"You will be my khalasar," she told them. "I see the faces of slaves. I free you. Take off your collars. Go if you wish, no one shall harm you. If you stay, it will be as brothers and sisters, husbands and wives." The black eyes watched her, wary, expressionless. "I see the children, women, the wrinkled faces of the aged. I was a child yesterday. Today I am a woman. Tomorrow I will be old. To each of you I say, give me your hands and your hearts, and there will always be a place for you." She turned to the three young warriors of her khas. "Jhogo, to you I give the silver-handled whip that was my bride gift, and name you ko, and ask your oath, that you will live and die as blood of my blood, riding at my side to keep me safe from harm."

Jhogo took the whip from her hands, but his face was confused. "Khaleesi," he said hesitantly, "this is not done. It would shame me, to be bloodrider to a woman."

 

     Daenerys is a woman now, mirroring Will's estimation of Waymar that he "was a boy no longer, but a man of the Night's Watch." Daenerys' intention isn't to die in the fire but be reborn. Dany is willing to lead her people in a new way if they accept her rule. She knows that sacrifice must be personal and not at the expense of other people.

     Similar to Waymar, Daenerys ignores the words of her veteran protectors. She both honors and ignores the customs of the Dothraki in order to make new customs for her people. This purposeful ignorance extends to all three of her chosen bloodriders.

 

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"Aggo," Dany called, paying no heed to Jhogo's words. If I look back I am lost. "To you I give the dragonbone bow that was my bride gift." It was double-curved, shiny black and exquisite, taller than she was. "I name you ko, and ask your oath, that you should live and die as blood of my blood, riding at my side to keep me safe from harm."

Aggo accepted the bow with lowered eyes. "I cannot say these words. Only a man can lead a khalasar or name a ko."

"Rakharo," Dany said, turning away from the refusal, "you shall have the great arakh that was my bride gift, with hilt and blade chased in gold. And you too I name my ko, and ask that you live and die as blood of my blood, riding at my side to keep me safe from harm."

"You are khaleesi," Rakharo said, taking the arakh. "I shall ride at your side to Vaes Dothrak beneath the Mother of Mountains, and keep you safe from harm until you take your place with the crones of the dosh khaleen. No more can I promise."

She nodded, as calmly as if she had not heard his answer, and turned to the last of her champions.

 

     Similar to Will turning away from Waymar when it is useless to argue, Daenerys turns away from her three bloodriders, stuck in the ways of their Dothraki customs. In contrast to Waymar she is able to learn from those around her, performing the ritual of fire to fantastic effect.

 

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As she climbed down off the pyre, she noticed Mirri Maz Duur watching her. "You are mad," the godswife said hoarsely.

"Is it so far from madness to wisdom?" Dany asked. "Ser Jorah, take this maegi and bind her to the pyre."

"To the … my queen, no, hear me …"

"Do as I say." Still he hesitated, until her anger flared. "You swore to obey me, whatever might come. Rakharo, help him."

The godswife did not cry out as they dragged her to Khal Drogo's pyre and staked her down amidst his treasures. Dany poured the oil over the woman's head herself. "I thank you, Mirri Maz Duur," she said, "for the lessons you have taught me."

"You will not hear me scream," Mirri responded as the oil dripped from her hair and soaked her clothing.

"I will," Dany said, "but it is not your screams I want, only your life. I remember what you told me. Only death can pay for life."

 

     Mirri Maz Duur thinks Dany foolish, similarly to how Gared bristled at Waymar's callous arrogance. Mirri Maz Duur then calls Dany mad after claiming her own wisdom. She fails to realize Dany has a wisdom of her own.

 

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Mirri Maz Duur began to sing in a shrill, ululating voice. The flames whirled and writhed, racing each other up the platform. The dusk shimmered as the air itself seemed to liquefy from the heat. Dany heard logs spit and crack. The fires swept over Mirri Maz Duur. Her song grew louder, shriller … then she gasped, again and again, and her song became a shuddering wail, thin and high and full of agony.

 

     Mirri Maz Duur is sacrificed to the flames as Waymar is sacrificed to the cold. Her song becomes a wail of agony, just as Waymar and the Other's song of steel is described in Will's narration as an "anguished keening of their clash".

 

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As the smoke grew thicker, the Dothraki backed away, coughing. Huge orange gouts of fire unfurled their banners in that hellish wind, the logs hissing and cracking, glowing cinders rising on the smoke to float away into the dark like so many newborn fireflies. The heat beat at the air with great red wings, driving the Dothraki back, driving off even Mormont, but Dany stood her ground. She was the blood of the dragon, and the fire was in her.

She had sensed the truth of it long ago, Dany thought as she took a step closer to the conflagration, but the brazier had not been hot enough. The flames writhed before her like the women who had danced at her wedding, whirling and singing and spinning their yellow and orange and crimson veils, fearsome to behold, yet lovely, so lovely, alive with heat. Dany opened her arms to them, her skin flushed and glowing. This is a wedding, too, she thought. Mirri Maz Duur had fallen silent. The godswife thought her a child, but children grow, and children learn.

 

     Daenerys states the fire was in her, just as Gared describes the effects of having the cold in him to Waymar. This is not only mirrored between the two but also repeated earlier in the chapter when Daenerys takes a heated bath. Daenerys sees these fiery dancers and walks willingly to them. This works in direct opposition to Waymar's challenge to save his own skin with the proclamation of the infamous line "Dance with me, then".

     Both rituals involve three key players. Will and Jorah serve as observers outside the ritual. Will's deathly silence failed to protect the encircled Waymar from the Others. Jorah on the other hand yells and curses to prevent Dany from walking in the fire to no avail. Gared and MMD both serve as wizened guides for the initiate. Mirri Maz Duur is sacrificed in fire while Gared absconds with the horses, leaving Waymar to his fate of failed forging. Waymar and Dany act as the ritual's initiate, the hero/heroine of the trials of ice and fire. Dany acts from knowledge and madness while Waymar acts on naïvete and reason. Both use their ignorance to devastating effect.

 

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Ok, good. The book starts and ends with extremely magical scenes, but little or nothing magical between. You're right, they should be compared. (Personally, this takes me straight back into the confusion of the ice that burns, and the cold that feels warm.)

Many ideas here; I'll just comment on a few.

17 hours ago, Cowboy Dan said:

     Here we begin with Waymar's first mistake. He wants to learn from the dead but may not like what he learns. His voice echoes loudly, implying neither Will nor Gared's voices echo in the dark of the forest. Another mistake to start for our young hero.

Interesting. Dany, iirc, is calm in a place of noise and action. Waymar is noisy in a place of calm and stillness.

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     We see Waymar disregard more advice in quick succession. Should've used a knife. Should've used fire. Should've taken the lead. The narration points to Will's ignorance with the last line quoted, just as it did with his echoing voice. Gared is dejected over the lack of fire and his inability to sway his commander, not agreeing with him. He recognizes the potential death sentence for what it is and nearly kills Waymar in Will's assessment. It is worth noting Waymar's insistence on not starting a fire is reasonable to keep from being easily spotted by enemies. He simply fails to heed the experience, --and fears -- of his two comrades' desires to stave off worse threats than Wildlings. Can't young Royce stop making these mistakes?

<snip>

     In this chapter Jorah and Mirri are archetypal stand-ins for Will and Gared respectively. Both sets of followers are afraid of the cold and fire taking life. Will and Gared are afraid for themselves while Waymar is unafraid until meeting the Others. Mirri Maz Duur becomes afraid when she realizes what Dany intends to do regarding the pyre and Jorah is afraid for Dany's sake, while Dany herself is unafraid to the point of seeming mad.

 <snip> Dany is willing to lead her people in a new way if they accept her rule. She knows that sacrifice must be personal and not at the expense of other people.

     Similar to Waymar, Daenerys ignores the words of her veteran protectors. She both honors and ignores the customs of the Dothraki in order to make new customs for her people. This purposeful ignorance extends to all three of her chosen bloodriders.

Both ignore the advice, experience and fears of their veteran supporters. Dany wants more fire, Waymar none.

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 Mirri Maz Duur thinks Dany foolish, similarly to how Gared bristled at Waymar's callous arrogance. Mirri Maz Duur then calls Dany mad after claiming her own wisdom. She fails to realize Dany has a wisdom of her own.

     Mirri Maz Duur is sacrificed to the flames as Waymar is sacrificed to the cold. Her song becomes a wail of agony, just as Waymar and the Other's song of steel is described in Will's narration as an "anguished keening of their clash".

     Daenerys states the fire was in her, just as Gared describes the effects of having the cold in him to Waymar... <snip>

Interesting stuff!

I see more parallels than differences between the two: both were crazily bold and not a little ignorant. Dany lived even though fire destroys. Waymar died even though ice preserves.

It takes me a bit of effort to remember that death need not be the end of a character arc, just a transformation into a new phase as undead.

That said, I'm not expecting to see much of Waymar again. Instead, I'm impressed by the arguments that he's a shadow character for Jon. What do you think?

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[Waymar] He was a handsome youth of eighteen, grey-eyed and graceful and slender as a knife.

[Jon] Jon's eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black, but there was little they did not see. He was of an age with Robb, but they did not look alike. Jon was slender where Robb was muscular, dark where Robb was fair, graceful and quick where his half brother was strong and fast.

Both were sent to the Wall because their noble families had no place for them. Both were interested in learning from the dead. One was killed by 'watchers', the other by Watchmen.

Parallels don't get much better than that....

 

Edited by Springwatch
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I see very little, if any, similarities between Waymar Royce and Daenerys Targaryen.  Waymar is not level-headed.  He was a proud young man who probably never had to earn anything in his life.  He expected to command more seasoned men.  A position he never earned.  Daenerys, on the other hand, earned her command.   Her leadership abilities are proven time and again.  She was able to lead her khalasar to the safety of Vaes Tolorro.  Waymar Royce probably had never led any warm body before that ranging.  This is a fourteen year old girl compared to a boy who was likely a few years older.  

The biggest difference between the two.  Daenerys knew what she was doing.  So confident was she that she walked into that fire.  She had ancient knowledge with regards to the hatching of dragons.  Knowledge that the other Targaryens have forgotten or never known.  Waymar Royce and his confidence came from arrogance, not knowledge.

 

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:24 PM, Springwatch said:

Interesting. Dany, iirc, is calm in a place of noise and action. Waymar is noisy in a place of calm and stillness.

Certainly, Dany comes off as centered and in control throughout the chapter.

 

On 12/11/2018 at 1:24 PM, Springwatch said:

I see more parallels than differences between the two: both were crazily bold and not a little ignorant. Dany lived even though fire destroys. Waymar died even though ice preserves.

It takes me a bit of effort to remember that death need not be the end of a character arc, just a transformation into a new phase as undead.

That said, I'm not expecting to see much of Waymar again. Instead, I'm impressed by the arguments that he's a shadow character for Jon. What do you think?

Waymar is bold because he doesn't know what's coming, that's a big part of what makes him ignorant. He thinks White Walkers and undead are simply a fairy tale. It doesn't take much courage to be unafraid of something you think doesn't exist. When he meets the Others his voice cracks, his sword trembles. He puts on a good show and that certainly takes bravery as Ned states but it's in the subtext he's scared and out of his depth when he realizes the nightmares are real.

I'd say they have paralleled positions in the scenes but handle their trials quite differently, hence one failing and one succeeding. In fact your point above shows the two behave very differently in their situations, Dany with calm, Waymar with bravado. I don't follow what you're getting at.

Care expanding on what you mean by seeing more parallels than differences?

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Dany was ignorant too.

  • There is not much knowledge of magic even among maesters, according to Luwin.
  • Dragon lore is hard to come by, according to Tyrion. 
  • Even Targ kings didn't know how to hatch eggs.
  • Mirri herself was surprised at Dany's 'ritual', therefore not involved in it.

The only thing left is the Targ affinity to heat - she threw everything valuable on the fire. Fire and blood. Perhaps she guessed Summerhall was a similar attempt, but Summerhall was a disastrous failure.

So yes, she was taking on a huge risk. And though calm, she didn't come off as centred and in control - the Dothraki thought she was irrational and Jorah thought she was suicidal.

Waymar also followed his instincts - to complete his mission and seek out the truth. In this story, he was a loser; in another story he could be a hero from just the same actions. Suppose Ned tried a bit harder to hear Gared's story - the curse of ignorance could have been lifted right from the beginning.

On 12/11/2018 at 8:24 PM, Springwatch said:

Interesting. Dany, iirc, is calm in a place of noise and action. Waymar is noisy in a place of calm and stillness. 

Just playing with ideas here. Both seem to be in opposition to their environment: Dany is calm and quiet while the fire is roaring like a beast and MIrri is singing and screaming; and Waymar is too loud in a quiet place where both his companions and the Others are described as silent.

Waymar isn't important in the big scheme of things, which is why I'm interested in the idea that he's a cipher for Jon. As foreshadowing, Waymar's death actually feels pretty hopeful.

  • The silence is broken by screaming and shrieking.
  • The single sword shatters into a rain of needles (= Needles?) - the one blade produces a hundred, with the original as if touched by lightning.  A powerful image.
  • One of those shards prevents an eye from turning blue - possibly suggesting that the wightification and mental enslavement is incomplete.
  • Waymar's blood is red as fire.

Again, just playing with ideas. :)

Edited by Springwatch
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14 hours ago, Springwatch said:

So yes, she was taking on a huge risk. And though calm, she didn't come off as centred and in control - the Dothraki thought she was irrational and Jorah thought she was suicidal

Would've been more accurate to say she comes off as centered to the reader, not the people around her. That's how it read to me. The only time she raises her voice is when she commands Jorah to bind Mirri to the pyre and he at first refuses. She's more annoyed with him not following his oath than any fear for her own safety. She's also quite level when Mirri talks down to her, telling her how she's a child and can't perform magic properly.

 

14 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Both seem to be in opposition to their environment: Dany is calm and quiet while the fire is roaring like a beast and MIrri is singing and screaming; and Waymar is too loud in a quiet place where both his companions and the Others are described as silent.

And I certainly enjoy that catch, it's a good oppositional parallel for the two scenes I hadn't thought of. That's the sort of discussion of ideas I was hoping to spark when putting together this thread.

 

14 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Waymar isn't important in the big scheme of things, which is why I'm interested in the idea that he's a cipher for Jon. As foreshadowing, Waymar's death actually feels pretty hopeful.

I don't see how a death can be hopeful, perhaps the rebirth. I gotta say you've piqued my interest. That's twice now you've mentioned Jon and Waymar together. I've not read anything regarding that idea, aside from the linked post in my introduction. Have a link or two you can share so I can read up on these arguments?

 

14 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Again, just playing with ideas. :)

Fair enough. I've got nothing against playing with ideas, as long as we know that's what we're doing. Didn't know where you were coming from.

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On 12/15/2018 at 9:26 AM, Cowboy Dan said:

I don't see how a death can be hopeful, perhaps the rebirth. I gotta say you've piqued my interest. That's twice now you've mentioned Jon and Waymar together. I've not read anything regarding that idea, aside from the linked post in my introduction. Have a link or two you can share so I can read up on these arguments?

Now you come to mention it, rebirth is the most hopeful thing of all! - Jon needs a resurrection.

Waymar and Jon: the parallels get brought up every now and then. Some people take it has foreshadowing (like this) and some don't (I like this one). Personally I think it has to be foreshadowing, because what else are you going to do with all these characters with parallels? There's plenty (e.g. Cersei/Jaime & Margaery/Loras).

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How are we enhanced by this?      The exposure to magic has always made those chapters parallel; the journeys of waymar and daenerys were not parallel.   The beginning and end showcased the dangers of magic and then danger + boon.   Both elements are shown "winning" and building momentum toward their big showdown.   The elements are running parallel here, not the characters immersed in them.   How are we enhanced by saying characters are parallel when they pealed off along different vectors?     It's the story of ice and fire.  The characters are pawns who can die at any time, or have too many chapters for little reason like Cercei in that one book.

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12 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

How are we enhanced by this?     

Is a good question; and probably one only the author can answer. What's not even open to question is the simple existence of character parallels. They just do. Cersei/Jaime v's Margaery/Loras is maybe the best example, and the parallels are heavily underlined with remarks like He is me (Jaime), and I am the queen, you fool (Cersei, hearing someone call Margaery the queen).

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The exposure to magic has always made those chapters parallel; the journeys of waymar and daenerys were not parallel.   

Agree: parallels don't mean the same story every time.

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The beginning and end showcased the dangers of magic and then danger + boon.   Both elements are shown "winning" and building momentum toward their big showdown.   The elements are running parallel here, not the characters immersed in them.   How are we enhanced by saying characters are parallel when they pealed off along different vectors?     It's the story of ice and fire.  The characters are pawns who can die at any time, or have too many chapters for little reason like Cercei in that one book.

This is the song of ice and fire, framed by two chapters of elemental magic. It would - just be nice - if those two chapters had equal weight. I mean, we see the return of the Others, and we see the return of the dragons. That's balanced.  But try comparing Dany to Waymar!

Dany is re-born, a dragon that hatched: 'The frightened child who sheltered in my manse died on the Dothraki sea, and was reborn in blood and fire. The dragon queen who bears her name is a true Targaryen.' Dany is queen and conqueror, and loaded with prophecies.

Waymar is nothing.

Jon, however, is another hatching dragon.

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On 12/16/2018 at 11:47 AM, The Mother of The Others said:

How are we enhanced by this?      The exposure to magic has always made those chapters parallel; the journeys of waymar and daenerys were not parallel.   The beginning and end showcased the dangers of magic and then danger + boon.   Both elements are shown "winning" and building momentum toward their big showdown.   The elements are running parallel here, not the characters immersed in them.   How are we enhanced by saying characters are parallel when they pealed off along different vectors?     It's the story of ice and fire.  The characters are pawns who can die at any time, or have too many chapters for little reason like Cercei in that one book.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and take it that you've misunderstood and are not intentionally misrepresenting my position. I did point out the trials are paralleled, not the characters themselves. The word I was using throughout the post was that they were mirrored. This represents opposition, not that they are the same.

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You mentioned Waymar's trial as a failed forging of Ice. What would need to be different in this scenario for Waymar to succeed?

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