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Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell.

AGOT Eddard IV

This is the only reference to a 'frozen hell' that I can find in the whole series.

Is this a hint that maybe the Starks are the Others?

I am re-reading, and never noticed or paid much attention to this on prior reads.

Am I reading too far in to it for such a short sentence? I know this passage happens when Ned is thinking & noting the misery of Arya and Sansa in the wake of the ordeal at the Trident with the Butchers Boy, is this just an extension of his mood and nothing more?

I want it to be a clue. 

What are everyone's thoughts?

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I think it's weird. The rule of thumb seems to be that cold is found high up, and the heat is low down. So what does hell mean? Maybe it's just another way of saying frozen fire - not a punishment, but an asset.

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3 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

This is the only reference to a 'frozen hell' that I can find in the whole series.

Good catch

3 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Is this a hint that maybe the Starks are the Others?

How many Starks in the books have pale blue eyes, ice razor, bring the coldest of colds with them and raise the dead to fight as their minions?

3 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I am re-reading, and never noticed or paid much attention to this on prior reads.

Well, it is one line that was never expanded on or duplicated 

3 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Am I reading too far in to it for such a short sentence? 

Probably

3 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I know this passage happens when Ned is thinking & noting the misery of Arya and Sansa in the wake of the ordeal at the Trident with the Butchers Boy, is this just an extension of his mood and nothing more?

Probably 

3 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I want it to be a clue. 

I want winds to be released, but we rarely get what we want in this cold cruel world 

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31 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Good catch

How many Starks in the books have pale blue eyes, ice razor, bring the coldest of colds with them and raise the dead to fight as their minions?

Well, it is one line that was never expanded on or duplicated 

Probably

Probably 

I want winds to be released, but we rarely get what we want in this cold cruel world 

LOL thanks man.

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2 hours ago, Springwatch said:

I think it's weird. The rule of thumb seems to be that cold is found high up, and the heat is low down. So what does hell mean? Maybe it's just another way of saying frozen fire - not a punishment, but an asset.

I'm guessing it was so early that GRRM wrote it without it really having a deeper meaning? IDK. Grasping at straws now...

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8 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I'm guessing it was so early that GRRM wrote it without it really having a deeper meaning? IDK. Grasping at straws now...

I assume everything has a meaning, then wait for the theory to fall apart or not. Move fast and break things....

I've been looking at quotes to help along the demolition process:

Quote

[Sandor] Only a man who's been burned knows what hell is truly like. [AGOT - SANSA II]

[Ser Gerold] "... and our false brother would burn in seven hells." [AGOT - EDDARD X]

So hell burns. But ice can burn, so the frozen hell could be one of the seven, even though most characters seem to expect heat.

Quote

[the brewer] "You tell Weese my lads got duties to attend to,... and the seven hells will freeze over before he gets another horn of my ale...." [ACOK - ARYA VIII]

He [Strickland] would wait until all seven hells were frozen if he could rather than risk another bout of blisters. [ADWD - THE GRIFFIN REBORN]

Hell can freeze. So Ned's hell might be currently hot.

Quote

[Tyrion] Are you down in some hell, Father? A nice cold hell where you can look up and see me help restore Mad Aerys's daughter to the Iron Throne [ADWD - TYRION II]

"I could send you to White Harbor," the lord allowed. "Or I could send you to some cold wet hell." [ADWD - DAVOS I]

"The gods have turned against us," old Lord Locke was heard to say in the Great Hall. "This is their wroth. A wind as cold as hell itself and snows that never end. We are cursed." [ADWD  - A GHOST IN WINTERFELL]

In the last book we see a lot more visions of a cold hell (which may or may not be frozen).

Quote

[Selmy, at Quentyn's deathbed] It would have been kinder if the dragon had devoured him. That at least would have been quick. This... Fire is a hideous way to die. Small wonder half the hells are made of flame. [ADWD - THE QUEEN'S HAND]

Some detail at last (there might be more in the companion books).

I think hell might have some form of existence, just as ghosts and wights do. It might be the embodiment of the magic of the seasons - it certainly seems at risk of freezing over. Also characters might get to go there. Sending someone to hell is common wish (including Arya, whose wishes come remarkably true sometimes...)

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A few potential variants:

1) 'Hell' is different for different belief systems. (Fot7 vs. Old Gods faith vs. all the various religions of Essos, etc.)

2) Fot7 has both flame hells and cold hells.

3) Westerosi culture, to distinguish it from Fot7, has a variety of concepts of 'hell.'

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

I think hell might have some form of existence, just as ghosts and wights do. It might be the embodiment of the magic of the seasons - it certainly seems at risk of freezing over. Also characters might get to go there. Sending someone to hell is common wish (including Arya, whose wishes come remarkably true sometimes...)

What do you think about the "reserved for the Starks of Winterfell" part?

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I'll begin with my traditional "Uhhhhh," and then say the context of this 'cold hell worry' was that the Starks were trying to stick their toes in the warm Southron pool at last but had just gotten their toes bit by the viper of southern politics. 

So he began to have misgivings that the trip south was a bad idea and they weren't a good fit for a life at court.   He wanted to gift his daughter with a warmer life to see her (and Stark influence) branch out into the center of the kingdoms and thrive there, but the omens were that it would wither and their place was to shiver in the cold the same as always. 

 A conventional hell more than a supernatural one.  But we know from page one the supernatural is stalking outside his gates.  He don't know that though.  So his hell dreams aren't informed by that side of things.  Not consciously.  But then it's the subconscious that does the dreaming.   But his subconscious was also ignorant.  So....

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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I think it may be ironic. Ned is dreaming of Winterfell, which is the place he didn't want to leave and the place he longs to return to.

Others in this forum figured out that Ned represents the Winter King and Robert represents the Summer King. (Other kings or would-be kings may also fit the summer / winter archetypes as Ned and Robert leave the scene.) The Winter King would like nothing better than to return to his frozen realm which is hell only in the sense that it is underground (the crypt and/or the pool by the weirwood tree) or in the sense that other people (non-Starks) would hate it.

GRRM gives us one of his hints when you look at the context of the phrase. Right after this thought passes through Ned's POV, he is approached by Littlefinger who tells Ned that he is going the wrong way and adds (sarcastically) that Littlefinger will lead him to a dungeon, slit his throat and seal his corpse behind a wall. Ned's dream come true! Return to a crypt for eternity!

It's interesting that Ned is met by Ser Rodrik Cassel when Littlefinger delivers him to their destination. I have a half-baked theory that Cassel represents Ned's castle - Winterfell. (Later we see Ser Rodrik die just as Winterfell is ruined. We can only hope that Beth Cassel can be present for the rebuilding of the family home. Similarly, Jeyne Poole represents the reflecting pool where we see Ned cleaning his sword during Catelyn's first AGoT POV.) With the arrival of Ser Rodrik, symbolically, Littlefinger has delivered Ned to Winterfell.

"Frozen" may carry the meaning of "cold" but also of "motionless". We are told that the swords across the laps of the Stark statues in the crypt are put in place to keep the souls from wandering. Maybe Ned also wants to be "at rest" and not have to be reborn all the time, like so many of the characters who are constantly undergoing rebirths.

Ironic, again, that Ned's bones later go astray and are not delivered to the Winterfell crypt as intended. His sword is also redirected, perhaps condemning his soul to wander instead of being at rest in his cherished frozen hell.

Edited by Seams

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8 hours ago, Seams said:

rest in his cherished frozen hell.

I think I glossed over 'dreamed'. This cherished frozen hell is reserved for the Starks of Winterfell so no intriguey Southroners can be there to ruin it! I think I was hung up on the negative connotations of 'hell'.

 

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On January 16, 2019 at 7:44 AM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

This is the only reference to a 'frozen hell' that I can find in the whole series.

Is this a hint that maybe the Starks are the Others?

I am re-reading, and never noticed or paid much attention to this on prior reads.

Am I reading too far in to it for such a short sentence? I know this passage happens when Ned is thinking & noting the misery of Arya and Sansa in the wake of the ordeal at the Trident with the Butchers Boy, is this just an extension of his mood and nothing more?

I want it to be a clue. 

What are everyone's thoughts?

Well--we do have the Stark crypts. Completely unique in Westeros, far as I can tell. Why do they "crypt" their dead? Why does Jon dream of the Old Kings coming out of their tombs? I think the Stark dead are waiting to rise--"sleeping" in the tombs under the hill, like Arthur or Brandon in Britain. A sleeping/frozen hell.

And we have other hints of "frozen hell," too. The 79 Sentinels are clearly in a frozen hell: for oathbreaking. And the Black Gate seems like a frozen hell--I think it's the Night's King, imprisoned for a type of oathbreaking.

The Starks of Winterfell are the Night's Kings relatives/descendants. I think they are waiting in the crypts to "fulfill" the oath of the Night's Watch that the Night's King broke--a theory inspired by a lot of reading on heresy..

But there's a lot more info we need.

Bottom line: I think "frozen hell" is a clue.  I think you are right.:cheers:

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The George is putting a spin on our perception of what hell is.  The bible paints a fiery hell.  God destroyed cities with fire and brimstone.  That's according to the bible.  Hell in ASOIAF is ice.  Cold is the absence of heat.  Dark is the absence of light.  Heat and light is what gives life to the universe.  The absence of both is cold and dark.  Death.  The bringer of death in the story is ice.

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Perhaps I'm just "underthinking" this, but Ned's thought about a "frozen hell reserved for Starks" wasn't meant to be anything literal. Remember, southron Westerosi who worship the Seven believe there are seven hells (Thanks, Ser Leftwich!). The quote from Barristan's point of view (thanks, Springwatch!) indicates the hells are not all the same: some are fiery, others cold, and there's probably even more variety that is really of no great significance. Christianity has no place here, folks.

When Ned thought his "frozen hell reserved for Starks", he was doing no more than using the Westerosi equivalent of our "special hell reserved for" [insert people who you want to target.] It's clearly a commonly-used phrase or thought. Period. Well, that, and Ned, being from the north, would think that "frozen" was probably worse than "warm." I can sympathize.

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This is very indirect evidence of Ned's desire to go to hell, but fun if you are at all open to hints that GRRM may have hidden in the subtext. @GloubieBoulga blew my mind a couple or three years ago when she pointed out that Dolorous Edd is a mummer version of Ned Stark - if you re-read the Dolorous Edd passages with Ned in mind, it is a fascinating way to imagine Jon's father (uncle?) speaking to him from beyond the grave. So here is a passage with Dolorous Edd wishing for a faster journey to hell:

"Give the wildling an axe, why not?" He pointed out Mormont's weapon, a short-hafted battle axe with gold scrollwork inlaid on the black steel blade. "He'll give it back, I vow. Buried in the Old Bear's skull, like as not. Why not give him all our axes, and our swords as well? I mislike the way they clank and rattle as we ride. We'd travel faster without them, straight to hell's door. Does it rain in hell, I wonder? Perhaps Craster would like a nice hat instead."

Jon smiled. "He wants an axe. And wine as well."

"See, the Old Bear's clever. If we get the wildling well and truly drunk, perhaps he'll only cut off an ear when he tries to slay us with that axe. I have two ears but only one head."

(ACoK, Chapter 23, Jon III)

Keep in mind, Craster had referred to "the bite" that had maimed Gared over the years - referring to frostbite - and then joked about whether the bite had beheaded Gared. Of course, everyone knows that Ned Stark beheaded Gared for desertion in the early chapter of AGoT and that he used the sword Ice to do it. Craster then immediately requests that the Night's Watch provide him with an axe because his old axe has lost its bite:

". . . Gared wasn't half-bad, for a crow. Had less ears than me, that one. The 'bite took 'em, same as mine." Craster laughed. "Now I hear he got no head neither. The 'bite do that too?"

...

"Had no good southron wine up here for a bear's night. I could use me some wine, and a new axe. Mine's lost its bite, can't have that, I got me women to protect."

(ACoK, Chapter 23, Jon III)

What would it mean that Craster wants to have a weapon that bites, and that the sword Ice "bit" off Gared's head? What additional meaning is there in "Ned" (Edd) wanting to provide the weapon to Craster in order to hasten the journey to the gate of hell? Is it possible that Craster is a gatekeeper and the Fist of the First Men is the gate to hell?

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

Dolorous Edd is a mummer version of Ned Stark

 

Could you please link me to that post @Seams ?

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38 minutes ago, Daendrew said:

Could you please link me to that post @Seams ?

I think she just mentioned it offhand in a thread about something else. Not sure it's still findable through the search engine in this forum. (I tried a couple searches and couldn't find it.) Closest I can come is my earliest mention of it:

Edit: Found her comment! She is French and her English was a little rough, but the idea is clear:

 

Edited by Seams

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8 minutes ago, Seams said:

I think she just mentioned it offhand in a thread about something else. Not sure it's still findable through the search engine in this forum. (I tried a couple searches and couldn't find it.) Closest I can come is my earliest mention of it:

 

Thanks

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