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Heresy 219 and a whisper of Winter

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Do we have an theory who the current WW are. Have they come from Caster's sons scenario, or are they '8000' years old left over from the original WW. In which case the revenge theory above is possible. If not then a general dislike of living humans after all they were created to destroy them. 

As to the ending it is to be 'bittersweet' so the sweet some Stark revenge the bitter some favorite characters die or some nasty ones live and perhaps win the game of thrones while the good ones win the story of ice and fire. The mummers version must surly be distracted by GoT but is it relevant. A king in the North would satisfy the north whatever happens down south.

Relevance of Jeyne is to perhaps provide a male line of succession if the KintN/queen doesn't quite make it to the end. Any child is too young to influence current events as there is currently no shortage of Starks. So a prologue maybe to give some backstory or future story but not have big influence on current arcs, perhaps as a vehicle to introduce us to the much anticipated appearance of H. Reed.

Or the whole thing could be the WW win and Jon becomes the Nights King and rules the world with his other dead buddies. Who says there has to be any good guys.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SirArthur said:

He is a hypocrite exactly because he does what benefits him. He claimed the Iron Throne because Robert had no trueborn children. That is the entire point of the civil war. According to his own declaration Jon can not be Lord, because he is not trueborn. Robert saw Joeffrey as his son, this is as legitimized as it gets. That's the point, Stannis does what helps him, not what is consistent. And btw. Edric Storm is legitimized. That is the other point. Stannis is a hypocrite through and through. Ignoring legitimized Edric and "son" Joeffrey just to put another bastard(Jon) on a throne. The situation between Jon and Edric is not much different. Both are more ore less legitimized bastards with a claim to an empty throne.

All men know me for the trueborn son of Steffon Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, by his lady wife Cassana of House Estermont. I declare upon the honor of my House that my beloved brother Robert, our late king, left no trueborn issue of his body, the boy Joffrey, the boy Tommen, and the girl Myrcella being abominations born of incest between Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime the Kingslayer. By right of birth and blood, I do this day lay claim to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Let all true men declare their loyalty. Done in the Light of the Lord, under the sign and seal of Stannis of House Baratheon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.

Stannis hasn't changed his opinion of bastards. They are still of lower birth in his eyes, even Jon, so while you see raising Jon up to become Lord of Winterfell as hypocritical, he a choice that Stannis believes would be accepted by the northern houses. 

1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

I agree with that interpretation of the vision; however, that's before the Santa Fe meeting, so whatever it is foreshadowing with regards to Dany, those plans were already in place, and possibly even independent of GRRM's plans (or, alternately, based on information he had given before the Santa Fe meeting).

In an interview with TV Guide, before Season 1 had aired, D&D spoke a bit about being confident that ASOIAF and GoT wouldn't "pull a Lost," and already having some broad strokes in mind:


...and Weiss' comments in a 2017 Time interview about the Santa Fe meeting:
 


That certainly makes it sound as though they intended to execute the broad strokes of what they wanted their final season to look like, regardless of what they learned in Santa Fe.

....err, the point being that the HoTU vision - ruined throne room filled with snow, Dany passing the throne and instead heading beyond the Wall as a metaphor for going into the Night Lands - is foreshadowing for plans that were already in place. Accordingly, I don't think it fits for the third "holy shit" moment.

Sometimes I wonder if the show will demonstrate that Jon isn't a Targaryen in the last season. They have to educate the viewing audience somehow. If you haven't read the books, you have no idea that Rhaegar abducting Lyanna was even a thing. How do you demonstrate this theory through a script for television when the audience scarcely remembers who Rhaegar and Lyanna were?

10 minutes ago, JRRStark said:

Do we have an theory who the current WW are. Have they come from Caster's sons scenario, or are they '8000' years old left over from the original WW. In which case the revenge theory above is possible. If not then a general dislike of living humans after all they were created to destroy them. 

I theorize that they are wildlings that have been transformed by ice magic. Recall in the prologue of AGOT when Waymar, Gared, and Will are tracking some wildlings? Will saw them laying on the ground and brought Waymar and Gared back to where he saw them, but they were gone when they got there. I believe Will saw them just prior to their transformation. The woman up in the tree with the "afar off eyes" was the priestess performing the magic. 

Craster has been leaving his sons exposed to the elements for longer than this latest return of the white walkers. We know this, because Craster has daughters old enough to become wives and bear more children, but there are no other males living in his home.

10 minutes ago, JRRStark said:

As to the ending it is to be 'bittersweet' so the sweet some Stark revenge the bitter some favorite characters die or some nasty ones live and perhaps win the game of thrones while the good ones win the story of ice and fire. The mummers version must surly be distracted by GoT but is it relevant. A king in the North would satisfy the north whatever happens down south.

I am guessing the bittersweet ending is the death of a loved character in order to save the rest of Westeros.

 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Stannis hasn't changed his opinion of bastards. They are still of lower birth in his eyes, even Jon, so while you see raising Jon up to become Lord of Winterfell as hypocritical, he a choice that Stannis believes would be accepted by the northern houses. 

Yes and that is why I think it tells us something about Stannis: purpose > medium for Stannis, even if the medium is the purpose in another case. Stannis will totally do anything for the purpose, even sacrificing his other goals just to survive. 

Edited by SirArthur

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6 hours ago, Matthew. said:

That certainly makes it sound as though they intended to execute the broad strokes of what they wanted their final season to look like, regardless of what they learned in Santa Fe.

Oh, I'm sure.  I don't think they're making it up as they go.

But I doubt those broad strokes ever related very much to specific revelations from unpublished books.

I think they were always drawn from what we would call the Duh File, by which I mean the stuff we all saw coming the first time we read AGOT.  Some of it we've already seen in the seventh season.

6 hours ago, Matthew. said:

....err, the point being that the HoTU vision - ruined throne room filled with snow, Dany passing the throne and instead heading beyond the Wall as a metaphor for going into the Night Lands - is foreshadowing for plans that were already in place.

Yeah, it's true the show HOTU visions were aired much earlier than the Hodor/Shireen meeting with GRRM.  So they did already know the basic event involved.

But notice the HOTU visions provide no specifics.

I'm speculating that the particular circumstances of the predicted event -- how and why it happens, and what it means for the big-picture story -- were not known to them until more recently.  And they will matter a lot.

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Also, Matthew, we've gone back and forth at times about GRRM's skill as a puzzle-builder.

But I bet you can look at the HOTU visions from the books, vs the ones from the show, and you see what I'm talking about.

The book HOTU visions are loaded with delicious ambiguity, subtlety, various possible implications, symbolism, narrative themes, past/present/future, characterization, etc.  And that's why we here in Heresy have done things like discuss a particular one for days on end, examples being the dying prince vision (PrettyPig's slant being one we both appreciated), or the stone beast breathing shadow flame.

The show HOTU visions are, compared to what GRRM did, about as subtle and ambiguous as a turd on a plate.

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

Yeah, it's true the show HOTU visions were aired much earlier than the Hodor/Shireen meeting with GRRM.  So they did already know the basic event involved.

But notice the HOTU visions provide no specifics.

I'm speculating that the particular circumstances of the predicted event -- how and why it happens, and what it means for the big-picture story -- were not known to them until more recently.  And they will matter a lot.

You're right, it may be that, with Dany, they had prior broad strokes conversations (eg, "characters X, Y, and Z make it to the end, the Iron Throne does/does not endure as an institution"), while a more specific detail within the Santa Fe meeting elevated the situation to a "holy shit." 

It's something of a tricky question, because there's a heavy element of subjectivity and context involved; they've elaborated that it was this week long meeting in a hotel room, doing a character-by-character assessment, and that those three moments drew a "holy shit" out of them in spite of the abstract circumstances of the discussion.

I say that makes it tricky because, to my mind, that's a context where important broad strokes ideas - such as major POV causalities during the Battle for the Dawn - might not necessarily evoke a strong emotional response, but a weird specific detail can hit home, for whatever reason--because it's gruesome, or bizarre, or particularly tragic.

With that in mind, I don't have any single guess as to the third "holy shit," but a couple broad prospects (some of which can overlap with each other):

- Dany's third betrayal, the "betrayal for love"
- The Battle for the Dawn is won, but someone is still playing the game of thrones, and backstabbing occurs among the survivors (obvious with Cersei, but there might be others)
- We learn something disturbing about either Bran, Dany, or Jon that re-contextualizes them as characters in sufficiently shocking fashion
- Overlapping with both of the above, one of the remaining characters is putting forth a duplicitous front, and this is being hidden from the viewer by only giving us insight into those characters by the way they interact with others

I'm going to elaborate a bit on that last one, as there's a few characters that I believe could have hidden motives. IMO, Tyrion is being portrayed as having misgivings about Dany, Bran has become inscrutable, and finally, I think there's always the chance that we haven't seen the full scope of the game that Varys is playing. Perhaps Jon, as well, if death has changed him in some unrevealed way.

Edited by Matthew.

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

Also, Matthew, we've gone back and forth at times about GRRM's skill as a puzzle-builder.

But I bet you can look at the HOTU visions from the books, vs the ones from the show, and you see what I'm talking about.

The book HOTU visions are loaded with delicious ambiguity, subtlety, various possible implications, symbolism, narrative themes, past/present/future, characterization, etc.  And that's why we here in Heresy have done things like discuss a particular one for days on end, examples being the dying prince vision (PrettyPig's slant being one we both appreciated), or the stone beast breathing shadow flame.

The show HOTU visions are, compared to what GRRM did, about as subtle and ambiguous as a turd on a plate.

I don't love prophesy in general as a literary device, so my criticism on that front isn't strictly limited to GRRM.

For example, I don't like the GoHH visions, but the gradual unveiling of information about Robert's Rebellion, and minor background mysteries - such as the disappearance of Tyrek Lannister - is the kind of stuff that I think has been handled well.

I would also add that I still appreciate the HoTU chapter, as I consider it a highlight in terms of prose and atmosphere. As you say, miles above the show's version, which suffered from both clumsy foreshadowing and visual blandness.

Edited by Matthew.

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11 hours ago, JNR said:

Yes, agreed, but I think we can be even more sure than you seem to think.

D&D have said outright that GRRM gave them three major revelations from unpublished books, and we know two of them involve Hodor and Shireen.  Well... these are not major characters.  These are not the primary subjects of fan interest or investment.  These are table scraps. 

We also know the specific manner in which these two revelations played out can't be the same in the books as in the show.

The third thing applies to "the very end," we're told.  So it can't be Jon's parentage, which wasn't even given in the final season.

So in short, we know that at least two-thirds of what GRRM gave D&D from the last two books was relatively minor, and we also know it wasn't Jon's parentage.

We also know that D&D's version of the origin of the Popsicles is not correct or canonical, because the "true origin" of the Popsicles is a selling point HBO is using to promote the forthcoming prequel show.

So from this, we know D&D can and will make up their own solutions to major mysteries.  That they did so in other cases seems very likely, and in the above discussion, we find a good example.

Do we know?  The Hodor thing is pure GRRM genius, something we probably could have seen coming, but still completely threw us.  So I buy that as #1.

Shireen, with her nightmares about dragons coming to eat her, was about predictable as anything.  She is still alive in the books, so we don't know if Stannis burns her, or Melisandera or someone else, but we've know her fate for a long long time.  And I am willing to bet in the books she is burned literally "to wake dragons" instead of the fairly useless reason on TV.  Hard to see this as #2.

So I think we still have 2 more big reveals to go.  Of course there is no guarantee D&D will even incorporate all 3 into their version.  GRRM could have told them something earthshattering and they decided to do something different.

 

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22 hours ago, JRRStark said:

Do we have an theory who the current WW are. Have they come from Caster's sons scenario, or are they '8000' years old left over from the original WW. In which case the revenge theory above is possible. If not then a general dislike of living humans after all they were created to destroy them. 

There are a number of theories and none of them universally agreed. Its not in our nature as heretics to produce a creed.

My own feeling is that they that originally they were the old lords of Winterfell transformed by magic and akin to the Nazgul in their nature. Like the Janissaries and Mamelukes they maintain or perhaps increase their numbers not by breeding [GRRM after all said they are a different form of life] not by but by taking tributes as recruits, ie; latterly Craster's sons.

Their motive? A desire to recover what they have lost.

Edited by Black Crow
silly spelling mistake

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A lot depends on Sir Puddles. 

If he was incorporal, and Sam just disrupted his ice body without seriously hurting him, then he could be ancient. 

If Sir Puddles really is dead, then I don't think anyone that easy to kill could have lived that long.  He may have been easy to kill because he was recently born or created. 

GRRM seems to like killing characters, so my guess is the latter. 

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18 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I theorize that they are wildlings that have been transformed by ice magic. Recall in the prologue of AGOT when Waymar, Gared, and Will are tracking some wildlings? Will saw them laying on the ground and brought Waymar and Gared back to where he saw them, but they were gone when they got there. I believe Will saw them just prior to their transformation. The woman up in the tree with the "afar off eyes" was the priestess performing the magic. 

I kinda disagree. I think that the Others are humans that got too close to a magic source in the Lands of Always Winter. To counter your argument, I would point out that Will noticed tons of things about those wildlings, but failed to mention the Others armor or their swords. If the Wildlings can make those weapons, why aren't they using them? Furthermore, they demonstrated skill with a blade that they wouldn't have been able to practice with, and a language that we haven't heard of Wildlings using. I interpret that scene as when we see some wights being made. 

 

My theory is that the Others are a group of humans that fled North, to the Lands of Always Winter, a long time ago, before the Wall went up. I think they found some caves or something similar and were exposed to raw magic. This gave them the tools they need for survival, but changed them. Then we get the Long Night, where night lasted generations. and the Others moved South to take advantage of the new times. Humanity beat them back and formed a pact, resulting in the creation of the Wall. Now, the Long Night is happening again and we get to see if humanity survives this time around. 

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6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

There are a number of theories and none of them universally agreed. Its not in our nature as heretics to produce a creed.

Yeah but it leads to some fun conversations and some crazy Tin-foil every now and then. 

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50 minutes ago, Janneyc1 said:

I kinda disagree. I think that the Others are humans that got too close to a magic source in the Lands of Always Winter. To counter your argument, I would point out that Will noticed tons of things about those wildlings, but failed to mention the Others armor or their swords. If the Wildlings can make those weapons, why aren't they using them? Furthermore, they demonstrated skill with a blade that they wouldn't have been able to practice with, and a language that we haven't heard of Wildlings using. I interpret that scene as when we see some wights being made. 

 

My theory is that the Others are a group of humans that fled North, to the Lands of Always Winter, a long time ago, before the Wall went up. I think they found some caves or something similar and were exposed to raw magic. This gave them the tools they need for survival, but changed them. Then we get the Long Night, where night lasted generations. and the Others moved South to take advantage of the new times. Humanity beat them back and formed a pact, resulting in the creation of the Wall. Now, the Long Night is happening again and we get to see if humanity survives this time around. 

Once a human is transformed by ice magic and reborn as a white walker, there's no going back to human again. I see the white walkers as the opposite of dragons. Human sacrifice is needed to hatch dragon eggs, and so I expect human life is also sacrificed to "hatch" a white walker".

The icy weapons and armor would be created in the process. The wildlings wouldn't have them prior to the transformation, but they did have Waymar's sword when the were allowed through the Wall.

 

The wildlings had Ser Waymar Royce's sword. First, it's description:

  Royce slid gracefully from his saddle. He tied the destrier securely to a low-hanging limb, well away from the other horses, and drew his longsword from its sheath. Jewels glittered in its hilt, and the moonlight ran down the shining steel. It was a splendid weapon, castle-forged, and new-made from the look of it.

 

Waymar's sword when fighting the Others:

  Ser Waymar Royce found his fury. “For Robert!” he shouted, and he came up snarling, lifting the frost-covered longsword with both hands and swinging it around in a flat sidearm slash with all his weight behind it. The Other’s parry was almost lazy. When the blades touched, the steel shattered.

  A scream echoed through the forest night, and the longsword shivered into a hundred brittle pieces, the shards scattering like a rain of needles. Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.

 

Later - Will finds the remains of the sword:

  He found what was left of the sword a few feet away, the end splintered and twisted like a tree struck by lightning. Will knelt, looked around warily, and snatched it up. The broken sword would be his proof. Gared would know what to make of it, and if not him, then surely that old bear Mormont or Maester Aemon. Would Gared still be waiting with the horses? He had to hurry.

  Will rose. Ser Waymar Royce stood over him.

  His fine clothes were a tatter, his face a ruin. A shard from his sword transfixed the blind white pupil of his left eye. The right eye was open.

  The pupil burned blue. It saw.

  The broken sword fell from nerveless fingers. Will closed his eyes to pray. Long, elegant hands brushed his cheek, then tightened around his throat. They were gloved in the finest moleskin and sticky with blood, yet the touch was icy cold.

 

When the wildlings passed through the Wall a broken sword was tossed in one of the carts the Watch had ready:

  As they passed, each warrior stripped off his treasures and tossed them into one of the carts that the stewards had placed before the gate. Amber pendants, golden torques, jeweled daggers, silver brooches set with gemstones, bracelets, rings, niello cups and golden goblets, warhorns and drinking horns, a green jade comb, a necklace of freshwater pearls … all yielded up and noted down by Bowen Marsh. One man surrendered a shirt of silver scales that had surely been made for some great lord. Another produced a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt.

 

A quote from the World Book:

Quote

 

Archmaester Fomas's Lies of the Ancients—though little regarded these days for its erroneous claims regarding the founding of Valyria and certain lineal claims in the Reach and westerlands—does speculate that the Others of legend were nothing more than a tribe of the First Men, ancestors of the wildlings, that had established itself in the far north. Because of the Long Night, these early wildlings were then pressured to begin a wave of conquests to the south. That they became monstrous in the tales told thereafter, according to Fomas, reflects the desire of the Night's Watch and the Starks to give themselves a more heroic identity as saviors of mankind, and not merely the beneficiaries of a struggle over dominion.


 

 

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2 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Once a human is transformed by ice magic and reborn as a white walker, there's no going back to human again. I see the white walkers as the opposite of dragons. Human sacrifice is needed to hatch dragon eggs, and so I expect human life is also sacrificed to "hatch" a white walker".

The icy weapons and armor would be created in the process. The wildlings wouldn't have them prior to the transformation, but they did have Waymar's sword when the were allowed through the Wall.

But how would they know how to make those? It isn't like magic gives you precise instructions on how things work. That also doesn't explain how they just picked up how to use one of those weapons. If creating Other's was as simple as using magic on a group, why haven't we seen it since? There would have been numerous times that it would have been very useful. 

In addition, what happens to Craster's sons? We know that he thinks he gives them to the Others, but we don't see little baby Others running around. I think the show actually got this one close to correct, The baby would be taken back to the Lands of Always Winter and Otherized. I don't think the actual method shown is what is used, but you can still use the baby sacrifice as a way to create an Other. 

 

I do use the broken sword as evidence that an Other may have gotten past the Wall. 

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24 minutes ago, Janneyc1 said:

But how would they know how to make those? It isn't like magic gives you precise instructions on how things work. That also doesn't explain how they just picked up how to use one of those weapons. If creating Other's was as simple as using magic on a group, why haven't we seen it since? There would have been numerous times that it would have been very useful. 

How does a dragon know how to be born with scales and breathing fire? White walkers are magical creatures that happen to have a human-like form, but they are still magical creatures.

I believe Mance learned how to create white walkers from Dalla, and got the idea to manufacture a threat in order to convince the Watch to let them through the Wall. It's been his sale's pitch to all the various tribes. 

White walkers hadn't been created in thousands of years, because there wasn't a valuable reason to create them since the wildlings were contained behind the Wall. And then there's that dangerous side effect of raising the dead. What good is giving up your human body to become a white walker when the Wall prevents them from passing? The only harm they could cause would be to inflict damage on other tribes. If the information on how to create white walkers was restricted to the priests and priestesses - or as the wildlings call them: wood's witches - then not everyone had the knowledge on how to make them. The wood's witches may have refused to create them to use against other wildings.

24 minutes ago, Janneyc1 said:

In addition, what happens to Craster's sons? We know that he thinks he gives them to the Others, but we don't see little baby Others running around. I think the show actually got this one close to correct, The baby would be taken back to the Lands of Always Winter and Otherized. I don't think the actual method shown is what is used, but you can still use the baby sacrifice as a way to create an Other. 

The author hasn’t specifically spelled out the reasons why Craster was leaving his sons exposed to the cold, so we can only speculate, but I believe it’s a red herring to believe they have anything to do with creating white walkers. I’m going to give you my best guess as to what’s really going on.

Ygritte told Jon this about Craster:

Quote

"Craster weds his daughters," Jon pointed out.

She punched him again. "Craster's more your kind than ours. His father was a crow who stole a woman out of Whitetree village, but after he had her he flew back t' his Wall. She went t' Castle Black once t' show the crow his son, but the brothers blew their horns and run her off. Craster's blood is black, and he bears a heavy curse." She ran her fingers lightly across his stomach. "I feared you'd do the same once. Fly back to the Wall. You never knew what t' do after you stole me."

Craster sacrifices his sons due to this ‘heavy curse’. Sometimes it can be enlightening to review the definitions of the words chosen by the author, so lets look at both ‘heavy’ and ‘curse’.

Heavy is characterized as having great mass or weight - typically greater than normal mass for a particular element, for example: lead or gold. It can also mean difficult to bear, characterized with severe pain or suffering.

Curse can mean several things, but most commonly it’s a prayer or invocation that brings harm or injury to someone. Curses are sometimes said to be retribution or punishment for inflicting evil or misfortune upon others, so what does this have to do with Craster?

Craster had the misfortune of being a bastard with cursed black blood, because his father was a man of the Watch that broke his oath. The blood of the Watch is black, because by swearing an oath they sever ties with their blood relatives and adopt the Watch as their brothers, creating a new family who all wear black versus wearing the colors of their severed family’s House. When people are cut (severed) and their blood is exposed to oxygen it turns a dark red, and in some lighting it even looks black. Craster has his father’s black blood in his veins and it's cursed, because his father avoided punishment. The men of the Watch take an oath to father no children and take no wives. Craster’s father broke that oath and then denied he broke it by refusing Craster as his son. His father escaped judgement and execution thereby causing the curse to fall upon Craster.

There is a recurrent thematic element of bastardy in ASOIAF, so it’s something we should pay attention to. Jon Snow and Ramsay Snow are bastards. Even though their parents come from different families they share the bastard last name of ‘Snow’, which makes them brothers in bastardy. The wildlings don’t look down on bastards nor do they single them out by giving them bastard last names, so the fact that Craster is a bastard is not what makes him so cursed. The curse comes from his father’s oathbreaking, which is why his father denied him. Oathbreakers are executed. We know this, because Ned beheaded Gared after he defected and ran in fear from the white walkers and Arya murdered Dareon, the Watchman that defected to become a singer in Braavos.

In his twisted way, Craster claimed he was ‘right with the gods’. What could he possibly mean especially since he was cursed? He might’ve been a bastard, but he married his daughters, so in his eyes his children are not bastards - a topic he had strong opinions about:
 

Quote

"My steward and squire, Jon Snow."

"A bastard, is it?" Craster looked Jon up and down. "Man wants to bed a woman, seems like he ought to take her to wife. That's what I do." He shooed Jon off with a wave. "Well, run and do your service, bastard, and see that axe is good and sharp now, I've no use for dull steel."

Craster was proud his children weren't bastards, so a son would be a precious and valuable possession. He may have believed he needed a great sacrifice to reverse his black blood curse, so he got right with the gods. And as long as he remained ‘godly’ he would be protected. You might even see Craster’s death a result of substituting sheep when he didn’t have any sons to sacrifice. In effect he was no longer protected, and was executed for his father’s oathbreaking.

We don’t know how long Craster had been leaving his sons exposed to the elements, but there are no sons at all at his holdfast whereas he has daughters old enough to marry and birth more children. We can conclude then that he had been leaving his sons exposed to die from the very beginning, and yet the return of white walkers is relatively new. IMO this means that the two things are not connected.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I say that makes it tricky because, to my mind, that's a context where important broad strokes ideas - such as major POV causalities during the Battle for the Dawn - might not necessarily evoke a strong emotional response, but a weird specific detail can hit home, for whatever reason--because it's gruesome, or bizarre, or particularly tragic.

Sure.  Consider the difference, in terms of audience impact, between (1) the abstract concept of Robb getting killed, and (2) the Red Wedding as written in ASOS.  That is all the difference in the world.

12 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

The Hodor thing is pure GRRM genius, something we probably could have seen coming, but still completely threw us.  So I buy that as #1. 

I don't know what you consider to be "the thing," but we can be quite sure it doesn't happen the same way in the books.  Because:

Quote

"The back door is three leagues north, down a sinkhole."

That was all he had to say. Not even Hodor could climb down into a sinkhole with Bran heavy on his back, and Jojen could no more walk three leagues than run a thousand.

And if he couldn't climb down, he absolutely couldn't climb  up.

So we know that at a basic level, whatever D&D were told, it was not what we saw.

It was probably something much more basic, like "Hodor's name derives from the phrase XYZ" but no circumstances provided.

12 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

And I am willing to bet in the books she is burned literally "to wake dragons" instead of the fairly useless reason on TV.  Hard to see this as #2.

It certainly cannot happen that way in the books because in the books, unlike the show, she is hundreds of miles away at the Nightfort, not anywhere near Winterfell.

However, we do know this was one of the three revelations GRRM gave them, because they said so in a post-show interview.  The last one is said to happen "at the very end."

Edited by JNR

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47 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

How does a dragon know how to be born with scales and breathing fire? White walkers are magical creatures that happen to have a human-like form, but they are still magical creatures.

The scales and fire are more likely DNA than magic. The Other's weapons and armor aren't living, They are made of ice. 

 

Regarding Mance and your reasoning that the Other's haven't been used before: there are numerous attempts throughout the history of Westeros for the Wildlings to amass an army and try to move South. If the wildlings had the ability to create a nuclear weapon, why wouldn't they have used it? they could force the Bridge of Skulls and defeat the Starks in battle. 

Another point to make is that Mance tells us that he met Dalla when he was returning from Winterfell:

Quote

Mance took her by the hand and pulled her close. "My lady is blameless. I met her on my return from your father's castle. The Halfhand was carved of old oak, but I am made of flesh, and I have a great fondness for the charms of women . . . which makes me no different from three-quarters of the Watch. There are men still wearing black who have had ten times as many women as this poor king. You must guess again, Jon Snow."

Mance had been working on uniting the Wildlings for years. In addition, we know he didn't sit down to tea with all of them, some he won in duels or contests of strength. What I am saying is that if he met Dalla after the start of the series, how could she have taught him how to make Walkers and how could he have used that knowledge to unite the Wildlings? 

Though you may have a point on Craster's boys, the whole "Wildlings are making Other's" theory doesn't sit right with me. why only start now, why not actually use this weapon if they have it? And then why allow the Other's to kill Wildlings and raise them as the dead? I see a ton of issues with this theory. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Janneyc1 said:

The scales and fire are more likely DNA than magic. The Other's weapons and armor aren't living, They are made of ice. 

Dragons are fire made flesh while white walkers are flesh made ice.

1 hour ago, Janneyc1 said:

Regarding Mance and your reasoning that the Other's haven't been used before: there are numerous attempts throughout the history of Westeros for the Wildlings to amass an army and try to move South. If the wildlings had the ability to create a nuclear weapon, why wouldn't they have used it? they could force the Bridge of Skulls and defeat the Starks in battle. 

White walkers cannot pass the Wall even if they could've fought the Watch or Starks at the Bridge of Skulls. The Bridge is still warded.

1 hour ago, Janneyc1 said:
Quote

Mance took her by the hand and pulled her close. "My lady is blameless. I met her on my return from your father's castle. The Halfhand was carved of old oak, but I am made of flesh, and I have a great fondness for the charms of women . . . which makes me no different from three-quarters of the Watch. There are men still wearing black who have had ten times as many women as this poor king. You must guess again, Jon Snow."

Mance had been working on uniting the Wildlings for years. In addition, we know he didn't sit down to tea with all of them, some he won in duels or contests of strength. What I am saying is that if he met Dalla after the start of the series, how could she have taught him how to make Walkers and how could he have used that knowledge to unite the Wildlings? 

Mance implies he was with Qhoran Halfhand when he first met Dalla, which means he was yet a man of the Nights Watch. That was a long time ago and prior to the current story. He met her after one of his return trips from Winterfell. He visited as a brother of the Watch when Jon was just a small boy along with Qhoran and Lord Commander Qorgyle, the LC prior to Mormont.

He says Dalla was blameless, but he did leave the Watch after she repaired his cloak and nursed him from his shadow cat wounds. He wanted to be with her and live as a wildling.  He wouldn't have begun gathering the various tribes together until he defected from the Watch.

There are so many clues that the wildlings are the Others that there's a whole thread with evidence. Rather than bring it all over here you can read about it over there.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Janneyc1 said:

why only start now, why not actually use this weapon if they have it?

Mance had a new idea. He was banking on the Watch not remembering who the enemy was. Throughout the centuries the Watch has kept the wildlings contained, but they have also stayed with them and traded with them. Thousands of years have gone by since a white walker was seen. The stories about them have become myths or fairy tales, and about as true as grumkins and snarks. By manufacturing the white walkers of old they are creating a distinct division between wildlings and magical creatures so that the Watch begins to wonder why they need to keep the wildlings behind the Wall - and it obviously worked.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)

If making a dragon means kill a human, it is so their soul goes into the dragon.  A WW sacrifice would work the same way, sacrificing a baby would not make a baby white walker any more than the dragons' bodies resemble their sacrifices. 

Edited by Brad Stark

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