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Crasters White Walker arrangement

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Posted (edited)

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons? How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster? Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

Edited by maiden of tarth

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As far as I have observed, GRRM does not tell.  The answer to your question would probably spoil his story before he is ready to give it away.  

With that said, this is a question that is leaps and bounds better than most that  are asked on this forum.

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6 hours ago, maiden of tarth said:

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons? How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster? Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

 

3 hours ago, the Other Wolf said:

As far as I have observed, GRRM does not tell.  The answer to your question would probably spoil his story before he is ready to give it away.  

With that said, this is a question that is leaps and bounds better than most that  are asked on this forum.

How long?  We don't know but we can sort of guess.  Craster is connected to the Others and the Starks.  His children are needed for the Others to maintain their ranks and their abilities to control the wights.  It's a form of skinchanging.  His blood is compatible with them because the NK was a Stark.  The Others today are probably his descendants.  Craster wanted to live a free man on the north side of the wall and those children were his offerings to the Others.  It started with his first children.  When he was a young man.  

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, maiden of tarth said:

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons? How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster? Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

I don't know if there's any mentions in the book about this, but I wouldn't be surprised if Wildlings throughout the years have offered their children as sacrifices in return for temporary safety. This would make sense if Craster is so easily able to make this deal - there must be a precedent already set, and likely would have found out about this from his Wildling wives. 

In terms of timing, it must be fairly recent right? It seems like during GoT the characters are only just starting to react to odd news from beyond the wall regarding Wildling activity. I wouldn't be surprised if Craster was able to keep it going for a few years, but surely if The Others were active for more than 5-10 years (prior to GoT), the NW rangers would have heard SOMETHING about it.

I know it would have taken quite a bit of time for Mance Rayder to organise that many wildling tribes together in order to escape the threat of the White Walkers, but again, anything more than 10 years seems unlikely IMO.

In the end, I don't think it really matters story-wise (and I doubt we'll find out). 

Edited by Mat92

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Posted (edited)

That's the question, isn't it?   I think the safest answer is Craster's been at this sacrificing his sons since he began having sons.   Now this is interesting if you really dig into it.   Craster himself is a male.   He wasn't sacrificed to the Others, but I wonder if he wasn't sort of dedicated to them when he was young.    This sacrifice thing could be some great elaborate Craster bloodline thing or a Wildling lottery loss so far as we know.    We don't know.   

I believe Craster is 3 generations into his procreative activities.    I recall his daughters and granddaughters, but no more beyond that.  (Were there any little girls hanging about the Keep? I don't remember any little girls...) We would have to guess that the 1st wife was someone not of his issue as Craster is only said to have married his daughters then their daughters, so granddaughters.   Who was she?   His mom?   His sister?   Some random woman?  Nights Queen?   13 seems to be the age of consent so let's go with 26 years he's been at this with his own blood.   13 years prior to that we are at 39 years of procreating.  Baby Aemon was supposed to be the 99th son of Craster.  That's a LOT of procreating, Man.   

The point is 99 sons is a ton of sons which leads me to assume that there were a LOT of daughters, too.   Of course, childbirth itself is enough to kill a woman (much less a 13 year-old girl).  Could there have been 99 daughters as well? Isn't that close to 19 children a year on average?  Isn't this virility in and of itself unusual to the point of supernatural?   

The sheer audacity of the number of children Craster fathered makes me wonder if the ability to give life isn't part of this deal Craster has.    He's not wealthy--the Keep is pretty ramshackle.    He sacrificed animals when human babies weren't available.   How that could satisfy the Others is another mystery.   Why not give them a daughter or 10?   All I've got for that is that the Others are female without the ability to reproduce.   That's all I can explain the exlcusive sacrifice of sons with.  Yah, that gave me a headache, too.   

Edited by Curled Finger
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20 hours ago, maiden of tarth said:

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons?

It is a mystery that hasn't been revealed inn the books.

 

Quote

How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster?

We can only speculate:  Craster is described as a once powerful man who is nearing the end of his life.  He lives a hard life and so he could be anywhere between 50 and 70 years old.  He is a couple of generations into his awful approach to raising a family so he's been at it for 20 to 30 years maybe?

 

Quote

Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

I don't think so.

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Leaving his children out to die/be taken has worked well for Craster. But I’m not sure there is an arrangement at all. He may have started by telling his daughter-wives he was doing it to appease the “gods”, or something along time those lines. But all his bs about being a ‘godly man’ is just that, bullshit. Getting rid of his male offspring works for him because he eliminates any potential “competition” and/or possible future threats. It may work well for the WWs as well (or not), in which case, everyone’s happy. That is, apart from his daughter-wives and male children. 

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On 3/9/2019 at 5:48 PM, maiden of tarth said:

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons?

As far as I know it hasn't been mentioned. If you are interested in Craster I would suggest the CoK Jon III and SoS Samwell II chapters.

On 3/9/2019 at 5:48 PM, maiden of tarth said:

How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster?

I guess one would need to figure out when the mother of Craster got preggers by the NW man and how long Craster has lived in his keep and when Craster decided to get rid of his sons but keep the daughters.

On 3/9/2019 at 5:48 PM, maiden of tarth said:

Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

I dunna know.

I'm guessing if martin wants to expand upon it, it will be in a Samwell chapter in WoW or maybe in a DoS chapter. Otherwise Craster and his wives and daughters may be among the things that come in the night (wights).

A Clash of Kings - Jon III      He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. That's why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the sheep's gone too. Next it will be dogs, till . . ." She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly.   "What gods?" Jon was remembering that they'd seen no boys in Craster's Keep, nor men either, save Craster himself.   "The cold gods," she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows."/

Gilly may be one of the few who can explain what the cold gods are. White shadows/cold gods/ones is this another version of martin's usage of White Walkers and Others?

A Clash of Kings - Jon III   "What color are their eyes?" he asked her.   "Blue. As bright as blue stars, and as cold."   She has seen them, he thought. Craster lied.

But, Gilly is aboard the Cinnamon Wind waiting for Sam.  A ship that has the pickled body of Aemon aboard. A ship Marwyn means to commandeer to take him to Dany.

:dunno: 

 

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I stumbled upon a lot of stuff here. 

What we do know for certain is that Craster's mother is from Whitetree where there are burned human bodies in the weirwoods and there's a sheep pen. Jon expects to see sheep in the hollow of the weirwood, but it's human skulls. This points to Craster being raised in a sacrifice culture.

However, there are no weirwoods around Craster's, only Ironwoods. Ned executes on an Ironwood stump, so perhaps Ironwoods get their iron from blood. It seems significant that he's now linked to ironwoods rather than weirwoods. Perhaps Craster deviated from how he was raised. 

Someone at Whiteharbor tells Davos a story where slavers are sacrificed to weirwoods to keep winter away. I entertain the idea that Craster has changed sides, and he has decided to sacrifice to winter instead for his own benefit. 

Craster is also tied to sorcery. He has the flat nose and a general melted appearance linked to other characters in the series like Maggy the Frog, Mirri, Marwen, etc who engage in such. He's also linked to black blood and Ygritte calls him cursed hinting that his history has cast Craster to that lot. Dywen says Craster smells cold and Cersei describes Maggy as feeling cold. 

ASOS Jon III

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." 

ACOK Jon III

So long as he gives us a hot meal and a chance to dry our clothes, I'll be happy. Dywen said Craster was a kinslayer, liar, raper, and craven, and hinted that he trafficked with slavers and demons. "And worse," the old forester would add, clacking his wooden teeth. "There's a cold smell to that one, there is." 

AFFC Cersei VIII

In the dim green tent, the blood seemed more black than red. Maggy's toothless mouth trembled at the sight of it. "Here," she whispered, "give it here." When Cersei offered her hand, she sucked away the blood with gums as soft as a newborn babe's. The queen could still remember how queer and cold her mouth had been.

There's a lot which links Craster to the Casterlys and Lannisters in both literal and symbolic ways in the thread linked above. Suspect Craster is tied to very old ways maybe having to do with the Pact, old Garth the Green who is sacrificy, more. 

 

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Pity Craster was killed off so early.

Would have been great to read how he managed to keep other Wildlings from wiping him out for his gross practices. 

Did the White Walkers agreed to protect their "father's" Keep from other free folk? How do the "cold gods" communicate with Craster? 

Can't be via weirwood net, as there's no weirwoods left in his area...

A vision from Bran might shed light on this...

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Craster is just doing what the First Men used to do.  The north got more civilized and forgot to honor their gods.  They forgot who the Old Gods actually are, the WW.  Isn't it typical of the gods to ask for a sacrifice?  

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I think he needs to sacrifice 'something'. He chooses the boys ans he can make certain use of the women. And the sons would eventually overthrow him. I just don't fully understand why the wildlings give him a wide birth. Maybe they sort of buy into it enough to steer clear. but it's hard to say how a group of wildling men didn't just rock-up and take his stuff. Perhaps the NW affiliation protects him also? 

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On 3/9/2019 at 5:48 PM, maiden of tarth said:

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons? How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster? Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

I think this will be key to everything in the books to come - which is why we don't know for sure.

I'm stuck on whether the walkers are coming after Gilly's baby more than anything else... He was stolen from them after all.

On 3/10/2019 at 2:30 PM, Curled Finger said:

That's the question, isn't it?   I think the safest answer is Craster's been at this sacrificing his sons since he began having sons.   Now this is interesting if you really dig into it.   Craster himself is a male.   He wasn't sacrificed to the Others, but I wonder if he wasn't sort of dedicated to them when he was young.    This sacrifice thing could be some great elaborate Craster bloodline thing or a Wildling lottery loss so far as we know.    We don't know.   

I believe Craster is 3 generations into his procreative activities.    I recall his daughters and granddaughters, but no more beyond that.  (Were there any little girls hanging about the Keep? I don't remember any little girls...) We would have to guess that the 1st wife was someone not of his issue as Craster is only said to have married his daughters then their daughters, so granddaughters.   Who was she?   His mom?   His sister?   Some random woman?  Nights Queen?   13 seems to be the age of consent so let's go with 26 years he's been at this with his own blood.   13 years prior to that we are at 39 years of procreating.  Baby Aemon was supposed to be the 99th son of Craster.  That's a LOT of procreating, Man.   

The point is 99 sons is a ton of sons which leads me to assume that there were a LOT of daughters, too.   Of course, childbirth itself is enough to kill a woman (much less a 13 year-old girl).  Could there have been 99 daughters as well? Isn't that close to 19 children a year on average?  Isn't this virility in and of itself unusual to the point of supernatural?   

The sheer audacity of the number of children Craster fathered makes me wonder if the ability to give life isn't part of this deal Craster has.    He's not wealthy--the Keep is pretty ramshackle.    He sacrificed animals when human babies weren't available.   How that could satisfy the Others is another mystery.   Why not give them a daughter or 10?   All I've got for that is that the Others are female without the ability to reproduce.   That's all I can explain the exlcusive sacrifice of sons with.  Yah, that gave me a headache, too.   

I like this idea - about his virility.

 

On 3/10/2019 at 11:53 PM, Lollygag said:

I stumbled upon a lot of stuff here. 

What we do know for certain is that Craster's mother is from Whitetree where there are burned human bodies in the weirwoods and there's a sheep pen. Jon expects to see sheep in the hollow of the weirwood, but it's human skulls. This points to Craster being raised in a sacrifice culture.

However, there are no weirwoods around Craster's, only Ironwoods. Ned executes on an Ironwood stump, so perhaps Ironwoods get their iron from blood. It seems significant that he's now linked to ironwoods rather than weirwoods. Perhaps Craster deviated from how he was raised. 

Someone at Whiteharbor tells Davos a story where slavers are sacrificed to weirwoods to keep winter away. I entertain the idea that Craster has changed sides, and he has decided to sacrifice to winter instead for his own benefit. 

Craster is also tied to sorcery. He has the flat nose and a general melted appearance linked to other characters in the series like Maggy the Frog, Mirri, Marwen, etc who engage in such. He's also linked to black blood and Ygritte calls him cursed hinting that his history has cast Craster to that lot. Dywen says Craster smells cold and Cersei describes Maggy as feeling cold. 

ASOS Jon III

 

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." 

ACOK Jon III

 

So long as he gives us a hot meal and a chance to dry our clothes, I'll be happy. Dywen said Craster was a kinslayer, liar, raper, and craven, and hinted that he trafficked with slavers and demons. "And worse," the old forester would add, clacking his wooden teeth. "There's a cold smell to that one, there is." 

AFFC Cersei VIII

 

In the dim green tent, the blood seemed more black than red. Maggy's toothless mouth trembled at the sight of it. "Here," she whispered, "give it here." When Cersei offered her hand, she sucked away the blood with gums as soft as a newborn babe's. The queen could still remember how queer and cold her mouth had been.

 

There's a lot which links Craster to the Casterlys and Lannisters in both literal and symbolic ways in the thread linked above. Suspect Craster is tied to very old ways maybe having to do with the Pact, old Garth the Green who is sacrificy, more. 

 

 

 

Reckon there is anything going on with the 99th son, 998th LC of the NW etc etc.

Maybe Monster is the 99th son of the 99th descendant (Craster) of the person who started the sacrifices way back when - IDK but there is something with these 99's.

 

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On 3/10/2019 at 11:53 PM, Lollygag said:

Craster's blood is black, and he bears a heavy curse

So, what does that mean? Does he bear his curse because of what his father did? Like some original sin type thing, I doubt that.

And is this "bearing of a heavy curse", which is known to Freefolk, and at least something by Mormont, condoned by Crows and Wildlings?

On 3/10/2019 at 2:30 PM, Curled Finger said:

Baby Aemon was supposed to be the 99th son of Craster. 

Citation please

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22 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

So, what does that mean? Does he bear his curse because of what his father did? Like some original sin type thing, I doubt that.

And is this "bearing of a heavy curse", which is known to Freefolk, and at least something by Mormont, condoned by Crows and Wildlings?

Citation please

Dad blast it.  I owe everyone an apology.  This 99th son is a show thing.  I wish I'd never even started watching this thing. 

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53 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Dad blast it.  I owe everyone an apology.  This 99th son is a show thing.  I wish I'd never even started watching this thing. 

Ahh, well on behalf of everyone, apology accepted

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On 3/9/2019 at 2:48 PM, maiden of tarth said:

How did Craster first start his deal in sacrificing his sons? How long have the White Walkers been in business with Craster? Has GRRM ever mentioned how this all came about? 

I don't think it's a "sacrifice" at all.

My pet theory for the Others: Towards the end of the war between the CotF and humanity, the CotF created Winter as a doomsday weapon to force humans to capitulate to their demands. The Others were the humans who refused to surrender, who instead chose to alter themselves to adapt to the Winter. Winter is returning because the pact between the Men and CotF has been broken in some major way (likely the Stark-in-Winterfell-clause) and the Others are just offering anyone who will accept it the ability to survive.

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