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Plain, Simple Tailor

Craster and the Others: Why?

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I don't mean on Craster's side, superstition can account for a lot when it comes to motivation, but why would the Others want male newborns? If they want to make them into their people, they won't be effective as Others until they reach at least five. I just can't imagine a baby who can't walk being an effective tool for an army of undead ice people. 

There are theories that the Others are a hive mind of sorts, which means they could control the kids and make them do what they want. But it doesn't feel compelling to me for them to be the Borg on ice. 

But perhaps it has to do with what Bran saw when he was in the weirwood in A Dance with Dragons. The Starks are implied to have made sacrifices to the Others. The lack of their sacrifices may be the reason they're returning. So, maybe the Others require some sort of blood magic to sustain themselves. Now they're just getting it from Craster. 

Why specifically male newborns, though? Maybe it is a part of the arrangement that Craster added in. Craster, the despicable monster that he is, may see other males in the household as a bizarre threat to his perceived ownership over his wives and daughter-wives (God, Craster was awful). So, perhaps the Others wanted a sacrifice, and Craster said only on the condition that it was his sons. Craster doesn't seem like he would be in a position to negotiate if the Others were knocking on his door. 

And there is always the possibility that that was a condition the Others added...if so, why? 

This may seem like nitpicking, but I've been thinking about this a bit in the past few days, and wanted to bring it to the attention of the good people of the forum. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this, or am I just overanalyzing? 

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12 hours ago, the Other Wolf said:

Welcome to the forum!

 A very similar thread was just started.

Enjoy. :cheers:

Thank you very much, good sir. I’ll check that one out. 

:cheers:

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5 hours ago, Euron III Greyjoy said:

I don't think the Others really care if the child is male or female. I cant see it making much difference. 

There's a theory about certain genetic traits being X chromosome linked, and therefore gender makes a BIG difference. Lots of other GRRM stories are reflective of his interest in genetics. 

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15 minutes ago, Azor Azai said:

There's a theory about certain genetic traits being X chromosome linked, and therefore gender makes a BIG difference. Lots of other GRRM stories are reflective of his interest in genetics. 

Genetics were a really big plot points in the first book, so it could play into the Others and Craster's deal. 

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20 hours ago, Plain, Simple Tailor said:

I don't mean on Craster's side, superstition can account for a lot when it comes to motivation, but why would the Others want male newborns? If they want to make them into their people, they won't be effective as Others until they reach at least five. I just can't imagine a baby who can't walk being an effective tool for an army of undead ice people. 

There are theories that the Others are a hive mind of sorts, which means they could control the kids and make them do what they want. But it doesn't feel compelling to me for them to be the Borg on ice. 

But perhaps it has to do with what Bran saw when he was in the weirwood in A Dance with Dragons. The Starks are implied to have made sacrifices to the Others. The lack of their sacrifices may be the reason they're returning. So, maybe the Others require some sort of blood magic to sustain themselves. Now they're just getting it from Craster. 

Why specifically male newborns, though? Maybe it is a part of the arrangement that Craster added in. Craster, the despicable monster that he is, may see other males in the household as a bizarre threat to his perceived ownership over his wives and daughter-wives (God, Craster was awful). So, perhaps the Others wanted a sacrifice, and Craster said only on the condition that it was his sons. Craster doesn't seem like he would be in a position to negotiate if the Others were knocking on his door. 

And there is always the possibility that that was a condition the Others added...if so, why? 

This may seem like nitpicking, but I've been thinking about this a bit in the past few days, and wanted to bring it to the attention of the good people of the forum. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this, or am I just overanalyzing? 

Who says they only want children?  Maybe they would prefer a fully grown adult who they can turn into a soldier.  But Craster can only give what he has.  It takes too long and too much work to raise a newborn to adult.  It is far better to get rid of the extra mouth as soon as he can to avoid further usage of his meager resources.  

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5 minutes ago, Victor Newman said:

Who says they only want children?  Maybe they would prefer a fully grown adult who they can turn into a soldier.  But Craster can only give what he has.  It takes too long and too much work to raise a newborn to adult.  It is far better to get rid of the extra mouth as soon as he can to avoid further usage of his meager resources.  

I guess I mean - why would the Others go to Craster of all people? I’m sure there are other superstitious people behind the Wall. That was kind of what I meant, I probably phrased it badly. 

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21 hours ago, Plain, Simple Tailor said:

I don't mean on Craster's side, superstition can account for a lot when it comes to motivation, but why would the Others want male newborns? If they want to make them into their people, they won't be effective as Others until they reach at least five. I just can't imagine a baby who can't walk being an effective tool for an army of undead ice people. 

There are theories that the Others are a hive mind of sorts, which means they could control the kids and make them do what they want. But it doesn't feel compelling to me for them to be the Borg on ice. 

But perhaps it has to do with what Bran saw when he was in the weirwood in A Dance with Dragons. The Starks are implied to have made sacrifices to the Others. The lack of their sacrifices may be the reason they're returning. So, maybe the Others require some sort of blood magic to sustain themselves. Now they're just getting it from Craster. 

Why specifically male newborns, though? Maybe it is a part of the arrangement that Craster added in. Craster, the despicable monster that he is, may see other males in the household as a bizarre threat to his perceived ownership over his wives and daughter-wives (God, Craster was awful). So, perhaps the Others wanted a sacrifice, and Craster said only on the condition that it was his sons. Craster doesn't seem like he would be in a position to negotiate if the Others were knocking on his door. 

And there is always the possibility that that was a condition the Others added...if so, why? 

This may seem like nitpicking, but I've been thinking about this a bit in the past few days, and wanted to bring it to the attention of the good people of the forum. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this, or am I just overanalyzing? 

I think the Others see it as charity: they're giving the children a better life as far as they're concerned. And when Winter with a capital 'W' goes worldwide they'll almost certainly be right, it's going to be much better to be an ice-person.

It's critical to keep in mind that the Others being an "evil species" is entirely contrary to how GRRM operates. I'm sure there are Others who are assholes: they probably have their own Gregor Cleganes and Ramsay Boltons and Geoffrey Baratheons, and even if we the readers witness horrible acts of violence from the Others, concluding the entire people consists of monsters is drawing the wrong conclusion. It's the conclusion the author wants us to draw, certainly, but only to teach us a lesson about how drawing such conclusions based on limited information is ruinous.

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1 hour ago, Damon_Tor said:

I think the Others see it as charity: they're giving the children a better life as far as they're concerned. And when Winter with a capital 'W' goes worldwide they'll almost certainly be right, it's going to be much better to be an ice-person.

I think you've solved it. Thank you for the insight, I'll probably end up looking at the Others through this lens when I reread. 

 

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Truth is, we don’t know what’s going on w/ Craster and his “offerings” ( :ack: ).

Just coz the abomination showed something doesn’t make it true, thank the OG and the new. 

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On 3/13/2019 at 7:32 PM, Damon_Tor said:

It's critical to keep in mind that the Others being an "evil species" is entirely contrary to how GRRM operates. I'm sure there are Others who are assholes: they probably have their own Gregor Cleganes and Ramsay Boltons and Geoffrey Baratheons, and even if we the readers witness horrible acts of violence from the Others, concluding the entire people consists of monsters is drawing the wrong conclusion. It's the conclusion the author wants us to draw, certainly, but only to teach us a lesson about how drawing such conclusions based on limited information is ruinous.

The Others are far, with less detail than the near. Individual members are not distinguished, they all just seem equally alien to the humans. They are a fantasy species constructed to be innately evil enemies of all life, even if that's not realistic for real people. They're like a natural disaster personified.

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Craster, the Starks, and the Others share the same family tree.  Remember the story of the pale woman and the Nk?  The Nk was a Stark and this pale woman sought him out.  He was compatible.  It's a compatibility thing.  The male children are the future mates for the female among the Others.  

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13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The Others are far, with less detail than the near. Individual members are not distinguished, they all just seem equally alien to the humans. They are a fantasy species constructed to be innately evil enemies of all life, even if that's not realistic for real people. They're like a natural disaster personified.

Never thought I'd see a Hansonian take on ASoIaF :D It makes sense though -- after all, they're blue and distant, with few discernible features.

I'm still pretty sure they make more sense as a tool than as a species. (Specifically, a tool of one faction among the Children of the Forest - longer rationale here.) Also considering how they can only be destroyed by specific other tools (dragonglass, Valyrian steel), and then fall apart in much the same way ordinary weapons do when hit by the Others' swords.

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