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kissdbyfire

The Ghost of High Heart, and a promised... “Prince”?

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Posted (edited)

Just an idea based on absolutely nothing at all, but Jenny of Oldstones was not welcome at court because Egg thought her too low born. Then suddenly she was welcome. Maybe she was only welcomed at court because Egg knew the GoHH would come with? 

Also, on the Blackwood thing, the forum tends to lump them in with Northerners because of the OG thing, but the Blackwoods (weird name for folks who worship whitewoods) were kicked out of the North and use a dead weirwood as their sigil (also very weird). I don't think it's a given at all that the Blackwoods' OGism is the same as the Northerners OGism. 

Edited by Lollygag

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9 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

With Bloodraven, I wonder if he didn't have a similar experience that Bran had. I've wondered a lot if Bloodraven wasn't the one who gave Summerhall its name, in a similar way Bran gave his direwolf the name Summer after he woke up from his coma. 

I’ve thought about a physical trauma awakening Bloodraven’s OG powers. I think it’s a good possibility, even if he didn’t go through anything nearly as traumatic as Bran. 

Not sure about naming Summerhall... wasn’t that Daeron? Bloodraven was already around, but would he have had sufficient clout with/influence to get it named? 

9 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The other thing I've wondered about is how much influence Betha Blackwood and her old gods had with her husband and her children. 

Yup. I brought it up in the OP, whether Egg realising the Targs incestuous ways were harmful had anything to do w/ Black Betha giving him an OG 101 education. But then later I found this:

TWoIaF, Aegon V

“Next was Prince Jaehaerys, now Prince of Dragonstone. Though King Aegon had acquired a distaste for the Valyrian custom of incestuous marriage during his years amongst the smallfolk, Prince Jaehaerys was of a more traditional bent, for from a very early age he had loved his sister Shaera and dreamed of wedding her in the old Targaryen fashion. Once aware of his desires, King Aegon and Queen Betha had done their best to separate the two, yet somehow distance only seemed to inflame the mutual passion of this prince and princess.”

So, maybe a bit of both? 

 

9 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I don't know how much influence Bloodraven has on a lot of things, but I'm willing to bet that the Rhaella/Aerys marriage has his prints all over it, same as what happened at Summerhall. 

I don’t know, but I’d be willing to take your bet. :)

 

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17 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Just an idea based on absolutely nothing at all, but Jenny of Oldstones was not welcome at court because Egg thought her too low born. Then suddenly she was welcome. Maybe she was only welcomed at court because Egg knew the GoHH would come with? 

I have to reread but my take was that it’s not that she wasn’t welcomed but just too low birth to marry the heir apparent. And Egg had the deal w/ Lionel Baratheon, and all that. And once Egg saw there was nothing he could do, he accepted her. I have nothing to back this up, it’s really just the impression I got. 

17 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Also, on the Blackwood thing, the forum tends to lump them in with Northerners because of the OG thing, but the Blackwoods (weird name for folks who worship whitewoods) were kicked out of the North and use a dead weirwood as their sigil (also very weird). I don't think it's a given at all that the Blackwoods' OGism is the same as the Northerners OGism. 

I don’t know, could be. But my take on the “dead” (not sure that tree is actually dead) heart tree is that it’s still there b/c of the Brackens. What I mean is, the Blackwoods keep it there instead of getting rid of it as a reminder of all the wrongs (real or imagined) the Brackens have done to them. :dunno:

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49 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Just an idea based on absolutely nothing at all, but Jenny of Oldstones was not welcome at court because Egg thought her too low born. Then suddenly she was welcome. Maybe she was only welcomed at court because Egg knew the GoHH would come with? 

There was resistance to the marriage and it was impossible that a future king could marry Jenny - but once Duncan had given up his claim Jenny (and whatever children she and Duncan may have had) were part of the royal family and court.

38 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

“Next was Prince Jaehaerys, now Prince of Dragonstone. Though King Aegon had acquired a distaste for the Valyrian custom of incestuous marriage during his years amongst the smallfolk, Prince Jaehaerys was of a more traditional bent, for from a very early age he had loved his sister Shaera and dreamed of wedding her in the old Targaryen fashion. Once aware of his desires, King Aegon and Queen Betha had done their best to separate the two, yet somehow distance only seemed to inflame the mutual passion of this prince and princess.”

That implies that the smallfolk changed Egg's mind about that, not the woman who would eventually marry a Targaryen prince. No noblewoman marrying into the family ever tried to end the incestuous thing, so there is really no reason to assume Betha did anything to change Egg's way considering he must have decided he wanted to marry her long before he ever married her. After all, he was originally betrothed to his sister Daella.

If the Hightowers can be fine with the incest thing, so can the Blackwoods - who themselves are heavily intermarried with their Bracken cousins.

In fact, chances are pretty high that Egg converted Betha to the Faith considering that the majority at court would not look kindly on a (future) queen who did not follow the Seven. House Targaryen follows the Faith of the Andals, not the old gods, and we see in FaB with Larra Rogare and her sons how opposed the people and court are to the prospect of even the slightest religious deviance. The fact that Duncan, Jaehaerys II, Daeron - and Aerys and Rhaella, for that matter - are not brought up following the old gods is also a strong sign that the Faith of the Andals remained the religion of House Targaryen, not the old gods.

Unlike the First Men houses who eventually converted to the Faith the Targaryens *never* followed the old gods and really don't have any reason to pretend they do. That's just a foreign religion for them, unlike the Faith to which they had - sort of - converted already when Aegon invaded Westeros.

In fact, at this point it isn't even clear whether Brynden Rivers followed the old gods while he was Hand of the King. Considering his ominous reputation one would assume it would be mentioned as another bad trait of his if he didn't even follow the Seven. His mother was a Blackwood, but his father and the older brother he chose and defended as his king was a Targaryen.

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

I have to reread but my take was that it’s not that she wasn’t welcomed but just too low birth to marry the heir apparent. And Egg had the deal w/ Lionel Baratheon, and all that. And once Egg saw there was nothing he could do, he accepted her. I have nothing to back this up, it’s really just the impression I got. 

I got that from here. Yeah, you might be right now that I reread it. For some reason this story keeps getting twisted with The Crown in my head. 

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Duncan_Targaryen

 

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

I don’t know, could be. But my take on the “dead” (not sure that tree is actually dead) heart tree is that it’s still there b/c of the Brackens. What I mean is, the Blackwoods keep it there instead of getting rid of it as a reminder of all the wrongs (real or imagined) the Brackens have done to them. :dunno:

I agree it might not be dead. I actually wonder if it's really in transition or something. To what, I have no idea. It's weird that it's the only instance of poisoning in the series. 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

I agree it might not be dead. I actually wonder if it's really in transition or something. To what, I have no idea. It's weird that it's the only instance of poisoning in the series. 

Well, according to Tytos Blackwood, the heart tree’s been like that for 1,000 yrs, and in 1,000 more will have turned to stone. But even more interesting IMO is what he says after - and that together w/ a generous dose of gut feeling is what makes me wonder if it is indeed dead... 

ADwD, Jaime 

“Blackwood’s solar was on the second floor of a cavernous timber keep. There was a fire burning in the hearth when they entered. The room was large and airy, with great beams of dark oak supporting the high ceiling. Woolen tapestries covered the walls, and a pair of wide latticework doors looked out upon the godswood. Through their thick, diamond-shaped panes of yellow glass Jaime glimpsed the gnarled limbs of the tree from which the castle took its name. It was a weirwood ancient and colossal, ten times the size of the one in the Stone Garden at Casterly Rock. This tree was bare and dead, though.
“The Brackens poisoned it,” said his host. “For a thousand years it has not shown a leaf. In another thousand it will have turned to stone, the maesters say. Weirwoods never rot.”
“And the ravens?” asked Jaime. “Where are they?”
They come at dusk and roost all night. Hundreds of them. They cover the tree like black leaves, every limb and every branch. They have been coming for thousands of years. How or why, no man can say, yet the tree draws them every night.”

Tytos doesn’t say the heart tree is dead, only that it hasn’t shown a leaf in 1,000 yrs. It’s the maesters that say it will eventually turn to stone. Another very interesting detail is all these ravens coming to roost every night. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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On 3/25/2019 at 4:28 AM, broken one said:

I assumed she knows about the wedding at Twins from "conventional" source, like she talked to sb who knows. I think she just has to have contact with other people from the area to survive. And the vision is another, abstract thing she cannot interpret. It would have been quite malevolent of her to withold the info and I cannot see why.

That's possible, but I personally just interpret the emphasis that's placed on the word "wedding" in her dialogue and the fact that she cackles afterwards to mean that she's in the know.  I can't really think of any other reason for Martin to include that little bit if it's not meant to imply the GoHH knows the RW is coming. 

On 3/25/2019 at 3:52 PM, Ser Hedge said:

When she says she feels death when looking at Arya, perhaps she glimpses Arya's future as an acolyte of the many-faced God? So, there is a small chance she did not have malign intentions in allowing Arya & co to depart for the twins. She is quite old and seems to have developed a decent appetite for wine, maybe she cannot really work out what her visions mean, or just couldn't care less. A rogue/outcast CotF?

I've thought of that as well, and it's definitely a possibility, but I think context lends itself more to the interpretation that the GoHH is speaking of Arya's coming grief from the RW. Firstly, the GoHH makes the connection between her grief from Summerhall and Arya. Unless Arya will, in future books, assassinate someone close to the GoHH (which I find to be fairly unlikely) I'm not sure why else the GoHH would be speaking of her own personal losses if she didn't sense something similar coming for Arya. Secondly, given that the GoHH visions are predominately related to the RW and its aftermath, it seems that Martin is attempting to foreshadow that the visions the GoHH just had are directly related to Arya. To me at least, that makes the most sense. 

It seems more likely that the GoHH can interpret her visions, she just doesn't care enough about them to act on them or to try and prevent them. Which could be how she's always been, or that could be the result of Summerhall. I honestly don't know which. Though, I do think it would be a lot more compelling if she were directly related to/responsible for the tragedy that occurred. 

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On 3/25/2019 at 2:24 PM, kissdbyfire said:

I tend to go back and forth on AA and the ptwp being the same “person”or not. And whenever I’m having a “not” day, I like to toy w/ the idea that it’s Bran. 

In a way that may not make sense to anyone else, I think it could possibly tie in w/ broken promises (or agreements), unpaid debts, revenge and the GoHH and Summerhall. I will try to get these thoughts more organised in my head and will get back to it.

Also, many posts w/ interesting insights to reply to, but it will have to wait a bit, 

Definitely interested in your perspective on this because I, too, like to think that Bran is tptwp and that Summerhall is somehow related to broken promises and the current encroachment of the Others. Curious to hear more!

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On 3/26/2019 at 9:40 PM, kissdbyfire said:

Another very interesting detail is all these ravens coming to roost every night. 

It's very intriguing. Brynden Rivers is said to be born in Kongs Landing but maybe he spent part of his childhood/youth in the Raven Tree Hall? I wonder if there was connection between his gift and the special feature of the tree.

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Why would a prince be promised? Why would his song be the song of ice and fire?

If it is Jon, it fits with ice and fire (Lyanna and Rhaegar), but how is he a prince, and why would he be promised?

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On 3/24/2019 at 3:34 PM, kissdbyfire said:

And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.” She turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. “You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now.”

Cold fingers walked down Arya’s neck. Fear cuts deeper than swords, she reminded herself. She stood and approached the fire warily, light on the balls of her feet, poised to flee.”

“The dwarf woman studied her with dim red eyes. “I see you,” she whispered. “I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death . . . ” She began to sob, her little body shaking. “You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone!”

I wonder whether we should be looking at Alyssa Arryn as a comparison for the "gorged on grief" Ghost of High Heart. I already think of Alyssa as a comparison for Catelyn / Lady Stoneheart, who spent time with the statue of Alyssa at the Eyrie. Or maybe the point here is that the GoHH is a parallel for Catelyn.

Oh, I think I get it: Catelyn compared herself to Jenny of Oldstones. She took Robb to Oldstones and had a heart-to-heart about his heir and about Tristifer Mudd. She remembered playing with Petyr Baelish that she was Jenny and he was the Prince of Dragonflies (Duncan, son of Aegon V). So there is an Alyssa --> Catelyn --> Jenny of Oldstones equivalence. The GoHH was a close personal friend of Jenny of Oldstones. So the GoHH really is comparing herself to Arya, I think: Catelyn's daughter would be close to Catelyn in a similar way to the GoHH's relationship to Jenny of O.

But there seems to be some conflating of the related characters - Alyssa may be both Catelyn and Arya (and Sansa?); the GoHH may be a chip off the old block of Jenny of Oldstones.

The GoHH calls to Arya immediately after describing the maid with the castle built of snow. Sansa built a castle of snow in the Eyrie courtyard that contains the toppled Alyssa statue. The author then throws in the bit about cold fingers walking down Arya's neck - Littlefinger helped Sansa to build the snow castle, using his little finger to make windows in a tower.

Lady Stoneheart and Arya are both about to become ruthless killers. Is the GoHH giving us a clue here about the Summerhall disaster? Could Jenny have been the cause of that fire and loss of so many members of the Targaryen family? Or did the GoHH cause the fire? (Similarly, some people blame Catelyn for starting the War of the Five Kings by kidnapping Tyrion.)

I also just dusted off my old tinfoil about Old Nan as a possible Faceless Man or other sinister killer. Arya uses the name Nan for awhile, telling people it is short for Nymeria. The Hound inadvertently tells us that Old Nan is like a direwolf because he says that Starks use direwolfs for wet nurses in the same chapter that we learn Old Nan was originally a wet nurse for the Stark household. The Ghost of High Heart, of course, shares a name with Jon Snow's direwolf, Ghost. Old Nan and the Ghost of High Heart look alike in some ways.  (Arya compares them in her mind, even though she says that the GoHH is older than Old Nan.) I suspect all these overlapping characters are pointing toward a sinister past for the GoHH. Maybe, like Alyssa, she is doomed to live on her hill until she somehow atones for some past sin. (Alyssa failed to shed tears when her family was slaughtered.) She drinks to try to soften the grief or to bide her time until she can finally go to her rest. Will this be Arya's fate some day, too?

A bit off-topic, but perhaps pertinent: I gorged on grief = I forged iron egg.

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