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Black Crow

Heresy 220 and the nature of magic

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15 hours ago, Mullocose said:

But, if they were once grey, now blue, then they might be electric blue & glowing half way through the next book... 

I don't disagree, and a point of comparison might be made with the Undying, Melisandre (speculatively), and the older greenseers that Bran glimpses in BR's cave--practitioners of magic that have taken on increasingly unnatural appearances. GRRM has referred to Bran eating the weirwood paste as "the green ceremony," so it may be that Val has taken (or is preparing to take) a similar communion that will create a closer bond to ice sorcery. 

It's not my personal interpretation of either Val or the Others, but I do see the case for it, particularly in relation to the myth of the Night's Queen.

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8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I don't have the quotation to hand but GRRM did very firmly declare that there is no Nights King apart from that very distant [in time] figure of legend.

My own take on this statement is that while they are certainly antagonists, the blue-eyed lot are not protagonists and that the Nights King seen in the Mummers' version is a theatrical invention

Quote

As for the Night’s King (the form I prefer), in the books he is a legendary figure, akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder, and no more likely to have survived to the present day than they have.

 

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6 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I don't disagree, and a point of comparison might be made with the Undying, Melisandre (speculatively), and the older greenseers that Bran glimpses in BR's cave--practitioners of magic that have taken on increasingly unnatural appearances. GRRM has referred to Bran eating the weirwood paste as "the green ceremony," so it may be that Val has taken (or is preparing to take) a similar communion that will create a closer bond to ice sorcery. 

 It's not my personal interpretation of either Val or the Others, but I do see the case for it, particularly in relation to the myth of the Night's Queen.

Interesting, I think that there is definitely something special & thus far hidden to the reader about Val & Tormund (Speaker to Gods)...

I think that Val's role in the story will be a re-hashing of the Night's Queen Myth... With a corrupted & morally compromised Jon Snow (likely in Hodor's body) filling the role of the Night's King...

Jon will probably use his soon-to-be expanded warging skills to bind the Night's Watch & Free Folk top his will...

Varamyr's Prologue hinted at the hive-minded nature of a powerful skin changer with multiple subjects... Jon's subjects will number in the thousands, they will be people (not animals), & Jon will have little or no regard for their well being...

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18 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

 ... or are all the white walkers on the show human corpses? 

Yes... and no.

For a long time now I've been of the opinion that they are skin-changers. Remember how Varamyr "flew" free after dying, until he was sucked into One-Eye. I suspect that the walkers continue to fly free and ride the cold winds until assuming corporeal form using the ice crystals in the air - until in the case of Ser Puddles, to quote GRRM, the obsidian "broke the magic holding him together"

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28 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Yes... and no.

For a long time now I've been of the opinion that they are skin-changers. Remember how Varamyr "flew" free after dying, until he was sucked into One-Eye. I suspect that the walkers continue to fly free and ride the cold winds until assuming corporeal form using the ice crystals in the air - until in the case of Ser Puddles, to quote GRRM, the obsidian "broke the magic holding him together"

Yes, I like this idea.  Stannis says they are made of snow and ice and cold.  This:

 

Quote

 

A Storm of Swords - Samwell I

The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop. Grenn spun, thrusting out his torch. "Who goes there?" A horse's head emerged from the darkness. Sam felt a moment's relief, until he saw the horse. Hoarfrost covered it like a sheen of frozen sweat, and a nest of stiff black entrails dragged from its open belly. On its back was a rider pale as ice. Sam made a whimpery sound deep in his throat. He was so scared he might have pissed himself all over again, but the cold was in him, a cold so savage that his bladder felt frozen solid. The Other slid gracefully from the saddle to stand upon the snow. Sword-slim it was, and milky white. Its armor rippled and shifted as it moved, and its feet did not break the crust of the new-fallen snow.

 

 

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23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The Night's King has been a very confusing interpretation on the show. How could a former Lord Commander brought down for sacrificing to the Others and presumably executed, come back as the leader of all the white walkers and wights? Did the Night's King also become made of ice, or are all the white walkers on the show human corpses? 

These questions are good... but they don't really apply because in Show World, Night King isn't said to have been a former LC of the Watch, etc. That's canonical mythology and I don't think it comes up on the show at all.

I think the show's Night King is just supposed to be the first Popsicle -- the one we see created when an obsidian dagger is shoved into a First Man's chest when he's tied to a weirwood.  This concept alone demonstrates how ludicrous the show is.

Presumably the same dagger also cut off the 's in his name, transforming him from the canonical "Night's King" into the not-approved-by-GRRM "Night King."  (You've gotta be careful with those daggers or you might transform butter into butt.)

4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

For a long time now I've been of the opinion that they are skin-changers. Remember how Varamyr "flew" free after dying, until he was sucked into One-Eye.

Right, but Feather asked about the show Popsicles, and Varamyr's major beat in the show is... not to exist. 

So whatever we learn from his POV chapter in ADWD can't be applied to the show.

In general, the show Popsicles seem a pretty sloppy job.  They make a thunk noise when they jump down on something, they shatter when stabbed with dragonglass instead of melt, they lack the supernatural grace and speed of the canonical Popsicles... and, of course, their origin as given cannot be "true," because HBO now claims their "true" origin will be revealed in the prequel show.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Yes... and no.

For a long time now I've been of the opinion that they are skin-changers. Remember how Varamyr "flew" free after dying, until he was sucked into One-Eye. I suspect that the walkers continue to fly free and ride the cold winds until assuming corporeal form using the ice crystals in the air - until in the case of Ser Puddles, to quote GRRM, the obsidian "broke the magic holding him together"

It’s an interesting interpretation, but how do they manage to control where their spirit goes when it seems once the skinchanger’s body dies, they lose their anchor?

Edited by Feather Crystal

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

These questions are good... but they don't really apply because in Show World, Night King isn't said to have been a former LC of the Watch, etc. That's canonical mythology and I don't think it comes up on the show at all.

I think the show's Night King is just supposed to be the first Popsicle -- the one we see created when an obsidian dagger is shoved into a First Man's chest when he's tied to a weirwood.  This concept alone demonstrates how ludicrous the show is.

Presumably the same dagger also cut off the 's in his name, transforming him from the canonical "Night's King" into the not-approved-by-GRRM "Night King."  (You've gotta be careful with those daggers or you might transform butter into butt.)

Right, but Feather asked about the show Popsicles, and Varamyr's major beat in the show is... not to exist. 

So whatever we learn from his POV chapter in ADWD can't be applied to the show.

In general, the show Popsicles seem a pretty sloppy job.  They make a thunk noise when they jump down on something, they shatter when stabbed with dragonglass instead of melt, they lack the supernatural grace and speed of the canonical Popsicles... and, of course, their origin as given cannot be "true," because HBO now claims their "true" origin will be revealed in the prequel show.

Yeah, my bad, I realised that after posting and can only plead that the house rules state we can talk about the books rather than the mummers' version.

As to that particular fantasy I absolutely agree with your final paragraph and would offer an aside that in this respect the mummer's version is very akin to the sad havoc the BBC made of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell; while [very] broadly true to the story of the named protagonists, it completely lost the underlying story and the magic.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

It’s an interesting interpretation, but how do they manage to control where their spirit goes when it seems once the skinchanger’s body dies, they lose their anchor?

That's where the magic lies. Presumably they are far more powerful skinchangers than Varamyr could ever aspire to be. His prologue provided pointers to the answers rather than a complete answer in itself.

We know that the Starks are powerful skinchangers when unleashed. Perhaps they are more powerful than we realise. We have a problem with Jon in that he falls over seemingly killed. His last recorded thought is a cry to Ghost, which is plausibly interpreted as identifying Ghost as his lifeboat. This may well be so were it not for the fact that according to Varamyr once the knicker elastic tethering him to his own body is broken by its death he will be trapped in Ghost, just as Varamyr is trapped to fade away in One-eye. While this might be of some comfort it doesn't do much for Jon's future character arc - unless it is possible to stay free as the white walkers do; unless there is something in the Stark blood which requires them to be imprisoned in their graves by cold iron.

Edited by Black Crow

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Mullocose said:

Jon will probably use his soon-to-be expanded warging skills to bind the Night's Watch & Free Folk top his will...

I've seen it suggested here in the past - perhaps by Voice - that the framing of the NK's tale of him being "only a man by the light of day, but the night was his to rule" is an allusion to the NK being a powerful warg, and that he ruled the night in his wolf dreams. Though it might also be a metaphor for him beginning his life as a man, and ending it as something else, depending on what his relationship with the Others turns out to be. 

In any case, I agree that the Varamyr prologue - both in what it explicitly relates with Varamyr mastering multiple thralls, and what it potentially hints at with Thistle 'seeing' Varamyr in One Eye - is loaded with important foreshadowing.

 

2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

That's where the magic lies. Presumably they are far more powerful skinchangers than Varamyr could ever aspire to be. His prologue provided pointers to the answers rather than a complete answer in itself.

We know that the Starks are powerful skinchangers when unleashed. 

...

While this might be of some comfort it doesn't do much for Jon's future character arc - unless it is possible to stay free as the white walkers do; unless there is something in the Stark blood which requires them to be imprisoned in their graves by cold iron.

I might bring this up a little too often, but I'm inclined once again to relate this to the moment in AGOT where both Bran and Rickon 'feel' Eddard's death and are compelled to visit the crypts--while Hodor, at the same time, is terrified to enter them, because (as per SSM) of some unique quality of the moment, and not a general fear of the crypts.

I wonder whether or not Eddard was experiencing something not unlike the Varamyr prologue: thrust suddenly from his body, disoriented, and then 'called' home to the crypts, perhaps to experience a second life of imprisonment in the cold hell of the Starks.

Edited by Matthew.

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36 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I might bring this up a little too often, but I'm inclined once again to relate this to the moment in AGOT where both Bran and Rickon 'feel' Eddard's death and are compelled to visit the crypts--while Hodor, at the same time, is terrified to enter them, because (as per SSM) of some unique quality of the moment, and not a general fear of the crypts.

I wonder whether or not Eddard was experiencing something not unlike the Varamyr prologue: thrust suddenly from his body, disoriented, and then 'called' home to the crypts, perhaps to experience a second life of imprisonment in the cold hell of the Starks.

I think that this may well be a strong possibility, especially if Lord Eddard had no previous experience of skinchanging

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2 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I wonder whether or not Eddard was experiencing something not unlike the Varamyr prologue: thrust suddenly from his body, disoriented, and then 'called' home to the crypts, perhaps to experience a second life of imprisonment in the cold hell of the Starks.

I likes...

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I can't find the interview, but I believe it was recently that the show runners said they created The Night's King because they felt the White Walkers needed a leader.  Implying the book Other's did not have a specific named Other leading them.

The book's Night's King is probably still relevant, but long dead, and not necessarily anything other than a living human. 

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3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

The book's Night's King is probably still relevant, but long dead, and not necessarily anything other than a living human. 

I wonder if the Wall, the long night or the Night's King was first in GRRM's mind ...

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2 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I wonder if the Wall, the long night or the Night's King was first in GRRM's mind ...

I'd say the Long Night, the Wall and the Night's King in that order.

The Long Night features in his Ice Dragon novella which in turn was influenced by his experience of winter in the Mid-West, or to be more exact the Old Northwest.

GRRM has cited a visit to Hadrian's Wall as his inspiration for his Wall and I've maintained for some time that he has also been heavily influenced by the fall of the Berlin Wall, just months before he drafted his original synopsis. He has not so far as I know mentioned this connection but I think that doing so would give too much away, ie; that the fall of the Wall will be necessary and ultimately beneficial, rather than a disaster, as I understand it has been portrayed in the Mummers' version.

The Night's King, I reckon, is a detail late in the writing process. The legend may have some relevance pointing to a Stark connection to the blue-eyed lot, but not otherwise

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Yesterday the show dropped some "revelations" on the objectives of the NK (motivations still unclear):

Spoiler

"An endless night. He wants to erase this world. And I am its memory,"

It also gave an additonal hint at a wheel of time component:

"He’s tried many times before with many Three-Eyed Ravens.”

We have discussed before the hints that memory of history has been altered (intentionally?); maybe linked to Hoster Blackwood's idea that peace can't be achieved while men remember past evils.

Are the white cold or the Others the Disk Clean-up of the wiernet? Do the spirits of men overrun the weirnet/world in a similar way to the Monster from the Id in Forbidden Planet?

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23 hours ago, Black Crow said:

in this respect the mummer's version is very akin to the sad havoc the BBC made of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell; while [very] broadly true to the story of the named protagonists, it completely lost the underlying story and the magic.

Yes, I think that's well said.

To be fair, though, I think much of the magic of that book lay in Clarke's superlative prose and the footnotes in particular (possibly the best in the history of F/SF), which couldn't translate well. 

For Hollywood to get all the key details wrong about the Popsicles just seems like a failure to realize those details were key.  But they are; if you don't know, for instance, that the Popsicles glide along the surface of snow without breaking the crust, you are really missing a major point about them, helpful in any analysis.

 

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3 hours ago, Tucu said:

Yesterday the show dropped some "revelations" on the objectives of the NK (motivations still unclear):

  Hide contents

"An endless night. He wants to erase this world. And I am its memory,"

It also gave an additonal hint at a wheel of time component:

"He’s tried many times before with many Three-Eyed Ravens.”

We have discussed before the hints that memory of history has been altered (intentionally?); maybe linked to Hoster Blackwood's idea that peace can't be achieved while men remember past evils.

Are the white cold or the Others the Disk Clean-up of the wiernet? Do the spirits of men overrun the weirnet/world in a similar way to the Monster from the Id in Forbidden Planet?

The show is conflating the Night's King with the Great Other, or in Melisandre's words, "He Who Shall Not Be Named". Speaking of Melisandre - where is she? She of all the characters was expecting a great battle between the two gods, so if D&D is making the Night's King representative of the Great Other, where is Melisandre and her Lord of Light?

I think it's telling that the least interesting aspect of last night's episode was Jon and Daenerys. The "big anticipated telling" was quite boring, and her reaction was confusing. Dany just got done telling Sansa that she has allowed Jon to manipulate her, because she fell in love with with him, and yet she walked away, either in disbelief or dismay that he could be her nephew, rather than embrace their traditional Targaryen incest by acknowledgement and acceptance.

I did feel some tears welling up, however when Sansa hugged Theon, and when Jaime knighted Brienne. Those are two things that I would actually like to read in the next book. I didn't like the Arya and Gendry hookup at all. It was a bit jarring and revolting. In the books she's still, what, 12-13 years old at the end of Dance?

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JNR said:

Yes, I think that's well said.

To be fair, though, I think much of the magic of that book lay in Clarke's superlative prose and the footnotes in particular (possibly the best in the history of F/SF), which couldn't translate well. 

For Hollywood to get all the key details wrong about the Popsicles just seems like a failure to realize those details were key.  But they are; if you don't know, for instance, that the Popsicles glide along the surface of snow without breaking the crust, you are really missing a major point about them, helpful in any analysis.

 

Clarke's footnotes, though they are difficult if not impossible to translate, are however vital because ultimately there is a more important underlying story centering around John Uskglas and his bringing back magic. In the end, Strange and Norell were only his tools. That was completely lost by the BBC and in exactly the same way I believe from reports [and to be honest I've not watched the current or previous series] that the Mummers have turned GRRM's story into an extended Game of Thrones, while losing the Song of Ice and Fire.

Edited by Black Crow

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22 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I've seen it suggested here in the past - perhaps by Voice - that the framing of the NK's tale of him being "only a man by the light of day, but the night was his to rule" is an allusion to the NK being a powerful warg, and that he ruled the night in his wolf dreams. Though it might also be a metaphor for him beginning his life as a man, and ending it as something else, depending on what his relationship with the Others turns out to be. 

So after being gone for a week, I figure I'd throw my $.02 in here: I think Euron will show us how the Popsicles are controlling the masses. euron is shaping up to be an eldritch badass, who got his start in magic from BR. I think when he got exiled, he traveled to Qarth, took the name Urrathon and started learning how to do night walking. I think Night Walking is the involuntary possession of a person and may be how the Popsicles are controlling their wights. Note, I think that Night Walking requires a glass candle and that someone will find a glass candle at the Night fort or in the crypts of Winterfell. Second note: I think Night walking got it's name from the actions of the Night's King.  

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