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Heresy 221 and the Children of Winterfell

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Tucu said:

Fair enough. I will still file this under my Dark Ned crackpot together with his revenge killing spree and shadowbinding of his companions

Well somebody has to go down the dark path.  I think that will be Jon.

And now for a musical interlude:

 

Edited by LynnS

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Yes, Dany going down a dark path precludes Jon doing so, at least with only 1 episode left.   GRRM was very clear bringing someone back from the dead should have consequences.  On the show, it has not.   They may as well left out the whole part about Jon dying. 

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2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Yes, Dany going down a dark path precludes Jon doing so, at least with only 1 episode left.   GRRM was very clear bringing someone back from the dead should have consequences.  On the show, it has not.   They may as well left out the whole part about Jon dying. 

Yes, becoming undead should have consequences, and the show barely brushed this topic with Beric Dondarrion. Turns out Beric was only mostly dead. See, mostly dead is still slightly alive. :fencing:

GRRM tends to reveal some of his mysteries in series of three. First we had Coldhands, then Beric, and lastly Lady Stoneheart. With each undead creature we learned a little bit about the process and what the creature would be like after becoming undead. We also learned that their minds and motivations can vary widely.

Coldhands served Bloodraven and followed his orders, which may hint at a connection to Bloodraven when they were still men of the Night's Watch, or simply that Coldhands recognizes Bloodraven as his Lord Commander.

Beric Dondarrion continued to follow the Hand's orders long after Ned and Robert were dead and gone.

Lady Stoneheart follows no one's orders. She wasn't bound by duty to anyone prior to her death. She counseled Robb on what to do, but she bucked if anyone tried to place any restrictions on her. She set Jaime Lannister free against the will of Robb and the northern army, so her "mind", for lack of a better descriptive, is still of her own free will.

So what does that mean for Jon, should he too become undead? Jon was/is a Lord Commander, so he too is free of being duty bound to another person, but he is bound by duty to the Nights Watch. The story of the Night's King is that of a Lord Commander that was taken down by the Lord of Winterfell and the King Beyond the Wall. The wheel of time is running in reverse, so the outcome of the story will also be reversed. Jon as the Night's King will take down both the Lord of Winterfell and the King Beyond the Wall, but what happens after that? Once an undead creature completes their mission, what are they to do after they succeed? We haven't seen what an undead creature would do without motivation or duty.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

GRRM was very clear bringing someone back from the dead should have consequences.  On the show, it has not.   They may as well left out the whole part about Jon dying.

Agreed.

Here's another slant on that.  In the show, Mel doesn't even believe she can bring Jon back.  Her response to Thoros, when he said he'd done that for Beric, was "That's not possible."

So clearly there is a mystery there -- why resurrection is now possible, when it wasn't before -- that begs a coherent explanation. 

But the show will never provide it, because D&D simply didn't think it through. (Compare to: "The Red Keep has never fallen.")

Fortunately, GRRM is, we know from countless interviews, all about coherent explanations.  That's exactly why he said the LOST finale was "a turd someone dropped on his doorstep" -- he is determined not to make the same mistakes they did. 

So while the show can't be bothered even to try to solve its own mysteries, the books will.

 

Edited by JNR

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37 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

So what does that mean for Jon, should he too become undead?

There are these interesting quotes from Catelyn in GoT that seem to foreshadow what she will become:
 

Quote

 

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn VI

"My lady, you should have sent word of your coming," Ser Donnel Waynwood told her as their horses climbed the pass. "We would have sent an escort. The high road is not as safe as it once was, for a party as small as yours."

"We learned that to our sorrow, Ser Donnel," Catelyn said. Sometimes she felt as though her heart had turned to stone; six brave men had died to bring her this far, and she could not even find it in her to weep for them. Even their names were fading. "The clansmen harried us day and night. We lost three men in the first attack, and two more in the second, and Lannister's serving man died of a fever when his wounds festered. When we heard your men approaching, I thought us doomed for certain." They had drawn up for a last desperate fight, blades in hand and backs to the rock. The dwarf had been whetting the edge of his axe and making some mordant jest when Bronn spotted the banner the riders carried before them, the moon-and-falcon of House Arryn, sky-blue and white. Catelyn had never seen a more welcome sight.

"The clans have grown bolder since Lord Jon died," Ser Donnel said. He was a stocky youth of twenty years, earnest and homely, with a wide nose and a shock of thick brown hair. "If it were up to me, I would take a hundred men into the mountains, root them out of their fastnesses, and teach them some sharp lessons, but your sister has forbidden it. She would not even permit her knights to fight in the Hand's tourney. She wants all our swords kept close to home, to defend the Vale … against what, no one is certain. Shadows, some say." He looked at her anxiously, as if he had suddenly remembered who she was. "I hope I have not spoken out of turn, my lady. I meant no offense."

 

I wonder if there is anything in Jon's POV that might give us some hints.

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3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

There are these interesting quotes from Catelyn in GoT that seem to foreshadow what she will become:
 

I wonder if there is anything in Jon's POV that might give us some hints.

I have mentioned before the references to Jon dancing with Alys again, him spotting snowflakes dancing near the Wall and Alys being Winter's lady with an icy crown. Mix with Varamyr dancing with Thistle, I am betting on that move for Jon's second life as a mini hivemind.

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5 minutes ago, Tucu said:

I have mentioned before the references to Jon dancing with Alys again, him spotting snowflakes dancing near the Wall and Alys being Winter's lady with an icy crown. Mix with Varamyr dancing with Thistle, I am betting on that move for Jon's second life as a mini hivemind.

I'm thinking more in line with stuff like this:

Quote

 

A Game of Thrones - Jon VIII

"As you say, my lord." It was not the thought of scars that troubled Jon; it was the rest of it. Maester Aemon had given him milk of the poppy, yet even so, the pain had been hideous. At first it had felt as if his hand were still aflame, burning day and night. Only plunging it into basins of snow and shaved ice gave any relief at all. Jon thanked the gods that no one but Ghost saw him writhing on his bed, whimpering from the pain. And when at last he did sleep, he dreamt, and that was even worse. In the dream, the corpse he fought had blue eyes, black hands, and his father's face, but he dared not tell Mormont that.

 

Quote

 

A Game of Thrones - Jon VII

"But it's a lie," Jon insisted. How could they think his father was a traitor, had they all gone mad? Lord Eddard Stark would never dishonor himself … would he?

He fathered a bastard, a small voice whispered inside him. Where was the honor in that? And your mother, what of her? He will not even speak her name.

 

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=bastard&scope[]=agot&povs[]=Jon

 

 

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17 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I'm thinking more in line with stuff like this:

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=bastard&scope[]=agot&povs[]=Jon

 

 

We all suspect that there's something up with the Winterfell crypts, and that the Kings of Winter might have a special purpose. Maybe you have to be dead in order to fight the dead? I'm thinking it might be an advantage to be undead in order to sneak up on a white walker.

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Posted (edited)

So ... a really weird thought and a real big speculation. Jon has this dream about the darkness in the crypts...

Jon shook his head. "No one. The castle is always empty." He had never told anyone of the dream, and he did not understand why he was telling Sam now, yet somehow it felt good to talk of it. "Even the ravens are gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It's black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don't want to. I'm afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it's not them I'm afraid of. I scream that I'm not a Stark, that this isn't my place, but it's no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream." He stopped, frowning, embarrassed. "That's when I always wake." His skin cold and clammy, shivering in the darkness of his cell. Ghost would leap up beside him, his warmth as comforting as daybreak. He would go back to sleep with his face pressed into the direwolf's shaggy white fur. "Do you dream of Horn Hill?" Jon asked.

 

Ok, let`s imagine there is a really old being down in the crypt and skinchanger in every generation. Within time, the skinchanger will die and some of the will try to warg something. And that is the old being down in the crypts. But over time the being also changes, as a part always remains. The statues in the crypt indicate who skinchanged into this being when he/she died. Lyanna did, that's why she has a statue. But Jon is afraid of letting go, of skinchanging into the being under Winterfell. He rather skinchanges into Ghost than into the thing darkness down in the crypts. That's why he presses his face into Ghost.

edit: btw. I never noticed that there is another spiral under Winterfell. So we have Harrenhal, Winterfell, the Queenscrown and possible a spiral stair under the Black Gate.

Edited by SirArthur

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

Yes, becoming undead should have consequences, and the show barely brushed this topic with Beric Dondarrion. Turns out Beric was only mostly dead. See, mostly dead is still slightly alive. :fencing:

GRRM tends to reveal some of his mysteries in series of three. First we had Coldhands, then Beric, and lastly Lady Stoneheart. With each undead creature we learned a little bit about the process and what the creature would be like after becoming undead. We also learned that their minds and motivations can vary widely.

Coldhands served Bloodraven and followed his orders, which may hint at a connection to Bloodraven when they were still men of the Night's Watch, or simply that Coldhands recognizes Bloodraven as his Lord Commander.

Beric Dondarrion continued to follow the Hand's orders long after Ned and Robert were dead and gone.

Lady Stoneheart follows no one's orders. She wasn't bound by duty to anyone prior to her death. She counseled Robb on what to do, but she bucked if anyone tried to place any restrictions on her. She set Jaime Lannister free against the will of Robb and the northern army, so her "mind", for lack of a better descriptive, is still of her own free will.

So what does that mean for Jon, should he too become undead? Jon was/is a Lord Commander, so he too is free of being duty bound to another person, but he is bound by duty to the Nights Watch. The story of the Night's King is that of a Lord Commander that was taken down by the Lord of Winterfell and the King Beyond the Wall. The wheel of time is running in reverse, so the outcome of the story will also be reversed. Jon as the Night's King will take down both the Lord of Winterfell and the King Beyond the Wall, but what happens after that? Once an undead creature completes their mission, what are they to do after they succeed? We haven't seen what an undead creature would do without motivation or duty.

I am not sure I agree their minds and motivations can vary widely.  Certainly, before they died, their minds and motivations varied widely and this seems to have carried over.  Almost as if they stop thinking for themselves and fixate on their minds and motivations before they died.   Beric might actually be an exception, having become the leader of an outlaw band, although this could have more to do with the people around him.

I disagree that we know much about Coldhands age.  A ranger alive at the time BR disappeared is a good guess, but so is The Last Hero or The Night King.  I still think he was someone special we've heard by name otherwise.

I found it interesting Jon, who is likely TPWWP and AA, did literally nothing in the Long Night episode (or since), and the Night King was killed by someone obviously not a candidate for TPWWP.  I suspect GRRM shared a version where Jon himself is the role of the Night King.   D&D chose not to turn the two many characters into villains, hence the need to create The Night King.   In the books, Araya will kill Jon with the Catspaw dagger just before Jon kills Bran. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Jon shook his head. "No one. The castle is always empty." He had never told anyone of the dream, and he did not understand why he was telling Sam now, yet somehow it felt good to talk of it. "Even the ravens are gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It's black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don't want to. I'm afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it's not them I'm afraid of. I scream that I'm not a Stark, that this isn't my place, but it's no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream." He stopped, frowning, embarrassed. "That's when I always wake." His skin cold and clammy, shivering in the darkness of his cell. Ghost would leap up beside him, his warmth as comforting as daybreak. He would go back to sleep with his face pressed into the direwolf's shaggy white fur. "Do you dream of Horn Hill?" Jon asked.

I think you've found a passage that LynnS was looking for? To me, this passage hints at what Jon must do once he becomes undead and has defeated the Lord of Winterfell. He needs to go down in the crypts to assemble his own army of the undead to defeat the Others.

14 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

I disagree that we know much about Coldhands age.  A ranger alive at the time BR disappeared is a good guess, but so is The Last Hero or The Night King.  I still think he was someone special we've heard by name otherwise.

I agree that Coldhands could have been dead much, much longer than Bloodraven. We simply don't have enough information about him, but what I had suggested was that since Coldhands appears to once have been a man of the Watch, that he obeys Bloodraven, because Bloodraven was once a Lord Commander.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Yes, Dany going down a dark path precludes Jon doing so, at least with only 1 episode left.   GRRM was very clear bringing someone back from the dead should have consequences.  On the show, it has not.   They may as well left out the whole part about Jon dying. 

Ah well, they had no option there because the assassination happened in the book, but it was certainly very inconvenient because the consequences, if they had not ignored them, would have led them down some very dark paths which they have also chosen to ignore completely

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But does he obey Bloodraven?

Quote

Bran: "Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?"

Coldhands: "A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last green-seer."

Bran: "A monster,"

Coldhands: "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

Now my interpretation is Coldhands not only refers to himself as Bran's monster but Bran himself as the 3 eyed crow.  But either way, Coldhands clearly is Bran's monster, not Bloodraven's.

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1 minute ago, Brad Stark said:

But does he obey Bloodraven?

Now my interpretation is Coldhands not only refers to himself as Bran's monster but Bran himself as the 3 eyed crow.  But either way, Coldhands clearly is Bran's monster, not Bloodraven's.

People have debated the meaning of Coldhands's words for as long as I've been a member of this forum.

IMO Bran is saying the three-eyed crow is a monster, implying that the three-eyed-crow is Bloodraven, which in turn suggests Bloodraven is just keeping the seat warm until Bran can take over. That being said I can see how the three-eyed crow might be Euron, who is nicknamed the Crow's Eye. The ravens should be Bloodraven's creatures, and the crows should belong to Euron, but that might be just a little too tidy.

Some posters, like yourself, say that Bran is calling Coldhands a monster, which makes Coldhands Bran's monster, but Coldhands was sent to fetch Bran and bring him safely to the Cave of Skulls. Where is Coldhands now? And would he assist Bran if Bran ordered him to do something?

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28 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

 

I disagree that we know much about Coldhands age.  A ranger alive at the time BR disappeared is a good guess, but so is The Last Hero or The Night King.  I still think he was someone special we've heard by name otherwise.

 

I believe that in the Mummers' version he turned out to be Uncle Benjen, although I recall being told that the original mss has a scribbled editorial note in which Anne Roell asks if Coldhands is Benjen and GRRM says No.

My own view remains that Coldhands is the Russian, He follows Bloodraven because he admires and is fascinated by him but ultimately has neither a deep seated loyalty, nor any compulsion to blindly obey him.  He is moulded so closely on the Russian/Harlequin as to arrive on the page complete and needs no back-story. He also leaves the story as completely and enigmatically as Conrad's original.

We haven't got that far yet, so its possible he may re-appear to aid any escape by Bran from the Cave of Skulls, but I rather fancy that if he has a purpose beyond what we're seen it is to serve as a pattern for a Jon resurrected not by Fire but by Ice.

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1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It's black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don't want to. I'm afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it's not them I'm afraid of. I scream that I'm not a Stark, that this isn't my place, but it's no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream."

There is an immediate thought occurs to me on this one. 

Jon, as in the other versions of the dream feels compelled to enter the crypts, not because Lyanna's tomb is bursting full of harps, wedding certificates, marriage cloaks and probably even a bit of the cake, but because something far more terrible is waiting.

Its not the kings, but something else.

And then he screams that he's not a Stark, and that it isn't his place - but of course he is a son of Winterfell and he is being drawn down

At this point comes the thought that when Ned mused about a cold hell just for the Starks, it may not have been a rhetorical question

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My tinfoil Coldhand theory is him being the 13th Lord Commander but I might be wrong. About our title, Winterfell's children, after posting about Dany's HotU visions about cloth dragon and blue flower, I started to think if stone beast with shadow fire is the winged snake that Summer saw? Osha says they were noisy enough to wake a dragon and then we have the Winged Snake vision. Is there a possibility that stone beast was a gargoyle and someone/something woke that? Is there a connection to Melisandre's prophecy of AA waking dragons from the stone?

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5 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

There is an immediate thought occurs to me on this one. 

Jon, as in the other versions of the dream feels compelled to enter the crypts, not because Lyanna's tomb is bursting full of harps, wedding certificates, marriage cloaks and probably even a bit of the cake, but because something far more terrible is waiting.

Its not the kings, but something else.

And then he screams that he's not a Stark, and that it isn't his place - but of course he is a son of Winterfell and he is being drawn down

At this point comes the thought that when Ned mused about a cold hell just for the Starks, it may not have been a rhetorical question

There is also a connection to Jaime's doom waiting under the Rock I think. 

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26 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Ah well, they had no option there because the assassination happened in the book,

Well, D&D have always just changed whatever they want.  They certainly could have changed that too.

The reason Jon was assassinated on the show, IMO, is not fidelity to the books, but... money, basically.  They just liked the cliffhanger drama of ending a season that way.  They knew it would drive ratings.  They knew they could lie all summer and create controversy about whether they were lying, and they were right.

But because the canon stops at that point, they had no idea what to do next! 

So what they came up with was standard Hollywood vending-machine cheese: Mel resurrects Jon, he sits up and is fine, he's totally unchanged in mind, memory, and personality... and thus, with one bound, Jack is free.

But if Jon dies in the books (a thing we don't know) and is resurrected somehow (another thing we don't know), it's not going to be as tidy as that.  Just as ending the second Long Night is never going to be as tidy, in the books, as killing one Popsicle wearing a silly ice-crown.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

People have debated the meaning of Coldhands's words for as long as I've been a member of this forum.

IMO Bran is saying the three-eyed crow is a monster, implying that the three-eyed-crow is Bloodraven, which in turn suggests Bloodraven is just keeping the seat warm until Bran can take over. That being said I can see how the three-eyed crow might be Euron, who is nicknamed the Crow's Eye. The ravens should be Bloodraven's creatures, and the crows should belong to Euron, but that might be just a little too tidy.

Some posters, like yourself, say that Bran is calling Coldhands a monster, which makes Coldhands Bran's monster, but Coldhands was sent to fetch Bran and bring him safely to the Cave of Skulls. Where is Coldhands now? And would he assist Bran if Bran ordered him to do something?

Jojen's conversation following this makes it clear that he, and likely the whole group, believe 'monster' is Coldhands not the 3 eyed crow.   It is possible they are wrong, but that interpretation also means Bloodraven is not only a monster but also Brandon's own monster. 

My interpretation, btw, is Bran himself is the 3 eyed crow, but it certainly could be someone else. 

Edited by Brad Stark

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