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El Diego

How much did Bloodraven know about warging/greenseeing before meeting the Children of the Forest??

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Posted (edited)
On 5/25/2019 at 3:45 PM, Megorova said:

I doubt, that prior coming to the Children's cave, Bloodraven was a skinchanger, able to warg into birds, or any other creatures. Also it's highly likely, that it was Shiera Seastar, who lured Bloodraven to go beyond The Wall (like Corpse Queen did to the 13th Lord Commander), into that cave, and made him to eat a weirwood seed paste, so the Weirwood tree grew out of those seeds, from inside of Bloodravens body, and binded him with roots to that cave. It's a parallel to Merlin's death - he was lured in a cave by his lover Nimue, and she used magic to bind him to a tree, and left him there.

I didn’t know this detail about Merlin’s death (thanks a lot!) and now that you mention it, this also somehow resembles the story of Lyanna and Robb in A song for Lya. Could it be possible that SS joined the Weirwood network before him and BR simply wanted to be with her forever?

Edited by OneFretfulTrout

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2 hours ago, El Diego said:

I was hoping to get other view points on Bloodraven's magical ability/knowledge during his mortal span. 

@The Weirwoods Eyesgave a good break down of the various book information if a person would read it.

Thing is no one except martin knows why LC Rivers went ranging or how he came to be in the CotF cave.

 

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On 5/24/2019 at 4:50 PM, El Diego said:

With Bran having the help of Jojen and the 3EC as sort of mentors, I wondered if Bloodraven had any help with his abilities before meeting the Children of the Forest.

I believe Bloodraven spent years in the Riverlands as a kid, didn't he? His mother would have gone back to Raventree Hall, I assume, when the King took up with Barbra Bracken or Bethany Bracken. Maybe some woods witch took an interest in him, or maybe his mother had mystical magical background that she passed along.

However, I believe that all of the bastards of Aegon IV form a sort of demi-god pantheon for ASOIAF. In the distant past, they all had some kind of magic presence that was passed down through descendants or characters who echo their function in the current story. For instance, all of the Houses connected to Harrenhal might have inherited some of the weird blood magic and bat qualities of Danelle Lothston. Every time we see a lady in ASoIAF bathing, it might be that GRRM intends that we think of Shiera Seastar and her efforts to retain her ageless beauty.

Maybe the reader is supposed to assume that the magical Great Bastards all had some kind of innate power and we don't have to worry about who taught them how to use the powers. Aegon IV may have chosen his mistresses in order to create a magical generation of powerful Targ offspring.

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Posted (edited)

So having looked back through Brynden Rivers aka Blodraven aka the last greenseer & aka Bran's three eyed crow's mentions throughout the series we can see that he exhibited some magical ability before meeting the CotF.

He also had the assistance of his sister and lover Shiera Seastar; herself a sorceress too.  It looks as though he may have learnt to use glamour and we see him using one in TMK where he uses a Moonstone broach to facilitate his glamour as Maynard Plumm. Is Maynard a real man whom Bryden has taken some significant totem from? as Mel describes the process for us in ADWD we can probably assume this. I wonder if Egg will ever meet the real Maynard? Or perhaps Shiera has provided a glamour for him before he went on this excursion.

He also seems to be accredited with skinchanging abilities as GRRM chose to give three animals as suspected by the population the seven kingdoms as being his creatures.   

The Mystery Knight. 

Quote

Some claimed the King's Hand was a student of the dark arts who could change his face, put on the likeness of a one-eyed dog, even turn into a mist. Packs of gaunt gray wolves hunted down his foes, men said, and carrion crows spied for him and whispered secrets in his ear. Most of the tales were only tales, Dunk did not doubt, but no one could doubt that Bloodraven had informers everywhere.

Now some may say ah! But these are only rumours. But what this is is information which the author wished to convey. He wants to inform us that Brynden is a Skinchanger  but he isn't utilising him as a POV because he has chosen to write the Dunk & Egg tales from a single perspective. These are Dunk's stories with Egg as the subject.  Also GRRM does not use sledgehammers, he credits his readers with greater intellect than that.  He often uses the rumour has it technique to convey information to his readers and probably the best examples of this are Old Nan and Septon Barth who's opinions often go against the accepted truth but both of whom can be relied upon to have the true knowledge.

But don't be fooled that all his alternative opinion points are always right. Mushroom is a great example of GRRM reminding us to take some of them with a pinch of salt. Whilst I don't doubt Mushroom has the truth of it some of the time he also throws in outlandish exaggerations and claims salacious details at times which are frankly absurd. 

Here though our narrator is Dunk one of GRRM's straight guys much like the Maesters in the main series who offer only  mainstream and  sensible views he poo poo's the idea of skinchanging , instead assuming Bloodraven simply has a large network of informants.  However we already know from the main series that skinchanging is absolutely real despite what the sensible people say  so we can take these rumours as truth. Brynden is a skinchanger. 

Another clue to what he can and can not already do is in his comment regarding dragon dreams or green dreams which can pop up on the wrong side of the bedsheet in house Targaryen. When he tells us that is it any wonder a Blackfyre has the ability this suggests he knows this is the case first hand. He too a Targaryen bastard who has these dreams. 

In ADWD he tells Bran that he has been in his dreams since he was a small child. Bran himself demonstrates the same ability throughout the books. in AGOT he drags Rickon into his dream, a dream in which he has himself been guided into by the Three Eyed Crow, in which they have infiltrated his fathers dream in KL. Ned is dreaming that he must tell Jon the truth. And Bran has entered his dream via Bloodraven taking him into it and due to Bran's latent ability and their physical proximity; they would be in the same bed, he has pulled Rickon in with him.

AGOT Bran VII

Quote

Summer began to howl.

Maester Luwin broke off, startled. When Shaggydog bounded to his feet and added his voice to his brother's, dread clutched at Bran's heart. "It's coming," he whispered, with the certainty of despair. He had known it since last night, he realized, since the crow had led him down into the crypts to say farewell. He had known it, but he had not believed. He had wanted Maester Luwin to be right. The crow, he thought, the three-eyed crow …

The howling stopped as suddenly as it had begun. Summer padded across the tower floor to Shaggydog, and began to lick at a mat of bloody fur on the back of his brother's neck. From the window came a flutter of wings.

 Bran thinks it was to say farewell. But given that all he recalls about it is something disturbing about Jon I'd say that the truth about Jon was the reason.  This may be a past dream of Ned's given the raven arrives with the news in the same chapter and a raven should still take a few days to fly from KL to WF. But we see in his own chapter 15, that Ned did have queer dreams in the Black Cells; not just the ToJ dream which actually happens in an earlier chapter whilst he is fevered from his leg injury.

AGOT Eddard XV

Quote

 

When he slept, he dreamed: dark disturbing dreams of blood and broken promises.

Varys?" he said groggily when it came. He touched the man's face. "I'm not … not dreaming this. You're here."

 

Here we see Ned has been having odd dreams in the cells.  But the author gives us no clue as to if he saw a weirwood. Or a Three eyed Crow.

However this combined dream the means by which GRRM introduces CotF's dreams. Via Osha who is present at Bran's telling the dream to Lewin. So we can be sure GRRM was dropping some important info early on regarding the nature of greenseers dreams here.  It's not conclusive of course but it is by far the best effort to explain this dream which has always puzzled the fandom.  And it fits nicely with what we learn through Bran's other forays into his peoples dreams. 

Later in ASOS he enters Jon's dream and this time because we have the perspective of the dreamer we see Bran's dream avatar. He appears to Jon as a slender weirwood sapling.

And then later again in TWOW Mercy.

Spoiler

He appears to Arya in her wolf-dream again in his avatar form of a weirwood tree and he is calling to her by her true name whilst watching her run as Nymeria with her pack.  Bran has done this on more this point it seems as when Arya awakes she thinks of in her dreams plural. 

TWOW Mercy.

The smell of blood was heavy in her nostrils...or was that her nightmare, lingering? She had dreamed of wolves again, of running through some dark pine forest with a great pack at her heels, hard on the scent of prey.

Half-light filled the room, grey and gloomy. Shivering, she sat up in bed and ran a hand across her scalp. Stubble bristled against her palm. I need to shave before Izembaro sees. Mercy, I'm Mercy, and tonight I'll be raped and murdered. Her true name was Mercedene, but Mercy was all anyone ever called her...

Except in dreams. She took a breath to quiet the howling in her heart, trying to remember more of what she'd dreamt, but most of it had gone already. There had been blood in it, though, and a full moon overhead, and a tree that watched her as she ran.

Bran has no idea that he appears as a weirwood to his siblings. The idea that a greenseers who enter others dreams have an avatar is not my own; I saw it on another forum presented by a gentlemen whom I find has some really good ideas overall. What he said made sense, fitted in with the text and what we already know, and explains why Brynden is confused by Bran's question about his own avatar - he has never seen it. 

There is even an explanation for Jojen's dreamed representative of Bran as a chained Winged Wolf. 

ASOS Bran I

Quote

Jojen gave a solemn nod. "I dreamed of a winged wolf bound to earth by chains of stone, and came to Winterfell to free him. The chains are off you now, yet still you do not fly."

"Then you teach me." Bran still feared the three-eyed crow who haunted his dreams sometimes, pecking endlessly at the skin between his eyes and telling him to fly. "You're a greenseer."

"No," said Jojen, "only a boy who dreams. The greenseers were more than that. They were wargs as well, as you are, and the greatest of them could wear the skins of any beast that flies or swims or crawls, and could look through the eyes of the weirwoods as well, and see the truth that lies beneath the world.

Jojen tells us here he is not a greenseer. He just dreams green dreams. Green Dreams are what we see via the Ghost of High Heart who dreams in symbolism, she and Jojen both dream events and people using symbols relating to those people and the events. Therefore Jojen see's Bran not as his own dream avatar as he appears when he enters another persons dream. But as the symbolism utilised in Green dreams. Bran isn't in Jojen's dream in other words. Jojen is just dreaming about Bran. Who is symbolised by the winged chained wolf. 

Jojen then tells us some of  Brynden's powers as a greenseer. Warg, Dreamer, and able to see through the eyes of weirwood tree's.  Now some of these powers are available to him prior to travelling to the weirwood cave.  

Dunk told us in TMK he was a skinchanger. in other words a warg. A one eyed Dog, Wolves, and Crows.  The One eyed dog reappears as a skin slipped beast in ADWD where he is a wolf warged by Varymyr. Not the same dog, to be clear but the thematic harmony reminds the readers of Brynden's one eyed dog in the same book he introduces us to Brynden in the main series. Wolves to tie him to our Starks, the North, and Old Gods thematically through Arya's wolf pack and of course the dire wolves themselves, and Crows because Bran see's him as a crow so he needs a tie to them in order for that to be how he appears in Bran's earlier AGOT dreams.  Of course GRRM gave him a double crow motif by also making him a brother of the nights watch.

 

His Moonstone glamour may indeed be something Shiera as a sorceress herself has taught him, she has an abundance of books and manuscripts and might well have shared this knowledge with him. But don't be fooled into some nonsense such as only women have the capacity to create a glamour and Brynden must be a simple tool of hers. Glamours are just magic anyone with magical ability can learn them. 

All sorcery comes at a cost, child. Years of prayer and sacrifice and study are required to work a proper glamor.[4]

—kindly man to Arya Stark

The key word here is study. Prayer is nothing but spells. There are no real entities called gods. Sacrifice here refers to self sacrifice not human sacrifice. Sacrificing ones time, energy, and the relationships giving that time and energy prevents. All Bloodraven needs to do to be able to perform glamour is put the study hours in. Of course his lady love might simply have done him a glamour to aid him in rooting out treachery. I'd never try to deny that she has her own abilities and that the two of them worked as a team whilst he was hand - at least sometimes. Given that she seems to have toyed with him a lot and had many lovers as well as he.  

The reference to Lady Misery in regards Shiera should tell us something but alas the search site has yet to include F&B and the wiki page offers nothing to suggest sorcery on her part.  What I do recall from F&B though is that she was very successful as Mistress of Whispers and that the reference of Bloodraven and Shiera being as good must tell us they have some sort of edge on other holders of that post.  I'd guess Brynden's skinchanging is the source.

Maybe he has as I have suggested dragon or green dreams, too. But the ability to actually enter others dreams is perhaps reserved for after he weds the tree. Bran appears to Jon before he does so however. So I'd not like to call it just yet. Shiera surely contributes her own unique methods of knowing others plans too as a sorceress she can perhaps use a glass candle? Or maybe she too has dreams. She is a Targaryen after all.  The hint has always been that Brynden's skinchanging ability comes from his Blackwood genes and I'd say that is likely true no other Targs have been known to possess it.  Where as prophetic dreaming whether you go around calling it dragon or green. Is known to be held by both first men and Targaryens.

  Whatever their sources these two are presented as a team. With Brynden's skills laid out for us on the page and Shiera's hinted at with the vague term sorceress. Several sorceress's crop up in the series, Mirri, Mel, Alys, Quithe, but some are just vicious rumours Rhoanna. Sansa. So far Shiera falls into the latter category. Though I'd hazard a descent bag of golden dragons that she was. or is the real deal. 

Hopefully this helps clarify for some of us at least what Bryden Rivers could and could not do prior to joining the CotF in the cave. 

Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes
clarity

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11 hours ago, Seams said:

However, I believe that all of the bastards of Aegon IV form a sort of demi-god pantheon for ASOIAF. In the distant past, they all had some kind of magic presence that was passed down through descendants or characters who echo their function in the current story. For instance, all of the Houses connected to Harrenhal might have inherited some of the weird blood magic and bat qualities of Danelle Lothston. Every time we see a lady in ASoIAF bathing, it might be that GRRM intends that we think of Shiera Seastar and her efforts to retain her ageless beauty.

What an interesting idea, do you have any in text evidence for this? Or is it just a hunch?

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As for the original question:

I don't think he had any clues before he got to the Wall and interacted with other skinchangers. There are hints that he may have been a skinchanger before, but that's just rumors at this point. Maynard Plumm is not accompanied by an animal, nor do any animals show up at Whitewalls that seem to be interested in the dragon egg or the events there (Dunk could have observed such animals). More importantly, Bloodraven himself doesn't have a familiar or pet when he shows up in the end. If he were a skinchanger at that point it is rather odd that he has no animal companions of any sort.

It is certainly possible that he already was aware that he was/could be a skinchanger, but if that was the case then George really didn't do anything to establish that.

Thus my guess is that Bloodraven only learned he was a skinchanger when another skinchanger told him that at the Wall. I also expect that he had no idea he could become a greenseer until he was in that cave. If he had known that, it would be very odd - insane, even - that he didn't tell Aemon what he was about to do when he left Castle Black for his last ranging.

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28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

As for the original question:

I don't think he had any clues before he got to the Wall and interacted with other skinchangers. There are hints that he may have been a skinchanger before, but that's just rumors at this point. Maynard Plumm is not accompanied by an animal, nor do any animals show up at Whitewalls that seem to be interested in the dragon egg or the events there (Dunk could have observed such animals). More importantly, Bloodraven himself doesn't have a familiar or pet when he shows up in the end. If he were a skinchanger at that point it is rather odd that he has no animal companions of any sort.

It is certainly possible that he already was aware that he was/could be a skinchanger, but if that was the case then George really didn't do anything to establish that.

Thus my guess is that Bloodraven only learned he was a skinchanger when another skinchanger told him that at the Wall. I also expect that he had no idea he could become a greenseer until he was in that cave. If he had known that, it would be very odd - insane, even - that he didn't tell Aemon what he was about to do when he left Castle Black for his last ranging.

He had to know how to warg given his age. And his animal partner could be one animal that doesn t attract attention and that he is carefully not to show in public 

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To the original post - No, I don't think he had any real guidance before he got to the Wall. As others have mentioned, I think there are signs he at least had a hunch about Warging, but I think even if he was having green dreams he wouldn't know what they were necessarily. Bloodraven also had access to knowledge though, maybe he and Shirea started to research if he identified his powers?

The big piece of textual evidence for me that he did not know about whoever was in the Weirwood Throne before him because he was at the Wall for nearly 20 years before he disappeared. If he suspected his destiny was out there for him, he wouldn't beat around the bush for nearly 20 years. Though I guess it's possible he needed 20 years to find it before he abandoned the NW. 

On 5/24/2019 at 4:50 PM, El Diego said:

maybe once he got to the Wall he started seeing stuff or communicating with someone, or maybe he just stumbled into the CotF while up there

I would say this. Maybe Whoever couldn't sense him so far south. Though this still doesn't account for the 20 years at the Wall. 

 

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3 minutes ago, divica said:

He had to know how to warg given his age. And his animal partner could be one animal that doesn t attract attention and that he is carefully not to show in public 

We don't know that skinchangers have to discover their abilities early in life. Many do, but not necessarily all. And Bran's talent had to be activated by Bloodraven himself.

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8 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

As for the original question:

I don't think he had any clues before he got to the Wall and interacted with other skinchangers. There are hints that he may have been a skinchanger before, but that's just rumors at this point. Maynard Plumm is not accompanied by an animal, nor do any animals show up at Whitewalls that seem to be interested in the dragon egg or the events there (Dunk could have observed such animals). More importantly, Bloodraven himself doesn't have a familiar or pet when he shows up in the end. If he were a skinchanger at that point it is rather odd that he has no animal companions of any sort.

It is certainly possible that he already was aware that he was/could be a skinchanger, but if that was the case then George really didn't do anything to establish that.

Thus my guess is that Bloodraven only learned he was a skinchanger when another skinchanger told him that at the Wall. I also expect that he had no idea he could become a greenseer until he was in that cave. If he had known that, it would be very odd - insane, even - that he didn't tell Aemon what he was about to do when he left Castle Black for his last ranging.

Rumours they may be but they are rumours which tie in to the main series. The dog is the easiest animal to skinchange. and the old one eyed dog could easily be a pet.  The one eye makes us make the link to Varymyr's old wolf. The wolves are reminders of Arya's pack in the Riverlands and his mothers House where he would surely have spent time is there too.  The crows are the trickiest of the three animals to slip into but imagine you've mastered a dog, and from there master a wolf, and run with a pack in the woods near your home.  Well the crows are specified carrion crows, so what comes along when a wolf is done with it's prey? GRRM has given us a list where each animal has a tie in to the main series and also serve as a logical progression as a skinchanger stretches their ability.

No Maynard is not accompanied by an animal and if GRRM had wanted to hammer the point home he'd have had Maynard have a dog or a crow. Yes. But I do think he was more subtle with it.

In this scene where Dunk is talking to John the Fiddler whose game is up and might well expect to be sent to the wall. 

Quote
Dunk turned. John the Fiddler stood behind him, smiling in his silk and cloth-of-gold. "What's made of snow?"
"The castle. All that white stone in the moonlight. Have you ever been north of the Neck, Ser Duncan? I'm told it snows there even in the summer. Have you ever seen the Wall?"
"No, m'lord." Why is he going on about the Wall? "That's where we were going, Egg and me. Up north, to Winterfell."
"Would that I could join you. You could show me the way."

The Fiddler laughed. "I suppose not… though you might be surprised at what some men can miss." He went to the parapet and looked out across the castle. "They say those northmen are a savage folk, and their woods are full of wolves."

 So early on in the story GRRM tells us that Bloodraven is rumoured to use wolves to spy on people, and then Daemon II  says you'd be surprised what some people miss. ie: that he disguised as John the Fiddler missed that Bloodraven was in his company all along disguised as Maynard Plumm. And where do we first meet Bloodraven? why in the woods of course. He is sat with the other hedgeknights in a grove of felled weirwoods. 

These two mentions are the only mentions of wolves in the whole novella and the second one is mighty odd given that it seems to relate to nothing connected within the story at all. 

I agree that it seems bizarre that he would not tell Aemon his purpose in abandoning his post if he knew what was to do. I'm still stumped as to this either he genuinely stumbled upon the CotF/they sought him out once he was beyond the wall on a ranging. Or he had a dream and made his own way there failing to confer with his great nephew before going? I have no idea which. 

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16 hours ago, OneFretfulTrout said:

I didn’t know this detail about Merlin’s death (thanks a lot!) and now that you mention it, this also somehow resembles the story of Lyanna and Robb in A song for Lya. Could it be possible that SS joined the Weirwood network before him and BR simply wanted to be with her forever?

No, totally impossible. Because the connection with the Weirwood is a physical one - to become a greenseer, to be "wedded" to a tree, means letting that tree to grow from within you, from the weirwood seed paste, and to connect roots, growing out of your body, with roots of other trees, joining the Network. And Shiera is not walking around with a tree, growing from her body.

Bran is going to become the only greenseer, who managed to get access to the Weirwood's power, and afterwards walked away from there, without getting "eaten" by a tree. He will warg into Hodor, and will rip out Bran's roots from the surface of the cave, and will carry him out of there, escaping thru the underground river. At least, that's what I think will happen.

58 minutes ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Is Maynard a real man whom Bryden has taken some significant totem from?

Aegon's bastard, Viserys Plumm, was born either in 176 or 177, and he was the head of House Plumm during the reign of King Aerys I (this was mentioned in TMK). Bloodraven was born in 175, so during events at Whitewalls he was 36 or so years old. Though Maynard looked younger than the guy in his late 30s. If the real Maynard was a guy 20 or so years old, then he could have been son of Viserys Plumm (who was 34-35 in 211 AC).

About Brown Ben Plumm it is known, that his mother was a Dothraki. His grandmother was half-Ibbenesse and half-Qohorik. His grandfather was killed by a Dothraki prior to Ben's birth. Ben says he is part Braavosi, Summer Islander, Ibbenese, Qohorik, Dornish, Dothraki, and Westerosi.

So, based on this info, this is what Ben's family tree looks like (or something similar):

Aegon IV + Elaena Targaryen/Plumm = Viserys Plumm

Viserys + wife from Dorne = Maynard and other children (ancestors of Philip Plumm)

Maynard + wife from Braavos (half-Braavosi and half-Summer Islander, like Black Pearls of Braavos) = son or daughter

Maynard's child + spouse (half-Ibbenesse and half-Qohorik) = son or daughter

Maynard's grandchild + Dothraki spouse = Ben's mother

So Ben could be Maynard's great great-grandson.

Maekar Targaryen was born between 174 and 178, so he was close in age to Viserys Plumm. Maynard was from the same generation as Maekar's children. And Maynard's children were from the same generation as Jaehaerys and Shiera. So his great-grandchild was from the same generation as Aerys and Rhaella. So his great great-grandson, Brown Ben Plumm, is about the same age as Rhaegar - a guy in his early 40s. Maybe.

Most likely, Maynard Plumm was a real person, and it's possible, that he was a great great-grandfather of Brown Ben Plumm.

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2 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

He also seems to be accredited with skinchanging abilities as GRRM chose to give three animals as suspected by the population the seven kingdoms as being his creatures.   

Northern God Odin was also one-eyed, like Bloodraven, and he was able to turn into a raven, and other creatures, and he had two magic ravens, and two wolves, that served to him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geri_and_Freki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huginn_and_Muninn

And guess what? ^_^ Same as Bloodraven, and same as wizard Merlin, Odin was binded to a magical tree (Yggdrasil), and it gave him access to divine knowledge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Megorova said:

No, totally impossible. Because the connection with the Weirwood is a physical one - to become a greenseer, to be "wedded" to a tree, means letting that tree to grow from within you, from the weirwood seed paste, and to connect roots, growing out of your body, with roots of other trees, joining the Network. And Shiera is not walking around with a tree, growing from her body.

Bran is going to become the only greenseer, who managed to get access to the Weirwood's power, and afterwards walked away from there, without getting "eaten" by a tree. He will warg into Hodor, and will rip out Bran's roots from the surface of the cave, and will carry him out of there, escaping thru the underground river. At least, that's what I think will happen.

Aegon's bastard, Viserys Plumm, was born either in 176 or 177, and he was the head of House Plumm during the reign of King Aerys I (this was mentioned in TMK). Bloodraven was born in 175, so during events at Whitewalls he was 36 or so years old. Though Maynard looked younger than the guy in his late 30s. If the real Maynard was a guy 20 or so years old, then he could have been son of Viserys Plumm (who was 34-35 in 211 AC).

About Brown Ben Plumm it is known, that his mother was a Dothraki. His grandmother was half-Ibbenesse and half-Qohorik. His grandfather was killed by a Dothraki prior to Ben's birth. Ben says he is part Braavosi, Summer Islander, Ibbenese, Qohorik, Dornish, Dothraki, and Westerosi.

So, based on this info, this is what Ben's family tree looks like (or something similar):

Aegon IV + Elaena Targaryen/Plumm = Viserys Plumm

Viserys + wife from Dorne = Maynard and other children (ancestors of Philip Plumm)

Maynard + wife from Braavos (half-Braavosi and half-Summer Islander, like Black Pearls of Braavos) = son or daughter

Maynard's child + spouse (half-Ibbenesse and half-Qohorik) = son or daughter

Maynard's grandchild + Dothraki spouse = Ben's mother

So Ben could be Maynard's great great-grandson.

Maekar Targaryen was born between 174 and 178, so he was close in age to Viserys Plumm. Maynard was from the same generation as Maekar's children. And Maynard's children were from the same generation as Jaehaerys and Shiera. So his great-grandchild was from the same generation as Aerys and Rhaella. So his great great-grandson, Brown Ben Plumm, is about the same age as Rhaegar - a guy in his early 40s. Maybe.

Most likely, Maynard Plumm was a real person, and it's possible, that he was a great great-grandfather of Brown Ben Plumm.

Yes this is what I had surmised; if Maynard was a real person that he would have to be Ben's great, great, grandfather or there abouts. 

Viserys Plum was born in either 176 or 177 making him 34/35 during TMK. So either he had a son when he was in his early teens, and we are over estimating Maynards age, or Maynard is a cousin. Bloodraven needs to acquire something personal to create the glamour and if Viserys Plumm was accepted at court he may well have brought a cousin with him? or maybe it is Viserys Brynden is glamouring and he has just created a false name. Either way it should be simple enough for Shiera to invite either man to her bed and aquire herself something such as some hair, a ring, and item of clothing etc with which they can create the glamour. 

That's my guess

Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Northern God Odin was also one-eyed, like Bloodraven, and he was able to turn into a raven, and other creatures, and he had two magic ravens, and two wolves, that served to him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geri_and_Freki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huginn_and_Muninn

And guess what? ^_^ Same as Bloodraven, and same as wizard Merlin, Odin was binded to a magical tree (Yggdrasil), and it gave him access to divine knowledge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil

Yes, I am very familiar with both mythologies.  And agree GRRM uses a wide variety of references and inspirations from mythologies, folk lore, fairy tales, and histories.  But never just assume he's doing the exact same thing as any of the things we can spot that he has borrowed a little from. They can help to work out what is going on but without in text support it is just someone else's story. 

eta: if you have ever read my posts on the forum or elsewhere you will see that I am not at all adverse to using these things to support ideas and theories at all. But as I keep saying you must have in universe text or SSM to explain why you are presenting them as relevant. Saying Oh this person is inspired by this other person from this other story therefore their outcome or purpose is identical is not enough. If we use that method we can surmise that house Tully will have the same outcome as the muppets. 

Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes

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2 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

All sorcery comes at a cost, child. Years of prayer and sacrifice and study are required to work a proper glamor.[4]

—kindly man to Arya Stark

The key word here is study. Prayer is nothing but spells. There are no real entities called gods. Sacrifice here refers to self sacrifice not human sacrifice. Sacrificing ones time, energy, and the relationships giving that time and energy prevents. All Bloodraven needs to do to be able to perform glamour is put the study hours in.

On the contrary, I think GRRM is using irony to tell us about the blood sacrifices necessary to become a full-fledged sorcerer. Just as Arya is thinking about her sword when Lady Smallwood tells her of the value of practicing needlework, the reader is aware that Arya's "prayer" is a list of people she wants dead. The mage Mirri Maz Duur has told us that only death can pay for life. Given that the Kindly Man is in the business of training assassins, it is not a huge leap at all to realize that the author is using the words "prayer" and "sacrifice" to imply bloody pursuits here, consistent with the double meanings he has already established for these words.

When I used the term "demi-god" to describe the function of the Great Bastards, I was interpreting the extensive back stories GRRM has created for the range of mistresses and offspring of Aegon IV, understanding of the Blackfyre conflicts and readings of characters in the contemporary story. I'm no expert, but classical mythology has been part of my education since I was about ten years old. It's easy to compare the Great Bastards to the demi-god children of Zeus, for instance, and see that GRRM was setting up something similar. I believe characters in the current story can be compared to characters from Old Nan's stories, Westeros legends such as Azor Ahai, the Last Hero, Gendel and Gorne, Ser Galladon of Morne, Florian and Jonquil as well as Osiris and Odin and Celtic gods. I am not going to cite text evidence for every example, but it is not a hunch; it is the way that allegory and allusion works in rich, symbolic literature.

Edit: I guess I did start a thread about the Pantheon idea, fwiw. There may be some helpful info there.

Here's one example, though, although not fully analyzed. Bloodraven has a sister named Mya. Same king's blood mixed with Blackwood blood as exists in Bloodraven. Also a bastard. What was she like? We could get mad that GRRM doesn't provide more detail, or we could look for hints and clues that would help us to understand Mya Rivers. We know that Aegon the Conqueror had two sisters and that they were probably the original three heads of the dragon. Could Mya and the other sister, Gwenys, serve as the other two heads to provide the three heads needed to somehow complete Brynden Rivers? We have a character in the contemporary story, Mya Stone, who is a king's bastard. Her job is to guide people to and from the Eyrie. The two characters who she guides are Catelyn and Sansa. (Secondary characters Sweetrobin and Myranda Royce are also guided by Mya - I suspect Sweetrobin is an echo of Bloodraven, just to complicate things.) The narrow mountain path at which she is an expert also pass waycastles called stone, snow and sky. Now we're getting somewhere! Mya's function is to help characters transition between worlds - she can show them how to progress from stone to sky.

There is a lot of symbolism in ASOIAF around doors, gates, holes in the ground, hollow trees and tents and towers and castle walls, etc. Certain characters can help people to cross barriers (you cite John the Fiddler musing that Dunk could show him the way to the Wall). Bloodraven's sister, Mya, may be one of the characters who can transcend barriers or open doors. Understanding that she might have that function gives us a new way of looking at Bloodraven as someone who opens doors for selected players in the new generation of central characters in the game of thrones.

I suspect that Bloodraven is not limited to skinchanging or warging, and may have powers beyond glamors. He may have the "faceless man" power to become another person by borrowing their skin; or he may have a power beyond things we have seen in other warlocks or sorcerers in the series. In another thread, I started to "plum the depths" of some of his assumed identities but there is a lot I have not yet examined. (I mention that Tanselle and Plummer are probably Bloodraven in disguise, but I think he might also be the one-eyed Ser Robyn Rhysling who joins Dunk's team in the Trial of Seven. Ser Robyn's sigil is an oak and iron door in a stone wall, which takes us back to the gate-keeping function.)

I have to run, but I think it would be worth examining the relationship of Maester Aemon and Bloodraven in this thread. I believe the Lord Commander's raven contains the consciousness of all past Lord Commanders. Bloodraven apparently didn't die and pass his consciousness into the bird, but he probably can skinchange any and all ravens, so he can communicate with the L.C. collective that way. Aemon, of course, is in charge of feeding and breeding and employing ravens to send messages. (Aided by Chett and Clydas, who are really starting to fascinate me.) So Aemon may be a partial answer to the OP. I suspect Bloodraven had vast experience in using his powers before Aemon was born, but Aemon's studies at the Citadel and exploration of old books and scrolls may have helped Bloodraven to focus his work in the later years of his life.

Edited by Seams

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11 minutes ago, Seams said:

On the contrary, I think GRRM is using irony to tell us about the blood sacrifices necessary to become a full-fledged sorcerer. Just as Arya is thinking about her sword when Lady Smallwood tells her of the value of practicing needlework, the reader is aware that Arya's "prayer" is a list of people she wants dead. The mage Mirri Maz Duur has told us that only death can pay for life. Given that the Kindly Man is in the business of training assassins, it is not a huge leap at all to realize that the author is using the words "prayer" and "sacrifice" to imply bloody pursuits here, consistent with the double meanings he has already established for these words.

Sorry, I should clarify I mean in world .

When people are saying a prayer they think they are speaking to their god. But the gods don't really exist. Arya ironically calls her kill list a prayer because she repeats it every night like a bedtime prayer. By prayers are just spells what I mean is that prayers said by magic users which enact magic and for which they accredit their god. Are just magic spells. The fire kiss being the example. It isn't a prayer to a god who then grants the resurrection of the dead. It is a spell that creates a flame imbued with magic which animates a corpse and allows that corpse to retain the consciousness of the deceased. An aspect of the spell which becomes less efficient if the spell is performed multiple times.  

So when I say the KM is telling Arya that glamour requires prayer then what I mean is that any prayers the KM thinks are required are nothing more than spells. As gods do not exist. Though on reflection here I think he is genuinely believing that praying as in simply clasping ones hands together and asking a god to grant you a thing actually helps as he of course at the HoB&W see's gods as very real, and vary varied.  Sacrifice in this instance I don't think for a moment refers to human sacrifice as I don't think glamour is anywhere near a complex enough magic to require that. Especially when there is a blood magic which can literally transform you the skin wearing magic of the FM. If you are after killing folks to disguise yourself as someone else why bother with mere glamour if for the same cost; a human life, you can actually be them. So I think he is simply referring to praying; as futile as that would be, sacrificing your own time and energy learning them an then performing spells. 

But of course GRRM can be using this line to convey that fully fledged sorcery requires the ultimate price. And I'd say that it does. You have to have a corpse to make a fire wight after all. And if as I believe they originated in Valyria as tools of the Dragon lords then I doubt they hung around waiting for slaves to pop their clogs of their own accord to make them.  

Quote

When I used the term "demi-god" to describe the function of the Great Bastards, I was interpreting the extensive back stories GRRM has created for the range of mistresses and offspring of Aegon IV, understanding of the Blackfyre conflicts and readings of characters in the contemporary story. I'm no expert, but classical mythology has been part of my education since I was about ten years old. It's easy to compare the Great Bastards to the demi-god children of Zeus, for instance, and see that GRRM was setting up something similar. I believe characters in the current story can be compared to characters from Old Nan's stories, Westeros legends such as Azor Ahai, the Last Hero, Gendel and Gorne, Ser Galladon of Morne, Florian and Jonquil as well as Osiris and Odin and Celtic gods. I am not going to cite text evidence for every example, but it is not a hunch; it is the way that allegory and allusion works in rich, symbolic literature.

Here's one example, though, although not fully analyzed. Bloodraven has a sister named Mya. Same king's blood mixed with Blackwood blood as exists in Bloodraven. Also a bastard. What was she like? We could get mad that GRRM doesn't provide more detail, or we could look for hints and clues that would help us to understand Mya Rivers. We know that Aegon the Conqueror had two sisters and that they were probably the original three heads of the dragon. Could Mya and the other sister, Gwenys, serve as the other two heads to provide the three heads needed to somehow complete Brynden Rivers? We have a character in the contemporary story, Mya Stone, who is a king's bastard. Her job is to guide people to and from the Eyrie. The two characters who she guides are Catelyn and Sansa. The narrow mountain path at which she is an expert also pass waycastles called stone, snow and sky. Now we're getting somewhere! Mya's function is to help characters transition between worlds - she can show them how to progress from stone to sky.

There is a lot of symbolism in ASOIAF around doors, gates, holes in the ground, hollow trees and tents and towers and castle walls, etc. Certain characters can help people to cross barriers (you cite John the Fiddler musing that Dunk could show him the way to the Wall). Bloodraven's sister, Mya, may be one of the characters who can transcend barriers or open doors. Understanding that she might have that function gives us a new way of looking at Bloodraven as someone who opens doors for selected players in the new generation of central characters in the game of thrones.

I suspect that Bloodraven is not limited to skinchanging or warging, and may have powers beyond glamors. He may have the "faceless man" power to become another person by borrowing their skin; or he may have a power beyond things we have seen in other warlocks or sorcerers in the series. In another thread, I started to "plum the depths" of some of his assumed identities but there is a lot I have not yet examined. (I mention that Tanselle and Plummer are probably Bloodraven in disguise, but I think he might also be the one-eyed Ser Robyn Rhysling who joins Dunk's team in the Trial of Seven. Ser Robyn's sigil is an oak and iron door in a stone wall, which takes us back to the gate-keeping function.)

I have to run, but I think it would be worth examining the relationship of Maester Aemon and Bloodraven in this thread. I believe the Lord Commander's raven contains the consciousness of all past Lord Commanders. Bloodraven apparently didn't die and pass his consciousness into the bird, but he probably can skinchange any and all ravens, so he can communicate with the L.C. collective that way. Aemon, of course, is in charge of feeding and breeding and employing ravens to send messages. (Aided by Chett and Clydas, who are really starting to fascinate me.) So Aemon may be a partial answer to the OP. I suspect Bloodraven had vast experience in using his powers before Aemon was born, but Aemon's studies at the Citadel and exploration of old books and scrolls may have helped Bloodraven to focus his work in the later years of his life.

 

Oh god this is really interesting. And you had to go. noooooo. 

I get that a full analysis of each of Aegon's mistresses and bastards would take a huge amount of time and appreciate that surmising in one post is impossible. But please do tag me in whatever you eventually produce if you get this project completed. I am absolutely fascinated and think you could be on to something of worth. I've been thinking  since you mentioned this about how intriguing it is that GRRM has given us a huge array of women with whom Aegon produced offspring and how Zeus like that is. I wonder if there are any parallels between Hera - Zeus's sister wife and Naerys? Though as I keep saying similarity does not equal direct correlation and we always have to bring it back to the books and never get too carried away with the inspirational materials. 

I love your link between Mya Rivers; who infuriatingly we know nothing of beyond her name, to Mya stone GRRM often re-uses names within the text to draw our attention to parallels between historical and current characters and within some houses or situations. Mya being a kings bastard can absolutely align with Mya Rivers kings bastard and sister to bloodraven. And with Mya being as you say a guide between worlds that fits well with Bloodraven too. Very clever. Of course the crossing that springs to my mind is that of Bran under the wall through the black gate. And maybe less so I'd have to go look at it but have always felt the river nyx theme needs exploring that of Sandor and Arya on route to the twins. Though she has less to do with BR that Bran. But as I said earlier GRRM has utilised her wolf pack to give us a clue about BR's abilities. 

Skin Wearing is one of those magics which I'm itching to know more about.  And whilst we get a full frontal as to how it is performed via Arya we learn nothing as to how the faces are prepared and the spells worked upon them. I do however suspect that House Bolton have historically and perhaps even still do/did practice it in a different form.  Excuse my tangent here- Wearing a face and imbuing that skin with whatever spells are used allows the face to be worn and transform the wearer into the person. But it also gives the wearer access to their memories and knowledge. And I suspect this is what House Bolton are about with their fetish for flayed human skin clothing.  The ability to "listen in" on their defeated enemies memories would give all sorts of useful information over to the wearer about tactics, defences, secrets, etc. And if so then Ramsay's possible act of making Manse wear the spearwives skins as a cloak takes on a more distressing theme as he would be subject to their memories of whatever torture Ramesay subjected them to. Likewise sitting in the huge tent made of the skins of their enemies described in the world book would be akin to a serious tactical information gathering exorcise. Ditto all those Starks historically too. Anyway I'll put that pet tin foil aside for now. 

I'd be interested in a link to that thread to see how you came to these conclusions re Tanselle etc. Though poor Dunk if that is the case. 

I have recently made a few links between Aemon and Jon and there are definite links between Jon and Bloodraven. Both are Odin figures for a start. Both Targaryen's by father and first men by mother both are supposedly bastards though in truth Jon is probably legitimate. Both go to the NW and both become LC. Ghosts colouring alludes to BR's and if he did warg wolves there is another link right there. 

I'll try and find my post re Aemon and c&p it in this thread for you. It was about Jon's "Targaryen" name. If he was ever going to have one I mean if Rhaegar had picked one out. I've always argued Aemon and it is a popular choice but I never realised how much sense it makes before I put this together. 

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Posted (edited)

@Seams

there are hints about Aemon. When Aemon reveals to Jon who he is he tells Jon that his grandfather named him for Prince Aemon the Dragonknight his uncle, or his father depending upon which tale you believe. Which directly ties the name Aemon with a man who's father might be his uncle. Just as Jon's father is in fact his uncle. The circumstances between the two men are very different but right away GRRM has woven in a historical figure who he can introduce the idea of a Father who is really an uncle into the story through. When Aemon reveals who he is he has Jon respond by saying "Aemon Targaryen......Jon could scarlessly believe it." Which could be taken to sound like Jon reacting to discovering his own identity. Another aspect is that if Rhaegar wanted to name Jon Aemon it would be in honour of his own uncle just as Aemon's grandfather wanted to name him to honour his uncle ( he was his uncle even if he was also his father) Aemon being Rhaegar's Great, great, uncle. And Aemon's own great uncle being Aemon the Dragonknight. Then there is this quote too. "The gift of a sword, even a sword as fine as Longclaw, did not make him a Mormont. Nor was he Aemon Targaryen." All together Aemon the Dragonknight is mentioned six times in AGOT. Whicch is by far the book with the most foreshadowing concerning Jon's heritage. And then there is this from ASOS. ". "I'm Prince Aemon the Dragonknight," Jon would call out" And then lastly we have the baby taken away to hide his identity from someone who would kill him for who his father was. , Dalla's son. A kings son. Who's mother never had the opportunity to give him a name as she died birthing him, who Gilly names Aemon Steelsong.

 

Interestingly Jon sort of has an uncle called Brynden. 

Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes

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7 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I get that a full analysis of each of Aegon's mistresses and bastards would take a huge amount of time and appreciate that surmising in one post is impossible. But please do tag me in whatever you eventually produce if you get this project completed.

There's a link to the "Westeros Pantheon" thread (focused on the Great Bastards and mistresses of Aegon IV) in my post, above. Look for the underlined phrase and click on the words to go to a link. It didn't go very far, but feel free to revive the idea and run with it, if you like.

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We basically know next to nothing about Bloodraven. He could have met the children before the redgrass field, between the rebellion and Dunk and Egg or after he got to the Wall.

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