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Aryya Stark

LF Chewing Mint

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9 minutes ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

The first thing I thought of was LF is a flatterer. Check out the eight circle of hell. Second bolgia. Flatterers were steeped in excrement as a representative of the falseties they spoke in life. 

He needs the mint to cover up the sh*t coming out of his mouth. 

This is my take too, more or less. He has a foulness which he needs to conceal. Like Reek drinking perfume but more subtle. 

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1 hour ago, Gingin said:

Maybe this habit will be his downfall... Sansa or someone else will swap his mint for a deadly plant that looks like mint 

 

 

Slather the mint in wintergreen oil. Muahahah. The equivalent to a teaspoon is fatal. 

I'm sorry. I went off the deep end and went looking for 'poison that tastes like mint'. 

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Maybe GRRM gets really annoyed by people who chew gum. This is his little way of making sure he never starts liking Littlefinger. An author that's a plot-gardener has to take certain precautions against those sorts of things.

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:10 PM, Seams said:

Here is an old post speculating that everyone is a coin - some are dragons, some are half groats - that eventually gets spent. Focus on Hoat and Groat, here.

Here's some thoughts about Manderly's mint proposal and a symbolic "trading up" by Davos, who gives a half penny and gains an apple (associated with kings):

Random gobbledygook:

Links within links re: Penny as a coin:

 

 

Thank you so much for this. You are wonderful :)

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21 hours ago, GloubieBoulga said:

In occidental imaginery, mint is indeed associated with underworld and death, the opposit of the thyme (I think that in the saga, lemon and orange are playing the part of the thyme) which was the aroma used on the phoenix pyre. Thyme is linked to the sun, the hot and dryness. The mint is linked to the cold, darkness and damp. I think GRRM also used in his own way these symbols (mint//orange-lemon) to tell us some stories about winter and summer, sun and moon, cold and hot, ice and fire, and the origins of their deadly separation and antagonism.

As a parallelism Sansa/Arya, you have the kindly man in the HOBAW, who is ordinary chewing orange's rinds.

I love these parallels. I hadn't thought about mint being linked to cold, damp and darkness. I am a bit surprised that the Kindly Man is chewing orange rinds given that he is part of the FM which represents death. I get the Sansa/Arya parallel but not the LF/KM one. Both LM & KM seem to represent death to me.

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21 hours ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

The first thing I thought of was LF is a flatterer. Check out the eight circle of hell. Second bolgia. Flatterers were steeped in excrement as a representative of the falseties they spoke in life. 

He needs the mint to cover up the sh*t coming out of his mouth. 

Honestly, when I started this OP, I didn't think there would be so many level to chewing mint....this has turned out to be very enlightening:)

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20 hours ago, Sigella said:

This is my take too, more or less. He has a foulness which he needs to conceal. Like Reek drinking perfume but more subtle. 

I hated him already and now I am grossed out.

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On 6/12/2019 at 3:17 PM, GloubieBoulga said:

As a parallelism Sansa/Arya, you have the kindly man in the HOBAW, who is ordinary chewing orange's rinds.

 

On 6/13/2019 at 12:51 PM, Aryya Stark said:

I love these parallels. I hadn't thought about mint being linked to cold, damp and darkness. I am a bit surprised that the Kindly Man is chewing orange rinds given that he is part of the FM which represents death. I get the Sansa/Arya parallel but not the LF/KM one. Both LM & KM seem to represent death to me.

Hi Gloubie! I missed the Kindly Man comment in your earlier post. I had forgotten about his chewing of orange rinds! Very nice catch and nice parallel. 

I may be the only inhabitant of this particular symbolism island, but I think orange as a color and as a fruit is a Targaryen symbol. The Kindly Man chewing orange peel could be a sign that he is particularly interested in crushing House Targaryen. 

Aryya, I think you are right to compare LF and the KM, and to associate both with death. I think the chewing could be a symbol of death - instead of carrying a scythe, maybe chewing is one of GRRM's death symbols. (Remember how Penny describes for Tyrion the murder of the little person whose body was put in one of the mouths of the statue of the god called Trios? I think Trios is a death, transformation and rebirth symbol. But there are lots of other symbols of chewing and death - I'm remembering that Arya, Shae and Tyrion are the three characters who venture into the basement of the Red Keep where the skulls of dragons are kept. Arya hides in a skull at one point, I believe, stepping through the jaw. Of course, Varys and - we believe - Ilyrio also come through that basement, emerging from a magical hole in the ground. A symbolic rebirth?) 

I am thinking again of Littlefinger eating an apple "down to the seeds" while he waits for Ned Stark to climb down the secret hillside path so they can proceed together to meet Catelyn at the brothel. I had accepted a theory of a long-ago thread that apple eating is associated with kings and kingmakers, and took this as a sign that Littlefinger was a kingmaker. But that doesn't quite fit with the idea of chewing as a form of death. Ingesting an apple can't simply represent the making of a king - if it's consistent with these other fruit-eating (or mint-eating) scenes, there has to be a death involved. 

I would take the LF and the KM comparison in a Westeros direction and compare them to The Stranger. But Strangers with a twist, if there is such a thing: they are mentors to young people.

On 12/5/2018 at 7:17 PM, Seams said:

In addition to Bloodraven and Euron, I believe that the Lord Commander Mormont, the Kindly Man and Petyr Baelish fit the same GRRM archetype. Aside from the fact that they are fostering key young people in the series, They all seem to have some magical abilities or insights - Jeor ensures that Jon Snow and Ghost are at the Fist at exactly the right time during the right phase of the moon with the comet overhead; the Kindly Man guides Arya through blindness and the dystopian landscape of Braavos; Littlefinger helps Sansa to be a better liar, seducer and foster mother; and to change her identity. Instead of a bowl of weirwood paste, he feeds her a giant lemon cake.

But speaking of bowls, is Pyat Pree part of the same archetype? I think so. He feeds Dany a bowl of magical stuff before she enters the House of the Undying. I also think there is wordplay on Petyr (Baelish's first name) and Pyat Pree, although I haven't examined it closely. If you can stand another parallel, I suspect that Pretty Pig is part of the same wordplay group. Is Pretty Pig a magical mentor figure? No, but I think Penny might be. I think she may be a mini extension of the Widow of the Waterfront, who has a fan that looks like leaves (hides her face), a dagger covered with runes and the gloves brought to her by Ser Jorah.

(I think I listed the Widow's gifts there to show the fan as a connection to the Faceless Men; the dagger as a connection to Littlefinger, whose elaborate dagger was used by the Catspaw; and the gloves as a connection to House Mormont, showing another unified set of symbols for these Death / Mentor characters.) 

Mormont eats a plum with his three hard-boiled eggs when Jon Snow brings his breakfast one day. (The raven eats the second egg, representing the transformation after death.) In addition to oranges, I believe plums may be a Targaryen symbol. Mormont also takes lemon with his beer, to strengthen his teeth (there's that chewing symbolism again). 

This link is an old and (for me) early attempt at character analysis, but it lists some of the traits in common to Petyr Baelish and The Kindly Man.

A very interesting comparison, Aryya, and worth taking further!

Edited by Seams

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I guess that's just a way underline/stress the fact that Littlefinger always wants to please, to not be seen as dangerous or threatening. And there is also a symbolism there - the mint prevents him from having bad breath, just as the convincing lies he tells everybody help to hide his true intentions and persona.

We also have this with Varys, who also smells of lilac when he wears his court costume and persona (the slimy eunuch).

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It seems to me that Littlefinger's propensity for chewing mint if more of a tell of his character than symbolism about his lies. It shows the readers that he's the kind of person, in a medieval type of world like Westeros, that covers up the unpleasantness of bad breath with something like mint. While there are plenty of Lords, and countless small folk, who are described as having nasty looking teeth and foul breath, Littlefinger has the kind of personality that drives him to cover up such a physical flaw. It's a psychological tick of his character. A way of him being better than those around him (who think so highly of their own "lordly" selves.)

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On 6/14/2019 at 11:24 PM, Seams said:

I had accepted a theory of a long-ago thread that apple eating is associated with kings and kingmakers, and took this as a sign that Littlefinger was a kingmaker. But that doesn't quite fit with the idea of chewing as a form of death. Ingesting an apple can't simply represent the making of a king - if it's consistent with these other fruit-eating (or mint-eating) scenes, there has to be a death involved.

Hi Seams ! I don't see any contradiction in both death and throne : the Iron throne is litteraly deadly and there are some quotes about the danger of becoming king/queen, for exemple :

"My niece Myrcella is in Dorne, as it happens. And I have half a mind to make her a queen."
Illyrio smiled as his serving men spooned out bowls of black cherries in sweet cream for them both. "What has this poor child done to you that you would wish her dead?" (Tyrion I, ADWD)
I'm totally on board with you with the Trios god.
But all this symbollic fits also with others meaning that are yet noticed in this thread, I'm thinking particularly to the mint as a manner to hide the lies (the stinky lies) : LF's castle in the Fingers is full of sheep's shit : this miserable castle is LF's real origin and life, the one he tries to hide committing or suggesting crimes. Exactly like Lord Tywin never shited gold and smells awfully after his death (under gold, there is no bitter steel, but bitter shit :P) and committed awful crimes (same symbolic with Craster).   

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On 6/12/2019 at 7:26 AM, Aryya Stark said:

Hi everyone. I have been inactive for a long time so my apologies in advance if this subject has been discussed before. I did a search but didn't find anything that specifically discusses this topic. I am rereading the novels and something is bothering me. GRRM constantly mentions LF chewing mint. In the beginning I didn't think much of it, but it keeps getting mentioned over and over again. I was just wondering if anyone has a theory about this. The only thing I can think of is he is trying to cover a smell or something.

You answered your own question. Early on we see that there is something not right about Petyr, and at the end of Storm, he is revealed to be the big bad behind the first main conflict of ASOIAF. Notice that Illyrio, a seneschal, wears perfumes to cover his stench. I got a gold dragon says he's the big bad behind the second main conflict of ASOIAF. 

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11 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

You answered your own question. Early on we see that there is something not right about Petyr, and at the end of Storm, he is revealed to be the big bad behind the first main conflict of ASOIAF. Notice that Illyrio, a seneschal, wears perfumes to cover his stench. I got a gold dragon says he's the big bad behind the second main conflict of ASOIAF. 

I'd like that.

A cheeky wink at the black hat equals bad guy trick while identifying the 'poop stirrers' as a sideways analogy to that bad 'french' stereotype of using a strong perfume to cover a bad smell from disease or bad hygiene.

The filth and plots inside their minds coming out of their bodies as bad breath or body odour. And all the while, they try to cover to cover it up with foreign sharp scents. Mint, perfume, the orange rinds?

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5 hours ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

I'd like that.

A cheeky wink at the black hat equals bad guy trick while identifying the 'poop stirrers' as a sideways analogy to that bad 'french' stereotype of using a strong perfume to cover a bad smell from disease or bad hygiene.

The filth and plots inside their minds coming out of their bodies as bad breath or body odour. And all the while, they try to cover to cover it up with foreign sharp scents. Mint, perfume, the orange rinds?

Exactly. 

Quote

I failed you, Robert, Ned thought. He could not say the words. I lied to you, hid the truth. I let them kill you.

The king heard him. "You stiff-necked fool," he muttered, "too proud to listen. Can you eat pride, Stark? Will honor shield your children?" Cracks ran down his face, fissures opening in the flesh, and he reached up and ripped the mask away. It was not Robert at all; it was Littlefinger, grinning, mocking him. When he opened his mouth to speak, his lies turned to pale grey moths and took wing.

Eddard XV, Game 58

In addition to the oft-observed moth-attracted-to-fire symbolism, which really doesn't apply here, the moth symbolizes corruption, decay, and death.

So, what we have with the last line in the quote above is the George showing us that Petyr's corruption and lies will lead to Eddard's death. Perhaps another hint that Petyr was the instigator behind Joffrey's order for Eddard's execution?

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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6 hours ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

I'd like that.

A cheeky wink at the black hat equals bad guy trick while identifying the 'poop stirrers' as a sideways analogy to that bad 'french' stereotype of using a strong perfume to cover a bad smell from disease or bad hygiene.

The filth and plots inside their minds coming out of their bodies as bad breath or body odour. And all the while, they try to cover to cover it up with foreign sharp scents. Mint, perfume, the orange rinds?

Or the Yellow Whale (Yezzan?) who wears heavy perfumes to cover up his incontinence.

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On 6/15/2019 at 1:24 AM, Seams said:

I may be the only inhabitant of this particular symbolism island, but I think orange as a color and as a fruit is a Targaryen symbol. The Kindly Man chewing orange peel could be a sign that he is particularly interested in crushing House Targaryen. 

Aryya, I think you are right to compare LF and the KM, and to associate both with death. I think the chewing could be a symbol of death - instead of carrying a scythe, maybe chewing is one of GRRM's death symbols. (Remember how Penny describes for Tyrion the murder of the little person whose body was put in one of the mouths of the statue of the god called Trios? I think Trios is a death, transformation and rebirth symbol. But there are lots of other symbols of chewing and death - I'm remembering that Arya, Shae and Tyrion are the three characters who venture into the basement of the Red Keep where the skulls of dragons are kept. Arya hides in a skull at one point, I believe, stepping through the jaw. Of course, Varys and - we believe - Ilyrio also come through that basement, emerging from a magical hole in the ground. A symbolic rebirth?) 

I am thinking again of Littlefinger eating an apple "down to the seeds" while he waits for Ned Stark to climb down the secret hillside path so they can proceed together to meet Catelyn at the brothel. I had accepted a theory of a long-ago thread that apple eating is associated with kings and kingmakers, and took this as a sign that Littlefinger was a kingmaker. But that doesn't quite fit with the idea of chewing as a form of death. Ingesting an apple can't simply represent the making of a king - if it's consistent with these other fruit-eating (or mint-eating) scenes, there has to be a death involved. 

I would take the LF and the KM comparison in a Westeros direction and compare them to The Stranger. But Strangers with a twist, if there is such a thing: they are mentors to young people.

 

 This is so good. Your post reminded me of a passage in A Clash of Kings where Jon finds skulls and other human remains in the mouth of a weirwood at a village beyond the Wall....and there IIRC, in a Feast for Crows Brienne on one of her travels describes a weirwood as the pale Stranger, because all the other trees had died in a fire except for the weirwood. Chewing is definitely associated with death I think.

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On 6/18/2019 at 5:03 AM, Lost Melnibonean said:

You answered your own question. Early on we see that there is something not right about Petyr, and at the end of Storm, he is revealed to be the big bad behind the first main conflict of ASOIAF. Notice that Illyrio, a seneschal, wears perfumes to cover his stench. I got a gold dragon says he's the big bad behind the second main conflict of ASOIAF. 

This is interesting...is there anyone else who uses scent in the books to cover their stench?

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On 6/15/2019 at 2:59 AM, Lord Varys said:

I guess that's just a way underline/stress the fact that Littlefinger always wants to please, to not be seen as dangerous or threatening. And there is also a symbolism there - the mint prevents him from having bad breath, just as the convincing lies he tells everybody help to hide his true intentions and persona.

We also have this with Varys, who also smells of lilac when he wears his court costume and persona (the slimy eunuch).

Thanks for this I was trying to remember others who use scent. How could I forget Varys :)?

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