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unforgiven

A Passage That I Missed

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I got the Illustrated Edition of A Game of Thrones recently and was really enjoying rereading the book. I'm really taking my time with it, trying to soak it all in. This is the fourth time I've read the series and, as with every time, there are all sorts of little tidbits and details that I pick up that I missed before. Anyway, one passage that really stood out to me this time is in a Bran chapter, the one in which Nan tells Bran some of her stories and then Tyrion arrives on his way back from the wall. The passage reads:

"So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children [of the forest], in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched, until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one, his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the Others smelled the hot blood in him, and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds--"

And there the passage breaks off as Bran is interrupted by Maester Luwin. But I was just struck by the subtle foreshadowing of Bran's journey in the coming books and the unfolding mystery of the Others. I'm really looking forward to finding out how all of this unfolds in the books to come.

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This passage, about burial practices in ancient Winterfell, from a later Bran chapter has also caught my attention:

"Beneath the shadow of the First Keep was an ancient lichyard, its headstones spotted with pale lichen, where the old Kings of Winter had laid their faithful servants."

This could prove problematic if indeed the dead can rise from their graves . . .

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