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Black Crow

Heresy 225 and the Snowflakes of Doom

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

I'm not convinced that there is a Great Other. I certainly don't believe that he's the chief of the Others and doubt that there is any connection. For a long time I've been suggesting that the reason why the the Great Other's name may never be spoken is because it is R'hllor.

While Mel and the rest of the Red Lot see this in the nature of a final conflict, I'm more in line with the Reeds and the Oath - that the land is one, and the real danger comes from those, like Mel, who believe that there is a conflict which they must engage in and win.

Remember that GRRM is a child of the Cold War and that not only is the Wall a metaphor for the German Wall which came down just months before he started writing ASoIF, but the whole business of the Ice versus Fire conflict is a metaphor for the Cold War and Mutually Assured Destruction.

Another option is that the followers of Rho'llor coined the term 'Great Other' because they cannot grasp the concept of a hive species - in their understanding there has to be a leader. And his name cannot be spoken because the name isn't known because the 'Great Other' does not exist.

 

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14 minutes ago, St Daga said:

It's not quite the same, what Mel does with Stannis and Edric. She uses Stannis' seed to grow shadow's in her womb. She uses Edric's blood to have Stannis curse Robb, Balon and Joffrey. We don't know how she would have used Edric's life if she could have given him to the flames, but it still seems different than what she does with Stannis. I think the seed and womb is what make this different, and different from Jafer and Othor wights. 

Specifically she creates a shadow by taking something from Stannis.  She make take his seed but she also takes some of his life force.  She contributes a part of herself in the form of the shadow.  But either way her shadow babies are similar to Othor and Jafr.  They have to be taken across the Wall and Mel has to have Davos take her into Storms End.  Then she releases the shadow assassin.  The Wights are free to move once they are taken beyond the Wall. 

At Dragonstone, she uses leaches with Edric's blood because she deems Stannis too weak to continue using his blood. 

However, I'm talking about he similarities between the shadows themselves.  Mel's shadows are smoke and dissipate once their purpose is served.  The advantage that the WW have over Mel may be that they trap their shadows in the corpses of the living that they kill.  The evidence of their connection to the WW is their blue eyes.  So they can puppet them around so long as the corpse serves as a host for the shadows they create.  But like Mel, their shadows have to be taken across the magical barrier.  

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On 8/3/2019 at 1:18 PM, St Daga said:

I'm not so sure the spirit is trapped inside the bones, although we are given the idea that the "bones remember" from Melisandre,

I'm not sure what the bones remember unless it's how to get up and walk around.  She also says that clothing and items owned by the dead person also have a memory of that person and she can used for glamors as well.  In Arya's case, the faces sometimes hold the memory of their last moments.   Beric has memories of his life, but he loses more each time he is killed.  

Actually the fact that he can be killed by a sword is interesting because it means that Mel can be killed the same way.  Perhaps the reason why her order is taught to see threats to themselves first of all.   

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Mance's bracelet might be part of a glamour, but then why do the bones matter?  So perhaps the ruby is only to control him and has nothing to do with the glamour? Although I certainly think the sword is probably glamoured, also. Perhaps that ruby in Lightbringer's hilt serves more than one purpose

Well, this is what happens when she breaks the glamor:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

He leaves me no choice. So be it. "Devan, leave us," she said, and the squire slipped away and closed the door behind him.

Melisandre touched the ruby at her neck and spoke a word.

The sound echoed queerly from the corners of the room and twisted like a worm inside their ears. The wildling heard one word, the crow another. Neither was the word that left her lips. The ruby on the wildling's wrist darkened, and the wisps of light and shadow around him writhed and faded.

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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37 minutes ago, St Daga said:

Just because Mel felt like she was burning when Rattleshirt did, I don't think it meant she actually was. She would have survived that burning, regardless of Jon's archer's actions, or she would not have staged such an act. I don't think she will do anything to risk her own life (whatever that really entails) until she feels like her job is finished.

The power she was channeling almost got away from her.  I'd say it was building up out of control:
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

"The bones help," said Melisandre. "The bones remember. The strongest glamors are built of such things. A dead man's boots, a hank of hair, a bag of fingerbones. With whispered words and prayer, a man's shadow can be drawn forth from such and draped about another like a cloak. The wearer's essence does not change, only his seeming."

She made it sound a simple thing, and easy. They need never know how difficult it had been, or how much it had cost her. That was a lesson Melisandre had learned long before Asshai; the more effortless the sorcery appears, the more men fear the sorcerer. When the flames had licked at Rattleshirt, the ruby at her throat had grown so hot that she had feared her own flesh might start to smoke and blacken. Thankfully Lord Snow had delivered her from that agony with his arrows. Whilst Stannis had seethed at the defiance, she had shuddered with relief.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, St Daga said:

I think there are multiple trinity's in play, although I have not thought about mother, father, son. I especially think there is a trinity that involves father, son and spirit or ghost.  Catelyn herself involves all three aspects of maiden, mother, and crone. I think there is a sibling trinity that is important in Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion, and perhaps in what Rhaegar and Elia were trying to build with their "the dragon has three heads" business. However, if there is a parentage trinity, off the top of my head it's interesting that Ned, Cat and Robb are all dead. That is a trinity that combines aspects of winter and ice and mud and water, and a kingdom of north (Ned) and riverlands (Cat) that died with Robb Stark. I do see a trinity in Azor Ahai, Nissa Nissa and Lightbringer. Then husband and wife play, but does that make Lightbringer a figurative "son" or an actual one?

I do not know for sure, I am Quranist so how I read/interpret Qur'an is different, in Qur'an Maryam/Miriam sister of Aaron, and her son Isa/Esau the Messiah are part of a Trinity along with God according to Nasara, though Qur'anic Messiah predates Jesus of Xtinanity and shouldn't be confused with him, maybe God was in place of father again or Qur'anic Esau's father was part of the Trinity with them before the family were made into deities? My thoughts about asoiaf and religion can become a mess lol. 

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8 hours ago, LynnS said:

Actually the fact that he can be killed by a sword is interesting because it means that Mel can be killed the same way.  Perhaps the reason why her order is taught to see threats to themselves first of all. 

I agree.  She is definitely not invulnerable -- as you pointed out, her ruby was scorching her chest when Rattleshirt burned.

However, she also evidently protected herself from Cressen's poison in the ACOK prologue.  So she can still, seemingly at least, shield herself with magic in ways others cannot.

8 hours ago, LynnS said:

When stories like the Night King are stripped of their mythology they will turn out to be something completely different.

Right again.

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7 hours ago, JNR said:

I agree.  She is definitely not invulnerable -- as you pointed out, her ruby was scorching her chest when Rattleshirt burned.

However, she also evidently protected herself from Cressen's poison in the ACOK prologue.  So she can still, seemingly at least, shield herself with magic in ways others cannot.

Right again.

I think it likely that she can't be poisoned.  Although she goes through the motion of eating and drinking, she says she doesn't need to, that R'hllor sustains her.  More specifically, the fire sustains her.  Her blood is black and whatever she consumes is consumed by her inner fire.  Arya doesn't see Beric eating or drinking either.  Although Thoros enjoys drinking, I suspect he can win every drinking game.  None of them ever have to take a pee.

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf's face threw back his head and howled.

The red priestess shuddered. Blood trickled down her thigh, black and smoking. The fire was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, searing her, transforming her. Shimmers of heat traced patterns on her skin, insistent as a lover's hand. Strange voices called to her from days long past. "Melony," she heard a woman cry. A man's voice called, "Lot Seven." She was weeping, and her tears were flame. And still she drank it in.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Black Crow said:

For a long time I've been suggesting that the reason why the the Great Other's name may never be spoken is because it is R'hllor.

lol.  Yeah, nobody can actually say his name or knows how to say his name.  

So we have Mel with her vision of the assassination of the three kings and the Ghost of High Heart dreaming of the same thing.  Neither are responsible for their deaths.  Although Mel claims to have the power to assassinate them with her leaches.  But that is baloney. She is attempting to persuade Stannis to give her Edric for her own purposes.  But they are true visions none the less.

The GoHH tells Thoros not to bother looking in his fires to confirm her dreams because his god has no power there.  Then we have Beric  taking residence beneath the weirwood stumps and sitting upon a weirwood throne when Arya first sees him.  Oddly, Thoros is able to appeal to his god and raise Beric from the dead, after Sandor kills him anyway. 

So it may be that the One god is a divided god.

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Do we have evidence Mel doesn't need to eat?  Or could this just be something she said?  I don't remember if it was her POV, and she is prone to exaggeration. 

Mel never had power near what she does now.  That's why burning rattleshirt nearly killed her, why she's nearly killed Stannis and why she makes so many mistakes.   She always had a touch of magic, which along with a few tricks, helped her manipulate people.   Now magic is waxing and she is far more powerful than she ever was. 

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8 minutes ago, LynnS said:

 

The GoHH tells Thoros not to bother looking in his fires to confirm her dreams because his god has no power there.  Then we have Beric  taking residence beneath the weirwood stumps and sitting upon a weirwood throne when Arya first sees him.  Oddly, Thoros is able to appeal to his god and raise Beric from the dead, after Sandor kills him anyway. 

So it may be that the One god is a divided god.

We have a bit of an Ice and Fire situation with Beric.   Thoros is convinced he and his god brought Beric back, but it seems to have more to do with the wierwoods and CotF, which I usually associate with Ice.   Maybe the wierwoods and CotF are neither Ice nor Fire, or equally both. 

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54 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

We have a bit of an Ice and Fire situation with Beric.   Thoros is convinced he and his god brought Beric back, but it seems to have more to do with the wierwoods and CotF, which I usually associate with Ice.   Maybe the wierwoods and CotF are neither Ice nor Fire, or equally both. 

Very possible.  That might speak to the oath that Meera and Jojen give to Bran.  Earth and water/fire and ice different forms of each other. 

The other thing that comes to mind is Orell's eagle.  Melisandre makes the claim that she is responsible for killing the eagle. But I think it's possible she is not responsible; but using it to build up the mythology around herself and Stannis, because nobody can gainsay her.

Voice has made the argument that Orell's eagle flew too close to the Wall or tried to pass above it hitting a magical barrier.   The implication being that skinchangers cannot pass the Wall in their host animal.  This might inform George's small, but significant plot device, that wargs and their animals lose their connection, when separated by the Wall.   The Wall will burn out the the vessel.  That would imply that the Wall, or the magic that makes the Wall, includes fire magic. 

So once again, a blurring of the boundaries between ice and fire.

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Once again, the borderline between being mysterious and being inconsistent gets too thin to walk on :P

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2 hours ago, alienarea said:

Once again, the borderline between being mysterious and being inconsistent gets too thin to walk on :P

Please explain the meaning of your comment.

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I'd say it means exactly what it says. We all too often need to ask ourselves whether something odd in the text is GRRM being mysterious and offering clues to mysteries, or whether he's just being inconsistent and we're reading too much into it. 

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But what is alienarea referring to?  The resurrection of Beric and burning of the Eagle both seem deliberate and well thought out, at least regarding the ice and fire references. 

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52 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Please explain the meaning of your comment.

 

15 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I'd say it means exactly what it says. We all too often need to ask ourselves whether something odd in the text is GRRM being mysterious and offering clues to mysteries, or whether he's just being inconsistent and we're reading too much into it. 

Exactly what Black Crow said.

I often wonder whether an editor would have resolved half of the mysteries before the books went to print. Of course, they would have been less interesting then.

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26 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

We all too often need to ask ourselves whether something odd in the text is GRRM being mysterious and offering clues to mysteries, or whether he's just being inconsistent and we're reading too much into it. 

By and large, I think GRRM is consistent.

But readers can take any passage on any subject -- however simple and tiny it may be -- and find various ways to interpret it.   For instance:

Quote

Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black.

It's clear to me the petals are dead and black, not the palm, and that GRRM never meant that sentence as a mystery (it's just a slightly clumsy phrasing) 

But I know there are people who'd argue with me on both points (and have done so in the past).

So if we start discussing much larger concepts than individual sentences -- such as how the Wall works, or how long it's been since the Long Night -- we can expect much greater fragmentation of opinions. 

But is any of that really the fault of GRRM or the editors?  I think it just reflects our different ways of analyzing the text and reaching conclusions.

It might be interesting reading posts on how people do that (though it's a pretty meta topic).  I could write such a post without any effort.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JNR said:

It might be interesting reading posts on how people do that (though it's a pretty meta topic).  I could write such a post without any effort.

I'd like to read that post for clarity in my own mind.  This would be what Matthew refers to as the reader engaging with the text in different ways. 

2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I'd say it means exactly what it says. We all too often need to ask ourselves whether something odd in the text is GRRM being mysterious and offering clues to mysteries, or whether he's just being inconsistent and we're reading too much into it. 

I suppose that really doesn't enter into my mind when I'm thinking about the 'mysteries'.   To me it's also a collective brainstorming session where everything is put on the table.  I can dismiss them, as readily as I put them out there.  Sometimes I have nothing to say and sometimes something someone else says, triggers a different way of looking at things.  I blame you for getting me going again on the skinchanger/white walker train. 

Edited by LynnS

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'd like to read that post for clarity in my own mind.

Before you can figure out what the facts mean, you have to establish what the facts are.

So the most important initial step is to establish the actual facts vs. the mere possibilities vs. the evident bullshit.

This involves reading the canon almost as if you were a skeptical journalist trying to figure out whether your sources are lying or truthful... and if truthful, whether and how much they're correct.

I would point to this passage as a good for-instance of the GRRM's mind works, in constructing his puzzles:

Quote

"Tormo Fregar will be the new sealord."

"Is that what they are saying at the Inn of the Green Eel?"

"Yes."

The kindly man took a bite of his egg. The girl heard him chewing. He never spoke with his mouth full. He swallowed, and said, "Some men say there is wisdom in wine. Such men are fools. At other inns other names are being bruited about, never doubt." He took another bite of egg, chewed, swallowed. "What three new things do you know, that you did not know before?"

"I know that some men are saying that Tormo Fregar will surely be the new sealord," she answered. "Some drunken men."

"Better. And what else do you know?"

So, applying this kind of thinking to a common passage:

Quote

It would have to be his grandfather, for Jory's father was buried far to the south. Martyn Cassel had perished with the rest. Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns upon the ridge. It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory. They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed. He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years.

The major point here is that it's almost all Ned's unimpeachable personal memory -- he has no way to know we can read his mind, so he can't be lying.  And this is also really important stuff, so odds are high he remembers it correctly.

The exception is of course the boldfaced clause, which the phrase "it was said" notifies us is only a rumor.  That rumor is of very little value unless confirmed somehow.  If we accept that rumor as a fact, and build theories that require that idea, our theories are in trouble -- just as we would be in trouble if we published stories as a journalist without first vetting our sources.

So... this situation leaves us pondering many interesting questions about that rumor... while also having established to a near-certainty that all the rest is probably accurate.   It's useful progress.

Now when we apply this thinking to the Northern myths, which we know are ancient and in some cases, weren't written down for thousands of years... we can see for sure that distortion must have crept in and must have become amplified across all those generations and all that geography.  We can trust none of them, as sources, and many are probably way off.  Which is why I agreed with you earlier in saying

22 hours ago, JNR said:

When stories like the Night King are stripped of their mythology they will turn out to be something completely different.

Yet they almost certainly have value and meaning of some sort; we just have to be wary of thinking they are easy nuts to crack.  They're likely to turn out as tricksy to understand as GRRM himself, because as he reminded us, the myths are as distant in time from his characters as Noah would logically be from us.

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