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Heresy 228 and one over the eight

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Welcome to Heresy 228, the latest iteration of the long-running thread which takes a sideways look at this long-running tale of ordinary country-folk. The odd subtitle derives from Lord Aegon the Compromiser pointing out that we're looking not only at 228 volumes [never less than 400 posts] but eight years of often vigorous discussion!

Anyway,the featured topic for page one, by popular request, is prophecy which in turn derives from LynnS and her suggestion that the real focus of Lord Eddard's notorious fever dream may not be a supposed combination of events at the "tower of joy" [no initial caps] but the apparent background of blood red skies and blue petals.

Is it actually some kind of prophecy anent Ice and Fire ?

That in turn of course begs discussion of prophecy and its place in the story. The short answer of course is that it dominates much of it, but as GRRM has made clear in both text and SSM, prophecies should not be relied on or treated literally. The same, obviously goes with bells on when it comes to dreams and in particular fever dreams, especially when we know that greenseers, whether Bryn Blackwood or anyone else communicate by way of dreams.

It does indeed, as LynnS  proposes, compel us to look at that "old dream" in a new light

 

.

Edited by Black Crow

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BTW, @Black Crow I meant to thank you for the honour suggesting I start this thread. 
Not really my place I think, especially given the introductory subject. :P But I do appreciate the thought and respect.

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Well, where to start? It might be useful to look at the elements of Ned's dream as separate dreams that become conflated or connected to what I consider to be the oldest of Ned's dreams.   You can argue that his dreams of Lyanna (which are not always connected to the ToJ) and his dream of the Kingsguard are also old dreams and that's true.  But they are actual memories whereas the dream of the blood-streaked sky and a storm of petals blue as the eyes of death is not a memory but something more akin to a green dream.

It has the same flavor as Jojen's dream of the sea coming to Winterfell.  Ned's dream is also a warning of things to come, a vision of ice and fire; the red comet, dragons and wights.  

We don't know anything about Ned's early years other than he was fostered out to Jon Arryn; but according to Catelyn, he is devoted to the old gods; taking solace in the god's wood when his mind is troubled.  We could say he feels close to his gods.  So I don't think it's a far stretch to think he has received a vision from them.  He may not understand the dream, but he is conflicted with a feeling of foreboding.

Ned goes to great length to maintain a sense or normality even after hearing Gared's mad ravings about the white walkers; he doesn't want to believe it.  He does know all the stories, he just doesn't give them any credit.  At least, not until he kills Lady and wonders later what he has done in removing Sansa's protection.

Certain dreams come unbidden from the subconscious where he is most conflicted.

There is a connection between Lyanna and Ned's dream of rose petals falling from her hand, at the moment of her death, and the storm of petals blue as the eyes of death.   The symbolism flows one to the other.

We don't know what Lyanna said to Ned before extracting his promise.  I question whether Lyanna was also speaking of things relating to prophecy, something that Ned would be inclined to dismiss or be reluctant to agree upon, is a perhaps anguished by his sister's state of mind.   He certainly feels despair that he failed to protect her.

The imagery of roses has wide interpretation.  What strikes me is that Rhaegar didn''t place the crown on Lyanna's head instead placing it in her lap.  All the smiles dies.  It's Ned who sees Lyanna's wearing the queen of beauty's laurel on her statue in the crypt.

Here's something I found interesting about the maiden's laurel as it relates to funeral practices:

https://www.maidensgarlands.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maiden's_garland

Is this why the smiles died?  Was Rhaegar saying that Lyanna wasn't a virgin or is this how the onlookers saw the gesture?  Selmy thinks it's about love, Kevan Lannister thinks it's about beauty; Ned thinks it has nothing to do with love;  Lyanna is shamed and the Starks are pissed off.  What does Rhaegar think?

I think Rhaegar is one of the few characters who might actually know something about the prophecy.  Something he refers to the song of ice and fire.  Did he recognize Lyanna's part, was the crown for one she would hold in her lap.  Did he know she would die?

The death of Arthur Dayne is something for which Ned is also conflicted.  We know he would have  killed Ned if it wasn't for Howland's intervention, whatever that was.  Howland couldn't let Ned be killed of course.  Ned has to be father to the next generation so important to the old gods.  Ned might even consider Arthur's death dishonourable in some way.  It would certainly upset him to kill the brother of the woman he loved and a man he admired.

What is significant about the death of Arthur is that the Dawn sword no longer has a master.  This is the the unique and singular magic sword in the whole story.  What is the connection to the song of ice and fire?

 

Edited by LynnS

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9 hours ago, corbon said:

BTW, @Black Crow I meant to thank you for the honour suggesting I start this thread. 
Not really my place I think, especially given the introductory subject. :P But I do appreciate the thought and respect.

I would have been happy to go with a subject of your choosing.  I'm not sure why it's not your place any more than it is mine.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

What strikes me is that Rhaegar didn''t place the crown on Lyanna's head instead placing it in her lap.  All the smiles dies.

And "all" presumably includes Lyanna's smile.  It died on the spot.

1 hour ago, LynnS said:

There is a connection between Lyanna and Ned's dream of rose petals falling from her hand, at the moment of her death, and the storm of petals blue as the eyes of death.

Close.  Ned never dreamed of rose petals falling from her hand -- that is a waking, conscious memory he has when he's in the crypts with Robert:

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. After that he remembered nothing.

However, your larger point is that this memory is logically connected to the storm of rose petals in his TOJ dream. On that, you are undoubtedly correct.

1 hour ago, LynnS said:

Is this why the smiles died?

I would hazard a guess that smiles died because Rhaegar had just snubbed his wife (who would have been very pregnant with his heir, if we are to believe the World book -- but that's another subject). And instead, he had demonstrated an extraordinary interest in this girl from the north, Lyanna Stark.

This would have struck the crowd of nobility as deeply problematic for many different reasons.  The political consequences alone would be a smoking hot mess, roughly like Bill Clinton announcing on national TV "This girl is far hotter than my wife Hillary," and then pointing to Monica Lewinsky on camera, so everyone could see whom he meant.

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

The imagery of roses has wide interpretation.  What strikes me is that Rhaegar didn''t place the crown on Lyanna's head instead placing it in her lap.  All the smiles dies.  It's Ned who sees Lyanna's wearing the queen of beauty's laurel on her statue in the crypt.

Here's something I found interesting about the maiden's laurel as it relates to funeral practices:

https://www.maidensgarlands.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maiden's_garland

 

This is so interesting! 

My first thoughts are the symbolism behind the entire tourney itself. It's "play-acting" at war, is it not? That is how Catelyn viewed Renly's tourney:

ACOK - Catelyn II

Quote

This is madness, Catelyn thought. Real enemies on every side and half the realm in flames, and Renly sits here playing at war like a boy with his first wooden sword.

Quote

"King Robb is warring, my lord," Catelyn replied with icy courtesy, "not playing at tourney."

ACOK - Catelyn VI

Quote

Brienne paused to listen for a moment, broad shoulders hunched and thick arms crossed against her chest. A mob of ragged boys raced by, screeching and flailing at each other with sticks. Why do boys so love to play at war? Catelyn wondered if Rymund was the answer. The singer's voice swelled as he neared the end of his song.

My point is, if a tourney is "playing at war", then the crowning of a maid could be interpreted as a symbolic death or sacrifice. At the beginning of the infamous Harrenhal Tourney, it was said that the daughter of the castle was declared the queen of love and beauty, and that she was defended by her four brothers. "Defended" from death? Or were they protecting her virginity? This all sounds like some Shakesperian tragedy-play unfolding! 

2 hours ago, LynnS said:

Is this why the smiles died?  Was Rhaegar saying that Lyanna wasn't a virgin

Possibly. The placing of the laurel in her lap is an assignment of blame. There's a colloquial saying about placing blame in someone's lap. If this was the intended purpose, what was Rhaegar accusing Lyanna of? Or maybe we can leave Rhaegar out for a moment and ask, what is Lyanna guilty of? She still received the crown, so her virginity might not be what's questionable. 

Ned notes that there were thorns hidden in the crown (real or imagined). So, on the one hand, receiving the crown is an honor bestowed on virgins, but the thorns indicate that there was a price to be paid for the honor - or at the very least a consequence.

Edited by Melifeather

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

I would hazard a guess that smiles died because Rhaegar had just snubbed his wife (who would have been very pregnant with his heir, if we are to believe the World book -- but that's another subject). And instead, he had demonstrated an extraordinary interest in this girl from the north, Lyanna Stark.

This would have struck the crowd of nobility as deeply problematic for many different reasons.  The political consequences alone would be a smoking hot mess, roughly like Bill Clinton announcing on national TV "This girl is far hotter than my wife Hillary," and then pointing to Monica Lewinsky on camera, so everyone could see whom he meant.

Yes that would be how it plays out for others in a politically charged event.  I question why Rhaegar was paying extraordinary attention to Lyanna.  We'll leave the smitten at first second glance aspect out of it.  

I've said before that I think Rhaegar knew more about the prophecy than we have been told.  Speculation I know, but off page he spent a lot of time alone at Summerhall.  I imagine that he was seeking out the Ghost of High Heart, who may have traded visions for songs in an attempt to learn more.  Potentially, he was told something about the wolf girl, that  became clearer to him when he saw her at Harrenhal. 

I'll go further and say that the sad song that Rhaegar sings and the sad tale of Lyanna (as mentioned by Meera) are one in the same.   

Edited by LynnS

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48 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

This is so interesting! 

Possibly. The placing of the laurel in her lap is an assignment of blame. There's a colloquial saying about placing blame in someone's lap. If this was the intended purpose, what was Rhaegar accusing Lyanna of? Or maybe we can leave Rhaegar out for a moment and ask, what is Lyanna guilty of? She still received the crown, so her virginity might not be what's questionable. 

Ned notes that there were thorns hidden in the crown (real or imagined). So, on the one hand, receiving the crown is an honor bestowed on virgins, but the thorns indicate that there was a price to be paid for the honor - or at the very least a consequence.

The crown of thorns is a christian image.  It's also Ned who sees the statue of Lyanna in the crypts with a crown of roses.  So this does fit with the uses of laurels for funeral purposes.  Also that he viewed her as pure, without blame rather than virginal.  He takes the blame himself; his hands are covered in blood.  It fits with the notion that she was sacrificed in some way.   

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53 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

Ned notes that there were thorns hidden in the crown (real or imagined). So, on the one hand, receiving the crown is an honor bestowed on virgins, but the thorns indicate that there was a price to be paid for the honor - or at the very least a consequence.

Alternately, perhaps the consequence paid for honor applies more so to Ned? Ned is known as an honorable man, but it seems hinted at that Ned has paid a price in connection with the honor bestowed upon Lyanna. We know he made promises to Lyanna, and it's probably keeping those promises that came at a great price to Ned - thus the thorn pricks.

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Here is something interesting when I was searching for queen of love and beauty:

Quote

 

A Feast for Crows - Cersei V

"No man will stand before him." Margaery Tyrell gave the queen a coy smile. "But I never knew that King Robert was so accomplished at the joust. Pray tell us, Your Grace, what tourneys did he win? What great knights did he unseat? I know the king should like to hear about his father's victories."

A flush crept up Cersei's neck. The girl had caught her out. Robert Baratheon had been an indifferent jouster, in truth. During tourneys he had much preferred the mêlée, where he could beat men bloody with blunted axe or hammer. It had been Jaime she had been thinking of when she spoke. It is not like me to forget myself. "Robert won the tourney of the Trident," she had to say. "He overthrew Prince Rhaegar and named me his queen of love and beauty. I am surprised you do not know that story, good-daughter." She gave Margaery no time to frame a reply. "Ser Osmund, help my son from his armor, if you would be so good. Ser Loras, walk with me. I need a word with you."

The Knight of Flowers had no recourse but to follow at her heels like the puppy he was. Cersei waited until they were on the serpentine steps before she said, "Whose notion was that, pray?"

 

When was this Tourney of the Trident? Obviously it had to have occurred prior to the Tourney at Harrenhal for Robert to defeat Rhaegar. What is most tantalizing is that Robert named Cersei his queen of love and beauty. Cersei?

I have suspected a prior relationship for Cersei and Robert before, meeting in secret like Arianne and Arys Oakheart...this was a few years ago and someone tried to discredit me by saying there was no evidence of them knowing each other prior to the Rebellion. This offhand comment seems to suggest Robert at least took notice of Cersei's beauty.

Edited by Melifeather

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35 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

Here is something interesting when I was searching for queen of love and beauty:

When was this Tourney of the Trident? Obviously it had to have occurred prior to the Tourney at Harrenhal for Robert to defeat Rhaegar. What is most tantalizing is that Robert named Cersei his queen of love and beauty. Cersei?

I have suspected a prior relationship for Cersei and Robert before, meeting in secret like Arianne and Arys Oakheart...this was a few years ago and someone tried to discredit me by saying there was no evidence of them knowing each other prior to the Rebellion. This offhand comment seems to suggest Robert at least took notice of Cersei's beauty.

I guess it wasn't a tourney but the battle of the Trident when Robert killed Rhaegar.

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If the Tourney of Harrenhal was a staged play, and Rhaegar winning might be a clue to that, then Lyanna's abduction was maybe part of the play? Some Southron play the Starks didn't know?

And by placing the roses in Lyanna's lap, Rhaegar indicates the change in the play, i.e. she will be abducted. That is why all the smiles died - they know.

As we are dealing with prophecy, this could lead to Rickard dying before Brandon (as I speculated a few times before), so both die Kings(in the North).

This is required to birth the dragon, and the night the Starks die, the Mad King rapes his wife and Daenerys is "made".

 

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21 minutes ago, alienarea said:

I guess it wasn't a tourney but the battle of the Trident when Robert killed Rhaegar.

That makes sense, and how obvious in hind site. So it was more of a snarky comment? I like that! Plus it also ties together the idea that tourneys are play warfare, and here Cersei has likened warfare to a tourney game! 

 

Edited by Melifeather

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6 minutes ago, alienarea said:

If the Tourney of Harrenhal was a staged play, and Rhaegar winning might be a clue to that, then Lyanna's abduction was maybe part of the play? Some Southron play the Starks didn't know?

And by placing the roses in Lyanna's lap, Rhaegar indicates the change in the play, i.e. she will be abducted. That is why all the smiles died - they know.

As we are dealing with prophecy, this could lead to Rickard dying before Brandon (as I speculated a few times before), so both die Kings(in the North).

This is required to birth the dragon, and the night the Starks die, the Mad King rapes his wife and Daenerys is "made".

 

Are you suggesting that the tourney itself was sort of like a battle plan being acted out? That would be very covert.

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On 11/20/2019 at 7:37 AM, Black Crow said:

Welcome to Heresy 228, the latest iteration of the long-running thread which takes a sideways look at this long-running tale of ordinary country-folk. The odd subtitle derives from Lord Aegon the Compromiser pointing out that we're looking not only at 228 volumes [never less than 400 posts] but eight years of often vigorous discussion!

Anyway,the featured topic for page one, by popular request, is prophecy which in turn derives from LynnS and her suggestion that the real focus of Lord Eddard's notorious fever dream may not be a supposed combination of events at the "tower of joy" [no initial caps] but the apparent background of blood red skies and blue petals.

Is it actually some kind of prophecy anent Ice and Fire ?

That in turn of course begs discussion of prophecy and its place in the story. The short answer of course is that it dominates much of it, but as GRRM has made clear in both text and SSM, prophecies should not be relied on or treated literally. The same, obviously goes with bells on when it comes to dreams and in particular fever dreams, especially when we know that greenseers, whether Bryn Blackwood or anyone else communicate by way of dreams.

It does indeed, as LynnS  proposes, compel us to look at that "old dream" in a new light

 

.

As you may have surmised, the OP was a quick and dirty one written in haste and in need of expanding on.

Traditionally of course it has been read as a memory and by extension unutterable proof that Lyanna Stark died at the tower of joy as a result of giving birth to Jon and that the presence of the Kings Guard proves that he is of royal blood and therefore by extension is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, etc etc

We've argued this of course...

However, as LynnS reminds us, its not a memory. It's a dream. To be sure the dream includes memories, but that's a long way removed from remembering, no memories come back bidden or unbidden. Its an "old dream" not a memory, and that's where it gets troubling. 

As Lynn proposes the symbolism is of Ice and Fire, and its also about death; unnecessary death at that. The Kings Guard die for a lost cause, Lord Eddard's friends die and his sister Lyanna dies - and the grief is unassuaged by the birth of Jon Snow. Why?

WE can reasonably assume that the geography isn't important. Its a dream and an old dream. There are all manner of dreams elsewhere in the book but none of them are memories. The two are quite distinct. All of the memories in this particular dream are linked by the symbology of Ice and Fire and Death. Its not a happy dream any more than all the other dreams which come to people in the night.

John Snow, may not after all be the Messiah sought by Rhaegar, but the Antichrist.

 

Edited by Black Crow

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25 minutes ago, alienarea said:

I guess it wasn't a tourney but the battle of the Trident when Robert killed Rhaegar.

Yup, I agree, that's plainly what is meant

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5 hours ago, LynnS said:

I would have been happy to go with a subject of your choosing.  I'm not sure why it's not your place any more than it is mine.

Indeed, fresh perspectives are always good, which is why I suggested it. The invitation still holds good for 229

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

I question why Rhaegar was paying extraordinary attention to Lyanna.  We'll leave the smitten at first second glance aspect out of it.  

You're wise (I'm boldfacing the important word).

The conventional R+L=J idea that Rhaegar popped a tent in his pants over Lyanna, and then lost his mind for the next year or so, is... uh... possibly incorrect. 

17 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

So it was more of a snarky comment? I like that! Plus it also ties together the idea that tourneys are play warfare, and here Cersei has likened warfare to a tourney game! 

I think this interpretation is right on the money.

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15 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Its an "old dream" not a memory, and that's where it gets troubling.

And here's a side point not often discussed.

While it's an old dream... one he's had before... it's also a dream Ned has not had for a very long time.  This means something has brought it back, inspiring Ned's dreaming mind to roll it out again and put it front and center in his thoughts.

And this bothers Ned a lot.

Quote

He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years.

 

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