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Black Crow

Heresy 229 and hitting the refresh button

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On 1/1/2020 at 12:39 PM, Black Crow said:

Sounds suspiciously like a one-line synopsis for The Heart of Darkness

 

Going back to the journey up the river to a place of darkness; where Bran/Marlow is affected by a kind of miasma of the landscape, lethargy to the point of sickness;  Bran enters the dreamscape of the river of time when he enters the cave.  The question is whether Bran will encounter the heart of darkness within the weirnet.  I think this is the only place where he can encounter the mind of the enemy

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

Going back to the journey up the river to a place of darkness; where Bran/Marlow is affected by a kind of miasma of the landscape, lethargy to the point of sickness;  Bran enters the dreamscape of the river of time when he enters the cave.  The question is whether Bran will encounter the heart of darkness within the weirnet.  I think this is the only place where he can encounter the mind of the enemy

I actually think that it extends further than this. It was the whole journey once they had passed the Wall which recalled Marlow's progress up the river to find Kurtz.

And of course Kurtz himself when found [and GRRM committed a very pretty piece of plagiarism in describing their meeting] turned out to be at one and the same time a monster and aware of his condition, so I'm not sure what Bran will encounter, but I'm sure that there is something very old and very evil in the Winterfell crypts.

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Posted (edited)
On 12/30/2019 at 10:31 AM, Black Crow said:

Including a certain bat out of hell...  :commie:

I've stumbled upon a parallel that I'm currently investigating further. It's regarding your batty, mad mouse Shadrich... First the passage from Cat of the Canals:

Quote

Cat had made friends along the wharves; porters and mummers, ropemakers and sailmenders, taverners, brewers and bakers and beggars and whores. They bought clams and cockles from her, told her true tales of Braavos and lies about their lives, and laughed at the way she talked when she tried to speak Braavosi. She never let that trouble her. Instead, she showed them all the fig, and told them they were camel cunts, which made them roar with laughter. Gyloro Dothare taught her filthy songs, and his brother Gyleno told her the best places to catch eels. The mummers off the Ship showed her how a hero stands, and taught her speeches from The Song of the Rhoyne, The Conqueror's Two Wives, and The Merchant's Lusty Lady. Quill, the sad-eyed little man who made up all the bawdy farces for the Ship, offered to teach her how a woman kisses, but Tagganaro smacked him with a codfish and put an end to that. Cossomo the Conjurer instructed her in sleight of hand. He could swallow mice and pull them from her ears. "It's magic," he'd say. "It's not," Cat said. "The mouse was up your sleeve the whole time. I could see it moving."

In this chapter, Arya/Cat is mirroring her aunt Lyanna. We had discussed a few days ago the concept that tourneys are playing-acting at war. In other words they are dress rehearsal for war.

Cat provides the names of the various playhouses which are located on ships, as well as the titles of the plays. The biggest playhouse is a barge called The Ship. Nearby are the Gate and the Blue Lantern. I have identified The Ship as being the entirety of the Riverlands, while the Gate is the Neck, and the Blue Lantern is Winterfell. The Blue Lantern held the play The Lord of Woeful Countenance, which is a story about Rickard after Lyanna was taken. The Ship answered that play with Seven Drunken Oarsmen, which turned out to be the seven major players in the Rebellion and the movement of troops and battles fought in the Riverlands during the Rebellion.

Knowing where the playhouses are and what the plays are about helps us identify some of the street performers that Cat notes, among them Tagganaro and Cossomo the Conjurer. I was able to identify Tagganaro by working out his pet seal, Casso the King of Seals as being Tywin Lannister, because he won so many battles by writing to various lords and making deals. Parchments are sealed with wax, so I'm fairly confident that King of Seals is a metaphor for Tywin. Since Tagganaro works with the King of Seals, he's either Sumner Crakehall or Kevin Lannister. Sumner is Tywin's bannerman, but Kevan was Tywin's closest and most trusted man, so I'm leaning towards Tagganaro as echoing Tywin for the moment. A case could be made that Tagganaro is Sumner Crakehall too, and the smacking someone with a codfish makes me think of Merrett Frey who was wacked in the head with a mace. Merrett was Sumner's squire along side Jaime Lannister. The man Tagganaro smacked was offering to teach women how to kiss. Merrett, of course, was humiliated by Wenda the White Fawn. Somehow Wenda got away from the detachment and took Merrett hostage for awhile, and that might have something to do with the magic trick Cossomo performed.

Cossomo the Conjurer hid a mouse up his sleeve. I suspect this may be an echo that Shadrich the mad mouse is "playing a magic trick". Shadrich is a hedge knight and hails from Shady Glen. Not much more is known about Shadrich other than he's connected to Harrenhal somehow. Cossomo the Conjurer performs a magic trick where he appears to swallow a mouse and then pull it out of someone's ear, but Arya/Cat notes that the mouse was up his sleeve. Having something up your sleeve means you have a secret plan or idea. It's in reference to hiding favorable playing cards to cheat in a game with high stakes. It may be that this is a simple echo in that Shadrich has a not-so-secret plan up his sleeve, but this begs the question, who is Shadrich's Cossomo?

Edited by Melifeather

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11 hours ago, Melifeather said:

Not much more is known about Shadrich other than he's connected to Harrenhal somehow.

How do we know he's connected to Harrenhal?

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1 hour ago, redriver said:

How do we know he's connected to Harrenhal?

Potentially his comment about a winged mouse (bat) being a silly sight.

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6 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Potentially his comment about a winged mouse (bat) being a silly sight.

Tenuous to say the least.

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Posted (edited)

He is short and wiry with a shock of red hair. He says he is no tourney knight but has the sort of casual arrogance that shows he has skill at arms.

He claims to have been financially ruined at the Blackwater by ransom, yet he rides a chestnut courser, an expensive war horse. The same kind of horse ridden by Sansa at times.

His sigil bears similarities to the knight of the laughing tree, but here the white tree with the red eyes is replaced by a large white mouse with red eyes. One is laughing, one is "mad". Both suggestive of mockery/deceit. Both suggestive of old gods.

"We swear it by ice and fire."

The background is bendy brown and blue for the lands and rivers he's crossed. Meera describes her father as able to breathe mud. He could change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word.

"We swear it by earth and water."

This is a live candidate for Howland Reed. I hope it is. Rather than a grand entrance stage left waving an affey davey, I'd prefer he snuck in under the radar without most noticing.

Edited by redriver

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, redriver said:

He is short and wiry with a shock of red hair. He says he is no tourney knight but has the sort of casual arrogance that shows he has skill at arms.

He claims to have been financially ruined at the Blackwater by ransom, yet he rides a chestnut courser, an expensive war horse. The same kind of horse ridden by Sansa at times.

His sigil bears similarities to the knight of the laughing tree, but here the white tree with the red eyes is replaced by a large white mouse with red eyes. One is laughing, one is "mad". Both suggestive of mockery/deceit. Both suggestive of old gods.

"We swear it by ice and fire."

The background is bendy brown and blue for the lands and rivers he's crossed. Meera describes her father as able to breathe mud. He could change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word.

"We swear it by earth and water."

This is a live candidate for Howland Reed. I hope it is. Rather than a grand entrance stage left waving an affey davey, I'd prefer he snuck in under the radar without most noticing.

There is much more going on with Shadrich than simply connecting him to Howland. Shadrich is an allegory. He is a representation of multiple, abstract ideas, a figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another. Allegories can also contain more than one metaphor and this is certainly the case with Shadrich.

I casually mentioned the connection to Harrenhal, because it wasn't that long ago when we discussed his Harrenhal symbolism - the flying mouse seems to point to the bat sigil of the Whents. His red eyes and white mouse could be interpreted as being connected to Bloodraven.

You've focused on only one aspect: his similarities to the knight of the laughing tree and that the red eyes as being suggestive of the old gods, but what about his shock of red hair? Micah the butcher's boy, Arya's friend that she played at swords with, had red hair. Redheads also tend to have freckles and would fall under the "dappled or spotted" umbrella of symbolism which is frequently connected to the death of an innocent. Even the description, "shock" evokes lightning symbolism.

The chestnut courser echoes the idiom, "that old chestnut", which is an old story frequently repeated so much that it is no longer interesting. The old story of Westeros is the false tale that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna. In the Dunk and Egg novella, Dunk had a dream very similar to Ned's fever dream where he and Egg travelled to Dorne and his old horse Chestnut died on the trip. He was crying while digging a grave for the horse, but the grave kept filling in with sand, and buried Egg. In other words, there was a cover up. The sand filling in the grave could also represent Ned's lies. There's a whole-lotta symbolism going on in that dream that is connected to the lies Ned has told about the events surrounding Lyanna's death.

I think I've stumbled upon another clue - another metaphor within the Shadrich allegory: the mouse up the sleeve and a magic trick. You've pointed out the contradiction between his claim that he was financially ruined after the Battle of the Blackwater and his expensive looking possessions. You are right to be suspicious, because this is our clue that all is not what it seems.

Edited by Melifeather

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15 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

knight of the laughing tree and that the red eyes as being suggestive of the old gods, but what about his shock of red hair? Micah the butcher's boy, Arya's friend that she played at swords with, had red hair. Redheads also tend to have freckles and would fall under the "dappled or spotted" umbrella of symbolism which is frequently connected to the death of an innocent.

The red hair is interesting.We don't know what colour Howland's hair is.Maybe he dyes it from brown to red.

Interesting if he's protecting a girl who's changing it from red to brown.

Aside from that, I don't see that we are connected on this front.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, redriver said:

The red hair is interesting.We don't know what colour Howland's hair is.Maybe he dyes it from brown to red.

Interesting if he's protecting a girl who's changing it from red to brown.

Aside from that, I don't see that we are connected on this front.

I agree that we have no way of knowing what color hair Howland has, but we do know that the old gods mark those with special talents. Bloodraven is an albino with red eyes. Euron has one blue and one black eye. The greenseers of the Children are marked by the old gods and have either green or red eyes rather than the golden eyes of their race. As for hair color, it's used in disguises. Young Griff dyes his hair blue, and Sansa dyes her auburn hair brown. It would be very difficult to dye hair red as it would involve bleaching the hair first, so I think we can be confident that Shadrich's hair color really is red. While an omission of a detail cannot be taken as confirmation, I have my doubts that Howland's true hair color was red. Redheads are a minority hair color and that is why they are noted and remarked upon. Meera and Jojen are both described as having brown hair and green eyes, but I do know that hair color is determined by the mother's X chromosome, which she receives from both of her parents. The only way Meera and Jojen could inherit red hair is if someone in their mother's family had red hair.

What I'm trying to demonstrate though, is that one or two details is not confirmation that Shadrich is Howland. To declare it so would require ignoring all the other details associated with him. Like I've already stated, he is an allegory character meant to convey a variety of abstract thoughts, and because of that I feel 99% certain that he's not a disguise, but simply - Shadrich. Now, what he's up to is an open debate, because it appears that he's got something up his sleeve.

Edited by Melifeather

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4 hours ago, redriver said:

He is short and wiry with a shock of red hair. He says he is no tourney knight but has the sort of casual arrogance that shows he has skill at arms.

He claims to have been financially ruined at the Blackwater by ransom, yet he rides a chestnut courser, an expensive war horse. The same kind of horse ridden by Sansa at times.

His sigil bears similarities to the knight of the laughing tree, but here the white tree with the red eyes is replaced by a large white mouse with red eyes. One is laughing, one is "mad". Both suggestive of mockery/deceit. Both suggestive of old gods.

"We swear it by ice and fire."

The background is bendy brown and blue for the lands and rivers he's crossed. Meera describes her father as able to breathe mud. He could change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word.

"We swear it by earth and water."

This is a live candidate for Howland Reed. I hope it is. Rather than a grand entrance stage left waving an affey davey, I'd prefer he snuck in under the radar without most noticing.

Me too.

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Posted (edited)

There's an unknown reason for why Howland sent his children to bring Bran to Bloodraven and the Children instead of himself, and I'm thinking it's because he's a cripple too. I suspect he's a cripple - injured somehow - because of other characters that are friends of Arya. Arya is retracing Lyanna's steps, and I suspect Arya's companions are repeating events that Lyanna's companions did in the past.

Mycah the redheaded and freckled butcher's boy - cut down by Sandor Clegane

Lommy Greenhands, whose arms are mottled green up to the elbows - wounded by a spear thrust into his calf and then finished off by a spear to the throat by Raff the Sweetling

It's not so much Mycah's hair coloring, but his freckles that connect him to Lommy who has mottled green skin. Both companions died while Arya only pretended to die. In the past Lyanna died, but I think one or two companions were injured or are pretending to be dead. When Ned took a spear to his calf it seemed like a pretty severe injury, and without treatment the fever could have killed him. It also may have left him with a permanent limp had they not taken his life by beheading him, so I suspect Howland was injured during the war and it left him a cripple.

Edited by Melifeather

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4 hours ago, Melifeather said:

There's an unknown reason for why Howland sent his children to bring Bran to Bloodraven and the Children instead of himself, and I'm thinking it's because he's a cripple too. I suspect he's a cripple - injured somehow - because of other characters that are friends of Arya. Arya is retracing Lyanna's steps, and I suspect Arya's companions are repeating events that Lyanna's companions did in the past.

Mycah the redheaded and freckled butcher's boy - cut down by Sandor Clegane

Lommy Greenhands, whose arms are mottled green up to the elbows - wounded by a spear thrust into his calf and then finished off by a spear to the throat by Raff the Sweetling

It's not so much Mycah's hair coloring, but his freckles that connect him to Lommy who has mottled green skin. Both companions died while Arya only pretended to die. In the past Lyanna died, but I think one or two companions were injured or are pretending to be dead. When Ned took a spear to his calf it seemed like a pretty severe injury, and without treatment the fever could have killed him. It also may have left him with a permanent limp had they not taken his life by beheading him, so I suspect Howland was injured during the war and it left him a cripple.

Have you considered reading the story as a story?

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24 minutes ago, redriver said:

Have you considered reading the story as a story?

This isn’t an ordinary, straightforward fantasy story. It certainly can be read that way, but you’d be missing out on a lot. 

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I am retreading Game currently and have found something puzzling. There appears to be a continuity issue. In the second Ned chapter, he is irritated that Robert named Jaime as Warden of the East and, in an attempt to persuade him out of it, says Jaime will be the successor to Tywin as Warden if the West. but Jaime is in the Kingsguard; why is he even an option for either post? 

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23 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

This isn’t an ordinary, straightforward fantasy story. It certainly can be read that way, but you’d be missing out on a lot. 

I don't think I miss much.

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21 hours ago, Lady Rhodes said:

I am retreading Game currently and have found something puzzling. There appears to be a continuity issue. In the second Ned chapter, he is irritated that Robert named Jaime as Warden of the East and, in an attempt to persuade him out of it, says Jaime will be the successor to Tywin as Warden if the West. but Jaime is in the Kingsguard; why is he even an option for either post? 

Wardens appear to be specific military titles, independent of any lands (though it has become customary for certain landholders to also be named wardens).

In addition the the Wardens of North, South, East and West (all customarily the highest nobles in that region - Stark, Tyrell, Lannister and Arryn) we also have Robb creating a Warden of the Southern Marches (ie the southern borderlands of the new Northern Kingdom) and granting that title to the Blackfish, Anders Yronwood as Warden of the Stone way, Franklyn Fowler Warden of the Princes Pass, Wyman Manderly Warden of the White Knife, Skahaz Warden of the River, and Rosby Warden of the Sands.

Since there are no lands involved and the titles are not strictly hereditary (though customarily they have become so, mostly), there is no restriction on the Kingsguard holding such a post.

I suspect Wardens hold senior military command within their warden-ship areas over all other lords. As such, these positions are customarily given to the most militarily powerful lord and/or highest ranking lord (usually one and the same) within that area  - its kinda awkward if one lord brings 1000 men to fight and another lord with only 200 men automatically has command over him - and as relative local military strength rarely changes significantly, such posts tend to be more or less hereditary even though they technically are not.

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38 minutes ago, corbon said:

Wardens appear to be specific military titles, independent of any lands (though it has become customary for certain landholders to also be named wardens).

In addition the the Wardens of North, South, East and West (all customarily the highest nobles in that region - Stark, Tyrell, Lannister and Arryn) we also have Robb creating a Warden of the Southern Marches (ie the southern borderlands of the new Northern Kingdom) and granting that title to the Blackfish, Anders Yronwood as Warden of the Stone way, Franklyn Fowler Warden of the Princes Pass, Wyman Manderly Warden of the White Knife, Skahaz Warden of the River, and Rosby Warden of the Sands.

Since there are no lands involved and the titles are not strictly hereditary (though customarily they have become so, mostly), there is no restriction on the Kingsguard holding such a post.

I suspect Wardens hold senior military command within their warden-ship areas over all other lords. As such, these positions are customarily given to the most militarily powerful lord and/or highest ranking lord (usually one and the same) within that area  - its kinda awkward if one lord brings 1000 men to fight and another lord with only 200 men automatically has command over him - and as relative local military strength rarely changes significantly, such posts tend to be more or less hereditary even though they technically are not.

Thank you! This would explain it. I had myself quite puzzled. Though, I have found a second inconsistency; Tyrion remarks about how large Vhaghar’s skull was when he first saw it at the red keep (first or second tyrion chapter, when they are heading to the Wall) but Vhaghar died above the God’s Eye

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Lady Rhodes said:

Thank you! This would explain it. I had myself quite puzzled. Though, I have found a second inconsistency; Tyrion remarks about how large Vhaghar’s skull was when he first saw it at the red keep (first or second tyrion chapter, when they are heading to the Wall) but Vhaghar died above the God’s Eye

I can only find Tyrion standing in front of Balerions skull.

Ahh, found it.

Quote
He had expected to find them impressive, perhaps even frightening. He had not thought to find them beautiful. Yet they were. As black as onyx, polished smooth, so the bone seemed to shimmer in the light of his torch. They liked the fire, he sensed. He'd thrust the torch into the mouth of one of the larger skulls and made the shadows leap and dance on the wall behind him. The teeth were long, curving knives of black diamond. The flame of the torch was nothing to them; they had bathed in the heat of far greater fires. When he had moved away, Tyrion could have sworn that the beast's empty eye sockets had watched him go.
There were nineteen skulls. The oldest was more than three thousand years old; the youngest a mere century and a half. The most recent were also the smallest; a matched pair no bigger than mastiff's skulls, and oddly misshapen, all that remained of the last two hatchlings born on Dragonstone. They were the last of the Targaryen dragons, perhaps the last dragons anywhere, and they had not lived very long.
From there the skulls ranged upward in size to the three great monsters of song and story, the dragons that Aegon Targaryen and his sisters had unleashed on the Seven Kingdoms of old. The singers had given them the names of gods: Balerion, Meraxes, Vhaghar. Tyrion had stood between their gaping jaws, wordless and awed. You could have ridden a horse down Vhaghar's gullet, although you would not have ridden it out again. Meraxes was even bigger. And the greatest of them, Balerion, the Black Dread, could have swallowed an aurochs whole, or even one of the hairy mammoths said to roam the cold wastes beyond the Port of Ibben.


 

Anyway...

Quote

BATTLE ABOVE THE GODS EYE, where the infamous duel between Prince Aemond One-eye and Prince Daemon Targaryen—and between Vhagar and Caraxes—took place. It is said that Daemon leapt from Caraxes to Vhagar, and slew Prince Aemond with Dark Sister as the dragons fell to the waters below. Vhagar and Caraxes died in turn, as did Daemon Targaryen, though his bones were never recovered.

 

...since Daemon Targaryen, Aemond Targaryen, Caraxes and Vhagar all died in the famous duel above the Gods Eye and fell into the waters below, but only Daemon is noted as not having his bones recovered, it is implied that Aemond's, Vhagar's and Caraxes' bones were recovered. And as important Targaryen relics the dragon skulls would be transported to and kept in the Red Keep of course.

Edited by corbon

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