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Black Crow

Heresy 229 and hitting the refresh button

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On 1/20/2020 at 2:00 AM, LynnS said:

On another subject, I am re-reading Heart of Darkness and I get it.   The Roosian/Coldhands, an unfathomable creature that shouldn't exist and Kurtz/Bloodraven, the skeletal creature who looks like he crawled out of a hole in the ground, full of bones.  The attack on the steamboat just as it arrives at Inner Station and the wights outside the cave of skulls.   I've started Part III.   

An what does the fact that Kurz ordered the attack on the boat tell us ?  :commie:

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32 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

An what does the fact that Kurz ordered the attack on the boat tell us ? 

To me, it says that the COTF + Bloodraven/The Administration contrived at having the wights hidden before the entry of the cave and keep them there, as a means for trapping the pilgrims in the cave.  Otherwise, they would have dispatched them with fire.

It also tells me that Central Station, for Bloodraven is located at Winterfell and the Outer Station is located at the Night Fort.

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6 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Otherwise, they would have dispatched them with fire.

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

Meera led the way back up the hill, jabbing at the wights when they came near. The things could not be hurt, but they were slow and clumsy. "Hodor," Hodor said with every step. "Hodor, hodor." He wondered what Meera would think if he should suddenly tell her that he loved her.

Up above them, flaming figures were dancing in the snow.

The wights, Bran realized. Someone set the wights on fire.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

The wights, Bran realized. Someone set the wights on fire.

Leaf dispatched some of them with fire, but they are still shambling around the cave entrance afterwards.  The cave is warded against their entry.  If they are so clumsy and easily dispatched.  Why aren't they removed, unless the constitute a larder of sorts.  But it's very effective in keeping BranCo where the COTF want him.  They would be the equivalent of the Administration who want to remove Kurtz because he is dying.

To expand on the Heart of Darkness references; the Inner Station is where Bloodraven is found but his main concern or preoccupation is Winterfell or Central Station.  The Outer Station is where Marlowe begins to hear stories about Kurtz.  Martin's take  on it seems to be the scary stories about the Night Fort.  All three locations are fell places. 

While Marlowe travels along the Congo River, Bran ends up in a place where BR is located near an underground river, although the river that Bran will travel is the river  of time.

Coldhands does indeed disappear into the forest after delivering the pilgrims; as the Harlequin does but Coldhands is more fleshed out with a bigger role than the Russian.  I have't finished Part III yet, but I wonder what else Martin is modelling.

So this brings me back to Bran's dream.  He doesn't seem to be actually flying around anywhere as he views the world.  He has a kind of telescoping vision that lets him see far and away as well as close up.  To me it seems his soul is lifted high above Winterfell but stationary.

So the ice spears may be something that originates within Winterfell and possibly the crypts.  If he dies, he goes to the frozen hell reserved for Starks.  Something that Ned dreams about.  So the horror he sees lies within Winterfell rather than the far north.  Although I still don't understand it.       

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

To me, it says that the COTF + Bloodraven/The Administration contrived at having the wights hidden before the entry of the cave and keep them there, as a means for trapping the pilgrims in the cave.  Otherwise, they would have dispatched them with fire.

It also tells me that Central Station, for Bloodraven is located at Winterfell and the Outer Station is located at the Night Fort.

That's pretty much the answer I came up with. As Melifeather points out, the Scooby Gang were provided with covering fire [sorry] as they scrambled for safety in the cave, and as you've also figured, the rest of the wights are now "discouraging" the gang from leaving.

I dare say that the sinkhole referred to by the Russian may eventually serve as a escape route, if its needed, but the whole set-up seems to point to a connection between the three-fingered tree-huggers and the cold lot, and calls into question whether Bloodraven is the master or the slave. Keep on reading Heart of Darkness

Really is a delicious clue. If you know the book its oh so obvious. If you don't know the book you have no chance of figuring it.

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17 hours ago, LynnS said:

Leaf dispatched some of them with fire, but they are still shambling around the cave entrance afterwards.  The cave is warded against their entry.  If they are so clumsy and easily dispatched.  Why aren't they removed, unless the constitute a larder of sorts.  But it's very effective in keeping BranCo where the COTF want him.  They would be the equivalent of the Administration who want to remove Kurtz because he is dying.

Yes, I can see how it looks that way. I'm actually undecided on this particular point, because the wights could be left as a means of protecting the cave from humans that they don't want in the cave.

17 hours ago, LynnS said:

To expand on the Heart of Darkness references; the Inner Station is where Bloodraven is found but his main concern or preoccupation is Winterfell or Central Station.  The Outer Station is where Marlowe begins to hear stories about Kurtz.  Martin's take  on it seems to be the scary stories about the Night Fort.  All three locations are fell places. 

Bloodraven was a loyalist to the Targaryen throne, so couldn't Kings Landing also be a consideration for "Central Station"?

17 hours ago, LynnS said:

While Marlowe travels along the Congo River, Bran ends up in a place where BR is located near an underground river, although the river that Bran will travel is the river  of time.

I wonder if the passage through the Black Gate should be incorporated into Bran as Marlow's route along the "river"?

17 hours ago, LynnS said:

So this brings me back to Bran's dream.  He doesn't seem to be actually flying around anywhere as he views the world.  He has a kind of telescoping vision that lets him see far and away as well as close up.  To me it seems his soul is lifted high above Winterfell but stationary.

So the ice spears may be something that originates within Winterfell and possibly the crypts.  If he dies, he goes to the frozen hell reserved for Starks.  Something that Ned dreams about.  So the horror he sees lies within Winterfell rather than the far north.  Although I still don't understand it.       

I was reviewing an essay that I have written called, Mystery Play: The Ghost in Winterfell, when a particular thought struck me. I think I might know what one of the Stark's ancient crimes might be...but first, a quick outline - or you can read the full essay first.

Theon and Ramsay take turns playing "the ghost of Reek". During the first play Theon plays the new lord of Winterfell and Ramsay is playing Reek. They kill the miller's sons - two young boys whose identities they conceal with tar. "Reek" had three of Ramsay's men with him - each of them are found murdered. 

During the second play Theon and Ramsay trade places. Ramsay is the new lord of Winterfell, and Theon plays Reek. Three more men are murdered. This time they are three men that helped Ramsay take Winterfell away from Theon. I suspect the two bastard boys are being played by legitimate trueborn Frey sons Big and Little Walder, because new "Reek" is confused about the length of time he had been kept in a cell:

Quote

Out in the yard, night was settling over the Dreadfort and a full moon was rising over the castle's eastern walls. Its pale light cast the shadows of the tall triangular merlons across the frozen ground, a line of sharp black teeth. The air was cold and damp and full of half-forgotten smells. The world, Reek told himself, this is what the world smells like. He did not know how long he had been down there in the dungeons, but it had to have been half a year at least. That long, or longer. What if it has been five years, or ten, or twenty? Would I even know? What if I went mad down there, and half my life is gone? But no, that was folly. It could not have been so long. The boys were still boys. If it had been ten years, they would have grown into men. He had to remember that. I must not let him drive me mad. He can take my fingers and my toes, he can put out my eyes and slice my ears off, but he cannot take my wits unless I let him.

Little Walder led the way with torch in hand. Reek followed meekly, with Big Walder just behind him. The dogs in the kennels barked as they went by. Wind swirled through the yard, cutting through the thin cloth of the filthy rags he wore and raising gooseprickles on his skin. The night air was cold and damp, but he saw no sign of snow though surely winter was close at hand. Reek wondered if he would be alive to see the snows come. How many fingers will I have? How many toes? When he raised a hand, he was shocked to see how white it was, how fleshless. Skin and bones, he thought. I have an old man's hands. Could he have been wrong about the boys? What if they were not Little Walder and Big Walder after all, but the sons of the boys he'd known?

 

Later on Little Walder becomes the new lord of Winterfell's "best boy":

Quote

"I can see to my own horse," said Big Walder. Little Walder had become Lord Ramsay's best boy and grew more like him every day, but the smaller Frey was made of different stuff and seldom took part in his cousin's games and cruelties.

Not too much later - another murder:

Quote

Another murder.

Snow slid from Ser Hosteen's cloaks as he stalked toward the high table, his steps ringing against the floor. A dozen Frey knights and men-at-arms entered behind him. One was a boy Theon knew—Big Walder, the little one, fox-faced and skinny as a stick. His chest and arms and cloak were spattered with blood.

The scent of it set the horses to screaming. Dogs slid out from under the tables, sniffing. Men rose from the benches. The body in Ser Hosteen's arms sparkled in the torchlight, armored in pink frost. The cold outside had frozen his blood.

"My brother Merrett's son." Hosteen Frey lowered the body to the floor before the dais. "Butchered like a hog and shoved beneath a snowbank. A boy."

Little Walder, thought Theon. The big one. He glanced at Rowan. There are six of them, he remembered. Any of them could have done this. But the washerwoman felt his eyes. "This was no work of ours," she said.

Theon thinks Little Walder killed him, or maybe one of the six washerwomen that came with Abel? In any case, one of the bastard legitimate trueborn Frey boys is dead. Surely Little Walder isn't far behind?

Which brings me to my assertion that I think I know one of the Stark's ancient crimes: the death of a legitimate trueborn son, and a bastard son raised up to be the lord of Winterfell's "best boy". But wait, you say, shouldn't the other boy Walder die too to complete the parallel "play"? Not necessarily, because whenever the "play" repeats it has different characters playing different roles. Each character makes changes to their part and the play changes slightly. I pointed this out a few weeks ago when I posted the role that Shadrich played. I've named that play, The Harrenhal Twilight Zone, because of the many weird variations each character goes through when they play the same part.

I suspect one of the reasons why GRRM has chosen to name both Frey boys "Walder" has less to do with being named after their grandfather and more to do with providing a hint that there once were two sons of an ancient lord of Winterfell - a legitimate trueborn one that died, and a bastard one that became "best boy" and future lord of Winterfell.

Edited by Melifeather

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Interesting idea about the wights, but I've assumed that they are mobile, and may only have shown up the same time as Bran, and they weren't much of a threat.

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21 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Interesting idea about the wights, but I've assumed that they are mobile, and may only have shown up the same time as Bran, and they weren't much of a threat.

Well, you recall that they were buried under the snow and they weren't active until Bran and Co arrived.  Which is interesting because the are constantly active afterwards.  Why weren't they reacting to the COTF beforehand?   

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44 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

Bloodraven was a loyalist to the Targaryen throne, so couldn't Kings Landing also be a consideration for "Central Station"?

Well, he's no longer a loyalist after joining the Watch.  Although that doesn't mean that as a greenseer, he wouldn't be spying on any location of his choice.  But if he depends on weirwoods to do that, he's out of luck with King's Landing.  And once he becomes a greenseer; his primary interest would be that of the the COTF.  In other words, Winterfell and the Starks.  That's my sense of it. 

So I'm curious about how Bloodraven came to be enticed to the join the COTF.  Does everyone have a flying test?  Did he fall off the Wall onto his noggin?  LOL!  Perhaps, the ice spears are reserved for Starks.  

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5 hours ago, LynnS said:

Well, he's no longer a loyalist after joining the Watch.  Although that doesn't mean that as a greenseer, he wouldn't be spying on any location of his choice.  But if he depends on weirwoods to do that, he's out of luck with King's Landing.  And once he becomes a greenseer; his primary interest would be that of the the COTF.  In other words, Winterfell and the Starks.  That's my sense of it. 

So I'm curious about how Bloodraven came to be enticed to the join the COTF.  Does everyone have a flying test?  Did he fall off the Wall onto his noggin?  LOL!  Perhaps, the ice spears are reserved for Starks.  

I believe to the rest of the world he simply disappeared while out on a ranging. No mention of searching for the Children. Bran, Meera, Jojen, and Hodor are the only humans that know where he went. 

What I think is interesting is that Maester Aemon made it sound like he decided to go to the Wall before Aegon V decided to send Bloodraven, while the World Book says Bloodraven was given the choice to take the black or be put to death.

Here's Aemon's version:

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Samwell II

The old man heard him. Though Aemon's eyes had dimmed and gone dark, there was nothing wrong with his ears. "I was not born blind," he reminded them. "When last I passed this way, I saw every rock and tree and whitecap, and watched the grey gulls flying in our wake. I was five-and-thirty and had been a maester of the chain for sixteen years. Egg wanted me to help him rule, but I knew my place was here. He sent me north aboard the Golden Dragon, and insisted that his friend Ser Duncan see me safe to Eastwatch. No recruit had arrived at the Wall with so much pomp since Nymeria sent the Watch six kings in golden fetters. Egg emptied out the dungeons too, so I would not need to say my vows alone. My honor guard, he called them. One was no less a man than Brynden Rivers. Later he was chosen lord commander."

Here's the World Book's version:

Quote

The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V

The first act of Aegon's reign was the arrest of Brynden Rivers, the King's Hand, for the murder of Aenys Blackfyre. Bloodraven did not deny that he had lured the pretender into his power by the offer of a safe conduct, but contended that he had sacrificed his own personal honor for the good of the realm.

Though many agreed, and were pleased to see another Blackfyre pretender removed, King Aegon felt he had no choice but to condemn the Hand, lest the word of the Iron Throne be seen as worthless. Yet after the sentence of death was pronounced, Aegon offered Bloodraven the chance to take the black and join the Night's Watch. This he did. Ser Brynden Rivers set sail for the Wall late in the year of 233 AC. (No one intercepted his ship). Two hundred men went with him, many of them archers from Bloodraven's personal guard, the Raven's Teeth. The king's brother, Maester Aemon, was also amongst them.

Bloodraven would rise to become Lord Commander of the Night's Watch in 239 AC, serving until his disappearance during a ranging beyond the Wall in 252 AC.

 

Edited by Melifeather

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8 hours ago, LynnS said:

Well, he's no longer a loyalist after joining the Watch.  Although that doesn't mean that as a greenseer, he wouldn't be spying on any location of his choice.  But if he depends on weirwoods to do that, he's out of luck with King's Landing.  And once he becomes a greenseer; his primary interest would be that of the the COTF.  In other words, Winterfell and the Starks.  That's my sense of it. 

So I'm curious about how Bloodraven came to be enticed to the join the COTF.  Does everyone have a flying test?  Did he fall off the Wall onto his noggin?  LOL!  Perhaps, the ice spears are reserved for Starks.  

I've never been convinced by the Targaryen loyalist tag. Given the outcome, its far more important that he's really Bryn Blackwood of Raventree Hall - just as its more important that Jon Snow is a son of Winterfell.

Yeah sure, he was a "loyalist" in the Blackfyre rebellion, but that can be more convincingly explained as a continuation of the old Blackwood-Bracken feud.

And so far as your question goes, he has a very deep link to the old races through that Blackwood heritage and upbringing

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9 hours ago, Melifeather said:

Bloodraven did not deny that he had lured the pretender into his power by the offer of a safe conduct, but contended that he had sacrificed his own personal honor for the good of the realm.

Bloodraven sacrificed his own personal honor for the good of the realm. Right or wrong, he was a man of convictions and I just cannot see him give that up once he became a greenseer.

As for our dear author - I don't think the story took a wrong turn nor do I think he's lazy, but I do think that what he's trying to accomplish is very difficult. 

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15 hours ago, LynnS said:

Well, you recall that they were buried under the snow and they weren't active until Bran and Co arrived.  Which is interesting because the are constantly active afterwards.  Why weren't they reacting to the COTF beforehand?   

3 different possibilities :

1). They died near the cave and were buried in the snow for many years. 

2). They were hidden in the snow by BR to be animated when Bran arrived. 

3). They were walking around as wights, went to the cave anticipating Bran, and got covered in snow while waiting. 

2) is most interesting and least likely.  3) is least interesting and most likely. 

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17 hours ago, Melifeather said:

Which brings me to my assertion that I think I know one of the Stark's ancient crimes: the death of a legitimate trueborn son, and a bastard son raised up to be the lord of Winterfell's "best boy". But wait, you say, shouldn't the other boy Walder die too to complete the parallel "play"? Not necessarily, because whenever the "play" repeats it has different characters playing different roles. Each character makes changes to their part and the play changes slightly. I pointed this out a few weeks ago when I posted the role that Shadrich played. I've named that play, The Harrenhal Twilight Zone, because of the many weird variations each character goes through when they play the same part.

I suspect one of the reasons why GRRM has chosen to name both Frey boys "Walder" has less to do with being named after their grandfather and more to do with providing a hint that there once were two sons of an ancient lord of Winterfell - a legitimate trueborn one that died, and a bastard one that became "best boy" and future lord of Winterfell.

Circling back to revisit one of the ancient truths (crimes) that Bran will learn, has to do with my suspicion that Jon Snow is older but smaller than Robb making them appear close in age.

I feel I must point out that the younger "Little" Walder was larger in size than the elder "Big" Walder. I think Big Walder and Little Walder are parallels to legitimate heirs Bran and Rickon Stark, but also have physical parallels to Robb Stark and Jon Snow, as well as Aemon Steelsong and Gilly's son Monster. Now that Bran is a greenseer, I suspect it will have an effect on his normal growth and development. He might remain his ten year old size while Rickon will grow up normally and end up larger than Bran.

Both older but smaller Big Walder and younger but larger Little Walder have proven themselves to be little "bastards". Their relationship, ages, and sizes are parallels to Jon, Robb, Aemon, and Monster. Each pairing includes an older but smaller bastard and a younger but bigger trueborn son, causing them appear to be about the same age. In a future book we may learn that way back in ancient history Winterfell was inherited by a smaller yet older bastard son. If Stannis has his way, Jon Snow will also become Jon Stark, just as Samwell's younger and larger "bastard" son (and yet Mance's legitimate son) may one day become lord of Horn Hill.

Edited by Melifeather

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54 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

3 different possibilities :

1). They died near the cave and were buried in the snow for many years. 

2). They were hidden in the snow by BR to be animated when Bran arrived. 

3). They were walking around as wights, went to the cave anticipating Bran, and got covered in snow while waiting. 

2) is most interesting and least likely.  3) is least interesting and most likely. 

I'll add #4:  they are only active from sundown to sunup.  Although the wights attack the Night Watch at the Fist during the day.  So on their own, they seem to be inactive, but if WW's are present, they could be in use by them. But this doesn't account for why they seem to be constantly active, night or day, afterwards.

Recalling that Coldhands was most concerned about the Others, especially leaving no tracks in the snow.  When the Scooby Gang arrives at the Cave of Skulls, he asks Bran if he can see anything.  The wights are buried in the snow and the snow appears to be undisturbed.  How they got there in the first place is a good question.  Who brought them or what attracted them?

Black Crow and I are talking about the possibility that GRRM is modelling this encounter from Heart of Darkness where the travellers are attacked just as they reach Kurtz and that he ordered the attack.  By description, GRRM does seem to have modelled Coldhands/BR after the Harlequin Kurtz.,  So as I read on, I wonder what else he is using from that book for his story (in a modified version). 

https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/heart-of-darkness.pdf.  , 

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2 hours ago, alienarea said:

At this point in time, I'm really curious to learn your opinions about where the story took a wrong turn, i.e. the gardener got lazy.

I am optimistic that things will tie in and we will be rewarded. That said, expanding the Iron Islands plot (I am ok with the Dornish plot). I get Euron is necessary but Aeron, Victorian, Asha... just gets old 

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18 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I dare say that the sinkhole referred to by the Russian may eventually serve as a escape route, if its needed, but the whole set-up seems to point to a connection between the three-fingered tree-huggers and the cold lot, and calls into question whether Bloodraven is the master or the slave. Keep on reading Heart of Darkness

I lean towards slave.  It's a little hard to swallow that Leaf went out into the world so she could speak to the Bran boy.  Someone had to be able to understand Bloodraven before then and any other human greenseers.  I think she is fibbing.  It seems that Bran doesn't entirely trust the situation where he finds himself.  Certainly the rest of the gang are uneasy.  This also conpares with Marlowe's experience where everyone goes about as if everything is normal; when everything says that it isn't so.   

Bran is keeping himself to himself where hodoring Hodor is concerned.  Nobody can know he is learning the lay of the land.  I'm also starting to think that Mel's vision of a man, a wolf and a man is actually Bran wandering about.  She would recognize Jon Snow but not Hodor. 

The horror of BR existing as a living skeleton impaled with tree roots should tell us something about the COTF.  The Scooby Gang seems to be pacified in some way.   How does one sit for so long immobile to allow that to happen to his person.

Bran's vision of the tree roots writhing like giant grave worms is an example of time slippage and the threat that the roots and trees present to Bran. 

Edited by LynnS

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44 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Although the wights attack the Night Watch at the Fist during the day. 

Are you sure about that? Sam's account makes it quite clear they were attacked at night:
 

Quote

When the horns blew Sam had been sleeping. He thought he was dreaming them at first, but when he opened his eyes snow was falling on the camp and the black brothers were all grabbing bows and spears and running toward the ringwall. Chett was the only one nearby, Maester Aemon's old steward with the face full of boils and the big wen on his neck. Sam had never seen so much fear on a man's face as he saw on Chett's when that third blast came moaning through the trees. "Help me get the birds off," he pleaded, but the other steward had turned and run off, dagger in hand. He has the dogs to care for, Samremembered. Probably the Lord Commander had given him some orders as well.

Quote

He remembered turning in a circle, lost, the fear growing inside him as it always did. There were dogs barking and horses trumpeting, but the snow muffled the sounds and made them seem far away. Sam could see nothing beyond three yards, not even the torches burning along the low stone wall that ringed the crown of the hill. Could the torches have gone out? That was too scary to think about. The horn blew thrice long, three long blasts means Others. The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows, the monsters of the tales that made him squeak and tremble as a boy, riding their giant ice-spiders, hungry for blood . . .

Quote

"Draw," Blane said, and then, "hold." Sam could not see and did not want to see. The men of the Night's Watch stood behind their torches, waiting with arrows pulled back to their ears, as something came up that dark, slippery slope through the snow. "Hold," Blane said again, "hold, hold." And then, "Loose."

 

44 minutes ago, LynnS said:

But this doesn't account for why they seem to be constantly active, night or day, afterwards.

I don't recall constant wight activity. That goes against what we know about them - what you've already stated - that they are only active at night or when the cold winds bring enough cloud cover to block out the sun.

When Bran and the gang was approaching the cave, the sun was setting:

Quote

But the air was sharp and cold and full of fear. Even Summer was afraid. The fur on his neck was bristling. Shadows stretched against the hillside, black and hungry. All the trees were bowed and twisted by the weight of ice they carried. Some hardly looked like trees at all. Buried from root to crown in frozen snow, they huddled on the hill like giants, monstrous and misshapen creatures hunched against the icy wind. "They are here."

The ranger drew his longsword.

"Where?" Meera's voice was hushed.

"Close. I don't know. Somewhere."

<snip>

"Wolves are the least of our woes," said Coldhands. "We have to climb. It will be dark soon. You would do well to be inside before night comes. Your warmth will draw them." He glanced to the west, where the light of the setting sun could be seen dimly through the trees, like the glow of a distant fire.

The next Bran chapter refers to the wights outside, but again, it is nighttime. Bran notes the crescent moon, dark clouds, and lightning flashes indicating that it was dark outside:

Quote

The moon was a crescent, thin and sharp as the blade of a knife. A pale sun rose and set and rose again. Red leaves whispered in the wind. Dark clouds filled the skies and turned to storms. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, and dead men with black hands and bright blue eyes shuffled round a cleft in the hillside but could not enter. Under the hill, the broken boy sat upon a weirwood throne, listening to whispers in the dark as ravens walked up and down his arms.

 

44 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Black Crow and I are talking about the possibility that GRRM is modelling this encounter from Heart of Darkness where the travellers are attacked just as they reach Kurtz and that he ordered the attack.  By description, GRRM does seem to have modelled Coldhands/BR after the Harlequin Kurtz.,  So as I read on, I wonder what else he is using from that book for his story (in a modified version). 

Heart of Darkness isn't the only work of fiction that he's drawn inspiration from and even though some readers recognize many of the works, they are not entirely plagiarism. I don't think we can be certain that he will copy Heart of Darkness so closely. He'll put his own spin on it.

Edited by Melifeather

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15 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Bran's vision of the tree roots writhing like giant grave worms is an example of time slippage and the threat that the roots and trees present to Bran. 

And certainly the vision of worms is intended to imply something is rotten, deadly, or at the very least, unappealing. 

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