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Rondo

Given Bran's vision of his ancestor killing a captive, how horrible were the Starks of old?

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The Stark Kings of Winter have always been referred to as hard people. Was it Ned or someone else who remark on how terrible it would be if the Kings of Winter of olds spirits were let lose. Now do I think that the Starks themselves are horrible, not really. If anything is horrible its more to do with the times they lived in, and the culture/religion they were a part off. It wasn't just Starks making human sacrifice to the Old Gods, it was probably a majority of the first men kings and nobles, even south of the neck during those times.

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20 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

We don't know that the people in that vision were Starks, I always took it to be first men living in what one time would become Winterfell.

 

Something tells me they were Starks, but I think it's nothing special. After all the ancestors of many of us practiced human sacrifice, thousands or even hundreds years ago. Afair Starks ruled in the North for thousands of years so it all fits :)

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Given Bran's vision of his ancestor killing a captive, how horrible were the Starks of old?

Horrible.  They were savages.  Winterfell was built on a foundation of blood.  The Starks were feeding the trees and the seers with blood.  It was their religion.  

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8 hours ago, Shierak Qiya said:

Given Bran's vision of his ancestor killing a captive, how horrible were the Starks of old?

Horrible.  They were savages.  Winterfell was built on a foundation of blood.  The Starks were feeding the trees and the seers with blood.  It was their religion.  

:lmao:

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On 10/8/2020 at 4:08 PM, Rondo said:

Bran was given a vision of one of his ancestors murdering a captive and feeding his blood to the Stark's weirwood tree.   So the Starks of old were practitioners of human sacrifice.  Is it possible that this practice only ended with the deaths of Rickard and Brandon Stark?  Ned was too young to inherit the family tradition.  

They were probably a mixed bag like every other family. I do tend to believe that the old Stark hat was more about being wild, savage and harsh. More like a Rickard Karstark than Eddard Stark.

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Well, the Starks of old were pretty ruthless, by all accounts.

No doubt they did practise human sacrifice, and the practice was likely common throughout the North.  But, I’m sure they ceased it, long before Ned’s father’s time.  As suggested upthread, I expect the victims were criminals, although perhaps, when circumstances were really dire, one had to sacrifice an innocent, or perhaps sacrifice oneself.

Human sacrifice is common throughout Martin’s world.

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12 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Well, the Starks of old were pretty ruthless, by all accounts.

No doubt they did practise human sacrifice, and the practice was likely common throughout the North.  But, I’m sure they ceased it, long before Ned’s father’s time.  As suggested upthread, I expect the victims were criminals, although perhaps, when circumstances were really dire, one had to sacrifice an innocent, or perhaps sacrifice oneself.

Human sacrifice is common throughout Martin’s world.

This is my read, too. There's old tales of Garth of the Old Gods who were sacrificey. Then there's the tale of entrails in the weirwoods that Davos was told and the human sacrifice in the massive weirwood Jon saw at Whitetree. Ned washing his bloody sword in the pool by the weirwood seems like a civilized version of a more brutal tradition as many rl traditions are much tamer versions of old, rather nasty traditions. Santa and his reindeer are believed to be influenced by Odin and his wild hunt.

Also agree on the sacrifice. Northerners still practice personal sacrifice of a sort in the current story when elders go out to hunt in the Winter with the intent to never return to save food for the younger ones.

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28 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

This is my read, too. There's old tales of Garth of the Old Gods who were sacrificey. Then there's the tale of entrails in the weirwoods that Davos was told and the human sacrifice in the massive weirwood Jon saw at Whitetree. Ned washing his bloody sword in the pool by the weirwood seems like a civilized version of a more brutal tradition as many rl traditions are much tamer versions of old, rather nasty traditions. Santa and his reindeer are believed to be influenced by Odin and his wild hunt.

Also agree on the sacrifice. Northerners still practice personal sacrifice of a sort in the current story when elders go out to hunt in the Winter with the intent to never return to save food for the younger ones.

Supposedly, decorations on Christmas trees are a relic of bodies hanging from branches.  I’ve always thought there’s something ritualistic about the Boltons’ flaying, too.

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43 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Supposedly, decorations on Christmas trees are a relic of bodies hanging from branches.  I’ve always thought there’s something ritualistic about the Boltons’ flaying, too.

Did not know that. That sounds like the entrails in the trees. Found where there were 9 sacrifices every 9 years and I believe Robb's crown had 9 spikes and the weirwood grove had 9 trees.

Agree with the Boltons, too. Something about the way Roose talked about the Starks keeping them from their ways made it sound like it was a lot more than just being horrible and gross. Think there might be some magic involved there somewhere though not sure how. Maybe like the FM and taking skin takes memories. Don't think Roose is any vampire type but wonder if there are hints that Roose has access to history through ancestors' skin like a vampire has memories going back centuries. But like Westeros in general, they've lost their old ways and are out of touch.

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16 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Did not know that. That sounds like the entrails in the trees. Found where there were 9 sacrifices every 9 years and I believe Robb's crown had 9 spikes and the weirwood grove had 9 trees.

Agree with the Boltons, too. Something about the way Roose talked about the Starks keeping them from their ways made it sound like it was a lot more than just being horrible and gross. Think there might be some magic involved there somewhere though not sure how. Maybe like the FM and taking skin takes memories. Don't think Roose is any vampire type but wonder if there are hints that Roose has access to history through ancestors' skin like a vampire has memories going back centuries. But like Westeros in general, they've lost their old ways and are out of touch.

I'm not sure that human sacrifice is necessarily considered a bad thing in this world. 

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The reason this was shown to Bran is to educate him on the history of the Starks.  It was done to remove any illusions of of having moral superiority.  They are no more or no less moral compared to everybody else.  The Starks victimized and murdered countless lives during their thousands of years of existence. The religion of the First Men involved brutal human sacrifice.  And the Starks probably killed more people than anybody to keep that awful tree alive.   It was time for Bran to realize what his family is and bring him to reality.  This revelation should remove the caul from his eyes and allow him to see the Starks in a whole new light.  Perhaps this will teach him to forgive.  His family has done horrible things too.  And if the Starks can be forgiven, the other families can too.  I am not claiming he would.  But now he has the data to make an informed decision.  Bran can choose to let hate guide him and follow in the footsteps of Jon and Arya, the way of hate and revenge.  But now he at least has a chance to take a more constructive path in order to decide if he wants to break the circle of hate or become a part of it. 

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10 hours ago, Khal Rhaego Targaryen said:

Well, it's the starks... There must be some explanation of how the rituals of hanging innocent people's entrails on tree branches was something honorable

If access to magic was more common during previous age then it would have been necessary to sacrifice people just for survival. Or one either has to have access to magic or one could became victim of person who paid necessary price to have magic.

So I suspect that magic could have been like nukes. If one uses them against someone with their own nukes => total destruction of anyone + nuclear winter (long night). But not having them would mean being mercy of one who has nukes. Or someone with monopoly of nukes could made offers to others that they could not be able to refuse.

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10 hours ago, Khal Rhaego Targaryen said:

Well, it's the starks... There must be some explanation of how the rituals of hanging innocent people's entrails on tree branches was something honorable

That was not the Starks who did that I believe what your thinking of is some slaves they freed who decided to do that after King Brandon Ice Eye's freed them.  This was after retaking wolf's den from slavers in the Step Stones.

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On 10/8/2020 at 6:08 PM, Rondo said:

Bran was given a vision of one of his ancestors murdering a captive and feeding his blood to the Stark's weirwood tree.   So the Starks of old were practitioners of human sacrifice.  Is it possible that this practice only ended with the deaths of Rickard and Brandon Stark?  Ned was too young to inherit the family tradition.  

Possible, because Rickard and his heir died before they can pass on the ritual of human sacrifice to Ned.  Theon Stark the Hungry Wolf came from this family.  The Starks spilled a lot of blood to those trees.   The Old Gods are a hungry lot.

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1 hour ago, Loose Bolt said:

If access to magic was more common during previous age then it would have been necessary to sacrifice people just for survival. Or one either has to have access to magic or one could became victim of person who paid necessary price to have magic.

So I suspect that magic could have been like nukes. If one uses them against someone with their own nukes => total destruction of anyone + nuclear winter (long night). But not having them would mean being mercy of one who has nukes. Or someone with monopoly of nukes could made offers to others that they could not be able to refuse.

The Starks were playing the game of thrones.  Sure they wanted something like a nuclear weapon against the Warg King and the Boltons.  It wasn't done for survival.  The Starks did it because they wanted to become supreme in the north.  They were doing the same thing Euron is.  They believed it's the  "Gods" who gave them magic in return for serving the bloody dinner every night.  That is at least what they believed.  They lacked the science to understand genetics.  In truth, the Starks beat the rivals because they accidentally brought in the gene for skinchanging to the family.  But belief is powerful.  They believed the Weirs were giving them power so they kept killing people to make the trees flourish.  The family flourished as the trees did.  So the Stark power is built on the blood of their unfortunate captives.

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Didn't Ned behead people on a weirwood stump or am I misremembering  that?

Edited by Lord Lannister

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