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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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"No man is as cursed as the kinslayer, in the eyes of gods and men." This has always seemed to folksy to not be literal, what we know of greenseers. Also, if anyone wouldn't want to murder their own kin, it would be people who follow a magic/religion that can see what is happening most, if not all, places in the world.

So if anyone, Stark or otherwise, sacrifices any relative, they get a someone else to do the deed, a priest or priestess. No reason to think there aren't holy people in the Weirwood religion that aren't greenseers.

Woman with the white hair in Bran's vision could fit that role.

Also, woman with the white hair in Bran's vision seems a heck of a lot like Val, of any character in the books.

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On 10/29/2020 at 7:41 PM, Ser Leftwich said:

Also, woman with the white hair in Bran's vision seems a heck of a lot like Val, of any character in the books.

I’m not sure I follow... we are not given much of a description for the old woman in Bran’s vision. Why do you think she looks like Val? 

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On 10/10/2020 at 3:47 AM, Roswell said:

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. 

Bran never had any illusions regarding the Starks. In the chapter he dreamed that Ned was dead and went into the crypts he basically says that some of the Starks had done good and horrible things but were still Starks. Bran knows who his family is. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 9:24 PM, 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

Could it be the Stark's way of making sausage :D

Quote

 

And now the lords Bran glimpsed were tall and hard, stern men in fur and chain mail.  Some wore faces he remembered from the statues in the crypts.

 

Bran was watching his ancestors.  Starks.  His ancestors were performing a human sacrifice.  

 

 

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On 10/14/2020 at 8:39 PM, Jeeves said:

The Starks were servants of the Greenseers who calls out to them in dreams to phone in their dinner orders.  All the Starks heard was "make mine moist and fresh".

Uber eats for the greenseers and the trees. 

Quote

The woman grabbed the captive by the hair, hooked the sickle round his throat, and slashed.  And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man's feet drummed against the earth . . . but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

Given Bran's vision of his ancestor killing a captive, how horrible were the Starks of old?  They were very violent and blood-thirsty people. 

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All people in that period would be pretty hard and have some traditions that would be considered "barbaric" in modern Westeros. Starks would be no exception. But then, no one would. 

On subject of unwanted babies, babies only become unwanted and unconvenient, ironically, in "civilized" society. Or if there is no food to feed them. Even in early Christian days, before Church's control grew, having children out of wedlock was considered totally normal, a sign that young people in question are fertile. For peasants children are working hands, free workforce. 

Edited by Rara Avis

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19 hours ago, Rara Avis said:

All people in that period would be pretty hard and have some traditions that would be considered "barbaric" in modern Westeros. Starks would be no exception. But then, no one would. 

On subject of unwanted babies, babies only become unwanted and unconvenient, ironically, in "civilized" society. Or if there is no food to feed them. Even in early Christian days, before Church's control grew, having children out of wedlock was considered totally normal, a sign that young people in question are fertile. For peasants children are working hands, free workforce. 

Or more mouths to feed. I have seen firsthand many illiterate peasants do the same mistake (that is, beget more) in India and a couple other Asian nations.

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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.  

Human sacrifice was widely practiced by the First Men.  The ones who worshiped the Old Gods.  It's not unlike the mass sacrifices of the mesoamerican people like the Olmecs.  The Starks being one of the powerful first men clans, they must have had the most enthusiasm for this custom.  They got rid of people they didn't like. 

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3 hours ago, Khal Rhaego Targaryen said:

If there's one thing I don't rule out too it's the starks practicing cannibalism 

During long winters those who ate another humans survived longer than those who did not do that. So chances are very high that Starks did do that when winters lasted too long and they run out of any another food source.

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@Curled Finger, you said that the OP/title had a valid question. But now look where it has gone. I was right in the end after all. Just one of the other million Stark hate threads. Not just the Starks, but everything and evryone associated with it. North, Wall, Jon, direwolves etc. Cant expect anything better. BS spouting like anything

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21 hours ago, Khal Rhaego Targaryen said:

If there's one thing I don't rule out too it's the starks practicing cannibalism 

Cannibalism has already started among the soldiers brought north by Stannis.  The Head Cannibal right now is Manderly.  Bran has already tasted corrupted flesh while he was inside his wolf.  It won't be long now before he starts tasting Jojen and Meera.  The other Starks will follow. 

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18 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

During long winters those who ate another humans survived longer than those who did not do that. So chances are very high that Starks did do that when winters lasted too long and they run out of any another food source.

That's true but also maybe they liked doing it.  It was a ritual like that human sacrifice in Bran's dream.  They just fed the tree, why not have a feast themselves. 

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On 11/4/2020 at 11:42 PM, TheLastWolf said:

@Curled Finger, you said that the OP/title had a valid question. But now look where it has gone. I was right in the end after all. Just one of the other million Stark hate threads. Not just the Starks, but everything and evryone associated with it. North, Wall, Jon, direwolves etc. Cant expect anything better. BS spouting like anything

Even though you're absolutely right and the degradation of the topic is obvious, patience is important in all conversations.   I'm standing behind the original statement, it was a valid question.  It's the replies that derailed a topic that had the potential to become a really good conversation.  All we can do is try to have good conversations.  I'm not afraid of haters.   They always show their small minded truths.  Next.  

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On 11/5/2020 at 3:42 AM, TheLastWolf said:

@Curled Finger, you said that the OP/title had a valid question. But now look where it has gone. I was right in the end after all. Just one of the other million Stark hate threads. Not just the Starks, but everything and evryone associated with it. North, Wall, Jon, direwolves etc. Cant expect anything better. BS spouting like anything

 

1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

Even though you're absolutely right and the degradation of the topic is obvious, patience is important in all conversations.   I'm standing behind the original statement, it was a valid question.  It's the replies that derailed a topic that had the potential to become a really good conversation.  All we can do is try to have good conversations.  I'm not afraid of haters.   They always show their small minded truths.  Next.  

 

TBH it started kinda corruptly, while I agree it's an interesting topic, and the Starks of old were in all likelihood savaged for our standards, a lot of people in the thread were really quick to ignore any question about whether the people in the visions were Starks or not and about the actual horribleness of the act (executing prisoners is common in present day Westeros)

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5 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

TBH it started kinda corruptly, while I agree it's an interesting topic, and the Starks of old were in all likelihood savaged for our standards, a lot of people in the thread were really quick to ignore any question about whether the people in the visions were Starks or not and about the actual horribleness of the act (executing prisoners is common in present day Westeros)

Yah, sadly that is how it often works.  The history of the North and all it's people screams to be explored.  How will we figure out the Others if we don't make serious close inspection of this fascinating place so important to the overall story?  

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On 11/6/2020 at 12:56 PM, CamiloRP said:

 

 

 

TBH it started kinda corruptly, while I agree it's an interesting topic, and the Starks of old were in all likelihood savaged for our standards, a lot of people in the thread were really quick to ignore any question about whether the people in the visions were Starks or not and about the actual horribleness of the act (executing prisoners is common in present day Westeros)

I knew this particular thread was headed for tinfoil Stark hate when commentors started speculating that Ned's father and brother were secretly sacrificing people. Whatever. Can folks at least find text based reasons to support their arguments? Or just let GRRM tell his story the way he decides to tell it? There's a lot we don't know know about the ancient First Men and the Stark ancestors. It seems kind of early to jump to conclusions about how savage they were.

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On 11/5/2020 at 7:11 PM, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

Cannibalism has already started among the soldiers brought north by Stannis.  The Head Cannibal right now is Manderly.  Bran has already tasted corrupted flesh while he was inside his wolf.  It won't be long now before he starts tasting Jojen and Meera.  The other Starks will follow. 

This is how the direwolves and the ravens will outlast the other inhabitants of the north.  By eating the dead.  So yes, I agree.  

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On 10/28/2020 at 2:33 PM, kissdbyfire said:

Yes, it makes sense. We even have this bit below.

TWoIaF, The North

“The men of the North are descendants of the First Men, their blood only slowly mingling with that of the Andals who overwhelmed the kingdoms to the south. The original language of the First Men—known as the Old Tongue—has come to be spoken only by the wildlings beyond the Wall, and many other aspects of their culture have faded away (such as the grislier aspects of their worship, when criminals and traitors were killed and their bodies and entrails hung from the branches of weirwoods.)”

So, it seems this was a common way for the First Men of old to execute criminals and traitors, and the text also indicates the custom has “faded away”.

Uuugh, I've screwed up the quoting thingy. :-(

Anyway, this from TWOIAF seems to indicate that human sacrafice to weirwood trees was a common FM practice but has "faded away" over the millenia.

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17 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

I knew this particular thread was headed for tinfoil Stark hate when commentors started speculating that Ned's father and brother were secretly sacrificing people. Whatever. Can folks at least find text based reasons to support their arguments? Or just let GRRM tell his story the way he decides to tell it? There's a lot we don't know know about the ancient First Men and the Stark ancestors. It seems kind of early to jump to conclusions about how savage they were.

We do not really know all the rules how Planetos really works. So there is a possibility that human sacrifices would have been vital for some reason. For instance the reason why WW are active and another Long Night is coming could be lack of "fuel" (blood/souls) that powered spells that kept those phenomena away. So there actually might have been very good reasons why Starks sacrificed people.

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