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Black Crow

Heresy 233 A Walk on the White Sid[h]e

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

 If the WWs are powered by cold fire and they are tree spirits; 

I'm not sure that they are tree spirits. We've discussed before how magic is magic and its how its used that's important. That's why I think that while this particular trick may have originated in the trees - after all Mormont thinks Craster's sons are being given to "the wood", I'd be wary of assuming that they are controlled or even aligned with the wood and perhaps haven't been for hundreds or thousands of year.

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If the black shadow taken from Stannis's life-force is meant to be an example as to how shadows are created - and keeping in mind that fire consumes, but ice preserves - then the white shadow is more corporeal, but it still probably requires human life-force. I'm not convinced that infants are used though. I can't even see how that could infuse a white walker that, by all appearances, is full grown. The black shadow "looked" like Stannis. If infants are used then I would expect to see baby white shadows. :P

Perhaps the shadows are still drawn from living adults, but since its ice magic they are able to take an icy corporeal form? The humans that they were drawn from would remain living, but drained somewhat just like Stannis. And that might also be why Tormund's son was "sickly" and died.

Edited by Melifeather

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13 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I'm not sure that they are tree spirits. We've discussed before how magic is magic and its how its used that's important. That's why I think that while this particular trick may have originated in the trees - after all Mormont thinks Craster's sons are being given to "the wood", I'd be wary of assuming that they are controlled or even aligned with the wood and perhaps haven't been for hundreds or thousands of year.

I don't mean that they are spirits of the trees, but spirits trapped in the trees or housed in the trees.  That could by something akin to being a green man only these spirits or ghosts are powered by the cold fire rather than the green fire of the tree spirits inhabiting the Isle of the Gods.   It's when the cold fire reaches them that they can escape the trees.

I've been wondering what happened to Ned's ghost.  We know it was drawn back to crypts of Winterfell, but his bones are not there, there is no stone sarcophagus to hold him.  I think he went into the Winterfell heart tree where his memories have been accessed both by Arya and Jon.  Arya at Harrenhall when she hears her father's voice and Jon in his dreams:

Quote

 

A Storm of Swords - Jon VI

When the dreams took him, he found himself back home once more, splashing in the hot pools beneath a huge white weirwood that had his father's face. Ygritte was with him, laughing at him, shedding her skins till she was naked as her name day, trying to kiss him, but he couldn't, not with his father watching. He was the blood of Winterfell, a man of the Night's Watch. I will not father a bastard, he told her. I will not. I will not. "You know nothing, Jon Snow," she whispered, her skin dissolving in the hot water, the flesh beneath sloughing off her bones until only skull and skeleton remained, and the pool bubbled thick and red. 

 

I think Jon is accessing Ned's memory of Lyanna frolicking in the pool beneath the weirwood at Winterfell when Jon was conceived.   Something that Ned saw happen.  When the wolf blood got the better of her and led to her death and Jon's birth.  Ned boiled her bones and brought them back to Winterfell.  The dream is mixed with Jon's anxieties about being a bastard. nd his guilt about Ygritte.  Jon didn't boil Ygritte's bones, he burned them.

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

think Jon is accessing Ned's memory of Lyanna frolicking in the pool beneath the weirwood at Winterfell when Jon was conceived.   Something that Ned saw happen.

Could you elaborate on this please? I don't remember reading this. Thanks.

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On 10/19/2020 at 2:05 PM, LynnS said:

@lalt @Lady Sage @Brad Stark @Qhorin Quarterhand  Do you have any thoughts on the OP?  Love to hear from you. 

@LynnS Flattered for the "shout-out"/invite. I'm enjoying this discussion and have some percolating thoughts. I've always mused to myself about where did Sir Puddles' "essence" go to exactly after Sam dealt with him? When more validity arises from me, I'll definitely chime in... Cheers, Heretics :)

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4 hours ago, LadySage said:

@LynnS Flattered for the "shout-out"/invite. I'm enjoying this discussion and have some percolating thoughts. I've always mused to myself about where did Sir Puddles' "essence" go to exactly after Sam dealt with him? When more validity arises from me, I'll definitely chime in... Cheers, Heretics :)

The easy answer is that he woke up in the batcave muttering that the next time he met that fat kid it would be no more Mr. Nice Guy.

Seriously though, the way the ice crystals swirled off into the air after the spell was broken indicates that his spirit returned to the air and the real question is whether the spell can be recreated and by whom. Can Ser Puddles recast it himself ?

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5 hours ago, LadySage said:

@LynnS Flattered for the "shout-out"/invite. I'm enjoying this discussion and have some percolating thoughts. I've always mused to myself about where did Sir Puddles' "essence" go to exactly after Sam dealt with him? When more validity arises from me, I'll definitely chime in... Cheers, Heretics :)

Glad you are still with us in spirit!  I've wondered bout Ser Puddles as well.  Does plinking him with dragonglass destroy the soul within as well as break the spell holding ice and snow together; or does dragonglass just draw out the cold fire?  That is the question.

Have a great day!

  

Edited by LynnS

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2 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Seriously though, the way the ice crystals swirled off into the air after the spell was broken indicates that his spirit returned to the air and the real question is whether the spell can be recreated and by whom. Can Ser Puddles recast it himself ?

Yes, that's the question alright.

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18 hours ago, Melifeather said:

If the black shadow taken from Stannis's life-force is meant to be an example as to how shadows are created - and keeping in mind that fire consumes, but ice preserves - then the white shadow is more corporeal, but it still probably requires human life-force. I'm not convinced that infants are used though. I can't even see how that could infuse a white walker that, by all appearances, is full grown. The black shadow "looked" like Stannis. If infants are used then I would expect to see baby white shadows. :P

This has been a pretty longstanding question and I think that we have to accept what's written.

Mel's shadows were clearly Stannis. The conceiving of them drained his life force and he seems to have retained some sort of connection. They were also capable of momentary solidity [like Craster's sons] when Renly was killed and the Castellan tossed off the wall.

That same text is pretty explicit that the women were positive the White Walkers were indeed their sons, while Will up the Tree also recognised them as brothers.

They're equally not babies, but at the end of the days we're dealing with magic, and to paraphrase GRRM, magic doesn't follow rules because otherwise it wouldn't be magic.  :commie:

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19 hours ago, LynnS said:

A Storm of Swords - Jon VI

When the dreams took him, he found himself back home once more, splashing in the hot pools beneath a huge white weirwood that had his father's face. Ygritte was with him, laughing at him, shedding her skins till she was naked as her name day, trying to kiss him, but he couldn't, not with his father watching. He was the blood of Winterfell, a man of the Night's Watch. I will not father a bastard, he told her. I will not. I will not. "You know nothing, Jon Snow," she whispered, her skin dissolving in the hot water, the flesh beneath sloughing off her bones until only skull and skeleton remained, and the pool bubbled thick and red. 

 

14 hours ago, Travis said:

Could you elaborate on this please? I don't remember reading this. Thanks.

Nice to see you join in Travis.  Just spitballing here.  The question I'm asking myself is what happens to the souls who become WWs.  Do they float around in the air looking for a place to go as in Varamyr's pov?   At one point he says he goes into the trees. This includes going into the weirwood. He finally settles on a wolf.

I went off on a tangent about Ned;s ghost which seems to have been drawn back to the crypts of Winterfell where he talks to Bran and Rickon in a dream.  Telling Bran something disturbing about Jon.

One of my assumptions about the Starks is that they end up in the crypts,  if their bones are put in a stone sarcophagus and are warded with iron swords to keep them in their graves.  Lady Dustin seems to think this is the case, going so far as to say that if she comes across his bones, she'll feed them to her dogs. 

I question whether or not Ned's soul went into the Winterfell weirwood.  I think this is the case.  Like Bran, travelling the roots for the first time; he is immediately drawn to Winterfell heart tree.  So potentially, Ned's soul has been collected by the tree.  What does the soul contain if not memories?  

So I wonder if those memories can be accessed by those with the third eye.  Arya hears her father's voice at the Harrenhall godswood; the memory of something he told her and Jon has this strange dream of a weirwood with Ned's face.

The rest is my interpretation of the elements in the dream.  

Edited by LynnS

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I'm still not convinced that there's a direct relationship between the trees and the shadows. 

We have Bloodraven/Bran Blackwood obviously going into the tree and Bran Stark doomed to follow the same path unless he escapes. We've seen other men sacrificed to the trees - explicitly in Bran's vision and implicitly in the faces in the grove north of Castle Black. Mormont also assumes that Craster's sons are given to the wood.

However, this process seems to involve a physical transfer of the spirit, whether by spilling the blood of the sacrifice on to the external roots, or in the case of Bran Blackwood and potentially Bran Stark by enfolding them into the underground roots,

What if Craster's sons don't get "captured" by the trees but go free as Varamyr briefly did. Varamyr was eventually drawn into one of his hosts, but what if Craster's baby sons are wargs too young to have ever had a host.

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4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

That same text is pretty explicit that the women were positive the White Walkers were indeed their sons, while Will up the Tree also recognised them as brothers.

They're equally not babies, but at the end of the days we're dealing with magic, and to paraphrase GRRM, magic doesn't follow rules because otherwise it wouldn't be magic.  :commie:

I guess I'm nitpicking here, but "brother" isn't used to describe the white walkers, but "twins" are:

Quote

They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first. Three of them … four … five … Ser Waymar may have felt the cold that came with them, but he never saw them, never heard them. Will had to call out. It was his duty. And his death, if he did. He shivered, and hugged the tree, and kept the silence.

The word "brother" is frequently used to describe men bound by loyalty, for example "Band of Brothers". I'm sure when Will saw six white walkers he noted their similar icy armored forms, but didn't examine them long enough to detect any facial differences - if there were any. And if the white shadows were drawn from different people, how could you recognize them if you didn't know the people previously?

2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

What if Craster's sons don't get "captured" by the trees but go free as Varamyr briefly did. Varamyr was eventually drawn into one of his hosts, but what if Craster's baby sons are wargs too young to have ever had a host.

I think the text has provided the "rules" per se, that skinchangers create bonds with their hosts. Varamyr's spirit floated on the wind until he was drawn into One Eye. Varamyr didn't have any control over where he went once his own body died. It was only his previous connection to One Eye that anchored his spirit.  How would Craster's sons - untrained, un-bonded and unanchored, and certainly underdeveloped mentally - have any control?

Edited by Melifeather

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

What if Craster's sons don't get "captured" by the trees but go free as Varamyr briefly did. Varamyr was eventually drawn into one of his hosts, but what if Craster's baby sons are wargs too young to have ever had a host.

I'm not sure why it's important that the souls are free-floating.  I think what animates them is the cold fire from the heart of winter in the north.  I think it's possible that the trees in the piney woods, the sentinels and soldier pines are affected or changed by the weirwood to collect souls; who are freed and change into the WW's when the killing cold arrives.   I think when the men of the Watch say the old power of waking and the trees have eyes again; that they are not talking about the weirwood specifically, but the Haunted Forest in general.  

Then again the WWs may be invisible fitted with their mirror armor, unless they move.  So it could feel like the trees have eyes if you are tuned into differences or changes in the wood.

 

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Some interesting passages on ice crystals:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Jon VII

He found Ygritte sprawled across a patch of old snow beneath the Lord Commander's Tower, with an arrow between her breasts. The ice crystals had settled over her face, and in the moonlight it looked as though she wore a glittering silver mask.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon III

He woke to the sight of his own breath misting in the cold morning air. When he moved, his bones ached. Ghost was gone, the fire burnt out. Jon reached to pull aside the cloak he'd hung over the rock, and found it stiff and frozen. He crept beneath it and stood up in a forest turned to crystal.

 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VII

The sun had broken through near midday, after seven days of dark skies and snow flurries. Some of the drifts were higher than a man, but the stewards had been shoveling all day and the paths were as clean as they were like to get. Reflections glimmered off the Wall, every crack and crevice glittering pale blue.

Seven hundred feet up, Jon Snow stood looking down upon the haunted forest. A north wind swirled through the trees below, sending thin white plumes of snow crystals flying from the highest branches, like icy banners. Elsewise nothing moved. Not a sign of life. That was not entirely reassuring. It was not the living that he feared. Even so …

 

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

I guess I'm nitpicking here, but "brother" isn't used to describe the white walkers, but "twins" are:

Brothers is used by Craster's wives - see my signature block below

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1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

I think the text has provided the "rules" per se, that skinchangers create bonds with their hosts. Varamyr's spirit floated on the wind until he was drawn into One Eye. Varamyr didn't have any control over where he went once his own body died. It was only his previous connection to One Eye that anchored his spirit.  How would Craster's sons - untrained, un-bonded and unanchored, and certainly underdeveloped mentally - have any control?

I'm sure that will come out in the end, but after all we're dealing with magic and "spirits of the air". 

The whole point of the Varamyr example is that while he did indeed fly free, in the end he was pulled into one of his old hosts. Craster's sons don't have hosts to bind them - but they do have brothers to collect and guide them

 

Edited by Black Crow

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2 hours ago, Melifeather said:

 How would Craster's sons - untrained, un-bonded and unanchored, and certainly underdeveloped mentally - have any control?

I agree.  That's the problem with sacrificing infants.  I think they have to grow up a bit to fight with ice swords and learn the old tongue.

In the prologue of GoT;  I had the sense that the fight between Waymar and the White Walker was instruction or a kind of demonstration on the use of the ice sword.  The WW seems to mock and laugh at Waymar.  That gives the impression of individuality.  They are described as twins only because they have a mask of ice over their faces. 

Since Craster's women didn't go to the Wall; where did they go?  I think there are many secret underground places they could go if they no longer reside at Craster's Keep or Whitetree.  Perhaps it is the mothers who have the protection of the WWs rather than Craster. 

I think the brothers have to grow up a bit before they are sacrificed or transformed.  

 

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39 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Brothers is used by Craster's wives - see my signature block below

I was responding to your claim that Will called them brothers. We have no evidence that Craster's wives even saw them.

Edited by Melifeather

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1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

I was responding to your claim that Will called them brothers. We have no evidence that Craster's wives even saw them.

I would have said that "...twins to the first. Three of them … four … five …" fits the bill, while as to Craster's wives, Gilly has "seen them" and its pretty obvious from "“The boy’s brothers,” said the old woman on the left. “Craster’s sons. The white cold’s rising out there, crow. I can feel it in my bones. These poor old bones don’t lie. They’ll be here soon, the sons.” that they other women have too.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I agree.  That's the problem with sacrificing infants.  I think they have to grow up a bit to fight with ice swords and learn the old tongue.

In the prologue of GoT;  I had the sense that the fight between Waymar and the White Walker was instruction or a kind of demonstration on the use of the ice sword.  The WW seems to mock and laugh at Waymar.  That gives the impression of individuality.  They are described as twins only because they have a mask of ice over their faces. 

Since Craster's women didn't go to the Wall; where did they go?  I think there are many secret underground places they could go if they no longer reside at Craster's Keep or Whitetree.  Perhaps it is the mothers who have the protection of the WWs rather than Craster. 

I think the brothers have to grow up a bit before they are sacrificed or transformed.  

 

Well, as I said , they do have their brothers to collect and guide them, and I've also commented before on the childlike behaviour of the gang scragging Ser Waymar and how GRRM has referenced a fascination with child soldiers

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