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Black Crow

Heresy 234 and the coming of Winter

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10 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Do you really believe the show ending will be the book ending?

Whaaaa?  I think you missed part of the conversation.  I think it's likely Martin had to tell D&D something.  But he was never going to spoil his own book by giving them details.  Potentially they got stuff like: Viserion is killed or Jon will kill Dany.  He is not going to tell anyone how this comes about or why.  Of course, they would ask who would be king.  But in this story, we are not just talking about the iron throne.  Martin is still as cryptic as he wants to be.

I'm sure we'll get a bittersweet ending, but not before Dark Aragorn slays the Princess, instead of marrying her.

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10 hours ago, SFDanny said:

Do you really believe the show ending will be the book ending? George has always said he looked to JRRT's "bittersweet" ending as his model. The show's ending is just simple crap. Nothing to do with the characters Martin has given us. I don't think we have anything like a happily ever after tale in the offing, but the ending will be tied to the story we have read already. Not some tragedy for the sake of unexplainable twists at the end.

Now, it is always possible Martin won't finish his books - but like most fans I'm hoping he lives a very long life and does finish - and if he does finish, I expect almost anything but the show's ending to his story.

No, the mummers claimed that GRRM had been compelled to reveal the endings to some of the principals' story arcs in that conference in Santa Fe, but the reason why the ending of their version was such a mess is that he didn't/couldn't/wouldn't tell them how those endings came about. As I said, Bran the Blessed Crow as High King makes perfect sense in terms of the Mabinogion, but without that context the mummers version gets it spectacularly wrong

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49 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

As I said, Bran the Blessed Crow as High King makes perfect sense in terms of the Mabinogion, but without that context the mummers version gets it spectacularly wrong

I like Tucu's take that Bran will also become a version of the Grey King with Theon as his prophet.

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

Whaaaa?  I think you missed part of the conversation.  I think it's likely Martin had to tell D&D something.  But he was never going to spoil his own book by giving them details.  Potentially they got stuff like: Viserion is killed or Jon will kill Dany.  He is not going to tell anyone how this comes about or why.  Of course, they would ask who would be king.  But in this story, we are not just talking about the iron throne.  Martin is still as cryptic as he wants to be.

I'm sure we'll get a bittersweet ending, but not before Dark Aragorn slays the Princess, instead of marrying her.

Entirely possible. Even likely. I was responding to one post - always a dangerous thing to do. I understand @Black Crow's position much better with his response to my question. Thanks to both of you for your responses

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On 2/19/2021 at 8:04 PM, LynnS said:

I don't think they will be getting together in regular sense of, well... getting together..  I do see a confrontation where mutual destruction is the outcome.  Something that also takes down the Wall.  

I have been running some searches for clues on the magical sword and soul of ice and the thread pulling took me to odd places.

To start we have the image of the Wall as a sword made of ice:

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He had once heard his uncle Benjen say that the Wall was a sword east of Castle Black, but a snake to the west

We also get the idea of magic being an uncontrollable sword:

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We free folk know things you kneelers have forgotten. Sometimes the short road is not the safest, Jon Snow. The Horned Lord once said that sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it.

Then the searches took me to the Fourteen Flames and their hearts of fire:

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A handful of maesters, influenced by fragments of the work of Septon Barth, hold that Valyria had used spells to tame the Fourteen Flames for thousands of years, that their ceaseless hunger for slaves and wealth was as much to sustain these spells as to expand their power, and that when at last those spells faltered, the cataclysm became inevitable.

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Most mines are dank and chilly places, cut from cold dead stone, but the Fourteen Flames were living mountains with veins of molten rock and hearts of fire

From these two quotes we could interpret that the Fourteen Flames had hearts of fire and were fed slaves to sustain the spells to control them.

From the Fourteen Flames we can jump to the Heart of Winter (its mirror):

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And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.

Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.

Because winter is coming.

Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

This is another place were a terrible uncontrolled magic event happened.

Now some snippets with facts about the Wall and the NW.

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I have dreamed of your Wall, Jon Snow. Great was the lore that raised it, and great the spells locked beneath its ice. We walk beneath one of the hinges of the world

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"You know nothing, Jon Snow. This wall is made o' blood."

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The children of the forest used to give the Night's Watch a hundred obsidian daggers every year

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each Lord Commander raised the Wall higher than he found it

The Wall contains spells and maybe was fed the blood of captives (or members of the NW) and it grew bigger as time passed. Was the blood used to control and strengthen the spells like in the Fourteen Flames? Is the Wall there to contain the disaster that surrounds the Heart of Winter?

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If the Wall should ever fall, all the fires will go out

 

Edited by Tucu

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:04 AM, Black Crow said:

No, the mummers claimed that GRRM had been compelled to reveal the endings to some of the principals' story arcs in that conference in Santa Fe, but the reason why the ending of their version was such a mess is that he didn't/couldn't/wouldn't tell them how those endings came about. As I said, Bran the Blessed Crow as High King makes perfect sense in terms of the Mabinogion, but without that context the mummers version gets it spectacularly wrong

Or the HBO show couldn't do a proper lead up to the proper ending because they had not laid the groundwork to do so.  For example, there is no Val, and there is no Young Griff in the HBO show.  Val and Young Griff seem to be fairly important characters going forward to the book's plot.  So my guess is show characters have had to pull double duty.  Hence we get Jon/Aegon and his love interest Dany/Val.

Which would explain why the characters kept hopping back and forth from Dragonstone to the North.

It's also highly possible that George's ending doesn't lend itself to fan service very well.  And D&D seem all about fan service.  So if, god forbid, George never planned for a romance between Dany and Jon, we can't have that.  So we have to create a romance between Jon and Dany, because that's what the fans are expecting.

 

Edited by Frey family reunion

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On 2/22/2021 at 3:37 PM, Tucu said:

Most mines are dank and chilly places, cut from cold dead stone, but the Fourteen Flames were living mountains with veins of molten rock and hearts of fire

This is the best candidate so far for the other hinge of the world. Geologically, the fourteen volcanos have one source. 

This is the fiery heart (or fiery hart) of Stannis' banner.  You can substitute the hart/stag with a man and you would have the man wreathed in flame from Dany's vision.  Or the stag joined with the heart of fire or him of fire to quote Jaqen.  I think Dany dreams of him of fire as the singing dragon.

File:House Baratheon (Dragonstone).svg - A Wiki of Ice and Fire (westeros.org)

On 2/22/2021 at 3:37 PM, Tucu said:

And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.

Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.

Because winter is coming.

Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

I think we are getting into what the third eyes sees.  Bran sees only the bones of dreamers impaled by ice and not the bodies which should be preserved by the ice, but are like Bran, elsewhere.  Dreamers are greenseers who fail to fly or cross a barrier.  The bones are the memories of the soul according to the Damphair.  I think these souls trapped by ice are the best candidates for the white walkers travelling on the cold winds and ice made into flesh.  

Looking into the heart of something is akin to looking into the mind or soul.  If the heart of Winter has veins; what are they connected to?  The Wall and Winterfell is my guess.

Edit: Another analogue to the heart and arteries of the fiery hinge would be the wiernet and it's root system.  Does it contain the memories and souls of those impaled by ice? 

On 2/22/2021 at 3:37 PM, Tucu said:

He had once heard his uncle Benjen say that the Wall was a sword east of Castle Black, but a snake to the west

Yes sorcery is a sword without a hilt, difficult to grasp according, to the Horned Lord.  Mel suggests that the power of the Wall can be used and like the fourteen flames;  it can end in cataclysm.    

Edited by LynnS

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On 2/22/2021 at 3:37 PM, Tucu said:

"You know nothing, Jon Snow. This wall is made o' blood."

Quote

 

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

They spent half the day poking through the castle. Some of the towers had fallen down and others looked unsafe, but they climbed the bell tower (the bells were gone) and the rookery (the birds were gone). Beneath the brewhouse they found a vault of huge oaken casks that boomed hollowly when Hodor knocked on them. They found a library (the shelves and bins had collapsed, the books were gone, and rats were everywhere). They found a dank and dim-lit dungeon with cells enough to hold five hundred captives, but when Bran grabbed hold of one of the rusted bars it broke off in his hand. Only one crumbling wall remained of the great hall, the bathhouse seemed to be sinking into the ground, and a huge thornbush had conquered the practice yard outside the armory where black brothers had once labored with spear and shield and sword. The armory and the forge still stood, however, though cobwebs, rats, and dust had taken the places of blades, bellows, and anvil. Sometimes Summer would hear sounds that Bran seemed deaf to, or bare his teeth at nothing, the fur on the back of his neck bristling . . . but the Rat Cook never put in an appearance, nor the seventy-nine sentinels, nor Mad Axe. Bran was much relieved. Maybe it is only a ruined empty castle.

 

Why does the Nightfort have dungeon that would hold 500 captives?  This suggests slave labor to me.  How many other abandoned forts have dungeons?  Slavery is outlawed, so that leaves the gaols of Westeros and the wildling population.  I imagine quite a few prisoners died in the building of the Wall.  

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20 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

So we have to create a romance between Jon and Dany, because that's what the fans are expecting.

I also found it curious that they never referred to Bloodraven as the three eyed crow.  They opted for three eyed raven for some reason.  I think it likely that they asked about the 3EC.   

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

This is the best candidate so far for the other hinge of the world. Geologically, the fourteen volcanos have one source. 

This is the fiery heart (or fiery hart) of Stannis' banner.  You can substitute the hart/stag with a man and you would have the man wreathed in flame from Dany's vision.  Or the stag joined with the heart of fire or him of fire to quote Jaqen.  I think Dany dreams of him of fire as the singing dragon.

File:House Baratheon (Dragonstone).svg - A Wiki of Ice and Fire (westeros.org)

I think we are getting into what the third eyes sees.  Bran sees only the bones of dreamers impaled by ice and not the bodies which should be preserved by the ice, but are like Bran, elsewhere.  Dreamers are greenseers who fail to fly or cross a barrier.  The bones are the memories of the soul according to the Damphair.  I think these souls trapped by ice are the best candidates for the white walkers travelling on the cold winds and ice made into flesh.  

Looking into the heart of something is akin to looking into the mind or soul.  If the heart of Winter has veins; what are they connected to?  The Wall and Winterfell is my guess.

Edit: Another analogue to the heart and arteries of the fiery hinge would be the wiernet and it's root system.  Does it contain the memories and souls of those impaled by ice?

Curiously we have Bran looking into the Heart of Winter (and living) while we get a warning about mortal men looking into the Fourteen Flames from Moqorro:

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"Fourteen or fourteen thousand. What man dares count them? It is not wise for mortals to look too deeply at those fires, my friend. Those are the fires of god's own wrath, and no human flame can match them. We are small creatures, men."

 

2 hours ago, LynnS said:

Yes sorcery is a sword without a hilt, difficult to grasp according, to the Horned Lord.  Mel suggests that the power of the Wall can be used and like the fourteen flames;  it can end in cataclysm.    

It will be funny if Mel causes the ice cataclysm by weakening the Wall in her pursue of bringing back his fire champion Azor Ahai

2 hours ago, LynnS said:

Why does the Nightfort have dungeon that would hold 500 captives?  This suggests slave labor to me.  How many other abandoned forts have dungeons?  Slavery is outlawed, so that leaves the gaols of Westeros and the wildling population.  I imagine quite a few prisoners died in the building of the Wall.  

This one goes into my "Wow, I never noticed that" list. First Men used to practice thraldom like the current Ironborn. When Tormund gives Jon the hostages he says: 

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 "Your blood price, Lord Crow," Tormund declared. "I hope the wailing o' their poor mothers don't haunt your dreams at night."

Then we get a parallel to the Nightfort's dungeon in Meereen's new dragon pit:

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The Great Masters had used the pit as a prison. It was large enough to hold five hundred men … and more than ample for two dragons

 

Edited by Tucu

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9 minutes ago, Tucu said:

This one goes into my "Wow, I never noticed that" list. First Men used to practice thraldom like the current Ironborn. When Tormund gives Jon the hostages he says: 

Or the Andals when they took over the Night Watch.  Nice catch on Jon's blood price.  

Moqorro's warning could also be about using magic beyond one's abilities.

Melisandre almost self-immolates when she stretches beyond her abilities at Mance/Rattleshirt's burning.  She is glamoring Rattleshirt, Mance, the great horn and Stannis' sword, all connected to her and she seems to be channeling the power of the Wall.  She's relived that Jon killed Rattleshirt before she went up in flames herself.

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

Stannis Baratheon drew Lightbringer.

The sword glowed red and yellow and orange, alive with light. Jon had seen the show before … but not like this, never before like this. Lightbringer was the sun made steel. When Stannis raised the blade above his head, men had to turn their heads or cover their eyes. Horses shied, and one threw his rider. The blaze in the fire pit seemed to shrink before this storm of light, like a small dog cowering before a larger one. The Wall itself turned red and pink and orange, as waves of color danced across the ice. Is this the power of king's blood?

 

I think too much power was being drawn from the fourteen flames and that ended in a cataclysm.  

 

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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15 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Or the Andals when they took over the Night Watch.  Nice catch on Jon's blood price. 

Continuing with the "blood" and "500" keywords we get this quote from Tyrion (that comes directly after the Moqorro quote I used before):

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"Some smaller than others." Valyria. It was written that on the day of Doom every hill for five hundred miles had split asunder to fill the air with ash and smoke and fire, blazes so hot and hungry that even the dragons in the sky were engulfed and consumed. Great rents had opened in the earth, swallowing palaces, temples, entire towns. Lakes boiled or turned to acid, mountains burst, fiery fountains spewed molten rock a thousand feet into the air, red clouds rained down dragonglass and the black blood of demons, and to the north the ground splintered and collapsed and fell in on itself and an angry sea came rushing in. The proudest city in all the world was gone in an instant, its fabled empire vanished in a day, the Lands of the Long Summer scorched and drowned and blighted.

An empire built on blood and fire. The Valyrians reaped the seed they had sown. "Does our captain mean to test the curse?"

 

Edited by Tucu

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5 minutes ago, Tucu said:

An empire built on blood and fire. The Valyrians reaped the seed they had sown. "Does our captain mean to test the curse?"

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Samwell V

"What feeds the flame?" asked Sam.

"What feeds a dragon's fire?" Marwyn seated himself upon a stool. "All Valyrian sorcery was rooted in blood or fire. The sorcerers of the Freehold could see across mountains, seas, and deserts with one of these glass candles. They could enter a man's dreams and give him visions, and speak to one another half a world apart, seated before their candles. Do you think that might be useful, Slayer?"

"We would have no more need of ravens."

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A Clash of Kings - Daenerys III

"Half a year gone, that man could scarcely wake fire from dragonglass. He had some small skill with powders and wildfire, sufficient to entrance a crowd while his cutpurses did their work. He could walk across hot coals and make burning roses bloom in the air, but he could no more aspire to climb the fiery ladder than a common fisherman could hope to catch a kraken in his nets."

 

This interesting because Sam notices that the brazier gives off the smell of something burned.  So blood and fire to wake the glass candles or dragonglass.  Marwyn practices valyrian magic.  Mel uses it to see into the fires.

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

This interesting because Sam notices that the brazier gives off the smell of something burned.  So blood and fire to wake the glass candles or dragonglass.  Marwyn practices valyrian magic.  Mel uses it to see into the fires.

Given the parallels between the ice and fire cataclysms, are the Starks exiled magnars of ice? Bear with me...

First we have some elemental lords: the Magnar of Skagos are stoneborn lords, the Magnar of Thenn sound like tin lords and the most powerful nobles of Valyria were dragonlords.

Then we have the parallels between the "empire built on blood and fire" and a possible empire built on blood and ice:

Ancient source of power: blood and fire -> blood and ice

Ancient place of power: Fourteen Flames -> Heart of Winter ("frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell"?)

Ancient realm: Land of the Long Summer -> Lands of Always Winter

Cataclysm that they caused: Doom of Valyria -> Long Night

Status of ancient realm: scorched, drowned and blighted wasteland -> frozen wasteland

Beings created by the cataclysm:  demons and the things that attacked Aerea and Balerion -> white walkers and wights

Ancient titles: Dragonlords -> Magnar of Ice (maybe)

Exiled family: Targaryen -> Stark (maybe)

Place of exile: Dragonstone -> Winterfell

New realm conquered after cataclysm: Seven Kingdoms -> the North

New title after cataclysm: Lord of the Seven Kingdoms (and others) -> King of Winter (probably Magnar of Winter before the Andals)

Current situation: deposed and trying to rebuild their power -> same

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, LynnS said:

Why does the Nightfort have dungeon that would hold 500 captives?  This suggests slave labor to me.  How many other abandoned forts have dungeons?  Slavery is outlawed, so that leaves the gaols of Westeros and the wildling population.  I imagine quite a few prisoners died in the building of the Wall.  

I don't think there's anything sinister in this. We're told how kings and prisoners taken in battle were sent north to join the Watch. Presumably they were marched north in a body under guard to the Nightfort, and then parcelled out in smaller parties to the smaller forts for integration

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

Given the parallels between the ice and fire cataclysms, are the Starks exiled magnars of ice? Bear with me...

First we have some elemental lords: the Magnar of Skagos are stoneborn lords, the Magnar of Thenn sound like tin lords and the most powerful nobles of Valyria were dragonlords.

Then we have the parallels between the "empire built on blood and fire" and a possible empire built on blood and ice:

Ancient source of power: blood and fire -> blood and ice

Ancient place of power: Fourteen Flames -> Heart of Winter ("frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell"?)

Ancient realm: Land of the Long Summer -> Lands of Always Winter

Cataclysm that they caused: Doom of Valyria -> Long Night

Status of ancient realm: scorched, drowned and blighted wasteland -> frozen wasteland

Beings created by the cataclysm:  demons and the things that attacked Aerea and Balerion -> white walkers and wights

Ancient titles: Dragonlords -> Magnar of Ice (maybe)

Exiled family: Targaryen -> Stark (maybe)

Place of exile: Dragonstone -> Winterfell

New realm conquered after cataclysm: Seven Kingdoms -> the North

New title after cataclysm: Lord of the Seven Kingdoms (and others) -> King of Winter (probably Magnar of Winter before the Andals)

Current situation: deposed and trying to rebuild their power -> same

 

 

 

Sounds about right

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Some further thoughts on the Starks as exiled icelords.

This is Old Nan's tale about the Last Hero:

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So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched, until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the Others smelled the hot blood in him, and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds—”

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All Bran could think of was Old Nan’s story of the Others and the last hero, hounded through the white woods by dead men and spiders big as hounds. He was afraid for a moment, until he remembered how that story ended. “The children will help him,” he blurted, “the children of the forest!”

I used to think that the Last Hero was a proto-Stark living around Winterfell and his failure to find the CoTF was due to them hiding from men. But if he was a refugee heading south running away from the cold it would explain why it took him so long to find the children.

Then we have the description of the exile of House Manderly that has some nice wordplay and parallels with the tale of the Last Hero:

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I know about the promise ... Maester Theomore, tell them! A thousand years before the Conquest, a promise was made, and oaths were sworn in the Wolf's Den before the old gods and the new. When we were sore beset and friendless, hounded from our homes and in peril of our lives, the wolves took us in and nourished us and protected us against our enemies. The city is built upon the land they gave us. In return we swore that we should always be their men. Stark men!

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Wylla. Did you see how brave she was? Even when I threatened to have her tongue out, she reminded me of the debt White Harbor owes to the Starks of Winterfell, a debt that can never be repaid.

So the Manderlys were also exiles; they were hounded from their homes until the wolves took them and protected them; in return the Manderlys became Stark men forever.

Is this parallel pointing towards the idea that the Starks as descendants of the Last Hero have a debt that can never be repaid? Is this why "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell"? Is the debt owed to the CoTF or to the direwolves?

Edited by Tucu

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11 hours ago, Tucu said:

Some further thoughts on the Starks as exiled icelords.

This is Old Nan's tale about the Last Hero:

I used to think that the Last Hero was a proto-Stark living around Winterfell and his failure to find the CoTF was due to them hiding from men. But if he was a refugee heading south running away from the cold it would explain why it took him so long to find the children.

Then we have the description of the exile of House Manderly that has some nice wordplay and parallels with the tale of the Last Hero:

So the Manderlys were also exiles; they were hounded from their homes until the wolves took them and protected them; in return the Manderlys became Stark men forever.

Is this parallel pointing towards the idea that the Starks as descendants of the Last Hero have a debt that can never be repaid? Is this why "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell"? Is the debt owed to the CoTF or to the direwolves?

Yes, there is clearly some kind of pact involved and in the nature of the Musgrave ritual, its been forgotten. Or rather the Starks have forgotten why they must hold Winterfell - and the consequences of losing it.

The debt may be owed to the Children, but I'd be inclined to see the direwolves as guardians/enforcers rather than masters

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13 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Yes, there is clearly some kind of pact involved and in the nature of the Musgrave ritual, its been forgotten. Or rather the Starks have forgotten why they must hold Winterfell - and the consequences of losing it.

The debt may be owed to the Children, but I'd be inclined to see the direwolves as guardians/enforcers rather than masters

The last hero loses his dog, too, doesn't he? 

And maybe the children help him by giving him a direwolf (and bonding him to it?)?

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14 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Yes, there is clearly some kind of pact involved and in the nature of the Musgrave ritual, its been forgotten. Or rather the Starks have forgotten why they must hold Winterfell - and the consequences of losing it.

The debt may be owed to the Children, but I'd be inclined to see the direwolves as guardians/enforcers rather than masters

Here is some rather long thread pulling starting with the idea of the Starks being bound to Winterfell by some oath, promise or pact of which they can't remember the details...but the trees probably do:

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Men forget. Only the trees remember.

First some small details about Jon Connington to keep in mind for later: he is an exiled lord that is turning into stone. The stone men from the Surrows are victims of Garin's curse (probably a large size magical event)

Jojen is sent by the crow to break the grey stone chains that bind Bran

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"I dreamed of a winged wolf bound to earth with grey stone chains," he said. "It was a green dream, so I knew it was true. A crow was trying to peck through the chains, but the stone was too hard and his beak could only chip at them."

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You are the winged wolf, Bran,” said Jojen. “I wasn’t sure when we first came, but now I am. The crow sent us here to break your chains.”

The crow gave Bran his third eye to show him some terrible knowledge:

Quote

“You have three. The crow gave you the third, but you will not open it.”

<...>

With three you would gaze south to the Summer Sea and north beyond the Wall.”

Quote

He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.

<...>

Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge.

Winterfell is described as a monstrous stone tree, a labyrynth and a prision. Winterfell had to be broken to free Bran. Is this to fulfil the Starks oath or to break it?

Quote

To a boy, Winterfell was a grey stone labyrinth of walls and towers and courtyards and tunnels spreading out in all directions. In the older parts of the castle, the halls slanted up and down so that you couldn't even be sure what floor you were on. The place had grown over the centuries like some monstrous stone tree, Maester Luwin told him once, and its branches were gnarled and thick and twisted, its roots sunk deep into the earth.

Quote

Bran preferred the hard stone of the window seat to the comforts of his featherbed and blankets. Abed, the walls pressed close and the ceiling hung heavy above him; abed, the room was his cell, and Winterfell his prison. Yet outside his window, the wide world still called.

 

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The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either.

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Jojen gave a solemn nod. "I dreamed of a winged wolf bound to earth by chains of stone, and came to Winterfell to free him. The chains are off you now, yet still you do not fly."

One last set of quotes: the dead Starks are described as stone kings (cursed like the exiled lord JonCon?) that are bound to the stone roots of Winterfell and warded with iron swords:

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the stone kings sitting on their thrones…

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Flickering light touched the stones underfoot and brushed against a long procession of granite pillars that marched ahead, two by two, into the dark. Between the pillars, the dead sat on their stone thrones against the walls, backs against the sepulchres that contained their mortal remains.

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By ancient custom an iron longsword had been laid across the lap of each who had been Lord of Winterfell, to keep the vengeful spirits in their crypts.

Edit: one extra bit that I forgot: Sansa Stark also transformed into stone: from Stark to Stone.

Edited by Tucu

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