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Forbidden Planet (and Shadow Swords)


By Odin's Beard
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I just watched Forbidden Planet (1956) for the first time on the recommendation of @Frey family reunion who mentioned that Bran's plot parallels the plot of Forbidden Planet, and that Bran might be telepathically casting the White Walkers from his nightmares while inside the weirwood network (which I seem to recall Preston mentioning this in passing at least once also).   George has said that it is the best sci-fi film ever made, and has seen it over 100 times, and he owns a life-size replica of Robby the Robot.

In the movie, Dr. Morbius lives inside/under a green round-domed building surrounded by trees with red leaves and white trunks (they look like weirwoods and he lives under something that resembles a weirwood hill).  He was a member of a small group of colonists who landed on the planet Altair-4, to set up a colony 20 years ago.  Underneath his house is a vast network of tunnels built by a now-extinct ancient alien civilization.  Among the things the Morbius found in tunnels was a supercomputer containing all the scientific knowledge of the Krell aliens.  He found another device that amplified his intelligence, and the machine performed another function as well--it could manifest thoughts into physical reality--it would read your mind and whatever you wanted to create it would create.  Morbius could not yet master this function while awake, but unbeknownst to him, while he slept, the monsters that he dreamed were manifest in the real world and killed all of his fellow colonists  He says they were killed by a "planetary force."  In the climax of the film, Dr. Morbius is being attacked by his own psionic projection, and is forced to retreat to his safe-room underground, but the monster is almost infinitely powerful and breaks into the safe-room.  The monster is only defeated by Morbius acknowledging that he himself is the monster, then it vanishes. 

They realize that this technology is was what wiped out the alien civilization 200,000 years ago--the Krell dreamed of monsters, and those monsters completely obliterated their civilization, practically overnight.  (I think the collaspse of the Great Empire of the Dawn parallels this)

The last act of Morbius is to activate a self-destruct so that this technology can never be used again.

In Roman mythology, Morpheus is the god of dreams, and Morbus is the god of disease, Mors is the goddess of death, and Morbius is a combination of these.   moribund means "death"

 

So, Morbius is named after the gods of dreams and death, and he lives under a proto-weirwood grove, he finds and ancient alien computer that is a repository of all knowledge, his brain is plugged into the device, and is gives him vast psychic abilities, including the ability to cast ghostly shadow monsters while dreaming.  (oh and Morbius' daughter has the ability to control animals)  His creation turns on him.  He is forced to destroy the psychic supercomputer. 

Under a weirwood grove, in a cave full of skulls and bones, Bran finds an ancient alien weirwood network that is a repository of all knowledge, his brain is plugged into the network, and it gives him vast psychic abilities, including the ability to cast ghostly "shadow swords"--White Walkers--while dreaming.  He will realize that humans have created their own monsters through the weirwood network.  And I think he will use the White Walkers to destroy the weirwood network.

 

Stannis, Melisandre, and the Shadow Swords

 The parallel to Bran creating the White Shadow Swords through the weirwood network is Stannis and Melisandre creating Black Shadow Swords.  Mel is a symbolic weirwood (red hair, red eyes, red ruby, white skin) gives birth to a shadow sword that does the bidding of a sleeping symbolic Antlered Green man--Stannis.  While Stannis is asleep his and Mel's shadow sword baby assassinates Renly:

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For a long time the king did not speak. Then, very softly, he said, "I dream of it sometimes. Of Renly's dying. A green tent, candles, a woman screaming. And blood." Stannis looked down at his hands. "I was still abed when he died. Your Devan will tell you. He tried to wake me. Dawn was nigh and my lords were waiting, fretting. I should have been ahorse, armored. I knew Renly would attack at break of day. Devan says I thrashed an cried out, but what does it matter? It was a dream. I was in my tent when Renly died, and when I woke my hands were clean."

The shadow sword is recognizable as Stannis' shadow:

"He had only an instant to look before it was gone, twisting between the bars of the portcullis and racing across the surface of the water, but that instant was long enough. He knew that Shadow. As he knew the man who'd cast it."

and Brienne recognizes it as Stannis also:

"I was helping Renly into his armor, and the candles blew out and there was blood everywhere. It was Stannis, Lady Catelyn said. His … his shadow."

 

The shadow sword emanates cold and is projected by a greenseer through a weirwood, while the greenseer is dreaming.  Bran "weds" the weirwood, Stannis impregnates the weirwood metaphor Melisandre.  It is the same magic only differing in degree. 

Oh, and Storm's End is a metaphor for a weirwood hill with a competing greenseer holding it, and a shadow sword is used to invade the tunnels underneath Storm's End to kill the man holding it--it has to pass under the protective wards to sneak inside and kill the greenseer, then Stannis takes it over.

 

Bran's Monsters

Old Nan says the 13th Lord Commander was maybe a Stark that created Others with child sacrifice: "He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon. Mayhaps he slept in this very bed in this very room."

Melisandre sees Bloodraven and Bran in the flames and concludes that they are either the Great Other, or at least his champions.  "the Great Other . . . the Lord of Darkness, the Soul of  Ice, the God of Night and Terror" 

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But beyond the Wall, the enemy grows stronger, and should he win the dawn will never come again. She wondered if it had been his face that she had seen, staring out at her from the flames. No. Surely not. His visage would be more frightening than that, cold and black and too terrible for any man to gaze upon and live. The wooden man she had glimpsed, though, and the boy with the wolf's face … they were his servants, surely … his champions, as Stannis was hers.

She thinks the Great Other should be hideous and terrifying, but I think it is really just Bran, who likes the darkness and likes the shivers.

 

When the 3 eyed crow shows Bran the Heart of Winter:

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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.

"Why?" Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.

Because winter is coming.

 

The White Walkers that killed Waymar in the prologue of the first book were all copies of each other--"twins to the first."  I think Bran saw White Walkers with his face on them in the heart of winter.  That is what scared him so much.  The monsters are Bran's.  Bran is the monster.  Tears burned on his cheeks because Bran is elemental ice, Brandon Ice Eyes.  The Soul of Ice.

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"Then a long cruel winter fell," said Ser Bartimus. "The White Knife froze hard, and even the firth was icing up. The winds came howling from the north and drove them slavers inside to huddle round their fires, and whilst they warmed themselves the new king come down on them. Brandon Stark this was, Edrick Snowbeard's great-grandson, him that men called Ice Eyes. He took the Wolf's Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he'd found chained up in the dungeons. It's said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south. Your Seven don't know winter, and winter don't know them."

Brandon Ice Eyes was a King of Winter who during a long, cruel, Fell Winter came down out of the North and kills the slavers, hangs their entrails in the weirwood, and frees the slaves.  He is here associated with a frozen White Knife (ice sword?  The Others are white shadow swords made of ice), and the winds of winter.  However, Bran is a liberator, not a villain.  He saves people from bondage. 

 

Coldhands hints that he is somehow a creation of Bran's:

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"A monster," Bran said.

The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

"Yours," the raven echoed, from his shoulder. Outside the door, the ravens in the trees took up the cry, until the night wood echoed to the murderer's song of "Yours, yours, yours."

(It has never occurred to me that this might imply a time-travel paradox, that Bran is being guided by a "monster" that he created or will create in the past, but hasn't yet?)

Previously Jojen told Bran that truth is revealed in dreams, and that he should fear the revelations:

"Maester Luwin says there's nothing in dreams that a man need fear."
"There is," said Jojen.
"What?"
"The past. The future. The truth."
 
 
Then there is this line from Arya:
"She remembered a story Old Nan had told once, about a man imprisoned in a dark castle by evil giants. He was very brave and smart and he tricked the giants and escaped . . . but no sooner was he outside the castle than the Others took him, and drank his hot red blood."
 
Bran imprisoned in a weirwood cave, he escapes and joins the Others. 
 
There is also something suggestive about the 1,000 other dreamers impaled on ice spears that the 3 eyed crow shows Bran.  The 3 eyed crow uses Ice Spears to kill dreamers.

 

Craster's Sons

The etymology for the name Craster:  "The name Crast "originates from the Latin 'cestre' meaning a fort or camp, plus the Olde English 'cra' meaning 'crow'. This suggests that the original site was a look-out post, a 'crows nest', which given its proximity to Hadrians Wall is a logical analysis." 

The word craos / craosta in Gaelic means "glutton, open maw," kraz means "crow" (crastinus in Latin means "of tomorrow" and Craster gives away all his male heirs--he gives away his future)

Craster is a bastard born of a man of the Nights Watch and a woman from Whitetree (named after a massive weirwood with a huge open maw).  A man who lives in hovel on a hill in the Haunted Forest, whose name means "crow" and "open maw" and is the son of a crow and a symbolic weirwood woman, he has many wives, and his sons become White Walkers--and the one that escapes is called "Monster".  Craster compares himself to a tree: "My roots are sunk deep."  He parallels a greenseer sitting a throne in a weirwood hill with all female CoTF, and all the boys are given to become White Walkers.  The greenseer is a crow, and he is in turn killed by crows--is the Nights Watch here a stand-in for the White Walkers?  He makes a point of saying that he has nothing to fear from the Others because of his offerings, but then he is killed by crows in the end--a greenseer killed by his own creations?

Before the Mutiny at Craster's, a symbolic weirwood hill (the Fist of the First Men) is stormed by wights, all the crows are forced to flee, then they regroup at Craster's where another symbolic weirwood hill is stormed and its inhabitants are killed and scattered.

 

The Hightower

The Hightower is a white tower with a red flaming top, built on an island by Bran the Builder.  It is a symbolic weirwood, there is a man inside it using magic, with hints of him using magic to see all across Westeros, and the symbolic weirwood casts a huge shadow sword

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And beyond, where the Honeywine widened into Whispering Sound, rose the Hightower, its beacon fires bright against the dawn. From where it stood atop the bluffs of Battle Island, its shadow cut the city like a sword. Those born and raised in Oldtown could tell the time of day by where that shadow fell. Some claimed a man could see all the way to the Wall from the top. Perhaps that was why Lord Leyton had not made the descent in more than a decade, preferring to rule his city from the clouds.

(Leyton Hightower, leat-ean means "a fair-sized bird" in Gaelic, a bird inside a weirwood tower casting shadow swords.  (Bran means "crow" in Gaelic and Welsh)  Leyton sounds like "lighten" and the Hightower words are "We Light the Way"

 

Arya Stark (shadow sword)

"Quiet as a shadow. Fear cuts deeper than swords."  Arya goes to Braavos, and to the House of Black and White and trains to become a face-changing assassin.  Braavos is a metaphor for a weirwood hill--a hidden city underneath a stone giant with flaming eyes, (who protects the city in exchange for child sacrifices) presided over by the Sea-Lord (the greenseer).  The House of Black and White is a mirror of Bloodraven's cave, a shrine to the god of death, filled with skulls and bones, with endless tunnels underground.  Arya learns to put on the semblance of dead people.  A weirwood cave academy that trains shadow swords and reanimates the dead.  Jaqen himself had red and white hair, and worships a god of death.

In George's short story A Night at the Tarn House, Lirianne is a shadow sword, she puts on the semblance of dead people and assassinates wizards. 

"And there were the shadow swords to consider as well. Some claimed they were shapechangers, with faces malleable as candle wax. Molloqos did not know the truth of that, but of their malice he had no doubt."  (when Jaqen changed faces it was like "his face had melted and changed when he ran his hand across it, 'Valar morghulis,' " [I am studying the Silmarrilion right now, and the god of death and chaos is the Valar Morgoth]  The Kindley Man's face also melted: "Arya kissed him where his nose should be and plucked the grave worm from his eye to eat it, but it melted like a shadow in her hand. . . The yellow skull was melting too, and the kindliest old man that she had ever seen was smiling down at her."

. . .

"And as the magic failed, so too did the magicians. Some fell to their own servants, the demons and sandestins who once obeyed their every whim. Others were hunted down by shadow swords, or torn apart by angry mobs of women. The wisest slipped away to other times and other places, their vast and drafty manses vanishing like mist before the sunrise."  (wizards killed by their own creations)

. . .

“Now look again upon your companions, and tell me what you see.”

Chimwazle’s mouth gaped open, and his bulging eyes looked as though they might pop out of his skull. “The girl is cloaked in shadows,” he gasped, “and under her freckly face I see a skull.”

 

Lirianne recalls the real life of the girl whose face she is wearing:

“The sun is going out. All the world is growing dark.” Lirianne remembered another inn from another time, a modest place but friendly, with clean rushes on the floor and a dog asleep before the hearth. The world had been dying even then, and the nights were dark and full of terrors, but within those walls it had still been possible to find fellowship, good cheer, even love. Lirianne remembered roasts turning above the crackling fire, the way the fat would spit as it dripped down into the flames. She remembered the beer, dark and heady, smelling of hops. She remembered a girl too, an innkeeper’s daughter with bright eyes and a silly smile who’d loved a wandering warfarer. Dead now, poor thing. But what of it? The world was almost dead as well."

Earlier she had said that she herself was that innkeeper's daughter:

When I was fifteen a young adventurer was wounded outside my father’s inn. My father was too gentle to let him die there in the dust, so we carried him upstairs and I nursed him back to health. Soon after he departed I found I was with child. For seven months my belly swelled, and I dreamed of a babe with his blue eyes. In my eighth month the swelling ceased. Thereafter I grew slimmer with every passing day. The midwife explained it all to me. What use to bring new life into a dying world? My womb was wiser than my heart, she said. And when I asked her why the world was dying, she leaned close and whispered ‘wizard’s work.’ ”

 

Mel and Stannis' baby became a shadow sword, Craster's sons become shadow swords, the children the 13th Lord Commander sacrificed became shadow swords, and Lirianne had a fetus that disappeared and she herself became a shadow sword, and she implies that a wizard was responsible.

 

Ghost Grass

I can't remember if this has come up before, but blades of ghostly grass is a play on words or mistranslation of "shadow swords"--as ghosts are shades or shadows, and grass grows in blades and swords are blades.  The ghost grass lives under the Shadow and will one day cover the whole world--one day the Shadow will cover all the world, and the Shadow Swords will come with it.  They are near to Stygai--the Heart of Darkness, an underground cave city full of demons and worse things, or is it the Heart(tree) of Darkness?  The River Ash might be a reference to Yggdrasil the ash tree.

 

Miscellaneous

The Ghost of the High Heart: "I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings."  The crow is associated with faceless man assassins, the crow is on its shoulder telling it what to do, a drowned crow from under the green sea is a greenseer.

This has been covered extensively by @LmL but the Others are described as "emerging from the wood" and they are the "White Walkers of the Wood" and when Jaqen appears to Arya in the Harrenhal Gods Wood:  "Jaqen H'ghar stood so still in the darkness that he seemed one of the trees."

When the Other appears to Sam after the Fist of the First Men, "The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop. . . . On its back was a rider pale as ice. . . . The Other slid gracefully from the saddle to stand upon the snow. Sword-slim it was, and milky white. Its armor rippled and shifted as it moved, and its feet did not break the crust of the new-fallen snow."

The Sentinel tree drops a burden of snow, then an White Walker appears, a creature made of ice--the tree spawned the White Walker.

When Sam and Gilly are in the wildling village after the Mutiny at Craster's Keep, Sam prays to the weirwood, then a few hours later when the sun goes down the wights and the ravens show up.  I think Bloodraven and the Great Other both heard his prayer and they both sent their minions to intercept Sam and Gilly. 

 

 

BONUS

One of the opening shots of Forbidden Planet is of a spaceship in front of a total solar eclipse, (second shot) and the crew of the spaceship say "a ship that creates its own eclipses"--with the implication that a spaceship caused a total solar eclipse, which is what I have been saying for years is what caused the Long Night.  The Second Moon of Planetos is entirely black and can be moved to eclipse the sun, and remain parked there for a period of years.  I think that 8-year old George saw this it stuck in his imagination. 

So, a spaceship causes a solar eclipse, then a man under a weirwood grove psychically casts shadow monsters that terrorize the planet.  Terror is ended when Weirwood network gets exploded into space.

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  • 7 months later...

So we know Bran likes the shivers, and he loves stories that give him the shivers.

I was just browsing Dinneen's gaelic dictionary and noticed that the word gaelic word siabar/siavar means "phantom, ghastly"

siabra/siavra means "a phantom or spectre, a fairy or goblin, a spectral person"

siabran/siavran contains the name "Bran" and it means "delusion, raving, craze, fever" and the definition mentions sleep. 

siabragh/siavragh means "act of growing ghastly or demoniacal, demoniacal rage, delusion, deception, sorcery, necromancy, a transformation" and siavragh shee means "a fairy phantom"

siabranach means "raving mad"

siabraim/siavraim means "I transform, become transformed, bewitch, become bewitched, ghastly or phantom-like"

 

siobroir/siovrior means "wizard, a pryer, one with a long memory"  and Bran has just gotten access to the weirwood network memory pool, and the word "crow" mean "to pry"

siobranach/siovranach means "croaking" (like a crow)

 

Bran is the crow, he is the wizard, and he is casting the White Walkers telepathically through the weirwood in his sleep.  And of course, the word shiver implies extreme cold.

 

If anyone is interested I digitized the whole 1350 page Dinneen's Gaelic Dictionary, download the pdf and you can search for words. (pdf-xchange is a great pdf reader for this)

 

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When Old Nan tells Bran the spooky story about the Others, I did have the impression that maybe Bran "created" this reality because of the stories Old Nan tells him.

I have often thought that the future threats are: Others, Daenerys/Dragons/R'Hllor followers, but then the power itself that would have been required to put a stop to them all which would likely require magic itself. So the end would be, if Bran is supposed to become a sort of super-magical hero holding great knowledge who will help defeat the "Ice" and "Fire" threat, that Bran has to then burn away all of the weirwood or whatever is the source of magic. Doing so might cause him to become the normal Bran Stark once more, or die. Interesting how fitting that is with the Forbidden Planet.

edit: BTW Bran doesn't say Coldhands is a monster, they were both talking about the Three-Eyed Crow.

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14 minutes ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

"It's a GoodLife" 

From time to time I thought of the above classic Twilight Zone episode and Forbidden Planet. I’ve been waiting for this post. Thumbs up op

I actually have a theory that Bran will go back to the Harrenhal tourney, skinchange Howland Reed thinking surely he was the mystery knight (as he kept saying it was obvious to Meera), so that he can be "a knight for a day" as he said he'd love to be, and yell 'Teach your squires honor, that shall be ransom enough!'. When he comes back to the "present", his body is gone, so is Meera and Jojen and Hodor. Bran's mind survived the alteration of the timeline because it went into the tree which still exists regardless of the events of the tourney, but so many things are now different and he may have never even been birthed himself.

So he must go back and now "correct" the timeline, which now always flows as he last changed it; so now he tries to solve the puzzle of who could have originally been the mystery knight and figures it was Lyanna, skinchanges her instead, and recreates the story as Meera told it. When he comes back, his body is there once more.

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46 minutes ago, Egged said:

I actually have a theory that Bran will go back . . . skinchange

Regarding Bran secretly being other characters in the story:  In Norse myth the wolf Fenrir was too dangerous to roam free, so the gods attempt to chain him up in a cave**.  Fearing a trap Fenrir agrees to be chained if one of the gods will put their hand in his mouth, and the only god brave enough to do so is Tyr, who then gets his hand bit off.  Bran is Fenrir, and Jaime is Tyr, but people have always said "well Bran did not cut off Jaime's hand"--but check this out, Jaime's hand was cut off at the behest of Vargo Hoat.  vargr=warg means "wolf" and Bran is a warg.  And "Hoat" is pretty close to "Hodor".  warg + hodor = Vargo Hoat*. 

Vargo Hoat is obsessed with cutting off hands and feet, he is called "the crippler"  And he is closely associated with the Black Goat of the Woods, which is the Essos black-barked weirwood (see also Lovecraft's The Tree on the Hill, where the Black Goat is an evil alien tree).  I think Bran might have been Vargo Hoat, at least part of the time, and was doing to people what had been done to him, crippling them.  So maybe Bran did cut off Jaime's hand.

*In Danish folktales there was a hero named Starkhodr ("strong hodr"), which I think is where George got the idea of a Bran and Hodor becoming one person with a shared body, and combining their names.

 

**so Fenrir is a chained winged wolf that breaks loose at Ragnarok and swallows the sun, and today I noticed that in gaelic, archu means "chained or fierce dog" and archra means "eclipse, defect, weakness" and they are right next to each other in Dinneen's gaelic dictionary.  Fenrir is a crippled boy who causes an eclipse.

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17 hours ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

"It's a GoodLife" 

From time to time I thought of the above classic Twilight Zone episode and Forbidden Planet. I’ve been waiting for this post. Thumbs up op

Ok so I re-read Bran II in AGOT. Wow.

First there is a lot showing how much Bran likes to climb, and figurative parallels to his future as a boy with great powers:

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Bran did his best, although he did not think he ever really fooled her. Since his father would not forbid it, she turned to others. Old Nan told him a story about a bad little boy who climbed too high and was struck down by lightning, and how afterward the crows came to peck out his eyes. Bran was not impressed. There were crows' nests atop the broken tower, where no one ever went but him, and sometimes he filled his pockets with corn before he climbed up there and the crows ate it right out of his hand. None of them had ever shown the slightest bit of interest in pecking out his eyes.

 

I wonder if this related to Old Nan's story of a bad little boy who climbed too high and was struck down by lightning.

Also, note how if anything is linked to lightning bolts, it would be Beric Dondarrion and his lightning bolt sigil, which by now is linked to R'hllor and hence Bran's mother, Catelyn. Which then makes me think of the first part:

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As angry as he was, his father could not help but laugh. "You're not my son," he told Bran when they fetched him down, "you're a squirrel. So be it. If you must climb, then climb, but try not to let your mother see you."

Bran did his best, although he did not think he ever really fooled her. Since his father would not forbid it, she turned to others.

His mother must not see him climb, and because his father does not stop Bran from "climbing" his mother turns to "others". Hmmm.

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Then for a while the guards would chase him whenever they saw him on the roofs, and try to haul him down. That was the best time of all. It was like playing a game with his brothers, except that Bran always won. None of the guards could climb half so well as Bran, not even Jory. Most of the time they never saw him anyway. People never looked up. That was another thing he liked about climbing; it was almost like being invisible.

He liked how it felt too, pulling himself up a wall stone by stone, fingers and toes digging hard into the small crevices between. He always took off his boots and went barefoot when he climbed; it made him feel as if he had four hands instead of two. He liked the deep, sweet ache it left in the muscles afterward. He liked the way the air tasted way up high, sweet and cold as a winter peach. He liked the birds: the crows in the broken tower, the tiny little sparrows that nested in cracks between the stones, the ancient owl that slept in the dusty loft above the old armory. Bran knew them all.

Most of all, he liked going places that no one else could go, and seeing the grey sprawl of Winterfell in a way that no one else ever saw it. It made the whole castle Bran's secret place.

His favorite haunt was the broken tower. Once it had been a watchtower, the tallest in Winterfell. A long time ago, a hundred years before even his father had been born, a lightning strike had set it afire. The top third of the structure had collapsed inward, and the tower had never been rebuilt. Sometimes his father sent ratters into the base of the tower, to clean out the nests they always found among the jumble of fallen stones and charred and rotten beams. But no one ever got up to the jagged top of the structure now except for Bran and the crows.

 

Again with the lightning strike setting the tower on fire. Was that what Old Nan's story was about?

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He knew two ways to get there. You could climb straight up the side of the tower itself, but the stones were loose, the mortar that held them together long gone to ash, and Bran never liked to put his full weight on them.

The best way was to start from the godswood, shinny up the tall sentinel, and cross over the armory and the guards hall, leaping roof to roof, barefoot so the guards wouldn't hear you overhead. That brought you up to the blind side of the First Keep, the oldest part of the castle, a squat round fortress that was taller than it looked. Only rats and spiders lived there now but the old stones still made for good climbing. You could go straight up to where the gargoyles leaned out blindly over empty space, and swing from gargoyle to gargoyle, hand over hand, around to the north side. From there, if you really stretched, you could reach out and pull yourself over to the broken tower where it leaned close. The last part was the scramble up the blackened stones to the eyrie, no more than ten feet, and then the crows would come round to see if you'd brought any corn.

Another good symbol; the "best way" was to start in the godswood (the godhood), giving us another link to the figurative "climb" and the weirwood.

Regarding the lightning bolt and Dondarrion, I found this peculiar:

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"I remember your father telling the camp how your house got its sigil. One stormy night, as the first of your line bore a message across the Dornish Marches, an arrow killed his horse beneath him and spilled him on the ground. Two Dornishmen came out of the darkness in ring mail and crested helms. His sword had broken beneath him when he fell.

When he saw that, he thought he was doomed. But as the Dornishmen closed to cut him down, lightning cracked from the sky. It was a bright burning purple, and it split, striking the Dornishmen in their steel and killing them both where they stood. The message gave the Storm King victory over the Dornish, and in thanks he raised the messenger to lordship. He was the first Lord Dondarrion, so he took for his arms a forked purple lightning bolt, on a black field powdered with stars."

 

Doesn't that remind you of The Last Hero?

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"Now these were the days before the Andals came, and long before the women fled across the narrow sea from the cities of the Rhoyne, and the hundred kingdoms of those times were the kingdoms of the First Men, who had taken these lands from the children of the forest. Yet here and there in the fastness of the woods the children still lived in their wooden cities and hollow hills, and the faces in the trees kept watch. 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—"

[...]

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!"

 

Some maesters theorize that the "true" history of Westeros and the Long Night and the Others is that it was just a tribe of first men that were marginalized, that there was no magic or undead or anything like it. From TWoIaF:

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Yet there are other tales—harder to credit and yet more central to the old histories—about creatures known as the Others. According to these tales, they came from the frozen Land of Always Winter, bringing the cold and darkness with them as they sought to extinguish all light and warmth. The tales go on to say they rode monstrous ice spiders and the horses of the dead, resurrected to serve them, just as they resurrected dead men to fight on their behalf.

How the Long Night came to an end is a matter of legend, as all such matters of the distant past have become. In the North, they tell of a last hero who sought out the intercession of the children of the forest, his companions abandoning him or dying one by one as they faced ravenous giants, cold servants, and the Others themselves. Alone he finally reached the children, despite the efforts of the white walkers, and all the tales agree this was a turning point. Thanks to the children, the first men of the Night's Watch banded together and were able to fight—and win—the Battle for the Dawn: the last battle that broke the endless winter and sent the Others fleeing to the icy north. Now, six thousand years later (or eight thousand as True History puts forward), the Wall made to defend the realms of men is still manned by the sworn brothers of the Night's Watch, and neither the Others nor the children have been seen in many centuries.

Archmaester Fomas's Lies of the Ancients—though little regarded these days for its erroneous claims regarding the founding of Valyria and certain lineal claims in the Reach and westerlands—does speculate that the Others of legend were nothing more than a tribe of the First Men, ancestors of the wildlings, that had established itself in the far north. Because of the Long Night, these early wildlings were then pressured to begin a wave of conquests to the south. That they became monstrous in the tales told thereafter, according to Fomas, reflects the desire of the Night's Watch and the Starks to give themselves a more heroic identity as saviors of mankind, and not merely the beneficiaries of a struggle over dominion.

 

So that could add up to the idea that the "true history" was simply that, until Bran gained the power to literally transform reality according to his childish mind like Anthony Fremont in "It's a Good Life" (and considering that it was adapted in The Twilight Zone, and then in The Twilight Zone movie where the kid is eight years old... mmmm).

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Anthony Fremont is a three-year-old boy with near-godlike powers: he can transform other people or objects into anything he wishes, think new things into being, teleport himself and others where he wishes, read the minds of people and animals and even revive the dead.

In the movie:

Quote

"It's a Good Life", the third segment; a remake of the Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life" in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). In this version, Anthony (no last name given) is depicted as eight (he is three in the original story and six in the original episode). He uses his powers to cater to himself and his "family", who are revealed to be random people that he has manipulated and held against their will. Anthony's real sister is crippled and has no mouth because she made Anthony mad. His real parents wanted to "send Anthony away" and are now simply gone. This depiction of Anthony is a much more sympathetic and tragic character who only wants people not to be afraid of him. He also is shown to love cartoons, making it the only thing everyone watches with televisions in every room in the house. According to Anthony "anything can happen in cartoons" and that he himself "can do anything. ANYthing!"

So if that was the case, The Others will become real because of Old Nan's stories being interpreted as having been real by Bran, and who will his mother turn to in order to stop Bran from climbing?

The "others"?

Quote

 

So be it. If you must climb, then climb, but try not to let your mother see you."

Bran did his best, although he did not think he ever really fooled her. Since his father would not forbid it, she turned to others. Old Nan told him a story about a bad little boy who climbed too high and was struck down by lightning, and how afterward the crows came to peck out his eyes.

 

So Bran will be "taken down" by his "mother" with "fire".

The whole story would be about a little boy with a lot of imagination, who likes to climb up high, and then his mother eventually "grounding" the boy for climbing.

"A dream of spring" indeed. Is this whole story in a child's mind? lol

Edited by Egged
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On 10/1/2021 at 9:53 PM, Egged said:

I actually have a theory that Bran will go back to the Harrenhal tourney, skinchange . . .

How old was Hodor during the Harrenhal tourney?  If he hadn't hit puberty yet he could have been the Knight of the Laughing Tree.  Hodor's real name is Walder, which means "forest, woods, trees" and "might," and  Bran calls the Knight of the Laughing Tree a "tree knight"

And Bran mentions a 10 year old boy entering the lists as a Mystery Knight.

And that could have been the point at which Hodor's brain got scrambled by Bran when Bran wargs into him, which would be a perfect time paradox.

Hodor likes stories about knights.  Bran says: "Hodor could be my legs. We could be a knight together"  and "You could have been a knight too, I bet," Bran told him. "If the gods hadn't taken your wits, you would have been a great knight."

Bran is the god that took Hodor's wits when he became the Knight of the Laughing Tree.  They were a Knight together, with Hodor as his legs.

Quote

If the little crannogman could visit the Isle of Faces, maybe I could too. All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. Maybe they could help him walk again, even turn him into a knight. They turned the little crannogman into a knight, even if it was only for a day, he thought. A day would be enough.

Bran turned into a Knight for a day. (and foreshadowing Bran becomes Night King for a Long Night)

 

(Dunk was a mystery knight too)

Edited by By Odin's Beard
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14 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

How old was Hodor during the Harrenhal tourney?  If he hadn't hit puberty yet he could have been the Knight of the Laughing Tree.  Hodor's real name is Walder, which means "forest, woods, trees" and "might," and  Bran calls the Knight of the Laughing Tree a "tree knight"

And Bran mentions a 10 year old boy entering the lists as a Mystery Knight.

And that could have been the point at which Hodor's brain got scrambled by Bran when Bran wargs into him, which would be a perfect time paradox.

Hodor likes stories about knights.  Bran says: "Hodor could be my legs. We could be a knight together"  and "You could have been a knight too, I bet," Bran told him. "If the gods hadn't taken your wits, you would have been a great knight."

Bran is the god that took Hodor's wits when he became the Knight of the Laughing Tree.  They were a Knight together, with Hodor as his legs.

Bran turned into a Knight for a day. (and foreshadowing Bran becomes Night King for a Long Night)

 

(Dunk was a mystery knight too)

Ooh Hodor being the knight, with the quotes you listed, would make a lot of sense!

But maybe this is really Bran changing the past; it was not Hodor, but now it is.

Or, there was a melee but remember Bran told Meera to skip that part. Maybe there was something to it there relating to the KotLT. Maybe for THAT moment Bran decides to take over Hodor, and then the rest follows.

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On 2/19/2021 at 4:14 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

Coldhands hints that he is somehow a creation of Bran's

I think this is a very odd interpretation of the passage... in fact the larger passage is:

Meera's gloved hand tightened around the shaft of her frog spear. "Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?"
"A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer." The longhall's wooden door banged open. Outside, the night wind howled, bleak and black. The trees were full of ravens, screaming. Coldhands did not move.
"A monster," Bran said.
The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

There are two questions and two answers... I have always been confused by how people can interpret this as Coldhands talking about himself.

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50 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

I think this is a very odd interpretation of the passage... in fact the larger passage is:

Meera's gloved hand tightened around the shaft of her frog spear. "Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?"
"A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer." The longhall's wooden door banged open. Outside, the night wind howled, bleak and black. The trees were full of ravens, screaming. Coldhands did not move.
"A monster," Bran said.
The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

There are two questions and two answers... I have always been confused by how people can interpret this as Coldhands talking about himself.

Meera asks Coldhands "Who are you?  Why are your hands black?"  Coldhands explains why his hands are black. 

Meera, getting nervous, "show us your face."  Coldhands does not respond.

Bran says "He's dead.  Meera he is some dead thing.  The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands . . .  he sent Sam instead, with that wildling girl."  (the monster is he, Coldhands)

Then Coldhands is saying who Bloodraven is, and doesn't react to the door banging open and a tree full of ravens screaming, then Bran mutters "A monster."  To which Coldhands agrees, "Your monster, Brandon Stark"  Ravens: "Yours, yours. yours"  (and the ravens are Bloodraven speaking, agreeing that Coldhands is Bran's monster)

Jojen: "We go with the Ranger . . .we go with Bran's monster, or we die." 

 

The Ranger Coldhands is explicitly stated to be Bran's monster.  And recall that Bran's Cauldron is celtic myth brings the dead back to life.

 

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25 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Then Coldhands is saying who Bloodraven is, and doesn't react to the door banging open and a tree full of ravens screaming, then Bran mutters "A monster."  To which Coldhands agrees, "Your monster, Brandon Stark"  Ravens: "Yours, yours. yours"  (and the ravens are Bloodraven speaking, agreeing that Coldhands is Bran's monster)

Jojen: "We go with the Ranger . . .we go with Bran's monster, or we die." 

 

Maybe, it’s quite the complicated dance George gives us here.  Perhaps intentionally confusing.  

Bran asks two questions to Coldhands.  1.  Who he was and 2. Why were his hands black.

Coldhands only answers the second question.

Meera asks two questions: 1. Who sent you and 2. Who is the three eyed crow.

Presumably, Meera believes that the three eyed crow sent Coldhands.  Coldhands doesn’t correct her, so you can take that as an assent that the three eyed crow sent him.  Or it can simply be that Coldhands is only responding to one of her two questions and ignoring the other.  Like he did above with Bran.  He didn’t answer Bran’s question about who he was, just why his hands were black.

So he gives her a list of answers, presumably to the identity of the three eyed crow (but instead it could be the identity of the person who sent him, not the three eyed crow): Friend, dreamer, wizard, last greenseer…

Bran appears to supply the last identity of the three eyed crow (or alternatively the identity of the person who sent Coldhands) which is “monster”.    Or you can read it as Bran again supplying the answer to the actual question that he (not Meera) asked which is who Coldhands was.

So either Coldhands is giving the last identity of the three eyed crow, which is “your monster” ( and thus Jojen incorrectly identifies Coldhands as Brandon’s monster instead of the three eyed crow).  Or he is finally answering Bran’s original question which concerns who Coldhands is.

(If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, you can argue that Coldhands gives the final identity of either the three eyed crow, the person who sent Coldhands, or Coldhands himself, depending on how you read it, with his qualifier of “Brandon Stark”.  In other words, instead of suggesting that the monster was Brandon Stark’s monster, he was stating that the monster was Brandon Stark.)

GRRM can be quite the trickster.

 

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29 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Meera asks Coldhands "Who are you?  Why are your hands black?"  Coldhands explains why his hands are black. 

Meera, getting nervous, "show us your face."  Coldhands does not respond.

Bran says "He's dead.  Meera he is some dead thing.  The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands . . .  he sent Sam instead, with that wildling girl."  (the monster is he, Coldhands)

Then Coldhands is saying who Bloodraven is, and doesn't react to the door banging open and a tree full of ravens screaming, then Bran mutters "A monster."  To which Coldhands agrees, "Your monster, Brandon Stark"  Ravens: "Yours, yours. yours"  (and the ravens are Bloodraven speaking, agreeing that Coldhands is Bran's monster)

Jojen: "We go with the Ranger . . .we go with Bran's monster, or we die." 

 

The Ranger Coldhands is explicitly stated to be Bran's monster.  And recall that Bran's Cauldron is celtic myth brings the dead back to life.

 

I understand why the scared children misinterpret the response, Jojen "little grandfather" Reed has never known what he was talking about, and takes himself way to seriously. Much like Melisandre, he can be relied upon to misinterpret just about everything.

For the reader though, this shouldn't be so confusing, although obviously it is...

But again, you are extremely selectively editing the passage to change the meaning.

There is a clear question and answer going on here. I have underlined the questions and bolded the answers for you.

Quote

"Who were they? Wildlings?"
Meera turned the meat to cook the other side. Hodor was chewing and swallowing, muttering happily under his breath. Only Jojen seemed aware of what was happening as Coldhands turned his head to stare at Bran. "They were foes."
Men of the Night's Watch. "You killed them. You and the ravens. Their faces were all torn, and their eyes were gone." Coldhands did not deny it. "They were your brothers. I saw. The wolves had ripped their clothes up, but I could still tell. Their cloaks were black. Like your hands." Coldhands said nothing. "Who are you? Why are your hands black?"
The ranger studied his hands as if he had never noticed them before. "Once the heart has ceased to beat, a man's blood runs down into his extremities, where it thickens and congeals." His voice rattled in his throat, as thin and gaunt as he was. "His hands and feet swell up and turn as black as pudding. The rest of him becomes as white as milk."
Meera Reed rose, her frog spear in her hand, a chunk of smoking meat still impaled upon its tines. "Show us your face."
The ranger made no move to obey.
"He's dead." Bran could taste the bile in his throat. "Meera, he's some dead thing. The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night's Watch stay true, that's what Old Nan used to say. He came to meet us at the Wall, but he could not pass. He sent Sam instead, with that wildling girl."
Meera's gloved hand tightened around the shaft of her frog spear. "Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?"
"A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer." The longhall's wooden door banged open. Outside, the night wind howled, bleak and black. The trees were full of ravens, screaming. Coldhands did not move.
"A monster," Bran said.
The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."
"Yours," the raven echoed, from his shoulder. Outside the door, the ravens in the trees took up the cry, until the night wood echoed to the murderer's song of "Yours, yours, yours."
"Jojen, did you dream this?" Meera asked her brother. "Who is he? What is he? What do we do now?"
"We go with the ranger," said Jojen. "We have come too far to turn back now, Meera. We would never make it back to the Wall alive. We go with Bran's monster, or we die."

A Dance with Dragons - Bran I

You will notice Jojen does not confirm to have dreamt this, he is completely lost, as we see becomes more and more evident once they reach the caves.

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16 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

"Jojen, did you dream this?" Meera asked her brother. "Who is he? What is he? What do we do now?"
"We go with the ranger," said Jojen. "We have come too far to turn back now, Meera. We would never make it back to the Wall alive. We go with Bran's monster, or we die."

I think you are being willfully obtuse.

Question: "Who is he [Coldhands]?"

Answer: "A Ranger, Bran's monster."

 

Earlier in Bran 1: "The ranger wore the black of the Night's Watch, but what if he was not a man at all? What if he was some monster, taking them to the other monsters to be devoured?"

Later in Bran 1, looking at Coldhands: "A monster." Confirming what he had thought earlier in the chapter. 


 

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In Celtic myth the sidhe fairies live in hollow hills and would abduct children and replace them with changelings, and I just realized that Bran and Rickon and Arya all got replaced with body doubles / doppelgangers / look-a-likes / changelings.  Bran and Arya have joined chthonic death cults in caverns--just like the hollow hills of the sidhe, and Rickon went to a place (Skagos) whose name is synonymous with shadows (skygge) and the black goat (the black goat is an alien tree in Lovecraft and is associated with bringing a Long Night).

Bran calls Bloodraven the "Whisperer in Darkness" and in that story by Lovecraft, the main character Wilmarth gets lured to a secluded location so that alien crab (craob means "tree" and the crabs worship the Black Goat of the Woods*) can steal his brain.  The friend he has gone there to meet (Akeley) has already been killed by the crabs, and they have taken his brain out and put it in a jar, and one of the crabs has literally put on Akeley's skin and is animating his corpse and pretending to be him.  At the end of the story Wilmarth calls him a changeling.

The story uses the suspense-building technique of making it very obvious to the reader that he is walking into a trap, but the protagonist doesn't realize is a trap.

When Wilmarth had arrived at the secluded location, he expected to be met by Akeley, but is instead met by a stranger that he is very suspicious and nervous about (parallels Bran and company being met by Coldhands)--this stranger takes him to the farmhouse.  There Wilmarth is shocked to find Akeley looks like a talking corpse, and he repeats this about 10 times: he corpselike, inert, waxen mask, his voice is a whisper, etc. (Bran describes Bloodraven the same way)  Wilmarth is told that he will be able to go backwards and forwards in time if he joins them, just like Bran.   In gaelic Bran is sometimes spelled Brain.  They try to drug him in order to steal his brain, but he escapes.

 

 

*I have listened to HG Wells' The Time Machine several times recently, and I realized that is where Lovecraft's idea of [time-traveling] crabs from a black planet came from.  When the time traveler goes into the far future the only creatures on the beach are giant crabs--which is what humans have devolved into after millions of years.  And then a giant planet near to Earth eclipses the sun.  Crabs and black eclipsing planets go together.  And craob = tree.

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21 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

The Valyrians are the Krells of ice and fire. They were using advanced magic instead of technology. They're not the only ones. Asshai is another people destroyed by flirting with dark magic. 

The Valyrian connection is good in that their entire country literally blew up, like Altair-4 did.  You probably know this already, but the Doom of Valyria is a direct parallel to the Fall of Numenor in Lord of the Rings.  The Numenorians started worshiping the devil, and they performed human sacrifice and burned the White Tree, and jealous of the Elves' immortality and thinking themselves gods, attempted to invade the realm of the gods: Avallone/Valinor (aka "the Undying Lands").  To stop their invasion, God sunk Numenor under the waves and wiped out their fleet and launched Avallone and Valinor into space.  Only the righteous of Numenor are saved, who then become the rulers of Middle Earth--just like the Targaryns becoming the rulers of Westeros. 

Valar ~ Valeria ~ Valinor

If you rearrange some of the elements of the story--combine Avallone and Valinor into one location, and put it in the center of a populated area--Valyria,  Then they worship the devil, commit human sacrifice, and they burn the White Tree which causes Valinor/Valyria to shoot off into space, and in the process obliterating the launch site and causing it to sink below the waves. 

 

Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys all have names related to Yggdrasil which suggests weirwoods in Valyria.

Aegon ~ Ygg (drasil), in Gaelic aig means "valiant" and aige means "pillar" and aigean means "abyss, ocean" and aigne means "heart"

In Old Norse Visenda-tre means "tree of knowledge"

Rhaenys, in Old Norse reynir / reyni means "rowan tree" / "witchwood" / "mountain ash" and Yggdrasil was a mountain ash, (rowan is also spelled royne) rana means "frog"

Caorthann means "rowan or quicken tree, mountain ash held sacred by the Druids . . . valerian"  and the next word means "firewave, violent billow"

caor means "rowan, fireball, meteor, huge wave, mass of flame, a red blaze" --The Rowan/weirwood causes a huge fireball and a huge wave, that swallows Valyria. 

The gods of Valyria were dragons, and the Red Comet is called a dragon, and there are dragons in Bloodraven's cave under a weirwood grove, and when Winterfell burned and the tower collapsed a dragon flew off into the sky, and the Wildfire under the Red Keep is foreshadowing a Red and White castle blowing up--so there is evidence of "dragons" being under weirwood groves that are released when they are set on fire.  Dany sets a weirwood cave on fire, and she births dragons.

Perhaps the Valyrians tried to take over the weirwood network--they thought themselves gods--and the weirwood network blew up their country, perhaps to prevent another Long Night from happening--it self-destructed rather than let itself be taken over.  Or perhaps the weirwood grove had reached maturity and it was time to spread to another place.  Magic declined after the Doom because a large portion of the weirwood network left the planet.

-----

Avalon

In LoTR, Avallone was also called Tol Erresea ("the LonelyIsland" or "Lost Isle") and it was a floating island that, at one time, the god Ulmo used as a boat to ferry the elves around.  (Part of the floating island broke off and became Ireland)  Avallone had a magic White Tree called Celeborn ("silver tree", and Caliburn means "Excalibur", so further evidence that Arthur's great sword Dawn is really a weirwood tree) and a famous White Tower that held the master Palantir)  And a floating island is called a crannog, and one of the meanings of crannog is a "crow's nest".

So in ASoIaF, Avalon is the Isle of Faces in the Gods Eye.  In George's Thousand Worlds universe, Avalon is where the Academy of Human Knowledge was located, and the weirwood network is a biological supercomputer that is a repository of all knowledge, and it is capable of telepathy and telekinesis, and I think it is the only source of magic in ASoIaF. (see also the WhiteTower in the eye-shaped island of Tar Valon in the Eye of the World from the Wheel of Time, where the Aes Sedai "eye sed eye" are based [aes sidhe]).  But Avalon/Valinor might refer to the Weirwood Network in general.   George has said that we are not going to see any new gods in the story, and that the god of Death is the only real god.  The weirwood network/White Worm is the god of death, and it is fed by human sacrifice. 

(Avalon is the Isle of Apples, so a devil/serpent/worm in the Isle of Apples, the apple tree itself is the devil/serpent/worm, it all is very Genesis, and in Gaelic apple is spelled abal [~Abel] and Arthur Dayne=Mance Rayder=Abel, and Arthur goes to Avalon when he is mortally wounded, and we await his miraculous return to lead the armies of men)

-----

Bran / Tyrion / Braavos / weirwood connection

The Braavosi say they are responsible for the Doom of Valyria, and their city is one big metaphor for a weirwood cave: Underneath a stone giant there is a secret city that is sinking under the sea, that is presided over by the Sea Lord (green sea lord = greenseer), and has a Chthonic death cult whose temple parallels Bloodraven's cave, and a secret group of unstoppable assassins (Faceless Men = the White Walkers).  

The Braavosi are famous for their purple dye made from purple sea snails.  The real name of this purple dye is Tyrian Purple and it is made from snails called Bolinus Brandaris.  (bole = "tree", boletus = "mushroom", bolide = "bright meteor, missile")  Brandaris means "sword king" another Excalibur reference.

In Gaelic one of the words for sea snail is preachan, which also means "crow" and "ugly girl" and preach means "root" and "crow" and "unfettered, his own master"  And Braavos was founded by escaped slaves.  In Celtic myth the god of death is a crow.

So sea snails = crow = weirwood roots.  And in George's story Guardians, the hive minded telepathic greendreaming mudpots were sea snails (who genetically-engineered/weaponized krakens that could shoot themselves into the air)

Brandaris is the name of a red and white Lighthouse named after Saint Brendan the Voyager who sailed to the Isle of the Blessed  (essentially a retelling of the Voyage of Bran the Blessed).  And Bran the Builder built the red and white Hightower Lighthouse, which is a metaphor for a weirwood, underneath of which is a repository of all knowledge ~ weirwood network (and the glass candle = Palantir in the White Tower on Avallone). 

In Valinor the city of Tirion ("watch-tower") has a large White Tower with a famous magic White Tree at its base,

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