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The merging of Jon and Robb


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I suspect we can look way back to the "six pups in the snow" scene for some clues about the Jon/Robb/Catelyn (or Lady Stoneheart) reconciliation. 

There was a mother direwolf that had died with an antler in her throat. Robb finds five pups. Theon thinks the pups should be killed. Jon explains to Ned that the gods want each of his children to have a pup and Bran notes that this is selfless because it leaves Jon out of the pup distribution equation. Jon then hears the sound of a sixth pup that no one else can hear. He goes back over the bridge alone and finds it by the body of the dead direwolf. The silent, all-white pup becomes Jon's direwolf. 

The dead wolf may represent both Lyanna and Catelyn. The antler may have come from a stag, which is a Baratheon symbol. Lyanna was the she-wolf and she did not want to marry Robert Baratheon (we believe) so the antler in the throat may represent that conflict. 

But the mother of the Stark children is Catelyn. She "dies" later, after having her throat cut. 

If you read the language of Jon going back for the sixth pup, there is an implication that the sixth pup is the reborn spirit of the dead mother direwolf - the silent white pup comes from the place where the dead mother lies in the snow. If R + L = J, that would be another parallel between Lyanna and the mother direwolf, with Jon representing the rebirth of Lyanna. 

Quote

Bran could hear the wind in the trees, the clatter of their hooves on the ironwood planks, the whimpering of his hungry pup, but Jon was listening to something else.

"There," Jon said. He swung his horse around and galloped back across the bridge. They watched him dismount where the direwolf lay dead in the snow, watched him kneel. A moment later he was riding back to them, smiling.

"He must have crawled away from the others," Jon said.

"Or been driven away," their father said, looking at the sixth pup. His fur was white, where the rest of the litter was grey. His eyes were as red as the blood of the ragged man who had died that morning. Bran thought it curious that this pup alone would have opened his eyes while the others were still blind.

Jon is the only one to hear the sixth pup and the sixth pup is the only one with open eyes. 

With regard to the idea that Rob and Jon might merge through warg activity, I don't see support for that idea in the text. (Although I haven't been focused on seeking out such allusions and we also have two more books where hints might emerge.) Instead of connecting through warging, Robb and Jon are more likely to connect through dreams or daydreams - we see Jon imagining a reunion with Robb when he deserts the Night's Watch at the end of AGoT. We have also seen Jon experience a vision of a brother (usually presumed to represent Bran) in a tree. Jon and Robb also reconnect through characters representing a symbolic rebirth: Baroq the wildling skinchanger with a boar is the last one through the Wall when Jon invites the Free Folk into Castle Black. He calls Jon "Brother," takes up residence in the lich yard and he almost certainly represent a rebirth of Robb.

What I do see in the scene where the direwolf pups are discovered is Jon Snow facilitating the survival of the five pups and delivering them as protectors to the five Stark children - something Catelyn comes to appreciate after the catspaw attack on Bran. 

I also see a weird dynamic where a reborn Lyanna / Catelyn pup becomes Jon Snow's companion and spirit guide of sorts. On the surface, Jon and Catelyn appear to be enemies. In the subtext, they are working toward the same end: keeping the Stark heirs alive and in the Warden of the North role at Winterfell.

Another thing I see in the Robb / Jon dynamic is a team similar to Ned and Robert with Robert winning the throne only because Ned helped him at strategic points. In fact, either one of them could have claimed the throne but Ned didn't want to leave Winterfell and he thought Robert's Targaryen heritage gave him the better claim. 

In the scene where the pups are found, Robb and Jon take turns crossing the bridge (which is a symbolic death, I suspect). The following line may be a clue about Robb's role after his death at the Red Wedding:

Quote

Their father understood as well. "You want no pup for yourself, Jon?" he asked softly.

"The direwolf graces the banners of House Stark," Jon pointed out. "I am no Stark, Father."

Their lord father regarded Jon thoughtfully. Robb rushed into the silence he left. "I will nurse him myself, Father," he promised. "I will soak a towel with warm milk, and give him suck from that."

Silence is an important symbol: Lady Stoneheart is, for all intents and purposes, silent. (Or, at least, voiceless.) Ghost the direwolf is silent. Falling snow is silent. In ASOIAF, the Silent Sisters prepare and deliver dead bodies or sets of bones. (Fwiw, in the scene with the body of Ser Hugh of the Vale at the Hand's Tourney, I think the Silent Sister is a symbolic Lyanna.) In other words, I think silence is a symbol of death. If you are open to the ways GRRM uses mythology from real-world cultures in the series, Robb rushing into silence created by Ned is a symbolic version of Robb becoming Lord of the Underworld. This means there is a vacancy for Lord of the Upper world. 

In the same paragraph, we see Robb becoming a wet nurse. Wet nurses and milk brothers and the river known as the Milkwater are associated with Jon Snow. 

This is a really, really good catch:

On 4/29/2021 at 5:22 AM, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

"Once a beast's been joined to a man, any skinchanger can slip inside and ride him.

The idea of Grey Wind's head being sewn onto Robb's body shows that this line had a strong underlying meaning that attaches to Robb. But I don't think GRRM will use it in the way you predict with Jon literally warging Grey Wind or somehow melding with Robb's spirit. I think the teamwork between the brothers will take other forms.

These are also really good. I think you've hit on something intended by the author. There are several apples in Jon Snow scenes. (Although they also appear in scenes with other king characters.) 

22 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Well, if Jon gets resurrected, you know what we need?

18 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

A poison apple for a certain snow wight.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Seams said:

These are also really good. I think you've hit on something intended by the author. There are several apples in Jon Snow scenes. (Although they also appear in scenes with other king characters.) 

 

Wait, wait, wait. That was just a joke. Not something I hit upon.

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Seams said:

These are also really good. I think you've hit on something intended by the author. There are several apples in Jon Snow scenes. (Although they also appear in scenes with other king characters.) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansa_apple

ETA: for those who don't want to follow the link, GRRM named one of his Starks after an apple.

Edited by Frey family reunion
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1 hour ago, Frey family reunion said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansa_apple

ETA: for those who don't want to follow the link, GRRM named one of his Starks after an apple.

Sansa has two other curious meanings:

-another name for an mbira: a finger piano

-Sanza, a town in Italy whose patron saint is La Madonna Della Neve (Our Lady of the Snows)

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6 hours ago, Seams said:

 

The dead wolf may represent both Lyanna and Catelyn. The antler may have come from a stag, which is a Baratheon symbol. Lyanna was the she-wolf and she did not want to marry Robert Baratheon (we believe) so the antler in the throat may represent that conflict...

If you read the language of Jon going back for the sixth pup, there is an implication that the sixth pup is the reborn spirit of the dead mother direwolf - the silent white pup comes from the place where the dead mother lies in the snow. If R + L = J, that would be another parallel between Lyanna and the mother direwolf, with Jon representing the rebirth of Lyanna. 

Jon is the only one to hear the sixth pup and the sixth pup is the only one with open eyes. 

....

“A sudden silence descended over the party. The men looked at the antler uneasily, and no one dared to speak. Even Bran could sense their fear, though he did not understand. His father tossed the antler to the side and cleansed his hands in the snow. “I’m surprised she lived long enough to whelp,” he said. His voice broke the spell.

“Maybe she didn’t,” Jory said. “I’ve heard tales … maybe the bitch was already dead when the pups came.” “Born with the dead,” another man put in.

“Worse luck.” “No matter,” said Hullen. “They be dead soon enough too.””

.... are we still talking about just direwolves here?....... or something else?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

ETA: for those who don't want to follow the link, GRRM named one of his Starks after an apple.

That's one of the shortest wiki pages I've ever seen.

4 hours ago, Solaris said:

.... are we still talking about just direwolves here?....... or something else?

Maybe, remember earlier they were talking about omens a little bit? And they bascially symbolized the direwolf as Stark and the stag as Baratheon? Maybe a foreshadow, because Robert gets Ned killed by bringing him south....

 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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Posted (edited)
On 5/4/2021 at 1:14 PM, Jaenara Belarys said:

 

Maybe, remember earlier they were talking about omens a little bit? And they bascially symbolized the direwolf as Stark and the stag as Baratheon? Maybe a foreshadow, because Robert gets Ned killed by bringing him south....

 

Yes, that’s the obvious foreshadowing. I’m inclined to think it’s also a signposted admission that Jon is Lyanna’s son.

The direwolf is a dead female. Ghost’s eyes are already open. Implying the remaining cubs are not hers and likely born after death. All Ned’s kids are born after Jon. Born as a result of Lyanna’s circumstances, Ned was never supposed to marry Catlyn. Brandon and his father were killed because Lyanna being MIA. Everything that happens is because Lyanna Stark goes missing because Baratheon is insane jealous.

Edited by Solaris
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  • 1 month later...
On 5/5/2021 at 10:35 PM, Solaris said:

Yes, that’s the obvious foreshadowing. I’m inclined to think it’s also a signposted admission that Jon is Lyanna’s son.

The direwolf is a dead female. Ghost’s eyes are already open. Implying the remaining cubs are not hers and likely born after death. All Ned’s kids are born after Jon. Born as a result of Lyanna’s circumstances, Ned was never supposed to marry Catlyn. Brandon and his father were killed because Lyanna being MIA. Everything that happens is because Lyanna Stark goes missing because Baratheon is insane jealous.

How can the remaining pups not be hers?

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On 5/2/2021 at 11:58 PM, Jaenara Belarys said:

A poison apple for a certain snow wight.

The poison apple has already happened in the form of the Old Pomegranate. In my opinion, Jon does not need to be a snow wight, he can simply be Snow White - Jon Snow of the white wolf, representing the white part of the Stark colours - with Robb representing the grey part of the Stark colours (so yes, in a way they already complement each other). We all know that Snow White survives the poisonous apple. Yes, according to the tale, Snow White needs to be kissed for that (and I have my thoughts on what the Snow White story indicates for us in this respect, which is somewhat different from what the novel may seem to imply). By the way, we also have at least one dwarf in place, who is none other than Tormund Giantsbane, Commander of Oakenshield

The literal merging of Robb and Jon is an idea that is both scary and attractive. The result would be a rather difficult personality, I guess, and it makes me think of Jon's dream in which he kills Robb, who has come to lay siege to Jon's castle. Some sort of symbolic merging, however, sounds very good to me. In some ways, they are already quite like a pair of twins.   

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The merging of Jon and Robb!  Talk about the merging of dumb and dumber.  Robb and his dog are gone.  The Freys were thorough.  So, unless there is an afterlife beyond warging, yeah, he's gone.  Wargs can get a second life after their death but his wolf was cut down as well.  

The Starks will be together as a pack one last time but Robb and Sansa will be excluded because their wolves died.  Jon, Rickon, Arya, and Bran will all die and live on in their wolves.  

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