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AGOT Prologue Gared

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I am following the story arc of Gared, the first character we are introduced to, from the AGOT prologue. We see that he left the Wall approximately nine days prior to arriving at the Wildling‘s camp. We also learned later that he had visited Craster’s keep a day before arriving at the Wildings camps. After Ser Waymar Royce and Will are killed, reading the obvious clues, we see that Gared was apprehended south of the wall near Winterfell. He was considered a deserter and beheaded. His head was, later, sent to Jeor Mormont at the Wall. 
 

Are there any theories out there about the tension between Waymar and Gared. I believe that it is more than just a general dislike of one another. I believe something happened at Craster’s keep.
 

Also, can anyone prove that Gared has the ability to warg?

I’ve developed, a complete (albeit some holes), interesting, and  detailed story arc for Gared. 
 

Is anyone interested in taking a short journey of discovery with me? 
 

I can start by telling you 2 things Gared is absolutely connected to the dead Direwolf found after his beheading and that he returned to Craster’s keep.

I feel like the pattern of his story arc is very revealing to the overall patterns of the series. And the archetype of his character reveals and/or supports the missing pieces of the histories and legends that so many people of the fandom have already revealed.

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Great spot on visiting Craster. A possible source of tension would be Gared, as a seasoned man of the Watch, knowing to keep his mouth shut about Crasters and his "wives", whereas a lordling like Ser Waymar might have an inclination to pass judgment (literal or figurative) on Craster. 

I've long wondered how Gared gets south of The Wall. 

I've also wondered why, even though they kept him in the show, that they swapped the deserter Gared for Will. 

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2 hours ago, TheFlyingHellfish said:

I've long wondered how Gared gets south of The Wall. 

I assume that he used Bridge of Skulls. After all Westwatch is empty and Shadow Tower is far enough that a man who knows normal patrol routes would have very good chances to get through. In fact I think it is odd that NW had left that route almost open. Or they had not either destroyed that bridge or rebuild Westwatch by the bridge.

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He could also have used the black gate under the Nightfort.

I think it's suspicious that the Starks found the direwolves right after the beheading. So, like the OP said, the two are probably linked. The wolves were meant to be found. So, did Gared came with mama direwolf? (Afaik, there's no direwolves at that time south of the wall). In that case, the Nightfort is probably the easiest way in terms of difficulties and time. And also, who helped him?

Do you think it's possible the WW let him go unharmed?

For the warging, I really don't know! 

@Nadden I hope you'll share your theory;)

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I wonder how well-known the Black Gate of Mordor, err, excuse me, the Nightfort is among the NW. 

I’ve never considered a possible connection between Mama Direwolf and Gared. That’s so cool that you picked up on it. 
 

Maybe Gared is Varamyr’s long-lost cousin! :D

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Gared had the horses so his travelling away from the scene of the crime wasn't too difficult as compared to only walking.
 
makes me often wonder why he wasn't all caught by the Others, i mean Will & Royce were only walking distance away from where Gared would have been keeping the horses.
 

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The horses, I've forgotten about that! 

Yes, it seems like the Others wanted to let someone escape so he can spread the word. Pity we don't know what Gared said to Ned Stark.

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hmmm, let's think on that scenario, as ugly as it is .. i just thought about it for a while.

i realized that what would Gared know other than Royce & Will were walking toward a 'Wilding camp'  ?
he was with the horses after all - he didn't know what went on with the encounter with the Others. 

if Royce, as a reanimated wight or whatever, went wandering off as the reanimated wights seem to do, then maybe only Will's strangled body remained at the bloody scene.    who knows what Gared would have thought had happened (maybe he thought Royce snapped & murdered his Black Brother OR that the Wildings were responsible for the mayhem) & no wonder that Ned's words didn't 'reach' him during the questioning or whatever it was.   

another thing i wonder about is why not return the 'wayward' Black Brother to the Watch for questioning?  or wait for some representative of the Wall to arrive to the questioning?   seems like a wasted opportunity for a exit interview at the least.

it would be good to know where they caught/found Gared to try & determine where he could have crossed the Wall.

 

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Ser Waymar's mouth became a hard line. "No fire."

Gared's hood shadowed his face, but Will could see the hard glitter in his eyes as he stared at the knight. For a moment he was afraid the older man would go for his sword. It was a short, ugly thing, its grip discolored by sweat, its edge nicked from hard use, but Will would not have given an iron bob for the lordling's life if Gared pulled it from its scabbard.

Finally Gared looked down. "No fire," he muttered, low under his breath. 

AGoT, Prologue

A length of frayed rope bound the bundle together. Jon unsheathed his dagger and cut it, groped for the edges of the cloth, and pulled. The bundle turned, and its contents spilled out onto the ground, glittering dark and bright. He saw a dozen knives, leaf-shaped spearheads, numerous arrowheads. Jon picked up a dagger blade, featherlight and shiny black, hiltless. Torchlight ran along its edge, a thin orange line that spoke of razor sharpness. Dragonglass. What the maesters call obsidian. 

ACoK, Jon IV

They are cold and afraid; we all are. It was hard waiting here, perched on the stony summit above the forest, wondering what the morrow might bring. The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome.

Jon slid his new dagger from its sheath and studied the flames as they played against the shiny black glass. He had fashioned the wooden hilt himself, and wound hempen twine around it to make a grip. Ugly, but it served. Dolorous Edd opined that glass knives were about as useful as nipples on a knight's breastplate, but Jon was not so certain. The dragonglass blade was sharper than steel, albeit far more brittle.

It must have been buried for a reason.

ACoK, Jon V

I think Gared might be the embodiment of dragonglass. Or, at least, the personification of Jon Snow's obsidian dagger. (And I have written elsewhere that I suspect Jon's obsidian dagger might be Lightbringer.) I had wondered for awhile about the wordplay on Gared and dagger. Something about your post triggered the connection between the "turncloak" in which Jon Snow finds the obsidian cache and the "deserter" Gared. We see that Gared has hard glittering eyes and the obsidian is a glittering rock. Like his short sword, Gared is "nicked" from hard use -- he has lost his ears, three toes and a finger to frostbite. 

The difference is that Waymar forbade Gared from using fire; the cache found by Jon Snow immediately interacts with the fire on the torch he has brought along. But maybe Gared survived the encounter with the wights because he carries his own "fire," like Jon's dragonglass. 

This could also tell us who buried the cache for Jon to find. The faded black cloak could have come from the Night's Watch brother who spent forty years as a black brother. 

After Ned executes him, Gared's head is sent back to Mormont at the Wall. There's the whole Dick Crabb story about the beheaded foes being revived by a woods witch to provide advice to Clarence Crabb. But we also have significant heads sent to House Martell (Gregor Clegane), Cersei (a bunch of dwarfs, including Penny's brother, Groat), the sigil of House Baelish (the head of the Titan of Braavos), and Robb Stark's missing head (Joffrey wanted to present it to Sansa), among others beheaded and mounted at the gates of various castles. The Golden Company keeps the gilded heads of past captains-general mounted on pikes so they can return with the company to Westeros. 

The point is that Gared may be "advising" Mormont and, as the new Lord Commander, Jon Snow. 

If Gared embodies the substance that can stop (some of) The Others, then what does his foil, Ser Waymar Royce, represent? 

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Gared says “we could be a fortnight get it back”. “Fortnight”, Nightfort......

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2021 at 4:29 PM, Seams said:

Ser Waymar's mouth became a hard line. "No fire."

Gared's hood shadowed his face, but Will could see the hard glitter in his eyes as he stared at the knight. For a moment he was afraid the older man would go for his sword. It was a short, ugly thing, its grip discolored by sweat, its edge nicked from hard use, but Will would not have given an iron bob for the lordling's life if Gared pulled it from its scabbard.

Finally Gared looked down. "No fire," he muttered, low under his breath. 

AGoT, Prologue

A length of frayed rope bound the bundle together. Jon unsheathed his dagger and cut it, groped for the edges of the cloth, and pulled. The bundle turned, and its contents spilled out onto the ground, glittering dark and bright. He saw a dozen knives, leaf-shaped spearheads, numerous arrowheads. Jon picked up a dagger blade, featherlight and shiny black, hiltless. Torchlight ran along its edge, a thin orange line that spoke of razor sharpness. Dragonglass. What the maesters call obsidian. 

ACoK, Jon IV

They are cold and afraid; we all are. It was hard waiting here, perched on the stony summit above the forest, wondering what the morrow might bring. The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome.

Jon slid his new dagger from its sheath and studied the flames as they played against the shiny black glass. He had fashioned the wooden hilt himself, and wound hempen twine around it to make a grip. Ugly, but it served. Dolorous Edd opined that glass knives were about as useful as nipples on a knight's breastplate, but Jon was not so certain. The dragonglass blade was sharper than steel, albeit far more brittle.

It must have been buried for a reason.

ACoK, Jon V

I think Gared might be the embodiment of dragonglass. Or, at least, the personification of Jon Snow's obsidian dagger. (And I have written elsewhere that I suspect Jon's obsidian dagger might be Lightbringer.) I had wondered for awhile about the wordplay on Gared and dagger. Something about your post triggered the connection between the "turncloak" in which Jon Snow finds the obsidian cache and the "deserter" Gared. We see that Gared has hard glittering eyes and the obsidian is a glittering rock. Like his short sword, Gared is "nicked" from hard use -- he has lost his ears, three toes and a finger to frostbite. 

The difference is that Waymar forbade Gared from using fire; the cache found by Jon Snow immediately interacts with the fire on the torch he has brought along. But maybe Gared survived the encounter with the wights because he carries his own "fire," like Jon's dragonglass. 

This could also tell us who buried the cache for Jon to find. The faded black cloak could have come from the Night's Watch brother who spent forty years as a black brother. 

After Ned executes him, Gared's head is sent back to Mormont at the Wall. There's the whole Dick Crabb story about the beheaded foes being revived by a woods witch to provide advice to Clarence Crabb. But we also have significant heads sent to House Martell (Gregor Clegane), Cersei (a bunch of dwarfs, including Penny's brother, Groat), the sigil of House Baelish (the head of the Titan of Braavos), and Robb Stark's missing head (Joffrey wanted to present it to Sansa), among others beheaded and mounted at the gates of various castles. The Golden Company keeps the gilded heads of past captains-general mounted on pikes so they can return with the company to Westeros. 

The point is that Gared may be "advising" Mormont and, as the new Lord Commander, Jon Snow. 

If Gared embodies the substance that can stop (some of) The Others, then what does his foil, Ser Waymar Royce, represent? 

I think you’re really onto something here. You have a few of the pieces and a good idea of what the picture looks like. To further your ideas I should point out that all of the weapons in the prologue match their owners like you pointed out with Gared. Like the other weapons in the Prologue each owner is actually symbolically the hilt of their weapon. And to add another piece to your puzzle I can tell you that the stump where Gared is beheaded is where lightning struck the Ironwood tree from the prologue. And because I can’t resist it and because I loved reading what you wrote another great little morsel is that Fat Tom and Desmond the two “guards”that dragged Gared symbolically lineup with the shaggy little garrons that Gared was guarding. 

please continue your reread’s. The word play and symbology will continue to bubble up and you will find some of the missing pieces for us.

Gared maybe the hilt of the dragonglass. Sam is symbolically the hilt of the dragon glass dagger he used to kill his Other. ASOS Samwell chapt.(I found that the torch in this chapter lined up with Gared. The one Grenn is holding). What do you think?

I would also love to read your piece on Jon’s obsidian dagger.

I just Realized looking back on this thread that there are quite a few people who have done lots of great analysis. Then I thought my tone came off as “a bit of a know it all.” Truth, I’ve spent a little bit of time analyzing a prologue and was excited to share. I’m a novice and I hope you’ll understand:) @Seams I read your Theon = Ice and I really liked it. There’s lots more sword stuff in the prologue. Waymar’s mouth being a “hard line”, gives the image of wear the blade inserts to the hilt:) 

The quote, “It was a splendid weapon, castle-forged, and new-made from the look of it.” and we find out later that the hilt had 3 sapphires, “Another produced a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt.” (A Jon chapt. 58) This gives us evidence comparing both Waymar and his sword. Martin had to wait to give us his eye color. Eye color matches the gems. And we needed Waymar’s eyes to change. Gems also explain the “hard glitter” in Gared’s eyes. Lastly, There’s a Samwell chapter when he uses the dragonglass to kill the WW that explains and points to sword owners symbolically representing their hilt. Here’s the quote, “Dolorous Edd had said, “I knew a man once who wore his sword on a chain around his neck like that. One day he stumbled, and the hilt went up his nose.” 
 

Humble follower

Edited by Nadden
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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2021 at 8:03 PM, Yaya said:

hmmm, let's think on that scenario, as ugly as it is .. i just thought about it for a while.

i realized that what would Gared know other than Royce & Will were walking toward a 'Wilding camp'  ?
he was with the horses after all - he didn't know what went on with the encounter with the Others. 

if Royce, as a reanimated wight or whatever, went wandering off as the reanimated wights seem to do, then maybe only Will's strangled body remained at the bloody scene.    who knows what Gared would have thought had happened (maybe he thought Royce snapped & murdered his Black Brother OR that the Wildings were responsible for the mayhem) & no wonder that Ned's words didn't 'reach' him during the questioning or whatever it was.   

another thing i wonder about is why not return the 'wayward' Black Brother to the Watch for questioning?  or wait for some representative of the Wall to arrive to the questioning?   seems like a wasted opportunity for a exit interview at the least.

it would be good to know where they caught/found Gared to try & determine where he could have crossed the Wall.

 

To you Yaya i’ll say that the wildling camp is a green dream. And that we will need to look beneath the narrative at the symbolism to get the answers we are seeking. Westeros.org says 

A person with greensight sometimes dreams as other people, but the green dreams are different, filled with symbolic meaning, images, and metaphors of what is to come.

The meaning behind the dreams is not always obvious, but the dreamer experiences the fulfillment of visions in the unfolding of events. Supposedly these dreams can concern the dreamer or another person, but the dreamer will be able to tell the difference. Greenseers might also dream of their own deaths.

Edited by Nadden
To include a quote

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On 5/7/2021 at 3:39 AM, Lunabricot said:

He could also have used the black gate under the Nightfort.

I think it's suspicious that the Starks found the direwolves right after the beheading. So, like the OP said, the two are probably linked. The wolves were meant to be found. So, did Gared came with mama direwolf? (Afaik, there's no direwolves at that time south of the wall). In that case, the Nightfort is probably the easiest way in terms of difficulties and time. And also, who helped him?

Do you think it's possible the WW let him go unharmed?

For the warging, I really don't know! 

@Nadden I hope you'll share your theory;)

Two things,

 

you’ll notice that they dismounted when they heard the wolf howl.

Somewhere off in the wood a wolf howled. Will pulled his garron over beneath an ancient gnarled ironwood and dismounted.

 

And the description of the “great rock”, which is symbolic, matches that of the dead Mother Direwolf.

AGOT Prologue, “Half-buried in bloodstained snow, a huge dark shape slumped in death. Ice had formed in its shaggy grey fur,...”

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 Will doesn't know about his Green skill then?  & is that what you are proposing? 

On 6/1/2021 at 5:34 PM, Nadden said:

To you Yaya i’ll say that the wildling camp is a green dream.

if so i hadn't thought on that.

& i'm not too sure of the dead mother direwolf being related to the event.  the howling wolf could be just 'normal' wolves on their business too, the description being added for chill effect.   
the two events being related ... imho i don't think so but who knows what with the limited information we have :cheers:

 

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On 6/2/2021 at 5:39 PM, Yaya said:


 Will doesn't know about his Green skill then?  & is that what you are proposing? 

if so i hadn't thought on that.

& i'm not too sure of the dead mother direwolf being related to the event.  the howling wolf could be just 'normal' wolves on their business too, the description being added for chill effect.   
the two events being related ... imho i don't think so but who knows what with the limited information we have :cheers:

 

Awoiaf.Westeros.org

A person with greensight sometimes dreams as other people, but the green dreams are different, filled with symbolic meaning, images, and metaphors of what is to come.

The meaning behind the dreams is not always obvious, but the dreamer experiences the fulfillment of visions in the unfolding of events. Supposedly these dreams can concern the dreamer or another person, but the dreamer will be able to tell the difference. Greenseers might also dream of their own deaths. Wargs have been known to also possess this ability.

Greenseers, the wise men of the Cotf, reputedly possessed the greensight. Some crannogman are also known to have greensight. One of them is Jojen Reed, who has unnaturally green eyes. It is possible that this is the result of his advanced greensight abilities.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2021 at 6:29 PM, Seams said:

I had wondered for awhile about the wordplay on Gared and dagger. Something about your post triggered the connection between the "turncloak" in which Jon Snow finds the obsidian cache and the "deserter" Gared. We see that Gared has hard glittering eyes and the obsidian is a glittering rock. Like his short sword, Gared is "nicked" from hard use -- he has lost his ears, three toes and a finger to frostbite. 

I like the parallel between Gared and his sword.  A bit like Jon and his sword.  A bastard sword with a direwolf pommel to keep it/him balanced.

I’m not sure about the wordplay between Gared and dagger though.  The best theory that I’ve heard are that the three prologue characters are a bit of meta commentary on three authors: James Joyce aka Waymar Royce, Shakespeare aka Will, and Edgar Allen Poe aka Gared (Gared being an anagram of his first name).

But speaking of that, it might dovetail a bit with the OP.  If Gared was a skinchanger that would match up nicely with his connection to Poe.  What author is better known for stories where one has a conversation with a raven?

Edited by Frey family reunion

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9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I like the parallel between Gared and his sword.  A bit like Jon and his sword.  A bastard sword with a direwolf pommel to keep it/him balanced.

I’m not sure about the wordplay between Gared and dagger though.  The best theory that I’ve heard are that the three prologue characters are a bit of meta commentary on three authors: James Joyce aka Waymar Royce, Shakespeare aka Will, and Edgar Allen Poe aka Gared (Gared being an anagram of his first name).

But speaking of that, it might dovetail a bit with the OP.  If Gared was a skinchanger that would match up nicely with his connection to Poe.  What author is better known for stories where one has a conversation with a raven?

Branches stirred gently in the wind, scratching at one another with wooden fingers. Will opened his mouth to call down a warning, and the words seemed to freeze in his throat. Perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps it had only been a bird, a reflection on the snow, some trick of the moonlight.

A Reflection on the snow would have been a shadow. Raven like:) A symbolic raven. 

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On 5/6/2021 at 9:47 AM, TheFlyingHellfish said:

Great spot on visiting Craster. A possible source of tension would be Gared, as a seasoned man of the Watch, knowing to keep his mouth shut about Crasters and his "wives", whereas a lordling like Ser Waymar might have an inclination to pass judgment (literal or figurative) on Craster. 

I've long wondered how Gared gets south of The Wall. 

I've also wondered why, even though they kept him in the show, that they swapped the deserter Gared for Will. 

I feel that a big part of the prologue is a green dream( wildling camp) Most of the prologue is symbolic and less literal. This makes it very difficult for a visual interpretation. As far as how they got south of the wall there’s this: Word play: Gared says, “If it snows, we could be a fortnight getting back, and snow’s the best we can hope for.” So “fortnight”....night fort

I’m thinking Gared and the wolf went through the weirwood mouth in reverse.

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