Jump to content

Recommended Posts

In ASOIAF the weirwood roots are described as white worms, grave worms, and white serpents, and Bloodraven, Pyat Pree, and The Kindly Man all have the white worm symbolism, and they are three are representatives of chthonic death cults.  The White Worm is the avatar of death.

 

Bloodraven:

“The sight of him still frightened Bran—the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.” 

From the Mystery Knight: “Bloodraven is the root of all our woes, the white worm gnawing at the heart of the realm." 

Bonus points:  white worm root, heart(tree) of the realm, root of woes

Bloodraven is becoming/become one with the White Worm—with death.  (does anyone here know about Warhammer 40K, and why the God Emperor looks just like Bloodraven?  Which came first?)

 

Kindly Man: 

“The priest lowered his cowl. Beneath he had no face; only a yellowed skull with a few scraps of skin still clinging to the cheeks, and a white worm wriggling from one empty eye socket. "Kiss me, child," he croaked, in a voice as dry and husky as a death rattle.

Does he think to scare me? 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.”

 

Pyat Pree:

“ ‘No,’ Pyat screeched. ‘No, to me, come to me, to meeeeeee.’ His face crumbled inward, changing to something pale and wormlike.”

 

Bloodraven’s cave, the House of Black and White, and the House of the Undying are all catacombs, where death cults are located-- they are all depicting weirwood caves.  They are underground temples devoted to the worship of death.

 

Weirwood roots:

“The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy. Grave worms have teeth.

Hodor saw them too. "Hodor," he whimpered, reluctant to go on. But when the girl child stopped to let them catch her, the torchlight steadied, and Bran realized that the snakes were only white roots like the one he'd hit his head on. "It's weirwood roots," he said. "Remember the heart tree in the godswood, Hodor? The white tree with the red leaves? A tree can't hurt you."

“huge white roots twisting through them like a thousand slow pale snakes.”

The cave has teeth to eat Bran: “Hodor plunged ahead, hurrying after the child and her torch, deeper into the earth. They passed another branching, and another, then came into an echoing cavern as large as the great hall of Winterfell, with stone teeth hanging from its ceiling and more poking up through its floor.

 

I am just going to dump everything I know about the literary history of white worm and its significance.  

George’s story In the House of the Worm is spin-off/sequel to a story from the 1933 issue of Weird Tales called The House of the Worm (fulltext [pg 68] and audiobook).  In that story, a death cult makes a god out of the white grave worm in a forest called Sacrament Wood, the concentration of thought and prayer of the cultists makes an actual supernatural god of death manifest itself—it is a mass of white telepathic grave worms, and decay and plague begins to spread from the center of the forest outwards slowly killing everything (this story is highly derivative of Lovecraft’s The Color out of Space). 

The story opens with a quote from Edgar Allen Poe’s Ligeia,

      But see, amid the mimic rout,
      A crawling shape intrude!
      A blood-red thing that writhes from out
      The scenic solitude!
      It writhes! --it writhes! --with mortal pangs
      The mimes become its food,
      And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs
      In human gore imbued.

      Out --out are the lights --out all!
      And over each quivering form,
      The curtain, a funeral pall,
      Comes down with the rush of a storm,
      And the angels, all pallid and wan,
      Uprising, unveiling, affirm
      That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
      And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

Life is a tragic play, and its hero is the worms of death and decay.  (The Conqueror Worm is mentioned in the Shadow Over Innsmouth, as a metaphor of things abandoned and given over to decay.)

 

In the story the House of the Worm, towards the end the protagonists journey into the woods and find that the Worm has darkened / eclipsed the sun:

“A black cloud lay over it, a blanket of darkness, a rolling mist like that which is said to obscure the River Styx.  It covered the region of death like a heavy shroud. . .  It was growing dark.  The farther we moved down the rocky trail, the deeper we descended into this stronghold of death, the paler became the sun. . .they are hiding the sun.  They are destroying the light.  The wood will be dark. . . The light hurts them.  I could feel their pain and agony that morning as the sun rose; they can not kill in the day.  But now they are stronger, and are hiding the sun itself. . . the day had become as a moonlit night”

The woods are described as “a forest of death, a nightmare, fungous forest that cried out to the invaders, that sobbed in agony at the bright torches, and rocked to and fro in all its unholy rottenness.”  It is also described as “alien forest”

The Worm is telepathic and sends out psychic lures to get them to join the cult. (this is the plot of George’s story A Song For Lya, and lige [pronounced “lie” or “liya”] means “grave” in gaelic, and the plot of Ligeia parallels the Robert/Lyanna/Cersei plot) They discover that fire is the only thing that can cleanse the forest, and they can cleanse them of its psychic lures by burning themselves. 

At the center of the woods they find the cult and the shrine of the Worm, and the cult’s leader is giving a chant:

“Mighty is our lord, the Worm.  Mightier than all the kings of heaven and of earth is the Worm.  The gods create; man plans and builds; but the Worm effaces their handiwork.”

“Mighty are the planners and the builders; great their works and their possessions.  But at last they must fall heir to a narrow plot of earth; and even that forsooth, the Worm will take away.”

“This is the House of the Worm; his home which none may destroy; the home which we, his protectors, have made for him.”

“O Master! On bended knee we give thee all these things!  We give unto thee man and his possessions!  We give unto thee the life of the earth to be thy morsel of food!  We give unto thee the earth itself to be thy residence!

“Mighty, oh, mighty above all the kings of heaven and of earth is our lord and master, the Worm, to whom Time is naught!”

 

The shrine to the Worm:

“It was a heaped up grave!  Massive, twenty feet long and half as high, it was covered with rotting bones and limbs of trees.  The earth, piled there is the gruesome mound, shivered and heaved as from some foul life within.  Then, half buried in the filth, we saw the headstone—itself a rotting board, leaning askew in its shallow setting.  And on it was carved only the line:  ‘The House of the Worm.’  The house of the worm!  A heaped-up grave!  And the cult of blackness and death had sought to make of the world one foul grave, and cover even that with a shroud of darkness.”

The grave is filled with wriggling white grave worms, and this is when it is described as an “alien forest”

The Worm cultists are sensitive to light and the protagonists scatter them with flame, and set fire to the Worm shrine and blow it up with gunpowder:

“There came a deep, heavy-throated roar; the pulpy ground beneath our feet waved and shook; the roaring flames, impelled by an irresistible force beneath them, rose simultaneously into the air, curved out in long sweeping parabolas of lurid flame, and scattered over the moaning forest floor.”

 

Then the darkness recedes and daylight returns.  The protagonist decides after some reflection that it was the obsessing over thoughts of death made the worm manifest itself, and the way to prevent its return was to not ruminate on thoughts of death:

“In some strange way, this Cult of the Worm must have organized for the worship of death, and established their headquarters there in the valley.  They built the huge grave as a shrine, and by the over-concentration upon worship of their fanatical minds, caused a physical manifestation to appear within it as the real result of their thought.  And what suggestion of death could be more forceful than its eternal accompaniment—the worms of death and the bacteria of decay?  . . . If this be true, the only way to destroy it is to cease to believe.”

 

So here we have a story with a telepathic, “alien” fungus forest, at its center is a white worm which is a god of death, that lives underground, to whom time is naught, under a huge barrow grave, attended to by forest-dwelling humanoids who see in the dark, the white worm eclipses the sun and is spreading decay over the world, and wants to wipe out all life on the planet, and the eclipse is ended by a burning forest exploding into the air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other stories that involve the spreading death/ explosions from underground/ or white worms:

 

Lovecraft’s The Color out of Space involves a meteor landing on Earth, carrying an alien being, that spreads decay and blight from a central spot located in a well, it is attached to tree roots, and sucks the life out of everything living, at the climax of the story, the trees appear to have flames spouting from their leaves, and the trees sway without wind, and the alien lifeform launches itself back into space.  What stopped the grey waste from spreading was the alien blasted off the surface of the Earth.

(The Shunned House has a white fungous vampiric thing living under it, that comes out at night an sucks the life out of people.  That story mentions a plant called an indian pipe, which is a white and red parasitic plant, called monotropa uniflora)

 

In Hindu mythology, there was a giant carnivorous white worm called the Indus Worm that preyed on livestock, and the worm secretes highly explosive oil that could be used to make grenades.  (I have theorized that the weirwood trees secrete the explosive fluid called Wildfire, that are kept in fruit-shaped jars)

 

In Bram Stoker’s The Lair of the White Worm, a carnivorous white worm lives under a castle, and in the climax of the story a lightning strike ignites a cache of dynamite under the castle, exploding the worm and its lair, and destroying the castle. 

(The white worm was so huge that when it came out at night and reared up into the air it appeared as a WhiteTower, and its eyes were green beacons—I think this is the inspiration for the GreenAngelTower from Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.)

 

In Clark Ashton Smith’s Vulthoom, (audio and fulltext) a white alien tree landed on Mars as a meteor:  “The Martians say that I fell from heaven like a fiery meteor” from another universe and lives underground in caverns and formed a Satanic cult. 

Vulthoom is a huge white bole whose roots occupy the underground caves: 

“there reclined an incredible thing whose further portions and members wound away to an indefinite distance amid the machinery.  Somehow, the thing was like a gigantic plant, with innumerable roots, pale and swollen, that ramified from a bulbular bole. This bole, half hidden from view, was topped with a vermilion cup like a monstrous blossom; and from the cup there grew an elfin figure, pearly-hued, and formed with exquisite beauty and symmetry”

A little person growing out of a white tree—(the CoTF are attached to the white tree)

Vulthoom is telepathic, and can see forwards and backwards in time.  Vulthoom sleeps for thousands of years, and then is awake for thousands of years.  Vulthoom secretes a hallucinogenic perfume that is like weirwood paste. Vulthoom wants to spread his cult to Earth, and his plan is to blast off of Mars from underground in a rocket that is secretly being built underground. 

 

"When all is ready, the ship will blast its way to the surface by means of atomic disintegrators. The very stone will melt before it like vapor. Ignar-Luth, which lies directly above will be consumed as if the central fires of the planet had broken loose."

(the launch of the white bole Vulthoom parallels the Hardhome disaster and the Doom of Valyria, which I think were both weirwood launches, both were like the central fires of the planet had broken loose)

His followers are called Aihai, and Vulthoom is associated with a three-headed dragon.

 

 

The Coming of the White Worm (audio  and fulltext) is another story by Clark Ashton Smith, and it is about a huge magic telepathic white worm that came from outer space and spreads death and icy cold from his floating iceberg.  He feeds on wizards.   (the weirwood feeds on wizards)

 

George's story A Night at the Tarn House, the Hissing Eels are white worms of a sort, and they live underneath an inn where people are lured in, killed, and cannibalized in meat pies (the meat pie has wisps of steam that form human faces).  The Tarn House is a metaphor for a weirwood cave, the Hissing Eels are weirwood roots, they are carnivorous and they eat humans.  A green man is brought to the Tarn House by a huge hairy man (Bran carried by Hodor) and black and red sorcerer comes to the Tarn House and is killed and has his identity stolen (Bloodraven).  A shadow sword assassin who is a young girl wearing the semblance of dead person, comes to the Tarn House to kill wizards (Arya).  In the night the Tarn House becomes an island and traps its guests.  It is mentioned that wizards made the sun go dark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Character from F&B during the Dance of Dragons - Mysaria is also called Misery and the White Worm - who has Valyrian appearance, comes from Lys where daughter of Targaryen King left and became a prostitute.

In The Lair of the White Worm: "Sir Nathaniel Van Helsing-type character  believes the Worm is descended from dragons, who traded their physical power for cunning. "

Firewyrms, worms with human faces, snakes with hands that appear in Asoiaf might be related and devolved form of dragons, or their ancestors - that were upgraded using Valyrian blood magic.

Martin starts "House of the Worm" with:

Quote

For ages past remembering, the House of the Worm had been lost in decay, and that was as it should be, for decay is but one name of the White Worm himself.

Decay= White Worm and all those that connect with it.

Edited by Eltharion21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloodraven’s personal sigil is a white wyrm (dragon).

And, just a friendly reminder, a raven isn’t a crow, and Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow.

Quote

Because winter is coming.

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

Game of Thrones Bran III

The frozen spires are the Weirwoods above Bloodraven’s Lair, and the bones of the dreamers are impaled on the points of their roots.

And because I love all the outside references you are pulling in here, I will point to one from a different source, The Prophesy of Merlin, in which a white dragon and a red dragon do battle under the earth (causing the usurper’s castle to keep falling down).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arya has been the worm-eater since ACOK. Here while going underground to escape a fire&blood hell:

Quote

Arya rolled headfirst into the tunnel and dropped five feet. She got dirt in her mouth but she didn't care, the taste was fine, the taste was mud and water and worms and life. Under the earth the air was cool and dark. Above was nothing but blood and roaring red and choking smoke and the screams of dying horses. She moved her belt around so Needle would not be in her way, and began to crawl

Here after passing through a burned village:

Quote

Later they passed through a burned village, threading their way carefully between the shells of blackened hovels and past the bones of a dozen dead men hanging from a row of apple trees. When Hot Pie saw them he began to pray, a thin whispered plea for the Mother's mercy, repeated over and over. Arya looked up at the fleshless dead in their wet rotting clothes and said her own prayer. Ser Gregor, it went, Dunsen, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling. The Tickler and the Hound. Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei. She ended it with valar morghulis, touched Jaqen's coin where it nestled under her belt, and then reached up and plucked an apple from among the dead men as she rode beneath them. It was mushy and overripe, but she ate it worms and all.

Quote

“So says Arya of House Stark, eater of grave worms.”

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

As I already said George’s short story In the House of the Worm is a spin-off/sequel to the House of the Worm, (as well as drawing very heavily from H.G. Wells The Time Machine) and in that the sun of an alien planet has gone black, and human civilization has retreated underground, and has lived there for untold generations as their world slowly cools and they gradually die off and fade into oblivion.  The people are called the yaga-la-hai (the worm children) and worship a deity called Yaggalla which is a giant White Worm, whose name is synonymous with death, decay, and entropy.  Their high priest is the Manworm who gets ritually mutilated to fashion himself into the form of a worm; getting his arms and legs, and eventually his face removed to become one with the White Worm. (he becomes a faceless man)  It is a death cult and they worship the white grave worm.

Some of the characters are named after worms: Annelyn = annelid worm, Vermyllar = vermis means “worm” in Latin, Groff means “grave” in dutch, and uaigh / uig in Gaelic means “grave, tomb, sepulcher, den, cave” so the “yag” in Yaggalla means “grave,”  And the Grouns live underground.

(Yig in Lovecraft is a snake god that lives underground, and turns people into snakes after torturing them,   and uigean means “fugitive, lonely wanderer” and Yuggoth is a wandering black planet)

 

 In Gaelic uaigh means “grave, cave”, and uir (sounds like weir) means “earth, grave, mold” –iogh means “yew tree” in gaelic, uagh means “terror, dread” and I think the weirwoods are a spin on Yggdrasil, the tree of terror, as a cosmic world tree that is a god of death.  Iagh means “island,”

al or alaigh means “brood, progeny” so uaigh + alaigh (yag + alai) = children of the grave / worm children

 

The basic plot synopsis is that the sun became a red giant and scorched their planet, the humans were forced to hide underground.  All their spaceships left and they are left helpless and hopeless and in the long decay they have nothing to do except drink and party and wait to die, as meat becomes ever more scarce and the planet cools off.  The Yaga-la-hai are nihilistic, and worship death.  A territorial squabble between groups of people has after thousands (or millions) of years led to the the divergence of evolution of the Yaga-la-hai into Eloi-like people living a life of luxury higher up in the burrows, and the Grouns into Morlock-like, blind white cave dwellers who live lower down where there is no light.  Both groups have turned to cannibalism.  Just like in the Time Machine, the Yaga-la-hai actually depend on the Grouns for their survival, as the Grouns are still working the machinery that keeps the burrows livable, with ventilation machines and heaters.  (that is how the Meatbringer rediscovered the Changemaster's room, from a schematic of the heating ducts from a HVAC repair manual)

Annelyn descends into the territory of the Grouns and learns the truth about his people and their history and the truth of the White Worm.  When he finds the corpse of a White Worm Annelyn recites their prayer to Yaggalla:

“The White Worm has many names,” he said, unmoving, “and the children of men have cursed them all in the centuries behind us. But we are the worm-children, and we do not curse them. He cannot be fought. His is the final power in the universe, and the wise man accepts his coming, to dance and feast in what time there is left.

“So praise the White Worm, whose name is Yaggalla. And grieve not, though our lights burn dim and die.

“So praise the White Worm, whose name is Decay. And grieve not, though our energy fades and fails:

“So praise the White Worm, whose name is Death. And grieve not, though life's circle tightens and all things perish.

“So praise the White Worm, whose name is Entropy. And grieve not, though the sun goes out.

“An ending comes. Feast. The ships are gone. Drink. The struggling times are over. Dance. And praise, praise, to the White Worm.”

 

Yaggalla is the god of death and he has many names.  The yaga-la-hai are called the worm children, and they live in caves, and worship the White Worm.  When they die they become one with the White Worm (yugala means “union” in Hindu, “The Manworm thinks of nothing but his coming unity with the White Worm,”)  There is also something about the Kali Yuga, which in Hindu mythology is the age of the long decline.

In ASOIAF, the Children of the Forest live in caves and worship the weirwood / white worm, when they die they become one with the white worm.

 

The belief in Yaggalla is actually a confused and garbled telling of historical events, as Annnelyn learns from the Meatbringer.  The Changemasters—the last remnants of the Ecological Engineering Corp, genetically engineered giant white worms that could tunnel deep underground and eat Grouns,  (the Grouns are all white, and are kept from the yaga-la-hai by a “wall”—the Grounwall) 

“The Chamber of the Last Light,” Groff said brusquely. “Or so it is called in the lore of the bronze knights. But groun hunters call it the grounwall. This is the last and deepest place where the old sun can peer in. The White Worm created it to keep the grouns from the burrows of his children, some say."

 

It is important that the humans created the white worm, and then worship it as a god, just like in House of the Worm (1933), Annelyn discovers the truth about the White Worm and the Grouns, and tries to convince his people to unite with the Grouns to eradicate the White Worms.  He learns that the white worm can die, that they can kill it.  He fails to convince anyone to act, and things go on as they did before.  Annelyn rejects nihilism and fights against the dying of the light, he wants to unite his people and fight against nihilism and the White Worm.

 

In ASOIAF, I think the Others are not the bad guys, and the humans will need to unite with them to eradicate the weirwood.

 

There is a very strong parallel between Braavos unmasking party and the Yaga-la-hai Masque party, where they all party in the masquerade, and at midnight they are all unmasked

They talk about the sun being masked. And whatever is in the sky does not rotate, so is it not actually the sun but something blocking out the sun?  Or was that just an oversight by George.  In any event, I think the Long Night is caused by the sun being masked by a black planet eclipsing it--Yuggoth/the Stranger.  In House of the Worm (1933) they darken the sun on purpose to worship death, so it would make sense that in In the House of the Worm, the sun was also darkened on purpose.  Also, at the end of The Time Machine, a huge planet eclipses the the sun which has now become a red giant.

Edited by By Odin's Beard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot one, Robert Bloch's The Shambler from the Stars, is about the evil book De Vermis Mysteriis or The Mysteries of the Worm, which is like Lovecraft's Necronomicon.  In the story they use the book to summon a demon from space, that comes down from the Black Star, and is a vampiric ghostly thing with trunks and sucks the blood out of the man who summoned him, and then escapes.  It is a star vampire, and he says that it bleats like a goat.  (the Black Goat of the Woods is a weirwood, as I have argued previously)

"It was red and dripping; an immensity of pulsing moving jelly; a scarlet blob with myriad tentacular trunks that waved and waved.  There were suckers on the tips of the appendages, and these were opening and closing with ghoulish lust. . . The thing was bloated and obscene; a headless, faceless, eyeless bulk with the ravenous maw and titanic talons of a star-born monster"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mourning Star said:

And, just a friendly reminder, a raven isn’t a crow, and Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow.

The symbolism of Bloodraven as the Three-Eyed Crow isn't trying to make a raven into a crow.  Bloodraven is also a "crow" because he is/was a brother of the Nights Watch and they are all known as "crows".  The symbolism of a "crow" or brother of the Nights Watch who has magical powers, which is also sometimes symbolized as opening one's "third eye", fits Bloodraven quite well.  Until Martin tells me otherwise I will be quite confident that Bloodraven is, in fact, the Three-Eyed Crow.  And I will be quite surprised if Martin ever says otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Prince of the North said:

The symbolism of Bloodraven as the Three-Eyed Crow isn't trying to make a raven into a crow.  Bloodraven is also a "crow" because he is/was a brother of the Nights Watch and they are all known as "crows".  The symbolism of a "crow" or brother of the Nights Watch who has magical powers, which is also sometimes symbolized as opening one's "third eye", fits Bloodraven quite well.  Until Martin tells me otherwise I will be quite confident that Bloodraven is, in fact, the Three-Eyed Crow.  And I will be quite surprised if Martin ever says otherwise.

Nooooooope.

First, there is not symbolism that the three eyed crow is Bloodraven, because he isn’t.

Bloodraven was “once” a member of the Nights Watch, and he, just like Sam, when asked by Bran if he is the three eyed crow, leaps to the wrong conclusion and assumes it’s a reference to the Nights Watch. This isn’t a reason to think Sam is the three eyed crow any more than Bloodraven, in fact it’s indicating neither is the crow.

Speaking of eyes… the number is relevant, and again doesn’t fit with Bloodraven:

A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck.

Instead it would appear in line with Bloodraven appearing as the Brooding Weirwood in Bran’s Dreams (one eyed Bloodraven with an extra eye is the two eyed tree… not a three eyed crow), which sometimes shares the dream with the crow and sometimes doesn’t, showing they are distinct entities.

I am willing to bet the farm that Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow and it’s mind blowing to me that this is even still up for debate!

Bran has already literally asked Bloodraven straight up of he was the three eyed crow and Bloodraven didn’t even understand the question!!!

Edited by Mourning Star

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mourning Star said:

The Prophesy of Merlin, in which a white dragon and a red dragon do battle under the earth (causing the usurper’s castle to keep falling down).

I have cited that story before as evidence of a weirwood launch, red and white dragons living under a castle causing it to collapse, and the wizard boy Merlin sets them free and they fly away into the sky (parallels the tower collapse at Winterfell and the spectral dragon flying away).  I learned about it in the book Castles by Alan Lee, which also features the story of Caer Arianrhod, the Castle of the Silver Wheel that was launched into the sky by a wizard and became the constellation Corona Borealis.   And the story of Oberon about a living castle with eyes.

(there is also a dragon that lives under Yggdrasil, and gnaws at its roots, that is supposed to be set free at Ragnarok.

 

1 hour ago, Mourning Star said:

Bloodraven’s personal sigil is a white wyrm (dragon).

And, just a friendly reminder, a raven isn’t a crow, and Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow.

The frozen spires are the Weirwoods above Bloodraven’s Lair, and the bones of the dreamers are impaled on the points of their roots.

I agree about the distinction between crows and ravens.  Crows are Loki's animals, and ravens are Odin's.  Fenrir (Bran) is the son of Loki and kills Odin during Ragnarok.  Loki is probably the Night King.  I think the 3 eyed crow was killing off the other potential greenseers in their sleep.  In the Wheel of Time, the dark lord Shaitan visits people in their dreams and appears as a raven and pecks his victims to mark them.  There were two separate entities in Bran's falling dreams, the weirwood tree and the crow.  The tree could only watch, and the crow could interact and talk and opened Bran's third eye.  The crow is much more powerful than Bloodraven, and is probably the Night King/Bran from the future.   Also, in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, the Storm King visits Simon in his dreams and appears as a hill crowned with a ring of trees like an antler crown--a proto-weirwood hill.  So the crow and/or weirwood tree visiting Bran is the Devil. 

People that the crow visits:

varis means crow in finnish, joj means crow in mayan, bran means crow in welsh, vran/uran means crow in welsh (uran also means "flight/ leap"" in hindi).  These are all characters the crow has visited (or still visits) in their dreams, and he is associated with ice and blue flame and crows.  In Bran's falling dream it is shown that he is elemental ice, when he sees into the heart of winter and weeps at what he sees, and he tears burn his cheeks, he sees himself as the Night King, and this is the truth revealed in dreams that Jojen tells him to fear.

In Gaelic astronomy the constellation corvus corone is the crow, and it is called the Soul of Bran.  the Crone's Lantern is the corvus constellation, the Crone who lights the way is really the corone who lights the way, the crow.  Bran opened Jon's third eye in a time warp dream from the future.

While we are talking about the Nights Watch, crows are tricksy birds, a the Nights Watch is literally a Black Guard, and I recently learned the word Blackguard means an untrustworthy scoundrel.

 

 

While I am mentioning the Crow's Eye, his sigil is a bloodshot eye and he says that he can spy death from afar, I found a book called the Big Eye, by Max Ehrlich, about a wandering planet that threatens to destroy Earth and it has a geological feature on it that makes it look like a giant bloodshot eyeball coming to Earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mourning Star said:

Nooooooope.

First, there is not symbolism that the three eyed crow is Bloodraven, because he isn’t.

Bloodraven was “once” a member of the Nights Watch, and he, just like Sam, when asked by Bran if he is the three eyed crow, leaps to the wrong conclusion and assumes it’s a reference to the Nights Watch. This isn’t a reason to think Sam is the three eyed crow any more than Bloodraven, in fact it’s the opposite.

Speaking of eyes… the number is relevant, and again doesn’t fit with Bloodraven:

A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck.

I am willing to bet the farm that Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow and it’s mind blowing to me that this is even still up for debate!

The whole plot of Bran being lured to the cave is "borrowed" from Lovecraft's Whisperer in Darkness, Bran even calls Bloodraven that name.   In that story the Wilmarth is in correspondence with a man named Akeley who has discovered a colony of alien crabs who live in caves near to his house.  It is said that these crabs are the origin of myths about hidden races of little people or faery who live in hills and caves,  The crabs are pinkish (red and white), and have greenblood, and are telepathic.  The crabs kill Akeley and put his brain in a jar, and write letters to Wilmarth to lure him to a remote location where they intend to kill him and put his brain in a jar also.  Wilmarth comes and meets with who he thinks is Akeley but is really one of the crabs who has put on the face and hands of Akeley and is impersonating him.  They try to drug Wilmarth but he escapes.

Craobh means tree in gaelic.  so the Whisperer in Darkness is a crab/tree that kills someone, steals his brain and identity, and tries to lure someone in to steal their brain also.  Bloodraven is dead, and the weirwood is animating his corpse to manipulate Bran and entrap him.

(The brains in jars can visit other planets, and go backwards and forwards in time, and have especially vivid dreams.  The jars have three sockets in a triangle like a skull, and they are placed on shelves, like in Bloodraven's cave)

In Bloodraven's cave they talk about CoTF being inside the ravens and being able to monitor and intercept communications, and this is one of the plots of the Whisperer in Darkness, that the crabs are spying on us.

 

Edited to add:

In this story Bran is named alongside Cthulhu and he who is not to be named.

I forgot to say that they worship the Black Goat of the Woods in a standing stone circle.  And the Black Goat is called Shub Niggurath and is depicted as a weirwood on the cover of one of the books.  And the Black Goat is the Otherworld Tree from The Tree on the Hill.

saobh means "mad, deranged, blind, mislead" and rath means "mound, hill"   And in the Rats in the Walls, Nyarlathotep is called the mad faceless god, who lives in a cave deep underground.

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

First, there is not symbolism that the three eyed crow is Bloodraven, because he isn’t.

Well, since you're set on simply expressing your incorrect opinion as FACT...allow me to respond in kind: NOPE!  So, I'll take your points one by one, not for you, but for anyone else who may be tempted to take what you are saying here seriously.

Quote

Bloodraven was “once” a member of the Nights Watch, and he, just like Sam, when asked by Bran if he is the three eyed crow, leaps to the wrong conclusion and assumes it’s a reference to the Nights Watch. This isn’t a reason to think Sam is the three eyed crow any more than Bloodraven, in fact it’s indicating neither is the crow.

NW vows are for life: once a member of the NW, always a member of the NW.  And Bloodraven simply doesn't know how he appears to Bran in his dreams/visions but, logically, could make a possible connection to the NW.  I also don't think Sam jumps to the wrong conclusion in thinking Bran's referencing a "Three-Eyed Crow" could mean a Brother of the Nights Watch.  I think that conclusion is right.  I like how you bring Bloodraven's and Sam's interpretation into it to then say they're wrong and that, because they're wrong (in your opinion), it somehow "proves" Bloodraven can't be the Three-Eyed Crow.  That's...quite a leap of, I don't know...confirmation bias.   Food for thought - maybe, just maybe, the author meant to convey something to readers with Bloodraven and Sam concluding that maybe "crow" in "Three-Eyed Crow" could refer to a NW brother?

Quote

Speaking of eyes… the number is relevant, and again doesn’t fit with Bloodraven:

A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck.

My interpretation is that this is Bran not making the connection that Bloodraven is symbolized in his dreams/visions as a Three-Eyed Crow but, of course, he wouldn't have to appear like that in reality.  Remember, Bran is still a quite young child in the story.  The "three eyes" symbolism in Bran's dreams/visions is simply the symbolic crow having two normal eyes plus a third mystical eye.  

Quote

Instead it would appear in line with Bloodraven appearing as the Brooding Weirwood in Bran’s Dreams (one eyed Bloodraven with an extra eye is the two eyed tree… not a three eyed crow), which sometimes shares the dream with the crow and sometimes doesn’t, showing they are distinct entities.

This doesn't make any sense either.  I mean, why does the tree only have one eye here to add to Bloodraven's one eye to make two eyes?  Taking a cue from your overly-literal interpretation immediately above, shouldn't the tree in this vision have three eyes, too?  That is, two normal eyes for the tree plus Bloodraven's one remaining eye?

Quote

I am willing to bet the farm that Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow and it’s mind blowing to me that this is even still up for debate!

That's great!  And I am equally confident in my wager that you would lose that farm.  Also, it's mind blowing to me that anyone doesn't "know" that Bloodraven is the Three-Eyed Crow in Bran's visions, etc.;)

Quote

Bran has already literally asked Bloodraven straight up of he was the three eyed crow and Bloodraven didn’t even understand the question!!!

As I said above (and has been said many times on this board), Bloodraven just doesn't know how he appears to Bran in his dreams/visions.

Now, I have no doubt you'll come back with rebuttals to everything I've written here.  You won't change my mind and I won't change your mind.  That's fine.  As I said, I didn't really bother with this for you but for others who may read it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I agree about the distinction between crows and ravens.  Crows are Loki's animals, and ravens are Odin's.  Fenrir (Bran) is the son of Loki and kills Odin during Ragnarok.  Loki is probably the Night King.  I think the 3 eyed crow was killing off the other potential greenseers in their sleep. 

I suspect that there is a bit of a switcheroo going on with the Norse Mythology references… and that the characters who parallel the classic villains (Loki and his children: Fenrir the wolf, Jormangr the Wyrm, Hel the half dead, as well as Surtr and his flaming sword, etc.) will in fact parallel the heroes of ASoIaF. 

Meanwhile Bloodraven has a lot of Odin symbolism, Jaime as Tyr, Cersei as Freya, Cat as Frigg, etc.

28 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

In Gaelic astronomy the constellation corvus corone is the crow, and it is called the Soul of Bran.  the Crone's Lantern is the corvus constellation, the Crone who lights the way is really the corone who lights the way, the crow.  Bran opened Jon's third eye in a time warp dream from the future.

I love this.

I’m pretty sold on the idea that the three eyed crow was Old Nan all along, and so the crow/crone symbolism is not surprising in the least.

Add in a pinch of the fates, with her weaving and her stories, not to mention the toothless mouth and the extra “eye” in her needles going click click click as she speaks (the crow has a voice “as sharp as swords”), and I think it’s a classic case of the truth was in front of the reader the whole time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I am thinking about planet-hopping trees.  I think I discovered the inspiration for the Greywater fungus from the Men of Greywater Station.  The cottonwood trees produced more cotton than usual this year, and some of the trees were absolutely laden with cotton, so much that it looked like drooping tendrils of fungus.  And when I was waiting in traffic there was just a continual cloud of cotton floating and blowing around in the air, very much like how the spore clouds are described.  Cottonwoods can spread vast distances by having their cotton blown high up into the air and carried away.  And in that story, the fungus spores are carried up into the upper atmosphere and carried away on the solar wind to land on other planets and start colonies there, and take over all the lifeforms.--Which are linked to the original colonies by interplanetary telepathic communication.  The fyndii (fungi) are all infected with and controlled by the fungus.   And the main character Delvecchio says that if the fungus gets them it will put a permanent end to the war, because it doesn't like its hosts to fight one another.

the word "gree" means "to be of one mind"

It is a take on the story Who Goes There? from which The Thing, and the Thing from Another Planet, are derived.  In those stories the hive-minded alien lands on Earth and attempts to spread and take over the Earth (and it is a plant in one of them) .  In The Men of Greywater Station it is the reverse, where the humans are the alien invaders landing on an alien planet that is already colonized and completely taken over by the hive-minded creature.   One of the major themes in all of them is paranoia about who might be an imposter.  George has the alien fungus outsmart and defeat the humans, and perhaps the fungus did get on a spaceship and that was how the human empire collapsed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Prince of the North said:

Well, since you're set on simply expressing your incorrect opinion as FACT...allow me to respond in kind: NOPE!  So, I'll take your points one by one, not for you, but for anyone else who may be tempted to take what you are saying here seriously.

Yes, I believe what I’m saying to be fact.

Quote

NW vows are for life: once a member of the NW, always a member of the NW. 

And yet he says “once” in reference to being a member of the watch?

this clearly implies he is no longer.

and he isn’t dead… and he isn’t at his post… so he has broken his oath. “No man is more dangerous”, Ned told Bran in his very first chapter, the first chapter of the whole series. 

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. 

Quote

And Bloodraven simply doesn't know how he appears to Bran in his dreams/visions but, logically, could make a possible connection to the NW.

This is not possible, the three eyed crow discusses the difference between having literal bird wings and metaphorical ones in Bran’s falling dream… it knows it appears as a crow.

Quote

  I also don't think Sam jumps to the wrong conclusion in thinking Bran's referencing a "Three-Eyed Crow" could mean a Brother of the Nights Watch.  I think that conclusion is right.  I like how you bring Bloodraven's and Sam's interpretation into it to then say they're wrong and that, because they're wrong (in your opinion), it somehow "proves" Bloodraven can't be the Three-Eyed Crow. 

it is evidence. Part of a huge pile.

Did you ever hear the children’s story, “are you my mother?”

It’s not much of a leap to see a pattern, especially when the non-response was so highlighted for us by Bran’s doubts right there on the page in both cases.

Quote

That's...quite a leap of, I don't know...confirmation bias.   Food for thought - maybe, just maybe, the author meant to convey something to readers with Bloodraven and Sam concluding that maybe "crow" in "Three-Eyed Crow" could refer to a NW brother?

Because it isn’t used that way enough already in the series? Honestly, this doesn’t make sense… yes we know wildlings call nights watchmen crows.

Better question, can Bloodraven even talk through dreams? I mean, he says he wasn’t able to reach his siblings, and the brooding Weirwood struggled to speak in Bran’s dreams, and Bloodraven says he “saw” Bran, and “watched” bran, but somehow forgot the whole speaking thing along with appearing as a crow?

Maybe the author is trying to convey something? Lol

Quote

My interpretation is that this is Bran not making the connection that Bloodraven is symbolized in his dreams/visions as a Three-Eyed Crow but, of course, he wouldn't have to appear like that in reality.  Remember, Bran is still a quite young child in the story.  The "three eyes" symbolism in Bran's dreams/visions is simply the symbolic crow having two normal eyes plus a third mystical eye.  
 

This makes no sense to me. 
Bran knows he’s a tree when he dreams of being a tree. He knows he’s a wolf when he dreams he’s being a wolf. The crow knows it has wings when speaking to Bran in his dream…

but you think Bloodraven is just oblivious? 

Literally makes no sense.

Quote

This doesn't make any sense either.  I mean, why does the tree only have one eye here to add to Bloodraven's one eye to make two eyes?  Taking a cue from your overly-literal interpretation immediately above, shouldn't the tree in this vision have three eyes, too?  That is, two normal eyes for the tree plus Bloodraven's one remaining eye?

Bloodraven only has one physical eye.

When Bran appears to Jon as a Weirwood he has three eyes. His two normal eyes and a third in his forehead.

If you mean “makes sense” or “consistent” when you say “overly literal” then sure… one plus one is two.

Although, this story is full of overly literal, joke is on the reader, moments.

The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman

Quote

That's great!  And I am equally confident in my wager that you would lose that farm.  Also, it's mind blowing to me that anyone doesn't "know" that Bloodraven is the Three-Eyed Crow in Bran's visions, etc.;)

Hopefully we get a new book one day and you can eat crow!

Quote

As I said above (and has been said many times on this board), Bloodraven just doesn't know how he appears to Bran in his dreams/visions.

Again, for the hundredth time, this explanation doesn’t fit the text. The crow in Brans dream knows it’s a crow.

Quote

Now, I have no doubt you'll come back with rebuttals to everything I've written here.  You won't change my mind and I won't change your mind.  That's fine.  As I said, I didn't really bother with this for you but for others who may read it.  

All I can do is point out what is there for anyone to see.

If you made a compelling argument you might change my mind, but obviously I doubt that will happen.

Edited by Mourning Star

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Prince of the North said:

Also, it's mind blowing to me that anyone doesn't "know" that Bloodraven is the Three-Eyed Crow in Bran's visions, etc.;)

Oh damn!  Now I have to confess that I belong to that small, but dubious group of readers, who thinks there's a chance that BR isn't the 3EC;  but accepts that he could be someone from the NW.

It's curious to me that Bran doesn't originally refer to the crow as the 3EC:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran III

The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman, a serving woman with long black hair, and he knew her from somewhere, from Winterfell, yes, that was it, he remembered her now, and then he realized that he was in Winterfell, in a bed high in some chilly tower room, and the black-haired woman dropped a basin of water to shatter on the floor and ran down the steps, shouting, "He's awake, he's awake, he's awake."

Bran touched his forehead, between his eyes. The place where the crow had pecked him was still burning, but there was nothing there, no blood, no wound. He felt weak and dizzy. He tried to get out of bed, but nothing happened.

In the entire coma dream, Bran only refers to the crow as The crow.

Crows are all liars:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran IV

His eyes stung. He wanted to be down there, laughing and running. Angry at the thought, Bran knuckled away the tears before they could fall. His eighth name day had come and gone. He was almost a man grown now, too old to cry.

"It was just a lie," he said bitterly, remembering the crow from his dream. "I can't fly. I can't even run."

"Crows are all liars," Old Nan agreed, from the chair where she sat doing her needlework. "I know a story about a crow."

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon I

Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. "A lord's one thing, a king's another." He offered the raven a handful of corn from his pocket. "They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You'll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they'll call Your Grace. Singers will praise every little thing he does, while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon . . . and I'll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it."

Patchface names Jon The Crow:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XI

Jon had expected that. The direwolf made Queen Selyse anxious, almost as much as Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. "Ghost, stay."

They found Her Grace sewing by the fire, whilst her fool danced about to music only he could hear, the cowbells on his antlers clanging. "The crow, the crow," Patchface cried when he saw Jon. "Under the sea the crows are white as snow, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh." Princess Shireen was curled up in a window seat, her hood drawn up to hide the worst of the greyscale that had disfigured her face.

Jon observes Mormont's bird:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Jon IX

"No," he answered, sullen.

"Good," Mormont said. "We've seen the dead come back, you and me, and it's not something I care to see again." He ate the egg in two bites and flicked a bit of shell out from between his teeth. "Your brother is in the field with all the power of the north behind him. Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help? Are you such a mighty warrior, or do you carry a grumkin in your pocket to magic up your sword?"

Jon had no answer for him. The raven was pecking at an egg, breaking the shell. Pushing his beak through the hole, he pulled out morsels of white and yoke.

The crow pecks at Bran's third eye:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Bran II

That night Bran prayed to his father's gods for dreamless sleep. If the gods heard, they mocked his hopes, for the nightmare they sent was worse than any wolf dream.

"Fly or die!" cried the three-eyed crow as it pecked at him. He wept and pleaded but the crow had no pity. It put out his left eye and then his right, and when he was blind in the dark it pecked at his brow, driving its terrible sharp beak deep into his skull. He screamed until he was certain his lungs must burst. The pain was an axe splitting his head apart, but when the crow wrenched out its beak all slimy with bits of bone and brain, Bran could see again. What he saw made him gasp in fear. He was clinging to a tower miles high, and his fingers were slipping, nails scrabbling at the stone, his legs dragging him down, stupid useless dead legs. "Help me!" he cried. A golden man appeared in the sky above him and pulled him up. "The things I do for love," he murmured softly as he tossed him out kicking into empty air.

 Jon would visit Robb in disguise, in secret if he could:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Jon IX

Tyrion Lannister had claimed that most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it, but Jon was done with denials. He was who he was; Jon Snow, bastard and oathbreaker, motherless, friendless, and damned. For the rest of his life—however long that might be—he would be condemned to be an outsider, the silent man standing in the shadows who dares not speak his true name. Wherever he might go throughout the Seven Kingdoms, he would need to live a lie, lest every man's hand be raised against him. But it made no matter, so long as he lived long enough to take his place by his brother's side and help avenge his father.

He remembered Robb as he had last seen him, standing in the yard with snow melting in his auburn hair. Jon would have to come to him in secret, disguised. He tried to imagine the look on Robb's face when he revealed himself. His brother would shake his head and smile, and he'd say … he'd say …

 

Would he do the same for Bran, save his life if necessary?  For reasons, I am keeping options open on this one until we learn more about Jon and what he becomes in the next book  

 

Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I already mentioned this above, but let me elaborate a little.  A Night at the Tarn House is a retelling of events from ASoIaF. 

Molloqos is Bloodraven, and here is his description:

"White as bone were the skin and hair of Brynden Rivers, and his eye—he had only the one, "

"White as bone was the flesh of Molloqos, beneath his Cloak of Fearful Mien. Deep and dark and full of sadness were his eyes. His nose curved downward in a hook; his lips were thin and rather dour; his hands large, expressive, long-fingered. On his right hand his fingernails were painted black, on his left scarlet. His long legs were clothed in striped pantaloons of those same colors, tucked into calf-high boots of polished grue hide. Black and scarlet was his hair as well, blood and night mixed together"

Black and scarlet sorcerer with bone white skin, wears a cloak that glamours him.  He is a necromancer, and has a staff with the True-Seeing Eye which allows him to see through any illusions (one eye, which is true-seeing).  He has lived for too long and weary of life,  He comes to the Tarn House (a metaphor for a weirwood cave), they feed him a meat pie made with human meat (weirwood paste), and is later killed by a Shadow Sword, his body is fed to the Hissing Eels (weirwood roots) , and his identity is stolen by Chimwazle, who is a green man/toad man. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 Any opinions on Bloodravens crown of mushrooms?

Thoughts on Bloodravens corpse just being animated by someone else? The corpse  like a puppet and the roots like strings?

Worms attached/attacking the bole or are they roots of the tree? Worms caught in the weir net? Or are they roots that form a net to catch and absorb?  
A weir wood tree/Worm net?  
A worm wood tree/ Weir net?

I am truly interested in any thoughts or opinions

 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...