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By Odin's Beard

The White Worm

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:58 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

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.

Thanks for the informative OP. Bloodraven is symbolised by rats (he skinchanges them), perhaps the worm too.

The quoted paragraph is telling of what will somewhat happen in the series. Bloodraven will be (at least part) responsible for the spread of a form of greyscale in Westeros, how much will be by design or accident as he attempts other interference I'm not sure. What I am sure on is the greyscale will stop people inflicted with it from being turned into wights, and probably the Others won't be able to hunt them or care to do so, so it will be seen by some as a saviour from the Others. Unfortunately it will cost Westeros its children, how exactly I'm not sure, probably inflicted people are sterile, but the cost is always the children (think Rat Cook, Blood and cheese).This will become a strategy for the realm surviving TWFTD, to be rejected by Bran and the heroes of Westeros.

The people who decide voluntarily to get the greyscale are probably a parallel to the death cults in the stories in your OP.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

Thanks for the informative OP. Bloodraven is symbolised by rats (he skinchanges them), perhaps the worm too.

The quoted paragraph is telling of what will somewhat happen in the series. Bloodraven will be (at least part) responsible for the spread of a form of greyscale in Westeros, how much will be by design or accident as he attempts other interference I'm not sure. What I am sure on is the greyscale will stop people inflicted with it from being turned into wights, and probably the Others won't be able to hunt them or care to do so, so it will be seen by some as a saviour from the Others. Unfortunately it will cost Westeros its children, how exactly I'm not sure, probably inflicted people are sterile, but the cost is always the children (think Rat Cook, Blood and cheese).This will become a strategy for the realm surviving TWFTD, to be rejected by Bran and the heroes of Westeros.

The people who decide voluntarily to get the greyscale are probably a parallel to the death cults in the stories in your OP.

That is good,  Lovecraft's A Color Out of Space the story is about the spreading death which turned everything grey, and sucked the life out of them, and was caused by a vampiric alien brought by a comet, and lived in a well, and was attached to tree roots.  Infected persons eventually crumbled into grey dust. 

And the alien tree in The Tree on the Hill has a great dead spot surrounding the tree. 

And in Dunwich Horror he mentions "the Devil’s Hop Yard—a bleak, blasted hillside where no tree, shrub, or grass-blade will grow."

The Grey Plague / Greyscale is George's version of this "grey death" that is spreading from the weirwoods, or by weirwood spores.  Greywater fever is caused by Greywater fungus spores?

In A Song For Lya, someone gets a plague from spores on a planet called Nightmare, that has huge eater worms.

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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37 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

That is good,  Lovecraft's A Color Out of Space the story is about the spreading death which turned everything grey, and sucked the life out of them, and was caused by a vampiric alien brought by a comet, and lived in a well, and was attached to tree roots.  Infected persons eventually crumbled into grey dust. 

And the alien tree in The Tree on the Hill has a great dead spot surrounding the tree. 

And in Dunwich Horror he mentions "the Devil’s Hop Yard—a bleak, blasted hillside where no tree, shrub, or grass-blade will grow."

The Grey Plague / Greyscale is George's version of this "grey death" that is spreading from the weirwoods, or by weirwood spores.

In A Song For Lya, someone gets a plague from spores on a planet called Nightmare, that has huge eater worms.

Here Ghost senses Bloodraven behind Bran, and we get grey, stone and death.

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He sniffed at the bark, smelled wolf and tree and boy, but behind that there were other scents, the rich brown smell of warm earth and the hard grey smell of stone and something else, something terrible. Death, he knew. He was smelling death. He cringed back, his hair bristling, and bared his fangs.

When Bloodraven was Hand during the Spring Sickness.

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Dunk furrowed his brow. "How did you know I was from King's Landing, septon?"

"Kingslanders have a certain way of speaking." The septon took a gulp of wine, sloshed it about his mouth, swallowed, and sighed with pleasure. "I have served there many years, attending our High Septon in the Great Sept of Baelor." He sighed. "You would not know the city since the spring. The fires changed it. A quarter of the houses gone, and another quarter empty. The rats are gone as well. That is the queerest thing. I never thought to see a city without rats."

Dunk had heard that, too. "Were you there during the Great Spring Sickness?"

No rats. If you're going to stop a plague, you get rid of the rats. If you can control the rats you take control of them and move them away or you kill (suicide) them. And really, what better animal to be skinchanging if your goal is to keep tabs on the land.

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What he wanted was proof that Ser Mandon had been Cersei's, but he dare not say so aloud. In the Red Keep a man did best to hold his tongue. There were rats in the walls, and little birds who talked too much, and spiders.

. . .
King Maegor wanted no rats in his own walls,

. . .

If Cersei has someone stalking me tonight, he must be disguised as a rat.

To digress a little about how GRRM thinks conceptually. He said if he introduced dragons to his stories he had to think of how the world would react to that, for example would people even bother fielding armies if they would just get burned from the sky in the manner of a few dragon overhead passes? Certain magical abilities lead to certain questions and to just not address them in text rather hurts the world building.

Think this is all one such question. If someone could telepathically become any animal, what's to stop them from controlling an animal for biological warfare or targeted assassinations.

In the case of the Spring Sickness it could have simply given Bloodraven the idea that he could use these rats as a weapon. Or the Spring Sickness may have been a mistake of his, he may have been experimenting on using disease rats as a biological weapon for use against enemies but he stuffed up and it got loose on KL.

Either way, fast forward to the future, and to a very probable Blackfyre Pretender, Bloodraven's mortal house enemy.

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"A Braavosi trading galley called at Pentos on her way back from the Jade Sea. The Treasure carried cloves and saffron, jet and jade, scarlet samite, green silk … and the grey death. We slew her oarsmen as they came ashore and burned the ship at anchor, but the rats crept down the oars and paddled to the quay on cold stone feet. The plague took two thousand before it ran its course." Magister Illyrio closed the locket. "I keep her hands in my bedchamber. Her hands that were so soft …"

And some convenient grey scale rats. 2000 killed.

It's a Bran/Bloodraven theme at play. Bloodraven continuing to fight the Blackfyre rebellion rather than letting it go causes collateral damage, innocents suffer and die.

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She seemed sad when she said it, and that made Bran sad as well. It was only later that he thought, Men would not be sad. Men would be wroth. Men would hate and swear a bloody vengeance. The singers sing sad songs, where men would fight and kill.

Bloodraven is still fighting the Blackfyre rebellion, for the sake of the realm Bran must not do the same with WOT5Ks.

Then the bridge of dreams, no rat but a very magical event and seemingly an attempt to kill Aegon and or Tyrion (possibly bastard Targ too), greyscale very prominent again. The net result isJC gets greyscale, he'll bring it to Westeros and we'll get the outbreak. So say that's Bloodraven and what you've got is Bloodraven's refusal to give up the grudge causing a mass death event in Westeros. Bran pieces together what Bloodraven did and learns the lesson.

But as I said the greyscale will be seen as a saviour to many. It's going to take a very magical turn, it is the Great Stone Beast, a false saviour like the other 2 visions it is grouped with, a lie that must be slain. And like some of the stories in the OP I think there will be a mind control aspect to it too, a mass skinchanging type influence over those who are inflicted with the greyscale, like the Others mass control Wights.

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Jon will be very pale when he comes back as a wight.  Bran will start to lose his coloring as time goes and start eating the dead through his dog.  Arya's life is surrounded by corpses everyday.  Rickon is a cannibal.  The Starks are the worms and they will feed off of the dead as worms do.  The north will be a dark place for a long time.  

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Prince of the North said:

I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean by saying "You might call it trolling"?  I certainly don't think Martin is trolling readers with that sequence.  I think that's just Bran leaving the dream with TEC and coming back to his senses/body.  The servant woman is really there with Bran in his room and is startled into dropping the basin by his awakening. 

What I'm getting at is that Bran almost sees behind the veil or disguise to the identity of the 3EC causing the crow to scream in fear before he is fully conscious.  Trolling is perhaps the wrong choice of words.  Strip-tease is a better description where Martin only removes so much disguise and flirts with the line between revealing something and then keeping it hidden.  Bran vaguely thinks it's a woman with black hair, someone he knows from Winterfell and then Martin puts on another disguise and the image resolves into an ordinary serving woman.  Who is really there. 

It may be something or nothing.

Edited by LynnS

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9 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

There were rats in the walls, and little birds who talked too much, and spiders.

. . .
King Maegor wanted no rats in his own walls,

In Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls, the protagonist buys his ruined ancestral castle in England and fixes it up.  His family history has been lost to him, but local legend says that his family were werewolves.  He begins having nightmares where rats lead him down into the crypts under the castle.  He eventually makes it down into the crypts, and finds that it is the ante-chamber to hell, where his ancestors raised humans for meat and ate cannibal feasts.  He finds the truth about himself and his family in the crypts, and the rats lead him to the truth.  Further down in the crypts, the mad faceless god Nyarlathotep dwells in the dark. 

Nyarlathotep is also the alien crab/fungus/tree that is the Whisperer in Darkness, and puts on the face and hands of Akeley to trick Wilmarth in that story.  And Nyarlathotep is also the Haunter of the Dark, who is associated with the Church of Starry Wisdom, and is summoned by the Shining Trapezahedron, and he can only come out in total darkness (like the Others).

There is a lot going on with rats and weirwood caves.  

Dany hears rats in the walls in the House of the Undying:

"Dany could hear sounds within the walls, a faint scurrying and scrabbling that made her think of rats."

"In one room, a beautiful woman sprawled naked on the floor while four little men crawled over her. They had rattish pointed faces and tiny pink hands, like the servitor who had brought her the glass of shade. One was pumping between her thighs. Another savaged her breasts, worrying at the nipples with his wet red mouth, tearing and chewing."

Rats are raping Westerous

And the Rat Cook is a metaphor for a weirwood, violating guest right and eating its own children (of the forest).

Rats lead us down into the cave, where ultimate truth with be discovered.

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Bran will be the fungus growing on the tree roots.  In a way, he is a warlock like Pyat Pree.  They consume shade of the evening and the red porridge. Bran will start liking the porridge as he grows to like spying on people.  

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5 hours ago, LynnS said:

What I'm getting at is that Bran almost sees behind the veil or disguise to the identity of the 3EC causing the crow to scream in fear before he is fully conscious.  Trolling is perhaps the wrong choice of words.  Strip-tease is a better description where Martin only removes so much disguise and flirts with the line between revealing something and then keeping it hidden.  Bran vaguely thinks it's a woman with black hair, someone he knows from Winterfell and then Martin puts on another disguise and the image resolves into an ordinary serving woman.  Who is really there. 

Oh!  Thanks for the clarification.  My interpretation of this is that Bran is slowly coming out of his coma/dream.  I think he at first vaguely sees the dark haired serving woman and thinks he should know her (because he does) and then, as he becomes more awake, sees the picture/situation more clearly.  He's awake and back in Winterfell, etc. 

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It may be something or nothing.

Heh.  This can be said of a great deal in ASoIaF:)

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Posted (edited)

In HP Lovecraft's story, Hypnos, (@Odin's Beard, sorry if you mentioned this one already, I didn't see it!) a sculptor meets "the only friend of one who had never possessed a friend before", a stranger with wide luminous eyes. The stranger comes home with him, and they explore worlds beyond human comprehension in their sleep, and cease to age. Eventually, the mysterious friend passes through some barrier on one of their journeys which the narrator cannot follow. Upon waking the man is filled with terror, says that they must sleep as little as possible, and looks at the sky with fear. In particular the constellation of the Corona Borealis. He begins to age rapidly, and the two sleep barely an hour a night. Finally, after the money and drugs they had been using run out, one night the man seems to be unawakenable, and the narrator sees a terrible vision seemingly streaming down from the sky in unnatural light on his friend. The man has a fit, and when the neighbors and police come find him, they tell him he had no friend at all, but there on the couch where he lay is a magnificent statue labeled Hypnos in greek, supposedly portraying a young narrator. 

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May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep. Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore.

A lot to unpack here, and I highly recommend the relatively short read (linked above), as no summary ever does this kind of thing justice.

Hypnos is the greek personification of sleep, the brother of Thanatos (death), and child of Nyx (Night) and Erebus (darkness). He lives in a cave in the underworld by the river Lethe (forgetfulness) and surrounded by poppies and other soporific plants.

Boreas (the north wind) was one of the Anemoi (winds), and the child of Eos (dawn) and Astraeus (the starry one, god of dusk), as are the other three cardinal winds, and the five wandering stars (planets): Phainon (Saturn), Phaethon (Jupiter), Pyroeis (Mars), Eosphoros/Hesperos (Venus), and Stilbon (Mercury). Boreas is usually depicted as a winged old man, although some descriptions ascribe him snakes for feet.

Corona Borealis is a constellation whose name translates roughly to northern crown. It is associated with the myth of the minotaur's labyrinth. In particular it is the crown given by Dionysus to Ariadne after she is abandoned by Theseus whom she had betrayed her father and country to help by providing a sword and ball of string he uses to slay the minotaur and escape (or in an alternate version the crown is given to her before she helps Theseus and he uses the light of the crown to find his way out of the maze).  The Latin author Hyginus linked it to a crown or wreath worn by Bacchus (Dionysus) to disguise his appearance when first approaching Mount Olympus and revealing himself to the gods, having been previously hidden as yet another child of Jupiter's trysts with a mortal, in this case Semele.

Older still, in Mesopotamian myth the constellation was associated with Nanaya, a Mesopotamian love goddess whose association with Inanna (a Venus goddess) has been debated.

I find it of particular note that the crown/cradle is one of the constellations specifically called out in ASoIaF:

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So many stars, he thought as he trudged up the slope through pines and firs and ash. Maester Luwin had taught him his stars as a boy in Winterfell; he had learned the names of the twelve houses of heaven and the rulers of each; he could find the seven wanderers sacred to the Faith; he was old friends with the Ice Dragon, the Shadowcat, the Moonmaid, and the Sword of the Morning. All those he shared with Ygritte, but not some of the others. We look up at the same stars, and see such different things. The King's Crown was the Cradle, to hear her tell it; the Stallion was the Horned Lord; the red wanderer that septons preached was sacred to their Smith up here was called the Thief. And when the Thief was in the Moonmaid, that was a propitious time for a man to steal a woman, Ygritte insisted. "Like the night you stole me. The Thief was bright that night."

A Storm of Swords - Jon III

And, just to end on a fun fact, because I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with all this...

The word "clue", comes from "clew" meaning a ball or thread of yarn, and is a reference to a tool used to solve a puzzle, like Theseus using Ariadne's string to escape the Labyrinth, aka following the clew.

Edited by Mourning Star

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Posted (edited)
On 6/16/2021 at 2:17 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

Rats are raping Westerous

And the Rat Cook is a metaphor for a weirwood, violating guest right and eating its own children (of the forest).

Rat Cook will be flat out about Bloodraven. It's white,

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So they went exploring, Jojen Reed leading, Bran in his basket on Hodor's back, Summer padding by their side. Once the direwolf bolted through a dark door and returned a moment later with a grey rat between his teeth. The Rat Cook, Bran thought, but it was the wrong color, and only as big as a cat. The Rat Cook was white, and almost as huge as a sow . . .

Like Bloodraven is Albino. White rats typically have red eyes, like Bloodraven. The Rat Cook's great sin is,

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"It was not for murder that the gods cursed him," Old Nan said, "nor for serving the Andal king his son in a pie. A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a guest beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive."

Also Bloodraven's greatest sin. And the two stories echo each other, the Rat Cook served the king the prince literally to eat while Bloodraven had Aenys head literally served on a platter.

The Rat Cook was so cursed, particularly a curse that destroyed his young. Blood and Cheese are another associated story, Blood for Bloodraven, Cheese for the rat connection, again a story about revenge and a terrible choice involving killing children. The greyscale disease JC has gotten is said to originate from Garin the Great's (shrouded Lord) curse, another story of revenge. 'Great' is a moniker for a few related things (I forget but one of Lovecraft's gods has a moniker Great doesn't it?), Garin the Great, the Great Spring Sickness, and the Great Stone Beast.

The coming greyscale plague will likely be a curse, the Great Stone Beast's breath, it's shadowflame, likely the great source. Being inflicted with the curse will mean a person becomes undesirable to the Others, they hunt by warmth and hate life, greyscale turns people cold and they're said to already be dead. And so it will be a false saviour and sought out by some, the trick will be to get the stone beast to breathe its shadowflame on you.

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They say the Shrouded Lord will grant a boon to any man who can make him laugh.

That's what this is.

Curses tend to have a source and when the source is eliminated the curse relinquishes. As per the vision, the Great Stone Beast is a lie, a false saviour Dany will slay, and when she does I suggest everyone who has this greyscale "curse" will be cured of it (though she may be the person in the first place who tells everyone to get the curse to better fight the Others), in a manner of speaking they will be reborn.

Edited by chrisdaw

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On 6/10/2021 at 11:58 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

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. 

I'm too lazy to look it up but in a Bran chapter he says that light is unwelcome in the cave; that torches burn for a bit but the dark always returns. It certainly is a cave of death and *something* made those tunnels... worms are as good a candidate as any.

As for only escaping the lure by burning themselves... yes I can see this happening. There are a ton of Ragnarok parallels as I'm sure you've noticed - but in Norse mythology the long winter is only the lead-up to the final battle, at the end of which a fire giant with a burning sword burns down the whole world. It is then flooded and born anew. Maybe that's what needs to happen - all the weirwoods must burn so that the world can re-start without them.

On 6/10/2021 at 1:30 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

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.

I agree, but I think it's just as important that the humans also created the grouns (from humans!) and then forgot they had done so and feared them as an enemy in the darkness. The grouns were engineered to be well suited to underground life; it seems they were needed to keep the various machines functioning that support the living space above. As a safety measure they were made to die if exposed to light, so they could never threaten the yaga-la-hai living above them. Pretty fucked up. They rebelled and that's when humans created the worms, but they got out of control and the lower tunnels had to be abandoned. I'm not sure of the exact parallels here, but we mostly just have one being that's not only suited to life in an inhospitable environment but also is kept from the upper tunnels (aka the realms of men) by a wall...

PS Annelyn sounds pretty Crazy Eddy to me. ;)

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Rat Cook will be flat out about Bloodraven. It's white,

The Rat Cook was so cursed, particularly a curse that destroyed his young. Blood and Cheese are another associated story, Blood for Bloodraven, Cheese for the rat connection, again a story about revenge and a terrible choice involving killing children. The greyscale disease JC has gotten is said to originate from Garin the Great's (shrouded Lord) curse, another story of revenge. 'Great' is a moniker for a few related things (I forget but one of Lovecraft's gods has a moniker Great doesn't it?), Garin the Great, the Great Spring Sickness, and the Great Stone Beast.

The coming greyscale plague will likely be a curse, the Great Stone Beast's breath, it's shadowflame, likely the great source. Being inflicted with the curse will mean a person becomes undesirable to the Others, they hunt by warmth and hate life, greyscale turns people cold and they're said to already be dead. And so it will be a false saviour and sought out by some, the trick will be to get the stone beast to breathe its shadowflame on you.

That's what this is.

Curses tend to have a source and when the source is eliminated the curse relinquishes. As per the vision, the Great Stone Beast is a lie, a false saviour Dany will slay, and when she does I suggest everyone who has this greyscale "curse" will be cured of it (though she may be the person in the first place who tells everyone to get the curse to better fit the Others), in a manner of speaking they will be reborn.

The Shrouded Lord is the weirwood.  In gaelic, garran means "grove of trees" garrya "garth, garden, enclosure" and gar means "great" and "kindly" (the kindly man was a priest of the weirwood death cult, he has the white worm)

The Shrouded Lord is a great white stone giant under the sea, reaching up with a great stone fist.  The Shrouded Lord was a stone statue that came to life--like the weirwood stone giants waking up.

gair /gaire means "to laugh" or "laughter" or "smile"  (all implies a grove of weirwood trees with open mouths) and garrad means "boat"

(the "s" in gaelic looks like an "r" so gairin (gaisin) means "little stalk, sucker" "silver sprig" and gaire (gaise) means "stream, flow, gush" and garan means "young man" and gaoran (gaosan) means "nose"

Royne is an alternate spelling of Rowan tree, (and reynir = rowan in Icelandic) which is the mountain ash tree / witchwood tree.  And Yggdrasil was a mountain ash.  The Rhoyne is the river of time, with a Stone Giant submerged in it, and the weirwood is a stone giant that can move backward and forward in the river of time.   (rowan also means rowing and they were rowing up the Rhoyne) 

 

The term "shroud" like a funeral shroud, the cultists in The House of the Worm wanted to  make the whole world a grave and cover even that in a funeral shroud by eclipsing the sun.

And he spreads the grey death to those that harmed his children.  The weirwood spreads the grey death.

 

ETA: sometimes a Rowan tree would grow out of another tree, and it would be called a "flying Rowan"--which was believed to be magical.  (the weirwood is a flying tree)  And the Witchwood (Rowan) Tree in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn was an alien, telepathic tree that lived under the White Tower.

One of the ents from Lord of the Rings was Rowan / Quickbeam. 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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36 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The Shrouded Lord is the weirwood.  In gaelic, garran means "grove of trees" garrya "garth, garden, enclosure" and gar means "great" and "kindly" (the kindly man was a priest of the weirwood death cult, he has the white worm)

Fascinating. I'm not sure how to put together all of the pieces, but these old words echo some of the things GRRM hints at in other ways. A fairly early wordplay discovery was that "deserter" and "red trees" could be an anagram. So Gared, the deserter executed by Ned in the first Bran POV, is linked to the weirwoods, but I couldn't figure out why Ned would want to kill a red tree. As I started to pick up on the cycle of falling leaves creating humus that nourishes trees (death, transformation, rebirth), I thought maybe we were seeing blood nourishing trees with the beheading of Gared on a stump and Ned washing the blood from his sword in the pool beneath the weirwood. 

41 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The Shrouded Lord is a great white stone giant under the sea, reaching up with a great stone fist.  The Shrouded Lord was a stone statue that came to life--like the weirwood stone giants waking up.

If the Shrouded Lord is equivalent to a weirwood, I think there are a couple of ingredients that come from Catelyn: maybe this helps to explain Lord Rickard's strategy in the betrothal between House Stark and House Tully; he wanted some river and statue mojo to join with the old gods magic.

Catelyn is associated with rivers through the Tully sigil and Riverlands connection but she is also closely associated with the statue of Alyssa Arryn in the courtyard (where the author makes a point of telling us there is no weirwood). We also see the reanimation of Lady Stoneheart after Catelyn's death.

Of course, stones coming to life could also allude to dragon eggs. We hear rumors that there are dragon eggs hidden under Winterfell, left during the long-ago visit by good Queen Alysanne. Her dragon was named Silverwing, which could bring us back to the white worm motif. 

49 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

gair /gaire means "to laugh" or "laughter" or "smile"  (all implies a grove of weirwood trees with open mouths) and garrad means "boat"

Hard to know where the make connections with such a range of meanings for similar-sounding words. I have to wonder about the smile symbolism throughout the books, though. Arya says that the sword Needle reminds her of Jon Snow's smile. I also wondered about wordplay on "slaughter" and "laughter": Brienne commands Shagwell to laugh while she is stabbing him to death. He had dropped from a weirwood tree before attacking her and Nimble Dick. Shagwell journeyed to Crack Claw Point because Nimble Dick promised he would find a boat there, but Dick was lying. 

54 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Royne is an alternate spelling of Rowan tree, (and reynir = rowan in Icelandic) which is the mountain ash tree / witchwood tree.  And Yggdrasil was a mountain ash.  The Rhoyne is the river of time, with a Stone Giant submerged in it, and the weirwood is a stone giant that can move backward and forward in the river of time.   (rowan also means rowing and they were rowing up the Rhoyne) 

So many layers here! (Potentially.) I wondered whether GRRM has used wordplay around "Ohr" (the German word for ear) and "oar" and possibly "oro" (Italian for gold). The river of time notion might help to sort out these other motifs. 

The idea that travelers could move backward or forward within the river of time could be the literary explanation for the Shy Maid passing the Bridge of Dream twice - once without incident but undergoing an attack the second time. (I think the literal explanation is that the boat drifted through a flooded oxbow of the river and returned to a spot upstream without realizing it.)

One of the stone men who attacks the boat (specifically attacking Tyrion) shares a leg injury identical to the broken bone that Ned Stark sustained when he was attacked by Jaime Lannister outside of the brothel in King's Landing. Broken legs are rare in ASOIAF so I thought GRRM might be deliberately telling us to compare this stone man to Ned. If the attacker represents the Shrouded Lord and his attack represents "kissing" Tyrion to make him the next Shrouded Lord, the symbolism may be telling us that Ned has chosen a successor. (As king of the Underworld? I think this is one of his symbolic roles.)

BUT. Tyrion emerges from the river without grey scale and Jon Connington does contract the disease. So he may be the new heir of the Shrouded Lord, even if that wasn't the intention. (There is symbolism around Jon Connington as the "watcher" and tender of the flame on the boat, similar to the Night's Watch oath, and he also wears a red wolf fur. Together with his role as a caretaker for fAegon (similar to Ned caring for Jon Snow) there is a strong Ned symbolism associated with Jon Connington. 

I don't think of the Shy Maid as a boat that is rowed; I think it more or less drifts with the current. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I've always been curious about an exchange between Varys and Tyrion about stopping the Redwyne twins from escaping King's Landing disguised as oarsmen. I can see where Varys and Tyrion would not want the Redwyne/Tyrrell clan to have the power to row. 

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14 minutes ago, Seams said:

Catelyn is associated with rivers through the Tully sigil and Riverlands connection but she is also closely associated with the statue of Alyssa Arryn in the courtyard (where the author makes a point of telling us there is no weirwood). We also see the reanimation of Lady Stoneheart after Catelyn's death.

But there is a weirwood throne next to a moon door.  Located high enough for a god's eye view below.  Entry to the Eyrie starts at the Bloody Gate with it's Knight who challenges all who would pass.  Three waycastles stone (Arya), snow (Jon) and sky (Bran).   

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On 6/11/2021 at 3:01 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

 (...)

There is a black planet that circles the Earth and can only be seen when it eclipses the sun, and predatory dragons came from this dark moon.  The dark moon is not native to Earth because it is only there for a certain period of years and then it is gone, so presumably it has some way of moving around the solar system on its own.  This is the Qartheen Moon myth.

Very interesting theory! Just to play devil's advocate (and I confess I've been listening to LmL for years while I am reading your theories for the first time, so please forgive any bias I bring into the conversation) - in both legends that mention the second moon (Quarth with the egg and Azor Ahai stabbing Nissa Nissa) the moon is specifically said to crack. In the Quartheen story it cracked from the heat and a thousand thousand dragons poured forth and drank the fire from the sun, while in the AA story it is Nissa Nissa's scream that cracks the moon. So in other words, the second moon was at least damaged if not destroyed. How does this fit with it still being around? And how is it related to the red comet?

Also, if it's a dark and icy moon, does it make sense that dragons - fire made flesh - came from it? (Or in the AA story, that cracking an ice moon would somehow occur at the same time as the hero gaining a burning sword?)

Generally speaking I love the connections you are making, here and in other posts, and I agree with lots of them. You are so well read, I feel like I need to go back and do my homework so that I can keep up, lol! Regarding this particular OP I think you are spot-on with the idea that the cave is a trap for Bran because the weirwood hive mind wants to use him for something. The parallels to the HOTU fit very well, though I'm a bit sceptical about Arya being similarly deceived and trapped, as the Faceless Men make it clear what it means to join them and repeatedly offer to not only release her but even place her in basically any life she chooses. 

The whole moon situation is the one area where (so far) I feel like LmL's "moon meteor" theory as a cause for the Long Night is still the most solid all-around explanation I've come across (hence my hesitancy to give it up). Even there I'm not convinced of what caused the moon to crack - whether the weirwoods were involved, or it was Azor Ahai, or the Bloodstone Emperor (the latter two being the same person in LmL's world). I personally feel like the moonsingers should be involved, given their name and repeated mention in our story. Since Nissa means moon it could be that Nissa Nissa herself was a moonsinger perhaps. The moonsingers originate with the Jhogos Nhai who were part of the Great Empire of the Dawn and also appear to be the ancestors of the Dothraki (who almost certainly also interbred with the Sarnori descended from the Fisher Queens, which is likely where the Womb of the World worship originates). In other words, among the Dothraki the moonsingers over time became the Dosh Khaleen, who conveniently are about to make an appearance in our story (any day now, or maybe in 10 years). They live by a bottomless lake (impact crater?) next to a mountain where there are no other mountains (volcano??); a mountain that is worshiped by a people who also worship the stars and believe the dead ascend to the stars. Daenerys Stormborn, the Mother of Dragons, descended from the Great Empire, is about to return to the Mother of Mountains with her dragon the Black Shadow, and she herself is technically a dosh khaleen/moonsinger having been wed to a khal. If we can believe the show and if khals count as kings there is about to be a lot of kingsblood sacrificed in this location. I can't quite seem to tie it all into a coherent theory but I half suspect that this is where we should be looking for the origin of our next Long Night...

 

On 6/14/2021 at 5:03 PM, Mourning Star said:

   (...)

The crow knew it appeared as a crow in Bran's dream. Fact.

Just felt the need to chime in and agree with you after reading pages of back and forth. For me it's actually not the conversation about wings that convinced me but the fact that it asks for corn and then proceeds to eat it from Bran's hand. I just don't see how this entity could do this while thinking it was anything other than a crow. 

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1 hour ago, Seams said:

A fairly early wordplay discovery was that "deserter" and "red trees" could be an anagram. So Gared, the deserter executed by Ned in the first Bran POV, is linked to the weirwoods, but I couldn't figure out why Ned would want to kill a red tree. As I started to pick up on the cycle of falling leaves creating humus that nourishes trees (death, transformation, rebirth), I thought maybe we were seeing blood nourishing trees with the beheading of Gared on a stump and Ned washing the blood from his sword in the pool beneath the weirwood. 

I don't have time to do a deep dive, but the names in the prologue are important: uaim (as in Waymar) means "cave / crypt / cellar"" and "join" uaigh means "grave, tomb" and uamar means "conjunction" --and royston is a kind of crow, and ruisin means "small wood or copse"

and gairid means "near or close in time" and gairide means "laughter"

The conjunction of planets is near, when the weirwoods in their cave will awake during the Long Night eclipse when the second moon / Stranger is in the sky, blocking the sun.  And all hell will break loose.

and gwyll means "ghost" and uall means "to howl" and Jon's mom was "wylla" and the Others were really looking for Jon Snow / Jack Frost, who will be the new Night King.  Jon Snow will find his identity in the crypt, and Baal's son was born in a crypt. etc.

Oh, and Jon is associated with the King's Crown constellation, corona borealis, and the Night Kings crown is the corona of an eclipse.

 

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5 minutes ago, MaesterSam said:

Just to play devil's advocate (and I confess I've been listening to LmL for years while I am reading your theories for the first time, so please forgive any bias I bring into the conversation) - in both legends that mention the second moon (Quarth with the egg and Azor Ahai stabbing Nissa Nissa) the moon is specifically said to crack. In the Quartheen story it cracked from the heat and a thousand thousand dragons poured forth and drank the fire from the sun, while in the AA story it is Nissa Nissa's scream that cracks the moon. So in other words, the second moon was at least damaged if not destroyed. How does this fit with it still being around? And how is it related to the red comet?

This theory grew out of Lml's.  The Second Moon causes the Long Night eclipse, and the Red Comet knocks it out of eclipse and brings the Dawn, hence the Red Comet is Lightbringer / Dawn.  And shards of the "moon" did fall to Earth, but they were not the cause of the Long Night, the generation-long eclipse was.

The story of Oberon and the Mountain is a retelling of the story: Mountain eclipses the sun, is speared by Oberon's leafy ash spear, and is knocked out of eclipse and pinned to the Earth.  The Mountain dies, but his headless corpse is reanimated as Robert Strong.  (only the 'head" of the second moon was knocked off)

The Second Moon is still hanging around over Asshai, which is what is messing up the tilt of the Earth and causing the weird seasons, and that is why the nights are so dark there, and the land is being poisoned, and the Ghost Grass lives under the Shadow, (and the Ghost Grass are a metaphor for the Others)

Quote

"East, beyond Vaes Dothrak and the Mother of Mountains, the grasslands give way to rolling plains and woods, and the earth beneath the traveler's feet turns hard and stony and begins to climb upward, ever upward. The hills grow wilder and steeper, and soon enough the mountains appear in the far distance, their great peaks seeming to float against the eastern sky, blue-grey giants so huge and jagged and menacing that even Lomas Longstrider, that dauntless wanderer (if his tales be true), lost heart at the sight of them, believing that he had at last reached the ends of the earth."

There is a floating "mountain" over Asshai.

This is a reference to At the Mountains of Madness where we get these lines:

Quote

"Yet according to certain carvings the denizens of that city had themselves known the clutch of oppressive terror; for there was a sombre and recurrent type of scene in which the Old Ones were shewn in the act of recoiling affrightedly from some object—never allowed to appear in the design—found in the great river and indicated as having been washed down through waving, vine-draped cycad-forests from those horrible westward mountains." . . .

If the sculptured maps and pictures in that pre-human city had told truly, these cryptic violet mountains could not be much less than 300 miles away; yet none the less sharply did their dim elfin essence jut above that remote and snowy rim, like the serrated edge of a monstrous alien planet about to rise into unaccustomed heavens. Their height, then, must have been tremendous beyond all known comparison—carrying them up into tenuous atmospheric strata peopled by such gaseous wraiths as rash flyers have barely lived to whisper of after unexplainable falls. Looking at them, I thought nervously of certain sculptured hints of what the great bygone river had washed down into the city from their accursed slopes—and wondered how much sense and how much folly had lain in the fears of those Old Ones who carved them so reticently.

 

Luwin was observing the Second Moon with his telescope and making shadow maps, and luan means "moon" and "doomsday"

If interested, check out this thread were I dumped all this second moon stuff.

 

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, MaesterSam said:

Just felt the need to chime in and agree with you after reading pages of back and forth. For me it's actually not the conversation about wings that convinced me but the fact that it asks for corn and then proceeds to eat it from Bran's hand. I just don't see how this entity could do this while thinking it was anything other than a crow. 

Obviously, I agree, and tried my best to make a simple straightforward case, but yes that's another reason to believe the crow knows it's a crow.

I'm not interested in continuing the back and forth, as it doesn't seem productive. I just think that the oddly widespread view that Bloodraven is the three eyed crow holds back a lot of interesting discussion and analysis of the series, and I wish the community would move past that question. Then again I hold many views which other readers might find heretical, and haven't given up on questions like "who sent the catspaw to kill Bran?" So, to each their own!

Anyway, cheers!

Edited by Mourning Star

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1 hour ago, Seams said:

The idea that travelers could move backward or forward within the river of time could be the literary explanation for the Shy Maid passing the Bridge of Dream twice - once without incident but undergoing an attack the second time. (I think the literal explanation is that the boat drifted through a flooded oxbow of the river and returned to a spot upstream without realizing it.)

Here's something else, if the Rhoyne is "the river of time", it was said that the Rhoyne stopped flowing during the Long Night--time stood still.  Which is one way an eclipse could last for a generation.  There is a Cthulhu story called The Black Island, where time stands still, so it is one of Cthulhu's abilities (and he is the Kraken)--and he gets hit with a nuclear bomb in that story.

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Forgot to add about the second moon eclipse and the Shadow over Asshai, that it explains all the references to the weirwoods wanting to pull down the moon, that they want to live in darkness under its shadow, because like the fungus crabs in Whisperer in Darkness, the light hurts them.  And the White Worm wants to darken the sun in House of the Worm.  And the Black Goat tree from the Tree on the Hill, that wants to create an Endless Night.

Oh, and Darkstar is one of George's favorite movies, and it is about a space ship that blows up planets, and Darkstar Dayne wants to steal dawn, and he is "of the night"--its a thing about a dark star (the black planet Yuggoth) stealing dawn (the day)--causing a Long Night. 

Has anybody here read the Witcher?  There is something about the Conjunction of Spheres, when all hell broke loose, and demons were set loose on Earth, but I haven't read it.

And in Mutineer's Moon, the moon is a spaceship whose sigil is a 3 headed dragon Azhi Dahak, and only the rightful heir can pilot it.

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