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By Odin's Beard

The Marsh King's Daughter (and other fairy tales)

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Last week I found out that there is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen called The Marsh King's Daughter.  In the story the Marsh King is a malignant animated tree stump that lives in a bog.  Three princesses from Egypt who have skin-changed into swans by wearing swan feather cloaks fly to the bog to get a rare magic healing marsh flower, when one of the girls dives into the bog to get the flower the other two girls destroy her swan feather cloak and abandon her in the bog.  She gets taken down under the swamp and the Marsh King "marries" her.  She gives birth to a baby girl that then rises up out of the bog as a flower and is retrieved by the stork who witnessed these events (Stork ~ Stark).  The stork drops the baby girl off at the home of the Vikings who live near the bog, who soon discover that during the day the baby is a beautiful like her mother, but evil like her father, and at night she switches--she turns into a frog (a bog creature like her father) but very good-natured like her mother.  She grows up to be a fierce shield-maiden, with a dangerous blood-lust.  The curse is only lifted when she gets someone to take pity on her while she is in the form of a frog (a priest who is likened to Baldur).  The princess returns to the bog and saves her mother, who has been in suspended animation under the swamp, and they fly to Egypt with the swan cloaks, and it is revealed that the Marsh King's Daughter herself is the magic marsh flower that will heal her ailing father.  Then some crazy time-travel happens, the Marsh King's Daughter goes up into the night sky, and hundreds of years pass and when she returns to Earth everyone she knows is dead, then she turns into a marsh flower, the end.

 

Here are the descriptions of the Marsh King:

Quote

The people certainly then had a very different cut for their clothes than at the present day; but if any of them, serf or huntsman, or anybody at all, stepped on the quagmires, the same fate befell him a thousand years ago as would overtake him now if he ventured on them in he would go, and down he would sink to the Marsh King, as they call him. He rules down below over the whole kingdom of bogs and swamps. He might also be called King of the Quagmires, but we prefer to call him the Marsh King, as the storks did. We know very little about his rule, but that is perhaps just as well.

. . .

in the middle of the bog there is a kind of lake, said Father Stork. You can see a bit of it if you raise your head. Well, there was a big alder stump between the bushes and the quagmire

. . .

The Princess moaned and wept! Her tears trickled down upon the alder stump, and then it began to move, for it was the Marsh King himself, who lives in the bog. I saw the stump turn round, and saw that it was no longer a stump; it stretched out long miry branches like arms. The poor child was terrified, and she sprang away on to the shaking quagmire where it would not even bear my weight, far less hers. She sank at once and the alder stump after her; it was dragging her down. Great black bubbles rose in the slime, and then there was nothing more to be seen. Now she is buried in the Wild Bog

The Marsh King lives in a lake in the swamp, among the Reeds, and he has miry arms, (Meera Reed) and his children are frogs.  He is an evil tree that can move around and captures (eats? rapes? kills?) anyone who sets foot in the bog--parallels the Neck and all the bodies trapped under the bogs. ( And there is Moat = Mot at the Motte wordplay).  The Marsh King's Daughter goes up into the sky, and then comes down from the sky, and she does time-travel.  The Stork takes a baby from the Marsh King.  

The Marsh King is the weirwood, under the lake in the bog (in a weirwood cave), the Marsh King (weirwood) impregnates women and produces half-human monsters that get released into the world.  Lovecraft seems to have been influenced by this tale, because in The Shadow Over Innsmouth, the Marshes are fish/frog people that serve Cthulhu, and Cthulhu is another metaphor for weirwoods: in The Call of Cthulhu there is a hidden lake in a swamp where a polypous white thing with luminous eyes dwells, it is nightmare itself (mare ~ mire wordplay) that came down from the sky in ancient times (sky spawn), and communicates through dreams, and the First Men worship it.  In The Doom that Came to Sarnath, the fish people and their grey stone city Ibb came down from the sky.  The Squishers are fish people, and they steal girls to breed with.  The fish people from Innsmouth want to breed with humans, and when the fish people get old they go "into the sea" to join Mother Hydra and Father Dagon and become immortal.

In the Men of Greywater Station, an interstellar hive-minded tree fungus lives in the swamp that sends nightmares and dominates (mind-rapes) all life on the planet telepathically--the fungus is the Marsh King.  In ASoIaF, the Reeds live at Greywater, which is a floating castle (fungus islet?) and they are frog people and green men, and the Reeds were literally Marsh Kings.

The Starks conquered the Marsh King and marry the Marsh King's daughter and bring the Marsh King into the family, ever since then the Marsh people have defended the Starks from invasion.  It is a metaphor for Starks taking over the weirwood network.  Bran Stark weds a weirwood, and he wants to marry Meera Reed, who is essentially the Marsh King's Daughter.

 

Other plots that fit the Marsh King's Daughter template:

Craster's Keep is a metaphor for a weirwood hill, (craos means "maw" and "gluttony" and kraz means "crow," his father was a crow, and his mother was from Whitetree), Craster marries his daughters (and the CoTF wed the tree), who then give birth to abominations and monsters, and the sons become White Walkers.  Gilly is a flower, the Marsh King's Daughter was a flower (geala means "white, bright, silver, moon").  Gilly and her baby get taken by a Stark (and Sam).  

Towers are metaphors for weirwood, a lianna is a woody vine (like weirwood roots), leana means "swamp, marsh," leannan means "lover, concubine" and leanb means "baby"  In A Song of Lya, Lya gets lured into a cave by a telepathic fungus that eats her.  Lyanna supposedly gave birth to Jon is a tower in a bed of blood, the tower was guarded by White Walkers/Kingsguard.  The baby is symbolized by a flower, a blue winter rose, akin to the Marsh King's Daughter being a marsh lily.  The baby is taken by Ned Stark and Howland Reed. 

In The Marsh King's Daughter, the mother was imprisoned in the swamp with the Marsh King the whole time, right next to where the daughter grew up.  (and Howland married someone named Jyanna, and Ned remembers: "The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his"--a phrase suggesting marriage)

In another parallel to the Jon+Gilly+Sam+baby = Ned+Lyanna+Howland+baby plots.  gealla means "promise" or "pledge" (and "hostage")--recalls "promise me, Ned" (and giolla is a variant spelling of gealla) giolla (Howland) means "lad, gillie, horseboy, groom" and giolc means "reed" and giolcad means "a beating"  (Howland Reed was a lad who took a beating)  Lyanna was good with horses, and giolla means "groom" and "boy who takes care of horses"

 

What other fairy tales has George pulled from?

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Holy crap is this ever fantastic. I love it! So many relevant details. 

I've been thinking about Meera lately. Years ago, I wondered whether she might be a "secret twin" for Jon Snow, a la Star Wars Luke and Leia. There didn't seem to be enough hints and symbols to support that, however. An echo of this Marsh King story would explain the possible connection, however. If Jon Snow and Meera were both children of "Marsh King" characters, they could be symbolic siblings without being literal siblings. 

And you've shown that Gilly could be a third parallel "Marsh King's Daughter" character. I had been thinking she was a Lyanna parallel (and I still think that's true) but that doesn't rule out additional parallels. In the oral tradition, variations on fairy tales could have the king's bride or the king's daughter playing a given role, depending on the teller of the tale. Clearly, in the Craster situation, there is no difference between bride and daughter. 

The wordplay on "frog" and "forge" has intrigued me for quite awhile but I haven't felt 100% confident about how to interpret them. If GRRM is using a fairytale union of a swamp stump and a swan as a literary allusion, the transformation or combination of these two beings could explain how something new is "forged" in a marsh. And this particular "forge" creates "frog" children. (While the Frey wards refer to the Reeds as "frogeaters," characters in ASOIAF often undergo a "you are what you eat" transformation. So the Reeds could qualify as frogs - among other symbols associated with their background - after years of eating frogs.) 

1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Towers are metaphors for weirwood, a lianna is a woody vine (like weirwood roots), leana means "swamp, marsh," leannan means "lover, concubine" and leanb means "baby"  In A Song of Lya, Lya gets lured into a cave by a telepathic fungus that eats her.  Lyanna supposedly gave birth to Jon is a tower in a bed of blood, the tower was guarded by White Walkers/Kingsguard.  The baby is symbolized by a flower, a blue winter rose, akin to the Marsh King's Daughter being a marsh lily.  The baby is taken by Ned Stark and Howland Reed. 

Jon Snow always sleeps in a tower at Winterfell and when he becomes a steward for the Lord Commander. After the fire at Mormont's tower and after Jon Snow's mission among the wildlings, he becomes Lord Commander and finally leaves the tower, sleeping in the forge vacated by the death of Donal Noye. I believe the forge signifies Jon Snow being transformed as he sleeps in the smith's quarters. (And I've recently been pondering the connection between smiths and swords and how the relationship continues even after the sword is given to a warrior to use.)

One of the early anagram possibilities that struck me is the name of the magical smith, Tobho Mott, as a way of hinting at "hot tomb." This made me suspect that the Winterfell crypt, as a cold tomb, is a different kind of forge. Who is forged in the Winterfell tomb? Stark children, for sure, but also Theon and (against Bran's objections) the two Walders, taken down there by Rickon. In one of the games played by the Stark children in the crypt, Robb leads the little kids down there and Jon Snow emerges from a tomb covered in flour. Presumably, the intention was to scare the kids into thinking Jon was a ghost. The flour / flower wordplay tells us, however, that Jon was emerging as a flower. With the connection you've made to the Marsh King story, we now have a good hint about why the flower symbolism was part of this "forging." 

I know that many people in this forum suspect that Ashara Dayne might have secretly gone to Greywater Watch and married Howland Reed. The jumping from a tower and mysterious disappearance afterward might fit with the swan girl who is trapped under a swamp. There is also a jumbled notion that Ned might have loved Ashara and had to give her up for the alliance with House Tully. I think GRRM uses the deliberate "grey areas" between Ned and Howland as well as Lyanna - Ashara - Jyana to give us information about his archetypes (a pattern that can represent several characters), relieving him of the impossible task of fitting all details into one character's story line. 

1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Three princesses from Egypt who have skin-changed into swans by wearing swan feather cloaks fly to the bog to get a rare magic healing marsh flower, ... it is revealed that the Marsh King's Daughter herself is the magic marsh flower that will heal her ailing father.

In a different forum, there is a great, longstanding theory known as the miasma theory. The author posits that the Others are a sort of disease afflicting Westeros and that Jon Snow is the antidote for this disease. This connection to the fairy tale flower would explain how Jon Snow becomes a sort of stand-in flower and magical cure for the mysterious disease. (However, I think obsidian is also an "antibody" that is necessary to fight the disease known as The Others and there may be more ingredients Jon is harvesting as he undergoes various adventures. His own blood - combined Stark and Targaryen? - seems to be one of the ingredients, and may explain why he had to be right up against the Wall when he is stabbed.) 

For what it's worth, the name "Widow's Wail" is also the name of a flower. 

1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

giolla (Howland) means "lad, gillie, horseboy, groom" and giolc means "reed" and giolcad means "a beating"  (Howland Reed was a lad who took a beating)  Lyanna was good with horses, and giolla means "groom" and "boy who takes care of horses"

A stableboy is the first person Arya kills as she escapes the Lannister soldiers and leaves Syrio Forel to his fate. Sansa is uncomfortable with the leering stableboy who stares at her when she has outgrown her dresses and needs new ones. Hodor and the catspaw also have a stableboy connection. 

I wonder whether the Stark daughters staying out of the hands of stableboys is GRRM's way of saying that they will not suffer the fate of the swan girl who was trapped in the swamp? I've been wondering why GRRM would use stableboys as ominous presences. A connection to this fairy tale could explain it. 

Bran's dependence on Hodor for his mobility could show that he has not been able to escape the control of the Marsh King / stableboy. At least, not yet. 

And I never made the connection between a horse "groom" and a bride's "groom." Sansa gets her new dress which, much to her surprise and dismay, is actually a wedding dress. So maybe she escapes the stableboy but is captured by a groom after all. 

1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The Squishers are fish people, and they steal girls to breed with. 

And they are associated with three islands called The Sisters - this could reflect the three swan sisters in the fairy tale, 

As it happens, at the beginning of Robert's Rebellion, Ned was said to have returned to The North and Winterfell by way of the Sister Islands after leaving the Vale. So far, we know of four ways to approach The North from the south: through swamps and marshes controlled by House Reed, across the bridge at The Twins (House Frey), through the Three Sisters and through White Harbor (controlled by the "mermen" of House Manderly. With the possible exception of House Frey, these watery barriers would all seem to support the notion of a marsh trap as well as the idea of human / fish (or amphibious) hybrids. 

One of the rumors of Jon Snow's mother was that Ned impregnated the young woman from the Sisters who helped him cross the water in her boat. 

A bit of tinfoil?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this comment, I've been thinking about Meera Reed. The new thought I had about her is that maybe she is a parallel for Old Nan. If Old Nan is a faceless man (one of my favorite tin foil theories) then Old Nan might actually BE Meera. (Although both Meera and Old Nan were present at the Harvest Feast at Winterfell, I'm not sure Bran gives us enough detail to definitely establish that they could not be the same person. I suppose I should reread that chapter.) My little bits of evidence are:

  • Meera is a storyteller, like Nan (she tells the story of the little crannogman),
  • Old Nan says "Mayhaps." This word is associated with House Frey and the "Lord of the Crossing" game, but the marsh lands are another way to cross the neck and get to the North. (Or to be knocked in the water by someone who doesn't want you to cross.) The two Walders seem to express contempt for Meera and Jojen when they show up at the Harvest Feast. 
  • When he presides over the Harvest Feast at Winterfell, Bran sends sweets to Old Nan and Hodor because (he says) he loves them. He also finds himself very much attracted to Meera. 
  • If your stable boy evidence gives us a clue about characters who resemble the Marsh King, then Hodor (as a descendant of Old Nan as well as a stable boy) could be right in the mix as someone who has trapped Bran (he carries him in a basket on his back, and a "weir" is a type of woven trap, like a basket).

There does seem to be a tension in the fairy tale between the entrapment of the swan girl as a necessary step to produce the magic flower. But the happy ending is that the swan girl escapes with her child / magic flower. I guess it remains to be seen whether or how Bran will escape from the cave (another cold tomb, I would guess) and what will happen to Hodor. 

(I stopped watching the show after Season 5.) 

Bravo for sharing a really helpful story for sorting out some of the trickier literary clues in ASOIAF. Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

I forgot one of the best parts, in The Marsh King's Daughter, they mention that the Vikings have an alter in a grove of trees on which they make blood sacrifices, and the alter is called "the bloodstone in the groves" and Helga desperately wants to sacrifice the Christian priest on the bloodstone.  I have argued before that I think the bloodstone was a chunk of weirwood sap, but now I think the "bloodstone" is just a reference to the weirwood grove itself.  (The Bloodstone fell out of the sky) And the Bloodstone Emperor is just a title for "boss greenseer"--he took control of the weirwood network, or it took control of him, and he caused the Long Night.

 

Oh, and in addition to leanna meaning "swamp"  liagloghar means "white water lily"--Ned calls Lyanna Lya, so Lyanna really has the Marsh King's Daughter thing going on, who was Marsh water lily.  However, Lyanna is an inversion of the story, because instead of healing her father, she caused the death of her father.

 

12 hours ago, Seams said:

Jon Snow emerges from a tomb covered in flour. Presumably, the intention was to scare the kids into thinking Jon was a ghost. The flour / flower wordplay tells us, however, that Jon was emerging as a flower.

In addition to that, Jon emerging from the tomb covered in white flour, Jon returns from the dead as a wight/White, he comes back as a White Ghost, 

In Welsh myth there are ghostly white hounds with red eyes called Cŵn Annwn ("Hounds of Annwn" / "Hounds of the Otherworld"), they are a portent of death.  They are the hounds of the king of the Otherworld, Arawn, and Jon is named after Jon Arryn. 

 

I was just browsing the gaelic dictionary, and the word oigean means "the great deep" and above that oigeadh means "death" right below that oigheannach means "thistle" and right below that is oighear meaning "snow" and "ice"--so I re-read Varamyr's prologue with the idea that Thistle is a stand-in for Jon (gean) Snow and that Varamyr is a stand-in for Bloodraven (because he is a skin-changer and the One Eye references to Odin)

Varamyr is on the verge of death and plotting whose body he could possibly steal and he thinks:

"I should have taken one of them when I had the chance. One of the twins, or the big man with the scarred face, or the youth with the red hair. He had been afraid, though. One of the others might have realized what was happening. Then they would have turned on him and killed him."

Bloodraven thinking about how he should have taken over one of the Reeds, Hodor, or Bran, but it was too risky.  So he turns his sights on Thistle (stand-in for Jon).  The time comes and he tries to steal her body, she rejects him, bites off her own tongue (looses her voice), and scratches her eyes out (red eyes).  Varamyr then floats around disembodied before he permanently takes over the wolf One Eye.  Thistle comes back as a wight.

So Bloodraven tries to steal Jon's body, fails, and dies his true death.  Jon comes back wight/White, with no voice and red eyes, like Ghost, and he joins the undead army (as their leader).

Varamyr's death takes place before Bran and the gang reach Bloodraven's cave, lending support to my belief that Bloodraven is dead when they arrive and his corpse is being animated like a puppet (cloth dragon?)

 

varamyr's name--in Gaelic faire means "to watch with ill-intent" and fairim means "to watch, spy" and fairrge means "sea" and mir means "sea" (from LoTR, Faramir means "to watch the sea")  A greenseer is watching, spying, with ill-intent.

In Old Norse, vara means "to warn, to forebode" and "fur" and myrr means "bog, marsh"  (and myrda means "murder")

The Old Norse dictionary gives the phrase varar-skinn as "skin current in trade" and Varamyr Six Skins tries to skin trade someone.  And George wrote a werewolf story called The Skin Trade.

 

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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Posted (edited)

After the fact figured out the key to the puzzle, the page of the gaelic dictionary that links Jon and Thistle and Death, is that page with a word that sounds like Odin--oidean which just means "love" but the words surrounding it mean "death" and "an idea" and "snow" and "an attempt" and "heir" as well as "instruction, counsel" and "frosty, ice"

Odin/Bloodraven is dying, and he has an idea, to make an attempt to steal Snow's body and make him his heir.  And in the prologue Varamyr tells us about Haggon instructing him in skin-changing, and the chapter closes with everything turning to ice.

 

ETA: In Old Norse far means "evil, bale, terror, fraud" and "sheep" and "dismal, cold" and the phrase far-rymr means "awfully strong"

and firra means "to deprive one of a thing" (and Varamyr steals the skins of animals and tries to steal a human's body)

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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21 hours ago, Seams said:

Jon Snow always sleeps in a tower at Winterfell and when he becomes a steward for the Lord Commander. After the fire at Mormont's tower and after Jon Snow's mission among the wildlings, he becomes Lord Commander and finally leaves the tower, sleeping in the forge vacated by the death of Donal Noye. I believe the forge signifies Jon Snow being transformed as he sleeps in the smith's quarters. (And I've recently been pondering the connection between smiths and swords and how the relationship continues even after the sword is given to a warrior to use.)

One of the early anagram possibilities that struck me is the name of the magical smith, Tobho Mott, as a way of hinting at "hot tomb."

I have a lot to say about smiths. 

Donal Noye--In gaelic, dionnal means "a shot" and dionnan means "a little hill" and d'aon means "to raise up, ascent" and  naoi means "nine, a man, a ship"

The weirwood grove of nine can fire a shot into the sky / make a ship (itself) ascend into the sky  (the Smith is invoked at the launching of a ship and the creation of swords).  Westeros is a living creature with a single arm, like Donal Noye, his other arm is a stump (tree stump).

In Lord of the Rings, Earendil gets launched into the sky in a magic white ship, becomes the Dawn Star/Flammifer/Light-bringer, and kills the black dragon Ancalagon and brings the dawn.

naodhan ("well, fountain") is right above naoi. And several words beginning with naoid (Ned) mean nine, and baby.  And Dayne (d'aon) + Ned (naoid) = baby, to whom the number nine is special.  Nine was a sacred number to the Norse, there are nine worlds, Odin hung on the tree for nine days, Hiemdall has nine mothers, and he is the watchman who blows the horn.

 

"They said it was Donal Noye who'd forged King Robert's warhammer, the one that crushed the life from Rhaegar Targaryen on the Trident."

Robert Baratheon is a metaphor for an antlered green man and he kills an eclipsing Black Dragon with a warhammer forged by Donal Noye.  And Donal Noye, the smith, in the darkness underneath the Wall, kills the King of the Giants--it is a metaphor for the Long Night.

 

Tobho Mott--in gaelic tob means "surprise" and tobhan means "well, fountain, source, spring" and mota means "mount, mota" and mothar means "grove of trees" and Mot is the god of death.  Tobho Mott's shop was described like a cavern, it has weirwood doors, there is a bull/bole inside of it that is a Smith.  When Ned enters Tobho shop"

"When the armorer opened the door, the blast of hot air that came through made Ned feel as though he were walking into a dragon's mouth. Inside, a forge blazed in each corner, and the air stank of smoke and sulfur."

A blast of dragon fire is the surprise hidden in the weirwood cave. 

 

 

In Norse mythology, the tale of Sigorn killing the dragon Fafnir is telling of the Long Night.  In the Manual of Mythology by Rasmus Anderson, he says that Fafnir is "the evil power, the cloud, or the darkness which steals the light."  A dark dragon that steals the light.

The sword Gram ("wrath") was stabbed into a tree by Odin, and only the worthyist warrior could pull it out.  Sigmund pulls the sword from the tree.  Later Odin causes the sword to break in half while Sigmund is fighting, causing him to die.  His son Sigurd is persuaded to kill the dragon Fafnir, and so the dwarves smith him a powerful sword, Sigurd tests the blade on the anvil and the blade shatters, they forge him a second blade, and it also shatters.  So he has them reforge the shards of Gram and when he tests it on the anvil it cuts the anvil in half.  Sigurd then hides in a pit dug in the ground and waits for the dragon to slither over the hole and stabs him up through the soft underbelly in to the hilt, killing him. 

So, black dragon steals the light, magic tree sword forged three times, kills the black dragon and brings the light.  The anvil might also be important, as I think the black dragon that causes the Long Night is a metallic object and the magic sword can cut through an anvil.

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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36 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The sword Gram ("wrath") was stabbed into a tree by Odin, and only the worthyist warrior could pull it out.  Sigmund pulls the sword from the tree.  Later Odin causes the sword to break in half while Sigmund is fighting, causing him to die.  His son Sigurd is persuaded to kill the dragon Fafnir, and so the dwarves smith him a powerful sword, Sigurd tests the blade on the anvil and the blade shatters, they forge him a second blade, and it also shatters.  So he has them reforge the shards of Gram and when he tests it on the anvil it cuts the anvil in half.  Sigurd then hides in a pit dug in the ground and waits for the dragon to slither over the hole and stabs him up through the soft underbelly in to the hilt, killing him. 

So, black dragon steals the light, magic tree sword forged three times, kills the black dragon and brings the light.  The anvil might also be important, as I think the black dragon that causes the Long Night is a metallic object and the magic sword can cut through an anvil.

AGoT, Tyrion VIII. Tyrion is wearing a helm with a spike on top:

Quote

"Do you yield?" The knight loomed overhead on his armored warhorse. Man and horse both seemed immense. The spiked ball swung in a lazy circle. Tyrion's hands were numb, his vision blurred, his scabbard empty. "Yield or die," the knight declared, his flail whirling faster and faster.

Tyrion lurched to his feet, driving his head into the horse's belly. The animal gave a hideous scream and reared. It tried to twist away from the agony, a shower of blood and viscera poured down over Tyrion's face, and the horse fell like an avalanche. The next he knew, his visor was packed with mud and something was crushing his foot. He wriggled free, his throat so tight he could scarce talk. "… yield …" he managed to croak faintly.

"Yes," a voice moaned, thick with pain.

Interesting that GRRM gives us an ambiguous description of Tyrion stabbing the horse: it is not the helmet spike that does the stabbing, it is Tyrion's head. I think this is a case where "man = sword," as with so many of the ASOIAF characters.

ACoK, Tyrion I:

Quote

The inn beneath the sign of the broken anvil stood within sight of those walls, near the Gate of the Gods where they had entered that morning. As they rode into its courtyard, a boy ran out to help Tyrion down from his horse. "Take your men back to the castle," he told Vylarr. "I'll be spending the night here."

The captain looked dubious. "Will you be safe, my lord?"

 

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On 7/15/2021 at 4:30 PM, By Odin's Beard said:

The Starks conquered the Marsh King and marry the Marsh King's daughter and bring the Marsh King into the family, ever since then the Marsh people have defended the Starks from invasion.  It is a metaphor for Starks taking over the weirwood network.  Bran Stark weds a weirwood, and he wants to marry Meera Reed, who is essentially the Marsh King's Daughter.

I like it - and Meera can breathe mud, which is pretty essential for Andersen's story.

15 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Oh, and in addition to leanna meaning "swamp"  liagloghar means "white water lily"--Ned calls Lyanna Lya, so Lyanna really has the Marsh King's Daughter thing going on, who was Marsh water lily.  However, Lyanna is an inversion of the story, because instead of healing her father, she caused the death of her father.

The flowers of the Neck are 'poison kisses' - more irritant than poison irrc. Mud is a cure, which could fit in somewhere later on, hopefully.

Love reading your posts - thanks!

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In Dinneen's gaelic dictionary  oideann / oigeann (Odin / Jon) means "boiler, cauldron" as well as "river source. . . source of the Blackwater"* (and is on the same page as a bunch of words that mean "snow / ice / frost")

The God's Eye is the source of the Blackwater, and the God's Eye is Odin's One Eye, where Yggdrasil is located.  I think George is blurring the line between Yggdrasil and Odin, as Wodan / Odin is a wooden man and may just be a personification of the weirwood network.  (also the weirwood at Winterfell broods over a black pool--blackwater).

Odin's One Eye is a metaphor for the sun (and the God's Eye lake is a mirror).  Odin originally had two eyes, but he sacrificed an eye for a drink of Mimir's well of knowledge.  Mimir's Well is the weirwood cave, and drinking from the Well is gaining access to the weirwood network / well of knowledge.  But they speak of Odin's second eye as being "hidden":

I know where Odin's eye is hidden,
Deep in the wide-famed well of Mimir;

Odin's other eye is hidden in a well in a cave, which parallels Euron's blue eye vs. his black eye shining with malice.  The black eye is normally hidden, under a patch--like an invisible moon--and Euron's sigil is depicting an eclipse--and the phrase "crow's eye" is a kenning of "black eye"--since crow's eyes are black, and uran/vran means "crow".  At Ragnarok Odin's black eye is revealed and the world is destroyed. 

As a parallel to Euron crow's eye, Mors Crowfood Umber has an eye patch that conceals a chunk of black dragonglass.  Mors is the god of death, and umbra means "shadow"--as in an eclipse, and the hidden eye is a black chunk of dragonglass.  A black rock is associated with the god of death, the Shadow, and the (h)Others. 

In Lovecraft the black planet Yuggoth is made entirely of black stone and has black rivers of pitch that flow through Cyclopean ruins--the God's Eye is a cyclops, and the Blackwater river flows out of it.  (Yuggoth ~Ygg)

It just occurred to me that Asshai sounds like "Ash Eye" --and the weirwoods are the cosmic Ash tree Yggrasil that is centered at the God's Eye--and the black river Ash flows out of Ash Eye.  So a black river (Black water) flows out of the Ash Eye (God's Eye).  And the Ash Eye is a good description of the black moon when it eclipses the sun.  And Asshai is a gigantic city all made of greasy black stone, like Yuggoth is.  (in George's story In the House of the Worm, the sun has gone cold and turned the color of ash, and the humans all live underground and worship death and their god is the white worm of death--and they view the dying sun in the chamber of obsidian which is a black mirror)

Lml and others have proposed that Essos is a black mirror of Westeros, and I am thinking that Asshai is a metaphor for Westeros under the Black Sun of the Long Night--and by night the God's Eye lake itself is a black mirror.  In Asshai something is blocking out the sun, and horrible shit is going on there, and the greenseer is seated at Stygai "the corpse city at the Shadow's heart," and the ghost grass / shadow swords / Others are gathered under the Shadow.

And in The Tree on the Hill the Black Goat / Yuggoth causes an endless night on Earth.  The references to cauldrons and boilers are references to the second moon and the Long Night, because in celtic myth Bran's cauldron brings the dead back to life.  Euron's valyrian steel suit of armor might be a reference to the second moon also, and the suit can only be penetrated by the sword Dawn.

 

In the Qartheen Moon myth the moon is an "egg" and it eclipsed the sun.

In gaelic aog means "death, ghost, spectre, skeleton" and aoighean means "Stranger, guest, traveler" and uigean means "fugitive, lonely wanderer" (where the name Yuggoth comes from) and ugh means "egg"

The second moon is an egg/aog/aoigh/uig--and it is the Stranger, the god of death, a fugitive, lonely wanderer.  (In celtic myth, Bran's half-brother gets inside the cauldron and makes it explode, Jon is Bran's half brother and he is associated with the Nights King, and his name might be Aegon / aoighean / uigean. 

Odin's Other Eye is a black metallic vessel, that is the Stranger, that brings the dead back to life, one of Odin's names is Draugadróttinn "Lord of the undead"

(Aegon the Conqueror came to Westeros on a gigantic black dragon, the black dread, and he came from Dragonstone, a gigantic smoking black dragon island, Balerion is associated with a black cat [Lion of Night].  There might be some Balor of the Evil Eye wordplay going on with Balor-eye-on.  One of the names of Odin is Báleygr "flaming eye")

 

 

 

In Dwelly's gaelic dictionary oidean (Odin) and gion (Jon) both mean "love" (gion also means Ravenous / Greedy, and Odin's wolves are named Geri and Freki in Old Norse, both meaning "the ravenous" or "greedy one"

Under oigheann (oi-Jon) it says "see aghann" (Aegon), (and right below that is oigheannach meaning "thistle")      Aeg~Ygg / Odin

aigheannach means "corn thistle"--Jon is heavily associated with corn, and Thistle is a stand-in for Jon.

aighear means "joy"  --(r)aighear and the Tower of Joy.

 

aigean means "abyss" (and barathrum means "abyss") and aigh means "deer" and oigh means "stag"

aighne / aghann means "prophet"--and Rhaegar was trying to fulfill a prophecy by birthing a son named Aegon.

So Jon = Odin = Aegon


(odhann means "kettle" and odan means "froth", and Odin stole the frothy mead of poetry out of a vat)

 

 

*Also, the song Black Water by the Doobie Brothers the chorus repeatedly mentions the moon and black water

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On 7/15/2021 at 12:36 PM, Seams said:

And they are associated with three islands called The Sisters - this could reflect the three swan sisters in the fairy tale, 

. . .

One of the rumors of Jon Snow's mother was that Ned impregnated the young woman from the Sisters who helped him cross the water in her boat. 

In celtic myth Neid had two wives, Babd and Nemain who are two of the Three Sisters that make up the Morrigan, the third is Macha. 

So Ned and the "Fisherman's Daughter" passing through the Three Sisters is a big clue about Ned getting married at the Wolf's Den. (Wyman -- uaim means "join, union" and uaimh means "den" and there is a hidden Weirwood at the Wolf's Den where weddings would take place, and daingean [Dayne + Jon] means "stronghold" and "marriage" and naoidean [Ned + Dayne] means "infant" and naodaire means "boatman, sailor"--White Harbor: to "harbor" something is to protect/shelter it, and snow=white, and Jon Stark built the Wolf's Den

and in gaelic the words for "onion" [oinninn/uinneamh] and "Ash tree /ashen" [oinsean/uinseann] are right next to each other, Davos is retracing Ashara's journey in the Three Sisters and White Harbor, and between them is the word oinseach = "abandoned woman" sean = Jon in gaelic)

 

Neid / Neit / Nuad / Nuada was called "Nuad of the Silver Hand", and the Ned's badge of office for Hand of the King is a silver hand.  The silver hand was a replacement hand, and Ned was a replacement Hand for Robert.  Nuad gets killed and beheaded by Balor of the Evil Eye, and Ned is beheaded on the steps of the Sept of Baelor. (and Ned got betrayed by Baelish)  Nuad had a magic sword called "the Sword of Light" which was a "glowing bright torch"--which supports the idea that Ice / Dawn are comet swords, (Ice is broken, and they could not get the color of the swords to turn red--the sword would not ignite)

 

Babd and Nemain both mean "crow".  The Three Sisters of the Morrigan are daughters of Cailitin (very close to Catelyn).  Naoid means "baby" and nead means "nest" and Bran is a crow and Jon is a crow, and Sansa is a little bird.

Babd is also called Babd Catha "battle crow"-- Catelyn or Lady Stoneheart, who is the Morrigan. 

Neaman / nemain means "royston crow" and neamann means "a diamond, mother of pearl, a beautiful woman"--Ashara was regarded as one of the most beautiful women in Westeros.  naom means "holy person" and I think Lemore is Ashara who went into the Faith at the Sept of the Snows at White Harbor, and naomog means "a small boat" 

Ned is the "quiet wolf" and Jon is the silent wolf.  I just realized that a jinn (jann / genie) is a ghost, Jon = jann = ghost. 

For that matter is Jenny of Oldstones really the jinn / genie of Oldstones?  A weirwood ghost?

 

 

I just realized why there are nine nazgul, naisg means "bound, chained" and one the next page is naoi "nine" then on the next page is nasc meaning "ring"

 

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Wow. Lots to unpack in your post. 

6 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I think Lemore is Ashara who went into the Faith at the Sept of the Snows at White Harbor

Not to get too off-topic but, if she is Septa Lemore, then who is Septa Mordane? The "-dane" syllable tells me that there might be a Dayne connection. Maybe it's even "mort + Dayne" to signify a "dead" Dayne.

I think she could be Lyanna. I know Mordane is probably someone important because 1) she is the first character who has a rustling skirt, which is something associated with queens hiding their sons; and 2) her head is mounted alongside Ned's head on the walls of the Red Keep. This can't be just a coincidental little throw-away detail. 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Seams said:

Not to get too off-topic but, if she is Septa Lemore, then who is Septa Mordane? The "-dane" syllable tells me that there might be a Dayne connection. Maybe it's even "mort + Dayne" to signify a "dead" Dayne.

She is a septa so it is probably comes from ordain--as in "member of the clergy"  ordain comes from the Latin ordinatio, which means "to govern" and she is the girls' governess.  And she is a stereotype of a strict catholic nun schoolteacher.

moidin means "a devout person"

mordhaighe means "proud, vain" and mordha "honor, dignity, greatness, noble" (aryan means the same things in Hindu)  moruadh means" sea monster"

Her name might be a combination of murad and muraim which both mean "demurring, crushing, leveling, walling in, pulling down"  --referencing Mordane trying to force Arya to be a proper little lady.  And it might be a statement about girls education vs boys education in general-- the way Bran is taught by Luwin vs how the girls are taught by Mordane (also mordant means "biting criticism"). 

 

Other tinfoil possibilities, mur means "wall"  + Dayne = a Dayne at the Wall,

muire means "Mother Mary" + Dayne.  In french la mère means "the Mother" if Jon is supposed to be Jesus. (le mort means "the dead" and lemur means "ghost")

 

-----------

Change of subject

I just checked the Oxford Hindu dictionary to see what words sound like Jon, jan means "a man" and  janata means "the people, population"  In Gaelic duine mean "a man" and daoine means "men, population" (dunedain ranger hidden prince in the north)  Jon = Dayne 

jāna means "knowledge, understanding" and ajāna means "unknowing, ignorant" --In gaelic geoin means "fool"--  Jon famously "knows nothing"  (I think he will perceive the runes while he is dead, and come back with understanding of the true Stark heritage)

janvari means "January";  (gionbar/geanar means "January" in gaelic), janral means "general"  and jarana means "to grow cold" and janga means "war, battle"  (Jon leads the Others) 

jāna means "life, spirit, animating force" (ghost)   jānā "to go, depart, to lead" 

janna means "birth, origin"  and in Gaelic gein means "birth, origin, genesis";  geanead [Jon/Ned] means "begetting" and geanidean [Jon/Ned/Dayne] means "genesis";  geinid [Jon/Ned] means "sprite, small potato, little finger" and acharradh means "sprite, dwarf"gion means "small potato"

janai means "midwife" --Davos sails to White Harbor incognito on the Merry Midwife (baby delivery / baby smuggler)

Also, and gionc means "dog" and gionach means "greedy, voracious"

janun means "possession by a jinn: madness, mental disturbance"  --Jon comes back possessed by madness and berserker fury and fuckin kills everyone, like in his dream where he is hacking up Ygritte and Robb and everyone else.  (in that dream he is armored in black ice like the second moon, he is high up in the sky, and he is wielding the Red Sword of Heroes)

In Dinneen's gaelic dictionary, on the page with the words starting with "gean" is the phrase geam-oidche which means "a winter's night, a long night; a long period . . .the winter night of centuries"

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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8 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

In Dinneen's gaelic dictionary, on the page with the words starting with "gean" is the phrase geam-oidche which means "a winter's night, a long night; a long period . . .the winter night of centuries"

Have you ever come across the author Dan Davis?

Dan Davis Author | Action-packed fantasy and scifi

I think you might find this interesting:

Army of the Dead: The Koryos | Bronze Age Warfare and Folklore - YouTube

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, LynnS said:

I have never heard of him before, but that was a good video.  And it fits in surprisingly well with the events of ASoIaF.  He is saying that the occasion of the Wild Hunt gave the young men of society a designated time when they put on "masks" and "become the dead" to purge the undesirables from their community and enforce social norms for the betterment of the community.  (I have read that Odin's undead einerjar army may have just been soldiers who wore black and attacked at night for maximum effect, and the Koryos idea is very similar.)  The young men of the Nights Watch have been cast out of society, and they return to society as an invading army of undead (Craster thought he was safe because he was a "godly man" but he was purged as well)

The Starks hold to the Old Ways--ice preserves and they preserve and enforce tradition (and the Others are just an extreme version of idea--they are frozen, they never change--and the Starks are the Others/are descended from the Others/lead the Others [Stark white]).   The Starks kept trying to improve things using normal channels and getting killed for their efforts, Brandon and Rickard get brutally killed trying to rescue Lyanna, Ned tries to shape-up King's Landing and gets killed, Robb tries to bring justice to the South and he and Cat get betrayed and brutally killed, Jon tries to shape-up the Night's Watch and gets killed by his own men.  Normal means have failed, so now it is time for the purge--the Long Night.

In the Poetic Edda it is implied that Ragnarok occurs because society has become decadent--brothers killing brothers, incest and whoredom is rampant--and then the wolf-age begins Middle Earth gets attacked on all sides by Fenrir, the ice giants, and fire giants and everything collapses. 

When Robb was killed he symbolically came back as a wolf man--with Grey Wind's head sewn on to Robb's body (rob means "quadruped" in gaelic).  Jon will come back as a wolf/man berserker, and like Fenrir will consume everything in his path.  Starks are werewolves, and the Long Night is when you would expect them to transform into their true form. 

 

Here is something interesting, in the 1888 Oxford English Dictionary, Black Prince means "the eldest son of Edward III" (so named because of his black deeds and he wore black armor) and it also means "the prince of darkness, the devil"  (the Night's King the 13th Lord Commander was the leader during the darkness)

I think Jon is the eldest son of Eddard (is he the third of his name?), Jon took the black and has a dream of wearing black ice armor.  Right above black prince is black pot which is a running metaphor for the eclipse of the Long Night and Jon got elected LC by a black pot.  And in the next column is Blackthorn, which is the plant that grows sloes, and Jon is the son of the sloe-eyed maid.  (a sloe is a purple-black fruit, so there could be a play on words with sun/son and having purple-black eyes--the sun is the God's Eye and it turns black)

 

Ragnarok was a renewing of the world, a fresh start.  The undead army is going to purge everyone and there will be a fresh start.  I have argued that the Others are not the villains of the story, because George has said that we don't need anymore Dark Lords and because that is the plot of George's story In the House of the Worm (the real villain was the White Worm).

Fun fact, "Mordor" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word mordor meaning "violence, slaughter, murder, torment, misery, mortal sin" and in Old Norse mördr means "marten" and in Anglo-Saxon myrten means "carrion, the dead" and in gaelic, mairtineach means "a cripple" 

(the Black Gate separates the dead from the living, and the Black Gate opens during the Long Night to let the dead back into the world of the living--parallels the Black Gates of Mordor opening under Sauron's darkness to let the orcs invade Gondor (orc means "pig" and "demon" and "worker/slave" in various languages)

The "S" in Gaelic looks like an "R", and mairtin/maistin means "a ferocious looking dog" and mairt/maist means a large vessel, and mairte/maiste means "torch"

Army of the dead lead by a cripple/ferocious dog under a large vessel (that is eclipsing the sun) and the torch is the Red Comet, the Red Sword of Heroes.

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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16 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Army of the dead lead by a cripple/ferocious dog under a large vessel (that is eclipsing the sun) and the torch is the Red Comet, the Red Sword of Heroes.

Well, that was fascinating to read.  I think you've just revitalized N + A = Jon/the Night King of Winter. :cheers:

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Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2021 at 12:36 PM, Seams said:

I've been thinking about Meera lately. Years ago, I wondered whether she might be a "secret twin" for Jon Snow, a la Star Wars Luke and Leia. There didn't seem to be enough hints and symbols to support that, however. An echo of this Marsh King story would explain the possible connection, however. If Jon Snow and Meera were both children of "Marsh King" characters, they could be symbolic siblings without being literal siblings. 

There might be some wordplay on meera ~ mirror, twins who are mirror images of one another.

In gaelic muirigean (Meera + Jon) means "an encumbrance, a burden or charge; a family, a young family";  meur/meoir means "branch of the family, kindred"  (geinid means "little finger" and meuran means "small finger")  and Meera's brother is Jojen ~ j-jon.  (joj means "crow" in Mayan, and Jon is a crow) Jon is a green boy, with friend named Grenn, Jojen is a greendreamer with green eyes.

 

In The Marsh King's Daughter a frog turns into a princess.  And what causes her to transform is the compassion of a priest who is compared several times to the god Baldor--(and Bran, the summer child with a wolf named Summer, is a direct parallel to Baldor, the summer god who is killed by Hodr the winter god, with a mistletoe arrow, and Baldor's soul is then preserved inside the mistletoe until the next summer).  Bran could turn Meera from a frog into a princess by looking into the past.

(in Dinneen's gaelic dictionary muir-bran is the "sea-crow, mergus"  [Meera + Bran = merge])

 

In Old Norse mær means "maid, girl, virgin" and mærr means "famous, glorious, great" and maer/meyja means "girlhood, maid" and maer/ mjor means "slender" and myri means "swamp, bog, moor"

In Old Norse merja means "to crush" and Bran has a crush on Meera.  mara means "to float" and the Reeds live in a floating castle, and mara means "nightmare" (from merja "to crush")--above mara are words that mean "love song" "youthful girl" and "cannibal/man eater" murra/murr means "wall" and Meera climbs the Wall and goes through the Wall. 

 

I just noticed that Bran eating the Reeds is foreshadowed when he first meets them: "Bran wondered if he would have to eat a frog to be polite."  And the repetition of phrase "frogeaters" in reference to the Reeds, they eat frogs and they are frogs that will be eaten. (in The Marsh King's Daughter Storks eat frogs).  And there is the Jojen in a bole/bowl wordplay.  And when they go through the Black Gate they die, and Sam has to swear three times that Bran is dead.  And they become cannibals before reaching the cave, and when they eat the Elk:

"He told himself he would not eat, that it was better to go hungry than to feast upon a friend, but in the end he'd eaten twice,"--he eats twice, twice he feasts upon a friend-- foreshadows Bran eating Jojen and Meera.

 

And in Old Norse, meyra / meyrr means "tender, like meat"   In real world astronomy the star Mira is in the neck of the sea-monster Cetus, Meera comes from the Neck, but this could be foreshadowing of her being eaten by the sea-monster.  (and myrda means "to conceal, murder")

In gaelic, mire means "bit, part or piece of anything, as of bread; luncheon"

So, I think Bran was forced to eat Meera and Jojen.  That is the mara/myre nightmare, that Bran is tricked into eating Meera.  (If both Meera and Jon got murdered in Dance, by people who were supposed to be their friends, then they are mirrors of each other.)

 

In George's short story A Night at the Tarn House, the entire story is a metaphor for a weirwood cave, and people who go to the Tarn House are killed and put into meat pies to attract more victims, and some are fed to the Hissing Eels (weirwood roots)  And Chimwazle is a green toad man and he finds a finger in his meat pie, and meur/meoir means "finger" in gaelic (it also means "branch, bough" and "prong").  "Wisps of steam rose through the pie’s broken crust to form hideous faces in the air, their mouths open in torment."  parallels the faces on the weirwood paste bowl.

In Hindi, mara means "lean, skinny" and right above it marni means "paste" and maran means "dying, death"

Also the Reeds are crannogmen, and crannog means "tree" in gaelic, and Meera and Jojen are children/offspring/seeds of the Crannogmen--so in a sense they are tree seeds.  So Bran eating weirwood seeds could be a clever reference to him eating Reeds.

In gaelic mire also means "mirth, merriment, flirting" but also "rage, fury, madness" --when Bran finds out that he ate Meera he becomes mad with rage and fury and kills everyone in Bloodraven's cave and vows to destroy the weirwood network.

In Latin, maeror means "mourning, sadness, grief"

 

There is an Asimov novel called The End of Eternity, about a young man (Harlan) is recruited into a time-travelers guild (Eternity) that controls human civilization for its own ends--they think they are keeping humans safe, but they are really just keeping them stagnant--civilization is prevented from advancing because they don't want to allow space travel, the protagonist uses the time-travel device (kettle) to go into the past and prevent it from being invented, thus erasing the guild and freeing humans from their meddling oversight.  I think that is essentially Bran's arc.  --that is why Bloodraven is the last greenseer--because Bran is going to terminate the program. 

Which is very similar to the plot of Forbidden Planet, where an alien supercomputer network in a cave under a hill with red and white trees on it can manifest nightmares of a sleeping dreamer into reality, and in the end the computer has to be destroyed because it is too dangerous to exist.  And Morbius self-destructs the computer, killing himself in the process.

In The End of Eternity what prompts Harlan to destroy the time-travel guild is that he falls in love with a woman Noys, and he would have to kill her to preserve Eternity, but he opts to go into the past with her and prevent time-travel from being invented, and it ends with him and her in a cave in the past--and they have erased their own timeline and set humanity free. 

Noys was for a time hidden in part of the timeline that he could not reach, and it is only a slight modification of this plot if she was killed by the time-travel guild and that was why he chose to destroy them.

 

In The Whisperer in Darkness there is a character named Noyes, and that story fungus tree crabs steal people's brains, and Noyes presumably gets his brain put in a jar.  In gaelic, Bran = brain, and they are trying to steal his brain.  And Bran calls Bloodraven "the whisperer in darkness" and the weirwoods and the greenseers are a time-travel guild that meddles in human affairs.  The brains in jars can go backward and forward in time and visit other worlds.

 

In George's short story Under Siege, a crippled boy time travels into the past, takes over someones body and erases his own timeline.

 

I was just thinking about the idea of Bran actually being various historical characters from history--that he skin-changed people in the past and lived their lives--that it is just be a metaphor about reading stories, because at its core ASoIaF is really just a story about a crippled boy re-imagining British and European history in a more fantastical way, and inserting himself into many of the important characters in history when he reads their stories:

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one. The singers of the forest had no books. No ink, no parchment, no written language. Instead they had the trees, and the weirwoods above all. "

Going into the weirwood, Bran will live a thousand lives before he dies.

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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2 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

(in The Marsh King's Daughter Storks eat frogs).

Walder Frey's eighth wife is Joyeuse Erenford, whose house uses a heron sigil. (GRRM is oddly specific about the colors and details of the sigil, which is intriguing.) This Frey / Reed enmity seems increasingly important - on a literary level, if not in future plot developments.

2 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

So, I think Bran was forced to Meera and Jojen. 

Eating a reed / Reed has a fairly clear outcome in ASOIAF:

Quote

To turn their flank, the Starks would need horses that could run on water. Tyrion led his men toward the riverbank. "Look," he shouted, pointing with his axe. "The river." A blanket of pale mist still clung to the surface of the water, the murky green current swirling past underneath. The shallows were muddy and choked with reeds. "That river is ours. Whatever happens, keep close to the water. Never lose sight of it. Let no enemy come between us and our river. If they dirty our waters, hack off their cocks and feed them to the fishes." (AGoT, Tyrion VIII)

Quote

Ser Garlan shoved Tyrion aside and began to pound Joffrey on the back. Ser Osmund Kettleblack ripped open the king's collar. A fearful high thin sound emerged from the boy's throat, the sound of a man trying to suck a river through a reed; then it stopped, and that was more terrible still. (ASoS, Tyrion VIII)

Awhile back I had started a thread about drowning symbolism. I thought I remembered that a reed was associated with breathing but I was surprised to go back and find that it is associated with choking. The deer antler that killed the mother direwolf when it was somehow stabbed through her throat is deer / reed wordplay. 

Of course, Bran has had several symbolic deaths already (aside from being pushed off the wall by Jaime, he symbolically dies after drinking from his father's silver cup at the Harvest Feast at Winterfell). As you point out, passing through the Black Gate is also a kind of death. So eating a reed / Reed and choking to death probably wouldn't slow him down at this point. 

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Posted (edited)

Ahh man… Starks being Storks? A baby de-live-ry service! Nothing but surro-gate  family planning!

Bah! 
Thank you, for the food for thought. My imagination has been hungry of late. I’ve been chewing over The devil’s in the deTails but the taste has soured.

Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare to choose in place of another, substitute, from sub- + rogare to ask —

Was a Rogare ever knighted? Probably a little to heavy handed for GRRM to call someone Ser Rogare= surrogate.

(wow I’m going down rabbit holes now. sorry I get excited)

 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe

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@Seams 

 I am not a Star Wars fan, and it has probably been 15 years since I saw any of the movies, but I have noticed that George Lucas has used some of GRRMs ideas in Star Wars.  In GRRM's short story The Stone City, Captain MacDonald gets taken by the Dan'lai and as a punishment gets partially embedded in a wall:

Quote

MacDonald's skeleton was half in, half out. Most of the limbs were sunk deep in the metal, but the fingertips dangled out (one hand still holding a laser), and the feet, and the torso was open to the air.

A ship's captain gets frozen into a wall, which is almost exactly what happens to Han Solo, except MacDonald is killed in the process.

 

And Preston has pointed out that George Lucas probably got the idea of the light sabres from GRRM's Starlady.  Hairy Hal has a "force blade" that is a ghostly blue force-field knife, and Star Lady came out before Star Wars. which the Light-Sabers are a (the ghostly blade also parallels the Others' swords).  And Hairy Hal has his sword arm mangled, and Luke gets his sword hand severed.

 

And Lucas also ripped off the ewoks/wookiees from George's story And Seven Times Never Kill Man.

 

 

George Lucas co-wrote the movie Willow, where a special baby is born named Elora Danan, the baby girl was prophesied to bring down the evil queen, so the queen wanted to kill her and sends assassins to track her down, and Danan gets saved/protected by the dwarf Willow.  I haven't read them, but there is a novel trilogy to Willow is called Shadow Moon, Shadow Dawn, and Shadow Star, and in the last novel Danan has possession of the last two dragon eggs.  And she has killed the living dragons to keep the devil from being able to control them.

I searched the text of the novel Shadow Moon, to see what was meant by that phrase, but the phrase "shadow moon" is never used.

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In the movie Dark Star (1974) by John Carpenter, the titular ship Dark Star looks and sounds just like an X-Wing Fighter and it blows up planets.  Seriously, check out this scene from the movie.  There is a little bulb thing on top of the ship that looks and sounds just like R2D2.  And in Star Wars Luke uses his X-wing fighter to blow up the planteoid/Death Star.  The movie Dark Star is absolutely terrible though, I had to stop watching after 10 minutes, but GRRM loved it, he says it is one of his favorite movies. 

Luke's original character name was Deak Starkiller--Dark Star killer, and he destroys the Death Star (Dark/Deak/Darth/Death Star)

 

So that got me thinking about other Star Wars names.  In Norse mythology, at Ragnarok when the sun is eclipsed, Vidar destroys the celestial object that is causing the eclipse.  Vidar sounds like Vader.  So I looked up words that sound like Vader.

In hindi:

vēdha  1. piercing, penetration. 2. Pl. wounding. 3. distinguishing; observing (heavenly bodies), to pierce; to observe (as a planet),  observatory.  

[The Sanskrit root vid/ved meaning "to know" is found in several languages, in Latin "video" and "wit/wot" in English, wissen in German, etc.--so it is possible the vidr in Old Norse actually comes from this word, as there is a surprising amount of remnants of Sanskrit words in Gaelic]

Vidar is a destroyer of celestial objects, and so is Vader.  Vader's ship is a planetoid that is a planet-destroying moon/space station. 

In hindi dur means "evil", and "pearl" and "to lie hidden" and Star Wars is largely based on the movie The Hidden Fortress, and Durth Vadur's ship is pearl-shaped and evil.  (The Black Pearl in ASoIaF is a metaphor for the second moon, that is a hidden fortress.  The Black Pearl is Bellegere Otherys--in Latin belliger means "to wage war" and Otherys=The Others, the black pearl brings the invasion of the Others.)

 

In my Ragnarok thread I argued that Jon is Vidar who destroys the Dark Star, the celestial body that is eclipsing the sun during the Long Night--Vidr ends the eclipse with a tree (as vidr means "tree"). 

 

In the hindi dictionary jana (Jon) is right below jadu (Jedi)

jāna 1.  life, spirit; animating force 2. vitality, vigour. 3. essential quality, essence.

jādū  1. magic; a spell, charm. 2. enchantment. 3. sleight-of-hand: conjury; juggling. —, to break a spell, to disenchant.  to bewitch, to enchant.   m. a magician, wizard; conjurer, juggler.

The jedi are wizards that can do mind tricks.  And the sithi are magic fairies from Celtic myth.  Jon is a Jedi.

 

 

Vader is a sword-fighter, and vedha means "piercing, penetrating, wounding," furthermore:

vadhaka , m. 1. a killer. 2. a hunter.

vetr means "reed, cane, rattan" (implies sword fighting) and vetta means "knower; an expert" (Sith Lord)

 

And Anakin comes from: 

anīka-, 1. sharp point (of spear, arrow,  2. end, tip. 3. face, front. 4. prow  [almost the same definition as vedha]

anakha , 1. anger; displeasure. 2. envy. 3. malice.

ānākānī  1. turning a deaf ear; not acknowledging (one); showing reserve. 2. overlooking, conniving. 3. excuse, pretence. 4. whispering. — , to turn a deaf ear; to overlook, to disregard; to make excuses.

 

 

yōddhā. 1. a warrior, soldier. 2. contender, champion (for, of).

padma means "lotus" ami means "sweet one, darling" and ḍhōlā means  "a lover"  Padme Amidala

Obi-wan might come from ubhiyānā "to rise up"

jhabba is a hindi word but it means "tassel, pendant" what does that mean?--he has Leia on a leash that's all I can think of

fitana (Boba Fett) means "serious trouble, a troublesome person, a pest"

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