Jump to content

Heresy 241 A Winter Rose


Black Crow
 Share

Recommended Posts

Heresy 240 marked the 10th birthday of this thread taking a sideways, often sceptical and sometimes iconoclastic look at the Song of Ice and Fire.

Fittingly, in that anniversary edition LynnS proved to be the hero of the day by drawing to our attention the not unimportant fact that the Winter Rose, may not always be blue, but it is a Hellebore, and usually poisonous, which to put it mildly has massive implications for a certain well-known theory.

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

Discussion is still in full swing on Heresy 240 so need I say more, other than to throw this edition open to continue it, and to reflect also on the connection with GRRM's other story - Bitterblooms - about flowers in a land of Winter, which turns out to be about illusion

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An the illusion at the heart of Bitterblooms is important, because the more we get down to figuring out what's really going on, so it becomes more apparent that this isn't really about the game of thrones and the Targaryen succession, but a rather different much more GRRM-style story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Complete serendipity - another accidental find. I was perusing a link posted by another member on Victorian Christmas cards and came across an illustration of winter roses.  Google and wikipedia filled in the rest.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Magical Hellebore Plant - Garden and Happy

Here's a link to Bitterblooms audio book.

George R. R. Martin – Bitterblooms Audiobook – Audiobooks (Free) (staraudiobook.com)  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

I've come to think that this last stand of the KG had more to do with their vows than anything else.  Ned says that Arthur Dayne was the finest knight that he has known and there is a recurring theme about what it means to be a true knight starting with the Dunk and Egg stories and carried through in Brienne and Jaimie's arcs.

 

Alien Area replies:

How about this: Arthur was the one mortally wounding Lyanna by reflex / accident when he accompanies Rhaegar to search for the Knight of the Laughing Tree (her wolfblood got her killed). Ned and Howland are with her. Rhaegar stops the fight and allows Ned and Howland to leave with Lyanna (that's why Ned is always fond of Rhaegar). Howland brings Lyanna to the Quiet Isle, but she dies there (that's why her bones are at Winterfell). Meanwhile, Ned and Rhaegar come up with the story that Lyanna eloped with Rhaegar, not thinking it through (Brandon!). Because both don't want her to marry Robert, for different reasons. Fast forward to the ToJ. Ned is riding for Dorne because Ashara gave birth to their child. They run into the three kingsguard. Arthur knew Ned would be coming because of Ashara, and where to wait for him.

Their dialogue - now it begins - now it ends is their continuation of their encounter when Lyanna died.

Arthur allows Ned to kill him, because Howland reminds Arthur that he killed Lyanna. 

Jon has to be Ned's and Ashara's so he can claim Dawn. A very common trope.

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another sublime reasoning for Lyanna dying shortly after the tourney of Harrenhal is that nobody claims to have seen her during the rebellion. Not a single rumor like "She's in Dorne". Or any other place.

Unrelated: when I read Ned's fever dream for the first time, I thought the blue petals were from the winter roses Lyanna reveived at Harrenhal. Would those last two years and make it to Dorne?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Quote

Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black.

Black hellibore:

Quote

 

The black hellebore was described by Carl Linnaeus in volume one of his Species Plantarum in 1753.[1] The Latin specific name niger (black) may refer to the colour of the roots.[2] There are two subspecies: H. niger subsp. niger and H. niger subsp. macranthus, which has larger flowers (up to 3.75 in/9 cm across). In the wild, H. niger subsp. niger is generally found in mountainous areas in Switzerland, southern Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and northern Italy. Helleborus niger subsp. macranthus is found only in northern Italy and possibly adjoining parts of Slovenia.[3]

It can be difficult to grow well; acid soil is unsuitable, as are poor, dry conditions and full sun. Moist, humus-rich, alkaline soil in dappled shade is preferable. Leaf-mould can be dug in to improve heavy clay or light sandy soils; lime can be added to 'sweeten' acid soils.[3]

 

Helleborus niger - Wikipedia

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, alienarea said:

Another sublime reasoning for Lyanna dying shortly after the tourney of Harrenhal is that nobody claims to have seen her during the rebellion. Not a single rumor like "She's in Dorne". Or any other place.

Unrelated: when I read Ned's fever dream for the first time, I thought the blue petals were from the winter roses Lyanna reveived at Harrenhal. Would those last two years and make it to Dorne?

I tend to favor the Quiet Isle as a hiding place because the brothers take a vow of silence.  Also because of Theon's dream of Lyanna in a white dress which could be a septa's robes.  If she escaped her abductors and disappeared quickly, this would seem a likely place in the area where she could hide.  I would suspect Howland of rescuing Lyanna and he is skilled in camoflauge avoiding detection.   If this is the case, then Ned would know where Lyanna was hiding.

I also think she would be less conspicuous there than at Starfall.  Whereas an infant with a serving woman would go unremarked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

An the illusion at the heart of Bitterblooms is important, because the more we get down to figuring out what's really going on, so it becomes more apparent that this isn't really about the game of thrones and the Targaryen succession, but a rather different much more GRRM-style story.

A story with flowers blue as the eyes of death: The Others are the "problem" to be solved.

1 hour ago, alienarea said:

Unrelated: when I read Ned's fever dream for the first time, I thought the blue petals were from the winter roses Lyanna reveived at Harrenhal. Would those last two years and make it to Dorne?

I've seen others make that argument, too. Real roses? You can dry them, but the resulting color isn't particularly vivid. Hellebore? No clue.

But one way or the other, pretty sure those rose petals against the blood-streaked sky are an image. Ned conflating things in his imagination. Seems very unlikely that someone chucked a bunch of rose petals into the air right before the fight. . .

1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I tend to favor the Quiet Isle as a hiding place because the brothers take a vow of silence.  Also because of Theon's dream of Lyanna in a white dress which could be a septa's robes.  If she escaped her abductors and disappeared quickly, this would seem a likely place in the area where she could hide.  I would suspect Howland of rescuing Lyanna and he is skilled in camoflauge avoiding detection.   If this is the case, then Ned would know where Lyanna was hiding.

I also think she would be less conspicuous there than at Starfall.  Whereas an infant with a serving woman would go unremarked.

No question: hiding her at the Quiet Isle would work.

But the novels also show how easily Stolen Stark maids can hide in plain sight. Sansa's got a price on her head--and so far (at least), she's staying safe in plain sight.

Arya? Lady Smallwood clearly suspects something's up and makes Arya bathe and dress up. But she doesn't ask for details because of her affinity for the Brotherhood (and Tom). And Arya, like Sansa, hides under aliases pretty well.

So, if Lyanna's abductors were like Baelish or the Brotherhood, they could hide her almost anywhere--long as they had hair dye, or sympathetic allies ready to turn a blind eye.

So--Starfall might work really well for a hiding place, too.

@LynnS: on the growth places of Hellebore from the previous thread.

Quote

Sure, could be.  But we do know that Ned identifies the scent of winter roses in the room where Lyanna died.

Of course--just noting that if those roses are hellebore, real-world hellebore can grown in some pretty hot, dry places. So, they might be able to get them for her room, even in Dorne.

Maybe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

No question: hiding her at the Quiet Isle would work.

It's just one opinion.  I'm filling in the blanks with what makes sense to me at the moment.  I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.  It's not even a very interesting idea as far as storytelling.  One thing I'm more certain about is that the love story between Lyanna and Rhaegar is on shakey ground.

What are the outcomes for Arthur as Jon's father?  What is the shape of that story?

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

The Mystery Knight

"I'm not stupid, ser." Egg lowered his voice. "Someday the dragons will return. My brother Daeron's dreamed of it, and King Aerys read it in a prophecy. Maybe it will be my egg that hatches. That would be splendid."

"Would it?" Dunk had his doubts.

Not Egg. "Aemon and I used to pretend that our eggs would be the ones to hatch. If they did, we could fly through the sky on dragonback, like the first Aegon and his sisters."

"Aye, and if all the other knights in the realm should die, I'd be the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. If these eggs are so bloody precious, why is Lord Butterwell giving his away?"

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. "Aegon," he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. "What better name for a king?"

"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

I don't think it was another son that Rhaegar wanted for the third head, but a daughter.  He had Aegon and Rhaenys.  To restore the legacy of the throne of Aegon the Conqueror, he needed another Visenya. 

So whatever Rhaegar wanted with Lyanna, it wasn't to produce another son.

Did Dany's black and red egg belong to Rhaegar?  Does it contain something of Rhaegar's soul (the singing dragon) or memory?  Did Dany hatch Rhaegar's egg?

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys III

Yet when she slept that night, she dreamt the dragon dream again. Viserys was not in it this time. There was only her and the dragon. Its scales were black as night, wet and slick with blood. Her blood, Dany sensed. Its eyes were pools of molten magma, and when it opened its mouth, the flame came roaring out in a hot jet. She could hear it singing to her. She opened her arms to the fire, embraced it, let it swallow her whole, let it cleanse her and temper her and scour her clean. She could feel her flesh sear and blacken and slough away, could feel her blood boil and turn to steam, and yet there was no pain. She felt strong and new and fierce.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys III

"I was," she answered, standing over the dragon's eggs that Illyrio had given her when she wed. She touched one, the largest of the three, running her hand lightly over the shell. Black-and-scarlet, she thought, like the dragon in my dream. The stone felt strangely warm beneath her fingers … or was she still dreaming? She pulled her hand back nervously.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys IX

"… the dragon …"

And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. "The last dragon," Ser Jorah's voice whispered faintly. "The last, the last." Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.

After that, for a long time, there was only the pain, the fire within her, and the whisperings of stars.

 

 

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Copied from previous thread

Quote

It's interesting that the black hellebore has a connection to Dionysus, the horned god and that Lyanna has a black rose in her hand when she dies.

I'm starting to think that Robert Baratheon may be Jon's father after all.  In spite of the book of lineages and obstructions that we are given to direct the reader elsewhere.  I don't think all of Robert's bastards looked like Robert and that's why the missing bastards are unidentified.  Jon Snow-Storm has a certain appeal.

@Tucureplies:

Quote

The Dionysus=Bob takes me back to the chapter in which Jaffer and Othor awake. In the same chapter we have 3 significant events that might be correlated in GRRM's mind:

-The news of Bob's death and Ned imprisonment reach The Wall (and Jon)

-The weather changes marking the end of the "spirit summer":

The Horned Lord reference is interesting along with the death of the summer king to be replaced by the winter king.  The black hellibore connection to the Horned Lord and possibly to House Baratheon is significant if this is indeed the black rose Lyanna is holding in her hand.  The blue rose growing from a chink in the wall of ice is most certainly Jon.  A black rose may be more descriptive of a black brother or man of the NW.

Melisandre certainly thinks the Horned Lord is part of the prophecy, hence her conviction that Stannis is the Prince who is Promised.

The Horned Lord is also significant in the legends of the Wildlings.

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, LynnS said:

How about this: Arthur was the one mortally wounding Lyanna by reflex / accident when he accompanies Rhaegar to search for the Knight of the Laughing Tree (her wolfblood got her killed). Ned and Howland are with her. Rhaegar stops the fight and allows Ned and Howland to leave with Lyanna (that's why Ned is always fond of Rhaegar). Howland brings Lyanna to the Quiet Isle, but she dies there (that's why her bones are at Winterfell). Meanwhile, Ned and Rhaegar come up with the story that Lyanna eloped with Rhaegar, not thinking it through (Brandon!). Because both don't want her to marry Robert, for different reasons. Fast forward to the ToJ. Ned is riding for Dorne because Ashara gave birth to their child. They run into the three kingsguard. Arthur knew Ned would be coming because of Ashara, and where to wait for him.

What I imagine here is that Lyanna was travelling with Brandon to Riverrun for his wedding and they stopped at the Inn of the Crossroads.  For some reason Brandon left the party with a few men.  Perhaps he was lured away.  Rhaegar and his stealth crew of six; fell upon Lyanna at the Inn (some ten leagues from Harrenhall) and took her.  There were witnesses.  I don't think Ned was with them.  

Rhaegar was either successful and kept her (details to follow in the next book) or she escaped with someone's help and was hidden until we next hear of her from Ned.  The implication is that Ned knew where she was hidden.  Ned never thinks of Lyanna being raped by Rhaegar because he knows she wasn't.  This is Robert's obsession and Ned lets him believe it.  Ned lies by omission.

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Copied from last thread:

@alienareasaid:

Quote

Their dialogue - now it begins - now it ends is their continuation of their encounter when Lyanna died

Arthur allows Ned to kill him, because Howland reminds Arthur that he killed Lyanna.

This rubs up against my bias that Ser Arthur was a true knight, one who is worthy of the Dawn Sword. A true knight protects women and children and I think this is why Ned sees him as the finest knight he has known.

Howland's intervention is a big question mark but I'm loathe to think he stabbed Arthur in the back to save Ned.  He stopped the fight in some way.  I can't imagine that either Ned or Arthur were uninjured in the melee.  Perhaps Arthur was already mortally wounded. 

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Black Crow said:

An the illusion at the heart of Bitterblooms is important, because the more we get down to figuring out what's really going on, so it becomes more apparent that this isn't really about the game of thrones and the Targaryen succession, but a rather different much more GRRM-style story.

I'd like to return to this comment, which was just a quick and dirty postscript to a very short OP.

The earlier revelation about  Winter Roses/Hellebore, as I said casts what can only be described as fundamental doubts on a central tenet of the R+L=J theory. But it then goes further than that when we acknowledge the Bitterblooms connection. There probably isn't a direct connection, just as GRRM has insisted that the Ice Dragon story isn't connected to Ice and Fire.

However.

Brilliant though it is in so many ways, the Song of Ice and Fire is also a sprawling mess that has grown almost exponentially from a intended three volumes to what we have today, and in so growing its epic grandeur also serves to obscure the fact that GRRM isn't a mere chronicler of the rise and fall of empires, but a very clever and often innovative writer of science fiction.

What I think we need to be doing therefore is to take Bitterblooms and its story of illusions, and also look at his other works such as Fevre Dreams, not to go dragon-spotting, but to look at the structure and underlying story and then apply that thinking to Ice and Fire and question whether it is simply an epic exercise in high fantasy, a chronicle of the rise and fall of empires and dynasties, and rather look behind the edifice to see what the author of Bitterblooms is really writing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is curious that he has vampires in his Bitterblooms story. He must like the subject since there are vampires in Fevre Dream too. The poisonous bitterblooms reminds me of Ned's expletive calling Tywin a "pit viper". I'm in the process of listening to it now. Thanks for the link, LynnS!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

It is curious that he has vampires in his Bitterblooms story. He must like the subject since there are vampires in Fevre Dream too. The poisonous bitterblooms reminds me of Ned's expletive calling Tywin a "pit viper". I'm in the process of listening to it now. Thanks for the link, LynnS!

I listened to the Bitterblooms audio book and I was reminded of the undying in the House of Undying.  Also It gives a picture of what GRRM sees as the conditions of a long hard winter and the timelessness of Bran's dreaming.  

I think Fevre Dream might offer more in the way of underlying themes or structure relating to ASOIAF but that isn't an audiobook.  It does sound interesting.

I'd like @The Fattest Leechopinion, if we can get her attention.  It looks like BryndenBFish has been doing a chapter by chapter podcast review, but I can only find Chapter 9 on youtube.

Edited by LynnS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Yeah, pretty much what I was getting at, and I'll just say again that we need to look behind the edifice and illusion and try to figure out what the Song of Ice is really about and where GRRM is trying to take it.

In very very simple terms I think that GRRM is too good an author for this to be all about [R+L=J] = the hero with the sword that will save the day

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...