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Fitting Dawn in with House Stark


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14 hours ago, Seams said:

(Complicated aside: If Mance is a symbolic Rhaegar, as many people have noted in the parallels between the characters, his need for more than one arrow could be like Rhaegar's determination to have more than two children or more than one lover. You need a back-up plan in case one or more heirs dies or is killed.)

My take on that is that he believed that Aegon was the prince that was promised but I think the 3rd head is the princess who was wanted.  In other words, the second coming of Aegon and his sisters.  The Dornish aren't opposed to taking lovers after all.

The idea that Mance is Rhaegar is a bit more of a stretch.  The black and red cloak could be the bastard colors of another house.  LC Qorgyle's house.

File:House Qorgyle.svg - A Wiki of Ice and Fire (westeros.org)

The song about the Dornishman's wife that Jon sings when he thinks Mance is being burned may be a nod to the old LC.  His wife being his sword as all men of the NW are married to their swords.  Kissing the Dornishman's wife takes on another meaning.

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11 hours ago, LynnS said:

I think the Tormund is boasting about the size of his member and mocking Jon for having the smaller horn and not knowing how to use it.  He gives him magic rings to repair his horn.

Which is essentially what has to happen.  One of the rings will fit the horn and compress it to seal the crack.  I'm guessing it's the ring Tormund keeps for his own ancestral horn.

We know that GRRM likes to use three repetitions when something is important or magic. Tormund has three rings: one on each arm and one on his member. He gives the two arm rings to Jon Snow, who immediately realizes they are special artifacts that will be destroyed - melted for their gold - if they are sent to Essos to help pay for food.

Which takes me off on what seems like a tangent but may be relevant:

Where else have we seen melted gold in Essos? In the "crown" that Khal Drogo gives to Dany's brother, Viserys. It was made from a gold medallion belt - not too far removed from the gold arm bands.

The crown kills Viserys. In general, people who wear crowns in this generation of ASOIAF tend to die soon after being crowned - Viserys, Renly, Robb, Joffrey, Balon (switching from Lord to King). The jury is still out on Jeyne Westerling, who receives a crown from Robb Stark. 

The king-crowning curse may be like the not-really-a-knight situations we see frequently: Brienne, Sandor, Ser Dontos and Dunk function as knights but they are not really knights. I would argue that the "kings" who survive are the ones who do not wear a crown. Torrhen Stark gives his crown to Aegon the Conqueror. Dany and Viserys survive on the streets by selling their mother's crown. Maybe the High Sparrow selling his crystal crown is also related.

And that brings us back to the gold band on Tormund's giant member:

"But I'll keep the ring I wear about me member. Much bigger than those little things. On you it'd be a torque."

A torque is a neck ring made of twisted metals. Among the ancient Celts, it would have signified high status, perhaps even a designating a king. Instead of a crown, this third ring would signify royal status for Jon by becoming a torque. The non-crown is also significant in that it is worn around a person's throat or neck. The choking of Joffrey and other throat-related deaths (probably including the throat-involved death by beheading) tells us that the throat is a very vulnerable spot for kings and others. 

Keep in mind, this is all literary analysis and doesn't have to foreshadow the unfolding plot. There will not be a scene where Tormund solemnly removes his dick ring and puts it around Jon Snow's neck. I don't think there will even be a scene where he uses it to repair the horn from the obsidian cache. Tormund saying that the ring is a sign of Jon Snow's royal destiny is enough to make the connection. Readers connecting the two sets of bands with runes is enough to imply that Tormund embodies the missing horn. 

As others have noted in this good discussion, it does seem as if Jon Snow is collecting the Last Hero and/or Azor Ahai and/or Night's Watch oath pieces; assembling the necessary elements to become the person needed to save the world. It would be a weaker story if his quest were obvious and literal and straightforward. Instead, Robb helps find the direwolf pups and Jon Snow finds a sixth pup on his own. We get Mormont putting Jon Snow in a location where he can find the obsidian cache at just the right time. Ygritte gives him the "kissed by fire" mojo that he requires. Qhorin puts him on a path to see the Milkwater and then leads him through the mountain to Rattleshirt. Maester Aemon gives him advice. Sam Tarly (or is it Mormont's raven?) helps him become Lord Commander. He arranges a marriage between Alys Karstark and the Magnar of Thenn. He reopens the Shield Hall. He sends key Night's Watch brothers to reopen defense positions that had been abandoned. He reenacts his own birth situation by telling Gilly he can't help her protect her baby from Craster and later disguising that baby to protect Mance's son. The smith Donal Noye (who made King Robert's war hammer that killed Rhaegar) tells him to help his Night's Watch brothers become better swordsmen. Noye also gives him the Wall and provides a sleeping chamber after the fire in the Lord Commander's tower. I know there has to be something important about the niello broach that Noye leaves behind, but I haven't pinned it down yet. 

I bet we could match up a lot of those key moments to elements of the legendary hero's quest. (But elements of Sam Tarly's story will also match up to Azor Ahai and the other hero legends.) 

There are probably other necessary elements that are even more subtle. Until this thread, I hadn't thought about Melisandre's burning of the giant horn as a necessary part of "activating" or "rebirthing" the magic horn that is needed to fulfill the legend. It may or may not be one of the elements necessary to making Jon Snow a king or hero. The burning of weirwood branches to destroy the horn and kill Rattleshirt does seem consistent with Jon finding the "grave" of the obsidian cache behind a fallen tree. Before leaving the palisade around the fort, Jon Snow also interacts with Grenn who is chopping firewood. There is something about dead trees that is necessary for Jon to advance toward his destiny. (See also Wat's Wood catching fire in The Sworn Sword.) 

3 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I'm not used to you making me blush!  I do hope the stroking of Tormund's member isn't what has to happen to wake the sleepers though the idea does give new meaning to my interpretation of sleepers.   :o

I know, right? I was having palpitations just writing these thoughts. It's GRRM, though, not me. 

I suspect that Tormund having consensual sex with the maiden Brienne may be the key to waking the sleepers.

But here's some wordplay that might be relevant: Brienne's hair is always described as being like straw. The German word for "straw" is "stroh." So a person who is a straw-king might also be called a "stroh-king".

Or maybe I've wandered way too far down that rabbit hole as I've sought out "king" symbolism. I had thought that these "-king" verbs were applied only to male characters: Gendry is the thin-king, Jon Snow the wal-king, Joffrey cho-king, etc. But I recently noticed that someone says to Sansa, "You're shaking." That made so much sense with Shae as Sansa's handmaid that I realized I better start looking at female characters as potential kings. (I've also been wondering about connections between and among the sound-alike names of Shae, Asha, Osha and Tysha. A "shaking" motif might be the key.) 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Seams said:

Keep in mind, this is all literary analysis and doesn't have to foreshadow the unfolding plot. There will not be a scene where Tormund solemnly removes his dick ring and puts it around Jon Snow's neck.

LOL! I think we can spare Curled his blushes. :rofl:

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I bet we could match up a lot of those key moments to elements of the legendary hero's quest. (But elements of Sam Tarly's story will also match up to Azor Ahai and the other hero legends.) 

Martin did say one man's enemy is a hero to the other side.  Or words to that effect.  That seems to be how things are shaping up at the Wall between the Watch and the Wildlings.

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21 hours ago, Seams said:

The choking of Joffrey and other throat-related deaths (probably including the throat-involved death by beheading) tells us that the throat is a very vulnerable spot for kings and others. 

I wonder what this bodes for Aegon:

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A Dance with Dragons - The Lost Lord

When the lad emerged from the cabin with Lemore by his side, Griff looked him over carefully from head to heel. The prince wore sword and dagger, black boots polished to a high sheen, a black cloak lined with blood-red silk. With his hair washed and cut and freshly dyed a deep, dark blue, his eyes looked blue as well. At his throat he wore three huge square-cut rubies on a chain of black iron, a gift from Magister Illyrio. Red and black. Dragon colors. That was good. "You look a proper prince," he told the boy. "Your father would be proud if he could see you."

 

My thought go immediately to Melisandre's rubies both at her throat and on Mance's wrist. 

More gifts from Illyrio including a golden torque, so Dany looks like a princess:

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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys I

When she was clean, the slaves helped her from the water and toweled her dry. The girl brushed her hair until it shone like molten silver, while the old woman anointed her with the spiceflower perfume of the Dothraki plains, a dab on each wrist, behind her ears, on the tips of her breasts, and one last one, cool on her lips, down there between her legs. They dressed her in the wisps that Magister Illyrio had sent up, and then the gown, a deep plum silk to bring out the violet in her eyes. The girl slid the gilded sandals onto her feet, while the old woman fixed the tiara in her hair, and slid golden bracelets crusted with amethysts around her wrists. Last of all came the collar, a heavy golden torc emblazoned with ancient Valyrian glyphs.

"Now you look all a princess," the girl said breathlessly when they were done. Dany glanced at her image in the silvered looking glass that Illyrio had so thoughtfully provided. A princess, she thought, but she remembered what the girl had said, how Khal Drogo was so rich even his slaves wore golden collars. She felt a sudden chill, and gooseflesh pimpled her bare arms.

 

 

Edited by LynnS
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On 1/12/2022 at 7:55 AM, Curled Finger said:

Well said!   Yes!   The Wall itself as well as the people who man it absolutely fit the shield concept.   Oh great, now you have me thinking about the Wildlings and repopulating castles along the Wall.  I think if I asked you about light I can refer back to your original ideas about the Wall and Lightbringer which are pretty spectacular.   Whatcha got for fire? 

Well, I think a fire that burns against the cold is one that doesn't require wood or oil, can burn in extreme cold and can't be put out by a strong wind:

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A Feast for Crows - Samwell V

The candle was unpleasantly bright. There was something queer about it. The flame did not flicker, even when Archmaester Marwyn closed the door so hard that papers blew off a nearby table. The light did something strange to colors too. Whites were bright as fresh-fallen snow, yellow shone like gold, reds turned to flame, but the shadows were so black they looked like holes in the world. Sam found himself staring. The candle itself was three feet tall and slender as a sword, ridged and twisted, glittering black. "Is that . . . ?"

". . . obsidian," said the other man in the room, a pale, fleshy, pasty-faced young fellow with round shoulders, soft hands, close-set eyes, and food stains on his robes.

"Call it dragonglass." Archmaester Marwyn glanced at the candle for a moment. "It burns but is not consumed."

"What feeds the flame?" asked Sam.

"What feeds a dragon's fire?" Marwyn seated himself upon a stool. "All Valyrian sorcery was rooted in blood or fire. The sorcerers of the Freehold could see across mountains, seas, and deserts with one of these glass candles. They could enter a man's dreams and give him visions, and speak to one another half a world apart, seated before their candles. Do you think that might be useful, Slayer?"

 

 

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I cannot help but believe there is something to the light that will/won’t blow out in the winds… maybe even the white winds.

As LynnS rightly points out the glass candles do not flicker.

The counterpoint to this is the rushlight. Mentioned only once in ASoIaF, it is famously the subject of one of Aesop’s fables (and in some versions of the myth, it is the vehicle by which Prometheus brings fire to man, and of course he is subsequently punished by Zeus): 

A  Rushlight  in  love with  its own brilliancy, once   boasted  that  its light  was  brighter even  than  that of the sun,  the moon, and the stars. 
   Just then a door opened, and a puff of wind blew it out. 
   On lighting it, its owner said:  "Cease now your boasting.  Be content to shine in silence. Heavenly lights do not blow out. Know that not even the stars need to be relit."

Note the wind/light/celestial references…

The moon was fat and full. Stars wheeled across a black sky. Rain fell and froze, and tree limbs snapped from the weight of the ice. Bran and Meera made up names for those who sang the song of earth: Ash and Leaf and Scales, Black Knife and Snowylocks and Coals. Their true names were too long for human tongues, said Leaf. Only she could speak the Common Tongue, so what the others thought of their new names Bran never learned.

After the bone-grinding cold of the lands beyond the Wall, the caves were blessedly warm, and when the chill crept out of the rock the singers would light fires to drive it off again. Down here there was no wind, no snow, no ice, no dead things reaching out to grab you, only dreams and rushlight and the kisses of the ravens. And the whisperer in darkness.

It should also be noted that in some versions of the Prometheus myth the “trick at Mekone” was why Zeus took fire away from mankind, and revolves around a deception involving sacrificial flesh.

Edited by Mourning Star
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On 1/9/2022 at 8:39 PM, Seams said:

 

Another name for a spiked mace is a morning star. That means that these two female warriors, Maege and Brienne, both use morning stars. And Ser Dontos is closely linked to Sansa so maybe there is subtle language or symbolism that will tell us that Sansa makes a third female warrior with a morning star.

Hmm. Now I'm wondering whether Olenna naming her son Mace might also be part of the morning star symbolism?

The melon morning star is likely also linked to Aerys ordering fruit-shaped containers to be used as wildfire grenades, Arya throwing the blood orange at Sansa and other linked fruit and weapon symbolism. In keeping with the OP, and the goal of connecting Dawn to House Stark, it's probably relevant that Ser Jorah Mormont gives a sweet little peach to Dany, Lord Commander Mormont gives a sword to Jon Snow, and Maege Mormont gives (pledges) her morning star to Robb Stark. 

 

I like the inferences you make here especially about morning star being a stand-in for the Dawn sword.  I like the theory about Brienne but I'm especially intrigued by your comment about Sansa.

Arya has her sword Needle but Sansa was always better at needlework than her little sister. Keeping in mind the double meaning, I wonder whether that could mean something...especially in regard to how she will kill Petyr, which I think will happen by her hands and not someone else.

The popular fandom theory is that Darkstar will steal Dawn and bring it out of Dorne. He will then join Faegon's Kings guard and when Dany kills the latter, she will come into the possession of Dawn and then present it to Jon at some point in the future.

I only agree with the first part of the theory.  I think that Darkstar will indeed *steal* the famous sword but I don't think that he will go to Kings Landing. I think that he is another of Petyr's Catspaw and the thief will make his way to the Vale. It was on Petyr's order that he attempted to kill Myrcella.  In fact, my theory is that Darkstar's arrival in Gulltown might have been the news Oswell rushed to bring to Petyr.

I find your reference to Sansa being a potential symbolic morning star interesting because I have theorized that Dawn will make its way back into the hands of House Stark not via Dany as many have proposed but via Sansa. One passage that suggests such a possibility is this one from the chapter where Sansa builds her Winterfell snow castle.

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Dawn stole into her garden like a thief. The grey of the sky grew lighter still, and the trees and shrubs turned a dark green beneath their stoles of snow. A few servants came out and watched her for a time, but she paid them no mind and they soon went back inside where it was warmer. Sansa saw Lady Lysa gazing down from her balcony, wrapped up in a blue velvet robe trimmed with fox fur, but when she looked again her aunt was gone. Maester Colemon popped out of the rookery and peered down for a while, skinny and shivering but curious.

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VII

The wording of that line is so specific and hints not just at the fact that Dawn will be stolen but also that it will somehow make its way to Sansa's sphere. There is also a lot of sexual innuendo in the phrase but that's a different topic.

Assuming that Dawn is the original House sword of the Starks from which its later great sword got its name, this dream of Sansa is also very interesting...especially as she has been known to misremember or misunderstand things in her dream. 

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She dreamt of footsteps on the tower stair, an ominous scraping of leather on stone as a man climbed slowly toward her bedchamber, step by step. All she could do was huddle behind her door and listen, trembling, as he came closer and closer. It was Ser Ilyn Payne, she knew, coming for her with Ice in his hand, coming to take her head. There was no place to run, no place to hide, no way to bar the door. Finally the footsteps stopped and she knew he was just outside, standing there silent with his dead eyes and his long pocked face. That was when she realized she was naked. She crouched down, trying to cover herself with her hands, as her door began to swing open, creaking, the point of the greatsword poking through …

A Game of Thrones - Sansa VI

I don't think that it's really Illyn Payne in the dream nor do I think that it's her the Ice sword that she is familiar with from when it was owned by her father. Rather, I think that Dawn is the sword in her dreams and she is simply interpreting it as the Ice from her memory. I also think that she will kill Petyr with it.

You mention Arya and her sword Needle. She is the one who wanted to learn to use a sword and her training has made her pretty proficient at is usage. However, least we forget, Sansa was always better at needlework. And no, I'm not saying that Sansa is going to become a master swords woman. That's not her role. I'm just talking about the symbolism that might come into play if Dawn, the symbolic morning star makes it into her hands as I proposed. It will then be through her that Jon gets his hands on the sword. She will be the maid that presents it to him.

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Another potentially relevant person who may personify Dawn: I am a big believer that Septa Mordane is a very important character. I don't know whether her importance is symbolic or whether she is a major character in disguise. One reason I suspect she is important is that her head is mounted next to Ned's on the wall at the Red Keep. I don't think GRRM would throw in this detail for no reason. Is "Mordane" an allusion to "Dayne"? A big part of her job is teaching needlework to Sansa, Arya and (I believe) Jeyne Poole. Arya will receive a sword called Needle. Is GRRM setting up an ironic "sword of the morning" situation where one or more of the Stark girls is anointed as the Sword of the Morning? 

The wordplay on Septa Mordane's name never occurred to me but I love it. if she was a Dayne whether literally or symbolically, she would have been the one who taught Sansa needlework. Nice symbolism there.

ETA to add a final thought. More than any other of the Starklings, Ice has played a role in Sansa's arc. From her first chapter when she reacted to Illyn Payne, it has been present in her arc. Her father would use Ice to kill Lady, with Sansa possibly being present in her direwolf at the time; Payne would later behead her father using Ice right in front of her; she would see him with the sword around the castle on multiple occasions; Ilyn and the sword invaded her dreams; and later, Jaime sent Brienne with one of the swords reforged from Ice to find Sansa. The sword has been a lodestone in Sansa's arc and so it makes sense that the original Ice would make its way back to her house via her.

Edited by Stormy4400
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2 hours ago, Stormy4400 said:

When the Wall falls as it seems it must, will it be the entire Wall or just a section like on the show? It would have to be just a section or else there is no Wall to light up.

It's the magic of the Wall that has to be shut off for the Wall to fall. I don't know what happens to the Wall physically.  Some have suggested that the Wall is built in such a way that couldn't stand on it's own without magic; that the sheer weight of it would cause it to collapse.

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Here you go:

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A Storm of Swords - Prologue

"Die," screamed Mormont's raven, flapping its black wings. "Die, die, die."

"Many of us," the Old Bear said. "Mayhaps even all of us. But as another Lord Commander said a thousand years ago, that is why they dress us in black. Remember your words, brothers. For we are the swords in the darkness, the watchers on the walls . . ."

"The fire that burns against the cold." Ser Mallador Locke drew his longsword.

 

We are the swords in the darkness.

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5 hours ago, Stormy4400 said:

I find your reference to Sansa being a potential symbolic morning star interesting because I have theorized that Dawn will make its way back into the hands of House Stark not via Dany as many have proposed but via Sansa.

My reference was more to Ser Dontos as a possible proxy for Sansa as a warrior. Brienne and Maege do their own fighting; Ser Dontos is the Florian to Sansa's Jonquil but he may also act as Sansa's "good right hand" in wielding weapons that are part of completing her symbolic journey.

When Ser Dontos hits Sansa with the melon morning star, this is one of a number of times when Sansa is clobbered (cobblered?) with fruit: Arya hits her with the blood orange; then the melon morning star; then Petyr offers her a pomegranate telling her about the difficulty of keeping juice off of her hands (but Sansa chooses a pear instead, and gets juice on her chin). I know she is not the only fruit-targeted character (a lot of fruit is thrown at Prince Doran when he travels from the water garden to his castle) but I think the fruit surrounding Sansa is connected to this line from Theon:

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A pity Ned Stark had taken his daughters south; elsewise Theon could have tightened his grip on Winterfell by marrying one of them. Sansa was a pretty little thing too, and by now likely even ripe for bedding.

(ACoK, Theon IV)

In this case, Sansa is seen as a piece of ripe fruit. I suppose this could support your point that Sansa is the morning star (through the ripe melon morning star connection) but I am still hoping that the theory is true that Theon symbolizes the sword Ice. The blood orange that falls in Sansa's lap can be compared to Ned's head after he is beheaded by the sword Ice. If Theon personifies Ice, his desire to take Sansa's maidenhead may signal that the sword is still hungry for Stark blood and beheadings. Maybe the bloodlust explains why there is a "Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf" mentioned several times in visits to the Winterfell crypt.

6 hours ago, Stormy4400 said:
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Dawn stole into her garden like a thief. The grey of the sky grew lighter still, and the trees and shrubs turned a dark green beneath their stoles of snow. ...

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VI

The wording of that line is so specific and hints not just at the fact that Dawn will be stolen but also that it will somehow make its way to Sansa's sphere. There is also a lot of sexual innuendo in the phrase but that's a different topic.

I agree that the wording is very specific and deliberate. I think GRRM is alluding to a famous poem called The Poison Tree, by William Blake. The poem describes a poison apple that represents anger, wrath and enmity. The speaker's enemy eats the apple and dies. The poem features these lines when the foe approaches the apple:

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And into my garden stole, 

When the night had veild the pole; 

In the morning glad I see; 

My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

We can check off a lot of boxes here: the tree that is central to the Old Gods religion, fruit, a veil (Vale, where Sansa is at the time of the garden scene), night and morning. The language of the thief stealing into the garden has to be more than a coincidence. In the space of a few lines, we see Dawn bringing light and color to the sky and Lysa, who represents the moon, disappearing from her balcony. 

I know a lot of people hate the idea that there are layers of symbolism in these books, but this snow castle scene with Sansa may be foreshadowing later "morning vanquishes night" events in the books. I think Sandor Clegane represents night - his refusal to become a knight is intended to be ironic. As I mentioned above, I think Brienne represents morning. We see Sansa accept a cloak from The Hound but Brienne is search for her. When "morning" finds her, night will recede.

Sandor's role as the night is given additional purpose when viewed in context with the three strangers in Sansa's arc: Renly, Ser Barristan and Ser Ilyn. 

We see some important symbolism linking Sansa to Brienne when we examine these three characters:

  • Payne rhymes with Dayne. Is Ser Ilyn the "anti-Dayne"? Ser Arthur knighted Jaime; Ser Ilyn is training Jaime to use his left hand for sword fighting. Ser Ilyn was loyal to Tywin Lannister; Podrick Payne is loyal to Tyrion (but traveling with Brienne and acting as her squire). Brienne finally confronts Pod in the ruins of the ancestral castle of Ser Dontos.
  • Brienne loves Renly and is loyal to him. Their first encounter is when Renly was kind to Brienne and danced with her when her suitors were cruel. The Tyrells seem to take over for Renly in Sansa's arc: Garlan wears Renly's armor into battle and he dances with her at her wedding feast. Ser Loras gave Sansa a rose (Brienne hates roses, after a cruel Ronnet Connington dismisses a betrothal with the gift of a rose) but Ser Loras then forgets that he ever gave Sansa a rose. Sansa imagines marrying Willas Tyrell after Olenna lures her into the notion of going to Highgarden to escape King's Landing. 

(In light of the ripening poison apple symbolism in the Poison Tree poem, it is interesting to note that Ser Garlan's wife is a Fossoway, the sigil for which is an apple, and she is heavily pregnant with a growing belly.) 

  • There are shared parallels connecting Brienne and Ser Barristan, even though they haven't had much (any?) direct contact. Both are members of the King's Guard (Rainbow Guard for Brienne). Renly had intended to save his blue rainbow cloak for Ser Barristan before he finally awards it to Brienne. When Sansa goes to the court to appeal for mercy for Ned, she kneels on Ser Barristan's discarded cloak. Soon, Sandor Clegane will discard a King's Guard cloak that Sansa will keep hidden among her personal items. 

Of course, there are other links.

With her auburn hair, Sansa is a strong candidate for the "heir" to Catelyn Stark. Brienne is the sworn sword for Catelyn.

The symbolism around Ser Hugh of the Vale, Mandon Moore and Lysa may all be linked - it recently occurred to me that there might be "moon door" wordplay in Ser Mandon's name. He is killed by Podrick Payne who is defending Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater. Ser Hugh wears blue and has a crescent moon sigil. He is killed by Ser Gregor, brother of the Hound. Lysa will fall through the Moon Door at the Vale after trying to push Sansa through the same door but failing after the intervention of Littlefinger. 

TL;DR - Sandor Clegane symbolizes the night. Brienne of Tarth symbolizes the morning. In Sansa's arc, Brienne will somehow vanquish Sandor, bringing a new day. The characters of Renly, Ser Barristan and Ser Ilyn will be replaced with a Tyrell, Brienne and Podrick representing the "rebirth" of The Stranger. 

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

I am still hoping that the theory is true that Theon symbolizes the sword Ice.

I've been intrigued by the idea, brought forward by someone, that Theon could become Bran's prophet.  So if he speaks for Bran, then you could say he's been given the words of a god.  Prophets have been described as swords of the spirit and when Theon begs for a sword; I think he will speak Bran's words and that will galvanize and act on people like a sword. 

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On 1/7/2022 at 11:08 AM, Curled Finger said:

Dawn’s appearance is like no other in Westeros.  Pale as milkglass, this is no castle forged, perhaps not even spell forged sword.  Dawn is a sword of destiny.

When you say, “Dawn is a sword of Destiny”, is that a book quote or a concept of yours?

When I read that, I thought of this quote,

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The pale sword bit through the ringmail beneath his arm.(AGOT, Prologue)

Then I thought of this:

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"One of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance (λόγχη), and immediately there came out blood and water."

John 19:34

It’s the Spear of Destiny!

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The Spear of Destiny, or the Holy Spear, is the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross during his crucifixion. (Wikipedia)

To further your thought or the quote you found,

On 1/7/2022 at 11:08 AM, Curled Finger said:

Dawn’s appearance is like no other in Westeros.  Pale as milkglass, this is no castle forged, perhaps not even spell forged sword.

“Dawn’s appearance is like no other in Westeros,…

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In its hand was a longsword like none that Will had ever seen. No human metal had gone into the forging of that blade. It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.

In the prologue of Game of Thrones all the characters mentioned are symbol metaphors of their swords:

Here’s Gared short sword,

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It was a short, ugly thing, its grip discolored by sweat, its edge nicked from hard use, (AGOT, Prologue)

Gared Description:

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…the knight towered above Will and Gared on their smaller garrons.

He was an old man, past fifty,…

Gared pulled back his hood, giving Ser Waymar a good long look at the stumps where his ears had been. “Two ears, three toes, and the little finger off my left hand. (AGOT, Prologue)

The “grip discolored by sweat” can be explain by his blood alcohol once we figure out who the deserter is in Bran 1, AGOT,

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Blood sprayed out across the snow, as red as summerwine.(Bran 1, AGOT)

Will dirk has a shorter description,

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and slipped his dirk free of its sheath. He put it between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing. The taste of cold iron in his mouth gave him comfort.(AGOT, Prologue)

We don’t get much of a description of Will. But Gared says,

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It steals up on you quieter than Will, and at first you shiver and your teeth chatter(AGOT, Prologue)

Will does shiver a lot and “steal” or steel is an alloy made up of iron. And Will does put the dirk in his “teeth”. And like Gared, Will is riding a garron.

Waymar’s description is longer and you’ve already alluded to it in a sort of back handed way,

On 1/7/2022 at 11:08 AM, Curled Finger said:

this is no castle forged

Here’s Waymar’s description,

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Ser Waymar Royce was the youngest son of an ancient house with too many heirs. He was a handsome youth of eighteen, grey-eyed and graceful and slender as a knife.

The “ slender as a knife.” is a simile a lock-in the point I’m making here. 
 

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A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. Similes differ from other metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using comparison words such as "like", "as", "so", or "than", while other metaphors create an implicit comparison. Often used to subvert the text.

Here’s the description of Waymar’s sword,

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…and drew his longsword from its sheath. Jewels glittered in its hilt, and the moonlight ran down the shining steel. It was a splendid weapon, castle-forged, and new-made from the look of it. Will doubted it had ever been swung in anger.

Waymar sitting atop his destrier would make him the tallest sword of the 3 rangers. The jewels in his hilt could describe the merging of the Other and Waymar at the end of the Prologue if we understand this about the hilt,

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Another produced a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt. (ADWD, chapter 58, Jon)

I think the fandom is correct when they speculated that this is Waymar’s broken sword.

Certainly, with his steely courage, handsome looks and being Knighted and newly sworn in as a member of the Night’s Watch fills out the description nicely.

Lastly, the description of the Other:

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A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.

This one split from the dark of the wood   creating dichotomy you mentioned. Now looking at your “Sword of Destiny”,

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In its hand was a longsword like none that Will had ever seen. No human metal had gone into the forging of that blade. It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.

Truly indeed this could your try indeed this could be your “Sword of Destiny!” Either the Other itself or the longsword it carries.

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Aw, I so wait for Dawn to turn up in the upcoming books. It’s a beauty.

I always thought of the white sword’s existence as a marking point of how far south the Others came during the Long Night. It could be one of their swords of course, turned to stone without it’s undead wielder. Kept by the Daynes Dawn would then serve as a historical reminder - once winter is not only coming but coming for good.

Bearing that in mind, Stark (Nights Watch) against Dayne (Kingsguard) at the Tower of Joy would’ve been a fatal violation against what history had to tell… and I’m sure in Howland Reed, Lem etc we’ll have a lot of tellers now winter is there.

(I admit to believe in Jon as a love child between Stark and Dayne, either through Ned and Ashara or through Arthur and Lyanna. Our sweet Prince Rhaegar already had too much on his plate to seek out love.)

 

 

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Dawn, Lightbringer, Dragons, and Azor Ahai are not related to the Starks.  The Others, White Walkers, Craster, the Night's Watch, direwolves are the ones related to the Starks.  None of the Starks are worthy of Dawn anyway.  Jon is an oathbreaker who betrayed the Wall.  Bran is physically unable to use a sword without skinchanging Hodor.  Rickon is a cannibal.  Arya is no hero and will definitely not bring the dawn.  More like she will bring the night.  

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I don't think Dawn and the Sword of the Morning/Evening have anything to do with house Stark. Before it reaches its end I believe the War for the Dawn will be broad with multiple battles, locations and heroic deeds that'll need doing else wise the realm falls, and the Dawn storyline will culminate in the fulfilment of one such heroic deed.

Edited by chrisdaw
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3 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

I don't think Dawn and the Sword of the Morning/Evening have anything to do with house Stark. Before it reaches its end I believe the War for the Dawn will be broad with multiple battles, locations and heroic deeds that'll need doing else wise the realm falls, and the Dawn storyline will culminate in the fulfilment of one such a heroic deed.

:agree:agreed

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The gods of Winterfell kept a different sort of wood. It was a dark, primal place, three acres of old forest untouched for ten thousand years as the gloomy castle rose around it. It smelled of moist earth and decay. No redwoods grew here. This was a wood of stubborn sentinel trees armored in grey-green needles, of mighty oaks, of ironwoods as old as the realm itself. Here thick black trunks crowded close together while twisted branches wove a dense canopy overhead and misshapen roots wrestled beneath the soil. This was a place of deep silence and brooding shadows, and the gods who lived here had no names.

This is how old Winterfell or at least it's godswood is.

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As she led the princess to the fire, Arianne found Ser Gerold behind her. "My House goes back ten thousand years, unto the dawn of days," he complained. "Why is it that my cousin is the only Dayne that anyone remembers?"

This is how old House Dayne is.

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"There are darker things beyond the Wall." She glanced behind her at the heart tree, the pale bark and red eyes, watching, listening, thinking its long slow thoughts.
His smile was gentle. "You listen to too many of Old Nan's stories. The Others are as dead as the children of the forest, gone eight thousand years. Maester Luwin will tell you they never lived at all. No living man has ever seen one."
 
...
 
Jon could have told him. He knew, they all knew, yet no man of them would say the words. The Others are only a story, a tale to make children shiver. If they ever lived at all, they are gone eight thousand years. Even the thought made him feel foolish; he was a man grown now, a black brother of the Night's Watch, not the boy who'd once sat at Old Nan's feet with Bran and Robb and Arya.
 
...
 
"Spare me your but's, boy," Lord Mormont interrupted. "I would not be sitting here were it not for you and that beast of yours. You fought bravely … and more to the point, you thought quickly. Fire! Yes, damn it. We ought to have known. We ought to have remembered. The Long Night has come before. Oh, eight thousand years is a good while, to be sure … yet if the Night's Watch does not remember, who will?"

 

This is how long ago the Long Night was.

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"No doubt I will hear what your brother says soon enough," Robert said. "The Wall has stood for what, eight thousand years? It can keep a few days more. I have more pressing concerns. These are difficult times. I need good men about me. Men like Jon Arryn. He served as Lord of the Eyrie, as Warden of the East, as the Hand of the King. He will not be easy to replace."

How old the Wall is.

 

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He was old enough to know that it was not truly him they shouted for—it was the harvest they cheered, it was Robb and his victories, it was his lord father and his grandfather and all the Starks going back eight thousand years. Still, it made him swell with pride. For so long as it took him to ride the length of that hall he forgot that he was broken. Yet when he reached the dais, with every eye upon him, Osha and Hodor undid his straps and buckles, lifted him off Dancer's back, and carried him to the high seat of his fathers.

....

"Is that what he told you?" Clegane laughed again. "Your father lied. Killing is the sweetest thing there is." He drew his longsword. "Here's your truth. Your precious father found that out on Baelor's steps. Lord of Winterfell, Hand of the King, Warden of the North, the mighty Eddard Stark, of a line eight thousand years old . . . but Ilyn Payne's blade went through his neck all the same, didn't it? Do you remember the dance he did when his head came off his shoulders?"

I will kill him if I must. The prospect gave Jon no joy; there would be no honor in such a killing, and it would mean his own death as well. Yet he could not let the wildlings breach the Wall, to threaten Winterfell and the north, the barrowlands and the Rills, White Harbor and the Stony Shore, even the Neck. For eight thousand years the men of House Stark had lived and died to protect their people against such ravagers and reavers . . . and bastard-born or no, the same blood ran in his veins. Bran and Rickon are still at Winterfell besides. Maester Luwin, Ser Rodrik, Old Nan, Farlen the kennelmaster, Mikken at his forge and Gage by his ovens . . . everyone I ever knew, everyone I ever loved. If Jon must slay a man he half admired and almost liked to save them from the mercies of Rattleshirt and Harma Dogshead and the earless Magnar of Thenn, that was what he meant to do.

 

 

How old House Stark is.

 

I doubt these numbers are only random numbers that people in universe say instead of "too long ago" Not only does House Stark goes only as far as the long night and the building of the wall, eight thousand years, but also Daynes go as far back as Winterfell.

 

 

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I would speculate that the reason a knight has to be worthy to be named Sword of the Dawn, is that the last Knight to be truly unworthy, the last Sword of the Evening, was the Night's King. (Of course, Hesperus is Phosphorus, and both are Venus, Love)
  1. Will and Gared,  “swords in the darkness” (Phosphorus and Hesperus, 2 aspects of Venus) are a symbolic mirror of the sword “Ice”
  • “Ice” which is later divided and reforged into two swords
    • “Widows Wail”
    • “Oath-keeper”
    •  
  • Will (The two times Will tried to speak before his presumed death)
    • “Will turned away, wordless
    • “the words seemed to freeze in his throat”.
    •  
  • Gared (after his beheading)
    • labeled by Bran’s “lord father” as an “oath-breaker”
    •  
    • Things Northous and “Southron” of the Wall seem to be mirror opposites of each other.
    •  
    • “Widows Wail” and ”Oathkeeper” are mirror opposites of “Wordless, frozen words” and “Oath-breaker” Thus, at least symbolically Will and Gared represent “Ice”.

It should be noted that AGOT, Prologue (a  night time event) occurred just before AGOT, Bran 1(a dawn event)

And check out this quote from ASOS, Jon chapter 30

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Ghost was gone when the wildlings led their horses from the cave. Did he understand about Castle Black? Jon took a breath of the crisp morning air and allowed himself to hope. The eastern sky was pink near the horizon and pale grey higher up. The Sword of the Morning still hung in the south, the bright white star in its hilt blazing like a diamond in the dawn, but the blacks and greys of the darkling forest were turning once again to greens and golds, reds and russets. And above the soldier pines and oaks and ash and sentinels stood the Wall, the ice pale and glimmering beneath the dust and dirt that pocked its surface.

The constellation “Sword of the Morning” seems to be facing off or mirroring the Wall of “Ice”.

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I don't think that the founder of House Dayne and the early Starks were bloodrelated, nor that Dawn is Lightbringer or Ice.

What I believe is that the founder of House Dayne was the last hero, came from the Great Empire of Dawn, meaning that he is closely related to the early Valyrians. He came to Westeros, used the ataxite mentioned by Mister Smikes and fire magic to forge his dragonsteel sword. Brandon the Builder was one of his companions and after defeating the Others, he helped him build the Wall with the COTF and giants.

Later, Valyrians used the same spell as the last hero to create their VS swords, but with a different iron, a darker one.

Edited by Willam Stark
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