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Waymar Shadow fighting


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Waymar shadow fighting


Is Will looking into the window of an alternate reality? Is it mirroring our own? The description of Waymar and the emerging shadow can be seen as mirror opposites.


The next part of the short essay will give a play-by-play or blow-by-blow description of the duel between Waymar and the Other. I’ll try to explain how Martin cleverly arranges and conceals the fact that Waymar is fighting his shadow. Each blow will be recounted and shown to perfectly mimic the other.


Gracefully, “A shadow emerges from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce.”


Waymar, graceful, also emerged from the woods. And stood in front of a shadow.


The shadow, “It moved” seemly making the colors on it armor shift. Will notices a sword in its one hand.


Waymar, holding his sword in one hand, threw the long sable cloak back over his shoulders revealing his black armor gleaming in the moonlight.


Waymar takes “his sword in both hands”, requests a “dance” and “lifts his sword high over his head”. “His hands tremble from the weight of it” like one trying to stabilize or be still.


The Other halted.” Its pale longsword was “shivering”. (Interestingly the shadow is now called an Other. Is it the “other” Waymar?)


When the blades met, there was no ring of metal on metal; only a high, thin sound at the edge of hearing.”


The text does not explicitly tell us what position the Others blade starts from or if it’s using two hands. We can only try to infer that. Did they met “high”? I think Martin is purposely ambiguous here. Does the high sound also sound high? Is the longsword shivering because it’s only using one hand? I believe it makes sense that the Other is using two hands and also has his sword high overhead. It also would make it easier for the detailed inspection that Will gives us:)


Royce checked a second blow, and a third, then fell back a step. Another flurry of blows, and he fell back again.” Checking is a defensive coming together of the blades. I believe they likely checked each other both falling back each time. The “flurry of blows” describes an aggressive coming together the blades. Shadow boxing? I mean shadow sword dueling. At this point we’ve yet to read about a definitively unique move.


Again and again the swords met”. The swords danced and Waymar was tiring.


Then Royce’s parry came a beat too late. I think evidence suggests that they both were unable to to ward off or avert a blow. They both found their mark. Waymar’s sword come away “white with frost”. The Other’s “pale sword bit through the ringmail beneath Waymar’s arm”. The Other’s blade came away seemingly “red with blood”.


Waymar then cried out in pain. The Other mocks, mimics and imitates Waymar. Sounding like “the cracking of ice on a winter lake”. I wonder if Will, with his ears covered, could distinguish what sound was who.


Waymar, wounded and tired, swings his sword around with both hands in a flat sidearm defensive slash with all his weight behind it. The Other’s parry was also almost lazy. The Other must have also found some fury.


Next, the blades touched, the steel shattered. Did they both shatter? Did they shatter because of the royal blood? A promised prince? (Waymar’s was the third son of the Bronze King, knighted and newly sworn(promised) NW Brother)


A scream echoed through the forest night, and the longsword shivered into a hundred brittle pieces, the shards scattering like a rain of needles. Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.


And we get no more about this Other or its sword? “a rain of needles”, could be interpreted as a melted ice sword and a broken steel shards of a sword. Does the “rain of needle” parallel the laughter sharp icicles of the watchers in the next paragraph?


The watchers moved forward together, as if some signal had been given.” Is that signal a merging of Waymar and his alternate reality self? Can we begin to understand the Others as reflections? Reflections in the door of a watery mirror to another reality?

Mirroring is a major literary device here in the prologue. Like Yin and Yang, two parts of a whole, two identical opposites.

Remember I wrote a good piece about the ironwood tree and sentinel tree of the prologue that gives more details about this idea.

Edited by Nadden
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