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A Sword Without a Hilt


Phylum of Alexandria
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On 4/4/2023 at 4:05 AM, Craving Peaches said:

No he didn't.

Yes he did.  Robb did not consider the source of his authority.  Robb lacked the intelligence and the discipline to handle even that power.  The source of his authority was coming from the support of the lesser lords below him.  Robb failed his try to become king and he was too ignorant to realize where his authority was coming from.  He let power get to his mind and he was careless with it because he thought it was always going to be there.  Robb let himself believe he was truly a king with more power and authority than reality proved.

Edited by James West
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Just now, James West said:

Yes he did

At no point did Robb let the power of Kingship get to his head.

1 minute ago, James West said:

He let power get to his mind and he was careless with it because he thought it was always going to be there. 

Evidence?

1 minute ago, James West said:

Robb let himself believe he was truly a king with more power and authority than reality proved.

Any proof?

1 minute ago, James West said:

Robb did not consider the source of his authority.  Robb lacked the intelligence and the discipline to handle even that power.  The source of his authority was coming from the support of the lesser lords below him.  Robb failed his try to become king and he was too ignorant to realize where his authority was coming from.

That is not the same as Robb letting power get to his head which is what you were arguing earlier.

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I don't know how can people think that Robb 'let power get to his mind'.

If anything, Robb was 'too good for this world'. He was the only one who treated Theon like a sibling and let him go back to the Iron Islands, he let the Riverlords go back to protect their lands (despite dispersing forces is a horrible move) and he married a girl because he didn't feel it's right despoiling her and leaving her to raise a bastard who is going to be treated unfairly due to his/her birth.  

Edited by csuszka1948
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On 1/19/2023 at 9:30 PM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

She certainly doesn't have to, but aside from validating her own life story (and expunging the lurking stain of madness and tyranny from her family name) she wants nothing more than to settle down and have a home. I just don't envision Martin giving that to her. I don't think she was meant to rule, either, but she can be a force for good through "targeted" destabilization, up North. She already has acted as a noble destabilizer in-story, as the emancipator of Essosi slaves. This one would require much more personal sacrifice, something that Martin will demand of all of his heroes. In Dany's case, I do think her life is likely to be part of that sacrifice. But it won't be the abomination that was The-Thing-That-Will-Not-Be-Named. She will be a hero.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It's really baffling that people think that the showrunners made up Dany dying a tyrant's death despite George telling them that she is going to die a heroic death (or make a heroic sacrifice) fighting the Long Night. 

Dany's story is the exploration of messiah figures and how can they play the role of both a hero (freeing slaves, fighting Long Night) and a villain (trying to become queen of a Westeros which doesn't want her). Her story meant to show how thin is the line between madness and greatness, and her coin will land on 'both sides'.

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10 minutes ago, csuszka1948 said:

It's really baffling that people think that the showrunners made up Dany dying a tyrant's death despite George telling them that she is going to die a heroic death (or make a heroic sacrifice) fighting the Long Night. 

Dany's story is the exploration of messiah figures and how can they play the role of both a hero (freeing slaves, fighting Long Night) and a villain (trying to become queen of a Westeros which doesn't want her). Her story meant to show how thin is the line between madness and greatness, and her coin will land on 'both sides'.

I don't disagree with your summary of Dany's story. GRRM has been building up this larger theme of "god-and-devil-both" throughout his story, starting perhaps with the disputed accounts of Rhaeger and his relationship with Leanna. My feeling is that we'll find that Rhaegar's coin landed on both sides in some way.

As for the showrunners, this is not the forum to get into the details of their work, but we don't know exactly what he told them. They also don't seem the most critical or careful of thinkers, so what they heard is another matter, not to mention how they decided to "improve" it for optimal entertainment value. You know, "creatively it made sense to us, because we wanted it to happen."

How Dany's story pans out will also depend on the comparisons and contrasts available in the story. Stannis is another figure who rides the line between heroism and villainy, and I think he serves as a foil for Dany in this respect. Again, not gonna get into the show, but I imagine his story will have a tragic end, and we will feel his despair. So how would that contrast or accent what happens to Dany? I don't know.

But if I had to wager a guess, I would say that since Dany is the more prominent character in the story, she gets the more prominent heroic accent to her arc, even though she has to sacrifice everything, and maybe her reputation in Westeros nevertheless ends up being unjustly ignominious. 

But who's to say, other than GRRM himself. The rest of us are just reading tea leaves at this point.

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  • 5 months later...
On 1/19/2023 at 9:33 AM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Of course, GRRM needs readers to understand that supernatural powers really do exist in ASOIAF, and so we get an early glimpse of the Others and the animated corpse of Waymar Royce right at the start of the series. Yet afterwards, such moments are few and far between. And even that AGOT Prologue is structured around Waymar’s certainty about naturalistic explanations for what Will reported, a stance that we soon see pervades Westeros, largely thanks to the maesters.

I think GRRM endeavors to make his readers ask the question, “Do supernatural powers actually exist in ASOIAF”? Just like in our world; the best magicians try to get you to believe.

At least in the Prologue of AGOT; a deep dive into the subtext (a peek behind the curtain) reveals or explains (using “naturalistic explanations”) the events of Waymar’s apparent duel to the death using literary tricks of the trade. 
 

For example, one of the clues found in the subtext is the imagery Martin creates with the Waymar dueling scene itself. 
 

Buried in the subtext is an image of the Yin and Yang symbol. Seen from Will’s  perspective: Waymar, against the backdrop of a ridge covered in a thin crust of snow, “dress all in black”, “turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand” perfectly personifies the black dot in the white half of the circle. The white dot is represented by the tall “white shadow” that Will glimpses, the one that “emerged from the dark of the wood”. The sinuous line that separates the two halves is symbolic of the flowing graceful movements of the “dance”. The two combatants, at least figuratively, complement, and mutually exist symbiotically. Much like a shadow owing its birth to light. 

“In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories. ”, says  **Alberto Manguel**.
 

This is one, in a trail of breadcrumbs, that tells a completely different story.

My point is, our author would have the readers believe in Magic. Why? For the same reasons people go to a magic show, it’s fun to be tricked or even believe. But for the analysts, us, it’s fun to figure out how he does the tricks.

 

 

Edited by Nadden
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4 hours ago, SaffronLady said:

Dragons fly. It is possible to get a biochemical workaround for them breathing fire. But dragons fly, so ASOIAF is clearly supernatural. The question is how far does it reach.

My post was in reference to the OP’s example supporting the claim about “supernatural powers existing”. I’m suggesting that the Prologue is a bad example.
 

I believe I’ve found enough evidence, at least in the subtext of the Prologue, to explain away “supernatural powers” with regards to the Others and the reanimating of Waymar.

And while outlining some imagery, a clue, that will lead to an alternate conclusion I offered up my opinion on why Martin does this.

But…

entertaining your post…

Flying reptiles, like Direwolves, though extinct, once truly existed. The fire breathing “workaround” could be a good discussion topic, I guess.

were you able to envision the imagery I outlined?:)

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9 hours ago, Nadden said:

you able to envision the imagery I outlined?

I could, back when I first saw your posts on one of the re-read threads. But I think it would be creatively adventurous if GRRM really was thinking along similar lines.

9 hours ago, Nadden said:

Flying reptiles, like Direwolves, though extinct, once truly existed.

Pterosaurs had hollow calcium-based bones instead of iron-based bones. ASOIAF dragons also have wingspans that are far too small for creatures of their size to fly, especially Balerion. All the Balerions that show wings have wings that are too small.

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10 hours ago, SaffronLady said:

I could, back when I first saw your posts on one of the re-read threads. But I think it would be creatively adventurous if GRRM really was thinking along similar lines.

So your saying that the imagery was unintentional? Did you also read my write about Waymar’s eyes? How bout the coincidental wordplay with “Hè tù”?

10 hours ago, SaffronLady said:

Pterosaurs had hollow calcium-based bones instead of iron-based bones. ASOIAF dragons also have wingspans that are far too small for creatures of their size to fly, especially Balerion. All the Balerions that show wings have wings that are too small.

For arguments sake, ASOIAF dragon bones aren’t “iron-based”. They simply have high iron content. For that matter, your bones have iron in the marrow. More to the point is that Martin seems to want to keep his fiction well grounded in science. To my thought, where things become more grey [more like fiction] are toward the outer fringes of science. (i.e. the effect of infrasound on our bodies).

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On 1/19/2023 at 6:33 PM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Maybe the dream of spring that GRRM is envisioning will require the death of the old gods, and all other potential swords without hilts.

I believe GRRM has made it clear that the men can make a Hell of Westeros and Essos without magic. Maybe it's worse with it... Sure, most men are worse with it. It needs superhuman moral to yield magic for good.

On 1/19/2023 at 6:33 PM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

And that these entities may indeed be alien to Planetos, a strange invasive species come from afar long ago.

The farther we go from Westeros and the human's places, the more alien the world seem to be. I have the feeling that it is the humans (a recent creation of gods) who are the aliens in this world of magic.

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On 9/30/2023 at 11:35 PM, Nadden said:

So your saying that the imagery was unintentional?

I do think the imagery is intentional. Much like how, many years later, GRRM wrote about a duel between a Kingsguard all in white and a man called Sandoq the Shadow.

The part which I believe to be creatively adventurous lies in seemingly setting up a big bad and then have it turn out to not exist. 

On 9/30/2023 at 11:35 PM, Nadden said:

ASOIAF dragon bones aren’t “iron-based”. They simply have high iron content.

They have so much iron content the bones are black. Humans have only enough (double-)oxidized iron content in the bone regions to make their blood vessels and marrows red.

Black bones appears to be a manifestation of Fe3O4, which so far as I know, requires so much Fe3O4 content in the bones, it becomes pretty magical for biological tissue.

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21 hours ago, SaffronLady said:

The part which I believe to be creatively adventurous lies in seemingly setting up a big bad and then have it turn out to not exist.

Lol…I suck at showing anyone the light. I’m like that person with an old Bic lighter standing in the rain,…meaningless sparks.

 

I suppose it’s partly because uninventing the “big bad” seems to take too much from the story. But that’s not what I was trying to do. Originally, I was looking for clues about the valuable axe in the chapter. And then found what appeared to be, at first, a mistake; when Martin has Will call down a warning to Waymar; or should I say TRY to call down a warning. I thought he forgot that Will had a dirk in his mouth. But later I found that, it too, was intentional.

 

The point is, that’s how I found the image that we agree is intentional. I wasn’t looking for it. I had no preconceived theory. In fact, lots of people have never seen it; but it’s undeniably there. After that I considered why Martin might create the image and the only stuff I could come up with was conjecture.

 

But one other thing I learned with the Dirk was that Will can be unreliable as a narrator. So I did another careful reread of the Prologue and came again to the passage where Will thinks Waymar’s blood “seemed red as fire”.

 

Long story short, beyond the figurative meaning of the short phrase I considered the literal meaning. Why would it only “seem” red to Will? I forget how I found the answer to my question but most important is I found the answer.

 

The answer was the Purkinje effect; which deals with psychology. It says that red under low light conditions will seem darker. Take a look . So “red as fire” will seem black as fire and this is not conjecture.

 

Ultimately this understanding leads to Waymar’s injured eye; the one with the “blind white pupil”. The eye is bleeding with the same blood with what seems to be black with a “white pupil”. His healthy eye is white with a black pupil. The symbolism here matching the previous imagery seems intentional. Wouldn’t you agree?

Again, I wasn’t looking for this. It simply presented itself when I looked at it in the right way. I apologize for the lengthy response. I’m trying to understand where my communication with the masses is breaking down.

And thanks for the Sandoq the Shadow thought. I haven’t read Fire and Blood yet; however, at a glance there’s some obvious parallels.

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On 10/5/2023 at 1:40 PM, Nadden said:

I’m trying to understand where my communication with the masses is breaking down.

For me, it's simply "going from the Purkinje effect to the Others don't really exist is a leap of faith".

I do like your outline regarding the eyes and pupils, another black-and-white match.

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On 10/7/2023 at 12:34 AM, SaffronLady said:

For me, it's simply "going from the Purkinje effect to the Others don't really exist is a leap of faith".

I do like your outline regarding the eyes and pupils, another black-and-white match.

I agree that, “going from the Purkinje effect to the Others don’t really exist”, would be a big jump. But if your seeing the imagery in Waymar’s eyes than consider it a little further.

 

It’s no jump to assume that “the blind white pupil of his (Waymar’s) left eye” is one of the “hundred brittle pieces” that scattered “like a rain of needles”.

 

The phrase “like a rain of needles” is a simile directly comparing the scattering “shards” to “needles”. Figuratively, it’s a needle in the eye.

 

The idea of A Rain of Needles” seems to rhyme with the idea of “A Storm of Swords”. Both “A Needle” and “A Storm” each have “An Eye”. The eye in them seems to represent an opening or a vortex. But here in this scene it’s reversed, like Yin/Yang. We figuratively have “A Needle in the Eye”. It is the thing which enters or threads the eye.

 

Somewhere I read that long ago the idea of sticking “a needle in the eye” was done on corpses. It was a custom to make sure that someone wasn’t still alive before they were buried.

 

This idea was used in an old childhood saying, “I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye”. The saying decrees that a needle be stuck in the eye of someone that should die if they break their word or promise or oath.

 

Here, we could theorize that this is an obvious allusion to “The Pact”.

 

Waymar is the youngest son of House Royce. The Royces are proud descendants of the First Men. As part of the pact, the First Men agreed that the children would retain the standing forests and the FM would not harm anymore trees. Yet Waymar slashed at a branch, likely many, as he gained the ridge. Effectively marring the way.

I like an idea of the sword, representing an oath, or a promise, or solemn words. Thus in turn a broken sword, figuratively, represents broken words which also happen to be anagrams for each other.

Figuratively these ideas seem logical and might be interesting but they are still conjecture. What’s most important to the point here is that there’s more that meets the eye, literally.

Literally, there’s enough evidence to conclude that the “blind white pupil” or shard that transfixed the left eye is a piece of volcanic glass, frozen fire, shaped like an icicle. One end impales and the other (a round base) is pale from the moonlight. It’s sharper than any razor and sounds like the cracking of ice on a winter lake when the source of its’ origin is struck again and again. It can pierce ringmail and produce a high, thin sound at the edge of hearing, like an animal screaming in pain, when struck by metal. In fact, Will covers his ears against the strange anguished keening of its clash with a sword. It makes sense that the shard in Waymar’s eye comes from another translucent shard of crystal. They both were alive with moonlight.

Additionally, the idea that micro-shards of this glass gathered on the blade of Waymar’s sword, sticky with sap, explains the frost-covered look of his longsword, like moonlight on new-fallen snow.

The fact that the original shard seemed so thin that it almost vanished when seen edge-on is one piece of evidence that the sword was only a reflection of another sword (Waymar’s). When seen edge-on, the sword would seem to vanish when there was no surface for the moon’s light.

Frozen Fire (white pupil) and Burning Ice (blue pupil) would seem to give added support to this conclusion; that the shard in Waymar’s left eye is obsidian?

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