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Will Bran commit the third abomination?


Maegor_the_Cool

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3 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Now, within Bran's arc, cannibalism certainly emerges as a motif, one that is arguably ramping up as the story progresses. But so far, it's mostly been outside of Bran's awareness, save for his eating of flesh while warging Summer. What I had been talking about were moral dilemmas that require the characters to make choices for action. It's certainly plausible to think that cannibalism may emerge as one such dilemma for Bran in future books, but so far it's not what I'm talking about, because he's mostly clueless about it all.

Bran already ate human remains. Bran II in aDwD. Coldhands separates from them, and they continue towards an abandoned village/longhall he directed them too. Coldhands then proceeds to kill the wandering mutineers. He then finds Bran, Meera and Jojen and gives them fresh meat, which Bran thinks is "pork". That wasn't pork. Coldhands cut parts of the mutineers and gave it to Meera, Jojen and Bran as meat... the same meat that Bran tastes as Summer eating from the remains of those mutineers.

 

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1 minute ago, sweetsunray said:

Bran already ate human remains. Bran II in aDwD. Coldhands separates from them, and they continue towards an abandoned village/longhall he directed them too. Coldhands then proceeds to kill the wandering mutineers. He then finds Bran, Meera and Jojen and gives them fresh meat, which Bran thinks is "pork". That wasn't pork. Coldhands cut parts of the mutineers and gave it to Meera, Jojen and Bran as meat... the same meat that Bran tastes as Summer eating from the remains of those mutineers.

Yes, I know. But he wasn't aware of it. That was my point.

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4 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Can you please point out the instances where I pretend I am the almighty unique expert on George's writing?

Do you really think the original comment you responded to was rude, cocky, or condescending? I am puzzled. It certainly wasn't written with that intention.

I really don't get the need for rudeness. I quite appreciate your takes on the text! And I'm completely fine with people having different interpretations of the text. I say that all the time.

You aren't so brusque with everyone, so I must ask, what do I do to deserve it in your opinion?

 

You flat out denied any possibility that George would write someone volunteering to Bran to be skinchanged, and you used an erroneous claim about "how George tends to write". This was not written as merely a "in my opinion" by you, but worded as an absolute denial that it could ever be possible.

I'm outspoken in discussions. Me saying "you're wrong" as a conclusion to a very valid countering of your claim is tame. I've called some claims or arguments hogwash, horseshit, etc . I've kept it pretty factual. And I suspect my counter argument would have felt just as abrasive without the obvious conclusion to it.

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3 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

The way I look at these so-called ‘abominations’ is similar to how I view vows like the NW vow and the KG vow. I see all these ‘unbreakable rules’ as guidelines.

I mostly agree.  Haggon named these three rules, but what authority does this random guy have to identify these three abominations?  Another skinchanger could have listed 10 abominations instead of 3, and another skinchanger could claim that skinchangers are "exceptional" and rules of "lesser men" don't apply to them.

That doesn't mean I disagree with Haggon's rules.  Bran's first possession of Hodor was an accident, the second time was a necessity (better for Hodor to be temporarily possessed to save his own life than dead), but after that it seems to have become a bit of an addiction to Bran.  Obviously taking over Hodor unnecessarily is wrong, and he knows it is wrong (he feels guilty about it).

Summer needs to eat, and I don't really care if Summer eats a dead human while Bran is in his body.  If I remember correctly, Bran was more of a passive bystander viewing Summer through his dream rather than actively controlling him.  Bran obviously wasn't consciously cannibalizing anyone.

And to answer the original question, I don't think Bran will warg into Summer to mate with other wolves; Haggon's "3 rules" are to develop the story, not necessarily as foreshadowing that Bran will break all three of them.  I think it is possible it might happen, though.

I am certain Bran/Hodor is not going to assault Meera.  Neither Bran nor Hodor is aggressive or violent, and mixing their two personalities together isn't going to change that.  That "prediction" (wishful thinking) generally comes from the same people who say Jon is going lead the Others through the Wall to destroy all of humanity, Arya is going to massacre entire cities, etc. etc.  Also the same people who condemn Bran for his abominations but support the abomination of Targaryen incest.

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1 minute ago, sweetsunray said:

You flat out denied any possibility that George would write someone volunteering to Bran to be skinchanged, and you used an erroneous claim about "how George tends to write".

Disagreeing is not necessarily "flat out denying." Do I think GRRM will have a willing skinchange ever happen in the books? He could! I am not GRRM's keeper. Again, you are resorting to the worst possible interpretation of my statements.

It's not how I see it, but it could happen. My main focus, though, is on the moral case that he has been building.

So how about this: IF he includes it, it would likely be embedded within a larger arc that I am pretty confident will explore the costs and uncomfortable consequences of such a power. And, of course, I could be wrong!

Is this qualified enough? If not, I may need to hire a lawyer for proper hedging of my comments.

 

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17 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Yes, I know. But he wasn't aware of it. That was my point.

Okay.

He will become aware of it at some point though, or in hindsight, as children tend to do. The point I make is that even when Bran eats human remains while fully aware, it does not make cannibalism an abomination in every circumstance.

Personally I think Bran will experiment skinchanging three humans with broken minds in tWoW: one with a volunteering broken mind and with success (Theon, and that's okay) and another time in dire need with a non volunteering broken mind that will completely go wrong (Patchface at the Wall). Add that eventually it will come with a heavy price for Hodor, Bran will learn that it's not something he can try on just anybody, only in very special circumstances and only with someone who's willing to be his remote mouthpiece, just like you only eat human remains in the direst of circumstances when there is no alternative and only with someone who is already dead.

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15 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

I'm outspoken in discussions. Me saying "you're wrong" as a conclusion to a very valid countering of your claim is tame. I've called some claims or arguments hogwash, horseshit, etc . I've kept it pretty factual. And I suspect my counter argument would have felt just as abrasive without the obvious conclusion to it.

I won't be too harsh here, because your initial response was to something that I should have been clearer about. As I said, I should have stated that I was talking specifically about individual character arcs.

It seems that you have been inferring some egotism or whatever from me, based on what I said or how I said it. I am telling you that this is not what I intended, and I'm happy to rephrase my comments to make that clear.

If you can admit that my own unintended rhetoric is annoying/counterproductive/etc, why can't we both agree to try to approach future comments in better faith?

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6 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Okay.

He will become aware of it at some point though, or in hindsight, as children tend to do. The point I make is that even when Bran eats human remains while fully aware, it does not make cannibalism an abomination in every circumstance.

Personally I think Bran will experiment skinchanging three humans with broken minds in tWoW: one with a volunteering broken mind and with success (Theon, and that's okay) and another time in dire need with a non volunteering broken mind that will completely go wrong (Patchface at the Wall). Add that eventually it will come with a heavy price for Hodor, Bran will learn that it's not something he can try on just anybody, only in very special circumstances and only with someone who's willing to be his remote mouthpiece, just like you only eat human remains in the direst of circumstances when there is no alternative and only with someone who is already dead.

I don't have a problem with any of that, necessarily. It all lies in how it's executed, of course. What would disappoint me is if GRRM somehow glossed over the costs and consequences merely for convenience. Because in my opinion, that would go against the heart of what he has been building. But in terms of the details, there's no one way to flesh out the arc.

As for Bran eating flesh, I said earlier that it's plausible to assume that it will end up as a dilemma he needs to act on, but as he's largely been unaware of the instances, it's a little more debatable where that is headed compared to the warging issue. 

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3 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

As a rule, he tends to ramp up the moral quandries as the story progresses, not get easier.

You used the phrase "as a rule". You tried to weaken it somewhat with "tends to", but you began your sentence with "as a rule".

To me, that's like saying "I'm not xyz, but ..." What comes before the but is to be ignored, what comes after the "but" is the true intent, in such a phrase. In the above quote "tends to" is the equivalent of "I'm not xyz" and the "As a rule" is the equivalent of "but".

Then we are to understand this

Quote

I don't think GRRM would progress from that sort of psychic rape to something easier like a willing recipient.

to be your conclusion of your invented "as a rule".

41 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I should have specified that what I was talking about pertained to individual character arcs. I am not talking about patterns across all of the characters.

Moral dilemmas can be explored in several characters all at once in a story and George does so. In fact the OP brings up "abominations" that were never mentioned or featured in Bran's arc, but in the arc of Varamyr, told to him by his mentor, a character who never had a moral fiber in his bone, because he murdered his baby brother believing he could without repercussions because he expected nobody would find out. And the OP is extrapolating it to Bran's arc. So, we have a mix up of two arcs to begin with.

ETA: warging is a word only applicable in the case of dogs or wolves, not other animals, not humans. It's called "skinchanging" then (sorry pet pieve, but shared by George who also tends to correct people on it)

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9 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Moral dilemmas can be explored in several characters all at once in a story and George does so

They can be, but that wasn't what I was talking about. I was talking about character arcs, and the patterns found there. As I said, I haven't really thought about those broader patterns, but my initial observation about the ramping up of moral dilemmas pertains to character arcs, so how right or wrong it is--or how presumptuous--should be judged in that context.

I guess "as a rule" might sound a bit overconfident..maybe? I don't know why that is a deal breaker, personally. Do other commenters feel like this is strong language? Certainly if you take it into its intended context, individual character arcs, it makes more sense, no?

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

They can be, but that wasn't what I was talking about. I was talking about character arcs, and the patterns found there. As I said, I haven't really thought about those broader patterns, but whether my initial observation about the ramping up of moral dilemmas pertains to character arcs.

I guess "as a rule" might sound a bit overconfident..maybe? I don't know why that is a deal breaker, personally. Do other commenters feel like this is strong language? Certainly if you take it into its intended context, individual character arcs, it makes more sense, no?

"As a rule" sounds absolute. It's not a dealbreaker per se, but it is an open door to counterargument and conclude that the claimed rule is wrong.

I do not think it makes more sense in an individual arc. Bran's skinchanging arc starts with maester Luwin drugging Bran to prevent him from having any more wolf dreams. Bran is basically taught it's so wrong to warg a wolf he's bonded with that it's better he should be drugged to have dreamless sleep. And because the drugs don't actually prevent him from warging anyway, the boy is wracked with anxiety and guilt, so much that Jojen suggesting it, makes Bran so angry that Summer (and Shaggydog) end up attacking Meera and Jojen over it. In other words, Bran's moral dilemma did not ramp up gradually. It started with the man he trusted, the sole adult he had left to rely on for moral guidance, basically signaling by drugging Bran that Bran was abominable, and as a result of Luwin's abuse of Bran, he became an actual deadly danger to people he likes. What was the biggest moral abomination at the start of his warging arc? That he bonded with Summer or that Luwin drugged him?  It flips with Bran realizing that Luwin is not an all-knowing trustworthy guide, but quite the opposite - very misguided. And Bran learns to enjoy this talent with Summer, flexing this muscle.

We see this flip flopping in Bran's character growth too. He's a lovable cool kid almost throughout aGoT. But he acts like a brat early on in aCoK when the two Walders play with Rickon and Bran feels left out, isn't allowed to ride on Dancer anymore and stuck in his tower room most of the time. That too recedes. And at times it resurfaces.

This character growth and skingchanging has expanded, and will expand further, where he will encounter various situations and applications where sometimes it's awesome and sometimes it's questionable, sometimes it will be a huge mistake. Flip-flop.

I consider that non linear growth very realistic and natural, especially in kids. They learn something, improve, to then turn around and make a mistake again. Heck, even adults do this.

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25 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

"As a rule" sounds absolute. It's not a dealbreaker per se, but it is an open door to counterargument and conclude that the claimed rule is wrong.

It doesn't sound so absolute to me; for one, rules almost always have exceptions. And there are ironclad rules, soft rules, patterns of all sorts. The type that I was describing was one inferred by me, it's not stated blatantly by GRRM, and so of course it's open to debate. But hopefully it is countered with more than one topic to disprove the inferred rule.

I hope you're not requesting that I put "in my opinion" in every post? Can't we just assume that it's implied? It certainly is implied for me.

It's much easier to police rudeness in comments than perceived cockiness. Just today I apologized for saying that someone's analysis is akin to masturbation. I stand by the general sentiment concerning imagination vs adherence to the text, but my intention was not to be brusque or offensive about it. But phrases like "as a rule," even if I can phrase that better, what other personal writing tics might I have that are perceived as cocky? Can't we just proceed assuming good faith, unless actual rudeness appears?

As for pointing out that I am wrong, please do. I don't know your background, but mine is in research. All this time commenting, I am hoping people can help me sharpen up my arguments, and point out blind spots I might have.To be honest, I feel like I don't get enough pushback! I ask that this be via arguments bolstered by textual evidence, of course, as that is the most constructive, useful kind of feedback. 

I know that this can be time consuming and taxing, so I realize that that type of feedback exchange is not always going to happen. But it's the best way for all of us to see our blind spots and biases, and strengthen whatever theory we may be working on.

I've long admired your writing, and have been perplexed by the recent brusque treatment. I can accept that maybe our speech/argument styles don't gel, or something like that, but I certainly hope to engage in good faith exchanges going forward.

 

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27 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

I do not think it makes more sense in an individual arc. Bran's skinchanging arc starts with maester Luwin drugging Bran to prevent him from having any more wolf dreams. Bran is basically taught it's so wrong to warg a wolf he's bonded with that it's better he should be drugged to have dreamless sleep. And because the drugs don't actually prevent him from warging anyway, the boy is wracked with anxiety and guilt, so much that Jojen suggesting it, makes Bran so angry that Summer (and Shaggydog) end up attacking Meera and Jojen over it. In other words, Bran's moral dilemma did not ramp up gradually. It started with the man he trusted, the sole adult he had left to rely on for moral guidance, basically signaling by drugging Bran that Bran was abominable, and as a result of Luwin's abuse of Bran, he became an actual deadly danger to people he likes. What was the biggest moral abomination at the start of his warging arc? That he bonded with Summer or that Luwin drugged him?  It flips with Bran realizing that Luwin is not an all-knowing trustworthy guide, but quite the opposite - very misguided. And Bran learns to enjoy this talent with Summer, flexing this muscle.

We see this flip flopping in Bran's character growth too. He's a lovable cool kid almost throughout aGoT. But he acts like a brat early on in aCoK when the two Walders play with Rickon and Bran feels left out, isn't allowed to ride on Dancer anymore and stuck in his tower room most of the time. That too recedes. And at times it resurfaces.

This character growth and skingchanging has expanded, and will expand further, where he will encounter various situations and applications where sometimes it's awesome and sometimes it's questionable, sometimes it will be a huge mistake. Flip-flop.

I consider that non linear growth very realistic and natural, especially in kids. They learn something, improve, to then turn around and make a mistake again. Heck, even adults do this.

The moral dilemma I mentioned pertained to warging humans, not warging in general. Specifically Hodor, at least for now, but it certainly can open up to others in future books. There are other moral issues to consider in Bran's story, to be sure, but the issue of warging humans started with warnings from Lewin about Hodor's dignity, to accidental warging, to brief intentional warging in an emergency, to repeated secretive wargings just for kicks, even while we know that Hodor is traumatized by it. That was the ramping up that I was talking about.

Where will it go from there? I can't say for sure, but I am pretty sure this concerning issue of disempowering others will be a major part whatever happens.

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3 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I've long admired your writing, and have been perplexed by the recent brusque treatment. I can accept that maybe our speech/argument styles don't gel, or something like that, but I certainly hope to engage in good faith exchanges going forward.

No need to consider my abrasiveness a page ago as some type of judgement of you as a poster. When I disagree with certain takes, I tend to make that clear, quite directly worded against that argument. The most important point here is that it's a critique or judgment of an argument, not the author - not personal whatsoever really. If I don't like the actual poster I simply rarely or never interact with them.

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I doubt it.

the first two were respectively the result of his survival instincts and his innocent wishes to walk again. but the third abomination... Bran is 8-9 and far from puberty. he likely won't hit puberty at all with the pacing of the books. and even if he does , I can't see his boyhood desires translating into wolf mating or wolf-human rape (if that's what you're implying ) in any way. 

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20 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

The moral dilemma I mentioned pertained to warging humans, not warging in general. Specifically Hodor, at least for now, but it certainly can open up to others in future books. There are other moral issues to consider in Bran's story, to be sure, but the issue of warging humans started with warnings from Lewin about Hodor's dignity, to accidental warging, to brief intentional warging in an emergency, to repeated secretive wargings just for kicks, even while we know that Hodor is traumatized by it. That was the ramping up that I was talking about.

Where will it go from there? I can't say for sure, but I am pretty sure this concerning issue of disempowering others will be a major part whatever happens.

That sound llike compartmentalizing it: if I make the arc tiny and particular enough then my rule eventually will apply. But it always fits in a broader arc, and a huge multi character POV story. Otherwise there's little to no point to tackling a moral dilemma in the first place.

Take for instance the "skinchanging" humans (not warging, pet pieve!). Did you notice that the snow bear absolutely hated being skinchanged by Varamyr, and cats don't like it either. Is that any less of a mental rape, because these animals are not humans? What if I inform you that George writes bears as if they are akin to humans as many real world hunter communities around the arctic used to believe? That in these beliefs bears are (naive simple) humans with a fur, and that they go to a bear heaven as bird spirits where they await rebirth, and understand human language, and you must be careful as man when talking about killing or abusing bears within a bear's earshot? Bear hunts were a very ritualistic event with lots of rules on how to talk around a bear, king of the forest, especially if you planned to kill them, which was considered a murder by such societies if done improperly. Read aSoS's prologue for example where Chett and Lark and Small Paul discuss the murder of the Old Bear and who gets to have his bird, while following snowbear tracks and the dogs are too scared to go further (the snowbear they track is thus within earshot). Then that snowbear appears as a wight during the attack at the Fist, raging mad, taking heads off. So, if George writes bears to fit that real world folkloric belief, then Varamyr skinchanging a bear who clearly hates it, is as much an abomination, because a bear is a man with a fur. Arya though manages to skinchange cats without any problems. They apparently don't mind it all, when she does it.

It makes little sense to me to break up the arc in tidbits, because moral dillemma's are written about case by case, both in a larger scope as well as a particular situation, both for individual characters and for several characters all at once.

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4 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

As a rule, he tends to ramp up the moral quandries as the story progresses, not get easier. 

Isn't that exactly what he is doing in this instance? There's no real moral dilema in what Varamyr tries to do with Thistle, it's abominable and not something the reader is left pondering on at all. Then we have Bran instinctively skinchanging into Hodor in situations of extreme danger, and danger not only to himself but his friends and their mission. We know what Haggon told Varamyr, and we saw what Varamyr tried to do, and so the reader understands (for the most part) but still feels some uncomfort. Just in these two cases we can already see that the moral dilema that was basically absent in Varamyr's case is rearing its head now. And when Bran skinchanges into Hodor when they're in the cave the moral questioning increases again, and markedly so. So yeah, I don't think Martin is making it easier for the reader, just the opposite in fact.

 

1 hour ago, StarkTullies said:

I mostly agree.  Haggon named these three rules, but what authority does this random guy have to identify these three abominations?  Another skinchanger could have listed 10 abominations instead of 3, and another skinchanger could claim that skinchangers are "exceptional" and rules of "lesser men" don't apply to them.

Agree.

1 hour ago, StarkTullies said:

That doesn't mean I disagree with Haggon's rules.  Bran's first possession of Hodor was an accident, the second time was a necessity (better for Hodor to be temporarily possessed to save his own life than dead), but after that it seems to have become a bit of an addiction to Bran.  Obviously taking over Hodor unnecessarily is wrong, and he knows it is wrong (he feels guilty about it).

He does feel guilty and he knows it's wrong. And yet, he's a 9 yr old boy who lost everything including his own body in a way and is stuck in a strange place in dark and dangerous time. Yeah, Martin is not going to make it easy for the reader. Most people with a minimum level of empathy (I hope) would understand it's wrong while also understanding where Bran is comng from and allowing themselves to feel some sympathy for him as well. 

1 hour ago, StarkTullies said:

Summer needs to eat, and I don't really care if Summer eats a dead human while Bran is in his body.  If I remember correctly, Bran was more of a passive bystander viewing Summer through his dream rather than actively controlling him.  Bran obviously wasn't consciously cannibalizing anyone.

I don't care at all about Bran being in Summer while he eats a dead human. And I also don't care if Bran in his own skin eats dead humans to save his own life. I'm vegan and if I'm in that type of situation I'd eat my dead nan, no sweat.

1 hour ago, StarkTullies said:

And to answer the original question, I don't think Bran will warg into Summer to mate with other wolves; Haggon's "3 rules" are to develop the story, not necessarily as foreshadowing that Bran will break all three of them.  I think it is possible it might happen, though.

Agree.

2 hours ago, StarkTullies said:

I am certain Bran/Hodor is not going to assault Meera.  Neither Bran nor Hodor is aggressive or violent, and mixing their two personalities together isn't going to change that. 

Yeah, that's never gonna happen.

2 hours ago, StarkTullies said:

That "prediction" (wishful thinking) generally comes from the same people who say Jon is going lead the Others through the Wall to destroy all of humanity, Arya is going to massacre entire cities, etc. etc.  Also the same people who condemn Bran for his abominations but support the abomination of Targaryen incest.

This x 1,000.

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30 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And I also don't care if Bran in his own skin eats dead humans to save his own life

Yes. I don't really have a problem with that either. It was a last resort. It's not like Bran's out hunting for victims to chow down at his next meal.

However studies have supposedly shown the taste of human flesh is addictive...(according to something I read online a while ago, which may not be very accurate).

The main danger from eating human flesh, as far as I am aware, is the risk of contracting a prion disease. Though Bran was not eating the brain and the meat was cooked, if I remember correctly.

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Just now, Craving Peaches said:

Yes. I don't really have a problem with that either. It was a last resort. It's not like Bran's out hunting for victims to chow down at his next meal. However studies have shown the taste of human flesh is addictive...

What studies? If you're joking you have to signal it somehow, it's hard to tell in writing. 

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