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Will Bran commit the third abomination?


Maegor_the_Cool

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1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

Who is Haggon to decide what's what?  Shouldn't skin changing rules come from whichever clan started up the skin changers? 

I have to say that Haggon as a mentor to Varaymr is trying to give him a common-sense ethical guideline.  I was involved with horses for many years and the 'don't do this, only do that, you're doing it wrong, only listen me, blah, blah, f'ng blah to the 12th power' never ended and to me that's what I'm hearing from Haggon.  If Varamyr had had a different mentor, different rules.  Varamyr went out and made his own rules anyway.

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42 minutes ago, LongRider said:

I have to say that Haggon as a mentor to Varaymr is trying to give him a common-sense ethical guideline.  I was involved with horses for many years and the 'don't do this, only do that, you're doing it wrong, only listen me, blah, blah, f'ng blah to the 12th power' never ended and to me that's what I'm hearing from Haggon.  If Varamyr had had a different mentor, different rules.  Varamyr went out and made his own rules anyway.

Yeah, I have sympathy for Haggon. There was no real skinchanger community for him to take from, and so he did his best to provide some kind of guidance to this younger talent.

His decision of what was abomination was also probably colored by fears about skinchangers among normal folk, to not live up to the "beastling" image that might provoke others into hostility against them. 

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15 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Yeah, I have sympathy for Haggon. There was no real skinchanger community for him to take from, and so he did his best to provide some kind of guidance to this younger talent.

That's not quite right. Since he took Varamyr to a meeting of fellow skinchangers once, Haggon was obviously in touch with fellows. As a minority, it makes sense for them to come together to exchange information, learn from each other, perhaps even set up guidelines for their "profession." For instance, hunting down humans and eating of man's flesh while in wolf-form is bound to have a desensitizing effect on the warg, promoting the beast nature that is warned of. It also reduces the hurdle to actual cannibalism. What each individual makes of it is up to them but Haggon's teachings make sense to me, just as Jojen's teachings to Bran do.

Varamyr's dad could have killed him for murdering his little brother. He sent him to Haggon instead. I don't think he would have done so if he hadn't felt that there was hope for his son to learn a thing or two about keeping himself under control. 

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2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

Rondo, I really missed you. Please don't go away again. I don't want to see Rosetta Stone's or Darth Sideous' or Finley McLeod's or Damsel in Distress' or James West's or The Lord of the Crossing's or James Fenimore Cooper XXII's or anyone else's comments on how bad the Starks are anymore. Only yours.

Peaches! I think you came on too strong. poor Rondo left... 

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8 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

It seems like you're still assuming the least generous interpretation of what I am saying.

It's not an "assumption". I'm pointing out that you're being so restrictive in what constitutes a "moral dilemma arc" on this subject that imo it becomes meaningless to discuss, let alone predict where it goes. I point out how your assumption of where this is going ("ruling out" the possibility of some freebee basically), by looking at the broad picture, and each time your response is - "euhm... no, not an arc like that".

I've offered two names other than Hodor that I expect to see early on in tWoW (Theon and Patchface), but it seems you have not truly considered the moral dilemma in Bran potentially skinchanging them. Instead you focus on Hodor solely. Does this mean that if I were to provide quotes that lead to this prediction, you will answer - "But I only mean the arc insofar Bran skinchanges Hodor will end up badly."? 

I don't think you are doing this in bad faith. I accept that is how you approached the moral dilemma from the get go. Now, you could take my examples from a much broader perspective and at least recognize that mini-mini-minimum arc pieces belong in a much longer arc and are a thread of a whole tapestry of a theme. Or you could of course continue on restricting the reach of the moral dilemma to maintain a belief about what George will or will not do. To me it then becomes so fragmented that one can hardly speak of a moral dilemma arc, but instead are only speaking from a specific situation, a specific case.

If you want me to agree that it will go badly with Hodor, then I can say "yes I think it will go very badly with and for Hodor". And I will add, I don't see how that excludes the possibility that George will include a freebee skinchanging of a human who volunteers before it goes badly with Hodor. In fact, imo the freebee (with Theon) will embolden Bran into believing he's justified into doing that with anyone who has a broken mind, and that will end in disaster. 

 

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7 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

My use of warging was purely due to laziness/efficiency when typing, but also because I find it kind of weird to be persnickety about fantasy terms when we all know what we're talking about!

George is quite particular about this himself, so he's persnickety about fantasy terms. He likes weird.

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13 hours ago, LongRider said:

I have to say that Haggon as a mentor to Varaymr is trying to give him a common-sense ethical guideline.  I was involved with horses for many years and the 'don't do this, only do that, you're doing it wrong, only listen me, blah, blah, f'ng blah to the 12th power' never ended and to me that's what I'm hearing from Haggon.  If Varamyr had had a different mentor, different rules.  Varamyr went out and made his own rules anyway.

Of course you are 100% correct about the tutoring.  These are common sense things given to a wild child.  Our Bran is not wild and has more self control.  LR, I'm not saying the education is not valid, only that it is given by one man to a small boy in the most dire remote circumstances.  Varamyr is very proud of the six skins he has taken, like some conqueror, by force without conscience.  It does not appear that Haggon's lessons were reinforced in Varamyr's mind for so easily they are discarded.  

My thinking is that there is much more to the rules and that Bran is perhaps good enough human being to act with better intent than Varamyr Six Skins.  

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1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

My thinking is that there is much more to the rules and that Bran is perhaps good enough human being to act with better intent than Varamyr Six Skins. 

I think that ultimately Bran will prove his basic goodness (I'm certainly not on Team BranWillGoCrazy), but not without some challenges and setbacks. His skinchanging Hodor against his will is one such setback, one that he will hopefully (and almost certainly will) come to regret.

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30 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I think that ultimately Bran will prove his basic goodness (I'm certainly not on Team BranWillGoCrazy), but not without some challenges and setbacks. His skinchanging Hodor against his will is one such setback, one that he will hopefully (and almost certainly will) come to regret.

Not to argue, my rapidly becoming dear Phylum...I am a little melancholy with these topics this morning.  This has me thinking not that Bran will not regret so much as be able to make very hard decisions.  I beg your pardon again as I am reading 3 topics now and giddy with thoughts I've not thought in a good long while if at all.  Somewhere recently I think @sweetsunray posed Bran would inhabit the minds of Theon and Patchface.  On the surface this may seem counterintuitive to not committing abominations.  But why?  Along with Hodor, these are the minds best suited for Bran to get close to.  Patchface has all that crazy prophecy to unravel as a bonus.  This is new to me, so it's not fully baked thinking yet.   It makes sense.  He can make Hodor that knight he can make Theon right and he may make Patchface sensible.  All those possessions will have consequence and Bran may even be aware of the consequence when time comes.  Still, despite the consequences, Bran may need to serve the bigger purpose.  The solution to Patchface's jingle may be far more important than Patchface's life or sanity.  I feel so dirty typing that.  

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22 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Not to argue, my rapidly becoming dear Phylum...I am a little melancholy with these topics this morning.  This has me thinking not that Bran will not regret so much as be able to make very hard decisions.  I beg your pardon again as I am reading 3 topics now and giddy with thoughts I've not thought in a good long while if at all.  Somewhere recently I think @sweetsunray posed Bran would inhabit the minds of Theon and Patchface.  On the surface this may seem counterintuitive to not committing abominations.  But why?  Along with Hodor, these are the minds best suited for Bran to get close to.  Patchface has all that crazy prophecy to unravel as a bonus.  This is new to me, so it's not fully baked thinking yet.   It makes sense.  He can make Hodor that knight he can make Theon right and he may make Patchface sensible.  All those possessions will have consequence and Bran may even be aware of the consequence when time comes.  Still, despite the consequences, Bran may need to serve the bigger purpose.  The solution to Patchface's jingle may be far more important than Patchface's life or sanity.  I feel so dirty typing that.  

Maybe "regret" is a little too flat a concept for what we're talking about.

He likely will have to make some hard decisions. I won't speak to Patchface, but I believe his decisions regarding Hodor will at least be colored by sorrow and felt responsibility for wrongs done to his servant.

Whether it's ultimately worth it is another question, and perhaps one where GRRM will leave some room for readers to decide on their own. Regardless, I think we can expect GRRM to focus on the costs and consequences, even in those situations where the actions seem justified and necessary. 

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1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

Not to argue, my rapidly becoming dear Phylum...I am a little melancholy with these topics this morning.  This has me thinking not that Bran will not regret so much as be able to make very hard decisions.  I beg your pardon again as I am reading 3 topics now and giddy with thoughts I've not thought in a good long while if at all.  Somewhere recently I think @sweetsunray posed Bran would inhabit the minds of Theon and Patchface.  On the surface this may seem counterintuitive to not committing abominations.  But why?  Along with Hodor, these are the minds best suited for Bran to get close to.  Patchface has all that crazy prophecy to unravel as a bonus.  This is new to me, so it's not fully baked thinking yet.   It makes sense.  He can make Hodor that knight he can make Theon right and he may make Patchface sensible.  All those possessions will have consequence and Bran may even be aware of the consequence when time comes.  Still, despite the consequences, Bran may need to serve the bigger purpose.  The solution to Patchface's jingle may be far more important than Patchface's life or sanity.  I feel so dirty typing that.  

Patchface imo will be a "there's no alternative!"

I think that when Bowen et all make their assassination attempt to Jon, and Jon's blood drops onto the ice, they wounded the magic Wall just enough for the Others to do some wightifying magic.

  1. Since Jeor's death and Jon returned to the Wall (to climb it), the Wall shook off the people Jon wished to be shaken off (Jarl). During the defense against Mance's attacks, numerous times the Wall was "his" (the wall is yours-phrase). Then he actually becomes the LC. He dreams himself all alone on top of the Wall fighting an attack of dead people climbing the wall like spiders, and he is armored in ice (a merging image of Jon = Wall). When he visits the ice cell of that horrible shit throwing Karstark, he sees his own reflection in the ice (Jon = Wall). Jon and the Wall have become one in several ways. So, when Jon is harmed, pierced, then so is the Wall. (Think of the Skinner coming through the mirror when Willie's blood drops onto it in SKin Trade - something the Fattest Leech connects the assassination attempt with)
  2. The Free Folk and Boroq have been warning a chapter before that the Others are coming. At the start of Jon's final chapter he sees snow clouds packing. He's looking towards the Wall when Jon describes this. This means the snow clouds come from the northern direction. After his meeting with Bowen Marsh he steps outside and the snowstorm is blowing from the south. Why does this matter? Ghost's and the raven's behaviour. When he sees that northern snowsky, he's on his way back to his office, and finds the guards standing outside, because Ghost behaved aggressive to them - tried to take a bite. Jon goes inside, and Ghost is even aggressive towards Jon himself. Meanwhile the raven is freaking out, crying "Snow! Snow! Snow!". We are used to thinking the Raven means Jon, but this time I think the raven is trying to warn Jon that the snow is a sign the Others are arriving. Many readers speculate Ghost is aggressive because of the mutineers, and he certainly dislikes and sniffs something with Bowen, but he's actually less aggressive to Bowen walking out than when Jon walked in earlier. What changed? The direction of the wind blowing the snow into CB: when Bowen passes Ghost, the Others and wights north of the Wall are downwind. And in fact, Ghost and the raven settle down again later in the day.
  3. Jon himself thinks Ghost is aggressive because of Boroq and his boar. But Boroq is a friend and made sure to accomodate Jon and Ghost by staying away as far as possible. What is of interest is what that stinky boar has been doing: rooting around in the soil of the lichyard (a lichyard from where Gilly - a stand in coprse queen - left Castle Black early on in aDwD). The NW has been burning their recent fallen brothers, but I'm pretty sure they haven't dug up brothers buried in the lichyard long time ago. Those dead are still in their graves. And all those dead bodies may require to be wighted is just a few drops of Jon's blood on the ice of the Wall, a leak, a weakness in the magic of the Wall.
  4. So, the screaming of men that Jon hears while he's being attacked imo are because they suddenly find themselves under the attack of wights (as Rory asked just moments earlier). Meanwhile Ghost is locked up and Jon is sure to skinchange him, and so is the raven. Maybe they will try to fight off the wights by fire, and so Ghost may become at risk of being burned with Jon's spirit inside.Having no other means to try and save his brother, I think Bran will skinchange the broken mind available at the Wall: Patchface. But it will go very wrong. I expect a very hostile response from Patchface to this, biting off his tongue, etc. Hence explaining Mel's vision of seeing him with a bloody mouth. But it will do the trick - Ghost will be rescued and therefore also Jon, while unfortunately Patchface will end up being killed. Bran will experience this shock of a death and the horrifying history of Patchface's drowning past.

Theon is @kissdbyfire's prediction. She has the quotes for this (forthehearttree). It comes down to Ramsay comparing Theon to a dog. He was a made a dog, and a dog is man's best friend and the easiest to warg. On top of that his mind is broken and he's become a believer in the old gods, who know his name. He's right on the brink of religious surrender to whatever magic he may experience by someone calling him Theon. Why would Bran skinchange him? Because Bran knows a few things about shortcuts and tunnels inside the walls of WF that nobody else does, and Stannis is the one who needs to know about it if he wants to capture WF. And with such a direct miraculous aid to deal with the Boltons inside WF, Stannis will recognize the old gods' power as much as he recognized Mel's and how useful they can be, and will not allow WF's weirwood to be burned.

And it was her idea on how this could work with Theon, that I thought - we need a third broken mind to be skinchanged, but one that will be disastrous, as well as where else will we find a third weirwood for a Bran miracle, which is actually Riverrun's godswood that has a young slender weirwood. Except here he won't skinchange a human anymoren there.

  • So freebee Theon should be soon with the Battle of the Ice Lakes and Stannis dragging Theon before the weirwood. And it will be rewarded, because Theon volunteered and thus performed a self-sacrifice
  • Then followed by Patchface at the night of mayhem (which comes after Battle of Ice for Bran), disastrous experience for both Patchface and Bran
  • Bran reaches out  in empathy for LS and Jaime via the RR weirwood after the RW2.0, saving Jaime from execution and healing LS by having her hear him, without skinchanging any bystander. 

This all makes Bran a relevant presence in the story even if it is not his POV (except perhaps for the Patchface one) without George having to write it all from Bran's POV. Freebee Theon could be tWoW, Theon II. Patchface is either Mel's POV or Bran's. And RR would be Jaime's POV.

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51 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Theon is @kissdbyfire's prediction. She has the quotes for this (forthehearttree). It comes down to Ramsay comparing Theon to a dog. He was a made a dog, and a dog is man's best friend and the easiest to warg. On top of that his mind is broken and he's become a believer in the old gods, who know his name. He's right on the brink of religious surrender to whatever magic he may experience by someone calling him Theon. Why would Bran skinchange him?

I'm somewhat sceptical about Bran skinchanging Theon. While the dog obeservation is true, I think Theon remembering his own true name, representative of his very identity, is more important and key to overriding other aspects that facilitate skinchanging. A broken mind seems to be a prerequisite, as we see with Hodor, and Patchface also falls into this category. Neither Patchface nor Hodor remember their real names however and this stands in contrast to Theon who begins shedding the Reek persona after hearing Bran call his name at the heart tree. This and the conversation with Lady Dustin, as well as rescuing fArya contribute toward him recovering his identity. That is if he's able to keep it up and hold onto it.  I think he will and in that case, expect him to put up a fight if Bran should try. As to the reason for skinchanging Theon at the Crofter's village, this may be obsolete if Ramsay's letter is true and Stannis has indeed been defeated. 

I can see this happening with Patchface though. Imo, Bran definitely needs some access to events at the Wall, more so than what's going on at the Crofter's village. Mormont's raven is only a crutch. But Patchface is important in another way. His so called prophecies (which are more likely to be fragments of history) may provide vital background information on the past, relevant to the present. Bran may be able to access these "memories" in their original form, uncoloured by Patchface's lack of intelligence and they may be key to understanding and solving the problems facing those battling against the current circumstances.  

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12 minutes ago, Evolett said:

I'm somewhat sceptical about Bran skinchanging Theon. While the dog obeservation is true, I think Theon remembering his own true name, representative of his very identity, is more important and key to overriding other aspects that facilitate skinchanging. A broken mind seems to be a prerequisite, as we see with Hodor, and Patchface also falls into this category. Neither Patchface nor Hodor remember their real names however and this stands in contrast to Theon who begins shedding the Reek persona after hearing Bran call his name at the heart tree. This and the conversation with Lady Dustin, as well as rescuing fArya contribute toward him recovering his identity. That is if he's able to keep it up and hold onto it.  I think he will and in that case, expect him to put up a fight if Bran should try. As to the reason for skinchanging Theon at the Crofter's village, this may be obsolete if Ramsay's letter is true and Stannis has indeed been defeated. 

I can see this happening with Patchface though. Imo, Bran definitely needs some access to events at the Wall, more so than what's going on at the Crofter's village. Mormont's raven is only a crutch. But Patchface is important in another way. His so called prophecies (which are more likely to be fragments of history) may provide vital background information on the past, relevant to the present. Bran may be able to access these "memories" in their original form, uncoloured by Patchface's lack of intelligence and they may be key to understanding and solving the problems facing those battling against the current circumstances. 

I think skinchanging Theon could work for the story, depending on how it's done, but if Bran did so, it would further highlight the horrific nature of this mind-rape. 

Good point about the names though. It's been a consistent motif in the story (and a huge part of Dying of the Light as well); it remains to be seen if there will be a solid magical dimension to this notion of knowing your name.

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10 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I think skinchanging Theon could work for the story, depending on how it's done, but if Bran did so, it would further highlight the horrific nature of this mind-rape. 

Sure, several scenarios come to mind, though I hope he won't be subjected to it. Personally, I think the mental pain and psychological torture Theon goes through on account of Ramsay's treatment mirror the trauma of someone whose mind is invaded by a skinchanger. Imagine your body and mind being taken over by another! We know Hodor was deeply affected by it and learned to live with Bran's intrusion by hiding or shielding his consciousness from Bran. On a side note, I can see Theon ending up at the NW and becoming Lord Commander in place of Jon. Can't wait to see what happens next ... 

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27 minutes ago, Evolett said:

I think Theon remembering his own true name, representative of his very identity, is more important and key to overriding other aspects that facilitate skinchanging. A broken mind seems to be a prerequisite, as we see with Hodor, and Patchface also falls into this category. Neither Patchface nor Hodor remember their real names however and this stands in contrast to Theon who begins shedding the Reek persona after hearing Bran call his name at the heart tree.

Ah, but it was Bran who gave him his name back and the old gods know his name.

While Theon's mind is on the mend, his identity is still fractured. And we get a lot of parallels with Aeron Greyjoy who was a drunk because of the abuse he experienced by his brother Euron. His near death experience made Aeron grateful of the drowned god and he became a priest.

We have something similar for Theon. It seems to be expected that if Theon is to survive somehow, he will end up becoming a priest, just not for the Drowned God, but the old gods instead.

I think that exactly because Theon knows his name again, but in awe with a fervor of this miracle of the old gods speaking to him and knowing his name, he becomes more like a rescue dog. And his voluntary surrender to magical miracles, such as being "possessed by a Bran god" can only be consentual exactly because he knows his name again.

Bran manages to do it with broken minds, but we can hardly consider Patchface and Hodor as able to give consent, exactly because their mind is so broken they don't know their names. Theon's identity is on the mend, but also changed, and still very fragile. He does not need much to revert back to Reek. Just seeing or hearing of Ramsay could freak him out. So, at this point, Theon is both Reek and Theon imo (sort of like Gollum and Smeagol). His restoration to a new Theon, will require a self sacrifice of Theon. 

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3 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Theon's identity is on the mend, but also changed, and still very fragile. He does not need much to revert back to Reek. Just seeing or hearing of Ramsay could freak him out. So, at this point, Theon is both Reek and Theon imo (sort of like Gollum and Smeagol). His restoration to a new Theon, will require a self sacrifice of Theon. 

Granted, Theon reverting to Theon like flipping a switch isn't a realistic scenario. Such things take time and there's hardly any left. Still, I'm in two minds about the idea, though I can see how it would further the story. 

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4 minutes ago, Evolett said:

Granted, Theon reverting to Theon like flipping a switch isn't a realistic scenario. Such things take time and there's hardly any left. Still, I'm in two minds about the idea, though I can see how it would further the story. 

Yes, not much time at all.. Not if Stannis is going to drag him in front of the weirwood to behead him as Asha asked, and Stannis must do it before the Battle of Ice, since the R'hllorists want a good luck burning and the FM want Theon killed for the murder of Bran and Rickon.

The whole 7 days of battle is a ludicrous claim. Stannis' forces don't have the energy for that, no matter what type of miracles get their way. And then Theon escaped that deadly fate somehow according to the Pink Letter, for the author demands "his Reek". There's just no way that Stannis was caught by surprise by the Freys at the ice lakes for Theon to escape in the thicket of it all. It means something happened that made Stannis decide not to kill Theon. He was then either sent away or escaped after. But something save Theon and it weren't the Freys.

 

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