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[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Jon 3 but actually Jon 1

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[quote name='Ran' post='1306453' date='Apr 8 2008, 15.46']I very much doubt some Red Priest gave Coldhands the kiss of fire. ;) And still, the black hands don't suggest he just died and then was magically revived into something like full health. He's a wight with volition and humanity.

As to the warding, it must be the whole Wall that's warded, IMO. Jon can't feel Ghost when he's south of the Wall, until Ghost gets south of the Wall as well.[/quote]

I have to agree. Usually in these situations, the wall/boundary line/etc is magically enforced but a gateway is actually a break in the magical enforcement, which is why they are so dangerous, guarded by other magics (e.g. a weirwood door). GRRM tends to have a pretty good grasp of real world religious/magical beliefs, so I am with you here, Ran. I'm assuming the reason Bran could talk to Jon was because it was through a weir-wood tree, which I think is a different sort of thing. The weir-wood serves as an electrical socket, a hub on a larger different network. If a lot of CotF magic went into fortifying the wall, it would make sense the CotF would have the ability to circumnavigate it, and keep on eye on both sides. I'm assuming the weirwood door at the wall means the CotF are keeping watch on what goes through.

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[quote name='cybroleach' post='1306320' date='Apr 8 2008, 14.11']I really dont see why we need to jump to the Others being wargs with the wights there's nothing to suggest this and there's that whole wall=/=warging issue.

Jafar and Othor:
1. two rangers being looked for
2. were right near Castle Black
3. stealthy went right after Lord Moromont and Ser Rykker (the two sr personel at the Wall)
3pts proves a line.
This was no act of chance they were on a mission that was 50% sucessful.

From this whole sinario they appear to me more or less minions now who follow the Other cause yet retain their prevous knowledge.[/quote]

I'm not saying that they're wargs in the exact way that humans can be, just that the Others may have a control over wights in a similar manner that wargs do with their beasts.

The actions that you list denote some kind of intelligence guiding them, I don't think it was chance either.

Whether that intelligence comes from an 'autopilot', Other remote control, or that the wights are in fact shades of their former selves is debatable. I lean towards some sort of remote influence because they're not lucid or aware as other resurrected people and zombies have been shown to be in Ice and Fire.

Like the barrier stopping Melisandre from bringing the shadow monster in Storm's End, perhaps they just need to be physically brought over for their magic to work. Once inside, then they can come alive again.

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[quote name='LugaJetBoyGirl' post='1306487' date='Apr 8 2008, 16.11']I'm assuming the reason Bran could talk to Jon was because it was through a weir-wood tree, which I think is a different sort of thing. The weir-wood serves as an electrical socket, a hub on a larger different network.[/quote]

I'm not sure that fits the text. I don't see how Bran found a weirwood tree to communicate through (he was trapped in the crypts, where I don't recall any weirwood being mentioned; and Summer was outside of Winterfell, somewhere in the wolfswood) and I don't think Ghost's conversation with Bran via Summer was described literally. For that part of the dream to be literally true, you'd have to accept that Ghost howled, that a weirwood tree visibly grew in front of him and moved its branches to touch him on the forehead, and that Ghost was subsequently magically transported to the mountaintop. I find it easier to believe that we're seeing some kind of dream communication, not a literal physical event, until after Ghost's third eye is opened briefly and he sees the wildling horde.

Also, I'm not sure how that would explain the three-eyed crow's communication with Bran, given that he was in his room and far away from the godswood when the crow came to him.

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Guest Other-in-law
[quote name='cybroleach' post='1306320' date='Apr 8 2008, 15.11']From this whole sinario they appear to me more or less minions now who follow the Other cause yet retain their prevous knowledge.[/quote]
Butthe wights who are under Other-influence (ie: not Coldhands, who is clearly not Benjen at all, PotN!) are never seen to speak, if they are to be competent minions shouldn't they be able to convey any intelligence that they've acquired?

TFM,
I used to think that Ghost's weirwood encounter with Bran occurred literally as described, but I finally noticed the end of it:
[i]"[b]And suddenly he was back in the mountains[/b], his paws sunk deep deep in a drift of snow as he stood upon the edge of a great precipice."[/i]

It's still Ghost, but his surroundings abruptly changed. I think that proves that you're correct, the encounter with Bran is figurative or symbolic, not literal.

However, I still think the weirwood in the Nightfort is the key to why Bran and the Three-eyed crow can communicate through the Wall. They are Greenseers (just a novice, in Bran's case), Jon is merely a warg. The implication is that Greenseers can use the trees to communicate with each other, but they don't necessarily have to be super close to them. Or if they do, who's to say that Summer didn't find one in the Wolf's Wood? There are plenty of them there according to Jon, sometimes as many as three in a group.

In the TEC's case he may be an extraordinarily powerful Greenseer, or even something greater altogether. Or maybe just being inside the same castle as a weirwood is enough to place the inhabitants under it's protection/influence? I have to think the ancients had [i]a reason[/i] for wasting so much masonry on walling in small forests.

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Strongest evidence for the Wights being remote controlled:
If not "wighted" into by another person, how can a mere hand attack someone? (and yes, I do know it is a fantasy book)
The Wall is build to keep out the Others, I bet the children also wanted to keep out the Wights with their magic, but maybe they couldn't. To keep out the Wights they build a massive Wall, with gates!! which shouldn't be opened for them.

About the intelligence of the Others:
Why would it be so weird if the Others would know about their greatest enemy? That the watchers forgot about the Others, because they didn't encounter them for hundreds of years, the Others probably didn't forget. They have planned this attack, wouldn't it be wise to gather information somehow. It weren't secrets that those two were the highest in command, they had lots of years to figure out the Nightwatch, I think they are very capable.

[quote]Secondly, it's not particularly lucky that O & JF were found where they were.[/quote]
It's luck that they weren't burned instantaniously, that they were brought to the other side of the Wall and that they could escape so easily to try to kill their "programmed" victims. It's partly the same luck as is needed if it wasn't all planned, except the luck is different. In the first scenario everything is planned beforehand, and they got the luck they wanted. In the seconds case, they didn't have to plan anything, but when the possibility was there, they took it and tried to kill the highest rank Watchers.

About the communication trough the Wall, I think it is mentioned in the books that the roots of the Weirwoods are attached to one and another, the communication probably went that way.

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[quote name='Roi Woodt' post='1307202' date='Apr 9 2008, 01.11']About the communication trough the Wall, I think it is mentioned in the books that the roots of the Weirwoods are attached to one and another, the communication probably went that way.[/quote]
Really? Where in the books? That would probably require roots that went on for hundreds of miles...and across the sea if there are trees on Bear Island or Skagoc. There definitely are some on the Isle of Faces...do their roots go under the lake?

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[quote name='Other-in-law' post='1307213' date='Apr 9 2008, 08.38']Really? Where in the books? That would probably require roots that went on for hundreds of miles...and across the sea if there are trees on Bear Island or Skagoc. There definitely are some on the Isle of Faces...do their roots go under the lake?[/quote] Hmm, I am probably terribly wrong. I shouldn't have mentioned it coming from the books, because I am not so sure about that, I think that was wishfull thinking. although I do remember something about their roots being connected. My guess would be old Nan. On the other hand, maybe I am mixing up books, theories and prophecies and use false information to support my posts, I shouldn't do that, I will go have a look somewhere to try to find some evidence.

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Other-in-law,

I have done some searching, and actually, I found something you quoted a long time ago:
[quote][i]It seemed to sprout from solid rock, it's pale roots roots twisting up from a myriad of fissures and hairline cracks. The tree was slender compared to other weirwoods he had seen, no more than a sapling, yet it was growing as he watched, it's limbs thickening as they reached for the sky. Wary he circled the smooth white trunk until he came to the face. Red eyes looked at him. Fierce eyes they were, yet glad to see him. The weirwood had his brother's face. Had his brother always had three eyes?"[/i][/quote]
Once again I was wrong. Looks like the roots of this particular weirwood tree starts here, however, it also looks like the magic itself (Bran's communication) is reaching Jon (Ghost) through the roots. Maybe that's why it can pass the Wall, the magic doesn't go trough the air, but through the earth. Edited by Roi Woodt

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RW:

Actually, I'd call that the strongest evidence _against_ a warging theory. Our poor remote-Other-operator suddenly has to control two bodies instead of one? You'd go schizophrenic trying to do that. Varamyr doesn't warg into more than one of his beasts at a time, and he's the most adept human skinchanger we know of.

And I don't disagree that the Others would have undertaken some risk in sending Othor and Jafer Flowers where they could be found by the Night's Watch. But the risk is minimal (they lose two wights, and there's definitely more where they came from), and the rewards could potentially be great: throwing the Night's Watch into confusion would help the Others in the battle to come.

The Others would have to make two relatively safe assumptions to justify this plan: 1) that curiosity would overpower fear in this case, which, especially given that these are two rangers who recently disappeared and then seemingly died mysteriously, seems pretty reasonable; and 2) that the Night's Watch, after eight thousand years, have forgotten about the wights and what they can do. As far as we know, the practice of regularly burning the dead didn't come (back) to the Night's Watch until after Othor and Jafer Flowers showed up, and it hasn't been the practice in the North for thousands of years either--hence the crypts of Winterfell--so that seems reasonable as well.

OiL:

I'm not dismissing the idea that the weirwoods may serve as a communication network; presumably there's a lot about the children's magic we don't know yet. I don't think, however, that there's any confirmation for that.

However, I don't think the Black Gate is necessarily key to a network of communication. Since only members of the Night's Watch can access it physically, I don't see why Bran would be able to use it magically. (The three-eyed crow is, I suspect, actually a crow, i.e., a brother of the Night's Watch, but that's neither here nor there.)

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[quote name='Ran' post='1306453' date='Apr 8 2008, 14.46']I very much doubt some Red Priest gave Coldhands the kiss of fire. ;) And still, the black hands don't suggest he just died and then was magically revived into something like full health. He's a wight with volition and humanity.[/quote]

Oh, me too! Here's some completely baseless speculation that may, however, also provide some food for thought. My theory is that the Three-Eyed Crow (Bloodraven) resurrected Benjen Stark as Coldhands in much the same way as Beric Donderrion and Lady Stoneheart were resurrected. I don't believe there are truly different types of magic or sorcery. I think sorcery is sorcery and the different ways in which it can be used or is manifested is what has given rise to the appearance that there are wholly divergent types of magic. I'm thinkin' the Three-Eyed Crow is a pretty powerful sorceror and warg both and could pull off a resurrection if Thoros can ;)

I theorize that Coldhands has black extremeties because he was dead in the frozen north long enough for his extemities to suffer severe frostbite and turn black before he was resurrected. I mean, we saw that both Beric and Lady Stoneheart still exhibited some signs of what their bodies had been through even after resurrection. Why not Coldhands, too? Also, imho, this theory accounts for Coldhands autonomy at least as plausibly as saying he was a wight who was somehow "de-wightified" :)

Also, I think Coldhands is an ally or agent of the Three-Eyed Crow (after all, he told Bran and company that he would take them to the Three-Eyed Crow). Thus, when he was rescuing them from the wights, it wasn't him that was necessarily controlling or "warging" the elk and ravens, it was the Three-Eyed Crow helping them all to escape.
[quote name='Ran' post='1306453' date='Apr 8 2008, 14.46']As to the warding, it must be the whole Wall that's warded, IMO. Jon can't feel Ghost when he's south of the Wall, until Ghost gets south of the Wall as well.[/quote]
Ah, now that I think about it a bit more I think you're right. I was just trying to come up with an explanation for, if the entire Wall is warded against magic, the wights' "re-animation" once through it. Maybe they are more autonomous than we think? I don't know. Edited by Prince of the North

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I don't see why Wights couldn't be subject to control and capable of independent action that furthers the goals of the Others who have raised them from the dead. It would certianly be useful to have them retain there memories so they will be capable of inside attacks like that on Castle Black. The direct control is useful when they are doing mass attacks like that on the Fist of the First Men. This is [i]magic[/i] after all. Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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[quote name='The Fat Man' post='1308076' date='Apr 9 2008, 22.39']Actually, I'd call that the strongest evidence _against_ a warging theory. Our poor remote-Other-operator suddenly has to control two bodies instead of one? You'd go schizophrenic trying to do that. Varamyr doesn't warg into more than one of his beasts at a time, and he's the most adept human skinchanger we know of.[/quote] I think that is very weak evidence, because it's still the same body, only seperated. You can't compare this with skinchanging in multiple animals, because in that case, you would have indeed multiple bodies and it would be difficult which animals claw you are using. In Othor's case, his right hand, is still his right hand (not a hand of another body).

[quote]And I don't disagree that the Others would have undertaken some risk in sending Othor and Jafer Flowers where they could be found by the Night's Watch. But the risk is minimal (they lose two wights, and there's definitely more where they came from), and the rewards could potentially be great: throwing the Night's Watch into confusion would help the Others in the battle to come.[/quote] I think there is no risk at all, only bringing back memories maybe, but that's not my point. It's the enormous amount of luck which they have. Actually, it's the difference between Petyr and Varys. You are saying, the Others worked a la Varys (using Tyrion for killing Tywin), I think they worked more a la Petyr (use the situation as it is, and create chaos). In the first case, the luck is needed to make it work, in the second case, the luck is just happening.

[quote]The Others would have to make two relatively safe assumptions to justify this plan: 1) that curiosity would overpower fear in this case, which, especially given that these are two rangers who recently disappeared and then seemingly died mysteriously, seems pretty reasonable;[/quote] depends on how much the Others know about the Nightwatch. They encountered wildlings before, they burned their dead. The Wall is made because of them. The Brothers sole existence are the others. Either the Others know more, which I suspect, or they wouldn't have reason to think such a Wight would be carried in.

[quote]2) that the Night's Watch, after eight thousand years, have forgotten about the wights and what they can do. As far as we know, the practice of regularly burning the dead didn't come (back) to the Night's Watch until after Othor and Jafer Flowers showed up, and it hasn't been the practice in the North for thousands of years either--hence the crypts of Winterfell--so that seems reasonable as well.[/quote] See point above.

Ser Scot,
[quote]I don't see why Wights couldn't be subject to control and capable of independent action that furthers the goals of the Others who have raised them from the dead. It would certianly be useful to have them retain there memories so they will be capable of inside attacks like that on Castle Black. The direct control is useful when they are doing mass attacks like that on the Fist of the First Men. This is magic after all.[/quote] It would certainly be useful to have them retain their memories, but personnally, I don't like it. I hope that satifies as an argument... guess not :) However, some of those Wights have been long dead, some of them are animals, situations change, but most importantly, if the Others don't have these memories as well, how can they give them these orders? They are speaking a different language, they probably don't know what they are talking about. A side question, can skinchangers give their beasts orders? I know a shadow can be given an order, but that is, imo, a different kind of magic and Mel is speaking the same language as Stannis, which "memory" she uses. Edited by Roi Woodt

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[quote name='Prince of the North' post='1308090' date='Apr 9 2008, 22.54']I theorize that Coldhands has black extremeties because he was dead in the frozen north long enough for his extemities to suffer severe frostbite and turn black before he was resurrected. I mean, we saw that both Beric and Lady Stoneheart still exhibited some signs of what their bodies had been through even after resurrection. Why not Coldhands, too? Also, imho, this theory accounts for Coldhands autonomy at least as plausibly as saying he was a wight who was somehow "de-wightified" :)[/quote]
How about, he was a corpse, wightified by the Others. The children found the wandering (or sleeping/resting) corpse, were able to perform the dead-awakening ceremony, the kiss of fire. The corpse got his memory back (like Beric and Cat), the Others lost their abilty to "wight" coldhands, because he could think for himself again and won't allow the Others to take control over his body again. No new magic is needed. Didn't Coldhands have those blue, glowing eyes? If not, "the kiss of fire" alone could explain his autonomy as well.

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The kiss of fire is a specifically R'hllorian technique. I don't think the children do the same thing, in any case. I do subscribe to the idea that there's really just "magic", and there's various ways to do the same thing, ultimately derived from the source.

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[quote name='Roi Woodt' post='1307202' date='Apr 9 2008, 01.11']About the intelligence of the Others:
Why would it be so weird if the Others would know about their greatest enemy? That the watchers forgot about the Others, because they didn't encounter them for hundreds of years, the Others probably didn't forget. They have planned this attack, wouldn't it be wise to gather information somehow. It weren't secrets that those two were the highest in command, they had lots of years to figure out the Nightwatch, I think they are very capable.[/quote]

Where does this intel come from do they have spies in the watch? Do they torture their victoms? Do they sneek into Castle Black in the middle of the night to find out its layout? I pretty sure not. Thus it comes from the wights.

[quote name='Roi Woodt' post='1307202' date='Apr 9 2008, 01.11']It's luck that they weren't burned instantaniously, that they were brought to the other side of the Wall and that they could escape so easily to try to kill their "programmed" victims. It's partly the same luck as is needed if it wasn't all planned, except the luck is different. In the first scenario everything is planned beforehand, and they got the luck they wanted. In the seconds case, they didn't have to plan anything, but when the possibility was there, they took it and tried to kill the highest rank Watchers.[/quote]

There no luck required here. Jafar and Othor already know their not going to be burned on site because they haven't seen the NW burn anyone their entire service. And they know that being former NW men who died where their bodies would be taken until their burried back on the other side of the wall, and escape what being an unguarded corpse placed in storage? All of these are details the the two wights would have at their disposal. Edited by cybroleach

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[quote name='Other-in-law' post='1307162' date='Apr 9 2008, 00.10']Butthe wights who are under Other-influence (ie: not Coldhands, who is clearly not Benjen at all, PotN!) are never seen to speak, if they are to be competent minions shouldn't they be able to convey any intelligence that they've acquired?[/quote]

Either they lose their voices with being wighted or we just haven't seen them motivated to speek, they definately feel no pain so they never cry. As a minion they don't have any real desires of their own just to serve their masters so chatting about the weather or what have serves no purpose. Rather then them just being blank slates. Edited by cybroleach

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Guest Other-in-law
[quote name='cybroleach' post='1309144' date='Apr 10 2008, 12.14']As a minion they don't have any real desires of their own just to serve their masters so chatting about the weather or what have serves no purpose. Rather then them just being blank slates.[/quote]
I suppose the way that it prevents any wights from 'monologuing' is evidence of the Others' superior intelligence, anyway. :P

From the prologue spoiler (I'm not going to black it out since this is a spoiler thread too) wights were able to detect a warged wolf and showed definite interest in it. Shortly before that, Varamyr sensed the presence of Bran and co, who also would have the stink of warging about them. I suspect that the Others would have a particular interest in Bran, since he seems to have a similar role to Frodo and Sam sneaking into Mordor (very different in the details, of course).

But, as you say, it hasn't been established that they [i]can't[/i] speak, merely that they have not done so in the presence of any characters yet.

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Let's remember that the wights, even if they are indeed subjected to some kind of "warg-like" influence, are DEAD people. And dead men tell no tales (with their mouths anyway). Not to mention the fact that the Others are obviously not human. The Others speak, sure, we've seen that, but it may not be very similar to human language nor possible to vocalize with human vocal chords (not that I think GRRM is thinking that scientifically about all this).

Another thing to recall are the differnces in skinchanging methodology that Varamyr brings to light in the DwD prologue. There's the "gentle way", which Bran would be a good example of, where there is somewhat of a "shared" conciousness between warg and host. And then there's the "forceful way", which Varamyr seemed to use, where he forces his way into an animal and subverts the conciousness of the host (or even displacing another warg whose residing in the host in the Second Life).

There is no conciousness in the dead to force out. So, if we were to carry the theory through, the demeanor of the wight or wights would represent almost totally the will and demeanor of the Others. Edited by Benjen

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[quote name='Roi Woodt' post='1308685' date='Apr 10 2008, 01.57']How about, he was a corpse, wightified by the Others. The children found the wandering (or sleeping/resting) corpse, were able to perform the dead-awakening ceremony, the kiss of fire. The corpse got his memory back (like Beric and Cat), the Others lost their abilty to "wight" coldhands, because he could think for himself again and won't allow the Others to take control over his body again. No new magic is needed. Didn't Coldhands have those blue, glowing eyes? If not, "the kiss of fire" alone could explain his autonomy as well.[/quote]
You know, that could work. Coldhands could have been a wight (i.e. merely an animated dead body, a sort of puppet) and then brought back to life via the "kiss of fire" or it's equivalent. Right now, my theory is that the Three-Eyed Crow created Coldhands to assist him but I guess it could have been the CotF, too. Either way gives us the same result.
[quote name='Ran']The kiss of fire is a specifically R'hllorian technique. I don't think the children do the same thing, in any case. I do subscribe to the idea that there's really just "magic", and there's various ways to do the same thing, ultimately derived from the source.[/quote]
Ran, my theory is that the "kiss of fire" is merely what Rh'llorians have named their using of powerful sorcery to resurrect someone. Another person who is a powerful sorceror may be able to resurrect someone but they wouldn't necessarily need to call it the "kiss of fire". You know, I have been thinking a bit more about whether there is simply one type of magic that can be used in different ways, etc., and I still believe that. However, I'm starting to think the Old Gods, weirwood, greenseer, warging- type magic may be different/seperate from what we've thus far been calling fire, shadow, or blood sorcery. That is, the stuff Mel, Thoros, MMD, Marwyn, etc., have demonstrated is all sorcery but the greenseer-type stuff could legitimately be different.

Right now, I think the Three-Eyed Crow is Bloodraven and he may even be bodiless at this point, living only in warged creatures, etc. Anyway, if the TEC is Bloodraven then he is the product of a union between the Blackwoods (Blood of the First Men) and the Targaryens (Blood of Ancient Valyria). Thus, he would be Old Gods-type magic on the one side and sorcery on the other side. A pretty potent combination, no? That could possibly explain how he could be a sorceror and warg. Finally, it's interesting to note that, if R+L=J, Jon would also be a combination of blood of the First Men and ancient Valyria. Hmm...could mean something, probably means nothing. I don't know, just some paths my mind is running down at the moment ;) Edited by Prince of the North

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