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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] Bran 2

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I have yet to read the D&E novellas and thus didn't recognise Bloodraven either. I have just looked up everything about him on the Wiki, but I don't see the connection yet. How, apart from the clues of him being at the Wall and a reputed sorcerer, did people come up with the theory of him being the 3EC in 2007? How is he linked to greenseeing and the Children?

Anyway, I loved this chapter!

Ok, let me slightly revise this statement then: This was a huge letdown for someone who's read TMK but can't remember the other D&E short stories or experienced anything else where Bloodraven may have appeared. I was advised to read TMK specifically before reading ADWD, but I wish now I hadn't done it because not being able to identify Bloodraven in ADWD would at least have made him more mysterious, not unlike the kindly old man in AFFC. By reading TMK and ADWD back-to-back, I now have to make the connection between some dude who seems rather ordinary and shows up in the end of TMK to deal out sentences and a talking treeroot corpse stuck somewhere in the frozen lands far to the north. There's nothing for in in TMK alone to even remotely connect those two.

Oh well, guess this was a surprise dedicated to the hardcore D&E fans. I wish I'd been recommended to read the D&E stories where Bloodraven is actually established as a potential future undead clairvoyant, whichever one that may have been, because it obviously wasn't TMK.

In lieu of that, can someone give me some quick rundown on how Bloodraven is connected to this storyline then?

Actually, reading D&E stories is not necessary to recognize the 3EC as Bloodraven, nor to know that he was one of the lord commanders of the NW and somehow related to the Targaryens.

From Maester Aemon's conversation with Daeron on AFFC:

"(...) Egg emptied out the dungeons too, so I would not need to say me vows alone. My honor guard, he called them. One was no less a man than Brynden Rivers. Later he was chosen lord commander."

"Bloodraven?" said Daeron. "I know a song about him. 'A Thousand Eyes, and One,' it's called. But I thought he lived a hundred years ago."

"We all did. Once I was as young as you."

I can't recall other mentions to him, but this is still there. D&E stories certainly tell more about him, but ASOIAF has also mentioned him previously.

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This was one of the most memorable asoiaf chapters I've read (well, in terms of chapters where someone wasn't being killed =p), the writing in particular was gorgeous.

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Actually, reading D&E stories is not necessary to recognize the 3EC as Bloodraven, nor to know that he was one of the lord commanders of the NW and somehow related to the Targaryens.

From Maester Aemon's conversation with Daeron on AFFC: ...

I can't recall other mentions to him, but this is still there. D&E stories certainly tell more about him, but ASOIAF has also mentioned him previously.

Yes, I've read that Sam chapter again this morning after seeing it referenced on the wiki. Still, if you only had this one piece of information, the only clue to the 3EC being Bloodraven would be his mentioning of the 1001 eyes. Which could just tell us that this song is immensely popular, even deep down below the weirwoods far up in the North ;)

My question (at this point in the book) is: Do any parts of D&E or ASOIAF give us hints how he got there, what he actually is, why he might be interested in Bran at all?

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In regards to questions on Coldhands...my take after that chapter is that there's nothing inherently special about Coldhands the wight; he/it is just a wight that had been taken over by TEC or the CotF, with the purpose of getting Bran to the cave.

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In regards to questions on Coldhands...my take after that chapter is that there's nothing inherently special about Coldhands the wight; he/it is just a wight that had been taken over by TEC or the CotF, with the purpose of getting Bran to the cave.

I've only read the chapter once, but it strikes to me that Coldhands 'voice' (not sonically) is distinctly different from the 3EC, and the CotF. He talks more like a standard Westerosi. Also, from a literary standpoint, there's so much invested in the mystery of his identity that I think it's unlikely that its reveal won't be someone significant. There are some rules George still plays by.

Also, in general, I loved this chapter. There's something satisfying about finally seeing the fantasy elements come to the fore after so much talk.

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Yes, I've read that Sam chapter again this morning after seeing it referenced on the wiki. Still, if you only had this one piece of information, the only clue to the 3EC being Bloodraven would be his mentioning of the 1001 eyes. Which could just tell us that this song is immensely popular, even deep down below the weirwoods far up in the North ;)

Well he is the one to say that he had been watching Bran with a thousand eyes and one, and for sure he knew that people talked like that about him.

My question (at this point in the book) is: Do any parts of D&E or ASOIAF give us hints how he got there, what he actually is, why he might be interested in Bran at all?

As far as I recall, no. Dunk & Egg spoilers below:

In The Mystery Knight Bloodraven is still Hand of the King, and appears only for a moment in the end, though the characters talk about him constantly, specially of how he's considered a sorcerer and kinslayer - usually in a bad tone. But most of this talk comes from Blackfyre supporters, so I think this explains their opinion. Egg seems to respect him well enough.

From ASOIAF we learn that he will eventually be sent to the wall and be elected the Lord Commander, but I believe that's all we have heard of his future so far.

In regards to questions on Coldhands...my take after that chapter is that there's nothing inherently special about Coldhands the wight; he/it is just a wight that had been taken over by TEC or the CotF, with the purpose of getting Bran to the cave.

That was my understanding too.

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My question (at this point in the book) is: Do any parts of D&E or ASOIAF give us hints how he got there, what he actually is, why he might be interested in Bran at all?

The only relevant info I can think of from D&E is that Bloodraven is widely rumoured to be a sorceror and to practice dark magics.

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Maybe he'll warg into a dragon! That would be awesome and that gives me a thought, maybe thats how the targs controlled their dragons?

I was thinking the same thing. :thumbsup: I don't know if it fits with the rest of the story though. IIRC there weren't allusions to warging and Targs. But the question of controlling dragons remains. Tyrion with his dragon lore and love of dragons seemed one possible answer. And Dany seems to have a special bond with them. However, I like Bran warging the dragons better though.

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OK I'm going to re-read the chapter. I'm not sure how you figured this was Bloodraven.

His skin is described as pale, with a red blotch on his neck and cheek. His one eye is red, his other eye is missing. He says he's watched Bran with a thousand eyes and one. Pretty clear that this is Bloodraven, as the descriptions matches what we know of him from the Mystery Knight/Sworn Sword.

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I was thinking the same thing. :thumbsup: I don't know if it fits with the rest of the story though. IIRC there weren't allusions to warging and Targs. But the question of controlling dragons remains. Tyrion with his dragon lore and love of dragons seemed one possible answer. And Dany seems to have a special bond with them. However, I like Bran warging the dragons better though.

The dragon has three heads, It's own, it's rider's and it's warg's.

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His skin is described as pale, with a red blotch on his neck and cheek. His one eye is red, his other eye is missing. He says he's watched Bran with a thousand eyes and one. Pretty clear that this is Bloodraven, as the descriptions matches what we know of him from the Mystery Knight/Sworn Sword.

Ahh. Now that I read TMK I get it :) Thanks.

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Considering how hard the prologue pushed the idea that warging into another human body was "abomination", and how easily Bran is slipping into Hodor now, I'd say we're being given a pretty broad hint that Bran's dream of becoming a "knight" with Hodor as his legs may very well come true in a way that Maester Luwin never saw.

If Bran's body dies, and he takes Hodor's body instead (a conveniently big strong man with very little brain), he'll certainly be BIG enough to ride a dragon...

Almost sad, to meet a child of the forest and the TEC both in one chapter - after so much loooong buildup, I was almost disappointed that so many answers came so quickly.

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Ahh. Now that I read TMK I get it :) Thanks.

Yeah, have immediately ordered "Warriors" yesterday, too.

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I would like to add a theory I have. We know there are three heads to the dragon. Well, we also know of three wargs that are major characters. Jon, Bran and Arya. Perhaps they will warg the dragons at some point?

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The dragon has three heads, It's own, it's rider's and it's warg's.

I *do* like that idea! But when the Targs had their dragons they flew about on them by themselves, right?

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I *do* like that idea! But when the Targs had their dragons they flew about on them by themselves, right?

Are there any rules to warging that say you need to be close to the animal you are warging?

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I'm not sure how to feel... The first half of the chapter I thought was amazing - there was a feeling of unease throughout, I could just 'feel' the journey over the snow, the ravens leaving day by day, and the sense of foreboding when they started climbing the hill. Also the 'I wonder what she'll think if I say I love her' was just so sweet and brilliant, I also really like Meera.

I'm a bit troubled however by all the fantasy elements that come after it. What I liked about Martin was that magic and fantasy was kept to a minimum, and when it was there, it was mysterious and unexplainable. I don't like the introduction of elements of high fantasy, and they seem not to fit much with the world. From Asshai to the North in Westeros, this is a world of men. I would have liked it more if it turned out that the children of the forest were simply a prehistoric extinct human civilization, perhaps with some mysterious arts, which was turned into myth millenia after it disappeared. Instead we get elves. Meh. Bloodraven and what seems to me the suggestion that he's been watching the Starks for decades by warging into weirwoods and animals also seems to be another out of place element of high fantasy, and very cheesy.

I hope Martin won't do the error of trying to give a logical explanation to Bloodraven's powers and knowledge. I hope he won't even use the name bloodraven or talk of his past, but leave him as a mysterious figure.

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I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this chapter.

The Three Eyed Crow- creepy, mysterious, powerful. "You will never walk again, Bran, but you will fly." he reminds me of the tree-man in Fallout 3, can't remember his name something w/ an H?

Bran- kickin ass in a battle with the undead.

Children of the Forest- small, badass, long lived, disdainful of Men. I like how the hobbit-ish stereotype i imagined them as is subverted. As is the Tolkein-ish Elf stereotype, of tall lithe humanish beauties. I love the Celtish aspect- skulls and bones. I love the description of their eyes slitted like cats, alien yet human. her hair- "a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it" Human and not.

As for people's misgivings, the wights didnt just happen to be there. Its fairly obvious to me that they know of the Three Eyed Crow / Children of the Forest's hideout- it's warded afterall! I'm sure that the community leaves sometimes, either to hunt some zombies or for food. as for the Evlish CotF and people's misgivings of Fantasy, on the one hand i dislike much high fantasy, and as long has GRRM keeps it in small doses it will be ok. On the other hand, I am of the opinion in Fantasy and Religion, that these things can be explained 'scientifically' as science is just a process of observation, hypothesis, etc, etc (can't remember the exact def. of scientific method- anyhow i digress) the Children of the Forest COULD still be 'homo' type animal, though fairly distant cousins down the 'homo' family tree.

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I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this chapter.

The Three Eyed Crow- creepy, mysterious, powerful. "You will never walk again, Bran, but you will fly." he reminds me of the tree-man in Fallout 3, can't remember his name something w/ an H?

Bran- kickin ass in a battle with the undead.

Children of the Forest- small, badass, long lived, disdainful of Men. I like how the hobbit-ish stereotype i imagined them as is subverted. As is the Tolkein-ish Elf stereotype, of tall lithe humanish beauties. I love the Celtish aspect- skulls and bones. I love the description of their eyes slitted like cats, alien yet human. her hair- "a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it" Human and not.

As for people's misgivings, the wights didnt just happen to be there. Its fairly obvious to me that they know of the Three Eyed Crow / Children of the Forest's hideout- it's warded afterall! I'm sure that the community leaves sometimes, either to hunt some zombies or for food. as for the Evlish CotF and people's misgivings of Fantasy, on the one hand i dislike much high fantasy, and as long has GRRM keeps it in small doses it will be ok. On the other hand, I am of the opinion in Fantasy and Religion, that these things can be explained 'scientifically' as science is just a process of observation, hypothesis, etc, etc (can't remember the exact def. of scientific method- anyhow i digress) the Children of the Forest COULD still be 'homo' type animal, though fairly distant cousins down the 'homo' family tree.

Ah but you see, as regards the fantasy elements - if you ARE to add magic to it, then I'd rather it not be explained 'scientifically' - leave it mysterious, unexplainable, distant. I didn't mind the 3EC, as this mysterious entity, that you weren't sure if it was part of Bran's subconscious or some manifestation of old powers that just 'were'. But I have misgivings about us finding out that he's in fact a Targaryen bastard who studied magic and managed to warg himself with the trees. Same way I liked the weirwoods as some mysterious manifestation of old 'powers' - if it turns out that the CotF curved the faces into the trees so that they could warg into them, and that they realized that the white trees were easier to enter, and that the old Gods are ancestral CotF who warged themselves in the trees, or something like that that tries to give some logical explanation and structure to the fantastical elements, then I'll be disappointed. Or if we are given logical or concrete motives for the Others...

See I like the series as a human drama in a world where in the fringes, there are unexplainable, otherworldly elements that affect the humans in them. When the magic however starts to take structure, to have a coherent logic behind it, then I find myself disappointed.

As an example, I 'liked' how magic was treated in the house of the Undying, or how its treated with Mel - we weren't given explanations. It just was.

ETA: Which is not to say I've made my mind up yet that I dislike what Martin's done. Its too early yet - if Bloodraven and the CotF are left as slightly creepy, partly unexplainable, a pocket of an old, bygone world in a cave filled with skulls, then fine. If Bran starts exploring the society of the hobbit-elves, and leads battalions of dragonglass children into battle, then I may start thinking that Martin made a mistake.

Despite this, I love the book so far. And I trust Martin to handle things properly, as given what I've read in his interviews, I agree with his positions on fantasy.

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