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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] Bran 2

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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?

God I hope not, considering Harold is a comic relief in no less than 3 different games.

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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.

I actually thought that bran wondering what meera might think if he told her he loved her was very sad. It seems like he only had that kind of confidence when he wasn't in his own body.

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I actually thought that bran wondering what meera might think if he told her he loved her was very sad. It seems like he only had that kind of confidence when he wasn't in his own body.

See though, that is why for me, its the characters and the human drama rather than the magic that make the story. For all the fantastical elements in the chapter, that one line from Bran was the most memorable one in the chapter.

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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!

I got the impression that Bloodraven was the 3EC in that his mother was a Blackwood, and their sigel is a weirwood tree surrounded by a flock of ravens. Read the Sam chapter in ASOS where he meets Coldhands - that's a very appropriate hint.

He also did have that sorcerer reputation, and we know he went up to the Wall (eventually Lord Commander.)

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I actually thought that bran wondering what meera might think if he told her he loved her was very sad. It seems like he only had that kind of confidence when he wasn't in his own body.

I was confused by that scene. It seemed odd to me considering Bran is only 10 years old and Meera is a teenager. Does he love her like a sister, a friend? Even by Westerosi standards he seems a bit young for romantic love.

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See though, that is why for me, its the characters and the human drama rather than the magic that make the story. For all the fantastical elements in the chapter, that one line from Bran was the most memorable one in the chapter.

I completely agree. Hopefully we get a Bran POV in TWOW!

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Agree, one reason i dislike Jordan's fantasy was it was TOO explained and it lost its (for lack of a better word) magic. but GRRMs fantasy is more like how i am fascinated by nano and quantum science yet understand just the basics, and the barest implications. I was not necessarily saying that I want the story to be laid out for me, i like the mystery and loose strings, but i do believe that magic in this world CAN be studied and understood, but the 'wizards' of various culture hoard the knowledge for power, protection, etc.

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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I like it mysterious, but it's inevitable that everyone will unite to fight against the others. The COTF will band together along with the NW/wildlings to fight the Wild Walkers. Maybe even Stannis and the other Northmen will play a part. Everything is coming to a head, and the pieces are all falling into place. You can see the end of the series on the horizon, however far into the future it may be.

Does Bran like Meera? Or is it just Hodor who does?

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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.

I agree with both your statements here. First, Coldhands definitely seems like a different entity than if he were simply a wight warged by Bloodraven. He seems to have kept some of his personality and memory of his life before, and he doesn't move slowly and clumsily. I don't know that he'll be a significant character that we know, such as Benjen, but I do think he's somehow "saved" from being a wight. He works for bloodraven, but has some level of free thought/free will.

And for your second staetment, I also loved this chapter for much of the same reasons.There seems to be a shift in this thread, with some people being turned off by the ramping up of fantasy elements, but you can firmly count me in the camp that had been waiting for this. The books have been progressively moving towards more and more fantasy, and whether this is a watershed moment or not, I can't say, but I do know that I loved it. Its firmly established that with winter or because of winter, and/or with dragons or because of Dragons, this world that GRRM has created becomes more magical. And I think its clear that this story isn't going to wrap itself up without delving into this magic significantly. I, for one, have been on the edge of my seat waiting to learn more about it. Bran has been one of our biggest windows into that world and I missed him in AFFC for just that reason.

In one of the earlier threads, either Bran 1 or the prologue, someone mentioned that warging seems to be set up like a master/pet relationship. In keeping with the "rules" sixskins learned, I think Hodor's simple mind is being set up as a way to keep Bran from being tainted by warging into a person. Seeing him use Hodor as a weapon was pretty sweet, in my opinion.

I just put down this chapter and had to get online to read and write about it. Its safe to say its one of my favorite chapters, on first read, of any in the series.

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I was confused by that scene. It seemed odd to me considering Bran is only 10 years old and Meera is a teenager. Does he love her like a sister, a friend? Even by Westerosi standards he seems a bit young for romantic love.

Well, children at that age do love, and not only in a sister/friend way. Didn't you? ;) Of course it's a very early version of romantic love, the sexual part probably doesn't really play into it yet. When I read that sentence in the chapter, I imagined it as more of a crush, what's called "puppy love". I liked that part, because it was totally unexpected but nevertheless very fitting. And also so tragic given the situation they're in, and considering it was possibly a type of "if I'm going to die now, she will never know" thought.

By the way: I'm not sure it's even Bran himself this is refering to, could be Hodor as well. Doesn't make much difference though, given Hodor's state of mind, such a concept of love could be feasible for him as well.

Regarding the rest of the discussion, I haven't much to say about the strong fantasy elements. I'm in the camp of people who liked GRRM particularly because of the very distant, mysterious and hidden fantasy elements, and read the chapter with a bit of suspicion. But I trust him enough not to start pulling out elves from his hat just like that, so I'm going to have faith, wait and see what he'll bring on...

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F***YEAH BLOODRAVEN!

That was completely awesome!

Damn it, Jon and Bran chapters are kicking ass in this book!

My thoughts as well. Massive Bran chapter, loved it. Enjoyed seeing more fantastical elements, the Children of the Forest live in the vast caverns beneath the Hollow Hill. Loved it. Next Bran chapter is even better though.

Oh and that was definitly Bran as Bran thinking to himself what Meera would say if he told her he loved her.

Apparently, he does. Didn't know that yet. That was not Hodor speaking.

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I am in FREAKING BLOODRAVEN HEAVEN right now. The best entry of any character yet. We learned of his sorcery in The Sworn Sword, his trickery in The Mystery Night, and we learned in AFFC that he had accompanied Maester Aemon to the wall, where his natural ability (and perhaps, his unnatural abilities) eventually made him Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Who else but a sorcerer-Lord Commander of the Night's watch could seek out and obtain the magic of the Children of the Forest (isn't it interesting that they called him a greenseer?) Talk about old - he was Maester Aemon's Great Uncle, if I have the lineage right. (BR was half-brother to Daeron, who was the father of Maekar, who was the father of Aemon and Egg.) But it was whispered that he knew magic that could keep a person young.

In the years since Storm of Swords, I had become more and more persuaded that Coldhands was not Benjen Stark, as so many believed, but Bloodraven. So, I didn't hit the nail on the head. It was the eye connection that should have been the giveaway. Bloodraven lost an eye to Bittersteel, but he always had one more eye than you suspected - the one on you. Of course he was the 3EC.

His presense makes me so happy with this book. Frankly, I think Martin is back in absolutely full form.

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I was confused by that scene. It seemed odd to me considering Bran is only 10 years old and Meera is a teenager. Does he love her like a sister, a friend? Even by Westerosi standards he seems a bit young for romantic love.

Really? I had powerful crushes at 10. If any girl had been as sweet to me as Meera has been to Bran, I'm sure I would have loved her so much it hurt. Puberty is, of course, the beginning of love's sexual aspect, but it is not necessarily the beginning of love's romantic aspect.

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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.

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

Bloodraven ordinary? REALLY??? A albino Great Bastard, half Targaryen Half First Men, former MAster of Whispers, former Hand of the King.Considered by many a sorcerer an warg. The man who was send to the black cells ( we dont know why yet) and alowed to join the Night's Watch by Egg himself as a scort to MAester Aemon. The mas who late become the Lord Comander of NightsWatch. Ordinary... REALLY???

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Um.. Wtf just happened? I read mystery knight yesterday and this makes no sense to me. Bloodraven seemed like a brusque and pretty determined but otherwise normal dude. What the fuck does he suddenly have to do with this storyline, with the CotF, with ANYTHING? This just seems so completely out of the blue, like grrm pulled it out of his ass to make it unguessable. Also, the surprise wight attack seemed completely random like there had to be some final dramatic challenge before the climax - so the wights just decided to lie in wait right there?

Maybe im missing something that glues it all together but this chapter made no sense to me. Huge disappointment.

Given that Bloodraven was a favoured identity for 3EC before this book came out, I think its fair to say that there were enough clues previously that GRRM certainly didn't just pull it out of his ass. Even if nearly all of the clues were from, or made clear by, the Dunk and Egg books.

And the wight attacks clearly shows that the wights and/or others know about the 3EC and/or CotF, and are in opposition to them (some people suspected that they could be working together), but that the 3EC and/or CotF have power to hold back the wights.

YES! I agree Corbon. I don't think it's at all required to have read the D&E stories to have figured this out but, of course, they help.

I was so happy to finally get confirmation of what I've believed for years! Bloodraven is the Three-Eyed Crow! Although, I thought a possible explanation for his longevity would be that he was simply living in warged creatures now and was "bodiless". I even thought this could have been supported by the Varamyr prologue. Someone even recently suggested that Bloodraven may be warged with a weirwood tree which I thought was very intriguing. Very interesting that Bloodraven seems to be physically "melded" with a weirwood and that is helping him to live so long.

And I still believe Coldhands is Benjen Stark but I think TEC brought him back in much the same way as Donderrion and Stoneheart were brought back not that he's a wight or ever was a wight or whatever. The thing that kind of throws me off a bit with the whole Coldhands is Benjen thing, though, is that the first little CotF says of Coldhands that "they [the Others] killed him long ago". How long is "long ago" to a CotF? I don't know, that may mean nothing, so I'm sticking to the Coldhands is Benjen theory for now ;)

Also, Denstorebog, another theory I have about Bloodraven in TMK...

...if you ever read TMK again keep a close "eye" on Maynard Plumm (I think that was his first name). I think it's pretty obvious that he's Bloodraven using magic to disguise himself and spy on the situation from the inside.

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

Arya warg-dreams of Nymeria all the way from Braavos.

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YES! I agree Corbon. I don't think it's at all required to have read the D&E stories to have figured this out but, of course, they help.

I was so happy to finally get confirmation of what I've believed for years! Bloodraven is the Three-Eyed Crow! Although, I thought a possible explanation for his longevity would be that he was simply living in warged creatures now and was "bodiless". I even thought this could have been supported by the Varamyr prologue. Someone even recently suggested that Bloodraven may be warged with a weirwood tree which I thought was very intriguing. Very interesting that Bloodraven seems to be physically "melded" with a weirwood and that is helping him to live so long.

And I still believe Coldhands is Benjen Stark but I think TEC brought him back in much the same way as Donderrion and Stoneheart were brought back not that he's a wight or ever was a wight or whatever. The thing that kind of throws me off a bit with the whole Coldhands is Benjen thing, though, is that the first little CotF says of Coldhands that "they [the Others] killed him long ago". How long is "long ago" to a CotF? I don't know, that may mean nothing, so I'm sticking to the Coldhands is Benjen theory for now ;)

Also, Denstorebog, another theory I have about Bloodraven in TMK...

...if you ever read TMK again keep a close "eye" on Maynard Plumm (I think that was his first name). I think it's pretty obvious that he's Bloodraven using magic to disguise himself and spy on the situation from the inside.

Does that make Brown Ben Plumm Bloodraven's great great grandson?

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What a magnificent chapter! This is easily my favorite chapter of the entire series! A heavy dose of fantasy element, which is much needed from the other (rather slow) chapters.

- We "landed fallen in one of Old Nan's tales" - loved that quote.

- We meet the children of the forest

- BLOODRAVEN :bowdown:

- Bran flying - I believe Bran will warg into a dragon.

I don't believe we have many Bran chapters after that, one I think? :thumbsdown:

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