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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] Bran 3

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Like I said above, Sam definitely killed an Other with dragonglass, which is seemingly their only weakness. Others actually are very graceful and good fighters as shown in the prologue of AGOT. Wights on the other hand seem to be rather stiff and slow and somewhat unthinking, yet relentless; pretty much zombies.

Sam tries to kill a wight with his dragonglass later, but it just breaks. That's when Coldhands comes and saves him and Gilly. So, you can see the distinction; dragonglass kills Others but not wights; fire kills wights (not sure what fire does to Others).

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Like I said above, Sam definitely killed an Other with dragonglass, which is seemingly their only weakness. Others actually are very graceful and good fighters as shown in the prologue of AGOT. Wights on the other hand seem to be rather stiff and slow and somewhat unthinking, yet relentless; pretty much zombies.

Sam tries to kill a wight with his dragonglass later, but it just breaks. That's when Coldhands comes and saves him and Gilly. So, you can see the distinction; dragonglass kills Others but not wights; fire kills wights (not sure what fire does to Others).

The wright had on plate of some type that broke the blade so it never touched the wright

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Also how sad was it when Bran couldn't hold Meera when she was crying?? :crying:

White haired woman makes me think it's the Targaryen queen who came to the North and gave the second gift (Queen's tower was named for her). Why there's an execution or who the Starks are here I haven't a clue (do we know who was Lord of Winterfell at this time)?

It was very sad and he SHOULD have crawled toward her. As for the white haired woman, i (respectfully) disagree. It seems to me that they were performing a human sacrifice to the Old Gods, and by the time the Targ's came into Westeros, human sacrifice was not performed. The white haired woman, i assumed, is what we would consider a hedge witch, or at the time a priestess of some sort. Or perhaps...who knows

ps. is your dog's name really daenarys?

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It's stunning that we're five books in and people are still getting confused over the difference between wights and Others.

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The wright had on plate of some type that broke the blade so it never touched the wright

I don't think it would matter anyway, wights are supposed to just be cold, dead flesh (human or animal). The Others are a different race altogether, they wear armor too but Sam's dragonglass melted that along with the Other itself.

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It was very sad and he SHOULD have crawled toward her. As for the white haired woman, i (respectfully) disagree. It seems to me that they were performing a human sacrifice to the Old Gods, and by the time the Targ's came into Westeros, human sacrifice was not performed. The white haired woman, i assumed, is what we would consider a hedge witch, or at the time a priestess of some sort. Or perhaps...who knows

Hmm, what makes you think it's human sacrifice instead of a simple execution? I guess because blood gets all over the Heart tree, and it wasn't a beheading? Hmm, interesting. I guess I assumed while reading that the Godswood was just a traditional place to perform executions.

Could certainly just be an older woman / priestess for a certainty. It's hard to place it in time because we haven't identified many of the previous flashes either.

ps. is your dog's name really Daenerys?

Yep! It's even on her official registration. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: My husband and I are a just slightly dorky. But we will stop at pets (no kids!).

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Bran should have made up some pretext to make Meera stand up and come over to him and then held her hand. But that would have been way to savvy for a 10-year old boy - and it wouldn't be ASOIAF if this love wouldn't end up as a tragedy as all the others do. It does not end in blood, as others have in this story, but it is incredibly sad nevertheless.

I think the last vision is a human sacrifice from prehistoric times, not an execution by some historic Stark king (or even a Targaryen):

  • Executions in the north around 300AC are performed by sword, not by sickle. There's nothing in the books up to now that would suggest this is a recent invention only brought about by the Targaryens - in fact, Ned says he does it the "old way" by swinging the sword himself, as opposed to the newfangled Targaryen and Baratheon kings who employ an executioner.
  • Executions are percieved as legal acts, not sacral acts, and are therefore performed in designated execution places, not in holy places. Again, there are no indications that this might be a very young tradition.
  • The use of a bronze sickle points to a time before the introduction of iron (Andal invasion) or at least to a time when the newly introduced iron was only used for practical purposes and bronze was retained for sacred items (like the sickle of "druids").

So all in all I don't see this as a Targaryen queen performing an execution, but rather as a glimpse into the time before or shortly after the Andal invasion, when the First Men (which I associate with the Celts) still ruled the North without any Andal influence, and their "druids" performed human sacrifice to the Heart Trees.

Of course the distinction is somewhat murky - the ones "selected" for human sacrifice were often those who were supposed to have angered the gods in the first place with their crimes, so killing them could be seen as an execution as well as a sacrifice.

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I skipped from Bran 2 to bran 3 because I wanted to know what happens after Bran meets Bloodraven. I was extremely disappointed when I did not find a Bran 4 :tantrum:

I agree with the others who say that it was heart-wrenching to see Ned. I wonder if the bleeding trees always have someone seeing through their eyes??

The prayer was an obvious reference to Jon and Rob. I think the other flashbacks will be explained in the next Dunk & Egg story.

I have mixed feelings about the flashbacks. I guess it would be an easy way out for for GRRM to explain past events by conveniently showing us through the trees' eyes.

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I love the Bran chapters. Again, seems like the slight paradigm shift to more magic might be turning off a few fans, but for me I love it.

Magic has been returning to this world since the opening chapter of the first book and, as readers, we've been given the promise of more magic since book 1, page 1. I suspect when all is said and done, magic might recede a little bit, but before everything ends there will be a crescendo where we will have pretty much every aspect of fantasy you would come to expect. Swords, sorcery, dragons, unicorns, shapeshifting, prophecy, giants, resurrection, with virtually every character touched by it.

And it was also obvious from the first couple hundred pages of book 1 that Bran was going to be our POV character that delves into that world the deepest, so I'm really confused as to why some are disappointed over this.

Anyway, I'm not really worried for Bran, or worried that he's going to become evil, or a pawn of an evil CotF plot. I don't think Bloodraven is evil and really, I think we should be beyond thinking of things in those terms based on what this story has taken us. Bloodraven wields a powerful weapon and Bran is learning to wield it as well. The weapon is neither good or evil, and Bran will ultimately decide how to use it. I don't expect it to be in overly "evil" ways. I expect him to use it to fight the others, to fight for the North, and maybe to exact some Stark Retribution and/or help build/rebuild/repair the wall.

Oh, there's some sadness in his story to be sure, but that sadness is still 90% because of what Jaime did to him. He would never have gone down this path, or at least not until he'd lived a life as Bloodraven had, if not for that.

Jojen is still not afraid for Bran and we shouldn't be either. And no, I don't think Jojen is regretting it at all. His getting more sour because his day is coming, but he's known when and where his day has been coming since we met the kid. He would have tried to prevent it, or at least not been so eager to make it happen, if it wasn't for a good purpose.

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Bran's ultimate fate will depend on what happens at the end of the series. I believe he will have a few twists and turns in store for him.

I think it is possible Hodor (with Bran warging into to him Avatar style) will be the Last Hero, going somewhere to kill someone behind the Others. He will need a Lightbringer, and a Nissa Nissa to blood-temper it in.... So Meera and Jojen are right there. He could be told to temper the blade in Meera because he loves her, and Jojen might step in to take the blade in his gut himself. The sword Hodor brought from the Winterfell crypts could be reforged into this new Lightbringer.

If the Others are wiped out, at the end of this all Bran might say "screw you guys, I'm going home", despite that that might mean the loss of the Greenseer powers from the world as nobody will be around to teach the next generation. If Bran stays, it will only be because the Others will sleep again for another 8000 years and he needs to pass on the knowledge that Bloodraven in giving him so another greenseer will be around to face the Others. Or Jojen can stay and take his place, if Bran decides to say "screw you" anyway since he is still just a kid despite all he has and will become. He could even return home for 80 years and come back when he's had a full human life and is ready to live the tree life.

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This chapter was superbly written. Together with Tyrion's chapter with Penny right before, this had me dreading George's bittersweet ending. I have a feeling I'm going to cry my eyes out when we get there - I did in this chapter when Meera cried and Bran didn't comfort her, and at the ending flashbacks. I love/hate those glimpses into the past where we see the decisions people made that made the characters into who they are today.

I definitely got the feeling that the execution/sacrifice at the end happened a long time ago - there's mentions of generations of trees passing by, and even of the weirwood itself being smaller.

Where was the name Bloodraven attached to Brynden? I see all of you mentioning it but now that I skimmed through the chapter I didn't find it.

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Can someone explain to me how bran is a greenseeer if he has blue eyes? bloodraven claims they either have red or green eyes. Also didn't one of Jojen's green dreams predict that Ramsay Bolton would kill bran... and don't his dreams always become true.

I've been reading these forums since I finished reading ADwD and I finally had to break my silence when this went so long unanswered (I had to create a login to do so). Bloodraven's comment about eye color is directed squarely at the CotF and thus doesn't concern Bran/humans at all (coincidence that his eyes are also red courtesy of being an albino).

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Where was the name Bloodraven attached to Brynden? I see all of you mentioning it but now that I skimmed through the chapter I didn't find it.

Bloodraven is a character who is mentioned and appears in the Dunk & Egg stories, the nickname of Brynden Rivers.

Spoiler
one of Aegon IV the Unworthy's many Great Bastards, he was a Blackwood on his mother's side. He supported King Daeron against the rebellion of Daemon Blackfyre, and was actually responsible for Daemon's death. Another Great Bastard, Bittersteel, supported Daemon Blackfyre, was the founder of the Golden Company, and had a mother who was a Bracken. So the Blackwood-Bracken feud was a thread in that larger conflict too.

So Bloodraven is:

1. A Targaryen bastard, later legitimized.

2. former Hand of the King, who pretty much served as Master of Whisperers too ("a thousand eyes and one" frequently repeated when he is mentioned).

3. former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. --- ie. a crow.

4. and even back then he seemed to be a sorcerer.

How he went from Hand to criminal sent to the Wall is probably an interesting story, and we might get that in one of the next D&E stories.

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Bloodraven is a character who is mentioned and appears in the Dunk & Egg stories, the nickname of Brynden Rivers.

Spoiler
one of Aegon IV the Unworthy's many Great Bastards, he was a Blackwood on his mother's side. He supported King Daeron against the rebellion of Daemon Blackfyre, and was actually responsible for Daemon's death. Another Great Bastard, Bittersteel, supported Daemon Blackfyre, was the founder of the Golden Company, and had a mother who was a Bracken. So the Blackwood-Bracken feud was a thread in that larger conflict too.

So Bloodraven is:

1. A Targaryen bastard, later legitimized.

2. former Hand of the King, who pretty much served as Master of Whisperers too ("a thousand eyes and one" frequently repeated when he is mentioned).

3. former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. --- ie. a crow.

4. and even back then he seemed to be a sorcerer.

How he went from Hand to criminal sent to the Wall is probably an interesting story, and we might get that in one of the next D&E stories.

Thank you for that thorough explanation. I assume his mother then was the Melissa Blackwood spoken of in Jaime 1, and Barba Bracken the mother of Bittersteel. Did Bloodraven appear in D&E 3, or earlier? If it was earlier I'll have to clap myself over the ear since those at least I've read :)

In one of the chapters after this Bran-chapter I think I recall a mention of Bloodraven, "a sorcerer who ruled the seven kingdoms in all but name".

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D&E3:

Spoiler
Yes, BR appeared in The Mystery Knight. But that a kind of a spoiler since.... well, I shouldn't say why.

Thank you for that thorough explanation. I assume his mother then was the Melissa Blackwood spoken of in Jaime 1, and Barba Bracken the mother of Bittersteel.

Seems like a reasonable assumption. I hadn't thought about it, but that makes most sense Melissa and Barba would be the mothers for those two.

Yes, Bloodraven is mentioned in D&E2, but doesn't appear there, except in flashback as Dunk remembers seeing him in King's Landing.

I don't recall how we know BR becomes LC of NW, since all the D&E stories so far are long before Egg's rise to the throne.

One more interesting thing we do know about BR is that he wielded Dark Sister, a valyrian steel / dragonsteel blade. If he still has it, could that become Lightbringer? I think it just as likely as Longclaw.

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Wait, this is really the last we'll see of Bran for a while? I was good and didn't peek ahead too far at the chapters, so this is a sad surprise to me.

That said, I also got this...not quite bad, but sad feeling from this chapter. Bran is becoming so isolated from his companions and I am afraid that he'll just remain here for the rest of the story. It will be a difficult wait to find out what the future holds for Bran.

(And then there's the slight hints that Jojen is reaching the point of his demise, the one he saw in one of his dreams. More sadness.)

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I think Bran will be limited to where is now physically, for the duration of the War. Should the War be won, I could see him leaving the Caverns beneath the Hollow Hill and return South of the Wall, assuming that will continue to stand ( I hope so).

But for now, well, he is learning so much as a Greenseer, and the range of abilities a Greenseer has is apparantly quite broad. He may get a bit lonely, but it seems Summer, Meera and Hodor at least will stay with him while Brynden grooms him as a his very necessary successor. Plus there are the Children of the Forest, with whom Bran might learn to communicate should he learn the True Tongue.

But he is able to go outside of his body and see many events beyond the range of other people. As Leaf says, Brynden has a very busy time of it.

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I thought this chapter was alright. Not as good as the previous Bran chapter.

I don't necessarily know if Bran is trapped. I think part of Bloodraven's immobility is just due to the fact that his body has decayed and he needs the trees to keep him alive. (The scenario definitely has a Guillermo Del Toro vibe to it.) Of course Bran can't move either, and that's convenient, but I hope for his sake that he leaves the cave eventually. Still, in George's world, magic always costs something, and being one with the trees might be the price for Bran's power (and whatever way he is able to bring about the defeat of the others).

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I loved this chapter and once again, I love the richness that GRRM is bringing to the North. Its amazing how old the north and its peoples are. These parts of ADWD have an older more ominous tone to it than AFFC did and thats saying something.

Did anyone else catch what Leaf said about The Giants and the Mammoths and finally the Direwolves? She said they will last the longest but they too will die out. I take this as a sad sign for the Stark children. Bran will clearly never have children but I hold onto some hope for Sansa and Rickon. But this begs the question, what does it mean to be a Stark?

In AGOT didn't Ned speak about his children and how some were more Stark and others more Tully. I wonder if the Starks being first men have some blood of the COTF mixed in? I bet that is where the warging ability comes from. I also bet its hereditary and that not every Stark can do it, some seem to have the gift but it must be worked at.

This would add to why the Freys told the stories about the warging Starks... perhaps that was an old legend about the Starks?

Do we know, are all of the northern houses descended from the First Men or just the Starks?

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Just a thought. Wouldn't it be interesting if Bran was the one bringing the Wall down, since it was his namesake, Brandon the Builder, who built it? Dunno how that would happen, though.

I hope that he does get to get out to live the rest of his life, after the Others are defeated and then comes back when he is old and resumes his work there. He could be the one to tell what really happened centuries and thousands of years ago, since no one really knows what exactly happened and a lot of the history of Westeros that we know seems like it was distorted somehow by the Maesters and Septons, for their own gain. And to make sure that it doesn't happened again, by leaving some kind of legacy with the future Stark generations (if there will be any at all).

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