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Tormund and Val ; Jon's Intermediaries to the Old Gods ?


bemused

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Bemused, excellent analysis of Val and Tormund. I always love your OPs.

This is not on the topic of Val, but in the scene when Mel meets Jon at night by the Wall and Ghost seems to be affected, have you looked at the Cersei meeting with Jaime at night when he is guarding his father's body in the sept.

I found when I compared those two meetings, Jon's with Mel and Cersei's with Jaime, so many symbolic parallels.

Jaime is looking at Cersei and thinking how lovely she is and about their past, yet he smells fear on her and he knows she wants something from him that he no longer wants to give. Cersei tries to seduce Jaime and yet in the end leaves upset and angry.

Jon smells Melisandra,he thinks she smells like iron and blood and he thinks about her looks because he thought she was Ygritte. He then feels that she wants something from him. Mel tries to seduce Jon and wants to make shadow babies. Jon rebuffs her and the Ghost incident only increases his distrust.

So many parallels. So now do we take another look at Brienne and Jaime or Jaime and Pia and compare their relationship to Val and Jon? One thought Jon has about Val, when he sees her in the tower, lovely but lethal. Interesting!! Since Jaime tells his squire to woo Pia and Jon tries to tell himself its ok if Tormund's son wants Val.

I am hopeful that its Val and Tormund who help Jon ..and that he has no need to ever be beholding to Melisandre. In fact if you think about it the Stannis Mel relationship is similar to the Jaime Cersei relationship.

Jaime recalls that Pia was attracted to him but he remembers his vows.

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Those are excellent comparisons , Lady Arya's Song.. ( I hope Jon and Jaime both stick to their guns. Save yourselves , guys !) :D

Here's one that's been niggling at me for a while , but I haven't really tried to tease it out in depth -

When Jon sends Val out on her mission, there's a long description of her in the moonlight , which makes her appear white ( and lovely , as usual ) ... I only dip my toe in the heresy threads now and then (often too many big leaps for me ) ,so I'm not sure, but I suspect this scene has a lot to do with people equating Jon with the Night's King . But it tempts me to go a different way.. making me wonder if the Night's King hasn't been given a bad rap .. He first saw his queen in moonlight.. maybe she was just a wildling.. Was he really sacrificing to the others , or was that a smear campaign ? Maybe his crimes were really just political ones..

:D I haven't really made up my mind , but I just can't see Val as sinister , so in my mind ,either it's a false comparison ( most probable ) or there's another side to the tale of the Night's King.

Gee , I hope I haven't derailed my own thread..

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Yeah, Jon thinks they look like they belong together and asks her if she's trying to steal Ghost.

This just opens the door to so many questions , for me..I better sleep on it.

( and Thanks. :) )

Interesting catch. With Jon dead (even temporarily) both Val's and Ghost's lives are endanger. Got me thinking that perhaps Val takes 'custody' of Ghost after Jon's death either as a companion/protector at Castle Black or by escaping CB together north of the wall to range. Both Ghost and Val have proven themselves capable of surviving north of the wall.
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Those are excellent comparisons , Lady Arya's Song.. ( I hope Jon and Jaime both stick to their guns. Save yourselves , guys !) :D

Here's one that's been niggling at me for a while , but I haven't really tried to tease it out in depth -

When Jon sends Val out on her mission, there's a long description of her in the moonlight , which makes her appear white ( and lovely , as usual ) ... I only dip my toe in the heresy threads now and then (often too many big leaps for me ) ,so I'm not sure, but I suspect this scene has a lot to do with people equating Jon with the Night's King . But it tempts me to go a different way.. making me wonder if the Night's King hasn't been given a bad rap .. He first saw his queen in moonlight.. maybe she was just a wildling.. Was he really sacrificing to the others , or was that a smear campaign ? Maybe his crimes were really just political ones..

:D I haven't really made up my mind , but I just can't see Val as sinister , so in my mind ,either it's a false comparison ( most probable ) or there's another side to the tale of the Night's King.

Gee , I hope I haven't derailed my own thread..

Interesting, I would like to explore more of the myth of the Night's King, everyone gets caught up in magic so it may that things occurred as you said since as the 13th LC the others had already been gone for a while once he found his wife.

I do love the comparisons between the different mythologies and while we have had much discussing Val and the significance of her role and her clothes I would like to know more about Tormund and what role he might play

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think we've covered this yet... It just came to mind the other day while responding to something on another thread... could Dalla actually be the same woman who healed Mance and repaired his cloak ? ( I checked my memory of the story with the wiki...but that account is all kinds of wrong , so I went back to the book )..Here's what Mance tells Jon in ASoS (pp.103-104 , paperback )

"One day on a ranging we brought down a fine big elk. We were skinning it when the smell of blood drew a shadow-cat out of it's lair. I drove it off , but not before it shredded my cloak to ribbons. Do you see ? Here, here ,and here ?" He chuckled. " It shredded my arm and back as well, and I bled worse than the elk. My brothers feared I might die before they got me back to Maester Mullen at the Shadow tower, so they carried me to a wildling village where we knew an old wise woman did some healing. She was dead, as it happened , but her daughter saw to me. Cleaned my wounds , sewed me up, and fed me porridge and potions until I was strong enough to ride again. And she sewed up the rents in my cloak as well , with some scarlet silk from Asshai that her grandmother had pulled from the wreck of a cog washed up on the frozen shore . It was the greatest treasure she had , and her gift to me. "

It makes sense to me that this could be Dalla. I'm sure Mance is very fascinating ( maybe "He's good - he's very good.." ;) ) .. still , shouldn't the one needing healing be rewarding the healer , and not the reverse ? Even if she was very attracted to him - to bestow her greatest treasure, that had been hoarded by the women of her family to the third generation ( and on a crow !! ) seems a bit extravagant.

But if she was a Vala... or on her way to becoming one.. she might already have sensed some potential for greatness in Mance. The scarlet silk might serve as a sign to other wildlings of the worth she saw in him . She might even have "seen" that her gesture of the silk would become the catalyst for him to leave the NW... Again ,this would fit well with the use of the word "met" in Mance's story of when Dalla became his wife - maybe not meeting for the first time , but two acquaitances ( once lovers ?) meeting on his way back from across the wall .( but not by coincidence ).. He had already left the NW and would probably have built a following ...and she could now assist him to the potential she may have forseen..

If Dalla was the wise woman's daughter.. I get a sense of a process at work - something like , she identifies his potential , but he has to then do something to move in the projected direction himself , before she lets him know she could help him , or outright endorses him.. or becomes his official seer .. or , in some cases ,wife.

It's a pattern you can definitely sense with Jon and Val...And beyond that ,it brings me back to wondering if there's a prophesy of the Free Folk that we haven't heard yet..and about Tormund saying at one time ,he wondered if it might be him..

Of course , Val wasn't mentioned in Mance's tale, but she might have been too young to be taken notice of... Or, she and Dalla really might be sisters only in the sense that KG or NW "brothers" are brothers , or Silent Sister members are sisters... so it would make no difference if she wasn't there..

It also brings up possible parallels to Jon's condition in his last chapter.. It sounds like Mance's brothers were mainly worried about blood loss , which could be an issue for Jon too , even with the cold slowing blood flow. Val's knowledge of healing may be limited to general first aid.sounds like in medical matters she would defer to a woods witch. As I've often expressed, I hope Val somehow gets custody of Jon and that she'll be able to turn to Morna for assistance , who may have particular skill with wounds... And there was something else that brought Morna to mind recently . I was thinking of her weirwood mask and suddenly the weirwood seed paste ( and I think that's all it is ) that the CoTF feed Bran sprang to mind... OK, that helped him connect to the tree... But considering that we know the weirwoods prolong life, and are practically indestructible themselves, there might well be other uses for them in wildling medicine. It would be strange if they hadn't identified some special medicinal properties over thousands of years... I was thinking maybe, poultices or teas brewed from the leaves or bark... those could be quite healing and strengthening - the trees are the next thing to immortal..Does Morna have expert knowledge in this area ?

And in Mance's story we're told he was fed " porridge and potions" to regain his strength. I wonder what was in them ?

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bemused, you've got my attention! This is really a well reasoned conjecture. In all of the dialogues that Jon and Val have had, it just seem like some set-up for something much more. Both Dalla and Val seem different than all other wildling women. There seems to be so much that is going on, than what has so far been revealed, at the Wall, both with the assassination attempt and with who Val and Tormund may be. It may be the making of something great that will happen there.

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I don't think we've covered this yet... It just came to mind the other day while responding to something on another thread... could Dalla actually be the same woman who healed Mance and repaired his cloak ? ( I checked my memory of the story with the wiki...but that account is all kinds of wrong , so I went back to the book )..Here's what Mance tells Jon in ASoS (pp.103-104 , paperback )

"One day on a ranging we brought down a fine big elk. We were skinning it when the smell of blood drew a shadow-cat out of it's lair. I drove it off , but not before it shredded my cloak to ribbons. Do you see ? Here, here ,and here ?" He chuckled. " It shredded my arm and back as well, and I bled worse than the elk. My brothers feared I might die before they got me back to Maester Mullen at the Shadow tower, so they carried me to a wildling village where we knew an old wise woman did some healing. She was dead, as it happened , but her daughter saw to me. Cleaned my wounds , sewed me up, and fed me porridge and potions until I was strong enough to ride again. And she sewed up the rents in my cloak as well , with some scarlet silk from Asshai that her grandmother had pulled from the wreck of a cog washed up on the frozen shore . It was the greatest treasure she had , and her gift to me. "

It makes sense to me that this could be Dalla. I'm sure Mance is very fascinating ( maybe "He's good - he's very good.." ;) ) .. still , shouldn't the one needing healing be rewarding the healer , and not the reverse ? Even if she was very attracted to him - to bestow her greatest treasure, that had been hoarded by the women of her family to the third generation ( and on a crow !! ) seems a bit extravagant.

But if she was a Vala... or on her way to becoming one.. she might already have sensed some potential for greatness in Mance. The scarlet silk might serve as a sign to other wildlings of the worth she saw in him . She might even have "seen" that her gesture of the silk would become the catalyst for him to leave the NW... Again ,this would fit well with the use of the word "met" in Mance's story of when Dalla became his wife - maybe not meeting for the first time , but two acquaitances ( once lovers ?) meeting on his way back from across the wall .( but not by coincidence ).. He had already left the NW and would probably have built a following ...and she could now assist him to the potential she may have forseen..

If Dalla was the wise woman's daughter.. I get a sense of a process at work - something like , she identifies his potential , but he has to then do something to move in the projected direction himself , before she lets him know she could help him , or outright endorses him.. or becomes his official seer .. or , in some cases ,wife.

It's a pattern you can definitely sense with Jon and Val...And beyond that ,it brings me back to wondering if there's a prophesy of the Free Folk that we haven't heard yet..and about Tormund saying at one time ,he wondered if it might be him..

Of course , Val wasn't mentioned in Mance's tale, but she might have been too young to be taken notice of... Or, she and Dalla really might be sisters only in the sense that KG or NW "brothers" are brothers , or Silent Sister members are sisters... so it would make no difference if she wasn't there..

It also brings up possible parallels to Jon's condition in his last chapter.. It sounds like Mance's brothers were mainly worried about blood loss , which could be an issue for Jon too , even with the cold slowing blood flow. Val's knowledge of healing may be limited to general first aid.sounds like in medical matters she would defer to a woods witch. As I've often expressed, I hope Val somehow gets custody of Jon and that she'll be able to turn to Morna for assistance , who may have particular skill with wounds... And there was something else that brought Morna to mind recently . I was thinking of her weirwood mask and suddenly the weirwood seed paste ( and I think that's all it is ) that the CoTF feed Bran sprang to mind... OK, that helped him connect to the tree... But considering that we know the weirwoods prolong life, and are practically indestructible themselves, there might well be other uses for them in wildling medicine. It would be strange if they hadn't identified some special medicinal properties over thousands of years... I was thinking maybe, poultices or teas brewed from the leaves or bark... those could be quite healing and strengthening - the trees are the next thing to immortal..Does Morna have expert knowledge in this area ?

And in Mance's story we're told he was fed " porridge and potions" to regain his strength. I wonder what was in them ?

I love it! Very intriguing!

Will Jon's future POV on his way to being healed be a peyote-like weirwood potion fueled trip? It seems like the woods witches will be our glimpse into the inner workings of the weirwood, possibly as much as Bran is.

Hmmm...

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SNIP

Bemused, this was a great addition and I believe it only strengthens our theory, and I hope as stated above that Val and Morna will be the ones to help heal Jon and maybe being fed some of those potions and pastes might lead Jon to get a glimpse of the past, maybe discovering his parentage or seeing what is in the crypts finally

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  • 4 weeks later...

I really like your theory, since I've actually read the Edda and am very fond of norse mythology.

By looking over the wiki article about Völva (Vala) I found some other interesting bits:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6lva

The earliest descriptions of such women appear in Roman accounts about the Germanic Cimbri whose priestesses were aged women dressed in white. They sacrificed the prisoners of war and sprinkled their blood (see Blót), in order to prophesy coming events

Val's special robe, given to her by her 'sister', is white and I can think of one account, where an old woman sacrificed someone before a weirwood.

The next account is actually by Julius Cesar:

When Caesar inquired of his prisoners, wherefore Ariovistus did not come to an engagement, he discovered this to be the reason – that among the Germans it was the custom for their matrons to pronounce from lots and divination whether it were expedient that the battle should be engaged in or not; that they had said, "that it was not the will of heaven that the Germans should conquer, if they engaged in battle before the new moon."

As you mentioned in your op: The wildlings come through the wall, the day of the new moon.

In addition, many aristocratic Viking women wanted to serve Freyja and represent her in Midgard.[6] They married Viking warlords who had Odin as a role model, and they settled in great halls that were earthly representations of Valhalla.[6] In these halls there were magnificent feasts with ritualized meals, and the visiting chieftains can be likened with the einherjar, the fallen warriors who fought bravely and were served drinks by Valkyries.[6] However, the duties of the mistresses were not limited to serving mead to visiting guests, but they were also expected to take part in warfare by manipulating weaving tools magically when their spouses were out in battle.[6] Scholars no longer believe that these women waited passively at home, and there is evidence for their magic activities both in archaeological finds and in Old Norse sources, such as the Darraðarljóð.

It is difficult to draw a line between the aristocratic lady and the wandering völva, but Old Norse sources present the völva as more professional and she went from estate to estate selling her spiritual services.[6] The völva had greater authority than the aristocratic lady, but both were ultimately dependent on the benevolence of the warlord that they served.[6] When they had been attached to a warlord, their authority depended on their personal competence and credibility.

Both very interesting quotes, that actually fit for both Dalla and Val.

Dalla married Mance, the 'warlord' of the wildlings and Val had a thing with Jarl, who was also considered as a great leader amongst the free folk.

The thing that puts me off is that, Vala usually wielded a wand, which was one of the main characteristics they would be identified by.

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This is an interesting theory, it made me rethink Val.

I thought of her as just a beautiful wilding woman at first.

Also to point out, Dany and Jon have a lot of parallels in terms of their arcs, and with a red preist and mage on their way to Dany its possible Val could be a woods witch, dragging more emphasis on the ice and fire parallel.

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This is an interesting theory, it made me rethink Val.

I thought of her as just a beautiful wilding woman at first.

Also to point out, Dany and Jon have a lot of parallels in terms of their arcs, and with a red preist and mage on their way to Dany its possible Val could be a woods witch, dragging more emphasis on the ice and fire parallel.

They do have some interesting parallels , don't they ? I worry about the prospect of Mel "ressurrecting" Jon that so many fans seem to want to see ..one reason being Dany's sad experience in the case of Drogo .. as well as the examples of Beric and Cat.

Someone on a Val thread elsewhere ( general ASoIaF forum , I think ) was mentioning Nimble Dick telling Brienne of a woods witch who could bring back the dead , among his other folklore... I need to re-read that part , it's kind of foggy ( also , doesn't Brienne notice a young weirwood growing , in her travels ?) ....Anyway, if it's possible by one form of magic, it must be possible by others ( Coldhands ).. but I'm very mindful of Leaf's warning to Bran not to seek to call Ned back from death...so I'm thinking it's not a good idea by any methodology.

I really like your theory, since I've actually read the Edda and am very fond of norse mythology.

The thing that puts me off is that, Vala usually wielded a wand, which was one of the main characteristics they would be identified by.

Well, I'm not worried about the wands because if ,as it seems to me , GRRM is patterning Val after the Vala , he can use whichever bits he chooses and add his own details at will . I'm just interested to see where he takes it.. I do like how the Vala could tap a person on the cheek 3 times with their wands and cause forgetfulness , though..that would be a nifty trick. ;)..Still , George could have all kinds of other tricks up his sleeve for them.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok I have a point that might, just might be stong proof Val absolutely knows more and is some kind of priestess, but you'll have to forgive me because it takes a few hoops to jump through in order to fully understand what I'm getting at.



First, I have a different interpretation then most of Mel's vision in ADWD, because I think what she sees is related to the events that happened in Dany's tent when Rhaego was sacrificed. To see the comparison and why I think Mel's vision is showing her the "Kings and Dragons" Val speaks of but Mel doesn't know it, see this post I did in another thread for the full explanation.



Second, Mel knows she's being watched by "wooden face" and "boy with the face of the wolf", and sees the same shadows from the tent (the shadow of Jon and the shadow of his wolf) along with other things.



However, when Val tells Jon to be careful of Mel because she sees "Kings and Dragons" in her fires is she not accurately interpreting what Mel is not? I mean, Mel doesn't see Jon's face and think "King" and "Dragon", but she doesn't know about the same shadows at the Mirri Maz Duur baby sacrifice that we the reader do. Could Bloodraven/Bran be in communication with Val and telling her what is actually in Mel's visions when Mel can't interpret it herself?



It is, of course, possible Mel is telling Val what her visions are, or just that its what Val has heard Mel brag about, but why does Val believe her when so many others don't and even trust Mel's interpretation when she obviously got stuff wrong? (Arya was not the grey girl on the dying horse as Mel claimed) Val seems certain about the "Kings and Dragons" part.



Just food for thought, and I wanted to mention it since it gives a strong possiblity that Val is indeed able to know what Mel sees with more accuracy then she does, which may be the proof she is some kind of priestess if you think the analysis and comparison of the above post is strong enough. I'm sure someone can poke a few holes in this somewhere, curious to see any potential weaknesses.


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TOTY, very interesting things you raised. I was wondering, if you think Jon is both Wolf and Dragon, what you make of AM's thread:



The Three-Headed Trios, Er, Dragon



Something you like?




By the way, in the R + L = J v 63 FrozenFire3 just discussed one of those visions as well. Maybe interesting to see a different perspective. ;)


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TOTY, very interesting things you raised. I was wondering, if you think Jon is both Wolf and Dragon, what you make of AM's thread:

The Three-Headed Trios, Er, Dragon

Something you like?

By the way, in the R + L = J v 63 FrozenFire3 just discussed one of those visions as well. Maybe interesting to see a different perspective. ;)

Thanks so much those were some interesting reads! I posted in the Trios thread. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Those are excellent comparisons , Lady Arya's Song.. ( I hope Jon and Jaime both stick to their guns. Save yourselves , guys !) :D

Here's one that's been niggling at me for a while , but I haven't really tried to tease it out in depth -

When Jon sends Val out on her mission, there's a long description of her in the moonlight , which makes her appear white ( and lovely , as usual ) ... I only dip my toe in the heresy threads now and then (often too many big leaps for me ) ,so I'm not sure, but I suspect this scene has a lot to do with people equating Jon with the Night's King . But it tempts me to go a different way.. making me wonder if the Night's King hasn't been given a bad rap .. He first saw his queen in moonlight.. maybe she was just a wildling.. Was he really sacrificing to the others , or was that a smear campaign ? Maybe his crimes were really just political ones..

:D I haven't really made up my mind , but I just can't see Val as sinister , so in my mind ,either it's a false comparison ( most probable ) or there's another side to the tale of the Night's King.

Gee , I hope I haven't derailed my own thread..

Never know. history is written by the victor, so it could have been a smear campaign

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Here is another example of norse influence in the story- The Horn of Joramun. Joramungandr was also known as the world serpent and Midgard in norse mythology. Makes me kind of think that the Horn that Victarion has is actually the horn of Joramun due to his horn's physical description and the writings that are inscribed on it.

The writings on the horn reference dragon binding, not wall breaking.

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