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Hmadkour

[TWOW Spoilers] Miscon reading : two Winds of Winter chapters

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But regardless, GRRM has made comments in interviews about characters (plural) who come back from death, BESIDES BERIC, who, like Beric, display hints of having lost a large part of their humanity, and replacing it with a narrow focus on some mission they had in life which keeps them going. So he seems to claim we have seen at least 3 such characters (Beric, plus at least 2 more). The only 3 that fit this bill are UnBeric, UnCat, and UnBrienne.

You forget Coldhands.

GRRM's comments about the word Brienne screamed and what else he said seems to suggest she's still alive, so the third person you're looking for would be Coldhands.

Edited by iamthedave

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You forget Coldhands.

No. I considered him, and he does not fit.

That example fails for the same reason as all the other examples that have been offered in this thread.

And yes. I have considered Patchface too. He does not fit either.

Please, if you are going to offer examples, please explain how they fit GRRM's words. Merely being arguably "undead" is not sufficient.

> GRRM's comments about the word Brienne screamed and what else he

> said seems to suggest she's still alive

Not to me. That she said "sword" has long been a part of my UnBrienne theory.

Edited by Fearsome Fred

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Mind quoting these?

"My characters who come back from death are the worse for wear -- in some ways they are not even the same characters any more. The body may be moving but some aspect of the spirit is changed or transformed and they've lost something. One of the characters who has come back repeatedly from death is a minor character named Beric Dondarion, the Lightning Lord. Each time he is revived he loses a little more of himself. He was sent on a mission before his first death -- he was sent on a mission to do something -- and that's what he's clinging to. He's forgetting other things -- he's forgetting who he is or where he lived -- he's forgotten the woman that he was once supposed to marry. Bits of his humanity are lost every time he comes back from death, but he remembers that mission. His flesh is falling away from him, but this one thing -- this purpose -- that he had is part of what is animating him and bringing him back to death[*]. And I think we see echoes of that with some of the other characters who have come back from death."

From a 9/19/2011 interview.

[*]sic. He presumably meant to say "from death".

Edited by Fearsome Fred

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Well, Robert Strong is definitely a legitimate human being.

I don't think he is "definitely" anything, let alone a "legitimate human being" after Qyburn's work in the black cells. Heck, he may not even have a head inside that helmet!

Brienne is obviously an abomination when we see her in ADwD.

I've read DANCE twice and never gotten that impression at all.

Time will tell on both of your assertions but they're certainly not givens.

Edited by Onion Ring Knight

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"My characters who come back from death are the worse for wear -- in some ways they are not even the same characters any more. The body may be moving but some aspect of the spirit is changed or transformed and they've lost something. One of the characters who has come back repeatedly from death is a minor character named Beric Dondarion, the Lightning Lord. Each time he is revived he loses a little more of himself. He was sent on a mission before his first death -- he was sent on a mission to do something -- and that's what he's clinging to. He's forgetting other things -- he's forgetting who he is or where he lived -- he's forgotten the woman that he was once supposed to marry. Bits of his humanity are lost every time he comes back from death, but he remembers that mission. His flesh is falling away from him, but this one thing -- this purpose -- that he had is part of what is animating him and bringing him back to death[*]. And I think we see echoes of that with some of the other characters who have come back from death."

From a 9/19/2011 interview.

[*]sic. He presumably meant to say "from death".

These words may apply to Brienne, but Brienne has a legitimate excuse to look worse for wear, given that she had a part of her face bitten off, got hanged, and is now about to betray a man she admires in order to save an innocent boy - which betrays all her ideals. So I think she may still be alive.

I think there are at least two others who fit the bill: Melisandre and Victarion.

Victarion's hand was miraculously "cured" by a Red Priest. We don't know what was done to him, exactly, but we know that it must have been extremely painful indeed. And he came back with something that no longer seems to be a human hand. It is hard to tell if he came back less human or more focused on his mission, he was always focused, and never a nice human being to begin with.

Melisandre has shown us glimpses of a past as a slave girl but we don't know if she is just suppressing those memories. They might be (unwanted) reminders of the person she was before she died. She doesn't need to eat like a normal, living human being as R'hllor provides all she needs. Her looks might all be glamour. And she seems certainly focused on her mission.

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Mel said herself in her pov that she only eats so that people do not get curious on the topic if she is alive or not. She says rhillor gives her all the sustenance she needs.

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I support the reading of unBeric, unCat, & unBenjen (Coldhands) as the three returned from the dead. I doubt GRRM would want to keep resurrecting characters willy-nilly; it is certainly possible according to the laws of his universe, but just ill-advised for narrative reasons (it would just get stale). Death has still altered them pretty severely; I think the reader still feels that Catelyn is gone, for example.

I think we have to accept that Brienne is alive alive since we have it straight from GRRM's mouth that she said "sword", and she was going through a slow, strangling hanging and not an instant, neck-breaking hanging. Pretty plausible that she would live if cut down immediately. Also, a living Brienne with the strongest temptation ever to break her oath (to unCat) for the man she loves, is a much more compelling than a revenant eslaved by unCat going to trick him.

Tangent: If Coldhands is in the same category as Beric & Lady Stoneheart, it might lend credence to the theory that R'hhlor and the unnamed Other god of Night are one and the same. R'hhlor is shown having real power, but not necessarily as being good. I have a hard time believing that Melisandre and her ilk will be the world's salvation, and somehow I don't think Dany & the Dragons will throw in with them. I think the power of R'hhlor is really the power of the Others in another form, that those returned from the dead are all wights with a greater or lesser hold on their will and lifeforce.

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Coldhand is in the same category as Beric and Cat. Dead person functioning like a living one.

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I support the reading of unBeric, unCat, & unBenjen (Coldhands) as the three returned from the dead. I doubt GRRM would want to keep resurrecting characters willy-nilly; it is certainly possible according to the laws of his universe, but just ill-advised for narrative reasons (it would just get stale). Death has still altered them pretty severely; I think the reader still feels that Catelyn is gone, for example.

I think we have to accept that Brienne is alive alive since we have it straight from GRRM's mouth that she said "sword", and she was going through a slow, strangling hanging and not an instant, neck-breaking hanging. Pretty plausible that she would live if cut down immediately. Also, a living Brienne with the strongest temptation ever to break her oath (to unCat) for the man she loves, is a much more compelling than a revenant eslaved by unCat going to trick him.

Tangent: If Coldhands is in the same category as Beric & Lady Stoneheart, it might lend credence to the theory that R'hhlor and the unnamed Other god of Night are one and the same. R'hhlor is shown having real power, but not necessarily as being good. I have a hard time believing that Melisandre and her ilk will be the world's salvation, and somehow I don't think Dany & the Dragons will throw in with them. I think the power of R'hhlor is really the power of the Others in another form, that those returned from the dead are all wights with a greater or lesser hold on their will and lifeforce.

R'hllor's antithesis is The One Who Shall Not Be Named or The Great Other. Light against Dark, Fire against Ice. I think Coldhands is simply a wight that the Children of the Forest have been able to control. The high priest of R'hllor, Benerro, sends Moqorro to mentor Daenerys. The same faith as Melisandre...although, I'm not sure how good Moqorro is. I guess we'll see if he's only using Vicatarion until he gets to Dany.

Edited by Melisandra

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My feeling is that ASOIAF resists a reduction into good vs evil.

Moqorro & Melisandra are manichean, absolutely believing they are on the side of light, and absolutely opposing the darkness. There is no in between, and all gods but R'hllor are false gods.

I think GRRM as a liberal will repudiate this worldview before the end of the series somehow. I thought he might do it by showing these true believers that they are following a false flame, and unwittingly serving the darkness.

That said, you may very well be right about Coldhands. Still, he feels like he is acting for his own reasons (helping out his nephew?) and he's also unable to enter the greenseer's cave (why, if he's being controlled by them?)

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I support the reading of unBeric, unCat, & unBenjen (Coldhands) as the three returned from the dead.

GRRM never suggested only 3 return from the dead. He indicated that of those characters that have returned from the dead, "some" (evidently at least 3) have shown echoes of a particular pattern: focus on mission they had in life, which they focus on to compensate for a loss of humanity.

I see no argument from you that we have seen this pattern with Coldhands. And if Coldhands was Benjen, would not Bran recognize him?

I think we have to accept that Brienne is alive alive since we have it straight from GRRM's mouth that she said "sword", and she was going through a slow, strangling hanging and not an instant, neck-breaking hanging.

Given that she was being strangled by a noose, it is (at the very least) PLAUSIBLE, that the word she screamed was not intelligible to her executioners, who hence would not have cut her down. Hence, we certainly do not HAVE to accept that she MUST be alive.

Edited by Fearsome Fred

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I think there are at least two others who fit the bill: Melisandre and Victarion.

They do not fit the bill

Victarion's hand was miraculously "cured" by a Red Priest. We don't know what was done to him, exactly, but we know that it must have been extremely painful indeed. And he came back with something that no longer seems to be a human hand. It is hard to tell if he came back less human or more focused on his mission, he was always focused, and never a nice human being to begin with.

We have not seen him come back from death.

We have seen no loss of humanity.

We have seen no focus on mission substituting for loss of humanity.

He simply does not fit, sorry.

Melisandre has shown us glimpses of a past as a slave girl but we don't know if she is just suppressing those memories. They might be (unwanted) reminders of the person she was before she died. She doesn't need to eat like a normal, living human being as R'hllor provides all she needs. Her looks might all be glamour. And she seems certainly focused on her mission.

We never knew her when she was alive.

Hence, we never saw her come back from death.

Hence, we have seen no loss of her former humanity.

We know nothing of any mission she had in life which has become her focus in undeath.

She simply does not fit. Sorry.

Speculating that they might fit, if we knew more, does not help. GRRM spoke of echoes WE HAVE SEEN.

Edited by Fearsome Fred

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My feeling is that ASOIAF resists a reduction into good vs evil.

Moqorro & Melisandra are manichean, absolutely believing they are on the side of light, and absolutely opposing the darkness. There is no in between, and all gods but R'hllor are false gods.

I think GRRM as a liberal will repudiate this worldview before the end of the series somehow. I thought he might do it by showing these true believers that they are following a false flame, and unwittingly serving the darkness.

That said, you may very well be right about Coldhands. Still, he feels like he is acting for his own reasons (helping out his nephew?) and he's also unable to enter the greenseer's cave (why, if he's being controlled by them?)

He can't enter because the magic prevents wights from entering and he is a wight, even if he's working with the Children of the Forest.

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We never knew her when she was alive.

Hence, we never saw her come back from death.

Hence, we have seen no loss of her former humanity.

We know nothing of any mission she had in life which has become her focus in undeath.

She simply does not fit. Sorry.

So... because we haven't SEEN it, it cannot have happened? I'm sorry, FF, but the 'ostrich defense' doesn't work. Mel could easily be an unperson.

I've yet to hear how Coldhands doesn't count. You're doing what you always do: just claim that things 'don't fit' without ever making an actual argument, because you start out by deciding x is true and refuse to deviate. In this case you've decided Brienne is an unperson and so anyone else who might fit your 'three dead people' clause doesn't count because Brienne has to be one of them.

Coldhands is a perfect fit to Martin's words, especially if it turns out that he's Benjen Stark.

Of course he's not a R'hllor style unperson, but Martin did not specify the 'kiss of fire' resurrection, and whatever Coldhands is, he's not a normal wight.

Edited by iamthedave

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So... because we haven't SEEN it, it cannot have happened?

GRRM spoke of echoes WE HAVE SEEN. If we have not SEEN it, then it does not fit his words. Sorry!

I'm sorry, FF, but the 'ostrich defense' doesn't work. Mel could easily be an unperson.

But we were not having an argument of whether or not Mel might be an unperson. Nice try with changing the subject.

For the record, I concede it is possible Mel might be an unperson. But she is apparently not one of the unpersons GRRM was talking about. She does not fit his words.

I've yet to hear how Coldhands doesn't count.

Nobody has explained how he does.

Coldhands is a perfect fit to Martin's words, especially if it turns out that he's Benjen Stark.

That's a big "if", since Bran does not recognize him. But suppose he is Benjen. What mission that he had in life is he now pursuing after death?

Edited by Fearsome Fred

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Melisandre does have to remind herself to eat... There is something about her,though not necessarily death.

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Mel is changed, she is not dead. I doubt that the Red Priests use this fire ritual to change their priests. Neither Red Priest we have met as of yet, has died himself (Thoros, Benerro, Moqorro, the fat one at Braavos, and so on).

Mel's chapter seems to indicate to me that whatever magical fire/heat burns within her, burns within a living women. She has been changed, not resurrected. Mel remembers her past as Melony, if I'm not mistaken, and it seems that she (has been forced to drink) drunken fire to change.

Mel is no longer an ordinary human being, that much is true, but I do not doubt that she has died and been resurrected the same way Beric and Cat were. We know from Thoros that the reviving fire kiss actually is part of a funeral ritual, and the fact that it can resurrect people, is a huge surprise to him. This makes me think it only works that way since fire magic is on the rise again (i.e. since the return of the dragons into the world).

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Mel is changed, she is not dead. I doubt that the Red Priests use this fire ritual to change their priests. Neither Red Priest we have met as of yet, has died himself (Thoros, Benerro, Moqorro, the fat one at Braavos, and so on).

Mel's chapter seems to indicate to me that whatever magical fire/heat burns within her, burns within a living women. She has been changed, not resurrected. Mel remembers her past as Melony, if I'm not mistaken, and it seems that she (has been forced to drink) drunken fire to change.

For the record, I agree. I did not argue her "undead" status only because I saw no need to. Regardless of whether Melisandre is or is not undead, it cannot be said that we readers have seen any echoes of the pattern he describes in UnBeric.

Also GRRM's past comments seem to indicate that UnPersons do not get POVs.

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