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redriver

Winter Fell?

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Great thread! I was just thinking how lots of the other houses words seem to refer directly to something they DO or ARE (Hear me roar, Ours is the Fury, we do not sow and even fire and blood could just be short for we are/bring fire and blood), while "Winter is coming" doesn't. Or does it? As in "We are the Starks and we can bring the winter"?

So in conclusion: "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell" - or else "Winter is coming" = bc the Starks "control" the winter.

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This type of "mirroring" is a GRRM trade mark.Nicely spotted.I also wondered if Bran saw an icebound version of Winterfell at the heart of winter in his coma dream,which made him so afraid.That would complete the mirroring.

There's also the quote:

Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell.

Frozen hell = Heart of Winter = Heart of Winterfell? The crypts are "reserved" for dead Starks, and it's been theorized that the crypt's tunnels may under the godswood.

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It seems to me there's something odd about the weather in Westeros in the latter half of ADWD.Yes,a harsh winter has been heralded since the series began in AGOT, mainly because of the unusually long summer.But in the natural course of events you might expect winter to descend from the north,from the Land of Always Winter.

But that doesn't appear to be the case in Dance.The winter weather seems to have started at Winterfell,the worst of it is at Winterfell and it's radiating outwards from there.

Of course,in the real world a winter storm can strike in southerly latitudes whilst more northerly ones enjoy relatively good weather.But this is a fantasy series in which we know the seasons are out of kilter for fantasy reasons.From SSM;

Someone asked why the seasons are so messed up. Martin said he couldn't give an answer necause that would be telling! He did say that there would eventually be an answer in one of the books, and the answer would be a fantasy (as opposed to a science fiction/science based) answer.

So I suppose the author can put the weather where he wants!But has he chosen to center the storm over Winterfell and if so has he done this for narrative reasons?

The first mention of serious snowfall comes in the Theon chapter "The Turncloak".

This is shortly after Ramsay's marriage to "Arya",which I think is significant in itself.But more on that later.

It continues through the rest of the Winterfell chapters including the final one in which Theon makes this observation as he and the spearwives rescue "Arya".

We can reason that this storm rages over the course of about seven weeks from Asha's POV's, which trace the journey of Stannis and his host from Deepwood Motte towards Winterfell.The march of 300 miles was predicted to take 15 days by the troops.After three days of good progress the snows start falling and hinders the progress of the army;-

Two days later they are forced to pull up at the Crofter's village where after 19 more days,Tycho Nestoris turns up with Theon and Jeyne.

Meanwhile,what's happening at the Wall?In short,we can say it's been variable weather wise throughout most of Dance until the storm arrives from the south in Jon's last chapter.

From other POV's and locations.

Arya confirms that it's snowing in the Riverlands in The Blind Little Girl.

It's snowing in Jaime's last chapter of AFFC at Riverrun though in his only ADWD chapter,,slightly to the north,Blackwood Vale is"bare and muddy,dotted here and there with drifts of melting snow."I don't think there's a huge time differential between those two chapters.

In Sansa's last POV in AFFC the Eyrie is being vacated for the winter due to snow and frost but the vale floor is snow free and autumnal.The Eyrie is at altitude.

And in the epilogue it's snowing in Kings Landing and the white raven arrives there from the Citadel to herald the official arrival of winter.

The Starks are absent.

The snows arrive in Winterfell in the days after the wedding of Ramsay Bolton to a fake,though publicly acknowledged as genuine, Arya Stark.This ceremony conducted before the heart tree serves to seal Ramsay as the Lord of Winterfell in law.Roose blames the blizzard on Stannis-

Though surely the Boltons are the real intruders here?This is the first time in known history that the Starks are not officially in charge of Winterfell,which brings to mind the family motto;

There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.

The phrase is oft repeated throughout the novels,though we are never told why.It seems common sense,in a way.Have a Stark around to keep up morale and deter intruders.But perhaps it has a more esoteric significance that's been forgotten over the ages.

The Starks are a truly ancient family who trace their lineage back to Bran the Builder who raised Winterfell and the Wall.If the motto is as old as the family,perhaps it goes back as far as the Pact between the COTF and the First Men.This Pact,as we know from Luwin divided the lands between the parties in exchange for an end to hostilities.

This is the headline agreement of the Pact,but perhaps there were other terms and conditions,such as a supervisory role for the Starks in enforcing the Pact?The Starks were Kings in the North from the Age of Heroes until Torrhen bent the knee to Aegon,but they were also widely known as the Kings of Winter.Again,we get no real explanation as to what the title means.Maybe it acknowledges that the Starks have been granted lands and honours,but also duties and responsibilities as well?

In this light,"There must always be a Stark in Winterfell" could seem like a condition,clause or even curse imposed upon them.And the penalty for breaking this taboo?There may be a hint in the Stark words....

Winter is coming.

Catelyn reflects on the house words early in AGOT,-

Strange indeed.On one level the words seem pragmatic,get your harvest in,prepare for the worst,maybe even carpe diem to an extent.But maybe it can be seen as a warning of sorts,-keep up your end of the bargain or Winter is coming.The words are spoken by a non Stark character in Bran's coma dream,-

I don't think the crow is warning of any old winter but Winter itself,the kind Old Nan spoke of.If the crow can be seen as connected to the Old Gods perhaps this can be seen as foretelling the arrival of Winter at Winterfell?

I'm in on it, and I speculate the Wall falls when Winter from Winterfell reaches it.

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There's also the quote:

Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell.

Frozen hell = Heart of Winter = Heart of Winterfell? The crypts are "reserved" for dead Starks, and it's been theorized that the crypt's tunnels may under the godswood.

NENYA: GOOD CATCH WITH THE QUOTE!

I do not know if it has been theorized, but I suspect the roots of the weirwood have extended into and under the crypts, in the manner of the roots described in Bran's cave. Since Maester Luwin compares Winterfell to a tree itself, I perceive a symbolic connection, or actual joining, of the WF structure and the heart tree.

Another thing that MAY be contributing to the increasing snow fall, and this is mere conjecture, but the Stark crypts have been opened under the orders of Lady Dustin. Then, she and Theon ventured into the crypts - and in a way, they are invading a sacred Stark burial ground; I will even use the word "violate" the crypts - and the laws of hospitality - by entering the crypts without a Stark present. To me, it seems that the forces that are the old gods and/or the Stark spirits, may be punishing the Bolton gang who have invaded the Stark homestead under false pretenses. Furthermore, for the likes of Theon, the turncloak foster child of Ned Stark, to enter the crypts, well, that seems sacreligious to me. And if Lady Dustin despises the Starks as much as she claims - and even plans to make sure that Ned's body never makes it to his sepulcher, well, her presence in the crypts is not a good thing either.

Maybe the removal of several of the iron swords in the crypts also contribute to the advent of winter at the castle. If the dead Starks are part of the heart tree - or in the roots of the weirwood - then mayhap the unwelcome and unwarranted opening of the crypts has angered the dead Stark spirits. Moreover, with Bran part of the forces that are the old gods, he may be part of the Stark-inspired or -relaterd heavy snow fall?? Just brainstorming out loud!

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NENYA: GOOD CATCH WITH THE QUOTE!

I do not know if it has been theorized, but I suspect the roots of the weirwood have extended into and under the crypts, in the manner of the roots described in Bran's cave. Since Maester Luwin compares Winterfell to a tree itself, I perceive a symbolic connection, or actual joining, of the WF structure and the heart tree.

Another thing that MAY be contributing to the increasing snow fall, and this is mere conjecture, but the Stark crypts have been opened under the orders of Lady Dustin. Then, she and Theon ventured into the crypts - and in a way, they are invading a sacred Stark burial ground; I will even use the word "violate" the crypts - and the laws of hospitality - by entering the crypts without a Stark present. To me, it seems that the forces that are the old gods and/or the Stark spirits, may be punishing the Bolton gang who have invaded the Stark homestead under false pretenses. Furthermore, for the likes of Theon, the turncloak foster child of Ned Stark, to enter the crypts, well, that seems sacreligious to me. And if Lady Dustin despises the Starks as much as she claims - and even plans to make sure that Ned's body never makes it to his sepulcher, well, her presence in the crypts is not a good thing either.

Maybe the removal of several of the iron swords in the crypts also contribute to the advent of winter at the castle. If the dead Starks are part of the heart tree - or in the roots of the weirwood - then mayhap the unwelcome and unwarranted opening of the crypts has angered the dead Stark spirits. Moreover, with Bran part of the forces that are the old gods, he may be part of the Stark-inspired or -relaterd heavy snow fall?? Just brainstorming out loud!

I suspect too that the weirwood roots are close to the crypts.Jon and Bran connected via Ghost in Jon's dream where Bran appeared as a three eyed weirwood.Bran was in the crypts at the time,and the Wall was between them.It seems to me that the weirnet facilitates or enables this kind of connection.

I'm not so sure BR/Bran have the power to send snows,I think that's above their pay grade.But you never know!I'm sure Bran can find out what happened in the early stages of Stark history.That heart tree was there before Winterfell itself,and the weirwoods witnessed the Pact on the Isle of Faces.(Though I wonder if Bran would have to take a crash course in Old Tongue to understand what was said).

Lady Dustin seems to be out of touch with the old gods as a dismayed Theon notes;

"Lord Stannis is lost in the storm," said Lady Dustin."He's leagues away,dead or dying.Let winter do it's worst.A few more days and the snows will bury him and his army both."

And us as well,thought Theon,marveling at her folly.Lady Barbrey was of the north and should have known better.The old gods might be listening.

No one as zealous as a religious convert....

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Lady Dustin seems to me a bit too much ver-the-top in all her proclamations (hatred for Starks etc.). It's as if she knew that Reek is going to tell everything to Ramsay... :ph34r:

So she may be dismissing Old Gods... Or she may jus tell to Ramsay's pet what she knows Ramsay wants to hear.

(like the bit with Ned's Bones. If she suspects Arya is fake, whe could suspect Ned's bones would be used by Ramsay to "prove his legitimacy" further and she has men on lookout for the bones to really stash them away not because she hates Starks - which she may - but because she doesn't want to give more legitimacy to Boltons)

Nothing in ASOIAF is as simple as stated in speeches :)

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There's also the quote:

Eddard Stark dreamed of a frozen hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell.

Frozen hell = Heart of Winter = Heart of Winterfell? The crypts are "reserved" for dead Starks, and it's been theorized that the crypt's tunnels may under the godswood.

That quote from Ned was whilst he was despairing over Arya and Sansa's emnity in AGOT,but it does seem like good foreshadowing of this theory.

There seems to be something very scary for Jon in the crypts and a lot of dead Starks.I think a particularly fearsome one may be down there,-the Night's King...

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Lady Dustin seems to me a bit too much ver-the-top in all her proclamations (hatred for Starks etc.). It's as if she knew that Reek is going to tell everything to Ramsay... :ph34r:

So she may be dismissing Old Gods... Or she may jus tell to Ramsay's pet what she knows Ramsay wants to hear.

(like the bit with Ned's Bones. If she suspects Arya is fake, whe could suspect Ned's bones would be used by Ramsay to "prove his legitimacy" further and she has men on lookout for the bones to really stash them away not because she hates Starks - which she may - but because she doesn't want to give more legitimacy to Boltons)

Nothing in ASOIAF is as simple as stated in speeches :)

Oh I agree with this,she seems too ardent in her Stark hatred and too willing to confide in Theon.Something wrong here!

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I've seen many people indicate that the snow storm centered over Winterfell and spread out from there, but I was always skeptical about it since most of the time we hear about storms coming from the north (plus I've never seen any evidence). But I find this quote to be very telling, and that there is some truth to it. That and the snow seems to have started at Winterfell. Very nice catch

I really like where you're going with this theory!

Could you link me to any threads where this has been discussed before?I don't want to steal anyone's thunder!Thanks.

I've been kicking this around in Heresy threads for a while now.

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Great thread! I was just thinking how lots of the other houses words seem to refer directly to something they DO or ARE (Hear me roar, Ours is the Fury, we do not sow and even fire and blood could just be short for we are/bring fire and blood), while "Winter is coming" doesn't. Or does it? As in "We are the Starks and we can bring the winter"?

So in conclusion: "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell" - or else "Winter is coming" = bc the Starks "control" the winter.

Sounds like a threat if you ask me.... So, it could perfectly work.

I'm in on it, and I speculate the Wall falls when Winter from Winterfell reaches it.

Good theory. It would actually make a lot of sense. It could even be linked to the cold Jon feels ... ;)

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I loved this, very very interesting. One of the best topics since I joined the forum.

Only one thing : you make it sound as if winter will come if there is no Stark in Winterfell, which can't be right, cos' winters come and go and we have no reason to think there's a link with the Starks. But if by winter you mean the long night like someone mentioned already, then I agree.

I think the issue is not whether or not there will be winter, but how harsh that winter will be and would could come in the winter (others). I think somehow the others know there isnt a Stark in Winterfell. Your enemies champion is absent. Attack!

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Could you link me to any threads where this has been discussed before?I don't want to steal anyone's thunder!Thanks.

I've been kicking this around in Heresy threads for a while now.

Ha, it may have been you in a heresy thread, and I tend to be skeptical of anything in there! But honestly, I can't remember and I may even be mixing it up with some other theory. If it was in a heresy thread, then I tend to check those threads only from time to time because I can never keep up. You miss one day and they're already on the next version :lol:

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If these entities were known as Snow Walkers instead of White Walkers or Others, we might see their role in the story differently. Moonsingers, shadowdancers, snow walkers -- along that line. Maybe they are the bodily manifestation of Winter.

I wish we knew the real story of the Night King and his queen and his brothers from the Wall and his brothers from Winterfell. You just never know which part of Old Nan's stories is true. The Night King may be fearsome but also somehow not evil. If he is evil, maybe that's who Bran saw in the heart of winter.

[And that's another, slightly off-topic, thing. Heart trees, heart of winter, heart of winterfell, Dany eats a heart and I feel like someone else does too. Does weirwood grove = sacred grove = Sacred Heart of Winter? Maybe Winter is a religion and Winterfell is a temple? Or its Mecca.]

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This theory made me look up "Old Man Winter," which led to Woden and his wolf warriors, known as the Heruli (which have been mentioned in the Heresy threads and elsewhere). Lots of shoutouts there, imo.

So, a couple of (admittedly possibly tenuous) threads to follow:

Old Man Winter is a personification of Woden (or Odin), whose name is derived from the Old Norse odr (pronounced "other"). Odin is also called Valfodr, which some Anglicanize to "All Father" but actually means "Father of the Slain".

Working for Odin? The Valkyrie, the "choosers of the slain" (Valkyrie=Walker?). They choose the Einherjar ("lone fighters") from amongst the dead, and command them to fight for Odin in The Final Battle.

It seems to me to be a pretty close parallel to The Great Other leading White Walkers and their reanimated dead in the last battle or The Long Night (Ragnarok means "Twilight of the Gods" after all, and night follows after). I apologize if this has already been discussed (most things here have), but I hadn't seen it laid out explicitly before.

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I've always thought that the name of the castle, Winterfell, meant that when the first battle against the Others was fought, it ended at place that is now the Stark homestead.

Literally, the place where Winter fell, like the castle named Storms End, where the Storm King was eventually defeated.

What's interesting is that Storms End was built to keep the Storms/ Storm God out. I've always thought that Winterfell was similarly warded to keep out Winter but what if...

It was keeping Winter in? and part of keeping Winter at bay is the requirement of there always being a Stark present?

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I've always thought that the name of the castle, Winterfell, meant that when the first battle against the Others was fought, it ended at place that is now the Stark homestead.

Literally, the place where Winter fell, like the castle named Storms End, where the Storm King was eventually defeated.

What's interesting is that Storms End was built to keep the Storms/ Storm God out. I've always thought that Winterfell was similarly warded to keep out Winter but what if...

It was keeping Winter in? and part of keeping Winter at bay is the requirement of there always being a Stark present?

That's the idea of it, I think.But what you say about it being where the battle for the dawn ended could well be true too.

Winterfell is a secondary line of defense against the Others,or at least was intended to be.The Wall,the primary defense was also a Stark responsibility,I would say.

Both look to be compromised now.

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