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Ran

[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Jon 1

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On a diffrent note and quite pointless one actually since it does'nt help us anyway as to where Rickon is but are we sure Shaggydog is eating a goat? Sure, in the text it says goat but the descripion of the "goat", being really large and having huge horns, that says elk, moose or reindeer to me.

I had exactly the same thought. When we see through Ghost's eyes, everything is coloured by Ghost's experiences. As you say though, it doesn't help us to locate Rickon.

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I'm trying to figure out where Rickon is based on this chapter. At one point, Jon/Ghost think:

They were hunting too. A wild rain was lashing down upon his black brother as he tore at the flesh of an enormous goat, washing the blood from his side where the goat's long horn had raked him.

Then in another part we read:

Once they had been six, five whimpering blindly in the snow beside their dead mother, and him alone, the pale one, crawling off into the trees on shaky legs as his litter mates sucked cool milk from hard dead nipples. Now only four remained of the six born that day, and one of those was lost and gone.

Of course the two dead are Lady and Greywind, but in the last line who is the one who is "lost and gone?"

Is this a hint at Rickon's current fate, or is the text referring to some other Stark child/wolf.

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lost and gone refers to Summer, who is beyond the Wall. The Wall's magical properties interferes with the links that the wolves have. Ghost knows Summer is not dead, but he can't feel what Summer is doing and see through their eyes the way he can Nymeria and Shaggydog.

Jon couldn't feel Ghost when he crossed the wall without Ghost for the same reason.

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Of course the two dead are Lady and Greywind, but in the last line who is the one who is "lost and gone?"

Is this a hint at Rickon's current fate, or is the text referring to some other Stark child/wolf.

First, nice to see you again, EL.

I think the lost and gone one is Summer. He is lost and gone because he is beyond the Wall. The magics of the Wall block communication between the direwolves and between the direwolves and the kids. George has commented on Jon not being able to sense Ghost being a plot point at one time, IIRC.

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A wonderful chapter, and Jon shines in it as commander IMO. His resistance to Stannis in particular is admirable.

The last line is one of the most powerful endings of a chapter over all the books; like Jon Targaryen, I think it signifies mostly that Melissandre wants to show Jon she really can see stuff in the flames. It can be a coincidence too or Melissandre could have picked up on things through more mundane means (allthough very few people know much about Ygritte and Jon; perhaps some of the Wildling captives have an inkling), but this is sure to have an effect on Jon. It's a chilling line, coming from her.

Melissandre herself could be one of those people "who smile when you are looking and sharpen their knives when you turn your back", but perhaps she is sincere in this case. Or just trying to sow doubt and distrust. I suppose we'll find out in Dance (RAFO as Jordan would say).

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First, nice to see you again, EL.

I think the lost and gone one is Summer. He is lost and gone because he is beyond the Wall. The magics of the Wall block communication between the direwolves and between the direwolves and the kids. George has commented on Jon not being able to sense Ghost being a plot point at one time, IIRC.

Thanks Jon and same to you Scabbard. I had forgotten all about the wall blocking the direwolf communication. It's good to be back on the board, but missing a simple reference like that makes me think maybe I need to do a re-read before I start posting again. Great chapter from GRRM. From the opening scenes to the back and forth between Stannis and Jon and the closing segment with Jon and the Red Woman, I am truly excited to see!where Jon's story goes in ADWD. I'm off to read it again.

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I think it was a fairly well done chapter. Even having prior knowledge of its content, it was still suited to build up a pleasant anticipation for ADwD.

As to Melisandre, the way I read her interaction with Jon is that she at least wants to help Jon, perhaps even gain him as a friend and ally as she says. I think her concern for his safety is genuine, perhaps because she has seen him in her flames and has become convinced that one of the purposes of R'hllor granting her these visions is to show her that Jon and his safety should be a concern to her.

Ser Godry Farring sounds less impressive than could be imagined previously. Putting a lance into the back of a fleeing giant is certainly less impressive than overcoming one in a half-way fair fight would have been.

Jon comes across well in this chapter: being aware of what happens to the wildling women and taking measures to protect them, forcing Farring to address him properly and not rising to his challenge, mixing encouragement and praise with criticism when addressing a recruit, showing social competence by offering a few of Stannis' men gloves to protect against the cold, allowing Yarwyck to focus all his attention on the repair of the stair.

Jon's interaction with Stannis was the highlight of the chapter, of course. Jon manages to stand firm, to refuse and contradict Stannis again and again, but without to push too far either and although Stannis becomes fairly threatening. He handles the issue of Gilly and the babies and Stannis' reaction to them precisely right. He knows it's dangerous to manipulate Stannis and pulls it off well.

Jon also shows something Stannis is in very severe need of: empathy. Here in particular the cognitive aspect of empathy which allows Jon to explain the point of view of the northern lords and of the wildlings to Stannis. While Jon has superior knowledge about the wildlings, one feels that Stannis is at least as much hindered by his inability to take the point of view of others as by his less extensive knowledge about their culture. And Stannis should really know more about why and whom lords fight for than Jon, regardless of where they come from.

It's interesting that Jon was unwilling to believe that Stannis would burn a child while Aemon was perhaps wiser through experience when he said that "better men than Stannis have done worse things than this". Aemon also believes that there is indeed power in King's blood.

One point where Stannis may not be far wrong is when he objects to the idea that his knights and lords can be expected to take orders from "poachers, peasants, and murderers". Westeros isn't a meritocracy. Quite the contrary. And this coming from Stannis, who appointed Davos as his Hand, is all the more reason to take the point seriously that Jon will have to watch his step when he appoints poachers, peasants, murderers or bastards to lead on merit over knights and nobles who may not take this kindly. Of course, the Night's Watch is likely more meritocratic than other parts of Westerosi society, but even there class and ancestry obviously play a role.

Ist Stannis' referral to the law of the Seven Kingdoms as the reason why Mance has to be executed a mere rationalization for trying to wake a dragon or is it genuine? I believe it's the latter, at least more of it, in particular because Stannis says that he knows that he needs Mance to truly bind the wildlings to him but is executing him regardless because "laws should be made of iron". One may wonder if Donal Noye might not argue that laws should be made of steel not iron, so that they can bend before they break.

As to Lyanna Mormont writing the letter to Stannis, other than her older sisters being away on some mission at the time, it might also be a political precaution to let the youngest daughter, and a minor, write the letter. If Stannis were to gain ascendancy in the North, the older sisters could deny responsibility for the actions of the child.

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I totally loved how Jon handled Stannis. He was perfect. In some ways the way he interacted with Stannis almost reminded me of Davos in that he seems to irritate Stannis by pointing out truths Stannis doesn't want to see, and simultaneously makes Stannis respect him a little bit for doing so. I wonder how close Melisandre and Jon are going to get. Actually, she'll probably get really pissed at him once she realizes he sent Mance's baby away with Gilly. That parallels Davos and Edric Storm too.

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Ahhhhhhhh, fresh chapter. So tasty.

Things that stick out to me:

1. "The hills were warmer where they were, and full of game." Osha and Rickon went South from Winterfell. It brings back my suspicion that Osha would head for the Mountains of the Moon. It's about the only place she and Shaggy would fit in.

2. "The wolf dreams had been growing stronger, and Jon found himself remembering them even when awake." I think if we look at this along with the Prologue there's a theme here. Warging and skin changing are going to be at the fore front in DwD, at least in the North.

3. "Even if both of them had died, however, Lady Maege had other daughters, younger than Dacey but older than Lyanna. He did not understand why the youngest Mormont should be writing Stannis..." Where did Maege's other daughters go? I think Maege Mormont, Galbart Glover, and Howland Reed are up to something.

4. "The king lay his bright blade down on the map, along the Wall, its steel shimmering like sunlight on water. ... The map lay between them like a battleground, drenched by the colors of the glowing sword." and "It is always cold on the Wall."

"You think so?"

"I know so, my lady."

"Then you know nothing, Jon Snow," she whispered.

Is Melisandre implying that at one time it was not cold where the Wall was built? Or is she trying to get Jon into bed with her?

5. "You are wrong. I have dreamed of your Wall, Jon Snow. Great was the lore that raised it, and great the spells locked beneath its ice. We walk beneath one of the hinges of the world." Melisandre gazed up at it tenderly, her breath a warm moist cloud in the air. Hinges of the World? WTF does that mean?

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Lyanna Mormont's letter with its declaration that the name of the King in the North is "STARK" sounds like the Mormonts know more than they're prepared to reveal: either that Rob legitimized Jon or that they know that Rickon is alive. Certainly they believe that a Stark will come forth to rule the North.

Benjen - "one of the hinges of the world": the Wall is one of the places which hold this world together, that keep it safe. What are the others, I want to know?

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Mormont's letter clearly indicates that the Mormonts, and perhaps other northern lords (which might explain why no Northern lords other than Karstark have bent the knee), believe a Stark still lives. Whether a legtimatized Jon (which would fit Maege's witnessing Robb's decree) or Rickon or Bran remains to be seen.

Tying into SSM posts, GRRM has already mentioned that the Starks still have plenty of supporters in the North (despite their supposed extinction?) in addition to their 8,000 years of rule in the North creating an almost mythic status to the family name. If right, Stannis won't be getting any more Northern support anytime soon.

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Tying into SSM posts, GRRM has already mentioned that the Starks still have plenty of supporters in the North (despite their supposed extinction?) in addition to their 8,000 years of rule in the North creating an almost mythic status to the family name. If right, Stannis won't be getting any more Northern support anytime soon.

As soon as there is a Stark in charge of the family again, and if they are willing to "pardon" the Karstark's, does Stannis lose their support as well? I think so.

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As soon as there is a Stark in charge of the family again, and if they are willing to "pardon" the Karstark's, does Stannis lose their support as well? I think so.

I agree with that. I think the Karstarks wouldn't want to be the only ones in the North to not support the Starks, once there is a lawful claim. I find Lyanna's letter very interesting.

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Another quote to keep us busy, from Mel:

Ice, I see, and daggers in the dark. Blood frozen red and hard, and naked steel. It was very cold.

It may be nothing, but almost this entire description matches the reforged ancestral sword of House Stark. The original blad was be called Ice, and after the steel was reworked it could now be described as "frozen blood". "Naked steel" fits as well. "Daggers in the dark", not so much. The smaller of the two blades is still more than a dagger.

Just an idea.

I can's see how any of the swords should get to the Wall anyway. Also, I was sure that Oathkeeper's purpose was to end up in Jaime Lannister's chest, with Brienne at the other end.

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I think the phrase "it was very cold" coming from Mel is going to be very important, Jon even remarks that Mel is fire and that when she takes hold of him that she is warm. The wall has been described as cold on a number of occasions - but it is always said that when the Others are around that it gets even colder. Perhaps Jon's ignorance to this is due to the fact that he hasn't yet encountered the Others and he may do by the end of the book?

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First, just wanted to say hi to everyone, I'm new to posting, not to reading...

Melissandre herself could be one of those people "who smile when you are looking and sharpen their knives when you turn your back",

I was thinking along the same lines... could it be another ironic hint similar what LF told Ned in GoT? "Trust no one, not even me" type thing...

As some others have mentioned, I think it is possible that now that Melisandre is at the wall and has met Jon, perhaps she thinks he is a better fit to her prophecies than Stannis?

I don't remember exactly, but I read elsewhere in the forums that it wasn't Melisandre who had Stannis go to the wall, but Davos (its been a while since I read SoS). If she had seen Jon in her flames, she would have wanted to go to the wall to find him.

So in other words, maybe when she says "I have seen you in my flames", she doesn't mean him specifically, but someone who she has now reinterpreted to be Jon.

Two kings to wake the dragon, he remembered. The father first and then the son, so both die kings. The words had been murmurred by one of the queen's men as Maester Aemon had cleaned his wounds after the battle.

I can't recall exactly from aGoT, but does the description of how to hatch a Dragon given in this chapter stay consistent with how Dany did it? The Khal died from battle wounds, and then her babe (the new king?) was killed, and it caused the Dragons to hatch... Damn, I loaned my books to a friend and now I wish I'd hung on to them =S

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1. "The hills were warmer where they were, and full of game." Osha and Rickon went South from Winterfell. It brings back my suspicion that Osha would head for the Mountains of the Moon. It's about the only place she and Shaggy would fit in.

I thought that quote was referring to Nymeria and her pack, rather than Rickon, Osha, and Shaggydog.

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I can't recall exactly from aGoT, but does the description of how to hatch a Dragon given in this chapter stay consistent with how Dany did it? The Khal died from battle wounds, and then her babe (the new king?) was killed, and it caused the Dragons to hatch... Damn, I loaned my books to a friend and now I wish I'd hung on to them =S

Thats a very good catch there.You may just have a point.However, i think that was some random ramblings of queen's men and not Mel's actual plan which is to burn only Mance,IMO

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I thought that quote was referring to Nymeria and her pack, rather than Rickon, Osha, and Shaggydog.

I agree. Ghost is likely referring to Nymeria and her pack. Directly before and after Ghost thinks of the warmer hills and the plentiful game he thinks of Nymeria and her pack.

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