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Lost Melnibonean

The Last Hero tale by Old Nan foreshadows the deaths of ...

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... Jojen, Hodor, Osha, Meera, Rickon, the Liddle they met on their way to the Wall, Sam, Gilly, and Gilly's baby. I don't believe this is crackpot and I'm amazed that I can't find earlier threads on it given the really wacky ideas that are out there.

First, ask yourself why GRRM had Old Nan tell part of the tale of the Last Hero, and only the part she told. OK, now consider this:

The last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog and a dozen companions. For years he searched until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it.

Well, Bran sought the Three-Eyed Crow & found him among the COTF. Bran took one of the swords from the crypts of Winterfell. He did not travel on a horse but he did travel on an elk. He did not travel with a dog but he did travel with a dire wolf. And he did travel with or encounter directly exactly twelve human companions: Jojen, Hodor, Luwin, Osha, Meera, Rickon, the Liddle that fed them on their way to the Wall, Sam, Gilly, Gilly's baby, Coldhands, and Bloodraven.

Luwin and Coldhands are dead & Bloodraven is dying. Hodor & Meera are trapped in a cave surrounded by wights far beyond the Wall. Jojen might already be paste and if not, he's still in the same tight spot as Hodor & Meera. Given that Rickon named his dire wolf Shaggy Dog, we should expect him to die in some anticlimactic manner, along with Osha. The Liddle that helped Bran in the mountains could have been the man murdered at Queenscrown or he could be killed among Stannis's host. Sam & Gilly are in a war zone and how else would you expect Sam's part in the story to end? He wouldn't be expected to become a Maester and return to aide Jon at the Wall by the time of Dream, would he? That leaves Gilly's baby who's at the Wall where Melisandre thinks he is the son of the King Beyond the Wall and she might be in need of a little King's blood about now.

ETA I

In The Long Night, TWOIAF we learn that at least some of the Last Hero's friends may have only abandoned him. Nevertheless it seems obvious that the Last Hero is Bran as his direct encounter with 12 humans strongly suggests.

ETA II

The Liddle is definitely not the man murdered at QC. That man was old, 50-60. He was also on the Gift and Jon told Stannis that the Norreys were closest to the Gift and good friends of the NW, suggesting the murdered man may have been a Norrey.

I think Bran's Liddle is marching with Stannis's host though. The Liddle encountered by Bran was not personally described. But as far as we know old characters are described as old in ASOIAF. That probably means Bran's Liddle was not THE Liddle since THE Liddle had three sons, at least two of which were grown. Bran knew him for a Liddle because he wrapped some food for them in a green & white cloth and he wore a clasp of gold and bronze wrought in the shape of a pinecone. That the Liddle's clasp was gold and bronze clearly suggests that he was relatively affluent. I think it implies that he was one of the Liddle's sons. We know from the Appendix to Dance that the Liddle has three sons. The Big Liddle seems to be one of Jon's preferred brothers in the NW. We don't know anything about Little Liddle other than he's the youngest. But we do know that Morgan "Middle" Liddle was the northman who took down Asha at DW and continued on with Stannis to WF. Since he was wearing a byrnie of mail Asha assumed right away that he was a chief. Unfortunately she never notices a gold and bronze clasp. She noticed he was big, bald & bearded and fought with an axe. Unfortunately, none of those things are noted by Bran. But I did see these two similarities:

From Bran II, Storm --The Liddle took out a knife and whittled at a stick.

From The Wayward Bride, Dance --His axe was shivering her shield, cracking the wood on the downswing, tearing off long pale splinters when he wrenched it back.

I am thinking Middle Liddle will not survive the Siege of Winterfell.

ETA III

I wonder if this passage from The Dragontamer, part of the conversation between Drink & Quent before the roasting, relates back to the partial tale by Old Nan...

"Men die on grand adventures."

He was not wrong. That was in the stories too. The hero sets out with his friends and companions, faces dangers, comes home triumphant. Only some of his companions don't return at all. The hero never dies, though. ...

ETA IV

On 2/14/2014 at 11:34 AM, Edd Tollett said:

Maybe Benjen Stark will be the last hero instead. He went North and lost all of his companions. Maybe he will end up coming to Bran and the children and Bran will be able to lend him aid. (Mostly crackpot but I don't have any better ideas as to what could be going on with Benjen :laugh: )

That's not crackpot at all...

All Bran could think of was Old Nan's story of the Others and the last hero, hounded through the white woods by dead men and spiders big as hounds. He was afraid for a moment, until he remembered how that story ended. "The children will help him," he blurted, "the children of the forest!"

ETA V

Quote

"It is wolves I mean to hunt. I can scarcely sleep at night for the howling." Bolton buckled on his belt, adjusting the hang of sword and dagger. "It's said that direwolves once roamed the north in great packs of a hundred or more, and feared neither man nor mammoth, but that was long ago and in another land. It is queer to see the common wolves of the south so bold."

...

The hunting party returned near evenfall with nine dead wolves. Seven were adults, big grey-brown beasts, savage and powerful, their mouths drawn back over long yellow teeth by their dying snarls. But the other two had only been pups.

Arya X, Clash

Why seven adults and two pups? That specificity suggests some foreshadowing or symbolism. During the tale, we learn that three adult Starks were killed before Game: Rickard, Brandon & Lyanna. Then Benjen is presumed dead and the Ned loses his head. Later we see Robb switch heads with Grey Wind and Catelyn floating in the river before Beric raises her from the dead. That's seven dead adult Starks.

So which two of the four remaing Stark pups (Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon) will die? Please place your bets...

ETA VI

OK, this is a strrrrretchhh... Lord Manderly is trying to recover a prince--Prince Rickon, who just might be a shaggydog in this tale, one who will die uneventfully after high expectations. Well, another Lord Manderly was expecting a princess in the time of Jaehaerys, Princess Viserra to whom he was betrothed, but she died by mishap before arriving in White Harbor for the wedding...

Quote

A wild, high-spirited maid, she fell from a horse while racing drunkenly through the streets of King's Landing.

Jaehaerys I, TWOIAF

ETA VII

This theory depends in large part on Shaggydog being a clue that Rickon's story will end with his unclimatic death. Here is a very intriguing counterargument...

On 8/9/2015 at 7:32 PM, The Jon said:
Quote

 

Sure. As you can see here (http://www.djmcadam.com/blackdogs.htm), black dogs in stories in general have been used in Britain in this way. In Roy Palmer's The folklore of Warwickshire, and taken from the website above, we see:

"A black dog with a matted, shaggy coat and green eyes roams in Whitmore Park at night. Local people avoided the area, since to see the dog means a death in the family [8]."

Sounds just like shaggy dog doesn't it? You know I always wondered about Rickon's wildness and trauma that he's endured, if he would ever be able to tame himself (or by Osha/Davos) or be blood-thirsty in dispensing Stark enemies. This passage wasn't actually what I was originally referring to, but I tried to find something quick so I googled it, and thought it might be of interest to you.

 

 

ETA VIII

In another thread about the salty tear shed by the black gate, @Philpenn suggested that Bran from the future was watching Bran pass the Wall, and shedding the tear knowing that he would never leave his weirwood throne. But given that 

Spoiler

Hodor will be holding a door that I suspect will not be a Hobbit door to the cave of the three-eyed crow, but perhaps at Winterfell, 

I am thinking that Bran will leave that throne, on Hodor's back of course. 

So I would suggest that Bran sheds the tear knowing that his twelve companions will die. 

ETA IX

Quote

“Who are you?” Meera Reed was asking.

Bran knew. “She’s a child. A child of the forest.” He shivered, as much from wonderment as cold. They had fallen into one of Old Nan’s tales.

Bran II, Dance 13

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I fail to follow your reasoning for Shaggydog and Rickon dieing because of the direwolf's name. Please explain your reasoning a bit further.

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I hope Sam doesn't die before he discovers:

a. Alleras is Sarella

b. Pate is a FM and what exactly he's up to in Oldtown

c. Why the glass candles are burning

d. How to kill dragons

e. How to kill Others

f. Disseminate this information to people who might use it

I also hope he and Gilly survive the tale, marry and become Lord and Lady Tarly of Horn Hill, supposing that the NW will have been disbanded and the Wall will be down so the celibacy oath will no longer hold.

I think Jojen has seen his death in his dreams, and I see no reason why he won't die if all his dreams have come true so far. I have also started to believe in "Jojen paste", or "Jojen as blood sacrifice to a weirwood tree that provided Bran's paste".

I hope Meera survives. I don't see Hodor surviving. Osha will probably die too. Rickon I hope not Winterfell needs a Stark lord and no other Stark appears to be available at the moment.

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I hope Sam doesn't die before he discovers:

a. Alleras is Sarella

b. Pate is a FM and what exactly he's up to in Oldtown

c. Why the glass candles are burning

d. How to kill dragons

e. How to kill Others

f. Disseminate this information to people who might use it

I also hope he and Gilly survive the tale, marry and become Lord and Lady Tarly of Horn Hill, supposing that the NW will have been disbanded and the Wall will be down so the celibacy oath will no longer hold.

I think Jojen has seen his death in his dreams, and I see no reason why he won't die if all his dreams have come true so far. I have also started to believe in "Jojen paste", or "Jojen as blood sacrifice to a weirwood tree that provided Bran's paste".

I hope Meera survives. I don't see Hodor surviving. Osha will probably die too. Rickon I hope not Winterfell needs a Stark lord and no other Stark appears to be available at the moment.

Why does Hodor have to die?!?!?!

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Yes please clarify why Shaggy Dog's name means he will die? Is it just because there is a "Dog" in his name representing the dog that went with the Last Hero?

I know he's not a major player yet but I'm pretty sure Rickon dying would ruin the story for me.

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Yes please clarify why Shaggy Dog's name means he will die? Is it just because there is a "Dog" in his name representing the dog that went with the Last Hero?

I know he's not a major player yet but I'm pretty sure Rickon dying would ruin the story for me.

Please read this... http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaggy_dog_story

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Interesting, thanks for the link, I'd never heard of that before. That said, I don't think death is neccessarily the only conclusion to take from that. It could just as easily be alluding to the fact we only see Rickon and his wolf for a relatively short period of time and then they're gone for several books. Just as in the shaggy dog story in Twain's book the ram is only mentioned at the very beginning and never again.

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Why does Hodor have to die?!?!?!

I don't want him to die! But I don't think he will survive, because he and Meera and Jojen are Men in a CotF cave and the way out is blocked by wights. The CotF accepted Bran because he's a powerful greenseer, but Meera and Jojen, despite being crannogmen don't belong there, much less Hodor, a man with no connection to nature or the CotF or the old gods. Unless of course it turns out that he was sent by the old gods to help and protect (and allow to be warged by) Bran and he survives and is rewarded with Tansy. :P

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Nooooooooooooooooo

I did see something recently saying that Bran is the Last Hero and has 12 companions, but it didn't go further about the fact that they have to die, and I probably was willfully ignorant. I will try to find a link...

But why are you not counting Summer? Never mind I just re-read the tale.

ETA: There is a book called Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings... which posits Bran as the last Hero and counts the 12 companions. Interestingly, the author notes that Bran sets out of the godswood with six (does not count Luwin at all), which is half the number from the tale and Bran is sort of a "half-Bran" since he cannot walk. Then he meets the other six on the way as you have also said.

BUT, this is not a prophecy, it's a tale. So even if Bran is the new Last Hero, does his tale have to play out exactly the same way? <---- I'm hanging on to this because it's all I've got. I don't want them to die.

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Nooooooooooooooooo

I did see something recently saying that Bran is the Last Hero and has 12 companions, but it didn't go further about the fact that they have to die, and I probably was willfully ignorant. I will try to find a link...

But why are you not counting Summer?

Oh but I am. Summer is the dog. He dies too.

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Oh but I am. Summer is the dog. He dies too.

I know, I realized after I hit post, and then I was editing while you were replying.

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Nah I don't buy it. Rickon afterall isn't a POV. The real Shaggy dog story to me was Sansa's fate. All you do while you read that is hope that she is out when you turn every page, she is on the run somewhere, but it ends up being in same spot with worse conditions around her. Same can be said for Arya, huge build up only to go somewhere else thats unrelated to the currect events because she met a Lorathy looking man that changed his face. Those 2 are shaggy dog stories, whilst Rickon wasn't much than last in line and simply follow up to Bran, that abruptly got his value increased when his oldest brother got killed and helped sweaten the hope of readers, and afterall he resembles Brandon the Wild Stark most of all his brother, you know the one that was destined to rule?

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This is a good one I hadn't seen yet. Wow.

Although it should be noted that in the last hero story all these people died before he found what he was looking for. They died during the journey. Bran has reached his destination. Or... He has? Perhaps he is still searching?

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Nah I don't buy it. Rickon afterall isn't a POV. The real Shaggy dog story to me was Sansa's fate. All you do while you read that is hope that she is out when you turn every page, she is on the run somewhere, but it ends up being in same spot with worse conditions around her. Same can be said for Arya, huge build up only to go somewhere else thats unrelated to the currect events because she met a Lorathy looking man that changed his face. Those 2 are shaggy dog stories, whilst Rickon wasn't much than last in line and simply follow up to Bran, that abruptly got his value increased when his oldest brother got killed and helped sweaten the hope of readers, and afterall he resembles Brandon the Wild Stark most of all his brother, you know the one that was destined to rule?

Or, there is no Great Northern Conspiracy, Lord Wyman is backing Rickon's claim because he calculates that he can wield sufficient influence over him to rule the North in his name and mary a granddaughter to him. And we're already seeing a big build-up or at least the beginning of one. How many readers believe Rickon is destined to be Lord of WF or even KITN? He's been lost for 3 books now. Maybe Wyman keeps hope alive for another book and maybe then Rickon gets greyscale or chicken pox.

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Old Nan's story doesn't foreshadow anyone's death. It tells us what happened last time. Since Bran paid attention to the story, he started searching for the CotF in time, before he lost everyone else in his party. The moral of the story is,"Listen to the Stories."

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Old Nan's story doesn't foreshadow anyone's death. It tells us what happened last time. Since Bran paid attention to the story, he started searching for the CotF in time, before he lost everyone else in his party. The moral of the story is,"Listen to the Stories."

Oh, really? Bran was looking for the COTF because of ON's story? I thought he was seeking the 3EC because Jojen told him to.

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This is a good one I hadn't seen yet. Wow.

Although it should be noted that in the last hero story all these people died before he found what he was looking for. They died during the journey. Bran has reached his destination. Or... He has? Perhaps he is still searching?

You're assuming Bran is the Last Hero. I suspect it's Sam. Which would mean Bran dies, too, were there to be a one-to-one transposition of events from Old Nan's tale to the present. But I don't think we're going to actually see the story play out as it was told. But I do think Sam is the Last Hero!

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