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the meaning of "The Winds of Winter"


HodorForKing

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The last few posts gave me the crackpot theory that Khal Drogo will be the great Other and Daenerys will be the new Night's Queen ..

Completely crackpot, ignore me …

Anyway, I always really liked the title “Feast for Crows” because it is referring to the “feast” left for all the scavengers of the realm following the death of all the Kings and the major “game” changes that occurred.

Like everyone else, I agree that Winds will have several meanings. Mostly that the Others are here, and everyone will finally understand that who sits the Iron Throne is unimportant. They ignored all the warnings and now winter is here, and it’s too late.

I expect lots of deaths to follow.

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On his blog recently, GRRM mentioned:

Horrendous dust storms of some kind.

That may have something to do with it.

What he said was

And now I'm back in the land of wolves and savage dust storms, digging out from under.

and it was a reference to his return to New Mexico from LA. Maybe there was a double meaning there, maybe not. Multiple meanings is certainly one of his motifs, but I dunno if I'd read too much into this one.

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and it was a reference to his return to New Mexico from LA. Maybe there was a double meaning there, maybe not. Multiple meanings is certainly one of his motifs, but I dunno if I'd read too much into this one.

Oh, that's just too bad. I've gotten all excited about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think both final titles are very grim.

WoW: Winter has come, it's powerful, destructive and unpredictable like the wind. Everything is going down.

Dos: It reminds me of the year of the false spring. There will be some hope, but in the end, spring will be only a dream.

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  • 1 year later...

Winds of Winter means Winter is coming. It means the literal winter is coming, and it means the figurative winter, where a lto of people kick the bucket, is coming. A Dream of Spring means spring has come.

Or this winter will be a grand chaos and all that's left is a dream of spring.

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I take it as the literal coming of Winter (and the Others) as well as more like "winds of change" kind of winds. Something that blows through everything and affects everything it its path.



Or maybe Winds is the bastard last name for the Others and they are all just like, "Hi, we're the Winds of Winter, nice to meet you." Guess we'll find out in 2025.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Winds of Winter means Winter is coming. It means the literal winter is coming, and it means the figurative winter, where a lto of people kick the bucket, is coming. A Dream of Spring means spring has come.

GRRM has fought hard to keep every single "words are wind" quote in the books. Therefore, I think words will create a literal wind that brings or banishes winter. Someone will turn out to be able to create a storm with words.

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No, no, no, you ALL got it completely wrong. The NW's only foray into agriculture during their whole protect-the-realm mission is the production and distribution of turnips. Well, the Others are going to take a figurative dump on all that and poison the turnips, so that once they all get shipped south to the remainder of Westeros, there will be such an outbreak of gastric problems that the resultant clouds of flatulence will be enough to knock out a dragon, which will be exactly what leads to Daenery's demise.



The Winds of Winter will be breaking shortly.


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His titles are fairly tangential to the actual actions in the books. I think it simply alludes to the weather getting colder and it getting worse and worse for the race of men.



Although I actually expect the wall to fall at some point, perhaps even in this books, I don't really think the title has any tie to that.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Alas, the heart tree in the godswood of Winterfell actually "speaks" in "The Prince of Winterfell" POV, ADwD 616. "Bran . . ." the tree murmured.




Furthermore, the windless night does not prevent the leaves of the heart tree from rustling his name "Theon", they seemed to whisper, "Theon" (ADwD 616).





THE WIND in Martin’s ASoIaF



“WORDS ARE WIND”



The WIND is a powerful force in Martin’s series ASoI&F, and one I nearly overlooked because I instead focused on the mystery of the White Walkers appearing in conjunction with the COLD. After carefully deconstructing passages in search of recurring language patterns associated with WINTER, the weather, the White Walkers, and the COLD, I could not ignore the relationship that the wind shares with the enigma that is the old gods, that is the heart tree, and that is winter.



In AGoT, Bran finds peace in the godswood with his direwolf Summer. Sitting beneath the heart tree, Bran prays to the old gods, asking them to protect his brother Robb and his retainers on their journey south:


"If Robb has to go, watch over him," Bran entreated the old gods, as they watched him with the heart tree's red eyes, "and watch over his men, Hal and Quent and the rest, and Lord Umber and Lady Mormont and the other lords. And Theon too, I suppose. Watch them and keep them safe, if it please you, gods. Help them defeat the Lannisters and save Father and bring them home."



Immediately following Bran’s prayer, Martin personifies the wind by endowing it with a voice that “sighs” and with leaves that “stir” and “whisper”:



“A faint wind sighed through the godswood and the red leaves stirred and whispered. Summer bared his teeth.”



Evidently, as is often the case, an animal will sense a presence or hear a sound that a human might not be able to sense. Summer baring his teeth indicates that he hears “something” out-of-the-ordinary that Bran as yet cannot hear.



Osha makes her presence known by asking Bran:



"You hear them, boy?" AND "They are my gods too . . . Beyond the Wall, they are the only gods."



Bran quizzes Osha: "Tell me what you meant, about hearing the gods."



"You asked them and they're answering. Open your ears, listen, you'll hear."



Bran listened. "It's only the wind," he said after a moment, uncertain. "The leaves are rustling."



"Who do you think sends the wind, if not the gods? . . . They see you, boy. They hear you talking. That rustling, that's them talking back" (577).



Martin establishes that the old gods send the wind that causes the leaves in the heart tree to rustle, or to “talk back”. Bran consequently understands that he will need to develop the insight to understand what the old gods are trying to communicate to him. More importantly, once Bran becomes a part of the godhood, he will have the wind at his disposal to make his presence known.



Now, there is textual evidence that suggests that Bran can and does communicate with Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy, but it depends on how the language choices are interpreted.

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<snip>

Nice, evita_mgfs! That's perfect!

"Who do you think sends the wind, if not the gods? . . . They see you, boy. They hear you talking. That rustling, that's them talking back."

The wind talks to Sansa, too (more personification, the wind is howling, it's a wolf). Sansa never really lost her wolf, Sansa is the wolf. She faces her fears, she's brave. This passage is a turning point (a closer look here: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/115856-the-riverlands-web/?p=6255180).

There was ice underfoot, and broken stones just waiting to turn an ankle, and the wind was howling fiercely. It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf, big as mountains.

Listen to the wind, what do you hear. A Dream of Spring was originally titled, A Time for Wolves.

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I'm sure the title winds of winter could have multiple meanings. Here's one, over the last 5 books we've seen the starks get decimated and the surviving children separated and made mostly powerless. Winter is coming are the stark words, starks are made to survive winter. The book title could refer to how they'll start becoming more of a force now that its winter and because we've seen alot of them go through transformations. Arya has transformed with her experiences, sansa is learning what it is to play the game of thrones from littlefinger, jon is about to go through a rebirth and could become a stark. And we've not heard from rickon for a while.

I see the starks becoming more directly influential themselves now that it is winter.

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To me, the book names fit into a three-arc-structure.

Book 1-3 all have man-made, artificial objects/concepts in their titles: Thrones, Kings, Swords. The first two derive their power solely from the belief of others (since a throne is simply a nice chair and a king is just a person with a crown and the right genes), and swords, though possibly deadly, are also weapons forged by humans.

They symbolise the importance of family allegiance (e.g. Stark vs. Lannister vs. Tyrell vs. Tully vs. Martell), the political intrigue (major plot points in the first three books) and the general non-magic tone of AGOT, ACOK and ASOS.

Book 4 and 5 feature animals in their title, crows and dragons (to me, dragons are simply flying fire-spitting lizards).

These titles hint at the story getting bigger, more widespread, with the political parts getting less important, and a larger focus on the natural elements:

In AFFC we are introduced to the motif of the carrion crows eating what's left behind (definitely not choosing which side the corpses were on during the War), which is, to me, an indicator as to where the series is headed: The War is over (for now), once important allegiances seem to shift, and more magical elements (prophecies, undead, Others, weirwoods, death gods and so on) are introduced.

Also, the dragons do not care about families and houses and such, and would gladly roast then eat anyone, regardless if theyre the Mother of Dragons or some bloke from Dorne.

The last two books are named after seasons, one of which might get very uncomfortable. At the end of book 5, winter has come in all of Westeros, forcing everybody to rethink their friend-and-foe view of the world (I assume that thats going to happen). Also, seasons as a theme is broader and more natural still than animals.

TWOW sounds threatening, with a huge confrontation yet ahead of us (humans getting crushed between Others and dragons? Re-emergance of great evils and great saviours? What are the FM up to? Is fAegon really going to make things better, as Varys hopes?).

I think that TWOW, as the first half of the finale will have a lot of unpleasant stuff happening, forcing everybody to work together (except the Boltons, they can go suck an icicle) to fight against the Others.

ADOS (probably) starts with the arrival of Daenerys, bringing the Fire back to the main story: She arrives with her dragons to a mostly frozen continent, and may be quite literally be a heat source (ice/snow melting due to dragon fire, just like in the springtime).

To sum up my (hopefully not too confusing first) posting, the titles represent a shift from artificial to natural and from personal to grand.

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I think the actual portion of The Wind of Winter will start with the wall coming down. But the question is who has the Horn of Joramun ? Who will blow it ?


Are the Others working in connivance with the Children of the Forest ?


Why after so many years the Others are coming out marching ? Were they in hibernation all these years ? What prompted them to raise in arms ? Is to do with Climate change ( for god sake I hope GRRM is not bringing climate change and geography into picture )


What is the logic behind these long winters and summers in Westeros ? Are the others a result of this anomaly ?


Is it balance that GRRM is after ? A balance between the force of nature ( and its disciples like the COTF and the others ) and the expats ( First men, Andals and the Targaryens and their dragons ) ?


Well GRRM has all the answers and hope he answers soon ......



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