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evita mgfs

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in Martin’s ASoIaF

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Hello and welcome. I have come across many allusions to William Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar throughout my re-readings of the novels thus far in AsoIaF, and other posters, myself included, have brought up parallels in other threads, many dealing with the “ides of Marsh” theory .

So, I thought we might document Martin’s references to Julius Caesar so that we have them presented in one thread. I choose to avoid the most obvious so that someone else can share the ultimate betrayal of Caesar whose fate parallels Jon Snow’s at the end of AdwD. [Robb is similarly betrayed!]

One of my favorite allusions to Shakespeare’s tragedy of Julius Caesar is “The Titan of Braavos”, a landmark that Martin describes in A Feast for Crows that directly mirrors “The Colossus of Rhodes”, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, an enormous statue that straddled the Harbor of Rhodes, and ships sailed between its legs, which form an archway or a bridge of sorts.

In Julius Caesar, Cassius compares Caesar to the Colossus in order to illustrate for Marcus Brutus just how “great” Caesar has become, a formidable force that towers above the Roman nobles who have been remiss in allowing him to grow so powerful:

Why, man, he [Caesar] doth bestride the narrow world

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs and peep about

To find ourselves dishonourable graves. (Act 1. Scene II)

In A Feast for Crows, Martin recreates the Colossus of Rhodes in his Titan of Braavos, a statue overtly similar to the one Shakespeare alludes to in Julius Caesar. In Martin’s work, Arya sails beneath the Titan’s legs on her way into Braavos: “the Titan towered with his eyes blazing and his long green hair blowing in the wind. . . His legs bestrode the gap, one foot planted on each mountain . . .” (AFfC 128).

Martin depicts a Titan just as the Colossus depicts a “specific” Titan, the sun god Helios, owner of the sacred cattle blessed by the gods. In general, “titan” refers to great size as reflected in both the Titan and the Colossus, statues so large that their legs straddle one side of the waterway.

Now, it’s your turn. I look forward to reading what other scholars have found.

AN: One other note is that Shakespeare’s source for Julius Caesar is Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. Shakespeare incorporates some of the atmospheric phenomena Plutarch records in his history – which allegedly occurred in Rome the day and night before Caesar’s assassination. Supernatural, or magical events, announce the death of a “king/prince”. Shakespeare builds tension and suspense by including these details, many of which appear in Martin’s work, only these events foretell the advent of the White Walkers, maybe. A few examples from memory: a comet is seen; fire falls from the sky; a lioness whelps in the Capital; the priest performs a sacrifice to discover that the “beast” has no “heart”; warriors battling in the clouds; the graves are opening up to yield the dead; and 100 ghastly women are walking up and down the streets with their hands on fire. [i’ll post the entire quote from the tragedy later, unless someone beats me to it!]

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Martin has some fun with quotes from Caesar which he adapts for Jojen Reed. Caesar boasts: "Cowards die many times before their deaths, / The valiant never taste of death but once" Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37).

Check out Jojen Reed’s analogy of Bran’s greenseer abilities after thesy are “Martinized”: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . . The man who never reads lives only one”.

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In Shakespeare’s Richard III, he loves his horse “Barbary”, a name that is reminiscent of Lady Barbery Dustin, whose sigil is a horse. Her husband’s horse was returned by Ned Stark after the Tower of Joy.

From the play:

When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,

That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,

That horse that I so carefully have dress'd!

KING RICHARD II

Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,

How went he under him?

Groom

So proudly as if he disdain'd the ground.

KING RICHARD II

So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!

That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;

This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.

Would he not stumble? would he not fall down,

Since pride must have a fall, and break the neck

Of that proud man that did usurp his back?

Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,

Since thou, created to be awed by man,

Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;

And yet I bear a burthen like an ass,

Spurr'd, gall'd and tired by jouncing Bolingbroke.

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MARTIN and NOMENCLATURE


WILL and GARED in the “PROLOGUE” from A GAME of THRONES



Will and Gared may be dispensable, “generic” rangers on a fatal mission whose lives are forfeit because of their inexperienced commander Ser Waymar Royce, but Martin names them with purpose as a way to honor and thank two authors who inspire his prose fiction in A Song of Ice and Fire Series. The appearance of the names Will and Gared in the first “Prologue” of a voluminous series of novels speaks to the degree of gratitude Martin owes his sources.



First, Will is short for “William”, or for “William Shakespeare”, the celebrated English writer whose works still have universal appeal hundreds of years after his death. It is no secret that Martin borrows from “the bard”, and among Shakespeare’s many poetic plays that Martin alludes to in conflicts, plot elements, and language, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar ranks high as the source material Martin prefers, putting his own “spin” on ideas and themes throughout his fantasy novels.



To convey Will’s association with Shakespeare, Martin includes details pertaining to Will’s crime of poaching a deer that parallels similar events Shakespeare biographers debate happened to young Will Shakespeare before his arrival in London.


Martin says of Will’s crime:



“Will had been a hunter before he joined the Night’s Watch. Well, a poacher in truth. Mallister freeriders had caught him red-handed in the Mallisters’ own woods, skinning one of the Mallisters’ own bucks, and it had been a choice of putting on the black or losing a hand” (AGoT).



Likewise, William Shakespeare trespasses on Sir Thomas Lucy’s property to kill a deer. In the article “In Search of Shakespeare: The Poaching Myth 1598”, a PBS.org author writes:



“Though the tale is widely discredited today, three seventeenth-century accounts claim that Shakespeare was once beaten and imprisoned for poaching [a deer]. The alleged crime took place on land belonging to Sir Thomas Lucy - one of Walsingham's and Elizabeth's chief enforcers”. [http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/events/event83.html]].



Although Will and Will share like crimes, their punishments are quite different. Ranger Will chooses an option that will take him a lifetime to repay, but he prefers becoming a Sworn Brother of the Night’s Watch over losing his hand, which is an early allusion to the stigma associated with disfigurement in Martin’s world of ice and fire.



Second, the name “Gared” has an unusual spelling, one not Americanized with a “J”. However, Martin aspires to create memorable characters, and he alters spellings of familiar names to give them a medieval flare. Analyzing the spelling of “Gared” requires some mental creativity: when readers divide “Gared” into two syllables, GAR / ED, and transpose them, one with the other, the “revised” appellation is EDGAR, the first name of American author and poet Edgar Allan Poe.



Of course, the obvious inspiration Martin takes from Poe is Lord Commander Mormont’s talking raven, a character that owes a debt of gratitude to Poe’s poem “The Raven”. The title bird flies in a window and perches on a bust of Athena, and he punctuates any question the narrator poses by saying hauntingly “Nevermore!” The narrator asks the raven if he will ever see his dead lover Lenore: quothe the raven, “Nevermore!”



Furthermore, Poe’s favorite thematic inclusion in several of his short stories is the death of a beautiful woman. In Martin’s I & F Series, the death of Lyanna Stark haunts Ned and figures in many other character arcs throughout the novels.

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I came with an idea associating the direwolves of House Stark with an expression from the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Caesar. It may relate to House Stark in a figurative way. When Marc Antony promises bloody vengeance for those who killed Caesar and for all of Rome, he says in his soliloquy over Caesar’s corpse, “Cry Hovoc, and let slip the dogs of war”. The Starks and their direwolves are like the “dogs of war” that will be metaphorically unleashed from their crypts to rise against their enemies.

Famine, Sword, Fire, metaphorically, are the dogs of war: sword (or death), and fire (destroy, kill pillage). Dogs are also associated with battle to scout, to divert, to sniff out, to attack to bring down, and to kill the enemy, etc. Ares, the Greek god of war, is oft depicted in images of sculpture from Ancient Greece with a hell hound at his side and a vulture on his shoulder.

The analogy I am making is with the Starks representing aspects of the Shakespearean elements of war, since Martin does make pointed references to the specific play Julius Caesar throughout the novels of ASoIaF.


The Starks and their direwolf counterparts will "cry havoc" against those who have wronged them.

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THE JULIUS CAESAR / HART TO HEART CONNECTION

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the words “heart” and “hart” are puns in a heart-felt, emotional speech executed by Marc Antony who is shocked and amazed by the assassination of his friend Caesar. Before meeting with the conspirators whose hands are still red with Caesar’s blood, Antony obtains a promise of “safe passage” from the noble Marcus Brutus. Antony also hopes for a “reason” why Caesar needed to fall, and Antony wishes to ask permission to speak at Caesar’s funeral.

Antony arrives at the Senate-House, where several conspirators remain, all standing around Caesar’s corpse. Despite Antony’s evident grief upon seeing Caesar, he feigns friendship and shakes the bloody hands of these men. In Antony’s lines, he apologizes to Caesar for making nice with the conspirators in the presence of his corpse, all marked with blood. Antony then waxes poetic, using a metaphor to compare Caesar to a “hart” brought down by hunters:

Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bayed, brave hart;
Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand,
Signed in thy spoil, and crimsoned in thy lethe.
O world, thou wast the forest to this hart,
And this indeed, O world, the heart of thee.
How like a deer, strucken by many princes,
Dost thou here lie! (3. 1. 215-221)

Antony speaks to the “world”, affirming “you” were the “forest” to this “deer”/hart/Caesar, and this “deer”/hart/Caesar was “your dear”. Now, just like a hart, you “Caesar” lie here stabbed by many nobles / shot by many hunters.

The “hart” in AGoT is a coveted, sought-after enchanted beast killed by ravaging wolves, probably a better fate for an enchanted beast than if it was left to the whims of Prince Joffrey and his crossbow! The “hart” may represent several people, but directly Sansa is metaphorically similar to an enchanted hart, innocent and pure, but vulnerable to the cruelties of the forest/KL court/the world/mean-spirited people.

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EDDARD IX. BLOOD AND RAIN.

Your title choice for Eddard’s POV is appropriate and spot on. In Eddard’s previous POV - VIII, Eddard “wished” for rain, and I asked a rhetorical question: “Will Eddard have his wish for rain fulfilled?” Redriver, You answered my question: Yes, Eddard’s wish is granted, but with a “bloody” twist.

In Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar, the morning of the Ides of March, Caesar’s wife Calpurnia urges her husband not to go forth this day for the Night’s Watch has reported supernatural events that bode ill for “kings and princes” because the gods announce their deaths for the world, unlike the deaths of ordinary men. Following is part of Calpurnia’s plea, which includes a famous reference to the bloody rain drizzling upon the Capitol, which will be the location of Caesar’s assassination:

CALPURNIA

Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them. [2.ii.]

Calpurnia tells Caesar he must not leave the house that day, but he insists that he will, since none would dare attack him. Calpurnia says that night watchmen have seen a lioness give birth in the streets, graves open and the dead walk, and blood rains on the Capitol. Caesar is still not swayed, saying that these omens could be intended for anyone, and that no-one can escape what the Gods have decreed. He adds that death should not be feared, since it must come when it will, and that “Cowards die many times before their deaths; / The valiant never taste of death but once" (2.2.32-3).

Martin deliberately employs themes, language, and character names indicative of Shakespeare’s tragedy, and I have already pointed out similarities or nods to Caesar in past POV’s. In Ned’s POV, the “bloody rain” echoes the “bloody rain” from Caesar; moreover, according to the Greek historian Plutarch, supernatural events DID OCCUR as warning signs the night before and early morning hours of the Ides of March, March 15, 44 B.C. Other points of interest in this passage are that the “horses did neigh and dying men did groan”, which also transpires in Ned’s POV when Jaime and his retinue attack Eddard and his retainers; that the NIGHT’S WATCH, called “the Watch” in the text but defined in “staging notes” as the NIGHT’S WATCH, aka the City Guards in Rome. Martin’s appelation for the black brothers who guard the Wall to protect the realms of men share the title “Night’s Watch” with the Roman guards who patrol at night/early morning and witness the supernatural occurrences which Shakespeare borrows from Plutarch’s historical account of the evening before Caesar’s death. Likewise, “A lioness hath whelped in the streets;” reports Calpurnia, and in Martin’s series, the “lions” are the fierce symbol of House Lannister, and confronting Ned is the full grown cub Jaime Lannister, who is symbolically the end result of a “lioness whelping”, which ironically could point to Joanna, Tywin’s wife, who gives birth to her first trueborn son Jaime, who now confronts Ned Stark very much like the following description of the men fighting in the clouds: “ Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds, / In ranks and squadrons and right form of war”. The confrontation between Jaime and Ned foreshadows more warring between Lannisters and Starks, or lions and wolves.

Finally, Shakespeare discloses that on this portentous night the “graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;” if Martin is mirroring events from Julius Caesar in parts of his ASoIaF, then this scene involving the “baptism” by blood for Ned Stark AND the report of supernatural events in Shakespeare’s tragedy seemingly parallel one another in more than just one way.

To augment my reference to the bloody rain in Julius Caesar, I looked up “blood rain” on the Wiki, and I will share the following:

Blood rain or red rain is a phenomenon in which blood is perceived to fall from the sky in the form of rain. Cases have been recorded since Homer's Iliad, composed approximately 8th century BC, and are widespread. Before the 17th century it was generally believed that the rain was actually blood. Literature mirrors cult practice, in which the appearance of blood rain was considered a bad omen, and was used as a tool foreshadowing events, but while some of these may be literary devices, some occurrences are historic. http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Blood_rain

The “blood rain” mirroring “cult practice” and being associated with a “bad omen” certainly makes Martin’s utilization of “bloody rain” symbolic as well as a foreshadowing device of events to come.

In Homer’s Iliad, the bard mentions “bloody rain” twice, both implicating that the rain is derived from the tears of Zeus, who cries on two occasions: 1) Zeus cries because he must send many Trojans to the Halls of Hades: “And the son of Kronos / sent evil turmoil upon them, and from aloft cast / down dews dripping blood from the sky, since he was minded / to hurl down many strong heads to the house of Hades.”

2) Zeus cries over the impending death of his mortal son Sarpedon who fights for the Trojans, at the hands of Achean Patroclus: Lattimore (1951) offers: "Yet he wept tears of blood that fell to the ground for the sake/ of his beloved son."

I always thought that by having Zeus crying in the Iliad, Homer “humanizes” him, making Zeus appear to have mortal-like emotions – and also showing that the great Zeus finds no pleasure in the deaths of men who fight bravely in battle. Likewise, Ned sheds tears for his lost comrades. Later, Ned will be moved to tears regarding his daughter Sansa, among other “old guilts” that haunt him. But if Zeus is “humanized” by the death of his mortal son, then the most “honor-bound” Ned Stark is likewise “humanized” by his tears. Later, he will compromise his own duty to his honor and confess to being a traitor.

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In ASOIF Martin weaves within his prose references to classic literature: thus, plot elements in DWD mirror those in Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar. This is deliberate on Martin’s part for he even borrows direct quotes, such as, "Cowards die many times before their deaths, / The valiant never taste of death but once" Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37). Check out Jojen Reed’s analogy of Bran’s greenseer abilities after they are “Martinized”: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . . The man who never reads lives only one”.

Jon Snow parallels Julius Caesar, whose friend Marcus Brutus [black brother Bowen Marsh] joins, then heads, a conspiracy to stop Caesar’s growing power by assassinating him in the Capital. Likewise, Lord Commander Jon Snow is betrayed by his sworn brothers of the Night’s Watch, stabbed in the presence of shocked onlookers. [A theme in JC is the “mob” mentality – how easily they switch sides and how vulnerable they are to manipulation ].

Shakespeare sets up his characterization of JC by making him arrogant, dismissing all the many, many warnings he receives in advance of his death. A Soothsayer bids him “Beware the Ides of March,” much like Melisandre warns Jon Snow of her fire visions – ‘daggers in the dark’. A ‘Night Watch’ reports to JC of strange events in Rome – a lioness hath whelped in the middle of the street. Compare this to Ghost and Mormont’s raven behaving strangely, seemingly aware of some danger their master is ill-equipped to perceive himself. [Lots of really weird stuff happened in Rome ‘supposedly’ the night before JC’s death – I just picked one; for instance, the graves also opened to yield their dead, which parallels ASOIF and the white walkers]

Caesar meets with several conspirators before the deed just as JS meets with Bowen Marsh. It is Brutus’ stab that is the “unkindest cut of all” and prompts “Et tu, Brute. Then fall Caesar”, after which Caesar collapses at the foot of Pompey’s Statue. Similarly, Bowen Marsh stabs JS, after which JS drops to his knees, whispers ‘Ghost’, grunts, and falls face first in the snow.

On the other hand, many, many marked differences exist between JC and JS (For instance, JC is stabbed 33 times, JS only four ‘that we know of’.). These intimations I noted are fun literary quizzes, and I think Martin likes to mix it up with artistic nods to the classics in his work.
Dolores Ed describes Septon Cellador, Othell Yarwyk, and Bowen Marsh as follows: “They have a hungry look about them . . . “ (517), which echoes Julius Caesar’s remarks to Marc Antony regarding the head conspirator Caius Cassius: “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, / He thinks too much; such men are dangerous” (Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 190–195).

Moreover, in Jon Connington’s POV, Varys tells him: “Those who die heroic deaths are long remembered, thieves and drunks and cravens soon forgot” (311).

From Antony’s funeral oration come these similar words: “The evil that men do lives after them; /
The good is oft interred with their bones (Julius Caesar Act 1II, scene 2). Note the twist in meaning between the two quotes – a sign that Martin is having some fun?

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This is my last for today. I wanted to get all my research and parallels documented in one thread.

A guide to the conspirators of JC in Shakespeare's tragedy – with possible NW parallels.

Thorne - Caius Cassius, the movement behind the plot, responsible for manipulating Marcus Brutus/Bowen Marsh into joining the cause.

Bowen Marsh - Marcus Brutus - the only honorable conspirator, not totally motivated by personal means.

Wick Whittlestick - Casca, first to rear his hand and signal, "Speak, hands, for me!"

Ser Patrek – Decius Brutus, the one who gets Caesar to the Capital on Ides of March through manipulation and lie

Cydas – Cinna, Cinna delivers fake letters to Brutus flattering him, urging him to “Think, now, redress” ?

Trebonius? – detain Antony outside the Capital – I am not sure who is keeping Thunderfist distracted?

Metellus Cimber? He presents a suit to Caesar, one that the cons. know he will refuse, so that the assassins can advance closer on Caesar, fawning and begging for him to appeal Publius Cimber’s banishment. [Daggers are a personal murder – you have to be close to your target]

Caius Ligarius? He is the sick man who has a miraculous recovery when he hears Brutus has joined the cause.

Other Dramatis Personæ:
Tormund Thunderfist – Marc Antony – Caesar’s loyal friend who will avenge his murder.
Melisandre - Soothsayer – warns Caesar at least twice to “Beware the Ides of March”

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I came with an idea associating the direwolves of House Stark with an expression from the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Caesar. It may relate to House Stark in a figurative way. When Marc Antony promises bloody vengeance for those who killed Caesar and for all of Rome, he says in his soliloquy over Caesar’s corpse, “Cry Hovoc, and let slip the dogs of war”. The Starks and their direwolves are like the “dogs of war” that will be metaphorically unleashed from their crypts to rise against their enemies.

Famine, Sword, Fire, metaphorically, are the dogs of war: sword (or death), and fire (destroy, kill pillage). Dogs are also associated with battle to scout, to divert, to sniff out, to attack to bring down, and to kill the enemy, etc. Ares, the Greek god of war, is oft depicted in images of sculpture from Ancient Greece with a hell hound at his side and a vulture on his shoulder.

The analogy I am making is with the Starks representing aspects of the Shakespearean elements of war, since Martin does make pointed references to the specific play Julius Caesar throughout the novels of ASoIaF. The Starks and their direwolf counterparts will "cry havoc" against those who have wronged them.

I came with an idea associating the direwolves of House Stark with an expression from the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Caesar. It may relate to House Stark in a figurative way. When Marc Antony promises bloody vengeance for those who killed Caesar and for all of Rome, he says in his soliloquy over Caesar’s corpse, “Cry Hovoc, and let slip the dogs of war”. The Starks and their direwolves are like the “dogs of war” that will be metaphorically unleashed from their crypts to rise against their enemies.

Famine, Sword, Fire, metaphorically, are the dogs of war: sword (or death), and fire (destroy, kill pillage). Dogs are also associated with battle to scout, to divert, to sniff out, to attack to bring down, and to kill the enemy, etc. Ares, the Greek god of war, is oft depicted in images of sculpture from Ancient Greece with a hell hound at his side and a vulture on his shoulder.

The analogy I am making is with the Starks representing aspects of the Shakespearean elements of war, since Martin does make pointed references to the specific play Julius Caesar throughout the novels of ASoIaF. The Starks and their direwolf counterparts will "cry havoc" against those who have wronged them.I had stopped coming to this site for the last few months but posters like you gladden my heart. This is why the books are so much better than the show. The journey matters

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I came with an idea associating the direwolves of House Stark with an expression from the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Caesar. It may relate to House Stark in a figurative way. When Marc Antony promises bloody vengeance for those who killed Caesar and for all of Rome, he says in his soliloquy over Caesar’s corpse, “Cry Hovoc, and let slip the dogs of war”. The Starks and their direwolves are like the “dogs of war” that will be metaphorically unleashed from their crypts to rise against their enemies.

Famine, Sword, Fire, metaphorically, are the dogs of war: sword (or death), and fire (destroy, kill pillage). Dogs are also associated with battle to scout, to divert, to sniff out, to attack to bring down, and to kill the enemy, etc. Ares, the Greek god of war, is oft depicted in images of sculpture from Ancient Greece with a hell hound at his side and a vulture on his shoulder.

The analogy I am making is with the Starks representing aspects of the Shakespearean elements of war, since Martin does make pointed references to the specific play Julius Caesar throughout the novels of ASoIaF. The Starks and their direwolf counterparts will "cry havoc" against those who have wronged them.

I came with an idea associating the direwolves of House Stark with an expression from the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Caesar. It may relate to House Stark in a figurative way. When Marc Antony promises bloody vengeance for those who killed Caesar and for all of Rome, he says in his soliloquy over Caesar’s corpse, “Cry Hovoc, and let slip the dogs of war”. The Starks and their direwolves are like the “dogs of war” that will be metaphorically unleashed from their crypts to rise against their enemies.

Famine, Sword, Fire, metaphorically, are the dogs of war: sword (or death), and fire (destroy, kill pillage). Dogs are also associated with battle to scout, to divert, to sniff out, to attack to bring down, and to kill the enemy, etc. Ares, the Greek god of war, is oft depicted in images of sculpture from Ancient Greece with a hell hound at his side and a vulture on his shoulder.

The analogy I am making is with the Starks representing aspects of the Shakespearean elements of war, since Martin does make pointed references to the specific play Julius Caesar throughout the novels of ASoIaF. The Starks and their direwolf counterparts will "cry havoc" against those who have wronged them.[/color

]I had stopped coming to this site for the last few months but posters like you gladden my heart. This is why the books are so much better than the show. The journey matters

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Reference to Caesar from AgoT:


“Ser Alliser never took his eyes from Jon. As the laughter rolled around him, his face darkened, and his sword hand curled into a fist. "That was a grievous error, Lord Snow," he said at last in the acid tones of an enemy”.



  • Thorne does not make it a secret now that Lord Snow is on his “shit list”, as my father would say: Jon’s in trouble. Through his smart mouth, he earns an enemy in Thorne.
  • IMPO, when Ser Alliser Thorne says “grievous error” I hear Mark Antony’s funeral oration in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar when Antony says, “If it were so, it is a grievous fault, and grievously hath Caesar answered it”. Which makes me wonder if Jon will “grievously pay” for his insult of Ser Alliser Thorne?

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Evita..


I'm going to try to contribute here, and I hope you won't think I'm taking things too far afield. I'm going to stick mainly to the "Ides of Marsh" scene (for now), and I want to say that because of conclusions I came to separately, I'm quite sure you're right that Thorne's early use of "grievous" is intended to resonate with later developments . Likewise, if not on my first reading, at least by my second, Dolorous Edd's, “They have a hungry look about them" raised alarm bells. ;)


Since GRRM says he doesn't do straight- up analogy , the trick lies in figuring out just how closely he'll craft the comparison between Julius Caesar / Jon Snow. I think there are also some very different influences that come (or are about to come) into play, so I'm not sure how many of the dramatis personae will wind up putting in an appearance.


Cassius - I've definitely seen Thorne as the Cassius figure in the scene for a long time, and have said so frequently ... but it's hard to get many to agree , because they don't want to believe he could be at Castle Black (something I think is pretty strongly foreshadowed in Sam's chapter at the beginning of AFfC). I see Cassius' forgeries in the "pink letter" , which I think was originally written by Stannis (but possibly Mance or Ramsay), then intercepted at the wall and forged, with alterations, by Thorne (who fits the language of the letter the best, IMO).


Brutus - Bowen ,of course, is Brutus ..and Wick is Casca..each with his own little wrinkles.


I don't think there is a Decius Brutus, though ,I think Ser Patrek is part of a separate theme.


Cinna is represented by Clydas.. but I suspect a reluctant Cinna, or one under coercion. ( or perhaps Cinna = Mully, who makes sure Jon accepts the letter at that time)


Mel makes for a great soothsayer..Too bad she couldn't have given Jon a date to beware.. ;)


But I'm thinking there'll be no Trebonius, Cimber or Ligarius .. maybe a Trebonius will appear in TWoW, but I'm not sure Tormund (if he represents anyone other than himself) will be delayed for long, or by anyone in particular.


I'm not even sure there will be a Marc Antony, I'm leaning toward either none or two.. Tormund could rouse the wildlings, but they may not need further rousing.. If the NW needs rousing, my vote would be for Dolorous Edd (who could use his usual penchant for positive/negative anecdote, but to serious effect, rather than comic)..or perhaps Iron Emmett. (As the "leader" and second in command of the spearwives, either one might be present, though not yet mentioned).


What makes me uncertain about a Marc Antony is what I feel is going on with Jon. This is where I hope not to take your thread too OT, because it requires bringing in my own conjecture... I agree with some parts of your Blood Motif , though I differ with others, but either way, I think these matters may also come into play in "the Ides of Marsh" scene.


In my opinion, we can only know for certain that Jon was stabbed twice (third and fourth daggers expected by Jon, but unseen). And I very strongly suspect that Jon is a berserker, or more precisely, the wolf form , "ulfheddin" (a tendency more pronounced in Jon than in his "siblings")... He thinks of Ghost as belonging to the old gods and at another point, thinks about himself and Ghost, "We are one" and Jon increasingly associates himself with the old gods throughout the books. .. Berserkers/Ulfheddin were known as "Odin's men".


Tying in with your Blood Motif, in Jon's most extreme display(his bout with iron Emmett), his battle rage coincides with tasting his own blood .


I think it's unclear that Jon is dead or unconscious at the end of his last chapter... all that is certain is that we have been shunted out of his POV. ..So I wonder, when he whispers, "Ghost," is he about to add "to me"? Is he about to put two fingers in his mouth and whistle for him (as we've seen Jon do before)? If he does , he's sure to taste his own blood. ( "blood welled between his fingers"..)


But GRRM also uses other Northern Europen cultures and religions as his template for the wildlings and the old gods..including the Celtic.. and there's a Celtic version of battle frenzy as well. Here, I'm thinking of the stories of Cu Chullainn (the hound of Cullen) ..All my mythology books are still in boxes after a move , but there's enough on Wikipedia to relate to. (Again, with my stresses.)


Cú Chulainn is often referred to as the "Hound of Ulster".[6]


He is known for his terrifying battle frenzy, or ríastrad[3] (translated by Thomas Kinsella as "warp spasm"[4] and by Ciaran Carson as "torque"[5]), in which he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. ...(see Jon's flaming sword dream, where he kills even those he knows and loves before recognising them)


He is often described as dark: in The Wooing of Emer and Bricriu's Feast he is "a dark, sad man, comeliest of the men of Erin" .... and in The Phantom Chariot of Cú Chulainn "[h]is hair was thick and black, and smooth as though a cow had licked it... in his head his eyes gleamed swift and grey


..Do elements of these descriptions make us think of anyone ?


( And the famous statue of the dying Cu Chullainn with the raven perched on his shoulder calls Jon to mind- even though the raven serves quite a different purpose than Mormont's raven.)


All this makes me doubt that there will be a Marc Antony speech over Jon's body, although, even if GRRM does have Jon go berserk at this juncture, Jon would certainly feel his wounds and be in a weakened state after the frenzy passed...(Perhaps then a speech might be needed.)


But to come back to Marc Antony's speech,and the dogs of war, here's part of it with my highlights:


And Caesar's spirit, raging for revenge,

With Ate by his side come hot from hell,

Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;


Caesar's spirit, raging = Jon's spirit = Jon, raging


Ate = goddess of (from various sources) ruin and destruction, blind folly, rash action and reckless impulse , criminal rashness and consequent punishment. ...(Look out, conspirators)


With a monarch's voice = Jon has just become de facto king of the free folk, and more is most probably foreshadowed.


Cry 'Havoc' = crying "Havoc" was the signal to an army that general pillaging could begin. The "dogs of war" (soldiers/warriors) were "let slip" - released from restraint or discipline.


This cannot bode well for anyone seen to be in opposition to Jon..

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Evita..

I'm going to try to contribute here, and I hope you won't think I'm taking things too far afield. I'm going to stick mainly to the "Ides of Marsh" scene (for now), and I want to say that because of conclusions I came to separately, I'm quite sure you're right that Thorne's early use of "grievous" is intended to resonate with later developments . Likewise, if not on my first reading, at least by my second, Dolorous Edd's, “They have a hungry look about them" raised alarm bells. ;)

Since GRRM says he doesn't do straight- up analogy , the trick lies in figuring out just how closely he'll craft the comparison between Julius Caesar / Jon Snow. I think there are also some very different influences that come (or are about to come) into play, so I'm not sure how many of the dramatis personae will wind up putting in an appearance.

Cassius - I've definitely seen Thorne as the Cassius figure in the scene for a long time, and have said so frequently ... but it's hard to get many to agree , because they don't want to believe he could be at Castle Black (something I think is pretty strongly foreshadowed in Sam's chapter at the beginning of AFfC). I see Cassius' forgeries in the "pink letter" , which I think was originally written by Stannis (but possibly Mance or Ramsay), then intercepted at the wall and forged, with alterations, by Thorne (who fits the language of the letter the best, IMO).

Brutus - Bowen ,of course, is Brutus ..and Wick is Casca..each with his own little wrinkles.

I don't think there is a Decius Brutus, though ,I think Ser Patrek is part of a separate theme.

Cinna is represented by Clydas.. but I suspect a reluctant Cinna, or one under coercion. ( or perhaps Cinna = Mully, who makes sure Jon accepts the letter at that time)

Mel makes for a great soothsayer..Too bad she couldn't have given Jon a date to beware.. ;)

But I'm thinking there'll be no Trebonius, Cimber or Ligarius .. maybe a Trebonius will appear in TWoW, but I'm not sure Tormund (if he represents anyone other than himself) will be delayed for long, or by anyone in particular.

I'm not even sure there will be a Marc Antony, I'm leaning toward either none or two.. Tormund could rouse the wildlings, but they may not need further rousing.. If the NW needs rousing, my vote would be for Dolorous Edd (who could use his usual penchant for positive/negative anecdote, but to serious effect, rather than comic)..or perhaps Iron Emmett. (As the "leader" and second in command of the spearwives, either one might be present, though not yet mentioned).

What makes me uncertain about a Marc Antony is what I feel is going on with Jon. This is where I hope not to take your thread too OT, because it requires bringing in my own conjecture... I agree with some parts of your Blood Motif , though I differ with others, but either way, I think these matters may also come into play in "the Ides of Marsh" scene.

In my opinion, we can only know for certain that Jon was stabbed twice (third and fourth daggers expected by Jon, but unseen). And I very strongly suspect that Jon is a berserker, or more precisely, the wolf form , "ulfheddin" (a tendency more pronounced in Jon than in his "siblings")... He thinks of Ghost as belonging to the old gods and at another point, thinks about himself and Ghost, "We are one" and Jon increasingly associates himself with the old gods throughout the books. .. Berserkers/Ulfheddin were known as "Odin's men".

Tying in with your Blood Motif, in Jon's most extreme display(his bout with iron Emmett), his battle rage coincides with tasting his own blood .

I think it's unclear that Jon is dead or unconscious at the end of his last chapter... all that is certain is that we have been shunted out of his POV. ..So I wonder, when he whispers, "Ghost," is he about to add "to me"? Is he about to put two fingers in his mouth and whistle for him (as we've seen Jon do before)? If he does , he's sure to taste his own blood. ( "blood welled between his fingers"..)

But GRRM also uses other Northern Europen cultures and religions as his template for the wildlings and the old gods..including the Celtic.. and there's a Celtic version of battle frenzy as well. Here, I'm thinking of the stories of Cu Chullainn (the hound of Cullen) ..All my mythology books are still in boxes after a move , but there's enough on Wikipedia to relate to. (Again, with my stresses.)

Cú Chulainn is often referred to as the "Hound of Ulster".[6]

He is known for his terrifying battle frenzy, or ríastrad[3] (translated by Thomas Kinsella as "warp spasm"[4] and by Ciaran Carson as "torque"[5]), in which he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. ...(see Jon's flaming sword dream, where he kills even those he knows and loves before recognising them)

He is often described as dark: in The Wooing of Emer and Bricriu's Feast he is "a dark, sad man, comeliest of the men of Erin" .... and in The Phantom Chariot of Cú Chulainn "[h]is hair was thick and black, and smooth as though a cow had licked it... in his head his eyes gleamed swift and grey

..Do elements of these descriptions make us think of anyone ?

( And the famous statue of the dying Cu Chullainn with the raven perched on his shoulder calls Jon to mind- even though the raven serves quite a different purpose than Mormont's raven.)

All this makes me doubt that there will be a Marc Antony speech over Jon's body, although, even if GRRM does have Jon go berserk at this juncture, Jon would certainly feel his wounds and be in a weakened state after the frenzy passed...(Perhaps then a speech might be needed.)

But to come back to Marc Antony's speech,and the dogs of war, here's part of it with my highlights:

And Caesar's spirit, raging for revenge,

With Ate by his side come hot from hell,

Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;

Caesar's spirit, raging = Jon's spirit = Jon, raging

Ate = goddess of (from various sources) ruin and destruction, blind folly, rash action and reckless impulse , criminal rashness and consequent punishment. ...(Look out, conspirators)

With a monarch's voice = Jon has just become de facto king of the free folk, and more is most probably foreshadowed.

Cry 'Havoc' = crying "Havoc" was the signal to an army that general pillaging could begin. The "dogs of war" (soldiers/warriors) were "let slip" - released from restraint or discipline.

This cannot bode well for anyone seen to be in opposition to Jon..

Awesome Post. The dogs of war is a metaphor - they are fire, sword, famine - the results of unleashing the dogs - or the direwolves.

Bran, who tastes blood 1000's of years in the past, may drink Jon's - and become infused with his spirit.

I am now reading Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang, two novels narrated from dog and wolfdog POV's. You would not believe how much Martin has been inspired. Buck is called Ghost-dog for he returns from the wild to sleep on his master's grave.

One Eye is White Fang's mother - sounds like One Ear to me! Men are Meat is from London too! That will be my next thread!

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The dogs of war is a metaphor - they are fire, sword, famine - the results of unleashing the dogs - or the direwolves.

Yes ,in Henry V , not Julius Caesar.. and Shakespeare himself makes the metaphor plain...

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,

Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire

Crouch for employment.

..but in Julius Caesar, he doesn't make plain how we should take "the dogs of war" . Not everyone agrees what it's a metaphor for, but it's most commonly accepted (as far as I can see) to represent the soldiery, since they would be the ones the signal, "Havoc!" was cried out to. The other main competing interpretation I've seen is that "dogs" was commonly used for any tool or implement that acted as a restraint, or stopper (hooks, clamps, chocks,etc.) - like we might still use "fire dogs". If the "dogs" of war are let slip, war gains momentum, uncontrolled.

I prefer the first interpretation.

I'm being interrupted :D I'll have to come back...

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Yes ,in Henry V , not Julius Caesar.. and Shakespeare himself makes the metaphor plain...

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,

Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire

Crouch for employment.

..but in Julius Caesar, he doesn't make plain how we should take "the dogs of war" . Not everyone agrees what it's a metaphor for, but it's most commonly accepted (as far as I can see) to represent the soldiery, since they would be the ones the signal, "Havoc!" was cried out to. The other main competing interpretation I've seen is that "dogs" was commonly used for any tool or implement that acted as a restraint, or stopper (hooks, clamps, chocks,etc.) - like we might still use "fire dogs". If the "dogs" of war are let slip, war gains momentum, uncontrolled.

I prefer the first interpretation.

I'm being interrupted :D I'll have to come back...

Oh thank you! What fun!

You visit my threads any time - you are brilliant.

I spent a night having veiled insults hurled at me: I was slammed for using color text, and for pointing out grammar errors in Martin's Prologue of AGoT.

I know you are a busy bee, but I would love for you to opine on my POV thread - whenever you have some free time!

You are still my idol!

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/132287-martins-pov-pronoun-errors-in-agot-prologue/

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Bemused - For your amusement:



Part I




Tormund Thunderfist’s Funeral Oration for Jon Snow


(A/N: What follows is a parody of Marc Antony’s funeral oration, from Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar, probably the most famous speech in Western literature. In this version, Tormund Thunderfist speaks at Jon Snow’s funeral, in the vein of Antony and employing all his literary and psychological manipulations. Through verbal irony, saying one thing and meaning another, Antony/Tormund will refer to the ‘Honorable Men/Honorable Crows’ [respectively] who killed Jon Snow, with the sarcasm mounting throughout the oration. Like Antony, who was detained by Cicero outside the Senate so as not to interfere, Tormund was in the Shieldhall, yet both seemingly know where each conspirator stabbed. Both exaggerate – and lie. Antony/Tormund attempt to arouse the emotions of their audience: 1) Make them feel guilty for believing Caesar/Snow a tyrant/ for believing Jon Snow a traitor; through offering evidence to the contrary; 2) Make them sad/sympathetic by revealing Caesar/Snow’s garment rent with tears from the daggers; 3) Make them ANGRY by showing them Caesar/Snow’s body and reading Caesar/Snow’s will. Keep in mind that I know Tormund cannot read – he, like Antony, is performing; he exaggerates and makes things up. So read on – and I hope you get a good laugh!)



Scene 2. (In front of Castle Black, an enormous funeral pyre prepared for the Lord Commander’s body. A distressed crowd of men of the Night’s Watch, Freefolk, King and Queensmen, and others. Tormund enters After Bowen Marsh speaks, explaining ‘reasonably’ why he and others killed Jon Snow: “For the Watch.”)


(Enter Tormund Thunderfist, carrying the shrouded corpse of Jon Snow. The crowd gasps as he places the body on the funeral pyre; then the wasps start buzzing as Tormund prepares to speak.)


Tormund: Freefolk, Crows, Bearded Queen, and the Rest o’ you,


(Tormund pauses to blow his horn loudly to quiet the unruly group)


Hush up and listen so your ears may hear!


I am here to speak o’ Lord Commander Jon Snow, not to sing his praises, Har.


The treasons that the Lord Crow has done lives after him;


Any good he did will burn with his bones;


So be it with Jon Snow.


Steward Bowen Marsh says Jon Snow was a turncloak.


If this lie is true, it is a dreadful mistake, and gravely has Jon Snow paid for it.


Here, with permission of Marsh and the rest o’ his Crows,


Am I allowed to speak at Jon Snow’s funeral.


He was my friend, loyal and true.


But Bowen Marsh and his Crows call Jon Snow a traitor and a turncloak,


a warg and a skinchanger, an upstart and a base-born Bastard,


And Marsh and his Crows are, as we know, all honorable men.


Commander Snow spoke in the Shieldhall, with me at his side.


Do you remember? He asked for volunteers


to march with him against the Flaying Bastard of Bolton?


(Wildlings and brothers shake their heads, cross arms, mutter to one another in angry tones)


Was this treason? He gave no orders to the Night’s Watch to march with him!


If you all remember, none o’ the Crows even volunteered!


Not one offered to protect the bearded queen, her gray faced daughter,


the red bitch [cough] witch, the Wildling Princess Val, and Mance Rayder’s babe.


Yet the Lord o’ Crow did not force his men to join –


Did he?


Har! Did this in Jon Snow mark him as a turncloak?


When the Freefolk crossed the Wall, some sick, injured, and crippled,


Lord Snow wept for them.


Treason needs be made o’ sterner stuff.


Yet Steward Marsh names him a turncloak,


And this black brother is a courageous, honorable man.


Har! The red sorceress told me in secret that thrice (holds up three fingers and waves them about dramatically)


I repeat three times


Commander Crow refused the Kingly King


who offered to forgive Snow’s Crow words,


to give him Winterfell, to name him Lord Jon Stark,


trueborn son and heir of Lord Eddard Stark, Warden of the North.


Aye, to sweeten the pot, he even offered Snow


The Wilding Princess Val to wife!


And Thrice did Jon Snow refuse. Was this a turncloak?


Yet Ides of Marsh says Snow was doing treason;


And, sure, you bet, he is an honorable man o’ the Watch.


I am speaking not to turn you against the steward and his Crows –


I am but a man of few words


who speaks no falsehoods, just salts the truth with a stretcher now and then.


Har, ‘twas you Crows who voted Jon Snow your Lord Commander –


So once upon a time you had faith in him, and not without good reasons.


I ask you why now, that he is dead and gone,


No one weeps for him?


Arg! I hope the Others and their soldier corpses take you dry-eyed,


black hearted folk with your empty heads.


Hold up! (Tormund retrieves a handkerchief from his sleeve. He is overcome with emotion, and he roars through his nose into the cloth. He then dabs the corners of his eyes).


Forgive me -


My heart is broken and bleeding beside Jon Snow’s,


There on the funeral pyre.


I t’was a second father to the boy,


and many a time he called me “father” on accident,


mistaking me for his own dear sire the honorable Lord Ned Stark,


just as once he mistook me for the-king-beyond-the wall Mance Rayder. Har!


Tormund is always getting mistaken for Lords and Kings.


Arg. Give me have a moment to dry me eyes


before my tears soak the wood on the pyre.


(Tormund turns, his back to the crowd; beneath the shadow across his face a smile of satisfaction, maybe even pride, tugs at the corners of his lips. The crowd at his back whisper loudly in defense of Snow, and Tormund’s smugness shows he is pleased by the results of his funeral oration).

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Part 2




Dolorous Edd Tollet: Methinks he has a strong argument with much and more truth. But most people lie about the truth, especially the people who are my friends; but if they lie about the truth, they are liars, deceivers, betrayers, certainly not friends. Maybe I should jump on that pyre when it is lit because with my luck that dream I had about becoming Lord Commander will come to pass, and I will be surrounded with non-friends. But if I dive into the flames, the red witch might glamor me into a worm; or I might not fully cook and die a long, painful death. Alas, Alack! Jon Snow has been wronged!


Leathers: He’s been wronged.


Queen: Has he, savage? If I were you, I would pray that a worse Lord Commander may NOT replace him?


Mormont’s Raven: Corn, Corn, Corn.


Val: Heed Thunderfist’s words. Jon Snow refused ME, the Stark name and Winterfell to stay true to the Watch and his Crow vows. Therefore, ‘tis false that he is a turncloak.


Toregg: Aye! Any man to refuse Val must be a loyal brother – or blind.


Borroq: If this is true, then some will pay a blood price. Vengeance for the boy! (Borroq returns to sharpening the tusks of his boar.)


Melisandre: (A mist rises from the pores of her skin not concealed beneath yards and yards of the mysteriously swirling red fabric of her garments, even though no wind blows.)


Only life can pay for death.


(Her ruby glows at her throat. Tormund turns back to the audience, and Melisandre gasps).


Gasp! Look! (Mel points at Tormund)


Poor soul. His eyes are red as R’hollor’s fires with his weeping.


Toregg: There’s not a nobler Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch than Jon Snow!


Mormont’s Raven: Snow. Snow. Jon Snow.


Leathers: Shut your hole. Thunderfist speaks.


Tormund: Only yesterday Jon Snow’s wisdom might


Have held the Wall against the foes beyond. Look at him now!


There he lies with no one to pray for him.


Oh! If I had the powers of the red witch, or Bowen Marsh,


I would stir up your emotions, calling you to mutiny and rage.


But if I incite a riot at the Wall,


I should wrong Steward Marsh and Wick Littledick,


who, you all know, are honorable men: I vow I will not do them wrong;


I’d rather wrong the Dead, to wrong you, and maybe me –


But I will not wrong such honorable men.


(Mormont’s Raven quorks, as if on cue, strutting out from Jon Snow’s funeral shroud. In his beak he carries a sealed scroll, which he drops to speak).


Mormont’s Raven: Snow. Jon Snow. Snow.


(The bird steadies beady black eyes on Tormund. Tormand slams his palm onto his forehead so hard his neck jerks back, his bottom lip drops open, and his eyes widen).


‘Tis Lord Crow’s tricksy bird! And look what he has!


(Tormund emotes recognition as false as a Kingslayer who is sworn to protect the King).


It is Jon Snow’s will! I near forgot!


Mormont’s Raven: King. Jon Snow. King. Jon Snow.


Tormund: No – I am not a King, although I am oft mistaken for such.


Now, bring me the parchment with the seal o’ Jon Snow,


and I will give you corn.


(Mormont’s Raven eagerly snatches up the scroll, flies to Tormund’s shoulder, and Tormund reverently takes the will from the bird’s beak.)


Mormont’s Raven: Corn! Corn! Corn! (Tormund finds a handful of corn).


Tormund: Looky here!


(Tormund displays the seal and cracks it to unroll the scroll, his eyes devouring the grammatically correct, comprehensive last wishes of Lord Commander Snow . . . even though we all know Tormund never learned to read. Tormund moans as if in pain, rolling up the parchment, hanging his head low and shaking it back and forth.)


This tricksy bird, you all know, once sat on Mormont’s shoulder,


Then Jon Snow’s. And now to me he flies with what he found


in the Lord Crow’s pocket;


‘Tis his will!


Allow me to share this testament - - Which, pardon me,


I do not intend to read – for if you knew the contents herein written,


you would kneel before Jon Snow,


you would kiss dead Jon Snow’s wounds, aye.


Take a drop o’ his blood, and unroot a hank o’ his hair


– get a piece o’ Snow as a token to help you remember


the greatest Crow that ever walked the Wall.


And when, and even if you pre-plan your own funeral


and think up words to speak your legacy,


and even if you have a horse, or piece o’ armor, or golden dragons,


and even if you get it writ before you pass on –


which could be any day, for even those who pretend to be a friend


might stab you in the back.


Or, someone nearby may secretly envy you;


jealous of your fine Valyrian steel, o’ your woman, o’ your name.


As for me, I suffered jealousies o’ men who coveted my big . . .er . . . weapon. (The tricksy, bossy bird cuts off Tormund’s all-too-familiar boast, screeching in his ear from his death grip on Tormund’s shoulder.)


Mormont’s Raven: Will! Read will! Will. Read Tor Mund.


Val: We’ll hear Snow’s will! Read it, Tormund Giantsbane!


All: The will, the will! We will hear Jon Snow’s will!


(In the distance, a direwolf howls, his ear-splitting cry echoes the keening of the Old Gods who watch carefully the affairs of men through the weirnet that prides itself on a thousand and one eyes.)


Tormund: Patience, all of you. (Tormund speaks a bit softer, sighing strategically, giving the impression that the will has sucked out his spirit and left him riddled with guilt and pain)


I strongly advise you, I must not read the will.


Trust me, please. If you could see inside my mind,


you might learn the painful truth –


‘Tis a good thing you have no clue that the Bastard Jon Snow has made US


– you and me - his heirs.


O, if you ever found out what’s safely guarded in my brain,


I will tremble like a bride on her first wedding night –


so afeared of what may come of it.


O! You will be enraged! It will make you go mad!


All: Read the will; read the will; read the will.


You shall read it to us, Jon Snow’s will.


Tormund: Enough! You force me to read the will?


But, oh dear, I have talked too much.


May the Old Gods forgive me. And the Others take me.


I fear I wrong those honorable men, the Crows and queen’s men,


whose daggers stabbed Lord Snow. O – I do fear it.


Melisandre: They were the traitors: honorable men!


All: The will! The Will! What’d he leave us!


Borroq: They are villains, murderers! Read the will!


We’ll burn the traitors later. First, the will!


Tormund: You really want me to read the will?


Then come closer – make a ring around the corpse of Snow,


and let me show him that writ the will.


Move! Out of my way, Bearded Queen.


(Tormund lifts Queen in air and moves her aside. He winks at her slyly and whispers so softly she cannot tell if Tormund Thunderfist speaks or the raven bobbing drunkenly on his thick, bulging shoulder).


Tormund: I never had me a woman with a mustache.


And you have never had a man like me


with a weapon unlike any other in size and width.


Queen: O dear. [Blushes coyly] My husband’s weapon is Lightbringer.


Tormund: I never thought of lighten the way. Never got lost, myself.


But if you be liking things on fire . . . er . . .


Leathers: Get back!


Toregg: Make room for Tormund Thunderfist, most valiant!


Tormund: Watch it! Nay – do not press upon me – stand far off!


A few voices: Get Over. Back. Don’t touch me!


He said to make a ring. Get out of the pyre, Stupid.


Tormund: If any of you have held back your tears,


prepare to let them fall.


(Tormund gently removes Jon Snow’s funeral shroud, once his cloak, which Tormund shakes out dramatically; this garment is peppered with gaping holes, stained with dry, and wet blood still dripping from fabric)


You all recognize the Lord Crow’s cloak:


I recall the first time I saw Snow in these black wings


when he did fly down from the Wall


to live with the Freefolk.


Looky here – note this blood splatter,


a crusty ring around the collar:


In this place Wick Whittlestick ran his dagger through.


See this big hole? Devious Alf of Runnymudd made this tear.


Through this [Tormund looks through a large jagged opening, impressed with the reaction of horror his words has had on his attentive audience].


Bowen Marsh, who Jon Snow loved


as if he were his own beloved father, stabb’d.


Har! And as Jon Snow plucked Marsh’s cursed steel from his stomach,


Mark you how Jon Snow’s blood did follow it.


For Bowen Marsh, as you know,


was Jon Snow’s idol –[ aside - in my absence] –


Judge all o’ you and the gods how dearly


Jon Snow loved him.


Bowen Marsh’s cut was the most deepest and most hurtful o’ them all.


For when the Lord Crow did see this traitor,


whom Jon Snow loved as if he were his own long lost-beyond-the wall


Uncle Benjen, or as his now dead true-born brothers


the Young Wolf, Bran, and Rickon o’ House Stark.


Upon the vision o’ his own dear brother of the Night’s Watch


who stuck him in the gut –well-


Jon Snow dropped to his knees, his wounds smoking,


and then he toppled over, burying his face in the snow.


O, what a racket assaulted our ears as Jon Snow fell,


Him masked by snow, his cuts running boiling blood.


With him we too fell, whilst bloody traitors flourish


like weeds to strangle us.


Har! Now you weep! Do you feel pity?


O. Now I hear you sniffle and cry –


Feel o’bit of pity, you do?


These are precious drops.


Prepare, tender o’ heart, sob when you behold


Our Lord Commander Snow maimed by traitors’ daggers.


Look – Now!


Here is himself, marr’d, as you all do witness,


By traitors.


(Tormund reveals Jon’s corpse to expose a bloody spectacle. At the same time, Jon Snow’s wounds bleed anew, a thin curtain of mist rises slowly from his body.)


Random Spearwife: O! Hideous sight!


Mully: O honorable Lord Snow!


Iron Emmett: Butcher’s work!


Queen: O most bloody sight! (Queen faints)


Shireen: Is he dead? What happened to his face?


Leathers: Traitors! Villains.


PatchFace: Oh, oh, oh, no! Poor Jon Snow.


Toregg: We will be avenged!


All: Revenge! Burn! Kill! Slay! Castrate! Blind!


Let not a traitor live.


Tormund: Wait a minute! (Blows horn to call to order angry mob bent on destruction and vengeance)


Doloros Edd: Hear the Thunderfist.


Flea: We’ll hear him; we’ll follow him. We’ll die with him!


Tormund: Good friends – loyal friends – I did not speak to get you all fired up


so that you mutiny.


Them Crows who done this deed are honorable.


I am near convinced none o’ them had personal griefs with Jon Snow (eye roll):


they are too wise and loyal,


And will no doubt answer you with this reason:


“For the Watch! For the Watch!”


I am here not to win your hearts –


For I am no mummer, no twister o’ words and lies – like Bowen Marsh.


But, as most o’ you know me, a simple, blunt man


Who loved my friend; and the Ides o’ Marsh knew this well, and


they still gave me permission to speak o’ Snow.


For I lack the wit, the talent, the tricksy moves,


The speaking power to stir men’s blood.


I call it as I see it.


I will tell you a secret wish of mine own:


Take a hard look at Jon Snow’s wounds.


They look like poor, dumb mouths,


But if I could conjure a spell, I would give tongues to Jon Snow’s wounds –


And I would ask these bloody mouths to speak on my behalf –


There would be a Voice that would anger your spirits.


With mine own words and Jon Snow’s wounds talking with me –


All together we will move the stones and ice and snow to rise and mutiny!


All: We’ll mutiny?


Shireen: What’s a mutiny?


Satin: Come away, then. Come, tie up the conspirators.


Tormund: Hear me, good folk. Hear me till I finish.


(Blows horn to recall angry mob ready to rape and pillage and kill.)


Tormund: Why, friends, you are running about like chickens with your heads cut off.


You know not what you do.


You forgot the will I mentioned.


All: Most true. The will. Let’s stay to hear the will.


Tormund: Here is Jon Snow’s will, under his personal seal –


It says here -


To Tormund Thunderfist, that’s me,


Jon Snow does leave me his tricksy bird so long as I don’t eat him;


his Ghost; and his Longclaw.


To every Freefolk , and to some Crows not traitors,


he gives a golden dragon.


Shireen: A golden dragon? With wings?


Mormont’s Raven: Dragon Jon Snow. Dragon! Dragon!


Mully: Most noble Commander Crow!


Iron Emmett: We’ll revenge his death!


Wun Wun: O woe is me. No more handsome Jon Snow!


Disraught speasrwife: Oh No, no more handsome Jon Snow


Tormund: Patience. I’m not done!


Moreover, he has left the Freefolk


The land he calls the Gift, on this side o’ the Wall.


He has left this boon to you,


And to your heirs forever. Land for all.


You can walk about and recreate yourselves.


Here lies Lord Commander Jon Snow! When comes such another?


Dolorus Edd: Never, Never. He is the only Jon Snow I know.


Leathers: Burn his body in holy fires –


Iron Emmett: Tie the Conspirators to stakes – and with brands of fire lit from Jon Snow’s funeral pyre, cook them!


We’ll burn their bodies justly.


Random Wildling: Fetch the fire!


Mully: Pull the bindings tighter.


Mormont’s Raven: Burn! Burn! Burn!


Melisandre: If you wish, but at great risk,


If I feed these honorable men to my flames,


The Lord of Light may cast them from the warmth of his fire.


I cannot disguise hearts made of black ice from Rh’ller


(Melisandre lights Jon Snow’s funeral pyre, and once the flames taste the King’s blood from the dagger rents, the flames shoot into the sky like rockets, then explode. Sparks of blazing color burst, sending bands of light that magically formed a bouquet of roses, turning red, then yellow, and blue. The billowing petals flashed and winked and then fell away, spent ash darkening the layer of powdery snow.)


Tormund: (an aside) Aye! I planted trouble –


which will like as not cause great damage


to these traitorous crows flapping about their Wall!


Payback! Take whatever form you will! Be off!


Har! I need a drink. All this tall talking has left me parched.


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