Slayer of Lies Posted September 26, 2013 Share Posted September 26, 2013 As mentioned in other threads and locations, there are many parallels between Arya’s and Bran’s storylines. Primarily, what draws my attention is the exceedingly similar descriptions of:Bran’s and Arya’s mentors (the kindly man’s “skull face” and Bloodraven’s actual appearance)The underground caves in their respective locationsSpeed readers, feel free to skip to the end (and revisit sections as desired).Other readers, I'll start with the oft-posted “mentor”/cave passages, spoiler-tagged to conserve space:Bloodraven, via Bran:“The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran -- the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.The kindly man, via Arya:The priest lowered his cowl. Beneath he had no face; only a yellowed skull with a few scraps of skin still clinging to the cheeks, and a white worm wriggling from one empty eye socket. [...]The hooded man was tall, enveloped in a larger version of the blackandwhite robe the girl was wearing. Beneath his cowl all she could see was the faint red glitter of candlelight reflecting off his eyes.Secondly, Bloodraven’s cave, via Bran:There were more side passages after that, more chambers and Bran heard dripping water somewhere to his right. [...]"Bones," said Bran. "It's bones." The floor of the passage was littered with the bones of birds and beasts. But there were other bones as well, big ones that must have come from giants and small ones that could have been from children. On either side of them, in niches carved from stone, skulls looked down on them.The HoB&W, via Arya:The tunnels here were cramped and crooked, black wormholes twisting through the heart of the great rock [...]He led her across the chamber, past a row of tunnels leading off into the side passages. The light of his lantern illuminated each in turn. One tunnel was walled with human bones, its roof supported by columns of skulls. Another opened on winding steps that descended farther still. How many cellars were there? she wondered. Do they just go down forever?Some subjective takeaway from the above passages:What these similar descriptions bring to mind for me are a couple different rather “adventurous” notions that I haven’t seen much discussion on, so here are some observations, thoughts and questions on the subject…First up, how is it possible that kindly man appears to alter his face almost exactly to a description that almost exactly meets with Bran’s description of Bloodraven?While I don’t believe the KM is BR, I tend to believe that the KM would have to have seen BR in order to “choose” this particular face. And, if so, this could imply a much deeper, yet-to-be-revealed connection between BR and the HoB&W. Do the two know each other? Are they working together on some level? Do they both have ties to the CotF? Etc.Additionally, what “mechanical” reasons might the two tunnels share to have such common descriptions?For example, if the KM has actually seen BR, and if the tunnels below BR’s cave and the HoB&W are similar in “construction” (bones, skulls, etc.), might it at least be worth considering that the two tunnels actually connect via some sort of (yet-to-be revealed) “portal,” which would actually allow the KM to fast-travel to BR’s location, and possibly to others as well?The crackpot section:Thinking along these lines, I started coming up with all sorts of crackpot notions, such as:The portal(s) might open during certain phases of the moon (e.g. the “phase-less” moon), orThe general resurgence of magic might mean the portals are easier to openKL also has an underground “cavern” full of (dragon) bones that may come into play as a “warp” locationArya may travel to Westeros (e.g. to KL or TLOAW) via such a portal in book 6 or 7“Powerful” FM may have the ability to fast-travel to key locations throughout Westeros/EssosFirewyrms are also noted for digging tunnels, and maybe there’s not a portal at all, but a tunnel under the Narrow SeaEtc.Again, the crackpot disclaimer is in full effect here, but linking the remarkably similar descriptions of Arya’s and Bran’s respective mentors and locations feels like it wants to be more than simple coincidence to me.In thinking through this, I’m also reminded of the story of Gorne and Gendel’s children, who discovered an underground pathway under the Wall. And while this story doesn’t directly connect to BR’s cave necessarily, it’s more “symbolic fodder” at the very least for the notion of going underground in one location, and resurfacing in another location all together, and might even be viewed as foreshadowing.Additionally, while Bran notes entombed CofF singers in the walls of BR’s cave, it might also be important that a group reportedly known as the Moonsingers reportedly founded Braavos many years ago. And, while there is no direct “proof” of connection between the CotF singers and Moonsingers (yet), the similar names certainly allude to the possibility, especially when combined with all of these other details. (For example, the increasing significance of the moon in Bran’s and Arya’s chapters certainly seems to be another symbolic parallel between their storylines, and perhaps may later be revealed as a “tie” between the as yet separate notions of singers and Moonsingers.)Additionally, we have magic out there like the obsidian/glass candles that not only provide visions and dreams, but effectively allow people to Skype… not unlike where BR/Bran weirnet appears to be heading. So fast-travel could be amongst the next big “magic reveals.” Alternatively, might weirnet and the glass candles “share a network,” allowing BR and the KM to see/talk to each other (provided the KM has a glass candle)? Summary and reader questions:In attempting to figure out how/why the KM changes his face to BR’s, and in consideration of the similar underground tunnels and surrounding mysteries of the singers/Moonsingers, etc., I think it’s possible that the notion of a “portal” (or at least a “window”) may be worthy of exploration, or else how do you explain the face change? Further, what deeper connection might the FM and CotF have if so? Are the CotF the “founders” of the FM, as others have suggested? Etc.Alternatively, if you don’t believe that these tunnels will ever “connect” via magic, Firewyrms or other “fantasy means,” what explanation (besides coincidence) would you suggest for the KM being able to change his face to resemble BR’s? The worm in the eye socket is the primary clue that indicates he would have had to have seen BR after his “retirement” to the tree. And if he didn’t use tunnels, the KM would have to have traveled all the way to the LOAW and back after BR was “entombed” in the tree, which seems like a giant waste of time to me, but may be the case… Or, again, the glass candle/weirnet thing could be in play, but that would require the KM to possess a candle.Or maybe you believe the whole thing is pure “symbolic coincidence,” and that the KM has never actually seen BR, and simply pulled the “worm skull face” out of thin air. Or that the KM – at most – has simply seen a “vision” of a yellowed skull with a worm growing out of one eye, and never seen or spoken with BR at all.But I’m certainly open to the possibility of more than that.What’s muddies the waters a little bit is that Arya’s description of the KM’s “skull face” (Arya I, AFFC) happens before Bran’s first encounter with BR (Bran III, ADWD) in publication order, and probably in timeline as well, so just seems like an unrelated “illusion” in your first read through AFFC. However, had we encountered BR first via Bran, I believe that Arya’s description of the KM’s face changing would have been a much more glaring mystery to more readers. Nonetheless, that it’s a little bit buried in the text makes it no less significant, IMO.Speed readers, the entire premise here is: if we can agree that the KM/BR “skull face” descriptions are simply too much alike to be pure coincidence, then how do we explain it? I’ve presented some ways for that to happen that aren’t necessarily text supported, and I’m certainly curious what other readers think.And, with luck, I won't get dragged through the mud too badly for daydreaming a little bit... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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