Beyond Horrible: The Meaning of “The Dornishman’s Wife”

The song “The Dornishman’s Wife” may not mean mean what you think it means.

It is fucking horrible and sung from the perspective of the undead. 

The Dornishman’s wife was as fair as the sun,

and her kisses were warmer than spring.

But the Dornishman’s blade was made ofblack steel,

and its kiss was a terrible thing.

The Dornishman’s wife would sing as she bathed,

in a voice that was sweet as a peach,

But the Dornishman’s blade had a song of its own,

and a bite sharp and cold as a leech.

As he lay on the ground with the darkness around,

and the taste of his blood on his tongue,

His brothers knelt by him and prayed him a prayer,

and he smiled and he laughed and he sung,

“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done,

the Dornishman’s taken my life,

But what does it matter, for all men must die,

and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”

Now lets take a look at those bolded lyrics:

  • fair as the sun = Dorne is where Dawn is. The symbol of The Martells and thus Dorne is the sun. Yes they are on the Summer Sea, in the desert. It may mean is that her blood was warm… as opposed to…
  • Her kisses were warmer than spring.=  She attacked him with fire (warmer than spring).
  • The Dornishman’s blade was made of black steel, and its kiss was a terrible thing = a blade made of black steel is Valyrian steel. Dragon steel. There is no black steel blade in this entire series that is not Valyrian steel. Not a single one. There also are no known houses with Valyrian Steel swords in Dorne.This is a pretty striking thing which I believe is intentional on GRRM’s part. This black blade is by far the biggest clue something is wrong in this song. And here kiss clearly means attack, which also shows you that in the line above about her her kisses being warmer than spring wasn’t about weren’t romantic kisses. She tried to kill him with fire. That’s always a good idea.
  • sweet as a peach = Read this article and then this article to understand the meaning of the peach. Humans ate of the (Weirwood) Tree of Knowledge with “peaches.” The Others ate of one of the two trees, the Ironwood Tree of  Eternal Life and drink shade of the (long) evening.
  • But the Dornishman’s blade had a song of its own, and a bite sharp and cold as a leech = The song of ice and fire has the song of Valyrian Steel. It bites through the cold of the Wight/Other. Cold as a leech is an allusion to one person in the series, Roose Bolton. Who perhaps may actually  be the original Rat Cook and if so he would have played an important role in the prior Long Night. But I am not as confident in this as in some of my other theories.
  • with the darkness around, and the taste of his blood on his tongue = Sweet Baby Jesus… the darkness is The Long Night… and it wasn’t “his” blood on his tongue! The taste of the blood on his tongue was the Dornishman’s wife. Not her sweet kiss. Parts of the actual Dornishman’s wife. This fucking ice zombie, fucking ate her.
  • His brothers knelt by him and prayed him a prayer, and he smiled and he laughed and he sung = His brothers knelt and prayed a prayer and that brought him back from the dead. Remember Victarion started laughing in an evil way after Moqorro gave him new life as well. This was the only time the POV goes from first person to third person, signaling there is no more “Victarion” but something else there in his place.
  • for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife! = He fucking ate that poor woman. Seven save us all. And saying “all men must die” is a big hint that The Gods are the true enemy and Daenerys is a god. Read the two articles listed in “sweet as a peach” above to understand what I mean.

Ring Around The Rosies 

This is reminiscent of the very commonly held idea that the kindergarten song Ring Around The Rosies was sung about the Black Plague. Some of the arguments claim the “rosie” is the physical symptom of bubonic plague, “posies” are attempts to eliminate the smell of death, “ashes” come from cremating the dead not sure, and ” we all fall down” is mass death that ensues.

Some academics dispute this claim, but that is irrelevant. It is an extremely well known theory that GRRM would certainly have heard in researching the medieval era and diseases like leprosy for greyscale etc..

Songs help us accept life… And death.

Making it sound like sexual song like Bear and The Maiden Fair lulls you into not looking too deeply at it’s lyrics until it bashes you over the head. This why George is the absolute master.

That is why people Beyond The Wall like Mance Rayder knew the words to The Dornishman’s Wife. They knew it beyond the wall is because they are “Dornish” too.  All living people of the sun are “Dornish.”

Laughing at unDeath

Below is the passage where Victarion was reborn with the help of Moqorro. This was a curious chapter where GRRM goes from the first person POV, to the third person. Hinting that the POV character is no longer “there” anymore.

“The iron captain was not seen again that day, but as the hours passed the crew of his Iron Victory reported hearing the sound of wild laughter coming from the captain’s cabin, laughter deep and dark and mad, and when Longwater Pyke and Wulfe One-Eye tried the cabin door they found it barred. Later singing was heard, a strange high wailing song in a tongue the maester said was High Valyrian. That was when the monkeys left the ship, screeching as they leapt into the water.”

Those monkeys leapt to their actual deaths… just to avoid the undeath surrounding Victarion.

Take a dip. The bloody water’s nice.

Winter Fell: Death of Azor Ahai & The IceBrandon

Game of Thrones -Jaime Lannister by p1xer

Game of Thrones -Jaime Lannister by p1xer

Winterfell: The Fall of The IceBrandon. 

As mentioned in The IceBrandon and Azor Ahannister posts, this entire story is set in play by the conflict between Bran and Jaime. Their conflict opens the saga and it will frame its conclusion.

GRRM may have actually told us how it ended between Jaime and Bran, at least in the context of Bran’s skinchanged ice dragon named Winter. Here are two quotes on this below (HT: Drogonthedread).

Aemon Targaryen had seen nine kings upon the Iron Throne. He had been a king’s son, a king’s brother, a king’s uncle. “I looked at that book Maester Aemon left me. The Jade Compendium. The pages that told of Azor Ahai. Lightbringer was his sword. Tempered with his wife’s blood if Votar can be believed. Thereafter Lightbringer was never cold to the touch, but warm as Nissa Nissa had been warm. In battle the blade burned fiery hot. Once Azor Ahai fought a monster. When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame.”

-A Dance with Dragons – Jon III

In an earlier book GRRM gave us more hints that the monster Azor Ahannister killed, whose eyes melted would indeed be a dragon:

The black dragon spread his wings and roared.

A lance of swirling dark flame took Kraznys full in the face. His eyes melted and ran down his cheeks, and the oil in his hair and beard burst so fiercely into fire that for an instant the slaver wore a burning crown twice as tall as his head. The sudden stench of charred meat overwhelmed even his perfume, and his wail seemed to drown all other sound.

-A Storm of Swords – Daenerys III

He mentions “dark flame” and then a manner of dying similar to what Jon mentioned Azor Ahai doing to the monster. Now look back at my The Stone Dragon is Made of Ice post where GRRM very very subtly described the IceBrandon:

From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire..

Jaime did it. Winter, the ice dragon has fallen. And where it originally fell was named… Winterfell.

They built a fortress to try to prevent the calamities that ensued in the Long Night. That is why there must always be a Stark in Winterfell.

Because Winter is Coming.

At this point in the story, there may not be a Winterfell left. Rickon, would become The Stark in Winterfell, by building a new Winterfell upon the place the IceBrandon has fallen.

With the IceBrandon now defeated, what is next for just Brandon minus the ice?

He once breathed shadow fire. Shadow is a type of darkness… but is it also as Melissandre said, a servant of the light?

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? What happens when Azor Ahai’s magic sword of pure flame is plunged inside an ice dragon of unfathomable cold? The ice dragon will melt into water. But what of Jamie?

“The flames will burn so long as you live,” he heard Cersei call. “When they die, so must you.”
-A Storm of Swords – Jaime VI

This whole series began and came into motion with the conflict of Jamie and Bran when Bran was flung from the tower. It is fitting that their conflict will close it as well.

He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. He was Jaime Waters and now his watch is ended. We will one day see his likes again.


 

Note: All of this may also be opposite because Jamie’s sword burns blue and his ice blade may extinguish a fire dragon or a living beast of wildfire.


 

The dawn is but an opening to the dusk. History is a wheel that repeats itself.

“Archmaester Rigney once wrote that history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again, he said.

-A Feast for Crows – The Kraken’s Daughter

Jamie Waters was blood of the dragon but now his fire has gone out. Jamie is dead but Azor Ahai will rise again, harder and stronger.

The Stone Dragon is Made of Ice

Winter is flying

Bran is the stone dragon Melissandre wanted to wake. Not Jon.

To better understand what I am talking about, read The IceBrandon post and if you are interested in more then read The Flight of The Ice Dragon

Here is the vision Dany gets in The House of The Undying, after she has eaten of both the peach from Tree of The Western Wall and drank shade of the evening made from Ironwood from The House of The Undying with the relevancy of eating and drinking those things found here and here..

. . mother of dragons, daughter of death . . . Glowing like sunset, a red sword was raised in the hand of a blue-eyed king who cast no shadow. A cloth dragon swayed on poles amidst a cheering crowd. From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire. . . . mother of dragons, slayer of lies . . . Her silver was trotting through the grass, to a darkling stream beneath a sea of stars. A corpse stood at the prow of a ship, eyes bright in his dead face, grey lips smiling sadly. A blue flower grew from a chink in a wall of ice, and filled the air with sweetness. . . . mother of dragons, bride of fire . . .

First off I would like to point your attention to how the passage mentioned the great stone beast and then it mentions slayer of lies. Are the two connected?

So let’s see there is a smoking tower, perhaps one in a castle that burnt down? Perhaps a Broken Tower, presumably made of stone, with a great stone beast taking wing and breathed a shadow or a mist and not traditional fire? Mayhaps not (see what I did there?).

I am not an aeronautical engineer, but I forsee problems keeping a colossal flying stone beast in the air. “it is known” that dragons come from the moon. So we should just call that beast a “moon dragon”?

Let’s take a look at this passage from TWOIF on a different sort of dragon:

Of all the queer and fabulous denizens of the Shivering Sea, however, the greatest are the ice dragons. These colossal beasts, many times larger than the dragons of Valyria, are said to be made of living ice, with eyes of pale blue crystal and vast translucent wings through which the moon and stars can be glimpsed as they wheel across the sky. Whereas common dragons (if any dragon can truly be said to be common) breathe flame, ice dragons supposedly breathe cold, a chill so terrible that it can freeze a man solid in half a heartbeat.

The World of Ice and Fire – Beyond the Free Cities: The Shivering Sea

The ice dragon is translucent. If the ice dragon named Winter, was in front a stone tower, because of its translucent nature you could say it looked like a stone dragon.

The tower it took wing of is the Broken Tower in Winterfell where Bran not only fell, but this is where Bran took flight. Every flight begins with a fall.

The shadow fire is his grey icefyre.

Why?” Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling….

Wings unseen drank the wind and filled and pulled him upward.

The terrible needles of ice receded below him.

The sky opened up above. Bran soared.

– A Game of Thrones – Bran III

“The wings unseen” are the translucent ice wings of the ice dragon. The terrible needles of ice are the grey icefyre mist of The IceBrandon’s breath.  

But when he lowered his gaze from the sky to the castle ramparts, he was not so certain. The wings of the stone dragons cast great black shadows in the light from the nightfire. He tried to tell himself that they were no more than carvings, cold and lifeless. This was their place, once. A place of dragons and dragonlords, the seat of House Targaryen. The Targaryens were the blood of old Valyria . . .

A Storm of Swords – Davos VI 

Bran is the stone dragon made of ice.

Bran is the dragon that Melissandre is focused on waking. Not Jon.

Bran may also be the stone dragon because Shireen has greyscale and her blood is used to wake the dragon.

The icedragon freezes men’s heart in half a heartbeat. It may also be the stone dragon if it makes their victems heart beat with the heart of stone, the Stoneheart.

“The great ruby at her throat drank fire from the glow of the brazier. “Give me the boy, Your Grace. It is the surer way. The better way. Give me the boy and I shall wake the stone dragon.”

A Storm of Swords – Davos IV

But when he lowered his gaze from the sky to the castle ramparts, he was not so certain. The wings of the stone dragons cast great black shadows in the light from the nightfire. He tried to tell himself that they were no more than carvings, cold and lifeless. This was their place, once. A place of dragons and dragonlords, the seat of House Targaryen. The Targaryens were the blood of old Valyria . . .

A Storm of Swords – Davos VI

The stone dragon is inside Winterfell, exactly where Stannis is focused. If the IceBrandon is woken, then there is no stopping them. Unless… Bloodraven (whom I believe Melissandre is subservient to, and the daughter of) is working for Roose. Bloodraven’s gameplan has not been revealed yet. But I don’t think he is up to much good.

We will close with the following two thoughts. Firstly on GRRM’s misdirection about Azor Ahai:

Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone. Dragonstone is the place of smoke and salt.”

Jon had heard all this before. “Stannis Baratheon was the Lord of Dragonstone, but he was not born there. He was born at Storm’s End, like his brothers.” He frowned.

A Dance with Dragons – Jon X

Azor Ahai is born admists smoke and salt not to wake dragons from stone. But because of the stone dragon was been awakened. Azor Ahannister will be reborn to fight The IceBrandon, not to wake him. Bran has seen it himself in his vision. This is another hint that Melissandre is not what she seems. She isn’t even what she honestly thinks. The ruby on her neck prevents her from seeing she is The Ice Priestess of Asshai. GRRM commissioned a custom painted figurine for his personal collection where Melissande is colored in blue tones holding a blue flame.

And lastly, GRRM’s next book is titled Winds of Winter. “Winter” refers to the name of The IceBrandon. “Winds” are his grey mists of cold.

Winter is coming.

The Secret Second Wall

Hadrians_Wall_map

GRRM has said many times that he based the Wall on Hadrian’s Wall. He spoiled us. Hadrian’s Wall is not the northern-most wall. The Antonine Wall is the most northern-most wall in Scotland.

‘No there is another.’ – Master Yoda

There are parallels between The Bloody Gate of The Vale and The Black Gate of The Wall. Both gates guard The Dawn. And both gates are guarded by men in “black.” But The Bloody Gate may be even more important in restoring The Dawn.

The Bloody Gate was lead by it’s (Lord) Commander, Brynden Blackfish who took no wife and fathered no children. The Gold Cloaks of Kings Landing have a thousand men but still report to a “Captain.”

This commander of The Bloody Gate traditionally asks the question, “Who would pass the Bloody Gate?” to all who would pass through. Brynden keeps this formality even when he sees his sister.

His horse and his armor were grey, but his cloak was the rippling blue-and-red of Riverrun, and a shiny black fish, wrought in gold and obsidian, pinned its folds against his shoulder. “Who would pass the Bloody Gate?” he called.

“Ser Donnel Waynwood, with the Lady Catelyn Stark and her companions,” the young knight answered.

“May we enter the Vale?” Ser Donnel asked. The Waynwoods were ever ones for ceremony.

“In the name of Robert Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, True Warden of the East [notice it is not Jaime Lannister], I bid you enter freely, and charge you to keep his peace,” Ser Brynden replied. “Come.”

And so she rode behind him, beneath the shadow of the Bloody Gate where a dozen armies had dashed themselves to pieces in the Age of Heroes. On the far side of the stoneworks, the mountains opened up suddenly upon a vista of green fields, blue sky, and snowcapped mountains that took her breath away. The Vale of Arryn bathed in the morning light.

It stretched before them to the misty east, a tranquil land of rich black soil, wide slow-moving rivers, and hundreds of small lakes that shone like mirrors in the sun, protected on all sides by its sheltering peaks. 

-A Game of Thrones – Catelyn VI

So we have men of the “black” armored in obsidian, a peculiar formality in a ceremony in passing through, and men, or one man at least, who have taken no wife and fathered no children. A dozen armies had dashed themselves to pieces in the Age of Heroes. I would venture to say those pieces were broken shards of Others. Once you entered the vale we have black from the soil. But the castle is bathed in morning light. Another name for morning light, is The Dawn. With small lakes that mirror the sun, as Others hate light, mirrors may yet play a role.

Now lets think about another gate of the First Men, The Black Gate. But first lets take a closer look at the Night’s Watch vow.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

It does not say I am the watcher on the Wall. It says I am the watcher on the walls. Plural.

We have the Five Forts in Essos. We have The Wall in The North. That makes six. The Seven may still play their part with the magic number. Could The Gates of The Moon be the seventh wall?

Lets explore how Sam went through The Black Gate.

When someone approaches the Black Gate, the eyes open. They are white and blind, and then the door asks:

 “Who are you?”

“I am the sword in the darkness,” Samwell Tarly said. “I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers. I am the shield that guards the realms of men.”

“Then pass,” the door said. Its lips opened, wide and wider and wider still, until nothing at all remained but a great gaping mouth in a ring of wrinkles. Sam stepped aside and waved Jojen through ahead of him. Summer followed, sniffing as he went, and then it was Bran’s turn. Hodor ducked, but not low enough. The door’s upper lip brushed softly against the top of Bran’s head, and a drop of water fell on him and ran slowly down his nose. It was strangely warm, and salty as a tear.

-A Storm of Swords – Bran IV

They are both creations of First Men and/or The Children and it sounds like The Bloody Gate may be built in part by Weirwood. That is the reason for it’s true name was lost to history. Blood sacrifice. The dozens of armies that had dashed themselves to pieces in the Age of Heroes and since have only made it more powerful.

In The Garden of Edenos I speculated for the reason the wall was erected and the purpose of the Night’s Watch was to keep men away from The Ironwood Tree of Eternal Life, the counterpart to The Weirwood Tree of Knowledge that men ate from. This caused us to forget why The Watch fought against the Freefolk; so they did not get to the Ironwood and start an apocalyptic war.

The reason I believe there is another Wall in The Vale is directly connected to House Royce.

The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later.

– A Feast for Crows – Samwell I

The ancient crown of the Kings of Winter had been lost three centuries ago, yielded up to Aegon the Conqueror when Torrhen Stark knelt in submission. What Aegon had done with it no man could say. Lord Hoster’s smith had done his work well, and Robb’s crown looked much as the other was said to have looked in the tales told of the Stark kings of old; an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men, surmounted by nine black iron spikes wrought in the shape of longswords. Of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold.

A Clash of Kings – Catelyn I

The words of House Royce are “We Remember.” Their seat is Runestone. The secret to The Dawn is inscribed in those runes.

However Littlefinger has just given House Royce The Gates of The Moon.

“Dragons came from the moon,” blond Doreah said as she warmed a towel over the fire. Jhiqui and Irri were of an age with Dany, Dothraki girls taken as slaves when Drogo destroyed their father’s khalasar. Doreah was older, almost twenty. Magister Illyrio had found her in a pleasure house in Lys.

Silvery-wet hair tumbled across her eyes as Dany turned her head, curious. “The moon?”

 “He told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi,” the Lysene girl said. “Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat. A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack and the dragons will return.”

-A Game of Thrones – Daenerys III

The light of a thousand thousand giant “dragons” may yet pour forth from The Moon.

But not the one above.

And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. He looked for great swords ten feet long, but saw only clubs.

-A Storm of Swords – Jon II

The Vale was narrow here, no more than a half day’s ride across, and the northern mountains seemed so close that Catelyn could almost reach out and touch them. Looming over them all was the jagged peak called the Giant’s Lance, a mountain that even mountains looked up to, its head lost in icy mists three and a half miles above the valley floor. Over its massive western shoulder flowed the ghost torrent of Alyssa’s Tears. Even from this distance, Catelyn could make out the shining silver thread, bright against the dark stone.

The “Giant’s lance” is mentioned 22 times in the series and waking “giants from” the earth is mentioned 8 times. plus twice more in the new Alayne Winds of Winter chapter. Where Littlefinger, who himself once had the sigil of the giant Titan of Braavos had this cake prepared:

“I am the horn that wakes the sleepers” is the Nights Watch’s oath. But the giants are by “the other Wall.” The giants should not be on the other side of Westeros by The Wall if their Lance is in The Vale. “I am the watcher on The Walls.” The Walls are plural.

If the walls are plural there may even be a third secret wall, The Boneway in Dorne. The words of House Yronwood are We Guard the Way. But since we haven’t seen it yet, that is just conjecture.

Back to the Vale with Lord Protector Petyr Baelish:

The cooks prepared a splendid subtlety, a lemon cake in the shape of the Giant’s Lance, twelve feet tall and adorned with an Eyrie made of sugar… The cake had required every lemon in the Vale, but Petyr had promised that he would send to Dorne for more.

Petyr Baelish is not the giant we were hoping for though. His association with it concerns me. See this post on the role of Braavos and The House of Black and White in the coming battle for the dawn. Making Sansa destroy the giant by consuming it, going to great lengths to get every lemon in The Vale is not a good sign at all. There is something more fishy than lemony going on here.

There is a poison called sweetsleep that is used in sweet cakes:

Her part was mostly fetching, scrambling up ladders to find the herbs and leaves the waif required. “Sweetsleep is the gentlest of poisons,” the waif told her, as she was grinding some with a mortar and pestle. “A few grains will slow a pounding heart and stop a hand from shaking, and make a man feel calm and strong. A pinch will grant a night of deep and dreamless sleep. Three pinches will produce that sleep that does not end. The taste is very sweet, so it is best used in cakes and pies and honeyed wines. Here, you can smell the sweetness.” 

-A Feast for Crows – Cat Of The Canals

I think Sweetrobin’s shaking sickness isn’t epilepsy, but withdrawal from the drug.

“Sweets?” said Colemon.

Sweets. Cakes and pies, jams and jellies, honey on the comb. Perhaps a pinch of sweetsleep in his milk, have you tried that? Just a pinch, to calm him and stop his wretched shaking.”

“A pinch?” The apple in the maester’s throat moved up and down as he swallowed.

“One small pinch . . . perhaps, perhaps. Not too much, and not too often, yes, I might try . . .”

-A Feast for Crows – Alayne I

“It was too soon. My lady, you do not understand. As I’ve told the Lord Protector, a pinch of sweetsleep will prevent the shaking, but it does not leave the flesh, and in time . . .”

“Time will not matter if his lordship has a shaking fit and falls off the mountain. If my father were here, I know he would tell you to keep Lord Robert calm at all costs.”
-A Feast for Crows – Alayne II

I think Sweetrobin is being poisoned to death and his addiction to sweetsleep may be used as a weapon to control him which will be important when the Long Night comes to the Vale and it is the last stand for humanity after the floods and cold come after the Hammerhorn of the Waters is sounded.

The Bloody Gate will be the only “Wall” to remain standing… Unless Petyr Baelish has different ideas.

The Vale of Arryn may become a veil of Darkness.

Very Fishy: Osha Turncloak

osha

George R. R. Martin was so impressed with Osha’s performance in the show that he’s making changes in his next book, The Winds of Winter. “She’s become such an interesting character,” he explains, “that when she reappears in the books I’d like to give her a more interesting role to play”.

GRRM’s definition of an “interesting character” is quite different from other peoples usage of the term.

Let’s look at Osha’s quotes and context in the book:

No sooner had Hodor entered the godswood than Summer emerged from under an oak, almost as if he had known they were coming. Bran glimpsed a lean black shape watching from the undergrowth as well. “Shaggy,” he called. “Here, Shaggydog. To me.” But Rickon’s wolf vanished as swiftly as he’d appeared.

Bran saw a lean black shape. He thought it was Shaggy Dog. But was it? Shaggydog wasn’t mentioned in the remaining chapter. Why would GRRM call it a “black mysterious figure” like that and not call it Shaggy? This sets the tone that someone dark is watching from the shadows.

Hodor knew Bran’s favorite place, so he took him to the edge of the pool beneath the great spread of the heart tree, where Lord Eddard used to kneel to pray. Ripples were running across the surface of the water when they arrived, making the reflection of the Weirwood shimmer and dance. There was no wind, though. For an instant Bran was baffled. And then Osha exploded up out of the pool with a great splash, so sudden that even

Summer leapt back, snarling.

Summer snarling at her is a big sign. Direwolf reactions are good predictors of future conflict. Her only offering small ripples points to her being down there a relatively long time. Could it be longer than humans could maintain?

Hodor jumped away, wailing “Hodor, Hodor” in dismay until Bran patted his shoulder to soothe his fears. “How can you swim in there?” he asked Osha. “Isn’t it cold?”

As a babe I suckled on icicles, boy. I like the cold.”

Freefolk beyond the wall would surely be more cold adapted. But this being the Song of Ice and Fire, I don’t this icicle babe line one bit. Not one bit.

That is a very cold pool. It is mentioned as being cold many times by Starks. A Stark mentioning that something being cold is like a Targaryen complaining of the heat. They don’t. This is something to take note of.

“Please make it so Robb won’t go away,” he prayed softly. He moved his hand through the cold water, sending ripples across the pool. -A Game of Thrones – Bran VI

Osha swam to the rocks and rose dripping. She was naked, her skin bumpy with gooseprickles. Summer crept close and sniffed at her. “I wanted to touch the bottom.”

I do not like it one bit that she wanted to reach the bottom of that pool. There are swords on all the crypts of Winterfell. They function to keep spirits from coming into the crypt and animating the bodies. Aside from the monstrous ice dragon dormant in the waters, there may also be a sword in the black pool of Winterfell.

“I never knew there was a bottom.” “Might be there isn’t.” She grinned.

Saying “might be there isn’t” and grinning is essentially another way of saying “might be there is and I found it.” She had to be down there a long time to be able to scare them. There may be a magic connection between the pool and her if she could scare a direwolf with magical senses. Summer didn’t sense her coming.

Mermaids are mentioned 15 times in the series thus far, Deep Ones are mentioned twice and merlings are mentioned 26 times. I think she may be a Deep One which is roughly a “sea other”.

Here are a few mentions:

No one ever explained those two days the fool had been lost in the sea. The fisherfolk liked to say a mermaid had taught him to breathe water in return for his seed.

“. . . are stories told by sailors,” Armen interrupted. “Sailors, my dear Mollander. Go back down to the docks, and I wager you’ll find sailors who’ll tell you of the mermaids that they bedded, or how they spent a year in the belly of a fish.”

My brother Balon made us great again, which earned the Storm God’s wrath. He feasts now in the Drowned God’s watery halls, with mermaids to attend his every want.

The Grey King had slain her and the Drowned God had changed her bones to stone so that men might never cease to wonder at the courage of the first of kings. Nagga’s ribs became the beams and pillars of his longhall, just as her jaws became his throne. For a thousand years and seven he reigned here, Aeron recalled. Here he took his mermaid wife and planned his wars against the Storm God. From here he ruled both stone and salt, wearing robes of woven seaweed and a tall pale crown made from Nagga’s teeth.

White Harbor’s scent was sharp and salty, and a little fishy too. “She smells the way a mermaid ought to smell,” Roro said. “She smells of the sea.”

 

“What are you staring at, boy? Never seen a woman before?” “I have so.” Bran had bathed with his sisters hundreds of times and he’d seen serving women in the hot pools too. Osha looked different, though, hard and sharp instead of soft and curvy. Her legs were all sinew, her breasts flat as two empty purses.

Theron’s rather inchoate manuscript Strange Stone postulates that both fortress and seat might be the work of a queer, misshapen race of half men sired by creatures of the salt seas upon human women. These Deep Ones, as he names them, are the seed from which our legends of merlings have grown, he argues, whilst their terrible fathers are the truth behind the Drowned God of the ironborn.

I believe it was Nightflyer, a member of the Westeros.org forums that first theorized that Varys is a merling. He was lambasted but I think he may be right.

“Then why do I have this bitter taste in my mouth?” He pressed his fingers into his temples. “I told them to throw Allar Deem into the sea. I am sorely tempted to do the same with you.”

“You might be disappointed by the result,” Varys replied. “The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.

Might I trouble you for a taste of the wine that Lord Slynt enjoyed so much?”

Tyrion waved at the flagon, frowning.

-A Clash of Kings – Tyrion II

Osha came out of the black pool naked. Bran noticed there is something about Osha, something strange that Bran couldn’t put his finger on. It may not just be her nakedness.

“What are you staring at, boy? Never seen a woman before?”

“I have so.” Bran had bathed with his sisters hundreds of times and he’d seen serving women in the hot pools too. Osha looked different, though, hard and sharp instead of soft and curvy. Her legs were all sinew, her breasts flat as two empty purses. “You’ve got a lot of scars.”

“Every one hard earned.” She picked up her brown shift, shook some leaves off of it, and pulled it down over her head.

“Fighting giants?” Osha claimed there were still giants beyond the Wall. One day maybe I’ll even see one . . .

-A Clash of Kings – Bran II

Seeing a naked woman for a young child is certainly “different.” But is her nudity a distraction for her looking “different” for another reason?

Osha continued:

Osha claimed there were still giants beyond the Wall. One day maybe I’ll even see one …

Fighting men.” She belted herself with a length of rope. “Black crows, oft as not. Killed me one too,”

Could that be Benjen? (I mean Daario? Sorry… Euron.)

Also, Freefolk aren’t the only ones out there fighting men up North.

she said , shaking out her hair. It had grown since she’d come to Winterfell, well down past her ears. She looked softer than the woman who had once tried to rob and kill him in the Wolfswood.

Osha flaunts that she killed men, including men of the Nights Watch just as she may have found Ancestral Ice, a sword of tremendous importance to The Nights Watch as this is a weapon that can truly bring winter upon their enemies. And then after that GRRM reminds us that she almost killed Bran.

All of this reminds me very much of Jon Snow being sent beyond The Wall. He is ordered to do everything he could to pass, including breaking rules. Making friends, falling in love, sleeping with Yigritte.

Jon and Osha

Jon slew Qhorin and Osha refused to kill Bran; both choices required bravery. Both came to their enemies (purposefully) defeated and in chains. They both professes loyalty to be their captors and slowly earns their trust. Both Jon and Osha took initiative and fought and killed for their captors. Jon climbed the wall, and Osha conspired and killed occupying soldiers to free Bran and Rickon.

What if…

What if Osha is a double agent like Jon was. But she wasn’t playing for Mance’s team. But anOther team entirely?

“He has giant’s blood in him, or I’m the queen.” -Osha tells Bran and Hodor.

There is one woman who knows a thing or two about giants blood:

Sailors, by nature a gullible and superstitious lot, as fond of their fancies as singers, tell many tales of these frigid northern waters. They speak of queer lights shimmering in the sky, where the demon mother of the ice giants dances eternally through the night, seeking to lure men northward to their doom.

How the Long Night came to an end is a matter of legend, as all such matters of the distant past have become. In the North, they tell of a last hero who sought out the intercession of the children of the forest, his companions abandoning him or dying one by one as they faced ravenous giants, cold servants, and the Others themselves

 

There is something very, very fishy about Osha.

Flight of The IceBrandon

Art vis White Ice Dragon of WallpaperZoo.com

Original Image source: Dragon Wallpaper by kushion08

Flight of The Ice Dragon: A line by line chapter review. 

“Winter is Coming” means Bran The IceBrandon is coming.

This is an analysis of the text where Bran becomes what I call IceBrandon, skinchanging into the IceDragon named Winter. That is part of my IceBrandon Theory from The EndGame of Thrones theory series

It seemed as though he had been falling for years.

Fly, a voice whispered in the darkness, but Bran did not know how to fly, so all he could do was fall.

The voice may be from the dark representative of The Great Other.

Maester Luwin made a little boy of clay, baked him till he was hard and brittle, dressed him in Bran’s clothes, and flung him off a roof. Bran remembered the way he shattered. “But I never fall,” he said, falling.

This is Bloodraven implanting that Luwin is the enemy because Luwin gave Bran sweetsleep to prevent him from dreaming and preventing Bloodraven from accessing him via his dreams. The Maesters know and believe in more magic than they lead on.

The ground was so far below him he could barely make it out through the grey mists that whirled around him, but he could feel how fast he was falling, and he knew what was waiting for him down there. Even in dreams, you could not fall forever. He would wake up in the instant before he hit the ground, he knew. You always woke up in the instant before you hit the ground.

And if you don’t? the voice asked.

The ground was closer now, still far far away, a thousand miles away, but closer than it had been. It was cold here in the darkness. There was no sun, no stars, only the ground below coming up to smash him, and the grey mists, and the whispering voice. He wanted to cry.

He was falling and “he knew what he was falling into”. It was the black pool by the Heart Tree at Winterfell. I think “grey mists” point to the icefyre breath of an icedragon. Bran is falling down screaming and giving off icefyre in this dream.

Not cry. Fly.

“I can’t fly,” Bran said. “I can’t, I can’t . . . ”

How do you know? Have you ever tried?

The voice was high and thin. Bran looked around to see where it was coming from. A crow was spiraling down with him, just out of reach, following him as he fell. “Help me,” he said.

I’m trying, the crow replied. Say, got any corn?

Bran reached into his pocket as the darkness spun dizzily around him.When he pulled his hand out, golden kernels slid from between his fingers into the air. They fell with him.

The crow landed on his hand and began to eat.

Lets pause this for a moment and look at line about the Nights King:

“When he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.”

Bran just gave Bloodraven his seed.

“Are you really a crow?” Bran asked.

Are you really falling? the crow asked back.

“It’s just a dream,” Bran said.

Is it? asked the crow.

“I’ll wake up when I hit the ground,” Bran told the bird.

You’ll die when you hit the ground, the crow said. It went back to eating corn.

Bran has died when he hit the bottom, and he already has hit it. Bran gave Bloodraven his seed, and with it came his soul. Bran is now under the wing of a very dark raven.

Bran looked down. He could see mountains now, their peaks white with snow, and the silver thread of rivers in dark woods. He closed his eyes and began to cry.

I think it was reversed. Bran cried and then white peaks of snow and silver rivers froze over.

That won’t do any good, the crow said. I told you, the answer is flying, not crying. How hard can it be? I’m doing it. The crow took to the air and flapped around Bran’s hand.

“You have wings,” Bran pointed out.

Maybe you do too.

Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers.

There are different kinds of wings, the crow said.

Bran was staring at his arms, his legs. He was so skinny, just skin stretched taut over bones. Had he always been so thin?

There are “different kinds of wings?” Hmmm. Do tell. What Other kind of wings are there? What Other kind of flying creature could possibly fly Bran not only to, the Lands of Always Winter but also far beyond them, past the curtain of light at the end of the world? Neither ravens nor Amazon Prime deliver there.

The wings are there, but we don’t see them. Where else have we encountered something like that? The Others sword. Lets compare the description of Bran’s wings above to the description of the Others sword in the prologue of AGOT.

“It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.”

–Will.

Back to Bran:

He tried to remember. A face swam up at him out of the grey mist, shining with light, golden. “The things I do for love,” it said.

Bran screamed.

Bran screamed and grey mist appeared. When dragons scream, death comes out of their mouths. The mist is the icefyre encircling Azor Ahannister, The Lord of Light.

The Valyrian word for “Lord of Light”, Aeksiot Ono, is almost identical to the word for “goldenhand” which is Aeksion Ondos. Jamie Lannister is Azor Ahai, his face “shining with light, golden.”

Jamie, the hero of shining golden light is rushing face first directly towards a terrible ice dragon that threatens humanity breathing grey mist of impossible coldness directly at him.

Again there is the association of the grey mist and then a scream. This is GRRM trying to be sneaky by flipping them.

The crow took to the air, cawing. Not that, it shrieked at him. Forget that, you do not need it now, put it aside, put it away. It landed on Bran’s shoulder, and pecked at him, and the shining golden face was gone.

Bloodraven is trying to make Bran angry to make him start to flap his wings in response to seeing Jaime.

Bran was falling faster than ever. The grey mists howled around him as he plunged toward the earth below. “What are you doing to me?” he asked the crow, tearful.

Teaching you how to fly.

“I can’t fly!”

You’re flying tight now.

“I’m falling!”

Every flight begins with a fall, the crow said. Look down.

“I’m afraid . . . ”

LOOK DOWN!

Bran looked down, and felt his insides turn to water. The ground was rushing up at him now. The whole world was spread out below him, a tapestry of white and brown and green. He could see everything so clearly that for a moment he forgot to be afraid. He could see the whole realm, and everyone in it.

After Bran flew and gave his soul to Bloodraven he is no longer afraid as he has been before. Nothing scared him except for things that have to do with magic.

Lets look back to the story of the Nights King that Bran is told by Old Nan:

The gathering gloom put Bran in mind of another of Old Nan’s stories, the tale of Night’s King. He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night’s Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear. “And that was the fault in him,” she would add, “for all men must know fear.” 

Was that is the point of Bran’s interaction with Ned after the Night’s Watchman’s execution, to show he had fear only to remove it?

Bran thought about it. “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?” “That is the only time a man can be brave,” his father told him. “Do you understand why I did it?”

Back to The IceBrandon:

He saw Winterfell as the eagles see it, the tall towers looking squat and stubby from above, the castle walls just lines in the dirt. He saw Maester Luwin on his balcony, studying the sky through a polished bronze tube and frowning as he made notes in a book. He saw his brother Robb, taller and stronger than he remembered him, practicing swordplay in the yard with real steel in his hand. He saw Hodor, the simple giant from the stables, carrying an anvil to Mikken’s forge, hefting it onto his shoulder as easily as another man might heft a bale of hay. At the heart of the godswood, the great white weirwood brooded over its reflection in the black pool, its leaves rustling in a chill wind. When it felt Bran watching, it lifted its eyes from the still waters and stared back at him knowingly.

He looked east, and saw a galley racing across the waters of the Bite. He saw his mother sitting alone in a cabin, looking at a bloodstained knife on a table in front of her, as the rowers pulled at their oars and Ser Rodrik leaned across a rail, shaking and heaving. A storm was gathering ahead of them, a vast dark roaring lashed by lightning, but somehow they could not see it.

A nod to A Storm of Swords.

He looked south, and saw the great blue-green rush of the Trident. He saw his father pleading with the king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant inarmor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.

Sandor, Jaime and maybe Littlefinger rather than Gregor.

He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki sea and beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled lands of the JadeSea, to Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.

There are still “other” dragons out there.

Finally he looked north He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him. And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.

He saw Jon dying and becoming unJon. The memory of warmth fleeting is not a good sign it will come back like it once was.

The Curtain of Light

This information about the curtain of light This line is extremely important. He is the only person to go beyond the “curtain of light” to true darkness as opposed to shadow creatures of light. There is no shadow in darkness and translucent ice, like Saran wrap casts no shadow. This is very important for the Night’s King.

He says the heat of his tears burned his cheeks. But this is beyond the curtain of light, there is no heat. This is like being in space, tears will freeze immediately. He is feeling freezer burn.

Take a look at this passage from the A Game of Thrones prologue:

the real enemy is the cold…at first you shiver and your teeth chatter and you stamp your feet and dream of mulled wine and nice hot fires. It burns, it does. Nothing burns like the cold.

Bran’s flight continued:

Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.

“Why?” Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.

Because winter is coming.

This gave me chills. Bran is Winter.

Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

This points to The Long Night being a cyclical thing happening over and over with The Other taking dreamers into their lands. Really creepy. There is more to this that GRRM will tell us about I hope.

“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?” he heard his own voice saying, small and far away.

And his father’s voice replied to him. “That is the only time a man can be brave.”

Now, Bran, the crow urged. Choose. Fly or die.

Death reached for him, screaming.

Bran spread his arms and flew.

Wings unseen drank the wind and filled and pulled him upward. The terrible needles of ice receded below him. The sky opened up above. Bran soared. It was better than climbing. It was better than anything. The world grew small beneath him.

“The wings unseen” are the translucent ice wings of the ice dragon. Now look at the root of the word translucent; luce, latin for light. The name lucifer means lightbringer. But more on inAzor Ahannister. If fire dragons are fire-made flesh, ice dragons are flesh-made ice.

“The terrible needles of ice” again refer to the icefyre cold mysts of grey. The fire equivalent of ice dragons.

Dragons are the only beings GRRM has described their wings as being translucent

As Daenerys Targaryen rose to her feet, her black hissed, pale smoke venting from its mouth and nostrils.

The other two pulled away from her breasts and added their voices to the call,translucent wings unfolding and stirring the air, and for the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons. —

-A Game of Thrones – Daenerys X

The wings are there, but we don’t see them. Where else have we encountered something like that? The Others sword.

Lets compare the description of Bran’s wings above to the description of the Others sword in the prologue of AGOT where the Other killed Ser Waymar:

“It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.”

The similarity is eerie. First there is the translucent treference like the “different” kinds of wings, but again a reference to moonlight. Ice dragons are described in The World of Ice and Fire as being living ice, with eyes of pale blue crystal shine and they have vast translucent wings through which the moon and stars can be glimpsed. Those are almost identical descriptions of moonlight, translucent crystal with a faint blue shimmering glow with a ghostliness about them. Those are very different kinds of feathers indeed.

“I’m flying!” he cried out in delight.

I’ve noticed, said the three-eyed crow. It took to the air, flapping its wings in his face, slowing him, blinding him. He faltered in the air as its pinions beat against his cheeks. Its beak stabbed at him fiercely, and Bran felt a sudden blinding pain in the middle of his forehead, between his eyes.

“What are you doing?” he shrieked.

The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered

Now that Bran has given up his soul and learned to fly, only then that he is firmly under the control of Bloodraven did he give him the third eye.

and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman, a serving woman with long black hair, and he knew her from somewhere, from Winterfell, yes, that was it, he remembered her now, and then he realized that he was in Winterfell, in a bed high in some chilly tower room, and the black-haired woman dropped a basin of water to shatter on the floor and ran down the steps, shouting, “He’s awake, he’s awake, he’s awake.”

“You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?” – Viscerys Targaryen.

Bran touched his forehead, between his eyes. The place where the crow had pecked him was still burning, but there was nothing there, no blood, no wound. He felt weak and dizzy. He tried to get out of bed, but nothing happened.

And then there was movement beside the bed, and something landed lightly on his legs. He felt nothing. A pair of yellow eyes looked into his own, shining like the sun. The window was open and it was cold in the room, but the warmth that came off the wolf enfolded him like a hot bath. His pup, Bran realized . . . or was it? He was so big now. He reached out to pet him, his hand trembling like a leaf.

When his brother Robb burst into the room, breathless from his dash up the tower steps, the direwolf was licking Bran’s face. Bran looked up calmly. “His name is Summer,” he said.

Summer is Bran’s direwolf. And because of Bran, summer will die.

Winter is Flying.

unCivil War for The Dawn

Roose Bolton by Jortagul

Roose Bolton by Jortagul

In this post we will discuss some of the major military adversaries The Starks in Winterfell faced during the Long Night. They included:

1) The Greystarks (read: unStarks) of The Wolfs Den, the seat of White Harbor (read: Wight Harbor). They were “allied” with House Bolton

2) Royce “II” Bolton, Red King of The Dreadfort. He may be backed by The Others.

3) The 13th Lord Commander of the Nights Watch, a “Stark” backed by The Others

Stark Kings

The Starks in Winterfell during this time were probably named King Edrick Snowbeard and King Brandon “Ice Eyes”. Brandon “Ice Eyes” was great-grandson to Edrick. If Edrick was King and then his great-grandson Edrick inherited, that means there are a whole lot more Starks killed than have been killed in the present series thus far.

The Greystarks

Below is a history of The Wolfs Den:

the Greystarks had lasted the longest, holding the Wolf’s Den for five centuries, until they presumed to join the Dreadfort in rebellion against the Starks of Winterfell.

The Stark that brought the Greystarks down has a interesting name and story:

Then a long cruel winter fell,” said Ser Bartimus. “The White Knife froze hard, and even the firth was icing up. The winds came howling from the north and drove them slavers inside to huddle round their fires,

That long and cruel winter is The Long Night.

and whilst they warmed themselves the new king come down on them. **Brandon Stark this was, Edrick Snowbeard’s great-grandson, him that men called Ice Eyes. He took the Wolf’s Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he’d found chained up in the dungeons. It’s said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south. Your Seven don’t know winter, and winter don’t know them.”

Brandon “Ice Eyes” reminds me great deal of another Brandon, The Ice Brandon.

So the Greystarks rose up after five centuries and Brandon Stark was their King making him the 12th King in The North. Since Brandon The Builder built The Wall, he was conceivably the first Lord Commander briefly until he founded House Stark’s Kingdom. That lines up with the timing of the 13th Lord Commander. This Bolton-Greystark uprising happened in the same period as The Long Night.

Notice that the Stark in Winterfell stripped the “slavers.” The Greystarks in The Wolfs Den were like the Greyjoys, worshiping the Great Other and enslaving men like the others did. Like The Others/Nights King did. And as you will see further down when we speak about the Boltons, the “slaving” and Wighting may be associated with the Boltons more than the “Greystarks.”

Also the current spelling of White Harbor is a PR ploy by real estate agents that covers up its true name, Wight Harbor. “Dead things in the water.”

The Greystarks are unStarks. It is directly connected to the magical power of the Boltons: skinflaynging. or a mission of the House of Black and White.

Greystarks = Skinflaynged Starks (by Bolton’s and/or The Faceless Men)

House Bolton as the great other some Bolton lords wore the flayed skins of their enemies—including Starks, such as the son of Bael—as cloaks.

Roose now has Robbs body and has flayed him. Baels son was like Robb, grew up as heir to the North.

The enmity between the Starks and Boltons went back to the Long Night itself, it is claimed.

Lord Roose never says a word, he only looks at me, and all I can think of is that room they have in the Dreadfort, where the Boltons hang the skins of their enemies.“”That’s just one of Old Nan’s stories,” Bran said. A note of doubt crept into his voice. “Isn’t it?” -Robb Stark

Roose was described in the following way:

“Roose Bolton’s own face was a pale grey mask.

It is interesting GRRM used “own face” as that phrase implies “others” faces.

Masks are ones you can take off and put on. Now that GRRM has hinted at the possibility of Robbs skin hanging in the Dreadfort, Can he put Robb Starks mask on like Arya puts a skin on, Faceless Man style? Three silver stags says yes he can.

Boltons pride themselves on having worn flayed Stark skins as cloaks. That sounds very similar to what we see Arya exposed to with the Faceless Men. Using the flayed skins to “skinchange” their appearance.

Roose can become a “Stark” Nights King or King of Winter or King in The North etc. through blood magic and the remains of Robb Stark. Roose was the one to personally stab Robb and would have surely saved his blood and have flayed him. And since we have not seen Robbs body beyond the Twins, it’s safe to assume Roose flayed him even if he gave his remains to the crown. All he needs is Robbs flayed skin, on his face just like that is all Arya needs to become the other girls.

By skinflanging into a Stark, Roose will then be able to wield the Stark Ancestral Othersword Ice after absorbing the qualities of Starks Otherblood. This would set him up to be the anti-hero sword to Azor Ahannister who wields fiery Lightbringer.

So the Greystarks were not allied with House Bolton, House Bolton I believe “became” the Greystarks.

According to George R. R. Martin, their words are “Our blades are sharp,” while a common saying among the Boltons is “A flayed man holds no secrets.”

The secrets Boltons wanted to know are the secrets of Winter. The secrets to harnessing Ancestral Ice. The secret to Skinchanging into Winter, the Stark ice dragon.

But Roose no longer needs to flay a stark to get his secrets. Only their magic kingsblood and the skin of a King. Because Baels son child told him the secrets. Roose remembers these secrets because he was there. “Roose” is the original Rat Cook who was born Royce Redfort I. His son was King Royce Bolton II the first Red King. Roose-Royce took over his sons body to assume that title and power and uses a glamour he continuously needs to make blood sacrifice to maintain. The clue that he was a Redfort is in Roose Fostering Domeric with the Redfort and his kingly title was Red King. The first Red King name GRRM gives us is Royce II. No Royce I was mentioned. It was King Royce II that burned Winterfell in the Long Night. Just as Ramsay, “the second” Roose did again in this series.

To be continued…

Part 2: Winterfell: Fall of The IceBrandon

The Others Are Not The True Enemy

dany goddess

When we see black and white, the black Ironwood and white weirwood together, that symbolizes the true gods. White contains all the colors and black is the absence of color. The places we have seen that is in The House of Black and White, The House of The Undying and surprisingly the Tobho Mott, the man who works with Varys to find a smithing job for Gendry. Most chilling is the fact that they reverse Weirwood faces on Ironwood symbolizing conflict between Men and Others.

It was The House of The Undying where they tried to steal Dany’s dragons, beings of fire to fight against the coming cold. The Faceless Men are attempting to steal Death of Dragons. Dragons is plural. It may be a book on all the types of dragons fire, ice and sea.

They want the book so men don’t know how to fight back against the Ice Dragon… not because they want to kill them. But there is a very small man who just read one of the last remaining copies in the library of Winterfell before it burned (note: perhaps Littlefinger whose family is from Braavos, may have manipulated Joffrey allow him to burn the library the important Long Night fighting books in it).

The House of the Undying Ones had seemed to have no towers. Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening.

-A Clash of Kings – Daenerys IV

The House of Black and White

They wore their robes of black and white, but as they took their seats each man pulled his cowl down to show the face he had chosen to wear that day.Their tall chairs were carved of ebony and weirwood, like the doors of the temple above. The ebon chairs had weirwood faces on their backs, the weirwood chairs faces of carved ebony.

-A Feast for Crows – Arya

The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In their center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.

Ned’s POV in Tobho Mott shop:

The double doors showed a hunting scene carved in ebony and weirwood. A pair of stone knights stood sentry

Ironwood may also be subtly described as black oak and other names.

I wonder what that means for Varys if he is associated with The Gods, that are the true enemy.

Those gods are jealous and scared of men for coming close to stealing Gods monopoly on godhood, so they create conflict Between Men and Others.

Quaithe tries to get Dany away from The Trees:

No. You are the blood of the dragon. The whispering was growing fainter, as if Ser Jorah were falling farther behind. Dragons plant no trees. Remember that. Remember who you are, what you were made to be. Remember your words. “Fire and Blood,” Daenerys told the swaying grass.

But Dany may have already made her choice. She sits on a black ironwood throne:

Instead she sat upon a simple ebony bench. It served, though she had heard the Meereenese muttering that it did not befit a queen. And

Dany shifted uncomfortably on the ebony bench. She dreaded what must come next. – A Storm of Swords – Daenerys VI

Jorah was also always trying to pressure Dany to go to Asshai, which like Braavos grows no trees and is the land of the enemy gods.

Other searchers returned with tales of other fruit trees, hidden behind closed doors in secret gardens. Aggo showed her a courtyard overgrown with twisting vines and tiny green grapes, and Jhogo discovered a well where the water was pure and cold. Yet they found bones too, the skulls of the unburied dead, bleached and broken.

“Ghosts,” Irri muttered. “Terrible ghosts. We must not stay here, Khaleesi, this is their place.”

“I fear no ghosts. Dragons are more powerful than ghosts.” And figs are more important. “Go with Jhiqui and find me some clean sand for a bath, and trouble me no more with silly talk.”

“I’ve brought you a peach,” Ser Jorah said, kneeling. It was so small she could almost hide it in her palm, and overripe too, but when she took the first bite, the flesh was so sweet she almost cried. She ate it slowly, savoring every mouthful, while Ser Jorah told her of the tree it had been plucked from, in a garden near the western wall.

“Fruit and water and shade,” Dany said, her cheeks sticky with peach juice. “The gods were good to bring us to this place.”

The Western Wall is a religious allusion of where that peach is from; the Garden of Edenos. And that village had everyone slaughtered, bones and remains everywhere. Not a good sign.

Stannis saw, and reached at once for the hilt of his sword, but before he could draw steel his brother produced. . . a peach.

“Would you like one, brother?” Renly asked, smiling. “From Highgarden. You’ve never tasted anything so sweet, I promise you.” He took a bite. Juice ran from the corner of his mouth.

“I did not come here to eat fruit.” Stannis was fuming.

“A man should never refuse to taste a peach,” Renly said as he tossed the stone away. “He may never get the chance again. Life is short, Stannis. Remember what the Starks say. Winter is coming.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

The peach and weirwood paste represent eating from the the fruit of the the two trees in the Garden of Edenos, the tree of eternal life and the tree of knowledge.

There were two trees that were forbidden trees. “You can eat the fruit of any tree in the place but not of this or of that one.” Tree number one was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of duality. Tree number two was the tree of the knowledge of eternal life.

…God kicked them out of the Garden and put at the gate two door guardians, with a flaming sword between them. And that’s the explanation of why we’re out here in the cold and not in the Garden. Christianity and Judaism are religions of exile: Man was thrown out of the Garden.”

“The tree of knowledge of good and evil [The white Weirwood] is the tree going down into multiplicity, and the tree of eternal life [The white Ironwood] is that of going from multiplicity to unity. It’s the same tree in two directions.”

– Joseph Campbell, A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

God exiled man from the Garden of Eden after we ate from the Tree of Knowlege. If we ate from both the Tree of Knowledge as well as the Tree of Eternal Life then we would become gods ourselves.

Remember from The Garden of Edenos post, that the Gardner Kings of Highgarden are GRRM’s play on The Garden, complete with a magical tree and branch throne.

The next place Jorah and Dany went to was Qarth, and home of the House of The Undying with an entire grove of Ironwood trees. Where Daenerys drank shade of the evening representing the fruit of the Ironwood tree. She has eaten of both trees.

Daenerys has become a goddess. She is no longer mortal in the commonly held view of the word.

That is not good. That is not good at all.

Daenerys will sound the Hammerhorn of The Waters which is the Horn of Joramun. Euron’s horn ushers in the Long Night. No mortal man can sound it and she is no longer mortal.

Hornblowers blow horns, the bigger problem for humanity is the maestro behind the curtain. The god Hodor.

Of course not Hodor the kind giant, Hodor is the name of the Norse God of Darkness (Night’s King) and Winter (the name of the massive ice dragon).

Winter is flying.

The Lace Serpent: Duskendale and The Night’s Queen

The Defiance of Duskendale is a big moment in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. It solidified Ser Barristan as an unparalleled hero, it is a literary tool to entrench Aerys’ madness, it helped make Dontos into the drunkard Littlefinger needed for the plot and more. But the most important thing has not been mentioned yet.

The lords there were of House Darklyn and the land is called Duskendale. Dusk falls right before Night does. They provide clues to better understand what happened in the Long Night in at least one major way.

The Lace Serpent Lady Serala is a Metaphor for the Nights Queen.

The ancient harbor town of Duskendale had been a seat of kings of old, in the days of the Hundred Kingdoms. Once the most important port on Blackwater Bay, the town had seen its trade dwindle and its wealth shrink as King’s Landing grew and burgeoned, a decline that its young lord, Denys Darklyn, wished to halt. Many have long debated why Lord Darklyn chose to do what he did, but most agree that his Myrish wife, the Lady Serala, played some part. Her detractors blame her entirely for what transpired; the Lace Serpent, as they name her, poisoned Lord Darklyn against his king with her pillow talk. Her defenders insist that the folly lay with Lord Denys himself;


his wife is hated simply because she was a woman of foreign birth who prayed to gods alien to Westeros.


The Lace Serpent was burned alive, poor woman, though her tongue was torn out first, and her female parts, with which it was said that she had enslaved her lord.

As to Lady Serala, hers was a crueler death. Aerys had the Lace Serpent’s tongue and her womanly parts torn out before she was burned alive (yet her enemies say that she should have suffered more and worse for the ruin she brought down upon the town).

Like The Nights Queen, Lady Serala was a woman of foreign birth who prayed to gods alien to Westeros, and she was hated only because she prayed to Other gods. She is accused of “enslaving” pardon the pun, others and she was killed by fire like the Others are, after horrendous violence against her body.

Let’s look at passages about The Nights Queen:

A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.

What this tells us is that a woman was not his downfall. She is not the primary motivator. There was something else. Stop blaming the woman. The man did it himself. Get with the times people. It is like the year 302 AC. Get with the program.

It is also interesting to think about whether if Lady Serala Darklyn is the Serra Illyrio has finger bones of? Could Illyrio = Lord Darklyn?

Now with that in mind, re-read my IceBrandon post or the part where Bran gives Bloodraven his corn “seed.”

It was cold here in the darkness. There was no sun, no stars, only the ground below coming up to smash him, and the grey mists, and the whispering voice. He wanted to cry.

Not cry. Fly.

“Help me,” he said.

I’m trying, the crow replied. Say, got any corn?

Bran reached into his pocket as the darkness spun dizzily around him. When he pulled his hand out, golden kernels slid from between his fingers into the air. They fell with him.

The crow landed on his hand and began to eat.

Bran just gave Bloodraven the corn “seed” to his soul

That line about the Nights King again:

“When he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.”

Corn! Corn! Corn!

Seed! Seed! Seed!

The three sounds of the Night’s Watch horn. Other’s are coming.