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.”


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 . . . ”


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.


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