AND weirwoods leaves

Theory:

I think this is the ending shot of the season.

Why? One, because every ending has a close up shot.

Season 1: Dany hatching eggs
Season 2: Night King close up commanding army
Season 3: Close up of Dany being carried through the crowd.
Season 4: Close up of Arya sailing to Braavos.
Season 5: Close up of Jon dying.
Season 6: Close up of Dany sailing.

Now, many people have said that some of the leaks aren’t accurate, one being James Hibberd, who works with EW, who does know ALOT about this season.

D&D themselves.

So, why the ending?

I think an EVENT will happen that will put Jon back in Winterfell at the end of the season. There, he will find out about his parents. Bran will talk to him, and tell him, and leave, knowing Jon will need a moment. Sansa will come out and probably talk to him, and he’ll get emotional. He may send her off, OR he may tell her he did SOMETHING with his aunt..,

Sansa will leave the Weirwood, and the camera will pan in on her face..seeing her crying…she’ll struggle with not looking back…and..

End shot.

Leaves on a big cliffhanger. Jon knows his parentage, and is taking it in, ‘someone’ has died, and castle black will probably be shown before this with the White Walkers at the wall. Maybe the wall will fall during this moment as well. Or crack?

I’m not 100% sold on the wall falling this season. Seems a little early. Cause as soon as it falls, castle black will be overrun.

Idk, just my theory though.

And Maisie did say the cliffhanger would be intense.

The Fate of Bran Stark

I want to talk about Bran Stark since he is often overlooked when it comes to the theories of how the war against the Others will play out as well as his eventual fate. His forward journey is perhaps the one that is the hardest to predict. Many seem to think that he’ll become enmeshed in a weirwood like the Tree-Eyed Raven but I don’t find that to be a particularly satisfying ending and the show seems to have put paid to that particular theory. The books and the show are diverging but Bran leaving the weirwood cave and the Tree-Eyed Raven makes sense when you consider how the narrative has framed his arc until now. Like his sisters, Sansa and Arya, Bran’s story has so far been one of apprenticeship and that narrative pattern generally ends with the apprentice finishing his/training, becoming a master and setting out for him/herself. What exactly is Bran’s role in the larger scheme of things? In this respect it is important to remember that Bran is in fact the single most magic character in the entire story. He is a powerful warg and greenseer – and it is those qualities that leads me to believe that he will play a crucial, if not the most crucial, part in the War for the Dawn.

Now is the time to put on the tinfoil hat and follow me into the realm of speculation.

Bran is, as already mentioned, the most magical character in the entire series and it is already suggested in the first book that he has a very special destiny. During his coma, he is contacted by a three-eyed raven who promises him that he’ll fly and shows him the heart of winter, which is terrifying (though we don’t see what Bran sees). In the second book, Bran is guided by another character with magical abilities – Jojen Reed who tells Bran that he has to travel beyond the Wall. Jojen has also dreamt of a winged wolf and a three-eyed crow – the winged wolf most likely referring to Bran. When he finds the Three-Eyed Raven, he is instructed in using his greensight to see the past and he is also continuing to exercise his powers as a warg.

The Last Hero

I convinced that Bran will play a crucial part in the final battle – for several reasons. One, he is the most magical person with his combination of warging and greenseeing. I suspect that his greenseeing will help him discover a way to end the threat of the Others. It is obviously important that he can see into the past. Secondly, I suspect that Bran will warg one of the dragons. There’s a reason that he is the most powerful warg in the realm and when he meets the Three-Eyed Raven he is told that “he will never walk again but that he will fly” (Dance of Dragons, ch. 13, Bran II). Furthermore, Bran’s story also shares a number of similarities with the legend of the Last Hero who went beyond the Wall to seek the help of the Children of the Forest. Could it be that Bran is going to have a role akin to the Last Hero? It is no accident that the Three-Eyed Raven, who is a Targaryen bastard, is specifically recruiting a Stark as an apprentice in magic against the approaching threat of the Others.

The Prince that was Promised/Azor Ahai

Throughout the story there’s a lot of talk about prophesies about a singular hero that will save the world from darkness. There’s Azor Ahai and the Prince that was Promised. They are seen as interchangeable Melisandre but it is unclear whether they refer to the same person.

There are several contenders for this role:

Aemon originally thought that it was Rhaegar Targaryen but later thinks that it is Daenerys Targaryen since she fits many elements of the prophecy.

Rhaegar thought it was his son Aegon and that his song was the Song of Ice and Fire (but that epithet only really fits Jon Snow as the son of a Stark and a Targaryen).

Melisandre thinks it is Stannis but in Dance of Dragons she only sees “snow” in her fires when she seeks answers on PwP/AA. That seems to point to Jon as well.

So who is the Chosen One, the hero to save the world? The figure of a Chosen One is one of the most pervasive tropes in fantasy fiction – but what if GRRM has decided to play around with the trope and have not one but three Chosen Ones to save the world? Who would they be? My theory is Jon, Dany and Bran – a Stark, a Targaryen and a Stark-Targaryen (symbolising Ice, Fire and the middleground between the two extremes).

The dragons are obviously going to play a crucial part in the war. It will be an epic battle between opposing elemental forces. The dragons are described as “fire made flesh” and it can be argued that the Others are “ice made flesh” since they melt when they are stabbed with dragonglass. There are three dragons and it seems that you have to be a Targaryen to be a dragonrider. Dany is already a dragonrider and Jon will most likely also be a dragonrider since he has Targaryen blood. Who will be the third? Not Tyrion as so many think (I don’t buy Tyrion as a secret Targ), possibly Aegon but not likely since he has been cut from the show and most likely is a fake (a mummer’s dragon). This is where Bran comes in. He is not a Targ but he is very powerful warg and I don’t think it is impossible that he’ll warg one of the dragons.

What will be Bran’s final fate?

Sadly, I fear that Bran won’t survive the final war. Why? Because I think that the bittersweet ending that GRRM promises will be a Tolkien inspired one: the heroes will win, important characters will be lost, the survivors will have to contend with a ravaged realm but some of them will also get a somewhat happy ending – and, most importantly, magic will disappear from Westeros. Why is that bittersweet? I think we’ll have to look at this in a Tolkienian vein: something awe-inspiring and otherworldly will be gone forever. Just like something beautiful and awe-inspiring is lost when the elves leave Middle-Earth for good.

What does this theory mean for the survival of the 6 main characters? (Yes, I count Sansa among the main characters). I have read an interesting take on these 6 characters, dividing them into Heroes (Jon, Dany, Tyrion) and Rebuilders (Sansa, Arya, Bran). This theory posits that the latter will survive to rebuild Westeros whereas the Heroes may all die. However, I wish to posit a different division with Jon, Dany and Bran as the Heroes (also the characters most associated with magic) and Sansa, Arya and Tyrion as the Rebuilders.

The Rebuilders are not strongly associated with magic and they all have skills that aren’t particular useful for a magical conflict but rather are rooted in the mundane world of politics. Sansa is learning the political game but she is also learning to manage a large household in the Eyrie – she will be perfectly poised to hold the homefront in Winterfell but also to lead the rebuilding. She also has the makings to be an excellent Consort, something that Tyrion notices when she is nothing more than a child. Arya is training as an assassin and spy and her skills could easily be adapted to the political game (spymaster) – though Arya’s forward journey is almost as difficult to predict as Bran’s. Tyrion is familiar with the political game but he is also a builder in a more concrete manner: he designed a special saddle for Bran and he had the massive chain made for the Blackwater Battle.

When it comes to the Heroes, I believe that the ones most likely to die are Bran and Dany. Bran because he is the character most intimately tied to magic and Dany because she is so closely tied to her dragons (also magic, they won’t survive the disappearance of magic). Dany’s death also fits nicely with the theory that ASoIaF isn’t a story about a Targaryen restoration. The original title for the last book was A Time for Wolves and the Starks are very much at the heart of the story. I have always seen Dany as a tragic character – the Last Targaryen and I believe that her story is not one of triumph but a swan song – the end of the Targaryen dynasty. Why? Because throughout the books (and the attending novellas), the Targaryens have largely been detrimental to Westeros. The Iron Throne is their creation and it is a toxic legacy that has riven the country with so much conflict and destruction that the people of Westeros are almost unable to face and withstand the real threat: the Others and the undead. Thus I think that Dany will be the last of her house and that she’ll perish with the creatures that are so intimately connected with her house.

What about Jon? I find Jon’s fate almost impossible to predict. I’d say there’s a 50/50 for his survival. One the one hand, he’s being resurrected for a specific purpose: to fight the Others. On the other hand, it is narratively unsatisfying to have him die again. Then there’s the fact that he also has a skillset that is very useful for post-war Westeros. He’s a leader of men and a military commander. He’s been made King in the North in the show and thus I think it mostly likely that he’ll be made king in the books as well (Robb’s will). Being the son of Rhaegar, he’ll also have a claim to the Iron Throne. However, I don’t think that the Iron Throne (or King’s Landing will survive). I think that the books will end with the rise of a new royal dynasty: the Starks and that the strongest political power will reside in the North.

In summation:

I think magic will disappear and the seasons will fall into a more “normal” pattern. I think Jon, Sansa, Arya (and possibly Tyrion) will survive whereas Dany and Bran will perish. The Iron Throne will cease to exist and the Starks will be the new political power in Westeros. Whether Westeros will remain a united kingdom or not is hard to predict – but I do find it possible for it to remain united under a Weirwood Throne instead of an Iron Throne.

However, this is all speculation and I could be completey wrong.

This is the first vignette into a series that I will continue during the Jonsa Summer Challenge hosted by @jonsa-creatives…. :-)


It was as if Jon’s head had been battered with something solid and heavy. His tongue was thick in his mouth and his limbs felt foreign. He stumbled, clutching onto something solid and upright, it was like a trunk of a slim tree, only it was smooth and rather cold when he’d leant his forehead against it to try and catch his breath.

“Hey buddy, you alright”? he heard someone call out. He screwed his eyes shut and shook his head. Jon did not recognise the voice and the accent was strange. Not northern. He blinked rapidly at the source of the voice when another one reached his eardrums. “Just leave him, Scott, he looks like a right weirdo”.

Keep reading

I think we’ve all guessed that the shot of Sansa leaving the weirwood features Jon behind her and knowing that we’ll get a scene of Sansa and Jon, alone, at the weirwood, makes me so happy. Season 7 literally has every aspect of a Jonsa fan fiction and I’m living

First look at my piece for LTD Art Gallery’s George R. R. Martin show, WINTER IS COMING, an ASOIAF exhibit! To those who have read the novels: this heart tree is from one of my favorite parts of A Storm of Swords. Do you remember the Knight of the Laughing Tree? Check out this & more opening night, March 1st!

the-isle-of-faces  asked:

Bran has been cut from Season 5 and I am beyond enraged. I am done with this show unless it puts out an especially spectacular season 6, which it almost certainly won't. They've ruined the core narratives, and so butchered the essence of the story that not amount of good performances or costuming or production values can change that. Fuck D&D.

Okay, I looked into this and apparently Bran might be in the next season still- though Hodor and Meera seem to be definitely cut. From what I’ve seen, there are some extra Bran scenes that didn’t make it into season 4 that might be used for season 5 and the source of this belief comes from Hodor’s actor talking about being cut (meaning he may not be aware of a Bloodraven/Bran only scene or Bran/weirwood visions scene.) All that being said, this means to me that if we do get Bran, it’ll be like maybe ten minutes all season (and that’s being pretty generous.)

Now that I’ve clarified for people who weren’t aware, I’m just going to say that I’m beyond enraged. Like words do not describe my fury- and everyone reading this should be, too, even if you don’t like Bran.

It’s like cutting major POV Arianne and focusing on minor (male) characters instead. You don’t have to enjoy or like the character/plot line to be upset, it’s the message it sends. Cutting Arianne in favor of male characters sends a very serious message that the show would go out of its way (because this isn’t like swapping Roose Bolton for Tywin Lannister or any of the show choices that are explainable or convenient) to change Dorne politics so it doesn’t have women inherit. That’s the only purpose- why else cut Arianne, what else does that accomplish? I’m starting to wonder if D&D would have cut Dany in favor of Viserys taking her storyline if they could have gotten away with it because like what???

But back to Bran, like Arianne, his cutting (or in his case severely diminished screentime in favor of comparably minor characters like Olenna Tyrell, Margaery, Tywin Lannister, Sandor Clegane, and so on) sends a very powerful message.

I’ve complained about Bran’s treatment in the show before. Despite most people (myself included) focusing more on the Stark sisters’ downplayed importance and/or character assassination, no one has it worse than Bran in the show. 

And that’s a real problem. Bran is a very unique character in all fiction- especially fantasy epics like A Song of Ice and Fire- who really should be celebrated and appreciated more. This is a character who reflects the very serious feelings of lack of self-worth and loss due to his paralysis. It’s very important to me to have a hero, one who’s going to definitely play a huge part in saving Westeros, who lacks the use of his legs. 

This is huge! This is a huge deal because there are so many people in the world who deal with this on a day-to-day basis, people who struggle with feelings of inadequacy or helplessness because either they were born or they later became unable to use their legs (or any sort of similar disability.) This is not the type of hero represented in fiction, specifically fantasy books. 

And to see them represented in a major hero of a popular book series is pretty cool when you think about it. Or at least, I think it is. I think it’s important.

This is also why I get very irritated when I see posts about how Bran is just going to become a tree and never return to Winterfell/see his family again/get to live a real life. Besides the fact that I personally disagree with that interpretation and subsequent prediction (so, so much,) those types of write offs for the character both invalidate Bran’s struggle to see himself and be seen as something other than “Bran the Broken Boy.” Also, it affirms this belief by Bran:

Bran did not want to be married to a tree…but who else would wed a broken boy like him? Bran, ADWD

Bran doesn’t want to “become a tree”, but he thinks/worries that because of his legs he can never be anything more.

The idea that Bran won’t become anything more, he will “be married to a tree” and that’s his endgame and entire future is validating the belief that Bran lacks the ability to be a part of Westerosi society and live his life. Keep in mind the Brynden Rivers lived a full life (he was a Hand of the King and a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch) before he more or less retired into his position in the weirwood. 

This idea that Bran will never do anything else in his life and just stay in the weirwoods, that his life/ability to interact with society is basically over at the age of nine. And, as Bran himself thinks, all because no one else will be with a “broken boy like him”.

That’s a horrible message. Full stop. 

That’s one of the reasons I believe Bran will leave the weirwoods and return to society, live a full life, and then return like Brynden did- after living his life first. 

So all of that was to say that the fact that the show deems this storyline, this struggle “boring” and “useless” is really upsetting to me. 

Moreover, it is once again proving that the show really cares about different values than the books. They glorify and value the ~game and the ~players, not the smallfolk, the pieces, the victims. That is, also, to me why they have gone in weird directions with Arya and Sansa’s plots. They see Sansa being more manipulative and Arya being more violent and treating the two of them less like abused, victimized children and more like badass, completely-in-control players (who aren’t really allowed to show emotions like fear and grief, particularly in Arya’s case.)

Bran’s not involved in politics or fighting currently in his storyline and is therefore worthless in D&D’s mind so far as I can tell. There’s no other reason that Margaery Tyrell’s screen time should dwarf the first POV’s so much. 

So even if you prefer show!Margaery and the Lannister drama, even if Bran bores you to tears (all of which is fine to feel,) I still think that people should be upset with the message this sends and what this says about how D&D value characters/stories.

Under the Heart Tree

Prompt: a tender moment after the battle between Jon and Sansa.

AN: I wanted to incorporate the promo into this because I thought it was very tender. This was longer than expected and I’ll probably add a second part to truly fill your prompt. 

He finds her in the Godswood. When Winterfell had burnt most of the Godswood had burnt with it. Many of the younger weaker trees on the edges have been reduced to ash in places, but as he walks further the bark becomes less charred, leaves clinging to their branches in greater number. It saddens him to see his old place of worship so reduced, but the old weirwood tree in the middle stands as strong as it did when he was a boy. Its red leaves shake in the wind and a few flutter down to the earth, down to where Sansa is kneeling, her hands clasped in her lap, eyes closed.

Jon knew she’d be here, it was the last place left to look. At first he assumed that she’d shut herself up in a chamber somewhere, but when he couldn’t find her in the castle it seemed obvious where she’d taken herself to. Unwilling to interrupt her prayer Jon holds back and watches her. Her skirts are soaked by snow but she doesn’t seem to care. Her head is bent not downwards, but angled up towards the heart tree, as if raising her face to collect any wisdom or courage or strength she might be offered by the grimacing face etched into the bark. As if she’s drinking in the pale watery sunshine that falls on her face. Her red hair tumbles down her back, unbraided. 

Keep reading

Of Dragons and Wolves: The Parallel Journey of Daenerys Targaryen and Bran Stark

Written by MoIaF and Queen Alysanne 


Essay II: The Place of Magic and Mythology

Magic in the World of Ice and Fire is not structured, it’s not controlled by a universal set of rules, magic it seems, is of an organic nature. Martin once said of the events of Dany’s pyre that: “The whole point of the scene in A Game of Thrones where Daenerys hatches the dragons is that she makes the magic up as she goes along; she is someone who really might do anything. I wanted magic to be something barely under control and half instinctive–not the John W. Campbell version with magic as the science and technology of other sorts of world, that works by simple and understandable rules.” As we see with Dany’s Lovecraft-esque adventure through the House of the Undying and Bran’s exploration of the Children’s cave give us an interesting insight into the different kinds of magic within ASOIAF, but it also shows us how similar these “branches” of magic are. In the first section of the essay we will look at these two shared experiences and what they have in common and what can they tell us about magic in ASOIAF.

As with most fantasies Martin doesn’t shy away from prophesies of great heroes that will save the world one day. Two of the most prominent prophecies are those of Azor Ahai and The Last Hero. In this section of the essay we’ll be exploring the similarities both Dany and Bran share with these mythical heroes. We aren’t making any judgments about whether either of these character will actually take on these roles, that we believe won’t be something we’ll know until the end of the series, and even then it might not be as clear cut as some expect. Nonetheless we’ll rude down through the different parts of prophecy and see how Dany and Bran fit into them.

The Place of Magic

Both the House of the Undying and the Children’s cave have a lot of mystery to them, there is a lot we don’t understand, however, we have learned a bit from both these places. Both of these locations give us a brief insight into the more mythological and fantastical aspects of ASOIAF. Both the Undying and the Children are in the twilight of their existence, the days where the Children roamed the earth and the Undying lived in amazing spender have long gone, now all that remain is the shadow of those times.

The Places

As Dany is arriving she gives us a describes of the facade of House of the Undying she tells us:

“Long and low, without towers or windows, it coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black -barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening. No other buildings stood near. Black tiles covered the palace roof, many fallen or broken; the mortar between the stones was dry and crumbling. She understood now why Xaro Xhoan Daxos called it the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon seemed disquieted by the sight of it. The black dragon hissed, smoke seeping out between his sharp teeth.”

A fading palace whose glory days are now gone, its crumbling infrastructure mimics the decaying interior:

“The mold-eaten carpet under her feet had once been gorgeously colored, and whorls of gold could still be seen in the fabric, glinting broken amidst the faded grey and mottled green.”

The Undying are reaching the end of their time, however, they still hold on to life awaiting someone (Dany) to awaken them from their preservation. We can imagine that Dany was not the only person to step into the HOTU, yet her ability to perform the magic that hatched the dragons probably represents a life force the Undying had no yet come across, at least not in a long time. As they tell her, that they had been waiting for her for a thousand years.

Now, let’s look at how Bran describes the Children’s cave:

“The caves were timeless, vast, silent. They were home to more than three score living singers and the bones of thousands dead, and extended far below the hollow hill.”
~*~
“
The great cavern that opened on the abyss was as black as pitch, black as tar, blacker than the feathers of a crow. Light entered as a trespasser, unwanted and unwelcome, and soon was gone again; cookfires, candles, and rushes burned for a little while, then guttered out again, their brief lives at an end.”

The Children’s cave has been around a long time, thousands of Children have lived and died there and only their bones remain. We hear from Leaf that the vast network of caves is so large that there are still places left unexplored. The Children have cast spells around the entrance of the cave to protect them from the Wights. There is also a lot of darkness in the caves, the light only lasts as long as the fire burns.

Comparing the two places we have a palace a “manmade” structure as the home of the Undying while on the other hand the Children’s cave is a natural structure of the earth which the Children inhabit. While the HOTU is decaying away the only signs that we have of the Children living in the caves are the bones of all those that came before them.

Drink from the cup of Ice, drink from the cup of Fire

Both Dany and Bran are asked to drink substances that will allow them to experience the visions they are about to be presented with. The substances are made by the black and blue trees surrounding the HOTU and weirwood bark and leaves . Dany described the trees around the HOTU as:

“a grove of black -barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening”

The description of these trees is almost the exact opposite of the white bark, red leaves of the weirwood trees. Most likely these two trees are counterparts of one another. While Dany is given shades of the evening to drink, Bran is given a weirwood paste made of the bark and leaves of the tree.  Let’s look at how each one of the describes the taste:

Dany

“Dany raised the glass to her lips. The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed, it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart, and on her tongue the taste was like honey and anise and cream, like mother’s milk and Drogo’s seed, like red meat and hot blood and molten gold. It was like all the tastes she had ever known, and none of them … and then the glass was empty.”

Bran:

“It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as the acorn paste. The first spoonful was the hardest to get down. He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother gave him. The empty bowl slipped from his fingers and clattered on the floor.


Notice how the taste is initially bitter or spoiled but as they continue to drink the flavor improves becoming sweeter and tasting like honey and then the taste transforms in to the things they loved or the memories that brought them happiness, Drogo’s seed or the last kiss his mother gave him.

The drinks awaken memories and feelings within them which is in part what they are about to experience. So, these two trees that appear for all intent and purpose to be counterparts of one another have a very similar taste and from what we’ll later see effect on its drinkers.

Time at a stand-still

The passing of time is noticeable in both places but there is also seems to be a slowing of time in each place. The Undying seem to be preserved in stasis awaiting their awakening while the Children live long lives some still extend their lives further through their bonding with the weirwood trees.

Pyat Pree tells Dany:

“When you come to the chamber of the Undying, be patient. Our little lives are no more than a flicker of a moth’s wing to them. Listen well, and write each word upon your heart.”

While Bloodraven tell Bran:

“A weirwood will live forever if left undisturbed. To them seasons pass in the flutter of a moth’s wing , and past, present, and future are one.”

We can see by both these quotes that there is a connection in the magic, however, different it may be. The Undying, the weirwood trees and the Children have long existed in this world; the men who now occupy it have been there but seconds of its long history. We can extrapolate from this that the magic of ASOIAF is ancient indeed.

As a speculation we wager that the magic of ASOIF has a common root from which different factions draw their magic. There are many similarities that can’t be attributed to mere coincidence. Like the blue leaf tree and the weirwood there must be a common core from where these both sprang.

Life Preserved

As we’ve been discussing even as time is passing them by the Undying and the Children have lived a long time in this world. As we discover there is a strange similarity in the preservation of the Undying and that of Bloodravel and the Children/Singer bonded to the weirwood trees:

While exploring the caves inside Hodor, Bran stubbles upon a chamber:

“He even crossed the slender stone bridge that arched over the abyss and discovered more passages and chambers on the far side. One was full of singers, enthroned like Brynden in nests of weirwood roots that wove under and through and around their bodies. Most of them looked dead to him, but as he crossed in front of them their eyes would open and follow the light of his torch, and one of them opened and closed a wrinkled mouth as if he were trying to speak.”

And when Dany finally enters the chamber of the Undying she sees:

“A long stone table filled this room. Above it floated a human heart, swollen and blue with corruption, yet still alive. It beat, a deep ponderous throb of sound, and each pulse sent out a wash of indigo light. The figures around the table were no more than blue shadows. As Dany walked to the empty chair at the foot of the table, they did not stir, nor speak, nor turn to face her. There was no sound but the slow, deep beat of the rotting heart.”

These two groups seemed to both be in some sort of stasis, the Singers seem to be extending their lives by the magic they draw from the weirwood tree, much like Bloodrave; the Undying on the other hand seem to be drawing their magic from a rotting blue heart at the center of their chamber. The Children once again depend on nature to extend their lives, while the Undying, however, are searching for a different sort of life force:

“They were reaching for her, touching her, tugging at her cloak, the hem of her skirt, her foot, her leg , her breast. They wanted her, needed her, the fire, the life, and Dany gasped and opened her arms to give herself to them …”

They wanted and needed whatever life force Dany has, they grab at her anxiously trying to consume the fire and life within her. Unlike the Children the Undying seem to need the life force of a person, preferably a person with inner magic.

Hot and Cold

Another contrast in Dany and Bran’s experience is the difference in the environment that they encounter while Bran is able to find warmth in the Children’s cave, Dany only finds an ice cold welcome.

Bran says about the caves:

“After the bone-grinding cold of the lands beyond the Wall, the caves were blessedly warm, and when the chill crept out of the rock the singers would light fires to drive it off again.”

Compare that to Dany’s experience in the HOTU:


“The Undying were all around her, blue and cold, whispering as they reached for her, pulling, stroking, tugging at her clothes, touching her with their dry cold hands, twining their fingers through her hair…“

Then indigo turned to orange, and whispers turned to screams. Her heart was pounding, racing, the hands and mouths were gone, heat washed over her skin, and Dany blinked at a sudden glare. Perched above her, the dragon spread his wings and tore at the terrible dark heart, ripping the rotten flesh to ribbons, and when his head snapped forward, fire flew from his open jaws, bright and hot. She could hear the shrieks of the Undying as they burned, their high thin papery voices crying out in tongues long dead. Their flesh was crumbling parchment, their bones dry wood soaked in tallow”

It’s an interesting juxtaposition we have with Dany and Bran here. While Dany is very representative of fire, Bran is usually associated with ice; however, there is a more earthly feel to the magic of the children from what we have seen. Dany’s experience with the Undying in contrast is definitely of an icy nature. It’s an obvious leap to see the similarities of the Undying with those of the Others, blue, cold, ice, death. Bran on the other hand encounters worth, comfort and care.

Songs That They Sing

Dany and Bran have experienced the songs of nature. When Bran was still in a coma Robb told his mother that Bran needed to hear the wolves sing (when the wolves where howling outside his window). Then the night that Dany contemplated taking her own life after her marriage to khal Drogo a dragon appears to her in her dreams and sings to hear, healing her with his fire. Here once again we see the music being performed by both the Undying and the Children.

Dany hears:

“There were women among them, dressed in gowns of surpassing loveliness. Shafts of sunlight slanted through windows of stained glass, and the air was alive with the most beautiful music she had ever heard.”
~*~
“The wizards were beckoning her with voices sweeter than song.”

While Bran hears:

“They sang in True Tongue, so Bran could not understand the words , but their voices were as pure as winter air.”

Although they both were treated to music, it was not for the same purpose. While the Children and their Singer sang as part of their rituals, the Undying used their music to try and trick Dany into taking the wrong turn, they used their music to try and deceive her. Music and magic also seem to go hand in hand in ASOIAF, another example of this is Mirri Maz Duur’a chanting while casting her spell in Drogo’s tent.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • The visions that both Dany (the first visions that she sees) and Bran receive go from nearest to the present to the past. 
  • When Dany enters the first chamber of the Undying she passes through a weirwood and ebony set of doors. While Bran see the see that “All the color is gone, Bran realized suddenly. The world was black soil and white wood.”
  • Even as they see these black and white places each places has another dominant color. For Bran it is the color red, Bloodraven’s red eye and red scare, the red leaves of the weirwood trees (above ground) the blood stew fed to them by the Children and the red laces weirwood paste that he is fed. For Dany it is the color blue, she drinks the blue shades of the evening, the Undying are blue shadows, and the corrupted heart of the Undying is also blue.

Now let us look at the mythological associations Dany and Bran share with the in universe prophecies.

Mythology

*Disclaimer this part of the essay isn’t meant to say Dan is Azor Ahai or Bran is the Last Hero reborn. We are simply comparing how GRRM has influenced both characters arcs from mythical tales in Planetos

Mythology plays a large role in the World of Ice and Fire, additionally it plays a very large part of both Bran and Dany’s arcs. From Old Nan’s bed time stories, to strange tales from the East, Dany and Bran’s share the common thread of having their arcs resemble many of the characteristics of these mythologies.

The Two Heroes

In A Song of Ice and Fire, we learn about two ancient heroes, whose myths are legendary: one is called the Last Hero and the other called Azor Ahai. Both heroes are known for have done something heroic during the Long Night that helped bring back the light of day. Whether both heroes are different representations of one hero is up for debate that, however, won’t be what we’ll be focusing on. The main focus is on how GRRM writes Dany and Bran’s arc similarly in the sense that many of the events in their journey are parallels to these mythical heroes.

Azor Ahai and Daenerys

“It was a time when darkness lay heavy on the world. To oppose it, the hero must have a hero’s blade, oh, like none that had ever been. And so for thirty days and thirty nights Azor Ahai labored sleepless in the temple, forging a blade in the sacred fires. Heat and hammer and fold, heat and hammer and fold, oh, yes, until the sword was done. Yet when he plunged it into water to temper the steel it burst asunder. “Being a hero, it was not for him to shrug and go in search of excellent grapes such as these, so again he began. The second time it took him fifty days and fifty nights, and this sword seemed even finer than the first. Azor Ahai captured a lion, to temper the blade by plunging it through the beast’s red heart, but once more the steel shattered and split. Great was his woe and great was his sorrow then, for he knew what he must do. “A hundred days and a hundred nights he labored on the third blade, and as it glowed white-hot in the sacred fires, he summoned his wife. ‘Nissa Nissa,’ he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.’ She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.”

This is the tale of Azor Ahai which was told to Davos in A Clash of Kings. Dany has several parallels to this story, we will analyze those sections of the myth that relate most closely with the events that have taken place in day’s arc.

Three Tries is the Charm

One of the main themes in Azor Ahai’s story is that it took three tries for him to achieve his goal of forging Lightbringer. This theme of “three tries being the charm” is heavily used in Dany’s arc in A Song of Ice and Fire.

After Dany woke from her coma dream, she remembered that she needed something but could not say what. In the end it took three attempts by her to obtain what she needed, one of her dragon eggs.

First

“She woke to the taste of ashes. “No,” she moaned, “no, please.” “Khaleesi!” Jhiqui hovered over her, a frightened doe. The tent was drenched in shadow, still and close.”

Second

“…she woke again. The tent was dark, its silken walls flapping like wings when the wind gusted outside. This time Dany did not attempt to rise.”

Third

“When she woke the third time, a shaft of golden sunlight was pouring through the smoke hole of the tent, and her arms were wrapped around a dragon’s egg.”

Like Azor Ahai’s three attempts to forge Lightbringer, it takes three attempts for her to obtain her dragon eggs. GRRM wrote Dany’s arc to be heavily associated with the number three, this cannot be a coincidence, we believe.

The same theme is also used again when Dany considers that the eggs might be alive.

She first tries to hatch the dragons after Drogon appeared to her in her second dragon dream, when he healed her with his dragon fire. When she woke up she went to the egg whose color resembled that dragon she had seen and realized that it was warm to her touch.  The second attempt was when she put the eggs in the brazier, however, this did not lead to the dragon eggs hatching. The third and final attempt was the actual funeral pyre where she was finally able hatch the dragon eggs in accordance with the theme of thee tries.

Sacrifice of a Loved One

Sacrifice is an important elements of the mythology of Azor Ahai. In order forge Lightbringer he had to sacrifice the person he loved most in the world. This same theme of sacrifice is seen in Dany’s arc as well. In order to hatch the dragons she had to sacrifice the things she loved the most.

Dany loses both her son Rhaego and her husband Khal Drogo, magic in the World of Ice and Fire is not without a price, as Mirri once told Dany, only death can pay for life.

Rhaego sacrifice occurs whiles Dany has her fever dream and interestingly the author writes it similarly to how Nissa Nissa was sacrificed, which again indicates that we are meant to compare these two events.

“She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.”

Drogo’s sacrifice may have occurred at the pyre, or when Dany suffocated him or during the spell Mirri performed. Either way the conclusion is still the same, which is that he as well as Rhaego was sacrificed just like Nissa Nissa.

Lightbringer

In the story of Azor Ahai, his sacrifices in order to save the world where done in order for him to obtain the means to end the Long Night, the means in this instance was the forgiving of Lightbringer. In Dany’s case her sacrifices lead to the birth of her three dragons. The description of Lightbring is very similar to that of the dragons. In the Jade Compendium we are given a story of the deeds of Azor Ahai, the descriptions is very similar to Dany’s actions in Astapor. The story of Azor Ahai reads:

“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.”

Drogon’s actions in Astapor:

“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.”

Now, let us look at the dragons as a sword. In Meereen while Dany is talking to Xaro he tells her:

“When your dragons were small they were a wonder. Grown, they are death and devastation, a flaming sword above the world.”

In a conversation with Davos, Stannis explains to him why dragons are better than a sword:

“It glimmers prettily, I’l grant you, but on the Blackwater this magic sword served me no better than common steel. A dragon would have turned that battle. Aegon once stood here as I do, looking down on this table. Do you think we would name him Aegon the Conqueror today if he had not had dragons?”

Dany’s tale is not done yet and although we can find more similarities between Dany’s story and that of Azor ahai, these examples should be sufficient enough in showing that there are strong parallels between Dany’s arc and Azor Ahai’s story.

The Last Hero

“Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks.” Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, “So, child. This is the sort of story you like?” “Well,” Bran said reluctantly, “yes, only …” Old Nan nodded. “In that darkness, the Others came for the first time,” she said as her needles went click click click. “They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children.” Her voice had dropped very low, almost to a whisper, and Bran found himself leaning forward to listen. “Now these were the days before the Andals came, and long before the women fled across the narrow sea from the cities of the Rhoyne, and the hundred kingdoms of those times were the kingdoms of the First Men, who had taken these lands from the children of the forest. Yet here and there in the fastness of the woods the children still lived in their wooden cities and hollow hills, and the faces in the trees kept watch. So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched, until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the Others smelled the hot blood in him, and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds—”

Just like Dany, Bran’s arc also has influences from a mythical hero. Many of the themes that occur in the Last Hero story also occur in Bran’s story.

The Loss of Friends and Family

Perhaps the main theme in the Last Hero’s story is that he in the end is literally the last hero. He loses all his friends and companies and yet he manages to stay alive left alone to try and find an end to the Long Night. 

Bran’s arc is not complete yet, however, the theme of losing his companions seems to be where his story is heading. We see it with Jojen growing sullenness and sadness.

Bran’s story starts as an innocent young boy, who s surrounded by a loving family. However, as his story progresses he begins to lose the people he loves little by little. First his father and sisters leave Winterfell and then his bastard brother goes to the Wall. Then his older brother Robb also goes South. Eventually his father dies and so do many of his father’s men, men whom Bran new having grown up around the.

Then his Master and guardian, Maester Luwin dies. Finally, he is forced to let his younger brother depart from him for his brothers safety, leaving Bran with only the Reed children and Hodor as companions. In A Dance with Dragons we see how Jojen begins to distance himself from everyone and when Bran comes back from one of his lessons in his final scene, Meera and Jojen are nowhere to be found. Like the Last Hero, Bran and his companions go to the far North, along with a dog, which in this case is represented by Bran dire wolf Summer. Perhaps in the end Bran will also be the last of his companions to survive.

Children of the Forest

According to Bran, Old Nan’s stories always ends with the Children of the Forest playing an important role in the Last Hero’s rescue. However, we don’t know exactly how the Children were able to help the Last Hero.

Like the Last Hero Bran is rescue from the Wights attacks by the Children. It seem as these parallels continue that we might be able to deduce how the Children originally helped the Last Hero end the Long Night.

The Truth in Myths

In an interesting parallel at the beginning of Dany and Bran’s stories they both hear myths which in time they will both verify to be true. In AGOT Dany is told thetale of how dragons first came to be and how they will return, the tale is told to her by her handmaiden Doreah. Bran hears from the Wilding captive at Winterfell, Osha, that the Children of the Forest still exist, beyond the Wall.

As the story progresses Dany goes on the hatch the stone eggs and Bran goes on to find the Children of the Forrest. Showing that although these myths contain a lot of fantastical elements to them they also may contain a kernel of truth.

Discussion

A good question to ask is what GRRM is trying to accomplish by infusing both Dany and Bran’s arcs with similarities to these mythical heroes. Does he want us to simply draw a line from the mythical heroes to the characters themselves. Or perhaps he wants us to look at the nature of what makes a person a hero. Neither Dany nor Bran are purposely setting out to be heroes, yet their actions, Dany’s more so than Bran’s are heroic in nature.

Conclusion

From their magical encounters with the Undying and the Children of the Forrest to their similarities to mythical heroes, we are allowed once again to see through Dany and Bran’s eyes a side of ASOIAF that is still for the most part a mystery to us all. These small glimpses into the magical elements of the story gives is the opportunity to see where the overall story will be heading. As GRRM has told us the elements of magical will become more prominent as the story continues and we have a small taste of what to expect.

abi117  asked:

Hi! Could you write Jon and Sansa's first kiss in the show? Season 7 or season 8, whenever you think it will happen and whatever the situation is. Thank you darling ❤️

Here you go, @abi117 ! I’m not sure if I exactly see it happening this way. I have various versions in my head. However, I do like how heated they get when they argue and so I thought I’d go with that one. ;)

Jon watched Sansa send a raven out and wondered if it was to Littlefinger. It was possible, though she did keep several correspondences with the houses in the North.

Still, the uncertainty of who she was sending a letter to rankled. And it was all Davos’s fault. Davos thought Sansa might be working against him out of spite for not receiving any credit for how she’d saved the day during his battle with Ramsay. Jon immediately told Davos no, Sansa was his sister and wouldn’t do anything like that. 

“It’s your soft spot for her that could end up being your downfall,” Davos had warned him. 

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