last greenseer

almussafes asked:

Hi, Butterfly! I hope this hasn’t been asked before: what would have happened if Robert had found out on his own about Jon being Rhaegar’s (noticing something that could have given Ned away, doing some research with the Tower of Joy, dream revelation, whatever)? Let’s say this happens after Balon’s Rebellion, in the middle of his peaceful reign, when he’s thankful to Ned… would he have ran to Winterfell asking for Jon’s head? Do you think that Ned could have talked him out of this idea? Thank you!

Hmm, I don’t think anyone’s asked anything quite like this before, so… well, Ned’s always been pretty damn careful, and Robert isn’t exactly the most perceptive person in the world, so I’m going to have to assume he finds out about Jon’s parentage in a dream. (He’s ¼ Targ, it could happen.) So, a few months after the Greyjoy Rebellion, he wakes up, filled with fury… and because Robert isn’t exactly the most subtle person in the world, either, he goes roaring down the Red Keep corridors until he finds Jon Arryn and starts shouting at him about Ned’s treachery and the dragonspawn nesting at Winterfell. But Jon Arryn, who is subtle and has a strong interest in keeping Westeros peaceful, talks Robert down from his anger. (Along with asking him if he was sure, it was a dream after all, but Robert responds with shouts and sobs (about Ned, about Lyanna) and certainty.)

And, well, this gets very fanficcy, so under a cut it goes:

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farahotb  asked:

Hello ! , I'm a big fan from middle east *.* May I ask you something ? Can you please tell me more about the wildings beyond the wall ?! , their history , languages , customs and Traditions ... ect ?! , Thank you very much ❤

السلام عليكم

My own studies of history draw extensively from the Middle East, there’s such a rich and fascinating tapestry of history in many eras of human history.

As for the wildlings, we know that their traditions are fiercely preserved from First Men traditions. They refer to themselves as ‘true’ First Men, suggesting less innovation of traditions and less intermingling of First Men traditions with later Andal traditions. As they never received much in the way of diplomatic attention from the southron kingdoms, there would be little chance for tradition and ideas to intermix.

Their language is the Old Tongue, a harsh language of short-syllabled words. Many Northern Houses, like Stark or Flint, have names derived from this language.  

They have a strong oral culture. The First Men do carve runes on rocks, but as this is a labor-exhaustive process, much of the history is passed down from generation to generation. 

The wildlings themselves have a great number of tribes, each with differing cultures. There are a few commonalities, though. Fulfillment of oaths is a big one across the board, just as an example.

The Thenns have bronzeworking technology, but most of the other wildling tribes have nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles, preventing the sort of fixed structures to help facilitate technological development.

There is a fierce streak of individualism among wildlings, and a cultural imperative toward personal freedoms. A wildling keeps only what he can defend, suggesting that there is little in the way of property law and tradition. Raiding is a large part of wildling culture, either other tribes or south of the Wall.

The wildlings keep the Old Gods of the First Men, but their practices are notably harsher. The Old Gods’ religion has no holy figures or sacred texts, suggesting that it is a deeply personal religion. Most matters of important are done in front of a weirwood tree with a face carved into it, so the Old Gods might bear witness.

The older magical traditions are still alive. Varamyr Sixskins and Orell the Eagle skinchanger suggest that skinchanging is, while rare, not unheard of. We don’t hear of any wildlings possessing the greensight, but according to the text, one in one thousand is a warg, and one in one thousand wargs is a greenseer, we might simply not have found one yet. With the wildlings under the threat of the Others, there might not have been time to train a greenseer. Or Brynden Rivers, the Last Greenseer, might have been looking southward for his chosen inheritor of the tradition.

Marriage customs are unusual. Wildling men steal desirable women under cover of night, and if he can keep her, she becomes his wife. Wives are expected to fight every step of the way, proving their tenacity and vigor. These traits are looked upon as desirable in a wildling mate. Women are permitted to fight in wildling armies, and are found in great number alongside their male counterparts. They even have a unique term to describe them: spearwives, which suggests that it happens often enough for the language to mandate a unique word to describe them.

The King-Beyond-the-Wall is a wildling who is strong, cunning, and brave enough to lead all of the wildlings together. There have been seven in recorded history, which suggests that it is not a simple fluke by Mance Rayder in the wake of the approaching Others. The wide variety of tribal customs suggest that this King must truly be special. He cannot simply be strong or wise, but must have a strong balance of many traits in order to unite tribes with blood feuds dating back thousands of years. These individuals are truly remarkable.

But through all of these differences, they still are human beings. Val said it best

“Good men and bad, heroes and villains, men of honor, liars, cravens, brutes … we have plenty, as do you.“ -A Dance with Dragons, Jon V

Thanks for the question, Fara

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

migsallum  asked:

Hey, love your insights in asoiaf so just wanted to know why do think euron is a super villain that may be even sided with the other? In my head he is no worse than the rest of balon's brothers(including balon)

Hiya! I firmly believe Euron is a rogue protege of Bloodraven’s. The crow symbolism, the eye symbolism, and the intense interest in arcane magic are all suggestive enough, but this makes it canon as far as I’m concerned: 

“When I was a boy, I dreamt that I could fly,” he announced. “When I woke, I couldn’t…or so the maester said. But what if he lied?”

That’s an exact parallel for Bran’s introduction to the last greenseer, down to the rationalist maester dismissing it. 

So that means Euron is a skinchanger, which as @madeinmyr has discussed puts his relationships with his younger brothers in an even more sinister light: it potentially adds another hideous layer to his abuse of Aeron, and hints that Euron sent the Dusky Woman along with Victarion so he could keep tabs on the Iron Suitor through her eyes. I’ve yet to hear another explanation for why she reacts as furiously as she does to Moqorro, and since Euron cut out her tongue, she can’t tell Vic or anyone else what’s happening to her…same as the crew (and figurehead) of the Silence. “No one must ever know.”

Moreover, Bloodraven’s tutelage means Euron almost certainly knows about the Others. And Euron is precisely the kind of dude delusional enough to think he could be the new Night’s King, given that he drinks liquid LSD with every meal. I’ve compared him to Saruman from LOTR: surprise villain, rogue protege of good gods, sneeringly arrogant to former peers but corrupts and charms his way to the top, sees the apocalypse as a wave to ride. “A crow can espy death from afar. I say that all of Westeros is dying.

Two other tidbits convince me that Euron will be a magical supervillain in TWOW and ADOS. Moqorro sees Euron’s eldritch-kraken soul wreaking havoc in the story’s source code: 

“Others seek Daenerys too … One most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood.”

And I again agree with @madeinmyr​ that this is Euron using the powers he learned from Bloodraven to stalk Dany, Nightmare on Elm Street-style, through her dreams: 

Beneath her coverlets she tossed and turned, dreaming that Hizdahr was kissing her…but his lips were blue and bruised, and when he thrust himself inside her, his manhood was cold as ice.

So often, nightmare-creatures take on the face of those known to you, except some part of them is just so horribly wrong…in this case, Euron’s infamous blue lips. I take the ice-cold dick to be a sign that Euron will attempt to in some way become an Other. And hey, he’s in the neighborhood of the horn that can get the Wall out of their way…

Basically, I’m saying that Euron isn’t a pirate so much as a monster wearing a pirate suit. 

An Addendum to Euron the Dark Lord

Our first essay naturally focused on what Euron’s dark lord status implied for the story going forward. Yet in doing so we completely overlooked the significance of Euron’s late entrance into the story and how this subverts the dark lord’s traditional role as keystone antagonist.

The sheer importance of this subversion came to us while we were contemplating an utterly hilarious yet completely on the nose bit of commentary by PoorQuentyn:

I always wondered how much of the widespread dislike of these two intertwined books stemmed from how fucking arrogant some of these new plotlines are. Euron shows up four books in and all but says out loud “Why hello readers, I’m the villain! Sorry I’m late, but check out my eyepatch!”

He’s right. Euron’s storyline is breathtakingly arrogant and completely out of left field. Such a late entrance for one of the story’s main villains, and a surprise entrance at that, is just not how things are supposed to be done. We believe this is completely by design because The Song of Ice and Fire is a story where the standard fantasy dark lord is not essential and plays no role in the conflict’s beginning or end. Rather ASoIaF is a story where an inessential dark lord shows up halfway through in order to deconstruct fantasy narratives wherein black and white conflicts are brought about by the sheer power and ill will of uniquely evil beings.

Let’s compare ASoIaF to two fantasy series of similar cultural impact: the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. In Tolkien, the War of the Ring’s origins lay in the dark lord Sauron’s forging of the One Ring in the year 1600 of the Second Age. The next 4861 years were defined by the struggle between Sauron and the Free Peoples of Middle Earth, of which the Trilogy is merely the final playing out, a last gasp amidst the dark and crumbling world that Sauron’s wars and sorceries have made. Sauron might not put in a physical appearance, but his presence is strongly conveyed from afar. With the Harry Potter series, the entire conflict predates Harry’s existence and is merely starting up again. The books center on the protagonists’ heroic efforts to thwart the dark lord Voldemort’s attempts to return to the world of the living, wreak revenge upon his many enemies, and take over the Wizarding world. Voldemort is physically present from the first book on. At first he is a weak and ghostly figure, but as the story progresses he becomes ever more formidable, corporeal, and inescapable (Harry gets thrown into Voldemort’s head and the dark lord’s childhood and prechildhood are intensely analyzed). Remove either dark lord and you don’t have a story, period. Of course this setup is not present in every fantasy story, but it is still pretty common.

GRRM’s dark lord on the other hand has absolutely no role in starting the series’ central conflicts. The War of Five Kings is brought about by Queen Cersei’s treason with her brother Jaime and the respective decisions of Varys, Littlefinger, and Renly to conceal and exploit this treason for their own ends. Meanwhile, Beyond-the-Wall, the Others begin their steady advance, the Last Greenseer makes one last desperate attempt at recruiting a suitable replacement, and the Wildling’s millennium of conflict with the Nights Watch finally comes to a head as they desperately try to escape to safety. Finally, in Middle Essos the last intrigues of Robert’s Rebellion intersect with Dothraki imperialism, post-Valyrian slavery, Lhazareen resistance, and blood sorcery to bring about the rebirth of dragons. The ultimate results are war across the South, war in the North, and war in Middle Essos. As these conflicts intensify they expose unhealed wounds (such as Elia Martell’s murder) and create brand new ones (such as the Sand Snakes demands for vengeance and the many vendettas of the Riverlands, from the Brotherhood to the Sparrow movement), making it difficult, if not impossible, to bring a satisfactory end to the violence.

Now, while all these complex events were unfolding, what was Euron up to? Well, he’s not even mentioned in A Game of Thrones and all A Clash of Kings does is highlight his absence from the Iron Isles. It’s eventually established in Feast-Dance that, during the events of the first two books, Euron was busy being a completely irrelevant pirate somewhere in the Summer or Jade Sea, vainly trying to hatch a stolen dragon’s egg. A Song of Ice and Fire begins without Euron, and so the best he can do is dramatically insert himself into the story halfway through (essentially trying to steal the story just as he’s trying to steal Dany’s dragons).

And even this entrance would have been impossible if not for the setup provided by more central characters. Euron’s role and actions are fundamentally reactive. He needed the death and chaos of the War of Five Kings so that Westeros would be vulnerable. He needed for Daenerys to hatch her dragon eggs on the Great Grass Sea. He needed the Qartheen Warlocks to try and murder her, fail at the cost of their House, and then embark on a quest for revenge that leads them right into Euron’s hands. Euron is a black swan made possible by the sum total of other people’s decisions, he is an unexpected consequence of war and sorcery that expands, prolongs, and worsens the worldwide conflagration.

Let us imagine Euron just before he captured the four warlocks and learned about Daenerys. Throughout his early life he’d had unexplained dreams, visions, and powers that had set him apart from most men and filled him with great expectations. All his life he had secretly pursued the power promised in these dreams, pursued power into the lands of the mysterious East and into the minds of vulnerable human beings. And yet all this questing and ambition had amounted to nothing more than a life of small-time piracy along the main commercial arteries of the Summer and Jade Seas. True, Euron had had some very profitable adventures and done more damage than the captain of a single longship had any right to do. There had been a lot of opportunity for someone like him, what with the Golden Empire disintegrating and the Qartheen turning a blind eye to attacks on their competitors’ shipping (occasionally even preying upon it themselves). He ruled supreme over his cowed slave crew and had even captured one of the world’s few remaining dragon eggs (rarer than Valyrian steel — had any other Ironborn ever managed such a feat?). But none of this was enough to truly satisfy him.

Euron had always believed he was destined for far greater things than mere plunder and sadism (however enjoyable these were in their own right). But it didn’t feel like he had much of a destiny now. The best he could hope for was to one day return home and murder his way to the Seastone Chair… and then what? Become the lord of a bunch of little islands, with all their little hopes and tedious disputes, bending his knee to some far off king lest he be crushed by the mainland’s overwhelming might? Or lead an unsuccessful rebellion and become another Dagon or Balon Greyjoy? What kind of destiny was that? He wanted to plunder whole countries, not merely a bunch of unlucky merchants and coastal towns; he wanted to lord over a vast slave empire worthy of an Eastern potentate, not merely the broken crew held in thrall aboard his ship. And he wanted to work great feats of magic, the magic that had been practiced in Valyrian history and Westerosi legend, and the magic that he had seen or heard about in Asshai: dark magic, blood magic, shadow magic, ice and fire magic. But he was nowhere close to doing any of that.

What Euron needed was a dragon. If he could just hatch a dragon then no one would be able withstand him, just as no one had withstood the Valyrians. With a dragon he would be able to fly far higher than he had ever flown before and all his pretensions and dreams would be made real. So he sat on his boat, sweating under the tropical sun, hoping against hope that that Myrish fire mage might actually hatch his plundered dragon egg, and all the while his thoughts smoldered with the stories of Valyria and the failed Targaryen attempts. He was going nowhere and he probably knew it. The only question was the manner in which Euron would brutally kill the fire mage when he inevitably failed. Then, as if some dark god were answering the prayers Euron had never made, the sails of a certain Qartheen galas appeared upon the horizon…

imagine-ist  asked:

I don't really remember the books in much detail (I need to reread) but could you please tell me which book talks about Bloodraven, Shiera Seastar and etc?

This is a tricky question for me, because the first I really recall reading about them is on, GRRM’s Targaryen descriptions for the artist Amoka. (Bloodraven; Shiera. Note many historical Targs were described for that artist in far more detail than they ever were in the books.) I know that Bloodraven was definitely mentioned in AFFC, and both of them in ADWD, but let’s see if there’s anything anywhere else:

Maester Aemon preferred to spend his days on deck as well, huddled beneath a pile of furs and gazing out across the water. “What is he looking at?” Dareon wondered one day. “For him it’s as dark up here as it is down in the cabin.”
The old man heard him. Though Aemon’s eyes had dimmed and gone dark, there was nothing wrong with his ears. “I was not born blind,” he reminded them. “When last I passed this way, I saw every rock and tree and whitecap, and watched the grey gulls flying in our wake. I was five-and-thirty and had been a maester of the chain for sixteen years. Egg wanted me to help him rule, but I knew my place was here. He sent me north aboard the Golden Dragon, and insisted that his friend Ser Duncan see me safe to Eastwatch. No recruit had arrived at the Wall with so much pomp since Nymeria sent the Watch six kings in golden fetters. Egg emptied out the dungeons too, so I would not need to say my vows alone. My honor guard, he called them. One was no less a man than Brynden Rivers. Later he was chosen lord commander.”
“Bloodraven?” said Dareon. “I know a song about him. ‘A Thousand Eyes, and One,’ it’s called. But I thought he lived a hundred years ago.”
“We all did. Once I was as young as you.”

—AFFC, Samwell II

[In the Winterfell crypts, looking at statues of the old Stark lords]:

Lord Beron Stark, who made common cause with Casterly Rock to war against Dagon Greyjoy, Lord of Pyke, in the days when the Seven Kingdoms were ruled in all but name by the bastard sorcerer men called Bloodraven.

—ADWD, The Turncloak (Theon V)

Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled.

—ADWD, The Kingbreaker (Barristan III)

Looks like AFFC and ADWD is it for the main books, then. Although there is quite a bit more description of them (well, Bloodraven, at least) in the Dunk and Egg stories:

The realm was full of lawless men these days. The drought showed no signs of ending, and smallfolk by the thousands had taken to the roads, looking for someplace where the rains still fell. Lord Bloodraven had commanded them to return to their own lands and lords, but few obeyed. Many blamed Bloodraven and King Aerys for the drought. It was a judgment from the gods, they said, for the kinslayer is accursed. If they were wise, though, they did not say it loudly. How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? ran the riddle Egg had heard in Oldtown. A thousand eyes, and one.
Six years ago in King’s Landing, Dunk had seen him with his own two eyes, as he rode a pale horse up the Street of Steel with fifty Raven’s Teeth behind him. That was before King Aerys had ascended to the Iron Throne and made him the Hand, but even so he cut a striking figure, garbed in smoke and scarlet with Dark Sister on his hip. His pallid skin and bone-white hair made him look a living corpse. Across his cheek and chin spread a wine-stain birthmark that was supposed to resemble a red raven, though Dunk only saw an odd-shaped blotch of discolored skin. He stared so hard that Bloodraven felt it. The king’s sorcerer had turned to study him as he went by. He had one eye, and that one red. The other was an empty socket, the gift Bittersteel had given him upon the Redgrass Field. Yet it seemed to Dunk that both eyes had looked right through his skin, down to his very soul.

The Sworn Sword

“You’ve known queens and princesses. Did they dance with demons and practice the black arts?”
“Lady Shiera does. Lord Bloodraven’s paramour. She bathes in blood to keep her beauty.”

The Sworn Sword

“The Blackwoods will never stomach the Brute of Bracken as a neighbor. It will mean war.”
Dunk knew about the ancient enmity between the Blackwoods and the Brackens. “Won’t their liege lord force a peace?”
“Alas,” said Septon Sefton, “Lord Tully is a boy of eight, surrounded by women. Riverrun will do little, and King Aerys will do less. Unless some maester writes a book about it, the whole matter may escape his royal notice. Lord Rivers is not like to let any Brackens in to see him. Pray recall, our Hand was born half Blackwood. If he acts at all, it will be only to help his cousins bring the Brute to bay. The Mother marked Lord Rivers on the day that he was born, and Bittersteel marked him once again upon the Redgrass Field.”
Dunk knew he meant Bloodraven. Brynden Rivers was the Hand’s true name. His mother had been a Blackwood, his father King Aegon the Fourth.

The Sworn Sword

“Lord Bloodraven’s not even a real lord, that’s just some stupid courtesy. He’s a sorcerer, and baseborn besides.”
“Bastard born, not baseborn.” Bloodraven might not be a real lord, but he was noble on both sides. His mother had been one of the many mistresses of King Aegon the Unworthy. Aegon’s bastards had been the bane of the Seven Kingdoms ever since the old king died. He had legitimized the lot upon his deathbed; not only the Great Bastards like Bloodraven, Bittersteel, and Daemon Blackfyre, whose mothers had been ladies, but even the lesser ones he’d fathered on whores and tavern wenches, merchant’s daughters, mummer’s maidens, and every pretty peasant girl who chanced to catch his eye. Fire and Blood were the words of House Targaryen, but Dunk once heard Ser Arlan say that Aegon’s should have been Wash Her and Bring Her to My Bed.

The Sworn Sword (note multiple other mentions of Bloodraven within this story, including a description of the Battle of the Redgrass Field)

How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? the riddle ran. A thousand eyes, and one. Some claimed the King’s Hand was a student of the dark arts who could change his face, put on the likeness of a one-eyed dog, even turn into a mist. Packs of gaunt gray wolves hunted down his foes, men said, and carrion crows spied for him and whispered secrets in his ear. Most of the tales were only tales, Dunk did not doubt, but no one could doubt that Bloodraven had informers everywhere.
He had seen the man once with his own two eyes, back in King’s Landing. White as bone were the skin and hair of Brynden Rivers, and his eye—he had only the one, the other having been lost to his half brother Bittersteel on the Redgrass Field—was red as blood. On cheek and neck he bore the winestain birthmark that had given him his name.

The Mystery Knight

He was older than Dunk remembered him, with a lined hard face, but his skin was still as pale as bone, and his cheek and neck still bore the ugly winestain birthmark that some people thought looked like a raven. His boots were black, his tunic scarlet. Over it he wore a cloak the color of smoke, fastened with a brooch in the shape of an iron hand. His hair fell to his shoulders, long and white and straight, brushed forward so as to conceal his missing eye, the one that Bittersteel had plucked from him on the Redgrass Field. The eye that remained was very red. How many eyes has Bloodraven? A thousand eyes, and one.

The Mystery Knight (and again, many other mentions within this story)

Oh, and under the cut are the descriptions of the last greenseer in ADWD’s Bran chapters, so you can see who he is for sure.

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anonymous asked:

do you think Sansa will become Queen in the North ?

I think it’s a possible outcome… among others. I mean: Sansa is thematically a valid candidate to eventually rule Winterfell, but I think the same can be said about virtually all of her siblings, especially Rickon (the future KITN being the youngest sibling, the one who just vanished from the narrative for 3 books, who so many readers have dismissed as unimportant… nope, it doesn’t sound like the George RR Martin™ thing to do at all! Also, Rickon doesn’t have a pov. Neither did Robb, the former king. I wonder if it means anything) and Bran (@the-isle-of-faces has a series of fascinating metas highlighting the “kingly” themes and foreshadowing in his arc).

That said, what Sansa does bring to the table is a narrative that, taken in isolation, reads a lot like a “political player in the making” bildungsroman story. 

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andrewki1217  asked:

I keep seeing something not only here, but throughout much of the fandom and I just wanted to ask why everyone takes it as canon that Euron is a skin changer? The only people we've seen with this ability have blood of the first men and are either Starks or Wildlings (besides BR). Why is it just assumed as **fact** that Euron is not only a skin changer but a powerful enough one to be able to change into the dusky woman from so far away? At this point Euron has become far too sensationalized.

Hiya! First of all, it’s not true that the only skinchangers are Starks, wildlings, and Bloodraven. The Farwynds are rumored to skinchange into sea creatures, establishing the ability among the Ironborn. And GRRM links them to Euron at the kingsmoot: remember, the first candidate to speak is Gylbert Farwynd, a crazy-eyed dreamer who speaks of a long-shot quest to a far-off land…just like Euron! The Crow’s Eye is basically Gylbert cranked up to 11, skinchanging and all. 

As for the direct evidence? Start with him being a former protege of Bloodraven’s:

“When I was a boy, I dreamt that I could fly,” he announced. “When I woke, I couldn’t…or so the maester said. But what if he lied?”

That’s a perfect parallel for Bran’s introduction to the Last Greenseer, right down to the maester’s role. It’s congruent with everything else we know about Euron: “Crow’s Eye” couldn’t be more obviously in line with the three-eyed crow, Euron’s red-eye banner is a direct reference to Bloodraven (and as @madeinmyr has argued, that the crows are crowning the eye symbolizes Bloodraven opening young Euron’s third eye), and everything about the character’s past, present, and future suggests a total marination in dangerous metaphysics. 

And if Bloodraven considered Euron a candidate for greenseer status, that means the latter is a skinchanger: “only one man in a thousand is born a skinchanger, and only one skinchanger in a thousand can be a greenseer.” As for the dusky woman, I’ve yet to see anyone who doubts Euron’s skinchanging explain this:

As he opened the door to the captain’s cabin, the dusky woman turned toward him, silent and smiling…but when she saw the red priest at his side her lips drew back from her teeth, and she hisssssed in sudden fury, like a snake. 

The dusky woman has no reason to react this way to Moqorro, and otherwise performs docility to keep herself as safe as possible from Victarion. So yes, I believe Euron sent the dusky woman as his host, so he could directly keep tabs on li’l bro, and that it was Euron in the dusky woman’s skin reacting in dismay to Moqorro’s appearance, cursing a rival for influence over the Iron Suitor. Remember what Moqorro tells Vic upon their meeting: you are “blind to the tentacles” that control you. Vic trusts the dusky woman with his hand and tells her all his plans. It fits Euron’s treatment of both his brothers in AFFC that he would violate that personal, sexual intimacy and exploit Vic so ruthlessly. 

Indeed, note how the dusky woman is described right before she sees Moqorro. “Silent and smiling” are both words associated with Euron; think of the Silence and his “smiling eye.” Like the crew of the Silence, Euron cut out the dusky woman’s tongue; I believe that in both cases, this is so they can’t tell anyone that he’s regularly possessing them. (“No one must ever know.”) And his “smiling eye,” as Aeron can’t bring himself to tell anybody, is only a cover for the titular crow’s eye, fitting how Euron drops the dusky woman’s smile as soon as he spots Moqorro. 

Ain’t no one has to agree with it, but my “sensationalized” take on Euron is rooted in the text. It began with me realizing, my first time through AFFC, that Euron has total, blatant contempt for his fellow Ironborn and their ways, which right away made him a different figure than Dalton and Dagon, or indeed Balon and Victarion. “Surely that is worth a driftwood crown” is the dead giveaway here; Euron is taking a purely transactional approach to the Ironborn, which means the Old Way isn’t his real ideology. Which means the eyepatch, far from a shallow affectation, might be a disguise…

Then came ADWD, and while Euron made no direct appearances in the text, he made two indirect ones that shook me to my core; there are few passages from ASOIAF I quote more regularly than these. 

“Others seek Daenerys too … [O]ne most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood.”

Beneath her coverlets she tossed and turned, dreaming that Hizdahr was kissing her…but his lips were blue and bruised, and when he thrust himself inside her, his manhood was cold as ice.

A disguise indeed; this is where I get “monster wearing a pirate suit” from. Put aside whether you agree with me that the “sea of blood” is Euron’s Doom-like domain (given that Moqorro shares this vision right as they pass Valyria), or that Euron’s icy astral dick means that Bloodraven showed him the Others and Euron decided he’d make a splendid Night’s King (hence GRRM sending the Horn of Joramun into his orbit). Those two images of Euron came out of nowhere my first time through ADWD and slapped me in the face; clearly there was more to this man than met the eye. Why on earth would GRRM bother with these memorably nightmarish visions unless he had appropriately chilling plans for the character they represented? (Hell, he even threw one into Theon’s released TWOW chapter: “a black eye shining with malice.”) 

It’s then I went back to AFFC, and having read Bran’s ADWD chapters, was primed to notice the references to Bloodraven. That cemented the skinchanging, which in turn primed me to notice that bizarre moment with the dusky woman and Moqorro when I reread ADWD. From there, the parallel between Dragonbinder and the Horn of Joramun really made everything fall into place: Euron as a structural interloper villain setting out to hijack both Fire and Ice, one horn each. The dragonriding makes him Dany’s foil; the skinchanging makes him Bran’s. I think that in TWOW, Bloodraven teaches Bran to stop skinchanging into Hodor by revealing how badly the Last Greenseer screwed up with Euron, using the latter as a cautionary tale of where practicing “abomination” can take you. 

yippekayakotherbuckets  asked:

Hello, I was just reading twoiaf, the part about the Valyrians conquering the Rhoyne, and I'm curious about the water magic that's mentioned. How much do we know about? Do they still do it in Dorne? Can it cause greyscale? Thanks

Hey! We don’t know much about water magic, as the mystical power of the Rhoynar was only first alluded to in ADWD, and what details there are in TWOIAF are not that detailed. (And written by a skeptic maester, so deliberately not much help there.) But here’s what we do know:

  • While the magic of the Valyrians was based in fire and blood, the magic of the Rhoynar was based in water.
  • “It was said the Mother Rhoyne herself whispered to her children of every threat, that the Rhoynar princes wielded strange, uncanny powers, […] and that their cities were protected by “watery walls” that would rise to drown any foe.”
  • During the wars between the Rhoynar and the Valyrian cities that had been founded on the Rhoyne, the Rhoynish water wizards called upon the power of the Rhoyne and flooded the city of Volon Therys, washing away half the city.
  • In the last war between the Rhoynar and Valyrians, Prince Garin the Great’s water wizards fought the Valyrian dragons with gigantic waterspouts.
  • After Garin’s army was slaughtered by the Valyrians, Garin was captured and locked in a cage to witness the enslavement of his people. That night, Garin called upon the power of Mother Rhoyne to curse the Valyrian conquerors… and the Rhoyne flooded hugely, out of season, and a thick fog fell upon Chroyane, and the Valyrians began to die of greyscale… presumably grey plague, by its speed.
  • To this day, Chroyane, now known as the Sorrows, is a place of evil fogs and mysterious events. A leper colony of “stone men”, those suffering from the last stages of greyscale, haunts the ruins of the city. It’s not known if it’s the fog or the river that carries Garin’s curse of greyscale, or neither, or both, but contact with the stone men is extremely not recommended.
  • When Princess Nymeria of the Rhoynar and her ten thousand ships of refugees finally made it to Westeros and settled in Dorne, it is said that the Rhoynish water witches “knew secret spells that made dry streams flow again and deserts bloom.”
  • If the Dornish still know water magic, it’s not mentioned at all in the main books – and considering that the deserts of Dorne are still huge and overwhelming, I think it’s probable that the last practitioners died out long ago. If anyone still knows anything, it’s probably the Orphans of the Greenblood, who live on the river like their ancestors once did, but probably more in the sense of cultural traditions rather than powerful “magic”.
  • The Children of the Forest also had a form of water magic – when their greenseers gathered and called upon the Old Gods to bring down the Hammer of the Waters to break the landbridge from Essos into the Stepstones, and later attempted to break north and south Westeros apart but were only able to flood the Neck. It is highly unlikely that the few remaining Children could ever summon such power again… but who knows what the last greenseer and his heir could do, if they truly needed to.
  • Also note that there are various water gods of Westeros – both the ancient First Men gods like those of storm and sea (worshipped by Storm’s End and in the Sisters islands) and the Drowned God and Storm God of the Iron Islands. It may be that their power was a form of water magic… and perhaps it was an example of such magic that allowed Patchface to survive being drowned for three days, and come back a prophet.
  • And then there’s the Deep Ones, semi-human eldritch creatures of the sea who may have worked with the oily black stone found in strange places of the world… who may have destroyed the ancient Lorathi mazemakers… and, well, if these eldritch fish creatures didn’t use water magic, I’d be very surprised. There are legends of horns that can summon krakens and stranger things from the waters too…

So, water magic is a strange and mysterious thing, possibly extinct… or possibly it could still affect the course of ASOIAF.  We’ll just have to see. And for more about greyscale, please check this tag.

The Ghost of High Heart and the Children of the Forest

agentofssr asked:

re: the Ghost of High Heart not being a child of the forest. She is described as having red eyes and white hair, which is like Brynden Rivers when he’s in the tree. I sort of assumed she was a child of the forest who was also a greenseer. (Since the weirwoods are all white with red eyes, I assumed all greenseers looked like this.) I guess this is just a theory…

Well, I can see why you’d think that– it actually was often theorized by fans that the Ghost of High Heart was one of the Children of the Forest.

When we meet her in ASOS, her appearance is very unusual:

Beside the embers of their campfire, she saw Tom, Lem, and Greenbeard talking to a tiny little woman, a foot shorter than Arya and older than Old Nan, all stooped and wrinkled and leaning on a gnarled black cane. Her white hair was so long it came almost to the ground. When the wind gusted it blew about her head in a fine cloud. Her flesh was whiter, the color of milk, and it seemed to Arya that her eyes were red, though it was hard to tell from the bushes.

–ASOS, Arya IV

Arya even wonders if the Ghost is one of the Children – and though Tom Sevenstrings tells her that she’s only “an old dwarf woman”, some fans took this to be a red herring to throw us off the track of her actual origins.

But then we did finally meet actual Children of the Forest in ADWD:

It was a girl, but smaller than Arya, her skin dappled like a doe’s beneath a cloak of leaves. Her eyes were queer—large and liquid, gold and green, slitted like a cat’s eyes. No one has eyes like that. Her hair was a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it.

–ADWD, Bran II

Though the men of the Seven Kingdoms might call them the children of the forest, Leaf and her people were far from childlike. Little wise men of the forest would have been closer. They were small compared to men, as a wolf is smaller than a direwolf. That does not mean it is a pup. They had nut-brown skin, dappled like a deer’s with paler spots, and large ears that could hear things that no man could hear. Their eyes were big too, great golden cat’s eyes that could see down passages where a boy’s eyes saw only blackness. Their hands had only three fingers and a thumb, with sharp black claws instead of nails.


That tells us that the CotF aren’t just small humans, they’re a distinctly different species with distinct non-human features. So, if in addition to her other characteristics, the Ghost had four fingers with claws, large ears, dappled skin, and cat’s eyes, then Arya’s narrative would have certainly mentioned it. And as it didn’t, she doesn’t have them, and therefore the Ghost is not one of the Children of the Forest.

And based on her actual characteristics – three feet tall, white hair, white skin, red eyes – we can understand what the Ghost of High Heart actually is: an old human woman, a dwarf, an albino. And not even that old; if she were 30ish when she came to court with Jenny of Oldstones, she’d be in her 90s now. Perhaps somewhat older, as old as Old Nan or Maester Aemon, but nothing requiring “immortality magic” or the longevity of the CotF.

Now, you also mentioned Brynden Rivers and the CotF greenseers and weirwoods. Interestingly, they all may be relevant to the Ghost of High Heart in some way. Bloodraven is also an albino, which apparently has some kind of magical significance in the world of ASOIAF:

The direwolf had no answer, but he licked Jon’s face with a tongue like a wet rasp, and his eyes caught the last light and shone like two great red suns.
Red eyes, Jon realized, but not like Melisandre’s. He had a weirwood’s eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one. And he alone of all the direwolves was white. Six pups they’d found in the late summer snows, him and Robb; five that were grey and black and brown, for the five Starks, and one white, as white as Snow.


Arya’s narrative even draws a connection between the Ghost and Ghost:

The firelight made her eyes gleam as red as the eyes of Jon’s wolf. He was a ghost too.

And as for the CotF greenseers, while we don’t know if any were albino, some did have red eyes:

“Those you call the children of the forest have eyes as golden as the sun, but once in a great while one is born amongst them with eyes as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of the forest. By these signs do the gods mark those they have chosen to receive the gift. The chosen ones are not robust, and their quick years upon the earth are few, for every song must have its balance. But once inside the wood they linger long indeed. A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. Greenseers.”


So while the Ghost of High Heart may not be one of the Children of the Forest (though who knows if she ever met any, like Leaf who traveled the realms of men for centuries), she does have characteristics in common with their greenseers… both their own and the human Last Greenseer, Brynden Rivers.

Now, venturing into speculative theory territory – I think it’s possible that the Ghost may have one more thing in common with Bloodraven, a Targaryen bastard. In The Princess and the Queen, GRRM’s novella detailing the story of the Dance of the Dragons civil war, there’s a certain unresolved plot dangler. Prince Aemond Targaryen, during the time he had control of Harrenhal, took a lover, Alys Rivers. And we’re told that Alys could see visions of the future (in a cloud, in a pool of water, in fires). When Aemond goes off for his fatal duel with Daemon Targaryen in the skies over the God’s Eye, he leaves behind a very pregnant Alys… and then she’s never mentioned in the story again. We don’t know what became of her, but if Alys had Aemond’s child, I think it’s possible that the Ghost could be that child’s descendant. (Probably not the child herself, as she would be 170 years old, which is a bit much.) Whatever Alys’s talent was, mixed with the Targaryen blood that sometimes gives prophetic dreams… that could explain the Ghost’s own powerful talent of prophesy. And in addition to being marked as chosen by the Old Gods… well.

“The old gods stir and will not let me sleep,” she heard the woman say.

marrecarandgi  asked:

Your latest reply made me wonder whether you really think that Shiera was a sorcerer. I always thought that it was the "powerful woman - must be a witch" mentality of men feeling threatened by women, who defy sexist norms...

I tend to think that Shiera really was a practitioner of magic because of her association with Bloodraven. Mind you Brynden has a similar problem – because he was an albino he was considered abnormal (his facial birthmark didn’t help either), and probably would have been accused of sorcery even if he wasn’t truly a sorcerer – except that his studies of “the higher mysteries” (magic) were well-known, he almost certainly glamoured himself as Maynard Plumm in TMK, and of course there’s his presence as the Three-Eyed Crow/Last Greenseer in ADWD.

Now, association isn’t everything, but in addition to that GRRM says that Shiera “spoke a dozen tongues and surrounded herself with ancient scrolls”… and, well, “ancient scrolls” for someone of Targaryen/Lyseni ancestry would most likely point at Valyria, which means magic.

But I do agree that the rumor of Shiera “bathing in blood to keep her beauty” almost certainly was mere jealous gossip, spread by men (and women) threatened by her. (And based on misunderstandings of what magic truly can do, like how Bloodraven was accused of turning himself into a dog or a mist when in actuality he had an excellent spy network, probably occasionally used glamours, and maybe was a raven skinchanger at the time.) If Shiera used any magic to keep herself beautiful – and I do say if, since at the time of TSS she was 27-33 at most, not old at all – she probably used a glamour based in the sapphire-and-emerald necklace that she always wore.

Also, because this is a fantasy series, GRRM is just as likely to make these sorcerous accusations of powerful or unusual women to occasionally be true as well as baseless. Rohanne Webber was innocent, but Maggy the Frog really was a blood magic-using maegi, and Visenya really did practice Valyrian sorceries. It’s anyone’s guess whether Mad Danelle Lothston’s fall truly was because she turned to the black arts, but I’m hoping there will be a D&E story that clears up the matter, at least a little. As for the truth about Shiera… that may also be in D&E, or perhaps Fire and Blood… or maybe GRRM will decide to always leave it a mystery.

anonymous asked:

I rly like your 'queen you shall be' gifset, but sansa is the younger and more beautiful queen tho, not khaleesi.

(In case anyone’s wondering, this is the gifset the anon is talking about.)

Look, no offence, but I always roll my eyes a little whenever I see people insist that Sansa is the “younger and more beautiful queen” and present it as irrefutable canon. (You’re the fifth anonymous person who messaged me about the same thing, so excuse me if I’m a little annoyed at this fanon assumption.) The same way I roll my eyes at this fanon idea that Sansa is officially a queen (Queen In the North, to be more specific) and thus is portrayed next to Daenerys, Cersei and Margaery (actual queens with the actual title) in edits and gifsets.

And don’t think I’m saying this because I’m not fond of Sansa Stark. If someone were to claim Arya Stark, or Brienne of Tarth, or Meera Reed, or Asha Greyjoy (all of them are characters that I love) was the “younger and more beautiful queen,” I’d side-eye that, too.

Keep reading

This episode has pretty much crushed all hope for this show.

No mention of Tysha. No Coldhands. No eyepatch on the three-eyed raven/last greenseer. Whatever the hell they’re doing with Brienne’s storyline. And last but not least, a very dead Jojen who SHOULD be very much alive. All in one episode. What even was the point of Jojen’s death by the way? Nearly the exact same scene as the book where no one dies, so then why? Why kill him?!

tl;dr: I am so fucking done.