[GRRM] was asked if the trait of being a warg ran in the Stark family.
“I don’t know if I want to get into genetics - this is fantasy, not
scifi,” he replied. “I don’t think this is necessarily a ‘Stark’
ability, though all the children have it to one extent or another. They
also realize it to one extent or another. Arya doesn’t realize she has
it, she keeps thinking she has these weird dreams, and of course Bran is
much further along.”
All of the Stark kids have certain links to the wolf.
I think in Westeros there’s a certain amount of identification of all
of these great houses to their sigils, to the animal charges that they
bear. The Lannisters are always likening themselves to lions, for
example, and their motto “Hear me roar” speaks of a certain way of
looking at life. But I think for the Starks it goes a little bit beyond
that, especially in this generation, with these direwolves. It’s more
than just a handy metaphor with them.
Oh, George said all the Stark children of this generation were full
Wargs. I thought they were like one shot Wargs and were only bonded to
their wolves but no they can warg into just about anything. Bran is just
the only one working on it.
“You are a warg too, they say, a skinchanger who walks at night as a wolf.” King Stannis had a hard smile. “How much of it is true?”
“I had a direwolf, Ghost. I left him when I climbed the Wall near Greyguard, and have not seen him since. Qhorin Halfhand commanded me to join the wildlings. He knew they would make me kill him to prove myself, and told me to do whatever they asked of me. The woman was named Ygritte. I broke my vows with her, but I swear to you on my father’s name that I never turned my cloak.” x
The risks of skinchanging, or How to become an Other
This is a totally crackpot theory that I’ve been working on. I think the eventual consequence of breaking the rules of skinchanging is a transformation into an Other, and sundering the connection between the skinchanger and the world of the living (i.e. the Old Gods).
We first need to establish that there is some connection between the magic of the Others and their wights, and the magic of the Children of the Forests. This certainly does not imply that they are in cahoots; they are far more likely to be ancient antagonists, two sides of the same coin, forever at war. The Others have the power to raise the dead and, seemingly, to control them. I like to think of this as “Northern Death magic”.
Greenseers can also control humans and animals, although generally living ones. Moreover, they can connect with weirwood trees, providing them a connection with the entirety of the living world: near and far, past and future. I think of this as “Northern Life Magic”. Although it is likely that the Others and the Children both have additional magical properties, this is the basic outline. These are the two sorts of magic we see in the North of Westeros (until Melisandre shows up), Is it possible that they are connected?
Coldhands provides the key. Although his identity while alive remains a mystery, his allegiance as a wight is certain:
“Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?”
“A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer.” (ADWD Bran I)
Coldhands is a dead member of the Night’s Watch, animated and controlled by Bloodraven. This implies that the line between Greenseer and Other is not impenetrable. Bloodraven can skinchange into a wight, and in that form exhibit characteristics (speech, planning, etc.) that we do not see in the Other-controlled wights. We don’t know if Bloodraven animated the corpse in the first place, of if he wrested it from an Other caught unaware, but it certainly means that the powers of a greenseer can be extended beyond the living world. I suspect this means that the two forms of Northern Magic are, in fact, facets of a single magical system. (yes, yes, GRRM doesn’t use magical systems. I know. This is a crackpot theory, and it doesn’t need your authorial intent getting all over everything.)
Another, much more flimsy connection between the two types of magic is eye color. We know that the Others, and the wights they control, have bright blue eyes. Eye color is a marker of magical abilities for the Children of the Forest as well:
“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.” (ADWD Bran III)
A spurious connection? Quite possibly. But I believe that the magical system of the North are connected, and that a warg or greenseer, through willful misuse of their powers, can end up as an Other, forever separated from the world of the living. The evidence for this is scattered throughout Varamyr’s prologue, the legends of the Native Americans/First Nations of the north woods, and Made In Myr’s powerful Euron theory.
i. Phenomena - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs | ii. Kill of the Night - Gin Wigmore | iii. Wolf & I- OhLand | iv. Off & On - Findlay | v. Bad Things - Cults | vi. Me and the Devil - Soap & Skin | vii. Blue Eyes Blind- ZZ Ward | viii. Under the Earth - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs | ix. Feral Love - Chelsea Wolfe | | x. Demons - Sleigh Bells | xi. Becomes the Color - Emily Wells | xii. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Nico Vega | xiii. Night - Zola Jesus
On the Skinchanging and Warging Abilities of Bran and Arya
So I was one of those people who became super excited when I read the new Arya chapter and realised there was a link to Bran. I have been thinking about it a lot and my mind is trying to make certain connections. Some of the following may be reaching, it is certainly speculation but the text possibly backs it up.
We have this at the start of the Winds of Winter chapter:
Her true name was Mercedene, but Mercy was all anyone ever called her…
Except in dreams. She took a breath to quiet the howling in her heart, trying to remember more of what she’d dreamt, but most of it had gone already. There had been blood in it, though, and a full moon overhead, and a tree that watched her as she ran. TWOW
The passage is short but so much can be taken from it. There are implications which might be drawn about a) Brans abilities and what he now knows and b) Arya’s abilities and what she might be capable of.
First up, we know Bran’s greenseeing abilities are advancing but I read something into this with regard to what he is seeing when watching Nymeria in the Riverlands. Mercy says that she is called another name in her dreams. Is this meant to be literal or is she simply referring to how she is the Night Wolf in her dreams (mentioned in ADWD). If it is literal, I wonder whether the name she is being called is Nymeria or whether it is Arya.
There was a passage in one of the earlier books where Bran sensed the other direwolves through Summer but he also has the ability to sense wargs:
The eyes of the three wolves glowed yellow. The direwolf swung his head from side to side, nostrils flaring, then bared his fangs in a snarl. The younger male backed away. The direwolf could smell the fear in him. Tail, he knew. But the one-eyed wolf answered with a growl and moved to block his advance. Head. And he does not fear me though I am twice his size.
Their eyes met.
I don’t think it is a stretch for him to have realised that what he is seeing through the tree is not just Nymeria, but Arya warging Nymeria. His connection to the trees is similar to his skinchanging ability. He slips into them in a similar fashion as when he wargs Summer or skinchanges into a raven:
“Close your eyes” said the three-eyed crow. “Slip your skin, as you do when you join with Summer. But this time, go into the roots instead.” ADWD
If he can sense another warg, Varamyr, in a wolf when he is in Summer then it is possible he has sensed that Arya is in Nymeria. This means he knows for sure she is alive.
Moving on to Arya and her abilities, I have been excited about this for a while. Bran is the most aware of his abilities and arguably has the most control but Arya’s abilities are growing-she is looking like she is becoming an even more powerful skinchanger than she was (the cat she skinchanged into in Braavos indicated that) even though she does it subconsciously. Even though she did not understand and still does not understand what is happening (that she is warging), from her very first wolf dream she has had control of what Nymeria does when they are joined.
Her dreams were red and savage. The Mummers were in them, four at least… They thought they were hunting her, she knew with all the sharp certainty of dreams, but they were wrong. She was hunting them. ASOS
This contrasts with Bran who struggled at first with warging Summer more as escape rather than having purpose. Arya has subconsciously used Nymeria for a purpose from the very beginning, specifically targeting the Bloody Mummers and the Lions. Bran is now of course much more advanced but when Arya learns what is really happening it will be fascinating to see what she is able to do with it.
This brings me to what I became most excited about from the passage in the new chapter. There are references to others receiving messages from Bran but nobody else made a connection (yet) with it being somebody watching, an actual person. Arya has even though she does not know it is real. Even while warging she was able to sense being watched by the tree in a similar fashion to Bran being able to sense other wargs.
I can’t wait to see where this leads. I’m thinking skinchanging dragons for one or both of Bran and Arya but time will tell.
Some time ago I had to consistently farm the G.A.T.E. to be able to get my Fenrir as I’m not playing the Triple Triad, not doing some Chocobo Race and I only begin to get interested by Lord of Verminion. After some time, I realized that some of the appearance for the G.A.T.E. “Skinchange We Can Believe In” were often coming back and I decided to take some screenshots.. Particularly for that infamous Roegadyn who seem to just have several copy of himself roeming around. You’ll find under the cut the appearance and the differences you’ll need to look for. This guide will be updated each time I’ll see a new skin ♥ !
you’ve walked alongside these stories from birth
had them whispered in your ears like lullabies
and they said, tread lightly. proceed with caution.
never trust a pretty smile.
carve off sheepskin, find a wolf.
unprepared for the day you’d unzip the wolf’s pelt
to see a girl crouching within—jaw set, eyes hungry
and know not which to fear more.
these are the things I’m taking for common knowledge for the people reading this:
Most, or at least a fair amount, of Targaryens can warg.
lol, no. There is no proof whatsoever in the books or GRRM’s interviews or anywhere that Targaryens can skinchange. The only one we know of with that talent is Bloodraven, and his mother was a Blackwood (a family with First Men origins who are also Old Gods worshippers). (Oh, and Jon Snow too, right, but again, he’s half Stark.)
Rhaegar wanted his children to be the three heads of the dragon.
This is correct, but what the hell it has to do with the idea that Rhaenys’s soul is in the one-eyed tomcat, I have no idea.
Rhaenys Targaryen was killed in King’s Landing along with at the very least her mother, Elia.
Yes, she was, and it was very sad.
GRRM never gives us any information that we don’t need.
(So much useless information in these books. So much. So very very much. Unless you think it’s relevant how often people have to go pee, ‘cos I don’t.)
Sigh. The point of the one-eyed tomcat being Balerion, Rhaenys’s black kitten, is not that it has relevance as the container of Rhaenys’s soul, or Bloodraven’s secret view into the Red Keep (dude, he’s got ravens for that), or any kind of conspiracy theory. It’s to be sad and tragic, and make you gasp when you realize that the old cat Arya couldn’t catch is the little kitten that Varys mentions to Ned. (And maybe he’ll be Arya’s eyes in the Red Keep at some future point, if not one of the other dozens of cats there.)
It’s my attitude to crack theories like this that is the reason why I hardly post anything to asongoftheories and throw all the asks that ask crack theory questions (that is, all of them) into the Drafts to get them out of my inbox. I probably ought not to be the one running that blog. I think the founder isn’t anymore, for that matter. :)
wrongly assumed it was the faun, but truthfully the financial backer was
the little redheaded woman beside him, garbed in a very intricate and
expensive dress, with her hair coiffed expertly, and brilliants fastened
in it. She was hardly over four and half feet, and had no chance of
seeing over the crowd at all. However she could see enough to place her
bid, or have the elk man do it for her, at least.
It was no
surprise that the creature they bid upon was the best on the block at
the auction, she had already walked around to check.
word the faun lifted the little woman to sit on his broad shoulder, and
she daintily held onto one antler. Softly he spoke so that just she
could hear. “That one, are you sure?”
“O’ course.” She replied, keeping a calm expression, though she subtly smiled at him.
Jareth’s eyes had closed again, and the bidding process was nothing more than a slur of noise. He hadn’t even realized that it had come to an end until the moment he was cut down from the rope that suspended him.
Onto the stage he fell, landing on his knees, and he would have fallen further but the auctioneers quickly grabbed him and yanked him to his feet. Before the elf could even respond, his arms were already being tightly bound behind his back, and a leash-tether was attached to the collar at his throat. He was shoved forward and told to walk, which he did with a stumble, and was only moving because he was being propelled in that direction. He was still suffering from the sedative the slavers had given him; which was to the auctioneers advantage, it meant their property wouldn’t struggle or fight back.
Once the price was collected from the wealthy woman and her tall counterpart, and the papers were signed, she was presented with a key that would unlock the collar around the elf’s neck. But was once again given the warning not to remove it, because it repressed what ever magics the elf possessed.
It was then that Jareth was yanked forward by the tether attached to the collar, and the free end of it was offered to the redheaded lady. The blond elf’s head was bowed, and he was visibly trembling. Though it would be difficult to tell whether that physical response was due to anger, fear, anxiety, temperature, or maybe a mix of them all. It was only in that moment that he started to piece together what had just happened. He was sold. ..Someone bought him. How dare anyone think they could treat him like this! Despite the indignant outrage he felt, he couldn’t express it. The sedatives were keeping his mind foggy, and making thoughts difficult to navigate.
Slowly he lifted his head enough to get a look at the person he was being presented to. Not person, but people? Jareth blinked slowly, trying to will his vision to focus, but his efforts seemed to be in vain, no real details were coming into focus.