Bran the wooden puppet boy

 He was almost a man grown, and he did not want Meera to think he was some weepy babe.

A Dance With Dragons- Bran III

 Pinocchio = Pine+occhio = Pineal Gland = Tree Vision = Greenseeing

For this section, at minimum I recommend reading these George R.R. Martin stories:

  • This Tower of Ashes
  • For A Single Yesterday
  • The Stone City
  • The Skin Trade
  • Italian Folktales
  • Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny

Planting my Seed

So, as usual, when I avoid doing any real world work I start poking around in ASOIAF world. Reality is such a silly place. This idea came to me a few years ago now, which lead me to start putting it together on the forum under the thread name Wood Dancers and Bran and Pinocchio? A great read that starts to delve in to the subject of mirrors and self reflection, through the looking glass, darkling streams, etc and how it relates to the plot and characters in A Song of Ice and Fire.

To begin, we all know that the term “dance” is synonymous with “battle” or “fight”.

Arya is the Water Dancer, which is a unique style of fighting. Bran is the Wood Dancer? What does that make Sansa? The Air, or Winds, Dancer with all of her bird/flight references? She has been learning a lot on how to control people with words. And Jon? An earth dancer? Ice dancer? There is plenty of foreshadowing of Jon being armoured in ice, which is just another way to say Jon will be guided by Bran.  What about Rickon? I imagine something to do with stones… but who knows?

I am a big proponent of citing sourcing or claims that Martin is actually using something as inspiration only if Martin himself has admitted to this. It makes zero sense to say Martin is reusing a source he has never talked about or had debunked. That said, Martin does know and talk about Disney, as well as the original literary counterparts. As far as fairy tales go, I have an original copy of the book Italian Folktales that Martin translated and embellished where he saw fit (per his introduction section discussing “criteria”). I think it is safe to say that in addition to various global myths, religions and legends, Marvel comics, and movies galore, George knows his fairy tales.

In addition to the above, he discussed Disney stories with me at Balticon in 2016 during the kaffeklatch , and George mentioned Disney stories in this 2015 biography he wrote for The Guardian.

  • Kaffeeklatch: I was at a kaffeeklatch (coffee talk) with GRRM and only 8 other people on Monday, May 30, 2016 for about an hour and a half and I had a chance to ask GRRM about this theory. He first replied, “interesting”, and talked with me about it, but he never said NO. Something I , and others, have noticed he doesn’t do when he doesn’t want to deny a theory. He prefers to change the subject. He then asked if I had read the books or seen the movie. He told me the Disney Pinocchio movie was his favorite because of how “dark, disturbing and scary it is.” He said he never read the books, but then proceeded to give me details about the events in the books, specifically the fact that Pinocchio smashes the cricket because the cricket represents his conscience and Pinocchio doesn’t want to listen to a conscience. See my comparison to Meera and Jojen below. I do have this session on audio recording and therefore anything I put “” around means they are GRRM’s direct words.


Wood Dancers

  1. Who are they?
  2. Do these “cadets” still exist?
  3. How is Bran connected to them?
  4. Is this how he will (possibly) escape the cave or will this come in to play after?
  5. How are they connected with future events? Will he be the warrior knight he always imagined?
  6. Is Bran already turning into a tree? Essay here.
  7. Greenseeing is Enlightenment. Essay here.

We readers don’t have too much to go on, and the wiki doesn’t have anything on wood dancers (UPDATE 10/1/18- the ASOAIF Wiki added a small detail about wood dancers). What I did find comes from the World of Ice and Fire book and the main series:

  • A Dance with Dragons – The Wayward Bride

“To the walls,” Asha Greyjoy told her men. She turned her own steps for the watchtower, with Tris Botley right behind her.

The wooden watchtower was the tallest thing this side of the mountains, rising twenty feet above the biggest sentinels and soldier pines in the surrounding woods. “There, Captain,” said Cromm, when she made the platform. Asha saw only trees and shadows, the moonlit hills and the snowy peaks beyond. Then she realized that trees were creeping closer. “Oho,” she laughed, “these mountain goats have cloaked themselves in pine boughs.” The woods were on the move, creeping toward the castle like a slow green tide. She thought back to a tale she had heard as a child, about the children of the forest and their battles with the First Men, when the greenseers turned the trees to warriors.

This chapter of Asha’s is amazing and worth a re-read if you have not done so in a while. Asha, while deep within Stark territory at Deepwood Motte, notices a few things. She sees trees = Bran, shadows = Arya, moonlit hills = Sansa, and snowy peaks = Jon at the wall. The chapter finishes with Asha and her men being taken by northmen. I often put up a rigid shieldwall against any sort of time travel in ASOIAF (even though GRRM has written a number of stories that include some time-tripping) but this scene that merges Stannis with Asha, and then later Asha and Stannis with Theon, and then (suspected) Theon and Stannis with the trees in the upcoming A Dream of Spring… well, it makes me wonder if isn’t just a hint at Bran (or Bloodraven?) watching what is going on. Crackpot? Sure.

In much of what George draws inspiration from, Norse myth and his own flower child experiences, the idea of a horse and tree acting together as a type visual history time-trip is something he has used before. The story For A Single Yesterday is but one example. There is also plenty of horse narrative associated with Lyanna and her possibly being the horse in the Knight of the Laughing tree situation. Which brings us back to Bran’s horse that was trained to hold him as a cripple was named Dancer (RIP). I always wondered why, but again, never really asked during my first read through.

  • A Game of Thrones – Bran V

    Let’s hunt down the hunters, then,” Robb said. Side by side, they urged their mounts off the kingsroad and struck out into the wolfswood. Theon dropped back and followed well behind them, talking and joking with the guardsmen.

    It was nice under the trees. Bran kept Dancer to a walk, holding the reins lightly and looking all around him as they went. He knew this wood, but he had been so long confined to Winterfell that he felt as though he were seeing it for the first time. The smells filled his nostrils; the sharp fresh tang of pine needles, the earthy odor of wet rotting leaves, the hints of animal musk and distant cooking fires. He caught a glimpse of a black squirrel moving through the snow-covered branches of an oak, and paused to study the silvery web of an empress spider.

This from Bran in A Game of Thrones:

  • As the First Men carved out holdfasts and farms, they cut down the faces and gave them to the fire. Horror-struck, the children went to war. The old songs say that the greenseers used dark magics to make the seas rise and sweep away the land, shattering the Arm, but it was too late to close the door. The wars went on until the earth ran red with blood of men and children both, but more children than men, for men were bigger and stronger, and wood and stone and obsidian make a poor match for bronze. Finally the wise of both races prevailed, and the chiefs and heroes of the First Men met the greenseers and wood dancers amidst the weirwood groves of a small island in the great lake called Gods Eye.

This one from A Clash of Kings is kinda weird. Jon is definitely being linked to the Old Gods throughout the story. This is a different type of wooden dancer, a fire wight version, but you can see the repeated relation between wood and dancing-fighting. The dead tree came alive again to fight the fire.

  • “Jon went to cut more branches, snapping each one in two before tossing it into the flames. The tree had been dead a long time, but it seemed to live again in the fire, as fiery dancers woke within each stick of wood to whirl and spin in their glowing gowns of yellow, red, and orange.”

Could this line here be referring to Bran being a wood dancer and his part in the battle? Is he FINALLY going to be the action knight he always dreamed to be as a young, youngster?

  • “their wood dancers—became their warriors as well,”

And this one from Storm, which is probably just clever wording, could this be a tie-in to Sansa in some way as well? That poor girl has got to get back with her pack, however, during this time dancing, she goes from person to person charming them with her words (are wind), but she is still learning…

  • “Thankfully, it was time to change again. Her legs had turned to wood, though, and Lord Rowan, Ser Tallad, and Elinor’s squire all must have thought her a very clumsy dancer. And then she was back with Ser Garlan once more, and soon, blessedly, the dance was over.

I came across this passage in the World book and wanted to add it here. Some of these beasts still exist in-world, but chances are they are sigils (a magical term), meaning, it could be Bran that has a strong hand in calling together different houses to defend Westeros… or atleast the North down to the Neck? The second quote from Jojen really seems to hit at the core of what Bran is going to be able to do as a new leader figure. The words, “by night all cloaks are black,” tells readers that in order to survive, all will be equal, which also echoes Eddard Stark.

  • “The hunters among the children—their wood dancers—became their warriors as well, but for all their secret arts of tree and leaf, they could only slow the First Men in their advance. The greenseers employed their arts, and tales say that they could call the beasts of marsh, forest, and air to fight on their behalf: direwolves and monstrous snowbears, cave lions and eagles, mammoths and serpents, and more. But the First Men proved too powerful, and the children are said to have been driven to a desperate act.”
    • Beasts of march-Beasts of forest-Beasts of air- the falcons of ArrynDirewolves- Starks (Arya, Rickon, Sansa, Jon (?))Snowbears-Cave Lion-Eagles-Mammoth-Serpents-
  • A Storm of Swords – Bran III

    By night all cloaks are black, Your Grace. And the flash came and went too fast for me to tell what they were wearing.”
  • A Game of Thrones – Arya II (Here GRRM is also reusing a strong theme and dialogue from his story The Ice Dragon)

    “Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm. Septa Mordane is a good woman, and Sansa … Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you … and I need both of you, gods help me.”

Pinocchio – Bran

Pinocchio– the name a variant of common “pinolo” (pine seed). Created as a wooden puppet. Bran as we know him was created when he was pushed from the tower. We know “Dance” is a synonym for fight in this ASOIAF series.

The suffix “occhio” means eye; to see.  Pinocchio = Pine+occhio = Tree Vision = Greenseeing. This also includes the pineal gland, also known as the third eye. This gland is located in the head and is associated with the wake/sleep cycles of a person, as well as the control of the seasons. Isn’t that what we readers are witnessing as ASOIAF goes about? Bran in the sunless cave can’t tell day from night anymore, starts his dream quests, and is about to fight a long night-generational deep winter. A winter that never ends is as dangerous as the R’hllorist dream of a summer that never ends. Again, George is reusing is older story schemes when Bran takes a time-trip drug that let’s him see through the trees into the past. This is Bran’s third eye not just opening, but awakening.

“The seasons are “completely fantasy based”. There’s no sci-fi type element to it at all.”GRRM

Pineal Gland is named after the Pine Cone.

The pineal gland is a pea-sized gland shaped like a pine cone, located in the vertebrate brain near the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Also known as the third eye, it is a revered tool of seers and mystics and considered to be the organ of supreme universal connection. Its significance appears in every ancient culture throughout the world. For example, in Ayurvedic philosophy, the third eye is represented by the Ajna chakra and in Ancient Egypt, the symbol of the Eye of Horus mirrors the placement of the pineal gland in the profile of the human head. The third eye is connected to clarity, concentration, imagination and intuition. This pine cone third eye idea stretches back through time to ancient history and across many cultures. This website here does a great job showing how the pineal-pine cone has been used symbolically in various ways including religious artifacts and architecture. What Wikipedia says about the third eye.

  • A Clash of Kings – Bran II

    “Fly or die!” cried the three-eyed crow as it pecked at him. He wept and pleaded but the crow had no pity. It put out his left eye and then his right, and when he was blind in the dark it pecked at his brow, driving its terrible sharp beak deep into his skull. He screamed until he was certain his lungs must burst. The pain was an axe splitting his head apart, but when the crow wrenched out its beak all slimy with bits of bone and brain, Bran could see again. What he saw made him gasp in fear. He was clinging to a tower miles high, and his fingers were slipping, nails scrabbling at the stone, his legs dragging him down, stupid useless dead legs. “Help me!” he cried. A golden man appeared in the sky above him and pulled him up. “The things I do for love,” he murmured softly as he tossed him out kicking into empty air.

But as I have often mentioned in this blog, Martin has said he added bits of Lovecraft to his stories. Those bits are not everywhere, but when they are sprinkled in it happens to be in the most creepy of ways. I love it! However, in these various ways HPL is added to the story, what choices are the characters making? Are they drinking from the cup of ice, or the cup of fire? Those cups are not literal cups, but an existential choice.

  • From Beyond- H.P. Lovecraft
    • “Do you know what that is?” he whispered. “That is ultra-violet.” He chuckled oddly at my surprise. “You thought ultra-violet was invisible, and so it is—but you can see that and many other invisible things now. “Listen to me! The waves from that thing are waking a thousand sleeping senses in us; senses which we inherit from aeons of evolution from the state of detached electrons to the state of organic humanity. I have seen truth, and I intend to shew it to you. Do you wonder how it will seem? I will tell you.” Here Tillinghast seated himself directly opposite me, blowing out his candle and staring hideously into my eyes. “Your existing sense-organs—ears first, I think—will pick up many of the impressions, for they are closely connected with the dormant organs. Then there will be others. You have heard of the pineal gland? I laugh at the shallow endocrinologist, fellow-dupe and fellow-parvenu of the Freudian. That gland is the great sense-organ of organs—I have found out. It is like sight in the end, and transmits visual pictures to the brain. If you are normal, that is the way you ought to get most of it… I mean get most of the evidence from beyond.
    • The combined shock of the revelation and of the abrupt command gave me a kind of paralysis, and in my terror my mind again opened to the impressions coming from what Tillinghast called “beyond”. I was now in a vortex of sound and motion, with confused pictures before my eyes. I saw the blurred outlines of the room, but from some point in space there seemed to be pouring a seething column of unrecognisable shapes or clouds, penetrating the solid roof at a point ahead and to the right of me. Then I glimpsed the temple-like effect again, but this time the pillars reached up into an aërial ocean of light, which sent down one blinding beam along the path of the cloudy column I had seen before. After that the scene was almost wholly kaleidoscopic, and in the jumble of sights, sounds, and unidentified sense-impressions I felt that I was about to dissolve or in some way lose the solid form. One definite flash I shall always remember. I seemed for an instant to behold a patch of strange night sky filled with shining, revolving spheres, and as it receded I saw that the glowing suns formed a constellation or galaxy of settled shape; this shape being the distorted face of Crawford Tillinghast. At another time I felt the huge animate things brushing past me and occasionally walking or drifting through my supposedly solid body, and thought I saw Tillinghast look at them as though his better trained senses could catch them visually. I recalled what he had said of the pineal gland, and wondered what he saw with this preternatural eye. Suddenly I myself became possessed of a kind of augmented sight. Over and above the luminous and shadowy chaos arose a picture which, though vague, held the elements of consistency and permanence. It was indeed somewhat familiar, for the unusual part was superimposed upon the usual terrestrial scene much as a cinema view may be thrown upon the painted curtain of a theatre.

Cup of Fire

Now, Bran isn’t the only one getting the pineal treatment. On the opposite end of the spectrum we see two others who have chosen to drink from the cup of fire, rather than the cup of ice. This is where it seems GRRM is pulling not just from H.P. Lovecraft for this third eye idea, but more specifically from the cult classic movie based on the story From Beyond. Remember, GRRM is a movie buff, and he has used his favorite movie to draw from for Jon and Val, and he owns the Jean Cocteau cinema. I have not written up the cup of ice, cup of fire page yet, but you can read my notes here.

  • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys IV

    Faster and faster the visions came, one after the other, until it seemed as if the very air had come alive. Shadows whirled and danced inside a tent, boneless and terrible. A little girl ran barefoot toward a big house with a red door. Mirri Maz Duur shrieked in the flames, a dragon bursting from her brow. Behind a silver horse the bloody corpse of a naked man bounced and dragged. A white lion ran through grass taller than a man. Beneath the Mother of Mountains, a line of naked crones crept from a great lake and knelt shivering before her, their grey heads bowed. Ten thousand slaves lifted bloodstained hands as she raced by on her silver, riding like the wind. “Mother!” they cried. “Mother, mother!” 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 . . .

    But then black wings buffeted her round the head, and a scream of fury cut the indigo air, and suddenly the visions were gone, ripped away, and Dany’s gasp turned to horror. 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. All the strength had left her limbs. She could not move. Even her heart had ceased to beat. She felt a hand on her bare breast, twisting her nipple. Teeth found the soft skin of her throat. A mouth descended on one eye, licking, sucking, biting . . .

And we know Euron Greyjoy went to the House of the Undying Ones as we see in Aeron chapter of The Winds of Winter spoiler that he either has Pyat Pree on his ship, or they are just calling for Pyat Pree. We also see Euron often quaffs the Shade of the Evening drink and forces Aeron to drink it to give him visions. This gives us a major clue how Euron lost his eye. As a child he dreamed of flying, so it seems Euron chose the cup of fire.

  • The Winds of Winter – The Foresaken (Aeron Greyjoy)

When he laughed his face sloughed off and the priest saw that it was not Urri but Euron, the smiling eye hidden. He showed the world his blood eye now, dark and terrible. Clad head to heel in scale as dark as onyx, he sat upon a mound of blackened skulls as dwarfs capered round his feet and a forest burned behind him.

“The bleeding star bespoke the end,” he said to Aeron. “These are the last days, when the world shall be broken and remade. A new god shall be born from the graves and charnel pits.” Then Euron lifted a great horn to his lips and blew, and dragons and krakens and sphinxes came at his command and bowed before him. “Kneel, brother,” the Crow’s Eye commanded. “I am your king, I am your god. Worship me, and I will raise you up to be my priest.”

[and then]

Last were two warlocks of the east, with flesh as white as mushrooms, and lips the purplish-blue of a bad bruise, all so gaunt and starved that only skin and bones remained. One had lost his legs. The mutes hung him from a rafter. “Pree,” he cried as he swung back and forth. “Pree, Pree!”

Perhaps that was the name of the demon that he worships.

[and then]

“That which is dead cannot die,” said Aeron fiercely. “For he who has tasted death once need never fear again. He was drowned, but he came forth stronger than before, with steel and fire.”

Aside from Daenerys and Euron sharing a similar storm epithet; Daenerys Stormborn, Euron Crowseye, the first storm and the last, they both share this Undying connection as well, courtesy of Lovecraft.

Greyjoy words: “What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger.”

House of the Undying Ones: The House of the Undying Ones was not made for mortal men. 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. Dany thinks, “She is not breathing. Dany listened to the silence. None of them are breathing, and they do not move, and those eyes see nothing. Could it be that the Undying Ones were dead”?

Lovecraft, The Nameless City and The Call of Cthulhu. A phrase from the Necronomicon, original title Al Azif—azif (Azor Ahai?) being the word used by Arabs to designate that nocturnal sound (made by insects) supposed to be the howling of daemons. : That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.

Movie still: From Beyond. Note the third eye cracked from the now bald, egg-like head of the main guy. The sucking of the eye on the victim is to get to the pineal gland.

The Tree Seer

I made a tree to greenseer connection to trees+going above the wall a while ago on the Westeros forum. Here is one example with good book text, which got its start sometime before that in my thread about Jon and Val coming together as the new Nymeria. This greenseeing idea has also been picked up individually by several other ASOIAF readers, a few I have mentioned on this Greenseeing page if you want to take a look.

Bloodraven is a Norse- Odin figure in many situations. Brynden Bloodraven Rivers seems to be a favorite character  of Martin because he has been developing him and reusing this near exact type repeatedly throughout his works, and always associated with with icy/tree/knowledge elements. The addtion of Bloodraven being part fire is an addition for ASOIAF. Back to Odin: One of the early ways to spell and pronounce Odin is Woden/Woden. So, Bran is the Woden/wooden puppet of Odin-Bloodraven. A sapling training to be a a mighty tree.

  • Bloodraven also displays a large amount of Hypnos imagery and details as well. Not just the Greek myth, but also the Lovecraft version.
  • Dreamed of becoming a real boy. Bran dreams of becoming a knight… a real knight as he says.
  • A character who is prone to telling lies and fabricating stories for various reasons. Bran has been known to tell little lies like not climbing the tower anymore (right before he falls) and lies in the caves when he wargs Hodor and tries to fool the others while doing so. He has also been shown to be rebellious at various points in the story.
  • Collodi chastises Pinocchio for his lack of moral fiber and his persistent rejection of responsibility and desire for fun. Bran does this many times when he wargs Hodor, which is an abomination for warg’s to do (take another human). But he likes to do it and does it enough that Hodor starts to recoil to a dark spot in his own mind.
  • He is a marionette that is manipulated with wires. Bran is manipulated by Bloodraven by way of “telepathic” wires.
  • After struggling and weeping over his deformed nose, the Blue Fairy (Meera) summons woodpeckers to peck it back to normal. Bran cries to Meera about his current state and she comforts him.
  • Often thought of as a hero and cautionary tale, Pinocchio descends into hell; he also experiences rebirth through metamorphosis, a common motif in fantasy literature. Bran… this is Bran’s storyline in ASOIAF.
  • IN THE END The main imperatives demanded of Pinocchio are to work, be good, and study. For Bran it is to learn to be a greenseer.
  • Pinocchio’s willingness to provide for his “father” (to open his third eye) and devote himself to these things transforms him into a real boy with modern comforts. He becomes the knight he always wanted to be. a WOOD DANCER.
    • This is also a connection to the Norse mythology that GRRM uses heavily throughout ASOIAF. Bran is the squirrel known as Ratatosk. Eddard identifies Bran as a climbing squirrel back in AGOT.

Geppetto – Bloodraven

Geppetto– Is thought of as Pinocchio’s second/surrogate father… and is Bloodraven. Basically, Bloodraven is building Bran, shaping his mind like a whetstone to a sword. First like a puppet or weepy babe sapling, but that will turn into a real boy, a mighty Weirwood man.

  • Geppetto is introduced when carpenter Mister Antonio finds a talking block of pinewood which he was about to carve into a leg for his table.
  • Antonio gives the block of wood to Geppetto signifying the transference of greenseer knowledge from the preceeding greenseer to Bloodraven.
  • Towns people say that Geppetto dislikes children, the carabiniere assumes that Pinocchio has been treated poorly and imprisons Geppetto. Bloodraven, in life, was thought by everyone to be a “sinister sorcerer” and was sent to the wall by King Aegon.
  • Geppetto is released from jail and finds that Pinocchio’s feet have burnt off, and replaces them. Bloodraven in the books did this part on purpose.
  • Geppetto is a major villain in the Fables comic series. I have read these graphic novels and they are amazing.
  • “Geppetto” is a diminutive form of Giuseppe (Joseph). Bloodraven is the diminutive nickname for Brynden Rivers.
    • Mangiafuoco  in English; literally “Fire-Eater” – Mangiafuoco could also be Bloodraven, or, the Black Gate at Nightfort. Mangiafuoco is the wealthy director of the Great Marionette Theater. He has red eyes and a black beard which reaches to the floor, and his mouth is “as wide as an oven [with] teeth like yellow fangs”. Despite his appearances however, Mangiafuoco (which the story says is his given name) is not evil.

Turquoise Fairy – Reed children

Fairy with Turquoise Hair– is Meera. Maybe a little of Jojen as well. Both are described as basically elfish in the books as well.

  • She repeatedly appears at critical moments in Pinocchio‘s wanderings to admonish the little wooden puppet to avoid bad or risky behavior.
  • Although the naïvely willful marionette initially resists her good advice, he later comes to follow her instruction.
  • She in turn protects him, and later enables his assumption of human form, contrary to the prior wooden form.
  • The Fairy cryptically responds that all inhabitants of the house, including herself, are dead, and that she (Jojen) is waiting for her coffin to arrive. We read about Jojen and him being able to foresee his death throughout the story.
    • “Jojen, up the tree.”… “There’s no need. Today is not the day I die.”
  • The Fairy (Meera) informs him (Pinicchio/ BRAN that he is free to consider her an elder sister.
  • There is a chance that Wylla Manderly and her green hair is also filling this role in the Davos/Wyman Mandlery side of the story.

One thing we do know from ASOIAF is that Bran has a crush on Meera. This is where the story This Tower of Ashes plays a large part in Bran’s ASOIAF arc. Bran wants to be a man, he wants to hold Meera and be a normally functioning human. But that is not in the cards for Bran. It will have to be the cruel self-sacrifice he will have to make, not unlike Bloodraven giving up his own life to be the highest level watcher. Bran has always held the watch in high regard

  • A Game of Thrones – Bran II

    Bran had been left behind with Jon and the girls and Rickon. But Rickon was only a baby and the girls were only girls and Jon and his wolf were nowhere to be found. Bran did not look for him very hard. He thought Jon was angry at him. Jon seemed to be angry at everyone these days. Bran did not know why. He was going with Uncle Ben to the Wall, to join the Night’s Watch. That was almost as good as going south with the king. Robb was the one they were leaving behind, not Jon.

But reality is Bran will grow from a “weepy babe”, a sapling, to a mighty Weirwood man when grown.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Bran III

    “The secrets of the old gods,” said Jojen Reed. Food and fire and rest had helped restore him after the ordeals of their journey, but he seemed sadder now, sullen, with a weary, haunted look about the eyes. “Truths the First Men knew, forgotten now in Winterfell … but not in the wet wild. We live closer to the green in our bogs and crannogs, and we remember. Earth and water, soil and stone, oaks and elms and willows, they were here before us all and will still remain when we are gone.”

    “So will you,” said Meera. That made Bran sad. What if I don’t want to remain when you are gone? he almost asked, but he swallowed the words unspoken. He was almost a man grown, and he did not want Meera to think he was some weepy babe. “Maybe you could be greenseers too,” he said instead.

    “No, Bran.” Now Meera sounded sad.

  • A Clash of Kings – Jon VII

    A weirwood.

    It seemed to sprout from solid rock, its pale roots twisting up from a myriad of fissures and hairline cracks. The tree was slender compared to other weirwoods he had seen, no more than a sapling, yet it was growing as he watched, its limbs thickening as they reached for the sky. Wary, he circled the smooth white trunk until he came to the face. Red eyes looked at him. Fierce eyes they were, yet glad to see him. The weirwood had his brother’s face. Had his brother always had three eyes?

    Not always, came the silent shout. Not before the crow.

Jiminy – Jojen

Jiminy Cricket- Is Jojen, for sure. The moral compass for Bran’s direction. The Talking Cricket (Italian: Il Grillo Parlante), a fictional character created by Carlo Collodi for his children’s book The Adventures of Pinocchio

  • Originally an unnamed, minor character in Collodi’s novel, he was transformed in the Disney version into a comical and wise partner who accompanies Pinocchio on his adventures, having been appointed by the Blue Fairy (known in the book as The Fairy with Turquoise Hair)
  • Jiminy Cricket is a small, anthropomorphic cricket and the deuteragonist of the 1940 Disney animated feature film, Pinocchio. Serving as the official conscience to the film’s protagonist, Pinocchio, Jiminy is tasked with keeping the wooden boy in line, teaching him valuable life morals and the dangers of temptation.
  • The character’s name is a play on the exclamation “Jiminy Cricket!”, a minced oath for “Jesus Christ
    • This makes you think of the oath that Jojen and Meera swear to Bran
      • “To Winterfell we pledge the faith of Greywater,” they said together. “Hearth and heart and harvest we yield up to you, my lord. Our swords and spears and arrows are yours to command. Grant mercy to our weak, help to our helpless, and justice to all, and we shall never fail you.”
        “I swear it by earth and water,” said the boy in green.

        “I swear it by bronze and iron,” his sister said.

        “We swear it by ice and fire,” they finished together.
        Bran groped for words. Was he supposed to swear something back to them? Their oath was not one he had been taught. “May your winters be short and your summers bountiful,” he said. That was usually a good thing to say. “Rise. I’m Brandon Stark.”
  • The Fairy also  says that his “father” Mister Geppetto (Howland Reed) is on his way to fetch him. Could this mean we see Howland Reed leaving Greywater Watch and coming north in the next book (TWOW)?
  • And probably most importantly, the way GRRM himself describes the relationship between Pinocchio and Jiminy: “specifically the fact that Pinocchio smashes the cricket because the cricket represents his conscience and Pinocchio doesn’t want to listen to a conscience.”
    • but the Reeds had stayed to become Bran’s constant companions. Jojen was so solemn that Old Nan called him “little grandfather,”
    • “You were gone too long.” Jojen Reed was thirteen, only four years older than Bran. Jojen wasn’t much bigger either, no more than two inches or maybe three, but he had a solemn way of talking that made him seem older and wiser than he really was. At Winterfell, Old Nan had dubbed him “little grandfather.” Bran frowned at him. “I wanted to eat.”
    • “No.” Bran knew the voice of his direwolf.
      “Are you certain?” said the little grandfather.
      “Certain.” Summer had wandered far afield today, and would not be back till dawn. Maybe Jojen dreams green, but he can’t tell a wolf from a direwolf. He wondered why they all listened to Jojen so much. He was not a prince like Bran, nor big and strong like Hodor, nor as good a hunter as Meera, yet somehow it was always Jojen telling them what to do. “We should steal horses like Meera wants,” Bran said, “and ride to the Umbers up at Last Hearth.” He thought a moment. “Or we could steal a boat and sail down the White Knife to White Harbor town. That fat Lord Manderly rules there, he was friendly at the harvest feast. He wanted to build ships. Maybe he built some, and we could sail to Riverrun and bring Robb home with all his army. Then it wouldn’t matter who knew I was alive. Robb wouldn’t let anyone hurt us.”
    • “Hodor!” burped Hodor. “Hodor, hodor.”
      He was the only one who liked Bran’s plan, though. Meera just smiled at him and Jojen frowned. They never listened to what he wanted, even though Bran was a Stark and a prince besides, and the Reeds of the Neck were Stark bannermen.

Candlewick – Hodor

Candlewick- Is, I think, more the Hodor in broad strokes. Candlewick is introduced in a later chapter. His real name is Romeo, though he is given his nickname on account of his slender, polished build. He is described as the most unruly of Pinocchio’s class, though he is the puppet’s best friend. Pinocchio and Candlewick meet again in chapter XXXVI, where it is revealed that Candlewick is dying from exhaustion. Now, we readers see how Jojen appears to be deteriorating the farther north they travel, but even Hodor tires at some points… and I expect him to be retired in The Winds of Winter. George does not, and is not, following an exact 1:1 story retelling. That would be skirting the lines of plagiarism. Instead he is using the broad strokes, the moral relativity, to demonstrate similar ideas in to hos own story.

Coachman – Coldhands

The Coachman- Coldhands. The coachman’s name is never revealed. He drives to Busy Bee Island (the cave in ASOIAF) on a coach pulled by twenty four donkeys (The great elk in ASOIAF) which mysteriously wear white shoes on their hooves (Coldhands mysteriously wears the face coverings). By the time he arrives to take Pinocchio and Candlewick to the Land of Toys (again, the cave), his carriage is completely packed, leaving Candlewick to sit in front with him and Pinocchio to ride one of the donkeys. The donkey throws Pinocchio off, and is reproached by the coachman, who bites half its right ear off (We have references to cannibalism in the trek north with Coldhands). When Pinocchio remounts the donkey, the animal begins to weep like a human (Hodor), and warns Pinocchio of the impending danger he faces. The coachman again reproaches the animal by biting off half its other ear. The coachman proceeds to kidnap the innocent children to the Land of Toys, whilst singing to himself: “All night they sleep, And I never sleep…”. Meera describes Coldhands as, ” Who is he? What is he? Anyone can put on a black cloak. Anyone, or any thing. He does not eat, he never drinks, he does not seem to feel the cold.”

Updating to add a new GRRM story titled A Night at Tarn House, in which a mix of games and magic trickery are played at an inn at a crossroads, and it starts with a coachman. This coachman is pulled along by black bodied corpses. A similar concept, just rearranged to fit this particular story.

Read the entire story transcribed here – A Night at Tarn House

Foxy – Ramsay

The fox and the cat– Theon is the cat and Reek/Ramsay is the fox. This is easily the most disturbing relationship in both stories, extra level disturbing in ASOIAF because fire-people have a tendancy to burn the tree-people. Ramsay is a fire-person in all action, and his dirty-ice eyes, wet-wormy lips are clue to that. This relationship has also been clearly defined in the GRRM story The Skin Trade between characters Steven Harmon and his very reekified “pet”, Roy Helander. Without a doubt there is also a bit of Petyr Littlefinger Baelish as the fox in Sansa’s arc as well. He is acting as a fox attempting to outsmart the wolf, but his ass will be bitten in the end. Needless to say, it seems GRRM enjoys this bait-and-chase style of story.

  • Both are depicted as con-men, who lead Pinocchio astray and unsuccessfully attempt to murder him. Additionally, Steven Harmon leads Roy astray and kills him, and Steven is described as, “like a jackknife.”
  • The pair pretend to sport disabilities; the Fox lameness (Reek/Ramsay) and the Cat blindness. (Theon)
  • The Fox is depicted as the more intelligent of the two, with the Cat (Theon) usually limiting itself to repeating the Fox’s words.
  • The pair catches and hangs Pinocchio from a tree. Theon and Reek hang the miller’s boys from Winterfell.


Crackpot Corner

Full Crackpot Warning! Details being ironed out, but the broad strokes are here…

Did Joffrey send the catspaw to try and kill Bran? Sure. Maybe. That is what the major majority of the fandom believes, and they could be correct. I mean, a drunken Tyrion wonders about the issue, so it is true… right? Sure. Maybe.

However, if we take a look at GRRM’s writing style on a larger, more complete scale, then I suspect there is another option. One that fits more easily into the entire ASOIAF narrative, like a well made sword slipping into it’s scabbard.

Ramsay sent the catspaw assassin against Bran. History repeats, but with a twist, and we are witnessing the historic Red King Boltons .vs. the Starks all over again. The jealousy of the ones who inherited the skinchange/warg talents .vs. those who never received the gift. Roose is hunting both kinds of wolves in the story- Starks and furry friends:

  • A Clash of Kings – Arya X

    “I will hunt today,” Roose Bolton announced as Qyburn helped him into a quilted jerkin.

    “Is it safe, my lord?” Qyburn asked. “Only three days past, Septon Utt’s men were attacked by wolves. They came right into his camp, not five yards from the fire, and killed two horses.”

    It is wolves I mean to hunt. I can scarcely sleep at night for the howling.” Bolton buckled on his belt, adjusting the hang of sword and dagger. “It’s said that direwolves once roamed the north in great packs of a hundred or more, and feared neither man nor mammoth, but that was long ago and in another land. It is queer to see the common wolves of the south so bold.”

I cannot stress enough the importance of reading The Skin Trade to get a deeper look at the idea building behind this idea. There are several smaller clues between the Others looking for Jon (King’s Blood was spilled on the mirror), Roose set to betray the Starks early in A Game of Thrones, to both the catspaw and Roose having associations with bags of silver as a reward for betraying and killing a Stark.

  • A Game of Thrones – Catelyn III

    Hallis Mollen looked abashed. “Between the horses Lord Eddard took south and them we sent north to the Night’s Watch, the stalls were half-empty. It were no great trick to hide from the stableboys. Could be Hodor saw him, the talk is that boy’s been acting queer, but simple as he is …” Hal shook his head.

    “We found where he’d been sleeping,” Robb put in. “He had ninety silver stags in a leather bag buried beneath the straw.”

    “It’s good to know my son’s life was not sold cheaply,” Catelyn said bitterly.

  • A Storm of Swords – Catelyn VII

    “Everyone thought my lord would choose Fair Walda,” Lady Walda Bolton told Ser Wendel, shouting to be heard above the music. Fat Walda was a round pink butterball of a girl with watery blue eyes, limp yellow hair, and a huge bosom, yet her voice was a fluttering squeak. It was hard to picture her in the Dreadfort in her pink lace and cape of vair. “My lord grandfather offered Roose his bride’s weight in silver as a dowry, though, so my lord of Bolton picked me.” The girl’s chins jiggled when she laughed. “I weigh six stone more than Fair Walda, but that was the first time I was glad of it. I’m Lady Bolton now and my cousin’s still a maid, and she’ll be nineteen soon, poor thing.”

Straw-haired Fat Walda and Roose Bolton. Artist: Juliana Pinho

In addition to the many other possible clues, the catspaw (who cuts Cat’s “paw”) sounds like a possible freshly Reekified lackey: “A small, dirty man in filthy brown clothing that smells of horses. He has a gaunt face, limp blond hair and pale deep-sunk eyes.” Ramsay sends his Reeks to try and kill the Stark boys so that he can usurp the seat- Red Kings all over again. For this analysis, I recommend reading the stories:

  • *The Skin Trade– mainly this story, which among the many other parallels, also has a huntsman named Rogoff. This translates to Rogar “the Huntsman” Bolton, a Red King in ASOIAF. We already have King’s Blood being spilled on the Wall, the largest mirror in Westeros, so it makes narrative sense to portray the second plot of this book with the Steven (Ramsay) skin-trade skinchanger arc. There is also the use of rubies being the ‘royal’ gemestone, as we also see in ASOIAF, while the garnet is the supposed ‘bastard’ stone.
  • Armageddon Rag. There is a scene where to pet dog of the main “singer” is mysteriously killed (neck sliced open) and it appears that the club bouncer did the killing. It isn’t until later that we learn the fiery woman Ananda committed the actual dog murder because she has greater plans and needed the dog out of the way. Same broad strokes, just rearranged for ASOIAF setting/plot.
  • Dying of the Light
  • Fevre Dream
  • Black and White and Red All Over, because the point of this investigative story exposing the assumed slayer is not the one who committed the crime.

A good portion of The Skin Trade that clearly describes how it wasn’t the father Johnathan Harmon (Roose Bolton prototype) who sent the catspaw assassin, and it wasn’t his son Steven (Ramsay Bolton prototype), but it was Steven (who is mentally crippled because of generational “pureborn” incest) who sent his twisted friend Roy Helander to kill and skin the girl (Roy also committed incest, an abomination in every GRRM story). This most definitely ties in to the trickster fox in the Pinocchio story.

The coat of arms for the Pankowski/Panki family. This is the mother of the wolf in the Skin Trade, but you can see how the fire-water-tower theme fits the story of Lyanna. The Polish elements may have been introduced to GRRM during his formative years in Bayonne, as he mentions in Dreamsongs.
  • The Skin Trade

Willie knew when he was being insulted. “And my mother was a Pankowski,” he said, “which makes me half-frog, half-Polack, and all mongrel. Not that I give a shit. I mean, it’s terrific that my great-grandfather owned half the state, but the mines gave out around the turn of the century, the Depression took the rest, my father was a drunk, and I’m in collections, if that’s okay with you.” He was feeling pissed off and rash by then. “Did you have any particular reason for sending Steven to kidnap me, or was it just a yen to discuss the French and Indian War?”

  • The Skin Trade

Jonathan’s smile was humorless. “I will not die on account of gold, William.” He glanced at the window. The moon was well above the horizon. “A good hunter’s moon,” he said. He looked back at Willie. “Last night you all but accused me of complicity in the death of the crippled girl.” His voice was dangerously soft. “Why would you say such a thing?”

“I can’t imagine,” Willie said. He felt light-headed. The brandy had rushed right to his mouth. “Maybe the fact that you can’t remember her name had something to do with it. Or maybe it was because you always hated Joanie, right from the moment you heard about her. My pathetic little mongrel bitch, I believe that was what you called her. Isn’t it funny the way that little turns of phrase stick in the mind? I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but somehow I got this impression that you didn’t exactly wish her well. I haven’t even mentioned Steven yet.”

“Please don’t,” Jonathan said icily. “You’ve said quite enough. Look at me, William. Tell me what you see.”

“You,” said Willie. He wasn’t in the mood for asshole games, but Jonathan Harmon did things at his own pace.

“An old man,” Jonathan corrected. “Perhaps not so old in years alone, but old nonetheless. The arthritis grows worse every year, and there are days when the pain is so bad I can scarcely move. My family is all gone but for Steven, and Steven, let us be frank, is not all that I might have hoped for in a son.” He spoke in firm, crisp tones, but Steven did not even look up from the flames. “I’m tired, William. It’s true, I did not approve of your crippled girl, or even particularly of you. We live in a time of corruption and degeneracy, when the old truths of blood and iron have been forgotten. Nonetheless, however much I may have loathed your Joan Sorenson and what she represented, I had no taste of her blood. All I want is to live out my last years in peace.”

Willie stood up. “Do me a favor and spare me the old sick man act. Yeah, I know all about your arthritis and your war wounds. I also know who you are and what you’re capable of. Okay, you didn’t kill Joanie. So who did? Him?” He jerked a thumb toward Steven.

Steven was here with me.”

“Maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t,” Willie said.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Flambeaux, you’re not important enough for me to lie to you. Even if your suspicion was correct, my son is not capable of such an act. Must I remind you that Steven is crippled as well, in his own way?”

Willie gave Steven a quick glance. “I remember once when I was just a kid, my father had to come see you, and he brought me along. I used to love to ride your little cable car. Him and you went inside to talk, but it was a nice day, so you let me play outside. I found Steven in the woods, playing with some poor sick mutt that had gotten past your fence. He was holding it down with his foot, and pulling off its legs, one by one, just ripping them out with his bare hands like a normal kid might pull petals off a flower. When I walked up…

And remember, the books and the show are two very separate entities. I have not watched the most recent seasons since season five, but I understand that the issue with the dagger was extremely rushed and not consistent within the show-world. Apparently a video was made that brought to light all of the show reasoning… watch here.

Catspaw dagger. Artist; Sarah Biddle

The real, canon version of the catspaw dagger is not the fancily decorated show version. No. Instead, the catspaw dagger is rather plain and not adorned with gold or jewels, etc. Just Valyrian steel and dragonbone (which is black in color). A fire dagger used to try and “burn down” tree figure Bran, another fiery hand element in the story. Just as later Ramsay burns down Winterfell. During the Winterfell burning, Theon’s horse, Smiler, was burnt to death. This echoes Ygritte trying to burn/kill Jon by “feathering his horse” as he got away at Queenscrown, fire-man Rhaegar feathering tree-maiden Lyanna’s horse as she escaped as Knight of Laughing Tree, Cersei “burning” Eddard and the King’s decree after Robert died then Joffrey beheading Eddard, and so on in ASOIAF with the fire-people burning down tree-people.

  • A Game of Thrones – Catelyn III

“The circumstances did not allow me to examine it closely, but I can vouch for its edge,” Catelyn replied with a dry smile. “Why do you ask?”

“We found the knife still in the villain’s grasp. It seemed to me that it was altogether too fine a weapon for such a man, so I looked at it long and hard. The blade is Valyrian steel, the hilt dragonbone. A weapon like that has no business being in the hands of such as him. Someone gave it to him.”

Catelyn nodded, thoughtful. “Robb, close the door.”

  • A Clash of Kings – Catelyn VII

“What dagger was this?”

“It was so long,” she said, holding her hands apart, “plain, but finely made, with a blade of Valyrian steel and a dragonbone hilt. Your brother won it from Lord Baelish at the tourney on Prince Joffrey’s name day.”

Lannister poured, drank, poured, and stared into his wine cup. “This wine seems to be improving as I drink it. Imagine that. I seem to remember that dagger, now that you describe it. Won it, you say? How?”

What GRRM says about the assassin and when the information was given. From the first book, and in a Bran chapter, we are introduced to the atrocities Ramsay is capable of (Lady Hornwood). Still, Ramsay remains an often talked about off-page monster, an eldritch horror that would make Lovecraft proud. Not only that, but it is Roose Bolton who conspires against (King) Robb Stark from near the beginning of the series and helps orchstrate the Red Wedding (a fire event). Again, Red King Boltons versus the Starks- history repeating with a twist.

Ramsay appears in A Clash of Kings, which includes the attack on Winterfell, the killing of the Millers boys, and Beth Cassel and the other innocents taken hostage and moved to Dreadfort. He is then reverted back to the lurking monster in A Storm of Swords in a few POV’s (the additional comments GRRM speaks about below). It is not until we get to A Dance with Dragons where Ramsay comes back on stage, but still mostly remaining a haunter in Theon’s darkness. Basically, the crackpot claims Ramsay has been attempting to usurp Winterfell since the story began.:

Q: Do we the readers, after having read aGoT and aCoK, have enough information to plausibly be able to reason out who was behind the assassination plot against Bran?

GRRM: There’s a couple of additional things to be revealed in SOS… but I think the answer could be worked out from the first two books alone, yes… though of course, =I’ve= known the truth all along, so in some ways it’s hard for me to judge.

The common theory is that Joffrey sent the catspaw dagger to appease his supposed father, King Robert Baratheon, because he overheard Robert drukenly mentioned someone should put Bran out of his misery. Jaime and Tyrion later discuss this issue and assume Joffrey did it, but even Tyrion has doubts. Instead, could this be an author misdirection? Is the truth building behind the scenes, later to be reavealed as Martin’s editor explains? This could be a lose end that Bran confronts in The Winds of Winter. Or maybe it is Jon with the knowledge provided greenseer style by Bran. Jon did take a firm stand in saying goodbye to Bran as Jon left for the Night’s Watch, even taking a verbal lashing from Catelyn (fire woman).

  • …it is easier to tell when he’s overplaying a hand and revealing things too early if you don’t actually know going in what will happen. That said, now that I’ve realized his three-fold revelation strategy, I see it in play almost every time. The first, subtle hint for the really astute readers, followed later by the more blatant hint for the less attentive, followed by just spelling it out for everyone else. It’s a brilliant strategy, and highly effective. — Anne Groell

Land of Toys

Basically, Bran will become fearful of some impending force causing Bran to leave the tree and be the knight he always wanted to be. Maybe. The other few times in the A Song of Ice and Fire series we see or hear about someone being a puppet, it is always a fire-persona trying to burn down a tree-persona.

The Land of Toys. This part of the Pinocchio story is absolutely integral to the morality theme of the entire piece.

  • As TyrionTLannister points out in a Page 2 post on the Westeros forum to read more. Basically, it’s a location in “The Adventures of Pinocchio” that serves as a haven for wayward boys and girls, allowing them them to act as they please without recrimination. However, its truer and more sinister purpose is eventually revealed as it begins to physically transform the boys and girls into donkeys, apparently by means of a curse.
  • The description of the Land of Toys mentions this part, “To its unsuspecting visitors, it appears to be a fantastic place where boys and girls can do whatever they want with no consequences or law. However, its real use is for a slave trade.”, and to me, that is why I stubbornly think Bloodraven could be up to no good. My Page 2 post talks about it more.
  • adding 2/26/17: Check out the part of the thread where Bran is already turning into a tree while in his “land of toys”. Page three in this thread. More to come on this as well.
  • GloubieBoulga found a great text link to the donkey/mule Land of Toys connection. Page 2 post to read.

I do speculate that Bran will be the key to Enlightenment in the Song of Ice and Fire. He will be the neutralizing water element, and part of tactic in doing so will be his union of the Citadel and Samwell Tarly to the old gods knowledge.

Arya connections

I suspect that, in keeping with the fairytales theme, George used the original story of The Little Mermaid for Arya’s main, over-reaching story. Almost every element of TLM is in Arya’s story, and you can see how her arc could progress on page going forward. I will do a comparison one day (fingers crossed for time) The Little Mermaid Full Text

Acorn into the mighty oak.

However, as each character in ASOIAF have more than one, or two, totem figures, Arya also seems to be connected to trees, this time the oak. Bran already confuses her for a Child of the Forest, so in hindsight we can see this tree growing.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Bran II

    The world moved dizzily around him. White trees, black sky, red flames, everything was whirling, shifting, spinning. He felt himself stumbling. He could hear Hodor screaming, “Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor.” A cloud of ravens was pouring from the cave, and he saw a little girl with a torch in hand, darting this way and that. For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle. Tears filled Hodor’s eyes and froze there.

    [and then]

    The next he knew, he was lying on a bed of pine needles beneath a dark stone roof. The cave. I’m in the cave. His mouth still tasted of blood where he’d bitten his tongue, but a fire was burning to his right, the heat washing over his face, and he had never felt anything so good. Summer was there, sniffing round him, and Hodor, soaking wet. Meera cradled Jojen’s head in her lap. And the Arya thing stood over them, clutching her torch.
    • Sidenote: the term “the Arya thing” is George reworking a term used in a favorite book of his that jump-started his imagination, Have Space Suit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein. I gave many excerpts from George talking about the impact this book had on his formative years in this page linked here about Aerea Targaryen. In Have Space Suit…,  there is a very curious little alien called “the mother thing” that helps the main characters survive the wormfaces. They also travel to the planet Vega 5 through wormholes, talk in a bird-like voice, and are telepathic. Go figure.  f30104ee1ad81631a14899ffe9576554--science-fiction-alien

We readers have been watching our little squirrel girl grow from acorn to oak in her own type of awakening.

  • A Clash of Kings – Arya II

    Come morning, when Praed did not awaken, Arya realized that it had been his coughing she had missed. They dug a grave of their own then, burying the sellsword where he’d slept. Yoren stripped him of his valuables before they threw the dirt on him. One man claimed his boots, another his dagger. His mail shirt and helm were parceled out. His longsword Yoren handed to the Bull. “Arms like yours, might be you can learn to use this,” he told him. A boy called Tarber tossed a handful of acorns on top of Praed’s body, so an oak might grow to mark his place.

  • A Storm of Swords – Arya III

    “Little one,” Greenbeard answered, “a peasant may skin a common squirrel for his pot, but if he finds a gold squirrel in his tree he takes it to his lord, or he will wish he did.”

    “I’m not a squirrel,” Arya insisted.

    You are.” Greenbeard laughed. “A little gold squirrel who’s off to see the lightning lord, whether she wills it or not. He’ll know what’s to be done with you. I’ll wager he sends you back to your lady mother, just as you wish.”

  • A Storm of Swords – Arya IV (at Acorn Hall)

    “Nice, though. A nice oak tree.” He stepped closer, and sniffed at her. “You even smell nice for a change.”

    “You don’t. You stink.” Arya shoved him back against the anvil and made to run, but Gendry caught her arm. She stuck a foot between his legs and tripped him, but he yanked her down with him, and they rolled across the floor of the smithy. He was very strong, but she was quicker. Every time he tried to hold her still she wriggled free and punched him. Gendry only laughed at the blows, which made her mad. He finally caught both her wrists in one hand and started to tickle her with the other, so Arya slammed her knee between his legs, and wrenched free. Both of them were covered in dirt, and one sleeve was torn on her stupid acorn dress. “I bet I don’t look so nice now,” she shouted.

    Tom was singing when they returned to the hall.

The song Tom of Sevenstrings is singing seems to a love-crush song for Arya and Gendry called My Featherbed, or, Maiden of the Tree (somewhat also serving for a possible Rhaegar and Lyanna parallel)…

My featherbed is deep and soft,
and there I’ll lay you down,
I’ll dress you all in yellow silk,
and on your head a crown.
For you shall be my lady love,
and I shall be your lord.
I’ll always keep you warm and safe,
and guard you with my sword.
And how she smiled and how she laughed,
the maiden of the tree.
She spun away and said to him,
no featherbed for me.
I’ll wear a gown of golden leaves,
and bind my hair with grass,
But you can be my forest love,
and me your forest lass


BONUS- Patchface

The term Humpty Dumpty is actually a phrase used to describe a drunk person. Humpty Dumpty was not ever an egg until later versions where the riddle was turned into a child’s nursery rhyme. It was a riddle first about a drunk man who falls down and the idea that you can never help a lackwit such as that…. and isn’t this how most people treat Patchface?!?!?!! In Through the Looking Glass, HD provides riddles and speaks “backwards” by celebrating his un-birthday.

  • Chapter Six – Humpty Dumpty: After crossing yet another brook into the sixth rank, Alice immediately encounters Humpty Dumpty, who, besides celebrating his unbirthday, provides his own translation of the strange terms in “Jabberwocky”. In the process, he introduces Alice (and the reader) to the concept of portmanteau words, before his inevitable fall.

Two of the earlier HD riddles are:

  1. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
    Four-score Men and Four-score more,Could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.
  2. Humpty Dumpty lay in a beck.
    With all his sinews around his neck;
    Forty Doctors and forty wrights
    Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty to rights!

    • A beck is a small creek or waterside. Hmmm, where was Patcface found, and wasn’t he drunk/drowned in sea water???


Thoughts? Ideas? Speculations? Do I just need more coffee :cheers:

Originally discussed in the forum in the Pinocchio thread found here.

Credit to Feather Crystal for her essay on the Through the Looking Glass/Jabberwocky connections. Take some time to read what FC has to say… it’s good stuff! LINKED HERE

Thanks for reading along with the jambles and jumbles of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire. Please ask for more book quotes as needed as sometimes I fall behind in getting them all here.

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