Snowbeard Jon and Sam Ice Eyes

 

This is a quick and easy one 🙂 and maybe a tad crackpot. The Edrick tale in the Davos chapter is at the end.


The Un-Eddard

Ned Dayne- by: Rae Lavergne

Edric Dayne is often taughted in fandom conspiracies as being a son of a Eddard Stark, his supposed namesake. I am not so sure Edric is named for Eddard Stark specifically, especially because of any blood relation. But, readers love a good conspiracy as we patiently wait for The Winds of Winter to be released. The description we get of Edric does not precisely match that of Eddard Stark, or Ashara Dayne, and certainly not some combination of the two. The dark blue-purple eyes are that of typical Daynes, so at this point I would have to rule out a Stark bloodline. Instead, the description of him we get (and read on page) is just like that of Larry Richmond of the Martin story The Armageddon Rag. In that story, Larry is a duplicate stand-in for the dead singer of the rock band the Nazgûl, and is being used in some crazy plan to bring about a new wave of the hippie generation.

  • Edric- At the time of A Storm of Swords, Edric is twelve years old. He is described as having pale blond hair, and dark blue eyes that appear almost purple. He wears a pale purple cloak. He is shy and good-natured, and very polite. He has never killed anyone.
  • Eddard- Eddard has a long face and long brown hair. He is thirty-five, but his closely-trimmed beard is beginning to grey, making him look older than his years. His dark grey eyes reflect his moods, turning soft as fog or hard as stone. Eddard is shorter and less handsome than his older brother Brandon had been, according to Catelyn Stark; however, she also states that Ned has a “good sweet heart beneath his solemn face”. He keeps faith with the old gods. He is fiercely protective of his wife and children, whom he loves deeply.
  • Ashara Dayne- Ashara was tall, with long dark hair and haunting violet eyes. She had a reputation for great beauty. Many men were infatuated with her, including Ser Barristan Selmy and, according to rumor, Eddard Stark.

Now Larry Richmond and Edric Dayne are not exact replicas of each other, but they are incredibly similar in many key ways. Both very polite, both have heroes they emulate, both join a band for the “greater good”- Nazgûl and the Brotherhood without Banners, both are icy people living among the fiery (that could get them killed), both have a dog/wolf interaction that (ultimately) ends with the fiery person killing said dog/wolf.

My question is why? Why is George re-purposing this theme of him and projecting it on to Edric Dayne?

  • The Armageddon Rag

Larry Richmond. That was the kid’s real name, as he’d admitted when Sandy questioned him. He’d been born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where his father worked in a steel mill, but had moved to Philly in his early teens, after his father’s death. That explained the accent. Like Hobbins, he was an albino, and short, and had been mocked and beaten frequently for his differences from the norm. Unlike Hobbins, he had been frightened instead of toughened by those childhood torments. Patrick Henry Hobbins was his hero. As Larry put it, “There aren’t many albino role models, you know. The Hobbit was the big one.” So naturally Richmond learned to play the guitar and sing, and naturally he formed a band as soon as he was able, and naturally they specialized in doing Nazgûl material. Larry Richmond sang well enough so that he was even able to make a career out of it, of sorts; he became a teenaged Hobbins imitator. And then Edan Morse found him.


Eddard and Arya

The connection is through history repeating right under the readers nose (described below). In the books the most we hear about that name is how it elicits an emotional reaction from Arya. Truthfully, in the story The Armageddon Rag, this is why the group manager chooses Larry Richmond; to elicit an emotional response from the old rock fans and the new. It is a plot device to motivate the masses. I am sure there is another meaning behind it, but at its basic level, it is an emotional motivator. Now that I think about it, GRRM also uses this emotional motivator technique in the story A Song for Lya between Robb and Lya when she comes back to visit him in a type of fever dream.

  • A Storm of Swords – Arya VI

    “Ned, help me remove my breastplate.”

    Arya got goosebumps when Lord Beric said her father’s name, but this Ned was only a boy, a fair-haired squire no more than ten or twelve. He stepped up quickly to undo the clasps that fastened the battered steel about the Marcher lord. The quilting beneath was rotten with age and sweat, and fell away when the metal was pulled loose. Gendry sucked in his breath. “Mother have mercy.”

  • A Storm of Swords – Arya VIII

    “Yes.” He did not sound very proud of it. “I was at the Mummer’s Ford. When Lord Beric fell into the river, I dragged him up onto the bank so he wouldn’t drown and stood over him with my sword. I never had to fight, though. He had a broken lance sticking out of him, so no one bothered us. When we regrouped, Green Gergen helped pull his lordship back onto a horse.”

    Arya was remembering the stableboy at King’s Landing. After him there’d been that guard whose throat she cut at Harrenhal, and Ser Amory’s men at that holdfast by the lake. She didn’t know if Weese and Chiswyck counted, or the ones who’d died on account of the weasel soup . . . all of a sudden, she felt very sad. “My father was called Ned too,” she said.

    “I know. I saw him at the Hand’s tourney. I wanted to go up and speak with him, but I couldn’t think what to say.” Ned shivered beneath his cloak, a sodden length of pale purple. “Were you at the tourney? I saw your sister there. Ser Loras Tyrell gave her a rose.”

 


Who is this Ice Eyes?

Wow, I never noticed that Sam is a “new” Brandon Ice Eyes as Jon is a “new” Edrick Snowbeard Stark (Jon discussed below). History repeats, just with a twist.

The same also has a double entendre attached to it. I have long speculated that Samwell is learning the true tongue and will be able to speak to Bran while he is at the Citadel. Crazy sounding, I know, but I wrote it all out on this page here if you want to read about it. Also, this page Greenseeing mean Enlightenment also shows some Bran to Sam to Jon connections. The future of Planetos humanity depends on two different things coming together to create something new. The role of the Citadel and the magic/woods witchery will join. So Samwell having “ice eyes” is because of Bran’s connection with him, as the ice armour Jon dreams about is Bran’s knowledge and connection with Jon.

545px-House_Stark.svg

Essentially, Sam, who gave up the seven in place of the old gods, defeats a slaver (well, a thrall of the slaver) that is this supposed Great Other, all while wearing his ice yes and crashing in to the wight. So, Sam also knows ‘winter’ because Jon is (will be) the King of Winter. Go figure :dunno:.

A Dance with Dragons – Davos IV

After their fall, the castle had passed through many other hands. House Flint held it for a century, House Locke for almost two. Slates, Longs, Holts, and Ashwoods had held sway here, charged by Winterfell to keep the river safe. Reavers from the Three Sisters took the castle once, making it their toehold in the north. During the wars between Winterfell and the Vale, it was besieged by Osgood Arryn, the Old Falcon, and burned by his son, the one remembered as the Talon. When old King Edrick Stark had grown too feeble to defend his realm, the Wolf’s Den was captured by slavers from the Stepstones. They would brand their captives with hot irons and break them to the whip before shipping them off across the sea, and these same black stone walls bore witness.

“Then a long cruel winter fell,” said Ser Bartimus. “The White Knife froze hard, and even the firth was icing up. The winds came howling from the north and drove them slavers inside to huddle round their fires, and whilst they warmed themselves the new king come down on them. Brandon Stark this was, Edrick Snowbeard’s great-grandson, him that men called IceEyes. He took the Wolf’s Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he’d found chained up in the dungeons. It’s said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south. Your Seven don’t know winter, and winter don’t know them.

 Compare the broad strokes to this Samwell scene:

A Storm of Swords – Samwell III

His fumbling fingers finally found the dagger, but when he slammed it up into the wight’s belly the point skidded off the iron links, and the blade went spinning from Sam’s hand. Small Paul’s fingers tightened inexorably, and began to twist. He’s going to rip my head off, Sam thought in despair. His throat felt frozen, his lungs on fire. He punched and pulled at the wight’s wrists, to no avail. He kicked Paul between the legs, uselessly. The world shrank to two blue stars, a terrible crushing pain, and a cold so fierce that his tears froze over his eyes. Sam squirmed and pulled, desperate . . . and then he lurched forward.

Small Paul was big and powerful, but Sam still outweighed him, and the wights were clumsy, he had seen that on the Fist. The sudden shift sent Paul staggering back a step, and the living man and the dead one went crashing down together. The impact knocked one hand from Sam’s throat, and he was able to suck in a quick breath of air before the icy black fingers returned. The taste of blood filled his mouth. He twisted his neck around, looking for his knife, and saw a dull orange glow. The fire! Only ember and ashes remained, but still . . . he could not breathe, or think . . . Sam wrenched himself sideways, pulling Paul with him . . . his arms flailed against the dirt floor, groping, reaching, scattering the ashes, until at last they found something hot . . . a chunk of charred wood, smouldering red and orange within the black . . . his fingers closed around it, and he smashed it into Paul’s mouth, so hard he felt teeth shatter.

Yet even so the wight’s grip did not loosen. Sam’s last thoughts were for the mother who had loved him and the father he had failed. The longhall was spinning around him when he saw the wisp of smoke rising from between Paul’s broken teeth. Then the dead man’s face burst into flame, and the hands were gone.

Sam sucked in air, and rolled feebly away. The wight was burning, hoarfrost dripping from his beard as the flesh beneath blackened. Sam heard the raven shriek, but Paul himself made no sound. When his mouth opened, only flames came out. And his eyes . . . It’s gone, the blue glow is gone.


Parallels

And to continue on from the Bran section about Sam the Slayer- Ice Eyes,  Jon Snow is a parallel to Edrick “Snowbeard” Stark of days past, which is why Edric Dayne and Jon Snow are “milk brothers”.

The tale is in that first name, not that Edric Dayne was named after Eddard Stark. This also connects Jon Snow to the Milkwater river of the north in more ways than one. Just basically an avalanche of icy snow imagery piled on top of Jon Snow, King of Winter.

Compare the broad strokes of Jon now, to histories past:

A Clash of Kings – Bran VII

But it was only a game, and Bran knew it.

Their footsteps echoed through the cavernous crypts. The shadows behind them swallowed his father as the shadows ahead retreated to unveil other statues; no mere lords, these, but the old Kings in the North. On their brows they wore stone crowns. Torrhen Stark, the King Who Knelt. Edwyn the Spring King. Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf. Brandon the Burner and Brandon the Shipwright. Jorah and Jonos, Brandon the Bad, Walton the Moon King, Edderion the Bridegroom, Eyron, Benjen the Sweet and Benjen the Bitter, King Edrick Snowbeard. Their faces were stern and strong, and some of them had done terrible things, but they were Starks every one, and Bran knew all their tales. He had never feared the crypts; they were part of his home and who he was, and he had always known that one day he would lie here too.

But now he was not so certain. If I go up, will I ever come back down? Where will I go when I die?

 

The World of Ice and Fire – The North: Winterfell [my notations]

The castle itself is peculiar in that the Starks did not level the ground when laying down the foundations and walls of the castle. Very likely, this reveals that the castle was built in pieces over the years rather than being planned as a single structure. Some scholars suspect that it was once a complex of linked ringforts, though the centuries have eradicated almost all evidence of this.

The outer walls of Winterfell were raised during the last two decades of the reign of King Edrick Snowbeard. Though Edrick is famed for a reign that lasted nearly a century, his rule in his dotage was increasingly erratic [*currently, there hasn’t been a Stark in Winterfell for a very long time]. Seeing this, many different factions tried to seize control of his faltering realm. The most obvious threats were from his own numerous—and fractious—descendants, but others took their chances as well, including ironmen [Theon], slavers from across the narrow sea [not sure, yet], wildlings [Mance, the Weeper], and Northern rivals such as the Boltons.

The inner walls, which were once the only defensive walls, are estimated to be some two thousand years old, and perhaps some sections are older still. In later years, a defensive moat was dug around them, then a second wall was raised beyond the moat, giving the castle a formidable defense. The inner walls stand a hundred feet high, the outer walls eighty; any attacker who succeeded in capturing the outer wall would still find defenders on the inner walls loosing spears and stones and arrows down at him.

*A Game of Thrones – Catelyn II

His words were like an icy draft through her heart. “No,” she said, suddenly afraid. Was this to be her punishment? Never to see his face again, nor to feel his arms around her?

“Yes,” Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. “You must govern the north in my stead, while I run Robert’s errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen. Soon enough, he will be a man grown. He must learn to rule, and I will not be here for him. Make him part of your councils. He must be ready when his time comes.”

“Gods will, not for many years,” Maester Luwin murmured.


Snowbeardin’

Jon Snow seems to have developed an actual “snow” beard:

A Clash of Kings – Jon VIII

Then he was through; drenched and shivering, but through.

The cleft in the rock was barely large enough for man and horse to pass, but beyond, the walls opened up and the floor turned to soft sand. Jon could feel the spray freezing in his beard. Ghost burst through the waterfall in an angry rush, shook droplets from his fur, sniffed at the darkness suspiciously, then lifted a leg against one rocky wall. Qhorin had already dismounted. Jon did the same. “You knew this place was here.”

And then we never hear of Jon shaving his face. Not even in the A Storm of Swords bathing scene after Jon returns from his ranging (and overhears the mutineers with their first plotting).
  • A Storm of Swords – Jon XII

Bathing. But don’t let me spoil your plotting.” Jon climbed from the water, dried, dressed, and left them to conspire.

Outside, he found he had no idea where he was going. He walked past the shell of the Lord Commander’s Tower, where once he’d saved the Old Bear from a dead man; past the spot where Ygritte had died with that sad smile on her face; past the King’s Tower where he and Satin and Deaf Dick Follard had waited for the Magnar and his Thenns; past the heaped and charred remains of the great wooden stair. The inner gate was open, so Jon went down the tunnel, through the Wall. He could feel the cold around him, the weight of all the ice above his head. He walked past the place where Donal Noye and Mag the Mighty had fought and died together, through the new outer gate, and back into the pale cold sunlight.

Only then did he permit himself to stop, to take a breath, to think. Othell Yarwyck was not a man of strong convictions, except when it came to wood and stone and mortar. The Old Bear had known that. Thorne and Marsh will sway him, Yarwyck will support Lord Janos, and Lord Janos will be chosen Lord Commander. And what does that leave me, if not Winterfell?

A wind swirled against the Wall, tugging at his cloak. He could feel the cold coming off the ice the way heat comes off a fire. Jon pulled up his hood and began to walk again. The afternoon was growing old, and the sun was low in the west. A hundred yards away was the camp where King Stannis had confined his wildling captives within a ring of ditches, sharpened stakes, and high wooden fences. To his left were three great firepits, where the victors had burned the bodies of all the free folk to die beneath the Wall, huge pelted giants and little Hornfoot men alike. The killing ground was still a desolation of scorched weeds and hardened pitch, but Mance’s people had left traces of themselves everywhere; a torn hide that might have been part of a tent, a giant’s maul, the wheel of a chariot, a broken spear, a pile of mammoth dung. On the edge of the haunted forest, where the tents had been, Jon found an oakwood stump and sat.

It seems our Jon Snow is also the “new” ice-beard.

Edrick Stark, known as Edrick Snowbeard, was a King in the North and Lord of Winterfell from House Stark. Edrick ruled the north for almost a hundred years. I suspect that sometime in either The Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring, that Winterfell might fall to the Great Other (or whatever), and that this is again history repeating with a twist. That is why Winterfell is described as seemingly being built without plans as we see through Bran’s early A Game of Thrones chapters. The outer walls of Winterfell were thus raised during Edrick’s time could be foreshadowing to this having to happen again under new Stark guidance. He is buried in the crypts beneath Winterfell, so maybe we will get a Snowbeard glimpse in some upcoming book flashback?


Icy Eyes in real life

The frozen ice eyes concept is not too far off from what we have in the real world.
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Frozen eyelashes in the Russian region of Yakuti Credit: Instagram/@anastasiagav
“The village felt abandoned but it wasn’t, everything was happening indoors, and I wasn’t welcome there, so the only companions I had were the occasional street dog, or one of the drunks.” Source here

The Tale

A Dance with Dragons – Davos IV

Ser Bartimus had no interest in the world outside, or indeed anything that had happened since he lost his leg to a riderless horse and a maester’s saw. He had come to love the Wolf’s Den, however, and liked nothing more than to talk about its long and bloody history. The Den was much older than White Harbor, the knight told Davos. It had been raised by King Jon Stark to defend the mouth of the White Knife against raiders from the sea. Many a younger son of the King in the North had made his seat there, many a brother, many an uncle, many a cousin. Some passed the castle to their own sons and grandsons, and offshoot branches of House Stark had arisen; the Greystarks had lasted the longest, holding the Wolf’s Den for five centuries, until they presumed to join the Dreadfort in rebellion against the Starks of Winterfell.

After their fall, the castle had passed through many other hands. House Flint held it for a century, House Locke for almost two. Slates, Longs, Holts, and Ashwoods had held sway here, charged by Winterfell to keep the river safe. Reavers from the Three Sisters took the castle once, making it their toehold in the north. During the wars between Winterfell and the Vale, it was besieged by Osgood Arryn, the Old Falcon, and burned by his son, the one remembered as the Talon. When old King Edrick Stark had grown too feeble to defend his realm, the Wolf’s Den was captured by slavers from the Stepstones. They would brand their captives with hot irons and break them to the whip before shipping them off across the sea, and these same black stone walls bore witness.

“Then a long cruel winter fell,” said Ser Bartimus. “The White Knife froze hard, and even the firth was icing up. The winds came howling from the north and drove them slavers inside to huddle round their fires, and whilst they warmed themselves the new king come down on them. Brandon Stark this was, Edrick Snowbeard’s great-grandson, him that men called Ice Eyes. He took the Wolf’s Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he’d found chained up in the dungeons. It’s said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south. Your Seven don’t know winter, and winter don’t know them.”

Davos could not argue with the truth of that. From what he had seen at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, he did not care to know winter either. “What gods do you keep?” he asked the one-legged knight.


Thanks for reading along with the jambles and jumbles of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire.

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