Tormund is the Horn of Winter

Tormund: Hold. You gave Styr his style, give me mine.

Mance: As you wish. Jon Snow, before you stands Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker, Horn-blower, and Breaker of Ice. And here also Tormund Thunderfist, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts.

Tormund: That sounds more like me.

300px-Brittmartin_TorumndG
Tormund Giantsbane. Artist: Brittmartin

I like the notion that Tormund “Horn-blower” gave Jon a set of golden twins (his armbands) when the wildlings pay homage to Jon as they pass through the wall. Heavily symbolic in that gesture.

Aside from the golden twins, I always wondered if Tormund wasn’t the horn himself. Prophecy and the details that go along with it are always foggy and often misinterpreted in this story. If there is a literal horn that is needed, I think it is the one Sam has with him down south right now (for many reasons). So we have Tormund with gold bands marked with runes, and later at the pink letter reading in the very symbolic shieldhall, we get Tormund blowing a horn twice. And then Jon asks for a “horn” just before he is stabbed. Well, what if that horn Jon gets is the back up and support of Tormund Horn-blower at this time???

At one point we see Jon ask Tormund about his many names, to which Tormund answers all except the horn-blower name. I believe that is because we have yet to see that happen on page. It is foreshadowing.

A Storm of Swords – Jon II
“So how did you come by your other names?” Jon asked. “Mance called you the Horn-Blower, didn’t he? Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Husband to Bears, Father to Hosts?” It was the horn blowing he particularly wanted to hear about, but he dared not ask too plainly. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Is that where they had come from, them and their mammoths? Had Mance Rayder found the Horn of Joramun, and given it to Tormund Thunderfist to blow?

 

This would make Jon Snow a “new” Joramun, King of Winter, which would make Tormund the ‘horn of Winter‘ proper. Readers of this website know that I theorize Bran will work with Jon together to defeat the enemy. Bran is the “ice armour” that will protect Jon. The giants will be those men, women, actual giants, etc that band together to help protect Jon, what is left of the wall defenses, and the realm. The new watch. Additionally, the “giants” of Joramun could also be an earthquake, but that is for another post.

In Ragnarok, one of the final signs that the world is about to end is the crowing of three “cocks”.

  • The völva then describes three roosters crowing (“Cocka-doodle-doo”): In stanza 42, the jötunn herdsman Eggthér sits on a mound and cheerfully plays his harp while the crimson rooster Fjalar (Old Norse “hider, deceiver”[11]) crows in the forest Gálgviðr. The golden rooster Gullinkambi crows to the Æsir (pronounced ‘ice ear‘) in Valhalla, and the third, unnamed soot-red rooster crows in the halls of the underworld location of Hel in stanza 43.[12]

HAR! Have you seen the size of Tormund’s member???

  • “No. I’ll not have it said that Tormund Thunderfist made the free folk give up their treasures whilst he kept his own.” He grinned. “But I’ll keep the ring I wear about me member. Much bigger than those little things. On you it’d be a torque.”
  • Tormund Giantsbane had roared to hear it. “Afraid of being carried off, is she? I hope you never said how big me member is, Jon Snow, that’d frighten any woman. I always wanted me one with a mustache.” Then he laughed and laughed.
  • All ripped and torn I was, and half me member bit right off, and there on me floor was a she-bear’s pelt. And soon enough the free folk were telling tales o’ this bald bear seen in the woods, with the queerest pair o’ cubs behind her. Har!” He slapped a meaty thigh. “Would that I could find her again. She was fine to lay with, that bear. Never was a woman gave me such a fight, nor such strong sons neither.”

With the mutiny happening, that means the brothers have fallen apart and not stood together, which means the “wall falls”. When the wall falls, the Others can pass. This may not be a literal falling of thousands of tons of ice and rock, but the metaphor of the strength of those who defend it. Tormund being the third “horn blast” at the mutiny while the wall falls is the sign that the Others can now pass through, or over, or under, etc. The last thing Jon feels at his mutiny is, “only the cold.” This is the sign that the Others are indeed now on their way as the Others bring a different type of cold; one that makes it hurt to breathe, one that shatters regular steel.

What the books say about the strength of walls:

  • If the Wall falls, night falls as well, the long night that never ends.
  • Jon Snow glanced toward the stockade. Two walls were down, a third falling fast.
  • A wall is only as good as the men defending it.

 

SkinTrade03grizzly
Graphic novel from Avatar. Mike Wolfer provided the art.

I do believe that the mutineers were used by Melisandre and the fiery hand of R’hllor to bring Jon down. I will elaborate on that soon, however, in the meantime you can read the original thread here from Westeros.org if you so desire. Additionally, the gigantic ice wall acts as a mirror in many cases; Tyrion and Jon both see their reflections in it. This follows the werewolf story of The Skin Trade that is so much a protoype to the Jon Snow- Ramsay Snow- Theon- Val circle we have now. In The Skin Trade, when one gets “blood on the mirror”, the sinister unknown evil ‘Skinner’ is summoned and won’t stop until it gets it victim… eventually. The protagonist Willie Flambeaux (Jon Snow) manages to evade the Skinner, and the main antagonist father Johnathon Harmon (Roose Bolton) goes to intimidate Willie’s love interest Randi Wade (Val) to get what he wants… something we see GRRM kept the same broad strokes but re-imagined it to fit the ASOIAF story line. And if we think back to the opening prologue of the A Song of Ice and Fire story, the Others seemed to be searching for someone with the traits of Jon, but they found the mummer Waymar Royce instead, so they keep looking.

So what does this mean? The Others (or the villain) are at the wall, or just about to close in on it rather soon. They are going to “break through” just as the Skinner in The Skin Trade breaks through the mirrors to get the victim.

A Dance with Dragons – Jon XIII

The Shieldhall went mad.
Every man began to shout at once. They leapt to their feet, shaking fists. So much for the calming power of comfortable benches. Swords were brandished, axes smashed against shields. Jon Snow looked to Tormund. The Giantsbane sounded his horn once more, twice as long and twice as loud as the first time.
~~~and then while out in the yard just before the mutiny stabbing~~~
Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun howled again and gave Ser Patrek’s other arm a twist and pull. It tore loose from his shoulder with a spray of bright red blood. Like a child pulling petals off a daisy, thought Jon. “Leathers, talk to him, calm him. The Old Tongue, he understands the Old Tongue. Keep back, the rest of you. Put away your steel, we’re scaring him.” Couldn’t they see the giant had been cut? Jon had to put an end to this or more men would die. They had no idea of Wun Wun’s strength. A horn, I need a horn. He saw the glint of steel, turned toward it. “No blades!” he screamed. “Wick, put that knife …”

A Storm of Swords – Jon II

“I never did, but see you don’t go spreading that about. Tormund Giantsbane has a better ring to it than Tormund Giantsbabe, and that’s the honest truth o’ it.”
“So how did you come by your other names?” Jon asked. “Mance called you the Horn-Blower, didn’t he? Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Husband to Bears, Father to Hosts?” It was the horn blowing he particularly wanted to hear about, but he dared not ask too plainly. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Is that where they had come from, them and their mammoths? Had Mance Rayder found the Horn of Joramun, and given it to Tormund Thunderfist to blow?

A Storm of Swords – Jon X

“What if we refuse the offer?” Jon had no doubt that they would. The Old Bear might at least have listened, though he would have balked at the notion of letting thirty or forty thousand wildlings loose on the Seven Kingdoms. But Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt would dismiss the notion out of hand.
“If you refuse,” Mance Rayder said, “Tormund Giantsbane will sound the Horn of Winter three days hence, at dawn.”
 So if Tormund Horn-blower sounds his horn for the third time, which will be at the time of the mutiny, this is the signal to the readers, probably not the in-world men at this point, that the Others (or the enemy) is on their way…
A Storm of Swords – Samwell I
He remembered turning in a circle, lost, the fear growing inside him as it always did. There were dogs barking and horses trumpeting, but the snow muffled the sounds and made them seem far away. Sam could see nothing beyond three yards, not even the torches burning along the low stone wall that ringed the crown of the hill. Could the torches have gone out? That was too scary to think about. The horn blew thrice long, three long blasts means Others. The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows, the monsters of the tales that made him squeak and tremble as a boy, riding their giant ice-spiders, hungry for blood . . .
According to the most accurate to date Timeline, the free folk have been at CB for three days, and that is when the assassination attempt happened. Time is up!
~~~You know nothing, Jon Snow!
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