This message is a bit of a teaser to let you know that I was able to set aside a bit of time this evening to add more book quotes to when Val was introduced in George RR Martin’s world as a whole, because she has been there since the beginning of time. The full Val identity page can be found here. I will soon be revisiting Fevre Dream and Nightflyers to add more of those quotes.
This teaser sample is from Bitterblooms, a story where those who have read it tend to claim this character Shawn is all Arya. As much as I love my Arya pup, this is not exactly true. Please read on to find out the details.
Written in 1977, this story is about a young girl who has to survive a long winter in order to make it back to her clan. She is intercepted by a fanatical red witch who lives in a giant brazier and deceives Shawn by giving her empty light, food and visual illusions. Here is a snippet from the story Bitterblooms that shows the concept of a Val/free folk archetype. This portion comes just after the Dunk burying Ser Arlan beginning, and right before Shawn is tricked Stannis-style by the exact Melisandre prototype Morgan Le Fay (AKA Morgan Full of Magic, Morgan Full of Lies). I left the paragraphs in order and unedited, but I added my notes in between because it seemed easier that way during a read through.
She left him his skis and his big silverwood bow, its bowstring snapped by the cold. But she took his sword and his heavy fur cloak; it was little enough burden added to her pack. She had nursed him for almost a week after the vampire had left him wounded, and that long delay in the little lean-to had depleted most of their supplies. Now she hoped to travel light and fast. She strapped on her skis, standing next to the clumsy grave she had built him, and said her last farewell leaning on her poles. Then she set off over the snow, through the terrible silence of the deepwinter woods, toward home and fire and family. It was just past midday.
*Rhaegar played a silver-stringed harp. There are in story connections between harps and bows. Littlefinger to Sansa: “A harp can be as dangerous as a sword, in the right hands.” And while Jon is Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch he puts much emphasis on archery training, which connects him to Bloodraven and the Raven’s Teeth.
*Shawn nursed her dead father figure, Lane, after the vampire wounded him. This follows the idea that Val will nurse Jon during recovery, an idea I’ve had for years now. Detailed in the Jon and Val main page as well as the Jon the bear page.
*GRRM uses wraiths, vampires, and dragons rather interchangebly between his stories. One of the covers of the book Armageddon Rag has them depicted as we see them in this story. The point is, the fourth hand in Jon’s mutiny stabbing was most likely the fiery hand of the red god (or maybe a Great Other?). Detailed on this page here.
Thanks for reading along with the jamles and jumbles of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire.