World Building

The intended purpose of this page is to catch the overflow of ideas that have more to do with the supporting plots and characters of the story, therefore, this page will be an ever expanding galaxy of randomness. Each character and plot can stand alone, but it is how it works back in to the main plot that is important. Often times, most times, the plot-path of one character will have an impact on another two or three. The story is connected.

Yes, this is a generic picture of a spider web that I chose to illustrate my generic point  😉

You cannot undo one strand of the web without destroying the structure… just as you need a new strand to support two or three others. It can only support itself when each part works with another together.

And just a reminder that at any point on any page I may include information from all A Song of Ice and Fire books, including the supporting novellas, as well as information from any and all of George RR Martin’s work and interviews. Now, read on good friends!

At the moment of this post, I think I am just going to write away and then post the links here.

And to place a list of ideas that are going to be expanded further… I just do not want to lose them before I can type them out properly.

“What is the destiny of man, but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his allotted cup of bitterness ?” ~ Goethe “The Sorrows of Young Werther”

  1. I think the big converging we see in the future of the story is Bran and Daenerys coming to a “game of mind” battle. These two are really more in training for each other than any two characters in the story. They are the magical helms, while Dany and Jon are the political helms. Yeah, that’s deep (winks). Bran drank from the cup of ice, Daenerys drank from the cup of fire. This discussion was started here, but I will expand on it more in this blog when I can. Now that I have researched and read a little more, this concept GRRM is making his own is based off of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and that the weirwood seed & sap paste, and the inky drink Shade of the Evening made from the black-barked trees is an entheogenic psychoactive substance- similar, but literary polar opposites of each other.
    • A quickie about these cups: It is not about what is in these cups, it is a metaphor for their decision in life. It is who they are. What path they will chose. Each person was given a hallucinogen that opened up their mind’s eye allowing the subconscious to flow (Jon’s cup is in The Winds of Winter) and from their they make a decision. Just as others like Brynden Bloodraven Rivers is a mix of fire and ice, as is Jon, it is which “cup” they chose that will be reveal their identity and mission to the larger story.
    • A Clash of Kings – Jon I. Aerion took the concept too literally and ended up dead. Daenerys does have connections to Aerion Brightflame.

      “Aerion the Monstrous?” Jon knew that name. “The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon” was one of Old Nan’s more gruesome tales. His little brother Bran had loved it.

      “The very one, though he named himself Aerion Brightflame. One night, in his cups, he drank a jar of wildfire, after telling his friends it would transform him into a dragon, but the gods were kind and it transformed him into a corpse. Not quite a year after, King Maekar died in battle against an outlaw lord.”

    • The World of Ice and Fire – The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I

      Aerion Brightfire’s son was born in 232 AC, and given the ominous name of Maegor by his sire, but the Bright Prince himself died that same year when he drank a cup of wildfire in the belief that it would allow him to transform himself into a dragon.

  2. I need to add this in the a page about Daenerys becoming the living fire god and how people are going to worship her like Bakkalon the Pale Child, the Lion of Night, etc… I have long held the theory that once Daenerys re-arrives at the Mother of Mountains, one of the things she will do is she will ride Drogo to the top of the mountain (possibly where no human has been) and will descend as god/dess-like in the eyes of the Dothraki… not sure if this is before or after some burnings???
    • Mount Kailash (khaleesi?) The mountain is located near Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal, close to the source of some of the longest Asian rivers: the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, and Karnali also known as Ghaghara (a tributary of the Ganges) in India. Mount Kailash is considered to be sacred in four religions: Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. (and sooooo much more)
    • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys I

      “It were the black one,” the man said, in a Ghiscari growl, “the winged shadow. He come down from the sky and … and …”

      No. Dany shivered. No, no, oh no.

      “Are you deaf, fool?” Reznak mo Reznak demanded of the man. “Did you not hear my pronouncement? See my factors on the morrow, and you shall be paid for your sheep.”

    • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys II

      “… mother,” whispered Missandei.

      “Mother to dragons.” Dany shivered.

      “No. Mother to us all.” Missandei hugged her tighter. “Your Grace should sleep. Dawn will be here soon, and court.”

    • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys I

      When Irri and Jhiqui returned with pots of white sand, Dany stripped and let them scrub her clean. “Your hair is coming back, Khaleesi,” Jhiqui said as she scraped sand off her back. Dany ran a hand over the top of her head, feeling the new growth. Dothraki men wore their hair in long oiled braids, and cut them only when defeated. Perhaps I should do the same, she thought, to remind them that Drogo’s strength lives within me now. Khal Drogo had died with his hair uncut, a boast few men could make.

      Across the tent, Rhaegal unfolded green wings to flap and flutter a half foot before thumping to the carpet. When he landed, his tail lashed back and forth in fury, and he raised his head and screamed. If I had wings, I would want to fly too, Dany thought. The Targaryens of old had ridden upon dragonback when they went to war. She tried to imagine what it would feel like, to straddle a dragon’s neck and soar high into the air. It would be like standing on a mountaintop, only better. The whole world would be spread out below. If I flew high enough, I could even see the Seven Kingdoms, and reach up and touch the comet.

      Irri broke her reverie to tell her that Ser Jorah Mormont was outside, awaiting her pleasure. “Send him in,” Dany commanded, sand-scrubbed skin tingling. She wrapped herself in the lionskin. The hrakkar had been much bigger than Dany, so the pelt covered everything that wanted covering.

  3. A little wordplay
    • pyre-pyro-pyramid… volcano (mountain), Doom of Valyria, dragons in and on the pyramids, and Daenerys in Meereen acting god-like. The blood and fire of a volcano is magma (lava when it reaches the surface), and the Valyrians laid roads and built castles with melted stone. Read about deamon-reaver roads here.
      • Also, as I discussed here, Daenerys cannot make a grass hat while in the Dothraki sea. Jorah at one point tried to explain there are different types of grasses, but she ignores his lesson. The opposite is Jon who figures out on his own the Nights Watch needs many types of metals and they all work together, each with their own strength.
    • tower-tree-tuition (knowledge)… old gods, weirwood, ice magic, the Citadel, Bran, Jon, Hardin’s Tower, library at Winterfell, Odin and Yggdrasil, etc., Bloodraven is a bookworm! (below).
    • Meera is Mera, the sea queen, and Meereen is wordplay on Meera. An opposite parallel. Meereen is a play on marine. The Greyjoys, krackens from the deep, are slipping in to Meereen to meet their goddess/queen, just like the story Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft.
      • Dagon is a deity who presides over the Deep Ones, an amphibious humanoid race indigenous to Earth’s oceans. He is first introduced in Lovecraft’s short story “Dagon,” and is mentioned extensively throughout the mythos. Also known as Father Dagon, he is a Great Old One and the consort of Mother Hydra.He is worshipped by the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a secret cult based in Innsmouth.
    • Ygritte, despite her being in the northern plot line, she is a fire person. She attempted to “consume” Jon while they were in the cave together, to never let him see the light of day again. I’m not so sure Ygritte is based on the Yggdrasil/Weirwood tree as some suspect. Ygritte could be based on the old horror demon Yig. Yig is associated with winged serpents (dragons/fire), and is thought to be “shapen like a man,” until you look closer- just as Jon thought Ygritte was a male, until he looked closer. Many other direct comparisons that will be fleshed out later. Please read the Jon- Wolf and Bear page for the details between Jon and Ygritte.
      • The demon tree Ygg from ASOIAF history is also based on this horror demon, and not a Weirwood.
    • A Dance with Dragons – Jon II

      It was a relief when Dolorous Edd Tollett opened the door to tell him that Gilly was without. Jon set Maester Aemon’s letter aside. “I will see her.” He dreaded this. “Find Sam for me. I will want to speak with him next.”

      “He’ll be down with the books. My old septon used to say that books are dead men talking. Dead men should keep quiet, is what I say. No one wants to hear a dead man’s yabber.” Dolorous Edd went off muttering of worms and spiders.

  4. The title of the series means A Song (battle) of Ice (dragon Others) and then Fire (dragons). This out of balance rise of the two extremes has been in the works for a long time and is also the cause of the seasons being out of balance. When the two extreme dragons are put down, then Planetos will have seasonal balance again. Ecology was a huge theme in Martin’s earlier career and also a large/anchor theme in his Tuf Voyaging series.
    1. “As a writer, I still had dreams of establishing a popular, long-running series of my own. I had an idea that I was certain could sustain one as well. It was 1975, and “ecology” was a word on everyone’s lips. It seemed to me that a series about some sort of biogenetic engineer, who moves from world to world solving (or in some cases, creating) ecological problems, would offer no end of story possibilities. The subject matter would allow me to explore all sorts of juicy issues … and best of all, no one else had done anything remotely like it, so far as I knew.”– GRRM, Dreamsongs II
    2. “Well, of course, the two outlying ones — the things going on north of the Wall, and then there is Targaryen on the other continent with her dragons — are of course the ice and fire of the title, “A Song of Ice and Fire.— that they’re blind to the much greater and more dangerous threats that are happening far away on the periphery of their kingdoms.”/ “Who knows? I mean, we have things going on in our world right now like climate change, that’s, you know, ultimately a threat to the entire world. But people are using it as a political football instead of, you know … You’d think everybody would get together.”/This is something that can wipe out possibly the human race. So I wanted to do an analogue not specifically to the modern-day thing but as a general thing with the structure of the book.”– GRRM to Al Jazeera tv. Source.
  5. Parallels: Quaithe and Patchface- Quaithe has watery eyes of propheticness, Patchface has a watery re-birth that gas given him some sort of prophecticness. They are both riddlers, both have masked faces, both sing a type of song, both have a life -vs- death message, and both give prophetic messages in the way of (confusing) directions.But that’s just me, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh :P
  6. Breaking down of the word “tower”
    • The Tower tarot card, and picture. Yes, GRRM knows about tarot as his wife, Parris, is mentioned and pictured on his blog as a reader of tarot.
      • This Tower tarot really reminds me of (not-so) Good Queen Alysanne messing up the north and northern magics by sealing off Nightfort (Black Gate) and diverting Night’s Watch attention elsewhere with her jewels. This includes the flaking gold crown at Queenscrown.
      • The Tower is commonly interpreted as meaning danger, crisis, sudden change, destruction, higher learning (tuition), and liberation. In the Rider-Waite deck, the top of The Tower is a crown, which symbolizes materialistic thought being bought cheap.
      • In some Belgian tarots and the 17th century tarot of Jacques Viéville, the card is called La Foudre or La Fouldre, (“The Lightning”) and depicts a tree being struck by lightning.
      • Also the fire (symbolic or literal) atop a tower is something we see repeated in ASOAIF.
      • A Dance with Dragons – The Wayward Bride

        Qarl grinned. “I would sooner have a piece of you,” he whispered, “the sweet piece that’s—”

        Something flew from the brush to land with a soft thump in their midst, bumping and bouncing. It was round and dark and wet, with long hair that whipped about it as it rolled. When it came to rest amongst the roots of an oak, Grimtongue said, “Rolfe the Dwarf’s not so tall as he once was.” Half her men were on their feet by then, reaching for shields and spears and axes. They lit no torches either, Asha had time enough to think, and they know these woods better than we ever could. Then the trees erupted all around them, and the northmen poured in howling. Wolves, she thought, they howl like bloody wolves. The war cry of the north. Her ironborn screamed back at them, and the fight began.

        No singer would ever make a song about that battle. No maester would ever write down an account for one of the Reader’s beloved books. No banners flew, no warhorns moaned, no great lord called his men about him to hear his final ringing words. They fought in the predawn gloom, shadow against shadow, stumbling over roots and rocks, with mud and rotting leaves beneath their feet. The ironborn were clad in mail and salt-stained leather, the northmen in furs and hides and piney branches. The moon and stars looked down upon their struggle, their pale light filtered through the tangle of bare limbs that twisted overhead.

    • The Virgin Mary is a Lyanna parallel that Martin draws on from his Catholic background, and she is often compared to a tower. For instance, the Tower of David stood prominently and strongly on the highest summit of the mountains surrounding Jerusalem.  Such a tower was part of the defense mechanism of the city.  From it, warnings would be given of approaching enemies.  Mary is compared to the Tower of David because of her holiness, being recognized as full of grace and having been conceived free of original sin.
    • Tor is a Nordic masculine given name derived from the name of the Norse god Thor.
    • Sir Tor, a Knight of the Round Table.
    • Old English torr tower, watchtower,” from Latin turris “a tower, citadel, high structure” (also source of Old French tor, 11c., Modern French tour; Spanish, Italian torre “tower”), possibly from a pre-Indo-European Mediterranean language. Meaning “lofty pile or mass” is recorded from mid-14c. Also borrowed separately 13c. as tour, from Old French tur; the modern spelling (1520s) represents a merger of the two forms.
      • Torr/watchtower = watcher on the walls?
      • Torr= Tormund “Tall-talker”. Tormund is a wealth of knowledge to Jon now, and most likely in the near future.
      • Brynden Bloodraven Rivers is a bookworm sitting at the base of his tower/tree, who is still alive to finish his task. But with a lot more detail.
      • Torrhen Stark, the king who knelt to a fire dragon = the tree was burned by dragon flame. This reminds me of the in-story mention how trees despise fire:
        • A Storm of Swords – Arya VIII

        • “She will leave on the morrow, with us,” Lord Beric assured the little woman. “We’re taking her to Riverrun, to her mother.”

        • “Nay,” said the dwarf. “You’re not. The black fish holds the rivers now. If it’s the mother you want, seek her at the Twins. For there’s to be a wedding.” She cackled again. “Look in your fires, pink priest, and you will see. Not now, though, not here, you’ll see nothing here. This place belongs to the old gods still . . . they linger here as I do, shrunken and feeble but not yet dead. Nor do they love the flames. For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists.” She drank the last of the wine in four long swallows, flung the skin aside, and pointed her stick at Lord Beric. “I’ll have my payment now. I’ll have the song you promised me.”

    • More etymology, this time seems to be related to Sansa in the Vale: c. 1400, “rise high” (implied in towered); see tower (n.). Also, of hawks, “to fly high so as to swoop down on prey” (1590s). Related: Towering.
      • crackpot: Joseph Leidy (pronounced “lady”) was part of the inspiration for why Sansa named her direwolf Lady. This also circles back to tree=tower=knowledge. Joseph was an extraordinarily intelligent man, including describing the holotype specimens of the dire wolf (Canis dirus) (Stark, Lady, herself), among many others. There are even a few direwolf species that include the name Leidy in the scientific name.
    • Also, GRRM loves his comic books. There was a Tor comic character around when he was a boy reading such stories. The series’ protagonist, Tor, is a prehistoric cave man who has fantasy adventures set in a realistically drawn setting. The original series only ran for five issues and ended in 1954. However, “Tor” was revived by DC Comics in June 1975 for six issues. In June 1993 Marvel Comics released new adventures of Tor. This could explain why and how we have those Valyrian monkies described in ASOIAF.
  7. A sigil is a term that GRRM uses in his ASOIAF series not in place of a traditional crest, heraldry, or coat of arms, but as foreshadowing. Different terms altogether. A sigil is a symbol used in magic. The term has usually referred to a type of pictorial signature of a demon or other entity; in modern usage, especially in the context of chaos magic, it refers to a symbolic representation of the magician’s desired outcome. I have long suspected that sigils as they are used by first men houses are hints as to what their primary greenmagic-skinchange familiar animal was… and that became their sigil.

    • sig·il
    • ˈsijəl/
    • noun
    • noun: sigil; plural noun: sigils
      1. an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power.
        • archaic
        • a seal.
        • “the supply wains bore the High King’s sigil”
        • literary
        • a sign or symbol.
  8. HODOR- I believe a possible inspiration for Hodor is Saint Christopher. The story revolves around a man who carries the christ child across a river. Well, the wall is a river and going into the true north is part of going into the sea/greenseeing/etc. His most famous legend, which is mainly known from the West and may draw from Ancient Greek mythology, tells that he carried a child, who was unknown to him, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ.
    • Picture of Saint Christopher with a child on his back really reminds me of Hodor carrying Bran.
    • Maybe someone has already thought of this as well?… but IF the name Hodor means “hold the door”, and “dor” is a derivative of Greek names symbolizing water, and the wall is a watery wall, and the fact that Sam said the important part of the vows in front of Bran & Hodor & Meera, and doors are portals, maybe, just maybe Bran does get south again and he has to use the vows to get the gate to open, but that portal/door is closing, and that is the door Hodor has to hold? It would *look* like the gate is “eating” Hodor, but it that would just be a fabricated tale to tell the children, right?
  9. Ashara Dayne was probably based to a large degree on Asherah of biblical times. even has a special pole that is called “tree”, and we know Ashara Dayne jumped from a tower… so we are back to the tower=tree symbolism mentioned in #2.
  10. Blood Oranges in ASOIAF that Dorian Martell has connection to could be based on an older erotic tale. The Blood Oranges is a 1997 erotic drama film directed by Philip Haas. This was Haas’s third feature film, which is based on the 1970 erotic cult novel by John Hawkes. The film depicts two western couples, one with children, coming together in the fictional Mediterranean village of Ilyria, and explores the perils of swinging between married couples.
    • So we have Illyria that could be where Illyrio got his name.
    • We have the idea that the story is an erotic tale, which could be why the Martells and Dornish were written as more hot blooded sexually.
    • This could also be the protoype idea as to why Illyrio and Varys are trying to save baby Aegon and return him to the throne at this point in Aegon’s life. I believe Aegon/Young Griff is the real baby Aegon.
  11. Meaning of name Julian= Jove, Jupiter.
  12. Summerhall, which sorta parallels Winterfell. I came across something interesting a while ago that is not even ASOIAF related… or so it seemed. I have not had time to analyze the entire thing, but so far there are some well known connections of Summerhall to Pandemonium, and the related, Paradise Lost.
    Some things, aside from the literal pandemonium the tragedy caused, include:

    • Sun and Moon deities
    • Zoroastrianism
    • Both sources are called “hell”, and in the story we know the Maggie line about, “I gorged on grief at Summerhall.”
    • Both are also called/referred to as “little deamon”, or the “little demon”
      Pandemonium is described as, “The demons built it in about an hour, but it far surpassed all human palaces or dwellings; it may have been small, however, as the demons are described as shrinking from their titanic size in order to fit in.”
      Summerhall is described as lavish and such, and the dragons in the story had dwindled in size and eventually went “extinct”.
    • Balerion/Drogon was probably based on the demon Belial, and this includes direct links to Paradise Lost, in addition to many other ASOIAF related ideas. Lovecraft was an influence on GRRM, and this Belial was used in that world as well.
      • “Madness rides the star-wind . . . claws and teeth sharpened on centuries of corpses . . . dripping death astride a Bacchanale of bats from night-black ruins of buried temples of Belial. . . .”H.P. Lovecraft, The Hound
      • “Belial came last; than whom a Spirit more lewd
        Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love,
        Vice for itself. To him no temple stood
        Or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he
        In temples and at altars, when the priest
        Turns atheist, as did Eli’s sons, who filled
        With lust and violence the house of God?”John Milton, Paradise Lost
      • “But for corruption thou hast made Belial, an angel of hostility. All his dominions are in darkness, and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and guilt. All the spirits that are associated with him are but angels of destruction.”The War Of the Sons Of Light and the Sons Of Darkness, Dead Sea Scrolls
      • This is also probably a basis for Jaime and Cersei as well.
    • Creation myths
      Birth of the Horse Twins from the grain/horse mother (Cox, p. 234, found in 7/11 language groups, which is a very conservative statistic)
      Danu killed and cut open to produce a river (a parturition creation myth, 3/11)
    • Cyclic myths
      Spring kills Winter, usually with his sprinkler or his striker (Cox, p. 559, found in 4/11 language groups)
      Cloud/cows stolen from the sun god by the wind god and then released (Cox, p. 232, 4/11)
      Death and rebirth of the (often grain-associated) life-death-rebirth deity causes the seasons; Frazer calls him the “Dying Corn God” (Frazer, Vol. 8 and 9 of the Golden Bough esp. Vol. 9, pp. 412–423; 4/11)
      Uncle Water melts the ice and releases the water causing flooding (Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1995, 5/11)
      Quest of the golden apples of immortality, usually by a wind god (Cox, p. 512, 4/11)<<< This is Sansa, and a Sansa is an apple!!!
      So yeah, I guess Summerhall is kind of a “thin” place and that could be why Rhaegar went there to brood and think about his lost family?
  13. Where do whores go” Tyrion repeatedly asks. This means Tyrion is going to follow Daenerys after he meets up with her (which according to George is near the end, if not the end, of The Winds of Winter).
  14. I really cannot shake the feeling that Daenerys Stormborn is either really Robert Baratheon’s daughter (most likely NOT, admittedly), and that Daenerys is coming back as the Storm God as Jon is “coming back” from his under-the-sea/beneath the waves, ice magic, third eye opening which makes him the Drowned God (figuratively), and the two will continue the eternal struggle between the forces in the next Dance of Dragons GRRM has promised. The text says, “The Drowned God and the Storm God are said to have been at war against one another for “a thousand thousand years,” but I tend to believe that the thousand thousand years is just a fanciful storytelling way of saying generation after generation.
  15. I have been yammering on for a few years now that the iron throne is an inverted weirwood tree. This October 2016 post was my first time mentioning this idea, and I pasted the main idea below, and it has developed. For instance, in the Greenseeing is Enlightenment essay, I give a connection to how GRRM has done this inversion to a power seat before.
    • Not sure of this is the right thread for this, but it is weirwood related (if you squint:shocked:)

      George has often said this rendition of the Iron Throne is the one he likes best because it fits his intended vision the closest of all versions.

      Has anyone else ever noticed how it kinda looks like a malformed, inverted weirwood both in symmetry, color and (obviously) material? There is a blood connection between them as well, one kills and one drinks, etc, and both seem to “sprout” from their rooted locations.

      It just seems that those who aspire to sit this throne, a symbol of conquer and oppression, that they are moving away from what is “right”, which is closer to what the weirwood stands for (atleast as far as what is natural to Westeros).

  16. Crazy crackpot! I will write this crackpot up proper with more details when time permits.
    A few of my notes from the Skin Trade. Most of my GRRM books are marked to hell and back like a college textbook.

    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. There are several smaller clues between 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. In addition to the many other possible clues, the catspaw (who cuts Cat’s “paw”) sounds like a possible newly 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 (Rogar the Huntsman, a Red King in ASOIAF).
    • 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
    • This most definitely ties in to the trickster fox in the Pinocchio story that I once related to Bran’s middle arc, and that GRRM somewhat confirmed. Read the Pinocchio theory here.

    And remember, the books and the show are two very separate entities. I have not watched the most recent seasons, 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.

    The real, book canon version of the catspaw dagger is not the fancy show version. No. Instead, the catspaw dagger is rather plain and not adorned with gold or jewels, etc. Just Valyrian steel and dragonbone.

    • 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 – Tyrion IV

        “Is it?” There was mischief in Littlefinger’s eyes. He drew the knife and glanced at it casually, as if he had never seen it before. “Valyrian steel, and a dragonbone hilt. A trifle plain, though. It’s yours, if you would like it.”
    • 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?”

    • 3BA36095-9809-4CFE-9DC4-529B56BA38F0
      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 and a burning tower/library. The Polish elements may have been introduced to GRRM during his formative years in Bayonne, as he mentions in Dreamsongs.

      What GRRM says about the assassin and when the information was given. From the first book, we are introduced to the atrocities Ramsay is capable of. This includes the attack on Winterfell, the Millers boys, and Beth Cassel and the other innocents. Ramsay usurps Winterfell.:

    • 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.

    • [July 2008- Did Littlefinger influence Joffrey to try and kill Bran?]

      Well, Littlefinger did have a certain hidden influence over Joff… but he was not at Winterfell, and that needs to be remembered.

    • [April 2000- You should know that even after all this time, we’re still debating things like who was behind the assassination attempt on Bran. Not to mention trying to figure out the four weddings, four trials, and two funeral.]

      The problem with all this speculating is that some of you are bound to guess the answers before I reveal ’em… and others may even come up with better answers than I do. Well, those are the risks one takes with such a project.

      I will tell you that ASOS will resolve the question of Bran and the dagger, and also that of Jon Arryn’s killer. Some other questions will =not= be resolved… and hopefully I will give you a few new puzzles to worry at.

  17. I have posited for a few years now that Cersei is pregnant. Those tight dresses aren’t from drinking, and according to the currently most accurate timeline of the ASOIAF series, it has been about 8-9 weeks since Cersei and Jaime last had sex. This actually fits rather well with Daenerys becoming pregnant again and then aborting her baby at the end of A Dance with Dragons when she essentially makes moon tea from the handfuls of green berries as a sickle/crescent moon hangs in the sky. George has said Cersei and Dany are parallels, so I expect something fiery to happen to Cersei’s unborn child as well. If not an unborn child, then maybe to Tommen or Myrcella.
  18. Ok, this one is gonna sound weird (too late!) but for a while now I have had a mini-theory that Daenerys will either be the Great Other, or the queen to a great other (Euron Greyjoy). We know she is the Stranger, and other figureheads, but with the new details from Fire & Blood Vol. 1, it really looks like we readers are going to see that evolution from innocent to maleficent.
  19. Ok, crackpot to the extreme, but here it goes: I have never been really into the whole Jojen paste theory. I know child sacrifice and all the stuff is common in ASOIAF, but I think this may be a red herring, or a misplaced fish at the least- some readers are looking the wrong way. The real theme with the child sacrifice comes from the straight-up fire people “consuming” children in various ways- Dany with Rhaego, Mel and Selyse with Shireen (I swear Stannis doesn’t seem to be the one to burn Shireen!), etc. And by straight-up fire people, I mean the extreme fire-fire, not the symbolic “fire of the gods” idea.Brynden Rivers rejected his fire name, Targaryen, and opted to stay a watery-tree person in identity, all the future greenseeing three-eyed crow lit clues. Much of this actually lines up closer to first men/Northern identity… just like the northern idea that the old go out to die in order for the next generation (Bran in this case) to be able to thrive and survive.If your blood makes you a greenseer, and Bloodraven knows somewhat that the Others are mounting a war, and if BR needs Bran to excel beyond what Bran already is excelling at, and if Bloodraven as a weirwood is the only weirwood around, the tricksy description of blood or weirwood sap (it’s sap), etc… then isn’t Bran consuming Bloodraven, not Jojen (who is only a greendreamer)? Bran would have to power up, not down. This also follows the northern idea that eating the dead in extreme situations is not an abomination- no matter what those nasty Queen’s Men with Stannis spew. I did mention this in the What’sApp because that was the fastest and easiest place to jot it down real quickly, and Jill added that this, if true, is Bloodraven’s final sacrifice- his personal sacrifice. I am of the opinion, as you guys and a few others are as well, that Bloodraven is still “on duty” as that highest ranking officer in the Night’s Watch and I agree that this could be what his duty is in this extreme situation. Honestly, as much as I love Bloodraven and his character, he won’t be around for very long into TWOW. He has a purpose and then he will die. GRRM has used this near exact type several times before (almost word for word in a few cases), and this is the purpose they all serve- training for the main, history and flight lessons, then die.

I welcome discussion in the comments section, but I do ask you show respect for alternative ideas and that you stay on topic. As this is an ever evolving site, any new information and credits will be given when credit is due.

Want more GRRMspreading?

I have started a book club re-read for the older works of George R.R. Martin for purposes such as research, scholarship, and teaching. I own all copies of material that is used for this book club. If you have not yet read a story listed, please check with your local bookstore for your own reading material to purchase (Indie Bookstore Finder or The full list of GRRM stories outside of the A Song of Ice and Fire series that I have read can be found on this page here.

books sculpture write reading

It takes a while to transcribe and then note each story for research purposes, even the really short ones, so this page will be quietly updated as each re-read is added. Make sure you subscribe for updates.

If there is a story in particular you would like to ask about, feel free to do so in comments below.

  1. Bitterblooms– In the dead of deep winter, a young girl named Shawn has to find the mental courage to escape a red fiery witch. Prototyping Val, Stannis, and Arya along with the red witch Melisandre.
  2. The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr – Discarded Knights guards the gates as Sharra feels the Seven while searching for lost love. Many Sansa and Ashara Dayne prototyping here as well.
  3. …And Seven Times Never Kill Man– A look into a proto-Andal+Targaryen fiery world as the Jaenshi way of life is erased. But who is controlling these events? Black & Red Pyramids who merge with Bakkalon are on full display in this story.
  4. The Last Super Bowl– Football meets SciFi tech with plenty of ASOIAF carryover battle elements.
  5. Nobody Leaves New Pittsburg– first in the Corpse Handler trio, and sets a lot of tone for future ASOIAF thematics.
  6. Closing Time– A short story that shows many precursor themes for future GRRM stories, including skinchanging, Sneaky Pete’s, catastrophic long nights…
  7. The Glass Flower– a tale of how the drive for perfection creates mindlords and mental slavery.
  8. Run to Starlight– A tale of coexistence and morality set to a high stakes game of football.
  9. Remembering Melody– A ghost tale written by GRRM in 1981 that tells of long nights, bloodbaths, and pancakes.
  10. Fast-Friend transcribed and noted. Written in December 1973, this story is a precursor to skinchanging, Bran, Euron, Daenerys, and ways to scheme to reclaim lost love.
  11. The Steel Andal Invasion– A re-read of a partial section of  The World of Ice and Fire text compared to the story …And Seven Times Never Kill Man. This has to do with both fire and ice Others in ASOIAF.
  12. A Song for Lya– A novella about a psi-link couple investigating a fiery ‘god’. Very much a trees vs fire motif, and one of GRRM’s best stories out there.
  13. For A Single Yesterday– A short story about learning from the past to rebuild the future.
  14. This Tower of Ashes– A story of how lost love, mother’s milk, and spiders don’t mix all too well.
  15. A Peripheral Affair (1973)When a Terran scout ship on a routine patrol through the Periphery suddenly disappears, a battle-hungry admiral prepares to renew the border war.
  16. The Stone City– a have-not surviving while stranded on a corporate planet. Practically a GRRM autobiography in itself.
  17. Slide Show– a story of putting the stars before the children.
  18. Only Kids are Afraid of the Dark– rubies, fire, blood sacrifice, and Saagael- oh my!
  19. A Night at the Tarn House– a magical game of life and death played at an inn at a crossroads.
  20. Men of Greywater Station– Is it the trees, the fungus, or is the real danger humans?
  21. The Computer Cried Charge!– what are we fighting for and is it worth it?
  22. The Needle Men– the fiery hand wields itself again, only, why are we looking for men?
  23. Black and White and Red All Over– a partial take on a partial story.
  24. Fire & Blood excerpt; Alysanne in the north– not a full story, but transcribed and noted section of the book Fire & Blood, volume 1.

If you want to browse my own thoughts and speculations on the ASOIAF world using GRRM’s own work history, use the drop-down menu above for the most content, or click on the page that just shows recent posts -> Recent Posts Page.

Thank you for reading the jambles and jumbles of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire, by Gumbo!

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