Tag Archives: ASOIAF

The Red Sun Rises, The Glass Candle Burns: The Lost Targaryen Prince

Mance Rayder is the son of Duncan “the Small” Targaryen and Jenny of Oldstones.

Depending upon your beliefs regarding the legitimacy of Jon and/or Aegon, this may render Mance to have a more legitimate claim.

Mance may have been fathered (directly or –more likely– otherwise) by Bloodraven.

The ‘evidence’ for these arguments is largely unconventional and will be disagreeable to many readers. I don’t deny this.

This is because a large portion of based on analysis of motifs, prose, patterns. It’s not the kind of hard “in-world” facts that most of us know and love. It draws from an understanding of Martin’s other works and the prominent, pervasive themes throughout his career. It has elements of SWAG (scientific wild-ass guesses) based on existing precedents. It invokes some analysis of the text that may be symbolic (thus scientifically untestable) allusions. The idea culminates with an examination of elements that tie things together like a rug in The Big Lebowski. Continue reading

The Low Cunning of Giants: The Devious Geniuses in House Umber

The logistics behind sending messages in Westeros came to sudden prominence in A Dance with Dragons. We suddenly see additional details, such as the different types of ink, message security, and the use of signs and seals.

But there is one such chain of letters and messages, so rife with mysteries and conspicuous errors, they merit an investigation unlike any other in the books.

For those who want me to get to the point…

  • I specifically examine three of the letters in A Dance with Dragons.
  • In examining them I point out what’s incurably wrong with each of them.
  • I propose what I think are the most rational explanations.

Most notably that…

I believe the letters were written by Mors or Hother Umber, as ‘coded’ messages to Stannis, Mance, Val or possibly Melisandre.

Additionally, Mors and Hother Umber are devious geniuses.

Continue reading

Abomination in Training: The Indoctrination of a Greenseer

Have you ever felt like the popular ‘Jojen Paste‘ theories were in some way correct, but incompletely articulated… they’re missing something?

Well I hope to allay those thoughts and put forth a compelling viewpoint, that goes a step further. Specifically, this is what this essay argues:

Bran was purposefully introduced to cannibalism during his trek to the Cave of the Three-Eyed Crow, culminating with the consumption of Jojen’s blood during the ‘weirwood paste’ ceremony.

This central idea is underpinned by the following observations:

The consumption of certain human flesh is a route to greater power as a skinchanger.

The ability to warg more difficult subjects, such as humans, is evidence of such power.

A skinchanger must have demonstrated such significant power in order to be joined to the weirwoods.

Thus Coldhands, Bloodraven and Leaf have been taking actions to make this transformation as smooth and expedient as possible.

This essay explores these ideas and uses them to articulate the larger point. Additionally, I take some time at the end to address specific logistical questions that I anticipate will come up. Continue reading

Goodbye Horses: A Dead King’s Masterstroke

“A strong castle weakly held is weak.”
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There are some subtle references to significant military strategy in A Dance with Dragons. Coupled with some other sly hints and deductions, these amount to yet another critical advantage for Stannis.

Specifically I want to reveal how I think Stannis planned on reducing the manpower at Winterfell such that he could in fact take it from the Boltons.

Continue reading

Influences: And Seven Times Never Kill Man!

And Seven Times Kill Man! has probably the largest influence on A Song of Ice and Fire of any of Martin’s other works. First published in Analog in 1975, it tells the story of a race of primitive religious pacifists who are largely annihilated by a cult of warlike humans who seek to colonize their planet.

There is so much clear, potent influence on A Song of Ice and Fire it’s practically Martin plagiarizing his own work. Continue reading

Influences: Sandkings

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods.
They kill us for their sport.

— Shakespeare’s King Lear

Sandkings is chock full of potent symbolism that has been reappropriated for A Song of Ice and Fire. First published in Omni in 1979, it tells a rather morbid tale that one would expect to find in a volume of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories: a tale of a man with a strange creature that grows beyond his control whilst driving him to inhuman behaviors.

There are a tremendous number of important elements that Sandkings and ASOIAF share, which provides us great insights into what they might mean for readers. Continue reading

Influences: With Morning Comes Mistfall

“…Man needs to know.”

“Maybe,” Sanders said. “But is that the only thing man needs? I don’t think so. I think he also needs mystery, and poetry, and romance. I think he needs a few unanswered questions, to make him brood and wonder.”
*   *   *

One of GRRM’s earliest works, With Morning Comes Mistfall was first published in May 1973. It gives us a lot of early insight into the themes and issues that attracted his interest the most.

He seems to be especially concerned with the value of mystery in Mistfall. In particular, he presents a single, thematic conundrum that the reader is left to ponder: Is a mystery sometimes more useful than the truth?

Additionally, the novella introduces a few motifs, symbols and other ideas that can be readily shown to have been transplanted into A Song of Ice and Fire. Continue reading

Who blew the Horn of Joramun?

  • What if there never was an actual, fabled ‘Horn of Winter’, to wake giants from the earth or collapse the Wall?


  • What if there is (was?), and it has already been used?


  • Who would have used it and to what purpose?

I believe there is sufficient evidence in the text to support the argument that the prophesied power of the horn has already been used in the books, right under our noses.

I believe that no such ‘Horn of Winter’ exists, or that if it did or does, it is not relevant.

I believe that the effects of the horn have all been observed, and it is just left to us readers to ascertain what the figurative horn was.

I hope that my arguments and evidence in this essay will entertain and inform you, and leave you ready to draw your own conclusions. Continue reading