ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE: http://bit.ly/YVrJ5f
Before I begin, I just want to clarify that some of these thoughts are all over the place and therefore might appear to be incoherent. I was hoping, with the collective pooling together of our mental faculties, we might be able to sort through some of them.
I’ve attempted to enumerate my ideas below and attempt at elaborating each as to how they would seemingly fit into my crackpot theory.
Hypothesis: There are numerous parallels between both Bran and Arya Stark’s story-lines, leading me to conclude that there may perhaps be some sort of connection between Braavos and the North. These similarities are specifically manifested within the House of Black and White (HoB&W) in Braavos- the headquarters of the Faceless Men- and the North, specifically Bloodraven.
- In the novel AFfC, we are told that Arya returns to the order of the Faceless Men (FM) at the HoB&W every “new Moon”, when the Moon itself is faceless. Arya assumes the identity of “no one” in this time, during this PHASEless Moon.
- The Faceless Men change their faces as the Moon changes faces (known as the “phases” of the moon- etymologically speaking, the word “phase” derives from the Ancient Greek word “appearance” )
When the Moon is waxing, waning or full, Arya goes about her business as Cat of the Canals- valar dohaeris – until the new Moon (aka no Moon; faceless/phaseless Moon) where she sheds her assumed identity and returns back to the HoB&W to pay tribute to the Many-Faced God of Death- valar morghulis.
- Furthermore, the HoB&W is situated in between the Red Temple of R’hllor and The Moonsingers Temple; this is what is described of the latter Temple:It was one of those that Arya had spied from the lagoon, a mighty mass of snow-white marble topped by a huge silvered dome whose milk glass windows showed all the phases of the moon. A pair of marble maidens flanked its gates, tall as the Sealords, supporting a crescent-shaped lintel.
- In ADwD, after Bran consumes the suspicious paste given to him by Bloodraven and the CotF, he assumes the eyes of a weirwood tree. This weirwood tree, it’s important to note, is the very same heart tree that resides at the godswood in Winterfell.
Near the end of Bran’s vision, he sees a white-haired woman holding a bronze sickle who uses it to perform a blood sacrifice before the weirwood.
The “bronze” link at the Citadel, represents astronomy. The vast majority of the sickles we see throughout the series are made of bronze (Mirri Maz Duur uses one in AGoT, used in the weirwood sacrifice in Bran’s vision in ADwD, etc). My belief is that ‘bronze’ is specifically linked to the Moon (astronomy), and with sickles shaped as a crescent, perhaps bronze sickles and the Moon are linked to sacrificial rites or blood magic.
This could possibly recall to:
1) Temple of the Moonsingers in Braavos, specifically the two maidens carrying “a crescent-shaped lintel”
2) Mirri Maz Duur telling Dany that she learned birthing songs from the Moonsingers of the Jogos Nhai
3) The legend Doreah recounts to Dany in AGoT:
“He told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi,” the Lysene girl said. “Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat. A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack and the dragons will return.”
4) The Dothraki myth of celetial objects:
“Moon is no egg. Moon is god, woman wife of Sun. It is known.”
5) The Azor Ahai myth as told by Salladhor Saan:
“Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through [Nissa Nissa’s] living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.”
Things to Consider with the Moon in Bran & Arya’s POVs:
At the Temple of the Moonsingers, why only 2 maidens? In many cultures, the Moon was represented as a triumverate (Artemis, Selene, Hectate) with three faces as the Waxing Crescent Moon, the Full Moon, and the Waning Crescent Moon, respectively. (Maid, Mother, and the Crone). And why holding up a crescent? Does that indicate both the waxing crescent AND the waning crescent?
Colors and Imagery:
Bloodraven (Bran POV in ADwD):The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran — the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.
The Kindly Man (Arya POV in AFfC):“‘Do you fear death?’
She bit her lip. ‘No.’
‘Let us see.’ The priest lowered his cowl. Beneath he had no face; only a yellowed skull with a few scraps of skin still clinging to the cheeks, and a white worm wriggling from one empty eye socket.
‘Kiss me, child,’ he croaked, in a voice as dry and husky as a death rattle.
Does he think to scare me? Arya kissed him where his nose should be and plucked the grave worm from his eye to eat it, but it melted like a shadow in her hand.
The yellow skull was melting too, and the kindliest old man that she had ever seen was smiling down at her. ‘No one has ever tried to eat my worm before,’ he said.”
Compare the description of Bloodraven to Arya’s first encounter with the Kindly Man changing his face.
Another possible indication of a connection between Arya-Bran and the environments in which their training takes place was Arya’s first encounter ever with the Kindly Man Arya upon entering the HoB&W. This is prior to the aforementioned quote from the very same Arya POV in AFfC:The hooded man was tall, enveloped in a larger version of the black and white robe the girl [the Waif] was wearing. Beneath his cowl all she could see was the faint red glitter of candlelight reflecting off his eyes.
Again, we see the colors black, white and red. What’s more fascinating here is that the red of the candles Arya sees is reflected onto his eyes, making them appear red.
Lord Bloodraven is dressed in “ebon finery” and the black soil when Bran first encounters him. He’s noted to be “pale lord” with white weirwood roots snaking through his body. The only thing that’s alive-seeming is the red of his one eye.
Also in the HoB&W Arya notes the color around her:“Around [the statues] feet red candles flickered, as dim as distant stars.
In the center of the temple she found the water she had heard; a pool ten feet across, black as ink and lit by dim red candles.”
There are three colors in the HoB&W - black (ebony of the carvings), white (weirwood carvings) and red (candles that smell of what you love the most)
There are three colors in Bloodraven’s cave - black (soil), white (weirwoods), and red (his eye)
There are three colors of weirwoods - black (soil), white (bark), and red (the sap and leaves)