Stannis is the only King in the North. Winterfell is in the hands of the Boltons. Sansa has been adopted by a perv. Arya is being raised by murderers. Bran is on drugs. Rickon is feral. And our last hope, the bastard, well, he has just been stabbed.
true in a way but one can see some chinks in this list: the Bolton's hold on WF is not that secure considering the obvious tensions in the castle and outside its walls. And if we never get another book, we can re-read the 'WF Huis Clos'. Arya is becoming powerful in her own way Bran is also becoming powerful in his own way Rickon is the 'shaggy dog story', so he doesn't really matter, does he? Sansa is still a prisoner but she is learning deception etc as far as the bastard, one can only say that if he never returns in the books, then we will all be more than surprised; so he must return and he must do so with much added 'je ne sais quoi'; else why have him at death's door?
so whilst autumn is about, the Starks are 'growing' powers of their own.
In a way i come to agree with you, their renaissance starts in autumn, ready for a winter blooming.
"Arya did not dare take a bath, even though she smelled as bad as Yoren by now, all sour and stinky. Some of the creatures living in her clothes had come all the way from Flea Bottom with her; it didn’t seem right to drown them."
Good thing there's that special Weirwood Gate beneath the Nightfort. Without that, there would be no way for wargs and skinchangers to travel north and south.
And whomever built and guarded such a mystical portal between realms might be seen as the man or woman in control of the very 'awakening' of Old Powers... the regulator of magic's circadian rhythms on a celestial scale... able to bring light or winter as if they were merely swords to wield.
Agreed--though with a caveat:
"Built" and Guarded"--the Gate seems. . . . not happy. And the well is terrifyingly cold and dark.
I think there's a good chance that Wall "grew" from the breaking of the land. An unnatural response to breaking the free exchange of wargs and "Old Pawers" to the rest of the continent.
Jojen may be Woody Guthrie, but he also seems likely to be right--the land is one. Breaking it out of fear of wargs--it's unnatural. Like that Wall.
And like that Gate--that seems "unnatural" as well. A forced guard. A forced sentinel. Like the story of the 79 sentinels--an abomination and misinterpretation of the role of the Watch/guardians of the land.
Now--I need to let you OP and everyone else's posts swish around in my brain for a bit.
Be back soon--until then, this is amazing.
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Oscar Wilde.
It looks like I have a raccoon problem. I don't like raccoons, they are not afraid and when they get in your garbage once; they write your address down and you can never get rid of them. Opening the door at 4 in the morning to find 4 raccoons on the deck is quite scary. Because they just stand there like they're expecting a cookie or something. Thankfully 'throwing' hangers come in handy when that's what is available at the door. Well, that and screaming and slamming the door. On the plus side; I'm getting some good action at the hummingbird and the finch feeders.
I've changed my mind about Melisandre and Orell's Eagle. I don't think she did burn Varamyr but only claimed credit for it to enhance her repuation.
I think the Wall has two wards: a fire ward to stop skinchangers (including wights that are skinchanged) and an ice ward to capture the killing cold and protect the living south of the Wall.
As Voice noted, it doesn't make sense that cold wights are stopped by an ice ward especially since the Watch is able to take Othor and Jafr beyond the Wall when they are inactive or vacant of a controlling presence.
It does make sense that a fire ward would be effective against cold wights and skinchangers since fire is what destroys the bodies of the wights at least.
I think that when Melisandre says that there is power in the Wall and Jon can use it; it seems to be me that she has also used it; channeling the power of the Wall through her ruby when she burns Rattleshirt, the Horn and reveals Stannis' new sword:
A Dance with Dragons - Jon III Stannis Baratheon drew Lightbringer. The sword glowed red and yellow and orange, alive with light. Jon had seen the show before … but not like this, never before like this. Lightbringer was the sun made steel. When Stannis raised the blade above his head, men had to turn their heads or cover their eyes. Horses shied, and one threw his rider. The blaze in the fire pit seemed to shrink before this storm of light, like a small dog cowering before a larger one. The Wall itself turned red and pink and orange, as waves of color danced across the ice. Is this the power of king's blood?
The power is almost too great for her until Jon kills Rattleshirt.
It's Bran who sees the cold magic of the Wall:
A Game of Thrones - Bran III
Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him. And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
Another crystal for channeling magic.
If Jon is raised from the dead; I suspect it will be using fire magic or he will not be able to defend the Wall. He would be destroyed by the fire ward. Melisandre is not affected by it and can stand atop the Wall and cross from south the north of the Wall.