Post by sweetsunray on Mar 21, 2016 23:01:30 GMT
sweetsunray talked about in her essay with Ned in the black cells and Lyanna) is that they are liminal people. Which is an oddness in literature. Usually a space is liminal. At time. But. . . seems like the Starks themselves have the power to pass through different limits. . . maybe. They live on a jointure of life and death.
It is odd if you consider them as mere mortal characters. But George mixed chthonic gods (immortal) with mortal characters. Basically they are mortal reincarnations of chthonic gods, and chthonic characters by definition can travel from one world to the other and back.
Zelazny's "Lord of Light" is a much clearer example on how it works in literature.
Humans have colonized another planet with spiritual, lower beings, and they have developed a reincarnation machine. The colonizers reincarnate themselves each time again after the model or archetype of a Hindu god or goddess. And they pretend to be gods towards those they colonized in order to keep them under their thumb. But at times the same reincarnated colonizer chooses to be another god. And over time some reincarnated gods don't look exactly as handsome or beautiful as they are supposed to be (not like the archetype). The book starts with forcing one of the original colonizers to reincarnate (who did not want to be reincarnated anymore). He is Buddha, the rebel, the "Lord of Light" and he shortens his long name to "Sam" (from Mahasamatman), and he ends up seeking to bring down his fellow colonizers (the Hindu Gods) by following Siddharta's life over several reincarnations.
Zelazny was GRRM's friend and he judged this book to be one of the 5 best sci-fi books written. And he referenced the book with the use of the title of "Lord of Light" and with Samwell. For me, GRRM is doing something similar but way subtler. The same character can reincarnate within one life into several gods or goddesses on a meta-level, and a certain god or goddess will reappear throughout the story with several characters. With Zelazny it was a gimmick almost, while George makes it so natural that you hardly realize it.
But when we're talking chthonic characters: they are by definition liminal. Only the dead are truly bound to the underworld (if they stay dead that is). Most of them are chthonic because they visit or travel to and fro the two worlds.
Hehehe, well both Tolkien as well as George are referring to the Valhalla concept. The slain heroes that are worthy enough are picked by the Valkyries to Odin's Hall, Valhalla. There they feast, get served and train for Ragnarok to fight alongside Odin. This is especially evident with Theon's dream of the feast of the dead. It's a feast in the great hall, and all the dead Starks with statues are drinking and eating, at Winterfell with a white tree and a pool, which I think is probably both the Greek Lethe as well as the Norse Urdarbrunnr (Well of Fate). Those three fates are called past, present and future. And Theon dreams in the order of present, past (far past) and finally the future. Not sure yet how George will work it in. Maybe he has people armed with the crypt swords in which the Stark force or memory seeped into? But I think he will use the Valhalla resurrection theme somehow.
I'd love to see him survive it all. I love his humor and he's a bit of the male version of Old Nan - he knows a lot.
Yes, Robert has many similarities with Dionysus... or at least afflicted by Dionysus. Those who were cursed by him, ended up dead in the woods, shredded by the maenads (how he was killed as a child,before he was born again) and would show the darksided Dionysus-characteristics: fat, mood-swings, alcoholism. But Jon is also a Dionysus - the lightbringer, twice born (with 2 mothers - the goddess Persephone and a human one Semele), hidden to prevent being killed, and Jon likes his wine too. As a youth he journeys to the underworld to retrieve a lover and his mortal mother. He is the sole chthonic visitor who succeeds in retrieving dead loved ones from the underworld. Orpheus almost succeeded, but failed. Heracles succeeds in freeing Theseus, but he was a live prisoner, not actually dead.
I'll have to think of this some more.
Just as Ned was ever destined to be chiseled in the crypts, I think she was always Lady Stoneheart. Now, her faces matches her heart, and that is for the good imo. Jon won't be the only one able to see her cruelty.
In the first chapter she's very much like Persephone: the wife originating from the South and wedded at Riverrun that scented of flowers, then dragged to the underworld, a dismal place she dislikes, but she loves her husband nonetheless. Lyanna is the maiden Persephone who ends up as a queenly statue in the underworld crypts. Catelyn starts as the wedded Persephone who loves her husband but is neither really home in the underworld nor the supernal.
BTW on a reread of that chapter that scene of Ned stroking and polishing Ice and how she finds it has its own beauty... It's surprising how she is rather fascinated by what Ned's doing there and by the sword, while she turns her back on the wierwood and covers the forest floor with her cloak just before (aka... covering/ignoring the underworld part with the cloak of love). You'd think she'd feel some horror for that sword, especially since Ned chopped a man's head off with it earlier that day. But no, she thinks it has its own beauty. It's way subtler than Dustin's speech about how Brandon thought a bloody sword was a beautiful thing, or how Daario rubs his wanton naked women hilts of his arakh and dagger... but Ned "stroking his greatsword that has its own beauty with an oily cloth" and "how much it still is as sharp as the day it was forged"... oh my!!!!!
But even from the second chapter on we get Demeter symbolism: bathing, warmth (without a hearth fire), mentioning glass gardens (where vegetables, fruit and flower are grown), seed, quicken, making a new son... And it's here she displays her southron agenda. And in orphic hymns she's called "Demeter of the beautiful hair". Demeter is also a chthonic goddess, but her focus is on life and the living world. Demeter uses the underworld, the soil, but she does not care about what's good for the underworld. Persephone does care about what's good for the underworld, since it's part of her job. Not to mention Demeter can be wrathful as a fury. She's also the goddess of the sacred law, the divine laws people shouldn't break (like kinslaying, kingslaying, and breaking guest right).
The first and second of Catelyn's chapters contrast each other because in the first she's the visitor in Ned's underwordly godswood, while Ned's the visitor in Catelyn's haven of life in the second chapter. It's Catelyn's bedroom, not "their" bedroom.
Personally I think LS is awesome though.
Charon looks hideous, scary, filthy, doesn't speak to those who cross... and well a headsman does help people cross from the living world to that of the dead. Unfortunately the westeros forum is down, so I can't read your interp for now.
Two halves of one whole. One speaks of the coming darkness (Winter). One is synonymous with Dawn.
Rather than view them as daily-liminal beings, I see them as tied to cosmic winter, and cosmic dawn. Like LmL, I used to go looking for physical and scientific explanations for the seasons of the asoiaf universe. But they are not physical. The forces at work are entirely magical, but not magical like Tolkien or Disney LOL. No, GRRM's brand of magic is tied entirely to gritty human conflicts of the heart.
I think Houses Dayne and Stark represent two halves of that conflict, but that's another topic. In terms of this discussion, I think this is what colors my perspective of each house's liminal aspects. Like polar extremes on a globe, each is tethered to cosmic radiation and climate change far more intimately than others. It just so happens that in asoiaf, cosmic radiation seems to give life to beings made of ice, while the sun (dawn) gives life to beings made of carbon, and climate change seems dependent on the choices of each.
Nice! Actually, I think the Daynes aren't the only counterpart. Highgarden is represented as such as well. The name Highgarden (the garden of the high ones) is rather close to "Asgard" (the garden of the gods). Their sigil benig the roses, versus WF's blue rose theme and blue is indeed a color of death. Renly asking whether Margaery looks like Lyanna. Loras on his "grey" mare with a cloak of "blue" "forget-me-nots" (Lyanna) doing a little dance and making a horny black stallion uncontrollable (Robert?). And then the world book tells us that the Highgarden godswood has three entwined weirwood trees next to a pool, and they're called the 3 sisters (a reference to the wyrd sisters, or the 3 fates). We get a lot of mirror references with the Tyrells and Highgarden.