Wed to the Tree

This essay analyzes wordplay which stems from the Celtic word, druid. George R.R. Martin is using this throughout the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, including The Dunk and Egg Novellas and The World of Ice and Fire.

I won’t bury the lead – GRRM is playing with the words ‘true’ and ‘tree’. In some circumstances, it is used within the green zombie symbolism identified and explored by Lucifer Means Lightbringer in his series, “The Sacred Order of Green Zombies” – I’ll try my best not to duplicate the analysis in that excellent series and instead try to focus on the wordplay that GRRM is using to tip us off to that symbolism.

There is some other wordplay that I will be relying on (at least slightly), but I don’t think has been properly established elsewhere- ‘ser’ and ‘seer’; and ‘knight’ and ‘night’. It may be necessary for me write about these separately, but I think that they will become clear as we look at the support for ‘true’ and ‘tree’. A portion of this essay examines the ‘true knight’ which I am theorizing is equivalent to ‘tree ser/seer.’ I think we can also see ‘true knights’ as ‘tree nights’ and ‘long nights’ but I’ll focus on that in a separate essay.

Children often dream of being knights when they grow up and so must we by taking a quick look at green dreams. Once we wake up, we’ll examine the word ‘druid’ and then look at the true/tree wordplay in action. Thank you for diving into this wordplay with me – I hope you enjoy the swim, but as Thoros once warned Brienne, so I must warn you.

…some knights are dark and full of terror…

 

Tree Dreams

This section is going to be rapid-fire with little explanation of the quoted text. The purpose here is to highlight George’s word choice when he writes about these tree-related green dreams.

ACOK – Bran IV

“My brother dreams as other boys do, and those dreams might mean anything,” Meera said, “but the green dreams are different.”

Jojen’s eyes were the color of moss, and sometimes when he looked at you he seemed to be seeing something else. Like now. “I dreamed of a winged wolf bound to earth with grey stone chains,” he said. “It was a green dream, so I knew it was true. A crow was trying to peck through the chains, but the stone was too hard and his beak could only chip at them.”

“Did the crow have three eyes?”

Jojen knew this green dream was true. Immediately this is followed by a reference to the three-eyed crow.

ASOS – Bran I

He nodded. It was hard to sulk with Meera. She was much more cheerful than her brother, and always seemed to know how to make him smile. Nothing ever scared her or made her angry. Well, except Jojen, sometimes . . . Jojen Reed could scare most anyone. He dressed all in green, his eyes were murky as moss, and he had green dreams. What Jojen dreamed came true. Except he dreamed me dead, and I’m not. Only he was, in a way.

Again. Green dreams are true. And the green dreams say Bran is dead. In a way.

Here is Jon after having his third-eye opened by Bran who appeared to him in a dream as a weirwood tree.

ACOK – Jon VII

“The cold winds are rising. Mormont feared as much. Benjen Stark felt it as well. Dead men walk and the trees have eyes again. Why should we balk at wargs and giants?”

“Does this mean my dreams are true as well?” asked Squire Dalbridge. “Lord Snow can keep his mammoths, I want my women.”
[…]

Ghost did not reappear as they set out again. The shadows covered the floor of the pass by then, and the sun was sinking fast toward the jagged twin peaks of the huge mountain the rangers named Forktop. If the dream was true . . . Even the thought scared him. Could the eagle have hurt Ghost, or knocked him off the precipice? And what about the weirwood with his brother’s face, that smelled of death and darkness?

Dead men walk and the trees have eyes again results in Squire Dalbridge asking if his dreams are true as well. A few paragraphs later, Jon wonders what it means if this dream was true and recalls the weirwood with Bran’s face.

One more from Bran.

ACOK – Bran V

“The wolf dreams are no true dreams. You have your eye closed tight whenever you’re awake, but as you drift off it flutters open and your soul seeks out its other half. The power is strong in you.”

“I don’t want it. I want to be a knight.”

Those were just a few examples where tree-related dreams are referred to as ‘true.’ We know that these dreams are related to the trees – perhaps true dreams are tree dreams. The words ‘true’ and ‘tree’ are pretty similar, afterall.

 

Druid, Oak-Knower

The etymology of ‘tree’ and ‘true’ is really fascinating. Druids, while not a complete analog to greenseers in any way, are at least similar to George’s greenseer. The word druid literally means oak-knower in Proto Celtic. Oak comes from the Proto-Indo-European noun meaning tree which comes from the PIE root drew meaning hard, firm, strong, solid. From this root, we not only get the word tree but we also get the word true. Like a tree, true things are hard, firm, strong, and solid. The second element of druid comes from the Proto Celtic word, wits, which means knower. Its PIE root, weyd, means to see.

A ‘drew-weyd’ or ‘dru-id’ is a ‘true-seer’ and a ‘true-knower’; a ‘tree-seer’ and a ‘tree-knower’. There is a lot to play with and George has taken full advantage. Using ‘weyd’ as a homophone for ‘wed’, his greenseers are ‘weyd’ to the ‘drew’ or ‘wed to the tree’:

ADWD Bran III

“Your blood makes you a greenseer,” said Lord Brynden. “This will help awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees.”

Bran did want to be married to a tree … but who else would wed a broken boy like him? A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. A greenseer.

He ate.

It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as acorn paste.

We can see this homophone reinforced in the world book.

TWOIAF – The Dawn Age

The gods the children worshipped were the nameless ones that would one day become the gods of the First Men—the innumerable gods of the streams and forests and stones. It was the children who carved the weirwoods with faces, perhaps to give eyes to their gods so that they might watch their worshippers at their devotions. Others, with little evidence, claim that the greenseers—the wise men of the children—were able to see through the eyes of the carved weirwoods. The supposed proof is the fact that the First Men themselves believed this; it was their fear of the weirwoods spying upon them that drove them to cut down many of the carved trees and weirwood groves, to deny the children such an advantage. Yet the First Men were less learned than we are now, and credited things that their descendants today do not; consider Maester Yorrick’s Wed to the Sea, Being an Account of the History of White Harbor from Its Earliest Days, which recounts the practice of blood sacrifice to the old gods. Such sacrifices persisted as recently as five centuries ago, according to accounts from Maester Yorrick’s predecessors at White Harbor.

Wordplay on top of wordplay as the wed homophone is combined with the ‘under-the-sea’ wordplay found by my good friend Ravenous Reader.

 

True Knight, True Ser, Greenseer

We’ll begin at the beginning of The Hedge Knight (a novel idea, I know). As others have noted before, Ser Arlan – as well as Dunk – has a ton of greenseer symbolism (for instance, ‘Pennytree’). The story begins with spring rains bringing death.

The spring rains had softened the ground, so Dunk had no trouble digging the grave.

Dunk is digging a grave for Ser Arlan of Pennytree, the knight who had taken him on as a squire. Ser Arlan had caught a chill from the spring rains that eventually killed him. Spring kills Knight like dawn kills night.

He chose a spot on the western slope of a low hill, for the old man had always loved to watch the sunset.

Arlan was an old knight who loved to watch the day end.

When the hole was deep enough, he lifted the old man’s body in his arms and carried him there. He had been a small man, and slim; stripped of hauberk, helm, and sword belt, he seemed to weigh no more than a bag of leaves.

Arlan was a small man and is compared to a ‘bag of leaves’ after he has fallen. Think of a tree in Fall.

“You were a true knight, and you never beat me when I didn’t deserve it,” he finally managed, “…The gods keep you, ser.” He kicked dirt in the hole, then began to fill it methodically, never looking at the thing at the bottom. He had a long life, Dunk thought.

With that, this ‘true knight’ who lived a ‘long life’ is buried as spring (dawn) rains arrive. Perhaps we can think of Ser Arlan of Penny Tree as a ‘long night’. Perhaps we can’t, but we should at least see Ser Arlan as a tree that lived a long life and was a ‘true knight.’

Dunk then steps over to the oak tree where he had stashed away Ser Arlan’s belongings. At some point, Dunk had decided to tell a lie. It becomes clear as the book progresses that Ser Arlan never ‘knighted’ Dunk, but he decides to pretend that Ser Arlan knighted him just before passing. It’s not a huge lie – Ser Arlan seems to have intended to knight Dunk, and Dunk plays the part of his ‘heir’ as he goes to the ‘oak tree’ and dresses up in his armor, pockets his coin, mounts his horse, and rides on to Ashford. Throughout the novellas, Dunk struggles with this lie that he is an anointed knight and wrestles with the question of what it means to be a true knight.

Soon after arriving at Ashford, Dunk makes camp.

On the outskirts of the great meadow a good half mile from town and castle he found a place where a bend in a brook had formed a deep pool. Reeds grew thick along its edge, and a tall leafy elm presided over all. The spring grass there was as green as any knight’s banner and soft to the touch. It was a pretty spot, and no one had yet laid claim to it. This will be my pavilion, Dunk told himself, a pavilion roofed with leaves, greener even than the banners of the Tyrells and the Estermonts.

His horses came first. After they had been tended, he stripped and waded into the pool to wash away the dust of travel. “A true knight is cleanly as well as godly,” the old man always said, insisting that they wash themselves head to heels every time the moon turned, whether they smelled sour or not. Now that he was a knight, Dunk vowed he would do the same.

There is a lot here. The obvious greenseer symbolism with the deep pool and the giant tree presiding over all. Grass as green as any knight’s banner. And a tree pavilion. Dunk wading into the pool and thinking that ‘true knights’ are godly. Already, Dunk has referred to Ser Arlan as a ‘true knight’ amidst greenseer symbolism, and then thinks about how a ‘true knight’ behaves amidst greenseer symbolism.

After a trip into town, Dunk approaches his camp only to see flames flickering through the leaves. In a panic, he rushes into his camp and finds that Egg has shown up. Soon after, we are hit over the head with the tree/true wordplay:

“There’s my pavilion.” Dunk swept a hand above his head, at the branches of the tall elm that loomed above them.

“That’s a tree,” the boy said, unimpressed.

“It’s all the pavilion a true knight needs. I would sooner sleep under the stars than in some smoky tent.”

“What if it rains?”

A tree is the only home a tree-knight/seer needs.

Later in the story, Dunk receives his shield

She had made a better job of it than he could ever have hoped for. Even by lanternlight, the sunset colors were rich and bright, the tree tall and strong and noble. The falling star was a bright slash of paint across the oaken sky. Yet now that Dunk held it in his hands, it seemed all wrong. The star was falling, what sort of sigil was that? Would he fall just as fast? And sunset heralds night.

The greenseer symbolism is certainly there. But there is also night/fall symbolism. For our purposes, it is just worth noting that our ‘true knight’ has a tree with a comet as his sigil.

The puppeteer is also loaded with greenseer symbolism. Later, Dunk will act on the oaths he never actually swore to intervene when a Dragon Prince stomps on her hand. It’s this intervention that makes Dunk a True Knight in the eyes of many.

As he ate he watched a painted wooden knight battle a painted wooden dragon. The puppeteer who worked the dragon was good to watch too; a tall drink of water, with the olive skin and black hair of Dorne. She was slim as a lance with no breasts to speak of, but Dunk liked her face and the way her fingers made the dragon snap and slither at the end of its strings.

The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is filled with this wordplay and this symbolism, but it’s time to move on to the main series and look at a few examples.

Let’s begin with Ned’s POV in AGOT where he recalls the night when he received the news that Bran had awoken from his coma.

Arya bit her lip. “What will Bran do when he’s of age?”

Ned knelt beside her. “He has years to find that answer, Arya. For now, it is enough to know that he will live.” The night the bird had come from Winterfell, Eddard Stark had taken the girls to the castle godswood, an acre of elm and alder and black cottonwood overlooking the river. The heart tree there was a great oak, its ancient limbs overgrown with smokeberry vines; they knelt before it to offer their thanksgiving, as if it had been a weirwood. Sansa drifted to sleep as the moon rose, Arya several hours later, curling up in the grass under Ned’s cloak. All through the dark hours he kept his vigil alone. When dawn broke over the city, the dark red blooms of dragon’s breath surrounded the girls where they lay. “I dreamed of Bran,” Sansa had whispered to him. “I saw him smiling.”

“He was going to be a knight,” Arya was saying now. “A knight of the Kingsguard. Can he still be a knight?”

“No,” Ned said. He saw no use in lying to her.

Bran has just awoken. He was falling, but then he flew! He has begun his greenseer journey. Meanwhile, Ned visits the great oak which stands in for a weirwood where ‘he kept his vigil alone’ – a ‘night vigil’ mind you. This is very similar to the language used when knights stand a vigil in a holy sept for an entire night, but instead of the new gods, this vigil is with the old gods and Ned is standing in for Bran. Once the night vigil is complete, Sansa whispers that she dreamed of Bran and saw him smile (whisper, dream, saw him smile – all greenseer symbols). Arya completes it by reminding us that Bran was hoping to be a ‘Knight’ – three times she says it.

Sansa’s chapters are filled with this talk of ‘True Knights’ with both Sandor and Dontos’s arcs seen through Sansa’s POV. The analysis of that goes beyond what I’m trying to accomplish here, but this example is worth looking at now.

Come to the godswood tonight, if you want to go home.

Sansa had prayed so hard. Could this be her answer at last, a true knight sent to save her? Perhaps it was one of the Redwyne twins, or bold Ser Balon Swann . . . or even Beric Dondarrion, the young lord her friend Jeyne Poole had loved, with his red-gold hair and the spray of stars on his black cloak.

Sansa is summoned to the godswood and wonders if a ‘true knight’ has been sent by the gods. Later in the same chapter, she arrives at the godswood.

Yet she could not deny that the godswood had a certain power too. Especially by night. Help me, she prayed, send me a friend, a true knight to champion me . . .

She moved from tree to tree, feeling the roughness of the bark beneath her fingers. Leaves brushed at her cheeks.

Sansa doesn’t know it yet, but she is about to meet with Ser Dontos. She arrives at the Godswood and prays for a ‘true’ knight. She then moves from ‘tree to tree’ with surprising intimacy – She feels the ‘roughness of the bark beneath her fingers’ (like feeling the rock-hard abs of her sexy knight). The tree responds, and its hands brush her cheeks. I say ‘hands’ because weirwood leaves are often described as the shape of hands – well, almost. They’re more like maple leaves – hands but with short fingers. We learn later that it is Littlefinger, not Dontos, who is summoning her to the godswood. It’s Littlefinger who is Sansa’s tree knight. Check out the exact language used in the quote above – “leaves brushed at her cheeks.” Now look at this from AGOT when Littlefinger first meets Sansa.

“Your mother was my queen of beauty once,” the man said quietly. His breath smelled of mint. “You have her hair.” His fingers brushed against her cheek as he stroked one auburn lock. Quite abruptly he turned and walked away.

Oh gods be good. This titan of Braavos truly is Sansa’s tree knight.

Let’s move on to Jaime’s first chapter in ASOS. Both Jaime and Brienne have fled from Riverrun – both on arcs related to honor and knighthood.

A thin grey finger crooked them on. It was rising from the south bank several miles on, twisting and curling. Below, Jaime made out the smouldering remains of a large building, and a live oak full of dead women.

The crows had scarcely started on their corpses. The thin ropes cut deeply into the soft flesh of their throats, and when the wind blew they twisted and swayed. “This was not chivalrously done,” said Brienne when they were close enough to see it clearly. “No true knight would condone such wanton butchery.”

“True knights see worse every time they ride to war, wench,” said Jaime. “And do worse, yes.”

A ‘live oak full of dead women’. Tree knights are not always Dunk – sometimes they are a brothel-owner named Littlefinger. Some knights are dark and full of terror, indeed.

Let’s start back and look at an example from the Prologue of AGOT. As Waymar Royce falls:

A scream echoed through the forest night, and the longsword shivered into a hundred brittle pieces, the shards scattering like a rain of needles. Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.

A screams echoes through the ‘forest night’ – or perhaps through the ‘tree knight’ who has just fallen? Similar to the spring rains that fall when Ser Arlan dies, Royce’s sword shatters and scatters like a ‘rain of needles.’ Some have put forth the idea that Royce’s sword symbolizes House Dayne’s legendary sword Dawn. If so, this is a dawn rain to parallel the spring rains that killed Ser Arlan. Lastly, the blood welling up between his fingers as he covers his eyes gives us great weirwood symbolism.

Back to Sansa. This time she is held up in Maegor’s holdfast during the Battle of the Blackwater and is forced into conversation with a drunk Cersei about her own guards possibly assaulting both of them if the city is indeed sacked.

True knights would never harm women and children.” The words rang hollow in her ears even as she said them.

“True knights.” The queen seemed to find that wonderfully amusing. “No doubt you’re right. So why don’t you just eat your broth like a good girl and wait for Symeon Star-Eyes and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight to come rescue you, sweetling. I’m sure it won’t be very long now.”

‘Hollow’ words. Knights like Symeon Star-Eyes. These ‘knights’ will rescue you. Won’t be very ‘long’ now.

In AFFC, Sam is talking to Jon before being sent south to Old Town.

“The Others.” Sam licked his lips. “They are mentioned in the annals, though not as often as I would have thought. The annals I’ve found and looked at, that is. There’s more I haven’t found, I know. Some of the older books are falling to pieces. The pages crumble when I try and turn them. And the really old books … either they have crumbled all away or they are buried somewhere that I haven’t looked yet or … well, it could be that there are no such books and never were. The oldest histories we have were written after the Andals came to Westeros. The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. There are archmaesters at the Citadel who question all of it. Those old histories are full of kings who reigned for hundreds of years, and knights riding around a thousand years before there were knights. You know the tales, Brandon the Builder, Symeon Star-Eyes, Night’s King … we say that you’re the nine-hundred-and-ninety-eighth Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but the oldest list I’ve found shows six hundred seventy-four commanders, which suggests that it was written during—”

Hmmm… ‘were knights’ – Do I dare say were-knight? Or weir-knights? I’m not sure I do, so I’ll leave it at that. Regardless, this introduces us to the contradiction that exists within the written histories that knights existed before there should have been knights as the in-universe scholars know them. All three of the knights listed: Brandon the Builder, Symeon Star-Eyes, Night’s King have greenseer symbolism – perhaps the Knights that were around before there were Knights were ‘Tree Knights.’

Before moving on to John the Oak, I want to point out one more thing from the previous passage that may connect this to the Green Zombies series by LML. The Night’s King and the Night’s Watch might actually be ‘Knight’s King’ and ‘Knight’s Watch.’ Keeping in mind the greenseer symbolism of the Night’s Watch, let’s see what Old Nan says about them through Bran’s POV:

The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night’s Watch stay true, that’s what Old Nan used to say.

Time to visit John the Oak. As LML has written about in his ‘Sacred Order of Green Zombies’ series including the latest installment, ‘The Zodiac Children of Garth the Green’, John the Oak is loaded with greenseer symbolism. Even his name, ‘the-Oak’, is a pretty good clue as to his greenseer roots and creates a more direct connection to the etymology of ‘Druid’ discussed earlier. Yet, he is seen in-universe as the figure who brought chivalry to Westeros even before the Andals arrived. He sounds like a good ‘tree knight’ candidate. Like Dunk, he was really tall – nearly a giant. His sigil also includes greenseer symbolism much like the Elm tree on Dunk’s sigil. When we look at his descendant, Ser Aerys Oakheart, we see a man who is a bit of a dolt and who falls for a Dornish beauty. And he is an ‘Oakheart’ (heart-tree) who is felled by Areo Hotah’s ‘axe’. There is clear tree-symbolism here beginning with Jon the Oak all the way to the contemporary Ser Aerys Oakheart.

AFFC The Soiled Knight

“No, my lady. What I know is that Daynes have been killing Oakhearts for several thousand years.”

His arrogance took her breath away. “It seems to me that Oakhearts have been killing Daynes for just as long.”

“We all have our family traditions.”

Oakhearts (heart tree) with a knightly ancestor – tree knights or true knights – fighting Daynes. Daynes kill knights, night kills day. A tradition that goes back to the beginning of night and day. To the beginning of The Hedge Knight where Ser Arlan is killed by Spring rains. And to the beginning of the main series where Waymar Royce is killed by a sword resembling ‘Dawn’ which shatters and ‘rains’ down on the land.

There are many other arcs where ‘true knights’ are relevant – Ser Barristan Selmy; Ser Gregor Clegane, the indisputable champion of ‘false knights’; the Brotherhood without Banners sent to bring justice to Ser Gregor; Jaime and Brienne; even Tyrion. But let’s move on from true knights and look at true names.

 

True Names

ADWD Bran III

Their true names were too long for human tongues, said Leaf.

 

The Sworn Sword

Dunk knew he meant Bloodraven. Brynden Rivers was the Hand’s true name. His mother had been a Blackwood, his father King Aegon the Fourth.

Brynden Rivers was his true name and his mother was a tree. When Bran meets Bloodraven in ADWD to begin his greenseer training:

Bran III

The last greenseer, the singers called him, but in Bran’s dreams he was still a three-eyed crow. When Meera Reed had asked him his true name, he made a ghastly sound that might have been a chuckle. “I wore many names when I was quick, but even I once had a mother, and the name she gave me at her breast was Brynden.”

“I have an uncle Brynden,” Bran said. “He’s my mother’s uncle, really. Brynden Blackfish, he’s called.”

“Your uncle may have been named for me. Some are, still. Not so many as before. Men forget. Only the trees remember.” His voice was so soft that Bran had to strain to hear.

“Most of him has gone into the tree,” explained the singer Meera called Leaf.

Again, his true name is Brynden. It was the name his mother, a tree, had given him at her breast. After Bran brings up his uncle Blackfish, Bloodraven remarks that men forget [his true name] – only the trees remember.

“He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know.”

“What will I know?” Bran asked the Reeds afterward, when they came with torches burning brightly in their hand, to carry him back to a small chamber off the big cavern where the singers had made beds for them to sleep. “What do the trees remember?”

“The secrets of the old gods,” said Jojen Reed. Food and fire and rest had helped restore him after the ordeals of their journey, but he seemed sadder now, sullen, with a weary, haunted look about the eyes. “Truths the First Men knew, forgotten now in Winterfell … but not in the wet wild. We live closer to the green in our bogs and crannogs, and we remember. Earth and water, soil and stone, oaks and elms and willows, they were here before us all and will still remain when we are gone.”

Trees remember truth and Bran will know the truths the First Men knew. Oak-knower.

Arya in the godswood at Harrenhall.

ACOK

“Gods are not mocked, girl.”

The voice startled her. She leapt to her feet and drew her wooden sword. Jaqen H’ghar stood so still in the darkness that he seemed one of the trees. “A man comes to hear a name. One and two and then comes three. A man would have done.”

Arya lowered the splintery point toward the ground. “How did you know I was here?”

“A man sees. A man hears. A man knows.

She regarded him suspiciously. Had the gods sent him? “How’d you make the dog kill Weese? Did you call Rorge and Biter up from hell? Is Jaqen H’ghar your true name?

“Some men have many names. Weasel. Arry. Arya.”

She backed away from him, until she was pressed against the heart tree. “Did Gendry tell?”

“A man knows,” he said again. “My lady of Stark.”

Jaqen H’ghar seems to be ‘one of the trees’. Is Jaqen H’ghar your ‘tree’ name?

Once away from Harrenhall, Arya encounters the Brotherhood Without Banners.

ASOS

“Now who are you?” demanded Lem, in the deep voice that Arya had heard through the branches of the willow.

She was not about to give up her true name as easy as that. “Squab, if you want,” she said. “I don’t care.”

A tree asks for her name, but she isn’t willing to give up her ‘true’ name.

One more tree name to look at – Hodor.

ASOS – Bran

Bran lifted his head and saw it, its grey wings spread and still as it floated on the wind. He followed it with his eyes as it circled higher, wondering what it would be like to soar about the world so effortless. Better than climbing, even. He tried to reach the eagle, to leave his stupid crippled body and rise into the sky to join it, the way he joined with Summer. The greenseers could do it. I should be able to do it too. He tried and tried, until the eagle vanished in the golden haze of the afternoon. “It’s gone,” he said, disappointed.

“We’ll see others,” said Meera. “They live up here.”

“I suppose.”

“Hodor,” said Hodor.

“Hodor,” Bran agreed.

Jojen kicked a pinecone. “Hodor likes it when you say his name, I think.”

Hodor’s not his true name,” Bran explained.

Bran thinks about greenseers, Jojen kicks a ‘pinecone’ and mentions Hodor’s name. Bran responds that it isn’t his ‘true name’.

The End

There is much more to explore with this wordplay. I haven’t even touched on True History, True Tongue, Trueborn (wed to the tree), etc… and in my next essay, we will look at a tree-city with a tree-guardian that is hidden in plain sight. Here’s a clue. Remember drew, the PIE root of true and tree? There is another word which shares that same root – Tar.


Thank you Ravenous Reader for all of your help – it is truly appreciated.

ADWD Bran III

…the True Tongue that no human man could speak. The ravens could speak it, though.

Thank you for reading!

Good knight every one!

The Hedge Knight

“Do you know every knight in the Seven Kingdoms, then?”

The boy looked at him boldly. “The good ones.”

Advertisements