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The pointy end

Almost two years ago I wrote:

‘The Pointy End’ is the eighth episode of the first season of Game of Thrones. It is the eighth episode of the series overall among the 73 episodes aired over eight seasons from 2011 to 2019. This episode premiered on June 5, 2011 when I didn’t even know that Game of Thrones existed. It was written by George R.R. Martin and directed by Daniel Minahan, who is not classified as ‘Jew’ at least in his Wikipedia article (the series has changed directors several times).

Bran the Broken, still a boy, prays by the heart tree when he is approached by Osha, a woman of the Free Folk or ‘Wildlings’ (in this pic, Osha is barely visible because she’s laying on the ground). Osha tells Bran about hearing the Old Gods of the Forest and that the Wildlings also worship the Old Gods. She laments that the South has lost touch with the past, and that the southern weirwood trees were cut down long ago and, therefore, the Southerners have no idea about what’s awakening in the north.

I have just watched again the scene in ‘The Pointy End’ when the above photograph was taken and must add something to what I said four days ago in the article ‘New subtitle’. In the scene, a couple of times Osha calls the attention of Bran about the hidden message that could be heard from the gods by listening to the whispering leaves of the heart tree.

When four days ago I wrote ‘I will leave the image of Bran in the sticky post unless I can think of a better one that symbolises this site’ I hadn’t re-watched the scene with due attention. Now I see that it resonates not only with my editorial note in my previous article today, but with the heart of my own life (cf. my book Whispering Leaves). This day I make official the above pic as the ‘logo’ of this site.

As some readers may have observed, I have been using Game of Thrones not as fans see it, but as a sort of Rorschach test to project things that I have in mind.

From when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey as a child I projected my most cherished ideals on that film. Decades later I realised that there was a problem: the transformations of 2001 involve extraterrestrial agency, without which the transformation of the Australopithecus Moonwatcher and his descendant Dave Bowman wouldn’t have been possible at the end of the film. But something tells me that there is no intelligent life in the Milky Way, and instead of an ‘eschatology from above’ I began to forge an ‘eschatology from below’, in the sense that some of us have to transform ourselves into mutants if we are to save the planet from the most primitive version of humans that currently swarms it.

As there is something very specific that I project onto Game of Thrones I won’t talk about what happened in this episode in the Mountains, the Eyrie, the Riverlands, at the Wall, the non-white lands of Lhazar, and King’s Landing. The only thing that has interested me in the episode is how the arc of the boy Bran Stark unfolds, specifically this scene, as only he will undergo a psychic metamorphosis in subsequent seasons.

The difference between David Bowman and Bran Stark is, as I already implied, that the latter doesn’t require extraterrestrial agency to metamorphose into a new man. If there is anything to save us from the Neanderthals he won’t be a personal god (let alone a Semitic god!) or benevolent aliens. That’s human fantasy ‘from above’. On the contrary: the symbols of the forest and the sacred trees of the ancient religion behind the Wall are exclusively terrestrial. By ‘eschatology from below’ I mean that only with the resources that we already have on Earth, and with the mind that Nature has provided us, we, a kind of feathered serpents, aspire to the wings of the caduceus.

That’s why if Martin were to publish his next novel in the saga soon, as speculation among fans of A Song of Ice and Fire has already begun, I’d only read Bran’s arc to see how it differs from the HBO series. If, like Bran’s mentor, one lives in a cave entangled in the roots of a weirwood, he won’t devote himself to talking about the inane events of the immediate present as is done in the forums of white nationalism. Rather he will ponder the past and the archetypes that have taken over the white man’s psyche trying to figure out the deeper roots of Westeros’ darkest hour.