Dusting Off A Kiss(sent to FOYLE) 

Like a droplet in the mother ocean,just another atom, existing in your vicinity, an indirect notion,

I dropped the elongated string, 

thinking that it would end at you, 

it didn’t , 

it never will, 

Shuffled like the air between a pack of cards,

I once had no identity,

I do, now, said I, in my past,

taunted me, injured me, deep within, I now wear a cast,

Once,

I had you, I cherished and preserved the moments,

latent realisation, it killed me slowly, rusted I was,

You were my cancer,

unknowingly teased, trembled, later thrashed me,

my immunity fell down,

but now,

I, a used matchstick would enlighten again,

red phosphorous refuelled, will shine bright even in loud winds,

every night I used to,

sit in the porch,

with my guitar, 

had broken strings,

still gathered people, sighed, cried, no longer far,

I thought of the time, I’d spent with you,

I thought of the time, I was no longer one,

An affirmative- modest- cliched- grin on my face,

thinking about how desperate I was,

No option left for me, now

In order to preserve my long lost integrity, 

Now, waves violently shattered the rocks,

they grew stronger, the next time they approached,

abusing,

were strong enough to stand up,

You are a leech, would always remain one,

the living instinct, the last moments of your survival,

You will remember who all you ‘violently loved’,

cremated their insides, gained power, on yourself,

and you’ll die. you’ll die a dying death.

To safeguard myself, I’ll vacate your side,

I’m sure where ever you’ll go, You’ll find someone to ignite,

caressing and serenading you with the birdie finger,

You’ll deserve every bit of it,

Spitting at You, won’t dissolve, absorb my ‘love’ for You,

Creepiness would burn You down,

My imagination,

Tears your atoms down.

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ASOIAF: Jon Snow Will Be Resurrected and Lead The White Walkers

THE BIRTH OF THE DRAGONS

The prophecies are not to be taken literally.

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With this being said, what strikes us, as very strange, is the strong parallel between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, which will be the focal point of this theory. They are born around the same time, in the aftermath of the Usurper’s bloodshed, and more importantly, in the aftermath of two Targaryen king’s deaths – Aerys and his heir Rhaegar. In order to follow us we have to go back to two very important events – Blackfyre and Baratheon Rebellion – and read the part of Elio’s and Linda’s text:

“When Daemon Blackfyre rebelled, nearly bringing down the reign of his half-brother (or cousin, depending on who you believed) Daeron the Good, he sent a man by the name of Quickfinger to try and steal away some eggs from the Targaryens, perhaps to serve as a symbol… or perhaps to try and wake them himself, to prove once and for all that he was the true king. After him, his son Daemon II tried to gain an egg and hatch it, believing that his dreams prophesied that a dragon would be born if he did; his plot fizzled, but a dragon was born, in a way, in the form of a more mature and subtle young Prince Aegon Targaryen who would one day be king. As it happens, that particular dragon egg disappeared from Whitewalls, probably falling into the hands of the alleged-sorcerer called Bloodraven, a descendant of Aegon the Unworthy and at the time the Hand of the King. What became of that egg? Its description rather closely matches one of three eggs presented to a certain young Targaryen bride, on the day of her marriage to a certain Dothraki warlord….

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Perhaps the most important of these past efforts to raise a dragon, in terms of its impact on the present timeline, was Summerhall. The palatial summer residence of the Targaryens, raised by Daeron the Good at the juncture of the Reach, the stormlands, and Dorne as a sign of the peace had brought about, is in the present time a burned-out ruin. “Summerhall” is a name full of tragic connotations in the Seven Kingdoms, all thanks to that dream of dragons. It seems Aegon V the Unlikely, that same young Prince Aegon from years before, attempted to raise one or more dragons only for catastrophe to strike. Aegon died, and his son Prince Duncan the Small, and perhaps also the Lord Commander of his Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall. Jenny of Oldstones, Prince Duncan’s lover or wife, became the subject of a sad song, dancing for her ghosts… and when the ruin came, a kind of dragon was born, the last dragon according to some: Prince Rhaegar. Summerhall marked his birth, and it marked all of his days after that, leading him onto a path he thought was destined.”

Therefore, Aegon V the Unlikely and Rhaegar Targaryen are two “dragons” heralded by a tragedy. Why is this important? Many have, as we know, tried to awaken the dragons from stone, and many have failed. We believe a “true dragon” has the ability to do so, but only under the right circumstances. Death of Aegon the Unlikely and his son, and heir, Duncan the Small, enabled the Mad King Aerys to ascend the throne, which lead to familiar sequence of the events that consequently spawned Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. Therefore, being a “true dragon” is only one condition met. In order to give the birth to a dragon (mythical creature), according to the prophecy, one has to perform a sacrifice under the bleeding star.

SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN JON SNOW AND DAENERYS TARGARYEN

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are, following this analogy, also “dragons” born amidst a tragedy, from the deaths of Targaryen King/Prince soon to be the King, but this time born around the same time, unlike in earlier examples. Both Jon and Dany are stranded in different parts of the world, going through hell, unable to directly participate in the events taking place in Westeros. However, they are privy to certain events that are of greater importance to the whole picture and end goal: Daenerys is (a) grooming the dragons that have not been seen in centuries and no one believes in; Jon is (a) in the possession of an albino direwolf, a creature also not seen in ages; (b) a warg; and (c) fighting the White Walkers that were not seen in 8000 years and again, creatures, needless to say, no one believes in.

So, the quick summary of the things Daenerys and Jon Snow have in common:

(1) born in the tragedy, within months, probably from the same Targaryen lineage;

(2) unable to participate in current events and cast out by the rest of the Westerosi;

(3) privy to certain events and having the knowledge about certain creatures first hand, something the other Westerosi could only dream of;

(4) they both experienced a certain form of death (will Jon survive is yet to be found out) that had/has the potential of liberating and giving them the confidence needed to grow; and last but not least

(5) they are both “true dragons” born from Aerys/Rhaella’s lineage.

Now for the differences.

(1) The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword

In the Game of Thrones pilot, right after the introduction to the Stark children, we saw Lord Eddard Stark dispatching some Northern justice. In front of his ward Theon, the bastard Jon, and his sons Robb and Bran, Ned took off the head of an Night’s Watchman, a deserter, modeling for the boys exactly what it means to be a Stark, a Warden of the North, and a good leader. “Do you have to?” Catelyn Stark asks to which Ned replies, “He swore an oath” and Ser Rodrik Cassel adds, “Law is law, milady.”

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“Don’t look away,” Jon counsels Bran, “father will know.” Later, Ned checks in with his youngest making sure he understands a pivotal lesson: “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” And as the show echoes this scene over and over we see how Ned’s introduction, as a good and strong leader, reflects on the men and women who continue to strive and fail to take up his mantle.

The scene is echoed a few episodes later in Season 2 when Robb is also faced with a traitor. Robb, we’re meant to believe, does most things right here. He has the law on his side (Lord Karstark killed two young captive Lannister boys without Robb’s permission) and his father’s determined swing. Kinslaying (the Karstarks and the Starks are distant relatives) is frowned upon, but even though Karstark curses Robb –– who was already losing the confidence of his men – it was love, not this execution, that did Robb Stark in. The legacy of the King in the North lives on in the hearts of the people as evidenced by that loyal letter Lyanna Mormont sent Stannis last week.

There was one more near-beheading in Season 2 from the third young man who saw Ned Stark swing his sword in the pilot. That would be a younger Jon Snow who wasn’t quite ready to pick up the Stark mantle when confronted with the wildling Ygritte.

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I’m not sure we want to fault him for that, though. His compassion for the wildlings is part of what makes him such a good Lord Commander. In Season 3, in front of the Nightfort, Jon is tasked with cutting the head of a prisoner to prove his loyalty to the Wildlings. He can’t do it. He is not the man who past the sentence. This act of honor almost cost him his life.

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Those are our Season 2 and Season 3 parallels, but back in Season 1, Ned’s first act is bookended by his last as the boy king Joffrey has him publicly beheaded. Like Theon Joffrey breaks an oath. He swore to Sansa that her father would be pardoned and sent to The Wall if he confessed. And Ned confessed. The charges against Ned are false so Joffrey doesn’t even had the letter of the law on his side, let alone the spirit of it. Lastly, of course, Joff doesn’t swing the sword himself but has his executioner Ser Ilyn Payne do the job. Joffrey lost the hearts of his people for many reasons, but this moment was certainly one of them. In short, Joffrey is everything Ned is not. But this we already knew.

So what are we to make of Season 5 revisiting this familiar scene? And what are we to make of Dany who may have had the law on her side but had Daario swing the sword instead of doing the dirty work herself? Even worse, she flinched and looked away.

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If she meant this moment as a show of strength, it came off as quite the opposite. Dany is used to the dragons being her weapon and her shouts of “Dracarys” being her burly sword arm.

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Without her weapons or the conviction to wield them, Dany’s rule is in serious trouble.

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But the opposite can be said for Jon. It’s probably not quite fair to draw a direct parallel here. Mossador, Dany’s victim, was a somewhat sympathetic young man whereas Janos Slynt is an absolute weasel. Nonetheless, there was Jon with only a little falter in his swing, slicing his own Valyrian steel sword through the air. He had the law on his side and gave Slynt plenty of opportunity to reconsider before breaking his oath and defying the Lord Commander. He didn’t fail to follow through, as he did with Ygritte, and he didn’t burn Slynt alive in a showy way like Stannis. He did it the old way. The way his father taught him. And in that moment Jon Snow was every inch a Stark, no matter what his birth certificate (or lack thereof) says.

(2) The hero’s journey

Jon Snow is the only character, featured prominently in both the books and the show, whose plot arc so far very much follows the traditions of heroic fantasy. For one thing, he’s a bastard. Sure, he’s the illegitimate son of Ned Stark (or is he), Lord of Winterfell, and was raised with all kinds of perks compared to most people, but his relative isolation is made very clear from the beginning of the series. Catelyn Stark, Ned’s wife, treats him terribly. Due to this, he never eats with his family or attends the parties. He feels alienated from his family. Therefore, eventually, Jon goes to the Wall where he joins the “noble” Night’s Watch. As Ramsay Bolton of all people observed in episode seven, Jon has done very well for himself indeed, rising to great prominence as the lord commander. He was even offered Winterfell itself by Stannis. Though, due to his honor and the vows he gave in front of the Old Gods, Jon heroically turned it down.

In fact, much of Jon’s story has followed the classic heroes quest. He leaves town and goes on a journey, first to Castle Black, and then out with the expedition into the North. There, he gets cut off from his companions and is taken prisoner, kills his superior Qhorin Halfhand (at Qhorin’s command, so that Jon can infiltrate the Wildlings), confronts supernatural forces in the North, falls in love Ygritte, with whom he gets to have sexy times in a hot springs. Later, he betrays Ygritte in order to remain honorable, is elevated to command the defense of Castle Black against a vast force, and is even rescued by the unexpected arrival of the king. Then he puts his own life into jeopardy for the cause he truly believes in – building the first glimmer of an alliance between peoples who have been warring for centuries. And he succeeds. There he meets the Night’s King, the current leader of the White Walkers, who takes a keen interest in our hero. The show has put a lot of effort in portraying this interest for us. They gave us the glimpse of what we might discover in the upcoming books. White Walkers do not kill Craster’s children and White Walkers have a goal. This goal is not murdering every living creature in the North. If this was the case the short distance between the Night’s King and Jon Snow would not be an issue. No. He observed Jon. He was intrigued by him and yes, wanted Jon to see it for himself. This of course happened only mere days before his own “brothers” – men he fought for, men he betrayed Yigritte, the woman he loved, for, men he protected, men he trusted – murdered him in cold blood. Among Game of Thrones characters, his alone is the heroic arc.

(3) Political abilities and diplomacy

I think this doesn’t need the further elaboration.

(4) Hypocrisy

Daenerys insists that  “there are no more slaves. There are no more Masters,” and therefore the justice that is inseparable from freedom means meting out the same punishment to a slave striking back as the murderer of an ex-slave. But as Mossador reminds her, is it truly justice to treat both sides in a civil war equally, when one side “lives in the pyramids” and the others in the streets? On top of everything she has men working for her in exchange for food and shelter and no salary. Isn’t this still a form of slavery?

(5) Secret identity

What’s more, Jon may have a secret origin story, concealed even from him, that oft-employed device in speculative fiction (think Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, another hero following the classic quest narrative). The books and show have been very coy about Snow’s parentage, a move that would be pretty anticlimactic if it turned out Ned Stark—violently against his character—had a roll in the hay with some farm girl or serving wench. Fan theories Around, and if any of them are true, it only confirms the sense that he’s the one true hero of the series. His ancestry has been concealed from those around him, ready to be revealed at just the right dramatic moment.

DUALITY OF JON SNOW

The Blackfyre pretender had a dream that a dragon would hatch at Whitewalls. Egg turned out to be that dragon… Targs are known for dreams such as that. Aegon believed that The Prince That Was Promised would come from Aerys and his sister. We posit a theory Aegon knew he had a role to play in fulfilling this prophecy. Then he had a dream that a dragon would hatch at Summerhall. Rhaegar was born at the night of the Sumerhall Tragedy.

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It is my belief that Rhaegar also knew/dreamed that Aegon died so he would bring a true dragon into the world. Rhaegar always had a special/strange connection with Summerhall. When he dreamed that he would need to be a warrior to fulfill the prophecy he went to the yard the next day. So, it is our belief, that Rhaegar dreamed that Jon would be The Prince That Was Promised and that’s why he took Lyanna, started a war, left 3 kings guards at the Tower of Joy to protect Jon and Lyanna, so he would die in peace on the Trident. Therefore, in our theory we posit that Jon Snow is the son(g) of ice and fire (Ice being the House Stark – The North and Fire being the House Targaryen – The South, only two magical houses in Westeros). This is the duality of Jon Snow that we will attempt to elaborate further.

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The last time we saw Jon Snow was in ADWD where he was repeatedly stabbed by his brothers of the Night’s Watch and is currently presumed dead. However, since no other character in the book witnessed his death, it is safe to say that Jon Snow lives.

The brining back to life can happen in few possible ways:

01. Melisandre will use the Red God to bring him back, much in the same way Thoros brought back Dondarrion, which will take a little piece of Jon’s humanity

02. Melisandre used her magic to glamour Jon Snow making him appear as someone else to the brother’s of the Night’s Watch (Rattleshirt/Mance case). Hardly unlikely for several reasons: the title of the chapter said Jon Snow and not Lord Commander; Jon’s final thoughts wandered of to Arya, Needle and the last thing he told his sister “stick them with the pointy end“. Why would someone who is not Jon think of Arya and Needle during his final moments. Makes little to no sense. Jon Snow was the person who got stabbed.

03. Jon wargs into Ghost in the nick of time. Considering that Jon will,  in this particular case, be alive for a short period of time (a dead warg that inhabits his animal slowly begins to die out within the animal he warged in) it stands to reason that Jon’s Ghost life will only be temporal, that is until he finds the way to re-enter his human body.

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04. Bloodraven planned this all along (possibly with Shiera Seastar) by warging Mormont’s raven and making sure Jon is elected for Lord Commander, which eventually lead to his death. We believe he is grooming him for command, literally. Also, nice foreshadowing. What the command is we do not know because we don’t know much about Blodraven’s agenda as it is. Does he work for the WW? Does he want to establish the Blackfyre Royal Targaryen line as the revenge against being sent to the Wall? Or he wants something else completely? If so, Jon, being again the bastard son of a Targ fits nicely into this story.

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So how will this play out? Two words: Theon Turncloak.

There is a debate going on as to who is the ghost from the ADWD chapter “The Ghost of Winterfell”. Some say it is Benjen Stark,  some say it is Theon Greyjoy’s split personality… I say it is twofold. The “Ghost of Winterfell” (as in hooded man who goes around killing Bolton men) is one of the Northerners loyal to the Starks. But. “Ghost of Winterfell” is also Theon, simply because this is his POV chapter.  This means that the title itself foreshadows development of Theon’s character arch that will end in death making Theon another one of Wintefell’s Ghosts. To what end? For one, Theon has suffered enough. Clean death would be a nice way to end his life. And if his death can aid a sorcerer from North of the Wall in resurrecting one of the remaining Stark children, his debt will truly be paid. Bloodraven, with the help of Bran, who’s been communicating with Theon via Weirwood tree (ADWD) and ravens (TWOW), will use Theon’s beheading (suggested to Stannis by Asha in TWOW) as the blood sacrifice and a retribution for Eddard Stark and his boys, to raise Jon from dead.  “There is power in king’s blood” and a reason why the last image Bran Stark saw through Weirwood in ADWD was the blood sacrifice. Death for Life.

I believe it is the fourth possibility because we believe his rebirth amongst smoke (Jon Snow’s smoking wounds) and salt (The Wall is salty and Bowen Marsh’s tears should not be neglected either) will awake a dragon or dragons. Being born amidst the smoke and salt screams the name of Azor Ahai. However, the likely candidate is also Daenerys Targaryen. I will not go into details here since you all already know how and why. Therefore, we have two stung candidates for AA and/or TPTWP. The debate is going on whether or not these are one and the same person. At first I was a strong believer that Jon is TPTWP and Daenerys is AA. Now, I am not so sure. So, let’s go over possibilities.

Azor Ahai and The Prince that Was Promised are separate entities.

In this case Daenerys is AA reborn, the champion of Red God and Jon is the Prince That Was Promised, the savior of mankind.

Azor Ahai and The Prince that Was Promised are same entities (one person different names).

In this, more likely, scenario, there are also two possibilities. In one Daneerys is both of these figures. In another Jon is.   So, I hypothesize that Jon is born with the potential of being both. Both what? The last hero that saves the world and a champion of the alleged enemy he needs to fight in order to do so. Stay with me.

In Melisandre’s prophecies she calls for Azor Ahai but all she sees is Snow. This bares both metaphorical and literal meaning. All she sees is Snow as in Jon Snow – this is the allegorical meaning; all she sees is snow as in snow (atmospheric water vapor frozen into ice crystals) – this is the literal meaning that tells us more about the ending scene, as seen in the House of Undying (in the show). Furthermore, in her flames she saw a “wooden face, corpse white, thousand red eyes and a boy with the wolf’s head”, she believes these are the Great Other’s champions. I believe one of these, besides the Bloodraven and Bran Stark, will end up being Jon Snow reborn (Wooden Face – Bran Stark, Thousand Eyes and One – Bloodraven, Boy with the Wolf’s head – Jon Snow)

Again there are two possibilities. All she sees is Snow could mean that Jon is the AA reborn or it could, what I think it does, all she sees is Snow because he defeated her champion. There is a possibility that int he effort to save the life of her champion, Melisandre will create the enemy of her champion, which is precisely the reason why Jon’s identity as a Stark and his dualism matter in the end.

This duality of Jon Snow we are talking about does not reside only in his parent’s lineage (Stark + Targaryen) but is in fact twofold, which has already been foreshadowed by his unique storyline:

-he was born a bastard but raised as a noble;

-he is the outcast in the Night’s Watch same as everyone else yet he is trained by the master-at-arms unlike everyone else;

-he is the brother of the Night’s Watch yet he became a Wildling too;

-he became the part of the Wildling Bunch when he broke his oath betraying the Night’s Watch yet he betrayed the Wildling Bunch for the oath he gave to the Night’s Watch.

This shows us that he not only can fight for both sides, depending on the context he is found in but also that he follows his own sense of morality and logic.

 “He always comes back” is the line Sam Tarly said during the last season. Comes back as what? First time he came back he was a Stark and a bastard boy (after his attempted desertion). Second time he came back he was a Wildling and a boy in love (after his infiltration with the enemy). Third time he came back he was a Brother and a savior of the Wall in the good grace of a King (after the negotiations with Mance). Fourth time he came back he was the Lord Commander and a man who finally saw the Walkers first hand (after Hardhome). Fifth time? He died. So, what is he going to be when he comes back?

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Now indulge me for a moment. What if we got it backwards?

What if White Walkers wake up every time Azor Ahai, is reborn, and not vice versa – he comes when they are awakened? More on that later.

As for the Lightbringer there are several possibilities. First comes first, Stannis wields the false Lightbringer. So who has the right sword? Some even say the Lightbringer is not necessarily a sword. Let’s go over what Lightbringer is or is suppose to be: it is a means of fighting the WW; it means fire; it is forged in a sacrifice of the loved one…

Some say the Lightbringer are dragons, which perfectly fit the profile. They can easily fight WW, they are fire and they are forged in three sacrifices: Miri Maz Dur’s and Drogo’s death and Dany’s rebirth. One sacrifice for one life.

Some say the Lightbringer is Night’s Watch, which also perfectly fits the profile. Night Watch is established in order to protect the realm (from White Walkers), they are “sword in the darkness”, and they are more or less forged in a self-sacrifice, or at least they used to be…now, for the most part, it is an order of thieves, rapists and criminals in general.

Or, Lightbringer is a sword that does not posses its abilities yet.

In his dream, Jon sees himself holding the red burning sword in his hands. He is dressed in black ice and he is fighting the dead on top of the Wall. In her prophecies Daenerys sees a Blue-eyed king that casts no shadow, with a red flaming sword in his hand on top of the Wall.

Is he one of these figures (or both of them) in the end doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he is the only hero of this saga, given his journey so far. We know nothing about The Prince that Was Promised, except for few lines. We don’t know if he is promised to save the humanity or if he is promised to reestablish the Targaryen lineage. We donut’s know anything about Azor Ahai either, except that he uses sacrifice in order to gain power. We didn’t like that when Stannis did it, why should we like it when someone else does it? So, in general, I am not fond of Azor Ahai or the Red God. With all this ambiguity there is a strong chance that we will have two champions in the end, with one being both Azor Ahai and The Prince, while another is the champion of something else completely. Time will only tell.

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We hypothesize that only one of them, Jon or Daenerys, will, in fact, fight the doom, saving the world from the eternal darkness. And now comes the twist, the doom will, contrary to the popular belief, not come from the White Walkers, but instead from Daenerys Targaryen. And no, we do not believe Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow will meet, fall in love and rule Westeros happily ever after, reestablishing the Targaryen lineage. No, we do not believe Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are the Song of Ice and Fire. With this being said, we strongly believe Jon Snow will lead the army of White Walkers…and ironically, mirroring the scene from the beginning of season 3, he will fight, to use his own words, “the side that fights for the living” but it in reality the side he will fight for it is the side that fights for the life. In this way we will have a rightful Targaryen fighting a bastard Targaryen, mirroring the Blackfyre Rebellion but on a whole new level.

And how does one fight the dragon?  Well, with another dragon.

JON SNOW’S DRAGON(S)

According to the story there were originally five dragon eggs. Ilyrio Mopatis gave three to Daenerys as a wedding gift. Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers presumably has another in his possession. The location of the fifth one is unknown (possibly at the bottom of the sea according to Greyjoys). If Bloodraven has the dragon egg, and if Jon Snow is a Targ by blood (bastard or not), this would explain Bloodraven’s interest in Jon Snow, which brings us back to the fourth possible rebirth of Jon Snow in the upcoming book. So far we know that Valyrian blood is somehow tied to the dragons (via bloodmagic), which enables Targaryens to tame them. Starks are descendants of the First Men, able to warg other living entities and bond with direwolves. If Jon Snow is both, and if his rebirth is of any importance, and we believe it is, it is possible that the duality he carries within himself can make him fit for awakening both types of dragons: (1) dragon from stone Melisandre is talking about, which is probably not hidden at the Dragonstone but is instead in Bloodraven’s possession; Euron’s egg, which he claims he tossed into the sea (see Patchface) and (3) the ice dragon.

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As for the first type, the best evidence we have is Bloodraven’s particular interest in two particular Stark boys: Jon Snow (via Mormont’s raven) and Bran Stark (via three-eyed raven). This is a tricky part now because we don’t know Bloodraven’s agenda. If he wants Jon dead then everything Bloodraven did has lead Jon to that path except Jon will be reborn. Being the last greenseer he surely knows past, present and future, meaning he will know that Jon will be reborn, therefore, the only conclusion we can draw from this sequence of the events is that Bloodraven needs Jon Snow reborn and in order to be reborn Jon Snow needs to die. Bloodraven is therefore well aware of that especially if he is in the possession of the infamous dragon egg. He needs Jon to literally wake the dragon from stone and he also did promise Bran that he would fly.

Or, Melisandre will do it by accident.

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Ice dragons may have never existed except in the fairytales. There is a constellation of stars named the ice dragon to the north. Its blue eyes points north. According to GRRM’s children’s novel titled The Ice Dragon a little girl Adara, the protagonist of the story, is born in the long winter, during which the worst freeze had taken place that anyone could remember. Her mother died giving birth to her. Adara loved the winter and felt attracted to the cold. She preferred to play with snow and ice and ice lizards. Her skin was always cold to the touch. She felt that the ice dragon had always been in her life. When she was four years old she touched the ice dragon for the first time. She rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time in her fifth year. The people of her town feared the ice dragon. It is said that it is a creature of legend and that no man has ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left a desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid of the ice dragon, for she was a north, winter child. When she was seven the fiery dragons from the North came and swoop down upon the peaceful farm that is Adara’s home. She and her ice dragon flew towards them and the ice dragon fought the other dragons in order to protect Adara and her family. The ice dragon defeated the fire dragons, but afterwards he was nowhere to be seen, only a pond that had never been there before, a small quiet pool where the water is very cold. After the disappearance of the ice dragon the cold left Adara and she was then finally able to smile, laugh and weep like other little girls.

As for the Westeros and A Song of Ice and Fire saga, until recently we only had few mentions of them and only from Old Nan who used to tell tales of the ice dragon to the Stark children. In the new book about history in Westeros, there is a mention of Ice Dragons that live up North close to the Shivering Sea. According to history and tales, these dragons are twice the size of the fiery dragons and they breathe cold instead of fire. There is no mention of the Valyrians taming ice dragons although they did tame fire-breathing dragons.

Upon the stabbing at the Wall, all Jon could feel was the cold. This might not mean anything but it also can mean several things. It can mean he is simply dying, or that he is feeling the cold consuming his body or he is in his dire wolf  or White Walkers are near. What will happen to his body is also a subject of debates. The Night Watch can burn it, out of the fear that he is not touched by the WW magic or they can throw him into the Ice Crypts beneath the Wall. We believe Jon’s body will end up there where he would eventually “resurrect” being thus symbolically “born” during the cold winter, with his skin cold to touch. Both fire and ice seem a right fit. However, Bran sees only the ice.

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.

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Again, following Dany’s analogy from book one/season one, where she was forged in fire, Jon Snow will be forged in ice beneath the Wall, when a new, full grown dragon, made of ice, will come to life from the Wall itself.

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Needless to say, I strongly believe the Ice Dragon is part of the Wall a mysterious magical ice block that supposedly can be crumbled to awake “giants” and I believe Jon Snow is the one that will breathe the life in it.

OTHERS aka THE WHITE WALKERS

According to the legend the Others first appeared approximately 8,000 years before the War of Conquest, during a winter that lasted a generation in a period of darkness known as the Long Night. A great hero, known in the eastern religion as Azor Ahai, led the war against the Others wielding his sword of fire Lightbringer, driving the Others away. Eventually they were defeated and Bran Stark, known also as Bran the builder, probably as a defense against them, built The Wall (we believe the opposite). The Night’s Watch was established around the same time to stand guard and protect the people of Westeros. In the Westerosi tradition it is believed that Azor Ahai may be the last hero who would be reborn when the White Walkers wake up from their thousand of years long sleep. Melisandre believes Stannis Baratheon is the reincarnation of Azor Ahai, something that is yet to be confirmed. Also, there is another similar prophecy about the Prince that was promised. It is not clear whether or not this is one and the same person. Melisandre also believes that the Others answer to the Great Other, the God of darkness, cold and death. He is considered the enemy and the opposite of R’hllor, the Lord of Light. Followers of R’hllor believe, unlike many Westerosi, that there are only two gods, R’hllor and the Great Other who wage an eternal war over the fate of the world.

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This theory hypothesizes Bran the Builder built The Wall not as a potential defense against the White Walkers but as a defense against humans and as an obvious hideout for the awaiting dragon. Not much is known of the White Walkers, their purpose or the agenda. In one interview the writer himself said the fans misunderstand the White Walkers and instead of zombielike horde they are these beautiful elflike creatures made of ice. They are a unique form of civilization (they have developed their own language which is the first sign of civilized society) that, to our understanding, has the goal of restoring the balance in the world via the means of the nature. Also, it is a metaphor for the present state of increasing climate change, at least how we see it. Nature strikes back restoring the balance to the world.

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In the last battle for the dawn, Azor Ahai pushed White Walkers back, which lead us to the sequence of the events we know now. However, the possible misconception is the purpose of The Wall and the purpose of the Starks, Bran the Builder included. I believe that The Wall is forged as a potential weapon, which will aid the White Walkers in their cause, same as the weapon in the form of dragon eggs awaited for the R’hllor’s champion to be reborn. Needless to say, The Wall is, as we know it, alive, therefore, we do not believe The Wall conceals the egg but a full-grown Ice Dragon.

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While the “stone dragons” are pretty easy to write off (Melisandre could just be misunderstanding fossilized eggs), the “ice dragons” seem to be mentioned too often to discount. If the great battle ends up being the force of fire/dragons/Daenerys versus ice/the White Walkers/Jon Snow, could it be possible that the White Walkers will become Jon Snow’s army and will use the ice dragons to fight for their side? Melisandre is adamant that the Horn of Joramun must never be blown, or disaster will fall… “The Horn of Joramun? No. Call it the Horn of Darkness. If the Wall falls, night falls as well, the long night that never ends. It must not happen, will not happen!” Melisandre is petrified with the possibility of Wall coming down, not because nothing will stand in between the White Walkers and the rest of the realm but because of what comes with this crumble.

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Fire, dragonglass and VS blades can easily defeat White Walkers on their own, but if the dragons, controlled and lead by The Prince That Was Promised aid them in this cause they will triumph in the end, which explains why Melisandre only sees Snow. She prays for glimpses of Azor Ahai but all she sees is the snow, again, not because Jon Snow is the champion of R’hllor but because Jon Snow will defeat the champion of R’hllor, Daenerys Targaryen, restoring the balance to the world. In other words, by the end most of the mankind will die making the room for the new world to arise, which is precisely what Daenerys saw in the Throne Room.

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Melisandre fears this, understandably. But there is something else, or better yet, someone else Melisandre fears too…

PATCHFACE

Patchface was in his youth a clever boy with astonishing wit, however after the accident at sea his mind and body got broken. Able to sing prettily in 4 tongues, the prodigy kid was taken aboard Lord Steffon Baratheon’s Ship. As we now know, everyone aboard the ship got killed including the lord, his lady and over 100 soldiers and sailors. Patchface washed up three days later, his naked skin white, wrinkled, and, the man that found him, Jornmy, swears to his dying day that the FOOL’S SKIN WAS CLAMMY COLD. They had taken him for dead, but then he coughed up water, albeit broken in mind and body; the ordeal had taken his memories, and half his wit. Now he is subject to twitches and trembles and is mostly incoherent. What happened to him during the two days is unknown, but the fisher folk like to say: “a mermaid had taught him to breathe water in return for his seed.”

A brilliant boy was driven mad after 3 days on the bottom of the sea; somewhat similar to the mad Ranger who saw the White Walkers in the beginning of the series. Our guess…he saw the White Walkers army lurking in the depths and went crazy. Here are two quotes:

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“In the dark the dead are dancing.”

“I will lead it. We will march into the sea and out again. Under the waves we will ride seahorses, and mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming, oh, oh, oh. “

“What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger”

Therefore, the Drowned God and The Great Other might actually be the same entity. If this is true then R’lhor is in conflict with The Great Other / The Drowned God and this is something that would nicely explain why Melissandre fears Patchface and constantly sees him in the flames, which also ties in nicely with the idea that Jon Snow is in fact the champion of The Great Other. Everything comes down to religion duality – R’hllor being the destruction and The Great Other being the source of life.

“Under the sea the crows are white as snow”

“Under the sea it snows up, and the rain is dry as bone. I know. I know… “

We hypothesis something is happening at the bottom of the sea…

“Under the sea, the birds have scales for feathers.”

“Under the sea, smoke rises in bubbles, and flames burn green and blue and black,”

We hypothesis White Walkers (made of ice = water) will not come just from Beyond the Wall but from the sea surrounding Westeros too. This would further confirm our claim that The Wall does not have the function we were led to believe – defending the realm from the Others – but is in fact a plain sight hideaway for the ice dragon, which will prove to be the ultimate weapon against R’hllor and his champion’s dragons.

But why did the White Walkers decide to “wake up” now? It is my belief that the Starks are tied to the White Walkers via bloodmagic, same way Targaryens are tied to the dragons via bloodmagic

. I believe Bran the Builder had something to do with that and I believe he had help from the Children of the Forest. I believe that White Walkers, just like men, have a prophecy they are following. This prophecy foretells the story of a Northern boy born from Bran the Builder’s lineage that will become the only means to saving the North. He will be born at the dawn of House Stark destruction. Therefore, rebirth of dragons is not the White Walker’s concern, especially since we know that during the age of Targaryen rule White Walkers kept silent. Their primarily concern is the extinction of House Stark, family they are tied to via bloodmagic and destined to protect due to the treaty signed several thousands of years ago. Following the idea that the history is, for most part, a fabrication, it is my belief that we were lead to believe White Walkers are this evil zombie horde, when in fact they are not. I am not saying they are the ultimate “good guys” but I am saying that they are not the Orclike evil either. This of course heavily depends on the leader. And, considering everything we have seen so far, who better than Jon Snow?

The new born Jon will not be consumed with rage like many believe. He will simply fight for the North in order to restore the balance. He is a diplomat, first and foremost. And whoever ends up having his on their side is the group we will end up rooting for.

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 That said, I don’t believe Daenerys Targaryen is the ultimate “evil” either. There is no such thing in this story (except perhaps Joffrey and Ramsay) however, she gave me no reason to trust her judgment or her ruling, political and diplomatic abilities. She is stubborn, proud, short sighted, entitled and cares only about being the Queen regardless of her wish to aid the common people (which she also failed in the Slaver’s Bay). Her speech about breaking the wheel, her hatred towards people in Westeros, her lack of knowledge about this place, her proneness towards casting judgment onto the people and cultures she knows nothing about is astonishing. All these things are what separates her from Jon Snow at the end of the day. Among many other things. And like she said, she is the queen and not the politician. In order for this to work, for peace to take place, a diplomat and a politician with the touch of heroism and integrity is needed. And that is not Daenerys Targaryen.

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It is my belief that she will, most likely lose her life in the battle at the Wall, as she has foreseen in her House of Undying prophecies (from the show) and join her family thus getting the happy end she deserves.

NOTE: Daenerys can’t be burned, yes, but GRRM said this is a one-time thing, the magic of dragon birth, which enabled her to stay unharmed. Her resistance to fire doesn’t have to be taken literally and therefore, I wouldn’t be using Jon’s burned arm as a proof for debunking the theory.

A Summer Daydream

There’s this reverie that my mind loves to splurge on. Rooftop. 1 am. A starry night sky. On a very tall building, but there are no specific dimensions, because it’s a figment of my imagination. There’s just this zone of serenity and bliss, nothing concrete. No!  Why must we always look for numbers and figures to define everything we know? I could count the tranquil beats of your heart and tell that we have a plenty more till our little forever. And the breeze tickles our skin, don’t you just love the sweet chill of this breeze on a summer night? You can’t reckon the way it holds sway over the hush of the night. There’s no number for that, it’s like looking at your eyes and trying to tell how beautiful they are.

Do you have any idea that how intensely your eyes pierce into my soul? Can I describe that? I hope someday they find a better word because all the synonyms of beautiful are too vague for the way you make me feel.

We’re floating on a cloud, that’s what it feels like when you’re lying next to me. It’s like walking on water, when you think about it too often, the waves caressing your feet keeping you afloat. A meticulous sense of calm in a menacing state of high.

A strand of auburn hair laying peacefully on my forehead and you slide it aside with your soft, warm hands. They make me believe in the superstition that loyal people have warm hands. You make me believe in the superstition called love. The way your touch scintillates and sedates me all the same. It’s like the ebb and flow of waves in a high spirited river. You make me feel alive and full of colours, like a rainbow ending in a pot of gold. And when you kiss me, it’s like the waves breaking at the banks in sweet submission. You heal me and then you break me a million times, like a phoenix reborn out of ashes. And nothing but pure ecstasy driving out everything else.

But these words don’t do any justice to what I feel in my reverie. The promise of a young blossom on a spring morning, the fulfilling feeling of the soil when it’s drenched to the core after a day of heavy rain. No words would do justice, no numbers would mark the value of that beautiful daydream. And maybe that’s why it’s so beautiful.

Transitions

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Change is inevitable and so are experiences. I’ve always believed that it is all about the journey, the search for a destination and the only destination that exists is where life ends. Every day of our lives marks the beginning of a new story or just successive addition to the old one. I am 17 and I am planning for my ‘someday’ but slowly without me even realising that someday would be today and then that someday would be yesterday and this is life. Weren’t things so different some time back? For some of us it may range from a few weeks to a few years, the day you realise, ‘that is when it all changed!’ is the day you realise the transient nature of time. The only thing that is permanent is you. Life often goes off course, in this desperate moment you must make a decision. It may even lift you up to embrace a new path. When young, we feel we are invincible like nothing can hurt us and we can push it all, we all have plans. BIG PLANS. ‘But It’s not until the end of your life that you realize how the plans you made where simply plans. Because at the end when you’re looking back instead of forward you want to believe you made the most of what life gave you. You want to believe you’re leaving something good behind. You want it all to have mattered.’ Are you afraid? Afraid of having this time being washed away and never having it back, afraid of losing the person who you are or scared of who you might become? Well I am. But I’ve come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to is a measure of a successful life, then some would say I’m a failure. Things from now won’t always be uphill, you’d be frozen before you actually know that time has passed, things will happen for the very first time for some. But what you do matters, the choices you make, the decisions you take, the moments when you have the time of your life or worse experiences, they all matter. If life comes at you with rushing darkness, are you going to face it with someone or will your struggle be of your own?

The important thing is not to be bitter over life’s disappointments. If you just look at the year gone by, we’ve all had our share of ups and downs, we have all had our patience and courage tested, so if you’re reading this you’d might want to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving it all. It is not easy, it wouldn’t have been. Because in your life, you’re the hero.  Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours. Someday you will have to leave the refuge of dependence and establish yourself. When is your someday?

Don’t worry about change, embrace it.

Perspective

It’s all very hazy when you look close enough. Faces drifting in and out like autumn leaves floating through the wind. The onrush of words producing a static in warp speed. Moments ticking by, vanishing like stars in a blackhole. There’s so little that we can hold on to, when compared to all the million moments that just fade into oblivion. In a vast universe made up of eons and galaxies, how many stars are enough to not feel lonely? I always thought that there’s hope. That there’s something out there, which will bring meaning to everything that is. Everything that was or will be. I open doors leading to different people, different worlds. It all depends on how you see it. What music is playing in the background? Is it a sad symphony or an adorable lullaby. What do you see when you’re not looking? What do you hear when you’re not listening? What is your perspective?

All these passengers roaming about on a platform, it’s like I’m standing still and the world is moving all around me in warp speed. Voices, faces and figures transmuting into epiphanies. I hear so many words everyday spilled out hastily by careless speakers, I hear people filtering their truths with lies of comfort. But where are we heading? On this journey of stars and green fields and gay blossoms. How many bumps can you afford? Did you take your head out to look at the beautiful scenery amid your journey or were you too busy whining about getting to the end. Did you let your hand sway in the dancing spring breeze or were you too stuck up and lost in your mp3 while your weary eyes fell asleep. Oblivious to all the experiences that were scattered all around you like raindrops in a monsoon. Experiences you never had because you were too busy focusing on how bumpy the road is.

And then once in a while, there is this serendipitious moment of clarity, when the storms cease to bother and you look past the hinging raindrops stuck in midair. Away from their beginning, not anywhere near their end. In retrospect, I’m standing outside a bookshop and it’s raining. And I can hear the beautiful song of the raindrops tiptoeing onto obliterating surfaces. The evanescence of the raindrops twirling into the nascence of music. We’re so hung up on being here, there and everywhere. And then we complain on being stuck. Why can’t we all learn to let go like the kindling in a fire. Why are we so scared of becoming a new person? Why can’t we let go of everything we’ve always held onto. Isn’t monotony a rather crippling force of destitution that strips you off all your dreams and imagination. Why can’t we just go back to being the little child who knows nothing but to question everything he sees? The child who dreams endlessly and believes in them, and thinks that the world is stupid for preaching otherwise.

Write as many words as you know, even if they don’t make any sense. Even if none of this gibberish made any sense just understand one thing: it doesn’t always have to. Because experiencing is more important than judging. And living is more important than merely existing. Look inside your heart, now tell me what do you feel? And ask yourself whatever you’re feeling right now, is that the last feeling you’d want to experience if you were to die the next moment? If it is, then this monotonous predication would’ve made sense. If not, then you should go down your memory lane and ponder upon all those times when the only loving companions you had were solitude and mother nature. And ask yourself how many times did you notice their presence in the absence of things and people. And how many times did you discover things that you normally never noticed.

We are all classified anomalies made up of the experiences we have. If you don’t know the answers when you’ve been seeking them too long, you’re either asking the wrong questions or looking in the wrong places. Or maybe you don’t know how long is too long? But the real question is are these questions important? Are these worth the last moment of your life? Are you asking too many questions? Like me?

NSA leak confirms Skynet is for real : But no actual evidence of Terminators as yet

Skynet, the fictional AI warfare system depicted in the Terminator movies, has over time morphed into a kind of pop-culture slang: a tongue-in-cheek shorthand for people’s misgivings over a tech-dominated, dystopian future.

But little did we know Skynet has been a real entity all along, with a new report indicating that the name is used for an actual technological surveillance program conducted under the watch of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA).

 According to an article by The Intercept, Skynet is a very real NSA security program that monitors the location and communication patterns of suspects of interest by harvesting mobile network metadata and bulk call records. The report details how journalist and long-serving Al Jazeera correspondent, Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, was targeted by the Skynet system as a suspected “courier” moving information between terrorist agents.
In leaked internal PowerPoint presentations sourced by controversial NSA whistleblower and former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, the Skynet program is defined  as a “collaborative cloud research effort… Skynet applies complex combinations of geospatial, geotemporal, pattern-of-life, and travel analytics to bulk DNR data to identify patterns of suspect activity”.
The top-secret documents – many particular details in which have been redacted – describe how the Skynet system analyses the movements and behaviours of mobile phone users to ascertain high-scoring selectors who are considered likely candidates to be terrorist couriers. In one of the slides, Al Jazeera journalist Zaidan is identified by the system as the “highest scoring selector that traveled to Peshawar and Lahore”. Underneath his picture, Zaidan is described as a member of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood who “works for Al Jazeera“.

One of the presentations, “Skynet: Courier Detection via Machine Learning”, explains how “we are looking for different people using phones in similar ways… From GSM metadata, we can measure aspects of each selector’s pattern-of-life, social network, and travel behaviour”.

Zaidan, who through the nature of his reporting work has come into contact with (and interviewed) several senior Taliban and Al Qaeda figures, including Osama bin Laden, has denied membership of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and come out criticising the covert surveillance methods that labelled him as a terrorist.

“For us to be able to inform the world, we have to be able to freely contact relevant figures in the public discourse, speak with people on the ground, and gather critical information. Any hint of government surveillance that hinders this process is a violation of press freedom and harms the public’s right to know,” he told The Intercept. “To assert that myself, or any journalist, has any affiliation with any group on account of their contact book, phone call logs, or sources is an absurd distortion of the truth and a complete violation of the profession of journalism.”

Aside from the practical implications for investigative journalists, the revelations provide yet further evidence of the ways in which stored metadata can be used against unsuspecting individuals.

But on the bright side, hey, at least this Skynet isn’t single-mindedly busying itself creating a legion of murderous T-800s hell-bent on wiping us all out, right?

Book Review Of A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is one of my most favorite authors. So when, A Thousand Splendid Suns came along, I had to read it at the earliest possible opportunity. Very similar in tone and sensibilities as The Kite Runner, this is another heart touching and impressive novel.

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The story begins with the introduction of Mariam, who is an illegitimate child and lives with her epileptic mother on the outskirts of Herat. In her sad life, the only source of joy are the weekly visits that she has from her father. She longs to abandon her home and live with her father in the city. However, due to an unfortunate turn of events, Mariam is compelled into a marriage with Rasheed, a man much older than her and is forced to settle down with him in the city of Kabul. Despite the trauma of having to live her life with a complete stranger who insists that Mariam wear burqas and hide in her room when visitors arrive, she is still hopeful of making her marriage work, especially after she becomes pregnant with his child. But as destiny has other plans, Mariam’s life becomes a living hell after a series of miscarriages and she becomes a complete prisoner in Rasheed’s home. From here, the story focuses on the life of Laila, a young and vibrant neighbor of Mariam. As Laila’s father deeply values education and empowerment of women, he brings up his daughter in a very liberal and modern manner with proper emphasis on education, ambition and opinions. In addition, Laila’s boyfriend, Tariq is also a very respectful and intelligent person who considers Laila as his equal and who enjoys going on various trips and cinemas with her. As the story progresses, Laila’s life is tragically torn apart when her entire family perishes in bombings that occurred in the country during the Soviet Union invasion. Orphaned and torn away from Tariq as well, she is forced to become the second wife of Rasheed. The growing atrocities of Rasheed and their mutual love for Laila’s children gradually unite the two women. From here the story evolves around the life of these two women and how they continue to strengthen and try to protect each other from the horrors that they are forced to endure on a daily basis. The result is a beautiful and poignant relationship that results between Mariam and Laila, just like that of a mother and daughter.

Written without excessive sentimentality, this book does not try to show the main characters as victims but as women who have immense strength and courage. It shows the indomitable spirit that women possess and the extent of sacrifice that they are willing to endure for the love and security of their family and friends. Dealing with common themes of human suffering, the immense struggle that women go through in order to live life according to their desires, the effects of war and nationhood, domestic violence and political forces that disrupt normal lives, this story is universal and are themes that can affect anyone in any part of the world. We as a nation may sometimes consider ourselves more advanced and developed than Afghanistan but the problem of inequality faced by women, natives and minorities plague almost every country. Sometimes it is so easy to judge other people and countries but in reality we are facing a similar kind of battle within our very own society. A Thousand Splendid Suns clearly demonstrates to us that unless all sections of our societies includingwomen are treated with respect and dignity, there is very little that can prevent us from breaking up into small minuscule warring units.

A book with a mind and a conscience, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story of love which can heal brokenness and pain on one hand and on the other hand cause irreparable loss and damage. So while the love of her father and Tariq helped Laila to blossom and grow, the love between Mariam and her mother only ended in tragedy because it was so flawed and damaged. The role of parents in our society is also an underlying element in this book. Because Mariam’s mother was so broken, she ended up raising a broken daughter. On the other hand, Laila’s father instilled values of education and empowerment in his daughter, so she was able to grow into a confident and empowered person. When daughters are raised in an empowered and educated family, the result is nations that can grow and prosper. As it has been rightly pointed out by the author himself, “A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated…”

I highly recommend this book and the authors’ previous, The Kite Runner. Both these books will take you on journeys that will thrill, inspire and challenge you to open your hearts in so many genuine and heartfelt ways.

About Khaled Hosseini

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Born in 1965, in Afghanistan, Khaled Hosseini is a prominent and well-known author. Currently, he has published three novels including A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, as well as And The Mountains Echoed. Released on May 22, 2007, A Thousand Splendid Suns received favorable pre-publication reviews from Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. During the first week after its release, the book sold over one million copies. In 2007, Columbia Pictures purchased the film rights for the book and has confirmed its intention to create a movie based on the novel.

In one of his interview, Khaled Hosseini revealed the inspiration behind the reason for writing a book centered on the women from Afghanistan. He said, “I had been entertaining the idea of writing a story of Afghan women for some time after I’d finished writing The Kite Runner. That first novel was a male-dominated story. All the major characters, except perhaps for Amir’s wife Soraya, were men. There was a whole facet of Afghan society which I hadn’t touched on in The Kite Runner, an entire landscape that I felt was fertile with story ideasIn the spring of 2003, I went to Kabul, and I recall seeing these burqa-clad women sitting at street corners, with four, five, six children, begging for change. I remember watching them walking in pairs up the street, trailed by their children in ragged clothes, and wondering how life had brought them to that pointI spoke to many of those women in Kabul. Their life stories were truly heartbreakingWhen I began writing A Thousand Splendid Suns, I found myself thinking about those resilient women over and over. Though no one woman that I met in Kabul inspired either Laila or Mariam, their voices, faces, and their incredible stories of survival were always with me, and a good part of my inspiration for this novel came from their collective spirit.”

Currently, Hosseini is the Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and has been providing humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through the Khaled Hosseini Foundation.The concept for the foundation was inspired by the trip to Afghanistan that Hosseini made in 2007 with UNHCR. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Roya, and their two children (Harris and Farah)
Source: Goodreads and Google

Favorite Quotes

    • “Marriage can wait, education cannot.”
    • “One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
    • “Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”
    • “Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.”
    • “A man’s heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn’t like a mother’s womb. It won’t bleed. It won’t stretch to make room for you.”
    • “I will follow you to the ends of the world.”
    • “Look at me, Mariam.’ Reluctantly, Mariam did. Nana said, ‘Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.”
    • “She is the noor of my eyes and the sultan of my heart.”
    • Though there had been moments of beauty in it Mariam knew that life for most part had been unkind to her.But as she walked the final twenty paces,she could not help but wish for more of it. She wished she could see Laila again, wished to hear the clangor of her laughto sit with her once more for a pot of chai and leftover halwa under a starlit sky. She mourned that she would never see Aziza grow up, would not see the beautiful young woman that she would one day becomewould not get to paint her hands with henna and toss noqul candy at her wedding. She would never play with Aziza’s children. She would have liked that very much , to be old and play with Aziza’s children.” Miriam wished for so much in those final moments. Yet as she closed her eyes, it was not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace that washed over her. She thought of her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last. No. It was not so bad, Miriam thought, that she should die this way. Not so bad. This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate belongings.”
    • And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion. And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them. She uprooted them and ditched them before they took hold.”
    • She understood then what Nana meant, that a harami was an unwanted thing; that she, Mariam, was an illegitimate person who would never have legitimate claim to the things other people had, things such as love, family, home, acceptance.”
    • “You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.”
    • Mariam lay on the couch, hands tucked between her knees, watched the whirlpool of snow twisting and spinning outside the window. She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she’d said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.”
    • I’m sorry,” Laila says, marveling at how every Afghan story is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on.”
    • “In the coming days and weeks, Laila would scramble frantically to commit it all to memory, what happened next. Like an art lover running out of a burning museum, she would grab whatever she could–a look, a whisper, a moan–to salvage from perishing to preserve. But time is the most unforgiving of fires, and she couldn’t, in the end, save it all.”
    • “That summer, Titanic fever gripped Kabul. People smuggled pirated copies of the film from Pakistan- sometimes in their underwear. After curfew, everyone locked their doors, turned out the lights, turned down the volume, and reaped tears for Jack and Rose and the passengers of the doomed ship. If there was electrical power, Mariam, Laila, and the children watched it too. A dozen times or more, they unearthed the TV from behind the tool-shed, late at night, with the lights out and quilts pinned over the windows. At the Kabul River, vendors moved into the parched riverbed. Soon, from the river’s sunbaked hollows, it was possible to buy Titanic carpets, and Titanic cloth, from bolts arranged in wheelbarrows. There was Titanic deodorant, Titanic toothpaste, Titanic perfume, Titanic pakora, even Titanic burqas. A particularly persistent beggar began calling himself “Titanic Beggar.” “Titanic City” was born. It’s the song, they said. No, the sea. The luxury. The ship. It’s the sex, they whispered. Leo, said Aziza sheepishly. It’s all about Leo. “Everybody wants Jack,” Laila said to Mariam. “That’s what it is. Everybody wants Jack to rescue them from disaster. But there is no Jack. Jack is not coming back. Jack is dead.”
    • She wished she could visit Mariam’s grave, to sit with her awhile, leave a flower or two. But she sees now that it doesn’t matter. Mariam is never very far…. Mariam is in her own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.”
    • “Tell your secret to the wind, but don’t blame it for telling the trees.”
    • … I have dreams of you too, Mariam jo. I miss you. I miss the sound of your voice, your laughter. I miss reading to you, and all those times we fished together. Do you remember all those times we fished together? You were a good daughter, Mariam jo, and I cannot ever think of you without feeling shame and regret. Regret… When it comes to you, Mariam jo, I have oceans of it. I regret that I did not see you the day you came to Herat. I regret that I did not open the door and take you in. I regret that I did not make you a daughter to me, that I let you live in that place for all those years. And for what? Fear of losing face? Of staining my so-called good name? How little those things matter to me now after all the loss, all the terrible things I have seen in this cursed war. But now, of course, it is too late. Perhaps that is just punishment for those who have been heartless, to understand only when nothing can be undone. Now all I can do is say that you were a good daughter, Mariam jo, and that I never deserved you. Now all I can do is ask for your forgiveness. So forgive me, Mariam jo. Forgive me, forgive me. Forgive me…”

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