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hmmwhatshouldmynamebe
07-05-2011, 05:53 PM
I apologize if there is a similar thread out there, after searching through I didn't find one and that's why I am posting. But if there is and I completely missed it I am sorry!

I am currently studying abroad in London. While here I am performing at the Tower of London. On the tower grounds they have these HUGE ravens. On more than one occasion various yeomen have spoken about the ravens and this is part of the myth taken from online:
"Unusually for birds of ill omen, the future of both Country and Kingdom relies upon their continued residence, for according to legend, at least six ravens must remain lest both Tower and Monarchy fall."

Now the moment I heard about the ravens at the Tower I immediately thought of The Wheel of Time. That was back in the beginning of June. As time has passed I continue to wonder if Robert Jordan had known about this myth or the Tower of London ravens when he made the Seanchan royal family emblem a raven (i.e. Matt is now the Prince of Ravens).

Also in the series the Tower of Ravens is used as a prison for members of the Blood who are questioned and executed in the Tower, right? The Tower of London was used to hold people prisoner. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, Queens and wives of King Henry VIII were beheaded there, amongst others. The other day when I said I wanted a raven as a pet a yeoman told me that I would not because these ravens are quite vicious. He went on to explain how they will go after smaller birds/prey and tear them apart with their beaks. The way he described it reminded me of the chapter where Perrin, Egwene, Elyas and the wolves are trying to escape that swarm of ravens.

Not having any of my books on me since I'm in an entirely different country I can't thumb through and read more into this or find similarity/reference points. I thought it was interesting. Is any one else out there aware of the legend of the ravens at the Tower of London or see the similarities? I'm interested to see if any one else agrees with me on this or maybe I have just spent too much time at the Tower. haha. Let me know!

Davian93
07-05-2011, 06:06 PM
The Tower Ravens are a pretty famous bunch...its very very likely that RJ was indeed aware of the story.


I remember the same tour/yeoman story from my visits to the Tower.


BTW, Welcome to Theoryland! I pretty much assumed I'd be deleting spam when I clicked on this thread and was pleasantly surprised it was a real post.

hmmwhatshouldmynamebe
07-06-2011, 02:15 AM
Ahh, since I am from across the Pond I had not heard of the Tower Ravens until arriving here and being in the Tower. I was amused that when I first heard them my immediate thought was Wheel of Time and thought to myself, "Wow. I am such a book nerd." That is why I was curious to see if any one else made this random connection. The space we are performing on is near the ravens so we get to see them every day.

And thanks! I started in December, but hardly get to go on here during the school year since I am pretty busy with classes, work, and being involved in shows at my university. It's also probably the name that made you think it was spam.. it's not very good. When I first signed on I was too excited to post something and read other peoples theories that my creativity was rather lacking.

greatwolf
07-06-2011, 04:58 AM
Hmm. Interesting this. Maybe more foreshadowing for Moridin holding prisoners in the Tower. Maybe.

E: the wiki article on it is also quite interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_London

Zombie Sammael
07-06-2011, 06:24 AM
Come to think of it, there are actually lots of parallels between the Seanchan and imperialist Britain - the Ravens thing, the colonialism, the rigid class structure, etc. I think RJ said they were based more upon East Asian influences, but there are definitely parallels. I wonder if we'll get a mention of a specific number of ravens at some point in the series a la the six of the Tower? (two seems the most common at this point)

The raven as a symbol is interesting because it's undergone a transition over the course of the series from being a symbol of the Shadow and the Dark One to being a symbol of the Seanchan, who despite some pretty despicable practices fairly clearly follow the Light, for the most part. Either it means the Seanchan are actually pawns of the Shadow, or the Raven symbol represents a different kind of darkness.

nameless
07-06-2011, 11:58 AM
I never thought of it before, but it could be Ishamael's influence that make Luther decide to pick out the raven as his empire's sigil. No one in Seanchan believes in Shadoweyes, so there's nothing to stop ravens from moving freely through every corner of the empire. Of course, you'd need a Fade or a dreadlord to actually turn the ravens into spies in the first place, and I don't think there are any Fades on that continent...

Davian93
07-06-2011, 12:07 PM
I never thought of it before, but it could be Ishamael's influence that make Luther decide to pick out the raven as his empire's sigil. No one in Seanchan believes in Shadoweyes, so there's nothing to stop ravens from moving freely through every corner of the empire. Of course, you'd need a Fade or a dreadlord to actually turn the ravens into spies in the first place, and I don't think there are any Fades on that continent...

Its a very very interesting thought actually. If we couple it with the Seanchan being the "Doom yet to come" shadow prophecy that is mentioned in TGH, it adds a bit more to the kettle.

There aren't any Trollocs on Seanchan per the Seanchan themselves comments but there may be Fades. Afterall, there are definitly Darkfriends so they must report to someone. As far as I know there are no limits on a Fade's ability to travel on the edges of Shadows other than there being Shadows present.

hmmwhatshouldmynamebe
07-07-2011, 11:16 AM
greatwolf -- what about the wiki article did you specifically find interesting? Or is it the whole thing?

One part I found interesting, which I already knew, but the Tower of London was used to hold high-status individuals. The Tower of Ravens holds members of the Blood (high-status).

Zombie Sammael -- I think that would be cool to get a specific mention number of ravens. I also agree about the raven as a symbol. Originally they were like the dark ones spies. And when they used the symbol of a raven at the beginning of the chapters there were usually dark friends involved in that chapter. The fact that the raven is a symbol of the Seanchan is what made me think about whether there might be some correlation between the Tower Ravens and WoT. It would be great to find out in the final book why the Seanchan emblem is a raven.

Davian93 -- that prophecy you mentioned. is that the one that included the Tower of Ravens falling?

Our show got canceled after 2 scenes due to rain so I had time to sit and do brief online browsing. And well I came across this. I find it intriguing... One of the Celtic deities, Bran (Irish), is represented by the raven in Celtic lore. "Bran is credited with prophetic powers and, like a raven, holds the gift of being far sighted. He is also said to watch over the bard and ovate offering guidance when needed. His severed head is said to reside under the Tower of London protecting the kingdom from invasion, and for that reason the ravens at the tower have their wings clipped to stop them from leaving. Arthur once dug up the head claiming that he was the sole guardian of the realm only to find the saxons began their raids, hence the Pendragon promptly replaced Bran's head to it's rightful resting place before restoring order to the land."taken from http://www.fortunecity.com/bally/wicklow/283/celticdeities.htm

In the WoT I always though that Artur Paendrag was an allusion to Arthur Pendragon, the King of the Britons. It was Paendrag's relatives who went across the Aryth Ocean to Seandar, yes? I'm not saying that this is any way correlated or making some outlandish jump to conclusion. The reason I think it is interesting is because Arthur Pendragon dug up Bran's head (who is symbolized by the ravens) and Paendrag house (and by House I mean Seanchan) uses the emblem of a raven. They could be in no way related, but I thought it was interesting.

Zombie Sammael
07-07-2011, 12:30 PM
Of course, Odin had two ravens as spies and counsellors; their names were Huginin and Mugininininin or something like that. :-P There are plenty of parallels between Mat and Odin, but also some between Odin and the Dark One. Both Odin and the DO are Gods of strife and war. The Dark One is said to ride in the wild hunt, something which is also associated with Wotan (southern Odin), and with Father Christmas in a weird way, who is actually descended from Odin. So Odin is both Mat and the DO, and Mat is said to have the Dark One's own luck. Very interesting.

If Terez was here, she'd no doubt tell us all that it's all been discussed before and to go to 13th Depository. I typically find searching 13th Depository a pain in the ass so I don't do it, but if someone is inclined to no doubt there is some more interesting stuff over there.

Davian93
07-07-2011, 12:36 PM
Of course, Odin had two ravens as spies and counsellors; their names were Huginin and Mugininininin or something like that. :-P There are plenty of parallels between Mat and Odin, but also some between Odin and the Dark One. Both Odin and the DO are Gods of strife and war. The Dark One is said to ride in the wild hunt, something which is also associated with Wotan (southern Odin), and with Father Christmas in a weird way, who is actually descended from Odin. So Odin is both Mat and the DO, and Mat is said to have the Dark One's own luck. Very interesting.

If Terez was here, she'd no doubt tell us all that it's all been discussed before and to go to 13th Depository. I typically find searching 13th Depository a pain in the ass so I don't do it, but if someone is inclined to no doubt there is some more interesting stuff over there.

FWIW, it HAS all been discussed before...but then we've been around for well over a decade so that's to be expected.

Its fun to watch you all discuss it anew though.

Zombie Sammael
07-07-2011, 12:39 PM
FWIW, it HAS all been discussed before...but then we've been around for well over a decade so that's to be expected.

Its fun to watch you all discuss it anew though.

Just because a topic has been discussed doesn't mean it's been exhausted. :)

Davian93
07-07-2011, 12:43 PM
Just because a topic has been discussed doesn't mean it's been exhausted. :)

I completely agree. Please carry on with the discussion as its enjoyable to read.