Being not very familiar with fantasy or mythology, I looked up possible mythological parallels Sea/Storm marriages. Since the founding of Storm’s End is a myth-type story in WoIaF, it could be inspired by some real-world myths. Found two:

1. In Norse Mythology, Ran (Sea goddess who causes storms to collect the drowned men) married to Aegir (the benevolent sea god). Both of them dwell in magnificent halls underneath the ocean (drowned god’s watery halls?). They have nine daughters who ‘personify characters of waves’ (wikipedia).

2. In Greek Mythology, Poseidon is the sea god. His daughter Cymopoleia, is goddess of giant storm waves. She is married to Briareos, a giant in return for his allegiance to olympian gods in the war against Titans.  Judging by the wiki page most fantasy readers would already know about him. He was one of the Hekatonkheires who were children of Earth Goddes Gaia and Sky God Uranus. They were ‘figures of an archaic stage’ probably meaning they were older than olympian gods. The Hekatonkheires are said to have had a hundred hands for wielding clouds and fifty heads for blustering winds. For this, they were called Hundred-handers.aegaeon

Now we enter tinfoil regime: Connections made using a murky collage of several god myths

It might interest some that Briareos is also called Aegaeon, though I’d like to compare Cymopoleia and Briareos to Catelyn and Ned. Catleyn is a Tully, their sigil has ripples of red and blue (waves). She was married to a Northman for political advantage – although here, Ned was the one who needed Catelyn’s father’s armies (Poseidon used Briareos’s help in battle). Northmen are also considered crude and barbaric by Southerners (theirs is the Old Way). Some Northmen have greenseer blood, so these greenseers become Old Gods, by being part of trees with faces – a hundred eyes and branches can be the hundred hands. In the Ironborn belief, the Storm God was a friend of ravens. From Bran chapters in ADWD, we see the close association between greenseers are ravens. The Hundred-handers were gods of storms and hurricanes.

In Cymopoleia and Briareos, we have Wave/Sea Goddess marrying a Storm/Wind God. Similar to Elenei’s parents, but the gender roles are reversed. Elenei’s parents were the Sea God and the Wind Goddess.

Cymopoleia and Briareos also had a daughter – Oiolyca. The linked website’s description of Oiolyca:

“Oeolyca was a Haliad (Marine) Nymph daughter of the hundred-handed giant Briareos, and probably a goddess of storm-generated wave-surges. Her name means ‘Lone Wolf,’ which is perhaps a reference to the jaws of a large breaking wave generated by her parents–the storm-god Briareus and wave-goddess Kymopoleia.”

Now you see why I compared Cymopoleia and Briareos to Cat and Ned. Because their daughter Arya Stark calls herself the ‘Lone Wolf’, and from book 1, she wanted to become a water dancer. It is an easy connection to make from ‘Marine Nymph’ to water dancer, as nymphs are commonly associated with dancing (and singing, but let’s ignore it for now). The website also mentions that the belt of Hippolyta which Hercules was asked to bring (9th of the 12 labours of Hercules) actually belonged to Ooilyca. Whether true or not, the suggestion itself implies that Ooilyke was a warrior woman like Hyppolyta.

Does the Arya/Ooilyca and Ooilyca/Elenei parallel imply that there will be an Arya/Elenei parallel? Despite comparisons to Cymopoleia and Briareos, neither Ned nor Cat are gods. At most, Arya can be called a foster-daughter of the god of death. By trying fit facts to theory, I could say Arya is descended from the Warg king and greenseers, so she is in some way, the daughter of Old Gods – but so is half the Northern nobility. Old Gods + Death =/= Two Gods, but a thousand gods or more. Will she marry one of Durran’s descendants? Now that is possible, since GRRM said she’ll return to Gendry at some point. Arya and Edric Storm/Baratheon will also be a politically sound marriage, though I am less enthused about this. I’m not pitching an Arya/Gendry endgame (though I won’t complain), but it was interesting to see Elenei having similarities to someone (Oiolyca) whose name meant ‘Lone Wolf’.


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