July 2021 – Direwolves

Welcome to July’s Diary entry! Summer is in full swing but the direwolves are doing just fine, as House Stark is getting a good update.

The Direwolves

While all main characters of House Stark have were uploaded a long time ago now it’s time for the secondary characters we didn’t get to meet on the page. Lyanna’s leitmotif (fig.a) has been

Fig. a – Lyanna Stark

Arya’s and Jon’s leitmotifs have also have gotten a small but necessary facelift, but Ned’s one has been substantially rearranged. This is because as part of the first batch of leitmotifs uploaded to the website, Ned’s was a medley of many Starks leitmotifs all combined into one. Now that almost all the Starks have their own leitmotifs it was about time that Ned had his arranged properly.

Fig. b – Eddard Stark

Wolfs Blood

“Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. ‘The wolf blood,’ my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave.” Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. “Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her.”

ARYA II, A Game of Thrones

As Ned tells Arya, the Wolf Blood is a wilderness that some Stark have inside them and it is shared by Brandon, Lyanna, and Arya… and my intuition says that perhaps Jon as well, so I added him to the list. But first, in order to understand the Wolf Blood we need to understand how members of House Stark get their leitmotifs.

Every single member of House Stark uses a pentatonic scale build using thirds: there are 8 pentatonic scales in total, 4 major and 4 minor, and they form the basis of all the music played in the North. (more info on these scales in the Northmen music page). But there is something unique about the first 2 major pentatonic scales, as by looking at the diagram below (fig. c) we observe that the interval between the lowest and highest note of the scale is a major 7th, known in all of Westeros as the Wolf’s Howling (fig. d), a sound associated with House Stark since the Age of Heroes.

Fig. c – The Pentatonic Scales of the Northmen.
Fig. d – The Wolf’s Howling

While any member of House Stark can be recognized by this upwards jump there is further distinction to be made if we look again at the diagram of Northern Scales. Only one note is different between the two scales, but one note is all it takes, as Ned, Robb, Sansa, and Bran all make use of the 1st scale, while Brandon, Lyanna, Arya and Jon make use of the second scale. The Wolf Blood represented by this unique note (dark blue) plays a big role in the leitmotifs of these characters.

Fig. e – Lyanna Stark
Fig. f – Arya Stark
Fig. g – Jon Snow

That’s all for this month. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to see you next month!

Maester Ludwig

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