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The Old Gods - The Gods of Ice and Fire (Long Theory)


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#1 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 03:29 AM

This theory started out as a result of a small comment of mine on yolkboy's S+B = M thread. My thanks to yolkboy for his kind review as well. :)

 

 

The Old Gods – The Gods of Ice and Fire

 

This theory is about the weirwoods, the Old Gods of the North. The general perception about the weirwoods is that they are considered to be sacred by the Northerners (descendants of First Men to be precise) and are thus related to the element of Ice. In this theory I propose that they’re indeed true gods (or the closest we have in the ASOIAF universe), who actually promptly signify the union of Ice and Fire.

 

A song of Ice and Fire series has abundant symbolism related to Ice and Fire. Ice and Fire symbolism is part of many prophecies like “Azor Ahai Reborn”, or “The Prince that was Promised” whose is the song of Ice and Fire. I’m aware of people having the opinion that there might be no Gods per se in the ASOIAF universe, but magic exists as a natural force. My stance is, that the Old Gods aren’t like your conventional gods either, they are not supernatural beings; they’re near immortal trees that have preserved the knowledge of eons past.  This is an animistic religion, where one in many Greenseers is said to have the ability to ascend to the God status, or is rather chosen to do so.

 

 

“It is given to a few to drink of that green fountain whilst still in mortal flesh, to hear the whisperings of the leaves and see as the trees see, as the gods see,” said Jojen. “Most are not so blessed.” – Jojen, A Dance with Dragons

 

The Old Gods are not eternal beings, they’ve become what they are owing to their mastery of skinchanging, which is a gift from the nature itself. Their ascension into this God status apparently involves skinchanging a weirwood, which is central to this religion (more on weirwoods later).

 

 

It was said that the children of the forest had carved the faces in the trees during the dawn centuries before the coming of the First Men across the narrow sea.   – Luwin, A Game of Thrones

 

Their gods were the gods of the forest, stream, and stone, the old gods whose names are secret. Their wise men were called Greenseers, and carved strange faces in the weirwoods to keep watch on the wood.   – Luwin, A Game of Thrones

 

 

Weirwoods are the eyes of the old gods. As is seen in Bran’s chapters in ADwD, a Greenseer unites with a weirwood and through earth can see through other weirwoods as well. So the old gods are not divine beings, a Greenseer is only given reign over the entire network of weirwoods and can keep watch across space and as well as time.

 

The First Men believed that the Greenseers could see through the eyes of the weirwoods. That was why they cut down the trees whenever they warred upon the children. Supposedly the Greenseers also had power over the beasts of the wood and the birds in the trees.    – Luwin, A Clash of Kings

 

 

 These weirwoods are the Gods of CotF also, who as far as we know, were very strong in magic.

 

 

Jon said, "My lord father believed no man could tell a lie in front of a heart tree. The old gods know when men are lying."    - Jon, A Clash of Kings

 

This belief likely comes from the fact that the old gods are always watching, and know truth form false because their knowledge transcends space and time, they’re omniscient.

The magical elements in this series are rooted in two elements for the most part – Fire and Ice. Together they can make water, making its treatment as a separate element redundant.  Earth and Wind are less like elements and more like media through which this magic is channelized.

 

Another point I’m making is that Ice and Fire despite being opposite in nature are not necessarily at war. Their interplay together is what creates magic and order in the nature. It is this interplay for example that makes water.  It is not one against the other, both are necessary to keep the order of nature. The power comes from balance of the opposites.

 

One final point before I come to the main conjecture – it has been hinted throughout the series, mainly by Varys, that knowledge can exercise much more power than any other tangible means. Weirwoods are supposed to be millennia old, and through them the Greenseers can tap to knowledge lost over the eons, giving them a position of supreme authority and power. This coupled with the skinchanging abilities of the Greenseers essentially makes them a force in their own regard.

 

 

Maesters will tell you that the weirwoods are sacred to the old gods. The singers believe they are the old gods. When singers die they become part of that godhood.   – Jojen, A Dance with the Dragons

 

 What I’m trying to get at is that it is their unparalleled knowledge that CotF used to believe that they’re as good as Gods. This is not the only instance where we see belief indeed can bestow upon you magical powers. Another instance is when someone asserts that there is power in “King’s Blood”, where even though there may not be a legitimate way to decide on what King’s Blood is, a proclamation as King carries a kind of magical credence.

The main conjecture of my theory is that the Northern Old Gods are the only true gods in this universe, or the closest we are like to get or are yet revealed. They’re not supreme supernatural beings that have existed before the beginning of time who warrant their own theological explanations. They’re living beings selected by nature itself who were given the gift of greensight, and now are intertwined with the nature beyond in ways and means beyond the  scope of mortals. The reason of this is that they’re very close; actually akin to and true embodiment of the Ice and Fire symbolism.

 

 

The weirwood's bark was white as bone, its leaves dark red, like a thousand bloodstained hands. A face had been carved in the trunk of the great tree, its features long and melancholy, the deep-cut eyes red with dried sap and strangely watchful. They were old, those eyes; older than Winterfell itself.”     -  Catelyn, A Game of Thrones

 

 

So the first thing to notice is that the Weirwoods have white (as Ice) bark and red (as Fire) leaves. This symbolism for colour is very strong, seeing that White Walkers, who symbolize Ice, are associated with white as well. The Red Priests have the clear association to the color red and Fire.

 

The association of weirwood’s leaves to flame red is made more apparent in the following quote.

 

 

“The red leaves of the weirwood were a blaze of flame among the green. “   - Theon, A Clash of Kings

 

There is another quote which I will relate to this symbolism of ice and fire.

 

"I beg to differ. Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities." – Tyrion, A Game of Thrones

 

Fire consumes, while ice preserves. A weirwood signifies both death and life. The greenseer that merges with the weirwood is not truly alive, not in its conventional sense, yet there is finality to its condition, a sense of permanent constancy. And even so it lives on fully conscious of its surroundings. This is the same with ice and fire, fire is alive and shifting, while ice is frozen, final, stable. A weirwood is both.

 

 

One thing that a sceptic may assert is that weirwoods don’t truly associate to fire, as the Andals and First Men burned many of them. I’m not asserting the weirwoods are infallible because of their connection to ice and fire. Think of them as elves in Tolkien’s universe, immortal, but they can be killed. Another thing, when weirwoods die they pass on to become earth, or stone; which is impervious to both ice and fire.

 

Continued in second post......


Edited by Arya kiddin', 31 October 2013 - 12:21 AM.


#2 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 03:30 AM

........ continued from the first post

 

And now the part where I have to explain how these weirwoods get this supernatural power. I believe the power is in blood magic.

 

 

"It is not a matter of gold or horses. This is bloodmagic, lady. Only death may pay for life." – Mirri Maz Duur, AGoT

 

 

I believe that the ultimate magic of weirwoods is rooted in blood magic. Blood sacrifice is essential to finally ascend to the Old God status. The power of life, a gift from nature itself is what powers this arrangement. And there are instances that prove the power of blood magic, I believe the dragons returning to the world was the result of MMD’s blood magic itself. And we have reason to believe that blood sacrifice to the Old Gods used to be practiced. And notice that blood is generally associated with the fire element; this is where fire enters weirwood.

 

 

Spoiler

 

Another instance is the sacrifice that Bran witnesses in his dream.

 

Spoiler

 

Also

Spoiler

 

 

This red blood is very much like the red sap that weirwoods have, and seem to be bleeding. (Full account of weeping blood is discussed in R+L = J thread, and S+B = M thread).

 

 

As a final nod to this theory, I will discuss about Bloodraven, Jon Snow and Melisandre. Both BR and Jon are the descendants of both First Men and Valyrians, and symbolize the union of ice and fire (I’m assuming R+L=J to be true). Here is the description of Bloodraven as given in the books.

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Bloodraven actually looks exactly like a weirwood. Skin pale as bone is something that can be associated to weirwoods pale bark. And when a face is carved on a weirwood, the red sap makes the eyes look red. We don’t know why Bloodraven went to the wall, or how did he found that COtF cave, but I think it is not too far-fetched to assume that Bloodraven was chosen to be an Old God, just like Bran. And that is why he made the journey to that cave. 

Now if you’re a believer of R+L=J theory, then another clue to us is provided by Ghost. The direwolves share a special connection to their owners, and their emulation to their owner’s nature is manifested in their own. Ghost’s looks are described in ASoS like this:

 

 

Red eyes, Jon realized, but not like Melisandre's. He had a weirwood's eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one.

 

We see that Jon, like Bloodraven is the union of ice and fire, and this is clearly perceived in the appearance of his direwolf, white and red, like ice and fire, like a weirwood.

 

 

Melisandre:

 

Spoiler

 

Melisandre and Ghost’s eyes are thus again comparable to the weirwoods leading further credence to this theory.

 

Final crackpot about Ghost of High Heart from none other than Ran and Linda:

 

Spoiler

 

So everyone associated with fire and ice backgrounds shows uncanny resemblance to weirwoods.

 

Conclusion:

 

The Old Gods of the north embodied in the weirwoods are actually powerful magical beings on par with gods, as they signify the union of ice and fire. Their power is rooted in blood sacrifice, which is the power of life; a gift from nature itself manifested as magic. They are not supernatural deities outside of nature, or are creators of the universe; they are beings that command power as they can tap to an unlimited pool of knowledge for eons past. This knowledge is not fickle foreboding of Rh'llor's priests that may never come to pass, or may be interpreted wrongly. This is the collective conscience and knowledge of the nature preserved supposedly since the Dawn.

 

Thanks for the long read, it grew in the telling. Any comments, suggestions, criticisms are welcome. :)

The post was too long for a single post so I had to break it into two. :)


Edited by Arya kiddin', 31 October 2013 - 12:21 AM.


#3 Silent Ghost

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 04:23 AM

So how do they act. They'll see and notice everything, but are they actually capable of intervening in the real world?



#4 Blackfyre demon

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 04:56 AM

If you mean by they the weirwoods, I don't think they will.

 

But should you mean Bran or Bloodraven looking through the tree that might work,

if I understood it correctly it should be possible to warg from the weirwood into a nearby animal,

send them dreams or a sudden strange sensation or what not.



#5 Myrish Swamp Thing

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:05 AM

You do realize this will encourage more Northern Master Race stuff...



#6 Blackfyre demon

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:24 AM

They have skinchangers...

 

But yeah I might have made a big mistake in that previous post



#7 Ibbison from Ibben

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:30 AM

From what I understand, GRRM has stated we won't be seeing any actual gods in the series. The concensus opinion seems to be that no gods actually exist; magic exists, and its effects are mistaken for various gods. I personally subscribe to this interpretation.

 

We should also remember that the weirwoods and the religion connected with them are linked to the CotF, who sing the song of Earth, not Ice or Fire.



#8 yolkboy

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 07:40 AM

A very thorough analysis, Arya kiddin'. You've done well to show associations of weirwoods to ice and fire. And it is strange they turn into stone which is a neutral to both. The links with red eyes is interesting, as we only have five red eyes in the series...

 

Weirwoods

BR (old gods)

Mel (fire God)

Ghost (warg host)

Ghost of HH (possible hybrid CotF/human)

 

All of them have white skin in common as well.

 

I certainly agree the greenseers have an advantage with their 'magic', they can see the past present and future and as such are omniscient.

 

The passage about blood sacrifice in aDwD was surprising, for those who thought the Old God's was a peaceful religion. It was revelatory. Your notion of blood magic providing the weirwoods with their supernatural 'power' is a new and interesting one. I would add that it's perhaps the blood of the weirwoods (sap) that's used to give Bran his superpowers - weirwood paste contains seeds and possibly sap too. This accelerates his greenseeing abilities.

 

 

She had a weirwood bowl in her hands, carved with a dozen faces, like the ones the heart trees wore. Inside was a white paste, thick and heavy, with dark red veins running through it.

(dark red veins is used to describe weirwoods as well ie. where the sap/blood is).


Edited by yolkboy, 30 October 2013 - 07:45 AM.


#9 Leap

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:57 AM

Loved it. Great read.

 

I have a few questions but I'd like to think on them a little more before I put them out there...



#10 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

Mel said the wall makes her stronger so I think thats another hint that ice and fire are connected.



#11 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:54 PM

So how do they act. They'll see and notice everything, but are they actually capable of intervening in the real world?

 

How do Gods act in your opinion? How do they intervene in our world? Your question is not quite clear to me, forgive me.

 

If you mean by they the weirwoods, I don't think they will.

 

But should you mean Bran or Bloodraven looking through the tree that might work,

if I understood it correctly it should be possible to warg from the weirwood into a nearby animal,

send them dreams or a sudden strange sensation or what not.

 

The weirwoods themselves are media, it's through merging with them that the greenseer will ascend to the status of a God. Though I agree with what you're saying in the general sense.



#12 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

You do realize this will encourage more Northern Master Race stuff...

 

Technically speaking, weirwoods used to be present in all of Westeros before the wars with First Men and Andals. It is only now that are only left in the North. They have old magic, magic rooted in ice and fire. :)

 

 

From what I understand, GRRM has stated we won't be seeing any actual gods in the series. The concensus opinion seems to be that no gods actually exist; magic exists, and its effects are mistaken for various gods. I personally subscribe to this interpretation.

 

We should also remember that the weirwoods and the religion connected with them are linked to the CotF, who sing the song of Earth, not Ice or Fire.

 

The statement you make is agreeable, and I've adressed both these points inmy post above.

 

I’m aware of people having the opinion that there might be no Gods per se in the ASOIAF universe, but magic exists as a natural force. My stance is, that the Old Gods aren’t like your conventional gods either, they are not supernatural beings; they’re near immortal trees that have preserved the knowledge of eons past.  This is an animistic religion, where one in many Greenseers is said to have the ability to ascend to the God status, or is rather chosen to do so.

 

 

 

One thing that a sceptic may assert is that weirwoods don’t truly associate to fire, as the Andals and First Men burned many of them. I’m not asserting the weirwoods are infallible because of their connection to ice and fire. Think of them as elves in Tolkien’s universe, immortal, but they can be killed. Another thing, when weirwoods die they pass on to become earth, or stone; which is impervious to both ice and fire.

 

 

:)



#13 Mladen

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:08 PM

As much as this is well thought and beautifully written and presented, entire theory falls like house of cards because of the wrong premise. Simply, there is no "One true God" of ASOIAF... And given that, although this is great work, for me it's simply NO...

 

In one of very inspiring conversations I had with Bran Vras regarding philosophy of fire in ASOIAF, he pointed out several striking parallels between practices Old Gods and R'hllorism (here's link). So, perhaps there was some sort of "patient zero" of deities in ASOAIF, but I honestly don't believe in One true God idea. Simply, I think the things don't work that way...



#14 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:19 PM

A very thorough analysis, Arya kiddin'. You've done well to show associations of weirwoods to ice and fire. And it is strange they turn into stone which is a neutral to both. The links with red eyes is interesting, as we only have five red eyes in the series...

 

Weirwoods

BR (old gods)

Mel (fire God)

Ghost (warg host)

Ghost of HH (possible hybrid CotF/human)

 

All of them have white skin in common as well.

 

I certainly agree the greenseers have an advantage with their 'magic', they can see the past present and future and as such are omniscient.

 

The passage about blood sacrifice in aDwD was surprising, for those who thought the Old God's was a peaceful religion. It was revelatory. Your notion of blood magic providing the weirwoods with their supernatural 'power' is a new and interesting one. I would add that it's perhaps the blood of the weirwoods (sap) that's used to give Bran his superpowers - weirwood paste contains seeds and possibly sap too. This accelerates his greenseeing abilities.

 

(dark red veins is used to describe weirwoods as well ie. where the sap/blood is).

 

 

Many thanks yolkboy, for all the inputs you gave for this. The pale skin and red eyes part is striking indeed, all the characters described to have one boast both Valyrian and First Men descent, that's where I found the main clue. The blood of the weirwood part is good, because I think the sap is actually blood that was sacrificed to the weirnet, by first Men or CotF I do not know. And that dark red veins part lnds further credence to it.

 

 

Loved it. Great read.

 

I have a few questions but I'd like to think on them a little more before I put them out there...

 

Thanks Leap!! Shoot away all the questions you have. :D

 

Mel said the wall makes her stronger so I think thats another hint that ice and fire are connected.

 

Good point Queen Alysanne. many have suspected that the magic of the wall comes from Blood magic only, just like the hammer of waters. :)



#15 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:31 PM

snip

 

I see Mladen. I believe I adressed each of these points in my post above, but let's discuss them again for more clarity. (And thanks for the well thought out, beautifully written part. :) )

 

Simply, there is no "One true God" of ASOIAF... And given that, although this is great work, for me it's simply NO...

 

 

I have steered away from the concept of "one true god" in this entire theory. Gods are generally super natural beings, not bound by the laws of nature, they exist outside it. Greenseers/Old Gods are not conventional gods, they exist within the (for the lack of a better word) framework of the nature. I'm not stating that they stand beyond the edge of the world and command the fates of all beings and unfolding of time, simply that they are magically powerful beings, who derive their power from blood magic and are deeply related to the symbolism of ice and fire.
 

 

1. In both religions sacrifice is offered. With Old Gods it is in front of weirwood tree, and in R'hllorian cult it is in fires.

2. Greenseers see through trees as fire priests see in flames

3. First Men, most Northerners bury their dead under the weirwood trees and R'hllorians burn their dead surrendering to their God.

 

 

The above points come from Bran Vras as you pointed out.

 

1. Sacrifice, blood, the power of life is the source of magic, is what I have been asserting all the while. Maybe I shouldn't use the term God up there but I made it clear that the term is not used conventionally. :) This way I believe, the magic comes from something nature manifests itself, rather than the intervention of a deity outside it.

 

2. Greenseers see "truth" through the flames. Rh'llorian priests see "visions" and foreboding. The past is set in stone, the fiture i uncertain. Old Gods have true firm knowledge, Rh'llorian priests have forebodings that can be changed (The whole point of seeing future is that) . I truly believe what Rh'llorians have doesn't count as "knowledge" as it is something that may not happen at all.

 

3. This ritualistic similarity does exist.

 

No point of Bran Vras has been contradicted in my theory Mladen. Also now let me outline the main difference between Rh'llorian cult and Old Gods. Rh'llorians believe in the presence of two deities, one good, one bad, both at eternal war since the dawn of time; Old Gods harness the power of the realm of nature itself, it is an animistic religion. You tell me which religion makes more sense to you. :)

 

 

PS: I've edited the Conclusion slightly so it is less likely to be confused now. :)


Edited by Arya kiddin', 30 October 2013 - 01:41 PM.


#16 Mladen

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:47 PM

I see Mladen. I believe I adressed each of these points in my post above, but let's discuss them again for more clarity. (And thanks for the well thought out, beautifully written part. :) )

 

You deserve praises... I think there is no need for more clarity, but I will indulge you...
 

 

I have steered away from the concept of "one true god" in this entire theory. Gods are generally super natural beings, not bound by the laws of nature, they exist outside it. Greenseers/Old Gods are not conventional gods, they exist within the (forthe lack of a better word) framework of the nature. I'm not stating that they stand beyond the edge of the world and command the fates of all beings and unfolding of time, simply that they are magically powerful beings, who derive their power from blood magic and are deeply related to the symbolism of ice and fire.

 

Yes, you have steered the concept of Gods, but you remained loyal to the concept of "One true God". No matter how you call it, alien, supernatural being, God etc. My problem is not within the concept of God, it's in the idea of One true God.
 

 

2. Greenseers see "truth" through the flames. Rh'llorian priests see "visions" and foreboding. The past is set in stone, the fiture i uncertain. Old Gods have true firm knowledge, Rh'llorian priests have forebodings that can be changed (The whole point of seeing future is that) . I truly believe what Rh'llorians have doesn't count as "knowledge" as it is something that may not happen at all.

 

 

Actually wrong. R'hllorian priests also see the eminent future, but they can misinterpret it. Just like we might see with Bran. He might be watching something he doesn't understand. All Melisandre's visions came to fruition, but not how she interpreted them. I have spoken about this for million times, people need to distinguish prophecy/vision and interpretation. Melisandre certainly saw future in the flames, but she misinterpreted it.

 

No point of Bran Vras has been contradicted in my theory Mladen

 

I have not say it does. But, given the fact that Red priests do preform magical rituals, can we say for certainty that only greenseers are the true deities or true power or whatever you call it.
 

 

Also now let me outline the main difference between Rh'llorian cult and Old Gods. Rh'llorians believe in the presence of two deities, one good, one bad, both at eternal war since the dawn of time; Old Gods harness the power of the realm of nature itself, it is an animistic religion. You tell me which religion makes more sense to you. :)

 

Neither, and both... You want to play Crusade war here... Fine, but the idea is simply wrong. As GRRM told us, there is no one true deity or source of power in ASOIAF, and no matter how much anyone prays, Gods will remain silent. I think you had nice idea and logically this is a good work, but your starting point is wrong so, entire thing is basically compromised by that...



#17 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:07 PM

 

You deserve praises... I think there is no need for more clarity, but I will indulge you...
 

 

Yes, you have steered the concept of Gods, but you remained loyal to the concept of "One true God". No matter how you call it, alien, supernatural being, God etc. My problem is not within the concept of God, it's in the idea of One true God.

 

I still say that I haven't, when I clearly have written the following quote in the theory as well. I should bold that too. ;)

 

The main conjecture of my theory is that the Northern Old Gods are the only true gods in this universe, or the closest we are like to get or are yet revealed.

 

 

Or are as yet revealed...  (Forgot the "as", but never mind)

 

Rh'llorism may indeed come out as a religion based on both ice and fire. The point for me to put out this theory was to bring to notice the fact that weirwoods actually embody both ice and fire, which I believe are the two fundamental elements in this unierse whose interplay is necessary to give magic. If the same can be said about Rh'llor, (if this is revealed in the future volumes)  so be it. The theory is far from complete and I'd like to amend it, I knew the ground was shaky when I treaded the true gods part. :)

 

Actually wrong. R'hllorian priests also see the eminent future, but they can misinterpret it. Just like we might see with Bran. He might be watching something he doesn't understand. All Melisandre's visions came to fruition, but not how she interpreted them. I have spoken about this for million times, people need to distinguish prophecy/vision and interpretation. Melisandre certainly saw future in the flames, but she misinterpreted it.

 

 

I'm reading Cloud Atlas right now. The kid Javier asks Luisa - If you could see the future, would you?  She answers, only if I can change it. (short version) Kid - What if you could avoid a calamity by doing that? She - What if trying to avoid the calamity actually triggered it. So  the basic question remains, can the future be changed, or is it fixed? If it is fixed, then what can Mel hope to accomplish by looking into it, and why does she not see it so clearly? If it is not, then again, it is not knowledge in its truest sense.

 

I have not say it does. But, given the fact that Red priests do preform magical rituals, can we say for certainty that only greenseers are the true deities or true power or whatever you call it.

 

 

I haven't given enough thought to Rh'llorism in my theory as I was a little fixated on Old Gods. I still believe we have too little information to decide whether:

  1. The magic in that religion is based solely on fire or not. A hint- Shadow is the child of fire, they co-exist, yet shadow belongs to darkness as well. Ice and Fire at interplay agan.
  2. How do they attain the magic - what does the training of such a priest consists of?

So unless we have that information, we shouldn't comment, it may as well come under the same umbrella of  "ice and fire" ; for now, we can't say.

 

 

Neither, and both... You want to play Crusade war here... Fine, but the idea is simply wrong. As GRRM told us, there is no one true deity or source of power in ASOIAF, and no matter how much anyone prays, Gods will remain silent. I think you had nice idea and logically this is a good work, but your starting point is wrong so, entire thing is basically compromised by that...

 

 

The source of power is life itself, blood itself, is what I assert. Not a deity, not a god. Just good old ice and fire. :(


Edited by Arya kiddin', 30 October 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#18 Mladen

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:23 PM

 

I still say that I haven't, when I clearly have written the following quote in the theory as well. I should bold that too. ;)

 

I just think that main conjecture or the main idea about one true God is simply wrong... But, given that you have gone in many directions here, we can discuss one thing - weirwoods representing both fire and ice...

 

Rh'llorism may indeed come out as a religion based on both ice and fire. The point for me to put out this theory was to bring to notice the fact that weirwoods actually embody both ice and fire, which I believe are the two fundamental elements in this unierse whose interplay is necessary to give magic. If the same can be said about Rh'llor, (if this is revealed in the future volumes)  so be it. The theory is far from complete and I'd like to amend it, I knew the ground was shaky when I treaded the true gods part. :)

 

Given that I am currently studying philosophical and religious symbolism of fire for my next project, plus the R'hllorism as religion founded on the principle of two conflicting deities, with RL parallels with Zoroastrianism, I know thing or two about these things. I actually think that R'hllorian faith is based on two fundamental elements - ice and fire, only in conflicting way, and we don't need future volumes for that conclusion - there is entire Melisandre's speech with Davos in ASOS to find that out. We are not certain about weirwoods. I like color schematics as interpretation of that... Here is my chain of thoughts regarding that

 

Weirwoods --- BloodRaven --- Ghost --- Jon --- R+L=J --- PTWP --- song of ice and fire

 

I think this is very simple and understandable chain of thoughts regarding ASOIAF and philosophy of the elements in the books.

 

So  the basic question remains, can the future be changed, or is it fixed? If it is fixed, then what can Mel hope to accomplish by looking into it, and why does she not see it so clearly? If it is not, then again, it is not knowledge in its truest sense.

 

I do believe that Martin works on principle "what is prophesied must happen", with addition that interpretation and prophecy/fulfillment are 2 different things. Remember Melisandre saw Renly beating Stannis at Blackwater, and it did happen. Only, that Renly was actually Garlan in his armor.

 

I haven't given enough thought to Rh'llorism in my theory as I was a little fixated on Old Gods. I still believe we have too little information to decide whether:

  1. The magic in that religion is based solely on fire or not. A hint- Shadow is the child of fire, they co-exist, yet shadow belongs to darkness as well. Ice and Fire at interplay agan.
  2. How do they attain the magic - what does the training of such a priest consists of?

So unless we have that information, we shouldn't comment, it may as well come under the same umbrella of  "ice and fire" ; for now, we can't say.

 

If we have little information about R'hllorism, then we absolutely have none about Old Gods... We know far more about R'hllorism than we currently know about Old Gods.



#19 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:42 PM

 

I just think that main conjecture or the main idea about one true God is simply wrong... But, given that you have gone in many directions here, we can discuss one thing - weirwoods representing both fire and ice...

 

 

Given that I am currently studying philosophical and religious symbolism of fire for my next project, plus the R'hllorism as religion founded on the principle of two conflicting deities, with RL parallels with Zoroastrianism, I know thing or two about these things. I actually think that R'hllorian faith is based on two fundamental elements - ice and fire, only in conflicting way, and we don't need future volumes for that conclusion - there is entire Melisandre's speech with Davos in ASOS to find that out. We are not certain about weirwoods. I like color schematics as interpretation of that... Here is my chain of thoughts regarding that

 

Weirwoods --- BloodRaven --- Ghost --- Jon --- R+L=J --- PTWP --- song of ice and fire

 

I think this is very simple and understandable chain of thoughts regarding ASOIAF and philosophy of the elements in the books.

 

 

I do believe that Martin works on principle "what is prophesied must happen", with addition that interpretation and prophecy/fulfillment are 2 different things. Remember Melisandre saw Renly beating Stannis at Blackwater, and it did happen. Only, that Renly was actually Garlan in his armor.

 

 

If we have little information about R'hllorism, then we absolutely have none about Old Gods... We know far more about R'hllorism than we currently know about Old Gods.

 

Glad we can agree finally (even if a little). Mel's speech to Davos is what I quoted up there (rather roughly), I see you strongly believe in Rh'llorism = Both ice and fire as well. Good, because, it can help us shape the hypothesis: That the true source of magic is the interplay of ice and fire.

 

The chain you give is a good way to think of how the series will turn out. It can be however misinterpreted, as I believe the song, the balnce, the interplay is something that preceeds all of this. So instead of linear chain, I believe it is more like a tree.

 

That chain also fails to account for both Bran and Daenerys, but let's not sidetrack the discussion

 

Btw, when I said we don't know about Rh'llorism, it was specific to those two things mainly. First you've explained, but the second is just as important. How did Melony become Melisandre, from a slave to a prophetess, I mean we're witnessing Bran's training after all? Why do all prophecies involve life blood in some form, even Maggy the frog uses it?

 

What exactly is the song of ice and fire? Jon. No something bigger I believe - interplay, balance, magic, blood, life, naature itself is the manifestation of ice and fire, there's your song and your Martinesque ending. :lol:



#20 Mladen

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:56 PM

 

Glad we can agree finally (even if a little). Mel's speech to Davos is what I quoted up there (rather roughly), I see you strongly believe in Rh'llorism = Both ice and fire as well. Good, because, it can help us shape the hypothesis: That the true source of magic is the interplay of ice and fire.

 

In my essay, I call both elements arche, or logos of ASOIAF, as Greek philosophers did when they spoke of origins of cosmos in terms of philosophy. I concentrated on fire, but it is my belief that fire can't exist without ice(fundamental truth of R'hllorism), as man can't create life without woman, a good can't exist without evil, day without night etc... It's about poles...

 

 

The chain you give is a good way to think of how the series will turn out. It can be however misinterpreted, as I believe the song, the balnce, the interplay is something that preceeds all of this. So instead of linear chain, I believe it is more like a tree.

 

That chain also fails to account for both Bran and Daenerys, but let's not sidetrack the discussion

 

The chain is circulatory... It's actually a circle without start or the end... Like, what is older, phoenix or the flame? Or more grounded egg or chicken... It's the circle of life :)

 

OH, that chain doesn't fail when Bran and Daenerys are in question. The chain speaks about ice and fire, and Bran and Daenerys at the moment represent opposites, Bran as greenseer and Dany as dragon rider... Ice and Fire, and between them Jon...

 

 

What exactly is the song of ice and fire? Jon. No something bigger I believe - interplay, balance, magic, blood, life, naature itself is the manifestation of ice and fire, there's your song and your Martinesque ending. :lol:

 

I think ice and fire is the essence of how things function in ASOIAF... Once you understand the principle, you have understood every storyline in the books...