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  1. I certainly understand what you mean by pseudosciencey not fitting GRRM's wights....there is a history of it in fantasy writing however as well as in Scottish and Irish folklore (though spoken about in different terms). Still, you are probably right. As for a direct mention of a magnet there is none. An indirect one, I can't really say but nothing I can think of. Might be a rich vein though.
  2. Thank you. And to me the timeline seems to be a very big cherry. We have the bookends of some major things. The long night on one side and the return of the others on the other. There is roughly 8000 years there. There are some other things bookended here. On the one side there is Brandon of the Bloody Blade and his all out assault on the children then his son (I strongly Believe) Bran the builder bringing an end to the long night, raising winterfell and the wall...supposedly with some kind of magic. The others at gone for 8k years (at least from the realm). Then with our story we see they are back -- the other end. I will need to do a re-read and plan on doing so soon, but it seems to me that Ned takes special note of the disrepair of the crypts and the rusted to nothing but red stain swords which would say that the level of decay has been awfully fast...in his own lifetime. If there is a magic which keeps the wall standing and the crypts together (it is commented on how they are unnaturally big and to think they are holding some 900 generations of starks and it is said they are bigger than winterfell itself) I do not feel it is a far leap to say that the magic has been rescinded. We are told time and time again that there is power in kings blood and it is a very vague idea to say the least. However, there has not been a King to sit the high seat of Winterfell since Torhen. There was Robb but with Rickard and Brandon both dying in the red keep it is possible that the secret passed from generation to generation died. If there was a deal to end the long night made with Bran the Builder and it involved a kingsblood sacrifice each generation then that pact was broken when Torhen knelt which explains a lot of things including the return of the others, the slow decline of the wall, the falling apart of the crypts and the rusting into nothing of the iron swords holding in the spirits of the kings of winter in Ned's lifetime. It also answers why the Kings of Winter were buried in crypts as first men didn't entomb their dead but put them in barrows to allow them to decay and their souls become one with the collective. It would be a cruel fate for someone who worshipped the old gods to keep them entombed after their death...no different than burning an Egyptian Pharaoh...and finally it would explain why those spirits would be so "vengeful" There is a LOT of meat on this bone in the prologue to GOT and I have long considered it. The word Iron appears several times in very interesting ways in this prologue. Allow me: First Will reports back to Wymar Royce after his scouting. He says what he say including But when Wymar checked it out all was gone....all but the iron axe So when the bodies presumably rose as wights they left with everything but the one thing that was made of Iron. There are several mentions of the fact that this is happening at an Ironwood tree, Gared makes claims with "iron certainty" and Will claims he wouldn't give an "iron bob" for Wymar's life if he had to fight Gared and also while climbing with his dirk in his teeth says the taste of iron in his mouth gave him comfort. We are clearly being lead to iron in the very first words of our tale as something that is antithetical to the others. The wights in the ice cells at castle black to not reanimate until their iron shackles are taken off later on. Now lets bring this back to our world. Rudyard Kipling has a poem called Cold Iron about how cold iron is the master of all men...it holds in spirts you see. It is from his book Rewards and Fairies and cold iron is used in one sense as a weapon....gold for a king but cold iron is the master as in the king may be killed (actually @ravenous reader may enjoy this if it hasn't already pinged the radar) but also holds back ghosts and witches and other supernatural things including a mans soul and it is for these reasons that an iron horseshoe is nailed to a door to ward away or create a barrier against malicious spirits as well as why the fences around cemetaries are made of iron...to keep in the dead spirits (remind you of any crytpy customs?) and one burries iron knife at the house to ward from witches. So if Iron acts as a ward or seal against the undead (even if it doesn't destroy them) and if the long night is ended with a pact made with Brandon for the imprisonment of stark kings in perpetuity it would make sense that the line of Stark Kings starting from Brandon would perform some kind of ceremony where they would become an other but be bound to their throne by an iron longsword....the entire show...swords, crypts, statues and all being enchanted to remain forever...with the kneeling of Tohren the pact is broken and sure enough 300 years later we see normal decay of the crypts and swords and simultaneously the others have returned. I have thought about it protecting the Starks from the spirits just in the way you say, but I think it unlikely they would be vengeful spirits...more stoic spirits. Protectors aren't vengeful. Funny on the Aragorn's army bit though cringe worthy painful thinking of Jon in the crypts saying "fight for me" There are myths that suggest that Iron is the blood of the earth or the life force of the earth. In asoiaf the smell of iron is commonly used for blood as well as other organic material. If the others hate life and if iron has the smell of life or blood it would make sense for them to hate it...but why fear? If they hated it and didn't fear it they would just destroy it, discard it or avoid it. The best I can come up with, since we know iron doesn't slay them, is that somehow the power involved with being undead revolves around electromagnetic activity and Iron could be used as a ground to drain the power from them. In this way they would not want to be close to Iron but at the same time, being hit with it would not have the destructive force that sams dragonglass has on them which doesn't repel them but has some magic that...well....unmakes them We can all just poke around until we get more material and then poke around some more
  3. @falcotron This is truly excellent work you have here. I don't think we have enough on the original ice to guess one way or another and either magical or just meteoric iron would fit as fine. I think you have done some fine fine work here and I for one, until I see some seriously convincing evidence to the contrary, am pretty much sold. Side note, since you know a lot about iron, in a thread from a while back where I discussed Brandon of The Bloody Blade, The COTF, The Pact and the undead I had made some conjectures based on some detail I read online, but it seems your knowledge of iron is more than my superficial one so I thought I might ask you to look at it. Here is the post in question. The conjecture is that there is some magic (spirits being embedded) in the crypts of winterfell that have kept the crypts and the swords across the statues in tact for 8000 years, that this magic was from the COTF as part of the deal they made to avenge Brandon of the Bloody Blade and his crusade against them and involved the imprisonment of the soul of the king of winter forever not allowing him to become one with the collective and that the pact was broken when Torrhen knelt to the Dragon because there was no longer a KITN to sacrifice his soul and that this lead to the collapse of the crypts, break down of the swords and some other nasty shit like the wall going bad
  4. That would make plenty of sense. I am not sure it accounts for the original Ice though. If that sword dated back to bran the builder and lasted until 400 years before Roberts rebellion when it was replaced with a VS greatsword then meteoric iron wouldn't explain it. But other than the original Ice from the age of heros and dawn I think you are probably correct.
  5. Yeah I don't buy the post apocalyptic stuff at all...though I enjoyed the videos. He is flawed for sure, but entertaining and I do think some of his theories have a lot of merit.
  6. Good Video. I know he is a controversial guy but I really like Preston Jacobs Series Tower Tower Joy Joy where he argues that R+L=D; B+A=J. From what we know about Ashara and about Dornish women in general Brandon is a far more likely person to get down with her than Ned is. Preston is a bit out there sometimes but I like him a lot. He is funny, presents his case well and is interesting...even when he is dead wrong (like Robb naming Cat his heir) but I think he actually makes a compelling argument in this series. Give it a watch.
  7. Yeah, I guess I always assumed Red Rain to be very old (I also believe it originally belonged to House Reyne). Lady Forlorn is a fascinating sword. I would love a longer history on it. that period of 500 years ago is very interesting. While this is pure conjecture it may have to do with whatever the original ice and Dawn are made of. They both seem to be made of the same thing, something very special with properties similar to that of VS. It is possible that whatever went into crafting swords like that was no longer possible at some point "500 years ago" and hence Westerosi Kings and Lords went in search of a replacement for VS?
  8. Oh yes, it truly is a delight that there is so much wealth and layering in these pages and absolutely 6 years has been driving me nuts. As for the posts on the forum, I am laughing because I've noticed the same. Another year and it will be things like "are there barbers in westeros or do people just cut there own hair" I have been writing a damn post about swords and metals for about a year now (also one about harps) and like martin just can never seem to get it out. Thanks for the good words though.
  9. Lady Forelorn, sword of Corbray house, was wielded by first men King Robar Royce II -- the Bronze King long before the Targaryen's left Valyria. Red Rain the source of house Drumm, was stolen from a night by Hilmar the Cunning long before Targs too. I see your general point and agree that it seems something fishy happened 500 years ago (or, possibly, 500 years ago is a colloquialism used to mean a long time ago) but surely there were VS swords in westeros long before the conquest.
  10. I always saw the stink of Tywin's corpse to be a call back to the smell of Corruption for Father Zossima in The Brothers Karamozov. I have to say @Lollygag this is a spectacular observation and is as well thought out, reasoned, argued and presented as any I've ever seen. This gets a total A+ and I am inclined to believe your evidence here as I see no holes in it. The one question I have is the one I put to all theories...which is "what is the point" Let us say we knew proof positive that Craster was a Casterly...like if grrm actually just came out and said it.....what do we have. I think until I theory can show how it influences the story. Would it make a difference if Craster was from any of the other houses (with the possible exception of Stark because of telepathic powers or Targaryen because of bloodline to the throne)? I think it is in there and just needs to be reasoned out. I will ponder this question. In the meantime thank you for such an excellent and insightful contribution.
  11. I too have long seen the correlation between Mya Stone and Stonesnake. Funny, most of our core characters have someone like this...Arya has Yoren, In Tyrion II we see "Yoren was stooped and sinister, his features hidden behind a beard as black as his clothing, but he seemed as tough as an old root and as hard as stone." Jamie had Arthur Dayne who was a stony dornishman Ned and Robert had Jon Arryn who fostered them at the Eyrie Mentors seem almost always associated with stone in some ways. I too have thought of the sandy nature of the obsidian burial spot. Remember, it isn't sand per se it is "loose, sandy soil" and I think Loose is at least as important as sand here. The eating of horsemeat is interesting. I think for this it is important to note that eating horse meat is actually part of many pagan religious ceremonies particularly in worship of Odin. Odin, of course, is connected to "healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy" and with this and the myths of Odin a lot of "meat" (harhar) is on the bones of the horse eating.
  12. Thank you very much and I think kill th eboy, and let the man be born is something you are right to point to. Of all the things that are transformed or reforged in our story Jon really is unique (possibly with the exception of Sansa, but that is another longer post). Everything and everyone seems to be going through changes. Some changes are minor, like the turning over of ownership of the Inn at the Crossroads. Some changes are major, such as the transforming of Ice into Widows Wail and Oathkeeper. Where Jon is different is that he is constantly changing. From the very start when he talks Ned into keeping the Direwolves, to his reunderstanding of Tyrion, his first time getting really drunk, his leaving for the wall, his taking his oaths, his learning to change his ways and make friends, his abandoning and returning of the nights watch, his talks with aemon, his encounter with the wight, receiving longclaw, the fist of the first men, his time with Stone Snake and the Half Hand, his time with the Wildlings, his coming to understand and respect Mance, his return to the wall, his acceptance of his election in the NW, burning his hand and the constant flexing, his talks with Noye -- his death --and a million other things I am forgetting off the top of my head....Jon truly is the Ouroboros in our story...he doesn't just change he is in a constant state of changing. This is interesting because the Ouroboros is a dragon which eats its own tail as a symbol of the constant change in nature and the constant creation, destruction and recreation and this is the exact image of fire. Fire survives by destroying its own life source (oxygen and wood) and while a fire does look like one thing it is actually a constantly moving and changing series of flames. The Fire we see one minute is not the fire we see in the next. That Jon is a symbol of Fire and Ice is a fairly well accepted idea and everyone sees the Ice part. That is obvious. He is part stark. He is raised in winterfell with northern values. He is a member of and later LC of the NW, he spends time with the free folk, his general demeanor. Fine. But what part is the fire. Too many people simply point to R=L but even if that is true it isn't enough. What part of him IS fire. I think it is just this...the constant flickering and destruction and recreation of himself. This is furthered with his connection to Donal Noye, his staying in his chambers and him killing the boy and letting the man be born with the fact that it is fire that is the main component of a forging or reforging. We think back to what Noye said about the brothers baratheion: Noye explains people and their very being in terms of metal (which is normal for a blacksmith) and the different type of person is a different type of metal. And here is my punch out. If Jon is Ice and Fire for the reasons listed above, and if he is the blacksmith and the sword AND if we hold to Donal Noye and people being able to be described in terms of their metal then which metal is Jon. Robert is Steel. Stannis is Iron. Renly is copper. I think the only possible conclusion is that Jon is Valyrian steel. Not too put too fine a point on it but Jon has an obvious obsession with VS and fantasizes about his fathers sword Jon is given Longclaw (which I am still convinced is more than meets the eye Almost all of what we know about VS in the series and surely the most used VS weapon is Jon's Sword these three show that Jon is intimately related to VS. But more than that, how is VS described? It has ripples that are the mark of a steel folded back on itself 1000 times (Jon's constant transformations) and my favorite....they are lighter, stronger and sharper than even the best castle forged steel. And that is EXACTLY what Jon is...he is a bastard and as such he is NOT castle forged steel. Robb is castle forged. He is a true born son. But Jon is, in the end, lighter, stronger and sharper than Robb. He is the Valyrian Steel to Robb's castle forged steel. Who else is castle forged steel? Alliser Throne for one. But now I am going off on a tangent. Forged by dragons, being folded back on itself thousands of time, powerful with magic and stronger than even the best castle forged steel, Valyrian Steel, I would argue, is the metal which Jon is in the same way that Robert is the true steel. Just some thoughts to ponder.
  13. This is exactly my thinking on it. Jon is literally the "sword in the darkness" The reforming of swords is a huge theme and I do not think it is an accident that "I am the sword in the darkness" is in the NW vows. I see the swords being reforged much in the way that the biblical renaming of prophets from god goes down. Abram is changed to Abraham and Sarai is changed to Sarah. Jacob has his name changed to Israel after wrestling with God, Simon was changed to Peter and many more. When God gave someone a new name it came along with a new mission in life. Sarai meant princess, but she was told to be the mother of nations and her name was changed to Sarah which means mother of nations. When Ice is Reforged it was turned to Widows Wail wail and Oathkeeper. Oathkeeper was given an obvious mission in conjunction with the new name and I believe that we will see windows wail make a widow cry (though we do see cersei wailing at Joff's death but not really as direct result of the sword). Longclaw may not have been reforged but I believe it was repurposed (I just don't buy the story of it being the Mormont family blade) but at the very least was given a new pommel before given to john. Dany "reforges" Saduleon, Joso's PRank and Summer Sun. And with people surely we see Lord Beric reforged, I would argue that both Arya and Sansa do more than just grow but are also reforged and repurposed. The Mountain, the hound, hell everyone on the quiet isle....and many others. I would go so far as to say that Reforging is the largest theme in this book, whether an item, a weapon, a person or, indeed, the 7 kingdoms itself. The Iron Throne, like the kingdoms, are forged together and in the process of a reforging. That Jon is in a state of being reforged is beyond question. The only question is what his purpose will be once taken from the whetstone. That he stays in Noye's chamber is interesting to me because it suggests in someway that Jon is unlike the other reforged items and people....he is reforging himself. He is the blacksmith and the sword.
  14. you are correct. I apparently made, as they say, a wrong turn at Albuquerque
  15. This is a spectacular catch. What do you imagine in buried in this amazingly fertile and, as far as I can tell, virgin ground?