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  1. While I admit it's crackpot and I am alone in this view, I believe that the Valyrians lied and did not build Dragonstone. I believe it's of GEOTD construction. I don't make this claim without research. Reasons include: The abandonment of Dragonstone by Valyrian dragonlords shortly after its supposed construction, with the exception of the Targs, who were called cowards for moving there following the prophetic dreams. Why put the effort to build a massively intricate fused stone castle with every square foot artistically shaped to resemble dragons, which in my opinion resembles a temple to dragons......and then berate a dragonlord for residing there? A complete absence of Valyrian Sphinx architecture within the lengthy descriptions of Dragonstone, even though the Valyrian Sphinx was THE Valyrian totem symbol of choice. Repeated reference by POV's of Dragonstone being "ancient", if Dragonstone was constructed by the Valyrians, it would be of newer construction of almost every castle in Westeros, including the Twins. Davos described the iron bars in the Dragonstone cells as being "ancient", probably the only physical material in Dragonstone that could be reliably dated, as fused stone does not erode. An apparent connection between volcanoes and dragons, which I theorize that volcanoes are a necessary habitat condition for the laying of dragon eggs. With only a handful of volcanic regions in ASOIAF, they would have been of particular interest to any historical dragonlord society, which I believe the GEOTD were. The Valyrians brutally built their empire by repeatedly subjugating and enslaving their neighbours. I don't think the Valyrians would have hesitated at revisionist history, and not having built Dragonstone would not have worked with their manifest destiny narrative.
  2. A castle on the side of a volcano is very impractical. There is no reference to agriculture on Dragonstone, and I question whether there is a natural source of fresh water, which means that everything would need to be imported. Also, all of the local lord allegiances that Dragonstone has were developed when the Targs had dragons. However, I believe there is considerable evidence that dragons require volcanoes for reproduction. So, if Dragonstone is a rare habitat where dragons can thrive, its importance and power is real. During the Dance of Dragons Dragonstone was the primary base of Princess Rhaenyra. Her power was not due to the banners under her control, but because a majority of the dragons in Westeros at the time were at Dragonstone, or on the slopes of the volcano itself.
  3. Central to my theory is that the Valyrians did not have the skill to artistically shape fused stone, I attribute the craft to the Great Empire of the Dawn (GEOTD). I further theorize that Valyria was a colony of the GEOTD and had lost the ability to artistically shape fused stone with the end of the GEOTD via the Long Night.
  4. I believe he was skinchanger, with a preference for ravens. Being able to see and hear through ravens would have greatly enhanced his spying capacity without reliance on other people, accentuating his supernatural reputation. Also, seeing through ravens with an aerial perspective during battles would have provided a huge tactical advantage. It was commented that the Ravens Teeth always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, especially in the killing of Daemon Blackfyre.
  5. My theories are heavily influenced by the “Great Empire of the Dawn were Dragonlords” theory I first head on History of Westeros, in collaboration with LmL. I have developed divergent views, particularly around the Long Night, but would have never thought of them without their work on the GEOTD. I would encourage folks to listen to all recent History of Westeros casts, (and Radio Westeros) but the theories I build upon are described in: House Dayne Part 2 , Asshai-by-The-Shadow, The Great Empire of the Dawn, Asshai & GEotD live Q&A and Chat A TLDR of the conclusions that they made that I totally agree with and expand upon are: An ancient huge civilization called the Great Empire of the Dawn (GEOTD) existed in the Yi Ti/Asshai region, and ended with the Long Night. Some fused stone construction, which requires dragons, are attributed to the GEOTD, concluding that they were dragonlords. In particular the Five Forts and the base of the Hightower on Battle Isle. Links are established among the genetics of the Targaryen/Valyrians and GEOTD dragonlords through eye color analysis between Daenerys’s visions at the House of Undying and GEOTD emperors. This leads to the theory that Houses Dayne and Hightower, who bear resemblance to Targaryens, are ancient GEOTD settlers. Valyria was likely a colony of the GEOTD. First Men were not a homogenous group, but a general label applied to pre Andal Westerosi inhabitants. WOIAF Art Work It's probably taboo, but my theories reference artwork in the WOIAF. It is known that GRRM is concerned about attention to details in artwork depicting ASOIAF, like the proper depiction of the Iron Throne. However, it appears that GRRM had direct influence on WOIAF artwork. Read Ted Nasmith comments on details of the Eyrie art, “That too was a suggestion from GRRM”. If GRRM was giving direction on the details of the art in WOIAF, I consider their depictions to be cannon. People will disagree, oh well. General Theory To date I have proposed two theories, first is that dragons require volcanic regions as a habitat, and that volcanic Marahai was the home of the GEOTD dragonlords before it erupted causing the Long Night. If the Valyrians were any indication, it is possible that the majority of dragons and dragonlord were on Marahai when it erupted. No ruins, no history, no evidence. Studying dragon ecology has led me to only four prominent volcanic habitats. My theory is that the GEOTD dragonlords had a physical presence at the volcanic sites of Marahai, Valyria, Dragonstone and Winterfell during the Age of Heroes, before the Long Night. Valyria I am going to put forward an alternate Valyrian history that directly conflicts with the origin story which the Valyrians told. My thinking is that since the Valyrians thrived on brutal conquest and enslavement of its neighbors, revisionist history would have come easily. The GEOTD had existed for thousands of years, being a dragonlord culture they would have understanding of dragon habitat. If volcanic regions are necessary for dragons to lay eggs, they would be keen on any volcanic active regions. Based on geographic distance I believe that Valyria would have been visited and colonized during the Dawn Age, before the GEOTD had arrived in Westeros. I believe that the people referenced were the dragonlords from the GEOTD, and that they did not depart Valyria after arriving, but had departed from the annals due to Marahai erupting and destroying almost all direct evidence of their existence. I believe that the Valyrians inherited their dragon affinity genetics from the GEOTD, and to keep that bloodline strong incest became a practice of the remaining dragonlord nobility. According to the old tales of the Faceless Men, an old organization with Valyrian slave origins, dragons came to, not originating from Valyria. Of course, all of this comes into direct conflict with the Valyrian origin story. Another Fused Stone Analysis I would like to acknowledge all of the work done in compiling all of the fused stone examples by others in the fandom, I am merely building upon other people’s work. I think that the Valyrians, being a colony of an empire gone, had lost much of the capacity to artistically shape fused stone architecture as the GEOTD had done. This analysis is based only on fused stone, including lower case dragonstone, no oily black. Fused stone Valyria We know actually little of the architectural details of Valyria other than a brief mention by Catelyn. Nowhere else are there any physical descriptions of Valyria structures. I propose that the architecture of topless towers and elaborate buildings as seen in the Ted Nasmith illustration from WOIAF are actually fused stone. None of the buildings resemble brick and mortar construction and all the buildings appear to be made of the same material. Putting the crystal blue spheres aside, the building material resembles Dragonstone, which is built entirely of fused stone. There do seem to be different shades to the dark stone, with the top pinnacles of the tallest tower colored to depict a flame. While there is no mention of any Valyrian fused stone work having different colors, coloring Valyrian steel would be a demonstrated related achievement. I propose that these topless towers were built by GEOTD artisans, early in Valyria’s history, and the ability was lost with the Long Night and the end of the GEOTD. I believe that the techniques to artistically mold fused stone, both in shape and color was also a lost craft. Being a lesser version of a former greater empire would not have worked well with the Valryian manifest destiny narrative, so they lied to cover it up. Fused stone projects attributed to the Valyrians outside of Valyria: Volantis – Black Walls Huge, massive very thick walls. No artistic details, no towers, just a giant mass of poured formed fused stone. Tyrosh Walls, no artistic details. Naath Again...walls. Essos - Fused Roads While the scale of this infrastructure project is huge, the manipulation of the fused stone is consistent and simplistic. It's like pouring asphalt. Volantis – Long Bridge Only the roadway of the bridge had been singled out as being of fused stone construction, roughly the same technique required for building a fused stone road. The black stone arch was carved, and therefore cannot be fused stone. However, the arch may have meant to appear as fused stone, to imply lost artistic capacity. All of the fused stone projects Valyrians completed while incredibly huge were a simplistic use of shaping fused rock. Roads, bridge road beds and walls. This is not to belittle the impacts of these constructions, roads that do not erode and walls that cannot be broken are the building blocks of an empire. Fused stone projects attributed to the GEOTD: A thousand feet is higher than the Wall, and five times higher than the Volantis walls. A project possibly beyond the capability of the Valyrians. Battle Isle Creating a labyrinthine interior would take considerable skill of using fused stone. Dragonstone Lies I say. There are a large number of quotes from the books that describe the fused stone architecture of Dragonstone, but this is the best. Dragonstone was not built as a forward thinking invasion base for Westeros, nor a Valyrian steel storefront and slaving base as it was ultimately used. The castle Davos describes, with building exteriors shaped as dragons, more resembles a temple to dragons, using extremely advanced fused stone capability. There are a thousand unique twelve foot statues on the castle walls alone!! Even the mundane rooms like stairwells and kitchens have attention to detail fused stone work that rivals all the roads and bridges built in terms of crafting. Think of the number of Valyrian fused stone artisans and dragons that would be necessary to do the project. It would have required a huge effort and the Dragonstone worksite would have been been crawling with dragons. The work of Dragonstone does not resemble the simplistic poured stone walls and roads Valyrians had been built in its past. Dragonstone bears closer resemblance to the impossibly huge Five Forts and labyrinth halls of Battle Isle, which I contend were techniques of the GEOTD. Why no Sphinxes at Dragonstone? If there is one mythical creature that is distinctly Valyrian in origin, it’s the Valyrian sphinx. Here is a description beside a Valyrian fused stone road. We also find Valyrian sphinxes flanking the door of the Red Keeps council chambers. This puts sphinxes directly connected to Targaryen inspired construction. Tyrion also noticed sphinxes carved on the stone arch at the Long Bridge of Volantis, built by Valyrians. How many mentions of sphinxes are their on Dragonstone among the thousand gargoyle statues? None. Davos listed off a long list of gargoyle type creatures, but no sphinx. Between POV’s of Davos and Cressen there is a fair amount of descriptions of the fused stone architecture of Dragonstone, no mention of sphinxes. Valyrian artisans had mixed sphinxes and gargoyles on the Long Bridge arch, why the absence at Dragonstone if it had been designed by Valyrian artisans? Another review Ted Nasmith’s art of Valyria in the WOIAF shows sphinxes in the bottom right corner, which I propose are fused black stone. However, these sphinxes do not have dragon anatomy and could not be considered Valyrian sphinxes. Why is there no examples of fused stone Valyrian sphinxes in either Valyria or Dragonstone, I believe that the Valyrian Sphinx is an architectural style developed after the Long Night in Valyria. Valyrian artisans could not manipulate fused black stone beyond walls and roads, as that skill had also been lost with the GEOTD. Let's go to Dragonstone….not. There is a clear contradiction in the last two sentences of this quote, did dragonlords sightings at Dragonstone become “more frequent” or did they go back to Essos “dragonlords thus continued their schemes and intrigues on the native continent.”? If editing errors like “frequently” instead of “infrequently”, then it would make more sense. Because of the ambiguity, I am working with the last sentence that all the dragonlords headed back to Valyria after being “not unknown” in the region. Not exactly the dragon activity that would be necessary to build Dragonstone, assuming dragon fire was a crucial element of fused stone construction. So according to the Valyrian narrative, who I contend are liars, after building this monumental fused stone dragon structures at Dragonstone, the dragonlords seem to lose interest. The exception are the Targaryens, when plans for permanently leaving Valyria are made based on prophetic dreams, Dragonstone with its volcano was the best choice for a dragonlord. While these attitudes could be explained as rival family smack talk, it does speak to a disrespect of Dragonstone from other Valyrian dragonlords. It’s also telling that when the Doom had struck no other dragonlords were visiting the Targaryens at Dragonstone, those that had survived the Doom are reported to have been in Tyrosh, Lys and Qohor at the time. Valyrian dragonlords would have had business in Tyrosh and Qohor, but Lys was for pleasure. If you were a Valyrian dragonlord looking for a vacation, where would you go? Or (Yeesh, I hope Yandal got some kickbacks from some Lys noble for that advert.) My thoughts are that if Valyrians were to develop a vacation hotspot, it would be over the top Vegas style. Yet, we hear nothing of fused stone buildings, or any type of ornate fused stone structure on Lys. So, within a two hundred year period the Valyrians decided to create an awe inspiring thousand fused stone statue studded castle, with towers shaped as dragons on a dreary island no Valyrian dragonlord was interested in visiting after the novelty wore off. I don’t buy it. Neither does Tyrion. How old is Dragonstone? Fused black stone does not erode or otherwise age, making it difficult to date by looking at the structure alone, making it hard to date Dragonstone by just looking at it. Valyrians had been on Dragonmont two hundred years before the Doom of Valyria, the Doom having occurred at 114 BC. This places the Valyrian founding of Dragonstone at sometime after 314 BC, six hundred and fourteen years from the events of the books. Six hundred years is a long time, and any castle that age would be considered old in the real world, but I feel comparisons are necessary for context. These are the Frey’s, whom most nobility see as new money upstarts. In fact, if Dragonstone is only roughly six hundred years old, there are only a handful of castles in Westeros which are of more recent construction; The Twins, Harrenhal, Summerhall and the Red Keep. High Tide and Whitewalls were also newer castles, but High Tide was burnt during the Dance of Dragons, and Whitewalls had been pulled apart on the orders of Lord Bloodraven for its role in the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. There are probably more but I imagine not many, and no castles of great significance. Even the seat of House Manderly, an Andal family which fled the Reach to the North and built New Castle, is probably several hundreds years older than a Valyrian built Dragonstone. However, there are a number of descriptions of Dragonstone that share one word to describe it's age, ancient. Fused black stone Dragonstone is immune to weathering, but even as Maesters Cressen, and Gyldayn or Gerold, whomever wrote The Conquest, is aware of the “fact” that the castle was built less than 600 years, their internal thoughts betrays a contradiction in the use of the word ancient. As for Davos, he is describing the iron bars of his cell, which are not of fused stone material and could therefore be one of the few material elements in Dragonstone Castle which could be reliably dated. Other structures on the island of Dragonstone, not built of fused stone, are also depicted to be ancient. What constitutes an ancient fortress? Let’s go with these: · Winterfell · Storm’s End · Casterly Rock · Raventree Hall · High Tower · Pyke · Nightfort If Dragonstone had been built by the GEOTD, then it would rightly be considered ancient. Obvious counterpoints My theory is that as the Valyrian Empire expanded west mounted dragons would have been drawn to volcanic Dragonmont, two hundred years before the Doom. There they discovered an ancient GEOTD fused stone stronghold and immediately occupied it, then claimed it was built by them. A very believable story since they are the only known culture who could conceivably construct it. While I feel confident of my theory, I feel that I need to address obvious critiques. If Dragonstone predated the Long Night, why was nobody living there before the Valyrians arrived? Dragonstone is a very impractical castle. On the side of an active volcano, there is no mention of agriculture and it probably does not have a clean water source. If occupied everything would need to be imported, much like Asshai. No real wealth is created on Dragonstone, so you would need to be independently wealthy, or dragonlords, to occupy it. It would make a kick ass pirate lair though, my thoughts are Justin Milk-Eye, an ancient Massey pirate before he took the Massey’s Hook. For these reasons, I propose that aside from being occupied by Valyrian dragonlords and the royalty of Westeros that Dragonstone had remained abandoned for the impracticalities of the location itself. Would there not be any historical accounts of a fantastical dragon shaped castle in Blackwater Bay before the Valyrian arrival? Prior to the arrival of the Valyrians on Westeros Dragonmont was a very remote location from any major kingdom. The Crownlands did not exist, Blackwater Bay at the time had a single real community, Duskendale. Residents along Blackwater Bay were on the edge of kingdoms, particularly Storm’s End and the Riverlands, being conquered by distant kings was a constant theme. In fact, Ageons first maneuvers of the Conquest was over Storm’s Ends disingenuous offering of the Blackwater Rush, as the land was largely lawless. Before the Valyrian arrival Riverland, Ironborn and Stormlord armies had claimed the region as their own, bringing war and instability to the communities along its shores, all rather ignoring what was within Blackwater Bay itself. I suggest is that if there was knowledge of a strange castle made of fused stone on the side of a volcanic island, it would have been local. So, let’s look at who was local on the Blackwater prior to the arrival of the Valyrians around 314 BC. The shores of Blackwater Bay near the Gullet are rocky, The Whispers and Massey’s Hook being less than ideal ports could not have supported a large local fleet. Residents of Driftmark and Claw Isle would have been aware of Dragonstone had it already existed. They would have required ships for supplies and are in close proximity to the volcanic isle. The current families on these islands are the Velaryons of Driftmark and the Celtigars of Claw Isle, whom are cited often as being of Valyrian heritage, with the purple eyes and silver hair to prove it. This would have placed their settlement at 600 years past, previous inhabitants of the islands unknown. However, lore around the Driftwood Throne puts the Velaryons in direct contact with the Merling King. Again, the word ancient, this time to describe the Driftwood Throne. There are additional references to merlings in Blackwater Bay, Davos had washed up on stranded rocks bearing their name. If there was once a Merling King in Blackwater Bay, it would have been long before the arrival of the Andals, nevermind the Valyrians. Merling King stories would be more Dawn Age/Age of Heroes, during the time of the GEOTD. Lies could have started and sustained the story that the Velaryons had arrived at Driftmark with the Valyrians and were not more ancient residents. However objects retain history, and the lore of the Driftwood Chairs origins is harder to manipulate. I believe it points to the Velaryon’s being of GEOTD ancestry. What of the Citadel and the maesters, should there not be any accounts? (Places inch thick tin helm on head) It’s a cover up I say!!! Notice how Yandals work is completely void of pre Valyrian history on Blackwater Bay!! There is a Crownland map, but it’s as if nothing happened prior to the dragonlords arrival …..what are they hiding!?!! How long have the Velaryons been living on Driftmark!?! Who is pulling the strings at the Citadel!?!? That’s right, the Hightowers are covering up for their very old purple eyed Velaryons kinsman. Who are the Hightowers anyways, what was Uthor’s old name before he built the tower?!?! What are they hiding and whose lies are they spreading? Getting their cues from the purple eyed lying Valyrians directly!!! UNTIL THOSE LICKSPITTLE GREY SHEEP ARCHMAESTERS ARE REPLACED WITH TRULY INDEPENDENT FREE THINKERS LIKE MARYWN THE HIGHTOWER CENSORSHIP OF THE CITADEL WILL NOT CEASE AND LIES WILL CONTINUE TO FLOW FROM OLDTOWN!!!! (Removes inch thick tin helm from head) If recent real life history has taught us anything, false information can easily be pushed upon a population to impact their understanding of the facts. It would only take a few adult generations of dragonlord Valyrians telling the locals “We just arrived and built Dragonstone” for the story to be accepted as truth. Dragonstone Recap I propose that the Valryians did not build Dragonstone, but had been built by their predecessors, the GEOTD, thousands of years before the Valyrians arrived in Westeros. No Valyrian Sphinxes at Dragonstone. Belief that the Valyrians did not have the skills to create fused stone ability to build Dragonstone or the toppless towers of Valyria. Multiple use of the word “ancient” to describe Dragonstone, which if Valyrian built would be relatively new. The Valyrians had limited interest in Dragonstone, which is at odds with the efforts which would have been necessary to build such an impressive fortress. The surprising rarity of gargoyle architecture From all the descriptions of all the locations in the ASOIAF do you know how many are described as having gargoyle architecture? Three, Dragonstone Castle itself, a weathered inn on the Dragonstone shore and the First Keep of Winterfell. Check it out Two locations which on the surface have no connections, other than volcanic activity, share a rather unique artistic style. Dragonstone Weathered Inn First Keep of Winterfell Notice the similarity in the descriptions of the weathered inn gargoyle on Dragonstone and the First Keep versions? Considering these two locations are the only examples of gargoyle statues that can display weathered aging, I propose that they were all built in the same era. Other grotesques What exactly is a gargoyle? According to Wikipedia, “a carved or formed grotesque”. Therefore a gargoyle is not a creature itself, but a depiction of creatures as grotesques, which Davos upholds as he defines the list of creatures as gargoyles. Using this definition, as Tyrion crossed the Long Bridge in Volantis with Ser Jorah I propose that he was gazing up on carved gargoyles. I would propose that the architecture was also in Valyria, considering that the Long Bridge was Valyrian built. To corroborate, reviewing Ted Nasmith art of Valyria in the Valyrians Children chapter of WOIAF you will see many examples of gargoyles on towers, which I also speculate is GEOTD fused stone construction. Who built the First Keep? So, by this logic, the oldest Winterfell tower cannot be older than the arrival of the Andals because it's round, yet Winterfell is said to be the home of the Starks since the Dawn Age?!?! Straight up contradiction. Some say that since Winterfell is a mashup of different eras of construction that the gargoyles of the First Keep were not part of the original construction. However, Bran’s observation that they were shapeless from rain indicate otherwise. Big question then. How did the ancient builder of the First Keep of Winterfell, a man possibly named Bran, come to have been influenced by a gargoyle architectural design not to be built on Dragonstone for thousands of years? I theorize that the dragonlord GEOTD had a presence at Winterfell during the Age of Heroes and built the First Keep. Much how the Valyrians had lost the ability to artistically shape fused stone, Westeros lost the wisdom of round towers with the Long Night. Winterfell, Dragonstone and Valyria are all volcanic and potentially all good dragon habitats, they would therefore have been of interest to the GEOTD dragonlords on pre eruption Marahai. An empire that would have had influence anywhere dragons could fly, and built with a gargoyle architectural style. Are my theories controversial, and fairly crackpot, you betcha. However, there are inconsistencies in the Valyrian history that I believe are obscuring a larger hole in Westerosi history, the direct influences of GEOTD culture and blood magic during the Age of Heroes.
  6. I found reference to Marahai searching out volcanos for my dragon habitat theory. “Marahai, the paradise isle, a verdant crescent attended by twin fire islands, where burning mountains belch plumes of molten stone day and night” - The World of Ice and Fire - The Bones and Beyond: Leng Thought nothing of it, like everyone else who had read all of WOIAF, until I saw it on a map...and freaked out. Love Atlas of Ice and Fire blog btw. The configuration of the volcanic islands of Marahai at the center of the Jade sea resembles a massive, highly active, volcanic caldera. Eruptions would have caused earthquakes, tsunamis, and magma ejections measured in cubic miles, fueling clouds of ash that would have traveled the globe and blocked the sun. I believe that its last eruption had triggered a volcanic winter, decimated the Great Empire of the Dawn dragonlords who resided there, and kicked off the Long Night with an epic boom. For real world examples, compare the islands of Marahai visually to Santorini and Krakatoa. The crescent islands surrounding the central volcanos were onces the edges of the pre erupting volcano, this quick video of the mechanics of a collapsing caldera shows how. Erupting Krakatoa created 120ft tsunamis, local earthquakes and rained fire and ash, but the islands are no more than 8 miles from end to end. The Marahai caldera is HUGE!!! Look at the map again, compare it to the Wall, its close to the same length, and the Wall is 300 miles!! This caldrea is many times larger than anything we have on Earth, Yellowstone is 45 miles and the world's largest, Lake Toba is 62 miles at its widest. The Lake Toba eruption ejected 670 cubic miles of dense rock into the atmosphere, blocked the sun and had major impacts on climate, and Marahai is five times larger. “It has been accepted that the eruption of Toba led to a volcanic winter with a worldwide decrease in temperature between 3 to 5 °C (5.4 to 9.0 °F), and up to 15 °C (27 °F) in higher latitudes.” I know that GRRM has overstated scale, with misgivings on how he oversized the Wall. But I would think that if he was placing a massive ticking time bomb in the middle of the Jade Sea he would have been particular with its size on a map. So what does the local history have to say? The Jade Sea region has been the site of much historical destruction, and the source would logically be an erupting Marahai. The eruption would have been accompanied by massive tsunamis, devastating much of the Jade Sea coastal cities of Yi Ti, Leng and Asshai. Cities with islands between them and Marahai would have been spared the waves, including Qarth sheltered by Great Morag Island. Whatever people and structures had been on the volcanic island of Marahai would have been utterly destroyed without a trace. Whatever survived the initial explosion on the edges of the caldera would have been buried by ejecting lava. No survivors, no physical evidence of existence. Based on my thoughts of a dragon's ecological dependence on volcanoes, I believe that the GEOTD dragonlord society stayed close to Marahai, and like the Valyrians in the Doom, were largely wiped out. What caused the Long Night? Yi Ti legend tells of the actions of the GEOTD Bloodstone Emperor. Considering the potential strength of blood magic, I believe the acts and events of that story were probably the catalyst of the Long Night, but the smoking gun is Marahai.
  7. Totally agree with your crackpot on dragon origin, but I think that Ashaai and the slopes of the Shadow are where they were created. I also believe that the too old to be named are really sacrifice demanding demons....demons being a reality in this world. Everything at Dragonstone is built in fused black stone, towers, touch holders, ovens in the kitchen, right down to the courtyard. I just made the leap that their hatcheries were as well. "Sunfyre’s scales still shone like beaten gold in the sunlight, but as he sprawled across the fused black Valyrian stone of the yard, it was plain to see that he was a broken thing," - The Princess and the Queen “Cannibal, so named because he had been known to feed on the carcasses of dead dragons, and descend upon the hatcheries of Dragonstone” - The Princess and the Queen
  8. Thanks @Lady Blizzardborn !! Their are also the crofter cottage sized basalt stones that made up the Moat Cailin's curtain wall, evidence of older volcanic activity throughout the North. I suspect that the hot springs of Winterfell is the remnant volcanic activity of that was going on in the region long, long before men arrived. As for crackpoot theories of dragons on Westeros....I got a couple others coming. Something must have happened, and it was not because of changes in dragon habitat. The last malformed dragon was kept at Kings Landing, probably at the Dragon Pit, and that is the first and only example. While a poisoning is plausible it does not explain the fact that dragon eggs stopped hatching. For all dragon eggs everywhere to suddenly become unhatchable!? That is waaaayyyy beyond a maesters capacity.
  9. While a link between dragons and fire is obvious, I would go further that volcanic environmental conditions are dragons preferred habitat, and possibly necessary for dragons to lay clutches of eggs. Much has been known and discussed of the specific environmental conditions dragon eggs require to hatch, however there has been almost nothing on the possible conditional requirements for dragons to lay eggs. Below is an analysis which I conclude that dragons are very sensitive to their environments, possibly requiring volcanic habitat to survive as a species. Reviewing WOIAF I was able to identify only four locations of established volcanic activity. I also review the other locations that potentially have volcanic activity and non-volcanic locations where dragons reside. Identified Volcanic Locations Valyria The fourteen volcanoes of the freehold was a highly active volcanic region. Volcanic activity seems to be continuing with a smoking sea. Post doom Valyria appears to be extremely dangerous, even to dragons, for exact reasons unknown as no visitors have returned to explain why. Unless you believe Eron Greyjoy. Valyria was a natural habitat of dragons among fourteen active volcanoes. According to Valyrian legends dragons seemed to thrive in the wilds of Valyria, and once tamed and ridden by the Valyrians as a tool of war they helped them thrive as a conquering slaving empire. At the height of Valyrian influence they controlled the majority of central and western Essos. However, the forty dragonlord families and their dragons resided almost exclusively in the city of Valyria, close to volcanoes. The sole exception was the Targaryen family, who was ridiculed by dragonlord society after moving away from Valyria based on the accurate prophetic dreams by Daenys the Dreamer of the impending Doom. With all of their extensive belongings, including five dragons, the Targaryen’s traveled to the very edge of the Valyrian Empire. Dragonstone, a castle on the side of an active volcano. After the Doom, stories emerged that only three non Targaryian Valyrian dragonlords and their dragons had survived in Essos by not being in Valyria during the event;Tyrosh, Lys and Qohor. In the cases of Tyrosh and Lys the dragonlords/dragons had been killed by uprisings, while in Qohor the dragonlord raised an army, and with a dragon marched to Valyria, and were never heard from again. This would indicate that their were no dragonlords living in Volantis, which seems odd considering its size and importance. Accounts from the Rhoynar had Valyrian dragon population at over three hundred, putting the Valyrian Doom survival rate at 1%. An empire spread over a continent, and only a tiny fraction had lived elsewhere outside of Valyria proper. Dragonlords always stayed close to home, and home always had volcanos. Dragonmont Located in Blackwater Bay the castle of Dragonstone had been the home of the Targaryen family since before the Doom. The evidence that dragons thrived on Dragonmont is strong, giving me no doubt that the volcanic island is a preferred dragon habitat. When wild and tame unpaired dragons “dwelled”, it was in a volcanic environment. The fact that hatcheries existed on Dragonstone speaks to the fertility of dragons residing there. I think it is clear that Dragonmont’s active volcano was prefered by dragons as a habitat, with an emphasis of proven fertility. Winterfell Clusters of hot springs are a form of passive, but sustained volcanic activity. There are also Winterfell connections to dragons. Admittedly this reference is a weak connection, but it does reinforce the volcanic nature of the Winterfell hot springs and introduce dragons within the local folklore. I trust Mushroom, his attention to detail makes me feel that he is writing from memory, not elaborate fiction and his accounts had been validated by a second source. Does Winterfell have an untold history with dragons? Possibly, but the evidence of volcanic activity is clear. Marahai Located in the Jade Sea is Marahai, this is the only reference and is clearly volcanic. It would be logically to conclude that this would be a good dragon habitat. Other Locations There have been theories that Hardhome was a volcanic explosion. A landscape of charred trees, burned bones is not volcanic, that’s dragons. Volcanic events do not leave “waters choked with swollen corpses”, an erupting volcanoes burns everything it touches and more than likely creates a new layer of rock on top of whatever was there before. Volcanic events are all about impossibly hot temperatures, and doesn't compute with accounts of bloated bodies. Also, references to sounds coming from cave mouths closely parallel to the Whipsers on Crackclaw Point, which is a natural cave effect. Valyrians had been on Dragonstone 200 years before the Doom of Valyria, the Doom having occurred in 114 BC. This places the arrival of the Valyrians in Blackwater Bay at roughly 314 BC, 614 years before the events of the books. The Hardhome incident was 600 years before the events of the books, right when the Valyrians were establishing themselves in the Narrow Sea region. I would imagine they would have done some slave harvesting, being in their nature. In my opinion the descriptions of Hardhome resembles a slave operation, with dragon support. If a number of dragons had been burning hell onto the Wildlings, igniting the surrounding forest, then it would have been observable from the Wall. Mother of Mountains Lonely peaks tend to be volcanic in origin. Considering the possibility of Dany uniting the Dotharaki kalasars on the back of a dragon within view of the Mother of Mountains, something could happen...maybe. The Shadow While there is no direct mention of volcanic activity in and around Asshai, there is a river that is toxic, black, and named Ash. For all the dark mysteries surrounding this region, discovering that it has volcanic activity would be unsurprising. There is also some evidence that the Shadow near Asshai is the source of all dragons, contrary to the Valyrian origin story. Asshai is also known to be a source of ancient dragon eggs. Yandal also writes about dragons in the cliffs leading into the Shadow, but then immediately discounts them as fairy tales. Dragon Pits There are many references to the laying of eggs at Dragonstone, it even had a hatchery built in fused black stone. In contrast there are no references to dragons having laid eggs at either the King's Landing or Meereen dragon pits. As for Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal, they are possibly too young still to lay eggs, meaning the absence of them laying eggs holds less weight. However, the suppressed growth of dragons enclosed in pits does demonstrate how susceptible dragons are to their environment. It’s clear that the dragon pits are not an ideal habitat for dragons to thrive and procreate. Brimstone Throughout the books are a number of references to brimstone or sulfur smelling water. While sulfurous waters do occur around volcanic regions, they are not exclusive to them. In many cases it is caused by sulfate reducing bacteria. I disregard these accounts as volcanic regions unless accompanied by other indicators, primarily heat. Dragons and Gender The accounts of Mushroom, that “Vermax left a clutch of eggs somewhere in the depths of Winterfell’s crypts, where the waters of the host springs run close to the walls.” was dismissed. Aside from Yandals bias against Mushroom, this disregard was justified due to the orthodox belief that dragons have gender, which seems to be only identifiable by observing which dragons laid eggs. A vigorous scholarly debate exists among Maesters on the subject of dragon gender and mating, indicating that the sexual process was not obvious?!? Dragon sexualtiy was also a much researched topic by Egg, though his obsession was on the hatching problem. Fertility of dragons is a mute point with no dragons. Perhaps a young maester Marwyn had been sent by Aegon to Asshai? Summerhall was destroyed in 259 AC, making it possible. While Ageon V and recent maesters would have been disadvantaged by not having a live dragon to observe, Septon Barth’s opportunity to observe dragons would have been limitless, being Hand during the reign of Jaehareys l, the high point of Westerosi dragon population. Having such multiple divergent views on a matter that could be reasonably explained by observing dragon sex, leads me to believe that no maester have seen dragons mating. I believe that Maester Aemon was correct in reinterpreting Septon Barth’s work that dragons are genderless, or could change their genders. I am not confident in Aemon’s prophecy interpretations, as I share Maester Maryns views on the pursuit. There are real life examples of lizards changing genders, like the Central Bearded Dragon of Australia, where stress from climate change is resulting in male lizards procreating. Creatures which evolve to be genderless, or the capacity to shift genders, would be enhanced in their chances for successful procreation. Need for such flexibility in procreation would make sense if dragons could only lay clutches of eggs in volcanic environments. Conclusion I propose that dragons prefer, if not require, volcanic regions to lay eggs and procreate. They are also gender-less or sex changers to take advantage of the opportunity to procreate due to the relatively rarity of volcanic environments. Even if volcanic conditions are not necessary for laying eggs, there is enough evidence in the comparisons between Dragonstone and the dragonpit to conclude that dragons prefer volcanic habitats. A review of the World of Ice and Fire find only a few established volcanic locations, some of which are documented as having dragons been ruled by dragonlords, and/or have been referenced as locations dragons have laid eggs. It would only make sense that any empire with dragonlords would have been keenly interested in all volcanic regions, as they would be the only locations dragons could grow and thrive.