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    “I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice.”
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    “Hope not ever to see Heaven. I have come to lead you to the
    other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice.”

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  1. First, @Ckram, well done in the op laying out a great little theory in a consice and entertaining way! I do love the idea that the Tyroshi device is nicknamed the Valonquar... (even though Jaime as the Valonquar works so well, but multi-meanings are more fun, and this is an interesting possibility). Of course, at the end of the day we just don't know yet. Maybe this isn't totally on topic but this post made me re-read the frog's prophesy and curse... 3 questions by Cersei (normal text), 3 answers from the frog (bold), and some extrapolation by both (italics, bold for the frog): My 3 questions : First question, do the kings children get gold crowns and shrouds too? For example, Barra delivered in a Gold Cloak (like Aegon was delivered in a Red Cloak?), her mother was a prostitute and westros uses a currency of gold crowns... Second question, is Valonqar used in response to Cersei's threat to have her brother "kill her"? To the OP, Jaime fits so well, but he also bore witness to Brandon and Rickard's murder... and in turn murdered Aerys (side note why do I really feel like Varys is involved here... did he bring Aerys the device from Essos? Did he have siblings?). Or maybe it's the woman who would cast her down's little brother? And that seems to come full circle back to the Kingslayer. So many options... Third, If dragons gender is fluid, as per the prince that was promised, is Valonqar gender neutral as well? (Ps. What color are the eyes of death?)
  2. So this comes back to the "lack of Targaryens" thing, as other's pointed out this wasn't the last time there would only be a few of them left, or there would be a king without a son and heir. In fact for most of their time in Westeros there weren't a lot of Targs... Fights over succession happen for a lot of reasons, and frankly I'm not sure polygamy increases the odds of it happening (I'm not sure there is any reason to believe it would). It's an interesting theory, but I'm not sure I'm convinced it's true historically, but of course, you're the expert on Planetos. To the first example, Rhaenyra and Harwin Strong... it might have made a huge difference regarding the perceived legitimacy of her children and their expectations for inheritance (I would expect that they would never have been in line, but at least there could have been a clearer ruling established ahead of time). The root problem was that Viserys didn't have a clear heir though wasn't it? He ended up with multiple children from multiple wives, just not concurrently married... and who knows how things might have gone if he had married a Velaryon bride (as suggested) in addition to his Hightower bride after the death of his Arryn bride. To the second, don't you think it would have been a good thing if Aegon IV had married the noble women he was sleeping with (sorry common ladies)? After all, he legitimized the children anyway... frankly while I don't condone his behavior, I don't blame him for the wars to come either. The difference between the Great Bastards being legitimate from the beginning, as opposed to being legitimized later, is really one of semantics at the end of the day. Yes, they probably would have fought (over their sister if nothing else...) but maybe fewer noble lords would have sided with Bloodraven. After all, once legitimized, wasn't Daemon the rightful heir (I understand there was/is/should be some disagreement about this)? Bloodraven certainly commits crimes against gods and men. And maybe even more practical, if Daemon had been allowed his second wife (as apperantly he was promised) might the rebellions have been avoided all together? Perhaps the terror of Bloodraven's rule might have been avoided. I'm not sure I follow, i don't see the danger of polygamy, and I don't see how it showed itself again and again... weren't all the Targaryen's before Aegon the Conqeror polygamous? Since then there was only Maegor, his son, who had no children and none of the succession issues after his death that you are talking about... also, the dance of dragons and blackfyre rebellion might have been prevented with some well timed polygamous weddings. Wait a second... Maegor was a monster, ok, but so was Aegon... they used might (and Balerion the Dread) to establish their rule. They both committed horrific acts of violence for their own benefit. And if we are going to say that establishing the Targaryen Dynasty was a "good" worthy of all the evils, then Meagor did what had to be done to solidify power. If he didn't return from Essos to claim the crown it seems the kingdom would have fallen apart. Nobody gave Westeros to Aegon, he took it. And while I'm not trying to whitewash what clearly seems to be a madman, I'm not sure polygamy can be blamed. I don't understand this... the Faith was cool all of a sudden with incest but not polygamy? I guess that's the part I struggle with and am hoping to see resolved. Absolutely fair, just worth pointing out for fun, that the monogomy thing came from Roman tradition and not the "christian" part of the Roman Catholic tradition... nuns or priestesses being "married to god (or a god)" has a history of being rather more literal than I think you might have credited. When the Christian church was forming polygamy was still practiced among the Jewish people and monogamy was among the many parts of Roman culture appropriated for the new Catholic Church and no small point of contention. Men in power tend to not want to give up wives 2 through n (and their right to have a harem), this I was looking for a practice reason. Finally, I think it would be very hard to argue that monogamy solved or even helped solve succession issues in Medieval Europe. Craster, Ygon Oldfather are two examples of wildlings (First Men Culture still being practiced north of the wall, admittedly kinda an imperfect example) that had multiple wives... other old examples are the Gardner Kings and House Durrandon, two houses of first men kings. It seems that it was the Andals who brought Monogomy with them along with the Faith... The Ironborn clearly don't mind a few extra wives, and I'm not sure about the Rhoynar tradition though... My point was that almost every tradition in Westeros besides the Faith of the Seven seems to have accepted polygamy. And unlike incest (where there are practical genetic problems, that while not understood were recognized pretty early on), polygamy's downside comes purely from societal judgement. I appreciate the thoughtful response, and it's probably worth pointing out I'm not pro-polygamy, just a devil's advocate, cheers.
  3. 1st, I don't really understand why the size of the Targ Family is relevant to taking multiple wives. Aegon clearly didn't start the practice, Targaryens had been doing it at least since they left the freehold. Having multiple wives could have helped bind the realm together as well since it allows for an increase in the number of alliances bound by marriage. Unless, there is great opposition to polygamy itself. Also, say what you will about Maegor (he's a monster), but he did without a doubt preserve the Targaryen Dynasty. As you pointed out, Aegon and his Sisters were the last Targaryen's, and if it weren't for Meagor, almost certainly Aegon's kin and kingdom would never have survived. So appears to me to be not just doing what Aegon did, or Meagor did, it's doing what Targaryens do... incest and polygamy. But I mean carving out a Massive kingdom and preserving your family's power are pretty good reasons. Why preserve one tradition and not the other, especially when the one retained appears far more despised by the religions/cultures being ruled? Incest is mentioned dozens of times and seems to be explicitly forbidden by all the major Westerosi religions. Polygamy seems to be ok north of the wall, and on the Iron Islands, and I'm not sure about Dorne, but this story about the High Septon and faith frowning on Maegor's poligamy seems to be the only example of it being frowned on. In fact, Oldtown seems to have tried to give Aegon a Third wife. Even more damning maybe, is the fact that one of the Seven themselves practices polygamy, as all of the Silent Sisters are the Stranger's wives. Now Targaryen's hold themselves above the laws of Gods and Men (other people might not like that), and people are less likely to object to someone with a fire breathing dragon. I get it. I can totally accept that there could be practical reasons for abandoning polygamy as a practice but not incest, I just can't find those reasons in the text. I had hoped Meagor's tale might provide more of an explanation, that's all. Jorah for instance is from a northern house, it's not surprising at all he wouldn't be opposed to polygamy... why would he? I don't expect to learn about some official decree, just some logic or excuse why the practice seemed to completely stop after Meagor while incest continued. Presumably something has changed since then if all of a sudden it is a practical consideration again... after all the incest continued even after there were no more dragons, and if the concern is preserving "the blood" then multiple wives might help with that. I don't think this is really true, I think the Faith objected strongly when it was a Hightower woman who was being set aside. Of course there is politics involved with all of it, but I don't see anyone in the SoIaF series complain about multiple wives like they do incest... So I don't think the Targaryen Dynasty would exist without the two sister-wives and as I said above Meagor might have been cruel but he did preserved their dynasty. And it comes back to the point, I was just hoping for some practice reason why this tradition was abandoned while at the same time they went out of their way to preserve the tradition of incest... That's exactly why I had hoped to spot her creepin about!!!
  4. I actually was expecting a few answers in this story that are clearly missing (or as you've pointed out could be descrepencies)... what happened to the poligamy thing? Targaryen Kings kept marrying their sisters(family) but didn't take more than one bride... I thought that Maegor's story would provide some reason for this, but I'm still not at all sure why that tradition was abandoned but incest was kept around (if anything it seems both the Seven and the Old Gods had more against incest than polygamy). What happened to Rhaenys? Maybe dead with the body lost in Dorne, but come on somebody must have found her... and then we hear that Visenya was intruded under Dragonstone beside her brotherhusband and sisterwife... but wait what? There seems to be an enourmous part of this story still missing. how did Rhaenys's body/ashes end up on Dragonstone? Blackfyre got blacker when it was burned on Aegon's pyre, and we are told that Valyrian steel isn't effected by normal fire. Of course, Aegon's pyre was lit by dragon fire, and he was blood of the dragon after all. It's long been suspected that the forging of Valyrian steel requires blood sacrifice, and (along with Ice) there is some odd inherent color/blood thing going on. Anybody else hoping to catch a glimpse of Leaf wandering around in the time of the Dragon? Finally, what was Aegon's crown made of? (Iron or Valyrian Steel?)Where did it end up, like Rhaenys it was lost in Dorne... and as an aside, was the crown of Rhaella the same crown as one of the other famous crowns? Ok I'm done rambling...
  5. The Eyrie was build by Artis Arryn's Grandson... the original seat of house Arryn was the Gates of the Moon, which I can't find any evidence of having a Godswood. However, it is right next to the path up the Giant's Lance, future site of the Eyrie, and where supposedly Artys Arryn defeated the Griphon King. We know the Royces were once the Bronze Kings... then near the end had United the First Men of the Vale, Mountains of the Moon, and Fingers under their rule. The last king Royce was defeated at the Gates of the Moon (by Artys Arryn), even though their seat is Runestone on the eastern coast. I don't know if Runestone has a Godswood. Artsy Arryn won the Battle of Seven Stars, making himself King of Mountain and Vale. He won this battle by using a goat track on the Giant's Lance to take the First Men from behind after dressing up an imposter to serve as a distraction. I certainly think it's possible that this is part of why he is conflated with the Age of Heroes character the Winged Knight. He did climb the mountain to overthrow a king (one could even say he flew up the mountain in secret with his knights) it was just a Royce not a Griphon king he defeated. However, back to the Weirwood throne... The Gates of the Moon appears to have been the first seat of power for Artys Arryn and was located where he defeated the last Royce King. However, as I said above, I don't think there is mention of a Godswood there. Why was King Royce and his First Men Army entrenched here at all (litterelly spiked trenches and all)? The choice of this location for the First Men's last stand appears significant, especially since it isn't their King's seat of power. I'd throw out the idea that the Giants Lance served as the Godswood for the First Men, wether there was a castle or not (maybe a ringfort), I suspect there was a Weirwood (and accompanying enthroned rooted corpses) atop the Giant's Lance. Artys Arryn likely cut down the tree and then descended the mountain to take the First Men in the rear... The tree serving as the wood for the Arryn throne is symbolic, as I tried to point out at first, of the Andal Conquest. But of course there are further implications. It is no surprise to me that Artys's Grandson would build the Eyrie where the First Men had had their Godswood throne, and no surprise that he would be unable to grow a Weirwood. Forgetting the rocky soil for a moment, it seems to me that Weirwoods require human sacrifice to grow, and that there doesn't seem to be any reason an Andal House would know any of the secrets to growing Weirwoods. Frankly an argument could be made that the Arryns are usurpers, sitting on a weirwood throne that rightfully belongs to the Royces (and might be made from their family's Weirwood). But this is just my speculation, so season heavily with salt and all that... cheers
  6. Rheagar: Still not good enough to get Lyannaaaaah...
  7. Given that a Weirwood throne was probably carved from a Weirwood that was cut down, isn't it possible that this would have been a symbol of the Andal Arryn conquest of the first men's Veil. A very litteral taking of the throne... chopping down the Heart tree of the previous rulers, which may have literally housed the ancestors of that family or at least their memories, and making it into a throne for themselves.
  8. First, I completely agree that BloodRaven is not the three eyed crow who appears in Bran's Dream. I'm not sure who the 3eC is, it could be Howland or even Bran himself... but I highly doubt it's Bryndon Rivers. Second, I've long wondered wether the assumption made by many, that all the Children of the Forrest are on the same side is a huge leap without any real textual basis. The Gods Eye, where the Greenmen reside was also the place of the Pact between men and Children. Meanwhile, Bloodraven and his caves of Children are all north of the wall... Perhaps, much like men, Children don't all agree. Some siding with mankind and some against... I wouldn't be surprised to find out Bloodraven was actually responcible for the return of the others rather than opposed to them. In fact beyond the 3eC issue, there are a number of odd details which seem remarkably reminiscent of the Night's King about Bloodraven. He committed just about every crime against the old gods we've heard about: Incest, violating guest right, kinslaying, and oathbreaking. 13 years spent as Lord Commander before flying down from the wall. He lectures Bran not to fear the Darkness, The nights king knew no fear (and that was the fault in him) and the night was his to rule. Finally, "the wisest of both races" came together to make The Pact... this does imply that there were those of both races who did not agree with making peace. Anyway, can't wait for spring...
  9. Ok, here goes, but for the record I don't for a second pretend this is more than my current toy theory... and it's not without holes. I believe the Wall was built by the Night's King during the Long Night (or at least during its start, its creation may have to do with the event itself but that's a rabbit whole in itself)... The records of the Night's Watch, in particular the numbering of Lord Commanders is noted as being unreliable and in contradiction with what number LC they say they're on anyway according to Sam. I expect they began as a record of all the heroes, what would become the nights watch, Brandon, the "last hero" is the 13th on the list. Eventually they only added LC's Names. Brandon the Builder may well have been the Nights King and Last Hero. Lightbringer may refer to a dragon. There is evidence of Valyrion-esq stonework in Westeos way before Valyria, but simpler in design. Such as the base of the Hightower on Battle Isle. In fact the base of the Hightower may predate The First Men all together. Perhaps this has something to do with the original conflict as well. It would also help explain how a hero from Essos might get to Westeros to be relevant at all. The Stark ancestral sword "Ice" is not the same as the one we see Ned wield at the beginning of the books (made from Valyrian Steel) but bears it's name. Dawn is of course the one special sword we know of which isn't Valyrian Steel, but does resemble the description of the Other's weapons. Not to mention the Battle for the Dawn, could be referencing it. It is not however red, and so it's hard for it to be the "red sword of heroes". And yet we have a story of the Last Hero using a sword of Dragon Steel to slay the others... It is possible that our last hero began as just that, a hero. His mission may not have been to end the long night however, he may have been looking for help against another threat, after all, it may be the First Men fled across the Neck originally from something. And there are seemingly dragon made ruins around (reminiscent of Ashai) and dragon bones, but no stories of dragons until the conquest. We know hear he was hunted by the Others until he was helped by the Children. And that he learned their language. Perhaps this allowed him to communicate with the Others rather than fight them. It appears the First Men adopted the Children's Old Gods, and protected the Weirwoods instead of cutting them down, after The Pact and the Hammer of the Waters broke the Arm of Dorne. What if breaking the arm was the children's price for the First Men making peace, because the Forst Men had been fleeing Ashai. Azor Ahai is a legend from Ashai... not exactly a happy place, built from odd black stone that drinks light, it lies beneath a constant shadow. Mayhaps the Others were originally allies of men against this Bloodstone Emperor. Only after winning the battle on Battle Isle, the battle for the dawn, with his companions and loved one gone, did the Nights King crown himself and usher in the long night. I still suspect that the Wall, made of ice, with no original gates save possibly the Nights Gate, was not constructed to keep Others north, but rather of the Others design and construction itself. Possibly part of a deal with the Nights King. Again all highly speculative and in need of though and revision... because it doesn't quite all fit yet, but it's a theory
  10. Fair point, it's just one of those things where I get the feeling I don't have all the pieces arranged right in my head yet... pleasure as always, cheers
  11. I'm not sure about Durrandon's castles being all over... but it's a theory. You might consider the home of our repeatedly resurected though now extinguished Ser Berric Dondarion though as well. Blackhaven is in the Stormlands, and has black basalt walls like Moat Calin. The Dondarions were made lords by the Durandons. And Cristion Cole, the kingmaker, was originally the son of the steward of Blackhaven. Just throwing it out there... Also, you might consider that the Kings of the first men may well have lived extraordinarily long lives and ruled for hundreds of years if they were seated in Weirwood Thrones...
  12. The World Book does backpedle on the companions all dying... My issue with this is were the Liddle, Sam, Gilley, Osha, Gilley's baby or Rickon ever really companions? Seems like a giant stretch... I guess Sam walks them through the Night Gate, but none of the others really accompany him at all. Certainly doesn't feel like abandoning. And to top it off the Last Hero meets the Children after he is all alone... again this doesn't fit. Not that I have all the answers either, just pointing out stuff that bugs me. I do think the "original" Nights Watch may have been resurrected by the Nights King... around the same time he took a wife, claimed lands, had a child, and wore a crown... You will notice that the Black Gate at the Nightfort opens for Sam without him needing to say any of those prohibitions we're used to hearing tacked on... it shall not end until my death (odd one to specify) I shall take no wife hold no lands father no children wear no crowns win no glory... All these seem to directly reflect the crimes of the Night's King... who's name was struck from the records... and the Last Hero isn't referred to by name, but certainly won glory. Neither seemed to know much of fear. "I'm the watcher on the walls" implies to me that the oath predates the wall itself. Or at least that the threat they protect against does. I suspect that there were Others in the Land of Always Winter before the Long Night. See the old story of Symeon Star Eyes as a possible example of one. I'm just not sure they had any interest in destroying mankind at that point. But as with most magic we've seen it's only through sacrifice (likely of/by men) that power is gained. As I believe Weirwoods need blood to grow, and sacrifice to make Dragon eggs hatch, and forge Valyrian Steel. Why expect Others to be different, especially given Craster's Sons. So a magical global catastrophic event? I expect we will find it was caused by men. In this case the Nights King. Likely he made a "deal with the devil" for the resurrection of his love... seems fitting. Also, the Night Gates existence may suggest an original connection between the Night's King and the Children of the Forrest. The choice of language in "flew" down from the wall doubly so. If he was a green seer perhaps this is why Brothers of the Nights watch are Crows, and all crows are liers. And of course this fits with the Last Hero story and learning the language of the Children. But what do I know...
  13. Stannis will marry Shireen to Rickon, thus securing the northern support before they all die
  14. Ya, so, I hate to do this, but I think the twelve companions were also the original Nights Watch. What I don't trust is the order of events we've been given... it seems to me that the Night's King's 13 year reign would be about a generation and may well have been the Long Night. I think the Last Hero made peace with the Others, as opposed to defeating them, and the Battle for the Dawn was to overthrow him after he became the Night's King. And after all, people do, you know, come back from the dead... And is Nissa Nissa the corpse bride? He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night's King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night's King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden. After all, raising wights or neverborn, or transothering or whatever we're calling this resurrection magic, and "bound his sworn brothers to his will" could easily be the same thing. But of course it's all wild speculation.
  15. Sorry, the first quote was in westeros, before the battle at the Green Fork, and the last was a memory of the same sunrise... it was just a quick search I did for sunrises being red. Even the Valyria one in the middle is a reference to sunrises being red (it just happens to not be a sunrise they are talking about, but Valyria). His rondels were golden sunbursts, all his fastenings were gilded, and the red steel was burnished to such a high sheen that it shone like fire in the light of the rising sun.