Lord_Pepsi_Cupps

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  1. Hey OP, I could see it happening that way, or something similar. Shirene is definitely not making it to spring. I think there might be no special magic to king's blood, for sacrifice purposes. The magic comes from human sacrifice itself, regardless of who the victim is. It's about taking a human life. What's so special about the notion of a king? - outside of the myth about the sacrificial king (and there it's clear that being designated as king by your group is what made you attractive for human sacrifice, not something about your "blood"; you become the victim because it's *decided* you're the target) Tying it to king's blood is a way of disguising how evil it is - it makes you focus on the special abstract notion of a king and what is a king and what makes a king bla bla bla, instead of on the person being killed. It makes the whole thing sound like a very rare occurrence, a special case. And if you want to continue to believe that you're serving a good purpose, you construct these little mental tricks that allow you to resolve your cognitive dissonance. If people knew you could achieve your ends by burning anyone, then no one would feel safe, and your whole "thing" would start to be seen for what it is - killing people for a magic boost. Evil. This to me seems in line with how Melissandre is shown to explain away all the questionable things she does. This may be so deeply ingrained in the red religion that Melisandre might firmly believe it. And in the end, if they believe it needs to be king's blood, they'll act that way and the outcome will be the same. But I think it's more in keeping with busting the tropes if it turns out that there's nothing "glamorous" about human sacrifice as a magical use of king's blood, that the entire point of human sacrifice as a magical ritual is that it's just about the willingness to kill for power.
  2. The Seven "stars" are the moon and the planets visible with the naked eye, plus the Stranger (probably the comet that killed the other moon). These "stars" are called the "wanderers" and there's clues scattered throughout the text that these wandering stars really mirror the visible "planets" from our world. If I'm following you, you say actual god-like people came down to the Andals and "chose" them? I think it's more likely that this is a myth-memory belonging to one of the groups of men who survived the Long Night and later happened to become the Andals. The memory of the Seven gods "appearing" to them is rooted in the end of the Long Night, as the atmospheric cloud after the moon-meteor collisions cleared and the stars became visible again, including the six wanderers. Their appearance would have been like a herald of some semblance of order re-establishing itself, so this particular group of survivors built their religion around it. In retellings, the reappearance of the wanderers became literally interpreted as the Seven appearing to the Andals in the flesh. The Faith *may* be related to the pre-Bloodstone Emperor religion of the GEotD - making the Faith a reinvented original religion - but you'd need to be able to link up those emperor colours to the planets. Perhaps what we know as the Stranger used to be deity representing the second moon, so now it stands in for death. We also don't know what the original Emperors and Empress stood for - rulers, dynasties? Maybe astrological ages of some kind? If you could tie each one to one of the planets, then perhaps the Geodawnians had a way of calculating time that meant certain long periods were marked by one specific planet/wandering star (eg the age of Venus might be the reign of the Pearl Emperor, for example...). I used to think the Faith was sinister because it had a secret link with the suspicious Church of Starry Wisdom, but now I don't know - I think they might be in opposition to each other. The BSE instituted the Church of Starry Wisdom, which is another celestial based religion. I think (I've argued this before), given its connection with sailors, and it's name "Starry wisdom", it was focused on the fixed stars rather than the wanderers, because it was really about celestial navigation. In the real world, the discovery of celestial navigation was a near-sorcerous leap in technology, and it would have allowed conquests across the ocean for the first time. You could also see how the BSE's new religion might be heretical to the old one - both worship "stars", but he casts away the true gods (the wandering stars) to worship the fixed stars because of the "wisdom" (celestial navigation enabling his conquests, and potential the arrival on Westeros) that they grant him. This is all highly speculative. It seems the key is the names of the Gemstone Emperors, but no one has produced a fully convincing interpretation of those gems. As for the Targs accepting the Faith - they were Valyrian. The world book says the dragonlords allowed the worship of all gods, but feared none. Easy enough for Aegon and sisters to pretend-convert, to be more appealing as rulers. It's not like they ended their incestuous marriages and repented - how deep was the conversion anyway?
  3. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    I think Preston Jacobs is good for stirring the pot, but he takes things quite literally when it suits him, and also just ignores things that don't suit his argument. For example, in the "magic is just advanced science" argument, he still does accept that skinchanging and dream-sending exist, they're crucial to his interpretations. But that's not "advanced science". Or take forging Valyrian steel - how does human sacrifice (the most heavily hinted at secret to making/reforming Valyrian steel) have an "advanced scientific" explanation? Or Arya seeing the Faceless Men change their faces? She explains both seeing it (after Harrenhal), and experiencing it - it doesn't make sense if you try to explain it as advanced science. Or sure, you can say it's just science so advanced that it can do *anything* it wants and doesn't obey the laws of nature; fine, but then you're basically just talking about magic without saying "magic". But my biggest gripe with this argument is that it rests almost completely on interpreting Martin's works before ASOIAF - aliens, hive minds, etc. There's no denying Martin revisits ideas, but Preston Jacobs basically says Martin just copycats his own past works, without ever exploring new understandings or taking things further into new directions. Like ASOIAF is just one big exercise in which Martin puts his old ideas in a new package, without any imagination. How boring that would be for a writer.
  4. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    It depends on how you interpret the stories, and we seem to find different things to be important, which of course is normal. If I'm reading you correctly, you say that Rhaenyra and Rheanys are evidence that a single dragonriding parent is good enough? To me, it's more about the fact of Rhaenyra and Rheanys being dragonriding women giving birth to dragonriding children whose fathers may not have been dragonriders - I see a strong hint that GRRM is telling us the mother matters more than the father. This of course is controversial, because it's possible to see it as saying something else entirely. The case of Rhaenys and Aenys I initially seems like no more than a cute curiosity - "just imagine if none of the Targs are actually descended from Aegon, fascinating!" But if you look beneath the shock value of that (assuming for now that we believe the rumours), it opens up a range of interesting questions. The "need" for them to descend from Aegon himself (when Rhaenys shares his DNA, as they are full siblings) is partly rooted in Westerosi patriarchy. Were the Valyrians patriarchal at all? Their stories and family lines are interpreted through Westerosi eyes, where you duly see explained a string of generations where the "son-and-heir" would "marry his sister" - but shouldn't we question that interpretation? Was it maybe the daughter (the next generation's mother) that was more relevant than the son? Was it in fact the case that the future "mother of dragons" would be "marrying her brother" - to maximise the likelihood of her kids being dragonriders - rather than vice versa? I'm not saying the Valyrians were a matriarchy, just that the Westerosi interpretations place a potentially undue weight on the sons. It's about what lens you apply, and it's not an irrelevant point. And thematically, we don't see a "father of dragons" character, whereas "mother of dragons" is a crucial trope. To me, the stories of Rhaenys and Rhaenyra both (and also Rhaenys the QWNW) are subtly indicating that a woman dragonrider is somehow more relevant to having dragonriding children, since there seems to be a 100% success rate in all of these cases where the father was not, or may not have been, a dragonrider. Of course, Aegon may have been Aenys' father and the Sea Snake may have inherited a lucky dragon gene via the Velaryon-Targ connections; and the marriage of dragonriders Alysanne and Jaehaerys seems to have produced at least one non-dragonrider - but it's about which part of these stories stands out more as being suspicious, and whether seen together they signal a message. I see the message as being that the mother is, in some way, "more important" than the father when it comes to "the blood of the dragon". Not as a "sure thing", but perhaps as a question of the probability of having dragonriding children. Yes, on the whole it may be ideal to have them both be dragonriding siblings, but a dragonrider mom alone seems to be astoundingly effective too. This seems to be the very purpose of repeatedly inserting doubt about who the father was - to show that this very much matters in a patriarchal society, but that it may not impact so much on producing dragonbabies. This may also explain why Rhaenyra was so blazé about risking having THREE children with Strong - she was comfortably trusting her own blood would do the trick (though she of course had to bow to the need to deny they were bastards, for political reasons). To turn to Alicent then (on the assumption the stories of Rhaenys and Rhaenyra are relevant to understand this case - assumption I find easy to make), this may undermine the explanation that her 4 dragonriding children can simply be explained by the fact that Viserys was their father. Consequently, it highlights the question of Alicent's own bloodline, feeding back into the Hightower-dragonblood hypothesis. Again, just one piece of the wider puzzle. As for the point about kids who have their own dragons that may not turn out to be dragonriders - I'm not sure this is as relevant as you say. Surely they would be able to tell if the child is developing the requisite bond with the dragon? And then it would just be a matter of time for the dragon to become large enough (and the child to grow up sufficiently, so you don't have a four-year-old riding a flying weapon) for there to be mounting? If the bond wasn't clearly there (evidenced for example in how the dragon behaved towards the child), wouldn't the dragon be a risk to the child, as it could attack? Granted, we don't know the details of how the bond happens. So I would still say that a ridiculously high proportion of Alicent's descendants had a dragon bond, even if J and J's dragons were too young to ride yet.
  5. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    In certain stages of Alzheimer's or just moments of cloudy judgment due to serious illness, you do get people mistaking their children for their spouses - presumably the physical similarity plays a part. But it can just be that she was there, taking care of him the way a daughter would, and he was just sick and confused. It is beyond curious though that at every point at which we have a Hightower's appearance hinted at, there's these confusing double-meanings. Once, twice, but three times? As for whether the Hightowers will be important or not - I mean, why include them in tPatQ and The Rogue Prince? These aren't early versions of the story where he's just planting seeds to see if anything grows out of them later on, this was written after aDwD came out. GRRM isn't just keeping the Hightower question on a low fire, he's adding salt and seasoning to the dish. And they're in such a prominent role as well - and not just for their scheming for power. All four of Alicent's children turned out to be dragonriders, and at least 2 of her 3 grandchildren were as well. This is something that more than one Targ queen apparently couldn't boast of. But then we circle back to the fact that Alicent is before Rhaena marries her Hightower. It's typical GRRM - at the same time he gives us a clear way for the present-day Hightowers to have relatively recently acquired Targ features (via Rhaena), he also drops another possible hint or two (Alicent's *possible* looks as per Jaehaerys confusing her for a daughter, her 100% dragonrider children) to undermine this apparent "clarification".
  6. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    Well. I've long thought that one of the many Chekhov's guns lying around is the string of Volcanoes down the eastern coast of Westeros (Hardhome, Dragonstone above ground, Spears of the Merling King as evidence of underwater eruptions). Almost like the Ring of Fire in the Pacific, but as far as we can tell only down the Westerosi side. A large enough meteor impact can actually trigger volcanic eruptions, most prominently on the exact opposite side of the globe from the impact point. For example, the Deccan traps in India may have been "triggered" by the large meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs, and subsequently the enormous ongoing eruptions from the Deccan traps would have contributed to creating a planetary winter - so it wasn't just dust from the meteor that done it. Hint hint. From what I can tell, the Merling King is a variation of Drowned God / sea deity. Just as the Ironborn myths might be relating the tale of the tsunamis that accompanied the original moon-crash, the Merling King may be the personification of the underwater volcano that errupted in the Narrow Sea after the moon meteors struck (evidenced by the Spears of the MK). A sea dragon drowning islands in its wrath, etc. If the Velaryons are indeed a remnant of the Geodawnian arrivistes at Westeros, then they would have been around during the Long Night cataclysm. A "pact" with the sea deity sounds like it's hinting at the resolution of a war (perhaps a metaphorical "war") - the volcano erupted, but the Velaryons survived and made a throne out the driftwood blown onto their island after the tsunamis settled. Thus the driftwood was a "gift" of the sea god that had almost destroyed them, but spared them. I'm not sure about including a link to the Seastone Chair - but if the proto-Velaryons were among the original arrivals to the Iron Islands from the GEotD, they may have set up their seat there (hence the oily stone throne). The moon-crash made them flee but they survived "the sea deity" and his wrath, and built a new throne out of what they saw as a gift from that deity. All that stuff about the people from the sea (merlings, selikes...) may indeed just be twisted tales of the Geodawnians. They were I believe the first seafarers, we've discussed that here before - this is what the Church of Starry Wisdom is hinting at ("starry wisdom" is celestial navigation, allowing ships to cross oceans rather than just skirt the coastline; it must have made the first seafarers seem like sorcerers, it's such a huge technology leap). If the Geodawnians (or one faction) were already widely feared for their seafaring "sorcery", then an angry boiling sea and tsunamis would have been retroactively tied to this "sea people". If they were "merlings", then this must be the work of their god, the Merling King, etc. Lots to speculate about, but more than anything I see the Merling King story as a hint about the true age of the Velaryons. We may never know what all the "merman" mythology is really about.
  7. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    Thanks for reading DD! Wouldn't Yandel mention that? It just seems odd that a house arriving from an advanced civilisation (Valyria) to a half-barbaric land like Westeros would want to absorb an existing legend like that. They'd think they were above it, surely? Again, all these houses that GRRM is really cagey about (Hightowers, Daynes..) makes me think are connected in some way. When there's hints at them being very old ("The Old..."), and purple/silver, I think Geodawnians.
  8. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    hey thanks for reading! Which first immigrants do you mean? Because there's a long period between the end of the Long Night and the establishment of Valyria... My theory above builds on the exiting one that the Daynes (and, in an extension of that theory, the Hightowers) are linked to the original arrivals on Westeros, which TWOIAF hints predates the First Men (and who built Battle Isle fortress). These are the original "nameless people" who the dragonriding valyrians are also descended from. So the Velaryons share descent with the Valyrians - because they're both descended from the Golden Empire of the Dawn, not because the Velaryons came from Valyria.
  9. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    ETA: reply to @The hairy bear, sorry I'm on my phone, quoting is hard. Thanks for reading/replying! --- The Hightower look is highly speculative - you have to link up hints and omissions, and of course it all depends on how much you're willing to engage with it, everyone's got their own "lines" they won't cross when it comes to speculation. Dany reminds Jorah of Lynesse (which could mean nothing, he's just a fool in love - but remember how Jon's link to Lyanna is partly established in a casually roundabout way, through seemingly innocuous statements: by Arya looking like Jon, and Arya also looking like Lyanna). Secondly, Alerie Hightower is described as having silvery hair - no big deal, she's got adult children, she's just a woman that's gone grey. Maybe. But she is quite a young woman - this isn't obvious, so you don't immediately realise it, but she is described as younger than her husband Mace Tyrell, who is by our standards also still quite a youngish man. Alerie would be close in age to Cersei and Cat. If she had simply gone fully grey that young, you'd expect this to be noted, particularly when her beauty is being described. The only mention of a woman that age going grey is Lysa Tully, and in that case a big deal is made of this fact - it's premature and it's noted. So her silvery hair may be a hint at something. Overall it's curious we see so few Hightowers. But there are ONLY TWO Hightowers whose looks are addressed, (Lynesse and Alerie) and in both instances there is a surprising amount of room for speculation about possible "Valyrian" features. There's also a third possible hint. While in TWOIAF the picture of Alicent Hightower shows a dark haired woman, TWOIAF also shows all dragons breather normal coloured fire, which we know is wrong. Contrast the picture to the textual evidence that Jaehaerys confused Alicent with his daughter - again, coincidence, right? He's an old senile man, it can happen. Or it's a possible third hint that a Hightower could pass for a Targaryen. That could be three for three when it comes to the Hightower "look". Or again, could be all just be a coincidence, it depends on where your speculative line is. The Hightowers are also older than commonly thought - their origin story involving Uthor Hightower clearing Battle Isle of dragons, combined with stories about how ancient Battle Isle fortress is, puts them among the very earliest families about which ANYTHING is known. These events are described as lost in the mists of time or whatever - so if you link a family to those events, you get a family origin story that's incredibly old. Dayne-level old. And there may actually be a hint about a Hightower connection with the Daynes: why name the very first Hightower "Uthor", clearly a hint at our world's King Arthur's father? Again, just another in a long line of meaningless coincidences... if considered in isolation from all the other ones. --- I disagree strongly that we can't use the Daynes for anything - sounds like you're just saying it would be simpler to ignore the fact that they look "Valyrian" - even though they're clearly older than Valyrian civilisation itself. On the contrary, this must be accounted for. They are not just a curiosity - their mythos and sword may go back to the Long Night itself! Why make them look "Valyrian" when it clearly makes no sense? It's about hiding in plain sight - they are not Valyrians, but they are evidence to the fact that the Valyrians have a prehistory. Their not the first purple eyed people. There's a whole range of discussions in this forum about who the "people so ancient they had no name" were. The ones who taught the Valyrians about dragons - who presumably must have been dragonriders themselves, the original ones. Don't want to reinvent the wheel here, the discussions focus on the Great Empire of the Dawn / ancient Ashai. All of this can be just random tidbits of data, but again, as with so many other examples in this story, things are not usually random and hiding in plain sight is the safest place to plant bits of story that will stay hidden until they suddenly "click" and make sense. --- As for the Velaryon legend itself.... Family legends about a "legendary trickster" (Lannister) and the Battle of Sevenstars (Arryn) are linked to easily understandable distortions of events - while for example the legend of the Winged Knight (the "legend" in the truer sense) is much more "fantastic" and predates the Arryns, as Yandel shows. The Merling King and the Driftwood Throne are not easily linked to any real event that we know of, nor is there a hint that it's a story absorbed from another family - why would a Valyrian family, an arrival from an advanced civilisation to a half-barbarian land, take up an existing story from that land as their own? Where's the need for that, or even the inclination? And we do know that sea-focused legends exist as the oldest layer of Ironborn mythos (giving it an early-First Man timing at the latest), as well as scattered hints of "fishy people" around the world - all possibly linked to remnants of an ancient civilisation. --- I'm completely aware I'm swimming against the current here on the Velaryon point, BUT to me the very way the Velaryon story is spoken of in TWOIAF is what makes me more rather than less suspicious: on the surface, a casual confirmation of the general belief; but within that a reference at "the histories"; and then an obviously difficult-to-understand legendary family tale. How often do "random coincidences" really turn out to be just that in ASOIAF? It happens of course (eg, I don't think Dany's lemon tree means she was raised in Dorne), but with each new addition to the string of coincidences, the probability that it's not a coincidence grows exponentially.
  10. Velaryons are not Valyrian?

    House Velaryon came from Valyria some time before the Targaryens - that's common knowledge. Surprisingly, for how often the Velaryons come up in discussions here, this thought is uttered only twice in the main books: once by Davos and once by Cersei. The claim itself isn't really questioned by readership, mainly because the Velaryons clearly LOOK Valyrian. But so do the Daynes, as we've known forever, and possibly the occasional Hightower, as has been more recently discussed. Then, in TWOIAF, we get this as the clearest indication and confirmation of Valyrian descent, from which all others (there's one more direct one in TWOIAF) can be drawn: I know I'm turning this seemingly clear confirmation on its head, but I'm curious about the statement that "the histories agree". This then is a matter of historical knowledge, rather than relatively recent-ish memory. Yandel, and presumably everyone else, knows it from histories, and we know how "reliable" those can be. Especially going far back enough. But this is the real catch: The Velaryons have been here long enough for a LEGEND to exist, which is in itself a red flag. How reliable are those "histories that agree" about where the Velaryons came from, if we're talking about something this far in the past? The Manderlys came to the North a thousand years ago, and nevertheless those stories are very well and clearly understood - no legends required. And here we do have a legend, and not just any legend: a Driftwood Throne, a pact, and the Merling King? This is seriously old stuff. It's the kind of story you might expect from some of the First Men families, not a recentish Valyrian arrival, or even an Andal-age family origin story. This "sea-people" imagery is tied most strongly to the Ironborn - it's as old as it gets, especially if you've delved into Ironborn origin myths (cc @LmL). So I think the Velaryons, with their "Valyrian" looks might be in the same boat as the Daynes and the Hightowers. They are the remnants of the pre-Long Night arrivals from the Golden Empire of the Dawn (or the ancient Ashai'i, "the people so old they had no name"), the original purple-eyed folk. The Valyrian Velaryons story is the result of confusion (because there was a Valyrian family that came over and settled thereabouts), assumption (look at them! and that name! it's obvious!) and possibly also trickery. The Daynes are secretive, the Hightowers are said to be "subtle and sophisticated" - there is a theme here for these houses to muddy their origins. So would the Velaryons have welcomed the "yeah we came from Valyria too!" spin, to help conceal something older? Their words are "The Old, the True, the Brave". Anyway. J'accuse!
  11. Arthur falling to Dawn might dovetail with a thought I had about what sets Dawn apart from "ordinary" Valyrian steel. We've heard all about the scary black swords that drink the souls of those they slay (TWOIAF about the Ironborn), and all the stuff about Qohor killing children to reforge V steel... So, taking/stealing a life with V steel = makes it special, perhaps not only in how it's forged, but in maintaining its special features (every time you kill with it, it eats a soul to fuel its magic). This may not be known widely or at all in Westeros, or it might not be properly understood. Dawn is said to look completely different, and there's obviously a few things about how it's handed down that set it apart from other swords. I wondered if what keeps Dawn "special" is that, instead of taking the strength of those its wielder slays, what happens is that each SotM swears an oath to, literally, fall on his sword in the end. That is, his ultimate "worthiness" is demonstrated by taking his own life with Dawn, in a WILLING sacrifice to reinforce Dawn's magic - in starkest contrast to the kind of unwilling sacrifice that V steel is forged in. Finding a guy THAT worthy, trusting that he would - now that would be a serious mission for a single family over 10,000 years. But if true, then if Arthur gave his life to Dawn (even if Ned was wielding it at the time), Ned would have actually been completing Arthur's journey as SotM. I have nothing hard to back this up with, other than needing to understand what makes Dawn "different" to V steel, taking into account the need for this particularly worthy man to wield it. A very worthy person would probably have some doubts about wielding true V steel, if they had full knowledge about how it's forged and what it potentially does when it kills. And there is that pesky part of the AA story where Nissa Nissa bares her breast apparently willingly. Among these circles, it's generally understood that this is an embellishment, and I don't necessarily disagree - but it does make me think about the idea of "willing" sacrifice more broadly. If Dawn was forged by Nissa Nissa's willing sacrifice, then Valyrian steel would be a dark and evil mockery of that, while Dawn's magical properties are kept "pure" by a worthy man's sacrifice of his own life. Of course Dawn has presumably also been used to kill (in normal sword fights), but maybe at those times it's just a sharp sword, versus V steel that would "feed" on the slain in those moments.
  12. You know how the First Men weren't lettered, and all these stories were passed down orally... things get misheard and then reinterpreted in a new context. I wonder what colour a dragon called the Winged (k)Night might have been .
  13. Got a shoutout in the Q&A Ep, my celebritay is through the roof! Here's the spiel on the name Dayne from the real world, I've bolded the "COME ON!" moments. When I first read this, it seemed so obvious that I wondered if GRRM has been planting these explanations around the innerwebs to eff with us. There is also a possible, unconfirmed, second meaning where it comes from a now-lost placename (ultimately from the word for "valley"), but the earliest record of the name refers to the nickname meaning. And lets spare ourselves the dignus/dingus jokes, we are better than that (we're not).
  14. Been a while since I posted, but had to come back for this. Great job as always @LmL! I think it actually took me like 6 hours to go through the whole thing, since I kept pausing so I could have a think. I remember ages ago having a discussion with you about the Hightower->Dayne connection (Uther/Arthur, father/son). The names are the big trick here because they obscure more than reveal. The Hightowers had to have a name before they built the High Tower, and Dayne is just a hint at "worthy" (in England, that's the etymology of that last name, not a connection to Denmark as often thought). Both names are "descriptive", both hiding the real story. The other aspect of the name trick is that they're patrilenial in Westeros, and the Westeros patriarchy is as efficient at skewing the worldview as our real life patriarchy is. Like with Aegon the Conq, it took until TWOIAF for us to question his role versus Visenya's, for example. We talk about Targ men marrying their sisters, but all our info on Valyria comes sieved through the maesters' anti-woman bias. Who's to say the daughters weren't the real power in the family, and since they married their brothers, the family name question is irrelevant anyway. I bring this up (the role of dragon women) because I think the female line is much much more important in understanding the dragons than the male line, which neatly escapes notice if you look at Targs' descent the way it's presented for standard Westerosi families (father->son). If Dany is re-acting the original dragon-forging story, can we really imagine a man in her role? Can we imagine a "father of dragons"? A man can't give birth, and the dragons are given birth to (metaphorically), time and again in how the event is referred to. The original dragon line goes back to a woman, not a man. It's the mothers that matter more than fathers. This is then of course of major relevance for the roles of Alicent Hightower and Diana Dayne, two key points when non-Targ women enter the Targ bloodline, since unlike for the Velaryons, we don't know of any Targ women "en-dragonning" those families (eg somewhat surprisingly, all of Alicent's children AND grandchildren were dragonriders... this to me is a hint that Hightowers have dragonblood, not that the father's blood is more important, as might appear at first glance if you look at this marriage; Rhaenyra's bastard sons were dragonriders, and their father was god knows who). It would be fitting if the seemingly innocuous insertion of Dayne blood through Diana is what reanimated the perhaps extinct dragonblood in the Targ line, and if that old dragonblood (rather than the Valyrian nouveau-dragonblood) was what made Dany special. But in general, just a great example of things hiding in plain sight, if you consider female lineage instead of the male. ----------- As for the Long Night and sequence of events... GAH! Such anger, such frustration, it burnsssss My internal canon (I like that expression btw), which I arrived at prompted by the latest ep: (1) Geodawnians, as the original FIRST first men, wage war on the Cotf with fire and metal. (2) to fight this, the wood-only Cotf create the Others, as excellent man-killing weapons. (3) to fight the Others, the Geodawnians retaliate by creating dragons -> Nissa Nissa is the original Mother of Dragons. Like Dany will, she died giving birth to her only living son (some roles can't be reversed, only women can be mothers). (4) this didn't break the moon. The reference in the NN story to her scream cracking the moon implies that her role kicked off the chain of events that lead to the moon eventually being destroyed (or may be a conflated story considering what happens next). Similarly, the BSE didn't worship a literal stone that fell from the sky - he worshipped a dragon, the original Black Dread (thanks to your dragon/meteor metaphor work!). (5) the Cotf, faced with dragons and having no other weapon (the Others are lethal against men, but against dragons??), destroy the moon. Like in the Doom, the cataclysm destroys dragons (while providing lots of references to a different kind of dragons falling from the sky), and bonus creates a global winter that amplifies the Others' ability to eradicate the Cotf's enemy: men. (And, in a way, Nissa's scream did break the moon -> had there not been dragons, the moon would still be there). It's a dance of one-upmanship of weapons and destruction: fire -> Others -> dragons -> Long Night. The original song of ice and fire / arms race. This is why I like this order of events, there's a consistency in the escalation. (6) I agree *somehow* the Cotf lost control of the Others. That's the only reason they'd sign the Pact / help the LH. My thoughts, again indebted to discussions with you about the role of all the "Greenseer" hints, run to a man who was a Cotf/man mix (not dragonblooded), who became a powerful Greenseer (at the Ravenry?) and seized control of the Others from the Cotf. However he then turned on both the men and the Cotf (he's the original Night's King?); and indeed, both groups were guilty for nearly destroying the world through either dragons or a cataclysm (so maybe our NK fella is the ultimate good guy). (7) the LH had to have been of dragonblood/Cotf lineage. The Cotf blood is the "ice blood" in the ice/fire blood mix - it refers to blood that has some power over the Others, like fire blood has some sort of power over the dragons. We know the LH has a Dayne connection (but see my final comment below), and we "know" the Daynes are of the Hightowers, who we "know" are of the Geodawnian dragon bloodline - though I see more generations here, rather than BSE->LH as father->son (there is also a rebellion story here, since the first Hightower destroyed the dragons on Battle Isle: so he rebelled against his own parentage, like a good son of AA would). (8) the part I find the hardest to unravel is whether there were two battles or just one. There was no battle to end the Long Night (the atmospheric fuckup had to clear up by itself), but there could have been a battle (at Winterfell?) to break the Night's King power. BUT, was there also, and before this, a battle at Battle Isle to destroy the remaining Geodawnian dragonlords? Is this why the Cotf even considered helping the LH against the Others (now that the fire threat is well and truly subdued)? Is this the "rebellion" and the story of the first Hightower clearing Battle Isle of "dragons"? (9) the Stark was a Cotf/man mix, and his role was to be the guarantee for the Cotf - there must always be a Stark at Winterfell or the Cotf will consider the Pact broken. It's not a piece of good advice in case winter comes, it's a threat of what will happen if the guarantee is broken. He may have been the Greenseer/NK's actual brother (their bloodlines are both Cotf/man, but not Cotf/dragonlord like the LH). (10) I don't think the LH had children, or at least that he wasn't the direct progenitor of House Dayne (this role was played by a full-dragonblooded half-sibling of his). Why? If the LH had had children, the special Cotf/dragonlord (or ice/fire blood if you will) blood would be passed down, instead of having to be recreated in the person of Jon. I think a hint of this is that Dawn isn't passed father to son, but to a worthy heir; since the LH didn't have children, it's how he would have passed it as well (to a nephew), starting the tradition. Arthur Dayne, of course, is the uncle to the current Dayne lord @LmL, if you made it this far without exploding from rage at my incorrect assumptions or falling asleep, please pick this apart for where you reckon things don't work from a meta PoV.
  15. What Made Valyrians Dragonlords?

    "Dragons are fire made flesh" looks to me like one of those grand metaphorical expressions that pointedly convey a literal message. That is, fire magic (the transmutation of the hottest flame on earth, volcanic lava, into something living) might be at the root of the creation of dragons, and fire magic to me just seems to be a type of blood magic (rather than they being separate categories of magic), because every magic comes down to sacrifice (blood). So, this is basically simply a world where, ultimately, human sacrifice can actually work as intended (unlike our world). If the initial magical ritual we're talking about here involved blood/human sacrifice (because that's just what big magic is) and the outcome was "fire made flesh", and the dragons thus created have a blood-specific connection to certain humans, then it might be that: A human was sacrificed so that someone of their blood could obtain a fiery weapon of untold power. That's of course also the story of the forging of Lightbringer. In fact, given that dragons are the ultimate weapon, it may be that all these archetypal "sacrifice->weapon" stories (including AA himself) are in fact referring back to the big one that started it all - the creation of the first dragon. This might have happened only once, by the first dragonlords, or once again by the Valyrians - this bit is actually less important than the how of it. The dragons roosting beneath the Shadow today may be the feral descendants of the dragons of the first dragonlords (of Ashai?). I'm also not sure firewyrms are what we think they are. The knowledge of them could be garbled (and not like anyone is going to go check right now, yes?). For example, this could be a confusion due to a literal translation of a metaphor referring to lava explosions / bursts of flame from the rock in Valyrian mines, which happened as you dug deeper into a volcano. Unlike wyverns which seem to be pretty well documented from what Yandel says about them, I put a question mark over what firewyrms are. Which might of course undercut any cross-breeding theory, in keeping with my preference for the purely magical origin of dragons.