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Mike001

Tyrion's 8 or 9 winters impossible

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Am I missing something here? I'm reading the 1st book and Tyrion is up at the Wall talking to Mormont & Mormont asks Tyrion how many winters he has seen and he replies "8, no 9!"



But Tyrion is only 28-30 years old isn't he? The long summer has been 9 years long already, so it doesn't add up to me. This conversation made it to the TV series too apparently.




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Tyrion is 26 or 27 years old when we first meet him.



ASOS Spoiler:




Joffrey dies on the first day of the new year 300 AL.



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According to the Wiki Tyrion is born in 274 AL. AGOT begins in 298 AL, which would make him 24 years old at the beginning of AGOT. That would mean that he was around 15 when the long summer began, leaving 8 "years" to have gone in 15 real years. Not impossible. Remember, the long summer is called the long summer for a reason. The average Westerosi year doesn't last more than a few years probably. In Tyrion's lifetime there has probably been 8 short summer/winter combinations each lasting just under 2 years total, before the beginning of the long summer. 2 x 8 + 9 = 25. If the first 8 years where slightly under 2 years it would add up to 24.


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So roughly only 6 months for every season? Those young'uns have had it too good! ;)



I still think GRRM over estimated there. In the next passage it states that Tyrion was born in the middle of a 3 year winter.


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According to the Wiki Tyrion is born in 274 AL. AGOT begins in 298 AL, which would make him 24 years old at the beginning of AGOT. That would mean that he was around 15 when the long summer began, leaving 8 "years" to have gone in 15 real years. Not impossible. Remember, the long summer is called the long summer for a reason. The average Westerosi year doesn't last more than a few years probably. In Tyrion's lifetime there has probably been 8 short summer/winter combinations each lasting just under 2 years total, before the beginning of the long summer. 2 x 8 + 9 = 25. If the first 8 years where slightly under 2 years it would add up to 24.

I'm not certain which wiki you've been looking at, but the wiki from westeros.org states clearly that Tyrion was born in 273 AC, meaning he was around 25 when we first met him in AGOT.

In essense, it shows that the winters are usually not all that long. The World of Ice and Fire seems to make it clear that winters lastin 6 years are already exceptional, occuring only every now and then.. with the ten-year summer starting in 289 AC, Tyrion had seen 9 winters in 16 years, the first of which he was born in (a three year middle, with Tyrion born in the middle).

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I'm not certain which wiki you've been looking at, but the wiki from westeros.org states clearly that Tyrion was born in 273 AC, meaning he was around 25 when we first met him in AGOT.

In essense, it shows that the winters are usually not all that long. The World of Ice and Fire seems to make it clear that winters lastin 6 years are already exceptional, occuring only every now and then.. with the ten-year summer starting in 289 AC, Tyrion had seen 9 winters in 16 years, the first of which he was born in (a three year middle, with Tyrion born in the middle).

Can't remember which Wiki it was to be honest. Seems i was mistaken. Anyway, your explanation is perhaps a bit clearer than mine.

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Just a thought but could it be that sometimes the seasons are also shorter and and what we call a year is only 8 months or something?


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To start, all the characters in the series are a couple years older then in the books. Then as far as the


seasons go,I think a season doesn't necessarily have to last at least a year. It could be 6 months


or 8 months or last 10 years. So tyrion was born in 273 and add a couple yrs he's around 27ish.


So if you add some of the seasons we do have an idea of, 281 year of false spring was at least 2,


tyrion born in middle of 3 yr winter,which is 1.5 and the 9 year summer now is 12.5 of 27 yrs. which


would mean the summers and winters would all be short which is possible but its close any way you


figure it out.


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If the seasons are so irregular, how do they measure a year? Do they just carefully count days? What does a year mean in this world, anyway?

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If the seasons are so irregular, how do they measure a year? Do they just carefully count days? What does a year mean in this world, anyway?

GRRM has stated in an SSM that a year in Westeros is the same as a year on earth. We don't measure our years by the seasons either, so why would Westeros? One year is twelve months, and the total length is determined by the solar cycle. In Westeros, a month seems to last 30 days, on average.

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GRRM has stated in an SSM that a year in Westeros is the same as a year on earth. We don't measure our years by the seasons either, so why would Westeros? One year is twelve months, and those are determined by the cycle of the moon. In Westeros, such a cycle seems to be 30 days, on average.

I was going to say that the seasons are why twelve lunar cycles is the number of a year, rather than ten or twenty or some other number. ...But then I remembered the cycle of the stars, which also lasts a year. That's certainly enough to explain a year length, and the stars would be that much more important in a world with irregular seasons. Actually, an astral, rather than a solar or lunar, calendar might make sense for the world. Has anyone described the calendar in any detail? 

Looking a little more broadly, can you point me to anything about the bigger cosmology of the world? Is it round or flat? Does it move, or does the sun move around it? This is a little off topic in a thread about Tyrion's age, but maybe there's a quick link I can follow?

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I was going to say that the seasons are why twelve lunar cycles is the number of a year, rather than ten or twenty or some other number. ...But then I remembered the cycle of the stars, which also lasts a year. That's certainly enough to explain a year length, and the stars would be that much more important in a world with irregular seasons. Actually, an astral, rather than a solar or lunar, calendar might make sense for the world. Has anyone described the calendar in any detail? 

Looking a little more broadly, can you point me to anything about the bigger cosmology of the world? Is it round or flat? Does it move, or does the sun move around it? This is a little off topic in a thread about Tyrion's age, but maybe there's a quick link I can follow?

Sorry, I mistyped.. I didn't mean that the length of the year depends on the lunar cycles, but on the solar cycle. I mixed those two up. I apologize.

In any case, here is the SSM in which GRRM made the statement


[What is the cycle of a year? Why do they count years when seasons are strange?]

 

Twelve moon tuns to a year, as on earth. Even on our earth, years have nothing to do with the seasons, or with the cycles of the moon. A year is a measure of a solar cycle, of how long it takes the earth to make one complete revolution around the sun. The same is true for the world of Westeros. Seasons do not come into it.

 

I'm not familiar with any essay's on the Known World's cosmology, I'm afraid. However, from The World of Ice and Fire (2014), there are the following statements regarding whether the world of round or flat

 

It has long been accepted amongst the wise that our world is round. If this is true, it ought to be possible to sail over the top of the world and down its far side, and there discover lands and seas undreamed of. Over the centuries, many a bold mariner has sought to find a way through the ice to whatever lies beyond. Most, alas, have perished in the attempt, or returned south again half-frozen and much chastened. 

and

[...] Wiser men suggest that somewhere beyond the waters we know, east becomes west, and the Shivering Sea must surely join the Sunset Sea, if indeed the world is round.
It may be so. Or not. Until some new Sea Snake arises to sail beyond the sunrise, no man can know for certain.
 
 

 

And found one more SSM by Martin on the topic

3) Is your world round. I mean if Dany traveled far enough east couldnt she come to the other side of westeros?

 

Yes, the world is round. Might be a little larger than ours, though. I was thinking more like Vance's Big Planet.... but don't hold me to that.

 

 

 

 

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I think he's joking--in that scene, he's surrounded by a bunch of old men who are insisting he's too young to know anything about anything, and he greatly exaggerates his age for humor. 

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I wonder if GRRM has a timeline for when the winters were in the history and for how long they lasted.

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I think he's joking--in that scene, he's surrounded by a bunch of old men who are insisting he's too young to know anything about anything, and he greatly exaggerates his age for humor. 

Why would he be joking? Regular winters do seem to last only a few years, so eight winters in Tyrion's 25 years of life (the first being a three year winter he was born in the middle of) don't seem out of the ordinary, even if we keep in mind that the ten year summer ended in 299 AC, meaning it most likely begun in 289 AC (or in the last days of 288 AC). Some two years on average per winter seems reasonable. Some no doubt will have been longer, other shorter. But I don't see a reason for him to have been joking. The text, as far as I can tell, doesn't seem to imply it.

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Thanks, RT. Martin's answer still leaves me somewhat unsatisfied - the solar cycle is the same thing as the seasons! The sun reaches a high point in the summer and a low point in the winter. But that's fine. I know that many writers would begin building a world by establishing the mechanics of how everything moves (say, disc on elephants on turtle) and build from there; Martin obviously started on a more human scale (long, irregular seasons) and didn't worry too much about the "science" of it all. It's not a huge deal, since that's far from the focus of his stories.

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Thanks, RT. Martin's answer still leaves me somewhat unsatisfied - the solar cycle is the same thing as the seasons! The sun reaches a high point in the summer and a low point in the winter. But that's fine. I know that many writers would begin building a world by establishing the mechanics of how everything moves (say, disc on elephants on turtle) and build from there; Martin obviously started on a more human scale (long, irregular seasons) and didn't worry too much about the "science" of it all. It's not a huge deal, since that's far from the focus of his stories.

Well, his answer for the seasons and why they are the way they are, was "magic", and when you add magic to the mix, quite a lot becomes possible, I suppose..

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