Black Crow

Heresy 195 and the Mists of Time

404 posts in this topic

Did the original Nightfort have walls and southern defenses when it was first built? If it was only after the fall of the Night's King that the Watch was barred from defending from the South, are we to assume the original Nightfort had walls? Not sure if it matters just wondering if people had other thoughts.

12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

A quick calculation on the fingers therefore tells us that the other castles were built or started to be built 4,000 years ago. Whatever way you look at it for the first 4,000 years of the Wall’s existence it had no castles apart from the Nightfort and presumably no garrison patrolling those 300-odd miles of ice. The Watch were in effect no more than gatekeepers.

Wow I never thought about it like this! This really alters my perception of the Night's Watch and what their original role could have been. Do we know if the Nightfort also had a tunnel through the Wall in addition to the Black Gate? We know the abandoned castles had their tunnels filled with ice and rubble, but is their any mention of the Nightfort's tunnel or is the Black Gate the only confirmed way through the Wall there?

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Nothing leads us to believe there weren't other castles, just that they didn't survive.   Even Castle Black lasting 4000 years is suspect,  it seems poorly maintained and unlikely to last a few hundred more. 

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Hey this is cool I didn't know about the rankings on profiles but I'm glad I've posted enough to no longer be labeled a "commoner" haha

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5 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Nothing leads us to believe there weren't other castles, just that they didn't survive.   Even Castle Black lasting 4000 years is suspect,  it seems poorly maintained and unlikely to last a few hundred more. 

Well, it does say the Nightfort is the oldest, which means at one time it of necessity HAD to be the only one. Other castles not surviving is an interesting thought but I think the original point still stands.

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7 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Nothing leads us to believe there weren't other castles, just that they didn't survive.   Even Castle Black lasting 4000 years is suspect,  it seems poorly maintained and unlikely to last a few hundred more. 

Even if you believe there were other possibly older castles than the Nightfort which disappeared, there is no evidence of that in the text. The text leads us to believe the Nightfort is almost certainly the oldest and the first, the bigger leap is that there were others. That is a theory not at all supported by the text, unless I'm missing something.

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1 minute ago, LordBlakeney said:

Well, it does say the Nightfort is the oldest, which means at one time it of necessity HAD to be the only one. Other castles not surviving is an interesting thought but I think the original point still stands.

Yes indeed, although I'll add a caveat that just as the Winterfell we see today is very different from the original ringwork, so the Nightfort probably looked a lot different when it was first built. We have in the past discussed the possibility that originally it comprised nothing more than the "kitchen" and the Black Gate and that the rest of the castle we see now grew up around that - but that's really for the Heresy Essay on the Wall which will appear later in the series.

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What if someone made the whole thing up?  Suppose Harren's brother or his predecessor conquered the Wall, and didn't like the history of what happened there, and made up a story about how it has guarded by the Watch for thousands of years?

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3 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Yes indeed, although I'll add a caveat that just as the Winterfell we see today is very different from the original ringwork, so the Nightfort probably looked a lot different when it was first built. We have in the past discussed the possibility that originally it comprised nothing more than the "kitchen" and the Black Gate and that the rest of the castle we see now grew up around that - but that's really for the Heresy Essay on the Wall which will appear later in the series.

Can't wait!

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3 minutes ago, LordBlakeney said:

Even if you believe there were other possibly older castles than the Nightfort which disappeared, there is no evidence of that in the text. The text leads us to believe the Nightfort is almost certainly the oldest and the first, the bigger leap is that there were others. That is a theory not at all supported by the text, unless I'm missing something.

The text doesn't mention women before 3000 years ago.  Are we to assume men reproduced without them?  It is a much smaller leap of logic to believe they existed and weren't mentioned. 

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2 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

What if someone made the whole thing up?  Suppose Harren's brother or his predecessor conquered the Wall, and didn't like the history of what happened there, and made up a story about how it has guarded by the Watch for thousands of years?

I think that's the whole point of this thread - obviously the timelines have discrepancies and sure its a possibility someone made the whole thing up - but we're trying to sort out those timelines based on textual evidence. Your assertion that there are possibly other, older, castles that disappeared has the least amount of textual evidence and therefore isn't very helpful to the discussion. The most likely explanation would be that the Nightfort is the oldest, but maybe isn't as old as we're led to believe. Now we use evidence from the text like @Black Crow 's excellent original post to try to decipher those timelines and see what it can tell us about the current story and maybe make us think about the in-world history in a different light.

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4 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

The text doesn't mention women before 3000 years ago.  Are we to assume men reproduced without them?  It is a much smaller leap of logic to believe they existed and weren't mentioned. 

Well now you're just not being fun at all. 

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59 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

At 8 years per commander, 325 lcs ago is 2592 years old.  Not much paper survives that long.  Sam's reaction seems to imply the list is newer than he'd expect. 

Just for comparisons sake, the oldest known book in existence, is the Estrucan gold book, estimated to be a little over 2600 years old.  The pages are made of sheets of gold.

The next oldest book, is the Pyrgi gold tablets, which are three gold tablets believed to have been a part of a common binding.  They are a little over 2500 years old.

The oldest surviving paper books are the 13 leather bound papyrus codices which make up the surviving books from the Nag Hammadi library.  They are supposed to be roughly 1590 years old. These were found buried inside a sealed jar in Upper Egypt in 1945.  I assume that in a cold environment, books should have a greater shelf life if well cared for.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Its consistent with the revised dates for the arrival of the Andals, but on the other hand that 8 year average is based on close on a thousand lord commanders in 8,000 years, yet as we've seen the World Book has also put the Long Night at just [!] 6,000 years ago, which screws that up. There's no doubt that the Watch believe they have been guarding the Wall for 8,000 years and have presumably constructed their mythology accordingly, but it aint necessarily so.

Using those dates as a guideline, Sam's list was written between 2000 and 2500 years ago.  Which perhaps puts it during the time of the Andal invasion (or 2000 years later depending on who you believe), the age where the Ironborn were reaving up and down the Mander, which prompted the Green Hand kings to start arming the Shield Islands, Winterfell's invasion of the Three Sisters, the construction of Winterfell's inner wall, and the founding of the Hermit's Hole in the Quiet Isle.  For what it's worth.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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9 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Using those dates as a guideline, Sam's list was written between 2000 and 2500 years ago.  Which perhaps puts it during the time of the Andal invasion (or 2000 years later depending on who you believe), the age where the Ironborn were reaving up and down the Mander, which prompted the Green Hand kings to start arming the Shield Islands, Winterfell's invasion of the Three Sisters, the construction of Winterfell's inner wall, and the founding of the Hermit's Hole in the Quiet Isle.  For what it's worth.

And that is one of the reasons why we're engaged in this particular exercise. We need to try and sort out how events in Westeros relate to events in the world beyond.

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44 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

What if someone made the whole thing up?  Suppose Harren's brother or his predecessor conquered the Wall, and didn't like the history of what happened there, and made up a story about how it has guarded by the Watch for thousands of years?

Again, that's in part what this thread is about and not just in relation to the Watch. We have the histories, but as Sam says some of the maesters in the Citadel think they are mince. In relation to the Wall alone we have an immediate discrepancy between the legendary date of an 8,000 year old Watch and a revised date for the Long Night of 6,000 years. Things aint what they seem.

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Lost almost all of my post. Here's the short of it.

The prophecy of Azor reborn is written in books from 5,000 years or more past. The Valyrian Freehold began around 5,000 years ago. At least that long ago for the Long Night if the numbers are true.

Adjacent thoughts - Did the dragon wielding Valyrians grow directly out of the darkness of the Long Night ? A long, cold and dark spell should cause people to seek out other means and places for light, warmth, food, and shelter. Not to mention random craziness. Could it be that in those dark times the shepherding Valyrians looked underground to stumble upon the dragons or dragon eggs? Then eventually came out of the darkness on top of the world? 

Might be that all the numbers don't add up, but I think it's more important that the sequence is set in order. 

 

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We know that the Rhoynish wars started about 950 years before conquest,  there would have been good records of that.  We know the Long Night was before that, as the Rhoynish have it in their history and it is unlikely they'd switch these events.   We also know the Andals arrived before 700 years BC,  as that is when Nymeria arrived and married the Martells, who were already there.

Before these events, we have very little history,  and what we have is thousands of years further back.  I suspect those events will turn out far more recent. 

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13 minutes ago, aDanceWithFlagons said:

Adjacent thoughts - Did the dragon wielding Valyrians grow directly out of the darkness of the Long Night ? A long, cold and dark spell should cause people to seek out other means and places for light, warmth, food, and shelter. Not to mention random craziness. Could it be that in those dark times the shepherding Valyrians looked underground to stumble upon the dragons or dragon eggs? Then eventually came out of the darkness on top of the world? 

I like this idea - other people have speculated that going underground would be one of the ways to survive the Long Night. Especially warm underground caves near a volcano. Discovering (or re-discovering) dragons/dragon eggs definitely a possibility.

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I am like a kid in highschool with a lot of professors to tap on my finger, But are Winterfell not the oldest and so the Nightford.  If all the mystery started in the Winterfells crypt then did not the Wall and its Casteles come later?

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5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Using those dates as a guideline, Sam's list was written between 2000 and 2500 years ago.  Which perhaps puts it during the time of the Andal invasion (or 2000 years later depending on who you believe), the age where the Ironborn were reaving up and down the Mander, which prompted the Green Hand kings to start arming the Shield Islands, Winterfell's invasion of the Three Sisters, the construction of Winterfell's inner wall, and the founding of the Hermit's Hole in the Quiet Isle.  For what it's worth.

The text does state that the First Men didn't write on paper...they carved ruins on rocks, so a list with 674 Lord Commanders on it means it was written by the first Andal at the Wall. Therefore the first 324 Lord Commanders were First Men and their names were listed on the ruins.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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