Black Crow

Heresy 195 and the Mists of Time

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On 1/24/2017 at 0:51 PM, Black Crow said:

Its what we're told in the text.

If you don't like it, pray cite any text contradicting it

The Nightfort is never said to be twice as old as the rest of the castles. If you think it is, pray cite the quote.

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How many people on here have been in a 1000 year old building?  They are few and far between.   Yet we are supposed to believe Castle Black and the other forts are 4000 years old?

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Here's a related point.  Sam says:
 

Quote

everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later

Well, the septons obviously trace to the Andals. 

If Sam thought (a) the Long Night and (b) the coming of the Andals were close in time, he would have phrased this in a very different way.  But he clearly thinks there was this enormous span of time, thousands of years, separating the two events, and that's why the septons might be wrong.

So I think we can take it as read that Sam endorses the notion of a truly ancient Watch and Long Night.  He just doesn't know its exact age any more than we do. 

Perhaps it was six thousand, or seven thousand, or eight thousand years, but in his mind it's been a long damn time since the original Long Night -- so long that about a thousand LCs is not at all out of the question.

Another interesting point.  Notice that when Jon and Ygritte discuss Gendel and Gorne there is no disagreement about when they lived:

Quote

 

"Gorne," said Jon. "Gorne was King-beyond-the-Wall."

"Aye," said Ygritte. "Together with his brother Gendel, three thousand years ago. They led a host o' free folk through the caves, and the Watch was none the wiser. But when they come out, the wolves o' Winterfell fell upon them."

"There was a battle," Jon recalled. "Gorne slew the King in the North, but his son picked up his banner and took the crown from his head, and cut down Gorne in turn."

 

Despite growing up in completely different cultures, they both think Gendel and Gorne lived about three thousand years back. 

Remarkable consistency.  While Jon's notion of history might have been dramatically affected by septons getting things wrong, Ygritte's would have no such influence.

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2 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

How many people on here have been in a 1000 year old building?  They are few and far between.   Yet we are supposed to believe Castle Black and the other forts are 4000 years old?

In defense of GRRM, the text doesn't actually say they're that old... only that Castle Black is half as old as the Nightfort, which was built... we know not when.   Some of them (example: Deep Lake, only about 200 years old) are much, much newer.

However, I grant that most of them are probably crazy old any way you slice it. 

They would require constant rebuilding and maintenance... and hence the Builders have been busy boys.  But the fact that there is this whole division of the Watch, Builders, that does that job, is probably part of GRRM's way of owning up to this problem.

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A rare theory I suspect all Heretics can agree on is that however old the Wall is, Mexico did not pay for it.

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6 minutes ago, JNR said:

A rare theory I suspect all Heretics can agree on is that however old the Wall is, Mexico did not pay for it.

:lol:

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If I were writing this genre,  I'd base my world's history on real Middle Age history.  So we'd have the relatively recent history of the kingdom,  its neighbors and individual Barons - maybe 200 years and very accurate.   We'd also have a vague awareness of a previous empire (similar to Rome) other ancient cultures (Greeks, Druids) much fuzzier in time going back 1000-2000 years or so.  Beyond that we'd have legends  (such as Noah and Gilgamesh) that no one can place in time or say is even based in fact.  Being fantasy,  I might tie some of these legends into my main plot.

We have no idea if GRRM thinks this way, but his world fits this model very well.  The alternative is he gave us a world with a much much longer and better known but also much simpler history.  I am inclined to believe the former. 

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

A rare theory I suspect all Heretics can agree on is that however old the Wall is, Mexico did not pay for it.

No but maybe the Others did. 

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4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

How many people on here have been in a 1000 year old building?  They are few and far between.   Yet we are supposed to believe Castle Black and the other forts are 4000 years old?

That's why I said that the Nightfort, like the ringwork which was the original Winterfell, would have looked very different to the present one when it was first raised

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9 hours ago, hiemal said:

I think timelines may be so divergent because the reckoning of time suffered not just once, when the seasons were knocked off kilter, but again during the Long Night. I think the solar year becoming uncoupled from the seasons, forcing reliance on stellar calendars might go a long towards explaining the confusion and a few decades of darkness could plausibly seal the deal.

A very good point indeed :bowdown:

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9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

On an aside, I have previously scoffed at your idea of Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna as a political maneuver that seriously backfired.  After having read the tourney in Ivanhoe, and specifically the attempt that Prince John makes in influencing the crowning of Love and Beauty as a move to score political points, I take it back.  I think you are on to something.

To be honest its so long since I last read Ivanhoe that particular reference had escaped me, but I'm sure it won't have escaped GRRM - must dig out my copy.

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7 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I am not certain "Dragon has Three Heads" is prophecy.  Aegon the Conqueror had 3 dragons with riders.  It could be a custom,  just how dragonriders fight, or a tribute to him.

More a mantra, I agree. While the official words of House Targayen are Fire and Blood, I wonder if those were adopted after the Conquest with the three heads [given the sigil] being the original ones.

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3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

If I were writing this genre,  I'd base my world's history on real Middle Age history.  So we'd have the relatively recent history of the kingdom,  its neighbors and individual Barons - maybe 200 years and very accurate.   We'd also have a vague awareness of a previous empire (similar to Rome) other ancient cultures (Greeks, Druids) much fuzzier in time going back 1000-2000 years or so.  Beyond that we'd have legends  (such as Noah and Gilgamesh) that no one can place in time or say is even based in fact.  Being fantasy,  I might tie some of these legends into my main plot.

We have no idea if GRRM thinks this way, but his world fits this model very well.  The alternative is he gave us a world with a much much longer and better known but also much simpler history.  I am inclined to believe the former. 

Can't cite the link, but...

Oh, and he did mention that he put lots of legends into the books such as Bran the Builder. Bran the builder is supposed to have built the Wall, Winterfell, and Storms End. GRRM mentioned that he has become a legend so that people will look at a structure and say "wow, it must have been built by Bran the Builder" when it actually was not. This is GRRM's attempt on creating a world with myths and legends so if at some point you see, "They say it was built by Bran the Builder or Lann the Clever" realize that its part of the mythos.

 

If time is permiting would you mind giving a brief description on how the wall was constructed?

Much of those details are lost in the mists of time and legend. No one can even say for certain if Brandon the Builder ever lived. He is as remote from the time of the novels as Noah and Gilgamesh are from our own time.

 

 

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My point being, in real Middle Ages, people may have claimed to know all events in the past 8000 years prior but barely had an idea what happened 1000 years ago, and almost no buildings, artifacts and legends from before 1000 years would have survived - even if every lord claimed to have a Holy Grail and a family castle from 5000 years ago.

GRRM certainly knows this.  Just a question of how much realism he chose to include. 

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8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

To be honest its so long since I last read Ivanhoe that particular reference had escaped me, but I'm sure it won't have escaped GRRM - must dig out my copy.

Once you read it, you come to the inescapable conclusion that this was a major source of inspiration.  Especially since the mystery knight (well the first mystery knight) has as his symbol, a tree. 

But regardless it just reminds you about the different motivations at play.  The crowning could have multiple meanings.  While it could be seen as a romantic gesture, I think the implication is that it was customarily more likely a sign of respect, (whether to the Lady receiving it, or perhaps more broadly to her father or her family).  Or it could simply be a very cynical way of currying favor with the recipient's family. 

Now in Ivanhoe the reward given by the mystery knight, does have a secret romantic component.  But in the broader sense it is also given as a sign of Saxon pride.  And like in our tale, the recipient's betrothed does not seem to take major offense (edit: after further reading, I have to take this back a good bit, he did take a certain amount of offense, enough so that he wanted to show the mystery knight up), (while her father (edit: guardian) is deliriously happy over the honor).  It appears that both take it more as an honor upon their family and their heritage, then an attempt of the mystery knight to steal the Lady Rowen away (edit: once again I have to back track on this, the betrothed at least wasn't very happy with it).

In the meantime, Prince John is much more crass in his loudly hinting that the mystery knight should bestow the honor upon another Lady.  Among other things, he wishes to curry favor with her father, and with the likely event that the mystery knight bestows the honor upon someone else cause her father to have enmity with the mystery knight.  (Prince John you see is concerned, rightly so, that there is a connection between the mystery knight and his brother King Richard.)

Now given the fact that GRRM usually subverts the material he is referencing, I doubt that Rhaegar's motivation for awarding the crown to Lyanna was a romantic one, to mirror the mystery knight and winner of the tourny in Ivanhoe

ETA: I think the big unknown factor was whether Rhaegar knew of the Bael the Bard tale.  If he did, he most certainly would have been aware of the significant, ulterior meaning of giving Lyanna blue roses.  If he didn't, then there is no real reason to believe that he wasn't simply intending on showing honor to  Lyanna or to her family.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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I would also like to bring up the rather tinfoily proposition of convergant alternate timelines- that the cultures, civilizations, and even species that have come into conflict over the course of this fictional history have done so unnaturally due to being woven into a time/space continuum that is more of a quilt than a fabric....

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2 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Once you read it, you come to the inescapable conclusion that this was a major source of inspiration.  Especially since the mystery knight (well the first mystery knight) has as his symbol, a tree. 

But regardless it just reminds you about the different motivations at play.  The crowning could have multiple meanings.  While it could be seen as a romantic gesture, I think the implication is that it was customarily more likely a sign of respect, (whether to the Lady receiving it, or perhaps more broadly to her father or her family).  Or it could simply be a very cynical way of currying favor with the recipient's family. 

Now in Ivanhoe the reward given by the mystery knight, does have a secret romantic component.  But in the broader sense it is also given as a sign of Saxon pride.  And like in our tale, the recipient's betrothed does not seem to take major offense (edit: after further reading, I have to take this back a good bit, he did take a certain amount of offense, enough so that he wanted to show the mystery knight up), (while her father (edit: guardian) is deliriously happy over the honor).  It appears that both take it more as an honor upon their family and their heritage, then an attempt of the mystery knight to steal the Lady Rowen away (edit: once again I have to back track on this, the betrothed at least wasn't very happy with it).

In the meantime, Prince John is much more crass in his loudly hinting that the mystery knight should bestow the honor upon another Lady.  Among other things, he wishes to curry favor with her father, and with the likely event that the mystery knight bestows the honor upon someone else cause her father to have enmity with the mystery knight.  (Prince John you see is concerned, rightly so, that there is a connection between the mystery knight and his brother King Richard.)

Now given the fact that GRRM usually subverts the material he is referencing, I doubt that Rhaegar's motivation for awarding the crown to Lyanna was a romantic one, to mirror the mystery knight and winner of the tourny in Ivanhoe

ETA: I think the big unknown factor was whether Rhaegar knew of the Bael the Bard tale.  If he did, he most certainly would have been aware of the significant, ulterior meaning of giving Lyanna blue roses.  If he didn't, then there is no real reason to believe that he wasn't simply intending on showing honor to  Lyanna or to her family.

An interpretation likely to give the R+L=J crowd connipation fits

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5 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

My point being, in real Middle Ages, people may have claimed to know all events in the past 8000 years prior but barely had an idea what happened 1000 years ago, and almost no buildings, artifacts and legends from before 1000 years would have survived - even if every lord claimed to have a Holy Grail and a family castle from 5000 years ago.

GRRM certainly knows this.  Just a question of how much realism he chose to include. 

It seems pretty clear that GRRM knows exactly what he's doing, especially given the words he puts into Hoster's mouth:

Past a certain point, all the dates grow hazy and confused, and the clarity of history becomes the fog of legend.

I'm inclined to read the clues we're given as telling us that we're on firm ground for the last 2,000 years, but beyond that it becomes increasingly foggy and ultimately mince. 

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14 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

My point being, in real Middle Ages, people may have claimed to know all events in the past 8000 years prior but barely had an idea what happened 1000 years ago, and almost no buildings, artifacts and legends from before 1000 years would have survived - even if every lord claimed to have a Holy Grail and a family castle from 5000 years ago.

GRRM certainly knows this.  Just a question of how much realism he chose to include. 

I think the idea of any single family maintaining an unbroken line, let alone power, for thousands of years- and that being seemingly the norm (even the names and lineages of many extinct lines are well-remembered!) stretches credulity past its breaking point.

The many clashes between different levels of technology- wood versus bronze versus iron versus steel versus magic being detailed again and again with purpose and intent (I suspect) require explaination.

So do the many anachronistic and fantastic beasts including mammoths, dinosaurs, and a menagerie of wyverns, basilisks, and maticores (oh my!).

Something is, indeed, going on here.

How heretical or how tinfoily we go from there is up to inclination and mood.

Edited by hiemal

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11 hours ago, hiemal said:

I would also like to bring up the rather tinfoily proposition of convergant alternate timelines- that the cultures, civilizations, and even species that have come into conflict over the course of this fictional history have done so unnaturally due to being woven into a time/space continuum that is more of a quilt than a fabric....

@hiemal sounds as if you have been following the HBO series Westworld, with your alternative timeline theory.  You may very well be true and if so, might tie in with @Feather Crystal theory on the ebbing and flowing of time.

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