Lord Varys

The Starks and the Children

94 posts in this topic

37 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

One thing that strikes me is that we don't really know how many Children were left by the time the Pact was signed. Nor how many still survived by the time the Long Night arrived. From Leaf's quote we know they were always few in number. And that these numbers were reduced drastically by the wars against the First Men prior to the Pact.

If there were say 10,000 Children left in Westeros when the Pact was signed, that would give you maybe 1,000 in the entire North, from the Neck to the Haunted Forest. Now, if that means maybe a few hundred living in the entire Wolfswood, that leaves a lot of forest pretty much uninhabited. And when the Long Night arrived, we know those Children who remained on the surface headed underground into their Hollow Hills, leaving the forests behind.

We know the Children lived everywhere, from Dorne to the Lands of Always Winter (assuming they existed in the way they do now before the freak seasons - if they did, they most likely were somewhat smaller, making the territory where people could live even larger).

If we imagine that even in the thinly populated North millions of people seem to be living we can be pretty sure that the Children, too, numbered in the millions when the First Men first arrived. Say, five million Children in Westeros when the first First Men arrived would easily enough qualify as the lands being very sparsely populated (and allow the Children to reach the conclusion that there was room enough for everybody, as they apparently did, at first).

The war would have reduced the numbers of the Children greatly but I doubt that they would have gone down as far as you suggest by the time of the Pact. Else there would have been no reason on the side of the First Men to even entertain the notion of a Pact. The genocide would have been almost complete. Why not wipe all of them out?

It seems that the Pact was made because both sides had realized the folly of their actions and/or were unwilling to see more of their own killed in the war. The First Men clearly were in a stronger position but the way the Pact is described suggests that it was an honorable peace among people who respected each other as equals. Else the First Men would never have taken the gods of the Children as their own.

There is also no reason to assume that the Children left the forests that were theirs by the time the Long Night began, nor would that fact (if it were true) entitle the First Men to take possession of those forests. My property is my property, regardless whether I use it or not. And, presumably, many of the hollow hills would have been in the deep forests, anyway. 

You should also keep in mind that the all the forests of Westeros would have been much larger around the time of the Pact and the Long Night simply because the lands were much less developed. Aside from a much smaller Oldtown there wouldn't have been any city in Westeros, and only very small settlements and primitive ringforts throughout the entire continent.

In the northern reaches of Westeros the population of the First Men would be the smallest but we do know that even after the Long Night the Children survived for a rather long time in the South (Riverlands, Reach, West, and especially the Stormlands), suggesting that the Children should have been the strongest the northern reaches - both in the North proper as well in the lands that would one day lie beyond the Wall.

The idea that their numbers had dropped catastrophically by the time of the Pact is not very likely. If that was the case they would most likely already be extinct by now.

37 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So, after the Long Night had ended, there may already have been large areas of forest uninhabited by any Children. I don't see the occupation of forests across the Seven Kingdoms as evidence that the Pact had been abandoned at that point. Perhaps the Children were so few that other than a few sacred places like High Heart and various important weirwood groves, they had largely abandoned the rest of the surface.

Still, that wouldn't change the fact that the Pact granted all the deep forests to the Children. Those would be places like the Wolfswood, the Kingswood, the Rainwood (actually confirmed), that Karstark forest, etc. And all of them would have been much larger at that point. In fact, the Rainwood and the Kingswood were once part of a much larger primeval forest that covered much of the land in the region.

We can be pretty sure that the Wolfswood once was much larger, covering a lot of land in the North, perhaps even forming a connection to that Karstark forest. Pretty much the entire North might have been a huge forest in the Dawn Age, actually.

By the time the Pact was made the First Men would have cut down some of it already but considering how few people in total would have lived in Westeros by that point there would have been still been vastly larger forests at that time. And by the time of the Pact all the 'deep forests' in existence would have been granted to the Children with 'deep forests' most likely being large forests were only few men lived at that time. Small woods around or between long-established villages and settlements wouldn't count as such, of course.

37 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

If you are down to a few thousand individuals spread across 3 million square miles of territory, your footprint on the land will be vanishingly small.

Which is precisely the reason why I don't think it were so few. I really don't think the First Men killed millions of Children in their long wars. Perhaps hundreds of thousands over the centuries, but not millions. And if they were only thousands to begin with there would have been never any trouble because the Children would have had the chance to evade the First Men for a very long time, and by the time they no longer it would have been far too late to even try to defeat them in war.

37 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

But, I am sure there is a more complex truth that is yet to be revealed. I don't quite understand what point George would have in creating this idea of a peaceful pact, followed by the Andal invaders breaking it, only to reveal that these already extinct First Men did not honor their part of the bargain. That's like kicking a First Man who is already down - having been subjugated by an even worse Andal.

The point of the Andals is to complete the extinction of the Children and to cut off the traditions that connected mankind to the Children. The Faith provides the people of Westeros not only with a new religion but also a new set of traditions and values, and overtake and replace the old tradition, effectively cutting off the older cultural roots.

Just think how effectively Christianity cut us off from the traditions of antiquity. Whatever we know about Classic Philosophy and the ancient religions is filtered by and seen through the eyes of medieval Christian scribes. The same is basically true for Westeros' view on the culture of the ancient First Men. Even in the North parchment and writing outside the rune system the First Men used would have been introduced after the Andal conquests in the South (most likely through maesters and/or a cultural exchange triggered by Andals joining the NW and then interacting with the Northmen).

The Northmen certainly remember more of the old stuff but even they have lost a lot of knowledge.

And again, the Andals were never bound by the Pact so they sure as hell didn't break it. They just completely the genocide the First Men had begun in a pretty effective manner.

And again - if the Children created the Others they must have had a very good reason for this. There is a small chance that they might have done so before the Pact was made but I actually find it more likely they did so after. They would not have gone as far as that if they had seen any other choice. One could see the Others plan being already discussed by the time the Pact was made but having the Children who preferred peace winning the day this time.

Once the Pact is then broken - or seen by the Children as broken - they decide to create the Others.

Now, the fact that the Children are long-lived makes it possible that those forging the Pact might still have been alive when the descendants of the First Men with whom the Children made the Pact broke it. That would have embittered them greatly.

And again, the fact that the First Men essentially controlled all the lands in Westeros shortly after the Long Night (or took possession of them in those days) effectively shows that they no longer cared about it. Both the Durrandon kings as well as at least one Stark king warred with the Children of the Forest.

The overall point of that concept would be to make the fight against the Others a really interesting conflict. The First Men were, in fact, evil invaders who came to a land that wasn't theirs, stole it, and butchered the native peoples they found there. And unlike in the real world the Children of the Forest had the power to forge an ultimate weapon to resolve that problem.

If Bran looks back in time and realizes why the Children did what they did what side is he then going to take? That could be a rather interesting conflict. He is going to see the naked truth not some distorted version of it that went into songs and legends. If he sees how many Children the First Men cruelly butchered is he then going to side with them in the conflict? We will have to wait and see.

4 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

I said nothing. Just D&D have a theory and I don't believe it. Like many of their deviations.
But this:

  Reveal hidden contents

That doesn't make it unbelievable or unlikely at all that the first Other wasn't created by another Other but by a Child of the Forest.

You should have hidden.

No, because that is not connected to the TV series. The idea that the Children might have created the Others is a viable theory we have entertained for quite some time.

4 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

And balancing your "unfounded" maybe even "partisan" hypothesis, and what Luwin had read in a few books, I give the priory to Luwin; if nothing is obviously inconsistent.

But it is. There were no Seven Kingdoms by the time the Andals came. We know that for a fact from a lot of primary sources like the discussing of the Mudd kings in the Riverlands, the many Andal kings the Tristifers warred against, the discussion of the petty kings of House Darklyn in AFfC, and so on. It is very well established that the development of the Seven Kingdoms as we have them by the time of the Conquest was a rather late development.

And we also have more than ample evidence that the information we have about the ancient times - both in TWoIaF as well as people telling stuff to other people in the books are incorrect, full of errors and embellishments, etc. George more than once uses the phrase 'a thousand years' in very new chapters to refer to events that are clearly farther back in time than just a thousand years.

In addition, especially AGoT is full of errors. We know Ned did not marry Catelyn when he first ride off to war, we know that the Andals did not cut down all the weirwoods in the South (as Cat claims early on in AGoT - Riverrun itself has a weirwood, as does any other ancient castle in the South), Aerys II did not behead Rickard and Brandon, etc.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In addition, especially AGoT is full of errors. ...

Whatever change GRRM made along time, or confusion he put voluntarily in his characters' mind, doesn't mean we can freely rewrite anything which bother us.

BTW. Didn't the Starks were founded by Brandon? Along with the Wall and Winterfell? After the Long Night? If so, the Warg King affair would be after the LN and couldn't be the cause of it.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know the Children lived everywhere, from Dorne to the Lands of Always Winter (assuming they existed in the way they do now before the freak seasons - if they did, they most likely were somewhat smaller, making the territory where people could live even larger).

If we imagine that even in the thinly populated North millions of people seem to be living we can be pretty sure that the Children, too, numbered in the millions when the First Men first arrived. Say, five million Children in Westeros when the first First Men arrived would easily enough qualify as the lands being very sparsely populated (and allow the Children to reach the conclusion that there was room enough for everybody, as they apparently did, at first).

The war would have reduced the numbers of the Children greatly but I doubt that they would have gone down as far as you suggest by the time of the Pact. Else there would have been no reason on the side of the First Men to even entertain the notion of a Pact. The genocide would have been almost complete. Why not wipe all of them out?

It seems that the Pact was made because both sides had realized the folly of their actions and/or were unwilling to see more of their own killed in the war. The First Men clearly were in a stronger position but the way the Pact is described suggests that it was an honorable peace among people who respected each other as equals. Else the First Men would never have taken the gods of the Children as their own.

There is also no reason to assume that the Children left the forests that were theirs by the time the Long Night began, nor would that fact (if it were true) entitle the First Men to take possession of those forests. My property is my property, regardless whether I use it or not. And, presumably, many of the hollow hills would have been in the deep forests, anyway. 

You should also keep in mind that the all the forests of Westeros would have been much larger around the time of the Pact and the Long Night simply because the lands were much less developed. Aside from a much smaller Oldtown there wouldn't have been any city in Westeros, and only very small settlements and primitive ringforts throughout the entire continent.

In the northern reaches of Westeros the population of the First Men would be the smallest but we do know that even after the Long Night the Children survived for a rather long time in the South (Riverlands, Reach, West, and especially the Stormlands), suggesting that the Children should have been the strongest the northern reaches - both in the North proper as well in the lands that would one day lie beyond the Wall.

The idea that their numbers had dropped catastrophically by the time of the Pact is not very likely. If that was the case they would most likely already be extinct by now.

Still, that wouldn't change the fact that the Pact granted all the deep forests to the Children. Those would be places like the Wolfswood, the Kingswood, the Rainwood (actually confirmed), that Karstark forest, etc. And all of them would have been much larger at that point. In fact, the Rainwood and the Kingswood were once part of a much larger primeval forest that covered much of the land in the region.

We can be pretty sure that the Wolfswood once was much larger, covering a lot of land in the North, perhaps even forming a connection to that Karstark forest. Pretty much the entire North might have been a huge forest in the Dawn Age, actually.

By the time the Pact was made the First Men would have cut down some of it already but considering how few people in total would have lived in Westeros by that point there would have been still been vastly larger forests at that time. And by the time of the Pact all the 'deep forests' in existence would have been granted to the Children with 'deep forests' most likely being large forests were only few men lived at that time. Small woods around or between long-established villages and settlements wouldn't count as such, of course.

Which is precisely the reason why I don't think it were so few. I really don't think the First Men killed millions of Children in their long wars. Perhaps hundreds of thousands over the centuries, but not millions. And if they were only thousands to begin with there would have been never any trouble because the Children would have had the chance to evade the First Men for a very long time, and by the time they no longer it would have been far too late to even try to defeat them in war.

The point of the Andals is to complete the extinction of the Children and to cut off the traditions that connected mankind to the Children. The Faith provides the people of Westeros not only with a new religion but also a new set of traditions and values, and overtake and replace the old tradition, effectively cutting off the older cultural roots.

Just think how effectively Christianity cut us off from the traditions of antiquity. Whatever we know about Classic Philosophy and the ancient religions is filtered by and seen through the eyes of medieval Christian scribes. The same is basically true for Westeros' view on the culture of the ancient First Men. Even in the North parchment and writing outside the rune system the First Men used would have been introduced after the Andal conquests in the South (most likely through maesters and/or a cultural exchange triggered by Andals joining the NW and then interacting with the Northmen).

The Northmen certainly remember more of the old stuff but even they have lost a lot of knowledge.

And again, the Andals were never bound by the Pact so they sure as hell didn't break it. They just completely the genocide the First Men had begun in a pretty effective manner.

And again - if the Children created the Others they must have had a very good reason for this. There is a small chance that they might have done so before the Pact was made but I actually find it more likely they did so after. They would not have gone as far as that if they had seen any other choice. One could see the Others plan being already discussed by the time the Pact was made but having the Children who preferred peace winning the day this time.

Once the Pact is then broken - or seen by the Children as broken - they decide to create the Others.

Now, the fact that the Children are long-lived makes it possible that those forging the Pact might still have been alive when the descendants of the First Men with whom the Children made the Pact broke it. That would have embittered them greatly.

And again, the fact that the First Men essentially controlled all the lands in Westeros shortly after the Long Night (or took possession of them in those days) effectively shows that they no longer cared about it. Both the Durrandon kings as well as at least one Stark king warred with the Children of the Forest.

The overall point of that concept would be to make the fight against the Others a really interesting conflict. The First Men were, in fact, evil invaders who came to a land that wasn't theirs, stole it, and butchered the native peoples they found there. And unlike in the real world the Children of the Forest had the power to forge an ultimate weapon to resolve that problem.

If Bran looks back in time and realizes why the Children did what they did what side is he then going to take? That could be a rather interesting conflict. He is going to see the naked truth not some distorted version of it that went into songs and legends. If he sees how many Children the First Men cruelly butchered is he then going to side with them in the conflict? We will have to wait and see.

No, because that is not connected to the TV series. The idea that the Children might have created the Others is a viable theory we have entertained for quite some time.

But it is. There were no Seven Kingdoms by the time the Andals came. We know that for a fact from a lot of primary sources like the discussing of the Mudd kings in the Riverlands, the many Andal kings the Tristifers warred against, the discussion of the petty kings of House Darklyn in AFfC, and so on. It is very well established that the development of the Seven Kingdoms as we have them by the time of the Conquest was a rather late development.

And we also have more than ample evidence that the information we have about the ancient times - both in TWoIaF as well as people telling stuff to other people in the books are incorrect, full of errors and embellishments, etc. George more than once uses the phrase 'a thousand years' in very new chapters to refer to events that are clearly farther back in time than just a thousand years.

In addition, especially AGoT is full of errors. We know Ned did not marry Catelyn when he first ride off to war, we know that the Andals did not cut down all the weirwoods in the South (as Cat claims early on in AGoT - Riverrun itself has a weirwood, as does any other ancient castle in the South), Aerys II did not behead Rickard and Brandon, etc.

I guess we can speculate in both directions, with the limited knowledge we have. An alternative explanation could equally be that the Pact endured until the Long Night, that the truth of the Others' origin was revealed, and that the First Men used this as their motivation to further eradicate the Children. Or perhaps small localized conflicts continued, while the overall Pact still endured. We just don't know.

On the numbers issue, I would suggest that the First Men themselves might well have numbered maybe 5 million in total from Dorne to the Haunted Forest, in the Dawn Age. With the Children then numbering maybe a tenth of that at their height. Say five hundred thousand. Maybe even less.

So by the time of the Long Night, they might have been down to a very low number.

But, as I said, all of this is speculation only.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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24 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I guess we can speculate in both directions, with the limited knowledge we have. An alternative explanation could equally be that the Pact endured until the Long Night, that the truth of the Others' origin was revealed, and that the First Men used this as their motivation to further eradicate the Children. Or perhaps small localized conflicts continued, while the overall Pact still endured. We just don't know.

Again, if the truth about the Children being behind the Others then nobody would have asked the help of the Children to stop the Others. They would have tried to exterminate them for good, even if only to see the Children not survive the First Men.

And if that had been known after the Long Night was over the First Men would also never have worked with the Children. They would have killed them, not cooperated with them to build some Wall.

The Children apparently successfully kept the truth from the First Men if they were behind the Others. It may be that some First Men knew the truth - if so, they did not share that knowledge with many people nor act on that knowledge.

And again, after the Long Night the Children no longer had the lands - the deep forests - that were granted them by the Pact. There is no way around that fact which means the First Men no longer cared about that. And both the Durrandons and the Starks took what they wanted with violence (the Rainwood, Sea Dragon Point, presumably also the Wolfswood, either from the Glovers or the Children). Those things cannot be dismissed as localized conflicts.

24 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

On the numbers issue, I would suggest that the First Men themselves might well have numbered maybe 5 million in total from Dorne to the Haunted Forest, in the Dawn Age. With the Children then numbering maybe a tenth of that at their height. Say five hundred thousand. Maybe even less.

I'd not speculate about the numbers of the First Men. We don't know how many came at first nor how many continued to come while the Arm was still intact nor how quickly their population grew nor how long the Dawn Age actually was or how much time passed between the first arrival of the First Men and the Pact and the Long Night.

To guess at the total number of Children (who also were constantly in conflict with the giants even before the First Men came) is somewhat easier considering that we know roughly how large Westeros is. To assume their numbers were in the hundreds of thousands would make Westeros essentially a completely empty place.

24 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So by the time of the Long Night, they might have been down to a very low number.

That doesn't make a lot of sense because there is more than ample evidence that there were quite a few big settlements of the Children by the time the Andals came, and the Rainwood was still theirs even after the Long Night - and despite the fact that the Durrandons took it from them there still survived settlements in there for the centuries to come all down until the Andals came and the Storm Kings sought and got the aid of the Children in the fight against the Andals.

If the number of the Children had been very low by the time of the Long Night then it is not very likely that they would have lasted long enough in the South to see the arrival of the Andals.

If you compare the Stormland situation with the Warg King scenario it seems as if the Warg King was a more, say, primitive/primeval First Man, closer to the traditions still followed by many of the wildlings. He still lived with the Children and apparently cared for them while the Starks were done with that kind of thing when they fought the man and his Children allies.

True First Men culture is much more egalitarian (and barbaric at the same time, of course) than the traditions of the Northern kingdom that the Starks built are. The traditions of the wildlings give a taste of that.

And it seems pretty clear that the Children, giants, direwolves, mammoths, etc. had no place in the kingdom the Starks were building. They were all exterminated in the North, sooner or later. Just look how Ned and the Winterfell folk react when they find the direwolf corpse in AGoT. It is the sigil of House Stark but they don't exactly feel close to such beasts. They fear them.

Bran things how things were in the very ancient past in his last vision in AGoT. What little we can deduce from that suggests that women once played a significant role as priestesses/holy women/whatever in the blood sacrifices done to the weirwoods. We don't yet know how far back that was, but I guess still after the Long Night (but since the woman is using a bronze sickle it was likely before the arrival of the Andals). The customs in the North have changed a lot since then. Not only are they no longer doing any blood sacrifices to the old gods but women also no longer have whatever power they once had among the First Men of the North.

52 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

Whatever change GRRM made along time, or confusion he put voluntarily in his characters' mind, doesn't mean we can freely rewrite anything which bother us.

I'm not rewriting stuff. I'm just saying that the Luwin you gave is faulty and not exactly trustworthy. Even if it was we do know that it is an integral part of the plot that the knowledge about the past corrupted and incomplete. Else we would already know everything about the Others and Robert's Rebellion.

52 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

BTW. Didn't the Starks were founded by Brandon? Along with the Wall and Winterfell? After the Long Night? If so, the Warg King affair would be after the LN and couldn't be the cause of it.

I never said the Warg King was the cause of the Long Night. I pointed out that he and the general treatment of the Children in the years before the coming of the Andals indicate that the First Men in general - even in the North - did not care about the Pact. They took the deep forests from the Children at one point. The Durrandons apparently only after the Long Night, the Northmen perhaps even before (if there were already First Men in the Wolfswood and the other deep forests in the North by the time of the Long Night. There certainly were First Men there in the early days of the Starks because the Starks subdued all those First Men eventually.

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20 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I never said the Warg King was the cause of the Long Night. ...

OK. But we have nothing evidencing the Pact was broken by the FM, before the LN.

The Children were dwindling, the men expanding, at least with the Andals. But nothing evidences a deliberate action of the men. The Last Hero had even difficulty just finding them.

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25 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Again, if the truth about the Children being behind the Others then nobody would have asked the help of the Children to stop the Others. They would have tried to exterminate them for good, even if only to see the Children not survive the First Men.

And if that had been known after the Long Night was over the First Men would also never have worked with the Children. They would have killed them, not cooperated with them to build some Wall.

The Children apparently successfully kept the truth from the First Men if they were behind the Others. It may be that some First Men knew the truth - if so, they did not share that knowledge with many people nor act on that knowledge.

And again, after the Long Night the Children no longer had the lands - the deep forests - that were granted them by the Pact. There is no way around that fact which means the First Men no longer cared about that. And both the Durrandons and the Starks took what they wanted with violence (the Rainwood, Sea Dragon Point, presumably also the Wolfswood, either from the Glovers or the Children). Those things cannot be dismissed as localized conflicts.

I'd not speculate about the numbers of the First Men. We don't know how many came at first nor how many continued to come while the Arm was still intact nor how quickly their population grew nor how long the Dawn Age actually was or how much time passed between the first arrival of the First Men and the Pact and the Long Night.

To guess at the total number of Children (who also were constantly in conflict with the giants even before the First Men came) is somewhat easier considering that we know roughly how large Westeros is. To assume their numbers were in the hundreds of thousands would make Westeros essentially a completely empty place.

That doesn't make a lot of sense because there is more than ample evidence that there were quite a few big settlements of the Children by the time the Andals came, and the Rainwood was still theirs even after the Long Night - and despite the fact that the Durrandons took it from them there still survived settlements in there for the centuries to come all down until the Andals came and the Storm Kings sought and got the aid of the Children in the fight against the Andals.

If the number of the Children had been very low by the time of the Long Night then it is not very likely that they would have lasted long enough in the South to see the arrival of the Andals.

If you compare the Stormland situation with the Warg King scenario it seems as if the Warg King was a more, say, primitive/primeval First Man, closer to the traditions still followed by many of the wildlings. He still lived with the Children and apparently cared for them while the Starks were done with that kind of thing when they fought the man and his Children allies.

True First Men culture is much more egalitarian (and barbaric at the same time, of course) than the traditions of the Northern kingdom that the Starks built are. The traditions of the wildlings give a taste of that.

And it seems pretty clear that the Children, giants, direwolves, mammoths, etc. had no place in the kingdom the Starks were building. They were all exterminated in the North, sooner or later. Just look how Ned and the Winterfell folk react when they find the direwolf corpse in AGoT. It is the sigil of House Stark but they don't exactly feel close to such beasts. They fear them.

Bran things how things were in the very ancient past in his last vision in AGoT. What little we can deduce from that suggests that women once played a significant role as priestesses/holy women/whatever in the blood sacrifices done to the weirwoods. We don't yet know how far back that was, but I guess still after the Long Night (but since the woman is using a bronze sickle it was likely before the arrival of the Andals). The customs in the North have changed a lot since then. Not only are they no longer doing any blood sacrifices to the old gods but women also no longer have whatever power they once had among the First Men of the North.

I'm not rewriting stuff. I'm just saying that the Luwin you gave is faulty and not exactly trustworthy. Even if it was we do know that it is an integral part of the plot that the knowledge about the past corrupted and incomplete. Else we would already know everything about the Others and Robert's Rebellion.

I never said the Warg King was the cause of the Long Night. I pointed out that he and the general treatment of the Children in the years before the coming of the Andals indicate that the First Men in general - even in the North - did not care about the Pact. They took the deep forests from the Children at one point. The Durrandons apparently only after the Long Night, the Northmen perhaps even before (if there were already First Men in the Wolfswood and the other deep forests in the North by the time of the Long Night. There certainly were First Men there in the early days of the Starks because the Starks subdued all those First Men eventually.

Sorry, but I simply don't agree with the broad strokes conclusions you so easily jump to to justify your views. So the statement that the First Men could not have known about the Others origin or else they would not have asked the Children for help is baseless. Perhaps the First Men did not know the origin at the time, or perhaps the Last Hero went to beseech the Chldren for mercy. The options are legion to reconcile those facts.

As for the First Men not knowing the truth after the Long Night. Again, how can you make a blanket statement that the First Men would not have worked with the Children if they knew this. Human lives are short. Within a generation views can change. And if the Children saved humanity from the Others, alliances could have shifted. Also, the First Men were not a monolithic group. (And neither do I believe were the Children).

Simlarly, we know virtually nothing about the Warg King. Was he a renegade, who allied with a warlike faction of the Children? We have no idea.

So, while your theories could certainly be close to the truth, they could just as easily be totally off the mark. To make sweeping statements saying that this or that doesn't make sense is baseless.

 

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17 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Are you just not the kind of person who can think like a biased jerk? 

Oh Lady Blizzardborn, are you attempting to get me in trouble? A set up like that...I'm finding it very difficult to restrain myself. :P

I kid of course Lord Varys. Sure, you have driven me batty in the past with what I would consider to be your bias stubbornness, but you are alright in my books, and I do enjoy reading what you have to say.

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1 hour ago, BalerionTheCat said:

OK. But we have nothing evidencing the Pact was broken by the FM, before the LN.

Since the first Storm King to have taken the Rainwood from the Children is actually Durran Godsgrief himself that could have taken place before the Long Night. We know virtually nothing about that guy but there are claims that he lived rather long because he married a goddess. If that is true he could easily enough have married her before the Long Night and lived through it.

After all, the building of those six castles (and their subsequent destructions) would have taken quite some time, possibly decades or even centuries.

1 hour ago, BalerionTheCat said:

The Children were dwindling, the men expanding, at least with the Andals. But nothing evidences a deliberate action of the men. The Last Hero had even difficulty just finding them.

As I've said above, it is difficult to find somebody in the middle of a year long winter when the sun is never rising even if you know that whoever you are looking for is supposed to live ten leagues south of your place.

1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So the statement that the First Men could not have known about the Others origin or else they would not have asked the Children for help is baseless.

Would you want to ask the help of people who are trying to exterminate your entire species using a biological weapon? I wouldn't. Now, if the Last Hero had no idea what was going on he might have asked for their help. But had he found out the truth he most likely wouldn't have shown any mercy. This was a hard time full of hard men, not some people who were likely to show any such weaknesses.

1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Perhaps the First Men did not know the origin at the time, or perhaps the Last Hero went to beseech the Chldren for mercy. The options are legion to reconcile those facts.

Reconcile what with what? I see no contradiction there.

I could see the Last Hero finding out the truth in the process of whatever he did to stop the Others. That might be the reason why we don't know what happened to him.

1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

As for the First Men not knowing the truth after the Long Night. Again, how can you make a blanket statement that the First Men would not have worked with the Children if they knew this. Human lives are short. Within a generation views can change. And if the Children saved humanity from the Others, alliances could have shifted.

The people of Westeros remember the Long Night, the Others, and the War for the Dawn to this day. They built the Wall and founded the Night's Watch to protect their lands from the Others. If they as a group had ever known the truth about the Others as they as a group knew about the Others (not every First Man surviving the Long Night would have seen an Other with his own eyes, presumably, but they still all believed they existed at that time) then they most likely wouldn't have forgotten that.

And they would have never gotten along with the Children after that. In fact, they most likely would have killed every Child of the Forest they saw on sight. Because what they did is not easily forgotten.

1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Also, the First Men were not a monolithic group. (And neither do I believe were the Children).

That might be true but the Pact and the whole NW thing indicates that the Children and the First Men could reach treaties and begin/do great projects that involved all of them as a large group or collective.

1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Simlarly, we know virtually nothing about the Warg King. Was he a renegade, who allied with a warlike faction of the Children? We have no idea.

We have no reason that the Warg King was anyone else but the rightful king of Sea Dragon Point (just as the Boltons, Barrow Kings, Glovers, Umbers, Ryders, etc. were the rightful kings of their lands). Nor is there any indication that something like a warlike faction of the Children existed. I think we can reasonably conclude that the Children on their own were no longer capable of waging a war in the years after the Long Night. If they were they most likely had never created the Others (assuming that they did) to fight their war for them, nor would they have needed the help of the Warg King to oppose the Starks. By the way, nothing indicates that the Children fought at the side of whatever men the Warg King had. In fact, this whole thing sounds as if the Warg King and his people were basically very much fighting with magic - skinchanging and greenseeing, not conventional warfare.

On the other hand we have consistent accounts since the very beginning of this story that the ancient Stark kings were cruel and hard men, men that very likely in the same league as the (ancient) Boltons insofar as cruelty towards (captured) enemies is concerned. Ned and Bran themselves are afraid of the hard faces of some of the older kings (or of the prospects that their ghosts might haunt the castle).

Those hints are not in the story for a reason. We don't get talk about the ancient Lannisters, Durrandon-Baratheons, Tullys, Arryns, etc. being cruel and hard men. But there are such hints for the Starks from the very beginning of the story. Those ancient Starks were men who took what they wanted, and did not care who claimed the lands or castles they desired. If they had, they would have never conquered (nor kept) the North.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, that has nothing to do with anything. 

Come on, do you actually think a Stark would dare punish the NW for keeping correct records of what has actually transpired? They don't even the right to demand something of that sort.

The Night's King was erased from history not just due to the intervention of the Starks but also because the NW played along with that. If they hadn't, his name and deeds would be still remembered in the accounts of the Watch.

I'm pretty sure things are connected there. I mean, perhaps they can reach a modus vivendi with the Others if they know why they want what they want? Or knowing how they were created is a crucial part of the answer how to defeat them-

I don't think it is really relevant what people we essentially know nothing about (besides a few names) did for thousands of years. Bran could also watch some of the more recent stuff but his focus clearly should be to found an answer to the problem of the Others, not look for information so he can grow as a person.

Oh, wiping out all humanity might still have been their purpose. Running amok means that they are no longer under the control of the Children. Imagine the Children making the Others before the Pact, and already using them on some small groups of First Men living in the far north. After the Pact they discard those creatures as no longer necessary, killing most of them. They overlooked a few of them (or some got away), growing evermore independent in the following years until they eventually decided to do what they want, killing everyone in the process. And thus began the Long Night.

The Bloodstone Emperor is most likely never going to be mentioned in the main series. This is not a story about Yi Tish legends. If it was, then the series would actually take place in Yi Ti.

<snip

It does actually. It's about things happening that no one expected to happen.

I didn't say a thing about Starks "punishing" the Watch. Where do you get this stuff? I really can't see how you managed to take what I wrote and twist it beyond recognition to come up with that. As I've asked you before, repeatedly, and on other threads, will you please respond to what I ACTUALLY WROTE instead of what you think I might have meant?

I didn't say the Starks had anything to do with the erasure of the first 13 LsC worth of records. Again, you seem to have missed my point entirely.

Knowing how they were created may not given them any insights into how to defeat them. And what they want may be to wipe out humanity, in which case I doubt there will be any compromise reached.

You're missing the point again. It's not about just Bran. He's going to see things that impact other people, other houses, it's about the entire story, including history that's been written down wrong.

That paragraph makes sense. Thank you.

Yeah because the three-headed god of Tyrosh was only mentioned in Tyrosh, and the Lysene love goddess could only be important in Lys. If the BSE is behind the origin of the Others, then you who claim they may need to know the origin of the Others should be able to understand why it's possible that he will indeed be mentioned in the series.

9 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

The Yi-Ti legends give a quite consistent (with itself and the current events), of what caused the LN. And IMHO, the demons of the Lion of Night are none other than the Others. And they trace back to the earliest emperor who build the 5 Forts. The CotF implication in the whole affair is unclear. But IMO, your chronology is quite possible.

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Darkstream said:

Oh Lady Blizzardborn, are you attempting to get me in trouble? A set up like that...I'm finding it very difficult to restrain myself. :P

I kid of course Lord Varys. Sure, you have driven me batty in the past with what I would consider to be your bias stubbornness, but you are alright in my books, and I do enjoy reading what you have to say.

That's actually a compliment in a way. People who cannot think like the jerks are generally good people.

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Since i do not buy into the theory that the CoF made the others, this thread makes little sense.

The Others are just as much a threat to the CoF as to humans.

I see there being two enemies to life  - extreme cold and extreme heat - ice and fire. These two squabble but manage to destroy life on earth in the process.

The CoF are all about balance. They support neither ice nor fire.

 

There seems to be four "forces" that operate with magic. -

1. The fire realm of the Targs and dragons.  Until the Doom of Valyria these forces were kept out of Westeros. Their  worshippers are the Targs and the people from Assai and those who worship the red god

2. The ice forces represented by the "others."  They have worshippers - CRASTER (we are told he is doomed to follow cruel gods). What other worshippers of these cruel gods are there?  I suspect that the Bolton family are such but I am not sure.  However I feel quite sure that the BOLTONS hate skin changers and everything that goes along with it.

3. The fertility forces- Summer and Winter - Garth Greenhand - King of Summer and the Starks King of Winter. The obvioys worhippers of these two are few now  but the Manderlys stand out. the Stsarks seem to have forgotten.

4. The CoF and magic, worshipping trees and animals - nature. three and four could almost the the same.  There are obvious places where However 3 and 4 must ally against 1 and 2.

Now what of the Starks. We know that they have ruled from Winterfell for 8,000 years and in that time it may be assumed that they had brides from many houses. This the allegiance of the Kings in the North may have varied.

If we JUST think of the various Brandons who were KiN (pretty sure that they are the significant ones) we have

These three seem to be old almost legendary

  • Brandon Stark (Shipwright), a king known as Brandon the Shipwright lost sailing the Sunset Sea (what the hell happened to him>)
  • Brandon Stark (Burner), a king known as Brandon the Burner who burned the northern ships - why - what scared him?
  • Brandon Stark (Ice Eyes), a king known as Brandon Ice Eyes who defeated slavers. Npow I am going to assume he was part Bolton - with his ice eyes

There is another unknown Bran who was KiN since we have Brandon IX.

There are huge differences between these Brandons.  Not all Starks may have fought the CoF, however i have a suspicion that Brandon Ice eyes may have worshipped the Others along with his Bolton family. it may have been he who fought the CoF and the warg king.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I didn't say a thing about Starks "punishing" the Watch. Where do you get this stuff? I really can't see how you managed to take what I wrote and twist it beyond recognition to come up with that. As I've asked you before, repeatedly, and on other threads, will you please respond to what I ACTUALLY WROTE instead of what you think I might have meant?

You came around with the implausible idea that a chronicle from thousands of years ago would not actually record events as they actually occurred because the person writing them would be biased against a certain faction. But chroniclers are supposed to record what actually happened, not some twisted version thereof. If the source for the Warg King story was some singer or septon things might be different. But a chronicler at the Watch has nothing to fear from anyone. He is part of an order that is renowned throughout all the realms of men, at least in that time.

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I didn't say the Starks had anything to do with the erasure of the first 13 LsC worth of records. Again, you seem to have missed my point entirely.

But it was King Brandon the Breaker who apparently defeated the Night's King and erased his name from history. I thought you knew that? The first thirteen Lord Commanders of the NW were never erased from history - only the 13th, the Night's King, was.

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Knowing how they were created may not given them any insights into how to defeat them. And what they want may be to wipe out humanity, in which case I doubt there will be any compromise reached.

Jon Snow wants to know who/what the Others, where they come from, what they want, and how they can be fought. He does not want to conclude stuff on bad evidence, he actually wants to know. Reread the first Sam chapter of AFfC. And I'm completely on board with him there as are (hopefully) most readers of this series. We want answers to the mysteries.

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

You're missing the point again. It's not about just Bran. He's going to see things that impact other people, other houses, it's about the entire story, including history that's been written down wrong.

I'm not sure how stuff Bran might find out about various noble houses and their ancestors is going to affect the lives of those people. He is not likely to inform all the descendants of those people about their ancestors. Why should he?

Certain characters (Jon, Tyrion) certainly might find out stuff about their parents and the like, but neither of them does necessarily need Bran for that.

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Yeah because the three-headed god of Tyrosh was only mentioned in Tyrosh, and the Lysene love goddess could only be important in Lys. If the BSE is behind the origin of the Others, then you who claim they may need to know the origin of the Others should be able to understand why it's possible that he will indeed be mentioned in the series.

I'm not even sure why we should even believe there was a Bloodstone Emperor. I mean, the sole account we got on him comes from Yandel whose sources on that will be whatever material other maester who actually speak Yi Tish got from the people who actually went there - who most likely weren't maesters but rather merchants and traders from Oldtown.

George recently has been asked why there are no children in Asshai and made it clear that Yandel's information about Asshai (and thus also Yi Ti, even more, presumably, about the ancient history of Yi Ti) is about as trustworthy as what a medieval monk had to say about Vietnam.

In general:

The hints about the First Men breaking the Pact on a larger scale before the Long Night are also supported by the stories of Brandon of the Bloody Blade who drove the giants from the Reach and warred against the Children of the Forest, slaying so many at Blue Lake that it was renamed Red Lake thereafter.

Now, if he lived, he would have been a character from the Age of Heroes, making it unlikely that the the man lived in the Dawn Age prior to the making of the Pact, which means that it is quite likely he lived before the Long Night, especially since he was allegedly either an ancestor or even the father of Brandon the Builder. If that's the case then a crime like the one committed by him could easily have led to the (eventual) creation of the Others - assuming that the Children were behind that.

Another crucial hint there is that between the Garth the Green - the depictions of him with green skin and as having antlers - and the Green Men - who also may have green skin and are depicted as having antlers. Garth is our only clue towards what religion the First Men had before they adopted the gods of the Children. And the curious Green Men might actually be some sort of amalgamation between greenseers and the original sorcerers/priests/half-gods/whatever the First Men had in their earliest days.

What the Green Men know about the Others is completely unclear, of course, but one hopes that this will be revealed when they finally show up.

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The hints about the First Men breaking the Pact on a larger scale before the Long Night are also supported by the stories of Brandon of the Bloody Blade who drove the giants from the Reach and warred against the Children of the Forest, slaying so many at Blue Lake that it was renamed Red Lake thereafter.

Now, if he lived, he would have been a character from the Age of Heroes, making it unlikely that the the man lived in the Dawn Age prior to the making of the Pact, which means that it is quite likely he lived before the Long Night, especially since he was allegedly either an ancestor or even the father of Brandon the Builder. If that's the case then a crime like the one committed by him could easily have led to the (eventual) creation of the Others - assuming that the Children were behind that.

How could you have a lake red with the blood of CotF, when just after you have difficulty finding one (Last Hero in the LN)?

And "driving the giants from the Reach". This Brandon seems from a very old time. IMHO, more likely the Dawn Age. You ignore Luwin and every maester when it suits you. And pick the most confuse sources. And most likely confuse more things yourself.

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2 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

How could you have a lake red with the blood of CotF, when just after you have difficulty finding one (Last Hero in the LN)?

And "driving the giants from the Reach". This Brandon seems from a very old time. IMHO, more likely the Dawn Age. You ignore Luwin and every maester when it suits you. And pick the most confuse sources. And most likely confuse more things yourself.

Agree with the timing estimate here. These tales of large scale slayings of the Children are most certainly from before the Pact. Else even the Maesters' history itself would make no sense.

Another indication that many centuries - even millenia - would have passed between this legendary Brandon of the Bloody Blade and Brandon the Builder.

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3 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

How could you have a lake red with the blood of CotF, when just after you have difficulty finding one (Last Hero in the LN)?

Again, we have no idea where the Last Hero lived, how good snow gear was, and how long his search was. It is not exactly likely that he searched for months. I mean, this is the Long Night which means very low temperatures and no sunlight and the Others and wights holding sway outside the fortified settlements and forts.

Blood colors the water of a lake pretty quickly, actually. Say, a few hundred Children lived at the island in the lake (the same where Silverwing made her lair after the Dance) and Brandon took that island butchered them all. That could easily enough have the effect the tales recount. But then, the story itself could have embellished what has happened. 

3 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

And "driving the giants from the Reach". This Brandon seems from a very old time. IMHO, more likely the Dawn Age.

Garth the Green allegedly was born/came to Westeros in the Dawn Age but he supposedly lived for a very long time, being a god in some of the tales. His many children lived and multiplied in the Age of Heroes since many of those actually either are the heroes the Age of Heroes is named after or contemporaries of those heroes.

We have no idea when exactly the giants left the Reach but the stories we have about Garth's children indicate that there were still some in the Reach by that time. Maris the Maid married Uthor of the High Tower despite the fact the Grey Giant Argoth Stone-Skin actually had won her hand.

No idea if that story is true but I see no reason to assume that the Dawn Age saw an eradication of the giants from the Reach or the Seven Kingdoms. After all, the Children survived that age, too, did they not? We have giants attested in the Stormlands and the North in the years after the Long Night with an unknown King of Winter driving the giants out of the North and King Durran (V or VI) the Dour slaying the last giant king Lun the Last at the Battle of Crookwater.

Since the Reach was most likely taken completely into possession by the First Men long before the Stormlands and the North were I think the idea that the giants were driven out of the Reach in the Age of Heroes while they lasted in some of the other regions until after the Long Night very convincing. In fact, the Last Hero, too, apparently encountered giants on his search.

And by the way - according to Old Nan the Children still lived in their wooden cities not just the hollow hills. Perhaps the Last Hero found them not under some hill but up in the trees.

3 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

You ignore Luwin and every maester when it suits you. And pick the most confuse sources. And most likely confuse more things yourself.

Well, Luwin is just a bad source in that matter. He is clearly mistaken about the Pact lasting until the arrival of the Andals since we know that the Durrandon kings (Durran Godsgrief himself as well as Durran Bronze Axe) broke the Pact. And he is also wrong about there being Seven Kingdoms before the Andals came. Those are factual errors in the story, more or less of the same type as Cat's claim that the Andals cut down all the weirwoods with faces south of the Neck.

3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Agree with the timing estimate here. These tales of large scale slayings of the Children are most certainly from before the Pact. Else even the Maesters' history itself would make no sense.

The problem with that idea is that - aside, perhaps, from Garth the Green - we have no name of an individual actually living in the Dawn Age. We have talk about people meeting to make the Pact but we don't know any names, nor are tales and legends about heroes and gods placed into this distant age. The Dawn Age is essentially a prehistoric age with the Pact being the only event remembered from that age, and that thing is the event that marks the end of the Dawn Age.

Thus we should not assume that some characters we know by name or identifiable events actually lived/took place in the Dawn Age. What the Westerosi know about the Dawn Age they have learned through archaeological findings and research, not from history books and stories.

3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Another indication that many centuries - even millenia - would have passed between this legendary Brandon of the Bloody Blade and Brandon the Builder.

The same time could have passed if these people really were semi-gods/great mythical heroes. Durran Godsgrief married a goddess, Lann the Clever lived to the remarkable age of 312. If Garth the Green fathered all those many children he allegedly had then this could have happened during the course of centuries or even a thousand years. Nobody has said that this must have happened within a hundred years of so.

But even if that's nonsense then Brandon of the Bloody Blade could easily enough be the ancestor of Brandon the Builder. We have no clue how many generations would have been between these two.

I'm not sure what to make of this whole longevity thing of those ancient heroes but this is a fantasy series, and it is quite clear that the old times were clearly somewhat more 'magical' than the present.

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19 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You came around with the implausible idea that a chronicle from thousands of years ago would not actually record events as they actually occurred because the person writing them would be biased against a certain faction. But chroniclers are supposed to record what actually happened, not some twisted version thereof. If the source for the Warg King story was some singer or septon things might be different. But a chronicler at the Watch has nothing to fear from anyone. He is part of an order that is renowned throughout all the realms of men, at least in that time.

But it was King Brandon the Breaker who apparently defeated the Night's King and erased his name from history. I thought you knew that? The first thirteen Lord Commanders of the NW were never erased from history - only the 13th, the Night's King, was.

Jon Snow wants to know who/what the Others, where they come from, what they want, and how they can be fought. He does not want to conclude stuff on bad evidence, he actually wants to know. Reread the first Sam chapter of AFfC. And I'm completely on board with him there as are (hopefully) most readers of this series. We want answers to the mysteries.

I'm not sure how stuff Bran might find out about various noble houses and their ancestors is going to affect the lives of those people. He is not likely to inform all the descendants of those people about their ancestors. Why should he?

Certain characters (Jon, Tyrion) certainly might find out stuff about their parents and the like, but neither of them does necessarily need Bran for that.

I'm not even sure why we should even believe there was a Bloodstone Emperor. I mean, the sole account we got on him comes from Yandel whose sources on that will be whatever material other maester who actually speak Yi Tish got from the people who actually went there - who most likely weren't maesters but rather merchants and traders from Oldtown.

George recently has been asked why there are no children in Asshai and made it clear that Yandel's information about Asshai (and thus also Yi Ti, even more, presumably, about the ancient history of Yi Ti) is about as trustworthy as what a medieval monk had to say about Vietnam.

<snip

I don't see where you got the notion that fear has anything to do with it. People who are biased against a race or faction are not necessarily biased due to fear. Not recording the Children's participation on the winning side would have nothing to do with fear of reprisal. It would be about the guy with the quill not liking the Children and not being willing to give them their due. It is entirely plausible. Actual history is filled with people and groups who are left out of the records because someone or other didn't think they were worth including. 

If you are going to continue to twist or misread my words, please give me fair warning so that I can take my toys to a different sandbox and save us both the frustration of not actually communicating at all.

Yes, I know about Brandon the Breaker. It has nothing to do with my point. If only the 13th was erased then why can't Sam find any information on the first 12 Lords Commander?

Of course he does, as do the readers. Unfortunately what we want and what we get do not always match up.

The possible implications eluding you does not make it unlikely in the story. There's plenty we don't know yet, especially about the history, and Bran is the only POV character in position to correct discrepancies and fill in gaps.

I agree about Jon but there is no one living who is certain to be able to clear up the questions on Tyrion's paternity. Barristan may or may not know, but he may be dead before Tyrion thinks to wonder if he might be Aerys' bastard.

That's unknowable. It's not a good debate practice to dismiss something just because you don't see the point.

Yes, and if you look at modern media too you get a good reason for doubting the accuracy of historical records as well...especially records in fiction, in a series where we've been told by the author that the known stories are suspect. He uses "It is known" for things that are 99.9% likely to be untrue. He does not do that just for comedic effect, although it works for that too.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Again, we have no idea where the Last Hero lived, how good snow gear was, and how long his search was. It is not exactly likely that he searched for months. I mean, this is the Long Night which means very low temperatures and no sunlight and the Others and wights holding sway outside the fortified settlements and forts.

Blood colors the water of a lake pretty quickly, actually. Say, a few hundred Children lived at the island in the lake (the same where Silverwing made her lair after the Dance) and Brandon took that island butchered them all. That could easily enough have the effect the tales recount. But then, the story itself could have embellished what has happened. 

Garth the Green allegedly was born/came to Westeros in the Dawn Age but he supposedly lived for a very long time, being a god in some of the tales. His many children lived and multiplied in the Age of Heroes since many of those actually either are the heroes the Age of Heroes is named after or contemporaries of those heroes.

We have no idea when exactly the giants left the Reach but the stories we have about Garth's children indicate that there were still some in the Reach by that time. Maris the Maid married Uthor of the High Tower despite the fact the Grey Giant Argoth Stone-Skin actually had won her hand.

No idea if that story is true but I see no reason to assume that the Dawn Age saw an eradication of the giants from the Reach or the Seven Kingdoms. After all, the Children survived that age, too, did they not? We have giants attested in the Stormlands and the North in the years after the Long Night with an unknown King of Winter driving the giants out of the North and King Durran (V or VI) the Dour slaying the last giant king Lun the Last at the Battle of Crookwater.

Since the Reach was most likely taken completely into possession by the First Men long before the Stormlands and the North were I think the idea that the giants were driven out of the Reach in the Age of Heroes while they lasted in some of the other regions until after the Long Night very convincing. In fact, the Last Hero, too, apparently encountered giants on his search.

And by the way - according to Old Nan the Children still lived in their wooden cities not just the hollow hills. Perhaps the Last Hero found them not under some hill but up in the trees.

Well, Luwin is just a bad source in that matter. He is clearly mistaken about the Pact lasting until the arrival of the Andals since we know that the Durrandon kings (Durran Godsgrief himself as well as Durran Bronze Axe) broke the Pact. And he is also wrong about there being Seven Kingdoms before the Andals came. Those are factual errors in the story, more or less of the same type as Cat's claim that the Andals cut down all the weirwoods with faces south of the Neck.

The problem with that idea is that - aside, perhaps, from Garth the Green - we have no name of an individual actually living in the Dawn Age. We have talk about people meeting to make the Pact but we don't know any names, nor are tales and legends about heroes and gods placed into this distant age. The Dawn Age is essentially a prehistoric age with the Pact being the only event remembered from that age, and that thing is the event that marks the end of the Dawn Age.

Thus we should not assume that some characters we know by name or identifiable events actually lived/took place in the Dawn Age. What the Westerosi know about the Dawn Age they have learned through archaeological findings and research, not from history books and stories.

The same time could have passed if these people really were semi-gods/great mythical heroes. Durran Godsgrief married a goddess, Lann the Clever lived to the remarkable age of 312. If Garth the Green fathered all those many children he allegedly had then this could have happened during the course of centuries or even a thousand years. Nobody has said that this must have happened within a hundred years of so.

But even if that's nonsense then Brandon of the Bloody Blade could easily enough be the ancestor of Brandon the Builder. We have no clue how many generations would have been between these two.

I'm not sure what to make of this whole longevity thing of those ancient heroes but this is a fantasy series, and it is quite clear that the old times were clearly somewhat more 'magical' than the present.

For someone who likes to deconstruct myths and legends, you seem remarkably open minded about the supposed longevity of ancient men like Garth Greenhand and his sons. It seems rather obvious that Martin is simply using the exxageration of myths and founding legends here, similar to how ancient patriarchs in various founding myths are assigned lifespans of multiple centuries or more.

These were primitive First Men chieftains. Men who likely were counted ancient if they made it to 50 years of age.

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12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I don't see where you got the notion that fear has anything to do with it. People who are biased against a race or faction are not necessarily biased due to fear. Not recording the Children's participation on the winning side would have nothing to do with fear of reprisal. It would be about the guy with the quill not liking the Children and not being willing to give them their due. It is entirely plausible. Actual history is filled with people and groups who are left out of the records because someone or other didn't think they were worth including. 

But we have no reason to believe that this chronicler was biased against the Children in such a way as to omit the fact that they were fighting on the Stark side. In fact, the man could have been a brother or cousin of the Warg King and not be biased against anyone at all. We don't have a direct quote from him, after all. Yandel paraphrases what he has heard about this chronicle from the Nightfort (which he certainly never read in person).

12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Yes, I know about Brandon the Breaker. It has nothing to do with my point. If only the 13th was erased then why can't Sam find any information on the first 12 Lords Commander?

How should we know? If you want my guess I'd assume that no books/accounts from that era survive. I mean, when the NW was founded Westeros wasn't yet literate/not yet making paper and parchment. Whatever accounts there are from those ancient days are, most likely, accounts/stories written down hundreds of years later.

12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Of course he does, as do the readers. Unfortunately what we want and what we get do not always match up.

I'm pretty sure George is not going to have his characters bring up questions that won't be answered. 

12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

The possible implications eluding you does not make it unlikely in the story. There's plenty we don't know yet, especially about the history, and Bran is the only POV character in position to correct discrepancies and fill in gaps.

But nobody in the story has any interest in what Bran might have to tell them about Lann the Clever or any of the other heroes. Perhaps we'll get something on Brandon the Builder but that man isn't all that relevant, either, if he lived after the Long Night.

12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I agree about Jon but there is no one living who is certain to be able to clear up the questions on Tyrion's paternity. Barristan may or may not know, but he may be dead before Tyrion thinks to wonder if he might be Aerys' bastard.

But Selmy is still alive right now. Perhaps all people knowing about Jon's true parentage die, too, before they can talk to him. Howland could be eaten by a lizard-lion before he shows up and Wylla might already be dead.

12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

That's unknowable. It's not a good debate practice to dismiss something just because you don't see the point.

So you find it more likely that there was a Bloodstone Emperor with the sources we have than that the Starks did indeed butcher some Children of the Forest when they were putting down the Warg King?

12 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Yes, and if you look at modern media too you get a good reason for doubting the accuracy of historical records as well...especially records in fiction, in a series where we've been told by the author that the known stories are suspect. He uses "It is known" for things that are 99.9% likely to be untrue. He does not do that just for comedic effect, although it works for that too.

Indeed, that makes it very likely that everything we know about the east - aside from the fact that the effects of the Long Night were felt in Yi Ti, too - is basically crap.

7 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

For someone who likes to deconstruct myths and legends, you seem remarkably open minded about the supposed longevity of ancient men like Garth Greenhand and his sons. It seems rather obvious that Martin is simply using the exxageration of myths and founding legends here, similar to how ancient patriarchs in various founding myths are assigned lifespans of multiple centuries or more.

These were primitive First Men chieftains. Men who likely were counted ancient if they made it to 50 years of age.

Still, I'm acknowledging that this is a fantasy series. But as I've said the Brandon-Brandon descent even works if the guys did not have those long lifespans. It might even turn out that the Age of Heroes was not as long as the singers make it appear now. Say, spreading over centuries rather than millennia. Those songs about the heroes clearly grew in the telling.

But perhaps there were indeed some special 'magical people' among the First Men explaining how they were able to defeat the Children who clearly should have won the day, considering the fact that the Children skinchangers alone should have helped them eradicate humanity. I mean, back in those days Westeros would have been full of lions, direwolves, wolves, bears, mammoths, etc. Not to mention dragons. Skinchangers make those animals essentially intelligent, and an intelligent lion in the stone and bronze age should be able to kill hundreds or thousands of people before he is brought down.

In addition to those we have the greenseer magic which we don't yet know everything about.

If the people descending from Garth or learning from him had a strong magic of their own in addition to superior weapon technology things make somewhat more sense.

And I'm certainly willing to believe that the Durrandon-Baratheons have a non-human/divine founder. They are a special bloodline and we have evidence that Storm's End really is a very special castle. Whether Elenei was really a goddess in a modern sense is questionable but she could certainly have had some superhuman powers.

Yandel discusses the whole architecture thing in TWoIaF occasionally. The mystery of the round tower of Storm's End which was allegedly only brought to Westeros by the Andals. That could actually be a hint that Bran is Brandon the Builder, talking to Durran through time. Or there were quite a few very special/progressive people in Westeros during the Dawn Age.

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But we have no reason to believe that this chronicler was biased against the Children in such a way as to omit the fact that they were fighting on the Stark side. In fact, the man could have been a brother or cousin of the Warg King and not be biased against anyone at all. We don't have a direct quote from him, after all. Yandel paraphrases what he has heard about this chronicle from the Nightfort (which he certainly never read in person).

How should we know? If you want my guess I'd assume that no books/accounts from that era survive. I mean, when the NW was founded Westeros wasn't yet literate/not yet making paper and parchment. Whatever accounts there are from those ancient days are, most likely, accounts/stories written down hundreds of years later.

I'm pretty sure George is not going to have his characters bring up questions that won't be answered. 

But nobody in the story has any interest in what Bran might have to tell them about Lann the Clever or any of the other heroes. Perhaps we'll get something on Brandon the Builder but that man isn't all that relevant, either, if he lived after the Long Night.

But Selmy is still alive right now. Perhaps all people knowing about Jon's true parentage die, too, before they can talk to him. Howland could be eaten by a lizard-lion before he shows up and Wylla might already be dead.

So you find it more likely that there was a Bloodstone Emperor with the sources we have than that the Starks did indeed butcher some Children of the Forest when they were putting down the Warg King?

Indeed, that makes it very likely that everything we know about the east - aside from the fact that the effects of the Long Night were felt in Yi Ti, too - is basically crap.

Still, I'm acknowledging that this is a fantasy series. But as I've said the Brandon-Brandon descent even works if the guys did not have those long lifespans. It might even turn out that the Age of Heroes was not as long as the singers make it appear now. Say, spreading over centuries rather than millennia. Those songs about the heroes clearly grew in the telling.

But perhaps there were indeed some special 'magical people' among the First Men explaining how they were able to defeat the Children who clearly should have won the day, considering the fact that the Children skinchangers alone should have helped them eradicate humanity. I mean, back in those days Westeros would have been full of lions, direwolves, wolves, bears, mammoths, etc. Not to mention dragons. Skinchangers make those animals essentially intelligent, and an intelligent lion in the stone and bronze age should be able to kill hundreds or thousands of people before he is brought down.

In addition to those we have the greenseer magic which we don't yet know everything about.

If the people descending from Garth or learning from him had a strong magic of their own in addition to superior weapon technology things make somewhat more sense.

And I'm certainly willing to believe that the Durrandon-Baratheons have a non-human/divine founder. They are a special bloodline and we have evidence that Storm's End really is a very special castle. Whether Elenei was really a goddess in a modern sense is questionable but she could certainly have had some superhuman powers.

Yandel discusses the whole architecture thing in TWoIaF occasionally. The mystery of the round tower of Storm's End which was allegedly only brought to Westeros by the Andals. That could actually be a hint that Bran is Brandon the Builder, talking to Durran through time. Or there were quite a few very special/progressive people in Westeros during the Dawn Age.

Come now. Real godesses and so on? Nope. The simplest interpretation is that we have evidence of only one form of magic in Westerosi history - that of the Children. The First Men brought bronze, horses and a fast rate of procreation. That's it.

As for Storm's End, indeed, the simplest answer there is that Bran reached back to inhabit various key historical figures periodically, allowing for the creation of Ooparts (Out of Place Artifacts). For whatever purpose that may be.

But the stories of all the ancient necromancers, greenseers, skinchangers, beastlings and the like, all stem from the magic of the Children. There is zero evidence of the First Men practicing any original magic of their own. Other than maybe the normal sheep entrail reading and the like, practiced by various superstitious folk the world over.

As for Brandon of the Bloody Blade. I don't dispute the descent story. That might well be true. But my point is merely that there is no way that Bran the Buider of the Long Night fame could have lived closer than say 500 years from Garth Greenhand, if Garth was indeed one of the first wave of First Man settlers of Westeros. And more likely we are talking multiple millenia seperating them.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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It seems that, aside from you trying once again to make the north and Starks look like knuckle-dragging heathens, that you refuse to grasp the idea that the ancient timeline is not perfect and never will be. 

20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You came around with the implausible idea that a chronicle from thousands of years ago would not actually record events as they actually occurred because the person writing them would be biased against a certain faction.

Absolutely. And no offense to Lady Blizz, but this is not her idea alone because we are told this by the author outside of the series as well as by the characters within the story.

Much of what we are given as history is only there to reinforce what is about to happen. That whole wheel of time thing. NOT time travel per se, but what goes around comes around. Don't know your past, don't know your future.

 

20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

But chroniclers are supposed to record what actually happened, not some twisted version thereof.

Correct, they are supposed to, but more often than not it does not happen that way for many reasons such as the winner writes the history, whose money controls what, and what the religious interest is, etc. This is not a new concept.

20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If the source for the Warg King story was some singer or septon things might be different. But a chronicler at the Watch has nothing to fear from anyone. He is part of an order that is renowned throughout all the realms of men, at least in that time.

And who do you think gave the chronicler those stories, even just the seeds of those stories, before they were actually written down? The idea that there was a band of roving chronicler's at ever precise moment in history just waiting there with quill and parchment is silly. Quite often these record keepers are retelling something that was told to them. It is second hand information, which means there are going to be inconsistent details, including the dating of such events.

The World Book is purposely full of errrors. So says Martin.

"George pointed out that even in the age of the books these were long-distant times with little in the way of accurate information." And Martin again.

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