Lord Varys

The Starks and the Children

94 posts in this topic

1 minute ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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. 

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.

 

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.

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.

Hehehe. I love that. "Knuckle dragging heathens" indeed. That seems to be the theme of pretty much every major North related post by Lord Varys. And I'm still trying to understand why. My theory is that he just dislikes their rural, folksy, what-you-see-is-what-you-get vibe. And that he likes to display the superiority of the more subtle, court politics-focused, Byzantine setting in the more sophisticated South whenever he can.

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Posted (edited)

15 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.

<snip

The overall anti-Children bias that you mentioned isn't reason enough? I'm not saying it's 100% likely, I'm only saying that it's possible and should be kept under consideration when looking at such things. We don't know what actually happened in any of the historical tales from so long ago, so we should keep an open mind. Do you see my point?

Then how would we know that the records of NK were destroyed? Are we just assuming that everyone has been told that, and that it was important enough to keep telling every successive generation? Seems a bit odd that generations who don't even believe the Others existed would still know/believe that there was an NK and that his records were destroyed. Old Nan and the current batch of Wildlings would be exceptions of course.

I'm pretty sure he is, because that's realistic and he takes pains to make his work realistic. A person having a question may or may not get an answer, and that's true of characters as well.

Again, you add a meaning I did not state. I said nothing about the Age of Heroes, though admittedly with the Long Night happening around that time frame there could be some seriously important stuff Bran could learn. There are other parts of history as well. The Pact with the Children, things that may have happened before the First Men showed up, the breaking of Dorne's Arm, much more recent things...we have no idea what in the last 8,000 years could be of import going forward in the story. Anything could pop up, something we have no clue about, or that we've been given a hint for but overlooked.

We have the author's word that Howland will show up. We have no such guarantee that Barristan will live long enough to tell Tyrion anything, nor do we have good reason to suspect Barristan would know anything worth telling Tyrion beyond that Aerys had the hots for Joanna. If Aerys and Joanna had a secret rendezvous, Barry might have been assigned elsewhere that night and have no knowledge of it.

No. I find it equally likely. I say we can't know because...we can't know. The Bloodstone Emperor is associated with oily black stone. Oily black stone appears in various parts of the storyworld, including the base of the High Tower. You'll recall I'm sure that Oldtown is called so because it is the oldest town in Westeros, and that House Hightower was founded during the Age of Heroes. A giant tower with fire in it seems like it might play into this whole Long Night thing.

6 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

<snip

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.

<snip

No offense taken. I'm not even saying I believe it did happen. I'm just pointing out that it could have and if it did we would be none the wiser, so we should be open to, and acknowledge, the fact that we don't know everything. 

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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1 minute ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

....

No offense taken. I'm not even saying I believe it did happen. I'm just pointing out that it could have and we have no way of knowing for certain that it didn't, so we should be open to, and acknowledge, the fact that we don't know everything. 

Yes, yes, yes. We have the important details given when necessary. George is telling a story of people and their conflicts happening to them now, and the history is just to help us understand that and what is going to happen in the near future.

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7 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Hehehe. I love that. "Knuckle dragging heathens" indeed. That seems to be the theme of pretty much every major North related post by Lord Varys. And I'm still trying to understand why. My theory is that he just dislikes their rural, folksy, what-you-see-is-what-you-get vibe. And that he likes to display the superiority of the more subtle, court politics-focused, Byzantine setting in the more sophisticated South whenever he can.

No idea :dunno: because without them we just would not have the story we have, or the story we are still going to get.

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9 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

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 brozne, horses and a fast rate of procreation. That's it.

No, because we have those curious stories about Garth serving as a fertility deity, and his followers conducting blood sacrifices to ensure good harvests. Those are not in any way connected to the Children and might be an echo of the original pre-Pact First Men.

The other part is the whole Green Men / Garth the Green parallel. Both are supposed to have green skin and/or literal antlers. What are the Green Men and where do they come from? Nothing indicates that the Children had any such people.

Quote

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.

If he did that, though, Brandon the Builder would be phantom and the Starks would have another origin. That could be interesting.

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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.

Actually, since there are giant greenseers, too, in Bran's cave, it might be that all species have the same or a similar magical potential. The Children - due to their long lifespans - might have perfected many forms of magic.

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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 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.

I'm not sure if I buy the story of Garth being the First Man. That's too much for me. However, if he was a very long-lived magical individual he could have lived for centuries or even longer. Just as the Grey King allegedly did (possible there if he was related to those Deep Ones - Lovecraft's Deep Ones are immortal, after all).

9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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. 

No, I'm just willing to admit that while the Starks were tree huggers that fact did not prevent them from killing people they wanted to kill. The Starks were conquerors who won the North with bronze and iron, not by being nice guys.

9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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.

Even if the whole Warg King story was bogus, the Starks still eradicated the Children of the Forest in the North. Else they would still be there. And the Northmen (and wildlings, too) definitely didn't give a damn about the fact that the Pact granted the deep forests to the Starks. Else the Wolfswood and the Haunted Forest would still belong to the Children-

9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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.

Definitely not. This story is not inspired by Robert Jordan's crap. Martinworld's time is as much a wheel as ours is. There are similarities in societies and the conflicts between people but not cheap repetitions.

9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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.

Oh, come on now, chronicles are not 'history writing'. They are boring books where certain day-to-day affairs of groups, institutions, kingdoms, etc. are recorded. They are not written to paint a large picture of what has transpired or tell a grandiose tale of a saint, king, or other important person.

You can dismiss the entire episode as complete invention, if you want to, but if you argue that a certain speculative bias of the chronicler led to a certain specific misrepresentation of the facts here then you could basically doubt or reinvent anything. Hey, perhaps, the Warg King was a Stark in exile who has taken over Sea Dragon Point? Or the Warg King actually won the war and the Starks only retook Winterfell? The possibilities are endless if you decide what to take and how to interpret it.

9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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.

Sure, but it is pretty reasonably to assume that a chronicler at the Nightfort did talk to a Stark or a man fighting in the war he chronicled there. A Nightfort chronicler detailing a war in the West would be much more suspect. Perhaps said chronicle just includes the facts as Yandel relates them in his book - that there was a Warg King and that the Starks defeated and killed him, his greenseers, and the Children of the Forest with whom he was allied. That much such a man could definitely have heard. He was not living in a vacuum.

Many chronicles of monasteries also recount a lot of the events that occurred at this or that royal court despite the fact that those people weren't there.

9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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.

I know that, but just as I've told you right now the book itself isn't the only hint we have here. There are no Children in the forests of the North nor do the forests beyond the Wall belong to the Children anymore. That in itself proves that the Pact was broken by the Starks and the other First Men. We don't need the story of the Warg King to realize this.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

```

Definitely not. This story is not inspired by Robert Jordan's crap. Martinworld's time is as much a wheel as ours is. There are similarities in societies and the conflicts between people but not cheap repetitions.

```

Ugh. Not THAT Wheel of Time. The concept of time being like a wheel, or river, or repeating itself in some way. The concept, which is something you seem to ignore in many subplots.

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1 minute ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Ugh. Not THAT Wheel of Time. The concept of time being like a wheel, or river, or repeating itself in some way. The concept, which is something you seem to ignore in many subplots.

I'm aware of that. In fact, that's a thing in most carefully crafted fictional literature. Stories people tell each other have certain symmetries, repetitions, and so on.

But George is a writer who doesn't like to write if he knows the ending. Meaning that while some aspects of the story are carefully crafted and plans others are not.

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 5:48 PM, Lord Varys said:

TWoIaF makes no mentioning of any Children of the Forest living (and thriving) in the North after the end of the Long Night (outside, perhaps, the Neck).

This is odd because in light of the absence of Andal power in the North the Children should not only found refuge there (after they were driven out of the Riverlands, the Stormlands, the Reach, the Vale, and the Westerlands in the wake of the Andal conquest) and thus increased in number, but they should also still have the deep forests for their own (i.e. the Wolfswood and the forest around Karhold), regions that were granted to them by the Pact.

It is doubly odd since we actually know that the Gardener, Durrandon, and some River Kings of the First Men were actually on pretty good footing with the Children as late as the arrival of the Andals. A Gardener and Durrandon king turned to the Children for help to push the Andals back, and in the Riverlands the First Men came to the help of the Children when the High Heart was attacked.

Instead we learn about the Starks that actually killed the Warg King of Sea Dragon Point (who fought with the Children against the Starks) and his greenseers and skinchangers.

All knowledge about the history of the Starks we have indicates that the houses was only founded after the Long Night and the War for the Dawn (by Brandon the Builder), meaning that this particular slaughtering of Children of the Forest in the North did not take place before the Pact or even the Long Night but after it was over.

Where are all those weirwood groves and hallow hills in the North the Children kept in the South? Down there we have seen remnants of those in the Riverlands and the Stormlands, and while most weirwoods have been cut down in the South by the Andals nobody but the First Men would have laid hands on the weirwoods in the North. Where are they in the Wolfswood and elsewhere?

Has anybody an idea?

If we go with the Others being creatures of the Children it might make sense to assume the First Men (Northmen included) eventually broke the Pact leading to the creation of the Others. Is that plausible?

Perhaps they had foreseen what was to come , with the booming population of the humans and their never ending wars and the coming of the Dragonlords ,maybe they just boot scooted beyond the reach of people for some peace .

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Posted (edited)

40 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm aware of that. In fact, that's a thing in most carefully crafted fictional literature. Stories people tell each other have certain symmetries, repetitions, and so on.

But George is a writer who doesn't like to write if he knows the ending. Meaning that while some aspects of the story are carefully crafted and plans others are not.

George repeats himself more than many realize. I won't get in to it here on your thread, but George is in no way shape or form using all new material for ASIOAF. While we do know that he uses real world history and mythology for ASOAIF inspiration, the amount of his old work that he draws from is larger than even those sources.

I agree that George says he loses interest if he knows the ending, I feel like a broken record with that sometimes, but we don't know exactly how far into that ending it takes for him to lose interest. Maybe he knows who dies, but not if the throne stands and that is all that is required for him to stay interested. Just an example.

But this actually goes along with the crafting as he goes. If George had all of this ancient in-world history plotted out and graphed so he could follow it as he writes, then I could maybe see the timeline of events being the important part. However, George did not do that because he enjoys making this shit up as he goes because these are character driven stories, not plot driven stories. He has to retro fit the newly "history" in to what has already been published.

I, myself, have never ever ever claimed the Starks are spotless. One example of them not being spotless is the marriage between two uncles and their nieces, which is against their moral/religious beliefs, and which George describes in a SSM as a way to usurp house power. I expect the Starks to not to be perfect by way of being "human". As far as the world book in concerned, we have very unreliable story tellers telling us accounts of events that happened either long before their own time, were told second hand, or greatly exaggerated and probably even edited. That shit happens and it is frustrating as all hells!

Maybe we will get better "first hand" information if or when we get the next Dunk & Egg, which should take place around the time of these incest marriages to which we might hopefully have that as a catalyst for another in-story character to give us some more backstory on the Starks. (if my math memory is correct)

Until then, it is best to scrutinize the World book when the author that makes the bias, inflated, ass kissing claim, "As his first act, the unwed king took to wife the most beautiful woman in the realm, Cersei of House Lannister—thereby granting to House Lannister all the honors that Aerys had denied it."

Edited by The Fattest Leech
clarified a word

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Posted (edited)

59 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm aware of that. In fact, that's a thing in most carefully crafted fictional literature. Stories people tell each other have certain symmetries, repetitions, and so on.

But George is a writer who doesn't like to write if he knows the ending. Meaning that while some aspects of the story are carefully crafted and plans others are not.

He has always said that he knows the ending to this particular story. 

He writes the same way I do: basic skeleton of plot and filling in the rest as we go. The broad strokes from beginning to end are set. Everything added during the writing is added in order to support the ending. Just adding things at random for no reason does not create literature of the caliber we have in ASOIAF. Every part is carefully crafted, just not all at the same time.

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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8 minutes ago, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

Perhaps they had foreseen what was to come , with the booming population of the humans and their never ending wars and the coming of the Dragonlords ,maybe they just boot scooted beyond the reach of people for some peace .

This could be a good explanation for them leaving their last settlements and caves in the North after all the land had long been in the hands of the Northmen, but it clearly doesn't help us explaining how the Wolfswood and the other forests ended up in the hands of the First Men. 

For the Stormlands we have it confirmed that the Durrandon kings took what they wanted with bronze and blood.

5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

George repeats himself more than many realize. I won't get in to it here on your thread, but George is in no way shape or form using all new material for ASIOAF. While we do know that he uses real world history and mythology for ASOAIF inspiration, the amount of his old work that he draws from is larger than even those sources.

That is true. I've read through 'Dying of the Light' quite recently and he clearly is a writer who repeats himself and recycles old themes again and again. But I'd never say Littlefinger is going to hang himself just because Arkin Ruark did.

5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I agree that George says he loses interest if he knows the ending, I feel like a broken record with that sometimes, but we don't know exactly how far into that ending it takes for him to lose interest. Maybe he knows who dies, but not if the throne stands and that is all that is required for him to stay interested. Just an example.

Well, he is still discovering things - he mentioned he decided how a character he always knew should or would die when he visited Hamburg a couple of years. One of the few things I was able to say to him back then was that he should include more real accidents/tragedies like sinking ships and the like. Who knows? Perhaps we'll see a prominent character simply going down with his or her ship without any connection to the overall plot. I really like such realistic twists.

5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

But this actually goes along with the crafting as he goes. If George had all of this ancient in-world history plotted out and graphed so he could follow it as he writes, then I could maybe see the timeline of events being the important part. However, George did not do that because he enjoys making this shot up as he goes because these are character driven stories, not plot driven stories.

I know that, and I'm most fervently arguing against ideas that historical stuff that wasn't there in the first 1-3 books was already *there* in the back of George's mind when he was writing those chapters.

The concept of the ancient Kings of Winter being cruel and hard men who literally make their descendants wary and afraid of them is there since the very first visit to the crypts. That is a concept that may be explored in future books.

5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I, myself, have never ever ever claimed the Starks are spotless. One example of them not being spotless is the marriage between two uncles and their nieces, which is against their moral/religious beliefs, and which George describes in a SSM as a way to usurp house power. I expect the Starks to not to be perfect by way of being "human", but we have very unreliable story tellers telling us accounts of events that happened either long before their own time, were told second hand, or greatly exaggerated and probably even edited. That shit happens and it is frustrating as all hells!

Has he actually commented on those uncle-nieces marriages somewhere? Nothing indicates that First Men nobility had any (big) objection to such matches. The Andals condemn incest as a vile sin and the wildlings like to marry outside the clan/village but nothing indicates that the First Men noblemen of the growing Hundred Kingdoms had similar scruples (not to mention the royal houses of those kingdoms). Marrying your kin and cousins keeps both wealth and power within in the family, and thus became a common practice even in our medieval royal families.

If we had a more complete Stark family I'm pretty sure such matches would have occurred on a regular basis. After all, we know there was never a Queen Regnant in the North but it is very likely that quite a few kings died with only daughters as heirs. In that case a cousin from a cadet branch most likely took over, solidifying his claim by marrying one of the daughters.

5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Maybe we will get better "first hand" information if or when we get the next Dunk & Egg, which should take place around the time of these incest marriages to which we might hopefully have that as a catalyst for another in-story character to give us some more backstory on the Starks.

They should be long over, but Serena and/or Sansa should still be around, although they would then most likely be old and bitter women, trying to steal Winterfell away from Beron's wife and young sons. Keep in mind that Barthogan Stark died when the Skagosi rose in rebellion during the reign of Daeron II.

But perhaps the entire thing is completely irrelevant already, with the two women dead and the story focusing on a struggle for dominance amongst the new Lady of Winterfell, a Royce by birth, and some unmarried Stark sisters and the widows of previous lords.

5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Until then, it is best to scrutinize the World book when the author that makes the bias, inflated, ass kissing claim, "As his first act, the unwed king took to wife the most beautiful woman in the realm, Cersei of House Lannister—thereby granting to House Lannister all the honors that Aerys had denied it."

That is not particularly biased, actually. Aerys did deny Cersei Rhaegar's hand and she is by most standards one of the most beautiful noblewomen in the Realm.

But as I've already said further up in this thread, Yandel was dedicating his history book to Cersei's husband and her two royal sons. He was hoping that King Robert would read this book to his lady wife and children when he planned it. He even says so in the Introduction.

Other historians might only have written their histories for their colleagues at the Citadel or other scholars. Those books would be less biased, especially since they would be concerned with the more distant past rather than contemporary history.

It is a fallacy to assume that everything has to be faulty just because some aspects of a thing are faulty.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not particularly biased, actually. Aerys did deny Cersei Rhaegar's hand and she is by most standards one of the most beautiful noblewomen in the Realm.

This is very debatable and actually mirrors Cersei's personal thoughts.

4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But as I've already said further up in this thread, Yandel was dedicating his history book to Cersei's husband and her two royal sons. He was hoping that King Robert would read this book to his lady wife and children when he planned it. He even says so in the Introduction.

The World books started out as dedicated to Robert, but as the book went on in it's writing, Robert died, his name was scratched out, and so it went to Joffery. But then Joff died and his name was scratched out and it went to Tommen. We know Tommen does not rule. He stamps. Cersei rules, and Cersei kills septons and maesters who do not please her.

This book was finished for Cersei.

4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Other historians might only have written their histories for their colleagues at the Citadel or other scholars. Those books would be less biased, especially since they would be concerned with the more distant past rather than contemporary history.

I very much disagree with this because these serve as the "textbooks" to teach the next set of freshman who are in training at the Citadel (or wherever). You can't have them believing magic was "real" because that is not scientific, and they are scientific and magic cannot be measured and studied, so it must be false.

4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is a fallacy to assume that everything has to be faulty just because some aspects of a thing are faulty.

True, and to be more clear for myself, anything that has to do with "magic", anything heathenish or un-royal, and the Lannisters should be the bits to be scrutinized. Much of the other stuff is probably fairly safe... unless it overlaps with magic or the Lannisters ;)

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@Lord Varys One more thing before I have to run away for a while... remember, the same maester(s) who wrote the World book are also the same that claim the Others and CotF are not real.
That says a lot right there.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

<snip

Even if the whole Warg King story was bogus, the Starks still eradicated the Children of the Forest in the North. Else they would still be there. 

<snip

That's one possible explanation.

Another is that the Children chose to go underground because there were too many First Men around. Much like the Ingalls family moved west when the woods got too crowded and Charles felt hemmed in, in addition to having trouble finding game because the place was being over-hunted.

A third is that other houses might have been killing the Children without their overlords' knowledge. The Starks ruled the North but they weren't the only people living there, and they had to fight to maintain that rule which proves that they were not obeyed without question. The Boltons in particular had a tendency to go their own way without reference to what the Wolves of Winterfell thought...heck they still do at the start of AGoT.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That is true. I've read through 'Dying of the Light' quite recently and he clearly is a writer who repeats himself and recycles old themes again and again. But I'd never say Littlefinger is going to hang himself just because Arkin Ruark did.

I am sneaking back on for a quick second because you are just too cuddly to avoid :P

I meant to respond to these parts earlier, but I keep getting pulled away.

First... Congrats!!!! On reading Dying of the Light. Weird stuff, but pretty cool, and what the hell happened to the jacket???

And second... Littlefinger might never hang himself, but some other neck injury will probably befell him before story's end, such as a hanging by another person, or even a different kind of neck injury such as a beheading by a certain person with a certain sword. Taking the giant down and all ;)

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13 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

This is very debatable and actually mirrors Cersei's personal thoughts.

Yandel is foundling with no name, i.e. a commoner. He has no way of knowing or even guessing Cersei's personal thoughts. If he is biased towards the Lannisters when discussing the reign of Aerys II then because he uses Pycelle as a major source. But we don't know whether he does that because he himself is also biased towards the Lannisters or whether he simply has a lot respect for the Grand Maester of the Realm.

And we have to keep in mind that Tywin indeed was a very capable man and most likely one of the greatest Hands the Realm ever said. It is not necessarily sucking up to acknowledge that.

13 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

The World books started out as dedicated to Robert, but as the book went on in it's writing, Robert died, his name was scratched out, and so it went to Joffery. But then Joff died and his name was scratched out and it went to Tommen. We know Tommen does not rule. He stamps. Cersei rules, and Cersei kills septons and maesters who do not please her.

This book was finished for Cersei.

Cersei does kill septons and maesters?! When did she do something of that sort?

Yandel never was at court, he always lived at the Citadel and grew up in a very patriarchal environment - there are no women at the Citadel whatsoever as far as we know - and we have no idea whether he thinks or understands that the Queen Regent actually does some ruling. A title can be empty. He might actually think Cersei was more or less a figurehead for Tyrion, Tywin, and her later council.

And keep in mind that the last regent of King Tommen we know by name is Ser Kevan, not Cersei. If Yandel only finished the book around the time of the Epilogue he would have written it for him if we follow your arguments here.

But I'd actually say the book was planned and written while Robert still ruled. He really sucks up to him and House Baratheon and the Stormlanders (they get their own section in the book) the most. Robert gets the Glorious Reign chapter, and the reigns of Joffrey and Tommen are not even mentioned, and neither is the War of the Five Kings.

The impression I get - and I think that was also George's and Ran/Linda's intention - is that Yandel wrote and finished his history of the Kings on the Iron Throne while Robert still lived and worked on the histories of the Seven Kingdoms or even the sections on the lands beyond the Sunset Kingdoms when Robert died and the war broke out.

The only reflection of recent events on the story are in the Epilogue of the book as well as in the section on Robert's Rebellion (which he might have rewritten as only from Robert's POV, effectively excising Ned and Stannis from the narrative).

And the book does also not contain any real falsehood. The story about Elia and the children is pretty close but we have to keep in mind that all he does there is just not include a certain rumor while including others that might actually have existed at the time. It is not proven or openly claimed that Tywin had them killed.

13 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I very much disagree with this because these serve as the "textbooks" to teach the next set of freshman who are in training at the Citadel (or wherever). You can't have them believing magic was "real" because that is not scientific, and they are scientific and magic cannot be measured and studied, so it must be false.

Even with his the anti-magic bias Yandel is actually pretty fair. He always cites Barth or other theories about magic before dismissing them so that the reader learns that those exist. A totally biased approach would be to not even mention rival theories.

And we have to keep in mind that a lot of magic actually no longer worked all that well when he was writing.

23 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

@Lord Varys One more thing before I have to run away for a while... remember, the same maester(s) who wrote the World book are also the same that claim the Others and CotF are not real.
That says a lot right there.

He says there might be no Others but he sure as hell does never doubt the existence of the Children, the giants, mammoths, etc. He knows that they existed once because traces of their existence can still be found everywhere in Westeros.

2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

The overall anti-Children bias that you mentioned isn't reason enough? I'm not saying it's 100% likely, I'm only saying that it's possible and should be kept under consideration when looking at such things. We don't know what actually happened in any of the historical tales from so long ago, so we should keep an open mind. Do you see my point?

I don't think there is a lot of anti-Children bias in that book or the stories we get about them in general. Whenever Yandel discusses the Children he acknowledges that they were a friendly and gentle people, albeit primitive and uncivilized. When he tells about the Durrandons taking the Rainwood from the Children he does not demonize them. And when he discusses Errec the Kinslayer and the destruction of the grove at High Heart he actually seems to be somewhat embarrassed by this slaughtering because he cites a maester theorizing that this event never took place (because the Children were long gone by then).

That doesn't make it very likely that Yandel has any bias against the Children or would not recognize such bias in the texts he is reading.

I just think we should have ample textual evidence - both in TWoIaF and the books of the series - of the Starks and the Children living closely together and/or having a longstanding alliance because the chroniclers and maesters of the Starks would have kept records about those things. 

Again, in light of the fact that the Starks took possession of all the lands in the North it is not unlikely at all that they did what is implied by the Warg King story - wage an actual war against the Children and thus breaking the Pact.

2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Then how would we know that the records of NK were destroyed? Are we just assuming that everyone has been told that, and that it was important enough to keep telling every successive generation? Seems a bit odd that generations who don't even believe the Others existed would still know/believe that there was an NK and that his records were destroyed. Old Nan and the current batch of Wildlings would be exceptions of course.

Well, I'm not George. Only he could confirm whether there were written accounts on paper or parchment at the Nightfort in the days of the Night's King. Perhaps there were, perhaps not. It seems clear to me, though, that it was the infamy of the Night's King what kept this story alive for as long as it survived, on both sides of the Wall.

But Brandon the Breaker was still sort of successful in erasing the name of the man from history. Irregardless how he did that.

2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I'm pretty sure he is, because that's realistic and he takes pains to make his work realistic. A person having a question may or may not get an answer, and that's true of characters as well.

It would be pretty realistic, though, if Jon never found out the truth about his parentage. That is no longer really important to him, after all, and he has neither reason nor opportunity to investigate it where he is right now. Yet George has already confirmed he will eventually learn the truth about that. And the same goes for many of the other unresolved mysteries (the Mandon Moore attempt, etc.).

Why on earth would you assume Bran is not going to try to find out everything he can about the Others as soon as he understands how to investigate their past?

2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Again, you add a meaning I did not state. I said nothing about the Age of Heroes, though admittedly with the Long Night happening around that time frame there could be some seriously important stuff Bran could learn. There are other parts of history as well. The Pact with the Children, things that may have happened before the First Men showed up, the breaking of Dorne's Arm, much more recent things...we have no idea what in the last 8,000 years could be of import going forward in the story. Anything could pop up, something we have no clue about, or that we've been given a hint for but overlooked.

Oh, okay, in that sense I think you are correct. I'm sure there might be some things Bran might want to know about certain time periods, things that will be important for a lot of things. But I think he is likely to focus mostly on stuff relevant to his own past and the past of his family (Harrenhal, the childhood of his father, aunt, and uncles - and possibly his mother, too -, and events and persons connected to that). Which means we could get a view glimpses of the Ghost of High Heart, an old Aegon V and a grizzled Dunk, Jaehaerys II/Shaera, Duncan and Jenny, Aerys II and Rhaella, Joanna, Tywin, Rhaegar, Lyanna, Brandon, Robert, etc. in the visions.

But the other focus should be on the rather distant past and the Others. The wars of the Dawn Age, the Pact, the creation of the Green Men, the origin of the Others, the Long Night, the Last Hero, and the War for the Dawn, etc. could all also be interesting visions, and in those cases we are likely to get longer visions, possibly entire chapters covering consecutive scenes delving into one of those mysteries if it is relevant to the plot.

We have to keep in mind, though, that there usually aren't all that many Bran chapters in a book and he might have things to do in the present, too. 

2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

We have the author's word that Howland will show up. We have no such guarantee that Barristan will live long enough to tell Tyrion anything, nor do we have good reason to suspect Barristan would know anything worth telling Tyrion beyond that Aerys had the hots for Joanna. If Aerys and Joanna had a secret rendezvous, Barry might have been assigned elsewhere that night and have no knowledge of it.

But he could also have been the Kingsguard guarding the king's bedchamber when Aerys fathered Tyrion, right? Just as Howland could show up and die before even meeting Jon.

Barristan is the only who could (sort of) give Tyrion a hint who he truly is if he becomes a dragonrider. And if does not become a dragonrider all by himself (by mere accident during one of the coming battles leading to a close encounter with a dragon) then only such a revelation/claim about his parentage would be enough to convince to actually try to mount one of the dragons. He is a dwarf with crippled legs who very much believes Tywin and Joanna are his parents. He may watch the dragons from afar but he is very unlikely to ever try to mount one after he realizes how deadly they are. He is not stupid and no longer suicidal.

2 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

No. I find it equally likely. I say we can't know because...we can't know. The Bloodstone Emperor is associated with oily black stone. Oily black stone appears in various parts of the storyworld, including the base of the High Tower. You'll recall I'm sure that Oldtown is called so because it is the oldest town in Westeros, and that House Hightower was founded during the Age of Heroes. A giant tower with fire in it seems like it might play into this whole Long Night thing.

The stone the Bloodstone Emperor worshiped is the Shining Trapezohedron, a hint to that horror story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haunter_of_the_Dark

The nature of oily black stone associated with the Deep Ones and other Lovecraftian monsters isnot very likely to be discussed in detail in this series.

The ultimate origin of the Hightowers, Oldtown, and Battle Island might, though. They are part of a very interesting mystery that seems to be interwoven with some of the more interesting mysteries of the series. The same goes for the origin of Dawn and the Daynes.

As I've said long ago when TWoIaF first came out - the Hightowers and the Daynes might very have Valyrian or proto-Valyrian origins, and especially the Hightowers and Oldtown might be connected to the question why the Valyrians never tried to conquer Westeros. Not to mention a possible connection to the Long Night.

In fact, since the chronology is so garbled the first Valyrian dragonlords might have even be involved in the War for the Dawn. We don't really know when the Long Night was nor when exactly Valyria was founded.

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Another is that the Children chose to go underground because there were too many First Men around. Much like the Ingalls family moved west when the woods got too crowded and Charles felt hemmed in, in addition to having trouble finding game because the place was being over-hunted.

But there wouldn't have been any First Men in the deep forests of the Children if the First Men hadn't broken the Pact in the first place.

And the idea that the Children accepted any First Men in any of their territories in any other fashion as guests who would eventually leave makes little sense. The entire point of the Pact was to determine fixed borders between the lands of the Children and the First Men.

The Children would have never been forced to go underground or leave the North if the First Men there had accepted the borders they had agreed to all those centuries ago.

Also keep in mind that those deep forests would have been much larger back when the Long Night was over. Half or more of the North might have been a huge forest at that time.

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

A third is that other houses might have been killing the Children without their overlords' knowledge. The Starks ruled the North but they weren't the only people living there, and they had to fight to maintain that rule which proves that they were not obeyed without question. The Boltons in particular had a tendency to go their own way without reference to what the Wolves of Winterfell thought...heck they still do at the start of AGoT.

The Starks did not yet rule the North in the time we are talking about here. In fact, what little we know about the conquest of the North indicates that they only had full control over the North around the time the Andals came.

Pushing the Children out of the North has to have been a concentrated effort by all the Northmen - else there would be some reservations for the Children still, protected by some Children-friendly Northmen.

And as we have discussed earlier in this thread the Northmen must have taken possession of at least the Wolfswood very early after the Long Night for else houses like the Blackwoods or the Glovers could never have lived and ruled those places in the most ancient before the Starks drove them out/subdued them.

I don't think the Boltons were particularly friendly towards the Children but we have no evidence that they were particularly bad, either.

35 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

First... Congrats!!!! On reading Dying of the Light. Weird stuff, but pretty cool, and what the hell happened to the jacket???

Not catching that reference. But I did listen to a German audiobook version. But, damn, if we get this kind of 'ending' for ASoIaF I'm going to be very pissed. Do you have any idea what happens to Gwen and Jaan afterwards? Does this ever come up in any of the stories taking place in the same world.

And, man, I really would have liked to read that 'Avalon' novel that was never written...

In light of this whole thing Duncan and Jenny suddenly look a lot more important than the series actually implies. One wonders what his thoughts about these two are. Are they just important for future Dunk & Egg stories or are they not completely gone. I still don't buy the idea that Howland Reed is their son but there might be other descendants of theirs around somewhere.

35 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

And second... Littlefinger might never hang himself, but some other neck injury will probably befell him before story's end, such as a hanging by another person, or even a different kind of neck injury such as a beheading by a certain person with a certain sword. Taking the giant down and all ;)

Well, if we take the unfolding of the love triangle here as an indication then things certainly to unravel eventually. Littlefinger has to meet Catelyn again.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

And we have to keep in mind that Tywin indeed was a very capable man and most likely one of the greatest Hands the Realm ever said. It is not necessarily sucking up to acknowledge that.

The book was not written for Tywin, and while Tywin was good at his job for a while, he also caused or allowed a series of atrocities that ruined the land and smallfolk... but that is another thread.

Quote

 

Cersei does kill septons and maesters?! When did she do something of that sort?

She has Tyrion's High Septon killed, and she sets aside Pycelle in favor of Qyburn, whom she has torturing people that disagree with her, and it can probably be safely suggested that this word has spread between the other maesters in the castle and city.

Quote

The impression I get - and I think that was also George's and Ran/Linda's intention - is that Yandel wrote and finished his history of the Kings on the Iron Throne while Robert still lived and worked on the histories of the Seven Kingdoms or even the sections on the lands beyond the Sunset Kingdoms when Robert died and the war broke out.

Errr, maybe? I will have to really take another closer look at this, but honestly, that is kind of what I was referring to in my last post. The book shows it going from Robert, to Joffery, and then to Tommen (with a lot of suck up to Cersei by book's end).

Quote

The only reflection of recent events on the story are in the Epilogue of the book as well as in the section on Robert's Rebellion (which he might have rewritten as only from Robert's POV, effectively excising Ned and Stannis from the narrative).

Part of the point. As I mentioned in my last post, the information we have could also have been edited, which means leaving crucial information out to spin the story the way the (in-world) author wants it to be said.

Quote

 

And the book does also not contain any real falsehood. The story about Elia and the children is pretty close but we have to keep in mind that all he does there is just not include a certain rumor while including others that might actually have existed at the time. It is not proven or openly claimed that Tywin had them killed.

:blink: Whaaa? To quote a favorite lines of yours, "oh come on now." The book did its best to wipe Tywin Lannister's hands clean for him. That says something there.

Quote

 

Even with his the anti-magic bias Yandel is actually pretty fair. He always cites Barth or other theories about magic before dismissing them so that the reader learns that those exist. A totally biased approach would be to not even mention rival theories.

And we have to keep in mind that a lot of magic actually no longer worked all that well when he was writing.

But if he was reporting a fair account of history, then he would not make such assessments as magic was "superstition" and "untrustworthy" and "fanciful." While the magics are all tricky, and self fulfilling does happen, magic does exist and should be respected.

Quote

He says there might be no Others but he sure as hell does never doubt the existence of the Children, the giants, mammoths, etc. He knows that they existed once because traces of their existence can still be found everywhere in Westeros.

To clarify myself a little. The World book claims the CotF and the giants have not been seen in centuries, which could mean that they do not exist anymore. Spreading this type of false information is going to be part of the reason why the Others will be so devastating. Nobody is prepared for them because nobody thinks they exist (expect for the very, very few like Jon and Sam and Bran and company). When Thorne was sent to King's Landing to plead for men to help man the wall, he was basically laughed away. Cutting of magic, and the knowledge of magic, and the "practioners" of anything in the north that is of this "old way" is about to be devastating to the Westeros. This is an example of the type of extremism that George writes about in his books. He did this is Dying of the Light as well.

  • "and neither the Others nor the children have been seen in many centuries."
Quote

Not catching that reference. But I did listen to a German audiobook version. But, damn, if we get this kind of 'ending' for ASoIaF I'm going to be very pissed. Do you have any idea what happens to Gwen and Jaan afterwards? Does this ever come up in any of the stories taking place in the same world.

Did we just bond over something? :wub: I'll grab the chardonnay and we can share a cheesecake and gab about it all night long.

There is a jacket hanging out in the forest that needs to be found (to help sooth my OCD:D) It is funny that this story is coming up right now because I started a re-read on it a few days ago.

I have read many of GRRM's old stories, and slowly making my way through others I never got to. As far as I can tell, the main characters in Dying stay in that story only. There is mention of some other characters in the beginning of the book that are mentioned, or even a few actually seen on page, in some other stories.

Quote

And, man, I really would have liked to read that 'Avalon' novel ...

Do you know how afraid I am that TWOW will be respelled to A-v-a-l-o-n :bawl:

Quote

In light of this whole thing Duncan and Jenny suddenly look a lot more important than the series actually implies. One wonders what his thoughts about these two are. Are they just important for future Dunk & Egg stories or are they not completely gone. I still don't buy the idea that Howland Reed is their son but there might be other descendants of theirs around somewhere.

Well, if we take the unfolding of the love triangle here as an indication then things certainly to unravel eventually. Littlefinger has to meet Catelyn again.

I know what you are getting at with regards to Duncan and Jenny, but I don't think we will ever get much of that story. I think it will always be an unattainable mystery.

Well, if Uncle Creepyfinger has to meet Cat Lady Stoneheart  the Hangwoman again, then there comes that "neck injury".

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

The book was not written for Tywin, and while Tywin was good at his job for a while, he also caused or allowed a series of atrocities that ruined the land and smallfolk... but that is another thread.

If you are referring to the war in the Riverlands there I'd agree with you. But I'm pretty sure Yandel was writing his account on the reign of Aerys while Robert was still alive. Many people do not particularly like Tywin, and many of his peers resented him for the power and prestige he gained as Hand of the King as Yandel actually tells us, but I think there is a consensus even amongst Tywin's enemies that always was a capable man and a good Hand. He is still feared by his enemies during the War of the Five Kings and it is essentially that fear of Tywin that kills Robb. Roose and the Freys decide that it is better to rid themselves of Robb than to face a Tyrell-backed Tywin Lannister in the field.

If Tywin had been less competent (or a woman, like Cersei) then there wouldn't have been a Red Wedding. Just recall what happened when Davos was captured by Lord Borrell. The man already knew that Tywin was dead, and that simple fact allowed Davos to leave.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

She has Tyrion's High Septon killed, and she sets aside Pycelle in favor of Qyburn, whom she has torturing people that disagree with her, and it can probably be safely suggested that this word has spread between the other maesters in the castle and city.

It is not yet proven that Cersei has arranged the murder of the High Septon, and if Yandel had known about that while he was writing the book then Cersei would already have been arrested and stripped of any power she once had. This is clearly not the case since we don't even see a trace of the Ironborn threat at the coasts of the Reach in the book - despite the fact that those began long before Cersei Lannister was arrested and forced to walk naked through the streets of KL.

And Qyburn does not replace Pycelle, he replaces Varys. Pycelle remains on the Small Council until his death in the Epilogue. Tyrion throws him into a black cell and later releases him (without restoring him to the council) but Tywin does that and so it remains until his death.

Cersei's close association with Qyburn certainly wouldn't make her popular in the Citadel but we can safely say that Yandel does not know anything about that when he is writing his book.

Here is Yandel's Afterword. It essentially confirms that the text was (mostly) written during Robert's peaceful reign:

Quote

In the years since I first set pen to parchment, much has changed both in Westeros and beyond. Readers must understand that such a work as this is not the labor of a mere few weeks … or even years. I first set the framework for this history during the peaceful years at the height of good King Robert’s reign, intending to dedicate the volume to Robert and his heirs as a history of the land and the world that they had inherited.
But such was not to be. The death of the noble Hand, Jon Arryn, has unleashed a madness on the land, a madness of pride and violence. The madness has robbed the realm of Robert, and of his fair son and heir Joffrey. Pretenders strive to steal the Iron Throne, and disturbing rumors of dragons reborn trickle in from the east.
In such times of trouble, we must all pray that good King Tommen shall see a long reign, and a just one, to usher us again out of the darkness and into the light.

I think we can safely say that book was finished around the time of the AFfC Prologue, perhaps even before news about Tywin's death had reached Oldtown. Pate and the gang in the inn already have heard the rumors about Daenerys and her dragons at this point, but Euron's Ironborn, the erratic rule of the Queen Regent Cersei Lannister, and Aegon's arrival are still in the future.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Errr, maybe? I will have to really take another closer look at this, but honestly, that is kind of what I was referring to in my last post. The book shows it going from Robert, to Joffery, and then to Tommen (with a lot of suck up to Cersei by book's end).

I really don't think Yandel is sucking up to Cersei, specifically. Rather to Robert's children who are both half-Lannister. They, too, would not like it if the family of their mother was shown in a bad light because that would inevitably reflect on them. Yandel usually downplays the role royal women play at court. Princesses and queens are rarely even mentioned, and his take on Alysanne's role during Jaehaerys' reign is nothing if not bias against the idea that this was essentially a joint rule.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Part of the point. As I mentioned in my last post, the information we have could also have been edited, which means leaving crucial information out to spin the story the way the (in-world) author wants it to be said.

Well, he actually gives us a reason for doing so. Focusing on Robert alone for the Rebellion actually prevents him from praising somebody who has since fallen from grace (like Eddard Stark, Stannis Baratheon, or Hoster Tully). He is not hiding anything there.

And it is quite clear that the real world authors only played that game when they had Yandel play with information we, the reader, already had. The book does not want tell us a false history about, say, the reign of Maegor the Cruel. He really did all the stuff the book recounts. He wasn't a pious and peace-loving reign who had only one wife, sired seven strong sons, and ruled a prosperous realm for three decades.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

:blink: Whaaa? To quote a favorite lines of yours, "oh come on now." The book did its best to wipe Tywin Lannister's hands clean for him. That says something there.

It certainly does. But I think this is more likely Yandel sucking up to Robert and his sons not so much to Tywin and the Lannisters specifically. I mean, it was Robert's decision to ignore the matter of the murders of Elia and her children. He could have investigated the matter. Instead he didn't. And that fact in and of itself makes this a very touchy subject for any contemporary historian. If the king doesn't want the murderers to be punished you better don't point in their direction even if you could.

And again, it is a rumor still in ASoS that Tywin and his goons were behind it. A matter Tywin and Tyrion discuss behind close doors and a rumor Doran Martell discussed with Jon Arryn behind closed doors as well. It is not necessarily rumor that is as widespread in Oldtown as it is, say, in KL and the circles we know through out intimate knowledge of many POVs.

All Yandel seems to be doing is citing other, perhaps less widespread rumors. And the idea that Aerys himself might have killed Elia and the children isn't all that far-fetched at all. Especially not for us who we know that he intended to burn down KL and the Red Keep. Elia killing herself and the children is a much less convincing rumor, that much is clear.

But then, people in this world apparently also believed or could be made to believe that Queen Jaehaera Targaryen, a (heavily autistic?) girl at the age of ten, killed herself the way she allegedly did. This is an utterly ridiculous notion and yet it became the official story (one really wonders if Aegon III and Viserys eventually got around to pay Unwin Peake back in kind for this atrocity).

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

But if he was reporting a fair account of history, then he would not make such assessments as magic was "superstition" and "untrustworthy" and "fanciful." While the magics are all tricky, and self fulfilling does happen, magic does exist and should be respected.

I'll reserve judgment on that until we learn why exactly the Citadel is biased against magic. They must have a reason for that. My preliminary assumption is that the Citadel wants to build a world of reason, science, and law, and 'superhuman people' who can change the rules of the game (or rig it completely) don't really fit into that world.

That would be an honorable task but it is, of course, completely counterproductive and very dangerous in light of the threat of the Others.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

To clarify myself a little. The World book claims the CotF and the giants have not been seen in centuries, which could mean that they do not exist anymore. Spreading this type of false information is going to be part of the reason why the Others will be so devastating.

On occasion, Yandel does cite sources at the Wall. And he doesn't ridicule the beliefs of men like Maester Aemon and others. Just remember the account on Hardhome and the maester who fell in love with the free folk lifestyle and returned there after he finished his account on the world beyond the Wall in Oldtown. 

I think it usually the problem of distance that prevents Yandel and other maesters from giving accurate accounts. If they knew for a fact that there were still giants and Children beyond the Wall they would not deny or suppress that knowledge.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Nobody is prepared for them because nobody thinks they exist (expect for the very, very few like Jon and Sam and Bran and company). When Thorne was sent to King's Landing to plead for men to help man the wall, he was basically laughed away. Cutting of magic, and the knowledge of magic, and the "practioners" of anything in the north that is of this "old way" is about to be devastating to the Westeros. This is an example of the type of extremism that George writes about in his books. He did this is Dying of the Light as well.

I think that's just a natural development. Until I see a living Tyrannosaurus Rex I'm going with the (pretty well founded) assumption that this species is extinct. It is certainly a fallacy to take the situation in the Seven Kingdoms as the status quo for all of Westeros but considering that it is rather difficult to get from Oldtown to the lands beyond the Wall it is hardly surprising that this happens.

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I have read many of GRRM's old stories, and slowly making my way through others I never got to. As far as I can tell, the main characters in Dying stay in that story only. There is mention of some other characters in the beginning of the book that are mentioned, or even a few actually seen on page, in some other stories.

I thought as much. Still, somebody should ask him what the hell happened to them and how the fight at the end ended. I mean, it is very much implied that Dirk was killed but we don't know for sure. 

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Do you know how afraid I am that TWOW will be respelled to A-v-a-l-o-n :bawl:

Does anybody know what that story was supposed to be about? I mean, it could have taken place while the characters from 'Dying of the Light' were there right?

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I know what you are getting at with regards to Duncan and Jenny, but I don't think we will ever get much of that story. I think it will always be an unattainable mystery.

Well, considering that the Ghost of High Heart has suddenly become a core player at the very heart of the prophecy department I'm inclined we'll learn more about them, too. 

10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Well, if Uncle Creepyfinger has to meet Cat Lady Stoneheart  the Hangwoman again, then there comes that "neck injury".

Certainly could be. But then, I'm not sure Littlefinger's sanity will survive seeing what Catelyn has become now. Not sure whether it is all that much to hang a man who is broken. Littlefinger is not likely to meet Catelyn while he is still in charge of a lot things...

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

<snip

Well, I'm not George. Only he could confirm whether there were written accounts on paper or parchment at the Nightfort in the days of the Night's King. Perhaps there were, perhaps not. It seems clear to me, though, that it was the infamy of the Night's King what kept this story alive for as long as it survived, on both sides of the Wall.

But Brandon the Breaker was still sort of successful in erasing the name of the man from history. Irregardless how he did that.

It would be pretty realistic, though, if Jon never found out the truth about his parentage. That is no longer really important to him, after all, and he has neither reason nor opportunity to investigate it where he is right now. Yet George has already confirmed he will eventually learn the truth about that. And the same goes for many of the other unresolved mysteries (the Mandon Moore attempt, etc.).

Why on earth would you assume Bran is not going to try to find out everything he can about the Others as soon as he understands how to investigate their past?

<snip

But he could also have been the Kingsguard guarding the king's bedchamber when Aerys fathered Tyrion, right? Just as Howland could show up and die before even meeting Jon.

Barristan is the only who could (sort of) give Tyrion a hint who he truly is if he becomes a dragonrider. And if does not become a dragonrider all by himself (by mere accident during one of the coming battles leading to a close encounter with a dragon) then only such a revelation/claim about his parentage would be enough to convince to actually try to mount one of the dragons. He is a dwarf with crippled legs who very much believes Tywin and Joanna are his parents. He may watch the dragons from afar but he is very unlikely to ever try to mount one after he realizes how deadly they are. He is not stupid and no longer suicidal.

The stone the Bloodstone Emperor worshiped is the Shining Trapezohedron, a hint to that horror story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haunter_of_the_Dark

The nature of oily black stone associated with the Deep Ones and other Lovecraftian monsters isnot very likely to be discussed in detail in this series.

The ultimate origin of the Hightowers, Oldtown, and Battle Island might, though. They are part of a very interesting mystery that seems to be interwoven with some of the more interesting mysteries of the series. The same goes for the origin of Dawn and the Daynes.

As I've said long ago when TWoIaF first came out - the Hightowers and the Daynes might very have Valyrian or proto-Valyrian origins, and especially the Hightowers and Oldtown might be connected to the question why the Valyrians never tried to conquer Westeros. Not to mention a possible connection to the Long Night.

In fact, since the chronology is so garbled the first Valyrian dragonlords might have even be involved in the War for the Dawn. We don't really know when the Long Night was nor when exactly Valyria was founded.

But there wouldn't have been any First Men in the deep forests of the Children if the First Men hadn't broken the Pact in the first place.

And the idea that the Children accepted any First Men in any of their territories in any other fashion as guests who would eventually leave makes little sense. The entire point of the Pact was to determine fixed borders between the lands of the Children and the First Men.

The Children would have never been forced to go underground or leave the North if the First Men there had accepted the borders they had agreed to all those centuries ago.

Also keep in mind that those deep forests would have been much larger back when the Long Night was over. Half or more of the North might have been a huge forest at that time.

The Starks did not yet rule the North in the time we are talking about here. In fact, what little we know about the conquest of the North indicates that they only had full control over the North around the time the Andals came.

Pushing the Children out of the North has to have been a concentrated effort by all the Northmen - else there would be some reservations for the Children still, protected by some Children-friendly Northmen.

And as we have discussed earlier in this thread the Northmen must have taken possession of at least the Wolfswood very early after the Long Night for else houses like the Blackwoods or the Glovers could never have lived and ruled those places in the most ancient before the Starks drove them out/subdued them.

I don't think the Boltons were particularly friendly towards the Children but we have no evidence that they were particularly bad, either.

 

I don't recall any of the Wildlings mentioning the Night's King. They know about Joramun, but they don't mention his teaming up with Brandon the Breaker. Unless I've just forgotten that, which is possible.

Yes it would, except that the true identity of one of the main characters in the series is not something that can go unresolved in fiction. I don't agree that it's not important to him anymore. I'd say it's not the first priority, but given the chance he would still want to know who his mother was.

I didn't. Of course he'll try. But he may not succeed in getting all the answers. It depends on a lot of factors, like how long Bloodraven lives, how quickly Bran learns, whether the warding on the cave will hold up and Bran is forced to leave before getting all the info, or even if he were to download everything from the weirnet he'd still need time to go through the files and find the right ones. That could be difficult and/or time-consuming when it means thousands of years of events and memories.

Possible. But if that were the case he would likely have given Dany some indication that she might have a living brother. 

Howland dying before he meets Jon would defeat the purpose of having Howland show up at all. He's the only eye-witness left from the ToJ who we know was actually there. Jon's far more likely to believe someone who was there than someone who heard something from someone who was or claimed to have been present at the ToJ.

Is that confirmed, or just your best guess. Nothing against best guesses, but I've seen other guesses as well, some of which seem pretty darned plausible.

That's exactly my point. The Hightowers, the base of their tower, the founding of Battle Island, all might be connected to the oily black stone. So there is a chance it will be mentioned again in the series.

We have some basic timelines that have them far enough apart that even 2,000 years or so wouldn't put them on the map at the same time. It's more likely that the mysterious people who taught the Valyrians how to ride dragons were involved in the War for the Dawn, because we know they were around prior to the rise of the Freehold.

I didn't realize you had a copy of the pact with all of its stipulations and clauses. 

You keep assuming they were forced. It's equally likely that they were not forced and merely chose to leave. People do that. Animals do that. I'm betting fictional green men are capable of doing it too.

And there was no Wall, so the Children could roam as far North as they wanted with no issues whether they were underground or not. The First Men did not go very far beyond where the Wall was eventually built.

Oh so it wasn't "the Starks" who forced the Children out. Seems to me you were saying the opposite before.

Yet you only talk about the Starks doing it, even though they did not rule the North yet. Are you just anti-Stark?

We don't know when they were pushed out. We know it was before the Andals showed up. That's it. And that gives us a time frame of up to 2,000 years.

Just a couple paragraphs ago you said all the Northmen would have been involved in pushing the Children out. 

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10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Yes it would, except that the true identity of one of the main characters in the series is not something that can go unresolved in fiction. I don't agree that it's not important to him anymore. I'd say it's not the first priority, but given the chance he would still want to know who his mother was.

Sure, but he is stuck at the Wall and has no hint whatsoever where to look.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I didn't. Of course he'll try. But he may not succeed in getting all the answers. It depends on a lot of factors, like how long Bloodraven lives, how quickly Bran learns, whether the warding on the cave will hold up and Bran is forced to leave before getting all the info, or even if he were to download everything from the weirnet he'd still need time to go through the files and find the right ones. That could be difficult and/or time-consuming when it means thousands of years of events and memories.

The way I see it you don't have to be physically close to a weirwood to make the mental connection if you are a greenseer. It is the same principle as skinchanging, and your animal also can far away when you take possession of it. It does not matter whether Bran remains or leaves the cave. He would have ample time to continue his research while other people carry around his body (assuming he leaves the cave which I don't).

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Possible. But if that were the case he would likely have given Dany some indication that she might have a living brother.

He shows he is very reluctant to talk about Joanna and Aerys. Perhaps he feels guilty about having witnessed Joanna being raped without intervening? And, of course, Aerys and Joanna having sex at the right time is still no confirmation because Barristan has no way of knowing whether Tywin and Joanna, too, had had sex the same month.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Howland dying before he meets Jon would defeat the purpose of having Howland show up at all. He's the only eye-witness left from the ToJ who we know was actually there. Jon's far more likely to believe someone who was there than someone who heard something from someone who was or claimed to have been present at the ToJ.

Howland may be able to confirm that Jon is Lyanna's son but not that Rhaegar is his father. He would not have witnessed them having sex. Wylla could be a much better witness, actually, because she might have actually been with Lyanna and talked to her. And I'm not sure Howland's purpose is solely connected to the Jon thing. He was on the Isle of Faces and met the Green Men.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Is that confirmed, or just your best guess. Nothing against best guesses, but I've seen other guesses as well, some of which seem pretty darned plausible.

That is confirmed. The Church of Starry Witness is an invention of Lovecraft, too, and it does worship the Shining Trapezohedron. In fact, one of the harbors were it is still active is Providence, R.I., Lovecraft's hometown where 'The Haunter of the Dark' takes place.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

That's exactly my point. The Hightowers, the base of their tower, the founding of Battle Island, all might be connected to the oily black stone. So there is a chance it will be mentioned again in the series.

Yeah, perhaps the origins of the foundation will be discussed, but I doubt this is going to be answered if the answer is not '(proto-)Valyrians built it'.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

We have some basic timelines that have them far enough apart that even 2,000 years or so wouldn't put them on the map at the same time. It's more likely that the mysterious people who taught the Valyrians how to ride dragons were involved in the War for the Dawn, because we know they were around prior to the rise of the Freehold.

Valyria may have been founded only after the Long Night but the first dragonlords could easily enough be older than the city they founded, right?

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I didn't realize you had a copy of the pact with all of its stipulations and clauses. 

You do, too. Just reread what we know about the Pact.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

You keep assuming they were forced. It's equally likely that they were not forced and merely chose to leave. People do that. Animals do that. I'm betting fictional green men are capable of doing it too.

No, that's exceedingly less likely, in fact, since we have sufficient evidence to conclude that the Children liked their lands and no intention of giving them up. They do not want to die.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Oh so it wasn't "the Starks" who forced the Children out. Seems to me you were saying the opposite before.

It was all the First Men, from Dorne to beyond the Wall. The wildlings pushed them out of their lands, too, or else the Haunted Forest would be a place of the Children and not full of wildling villages.

But the Starks sure as hell are responsible for whatever transpired on their lands (once they had conquered them, of course).

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Yet you only talk about the Starks doing it, even though they did not rule the North yet. Are you just anti-Stark?

The Starks killed Children of the Forest when they killed the allies of the Warg King. And we can reasonably assume that there were also Children on the original lands of the Starks around Winterfell. Where are they now? I don't buy the fairy-tale that they just went away of their own free will.

10 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Just a couple paragraphs ago you said all the Northmen would have been involved in pushing the Children out. 

They surely would. I did not say the Boltons most certainly did not kill or drive away any Children. But unlike with the Starks or the Durrandons we have no proof that they did. Just because the Boltons are really nasty people we cannot conclude that the Boltons were more anti-Children than the Starks.

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