Black Crow

Heresy 200 The bicentennial edition

451 posts in this topic

12 minutes ago, JNR said:

Thanks to the Fattest Leech for the fascinating new essay on the Citadel!

Interesting.  I said in an earlier thread that

I now see I was wrong.  Rhaegar just needed the right maester... or perhaps it was a little sleight of Hand.

Great catch! I think you've found a bread crumb! So a maester got the roses...I smell a conspiracy!

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23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The maesters have infiltrated Westeros with at least one of them in every lord's castle. They are able to teach their children, heal their sick, and influence the families with their "wisdom". They are credited with the disappearance of dragons from Westeros.

A big YES to all of this. It was hard as nuts trying to whittle down how much to put in for the Citadel/maesters. Those rats are everywhere with their little cook paws into everything.

23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Perhaps they should be credited with the disappearance of direwolves also?

This is where I would want to jump from measter's to the Faith/7 and septons. I think it was septon Barth who encouraged Jaehaerys to take such unnecessarily strong action against the north and it was futther supported by not-so-Good Queen Alysanne closing off Nightfort. I know I am not the only reader to get this feeling, but the whole event with Queenscrown, why people left the very fertile gift, the absurd reason to close Nightfort and the dazzling way she literally averted the NW attention with shiny things (her jewels). I think it was the combo of Jaehaerys and GQ Alysanne being coaxed by their septon as Hand of the King, Barth.

It's ok. I also feel like this undoing is happening per Jon and his finally knowing something pretty soon, and it is hinted at by the fact that the gold on the crown of Queenscrown is flaking away. GQ Alysanne's piss stain influence is leaving and magic is returning.

23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

If they know the language of crows/ravens, why do they say that this is a lost art?

:lol: exactly! They are the pickpockets of Westeros.

Hey! Look over there at that really cool rainbow crystal (yoinks away wallet from back pocket)

23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

They appear to have sided with Tywin in the past as hinted at by Pycelle. The Lannister's did supplant a Targaryen regime with one by Andal. There is a rough theory floating around that they are looking for Rhaegar's "seven rubies" which some suspect correlate with the Faith of the Seven. Sandor Clegane would make a good Stranger, while in the past Robert Baratheon makes a good Smith. Brienne seems to fit the aspect of the Warrior even if she is a maiden. Tywin could have been their Warrior, and even their Father. The "seven rubies" theoretically would be of Andal descent and working in conjunction with the Citadel.

All of this makes me super excited for Sam's TWOW chapters. I am really hoping we get some bright light shed on this part of the world.

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30 minutes ago, JNR said:

Thanks to the Fattest Leech for the fascinating new essay on the Citadel!

Interesting.  I said in an earlier thread that

I now see I was wrong.  Rhaegar just needed the right maester... or perhaps it was a little sleight of Hand.

:blink: awesome connection! I am grinning ear to fabulous ear reading this.

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I think that something we need to bear in mind here is this passage in Maester Luwin's history lesson:

"Finally the wise of both races prevailed, and the chiefs and heroes of the First Men met the greenseers and wood dancers amidst the weirwood groves of a small island in the great lake called Gods Eye... There they forged the Pact... the First Men even put aside the gods they had brought with them, and took up the worship of the secret gods of the wood."

Although we've picked up bits and pieces here and there, we really don't know much of the original gods of the first men, or what they might have demanded of their followers, but we do know that the "secret gods of the wood" have demanded blood sacrifices and worse - souls. So its not unreasonable to see the maesters as the original priests or wise men of the First Men, and that they have been striving to protect humanity ever since, first against the wood and latterly against the dragons, or if you prefer against the extremes of ice and fire.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

I think that something we need to bear in mind here is this passage in Maester Luwin's history lesson:

"Finally the wise of both races prevailed, and the chiefs and heroes of the First Men met the greenseers and wood dancers amidst the weirwood groves of a small island in the great lake called Gods Eye... There they forged the Pact... the First Men even put aside the gods they had brought with them, and took up the worship of the secret gods of the wood."

Although we've picked up bits and pieces here and there, we really don't know much of the original gods of the first men, or what they might have demanded of their followers, but we do know that the "secret gods of the wood" have demanded blood sacrifices and worse - souls. So its not unreasonable to see the maesters as the original priests or wise men of the First Men, and that they have been striving to protect humanity ever since, first against the wood and latterly against the dragons, or if you prefer against the extremes of ice and fire.

Unless of course the maesters were the ones who were the ones performing the human sacrifices to the weirwoods.  In Bran's vision, it seems that a "wise woman" or maegi may have been performing the sacrifice.

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5 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I think that something we need to bear in mind here is this passage in Maester Luwin's history lesson:

"Finally the wise of both races prevailed, and the chiefs and heroes of the First Men met the greenseers and wood dancers amidst the weirwood groves of a small island in the great lake called Gods Eye... There they forged the Pact... the First Men even put aside the gods they had brought with them, and took up the worship of the secret gods of the wood."

Although we've picked up bits and pieces here and there, we really don't know much of the original gods of the first men, or what they might have demanded of their followers, but we do know that the "secret gods of the wood" have demanded blood sacrifices and worse - souls. So its not unreasonable to see the maesters as the original priests or wise men of the First Men, and that they have been striving to protect humanity ever since, first against the wood and latterly against the dragons, or if you prefer against the extremes of ice and fire.

Shoudn' t these gods be related to the less known religions? like the dead god of the faceless man, r'hillor and even the iron islanders seem to have different beliefs...

This would support that all gods are bastards because they all demand blood sacrifices...

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3 hours ago, divica said:

Shoudn' t these gods be related to the less known religions? like the dead god of the faceless man, r'hillor and even the iron islanders seem to have different beliefs...

This would support that all gods are bastards because they all demand blood sacrifices...

Welcome to Heresy :commie:

It may depend on the nature of the sacrifice, both R'hllor and the Wood appear to demand not just blood but the soul as well

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8 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Unless of course the maesters were the ones who were the ones performing the human sacrifices to the weirwoods.  In Bran's vision, it seems that a "wise woman" or maegi may have been performing the sacrifice.

I don't really think so. Obviously somebody has to do the deed, but the maesters don't include women, wise or not - unless you count Sarella who is in disguise.

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7 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Welcome to Heresy :commie:

It may depend on the nature of the sacrifice, both R'hllor and the Wood appear to demand not just blood but the soul as well

Yeah, but it would have huge moral implications. Like the magic from r'hllor not being very diferent from the magic from the old gods (trees) and maybe r'hllor is the god tha jon's ancestors worshiped. It would make the red priests a mel being involved in healing jon much more acceptable.

 

Besides, it would start to make sense that AA is r'hllor chosen! And if we add that in the past the children (which are the original worshipers of the trees) were on the side of the others then it makes perfect sense that the man's hero is related to man's god r'hllor.

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R'hollor and the Weirwoods are no different.Come to think of it ,there isn't one god in Asoiaf that doesn't demand blood/soul.Some form of sacrifice that involves "spilling."

Though there are many religions I think we are dealing with a "class" or "type" of beings that take on the persona of gods (*cough* Skinchangers/greenseers to simplify)because followers don't know better.

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27 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

R'hollor and the Weirwoods are no different.Come to think of it ,there isn't one god in Asoiaf that doesn't demand blood/soul.Some form of sacrifice that involves "spilling."

Though there are many religions I think we are dealing with a "class" or "type" of beings that take on the persona of gods (*cough* Skinchangers/greenseers to simplify)because followers don't know better.

In case of the weirwood trees I agree. However I don t see how r'hllor or the many faced good for example can be skinchangers. It must be a different type of magic... like people very skilled in diferent types or magic use their powers to make others believe they are gods or when they died they used their powers to remain as spirits that try to get their followers to give them sacrifices in order to increase their power.

It would interesting if the others want to kill the living to use them as sacrifices for their god... on the other hand if the gods want to use sacrifices for returning to the living for example it would be meeh...

 

And this doesn t take into account the septons nor the maesters. And after the last books the maesters have certainly done shady things.

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1 hour ago, wolfmaid7 said:

R'hollor and the Weirwoods are no different.Come to think of it ,there isn't one god in Asoiaf that doesn't demand blood/soul.Some form of sacrifice that involves "spilling."

I believe that the recurring element of sacrifice is a direct consequence of the fact that magic is real on Planetos, and always seems to demand some sort of price; accordingly, belief has been shaped heavily in the direction of favoring sacrifice, as sacrifice yields tangible "miracles."

I suspect this is also why R'hllor and the old gods seem more "real" and interventionist than the Seven--the Seven have no tradition of ritual sacrifice, and accordingly, would not appear to offer sorcery to their followers.

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1 hour ago, divica said:

In case of the weirwood trees I agree. However I don t see how r'hllor or the many faced good for example can be skinchangers. It must be a different type of magic... like people very skilled in diferent types or magic use their powers to make others believe they are gods or when they died they used their powers to remain as spirits that try to get their followers to give them sacrifices in order to increase their power.

It would interesting if the others want to kill the living to use them as sacrifices for their god... on the other hand if the gods want to use sacrifices for returning to the living for example it would be meeh...

 

And this doesn t take into account the septons nor the maesters. And after the last books the maesters have certainly done shady things.

So far as we know the red priests aren't skinchangers but they certainly raise the dead and use glamours which appear to require a part of the soul.

As to fire generally, the direwolf-Stark link appears to be mirrored by the Targaryen-dragon one

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I see in the last thread Professor Cecily wrote:

Quote

Not at all. I can't imagine how you have read the text this way. Aemon is saying they confused prince/princess.

This is something I agree with Feather about, so I'm going to explain why.

First, we have to take a look at Aemon's mind.  As we all know, he firmly believes Dany is the Prince that was Promised, even though "prince" has a male ring to it, and Dany is definitely not -- even in Heresy -- male.

So he needs to explain this apparent contradiction to himself, and this is how he does it.  He begins by acknowledging the problem:

Quote

"No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess."

Simple enough.  Then to justify his position he says this:

Quote

The error crept in from the translation.

What translation?  Well, though he doesn't spell this out, it appears the prophecy that discusses tPtwP was not, originally, in Common.  We don't know the original language of the prophecy (though many fans are sure it was Valyrian).  We also don't know how many times it was translated before it was rendered in Common.

Then he says:

Quote

Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame.

OK, what has this stuff about dragons got to do with princes or princesses?   What's the connection?  Because clearly there must be a connection in Aemon's mind or he wouldn't have brought this up.  

IMO this means... though again, Aemon doesn't spell this out... that the original language of the prophecy uses the term dragon.  Not prince.  It apparently says something roughly like this:

Quote

The dragon that was promised shall blah blah blah blah (something that dragons don't do, but powerful humans might do).

And because this blah blah blah stuff sounded like human behavior, this was translated into something like:

Quote

The dragon prince that was promised shall blah blah blah (something that dragons don't do, but powerful humans might).

...because, of course, the translators were sexist people who thought powerful humans (lords) were always men.

That was, in Aemon's mind, the "error creeping in through the translation."  Aemon also knows from Barth that dragons can change their sex -- so the dragon that was promised might be either male or female (like Dany).  So this is why he says:

Quote

The language misled us all for a thousand years.

This is also why the Targs, reading this prophecy about the dragon prince that was promised, became very interested: they are dragon princes.  They have been ever since Aegon I.   And the blah blah blah is apparently very important stuff.

One last point.  Fans sometimes think the above means the original language of the prophecy has gendered nouns, like German ("das Boot").  Maybe, but if so, that's not the idea Aemon is getting at, IMO.  He is talking about the connection between dragons and princes and how translation errors led from the one to the other.

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6 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I believe that the recurring element of sacrifice is a direct consequence of the fact that magic is real on Planetos, and always seems to demand some sort of price; accordingly, belief has been shaped heavily in the direction of favoring sacrifice, as sacrifice yields tangible "miracles."

I suspect this is also why R'hllor and the old gods seem more "real" and interventionist than the Seven--the Seven have no tradition of ritual sacrifice, and accordingly, would not appear to offer sorcery to their followers.

So far as we know, yes, but ultimately I think the difference is that Ice and Fire demand souls, hence my suggestion that the maesters may be defending humanity.

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2 hours ago, wolfmaid7 said:

R'hollor and the Weirwoods are no different.Come to think of it ,there isn't one god in Asoiaf that doesn't demand blood/soul.Some form of sacrifice that involves "spilling."

Though there are many religions I think we are dealing with a "class" or "type" of beings that take on the persona of gods (*cough* Skinchangers/greenseers to simplify)because followers don't know better.

I tend to agree with you here and maybe take it a bit further and posit that religion and gods are man-made, that there are no supreme beings, and that the old-gods and R'hllor are the collective force of the spirits of those that practiced magic while yet alive. If there is a such thing as a supreme being it would be the natural forces of nature, or maybe something more cosmic that wouldn't lower it's conscious to that of man. In other words the gods wouldn't have man-like desires, but would rather want the best outcome for the planet and all winter or all summer would not be in the best interests of survival with regard to a planet. Circling back around...there may be workers of magic that would want either all winter or all summer, whichever season and elements would best increase their magical powers. If Melisandre used a glass candle versus fire for divination, it would be easier to point to human intervention. So the fire is interesting, but we at least receive some information regarding the ice magic side. We're told the spirit remains in the bones and that white walkers are made of ice (somehow) and we suspect blood sacrifice is involved. On the fire side we learn you can raise the dead by blowing fire into their lungs as demonstrated with Beric Dondarrion. The fiery kiss, which he then shared with Catelyn to get Lady Stoneheart. The two magics are simply two sides of the same coin. It's the same god, the same source, and the House of Black and White recognizes this. They say all gods are the same god and only life can pay for death.

 

37 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I believe that the recurring element of sacrifice is a direct consequence of the fact that magic is real on Planetos, and always seems to demand some sort of price; accordingly, belief has been shaped heavily in the direction of favoring sacrifice, as sacrifice yields tangible "miracles."

I suspect this is also why R'hllor and the old gods seem more "real" and interventionist than the Seven--the Seven have no tradition of ritual sacrifice, and accordingly, would not appear to offer sorcery to their followers.

R'hllor and the old gods come from a source of magic, while the Faith is anti-magic, but the Faith is still based on the characteristics of humans with a Father, Mother, Warrior, Maiden, Smith, Crone, and Stranger of death.

31 minutes ago, JNR said:

I see in the last thread Professor Cecily wrote:

This is something I agree with Feather about, so I'm going to explain why.

First, we have to take a look at Aemon's mind.  As we all know, he firmly believes Dany is the Prince that was Promised, even though "prince" has a male ring to it, and Dany is definitely not -- even in Heresy -- male.

So he needs to explain this apparent contradiction to himself, and this is how he does it.  He begins by acknowledging the problem:

Simple enough.  Then to justify his position he says this:

What translation?  Well, though he doesn't spell this out, it appears the prophecy that discusses tPtwP was not, originally, in Common.  We don't know the original language of the prophecy (though many fans are sure it was Valyrian).  We also don't know how many times it was translated before it was rendered in Common.

Then he says:

OK, what has this stuff about dragons got to do with princes or princesses?   What's the connection?  Because clearly there must be a connection in Aemon's mind or he wouldn't have brought this up.  

IMO this means... though again, Aemon doesn't spell this out... that the original language of the prophecy uses the term dragon.  Not prince.  It apparently says something roughly like this:

And because this blah blah blah stuff sounded like human behavior, this was translated into something like:

...because, of course, the translators were sexist people who thought powerful humans (lords) were always men.

That was, in Aemon's mind, the "error creeping in through the translation."  Aemon also knows from Barth that dragons can change their sex -- so the dragon that was promised might be either male or female (like Dany).  So this is why he says:

This is also why the Targs, reading this prophecy about the dragon prince that was promised, became very interested: they are dragon princes.  They have been ever since Aegon I.   And the blah blah blah is apparently very important stuff.

One last point.  Fans sometimes think the above means the original language of the prophecy has gendered nouns, like German ("das Boot").  Maybe, but if so, that's not the idea Aemon is getting at, IMO.  He is talking about the connection between dragons and princes and how translation errors led from the one to the other.

Thanks for backing me up! 

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1 hour ago, divica said:

In case of the weirwood trees I agree. However I don t see how r'hllor or the many faced good for example can be skinchangers. It must be a different type of magic... like people very skilled in diferent types or magic use their powers to make others believe they are gods or when they died they used their powers to remain as spirits that try to get their followers to give them sacrifices in order to increase their power.

It would interesting if the others want to kill the living to use them as sacrifices for their god... on the other hand if the gods want to use sacrifices for returning to the living for example it would be meeh...

 

And this doesn t take into account the septons nor the maesters. And after the last books the maesters have certainly done shady things.

If we look at the Many faced god particularly when it comes to The faceless men the same themes are there.

They usually don't merge their spirits with an intended or maybe they do but they do change skin.And currently they do have among them a very adept Warg.

I was having an interesting conversation with Master Sam about who the original FM was.Its possible he was a Skinchanger whose 3rd eye was opened in the darkness of those mines.

As for R'hollor there is evidence that the power used by the Red priests are the powers of the greenseers.

E.g.And I will add a bonus.

1.Arya seeing the kindly man as first a skeletal figure one eyed figure with a worm out one socket.

2.One eyed Beric in the hill on the weirwood throne.

3.Bloodraven on the weirwood throne 

They are all at one point evocative of Odin who was himself a bit of a trickster. Based on the themes shared by all three,its possible that's all it is;GRRM giving a hats off to Odin.But I think its him saying this power has the same origin

 

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54 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I believe that the recurring element of sacrifice is a direct consequence of the fact that magic is real on Planetos, and always seems to demand some sort of price; accordingly, belief has been shaped heavily in the direction of favoring sacrifice, as sacrifice yields tangible "miracles."

I suspect this is also why R'hllor and the old gods seem more "real" and interventionist than the Seven--the Seven have no tradition of ritual sacrifice, and accordingly, would not appear to offer sorcery to their followers.

I agree blood or sacrifice is a very big component.Forced or consensual.If we believe blood magic is potent in this world....Well there you go.

4 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I tend to agree with you here and maybe take it a bit further and posit that religion and gods are man-made, that there are no supreme beings, and that the old-gods and R'hllor are the collective force of the spirits of those that practiced magic while yet alive. If there is a such thing as a supreme being it would be the natural forces of nature, or maybe something more cosmic that wouldn't lower it's conscious to that of man. In other words the gods wouldn't have man-like desires, but would rather want the best outcome for the planet and all winter or all summer would not be in the best interests of survival with regard to a planet. Circling back around...there may be workers of magic that would want either all winter or all summer, whichever season and elements would best increase their magical powers. If Melisandre used a glass candle versus fire for divination, it would be easier to point to human intervention. So the fire is interesting, but we at least receive some information regarding the ice magic side. We're told the spirit remains in the bones and that white walkers are made of ice (somehow) and we suspect blood sacrifice is involved. On the fire side we learn you can raise the dead by blowing fire into their lungs as demonstrated with Beric Dondarrion. The fiery kiss, which he then shared with Catelyn to get Lady Stoneheart. The two magics are simply two sides of the same coin. It's the same god, the same source, and the House of Black and White recognizes this. They say all gods are the same god and only life can pay for death.

 

R'hllor and the old gods come from a source of magic, while the Faith is anti-magic, but the Faith is still based on the characteristics of humans with a Father, Mother, Warrior, Maiden, Smith, Crone, and Stranger of death.

Thanks for backing me up! 

Word!!! I am not going to add anything more because "two sides of the same coin" pretty much says it Feather.

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

This is also why the Targs, reading this prophecy about the dragon prince that was promised, became very interested: they are dragon princes.  They have been ever since Aegon I.   And the blah blah blah is apparently very important stuff.

One last point.  Fans sometimes think the above means the original language of the prophecy has gendered nouns, like German ("das Boot").  Maybe, but if so, that's not the idea Aemon is getting at, IMO.  He is talking about the connection between dragons and princes and how translation errors led from the one to the other.

This is the same error from which we, the readers, on a 'meta-' level are suffering.  Here's my translation of the passage, with some poetic license:

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Samwell IV

What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither literal nor figurative, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. 

Whether to interpret something literally and/or figuratively is always a judgment call, dependent on the sensibility of the reader and the prejudice of the moment!

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1 hour ago, wolfmaid7 said:

If we look at the Many faced god particularly when it comes to The faceless men the same themes are there.

They usually don't merge their spirits with an intended or maybe they do but they do change skin.And currently they do have among them a very adept Warg.

I was having an interesting conversation with Master Sam about who the original FM was.Its possible he was a Skinchanger whose 3rd eye was opened in the darkness of those mines.

As for R'hollor there is evidence that the power used by the Red priests are the powers of the greenseers.

E.g.And I will add a bonus.

1.Arya seeing the kindly man as first a skeletal figure one eyed figure with a worm out one socket.

2.One eyed Beric in the hill on the weirwood throne.

3.Bloodraven on the weirwood throne 

They are all at one point evocative of Odin who was himself a bit of a trickster. Based on the themes shared by all three,its possible that's all it is;GRRM giving a hats off to Odin.But I think its him saying this power has the same origin

 

Ok I might be influenced by the show here, but the faceless man don thave their spirit enter another body. To me it sounds almost the inverse of skinchanging as the faceless absorb the bodies without spirits and can assume their form.

In regards to R'hollor, when you say that there is evidence that the red priests have the same powers of greenseers are you refering to having visions through fire? because we have seen the red priests being able to do a wide sort of magic from ilusions, shadows or strange healings and greenseers don't have that sort of powers.

 

If you want to find a common origin for all these powers it can't be the ability to skinchange, at present the best I can think is the ability to manipulate your spirit (soul). Then peopel with diferent training can use their spirit to do diferent things...

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