rhaegar_blackfyre

Asshai By the Shadow

16 posts in this topic

This topic may have been posted a million times before, but I would just like to know, what the fuck is going on in Asshai, Stygai, and The Shadow Lands. I have my own theories, but I'd like to see what other people think. Please elaborate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, rhaegar_blackfyre said:

This topic may have been posted a million times before, but I would just like to know, what the fuck is going on in Asshai, Stygai, and The Shadow Lands. I have my own theories, but I'd like to see what other people think. Please elaborate!

I think Asshai represents the outer boundary of Harrenhal's anti-magic effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once the capital of a powerful empire who had magic and dragons. One day they discovered the power of shadow. "The brightest light casts the darkest shadow". Stygai who was the heart of fire became the heart of shadow and casted this shadow over Asshai.Eventually the shadow came out of hand and destroyed the enviorment surrounding Asshai. The Shadowbinders purpose is to make sure the shadow does not spread , they are binding the shadow to one place.

The shadow is like Unlight in Tolkiens universe. A twisted form of darkness.

That's my theory.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 19/08/2017 at 10:03 PM, LordImp said:

Once the capital of a powerful empire who had magic and dragons. One day they discovered the power of shadow. "The brightest light casts the darkest shadow". Stygai who was the heart of fire became the heart of shadow and casted this shadow over Asshai.Eventually the shadow came out of hand and destroyed the enviorment surrounding Asshai. The Shadowbinders purpose is to make sure the shadow does not spread , they are binding the shadow to one place.

The shadow is like Unlight in Tolkiens universe. A twisted form of darkness.

That's my theory.

 

I like this theory. Could this have created the 'long night' in the shadowlands/asshai? Darkness could be the shadow clouding the entire region.

Edited by Falcon2909

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

I like this theory. Could this have created the 'long night' in the shadowlands/asshai? Darkness could be the shadow clouding the entire region.

Pretty much. The shadow is the eastern theatre of the Long night. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't Asshai what connects the Lands of Always Winter (the icy north) and the Land of Long Summer (Valyria)? It's the gray area between light and dark. Dany probably has to go here in next book. "To go west you must go east." And she would probably revisit Valyria as well. 

I find the toad in the Basilisk Islands way weirder. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Isn't Asshai what connects the Lands of Always Winter (the icy north) and the Land of Long Summer (Valyria)? It's the gray area between light and dark. Dany probably has to go here in next book. "To go west you must go east." And she would probably revisit Valyria as well. 

I find the toad in the Basilisk Islands way weirder. 

Nah, GRRM has stated that Essos and Westeros are not connected. It would be nice to see Dany going to Asshai and east but its unlikely to happen. 

I think the "to go west go east to go forward go back etc" isn't supposed to be literally interpreted. IMO it means Dany should go back to her ancestors ways, to go back to her fire and blood ways, to become a conqueror, to go back to westeros instead of hanging out in essos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Isn't Asshai what connects the Lands of Always Winter (the icy north) and the Land of Long Summer (Valyria)? It's the gray area between light and dark. Dany probably has to go here in next book. "To go west you must go east." And she would probably revisit Valyria as well. 

I find the toad in the Basilisk Islands way weirder. 

GRRM has answered both this questions. 1. Essos and Westeros is not connected. 2. We will only see Asshai in flasbacks , Dany won't go there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LordImp @Falcon2909

Yes, yes, the two continents are separated by the sea. But that Azhor Ahai prophesy exists in the east too. Doesn't that mean the two places were connected once? When the Long Winter comes it's possible that the sea freezes creating a passageway between the two continents. Like how the North American continent was once connected to Greenland (was it?) that allowed people to go there. 

Has GRRM said for certain that Dany is not going there? I think Dany is going to go east, maybe not Asshai, but at least that shadow place. It's in Quaithe's prophesy, but it's also something Bran sees. 

Quote

He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki sea and beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled lands of the Jade Sea, to Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.

from: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/Prophecies/Entry/1791 

People speculate that this is Dany's path to Westeros. It makes sense. She's at the Dothraki sea at the end of DwD. She's probably going to the Mother of Mountains where the Dothraki widows are. Her House of Undying vision where crones accept her strongly hints at that. And then from there she probably goes east, maybe after returning to the free cities to settle matters and get Viserion and Rhaegal. The dragons stirring in Asshai could be Dany's dragons. She could cross by air, by land if the sea freezes, or (likely) with Euron's fleet (who boasts about crossing the sunset sea to westeros). Euron is also probably Dany's second husband ("mount to dread") from her child of three prophesy. 

Going east would also be the best way to solve (or at least address) the mystery of the Doom and learn more about the creatures of fire and creatures of ice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

@LordImp @Falcon2909

 

Has GRRM said for certain that Dany is not going there? I think Dany is going to go east, maybe not Asshai, but at least that shadow place. It's in Quaithe's prophesy, but it's also something Bran sees. 

from: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/Prophecies/Entry/1791 

People speculate that this is Dany's path to Westeros. It makes sense. She's at the Dothraki sea at the end of DwD. She's probably going to the Mother of Mountains where the Dothraki widows are. Her House of Undying vision where crones accept her strongly hints at that. And then from there she probably goes east, maybe after returning to the free cities to settle matters and get Viserion and Rhaegal. The dragons stirring in Asshai could be Dany's dragons. She could cross by air, by land if the sea freezes, or (likely) with Euron's fleet (who boasts about crossing the sunset sea to westeros). Euron is also probably Dany's second husband ("mount to dread") from her child of three prophesy. 

Going east would also be the best way to solve (or at least address) the mystery of the Doom and learn more about the creatures of fire and creatures of ice. 

The Dragons stirring in Asshai was a vision Bran saw of the past.(Dragons used to live in the dawn of days in the shadowlands)

And how does going East solve the mystery of the doom? The Doom happened in Valyria which is west of where she is right now. Going east would probably add more questions. The current creatures of fire we know are Dragons. Dany knows this too. She should be knowing the ice creatures. Best way to do that is to study white walkers, located in the west, which is faster and closer to get to than going east.

And Dany's prophecy isn't supposed to be taken literally.

Dany is destined to go Westwards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

The Dragons stirring in Asshai was a vision Bran saw of the past.(Dragons used to live in the dawn of days in the shadowlands)

And how does going East solve the mystery of the doom? The Doom happened in Valyria which is west of where she is right now. Going east would probably add more questions. The current creatures of fire we know are Dragons. Dany knows this too. She should be knowing the ice creatures. Best way to do that is to study white walkers, located in the west, which is faster and closer to get to than going east.

And Dany's prophecy isn't supposed to be taken literally.

Dany is destined to go Westwards. 

I just checked out a map of the continent. You are right, she's to the west of Valyria. She seems to be in the northern part of the Essos continent. As I said, she's probably going down to Slaver's Bay to get her dragons before she goes anywhere (once she goes to the window's place). What makes you think Bran's vision is of the past in this case? That looks like a sea route to Asshai. In DwD Dany asks Qaithe something like should I go to Asshai, is there an army waiting for me there. I think this is an indication Dany is going to cross the Jade sea to Asshai. She could go to Gray Waste and cross to Westeros with Euron. I highly doubt she's going to cross the Narrow Sea to get to westeros like in the show. It's was her plan from the beginning, but with these hints I don't think that's going to happen. It would also be kind of too easy. People in Asshai probably know what happened with the Doom, and also the Azhor Ahai prophesy. Also, Jon is the one whose going to see the "heart of winter." It's another part of the whole vision that Bran sees. We will know more about WW through Jon. 

An I think the Shivering Sea is going to play a role too. In WOIAF, ice dragons are said to be there, and also a blue mist. Very strong indications of WW presence. Dany is close to there than to Slaver's Bay right now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/19/2017 at 5:03 AM, LordImp said:

Once the capital of a powerful empire who had magic and dragons. One day they discovered the power of shadow. "The brightest light casts the darkest shadow". Stygai who was the heart of fire became the heart of shadow and casted this shadow over Asshai.Eventually the shadow came out of hand and destroyed the enviorment surrounding Asshai. The Shadowbinders purpose is to make sure the shadow does not spread , they are binding the shadow to one place.

The shadow is like Unlight in Tolkiens universe. A twisted form of darkness.

That's my theory.

 

I've not seen that before.   Well done, Ser.  I've got the map set and just a cursory look at the terrains of  Essos and Westeros smack you with the desolation in Essos.  It's creepy.   The people are mutants.  This place is in total solar eclipse perpetually.   Before your lovely idea I thought it like a nuclear waste land...I suppose it could still be a magical sort of nuclear winter there.  Unlight, 'ey?  Really good stuff there Man. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I've not seen that before.   Well done, Ser.  I've got the map set and just a cursory look at the terrains of  Essos and Westeros smack you with the desolation in Essos.  It's creepy.   The people are mutants.  This place is in total solar eclipse perpetually.   Before your lovely idea I thought it like a nuclear waste land...I suppose it could still be a magical sort of nuclear winter there.  Unlight, 'ey?  Really good stuff there Man. 

Thank you very much! Glad you liked it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that Dany is going to literally visit Asshai as there is no time if Martin wants to keep it to two books.  However, I think that she may visit via a glass candle provided by Marwyn.

I'm not a Tolkien expert but it seems to me that Asshai represents one of the two lamps of the world (another salute to original master by Martin) with the other lamp being the Eyrie.  Asshai is in the shadow of the Mountains of the Morn while the Eyrie is on top of the Giant's Lance in the Mountains of Moon.  Here, Martin gives us that sun moon parallel again. The same catastrophic event that caused the long night threw Asshai into darkness.  However, while the Eyrie and rest of Planetos recovered from the dark times, some major magical force has kept Asshai in perpetual darkness and one of the symbolic lamps was broken.  Maybe the glass candles that are known to come from Asshai are pieces of said lamp.  However, I don’t think that all hope is lost as there is still a sliver of light in Asshai.

This has probably all been speculated upon and discussed before but I think that Asshai is the entryway to the kingdom of death.  It’s the sister city to Stygai also know the city of corpses, which is only reached by going through Asshai. But even if that wasn’t the case, Martin tells you what Asshai represents by giving it the name “Asshai by the Shadow.”  Where can you find one of the earliest uses of the word “shadow” in literature/mythology?  I’ll tell you, the 23rd Psalm. “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”  As shown in the paintings in ASOIAF, Asshai is literally located in the valley below the Shadow Mountains.  And as I’m sure GRRM approved all of the illustrations in the book, I have to assume that the symbolism is deliberate.  I’m also of the opinion that Martin played off the line from the 23rd Psalm to tip to the fact that Dany is the Goddess of Death.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I think that Dany is the Death Goddess.  And I don’t mean that she is evil as death is simply the other side of the coin to life…a theme that is prevalent throughout ASOIAF.  I simply mean that Dany is the force of nature that is death.  It’s what Quaithe meant when she told Dany, “remember who you are; your dragons know, do you?”  The dragons represent death and Dany is the dragon that gave birth to death.  She even dreams of being a dragon with wings bursting out of her back and she took to flight.  In this same dream, she runs from an icy breath that is chasing her and she knows that if she looks back, it will mean death.

Spoiler

Dany being the death goddess is hinted at throughout all the books but it is especially reinforced in her last chapter of ADWD.   That chapter is like an ode to death.  It begins with Dany looking at the bones of all the animals that Drogon has killed…and some are probably human.  She dreams of Quaithe again telling her to remember who she is; she has a vision of Viserys at the time of his death; she has an imaginary conversation with Ser Jorah as he tells her that she should have never gone to Meereen and become the mother of the masses; she hears a wolf howling in the distance which I think is a tip to Jon’s death; she kills the ants that come over the wall; she sees a rat in the water which makes you think of the rat cook and his special pies; She keeps wishing that Daario would find her…he who is another bringer of death who left “his ladies,” his instruments of death with Dany.  And what did she do with them, she hung them over her bed; she suffers a miscarriage; she turns back from following the river to Meereen and her human children who are in her care and instead calls her dragon child to her and follows the bloodrider to claim her destiny. The chapter also ends with her eating Drogon’s kill with him. And of course, in this chapter, she also remembers her “red door.”

Remember how I said that GRRM’s use of the 23rd Psalm was a tip to Dany being the goddess of death? Well I think the Asshai shadow reference is also to help us recognize another biblical reference when we see it—and that’s Dany’s red door.  Most fans think that the red door represents sanctuary and happiness for Dany—and it does.  However, I don’t think that’s the real metaphor George is going for.  Like with his use of “shadow,” think of the earliest references to a red door in literature.  If you’re still wondering, I’ll tell you.  It’s the red door from the story of Exodus and Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery.

As told in the story, the Lord inflicted 10 plagues on the Egyptians he attempted to make them let his people go.  The first nine did not work.  It was only after the tenth plague that the Egyptians freed the children of Israel.  And what was the 10th plague?  It was the killing of the first-born child of the Egyptians by the Angel of Death.  But the Israelites had to be protected from this plague and so they were instructed to sacrifice a spring lamb and use it’s blood to mark the doorposts of their homes.  This mark would allow the angel of death to know to pass over the first-born of the houses with the red mark of the lamb’s blood.  And this was the first red door in literature.

Think of Dany and her search for her red door.  She tries and tries to remember its location but cannot.  She chases it in her dreams but it usually disappears before she can reach it.  She is always on the outside or the wrong side of the door.  Now who like Dany is always on the outside of the red door in the Exodus story? Who is barred from entry? Why, it’s the angel of death!  The one time Dany does reach her door (in the same dream I referenced above), she opens the door and sees an armored figure who she believes is her brother Rheghar.  However, when she opens his helm, it is her face looking back at her; her heated face breathing fire and death.  So as you can see, the only thing waiting for Dany behind her door of sanctuary is death.  And that may indeed turn out to be the sanctuary that she’s been looking for all along.

This could be what Quaithe means when she tells her “to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.” In some manner, I think that Dany will have to visit the realm of the dead. And it very likely could be that final death that will help her “touch the light” and bring the dawn. 

 Oh, and if the story has a death goddess then it must also have its opposite.  And I’ll tell you who I think that is and why in another post.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now