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DominusNovus

Arm of Dorne Climatological Thread

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About 2 years ago, I proposed that much of the current climate of Planetos is driven by the mixing of the Shivering Sea and Summer Sea, after the breaking of the Arm of Dorne, resulting in a cooler climate along the south coast of both Essos and Westeros, and likely drying up much of the agricultural heartland of the Golden Empire of the Dawn.

I've been thinking about this idea while reading about the possibilities that the Grey Wastes of Eastern Essos might be connected by land or ice bridge to the Lands of Always Winter in Northern Westeros.  It occurred to me that I might have been viewing this entire concept somewhat backwards.  Yes, the breaking of the arm of Dorne would inevitably cool off the regions bordering the Summer Sea, resulting in the impacts I discussed in that previous thread, but the inverse is also true: they would warm up the Shivering Sea by a similar amount.  In fact, from what we've seen of the map of Planetos, it is not impossible that the Summer Sea and Sunset Sea together (along with whatever else is just south of them) are significantly larger than the Shivering Sea, so they would have warmed that Sea more than it would have cooled them.

So, what if, whomever was responsible for the breaking of the arm was aware of this?  What if the breaking of the arm was related to the Long Night, but not in a fashion that we've theorized in the past?  What if it was part of the solution to the Long Night?  We have to play with the chronology a little, which is hardly a deal breaker, when you consider just how far back into prehistory we're reaching.  What if the Arm of Dorne was still intact during the Long Night?  This would mean that the Shivering Sea would be much colder, which means more ice, and a better advantage for the Others.  Who knows how much of the Shivering Sea would have been frozen under these circumstances, but I will note that the Vale was pretty clearly carved through glacial action.  Under these circumstances, all the lands bordering the Shivering Sea, regardless of any potential land bridge in the current era, would almost certainly be connected by ice, and would be at the mercy of the Others.  In other words, the Lands of Always Winter likely stretched at least as far south as the Vale.

If this is the case, then breaking the arm was an offensive move against the Others.  An attempt to warm the northern waters and, with it, the northern lands, in order to provide an overall strategic advantage in the War.

Pretty much all I have for now.

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2 hours ago, DominusNovus said:

If this is the case, then breaking the arm was an offensive move against the Others.  An attempt to warm the northern waters and, with it, the northern lands, in order to provide an overall strategic advantage in the War.

You may be onto something :)

Seeing the title of your thread immediately made me think of how the opening of the Drake Passage created the Antarctic Ice Cap, so I assume that the reverse would be true as well.

Still I think you are overthinking this - I imagine the Hammer of the Waters to be a cool plot device and not a reflection of GRRM's readings on paleoclimate :)

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not bad. given how powerful, magically, the children of the forest were back then.

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10 hours ago, TMIFairy said:

Still I think you are overthinking this - I imagine the Hammer of the Waters to be a cool plot device and not a reflection of GRRM's readings on paleoclimate :)

Overthinking things is all we have to occupy us until the next book comes out.  That said, it is worth considering that Dune must have inspired GRRM to some degree, and this is the exact sort of plot device Herbert would have written if he were the one writing ASoIaF.

Further, I think it could tie into some of the broader themes of the necessity of working together and making great sacrifice in the face of such impossible adversity.  Consider that, if we work with LmL's theory that Azor Ahai was a greenseer, and he is both the bloodstone emperor and the one responsible for breaking the arm.  As I mentioned in my first thread on this subject, the breaking of the arm of Dorne likely ruined the climate of eastern Essos, which can clearly no longer support a city the size of Asshai.  In short, he sacrificed his country (like he did his wife) to save the world.

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