falcotron

How does "magic blood" work?

137 posts in this topic

Following that line of thought through. Maybe the Blackstone supposedly involved with dragons, these weird building and the powers of Melisandre, is actually just more petrified Weirwood Trees. The Black kind with Inky blue leaves? We know that one Castle in Westeros is said to be built of Weirwood Trees. The Grey Kings Hall may have been petrified Weirwood trees too. So essentially the powers are all derived from the trees? Just a random thought.

Edit- And why blood is needed cause the trees powers are fed by blood. So anything built of it will drink in the blood?

Edited by AlaskanSandman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Telepathy and Telekinesis could be all we're seeing and just a mistaken understanding from the characters. Hence why there efforts produce varying results?

Mind controll/Telepathy- Fooling those who see you into seeing something else, false sense of foreseeing the future through mind reading, seeing back in time through the Tree's which are alive, Mind controll and making creatures or people do what you want.

Telekinesis- Controlling shadows, controlling water, controlling fire, controlling ice, controlling dragons or creatures through telekinetic nudges like a cowboy does with his heels or reins. 

Creation of dragons and Direwolves may have just been breeding.

So the power to do these things comes from? The Trees? Bran does drink Weirwood paste and Dany drinks shade of the Evening. The BlackStone? Melisandre is stronger at the wall than even in Asshai she thinks to herself and the wall may have foundations in this stone. Idk, just some speculations. 

Edit-@falcotron, thoughts? It would pull away much of the magic and myths and show them all for misunderstanding of man and building false ideas, practices, and legends around them.

Explaining weirwood visions as telepathy with trees who have long memories could work up to a point, but what about BR telling Bran that eventually he won't need to look through the trees?

Also, if you define mind control and telepathy broadly enough, then they include all mental powers, but then it's not really a simplification anymore.

Telekinesis usually isn't bound to elements. We have separate terms for pyrokinesis, etc. for that. And telekinesis is usually about performing physical actions at a distance; once you stretch it to include things like shadows that can't be bent physically, again, I think you've just defined an umbrella term wide enough to be used for a lot of separate things rather than simplified them into one thing.

As for dragons—well, there's the in-universe theory that they were made by breeding wyverns and fireworms, but that doesn't explain why they're magical, because wyverns and fireworms are already magical things. As I said elsewhere: If you see a flying horse with a horn that can detect virgins and neutralize poison, and you ask me "How did such a magical being come to be?" and I answer "Simple, someone just bred unicorns to pegasi", would you consider that helpful?

Meanwhile, how do you fit things like raising the dead or extending your life into this framework?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DominusNovus said:

We're told they can only trace their descent to the female line.

Yeah, I don't know why I keep mixing that up, even shortly after getting it right in another discussion. At any rate, it doesn't really change anything, but thanks for catching it.

Share this post


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

Explaining weirwood visions as telepathy with trees who have long memories could work up to a point, but what about BR telling Bran that eventually he won't need to look through the trees?

Also, if you define mind control and telepathy broadly enough, then they include all mental powers, but then it's not really a simplification anymore.

Telekinesis usually isn't bound to elements. We have separate terms for pyrokinesis, etc. for that. And telekinesis is usually about performing physical actions at a distance; once you stretch it to include things like shadows that can't be bent physically, again, I think you've just defined an umbrella term wide enough to be used for a lot of separate things rather than simplified them into one thing.

As for dragons—well, there's the in-universe theory that they were made by breeding wyverns and fireworms, but that doesn't explain why they're magical, because wyverns and fireworms are already magical things. As I said elsewhere: If you see a flying horse with a horn that can detect virgins and neutralize poison, and you ask me "How did such a magical being come to be?" and I answer "Simple, someone just bred unicorns to pegasi", would you consider that helpful?

Meanwhile, how do you fit things like raising the dead or extending your life into this framework?

Didn't he tell him just that he wouldn't need the weirwood trees to see any more, meaning oak and other trees he can use too, that are alive. I may be wrong and will double check as i started a separate thread for this theory.

Maybe, maybe not. When considering the complex web of what we're looking at and inconsistencies between them, this actually has a sense of reason-ability to it i think. 

Well CotF and Giants are also magical creatures, and there before the dragons. So if we delve down that line of thought then there's gotta be a logical explanation for them too. Its fantasy and have to except that there are some magical elements. GRRM confirmed that there are dragons in Sothoryos, so make of that what you will. 

Hmmm. Good question. Now this may have to do with Martins feelings on the after life and wanting to keep our deaths and such a mystery. Like when do we die, our bodies? Our souls? Our memories? and do they live on ever, even if only for a time. Its mentioned it is tied to blood magic, Melisandre is very old and probably looks it, hence the glamoured jewel to hide the truth. It extends your life but not at a pretty cost? Idk. Good question though. The Others i imagine are dead, but not. So maybe that's also a clue into it? 

Edit- On telekinesis. Yes, but thats all just specific names for telekinesis. Like foot ball and ball sports. Lots of types of ball sports. May just be a terminology thing. 

Edited by AlaskanSandman
Edit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, falcotron said:

Arya learning face changing doesn't seem to be anything Northern, or connected to any of the other Northern powers.

There is nothing specifically Northener, but her training is thematically linked to Bran's training via the third-eye, the darkness and giving away their own identities. These quotes are from Bran in ACOK and in ADWD

Quote

Here in the chill damp darkness of the tomb his third eye had finally opened

Quote

"Never fear the darkness, Bran." The lord's words were accompanied by a faint rustling of wood and leaf, a slight twisting of his head. "The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother's milk. Darkness will make you strong."

Remember that the Faceless Men blinded Arya for reasons that are not clear (was it punishment or reward for killing Dareon)?. We have this bit from the world book that could explain their decision

Quote
These new Lorathi were worshippers of Boash, the Blind God. Rejecting all other deities, the followers of Boash ate no flesh, drank no wine, and walked barefoot through the world, clad only in hair shirts and hides. Their eunuch priests wore eyeless hoods in honor of their god; only in darkness, they believed, would their third eye open, allowing them to see the "higher truths" of creation that lay concealed behind the world's illusions. The worshippers of Boash believed that all life was sacred and eternal; that men and women were equal; that lords and peasants, rich and poor, slave and master, man and beast were all alike, all equally worthy, all creatures of god.
An essential part of their doctrine was an extreme abnegation of self; only by freeing themselves of human vanity could men hope to become one with the godhood. Accordingly, the Boash'i put aside even their own names, and spoke of themselves as "a man" or "a woman" rather than say "I" or "me" or "mine." Though the cult of the Blind God withered and died out more than a thousand years ago, certain of these habits of speech endure even now in Lorath, where men and women of the noble classes regard it as inutterably vulgar to speak of one's self directly.

We also have the weirwood doors in the House of Black and White and the weirwood chairs:

Quote

Their tall chairs were carved of ebony and weirwood, like the doors of the temple above. The ebon chairs had weirwood faces on their backs, the weirwood chairs faces of carved ebony.

 

Edited by Tucu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, falcotron said:

This directly contradicts what you say later, that Starks are magic because they have Others' blood in their distant ancestry, and that's why they have magical cold resistance. Either it is connected to their blood, or it isn't. Which is it?

Why does it have to be either is or isn't? It's speculation at this point. I said the Starks may have higher cold resistance, and it may be connected to having WW blood on some level. It could also be a regional adaptation. The cold resistance doesn't necessarily have to be about magic. The same with warging abilities. It's inherited, but it just could be an ability, like being able to roll the tongue, other than a big magic thing. 

17 hours ago, falcotron said:

So he wasn't born with king's blood, he didn't have king's blood as an adult, he only got king's blood when Robert was crowned. How does that work? Did it give king's blood to their cousins, or only the brothers?

Obviously, someone gets "king's blood" when they are crowned. No one is born a king. The king's close relatives, like children, brothers and first cousins, would have king's blood obviously. As I said, we don't really know what Melisandre means by that. She also tries to sacrifice Mance's baby, leading to that baby switch. Mance is not a crowned king, he's a self-styled king. So maybe the ritual only needs a leader's relative? Who knows. 

17 hours ago, falcotron said:

Have you not read about the dragonseeds during the Dance of the Dragons? Nettles, for example, was a small dark-skinned girl with black hair and brown eyes, and she tamed and rode a dragon. And this is recent, recorded, well-attested history. 

Nettles is a Targ bastard. She has "blood of the dragon" that allows her to bond with a dragon. The "dragonseed" title attests to her bloodline. When I said other "groups," I meant people like westerosi or dothraki. Valyrians ruled for thousands of years and had many enemies. I find it interesting that none of these enemies tried to steal and tame dragons by themselves and match the Targs on the battlefield. They could have. We know dragons could be killed, so why not steal baby dragons? There's obviously something about Targs (and those other old Valyrians) that allows them to tame dragons. Another inherited trait, possibly a result of blood and fire magic, but we don't know for sure. 

The rituals Miri Maaz Duur and Melisandre performs are some sort of spells that require human sacrifice. That is different from the magic in the blood as you mention. I don't think  you are going to find the answers you want unless you ask GRRM himself. The central question here is whether magic itself, not the ability to do magic, be inherited? Or are these people inheriting traits that we consider to be magical, but are perfectly normal abilities in their world, like inheriting the ability to move forehead muscles? GRRM might answer those in the next two books. Or he might ever will. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, falcotron said:

First, you're missing the distinction between the political fact of "legally being a king" vs. the emotional and/or ritual fact of "having a bunch of people swear an honest oath to you". The latter could easily have power in a magical world without the former doing so. There are plenty of fantasy worlds where that's true, and there's nothing ridiculous about any of them. (Well, there is something ridiculous about Discworld, but that one's intentional.) 

Well, you are trying to find an explanation why the superstition/stupid belief of the people in Martinworld that 'king's blood' is special could still work. But there is no reason to do this since there is no reason to believe that it is actually special.

What might be true in other (fantasy) novels has no bearing on this fantasy series, does it?

On what do you base this ridiculous notion that swearing an oath to a person could make them and their blood 'magically special'? Is there even a scene where people do swear an honest oath to some (would-be) king who is then rising above his peers and becoming special after such an oath?

No, there is no such scene. We don't even get a proper coronation/anointment scene in those books. The only chosen kings are, in a sense, Mance Rayder (who was chosen years before the story even began and whose blood is only considered to royal by morons like Jon/Sam and Mel's more ignorant followers - they think she might want to burn them, she herself never gives any indication that she wants to do that) and Robb Stark (who is proclaimed king by the war council but doesn't receive any personal oaths of allegiance thereafter that are mentioned).

Daenerys gets a bunch of pretty serious oaths immediately after she has become the Mother of Dragons (by her Dothraki kos who now agree to become the bloodriders of a woman which is unheard of in Dothraki culture) but those oaths come after her magical feats, not before them.

And for all those pretender kings like Renly, Stannis, Balon, Euron, etc. we don't see special vows, either. Not even for Robert is something like that mentioned.

9 hours ago, falcotron said:

And meanwhile, the author is a committed materialist who doesn't believe in superstitious magic, and certainly doesn't think that you can murder other people to gain special powers, and yet that's true in his story.

Sure, I never said the series reflect his views in every regard, did I? But he makes it clear that magic is not something that favors the royals or noblemen.

9 hours ago, falcotron said:

And finally, if he "certainly thinks that men and women are born equal" and therefore it must be true in his story, then how can you argue that "some people are special because of their bloodlines"? The whole point of Locke's theory of natural rights—that all men are created equal—is that there are no special bloodlines.

We are not talking about Locke here. Men and women being born equal doesn't mean they have the same abilities, mental faculties, physical strengths, etc. There are differences between people. What is clearly a message that's part of ASoIaF is that being a nobleman or royal doesn't mean you are inherently better than a peasant. You live in a world where the rules allow to beat them down but this doesn't mean you should do that. And neither should the smarter people fool and exploit the stupid, etc.

Having 'the blood of the dragon' isn't different from being smarter or physically stronger than others. It is an accident of your birth (and in part, also of the accidents of your upbringing because if you are born on the wrong side of the blanket all your noble or royal blood is worth pretty much nothing by the rules of this society).

9 hours ago, falcotron said:

It is, in fact, far more egalitarian to believe that people are made special by a ritual by other people than to believe that people are made special by having a tiny bit of genetics from a special ancestor long ago.

Well, I'd agree with you there. I just doubt that 'ritual elections' and the like have any bearing as to whose bloodline is 'magical' and whose isn't. Political rituals are important in this series - on the political sphere but not really on the magical one. Magic is real but power ... not so much. It is a shadow on the wall. People might follow you because they believe you are sorcerer because you convinced them - like Mel did with the fake Lightbringer.

The question what makes a (just) ruler is asked again and again in this story. But there is no clear-cut answer to this question since all answers within the framework of this series are actually unacceptable for any modern mind. We don't want to have kings or lords - neither born kings nor elected kings.

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I am sorry, but you are just wrong with this statement on all levels, and it shows you do not understand what the theory is anyway. This was about hiding a baby. Literally nothing at all about a special bloodline. Nothing. Nada. The word "special" is not even used. And neither is "bloodline" if I remember correctly. Please read it before you try and swipe at it.

You don't seem to be addressing anything that I said.

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Yes, they are genetically manipulated with blood from a dragon. Other than mixing dragon blood into theirs, there is nothing else especially unusual about them that the other "magic" lines don't also have.

Again, there are no other 'magical bloodlines' we know of. That is tricking yourself into believing stuff for no good reason. Nobody ever says anything about the First Men, Starks, Blackwoods, Tullys, Greyjoys, etc. having any 'special bloodline' that sets them apart from 'normal people'. This is only said about 'the blood of the dragon'. I'm not making this up. Read the books. Give me quotes where people are saying that there are various 'magical bloodlines'.

And by the way - we don't really know yet what 'having the blood of the dragon' means. It could be that the dragonlords are human-dragon hybrids of some sort but that is not yet confirmed for a certainty. And even if they were we don't know how that was accomplished. During some blood magic ritual or through some literal cross-breeding thing? We don't know.

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

So, then the free folk are fine? Because you have hotly debated that they are dirty scum that should be "left to die". But in fact we see that the free folk do have lots of magic in their blood, to which you have said means they are "freaks" and "savage". It is actually Val that tells us that the free folk are the same as everyone else, you just have to part the sheep from the goats.

I don't like the wildlings because their customs and way of life betray the fact that they are scum. They are an ugly society based on stealing, raiding, and raping scarcely better than the Ironborn or the Dothraki. I don't care about their blood. It is their customs and way of life I don't like.

In comparison the Seven Kingdoms are a hundred times better. But that doesn't mean I like their way of life better than our own. Feudalism is disgusting, too, but exactly as disgusting as a society where only the physically strong rule. The wildlings aren't a 'proto-democracy' or anything like that, they are a culture where only people are heard who can make their voices be heard. Which means that many people don't have a voice at all. In the Seven Kingdoms there is a rule of law - how ever deficient that system might be.

But we don't have to argue that a society where a sick child is cared for and tried to be cured is infinitely better than a society where the same child is considered to be 'unclean'. And the same goes for people raiding villages and stealing food, weapons, and people is infinitely worse than a society who isn't based on that kind of thing.

But I know that you are - for whatever reason - unwilling to see that.

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

The free folk are first men, the same blood that runs on the veins of the Starks, so no matter where or when the skinchanging, warging, or greenseeing began, it is within the Starks (and others up north). CLARIFYING: It seems maybe people above the neck, which is appropriate because all of these talents are considered a game of mind.

There is no evidence for that at all. We don't know whether the Andals, Ibbenese, Valyrians, Sarnori, Dothraki, and Qaathi can become skinchangers and greenseers or not. Nobody ever said that this talent is rooted in blood. In fact, Bloodraven and the Children have a statistical approach to the whole thing. If it was a bloodline thing one would expect there to be significantly more skinchangers and greenseers among the descendants and blood relations of a confirmed skinchanger/greenseer. But that isn't the case.

The only Stark skinchangers we know are our Stark children.

Some of the people having First Men blood are still closer to the old ways of the First Men - their more ancient customs and traditions. But that doesn't mean those people are 'more magical' because of their 'special First Men bloodline'. All nobility in Westeros is descended from First Men. The so-called Andals as much as the First Men houses. And those down in the Reach like the Hightowers are most likely even more ancient First Men bloodlines than the Starks. Oldtown may have stood before the first First Man even sat food on the place where Winterfell would be raised one day.

The crannogmen could have intermarried with the Children of the Forest, sure. But whether they inherited magical abilities from them is completely unclear. At least if we talk skinchanging/greenseeing. After all, we do know that there were giant greenseers, too, and the Children most definitely did not intermarry with them.

Why not just assume that the magical talent to merge your spirit with animals and weirwoods is a trait that exists in all sentient bloodlines?

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

If it was a magic that was introduced via some outside mixing-in, then so be it, because that is what happened with the Targs as well.

That is a faulty argument. Just because the dragonlords might have gotten their 'magical blood' by mixing it with that of the dragons doesn't mean a similar thing is what first created skinchangers and greenseers among the human population. And by the way - if that talent goes back to intermarriage with the Children how did they get it? Did they mate with animals and trees to become skinchangers and greenseers?

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

We just don't see any (acknowledged) changers in the current story because the current story has started after "Good" Queen Alysanne closed the Black Gate, the hinge to the magic of Wetseros, and ended up locking away the resources needed to awaken the talents. The historic Stark resources in the story were destroyed in AGOT when the library burned, so we probably won't have Samwell stumbling over a pile of chartographs that spoonfeed the info to readers. Nope, we now have the talented Bran-tree to help explain true history, not maester recorded history (which George has said is purposely erroneous).

That has nothing to do with anything. I'm not citing any maesters here. Bran will certainly see the past and what he sees will be the truth. But I doubt he'll spend much time on investigating the hybridization of various bloodlines and rather focus on the task at hands - the origin of the Others, the Long Night, the War for the Dawn, etc.

I'm interesting in the origins of the dragonlords, of course, but I'd actually be surprised if that's going to be covered by Bran. I could be wrong, though.

And, you know, song and story distort the truth even more than the scholarly research done by the maesters. Old Nan is right that the Others exist, of course, but she and all the stories about the Others might not be right about who they are and what they want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Tucu said:

There is nothing specifically Northener, but her training is thematically linked to Bran's training via the third-eye, the darkness and giving away their own identities. These quotes are from Bran in ACOK and in ADWD

Remember that the Faceless Men blinded Arya for reasons that are not clear (was it punishment or reward for killing Dareon)?. We have this bit from the world book that could explain their decision

We also have the weirwood doors in the House of Black and White and the weirwood chairs:

 

Yep yep and yep. All these different methods are meant to wake their third eye or telepathic/telekinetic abilities already in their blood.

Share this post


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

Why does it have to be either is or isn't?

Because you've got two mutually exclusive positions. You don't think there's a connection between magic and inheritance, and you also think Starks have magic powers due to inheritance. It's not possible that both are true. If you're just saying it's possible that one is true, and it's also possible that the other is true instead—then fine, granted. I ask how magic bloodlines work, and your answer is that there aren't magic bloodlines, but actually maybe there are. Fine, granted, but that doesn't help us answer the question.

9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Obviously, someone gets "king's blood" when they are crowned.

Is it really obvious? It seems plausible to me, but by no means the only possibility. And others, like Lord Varys, think it's ridiculous and can't possibly be true.

And it also isn't obvious that crowning a king would automatically give any magic to his cousins. Again, it's plausible, but, depending on how "king's blood" actually works, it may not be true. Which is part of why I'm asking for any evidence on how it actually works.

9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Mance is not a crowned king, he's a self-styled king.

He's got tens of thousands of people who would disagree with you. They think they elected a king. And if Melisandre is right that his son's blood would have power, those thousands of people might be more relevant than what Mance himself thinks. Or maybe they aren't. Again, that's why I'm asking these questions. 

9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Nettles is a Targ bastard. She has "blood of the dragon" that allows her to bond with a dragon. The "dragonseed" title attests to her bloodline. 

Says who? According to the story we've been told, she never claimed to be a Targaryen bastard, and nobody else ever suggested she was. We're explicitly told that Jacaerys opened the dragonseed testing to anyone, not just the known bastards. Both versions of th story tell us that the ones who succeeded were called "dragonseeds" just because they succeeded, even though it's unknown whether they all had any Targaryen blood.

Obviously, even though we're never told so, anyone in-universe who believes Targaryen blood is necessary to ride a dragon would assume that Nettles and the others must somehow have some. But they have no reason to believe that beyond the assumption.

9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

When I said other "groups," I meant people like westerosi or dothraki. Valyrians ruled for thousands of years and had many enemies. I find it interesting that none of these enemies tried to steal and tame dragons by themselves and match the Targs on the battlefield. They could have. We know dragons could be killed, so why not steal baby dragons? There's obviously something about Targs (and those other old Valyrians) that allows them to tame dragons.

Or maybe it's the jealously-guarded dragonhorns and secret rituals that nobody else had access to, along with thousands of years of propaganda that misdirect most people into thinking it's pointless to try.

As AlaskanSandman said, GRRM himself tells us that Dany has only a tenth as much Valyrian blood as Aegon, implying that her blood had little or nothing to do with her hatching the eggs. So why should we be so sure that her blood is behind her being able to ride the dragons once they're hatched?

Again, it could be true, but just assuming that it's true doesn't get us anywhere. If GRRM raises that question, then he wants us to think about what it means for Dany to have only 10% Aegon's blood—and, presumably, what it means for Bran to have an almost infinitesimal fraction of whatever ancestry supposedly makes him magic.

One possibility is that there's no magic blood in the first place. Another is that specific things (like being crowned, as you suggest) give you magic blood, or maybe "top up" a small amount of magic blood to full. Other people have suggested other possibilities in this thread.

The least likely possibility seems to be the one many people in-universe assume: that power in blood travels just coincidentally travels exactly the same way names do, so everyone that we happen to think of as Targaryen has magic Targaryen blood and nobody else does. That's the fairy-tale answer, where the world has to work simply enough to be understood by a 6-year-old. It's also the Aragorn answer, for a world where divine right of kings is a literal thing more powerful than any sorcerer's magic. I don't think it's the answer here. But that seems to be what you're assuming.

Share this post


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

As I said, we don't really know what Melisandre means by that. She also tries to sacrifice Mance's baby, leading to that baby switch. Mance is not a crowned king, he's a self-styled king. So maybe the ritual only needs a leader's r

When does Mel try to burn Mance's son?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, you are trying to find an explanation why the superstition/stupid belief of the people in Martinworld that 'king's blood' is special could still work. But there is no reason to do this since there is no reason to believe that it is actually special.

But there is reason to believe it. There's no reason to be positive, but there are numbers between 0% and 100%. Melisandre's magic has so far only worked with king's blood. She believes there's less power in Davos's sperm or Axel's blood than in Stannis's sperm or Shireen's blood. Of course she could be entirely wrong, but we can't just automatically assume that she's wrong about everything, because she wasn't wrong about, for example, how to produce a shadowbaby and use it to kill Renly. She's not 100% charlatan or fool just because she's at least partly those things.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

What might be true in other (fantasy) novels has no bearing on this fantasy series, does it?

Of course it does. GRRM is writing an epic fantasy, and he knows how epic fantasy worlds work. Most of the fantasy in this story are either the same as in other stories, or obvious reactions to things in those stories. His dragons breathe fire, just like everyone else's. His prophecies are true but easy to misinterpret, just like everyone else's. His woodland elves have magical powers just like everyone else's, but are creepy instead of wondrous in opposition to everyone else's. And so on. 

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

On what do you base this ridiculous notion that swearing an oath to a person could make them and their blood 'magically special'?

How is that any more ridiculous than giant reptiles flying and breathing fire, or dead men walking around without connective tissue? Every fantasy idea is ridiculous—but many things are well-known fantasy tropes that GRRM can borrow to use or comment on, and this would be no different.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We are not talking about Locke here.

Yes, we are. GRRM is an egalitarian in the modern sense pioneered by Locke and his successors. And I'm pretty sure you are too, given your reactions to the other posters in this thread and elsewhere.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, I'd agree with you there. I just doubt that 'ritual elections' and the like have any bearing as to whose bloodline is 'magical' and whose isn't. 

Well then, GRRM has, unnecessarily, made his world less egalitarian than it could have been, and than the real world. So your argument that GRRM is an egalitarian and would never write anything that endorses bad medieval values is actually an argument against your own points, not for them.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Having 'the blood of the dragon' isn't different from being smarter or physically stronger than others. It is an accident of your birth (and in part, also of the accidents of your upbringing because if you are born on the wrong side of the blanket all your noble or royal blood is worth pretty much nothing by the rules of this society).

Sure. And having king's blood also isn't any different from being smarter or stronger, or being born the son of a king. It makes you different, but it's an accident of your birth, and it doesn't make you inherently more valuable a person. How is that notion ridiculous to you when the exactly parallel notion of dragon's blood is not?

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And by the way - we don't really know yet what 'having the blood of the dragon' means. It could be that the dragonlords are human-dragon hybrids of some sort but that is not yet confirmed for a certainty.

Whether that's true or not has really no bearing on things.

If they're descended from human-dragon hybrids 5000 years ago, they have virtually no dragon blood (remember, Dany only h as 10% as much as Aegon, and from Aegon to their founder is an order of magnitude farther back than Dany to Aegon).

Which raises the same question we started with: How could having virtually no dragon blood have any bearing on anything? The answer is clearly not something that's just obvious common sense; it has to be something that is not true in the real world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, falcotron said:

 

And it also isn't obvious that crowning a king would automatically give any magic to his cousins. Again, it's plausible, but, depending on how "king's blood" actually works, it may not be true. Which is part of why I'm asking for any evidence on how it actually works.

He's got tens of thousands of people who would disagree with you. They think they elected a king. And if Melisandre is right that his son's blood would have power, those thousands of people might be more relevant than what Mance himself thinks. Or maybe they aren't. Again, that's why I'm asking these questions. 

 

True. Remember the hilarious debacle with Gerrick Kingsblood and how Selyse insists he is the "king", but she has it all wrong because she is like that. Selyse just insists Gerrick's daughters be "royal" so she can play match maker and marry them off... and do who-knows-what with his blood later:

  • "At once, Your Grace." Ser Axell went through a door and returned a moment later with Gerrick Kingsblood. "Gerrick of House Redbeard," he announced, "King of the Wildlings."
    Gerrick Kingsblood was a tall man, long of leg and broad of shoulder. The queen had dressed him in some of the king's old clothes, it appeared. Scrubbed and groomed, clad in green velvets and an ermine half-cape, with his long red hair freshly washed and his fiery beard shaped and trimmed, the wildling looked every inch a southron lord. He could walk into the throne room at King's Landing, and no one would blink an eye, Jon thought.
    "Gerrick is the true and rightful king of the wildlings," the queen said, "descended in an unbroken male line from their great king Raymun Redbeard, whereas the usurper Mance Rayder was born of some common woman and fathered by one of your black brothers."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

When does Mel try to burn Mance's son?

Not directly Mel, but one of the Queen's men repeated what seems to be a part of the Prince That Was Promised prophecy:

Quote

Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the son, so both die kings. The words had been murmured by one of the queen's men as Maester Aemon had cleaned his wounds

This is when Jon decides to do the baby swap

Edited by Tucu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@The Fattest Leech, you made me think of this...

“Someone had already told the Thunderfist about Gerrick Kingsblood and his new style. “King o’ the Wildlings?” Tormund roared. “Har! King o’ My Hairy Butt Crack, more like.”

:lol:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Tucu said:

Not directly Mel, but one of the Queen's men repeated what seems to be a part of the Prince That Was Promised prophecy:

This is when Jon decides to do the baby swap

Yes, I'm quite familiar w/ that quote. :)

But that's one injured bloke saying something he may or may not have heard Mel say. He could have heard that from someone who heard it from someone else who was near someone who heard Mel say something similar. 

The post I replied to stated that "Mel tried to sacrifice Mance's baby", and that isn't true. In fact, it isn't even remotely true. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

@The Fattest Leech, you made me think of this...

“Someone had already told the Thunderfist about Gerrick Kingsblood and his new style. “King o’ the Wildlings?” Tormund roared. “Har! King o’ My Hairy Butt Crack, more like.”

:lol:

 

Thanks! Now I am going to be bellowing this allll night long :cheers:

Share this post


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

“Someone had already told the Thunderfist about Gerrick Kingsblood and his new style. “King o’ the Wildlings?” Tormund roared. “Har! King o’ My Hairy Butt Crack, more like.”

Hey now, save something for my upcoming thread on magic butt crack hair!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Thanks! Now I am going to be bellowing this allll night long :cheers:

That is a perfect line for a good bellowing! :cheers:

Just now, falcotron said:

Hey now, save something for my upcoming thread on magic butt crack hair!

:lmao:

You start it, I'm there! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, falcotron said:

But there is reason to believe it. There's no reason to be positive, but there are numbers between 0% and 100%. Melisandre's magic has so far only worked with king's blood. She believes there's less power in Davos's sperm or Axel's blood than in Stannis's sperm or Shireen's blood. Of course she could be entirely wrong, but we can't just automatically assume that she's wrong about everything, because she wasn't wrong about, for example, how to produce a shadowbaby and use it to kill Renly. She's not 100% charlatan or fool just because she's at least partly those things.

Is Stannis a king, though? What makes a king? What is the difference between a king and a lord? Aren't the household knights, landed knights, men-at-arms, bannermen, etc. also swearing an oath of allegiance to their lord? Why is it that such a vow doesn't make a lord 'special'?

How does 'magic' realize that a guy people declare a king is a king and not just some pretender? And how does it differentiate between a king and a lord?

Are the vows you swear to a lord in principle so much different from those you swear to a king? We don't know. If you want to make the case for a king being super special such vows would have to be confirmed to be different, right?

And no - Melisandre doesn't believe in king's blood as such. The fact that she wants to sleep with Davos and Jon to produce shadow assassins prove that. She knows that people are special in a magical sense, not the social circumstances they find themselves in.

13 hours ago, falcotron said:

Of course it does. GRRM is writing an epic fantasy, and he knows how epic fantasy worlds work. Most of the fantasy in this story are either the same as in other stories, or obvious reactions to things in those stories. His dragons breathe fire, just like everyone else's. His prophecies are true but easy to misinterpret, just like everyone else's. His woodland elves have magical powers just like everyone else's, but are creepy instead of wondrous in opposition to everyone else's. And so on. 

Well, then you have to prove that George cares about 'social contracts make you magical' thing. From what we know he doesn't care about that. He made it clear that the whole special power of king's blood idea is something he draw from the real world middle ages and there the belief was not that the king gets 'special blood' by virtue of his coronation - although that set him even further apart from lesser men, especially if he was also anointed by holy oil, etc. - but he and his dynasty were royal and better than others because of their special blood and ancestry.

13 hours ago, falcotron said:

How is that any more ridiculous than giant reptiles flying and breathing fire, or dead men walking around without connective tissue? Every fantasy idea is ridiculous—but many things are well-known fantasy tropes that GRRM can borrow to use or comment on, and this would be no different.

It is because there is no reason to believe that this notion can be found in the text. George makes it clear that crowns change people - we see that in Stannis and Robb and Robert, etc. - but that happens on a personal and social level not a deeper metaphysical level. If this were the case there were real tangible evidence for this in the text - like actually visible changes on 'the magical level' when somebody becomes king.

13 hours ago, falcotron said:

Yes, we are. GRRM is an egalitarian in the modern sense pioneered by Locke and his successors. And I'm pretty sure you are too, given your reactions to the other posters in this thread and elsewhere.

I find the idea of a social contract pretty ridiculous, actually. It is a ploy to make you believe that the way things are - or should be, if you want some reforms - are justified and even preferable if you have the common good in mind. And that's not really the case.

But the point in relation to Westeros is that George's world is completely devoid of anything as modern as Locke's ideas. In his world to power of the nobility and royalty is absolute - they control everything and the deciding justification of their power is blood and noble/royal ancestry. That's what they are all obsessed with. Westeros is one of the most unequal societies there are since there is zero social mobility in this world. No peasant is ever going to be a lord in this world. And no man like Littlefinger is ever going to become king (unless, perhaps, when the social framework is completely torn down during some long war).

13 hours ago, falcotron said:

Sure. And having king's blood also isn't any different from being smarter or stronger, or being born the son of a king. It makes you different, but it's an accident of your birth, and it doesn't make you inherently more valuable a person. How is that notion ridiculous to you when the exactly parallel notion of dragon's blood is not?

No, having the blood of king gives you only special blood if that blood is really special. Just as having 'peasant's blood' or 'blacksmith's blood' doesn't make you special in a magical sense.

13 hours ago, falcotron said:

If they're descended from human-dragon hybrids 5000 years ago, they have virtually no dragon blood (remember, Dany only h as 10% as much as Aegon, and from Aegon to their founder is an order of magnitude farther back than Dany to Aegon).

Well, who cares about that? George's world has its own genetics and the blood of the dragon is as pure in the Targaryens of this story as the author wants it to be. And it was enough for Dany's little trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, falcotron said:

And it also isn't obvious that crowning a king would automatically give any magic to his cousins. Again, it's plausible, but, depending on how "king's blood" actually works, it may not be true. Which is part of why I'm asking for any evidence on how it actually works.

If someone isn't crowned why would they be "king"? King's blood doesn't carry any kingly heritable traits, unless you count leadership or something like that. You are taking Melisandre for her words, just like Stannis. Her ritual is about human sacrifice, and it may not need a leader or a relative of a leader. We know from her chapter in AFFC that she doesn't always know what she is doing. Magic is only good as how the practitioner understands it. If you are looking for evidence of anything, you won't find it in-universe. Mel is the only one who does this king's blood thing. There are other instances of sacrifice, of people or body parts (as in the case of Varys), but the bloodline of the sacrificial subject is never really considered. 

14 hours ago, falcotron said:

He's got tens of thousands of people who would disagree with you. They think they elected a king.

That's why I said he's a self-styled king. Kings aren't elected. Kings win their thrones by conquest or inherit them. Elected leaders have other names depending on the governing system. 

14 hours ago, falcotron said:

Says who? According to the story we've been told, she never claimed to be a Targaryen bastard, and nobody else ever suggested she was. We're explicitly told that Jacaerys opened the dragonseed testing to anyone, not just the known bastards

I learned about Nettles through a Dance of the Dragons DVD special on YouTube. I admit that I'm not super knowledgeable about the lore. However, I thought these dragonseed people were all one way or another connected to Targs. Weren't they all on Dragonstone. It would be remarkable if non-Valyrians could ride dragons. Why didn't anyone try after the civil war when dragons were there unprotected for the taking? Better yet, why is there no mention of any non-Valyrians being able to ride dragons. I mean, when they were conquering and trading, would they have minded giving a dragon or two to closest allies? And even that guy who supposedly caused the greyscale curse doesn't try stealing or taming dragons. 

14 hours ago, falcotron said:

Or maybe it's the jealously-guarded dragonhorns and secret rituals that nobody else had access to, along with thousands of years of propaganda that misdirect most people into thinking it's pointless to try.

I very highly doubt it. As the empire expanded and more people were absorbed and marriages were made, this simply wouldn't last. Propaganda doesn't last for thousands of years either.  And there are no rituals associated with riding a dragon. Dragons are born of eggs, and Targs, and Valyrians before them, just rode them like horses. 

Also, I highly doubt dragon horns are needed to control dragons. Targs didn't use them. If they were important, the elder Targ would have brought dragonhorns with him to Dragonstone, which would have passed down through the generations. There's no mention of any Targ using a dragonhorn to control dragons. We don't even hear about them until Euron mentions them. He's probably wrong about dragonhorns. It might be possible to confuse a dragon with one, but not control. How could Valyrians guard dragonhorns when they went into battle. We know dragons were killed in battle, taking their riders down with them. An enemy who succeeded in this manner could have snatched a dragonhorn or two and controlled dragons, dealing a major blow to Valyrian power. This never happens. 

14 hours ago, falcotron said:

As AlaskanSandman said, GRRM himself tells us that Dany has only a tenth as much Valyrian blood as Aegon, implying that her blood had little or nothing to do with her hatching the eggs. So why should we be so sure that her blood is behind her being able to ride the dragons once they're hatched?

Did GRRM really say that? We know the Targ bloodline has merged with other houses, so it's no more 100% Valyrian, but is as close enough as it gets. The hatching of eggs was a magical event, GRRM has said that. It wasn't Dany's blood that did it, but there was that funeral pyre and the magic Mirri Maaz Duur does and next thing we know, dragons. Dany does have a weird inkling throughout GoT about fire. She puts the eggs on coal and all. 

As for riding the dragons, we know that the dragons know her, like babies who know their mothers. Drogon allows her to ride him. But just anyone cannot control dragons. In DwD, Quentyn Martel tries to tame Rhaegal or Viserion and it doesn't end well for him. Quentyn is confident in his quest because he has some Targ blood in him. It shows that having just some Targ/ old Valyrian blood just doesn't allow anyone to ride a dragon. The dragon probably has to like you in some way. But dragons don't like just any people. 

I know everyone is anxious to find out about how magic works in Westeros, but we will have to wait for a long time. How in the world did Dany manage to bring three fossilized dragon eggs to life and actually hatch them? What's so special about obsidian and glass candles? What's talking to people through the fire? The questions go on and on. 

You mentioned divine right of kings as in LOTR. But I think we can safely assume that it doesn't exist in ASOIAF. No one attributes magical or special powers to kings here. 

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