Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
SirArthur

An invasion of Ice - the river problem

34 posts in this topic

While investigating heretic thoughts in the north I came upon the question how White Walkers and their wights want to pass the North and subsequently the Neck and what their target would/could be. And there it struck me: they can't.

To go wherever they want to go they have to pass the Wall first. Not so much the issue as our story has presented us with different solutions they could attempt. As you may have noted the west part of the Wall ends at the Gorge. And it is generally believed they can't cross running water.

Next assumption is they can't freeze the water in the Gorge else a wall extension would be required. So from a "walking" perspective the geographical options are very limiting:

1. They would have to approach the Wall from the east.

2. The next big issue would the Last River. A river crossing the north from the mountains in the west all the way into the Shivering Sea in the east.

3. The White knife is also very blocking, they would have to bypass Winterfell in the north-west.

4. Then the Neck opens it's swamp and besides the swamp crossing question another problem arises:

4.1 An approach east of the Trident would will not lead to a crossing over the Trident

4.2 An approach west of the Trident would require a route all over Seagard and Castamere to Lannisport.

5. If the target is indeed the Isle of Faces they have to cross between a small gap between the Red Fork and the Blackwater Rush.

6. And the options further south are limited the same way: The Mander is simply crossing the entire Reach.

 

This entire approach looks more like a river maze where the humans can easily switch river sides and are more or less safe.

 

What am I missing in case of anOther invasion in the story ? Is the Long Night only relevant for the North ? Is everything freezing ? Then why is the Gorge not protected ?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

While investigating heretic thoughts in the north I came upon the question how White Walkers and their wights want to pass the North and subsequently the Neck and what their target would/could be. And there it struck me: they can't.

To go wherever they want to go they have to pass the Wall first. Not so much the issue as our story has presented us with different solutions they could attempt. As you may have noted the west part of the Wall ends at the Gorge. And it is generally believed they can't cross running water.

Next assumption is they can't freeze the water in the Gorge else a wall extension would be required. So from a "walking" perspective the geographical options are very limiting:

1. They would have to approach the Wall from the east.

2. The next big issue would the Last River. A river crossing the north from the mountains in the west all the way into the Shivering Sea in the east.

3. The White knife is also very blocking, they would have to bypass Winterfell in the north-west.

4. Then the Neck opens it's swamp and besides the swamp crossing question another problem arises:

4.1 An approach east of the Trident would will not lead to a crossing over the Trident

4.2 An approach west of the Trident would require a route all over Seagard and Castamere to Lannisport.

5. If the target is indeed the Isle of Faces they have to cross between a small gap between the Red Fork and the Blackwater Rush.

6. And the options further south are limited the same way: The Mander is simply crossing the entire Reach.

 

This entire approach looks more like a river maze where the humans can easily switch river sides and are more or less safe.

 

What am I missing in case of anOther invasion in the story ? Is the Long Night only relevant for the North ? Is everything freezing ? Then why is the Gorge not protected ?

 

It's not water that protects the gorge. It's probably closer to the truth to assume that the Wall is a physical representation of the magic that prevents the Others from advancing past a certain point (this point being the horizonatal 'line' that the Wall draws across the continent). This magic barrier stretches further east and west than the physical wall does, and is equally as effective at keeping the Others out. When the Wall falls, so too does this magic barrier.

That's one theory I've seen anyway, and personally it seems the most likely in universe explanation. The real world option is that George didn't think that far ahead when planning his world or has some explanation waiting in the wings for an appearance in the next book, probably through Bran.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rivers will freeze. The Rhoynar legends say that during the Long Night the Rhoyne froze as far south as the joining with the Selhoru. That is the latitude of the north of Dorne.

Edited by Tucu

Share this post


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

The rivers will freeze. The Rhoynar legends say that during the Long Night the Rhoyne froze as far south as the joining with the Selhoru. That is the latitude of the north of Dorne.

This is an amazing find as it lines up so well with other things especially if the latitude is followed to the east and west. And finally I have a use for this quote:

 Those born and raised in Oldtown could tell the time of day by where that shadow fell. Some claimed a man could see all the way to the Wall from the top. - A Feast for Crows - Prologue

 

Edited by SirArthur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the others are right that (a) the rivers will freeze, and (b) that won't help them get around the Wall.

But this is an interesting idea, that water is an enemy to ice, just as much as it is to fire, and as much a fire and ice are to each other.

There's no reason Planetos's classical elements couldn't be a fire-ice-water triangle rather than the Greeks' fire-earth-water-air square. And it makes sense—the Rhoynar had to deal with the Long Night, and they had to fight the Valyrian dragonriders, and both times they did so with river gods/magic.

(What that means for the song of ice and fire—but not water—I don't know. Especially with the Children using water magic, at least with the Hammer, and of course Euron.)

Share this post


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

I think the others are right that (a) the rivers will freeze, and (b) that won't help them get around the Wall.

I think the Wall is not a Wall but a cheese with holes and the mighty structure is there just to fill them. 

Edited by SirArthur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with those who say the waters will freeze as the Army of the Dead / the Others approach. It's been well established, and mentioned often, that when the Others approach, it gets cold. Opinions differ on whether it's the cold that brings them on, or that the Others cause the cold. Either way, the association of freezing cold - and dark - with the oncoming Others is known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know why big rivers should freeze. Especially the Trident. I mean in the GoT prologue we have a stream next to the wildling's camp and it is half-frozen. It's a stream, not a river.

 

Share this post


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

I don't know why big rivers should freeze. Especially the Trident. I mean in the GoT prologue we have a stream next to the wildling's camp and it is half-frozen. It's a stream, not a river.

 

That was during summer :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the Trident freezes ... then nobody is moving anywhere without arctic survival equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

I don't know why big rivers should freeze. Especially the Trident. I mean in the GoT prologue we have a stream next to the wildling's camp and it is half-frozen. It's a stream, not a river.

Well, they don't need to freeze top to bottom in order to have a thick enough ice layer for large numbers of people to walk on. I recall the passage you're referring to; it makes me think that the cold north of the Wall isn't as bad as George RR makes it seem - at least in the summer. Speaking as a former resident of Wisconsin, that is. George lives in Santa Fe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, zandru said:

\it makes me think that the cold north of the Wall isn't as bad as George RR makes it seem

They have climbable grown trees. So winter was already coming in the prologue.  

Share this post


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

If the Trident freezes ... then nobody is moving anywhere without arctic survival equipment.

I think this will be a main theme of the next two books. Stannis' march to Winterfell already gave us a taste on how hard it is to survive during winter and that was in conditions that Big Bucket calls "a little snow".

The next books should see people fighting over control over the last CoTF caves that still have those white blind fishes. Those will be a lot more valuable than the Iron Throne.

Edited by Tucu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

If the Trident freezes ... then nobody is moving anywhere without arctic survival equipment.

1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

I don't know why big rivers should freeze. Especially the Trident. I mean in the GoT prologue we have a stream next to the wildling's camp and it is half-frozen. It's a stream, not a river.

 

17 hours ago, Tucu said:

The rivers will freeze. The Rhoynar legends say that during the Long Night the Rhoyne froze as far south as the joining with the Selhoru. That is the latitude of the north of Dorne.

Anyone who isn't wearing 20 layers of fur in a shelter guarded from the harsh elements of Winter would likely die. Even the oceans will freeze, at least partially with ice bergs floating around eliminating escaping by boat.

Hard times lay ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@SirArthur

As others said, all northern rivers will probably freeze. My personal crackpot theory is that in the Long Night giant ice sheets covering Westeros made it so that the physically clumsy army of wights (unable to traverse ice formations) was funneled to a narrow point at Battle Isle, similar to the battle of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. And Azor Ahai met them there with dragons and destroyed the army. If you look at the world map, Battle Isle is at almost the exact same latitude as the point at which the Rhoyne purportedly went from frozen to not frozen, so it seems like a good latitude for the armies of ice and fire to have their big fight.

But as to your question about why the Wall stops at the gorge, keep in mind that the Wall has presumably never stopped the Others. The Wall, according to legend, was not built until after the Others were defeated in the Long Night. And for all we know, the Others themselves could have built it. It is made of ice after all. And on a practical note, it would probably have been way too difficult to continue the Wall into the gorge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

The Wall, according to legend, was not built until after the Others were defeated in the Long Night

Actually, that's not entirely clear. The only real evidence for that is when Yandel says:

Quote

Unique in the Seven Kingdoms is the Night’s Watch, the sworn brotherhood that has defended the Wall over centuries and millennia, born in the aftermath of the Long Night, the generation-long winter that brought the Others down on the realms of men and nearly put an end to them.

But he's saying that not just the Wall, but the Watch itself was born in the aftermath of the Long Night. And we know that isn't true. Earlier, he tells us that the Watch was created to fight the Battle for the Dawn that ended the Long Night:

Quote

Thanks to the children, the first men of the Night’s Watch banded together and were able to fight—and win—the Battle for the Dawn: the last battle that broke the endless winter and sent the Others fleeing to the icy north.

The most likely interpretation is that first the Watch banded together to defeat the Others, and then Brandon helped them (and the people of the North, and the Children and the giants) built the Wall in case the Others came back.

But it's not impossible that they raised the Wall, or at least the magic and stone foundations of it, during the war, and only won the Battle for the Dawn afterward. It doesn't seem nearly as likely, but I don't think it would actually contradict anything we've been told.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

@SirArthur

 as the point at which the Rhoyne purportedly went from frozen to not frozen, so it seems like a good latitude for the armies of ice and fire to have their big fight.

Then they have exactly the water problem. Why should they fight there at all ? Plus why would you fight fire on a thin layer of frozen ice ? 

Edited by SirArthur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/21/2017 at 7:24 AM, SirArthur said:

I don't know why big rivers should freeze. Especially the Trident. I mean in the GoT prologue we have a stream next to the wildling's camp and it is half-frozen. It's a stream, not a river.

 

In Alaska where im from, theres lakes and rivers that freeze over and become roads for 18 wheelers hauling heavy loads, im sure the Others could cross.

 

On 9/21/2017 at 1:52 AM, SirArthur said:

This is an amazing find as it lines up so well with other things especially if the latitude is followed to the east and west. And finally I have a use for this quote:

 Those born and raised in Oldtown could tell the time of day by where that shadow fell. Some claimed a man could see all the way to the Wall from the top. - A Feast for Crows - Prologue

 

I always just kind of assumed that was cause the Hightowers had one of the four Glass Candles brought to the Citidel. Possibly the green one.

This would also explain why Lord Hightower is locked in the Hightower, he's watching events unfold trying to decide what to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/20/2017 at 3:08 PM, SirArthur said:

What am I missing in case of anOther invasion in the story ?

you are missing a complete story and asking questions based on assumptions of which the  validity is at best unknown or at worst, baseless fan fic from people desperate to read the next part of their favorite story. If the others could not cross water then the wildlings would have been safe on one side of the milkwater or antler river and that would be that. The wall wouldn't need to be a magic wall, just a moat. 

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
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0