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Bobity.

Rarity of gargoyle architecture

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Here are the only three structures identified as having gargoyle architecture I can find.

Winterfell First Keep

Quote

"shapeless, rain-worn gargoyles that brooded over the First Keep" - A Game of Thrones - Bran II

Dragonstone Castle

Quote

"they crowned their walls with a thousand gargoyles instead of simple crenulations" - A Clash of Kings - Prologue

Weathered inn at Dragonstone port

Quote

 

A weathered little inn sat on the end of the stone pier...out front squatted a waist-high gargoyle, so eroded by rain and salt that his features were all but obliterated. - A Clash of Kings - Davos 

 

Both First Keep and weatherd inn gargoyles have similar descriptions of physical weathering, the fused stone gargoyles of Dragonstone are immune to weathering.

Thoughts?

 

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The Sworn Sword

Standfast was a castle only by courtesy. Though it stood bravely atop a rocky hill and could be seen for leagues around, it was no more than a towerhouse. A partial collapse a few centuries ago had required some rebuilding, so the north and west faces were pale gray stone above the windows, and the old black stone below. Turrets had been added to the roofline during the repair, but only on the sides that were rebuilt; at the other two corners crouched ancient stone grotesques, so badly abraded by wind and weather that it was hard to say what they had been. The pinewood roof was flat, but badly warped and prone to leaks.

 

A Gargoyle is also known as a Grotesgue. 
Standfast is in the Reach.
 

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Well in Bran's dream he thinks the ones on Winterfell are Lions. 

House Osgrey held Standfast and they have a Lion for their sigil. In the Reach. A checkered one, yellow and Green.

The Dragonstone ones are new, but the Standfast ones and the Winterfell ones are not. 

The Lion is The Gardener's association to The Lion of Night, their ancient for bearer. The Gardener's who were Dragonlords associated with Great Empire of the Dawn and founding of Valyria

 

Quote

 

The World of Ice and Fire - Ancient History: The Long Night

Archmaester Fomas's Lies of the Ancients—though little regarded these days for its erroneous claims regarding the founding of Valyria and certain lineal claims in the Reach and westerlands—

The World of Ice and Fire - The Reach: The Gardener Kings

In those centuries of trial and tumult, the Reach produced many a fearless warrior. From that day to this, the singers have celebrated the deeds of knights like Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, Davos the Dragonslayer, Roland of the Horn, and the Knight Without Armor—and the legendary kings who led them, among them Garth V (Hammer of the Dornish), Gwayne I (the Gallant), Gyles I (the Woe), Gareth II (the Grim), Garth VI (the Morningstar), and Gordan I (Grey-Eyes).

The World of Ice and Fire - Ancient History: The Age of Heroes

 But when the singers number Serwyn of the Mirror Shield as one of the Kingsguard—an institution that was only formed during the reign of Aegon the Conqueror—we can see why it is that few of these tales can ever be trusted. The septons who first wrote them down took what details suited them and added others, and the singers changed them—sometimes beyond all recognition—for the sake of a warm place in some lord's hall. In such a way does some longdead First Man become a knight who follows the Seven and guards the Targaryen kings thousands of years after he lived (if he ever did). The legion of boys and youths made ignorant of the past history of Westeros by these foolish tales cannot be numbered.

 

 

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Another clue is that Serwyn is always linked with Aemon the Dragon Knight. Another Targaryen Knight in the King's Guard. One who loved his sister who was his brother's wife. 

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Though the Gargoyles at the Inn on Dragonstone are interesting and suggest being older than the Castle. As they are described in the same shape as the ancient ones on Winterfell. If they were not as old and erosion happened at roughly the same rate, then the ones at Winterfell should all be gone. So i think they're likely as old. 

Which is interesting cause it seems highly unlikely that the Island would remain uninhabited by any one all the long centuries before the Valyrians took it before the doom, especially the Iron born who would now hold positions on both eastern and western coast. You would think these men from a hard Islands already would be more than suited to take it as a staging point for raids on the Western coast and on Essos's Eastern shores. 

There is more to Dragonstone prior to 400 years ago than we're being told

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I bet it's worth considering Sansa's snow castle in the group. She tells Littlefinger she doesn't know how to make the gargoyles and he tells her to just make lumps of snow because the gargoyles would be covered with snow in winter, anyway.

If the statues in the crypt represent Starks, it seems that gargoyles represent Targaryens. The strong comparison of Tyrion to a gargoyle might be our best clue about his paternity, if he is truly a son of Aerys. Littlefinger suggesting that a gargoyle can be covered in snow seems like a symbolic way of suggesting that a Targaryen is hiding as a bastard in the north.

Another place to look, if you are so inclined, is at the stone men at the Bridge of Dreams. Tyrion prevents a stone man from attacking fAegon / Young Griff, but is himself dragged into the river by the lame attacker.

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On 19/11/2017 at 4:15 PM, AlaskanSandman said:
A Gargoyle is also known as a Grotesgue. 
 

My thought on gargoyles is that GRRM does not distinguish between them and grosteques.

In real life, a gargoyle is a water-spout, a run-off draining point, in the shape of a humanoid or animal - usually but not always with the spout forming it's mouth. Functionally, they are about drainage, and their position has structural and functional implications,  as well as decorative purpose (and therefore, you can deduce certain things about the size, shape, and strength of the roof that they are part of, and of the weathering and strength of the walls and foundations they are above).

Grotesques can be purely decorative. They don't have to hang out beyond the eves of a roof, or obey the law of gravity for the purpose of directing water.  Although they can be located beyond the eves, or in the local low point,  as long as their attachment is strong enough, as long as there is some way a mason/ team of masons can install them. But they could also sit inside tympanum, archivolts, terminate balustrades, ornament colonades.

At a guess, I would say the gargoyles on the First Keep really are gargoyles. That the grotesques on Cressen's balcony are clearly grotesques. But GRRM isn't clear on this point. He uses the two words interchangeably for both the structures Bran swings off on the First Keep, and the ones that substitute for crenellations on Dragonstone.

The meaning of the word grotesque focuses more on what the stone carving represents than it's function. It is a synonym for 'chimera' or 'mythical beast' - so anything thus named lends itself to association with griffins, sphinxes, harpies, pegasi, squishers, merlings, unicorns, manticores, basilisks, cockatrice, minotaurs, wyverns, deamons, fauns and other hybrids referenced in the mythos and heraldry (and actuality) of Planetos.

I think GRRM might sometimes use the word 'grotesque' to sneak in a mention of a sphinx or a harpy without seeming to. And vise versa, for instance, when we learn that the citadel's gates are flanked by green marble sphinxes (AFfC, Prologue).

He more often uses the word 'grotesque' describe someone or something wildly twisted, like Bran's legs after he falls, or Tyrion generally, or the oak he leans against as he reads about the properties of dragonbone (AGoT, Ch.13 Tyrion II).

Miscellanous Other gargoyles: I'm not sure the ancient tower in Bran's dream of AGoT, Ch.24 Bran IV is the First Keep - it could be Hightower, or some structure associated with Casterley Rock. It doesn't seem a good fit for the detailed description of the first keep we were previously given.

There might be gargoyles other than Tyrion perched over the great hall at Winterfell, or on the battlements of the Mud gate. There are definitely something like grotesques on the Gate of the Gods

Quote

“The carvings on the gatehouse are exquisite, they make me weep each time I see them. The eyes … so expressive, don’t you think? They almost seem to follow you as you ride beneath the portcullis.”

(ACoK, Ch.03 Tyrion I)

Some of the silent faces watching from the Bloody Gate might be stone grotesques as well - we know there are 'stoneworks' on the near side of the gate (AGoT, Ch.34 Catelyn VI). The Horse gate of Vaes Dothrak might count- if bronze stallions count as grotesques. Even if they don't, some of the stolen statuery behind it almost certainly began life as grotesques.

The designers of the fountains of Qarth were evidently capable of designing gargoyles, although there isn't much mention of the guttering of Qarth. The Great Sept of Baelor has a rainbow fountain, and one might suspect there was some drainage system on that great dome to feed it.

The figurehead of the Selaesori Qhoran is described as 'a grotesque figurehead' (ADwD, Ch.33 Tyrion VIII), although it is not clear if he means it was deliberately carved to look like an ugly chimera of some kind, or if it had started as a relatively humanoid figure and become warped and twisted by age and weather. Of course, it could be both.

Edited by Walda

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On 11/19/2017 at 0:37 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

There is more to Dragonstone prior to 400 years ago than we're being told

Agreed

On 11/18/2017 at 10:56 PM, Ralphis Baratheon said:

There was probably a lot more of them in Old Valyria.

They were included on the WOIAF Valyrian artwork, and Nasmith has received direction from GRRM in his art.

5 hours ago, Walda said:

My thought on gargoyles is that GRRM does not distinguish between them and grosteques.

Agreed, GRRM does make a close connection between gargoyles and grotesques through Davos.  Even after Cressen had identified all 1,000 dragonstone statutes/merlons as gargoyles, Davos mixes them up.  I am unsure if GRRM ever intended for the architectural style to have a drainage purpose as is the case in real history.  I have tinfoil theories that they held a stronger spiritual significance to their builders, but they are still half baked.

Quote

"He raised his eyes to gaze up at the walls. In place of merlons, a thousand grotesques and gargoyles looked down on him, each different from all the others; wyverns, griffins, demons, manticores, minotaurs, basilisks, hellhounds, cockatrices, and a thousand queerer creatures. - A Storm of Swords - Davos V

Also, based on the interpretation by Davos, I would classify the gate at the Valyrian built Long Bridge as being grotesque/gargoyle, even without direct mentioning.

Quote

The gateway to the Long Bridge was a black stone arch carved with sphinxes, manticores, dragons and creatures stranger still.  Beyond the arch stretched the great span that the Valyrians had built at the height of their glory - A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion VII

 

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On 11/18/2017 at 7:33 PM, Bobity. said:

Here are the only three structures identified as having gargoyle architecture I can find.

Winterfell First Keep

Dragonstone Castle

Weathered inn at Dragonstone port

Both First Keep and weatherd inn gargoyles have similar descriptions of physical weathering, the fused stone gargoyles of Dragonstone are immune to weathering.

Thoughts?

 

This is the second thread on the first page that asserts that the gargoyles on Dragonstone don't weather.  Do you have a quote to support this?

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1 hour ago, White Ravens said:

This is the second thread on the first page that asserts that the gargoyles on Dragonstone don't weather.  Do you have a quote to support this?

Regarding the strength of fused stone:

Quote

The dragonlords of Valryia, as is well-known, possessed the art of turning stone to liquid with dragonflame, shaping it as they would, then fusing it harder than iron, steel, or granite. - The World of Ice and Fire - The Reach: Oldtown

and

Quote

During one stop, he used the time to have a closer look at the road. Tyrion knew what he would find: not packed earth, nor bricks, nor cobbles, but a ribbon of fused stone raised a half foot above the ground to allow rainfall and snowmelt to run off its shoulders. Unlike the muddy tracks that passed for roads in the Seven Kingdoms, the Valyrian roads were wide enough for three wagons to pass abreast, and neither time nor traffic marred them. They still endured, unchanging, four centuries after Valyria itself had met its Doom. -  A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion II

Regarding the fused stone nature of Dragonstone:

Quote

He raised his eyes to gaze up at the walls. In place of merlons, a thousand grotesques and gargoyles looked down on him, each different from all the others; wyverns, griffins, demons, manticores, minotaurs, basilisks, hellhounds, cockatrices, and a thousand queerer creatures sprouted from the castle's battlements as if they'd grown there. And the dragons were everywhere. The Great Hall was a dragon lying on its belly. Men entered through its open mouth. The kitchens were a dragon curled up in a ball, with the smoke and steam of the ovens vented through its nostrils. The towers were dragons hunched above the walls or poised for flight; the Windwyrm seemed to scream defiance, while Sea Dragon Tower gazed serenely out across the waves. Smaller dragons framed the gates. Dragon claws emerged from walls to grasp at torches, great stone wings enfolded the smith and armory, and tails formed arches, bridges, and exterior stairs.
Davos had often heard it said that the wizards of Valyria did not cut and chisel as common masons did, but worked stone with fire and magic as a potter might work clay. But now he wondered. What if they were real dragons, somehow turned to stone? - A Storm of Swords - Davos V

Even the courtyard was fused:

Quote

Sunfyre’s scales still shone like beaten gold in the sunlight, but as he sprawled across the fused black Valyrian stone of the yard, it was plain to see that he was a broken thing -  The Princess and the Queen

 

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There's an older topic that came to my mind regarding gargoyles: Purple Eyed Liars. It's scope is much broader in that gargoyles seem to only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to architectural history of Westeros. There are other longer, well written analyses of this same topic (I found a couple on reddit way back when), but this is the one I remember the best (never underestimate the power of an interesting title!). You may or may not agree with their conclusions, but it's a fascinating topic to mull over.

One of the more interesting arguments asserted by some is that Dragonstone wasn't even erected by Valyrians but instead found by them. A strong point made is that Dragonstone is always described as "ancient," but this doesn't really match up with the timeline of Valyria constructing it around 600 years prior to the current time in the books. By the only castles mentioned that are younger than Dragonstone allegedly is are The Twins, Harrenhal, Summerhall, and the Red Keep.

We don't have much history regarding what occurred in the Crownlands (which includes Dragonstone) prior to Aegon's Conquest other than it was often a contested area. Or was it?

I think a discussion about information Maesters may or may not be censoring/controlling could easily be inserted into this conversation about gargoyles. Such as how the so-called First Keep in Winterfell is a round structure when Andals were the ones that brought that technology/style over. Also how Storm's End was rebuilt seven times but is supposed to be built long before Andals (where the Faith of the Seven) came over. The Maester writes little snippets to try and explain these anomalies away, but I've always read most of these as them trying to divert suspicions. I have an unfinished topic I was gonna post called "Peculiar Castles" that kind of gathers all of these anomalies into one but I walked away from it for a time.

There's also evidence that fused stone was not strictly a Valyrian technology, such as the fused black stone that Hightower is built on, but I think I've offered enough of a sampler of the topic to spark interest.

Edited by Traverys

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8 minutes ago, Traverys said:

There's an older topic that came to my mind regarding gargoyles: Purple Eyed Liars. It's scope is much broader in that gargoyles seem to only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to architectural history of Westeros. There are other longer, well written analyses of this same topic (I found a couple on reddit way back when), but this is the one I remember the best (never underestimate the power of an interesting title!). You may or may not agree with their conclusions, but it's a fascinating topic to mull over.

One of the more interesting arguments asserted by some is that Dragonstone wasn't even erected by Valyrians but instead found by them. A strong point made is that Dragonstone is always described as "ancient," but this doesn't really match up with the timeline of Valyria constructing it around 600 years prior to the current time in the books. By the only castles mentioned that are younger than Dragonstone allegedly is are The Twins, Harrenhal, Summerhall, and the Red Keep.

We don't have much history regarding what occurred in the Crownlands (which includes Dragonstone) prior to Aegon's Conquest other than it was often a contested area. Or was it?

I think a discussion about information Maesters may or may not be censoring/controlling could easily be inserted into this conversation about gargoyles. Such as how the so-called First Keep in Winterfell is a round structure when Andals were the ones that brought that technology/style over. Also how Storm's End was rebuilt seven times but is supposed to be built long before Andals (where the Faith of the Seven) came over. The Maester writes little snippets to try and explain these anomalies away, but I've always read most of these as them trying to divert suspicions. I have an unfinished topic I was gonna post called "Peculiar Castles" that kind of gathers all of these anomalies into one but I walked away from it for a time.

There's also evidence that fused stone was not strictly a Valyrian technology, such as the fused black stone that Hightower is built on, but I think I've offered enough of a sampler of the topic to spark interest.

Very good points. I would like to point out another lie of the Maesters though. The Andals don't build nice things. Look at Andalos. Where are their castles? Structures? Ruins? We hear of a wooden ring fort on Lorath, supposedly long after the Andals had already invaded Westeros. 

Alot of what we are told about the Andals is a lie.

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14 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Very good points. I would like to point out another lie of the Maesters though. The Andals don't build nice things. Look at Andalos. Where are their castles? Structures? Ruins? We hear of a wooden ring fort on Lorath, supposedly long after the Andals had already invaded Westeros. 

Alot of what we are told about the Andals is a lie.

It's a compelling argument, especially considering the proximity of the Citadel to the Starry Sept. Room for a joint conspiracy there. I haven't seen any discussions about where the heck the Andals went in Essos and why their structure are non-existent. I believe Tyrion traveled through Andalos with Illyrio and all he really described was the fused stone road. 

I don't have trouble buying the idea that the Andals were invaded and basically wiped out/assimilated... but why wouldn't these invaders want to occupy these well-built castles and instead tear them down? And, how could these people that came over from Westeros with such a strong military advantage be so easily defeated by anyone other than the First Men? Why are there no famous Septs (even if it was in ruins) mentioned regarding Andalos? It would be the "holy land" of the Faith, right? Why no efforts to take it back from those that invaded? That was the point of our history's crusades.

Intriguing questions. Thanks for piquing my interest on the topic.

Edited by Traverys

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4 hours ago, Traverys said:

There's an older topic that came to my mind regarding gargoyles: Purple Eyed Liars.....(never underestimate the power of an interesting title!).

Thanks!!  I admit that I started this post with just the gargoyle observation that got my "Valryians did not build Dragonstone" theory started, free of tinfoil.  Was curious to see how others would puzzle over it, and if they would dive down the same rabbit hole I did.

4 hours ago, Traverys said:

why wouldn't these invaders want to occupy these well-built castles and instead tear them down

While we don't know exactly what was happening in Andalos after they migrated to Westeros, after the Doom the Dothraki seemed to pride themselves in tearing apart former civilizations.

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5 hours ago, Traverys said:

It's a compelling argument, especially considering the proximity of the Citadel to the Starry Sept. Room for a joint conspiracy there. I haven't seen any discussions about where the heck the Andals went in Essos and why their structure are non-existent. I believe Tyrion traveled through Andalos with Illyrio and all he really described was the fused stone road. 

I don't have trouble buying the idea that the Andals were invaded and basically wiped out/assimilated... but why wouldn't these invaders want to occupy these well-built castles and instead tear them down? And, how could these people that came over from Westeros with such a strong military advantage be so easily defeated by anyone other than the First Men? Why are there no famous Septs (even if it was in ruins) mentioned regarding Andalos? It would be the "holy land" of the Faith, right? Why no efforts to take it back from those that invaded? That was the point of our history's crusades.

Intriguing questions. Thanks for piquing my interest on the topic.

Absolutely! 

The ringfort on top of Lorath sounds like the kind of building the Andals claim the First Men did. Yet, we have old first man castles with round walls. And all of pentos is square. 

Im of the opinion the Andals and Maesters are lying. I also dont think the Andals were blondes. House Hoare was said to have black hair due to the Andal taint. Also Lann the Clever is a blonde and i have posted else where the quote about the Linial claims of the Reach and Westerlands being tied to the founding of Valyria. Also Serwyn serving Targaryen kings and part of the Kings Guard, though another section links him as serving the Gardeners.

42 minutes ago, Bobity. said:

While we don't know exactly what was happening in Andalos after they migrated to Westeros, after the Doom the Dothraki seemed to pride themselves in tearing apart former civilizations

Except it's claimed they take statues. The Rhoynar ruins are still around and so are the Sarnori. Both are also dark haired. The Andals, built ringforts in Essos.

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1 hour ago, Bobity. said:

Thanks!!  I admit that I started this post with just the gargoyle observation that got my "Valryians did not build Dragonstone" theory started, free of tinfoil.  Was curious to see how others would puzzle over it, and if they would dive down the same rabbit hole I did.

I'm so embarassed I didn't see that you are the OP of both topics! I usually look at avatars to remember forum members, tbh. There are a lot of people with very similar names and whatnot. If you ever feel like getting you should find your favorite picture of a "Planetos" gargoyle from artwork! Or some other element from your Purple Eyed Liar post!

And I wouldn't call everything tinfoily in your Purple Eyed Liars topic. You provided ample evidence that established something is at least wrong about what we believe to be true and then provided your own thoughts and theories about it. It's a topic I like to look back at every now and then.

My views on the gargoyles are in tune with yours, I believe. While I don't know what to say about the Inn, I think the odd and inconsistent details about both the First Keep and Dragonstone connects them in a mysterious way that can't be coincidence.

Edited by Traverys

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