Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Fire Eater

Valyrians' Crasterian Bargain with the Fourteen Flames

7 posts in this topic

Valyria, before the Doom, was the most advanced civilization in Planetos. In place of a monarchy, they had a republic where if the Triarchs are anything to go by, the heads of state were elected. The state of their empire was usually expansion given their undefeated status in war, thanks to their dragons. Economically, the Freehold was a source of some of the world's finest manufactured goods from Valyrian steel to stonework. Their skills in magic and sorcery were generally unrivaled, and their sorcery were the source of their empire, from their dragons in battle to glass candles giving them a level of communication akin to a magical instant messenger. 

It is the last point that I will be paying attention to, The crannogmen, Green Men and Bloodraven learned their magics from a supernatural race known as the Children of the Forest, Westeros's original inhabitants. The WOIAF section of Valyira hints at Valyrian sorcery having similar origins:

Quote

 In Asshai, the tales are many and confused, but certain texts—all impossibly ancient—claim that dragons first came from the Shadow, a place where all of our learning fails us. These Asshai'i histories say that a people so ancient they had no name first tamed dragons in the Shadow and brought them to Valyria, teaching the Valyrians their arts before departing from the annals.

Asshai was a city built before humans arrived. There were other structures built just like it such as the city of Yeen, Five Forts and the original fortress of the High Tower. The material is described as black stone, fused in the same manner as the Valyrians minus the decoration. This suggests an ancient race (likely originating from the Shadow) predating human civilization that extended far throughout the world, and was skilled in sorcery before vanishing like the CotF. Doubt me, then read this

Quote

2. What's your personal take on the black oily stone popping up everywhere from Asshai to the Iron Islands? Will that be relevant to the main series? How relevant is it to the idea that there were/are a forgotten race of people who once spread across the known world?

We believe it must relate to some ancient race or species that pre-dated human civilization, though probably not the children of the forest. And our suspicion is that they have something to do with the origins of Valyria. But is all that relevant to the present ASoIaF story? Perhaps only in a very indirect way, through Melisandre of Asshai.

The Valyrians undoubtedly owe their empire to this ancient race. This race appears to have disappeared like the CotF, but the CotF didn't disappear as we know from ADwD, but reside in a cave. The question regarding their disappearance is did they? 

Quote

 for the Empress of Leng was known to have congress with the Old Ones, gods who lived deep below the ruined subterranean cities, and from time to time the Old Ones told her to put all the strangers on the island to death. This is known to have happened at least four times in the island's history if Colloquo Votar's Jade Compendium can be believed.

In cities beneath the ground, the rulers of Leng took instruction from the Old Gods.We get a pattern of supernatural beings living in subterranean areas. Anyone besides them who has gone in to these cities below ground has either returned mad, or disappeared, like everyone who has ever visited the ruins of the old Freehold.

Back to Valyria, the sorcerous empire that lasted for millenia met its fall in a single day. It was destroyed in an event known simply as the Doom. 

Quote

To this day, no one knows what caused the Doom. Most say that it was a natural cataclysm—a catastrophic explosion caused by the eruption of all Fourteen Flames together. Some septons, less wise, claim that the Valyrians brought the disaster on themselves for their promiscuous belief in a hundred gods and more, and in their godlessness they delved too deep and unleashed the fires of the Seven hells on the Freehold. A handful of maesters, influenced by fragments of the work of Septon Barth, hold that Valyria had used spells to tame the Fourteen Flames for thousands of years, that their ceaseless hunger for slaves and wealth was as much to sustain these spells as to expand their power, and that when at last those spells faltered, the cataclysm became inevitable.
Of these, some argue that it was the curse of Garin the Great at last coming to fruition. Others speak of the priests of R'hllor calling down the fire of their god in queer rituals. Some, wedding the fanciful notion of Valyrian magic to the reality of the ambitious great houses of Valyria, have argued that it was the constant whirl of conflict and deception amongst the great houses that might have led to the assassinations of too many of the reputed mages who renewed and maintained the rituals that banked the fires of the Fourteen Flames.

The Doom was undoubtedly volcanic in nature, and it is tied to the Fourteen Flames. It is said the hunger for slaves was to help sustain the spells to keep the Flames at bay, which suggests the Valyrians needed slaves as sacrifices. The Old Gods of Leng is one of many Lovecraft references. In Lovecraft's works, people strike deals with supernatural beings like Obed Marsh making a deal with the Deep Ones in exchange for Innsmouth's prosperity, and cultists bargaining with Nyarlathotep in exchange for his infinite knowledge. Of course, in exchange for the boon, the figures always demand human sacrifices in return. These deals cannot be reneged upon as when Innsmouth backs out, and stops giving sacrifices to Dagon, the Deep Ones respond by attacking the town and killing off the majority of the population. 

The Asshai'i say dragons came from Asshai while the Valyrians say the dragons are "children of the Fourteen Flames," maybe both versions are true. Like the Old Ones in the subterranean cities and BR in the cave, could members of this ancient race have been (possibly still be) residing in the Fourteen Flames? The Valyrians' ancestors could have struck a deal with them: in exchange for the beings' magical knowledge and arts, the Valyrians would supply numerous human sacrifices in perpetuity. Think the Night's King giving sacrifices to the Others who accepted them as offerings in exchange for their support and magic ("strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will"). The slaves being sacrificed were in rituals to the ones residing in the Fourteen Flames. It was the wizards/mages who conducted these rituals, and shortage of them would mean a shortage of ritual sacrifices. The ones in the Fourteen Flames undoubtedly would have been angered at a consistent shortage of sacrifices, and like the Deep Ones, could have responded by bringing destruction upon the Valyrians.  

To sum it up, an ancient race came to Valyria, and taught them magic in exchange for sacrifices. The Valyrians fell short, and the "gods" in the Fourteen Flames responded by bringing about the Doom. 

 

Share this post


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

The Valyrians' ancestors could have struck a deal with them: in exchange for the beings' magical knowledge and arts, the Valyrians would supply numerous human sacrifices in perpetuity.

Which could have also been a hidden driver for a steady influx of slaves to sacrifice through fatal hard labor.  One thought that I have been toying with is that the slaves got wise to the situation, and performed the "Gift" en mass like a wide scale suicide pact, resulting in a sacrifice overload which triggered the Doom.  This is based on the kindly man's cryptic reference to Arya that the followers of the many faced gods had caused the Doom.

Share this post


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

Which could have also been a hidden driver for a steady influx of slaves to sacrifice through fatal hard labor.  One thought that I have been toying with is that the slaves got wise to the situation, and performed the "Gift" en mass like a wide scale suicide pact, resulting in a sacrifice overload which triggered the Doom.  This is based on the kindly man's cryptic reference to Arya that the followers of the many faced gods had caused the Doom.

Followers of the Many Faced God do clearly see death as a noble sacrifice. One that is a gift to be given. However the FM don't give the Gift to themselves, they give it to those they deem deserving. Such as the sick, those unwilling to live on, to those wanted dead or bad people. 

 

Therefore your theory caused a thought to spring up. What if the FM were the ones sacrificing the slaves to the Fourteen Flames for the Valyrians. But after a certain time, a generation of FM developed more believes and deemed the slaves too unwilling or undeserving of the Gift of death. So instead of sacrificing living slaves, they gave them the poison, currently in the fountain of the HoBW. This caused the eventual Doom. This would be a possible explanation for their current believes, the suspicions that they were involved with the origin of  Braavos, a state opposing slavery. The FM who defected to Braavos could have caused the Doom by infiltrating the FM who were loyal to Valyria to stop the sacrificing of slaves. This infiltration could be where the stealing faces came from. 

 

Just a strange thought  that I wanted to share with you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to Asshai i have a theory on it's nature  i'm pretty convinced of, perhaps it's usefull for you:

Theory 4: On the nature of certain black stone constructs

This theory of mine holds that a good number of constructs build with black fused stone (not nessecarily all) are actually tombs to very important people. This theory of mine rose from contemplating the Nature of Asshai as being a "Necropolis", similar to the Valley of the Kings, dedicated to the Emperors of Yi Ti. A number of hints would seem to suggest that to me. Asshai is a practicly dead city, there don't seem to be original inhabitants and perhaps it was never meant for the living. It's size is pretty much monumental, and most constructs are made of this black stone. The city is infested with shadowbinders and my presumption is that they are some sort of "tomb raiders", with other words they raise the dead from their monuments, this to aquire ancient knowledge and also the treasure. One of the most poignant details that i feel support this idea is that Asshai exports "cursed gold", whereas i would think that cursed gold is typically the product of tomb raiding. As a Necropolis, Asshai would seem to function as a "gateway to the underworld", beyond Asshai lies truly scary things infested with demons and such like in the town called Stygai, so i don't consider it so much a stretch that to go beneath the shadow is going to an underworld inhabited by the death.To pull this further, it would suggest to me that the base of the hightower is a tomb to someone very important too. (in later theory's i argue that the base of the hightower is a tomb for Azor Ahai who died on battle island saving humanity)

in regards to this theory, i also found this back on the asoiaf wiki about Stygai: " The name "Stygai" may be a nod to "Stygia" from the story “Shadows in the Moonlight” by Robert E. Howard. In an essay in his Dreamsongs anthology Martin cites reading Howard's story as a formative experience in his (Martin's) development as a reader of fantasy. Martin quotes to a passage referring to Stygia "with its shadow-guarded tombs."

Share this post


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

Followers of the Many Faced God do clearly see death as a noble sacrifice. One that is a gift to be given. However the FM don't give the Gift to themselves,

While the FM may bestow the gift upon others, followers of the faith do give it to themselves, fully documented through Arya's POV in the temple with the poisoned well.  In fact, if sacrifices are the currency of magical capability, the continuous self sacrifice in the temple could be the source of FM's face changing abilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Bobity. said:

Which could have also been a hidden driver for a steady influx of slaves to sacrifice through fatal hard labor.  One thought that I have been toying with is that the slaves got wise to the situation, and performed the "Gift" en mass like a wide scale suicide pact, resulting in a sacrifice overload which triggered the Doom.  This is based on the kindly man's cryptic reference to Arya that the followers of the many faced gods had caused the Doom.

Or the FM could have killed the mages who conducted the rituals. It was said in a prophecy that the gold of CR would destroy Valyria. Maybe the gold used to buy Brightroar (which was said to be enough to raise an  army) was used to pay the FM. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Fire Eater said:

Or the FM could have killed the mages who conducted the rituals. It was said in a prophecy that the gold of CR would destroy Valyria. Maybe the gold used to buy Brightroar (which was said to be enough to raise an  army) was used to pay the FM. 

Not quite, there was however a Valyrian belief that the "Doom of Man" would come from Westeros.

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