Black Crow

Heresy 205 bats and little green men

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I do not know if it is relevant but in Dany IX dead baby Rhaego is linked/described as a bat. 

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1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

I do not know if it is relevant but in Dany IX dead baby Rhaego is linked/described as a bat. 

 

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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys IX

She waited, but Ser Jorah could not say it. His face grew dark with shame. He looked half a corpse himself.

"Monstrous," Mirri Maz Duur finished for him. The knight was a powerful man, yet Dany understood in that moment that the maegi was stronger, and crueler, and infinitely more dangerous. "Twisted. I drew him forth myself. He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat. When I touched him, the flesh sloughed off the bone, and inside he was full of graveworms and the stink of corruption. He had been dead for years."

This description of Viserion is interesting:

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A Dance with Dragons - Daenerys VIII

The dragons craned their necks around, gazing at them with burning eyes. Viserion had shattered one chain and melted the others. He clung to the roof of the pit like some huge white bat, his claws dug deep into the burnt and crumbling bricks. Rhaegal, still chained, was gnawing on the carcass of a bull. The bones on the floor of the pit were deeper than the last time she had been down here, and the walls and floors were black and grey, more ash than brick. They would not hold much longer … but behind them was only earth and stone. Can dragons tunnel through rock, like the firewyrms of old Valyria? She hoped not.

Are we sure these are bats?

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

Bran ate with Summer and his pack, as a wolf. As a raven he flew with the murder, circling the hill at sunset, watching for foes, feeling the icy touch of the air. As Hodor he explored the caves. He found chambers full of bones, shafts that plunged deep into the earth, a place where the skeletons of gigantic bats hung upside down from the ceiling.

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A Feast for Crows - Brienne II

"All castles," said the captain's sister. "The only one I know is the Dun Fort by the harbor. I made t'other in my head, what a castle ought to look like. I never seen a dragon neither, nor a griffin, nor a unicorn." She had a cheerful manner, but when Brienne showed her the shield her face went dark. "My old ma used to say that giant bats flew out from Harrenhal on moonless nights, to carry bad children to Mad Danelle for her cookpots. Sometimes I'd hear them scrabbling at the shutters." She sucked her teeth a moment, thoughtful. "What goes in its place?"

The 'great black bat'?

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A Storm of Swords - Jaime VI

He found an old shield in the armory, battered and splintered, the chipped paint still showing most of the great black bat of House Lothston upon a field of silver and gold.

Has GRRM ever said that dragons once inhabited Westeros?

Edited by LynnS

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Whatever great bat means. We have megabats on earth with 1.5 meter wingspan. However they are very light and cannot carry something as massive and heavy as a child. 

 

This is also something to think about when dragons are involved. Flying animals are super lightweight.

Edited by SirArthur

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45 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Whatever great bat means. We have megabats on earth with 1.5 meter wingspan. However they are very light and cannot carry something as massive and heavy as a child.

This is also something to think about when dragons are involved. Flying animals are super lightweight.

The stories about carrying children off might be an exaggeration. But we do have Drogon carrying off at least one child.  Eagles can carry about 1/3 of their weight.  Here's what Martin says:

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Dragons in Westeros

In 'The Hedge Knight' ancient dragons are mentioned, thousands of years olds. Were there Dragons in Westeros before the Targaryens brought them, or did the Targaryens bring the skeletons of the old Dragons with them?

There were dragons all over, once.

The follow up question, which I realise may be something you keep for the books, is what happened to the Dragons out of Westeros? If I understood correctly, the Alchemists say that there were no more Dragons anywhere. Was that so?

There are no more dragons known to exist... but this is a medieval period, and large parts of the world are still terra incognita, so there are always tales of dragon sightings in far off mysterious places. The maesters tend to discount those.

Bran describes the bat skeletons as gigantic, so I'm guessing not the size of a cat.  Harrenhal may have extensive underground hot springs, a place for brooding eggs?  The three eggs that Dany is given are differentiated by size.  The black egg is larger than the other two.  Perhaps there were different species of dragons in Westeros.  One that died off during the first long night. 

Edited by LynnS

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50 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Bran describes the bat skeletons as gigantic, so I'm guessing not the size of a cat.  

The dragons were no larger than the scrawny cats she had once seen skulking along the walls of Magister Illyrio's estate in Pentos . . . until they unfolded their wings. Their span was three times their length, each wing a delicate fan of translucent skin, gorgeously colored, stretched taut between long thin bones.   Dany I - aCoK 

 

Given the idea that Dragon generations can shrink in size - I don't think the black egg is from another species. The same is true for Bran`s sightings. Can be a dragon, can be a bat. 

 

 

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We're never told of dragons hanging upside down, but on the other hand legend has it that dragons originated as fire worms. We do know that they are creatures of magic - fire made flesh. Perhaps back in the day they were created as fire wyrm/bat hybrids, using magic to combine the fire with wings.

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40 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

We're never told of dragons hanging upside down, but on the other hand legend has it that dragons originated as fire worms. We do know that they are creatures of magic - fire made flesh. Perhaps back in the day they were created as fire wyrm/bat hybrids, using magic to combine the fire with wings.

Dany describes Viserion hanging upside down from the ceiling like a bat.  We just haven't seen them inside a cavern or a dragon pit.

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

This description of Viserion is interesting:

Are we sure these are bats?

The 'great black bat'?

Has GRRM ever said that dragons once inhabited Westeros?

Great post.  Intriguing... 

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The World book talks about Wyverns,  2 legged animals that don't breath fire and hints they were used to create dragons.

My own theory is a dragon is a Wyvern, fireworm and man, all combined into one creature. 

Could our giant bats be Wyverns?  Or just bats.

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About the shields in Castle Black:

Hundreds of knights meant hundreds of shields. Hawks and eagles, dragons and griffins, suns and stags, wolves and wyverns, manticores, bulls, trees and flowers, harps, spears, crabs and krakens, red lions and golden lions and chequy lions, owls, lambs, maids and mermen, stallions, stars, buckets and buckles, flayed men and hanged men and burning men, axes, longswords, turtles, unicorns, bears, quills, spiders and snakes and scorpions, and a hundred other heraldic charges had adorned the Shieldhall walls, blazoned in more colors than any rainbow ever dreamed of.

Jon XIII - aDwD

The only House with a Wyvern we know of is Wyrwel and it is a no book source. 

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9 hours ago, LynnS said:

Dany describes Viserion hanging upside down from the ceiling like a bat.  We just haven't seen them inside a cavern or a dragon pit.

My bad, although there's a bit of a problem in envisaging how this works - where does the tail go for a start? Bats hang upside down or can hang upside down because they have no forelegs on account of their having evolved into wings.

On the other-hand if GRRM says Viserion is hanging like a bat then he's hanging like a bat, but does that then  point to a connection?

Edited by Black Crow
silly spelling mistake

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

On the other-hand if GRRM says Viserion is hanging like a bat then he's hanging like a bat, but does that then  point to a connection?

If Shadrich is a flying mouse, is he then a bat ? Or rather a flying mouse ?

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33 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

If Shadrich is a flying mouse, is he then a bat ? Or rather a flying mouse ?

That's the point. Ser Shadrich ["of the Shady Glen" - someone hiding in the shadows?] is the Mad Mouse and when Sansa/Alayne asks him whether he's going to try out for the order of Winged Knights, he responds that a mouse with wings would be ridiculous. However as I pointed out long ago, in German a bat is der fleidermaus, a winged mouse.

That makes him either a Whent or a Lothston. The first have vanished from Westerosi history too soon to have lost one of their number, while on the other hand he shares red hair with Mad Danelle Lothston.

Of itself that might be straightforward enough but his boyish stature, his age and the Harrenhal connection raise the question that he might have been the Knight of Laughing Tree - hence the discussion anent the possible significance and allegiances of bats

Edited by Black Crow

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50 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

That's the point. Ser Shadrich ["of the Shady Glen" - someone hiding in the shadows?] is the Mad Mouse and when Sansa/Alayne asks him whether he's going to try out for the order of Winged Knights, he responds that a mouse with wings would be ridiculous. However as I pointed out long ago, in German a bat is der fleidermaus, a winged mouse.

That makes him either a Whent or a Lothston. The first have vanished from Westerosi history too soon to have lost one of their number, while on the other hand he shares red hair with Mad Danelle Lothston.

Of itself that might be straightforward enough but his boyish stature, his age and the Harrenhal connection raise the question that he might have been the Knight of Laughing Tree - hence the discussion anent the possible significance and allegiances of bats

0. Just for clarity. It's "die Fledermaus" or flittermouse in english. The older german name if "Flattermaus". But that is not the point here. 

1. The point is more how GRRM sees the connection and how his culture is influencing him in it. A certain bat subspecies is a "Fledermaus", a megabat would ba a "flitting" dog in german, a bat is more of a "flitting" animal (Fledertier). The biological order is not on the same level.

On top of that many bat species do not live in western europe. There is no vampire bat, no megabat and so on. So if there is a connection, the translation is not precise. 

2. If we look at the Winged Knights, that is - at least in my western european interpretation - nothing more than a eastern Hussar. With the wings on his back. And Shadrich is right - it looks ridicoulus. 

3. The only german connection I get out of it is his name: ending on "-rich" (the english -rick). (Like Friedrich or Dietrich)

4. That does not say that I am right and you a wrong. GRRM sees the world the way he sees it and if a winged mouse is a great black bat (Lothston), then it is one.

Edited by SirArthur

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OK I can't spell, :rolleyes: German isn't my first language, but the point remains that Shadrich is talking about a mouse with wings rather than a knight with wings, hence the bat-Lothston connection and talking about Westerosi heraldry rather than "great black bats". As you say, it all comes down to what GRRM is trying to convey.

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6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

My bad, although there's a bit of a problem in envisaging how this works - where does the tail go for a start? Bats hang upside down or can hang upside down because they have no forelegs on account of their having evolved into wings.

On the other-hand if GRRM says Viserion is hanging like a bat then he's hanging like a bat, but does that then  point to a connection?

IDK.  I don't think we're talking about gigantic dragons hanging from the roof of the cave.  Why are we getting the comparison between bats and dragons?  The story of Sansa, a winged wolf flying out of a tower and the crow telling Bran that there are more than one type of wing:
 

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran III

Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers.

There are different kinds of wings, the crow said.

Bran was staring at his arms, his legs. He was so skinny, just skin stretched taut over bones. Had he always been so thin? He tried to remember. A face swam up at him out of the grey mist, shining with light, golden. "The things I do for love," it said.

Why the bat imagery?  Is it just that there is a Whent in the Tully bloodline? Does this have something to do with Harren the Black or the black line with his brother the LC of the Night's Watch at the Night Fort?  What's the connection between a hundred pieces of dragonglass and a hundred towers at Harrenhal?  Was the Night's King a Stark or a Hoare?

I'm starting to think that the greenseer that controls the Black Gate comes from the black line of the iron born. That would explain the connection to the drowned god.

 

Edited by LynnS

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45 minutes ago, LynnS said:

IDK.  I don't think we're talking about gigantic dragons hanging from the roof of the cave.  Why are we getting the comparison between bats and dragons?  The story of Sansa, a winged wolf flying out of a tower and the crow telling Bran that there are more than one type of wing:
 

Why the bat imagery?  Is it just that there is a Whent in the Tully bloodline? Does this have something to do with Harren the Black or the black line with his brother the LC of the Night's Watch at the Night Fort?  What's the connection between a hundred pieces of dragonglass and a hundred towers at Harrenhal?  Was the Night's King a Stark or a Hoare?

I'm starting to think that the greenseer that controls the Black Gate comes from the black line of the iron born. That would explain the connection to the drowned god.

I think that we're probably talking at cross purposes here. SirArthur questioned whether the giant bats could have been dragons; I responded that dragons don't hang upside down; then you provided a reference to Viserion hanging downwards...

For the record I think at this stage that bats are bats and dragons are dragons; then question is whether the bats adopted as a sigil by both the Lothsons and the Whents of Harrenhal have any significance and in particular do we have any clues that might link them to the three-fingered tree-huggers?

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1 minute ago, Black Crow said:

I think that we're probably talking at cross purposes here. SirArthur questioned whether the giant bats could have been dragons; I responded that dragons don't hang upside down; then you provided a reference to Viserion hanging downwards...

For the record I think at this stage that bats are bats and dragons are dragons; then question is whether the bats adopted as a sigil by both the Lothsons and the Whents of Harrenhal have any significance and in particular do we have any clues that might link them to the three-fingered tree-huggers?

Yes, i've gone off the train of thought.  I'm pre-occupied with the comparison between bat wings and dragon wings and that the crow tells Bran there are more than one type of wing. Presumably wings without feathers.  Then we get Bran's description of himself, skin over bones like a bat. Why is that important? Bran isn't just a wolf, he is another fledermaus.

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22 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Bran isn't just a wolf, he is another fledermaus.

I'm so confused right now. 

Ok, let me sort this out. Bran is a wolf. A wolf is related to a dog. A flying dog translates (in german) into a megabat. Megabats have no echolocation. 

(btw funfact: in danish a megabat is a flying mouse, in swedish it is a flying hound. This is exploding in my head right now.)

Edited by SirArthur

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30 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

I'm so confused right now. 

Ok, let me sort this out. Bran is a wolf. A wolf is related to a dog. A flying dog translates (in german) into a megabat. Megabats have no echolocation. 

(btw funfact: in danish a megabat is a flying mouse, in swedish it is a flying hound. This is exploding in my head right now.)

Sorry, i didn't realize I was confusing the conversation.  LOL!  I've just gone off on another tangent.  The bat is the sigil of House Whent.  Minisa Tully is Catelyn's mother or grandmother, I forget which.  Catelyn's children have a touch of bat bloodline from the Whents.  In Bran's coma dream, he reaches around searching for wings with feathers.  The crow tells him there are more than just one kind of wing; so no feather's for Bran but batwings instead.  Bran wakens and looks at himself, skin stretched over bone, like a bat.  Sansa, the winged wolf is a wolf with batwings; same a Bran.  Bran is a fledermaus who can take the shape of a wolf or a combination of bat and wolf through his bloodlines. His wings or his ability to fly comes from the Whent bloodline, perhaps even the Lothston bloodline before it.  I guess there is the notion that the weirwoods are vampiric in nature and bats and wolves are their familiars.   

Oh never mind me.  Carry on.

Edited by LynnS

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