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  1. Love Sam's academic awareness on the unreliability of ancient historical sources. If names were only recorded after the Andal arrival, the 324 missing names would have predated the Andals, when the oral tradition of the Lord Commander count was preserved, but names were forgotten.
  2. Agreed!! Old Nan's Night Fort accounts include a detail I have picked at for years. First, Symeon is repeatedly accounted to be an Age of Heroes figure, before the Wall was built. A contradiction that opens the possibility that the Night Fort site predates the Long Night into the Age of Heroes. Second. How does a blind man see hellhounds fight? Perhaps he could see, and story of sapphires in sockets are singers embelishments of strong blue eyes? Or perhaps he lost his sight mid story like Aemond? Third. This is the only account of substance for Symeon Star-Eyes. I looked, all other references are among lists of heroes and the story of his eyes. Fourth. Hellhounds. I want to know more about the hellhounds.
  3. From elsewhere. Their is clear evidence of dragons prior to the Valyrian Empire in the form of the fused stone Five Forts and the lower levels of the Hightower, examples spanning the known East/West extents of the world. Their "we were mere shepards" line in my mind whitewhashes the fact the dragon binding practice was imported.
  4. Oh, I do have it in for the Hightowers! Here is a question I ponder often. What was their family name before they secured Battle Isle and built a high tower? By adopting the name of their keep they have effectively laundered their family history and origins. Since you posted this, I have reread the relevant Sheppard sections of F&B and finished intrigued to the idea. Twice the Shepard appeared in Cobblers square at night, he was able to raise a massive mob from nothing in 48 hours, granted the conditions were ripe. Add in the uncharacteristic behaviour in Syrax of engaging in close combat when riderless and unrestrained and I am willing to believe sorcery was in play. My headcannon has shadowbinding linked with sacrificed kingsblood, which places a huge limiting factor to its use. Mel is trying to overcome this by securing people she deems as royal liniage for sacrifice. Both Davos and Jon have made moves to limit her access, but unfortunatly Shireen is likely to not get away...
  5. Helanea Targaryen jumping into spikes during the Dance of Dragons was openly questioned as a suicide at the time....seems like a potential candidate though I can't figure out movtive, other than freeing up her dragon for another rider.
  6. The shadows spawned by Mel with the blood of Stanis were very effective in conducting the anonymous assassinations of Ser Cortnay Penrose and Renley Baratheon. Two methods are demonstrated, pushing/throwing a victim from heights with appearnce of suicide and shadowy sword attacks implicating innocents in close proximity. By all accounts Mel and Stannis got away with the murders, but Varys is onto them. Varys knew to connect the pattern, he had identified Mel as a shadowbinder early. Spawning shadows is not a skill unique to Mel, according to her visions in the flames is her specialty. Shadowbinders are open and active in Asshai and it begs the question if there have been other shadowbinders active in Westeros history? Why not? The marine route to and from Asshai can be done along the sight of land and considering Storm’s End walls were built warded against shadows, I think the Age of Heroes was a little bit high magicy. When in history then are their clues of shadowbinding? Lets begin with the murder of Septon Moon oustide of Oldtown. I believe the unknown women in the tent with Septon Moon got the same wrongful murder accusation Brienne of Tarth and Catelyn Stark recieved. Whatever intentions the women bedding down with Septon Moon had, I don’t believe cutting him was part of it as she was totally unprepared for it. She was barefoot and half naked, if you were planning to murder someone and then run away would you not plan to be wearing shoes and clothes? She shrieked, which is a horrible getaway move. Though, I suppose Brienne made the same mistake in the minds of her accusers. If this woman had slit Septon Moon’s throat would she not be covered in blood? This woman was running “wide eyed and terrified” from something, and I don’t believe it was from a dying Septon Moon. The quick acting poisoned wine was given to her so her account of a shadow sword was never heard. If it was a spawned shadow that killed Septon Moon, who would have done the deed? Who had most to gain from the death of Septon Moon? The Hightowers. The Hightowers had been dithering on dealing with Moon’s mob outside Oldtown and were probably open to options. After the death of Septon Moon his followers scattered allowing for a one sided Hightower mop up and an unhurt Oldtown citizenry. Let's think like Varys for a moment, if there was a shadowbinder active at the time are there other suspicious deaths where people are dying in rooms everyone thought them to be alone in? Do they have connections to the Hightowers? Found two more within a five year period: The High Septon - died in very suspicious circumstances alone in his room. No details about the manner of death and followed was a very immediate chain of events for his replacement. In my mind the murder of the High Septon was part of the coordinated Hightower plan, not a response. If the High Septon had not been murdered and replaced in a single night then in all likelihood dragonfire would have been felt in Oldtown. King Maegor Targaryen - died impaled on the Iron Throne, guards swear he was alone. Maegor at that moment was contemplating the reality that he did not have enough support to field an army to control his realm, but Balerion was within reach. At that moment mounting the Black Dread and burning his enemies, including the Hightowers and Oldtown, like his father had done to Dorne was a distinct possibility. All three of these deaths had a result of limiting civilian casualties, particularly in Oldtown. As to who spawned my theorized shadows I am leaning towards Lady Patrice Hightower, reputed witch who had visited the High Septon hours before his mysterious death. The first of the proposed linked incidents. Common variable amongst all known and proposed examples is timing, all five died at night. If the walls of Storm's End are warded against spawned shadows then at some point during the Age of Heroes the Durrandon Storm Kings built those defences to protect from a shadowbinding foe, an age when the Hightowers were actors. Could shadowbinding be an ancient Hightower family secret, only used covertly in times when Oldtown is in grave danger? Euron may need to watch for shadows at his back as he approaches Oldtown because whenever Oldtown is threatened convenient deaths occur when the sun goes down. Bonus Extra Shiny Tinfoil Are there other potential shadow assassinations in Westerosi history? Mysterious sword attacks, or people falling from great heights with questionable stories of suicide? Was Ashara pushed?
  7. Sacrife. No way Egg incorporated a sacrfice into the Summerhall attempt, people died, but not as a sacrifice. Dany did.
  8. Vargo Hoat of Qohor was merely being pious. Quite the religion, perhaps praised in secret considering the grisly requirements? Fashioned helm and standard displaying the Back Goat. No hidden association here, Vargo is proud of his religion. Man who openly associates himself with a god requiring blood sacrifices habitually cuts the limbs of his prisoners. It can be that simple.
  9. As do I. Amonst the Vulture King details is a pattern of blood sacrifie by limb removal and in one case facial mutilation. It was kingsblood Georld Dayne drew from his cut on Myrcella's face. Coming back onto thread tangent though, Vargo Hoat who was of Qohor was also apt to sever limbs while wearing a goat helm which could only be described as a pious display of devotion to the Black Goat.
  10. Who is feeding the lie though? Seems that the Hightowers have always held sway at the Citadel...who happen to resmeble the Daynes a wee bit if I say so myself.
  11. Qohor and Norvos! Both of these cities share very common origins having been cultures who had split from Valyria because of the Freeholds declining religious devotion. And what are the local religious customs? Daily sacrifce to a demon called the Black Goat in Qohor and in Norvos a secretly named god who directly commands the ruling bearded priest theoracy. Turns out Valryian religous orthodoxy was demon worship! As for POV's, Aero Hotah has a familiarity with these religious practices having been sold as a slave to the Norvos preisthood, the gods axe symbol burned into his chest. My pet tinfoil is that the Red Mountains is home to a demon with vulture symbology, which the local Stony Donrish have been worshiping since the "dawn of days." The Red Mountain Vulture King phenomeona is much too historically cyclical in my mind to not have a guiding influence. If such Dornish cultists were to be revleaed in TWOW, then Aero could serve as a POV bridge by providing relatable religous context from his home of Norvos.
  12. "IF" the Others were originally human, then something occurred in the distant past to alter their physiology. Across Westeros and Essos their are several examples of human populations with unique physiological aspects. Leng, Ib, Basilisk Isles and Thousand Islands to name some. The going thinking is that they just evolved within their geographic niches, but I don't buy it. If a warded Storms End and an underpopulated Asshai are any indication the Age of Heroes was probably a nadir of magic capacity that I think has been baked into the genetics of entire cultures, Many of those examples also had nearby cave networks and in the case of Leng a history of communion with old ones. We know from Bran's POV that their is high magic happening within these cave networks. Could the Others share a similar origin? My thinking is that the Nightfort played host to the Others transformation during the Age of Heroes. It's in close proximity to a cave networks figured in the dark stories of Gorne's path. Its twice older than any castle on the Wall, which to me implies it predates the Wall. Its noted that only its deepest vaults are of the original structure, indicating it was probably razed at one time, much like the nearby Fist of First Men. Their are also stories of Age of Heroes characters at the Nightfort, and before you discount it, consider the source. Hellhounds fighting at the Nightfort, deep tunnel with potential old ones nearby and a Hero drawn to an extremely remote location. Could be the origins of the Others, regardless, I want to read that story. Fun fact: this is the ONLY Symeon Star-Eyes reference with any substance, all other mentions have him among lists of heroes with no context beyond being blind with jeweled eyes. Which is further confusing as the only action attributed to the blind Symeon is seeing.
  13. That's my take. Reading the world book what popped out at me was the number of cave networks mentioned, and considering that the cave network Bran is current in is probably unknown to the Citadel their actual number could be much larger. I have also noted that many cultures with strange animal physiological aspects are in close proximity to caves, and in my mind could be linked. Other interesting notes about the crypts is that the entrance is near the First Keep and lichyard, linking to the origins of Winterfell.
  14. I have noticed a pattern of different Essos cultures taking on unique physiological characteristics with an affinity towards certain creatures. Dothraki - Horses Ghiscari - Harpy Leng - Tigers Its not very overt, but their is a theme of snakes in Quartheen culture. We first see snakes at Vaes Tolorro, which I believe had been established to be a ruin of a former larger regional Qarth based culture. We are further shown snake imagery upon Dany's arrival at Qarth and With the most ancient of buildings shaped as a snake. Why are the Qarth "Milk Men" so tall and pale? Me thinks an ancient religious affinity to snakes is the source.
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