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Everything posted by level52

  1. Yeah I noticed the same thing in the world book. I'm guessing the ancient cultures like the Mazemakers build artificial tunnel systems to mimic the natural, magical underground systems. Also, The Bones - the mountain range that extends across Essos - is full of maze-like tunnels that have been partially exposed. I assume these are weirwood tunnels opened up by natural erosion.
  2. Yes, I absolutely think the upper areas of the crypts man made and the further you go down the more the tunnels would be “natural” tunnels. So deep down you’d have endless passages full bones like blooodraven’s cave, maybe some Stark and COTF merged with weirwoods, then towards the top you’d have passages that are more man-made. Bran notices in the BR cave the weirwood ”roots were everywhere, twisting through earth and stone, closing off some passages and holding up the roofs of others.” So growth and change and movement of weirwoods roots likely collapsed the lower crypt levels.
  3. . . . the cave system beneath Winterfell’s weirwood? In ADWD we saw Bloodraven’s vast cave system that sat below a weirwood tree, full of tunnels that extended miles and miles in all directions, so vast that Leaf says her people have not explored the caves fully. We know the ground was not leveled when Winterfell was built. If Winterfell was built around a sacred weirwood with a huge underground network of tunnels it would make sense the original builders would leave the ground untouched lest they dig up the cave system. The tunnels under the Bloodraven weirwood are a natural occurrence. This can be inferred from Leaf’s warning in ADWD that “Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years.” So the Winterfell crypts are the natural tunnels system beneath the weirwood where, much like Bloodraven’s cave, COTF and possibly First Men bound themselves with the weirwood roots in ancient times.
  4. I really like the idea that “black stone fallen from the sky” is the black stone created by dragon fire. I never favored interpretations that claimed an actual meteor hit Planetos, so ‘fallen from the sky’ = ‘made by flying dragons’ makes way more sense.
  5. For me it’s really the sword Dawn that’s the most prominent connection between the Daynes and Great Empire. It’s unlike any sword in known world EXCEPT for the swords wielded by the YiTi spirits in Dany’s dreams. In fact I haven’t really seen any really compelling theory on the origin of Dawn.
  6. We should note that in Dany’s fever dream in GOT she sees the spirits of ancient YiTi kings, and the descriptions of their hair don’t exactly match those of East Asians: “Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade.”
  7. I would consider the tale of dragons coming from a cracked moon simply the prophesy we see fulfilled in the books: the moon comes close to the sun, cracks, dragons spill forth and drink the flames of the sun = Dany walks into Dragos funeral pyre (she’s the moon, he’s the sun) and the magic brings the stone eggs to life birthing the 3 dragons. I’ve personally never felt many of the ASOIAF astronomy theories compelling. I’m personally not hung up on the Daynes following a meteor to Starfall and forging a sword from the rock, in fact I think it’s more like they brought it over from the Empire of the Dawn. The best link is Dany’s fever dream which provides an undeniable link to the ancient Empire: “ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded rain meant of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade.” Dawn sounds like one of these swords of pale fire. We do not have any direct evidence of dragons in YiTi, but GRRM is scanty with evidence sometimes. I think he intends us to make the connection between the mysterious sword Dawn, like Valyrian steel in every way except color, and the fused stone 5 forts and ancient base of Hightower to dragonflame, especially since the Empire was so close to Asshai. And I agree with you, I think some dark magic in the Great Empire brought on the Others and the Lion of Night, and this same dark magic corrupted the lands of Asshai. I wouldn’t doubt if nothing truly fell from the sky in the case of Starfall or the Blood Emperor, it’s just the same distorted myths that led to myths of dragons from the sky.
  8. In my understanding there are 2 types of black stone: oily black stone and fused black stone. The black stone structures made by Valyrians are not described as “oily”, and neither are the base of Hightower or the Five Forts. Most importantly is the base of Hightower resides on on an island known Battle Isle, suggesting it was important for an ancient battle long forgotten. And according to TWOIAF the settlement has been occupied “since the dawn age” and “we know for a certainty the base predates the upper levels by thousands of years”. There is the suggestion in TWOIAF that “dragons once roosted at the top of battle isle”. So we have 2 ancient fortresses of fused (but not oily) black stone. The fused massive non-oily fused stone slabs of the Fire Five suggests dragonfire was used, as does the base of hightower, but the Five Forts predate Valyria and the Architecture of base of the Hightower has no hints of Valyrian design. So why would early Daynes leave YiTi and travel so far away? I’m guessing it’s a bit of a parallel with the Targaryeans leaving Valyria to settle Westeros, though more extreme. I’m guessing early Daynes left around the same time the of the legendary slaying of the “Amethyst Empress”, which happened to precede the Empire of the Dawn’s equivalent of the Long Night. They took some dragons, the sword Dawn, and took up residence in Westeros building a fortress on Battle Isle and playing a role in ending the Long Night. But to me the biggest reason to think the Daynes come from YiTi is their sword Dawn. Whether or not the sword was forged from a meteorite on Starfall, it’s forging requires magic and techniques unknown in Westeros, it’s like Valyrian Steel in a respects except the color, and it’s appearance is like the swords wielded by the spirits in Dany’s fever dream (and the spirits of Dany’s dream are highly suggestive of a YiTish origin by their various eye colors.) I don’t see an easy way to explain the sword Dawn without invoking a Great Empire connection, whether the sword itself came from the Great Empire or was forged using the same magic.
  9. Fair enough, but the Daynes have an eye color not seen in other First Men. GRRM didn’t give the Daynes purple eyes for fun, colors are clues. Also it’s not clear if the ancient people YiTi had Asian facial features. Or perhaps they did look Asian but the intermixing of Daynes and other First Men removed the Asian facial features but left the purple eyes. Why would just the purple eyes remain? This is a fantasy world, not the real world. It’s likely some ancient dragonlords (Pre-Valyrian) came to Westeros because the base of Hightower is fused black stone. There are no other known ways in the ASOIAF lore fused black stone can be made other than by dragon fire.
  10. The legends have attributed many structures across Westeros to Bran the Builder. But as we know and are reminded many times, history tends to shroud the truth in ASOIAF. Wouldn’t it be apt for GRRM to have made the “builder” moniker a red herring and that whatever Bran the Builder built wasn’t a physical structure? It would make sense as the legend of Bran the Builder was passed down through oral history and could accidentally take on a literal meaning over thousands of years. Also, isn’t it striking we have another legendary character named Bran the Breaker? Doesn’t the Builder/Breaker dichotomy jump out and smack you right in the face, like it was an intentional hint planted by GRRM about the role of these two Starks in ancient history? Do you think it’s reasonable that Bran the Breaker “broke” whatever Bran the Builder “built“? Whether it was a pact, an alliance, or even a physical structure, it seems like a possibility worth pursuing. (I’m aware the Breaker is known for taking down the Night’s King and the Builder for raising the Wall and many other structures, but to solve these ancient Stark mysteries we probably have to engage in some deeper conjecture about their roles.)
  11. So you don’t believe that dragons are the results of blood magic that combines wyverns and firewyms? I personally subscribe to that theory. You have a lot of great ideas but I am curious: since the base of Hightower is fused black stone how did they transports the massive object from Essos? It’s seemless so it couldn’t have been brought in several pieces.
  12. We’ve all read about the famous Blood Betrayal from ancient YiTi history so there’s no need to quote it here. And we know from GRRM the Daynes don’t have purple eyes because of a Valyrian heritage. And we know some of the structures and artifacts in Westeros can’t be of First Men origin like the base of Hightower (fused black stone) and the sword Dawn (essentially a pale version of Valyrian steel). Some of the fanbase reasonably believes the Daynes don’t share the same origins as the First Men. So could the legend of the slaying of the “Amethyst Empress” (if she was indeed slain, perhaps it was more of a political divide within the ancient Great Empire) been the catalyst for a faction of purple-eyed people to escape to Westeros? The original Daynes could have the kin of the Amethyst Empress (or she could have been the figurative representation of an entire faction within the Great Empire.) The amethyst-eyed ancestors of the Daynes could have flown to Westeros on pre-Valyrian dragons, built the base of Hightower, established a home in Starfall, and brought the dragonsteel-like sword Dawn. (Or perhaps, if the legends are true, forging it from a fallen rock on Starfall - likely using dragon flame and magic.) Or perhaps the Daynes didn’t bring the dragons but through some other means came to Westeros. It would explain how they came to possess the mysterious sword Dawn. Another possibility I should mention - but don’t necessarily believe - is that the famous “black stone that had fallen from the sky” worshipped by the Bloodstone Emperor was the “fallen star” that gave Starfall it’s name. Perhaps the Great Empire had a colony in Westeros near old town and witnessed a meteor fall nearby. The Daynes and the base of the Hightower could be remnants of the ancient colony.
  13. To me, the greatest mysteries of the entire book series are what caused and what ended the Long Night. And it’s frustrating but fascinating that no one has put together a really compelling theory. But just focusing on the cause of the Long Night for now, what’s the popular consensus? Where the humans converted into Others by the CotF? Or we they conjured or created in some other way by the Children? And if so why, since the first man and COTF lived at peace during the Pact? Does the Night’s King’s story okay a role? Or did the Others just arise unexpectedly from the far north and bring death and destruction down through Westeros? Did the dark magic practiced in ancient essos have anything to do with it? What do you guys think?
  14. In the GOT prologue, right before Gerard noticed something is wrong as the air grows cold and quiet as the Others approach, we have this line about Waymar’s cloak: “His great stable cloak stirred behind like something half alive.” So we’re the Others reanimating the sables in his cloak or is this just foreshadowing the reanimation of the dead? Or is it just nothing?
  15. The story says he gave his seed and “sacrificed” to the Others; to me the most reasonable interpretation is he reproduced with the Corpse Queen and have their children as the “sacrifice”. Also notice that opening the Black Gate - which is as old as the Nightfort itself - requires reciting the Night’s Watch oath but does no include the part about fathering no children or taking no wives. So it’s likely that part of the oath came after, perhaps as a result of, the Night’s King.
  16. The books don’t say she looks like a corpse or a white or an other; it describes her as “pale” and “cold”, two attributes that sound corpse-like, and also that she had blue eyes (an attribute of Wights and Others).
  17. Why do so many people believe the Night’s King married and had sex with a female other? No offense to anyone who believes the so-called “Night’s Queen” was an other. She’s described as having cold skin and blue eyes just like an Other so ostensibly it makes sense. But besides the practical reasons that would make sex between an Other and a human impossible, doesn’t the description of the Night’s Queen seem more like fanciful legend that’s been embellished after several millennia of retelling? Furthermore, she’s described as a “corpse queen” (ASOS ch. 54). In the show the Others are depicted as corpse-like, but not in the books. It’s explicitly suggested in TWOIAF she may have been a Barrowland Queen (page 145). And there’s mention of a legendary curse in the Barrowlands that makes “pretenders” seeking to rule the Barrowlands become corpse-like in appearance (TWOIAF page 135). So the Night’s Queen has pale, cold skin; she’s described by legends as a “corpse queen”; there are legends of a curse that could Barrowland’s wannabe rulers appear corpse-like; and discussion in TWOIAF (page 137) of The Barrow King giving his daughter to Starks after losing a centuries-long war. So it makes more sense the Night’s Queen is a woman from the Barrowlands, perhaps a sorceress, than an Other. The inclusion of blue eyes doesn’t fit, but likely comes from legend rather than fact.
  18. Thank you for the long and well thought reply. As far as the timeline goes the books do suggest the wall was erected after the Long Night but we’re reminded frequently that legends are distorted. I wouldn’t expect the Wall was built in it’s entirety before the Long Night ensued; it’s the spells that really keep the Others at bay anyway. Also, TWOIAF notes it was the Pearl Emperor who may have raised the 5 Forts to protect the Great Empire from the Lion of Night, so for YiTi it’s implied the fortifications were built well before the their Long Night. (The Blood Betrayal was many generations after the Pearl Emperor). So that could be a clue the Wall was also built prior to the invasion of Others. I’m basing my entire premise on the idea that humans were converted to Others. If the COTF didn’t convert humans the whole premise falls apart. So how many humans? I don’t know. It would take only a handful of Others to wipe out a village of First Men who would be defenseless with bronze and wooden weapons. The COTF could perhaps have controlled them (by warging then maybe) or just destroyed them afterwards, or perhaps the original humans converted to Others were allies of the COTF and willingly converted. And both the main series and TWOIAF gloss over the decision my First Men to agree to a peace. They both agree the First Men were winning so no real motivation is given. Perhaps we are to assume the COTF traded their magic for peace, I’d buy that explanation. But if one does accept that the Others were created by the COTF, why did the Children gives the Others the ability to raise the dead? And why create the Others after the Pact? Perhaps readers may reject the TV series explanation the Others came from the COTF, if so that’s fair enough.
  19. Can we really be certain the wall (in some form) or the Night’s Watch came after the Others? We’re told explicitly in TWOIAF (on the very page preceding the section ‘The Long Night’) that institutions and historical figures that existed at different time periods mixed up in the retelling of legends. To me that explains why no fan theories have fully explained the Long Night; all the available information isn’t compatible with the truth.
  20. I do believe an alternative reason for the Pact is the COTF agreed to share their magic with the humans in exchange for ending the bloodshed.
  21. It seems to me that actual sex between an Other and a human isn’t physically possible.
  22. You’re right I’m making a lot of assumptions; but the books don’t give us enough information to unlock the mysteries of the Long Night or else people would have solved them years ago. Which assumptions do you find to be the most unsupported?
  23. I'm certain that someone else must have come up with this theory but I simply can't find it here, on Reddit, or on Youtube. If you take the time to read this, please point me to the right direction where I can see who has a more refined and supported version.Here's the basic premise: facing extinction, the COTF converted some humans into Others which pressured humans into agreeing to the Pact. However these original Others - while strong and resistant to standard human weapons - could be defeated easily with obsidian weapons and could not warg, greensee, or raise the dead. The tale of the Night's King is the origin story of how the Others gained the ability to raise the dead, making them far more powerful and difficult to defeat, and this additional power (along with possibly greenseeing and warging) lead to the Long Night.The God's Eye PactWe learn from TWOIAF that in the Dawn Age the First Men warred with the COTF and easily defeated them, spreading across Westeros, felling Weirwood trees, and pushing the COTF forest to near extinction. Then, for some unexplained reason, the First Men made a peace agreement with the COTF. Notice the motivation of the First Men is glossed over in TWOIAF with the line "The First Men, perhaps tired of the war, also wished to see an end to the fighting." When an author glosses a seemingly major detail it's usually because that detail involves a major secret. The most likely reason the First Men agreed to peace is the COTF created the Others and coerced them. The original Others would have been large, strong, and impervious to metal weapons. They may have been contained by an early version of the Wall or COTF magic; they were powerful but were easily killed by dragonglass, a precaution built in by the COTF. And for millennia they held the First Men in check as the First Men and COTF lived in relative peace. From TWOIAF we learn The Pact began the Age of Heroes began and "extended through the thousands of years in which the First Men and children lived in peace with one another". There's been much debate about whether the Wall and the Night's Watch came before or after the Long Night. Many of the legends assume the both arose after the Long Night. But notice that Maester Yandel gives us a major clue on page 10 of TWOIAF: he writes that many legends can't be trusted and gives as an example the story of the ancient figure Serwyen of the Mirror Shield guarding Targaryen kings as a member of the Kingsguard, an instituion that wasn't formed until thousands of years after Serwyen lived. Maester Yandel is saying that historical figures and the institutions they belong to are frequently misrepresented in the retelling of legends. And he gives this warning immediately before delving into The Long Night on the following page. So this should raise major red flags in our minds when we read this or that figure was a member or lord commander of the Night's Watch, or whether the Night's Watch came before or after the Wall, or whether the Wall came before or after the Others, and so on.The Night's KingTWOIAF informs us the Starks had a long history of conquest of the other First Men of Westeros, often stealing the wives of conquered people and interbreeding with them. Readers should already be familiar with this Stark practice so there's no need to repeat the evidence here. The Kings of Winter section from TWOIAF describes that both the Barrow Kings and Warg Kings were among those that submitted to the Starks and whose wives were taken as brides. Although not explicitly stated, it's likely through this interbreeding that the Starks took on some of the magic of conquered people and enhanced the power of their own bloodlines.Now we come to the oft-discussed story of the Night's King, and accept as truth Old Nan's claim the Night's King was a Stark. This tale has been widely misinterpreted as the story of a human falling in love and having children with a female Other. Except for the blue eyes, descriptions of the Night's Queen make her sound more like a corpse, as she's described by Bran's retelling of Old Nan's tale of the Night's King as having skin "as white as the moon" and "cold as ice". These traits are associated with corpses, making it likely she was a sorceress from the Barrowlands with power over the dead. TWOIAF makes this explicit when it suggests the Night's King "bedded a sorceress as pale as a corpse" and that "some suggest that perhaps the corpse queen was a woman of the Barrowlands, a daughter of the Barrow King who was then a power in his own right, and oft associated with graves." Also consider that TWOIAF notes that after being conquered by a Stark King, the Barrow King "Gave him the hand of his daughter in marriage."So we should consider the suggestion the Night's Queen was a literal female Other as mere legend. It's far more likely she was a Barrowland sorceress with powers over the dead. Now imagine if she and a Stark lord (who may have had the power of warging and greenseeing in his blood) had children: these children would have the power to warg, greensee, and raise the dead. And if these children were given over to the Others as the stories suggest and converted to Others in a similar way to the tv show, you'd end up with powerful ice creatures with the ability to warg, greensee, and raise the dead. These Others would have the powers described in legends of the Long Night and seen on the show.But why would a Barrowland sorceress and Stark lord give their babies over to the Others and create an army of nearly invincible ice demons? It's likely the story is more complicated and we're missing crucial information. Possibly the pair weren't simply handing over their babies to the Others but instead using the Others imbue their own children with ice powers; and maybe this partially worked, hence the Starks and their affinity for cold. The Long NightNow considering the previous sections an explanation of the Long Night easily follows: the Others, created by the COTF but possessing limited powers, suddenly were given the ability to greensee, warg, and raise the dead. Very abruptly the Others used their newfound powers to sweep across Westeros and nearly wipe all life from the continent. How they were defeated is a mystery itself and I will not speculate here.
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