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Mourning Star

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    "Hesperus is Phosphorus"
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    The first star and the last

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  1. I think this is a fun topic, and I've seen it discussed here before, but happy to see it revisited. I agree that there is a connection between the Seven of ASoIaF, the seven wanderers, and the classical seven "planets", or wandering Stars. However, those seven are classically; the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In my opinion these would probably line up as: Mother - Moon Maiden - Venus Crone - Saturn Father - Jupiter Warrior - Sun Smith - Mars Stranger - Mercury
  2. The eccentric Dornishman wasn't my suggestion, it was put forward above. However you want to cut it I think the comments about lemons not growing in northern climates like Braavos serve a purpose, and the idea that the memory is some exception seems more circuitous and less likely. But, to each their own. Personally I imagine something more like gravel being melted into liquid and shaped but it doesn't really matter what the details of it's construction were. The structures made of Valyrian Fused stone aren't made of blocks once complete, and there is no evidence of storm damage on Dragonstone. It doesn't need to be literally indestructible for it to be unreasonable that a single storm was tearing a structure apart, when there's no similar event damaging any structure made of Valyrian fused stone. 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. Feel free to point out any objections out if you want, I do try to anticipate common ones. They aren't twins in appearance, Jon looks like a Stark, Dany has hair color that would indicate parentage that would incur Roberts Wrath, similar to the Lannister kids Ned is talking about in the quote where he says what he would do.
  3. Sorry, not sure exactly what you are referencing. I'm terrible about posting then reading it and adding/changing over the next few minutes. That's 100% on me!
  4. How do we know that was the baby she died giving birth to? I would argue that the presence of the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy meant a male heir had already been born, a female would have made Viserys still heir by male primogeniture, and they couldn't know the gender in advance. Many men fathered bastards. Catelyn had grown up with that knowledge. It came as no surprise to her, in the first year of her marriage, to learn that Ned had fathered a child on some girl chance met on campaign. He had a man's needs, after all, and they had spent that year apart, Ned off at war in the south while she remained safe in her father's castle at Riverrun. Her thoughts were more of Robb, the infant at her breast, than of the husband she scarcely knew. He was welcome to whatever solace he might find between battles. And if his seed quickened, she expected he would see to the child's needs. He did more than that. The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence. Ned and Cat were married in 283. How long before Cat ever laid eyes on Jon is unclear. She certainly seemed to do her best to ignore him, in my opinion.
  5. Why do you call him the Stark in Winterfell unless there is another Stark? (If it's unclear, I'm insinuating the Night's King) He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night's King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night's King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden. "Some say he was a Bolton," Old Nan would always end. "Some say a Magnar out of Skagos, some say Umber, Flint, or Norrey. Some would have you think he was a Woodfoot, from them who ruled Bear Island before the ironmen came. He never was. He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down." She always pinched Bran on the nose then, he would never forget it. "He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon. Mayhaps he slept in this very bed in this very room." Is the last bit from Nan talking about the Night's King or the man who brought him down? Who was Joramun?!?! Was he a white walker? Was he a Stark? 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—does speculate that the Others of legend were nothing more than a tribe of the First Men, ancestors of the wildlings, that had established itself in the far north. Because of the Long Night, these early wildlings were then pressured to begin a wave of conquests to the south. That they became monstrous in the tales told thereafter, according to Fomas, reflects the desire of the Night's Watch and the Starks to give themselves a more heroic identity as saviors of mankind, and not merely the beneficiaries of a struggle over dominion. What if Fomas has it backwards, and the tales of Joramun of the Wildlings is a tale of the Others?
  6. How shortly after the sack? Ned has to travel south and raise the siege at Storms End then travel to the Tower of Joy and find Lyanna, who is dying from what could well be the result of a premature pregnancy. I'm not using rulers and a stopwatch, but it seems like time enough to me. Two kids in two years isn't even that remarkable. How do we know when Dany was born? I'm suggesting she is not the child of Rhaella, and question if a memorable storm occurred at all. Who remembers it? Honestly, the idea that it was tearing blocks off of a castle built of fused stone to sink a fleet at harbor should be laughable. I think the better question is what really happened to the fleet!
  7. I would suggest that the underground river flows all the way under the Wall (possibly what formed part or all of Gorne's Way) to the crypts of Winterfell. And the "back door" to Bloodraven's Lair may be important if someone has to come back, to, I don't know, finish the job.
  8. I'm suggesting Dany doesn't even remember who she is, her birthday would be the least of her problems!
  9. So I agree with the sentiment, but I'm not sure it represents the breadth of the stories we have here. After all, I think this story gives us room to consider that the hero one day might be the villain the next. Or the villain to some might be the hero to Others. And the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or as Virgil would say, the decent to hell is easy. Let's say the last hero forged his blade in the heart of his beloved. Let's say he defeated the White Walkers. What would he be willing to sacrifice to bring back his love? Would he plunge the world into darkness? Did the Last Hero end the Long Night, or did he cause it? Was it the Others who stayed true and were trying to stop him? What had the armies of men lost? So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched, until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the Others smelled the hot blood in him, and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds—" Was there a time before the Long Night, before the Wall, when the White Walkers existed? Were they a threat before the Long Night? I'm obviously just speculating, but we have tales of Symeon Star Eyes and Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, which I think may represent White Walkers in Westeros before the Wall. Not seemingly representing them as evil either. Were the White Walkers all Others? Were the Others all White Walkers? Are they the same thing or is one a part or faction of the other? How the Long Night came to an end is a matter of legend, as all such matters of the distant past have become. In the North, they tell of a last hero who sought out the intercession of the children of the forest, his companions abandoning him or dying one by one as they faced ravenous giants, cold servants, and the Others themselves. Alone he finally reached the children, despite the efforts of the white walkers, and all the tales agree this was a turning point. Thanks to the children, the first men of the Night's Watch banded together and were able to fight—and win—the Battle for the Dawn: the last battle that broke the endless winter and sent the Others fleeing to the icy north. Now, six thousand years later (or eight thousand as True History puts forward), the Wall made to defend the realms of men is still manned by the sworn brothers of the Night's Watch, and neither the Others nor the children have been seen in many centuries. History is written (or expunged) by the victor, and all crows are liars. Was the Night's King the "thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch", the same as the Last Hero and his twelve companions? The gathering gloom put Bran in mind of another of Old Nan's stories, the tale of Night's King. He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear. "And that was the fault in him," she would add, "for all men must know fear." A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well. He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night's King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night's King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden. What if this is the same tale as the Bloodstone Emperor? When the daughter of the Opal Emperor succeeded him as the Amethyst Empress, her envious younger brother cast her down and slew her, proclaiming himself the Bloodstone Emperor and beginning a reign of terror. He practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky. (Many scholars count the Bloodstone Emperor as the first High Priest of the sinister Church of Starry Wisdom, which persists to this day in many port cities throughout the known world). In the annals of the Further East, it was the Blood Betrayal, as his usurpation is named, that ushered in the age of darkness called the Long Night. Despairing of the evil that had been unleashed on earth, the Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back upon the world, and the Lion of Night came forth in all his wroth to punish the wickedness of men. I have lots of questions, and my heart is filled with doubt.
  10. Or twins, but I think 2 children 9ish months apart is possible and maybe even more likely. I've always thought that Lyanna no longer being able to hide that she is pregnant, a few months after the Tourney of Harrenhall, is the best explanation for her sudden disappearance with Rhaegar. In fact Elia provides us with a similar timeline. She and Rhaegar wed in 280, and Rhaenys was born later in 280, then Aegon was born near the end of 281, and that includes time for her to have 6 months of bed rest. The Tourney of Harrenhall was at the end of 281, and Lyanna died before the end of 283. Now is it an issue that Cat says Jon is younger than Rob, yes. But, it's an issue anyway if we are being honest, and say what you will about Cat, when it comes to Jon she seems willfully blind to me. "I am almost a man grown," Jon protested. "I will turn fifteen on my next name day, and Maester Luwin says bastards grow up faster than other children." "That's true enough," Benjen said with a downward twist of his mouth. He took Jon's cup from the table, filled it fresh from a nearby pitcher, and drank down a long swallow.
  11. I'm not convinced that Azhor Ahai and his flaming sword made by killing his love represent the good guys in this tale. "Now do you see my meaning? Be glad that it is just a burnt sword that His Grace pulled from that fire. Too much light can hurt the eyes, my friend, and fire burns."
  12. I think that's exactly what he said he would do, yes. "Honor," she spat. "How dare you play the noble lord with me! What do you take me for? You've a bastard of your own, I've seen him. Who was the mother, I wonder? Some Dornish peasant you raped while her holdfast burned? A whore? Or was it the grieving sister, the Lady Ashara? She threw herself into the sea, I'm told. Why was that? For the brother you slew, or the child you stole? Tell me, my honorable Lord Eddard, how are you any different from Robert, or me, or Jaime?" "For a start," said Ned, "I do not kill children. You would do well to listen, my lady. I shall say this only once. When the king returns from his hunt, I intend to lay the truth before him. You must be gone by then. You and your children, all three, and not to Casterly Rock. If I were you, I should take ship for the Free Cities, or even farther, to the Summer Isles or the Port of Ibben. As far as the winds blow." "Exile," she said. "A bitter cup to drink from." "A sweeter cup than your father served Rhaegar's children," Ned said, "and kinder than you deserve. Your father and your brothers would do well to go with you. Lord Tywin's gold will buy you comfort and hire swords to keep you safe. You shall need them. I promise you, no matter where you flee, Robert's wrath will follow you, to the back of beyond if need be." Obviously I'm speculating, but if Lyanna had two children, Ned might take the Stark looking one home and pretend for all the world it was his bastard, while the Targaryen colored one might be sent into exile to flee from Robert's wroth.
  13. No worries! I expanded on the post above to briefly outline my thoughts on the possibility of two factions of Children.
  14. Not that it matters at all, but I'm a he. I would point out that Howland Reed also sought magic, but he looked to the Isle of Faces, not North of the Wall. "The lad knew the magics of the crannogs," she continued, "but he wanted more. Our people seldom travel far from home, you know. We're a small folk, and our ways seem queer to some, so the big people do not always treat us kindly. But this lad was bolder than most, and one day when he had grown to manhood he decided he would leave the crannogs and visit the Isle of Faces." "No one visits the Isle of Faces," objected Bran. "That's where the green men live." "It was the green men he meant to find. So he donned a shirt sewn with bronze scales, like mine, took up a leathern shield and a three-pronged spear, like mine, and paddled a little skin boat down the Green Fork." I do think that like men, the Children also had (and maybe have) factions. Regardless, the children of the forest fought as fiercely as the First Men to defend their lives. Inexorably, the war ground on across generations, until at last the children understood that they could not win. The First Men, perhaps tired of war, also wished to see an end to the fighting. The wisest of both races prevailed, and the chief heroes and rulers of both sides met upon the isle in the Gods Eye to form the Pact. Giving up all the lands of Westeros save for the deep forests, the children won from the First Men the promise that they would no longer cut down the weirwoods. All the weirwoods of the isle on which the Pact was forged were then carved with faces so that the gods could witness the Pact, and the order of green men was made afterward to tend to the weirwoods and protect the isle. And that the allegory of the wood we are told by Leaf, seems to me an argument in favor of culling humanity, not helping them. "Into the stones, into the trees. Before the First Men came all this land that you call Westeros was home to us, yet even in those days we were few. The gods gave us long lives but not great numbers, lest we overrun the world as deer will overrun a wood where there are no wolves to hunt them. That was in the dawn of days, when our sun was rising. Now it sinks, and this is our long dwindling. The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well. In the world that men have made, there is no room for them, or us." She seemed sad when she said it, and that made Bran sad as well. It was only later that he thought, Men would not be sad. Men would be wroth. Men would hate and swear a bloody vengeance. The singers sing sad songs, where men would fight and kill. Men are the deer overrunning a wood, because there are no predators to keep the population down. This allegory would tell us that's a bad thing, and something like, I don't know, dragons or Others should be reintroduced to reduce the population. As one can see from the quote above, the Children are not inherently peaceful or against war, they fought the First Men in the Dawn Age. I would suggest that those Children who kept to the pact might be found on the Gods Eye, where those that did not would live beyond the Wall. I do not think Bloodraven is the Three Eyed Crow.
  15. I think it's an interesting topic and you touch on some nice points, although I'm not sure I agree with all of it. My first question would be, if this is an allegory, what is the lesson? Two of the most famous allegories in real life are from Plato, the ship and the cave. The allegory of the ship is basically an argument against democracy and in favor of tyranny, which was taken as wisdom for something like 2000 years, and the people would point to the fall of Athens and the Roman Republic as proof of how democracy was always doomed to failure much in the same way people now point to the USSR as proof that communism is always doomed to failure. But, I digress. The cave is particularly interesting to ASoIaF, because it is about truth, and the shadows on the walls are lies (cast by a "false sun", the fire in the cave) used to manipulate people who have never known the truth (the sun). This is not incompatible with Varys's allegory of the three powerful men, and power being a shadow on the wall. Honestly, I think this connection was intentional, and should cause the reader to pause before accepting Varys's explanation. Back to the Last Hero, why was he called the last hero? Was the Long Night the end of the Age of Heroes? Were he and his companions all heroes, and he was the last? Given that there are tales of heroes from Essos from the time of the Long Night, were the thirteen, the last hero and his companions, even from Westeros? I would also suggest that the idea that the Last Hero was the Night's King carries some extra weight in my mind, since they both go by titles and not names (unlike many from the age of heroes). We are told the Night's King had his name wiped from the memory of man. I would even wonder if the thirteen were heroes, led by the Last Hero, were the others, the original Others? If the Last Hero, and his sword of dragonsteel and broken sword, was Azhor Ahai, and Lightbringer and the broken swords preceding it, was Nissa Nissa the corpse queen?
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