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40 Thousand Skeletons

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  1. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    The Dark Secret of the Weirwood Trees

    What’s up with these trees, man? They look really weird, they’ve got red leaves and red sap, and they’ve got faces carved into them… should we be paying attention to this? These trees seem highly suspicious... Let’s review what the TER said in the books about weirwoods and time travel: That’s not a very scientific explanation. Weirwood trees are super old, and because they are old and don’t move, they can go back in time. Alright... What about the other trees? What about the oak trees? Can oak trees time travel? Is it less useful because they can only live about 1000 years? What is so special about the weirwoods? Why don’t all the trees have faces? Why is it just the weirwood trees? And why are there so few weirwoods? Why can’t there be a whole dense forest of weirwoods north of the Wall? And why are they called heart trees? Why do we have this strange one heart tree per village, one heart tree per castle godswood thing going on? Why are the weirwoods literally worshipped as gods by the COTF and First Men? Why do people make blood sacrifices to weirwoods? And most importantly, why does weirwood sap look exactly like blood? Here is Asha’s description of a weirwood from the end of book 5, ADWD: The obvious answer that everyone should immediately come up with is: it looks like blood because it is blood. But how is this possible? When you read the books, you can’t really think of a good explanation, so most people just brush it aside and say meh, whatever, looks like blood idk, probably magic. Next chapter please… Victarion?! Dammit… All the Bran chapters happened way earlier in ADWD. But if we go back and re-examine those Bran chapters, we can actually answer all those questions. Let’s start off with what Jojen tells us about the nature of weirwoods: So Jojen tells us there is a discrepancy between what the maesters say and what the COTF say. The maesters think that the weirwoods are merely sacred to the Old Gods, but the COTF actually believe that the weirwoods are the Old Gods. But why? Well the author actually put the answer right in front of our faces. The TER in the show looks very different from how he is described in the books. By the way, the TER used to be a regular dude. He is the bastard son of King Aegon IV, his name is Brynden Rivers, and he is 125 years old. Here is our introduction to the TER in ADWD: Then we get a vague explanation from the COTF for this extremely odd situation: So Leaf claims that 125-year-old Brynden Rivers is still alive but draws his life from the tree and does not eat or drink. Interesting. He certainly does look like he is hooked up to the roots of the weirwood tree as some sort of magical life support system. There is a root that goes into his thigh, through the length of his entire torso, and comes out his shoulder, and another that goes into his neck. Those are the locations of some major blood vessels. But hold on, I’m no maester, but if there is some sort of physical life support system hooked up to the major blood vessels of a human body, wouldn’t that mean there is blood being pumped through it? And the life support system in this case is the tree roots of the weirwood. Wouldn’t that like pump blood through the tree and make all the sap and the leaves red- OOOOOOHHHHHH! Hold the fuckin phone, is that why weirwood sap looks like blood? Wait, timeout. That idea doesn’t make sense right off the bat, because it would be predicated on the concept that every weirwood tree has a human being hooked up to its root system supplying it with blood… Yeah. That’s right. That’s what I’m saying. Every single weirwood tree has a human hooked up to its root system. And when I say human, I mean either a human or one of the children of the forest, who are also human. And it’s obviously not just normal humans hooked up to the weirwood trees, but greenseers. People like Bran and Lord Brynden. And there is a smoking gun piece of evidence in the books for this theory that they left out of the TV show: An entire chamber filled with greenseers enthroned like Brynden. OK. So Leaf was being very misleading when she said that the TER is lingering beyond his mortal span quote: “for us, for you, for the realms of men”. That makes it sound like this bullshit with the weirwood roots growing through his body is a one-time, ad-hoc magical spell that they pulled off because they needed to keep Lord Brynden alive to teach Bran. But that’s obviously not the case. We can see that this is standard practice for what to do with greenseers. We are told that only one in a million people are born a greenseer, and Bran found an entire room filled with sleeping greenseers hooked up to weirwood trees. If greenseers are super rare, and Bran found a room filled with sleeping greenseers, that definitely means every single greenseer gets hooked up to a weirwood like the TER. In fact, this whole idea implies that weirwoods cannot exist in the first place without having a greenseer hooked up to its root system. And that would explain why there are so few weirwoods and why they are so sacred. You need a greenseer to create a weirwood tree, and greenseers are super rare. Bran even assumes that the same thing is going to happen to him, and the COTF already put Bran on a weirwood throne of his own in the books: Bran is obviously correct about the plan here. He is doomed to end up like Lord Brynden, with a weirwood growing in him and through him. That’s what they do to greenseers. And that explains why every single weirwood tree has a face carved into it but none of the other types of trees do. Here is the explanation from the TER in the books: So the faces in the trees basically just act as training wheels for new greenseers. Why would the COTF waste their time carving a face onto a weirwood tree that does not have a greenseer attached to its root system if the whole point of carving the face is to provide training wheels for the greenseer? They wouldn’t. And every weirwood gets a face carved into it. Every weirwood has red leaves and sap that looks like blood. The chamber of sleeping greenseers that Bran found was the underground portion of a circle of weirwood trees. Every weirwood is really a greenseer. There is one more big piece of evidence here, and that is the COTF themselves. Both the COTF and giants obviously evolved from humans. It is likely that millions of years ago, there were humans living in Westeros when an ice age occured. The humans who survived split into 2 groups. One group lived above ground, on top of the ice, in freezing cold conditions. They evolved to be super hairy for warmth, they are physically huge for protection, and they have a highly developed sense of smell to find root vegetables but terrible eyesight. The other group of humans went below ground, underneath the ice, where it was still warm. They spent thousands of years digging a vast network of caves and tunnels. They evolved to be much smaller so they need fewer calories and can navigate more easily through the tunnels, and they have big cat’s eyes that can see in the dark. And the COTF didn’t just evolve to live underground. They are still living underground, as we can see in the cave with Leaf and the other children. So if the COTF live underground, and they have been living underground for a million years, would it really make sense for them to worship trees that are above ground? Or would it make way more sense if the race of underground people have actually been worshipping the underground portion of the trees, because every weirwood tree has a greenseer hooked up to its root system? And looking at the story through this lens makes a whole bunch of things fall into place. It explains the faces and the blood sap. It explains why villages and castles tend to have only a single weirwood and why they refer to it as a heart tree. It explains why the COTF say the weirwoods literally are the old gods. And it gives us a better idea of why the weirwoods really have time travel powers. It is because they are actually greenseers and not just trees. So what does this mean for the story? Well it certainly changes the way we look at the signing of the Pact on the Isle of Faces: I think there were no weirwoods on the isle before they signed the pact. Every weirwood is actually a greenseer and gets a face carved into it by default. This means that when they made the pact, they were really transforming a bunch of their greenseers into weirwoods, something they may have been delaying for a while since men were mercilessly cutting down all the weirwoods they could find. In fact, I am going to speculate that both sides, the COTF and the humans, provided leaders to transform into weirwood trees to seal the pact. And that would give a whole new meaning to the name: Isle of Faces. It’s not just a bunch of artistic faces that stupid savage tree worshippers carved for funsies. No, those trees are literally a bunch of people. And this would help explain why the First Men agreed to stop cutting down the weirwoods and why they adopted the religion of the Old Gods. It was because some of their leaders got transformed into weirwood trees, literally turning into gods. There is a permanent group of First Men and COTF greenseers living together forever on the Isle of Faces. And if weirwoods and planted together in a circle, with the root systems physically connected, it probably combines the blood and the consciousness of all the greenseers in the circle, meaning they use their godly powers in unison. The whole reason the Pact worked is because it was a sort of supernatural marriage. There was no wedding or bedding, and nobody had any children, but the greenseers became literally united by blood, and they have a permanent vested interest in protecting all of their descendants, both the First Men and the COTF. But more importantly, if every weirwood tree is really a greenseer, that means there is a greenseer in WF underground, beneath the heart tree in the godswood. In other words, there is a greenseer in the crypts of WF. Who is this greenseer? Well it is probably the Night Queen. That's all for now. More later. old thread explaining how time travel works in other GRRM stories:
  2. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Also, the zombies are the result of puppet masters as well, like everything else in the plot. We are supposed to think the Others are super evil when they are clearly human. They aren't really acting any more evil than other human characters so far, like Tywin for example. They are just killing people. And we don't know their motives.
  3. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Most people generally take the story at a surface-level reading. I consider this to be strange and some sort of mental gymnastics, because we know for a fact that the plot of AGOT is basically a giant LF conspiracy, the key the details of which are revealed explicitly in ASOS. And GRRM's other stories are conspiratorial by nature. Like The Hero, or And Seven Times Never Kill Man, or a bunch of others I could name. I am simply suggesting that books 2-5 are also filled with crazy tinfoily conspiracies. That's what Occam's razor dictates, ironically.
  4. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Exactly. Arianne's character arc is basically to become a good player at the game of thrones instead of a shitty one, and Doran is mercilessly accomplishing that. Arianne's first chapter was "The Queenmaker", but she was trying to crown someone else queen to bolster her own claim to Sunspear in a very ham-handed and dumb fashion. The end of her arc will be to become queen herself, through savvy political maneuvering. And she will be pro-peace instead of pro-war, because death is sad.
  5. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    It is very unclear how much communication there is between Doran and Sarella, but I try not to read too much into that one line. We fundamentally don't know how open/honest Doran is with Areo aka the Camera that Rides. The goal is not simply to get Cersei executed. The goal seems to be some sort of political revolution/Martell takeover/adoption of Dornish law for all 7 kingdoms type of thing. And for that to happen, there first needs to be a crazy-evil-paranoid-incompetent ruler in charge who everyone hates. So now that Cersei has had her reputation utterly destroyed and walked naked through the streets of KL, she is going to be saved in a TbC by Gregor, who was supposed to be executed as promised. The intermediate goal, as revealed by this dialogue, is to expose Cersei as a liar. And who knows, maybe UnGregor will get decapitated during the TbC and proceed to win anyways (as zombies have done already in asoiaf, like the bear that killed Thoren Smallwood), making everyone super afraid of Cersei to boot. Also, it seems that one cannot simply send visions to anyone. Only people who have had their third eye opened may be able to receive glass candle visions. Lancel had a near death experience and seemed to start receiving visions shortly afterward (like Bran and Jojen, and maybe Mance and LF and others). This is actually a key plot point of the GRRM story Under Siege. The protagonist is trying to travel back in time to prevent the US and USSR from having a nuclear war, but the main obstacle is that only certain people are susceptible to telepathic influence. So regardless of whether I'm right or wrong about anything else, it may be the case that asoiaf is like Under Siege, and only certain people can be telepathically influenced.
  6. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    I'm just saying it's still a book written by a human being who is trying to create a puzzle for us to solve. I think the narrative and the obvious clues he leaves behind overrule things in a fictional story being 100% realistic. And we should always keep in mind that George has a methodical process of "trimming the fat" from each book, so whatever is left is important. Every "scene" has a purpose so to speak.
  7. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Yeah, Darkstar being suspicious would also help explain why he was super ready to run away from the ambush at the end of the chapter. I like the comparison to Cersei/Jaime. Even Tywin couldn't tell them apart when they were young. And "Myrcella" told us herself that they switched places on the ship ride to Dorne. The question is, did they ever switch back? I think they didn't.
  8. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Keep in mind though she has been pretending to be Myrcella for about 7 months at this point, so she might be able to deal with it alright. And she might have some real brass cojones too I think it could potentially apply to Rosamund as easily, since they are related. But it is a bit ambiguous if Arys is thinking about the real Myrcella at all during his inner monologue, or if he is just thinking of Rosamund the whole time. But as long as we are on a tangent about Targaryen related things, I think if Myrcella got any special DNA it probably came from her grandmother Joanna via her grandmother Rohanne Webber. I subscribe to the theory that all these warg/dragon riding/whatever powers are enabled by special genes that are X chromosome-linked, like hemophelia in real life. Rohanne Webber was a super suspicious character in this regard, and she could have passed on her X chromosome to Jason -> Joanna -> Cersei and/or Jaime -> Myrcella. It is even possible that Myrcella got 2 copies of Rohanne's X chromosome and has enhanced abilities, like the power to hatch dragons or something else cool.
  9. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    IDK. It wasn't that huge of a blunder if 99% of readers never think that "Myrcella" might be Rosamund. And the author has to give us something to solve the mystery.
  10. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    It is always possible that it is a mistake. Yes, Joffrey's age was screwed up. But I generally assume that George is doing things on purpose unless it is definitely a mistake, for the sake of my own sanity.
  11. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Yes there are a lot of variables. But that's just how George writes conspiracies, and if it wasn't ambiguous then there would be no mystery to try to solve. No it is not just to screw over House Yronwood as revenge for taking Quentyn or get revenge for Elia. It is to achieve greater justice and economic prosperity for everyone in Westeros. Also Dorne seems to be slowly running out of water and that is a huge deal. They might have to literally abandon Dorne and move north, into lands currently not governed by Dornish law. I think Doran is trying to make Dornish law apply for all Westeros before that happens, more or less. Revenge for Elia would be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but it seems that Doran and Oberyn started scheming prior to her death.
  12. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    Dude... her age is listed in the appendix and in ADWD she is still 9 https://towerofthehand.com/reference/compendiums/appendix_ages.html
  13. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    It is only mentioned in the appendix. But in every appendix past AGOT she is 9.
  14. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    LOL Yeah, like I mentioned earlier I just copy pasted the OP from another discussion because I wanted a thread just for this, but I didn't take the time to go into all the supporting evidence and background info. The theory that Doran is masterminding Cersei's TbC is predicated largely on the idea that the Bloody Mummers are Oberyn's (unnamed) sellsword company, and Oberyn was friends with Qyburn and Qyburn's friend Marwyn. The BM cut off Jaime's hand but saved his life so Cersei can't use him in the TbC. Qyburn later sent Doran a dwarf's skull instead of Gregor's, and he created UnGregor for Cersei to use in her TbC, which will expose her as a liar as pointed out by Lady Nym: He is not plotting with Lancel, but rather manipulating him (at least into confessing about Cersei). And it was probably Marwyn/Sarella using their glass candle to send Lancel visions. Here is Cersei explicitly worrying about Lancel confessing: Correct, the idea is that Myrcella and Rosamund switched places on the ship ride to Dorne as a precaution and never switched back. The big glaring clue, as I mentioned, is the fact that Arys describes the girl playing cyvasse as being almost 11 years old, and Myrcella is 9. But there is another very important clue in the Queenmaker chapter. First we get this explanation of why Myrcella even has a body double in the first place: Now that explanation is necessary and would be innocuous on its own, but then we get this totally unnecessary dialogue in the same chapter: What is the point of this conversation? Why did George waste our time letting us know that Myrcella dyed her hair on the ship ride, and her cousin's name is Rosamund, and they don't really look alike but they can fool people who don't know them? He already just finished explaining that Myrcella has a believable body double. Why continue having the other characters talk about it? I think that George clearly wants us to question who this girl is. No one in Dorne knew Myrcella before she arrived, including Arianne and her friends. Is this actually straight-haired Rosamund who has disguised herself by curling her hair and dressing in Myrcella's clothes? I think it is. And Rosamund probably super regrets pretending to be Myrcella, because she got her ear cut off. I don't think Arys planned on living long. It seems that he expected their queenmaking adventure to be stopped quickly (he desperately tried to have sex with Arianne one last time), giving him a chance to die in combat. He may have been lying about his opinion on the effectiveness of their chickenpox/body double situation, or he may have even actively sabotaged Arianne by telling one of the Lannister people to go to Doran (even though Doran already knew what Arianne was up to).
  15. 40 Thousand Skeletons

    Doran's shameless manipulation of Arianne

    I don't think every character is a mastermind, but I do think that Varys, LF, and Doran are the main mastermind characters of asoiaf. I don't think it is a real betrothal for Quentyn either. Quentyn is a decoy. He is supposed to fail. Doran expects his enemies the Yronwoods to try to sabotage Quentyn, which they do, because they probably want Quentyn to marry Gwyneth Yronwood. And I think Doran probably hired the corsairs and paid them to kill Quentyn's entourage, or at least the maester. I can understand killing those 2 knights by chance in the middle of a fight. But why kill the maester? Was he armed and fighting the corsairs too? Seems weird...
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