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Hippocras

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  1. @Lord Varys I think I am going to start a new thread when I get a moment because I am having some new thoughts related to my response that I think merit their own discussion.
  2. The maesters predate the Faith of the Seven in spite of the Oldtown connection. They even predate Bran the Builder. Before that, any records the First Men had were runes, not books, and much of it is lost to time. So I really don't know how you are so certain that powerful skinchangers did NOT use their abilities to advantage. How do you think a Warg King with greenseers might have been defeated? That is a lot of power to have and rather hard to fight effectively with only swords. So even if it was not the same kind of magic the Kings of Winter must themselves have used magic to conquer the North. If they were not themselves simply more powerful wargs (direwolves are more powerful than regular wolves) I would speculate that the kind of magic they used was suppression. The Wall seems to be an effective barrier blocking some kinds of magical beings from passing. There are hints that some of the oldest fortresses of Westeros are warded. So there must be ways to selectively neutralize magic just as there are ways and/or forces that amplify it. We know about both the neutralizing effect of warded castles (Storm's End) and the amplifying effect of the Wall for Mel, and yet the same Wall that makes Mel stronger also is an obstacle for Coldhands. Jon had no sense of Ghost while separated by the Wall. So if suppression magic is at play, and it was used to defeat powerful wargs and greeseers, then even if those warg bloodlines became integrated into the Stark bloodline by forced marriages of conquest, the magic would still be suppressed.
  3. Sure we do. 1. There is the Sphynx, missing male. Sphynx is the riddle not the riddler and it is tied to the prince that was promised prophesy. Valyrian sphynxes were made in pairs male and female which is significant as it relates to Valyrian beliefs and practices. 2. There are a very large number of Targaryen and early Velaryon females who are mentioned but whose fate is not explained. Why say for example that Daemon Velaryon, father of Corlys (whose wife was very likely Targaryen) had at least 4 daughters if there is no need for those daughters at some point? They were not part of succession dynamics, they were not known dragonriders with an impact on the course of a war. There is no reason at all for GRRM to create loose threads of missing daughters if there is no intent to eventually fill some of that in. And WHEN it gets filled in, the relevance will be entirely to do with marriage alliances and who has the female line blood of the dragon without having the name Targaryen. 3. There is a family that is so obsessed with preserving the purity of their bloodline that they marry brothers and sisters whenever possible, even when against their will and if none was available they went for a cousin. There is absolutely no need whatsoever to do that if the female contribution to the bloodline is not key. The males may have been the Kings, but they clearly knew that something would be lost (ie. dragon bonding) if they did not keep the females in the family. 4. There are a number of instances in the histories where characters without known dragonblood family names clearly consider themselves to have a chance at marriage with Targaryens IN SPITE of the known Targaryen obsession with the purity of their bloodline. You can think of them as idiots, or you can think that very likely many of them had legitimate hopes (read dragonblood). This includes male suitors for princesses and maidens who were paraded in front of kings and princes. What you call "tertiary" families, I call families where these daughters and granddaughters may have wound up. And history has CHANGED who is paramount and who is tertiary, and early marriages before the conquest are very much related to who had significant power THEN. I have to go but I am sure @Frey family reunion and others have more examples of quotes and hints that are related. The fact is that it is extremely unlikely that magic somehow works differently for Targaryens than for everyone else; their way is a PRECEDENT with relevance elsewhere even if other families did not share their obsessiveness about it.
  4. I would say so, yes. The Starks bonded with their animals certainly before the comet and the dragons, but the prophetic dreams and warging by Robb, Arya, probably Rickon and Bran was all after I think. My guess is that all of the carriers of skinchanging abilities are able to bond with and have special relationships with certain animals and there may be some further evidence of this in the next Dunk and Egg. However the next step that leads to warging and the dreams that Rickon and Bran had requires a bit of extra amplification of the sort that the imminent arrival of dragons and the comet provided. Something that counteracts the suppression of the Wall. The notion that this was a gift given to Bran and the other Stark kids by the greenseer is problematic I would say. It too fails to explain Varamyr - I mean, why would HE have been "chosen" to receive this gift? I do agree however that there is some element of choosing an heir that goes on when it comes to going beyond the dreams and the warging and becoming a greenseer. Bloodraven clearly had a role in the third eye.
  5. We do, South of the Wall. Though I fully agree that these things were not that strongly connected North of the Wall, and it is interesting of course to discuss why that is.
  6. We don't actually know that. You keep making the exact same mistake: confusing information not yet revealed as information that will never come. There are two huge novels left in the main series, probably at least two more Dunk and Egg novellas, and another history book as well. The secrets are revealing themselves slowly, in part because the characters themselves don't know them all yet. @Frey family reunion is completely correct that the social pressure to keep such things hidden has been a very large factor ever since the Andal invasions. Furthermore, the history people DO have access to was written down by maesters, who are precisely the same people who have been denying the existence of such things and suppressing people's expression of it. So if you were a skinchanger, you would not be inclinded to tell the maester about it and it would then not get written down. He wrote a history from the POV of maesters. And he doesn't WANT us to know everything right away and so easily. There are SUPPOSED to be surprises and discoveries, and things that people have kept hidden. And one of the fascinating things is that he doesn't even need to work that hard to keep things hidden because people are so biased to look only at the paternal line. This is where you seem intent on ignoring the discussion of recessive traits, and the need for things to come from BOTH parents. I will give as an example my son. He has red hair, as do I. For some people this fact may not seem surprising, but when you understand how red hair works genetically, then it very much IS a surprise. Nowhere in living memory in his father's family tree is there a single person with the slightest trace of red hair. So his father, without having red hair himself, was a carrier of a red hair gene that was passed on from some unknown ancestor more than 90 years ago. That is a long time. And, even if my husband is apparently a carrier of this gene, there is no guarantee at all that his siblings are carriers. Ok, now mix the apparent randomness of the appearance of recessive traits with the need for a certain buildup of magical forces in the world. Just as dragons are suddenly able to return, warlock magic is gaining power, White Walkers are back, and wildfire is getting easier to make, suddenly people with the right genetics to become skinchangers are able to ACCESS their ability, which they could not do before. The point here is that it does not NEED to have specifically appeared in the family throughout Stark history at all times, regardless of the context and conditions of the time, for it to be a genetic trait. Your argument against is invalid. The "Stark" family is a patrilineal construct. It explains absolutely nothing about the FEMALE line. What I am discussing with the Blackwoods is not so much the male Blackwood family line (although that is of course a factor in recessive traits passing on) but in the various WOMEN from House Blackwood who are relevant elsewhere in this discussion of magic and who has it and who does not. The patrilineal Blackwood line is therefore one side of a complex puzzle that is actually about the women too, and where they went. The facts are very clear: dragonriding and bonding abilities are very very much related to who one's parents were. Genetics are involved. And if so, there needs to be an explanation for why it does not matter for Dany's dragonriding abilities that she is (if she who believes herself to be) a Blackwood by the female line. Indeed. But recessive genes require BOTH parents to be carriers. Not just the men. Family names are ENTIRELY PATRILINEAL CONSTRUCTS. Without tracing the women, you don't know which PAIRINGS of people meet the requirements for the recessive genes to pass on and to manifest. Basically what it comes down to is that magic (whether it be dragon magic or warging) almost certainly has its roots in BLOOD. Blood magic. This is very likely a key thing, because of lines in the books such as "you have my blood" (Ned to Jon). There is no reason at all IMO to believe as you do that while dragonriding magic is passed on to (some of) those who share the same blood, other kinds of magic we find in the story are random "Chosen One" events. No. It is in the blood. The Blackwood family is nowhere near as insignificant in the history as you claim. Just before the conquest they are specifically mentioned as being the most powerful family in the Riverlands aside from House Hoare, who were resented by all. If House Tully was chosen to lead the Riverlands after the conquest, that is because the Tullys picked the Targaryen side first, and because the Blackwoods contributed less to the conquest having been weakened by a recent conflict with the Brackens. But history started BEFORE the conquest, not at the time of it. So looking at who was who before the conquest, we see the Blackwoods as at several points a Paramount family with ties to House Durrandon. A Blackwood, named Shiera no less, was the ancestor of the Storm King, integrating Blackwood blood into the eventual House Baratheon by the female line - and not the only time. The Blackwood ties to the Storm King were an undercurrent of rebellion against Hoare rule. So if House Blackwood was linked by marriage to House Durrandon then why did they side with Aegon for the conquest? No doubt they were smart enough to fear the dragons, certainly. But I think it is probably more complicated than that. They probably had OTHER marriage ties too. Marriage ties to House Tully almost certainly or they would not so easily have accepted the Tullys as paramount and Edmyn would not easily have secured the peace there. But other Houses fed and were fed by the Blackwood line, including, almost certainly, House Velaryon and House Celtigar. Why almost certainly? Because the Blackwoods, as the largest power in the Riverlands aside from House Hoare, would have been seen as significant and important allies for those two Houses who controlled ocean trade originating from the Riverlands. The point therefore is not that the Blackwoods themselves are all special, but simply that TRACING where their daughters and second sons went is in fact key to understanding BOTH sides of the various bloodlines. And BOTH sides make EQUAL contributions to genetics and are needed for recessive traits.
  7. According to the maesters the runic records are consistent with this. That's as verified as it gets really in Westeros for things related to the age of Heroes. Agreed, although very likely that integrating all of these daughters of conquest into their family line had an impact eventually on their beliefs. @Lord Varys I don't really know why you are so insistent on the idea that magic in these books is completely random and bestowed by the gods on certain Chosen Ones. I really don't have the impression that is GRRM's philosophy at all. The signs really are much stronger that there is something genetic about it. Certainly other circumstances are at play as well, I do not argue with that. But ignoring the family patterns and the precedent set by dragonriding families seems like a really strange and weak position to be taking on this. My hunch that there is something up with the Blackwoods may turn to nothing and that is ok, but it would really be more useful to discuss where else the Starks' magic might have come from and to provide a reason why, after so much selective breeding, the Targaryen family becoming half Blackwood was apparently no big problem for dragon magic than it is to pretend these things are just random.
  8. @Megorova I tried, but I just can't follow. Breaking it up into 16 threads does not change the fact that you are struggling to get to the point in a concise and clear way. List your points. Clearly state in as few words as possible the basis, and save full explanations and details for the discussion part of the thread. It is the only way to keep people reading. That's why scientists use abstracts. I'm out. good luck.
  9. I tend to agree. In general there is a problem with putting too much emphasis on symbolism or patterns in interpreting these books in the absence of other clues. It is not that GRRM doesn't use any symbolism, it is just that he also deliberately misleads. Often. I agree that dragon eggs are far too valuable for the circumstances. What counts as an amazing gift for Penny is not the same thing as something valuable enough for Dany to buy ships and sellswords, as Viserys wanted to do.
  10. Probably, you are right. Still the Blackwoods were driven from the North, specifically the Wolfswood around this time, and the territories do seem to be related and overlapped. Sea Dragon Point is the western side of the Wolfswood. So maybe the Blackwoods were Greywolf allies if not the Warg King himself. Still, I find it odd that it specifically says that the name of the Warg King is not known, since Gaven Greywolf's name IS known.
  11. I want to follow, but I can't. Lots of words but some of the points seem to trail off and lack clarity. You are proposing that Larra Rogare and Serenei are the same person? Why can't Serenei be Larra's daughter? She abandoned Viserys after all. And their marriage was never blessed by her own gods and therefore easily considered invalid in Lys. She could have remarried and had a daughter. Basically I am willing to entertain the idea that the two are connected by family ties, but struggle with why that must mean they are one and the same.
  12. As a result of other, seemingly unrelated discussions I am beginning to speculate on the possible relevance of the events in the North after the Dance, and the not yet written story about the She-Wolves of Winterfell to what is currently taking place in the North. In general I am curious about the female line and how it relates to magic, and to what extent warging and other magical abilities are genetic. If we assume that these things are a genetic but recessive trait requiring specific conditions to manifest fully, then it follows that the recessive gene was carried by both the mother and the father of the current set of Stark children. This in turn has me thinking about House Blackwood and their history. They came from the North where they used to rule over most of the wolfswood which is now Stark territory. We know the Stark ancestors defeated the Warg King and took his daughters, and that the Warg King was based on Sea Dragon Point. The wolfswood extends to Sea Dragon point as well. This has me thinking that House Blackwood may be the exhiled descendants of the Warg King. If so, their various marriages into House Stark are interesting and likely related to the Starks' warging abilities. House Blackwood is at any rate a key hinge connecting the North, Vale and Riverlands. Alysanne Blackwood was the second wife of Cregan Stark with whom she had no sons but many daughters. We don't know where any of those daughters ended up but it strikes me as very interesting that, not long after fighting in a war on behalf of Rhaenyra, Alysanne's daughters were passed over in the Stark succession in favour of younger half-brothers by Cregan's third wife. This strikes me as something that would likely lead to a great deal of tension. Tensions that may reveal hidden motives in how the various Northern houses make decisions in the Winds of Winter, depending on if those houses count one of the daughters of Alysanne as an ancestor. With that in mind, these are the Houses that I think Alysanne's daughters may have married into: 1. House Magnar. Either the daughter in question was contesting her rights in the Skagosi rebellion, or she was offered in marriage as part of the peace terms. Either way the timing of the Skagos rebellion feels relevant. 2. House Mormont. Aside from the various hints that the Mormont women are skinchangers, their characters also seem rather similar to Alysanne's. There has always been a need in the North to maintain connections with vassal houses, so even without specific political circumstances requiring it, this makes sense as a match. 3. House Karstark. To what point back in time does their kinship with the Starks date back to, and how often do the families join? 4. House Frey. This one is based on the VERY tight relationship between Alysanne and Sabitha Frey. 5. House Royce. This one is based on the subsequent marriages of descendants of House Stark and House Royce which could be related to a need to reintegrate Alysanne's line to prevent future strife. 6. Houses Flint, Glover, Cerwyn, Umber, Manderly and Ryswell married with House Stark around this time or not long after and may have this connection.
  13. @Frey family reunion would you consider it possible that the Warg King may have been a Blackwood ancestor? We know the Blackwoods were forced out of the North by Stark ancestors. We know they used to rule over most of the wolfswood. The wolfswood is described as extending to Dragon Sea point, where the Warg King was based. His daughters then became part of the Stark ancestry.
  14. I suspect weirwoods may play a role in its full expression as well. The Starks grew up with close contact to their heart tree, and weirwood root systems and stumps have been a factor in several magical or prophetic moments. For example Jaime's dream that convinced him to go get Brienne, and the Hound's victory over Beric in his trial in spite of his paralyzing fear of fire. This is partly why it makes sense that skinchangers are more common beyond the Wall, where heart trees and powerful weirwood groves are common where there are people.
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