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  1. Crowfood's Daughter

    Dragon Origins: Part I

    Link to video if you prefer to watch...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Ae4yvEHrE Septon Barth It is my own abiding sin that whenever I come upon a door I must needs see what lies upon the farther side, but certain doors are best left unopened. Aerea Targaryen went through such a door.” Septon Barth’s account ends there. He would never again touch upon the fate of Princess Aerea in any of his writings, and even these words would be sealed away amongst his privy papers, to remain undiscovered for almost a hundred years. The horrors he had witnessed had a profound affect upon the septon, however, exciting the very hunger for knowledge he called “my own abiding sin.” It was subsequent to this that Barth began the researches and investigations that would ultimately lead him to write Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History*.” -Fire & Blood Septon Barth was a man of low birth and the son of a common blacksmith who was given to the Faith at a young age. However, despite his humble beginnings, Septon Barth rose to one of the most powerful positions in the Seven Kingdoms… the Hand of the King. Interestingly, there have been various reasons kings have appointed a man as their hand. Some were chosen because they were flatters, others powerful, others were trusted family members, one was just really good at making wildfire. Well Septon Barth was really none of these-- instead, the reason he was chosen for this position was simply because he had a good head on his shoulders. As Fire & Blood puts it, Septon Barth was “the wisest man ever to serve as the Hand of the King”. Basically… Jaehaerys had chosen Septon Barth because of his natural gifts and intellect and had valued this above social standing, wealth or power. According to the Worldbook “He was the son of a common blacksmith and had been given to the Faith while young. But his brilliance made itself known*, and in time he came to serve in the library at the Red Keep, tending the king’s books and records. There King Jaehaerys became acquainted with him, and soon named him Hand of the King.”* The World of Ice and Fire- The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I In addition to serving as Hand of the King, Septon Barth was also a scholar and had penned at least one book and a few other works. However, even in the face of both his intelligence and his status as a man of the Faith-- many of the ideas mentioned in his writings were scoffed at by the Citadel and during the reign of Baelor the Blessed, all of Barth’s writings were declared heretical and destroyed. Regardless of the naysayers and proclamations of Baelor… the readers of ASOIAF soon discovered something very peculiar in Barth’s writings… and that peculiarity would be that he is generally right. If you were to actually examine what has been given to us by Barth, you will see that what information we have consistently contains truth. For example, after consulting texts kept at Castle Black, Barth suggested that the Children of the Forest could speak with ravens and taught the First Men this skill, and the use of ravens as messengers is merely a degraded form of this historical use. Now despite what the Maesters of the Citadel and other naysayers might argue, Bloodraven himself has indeed confirmed this to be true: "Do all the birds have singers in them?" "All," Lord Brynden said. "It was the singers who taught the First Men to send messages by raven … but in those days, the birds would speak the words. The trees remember, but men forget, and so now they write the messages on parchment and tie them round the feet of birds who have never shared their skin." A Dance with Dragons- Bran III In addition to his insight into the control of ravens, Septon Barth also had a good understanding of many foundational concepts related to sanitation and public health: Great works to improve King's Landing were also implemented—drains and sewers and wells, especially, for Barth believed that fresh water and the flushing away of offal and waste were important to a city's health. The World of Ice and Fire- The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I While the concepts laid out in this passage this may seem obvious to us, it seems Barth was ahead of his time with his understanding of disease transmission and it was through this knowledge that improvements enhancing the overall sanitation of Kingslanding were implemented. Septon Barth also put forth that the inconsistencies of the cycling of the seasons was a result of the higher mysteries and magic rather than natural causes. Regardless of this explanation being scoffed at by the Citadel, in 2005, our author had actually confirmed this hypothesis to be the case… explaining that the erratic length of seasons has what he described as a fantasy explanation rather than one based on science. Septon Barth also suggested that Dragons are able to change their gender at will and are neither male nor female… which is something that Maester Aemon seems to agree with: “What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame*. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it." A Feast for Crows- Samwell IV In addition to Maester Aemon’s agreement in these assumptions; as it turns out, the concept of an animal’s ability to change genders is rooted in reality and has real life examples in a handful of amphibian, reptile and aquatic species. So Barth’s supposition that dragons can do the same is not a far-fetched claim as there are actual real world examples of this. And when paired with Maester Aemon’s statement it seems dragons being able to change genders may very well be the case. Barth's Hypothesis Now of all the things Barth has written, we really know of only three works; two of which are described fragmented treatises. The third work of Barth’s appears to be his primary body of research and is the most referenced within the series. This body of work is known as “Dragons, Wyrms and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History”, which is sometimes simply referred to as “Unnatural History”. As it turns out, Unnatural History, was catalyzed by his own curiosity when he witnessed the horrors of Aerea Targaryen’s death… an incident that ignited his investigations into dragon lore- which brings us to yet another of Barth’s suppositions: The Origin of Dragons. According to the Worldbook Barth had consulted various texts and legends that explain the origins of dragons and considered many of them before making his conclusions. In Qarth, there is a legend that tells how dragons came from a second moon in the sky, the Asshai’i claim that an ancient, nameless people tamed dragons in the Shadow and brought them to Valyria before disappearing from history. The Valyrians however have their own explanation claiming that dragons sprang forth from the great volcanos of Valyria known as the fourteen flames and claim to possess blood ties to the creatures themselves. “Sheltered there, amidst the great volcanic mountains known as the Fourteen Flames, were the Valyrians, who learned to tame dragons and make them the most fearsome weapon of war that the world ever saw. The tales the Valyrians told of themselves claimed they were descended from dragons and were kin to the ones they now controlled*. The World of Ice & Fire Ultimately, after studying all the sources Barth put forth his own hypothesis suggesting that the bloodmages of Valyria experimented with wyvern stock in order to create dragon. And there is evidence to support this claim as the worldbook mentions wyverns are closely related to dragons and are a match for them in all other respects save for two. Wyverns cannot breathe fire, and they are generally smaller in size with the largest wyverns topping out at a maximum of only 30 feet. Now aside from wyverns, the text of A Feast for Crows also suggests Firewyrms are closely related to dragons: "Firewyrms. Some say they are akin to dragons*, for wyrms breathe fire too. Instead of soaring through the sky, they bore through stone and soil. If the old tales can be believed, there were wyrms amongst the Fourteen Flames even before the dragons came. A Feast for Crows- Arya II So according to the Kindly Man, in addition to dragons it is claimed there is only one other type of creature capable of breathing flame: The Firewyrm. Now when we examine the full title of Unnatural History we see it is called ‘Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History’. From the title alone we see that a connection between dragons and firewyrms were inevitably drawn. And because of this, the fandom has deduced that the mixing of firewyrm and wyvern stock through bloodmagic might have been exactly what Barth had suggested as both creatures share several properties to dragons. What properties the wyvern lacks in size and combustion the firewyrm possesses as these worms are able to both grow to monstrous proportions and breath fire. Then, when you examine the text and how the dragons are occasionally described, this possibility becomes even more feasible because there have been a few times when dragons have been described as wyrms. Wyrm Fingerprints For example, on Dragonstone, a fortress built during the time of the Valyrian freehold, we see the towers are mentioned as being fashioned in the likeness of dragons hunched above the walls or poised for flight. And in A Storm of Swords, we learn the name of one of those dragon towers is called the Windwyrm. Caraxys, the mount of Daemon Targaryen, was given a nickname by the smallfolk, and that nickname was none other than the Blood Wyrm. Sunfyre is another great example as this dragon was also described as a wyrm. Sunfyre had participated in one of the first major battles of the Dance at Rook's Rest. Although Aegon and his mount emerged victorious, both were grievously wounded in the fight. Despite attempts to recover the injured dragon and move him to another site, Sunfyre was too heavy to be relocated, and unable to fly with an injured wing. Instead Sunfyre remained in the fields beyond Rook’s Rest, crawling through the ashes and was described as looking “like some great golden wyrm”. In addition to that description, there was also an attempt made on Sunfyre’s life after Lord Moontoon had retaken Rook’s Rest. According to the text: The would-be dragonslayers easily drove off the cordon of guards who had been left to feed, serve, and protect the dragon, but Sunfyre himself proved more formidable than expected. Dragons are awkward creatures on the ground, and his torn wing left the great golden wyrm unable to take to the air. The attackers expected to find the beast near death. Instead they found him sleeping, but the clash of swords and thunder of horses soon roused him, and the first spear to strike him provoked him to fury. Slimy with mud, twisting amongst the bones of countless sheep, Sunfyre writhed and coiled like a serpent, his tail lashing, sending blasts of golden flame at his attackers as he struggled to fly. -The Princess and the Queen So again, we see Sunfyre likened to a wyrm, but in addition to this, we also see him likened to a serpent. Now what you may not be aware of is the connotation of what the word wyrm might represent. You see our author uses a very specific spelling for the term “Firewyrm” with a “y” replacing the letter “o”. In fantasy literature a wyrm spelled “w-y-r-m” often denotes a serpent or snake-like creature or a limbless dragon and this use of the term in fantasy literature happens to be a nod to some ancient semantics. As it turns out, some of the earliest depictions of dragons were wingless, snake like creatures. Examples of this include Fafnir of Norse mythology, the dragon depicted in Beowulf, and also many of the dragons of Chinese mythology. Because of this, the dragon in Beowulf was described as a “wurm” which means "serpent” in Old English and is rooted in the term ‘ormr’ of Old Norse, which also means a snake or mythological serpent. So, with Sunfyre being described as both a wyrm spelled “w-y-r-m” and a serpent in this passage you can see the relationship the author is placing on the two terms as well. Now with that knowledge, in Daenerys VIII (8) of A Dance with Dragons, Dany takes Quentyn to the pit where Viserion and Rhaegal are confined and she finds herself wondering if dragons are able to tunnel through rock, like the firewyrms of Old Valyria. “The bones on the floor of the pit were deeper than the last time she had been down here, and the walls and floors were black and grey, more ash than brick. They would not hold much longer … but behind them was only earth and stone. Can dragons tunnel through rock, like the firewyrms of old Valyria? She hoped not”. -A Dance with Dragons- Daenerys VIII Interestingly, the very next time we return to the pit, Quentyn is attempting to steal a dragon and we find that the dragons may indeed be capable of tunneling through rock. Viscerion had escaped from his chains and made himself a cave which was described as a burrow in the rock. And in this very same chapter we again see a similar serpent-like description as Rhaegal is described as being like ‘some great green serpent’. “Behind a fence of sharp black teeth he glimpsed the furnace glow, the shimmer of a sleeping fire a hundred times brighter than his torch. The dragon's head was larger than a horse's, and the neck stretched on and on, uncoiling like some great green serpent as the head rose, until those two glowing bronze eyes were staring down at him.” A Dance with Dragons- The Dragontamer When Daenerys is in Daznak's Pit we are yet again given another example of this snake-like description. Dany swung the lash at his scaled belly, back and forth until her arm began to ache. His long serpentine neck bent like an archer's bow. With a hisssssss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, "No, no, no. Get DOWN!" His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once, twice … … and folded. A Dance with Dragons- Daenerys IX So, when looking at the evidence at hand with Septon Barth, not only do we find a man who is often right and a trusted source of information suggesting this hypothesis, but also we have corroborations within the text revealing several comparisons that support his theory as well. In addition to all the comparisons, descriptions and metaphors tying wyrms and serpent-like creatures to dragons… Fire and Blood gave us something of a smoking gun: The hatching of Laena Targaryen’s dragon egg: “Her parents' pride and pleasure quickly turned to ash, however; the dragon that wriggled from the egg was a monstrosity, a wingless wyrm, maggot-white and blind. Within moments of hatching, the creature turned upon the babe in her cradle and tore a bloody chunk from her arm. As Laena shrieked, Lord Oakenfist ripped the "dragon" off her, flung it to the floor, and hacked it to pieces.” Fire & Blood The Devil is in the Details “A wingless wyrm, maggot white and blind”. Although the description of a worm-like creature in itself is quite telling… there is something you might not have noticed. If you recall, firewrms are said to be subterranean… creatures said to "bore through stone and soil". If you have taken biology in the past you will know that creatures who live in subterranean habitats that are void of any light are often found to have two features… (1)they often lack pigment and (2) are often eyeless or have vestigial eyes that are without function and blind because eyesight and pigment are unnecessarily in habitats that are completely void of any light. This real-world concept happens to be one our author is well aware of (and has incorporated into his world) as there are subterranean fish within the caves Westeros that also have this feature that is mentioned in Bloodraven’s cave and also the cave found within the Arianne sample chapter for the upcoming Winds of Winter. “Under the hill they still had food to eat. A hundred kinds of mushrooms grew down here. Blind white fish swam in the black river*, but they* tasted just as good as fish with eyes once you cooked them up.” A Dance with Dragons- Bran III In fact, in another story entitled “In the House of the Worm” our author incorporated subterranean worms into that story as well- and also made sure to give them the same pale white and eyeless features. So, because this is a concept our author has incorporated into the series, and one he has also used in the past… this means there is a pretty good chance that the firewyrms who thrive in similar dark conditions may also be white and blind or eyeless. So in the case of Laena’s dragon not only do we have an instance where a dragon is born wrong, without wings, and described as a wyrm, but in addition to that, this dragon is also born “maggot white and blind”. So, what we are probably being given here, and what is probably being hinted at is a dragon whose wyrm genetics had simply presented more physically. So in addition to all the other information we had prior to the publication of Fire and Blood, with the account of Laena Targaryen’s hatchling, it seems highly likely Septon Barth may once again be correct. It seems his hypothesis of bloodmagic and genetic alteration may very well be the case for the origins of dragons. The Blood of the Dragon As interesting as Laena Targaryen’s hatchling was in Fire & Blood, that was not the only smoking gun to be found. If you recall it is said the Valyrians claimed they themselves were descended from dragons and were kin to the ones they now controlled… Now after understanding there is a good chance dragons were created through bloodmagic and sorcery, (2)in addition to accounts of Valyrian bloodmages experimenting mightily with their unnatural arts, and of Gogossos where it is said slaves were mated with beasts to create monstrosities… Well, there may be some truth to the Valyrian claims of possessing the “Blood of the Dragon”. As it turns out, this second smoking gun in Fire & Blood came in the form of the curious case of Aerea Targaryen… the very incident that ignited Septon Barth’s curiosities which led him to write Unnatural History. For those who haven’t read Fire and Blood, Aerea Targaryen was a young Targaryen Princess who had resolved to run away from home, but instead of hopping on a bus or going to stay with a friend Aerea claimed Balerion as a mount, disappearing without a trace. She remained missing for almost a full year and according to the text, no one knows where she went but according to Barth, all clues pointed toward the smoking ruins of Valyria. Now when Aerea returned to Kingslanding, she was at the brink of death and in the most critical of conditions. It is recounted that Balerion just showed up one day and landed near Maegor’s Holdfast where she slid off Balerion and collapsed. Ser Lucamore Strong had been the one to carry Aerea to Red Keep. Fire and Blood goes on to say about this Lucamore’s encounter: “Later he would tell anyone who would listen that the girl was flushed and burning with fever, her skin so hot he could feel it even through the enameled scale of his armor. She had blood in her eyes as well, the knight claimed, and “there was something inside her*, something moving that made her shudder and twist in my arms.”* Fire & Blood We would later learn from Septon Barth’s testimony on the matter what those things twisting inside Aerea were. “The things…Mother have mercy, I do not know how to speak of them…they were…worms with faces…snakes with hands…twisting, slimy, unspeakable things that seemed to writhe and pulse and squirm as they came bursting from her flesh. Some were no bigger than my little finger, but one at least was as long as my arm…oh, Warrior protect me, the sounds they made… “They died, though. I must remember that, cling to that. Whatever they might have been, they were creatures of heat and fire, and they did not love the ice” Fire & Blood In response to these accounts, there has been much talk and speculation throughout the fandom on what had befallen Aerea and what these worms could be. Luckily, there is a general consensus on the matter because well, there aren’t a lot of options for what these things called “creatures of heat and fire” could be. Really, there are only two options… and those two options would be Firewyrms or a hybrid variation as they are described as ‘worms with faces’, and ‘snakes with hands’. From Barth’s accounts of Aerea alone, these claims of Valyrians descending from dragons may very well hold some remnants of truth because we see Aerea’s worms and how her body was able to accommodate these creatures well beyond the means of the average man and we naturally become drawn to these conclusions. As Septon Barth puts it: “What befell her on Valyria I cannot surmise. Judging from the condition in which she returned to us, I do not even care to contemplate it. The Valyrians were more than dragonlords. They practiced blood magic and other dark arts as well, delving deep into the earth for secrets best left buried and twisting the flesh of beasts and men to fashion monstrous and unnatural chimeras. For these sins the gods in their wroth struck them down. Valyria is accursed, all men agree, and even the boldest sailor steers well clear of its smoking bones…but we would be mistaken to believe that nothing lives there now. The things we found inside Aerea Targaryen live there now, I would submit…along with such other horrors as we cannot even begin to imagine. Fire & Blood Now after understanding the link between Firewyrms and dragons… and taking into consideration the possibility Valyrians may also in some sense share the “Blood of the Dragon” … let’s take a moment to examine the deformities seen in the occasional Targaryen stillbirth. According to the Worldbook, Maegor the Cruel was plagued by infertility and what children did result from his many marriages were described as deformed monstrosities said to be: “misshapen, eyeless, limbless, or having the parts of man and woman both”. In fact, Fire & Blood retells that his child with Alys Harroway had twisted limbs, a huge head, and was born eyeless. His child with Jeyne Westerling was reportedly a legless and armless creature possessed of both male and female genitalia and Queen Elinor delivered of a stillborn child described as an eyeless boy born with rudimentary wings. While taking into consideration the firewyrm deformities seen in Laena Targaryen’s hatchling that was without limbs and blind; when we examine the children of Maegor, we see a child without limbs and and eyes in addition to rudimentary wings and possessing both male and female genitalia which also happens to be very reminiscent of Barth’s other pearl of wisdom of dragons being neither male nor female. And when we look at how Maegor’s difficulties are described we see another hint… Maegor was cursed, men said. He had slain his nephew, made war against the Faith and the High Septon, defied the gods, committed murder and incest, adultery and rape. His privy parts were poisoned, his seed full of worms, the gods would never grant him a living son. Fire & Blood Of course as we all know, Maegor was not the only Targaryen to conceive such children. When we examine Daenerys’ child Rhaego, we see many of the same descriptions: "Twisted. I drew him forth myself. He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat." A Game of Thrones- Daenerys IX Twisted, scaled like a lizard, and blind, with a stub of a tail and wings like a bat… and this description echoes not only the children of Maegor but also echoes the deformities seen in the stillborn Visenya; the daughter of Queen Rhaenyra; a child described as twisted and malformed, with a stubby, scaled tail. Now I have seen many argue that Mirri Maz Durr could have easily concocted these details of Rhaego… which she could have. But the only problem with Mirri Maz Durr concocting these details of Rhaego is that she more than likely did not possess the knowledge of the children born to Maegor and Rhaenyra and Rhaego’s deformities echo and align with quite well with the other Targaryen children who were twisted, sometimes scaled, blind or eyeless, or had a stub of a tail or rudimentary wings. Now with taking into consideration the evidence at hand it seems very likely there is truth in the hypothesis of wyverns being magically crossed with firewyms… and in addition to this, the claims of the Valyrian people possessing the blood of the dragon and being kin to the ones they controlled may also bear some weight. The Conundrum However, even with all these new details in Fire and Blood supporting these origins… there is one slight problem. Despite the evidence supporting Valyrian bloodmagic in the creation of dragons, there is evidence to suggest dragons existed even prior to the founding of Valyria. In Septon Barth's Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns, he speculated that the bloodmages of Valyria used wyvern stock to create dragons. Though the bloodmages were alleged to have experimented mightily with their unnatural arts, this claim is considered far-fetched by most maesters, among them Maester Vanyon's Against the Unnatural contains certain proofs of dragons having existed in Westeros even in the earliest of days, before Valyria rose to be a power. The World of Ice and Fire- Beyond the Free Cities: Sothoryos You see the Valyrians had a very specific building technique where they would use dragon flame to create fused stone. It is an incredibly hard and durable material that leaves no hint of any joint or seam. And there just so happen to be two very large pieces of evidence to suggest a much older civilization had first developed this technique. If you are familiar with the Worldbook it describes something in the Far East called The Five Forts, a line of hulking ancient citadels located along northeastern border. “Certain scholars from the west have suggested Valyrian involvement in the construction of the Five Forts, for the great walls are single slabs of fused black stone that resemble certain Valyrian citadels in the west...but this seems unlikely, for the Forts predate the Freehold's rise, and there is no record of any dragonlords ever coming so far east.” The World of Ice and Fire- The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti The Worldbook then goes on to retell that the Five Fort are impossibly old and are believed to have been raised by an ancient and mysterious civilization known as The Great Empire of the Dawn… a period well before the founding of the Valyrian freehold. Interestingly there is also another impossibly old structure made of fused stone… And while the origin of this structure remains a mystery and a source of speculation to maesters, the fandom has come to a consensus that the source of its construction was also the Great Empire. The structure that I am referring to would be none other than the base of the Hightower on Battle Isle. More troubling, and more worthy of consideration, are the arguments put forth by those who claim that the first fortress is not Valyrian at all. The fused black stone of which it is made suggests Valyria, but the plain, unadorned style of architecture does not, for the dragonlords loved little more than twisting stone into strange, fanciful, and ornate shapes. Within, the narrow, twisting, windowless passages strike many as being tunnels rather than halls; it is very easy to get lost amongst their turnings. Mayhaps this is no more than a defensive measure designed to confound attackers, but it too is singularly un-Valyrian. The World of Ice and Fire- The Reach: Oldtown Additionally, if you have been in the fandom for some time and have watched History of Westeros’ episodes done in collaboration with Lucifer means Lightbringer that cover The Great Empire of the Dawn and Asshai, you will also know there are several clues to suggest that Asshai, an incredibly old and mysterious city, was once most likely also part of The Great Empire of the Dawn. What is interesting here, is that in addition to architectural proof of dragons existing during the Great Empire… there are also several tales recalling dragons originated long ago in Asshai, not Valyria. In fact, we learn this little nugget of information in the first book of a Game of Thrones when Dany is talking with her handmaidens. Dany mentions hearing stories of the first dragons coming from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai and the islands of the Jade Sea. The Worldbook also mentions ancient tales from Asshai claim that an unnamed people tamed the first dragons, brought them to Valyria, and taught the Valyrians their arts before departing from the annals of history. When Aegon the Fifth became consumed for knowledge of hatching dragons, he quite possibly believed these tales as well and had commissioned journeys to places as far away as Asshai in search of dragon knowledge. So, it seems in addition to the architectural evidence of the Great Empire having dragons, there are also certain histories suggesting this origin as well. So now with the evidence at hand you can see the conundrum here. Was it the Valyrians who worked bloodmagic and sorcery to create dragons as the evidence suggests? Or did the Great Empire of the Dawn first have dragons as the evidence also suggests? There are answers to these questions which we will address in part II, and in doing so we will also be uncovering some details of the origin of Valyrian race… which may surprise you.
  2. Crowfood's Daughter

    Heresy 217 Dreams and Dust

    this is very much a reference to Jormungandr. Jormungander is something of a bound monster similar to his siblings fortold to relinquish his tail after the horn is blown to signal the start of Ragnorak… and in turn fight the storm god in a battle that will kill them both. There is evidence to suggest Joramun was a giant such as the freefolk looking in giant's graves for the horn and mentioning people would be fooled because of the size of it. There are also several giants whose "roar" is often described as sounding like a warhorn wun wun, the titan of Braavos, the Old Man of the River ect. The Umbers whose sigil is a giant are often given horns to blow as well… it's thematic in a sense. So if you think of Joramun as something of a bound monster or a bound giant who will break these bonds you pretty much get the equivalent of the Umber sigil. An unbound roaring giant with broken chains. This concept is echoed at the battle in castle black where a roaring giant breeched the gates, the smith Donal Noye and the giant fought a battle that killed the both of them and there were broken links of chains strewn on the floor. Donal Noye would be an analog to the stormgod as he is a smith who often wields a hammer. The Giant would be fulfilling the role of Jormungandr in this case. So its possible Joramun was something of a bound giant... but what bound him? and what was he release from? Was it an oath, a promise, guestright, or was it something more literal.
  3. Crowfood's Daughter

    Is there anything that points to what is Qyburn’s heritage?

    Qyburn is a fella who could really be anyone. Lowborn, highborn ect... the field is pretty much open for anything here. If you want to explore his heritage, I would suggest looking for noble houses with too many heirs. The citadel is the place a son bon too low in the totem pole might be sent. I would also look at name similarities, some noble houses have naming conventions such as House Manderly having names that start with "W", similar physical features. I don't have anything else that I could add, but it is always fun to speculate.
  4. Crowfood's Daughter

    It's like poetry, it rhymes

    I shared it in the dark web ... twitter DMs. Really enjoyed this post, very insightful work!!
  5. Crowfood's Daughter

    I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

    Updated today, geographical stuff of interest, ebony wood comparisons ect.
  6. Crowfood's Daughter

    Dissecting Names

    I can recall LmL found a similarity of Allyria (Dayne) to Valyria. I think Illyrio is like the male version of Allyria.
  7. Crowfood's Daughter

    POEMS (or other sundry quotes) that remind you of ASOIAF -- V2

    I like this idea especially when we see in Bran's dream a woman doing exactly this, a naked woman emerging from the pool heavy with child praying for a son to exact vengeance.
  8. Crowfood's Daughter

    POEMS (or other sundry quotes) that remind you of ASOIAF -- V2

    Hey RR! Im back in the forums, thanks for the tag. You have Lemore nailed, one thing I might add is she is also a venus figure in the fashion of the maiden bathing espied by Florian the fool, and Dany bathing in her introductory chapter. There is a reason our writer had her bathing naked in addition to showing she has stretch marks. This gives her the maiden coming from the water symbolism. Any time you see a naked woman bathing (*cough, Brienne, *cough, Osha, *cough), we are given our Morningstar/evenstar love goddess symbolism which @LmL might see as significant from an astronomy standpoint.
  9. Crowfood's Daughter

    I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

    No, she didn't listen and she almost died because of it. The advise the Pree vision was giving was a good. Instead she didn't take it and remembered what the real Pree told her and she stayed on the course which almost led to her death. That wasn't Pree, it was someone trying to help her because the door he showed her was the same door she was able to use to finally escape.
  10. Crowfood's Daughter

    I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

    Hey LiveFirst! Ebony isn't at the stage of being petrified wood. Remember, Tytos Blackwood states it takes a few thousand years for weirwood to petrify. While the only ebony I have seen has been in pictures, I do know that ebony is still at the stage of still being wood. I would suggest that was not Pree in the vision. If you recall, the vision of Pree was showing Dany the actual way out. Many speculate that was bloodraven trying to get Dany out of there because when. Once inside (after not heading the advise to leave) the undying which are much like Greenseers turned blue by the Evening trees try to overtake her. We know the vision of Pree was giving solid advice because Danny was able to escape using the same door the Pree vision was telling her to use. The real Pree was trying to get her in the house since he met her.
  11. Crowfood's Daughter

    I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

    Yep, I am for sure smelling what you are stepping in. I would argue that Garth and the Grey king were separate, but contemporary of one another. I have a post you might be interested in.
  12. Crowfood's Daughter

    I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

    Hi Great Elk, You have made and excellent observation. I also believe the instances of 'ebony' in the House of Black and White and the house of the Undying are actually shade of the evening tree. I think the House of the undying is a huge hint: aching. She recalled that the House of the Undying Ones had seemed to have no towers. Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward. It seems the writer is trying to describe these doors as an illusion to being made of one wood instead of a two separate woods pieced together with descriptions such as grains twisting and swirling? It is almost as if it is made from the same slab of wood . It makes a great deal of sense. Meaning Dany is sitting the equivalent of an Essosi weirwood throne. I had actually toyed with the idea you were mentioning and came to the same conclusion you had, which make a great deal of literary sense when we have white weirwood doors with black 'ebony' faces that remind Arya of a heart tree. At the top she found a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In their center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.
  13. Crowfood's Daughter

    I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

    Hey Blue Tiger. There are some obvious parallels to the well and the pools beside found frequently beside weirwoods, I am sure our writer did draw from that knowing his love of Nordic legend. I am unsure about the undying, but it could be a little pun in a way maybe showing that it was the weirwoods that made a transformation and not the other way around, always a possibility. I had been away from the forums yesterday due to problems with my computer and went chasing some stuff you were mentioning which led me back to the hairy men which were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos and came back to this line. At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the Black wood trees. In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line: The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under. Not only am I completely convinced at this point, but I am truly and utterly pissed, because I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun @ravenous reader. And here is why. Forsaken chapter spoilers: Here is one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips: “Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died. “You know what waits below the sea, brother?” “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.” Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.” His dream is telling him there is no watery halls, there is just worms. So what if there actually is something that looks like worms or krakens under the water? The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy. Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. There may actually be a root system under the sea. I am going to add this to the original post.
  14. The Shade of the Evening Tree... it’s the Essosi version of the Weirwood except inversed in a dark and creepy kind of way. Our writer loves to use symbolism and literary devices to drop clues from time to time...something he does well and does often. There have been many inversions and parallels drawn between the Essosi Shade of the Evening tree and the Westerosi Weirwood noted by readers throughout the fandom. Today we are going to discuss a possible connection between these two trees and speculate on the enigmatic oily black stones peppered throughout the ASOIAF mythos and worldbuilding. Before we get started I need to disclose that spoilers from the Forsaken and Arianne chapters will be discussed. Now let’s get started. Blackwood / Weirwood You don’t have to look hard to see the what our writer is doing with these two magical trees. One only has to look at how the two are described. We have white trees with red leaves and black trees with blue leaves; this seems ostensibly contradicting and opposing at first glance from a sheer aesthetic point of view. There are however some striking similarities as both trees are magical and have the potential to both extend life and provide visions. What has especially captured the attention of the fandom is how our author has chosen to describe the tasting experience of the two trees vision inducing byproducts. There is an eerie similarity that cannot be denied. For example, here we have Danny ingesting Shade of the Evening: “The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart, and on her tongue was a taste like honey and anise and cream, like mother’s milk and Drogo’s seed, like red meat and hot blood and molten gold. It was all the tastes she had ever known, and none of them”” And now Bran with weirwood paste: “The first spoonful was the hardest to get down. He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother ever gave him.” Interestingly, in addition to there being vision inducing trees located in Essos, there was also once a race of small, shy forest folk called woods walkers or Ifequevron who once inhabited the Essosi mainland. Immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. The fabled Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, was the first Westerosi to visit these woods. After his return from the Thousand Islands, he wrote of carved trees, haunted grottoes, and strange silences. A later traveler, the merchant-adventurer Bryan of Oldtown, captain of the cog Spearshaker, provided an account of his own journey across the Shivering Sea. He reported that the Dothraki name for the lost people meant “those who walk in the woods.” TWOIAF further goes on to hint that the Dothraki horselords shunned the forests either from reverence for vanished wood walkers, or because they feared their powers and Corlys Velaryon even reported finding ‘carved trees’ in their forests. Another hint we have of a forgotten CotF-type presence can be found in the secretive peoples of the great and holy Isle of Leng. A people who are known for their large golden eyes, keen eyesight/night vision and their subterranean gods known as the ‘old ones’ lurking beneath the earth. This bit of information we have of the people of Leng has caused speculation of a possible mixture of bloodlines between the natives and the CotF in the ancient past. Knowing there was a CotF-type presence in Essos, it is quite possible the black barked relative of the weirwood was a part of that magic from years gone by. “It will have turned to stone” So we can see a possibility that the white barked trees of Westeros and the black barked trees of Essos could be lighter and darker versions of one another so to speak. Now this is where it gets interesting: We know the weirwood petrifies when it dies, pretty simple to comprehend, the trees don't rot they just turn to stone... “For a thousand years it has not shown a leaf. In another thousand it will have turned to stone, the maesters say. Weirwoods never rot.” That was some Tytos Blackwood wisdom for you there. Yes, a guy named Blackwood gave us that little nugget. Knowing the weirwood turns to stone, if the trees are somehow relatives of each other the same logic could likely apply to the darker version of this tree. Basically, if the white stuff petrifies then the black stuff does too. So, imagine for a moment what black wood actually becomes when it is petrified…it becomes black stone. Let’s continue this train of thought and ponder the most mentioned relic of black stone we have in the series, the Seastone chair. As I mentioned in the beginning, our writer likes to use some symbolism every now and then to drop clues… Then she saw it: an uprooted tree, huge and dark, coming straight at them. A tangle of roots and limbs poked up out of the water as it came, like the reaching arms of a great kraken. “No.” Aeron Damphair did not weigh his words. “Only a godly man may sit the Seastone Chair. The Crow’s Eye worships naught but his own pride.” Let’s look at the very first time we see someone drink Shade of the evening: Dany raised the glass to her lips. The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart" Our writer decided to hide two little hints in our first view of this sorcerous drink, but before Dany actually partakes in the wine of the Warlocks, we are introduced to the grove of shade trees Dany sees outside the HotU. Long and low, without towers or windows, it coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black-barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening. No other buildings stood near. Black tiles covered the palace roof, many fallen or broken; the mortar between the stones was dry and crumbling. She understood now why Xaro Xhoan Daxos called it the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon seemed disquieted by the sight of it. The black dragon hissed, smoke seeping out between his sharp teeth. “Blood of my blood,” Jhogo said in Dothraki, “this is an evil place, a haunt of ghosts and maegi. See how it drinks the morning sun? Let us go before it drinks us as well.” Ser Jorah Mormont came up beside them. “What power can they have if they live in that?” “Heed the wisdom of those who love you best,” said Xaro Xhoan Daxos, lounging inside the palanquin. “Warlocks are bitter creatures who eat dust and drink of shadows. The wording here is interesting, if you have noticed, the Qartheen warns Dany that the warlocks ‘drink shadows’ and the Dothraki are disquieted by the way the place ‘drinks the morning sun’. If these words seem familiar, you will notice it is echoed in TWOIAF when Asshai in the shadowlands is described. “Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike. Asshai is a haunt of sorcerers known for a ridiculous amount of black oily stone. The city is supposedly made entirely of the stuff and is said to be the size of Volantis, Qarth, King’s Landing, and Oldtown put together. For some reason Asshai is still much a mystery to maesters and readers alike. The sheer mass of the materials required tends to rule out most opinions and theories. What you may find interesting however, is there is a high possibility Asshai was once a very fertile and forested area much like Yeng and Yi Ti. If you take a glance at a map, you will see that in the past Asshai would have been a part of a forest/jungle fertile that would have stretched from Sothoryos and the Basilisk Isles all the way to Ulthos. Another thing that I do want to draw your attention to is Ulthos, a land mass just as close to Asshai as any settlement found in Essos. This nearby land mass is a heavily jungled area that is a noticeably distinct color than any of the other forested areas on the map of the known world. Recently /u/Werthead on Reddit published a tremendous undertaking of his Atlas of Ice and Fire which piqued my interest because the atlas mentions that the jungles of Ulthos are specifically purple-black in coloring on the map. When I asked for his reference he pointed me to the actual mapmaker Jonathan Roberts who, on his fantastic maps website, mentions that the jungles of Ulthos are in fact meant to be depicted as purple-black in coloring. I think it is highly possible this was not artistic license and was part of the guidance provided by our writer who commissioned his maps, but who knows, maybe the artist decided it would be good to have a purple-black colored jungle. The purple part is somewhat confusing, but the black coloring of this tree depot next to Asshai, it has my attention. Despite Ulthos being extremely close in proximity to Asshai, the possibility exists they were once even closer. As we have noticed, there are some hints the sea level was lower at some point in the ancient past. The Thousand Isles, the Neck and the Arm of Dorne are just a few examples. One detail I would also point to is the artwork for Asshai in TWOIAF. In the worldbook, it appears Asshai is a half-drowned city. Again, I’m not sure if the artist just decided that Asshai should be half-drowned in appearance without any guidance, but there is definitely something there. So not only is it quite possible Asshai was part of a forested and fertile crescent, but there is also the possibility this massive “purple-black” jungle was located closer to Asshai in the ancient past than we realize. The years pass in their hundreds and their thousands, and what does any man see of life but a few summers, a few winters? We look at mountains and call them eternal, and so they seem … but in the course of time, mountains rise and fall, rivers change their courses, stars fall from the sky, and great cities sink beneath the sea. Even gods die, we think. Everything changes. -Maester Luwin to Bran I know what you are thinking, if a shade tree were to truly petrify what are the mechanics that would cause it to be oily? If this is the same stuff, it has to be oily or become oily in some form or fashion. Well as it turns out, Shade of the Evening is also described as OILY. The Crow’s Eye filled two cups with a strange black wine that flowed as thick as honey. “Drink with me, brother. Have a taste of this.” He offered one of the cups to Victarion. The captain took the cup Euron had not offered, sniffed at its contents suspiciously. Seen up close, it looked more blue than black. It was thick and oily, with a smell like rotted flesh. He tried a small swallow, and spit it out at once. “Foul stuff. Do you mean to poison me?” Current storyline significance From here we now have pondered the possibility of what could be the origins for the black oily stone. Now let’s look at another quote and see what we make of it: Though Aeron clamped his mouth shut, twisting his head from side to side he fought as best he could, but in the end he had to choke or swallow. The dreams were even worse the second time. He saw the longships of the Ironborn adrift and burning on a boiling blood-red sea. He saw his brother on the Iron Throne again, but Euron was no longer human. He seemed more squid than man, a monster fathered by a kraken of the deep, his face a mass of writhing tentacles. This last quote is somewhat confusing to some readers as this plainly looks like some straight up Lovecraft monster reference, but remember that Euron is kind of a Shade of the Evening junkie so to speak and Shade of the Evening is basically a brother from another mother to Weirwood paste... and what does weirwood paste do? It weds you to the tree, the writhing tentacles is a greenseer/tree man symbol in Aeron’s dream. See for yourself: Your blood makes you a greenseer,” said Lord Brynden. “This will help awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees.” Bran did not want to be married to a tree … but who else would wed a broken boy like him? A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. A greenseer. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. He liked it better when the torches were put out. So, the Shade of the Evening vision basically showed Aeron what his brother actually is... a terrible man with wisdom as deep as the roots of ancient trees… but we are not done yet. Let's talk about some hairy men for a minute. The hairy men were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos. I noticed that there was once a forest inhabited by these CotF-type woods walkers who came into direct contact with the hairy men and not in the diplomatic kind of way. More in the, I am going to commit genocide, take your land and bleed your resources type of way: The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills It is safe to say the Ibbenese didn't get along well with this forest folk that worshipped the black wood trees. In fact, it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters even theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers extinction. That’s bad right? What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line: The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under. So, a "kraken" has pulled under an Ibbenese whaler...makes sense now doesn't it? Tree roots can look like the reaching arms of a kraken as our writer has pointed out. This has caused me to speculate that there indeed might be something under the sea. I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots, which could be why there is the Greensee/Green sea pun that @ravenous reader has pointed out in the forums and explains why Patchface came back from the depths with the gift of prophetic vision. And here is why… detailed in one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips: “Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died. “You know what waits below the sea, brother?” “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.” Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.” In Aeron's dream, Urri is telling him there is no Drowned God, no watery halls, just worms, worms await him. From what we have seen in the House of the Undying, shade visions are supposed to be cryptic and somewhat prophetic in nature right? So, what if there is actually something that looks similar to worms or the reaching arms of a kraken under the sea? Let’s take a peek: The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. I guess this means we may actually get to see this play out in the chapters due to whatever Euron is doing at the moment. According to the Arianne I sample chapter there are ‘krakens’ stirring around the Arm of Dorne being drawn to blood of the current hostilities and our Shade of the Evening drinking Euron has something planned in his upcoming battle with the Redwyne and Hightower fleet. So yeah maybe there will be an Eldrich Apocalypse of sorts, just not the kind most were expecting. Before moving on, we are going to take this idea and look at two cultures in Essos who both fear the sea: The Thousand Isles and the Dothraki. As we have read, the maesters suggest the Thousand Isles is something of a drowned kingdom that has been reduced to hundreds of scattered islands. Before the Thousand Isles were drowned, it was most likely connected to the dark forests of Mossovy ”. A place whispered to be the haunt of shapechangers. Additionally, the Dothraki whom the maesters hint could fear the Ifequevron also have a very real fear the sea and will not even plow the earth. Ebony and Weirwood So, let’s back up for a moment and take a look at ebony. There have been many in the forums who have drawn attention to hints of the relationship between the two sets of trees through the writer’s use of ‘ebony’ and weirwood. These hints are casually floated in front of our faces in the shape of weirwood and ebony doors seen in both the House of Black and White and the House of the Undying. In the real-world ebony is a black wood of a few species that is so dense and heavy that it sinks or ‘drowns’ in water. Each time our characters encounter ebony, I’m not sure if they can distinguish one type of black wood from another when it comes certain items. It is kind of a tinge of the unreliable narrator that our writer uses from time to time; just like when Bran sees Jaime and Cersei wrestling naked. He is familiar with wrestling, so they are wrestling. You see, characters might easily have difficulty categorizing a wood that they have never seen before and are unfamiliar with. The shade of the evening tree is not seen in Westeros or the Free Cities that we have seen, so far, so what makes us so certain our characters can identify it when they happen across seeing it? Basically, they think they see ebony and so ebony is how it is described. “At the top she found a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In their center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.” Here we have ebony and weirwood superimposed and contrasting one another with a carved face that does an excellent job reminding Arya (and the reader) of the heart tree in Winterfell. Pretty simple symbolism, basically black tree/white tree=heart tree. In addition to Arya, Dany experienced a similar door in the House of the Undying: To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. It seems the writer is trying to describe these doors as an allusion to being made of one wood. Notice how the wording makes it seem as if they were not mechanically pieced together from two different types of wood with descriptions such as the grains twisting and swirling? The description itself makes it seem almost as if it is made from the same slab of wood. This imagery makes a great deal of logic knowing there is a black barked tree with similar qualities to weirwood and were possibly one species at one time before they split in their evolution. Later, shade drinking Dany is fittingly given further symbolism in Mereen as she is sitting equivalent of an Essosi weirwood throne, an ebony bench. Also, TWOIAF mentions that the people of Asshai ride around in palanquins made of ebony…hmm... must be an abundance of that stuff somewhere nearby. There is also another set of doors that should be mentioned although not as enigmatic. We also have ebony and weirwood doors all the way back in Game of Thrones at the forge of Tobho Mott, our friendly neighborhood Qohorik. This one is a little trickier, but it gets cleared up in TWOIAF. Qohor stands on the river Qhoyne on the western edge of the vast, dark, primordial forest to which she gives her name, the greatest wood in all of Essos. The Forest of Qohor also yields up furs and pelts of all kinds, many rare and fine and highly prized, as well as silver, tin, and amber. The vast forest has never been fully explored, according to the maps and scrolls at the Citadel, and it likely conceals many mysteries and wonders at its heart. The artisans of Qohor are far famed. Qohorik tapestries, woven primarily by the women and children of the city, are just as fine as those woven in Myr, though less costly. Exquisite (if somewhat disturbing) wood carvings can be bought in Qohor’s market, and the city’s forges have no peer. We also learn of the God of Qohor, the Black Goat. A deity that requires daily blood sacrifice, and is frequently mentioned when the Lion of Night is mentioned. “And many names,” the kindly man had said. “In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger. “Warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, bloodmages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child and the Lion of Night, all find welcome in Asshai-by-the-Shadow, where nothing is forbidden.” Beyond her was a man with a lion’s head seated on a throne, carved of ebony. On the other side of the doors, a huge horse of bronze and iron reared up on two great legs. Farther on she could make out a great stone face, a pale infant with a sword, a shaggy black goat the size of an aurochs, a hooded man leaning on a staff. Basically, Qohor is known for its special wood being the largest forest in Essos and which is described as not fully explored and primordial. Additionally, what I am seeing with the Black Goat is a deity that is worshipped in the most heavily forested area in Essos, is a fan of blood sacrifice (like a heart tree) and is often associated with another deity that is depicted in the House of Black and White as carved out of ebony…oh yes, and their worshippers can find refuge in Asshai, go figure. GRRM has done everything possible to make the Shade tree an Essosi Weirwood, so if the white stuff petrifies, the black stuff probably does too. If I had money to bet...I'd place it on the warlock tree taking a note from its Westerosi cousin.
  15. Crowfood's Daughter

    References and Homages

    I would like to add in "The Wierwoods" by Thomas Burnett Swann? It is about the Etruscans who have a centuries long pact with the people of a wooded place called the Weirwoods. The people of these woods are called the Weir ones and there are some who are much like the CotF with slitted gold cat eyes and also webbed feet that make a squish sound when they walk. Anyway there is a father who breaks this pact and steals a weir-one for his daughter as a slave.
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