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Jakob Lightbringer

Moon Over Westeros

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I'd love to see a small section on the heavenly bodies visible in the night sky over westeros.

Topics might include:

* A brief discussion on the "seasonal" constellations (Zodiac) of Westeros, perhaps including an explanation about how they do or do not (as the case may be) synch to the long seasons of Westeros.

* A maester's sketch of the surface of the moon.

* A list of planetary "wanderer" stars.

* Various stories, or references to stories about the constellations, stars, sun and moon, from different cultural perspectives -- such as Westerosi, Dothraki, etc.

* Various astrological or horoscopic superstitions - omens and auspices.

* A cosmological diagram of the universe including religious and/or alchemical ideas prevalent in Westeros (such as with the sun revolving around the earth, or with an "underworld", "heaven", and the such).

* A calendar (or calendars) of month names, day names, holidays, and how they relate to astronomical phenomena (equinoxes, solstices, moon phases, etc) and religious and astrological beliefs and stories.

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We've already gotten the idea of an appendix containing perhaps a star chart, divided into the twelve houses of the heavens. ;)

A calendar is almost certainly a no-go, however.

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Guest Other-in-law
We've already gotten the idea of an appendix containing perhaps a star chart, divided into the twelve houses of the heavens. ;)

That's cool! Would it have some of the other (non "zodiac") constellations, like the ice dragon?

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I should clarify that by "we", I meant Linda and myself. Things aren't yet at a stage where there's a lot of discussion regarding art on-going right now, because there are some significant things that needed to get sorted out before we can decide what more is possible art-wise. So this is not an idea we've passed on. But we intend to. ;)

Our idea was to include the various named constellations, yes, and the "wanderers", and the astrological stuff.

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A star chart! Neat!

I have always imagined that the stars of Westeros were very similar or perhaps even identical to our own, only with different "names". However, if this is the case, a star chart might not be as interesting as it would be if the stars were completely original.

This reminds me of that old Dragonlance source-book that had the stars in it. Oh, look! "The Warrior" constellation is missing in the night sky! I'm such a geek.

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Westeros isn't Earth, and isn't in our solar system, so the constellations should be quite different ... but then again, it is entirely possible that George has more or less envisioned them as you say: like ours, just with different names. :)

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Right. In fact, because it's fantasy, I wouldn't even take for granted that there is a "solar system". It may be (or it may not be) that the maesters believe that the sun rotates around the earth and that the stars are points of luminescence transfixed in transparent spheres, as our own astrologers once believed of our own universe. Likewise the sun and moon might be discs, orbs, jewels, or even enormous dragon eggs -- and because it's fantasy, there's nothing (except for our "modern" sensibilities) to say that these superstitious beliefs aren't correct.

I am reminded of the Tolkien mythology in which the sun and moon are the fruit and flower of the trees of the Valar, carried aloft by heavenly vessels through an ocean-like sky. I wouldn't expect the cosmology of George R. R. Martin's world (of Ice and Fire) to be as romantic and fanciful as Tolkien's Arda, but it seems likely that even the most learned of the Maesters may have ideas about their universe which would seem nonsensical by modern standards. This is exactly the sort of thing I would love to see in a world book. The kind of Aristotelean"ideas" that the denizens of Westeros might have about their own cosmos -- in stark contrast to "modern" ideas. In a world where mythological beasts and magical powers are real, who is to say what is or isn't possible -- even the maesters have been found to be wrong about such things.

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While these ideas are nice, will they actually be considered canon? Ran, will the book be more of a fan creation or will it be official?

GRRM will know about all the stuff that is going to be described in the book, right?

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Err, yes, GRRM will be involved and everything that gets into print will be with his approval (much of it will be from his own notes).

It'll be as canon as Tyrion's statement that Dorne has 50,000 spears, at least. ;) Which is to say that the device we shall be using -- that a maester has written this -- will allow for a certain unreliable quality to the work. Maesters don't know everything, and as we've seen of late, maesters can have agendas.

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