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Sages

House Hightower A Complete Mystery?

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That's what I've been thinking about.

We know pre-Andal the Reach was four kingdoms. Hightower, Gardener, Redwyne and the Marchers (Caron or Tarly kings I think, maybe Peake or Vyrwel).

Garth Greenhand spawned house Redwyne and Tarly, so they were assimilated in quickly. The Hightowers held out.

Lyonel Hightower the Sea Lion was a big deal.

But Oldtown has been sacked by Dornish, Ironborn and Gardener kings in history. The Dornish sieged it recently. They don't have the most loyal bannermen.

They never took up arms against Aegon, so retained a lot of power, so I applaud the Tyrells for maintaing their power for so long.

I imagine its all marriages and marriages. Plenty of Tyrells go to be maesters (SPIES) and a Tyrell controls the City Watch of Oldtown. They are powerful, but the Tyrells have been keeping them in check.

They only shine when everyone else is obliterated.

I also find it interesting that a tyrell is over the city watch. You would think that the hightowers would have started a cadet branch to oversee oldtown. For example I really liked what littlefinger did by giving nestor royce the gates of the moon. It would seem to be beneficial if you made the city watch directly answer to you instead of letting it be influenced by outside forces.

(And I could have sworn I remember a Targaryen woman marrying into the Hightowers at some point, although I can't find it now.)

Yes, you are right Rhaena Targaryen married Garmund Hightower they had six kids according to the worldbook Targaryen tree.

It's also interesting that the Hightower sits on Battle Isle. No one knows why it's called that, but there it is, looking unassailable and benefiting from those black walls.

My guess is that battle isle is the site of some battle during the Long Night, maybe even the Battle for the Dawn? Perhaps it will play a key part when the Others invade again?

That's my guess as well. I also wonder if the black stone structure at the base has some special purpose as well.

At this point, we have at least the Hightowers, Royces, Daynes, and Blackwoods all of a sudden expected to somehow play integral roles in the endgame. I just tend to think there's a forest/trees problem here. Are all of those houses interesting? Certainly. Will they play a relatively more prominent role in the next two books? Likely. But will their contribution be much more than what could already discerned in regards to their respective importance before the release of the World Book? Doubtful. I'm as enthusiastic about the added details in world-building that has resulted from the accounts of these houses - particularly the Blackwoods - but I think this needs to be put into perspective.

Of all of the kingdoms, the Vale has been by far the least active in the conflict so far. And If anybody can get the ball moving over there I expect it to be the Royces. Also Bronze Yohn is said to have a magical suit of armor. I'd love to see what's so special about it.

The blackwoods are interesting but right now I'm not sure how they fit in the grand scheme of things.

The hightowers have too much stuff going on as far as the citadel, as far as oldtown and the iron borne raids. And Stannis certainly hyped them up a bit. When talking about the strength of houses. And then with the worldbook reveals it seems like they are setting the stage for something major to happen.

That's a nice catch!

As Meisandre says: «The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.»

Very interesting post.

I really want to read Samwell's chapters now that he's in the Citadel. He's there with all those characters, the Sandsnake, the FM, the Hightower and the Tyrell characters, the maesters... and I'm sure I'm forgetting some of them... I like the recipe, all the ingredients are very good and GRRM knows how to mix them!

The ability to use glass candles would be very helpful for a house when making important decisions. They would have been able to see the Andals conquering westeros, the power of the dragons the Aegon brings or the cost of not appeasing maegor when he had was dealing with the faith of the seven.

And Yes, the ingredients are looking really good with Sam in the middle of everything. The oldtown plot line is the only one where I have absolutely no idea what's about to happen.

Oldtown somewhat reminds me of Dol Amroth from lotr.

Although I've read lotr and the simarillion multiple times I am nowhere near as versed in them as I am with a song of ice and fire so sorry but this reference kinda flies right over my head. I'm assuming the two cities are built kinda similar?

It would also explain why Euron wants to take Oldtown. He wants to be a space pirate!

Lol, nice.

Lord Harlan Tyrell was rewarded with Highgarden and dominion over the Reach for surrendering Highgarden to Aegon the Conqueror. That seems rather excessive. Lord Manfred Hightower opened the gates of Oldtown so Aegon the Conqueror could be crowned by the Faith and legitimise his rule and was rewarded with what? I wonder if Lord Manfred was severely annoyed that a mere steward was granted dominion over the Reach over him.

Very good point. Manfred opening oldtown, allowing the faith to legitimize Aegon is way more beneficial then some stewards giving up after their their king had been defeated in battle. Why not do what the lannisters did for littlefinger. Just make the hightowers lord paramount of the reach. The only thing I can think of is that the hightowers didn't want it and preferred to stay in relative obscurity, politically speaking. But they should have at least increased their lands or something. One thing I find interesting on the targaryen tree is that the hightowers eventually got a targaryen bride however the tyrells did not. I find this detail very telling. The tyrells got highgarden but are nowhere near as respected as the hightowers.

I was intrigued by the mazemakers, too. I thought the Masseys could be their descendants. Because Massey could sound like Mazey and their sigil as given in wiki is a maze. But mazemakers are said to be larger than human beings. I still think there is some connection between greenseers of First Men and blind priests of Lorath. (http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/71976-twow-spoiler-justin-massey-sigil/?p=6443360),

If the mazemakers have descendants I think its possible that they could be a mix half-human, half-mazemaker? In any case I think its very interesting that both houses, Massey and Hightower are described as "Ancient" houses and yet neither has been confirmed as first men.

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Although I've read lotr and the simarillion multiple times I am nowhere near as versed in them as I am with a song of ice and fire so sorry but this reference kinda flies right over my head. I'm assuming the two cities are built kinda similar?

I'm not really an expert myself, but the Prince of Dol Amroth is second only to the line of stewards and have if I remember correctly more rights than other lords have. It's also the second biggest city I think.

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I'm not really an expert myself, but the Prince of Dol Amroth is second only to the line of stewards and have if I remember correctly more rights than other lords have. It's also the second biggest city I think.

Ahh ok I see the parallels there. Nice catch.

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We know the maesters might have been instrumental in bringing about the demise of Westeros dragons but did it strike anyone else that while Targ blood might have been weakening, it was really with the advent of marriage with Alicent Hightower that the dramatic demise of both dragons and dragon rider blood began.

That's just on the Targ family tree itself. And then we get all the Hightower water references. These are the original sea people it seems, predating the First Men, big oceangoers, almost like they were the first to land after a flood, and tied to the Lovecraftian oily stone and Deep Ones.

So Alicent Hightower of this sea-salty heritage marries into the bloodline of fire. And the bloodline starts rapidly diluting. Alicents kids all die out eventually. Targs later marry Martells, another watery house, and no more dragons are born. Not until it gets an influx of earthy Blackwood, and a few sister-brother marriages, does the bloodline revive enough to produce Danaerys.

Combine this with the fact that Alicent's dad was aligned with the Oldtown citadel and might know Hightower briney blood could prove Targaryan cryptonite. Plus, at the time of her marriage he was the Hand of the King! And the political Dance of Dragons starts ending with almost all the dragons dead and hardly any dragonlords able to bond new ones.

I smell a rat!

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@sages: I don't think the Hightowers want to stay in relatively obscurity, politically speaking. The Hightower High Septon managed to arrange the marriage of Ceryse Hightower to Maegor after opposing the incestuous marriage planned for him. Alicent Hightower became queen and started a civil war with her father to put her brats on the Iron Throne and at least two Hightowers, Otto and Jon, were Hand. If anything, the Hightowers before Lord Leyton seem to have wanted a main political role.


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And people say characters who show up

Late what matter end game, we haven't even met a Hightower and people already see them as big game.

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After world book it seems there is something beyond the lonely light and a race there, makes one wonder if we would see them.

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Long ago, the Very First Men landed in a spaceship, the last survivors of a planet called "Earth". They then proceeded to populate Planetos.


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Well, I'm eager to learn more through Sam.. But I've also been thinking for a while that Satin may be Baelor Hightower's bastard.. so maybe Sam won't be the only source..



http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/120625-a-foppish-youth-in-soiled-satin/#entry6464970



The OP is at #4 ,ATM ( long story)



I'm now even more curious. If Baelor and Rhonda have any offspring they aren't listed as yet.

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This may be the inner conspiracy theorist in me coming out, but did anyone else find the explanation of the Hightowers' involvement in founding the Citadel suspiciously vague? Since the book is 'written' by a maester, I regarded anything about their order with a critical eye and the founding story looks somewhat suspect. Basically, 'no one knows, really they don't, but it was probably the simple father/son anecdote - never question this again!' I mean, it could well be true, but I can't help but wonder whether some deeper motives were being masked by this seemingly simple explanation that not even Yandel can fully credit.


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Long ago, the Very First Men landed in a spaceship, the last survivors of a planet called "Earth". They then proceeded to populate Planetos.

And then they shitted on another planet.

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Lord Harlan Tyrell was rewarded with Highgarden and dominion over the Reach for surrendering Highgarden to Aegon the Conqueror. That seems rather excessive. Lord Manfred Hightower opened the gates of Oldtown so Aegon the Conqueror could be crowned by the Faith and legitimise his rule and was rewarded with what? I wonder if Lord Manfred was severely annoyed that a mere steward was granted dominion over the Reach over him.

The Hightowers were the most powerful power standing in the Reach at the end of the Conquest, but if Aegon had named them the overlords, Lord Rowan would have complained that his claim was better. If he had named Lord Rowan, it wold have been Lord Peake, Lord Florent, or whoever. The best way to get over envy and past rivalries is to name the underdog. Also, that assures you his loyalty since he is well aware that he is only the lord of the Reach because of the Targaryens.

Finally, the Reach is the most populous zone, and the main threat to the Targaryen rule at the time. If he had consolidated the power of the Reach under the Hightowers, that already controlled the Faith, the Citadel and the most populous city of Westeros, they could have been opposed the kings. A united Reach under a strong leadership was not convenient for the Targaryens.

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I think it is intentionally curious that the Daynes and the Hightowers both have their ancestral seats not on the mainland of Westeros, but on islands at the mouth of rivers. That is very intriguing. Not to mention the fact that there once were supposed to be dragons on Battle Island, which could be a pretty big hint that the Hightowers and Daynes have non-First Men ancestors (i.e. from an advanced seafaring culture), possibly proto-Valyrians.


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I like the story and station of the Hightowers as much as the next guy, but I'm tiring of this "House ____ will play a big role in the upcoming book" narrative based on the World Book content. At this point, we have at least the Hightowers, Royces, Daynes, and Blackwoods all of a sudden expected to somehow play integral roles in the endgame. I just tend to think there's a forest/trees problem here. Are all of those houses interesting? Certainly. Will they play a relatively more prominent role in the next two books? Likely. But will their contribution be much more than what could already discerned in regards to their respective importance before the release of the World Book? Doubtful. I'm as enthusiastic about the added details in world-building that has resulted from the accounts of these houses - particularly the Blackwoods - but I think this needs to be put into perspective.

:agree:

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I think it is intentionally curious that the Daynes and the Hightowers both have their ancestral seats not on the mainland of Westeros, but on islands at the mouth of rivers. That is very intriguing. Not to mention the fact that there once were supposed to be dragons on Battle Island, which could be a pretty big hint that the Hightowers and Daynes have non-First Men ancestors (i.e. from an advanced seafaring culture), possibly proto-Valyrians.

I like this idea.

"Elder races" in TWOIAF generally refers to the CotF and the giants. But in some cases, the Others and the speculative see creatures were also included in the list.

Another idea: Did Elenei belong to an elder race other than CotF and the giants?

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I like this idea.

"Elder races" in TWOIAF generally refers to the CotF and the giants. But in some cases, the Others and the speculative see creatures were also included in the list.

Another idea: Did Elenei belong to an elder race other than CotF and the giants?

Maybe, this mermaids the grey king and Durren wed could have belonged to the seafares that came before.

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Well, I'm inclined to believe/would not surprised if Battle Island/Oldtown was the place where the War for the Dawn was fought and won. Considering that the Long Night lasted for a generation, the Others should have advanced rather far south, don't you think...?



Those proto-Valyrians I'm speculating about could be the ancient Asshai'i, if they really were the first dragonrider race. They could have left Asshai at about that time to 'go into the west', helping the First Men when they chanced upon them (or because they determined what was going on there through magical means). Some of those Asshai'i could have been the founders of the Houses Dayne and Hightower, others may have went back east, settled in the Lands of the Long Summer, eventually becoming the first Valyrians.



If the Five Forts are really made of 'dragon stone', as is claimed, then the ancient Asshai'i are much more likely to have helped building in them than any Valyrians (too far away, and way too old). The same would be true for the foundation of the Hightower. That thing more or less 'dragon stone', but not 'dragon stone' in the Valyrian fashion - which could be a hint that the ancient Asshai'i made it, because they were not all that fond of the fancy shapes the Valyrians liked all that much.



I'd not expect any of the 'elder races' (various tribes of Deep Ones, whoever the Mazemakers were, etc.) to be actually important for the story. Although I've to admit that this Jaime vs. Cthulhu match has become a lot more likely (and may have even occurred in a parallel world of Martinworld) than it was before.


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I like this idea.

"Elder races" in TWOIAF generally refers to the CotF and the giants. But in some cases, the Others and the speculative see creatures were also included in the list.

Another idea: Did Elenei belong to an elder race other than CotF and the giants?

Elenei was the daughter of two gods, one of the sea, and one of the sky. Not the drown and storm, but the gods that the First Men had before the weirwoods.

So yeah, assuming that those two "gods" were actually a deep one and a sky one (not that they exist necessarily, they might have been members of an elder race, but not necessarily gods) then I'd say she is elder race.

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