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Shadow of Asshai

The Five Forts

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So, I'm really intrigued about the five forts, we heard a bit about them in TWOIAF, and something caught my attention:



No discussion of Yi Ti would be complete without a mention of the Five Forts, a line of hulking ancient citadels that stand along the far northeastern frontiers of the Golden Empire, between the Bleeding Seas (named for the characteristic hue of its deep waters, supposedly the result of a plant that only grows there) and the Mountains of the Morn. The Five Forts are very old, older than the Golden Empire itself; some claim they were raised by the Pearl Emperor during the morning of the Great Empire to keep the Lion of Night and his demons from the realms of men . . . and indeed, there is something godlike, or demonic, about the monstrous size of the forts, for each of the five is large enough to house ten thousand men, and their massive walls stand almost a thousand feet high.


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.



This Lion of the Night seems to be an equivalent of the Great Other and his demons would be the Others? As I saw in some threads here, the Five Forts would be some kind of Wall?


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I think there might have been some kind of invasion. Not sure if it was the Westerosi Others though. The Great Other (if such a being exist) might have more than one weapon up his sleeve. He might have some creatures that can take care of Essos while the Others deal with Westeros.


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I would like a theory about Hyrkoon the Hero with his burning sword, Azor Ahai, the Five Forts, the Wall and the Long Night. So I'm bumping this. I know someone hidden in the depths of this forum will be creative enough to do that


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I find it likely that the Forts were erected for basically the same purpose as the Wall, but whether or not the creatures they guard against are literally Others, I'm not certain. The Long Night may or may not have played a role in it (though I've got a hunch there never WAS a Long Night, it's a myth akin to the Great Flood of Abrahamic religions). Hyrkoon the Hero and his sword probably had nothing directly to do with the Forts at all, if he ever existed.


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I find it likely that the Forts were erected for basically the same purpose as the Wall, but whether or not the creatures they guard against are literally Others, I'm not certain. The Long Night may or may not have played a role in it (though I've got a hunch there never WAS a Long Night, it's a myth akin to the Great Flood of Abrahamic religions). Hyrkoon the Hero and his sword probably had nothing directly to do with the Forts at all, if he ever existed.

? But there WAS a great flood lol, I don't really understand the comparison. Epic of Gilgamesh and all that jazz

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Since the Long Night was a worldwide event, I think the Five Forts exists as an Essos "Wall". Look at the maps from of the Far East. The Cannibal Sands, The Grey Waste are what exist on the other side of those forts.


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This also raises similar questions to what we have today in the real world, namely, how did these ancient civilizations have the mastery of technology and architecture to raise these structures? Valyrian involvement is a big wildcard, in that through the use of dragon flame and sorcery certain things can be done with stone that otherwise cannot be accomplished by "normal" humans. 1000 foot walls are an incredible feat for any time period, even more so for something that predates the Golden Empire and the Valyrian freehold.



I tie it back to something Joer Mormont said to Jon, which is basically that the Wall wasnt build 700 feet high to keep wildings, whights and white walkers out...that would be clearly excessive. Even accounting for massive snow drifts, there wouldnt be a need for something that high. So there must be something larger or more capable that they were planning for. Probably the same goes for these gigantic citadels, those arent built to keep other humans out, they are for something larger.


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? But there WAS a great flood lol, I don't really understand the comparison. Epic of Gilgamesh and all that jazz

When your "world" is merely as far as you can see then most civilizations have experienced something similar.

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? But there WAS a great flood lol, I don't really understand the comparison. Epic of Gilgamesh and all that jazz

Yes, but it was a local event, caused by something completely different from what mythology says, and did not happen at the same time as other, similar events elsewhere in the world. In the real world, myths have spread far enough for people to seriously believe there was a worldwide flood less than six millennia ago. Planetos has had eight millennia for their myths to flourish. It's not a stretch to guess that whatever the myth of the Long Night originated in, the tales told of it since would have become quite different from what actually took place.

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Ohhhh, maybe it was a wall and if they were affected by the LN they may have (had) their own NW...the watchers on the WallS.


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I feel like it's the Essosi equivalent and there's big hints as to the Five Forts once guarding Yi Ti and the Further East from more than just the raiders out of the Grey Waste. It basically sounds like the equivalent of the Night's Watch, who now mostly guard Westeros from the wildlings and how over time the organisation has forgotten the bigger, past threat of the Others because it just seems like fairytales by this point.



Carcosa, Cities of the Bloodless Men, K'Dath, the Land of the Shrykes... how much of what we know is merely legend is still unknown at this point.


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I think the Grey Waste was the biological waste deposal site of the Great Empire of the Dawn. They were creating hybrid creatures and eventually dragons. Failed experiments like the winged-men, Shrykes, lizard-men and so on were dumped to the Grey Waste and the Five Forts were raised to prevent them invading their realm.


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i know this is off topic, but I have the feeling that the next "Long Night"/ winter won't be as long as it has been predicted. Simply because you would need much more than 2 books for that. I mean summer began before the series started and now winter is finally coming after 5 books and it's supposed to be the longest winter in a long time (because a long summer is usually followed by a long winter as they say). So either we're getting 5 more books or the lenght of the winter won't meet my expectations.


Just wanted to get that off my chest. You can ignore it, if you like to ;)


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A lot of people, me included, think that part of the conclusion of the series will be "righting" the seasons, i.e. figuring out how to re-balance Planetos and thus causing the seasons to be normal lengths again. So in that case, no, the upcoming winter would not be as long as advertised.


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I think the Grey Waste was the biological waste deposal site of the Great Empire of the Dawn. They were creating hybrid creatures and eventually dragons. Failed experiments like the winged-men, Shrykes, lizard-men and so on were dumped to the Grey Waste and the Five Forts were raised to prevent them invading their realm.

I think that is not unlikely. Although I have a feeling that a lot of the "waste" areas in Essos did not start out that way. I think it's likely that the Grey Waste was made into a waste *by* the biological dumping and other magical shenanigans. Basically they just took their "waste" far away and dumped it, and eventually the dumping ground itself became a waste full of monsters and the forts had to be built.

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I find it likely that the Forts were erected for basically the same purpose as the Wall, but whether or not the creatures they guard against are literally Others, I'm not certain. The Long Night may or may not have played a role in it (though I've got a hunch there never WAS a Long Night, it's a myth akin to the Great Flood of Abrahamic religions). Hyrkoon the Hero and his sword probably had nothing directly to do with the Forts at all, if he ever existed.

? But there WAS a great flood lol, I don't really understand the comparison. Epic of Gilgamesh and all that jazz

When your "world" is merely as far as you can see then most civilizations have experienced something similar.

Yes, but it was a local event, caused by something completely different from what mythology says, and did not happen at the same time as other, similar events elsewhere in the world. In the real world, myths have spread far enough for people to seriously believe there was a worldwide flood less than six millennia ago. Planetos has had eight millennia for their myths to flourish. It's not a stretch to guess that whatever the myth of the Long Night originated in, the tales told of it since would have become quite different from what actually took place.

There is a school of thought that suspects that the Noah flood, Gilgamesh flood, Native American flood stories, etc. *may* have something to do with melting glaciers at the end of the last ice age. So the floods might not have been quite as "epic" as the stories depict, though still devastating to their homes, but it may very well have happened at around the same time as each other, thus giving rise to very similar stories throughout the world. They haven't proven anything definitive, mind you, it's simply a hypothesis some scholars are working on.

I've gotta head out the door to a Mother's Day thing at the kiddo's school, but I'll take a look for my references later for you all!

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At the very least, Five Fort sis just an allusion to the Great Wall of China meant to protect from barbarian invaders.



At the very most, it's the Essos version of The Wall protecting form the Others.


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