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Shadow of Asshai

The Five Forts

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I'm not saying its a house of cards, I'm saying its a house of imaginary cards.



Saying "coincidence" still implies an oddity worth noting, just that there is no further meaning. I'm saying it doesn't even merit worth noting as there is nothing there to see at all. No coincidence unless everything blue is coincidentally the color of the sky which while true is a completely useless level of meaning.



The most significant item of the Great Empire of the Dawn's rulers? That they collectively declined. Maybe just possibly recalling Dany herself as an amethyst daughter with black Baratheon having stolen her place or some future usurpation, but both are vague enough to leave you nowhere to go, they don't support anything being too ill defined. Ergo it isn't something that should send you looking for gem references everywhere it just goes into another instance of the general top level theme of the Long Night come again. Done.



Gems themselves showing a shout out to that tibit from the East? Well unless you get the whole set... nope. A thousand Jade Gates, Tourmaline Brotherhoods, and "black amethysts" come to nothing except that happens to be imagery favored by the writer. Even that Dany one you like so much doesn't match up in numbers when if say "sex gem eyed kings cried 'Faster! Faster!' at her" there might be something to that one. Leaving the only out that for some reason only some weren't worth including (why?) or the meta-y that it was early and in the intervening time the number was revised upwards for Yi Ti. Both mean your super genius symbolism requires GRRM making errors which operates at cross purposes, possible but contradictory.



Regardless you can only have a pattern by having a pattern and the cup and ring examples show that doesn't really hold up being rife with differences thus demonstrating gems are not siginificant on the whole. Ergo you go back to needing particular subsets. Gems might have some general symbolism as all bling bling does to display wealth and splendor, but a specific reference to Yi Ti's legends in the text... nope.


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Ha ha, well, fair enough, somebody has to be the skeptic. Safe to say, we have totally different ways of looking a this series.

However, I don't think you're going to unravel very many secrets with your point of view. ;)

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:bs:




But let's keep it about the Five Forts and not the Great Empire of Dawn and it's cultists.

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Mrs Grumpy, the Five Forts were built by the Great Empire of the Dawn. How do you propose to keep those separate? You might want to go back and re-read the OP.

And why are you trying to regulate the thread when it is not your own, and the original poster is into discussing GEotD stuff? I mean really. Take your fun police hat off, please.

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Since the Great Empire of the Dawn built the Five Forts, they had the technology of the oily black stone construction and also the abominations beyond Five Forts were there already, much before the Long Night.


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One correction Mithras, the Five Forts and Hightower fortress are fused black stone, not greasy black stone. Fused stone is only created via dragonfire and sorcery, and we always find it molded into distinct shapes. The GEotD seems to have favored utilitarian styling, as seen at Battle Isle and the Five Forts, while the Valyrians who came later favored intricate ornamentation. Greasy stone, however, refers to Asshai, whose construction is not specifically described; Moat Cailin and Yeen, which seem to be built from very large hewn stone blocks; and the Toad statue on the Isle of Toads and the Seastone Chair, both "lumps" of greasy stone carved into shapes of aquatic creatures.

An important difference is that the fused stone structures, Valyrian or GeoDawnian alike, do not seem to have the radiation poisoning effects of the greasy black stone. Basically, the more greasy stone is in one location, the more inimical to life the area is. Asshai has the strongest "radiation," Yeen the most after that, and on down the line to the Seastone Chair, which it seems may have a mild corrupting effect, based on Aeron's observations of Balon's aging after having sit the chair for ten years.

The Great Empire of the Dawn is certainly the builder of the Five Forts and Hightower fortress, as they are the only dragonlords we hear about prior to Valyria's rise. I definitely associate Asshai with the GEotD, most likely built by the GEotD out of regular stone before the Long Night disaster, which only turned greasy and black after the corruption of the shadowlands. But the other greasy stone locations are pretty mysterious, I would say they may or may not be associated with the GEotD. It's possible the greasy stone underwent a similar, but different process of fire and sorcery, or it could be that the greasy black stone is actually the rocks of the moon which was destroyed at the beginning of the Long Night. These stones are coated in the black blood of the fire moon goddess, hence their greasy look - a kind of opposite of trees that bleed, "stones that bleed."

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Since the Great Empire of the Dawn built the Five Forts, they had the technology of the oily black stone construction and also the abominations beyond Five Forts were there already, much before the Long Night.

Except their description lacks the critical "oily" or "greasy" descriptor that I can find. And there are at least two types of black stone, the Lovecraftian on Battle Island and the Valyrian such as Volantis' Black Wall distinguished so far only by that descriptor. Both are fused as one piece judging by the Oldtown example. And Thematically while the Valyrians have plenty of dark aspects they are more demonic (noting dragons are demonic too) then squamous so what relationship these two types of black stone may have... only GRRM knows.

And if there are two distinct sorts, which I find personally likely since I expect our good author favors an interplay of dissimilar forces over any unified theory of everything, the it begs which the Five Forts are, to me they strike me as more "Valyrian" though obviously predate Valyria which rises only after the Long Night. Course that timing is arguably kinda suspicious given other important lands have legends of the Long Night ergo predate it. On the other hand Valyria rose over thousands of years of course and its own internal history has good cause for vanishing. If were going to learn more thought I'd bet copper to gold its important to the main myth arc but Valyria going higher then seemingly anyone else might be suggestive.

How does this tie to Five Forts? Well it would be the supposition the Five Forts are the model for later Valyrian construction and tied up in whatever the eastern battle for dawn was.

Or just a Riddle for the Ages like I expect all this other Cthulhu stuff will be. Sit down with mysteries of Ice and Fire solved in the last book and someone points out all these other mysteries yet out and like a voice clear as day Jon snow hears a laughing woman declaring that forever and more he shall know nothing.

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Here's my take on The Great Empire of Dawn;


It's a legend that YiTish made up, so that they can look more fabulous then they are.



Some English believed that Stonehenge was built by Merlin (an English figure in folklore).


->Some YiTish believes that the Five Forts were built by our supreme, so called, gemstone emperors. (YiTish figures in their folklore).



It's clear that some magical people(?) built it but I don't think The Great Empire of Dawn played a part in it's construction.



Now, theory-crafting is fun. But as long as it makes sense. Saying that a fat cheesemonger is a cultist of some old conspiracy because he is wearing rings of different gemstones is beyond ridiculous. Rich men can buy rings and wear them. It's not that hard to understand.



Tbh, oily black stones and other fused black stones makes me think and wonder what happened in the past. But that's the aim, I guess. Trying to find answers of them are beyond us. I don't think GRRM planted hints about The Great Empire of Dawn in Dany's dream in AGOT.



So yeah.



-_-


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That's all well and good, you're entitled to your opinion, certainly. I know you've checked out my essays (my thanks) so it's not like you've haven't seen my case. I'm simply saying that in a discussion about the five forts, which were "supposedly" built by the Great Empire of the Dawn, discussion of any and all facets of the Great Empire of the Dawn is certainly within the scope of the OP.

I'm not sure why you think it's ridiculous to think Illyrio may have seem ideas about ancient Asshai prophecy - he trades in dragon eggs and dragon bone, follows R'hllor and is doing everything he can to empower Daenerys, A Valyrian with dragons. He has 6 out of 8 gemstones of the empire on his hands, you have to at least take a look at that before dismissing it, is all i am saying.

As for the Five Forts, they are made of fused black stone, and we only know one way of building fused black stone - dragon fire and sorcery. Whether it was the GEotD or just ancient Yi Ti that built them, they were definitely built before Valyria, as was the Hightower fortress, so what that is telling us is that dragonlords existed prior to Valyria, and had use of a similar dragon flame-to-make-fused-stone technique. It really doesn't matter what you want to call them.

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As for the Five Forts, they are made of fused black stone, and we only know one way of building fused black stone - dragon fire and sorcery. Whether it was the GEotD or just ancient Yi Ti that built them, they were definitely built before Valyria, as was the Hightower fortress, so what that is telling us is that dragonlords existed prior to Valyria, and had use of a similar dragon flame-to-make-fused-stone technique. It really doesn't matter what you want to call them.

Most likely "the-so-ancient-that-they-don't-even-have-a-name" people built them cuz lolz. They were of the Shadow and taught Valyrians dragonbinding for some reason and disappeared. (I actually like the theory that Valyrians were created by these people. Being unworldy beautiful was the aim and dragonbabies are technical errors)

It's creepy and mysterious, as it should be :p

Maybe you should focus on Asshai more than GEoD. You might find some clues. I mean at least you would spend your effort on something more(imo) valuable.

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I don't think they are different. I think the largest city in the world (Asshai) was likely built by the greatest empire in the world - the Great Empire of the Dawn. I doubt that's why they actually called themselves, you know? That's basically a working title for this ancient Asshai based dragon lord culture which ruled everything east of the bone mountains.

I certainly think they were the ancestors of the Valyrians. I mean those gemstone eyed kingly ghosts in Dany's dream - come on. Not only do their eyes have the right gemstones, but they have hair of gold and silver and platinum white - Valyrian hair colors, exactly. Who do you think those people were, if not these ancient dragonlords from Asshai?

And why are you resistant to associating the GEotD with these ancient dragonlords? The GEotD is definitively NOT Yi Tish, because the Yi Tish' own records say the GEotD was destroyed during the Long Night, and was "NOT REBORN." All the peoples grew suspicious of each other and scattered. Yi Ti arose some time after that, by their own account. They are not the same.

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And why are you resistant to associating the GEotD with these ancient dragonlords? The GEotD is definitively NOT Yi Tish, because the Yi Tish' own records say the GEotD was destroyed during the Long Night, and was "NOT REBORN." All the peoples grew suspicious of each other and scattered. Yi Ti arose some time after that, by their own account. They are not the same.

Yes, it didn't reborn. Instead, Golden Empire of Yi Ti emerged. Not the same thing as GEotD.

-

Then why do they still worship the Lion of Night and Maiden-Made-of-Light? They existed in GEotD legend...

Or why do they hold someone else's history as their own founding myth...

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Lord Mace Tyrell came forward to present his gift: a golden chalice three feet tall, with two ornate curved handles and seven faces glittering with gemstones. “Seven faces for Your Grace’s seven kingdoms,” the bride’s father explained. He showed them how each face bore the sigil of one of the great houses: ruby lion, emerald rose, onyx stag, silver trout, blue jade falcon, opal sun, and pearl direwolf.

I find this an interresting passage with perhaps having some sort of connection to the yi-ti'ish emperors although i'd say it's a bit of a long shot at that.

The passage kinda associate's 4 houses from Westeros vaguely with Yi Ti emperors of that gem. It is to say, one can understand why specificly gems like these would be used to represent those houses simply because of their colour. At the time when that gift is give, that being Joffrey's wedding, it's kinda interesting that he then dies of an amethyst where there was also an amythyst emperor.

Interresting in relation the five forts and wall then is that house Stark is associated with pearl here, the pearl emperor build the 5 forts and the Starks the wall.

One of the best posts I've seen in the long while. Everything is in the text, as I said many times.

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Then why do they still worship the Lion of Night and Maiden-Made-of-Light. They existed in GEotD legend...

Or why do they hold someone else's history as their own founding myth...

Yes, it didn't reborn. Instead, Golden Empire of Yi Ti emerged. Not the same thing as GEotD.

We don't know that they still worship the LoN and the MMoL, actually, although it wouldn't surprise me if they did. It's not a mystery at all - new dynasties frequently, if not usually, attempt to link their claim to power back to the previous dynasty. The Yi Tish have clearly taken on many trappings of GEotD culture, which makes perfect sense to me. The GEotD, ruling all the land east of the Bones, would have inevitably been a multi-ethnic society. When it collapsed and fragmented, these groups would tend to form their own cities or nations whenever humanity picked itself up off the mat after the LN. The Yi Tish seem to have been the first and most successful of these - they must have been a part of the GEotD, so when they created their empire in some of the same area, they took on the monicker of "God-Emperor" and some of their religion. All of this is is 100% consistent with how real history occurs.

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I don't think they are different. I think the largest city in the world (Asshai) was likely built by the greatest empire in the world - the Great Empire of the Dawn. I doubt that's why they actually called themselves, you know? That's basically a working title for this ancient Asshai based dragon lord culture which ruled everything east of the bone mountains.

I certainly think they were the ancestors of the Valyrians. I mean those gemstone eyed kingly ghosts in Dany's dream - come on. Not only do their eyes have the right gemstones, but they have hair of gold and silver and platinum white - Valyrian hair colors, exactly. Who do you think those people were, if not these ancient dragonlords from Asshai?

And why are you resistant to associating the GEotD with these ancient dragonlords? The GEotD is definitively NOT Yi Tish, because the Yi Tish' own records say the GEotD was destroyed during the Long Night, and was "NOT REBORN." All the peoples grew suspicious of each other and scattered. Yi Ti arose some time after that, by their own account. They are not the same.

Or Asshai was built in a distant aeon with no connection to anything in human memory. Which likely will never be explained because this tale is still the tale of Westeros half a hemisphere to the west and even Drogon can only fly so fast in two books. The point of mysteries is to be mysterious, not solvable save under specific rules.

And the Great Empire of the Dawn is absolutely a Yi Tish legend. Its presented as Yi Ti own legendary history by Yandel, it further matches the pseudo-Chinese theme of the nation being an echo of China's own five legendary emperors. It might have existed but whether it did as described is another matter, without knowledge of the legends of the Jogos Nahai, Neferi, and especially the Patrimony of Hrykoon's own legends there are no conclusions to be drawn. Much less actual knowledge. And how that squares with say the monkey woman's tail.

Remember some of the amusing accounts of Casterly Rock according to easterners? We can presume the reverse is true, it sounds like a splendid place (and probably does beat the west if true to IRL history) but say all the cities could be half in ruins or other things that simply don't make it back.

And that vision... why in a series of otherwise rather personal visions does Dany suddenly get visited by distant emperors of the east 8000 years removed?And putting aside one is symbolically herself maybe, where are the missing ones? Not to mention the text is ambiguous to the actual numbers, there could be a lot more then four. Because you've assumed gem referencing is rare and want your theory to be true of course its easy to say oh yes its 'clearly' close enough. When in fact the emperor's gems showing up is not all that rare as previous other examples demonstrate and nothing yet demonstrates particular significance of the Yi Ti legend over say the Rhoynar's version of the Long Night. Hyrkoon is the stuff actually referenced in the books a lot.

Off hand I'd speculate the kings are a stylized vision of Dany's more recent ancestors with the many eyes to keep things interesting when all purple would be terribly dull and obvious. For that matter its not like the Targaryens were ever quite monochrome and for that matter some quick googling suggest that like most gems all the 3/4 referenced ones come in many colors including purple.

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The point of mysteries is to be mysterious, not solvable save under specific rules.

I'm curious, on what do you base this assumption? Specifically as applied to e eastern section of TWOAIF? What makes you so certain Martin hasn't left us clues to solve some of these things, as he is wont to do?

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As for why Daenerys sees these gemstone eyed kings holding swords of pale fire and the height of her "wake the dragon" dream - simple. They are her ancestors, the original dragonlords. Sure, they could be Valyrians.... But have we ever heard anything about Valyrians with swords of pale fire of gemstone eyes?

Honestly, I've made the best case I can make for all this stuff in my third Astronomy of Planetos essay. If you are really curious to see the best presentation of the evidence connecting the Great Empire of the Dawn to Asshai and the ancient dragonlords race which built the five forts and the Oldtown fortress that I can make, check that one out. There's a lot of evidence, and I've compiled it in as orderly a fashion as I could, but it doesn't really serve to selectively paraphrase it here.. So if you are open minded at all about this, check that one out, and if not... No worries.

It kind of comes down to how you think Martin is writing this series. I see him as a puzzle master who is well aware of the level of scrutiny applied to his writing. I think he enjoys hiding mysteries and puzzles wherever he can, and he seems to always give use enough information to either solve the puzzle of make some educated guesses. Some of these puzzles have very little effect on the main story; they are more like hidden backstory which is enjoyable and fun to solve. But for some of the major secrets of the series, I believe George has hidden clues everywhere. The Last Hero motif, for example - one thing leading 12 things, the 12 dying one by one, and the last one being sacrificed heroically in some way - can be found in all kinds of places. These are reader-only Easter eggs to give us hints about the Last Hero. The same can be said for all the major players of the Dawn Age / LN / Battle for the Dawn events. The worldbook, especially, seems packed with easter eggs.

You seem to have a very different outlook, that this far eastern stuff is mostly fluff and head-nods to Lovecraft and other influences. They certainly are head-nods, as there are all throughout the series, but George has never been afraid actually use those types of things for actual plot devices in some way. Furthermore, although the stories are obviously meant to be understood as exaggerated and unreliable, that doesn't mean there isn't a truth to be gleaned from them. George is mimicking mythology and "local lore" here, which usually consist of fanciful sounding tales which contain elements of truth at their heart. To wave these legends off as meaningless I think misses the point of what George is trying to do here, that is, making his world as realistic as possible. He's been playing with the idea that folktales and fisherman's stories are more reliable than they first appear throughout the whole series, and I think that's the mindset we are meant to apply here to these other myths.

ETA: as for why we only get four matching gemstones instead of all eight, well, giving us all eight that would make the puzzle really easy! Martin is trying to make this a challenge, not spoon feed us. R+L=J is the easiest mystery to solve in the series, and I didn't get it my first time through (I was a much less experienced reader then).

Anyway, when a puzzle master gives you a potential clue, you have to examine it thoroughly before you decide it's nothing. When we find these Valyrian looking kingly ghosts with gemstone eyes, all all the gems given match, then we have to consider that a potential clue. And once we explore the idea of a connection there, I believe we find a lot of evidence. It makes a great deal of sense that the ancient dragonlords would be from Asshai, and if Dany is going to see anyone's ghosts in her "wake the dragon" dream, why not them? Or consider it the other way around: in this dream, a very important scenes for one of our main characters, she sees the kingly ghosts at the high point of the scene. They also hold the swords of pale fire, which we know is an important motif in the series. Therefore, we should scrutinize every detail we are given about these kingly ghosts and see what we can discern. At least... that's my approach. :)

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I'm curious, on what do you base this assumption? Specifically as applied to e eastern section of TWOAIF? What makes you so certain Martin hasn't left us clues to solve some of these things, as he is wont to do?

Specifically? Neil Gaiman taught me via Cain and practiced it.

More generally, just experience. I can't recall a series that truly completes its mythos (and I could probably come up with a couple dozen) there are always questions around the edges.

Take say Middle-Earth for example. Now first subtract the posthumous Silmarillion. And everything Tolkien even counting all the posthumously published notes doesn't come close to completing the map or exploring everything. Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil are some of the more well known examples of things that don't fit and have to be squinted and bashed into existing categories and there are people who will dispute that even then. They are not alone, there's the "nameless things older then Sauron" Gandalf spoke of, the fate of the Blue Wizards, anything east of the sea of Rhun, what the Last Battle would be, etc, etc. And that's a mythos we have exceptional access to the inside of the author's head with thanks to all the notes being dolled up.

Mystery is especially likely to be true of this Deep Ones stuff. That entire cyclopean mythos was built around purple prose creating mystery to hide its all about a guy afraid of seafood. And the unknown. (That and lots of racism but this isn't the place for that)

I also doubt Martin will ever bring that to the forefront assuming when its more then just another Maester Rigney or Lord Elmo it would be essentially a copied (not stolen) work at that point. And I don't consider him to be that bad a writer, though worse declines have happened.

I'd rather have Adara turn out to be the series Big Bad explanation for everything at that point.

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My take on the whole Empire of the Dawn, Assai, Valyrians and pretty much everything else left in Essos is that long ago there was a super advanced civilization there. They were based in Assai, or the far east and had the ability to build using magic/dragonflame etc, so their architecture has the look of fused stone. They used advanced magic or science possibly and caused their own downfall eventually. Something happened that was so catastrophic that is messed up the seasons on a global scale, caused a winter that lasted a generation and left Assai a poisoned and tainted place.



The Doom was pretty bad for Valyria but what caused the Long Night and the changes to the seasons musty have been something apocalyptic on a global scale, we're talking nuclear winter or something akin to a large comet impact messing up global climates.


I'm thinking possibly this cataclysm was something to do magic. Did the Empire of Dawn mess with the wrong magic (or science) and cause a cataclysm that destroyed their civilization and created the Others at the same time? It seem the Others didn't exist until the Long Night, which going by the world book was caused by the Bloodstone Emperor, who began worshipping something much older than even the Empire of Dawn's gods.


I'm wondering whether the Others are just some poor buggers who were living in the far north and got caught up in the results of this magic cataclysm, were they transformed in to what they are today by fallout from what happened in the far east?



After the Empie of Dawn was nuked those survivors spread out across the Essos, settling in Valyria and elsewhere or the 1000's of years that follow. They forget their origins but have some slight recolection of them from stories and legends, passed down through the generations. Eventually they discover (or possibly rediscover?) dragons living in the 14 fires and the story leads on from there as we know. Or they go the more peacful way and we end up with groups like the Lazareen, nomadic sheep herders etc.

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Getting back specifically to the Five Forts and the Wall connection...



Would actually be pretty damn cool IMO if some former Watchers on the Walls of the Five Forts set up the Night's Watch. (Which supposedly pre-dates the Wall. Maybe the Watchers: Westeros Branch came from the Five Forts to fight the Others, then were like, "you know what really helps with this stuff in our experience? Walls.")



That might actually explain the amazing continuity of the Night's Watch. They apparently kept records way before writing was a thing in Westeros. If they were maintaining knowledge and traditions of the GEotD throughout the Long Night (which could be considered a Dark Age), that makes them an interesting analog for medieval priests.



Too bad someone let all those old books to go to rot. :-(



Sam should start a new order called the Archivists on the Walls. Surely some maester link is good for making acid-free paper.


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