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Durran Durrandon

One God, Two Gods, Red God Blue God: Melisandre and the Night's Queen

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One God, Two Gods, Red God Blue God: Melisandre and the Night's Queen

Forget hybrids. Just forget them. The origin of the Others is rooted in changeling mythology. Changelings, children abducted and replaced by faye magical beings or spirit people, have much deeper roots in medieval mythology, have a strong parallel with the theme of hidden child swapping in the books, and are ultimately better supported in the text as a possible origin for the Others. I think that viewing the text this way will ultimately give us a better idea of what is going on with the Red Priestess of Rhllor in general and Melisandre specifically.

This story is filled with mundane changelings. Jon, Jofferey, Gilly's boy, and maybe Tyrion. It's almost easier to count characters that weren't swapped out with someone else at birth or secretly the child of someone else. Hell, Ned claims he was cuckold by a squirrel.

This theme is clear when we look at Jon, Joffrey, and Gillys boy, but if we look closer, abduction with the intent of changing the abducted child is also common. The double usage of the foster-hostage, as a settlement for war, seek, not only to use the child as a hostage, but to raise the child in the culture of the victor. This is at the heart of Theons original identity crisis. Is he a Stark or a Greyjoy? Which does he want to be? This only becomes more complicated when he is abducted by Ramsey Snow and transformed into Reek. Similarly, the Unsullied are abducted as children and transformed through a process of indoctrination and conditioning into ruthless killers. This leads into the whole system of slavery in Essos, and the use of slavery and indoctrination among the Red Priests in particular, but I will address that late.

Back to the Others. They are not hybrids. They don't produce hybrids with humans

I know. I know, Nan told Bran that the Others laid with human women and produced terrible half breeds. She also told him that wildlings carry of human women and sell them to the Others, and Nan is always right. Except that to our knowledge, she never actually said any of those things. Bran thinks and says them, and Ned tells Bran that he has been listening to too many of Old Nan's stories, (GoT 8-22) so we assume she said them, but Bran never attributes them to Nan. He could have heard these stories anywhere.

This is what we know Old Nan actuality told Bran, "In that darkness, the Others came for the first time . . . They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children. She never mentions half breeds.

So what do we actually know? We know that Craster gives his baby boys to the Others. Without the HBO spoiler, we know from Gilly in the text that Craster gives the boys to the Cold Gods, the white shadows with shining blue eyes.


For the baby, not for me. If its a girl, thats not so bad, shell grow a few years and hell marry her. But Nella says its to be a boy, and shes had six and knows these things. He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. Thats why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the sheeps gone too. Next it will be dogs, till . . . She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly. What gods? Jon was remembering that theyd seen no boys in Crasters Keep, nor men either, save Craster himself. The cold gods, she said. The ones in the night. The white shadows.
. . .
What color are their eyes? he asked her. Blue. As bright as blue stars, and as cold. She has seen them, he thought. Craster lied. (CoK 364-365)


Moreover, we learn in A Storm of Swords that Craster's wives believe the Others are the boys brothers, Craster's sons. The boys are given to the Others who change the boys, making them Others.

Gilly was crying. Me and the babe. Please. Ill be your wife, like I was Crasters. Please, ser crow. Hes a boy, just like Nella said hed be. If you dont take him, they will.

They? said Sam, and the raven cocked its black head and echoed, They. They. They .

The boys brothers, said the old woman on the left. Crasters sons. The white colds rising out there, crow. I can feel it in my bones. These poor old bones don't lie. They'll be here soon, the sons. (ASoS 505)



The Others abduct babies to change them into Others. Behind the Others, I think is the transformative magical nature of the cold of the North, stemming from the Heart of Winter, and it is the interaction of that force with humans that has created the Others. To support this I am going to lean on an arguably non-canonical source, and then lead back into cannon. If everyone could please refrain from throwing rocks at my head until I get to the end, that would be great.

Meet Adara, She is from the story The Ice Dragon. Yes, I know Ice Dragon isn't cannon. I just covered that. It is thematically related to ASOIAF. It is set in a world with dragon riders and with creatures made out of ice. It is pretty clearly a place where George R.R. Martin was working with some of his early ideas about the magical cold. Martin is certainly referencing the story and possibly ideas from the story, when he provides fleeting references to ice dragons in the ASOIAF text.* I think it is helpful to understanding his ideas about changelings and ice magic to look at Adara's birth and her relationship with the cold. This section will have Ice Dragon spoilers.

They talked about other things as well. They said it was the chill of that terrible freeze that had killed her mother, stealing in during her long night of labor past the great fire that Adaras' father had built, and creeping under the layers of blankets that covered the birthing bed. And they said that the cold had entered Adara in the womb, that her skin had been pale blue and icy to the touch when she came forth, and that she had never warmed in all the years since. The winter had touched her, left its mark upon her, and made her its own. (The Ice Dragon Page 18)




It was true that Adara was always a child apart. She was a very serious little girl who seldom cared to play with the others. She was beautiful, people said, but in a strange, distant sort of way, with her pale skin and blond hair and wide clear blue eyes. She smiled, but not often. No one had ever seen her cry. (The Ice Dragon 19)


The cold is personified. It steals in like a magical creature. Killing Adara's mother and changing Adara. As the story continues, Adara has a magical relationship with two forms of ice creatures. The first are the ice lizards that come during the winter, harmless creatures. When other children pick them up, they melt, but when Adara picks them up, her cool hand can hold them without harm. The second is the ice dragon. It comes every winter, which occur once a year, like normal winters, but the more often the ice dragon comes, the more sever the winters become. So we begin to see this connection between supernatural forces and the winter. Eventually Adara is able to court and ride the ice dragon, which seems to be returning each year due to its connection with her. Note that the cold in this story is never associated with evil, but it is dangerous, it is alien, and it can kill.

Martins association of the cold with the color blue, which will occur throughout the ASOIAF text. is also present in The Ice Dragon. Adara's eyes are blue. The ice lizards are described as wriggling out of their burrows, and the fields would be overrun with the tiny blue creatures, darting this way and that, hardly seeming to touch the snow as they skimmed across it. (TID 33)

Likewise blue is used in the description of the ice dragon itself:

Its wings were vast and batlike, colored all a faint translucent blue. Adara could see the clouds through them, and oftentimes the moon and stars, when the beast wheeled in frozen circles through the skies. Its teeth were icicles, a triple row of them, jagged spears of unequal length, white against its deep blue maw. (TID 40)



Ice that has sufficiently few air bubbles looks blue, but Martins association of ice with blue goes beyond the physical description. The text of ASOIAF repeatedly describes the glowing blue eyes of the Others and the wights, comparing them to gleaming blue stars. As far as actual blue stars go, there is only one referenced in the ASOIAF text. When Bran asks Osha the way north, she tells him, The ways easy. Look for the Ice Dragon, and chase the blue star in the riders eye. (CoK 505) The blue eye of the rider, in a sense, Adaras blue eye, points to the Heart of Winter.**

I think there is a direct parallel between the change undergone by Adara and the change we are seeing happening to Melisandre, but I think it helps to connect the two by looking at the myth of the Night King and his queen first:

[The Nights King] had been the thirteenth man to lead the Nights Watch, [Nan] said; a warrior who knew no fear. And that was the fault in him, she would add, for all men must know fear. A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well. He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Nights King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he had been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Nights King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden. (SoS 825)



Like Adara, the Night's Queen has cold, pale skin and blue eyes. Her skin is icy, like Adara's is at birth. Her eyes are described as blue stars, which Adara's are not, but I suspect she is much further along in the process of changing. Note that no children are said to come from their mating, and we are told than in mating, Night's King's gives his soul to her. That the Nights King is said to be sacrificing to the Others, may be important in its own right, but it implies that the Night's Queen is not an Other, as it is mentioned separately.

Now, let's look at Melisandre:

"Around her throat was a red gold choker tighter than any maesters chain, ornamented with a single great ruby. Her hair was not the orange or strawberry color of common red-haired men, but a deep burnished copper that shone in the light of the torches. Even her eyes were red . . . but her skin was smooth and white, unblemished, pale as cream." (CoK 30)


She has unnaturally red hair and red eyes. Yeah, I know Brynden Rivers***, Ghost , and some Green Seers have red eyes, but her eyes are being described in the context of repeated references to the color red. The ruby is often described as her third eye and in Davos' POV "Melisandres ruby glowed like a red star at her throat." (SoS 935) It will not be until she arrives at the Wall that her eyes will be described this way. "Her eyes were two red stars, shining in the dark. At her throat, her ruby gleamed, a third eye glowing brighter than the others." (ADwD 404)

Melisandre also appears to be unusually warm:

As they stepped out into the yard, the wind filled Jon's cloak and sent it flapping against her. The red priestess brushed the black wool aside and slipped her arm through his.. .
Jon could feel her heat, even through his wool and boiled leather. (ADwD 72)


More disturbingly, when confronted by Davos, Melisandre says, Is the brave Ser Onions so frightened of a passing shadow? Take heart, then. Shadows only live when given birth by light, and the kings fires burn so low I dare not draw off any more to make another son. It might well kill him. (SoS 385) It seems as if, like the Nights King, when Stannis gives his seed to Melisandre, he gives gives his soul as well.

I do not want to focus here on whether Stannis or anyone else will become the Shadows King or anything like that. In a sense, I think Stannis already is the Shadows King, and it matters about as much as we have seen it matter. He already sacrifices to the Red God, like the Nights King sacrificed to the Others. I do not think he will survive The Winds of Winter. I will miss him, but I digress.

The important parallel is between Melisandre and the Nights Queen. What we know about Melisandres background may help us understand the origin of the Nights Queen and ultimately the origin of the Others:

The red priestess shuddered. Blood trickled down her thigh, black and smoking. The fire was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, searing her, transforming her. Shimmers of heat traced patterns on her skin, insistent as a lover's hand. Strange voices called to her from days long past.

"Melony," she heard a woman cry. A man's voice called, "lot seven." (ADWD 487)



Melisandre experiences the fire being inside her and transforming, her much like the cold got inside of Adara and changing her, a process that seems to have certainly been going on for some time. How is she changing? In the same chapter, Melisandre informs the reader that she does not need to eat and that she sleeps very little, so this is a real physical transformation. The last two sentences bring up a strong vision of Melisandre's past. The meaning of "lot seven" is clear when compared to Tyrions' experience being auctioned as a slave:

Lot ninety-seven." The auctioneer snapped his whip. "A pair of dwarfs, well trained for your amusement." (ADwD 648)


Lot seven refers to Melisandre, then Melody, being auctioned as a slave. The woman's voice might be her mother crying out as the two were separated. We are told that the Red Priests buy slaves, specifically children, in Volantis and indoctrinates them into the priesthood:

Is that a slave tattoo? asked Tyrion. The knight nodded. The red temple buys them as children and makes them priests or temple prostitutes or warriors. Look there. He pointed at the steps, where a line of men in ornate armor and orange cloaks stood before the temples doors, clasping spears with points like writhing flames. The Fiery Hand. The Lord of Lights sacred soldiers, defenders of the temple. (ADwD 378)


The Red Priests abducted and indoctrinated Melisandre as a child, making her a changeling in the metaphorical sense, and as the fire magic transforms her, she is becoming a changeling in a very literal sense.

In parallel, it seems likely that the Nights Queen went through some similar process, whether she was touched by the magical cold like Adara at birth or taken and indoctrinated by hypothetical Blue Priests is unclear, but she physically changed over time due to her exposure to magical cold.

In Melisandre's POV chapter in A Dance With Dragons, she notes that her magic is more powerful at the Wall, even more powerful than it was at Ashaii. Similarly, I am assuming that the Nights Queens power was enhanced at the Night Fort. We have no idea what Melisandre is actually capable of at the Wall. The most powerful magic we have seen her wield is the birthing of her shadow babies. She alludes to the idea of birthing an extremely powerful shadow at the wall in her conversation with Jon:

The Lord of Light in his wisdom made us male and female, two parts of a greater whole. In our joining there is power. Power to make life. Power to make light. Power to cast shadows.

Shadows. The world seemed darker when he said it.

Every man who walks the earth casts a shadow on the world. Some are thin and weak, others long and dark. You should look behind you, Lord Snow. The moon has kissed you and etched your shadow upon the ice twenty feet tall.

Jon glanced over his shoulder. The shadow was there, just as she had said, etched in moonlight against the Wall. (ADwD)


Up to this point, the shadows birthed by Melisandre appear to be impermanent. There is no telling what might happen with a shadow birthed at the Wall. Her seeming intention to birth Jons shadow, without any given purpose is curious.

Did the Nights Queen birth shadows at the Wall? If the parallel between the line when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well and Melisandres contention that the kings fires burn so low I dare not draw off any more to make another son. It might well kill him
holds, then it follows the Nights Queen was likely birthing shadows at the wall.

Several times in the text, the Others are referred to as white shadows:

Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness. (GoT 15)

We have white shadows in the woods and unquiet dead stalking our halls . . . (GoT 696)

The cold gods, she said. The ones in the night. The white shadows. (CoK 364)


Maester Aemon's woken up and want to hear about these dragons. He talking about bleeding stars and white shadows and dreams and . . . (AFoC 399)


It's worth noting that members of the Kings Guard and Ghost are referenced as white shadows nearly as often as the Others are, but I don't think Aemon is dreaming about members of the Kings Guard.

It seems plausible that the Others were originally spawn by a Blue Priestess using shadow binding magic, at the wall or the Heart of Winter. This likely occurred before the Nights Queen, but I think it is likely that the Nights Queen also spawned new Others. I think there is ample evidence that the Others can create more Others from human babies. Whether this is the case or not, I think that most of this evidence points in the direction of the Others being created by humans and or being humans which have been changed by the magic stemming from the Heart of Winter, rather than a separate species. In no way do I see them being related to the Children of the Forest. Many readers are suspicious the Martin is frequently attempting to subvert common fantasy tropes. From the beginning, I have suspected that the Others are the biggest trope he intends to subvert. The Others are are not truly other at all.

I'm not sure what this means in terms of predictions, as I don't think Melisandre will be with us much longer. When Jon describes her hair as blood and flame (ADwD 64), and Melisandre literally has smoking blood dripping down her thigh (487), I think we need to take the allusions to Melisandre's Targaryen heritage**** seriously. If Melisandre does turn out to by the daughter of Bloodraven and Shiera Seastar, then I think she will be sacrificed to bring about Jon's rebirth. She is continually referencing the need for kings blood and bleeding stars. She may indeed be both. (It would be just like Melisandre to be precisely correct and so outstandingly mistaken, at the same time.) If her heritage does not play out, however. I think we may see Melisandre birth something truly horrible at the Wall.

*No, I do not think we are very likely to see an ice dragon in ASOIAF. We could. I'm not hoping for it, especially. That isn't the point of this essay.
**Blue is pervasive throughout the text of ASOIAF. Sword metal is frequently described as blue, ice is frequently described a blue. In his fever dream, Ned compares the petals of the blue rose to the blue eyes of death. In Jons POV the eyes the dead men of the Watch he recovers, who later turn out to be wights, are described as being blue like sapphires. In Bran's POVs we learn about Symeon Star-Eyes who was blind and replaced his eyes with star sapphires. Blue, eyes, ice, stars, death all in association seem to be a running theme.

***Yeah, I know. B+S=M. I think it is likely, but not directly relevant to what I am writing here.

****Okay, B+S=M isnt relevant to my central thesis, but it is likely relevant to Melisandre's ultimate fate and the Jon's rebirth.

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Wow, just WOW.


Great theory on where the Others originate and mindblowing parallels between Ice and Fire.


This could be combined with another theory about the Others I read about, that they are a tribe of First Men who didn't want to live alongside the CotF and went to the Lands of Always Winter. There they could have worshipped the Blue God as you called him (the Great Other?) and practiced some sort of ice or water magic (the opposite if blood magic anyway), slowly turning them into the Others we know now. Or rather we know since the Long Night.



And since all of them turned into Others already, they need new people to turn them into Others, thus Craster's sons.


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You make everytime priceless threads,thanks a lot!


"The Others are are not truly other at all." I just adore this piece from your post. That's Asoiaf in a nutshell,ladies and gentlemen.And props to you for the complete and detailed material you offered for this thread.


Also,Martin in different interviews said that with Asoiaf he wants to show how much cruel and costly(and wrong) war is...and what could express better this viewpoint than showing that the "enemies" are just other humans(even if corrupted by magic).


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Wow, just WOW.

Great theory on where the Others originate and mindblowing parallels between Ice and Fire.

This could be combined with another theory about the Others I read about, that they are a tribe of First Men who didn't want to live alongside the CotF and went to the Lands of Always Winter. There they could have worshipped the Blue God as you called him (the Great Other?) and practiced some sort of ice or water magic (the opposite if blood magic anyway), slowly turning them into the Others we know now. Or rather we know since the Long Night.

And since all of them turned into Others already, they need new people to turn them into Others, thus Craster's sons.

Thanks, I don't necessarily think there is a Blue God or Great Other anymore than I think there is necessarily a R'hllor. There is a priesthood dedicated to R'hllor and they have real magical ability, and they are harnessing a power that is real in this universe. I think the opposition duality is in the head of extremist religious members. The Drowned God religion has binary opposition as do the Red Priest, but in other religions in universe, we see more of a Yin Yang harmony approach to opposite forces.

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Very very interesting OP, as usual with you, DD. You make strong points, and I quite follow you, except maybe here :

I know. I know, Nan told Bran that the Others laid with human women and produced terrible half breeds. She also told him that wildlings carry of human women and sell them to the Others, and Nan is always right. Except that to our knowledge, she never actually said any of those things. Bran thinks and says them, and Ned tells Bran that he has been listening to too many of Old Nan's stories, (GoT 8-22) so we assume she said them, but Bran never attributes them to Nan.

Yet,

He remembered the hearth tales Old Nan told them. The wildlings were cruel men, she said, slavers and slayers and thieves. They consorted with giants and ghouls, stole girl children in the dead of night, and drank blood from polished horns. And their women lay with the Others in the Long Night to sire terrible half-human children.

Seems to me Bran attributes the tales to Old Nan, no ?

This is what we know Old Nan actuality told Bran, "In that darkness, the Others came for the first time . . . They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children. She never mentions half breeds.

Your hihglighting of this quote makes me notice that the dead things here refer to the Others, not yet to the wights. So could the cold things be the Others created by the Blue Priests, and the dead things the Others that were human, then killed, then transformed into Others, as the Craster's sons ?

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Thanks, I don't necessarily think there is a Blue God or Great Other anymore than I think there is necessarily a R'hllor. There is a priesthood dedicated to R'hllor and they have real magical ability, and they are harnessing a power that is real in this universe. I think the opposition duality is in the head of extremist religious members. The Drowned God religion has binary opposition as do the Red Priest, but in other religions in universe, we see more of a Yin Yang harmony approach to opposite forces.

Okay, good point.

But I was more referring to your comparison of Adara (and possibly the Night Queen) and Melisandre, that both of them underwent a physical change up to a certain point. So if there is the blood magic (the Yin) there has to be some sort of ice magic (the Yang) that physically changes humans to Others and people wielding this magic. So for simplicity we could call them Blue Priests. And they could be worshipping something that is seen as the Great Other by the Red Priests. Doesn't mean he or it has to be real, but the magic certainly has to be.

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Well thought-out theory. I'm curious though: do you see Melisandre sacrificing herself for Jon? She still thinks Stannis is AAR or do you think Stannis dies early on in TWOW and Mel sees it in the flames and then throws in her lot with Jon? I do think Jon is saved somehow though. This gives me something more to think about, thanks OP!


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Okay, good point.

But I was more referring to your comparison of Adara (and possibly the Night Queen) and Melisandre, that both of them underwent a physical change up to a certain point. So if there is the blood magic (the Yin) there has to be some sort of ice magic (the Yang) that physically changes humans to Others and people wielding this magic. So for simplicity we could call them Blue Priests. And they could be worshipping something that is seen as the Great Other by the Red Priests. Doesn't mean he or it has to be real, but the magic certainly has to be.

Yes, I agree. In was just clarifying my point on the religions.

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Yet,

Seems to me Bran attributes the tales to Old Nan, no ?

Damn, how did I miss that. I know in was paraphrasing that very quote . I must institute an immediate faith change. Nan is not always right.

Your hihglighting of this quote makes me notice that the dead things here refer to the Others, not yet to the wights. So could the cold things be the Others created by the Blue Priests, and the dead things the Others that were human, then killed, then transformed into Others, as the Craster's sons ?

Hmm, good question. I don't think the Others are dead and that goes for Craster's boys just as much as those birthed by shadow, so I think Nan must be conflating the Others and the wights.

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You make everytime priceless threads,thanks a lot!

"The Others are are not truly other at all." I just adore this piece from your post. That's Asoiaf in a nutshell,ladies and gentlemen.And props to you for the complete and detailed material you offered for this thread. Also,Martin in different interviews said that with Asoiaf he wants to show how much cruel and costly(and wrong) war is...and what could express better this viewpoint than showing that the "enemies" are just other humans(even if corrupted by magic).

Thanks, the idea that the label "Other" was misleading, has been in the back of my head since the first time I read Game of Thrones. It was in the back of my head as I was writing this, and I almost forgot to include it.

And I have always thought that Arya's journey through the Riverlands, discovering that none of the small folk care whether they are being slaughtered by Wolves or Lions to be one of the most compelling parts of the series .

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Very nice, OP. A few weeks ago I argued over in Heresy that Ice Magic and Fire Magic/Shadow Magic/Red Magic (whatever you want to call R'hllorism with the side of Shadowbinding) are two sides of the same coin - mirror twins, more or less, that sprung from a common magical "parent" - and that blood/essence sustains both types of magic. They're opposing but related, which is why Mel's magic grows stronger at the Wall...which seems like a total contradiction unless you consider it as her being closer to her "source". Now that all of the old powers are awakening everywhere, I would love to know if Mel's power also increases the closer she gets to Stygai, The Heart of Shadow.



Anyway, I like the exploration of the ice transformation and of the NQ birthing icebabies in the manner of Mel birthing shadowbabies. Much food for thought.


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Okay, good point.

But I was more referring to your comparison of Adara (and possibly the Night Queen) and Melisandre, that both of them underwent a physical change up to a certain point. So if there is the blood magic (the Yin) there has to be some sort of ice magic (the Yang) that physically changes humans to Others and people wielding this magic. So for simplicity we could call them Blue Priests. And they could be worshipping something that is seen as the Great Other by the Red Priests. Doesn't mean he or it has to be real, but the magic certainly has to be.

I don't think blood magic is the opposite of ice magic... blood magic seems to be used with all magics (weirwood sacrifces) as there is power in blood

I think mel uses fire magic and including blood strengthens it.

OR its all blood magic that everyone uses with different trappings depending on what they worship/believe

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I don't think blood magic is the opposite of ice magic... blood magic seems to be used with all magics (weirwood sacrifces) as there is power in blood

I think mel uses fire magic and including blood strengthens it.

OR its all blood magic that everyone uses with different trappings depending on what they worship/believe

So you think the Others are using blood magic, too? So let's say they have to sacrifice one of Craster's boys to make another an Other. I don't quite like that, because if we look at the case of Adara which Durran Durrandon displayed there is no blood sacrifice necessary to make Adara different from everyone else. It's rater a personification of the cold/the winter. I know it's not canonic but as Durrandon said it shows the ideas of GRRM at an early stage and the Others appear already at the very beginning of AGOT.

I rather like what PrettyPig said about Blood Magic and Ice Magic, that they are two sides of a coin, two types of magic with the same source but different methods. Like the Blood Magic comes from physically weakening someone by taking away significant amounts of blood (up to killing the sacrificed), whereas Ice Magic could take its power from sacrificing your ability to reproduce and thus to have a family, so sort of a spiritual sacrifice.

I admit the last part is a crackpot theory that just came to my mind since Others don't seem able to reproduce, but I like the idea of to opposites that originate from the same source but use different methods to accomplish theri goals.

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I don't think blood magic is the opposite of ice magic... blood magic seems to be used with all magics (weirwood sacrifces) as there is power in blood

I think mel uses fire magic and including blood strengthens it.

OR its all blood magic that everyone uses with different trappings depending on what they worship/believe

I am pretty neutral on the blood magic position. My gut tells me thst blood is used as a magic power multiplier in all the magics, should the paticular practitioner choose to cross that line.

What we can say is that we have no evidence of its use in ice magic.

I think is use weir magic is circumstantial as well. Jojen does not need blood to have green dreams, and Bran does not need blood to warg. And no, I do not think it was Jojen paste. We have legends of CotF practicing mass sacrifice, but no evidence. (Those bones aren't from 8,000 years ago. )

So you think the Others are using blood magic, too? So let's say they have to sacrifice one of Craster's boys to make another an Other. I don't quite like that, because if we look at the case of Adara which Durran Durrandon displayed there is no blood sacrifice necessary to make Adara different from everyone else. It's rater a personification of the cold/the winter. I know it's not canonic but as Durrandon said it shows the ideas of GRRM at an early stage and the Others appear already at the very beginning of AGOT.

I rather like what PrettyPig said about Blood Magic and Ice Magic, that they are two sides of a coin, two types of magic with the same source but different methods. Like the Blood Magic comes from physically weakening someone by taking away significant amounts of blood (up to killing the sacrificed), whereas Ice Magic could take its power from sacrificing your ability to reproduce and thus to have a family, so sort of a spiritual sacrifice.

I admit the last part is a crackpot theory that just came to my mind since Others don't seem able to reproduce, but I like the idea of to opposites that originate from the same source but use different methods to accomplish theri goals.

I am pretty neutral on the blood magic position. My gut tells me thst blood is used as a magic power multiplier in all the magics, should the paticular practitioner choose to cross that line.

What we can say is that we have no evidence of its use in ice magic.

I think is use weir magic is circumstantial as well. Jojen does not need blood to have green dreams, and Bran does not need blood to warg. And no, I do not think it was Jojen paste. We have legends of CotF practicing mass sacrifice, but no evidence. (Those bones aren't from 8,000 years ago. ) It is highly likely though.

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So for anyone who hasn't noticed this, I offer this additional parallel.

At the center of the grove an ancient weirwood brooded over a small pool where the waters were black and cold. “The heart tree,” Ned called it. The weirwood’s bark was white as bone, its leaves dark red, like a thousand bloodstained hands. A face had been carved in the trunk of the great tree, its features long and melancholy, the deep-cut eyes red with dried sap and strangely watchful. They were old, those eyes; older than Winterfell itself. (GoT 68)

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. (CoK 675)

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, 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 then the glass was empty. (CoK 677)

It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as acorn 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. The empty bowl slipped from his fingers and clattered on the cavern floor. (ADwD 482)

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I must the beginning seemed rather unpromicing, and I originally thought that the post was going to be another crackpot. But this is well thought out and has very interesting ideas.



Appologies.


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I must the beginning seemed rather unpromicing, and I originally thought that the post was going to be another crackpot. But this is well thought out and has very interesting ideas.

Appologies.

Thank you for giving it a chance.

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I like the ideas in your op, Other's ain't others :D It makes more sense that a magical human thing can 'turn' a human baby than an otherworldly, demonic thing.

So for anyone who hasn't noticed this, I offer this additional parallel.

At the center of the grove an ancient weirwood brooded over a small pool where the waters were black and cold. “The heart tree,” Ned called it. The weirwood’s bark was white as bone, its leaves dark red, like a thousand bloodstained hands. A face had been carved in the trunk of the great tree, its features long and melancholy, the deep-cut eyes red with dried sap and strangely watchful. They were old, those eyes; older than Winterfell itself. (GoT 68)

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. (CoK 675)

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, 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 then the glass was empty. (CoK 677)

It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as acorn 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. The empty bowl slipped from his fingers and clattered on the cavern floor. (ADwD 482)

Re these parallels, seeing them together, it immediately makes me think that Bran and Dany will end up being kind of dipolar servants to the same cause.

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Re these parallels, seeing them together, it immediately makes me think that Bran and Dany will end up being kind of dipolar servants to the same cause.

Or on opposite sides, although I don't hope so. They're both not my favorite characters (Hail Jon Targaryen, the one true king of Westeros) but I don't want to see them fighting each other either.

Regarding the parallels, it really seems like they're aiming for the same result only from different angles. But I think Bran is (or will be) far ahead of Dany, since she never touched Shade of the Evening again or pursued magical abilities in any way. Bran taught himsef the warging, learned about greenseing from Jojen and is going to be apprentice of Bloodraven, for now the most powerful greenseer alive. Way to go Dany! So I wonder if we're really heading that direction, because I don't see Dany learning how to use magic in the near future. She'll probably eventually have to to fully control her dragons, but Bran will be far more advanced by then and damn, he's pretty good already!

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