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Mithras

How to solve this inconsistency concerning Yi Ti

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Since the Further East emerged from the Long Night and the centuries of chaos that followed, eleven dynasties have held sway over the lands we now call Yi Ti. Some lasted no more than a half century; the longest endured for seven hundred years. Some dynasties gave way to others peacefully, others with blood and steel. On four occasions, the end of a dynasty was followed by a period of anarchy and lawlessness when warlords and petty kings warred with one another for supremacy; the longest of these interregnums lasted more than a century.



THE GOD-EMPERORS OF YI TI


To recount even the most important events of this long history would require more words than we have, yet we would be remiss if we did not at least mention a few of the more fabled of the god-emperors of Yi Ti:


HAR LOI, the first of the grey emperors (1), whose throne was said to be a saddle, for he spent his entire reign at war, riding from one battle to another.


CHOQ CHOQ, the humpbacked, fifteenth and last of the indigo emperors (2), who kept a hundred wives and a thousand concubines and sired daughters beyond count but was never able to produce a son.


MENGO QUEN, the Glittering God, third of the jade-green emperors (3), who ruled from a palace where the floors and walls and columns were covered in gold leaf, and all the furnishings were made of gold, even to the chamber pots.


LO THO, called Lo Longspoon and Lo the Terrible, the twenty-second scarlet emperor (4), a reputed sorcerer and cannibal, who is said to have supped upon the living brains of his enemies with a long, pearl-handled spoon, after the tops of their skulls had been removed.


LO DOQ, called Lo Lackwit, the thirty-fourth scarlet emperor, a seeming simpleton cursed with an affliction that made him jerk and stagger when he walked, and drool when he tried to speak, who nonetheless ruled wisely for more than thirty years (though some suggest that the true ruler was his wife, the formidable Empress Bathi Ma Lo).


THE NINE EUNUCHS, the pearl-white emperors (5) who gave Yi Ti 130 years of peace and prosperity. As young men and princes, they lived as other men, taking wives and concubines and siring heirs, but upon their ascent each surrendered his manhood root and stem, so that he might devote himself entirely to the empire.


JAR HAR, and his sons Jar Joq and Jar Han, the sixth, seventh, and eighth of the sea-green emperors (6), under whose rule the empire reached the apex of its power. Jar Har conquered Leng, Jar Joq took Great Morag, Jar Han exacted tribute from Qarth, Old Ghis, Asshai, and other far-flung lands, and traded with Valyria.


CHAI DUQ, the fourth yellow emperor (7), who took to wife a noblewoman of Valyria and kept a dragon at his court.



The grey emperors, indigo emperors, and pearl-white emperors ruled from Yin on the shores of the Jade Sea, first and most glorious of the YiTish cities, but the scarlet emperors raised up a new city in the heart of the jungle and named it Si Qo the Glorious (long fallen and overgrown, its glory lives now only in legend), whilst the purple emperors (8) preferred Tiqui, the many-towered city in the western hills, and the maroon emperors (9) kept their martial court in Jinqi, the better to guard the frontiers of the empire against reavers from the Shadow Lands.



Today Yin is once more the capital of Yi Ti. There the seventeenth azure emperor (10) Bu Gai sits in splendor in a palace larger than all King’s Landing. Yet far to the east, well beyond the borders of the Golden Empire proper, past the legendary Mountains of the Morn, in the city Carcosa on the Hidden Sea, dwells in exile a sorcerer lord who claims to be the sixty-ninth yellow emperor, from a dynasty fallen for a thousand years.



Yandel says that there were 11 dynasties in the long history of Yi Ti and the longest of them lasted for 700 years. We were given the colors of 10 dynasties, which means there is another dynasty not mentioned in the World Book.



Jar Han (the eight sea-green emperor) was able to exact tributes from Old Ghis. But we know that Old Ghis was destroyed by Valyria 5000 years ago. So, Jar Han lived more than 5000 years ago. If we take the order in THE GOD-EMPERORS OF YI TI section as chronological, then we have only 4 dynasties (yellow, purple, and maroon, azure) that existed in this period of 5000 years.



The problem is that the longest reigning dynasty lasted for 700 years. So, there is no way to fit these 4 dynasties into a period of 5000 years even if we assume the interregnums took place in this era. Even if we include the missing dynasty in this period, it is still too long.



So below are some generous assumptions that can be made to see the size of the time gap.



Assume that Old Ghis was already failing 50-60 years before the Fifth Ghiscari War (which happened 5000 years ago) and because of this weak state, Jar Han was able to exact tributes from them.


Assume that the sea-green emperors who took the empire to the apex of its power were the longest reigning dynasty (for 700 years).


Assume that the sea-green emperors reigned for no more than 50 years when Jar Han came to power.


So, we can say that the sea-green emperors reigned up to 4350 years before present time.


Then, assume that the longest interregnum (#1) took place which can be taken as 150 years.


So, the missing dynasty started its reign 4200 years ago. Give them a long reign of 680 years. So, their reign must have come to an end 3520 years ago.


Then assume that another long interregnum (#2) of 70 years followed. That makes the yellow emperors starting their reign 3450 years ago.


Assume that the yellow emperors had a long reign of 650 years, which dates their fall to 2800 years ago.


Another interregnum (#3) followed by a long reign of purple emperors brings us to nearly 2100 years ago.


Another interregnum (#4) followed by a long reign of maroon emperors brings us to nearly 1400 years ago.



The current dynasty of azure emperors cannot be older than 700 years. So, we need at least two missing dynasties even under such generous assumptions.



One solution is that the list given in the section is not chronological so that we could include several dynasties that were mentioned before the sea-green emperors to exist after them. But this would be an inferior choice. What would be the point of not making that list chronological from Yandel's point of view?



Another explanation might be that since the capitols of the Golden Empire were moved multiple times and countless cities were built and destroyed (Lomas said that there are at least three ancient cities buried under every YiTish city standing today), there might be “omissions, gaps and contradictions” in the records as Yandel himself noted in the World Book. So, there might be a couple of forgotten dynasties in the last 5000 years. This also fits well with the quote that the yellow emperors came to an end 1000 years ago and before them, there seems to be a huge gap that can be filled with a bunch of unnamed and forgotten dynasties.



Or another solution is that Dany was wrong when she thought that Old Ghis was destroyed 5000 years ago.



The harpy of Ghis, Dany thought. Old Ghis had fallen five thousand years ago, if she remembered true; its legions shattered by the might of young Valyria, its brick walls pulled down, its streets and buildings turned to ash and cinder by dragonflame, its very fields sown with salt, sulfur, and skulls.



This is the only piece of information to date the fall of the Old Ghis. If Dany misremembered, then we can stretch the fall of Old Ghis 1000-2000 years towards the present day. But again, this would be an inferior choice.


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Just stick with Dany misremembering the Fall of Old Ghis. Or rather, just assume that the corresponding histories are as unreliable as everything else.



Maybe it's tied to the Andal Invasion, and as we know that's rather likely to be 2,000 years ago instead of the 6,000 as often claimed.


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This dating problem is not related to the confusion with the Andal invasion. It is based on



1. the known date of the fall of Old Ghis


2. the mention of sea-green emperors exacting tributes from Old Ghis


3. the implied chronological order of the given dynasties


4. the fact that the longest reigning dynasty lasted for 700 years


5. and the lack of sufficient dynasties to fill the last 5000 years



I think the best explanation would be that the historical records are not complete even in Yi Ti and many of them were lost while coming to the Citadel. Yandel mentioned that the ancient historical records are jealously guarded in Yi Ti and they never share them with strangers. All of the sources Yandel was able to reach about Yi Ti history are pieced from hearsays from travelers and scattered texts that were able to find their way to the Citadel.


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And 1) is way to unreliable.



Other important factors:


I) Valyria fought these wars against Old Ghis, allegedly 5,000 years, ago and earlier.


II) Valyria fought against the Rhoynar until driving Nymeria to flight about 1,000 years ago.


III) Valyria fought against the Andals and drove them out of Essos, starting pretty much immediately after the Fall of Old Ghis.


IV) Andalos and the Rhoynar were allies in the early wars against the Valyrians.



That would indicate a 4,000-year ceasefire between Rhoynar and Valyrians. Nope, not bloody likely.




Added questionability because 5,000 years doesn't fit the technological advance.


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Explanations:



1) Writers do not do math every time they make a reference.



2) The dynasties don't go directly to one another but are separated by an interregnum period that is not counted because no one has the Mandate of Heaven or whatever. Just like IRL Chinese history, add some Planetos exaggerated timelines and this could be say 500+ years where you have the Three Kingdoms romancing one another or some such.



3) The 5000 year benchmark is wrong. I couldn't find it in the Worldbook and in the main material it would be someone's personal knowledge thus subject to exaggeration or error.



4) The tribute tale is wrong and just cultural posturing.



5) Some other error/exaggeration like extracting tribute from Ghis while they were also a Valyrian vassal



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There is no inconsistency. The Long Night probably wasn't 8,000 years ago. Nobody ever said the dynasties of the emperors listed in the sidebar actually are in chronological order. The two scarlet emperors are, but nobody said anything about the others. Old Ghis was only destroyed after the final Ghiscari War, by the way.



The Rhoynish wars only began around 1,250 years ago. Valyria expanded beyond the Rhoyne, and pushed the Andals back without troubling the Rhoynar yet - at least not directly. They were very powerful, after all. Valyria only began expanding west after the Ghiscari Wars, and it would have taken millennia for them to truly begin threatening the Rhoyne even if Volantis was built, say, 4,500 years ago. Even Lorath was founded before the escape of the Rhoynar, after all.



If the Long Night wasn't this far in the past, the Andals also would have come later. If the Valyrians expanded both by land in the Novoshi and Qohorik lands while at the same time colonizing the coast lands west of Volantis by ship it is easily imaginable that the Andals and any other people living there - and Yandel tells us countless unknown peoples were apparently enslaved and annihilated by the Valyrians over the centuries - had to retreat very soon.


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There is no implication that the dynasties were listed in chronological order. Even the family trees don't follow it...

I noticed the lack of 11th dynasty. It cannot be oranges...

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There is no inconsistency. The Long Night probably wasn't 8,000 years ago.

This inconsistency is not related to the time of the Long Night (which I see no reason to take other than 8000 years ago) or the muddy timeline of the Andal invasion (which I see no reason to take other than 6000 years ago).

It is about Dany's remark that the Old Ghis was detroyed 5000 years ago and the fact that Jar Han exacted tribute from Old Ghis. This gives us a strong basis for dating the sea-green dynasty, as long as Dany's remark and the Jar Han exacting tribute from Old Ghis are true.

Nobody ever said the dynasties of the emperors listed in the sidebar actually are in chronological order. The two scarlet emperors are, but nobody said anything about the others. Old Ghis was only destroyed after the final Ghiscari War, by the way.

There is no implication that the dynasties were listed in chronological order. Even the family trees don't follow it...

Do you recall any other list of Kings and Lords from the other sections of the World Book which didnot have a chronological order? In fact, the entire organization of the World Book follows a chronological order for most of the time. Just look at the Contents. From the Dawn Age to the Doom and to the end of the reign of Targaryens, we have a linear progression. Then Yandel focuses on different geographical sections and tell their individual histories again in chronological order within.

If this explanation is officially made regarding why it is hard to have so few dynasties post-destruction of Old Ghis, then I would take that as admitting defeat. Instead of doing that, a better explanation would be to take Yandel's own words about the validity of the historical accounts of Further East.

Only the broadest outlines of the histories of the Further East are known to the Citadel, and even in those tales that have come west to us, over long leagues of mountains and deserts, there are many omissions, gaps, and contradictions, making it all but impossible to say with any certainty what portion is true and what portion has arisen from the fevered imaginings of singers, storytellers, and wet nurses.

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It is about Dany's remark that the Old Ghis was detroyed 5000 years ago and the fact that Jar Han exacted tribute from Old Ghis. This gives us a strong basis for dating the sea-green dynasty, as long as Dany's remark and the Jar Han exacting tribute from Old Ghis are true.

As I said, that is the problematic part. People with way better historical education state something similar about Andal Invasions and the like and are basically immediately disproven, but here you take Dany's word as solid information. That does not work.

It creates a gap of about 3,500 years without Valyria interacting in any way with it's neighbours, without technological advancement or anything else substantial. Just hanging in limbo. If an uneducated girl makes a historically correct estimation in a throwaway comment.

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There is a lot of technological advancement going on. The Ghiscari Empire and early Valyra were bronze age culture, the Valyrians later learned to work iron from the Rhoynar (as did the Andals).



Considering the vast lands between the Lands of the Long Summer and the Rhoyne and the Narrow Sea it would have taken millennia to actually spread Valyrian influence this far, especially if we go with the assumption of indirect expansion (that is, Valyrian adventurers and privateers using resources of the Freehold to found cities and outposts, and the dragonlords only intervening when the Freehold's interests and assets in those regions were threatened.



There are hints that Valyria effectively depopulated last portions of Essos in its hunger for blood and gold. That fits fine with the 5,000 years, especially since the Rhoynar are described as a very powerful force which were not expansionist themselves and thus neither an easy prey nor a danger to the Freehold itself.


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^^ Agreed. Valyria destroyed Old Ghis but it was not strong enough to destroy the Rhoynar yet, until perhaps they learned the steelmaking from them and perfected it with their bloodmagic to create Valyrian Steel. And the logistics of such vast distances make a direct attack impossible soon after Old Ghis was destroyed. That is why Valyrians started building colonies all over to spread their influence.


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Actually, Yandel confirms that the Valyrians learned iron-working and steel-making from the Rhoynar, only to be eventually surpassed by them in those fields.



Volantis was the first colony, and it was founded only after the last Ghiscari War. Certainly not immediately thereafter, and it was just a military outpost at first. It would have taken centuries for Volantis to become a decent city, and then perhaps millennia before it became a major rival to the Rhoynish city states. But Volantis clearly was the Valyrian gate to the west. At Volantis the Valyrians could cross the Rhoyne without troubling the Rhoynar, and the Valyrian fleets could take provisions there to secure resources in the lands west of the Rhoyne.


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The Rhoynar also had magic so Valyria was probably only wiling to go there when they had lots of dragons fully bonded to their rider/families/bloodlines and lots of manpower to throw at them. Ghis just seems to have had its legions which was probably far easier pickings than a magical and technologically advanced vast civilisation.


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There is a lot of technological advancement going on. The Ghiscari Empire and early Valyra were bronze age culture, the Valyrians later learned to work iron from the Rhoynar (as did the Andals).

Considering the vast lands between the Lands of the Long Summer and the Rhoyne and the Narrow Sea it would have taken millennia to actually spread Valyrian influence this far, especially if we go with the assumption of indirect expansion (that is, Valyrian adventurers and privateers using resources of the Freehold to found cities and outposts, and the dragonlords only intervening when the Freehold's interests and assets in those regions were threatened.

There are hints that Valyria effectively depopulated last portions of Essos in its hunger for blood and gold. That fits fine with the 5,000 years, especially since the Rhoynar are described as a very powerful force which were not expansionist themselves and thus neither an easy prey nor a danger to the Freehold itself.

5,000 years before the real-world equivalent of Westeros modern times, Ur was founded. The very first city ever. And still in the Stone Age, geographically the first Stone Age.

5,000 years saw the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and the Crusaders.

No way in hell did it take that long. Especially if we are explicitly told that the Valyrians started to get into conflict with the Andals and Rhoynar immediately after the Fall of Ghis.

Actually, Yandel confirms that the Valyrians learned iron-working and steel-making from the Rhoynar, only to be eventually surpassed by them in those fields.

Volantis was the first colony, and it was founded only after the last Ghiscari War. Certainly not immediately thereafter, and it was just a military outpost at first. It would have taken centuries for Volantis to become a decent city, and then perhaps millennia before it became a major rival to the Rhoynish city states. But Volantis clearly was the Valyrian gate to the west. At Volantis the Valyrians could cross the Rhoyne without troubling the Rhoynar, and the Valyrian fleets could take provisions there to secure resources in the lands west of the Rhoyne.

Gods, must New York be old. Probably 20,000 years or more.

Or Rome. 200-300 years before it rivaled Carthage. Apparently that should have been 2,000-3,000 years instead.

Alexandria rose to prominence in like 50 years.

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^ How many years feudalism lasted in the Real World and how many years it has been existing in Westeros?


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Real history is more complex. George's feudalism is way too simple for real world society. One title for nobles of the power of Petyr Baelish and Tywin Lannister? Right...


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^ How many years feudalism lasted in the Real World and how many years it has been existing in Westeros?

Middle European feudalism akin to the Westerosi one? 1,000-1,500 years.

In Westeros? 1,000-2,000 years according to the more sensible estimations. The ones not based on a single king ruling 700 years and the like.

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The long gap between the Ghiscari Wars and the Rhoynish Wars is very troublesome. The date for the Rhoynish wars is much more certain, being much more recent. This makes it quite likely that the dating of the Ghiscari Wars is wrong, and probably overstated in terms of their antiquity. My view is that the 2000 year date change (as alluded to by that bookish Blackwood dude in Feast, or else by Rodrik the Reader, I can't quite recall which), needs to be applied to all dates in the series, and not just to Westerosi dates.



If so, this means you can move all significant ancient date markers 2000 years forward, until the time of the Andal invasion,roughly.



Meaning that the First Men probably crossed the Arm of Dorne 10000 years ago, not 12000 years ago. The Long Night was 6000 years ago, not 8000 years ago. And the Ghiscari Wars were 3000 years ago, rather than 5000 years ago. This would leave a much more realisitic gap until the commencement of the Rhoynish Wars of only around 1700 years. This in itself is a stretch, but much more believable than a 3700 year gap.



It also gives enough time for older civilizations to exist after the Long Night. Civilizations that preceded the Valyrian Freehold. Nations such as Ghis, Yi-ti and Sarnor. We know Valyria was young when it warred with an old Ghis, so we know for a fact that Ghis is significantly older than Valyria. So primitive shepherds likely found shelter from the Long Night in the volcano-warmed Valyrian peninsula, where they lived a primitive, but rather peaceful life in the immediate millenia after the Long Night, until they discovered dragons nesting in the Fourteen flames around a number of centuries before the First Ghiscari War.

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Give me any case of inconsistency regarding the canon timeline and I will show you what is wrong about it. I am that confident about the canon timeline being true. George decided to throw in some ambiguity only after realizing that he was being too precise about things that happened thousands of years ago. But that does not mean that his original design was changed. He only muddied the waters a little to make the story more realistic.


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