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Astronomy of Planetos: Children of the Dawn, Part One

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Jak of House Priest: I was most lay meaning to say the three - Citadel, Hightowers, And Faith of the Seven -need to be considered together when trying to unravel each, because they influence each other, not that they have singular agenda all the time. I agree with everything you said there. :)

Sparrow Spoiler: thanks, and take your time. TWOW ain't coming out next week. ;)

OK, I see what you mean - they're entwined and influence each other but not necessarily allies because of the shared location. Got it! Gotta take all three into account when discussing one. The Hightowers (possible) love of magic has influenced the Citadel's hatred of it and the Faith's (seeming) indifference to magic. Or however it actually worked.

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Who decided the CoSW is a corrupting influence? This is based purely on Yandel calling it "sinister", and making a link with the BSE, right?

He says the BSE worshipped a stone that fell from the sky, and then sounds as if it would be obvious for people to assume a link with the CoSW - so the latter must also either worship a stone that fell from the sky, or something similar. But other than that, we don't really know much about them, and the fact they're introduced as sinister makes me suspicious.

By the by, I 100% buy into the AA -> Hugor name link, with the Sarnori link in between; I don't know if it will turn out to be the case, but I agree GRRM certainly seems to want us to think about it. The question is whether anything will come of this, or if GRRM is just hinting that all religions are really the same story (as was pointed out above). Hugor would have lived quite a bit after the Long Night, correct? I suppose we don't know when the early Andals kicked off their religion...

Hightowers

I've always thought of the Hightowers as just opportunistic ("subtle and sophisticated"). But let's set that aside and consider their suspicious behaviour.

A particularly curious thing is that the High Septon at the time of the Conquest "convinced" Manfred Hightower to accept Aegon as king, and the faith itself anointed him. Do we believe he "prayed" on it and came to this conclusion? Given the opportunism of the Hightowers, I doubt Manfred needed convincing not to fight the Targs; they handled the Andals by marrying them (and apparently the FM as well, taking them into the Hightower fold through Merris' marriage to Uthor). The way the High Septon recommended the Targs be handled absolutely stinks of the typical Hightower strategy. Manfred wasn't told anything, he agreed with the HS on what the outcome of his "praying on the Targaryen threat" would be: let them in and welcome them. Those should be the Hightower words!

Did they want the Targs there, purely for the purpose of the Hightowers marrying into them to destroy dragons as a source/manifestation of magic? They keep trying this until they finally succeed with Alicent (who spent all that time reading Barth to the Old King... she'd have learnt a thing or two if she hadn't already known them). This lines up fairly closely with the deaths of the last dragons, so the most obvious explanation is that the Hightowers were looking for a way to infiltrate the Targs, to kill the dragons.

I think the opposite is true. The Hightowers were a secret pillar of support for the Targs, scheming with the High Septon (was he a Hightower too?) to accept the Targs as kings in a way that won't poss people off ("I prayed on it and the Crone said to do it").

Why did they support the Targs? Well... if we don't think they're just a family with a history of making the right political choices (up until Otto and Alicent), then presumably they wanted to mix some Hightower blood in with the Targs and get a family claim to some dragons; but for a more "sinister" purpose? If they're motivated by a religion started by the BSE...

Anyway, the Dance of the Dragons wasn't part of the Hightower plan. That was a purely personal clash between Alicent and Rhaenyra that swept up everything in its path; the point of that story is that you can't discount the power of the personal, even when looking at a plan that may have been centuries/millennia in the making; now NO ONE gets dragons! I think Alicent snapped with Helena's death: her cursing Rhaenyra indicates to me that this is the point she goes from a political mastermind to just doing as much damage to the non-Hightower Targs (and their dragons) as she can.

Citadel

Hmm yes, they do seem to be very CotF-focused at the start. Did the Hightowers come to Westeros precisely to commune with the CotF? If they're Geo-exiles, who came to Westeros to collect knowledge (all the most useful Westerosi knowledge at that time would have been with the CotF, not men), that almost sounds like a bastardised (original?) version of the Last Hero story.

Maybe the Citadel was set up precisely as a repository of CotF knowledge, in the aftermath of the LN: to preserve the knowledge in case it's needed again.

Then, over time, as more men come to study, the act of studying becomes the purpose; the Citadel (Citadel! That's a military installation!) becomes a centre of learning as such, and slowly "forgets" that it had a much more specific purpose. To the point where that original purpose (protect CotF knowledge) seems foolish and childish.

I can see that happening both because someone planned it, but also its just how learned people think.

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Thanks for the great ideas there, Lord Pepsi Cupps. Very interesting stuff, I'll respond a bit later when I have time. Cheers.

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Why would Vhagar have lit Aegon's funeral pyre, when Balerion, Aegon's dragon, was still alive? That makes no sense

Maybe Balerion could not have been so finely "managed" without his rider...

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Lady Blizz, I am copying and pasting from my third essay here.

<massive snip

Got it! Thanks for copying and pasting that for me!

Fascinating stuff.

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Maybe Balerion could not have been so finely "managed" without his rider...

Or Balerion was too upset to spit out directed fire/would not incinerate his beloved Aegon. Animals can be very sensitive about their humans.

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Who decided the CoSW is a corrupting influence? This is based purely on Yandel calling it "sinister", and making a link with the BSE, right?

[snip]

Citadel

Hmm yes, they do seem to be very CotF-focused at the start. Did the Hightowers come to Westeros precisely to commune with the CotF? If they're Geo-exiles, who came to Westeros to collect knowledge (all the most useful Westerosi knowledge at that time would have been with the CotF, not men), that almost sounds like a bastardised (original?) version of the Last Hero story.

Maybe the Citadel was set up precisely as a repository of CotF knowledge, in the aftermath of the LN: to preserve the knowledge in case it's needed again.

Then, over time, as more men come to study, the act of studying becomes the purpose; the Citadel (Citadel! That's a military installation!) becomes a centre of learning as such, and slowly "forgets" that it had a much more specific purpose. To the point where that original purpose (protect CotF knowledge) seems foolish and childish.

I can see that happening both because someone planned it, but also its just how learned people think.

Even if the CoSW was founded by the BSE and it is carrying forward his original intentions we don't actually know his original intentions as you have questioned elsewhere, so maybe he was the good guy or at least a grey guy all a long, In short, I take your point.

As for the Citadel, the name has always bugged me, and I have no idea why my brain never connected the name bugging me with the actual meaning of the word. It is located next to Battle Island after all.

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The Isle of Ravens is linked to the eastern bank of the Honeywine by a weathered wooden drawbridge. On the island is located the Ravenry, the oldest building of the Citadel. The walls of the Ravenry are covered in moss and vines and within its yard sits a weirwood tree on which the ravens like to perch. The white raven rookery is located in the west tower.[4]

History

In the Age of Heroes the Ravenry was supposedly a stronghold of a pirate lord who picked off ships as they came downriver.[4]

The origin of the Citadel is disputed, but most accounts credit its foundation to Prince Peremore the Twisted, the second son of King Uthor of the High Tower. The curious Peremere invited numerous scholars, including wise men, teachers, priests, healers, singers, wizards, alchemists, and sorcerors, to Oldtown. After Peremore's death, his brother, King Urrigon, granted land alongside the Honeywine to "Peremore's pets", who developed the tract into the maesters' Citadel.[5]

Lots of relevant cotf-early citadel connections, plus wizards and stuff.

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I wonder what the Hightowers were called before there was a High Tower. The name is clearly a later adoption.

The first named Hightower is Uthor. Like Uther Pendragon, which may suggest something general like either their dragon obsession (as per the intrigues to marry into the Targs), or that they have a close link with the creation of dragons (or other events around the LN time).

More specifically, Wikipedia on Pendragon:

Uther's epithet Pendragon literally means "Chief-Dragon", but in a figurative sense, "foremost leader" or "chief of warriors".[2] The name was misinterpreted by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Historia to mean "dragon's head",[2] and further misinterpreted in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle to mean "hanging dragon".

This dragon imagery connected with the first known Hightower can't be accidental, not since we're also told that the first Hightower chased out the dragons from Battle Isle. And since GRRM is a romantic, I wonder which of the possible meanings he most intended to hint at (it wouldn't necessarily be the "correct" one)... Maybe the Lancelon-Grail Cycle one, "hanging dragon" connected with the dragons roosting at Battle Isle until the Hightowers chased them out. They roost upside down, but also may be displayed upside down after they're killed.

The dragon stuff aside.. Uther Pendragon is the goddamned father of King Arthur. The Daynes and the Hightowers share a descent, maybe even in that the Daynes are a cadet branch of whatever house the Hightowers really are.

The Daynes' much-talked about antiquity and purple eyes/silver hair (and confirmation they're not Valyrian) allow us to deduce a connection between House Dayne with the GeoDawnians. If the Daynes are also offshoots of House ?Hightower?, then the Hightowers are also secret GeoDawnians as well (not that this is the first hint, but it does allow us to use hints that previously only applied to the Daynes, like the looks). The Hightowers lost their distinctive features because they've always been big fans of outside marriages - the opposite of the in-marriages needed to preserve the purple eyes and silver hair.

I might be losing my mind here.

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"why... she looked a bit like you, Daenerys."

;)

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The Isle of Ravens is linked to the eastern bank of the Honeywine by a weathered wooden drawbridge. On the island is located the Ravenry, the oldest building of the Citadel. The walls of the Ravenry are covered in moss and vines and within its yard sits a weirwood tree on which the ravens like to perch. The white raven rookery is located in the west tower.[4]

History

In the Age of Heroes the Ravenry was supposedly a stronghold of a pirate lord who picked off ships as they came downriver.[4]

The origin of the Citadel is disputed, but most accounts credit its foundation to Prince Peremore the Twisted, the second son of King Uthor of the High Tower. The curious Peremere invited numerous scholars, including wise men, teachers, priests, healers, singers, wizards, alchemists, and sorcerors, to Oldtown. After Peremore's death, his brother, King Urrigon, granted land alongside the Honeywine to "Peremore's pets", who developed the tract into the maesters' Citadel.[5]

Lots of relevant cotf-early citadel connections, plus wizards and stuff.

Ooh.

The Ages of Heroes is after the Long Night, so to me that says the pirate is not relevant to the original purpose of the Ravenry. That story is just there to hint at the building's great age - since it was already abandoned by some stage during the AoH, allowing pirates to move in (not uncommon). This would allow the dating of the Ravenry to significantly before then, and into the Dawn Age - or at least to the LN, which is what we're looking for if we want a Battle Isle connection.

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LPC I'm dying to rip into all that Hightower stuff, you had some really great ideas and observations there. Unfortunately I am occupied. Get to it later... but I will just say that the original chief dragon was Azor Ahai.

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I would caution about going to far with building on names like Uthor. Some of these really are just homages. Like Ser Kermit and Ser Elmo, and s line of kings banned Durran of House Durrandon.

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True, but in this case I already thought the Hightowers are connected to the BSE. Look at their sigil. Looks at the grey and scarlet flame capes they wear. Read their description in the appendix of the early books. They are freaky, and we vary conspicuously do not get many descriptions of their looks. This quote about Lynesse resembling Daenerys is one of the only things we have to go on. And I absolutely do think Hoghtowers and Daynes are both related to the same events of the GEotD, Battle Isle, and the LN. Lord Pepsi is thinking in the right direction.

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When I think about "We light the way" (House Hightower's words) in light of Lord Pepsi's observations about the Hightower's constantly assimilating and taking people in, it speaks of a long term agenda. There must be some sort of group of people, some sort of... "cult," if you will, that is confident enough to take on all comers and feel they will eventually be able to infiltrate and reassert their agenda when and where needed. People like Marwyn. They only need a few key people in certain places.

Even though the Hightower agenda (or the Citadel agenda) may seem to change at times, here we are in the current story with a Lord Hightower reeking of sorcery.. which I think was their origin. They descended from the "traders" who founded the very first settlements on Whispering Sound, just as TWOIF suggests. those traders were dragonlords who came to trade or enslave the cotf.

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Dude, first rule of fight club. Come on man.

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I would caution about going to far with building on names like Uthor. Some of these really are just homages. Like Ser Kermit and Ser Elmo, and s line of kings banned Durran of House Durrandon.

I'm as cautious as the next guy/gal/selkie when it comes to that, but the parallels with Arthurian myth ring more of a bell than most - there's already so much in there. They aren't quite in the same category as nods to other writers and their works (Vance, Atranta, Jordayne) or quirky ones like the muppets. Although that last one might explain Edmure, just in general.

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