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Astronomy of Planetos: Children of the Dawn, Part One

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The Bloodstone Emperor certainly did not (as far as we know) have anything to do with Essos West of the Bones. However, because the Andals came out of the Silver Sea area i the time following the long night, its possible that survivors of the GEotD fleeing over the mountains brought certain starry wisdom with them. The Kingdom of Sarnor, which formed at least 5,000 years ago, shows some potential GEOTD influence, which makes sense since we know that peoples did flee over the Bones mountains to the West. We have no idea when Hugor Hill "happened," how old that story is, etc. They were a migratory people prior to building towns in the hills of Andalos.

And how significant is the consept of the "Fisher Queen"!? I haven't seen any other grail symbology that springs to mind but it certainly stuck with me.

Looking forward to your next piece.

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1) Why would a fire hero be reborn in the sea? Because the fire from heaven was a meteor that fell into the sea. A sea dragon.

2) By now it should be obvious what the real meaning of waking dragons from stone is. Astronomically, it refers to flaming meteors - stone dragons. They were woken by Azor Ahai, the red comet-wielding sun, when he impregnated his moon wife with dragon seed. Terrestrially, this takes the form of literally waking dragons from stone eggs. As I've pointed out before, this scene of Dany immolating herself in the sun's fire to wake three dragons from stone is an exact replication of the celestial events.

is there a way to squeeze a kraken out of this meteor? (To the tune of the U.S.A. chant:) Kraken! Kraken!

Differing monster manifestations based on which elements the comet fragments fuse with.

Also it would appear the sun really hammered his wife the moon with that rough as hell dragon impregnation. Do they hail from an era when abusive relationships were the only way to be? I do wonder at everyone's motivation there. The event doesn't quite "track." Death by dragonseeding...... "I ain't got time for that!"---the Moon

When the west continent was casting about for a new religious identity, my guess is Starry Wisdom was the existing template in their brains. So the Faith's seven were what they settled on as the thing that felt right because this bastardized version of Starry's wanderers fulfilled their existing notion of what a religion should have..

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^^ this last idea is one of the most likely to explain general similarities. Possible COSW influence could have come in at any point. It may have come FROM the Hightowers. I don't recall he Andals building fancy black marble septs in Andalos or the Vale.

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When the west continent was casting about for a new religious identity, my guess is Starry Wisdom was the existing template in their brains. So the Faith's seven were what they settled on as the thing that felt right because this bastardized version of Starry's wanderers fulfilled their existing notion of what a religion should have..

^^ this last idea is one of the most likely to explain general similarities. Possible COSW influence could have come in at any point. It may have come FROM the Hightowers. I don't recall he Andals building fancy black marble septs in Andalos or the Vale.

I wonder if GRRM isn't make a comment on (1) what happens when you "organise" a religion, and (2) the changes a religion will accept in exchange for being granted official status.

There are some pretty powerful parallels between the Faith in Westeros, and the Roman Empire adopting Christianity.

Before Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, its hierarchy was pretty flat. Early Christianity was a persecuted religion that existed outside mainstream society, essentially operating in cells. We don't know that the Andals were persecuted as such in Essos, but the Faith does seem to have had no organised hierarchical structure.

After Rome is christianised, not only does the christian church structure change (with more centralisation - in Rome, in the hands of the patriarch eventually called the Pope [High Septon]), but so does the nature of the religion as well: it becomes a sword instead of a shield, and slowly transforms into a conquerors' religion, with a matching philosophy. It's the religion of peace and redemption... that seems to "inspire" an outrageous amount of religious war and conquest in the centuries following Roman conversion, culminating (but not ending) in the series of crusades in the Middle East and across Europe.

So, was Rome really Christianised, or was it Christianity that was romanised? A conquering, militaristic people adopted the religion of love and peace, but found a way to turn conquest and war into a religious (and thus sanctioned and encouraged) endeavour.

What happened to the Faith in Westeros? It's like a three-step process:

- first, you centralise the existing religion (the more centralised the better; the way the Roman patriarch became the Pope);

- second, you capture the central position (High Septon, and a majority of the Most Devout);

- third, you steer the Faith into the direction you want (which, without the existence of a centralised power structure to manipulate, would be like trying to herd cats)

Now, if you consider that Christianity was militarised by being adopted by an expansionist culture, what did the Hightowers do to the Faith? Could it be that they achieved the opposite? Did they "gentle" the zeal of the invading Andals by co-opting their Faith? I guess, looking purely at the consequences (rather than the ultimate Hightower motives), it seems that the Hightower influence helped convert the Faith into a religion of the realm, instead of a religion of conquest.

Whether that's the end of the Hightower plan.. Well, we'll see. Once you capture them, you can steer them towards anything you want; the "capturing" is the problem.

"No last names" - a Hightower connection?

Finally, I query why the Faith AND the Citadel are both staffed by men and women (men only in the case of the Citadel of course) who relinquish their family names so you can't know where they've come from. Barbrey Dustin of course points out this in the context of the Citadel, but being a northerner she perhaps isn't too fussed about the same practice within the Faith.

The two things the Faith and the Citadel have in common are (1) the Hightower connection, and (2) being on opposite ends of the "superstition-reason" spectrum (one a champion of the scientific method, the other the bastion of religious belief). So any "curious" practices that they have in common should really warrant a closer look.

All I can think of is that, in both cases, secret influence is easier to exert if it's harder for people to make a connection between people based on their family allegiance.

And, of course, the High Septon even relinquishes his first name. Cersei herself thinks that you can "winkle" the HS's name out of him, if you get him drunk; that's an outrageous level of effort to go to just to cover up your name, if the royal court itself doesn't know it (though I suspect someone like Varys or LF wouldn't be in the dark). Again, it's harder to suspect a Hightower if you don't even know his first name.

So the High Septon and the Conclave are seemingly moving Westerosi society in different directions, without anyone considering or even being aware of the fact that the High Septon and one or more Conclave members may be from the same family (and this is most likely to be the large and very family that's based in Oldtown).

And I guess it's why the Hightowers seem to happily want to be both patrons of religion and patrons of science ("patrons").

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Guys, check this out. I searched for a comet visible during a solar eclipse, and I found something totally badass. You have to click the link - it's a photo of the comet right next to the eclipsed sun - taken in 1882 - in Egypt no less. Simply awesome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_May_17,_1882

A total solar eclipse occurred on May 17, 1882. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide. Totality was visible across central Africa, the Middle East, and southeastern Asia.

party of observers gathered in Egypt to watch the eclipse were greatly surprised when they observed a bright streak near to the Sun once totality began. By a remarkable coincidence, the eclipse had coincided with the perihelion passage of a Kreutz comet. The comet would otherwise have gone unnoticed its sighting during the eclipse was the only observation of it. Photographs of the eclipse revealed that the comet had moved noticeably during the 1m50s eclipse, as would be expected for a comet racing past the Sun at almost 500 km/s. The comet is sometimes referred to as Tewfik, after Tewfik Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt at the time.[1]

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There's also a cool comet / Venus alignment coming late this year. Notice that the comet will act like the Morningstar - appearing at Dawn every day for a time.

If early predictions play out, comet Catalina (C/2013 U10) may brighten enough in December to be seen with binoculars (and possibly even with the naked eye) as it rises higher each day in the early morning skies.

On December 7, the comet should be visible at dawn in the southeastern sky, passing just 5 degrees away from the razor-thin crescent of the brilliant Venus.

If the comet does indeed reach a predicted 4th magnitude or better in brightness, then this triple conjunction should make for an awesome photo opportunity. By New Years Day 2016, Catalina will be passing by one of the brightest stars, Arcturus, only a half degree away. That's a terrific way to round out another wonderful year in stargazing.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150115-starstruck-sky-events-sneak-peek-science/

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There's also a cool comet / Venus alignment coming late this year. Notice that the comet will act like the Morningstar - appearing at Dawn every day for a time.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150115-starstruck-sky-events-sneak-peek-science/

This reminded me of Revelation. Personally, I think I'd prefer ice zombies though. :P

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Guys, check this out. I searched for a comet visible during a solar eclipse, and I found something totally badass. You have to click the link - it's a photo of the comet right next to the eclipsed sun - taken in 1882 - in Egypt no less. Simply awesome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_May_17,_1882

That should be someone's House sigil in Westeros:

"Eclipse corona and comet argent on a field sable"

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^^^ LOVE IT! Nicely done ser, absolute and total comment win of the day. :cheers:

In all seriousness though... Crazy photograph, right? I mean, right? That's as close as we might get to seeing a picture of the LN disaster.

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When you see it like that in a photo, it's pretty hard to argue with!

Taken with Benerro's pantomime performance, it really doesn't look good for the poor Moon.

The ramifications are huge. Forget who wins the Iron Throne, if the Moon explodes and starts raining down on Planetos, that's an ending of Ragnarok proportions.

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is there a way to squeeze a kraken out of this meteor? (To the tune of the U.S.A. chant:) Kraken! Kraken!

Differing monster manifestations based on which elements the comet fragments fuse with.

One major possibility I have been considering from the first is the idea that these greasy black moon meteor stones are radioactive, in a magical way. Asshai and Yeen clearly show this effect. What if the greasy black stones simply cause mutation and weird magic shit to manifest in any creatures that come close? Plants are smart, they stay away, but those brindled men... Anyway, the moon meteor plunging into the ocean seems to have triggered the dark tide of deep ones rape that manifested during the LN, so one mechanism I have considered is that the meteor sitting at the bottom of the ocean is mutating the selkies and melrings and making them aggressive, perhaps enabling the magic to crossbreed humans and aquatic peoples. The most confirmed human - animal hybrid experiments that we have were at Gorgossos, performed by Valyrians. The greasy black stone is on Toad Isle right next door, and there are signs of greasy black stone on other Basilisks as well. Thus, it's tempting to link human animal cross breeding with the greasy black stone. And of course we find one of those on the Iron Islands. So yeah - it's very possible that the black moon stone triggered and enabled the mutations necessary to get Deep One genes into humans... Which apparently happened in many places.

Also it would appear the sun really hammered his wife the moon with that rough as hell dragon impregnation. Do they hail from an era when abusive relationships were the only way to be? I do wonder at everyone's motivation there. The event doesn't quite "track." Death by dragonseeding...... "I ain't got time for that!"---the Moon

You'll notice that a disproportionately high number of non-Targ women who are impregnated with dragonseed die in childbirth. It's rough. Even some of the Targ women can't handle it.

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When you see it like that in a photo, it's pretty hard to argue with!

Taken with Benerro's pantomime performance, it really doesn't look good for the poor Moon.

The ramifications are huge. Forget who wins the Iron Throne, if the Moon explodes and starts raining down on Planetos, that's an ending of Ragnarok proportions.

I would still say that it's basically a very spectacular mechanism to trigger all the stuff we already expect to see - the full scale Others invasion, another LN, perhaps an ice dragon and a Jon resurrection.

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That should be someone's House sigil in Westeros:

"Eclipse corona and comet argent on a field sable"

Well the Daynes have falling star, which could easily be a comet instead. And it is argent, but on a field light purpure. All we need is another sigil with the eclipse corona and that house linked to either House Dayne or one of the other major houses in the series.

When you see it like that in a photo, it's pretty hard to argue with!

Taken with Benerro's pantomime performance, it really doesn't look good for the poor Moon.

The ramifications are huge. Forget who wins the Iron Throne, if the Moon explodes and starts raining down on Planetos, that's an ending of Ragnarok proportions.

Very true. It would be a rather huge problem to have the remaining moon destroyed. Not to mention people being really confused about what they might have taken as literal dragons raining from the sky last time it happened (since there are actual dragons on earth now). Okay, probably only the Dothraki, the Qartheen, and a few other cultures would be confused, since a lot of the cultures probably see that as myth anyway.

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If i am right that the remaining moon is an ice moon, it will have a rocky core surrounding by tons of water and a thin ice-and-rock crust. When it is struck, it should lose the water and icy crust but the rocky core will remain. A planet needs at least one moon or it will spin sideways and everyone will die, so I don't expect the moon to disappear entirely... just thought I'd make that clear.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(moon)

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Mmm, I don't think so. I've never liked the splitting comet. I dint life Ice being Lightbringer, now split in two, though I usually shut up about it, because I think the textual evidence for it has merit. My take is that the comet has passed three times previously, reoresenting three ages it pasded6 through a water constellation, a lion constellation, and then slammed into the moon on the third pass, absorbingthe fire in the heart of the moon, and becominh a fire comet, because fuck science. It isn't going to hit anything this time, because it would be too melodramatic, and Winter is already coming. It heralds the end of the age and chance to restore balance. Benerro isn't predicting another collision. When he mimes to the crowd he indicates that that it resulted in darkness, the Long Night. He is preaching at the same time that Daenerys will bring eternal summer, so it sounds like the comet and moon bit is a history lesson, not a prediction.

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^ i do like this simple explanation of the forging part passing different constellations

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Mmm, I don't think so. I've never liked the splitting comet. I dint life Ice being Lightbringer, now split in two, though I usually shut up about it, because I think the textual evidence for it has merit. My take is that the comet has passed three times previously, reoresenting three ages it pasded6 through a water constellation, a lion constellation, and then slammed into the moon on the third pass, absorbingthe fire in the heart of the moon, and becominh a fire comet, because fuck science. It isn't going to hit anything this time, because it would be too melodramatic, and Winter is already coming. It heralds the end of the age and chance to restore balance. Benerro isn't predicting another collision. When he mimes to the crowd he indicates that that it resulted in darkness, the Long Night. He is preaching at the same time that Daenerys will bring eternal summer, so it sounds like the comet and moon bit is a history lesson, not a prediction.

I am just following the text - and the text has the comet splitting, and in more places than just the "Ned's sword" metaphor. I mean... who knows? Anything is possible in the mind of a fantasy writer who used to write sic-fi. I just try to interpret the text.

Also, if a comet hit the moon, it would be destroyed. It would not keep going on its current course. A moon being exploded by a comet is a bit of a stretch - it needs a bit of magic to make the impact explosive enough. But a comet destroying a moon and somehow staying intact and on it's current trajectory is just nonsensical - that's well beyond "bending the rules a bit" or amplifying a natural event with magic. So not only is the comet splitting shown in the text, it is also the only explanation for how the comet could have hit the moon last time and still be back in the main story.

I do like the idea of the constellations the comet is sighted against as being relevant, but it doesn't explain the forgings, or the shattered and split language, and it just doesn't seem fit the metaphors.

I'm all for brainstorming ideas but unless they match the astronomy metaphors in the text, they don't hold water. Every step of my astronomy theory is based off of interpreting the text. Any bit of it may be the wrong interpretation, but nothing is simply brainstormed out of my mind.

As for Benerro... a history lesson would not cause men to shake their fists and women to weep - this reaction happens right after Bennero's moon-explosion pantomime. And what would be the point of bringing up 10,000 year old history, if not as some kind of warning about what may happen again if the right measures are not taken?

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I am just following the text - and the text has the comet splitting, and in more places than just the "Ned's sword" metaphor. I mean... who knows? Anything is possible in the mind of a fantasy writer who used to write sic-fi. I just try to interpret the text.

Also, if a comet hit the moon, it would be destroyed. It would not keep going on its current course. A moon being exploded by a comet is a bit of a stretch - it needs a bit of magic to make the impact explosive enough. But a comet destroying a moon and somehow staying intact and on it's current trajectory is just nonsensical - that's well beyond "bending the rules a bit" or amplifying a natural event with magic. So not only is the comet splitting shown in the text, it is also the only explanation for how the comet could have hit the moon last time and still be back in the main story.

I do like the idea of the constellations the comet is sighted against as being relevant, but it doesn't explain the forgings, or the shattered and split language, and it just doesn't seem fit the metaphors.

I'm all for brainstorming ideas but unless they match the astronomy metaphors in the text, they don't hold water. Every step of my astronomy theory is based off of interpreting the text. Any bit of it may be the wrong interpretation, but nothing is simply brainstormed out of my mind.

As for Benerro... a history lesson would not cause men to shake their fists and women to weep - this reaction happens right after Bennero's moon-explosion pantomime. And what would be the point of bringing up 10,000 year old history, if not as some kind of warning about what may happen again if the right measures are not taken?

Mmm, but Lightbringer the sword doesn't shatter when I is stabbed through the heart of Nissa Nissa, it spouts flame, so it would make sense metaphorically that Lightbringer the comet wouldn't shatter when it strikes the moon. Moreover, in the earlier forgings when it does shatter it doesn't break into separate swords, it is destroyed. So yes, scientifically, the comet should be destroyed, but if we are using that paradigm, the falling debris should have super heated the atmosphere an vaporized everything on the surface of the planet, so I can" advise going with that paradigm.1`

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If i am right that the remaining moon is an ice moon, it will have a rocky core surrounding by tons of water and a thin ice-and-rock crust. When it is struck, it should lose the water and icy crust but the rocky core will remain. A planet needs at least one moon or it will spin sideways and everyone will die, so I don't expect the moon to disappear entirely... just thought I'd make that clear.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(moon)

That's good to know.

Mmm, I don't think so. I've never liked the splitting comet. I dint life Ice being Lightbringer, now split in two, though I usually shut up about it, because I think the textual evidence for it has merit. My take is that the comet has passed three times previously, reoresenting three ages it pasded6 through a water constellation, a lion constellation, and then slammed into the moon on the third pass, absorbingthe fire in the heart of the moon, and becominh a fire comet, because fuck science. It isn't going to hit anything this time, because it would be too melodramatic, and Winter is already coming. It heralds the end of the age and chance to restore balance. Benerro isn't predicting another collision. When he mimes to the crowd he indicates that that it resulted in darkness, the Long Night. He is preaching at the same time that Daenerys will bring eternal summer, so it sounds like the comet and moon bit is a history lesson, not a prediction.

And then falling to earth and being turned into a sword by an early Dayne?

Why not pass through a woman constellation and then crash into earth?

The moon doesn't have its own fire, it only reflects the light of the sun (which is probably why the sexist cultures on Planetos equate the men with the sun and the moon with women).

On the other hand, I should remember that real life and fantasy are not necessarily going to be parallel. Sorry, my thoughts are a bit scattered.

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