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Astronomy of Planetos: Children of the Dawn, Part One

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Thing is, there are multiple ways to interpret these clues about Jon's connection to the Other. I think it refers to the Other-blood in the Starks (we all know they go to cold hell when they die), first of all. Basically, it's emphasizing Jon as person with a true ice lineage - in addition to his fire lineage. I think that's got to be part of the meaning of him being armored in black ice, but wielding a red fire sword. He's bringing them together somehow. What does that mean for his future and the Others? I don't know.

As for the question of which sword we are dealing with here - could it be a battle of both swords? It doesn't make sense for the ice sword to be broken two thirds of the way up by a crooked fissure of ice. And ice swords aren't made with folded steel or dragonglass. In the prologue with Waymar, his sword is lit up by moonlight, and then is broken by an ice sword, just like the folded snake mountain here is lit by the moon and broken by ice.

Moonlight makes sense for the fire sword, because it was made with the moon's fire - the fire moon, to be exact. The sword is the offspring of the sun's comet/penis fertilizing the fire moon egg. Dragons sprang forth, and one was the black stone used to make Lightbringer. Those dragons contain Nissa Anissa's soul, blood, courage, and strength - in other words, her essence, her fire. Lightbringer is moon fire as much as it is sun fire.

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Thing is, there are multiple ways to interpret these clues about Jon's connection to the Other. I think it refers to the Other-blood in the Starks (we all know they go to cold hell when they die), first of all. Basically, it's emphasizing Jon as person with a true ice lineage - in addition to his fire lineage. I think that's got to be part of the meaning of him being armored in black ice, but wielding a red fire sword. He's bringing them together somehow. What does that mean for his future and the Others? I don't know.

I don't want to believe it. But this is GRRM. And the imagery around Jon does not look good. It began with Bran's dream, as the memory of all warmth fled from him, never stopped, and now, he's bleeding at the Wall. If he makes a heroic recovery, it isn't going to be easy, and will probably get a lot worse before it gets better.

As for the question of which sword we are dealing with here - could it be a battle of both swords? It doesn't make sense for the ice sword to be broken two thirds of the way up by a crooked fissure of ice. And ice swords aren't made with folded steel or dragonglass. In the prologue with Waymar, his sword is lit up by moonlight, and then is broken by an ice sword, just like the folded snake mountain here is lit by the moon and broken by ice.

In my mind, the sword is the crooked fissure. :cool4:

Their voices crack, and so do their swords...

Moonlight makes sense for the fire sword, because it was made with the moon's fire - the fire moon, to be exact. The sword is the offspring of the sun's comet/penis fertilizing the fire moon egg. Dragons sprang forth, and one was the black stone used to make Lightbringer. Those dragons contain Nissa Anissa's soul, blood, courage, and strength - in other words, her essence, her fire. Lightbringer is moon fire as much as it is sun fire.

We might have to disagree here... Moonlight is Other-light...

The Others made no sound.

Will saw movement from the corner of his eye. Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness. Then it was gone. Branches stirred gently in the wind, scratching at one another with wooden fingers. Will opened his mouth to call down a warning, and the words seemed to freeze in his throat. Perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps it had only been a bird, a reflection on the snow, some trick of the moonlight. What had he seen, after all?

“Will, where are you?” Ser Waymar called up. “Can you see anything?” He was turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand. He must have felt them, as Will felt them. There was nothing to see. “Answer me! Why is it so cold?”

It was cold. Shivering, Will clung more tightly to his perch. His face pressed hard against the trunk of the sentinel. He could feel the sweet, sticky sap on his cheek.

A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.

Will heard the breath go out of Ser Waymar Royce in a long hiss. “Come no farther,” the lordling warned. His voice cracked like a boy’s. He threw the long sable cloak back over his shoulders, to free his arms for battle, and took his sword in both hands. The wind had stopped. It was very cold.

The Other slid forward on silent feet. In its hand was a longsword like none that Will had ever seen. No human metal had gone into the forging of that blade. It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.

Ser Waymar met him bravely. “Dance with me then.” He lifted his sword high over his head, defiant. His hands trembled from the weight of it, or perhaps from the cold. Yet in that moment, Will thought, he was a boy no longer, but a man of the Night’s Watch.

The Other halted. Will saw its eyes; blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice. They fixed on the longsword trembling on high, watched the moonlight running cold along the metal. For a heartbeat he dared to hope.

They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first. Three of them... four... five... Ser Waymar may have felt the cold that came with them, but he never saw them, never heard them. Will had to call out. It was his duty. And his death, if he did. He shivered, and hugged the tree, and kept the silence.

The pale sword came shivering through the air.

Ser Waymar met it with steel. When the blades met, there was no ring of metal on metal; only a high, thin sound at the edge of hearing, like an animal screaming in pain. Royce checked a second blow, and a third, then fell back a step. Another flurry of blows, and he fell back again.

Behind him, to right, to left, all around him, the watchers stood patient, faceless, silent, the shifting patterns of their delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood. Yet they made no move to interfere.

Again and again the swords met, until Will wanted to cover his ears against the strange anguished keening of their clash. Ser Waymar was panting from the effort now, his breath steaming in the moonlight. His blade was white with frost; the Other’s danced with pale blue light.

Then Royce’s parry came a beat too late. The pale sword bit through the ringmail beneath his arm. The young lord cried out in pain. Blood welled between the rings. It steamed in the cold, and the droplets seemed red as fire where they touched the snow. Ser Waymar’s fingers brushed his side. His moleskin glove came away soaked with red.

The Other said something in a language that Will did not know; his voice was like the cracking of ice on a winter lake, and the words were mocking.

Ser Waymar Royce found his fury. “For Robert!” he shouted, and he came up snarling, lifting the frost-covered longsword with both hands and swinging it around in a flat sidearm slash with all his weight behind it. The Other’s parry was almost lazy.

When the blades touched, the steel shattered.

It's up for debate, certainly, but moonlight seems to be the only light acceptable to Others (long night, etc).

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Nice post.

I wonder about those demons of Night's Lion. They were sent with him during a Long Night. I'd like to relate them the Others, but there are some issues. The main is that Others are in Westeros while Five Forts in Essos are said to guard people from these demons. Yet the comming of Others during LN sounds that punishment, gods sent for mankind. On the other hand, we do not have so many details what happened in Essos during LN.

And if demons of Night's Lion are not the same as Others, I wonder if we are going to see them in the final battle between ice and fire. Or see them anywhere. There is one demon mentioned by Varys in his tale of ball-cutting, but he didn't do anything spectacular so we have no idea about their powers.


It's up for debate, certainly, but moonlight seems to be the only light acceptable to Others (long night, etc).

I'm pretty sure you are right. One can also add Night's King into the story, who wasn't a man anymore during the night.

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I think we are really close here. Yes, the ice sword is the crooked fissure - and ice swords shatter the steel swords:

“The armor of the Others is proof against most ordinary blades, if the tales can be believed, and their own swords are so cold they shatter steel. Fire will dismay them, though, and they are vulnerable to obsidian. I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it.”

“Dragonsteel?” The term was new to Jon. “ Valyrian steel?”
“That was my first thought as well.”
ASOS, JON

So what is the ice sword shattering? A wall of stone, part of a mountain, lit by moonlight. The mountain can't also be an ice sword if the icy crack is an ice sword. The crack is the ice sword, and the mountain, folded back on itself like a stone snake with fire that appears and disappears, is the fire sword. Which was originally shattered by an ice sword. I'm talking about the Last Hero's dragon steel, which Old Nan said was broken by the Other's ice swords. Whenever I see an Ice sword shattering something, I tend to see if it is a metaphor for a fire sword. And the Wall, which is icy and lit by moonlight, is nevertheless used as a metaphor fire the fire sword many times.

Another sign the mountain is the fire sword:

T hey could see the fire in the night, glimmering against the side of the mountain like a fallen star. It burned redder than the other stars, and did not twinkle, though sometimes it flared up bright and sometimes dwindled down to no more than a distant spark, dull and faint.

Waymar's sword, before it is shattered, was lit by moonlight too, but must be playing the role of fire sword, as it was broken by an ice sword. Begin to notice all the trees references, also:

“Wind. Trees rustling. A wolf. Which sound is it that unmans you so, Gared?” When Gared did not answer, Royce slid gracefully from his saddle. He tied the destrier securely to a low- hanging limb, well away from the other horses, and drew his longsword from its sheath. Jewels glittered in its hilt, and the moonlight ran down the shining steel. It was a splendid weapon, castle- forged, and new- made from the look of it. Will doubted it had ever been swung in anger. “The trees press close here,” Will warned. “That sword will tangle you up, m’lord. Better a knife.

Better a knife because you need dragon glass, we've discussed that. Here are the trees, who hate Waymar's sword (because it's representing dragon steel and these are Other-friendly trees):

Behind him, he heard the soft metallic slither of the lordling’s ringmail, the rustle of leaves, and muttered curses as reaching branches grabbed at his longsword and tugged on his splendid sable cloak
“Gods!” he heard behind him. A sword slashed at a branch as Ser Waymar Royce gained the ridge. He stood there beside the sentinel, longsword in hand, his cloak billowing behind him as the wind came up, outlined nobly against the stars for all to see.
The woods gave answer: the rustle of leaves, the icy rush of the stream, a distant hoot of a snow owl. The Others made no sound. Will saw movement from the corner of his eye. Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness. Then it was gone. Branches stirred gently in the wind, scratching at one another with wooden fingers.
Then the sword breaks:
When the blades touched, the steel shattered. A scream echoed through the forest night, and the longsword shivered into a hundred brittle pieces, the shards scattering like a rain of needles. Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.

This confirms Waymar's identity. His sword becomes a thousand flying objects - by now, everyone should know what that means. Dragon meteor shower. The sword that became a meteor shower is the moon meteorite (offspring of sun/comet and moon) which broke into the meteor a shower. One of these must have been the black stone used by the Azor Ahai to make his dark fire sword. Which later was broken by an ice sword, reforged with dragon glass, and was remembered as dragonsteel. Waymar seems to be playing the role of AA / LH. Another LH clue:
Royce’s body lay facedown in the snow, one arm out- flung. The thick sable cloak had been slashed in a dozen places.
And then check this out:

He found what was left of the sword a few feet away, the end splintered and twisted like a tree struck by lightning. Will knelt, looked around warily, and snatched it up. The broken sword would be his proof. Gared would know what to make of it, and if not him, then surely that old bear Mormont or Maester Aemon. Would Gared still be waiting with the horses? He had to hurry.
Will rose. Ser Waymar Royce stood over him. His fine clothes were a tatter, his face a ruin. A shard from his sword transfixed the blind white pupil of his left eye. The right eye was open. The pupil burned blue. It saw. The broken sword fell from nerveless fingers. Will closed his eyes to pray. Long, elegant hands brushed his cheek, then tightened around his throat. They were gloved in the finest moleskin and sticky with blood, yet the touch was icy cold.
AGOT, PROLOGUE

Okay, so Waymar, wielder of the fiery comet sword, was stabbed in one eye - hello, God's Eye. A thousand eyes and one - here it is again. That's all fire moon stuff. God's Eye was "stabbed," and that's when the blue eyes appeared.
Someone else noticed that moleskin gloves are worn only by Jon and Waymar here. Of course there is plenty of other "Jon as Last Hero" signs, but this is another. Since he's also showing Azor Ahai signs, I take this is evidence that AA was the LH.
Now, the crux of this whole thing: the broken sword is like a tree hit by lightning. Now, let's do a whirlwind tour of trees struck by lightning and see what we see.

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Burning tree = tree hit by lightning. The stair here is wood, crooked as lightning, and later burns.

A wooden stair ascended the south face, anchored on huge rough- hewn beams sunk deep into the ice and frozen in place. Back and forth it switched, clawing its way upward as crooked as a bolt of lightning. The black brothers assured him that it was much stronger than it looked, but Tyrion’s legs were cramping too badly for him to even contemplate the ascent. He went instead to the iron cage beside the well, clambered inside, and yanked hard on the bell rope, three quick pulls.

AGOT, TYRION


For a moment she thought the town was full of lantern bugs. Then she realized they were men with torches, galloping between the houses. She saw a roof go up, flames licking at the belly of the night with hot orange tongues as the thatch caught. Another followed, and then another, and soon there were fires blazing everywhere. Gendry climbed up beside her, wearing his helm. “How many?” Arya tried to count, but they were riding too fast, torches spinning through the air as they flung them. “A hundred,” she said. “Two hundred, I don’t know.” Over the roar of the flames, she could hear shouts. “They’ll come for us soon.” “There,” Gendry said, pointing. A column of riders moved between the burning buildings toward the holdfast. Firelight glittered off metal helms and spattered their mail and plate with orange and yellow highlights. One carried a banner on a tall lance. She thought it was red, but it was hard to tell in the night, with the fires roaring all around. Everything seemed red or black or orange. The fire leapt from one house to another. Arya saw a tree consumed, the flames creeping across its branches until it stood against the night in robes of living orange.
[...]
Ser Amory raised a lanquid fist, and a spear came hurtling from the fire- bright shadows behind.
[...]
A torch sailed spinning above their heads, trailing fingers of fire as it thumped down in the dirt of the yard. “Blades!” Yoren shouted. “Spread apart, defend the wall wherever they hit.
ACOK, ARYA

So we had fire shadows, fiery banners (exact description of the comet), flaming torches (another comet), a fire spear, fingers of fire and then "Blades!".. this is all fire sword stuff. Even the soldiers were fire soldiers.
So, burning tree and lightning, obviously that's Grey King talk right? You better believe it (my gods this section is loaded):
The point of land on which the Greyjoys had raised their fortress had once thrust like a sword into the bowels of the ocean, but the waves had hammered at it day and night until the land broke and shattered, thousands of years past. All that remained were three bare and barren islands and a dozen towering stacks of rock that rose from the water like the pillars of some sea god’s temple, while the angry waves foamed and crashed among them.
Drear, dark, forbidding, Pyke stood atop those islands and pillars, almost a part of them, its curtain wall closing off the headland around the foot of the great stone bridge that leapt from the clifftop to the largest islet, dominated by the massive bulk of the Great Keep. Farther out were the Kitchen Keep and the Bloody Keep, each on its own island. Towers and outbuildings clung to the stacks beyond, linked to each other by covered archways when the pillars stood close, by long swaying walks of wood and rope when they did not.
The Sea Tower rose from the outmost island at the point of the broken sword, the oldest part of the castle, round and tall, the sheer- sided pillar on which it stood half- eaten through by the endless battering of the waves. The base of the tower was white from centuries of salt spray, the upper stories green from the lichen that crawled over it like a thick blanket, the jagged crown black with soot from its nightly watchfire.

Got all that? The Grey King tricked the Storm God into striking with lightning - sounds like it was a hit! :stunned: Kablooey!! Right into the bowels of the ocean. The drowned god is drowned. The broken sword is three pieces, just as the magic swords have three components, and just as the breaks are always one-third or two-thirds of the way up (the Wall is described like this a few times.) The magic sword which was broken is dark and forbidding. :devil: But the drowned god still has that fire he took into the sea:

“Every morning brings a new day, much like the old.”

“In Riverrun, they would tell you different. They say the red comet is a herald of a new age. A messenger from the gods.”

“A sign it is,” the priest agreed, “but from our god, not theirs. A burning brand it is, such as our people carried of old. It is the flame the Drowned God brought from the sea, and it proclaims a rising tide. It is time to hoist our sails and go forth into the world with fire and sword, as he did.”

A burning brand proclaims the rising tide. Yes, the moon meteors which thrust like a sword into the sea brought the floods and the deep ones, the dark tide, as I have been saying. Interestingly, we have two "origins of fire" stories from the iron born" the Drowned God came from the ocean with a burning brand, or, the grey king tricked the Storm God into striking a tree with lightning. Probably, they refer to the same thing, since a flaming tree = bolt of lightning. And do let's go forth with fire and sword, or better yet, a fiery sword.

But where have we seen this burning brand which represents lightning, a dark forbidding fiery sword, etc? Amazingly, almost as if by design, it's at the beginning of the Jon chapter where the stone snake mother mountain which folds back on itself appears:

They could see the fire in the night, glimmering against the side of the mountain like a fallen star. It burned redder than the other stars, and did not twinkle, though sometimes it flared up bright and sometimes dwindled down to no more than a distant spark, dull and faint.

​Qhorin Halfhand looked at him. Jon could hear the wind keening as it shivered through the high pass above them. One of the garrons whickered and pawed at the thin stony soil of the hollow where they had taken shelter. “The wolf will remain with us,” Qhorin said. “White fur is seen too easily by moonlight.” He turned to Stonesnake. “When it’s done, throw down a burning brand. We’ll come when we see it fall.”

“No better time to start than now,” said Stonesnake.

The burning brand is indeed our fallen star, the fire moon goddess who became the drowned god. Again we see that Lightbringer sometimes burns bright, and sometimes not, just as we saw the flame disappear within the mountain's folds.

I almost forgot - another tie between dragon fire and the iron islands broken sword archipelago:

​In a dozen heartbeats they were past the Dothraki, as he galloped far below. To the right and left, Dany glimpsed places where the grass was burned and ashen. Drogon has come this way before , she realized. Like a chain of grey islands, the marks of his hunting dotted the green grass sea. ADWD, Daenerys

And this, another broken sword reference:

​But when the septon climbed on high and called upon the gods to protect and defend their true and noble king, Sansa got to her feet. The aisles were jammed with people. She had to shoulder through while the septon called upon the Smith to lend strength to Joffrey’s sword and shield, the Warrior to give him courage, the Father to defend him in his need. Let his sword break and his shield shatter, Sansa thought coldly as she shoved out through the doors, let his courage fail him and every man desert him. - ACOK, Sansa

Joffrey as a metaphor for the Last Hero? Yeah, actually:

“What place is this?”

“Your place.” The voice echoed; it was a hundred voices, a thousand, the voices of all the Lannisters since Lann the Clever, who’d lived at the dawn of days. But most of all it was his father’s voice, and beside Lord Tywin stood his sister, pale and beautiful, a torch burning in her hand. Joffrey was there as well, the son they’d made together, and behind them a dozen more dark shapes with golden hair. “Sister, why has Father brought us here?”

“Us? This is your place, Brother. This is your darkness.” Her torch was the only light in the cavern. Her torch was the only light in the world. She turned to go.

“Stay with me,” Jaime pleaded. “Don’t leave me here alone.” But they were leaving. “ Don’t leave me in the dark! ” Something terrible lived down here. “Give me a sword, at least.”

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Now, take a look at these quotes again, all from the same chapter:

But it was not the plains Dany saw then. It was King’s Landing and the great Red Keep that Aegon the Conqueror had built. It was Dragonstone where she had been born. In her mind’s eye they burned with a thousand lights, a fire blazing in every window. In her mind’s eye, all the doors were red.
[...]
Dany gave the silver over to the slaves for grooming and entered her tent. It was cool and dim beneath the silk. As she let the door flap close behind her, Dany saw a finger of dusty red light reach out to touch her dragon’s eggs across the tent. For an instant a thousand droplets of scarlet flame swam before her eyes. She blinked, and they were gone. Stone, she told herself. They are only stone, even Illyrio said so, the dragons are all dead. She put her palm against the black egg, fingers spread gently across the curve of the shell. The stone was warm. Almost hot. “The sun,” Dany whispered. “The sun warmed them as they rode.”
[...]

“Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat.

A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack and the dragons will return.”
AGOT, DAENERYS
And then before lighting Khal Drogo's pyre:
She told herself that there were powers stronger than hatred, and spells older and truer than any the maegi had learned in Asshai. The night was black and moonless, but overhead a million stars burned bright. She took that for an omen.
AGOT, DAENERYS

Great thread again. :thumbsup:

I don't have much to say at the moment since I'm pretty tired, but I noticed that "thousand" seemed to come up around dragons and/or Targaryens a fair amount, a while back. Looking at my notes, it seems like it was March of last year. Wow, time flies. :) I wasn't sure if there was an actual pattern or not, but it was something I was wondering about. Another good example is the IT.

Ned could feel cold steel against his fingers as he leaned forward. Between each finger was a blade, the points of twisted swords fanning out like talons from arms of the throne. Even after three centuries, some were still sharp enough to cut. The Iron Throne was full of traps for the unwary. The songs said it had taken a thousand blades to make it, heated white-hot in the furnace breath of Balerion the Black Dread. The hammering had taken fifty-nine days. The end of it was this hunched black beast made of razor edges and barbs and ribbons of sharp metal; a chair that could kill a man, and had, if the stories could be believed.
- AGoT, Eddard XI

It might be worth nothing that we get a white-black contrast here.

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Great thread again. :thumbsup:

I don't have much to say at the moment since I'm pretty tired, but I noticed that "thousand" seemed to come up around dragons and/or Targaryens a fair amount, a while back. Looking at my notes, it seems like it was March of last year. Wow, time flies. :) I wasn't sure if there was an actual pattern or not, but it was something I was wondering about. Another good example is the IT.

- AGoT, Eddard XI

It might be worth nothing that we get a white-black contrast here.

Thanks a lot Stargaryen, I didn't have a specific credit for you in this essay but of course you've fed me a "thousand" clues over the past few months, so a huge hat-tip to you in general. I was hoping by putting the astronomy bug in everyone's brain, people would think of old passages they know well and see a new layer of meaning... like this. Yes, the iron throne.

You know I'm into the whole "dark fire" thing... and what I see is this: sometimes George takes meaning very literally if it creates an interesting effect. Fire burns bright, but when its done burning, everything is what color? Black. Ice, on the other hand, reflects any kind of light and is therefore bright. So our magical ice is bright, and magical fire is dark... something like that. Was it always this way? I suspect not.

Asshai was transformed, I am sure of it. Just look at it. Something is WRONG with the earth right there in that whole area. That's a cancer of some kind, a sickness. I really think (and I know I've laid this out already) it must have been a heart of fire at one time, pure source of fire. Your quote here is another hint at that: when the fire burned the brightest, the steel was white; when the fire went out (fire moon destroyed), it turned black. :cheers: Thanks again, Ser Stargar. :bowdown:

It makes me wonder if the heart of winter was transformed, or if it's always been the same. I prefer the latter, I tend to think the moons are tied to the hearts. Ice moon, heart of winter. Fire moon, heart of summer. When fire moon goes boom, the heart of fire becomes the Shadow. Winter is then unchecked, because shadow fire is weaker, and the magic moon is gone, so winter expand to fill the void, hence, the Others invasion.

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Nice post.

I wonder about those demons of Night's Lion. They were sent with him during a Long Night. I'd like to relate them the Others, but there are some issues. The main is that Others are in Westeros while Five Forts in Essos are said to guard people from these demons. Yet the comming of Others during LN sounds that punishment, gods sent for mankind. On the other hand, we do not have so many details what happened in Essos during LN.

And if demons of Night's Lion are not the same as Others, I wonder if we are going to see them in the final battle between ice and fire. Or see them anywhere. There is one demon mentioned by Varys in his tale of ball-cutting, but he didn't do anything spectacular so we have no idea about their powers.

I'm pretty sure you are right. One can also add Night's King into the story, who wasn't a man anymore during the night.

Hey thanks TheSmallOther! Like I said the other day, great avatar.

As for the demons of the LoN and the Others. Several options.

  1. Others are manifested out of the north during the Long Night by the earth itself, like an auto-immune response to being attacked by fiery meteors and fire magic of Azor Ahai. In this case, the north of the Grey Waste may be producing its own Others.
  2. Some other type of monster is produced by whatever magic disruption triggered the Others and probably the Deep Ones (the dark tide I spoke off above). Maybe this LN disaster produced "monsters" everywhere. That greasy black stone does seem to be magically radioactive - I've considered the idea that it triggers mutations.
  3. Many have proposed that fire and ice magic are two end of the same stick - like Azor made fire demons in the east, eventually became the Nights King and made Others, something like that. Or someone with fire magic knowledge from the GEotD came to Westeros and made ice demons. This is the "Starks are not First Men" theory.
  4. Maybe they aren't monsters at all. "Shapechangers and demon hunters" - think about that. Demon hunters are good. Less demons is good. Shapechangers, that might be skin changers, who aren't bad or good by default, but are often feared. Shrykes and winged men maybe the rejects of dragon / human crossbreeding experiments, outcast as freaks... poor misunderstood shrykes.

Melisandre seems to be transforming into a fire being who is less than human, without actually dying. I think that is the template for creating others. Or one good possibility anyway. Just read this Melisandre scene and change the bolded to ice:

Visions danced before her, gold and scarlet, flickering, forming and melting and dissolving into one another, shapes strange and terrifying and seductive. She saw the eyeless faces again, staring out at her from sockets weeping blood. Then the towers by the sea, crumbling as the dark tide came sweeping over them, rising from the depths. Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist, bodies locked together in lust, writhing and rolling and clawing. Through curtains of fire great winged shadows wheeled against a hard blue sky. The girl. I must find the girl again, the grey girl on the dying horse . Jon Snow would expect that of her, and soon. It would not be enough to say the girl was fleeing. He would want more, he would want the when and where, and she did not have that for him. She had seen the girl only once. A girl as grey as ash, and even as I watched she crumbled and blew away . A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white . Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me . Beside him, a boy with a wolf’s face threw back his head and howled. 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.

Borrowing language from Ser Puddles, I'll make the switch

The blue priestess shuddered. White blood melted down her thigh, pale and shiny, swirling away in a fine white mist. The ice was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, freezing her, transforming her. Fingers of frost traced patterns on her skin pale as milkglass, insistent as an ice spider's hand mandible.

Sorry for that last bit, it's getting late.. :uhoh:

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[snip]

This is getting ahead to my Part Two stuff... so I shall reserve comment. Good ideas here though. ;)

Church of Starry Wisdom on the other had has similar ceremonial and theology, both faiths probably changed slightly in time, but it's darker faith worshiping fallen celestial wanderer as BSE intended, like a Promethean figure who brought enlightenment to the earth with it's descent (it brought corrupted fire magic, but it can be viewed as enlightenment too, if you are crazy tyrant).

I doubt Seven equals COSW, it makes no sense, why would then Faith/Citadel/Hightowers work to bring down Targs, when COSW wants fire despots for rulers? Why would Marwyn be outcast if Faith is COSW Marwyn would be champion. COSW are like Freemasons, they have members in some other religions, like R'hllorist faith or even Faith of the Seven but they are not same organization. Current Hightowers may as well be COSW cultists, but it's against the Faith not because of it.

Focusing on your last question here, I imagine the CoSW's highest levels like a secret cult. They may have infiltrated many places - certainly the Faith and the Citadel. They'd only need a few people planted here and there.

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I will also add that Blackfyre was put on Aegon's funeral pyre and Vhagar ignited it. After the ceremony, Blackfyre was unharmed but became even more blackened. That sounds certainly interesting.


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^ woah, fascinating. Is that in TWOIAF?

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^ woah, fascinating. Is that in TWOIAF?

It was but removed due to space limitations. It will certainly be in the eventual Fire&Blood.

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This really is strong material. I'd never given much thought to the stars and comets of asoiaf. Congrats, this is the best post I've read in ages.

I feel the faith of the seven is often overlooked. The seven pointed star looks like a man to me, with light illuminating him from behind. The stary eyed stranger makes up a huge piece of the imagery, there really is a lot going on in the picture, I believe it's on the wiki.

The colored comets I like a lot, I found those colors in a few places, the forks of the trident, a maze sigil, and more I think.

How long did this take? Thanks for it!

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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

Balerion was sentimental and grieving.

We will never see his like again. :crying:

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This really is strong material. I'd never given much thought to the stars and comets of asoiaf. Congrats, this is the best post I've read in ages.

I feel the faith of the seven is often overlooked. The seven pointed star looks like a man to me, with light illuminating him from behind. The stary eyed stranger makes up a huge piece of the imagery, there really is a lot going on in the picture, I believe it's on the wiki.

The colored comets I like a lot, I found those colors in a few places, the forks of the trident, a maze sigil, and more I think.

How long did this take? Thanks for it!

Thanks very much for the gratitude, Dearborn. It's been an on-going research project that started in February. That's when lightning struck and I somehow was lucky enough to put a couple of the right clues together to see the astronomy picture. If you liked this one, definitely check the other three links in my signature, they go in order and lead up to this one. They're all locked but you can comment here about anything from those, it's all in a continuum.

I hadn't thought about the seven pointed star too much from a visual perspective. It seems clear enough that the "Seven" are the classic seven celestial wanderers, but certainly the star itself could have a direct visual analogy. Four limbs, and a head is five, leaving two rays... what would those two rays be?

The starry eyed stranger caught my attention as well. Going to go real deep into that idea in an upcoming essay.

:cheers:

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Hey thanks TheSmallOther! Like I said the other day, great avatar.

As for the demons of the LoN and the Others. Several options.

  • Others are manifested out of the north during the Long Night by the earth itself, like an auto-immune response to being attacked by fiery meteors and fire magic of Azor Ahai. In this case, the north of the Grey Waste may be producing its own Others.
  • Some other type of monster is produced by whatever magic disruption triggered the Others and probably the Deep Ones (the dark tide I spoke off above). Maybe this LN disaster produced "monsters" everywhere. That greasy black stone does seem to be magically radioactive - I've considered the idea that it triggers mutations.
  • Many have proposed that fire and ice magic are two end of the same stick - like Azor made fire demons in the east, eventually became the Nights King and made Others, something like that. Or someone with fire magic knowledge from the GEotD came to Westeros and made ice demons. This is the "Starks are not First Men" theory.
  • Maybe they aren't monsters at all. "Shapechangers and demon hunters" - think about that. Demon hunters are good. Less demons is good. Shapechangers, that might be skin changers, who aren't bad or good by default, but are often feared. Shrykes and winged men maybe the rejects of dragon / human crossbreeding experiments, outcast as freaks... poor misunderstood shrykes.
Melisandre seems to be transforming into a fire being who is less than human, without actually dying. I think that is the template for creating others. Or one good possibility anyway. Just read this Melisandre scene and change the bolded to ice:Visions danced before her, gold and scarlet, flickering, forming and melting and dissolving into one another, shapes strange and terrifying and seductive. She saw the eyeless faces again, staring out at her from sockets weeping blood. Then the towers by the sea, crumbling as the dark tide came sweeping over them, rising from the depths. Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist, bodies locked together in lust, writhing and rolling and clawing. Through curtains of fire great winged shadows wheeled against a hard blue sky. The girl. I must find the girl again, the grey girl on the dying horse . Jon Snow would expect that of her, and soon. It would not be enough to say the girl was fleeing. He would want more, he would want the when and where, and she did not have that for him. She had seen the girl only once. A girl as grey as ash, and even as I watched she crumbled and blew away . A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white . Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me . Beside him, a boy with a wolf’s face threw back his head and howled. 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.

Borrowing language from Ser Puddles, I'll make the switch

The blue priestess shuddered. White blood melted down her thigh, pale and shiny, swirling away in a fine white mist. The ice was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, freezing her, transforming her. Fingers of frost traced patterns on her skin pale as milkglass, insistent as an ice spider's hand mandible.

Sorry for that last bit, it's getting late.. :uhoh:

About Melisandre being a fire being. Im really starting to belive that the red priests are the fire Others. Childrens are given to the red temples to become priests. Maybe thats some kind of sacrifice , the childrens are given to the red priests/ fire Others and become red priests/ fire Others themselves. And there is no childrens in Asshai, sacrificed maybe?

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Well I think the giving children to the red priests is a good parallel, for sure. It's an interesting question as to whether any other red priests are undergoing transformation. Moquorro seems a bit less than human, with his survival at sea. His vision interpretation is even better than Melisandre's, and he has more faith in it - that 10 days at sea waiting for a ship he saw in a vision is cray cray. But regardless, I really do think there enough parallels between fire and ice magic to consider them similar (but opposite). If "the fire" can get inside a person and transform them... Why not ice? And interesting contrast between black blood of fire beings and white mist that Other blood turns to.

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Awesome thread, as per usual!

Sorry it took me so long, but I come armed with extensive comments:

Thanks Blind Beth. I appreciate the input, as always. ;)

My take on R'hllorists:

They follow the Lord of Light and revere Azor Ahai. I think this strongly implies that their religion originated during the Long Night. This is further implicated by the custom of night-fires, their slogan, and their philosophy of light and shadow coexisting, of light trying to defend against and master darkness rather than dispel it.

We are in agreement here. I think the ideas of R'hllorists go back to this time.. But I do wonder if the Cosw had something to do with it.

I don't think all fire magic is corrupt--I think magic in ASOIAF is conceptually different than in WoT. I don't think it can be corrupted any more than electricity can be corrupted. It can be used for corrupt ends, by corrupt people, and I think that the corruption that led to the Long Night is woven into the fundamental worldview of the R'hllorists. I believe they may have been founded by a sorcerer who brought the Bloodstone Emperor/Last Hero back for his third life as Azor Ahai--thus why resurrection is so fundamental to their religion that the common death rite involves a ceremonial attempt at resurrection.

I'm not sure about AA's third life or whatever, you may have gotten ahead of me a bit ;) I do really disagree though about the Shadow and fire magic.

First, we have not seen any fire magic that brings light. The closest thing was Beric lighting his sword on fire, but that didn't seem to be very potent magic at all. Melisandre burned the eagle out of the sky... That's about it. The illusions seem to be light and shadow, but it's a twisting of light, so not sure what to think of that.

Second, look at Asshai and the Shadowlands. Something bad happened there. It's a disaster zone, and it appears to be magically toxic or radioactive. Of course you read my last essay - there's every reason to believe that Asshai was built before this disaster. It's like a cancerous, diseased part of Mother Earth. It want always like that, I feel certain.

Look at Valyria, the other nation who tapped into the fires of the earth for power and magic. They were a horrific abomination. They spent five MILLENNIA depopulating Essos by feeding millions of slaves into their gristmill of mining death. Five thousand years of concentration camps, in essence. That's as if Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia had existed since 3,000 BC. That's UNFATHOMABLE human suffering and misery. The Valyrians were an abomination in every way. That speaks to a deep seeded corruption of an entire people - and they were sucking earth's magic out of the very fires of the earth, and I suspect their magic was the same shadow magic that comes from Asshai.

It's possible the fourteen flames were corrupted by the magic Valyria learned from Asshai. But I think the magic the Valyrians used was fundamentally corrupt - they were slavers from the beginning. They've always been "this way." Blood sacrifice - specifically involuntary sacrifice - is an abomination as well. And yes, I think this means there's a dark side to the weirwoods.

Of course our view of R'hllorism is probably stilted because Melisandre is our main source of reference. Thoros of Myr seems to see the Lord of Light more as a figure of justice and healing. (Of course many of his converts seem more interested in burning septs than finding justice.) Moqorro is still a cipher but it's safe to say he differers from Mel on certain critical points of theology. Mel actually seems to be a bit of a R'hllor fundamentalist while others of her religion have evolved their philosophies to edit out some of the *ahem* darker points endemic to its origins.

No question Mel is a bit different than other priests, and I agree she is probably getting back to the "fundamentals," but Moquorro is unquestionable more powerful and advanced than she. I think we might learn more about him next book, and by virtue of that, the red priests. But I think you're overstating the case with Thoros. He has no clue what is happening to him. I put does seem his heart is in a better place, but that could be due to almost dying and witnessing a miracle, as well as undergoing the mission he has - he's seen a lot of suffering of the common people. I don't think his character is indicitve of R'hllorism, necessarily, for those reasons. And Thoros really hasn't done anything "good" with his magic, he's just revived Beric a bunch of times... and it's questionable how much Beric really appreciates that.

Lastly on R'hllorism: I think I made a big breakthrough with my observation that objects standing in the way of light are what actually casts shadows. I think shadows = darkness, plain and simple. I remain skeptical on reaching any light by passing under the shadow. But we shall see. The best I can imagine is using shadow fire to balance out / cancel out the bright icy magic in a mutual annihilation.

The parallels between R'hllorism and evangelical Christianity are certainly there. This seems to imply that it's based on someone who came back from the dead, became savior of the world, and inspired widely varied reactions and interpretations.

It seems that mainstream R'hllorism has evolved into a gentler and more socially acceptable thing, much as the gnostic-cultish CoSW (begun by the Bloodstone Emperor) branched off into the more socially-minded Faith of the Seven. This certainly seems to be the case in the Free Cities, where Red Priests co-exist pretty peacefully with many other religions without burning anyone at the stake.

But, the thing about fundamentalists is that they are getting back to fundamentals. However evolved modern mainstream R'hllorism may be, Mel likely does give us a very good idea of its original nature, constructed when the Long Night was dark and full of terrors. Harsh environments breed harsh creeds.

yep, agree with all that.

Re: Quaithe

SoI'm weirdly not that cynical about Quaithe. I think she's got good intentions. Dany *is* dragonblood, and magical, and she does need to embrace that, in order to come to terms with it if nothing else. Quaithe didn't hatch those dragons, Dany did. Quaithe didn't bring the comet and she's not controlling the Others. Yes, Dany will likely suffer a lot and may well die in her confrontation with the Others, butI mean, what's the alternative? Ask them over for lemon cakes? Quaithe is in so many words telling Dany to kill the girl and let the dragon woman be born. Planting trees is great but this is neither the time nor the place.

That's a great way of saying it ;) I hear what you're saying, I guess I wish Dany could plant trees. I am hoping she lives actually, and maybe has a chance to plant a tree in the springtime. She will probably have to sacrifice her dragons at the end, but she may yet live.

Don't forget, dragons are just as bad as Others. Five thousand years of slavery. Dragons are bad. That's why all men flee in terror at the shadow of their wings. It's another way of saying "inimical to all life."

And this is my take on the prophecy:

south/north: Go to Starfall and pick up Dawn so you can drop it off with unJon aka AAR when you go to the wall.

east/west: You must learn your eastern heritage if you are going to win in the west.

light/shadow: to arrive at a Dream of Spring you must get through the Winds of Winter (so to speak, lol). Or to win you have a lot of suffering ahead, that sort of thing. Perhaps Dany even has a death and rebirth ahead, symbolic if not literal. (Fits with "child of three" thing.) Dany assumes Quaithe means Asshai when she says shadow, but Quaithe doesn't confirm that. Just tells her she would learn truth in Asshai.

"We heard that the Citadel posses four glass candles - three black and one green. We saw one in Marwyns study, a black one, which he has been using extensively to keep up with things at the Wall and elsewhere. Do you really think he would leave Oldtown and not bring a candle with him? Not bloody likely. "

Ha, good catch. I hadn't considered that but very good point.

Thanks for the shout out and link!

Yeah dawg, you got it. My hope was that some of my ideas would spur on others to think of new ideas... If I was a help in any small way then I'm a happy man. A lot of your ideas are a bit more speculative than what I have put out (I keep some crazy stuff under my hat, just wait), but someone has to blaze the trail. Someone has to come up with hypothesis that can be tested. Anyone know the plural of "hypothesis?" That's been bugging me. Anyway. Yes, Marwyn is bringing a candle to Dany - it would just be totally crazy not to. Put yourself in his position - that candle makes you one of the five most powerful people on the planet. No way you leave home for god knows how long to serve the dragon princess without bringing a candle. This was one of the exciting realizations I had while researching this. :)

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I agree that 90% of what we've seen of fire magic has been very negative. But the actions of the BwB under Thoros and Beric were largely positive. Beric wasn't thrilled about the effects of being brought back, but he never told Thoros not to do it. Lem Lemoncloak implies that the Lord of Light has given him new purpose after he spent time as a broken man. Beric uses a flaming sword to dispense justice in a trial by combat--and in the one instance we know of the justice appears to have been served. The Hound was chastened but let go, which to me at least seems like an appropriate outcome for him. Justice is a tricky concept and the best way to apply it is somewhat subjective, but the BwB was basically good under unBeric, especially compared to other groups roaming the Riverlands at that time. They only deteriorate into vengeance-seekers under Lady Stoneheart. Which might be a clue that the nature of fire magic depends on who's using it.



But Thoros and Beric only represent a tiny fraction of the fire magic we've seen, and they don't even use it that much, so I can easily see why you would look fire magic at it as inherently corrupted. This is probably something we have to wait for more information about before drawing 100% definite conclusions.


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