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Criston of House Shapper

When did the Andals leave Essos?

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FNR,



I think I am pretty much open to what you described. I don't think it is as simple as one giant invasion, though how it all happened and over how much time is a mystery.



I think it is likely that Sam is assuming that the "oldest list" of Lord Commanders he could find was written during the Andal Invasion. It is just a matter of what he used to deduce that.



998 LCs over 8,000 years (the True History dating for the Long Night) comes out to about 8 years per LC.



998 LCs over 6,000 years (the dating Maester Yandel gives precedence to in TWOIAF) comes out to about 6 years per LC.



If we are looking at a list that was written down 324 LCs ago (as it shows 674 LCs), that might indicate that it was written down between 2,600 and 1,950 years ago.



If we are looking at a list that was started 674 LCs ago (and does not include the supposed 324 first LCs), that might indicate it was written down between 5,400 and 4,000 years ago.



Obviously there are a lot of ifs, and no guarantee that Sam used any of these methods to deduce when he thinks the list was written, but I tend to lean toward 2,600-1,950 years ago being closest to what Sam had in mind for when this list was written down.


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Also, not sure if it was touched on earlier, but my impression looking at ASearchOIAF is that "a thousand years" almost never actually means one thousand years, and sometimes seems to be used when speaking of things that may have been thousands of years.


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Also, not sure if it was touched on earlier, but my impression looking at ASearchOIAF is that "a thousand years" almost never actually means one thousand years, and sometimes seems to be used when speaking of things that may have been thousands of years.

Spot on.

Well, actually it's a bit off, "an unspecified, but long stretch of time" would be better.

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Sam's list would date from a time when Andal culture and science had spread all the way to the Wall, which would probably have been one of the last places it reached.

The list could definitely date well into the Andal presence in Westeros. But missionaries also have a history of going into places that are likely to be hostile and dangerous to them. Maybe you get a receptive LC or something. Though it took dramatic happenings for them to adopt the Old Gods, the First Men seem to me to have been relatively open to adopting something if they thought it could be to their benefit.

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Spot on.

Well, actually it's a bit off, "an unspecified, but long stretch of time" would be better.

Not to mention when characters use it to refer to things that happened to them in their own lifetime (in which case it is obviously not literal).

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BBE,



well, Ghis and Valyria were literate cultures when Old Ghis fell. And they were also sophisticated enough to have historians. Why wouldn't you believe what those historians have to say about dates? Ghiscari and Valyrians can't compared to ancient First Men and Andals in that regard.



As to Volantis/Valyria:



I don't think that ~3,000 years were without conflict - merely that the Valyrians and Volantenes turned against all those other countless cultures and peoples in Essos that are no more. Those who Yandel cannot even name. They did not trouble the Rhoynar because they were an isolationist culture which was too powerful to be attacked directly for a long time, and originally were friendly towards the Valyrians (teaching them how to make steel, etc.).



There is no reason to assume that the Rhoynar in Ny Sar would want to prevent the Valyrians/Volantenes to expand their sphere of influence west along the coast. They had no interests there.



FNR,



I don't think the 2,000 years gap works in regard to the Andal migrations. I'd rather assume that there was a, say, 500-1,000 year period of migrations, and that was it. We know that the Andals conquering the Vale came after Hugor of the Hill as Ser Artys Arryn supposedly descended from him. And the Andals conquering the Vale were apparently the first Andals to permanently move to Westeros.



Generally I'd think we should go with a shorter period of Andal rule in Westeros and a much longer period of recovery/recivilization after the Long Night which could easily have been 6,000 years ago. Think about it - how came it that the magical traditions of the First Men - ravens as talking messengers, weirwood sacrifices to actual accomplish stuff, greenseer making south of the Wall, primal sacrifices to Garth the Green (who most likely was a predecessor of the Green Men, their founder, or one of them), etc. - withered and died over the centuries. First Men culture prior to the Pact and after the Pact would have been founded in their own magic/the magic of the Children. Yet all of this stuff was of no use/fell out of favor long before the Andals came - and was no longer practiced in meaningful/powerful way even in the regions which were always controlled by the First Men.



Thus I'd assume that the Long Night had a devastating effect on human (and Children) civilization in Westeros, culling the population and destroying much of the knowledge that was handed down over the generations. Especially whatever realms had formed would have been mostly destroyed - perhaps with the sole exception of the noble houses which rose at the most powerful castles - Casterly Rock, Highgarden, Oldtown, Barrowton, the castle that would eventually become Winterfell. The conquering/unifying of the Seven Kingdoms would then have begun after the Long Night more or less from scratch, which possibly a long time of peace during the early years after the War for the Dawn as the whole NW business would most likely have united the people for quite some time.


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LV,

I wasn't addressing Valyrian or Ghiscari records, just Andals in Westeros. That said, have we heard anything about the Andals from Valyrian or Ghiscari records? Has any mention of an Andal exodus been noted from their records? If not, we don't really know what their records say about Andals or how their records about Andals correlate with Westerosi Andal records or tradition.

I do not recall that the Rhoynar taught the Valyrians to make steel. I thought they taught the Andals?

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BBE,

well, Ghis and Valyria were literate cultures when Old Ghis fell. And they were also sophisticated enough to have historians. Why wouldn't you believe what those historians have to say about dates? Ghiscari and Valyrians can't compared to ancient First Men and Andals in that regard.

As to Volantis/Valyria:

I don't think that ~3,000 years were without conflict - merely that the Valyrians and Volantenes turned against all those other countless cultures and peoples in Essos that are no more. Those who Yandel cannot even name. They did not trouble the Rhoynar because they were an isolationist culture which was too powerful to be attacked directly for a long time, and originally were friendly towards the Valyrians (teaching them how to make steel, etc.).

There is no reason to assume that the Rhoynar in Ny Sar would want to prevent the Valyrians/Volantenes to expand their sphere of influence west along the coast. They had no interests there.

Both the First Men with their runes and the Andals with their Andal script were just as literate. Nor is it confirmed that they were sophisticated enough.

I don't believe it because this is a series, where originally rock-solid dates have been proven wrong a couple times already. But the most important part is that the timeline of technological development, cultural, politic and even linguistic evolution doesn't fit. At all.

In human history, 3,000 years either have lots of conflicts, or see a cultural and linguistic mixture strong enough that two people become a single one. Human culture doesn't work that way.

That leaves either an utterly inhuman behavior never seen anywhere in the real world (and in ASOIAF as well, just check the divergence of the Valyrian dialects in the Free Cities) - or faulty numbers, something proven to exist in the series several times already.

I do not recall that the Rhoynar taught the Valyrians to make steel. I thought they taught the Andals?

Both. There is a passage about the Valyrians eventually surpassing their Rhoynish teachers with the invention of Valyrian steel, but they originally learned from the Rhoynar.

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Tghere is a really, really thorough thread on this subject somewhere that came to tyne conclusion the Andal invasion was only about 2500 years ago, not as long as some many think. It was very convincing, anyone know the thread I'm thinking of? Unfortunately the search function has just been abandoned and left for dead...


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Bael's Bastards,



no, we don't have any Valyrian or Ghiscari records on the Andal exodus, but we have a consensus of historians cited by Yandel that the Andals came to Westeros because of Valyrian pressure - which means that the Andals cannot have come to Westeros prior to the Fall of Old Ghis (which would be ~5,000 years ago if we trust the date). Thus Andals being in Westeros 6,000 years ago is effectively impossible.



BBE,



I agree that the dates don't make all that much sense compared to real world history but I guess we could go with a slower cultural evolution if we keep in mind that the long winters would have halted/slowed any progress, and assume that the Valyrians were very slow in their efforts to subdue the west of Essos. There are hints that the Valyrians destroyed countless unknown peoples in Essos, suggesting that there was a cultural evolution going on there. And we have actually no clue how old the Andals as a people/culture are. Perhaps their rise only truly began in the age of Qarlon?



Valyrian culture may have been changing as well, of course - although the fact that they had dragons to travel and magic to communicate over great distances could have slowed that process. We don't know if High Valyrian was a version of the language that existed since the dawn of the city or merely the version of the language that was considered to be standard Valyrian around the time of the Doom.



The Rhoynar, Ghiscari, Sarnori, and Yi Tish seem to have been cultures that go back before the Long Night. They have/had written accounts that go back this far. And Valyria was the greatest civilization in the world - they should roughly know when exactly they won their great victory over Old Ghis.



The ancient First Men apparently weren't all that sophisticated. All the present-day scholars believe all they had were runes (and we don't really know what they decided to write down in runes - certainly not long histories). The great loss in knowledge during the First Men era is one of the reason why I believe the greenseer tradition suffered a major blow during the Long Night - perhaps some First Men cultures very close to the Children (the crannogmen, some Stormlanders, etc.) kept the greenseer tradition alive, but once they were gone an inevitable decline of knowledge would begin - and only the old women would remember versions of the true stories of the past.



The Andals clearly did not destroy those First Men traditions as the Children were already pretty much gone nearly everywhere - and most of the First Men weren't exactly close to them, anyway, by that point.



Thus I'd assume that historical knowledge was never something that was handed down literally, but was a domain of the greenseers - and when they were begin to disappear/were gone the First Men culture pretty much lost an integral part of their culture - the very thing that connected them with their past and history.


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The Roynar arrived in Dorne 1000 years ago. By that time the Andals had spread across the entire South and into Dorne as well, with only the North still remaining a First Man kingdom. Andal culture was fully entrenched across Westeros.



We also know that many centuries passed between the Andal arrival in the Vale and their moves into the Riverlands and the Stormlands. And many centuries after that before they finally integrated with the Westerlands and finally the Reach.



All of that was long in the past by the time Nymeria arrived in Dorne. So it is highly unlikely that the Andal migration was not well underway 2000 years ago already. In fact, a seperate source says that the Maesters indicate that the Rape of Sisterton occurred 2000 years ago. And this set off the war between the Starks and the Arryns. The Arryns are an Andal House. So we have corroborating sources indicating that the Vale was already under united Andal control as long as 2000 years ago.



My view is that the initial Andal conquests happened around 3000 years ago, or maybe even a few centuries before that, with the migration ending around 2000 years ago.


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Bael's Bastards,

no, we don't have any Valyrian or Ghiscari records on the Andal exodus, but we have a consensus of historians cited by Yandel that the Andals came to Westeros because of Valyrian pressure - which means that the Andals cannot have come to Westeros prior to the Fall of Old Ghis (which would be ~5,000 years ago if we trust the date). Thus Andals being in Westeros 6,000 years ago is effectively impossible.

BBE,

I agree that the dates don't make all that much sense compared to real world history but I guess we could go with a slower cultural evolution if we keep in mind that the long winters would have halted/slowed any progress, and assume that the Valyrians were very slow in their efforts to subdue the west of Essos. There are hints that the Valyrians destroyed countless unknown peoples in Essos, suggesting that there was a cultural evolution going on there. And we have actually no clue how old the Andals as a people/culture are. Perhaps their rise only truly began in the age of Qarlon?

Valyrian culture may have been changing as well, of course - although the fact that they had dragons to travel and magic to communicate over great distances could have slowed that process. We don't know if High Valyrian was a version of the language that existed since the dawn of the city or merely the version of the language that was considered to be standard Valyrian around the time of the Doom.

The Rhoynar, Ghiscari, Sarnori, and Yi Tish seem to have been cultures that go back before the Long Night. They have/had written accounts that go back this far. And Valyria was the greatest civilization in the world - they should roughly know when exactly they won their great victory over Old Ghis.

The ancient First Men apparently weren't all that sophisticated. All the present-day scholars believe all they had were runes (and we don't really know what they decided to write down in runes - certainly not long histories). The great loss in knowledge during the First Men era is one of the reason why I believe the greenseer tradition suffered a major blow during the Long Night - perhaps some First Men cultures very close to the Children (the crannogmen, some Stormlanders, etc.) kept the greenseer tradition alive, but once they were gone an inevitable decline of knowledge would begin - and only the old women would remember versions of the true stories of the past.

The Andals clearly did not destroy those First Men traditions as the Children were already pretty much gone nearly everywhere - and most of the First Men weren't exactly close to them, anyway, by that point.

Thus I'd assume that historical knowledge was never something that was handed down literally, but was a domain of the greenseers - and when they were begin to disappear/were gone the First Men culture pretty much lost an integral part of their culture - the very thing that connected them with their past and history.

Yes. One also has to bear in mind that if the greenseers knowledge is as immense as Bran's initial mind-melds with the weirwood's suggest, then the greenseer presence kind of negated the need for written records. The greenseers had video records of all the key events of the past, going back a million years. They simply had to log into their weirnet to access these visual and audio records.

This is far more powerful and accurate than any written record could ever hope to be. And utterly invulnerable to corruption or embellishment.

So the greenseers could in fact have inhibited the need for writing and technological progress. Similar to how warging into and talking through Ravens negated the need to write cryptic messages on pieces of parchment.

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re: the 6,000 year date for Andal Invasion, I have seen this around, but I can't recall a source for it. I've seen 4,000 and 2,000 years in the books, but where does 6,000 come from? Anyway, I think 2,500-1,900 years ago is my preference for the bulk of the invasion, with perhaps smaller groups of Andals having established permanent footholds in the centuries or millennia prior to that.

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Bael's Bastard,



again, the 6,000 years come from Alyssa Arryn. She supposedly lived 6,000 years ago - hardly possibly if the Arryns hadn't been around and in the Vale by that point. You don't name a waterfall after some woman who had no immediate connection to it - therefore, Alyssa Arryn must have been an Arryn of the Vale.



TNR,



it does not seem likely that all that many centuries passed between the Andal arrival and them taking over. For instance, there were only three generations between the first major battles between the First Men and the Andals in the Vale and the Battle of the Seven Stars. And it was the great-grandson of Artys Arryn's grandson who was executed by the Hammer of Justice - by which times the Andals were already a powerful force in the Riverlands. In the Stormlands, Erich the Unready - who was Storm King while the Andals took the Vale - was the grandfather of the first Durrandon king who had to fight against the Andals.



The conquest of the West and the Reach took quite some time as that occurred overland, but should have began after the Andals in the Riverlands ended the line of House Mudd. Assuming that the founding date of Lorath is correct, I'd say the Andals came to Westeros about 2,000 years ago - I think we have some leeway to assume that the time that passed between Qarlon and the founding of Lorath was longer than Yandel believes it was but the founding date of Lorath seems to be taken from some history that should be precise.



If we assume that the Long Night wasn't 8,000 but 6,000 years ago, and if we go with a slower unification/conquest process in all the regions then it is easily imaginable that the Red Kings only gave up their crowns roughly 2,000 years ago. If we go with the assumption that there were petty kings all over the place and very few people left after the Long Night it could easily have taken this long. Especially in a region as vast and scarcely populated as the North - Highgarden, Oldtown, and Casterly Rock in the South were sort of 'natural castles' were power concentrated itself, just as Winterfell, but the North had rival centers of power - the Dreadfort, Barrowton, etc.



The effectiveness of the greenseers as keepers of knowledge is why I believe that as a First Men institution the Long Night must have dealt them a severe blow. No society would have given up on this means of keeping and storing information. If many First Men settlements/kingdoms lost their greenseers during the Long Night, and if later on fewer and fewer potential greenseers were born then this decline makes sense, but there is simply no way that any working/stable society would have ever given up that advantage and replaced it with oral traditions/a literate culture. But the modern North effectively has lost most of its ancient knowledge, suggesting that something must have taken it from them.



And the more enlightened Andals would also have adopted/integrated the greenseer and skinchanger stuff if they had had access to it - especially in those kingdoms were the First Men were never actually toppled but continued to rule and only integrated the Andals into their culture (the Reach, Dorne, the Stormlands, and the West). If they still had had greenseers by the time the Andals came they would not have given them up.


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Lord Varys, I think it's clear the the Winged Knight was an older myth that the story of Artys Arryn was glommed on to. It cannot be used to date anything.

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The Winged Knight is clearly fiction in my opinion. There doesn't have any real basis to this story at all besides the fact that there was a historical Ser Artys Arryn. Just as singers and septons invented other mythical heroes. But Alyssa Arryn was real, and she is the one which has been used for dates, not the Winged Knight.


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Even in the scenario where she was 6,000 years ago, is there any indication that she lived during the initial invasion, or any indication how long after the initial Arryn invaders she lived?

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