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Criston of House Shapper

When did the Andals leave Essos?

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To conclude;



George did not do his homework properly. Reach, Iron Islands, Riverlands sections are full of inconsistencies. It is meaningless to try to reach an exact solution for these contradicting accounts.


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To conclude;

George did not do his homework properly. Reach, Iron Islands, Riverlands sections are full of inconsistencies. It is meaningless to try to reach an exact solution for these contradicting accounts.

I see it the other way - I think George did a lot of homework. Not to create an accurate timeline, but to specifically create an inaccurate timeline. Real world history and dating is still chock full of inconsistencies - the Antikythera mechanism is one such inconsistency. According to our modern timeline, the Greeks of the era should not have had the technology to create or use something like that. But quite clearly, they did have the technology. In fairness, they're reworking the timeline now that it's been proven to not be a hoax, but still - the thing was found 115 years ago, so we (as a society) haven't really been all to keen on altering timelines to fit new discoveries.

And let's not forget the historical inconsistency that are the Ancient Egyptians! After centuries of trying to figure out *how* they raised the pyramids, we still don't have a clear answer - lots of ideas, but no answers. But we do know they did it, successfully. And on the topic of Egyptians, I should mention their king lists. There are a LOT of various king lists for Egyptian Pharaohs. The most well-known (and commonly used) is the Turin King list. But there are plenty more and they don't always agree with each other. Some show different king's ruling at the same time as king's on other lists (generally assumed to be a civil war or split kingdom). Other's show a different timeline completely (possibly the result of different forms of timekeeping). But there isn't any one king list that can be compared king-to-king with another - there are plenty of inconsistencies.

And Rome. Historians never thought it possible that the Romans had something as "modern" as plumbing and central heating. But they sure did - and we've, finally, altered our thinking (and timelines) to account for that. I'm not very old, but I remember the shift in thinking/teaching.

I think George knew exactly what he was doing - he's making Westeros and Essos seem much more "real" to us because even their histories are "real" with all the inconsistencies that our real life histories include. In my opinion, George did exactly as he planned - he has successfully confused us.

And it can't be meaningless to connect them - that's exactly what historians have been doing since time immemorial. The meaning is specifically in the inconsistencies, just like real life history. These inconsistencies are created because people themselves can be remarkably inconsistent. You can't write a consistent history of Rome because Caesar was an inconsistent man - that's why right there during Caesar's life is, historically speaking, the cut off between the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire is found. And he's only one example - the Gracchi brother's were inconsistencies in Rome's history as well, and their lives are usually the historical cut off point between "early" Republic and "late" Republic. The inconsistencies are the tangles that trip you up - as a historian (real life or fictional) it's their job to smooth out the tangles. The inconsistencies themselves aren't errors, they're simply inconsistencies.

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I tend to agree with Jak on this one. Well said, Mr. Scaletongue.

On the other hand, it's not certain that a clean "truth" can be wrought - any conclusion we make on the timing of something like the Andal invasion will necessarily involve choosing one piece of info as more reliable than another - but again, to Jak's point, that's what real historians have to do. I think we would all agree that there is some amount of intentional fog of history on Martin's part.

Let me ask, other than pure curiously, what major things are riding on the dating of this invasion? What are the ramifications of a 6,000 years ago date or a 2500 years ago date for the invasion?

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I tend to agree with Jak on this one. Well said, Mr. Scaletongue.

On the other hand, it's not certain that a clean "truth" can be wrought - any conclusion we make on the timing of something like the Andal invasion will necessarily involve choosing one piece of info as more reliable than another - but again, to Jak's point, that's what real historians have to do. I think we would all agree that there is some amount of intentional fog of history on Martin's part.

Let me ask, other than pure curiously, what major things are riding on the dating of this invasion? What are the ramifications of a 6,000 years ago date or a 2500 years ago date for the invasion?

Thanks for the vote! :cheers:

Pertaining to the main series, I don't think there is anything major riding on the dating of the Andal Invasion. I think it seems more realistic (our-world wise) for the Andals to have invaded ~2,500 years ago, based on real-world cultural and linguistic shifts, and even that is almost too long (the Angles and Saxons only invaded the British Isles ~1,000 years ago, and look at *all* the cultural shifts in Britain since then). But in-world everything seems bigger and better, so 6,000 isn't out of the realm of possibility in-world. With a Wall 700 feet tall and dynasties lasting millennia I don't see why 6,000 years is impossible either. GRRM is trying to create a realistic world, but he's trying to create a fantasy world too - and making everything more ancient and longer lasting (and technologically stuck) is one way to add a fantastical element without losing some of the realism.

On the "technologically stuck" point I feel the need to point out that one reason a lot of ancient societies (Rome for example) weren't as technologically advanced as they could have been was because of the use of slavery (the inventors were generally gentlemen of leisure and didn't think overmuch about slaves, period, let alone how to improve the slaves lives - and the slaves didn't have time for inventing anything, even if it would have made their lives easier!) - it doesn't seem impossible that between slavery and magic no one has gotten very far technologically speaking.

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Pertaining to the main series, I don't think there is anything major riding on the dating of the Andal Invasion. I think it seems more realistic (our-world wise) for the Andals to have invaded ~2,500 years ago, based on real-world cultural and linguistic shifts

The problem with this reasoning is that 2500 years is still way, way too long to be realistic. And it doesn't even fit with the rest of his world--e.g., bastard Valyrian only needed 400 years to become nearly unintelligible between Pentos and Astapor, but somehow Common has remained not just a single language, but an unchanged one (smallfolk sing songs from the early Andal days and understand them)? So, the argument that 2500 is more realistic than 6000 just falls flat. If we found a text that claimed Alexander the Great had conquered all 7 of the planets, you could argue that it's more realistic to think that didn't mean Jupiter and Saturn, only the inner planets, but really, it still isn't at all realistic; taking it as literal but exaggerated makes less sense than either taking it as metaphorical or taking it as literal and correct. So, similarly, once you question whether the Maesters' 6000 years of history really means 6000 years, it makes sense to argue that it's 400-600, but it's not that compelling to argue that it's 2000-3000.

On the "technologically stuck" point I feel the need to point out that one reason a lot of ancient societies (Rome for example) weren't as technologically advanced as they could have been was because of the use of slavery (the inventors were generally gentlemen of leisure and didn't think overmuch about slaves, period, let alone how to improve the slaves lives - and the slaves didn't have time for inventing anything, even if it would have made their lives easier!) - it doesn't seem impossible that between slavery and magic no one has gotten very far technologically speaking.

It's certainly possible that, without slavery, Rome would have advanced even faster. But they advanced pretty fast as it was. It took two centuries to go from scrolls to wax codices to bound parchment. They invented concrete and developed first a network of interior roads and then the system of military engineering to move armies quickly. They went from traditional dams to arch-based to multiple-arch and arch-gravity dams. They invented the first mechanical reapers, rod-and-crank machines, and so on. In culture, they created the Julian calendar, team sports, newspapers, entirely new siege tactics, and so on.

Also, if you're envisioning Rome as a handful of patricians living on the backs of slaves, you're forgetting that they had a complex system of 6 classes, with millions of people in the middle classes, with significant mobility by the late Republic period, not to mention that even the upper classes often served a good chunk of their lives in the army.

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The problem with this reasoning is that 2500 years is still way, way too long to be realistic. And it doesn't even fit with the rest of his world--e.g., bastard Valyrian only needed 400 years to become nearly unintelligible between Pentos and Astapor, but somehow Common has remained not just a single language, but an unchanged one (smallfolk sing songs from the early Andal days and understand them)? So, the argument that 2500 is more realistic than 6000 just falls flat. If we found a text that claimed Alexander the Great had conquered all 7 of the planets, you could argue that it's more realistic to think that didn't mean Jupiter and Saturn, only the inner planets, but really, it still isn't at all realistic; taking it as literal but exaggerated makes less sense than either taking it as metaphorical or taking it as literal and correct. So, similarly, once you question whether the Maesters' 6000 years of history really means 6000 years, it makes sense to argue that it's 400-600, but it's not that compelling to argue that it's 2000-3000.

I agree that it is too long, realistically - but between our choices (so far), 2500 years is more realistic than 6000 years. Alexander wasn't conquering a fantasy world, or else he'd have dragons/magic/etc to help him too! Realistically, 2500 years is far too long; fantastically, why not 6000 years? These are fantasy novels, with realistic elements. It seems to me that the small pictures (the POVs) are realistic, but the big picture is fantastical - giving rise to the Others, dragons, magic, etc. Even the "small picture" POVs that have a lot of magic (Bran) are still realistic on the small scale (lots of walking, hunger, fear, etc), but Bran's particular magical/fanastical elements (warging, greenseeing) fit into the big picture (Others, dragons, magic). And the TWOIAF is "big picture" so there's a lot of fantasy elements (including ancient peoples that are thousands of years old).

Long story short - it's still a fantasy series, and it seems GRRM has used unrealistic amounts of time as one way to convey that, especially in regards to ancient societies (and LF travelling....though he's not as bad as D&D in *that* regard...).

It's certainly possible that, without slavery, Rome would have advanced even faster. But they advanced pretty fast as it was. It took two centuries to go from scrolls to wax codices to bound parchment. They invented concrete and developed first a network of interior roads and then the system of military engineering to move armies quickly. They went from traditional dams to arch-based to multiple-arch and arch-gravity dams. They invented the first mechanical reapers, rod-and-crank machines, and so on. In culture, they created the Julian calendar, team sports, newspapers, entirely new siege tactics, and so on.

Also, if you're envisioning Rome as a handful of patricians living on the backs of slaves, you're forgetting that they had a complex system of 6 classes, with millions of people in the middle classes, with significant mobility by the late Republic period, not to mention that even the upper classes often served a good chunk of their lives in the army.

I'm well acquainted with the Roman system. I know that very, very few people above "freedman" gave two sh*ts about the condition of slaves (there's always soft-hearts and outliers, but as a whole, nobody cared beyond getting their money's worth). I know that slavery wasn't always the life sentence it was later in history (unless you were sent to the mines, or similar horrible work - they went to die). I also know that most of their inventions were for the pleasure and ease of the upper classes - things like the mechanical reapers wouldn't have been mass-produced, only a few eccentric land owners would have purchased something like that; 1) it would have been expensive 2) slaves would have less work (and they already paid good money for those slaves - why pay more good money to put your slaves out of work?) 3) people don't like change (we're not as bad nowadays, given how quickly tech changes, but as a whole we abhor change). All the other inventions you mentioned were for the ease and/or pleasure of the upper classes (though things like roads were public, they were built *for* the army but others could use them).

I feel like I'm not done, but I'd better get back to work!

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I'm well acquainted with the Roman system. ... All the other inventions you mentioned were for the ease and/or pleasure of the upper classes (though things like roads were public, they were built *for* the army but others could use them).

Well, that's my point in a nutshell. You were arguing that Roman technology was stagnant, because nobody cared about the lower classes. But Roman technology was not stagnant, and possibly that's because technology is generally not just about helping the lower classes.

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The timeline is a muddy thing. I think the septons and maesters who has made the guesses based them on geneologies and oral traditions, both which should be taken with a huge grain of salt.


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The timeline is a muddy thing. I think the septons and maesters who has made the guesses based them on geneologies and oral traditions, both which should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Except that they specifically contrast the pre-Andal timeline, which is based on oral histories and runic markers, with the post-Andal timeline, which is based on written histories.

Also, they explicitly acknowledge the errors in their written histories, and talk about how far off they could be. See Sam thinking the LC list might have only 600-odd names instead almost 1000, or the debate about 4000 vs. 6000 years. These aren't debates medieval historians had, they're debates 18th century Egyptologists had. And the research Sam is itching to do sounds even more modern, like the chronological synchronism work of the early 20th century. (That may seem implausibly advanced given the state of the rest of Westerosi culture, but I can imagine that having a millennia-old repository of written records that had never been burnt or raided and a continuous University-like tradition for most of that time could make more than enough of a difference to explain it. The less-plausible fact that the language and culture of Westeros seem to have been amazingly static for all that time would also make its history a lot easier to study, so if you can accept the stasis, the impressively good history doesn't seem like a serious problem.)

So, in short, I think the timeline should be taken with the relatively small grain of salt that the Maesters explicitly suggest, and no more.

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Except that they specifically contrast the pre-Andal timeline, which is based on oral histories and runic markers, with the post-Andal timeline, which is based on written histories.

They also specifically question early Andal timeline. The earliest solid dates we have for Westeros are about 500 years ago. Some tentative dates are about 1,000 years ago, at best 1,000 years before the Conquest.

The earliest solid dates outside of Westeros is the foundation of Lorath, about 1,700 years ago.

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I think George knew exactly what he was doing - he's making Westeros and Essos seem much more "real" to us because even their histories are "real" with all the inconsistencies that our real life histories include.

This.

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

And this.

Basically, it's best not to be too concerned about the ancient history's timeline. I doubt that we will ever get to know when exactly the Andals invaded Westeros. Keeping the history's timeline muddy serves GRRM well, since it's both more convenient for him and at the same time, it makes the world seem more believable. Perfect historical knowledge is the problem of many fantasy worlds and GRRM clearly doesn't want to make that mistake himself.

About the Common Tongue, I think that the reasons for that are mostly plot-based and GRRM mostly handwaved the issue by sticking with same-language-different-accents, although I don't rule out the possibility that there is an in-universe explanation for this. TBH languages are one of those things which rarely bother me in fiction. However, at the same time, I have never understood why fantasy and sci-fi authors are so reluctant to include different languages in their works, because as long as you don't intend to create a whole new language by yourself, with alphabets, grammar etc., it's not really that hard. Writing "he spoke in Valyrian" is super-easy and I don't know about you, but personally, I don't give a damn how Valyrian sounds like or what the Valyrian alphabet is.

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However, at the same time, I have never understood why fantasy and sci-fi authors are so reluctant to include different languages in their works, because as long as you don't intend to create a whole new language by yourself, with alphabets, grammar etc., it's not really that hard. Writing "he spoke in Valyrian" is super-easy and I don't know about you, but personally, I don't give a damn how Valyrian sounds like or what the Valyrian alphabet is.

I agree with the sentiment, but I think that for the most part GRRM actually has done this very well, much better than most other fantasy writers.

For example, he tells us that the bastard Valyrian of Astapor is barely intelligible with the bastard Valyrian of Pentos. Then he has Dany using a translator a few times over the next few books. And let subtly lets us know that some but not all of the people in Slaver's Bay understand high Valyrian as well. That's all he does--no big exposition drop anywhere, no inventing a whole language and evolving it over centuries, just a few sentences sprinkled over three books, and it makes his world feel a little more believable, without the reader even having to think about it consciously.

I wish more writers would do things this way, but instead they do nearly the opposite: They half-assedly invent a new language, then constantly remind us of it all over the place to make it impossible for us to not realize that their language doesn't work and that people who shouldn't be speaking the same language are and so on. If you're not going to go full Tolkien, you could do a lot worse than the way GRRM handles Valyrian.

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By the way, we don't have a good date for Nymeria either. Could be 1,000 years ago - or 1,000 years before Aegon's conquest and such 1,300 in total.

I think it's pretty fixed that the Rhoynar invasion was 1,000 years ago or 700 BC. Dates that recent seem to be fine. GRRM once said that the cut-off date in his mind was about 2,000 years ago (c. 1700 BC), around the time that the Daynes took possession of Dawn. Events since then are reasonably firm, before that things become more and more unreliable.

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I think it's pretty fixed that the Rhoynar invasion was 1,000 years ago or 700 BC. Dates that recent seem to be fine. GRRM once said that the cut-off date in his mind was about 2,000 years ago (c. 1700 BC), around the time that the Daynes took possession of Dawn. Events since then are reasonably firm, before that things become more and more unreliable.

Isn't Dawn in their possession for thousands of years?

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Isn't Dawn in their possession for thousands of years?

Correct, the Daynes have had Dawn since the Dawn Age, as the story goes. We've never been given any hints that this story is false, either.

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I think it's pretty fixed that the Rhoynar invasion was 1,000 years ago or 700 BC. Dates that recent seem to be fine. GRRM once said that the cut-off date in his mind was about 2,000 years ago (c. 1700 BC), around the time that the Daynes took possession of Dawn. Events since then are reasonably firm, before that things become more and more unreliable.

It's one of the better dates, but there are still references to "a thousand years before Aegon".

Furthermore, in TWOIAF, there is even a reference that states that House Martell in succession of Nymeria has ruled Dorne for 700 years.

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Isn't Dawn in their possession for thousands of years?

I think he retconned it more recently so that Dawn's been with the Daynes for thousands and thousands of years, but quite a few years ago he seemed to be saying it was more like 2,000 years. IIRC, there was also a lot of discussion of Dawn coming from a meteorite (hence "Starfall") but in WoIaF and more recent discussions it's far more ambivalent than that. It adds to the Dawn = Lightbringer theory to me, even if it wasn't George's original plan.

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There are a number of possible causes for the Andals going west.

Valyrian Conquest: It is mentioned on the wiki that Pentos used to be an Andal settlement before a group of Valyrian Merchant-Adventurers wiped it out with their dragons. Therefore, it is possible that they did this to enough of Old Andolas to drive the survivors west.

Conquestador Spirit: It is possible that the Andals were not actually running from anything, and that they went to Westeros because they saw a fertile land populated by a technologically inferior people. Herman Cortez did not go to the new world to escape anything, he came there because that's where opportunity was.

Youth Bulge: Perhaps the Andals had too many children, causing them to spread across the sea. This is one theory as to why the Vikings spread across the North Atlantic, so it could potentially apply to the Andals as well.

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Ok so first i posted this on a thread i tried starting but guided here instead,

      (So im curious if any one else has any thoughts into this or the implications if any to the current story. First example is the differing accounts on the Andal invasion as some believe it was 6000 years ago, others 4000, while some 2000. Qarlon the Great was an Andal warrior who attacked the colony of Norvos who pleaded to Valyria who descended with 100 dragons in the Scouring of Lorath (where the Andals were at among other places in the area). This is said to have happened about 1700 to 1800 years ago. So this would fit with the Andal's fleeing a Valyrian expansion theory by some at the Citadel as stated in AWOIAF. There is also some evidence of Andals in Westeros back in the Age of Heros like Lann the Clever, tales of Knights and the Mirror Guard. Tho the Rhoyish wars with Valyria are to have been between 1250 and 1000 years ago, so i wonder about why Valyria would go that far north so early with out problems with the Rhoynar but then 700ish years later Valyria and the Rhoynar begin clashing over Valyria slaying a turtle. 

 

    Another one that had caught my eye was the Ghiscari time line to the Sarnori. The Sarnori/The Tall Men are descended from Huzhor Amai, son of the Last Fisher Queens. He then married the daughters of the three neighboring tribes of man, the Gipps (who sound similar to later Tyroshi), the Cymmeri with there kingdom among the hills (sounds like Hugor of the Hill and the Andals), and the Zoqora. The Sarnori looked similar to the Zoqoro with long limbs and brown skin, but the Sarnori had eyes and hair black as night as apposed to the pail hair of the Zoqoro. Now this is said to have happened about 2300 years ago, 2000 years before Aegon's Conquest. Butttttttt, it doesn't agree with the Ghiscari wars.  The Ghiscari are said to have been destroyed and completely eliminated 5000 years ago. So that would mark the last war. The first war is said to have been sometime before this but after the Long Night. The first war was just between Valyria and Old Ghis, but the 2nd through to the 5th include the Sarnori. But that over 2000 years before the Sarnori are to have existed. So one of these cultures is lying about events, im inclined so far to believe Valyria and the new Ghiscari empire of being the liar but idk for sure.

 

   I then began looking at Yi-ti. They give a list of emperors during the ancient times leading up to The blood betrayal, and a list of them following the Long Night that followed the blood betrayal (that is where i focused). I decided that the book gives you jussst enough info to piece things together roughly. It lists them all while naming a couple famous emperors from different reigns while giving certain lengths of time like the Pearl White Emperors ruled for 130 years and that the Yellow Empire ended 1000 years ago. You can cut out the Orange Empire as it is brand new and contending with the current Azure Emperor. Then there is the 69th Yellow Emperor claiming his stakes. They also tell you that the Empires lasted some as short as 50 years and some as long as 700 years. Azure and the Jade have to add up to 1000 as the yellow ended then. Scarlett had a 43rd and last emperor, and Indigo had a 15th and last. So doing a lil math and guesstimates i started adding it up. Most kings rule for an average of 22 years, i rounded to 20. So long story short, doing three different calculations and methods to double check my self i found that at the longest, the Empire after the Long Night was between 3000 to 4000 years ago topssssss. 

 

  Now i tried looking at the Nights Watch as a marker of time too, but they supposedly have 998 Lord Commanders. Now if i multiply that by the average rule of 20 years, thats near 20,000 years ago. Thats just way to long ago. So somethings up there i just dont know what yet. I thought Sam had mentioned to Jon about how long theyve been around and discrepancies too but im still lookin for where i read that in the novels. Mutiny does seem to be a common theme for them so that may cut the average rule for them drastically down. ( i did find Sam's mentioning but was vague as Jon cut him off, tho i did notice that the first Lord Commander was the Nights king who was just after the long night, it then list 2 others with no time frame reference and then list Ostrik Stark as forth known Lord Commander. Which was 400 years before Aegon's Landing, which i feel also implies the histories aren't near as long as believed. Also the Nights forts stories, the Nights fort is the oldest castle on the wall and yet aside from the story of the nights king, the next story with reference to time are the rat cook, hundreds of years before Aegon's Landing. The other stories are vague on time other than knowing that Andles were around. Nothing to really imply 6000-8000 years of history. I mean, that's a frickin longggg time.)

 

  The point of this all is to understand when exactly Valyria rose up as there is reports of them using Old Town as a trading post with the elder races before the first men even showed up, plus tales of Dragons then, and Valyrian steel back in the times of the first men. Somethings not adding up. Im beginning to think the Long NIght wasnt that long ago and that Valyria was contemporaries to Old Ghis, Sarnor, and the Rhoynar in a time lasting only a couple thousand years. The Century of Blood i think is what wiped much of this history clean as Old Ghis falls first, shortly followed by the Rhoynar, closely followed by the Valyrians, and lastly the Sarnori who fell shortly after Valyria. The remaining peoples reconquered the lands  having no real knowledge of what and when things had happened, that and some probably knew but lied to magnify there own greatness as the Qaathi did, bragging about being ancient but Qarth being actually fairly new.

 

  Let me know your thoughts or anything else. I know i didnt touch upon the Children, the Others, the Giants, or the Deep Ones and how this changed time frame would affect the interaction and events between these ancient peoples and Man.)

    

  I'd like to add to that info with the fact that in 2015 years, within the Catholic church was ruled 266 popes. Also the longest Conflict of arms (not cold wars) was the 100 year war which was fought with many off and on again battles culminating in the War of the Roses. (Take those facts for references to how you will for your theories)

 

 I notice many trying to fit the Long History and make it rational, but im following the Short History theory. Here is why, when i list alllll the histories as believed put in order with discrepancies as side notes, theres a huge 2500 year gap about with nothinnngggggg listed really that i can find. It ends with the Fall of the Old Ghiscari Empire 5000-5500 years ago, and then picks up again with the mentioning of the Silver Sea disappearing and the Rise of Sarnor. Who also enjoyed a rare friendship with Valyria which no one else seemed to enjoy, and also fell with 100 years of Valyria. 

 

  I think (roughly listing) that about 2000 years ago, after the long Night. The new empire of Yiti begain, and Valyria began expanding and began colliding with the Andals (scouring of Lorath) and Ghiscari, the Andals choosing to flee while the Ghiscari chose to fight. About 1500-1400 years ago the Ghiscari fell and about this time Glass Candles were brought to Old Town from Valyria for unknown reasons. Now free from the wars with the Ghiscari, the Valryian's expanded again colliding with the Rhoynar and driving the east eventually 1000 years ago. Around this time the last stone giant is slain by the Jogos Nai, who i believe enter the lands west of the bone mountains and become the Dothraki. Then 600 years ago the Targaryens come to westeros based on prophesy of Doom. Doom of Valyria 400 years ago, and in the following 100 years, every city that lies in what was the Silver Sea is Destroyed by the Dothraki, but none out side ( tho i still wonder at why the Dothraki have statues from Asshai? since the Dothraki cant cross the bone mountains due to Patrimony of Hyrkoon.).

 

I broke down my thoughts as best i could with out rambling or bringing up too much stuff. Let me know any thoughts either way :)

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