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Astronomy of Ice and Fire: Black Hole Moon

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Greetings, A Song of Ice and Fire family! I was in the process of re-writing my second essay, the Bloodstone Compendium, when I realized I was basically building a new essay inside the shell of the old. What you have here is basically 75% new material, with a bit of the old essay recognizable here and there. I'm covering some of the same material, but with new and plentiful textual corroborations. If you've read any of my essays you will know that I err on the side of including too many quotes rather than too few, because it's very, very important to me to stick to strictly interpreting the text, and I try to show multiple corroborations for each hypothesis. Take your time, read it in chunks, whatever works for you.

I have finally realized I need to include a TL;DR of the original theory, which is basically the first section here. If you are coming across my work for the first time, you can start here, no other background reading is necessary. Of course it will make more sense if you read Part 1, Astronomy Explains the Legends of Ice and Fire, but it isn't necessary.

Topics covered here include:

  • Azor Ahai = the Bloodstone Emperor
  • the dual nature of the Azor Ahai / Nissa Nissa legend
  • the greasy black stone, explained
  • the importance of the black blood
  • the nature of Lightbringer, the sword
  • the black and bloody tide

I have another essay coming hot the heels of this one called A Thousand Eyes and One Hammer, which will attack the God's Eye, the Hammer of the Waters, moon drownings, lightning from the sky, tons of Ironborn theology... if you want to get a sneak peak at that one, it's up on my blog. I'll post it here later this week, so as not to flood the board with astronomy domine ;)

As always thanks for allowing the black hole of my essay writing to suck up your time once again. :bowdown:

——====== :devil: ))) ASTRONOMY THEORY ((( :devil: ======——

“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.” (AGOT, Daenerys)

“‘Nissa Nissa’ he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.’ She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.” (ACOK, Davos)

In the first essay, I asserted that the ancient Qarthine legend of a second moon cracking to pour forth dragons is actually a mythological re-telling of a world-shaking historical event: an enormous meteor shower caused by the destruction of a formerly-existent second moon. Noticing the similar language highlighted above about the moon’s cracking, I began looking evidence to connect the Azor Ahai myth to this Qarthine story of the moon cracking to produce a dragon meteor shower. The obvious link is the cracking of the moon in both stories – in the first, the moon cracks from the sun’s heat, and in the other, it was the forging of Lightbringer. The red comet in the story symbolizes Lightbringer, as we saw in the first essay, which would put Nissa Nissa in the role of the moon. The red comet is also compared to dragons, and again we see that in one story, moon death produced dragons, and in the other, Lightbringer. Shortly after the Dany’s handmaidens give her the origin of dragons story, they also tell her that the moon is a god, the wife of the sun. Since Azor Ahai is said to have wielded Lightbringer, that leaves us with the following associations:

Lightbringer, the bloody & flaming sword = a “fiery” red comet

Nissa Nissa, the blood sacrifice = the second moon

Azor Ahai, the warrior of fire = the sun

Taking a look at the possible etymological influences for the names “Azor Ahai” and “Nissa Nissa” turns up some interesting results. It turns out that “Azor Ahai” roughly translates to “fire dragon” (Avestan {Zoroastrian} / Vedic Sanskrit), which seems appropriate for the R’hllors chosen warrior of fire. “Nissa” or various forms of that word have several interesting meanings, most notably “grandmother moon” in the language of the Seneca Nation, a Native American tribe. (This is according to something called the “Seneca Moon Song” which I have found in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 places on the internet.) “Nisha” is a Vedic Sanskrit female surname which means “night,” while in Arabic it just means “woman.” “Nisan” is the first month of the Hebrew calendar (a lunar calendar), and is associated with the harvest as well as the deliverance and redemption of the Jewish people – both from captivity in Egypt and again at the end times. Passover (the “holiday of redemption”) is held during the full moon of which falls in Nisan, and of course passover is also associated with the wrath of God and blood sacrifice. We can’t know for sure what George had in mind when choosing the name “Nissa,” but these translations are certainly suggestive, given that Nissa Nissa symbolizes a sacrificed moon goddess who died giving birth to dragons, and whose death is associated with the Long Night.

Comparing the two stories, we see that in the first, the moon cracks because it got too close to the sun, while in the second it was stabbed by a fire warrior with a flaming sword. In the first story, the moon cracks to pour forth flaming dragon meteors, while in the other a moon-maiden dies to give life to a flaming sword… which is strongly associated with dragons and comets. The second part fits – giving birth to dragon meteors and giving birth to a flaming sword is symbolically equivalent. But how do we square a solar warrior stabbing a moon maiden with the idea of a moon wandering too close to the sun? Well, moons don’t really just wander off into the sun, and our solar warrior’s sword is a comet. This is the second major part of my hypothesis: the second moon was destroyed by a fiery comet that appeared to be coming from the sun.

In the legend of Lightbringer, the sun (Azor Ahai) is seen to be wielding the comet as a sword, because the soon-to be-destroyed second moon was (I believe) in a solar eclipse position as the comet struck. This is implied by the language of “wandering too close to the sun” (as well as other clues we will get to later). The solar eclipse would allow the comet to be visible just before impact, creating the image of an eclipsed sun holding a fiery sword. I found pictures from two ‘recent’ occasions when a comet happened to be near the sun during a solar eclipse: take a look.

Keep in mind that the Lightbringer comet would have appeared even larger in the sky than these pictures, as it would have been about to strike the moon and thus much closer to the planet. Even the 1948 eclipse comet is pretty large – if it was positioned a little differently, it would look like the eclipsed sun holding a sword.

The next major part of the hypothesis is that the red comet we see in our story is one half of the same comet which destroyed the second moon in ancient times. The original comet would have split as it passed close to the sun (perihelion), pulled apart by the sun’s gravity, with one half slamming into the second moon and the other half passing by in a near miss… only to return in our story today (and perhaps many times in between). The textual evidence to support this idea is laid out in the first essay, and we will continue to turn over more as we go along.

The other half of the split comet, having a slightly different orbital trajectory, would have just missed striking moon or planet, but would pass close by Planetos and appear large in the sky, superimposed in front of the exploding moon. (The image on the right of the header on this page is my mockup of what this might look like from space.) This is the sword-taking-fire motif, and it’s plunging into Nissa Nissa’s heart.

In mythological terminology, we would say that Nissa Nissa-moon was stabbed in the heart by the sun king Azor Ahai’s flaming comet-sword. Alternately, we could say that the sun king impregnated the moon goddess with dragonseed, with his fiery shiva-linga, and that she (unfortunately) died in childbirth, sacrificing herself to give birth to dragons. Similarly, the mothers of the three main “dragons” in our story – Daenerys, Jon, and (I believe) Tyrion – died in childbirth. Daenerys symbolically immolated herself (but survived) to birth her three actual dragons. It’s important to see the themes of these two very different interpretations of the Lightbringer myth at the same time – one interpretation is that of a betrayal and murder (an unwilling sacrifice), the other is of love, noble (willing) sacrifice and procreation. We’ll return to this duality throughout this series.

Continuing with the legend, A thousand thousand dragons poured forth” – flaming meteors of all shapes and sizes, who “drank the fire of the sun” – meaning, they took fire in the atmosphere. Some of the smaller dragon meteors would have burned up as they fell to the planet, lighting up the sky. Some may have detonated in the lower atmosphere, like bigger, magical versions of the Tunguska event, causing massive firestorms which would have incinerated huge swaths of land. These would be the events which likely gave rise to the “million dragon meteor shower” story.

The pieces of flaming moon rock large enough to make it all the way to the surface of Planetos without burning up completely could have ranged from hailstorms of fist-sized rocks and tektites (a form of obsidian created by meteor impacts) to meteoroids as large as a couple of miles across – large enough to cause massive damage, huge tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions (any larger than that, and we’d have a planet killer asteroid). These largest impacts may have given rise to legends of “sea dragons” which drown whole islands in their wroth. If dragon=comet, maybe sea dragon=comet that lands in the sea? There’s actually quite a bit of evidence for this, which will be explored in due time (fear not).

These larger detonations would have thrown up millions of tons of debris into the atmosphere, most of which would take years to come down. This debris would have combined with the debris field of the destroyed moon to wrap the planet in a veil of blacks and purples, mostly or completely blotting out the sun. The stars and remaining moon disappeared from sight as well. This is the next part of the hypothesis: the “Long Night” was the result of the comet’s destruction of the moon. This nuclear winter-type condition seems to have lasted for several years, perhaps a decade, before the skies cleared and the sun returned. The survivors remembered this event as a great flaming sword in the heavens, wielded by the sun, who struck down his wife, the second moon.

Because magic and nature are coupled together in ASOIAF, there’s also a magical component to these celestial mechanics. The comet seems to be a magic comet – natural comets are not red, and in all honestly a little magical firepower is probably required to enable a comet to 'explode' a moon, rather than just leaving an impact crater. Additionally, the only two famous meteorites we have heard of – the black stone of the Bloodstone Emperor and the white stone from which the sword Dawn was made – are said to be magical in nature. I also have reason to believe that the two moons have something to do with the existence of magic on Planetos. This concept will be explored in a future essay, but for now we are going to focus on laying out the relationship between the events in the celestial realm with those of the terrestrial and seeing what we can discover about the nature of Azor Ahai and Lightbringer.

To be clear: the sun striking the second moon with a comet was the forging of Lightbringer. And this CAUSED the Long Night. Does this make Azor Ahai, the terrestrial counterpart for the comet-wielding solar king, the “bad guy,” to the extent that one exists in the R.R. Martinverse? I know it’s crazy – try not to flip over any tables or anything – but what if the guy who stabbed his wife to work blood sorcery was… well… the villain? Could it be so? I will tentatively answer “yes,” and attempt to prove it to the best of my ability. If this is true, then Nissa Nissa probably wasn’t a willing sacrifice. This would make her death at the hands of her blood magic-wielding husband more of a betrayal and murder, rather than an act of sacrifice.

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——====== :devil: ))) A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD ((( :devil: ======——

Returning to the idea of the two different interpretations of the Lightbringer myth – murder and betrayal vs. sacrifice and procreation – I believe this interpretation of Azor Ahai’s killing of his wife as a murder, an “unwilling sacrifice,” makes a great deal more sense. In that case, we would have murder and betrayal being used to create a weapon with blood magic, which seems more thematically consistent. The sword is generally taken a symbol of death. I believe the other “side” of the Lightbringer myth, the “noble sacrifice” aspect, is a better match as a metaphor for procreation, not sword-smithing. The mothers of our dragon people sacrificed themselves to create people, to create life. We are told over and over again that “only death can pay for life.” For life, death pays for life. For Nissa Nissa to sacrifice herself to make a sword would be akin to death paying for death. It would seem that death paying for life is a better match for a woman sacrificing herself to give birth.

Oh, if only it were so simple. George R. R. Martin has a well-known love of complexity and duality, most easily recognized in the form of his “grey characters” which are always a mixture of darkness and light, or “good and evil.” The Lightbringer myth is no exception. We cannot simply associate swords with death and people with life, for several reasons: he’s constantly comparing people to swords; he’s made of point of associating swords with bringing light in a time of total darkness (a distinctly hopeful idea); and of course if we stop to think about it, we’ve seen many people in the story who were simply butchers, merchants of death. Procreation can also be accomplished by violence, which we have certainly seen in the story. I think we can bring clarity to this issue by taking a brief look at Mithras, one of the biggest inspirations for the Azor Ahai / Lightbringer legend.

Mithras is a solar king with many parallels to Jesus, Apollo, Osiris, Shamash, Promethius, Marduk, etc. He’s sometimes depicted as the sun himself, or sometimes as an avatar of the sun ( which the Persians saw as Ahura Mazda, the god of goodness and light). He also presides as judge over the dead. He’s a mediator between the heavenly and the earthly realms. Mithras is supposed to bring the souls of worthy people back to life when the universe ends. He’s also the god of war, depicted as riding in a golden chariot pulled by four white horses.

One of his three most common depictions is Mithras the “rock-born,” in which he is pictured naked, born from a rock (sometimes a flaming rock), holding a dagger in one hand and a torch in the other. This symbolizes his dual nature: the dagger represents death, the war god aspect, and judgement, while the torch represents life, rebirth, and light. Take a look at these fine statues of rock-born Mithras. There are many head-nods to Mithras symbolism in ASOIAF, but one of my favorites encapsulates this exact concept and confirms that it is what George had in mind. This is from A Dance with Dragons, as the Sailor’s Wife gives Arya a tour of the some of the stranger gods of Bravos:

Three-headed Trios has that tower with three turrets. The first head devours the dying, and the reborn emerge from the third. I don’t know what the middle head’s supposed to do. (ADWD, Arya)

Lightbringer of ancient legend is both a sword and a torch, which means it symbolizes both life and death. Even if Azor Ahai did use Lightbringer to murder his wife, and even if the comet striking the moon did cause the Long Night, it may well have also served some noble purpose as well. Many, including the wonderful folks at Radio Westeros (a big influence of mine), have linked the dragonsteel sword of the Last Hero, which the Others could not stand against, to Lightbringer. Perhaps what was a weapon of death in the hands of Azor Ahai, the Bloodstone Emperor, became a weapon of life in the hands of the Last Hero when wielded against a menace of ice magic.

In all honesty, I am standing on the shoulders of giants here with the procreative aspect of the Lightbringer legend. Westeros.org forum user Schmendrik’s R+L=Lightbringer essay broke the ground in this regard, and in my opinion, is among those works setting the standard for A Song of Ice and Fire Analysis. It is highly recommended reading for understanding these astronomy essays, and for its own merit. It is primarily two things: a study of the concept of Lightbringer symbolized by a person (Jon, the leading candidate to be “Azor Ahai reborn” in some capacity); and a study of Jon as Mithras, which is very important because many of the elements of the Azor Ahai / Lightbringer mythos were drawn from Mithraism. I’m touching on a bit of it here, but you should really go read Schmendrick’s essay to fully appreciate the Mithras angle. It’s basically stuffed with fire, dragons, flaming swords, terrible knowledge, resurrection, and white bulls, and all of it has to do with astronomy.

The Alchemical Wedding of Daenerys Targaryen

The alchemical wedding of Daenerys Targaryen, bride of fire, represents all sides of the Lightbringer myth. This entire scene establishes the template for Lightbringer symbols which we will be finding throughout this series of essays as we examine all of the Lightbringer related myths and metaphors in the books. It’s quite a long scene, so I have placed it in a separate essay (under construction) which will be linked here in short order.

It’s implications for the dual nature of the Lightbringer myth are readily apparent. To briefly summarize, Drogo is Dany’s sun and stars, and his pyre represents the sun’s fire; Dany, the moon of Drogo’s life, is burned inside this fire when the dragons hatch from stone. Daenerys is sacrificing herself in childbirth to give life to dead stone. This is the sacrifice and procreation aspect – and to the extent she chose to sacrifice Drogo and Rhaego, she sacrificed all (“the price was too high, my sun and stars”).

The birthing of dragons into the world may in fact be giving life to dormant magic in general:

“Half a year gone, that man could scarcely wake fire from dragonglass. He had some small skill with powders and wildfire, sufficient to entrance a crowd while his cutpurses did their work. He could walk across hot coals and make burning roses bloom in the air, but he could no more aspire to climb the fiery ladder than a common fisherman could hope to catch a kraken in his nets.”

Dany looked uneasily at where the ladder had stood. Even the smoke was gone now, and the crowd was breaking up, each man going about his business. In a moment more than a few would find their purses flat and empty. “ And now?”

“And now his powers grow, Khaleesi. And you are the cause of it.”

“Me?” She laughed. “How could that be?”

The woman stepped closer and lay two fingers on Dany’s wrist. “You are the Mother of Dragons, are you not?” (ACOK, Daenerys)

On the other hand, Drogo, Rhaego, and Mirri Maz Dur were themselves all unwilling sacrifices, and the things born from their death can also be viewed as monsters and instruments of death in their own right:

Mother of dragons, Daenerys thought. Mother of monsters. What have I unleashed upon the world? A queen I am, but my throne is made of burned bones, and it rests on quicksand. Without dragons, how could she hope to hold Meereen, much less win back Westeros? I am the blood of the dragon, she thought. If they are monsters, so am I. (ADWD, Daenerys)

“When your dragons were small, they were a wonder. Grown, they are death and devastation, a flaming sword above the world.” (ADWD, Daenerys {Xaro Xoan Daxos speaking})

Before we plunge any further into the cold black pool of metaphor and symbolism, let’s take a look at what we know and think we know about various legends of the warrior with a fiery red sword… of which there turns out to be several.

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——====== :devil: ))) THE FIERY HAND ((( :devil: ======——

One of the new pieces of information we received about Azor Ahai in the World of Ice and Fire is that the legend of a warrior with a flaming sword exists in several places, but with different names: Hyrkoon the Hero, Yin Tar, Neferion, Eldric Shadowchaser, and of course Azor Ahai. These are all interesting for various reasons. Let’s start with talking about where these different names might have originated from.

Azor Ahai: We have always been told that the Azor Ahai myth comes from Asshai and their red priests. This is very important, so I will include several quotes:

Melisandre was robed all in scarlet satin and blood velvet, her eyes as red as the great ruby that glistened at her throat as if it too were afire. “In ancient books of Asshai it is written that there will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.” She lifted her voice, so it carried out over the gathered host. “Azor Ahai, beloved of R’hllor! The Warrior of Light, the Son of Fire! Come forth, your sword awaits you! Come forth and take it into your hand!” (ACOK, Davos)

“Lord Snow, I left a book for you in my chambers. The Jade Compendium, it was written by the Volantene adventurer Colloquo Votar, who travelled to the east and visited all the lands of the Jade Sea. There is a passage you may find of interest. I’ve told Clydas to mark it for you…. Knowledge is a weapon, Jon. Arm yourself well before you ride forth to battle.” (ADWD, Jon)

“The Jade Compendium. The pages that told of Azor Ahai. Lightbringer was his sword. Tempered with his wife’s blood if Votar can be believed. Thereafter Lightbringer was never cold to the touch, but warm as Nissa Nissa had been warm. In battle the blade burned fiery hot. Once Azor Ahai fought a monster. When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame.” (ADWD, Jon)

It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest ages when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return. (TWOIAF)

Hyrkoon the Hero can only come from the formerly existent Patrimony of Hyrkoon, to the east of the Bones Mountains. Hyrkoon’s former empire is now the Great Sand Sea, with the only remnants being the three fortress cities of Bayasabhad, Samyriana, and Kayakayanaya in the Bones mountains, all of which are populated by fierce warrior women who don’t take BS from anyone.

Neferion similarly must come from the “secret city” of Nefer, the sole remaing city of the N’ghai, also east of the Bones mountains. Nefer is the lone port on the coast of the Shivering Sea east of the Bones.

Yin Tar seems to be an obviously Yi Tish name. Their “first and most glorious” capital city is “Yin.” The Golden Empire of Yi Ti is east of the Bones mountains on the coats of the Jade Sea.

Eldric Shadowchaser is the hard one – “Eldric” sounds like a Westerosi name – House Stark has had two “Edrics Starks” (shoutout to Edric Snowbeard) and one “Elric Stark” that we know of. There is no similar-sounding name or word to be found anywhere in Essos. All of the other ‘red sword legends’ are from far eastern Essos, and the Worldbook mentions these five names while telling the story of the Great Empire of the Dawn, a lost civilization of the Dawn Age whose domain was basically all of the habitable land east of the Bones mountains. Thus it would seem odd for Eldric Shadowchaser to be from Westeros. If however, the Last Hero and his dragon steel sword do indeed have a connection to Azor Ahai and his Lightbringer sword as many have proposed, that would mean that Azor Ahai (or perhaps his son?) came to Westeros with his fiery red sword. Perhaps “Eldric Shadowchaser” has something to do with this – it could be the name he was known by in Westeros.

Now, keeping mind that the question is whether or not Azor Ahai was really a heroic savior figure, let’s take a brief look at these places which tell a story of a warrior with a flaming sword. We don’t know where Eldric Shadowchaser is from, and Yi Ti seems to have its share of refined culture and depravity both over the course of its long existence – not especially better or worse than anywhere else. But these other three… well…

Before the Dry Times and the coming of the Great Sand Sea, the Jogos Nhai fought many a bloody border war against the Patrimony of Hyrkoon as well, poisoning rivers and wells, burning towns and cities, and a carrying off thousands into slavery on the plains, whilst the Hyrkoon for their part were sacrificing tens of thousands of the zorse-riders to their dark and hungry gods. (TWOIAF)

Nefer, chief city of the kingdom of N’ghai, hemmed in by towering chalk cliffs and perpetually shrouded in fog. When seen it from the harbor, Nefer appears to be no more than a small town, but it is said that nine-tenths of the city is beneath the ground. For that reason travelers call Nefer the Secret City. By any name, the city enjoys a sinister reputation as a hunt of necromancers and torturers. (TWOIAF)

Few places in the known world are as remote as Asshai, and fewer are as forbidding. Travelers tell us that the city is built entirely of black stone: halls, hovels, temples, palaces, streets, walls, bazaars, all. Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike. The nights are very black in Asshai, all agree, and even the brightest days of summer are somehow gray and gloomy.

The dark city by the shadow is a city steeped in sorcery. Warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, blood mages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child and the Lion of Night, all find welcome in Asshai-by-the-Shadow, where nothing is forbidden. Here they are free to practice their spells without restraint or censure, conduct their obscene rights, and fornicate with demons (!) if that is their desire.

Most sinister of all the sorcerers of Asshai are the shadowbinders, who’s lacquered masks hide their faces from the eyes of gods and men. They alone dare to go up river past the walls of Asshai, into the heart of darkness. (TWOIAF)

It gets much worse from there, going up the River Ash, where demons and dragons making their lairs, a corpse city lies at the Shadow’s heart, etc. Septon Barth also tells us that there are no children or animals in Asshai-by-the-Shadow, and that the malign influence of polluted waters of the River Ash may be to blame. That river is said to be black during the day and to glimmer with phosphorescence at night, and the fish that swim it are blind and deformed.

Asshai is basically a magical version of a nuclear wasteland inhabited by the absolute worst and most depraved sorts of black magicians. It’s called “Asshai-by-the-Shadow,” and this is where the legend of Azor Ahai comes from. These are the folks naming him a “hero.”

As for the people who prophesy his return as a savior figure, the R’hllorists? With their shadow babies and burning of the unbelievers and sacrificing children to wake magical stone fire-monsters they hope to control? With their longing for a summer without end, which would be just as bad a winter without end? Are anyone’s red flags going off yet? Is it really so crazy to think that maybe the hero of places like Hyrkoon, Nefer, and Asshai-by-the-Shadow is actually, how shall we say, “The Prince of Darkness?” (cue evil laughter) We also may want to keep an open mind as we look at the other supposed “heroes” and “villains” of the ancient legends.

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——====== :devil: ))) THE LORD OF NIGHT ((( :devil: ======——

We continue our exploration of the idea that Azor Ahai was not the darkness-slaying hero he is remembered as, but rather the ‘bad guy’ who murdered his wife and was associated with the cause of the Long Night by looking at another legend about a bad guy who murdered an empress and caused the Long Night. This excerpt is from The World of Ice and Fire and concerns the Yi Tish legend of a lost civilization called the Great Empire of the Dawn and its downfall, a tale of usurpation and murder remembered as the Blood Betrayal.

In the beginning, the priestly scribes of Yin declare, all the land between the Bones and the freezing desert called the Grey Waste, from the Shivering Sea to the Jade Sea (including even the great and holy isle of Leng), formed a single realm ruled by the God-on-Earth, the only begotten son of the Lion of Night and Maiden-Made of Light, who traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. For ten thousand years the Great Empire of the Dawn flourished in peace and plenty under the God on earth, until at last he ascended to the stars to join his forbearers.

Dominion over mankind then passed to his eldest son, who was known as the pearl Emperor and ruled for 1000 years. The Jade Emperor, the Tourmaline Emperor, the Onyx Emperor, the Topaz Emperor, and the Opal Emperor followed in turn, each reigning for centuries… Yet every rain was shorter and more troubled than the one preceding it, for wild man and baleful beasts pressed at the borders of the Great Empire, lesser kings grew prideful and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves over to avarice, envy, lust, murder, incest, gluttony, and sloth.

When the daughter of the Opal Emperor succeeded him as the Amethyst Empress, her envious younger brother cast her down and slew her, proclaiming himself the Bloodstone Emperor and beginning a reign of terror. He practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true Gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky. (Many scholars count the Bloodstone Emperor as the first High Priest of the sinister Church of Starry Wisdom, which persists to this day in many port cities throughout the known world).

In the annals of the further east, it was the Blood Betrayal, as his usurpation is named, that ushered in the age of darkness called the Long Night. Despairing of the evil that had been unleashed on earth, the Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back upon the world, and the Lion of Night came forth in all his wroth to punish the wickedness of men.

How long the darkness endured no man can say, but all agree it was only when a great warrior – known variously as Hyrkoon the Hero, Azor Ahai, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser – arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer that the darkness was put to rout, and light and love returned once more to the world.

Yet the Great Empire of the Dawn was not reborn, for the restored world was a broken place where every tribe of men went it’s own way, fearful of all the others, and war and lust and murder endured, even to our present day. Or so of the men and women of the further east believe. (TWOIAF)

Based on the pattern set out by the astronomy – the betrayal and murder of the second moon by her solar husband – we suspect that Azor Ahai’s murder of Nissa Nissa had something to do with the cause of the Long Night. In this excerpt about the Blood Betrayal, we find a story of a murder and betrayal said to have caused the Long Night, which seems like a very close match. There’s even a meteorite playing a key role – could this black stone that fell from the sky that the Bloodstone Emperor worshipped have been one of these “dragon meteors” which fell to earth after the second moon exploded? Both events are tied to the beginning of the Long Night, and both stories come from the far east. Is it possible that these stories are mixed up somehow, and that this Bloodstone Emperor who corrupted and destroyed the great Dawn Age empire in the far east was actually Azor Ahai?

That’s exactly what I mean to suggest – all hail the Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai, First of his Name, God-Emperor of the Great Empire of the Night and High Priest of the Church of Starry Wisdom, practitioner of dark arts, torture, and necromancy; enslaver of his own people and eater of human flesh; he who slew the Amethyst Empress Nissa Nissa, cast down the true gods, and worshipped the black stone which fell from the sky. Now that’s the kind of fellow who you would expect to reign supreme during the Long Night.

Since we know that Nissa Nissa / the Amethyst Empress represents the moon, celestially, I think that “casting down the true gods” is symbolically the same thing as killing the Amethyst Empress, Nissa Nissa. “Moon is god, woman wife of sun. It is known,” as Irri and Jiqui tell Dany immediately after we hear of the second-moon-cracking-to-pour-forth-dragons story. If Azor Ahai wielding a fiery sword is equivalent to a fiery comet coming from the sun, then the killing of Nissa Nissa is equivalent to the murder of a moon goddess, or “casting down the true gods.” High crimes, indeed.

The “seven celestial wanderers” is a very old concept: the five planets visible to the naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) and the sun and moon all move against the cosmic backdrop of stars, which rotate in an orderly fashion. The planets appear to be very bright stars to the naked eye, but don’t move with the other stars – hence the idea of “wandering stars” (although this can also be applied to comets). These seven wanderers have been interpreted as gods and goddesses by countless cultures through countless centuries all around the world. The Faith of the Seven associates each of the seven celestial wanderers with one of the Seven:

The last night fell black and moonless, but for once the sky was clear. “I am going up the hill to look for Ghost,” he told the Thenns at the cave mouth, and they grunted and let him pass.

So many stars, he thought as he trudged up the slope through pines and firs and ash. Maester Luwin had taught him his stars as a boy in Winterfell; he had learned the names of the twelve houses of heaven and the rulers of each; he could find the seven wanderers sacred to the Faith; he was old friends with the Ice Dragon, the Shadowcat, the Moonmaid, and the Sword of the Morning. All those he shared with Ygritte, but not some of the others. We look up at the same stars, and see such different things. The King’s Crown was the Cradle, to hear her tell it; the Stallion was the Horned Lord; the red wanderer that septons preached was sacred to their Smith up here was called the Thief. And when the Thief was in the Moonmaid, that was a propitious time for a man to steal a woman, Ygritte insisted. “Like the night you stole me. The Thief was bright that night.”

“I never meant to steal you,” he said. “I never knew you were a girl until my knife was at your throat.” (ASOS, Jon)

If Planetos used to have a second moon, that moon would have been the eighth wanderer. We’ll come back to this idea in a bit. Taking a closer look at this scene, we have Jon “probable Azor Ahai reborn in some sense” Snow in the role of the Thief, the red wanderer, and the Smith. Azor Ahai was certainly a smith, “the Smith of Smiths” you might even say, since he made the world’s ultimate sword sometime in the Dawn Age. The red wanderer in this case is certainly Mars, the red planet and Roman God of War, and the moon maiden is a constellation (probably Virgo / Astraea), but the term “red wanderer” is also easily applied to the red comet, which is Azor Ahai’s sword, while the term “moon maiden” can certainly be applied to Nissa Nissa and the moon itself. The association of procreation (potentially violent procreation – “stealing” a woman) with the red wanderer being “in” the moon maiden certainly calls to mind Azor Ahai’s “bloody sword” impregnating Nissa Nissa moon with dragonseed. Jon’s knife was at Ygritte’s throat, just to drive home the point. The fact that Jon did not cut the moon maiden’s throat is hopeful, although for the purposes of symbolism, implying death is enough to make the metaphor.

The Bloodstone Emperor is defined by killing the rightful ruler of his kingdom and usurping the throne. Azor Ahai is defined by killing his wife, his love, and fighting the darkness with a sword of red fire. Both of these ideas are combined in one of the Jon’s most important scenes of A Dance with Dragons, one which is brimming with Lightbringer symbolism (as well as a non-symbolic, literally-on-fire red sword):

That night he dreamt of wildlings howling from the woods, advancing to the moan of warhorns and the roll of drums. Boom DOOM boom DOOM boom DOOM came the sound, a thousand hearts with a single beat. Some had spears and some had bows and some had axes. Others rode on chariots made of bones, drawn by teams of dogs as big as ponies. Giants lumbered amongst them, forty feet tall, with mauls the size of oak trees.

“Stand fast,” Jon Snow called. “Throw them back.” He stood atop the Wall, alone. “Flame,” he cried, “feed them flame,” but there was no one to pay heed.

They are all gone. They have abandoned me.

Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. “Snow,” an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she’d appeared.

The world dissolved into a red mist. Jon stabbed and slashed and cut. He hacked down Donal Noye and gutted Deaf Dick Follard. Qhorin Halfhand stumbled to his knees, trying in vain to staunch the flow of blood from his neck. “I am the Lord of Winterfell,” Jon screamed. It was Robb before him now, his hair wet with melting snow. Longclaw took his head off. Then a gnarled hand seized Jon roughly by the shoulder. He whirled… and woke with a raven pecking at his chest. “Snow,” the bird cried. (ADWD, Jon)

Jon performs the entire range of deeds here: he slays his love with a sword of red fire, just as Azor Ahai did, and he killed and usurped his sibling’s throne, just as the Bloodstone Emperor did. At first he appears to be the Last Hero, abandoned and alone but heroically fighting the wildling invaders, who sound like Others (“howling” like the north winds, “scuttling up the ice like (ice) spiders”). But we know that the wildlings aren’t really inhuman ice demons, and Jon’s dream of valor quickly warps into a nightmare as he realizes he’s killing innocent people, but cannot stop himself. The moment that he kills Ygritte symbolizes the forging of Lightbringer and the Blood Betrayal both, the moment Jon becomes the Bloodstone Emperor. The world dissolves into mist and he commits betrayal after betrayal, murdering his closest friends, culminating in his murder and usurpation of Robb’s throne. A nightmare indeed… Just what exactly does it mean for someone to show signs of being Azor Ahai reborn? What kind of sword was this “Lightbringer?” These are two of the important questions which we will attempt to shed light on, if you’ll pardon the pun, as we unravel the legend of Azor Ahai, Nissa Nissa, and Lightbringer.

The remainder of this essay will lay out the case to support the idea that Azor Ahai was actually some kind of dark sorcerer-king known as the Bloodstone Emperor who performed the most heinous kind of black magic in the history of the world. Naturally, to do so, we’ll rely on quotes from the text, mixing them into the usual cocktail of astronomy & mythology, and spiced with a dash of geology.

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——====== :devil: ))) GEORGE LIKES TO INVERT (HELIO)TROPES ((( :devil: ======——

The Bloodstone Emperor worshipped a “black stone” that fell from the sky around the time of the onset of the Long Night. If the destruction of the second moon was in fact responsible for the Long Night, then this black stone is almost certainly a piece of the exploded moon. The Bloodstone Emperor comes from a line of God-Kings said to have descended from the stars, and he is also said to be the first High Priest of the “Church of Starry Wisdom.” Clearly, there is a lot of astronomical ideas swirling about the Bloodstone Emperor. But what about the “bloodstone” itself? Why did George choose this stone to represent the “prince of darkness?” The answer to this question reveals much, I have found.

It turns out that although it kind of sounds like some made up fantasy name for a magic stone, “bloodstone” is a real gemstone, and it’s proper name is “heliotrope” (many of you will know this, but it must be said). Just as George R. R. Martin has personified the natural qualities of obsidian (cooled and hardened magma) into magical qualities (ASOIAF dragonglass is “frozen fire” possessing the qualities of fire magic), he seems to have done the same with bloodstone (heliotrope). To see just what kind of magical stone we might be dealing with here, let’s take a look at the (as it turns out) exceedingly rich folklore surrounding bloodstone / heliotrope. We are going to plunge down quite a few side alleys, so just prepare yourself. All of these concepts are interrelated, and there no clean way to present them individually. It’s a tangled and sticky web we are trying to wrap out minds around here. I’m going to first list the properties and association in bullet point form, and then expound on each.

Bloodstone is associated with following ideas and symbols:

  • magical warfare, divination, alchemy, and astrology
  • healing, blood circulation, vitality
  • curing blood poisoning, drawing out snake venom from a wound
  • “the warrior’s stone,” “stone of courage” – increasing personal power, physical & spiritual
  • “the martyr’s stone” – associated with Christ’s blood dripping on stone
  • turning, reflecting, or bending the sun’s light; or turning to face the sun
  • turning the sun’s reflection to blood when submersed
  • “sun stone” – as a sun-mirror, heliotrope possess the power of the sun
  • predicting eclipses
  • predicting and even causing lighting and thunderstorms
  • purple flowering plants which turn to face the sun (one called a “valerian”)
  • “mother goddess stone,” Isis, Astarte, Innan, etc – lunar goddesses who resurrect the sun god

Magical Properties, Warrior’s Stone

Bloodstone is considered to have many magical properties by ancient man. The Babylonians and Egyptians used it for divination and to achieve victory in magical warfare. It was thought to increase personal power, spiritual first and foremost, but also physical power, which is why it was sometimes known as the “warrior’s stone” and the “stone of courage.” It was a must-have for ancient magicians, alchemists, and astrologers, as it was thought to aid in communication with the celestial realms. All of that fits with our idea of the Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai, a sorcerer-king with starry wisdom who was known as the warrior of fire.

Bloody Sun Mirrors, Eclipses, and Pliny the Elder

The name “heliotrope” (from Greek ήλιος helios, “Sun,” τρέπειν trepein, “to turn”) derives from ancient belief that bloodstone had the ability to bend and alter the sun’s reflection. The source of this information is Pliny the Elder’s Natural History:

Heliotropium is found in Æthiopia, Africa, and Cyprus: it is of a leek-green colour, streaked with blood-red veins. It has been thus named, from the circumstance that, if placed in a vessel of water and exposed to the full light of the sun, it changes to a reflected colour like that of blood; this being the case with the stone of Æthiopia more particularly. Out of the water, too, it reflects the figure of the sun like a mirror, and it discovers eclipses of that luminary by showing the moon passing over its disk.

Turning the sun’s reflection to blood fits nicely with our solar cycle concept, where the red setting sun is perceived as symbolically dying, covered in blood. The Bloodstone Emperor ushered in the Long Night, so he’s certainly the one who “killed the sun.” Thus, his taking of the monicker “Bloodstone Emperor” makes a great deal of sense.

There is a modern device called a heliotrope that uses mirrors to reflect sunlight over great distances to mark the positions of participants in a land survey. This device uses regular mirrors, not mirrors made from actual heliotrope – rather, it’s the “sun-mirror” connotations of heliotrope they were naming the instrument for. This calls to mind the tale of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, who slew the dragon Urrax with a spear throw to the eye after using the Medusa-slaying trick of using the dragon’s reflection in the mirror to achieve victory. The story of Serwyn is actually a detailed celestial metaphor with direct relevance to the Azor Ahai legend, as we will show.

In addition to the general association with heavenly knowledge and astrology, we have some kind of an association with eclipses, and with predicting them. When we consider that the Bloodstone Emperor possessed “starry wisdom,” it seems quite possible that he predicted the eclipse of the sun and even the comet’s arrival, and may have timed his blood-magic ritual killing of his sister / wife / sister-wife to coincide with this event for the purposes of harvesting its magical energy. Of course it is well known many religions, pagan & nature based religions especially (the oldest religions on the planet) time their festivals and rituals to coincide with significant celestial alignments, so really, it would almost be odd if he did not predict it and time his actions accordingly.

The idea of submerging bloodstone in water seems relevant in light of the idea that there may have been one “sea dragon” moon meteor which plunged into the ocean and triggered large floods. There are many references throughout the series to a black, bloody, or dark tide, usually in close proximity to some kind of moon-drowning metaphor, as we will see. This fits in with the idea of bloodstone creating the appearance of blood in the water (bloody water = blood tide). A moon meteor crashing into the ocean would certainly cause massive tsunamis, and given that it would be taking place during the Long Night, these would be black and bloody (deadly) tides indeed. This is also a kind of magical-disaster personification of the normal relationship between the moon and the tides, as well as a play on the idea of “moon-blood.” We will return to this idea shortly, but here’s a little quote to show that George might well have been thinking about this very concept, as well as a hint about “two moons:”

Only the brightest stars were visible, all to the west. A dull red glow lit the sky to the northeast, the color of a blood bruise. Tyrion had never seen a bigger moon. Monstrous, swollen, it looked as if it had swallowed the sun and woken with a fever. Its twin, floating on the sea beyond the ship, shimmered red with every wave. (ADWD, Tyrion)

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——====== :devil: ))) BLACK AND BLOODY STONE, SUN DRINKER ((( :devil: ======——

The term “heliotropism” is used to describe certain species of flowering plants (genus heliotropium in particular) which turn their flowers to face the sun as it moves throughout the day. There is a greek myth behind this idea, that of the Okeanid Nymph Klytie, who along with her six Okeanid sisters, were goddesses of the clouds and fresh water. Klytie was loved by the sun-god Helios, but after he left her for the “white goddess” Leucothea, a sea goddess, Klytie pined away for Helios for nine days, lying on the ground and turning her head to follow the sun in its course through the sky until her limbs took root and she was transformed into the sun-gazing purple flower, the heliotrope. It’s important to note that this myth puts the heliotrope in the role of the female lover of the sun god, which in our celestial model, would be represented by the moon goddess. Daenerys is the character in the main story who most prominently symbolizes this second moon which died in dragon-birth, and she is of course a Valyrian with purple eyes with symbolic associations to flowers. Of the heliotropium plants is called a “valerian,” as I mentioned above.

The concept of the heliotropic plant is another application of the idea of “sun turning“; in this case, the heliotrope flowers are turning towards the sun, the better to drink the sunlight, just as the sun-mirror heliotrope stone drinks the sunlight and turns its reflection bloody red.

I’ve identified “drinking the light or fire of the sun” is a very important phrase in ASOIAF, an idea which we hear of first in regards to the dragon meteors of the Qarthine legend:

A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. (AGOT, Daenerys)

Those are the moon meteors acting heliotropically, drinking the fire of the sun. Just as with the Klytie myth, we see the moon in the role of heliotrope (bloodstone). This means that if the Bloodstone Emperor’s black stone is indeed a moon meteor, as it appears to be, this black stone was a sun-drinking stone, a heliotrope. A black bloodstone.

As we saw in the picture above, real bloodstone is dark green (chalcedony) with red inclusions (iron oxide or red jasper). The red inclusions resemble spots of blood, hence the name “bloodstone.” Yet Geroge R. R. Martin’s “bloodstone” is black. There’s a very good reason for this: black blood. Specifically, the blackened and burnt blood of the fallen moon goddess. We saw earlier that Colloquo Votar’s Jade Compendium alleges that when Azor Ahai thrust his sword into the belly of a beast, “its blood began to boil,” its eyes melted, and its body burst into flame. This is exactly what happened to our moon goddess – Lightbringer to the gut, incineration, blood boiling – no wonder her blood is black. Her flaming meteor-children were soaked in her black blood. Lightbringer the sword symbolizes the offspring of sun-comet and moon, just as these black bloodstone meteors do, and Lightbringer the sword was soaked in Nissa Nissa moon’s blackened blood, just as the meteors were. This suggests the possibility that Lightbringer the sword might have been made from those black, sun-drinking meteors, an idea we’ll come back to.

Nissa Nisa moon is the original mother of dragons, so it’s unsurprising to find that dragons (the black ones at least) also have black blood (and black fire, too):

Drogon rose, his wings covering her in shadow. Dany swung the lash at his scaled belly, back and forth until her arm began to ache. His long serpentine neck bent like an archer’s bow. With a hisssssss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, “No, no, no. Get DOWN!” His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once, twice… and folded. The dragon gave one last hiss and stretched out flat upon his belly. Black blood was flowing from the wound where the spear had pierced him, smokingwhere it dripped onto the scorched sands. He is fire made flesh, she thought, and so am I. (ADWD, Daenerys)

Notice that Drogon is the union of sun-drinking (shadow casting), black blood, and black fire. His wings are always bringing darkness and shadow, he bleeds black blood, and breathes black fire. His black blood flows from a wound created by a spear, evoking Lightbringer the comet’s strike against the moon and connecting it to the black blood. Drogon’s sun-drinking is associated with darkening the entire world and with black stone, as we see here:

The second time he passed before the sun, his black wings spread, and the world darkened. (ADWD, Daenerys)

Drogon was curled up beneath her arm, as hot as a stone that has soaked all day in the blazing sun. (ACOK, Daenerys)

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.” (AGOT, Daenerys)

Two characters who George uses to symbolize Azor Ahai at various times are Beric Dondarion and Stannis Baratheon, who both wield flaming swords and both are associated with black blood and shadow. Beric the “fire-wight” bleeds black blood when he is “killed” by the Hound in the underground weirwood cave, suggesting that his fire resurrection by Thoros has some how transformed his blood from red to black. He very dramatically emerges from the deep shadows in his first appearance as resurrected Beric.

When Melisandre burns Varamyr Sixskins out of the sky (while he’s inhabiting his eagle), see this process played out:

His last death had been by fire. I burned. At first, in his confusion, he thought some archer on the Wall had pierced him with a flaming arrow … but the fire had been inside him, consuming him. And the pain … {…}

Even that had not been so agonizing as the fire in his guts, crackling along his wings, devouring him. When he tried to fly from it, his terror fanned the flames and made them burn hotter. One moment he had been soaring above the Wall, his eagle’s eyes marking the movements of the men below. Then the flames had turned his heart into a blackened cinder and sent his spirit screaming back into his own skin, and for a little while he’d gone mad. Even the memory was enough to make him shudder. (ADWD, Prologue)

When Melisandre births her “shadow baby” Stannis in A Clash of Kings, she bleeds black blood:

And then a light bloomed amidst the darkness. Davos raised a hand to shield his eyes, and his breath caught in his throat. Melisandre had thrown back her cowl and shrugged out of the smothering robe. Beneath, she was naked, and huge with child. Swollen breasts hung heavy against her chest, and her belly bulged as if near to bursting. “Gods preserve us,” he whispered, and heard her answering laugh, deep and throaty. Her eyes were hot coals, and the sweat that dappled her skin seemed to glow with a light of its own. Melisandre shone. Panting, she squatted and spread her legs. Blood ran down her thighs, black as ink. Her cry might have been agony or ecstasy or both. And Davos saw the crown of the child’s head push its way out of her. Two arms wriggled free, grasping, black fingers coiling around Melisandre’s straining thighs, pushing, until the whole of the shadow slid out into the world and rose taller than Davos, tall as the tunnel, towering above the boat. (ACOK, Davos)

Melisandre is playing the role of a red, pregnant moon about to give birth to Azor Ahai’s (shadow) child. She lights up before giving birth, simulating the immolation of the Nissa moon and the forging of Lightbringer. “Agony and ecstasy” is a reference to Nissa Nissa’s “cry of anguish and ecstasy” that “left a crack across the face of the moon,” a phrase which appears in almost every major moon-immolation metaphor. The sword Widows Wail represents this half of the comet which impacted with the Nissa moon, and so often the “cry” is a “wail.” We have a crown and a tower, to let us know that crowns and the tops of towers are symbolically equivalent to moons or falling meteors. And of course, the black blood. Note the similar language here:

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. (ADWD, Melisandre)

In this last scene, Melisandre has just seen a series of visions in the nightfire (the “black and bloody tide,” Bloodraven and Bran, shadow skulls and the shadow of dragon wings, asking to see Azor Ahai and seeing only “Snow,” etc). The shuddering, fire inside her, the shimmering and transforming and the lover’s hand are easily recognized as Lightbringer forging language. When someone has “the fire inside of them,” they are being transformed – the blood is being transformed into black blood. Nissa Nissa had “the fire” inside her as well, and then her burnt and blackened blood went into the “steel” of Lightbringer.

If Lightbringer the sword was made from a black bloodstone moon meteor, then the blood of the moon goddess did indeed go into the steel of Lightbringer, literally and symbolically. We’ll dig into this fully when we get to the section about the blood tide, but we’ll see it pop up a couple of times along the way, so I wanted to introduce it here.

Bloodstone is referred to as “the martyr’s stone.” This is because it became associated with the story of Jesus’ crucifixion – the red inclusions were thought to be Christ’s blood which dripped onto some chalcedony at the foot of the cross. This is perhaps the most important connotation of bloodstone to understand in regards to what George is doing here. The concept of a stone consecrated with the blood of a sacrificed god is how we should think about the magical version of “bloodstone” which George has created.

Daenerys herself is the most important “avatar” of the Nissa Nissa moon, and so naturally we find her undergoing blood-burning transformations:

“You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?” She was walking down a long hall beneath high stone arches. She could not look behind her, must not look behind her. There was a door ahead of her, tiny with distance, but even from afar, she saw that it was painted red. She walked faster, and her bare feet left bloody footprints on the stone.

Daenerys is making bloodstone, how terrific! I believe that the red door represents the impact of comet and moon – since Dany is the moon, the red door would be the comet. The dragon was woken when the comet hit the moon, and the dragon will be woken in this dream when Dany reaches the red door and crosses the threshold. The high stone arches may be meant to suggest crescent moons.

Drogo held her in strong arms, and his hand stroked her sex and opened her and woke that sweet wetness that was his alone, and the stars smiled down on them, stars in a daylight sky. “Home,” she whispered as he entered her and filled her with his seed, but suddenly the stars were gone, and across the blue sky swept the great wings, and the world took flame.

This is the first vision, one of procreation. But at the moment of conception… the formerly smiling stars disappear, the dragon wings darken the world, and everything takes fire.

Ser Jorah’s face was drawn and sorrowful. “Rhaegar was the last dragon,” he told her. He warmed translucent hands over a glowing brazier where stone eggs smouldered red as coals. {…}

Viserys stood before her, screaming. “The dragon does not beg, slut. You do not command the dragon. I am the dragon, and I will be crowned.” The molten gold trickled down his face like wax, burning deep channels in his flesh. “I am the dragon and I will be crowned!” he shrieked, and his fingers snapped like snakes, biting at her nipples, pinching, twisting, even as his eyes burst and ran like jelly down seared and blackened cheeks.

Red coals are sometimes used to describe the eyes of our various red-eyed people (Ghost, Melisandre, Bloodraven), so what we have here is the dragon’s egg inserting itself into the stars / eyes / coals / symbolic milieu. Indeed, the dragon eggs are symbolic of the dragon stone meteors, which of course is obvious to us now, but this would have been one of our first clues as we read through the story. We’ve got molten metal and burning channels in the flesh, and the association between crowns and death that pops up occasionally. Viserys fingers are snakes, emphasizing that particular metaphor, and finally we get blinding by way of fire, with eyes bursting and melting and running down blackened flesh.

She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.

Now the fire is inside her, and it is wreaking death. Dany feels the terrible burning, and Rhaego’s heart burns in his chest as he turns to ash. He’s even breathing fire like a true dragon, but he is consumed in the conflagration, jus as the comet which struck the moon was itself consumed. Last, we have steaming tears to indicate Dany’s internal fire transformation.

Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade. “Faster,” they cried, “faster, faster.” She raced, her feet melting the stone wherever they touched. “Faster!” the ghosts cried as one, and she screamed and threw herself forward. A great knife of pain ripped down her back, and she felt her skin tear open and smelled the stench of burning blood and saw the shadow of wings. And Daenerys Targaryen flew.

…wake the dragon…

I will have a LOT more to say about these kingly ghosts with gemstone eyes and pale fire sword in an upcoming essay called The Fingerprints of the Dawn, which is already written, but for now we’ll just consider them some sort of ancestor of Daenerys with very ancient dragon knowledge and Valyrian looks who are encouraging Dany to wake the dragon. Her feet are melting stone – remember they were coating the stones with blood before, now Daenerys is melting them too – and as her wings tear through her flesh and shadow the world, she smells the burning blood. As she takes to the sky in the next paragraph, “all that lived and breathed fled in terror from the shadow of her wings.” Sounds ominous. People sometimes forget this line, inserted right in the middle of all of the glorious, “look at me I’m flying!” language.

The dream concludes with Daenerys crossing the threshold of the red door, seeing Rhaegar mounted on a black horse in black armor, red fire glimmering through the visor. Dany lifts the visor and sees her own face, and hear’s Jorah whisper “the last dragon.”

This sequence is very clearly a detailed metaphor for the dragon’s impregnation of the Nissa Nissa moon, with the burning blood and the transformative fire inside our moon maiden, Daenerys. When she wakes from this dream, she feels as though “her body had been torn to pieces and remade from the scraps.” Daenerys herself undergoes symbolic death to be reborn as the new dragon, taking Rhaegar’s place. This is what happens when the moon is destroyed to forge Lightbringer, because Lightbringer itself is made up of blackened moon meteors. Lightbringer is the the rebirth of BOTH the mother and father, as all children are. Accordingly, we see Daenerys go from the moon of Drogo’s life to a solar dragon ruler in her own right (like Rhaegar) after the death of Drogo and the birth of her dragons. She takes on the lion pelt to signify her solar status, leads her khalasar wandering through the waste, and takes two husbands, fire and ice aspected (Drogo and then Hizdahr).

Prior to this wake the dragon dream, she has another blood-burning, transformative experience -however this time it purifies her and brings strength instead of bringing death, which at this point in the story seems like a foreshadowing of Daenerys’s symbolic immolation and rebirth in Drogo’s pyre. That’s our dual-edged metaphor rearing its head again.

Yet when she slept that night, she dreamt the dragon dream again. Viserys was not in it this time. There was only her and the dragon. Its scales were black as night, wet and slick with blood. Her blood, Dany sensed. Its eyes were pools of molten magma, and when it opened its mouth, the flame came roaring out in a hot jet. She could hear it singing to her. She opened her arms to the fire, embraced it, let it swallow her whole, let it cleanse her and temper her and scour her clean. She could feel her flesh sear and blacken and slough away, could feel her blood boil and turn to steam, and yet there was no pain. She felt strong and new and fierce.

And the next day, strangely, she did not seem to hurt quite so much. It was as if the gods had heard her and taken pity. Even her handmaids noticed the change. “Khaleesi,” Jhiqui said, “what is wrong? Are you sick?”

“I was,” she answered, standing over the dragon’s eggs that Illyrio had given her when she wed. She touched one, the largest of the three, running her hand lightly over the shell. Black-and-scarlet, she thought, like the dragon in my dream. The stone felt strangely warm beneath her fingers … or was she still dreaming? She pulled her hand back nervously. (AGOT, Daenerys)

The dragon’s fire boils and burns the blood of the moon – I hope that is apparent by now. The black dragon in her vision is coated in her blood – moon – blood – and appears wet and slick and black. Taken with some of these other quotes, this shows that George has been developing the concept of greasy black bloodstone since the beginning of the story.

These three concepts – the black blood, sun-drinking black stone, and Lightbringer / Azor Ahai – come together in what is probably the most psychedelic chapter in the whole series: Bran’s last chapter of A Dance with Dragons, where he eats the weirwood paste and trips his little Stark nuts off, if you’ll pardon the expression. This chapter uses descriptions of the moons phases – nine of them in total – as a way of creating a montage-effect to show the passing of time. Twice, the moon is described as a “black hole in the sky”:

The moon was a black hole in the sky. Wolves howled in the wood, sniffing through the snowdrifts after dead things. A murder of ravens erupted from the hillside, screaming their sharp cries, black wings beating above a white world. A red sun rose and set and rose again, painting the snows in shades of rose and pink. Under the hill, Jojen brooded, Meera fretted, and Hodor wandered through dark tunnels with a sword in his right hand and a torch in his left. Or was it Bran wandering? No one must ever know.

The great cavern that opened on the abyss was as black as pitch, black as tar, blacker than the feathers of a crow. Light entered as a trespasser, unwanted and unwelcome, and soon was gone again; cookfires, candles, and rushes burned for a little while, then guttered out again, their brief lives at an end. (ADWD, Bran)

The sword and torch thing really leaps of the page, a direct and unambiguous reference to Mithras, and therefore Azor Ahai and Lightbringer. Our flaming sword hero is wandering – the word is used twice for emphasis – through the darkness, with “under the hill” hearkening back to Beric’s hollow hill. The red sun appears to connote the death of the sun, with the “and set and rose again” language implies resurrection.

This is probably a good time to mention that crows and ravens are frequently used as metaphors for meteors, because they are flying black things that represent death (carrion eaters; “dark wings, dark words”). The maester’s link for ravencraft is black iron, for example. The ravens “erupt” and their black wings are “beating” like a heart (a black heart, pumping black blood). The crow feathers are evoked while describing the black abyss – those feathers are heliotropic light-drinkers. The eruption of a “murder” of ravens with “sharp”cries represents a meteors shower of black, sun-drinking dragon stones. (And yes, “Dragonstone,” the island with a fused black stone citadel shaped like a thousand dragons, is highly symbolic – I’m saving that for another day.)

Since this is “Astronomy of Ice and Fire,” I can’t resist commenting on the appearance of a black hole! What is a black hole famous for? Drinking light, of course! Equating the moon with a black hole suggests both a moon which drinks sunlight as well as a hole left by a moon which was destroyed. A black hole is also the ultimate “dark star.” In part one of this series, we saw that Arianne thinks that “Darkstar (Gerold Dayne) was the worm in the apple,” as well as the idea that “if you split a worm in half, you get two worms” from the scene where Alleras the Sphinx is shooting apples with scarlet and golden arrows, a scene in which the three forgings of Lightbringer are symbolized. The dark star is the worm in the apple, the hidden potential to make a dark, sun-drinking Lightbringer.

If the second moon was some kind of “fire moon” as I have proposed, a moon of molten rock like Jupiter’s Io, it would be another kind of dark star, one with a hidden fire. Io’s outer crust of silicate (glass-like) rock is coated with sulphur-dioxide, and shines a reflective gold and purple color. This fits with the idea that our “darkstar” moon went from a sun-mirror, reflecting the sunlight, to a sun-drinker, drinking and absorbing the fire and light like a black hole.

Asshai-by-the-Shadow is intimately connected with the legend of Azor Ahai, as we have seen, so it’s certainly noteworthy to find black, sun drinking bloodstone there:

Travelers tell us that the city is built entirely of black stone: halls, hovels, temples, palaces, streets, walls, bazaars, all. Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike. The nights are very black in Asshai, all agree, and even the brightest days of summer are somehow gray and gloomy. (TWOIAF)

Azor Ahai is from a city entirely made of greasy black sun-drinking stone. The Bloodstone Emperor, who we think is Azor Ahai, worshipped a black stone which fell from the sky, drinking the sun’s fire. It’s hard to escape the conclusion the black stone of Asshai is the same black stone which the Bloodstone Emperor worshipped, George’s magical black bloodstone. The greasy black sun-drinking stone is also found at the uber-creepy megalithic city of Yeen on the continent of Sothoryos, which is made of enormous hewn blocks of greasy black stone; the nearby Isle of Toads, where they have a forty foot tall lump of greasy black stone carved into the shape of a huge toad of malignant aspect; and on Pyke itself, in the form of the Seastone Chair. Moat Cailin, too, may be made of greasy black stone:

The air was wet and heavy, and shallow pools of water dotted the ground. Reek picked his way between them carefully, following the remnants of the log-and-plank road that Robb Stark’s vanguard had laid down across the soft ground to speed the passage of his host. Where once a mighty curtain wall had stood, only scattered stones remained, blocks of black basalt so large it must once have taken a hundred men to hoist them into place. Some had sunk so deep into the bog that only a corner showed; others lay strewn about like some god’s abandoned toys, cracked and crumbling, spotted with lichen. Last night’s rain had left the huge stones wet and glistening, and the morning sunlightmade them look as if they were coated in some fine black oil. (ADWD, Reek)

To be clear, I am proposing that all the greasy black stone at the places listed above is actually moon rock which fell to earth at the time of the Long Night, or else pre-existent stone which was burned and radiated in the same way as the moon rock when the firestorm of moon meteors rained down. This concept fits in with the general Lovecraftian vibe going on around these places, as anyone who has read his The Colour Out of Space will know. It’s a story about a meteorite which lands in a small town and gradually poisons plants and animals and humans and causes people to go mad, with the end result that it leeches the color and life out of everything and leaves behind a wasteland of grey dust. On Planetos, the greasy black bloodstone moon rock seems to exhibit a similar corrupting effect, with the strength of of the malignant magic being proportional to the amount of greasy black sun-drinking bloodstone present. This seems to be an inversion of bloodstone’s supposed healing properties and power to draw out poison, which I take as confirmation that this black bloodstone moon rock has been defiled.

Have a look at some real greasy-looking black meteor stone, and a bloodstone toad of malignant aspect (somewhat smaller than 40 feet tall).

There’s a hellacious light-drinking reference in A Dance with Dragons, brought to us by Quentin the Dragontamer:

The lip of the pit was just ahead. Quentyn edged forward slowly, moving the torch from side to side. Walls and floor and ceiling drank the light. Scorched, he realized. Bricks burned black, crumbling into ash. The air grew warmer with every step he took. He began to sweat.

Two eyes rose up before him. Bronze, they were, brighter than polished shields, glowing with their own heat, burning behind a veil of smoke rising from the dragon’s nostrils. The light of Quentyn’s torch washed over scales of dark green, the green of moss in the deep woods at dusk, just before the last light fades. Then the dragon opened its mouth, and light and heat washed over them. Behind a fence of sharp black teeth he glimpsed the furnace glow, the shimmer of a sleeping fire a hundred times brighter than his torch. The dragon’s head was larger than a horse’s, and the neck stretched on and on, uncoiling like some great green serpent as the head rose, until those two glowing bronze eyeswere staring down at him.

Green, the prince thought, his scales are green. “Rhaegal,” he said. His voice caught in his throat, and what came out was a broken croak. Frog, he thought, I am turning into Frog again. “The food,” he croaked, remembering. “Bring the food.” (ADWD,the Dragontamer)

This seems like a major confirmation: dragonfire is what turns stone into black, light-drinking stone, although it is not greasy-looking because it is not coated in black moon blood. There are several Lightbringer symbols here to let us know what this metaphor is talking about, which I have highlighted: light-drinking activity; the dragon’s eyes like bronze shields (suns) behind a veil of smoke (Long Night cloud cover); the last light fading (Long Night again); and finally, light and flame washing over black teeth which are like swords is evocative of a black steel Lightbringer sword catching on fire (Balerion’s teeth are described as swords in an Arya chapter of A Game of Thrones).

What’s really cool is the Isle of Toads statue reference – Quentin turns to a frog right as he thinks of the green “just before the last light fades” scales of Rhaegal, and of course we had the sun drinking stone in the previous paragraph. It’s almost like George is spelling out the dark green-to-black color transformation he has wrought on his version of bloodstone. Oh, and, if I could just briefly mention that in mythology, toads are symbolically associated with the entrance to the underworld or the first level of hell, which is exactly where Quentin is headed at this moment. This association is generally thought to exist because toads are amphibious, crossing the barrier between the surface realm and the underworld at will. There might be a “frog-eater” reference here as well, as “Frog” Quentyn ask for the food, not realizing that he is the food.

Saving the best sun-drinking reference for last, we come to the sword which drinks the sun’s light. In the first essay, we saw that Tywin’s reforging of Ned’s sword Ice into two red and black swords seems to symbolize the splitting of the Lightbringer comet by the sun as it reached perihelion. This connection is strengthened by the appearance of the “sun-drinking” phrase:

Most Valyrian steel was a grey so dark it looked almost black, as was true here as well. But blended into the folds was a red as deep as the grey. The two colors lapped over one another without ever touching, each ripple distinct, like waves of night and blood upon some steely shore. {…} “I worked half a hundred spells and brightened the red time and time again, but always the color would darken, as if the blade was drinking the sun from it. And some folds would not take the red at all, as you can see.” (ASOS, Tyrion)

In addition to drinking the sun and darkening the crimson to the color of blood, we have the phrase “waves of blood and night.” This sounds like another way of describing the black and bloody tide which was triggered by the impact of a moon meteor. At this point, I’ll make this an official hypothesis: the Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai made his famous fiery sword from this black, sun drinking meteorite which he worshipped. It would be a fitting counterpoint to the Daynes of Starfall, whose white sword Dawn was supposedly made from a pale stone of magical powers, which was the heart of a falling star.

I don’t think Dawn can be Azor Ahai’s Lightbringer, because as we’ve seen, everything associated with falling meteorites in the east involves black, sun-drinking stone – the opposite of Dawn, which is pale as milkglass and alive with light. This might mean that “Lightbringer” is misnamed – perhaps a better name would be Darkbringer, or Dark Lightbringer (my preference). It might also mean that the sword Dawn is the sword which actually gives light, the “light-bringer” in a literal sense. It’s called the “Sword of the Morning,” i.e. “the sword that brought the morning,” while Lightbringer seems to have brought on the nightfall to end all nightfalls. Arthur Dayne wields the Sword of Morning, but “Darkstar” Gerold Dayne, who is “of the night,” does not. Nymeria Martell married Davos Dayne, who was Sword of the Morning, but Vorian Dayne, called “the Sword of the Evening,” did not wield Dawn, and was cast down by Nymeria sent to the Wall.

I have begun thinking of these two swords as both being “lightbringer swords,” meaning that they seem an opposite pair. It is A Song of Ice and Fire, after all, so the idea of two magical swords clashing in the Dawn Age makes a great deal of sense. Azor Ahai’s Lightbringer is of course associated with fire, while Dawn is pale as milkglass – milkglass being the description of the bones of the Others, which are “like milkglass, pale and shiny..” The swords of the Others are described as “alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal,” while Dawn is “alive with light.” The Others’ swords are also called “pale swords” a couple of times, while at Starfall they have a tower called“the Palestone Sword.” I won’t be the first to propose this, but consider: “Dawn,” with it’s icy imagery and Dawn Age legacy, may in fact be the original Ice of House Stark. I’m going to stop here, as there is really a whole essay’s worth of material just on the magic swords, but suffice it to say, we may be looking at “a song of ice and fire swords.” Anyone familiar with ASOIAF knows that “song” is often a reference for swordplay with phrases like “the song of steel” or “the song of battle.”


Once again, thank you so much for your time! There are only two reasons I do this:

1.) it's a damn lot of fun, and 2.) I want everyone to be in on the 'joke,' if you will. My goal is for as many people as possible to see the full depth of the world George has created and fully appreciate the genius on display here.

As I said at the top, this essay leads directly into the next one, where our dissection of the Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai and Long Night disaster continues. Part 3: A Thousand Eyes and One Hammer is up on my website for those who want a sneak peak, and I'll be putting it up here next week or so. We will cover some of the topics I have really been dying to get to, such as the God’s Eye, the Hammer of the Waters, Bloodraven, the implications of all this greasy, sun-drinking stone, the rest of the Ironborn mythology… We’re just getting to the good stuff, people. :devil:

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Oh and hat-tip to Falcotron for cluing me in to the "Nisha" = night and "Nissan" the first month of the Hebrew calendar translations. That's not to say he endorses my theory - pretty sure he has some differences - but credit where credit is due.

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"the Dornishman's blade was made of black steel, and its kiss was a terrible thing..."

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I agree with Voice of the First Men that Dawn is actually the original "Ice," and so what I see is a sword-swiching scenario. The icy sword was left in the south at Starfall, and Dark Lightbringer / Nightbringer / Darkbringer (should we do a poll?) was the dragonsteel of the Last Hero which went north to the Wall. I think it was left up in the north, in the hands of icy people to keep it 1.) safe from falling into the hands of fire people, and 2.) keep it ready to kick the Others's ass when needed. The icy sword, similarly, was perhaps taken from the hands of one of the original Others... NK, proto-Stark, whatever, and brought south and left in the hands of fire blooded people for the same reasoning.

Vorian Dayne, the sword of the Eveneing, was sent north to the Wall by Nymeria, but she married the Sword of the Evening Dayne. Then we had Samwell Dayne, the starfire, who sacked Oldtown (I believe Azor Ahai / the Bloodstone Emperor invaded Westeros at battle Isle in Oldtown, there the GEotD had their fused stone fortress outpost). Darkstar Dayne, he who is of the night, tries to kill a royal maiden who has heavy moon symbology around her (Myrcella). Then we have the Dornishman's black blade. Dawn is very definitively not black, so what blade is this? The ORIGINAL Dornishman's blade was the BSE's dark lightbringer, is my guess.

I'm going to do a full essay on the concept of dark lightbringer very soon.

ETA: if we did in fact have two way-ahead-of-their-time badass magic swords in the Dawn Age, it's highly likely they both cam from the same tradition of sword-smithing... but on the other hand, Dawn may not have been forged in fire, and I don't really have that one all figured out yet. I do think a meteor was involved, but certainly not the same meteor...

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Ok, this might sound a little perverse and creepy but here is a new interpretation of Mel’s visions:

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 last two sentences look like two sorcerous “dragons” making love. Could they be Shiera and Bloodraven, possible parents of Mel? With this in mind, can that “dark tide” represent a heavy menstrual flow “coming from the depths” of uterus or perhaps the bleeding accompanying childbirth? What does that make those “towers” that once stood so proud “crumbling” under vaginal flow?

Well, Mel herself experienced a strange vaginal flow soon after seeing these visions. So, there you go.

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...well... there is a play on the phrase "moon blood" going on, that's definitely true..

The thing is the dark tide rises from the depths, and I take the wording to imply that the Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist, etc. is a description of that black and bloody tide. Meaning, that sounds like rapey-rapey Deep Ones on a literal level, and on a symbolic level, it implies that the moon meteors which triggered the dark tide of rape skulls had something to do with crossbreeding experiments, which is something we already suspected. It's another layer or procreation - the moon meters themselves triggered an abnormal procreation, I think. Deep One - human hybrids, Other-human hybrids, god knows what else.

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Okay, if Jon is Lightbringer, the figurative sword, then there's a reason for this foreshadowing...

The Lord Commander’s Tower had been gutted by fire, and Stannis Baratheon had claimed the King’s Tower for his own residence, so Jon Snow had established himself in Donal Noye’s modest quarters behind the armory. Gilly was leaving as Sam arrived, wrapped up in the old cloak he’d given her when they were fleeing Craster’s Keep. She almost rushed right past him, but Sam caught her arm, spilling two books as he did. “Gilly.”


He had to get down on his knees to gather up the books he’d dropped. I should not have brought so many, he told himself as he brushed the dirt off Colloquo Votar’s Jade Compendium, a thick volume of tales and legends from the east that Maester Aemon had commanded him to find. The book appeared undamaged. Maester Thomax’s Dragonkin, Being a History of House Targaryen from Exile to Apotheosis, with a Consideration of the Life and Death of Dragons had not been so fortunate. It had come open as it fell, and a few pages had gotten muddy, including one with a rather nice picture of Balerion the Black Dread done in colored inks.

Jon will be the weapon used by men, forces of fire, and dragons to drive out the Others and I don't think Drogon will make it, unless he will be turned into a wighted dragon. When they are at their heels, Jon will have an awakening of some sort, a hesitation, to realize that the Others are not truly evil, unless this has already happened with the Ides of Marsh. I think it will be at this time that Jon will play the role to defend forces of Ice and defend them against them against the forces of Fire. He can't let Fire win at the cost of committing genocide of the whole entire species and race of Ice.

I keep on going back to this situation with him and Gilly, and what Ser Patrek said:

She looked at the flame. “Yes.”

“Touch it. Put your hand over the flame.”

Her big brown eyes grew bigger still. She did not move.

“Do it.” Kill the boy. “Now.”

Trembling, the girl reached out her hand, held it well above the flickering candle flame.

“Down. Let it kiss you.”

Gilly lowered her hand. An inch. Another. When the flame licked her flesh, she snatched her hand back and began to sob.

Fire is a cruel way to die. Dalla died to give this child life, but you have nourished him, cherished him. You saved your own boy from the ice. Now save hers from the fire.”

Ser Patrek smiled. “Tell me, Lord Commander, should the Others turn up, do you plan to offer hospitality to them as well?

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Hmm, very interesting. I'll have to ge read the context of that scene to figure what roles Gilly and Sam are playing when the book spill happens. that's exactly the sort of extra specific detail in a scene which is usually a tip off that a metaphor of some kind is occurring.

I do think there's a lot of foreshadowing about Jon's connection to the Others, but I don't expect him to join to Others or anything. There is definitely something going on there - but there's only so far "the Others just misunderstood" can go before it becomes too strange.

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Nothing to add as not smart enough. Mind blown again LmL. Thank you for making my day at work that much more enjoyable.

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Hmm, very interesting. I'll have to ge read the context of that scene to figure what roles Gilly and Sam are playing when the book spill happens. that's exactly the sort of extra specific detail in a scene which is usually a tip off that a metaphor of some kind is occurring.

I do think there's a lot of foreshadowing about Jon's connection to the Others, but I don't expect him to join to Others or anything. There is definitely something going on there - but there's only so far "the Others just misunderstood" can go before it becomes too strange.

True. However, there enough hints given by Martin for us, as readers, to halt ourselves and conclude, "WAIT! Jon cannot be fully with the forces of Fire... he needs to be the balance."

If "his is the song of ice and fire".

What is Martin saying? if in his head, he had Jon's role in ASOIAF mapped out in the very beginning as being that balance of Ice and Fire, a son of Targaryen (Valyrian-affinity with dragons/fire) and Stark (theorized link with Others-affinity with Ice). It's not just a simple R+L=J, there is way bigger reasons.

Benjen Stark emerged from the shelter he shared with his nephew. “There you are. Jon, damn it, don’t go off like that by yourself. I thought the Others had gotten you.”


Tyrion was the last to retire, as always. As he stepped into the shelter his men had built for him, he paused and looked back at Jon Snow. The boy stood near the fire, his face still and hard, looking deep into the flames.


Spinning, Jon saw the drapes he’d ripped from the window. He flung the lamp into the puddled cloth with both hands. Metal crunched, glass shattered, oil spewed, and the hangings went up in a great whoosh of flame. The heat of it on his face was sweeter than any kiss Jon had ever known. Ghost!he shouted.

Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger’s hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. “Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …

**EVERYTHING with Jon, Martin showered with so many hints of his affinities, of Ice and Fire.

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Thanks very much minisam! :cheers:

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Icefire125, my very favorite example of this is Jon's Azor Ahai / Bloodstone Emperor dream, where he is armored in black ice and holding a sword of red fire. I also like the white wolf racing across the black sky, with red eyes as a kind of sigil for Johnny boy.

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Well done.

I like the original ice is Dawn , but dosent that clash with your idea about Lightbringer and Ice clashing at Battle Isle. If Dawn is original ice it makes sense that it was the sword of an leading Other , Nights King for example. If it is the sword of a Other king then it was most likely taken from him when he falled and the LN ended. But then we also have the thing about Azor Ahais lightbringer is the Last heros dragonsteel , which is a good idea i can get on board with.

So if Lightbringer is the LH dragonsteel , how can it have clashed with Ice if ice was taken from the fallen other King?

Maybe a little confusing what i said , i just wonder what you think of it?

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