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Astronomy of Ice and Fire: the Language of Leviathan

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------======o)))  Pirates from Asshai  (((o======------

 

So what does this all mean?  Is the Grey King Azor Ahai?  Did he forge Lightbringer on the Iron Islands?  Well, it does seem like the Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai did come to / invade Westeros by sea (my essay about that is here) at the time of the Long Night, and the three places he seems most tied to are the Iron Islands, Oldtown, and Starfall (the seat of House Dayne).

 

 

As for the Iron Islands and Azor Ahai, I have come around to the opinion that his fleet probably sailed east from Asshai and arrived on the west coast of Westeros, which is the explanation behind the scattered but persistent talk of a land across the sunset sea.  From the kingsmoot in A Feast for Crows:

 

<snip

 

I have reason to believe that the folks from the Great Empire of the Dawn / ancient Asshai would be fairly tall, and also that the dragon-dragonrider bond, which likely originated in Asshai, is a form of the skinchanger bond.  That’s something I will definitely be getting into in future essays, but I thought I’d throw it out here since it fits the topic.

 

I also think the shadowlands by Asshai would have originally been a source of fire magic more in line with the heart of winter – a “heart of summer.”  Thus it’s interesting that the Farwynds speak of this wondrous faraway land as being a land without winter – the R’hllorists, too, prophesy a summer without end, and I certainly think they are tied to Asshai.  The idea of death having no dominion puts us in mind of the Bloodstone Emperor’s necromancy and the sort of extended lifespans that shadowbinders seem to be able to live.

 

The sigil of the House Farwynd of the Lonely Light is a black ship superimposed over (eclipsing) a red sun setting in the ocean – the exact image of a ship sailing east, from the west.

 

<snip

 

I mentioned the Red Kracken Dalton Greyjoy above in regards to the Valyrian steel sword Nightfall – and now it will make sense for me to tell you this one extra detail I was holding back before: he took Nightfall from a dead corsair.  A dead pirate.  This would seem a potential match with the idea of someone taking Azor Ahai’s sword after he got to Westeros – which is something that I have seen some clues in support of.  The idea would be that Azor Ahai was defeated, perhaps at Battle Isle, and his sword taken, eventually winding up in the hands of the Last Hero to become the dragonsteel of legend which fought the Others.  That’s certainly quite speculative and well ahead of where my more thorough research is, but again I’m throwing the idea out for consideration since we are talking about this hypothetical invasion.

 

<snip

 

Thus, it’s interesting to note that non-“sword of the morning” Daynes do things that sound like they might fit Azor Ahai’s style.  Vorian Dayne, who was actually called “the sword of the evening” was sent to the Wall by Nymera – this might be a parallel to the Last Hero taking Lightbringer (dragonsteel) to the Wall to fight the Others.  

 

<snip

 

 

One last note about Pyke: like Winterfell and Storm’s End, the castle at Pyke is a “round tower” design built long before that design existed in Westeros.  Supposedly, round-tower architecture only came to Westeros with the Andals – all the other older keeps in Westeros are square tower design.  Winterfell and Storm’s End date back to the time of the Long Night to the best of our knowledge, so it’s possible we are seeing the traces of a more advanced building technique from these Dawn Age visitors.

 

<snip

 

So you deny the existence of Amaericos then? ;)  I don't know.  It sounds rather odd to me that something that happened back in the Dawn Age would still be causing rumors about lands beyond the Sunset Sea.  Most people don't even believe in the Others anymore so why would they still be basing rumors on the arrival of a guy who showed up when the Others were still around bugging people?

 

I think the rumors are more based on Brandon the Shipwright's never having made it home.  It would be a comfort to his family and friends to think he found a land so awesome that he never wanted to come back...except of course for the never coming back part, and the not wanting to come back part. Okay so not that comforting, but still preferable to a watery grave.

 

At the risk of adding mustache twirling to AA's list of accomplishments, I have to say I find it more likely that he sailed west from Asshai, landed first at Starfall, then went to Oldtown, and headed north because as he stood in those lovely places he felt disheartened because "It just doesn't say 'ME'!"  So he kept going until he found a  depressing, desolate landscape that suited him and the image he wanted to project. This of course means he left people at both Starfall's location and Oldtown area to establish settlements/military camps while he kept looking for a better location to serve as his base of operations.  And if this is during the Long Night, he needs to get to either Storm's End or Winterfell, either or both of which should be important in a battle against forces from the Heart of Winter.  Of course, basing his campaign in the Iron Islands make sense if the sea doesn't freeze and the Others don't leave land.  
 
I accidentally cut the pertinent quote but I noticed that the Farwynds have a wolf connection!  Wolves of the wild sea.  Pretty cool!
 
Sorry to be the bearer of not fun news, but GRRM has said that the process used by dragontamers of old was nothing like skinchanging (well at least the Valyrian ones, don't know for sure about those who preceded them).  You've made a great case for some kind of link between Asshai and Valyria.  Remember that the text has told us all Valyrian sorcery is rooted in fire and blood.  That's likely the connection on the dragontaming as well: blood-bonding a fire beast through magic hits all the notes.
 
I think Gilbert has just fallen into the whole paradise without any sorrow thing that everyone dreams of.  I doubt the place would literally be "without death." I've been watching 500 Nations recently (one episode now and then, that is) and this reminds me of the Native Americans not really having major issues with illnesses prior to the Europeans showing up with diseases they had zero immunity for.  I wonder if GRRM has watched (or read the book of) 500 Nations.
 
As to extended lifespans, don't forget that Bloodraven is about 125 years old, and the CotF have long lives.  So it's not just the R'hllorists/Asshai'i crowd who benefit from magical life extension.
 
I was curious about how you determined the direction of travel from the Farwynds' sigil so I looked it up.  I'm sorry to say that the ship on those arms is actually going south.  If it's sailing west it should be heading into the setting sun.  As it is we have a side view of the ship, placing the sun to starboard (right).  The blazon itself doesn't mention which view of the ship we're supposed to see, so it was likely just a choice by the artist to show us the port (left) side. 

 

The text actually rather implies that Lightbringer isn't dragonsteel, as it's mentioned that the Night's Watch used dragonsteel to fight the Others, no mention of only one person using it whereas Lightbringer is a specific sword for a specific (we think) hero.  If there's only one Lightbringer, it's not likely to be dragonsteel.  Or at least not your usual dragonsteel.  It would have to be special dragonsteel.

 

Just want to add that Vorian Dayne was a king--because Nymeria was so badass she defeated six kings and sent them to the Wall in chains.  Not sure how that parallels the Last Hero taking Lightbringer north, but it's an awesome story.  Also, don't forget to include Lord Selwyn "the Evenstar" Tarth of Evenfall Hall in all this somewhere.

 

Given the tales of Brandon the Builder helping with Storm's End and building Winterfell, do keep in mind the possibility that it was the CotF who had the knowledge about round towers and keeps being better. After all, they are beings of the trees, and tree trunks are round.  
 
I'd actually say that the GEotD had expanded into Westeros prior to the BSE's rise to power, and that he took over and left us traces of himself, having perhaps wiped out traces of the previous gemstone emperors to the best of his ability, especially the Amethyst Empress, but he couldn't get all of it. The Daynes still have her eyes.

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Puddles once dared The Great Other to put his tongue on some cold iron.  ;)

 

I have notes for each section.  So I'll quote the relevant bits.  Might break this into several posts.

Terrific. I'm glad you enjoyed my little jokes here and there. When you do so much esoteric, abstract stuff like I do, droning on and on with similar phrases "waves of night and blood" etc it kind of washes out... little jokes kind of break it up a bit. ;)

 

I really love the idea that Aeron's completely missed the Drowned Goddess telling him that Asha should lead them!  

 

Did you know this is one of my pet issues?  We have zero proof that the Others can't reproduce, and we don't know what they do with Craster's sons.  We know they take them...that's it.  One of Craster's wives think they become Others, but we get no indication that she's ever seen the babies being taken or transformed--there is nothing to back up her idea.  I noticed that you used both terms--Others and White Walkers--do you think the two are separate?  And if so, do you think that the babies are used as a blood sacrifice to work the spell that creates White Walkers (which are not human, as evidenced by the fact that they melt when stabbed)?

 

I still don't see how a moonless Planetos would work but as I seem to have misplaced my crystal ball  ;) , I can't really offer anything to counter your prediction.

 

Did Gerold "the White Bull" Hightower's death trigger any regeneration of life?  Or do you think GRRM just threw that nickname in for fun?

 

 
 
Starting with the last first, no, Martin doesn't do anything just for fun. He murders people just to create astronomy metaphors. ;) The white bull was killed when Jon was born - and Jon is Mithras. Ghost will probably be killed, in a way, for Jon to be reborn. Jon and Ghost will merge and both spirits will then inhabit Jon's resurrected body (hypothesis), so he'll be both a wolf and a man. The wolf body will probably have to be sacrificed though. But as for Gerold the White Bull, yes, his death at that scene is absolutely in keeping with the tauroctony. Thematically, him and his two white sword bros had to die to make room for the new dynasty, the stag king Robert Baratheon whose reign certainly appeared to be a high summer (until Tyrion checked the books, that is, and found out that Littlefinger used to work for Goldman Sachs).  Those three KG were the last, stubborn toehold of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, so they had to die to make way for the new. 
 
It's true that I could have put more qualifiers in the part about the Others. You're right that we don't know. I think it makes a lot of sense though, and I think Craster's wives know whats up. As for White Walkers vs. Others, I am familiar with Voice of the First Men's hierarchy of Others thread. I think it's a strong possibility, but for the purposes pf my essay I didn't feel the need to explain it and go into tall that... the essays are too long already. But I think it's well possible, and in that case the WW that we have seen are Craster's sons, so to speak, converted humans.
 
However, I think ALL the Others are converted humans. Melisandre is using fire magic to transform herself into a magical being who doesn't need to eat or sleep. If you can do that with fire, you can probably do it with ice. The Night's Queen had cold skin, just as Mel has warm skin. I don't agree that the Others melting upon death means they weren't once human, if that's your case (you said "aren't human"). I would say they aren't human anymore, and neither will Melisandre be in a couple hundred years or so, but they did start out as human, or as these horned greenseer people (according to my theory). 
 
Personally I think it all comes back to greenseer magic, even Azor Ahai and the ancient Asshai and everything. But that's coming in a future essay. It's all about the personified trees - they are everywhere, and I think they symbolize greenseers... the ones who called down the hammer of the waters. They weren't cotf, I don't think... I think they were "horned gods," like Robert is said to be when he wears his antlered helm. The horned lord, the sacred order of green men... I think they are all talking about some kind of tall horned people (the Old Ones?) who twisted the cotf greenseer magic and created Others and shadowbinders and all the rest - quite possibly through the use of the black bloodstone moon meteors (yes, those are all the same thing according to my theory.  You must have missed my last essay which went into great detail about black blood and the transformation fro meed to black blood brought on by fire magic... check that one out and you should get the gist of what I am talking about)
 
Planetos won't be moonless - ice moons have a rocky core, surrounded by water with an icy crust. If the comet really wallops the moon, it might lose its water and ice (it's magic), and we'll be left with the "stone" of the fruit. I have found this specific metaphor in a few places - an inner bone or stone core to an icy thing. 
 
Love that bit about Old Nan's bedtime stories. You have a way with words.  :D

 

 

Oh, why thanks yous...  thanks yous very much yous...   :blushing:

 

Edmure is wrong.  The Tully trout is silver.  The background is red and blue.  You'd think he'd know his own sigil. *shakes head at Edmure*   Brynden, however, has a black fish.  Which probably means nothing, but it's a fun thought.  Black dragons, white/cream dragons, black wolves/grey wolves/white wolf, black fish/silver fish...

 

Often when people say slightly off things lie this, it's because it's a clue and George needs specific wording. Yes, Blackfish serves as a black dragon symbol. I almost included that in this essay, but it ties into some other stuff I haven't introduced yet and so I decided to save it for a future essay. It's always hard to make those decisions - there are always way more examples of any given symbol than I have room to include, and each metaphorical scene includes all the related symbols - so I have to chosse which scenes to use when. "Is this scene a better proof of there Hammer of the Waters or the one-eyed greenseer?" I 'm also restricted by what concepts I have introduced, so I often end up pulling quotes but ignoring things I want to talk about. That's the hardest part of my writing process at the moment. So many parallel ideas, it's hard to present in a linear fashion. I'm striving for clarity and readability, but it's a tangled ass web to untangle.  

 

Speaking of colors...and storms... The Grey King.  The Greyjoys.  The Stark colors, grey and white.  The Storm God.  Storm's End (designed by the first Stark) and Durran Godsgrief who married the Storm God's daughter (if I recall correctly).  Storm Kings. Kings of Winter. Winter is coming. Blizzards are storms.  Storms at sea.  Kind of seems like these houses were bound to come together in some way involving conflict.  The Durrandon/Baratheons, the Starks, and the Greyjoys.  Robert and Ned.  Theon and Robb.  Stormy friendships that lead to destruction.  Let's hope Stannis and Jon can do better, of course Jon is only half Stark so maybe that will help.

 

 

Yeah, I've noticed some of that too, but it's enlightening to see you put it all together like that. I do suspect there's a common story here, especially between Ironborn and Durrandons. Same color sigils, but inverted. Same storm god / sea god dichotomy - the Sisterton people have this also. There's a symbolic conflict between the greenlanders form the Reach, associated with garth and fertility and spring, and the reaping / scythe / "we do not sew" stuff of the Ironborn. The black stag of Baratheon I take for a symbol of undead or corrupted greenseers. This color transformation to black is another thing I talked about in the Black Hole Moon essay. 

 

You mentioned mermaids at some point...the Manderlys sigil is a mermaid.  I was going to mention this along with colors and storm associations but it didn't quite fit.  But it's interesting that the Manderlys are Stark men even when the Starks seem to be gone, and are tied to Theon as well through Wex.  Lord Wyman may be able to absolve Theon of the worst of his crimes by proving that Rickon at least was not killed.  So he's a tie between Stark and Greyjoy, who has promised to support a Baratheon, pending the Rickon retrieval being successful.  The Manderlys were chased out of the Riverlands. I wonder if it was by the Ironborn back when they claimed that region.

 

 

That's all very interesting - I'll have to reflect on that and get back to you.

 

Thanks so much for all the detailed feedback, you're the best...  :kiss:

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Just really quick, the Last Hero slew Others with a dragon steel blade, not the NW. Only one dragon steel blade, wielded by a specific "hero."

Do you have the SSM about the dragon bonding / skinchanging thing? TY. Will respond more in a bit.

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So you deny the existence of Amaericos then? ;)  I don't know.  It sounds rather odd to me that something that happened back in the Dawn Age would still be causing rumors about lands beyond the Sunset Sea.  Most people don't even believe in the Others anymore so why would they still be basing rumors on the arrival of a guy who showed up when the Others were still around bugging people?

 

 

All of these stories are about shit that happened 8,000 years ago... any of them is as improbable as the next... the second moon Qarthine legend, the grey King stuff, the dragon slayer tales fro the reach which must predate the Long Night... it's all "impossibly old," to borrow the phrase TWOIAF uses to describe the records in Asshai. I figure it's fiction and it's a puzzle so we are just supposed to work with what we are given.  BTW I have a full essay about the idea of the Great Empire of the Dawn coming to Westeros under the Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai's leadership, etc, in case you haven't missed it. I re-rerad it today (I'm going to update it for my blog) and it is embarrassingly full of typos, so forgive that part of it.)

 

I think the rumors are more based on Brandon the Shipwright's never having made it home.  It would be a comfort to his family and friends to think he found a land so awesome that he never wanted to come back...except of course for the never coming back part, and the not wanting to come back part. Okay so not that comforting, but still preferable to a watery grave.

 

At the risk of adding mustache twirling to AA's list of accomplishments, I have to say I find it more likely that he sailed west from Asshai, landed first at Starfall, then went to Oldtown, and headed north because as he stood in those lovely places he felt disheartened because "It just doesn't say 'ME'!"  So he kept going until he found a  depressing, desolate landscape that suited him and the image he wanted to project. This of course means he left people at both Starfall's location and Oldtown area to establish settlements/military camps while he kept looking for a better location to serve as his base of operations.  And if this is during the Long Night, he needs to get to either Storm's End or Winterfell, either or both of which should be important in a battle against forces from the Heart of Winter.  Of course, basing his campaign in the Iron Islands make sense if the sea doesn't freeze and the Others don't leave land.

 

 
 
Actually, I don't think it's a high difference which way they sailed - I originally thought they sailed west, passing Valyria and Oldtown, etc, but recently have considered all the clues of them sailing east from Asshai - the Brandon the Shipwright story among them- and I have come to think that maybe George is implying that.

I do agree that the GEotD came here before the Blood Betrayal - I don't think the AA / the BSE built the Oldtown citadel. I don't think there was any "building" anything during the damn Long Night. That fortress on the island just offshore is a perfect match for the m.o. of the Phoenicians, who built large fortress cities just offshore to serve as a sort of fortified trading outpost. The Phoenicians donated the seas and maintained an absolute stranglehold on all sea trade. They established these outpost cities next to lands they had no intent on conquering. Battle Isle feels a lot like that to me, and it fits the various rumors we hear about the "men who came before the First Men."

I accidentally cut the pertinent quote but I noticed that the Farwynds have a wolf connection!  Wolves of the wild sea.  Pretty cool!
 
Sorry to be the bearer of not fun news, but GRRM has said that the process used by dragontamers of old was nothing like skinchanging (well at least the Valyrian ones, don't know for sure about those who preceded them).  You've made a great case for some kind of link between Asshai and Valyria.  Remember that the text has told us all Valyrian sorcery is rooted in fire and blood.  That's likely the connection on the dragontaming as well: blood-bonding a fire beast through magic hits all the notes.

 

 

 
DO you have the SSM for that? 
 
Also, I have a specific essay comparing Valyria to the GEoTD.
 
I think Gilbert has just fallen into the whole paradise without any sorrow thing that everyone dreams of.  I doubt the place would literally be "without death." I've been watching 500 Nations recently (one episode now and then, that is) and this reminds me of the Native Americans not really having major issues with illnesses prior to the Europeans showing up with diseases they had zero immunity for.  I wonder if GRRM has watched (or read the book of) 500 Nations.
 
As to extended lifespans, don't forget that Bloodraven is about 125 years old, and the CotF have long lives.  So it's not just the R'hllorists/Asshai'i crowd who benefit from magical life extension.

 

 

 
Yep that's true... and the Undying of Qarth, and the Others, and this Grey King and the GEotD emperors, and Durran Godsgrief... its a thing. George places a lot of emphasis on the life cycle including death. Death isn't "evil," it's a natural part of the cycle, just like winter.  So everyone who is cheating death is violating nature, imo. I think a lot of it may be tied to the black meteors. 
 
I was curious about how you determined the direction of travel from the Farwynds' sigil so I looked it up.  I'm sorry to say that the ship on those arms is actually going south.  If it's sailing west it should be heading into the setting sun.  As it is we have a side view of the ship, placing the sun to starboard (right).  The blazon itself doesn't mention which view of the ship we're supposed to see, so it was likely just a choice by the artist to show us the port (left) side. 

 

 

True! Ilove the detailed scrutiny here. I suppose I should say "it is the view of a ship someone on the west coast of Westeros would have of a ship which is further West" or perhaps something which is worded more clearly... but you get the idea. Taken with their belief in a land beyond the sunset, I think it's fair to infer that the sigil implies a ship which from the far west... although yes, technically it is pointed south. Hey, maybe he's headed to Oldtown!

 

The text actually rather implies that Lightbringer isn't dragonsteel, as it's mentioned that the Night's Watch used dragonsteel to fight the Others, no mention of only one person using it whereas Lightbringer is a specific sword for a specific (we think) hero.  If there's only one Lightbringer, it's not likely to be dragonsteel.  Or at least not your usual dragonsteel.  It would have to be special dragonsteel.

 

 

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

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

 

It's my hypothesis that Lightbringer became the dragonsteel of the Last Hero, possibly after breaking (against original Ice, a.k.a "Dawn" and being reforged with obsidian added in. This builds on Radio Westeros's theory about the cotf helping the LH reforge his broken sword. 

 

Just want to add that Vorian Dayne was a king--because Nymeria was so badass she defeated six kings and sent them to the Wall in chains.  Not sure how that parallels the Last Hero taking Lightbringer north, but it's an awesome story.  Also, don't forget to include Lord Selwyn "the Evenstar" Tarth of Evenfall Hall in all this somewhere.

 

 

Yep, she's a badass alright. It's a parallel because there are clues that the Last Hero was a Dayne (although I don't think he was wielding Dawn at that time... because I think Dawn was the original Ice, and came south, while Lightbringer went north. Fire blade to fight ice demons... .and the icy blade to defeat Azor Ahai at battle isle initially, break his sword, humble him, etc. TWOAIF talks about some great setback for the builders of the fused stone fortress at Oldtown... and there other clues about this too. The final piece of this is that I think the LH may have been the son of AA - symbolizing Lightbringer himself as Jon does - and he would have taken Lightbringer (possibly reforged Lightbringer) north to the Wall. Lightbringer is the "sword of the evening," being the one which brought the Nightfall of all Nightfalls, so when I see the "sword of the evening" Dayne going to the Wall, it seems like a clue about a Dayne taking a sword of the evening to the Wall. You get it now? As I said, other non-SOTM Daynes do AA things - one burns Oldtown, another slashes a moon maiden across the face (Darkstar / Myrcella)... it's the same with the Ironborn. The Red Kracken, Euron CrowsEye, and the Grey King himself all symbolize AA as an invading pirate.

 

I feel like each culture sort of has a different part of the puzzle in their myth, with some overlap. The far easterners have the Azor Ahai and BSE legend, which is the beginning. The people in the North have the LH at the Wall part of the myth, which is the ending. Along the way, other people fill in the gaps: Ironborn have the invasion, Oldtown has the pirate king, the ancient dragon presence, cotf trading with seafarers who came before the First Men... The common link is the pulling down of goddesses and stars, as I mentioned. The BSE cast down the empress , the true gods, and caused the black stone to fall and the sun to hide. AA slew a moon maiden, which cracked the moon. The Grey King slew the Sea Dragon, brought on the thunderbolt, and married a mermaid (the drowned goddess). Even jerkface Andal King had seven stars pulled down for his crown and married a magical maiden (goddess).  Ser Galladon of Morne - the maiden herself (the moon) "lost her heart" to Galladon and she gave him a magic sword, just as Nissa Nissa lost her heart and gave up a magic sword. This is the GRRM monomyth right here. 

 

The challenge to figure which stories are rooted to their current geographical location, vs which are symbolic clues form george, is the trick. Galladon seems like a symbolic clue, just an obscure myth which is meant to give us clues about the Lightbringer legend. But maybe not - maybe tart itself is important. That one is borderline for me. The Iron Islands, as you saw, I tend to think is actually, literally connected to the story. The story of Hugor Hill, however, probably is not, because the Andals weren't anywhere near the action during this time. That is likely George just showing us his monomyth... symbolic clues about pulling down stars. But who knows. It's tricky. ;)

 

Given the tales of Brandon the Builder helping with Storm's End and building Winterfell, do keep in mind the possibility that it was the CotF who had the knowledge about round towers and keeps being better. After all, they are beings of the trees, and tree trunks are round.  

 

 

Certainly possible, but the cotf aren't otherwise associated with any sort of building, stone working, construction, nothing like that. They live in natural safe spots, caves and "tree towns" in the deep woods. When I hear "tree towns" I think of ewok villages, which seems a far cry from round towers... but who knows. With weirnet, all things are possible. I think it's an interesting mystery though, the round towers which seem to be tied to Brandon the Builder, especially given all the evidence of advanced foreigners being present in Dawn Age Westeros. 
 
I'd actually say that the GEotD had expanded into Westeros prior to the BSE's rise to power, and that he took over and left us traces of himself, having perhaps wiped out traces of the previous gemstone emperors to the best of his ability, especially the Amethyst Empress, but he couldn't get all of it. The Daynes still have her eyes.

 

 

:agree:

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Are we thinking that the bloodstone of the series is a fantasy bloodstone?  You keep mentioning the bloodstone and the black meteor stones (and sometimes the oily black stone) as if they are interchangeable terms, but real bloodstone has other colors besides black (most notably red, hence the "blood" part of the name) yet none of the references to either the black swords or the oily black stone mention any red, green, or other colors to be found in real life bloodstone.  

 

Red Kraken. Red sword of heroes. Sounds like a good connection.

 

:lmao: Casually drowning fanatics.  Good one.

 

Aeron's being offered a "horn" of ale is also a bit of historical/cultural accuracy.  The Ironborn are largely modeled on the viking raiders of Scaninavia, and they drank from horns at least for a time.  I'm sure other cultures also drank from horns, but the vikings got more press. 

 

Wait, how can a black steel sword be made from black bloodstone moon meteorite? I seem to be missing something.  Can steel be made from or combined with bloodstone/meteorite?  Maybe I'm overthinking.

 

Could you help me understand how smoke = shadow?  I was thinking that was just a climate-ly accurate detail given that in a damp place it would be hard to find dry wood, and wet wood smokes a lot.  But a double meaning works quite well.  The hall being full of shadows doesn't really have anything to do with the smoke though.  Any keep would be mostly in shadow unless the hearth(s) were suitably huge (or there were enough candles) to really light up the space.  For all that we--read "I"--like to romanticize castles, they are cold, dark places.  GRRM doesn't say the fire doesn't give off much light, but I suppose it could be interpreted that it's implied by the shadows in the hall.  Where the heck are the candles and/or lamps?  The hearth is not supposed to bear the entire burden of lighting the hall.  Poor, overworked hearth!

 

*...to be continued...* 

 

I mentioned that I laid out the case for the greasy black stone = moon meteorites in this essay, but let me give you the very quick rundown. Basically, "having the fire inside you" burns your bloodblack. It happens to Mel, Beric, to Varymyr while in the eagle, and symbolically in other places connected to fire transformations. The model for this is the fire moon which represents Nissa Nissa. We are told Lightbringer boiled a monster from the inside when it was thrust into it, and this is the same idea. The moon was cooked. Its "moon blood" was blackened. Hence, George's version of bloodstone is black, coated with symbolic black blood. It's like trees that bleed - rocks that bleed. 

 

One of the ideas about bloodstone is that the red spots reprint the blood of Christ, dripping down from the cross onto some chalcedony. Thus, bloodstone's powers were thought to come from this blood sacrifice - and this is tone of the chief ways george is riffing off of the associations of bloodstone. The moon goddess is like jesus, essentially, being sacrificed, and the bloodstones which were produced with basically coated with the blood of a slain god. Again, I have a lot of quotes to back this up - I basically studied every occurrence of black blood in the series. 

So. the greasy black stone is george's magical version of bloodstone, the black bloodstone. It seems to be associated with necromancy, unlife / zombification etc, magical toxicity, and perhaps the ability to create strange hybrid species. I have speculated that the Bloodstone Emperor created the "blood of the dragon" form of dragonbonding with some kind of magical experiment. We know it happened at some point... The BSE seems like our man. 

As for the smoky fire, it's basically one example of a motif which I didn't have time to elaborate on. The motif is a "sullen" fire, a smoky fire, a weak orange fire, a fire that gives little heat or comfort, etc., and it refers to the fire moon's explosion, when it became a second sun. It was a fire that gave little comfort, that's of damn sure. It also represents the corrupted, shadowy fire magic, imo, which is a direct result of the LN catastrophe. Melisandre is wielding fire magic of a sort, but it's more shadow than light, you know?

 

As for horns, I will have a lot more to say when I do my essay on sound. Sound is a big part of the puzzle which I was clueless about until only recently when my bestus pal Evolett gave me the crucial piece of the puzzle... I think I know what the horn of Joramun and the dragonbinder horns are all about, finally. I kept noticing this awful, horrendous sound which always occurs jun the middle of the moon death metaphors, but I couldn't figure out what the deal was. 

 

 

aaaaooooooooo, aaaaaoooooo aoooooooo  

 

(audiobook listeners can hear Roy Dotrice's war horn sound in their head right now :) )

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 My thinking on a lot of this is simply to show the connections to everyone so they can make of it what they will and we can interpret these things together.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to dew conclusions about what they mean for the main story... otherwise a lot of people just don't care that much.

 

Just to remind you that some of us to are just interested in the bones of the analysis, far more than the conclusions.

I for one am at the point of trusting GRRM to have the skill to take us wherever he wants us to go, while still keeping faith with the clues he has strewn through the series. I am content to find out from GRRM rather than speculate too much.

 

Bumping, because everyone needs to read this.

 

And thanks for doing so. It doesn't take long away to be many pages out of date here when you come back.

 

 

Terrific. I'm glad you enjoyed my little jokes here and there. When you do so much esoteric, abstract stuff like I do, droning on and on with similar phrases "waves of night and blood" etc it kind of washes out... little jokes kind of break it up a bit. ;)

 

I think you do almost as well at this as at the general analysis, hitting almost exactly the right mix/notes, for me at least. Thank you.

But alas, my taste is probably not a good pointer for the wider populace, sorry. :D

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Just to remind you that some of us to are just interested in the bones of the analysis, far more than the conclusions.

I for one am at the point of trusting GRRM to have the skill to take us wherever he wants us to go, while still keeping faith with the clues he has strewn through the series. I am content to find out from GRRM rather than speculate too much.

 

 

And thanks for doing so. It doesn't take long away to be many pages out of date here when you come back.

 

 

I think you do almost as well at this as at the general analysis, hitting almost exactly the right mix/notes, for me at least. Thank you.

But alas, my taste is probably not a good pointer for the wider populace, sorry. :D

 

Hey thanks Corbon, I appreciate everything you said here. I know most people are into more of a short format thing on here and especially on reddit, so I am trying to hold people's attention and trick them into reading something longer than they might be willing to normally.  I'm not above cheap jokes or making fun of myself... whatever it takes. ;)

 

In a similar fashion, I too am interested in the mythology correlations and the purely abstract level stuff; but again you have to keep the people happy, and people want to know: why is this relevant to the story? I agree with you about predications - the way I think about the process of unravelling the Long Night backstory is that it will give context to whatever happens. It will make it a bit more of an "ah-ha!" moment than a "what the hell just happened?!"moment when the big events go down in the next book. But what I am talking about is the fact that when I finish an essay and read over it, I often notice that some paragraphs are missing that key wrap up sentence, to sort of tie things together and say what a thing means or why it is relevant. When I revise I try to add in those bits of narration so that readers don't get lost in the various metaphorical scenes and forget what we are driving at. ;)

 

Again I very much appreciate the words of support, like anyone else who puts their thoughts out there, I wonder how they are landing with people. A lot of people have read this essay but not many have commented... I'm have no idea of people are "WTF'ing" or if they're just reading it in chunks (it is long, I realize this) or if it's just totally blowing people's minds, man! and they just have nothing to say right away. Heh. I have a feeling is more of the first two...  so thanks of taking a moment to say you liked it.   :thumbsup:

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the way I think about the process of unravelling the Long Night backstory is that it will give context to whatever happens. It will make it a bit more of an "ah-ha!" moment than a "what the hell just happened?!"moment when the big events go down in the next book.


Ohh yes, thats nailed it for me totally, describing what I feel in a way I failed to do. 
 

Again I very much appreciate the words of support, like anyone else who puts their thoughts out there, I wonder how they are landing with people. A lot of people have read this essay but not many have commented... I'm have no idea of people are "WTF'ing" or if they're just reading it in chunks (it is long, I realize this) or if it's just totally blowing people's minds, man! and they just have nothing to say right away. Heh. I have a feeling is more of the first two...  so thanks of taking a moment to say you liked it.   :thumbsup:


I think in some ways you might be a victim of your own capabilities. Frankly, for me, much of your research is so far away from the way I think, and the things that take my main interest, that in a way it is kind of mind blowing, man!, even if I'm not entirely convinced. I'll certainly be ready for "a-ha!" moments rather than suffering from "what-the-hell!" moments in the future if you are anywhere near close to the truth. And that will greatly add to my enjoyment as I read, I expect, too.

You also have such thoroughly researched and referenced cases made that there is not a lot someone with my 'bent' could add even if they tried.
So really, I just don't have anything much to comment on generally in your threads. But they are by a huge margin the most interesting threads on this forum for me, in terms on learning new stuff and clever, thoughtful, researched, referenced, sensible-but-still-out-there theorising in the last 2-3 years.

A huge, huge margin. Thank you again.

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Nice work, LmL, and still enjoyable on my second read, with some interesting new additions. My favourite would be the last chapter – Pirates from Asshai. Your thoughts reflect some of my own fledgling ideas on the subject of Ironborn descent. I think the ‘Deep Ones’ really refers to a sea-faring civilization, one that was quite advanced during its height, and the best circumstantial evidence for that is the GEotD’s location along the Jade Sea. That they commanded an advanced fleet and travelled far and wide is highly likely. I personally believe they also utilized dragons, though that has yet to be established. That said, these thoughts also give me reason to question some details of your theory, specifically the idea that Nissa Nissa represents the drowned god and your inclusion of the thunderbolt in the list of comet metaphors.

 

 

 Although they all sound like different stories, we have seen that they are actually all telling the same story  the fire came from the sky like a thunderbolt, set fire to trees, drowned in the ocean, severed the land, and somehow was possessed or wielded by the Ironborn.

 

 

We have

·         Fire from a slain sea dragon (Grey King)

·         Fire from a thunderbolt (Grey King)

·         Fire from a burning brand (Drowned God)

 

The Ironborn myths are more misleading than confused, I would say. I believe these are three separate events; they do not tell the same story.  The only comet analogy I really see is the burning brand. Moreover, I think the Drowned God is an epithet of the original Maiden of Light, so yes, I agree that we are dealing with a goddess.

 

First, given that the Ironborn probably migrated to Westeros before the Long Night, with or prior to the FM, they likely brought their original gods with them. Being from the GEotD (possibly), they would have come from a tradition of dual god worship – the Maiden-of-Light and the Lion of Night. Actually, it’s interesting that other coastal folk (the sea or rivers) in Westeros remember or once practiced this tradition. We have

 

 

The dual gods of the Sisters

“Storms were sacred on the Sisters before the Andals came. Our gods of old were the Lady of the Waves and the Lord of the Skies. They made storms every time they mated.

 

Durran Godsgrief’s sea god and the goddess of the wind

 

The Ironborn with their Drowned God and opposing Storm God.

 

The river gods of the Greenblood and of course the Mother River herself

“The Old Man of the River is a lesser god,” said Garin. “He was born from Mother River too, and fought the Crab King to win dominion over all who dwell beneath the flowing waters.”

 

In some cases, these gods are rivals, in others, like the dual sun gods of the dawn, man and wife who bear children. Most of these come from examples of folk who migrated from Essos before the LN so I think we have to consider the possibility that the MoL and LoN evolved into other gods over time. In fact, sea gods’ origins, which include the Lady of the Waves, Durran’s sea god and the drowned god, could be rooted in the MoL precisely because of her status as a sun or star. Her disappearance / not rising during the long night may have been perceived as drowning or entering the sea, especially for people located at the coast near the equator. The concept of a sun rising from the sea is documented in Greek mythology and the notion that this sun drowned or decided to rule the seas instead is not far-fetched at all. Indeed, we know man generally prefers to stick with his familiar gods; gods adapt and evolve according to humanity’s situation and needs.

 

Oceanus was the ocean-stream at the Equator in which floated the habitable hemisphere. Thus, the sun rises from the deep-flowing Oceanus in the east and at the end of the day sinks back into the Oceanus in the west. (Source)

 

 

In addition to one of the god-pair turning into a sea god, we also see the LoN aspect of these later gods: a wrathful nature, creating storms, sending lightning and so on. The dichotomy is reflected in the notion of benevolent / wrathful. My feeling is that these gods have their roots in the original pair, which evolved and changed over time to reflect the conditions imposed by the LN.

 

The nature of the Grey King himself also gives us reason to pause. He comes across as a Garth figure, a wise ruler who teaches his people how to make nets, build ships and improve their standard of living. I don’t see him as a BSE, AA figure. The timeline is uncertain, but he and his people may have been among the first royal fugitives from the GEotD, fleeing from deteriorating conditions in their homeland. ‘Slaying a dragon’ may be the only confusion in the legend – I could, but wound not necessarily attribute the sea-dragon to falling moon-rock, but not to the idea of Nissa Nissa = drowned goddess. Actually, I think the sea-dragon and the MoL are synonymous.  One reason I think this is the case, is the Grey King’s use of the fire he allegedly obtained from the sea dragon. He uses this fire to ‘warm his halls’. This fire does not seem to be connected to war; it sounds rather like the hot springs of Winterfell, employed to sustain life, rather than destroy it. The Grey King lived a long life and leaves of his own free will when he feels the time is right. It is only after this that strife breaks out. Note also the mermaid he takes to wife and the tapestries of silver seaweed hanging on his walls. LmL, you know my theory on weaving and everyone knows Patchface’s comments on merwives weaving gowns of silver seaweed (for more on this see the new linked essay in my signature). His mermaid wife in connection with the silver tapestries are indicative of ‘weaving the tapestry of life’. The fire he obtains from the sea dragon represents the life-prolonging source woven by his merwife. Don't forget that the fire is lost after his death, and his warm hall destroyed, at least internally.

 

 

If we can connect any of the Ironborn with AA or events leading to the LN, it’s the Goodbrothers we need to look at, imo.
You have listed all the suspicious sounding locations:

 

 

… and here we find a “Hammerhorn” keep. If that weren’t enough, cadet branches of House Goodbrother are found at places with such symbolically rich names as “Crow Spike Keep,” “Downdelving,” “Corpse Lake,” and “Shatterstone.”

 

  • Crow Spikes – the black meteors, which are described as crows and ravens
  • Down-Delving – the mines where they mine black iron (perhaps that of the sea dragon’s corpse), the downward trajectory of the falling meteors
  • Corpse Lake – the corpse of the moon goddess / sea dragon landed in the water
  • Shatterstone –  Pyke’s broken sword of land which shattered

 

 

 

After the Grey King’s death, all hell breaks loose. His 100 sons war on each other, only 16 survive to divide the islands amongst themselves. The Goodbrothers do not descend from the Grey King himself but from his ‘leal eldest brother’. Their role in the LN is unclear but the names of the locations speak volumes. Hammerhorn could be a reference to ‘calling down’ the Hammer of the Waters. Corpse Lake could represent the location of moon rock impact but it could also be a place where a great many people were slaughtered (akin to Brandon of the Bloody Blade / Red Lake). The crow-spikes irritate me for some reason – I wouldn’t call them meteors – I think they serve the function of antennae, or deflectors, perhaps. Think of the three-eyed-crow and the theory that corrupt greenseers played a role in bringing on the LN. If they brought on the catastrophe on purpose, they would have some means to monitor progress or deflect/discharge electrical storms, lightning etc. to protect themselves. I don’t think they intended to die in the inferno J. Think also of the convenient iron mines on the islands. What better place to shelter than in an underground ‘bunker’?

 

So, those are my thoughts on the sea goddess and the Grey King. I will discuss the thunderbolts in another post. 

 

ETA - The Goodbrothers live on Old Wyk. Many have noted the implication of the name Wyk, which could denote a watchtower or candle. My guess is a type of glass candle existed at that time, with Old Wyk being the location of one of these candles. It may even have been a green candle, from the green lands of Westeros, perhaps the master candle through which one could see through candles at other locations (this as a parallel to the palantir in the LotR). 

 

ETA - The Kraken vrs. the Sea-Dragon

We have the symbolism of these two creatures to consider as well. If the sea-dragon is really connected to living fire, rather than death and destruction, then she serves as an opposite to the kraken. The kraken has a negative profile in the books. I'm thinking of Balon and his war-mongering and references such as these:

 

 

“I have seen you in the nightfires, Victarion Greyjoy. You come striding through the flames stern and fierce, your great axe dripping blood, blind to the tentacles that grasp you at wrist and neck and ankle, the black strings that make you dance.”

 

 

 

The sea-stone chair we don't know much about. It's greasy black stone and could have been carved from corrupted moon rock, so that's another negative there. The kraken itself is portrayed as a life strangling thing, the evil puppet pulling the strings so to speak.

What does that make the sea-dragon, who is said to consume whole krakens? Could the sea-dragon really be a 'positive' symbol? I think so.  

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Great stuff man, really I don't know what to add. 

 

Invasion from the west really does fit into the whole shebang of dawn age mythology we are trying to unravel, it makes Iron Isles first contact point, which explains their uniqueness and difference from Oldtown and Starfall.

 

I think Theon is likely candidate for the Iron Born king brought by second moon destruction, if it happens, there are bunch of clues, and bunch of characters have desire to crown him. (As a way to annul the kingsmoot and get rid of Euron, it is foreshadowed by Aeron's exposition about history of kingsmoot)

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another spectacular essay. everyone should read this.
 
thanks for all the hard work.


Thanks for the thanks and the endorsement good ser! It is my pleasure. Playing mythological storm chaser is pretty fun. ;)

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As I have said before I thoroughly enjoy reading your essays and am always on the lookout for new topics from you, as well as the back and forth discussions on your essays. 

 

So...how many links does your chain contain now?? 6? 7? And are they all Bronze, or are there some Valyrian links here and there??? Surely there must be :)

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Iron is for raven craft, copper for astronomy, and Valyrian steel for the higher mysteries. I'm working on those certainly, but what I really want is in the vault... or at least it was, until my man stole the key... 

 

Now if you'll excuse me, I am late for for the star singing atop the scrying tower... 

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As I have said before I thoroughly enjoy reading your essays and am always on the lookout for new topics from you, as well as the back and forth discussions on your essays. 

 

So...how many links does your chain contain now?? 6? 7? And are they all Bronze, or are there some Valyrian links here and there??? Surely there must be :)

 

 

Now that I think about it, my links are made from moon egg, bloodstone, bottled lightning, waves of night and blood, frozen fire, and burning ice. 

It's not a very comfortable chain, to say the least. It's like a noose made of Vick's Vapor Rub. But the visions! Oh the visions...  :eek:

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Just really quick, the Last Hero slew Others with a dragon steel blade, not the NW. Only one dragon steel blade, wielded by a specific "hero."

Do you have the SSM about the dragon bonding / skinchanging thing? TY. Will respond more in a bit.

I shall seek out and find the SSM about the dragon bonding.  

 

Thanks for your responses.  Some of this I knew before from your previous essays and have forgotten (brain tends to take the summer off).  And I did miss that one about the Black Hole Moon, but I'll be reading it now.

 

No biggie about the Farwynd ship.  It could certainly be meant to go west.  As I said the blazon doesn't mention which view we're supposed to get. 

 

You're right that the CotF aren't known as builders, but I would not be surprised if they knew some things that apply across multiple disciplines and shared some of that knowledge with BtB.  Round trees to round towers isn't a stretch IMO.  Not saying they'd be the only option for this, just that they could be one of several sources for the info.  I don't know of the CotF ever being on the Iron Islands for example, so the towers of Pyke would have to have been built on the knowledge of somebody else.

 

I'm relieved to know that Planetos will still have a moon. :D

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Working on combing through all the SSMs (since I don't know the exact location of the pertinent info) but in the mean time I'll leave you with this bit from the wiki article on Dragonlords:

 

 

 

 They were called dragonlords because they could ride and control dragons, whom they controlled with whips, horns and sorcery.

 

and this quote from ConCarolinas in June of 2014:

 

 

Q: What can you tell us about a warg dragon rider?
 
A: There is no history/precedent for someone warging a dragon. There is a rich history of the mythical bond between dragon and rider.  There have been instances of dragons responding to their riders even from very far away (hmm) which shows it is a true and very strong bond. We will learn more about this. Keep reading (we hear “keep writing” from the back of the room).
 

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First if all, I'd like to recommend Evolett's newest essay. I particularly like the weaver aspect of the essay, and I think it's a rich concept which has several more essay's worth of analysis to do... I'm excited about the concept as i see it dovetailing into the ideas i have about greenseers which will come along in a couple essays from now.

 

Nice work, LmL, and still enjoyable on my second read, with some interesting new additions. My favourite would be the last chapter – Pirates from Asshai. Your thoughts reflect some of my own fledgling ideas on the subject of Ironborn descent. I think the ‘Deep Ones’ really refers to a sea-faring civilization, one that was quite advanced during its height, and the best circumstantial evidence for that is the GEotD’s location along the Jade Sea. That they commanded an advanced fleet and travelled far and wide is highly likely. I personally believe they also utilized dragons, though that has yet to be established. That said, these thoughts also give me reason to question some details of your theory, specifically the idea that Nissa Nissa represents the drowned god and your inclusion of the thunderbolt in the list of comet metaphors.

 

 

 

We have

·         Fire from a slain sea dragon (Grey King)

·         Fire from a thunderbolt (Grey King)

·         Fire from a burning brand (Drowned God)

 

The Ironborn myths are more misleading than confused, I would say. I believe these are three separate events; they do not tell the same story.  The only comet analogy I really see is the burning brand. Moreover, I think the Drowned God is an epithet of the original Maiden of Light, so yes, I agree that we are dealing with a goddess.

 

Well, to be honest, I'm a little disappointed that you seem to be dismissing an entire essay's worth of evidence and arguments that the concept of an island drowning sea dragon does in fact represent a meteor impacting in the ocean... without offering an alternative explanation for the sea dragon, or refuting any of the evidence I have put together.  I still love you dearly, so don't think I'm overly put out. :kiss:   I'm always open to different ideas about any given interpretation, so if you have an idea, feel free to share it.  However, I think the evidence for the sea dragon being a moon meteor is quite convincing (I have more of it that wouldn't fit in this essay). I also have an entire essay on the concept of moon drownings which was originally part of this essay... I might just post it here in the comments of this one, because in order to try to make a further argument in favor of this interpretation, as well as the lightning bolt (which I'm also fairly confident in), I'd just be rephrasing that essay, which is basically finished. The lightning bolt imagery is tied directly to the hammer of the waters, with the idea of Thor's hammer which dispenses lightning bolts being the common inspiration. 

Now, the reason you're chafing at some of my interpretation, I believe, is that the Grey King myth has conflicting ideas. I alluded to this when I spoke of the myth possibly consisting of two different people or agendas, but I didn't want to get bogged down in that during this essay. I have a different essay on the lighting bolts, the burning trees (remember the Storm God's thunderbolt set a tree ablaze), and the idea of the greenseers calling down the hammer - but again, I don't want to try to paraphrase my arguments there, so we'll just have to haggle over that in due time.

 

In short, what I see is the traces of a weirwood culture - I mean the huge weirwood circle kind of confirms that one existed at some time, although we don't know when. But the fact that the Grey King sat in a weirwood throne with a driftwood crown, and that the prophet Galon Whitestaff (who unified the Ironborn, installed the kings moot tradition, and outlawed civil war between ironborn) had a tall weirwood staff suggests that part of the Grey King myth may include a memory of human greenseers ruling as kings, as we have discussed in messages. I believe the idea of the driftwood crown comes from a weirwood "crown," one such as Brynden Rivers wears.  The Grey king sat in a weirwood throne in a circle of weirwood trees - and we do not know if trees died before, during, or after his reign. Lastly, his face sounds very like the description of the face in the black gate below the Nightfort, which Bran describes as a face that looks like someone who had lived a thousand years and never died, just as the Grey King and Durran are said to have done. 

 

In any case, that is the evidence for part of the Grey King myth deriving from a greenseer.  The idea of teaching ironborn to make ships and fish and whatnot may fit with this idea of a greenseer king, or maybe not. Those skills may derive from the pirates from Asshai. We don't know if the Grey King was a pirate - he's not said to have done any reaving whatsoever, only building ships. It's likely this shipbuilding idea relates to whoever managed to remember the craft after the Long Night ended and civilization began to reassert itself. This may have been a pirate, a native, or a son of a pirate who raped a native. ;) It's hard to say, but since we know there was a disaster, I interpret the parts about building, learning, etc to refer tot he time period after the LN. I'mnot sure if the Grey King was still alive at this point or not.. but it's not super important to my main premise in the OP, so I'm not too hung up on it. 

Remembering that we are told that "greenseers" called down the hammer of the waters, I have to wonder about the Grey King - because all of his stories involve calling down fire from the heavens. I'm telling you - that island drowning sea dragon can only be a dragon meteor falling into the ocean. :box:  There is so much evidence of this - the sword plunging into the bowels of the ocean, all the moon drowning references in Ironborn sigils and chapters... anyway, the Grey King may be a greenseer who called down fire from heaven. That fits the description of the greenseers who caused the hammer - because I have never been able to believe that the cotf would do that. Never. Before I figured any of this crap out, I never bought that for a second. I'll have all those arguments organized in my hammer of the waters essay, but my position is that it was human greenseers abusing the magical gift of the cotf who caused the comet - moon collision. Azor Ahai might have been one such. And yes, I think there were greenseers of some kind in the GEotD. 

 

Which brings me to Azor Ahai and the "monomyth" of ASOIAF.   Azor Ahai killed a moon maiden and caused meteors to fall from heaven, just like the Grey King. And just like Durran Godsgrief - he stole a goddess from heaven and triggered a huge storm that killed almost everyone. That, I believe is a reference to the hammer of the Waters event, because that event would have produced a truly horrific, once in a millennia type of tsunami - and we have a myth in the area of a huge tsunami, in the dawn age. That's a match, as far as I am concerned (again, I have a ton more evidence for this). Elenei is the daughter of the sea and wind gods, so that makes her very mermaid like. The Grey King also married a mermaid.

 

The stories are all the same - pulling down the fire from heaven, which is also pulling a goddess down from heaven. That's our fallen moon goddess. They all have the dual-edged fighting and fucking metaphor - the sun impregnates the moon and they have offspring on one hand, but the sun also kills the moon on the other. I've discussed this idea at length in most of my essays, so I hope everyone is familiar with it by now. It has to do with all the comparisons between the birthing bed and the battlefield, between birth and death. The childbirth death of so many mothers of dragon-blooded people. One one side is a murdr story, and on the other one of sacrifice. That's the true essence of the Lightbringer myth, in my opinion. All of these stories have it - Grey King kills the sea dragon - the drowned moon goddess - but also weds the mermaid. He possess nagga's fire, makes use of her carcass. What kind of use, good or ill? Hard to say, but for the ironborn at least it was useful. Durran married Elenei, but also doomed her to a mortal death in doing so. During their wedding - the fucking - the gods brought the storm of storms - the fighting. 

One more for the list - Ser Galladon of Morne. The maiden herself (an allusion to the moon via the constellation Virgo as the "moon maiden" in George's universe) "lost her heart" to Ser Galladon (implying love and death both, and Nissa Nissa's heart-stabbing), and gave him a magic sword. A magic sword - she lost her heart give Galladon a magic sword. I mean, that's the same story, yet again. As we have discussed, the concept of the "just maid" is an allusion to Virgo, the virgin, holding the scales of Libra (the "just" implication). We've also seen the "moon crown the moonmaid" constellation in a chapter with an astronomy metaphor, futher associating the two. Point is - this is the monomyth of Westeros. I don't even know what the ramifications of that are - are they all talking about the same person? A group of people? Some of both? It'shard to say... Hugor Hill had stars pulled own to make his crown, and married a watery goddess maiden.. but he's almost certainly not Azor Ahai, so I'm not sure what's up with that. But the Grey King has a lot of evidence tying his story and the Iron Islands directly to the invasion of the Asshai people, as we have seen, so it's more tempting to draw a connection between those parts of the Grey King myth i highlighted and the AA / "greenseers who cracked & drowned the moon" story. 

 

---

 

As for your analysis concerning the dualistic perception of divinities - yes, I agree with most of that, and thanks for the great thoughts here. However, where you went off track (imo) is when you started taking about the sun drowning. The sun does not drown in any of the metaphors. The moon drowns - about a thousand times, it seems - but never, ever does the sun drown, that I can recall (and that's the sort of thing I watch for). You idea of disappearing on the horizon is interesting, but I don't see any text to support the idea.  Just wait until i unleash my small army of moon drowning and moon floating scenes- they are quite compelling when you line them up. 

 

The maiden (the sun) hid her face during the Long Night. That's clear enough - the sun did not shine in any meaningful way for years on end... we already knew that to be the case, so it's not hard to decipher the maiden of light hiding her face. Unless you completely reject my entire theory, then we know what that refers to - the nuclear winter / cloud cover of the post-impact Planetos. It's the moon that drowns - and the moon is a goddess, the wife of the sun, it is known. ;) Again, unless you reject the fundamental concept of my theory, we know that the destroyed moon is identified with Nissa Nissa. The moon that drowned is the part of the moon which landed in the sea - that's all pretty straightforward. So even without ANY Ironborn myth, we already know that we have a drowned goddess. And lo and behold, their myth is full of fire from heaven, drowned fire, etc. 

Dany, symbolic of Nissa Nissa if anyone is, "drowns"  (immerses) herself in the Womb of the World right in the middle of a moon drowning metaphor (the shattering and reforming one), and later in the same book, Dany herself feels torn to scraps and remade, after floating on a black sea that knew no shore. I thought that section was particularly convincing, myself... but see here I am, referring to stuff in the next essay... I think I am just going to put it here as soon as I have a chance, as it really goes hand in glove with this one. 

 

The last bit of defending myself I will do (chuckle) is the crow spike meteors. You're gonna have to fight me for that one - the crows and ravens as meteors metaphors are some of the most clear and important ones in the series. I laid out some of the evidence for that towards the end of Black Hole Moon, where the ravens erupted in a black cloud and blotted out the moon, as well as the section where their black as night feathers are compared to the abyss and other light drinking things. We've seen that the maester's link for raven craft is black iron, and we've seen the comet and the both ravens used as messengers, and even compared to each other directly in that capacity by maester Cressen. We've seen that the comet is even called "the sword that slays the seasons," and the messenger which announces the turn of the seasons is of course the white raven.

 

I have an entire essay coming on this topic as well, as it really all relates to the ravens of Odin, Apollo, (whose myth actually associated the ravens as meteors), and the Mithraic sun god, as well as the concept of the Yggdrasil world tree, all of which are inspirations for George's concept of the greenseer. The weirwood and Yggdrasil represent the world tree, a very common mythological archetype. The idea is that the roots exist in the underworld (think of Beric's cave and Bloodraven's cave), the trunk exists on the surface realm of man, and the branches hold up the heavens. Therefore, everything in the branches is a heavenly object. That is why the weirwood leaves and the ravens are constantly, constantly used as meteors in these metaphors. I will die on this hill any day. 

 

That doesn't mean there aren't other layers to the meaning of ravens - but here in this list of cadet houses of Goodbrother, "crow spike keep" kind of has to be just what it sounds like. Spikes and crows are both descriptive of meteors, and in the scene with Aeron at the Hammerhorn keep, the iron battlements claw at the moon, tying the iron spikes to pulling down the moon, which the word "hammerhorn" does as well. All of the symbolism around house Goodbrother - every bit of it - fits in with the already established lexicon of astronomy motifs, so it seems odd to interpret "crow spikes" as anything but moon meteors.

 

You might wrangle further meaning from it - since the lightning (moon meteor)  is associated with burning trees, we might have a metaphor for killing greenseers. When Bran is falling in his dream, he is falling towards spikes with impaled dreamers - and the crow is serving as a metaphor for greenseers in that very scene, with Bloodraven appearing as a crow. Therefore, we might interpret the crow spike meteors as specifically ones that killed trees or greenseers or both. These would be rebel greenseers (the AA crowd) summoning fire from heaven which killed the "earth friendly" greenseers, symbolized by the burning trees.

 

Or perhaps the burning trees represent the AA greenseers, who have transformed vie fire magic like Mel - burning tree, fire magic-using greenseer. Perhaps the lightning (moon meteor) setting fire to a tree symbolizes the transformation of the AA greenseers via the black bloodstone meter magic. I.e., they somehow cause the collision, then use the black meteors to work dark magic, just as the Bloodstone Emperor was said to have done, and this is what enables the shadow binder fire transformation that Mel is undergoing. Something like that. 

 

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The kracken and the leviathan are indeed old mythological enemies. So let's talk about this idea of the Grey King myth being a mix of different ideas or people. I think the greenseer half of the Grey King must be native to Westeros, because the pirates from Asshai seem to have come during the Long Night, and I am pretty sure the trees died at the fall of the long night, when the meteors fell. Ergo, any pro-weirwood culture would be pre-LN and likely pre-BSE. I tend to suspect the Grey King existed before the Long Night, at least in part, or more generally, that SOMEONE existed on the iron islands before the LN, and that would be the weirwood culture that planted the circle of 44 weirwoods on Old Wyck. But the part of the Grey King myth which fits with the Azor Ahai / universal sun-moon-comet myth, about him slaying the sea dragon, calling down the lighting, and burning weirwood trees, seem kind of OPPOSITE to what a weirwood culture would do. 

The last thing to consider is that we both agree that there are some group of renegade greenseers, the ones who caused the moon destruction. Azor Ahai is in this group if anyone is, especially if I am right that he is also the Bloodstone Emperor. So, if AA and his Deep Ones pirates (I like your idea there) invaded at Oldtown and the Iron Islands in some order, then we have our explanation for the parts of the Grey Kind myth which sound like Azor Ahai.

 

I think we see this dichotomy throughout ironborn history, actually. Galen Whitestaff I mentioned already - he is a civilizer and a teacher and a uniter, and he carries the weirwood staff to smite the ungodly. He's all about the driftwood crown.

 

But before that we have the quarrelsome and murderous salt and rock kings, who wore iron crowns, I believe (Theon talks about his father donning the ancient crown of salt and rock, which is separately called a black iron crown). These folks butchered each other in an orgy of kinslaying - AA was a kinslayer if he is the BSE and Nissa Nissa is the Amethyst Empress, as I have proposed. The salt and rock kings are the source of the dark tales of the black, soul-drinking weapons which I alluded to in the essay.  They were "Togon the Terrible," "Dagon Drumm the Necromancer" (the BSE was a necromancer), Hrothgar of Pyke and his kracken-summoning horn, and Balon Blackskin, whose skin was so hard none could harm him. They are called demons and wolves of the sea. 

 

Similarly, the driftwood kings (and the prohibition of ironborn killing ironborn) ended with the evil Uroon Redhand, who murdered 13 kings and 50 priests on Old Wyck after summoning everyone there for a kings moot. Now I think this has clues about other things, because we should see this as a blood sacrifice in a weirwood circle (albeit a dead one), but I digress. After Urron Redhand they are the Iron Kings. The crown became black iron, for a fact, at this point. Democracy and kings moots were over as well (if you think about it, the kingsmoots were actually the most progressive form of govt in westeros, excepting the cotf). Primogeniture was in. 

 

The black blood line of House Hoare would be on the iron crown, pirates from Asshai side. The anti-weirwood side. Blackblood is of course all about the moon and fire magic and fire magic'ed people, as I hope I have made clear, so it's no surprise to see Azor Ahai clues in the black blood line (which I have found).

 

But in any case, that's the gist of what I am seeing - and I believe something along these lines may explain the weirdness you were pointing at in the Grey King myths. It'skind of like we have the pro-earth greenseers, and the corrupted, black-blood associated Azor Ahai greenseers. The latter group would be the ones who caused the moon destruction, of course.  

 

 

ETA: it's probable that the GEotD had come to Westeros in more peaceable fashion before the BSE did his Blood Betrayal. I think the fused stone fortress at battle Isle was probably built before the BSE... so the pro weirwood culture could be GEotD peoples, the "men who came before the first men." Again, we have the possibility of greenseers on two opposing sides, those who keep the cotf laws and those do not. 

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Working on combing through all the SSMs (since I don't know the exact location of the pertinent info) but in the mean time I'll leave you with this bit from the wiki article on Dragonlords:

 

 

 

 

and this quote from ConCarolinas in June of 2014:

 

 

 

Unless there is more, I don't interpret this to be ruling out the possibility of the dragon bond being related to greenseer magic. It doesn't seem that the dragonlords skinchange their dragons - that's not what I am suggesting. I am suggesting that the GEotD was using greenseer magic of some sort when they bonded with dragons. It may have been mutated, akin to the magic that might have created the Others - a one time act of magic used for the "wrong" purpose. Or maybe the original dragon bond WAS skinchanging, but the Bloodstone Emperor, who seems to have generally twisted all of the GEotD magic and culture, warped or twisted this bond into the "blood of the dragon" crossbreeding experiments, whatever those were. The Valyrians would be using the BSE's form of the GEotD magic, so they used binding spells and those awful, awful horns. 

 

It's possible the targaryens went back to an older version of dragonbonding once they came to Westeros - the targaryens are never said to have used or possessed on of those horns. They had to consensually bond with their dragons - the dragons can choose to say "no," or even "you look appetizing." Those dragon horns are basically psychic rape. 

 

George's quote almost seems to imply that warging a dragon COULD in fact happen, just that it hasn't in known history. Of course if anyone does this, it will be Jon or Bran.

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