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LmL

Astronomy of Ice and Fire: the Language of Leviathan

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The Starks have ice in their blood, it is known. I definitely consider it possible that heir past is a bit darker than some might think. 
 
There's a chance that the Starks descend from Azor Ahai, as weird as that is, if indeed AA = the NK. The Night's Queen is the spitting image of the ice moon maiden, and Nissa Nissa represents the fire moon of course. So, if AA first took Nissa Nissa to wife, who should be next? An ice moon maiden. NK was a warrior without peer. And there's one thing about the Others which nobody ever talks about... 
 
Why are their eyes blue stars? Blue stars are the hottest type of star, and the Others have burning star eyes. That indicates an inner fire, doesn't it? The ice dragons are supposed to breath cold, some kind of active cold that is more like a chilled version of fire. Perhaps that's what happened - if a fire warrior sleeps with an ice priestess, and the ice priestess sucks his shadow away a la Stannis and Mel, you create white shadows with inner fire?
 
Just speculating here. We are beyond the horizon line of the things I have researched more thoroughly. 


On the NK lineage. The confusion with the Starks already being descended from a GeoDawnian is that this would make Jon less "special" - he's meant to be the big ice/fire mix.

Jon is precisely one the things that's pushing me towards seeing the Stark bloodline as inherently separate from the Dayne/Hightower/GeoDawnian bloodline. Then, when you look at what this would mean, the association of GeoDawnians with fire (passed on to their scions, the Targaryens) hints that what's special about the Starks is the ice in their blood.

This is just recapping, but it hints that the Starks stand apart, including from other First Men (as evidenced, for example, by the fact that Aegon V's half-Blackwood kids weren't a full match for the PtwP despite their mixed Targ-FM heritage).

Starting pretty much from Bran I in AGOT, we're conditioned to see the Starks as the quintessential First Men (not just an example, but the leading example) - so everything we learn about them is likely to be interpreted through that cultural lens. It's a handy trick for making your readers blind to some of the glaring discrepancies in the "Starks the brave and true" narrative. Just consider how you'd interpret the title "King of Winter" in the context of the danger of the Others and the LN, if it didn't come already attached to the "hero" Starks?

So I suppose the NK may be a Stark-only expression of the AA/BSE archetype, rather than being AA himself, or a son/descendant. If the LN was an event associated with the corruption of power (as shown in the BSE) then the NK story may be just a parallel of the BSE's acts that unfolded in the north of Westeros.

To maintain that AA=BSE=NK in a literal sense, he'd have to have fallen both at Battle Isle, and at the Wall. I guess he could have been sent to the Wall after his defeat, but given the enormity of the conflict, is this likely? Then, once at the Wall, the NK re-enacts his previous acts blow by blow: usurping kingship, cavorting with an "other" woman, unspeakable crimes etc. It's perhaps too a repetitive story for a single character.

Instead, there might be a fire corruption / ice corruption parallel (in both cases motivated by seeking power / immortality), with both unfolding in devastatingly similar ways: the GeoDawnian BSE (who's tied to dragons) on one hand, and the Stark who became the NK (gaining his power through his association with the Others) on the other.

They may have clashed and destroyed each other in the Battle for the Dawn, but that was a temporary solution until the PtwP comes to unite the ice and fire bloodlines. And perhaps purge the corruption (ice and fire in his blood destroy each other) - in a symbolic way, representing the hope for a path beyond the cycle of destruction initiated by the Long Night usurpation/disharmony. But it's a flimsy hope.

The Other's eyes: long story short, there's a big mystery/lie/deception behind the Others, that's what their eyes mean. Same with death and the stars. Stars and the eyes of death are blue sapphires, which are associated with mystery in the book. The funny thing is that "sapphire" means "blue stone", and originally referred not to the gemstone but to the stone now known as lapis lazuli. The Bible itself was mistranslated for centuries by using "sapphire" when the original text meant "lapis lazuli". This is where the secret/mystery thing comes in again: sapphires are used to hide things in plain "sight" (heh).

I suspect the "deception" hinted at by the blue eyes is a very basic one, and its metaphysical rather than literal: the eyes of death are not what we think they are. Death / winter / the Others are not who we think they are. In the sense that they're not "evil" as may be tempting to think (they are forces of nature), but also that for all the hatred of the Others, we should remember that the Stranger is one of the faces of the Seven. It's a deception to stoke hatred against the Others for being evil harbingers of death, while still worshipping the god of death you claim they serve. It's clear cognitive dissonance.

The other aspect to the eyes is surely a nod to shadow fire / coldness: if a shadow is the absence of light, shadow fire is the absence of heat. Or more likely, its opposite. So breathing shadow fire suggests somehow spreading coldness equivalent to the heat created by dragonflame. This may indeed be the "evil special cold" the Others bring (versus the normal cold of winter, which they follow).

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The tricky thing here is that the the "Storm God" seem to have much in common with the dragons - it'a the storm god who flings the thunderbolt, the fire from heaven, and the ravens are "servants of the storm god."  Euron serves the Storm God, and he's playing the role of conquering pirate / BSE, I believe. Dragons are "fire and air," so I think those two go together, but it's hard to say what the rules are. But as for the horned man, that's a very complex symbol. Remember that the greenseers are supposed to have called down the hammer, but the BSE caused the Long Night. If the BSE AA was a horned greenseer, the dark version of Garth, thence might have an explanation for those two different ideas about who caused the Long Night. The point is that the symbolism of the Baratheons is tricky to decode - there are three of them, and they all go through different kinds of transitions.  But as far as the idea of Robert as the one who wields a war hammer, this would be the greenseer who represents the ones who called down the Hammer of the Waters. Robert, as a horned god, does not represent cotf... he's much more like a sacred order of green men horned person.  Robert is also the most famous "usurper" in the books - that's basically his nickname, "the usurper." That would put him in the role of BSE. In other words, Robert represents the Bloodstone Emperor (Azor Ahai) AND the sacred order of green men stag person, and he wields the hammer in all the symbolically relevant places.  This would all make sense if Azor Ahai was a horned greenseer, wouldn't it?

 

Renly goes even farther with this, with his dark green armor and golden horned helm really making him look like a green man (they had green skin and antlers). But "resurrected" Renly's horns are blazing with fire, and he leads an army of demons - against his brother Stannis. So who's who here? Is Stannis the Night's King, or Azor Ahai? He's kind of like AA turning into the NK, so it's hard to say. But Renly with his golden flaming antlers and green armor leading a host of demons sure sounds like AA the fiery greenseer. 

 

We are told about two version of ancient Garth the Green - one where he is sacrificed every year touring the spring, and another one where he DEMANDS sacrifice instead to turn the seasons. Perhaps we have two horned gods, kind of like an Oak King and Holly King situation. 

 

One last thing - when we are decoding metaphors with Ironborn, we may need to stop and determine if it is talking about the conquering ironborn or the native ironborn.

 

 

It's easier to figure out who is who if we consider the three brothers in terms of the three main themes of the story: Dragons / Others / A sword.

Robert the 'Usurper' then becomes a dragonslayer, Renly, who 'rises from the dead', eats the peach of immortality, sporting fiery antlers and leading a host of demons is the Horned Lord, leader/force behind the Others and Stannis is Azor Ahai, the man who forges a lightbringer sword to save the world. Mel is Stannis' Nissa Nissa - she puts the magic into the sword (or claims to do so); Stannis has the fiery heart as part of his sigil, symbolizing Nissa Nissa's heart. 

 

Robert in the role of a dragonslayer is interesting because it puts him in the company of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, Ser Galladon of Morne and the Grey King. This raises the question of whether Robert represents the BSE and if we can call him a Usurper at all. Robert's reputation as a Usurper really only stems from Targaryen (dragon) loyalists and supporters, as well as Viserys and Dany herself. Robert actually rids the realm of Aerys, whose character and actions are more in line with that of the BSE's. Joffery is another candidate for a Usurper - he is a bastard with no legal right to the throne and also has all the makings of 'BSE. So something to think about there.

 

Azor Ahai and the Night's King are two sides of the same coin, imo. I think the clue to this is the constellation 'The Smith', known to the wildlings as 'The Thief'. Azor Ahai, the smith and warrior, forges a sword with the help of his willing wife, Nissa Nissa. According to legend he drives his sword through her heart, which gives the sword a soul (all her strength etc go into the sword, it's warm and alive with light). This part of the legend could simply be a metaphor for a loving sex act - think of Brandon's words - a bloody sword is a beautiful thing.

By contrast, what does the NK do? He steals a woman - he sees this beautiful woman with blue eyes, chases her, catches her and loves her. He steals her and makes her his wife like the wildlings do. When he loves her, he gives her his seed and his soul. This act of procreation doesn't create warm, strengthening spiritual energy - it creates a shadow, as proven by Mel when Stannis gives her his seed and part of his soul. 

So I would say Stannis' story shows us two sides of the coin and for the rest of the story, we probably have to look elsewhere. 

 

 

Applying the threesome - dragons / others / swords to the Grey KIng makes the Grey king a dragonslayer (slaying the sea-dragon), an Other creator (tricking the Storm God for lightning/destroying a tree), and with the burning brand, (the sword), the Ironborn go forth into the world with fire and sword. 

 

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

 

 

I think the Dothraki offer further insights into what conditions were like during the latter days of the GEotD. Their warring ways, destroying numerous cities, enslaving people mirror Old Valyria and probably by extension also parallel the GEotD. Mirri MD slays the 'Stallion who mounts the world', essentially a dragon king. Did MMD see Rhaego as a reincarnation of the BSE?

 

So who caused the Long Night? Was it the BSE or a dragonslayer Garth figure like Robert in an attempt to end the wickedness in the world? In the narrative we have unRenly and his host marching against his brother Stannis (Azor Ahai). The Others could thus be seen as a counter attack by the 'dragon loyalists' against Azor Ahai and the rest of the world. 

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The three Baratheon brothers are fertile ground for sure.

I like the "resurrected" Renly referencing the leader who comes back from the dead - definitely a whiff of NK and BSE and their necromancy. Consider also that Renly is the literal "envious younger [sibling]" of Stannis the true heir (accepting Robert's legitimacy). Renly even goes to great pains to set out that his claim to the throne is completely opportunistic and pragmatic, and expressly overrides Stannis's legitimacy. Sounds like the actions of the BSE for sure.

It also makes me think of the "resurrected" Astapori king for the same purpose. Especially the "rotting flesh and maggots inside the armour" imagery.

As for who the usurper really is - Robert took a crown that wasn't his, through rebellion. He's the usurper, regardless of Aerys's actions. The fact that he's also a liberator in a sense is probably reinforcing the fact that there's no black and white characters here. Including the BSE.

As for Nissa Nissa's sacrifice: there's a definite sex metaphor there, but it seems to be about procreation, rather than love. The sacrifice is the mother's death in subsequent childbirth (but the sword, the child, has her strength).

And there's an even more sinister aspect to her sacrifice, re whether it was fully willing. The story says AA asked NN to bare he breast, and then says she did this "but I don't know why"; it's a scrambled story with a marker for something fishy going on, but it looks like Nissa Nissa was an unwilling / tricked sacrifice. She was wronged, usurped, if you will - robbed of something that was rightfully hers (her life) by her (brother-)husband. Also just think of all that "woman-stealing" imagery we get as well. It's pretty sinister.

When the myths blame the BSE's and the NK's actions on their foreign women, that's a pretty standard real world thing (and referenced again and again in Westerosi history). If the "foreign" woman archetype is the same as the "usurped/sacrificed wife" archetype...

I don't know, the two female archetypes might be separate, set up in contrast to each other (eg the two moon wives of the sun: the one that the sun betrays and casts down (the broken moon) and the one who remains, but is the object of suspicion/blame for what happened).

Hmm... Hmm hmm hmm. Almost like we're talking about Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys. The beloved wife who is sacrificed for the sake of her brother-husband's fiery war on Westeros. The second, magic-heavy wife who is blamed for all sorts of dark deeds; who is also very austere and cold (unlike the vivacious fiery first wife).

Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys already symbolise the "three heads" of the dragon, in that they are each one of the three moon meteors. Rhaenys is the first to go and dies very early (the meteor that burst into a meteor shower), leaving the other two to make the real "impact" on Westeros. But Rhaenys is the progenitor of all the subsequent Targs (perhaps without Aegon's involvement, making her the sole Targ matriarch): quite a meteor/dragon shower she unleashed indeed.

I guess as the key moment in Westerosi history, GRRM packed the Conquest with all the imagery there is.

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That's really great LPC, I have done a whole breakdown of Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys and parts of the conquest and I see it shaking out exactly as you say here. Rhaenys does first, and her dragon is shot in the eye like the Serwyn story (which I believe is another version of the collision story). The Hill of Rhaenys has the dragonpit, which is burned and destroyed, and Visenya's hill has the sept of baelor, white marble and crystal everything (the Others use crystal swords).

I have see a few metaphors which make me think the "three forgings" pattern ALSO applies to he landing spots of the three meteors, so your idea about that is interesting. :)

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It's easier to figure out who is who if we consider the three brothers in terms of the three main themes of the story: Dragons / Others / A sword.
Robert the 'Usurper' then becomes a dragonslayer, Renly, who 'rises from the dead', eats the peach of immortality, sporting fiery antlers and leading a host of demons is the Horned Lord, leader/force behind the Others and Stannis is Azor Ahai, the man who forges a lightbringer sword to save the world. Mel is Stannis' Nissa Nissa - she puts the magic into the sword (or claims to do so); Stannis has the fiery heart as part of his sigil, symbolizing Nissa Nissa's heart. 
 
Robert in the role of a dragonslayer is interesting because it puts him in the company of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, Ser Galladon of Morne and the Grey King. This raises the question of whether Robert represents the BSE and if we can call him a Usurper at all. Robert's reputation as a Usurper really only stems from Targaryen (dragon) loyalists and supporters, as well as Viserys and Dany herself. Robert actually rids the realm of Aerys, whose character and actions are more in line with that of the BSE's. Joffery is another candidate for a Usurper - he is a bastard with no legal right to the throne and also has all the makings of 'BSE. So something to think about there.
 
Azor Ahai and the Night's King are two sides of the same coin, imo. I think the clue to this is the constellation 'The Smith', known to the wildlings as 'The Thief'. Azor Ahai, the smith and warrior, forges a sword with the help of his willing wife, Nissa Nissa. According to legend he drives his sword through her heart, which gives the sword a soul (all her strength etc go into the sword, it's warm and alive with light). This part of the legend could simply be a metaphor for a loving sex act - think of Brandon's words - a bloody sword is a beautiful thing.
By contrast, what does the NK do? He steals a woman - he sees this beautiful woman with blue eyes, chases her, catches her and loves her. He steals her and makes her his wife like the wildlings do. When he loves her, he gives her his seed and his soul. This act of procreation doesn't create warm, strengthening spiritual energy - it creates a shadow, as proven by Mel when Stannis gives her his seed and part of his soul. 
So I would say Stannis' story shows us two sides of the coin and for the rest of the story, we probably have to look elsewhere. 
 
 
Applying the threesome - dragons / others / swords to the Grey KIng makes the Grey king a dragonslayer (slaying the sea-dragon), an Other creator (tricking the Storm God for lightning/destroying a tree), and with the burning brand, (the sword), the Ironborn go forth into the world with fire and sword. 
 

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

 
 
I think the Dothraki offer further insights into what conditions were like during the latter days of the GEotD. Their warring ways, destroying numerous cities, enslaving people mirror Old Valyria and probably by extension also parallel the GEotD. Mirri MD slays the 'Stallion who mounts the world', essentially a dragon king. Did MMD see Rhaego as a reincarnation of the BSE?
 
So who caused the Long Night? Was it the BSE or a dragonslayer Garth figure like Robert in an attempt to end the wickedness in the world? In the narrative we have unRenly and his host marching against his brother Stannis (Azor Ahai). The Others could thus be seen as a counter attack by the 'dragon loyalists' against Azor Ahai and the rest of the world. 

Evolett, I had a thought today while reflecting on many of these issues, specifically the idea of characters who play different roles (sun, moon, comet, etc) at different times, or transition between different roles. What about the mesoamerican concept of the sun god as a position that different gods occupy? In their myth, a God serves as the sun for a time, then is destroyed by cataclysm. A different God takes up the task of being the new sun.

If the "king" is the sun - even when a female like Dany is Queen or Khaleesi, it's still the solar king - then what we have is a dragon sun age, followed by a stag sun age, followed by a lion sun, etc. Up north we have the winter sun, the King of Winter (Robb has all the typical AA solar King symbolism going on, but he's also got heavy doses of King of Winter symbolism). This might explain why various people become fiery - they can't all be Azor Ahai, right?

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btw EVOLETT I am interested in your idea about different kinds of sea monsters. I'm quite sold on the sea dragon = leviathan thing, but the kraken is certainly a different beast.  The sea dragon was pulled down, and rose from the waves, but the kraken PULLS things down.  That's what it is famous for. And as I said, there is a kind of mythological opposition between the sea dragon and the kraken thourgh the mythology of Cancer, the crab. The crab is well known for fighting with the Hydra against hercules - and George has replicated this by making House Celtigar, the "other, other" Valyrian blooded house, a kind of adjunct to House Targaryen. Cancer's other story involves fighting a vampire squid while guarding Poseidon's sea nymph daughters. Check it out, it's pretty interesting.  

 

Anyway, is the kraken is symbolic of the puller-downer of dragons, that should be the naughty greenseers, right? 

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That's really great LPC, I have done a whole breakdown of Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys and parts of the conquest and I see it shaking out exactly as you say here. Rhaenys does first, and her dragon is shot in the eye like the Serwyn story (which I believe is another version of the collision story). The Hill of Rhaenys has the dragonpit, which is burned and destroyed, and Visenya's hill has the sept of baelor, white marble and crystal everything (the Others use crystal swords).

I have see a few metaphors which make me think the "three forgings" pattern ALSO applies to he landing spots of the three meteors, so your idea about that is interesting. :)

Ooh the dragon-in-the-eye thing, I like it. Urrax/Meraxes, even sounds similar (the same root at least).

It's a bit of a reversal - first they're they meteors, and then they play out the firemoon-wife sacrifice.

Now that I think about it, Dany is a "child of three". And despite Euron's claim that he is the first storm and the last, we know that Dany is the Stormborn. To tie it back to the language of the leviathan, the "storm" is the Long Night. Dany Storm(re)born, as an embodiment of the Long Night itself, is indeed a "child of three": the three meteors that brought the Storm/Long Night. The visions she gets in the "daughter of death" bit are: Viserys's fiery death (land strike), Rhaegar's watery death (all with rubies/meteors from his body flying into the water) and the Rhaego that could have been (the burning city / conflagration imagery). ETA: easily overlooked that each of the three men was a figurative dragon, much like meteors are portrayed.

The Long Night was not only the child of three (meteors), but also the daughter of death (born of the death of her mother the firemoon at the hands of her father the sun (king)). Rhaella's death in childbirth, the fiery sacrifice that preceded Dany's conception, the rape of Rhaella itself: all pointing to Dany being the dark outcome of her father's deeds, much like the Long Night was.

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That's all terrific LPC. I just noticed that the conception of Dany was that horrible account of rape in TWOIAF (or re-noticed, as it were). That combined with the idea of the "greatest storm in Weterosi" history raging outside the castle on Dragonstone while she was born fits the bill. A storm which rages around a dragon-stone landing in black water. A violent conception, and violent delivery. That certainly seems an intentional choice and no coincidence.

All of Dany's dream sequences and visions have astronomy double meanings... I started breaking down part of Dany's wake the dragon dream sequence in an essay I am writing, but it quickly grew and I knew I had to split it off into a separate essay. I'm going to start posting shorter essays occasionally which are simply breaking down one very complex metaphorical scene, piece by piece.

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You know, I always assumed that was a case of sea level rise, but you could be right. I do think sea level has risen since the Long Night - the entire planet seems to be warming, and large parts of the east are drying out. I think this is due to the severing of the land bridge at the Arm of Dorne, because prior to that severing, the Shivering Sea and Summer Sea did not connect.

The isolation of the Shivering Sea likely means that the northern hemisphere would have been very, very cold indeed. I suspect everything above the neck would have been more like the far north in this time.

The Long Night was a kind of nuclear winter, when it got very cold for a short time, but after this cleared up, the planet seems to have been warming. That's stands to reason, as ocean currents have a HUGE effect on climate, and George has intentionally designed a land bridge which is placed in a position to isolate the seas from one another.

The 1,000 islands have stone carvings below the tideline - if this were real archeology, we'd say that indicates they were carved before the sea level rise to cover the elevation. That's likely the case here, but we can't rule out more exotic explanations because this is fantasy fiction.

The other notable thing is that the inhabitants are fish-like people, which fits with fishy people on Toad Isle in the Basilisks, the Sisterton fishy people, and the stories of Ironborn descent from Deep Ones. I certainly think all these fishy culottes indicate that Deep Ones did interbreed with humans - but I don't think it was pleasant. those 1000 people are TERRIFIED of the water. Mithras has pointed out that it may be the case that those fishy stone idols under the tideline might exist as a warning to the people living on the islands. "Don't come back in the water or we will fuck your shit up." The Seastone Chair was originally found on the shore of Old Wyck - perhaps it's a similar deal. Left on the shore by Deep Ones as a warning.

 

The ocean currents seems promising.

 

Yet the Shivering sea wouln`t be isolated from warm currents.. since we know Planetos is round, and Essos is not joined to the "lands of always winter".. therefore the shivering sea should be joined with the sunset sea/summer sea.

 

yet there is a clear desertificacion in Essos.. the Silver Sea, the Red Waste, the Great Sand Sea, the shrinking sea, and everything east of the five forts.. the corruption of the Heart of Summer/Fire could be related to this.

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The ocean currents seems promising.

 

Yet the Shivering sea wouln`t be isolated from warm currents.. since we know Planetos is round, and Essos is not joined to the "lands of always winter".. therefore the shivering sea should be joined with the sunset sea/summer sea.

 

yet there is a clear desertificacion in Essos.. the Silver Sea, the Red Waste, the Great Sand Sea, the shrinking sea, and everything east of the five forts.. the corruption of the Heart of Summer/Fire could be related to this.

 

True enough; I only meant that they weren't connected on that side of the world. And for our purposes - talking about global climate - this would have huge ramifications.  For example, if the Atlantic current system which keeps Europe warm were to change use to climate change or anything else, Europe would soon resemble Russia and Canada. The Narrow Sea allows warm water from the Summer Sea to enter the Shivering Sea, so I would guess that before the arm was broken, Westeros might have been even colder. I doubt anyone lived north of the Neck before Winterfell was founded, but that's only speculation. Most of the Dawn Age / Age of Heroes stuff we hear about is in the south except for the Last Hero story. 

 

On a different line of inquiry, what the hell is up with Moat Cailin anyway? It's very likely to predate the Long Night, imo, judging on its current state - it looks like an earthquake leveled it. Something tremendously violent. The symbolic clues suggest it was destroyed when the Hammer of the Waters broke the Arm and the Neck. But I want to know who built it and why? Was it always meant to defend the north from the south? If it is a Dawn Age construction, then who the fuck was in the North back then building giant fortresses out of giant black hewn stone blocks? The construction is very similar to Yeen. And the black basalt blocks of Moat Cailin are described as being covered in a fine black oil in ADWD, so they may be oily black stone. 

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What's fantastic is that Vuk came to the same conclusion about that bit that I did, without looking at my reasoning. That's actually even better than someone reading my analysis and agreeing...
 
And Vuk I definitely don't mind if you stop by to say "nice thread" before you're finished reading it... I know they are long and it's always good to have the bump ;)  And thank you for calling it an enjoyable read - that's always my biggest concern, readability. The material itself is quite interesting, so that's never the problem, it's making everything read smoothly that is the challenge. So thanks buddy. :)

LML, I haven't really had a chance to read through this thread yet(just quickly skimmed through) as Ive been trying to read all your older essay's first. Which are all excellent by the way.

I just wanted to comment on this quote of your's though, as not only do I love and fully support your theory's, but I'm a huge fan of your writing style as well. For someone like me, who has trouble initially picking up on the more subtle and symbolic meanings of GRRM's writing, I find that you really present your findings in a clear and smooth manner that makes reading your essay's, although lengthy, very enjoyable to read. I find that if ever I'm a little lost or confused, if I keep reading, you tend to always address or clear up that confusion.

As another poster mentioned, you do have a way with words. I wanted to thank you for sharing all your great work, and greatly enhancing my enjoyment and appreciation for GRRM's marvelous novels.

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Also wanted to add that I appreciate you willingness to encourage and engage some of of less knowledgeable readers. I find that a lot of posters can be condescending and short with some of us less comprehensive readers. So again, thank you.

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True enough; I only meant that they weren't connected on that side of the world. And for our purposes - talking about global climate - this would have huge ramifications.  For example, if the Atlantic current system which keeps Europe warm were to change use to climate change or anything else, Europe would soon resemble Russia and Canada. The Narrow Sea allows warm water from the Summer Sea to enter the Shivering Sea, so I would guess that before the arm was broken, Westeros might have been even colder. I doubt anyone lived north of the Neck before Winterfell was founded, but that's only speculation. Most of the Dawn Age / Age of Heroes stuff we hear about is in the south except for the Last Hero story. 


 

 

mmm... on the other hand the existence of the free folk should be evidence of FM living north of what today we call the Wall, pre-Long Nifght.

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LML, I haven't really had a chance to read through this thread yet(just quickly skimmed through) as Ive been trying to read all your older essay's first. Which are all excellent by the way.

I just wanted to comment on this quote of your's though, as not only do I love and fully support your theory's, but I'm a huge fan of your writing style as well. For someone like me, who has trouble initially picking up on the more subtle and symbolic meanings of GRRM's writing, I find that you really present your findings in a clear and smooth manner that makes reading your essay's, although lengthy, very enjoyable to read. I find that if ever I'm a little lost or confused, if I keep reading, you tend to always address or clear up that confusion.

As another poster mentioned, you do have a way with words. I wanted to thank you for sharing all your great work, and greatly enhancing my enjoyment and appreciation for GRRM's marvelous novels.

Wow that's really nice of you to say Darkstream, thank you very much. That's basically everything I am going for in my essay writing... you couldn't have said anything to make me smile more than that. :) :cheers:

I'm having a blast following George's rabbit trails, so it's great to be able to share that excitement with others. I think what he is done here is truly remarkable... hopefully I'm able to do it justice in my analysis. That's my goal, in any case.

Of course it needs be said many others deserve credit as well; from people whose analysis has influenced my own to everyone who has participated in all the various threads. :)

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mmm... on the other hand the existence of the free folk should be evidence of FM living north of what today we call the Wall, pre-Long Nifght.


Well, pre-Wall building in any case. But the Wall was likely built right after the Long Night, or in the following century or two I'd guess, so the point is valid.

But why the huge defensive fortress? If the ancestors of the wildlings knew how to build like that, they have forgotten literally everything they ever knew about architecture. Which is possible, after the societal bottleneck of the LN.

But still, Moat Cailin is unlike any other construction in Westeros. There must be an explanation.

We have a couple of stories about giants living in castles - could MC be a fortress built by a race of giants? The giants we see may not be the only giants - they don't match many of the stories about them.

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True enough; I only meant that they weren't connected on that side of the world. And for our purposes - talking about global climate - this would have huge ramifications.  For example, if the Atlantic current system which keeps Europe warm were to change use to climate change or anything else, Europe would soon resemble Russia and Canada. The Narrow Sea allows warm water from the Summer Sea to enter the Shivering Sea, so I would guess that before the arm was broken, Westeros might have been even colder. I doubt anyone lived north of the Neck before Winterfell was founded, but that's only speculation. Most of the Dawn Age / Age of Heroes stuff we hear about is in the south except for the Last Hero story. 

 

On a different line of inquiry, what the hell is up with Moat Cailin anyway? It's very likely to predate the Long Night, imo, judging on its current state - it looks like an earthquake leveled it. Something tremendously violent. The symbolic clues suggest it was destroyed when the Hammer of the Waters broke the Arm and the Neck. But I want to know who built it and why? Was it always meant to defend the north from the south? If it is a Dawn Age construction, then who the fuck was in the North back then building giant fortresses out of giant black hewn stone blocks? The construction is very similar to Yeen. And the black basalt blocks of Moat Cailin are described as being covered in a fine black oil in ADWD, so they may be oily black stone. 

 

I don't think the Narrow Sea would have much impact on changing the climate of Westeros. For starters, flow of the water would be very constricted in that narrow sea. That would explain why Essos has so much dry (drier) land from above Pentos down through the disputed lands. Those lands are basically "inland desert"--land that is dry because all the rain is used up before the air currents gets there. Compare that to Europe and North America, where the western coasts have a moderating effect on the climate. It's why Washington has milder winters than lother land at that latitude further inland.

 

Look at the land from Blazewater Bay to where Moat Cailin sites. That's a classic rift. The continent almost broke in two there. In our world, the same thing almost happened at New Madrid Missouri. Under the crust, there is a huge crack called the Reelfoot Rift. It was caused by major earthquakes. The events also lowered some of the land creating the Mississippi Embayment, a large wetland/underwater area from the Gulf through what is now part of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, etc. Missouri had a shoreline!

 

 The rifting in Westeros probably created the swampy areas of the Neck and Greywater Watch. It likely set off some of the many volcanoes in the North, too.

 

I'm not following you on the construction. Isn't Moat Cailin just the remnants of a few towers from a castle with a curtain wall made of Basalt? Basalt is my pick for "light drinking black stone" too--it reflects almost no light.

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Moat Cailin, woo!

- everything about it (size, look) says that it either predates the First Men or is at the very least the product of a more advanced civilisation. It was also built "10,000 years ago", early Dawn Age times.

- we know the base of the Hightower is labyrinthine, as are the mazes of Lorath, which contain very tall skeletons (half-giants almost). If all the different mazes/undergrounds are hinting at the same people, those people were likely very tall (like the Lengi are, who presumably mixed with their underground Old Ones). Tall enough to build Moat Cailin too, and not have it feel like an oversized castle?

- "Cailin" is Irish for "girl". Come on now: the maiden's moat/defence, three towers, one of which has a broken crown... Strong imagery.

- why is it in ruins?? This is not simply because of the passage of time, since it remains the North's most important hold to this day. It doesn't make sense that they'd just "let it" fall into disrepair. It may be that the huge destruction Moat Cailin suffered (going from 20 towers to 3 towers) came about when the Neck was originally flooded. Huge tsunami knocking down the towers.. But then when the Neck was formed, it turned out MC straddled the only safe passage, so it found an all-new relevance.

I reckon that its much-touted role in protecting the North from a southern invasion may be a pretty funny inversion of its original purpose. It was the northern-most GeoD(?) outpost.

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I don't think the Narrow Sea would have much impact on changing the climate of Westeros. For starters, flow of the water would be very constricted in that narrow sea. That would explain why Essos has so much dry (drier) land from above Pentos down through the disputed lands. Those lands are basically "inland desert"--land that is dry because all the rain is used up before the air currents gets there. Compare that to Europe and North America, where the western coasts have a moderating effect on the climate. It's why Washington has milder winters than lother land at that latitude further inland.
 
Look at the land from Blazewater Bay to where Moat Cailin sites. That's a classic rift. The continent almost broke in two there. In our world, the same thing almost happened at New Madrid Missouri. Under the crust, there is a huge crack called the Reelfoot Rift. It was caused by major earthquakes. The events also lowered some of the land creating the Mississippi Embayment, a large wetland/underwater area from the Gulf through what is now part of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, etc. Missouri had a shoreline!
 
 The rifting in Westeros probably created the swampy areas of the Neck and Greywater Watch. It likely set off some of the many volcanoes in the North, too.
 
I'm not following you on the construction. Isn't Moat Cailin just the remnants of a few towers from a castle with a curtain wall made of Basalt? Basalt is my pick for "light drinking black stone" too--it reflects almost no light.

Hey Sciteacher- seeing your comment here reminds me that yo left a comment a couple of pages ago that I forgot to respond to - apologies. Working backwards through your comment here, it turns out basalt is also one of the main forms of rock on many moon, particularly volcanically active ones like Jupiter's Io. I'm not sure how much of my stuff you've read, but your probably familiar with my theory about two moons, with the "fire moon" being the destroyed one. I think George has sort of used Io as his model for his fire moon, and Europa for his ice moon. This are two of the most well known moons in the solar system, and are classic examples of their kind. When you type "ice moon" or "fire moon" in the Google machine, Io and Europa come up first. As a clincher, the Greek mythologies of Io and Europa have specific details which I believe George has drawn upon to create his larger tapestry of moon maiden ideas. Io in particular us a crust of mostly basalt, covered in sulphur dioxide (it's a stinky place).

The defining quality of "bloodstone" as George seems to be using it is the idea of a stone consecrated the blood of a sacrificed "deity," as opposed to the specific heliotrope stone. Moons aren't made out of heliotrope and heliotrope isn't a good building material, but all of the mythical associations and properties of bloodstone are a great fit for what George is doing with the Long Night / destroyed moon mythology.

Most Cailin's identification as greasy stone is not as firm as the other locations mentioned in the worldbook, as it's based on Theon's observations of the stones appearing to have a fine oily sheen on them. That could be just a trick of the light, but it seems intentional, as it's a specific turn of phrase that has been sued for the other oily / greasy black stone locations.

As for architecture, it's the size of the blocks that does not belong. They are HUGE - I forget the exact description but they are the size of a small cottage iirc. Nothing else in Westeros has anything like that. It's a truly gargantuan construction, and with no similar building style on the area, one has to suspect it was built by someone other than the primary First Men culture on Westeros. As I said before, the only other description of city or fortress made of both 1.) huge blocks of hewn stone, as well as 2.) greasy back stone is Yeen on Sothoryos. Yeen is near another greasy stone location, the huge carved Toad statue on the isle of Toads. There are fishy-looking people living on the island, which TWOIAF calls the remnants of some vanished race. The Ironborn claim descent from merlings and mermaids, and they have the Seastone Chair, another greasy stone. The crannogman seem to have bred with cotf, yes, but they also have aquatic magics of breathing mud, turning water to earth and back again, and that floating castle...

Are we seeing the remnants of some sort of terrifying Deep One / Merling hybrid humans or something? Thing is, if they are building shit out of meteorites, that means it was built after the LN. One possibility is that you can make the greasy black bloodstone through other means than the original moon explosion - perhaps fire and blood sacrifice enables you to make greasy black stone.

So your take on the ocean currents thing is that the breaking of the Arm wouldn't affect the climate much? I'm far from an expert there so I don't really know.

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Look at the land from Blazewater Bay to where Moat Cailin sites. That's a classic rift. The continent almost broke in two there.


I've thought of the whole line up the east coast of Westeros is like a Pacific Rim situation. Spears of the Merling King = underwater volcanic activity. Could be how the upcoming "sea dragon" is unleashed? Dragonstone will be a key place, there's so much pointing directly to it - but perhaps not for any mystical reason, just because of the volcano.

The idea I'm toying with is that the coming along Night event may be triggered by volcanic activity in that area.

I guess the moon might still get destroyed - a big enough meteor hit can trigger volcanic activity on the opposite side of the globe. A real world parallel (broadly): the Yukatan meteor that killed the dinosaurs might have triggered the eruption of the Deccan traps (now in India) - this released so much stuff into the atmosphere that it might have actually had a bigger impact on climate change (and the dinosaurs) than the meteor strike itself.

So maybe the second moon hits the other side of Planetos, triggering the Dragonstone, Merling King, Hardhome etc volcanoes. Would be very Long Nightish.

But I'm thinking of ways in which the volcanos could go off without a second moon-meteor strike. If the second moon goes, Planetos is essentially fucked - it will eventually burn up/freeze without a satellite. A more satisfying outcome would be huge civilisational destruction, but the seasons (somehow) normalise - and for that, I think the moon is vital.

If the Dragonstone volcano is the place something happens, someone might fuck up fire magic like at Summerhall, but instead of containing it, have it affect the volcano. Who would be fucking around with making dragons at Dragonstone? A defeated Targ retreats to her stronghold to reforge her strength (and get a new dragon) but is instead swallowed by a dragon / dies in the eruption she causes trying to hatch a new dragon.

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