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LmL

Astronomy of Ice and Fire: the Language of Leviathan

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"Bride of fire" immolates herself again, and this time the "dragons" she brings back are the meteors, returned as epic volcanic eruptions. Ooooh

"The third crack was as loud as the breaking of the world."

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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.


I've had a weird feeling that Moat Cailin could have been the first "Wall?" But guarding against who?

There are a few clues pointing to a connection between the "Deep Ones" and Asshai, the greasy black stone chief among them.

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"Bride of fire" immolates herself again, and this time the "dragons" she brings back are the meteors, returned as epic volcanic eruptions. Ooooh

"The third crack was as loud as the breaking of the world."


Yup saving that quote for my Hammer of the Waters essay... that's a red flag quote right there ;)

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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.

 

Yep, that's my take. In fact, it's probably the other way--the change in climate created the "breaking" of the Arm--which isn't actually broken, just parts of the land are now under water due to sea levels having risen. A real world example would be the Bering land bridge between Alaska and East Asia.

 

There are sooo many volcanoes on Planetos. If something sets them off (earthquakes the most likely cause) they can spew enough chemicals to cause climate changes. Even one really large volcano can create "nuclear winter" ex: the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa .

 

Talk about waking dragons of stone. At Krakatoa the earth rumbled, the mountain broke, flames erupted, lave spewed out, flaming rocks and ash clouds were ejected. The sound was heard a 13/th of the way around the world. There were tsunamis that destroyed villages. The weather was altered for five years.

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Yep, that's my take. In fact, it's probably the other way--the change in climate created the "breaking" of the Arm--which isn't actually broken, just parts of the land are now under water due to sea levels having risen. A real world example would be the Bering land bridge between Alaska and East Asia.

 

 

This would be good analysis, in the real world, but of course you have to remember this is a fantasy novel, wizards most likely did it. ;)  As for me, I don't speculate, I just try to interpret the text, because I believe Martin is hiding all the information in the text via metaphor. 

 

 

 

There are sooo many volcanoes on Planetos. If something sets them off (earthquakes the most likely cause) they can spew enough chemicals to cause climate changes. Even one really large volcano can create "nuclear winter" ex: the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa .

 

Talk about waking dragons of stone. At Krakatoa the earth rumbled, the mountain broke, flames erupted, lave spewed out, flaming rocks and ash clouds were ejected. The sound was heard a 13/th of the way around the world. There were tsunamis that destroyed villages. The weather was altered for five years.

 

 

So many? I know of the 14 flames, the Paradise isle, possibly the Shadow by Asshai... possibly at Hardhome... where else?

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This would be good analysis, in the real world, but of course you have to remember this is a fantasy novel, wizards most likely did it. ;)  As for me, I don't speculate, I just try to interpret the text, because I believe Martin is hiding all the information in the text via metaphor. 
 
 
 
 
So many? I know of the 14 flames, the Paradise isle, possibly the Shadow by Asshai... possibly at Hardhome... where else?

Dragonmont at Dragonstone, possibly: Casterly Rock, area around Winterfell and Dreadfort ( supervolcano? ), Brimstone area in Dorne...

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Dragonstone; duh. Still, doesn't seem like a "lot" of volcanoes. And I doubt any will be erupting... but who knows.

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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? 

 

You know, I've also been chewing on the leviathan / sea dragon symbolism - in mythology, they can represent two different creatures or at least two aspects of a creature. George consistently relates the leviathan to whales, rather than dragons, so if we trust his symbolism, I would say the leviathan and sea dragon do stand for different things, or at the very least we should see them as two sides of a coin. Another thing that gives me reason to doubt they are the same is the knowledge that Sea Dragons fed on both krakens and leviathans. There's a distiction between the three creatures.

 

The kraken is a different beast as you say. I would place the kraken in the role of the controlling force, initiator, the force pulling the strings. Moroqo says as much in this quote:

 

“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.
Dance?” Victarion bristled. “Your nightfires lie. I was not made for dancing, and I am no man’s puppet.”
 
 
Tentacles are a direct reference to krakens, in fact, as we see from the quote the kraken is likened to a puppeteer, the one who makes the puppets dance and make them act their different parts. 
 
This brings me to the story of the puppeteers in KL
 
“One more thing. A trifling matter.” He gave her an apologetic smile and told her of a puppet show that had recently become popular amongst the city’s smallfolk; a puppet show wherein the kingdom of the beasts was ruled by a pride of haughty lions. “The puppet lions grow greedy and arrogant as this treasonous tale proceeds, until they begin to devour their own subjects. When the noble stag makes objection, the lions devour him as well, and roar that it is their right as the mightiest of beasts.”
“And is that the end of it?” Cersei asked, amused. Looked at in the right light, it could be seen as a salutary lesson.
“No, Your Grace. At the end a dragon hatches from an egg and devours all of the lions.”
The ending took the puppet show from simple insolence to treason. “Witless fools. Only cretins would hazard their heads upon a wooden dragon.” She considered a moment. “Send some of your whisperers to these shows and make note of who attends. If any of them should be men of note, I would know their names.”
“What will be done with them, if I may be so bold?”
“Any men of substance shall be fined. Half their worth should be sufficient to teach them a sharp lesson and refill our coffers, without quite ruining them. Those too poor to pay can lose an eye, for watching treason. For the puppeteers, the axe.
 
The puppet show reflects present day conditions in the kingdom. There is an emphasis on puppet lions, all the puppet actors are being controlled by the puppeteers behind the scenes. But the story is many layered - the puppet lions themselves are in control of things here. The lannisters themselves act like krakens - pulling the strings behind the scenes (as in the Red Wedding or Cersei's manipulation, which leads to Robert's death) and pulling down, destroying houses and rivals in their bid for supremacy. In the show, a wooden dragon eventually devours the puppet lions, Cersei herself orders the death of the puppeteers (in order to reestablish herself as the chief puppeteer). Interesting also is the punishment - those too poor to pay lose an eye and the reference to a wooden dragon. The Targs try to 'resurrect' dragons by building wooden dragons and so on..
 
My personal take on the symbolism of kraken, leviathan and sea dragon would be:
The faction pulling the strings (kraken) is behind the creation of a) Others (leviathan), b. Dragons (sea-dragon). The Others can be seen as the 'dragons of winter', ice dragons, with blue star eyes like the star in the eye of the Ice Dragon constellation which points due North. Their presence is heralded by 'icy breath', so cold that it 'burns'. (Perhpas we'll see real ice dragons as well - it's a similar thing). The sea dragon is the first (of her kind) to rise from the waves and is more powerful than both krakens and leviathans, devouring both. When the Grey King slew her, he created conditions in which both krakens and others thrive.
 
The sea dragon rising from the waves also evokes the notion of waking a dragon, a dragon that has been sleeping or minding it's own business under the sea. When we look at the leviathan/whale symbolism in the books, we find the associated characters are fat, slow and even unable to move by themselves, - they are like stone dragons or wooden dragons, inert, they do not 'wake'. This is why I think the leviathan represents the 'unwoken' or sleeping dragon.
I believe this waking or not waking the dragon is the key to Other and Dragon creation. In order to 'wake dragons' you need fire/fire magic, dragons are fire made flesh we hear. Others hate fire; my guess is to wake ice dragons or Others, you need to avoid the application of fire altogether, the 'dragon' must remain 'stone' to become 'ice made flesh'. So the sea dragon and leviathan are two aspects of a dragon - one which rises and wakes and the other which remains sluggish and does not rise. The  Medusa with her hair of many serpents (evoking the many headed type of leviathan) is interesting here because her head turns to stone and Serwyn of the Mirror Shield uses the same trick as Perseus did to slay a dragon. Anyway, that's how I see the three sea monsters. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

 

 

I agree with the bolded. I think the point about 'willing' is it really means consenting to be sacrificed. Basically agreeing to be sacrificed – whether by trickery or genuine consent, the person carrying out the sacrifice has to obtain the go ahead from the intended victim.  

It's difficult to figure this out from the books but I think the 9th episode of season 5 illustrates this. I watched the conversation between Stannis and Shireen several times and came to the conclusion that his main purpose was to obtain her consent in order to sacrifice her as a willing victim. Think of it - he manouvers her into saying that she would do everything for him and he gets her to confirm this. Once she's given her consent, he can sacrifice her - there's no going back on that 'promise'. She was tricked into the whole thing but it seems to have been a requirement to sacrificing her.

 

So this aspect of 'willing sacrifice' in relation to sex may also shed light on the theme of prostitution, rape and genuine sexual relationships we see. Tyrion's relationship with Tysha is especially bitter because she did in fact love him, their acts of love a genuine consensual thing; and he was forced to destroy this by raping her. Two sides of a coin.

 

Whores can be said to be engaging in consensual sexual activity - it's their livelihood after all. Why they do it isn't important - it's a choice they make, - we are told that everyone has a choice - a slave with no way out still has a choice, death - and a whore who has been forced into her profession still has the choice of not succumbing. Once she does, she becomes a 'willing' victim. I think much of the sexual abuse we see is related to the theme of 'waking dragons' and creating invincible swords, the legend of Nissa Nissa being the first clue to this. 

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Just a thought on 'The Hammer of the Waters'

 

And the tall, slender Children’s Tower, where legend said the children of the forest had once called upon their nameless gods to send the hammer of the waters, had lost half its crown. It looked as if some great beast had taken a bite out of the crenellations along the tower top, and spit the rubble across the bog. All three towers were green with moss. A tree was growing out between the stones on the north side of the Gatehouse Tower, its gnarled limbs festooned with ropy white blankets of ghostskin.

 

 

Moat Cailin has an Othery feel to it and while thinking about this, it occurred to me that the 'hammer of the waters' sounds very much like the water magic used by the Rhoynar in their attempt to defeat the Valyrians. Their cities were protected by 'watery walls', they could make the waters rise in defence of their kingdom. I think water magic was the precursor to ice magic. Ice is water solidified and the mists the Others bring represent another state of water. So perhaps the storms and Storm Gods we see can also be considered as precursors to ice magic / the development of ice magic. The Rhoynar's water magic was not powerful enough to withstand the Valyrians and their dragons however, so perhaps with time, this water magic was refined and developed into a more powerful form, ice magic. 

 

Following on from that, Moat Cailin may have been built by the original krakens or 'Deep Ones' / invaders from the sea, as an outpost, a place where they conducted breeding experiments, dark sorcery etc. The swamps harbour tell-tale signs of such activity - all the strange creatures, the lizard-lions, huge dragonflies etc. It's also a dark shadowy unwholesome place. If that is so, then the notion that the CotF destroyed the place by calling down the 'hammer of the waters' makes sense. They would have regarded the place as a source of evil and together with the FM, may have taken steps to destroy it. Just speculating here, but it could be a likely scenario. 

 

 

ETA - The crannogmen who live around the swamps may also be a throwback to that era, the descendants of victims of breeding experiments between men or the invaders and the cotf, for instance. 

 

“No,” said Meera, “but he could breathe mud and run on leaves, and change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word. He could talk to trees and weave words and make castles appear and disappear.”

 

Breathing mud, a feature one might expect of a hybrid and weaving water and earth magic / earth magic, running on leaves, reminding us of the cotf and their earth songs. Perhaps the water magic actually originated from the invaders, they a race associated with the sea. 

 

To take this further, perhaps the cotf and the first men gained control of the Moat after the Hammer of the Waters, making it their stronghold to protect the North - the North being the home of weirwoods and the old gods. 

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Dragonstone; duh. Still, doesn't seem like a "lot" of volcanoes. And I doubt any will be erupting... but who knows.

 

Bur remember, these are just the ones we have some evidence for in the text. Volcanoes often form in multiples in mountain chains.

And: it doesn't take dozens of eruptions to disrupt nature. One major eruption can be devastating.

Some of them are mentioned as steaming or smoking.

 

It doesn't even take an eruption; Outgassing is what causes the change in climate. With all due respect to GRRM and to the power of Magic ... Outgassing is the perfect explanation for erratic seasonal changes. More outgassing = winter, less outgassing = summer. It's hugely better than "wobble", which just doesn't work in an erratic way (2 years then 5 years then 3 years then 10 years etc). Wobble is largely repetitive (not to mention lasting thousands if not millions of years).

 

In addition to the volcanic zones already mentioned:

Several place Daenerys goes have water that reeks of sulphur, a telltale sign of volcanic activity.

 

Hellholt in Dorn

 

And so it was with the Andals who made their way to Dorne. Some contested with the First Men who had come before them for the choice lands along the Greenblood and the coasts, or ventured into the mountains. Others established themselves in places where no man had gone before them.
Amongst those were the Ullers and the Qorgyles; the former raised a grim, stinking seat beside the sulfurous yellow waters of the Brimstone.
AWoIaF

 

Isle of Faces is a caldera lake 

 

And Dragonmont even has what seems to be a bit of text support for my notion.

the comet burned even by day now, while pale grey steam rose from the hot vents of Dragonmont behind the castle, and yestermorn a white raven had brought word from the Citadel itself, word long-expected but no less fearful for all that, word of summer's end. Omens, all. ACoK Prologue

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I'm with you that it only takes one volcano to create a several -year long nuclear winter - I always mention when talking about nuclear winters. There are two causes for those: supermassive volcanoes and comet / meteor impacts.

You made reference to "soooo many volcanoes" and so I was just curious what you're referring to. Given that we are looking at least a quarter of the Planetos' surface area (one half of the northern hemisphere plus a bit extra), I don't think there's an abnormal amount of volcanism... fwiw. I'm not sure how relevant it is, but I'm always interested in the geology / geography stuff.

I think it's possible that the meteor impacts triggered volcanic activity - they triggered floods and earthquakes, so a bit of volcanic activity would fit right in.

The isle of Faces could just as easily be a crater lake as a caldera lake.

Old Wyk / Great Wyck resembles a caldera island - but the petrified weirwoods trunks would not be there after a volcanic eruption, so if there was an eruption it was in the distant, distant past, like before the cotf or First Men planted that weirwoods circle on Old Wyck. That's the major hangup with a volcanic eruption on Old Wyck at the time of the Long Night.

As for Dragonstone, it's essentially a giant metaphor for the dragon stone of dragon stones - the comet. I could write 5 essays just analyzing Dragonstone chapters - it's really intense. The fact that the dragon stone sits in the middle of black water - Blackwater Bay - is important, because it represents the dragon stone moon meteor falling into black water, and triggering the black tide. Ned dips bloody Ice - which represents Lightbringer and thus the moon meteors - into the cold black pond; Dany the moon maiden / Sea Dragon dips her bloody self (and unborn child) in the cold black Womb of the World; Dragonstone sits in Blackwater Bay, smoking like a meteor, or like a sword being quenched in water. My next essay will go into this subject in detail - I think it's an important concept.

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I'm with you that it only takes one volcano to create a several -year long nuclear winter - I always mention when talking about nuclear winters. There are two causes for those: supermassive volcanoes and comet / meteor impacts.

You made reference to "soooo many volcanoes" and so I was just curious what you're referring to. Given that we are looking at least a quarter of the Planetos' surface area (one half of the northern hemisphere plus a bit extra), I don't think there's an abnormal amount of volcanism... fwiw. I'm not sure how relevant it is, but I'm always interested in the geology / geography stuff.

I think it's possible that the meteor impacts triggered volcanic activity - they triggered floods and earthquakes, so a bit of volcanic activity would fit right in.

The isle of Faces could just as easily be a crater lake as a caldera lake.

Old Wyk / Great Wyck resembles a caldera island - but the petrified weirwoods trunks would not be there after a volcanic eruption, so if there was an eruption it was in the distant, distant past, like before the cotf or First Men planted that weirwoods circle on Old Wyck. That's the major hangup with a volcanic eruption on Old Wyck at the time of the Long Night.

As for Dragonstone, it's essentially a giant metaphor [...] My next essay will go into this subject in detail - I think it's an important concept.

 

Yep, yep on supervolcanoes and really large impactors (6 miles across or so, or traveling unusually fast and  being really dense). And even a smaller impactor might trigger an earthquake that could result in volcanic activity.

Keep in mind as you go that the volcanoes we know of won't be the only ones. Most will be part of mountain chains, in that case, suspect any mountain in the chain and some of the ground around them as potentially volcanic, and almost certainly prone to earthquake. Lone volcanoes in the center of a continent tend to be over hot spots, and are more likely to be supervolcanoes, like the one at Yellowstone.

 

 

Gods Eye is a caldera lake. The Isle of Faces makes that pretty certain. I'd be willing to bet on it. Crater lakes tend to be very round (or completely irregular) and have no islands in them. Caldera lakes tend to be roundish and have one distinct island. The island is the leftover top of the volcano.

 

Caldera lakes form when cindercone volcanoes erupt. Cindercones are the pointy ones. The magma in that type of volcano has a high silica content. That makes the particles 'stick' against each other and build up immense pressure. When they blow, it's sudden and it's violent. The magma chamber underneath is rapidly emptied and the top of the cone collapses into the magma chamber. As the land around it fills with water, the top becomes an island in the ring lake.

 

 

Good catch on OldWyck being another island formed by a volcano, with Great Wyck being an edge of the crater that is still above water! I'd considered mentioning it, but decided not to since it was offshore. 

 

 

As to the petrified weirwood trees:

 

That area may not have suffered an eruption.  Or if it did, the weirwoods may have been in an area that was missed. Being in the lava and ash path might have caused the fossilization (all stories aren't precisely accurate). ect.

 

 

I hope you don't think I'm being critical and argumentative. I'm a huge fan of your series of theories because you go into the Astronomy and Geology:

Sciteacher isn't just my handle, it's who I am. I taught Science for 15 years. I'm licensed in Biology and Earth Science among other areas and those are what I taught most. In addition, I have a minor in Geology and another in Geological sciences. Earth Science in my state is pretty much Geology and Astronomy, with a smattering of ecology and meteorology. What I'm saying is I appreciate those topics. I "do" science in my free time for fun--rockhounding and spelunking and astronomy. I'm a regular science junkie.

 

You have a nice grip on the science---and you aren't afraid to let it be tempered by the magic GRRM throws into it.

I'm looking forward to the Dragonstone metaphore analysis.

 

.

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Fantastic stuff guys, really enjoy reading the geology angle.

Ned dips bloody Ice - which represents Lightbringer and thus the moon meteors - into the cold black pond; Dany the moon maiden / Sea Dragon dips her bloody self (and unborn child) in the cold black Womb of the World


The dipping in water is a forging of sorts, and Dany's just eaten a horse's heart as a key part of that. If the heavens are a big starry khalasar, it's made up of individual horses, being the stars themselves. Horse = star. Heart of a fallen horse = heart of a fallen star.

Ned had blooded his sword with the blood of a NW deserter. No heart here, but a deserter is a traitor, and has therefore "fallen". He is a fallen Black Brother ;) If that equality holds more generally, perhaps the brothers of the Night's Watch are "stars" (shining/illuminating the night, maybe?): suggesting that Dawn was forged not only from the heart of a meteor, but also in the heart of a fallen... Black Brother.

The Night's King was a fallen star(k), and the descendants he sired before the Last Hero brought him down are the Star(k)s.

Volcanic activity

LmL, consider GRRM's tendency to cover as many bases as possible when exploring a theme (so you'd kind of expect as many possible variations on "conflagration" as he can think of), and his liking for role reversals that are somehow still the same roles. Dragonstone is bursting with meteor imagery, but it's also a literal volcano. The meteor/black water imagery feeds into our understanding of what happened in the past (along with all the other oblique hints) - but that just makes me think that the "literal volcano" aspect to Dragonstone is just biding its time to come to the fore. Hidden in plain sight, like the importance of volcanic activity itself.

The first "Long Night"
Moon destruction and fire from the sky that almost burns the world -> the result was a Long Night that almost freezes the world. That's actually not surprising: the latter flows naturally from the first.

The reversed "Long Night"
A "natural" (as in, cyclical, not event-caused) super-long winter is now starting that threatens to freeze the world -> the result (somehow) will be a fiery destruction that (almost) burns the world. A reversal by default, because the winter has already started.

But unlike the original Long Night, here the results don't follow "naturally", because a cold apocalypse isn't likely to trigger a burning one (unlike a meteor causing a freezing). This hints at human interference: and given what we have to work with, it looks likely that they will try to use dragons to save the world from the cold, and will burn it down instead.

"Using" dragons in a way that can cause a world-level inferno must surely involve trying to hatch more in a volcano.

Summerhall is instructive, I think: trying to hatch dragons to cure the realm's problems. Read that together with the statement that winters have been getting colder since the dragons disappeared, and it seems like Summerhall was a conflagration caused by trying to hatch dragons to solve your problems and "warm up" the realm. Much like what you'd do if you tried using dragons against the Others and then overdid it.

So, again, because I don't see it going "freeze -> conflagration" in a natural progression (unlike "conflagration -> freeze"), I assume human interference. Given the start of the winter is here, the interference will be aimed at stopping/reversing it. So we have (1) extreme cold, (2) dragon eggs, (3) available volcanoes, (4) we know of self-destructive attempts to cure problems by hatching dragons, and (5) we know of a civilisation ended by the very volcanoes they developed around.

Dragonstone go "boom".

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I've had a weird feeling that Moat Cailin could have been the first "Wall?" But guarding against who?

 

 

 

 I've often had that thought. If Moat Cailin and the wall are related, then maybe they're both not guarding anything? Maybe it's a weapon, lying in wait...

 

 (hey, there're no bad ideas in brainstorming!)

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 I've often had that thought. If Moat Cailin and the wall are related, then maybe they're both not guarding anything? Maybe it's a weapon, lying in wait...
 
 (hey, there're no bad ideas in brainstorming!)


Are you hinting at the theory of the Wall hiding an ice dragon?

Look I don't necessarily see it unfolding quite like that, but I don't think it's insane. The way GRRM writes (and his approach to duality/complementarity and moral ambiguity) makes me think it's very likely that the Wall can (and will) be used as a weapon in some sense, at least a metaphorical one - precisely because its stated main purpose is to defend and protect. And as the most powerful defensive weapon in the world (your enemies, the Others, physically cannot cross it), it's probably got an equivalent dangerous potential.

As a metaphorical weapon: it and the Watch can serve as the base of power for a usurping king, for example.

As an actual weapon... I don't know, we don't know anything about the magic inside the Wall and what would happen if it's brought down. Or just the fact that the Wall would destroy the Nights Watch castles (and an entire army's worth of people) if it crushed them as it fell - sounds pretty weapony.

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New theory: the Wall is the front of a glacier which no longer exists. A strip of it was frozen by magic, the rest melted away.

 

*drops mic*

 

check it out

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New theory: the Wall is the front of a glacier which no longer exists. A strip of it was frozen by magic, the rest melted away.
 
*drops mic*


You'll have to pay for that, the mics aren't free.

I did have a thought that maybe the Neck sunk because the weight of the Wall (as a glacier itself) is pushing the north of Westeros down. I know less than Jon Snow on matters glacial and it feels way too light to achieve that, but with a little help from mistress ice magic, it might work. I don't know, a crude bit of magic to trap a whole glacier's worth of "cold" inside a long strip of ice? It's kind of basic and doesn't feel convoluted, and there's a nice parallel to capturing fire to make living dragons there.

The weight would also have flooded the old coastline of the North (if it exercised and continues to exercise an effect on the Neck) - handily wiping out any pesky coast-based invaders.

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What if the Wall starts moving south as the (long) winter progresses, the way a glacier's face might? Turns out, the Others can't cross it, but they can push it South, wiping everything out of their way. You're not supposed to live north of the Wall coz you're essentially as likely to survive as if you lived inside an actual glacier.

That's the winter the Starks have been warning about, the big one when the Others come to try to push the "Wall" (the face) south.

*gets out glue to start mending all the cracked pots*

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Are you hinting at the theory of the Wall hiding an ice dragon?


Well, yes and no. I think the word 'dragon' doesn't always mean a fire-breathing lizard. I think it might be a more general term that we could apply to anything that fell from the skies.

Look I don't necessarily see it unfolding quite like that, but I don't think it's insane. The way GRRM writes (and his approach to duality/complementarity and moral ambiguity) makes me think it's very likely that the Wall can (and will) be used as a weapon in some sense, at least a metaphorical one - precisely because its stated main purpose is to defend and protect. And as the most powerful defensive weapon in the world (your enemies, the Others, physically cannot cross it), it's probably got an equivalent dangerous potential.


"The wall defends itself."

As an actual weapon... I don't know, we don't know anything about the magic inside the Wall and what would happen if it's brought down. Or just the fact that the Wall would destroy the Nights Watch castles (and an entire army's worth of people) if it crushed them as it fell - sounds pretty weapony.


Yeah, it may be a bit more subtle than a hidden nuke or something, but it's definitely written as if it is its own entity (a la the Island on Lost.)

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