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Astronomy of Ice and Fire: the Language of Leviathan

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You guys I have been working on the sequel to this essay today, and it's gonna be pretty damn cool if I do say so myself. I'm getting into a bunch of stuff about the Hindu goddess Kali and the cosmic ocean of space, and it's just really terrific subject matter. It's all going to tie into moon drownings and Lightbringer... I was unhappy with the essay a few days ago but I reworked it and went off on some new tangents that seem to be working. Anyway, just thought I'd tell someone. "The shadows come to dance my lord" - I think I may have figured that one out. :)

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Shameless bumping of my thread here. No excuse; I just worked really hard on it and wanted people to see it. ;)

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I didn't include it in the main essay, but of course the idea of black, soul-driking weapon idea is highly suggestive of Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone series, which is a big influence on George R. R. Martin. 

 

Elric of Melnibone plot-summary spoiler:

[spoiler]Elric's finding of the sword Stormbringer serves as both his greatest asset and greatest disadvantage. The sword confers upon Elric strength, health, and fighting prowess, but it must be fed by the souls of those struck with the black blade. In the end, the blade takes everyone close to Elric and eventually Elric's own soul as well. Most of Moorcock's stories about Elric feature this relationship with Stormbringer, and how it—despite Elric's best intentions—brings doom to everything he holds dear. (wikipedia)[/spoiler]

Blood and souls for my lord Arioch! Great article, as the LML brand always signifies.

Quick question- is there any pressing reason the Bloodstone Emperor couldn't be R'hlorr as well as Azor Ahai? I can't help thinking he's the linchpin for this whole thing.

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Blood and souls for my lord Arioch! Great article, as the LML brand always signifies.
Quick question- is there any pressing reason the Bloodstone Emperor couldn't be R'hlorr as well as Azor Ahai? I can't help thinking he's the linchpin for this whole thing.


Brotherhood of Eclipsed Avatars! Huzzah!

Thanks very much for saying so, and for sacrificing some not-insignificant fraction of your day to read my essay. :)

As for R'hllor. I used to think of R'hllor as the sun, but this is quite it. Melisandre calls the sun "the gift of R'hllor," so the sun itself is not the deity. I would see R'hllor as basically the essence of fire. All fire is his - the terrestrial fires beneath the earth, the sun in the sky, and the warrior of fire, Azor Ahai, the "fire dragon." (that's what it translates to in Vedic Sanskrit). I see Azor Ahai as the avatar of R'hllor on earth, just as Mithras is an avatar of the sun god, who always looks over Mithras' shoulder in approval.

I don't think the deities in ASOAIF are meant to be perceived as having human characteristics, but rather as the most pure, distilled form of a given magic. Magic seems to be rooted in natural elements - fire magic, ice magic, tree magic, water magic, blood magic - every magic is tied to some naturally occurring "element," to use that term very loosely. The R'hllorists essentially worship fire magic itself, and personify that as R'hllor. This works very well, functionally, because fire magic has a "personality" and defining characteristics, and man always relates to things easier when they are anthropomorphized as human-like. That's what ancient man did, of course, and it works well to help man relate to the elements. The example I always use is Hapi, the Egyptian God of the Nile floods. Hapi's characteristics and personality is that of the Nile itself, and the stories about Hapi's deeds tell the average Egyptian how to cope with the floods and make the best agricultural use of them. It's basically just a truck to encode knowledge in a memorable way - and of course it also imparts a reverence for the divinity of nature.

As for the Bloodstone Emperor (who I think is also AA of course), yes, I agree he's right at the heart of things. He seems to have been responsible for the corruption of fire magic on Planet is - I believe that is why Asshai is "by the Shadow," and why fire magic in the books seems more associated with shadow than light. I'm not sure if all fire magic is tainted or just the BSE's particular magical techniques, which the Valyrians seem to have inherited, but there's definitely a damn lot of shadow and darkness for magic that is supposed to be coming from "the Lord of Light."

Most likely we'll need to fix that to restore the song.

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Brotherhood of Eclipsed Avatars! Huzzah!

Thanks very much for saying so, and for sacrificing some not-insignificant fraction of your day to read my essay. :)

As for R'hllor. I used to think of R'hllor as the sun, but this is quite it. Melisandre calls the sun "the gift of R'hllor," so the sun itself is not the deity. I would see R'hllor as basically the essence of fire. All fire is his - the terrestrial fires beneath the earth, the sun in the sky, and the warrior of fire, Azor Ahai, the "fire dragon." (that's what it translates to in Vedic Sanskrit). I see Azor Ahai as the avatar of R'hllor on earth, just as Mithras is an avatar of the sun god, who always looks over Mithras' shoulder in approval.
 

 

Tying R'Hlorr to the sun to Azor Ahai would be a step towards my own meta-theory of everything Planetos- I've been trying to link the Dawn Emperors to the gods to the "wanderers" since picking up the series and I haven't been able to abandon the chase.

Elric of Melnibone slew his cousin/lover with Sormbringer. Is it such a stretch to imagine that Eldrick Shadowchaser's nissa-nissa was, in fact his own sister (a step closer in sanguininity as befits a proto-Valyrian) the Amethyst Empress- the second moon?

R'Hlorr seems more like a gnostic/catharist schizoid deity than a natural-order/mystery religion figure like Mithras to me.

As for Leviathan's and the Ironborn:

 Leave it to you read so much where I saw only whales and sea serpents- Jormugand and Dagon maybe. That will need some more pondering. I seldom dive so deep.

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Tying R'Hlorr to the sun to Azor Ahai would be a step towards my own meta-theory of everything Planetos- I've been trying to link the Dawn Emperors to the gods to the "wanderers" since picking up the series and I haven't been able to abandon the chase.
Elric of Melnibone slew his cousin/lover with Sormbringer. Is it such a stretch to imagine that Eldrick Shadowchaser's nissa-nissa was, in fact his own sister (a step closer in sanguininity as befits a proto-Valyrian) the Amethyst Empress- the second moon?
R'Hlorr seems more like a gnostic/catharist schizoid deity than a natural-order/mystery religion figure like Mithras to me.
As for Leviathan's and the Ironborn:
 Leave it to you read so much where I saw only whales and sea serpents- Jormugand and Dagon maybe. That will need some more pondering. I seldom dive so deep.


Ha HA! We're in the same page here my man! I'll respond in a bit when I get home but yes, Jormungand, Dagon, Vrtra, Azi Dahaka, Gochir, Raktabija (An asura demon wise name means blood seed, slain by shadow dancing Kali)... And yes, the wanderers. ;)

Back in a bit

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I believe I have just found Azor Ahai, the undead greenseer, at the Isle of Ravens. I think this is a home run.


“Not far. The Isle of Ravens.”

 

They did not need a boat to reach the Isle of Ravens; a weathered wooden drawbridge linked it to the eastern bank. “The Ravenry is the oldest building at the Citadel,” Alleras told him, as they crossed over the slow-flowing waters of the Honeywine. “In the Age of Heroes it was supposedly the stronghold of a pirate lord who sat here robbing ships as they came down the river.”

 

Moss and creeping vines covered the walls, Sam saw, and ravens walked its battlements in place of archers. The drawbridge had not been raised in living memory.

 

It was cool and dim inside the castle walls. An ancient weirwood filled the yard, as it had since these stones had first been raised. The carved face on its trunk was grown over by the same purple moss that hung heavy from the tree’s pale limbs. Half of the branches seemed dead, but elsewhere a few red leaves still rustled, and it was there the ravens liked to perch. The tree was full of them, and there were more in the arched windows overhead, all around the yard. The ground was speckled by their droppings. As they crossed the yard, one flapped overhead and he heard the others quorking to each other. “Archmaester Walgrave has his chambers in the west tower, below the white rookery,” Alleras told him. “The white ravens and the black ones quarrel like Dornishmen and Marchers, so they keep them apart.” 

 

“Will Archmaester Walgrave understand what I am telling him?” wondered Sam. “You said his wits were prone to wander.”

 

“He has good days and bad ones,” said Alleras, “but it is not Walgrave you’re going to see.” He opened the door to the north tower and began to climb. Sam clambered up the steps behind him. There were flutterings and mutterings from above, and here and there an angry scream, as the ravens complained of being woken.  (AFFC, Sam)

 
Weirwood = greenseer. This is half dead, or perhaps dead and resurrected, or transformed by fire into something inhuman like Mel... and it's face is purple. Purple, like Targaryens and valyrians and the Amethyst Empress. And this is the tree with the red land leaves and black ravens...   Ladies and gents, I think our pirate lord was a pirate from Asshai," and he was a purple eyed undead greenseer. With black ravens, referring to the black meteors and black steel Lightbringer.
 
The white ravens are elsewhere, at the west tower (something to do with the iron islands? What do White ravens = ? Perhaps the petrified weirwood trees that I think have something to do with the Others?)  In the North tower, we find Marwyn with a bloody mouth (sour leaf) and the glass candle. Marwyn compares himself to Aemon. I think this has something to do with dragon people going north of the Wall, like Bloodraven.

 

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I believe I have just found Azor Ahai, the undead greenseer, at the Isle of Ravens. I think this is a home run.


“Not far. The Isle of Ravens.”

 

They did not need a boat to reach the Isle of Ravens; a weathered wooden drawbridge linked it to the eastern bank. “The Ravenry is the oldest building at the Citadel,” Alleras told him, as they crossed over the slow-flowing waters of the Honeywine. “In the Age of Heroes it was supposedly the stronghold of a pirate lord who sat here robbing ships as they came down the river.”

 

Moss and creeping vines covered the walls, Sam saw, and ravens walked its battlements in place of archers. The drawbridge had not been raised in living memory.

 

It was cool and dim inside the castle walls. An ancient weirwood filled the yard, as it had since these stones had first been raised. The carved face on its trunk was grown over by the same purple moss that hung heavy from the tree’s pale limbs. Half of the branches seemed dead, but elsewhere a few red leaves still rustled, and it was there the ravens liked to perch. The tree was full of them, and there were more in the arched windows overhead, all around the yard. The ground was speckled by their droppings. As they crossed the yard, one flapped overhead and he heard the others quorking to each other. “Archmaester Walgrave has his chambers in the west tower, below the white rookery,” Alleras told him. “The white ravens and the black ones quarrel like Dornishmen and Marchers, so they keep them apart.” 

 

“Will Archmaester Walgrave understand what I am telling him?” wondered Sam. “You said his wits were prone to wander.”

 

“He has good days and bad ones,” said Alleras, “but it is not Walgrave you’re going to see.” He opened the door to the north tower and began to climb. Sam clambered up the steps behind him. There were flutterings and mutterings from above, and here and there an angry scream, as the ravens complained of being woken.  (AFFC, Sam)

 
Weirwood = greenseer. This is half dead, or perhaps dead and resurrected, or transformed by fire into something inhuman like Mel... and it's face is purple. Purple, like Targaryens and valyrians and the Amethyst Empress. And this is the tree with the red land leaves and black ravens...   Ladies and gents, I think our pirate lord was a pirate from Asshai," and he was a purple eyed undead greenseer. With black ravens, referring to the black meteors and black steel Lightbringer.
 
The white ravens are elsewhere, at the west tower (something to do with the iron islands? What do White ravens = ? Perhaps the petrified weirwood trees that I think have something to do with the Others?)  In the North tower, we find Marwyn with a bloody mouth (sour leaf) and the glass candle. Marwyn compares himself to Aemon. I think this has something to do with dragon people going north of the Wall, like Bloodraven.

 

 

 !

And if AA was a perverted greenseer, Bloodraven's possible paternal relationship with Melisandre suddenly makes a lot more sense, as does the possibility of the Targ/dragon link being a variant of warging.

White weirdwood contrasted with black steel. Fused dragonstone against the snow.

Tantalizing.

If Bloodraven can make use of his warged ravens at Raventree via the weirnet, what might AA (hisownself or reborn) be capable of?

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 !

And if AA was a perverted greenseer, Bloodraven's possible paternal relationship with Melisandre suddenly makes a lot more sense, as does the possibility of the Targ/dragon link being a variant of warging.

White weirdwood contrasted with black steel. Fused dragonstone against the snow.

Tantalizing.

If Bloodraven can make use of his warged ravens at Raventree via the weirnet, what might AA (hisownself or reborn) be capable of?

 

Azor Ahai as a greenseer was not something I had in mind at the beginning, but I keep seeing more and more clues pointing in this direction... so too with the idea of fire / dragon magic having originated in greenseer magic. It makes you think about that "great reversal" that the maesters speculate that the Valyrians Great Empire of the Dawn people must have suffered at Battle Isle. It's pretty damn obvious greenseer magic had something to do with the reason Valyrians NEVER came to Westeros, and likely the reason the GEotD was booted. People have been speculating about Bran (or BR) warging a dragon for eons now, but in this light it makes a great deal more sense, doesn't it? 

 

As for Bloodraven... consider his actions in light of the universal archetypes. He's a dragon-blooded first man, who became LC of the NW, and then went north of the Wall and became a greenseer. Jon is a dragon blooded first man, and went to the Wall and became LC. I wonder what is next for him? Obviously Bran is set to take BR's place, not Jon, but the manifestations of the archetypes usually aren't 1 to 1 correlations. Vorian Dayne the SOTE went to the Wall, and I think a Dayne certainly did this, but Vorian was exiled by Nymeria - I'm not sure if that part is meant to apply. It's very much groping around in the dark, but if we compare enough of the AA types, we can find the common elements that make sense. 

So - the question is - was it AA or his son who went to the Wall?

 

Or both? Because we have a couple of father - son duos that go to the Wall. The story of the 79 sentinels, for one. Geor Mormont wished for Jorah to take the black. Ned is supposed to have gone to the Wall to join up with Jon at the end of AGOT before Joff cut his head off. Stannis went there with his daughter. 

 

Also, we need to dig into the symbolism of Mance Raydar. He has a winged helm, like Mercury / Hermes; his tent is the skin of a white snow bear crowned with the rack of a great elk (implying greenseers, green men). His red and black cloak fro mAsshai is of course highly suggestive. He has many symbols in common with Rhaegar, and plays a fatherly role to Jon for a bit. They are kind of enemies but not really. Mance is the King beyond the Wall, which might mean "King of Winter" or "Night's King." He leads an invasion against the Wall, which could certainly be a reenactment of the Others invading. 

Thoughts?

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Azor Ahai as a greenseer was not something I had in mind at the beginning, but I keep seeing more and more clues pointing in this direction... so too with the idea of fire / dragon magic having originated in greenseer magic. It makes you think about that "great reversal" that the maesters speculate that the Valyrians Great Empire of the Dawn people must have suffered at Battle Isle. It's pretty damn obvious greenseer magic had something to do with the reason Valyrians NEVER came to Westeros, and likely the reason the GEotD was booted. People have been speculating about Bran (or BR) warging a dragon for eons now, but in this light it makes a great deal more sense, doesn't it? 

 

As for Bloodraven... consider his actions in light of the universal archetypes. He's a dragon-blooded first man, who became LC of the NW, and then went north of the Wall and became a greenseer. Jon is a dragon blooded first man, and went to the Wall and became LC. I wonder what is next for him? Obviously Bran is set to take BR's place, not Jon, but the manifestations of the archetypes usually aren't 1 to 1 correlations. Vorian Dayne the SOTE went to the Wall, and I think a Dayne certainly did this, but Vorian was exiled by Nymeria - I'm not sure if that part is meant to apply. It's very much groping around in the dark, but if we compare enough of the AA types, we can find the common elements that make sense. 

So - the question is - was it AA or his son who went to the Wall?

 

Or both? Because we have a couple of father - son duos that go to the Wall. The story of the 79 sentinels, for one. Geor Mormont wished for Jorah to take the black. Ned is supposed to have gone to the Wall to join up with Jon at the end of AGOT before Joff cut his head off. Stannis went there with his daughter. 

 

Also, we need to dig into the symbolism of Mance Raydar. He has a winged helm, like Mercury / Hermes; his tent is the skin of a white snow bear crowned with the rack of a great elk (implying greenseers, green men). His red and black cloak fro mAsshai is of course highly suggestive. He has many symbols in common with Rhaegar, and plays a fatherly role to Jon for a bit. They are kind of enemies but not really. Mance is the King beyond the Wall, which might mean "King of Winter" or "Night's King." He leads an invasion against the Wall, which could certainly be a reenactment of the Others invading. 

Thoughts?

If it was AA's son who went to the Wall, might not the timing have been right for him to be Night's King? Talk about a confluence of forces!

My first impression of Mance was fueled by his "greatest fire the North has ever seen" which I have ever since (rightly or wrongly) linked in my mind with Agamemnon burning the greek ships at Troy- which may be probematic given the obvious link between Stannis the Mannis and the Achean daughter-sacrificer.

That thread from Asshai does stick out, doesn't it? I kept thinking- why would they make thread in Asshai in the first place? What is it meant to draw attention to?

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Hmm good spot on the colour juxtaposition!

- white/purple (the purple hides the "real" face, covered by the moss; and the moss/growth imagery itself invokes time changing things (like interpretations of who's who and who did what?))
- red/black: this seems to be the "living" part of the weirwood, which is strange? Black ravens (moon meteors) on red leaves (red hands) - doesn't this look like the living weirwood imagery is tying the Children with bringing down the second moon? This may just be because a greenseer was involved, who may have been human?

On the raven clash:

- black/white ravens: they hate each other, fair enough. So, black ravens = NW, and white ravens = the Others? The black ravens are a relic, a degradation of skinchanging since they only carry messages now - like the NW itself is a shadow of what it used to be. The white ravens herald the seasons (including winter) and are much rarer and really not explained at all to us; I guess you could see the Others there? The interesting point though for me is that it's still just raven versus raven (at their core, the same thing): what might that say about the NW and the Others?

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Azor Ahai as a greenseer was not something I had in mind at the beginning, but I keep seeing more and more clues pointing in this direction... so too with the idea of fire / dragon magic having originated in greenseer magic. It makes you think about that "great reversal" that the maesters speculate that the Valyrians Great Empire of the Dawn people must have suffered at Battle Isle. It's pretty damn obvious greenseer magic had something to do with the reason Valyrians NEVER came to Westeros, and likely the reason the GEotD was booted. People have been speculating about Bran (or BR) warging a dragon for eons now, but in this light it makes a great deal more sense, doesn't it? 

 

As for Bloodraven... consider his actions in light of the universal archetypes. He's a dragon-blooded first man, who became LC of the NW, and then went north of the Wall and became a greenseer. Jon is a dragon blooded first man, and went to the Wall and became LC. I wonder what is next for him? Obviously Bran is set to take BR's place, not Jon, but the manifestations of the archetypes usually aren't 1 to 1 correlations. Vorian Dayne the SOTE went to the Wall, and I think a Dayne certainly did this, but Vorian was exiled by Nymeria - I'm not sure if that part is meant to apply. It's very much groping around in the dark, but if we compare enough of the AA types, we can find the common elements that make sense. 
 

A bit of reaching.. but the people involved with the sending in all of these cases have unique magical relationships. Aegon V (fire) sent his uncle who represents fire and ice (though really.. first men may not mean ice.. so let's say blood.). Nymeria (water) sent Vorian Dayne (let's also say blood.. though Daynes are a funny thing to peg down to an element for me..). Then Jon (Ice and secretly fire) sends himself to the wall. I think the elemental aspects might mean something, but I can't really connect what it might imply, or not..

 

Edit: Perhaps Vorian Dayne may represent Earth? Due to the star rock? Or maybe the First Men represent earth (names like Mudd, etc.)

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(1) red and black, "fire and blood". But blood and fire are both red, so what's the black for? Red fire, black blood? Just as one more way the imagery is reinforced. So if you look at the whole story, the dragonlords (purple on white) grow on the corpse of the half-dead (resurrected?) old god (goddess?), and their fire and blood are meteor fire and black blood of demons / fallen goddess.

(2) all this time I've been thinking that the Geodawnians would have had to come to Westeros to get their hands on a greenseer. Except that the Ifequevron existed on Essos, which was connected by land with Westeros thus potentially extending the original weirwoodnet across both continents.

So why come to Westeros? Did the skinchanging/greenseeing link suffer on Essos when the Arm of Dorne was broken?

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A bit of reaching.. but the people involved with the sending in all of these cases have unique magical relationships. Aegon V (fire) sent his uncle who represents fire and ice (though really.. first men may not mean ice.. so let's say blood.). Nymeria (water) sent Vorian Dayne (let's also say blood.. though Daynes are a funny thing to peg down to an element for me..). Then Jon (Ice and secretly fire) sends himself to the wall. I think the elemental aspects might mean something, but I can't really connect what it might imply, or not..

 

Edit: Perhaps Vorian Dayne may represent Earth? Due to the star rock? Or maybe the First Men represent earth (names like Mudd, etc.)

I think the blood of the first men elementally correspond to earth, the Targ's to fire, the Rhoynish to fresh water, and the Ironborn to seawater. Maybe the andals are air?

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(1) red and black, "fire and blood". But blood and fire are both red, so what's the black for? Red fire, black blood? Just as one more way the imagery is reinforced. So if you look at the whole story, the dragonlords (purple on white) grow on the corpse of the half-dead (resurrected?) old god (goddess?), and their fire and blood are meteor fire and black blood of demons / fallen goddess.

(2) all this time I've been thinking that the Geodawnians would have had to come to Westeros to get their hands on a greenseer. Except that the Ifequevron existed on Essos, which was connected by land with Westeros thus potentially extending the original weirwoodnet across both continents.

So why come to Westeros? Did the skinchanging/greenseeing link suffer on Essos when the Arm of Dorne was broken?

The Wall, maybe? Melisandre called it one of the hinges of the world.

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The Wall, maybe? Melisandre called it one of the hinges of the world.

Well, if the hinges = leylines sort of thing, I could see them being drawn to pretty much anywhere one if these "hinges" might be. It kind of makes sense in a way. The hinges (that I am totally making up) have heavy (possible) Geo influences.. Making sense of them.. let's see... The Wall represents a sort of door to death.. Battle Isle represents fertility (in land and thought and even soul..). Valyria and it's Fourteen Flames and obviousness references to heat and life (only if you subsribe to Valyria being an attempt to somewhat emulate the Geo Empire). Volantis being on the huge river mouth, kind of an extension of Valyria.. likewise representing life (but the water aspect.. and alternatively corruption of spirit after Valyria fell..). The Five Forts represent the egde of civilization.. Asshai? Not sure.. decline maybe? Mother of Mountains with it's serenity..  These would all represent what I would personally think are all of the edges to the Geo Empire, which I think would line up with whatever these hinges are (not the ones I'm just making up.). I don't know, I imagine a kind of attempt to consolidate magic as motivation, perhaps?

 

Also.. Qohor.. something about trees and blood.. it belongs in here somehow..

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Well, if the hinges = leylines sort of thing, I could see them being drawn to pretty much anywhere one if these "hinges" might be. It kind of makes sense in a way. The hinges (that I am totally making up) have heavy (possible) Geo influences.. Making sense of them.. let's see... The Wall represents a sort of door to death.. Battle Isle represents fertility (in land and thought and even soul..). Valyria and it's Fourteen Flames and obviousness references to heat and life (only if you subsribe to Valyria being an attempt to somewhat emulate the Geo Empire). Volantis being on the huge river mouth, kind of an extension of Valyria.. likewise representing life (but the water aspect.. and alternatively corruption of spirit after Valyria fell..). The Five Forts represent the egde of civilization.. Asshai? Not sure.. decline maybe? Mother of Mountains with it's serenity..  These would all represent what I would personally think are all of the edges to the Geo Empire, which I think would line up with whatever these hinges are (not the ones I'm just making up.). I don't know, I imagine a kind of attempt to consolidate magic as motivation, perhaps?

 

Also.. Qohor.. something about trees and blood.. it belongs in here somehow..

Walls aren't doors, even if they are hinges. I think that what exactly is being divided by the Wall is still undefined, but that the weirnet extends beyond but the Other's power doesn't provides some focus.

Qohor is blood and the fecundity it can bring. The arms of Baalite idols shoveling small bodies into the flames to fuel dark industry.

Red and black indeed.

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The Wall, maybe? Melisandre called it one of the hinges of the world.

 

I think "hinges" in this sense just means "lots of magic here" - based on Mel's words and thoughts. It's a metaphorical hinge, a place where someone as magic-focused as Mel could feel that she has enough power to "change" the world. 

 

The only type of magic that really exists is what's been called "blood magic", but is really at its core human sacrifice - except, in Martin's world, it actually works. The entire "Ice/fire" aspect conundrum is just an interpretational detail based on observations (icy Wall and Others, fiery dragons), but not really anything to do with the core of the magic. As Tormund says, the Wall is built of blood, not ice.

 

So, a "hinge" is a place were tremendous magic was worked, and is perhaps enduring. In other words, a place where a shitload of people were sacrificed.

 

They built humans into the Wall as sacrifice, that's the "blood" magic aspect of it, that's the core of its magic. The 79 sentinels is a myth carrying that. 

 

There's a Serbian epic poem called The Building of Skadar, from the middle ages that goes like this:

- three brothers want to build an impenetrable fortress against the Turkish invasion

- a mountain "vila" (a nymph, or a magical woman from Slavic mythology) tells the three brothers that they have to take the youngest son's wife, and build her alive into the wall to make the magic work.

 

Have a read of the summary:

 

The Building of Skadar

 

"... there was a belief at this time that it was impossible to build a large building without a human sacrifice. [He] claims that people even avoided the building sites because they were afraid their shadow could be walled-up and they could die without it."

 

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I think "hinges" in this sense just means "lots of magic here" - based on Mel's words and thoughts. It's a metaphorical hinge, a place where someone as magic-focused as Mel could feel that she has enough power to "change" the world. 

 

The only type of magic that really exists is what's been called "blood magic", but is really at its core human sacrifice - except, in Martin's world, it actually works. The entire "Ice/fire" aspect conundrum is just an interpretational detail based on observations (icy Wall and Others, fiery dragons), but not really anything to do with the core of the magic. As Tormund says, the Wall is built of blood, not ice.

 

So, a "hinge" is a place were tremendous magic was worked, and is perhaps enduring. In other words, a place where a shitload of people were sacrificed.

 

They built humans into the Wall as sacrifice, that's the "blood" magic aspect of it, that's the core of its magic. The 79 sentinels is a myth carrying that. 

 

There's a Serbian epic poem called The Building of Skadar, from the middle ages that goes like this:

- three brothers want to build an impenetrable fortress against the Turkish invasion

- a mountain "vila" (a nymph, or a magical woman from Slavic mythology) tells the three brothers that they have to take the youngest son's wife, and build her alive into the wall to make the magic work.

 

Have a read of the summary:

 

The Building of Skadar

 

!

A sinister and compelling case. TBH, I hadn't been thinking in this direction at all. The preservative nature of the magic involved in the Wall seemed to me to preclude blood-hot sacrifices but the bloody sacrifices Bran witnessed in the weirnet should have tipped me off, and the elegent solution your slavic myth provides- which is even shadowed in the story about the raiders who were walled in by the Night's Watch and by the eternal watchmen in their icy tombs.

I think you're on to something.

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