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heirofValyria

Purpose of Asshai

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It could be possible that the shadowbinders serve a similar purpose as the night's watch and Asshai is similar to the wall. It is also possible that Asshai was a lot more prosperous than we have it now (possibly as late as the doom of Valyria) . Since someone (or something) built those vast black walls and the town is full of empty rooms (1/7 houses are lit in asshai just like how the wall is decaying following the fall of the last dragons). the freehold and YiTi could've been the main trading partner and supplier of slaves for asshai's mines (how does a small city like that have such a vast amount of gems and gold). With the fall of the freehold, the city lost it's supply of magic users and materials. Leading to a degradation of the cities influence and power projection. The black walls are a defense against the monstrosities that lie beyond those walls. But what about Azor Ahai? Azor ahai sounds like asshai a lot, so could it just be a linguistic corruption of the name of the city? Could the original azor ahai be translated as something similar to Lord of Asshai? As the Asshai'i have accounts of a hero with a red sword vanquishing the darkness. Since then, the city has yielded to the darkness and asshai has been surrounded by darkness and the order of the shadowbinders has lost much of it's former influence.

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Asshai is one of the most mysterious places in a song of ice and fire.  I would love to know more about it but have a feeling it will stay a mystery.  Definitely some weird magic going on up there and I also got the same notion as you that it used to be more populated and powerful than it is now.  I never thought about it in a way that it's like the wall but I like your idea.

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I bet we're gonna see Asshai in TWOW. It looks like Quaithe wants Dany to go there. It looks like the prophecy of the Stallion who Mounts the World is alive, and he's Drogon. I've always felt that it meant that within Dany, is gonna be born someone who'll take the Dothraki to places they've always feared to go (to Asshai and through the Poison Water).

She'll have her dose of truth in Asshai, possibly some answers about the prophecies, or some magic or spells to bind dragons to her will, or informations about her role in the wars to come against the Others, or something about her blood that will bring the Aegon the Conqueror out of her... Something like that, and come spinning right back to the Slaver's Bay as Dany the Dragon and not Dany the Mhysa spreading Fire and Blood, finding Victarion, Barristan, Hizdahr zo Loraq, Tyrion, Jorrah and Daario, and will eat every single one of them alive and keeping around those she finds use, and trashing the ones who doesn't have and go straight back to Westeros to find an Aegon + Dorne and possibly the Eyrie and Highgarden (since every Tyrell hates Cersei, and Kevan is dead) vs Cersei + Freys + Boltons struggle.

And all hail to the queen. After a sweet little moment where Tyrion rapes and murders Cersei, in her most gory POV, just so GRRM's sadic mind wets itself with her Valonqar arrinving to kill her in the same time as a younger and more beautiful woman cast her down of all she holds dear - power. Then it's the end of TWOW.

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I don't know if we will see it in the books, my money would be on no, but I am not a gambling man. As far what purpose it serves, that's a neat idea HeirofValyria. It does seem as though the decline coincided with the decline of magic, whereas the Watch's true decline started with, probably the Andal invasion, and then the deathblow more or less come from Aegon's conquest. You were not getting 6 more kings in golden fetters sent to the wall after that.

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The purpose of Asshai in the story is to be a mysterious place at the far end of the world. The mystery is the reason why it exists, to give a sense that he world is larger and more mysterious than can be described in the series, and exploring it in-depth would remove that mystery. I expect it to stay that way, since the impact of mystery is greater the less you know about it. The imagination of the reader fills in the blank spaces, making it a far more effective plot the device the less is said about it.

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The purpose of Asshai in the story is to be a mysterious place at the far end of the world. The mystery is the reason why it exists, to give a sense that he world is larger and more mysterious than can be described in the series, and exploring it in-depth would remove that mystery. I expect it to stay that way, since the impact of mystery is greater the less you know about it. The imagination of the reader fills in the blank spaces, making it a far more effective plot the device the less is said about it.

Exactly.  GRRM even said that we wouldn't be seeing Asshai in the books (of course, he could always change his mind, though).

GRRM likes mystery.  It keeps people talking, debating, and thinking about his work.  It's necessary for world building.

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I bet we're gonna see Asshai in TWOW. It looks like Quaithe wants Dany to go there.

The cryptic language that Quaithe gives Dany in ACoK, I always thought, was that Dany must go back to the ways of her ancestors. Or as she puts in ADwD when Dany is lost "Remember who you are, Daenerys, ... The dragons know. Do you?" She must return to Fire & Blood, something she has really refused to do (to a degree, of course).

The purpose of Asshai in the story is to be a mysterious place at the far end of the world. The mystery is the reason why it exists, to give a sense that he world is larger and more mysterious than can be described in the series, and exploring it in-depth would remove that mystery. I expect it to stay that way, since the impact of mystery is greater the less you know about it. The imagination of the reader fills in the blank spaces, making it a far more effective plot the device the less is said about it.

You hit the nail on the head. It's a plot device that would lose it's true worth if we were to visit. I've always pictured it as a major city during The Plague. Empty, skeptical, afraid, dark, and dangerous which only describes the population. Who knows what else is out there of a magical kind. Besides, if Dany were to go to Ashai, there is now way she ever makes it back to Westoros before the end of A Dream of Spring.

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If you take Quaithe's advice literally Dany has to go backward to go forward then follow some very specific directions.   If you are able to trace Dany's journey on a map since receiving the Quaithe admonition you will see she's gone east, south and north.   Her trip rather looks like a boomerang...one long trip east then roughly 2/3rd that trip south then north again.  If she heads back west to Vaes Dothrak it's a clear move back west, possibly marking the completion the upper portion of her boomerang.  Then she will be able to go forward, farther west to Westeros.   Asshai is so far off this route I'm dubious as to Quaithe meaning this literally.   I think it may be more or less an early indicator that Dany will or should find the Red Priests and followers of Rh'llor...or maybe just a certain shadow binder from Asshai currently residing at Castle Black...

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If you take Quaithe's advice literally Dany has to go backward to go forward then follow some very specific directions.   If you are able to trace Dany's journey on a map since receiving the Quaithe admonition you will see she's gone east, south and north.   Her trip rather looks like a boomerang...one long trip east then roughly 2/3rd that trip south then north again.  If she heads back west to Vaes Dothrak it's a clear move back west, possibly marking the completion the upper portion of her boomerang.  Then she will be able to go forward, farther west to Westeros.   Asshai is so far off this route I'm dubious as to Quaithe meaning this literally.   I think it may be more or less an early indicator that Dany will or should find the Red Priests and followers of Rh'llor...or maybe just a certain shadow binder from Asshai currently residing at Castle Black...

I always felt the "must go back to move forward" wasn't a physical place on a map...but rather going back to something in your past. (which is exactly what seems to be happening at the end of ADWD with the Dothraki finding her).

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I always felt the "must go back to move forward" wasn't a physical place on a map...but rather going back to something in your past. (which is exactly what seems to be happening at the end of ADWD with the Dothraki finding her).

Sort of fulfilled all of it didn't it?   I wonder if at the end of her journey back west she will ultimately land where the lemon trees and red door are?   Wouldn't that be cool!   

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Ohh.. good one. Maybe Asshai is a foreshadowing of what could be in Westeros if they aren't careful. Desperate to ward off the Long Night they wielded the fire magic spawned by their fallen star. While they succeeded, the lack of control of fire magic decimated the continent, because, ya know, fire consumes. Or even a little further, they turned their back on the Old Gods, which explains the scarcity of animals and trees. for this fire magic.and now it's Dany's dragons or bust.

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Sort of fulfilled all of it didn't it?   I wonder if at the end of her journey back west she will ultimately land where the lemon trees and red door are?   Wouldn't that be cool!   

Maybe she goes full fire and blood and is burning down houses in Brravos/Lys/Sunspear riding a dragon and then sees the house with red door before it goes up in flames, realizing an instant too late that she burnt down the house she was trying to find all these years

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Maybe she goes full fire and blood and is burning down houses in Brravos/Lys/Sunspear riding a dragon and then sees the house with red door before it goes up in flames, realizing an instant too late that she burnt down the house she was trying to find all these years

I don't know that Dany is on self-destruct.   Much is made of her building antagonist role, but I don't see it so clearly.  Debate is heated over Jon's ethics and honor as related to the NW.   I think Dany is at a similar turning point in her arc.  They are children without real guidance, mostly alone with nothing but their minds, wills and hearts.   Like Jon, I believe Dany is due a bit of revelation that may bring her some peace or hope or focus.   Her story is more difficult to piece together.   They are powerhouses capable of both great good and evil and I expect to see a bit of both from each of them.   I'd like to see Dany find that place with the red door and lemon trees to complete her identity as much as I want Jon to know who his mother is to complete his.   They can go forward without but as heroes and conquerors go I think they both deserve a little bit of their true beginnings.   I think that Dany and Jon are essentially decent people beyond their past decisions and motivations.      

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The story won't move to Asshai, but it'll play a relevant role.

We've been told of at least three people who've been there: Mirri Maz Dur, Quaithe and Marwin, And they probably knew each other.

When Quaithe tells Dany to move through the world, she uses the cardinal point. But when she tells of backward-forward, I think she's talking about time; there's something in the past that Dany must find out before going forward. And it probably has something to do with Asshai.

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On 1/16/2016 at 5:19 PM, finger said:

The story won't move to Asshai, but it'll play a relevant role.

We've been told of at least three people who've been there: Mirri Maz Dur, Quaithe and Marwin, And they probably knew each other.

When Quaithe tells Dany to move through the world, she uses the cardinal point. But when she tells of backward-forward, I think she's talking about time; there's something in the past that Dany must find out before going forward. And it probably has something to do with Asshai.

Didn't Euron go there as well, and that's where he learned his magic and that's why his lips are blue?

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On 1/16/2016 at 5:19 PM, finger said:

The story won't move to Asshai, but it'll play a relevant role.

We've been told of at least three people who've been there: Mirri Maz Dur, Quaithe and Marwin, And they probably knew each other.

When Quaithe tells Dany to move through the world, she uses the cardinal point. But when she tells of backward-forward, I think she's talking about time; there's something in the past that Dany must find out before going forward. And it probably has something to do with Asshai.

Didn't Euron go there as well, and that's where he learned his magic and that's why his lips are blue?

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There's two options at this stage. The first is the "you need to go east to go west" thing with Dany will work out so that she passes through Asshai to get to Westeros. After all, we never find out what lies to the west of Westeros as a continent and provided the ASOIAF world is round then it makes sense. That, or GRRM is telling the truth and it'll stay a mystery. I'd like for it to be the first one since it would tie things up nicely, though I reckon it would add another three books to the series to detail the journey.

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I think we will never get a POV into Asshai or any in-depth look into the country (city-state?). I suspect it will be something similar to Robert Jordan's use of mysterious "Shara" in his Wheel of Time series. Characters talked about "Shara" discussed it, and only in the last book it showed characters from it that played significant role. (Of course Brandon Sanderson couldn't stop himself into writing extra) but originally Robert Jordan just left hints about Shara with strong impact at literally last deciding battle...

So I am thinking Asshai will be talked about, we have Melisandre from there but her POV never goes into it. And literally in one pivotal scene a character from Asshai will do something related to major events with use of power from Asshai, or influence from there and so on and thats it, like blame revival of Dragons or the Others or reveal that some historic catastrophe (ex. Fall of Valyria, weird seasons that last years) was a result of someone from Asshai region meddling with some sort of otherwordly powers 

 

 

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