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Dragonsmurf

Starks and blood sacrifices to the Others

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I red some speculation in another thread about the Starks having to make a blood sacrifice in front of the heart tree to keep the Others content. As horrible as that theory is, I think it makes sense. What if Bran the builder, to end the long night and save the human race, offered his own family to the Others? I think he signed some form of pact with the Others. The wall was put up to prevent interaction and Others would stay north of it and humans south of it(there has always been humans north of the wall but they are so few that they don't disturbe the Others). In addition to this, one person from each generation of the Stark family would be killed in front of the heart tree. That's way "there always has to be a Stark in Winterfell". After the conquest, the Targaryen kings as well as the Faith of the seven disapproved and since the Starks had forgotten the great importance of the sacrifices and regarded them as a mere tradition, they dropped the custome. Therefore, the Others are on the move.

What do you all think about this theory? I think this is the kind of terrible thing GRRM would put in the series. They are very dark books, and this would be the darkest theme of all.

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Interesting idea, but (as with many theories along this line of thought) why did it take so long for the Others to stir again after the Starks halted their sacrifices? I also think we would have heard about any abandoned tradition of sacrifice in such recent history (which is not to say that it never happened in the more distant past, but then we hit up against the length of time argument again).

The 'Stark in Winterfell' phrase is definately significant though; I expect more will be revealed in future novels.

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I wouldn't say it is the darkest thing to happen. I'd rather freeze or get my throat slashed than get burned on a stake but that is a personal preference. 

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Interesting idea, but (as with many theories along this line of thought) why did it take so long for the Others to stir again after the Starks halted their sacrifices? I also think we would have heard about any abandoned tradition of sacrifice in such recent history (which is not to say that it never happened in the more distant past, but then we hit up against the length of time argument again).

The 'Stark in Winterfell' phrase is definately significant though; I expect more will be revealed in future novels.

If we assume that the sacrified humans were adults, since that's what Bran saw in his visions, they would make a sacrifice every 20-30 years or so. Perhaps the custome wasn't "discovered" and prohibited until Jaehaerys and Alysanne visited Winterfell, or perhabs it was practiced in secret for some time after the conquest. That would make it about ten missed offerings, and that was all the Others felt they could tolerate.

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I wouldn't say it is the darkest thing to happen. I'd rather freeze or get my throat slashed than get burned on a stake but that is a personal preference. 

Yeah, but the entire idea with sacrifices from one's own family... But a song of ice and fire is filled with horrible things.

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Yeah, you are hitting a nail in the dark and twisted department.. If true.

I had an afterthought too. While sacrifices to the red god are thru fire, we be seen lawbreakers and innocent people burned.

We just don't know enough about old god sacrifices. We've seen one but we don't know why he was sacrificed  and we hear about one via davos but to me that seemed like retribution toeto me. The last hero in a way sacrificed a bunch of companions but it is no way dark. I would type out the stannis sacrifice speech, but I'm too lazy.

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Maybe that's what happened to Ned's mother. Ned just never continued the practice and that's why the Others stirred. Brandon the wild wolf was taught to do this while Ned was being fostered in the Vale. It was a secret,  in the last 300 years or so , known only to the Lord of Winterfell and then to his heir when he came of age. Would explain a lot

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The more I think about it , the more sense it makes about the words "Their must always be a Stark in Winterfell" . Stark children are taught this from birth but only the Heir finds out why . Also kind of fits the Nissa Nissa prophecy too

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If only the heir was taught this it would have been lost long, long ago.  The Weirwoods are also connected to the cotf, not the WW"s based on everything we have seen.

There is also no such mention of a pact with the WW's in the series.  A pact was made between First Men and the COTF on the isle of faces, only later did the WW's attack during the Long Night.

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The Starks have made human sacrifices to the weirwoods. Whether or not that represents the power of the Others is open to debate, I suppose (although the fact the BR's cave is proof against their wights argues against it in my mind).

Of course, they may have made covenants with the Others in separate ceremonies as well.

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I red some speculation in another thread about the Starks having to make a blood sacrifice in front of the heart tree to keep the Others content. As horrible as that theory is, I think it makes sense. What if Bran the builder, to end the long night and save the human race, offered his own family to the Others? I think he signed some form of pact with the Others. The wall was put up to prevent interaction and Others would stay north of it and humans south of it(there has always been humans north of the wall but they are so few that they don't disturbe the Others). In addition to this, one person from each generation of the Stark family would be killed in front of the heart tree. That's way "there always has to be a Stark in Winterfell". After the conquest, the Targaryen kings as well as the Faith of the seven disapproved and since the Starks had forgotten the great importance of the sacrifices and regarded them as a mere tradition, they dropped the custome. Therefore, the Others are on the move.

What do you all think about this theory? I think this is the kind of terrible thing GRRM would put in the series. They are very dark books, and this would be the darkest theme of all.

I like it. 

One of the other culprits would have to be the Citadel who wants to eradicate magic from the world.  Perhaps magic is needed to keep the Others at bay.  On the flip side,you could also say, if the Others depend on magic, they would see the Citadel as their archenemy. 

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While I like fringe and crackpot theories, one would have to ask "what was the purpose of building such a tremendous structure if you could keep the Others away by having a bunch of sacrifices to a tree?" Also, "why keep it a secret if mankind depends on that?"

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They didnt sacrifice to the others they sacrificed to the old gods to maintain a ward around their teratory that protected them from the others simalar to blood Ravens cave.

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While I like fringe and crackpot theories, one would have to ask "what was the purpose of building such a tremendous structure if you could keep the Others away by having a bunch of sacrifices to a tree?" Also, "why keep it a secret if mankind depends on that?"

the wall would be the border between the realm of men and the realm of the Others. And I don't think it was a secret, it was practiced openly before the conquest.

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the wall would be the border between the realm of men and the realm of the Others. And I don't think it was a secret, it was practiced openly before the conquest.

If a simple sacrifice to a tree would suffice to stop the Others from destroying everything that bleeds, then a line on the ground would be enough to delimit each Realm.

It probably wasn't a secret for thousands of years, but at the beginning of the fourth century AC, nobody seems to know about it. And if some Targaryen king said to the Stark of Winterfell: "Hey! No more human sacrifices. That's barbaric!," the Stark would've HAD to say: "My lord, either I do this or you don't have nor realm nor subjects to rule."

But no. If this has been done, it's been done hushhush so nobody notices, when it should've been known to everyone that failing to do so would trigger another Long Night.

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If a simple sacrifice to a tree would suffice to stop the Others from destroying everything that bleeds, then a line on the ground would be enough to delimit each Realm.

It probably wasn't a secret for thousands of years, but at the beginning of the fourth century AC, nobody seems to know about it. And if some Targaryen king said to the Stark of Winterfell: "Hey! No more human sacrifices. That's barbaric!," the Stark would've HAD to say: "My lord, either I do this or you don't have nor realm nor subjects to rule."

But no. If this has been done, it's been done hushhush so nobody notices, when it should've been known to everyone that failing to do so would trigger another Long Night.

It's been 8 000 years since the Long night. The importance of the blood sacrifice was probably forgotten and regarded as a tradition.

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If we assume that the sacrified humans were adults, since that's what Bran saw in his visions, they would make a sacrifice every 20-30 years or so. Perhaps the custome wasn't "discovered" and prohibited until Jaehaerys and Alysanne visited Winterfell, or perhabs it was practiced in secret for some time after the conquest. That would make it about ten missed offerings, and that was all the Others felt they could tolerate.

I understand that the Others may have tolerated a certain number of missed sacrifices, but ten seems like a few too many. In addition to this, 'generations' become a relative term when everyone's marrying their second cousins all the time: how would you decide when the next sacrifice was due?

the wall would be the border between the realm of men and the realm of the Others. And I don't think it was a secret, it was practiced openly before the conquest.

If it was truly practiced openly then surely there would be records of it happening? Even in oral tales if not the records of Winterfell.

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The Others may have been pissed off for a long time, but they have to wait for the weather to flip to the Ice Age before they can do something about it.  That said, I like the idea that it's what the Maesters are trying to do that upset the balance.  It could have been the maesters who pushed to cut down all the weirwood trees in the south.  Magic is needed to keep the Others confined to the other side of the wall during the Ice Age.

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I understand that the Others may have tolerated a certain number of missed sacrifices, but ten seems like a few too many. In addition to this, 'generations' become a relative term when everyone's marrying their second cousins all the time: how would you decide when the next sacrifice was due?

If it was truly practiced openly then surely there would be records of it happening? Even in oral tales if not the records of Winterfell.

I guess every King in Winterfell had to do a sacrifice. Perhaps it was not an open practice even before the Targaryen conquest. Not a secret, but not a public event either. And there are records about human sacrifices in the North in the past, but no recordings of when it ended.

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