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Heresy 182

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Welcome to Heresy 182, the latest edition of the thread where we take an in-depth look at the story and in particular what GRRM has referred to as the real conflict, not the political Game of Thrones, but the threat which lies the North, in the magical otherlands above the Wall.

 

Heresy is not of itself a theory. There is occasional consensus but no “Heretic view” on matters. Instead Heresy is a free-flowing and above all a very friendly series of open discussions and arguments about the Song of Ice and Ice and Fire.

 

If new to the thread, don’t be intimidated by the size and scope of Heresy, or by some of the many ideas we’ve discussed here over the years. This is very much a come as you are thread with no previous experience required. We’re very welcoming and we’re very good at talking in circles and we don’t mind going over old ground again, especially with a fresh pair of eyes, so just ask. You will neither be patronized nor directed to follow links, but will be engaged directly. Just be patient and observe the local house rules that the debate be conducted by reference to the text, with respect for the ideas of others, and above all with great good humour

 

The strength and the beauty and ultimately the value of Heresy as a critical discussion group is that it reflects diversity and open-ness. This is a thread where ideas can be discussed – and argued – freely, because above all it is about an exchange of ideas and sometimes too a remarkably well informed exchange drawing upon an astonishing broad base of literature ranging through Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and so many others all to the way to the Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Mabinogion.

 

If new to Heresy you may also want to refer to to Wolfmaid's essential guide to Heresy: http://asoiaf.wester...uide-to-heresy/, which provides annotated links to all the previous editions of Heresy, latterly identified by topic. The Centennial Project essays in the run-up to Heresy 100 are particularly recommended, but be  warned however that Heresy is constantly moving and evolving and that what was once regarded as important may now be exploded. Live in the moment and the current thread.

 

Beyond that, read on…

 

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And now as usual the slightly spoilerish full text of GRRM's1993  letter to his agent, Ralph Vicinanza. Things have obviously changed a bit since then but If you don’t want to know, don’t read on:

 

October 1993

 

Dear Ralph,

 

Here are the first thirteen chapters (170 pages) of the high fantasy novel I promised you, which I'm calling A Game of Thrones. When completed, this will be the first volume in what I see as an epic trilogy with the overall title, A Song of Ice and Fire.

 

As you know, I don't outline my novels. I find that if I know exactly where a book is going, I lose all interest in writing it. I do, however, have some strong notions as to the overall structure of the story I'm telling, and the eventual fate of many of the principle [sic] characters in the drama.

 

Roughly speaking, there are three major conflicts set in motion in the chapters enclosed. These will form the major plot threads of the trilogy, intertwining with each other in what should be a complex but exciting (I hope) narrative tapestry. Each of the conflicts presents a major threat to the peace of my imaginary realm, the Seven Kingdoms, and to the lives of the principal characters.

 

The first threat grows from the enmity between the great houses of Lannister and Stark as it plays out in a cycle of plot, counterplot, ambition, murder, and revenge, with the iron throne of the Seven Kingdoms as the ultimate prize. This will form the backbone of the first volume of the trilogy, A Game of Thrones.

 

While the lion of Lannister and the direwolf of Stark snarl and scrap, however, a second and greater threat takes shape across the narrow sea, where the Dothraki horselords mass their barbarians hordes for a great invasion of the Seven Kingdoms, led by the fierce and beautiful Daenerys Stormborn, the last of the Targaryen dragonlords. The Dothraki invasion will be the central story of my second volume,A Dance with Dragons.

 

The greatest danger of all, however, comes from the north, from the icy wastes beyond the Wall, where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn and prepare to ride down on the winds of winter to extinguish everything that we would call "life." The only thing that stands between the Seven Kingdoms and and endless night is the Wall, and a handful of men in black called the Night's Watch. Their story will be the heart of my third volume, The Winds of Winter. The final battle will also draw together characters and plot threads left from the first two books and resolve all in one huge climax.

 

The thirteen chapters on hand should give you a notion as to my narrative strategy. All three books will feature a complex mosaic of intercutting points-of-view among various of my large and diverse cast of players. The cast will not always remains the same. Old characters will die, and new ones will be introduced. Some of the fatalities will include sympathetic viewpoint characters. I want the reader to feel that no one is ever completely safe, not even the characters who seem to be the heroes. The suspense always ratchets up a notch when you know that any character can die at any time.

 

Five central characters will make it through all three volumes, however, growing from children to adults and changing the world and themselves in the process. In a sense, my trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters, three men and two women. The five key players are Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and three of the children of Winterfell, Arya, Bran, and the bastard Jon Snow. All of them are introduced at some length in the chapters you have to hand.

 

This is going to be (I hope) quite an epic. Epic in its scale, epic in its action, and epic in its length. I see all three volumes as big books, running about 700 to 800 manuscript pages, so things are just barely getting underway in the thirteen chapters I've sent you.

 

I have quite a clear notion of how the story is going to unfold in the first volume, A Game of Thrones. Things will get a lot worse for the poor Starks before they get better, I'm afraid. Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Catelyn Tully are both doomed, and will perish at the hands of their enemies. Ned will discover what happened to his friend Jon Arryn, but before he can act on his knowledge, King Robert will have an unfortunate accident, and the throne will pass to his sullen and brutal son Joffrey, still a minor. Joffrey will not be sympathetic and Ned will be accused of treason, but before he is taken he will help his wife and his daughter escape back to Winterfell.

 

Each of the contending families will learn it has a member of dubious loyalty in its midst. Sansa Stark, wed to Joffrey Baratheon, will bear him a son, the heir to the throne, and when the crunch comes she will choose her husband and child over her parents and siblings, a choice she will later bitterly rue. Tyrion Lannister, meanwhile, befriend both Sansa and her sister Arya, while growing more and more disenchanted with his own family.

 

Young Bran will come out of his coma, after a strange prophetic dream, only to discover that he will never walk again. He will turn to magic, at first in the hope of restoring his legs, but later for its own sake. When his father Eddard Stark is executed, Bran will see the shape of doom descending on all of them, but nothing he can say will stop his brother Robb from calling the banners in rebellion. All the north will be inflamed by war. Robb will win several splendid victories, and maim Joffrey Baratheon on the battlefield, but in the end he will not be able to stand against Jaime and Tyrion Lannister and their allies. Robb Stark will die in battle, and Tyrion Lannister will besiege and burn Winterfell.

 

Jon Snow, the bastard, will remain in the far north. He will mature into a ranger of great daring, and ultimately will succeed his uncle as the commander of the Night's Watch. When Winterfell burns, Catelyn Stark will be forced to flee north with her son Bran and her daughter Arya. Hounded by Lannister riders, they will seek refuge at the Wall, but the men of the Night's Watch give up their families when they take the black, and Jon and Benjen will not be able to help, to Jon's anguish. It will lead to a bitter estrangement between Jon and Bran. Arya will be more forgiving... until she realizes, with terror, that she has fallen in love with Jon, who is not only her half-brother but a man of the Night's Watch, sworn to celibacy. Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book.

 

Abandoned by the Night's Watch, Catelyn and her children will find their only hope of safety lies even further north, beyond the Wall, where they fall into the hands of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, and get a dreadful glimpse of the inhuman others as they attack the wildling encampment. Bran's magic, Arya's sword Needle, and the savagery of their direwolves will help them survive, but their mother Catelyn will die at the hands of the others.

 

Over across the narrow sea, Daenerys Targaryen will discover that her new husband, the Dothraki Khal Drogo, has little interest in invading the Seven Kingdoms, much to her brother's frustration. When Viserys presses his claims past the point of tact or wisdom, Khal Drogo will finally grow annoyed and kill him out of hand, eliminating the Targaryen pretender and leaving Daenerys as the last of her line. Daenerys will bide her time, but she will not forget. When the moment is right, she will kill her husband to avenge her brother, and then flee with a trusted friend into the wilderness beyond Vaes Dothrak. There, hunted by Dothraki bloodriders [?] of her life, she stumbles on a cache of dragon's eggs [?] of a young dragon will give Daenerys the power to bend the Dothraki to her will. Then she begins to plan for her invasion of the Seven Kingdoms.

 

Tyrion Lannister will continue to travel, to plot, and to play the game of thrones, finally removing his nephew Joffrey in disgust at the boy king's brutality. Jaime Lannister will follow Joffrey on the throne of the Seven Kingdoms, by the simple expedient of killing everyone ahead of him in the line of succession and blaming his brother Tyrion for the murders. Exiled, Tyrion will change sides, making common cause with surviving Starks to bring his brother down, and falling helplessly in love with Arya Stark while he's at it. His passion is, alas, unreciprocated, but no less intense for that, and it will lead to a deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Snow.

 

[7 Lines Redacted]

 

But that's the second book...

 

I hope you'll find some editors who are as excited about all of this as I am. Feel free to share this letter with anyone who wants to know how the story will go.

 

All best,

George R.R. Martin

 

 

 

What’s in that redacted passage we don’t know but here’s what appears to be the equally spoilerish original synopsis/publisher’s blurb for Winds of Winter; not the forthcoming one, alas, but one apparently dating back to when it was still to be the third volume of the trilogy and following directly on in content and style from the first synopsis set out above:

 

 

Continuing the most imaginative and ambitious epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings Winter has come at last and no man can say whether it will ever go again. The Wall is broken, the cold dead legions are coming south, and the people of the Seven Kingdoms turn to their queen to protect them. But Daenerys Targaryen is learning what Robert Baratheon learned before her; that it is one thing to win a throne and quite another to sit on one. Before she can hope to defeat the Others, Dany knows she must unite the broken realm behind her. Wolf and lion must hunt together, maester and greenseer work as one, all the blood feuds must be put aside, the bitter rivals and sworn enemies join hands. The Winds of Winter tells the story of Dany’s fight to save her new-won kingdom, of two desperate journeys beyond the known world in to the very hearts of ice and fire, and of the final climactic battle at Winterfell, with life itself in the balance.

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To continue on a theory I have been putting forth, this is ultimately a song of ice and fire...two story arcs, one of ice and one of fire. As Melisandre told Davos:

 

Quote

 



...”Open your eyes, ser knight.”

“What is it you would have me see?”

“The way the world is made. The truth is all around you, plain to behold. The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good.” She took a step toward him. “death and life. Everywhere, opposites. Everywhere the war.”

“The war?” asked Davos.

“The war,” she affirmed. “there are two, Onion Knight…”

 

 

There are oodles of echoes and inversions in the story, and because of that, I don't believe Jon is half Targaryen. I think it's all an author's slight of hand, because he's cleverly provided clues for two separate arcs of ice and fire, but each arc is only half of their respective story. Jon, who is said to have more of the north in him than his siblings will end up having a father from the north. There must be two sides to maintain balance, so I don't ascribe to the argument that Jon is both ice and fire.

Magic, on the other hand...eliminating magic just may be what's needed to save humanity. There is an SSM where GRRM says that there are two sources of magic coming from two directions.

July 01, 2008
Corte Ingles signing

...the questions moved to historical fiction, there being similarities between ASOIAF and the War of the Roses, if he had ever thought about building a story about them. GRRM replied he liked historical fiction very much, mentioned Cornwell and Pressfield as infusing history with the tropes of fantasy ( I think) but that his problem with history is that he knows too much history, that he can not read about the war of the roses without knowing who won the battle of Bosworth Field. With history, a lot of readers will know who wins and what happens and he likes to readers to not know what is going to happen (ah!).

He used an interesting analogy to his use of magic in fantasy fiction, he compared it to, on a college dormitory take out, him being used to plain style New Jersey pizzas, first trying anchovies in a garbage pizza (that was the expression used, really). He loved those anchovies, but when he next ordered an anchovy pizza he thought it was awfull, overwhelming. Magic and fantasy can be like anchovy in pizza, too much unbalanced can ruin everything . Tolkien did it right, on his opinion, that his magic is often knowledge and the sense of magic is very low key, that we are often not sure, are the fireworks real magic or just fireworks? Magic should be mysterious, unnatural. In a Song of Ice and Fire (or ADWD) we have two sources of magic descending on Westeros from opposing directions.

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

There are oodles of echoes and inversions in the story, and because of that, I don't believe Jon is half Targaryen. I think it's all an author's slight of hand, because he's cleverly provided clues for two separate arcs of ice and fire, but each arc is only half of their respective story. Jon, who is said to have more of the north in him than his siblings will end up having a father from the north. There must be two sides to maintain balance, so I don't ascribe to the argument that Jon is both ice and fire.

Magic, on the other hand...eliminating magic just may be what's needed to save humanity.

Broadly speaking thus far we're in agreement in so far that I don't think Jon is both ice and fire. I don't have a problem with Rhaegar being his father, I just don't think its significant. Whatever role they will eventually play, or rather how they will play their roles Jon is the Ice to Danaerys' fire; both following a similar and almost mirrored story arc but each representing equal but opposed forces.

As to those forces, yes the ending of magic might well be a necessary end and if so it will certainly be bittersweet for it would almost certainly involve the destruction of Bran given the emphasis on him turning to magic in the synopsis above. 

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But Melisandre is wrong on so many things and especially on the whole black&white stuff. The whole onion is not rotten when one layer is rotten. Most men are grey and not black or white. This is not a story of evil vs good.

 

I know this is not what you argued Feather, I am just commenting on the Melisandre quote you provided and what to make of it.

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But yet we get so much of the black and white; including the black rangers and the white rangers that there is no doubting a [balanced] conflict is going on.

While I agree that most men are grey, I think that's the whole point in that the grey [including the sheep?] are caught in the middle of a conflict which they care nothing about, and yet to the protagonists it is everything and so the grey suffer, not least due to the "those who are not with  us are against us" syndrome common to most fanatics

And on that note its way past my bedtime so good night one and all.

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6 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

But yet we get so much of the black and white; including the black rangers and the white rangers that there is no doubting a [balanced] conflict is going on.

While I agree that most men are grey, I think that's the whole point in that the grey [including the sheep?] are caught in the middle of a conflict which they care nothing about, and yet to the protagonists it is everything and so the grey suffer, not least due to the "those who are not with  us are against us" syndrome common to most fanatics

And on that note its way past my bedtime so good night one and all.

The protagonists are all grey as well. The "Us against them" syndrome, as you describe it, is not unique to fanatics. It can be seen in the Night's Watch and with the wildlings. It is human nature, everyone got it and it is only more pronounced in fanatics like Melisandre.

 

There will be no great evil Stranger who fights the white Knight, rather I suspect in the end the reader will be confused as to who the good guys really are and who he should root for. This is a conflict told from both sides where the reader can sympathize with both sides.

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36 minutes ago, Armstark said:

But Melisandre is wrong on so many things and especially on the whole black&white stuff. The whole onion is not rotten when one layer is rotten. Most men are grey and not black or white. This is not a story of evil vs good.

 

I know this is not what you argued Feather, I am just commenting on the Melisandre quote you provided and what to make of it.

I agree that the whole onion is not rotten when only one layer is, just as a man cannot possibly be just good or evil, but Melisandre herself is only fire and sees the world as though her side is the right side. That is the nature of all people. They believe their side is the right side, just like Cersei and likely her father Tywin before her believe they are doing what's best for their family. I used the quote to point out the black and white nature of the whole story.

 

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I don't know about the elimination of magic.  The Rhoynish had their secret song, there's the woman with a monkeys tail.  

The long night has come and gone before, magic and men remain. What makes this time different?   

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23 minutes ago, WitteRaaf said:

I don't know about the elimination of magic.  The Rhoynish had their secret song, there's the woman with a monkeys tail.  

The long night has come and gone before, magic and men remain. What makes this time different?   

It's a fairly unpopular opinion on here but imo, Jon is the reason things are different.  I for one hold to his being a union of ice & fire until proven otherwise and I believe that will be significant, as I can't imagine a situation where a writer creates an elaborate fake parentage only to have the true parents be meaningless.  What I mean by that BC is that whether Ned is his dad or Lyanna is his mum, he has one parent from the exemplar house of the north, the Starks.  Couldn't the significance be that he inherits "the north" through the maternal line? I hear you cry.  Well yes but doesn't that just seem like a weaker, less-developed idea?  The concept of Jon as a sort of impossible child, as "the-boy-who-shouldn't-be" gives a much more elegant structure to the overall narrative if he is then the reason as to why "this time it's different".

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3 hours ago, TheButcherCrow said:

...I can't imagine a situation where a writer creates an elaborate fake parentage only to have the true parents be meaningless.  

Agreed. If the only thing that GRRM needed Jon to be was a "Son of Winterfell," he may as well have just made Ned his father, and just played the bastard storyline straight, with no blatant element of secrecy or mystery.

Assuming Rhaegar is his father, there's just no reason to choose that particular figure as his father, and have it simultaneously turn out to be irrelevant, especially when it's an established thing in-world that there's "magic" in Targaryen blood, just as there's inherited magic in Stark blood.

The response to this has been some variation of "he chose Rheagar to 'distract' the reader from Jon being a Stark," which is just...it's terribly unconvincing to me as an argument. Just because people choose to focus a lot on what it may mean for Jon's future if Rhaegar is his father, that doesn't mean they've somehow forgotten or been distracted from Jon's connection to House Stark--it receives less speculation because, of course, it's already a given that Jon is half Stark, so there's no startling revelation there. And of course, theories such as "Jon will be the union of Ice and Fire," or "Jon will be Night's King 2.0" take it as a given that Jon's Stark blood also matters.

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GRRM choosing Rhaegar , the crown prince and blood of the dragon to be Jons father must be significant. Why give Jon Targ blood if its not important?  Yes Jon being a Stark is just as important as him being a Targ , But George must have had something In mind when he decided to make Jon Rhaegars son. 

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8 hours ago, Armstark said:

But Melisandre is wrong on so many things and especially on the whole black&white stuff. The whole onion is not rotten when one layer is rotten. Most men are grey and not black or white. This is not a story of evil vs good.

No, and as GRRM himself has observed most tyrants and villains don't see themselves as such. Melisandre is in fact a perfect example in doing terrible things and inflicting horror not because she enjoys pulling legs off spiders but because she believes it needs to be done and is oblivious to the evil.

A good real world example was the Thirty Years War which grew out to very little to encompass most of Europe and saw the intra-national conflicts overlaid by a fanatical ideological one, in which none of the parties emerge as good to the other's evil; both were evil, both influenced the actions of those who followed them and everybody suffered.

Its not a question of a conflict of good and evil per se, but rather that there is a conflict which is spiralling out of control. It was made pretty clear from the outset that the Ice is a force to be feared, but as the story has gone on we've come to realise that the Fire, far from being the saviour also promises its horrors - and that both sides are more enigmatic than at first appears.

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13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

There are oodles of echoes and inversions in the story, and because of that, I don't believe Jon is half Targaryen. I think it's all an author's slight of hand, because he's cleverly provided clues for two separate arcs of ice and fire, but each arc is only half of their respective story. Jon, who is said to have more of the north in him than his siblings will end up having a father from the north. There must be two sides to maintain balance, so I don't ascribe to the argument that Jon is both ice and fire.

 

 

I think slight of hand is most fitting, we see the left hand....we see the right.   We dont see their connection.

Jojen says...."if ice can burn....."

and obsidian is called frozen fire

why would these things be said "in world"?

the precedent has been set.  whether by person or pact, a unity of ice and fire is possible and must be achieved.

bass and treble, melody and harmony, one song, two parts.

 

I dont think Mel can be trusted, she speaks of duality here, but also says "the brightest flame casts the darkest shadows." implying a connection.   I dont think shes practicing fire magic, not even sure thats a thing.   shes working blood magic, (IMO) not a good thing.

the worldbook says:

yet every reign was shorter and more troubled than the one preceding it, for wild men and baleful beasts pressed at the borders of the Great Empire, lesser kings grew prideful and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves over to avarice, envy, lust, murder, incest, gluttony, and sloth.

all of this before the Bloodstone Emp. slew his sister, and things got worse from there.   seems as though the darkness is summoned by the darkness in the hearts of men in general.
this begs the question, What is good magic?  If there are two forms from opposing directions, where is the good form?   The children seem pretty dark themselves.  So too do some of the "sacrifices to the heart trees"  
ridding the world of magic just might be a good thing.
 

 

13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

Magic, on the other hand...eliminating magic just may be what's needed to save humanity. There is an SSM where GRRM says that there are two sources of magic coming from two directions.

 

 

on a side note, Ive found the citadel........yay

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12 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I agree that the whole onion is not rotten when only one layer is, just as a man cannot possibly be just good or evil, but Melisandre herself is only fire and sees the world as though her side is the right side. That is the nature of all people. They believe their side is the right side, just like Cersei and likely her father Tywin before her believe they are doing what's best for their family. I used the quote to point out the black and white nature of the whole story.

 

Is it really Black and White though? (from a morality POV) You point out yourself that most characters in the story are grey and only do what they think is best for them and their family. Is the wolf white and the lion black? It seems that way at the beginning but we soon learn that they are both grey. There is no duality there. I expect the same will turn out to be true for most of the supposed dualities. The Night's Watch is not a force for good and neither are the White Walkers a force of evil. Dragons are not our Lord and Saviour but an equal threat to the world as are the White Walkers. A summer that never ends is just as bad as the Long NIght.

 

So the story might be presented in dualities but they are not diametrically opposed but basically the same only slightly different. Two sides of the same coin if you will.

 

 

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5 hours ago, WitteRaaf said:

I think slight of hand is most fitting, we see the left hand....we see the right.   We dont see their connection.

Jojen says...."if ice can burn....."

and obsidian is called frozen fire

why would these things be said "in world"?

the precedent has been set.  whether by person or pact, a unity of ice and fire is possible and must be achieved.

bass and treble, melody and harmony, one song, two parts.

 

I dont think Mel can be trusted, she speaks of duality here, but also says "the brightest flame casts the darkest shadows." implying a connection.   I dont think shes practicing fire magic, not even sure thats a thing.   shes working blood magic, (IMO) not a good thing.

the worldbook says:

yet every reign was shorter and more troubled than the one preceding it, for wild men and baleful beasts pressed at the borders of the Great Empire, lesser kings grew prideful and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves over to avarice, envy, lust, murder, incest, gluttony, and sloth.

all of this before the Bloodstone Emp. slew his sister, and things got worse from there.   seems as though the darkness is summoned by the darkness in the hearts of men in general.
this begs the question, What is good magic?  If there are two forms from opposing directions, where is the good form?   The children seem pretty dark themselves.  So too do some of the "sacrifices to the heart trees"  
ridding the world of magic just might be a good thing.
 

 

on a side note, Ive found the citadel........yay

 

Blood is sacrificed with both types of magic. The weirwoods soak it up. We suspect Craster's sons are sacrificed for their blood. Dany sacrificed Mirri to hatch her eggs and unconsciously sacrificed her own child. We've also seen life force drawn from living people like Stannis to create shadows, which isn't blood per se but what does our life force consist of? The power of life is in our blood. If we lose too much we die. Melisandre is a priestess of Rh'llor and Rh'llor is the Lord of Light and Shadow. She sees the future in flames. She works fire magic.
 

I don't think magic has been good for Westeros at all, because there is no "good" magic. What is good for one person will be terrible for someone else.

 

2 hours ago, Armstark said:

Is it really Black and White though? (from a morality POV) You point out yourself that most characters in the story are grey and only do what they think is best for them and their family. Is the wolf white and the lion black? It seems that way at the beginning but we soon learn that they are both grey. There is no duality there. I expect the same will turn out to be true for most of the supposed dualities. The Night's Watch is not a force for good and neither are the White Walkers a force of evil. Dragons are not our Lord and Saviour but an equal threat to the world as are the White Walkers. A summer that never ends is just as bad as the Long NIght.

 

So the story might be presented in dualities but they are not diametrically opposed but basically the same only slightly different. Two sides of the same coin if you will.

 

 

 

You misunderstand me. I do not contest that people in the story are grey. What I am saying is that the author is telling two stories. One of ice and one of fire. Jon's arc is part of the ice story. Dany's arc is part of the fire story. We've only read half of each story and I believe some are making the mistake of connecting part of Dany's story to Jon.

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So there's ice blood magic

and fire blood magic

neither of them good......how then are they different?

that is, what is it within the "working" that equates them one way or the other?

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1 hour ago, WitteRaaf said:

So there's ice blood magic

and fire blood magic

neither of them good......how then are they different?

that is, what is it within the "working" that equates them one way or the other?

I don't think the books adequately explain the difference. Whether it's ice or fire they're both magic and both involve blood sacrifice. There are different results, however.

If you think about it, it's very vampiric what Melisandre does to Stannis. We don't witness the process, but we assume it's sexual, because she "birthed" the shadow, but maybe Melisandre sucked out some blood like the leaches she used? Also like the leaches Roose Bolton uses on himself. Maybe Roose is actually practicing ice magic with those leaches?

The blood sacrifice of Craster's sons appears to create white walkers, and the dead in the north "walk". The process isn't as clear on the fire side, but something is causing greyscale which leads to stone men.

I liken the two processes as working like a virus. When people die in the north their spirits get trapped in the bones, and when it's dark and cold they are animated.

The stone men appear to have never died, but as the greyscale advances they are trapped inside hardened bodies. It is not known if they ever die and walk around in the Sorrows like they're starving.

Ice magic traps or preserves the spirit in the bones, while fire magic consumes the flesh, but traps the lifeforce under a stone-like exterior. This corresponds to what we've been told that fire consumes while cold preserves.

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

Blood is sacrificed with both types of magic. The weirwoods soak it up.

Strange that the weir woods being northern and presumably icy have warm tones and the shade trees hailing from warmer fiery climes appear darker and colder

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3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

You misunderstand me. I do not contest that people in the story are grey. What I am saying is that the author is telling two stories. One of ice and one of fire. Jon's arc is part of the ice story. Dany's arc is part of the fire story. We've only read half of each story and I believe some are making the mistake of connecting part of Dany's story to Jon.

The stories have been separate thus far, but both Dany's dreams and her visions in the HoTU, and GRRM's own series outline indicate that she will eventually be incorporated into the other stories--more accurately, the "ice" and "fire" plotlines will eventually arrive in Westeros, to create one unified Westerosi storyline.

As an example, Dany has had at least one dream of herself fighting icy hordes at the Trident while riding Drogon. Now, I'm not sure that things will play out that literally, but I don't think it's true that the two plotlines are unrelated to one another, it's just that the connection hasn't become clear.

If anything, what may be misleading is Melisandre's world view, which necessarily equates fire with goodness/holiness and ice with evil, forces destined to do battle, when the actual relationship may be something else entirely, perhaps something more in line with Jojen's "the land is one" philosophy.

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