Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Black Crow

Heresy 187

Recommended Posts

The leader of the Kingswood Brotherhood was one Simon Toyne, which also happens to be the name of a British author who's main work is a trilogy of books: The Sanctus, The Key, and The Tower. I'm nearly finished with The Key and have yet to get to The Tower, but some of the details seem to echo the Citadel in Oldtown. I haven't figured out the exact connection, but I do suspect some type of conspiracy with regards to the Andal maesters and the Wall, as well as the retaking of the Iron Throne from the Targaryens.

Briefly the trilogy is about a Citadel based inside a mountain referred to as the Tower surrounded by the city of Ruin in Turkey. The Citadel is the home of Catholic monks who's leader is supposedly above the Pope, and the order of monks guard a holy Sanctus, which turns out to be the original Eve, who the order of monks have kept prisoner since ejected from the Garden of Eden. The tomb that she was kept in was full of needles like an iron maiden, and her blood continuously kept the monks youthful and fertilized a garden, which was verdant even though it was completely in shadow. Long story short, an American woman named Liv frees Eve who then takes up residence inside her body. Liv follows a prophecy to return Eve to the Garden of Eden, the location of which is now desert sand and the site of an oil extraction camp.

I admit I haven't figured out how all this may be applied to GRRM's work, but the main character's brother was one of the monks who had climbed to the top of the mountain and then fell to his death...an echo of Ashara Dayne. I think we will soon learn that the Citadel of Oldtown is holding some secret, a "sanctus" of it's own, which will be released or revealed by one of the characters...Sam seems likely. In Simon Toyne's work, the oil being extracted at the site of the Garden turns to water as soon as Liv lays down on the ground, returning the "sanctus" to her original home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Armstark said:

Or it might be that he is not too concerned about reports of White Walkers because he himself does not believe in the talk of fisherfolk. I guess we will never agree on that Mormont quote :P

 

How can you be aware of the White Walkers and NOT make the connection?

Mormont knows diddly squat. He came to the watch very late in life

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Mormont knows diddly squat. He came to the watch very late in life

Still, he was likely told the same bed-time stories as our Stark kids.  The big bad Others who come in the night and all that. That's common folklore in the north.

 

Now he is supposedly aware of White Walkers north of the Wall and doesn't make the connection? What does he think they are?

I am sorry but this makes little sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been giving a bit of thought to the many contradictions in the story of the Wall and the Watch as told to us by those involved and on reflection think that the answers may be an awful lot simpler than we've been tying ourselves in knots over.

Lets leave the dodgy dating and even dodgier king list aside and look at the narrative where we've got some real problems. The battle for the Dawn is won by the Watch, not improbably [but not certainly] led by the Last Hero. The Others flee and have not been seen for 8,000 years. In the meantime the Wall is built and manned by the Watch. We know that the Black Gate under the Night Fort is as old as the Wall and without arguing over semantics we know that the Night Fort is twice as old as Castle Black. There is at very least therefore an implication that for the first half of its existence the Wall wasn't garrisoned, and then suddenly thousands of years after the Others were defeated there's a sudden expansion of the Watch and associated castle-building before an equally sudden collapse into its present turpitude. None of it makes sense, but try this narrative instead:

The Wall is raised by deep magic, not by men and the Watch are merely gatekeepers of the portal between the realms we know as the Black Gate.

Along come the Andals, say 2,000 years ago, and two things happen. First the Andals start taking over the kingdoms south of the Neck, consolidating them into the ones we now know, and attacking but failing to get a foothold in the North. Even allowing for corporate takeovers by marriage we've got a sustained period of warfare. We've also got another campaign waged against the three-fingered tree-huggers, which slaughtering aside sees the said tree-huggers and other old races flee northwards, not into the Stark kingdom of the North, but beyond the Wall.

Is this, we've asked ourselves, the true battle for the Dawn? A deliberate breaking of the Pact both north and south of the Neck and a driving out of the Others - given we know that the white walkers are human changelings magically engineered by the tree-huggers. Having now driven the Others out it then becomes necessary to keep them out by properly manning the Wall for the first time using mainly Andal prisoners marched north to the huge holding cells in the Night Fort and from there despatched along the Wall to build the castles and stop the tree-huggers sneaking back. Then comes the Pax Targaryena, the supply of war prisoners dries up and the Watch spirals into terminal decline. In the meantime of course its character has completely changed as the original gatekeepers have been replaced by Andals who know nothing but legends and make up their own to fill the gaps - and compile spurious king lists to confer a dubious nobility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Armstark said:

Still, he was likely told the same bed-time stories as our Stark kids.  The big bad Others who come in the night and all that. That's common folklore in the north.

 

Now he is supposedly aware of White Walkers north of the Wall and doesn't make the connection? What does he think they are?

I am sorry but this makes little sense to me.

He knows them as White Walkers

The whole point of realising that the walkers are not a mysterious race from way up north but human changelings engineered by the three-fingered tree-huggers is that it allows us to recognise the Others as a collective sum of parts, and a threat far more potent than a handful of white walkers or white shadows distantly glimpsed at night or in the trees. Something very far removed from the armies of the slain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

He knows them as White Walkers

The whole point of realising that the walkers are not a mysterious race from way up north but human changelings engineered by the three-fingered tree-huggers is that it allows us to recognise the Others as a collective sum of parts, and a threat far more potent than a handful of white walkers or white shadows distantly glimpsed at night or in the trees. Something very far removed from the armies of the slain.

OK, he knows them as White Walkers, but what does he think they are? You can't answer that question because there is no satisfactory answer that works. If he knows there are White Walkers he knows they are the Others of the stories. Old Nan even uses this name in her stories for them:

 

Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."

 

Tyrion does not ask either what Mormont means by White Walkers, because it is clear to everybody what the term means. Others, And everybody hates and fears the Others. They are the enemy the noble Night's Watch is supposed to fight

" watching for grumkins and snarks and all the other monsters your wet nurse warned you about. "

 

Only because nobody has seen them for thousands of years and most doubt they ever existed has the Watch wandered off to new purposes like killing Wildlings. All this does not work if Mormont and the Watch were aware of the monsters their wet nurses warned them about this whole time.

 

How could Ned Stark think the Others are not real when his own brother regularly glimpses them from afar and it's just a normal occurrence?

 

 

 

The whole point of realizing that the Others are human changelings is that there is a connection to humans and especially the Starks. It is not the big bad mysterious race but Stark family monsters, created to protect the Trees.

I think it is made pretty clear from the beginning that they are a threat "far more potent than a handful of white walkers or white shadows distantly glimpsed at night or in the trees". You don't need human changelings to figure that out.

 

Edit: after rereading this comes off as pretty confrontational, but I know you can take it ;) Just enjoying a good, heated discussion :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Up to a point. The rangers know what's going on at Crasters, even if the higher-priced help may not understand the full implications. Mormont does know about White Walkers and that conversation with Tyrion remains significant in that while he's concerned that they have been seen near Eastwatch he's not running round  bawling to shut the gates and lock up your daughters because after 8,000 years the Others are back. The White Walkers are out there and its worrying they're so close, but they're not seen as the problem but rather one of a number of other worrying signs. He and his Watch have been aware of the Walkers for a long time but just never made the full connection - that may be because they have forgotten over the years or, given Sam's puzzlement at how little is in the archives, because they never knew because they are not the same Watch who were around back in the day


I still think this is not the most natural interpretation of Mormont's conversation, nor is it the most natural interpretation of general Westerosi knowledge and sentiment about the Others/white walkers; they're not an occasional hazard of the far north, they're the stuff of legends and nightmare.

The context of Mormont's conversation is not that he's aware of walkers, it's that one report of WWs alone could be disregarded as the tall tales of the fisherfolk, just like Tyrion's mermen, but this is coming in the aftermath of what happened with Royce, Will, and Gared: a man that Mormont trusts went full deserter, babbling about white walkers.

This is why Mormont's conversation transitions to the Wall's need for more men, and his fears that the Long Night is coming again--he's not afraid because the WWs are being spotted in the south; the very notion that they exist, and they're here, is troubling. In Westeros, when you're talking about the Long Night, you're talking about the Others and the white walkers.

Furthermore, Ned's own comment about how no living man has seen the Others in 8,000 years is not irrelevant in helping us form an image of what the NW knows. Of all the great Houses, House Stark has the closest relationship with the Wall. Ned hosts the men of the Night's Watch at Winterfell, his own brother is the First Ranger. Are we to believe he's never heard veterans talking to one another about the white walkers? Are we to believe that his own brother never said "Holy shit, you know the white walkers from Old Nan's tales? Well..."

From my perspective, the interpretation that the WWs were always there and always known requires extraordinary levels of miscommunication, ignorance, and generally illogical action (eg, nobody "shortening Craster by a head). That's not impossible, but it is the less plausible explanation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "problem" I fear is that white walkers by themselves are dangerous; white walkers leading armies of the slain are the Others. No-one has seen the armies of the slain in living memory which is why the connection isn't made.

Its also relevant in this discussion that Mormont's conversational reference to the white walkers comes before Old Nan tells her bed-time story and so its not until she does that we readers learn what Mormont was talking about and its only then that the connection is made.

That Mormont doesn't spell out that connection, also goes back to my suggested narrative of the true history of the Watch and that lack of information which Sam complains of.

ETA: written as response to Armstark, but I think still relevant to Matthew :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As nearly always, Matthew and I are in agreement

4 minutes ago, Matthew. said:


I still think this is not the most natural interpretation of Mormont's conversation, nor is it the most natural interpretation of general Westerosi knowledge and sentiment about the Others/white walkers; they're not an occasional hazard of the far north, they're the stuff of legends and nightmare.

The context of Mormont's conversation is not that he's aware of walkers, it's that one report of WWs alone could be disregarded as the tall tales of the fisherfolk, just like Tyrion's mermen, but this is coming in the aftermath of what happened with Royce, Will, and Gared: a man that Mormont trusts went full deserter, babbling about white walkers.

This is why Mormont's conversation transitions to the Wall's need for more men, and his fears that the Long Night is coming again--he's not afraid because the WWs are being spotted in the south; the very notion that they exist, and they're here, is troubling. In Westeros, when you're talking about the Long Night, you're talking about the Others and the white walkers.

Furthermore, Ned's own comment about how no living man has seen the Others in 8,000 years is not irrelevant in helping us form an image of what the NW knows. Of all the great Houses, House Stark has the closest relationship with the Wall. Ned hosts the men of the Night's Watch at Winterfell, his own brother is the First Ranger. Are we to believe he's never heard veterans talking to one another about the white walkers? Are we to believe that his own brother never said "Holy shit, you know the white walkers from Old Nan's tales? Well..."

From my perspective, the interpretation that the WWs were always there and always known requires extraordinary levels of miscommunication, ignorance, and generally illogical action (eg, nobody "shortening Craster by a head). That's not impossible, but it is the less plausible explanation.

:agree:

 

Feels like I could post this under every comment of yours ^^ 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I've been giving a bit of thought to the many contradictions in the story of the Wall and the Watch as told to us by those involved and on reflection think that the answers may be an awful lot simpler than we've been tying ourselves in knots over.

Lets leave the dodgy dating and even dodgier king list aside and look at the narrative where we've got some real problems. The battle for the Dawn is won by the Watch, not improbably [but not certainly] led by the Last Hero. The Others flee and have not been seen for 8,000 years. In the meantime the Wall is built and manned by the Watch. We know that the Black Gate under the Night Fort is as old as the Wall and without arguing over semantics we know that the Night Fort is twice as old as Castle Black. There is at very least therefore an implication that for the first half of its existence the Wall wasn't garrisoned, and then suddenly thousands of years after the Others were defeated there's a sudden expansion of the Watch and associated castle-building before an equally sudden collapse into its present turpitude. None of it makes sense, but try this narrative instead:

The Wall is raised by deep magic, not by men and the Watch are merely gatekeepers of the portal between the realms we know as the Black Gate.

Along come the Andals, say 2,000 years ago, and two things happen. First the Andals start taking over the kingdoms south of the Neck, consolidating them into the ones we now know, and attacking but failing to get a foothold in the North. Even allowing for corporate takeovers by marriage we've got a sustained period of warfare. We've also got another campaign waged against the three-fingered tree-huggers, which slaughtering aside sees the said tree-huggers and other old races flee northwards, not into the Stark kingdom of the North, but beyond the Wall.

Is this, we've asked ourselves, the true battle for the Dawn? A deliberate breaking of the Pact both north and south of the Neck and a driving out of the Others - given we know that the white walkers are human changelings magically engineered by the tree-huggers. Having now driven the Others out it then becomes necessary to keep them out by properly manning the Wall for the first time using mainly Andal prisoners marched north to the huge holding cells in the Night Fort and from there despatched along the Wall to build the castles and stop the tree-huggers sneaking back. Then comes the Pax Targaryena, the supply of war prisoners dries up and the Watch spirals into terminal decline. In the meantime of course its character has completely changed as the original gatekeepers have been replaced by Andals who know nothing but legends and make up their own to fill the gaps - and compile spurious king lists to confer a dubious nobility.

Yeah, I think something similar to this may have happened, only I think the maesters in the Citadel do know exactly what is going on even if the Nights Watch do not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

The "problem" I fear is that white walkers by themselves are dangerous; white walkers leading armies of the slain are the Others. No-one has seen the armies of the slain in living memory which is why the connection isn't made.

Its also relevant in this discussion that Mormont's conversational reference to the white walkers comes before Old Nan tells her bed-time story and so its not until she does that we readers learn what Mormont was talking about and its only then that the connection is made.

That Mormont doesn't spell out that connection, also goes back to my suggested narrative of the true history of the Watch and that lack of information which Sam complains of.

ETA: written as response to Armstark, but I think still relevant to Matthew :cheers:


It's as Armstark said. Even Bran knows that when Old Nan says "white walkers" that she means Others, and the World Book also uses white walkers interchangeably with Others; clearly, in Westeros, it's known that the white walkers in legend lead armies of the slain against men during the Long Night.

Why would Mormont be ignorant of this fact? Why would he immediately bring up the Long Night, if he didn't specifically find rumors of the WWs troubling? I would never call the interpretation you present impossible, I just think it's the less natural fit for the information we have.

There's also the fact that the return - in the sense that they're being created once again - of the WWs is a better thematic parallel to the return of the dragons; the dragons didn't come back because it was their destined time, they came back because someone brought them back. I would suggest that the situation is the same for the Others--it's not yet clear how or why, but someone stirred that old magic awake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Yeah, I think something similar to this may have happened, only I think the maesters in the Citadel do know exactly what is going on even if the Nights Watch do not.

I rather expect that they do - how else are we to learn the truth?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

There's also the fact that the return - in the sense that they're being created once again - of the WWs is a better thematic parallel to the return of the dragons; the dragons didn't come back because it was their destined time, they came back because someone brought them back. I would suggest that the situation is the same for the Others--it's not yet clear how or why, but someone stirred that old magic awake.

I'll agree with this bit. There's obviously a question of chickens and eggs, but given the manipulation involved I strongly suspect that the egg or rather eggs came first and that the old powers are awakening in response to that threat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the context of Maester's and their knowledge about the Others I always found it extremely odd that after Sam tells his story to Marwyn all the talk is about dragons, something Marwyn already knew and where Sam didn't have more information than him. Let alone first hand knowledge and experience.

 

White Walkers leading hosts of the slain should have been the big, unbelievable news. Something nobody else in Oldtown could tell him about. 

 

 

As to what made the Old Powers wake, I always come back to the stars. The comet could have been seen coming for years and everyone knew the prophecies. It doesn't matter if you believe in them either because some players clearly do and will thus act when the comet comes. So they prepare.

 

The Maesters of course are also known for stargazing...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sam's quote might be nothing more than GRRM realizing there were inconsistencies in the timelines, and an effort to make things more realistic instead of looking like he made a mistake.

We do have a time line problem.  The wall supposedly went up after the long night ended, which is the last time Others were seen.  But then we have the story of the Night King being the 13th commander and his girl, who was almost certainly an Other.

Since the wall was almost certainly created by magic,  I suspect the Children were involved.  From that I'd guess it was originally a barrier to protect the children from the first men to the South, raised after the hammer of waters failed to stop them further South.

Or more conventionally, the wall was created during the long night to protect from the Others.  But either way it was garrisoned before the Others went away.

There was information deliberately destroyed when the Night King was defeated.  I suspect it was to prevent other people from doing what he did,  but it may have related to the time lines. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

Why would Mormont be ignorant of this fact? Why would he immediately bring up the Long Night, if he didn't specifically find rumors of the WWs troubling? I would never call the interpretation you present impossible, I just think it's the less natural fit for the information we have.

I'm perhaps expressing myself badly. I doubt that Mormont is ignorant of the connection, but rather has been discounting it because they have been around for so long without running mad and rounding up said armies of the slain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a post saying show spoilers, such as the Children creating the first White Walker from an Andale, is not allowed here.   I'd rather see it discussed, but it most certainly is not Canon in the books.  I believe they will intentionally make important changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Sam's quote might be nothing more than GRRM realizing there were inconsistencies in the timelines, and an effort to make things more realistic instead of looking like he made a mistake.

We do have a time line problem.  The wall supposedly went up after the long night ended, which is the last time Others were seen.  But then we have the story of the Night King being the 13th commander and his girl, who was almost certainly an Other.

Since the wall was almost certainly created by magic,  I suspect the Children were involved.  From that I'd guess it was originally a barrier to protect the children from the first men to the South, raised after the hammer of waters failed to stop them further South.

Or more conventionally, the wall was created during the long night to protect from the Others.  But either way it was garrisoned before the Others went away.

There was information deliberately destroyed when the Night King was defeated.  I suspect it was to prevent other people from doing what he did,  but it may have related to the time lines. 

Welcome to Heresy, these are, as they say, the right questions and my essay above was aimed at answering the questions both about the Nights King and why so much effort seems to have been made to garrison the Wall not in the immediate aftermath of the Long Night as you might expect but long long afterwards, hence my suggestion that the true context is the Andal invasion and the breaking of the Pact.

As to who actually built it we now know it was raised by deep magic and blood magic at that which points to the three fingered tree huggers. We also know they aint cuddly and I have a shrewd suspicion myself that the Wall and the Long Night are connected in that it was the raising by magic of a wall of Ice 700 feet high and 300 miles long which triggered the Long Night

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

There was a post saying show spoilers, such as the Children creating the first White Walker from an Andale, is not allowed here.   I'd rather see it discussed, but it most certainly is not Canon in the books.  I believe they will intentionally make important changes.

We don't regard this as a spoiler here as we've been discussing the likelihood that the white walkers were created by the three-fingered tree-huggers long before the mummers' version came along. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raising the wall to stop the Andales doesn't make sense.   The whole north is mostly first men, even South of the wall.  The Andales would not have made it that far,  even without a wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×