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Jon Ice-Eyes

The Duality of Fire in Mythology

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Some of the fire symbolism that we get in ASOIAF has been bothering me for a while. I'm going to take a whack at it and see what falls out. Hopefully there are some useful hints, and I will doubtless need a little help from all you sharp minds out there. 

A strong strain in various world mythologies has been the fire and sun gods. For the purposes of this essay, there will be some conflation of the two; various mythologies separate them, but many do not, and when we're doing this kind of overview-mythology, we have to fudge some things. I'm going to take a look at Norse mythology, sprinkle in Egyptian, and talk about the western alchemical tradition. All this hopefully to get a better hold of how GRRM runs his own world. 

What I am driving at is the fire/sun gods sometimes come in pairs: one is just and good, and the other is treacherous, vicious, and unpredictable. 

In Norse myth scholarship, one of the founding texts, authored by one Jakob Grimm in the 19th century, made a big point about Ragnarok. In the sweet epic battle of the end of the world, Loki and Heimdall, sometimes implacable enemies, will fight and kill each other. Grimm's interpretation is that Heimdall, the god of light, flame, justice, and vigilance, is a natural match for Loki, who by his reading was the tricky, unpredictable personification of fire gone out of control. They are natural foils for each other, and so this is reflected in the final battle. The idea actually comes from a conflation of Logi and Loki, who scholars don't associate anymore, but this idea prevailed for a long time. Most books about Norse mythology probably still have it. 

The main thrust is that fire has two sides to it. Mastering fire and using it appropriately is a massive boon to humans, so it makes sense as a divine association. But at the same time, fire is treacherous: you have to constantly watch it, or it'll burn your house down. It doesn't always burn where you want it to, and goes easily out of control into wanton destruction. 

In Egypt we see this a little bit with Sekhmet, a war goddess who got together with fire and the sun (it was political and over a few centuries). While Sekhmet is considered a fairly benevolent deity, she is a vicious warrior and has all sorts of sweet names like "Mistress of Dread" and "Lady of Slaughter." She can be seen as the savage side of the solar/fire god Ra. In fact, it looks like the Egyptians took this drunken fiery murder woman and attached her to Ra, as she embodies the unpredictability and destruction side of the fire coin. Aside from being metal as fuck, she also has a green lion's head. More on that in a second.  

My final look at the duality-fire symbols is in the alchemical symbolism of western high magic traditions. There's a pretty wide variety of alchemical texts out there, but the consensus around the mystical ones (as opposed to the pseudo-scientific ones) has a couple of cool images: the green lion and the red lion. The lion, as we all know, is the constellation Leo, whose ruling planet is the sun. So the duality of the sun? Hell yes. The green lion appears in the early stages of the alchemical process. It represents raw vital force, like nature unleashed, destructive and powerful. It's associated with vitriol. Remember that. The red lion appears in the later parts of alchemy. It's the metaphorical gold that one makes out of the metaphorical lead. It's nature perfected, force tamed and focussed, mastery and enlightenment. The green lion is the raw material that gets purified into the red lion. Bad sun/fire transformed into good sun/fire. 

I have a lot I cannot get to right now, but I think you can see where I'm going. I need to put at least one legitimate ASOIAF reference before I go, for this all to make any sense.

First, let me say that Sekhmet and the green lion scream Cersei Lannister. She's so clearly associated with green it hurts. 'Vitriolic' pretty much encapsulates her entire personality. She's totally unfocussed, lashing out at everything around her with no regard. This really is the key to her character. And so that makes Jaime the red lion. As much as we all hate the Lannisters, he's the actual gold. He started much like Cersei, but his purification (judo-christian style redemption) will make him the real deal. That's why he's so compelling. 

I have a lot more to say, but no time. More soon!

 

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1 hour ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

This was very interesting, thank you. 

@Vaedys Targaryen A+J=J+C is impossible. The timeline is made clear in TWOIAF book. She was not anywhere near Aerys when the twins were conceived. 

Whew, thank you for confirming that for me.

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9 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

My final look at the duality-fire symbols is in the alchemical symbolism of western high magic traditions. There's a pretty wide variety of alchemical texts out there, but the consensus around the mystical ones (as opposed to the pseudo-scientific ones) has a couple of cool images: the green lion and the red lion. The lion, as we all know, is the constellation Leo, whose ruling planet is the sun. So the duality of the sun? Hell yes. The green lion appears in the early stages of the alchemical process. It represents raw vital force, like nature unleashed, destructive and powerful. It's associated with vitriol. Remember that. The red lion appears in the later parts of alchemy. It's the metaphorical gold that one makes out of the metaphorical lead. It's nature perfected, force tamed and focussed, mastery and enlightenment. The green lion is the raw material that gets purified into the red lion. Bad sun/fire transformed into good sun/fire. 

I have a lot I cannot get to right now, but I think you can see where I'm going. I need to put at least one legitimate ASOIAF reference before I go, for this all to make any sense.

First, let me say that Sekhmet and the green lion scream Cersei Lannister. She's so clearly associated with green it hurts. 'Vitriolic' pretty much encapsulates her entire personality. She's totally unfocussed, lashing out at everything around her with no regard. This really is the key to her character. And so that makes Jaime the red lion. As much as we all hate the Lannisters, he's the actual gold. He started much like Cersei, but his purification (judo-christian style redemption) will make him the real deal. That's why he's so compelling. 

I enjoyed reading that, particularly the bit about the green vitriolic fire, which so aptly evokes wildfire, Cersei's deranged eyes and the destructive driving force of her paranoid fixation.

I will add a few thoughts:

1.  Fire is the central element of magic -- even before the blood

2.  Jaime is the white lion, the 'hrakkar':

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Jaime III

"Robert's beard was black. Mine is gold."

"Gold? Or silver?" Cersei plucked a hair from beneath his chin and held it up. It was grey. "All the color is draining out of you, brother. You've become a ghost of what you were, a pale crippled thing. And so bloodless, always in white." She flicked the hair away. "I prefer you garbed in crimson and gold."

I prefer you dappled in sunlight, with water beading on your naked skin. He wanted to kiss her, carry her to her bedchamber, throw her on the bed. . . . she's been fucking Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack and Moon Boy . . . "I will make a bargain with you. Relieve me of this duty, and my razor is yours to command."

It's my contention that symbolically the 'three men she's been fucking' are all representations of Jaime:

(i)  Lancel -- the gold lion -- youth and innocence -- the sun 

(ii)  Osmund Kettleblack -- the black/red lion -- adulthood and corruption --LmL's fire moon and fire moon meteors

(iii)  Moon Boy -- the white lion -- old age and wisdom/disillusionment -- LmL's ice moon and ice moon meteors

3.  Jaime is not a lion; he's a dragon!

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Jaime I

Unless my brother murdered Varys too, and left his corpse to rot beneath the castle. Down there, it might be years before his bones were found. Jaime had led a dozen guards below, with torches and ropes and lanterns. For hours they had groped through twisting passages, narrow crawl spaces, hidden doors, secret steps, and shafts that plunged down into utter blackness. Seldom had he felt so utterly a cripple. A man takes much for granted when he has two hands. Ladders, for an instance. Even crawling did not come easy; not for nought do they speak of hands and knees. Nor could he hold a torch and climb, as others could.

And all for naught. They found only darkness, dust, and rats. And dragons, lurking down below. He remembered the sullen orange glow of the coals in the iron dragon's mouth. The brazier warmed a chamber at the bottom of a shaft where half a dozen tunnels met. On the floor he'd found a scuffed mosaic of the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen done in tiles of black and red. I know you, Kingslayer, the beast seemed to be saying. I have been here all the time, waiting for you to come to me. And it seemed to Jaime that he knew that voice, the iron tones that had once belonged to Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone.

I think Jaime misheard the dragon:  It said, 'I know you Kinslayer'!  

9 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

I actually like analysis a lot, but now I can't shake off this A+J=J+C feeling...

Nor can I...

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Daenerys VI

"Taint?" Dany bristled.

"I am no maester to quote history at you, Your Grace. Swords have been my life, not books. But every child knows that the Targaryens have always danced too close to madness. Your father was not the first. King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land."

But does the twins' paternity really make a difference?  Lions and dragons are both creatures of fire, anyway; and in the end GRRM is saying something about the hero's journey or 'alchemical transmutation' of the soul, regardless of ones biological origins.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Jaime IX

Defeated in the Whispering Wood by the Young Wolf Robb Stark during the War of the Five Kings. Held captive at Riverrun and ransomed for a promise unfulfilled. Captured again by the Brave Companions, and maimed at the word of Vargo Hoat their captain, losing his sword hand to the blade of Zollo the Fat. Returned safely to King's Landing by Brienne, the Maid of Tarth.

When he was done, more than three-quarters of his page still remained to be filled between the gold lion on the crimson shield on top and the blank white shield at the bottom. Ser Gerold Hightower had begun his history, and Ser Barristan Selmy had continued it, but the rest Jaime Lannister would need to write for himself. He could write whatever he chose, henceforth.

Whatever he chose . . .

 

5 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

This was very interesting, thank you. 

@Vaedys Targaryen A+J=J+C is impossible. The timeline is made clear in TWOIAF book. She was not anywhere near Aerys when the twins were conceived. 

 

Quote

The World of Ice and Fire - The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II

The scurrilous rumor that Joanna Lannister gave up her maidenhead to Prince Aerys the night of his father's coronation and enjoyed a brief reign as his paramour after he ascended the Iron Throne can safely be discounted. As Pycelle insists in his letters, Tywin Lannister would scarce have taken his cousin to wife if that had been true, "for he was ever a proud man and not one accustomed to feasting upon another man's leavings."

It has been reliably reported, however, that King Aerys took unwonted liberties with Lady Joanna's person during her bedding ceremony, to Tywin's displeasure. Not long thereafter, Queen Rhaella dismissed Joanna Lannister from her service. No reason for this was ever given, but Lady Joanna departed at once for Casterly Rock and seldom visited King's Landing thereafter.

Liberal repetition of adjectives and adverbs such as 'safely,' 'scarce,' 'reliably,' and 'seldom' although intended to reassure, tends to have the opposite effect, suggesting a scribe over-eager to over-explain -- some might even say to cover something up.

'Safe' is not impregnable; 'scarce' is not inconceivable; 'reliable' is not watertight; and 'seldom' is not never.

Therefore, although such a union may have been 'unlikely' by all available accounts (and what do historians or anyone else for that matter know about what people really get up to in their sex lives, anyway?) -- it was not as you've put it 'impossible.'  

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15 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

I have a lot more to say, but no time. More soon!

Really interesting post! hope you'll post more soon ...

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OK, so before I get to replying to any of the above, I'm gonna jump right in and continue my thoughts. 

We've seen that the mythology has some examples of the power of fire and sun expressed dually, one benevolent aspect and one treacherous. (Again, for the scholarly-minded, this isn't really true to most of the evidence, but it's a thread that shows up in older works, and my bet here is that it's what GRRM has read and absorbed.) Let's look a little deeper at this and some of the implications in the story. For the record, I am a devotee of LmL's Church of Starry Wisdom, and the mythical astronomy he examines in his podcasts will play a big part here. 

Loki and Heimdall. Heimdall is an all-seeing god, originator of the social order and the "whitest of the gods." He also may be the personification of Yggdrasil. LmL and ravenous reader, I am looking at you two. One of Loki's starring roles in Norse myth is at Ragnarok, where he will bring the end of the world by fire. He will bring Surtr, the daddy of all fire giants. It's remarkable that Loki will do battle with Heimdall, while our more popular gods, namely Odin and Thor, will fight Fenrir and Jormungandr respectively. But wait a minute: Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel are Loki's children! Hel herself is the mistress of death, and presides over the underworld -- you can guess what the place is called. So we have a tricky, treacherous fire god whose offspring are a sea serpent, a fire-breathing huge wolf, and death. Need I go on? 

Turning to alchemical symbolism, you may note that one of the most popular images of the green lion is 'the green lion devouring the sun'. In alchemical terms, it represents a chemical process of treating some base material with vitriol to dissolve away the dross; the gold is not dissolved and remains. We're talking about plunging matter into a raw, powerful, fiery bath to burn away impurities. Using trial by fire (or, say, massive war) to reveal the valuable underneath. Interesting as that all is, the image itself is pretty powerful. It's also interesting to note that in Ragnarok, Fenrir the fire-breathing wolf swallows the sun. The implications for the Long Night here are pretty serious. 

So let's take a look at the Valyrian Empire. This was, by all reports, a super evil place. Necromancers, brutalizing legions of slaves, hungry for conquest, burninating the countryside on dragons. This was an empire of the evil kind of fire. And yet it was destroyed by... more fire. The kind that comes out of the earth. I'm just gonna advance the theory here that this was a case of good fire vs evil fire. The bad stuff got way out of control, and so some benevolent fire had to come spewing up and set shit right. Heimdall came to smack Loki upside the head. 

I'm going to leave it here for now because I have to go to sleep. Please discuss the implications. I think that this bears on the Bloodstone Emperor, the Long Night, naughty greenseers, and of course will have legs in the future of the series. I'm still putting my thoughts together on the matter, but I'd love to hear yours!

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OK, let me take a crack at plotting out some implications. 

First, let me say that I do not think that the green/red lion thing as it applies to Cersei and Jaime is indicative that they are Targs. Just like different people who are definitely not Azor Ahai can exhibit AA imagery. I think that it's just another example of characters playing out archetypal roles. The green lion comes in, all evil, caustic, and fiery, and in the ensuing chaos a heroic figure is forged. He then takes his offending counterpart. It is interesting to note that they are siblings. 

This brings me to the Long Night. I believe that the Bloodstone Emperor is the green lion. Specifically the green lion devouring the Sun. This Loki figure employs treachery, his corrupted fire running out of control to devour the Great Empire of the Dawn. The Loki association to me looks a little stronger, as he sets off an apocalypse by murdering a beautiful and blameless family member, the Amethyst Empress, here looking a little like Baldr. Actually a lot like Baldr. 

Tangent: Baldr is the "shining one," white and pure god of the sun. His brother Hodr (alternative spelling 'Hoder' or 'Hodur.' No shit) is associated with darkness and cold. Hodr is tricked by Loki and kills him with the mistletoe arrow, starting Ragnarok. Wherein the Sun is eaten by fire-breathing giant wolf Fenris and the gods all slay each other. So... I feel like I must be late to the party pointing out all these parallels?

Aaaaanyhoo, so we have Loki-figure BSE betraying and killing his sister(-wife?) the Amethyst Empress and so starts the Long Night. Anyone want to bet that he tricked someone else into doing it for him? However that may be, it's interesting to note that the BSE seems to have infiltrated/corrupted the Weirwood network -- or rather the Shade of the Evening network -- and Baldr was killed by the humblest (winter) tree branch. I'm still not totally clear on what the root of his fire magic was, or how he (and probably a bunch of buddies) got themselves a god damn comet to steer, but this shadow-fire, this evil, corrupted fire, brought about the Long Night.

The Bloodstone Emperor reigns with terror for a long time. This green lion having swallowed the Sun, shit is horrible. (I would like to note that the Yi-Ti myths of the Maiden-Made-of-Light and the Lion of Night are pretty clear analogues of the Japanese Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, the Sun and Moon. I'm sure I'm not the first to point to that, but it's not on the wiki.) Out of this hardship must then come the red lion. This is Azor Ahai. Heimdall come to right Loki's wrongs. 

Heimdall is associated with Yggdrasil. I don't think that this plays out only in the sense of weirwoods looking like they are on fire. My theory here is that the titanic struggle for the light was at least in part  played out in the weirwood network. Enlisting the help of the children of the forest indeed! I think that the CotF brought him into the net and there he won that part of the War for the Dawn. I think he did it in Westeros. I also think that the Long Night was ended, but Loki's fire wasn't fully defeated, only pushed back. 

This might be why the weirwood net is somewhat intact and why Essosi magic, especially their fire magic, is super fuckin' evil. The Shade of Evening trees are still corrupted. The Lord of Light is fairly demonic. Asshai is a hellscape. Planetos clearly was plunged into an age of fire after the Long Night; I claim that in Westeros, it has been abated, by the efforts of AA. Westeros seems to suffer very little of the corrupted fire, or at least it did until the Targaryens and their god damned dragons arrived. 

So there that is. I think, somewhat against the grain here, that the BSE and AA were not the same guy. I think that they were possibly brothers, and that one of them is Loki, and the other is Heimdall. Aaaaand of course the Long Night was Ragnarok. 

Maybe not the first time a bunch of this has been proposed here. I'm late to the party, but I hope it's been illuminating. 

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The Bloodstone Emperor is blatantly Euron, GRRM practically gives that for free. Dany is the Amethyst Empress. You will find green association in what Euron is to become though.

 

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Great work :) I've been analysing the symbolism from a literary imagery perspective, rather than a mythological astronomy one (because I don't know world myth), and have come across the exact same phenomenon. Briefly, Martin's use of the word "fire" roughly corresponds to the benevolent sun/fire god, and "flame" roughly corresponds to the treacherous/destructive one. Look forward to reading more :)

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12 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

OK, let me take a crack at plotting out some implications. 

First, let me say that I do not think that the green/red lion thing as it applies to Cersei and Jaime is indicative that they are Targs. Just like different people who are definitely not Azor Ahai can exhibit AA imagery. I think that it's just another example of characters playing out archetypal roles. The green lion comes in, all evil, caustic, and fiery, and in the ensuing chaos a heroic figure is forged. He then takes his offending counterpart. It is interesting to note that they are siblings. 

This brings me to the Long Night. I believe that the Bloodstone Emperor is the green lion. Specifically the green lion devouring the Sun. This Loki figure employs treachery, his corrupted fire running out of control to devour the Great Empire of the Dawn. The Loki association to me looks a little stronger, as he sets off an apocalypse by murdering a beautiful and blameless family member, the Amethyst Empress, here looking a little like Baldr. Actually a lot like Baldr. 

Tangent: Baldr is the "shining one," white and pure god of the sun. His brother Hodr (alternative spelling 'Hoder' or 'Hodur.' No shit) is associated with darkness and cold. Hodr is tricked by Loki and kills him with the mistletoe arrow, starting Ragnarok. Wherein the Sun is eaten by fire-breathing giant wolf Fenris and the gods all slay each other. So... I feel like I must be late to the party pointing out all these parallels?

Aaaaanyhoo, so we have Loki-figure BSE betraying and killing his sister(-wife?) the Amethyst Empress and so starts the Long Night. Anyone want to bet that he tricked someone else into doing it for him? However that may be, it's interesting to note that the BSE seems to have infiltrated/corrupted the Weirwood network -- or rather the Shade of the Evening network -- and Baldr was killed by the humblest (winter) tree branch. I'm still not totally clear on what the root of his fire magic was, or how he (and probably a bunch of buddies) got themselves a god damn comet to steer, but this shadow-fire, this evil, corrupted fire, brought about the Long Night.

The Bloodstone Emperor reigns with terror for a long time. This green lion having swallowed the Sun, shit is horrible. (I would like to note that the Yi-Ti myths of the Maiden-Made-of-Light and the Lion of Night are pretty clear analogues of the Japanese Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, the Sun and Moon. I'm sure I'm not the first to point to that, but it's not on the wiki.) Out of this hardship must then come the red lion. This is Azor Ahai. Heimdall come to right Loki's wrongs. 

Heimdall is associated with Yggdrasil. I don't think that this plays out only in the sense of weirwoods looking like they are on fire. My theory here is that the titanic struggle for the light was at least in part  played out in the weirwood network. Enlisting the help of the children of the forest indeed! I think that the CotF brought him into the net and there he won that part of the War for the Dawn. I think he did it in Westeros. I also think that the Long Night was ended, but Loki's fire wasn't fully defeated, only pushed back. 

This might be why the weirwood net is somewhat intact and why Essosi magic, especially their fire magic, is super fuckin' evil. The Shade of Evening trees are still corrupted. The Lord of Light is fairly demonic. Asshai is a hellscape. Planetos clearly was plunged into an age of fire after the Long Night; I claim that in Westeros, it has been abated, by the efforts of AA. Westeros seems to suffer very little of the corrupted fire, or at least it did until the Targaryens and their god damned dragons arrived. 

So there that is. I think, somewhat against the grain here, that the BSE and AA were not the same guy. I think that they were possibly brothers, and that one of them is Loki, and the other is Heimdall. Aaaaand of course the Long Night was Ragnarok. 

Maybe not the first time a bunch of this has been proposed here. I'm late to the party, but I hope it's been illuminating. 

This is captured well in Varys' quote about power being a shadow on the wall.  Who really killed Ned (Baldur/the moon), was it Joffrey (the sun), the king's justice (the comet), or Littlefinger (Loki).  Hodor's name tags him as another fool manipulated by a greenseer trickster.  

 

I have not not seen the comparison you make between the Maiden made of light and the Lion of night to the Japanese sun and moon gods before that I can remember.  I just looked them up.  The sun goddesses seem like good fits, she even hides in a cave after a fight with a storm god, removing the sun from the sky for a time.  I saw something about her being brought out of the cave some ritual dance.  Do you know what that is about.  I have not seen anything connecting the moon god to the lion of night, am I missing something.  

 

Whether AA was tricked or is the trickster, the answer is probably both.  He was most likely a group of people or even worse, may be some sort of blended consciousness once he enters the trees, which could get very messy to untangle.  I think we see enough AA character doing the tricking, Tyrion for one is always tricking someone, and being tricked, Joffrey would be an example killing Ned was not in his interest, to deduce that he was both in some way.  @BlueTiger has wrote about the long night being based on Ragnorok before, but I can't remember what exactly was said.  I think Loki slipping his bonds will be similar to something escaping the WWnet and blocking out the sun.  The world serpent and a giant wolf coming with Loki may be a hint that the original problem individuals were ancestors of dragon people and Starks, so that is who must stop them.  You seem to have read a lot of @LmL's essays, so I would also point out that the Grey Kings's theoretical weirwood ship sounds like a reference to the Naglfar, the nail-ship Loki rides.  Of course, the Grey King is a bit of a trickster, he gets the storm king to strike the tree and set it on fire with the fire of the gods.  

 

There is is a strong brother fighting theme throughout the story.  @Crowfood's Daughter writes about it as Grey vs green, but it could also be about two different types of fire.  The example you give of the Doom is interesting.  I see no reason not to assume that the faceless men caused that.  Would that make them some sort of under control secret fire, at least this time?  That would match up Arya to Heimdall watcher impersonator Jon.  I am finding myself, not for the first time, thinking about Gandalf the Grey servant of the secret fire, who buys his hats from the same place is Odin, fighting the Balrog with his corrupted fire.  

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14 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

The Bloodstone Emperor reigns with terror for a long time. This green lion having swallowed the Sun, shit is horrible. (I would like to note that the Yi-Ti myths of the Maiden-Made-of-Light and the Lion of Night are pretty clear analogues of the Japanese Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, the Sun and Moon. I'm sure I'm not the first to point to that, but it's not on the wiki.) Out of this hardship must then come the red lion. This is Azor Ahai. Heimdall come to right Loki's wrongs. 

I just wanted to say that I agree with the MMOL = Amaterasu thing, but I think the Lion of Night is not the moon. Rather, the lion of night is the normal solar lion, but inverted. The dark sun, the sun of night. This is a weird mythological concept which pops up here and there, but it is a thing. The Night sun is seen as either the absence of the sun - the night sky as a whole - or the udea fo the sun going into a "cave of night" underground during the nighttime, something which Martin makes reference to. Essentially, the lion is pretty much always solar, so a black lion of night is a dark sun. That fits with the Long Night in theme and effect. It also jibes with the idea of a solar king turning evil, black fire, shadow fire, all that stuff. 

So, before the LN, the MMOL and LoN were in harmony. Dayn and night, summer and winter. But during the Long Night, the sun (the MMoL) did something she was ashamed of (the sun killed the moon), and so she hid her face and the LoN came out to ravage and punish. That's consistent with them as a solar duality, day and night. During the Long Night, the sun hid, and the LoN ruled. His "demons" would be the black meteors, which of course I also believe to be aligned with the 'dark solar' character of Azor Ahai 'reborn,' the transformed AA. 

14 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

I think that the CotF brought him into the net and there he won that part of the War for the Dawn.

Yes, I am also coming to think this is where the most important battle of the war for the dawn occurred - under the see. 

14 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

I think he did it in Westeros. I also think that the Long Night was ended, but Loki's fire wasn't fully defeated, only pushed back.

Yep and yep. :)

14 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

This might be why the weirwood net is somewhat intact and why Essosi magic, especially their fire magic, is super fuckin' evil. The Shade of Evening trees are still corrupted. The Lord of Light is fairly demonic. Asshai is a hellscape. Planetos clearly was plunged into an age of fire after the Long Night; I claim that in Westeros, it has been abated, by the efforts of AA. Westeros seems to suffer very little of the corrupted fire, or at least it did until the Targaryens and their god damned dragons arrived. 

There seem to be a line of clues about the weirwoods as being able to transmute meteor corruption. The idea of the weirwood roots as graveworms implies this - think of the black meteors like toxic corpses. The graveworm roots eat the corruption and absorb it. They might suffer in the process - they certainly look to be in pain. But to your point, the reason Westeros might be different in regards to magical toxicity is the weirwoods having an ability to purify or cleanse. 

14 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

So there that is. I think, somewhat against the grain here, that the BSE and AA were not the same guy. I think that they were possibly brothers, and that one of them is Loki, and the other is Heimdall. Aaaaand of course the Long Night was Ragnarok. 

Maybe not the first time a bunch of this has been proposed here. I'm late to the party, but I hope it's been illuminating. 

It's kind of semantics; I think of AA = BSE as "dad," while "AA reborn = the last hero" is the son. They are both Azor Ahai - the last hero fought the long night with a magic dragon sword, after all, very similar to the fable of AA. So we are basically saying the same thing. My main thing in saying "AA = BSE" is to propose that the events recounted in the forging of Lightbringer refer to the cause of the Long Night - the use of blood magic and the cracking of the moon. Also, killing other people to work magic = bad. 

Have you been following all of our talk about the fool who seems to aid the AA figure to enter the weirwoodnet? That's what you're referring to with your ideas about Loki, correct?

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2 hours ago, Unchained said:

I have not not seen the comparison you make between the Maiden made of light and the Lion of night to the Japanese sun and moon gods before that I can remember.  I just looked them up.  The sun goddesses seem like good fits, she even hides in a cave after a fight with a storm god, removing the sun from the sky for a time.  I saw something about her being brought out of the cave some ritual dance.  Do you know what that is about.  I have not seen anything connecting the moon god to the lion of night, am I missing something.  

Reminds me of the Rhoynar needing to sing some secret song to make the gods get along again and end the LN. That secret song is the one sun under the see - hence George putting this clue in the cultural mouth of the Rhoynar. This jibes with the idea that the war for the dawn was won inside the weirwoodnet. The ending of the LN was accomplished with singing magic - greenseer magic. :) I like it!

Oh and one other note about the LoN and the Japanese moon god that pairs with Amaterasu - the thing to keep in mind is the Gods Eye eclipse alignment suggested by the fable saying "the moon wandered too close to the sun" and reinforced in all the symbolic ways I have talked about. The moon stands in front of the sun, making it look like an eye, and then that eye turns into a dark star, the LoN. The LoN is produced by the combination of the moon and the sun. So the black moon meteors that drank the fire of the sun, the black cloud of darkness spreading from the blinded celestial gods eye - this is the LoN. 

I believe the LoN idea overlaps with that of the Shadowcat - in one scene in ACOK, Jon sees a shadowcat with eyes like two harvest moons. That's like the Stranger, whose face is a black shadow with 2 stars for eyes. The shadowcat's face is the night sky, and the two moons were like his eyes. Shadow-cat and -night-lion, pretty much the same, right? So I guess you could say the LoN encompasses all that. 

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19 minutes ago, LmL said:

Have you been following all of our talk about the fool who seems to aid the AA figure to enter the weirwoodnet? That's what you're referring to with your ideas about Loki, correct?

We should be extra careful with the terminology, since there appear to be two fools:  one fool -- let's call him 'the dupe' -- is duped by the second fool -- let's call him 'the trickster'.  e.g. Consider the visual I keep returning to of @Pain killer Jane's great catch of Tyrion (the trickster) mounting Dontos (the dupe) in order to cloak Sansa (the prize).  In terms of Norse mythology, that would be equivalent to Loki (the trickster) using Hodr (the dupe) in order to kill Baldr (the prize).  The 'wedding' in the net is a murder -- by 'killing word'!  Note, that the glib trickster first uses lying words -- to persuade the gullible dupe to throw the spear:

Quote

While all the gods were amusing themselves by throwing every available projectile at Baldr and laughing as the things bounced off of their unharmed companion, Loki approached Hodr – here portrayed as blind and rather gullible – with the mistletoe spear. He convinced Hodr to throw the spear at Baldr to contribute to the game and to honor the strength of his brother. (Hodr and Baldr were both sons of Odin.) With Loki guiding his hand, Hodr launched the spear at Baldr. The weapon pierced him, and, to the shock and horror of all present, he fell down dead on the spot.

From:  http://norse-mythology.org/hodr/

That would also correspond with Bran (the trickster) skinchanging Hodor (the dupe) in order to 'steal the fire of the gods' (the abominable prize).  In the Prologue, we have Will (the trickster) climbing on the back of the sentinel (the dupe) in order to conjure the Others to kill Waymar (the prize).  A Littlefinger analogy would be LF (the trickster) potentially manipulating Joffrey (the dupe) in order to kill Ned (the prize), etc.

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3 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

We should be extra careful with the terminology, since there appear to be two fools:  one fool -- let's call him 'the dupe' -- is duped by the second fool -- let's call him 'the trickster'.  e.g. Consider the visual I keep returning to of @Pain killer Jane's great catch of Tyrion (the trickster) mounting Dontos (the dupe) in order to cloak Sansa (the prize).  In terms of Norse mythology, that would be equivalent to Loki (the trickster) using Hodr (the dupe) in order to kill Baldr (the prize).  The 'wedding' in the net is a murder -- by 'killing word'!  Note, that the glib trickster first uses lying words -- to persuade the gullible dupe to throw the spear:

That would also correspond with Bran (the trickster) skinchanging Hodor (the dupe) in order to 'steal the fire of the gods' (the abominable prize).  In the Prologue, we have Will (the trickster) climbing on the back of the sentinel (the dupe) in order to conjure the Others to kill Waymar (the prize).  A Littlefinger analogy would be LF (the trickster) potentially manipulating Joffrey (the dupe) in order to kill Ned (the prize), etc.

Yeah that's coming together well. You should take a look at Brienne's fight at the Whispers, when Brienne is a fool with a magic sword, like Galladon, who fights another fool, Shagwell, who has a triple Morningstar and comes from the weirwood canopy.

By the way Bloodstone Emperor is nobody's fool. He would be the manipulator, I am thinking. Who knows I guess.

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3 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

That would also correspond with Bran (the trickster) skinchanging Hodor (the dupe) in order to 'steal the fire of the gods' (the abominable prize).  In the Prologue, we have Will (the trickster) climbing on the back of the sentinel (the dupe) in order to conjure the Others to kill Waymar (the prize).  A Littlefinger analogy would be LF (the trickster) potentially manipulating Joffrey (the dupe) in order to kill Ned (the prize), etc.

But Hodor's name isn't Hodor, its Waldur (Baldr).  Bloodraven makes the better Loki which makes the God of Winter (Hodr)... Bran, maybe. 

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20 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

So there that is. I think, somewhat against the grain here, that the BSE and AA were not the same guy. I think that they were possibly brothers, and that one of them is Loki, and the other is Heimdall. Aaaaand of course the Long Night was Ragnarok. 

Maybe not the first time a bunch of this has been proposed here. I'm late to the party, but I hope it's been illuminating. 

Trying to create a coherent story out of the past, out of legends and stories is a pointless exercise, because there's not going to be any coherent story in there. They are simple foreshadowing, it doesn't matter if these people existed and if one story or person is the same as another, they're there to serve the current story and characters and GRRM likely doesn't have answers because that's not the point.

The process is he knows what's going to happen, he breaks pieces off, creates legends and stories from them in a way that will both obscure but ring true to what will happen and that's it. It's bed feathering.

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1 hour ago, chrisdaw said:

Trying to create a coherent story out of the past, out of legends and stories is a pointless exercise, because there's not going to be any coherent story in there. They are simple foreshadowing, it doesn't matter if these people existed and if one story or person is the same as another, they're there to serve the current story and characters and GRRM likely doesn't have answers because that's not the point.

The process is he knows what's going to happen, he breaks pieces off, creates legends and stories from them in a way that will both obscure but ring true to what will happen and that's it. It's bed feathering.

I doubt my opinion matters, but the author disagrees with you.

So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls—and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution. (George R. R. Martin, Vanity Fair Interview, 2014)

 

Its not too late.  Plenty of mysteries left.  You can be one of those readers, who find the extremely subtle clues.  If you like the books enough to join the forums, there is a good chance you can contribute if interested.  

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2 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

Trying to create a coherent story out of the past, out of legends and stories is a pointless exercise, because there's not going to be any coherent story in there. They are simple foreshadowing, it doesn't matter if these people existed and if one story or person is the same as another, they're there to serve the current story and characters and GRRM likely doesn't have answers because that's not the point.

The process is he knows what's going to happen, he breaks pieces off, creates legends and stories from them in a way that will both obscure but ring true to what will happen and that's it. It's bed feathering.

I genuinely think that you are wrong. LmL has a pretty good essay on his site outlining why he thinks The George is writing mythology, and why it's important. Furthermore, if what you're saying is indeed the case, my interest in the story diminishes by about 1000%. Times when writers have done what you've said include Battlestar Galactica and Lost, both of which ended so shittily that they are bywords among writers for lack of payoff. Incidentally, The George specifically cites Lost as a garbage can full of mistakes that he does not intend to make. If he doesn't realise what the root of the mistake actually is (as you seem not to), then his tale will be consigned to the same garbage can. Finally, if he doesn't have a clear history and mythology that he is carefully weaving into the books, as our passtime is rooting out, then how the fuck does it take so long to write them? 

History and mythology are my primary interests in life and in texts. That's why I read these books.

On to other topics. 

I just made the pretty easy amd straightforward identification because the Yi-Tish are East Asian analogues, and so assumed that The George just took a cool eastern myth and transposed it wholesale. Also if Lion = Sun, then Lion of Night means Sun of Night, aka the moon. Also the moon god in Japanese myth can be a real dick, whereas Amaterasu is pretty universally benevolent. Not that I know a lot about it! I am prepared to be wrong, and also your analysis of the LoN is bad ass.

I have some thoughts about black suns rolling around, but not fully formed yet. Have you looked at the Mayan Jaguar Sun god? I feel like you did... 

 

8 hours ago, LmL said:

(...)

There seem to be a line of clues about the weirwoods as being able to transmute meteor corruption. The idea of the weirwood roots as graveworms implies this - think of the black meteors like toxic corpses. The graveworm roots eat the corruption and absorb it. They might suffer in the process - they certainly look to be in pain. But to your point, the reason Westeros might be different in regards to magical toxicity is the weirwoods having an ability to purify or cleanse. 

(...)

Have you been following all of our talk about the fool who seems to aid the AA figure to enter the weirwoodnet? That's what you're referring to with your ideas about Loki, correct?

I've caught pieces of your conversations about tricksters and dupes. But I may have missed some key parts...

As for the weirwoods, my intuition is that the woods were cleansed by the LH, rather than anything else. Or maybe they were cut off by the breaking of the Arm of Dorne. Before or during the War for the Dawn is the question. 

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Yeah! Its Akbal, jaguar God of war and terrestrial fire (night sun). One of the coolest myths I have heard anywhere! 

What I was trying to say is that the moon is kind of a part of the dark sun, so the pairing still holds in a sense. Obviously George feels free to change and adapt his source mythology as needed, so there's no conflict. :)

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