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Crowfood's Daughter

I would bet money the Shade of the Evening Tree does this...

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The Shade of the Evening Tree... it’s the Essosi version of the Weirwood except inversed in a dark and creepy kind of way. Our writer loves to use symbolism and literary devices to drop clues from time to time...something he does well and does often. There have been many inversions and parallels drawn between the Essosi Shade of the Evening tree and the Westerosi Weirwood noted by readers throughout the fandom.  Today we are going to discuss a possible connection between these two trees and speculate on the enigmatic oily black stones peppered throughout the ASOIAF mythos and worldbuilding.  Before we get started I need to disclose that spoilers from the Forsaken and Arianne chapters will be discussed.  Now let’s get started.

Blackwood / Weirwood

You don’t have to look hard to see the what our writer is doing with these two magical trees.  One only has to look at how the two are described.  We have white trees with red leaves and black trees with blue leaves; this seems ostensibly contradicting and opposing at first glance from a sheer aesthetic point of view.  There are however some striking similarities as both trees are magical and have the potential to both extend life and provide visions.

What has especially captured the attention of the fandom is how our author has chosen to describe the tasting experience of the two trees vision inducing byproducts. There is an eerie similarity that cannot be denied.  For example, here we have Danny ingesting Shade of the Evening:

“The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart, and on her tongue was a taste like honey and anise and cream, like mother’s milk and Drogo’s seed, like red meat and hot blood and molten gold. It was all the tastes she had ever known, and none of them””

And now Bran with weirwood paste:

“The first spoonful was the hardest to get down.  He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother ever gave him.”

Interestingly, in addition to there being vision inducing trees located in Essos, there was also once a race of small, shy forest folk called woods walkers or Ifequevron who once inhabited the Essosi mainland. 

Immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. The fabled Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, was the first Westerosi to visit these woods. After his return from the Thousand Islands, he wrote of carved trees, haunted grottoes, and strange silences.  A later traveler, the merchant-adventurer Bryan of Oldtown, captain of the cog Spearshaker, provided an account of his own journey across the Shivering Sea. He reported that the Dothraki name for the lost people meant “those who walk in the woods.”  

TWOIAF further goes on to hint that the Dothraki horselords shunned the forests either from reverence for vanished wood walkers, or because they feared their powers and Corlys Velaryon even reported finding ‘carved trees’ in their forests. Another hint we have of a forgotten CotF-type presence can be found in the secretive peoples of the great and holy Isle of Leng. A people who are known for their large golden eyes, keen eyesight/night vision and their subterranean gods known as the ‘old ones’ lurking beneath the earth. This bit of information we have of the people of Leng has caused speculation of a possible mixture of bloodlines between the natives and the CotF in the ancient past.  Knowing there was a CotF-type presence in Essos, it is quite possible the black barked relative of the weirwood was a part of that magic from years gone by.

 “It will have turned to stone”

So we can see a possibility that the white barked trees of Westeros and the black barked trees of Essos could be lighter and darker versions of one another so to speak.  Now this is where it gets interesting: We know the weirwood petrifies when it dies, pretty simple to comprehend, the trees don't rot they just turn to stone...

 “For a thousand years it has not shown a leaf. In another thousand it will have turned to stone, the maesters say. Weirwoods never rot.”

That was some Tytos Blackwood wisdom for you there. Yes, a guy named Blackwood gave us that little nugget.  Knowing the weirwood turns to stone, if the trees are somehow relatives of each other the same logic could likely apply to the darker version of this tree. Basically, if the white stuff petrifies then the black stuff does too.  So, imagine for a moment what black wood actually becomes when it is petrified…it becomes black stone.

Let’s continue this train of thought and ponder the most mentioned relic of black stone we have in the series, the Seastone chair.  As I mentioned in the beginning, our writer likes to use some symbolism every now and then to drop clues…

Then she saw it: an uprooted tree, huge and dark, coming straight at them. A tangle of roots and limbs poked up out of the water as it came, like the reaching arms of a great kraken.

 

“No.” Aeron Damphair did not weigh his words. “Only a godly man may sit the Seastone Chair. The Crow’s Eye worships naught but his own pride.”

Let’s look at the very first time we see someone drink Shade of the evening:

Dany raised the glass to her lips. The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart"

Our writer decided to hide two little hints in our first view of this sorcerous drink, but before Dany actually partakes in the wine of the Warlocks, we are introduced to the grove of shade trees Dany sees outside the HotU.

Long and low, without towers or windows, it coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black-barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening. No other buildings stood near. Black tiles covered the palace roof, many fallen or broken; the mortar between the stones was dry and crumbling. She understood now why Xaro Xhoan Daxos called it the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon seemed disquieted by the sight of it. The black dragon hissed, smoke seeping out between his sharp teeth. “Blood of my blood,” Jhogo said in Dothraki, “this is an evil place, a haunt of ghosts and maegi. See how it drinks the morning sun? Let us go before it drinks us as well.” Ser Jorah Mormont came up beside them. “What power can they have if they live in that?” “Heed the wisdom of those who love you best,” said Xaro Xhoan Daxos, lounging inside the palanquin. “Warlocks are bitter creatures who eat dust and drink of shadows.

The wording here is interesting, if you have noticed, the Qartheen warns Dany that the warlocks ‘drink shadows’ and the Dothraki are disquieted by the way the place ‘drinks the morning sun’.  If these words seem familiar, you will notice it is echoed in TWOIAF when Asshai in the shadowlands is described.

“Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike.

Asshai is a haunt of sorcerers known for a ridiculous amount of black oily stone. The city is supposedly made entirely of the stuff and is said to be the size of Volantis, Qarth, King’s Landing, and Oldtown put together.  For some reason Asshai is still much a mystery to maesters and readers alike.  The sheer mass of the materials required tends to rule out most opinions and theories.  What you may find interesting however, is there is a high possibility Asshai was once a very fertile and forested area much like Yeng and Yi Ti.  If you take a glance at a map, you will see that in the past Asshai would have been a part of a forest/jungle fertile that would have stretched from Sothoryos and the Basilisk Isles all the way to Ulthos.

Another thing that I do want to draw your attention to is Ulthos, a land mass just as close to Asshai as any settlement found in Essos. This nearby land mass is a heavily jungled area that is a noticeably distinct color than any of the other forested areas on the map of the known world.  Recently /u/Werthead on Reddit published a tremendous undertaking of his Atlas of Ice and Fire which piqued my interest because the atlas mentions that the jungles of Ulthos are specifically purple-black in coloring on the map.  When I asked for his reference he pointed me to the actual mapmaker Jonathan Roberts who, on his fantastic maps website, mentions that the jungles of Ulthos are in fact meant to be depicted as purple-black in coloring.  I think it is highly possible this was not artistic license and was part of the guidance provided by our writer who commissioned his maps, but who knows, maybe the artist decided it would be good to have a purple-black colored jungle.  The purple part is somewhat confusing, but the black coloring of this tree depot next to Asshai, it has my attention.

Despite Ulthos being extremely close in proximity to Asshai, the possibility exists they were once even closer.  As we have noticed, there are some hints the sea level was lower at some point in the ancient past.  The Thousand Isles, the Neck and the Arm of Dorne are just a few examples.  One detail I would also point to is the artwork for Asshai in TWOIAF.  In the worldbook, it appears Asshai is a half-drowned city.  Again, I’m not sure if the artist just decided that Asshai should be half-drowned in appearance without any guidance, but there is definitely something there.  So not only is it quite possible Asshai was part of a forested and fertile crescent, but there is also the possibility this massive “purple-black” jungle was located closer to Asshai in the ancient past than we realize.

The years pass in their hundreds and their thousands, and what does any man see of life but a few summers, a few winters? We look at mountains and call them eternal, and so they seem … but in the course of time, mountains rise and fall, rivers change their courses, stars fall from the sky, and great cities sink beneath the sea. Even gods die, we think. Everything changes. -Maester Luwin to Bran

I know what you are thinking, if a shade tree were to truly petrify what are the mechanics that would cause it to be oily? If this is the same stuff, it has to be oily or become oily in some form or fashion. Well as it turns out, Shade of the Evening is also described as OILY.

The Crow’s Eye filled two cups with a strange black wine that flowed as thick as honey. “Drink with me, brother. Have a taste of this.” He offered one of the cups to Victarion. The captain took the cup Euron had not offered, sniffed at its contents suspiciously. Seen up close, it looked more blue than black. It was thick and oily, with a smell like rotted flesh. He tried a small swallow, and spit it out at once. “Foul stuff. Do you mean to poison me?”  

Current storyline significance

From here we now have pondered the possibility of what could be the origins for the black oily stone.  Now let’s look at another quote and see what we make of it:

Though Aeron clamped his mouth shut, twisting his head from side to side he fought as best he could, but in the end he had to choke or swallow. The dreams were even worse the second time. He saw the longships of the Ironborn adrift and burning on a boiling blood-red sea. He saw his brother on the Iron Throne again, but Euron was no longer human. He seemed more squid than man, a monster fathered by a kraken of the deep, his face a mass of writhing tentacles.

This last quote is somewhat confusing to some readers as this plainly looks like some straight up Lovecraft monster reference, but remember that Euron is kind of a Shade of the Evening junkie so to speak and Shade of the Evening is basically a brother from another mother to Weirwood paste... and what does weirwood paste do? It weds you to the tree, the writhing tentacles is a greenseer/tree man symbol in Aeron’s dream. See for yourself: 

Your blood makes you a greenseer,” said Lord Brynden. “This will help awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees.” Bran did not want to be married to a tree … but who else would wed a broken boy like him? A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. A greenseer. 

 

The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. He liked it better when the torches were put out.

So, the Shade of the Evening vision basically showed Aeron what his brother actually is... a terrible man with wisdom as deep as the roots of ancient trees… but we are not done yet.

Let's talk about some hairy men for a minute.  The hairy men were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos.  I noticed that there was once a forest inhabited by these CotF-type woods walkers who came into direct contact with the hairy men and not in the diplomatic kind of way. More in the, I am going to commit genocide, take your land and bleed your resources type of way:  

 The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands.

 

At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills

It is safe to say the Ibbenese didn't get along well with this forest folk that worshipped the black wood trees.  In fact, it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters even theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers extinction.  That’s bad right?

What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line:

The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.”  He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under.

So, a "kraken" has pulled under an Ibbenese whaler...makes sense now doesn't it?  Tree roots can look like the reaching arms of a kraken as our writer has pointed out.  This has caused me to speculate that there indeed might be something under the sea.  I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots, which could be why there is the Greensee/Green sea pun that @ravenous reader has pointed out in the forums and explains why Patchface came back from the depths with the gift of prophetic vision.  And here is why… detailed in one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips:

“Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died.  “You know what waits below the sea, brother?”  “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.”  Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.”

In Aeron's dream, Urri is telling him there is no Drowned God, no watery halls, just worms, worms await him.  From what we have seen in the House of the Undying, shade visions are supposed to be cryptic and somewhat prophetic in nature right?  So, what if there is actually something that looks similar to worms or the reaching arms of a kraken under the sea?  Let’s take a peek:

The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy.  

 

The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.

I guess this means we may actually get to see this play out in the chapters due to whatever Euron is doing at the moment.  According to the Arianne I sample chapter there are ‘krakens’ stirring around the Arm of Dorne being drawn to blood of the current hostilities and our Shade of the Evening drinking Euron has something planned in his upcoming battle with the Redwyne and Hightower fleet.  So yeah maybe there will be an Eldrich Apocalypse of sorts, just not the kind most were expecting.  

Before moving on, we are going to take this idea and look at two cultures in Essos who both fear the sea: The Thousand Isles and the Dothraki.  As we have read, the maesters suggest the Thousand Isles is something of a drowned kingdom that has been reduced to hundreds of scattered islands. Before the Thousand Isles were drowned, it was most likely connected to the dark forests of Mossovy ”.   A place whispered to be the haunt of shapechangers.  Additionally, the Dothraki whom the maesters hint could fear the Ifequevron also have a very real fear the sea and will not even plow the earth. 

Ebony and Weirwood

So, let’s back up for a moment and take a look at ebony. There have been many in the forums who have drawn attention to hints of the relationship between the two sets of trees through the writer’s use of ‘ebony’ and weirwood.  These hints are casually floated in front of our faces in the shape of weirwood and ebony doors seen in both the House of Black and White and the House of the Undying.

In the real-world ebony is a black wood of a few species that is so dense and heavy that it sinks or ‘drowns’ in water. Each time our characters encounter ebony, I’m not sure if they can distinguish one type of black wood from another when it comes certain items. It is kind of a tinge of the unreliable narrator that our writer uses from time to time; just like when Bran sees Jaime and Cersei wrestling naked. He is familiar with wrestling, so they are wrestling.  You see, characters might easily have difficulty categorizing a wood that they have never seen before and are unfamiliar with.  The shade of the evening tree is not seen in Westeros or the Free Cities that we have seen, so far, so what makes us so certain our characters can identify it when they happen across seeing it? Basically, they think they see ebony and so ebony is how it is described. 

“At the top she found a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In their center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.”

Here we have ebony and weirwood superimposed and contrasting one another with a carved face that does an excellent job reminding Arya (and the reader) of the heart tree in Winterfell.  Pretty simple symbolism, basically black tree/white tree=heart tree. 

In addition to Arya, Dany experienced a similar door in the House of the Undying: 

To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. 

It seems the writer is trying to describe these doors as an allusion to being made of one wood.  Notice how the wording makes it seem as if they were not mechanically pieced together from two different types of wood with descriptions such as the grains twisting and swirling?  The description itself makes it seem almost as if it is made from the same slab of wood.  This imagery makes a great deal of logic knowing there is a black barked tree with similar qualities to weirwood and were possibly one species at one time before they split in their evolution.  Later, shade drinking Dany is fittingly given further symbolism in Mereen as she is sitting equivalent of an Essosi weirwood throne, an ebony bench.  Also, TWOIAF mentions that the people of Asshai ride around in palanquins made of ebony…hmm... must be an abundance of that stuff somewhere nearby. 

There is also another set of doors that should be mentioned although not as enigmatic. We also have ebony and weirwood doors all the way back in Game of Thrones at the forge of Tobho Mott, our friendly neighborhood Qohorik.  This one is a little trickier, but it gets cleared up in TWOIAF. 

Qohor stands on the river Qhoyne on the western edge of the vast, dark, primordial forest to which she gives her name, the greatest wood in all of Essos.

 

The Forest of Qohor also yields up furs and pelts of all kinds, many rare and fine and highly prized, as well as silver, tin, and amber. The vast forest has never been fully explored, according to the maps and scrolls at the Citadel, and it likely conceals many mysteries and wonders at its heart.

 

The artisans of Qohor are far famed. Qohorik tapestries, woven primarily by the women and children of the city, are just as fine as those woven in Myr, though less costly. Exquisite (if somewhat disturbing) wood carvings can be bought in Qohor’s market, and the city’s forges have no peer.

We also learn of the God of Qohor, the Black Goat.  A deity that requires daily blood sacrifice, and is frequently mentioned when the Lion of Night is mentioned.

“And many names,” the kindly man had said. “In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger.

 

“Warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, bloodmages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child and the Lion of Night, all find welcome in Asshai-by-the-Shadow, where nothing is forbidden.”

 

Beyond her was a man with a lion’s head seated on a throne, carved of ebony. On the other side of the doors, a huge horse of bronze and iron reared up on two great legs. Farther on she could make out a great stone face, a pale infant with a sword, a shaggy black goat the size of an aurochs, a hooded man leaning on a staff.

Basically, Qohor is known for its special wood being the largest forest in Essos and which is described as not fully explored and primordial.  Additionally, what I am seeing with the Black Goat is a deity that is worshipped in the most heavily forested area in Essos, is a fan of blood sacrifice (like a heart tree) and is often associated with another deity that is depicted in the House of Black and White as carved out of ebony…oh yes, and their worshippers can find refuge in Asshai, go figure.

GRRM has done everything possible to make the Shade tree an Essosi Weirwood, so if the white stuff petrifies, the black stuff probably does too.

If I had money to bet...I'd place it on the warlock tree taking a note from its Westerosi cousin.

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I'd bet as well... I even wrote about this topic

I'm glad to see that this wasn't just some delusion of mine, and that there're other posters (especially as knowledgeable posters as @Crowfood's Daughter) who think that's what GRRM meant when describing the Weirdwood of Qarth.

Do you share my views about this 'undying-undyed' stuff? (In a nutshell: In the Norse Mythology, Yggdrasil has to be whitewashed using white water/mudd from the Well of Urd. The weirwoods have to undergo somewhat similar process, some kind of ritual that makes it easier and safer to enter the weirnet via them, that's why the CotF Cave weirwood and Winterfell weirwood are located close to pools/streams. 

The Qaartheen weirdwoods didn't undergo the necessary ritual  (or they were corrupted by something), so they're unsafe and trap those who try to use them - they're not 'whitewashed' - they're 'undyed'. The eternal life The Undying have isn't the same afterlife as those of the Greenseers and COTF who use white weirwoods. They're not truly dead. But they're not truly alive either.)

Anyway, I'm certain it's no coincidence that The Qaartheen Tree has the inversed Weirwood colours - the trunk isn't white but black, the leaves are blue not red. So according to this pattern, if there was a carven face on them, it'd have closed eyes. It'd be blind, looking inwards. Hmm... That'd fit with the windowless tower of The Undying.

 

And I believe that @Crowfood's Daughter is right about the Essosi CoTF equivalent - The Iferquevron - being connected to the Qarth mystery...

.................................................................................................................................................................................

My post on this topic, from hiemal's thread Pounding the Planet: Meteoric Thaumogenesis as Fertilization, from May 2017.

***

From 'The World of Ice and Fire':

Quote

In this city of splendors, Dany had expected the House of the Undying Ones to be the most splendid of all, but she emerged from her palanquin to behold a grey and ancient ruin.

Long and low, without towers or windows, it coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black-barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening. No other buildings stood near. Black tiles covered the palace roof, many fallen or broken; the mortar between the stones was dry and crumbling. She understood now why Xaro Xhoan Daxos called it the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon seemed disquieted by the sight of it. The black dragon hissed, smoke seeping out between his sharp teeth.

"Blood of my blood," Jhogo said in Dothraki, "this is an evil place, a haunt of ghosts and maegi. See how it drinks the morning sun? Let us go before it drinks us as well."

Hmm... So this mysterious Qartheen tree supposedly absorbs people into it... and it's kind of weirwood reversed (white bark to black bark, red leaves to blue leaves [red-blue might have something to do with 'ice and fire']). And it appears that some catastrophe happened in The Red Waste - all other Qaathi towns are gone, only Qarth remains - maybe because it had those weird trees to protect it from oily stone's effect? 

And the Undying remind me of the Weirnet users:

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Through the indigo murk, she could make out the wizened features of the Undying One to her right, an old old man, wrinkled and hairless. His flesh was a ripe violet-blue, his lips and nails bluer still, so dark they were almost black. Even the whites of his eyes were blue. They stared unseeing at the ancient woman on the opposite side of the table, whose gown of pale silk had rotted on her body. One withered breast was left bare in the Qartheen manner, to show a pointed blue nipple hard as leather.

She is not breathing. Dany listened to the silence. None of them are breathing, and they do not move, and those eyes see nothing. Could it be that the Undying Ones were dead?

(...)

Then indigo turned to orange, and whispers turned to screams. Her heart was pounding, racing, the hands and mouths were gone, heat washed over her skin, and Dany blinked at a sudden glare. Perched above her, the dragon spread his wings and tore at the terrible dark heart [As in heart tree], ripping the rotten flesh to ribbons, and when his head snapped forward, fire flew from his open jaws, bright and hot. She could hear the shrieks of the Undying as they burned, their high thin papery voices crying out in tongues long dead. Their flesh was crumbling parchment, their bones dry wood soaked in tallow. They danced as the flames consumed them; they staggered and writhed and spun and raised blazing hands on high, their fingers bright as torches.

But if those trees are either weirwoods, or their relatives, what caused them to have so different effects on its users and the land?

It's worth to mention that ancestors of the people of Qarth had contact with COTF, protoCOTF or their cousins:

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In the southeast the proud city-states of the Qaathi arose; in the forests to the north, along the shores of the Shivering Sea, were the domains of the woods walkers, a diminutive folk whom many maesters believe to have been kin to the children of the forest; between them could be found the hill kingdoms of the Cymmeri, the long-legged Gipps with their wicker shields and lime-stiffened hair, and the brown-skinned palehaired Zoqora, who rode to war in chariots.

So they might have greenseers (blueseers?) of their own.

Now, it might be nothing, but for me 'undying' sounds a lot like 'undyed'. This word even appears in one of Dany's chapters set in Qarth:

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The other man wore a traveler's cloak of undyed wool, the hood thrown back. Long white hair fell to his shoulders, and a silky white beard covered the lower half of his face. He leaned his weight on a hardwood staff as tall as he was. Only fools would stare so openly if they meant me harm. All the same, it might be prudent to head back toward Jhogo and Aggo. "The old man does not wear a sword," she said to Jorah in the Common Tongue as she drew him away.

And, in the Norse Mythology The World Tree Yggdrasil (which has numerous connections to weirwoods, as LML and others explored) has to be whitewashed with white mud from The Well of Urd, from Wikipedia:

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In the Poetic Edda, Urðarbrunnr is mentioned in stanzas 19 and 20 of the poem Völuspá, and stanza 111 of the poem Hávamál. In stanza 19 of Völuspá, Urðarbrunnr is described as being located beneath Yggdrasil, and that Yggdrasil, an ever-green ash-tree, is covered with white mud or loam. Stanza 20 describes that three norns (Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld) "come from" the well, here described as a "lake", and that this trio of norns then "set down laws, they chose lives, for the sons of men the fates of men.

The Winterfell weirwood stands above that cold black pool. But the Weirdwood Tree at Qarth has no body of water near it. So, maybe the weirwoods need to be near water when they're transfusing black oily stone. Or this 'white mud' is a metaphor for some ritual (like carving face) needed to safely use the weirwood and not end up trapped like The Undying Ones. COTF (and crannogmen) are often associated with mud. So maybe they're necessary to 'activate' the weirwood. 

 

'Undying Ones' = the ones who don't dye their trees and pay a terrible price for it.

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For her sake, Ned had built a small sept where she might sing to the seven faces of god, but the blood of the First Men still flowed in the veins of the Starks, and his own gods were the old ones, the nameless, faceless gods of the greenwood they shared with the vanished children of the forest.

At the center of the grove an ancient weirwood brooded over a small pool where the waters were black and cold. "The heart tree," Ned called it. The weirwood's bark was white as bone, its leaves dark red, like a thousand bloodstained hands. A face had been carved in the trunk of the great tree, its features long and melancholy, the deep-cut eyes red with dried sap and strangely watchful. They were old, those eyes; older than Winterfell itself. They had seen Brandon the Builder set the first stone, if the tales were true; they had watched the castle's granite walls rise around them. It was said that the children of the forest had carved the faces in the trees during the dawn centuries before the coming of the First Men across the narrow sea.

In the south the last weirwoods had been cut down or burned out a thousand years ago, except on the Isle of Faces where the green men kept their silent watch. Up here it was different. Here every castle had its godswood, and every godswood had its heart tree, and every heart tree its face.

Quotes:

Spoiler

"Qarth is the greatest city that ever was or ever will be," Pyat Pree had told her, back amongst the bones of Vaes Tolorro. "It is the center of the world, the gate between north and south, the bridge between east and west, ancient beyond memory of man and so magnificent that Saathos the Wise put out his eyes after gazing upon Qarth for the first time, because he knew that all he saw thereafter should look squalid and ugly by comparison."

Dany took the warlock's words well salted, but the magnificence of the great city was not to be denied. Three thick walls encircled Qarth, elaborately carved. The outer was red sandstone, thirty feet high and decorated with animals: snakes slithering, kites flying, fish swimming, intermingled with wolves of the red waste and striped zorses and monstrous elephants. The middle wall, forty feet high, was grey granite alive with scenes of war: the clash of sword and shield and spear, arrows in flight, heroes at battle and babes being butchered, pyres of the dead. The innermost wall was fifty feet of black marble, with carvings that made Dany blush until she told herself that she was being a fool. She was no maid; if she could look on the grey wall's scenes of slaughter, why should she avert her eyes from the sight of men and women giving pleasure to one another?

The outer gates were banded with copper, the middle with iron; the innermost were studded with golden eyes. All opened at Dany's approach. As she rode her silver into the city, small children rushed out to scatter flowers in her path. They wore golden sandals and bright paint, no more.

 

Spoiler

In the southeast the proud city-states of the Qaathi arose; in the forests to the north, along the shores of the Shivering Sea, were the domains of the woods walkers, a diminutive folk whom many maesters believe to have been kin to the children of the forest; between them could be found the hill kingdoms of the Cymmeri, the long-legged Gipps with their wicker shields and lime-stiffened hair, and the brown-skinned palehaired Zoqora, who rode to war in chariots.

Most of these peoples are gone now, their cities burned and buried, their gods and heroes all but forgotten. Of the Qaathi cities, only Qarth remains, dreaming of past glories beside the jealously guarded Jade Gates, which link the Summer and Jade seas. The others were extinguished, driven into exile, or conquered and assimilated by the people who succeeded them.

 

Spoiler

What can be said is that the Qaathi arose in the grasslands and established towns there, coming into contact and occasional conflict with the Sarnori. They would oft have the worse of these wars, and so began to drift farther south, creating new city-states. One such, Qarth, was founded on the coast of the Summer Sea. Yet the lands in the south of Essos proved more inhospitable than those the Qaathi had vacated, turning to desert even as they established their foothold there. The Qaathi people were already well on their way to collapse when the Doom struck, and any hopes of using the chaos in the Summer Sea to their advantage vanished when the Dothraki attacked, destroying all the remaining Qaathi cities save for Qarth itself.

And:

Quote

The red priestess closed her eyes and said a prayer, then opened them once more to face the hearthfire. One more time. She had to be certain. Many a priest and priestess before her had been brought down by false visions, by seeing what they wished to see instead of what the Lord of Light had sent. Stannis was marching south into peril, the king who carried the fate of the world upon his shoulders, Azor Ahai reborn. Surely R'hllor would vouchsafe her a glimpse of what awaited him. Show me Stannis, Lord, she prayed. Show me your king, your instrument.

Visions danced before her, gold and scarlet, flickering, forming and melting and dissolving into one another, shapes strange and terrifying and seductive. She saw the eyeless faces again (greenseers?), staring out at her from sockets weeping blood (weirwood faces). Then the towers by the sea, crumbling as the dark tide came sweeping over them, rising from the depths. Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist (moons? or comet?), bodies locked together in lust (celestial bodies, the comet and the moon), writhing and rolling and clawing. Through curtains of fire great winged shadows wheeled against a hard blue sky. - meteors falling down

The girl. I must find the girl again, the grey girl on the dying horse. Jon Snow would expect that of her, and soon. It would not be enough to say the girl was fleeing. He would want more, he would want the when and where, and she did not have that for him. She had seen the girl only once. A girl as grey as ash, and even as I watched she crumbled and blew away.

So, Mel asks for a vision of Azor Ahai and she gets it. He was a greenseer, he was a moonbreaker.

That 'clawing' is interesting. Maybe it implies the celestial lion, the sun?

LML, would you say that she sees the past or the future? Or that it doesn't really matter?

Edited May 5 by Blue Tiger

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1 hour ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

A later traveler, the merchant-adventurer Bryan of Oldtown, captain of the cog Spearshaker, provided an account of his own journey across the Shivering Sea. He reported that the Dothraki name for the lost people meant “those who walk in the woods.”

Of course, the man who studied those Essosi COTF is named Bryan, which is a variant of Brian, which comes from Ancient Irish Bran.

And 'Spearshaker'... Yes, that's a nod to Will the Rhymer (nod to @ravenous reader), but it's also a hint about the Lightrbringer comet (blink to @LmL)... Bran the Greenseer shaking the 'sun spear'.

Another tinfoil:

Bran the Cometshaker traveled through the Shivering Sea. The Shivering Sea is a metaphor for The Outer Space and it's cold void...

All hail The Deep Impact Dragon hypothesis! (By @ravenous reader)

Quote

In the southeast the proud city-states of the Qaathi arose; in the forests to the north, along the shores of the Shivering Sea, were the domains of the woods walkers, a diminutive folk whom many maesters believe to have been kin to the children of the forest; between them could be found the hill kingdoms of the Cymmeri, the long-legged Gipps with their wicker shields and lime-stiffened hair, and the brown-skinned palehaired Zoqora, who rode to war in chariots.

Space is the domain of the greenseers!

Quote

The Kingdom of Sarnor (so called, though it boasted twoscore rival kings) was amongst the known world's great civilizations for more than two thousand years, yet much of what we know of them comes only from fragments of their otherwise lost histories, most notably the Summer and Winter Annals, and records of them from Qarth, Slaver's Bay, and the Free Cities. Sarnori traders traveled to Valyria and Yi Ti, to Leng and Asshai. Sarnori ships sailed the Shivering Sea to Ib and the Thousand Islands and Far Mossovy. Sarnori kings warred against the Qaathi and the Old Empire of Ghis, and led many a foray against the bands of nomadic horsemen who roamed the steppes to their east

Thousand Islands is a reference to GRRM's Thousand Worlds... And these worlds are planets... They're in space.

And of course, their Westerosi is located on the Shivering Sea.

Quote

Of all the queer and fabulous denizens of the Shivering Sea, however, the greatest are the ice dragons. These colossal beasts, many times larger than the dragons of Valyria, are said to be made of living ice, with eyes of pale blue crystal and vast translucent wings through which the moon and stars can be glimpsed as they wheel across the sky. Whereas common dragons (if any dragon can truly be said to be common) breathe flame, ice dragons supposedly breathe cold, a chill so terrible that it can freeze a man solid in half a heartbeat.

Ice dragons are the Space Dragons! The comets! 

And the biggest hint that seas are a metaphor for space:

Quote
It has long been accepted amongst the wise that our world is round. If this is true, it ought to be possible to sail over the top of the world and down its far side, and there discover lands and seas undreamed of. Over the centuries, many a bold mariner has sought to find a way through the ice to whatever lies beyond. Most, alas, have perished in the attempt, or returned south again half-frozen and much chastened. Whilst it is true that the White Waste recedes during summer and expands again in winter, its very shorelines ever changing, no seafarer has succeeded in finding this fabled northern passage, nor the warm summer sea that Maester Heriston of White Harbor once suggested might lie hidden and entombed behind the icy cliffs of the far north.
 
Sailors, by nature a gullible and superstitious lot, as fond of their fancies as singers, tell many tales of these frigid northern waters. They speak of queer lights shimmering in the sky, where the demonmother of the ice giants dances eternally through the night, seeking to lure men northward to their doom. They whisper of Cannibal Bay, where ships enter at their peril only to find themselves trapped forever when the sea freezes hard behind them.
 
They tell of pale blue mists that move across the waters, mists so cold that any ship they pass over is frozen instantly; of drowned spirits who rise at night to drag the living down into the grey-green depths; of mermaids pale of flesh with black-scaled tails, far more malign than their sisters of the south.

Aurora borealis...

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Very interesting theories! I have a question. We know there is a Weirwood gate of extremely deep magic at the foundations of The Wall. Based on the way the core oaths were sworn to this Gate, it seems most likely that the Children, Men, and Giants built The Wall to protect all Southern warm life from the Others.

 

This makes it likely that the 5 Forts were also built by Essosi Humans and their own allies. However, since the Evening Trees are 'opposites' of Weirwoods, the trees would have to be on top of the 5 Forts. But how would a wooden gate on top of the 5 Forts be useful in protecting Humans against whatever 'Others' there are in the cold Grey Waste?

Keep in mind that the 5 Forts are almost completely (though in an opposite fashion) analogous to the Walls in many ways: the axis that they were built along (East-West; North-South) ultimately ended in oceans. However, the Western side of the Wall ended in cliffs and mountains and the Eastern side hit a body of water; on the other hand, the North-Western side of the 5 Forts ended in a body of water (Bleeding Sea) while the South-Eastern side ended in Mountains.

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I'm glad someone made a post about the connection between the Weirwoods and the Shade of the Evening trees. I read a post on a different forum recently pointing this out too and was really interested. I'm not full of ideas regarding this myself but want to lurk to see what people have come up with.

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I wonder if Dany is married to the trees now. She had enough magical talent to hatch the eggs. She drank the drink, just like Bran.   ?

The thing that seems strangest to me is that the House of the Undying is like a grey stone dragon - coiled like a serpent and drinks the sun. It's an odd image for the warlocks. Maybe the Undying are descended from dragonlords - the visions they showed of themselves were certainly beautiful enough. Did they really know how to speak to dragons? That would be really handy, if Dany could look in the past as easily as Bran does.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 5:12 AM, Blue Tiger said:

Of course, the man who studied those Essosi COTF is named Bryan, which is a variant of Brian, which comes from Ancient Irish Bran.

And 'Spearshaker'... Yes, that's a nod to Will the Rhymer (nod to @ravenous reader), but it's also a hint about the Lightrbringer comet (blink to @LmL)... Bran the Greenseer shaking the 'sun spear'.

Another tinfoil:

Bran the Cometshaker traveled through the Shivering Sea. The Shivering Sea is a metaphor for The Outer Space and it's cold void...

All hail The Deep Impact Dragon hypothesis! (By @ravenous reader)

Space is the domain of the greenseers!

Thousand Islands is a reference to GRRM's Thousand Worlds... And these worlds are planets... They're in space.

And of course, their Westerosi is located on the Shivering Sea.

Ice dragons are the Space Dragons! The comets! 

And the biggest hint that seas are a metaphor for space:

Aurora borealis...

Hey Blue Tiger.  There are some obvious parallels to the well and the pools beside found frequently beside weirwoods, I am sure our writer did draw from that knowing his love of Nordic legend.  I am unsure about the undying, but it could be a little pun in a way maybe showing that it was the weirwoods that made a transformation and not the other way around, always a possibility.  I had been away from the forums yesterday due to problems with my computer and went chasing some stuff you were mentioning which led me back to the hairy men which were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos and came back to this line.

At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills

 

The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers.

 

So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the Black wood trees.  In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. 

What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line:

The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under.

Not only am I completely convinced at this point, but I am truly and utterly pissed, because I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun @ravenous reader.  And here is why.

Forsaken chapter spoilers:

Here is one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips:

“Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died.  “You know what waits below the sea, brother?”  “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.”  Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.”

His dream is telling him there is no watery halls, there is just worms.  So what if there actually is something that looks like worms or krakens under the water?

The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy.

Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.

There may actually be a root system under the sea.  I am going to add this to the original post.

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On 7/4/2017 at 2:12 AM, Blue Tiger said:

Thousand Islands is a reference to GRRM's Thousand Worlds... And these worlds are planets... They're in space.

 

Nah.  Thousand Islands is a nod and a reference to GRRM's all time favourite salad dressing.     :D

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On 7/4/2017 at 11:43 AM, Springwatch said:

I wonder if Dany is married to the trees now. She had enough magical talent to hatch the eggs. She drank the drink, just like Bran.   ?

She got married to and divorced from the trees on the same day!  The undying were attempting to yoke her in to their life support system, but then Drogon intervened; he burnt the house of the undying down to the ground, and they escaped the clutches of the warlocks.  What this is showing us is a greenseer 'prentice (Dany -- Bran) escaping the weirnet and the undying (singers/greenseers)-- and what better way to liberate oneself from the weirwoods than burning the trees!

2 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Hey Blue Tiger.  There are some obvious parallels to the well and the pools beside found frequently beside weirwoods, I am sure our writer did draw from that knowing his love of Nordic legend.  I am unsure about the undying, but it could be a little pun in a way maybe showing that it was the weirwoods that made a transformation and not the other way around, always a possibility.  I had been away from the forums yesterday due to problems with my computer and went chasing some stuff you were mentioning which led me back to the hairy men which were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos and came back to this line.

At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills

 

The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers.

 

So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the Black wood trees.  In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. 

What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line:

The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under.

 

Good catch!

Quote

 

Not only am I completely convinced at this point, but I am truly and utterly pissed, because I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun @ravenous reader

Very possible.  Tell me more!  I seem to recall @GloubieBoulga mentioning the significance of the drowned trees motif, with reference to the Sorrows.

Quote

And here is why.

Forsaken chapter spoilers:

Here is one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips:

“Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died.  “You know what waits below the sea, brother?”  “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.”  Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.”

His dream is telling him there is no watery halls, there is just worms.  So what if there actually is something that looks like worms or krakens under the water?

The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy.

 

'Squishy' weirwoods related to 'Squishers'..?!  LOL

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Brienne IV

"You try that. You just try. Squishers don't die easy." He winked at Brienne. "You a bad little girl, m'lady?"

"No." Just a fool. The wood was too damp to light, no matter how many sparks Brienne struck off her flint and steel. The kindling sent up some smoke, but that was all. Disgusted, she settled down with her back to a rock, pulled her cloak over herself, and resigned herself to a cold, wet night. Dreaming of a hot meal, she gnawed on a strip of hard salt beef whilst Nimble Dick talked about the time Ser Clarence Crabb had fought the squisher king. He tells a lively tale, she had to admit, but Mark Mullendore was amusing too, with his little monkey.

What's this about Crabb fighting the squisher king?  Is that the same duo referenced by the Crab King vs. the Old Man of the River (the turtle)?  That means the turtle is a drowned weirwood... (next we're going to be concluding that Littlefinger is Jon's father...:P).

Quote

 

Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.

There may actually be a root system under the sea.  I am going to add this to the original post.

The greenseers like Bloodraven pinioned to the trees are like ships' figureheads (originally live sacrifices strapped to the prow to deliver favorable sailing conditions for a safe voyage -- Euron replicates this superstitious custom in TWOW).  In the Merman's Court, a symbolic 'under the sea' (and greenseer) venue, such figureheads are described as 'worm-riddled,' akin to the descriptions of Bloodraven or the Kindly Man:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Davos III

Davos had come to White Harbor as an envoy, but they had made him a captive. His chambers were large, airy, and handsomely furnished, but there were guards outside his doors. From his window he could see the streets of White Harbor beyond the castle walls, but he was not allowed to walk them. He could see the harbor too, and had watched Merry Midwife make her way down the firth. Casso Mogat had waited four days instead of three before departing. Another fortnight had passed since then.

Lord Manderly's household guard wore cloaks of blue-green wool and carried silver tridents in place of common spears. One went before him, one behind, and one to either side. They walked past the faded banners, broken shields, and rusted swords of a hundred ancient victories, and a score of wooden figures, cracked and worm-riddled, that could only have adorned the prows of ships.

Two marble mermen flanked his lordship's court, Fishfoot's smaller cousins. As the guards threw open the doors, a herald slammed the butt of his staff against an old plank floor. "Ser Davos of House Seaworth," he called in a ringing voice.

 

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It's a great theory!  One of the rare ones I actually endorse.  More than that, whether it is true or not, this was a good read.  Thanks for drawing something interesting out of the books like this.

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4 hours ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Hey Blue Tiger.  There are some obvious parallels to the well and the pools beside found frequently beside weirwoods, I am sure our writer did draw from that knowing his love of Nordic legend.  I am unsure about the undying, but it could be a little pun in a way maybe showing that it was the weirwoods that made a transformation and not the other way around, always a possibility.  I had been away from the forums yesterday due to problems with my computer and went chasing some stuff you were mentioning which led me back to the hairy men which were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos and came back to this line.

At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills

 

The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers.

 

So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the Black wood trees.  In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. 

What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line:

The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under.

Not only am I completely convinced at this point, but I am truly and utterly pissed, because I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun @ravenous reader

I don't think it's surprising at all that the Ibbenese don't get along with the trees, since they're the closest thing to dwarves the GRRMverse has.

And in JRRT's Middle-Earth, dwarves weren't exactly famous for their love of trees... And vice versa.

 

By the way, @ravenous reader, since you've liked the 'Song of Durin' poem from LOTR I've shared, here's another piece by JRRT, this time from 'The Hobbit'

Spoiler

 "An Unexpected Party"

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men they looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

***

 "Queer Lodgings"

The wind was on the withered heath,
but in the forest stirred no leaf:
there shadows lay by night and day,
and dark things silent crept beneath.

The wind came down from mountains cold,
and like a tide it roared and rolled;
the branches groaned, the forest moaned,
and leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
all movement in the forest ceased,
but shrill and harsh across the marsh
its whistling voices were released.

The grasses hissed, their tassels bent,
the reeds were rattling—on it went
o'er shaken pool under heavens cool
where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the lonely Mountain bare
and swept above the dragon's lair:
there black and dark lay boulders stark
and flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
over the wide seas of the night.
The moon set sail upon the gale,
and stars were fanned to leaping light.

***

''The King Beneath the Mountain''

The King beneath the mountains,
    The King of carven stone,
The lord of silver fountains
    Shall come into his own!

His crown shall be upholden,
    His harp shall be restrung,
His halls shall echo golden
    To songs of yore re-sung.

The woods shall wave on mountains
    And grass beneath the sun;
His wealth shall flow in fountains
    And the rivers golden run.

The streams shall run in gladness,
    The lakes shall shine and burn,
All sorrow fail and sadness
    At the Mountain-king's return!

***

Under the Mountain dark and tall
The King has come unto his hall!
His foe is dead, the Worm of Dread,
And ever so his foes shall fall.

The sword is sharp, the spear is long,
The arrow swift, the Gate is strong;
The heart is bold that looks on gold;
The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

On silver necklaces they strung
The light of stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, from twisted wire
The melody of harps they wrung.

The mountain throne once more is freed!
O! wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! across the waste!
The king of friend and kin has need.

Now call we over mountains cold,
'Come back unto the caverns old'!
Here at the Gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.

The king is come unto his hall
Under the Mountain dark and tall.
The Worm of Dread is slain and dead,
And ever so our foes shall fall!

 

Quote

The Road Goes Ever On

***

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains of the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

 

 

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Speaking of krakens, it's worth to mention that this creature comes from Scandinavian foklore, its name coming from krake, which means twisted. Like tree branches.

From Wikipedia:

Quote

The English word kraken is taken from Norwegian. In Norwegian Kraken is the definite form of krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted (cognate with the English crook and crank). In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary kraken.

*********************************************************************

Swedish author Jacob Wallenberg described the kraken in the 1781 work Min son på galejan ("My son on the galley"):

Kraken, also called the Crab-fish, which is not that huge, for heads and tails counted, he is no larger than our Öland is wide [i.e., less than 16 km] ... He stays at the sea floor, constantly surrounded by innumerable small fishes, who serve as his food and are fed by him in return: for his meal, (if I remember correctly what E. Pontoppidan writes,) lasts no longer than three months, and another three are then needed to digest it. His excrements nurture in the following an army of lesser fish, and for this reason, fishermen plumb after his resting place ... Gradually, Kraken ascends to the surface, and when he is at ten to twelve fathoms, the boats had better move out of his vicinity, as he will shortly thereafter burst up, like a floating island, spurting water from his dreadful nostrils and making ring waves around him, which can reach many miles. Could one doubt that this is the Leviathan of Job?

Hmm.... Maybe the Greyjoy sigil is actually depicting a dead, petrified weirwood, like the coat-of-arms of another Ironborn house, House Stonetree? Overtime this image might have been corrupted, as it no longer made sense, the weirwoods being either all cut down or no longer recognisable, being seen as stone or bones of Nagga the Dragon, so people just assumed it was supposed to be a legendary kraken. 

Maybe the kraken itself is nothing more than a dead stone weirwood seen from above the water. That would explain why we get kraken sighting stories from the Iron Islands, which might have been once connected to the mainland Westeros and later shattered (so many weirwoods would be submerged) and the Sea of Dorne, close to the shattered Arm of Dorne, where weirwoods might have once grown.

Quote

"In the Seven Kingdoms, there are tales of dragons who grew so huge that they could pluck giant krakens from the seas."

(ACoK, Dany)

Bingo

Quote

But a sudden shout snapped her head about before she could leap. The ferrymen were rushing forward, poles in hand. For a moment she did not understand what was happening. Then she saw it: an uprooted tree, huge and dark, coming straight at them. A tangle of roots and limbs poked up out of the water as it came, like the reaching arms of a great kraken. The oarsmen were backing water frantically, trying to avoid a collision that could capsize them or stove their hull in. The old man had wrenched the rudder about, and the horse at the prow was swinging downstream, but too slowly. Glistening brown and black, the tree rushed toward them like a battering ram.

(ASoS, Arya)

 

Quote

Dark clouds ran before the wind as the first light stole into the world. The black sky went grey as slate; the black sea turned grey-green; the black mountains of Great Wyk across the bay put on the blue-green hues of soldier pines. As color stole back into the world, a hundred banners lifted and began to flap. Aeron beheld the silver fish of Botley, the bloody moon of Wynch, the dark green trees of Orkwood. He saw warhorns and leviathans and scythes, and everywhere the krakens great and golden. Beneath them, thralls and salt wives begin to move about, stirring coals into new life and gutting fish for the captains and the kings to break their fasts. The dawnlight touched the stony strand, and he watched men wake from sleep, throwing aside their sealskin blankets as they called for their first horn of ale. Drink deep, he thought, for we have god's work to do today.

(AFfC, Aeron)

 

Quote

When the kraken weds the dragon, brother, let all the world beware.

So, this is actually marrying Dany to the trees.

WoW preview chapter:

Spoiler

"And krakens off the Broken Arm, pulling under crippled galleys," said Valena. "The blood draws them to the surface, our maester claims. There are bodies in the water. A few have washed up on our shores. And that's not half of it. A new pirate king has set up on Torturer's Deep. The Lord of the Waters, he styles himself. This one has real warships, three-deckers, monstrous large. You were wise not to come by sea. Since the Redwyne fleet passed through the Stepstones, those waters are crawling with strange sails, all the way north to the Straights of Tarth and Shipbreaker's Bay. Myrmen, Volantenes, Lyseni, even reavers from the Iron Islands. Some have entered the Sea of Dorne to land men on the south shore of Cape Wrath. We found a good fast ship for you, as your father commanded, but even so... be careful."

It is true, then. Arianne wanted to ask after her brother, but her father had urged her to watch every word. If these ships had not brought Quentyn home again with his dragon queen, best not to mention him. Only her father and a few of his most trusted men knew about her brother's mission to Slaver's Bay. Lady Toland and her daughters were not amongst them. If it were Quentyn, he would have brought Daenerys back to Dorne, surely. Why would he risk a landing on Cape Wrath, amongst the stormlords?

 

Quote

The history of the stormlands stretches back to the Dawn Age. Long before the coming of the First Men, all Westeros belonged to the elder races—the children of the forest and the giants (and, some say, the Others, the terrifying "white walkers" of the Long Night).

The children made their homes in the vast primeval forest that once stretched from Cape Wrath to Cape Kraken, north of the Iron Islands (today all that remains of this great wood are the kingswood and the rainwood), and the giants in the foothills of the Red Mountains and along the rugged stony spine of Massey's Hook. Unlike the later Andals, who came to Westeros by sea, the First Men made their way from Essos across the great land bridge we now call the Broken Arm of Dorne, so Dorne itself and the stormlands to the north were the first parts of Westeros to know the steps of man.

The wet wild of the rainwood was a favored haunt of the children of the forest, the tales tell us, and there were giants in the hills that rose wild in the shadow of the Red Mountains, and amongst the defiles and ridges of the stony peninsula that came to be called Massey's Hook. Although the giants were a shy folk, and ever hostile to man, it is written that in the beginning, the children of the forest welcomed the newcomers to Westeros, in the belief that there was land enough for all.

(AWoIaF)

 

Now, there's this passage when Varys mentions that a kraken was seen near the Fingers, so I'm not sure about this kraken = drowned weirwood theory. Do you think that such creature really exist? Are all krakens weirwoods, or only some? 

Hmm... The Drowned God himself might be a drowned weirwood:

From 'The Forsaken':

Spoiler

And there, swollen and green, half­-devoured by crabs, the Drowned God festered with the rest, seawater still dripping from his hair.

***

“That which is dead cannot die,” said Aeron fiercely. “For he who has tasted death once need never fear again. He was drowned, but he came forth stronger than before, with steel and fire.”

“Will you do the same, brother?” Euron asked. “I think not. I think if I drowned you, you’ll stay drowned. All gods are lies, but yours is laughable. A pale white thing in the likeness of a man, his limbs broken and swollen and his hair flipping in the water while fish nibble at his face. What fool would worship that?”

“He’s your god as well,” insisted the Damphair. “And when you die, he will judge you harshly, Crow’s Eye. You will spend eternity as a sea slug, crawling on your belly eating shit. If you do not fear to kill your own blood, slit my throat and be done with me. I’m weary of your mad boastings.”

 

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I have one quick parallel to draw here. Hope it helps. Hope it isn't old news. 

Irish mythology (and some others, if you do a little digging) have a parallel of the underworld and underwater. It's not usualy explicit, but very apparent in its way. 

From Wikipedia, entry 'Fomorians':

Quote

The etymology of the name is debated. The first part is now generally agreed to be the Old Irish fo, meaning under, below, lower, beneath, nether, etc. The meaning of the second part is unclear. One suggestion is that it comes from the Old Irish mur (sea), and that the name thus means something like "the undersea ones".[5]This was the interpretation offered by some medieval Irish writers.[6] Another suggestion is that it comes from mór (great/big) and means something like "the great under(world) ones", "the under(world) giants" or "the nether giants".

There's more to this etymology, but many indo-european myths do conflate, to a certain extent, underground and undersea -- as underworld. 

How? Well, the world-tree has a pool at the bottom. Its roots spread into the underground and into the pool down there. That's where the underworld lies in this cosmology. 

So a brief mythical support for what we're on about here. The undersea/undersee thing is bang on (that was RR, right?). Going into the weirwoods is a journey underground, under the sea, and, (most importantly) into the underworld -- the realm of death. 

And why did I use the Fomorians passage to point at it? Thanks for asking, Other Jon. I used it because other posters already established that the ironborn are pretty much an exact homage to the Fomorians. So there's your kraken right there. 

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On 04/07/2017 at 10:02 AM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

That was some Tytos Blackwood wisdom for you there. So knowing the weirwood turns to stone, the same logic would most likely apply to the Shade of the Evening tree as well. So imagine for a moment what the black wood of a Shade of the Evening tree would actually look like petrified... Black Stone.

what an interesting idea ! I was yet familiar with the parallelism between weirwood and shade of the evening tree, but the black stone as a petrified tree is very new for me and the most interesting and litterarly coherent proposition I've read about it ! Thanks to @ravenous reader to have tagged me !

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Given the suggestion that the two trees eventually petrify into black and white stone respectively, is it possible that the House of Black and White has some connection to the trees? Obviously the Faceless Men came from Valyria, which is not explicitly associated with either tree, but the door is adorned with weirwood and ebony (not entirely consistent with the descriptions of oily black stone that we are assuming are petrified shade trees)

Just seems worth mentioning since you have the presence of weirwood and a very explicit juxtaposition of white and black. If there is a black tree that is meant to serve as the anti-weirwood then surely that would be the black material GRRM would use to counterpoint the weirwood in this context.

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3 hours ago, The Great Elk said:

Given the suggestion that the two trees eventually petrify into black and white stone respectively, is it possible that the House of Black and White has some connection to the trees? Obviously the Faceless Men came from Valyria, which is not explicitly associated with either tree, but the door is adorned with weirwood and ebony (not entirely consistent with the descriptions of oily black stone that we are assuming are petrified shade trees)

Just seems worth mentioning since you have the presence of weirwood and a very explicit juxtaposition of white and black. If there is a black tree that is meant to serve as the anti-weirwood then surely that would be the black material GRRM would use to counterpoint the weirwood in this context.

Hi Great Elk,

You have made and excellent observation.  I also believe the instances of 'ebony' in the House of Black and White and the house of the Undying are actually shade of the evening tree.  I think the House of the undying is a huge hint:

aching. She recalled that the House of the Undying Ones had seemed to have no towers. Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward.

It seems the writer is trying to describe these doors as an illusion to being made of one wood instead of a two separate woods pieced together with descriptions such as grains twisting and swirling?  It is almost as if it is made from the same slab of wood :).  It makes a great deal of sense.  Meaning Dany is sitting the equivalent of an Essosi weirwood throne.  I had actually toyed with the idea you were mentioning and came to the same conclusion you had, which make a great deal of literary sense when we have white weirwood doors with black 'ebony' faces that remind Arya of a heart tree.

 

At the top she found a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door was made of weirwood pale as bone, the right of gleaming ebony. In their center was a carved moon face; ebony on the weirwood side, weirwood on the ebony. The look of it reminded her somehow of the heart tree in the godswood at Winterfell. The doors are watching me, she thought.

 

 

 

 

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On 7/4/2017 at 1:02 AM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

The Shade of the Evening Tree... its the Essosi version of the Weirwood except inversed in a dark and creepy kind of way. Our writer loves to use symbolism and literary devices to drop clues from time to time...something he does well and does often. There have been many inversions and parallels drawn between the two trees by readers throughout the fandom. It is pretty obvious the two are related as there was also once a race of small, shy forest folk called woods walkers who once inhabited mainland Essos and Lomas Longstrider reported "carved trees" in their forests. So the Shade tree was probably a part of that magic from years gone by.

Immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers. The fabled Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, was the first Westerosi to visit these woods. After his return from the Thousand Islands, he wrote of carved trees, haunted grottoes, and strange silences. A later traveler, the merchant-adventurer Bryan of Oldtown, captain of the cog Spearshaker, provided an account of his own journey across the Shivering Sea. He reported that the Dothraki name for the lost people meant “those who walk in the woods.”

We know the weirwood petrifies when it dies, pretty simple to comprehend, the trees don't rot they just turn to stone...

“For a thousand years it has not shown a leaf. In another thousand it will have turned to stone, the maesters say. Weirwoods never rot.”

That was some Tytos Blackwood wisdom for you there. So knowing the weirwood turns to stone, the same logic would most likely apply to the Shade of the Evening tree as well. So imagine for a moment what the black wood of a Shade of the Evening tree would actually look like petrified... Black Stone.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

This last quote is somewhat confusing to some as this looks like some straight up cthulhu monster reference, but remember that Euron is kind of a Shade of the Evening junkie so to speak and Shade of the Evening is inverted Weirwood paste... and what does weirwood paste do? It weds you to the tree, the writhing tentacles is a greenseer/tree man symbol. See for yourself:

The vision showed Aeron what Euron actually is... a terrible man with wisdom as deep as the roots of ancient trees.

 

 

GRRM has done everything possible to make the Shade tree an Essosi Weirwood, so if the white stuff petrifies, the black stuff probably does too.

If I had money to bet...I'd place it on the warlock tree taking a note from it's Westerosi cousin. 

But we are not done yet... Let's talk about some hairy men for a minute.  The hairy men were kind of everywhere when you look at the text of TWOIAF at least in central and western Essos.  I noticed that there was once a forest inhabited by these CotF-type woods walkers who came into direct contact with the hairy men and not in the diplomatic kind of way, more in the, I am going to take your land and bleed your resources type of way:

 

The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers.

 

 At its greatest extent, the Ibbenese foothold on Essos was as large as Ib itself and far richer. More and more of the hairy men crossed over from the islands to make their fortunes there, cutting down the trees to put the land under the plow, damming the rivers and streams, mining the hills

 

So the Ibbenese didn't get along well with these forest folk that worshipped the blackwood trees.  In fact it seems like the Ibbenese kind of persecuted them in a sense and cut down a bunch of their trees and the maesters theorize the Ibbenese caused the woods-walkers to vacate that area. 

What made my eyes completely bug out of their sockets was this line:

The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under.

So a "kraken" has pulled under an Ibbenese whaler...makes sense now doesn't it and I think there might be a good chance there is a network of huge roots under the sea, which could be why there is the Greensee pun that @ravenous reader has pointed out.  And here is why.

Forsaken chapter spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Here is one of Aeron's Shade of the Evening trips:

“Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died.  “You know what waits below the sea, brother?”  “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.”  Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.”

In Aeron's dream, Urri is telling him there are no watery halls, just worms.  Shade visions are supposed to be somewhat prophetic in nature right?  So what there may actually be is something that looks like worms or krakens under the sea.

The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy.

 

Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull. The sight of him still frightened Bran— the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.

 

I guess this means we may actually get to see play out in the chapters :) 

Hey, never saw your thread but i definitely agree and arrived at the same thought!!

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/148774-dawn-valyrian-steel-the-black-white-trees/

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/148546-end-game-telepathytelekinesis-the-myths-the-black-stone-and-the-trees-its-all-connected-p-oh-and-the-secret-to-dragon-steel/

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/148826-the-grey-king-ygg-and-naggas-living-fire/

 

All the magic derives from the power of the trees. The Magic fire and Dragons born out of the trees. Dany even see's a wolf and a man wreathed in flames present for the birthing of dragons. 

The swords  are made from the trees. 

The black stone is from the trees also, petrified as you suggest. Moat Cailyn is mentioned to be oily looking when wet, so Asshai very well can be built of it.

A meteorite would not leave enough material to build Asshai, so large you can fit K.L. and Old Town inside. Along with Stygai and the city in Sothoryos. 

The Black Trees do seem to be the Weirwoods of Essos, and possibly may be in Westeros as there are black trees (the leaves not mentioned) that burns blue when on fire. 

The House of Black and White and the Black and white Weirwood door Dany see's in the House of the Undying are part of this Yin and Yang duality we're seeing. 

The Weirwoods being the powers of the Old God, untill Azor Ahai corrupted the Trees and the power of fire was born, and the corruption of the trees complete (Bloodstone Emperor). 

The Bloodstone Emperor, who was Garth the Green, Durran God's Grief, and The Grey King. The only 3 said to live 1000 years. Durran marries a mermaid, just like the Grey King. Garth the Green with antlers, who was green all over, turned grey through his long rule till his skin, hair, and eyes were all grey rather than green. Robert and Renly represent Garth and Durran later with their antler helms and green armor. Eddard even referring to Robert as an antlered God. The Grey King, the True first king of the true first men who sailed to Westeros via a weirwood boat. Establishing the Iron Born, House Hightower, and House Dayne, on top of Garth's children in the Reach. Who actually sound like they rule all of Westeros during the Age of Heroes.

Storm lands-Riverlands(maybe Vale)-Iron Islands= Garth the Green, Green King of the Gods Eye. Which is why Harren and the Iron Born, along with Storm Lands, are big on ruling from the Riverlands. The Iron Born even who have to give up their strength at sea to do such.

The North- Brandon the Builder-Brandon of the Bloody Blade, son of Garth

Westerlands- Lann the clever, son of Florys or Rowan, daughters of Garth

Reach- Garth Gardener, first born son of Garth the Green

Dorne- House Dayne? Only house in Dorne possibly of the Empire of the Dawn. Also tied to the falling star which became Dawn and may be the same falling star worshiped by the Bloodstone Emperor. 

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 3:49 AM, AlaskanSandman said:

Hey, never saw your thread but i definitely agree and arrived at the same thought!!

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/148774-dawn-valyrian-steel-the-black-white-trees/

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/148546-end-game-telepathytelekinesis-the-myths-the-black-stone-and-the-trees-its-all-connected-p-oh-and-the-secret-to-dragon-steel/

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/148826-the-grey-king-ygg-and-naggas-living-fire/

 

All the magic derives from the power of the trees. The Magic fire and Dragons born out of the trees. Dany even see's a wolf and a man wreathed in flames present for the birthing of dragons. 

The swords  are made from the trees. 

The black stone is from the trees also, petrified as you suggest. Moat Cailyn is mentioned to be oily looking when wet, so Asshai very well can be built of it.

A meteorite would not leave enough material to build Asshai, so large you can fit K.L. and Old Town inside. Along with Stygai and the city in Sothoryos. 

The Black Trees do seem to be the Weirwoods of Essos, and possibly may be in Westeros as there are black trees (the leaves not mentioned) that burns blue when on fire. 

The House of Black and White and the Black and white Weirwood door Dany see's in the House of the Undying are part of this Yin and Yang duality we're seeing. 

The Weirwoods being the powers of the Old God, untill Azor Ahai corrupted the Trees and the power of fire was born, and the corruption of the trees complete (Bloodstone Emperor). 

The Bloodstone Emperor, who was Garth the Green, Durran God's Grief, and The Grey King. The only 3 said to live 1000 years. Durran marries a mermaid, just like the Grey King. Garth the Green with antlers, who was green all over, turned grey through his long rule till his skin, hair, and eyes were all grey rather than green. Robert and Renly represent Garth and Durran later with their antler helms and green armor. Eddard even referring to Robert as an antlered God. The Grey King, the True first king of the true first men who sailed to Westeros via a weirwood boat. Establishing the Iron Born, House Hightower, and House Dayne, on top of Garth's children in the Reach. Who actually sound like they rule all of Westeros during the Age of Heroes.

Storm lands-Riverlands(maybe Vale)-Iron Islands= Garth the Green, Green King of the Gods Eye. Which is why Harren and the Iron Born, along with Storm Lands, are big on ruling from the Riverlands. The Iron Born even who have to give up their strength at sea to do such.

The North- Brandon the Builder-Brandon of the Bloody Blade, son of Garth

Westerlands- Lann the clever, son of Florys or Rowan, daughters of Garth

Reach- Garth Gardener, first born son of Garth the Green

Dorne- House Dayne? Only house in Dorne possibly of the Empire of the Dawn. Also tied to the falling star which became Dawn and may be the same falling star worshiped by the Bloodstone Emperor. 

Yep, I am for sure smelling what you are stepping in.  I would argue that Garth and the Grey king were separate, but contemporary of one another.  I have a post you might be interested in. 

 

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On 7/4/2017 at 4:02 AM, Crowfood's Daughter said:

The Shade of the Evening Tree... its the Essosi version of the Weirwood except inversed in a dark and creepy kind of way.

I love this idea, and was convinced myself until I realized we've already seen petrified Evening Trees... Ebony... like the chairs in the house of the undying, made of Weirwood and Ebony.

Also, I don't think the Evening Trees are an "evil" Weirwood... just a tree of a different color. I don't see any reason to think there is a difference besides the color.

The idea that the Oily Black stone (as seen in Ashai or Oldtown) is made from the Evening Trees still isn't impossible, but I'm not as convinced/in love with the idea as I was at first. 

I would point out one other odd detail, Pryatt Pree collapses into a "pale" wormlike creature in the House of the Undying... would you have expected this to be a dark colored wormlike creature if the Evening trees are so distinct from Weirwoods?

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