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AnarchoPrimitiv

Septon Barth & the Doom of Man

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The World of Ice and Fire - The Reach: Oldtown

Who built it? When? Why? Most maesters accept the common wisdom that declares it to be of Valyrian construction, for its massive walls and labyrinthine interiors are all of solid rock, with no hint of joins or mortar, no chisel marks of any kind, a type of construction that is seen elsewhere, most notably in the dragonroads of the Freehold of Valyria, and the Black Walls that protect the heart of Old Volantis. The dragonlords of Valryia, as is well-known, possessed the art of turning stone to liquid with dragonflame, shaping it as they would, then fusing it harder than iron, steel, or granite.

If indeed this first fortress is Valyrian, it suggests that the dragonlords came to Westeros thousands of years before they carved out their outpost on Dragonstone, long before the coming of the Andals, or even the First Men. If so, did they come seeking trade? Were they slavers, mayhaps seeking after giants? Did they seek to learn the magic of the children of the forest, with their greenseers and their weirwoods? Or was there some darker purpose?

Such questions abound even to this day. Before the Doom of Valyria, maesters and archmaesters oft traveled to the Freehold in search of answers, but none were ever found. Septon Barth's claim that the Valyrians came to Westeros because their priests prophesied that the Doom of Man would come out of the land beyond the narrow sea can safely be dismissed as nonsense, as can many of Barth's queerer beliefs and suppositions.
 
This specific passage from the book has been mentioned in a previous post from a few years ago among several other statements from Barth and while the resulting discussion dissected these statements, nearly all of it ignored the one which I specify as the subject of this post.  I'm interested to know if anyone has some thoughts on this passage; is it just something said in passing with a "wink" by the collaborative authors of this book, or is it more important than that?
 
If it is more important, then a plethora of implications may be deduced....is it possible that the Valyrians (perhaps a clandestined, niche cult held the belief?) foresaw the [re]emergence of the Others?  Did any of those with Valyrian blood such as the Targaryens (of consequence to the story at large; e.g. Rhaegar, Jaehaerys II Targaryen and/or his married children Rhaella and Aerys), know of this prophecy and could it have possibly influenced or motivated any of their actions?
 
Again, part of me wants to believe it was just meant as an inconsequential wink and nod to the reader, but I still hope otherwise.

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I believe Septon Barth is right about almost everything, but the timing confuses me.  If I remember right, the Valyrians came to power only about 4000 years ago, at any rate it was after the Long Night ended.  So there had to have been First Men around when it was built.  What are your own thoughts?

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I just had the pleasure of hosting a topic over in general where we took a good long look at our timeline.   There is no way history is right.   The Ironborn are 1st Men.   The 1st Men had no iron or boats.  It's crazy.  There is no way the Ironborn are Andals.   They seem to detest education and the Faith of the Seven.   Their customs are remarkably different from both Andals and 1st Men.   After much discussion I decided that the Ironborn were probably Rhoynish slaves and the people who captured them making them the last humans to land in Westeros before the Targaryans.  Is it possible for a place as war torn as Dorne to achieve the enlightenment they attained in 1000 years?   

Every source I've encountered since AWOIAF was released says you can trust Septon Barth.  That includes History of Westeros, who I believe have a sterling reputation.  I was hesitant to purchase the book because so many readers posted comments like "yah, but that's according to Yandel".  Apparently that maester is a lickspittal in the service of the Lannisters.  But I can't read it and keep every source or author straight.  

I can tell you that the history is way off.   People did not arrive at the times they are said to.   As to your specific comment about Barth saying Valyrian priests saying a doom would come...Everything I've read says Daenys the Dreamer told the Targs this was coming.  They settled in at Dragonstone about 100 years prior to the Doom.  Your passage tells me maybe Daenys was a priest or that the Doom was prophesied well in advance of Daeny's perhaps more specific dream.   I won't discount Septon Barth.  

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Another good question to ask is which priests? We are told the the Valyrians honored all the gods and none of them....so which priests...there clearly was some kind of culturally Valyrian religion, as Aegons dragons are named after Valyrian gods, was it those priests, or one of the religions that was adopted over time, or all of them?

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On 18/12/2017 at 0:57 AM, Curled Finger said:

I just had the pleasure of hosting a topic over in general where we took a good long look at our timeline.   There is no way history is right.   The Ironborn are 1st Men.   The 1st Men had no iron or boats.  It's crazy.  There is no way the Ironborn are Andals.   They seem to detest education and the Faith of the Seven.   Their customs are remarkably different from both Andals and 1st Men.   After much discussion I decided that the Ironborn were probably Rhoynish slaves and the people who captured them making them the last humans to land in Westeros before the Targaryans.  Is it possible for a place as war torn as Dorne to achieve the enlightenment they attained in 1000 years?   

Every source I've encountered since AWOIAF was released says you can trust Septon Barth.  That includes History of Westeros, who I believe have a sterling reputation.  I was hesitant to purchase the book because so many readers posted comments like "yah, but that's according to Yandel".  Apparently that maester is a lickspittal in the service of the Lannisters.  But I can't read it and keep every source or author straight.  

I can tell you that the history is way off.   People did not arrive at the times they are said to.   As to your specific comment about Barth saying Valyrian priests saying a doom would come...Everything I've read says Daenys the Dreamer told the Targs this was coming.  They settled in at Dragonstone about 100 years prior to the Doom.  Your passage tells me maybe Daenys was a priest or that the Doom was prophesied well in advance of Daeny's perhaps more specific dream.   I won't discount Septon Barth.  

The First Men didn't have boats 12000 years ago. That doen't mean they never had boats. In fact, we know they had boats before the arrival of the Andals. There were thousands of years after the arrival of the First Men for them to develop seafaring ability and settle the Iron Isles. No need to invoke weird Rhoynish  theories to explain the origin of the Ironborn. They were First Men.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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6 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The First Men didn't have boats 12000 years ago. That doen't mean they never had boats. In fact, we know they had boats before the arrival of the Andals. There were thousands of years after the arrival of the First Men for them to develop seafaring ability and settle the Iron Isles. No need to invoke weird Rhoynish  theories to explain the origin of the Ironborn. They were First Men.

I appreciate your thoughts here as this Ironborn thing really bugged me.  When do you think the Ironborn appeared?  When do you think they adopted reaving as a means of support when their islands are full of iron ore?   Please, I don't mean to sound challenging at all.   I realize we will never get these answers.   I am thinking the term "1st Men" applies to all the people who arrived prior to the Andals.   (I know the Rhoynish connection is a bit strange on the surface--it would probably sound bizarre after I made my case as well--let's just say it fits some information I uncovered and applied to the circumstances). 

The Ironborn seem particularly opposed to everything in Westeros.  They have a sort of democratic way of choosing their leader in the event of no heir), their god is entirely separate from both the old gods and faith of the 7, their culture is blatantly opposed to the cultures of the settled 1st Men and Andals and the name Ironborn--WTH?  I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make this reply a case for my head canon.   While I feel I've found some way to explain the Ironborn, I'm open to discussion.   My point here is that the timeline is wrong.   The Ironborn are just my best example of illustrating the timeline being in error.    

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2 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I appreciate your thoughts here as this Ironborn thing really bugged me.  When do you think the Ironborn appeared?  When do you think they adopted reaving as a means of support when their islands are full of iron ore?   Please, I don't mean to sound challenging at all.   I realize we will never get these answers.   I am thinking the term "1st Men" applies to all the people who arrived prior to the Andals.   (I know the Rhoynish connection is a bit strange on the surface--it would probably sound bizarre after I made my case as well--let's just say it fits some information I uncovered and applied to the circumstances). 

The Ironborn seem particularly opposed to everything in Westeros.  They have a sort of democratic way of choosing their leader in the event of no heir), their god is entirely separate from both the old gods and faith of the 7, their culture is blatantly opposed to the cultures of the settled 1st Men and Andals and the name Ironborn--WTH?  I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make this reply a case for my head canon.   While I feel I've found some way to explain the Ironborn, I'm open to discussion.   My point here is that the timeline is wrong.   The Ironborn are just my best example of illustrating the timeline being in error.    

A millenium or two is plenty if time to develop a unique culture and religion in relative isolation from the mainland.

There is also the non-zero chance that the Iron Isles were part of the mainland until the cataclysmic event that broke the arm of Dorne. In which case it could have been settled prior to the Hammer of the Waters, without the need for boats.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Just to spice things up a bit, do we believe that 'The Doom of Man' as told by Barth was a reference to 'The Doom of Valyria', or perhaps something yet to come (maybe in TWoW???)

 

On 11/18/2017 at 4:39 AM, AnarchoPrimitiv said:

Did any of those with Valyrian blood such as the Targaryens (of consequence to the story at large; e.g. Rhaegar, Jaehaerys II Targaryen and/or his married children Rhaella and Aerys), know of this prophecy and could it have possibly influenced or motivated any of their actions?

Well, we still don't know for sure what it was exactly that made Rhaegar give up his bookish ways and suddenly accept that he had to become a warrior. I've assumed it was something about the prophecy of TPTWP, but could this itself tie to 'The Doom of Man'? It would seem to make sense if the Others are the doom of man, and TPTWP is mankind's only hope against them.

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On ‎12‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 11:42 AM, Curled Finger said:

I appreciate your thoughts here as this Ironborn thing really bugged me.  When do you think the Ironborn appeared?  When do you think they adopted reaving as a means of support when their islands are full of iron ore?   Please, I don't mean to sound challenging at all.   I realize we will never get these answers.   I am thinking the term "1st Men" applies to all the people who arrived prior to the Andals.   (I know the Rhoynish connection is a bit strange on the surface--it would probably sound bizarre after I made my case as well--let's just say it fits some information I uncovered and applied to the circumstances). 

The Ironborn seem particularly opposed to everything in Westeros.  They have a sort of democratic way of choosing their leader in the event of no heir), their god is entirely separate from both the old gods and faith of the 7, their culture is blatantly opposed to the cultures of the settled 1st Men and Andals and the name Ironborn--WTH?  I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make this reply a case for my head canon.   While I feel I've found some way to explain the Ironborn, I'm open to discussion.   My point here is that the timeline is wrong.   The Ironborn are just my best example of illustrating the timeline being in error.    

i think there are two reasonable explanations for the ironborn:

1. They are first men who held on to their native culture while those on the mainland were uniformly absorbed into the religion forced on them by the children. One can point to similarities between the ironborn religion and the myth of Storm's End, or interpret the myth of the Grey King's slaying of Ygg the demon tree as an exaggerated retelling of the story of their resistance to being assimilated.

2. As suggested in AWOIAF, the idea that the ironborn are from someplace else entirely, a hitherto unknown land beyond the sunset sea. One can point to the mystery of the seastone chair or the stories of the Farwynds as supporting evidence.

I suspect both are true. That the bulk of the ironborn were first men who absorbed a small foreign population which allowed them to either resist integration by the children or to throw off the rule of the children, depending on the timeline. I see the most likely candidate for this foreign influence is the last "grey emperor" of Yi Ti with the family name "Har". It's a bit much of a coincidence to ignore, with the only serious argument against it based on the "official" timeline and the Grey Kings placement in the age of heroes and the Grey Emperor coming after the Long Night. But as noted, the timeline is clearly flawed.

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