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The Long Night Book/Show combined theory [season6spoilers]

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In GoT S605 we see via a Bran vision which goes back in the distance past, to a magical ritual. He and the 3ER witness Leaf drive dragonglass into the heart of a First Man tied to a Weirwood Tree in a megalith circle complex. The man then turns into an Other/WW. Leaf states that she does this to protect the Children of the Forest from Men, so we can assume that this event took place before the Pact during the time of war between the Cotf and First Men (ca - 10,000-12,000).

This scene happens in summer, everything is green and lush. We also see the same tree again in current time in deep winter. We know that the location of the tree is in the "Land of Always Winter". However, this scene shows us that clearly, it wasn't always winter up there. But that is has been for a very long time, certainly within the oral history of Westeros and long enough to be an enduring place name (ie Land of Always Winter). The show went to a lot of trouble to show the tree in summer, and then in winter and we see the background mountains in summer and then in winter too, just to really underline that this scene, this ritual... is significant in relation to the seasons.

I'm predominantly a book fan, but watch the show looking for clues to the overall mythos and story arch of ASOIAF, especially since the show overtook the books. Obviously the show deviates from the books in various ways, some of which drives me mad. However i'm sceptical that the show would have change such a central theme as the creation of the Others/WW, so think the CotF creating the Others will be played out in the books too. 

So, I think that season 6 GoT left a massive hint as to the cause of the Long Night. ie that something the CotF did in creating the Other/WW caused the onset of winter and subsequent freak weather patterns but i am not finding discussions on that particular scene in relation to the Long Night anywhere.

Not to suggest that there can't have been other events connected to causing the Long Night or that the Other creation ritual at the Weirwood tree was the *only* factor in causing the Long Night, either. It will invariably be more complex and nuanced.  

The show has chosen not to even mention the Empire of the Dawn or the Bloodstone Emperor (the only actual cause of the Long Night mentioned in book cannon) but after seeing that episode, I couldn't help but wonder if particularly abhorrent magical acts cause the climatic, geophysical and celestial phenomena on Planetos.

Hypothetically, a symbiotic relationship between Gods/Magic and the environment/peoples of Planetos. Maybe something like the Judaic covenant? Maybe going back to dawn age Planetos...the Gods were intimately connected with elder races and other peoples. Maybe the Gods were explicit about what is and what isn't acceptable to the covenant. In addition, there are various locations across the globe that are centres of power (which has always been a common and widely held belief across many cultures, times and religions in the real world too). Then the Children broke their covenant with the Tutelary Gods of Westeros (near one of the "hinges of the world") and the Bloodstone Emperor broke another covenant with the Tutelary Gods of Essos (near another "hinge" at the Shadow) when he kinslayed the Amethyst Empress at the same time. 

There is a huge amount of dualism running through ASOIAF as we all know, so it would make sense that the Long Night had a dualistic cause. Something that happened far north/west vs something that happened far south/east.

In occult and alchemical symbolism north is associated with earth and winter / west is associated with water and autumn (the Weirwoods look like they are in perpetual autumn). South is fire and summer/ east is air and spring. Maybe the breaking of covenants upset the balance of nature and cause the climatic, geophysical and celestial events in that particularly symbolic way? Maybe the climate changes, comets, meteors, volcanic eruptions are the symptoms and results of imbalance rather than the cause of it in GRRM world? We know that the CotF can cause vast movements of water ie the flooding of the Arm of Dorne using the Hammer of the Waters. In reality, the UK was cut off from Europe when the last ice age began retreating, raising sea levels and flooding Doggerland. Arm of Dorne is clearly inspired by Doggerland but ASOIAF gives us a magical cause instead of a climatic/geophysical one. GRRM (as many of you will probably know) has also said the cause of the Long Night was magical.

Maybe Planetos is itself, a magical entity. Kind of Gaia theory-esque? Maybe there is a pantheon of Gods/Magical entities that hold sway in different geographical locations or over specific people/religions with all Gods being either Tutelary or elemental. The Seven were perhaps Tutelary Gods of Andalos, and specific to that geographic location, so that when the Andals migrated, their Gods fell silent (the Seven are not active in Westeros). Maybe the Doom of Valyria was caused because the Valyrians invaded lands across Essos where a sacred covenant existed between specific peoples, bloodlines and geographical places? (which has certainly been a feature of real world beliefs and religions) The Valyrians caused the exodus of these people (assuming the Maesters are correct about the Andal invasion) and at some point, something tipped the natural balance? We are told that the Empire of the Dawn was not an empire of invasion, it was peaceful and diverse and it lasted millennia before the Blood Betrayal. Maybe something similar also happened in Yeen.

Thoughts welcome! 


Planetos = gaia theory . Happy Gods = happy planet = nice weather and environment

Different areas/ Tutelary Gods have different covenants with specific ethnic groups, races and bloodlines

COTF broke their covenant with the Old Gods creating the Other/WW = extreme weather, in particular extreme winter in Westeros. The Land of Always Winter was not always winter before this event

Bloodstone Emperor broke EotD covenant with their Gods (Lion of Night/Maiden of Light) = whatever terrible apocalypse happened in south east Essos/ Asshai that poisoned the river, the earth and maybe turned the stone oily black

Valyrians severed the covenant with the peoples of Northern Essos potentially causing the Doom. Or maybe the Valyrians simply broke their own covenant. The Doom specifically occurs on the Varlyian Peninsula and doesn't affect the whole of Essos. 

On Southyros, in Yeen there is an abandoned city believed to be toxic and uninhabitable. 



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Hey @fondledbyfire I enjoyed your analysis and agree that there is a lot of dualism in ASOIAF, but where it breaks down for me is wondering what would be GRRM's motivation to tell a story largely about the impact of men and confirmed, actual gods when he is an agnostic (leaning atheist) himself?  I do not think gods or the laws of magic (which may actually be more like laws of physics and biology) will ever be given a definitive explanation in the series.  I say this as a practicing Catholic myself just imagining how GRRM feels.

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