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Black Crow

Heresy 206: of Starks and Walls

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11 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

The fact of the matter is that there are people beyond the Wall...a single group collectively called wildlings, or Free Folk as they like to style themselves. They themselves say they are there, because they refused to kneel to a king they didn't select, but one that was forced upon them.

I'm not following you here. Yes, there are people beyond the Wall, just as there were people, my ancestors included, beyond Hadrian's wall, but the Romans settled for a stone wall 10 feet high.

A wall 800 feet high and made of ice, blood and magic wasn't built to stop people but something else entirely

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11 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

We don't know how reliable the woods witch is - after all she comes a long time after the prophecy and was talking to people who wanted to believe.

Either way, whether Bran is the Prince or not, I still maintain that those skewered dreamers who couldn't pass the test, means that Bran was been awaited long before Bloodraven became the dead man in the tree

The CotF have certainly been waiting for Bran so the older prophecy could very well be about the Prince of the Greenwood.  All we have is Rhaegar saying 'there must be one more' and a half heard conversation between the wood's witch and Jahaerys (as reported by Selmy).

"The prince who is promised" and "that the prince was promised" seem to be two different things. I think Prince Doran the latter.

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17 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Nah, the gate is as old as the Wall and water supplies don't need a spiral staircase, just a rope and a bucket

 

There is a type of well with stairs called a stepwell. It's how you access an deep underground water source. 

12 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I'm not following you here. Yes, there are people beyond the Wall, just as there were people, my ancestors included, beyond Hadrian's wall, but the Romans settled for a stone wall 10 feet high.

A wall 800 feet high and made of ice, blood and magic wasn't built to stop people but something else entirely

Hadrian's wall was built to keep you rascal Scots out, correct?

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24 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

 

Hadrian's wall was built to keep you rascal Scots out, correct?

Yer but it was only 10 feet high, not 800 feet high

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Yer but it was only 10 feet high, not 800 feet high

It would've taken thousands of years to build the Wall 800 feet high. First they would start with nothing but groups of Nights Watch and prisoners strung out the length of the Wall, digging wells and building temporary housing. Once the Wall was high enough they push the wildling prisoners to the north side while the Nights Watch kept improving on and building the Wall higher and higher each year. 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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17 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

It would've taken thousands of years to build the Wall 800 feet high. First they would start with nothing but groups of Nights Watch and prisoners strung out the length of the Wall, digging wells and building temporary housing. Once the Wall was high enough they push the wildling prisoners to the north side while the Nights Watch kept improving on and building the Wall higher and higher each year. 

But there would be no need when the Wall was raised by magic - particularly given the disastrous population loss described during the Long Night.

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14 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Or if the Long Night happened first, why was the Wall built?  GRRM said the Wall took hundreds of years to be raised to its present height.

Actually, he said it took hundreds of years to be completed, and thousands of years to be raised to its present height.  The initial Wall, he said, was far shorter.

This quote of course completely rules out an old Heretical notion that the Wall was created in a single day by the CotF... but it does closely correspond to Jeor Mormont's statement that the historical Watch used to increase the height of the Wall every year, that LCs actually tried to be more productive than their predecessors in this area... a norm that has been forgotten in latter days.

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11 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

But there would be no need when the Wall was raised by magic - particularly given the disastrous population loss described during the Long Night.

The current Wall with it's impossible width and height can only be held together with magic, but that doesn't necessarily mean that magic was the only thing used. Manual labor was still needed to construct the original physical barrier. 

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4 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Manual labor was still needed to construct the original physical barrier. 

And manual labor is also the best explanation for why (per GRRM's statement) the Wall took hundreds of years to be completed and thousands to reach its present height.

The only alternative is that the Wall was constructed by the slowest magic the world has ever known.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The current Wall with it's impossible width and height can only be held together with magic, but that doesn't necessarily mean that magic was the only thing used. Manual labor was still needed to construct the original physical barrier. 

No I don't think it was; we have a massive wall built of ice blood and magic, rather than stone, with no castles until thousands of years after it was raised. The real question is who built it and why? We do, after all have that legend of Bran the Builder seeking out the Tree-huggers for that purpose. 

Edited by Black Crow

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14 minutes ago, JNR said:

The only alternative is that the Wall was constructed by the slowest magic the world has ever known.

Only in relation to it its size, not in absolute numbers. And this is fairly easy to proof, as a hundred year old dragon certainly is not even in the same size category as the wall. 

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The Black Gate within the well is said to be as old as the Wall itself, but keeping in mind how long it would take to build the Wall and how the steps circling the well continue down past the Black Gate presumably to the water source, it could have been added into the well during the early years of the Wall by sealing up the Nights King into one of it's cells.

Stepwells can have cells built into the walls along the circular passage. The kitchen of the Nightfort is built around the well and is octagonal in shape, so it seems logical to conclude that the well too is an octagon. There are many examples of intricate stepwells in ancient India, and even some in the shape of an octagon. Here are additional stepwells, and octagon shapes were common. There is even a story of an engagement where the bride to be demanded the construction of the well be completed before her marriage, and then she commits suicide when it's done by throwing herself down the well.

The Nightfort is the oldest castle, rebuilt several times over thousands of years, and yet is only twice as old as Castle Black which means Castle Black should have been built during those thousand years of reconstructions. 

From the wiki:

Castle Black is not a true castle, as it has no walls to defend it to the west, east, or south. Only the Wall stands to the north. It consists of several stone towers and timber keeps. Beneath the keeps and towers, there is a series of subterranean passages called wormwalks which connect all of the buildings. They are rarely used during the summer, but in the winter it is the only way to travel to different parts of the castle.

Castle Black became the seat of the Lord Commander only two hundred years ago after the Nightfort was finally abandoned. It once held 5000 men of the Watch with an estimated 1000 servants. If there were 10,000 men on the Wall during Harren the Black's time, 5000 may have been concentrated at Castle Black.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

No I don't think it was; we have a massive wall built of ice rather than stone, blood and magic, with no castles until thousands of years after it was raised. The real question is who built it and why? We do, after all have that legend of Bran the Builder seeking out the Tree-huggers for that purpose. 

It may be that, when it comes to the Wall, a "middle-solution" might suffice: that some of its wards pre-date the structure, and might have been established quite rapidly. Think, for example, of the entrance of BR's cave; this is not a place that was built with magically warded material.

I'm thinking here of Melisandre's view of the Wall:

Quote

"I have dreamed of your Wall, Jon Snow. Great was the lore that raised it, and great the spells locked beneath its ice. We walk beneath one of the hinges of the world."


Perhaps the very earliest ritual to establish the Wall was conducted at the site that eventually became the vaults of the Nightfort, a ritual that either established Melisandre's "hinge," or alternately, was chosen because the hinge already existed, and it is the hinge that was warded.

In any case, the evolution of the Wall might have been:

-A ritual is performed to establish a 300 mile ward that the Others and wights cannot cross. Depending on one's point of view, this may have also been a demarcation line that men would cross at their own peril.

-Spell-infused foundation blocks are placed atop the ward in a process that takes hundreds of years (one of Jon's POVs references the idea of BtB laying foundation blocks); lets say, speculatively, that there are spells woven in to those foundation blocks also give the Wall the capacity to slowly grow itself by accumulating ice. Initially, the Nightfort is the only castle, because the Wall is not an anti-Wildling structure.

-Later, the NW is changed (and loses sight of their purpose), and the Wall continues to grow to its present height.


I would note that it is possible for two things to be simultaneously true: that the Wall is a structure of magic that will gradually reinforce and expand itself, and that later generations of the Watch are totally clueless about the Wall's underlying magic, and have added to the Wall's size through physical labor.

Edited by Matthew.

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Going off slightly at a tangent [but only slightly] something worth bearing in mind here are those "timber keeps" at Castle Black. By comparison with structures build of stone or quarried into the rock these can be accounted temporary, yet they are still part of the castle. I don't therefore consider that the argument that the castles could have been preceded by "temporary" structures to be valid. Many of them were no doubt originally timber structures before being replaced by more permanent ones. In the real world many British castles started off as wooden structures before developing into stone ones, but their foundation is always reckoned from the original structures.

Where it gets interesting is in Catelyn's description of Moat Caillin, which references an original wooden keep which rotted away "a thousand years past", which in Westerosi terms is within recorded history, yet the destruction of the more substantial basalt structure isn't, which would indicate that the First Men occupied the ancient ruins and built the wooden keep within those ruins - and if so I would suggest the same may be true of the Wall - that it was built long before the First Men arrived and that the Watch merely occupied rather than built it.

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9 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I would note that it is possible for two things to be simultaneously true: that the Wall is a structure of magic that will gradually reinforce and expand itself, and that later generations of the Watch are totally clueless about the Wall's underlying magic, and have added to the Wall's size through physical labor.

I think that this is very true

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5 hours ago, SirArthur said:

We know that because ... ? Stannis does things because he sees things in the flames or in dreams. Like killing Renly because he saw Renly beat him at the Blackwater.

 

The Nightfort has been rebuild over and over again. I assume the prison cells are among the rebuild parts. The question is more like why were ,300 years ago,an army of ten thousand men in the need of a location for 500 prisoners. 

Stannis has never ever had a prophetic dream as I recall.

The dream of him killing Renly wasn't prophetic because it wasn't a dream and because it was linked to whatever shadow binding ritual Mel concocted.

4 hours ago, LynnS said:

If Bran is the PwiP; then the meaning of the woods witch prophecy is rather strange since Bran doesn't come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella.

I have thought that the specific wording relates to something else:

- that the prince was promised (a dragon in marriage?)

- from the line of Aerys and Rhaella 

It's Doran Martell who ties up all of Aerys/Rhaella's offspring through marriage contracts, including Dany, although the contract that Oberyn signs with Willen Derry doesn't include her specifically.  So a promise concerning the line of Aerys/Rhaella was made to Sunspear.

Doran's interest in the Citadel is also interesting since Oberyn spent time there and now Sarella on some secret mission.  He is waiting to find out what she can discover.  So he thinks the PwiP has some connection to the Targ/Dorne bloodline.  Something that Rhaegar seems to share since he marries Elia and names Aegon the PwiP.

I don't know what it is either but that prophecy has always struck me as odd for two reasons.

1.The wording 

2.And I get a whole manipulation vibe from the woods witch.Her prophecy pretty much made that match happen.

I admit my conspiracy theory senses are going off with that.Westeros eugenics program,or it could be figuratively their line.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

And I get a whole manipulation vibe from the woods witch.Her prophecy pretty much made that match happen.

The issue I have with reading the woods witch as manipulative is that it doesn't seem to align with her characterization, as presented in ASOS, unless we're assuming that the woods witch (a dwarf that accompanied Jenny of Old Stones) and the Ghost of High Heart (a dwarf who always requests Jenny's Song) are different figures.

Perhaps the GoHH is so deep into dementia and senility that we cannot gauge the personality of her youth, but she doesn't seem especially deceptive in the way she presents her visions. Furthermore, her responses - such as what she perceives in Arya - are emotionally charged and unrestrained, and she doesn't demonstrate much inclination toward tact or dissembling, even when dealing with lords and bandits.

Edited by Matthew.

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1 hour ago, wolfmaid7 said:

Stannis has never ever had a prophetic dream as I recall.

I'm still not convinced. Neither for him having dreams nor for him having no dreams. And it comes down to some strange actions he performs without ever getting a POV of him or Renly or Robert. On the other hand not every character runs around with prophetic dreams (although Jaime running around with the tree stump story relativates that). So while there is no proof for him having the dreams, there are enough situations with other characters in the story (including his daughter) that prevent me from ruling out he has dreams.

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

The issue I have with reading the woods witch as manipulative is that it doesn't seem to align with her characterization, as presented in ASOS, unless we're assuming that the woods witch (a dwarf that accompanied Jenny of Old Stones) and the Ghost of High Heart (a dwarf who always requests Jenny's Song) are different figures.

Perhaps the GoHH is so deep into dementia and senility that we cannot gauge the personality of her youth, but she doesn't seem especially deceptive in the way she presents her visions. Furthermore, her responses - such as what she perceives in Arya - are emotionally charged and unrestrained, and she doesn't demonstrate much inclination toward tact or dissembling, even when dealing with lords and bandits.

It may depend on how you define manipulative, I agree that she isn't another Mel and doesn't appear to have a hidden motive or agenda, but on the other hand she may have been telling her Targaryen friends what they wanted to hear because they were her friends - and may now be haunted by those assurances encouraging the science experiment which went so badly wrong at Summerhall.

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17 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

I'm still not convinced. Neither for him having dreams nor for him having no dreams. And it comes down to some strange actions he performs without ever getting a POV of him or Renly or Robert. On the other hand not every character runs around with prophetic dreams (although Jaime running around with the tree stump story relativates that). So while there is no proof for him having the dreams, there are enough situations with other characters in the story (including his daughter) that prevent me from ruling out he has dreams.

I agree to a point. His visions [or at least the ones we know of] are those which Mel showed to him in her fires. As you say he's not a POV character, and this means that we don't know his true motivations. He never refers to having prophetic dreams, but why does he "follow" Mel? His dreams may have told him to or reinforced his sense of destiny. Somebody may be messing with his head without providing trailers for the future.

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