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Feather Crystal

Are the extended seasons evidence of time loops?

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If you've watched the Dr Strange movie (or read the Marvel comic) you may recall that he defeats Dormammu by casting a spell over time itself creating a continual time loop using the Eye of Agamotto. No matter how many times Dormammu killed Dr Strange, he always came back to the beginning of the time loop, frustrating Dormammu until he gives up. I believe GRRM has also inserted a time loop into ASOIAF as evidenced by the extended seasons where winters and summers last up to 9-10 years long and springs and falls are short introductions. 

During these time loops life continues for humans even if the seasons move very slowly. Theoretically a one-year spring, plus a 9-year summer, plus a year-long autumn, plus a 9-year winter would technically be one 20-year-long time loop. Bloodraven teaches Bran that you cannot change the past, so if there are time loops then the plan is to change the future. The trees remember and show events from the past to Bloodraven and later Bran, but they cannot change the past events. The people living during this 20-year-long time loop would repeat whatever happened during the previous time loop after time is reset. 

Whoever is manipulating time did so in order to change a future outcome. It's a delaying tactic until the right people are in the right place to deal with the future. With each time loop whatever was being waited for didn't come, so the time loop was reset. Bloodraven's comment that he looked for Bran indicates that he may be the one that was resetting time until Bran was born. 

Bran was born at the beginning of the current or latest summer in 290. He was 8 or 9 years old when Jaime pushed him from the tower. Old Nan called him “my sweet summer child”. Bloodraven may have extended summer so that Bran could grow up, but he was running out of time. He was fading into the weirwoods fast and needed Bran to come quickly. He sent Jojen greendreams so that he and Meera would fetch him. 

The Cyvasse game comes to mind - Westeros is the playing board and the time loops are separate games. The repeating of games also reminds me of the 1983 movie War Games where a military super-computer predicts possible outcomes of nuclear war. A hacker unwittingly gets the computer to run a simulation that nearly starts WWIII. He's able to stop the computer by teaching it tic-tac-toe and the concept of a draw, or "winner: none". I'm curious if each time loop is the same number of years, or if the length of a season coincides with a certain person or specific event. And of course I'm trying to discover the purpose of the time loops. Is having Bran as the next greenseer necessary in order to defeat the Others? There are two characters that seem to provide some insight into the time loops: Tyrion and Howland.

Tyrion

Tyrion was born in 273. The estimated year when Tyrion was at the Wall was 298 which would make him approximately 25 years old at the time. He told Mormont he’d seen 8 or 9 winters, but Mormont commented that the current summer had lasted 9 years, so Tyrion would have seen his 8-9 winters by the time he was 15 years old and each winter couldn't have been more than a year or so apiece. Mormont's comment about summer lasting 9 years with a 10th “soon upon us”, suggests that summer was extended. Circling back to Bran, this latest summer does indeed correspond with Bran's age. Also worrisome is that an extended summer typically leads to an extended winter. 

Howland

Howland spent the winter on the Isle of Faces, but when spring broke he left. This was during the year of the False Spring which means shortly after the Harrenhal tourney winter had returned. It was called the "year" of the False Spring, because spring only lasted one year, and "false", because instead of leading into summer - winter returned. This is a prime example of time being reset, but why? Does Howland’s prayer for a way to “win” have anything to do with this reset? Did Lyanna's abduction happen during winter, or did winter last for a year and then it was finally spring before she went missing?

If Bloodraven was looking and waiting for Bran, what is the significance of the time loop reset at the time of the Harrenhal tourney? Certainly Lyanna's abduction was eerily similar to when Elia was attacked by the Kingswood Brotherhood. Was her abduction necessary or just a casualty of messing with time?

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The season's duration is different.

There was 6 years long winter in 130-135 AC.

7 years long summer in 224/225-230/231.

6 years long winter in 231-236.

3 years long winter in 272-274.

So the time on Planetos isn't going in loops. Otherwise the duration of seasons would have been the same.

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

The season's duration is different.

There was 6 years long winter in 130-135 AC.

7 years long summer in 224/225-230/231.

6 years long winter in 231-236.

3 years long winter in 272-274.

So the time on Planetos isn't going in loops. Otherwise the duration of seasons would have been the same.

Not necessarily. The delays in previous winters or summers could have been manipulations by other greenseers, OR it is possible that nobody is manipulating them - HOWEVER - I do see evidence that the current characters are repeating events from the past. I mentioned Lyanna's abduction being similar to Elia's attack, but there are many, many others. There are also comments about some people being someone else "reborn".

Here are a some other examples:

Lord Commander Jon Snow joining forces with the wildlings to take down the Lord of Winterfell, Ramsay Bolton, who has the King Beyond the Wall in a cage. This is a jumbled reversal of the Nights King story.

The War of the Five Kings is a jumbled and reversed repeat of Robert's Rebellion. The five kings were Joffrey, Robb, Renly, Stannis, and Balon. During Robert's Rebellion there was a northern alliance, so we have Robert as king, Rickard Stark, Jon Arryn, Steffon Baratheon, and Hoster Tully.

When Jon Arryn refused to give up Robert Baratheon to King Aerys it was a twisted repeat of the Defiance of Duskendale when the Denys Darklyn held King Aerys.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Very interesting theory I like it a lot, I dont believe the seasons are repeating however I do believe time is being manipulated some how and that Bran is Bran the builder and numerous other Brandon Stark not all of them but some. 

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There's a chance that a fight exists over the shape of the planet's orbit.   How eliptical it is.   Explaining the inconstant seasons.  If the solar system is partially overlaid by a dust cloud of , say , an exploded moon, and if this is where the ambient magic resides (for whatever reason) , there may be a particularly dense magic zone that Night Kings would wish to align the planet with, while those less interested in armageddon try to spin the planet's trajectory away from that point in space.   The more magical your veins, the more likely you can rely on that to keep you going in the perma-cold of a distant orbit, while those reliant on the living condition are at a decisive disadvantage out in the oort cloud.    It's all about priorities.

 

I offer this as an alternative because, um, people are part of time and their lives continue forward apace in the books, their humping and their other dirtier deeds.  So that really hurts the idea of time being reset.  I mean you could say it's happening to them and they're unaware of it, but then this kills off any reason to be resetting time, such as waiting for a new greenseer to be born, because the same people would be getting born over and over.    If you're rerunning the same year until you get the version where bran is successfully brought to your weirwood home, you don't need long seasons for that, just one regular year over and over.

With that said, it's even money whether our Bran is also destined to dive back in time to become Bran the Builder from the dawn of history.    time travel has been absent from so many pages in this series, so it's totally overdue.

Edited by The Mother of The Others
Incredible Hardness

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12 hours ago, Stormking902 said:

Very interesting theory I like it a lot, I dont believe the seasons are repeating however I do believe time is being manipulated some how and that Bran is Bran the builder and numerous other Brandon Stark not all of them but some. 

 

I'm glad you like the theory. I think it's a subject that's been ignored, or overlooked at the very least. There does seem to be a Brandon just about every generation. Even Old Nan seems to confuse them up a bit. I hope you stick around and continue to contribute to the discussion. 

:cheers:

6 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

There's a chance that a fight exists over the shape of the planet's orbit.   How eliptical it is.   Explaining the inconstant seasons.  If the solar system is partially overlaid by a dust cloud of , say , an exploded moon, and if this is where the ambient magic resides (for whatever reason) , there may be a particularly dense magic zone that Night Kings would wish to align the planet with, while those less interested in armageddon try to spin the planet's trajectory away from that point in space.   The more magical your veins, the more likely you can rely on that to keep you going in the perma-cold of a distant orbit, while those reliant on the living condition are at a decisive disadvantage out in the oort cloud.    It's all about priorities.

 

I offer this as an alternative because, um, people are part of time and their lives continue forward apace in the books, their humping and their other dirtier deeds.  So that really hurts the idea of time being reset.  I mean you could say it's happening to them and they're unaware of it, but then this kills off any reason to be resetting time, such as waiting for a new greenseer to be born, because the same people would be getting born over and over.    If you're rerunning the same year until you get the version where bran is successfully brought to your weirwood home, you don't need long seasons for that, just one regular year over and over.

With that said, it's even money whether our Bran is also destined to dive back in time to become Bran the Builder from the dawn of history.    time travel has been absent from so many pages in this series, so it's totally overdue.

 

My theory is dependent upon an upcoming battle that has been delayed similar to the Dr Strange storyline. There must be a purpose for the time loops, and not just to find and secure Bran. He is necessary of course to take over for Bloodraven, but there must be a reason why Bran is needed and not anyone else. 

I wasn't thinking that the people themselves were reborn, but I do believe specific events replay during each time loop. The events are the same, but the people and the future outcomes are different. I tried to show some examples, but maybe if I demonstrate some of the repeated events it will give you a better idea of what I'm talking about?

Lets begin with the maiden abduction event. The oldest described occurrence is Durran Godsgrief, the mythic first Storm King of Storms End. He took Elenei to wife even though Elenei was a diety herself, the daughter of two gods: the sea god (Drowned God) and the goddess of the wind (Storm God). When Elenei gave her maidenhead to her husband she became mortal. Her parents were so angered they killed all the wedding guests and Durran's family. Not only is this a story of the first maiden abduction, I believe it's the symbolic story of how humans obtained the ability to work magic. Elenei is actually magic itself, and the part of becoming "mortal" means that it became a tool/weapon of mankind. 

The second major abduction account was a failed one. Elia was attacked by the Kingswood Brotherhood while traveling through the Riverlands protected by Ser Gerold Hightower who ended up injured. The Kingswood Brotherhood were bandits who kidnapped nobles and held them for ransom. 

The third abduction account was Lyanna's. We all know the official realm story that she was abducted by Rhaegar and his men somewhere in the Riverlands.

The fourth abduction account was Myrcella. Arianne seduced Ser Arys Oakheart into bringing Myrcella to a well. They drew red spots on Myrcella's handmaiden's face (Rosamund) to keep the maester away who was deadly afraid of red spots, and set one of Arys men to stand guard wearing Arys armor.

These are four accounts of the same event. I'm not saying that Elenei, Elia, Lyanna, and Myrcella are all reincarnations of the maiden - not at all - but they are four different women living through the same event with varying outcomes. What is important is that the same events keep happening, which indicates a time loop, but we don't know what the final ending is because it keeps getting reset.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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15 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Not necessarily. The delays in previous winters or summers could have been manipulations by other greenseers,

Then BR (or whoever) manipulated it this last time, and before other greenseers did it, is that it? I thought you had proposed a regular long length for summer and winter (~ 9 yrs) with equallly regular short (by comparison) autumn and spring (~ 1 yr). I may have misunderstood the OP...

15 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

OR it is possible that nobody is manipulating them -

No one is manipulating these time loops, but they are occurring. So they are a result of something else, like magic? I mean, we do know the odd seasons are connected to magic, even if we don't know the exact mechanism yet. So here the idea is the same, odd seasons caused by magic or "magic", only there's a time loop at play as well. I don't really see how or what it would add to the narrative. And my main problem w/ theories involving time travel/time loops is that the characters are invariably left w/ less agency. And worse, much worse, less accountability. I really don't think this is where Martin is going w/ this story. :dunno:

 

15 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

HOWEVER - I do see evidence that the current characters are repeating events from the past. I mentioned Lyanna's abduction being similar to Elia's attack, but there are many, many others.

I agree that we see history repeat itself, sorta, but it's never quite the same. But I don't think this is evidence of a time loop or anything like that. 

 

15 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

There are also comments about some people being someone else "reborn".

That's common enough, even irl. And if a time loop is indeed happening and time is being reset, why would people talk about others being a reincarnation of someone else? If time is reset they should know/remember because it's all starting from scratch again. 

Or did these time loops only start fairly recently? But then the seasons have been wonky forever... 

15 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Here are a some other examples:

Lord Commander Jon Snow joining forces with the wildlings to take down the Lord of Winterfell, Ramsay Bolton, who has the King Beyond the Wall in a cage. This is a jumbled reversal of the Nights King story.

The War of the Five Kings is a jumbled and reversed repeat of Robert's Rebellion. The five kings were Joffrey, Robb, Renly, Stannis, and Balon. During Robert's Rebellion there was a northern alliance, so we have Robert as king, Rickard Stark, Jon Arryn, Steffon Baratheon, and Hoster Tully.

When Jon Arryn refused to give up Robert Baratheon to King Aerys it was a twisted repeat of the Defiance of Duskendale when the Denys Darklyn held King Aerys.

And Manderly and his pies and others, I have no doubt. But still, I don't see any of this as evidence of a time loop. More a combo of foreshadowing, flavour, hints, and driving home the point that people tend to make the same mistakes their ancestors did. 

To the bold, just curious why you call it a 'northern alliance' since you name a group of 5 people where only one is a northerner. 

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

Then BR (or whoever) manipulated it this last time, and before other greenseers did it, is that it? I thought you had proposed a regular long length for summer and winter (~ 9 yrs) with equallly regular short (by comparison) autumn and spring (~ 1 yr). I may have misunderstood the OP...

No one is manipulating these time loops, but they are occurring. So they are a result of something else, like magic? I mean, we do know the odd seasons are connected to magic, even if we don't know the exact mechanism yet. So here the idea is the same, odd seasons caused by magic or "magic", only there's a time loop at play as well. I don't really see how or what it would add to the narrative. And my main problem w/ theories involving time travel/time loops is that the characters are invariably left w/ less agency. And worse, much worse, less accountability. I really don't think this is where Martin is going w/ this story. :dunno:

 

I agree that we see history repeat itself, sorta, but it's never quite the same. But I don't think this is evidence of a time loop or anything like that. 

 

That's common enough, even irl. And if a time loop is indeed happening and time is being reset, why would people talk about others being a reincarnation of someone else? If time is reset they should know/remember because it's all starting from scratch again. 

Or did these time loops only start fairly recently? But then the seasons have been wonky forever... 

And Manderly and his pies and others, I have no doubt. But still, I don't see any of this as evidence of a time loop. More a combo of foreshadowing, flavour, hints, and driving home the point that people tend to make the same mistakes their ancestors did. 

To the bold, just curious why you call it a 'northern alliance' since you name a group of 5 people where only one is a northerner. 

Bloodraven told Bran that he cannot change the past, so presumably the only thing that can change is the future, but if there is a time loop at play the people of Westeros cannot escape the series of events that occur. They're situations really and the reason why the outcomes are different are because of the people involved. Different people will react differently to the same circumstances.

I have not observed that the time loop follows a regular schedule. The summer and winter seasons can range in length from one year to ten years in length, and the Long Night was said to last a generation, however whenever a season gets dragged out like the most recent 9-10 year summer a specific event occurs in multiples. I hate to use the same example, but the maiden abduction event occurred, what, 4-5 times? 

When Robb Stark took Jeyne Westerling for a bride it was similar to Durran's taking of Elenei, complete with a wedding where all the guests are killed. Sure the wedding he was killed at was between Edmure and Rosalin, but again it's the same situation with a different outcome. 

Arya escaped Kings Landing disguised as a boy with a man of the Nights Watch, and then while traveling through the Riverlands she's captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners - a repeat of Elia and the Kingswood Brotherhood. Only she didn't have a knight like Ser Gerold to defend her.  Her "knight" Sandor Clegane, took her hostage.

to be continued...

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I think the time loop has been occurring for a very long time. It may even have been in place since the Others were defeated. We don't know what the final ending is, because the time loop resets before it gets that far.

Circling back to why I think the maiden abduction event is a seasonal event, recall that Ygritte educated Jon on the best time to steal a maiden. If the red wanderer is visible within the constellation the Moonmaid, it's the best time to steal a woman.

Speaking of Ygritte - she too qualifies for the abducted maiden, plus Jon is a repeat of the Nights King, only he wasn't Lord Commander when he "spied" his wildling Other. The wildlings recognize that certain events are cyclical. Ygritte pointed out that since Jon was the "Bastard O'Winterfell" that his father must be Bael, because that's how the event plays out. Whoever captured Jon's mother was playing "Bael".

Another Bael story is how Sansa escaped Kings Landing. She too disguised herself by dying her hair - the disguising being similar to how Myrcella escaped Sunspear. And Peter Baelish sailed away with her to the Eyrie.

Ygritte, Jeyne, Arya, Sansa, and Myrcella - all abducted during summer. All slightly different outcomes.

Regarding the "reborn" people. Again, this is an indication that some people within the story recognize the "roles" that particular people are playing during specific events.

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Much as I enjoyed Dr Strange, I remain unconvinced that we have time loops in Westeros. Yes, we have lots of similar events occurring again and again, but I particularly like the quote that says 'history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes'.

Things go round and come around because human nature is what it is from generation to generation, and in a culture that has persisted for thousands of years, the types of situations and opportunities for acting out human nature will be similar, with similar options to choose from. It doesn't necessarily mean that multiple iterations of similar events are connected, or that they are entirely independent. I think the 'great actors' on the world stage are able to wrest control of events and break patterns that lesser people might just fall into.

When it comes to the seasons on Westeros, I don't think anyone has any control over them - I take it as more a tidal flow between different magical forces. More a 'tug of war' than a cycle. Like some of the crazier Maesters I also believe there was a time when the seasons on Westeros were nice and regular :D

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22 minutes ago, Rufus Snow said:

Much as I enjoyed Dr Strange, I remain unconvinced that we have time loops in Westeros. Yes, we have lots of similar events occurring again and again, but I particularly like the quote that says 'history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes'.

Things go round and come around because human nature is what it is from generation to generation, and in a culture that has persisted for thousands of years, the types of situations and opportunities for acting out human nature will be similar, with similar options to choose from. It doesn't necessarily mean that multiple iterations of similar events are connected, or that they are entirely independent. I think the 'great actors' on the world stage are able to wrest control of events and break patterns that lesser people might just fall into.

When it comes to the seasons on Westeros, I don't think anyone has any control over them - I take it as more a tidal flow between different magical forces. More a 'tug of war' than a cycle. Like some of the crazier Maesters I also believe there was a time when the seasons on Westeros were nice and regular :D

Where is the quote you mentioned from? Because in ASOIAF there are references to the ouroboros, or rather the serpent biting it's own tail. Here are two: 

“The dragon is time. It has no beginning and no ending, so all things come round again. Anders Yronwood is Criston Cole reborn."

Asha asks her uncle to lend her his history book so she can read about the last kingsmoot, and Rodrik frowns and says “Archmaester Rigney once wrote that history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.” Rodrik says he thinks about what Rigney said whenever he thinks about Euron and how much he’s like Urron Greyiron, the man that butchered his way to the top at the last kingsmoot. 

 

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With the evidence you present I come to the conclusion that earth is in a constant timeloop rotating around the sun and itself. When you wake up in the morning ask yourself, who did restart the timeloop this time. You will most likely see the same persons every day. Even more evidence that earth is in a timeloop. Who will be your boss today ? Just look at new school kids every year. There is a cycle of new characters there. More evidence for a time loop.

Except it isn't a timeloop. 

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31 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

With the evidence you present I come to the conclusion that earth is in a constant timeloop rotating around the sun and itself. When you wake up in the morning ask yourself, who did restart the timeloop this time. You will most likely see the same persons every day. Even more evidence that earth is in a timeloop. Who will be your boss today ? Just look at new school kids every year. There is a cycle of new characters there. More evidence for a time loop.

Except it isn't a timeloop. 

Ha. Ha. Very funny. You've completely missed , or deliberately ignored the point. 

Do you deny that the same events are replaying over and over again?

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7 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Do you deny that the same events are replaying over and over again?

I first thought your time loops have the length of a season. Now I think they are much shorter and I will have to look into the "Ygritte, Jeyne, Arya, Sansa, and Myrcella" loop. Although I wouldn't call it time loop as time continuily flows in one direction.

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34 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

I first thought your time loops have the length of a season. Now I think they are much shorter and I will have to look into the "Ygritte, Jeyne, Arya, Sansa, and Myrcella" loop. Although I wouldn't call it time loop as time continuily flows in one direction.

Theoretically, each time loop would need to include all four seasons, however long each season is, but I'd like to find more examples that are tied to specific seasons. When LC Jon Snow's men mutinied it was early on in the winter. Does this mean then that the Nights King was also overthrown during winter? It seems likely since he was caught sacrificing to the Others. Blood sacrifice is needed to work magic, so we can assume this was his real offense.

I agree time is still moving forward, but if it's a time loop it's more like a circle - a wheel - rather than a straight line, which is what the serpent eating its own tail looks like.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

I will have to look into the "Ygritte, Jeyne, Arya, Sansa, and Myrcella" loop

Add Tysha to this list. Tysha was Tyrion's first wife. Recall in my OP that I mentioned Tyrion saw 8 or 9 winters prior to this last 10 year long summer, so at the very beginning of this latest summer Tyrion was a young teen when he and Jaime came upon Tysha who was about to be raped by a group of men. Jaime chased the men off while Tyrion stayed with Tysha, and he ends up marrying her only for his father to annul the marriage and have the bride raped and paid off. It's another instance of the abducted maiden with a different (and horrible) outcome. 

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This is not a science fiction concept when we already live it here on Earth.   I feel a sense of deja vu every time I shower and shampoo.  Like history is repeating itself.  And the itchy scalp responds to the shampoo with varying outcomes; sometimes it stops itching, sometimes it gets even more dry and ichy an hour later until I apply the hydrocortizone.   

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2 minutes ago, The Mother of The Others said:

This is not a science fiction concept when we already live it here on Earth.   I feel a sense of deja vu every time I shower and shampoo.  Like history is repeating itself.  And the itchy scalp responds to the shampoo with varying outcomes; sometimes it stops itching, sometimes it gets even more dry and ichy an hour later until I apply the hydrocortizone.   

Oh for pete's sake, the repeating events are more significant than your daily shampoo! :lmao:

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

It's another instance of the abducted maiden with a different (and horrible) outcome. 

Well, it's a story embedded into medieval imagination. Where the maid is sacrificed to the dragon. I wonder why this story hasn't happened yet. ;)

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