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Black Crow

Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

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3 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

Here’s a question for heretics. 

How do we know the length and changing of seasons in Westeros have a magical basis?

Because George said so, Silly. :P

Been a while since I googled so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The wiki refers us back to the SSM from November 2005 that I have copied a part of here. 

Quote

 

US SIGNING TOUR (ANN ARBOR, MI)
SUBMITTED BY: DUCHESS OF MALFI

....Someone asked why the seasons are so messed up. Martin said he couldn't give an answer necause that would be telling! He did say that there would eventually be an answer in one of the books, and the answer would be a fantasy (as opposed to a science fiction/science based) answer....

 

 

Also, Nobody Suspects the Butterfly  has gathered together a large amount of quotes regarding the topic. 

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Yep, there is no astrophysical explanation for the seasons.  The only thing I find curious is his use of two constellations in the story.

The ice dragon (ourobourus), and it's rider, with a blue eye, on the tail of the dragon.  In alternate earth; he makes the eye of the rider, the pole star, and that corresponds with Thuban (blue star), which used to be the pole star.   I don't think this is coincidence on Martin's part, in spite of his professed lack of knowledge.  Symbolically or mythologically, this is relevent to Jon in some way.

The Chinese refer to the ice dragon as the Right Wall of Purple Forbidden Enclosure and that sounds a lot like the ice Wall to me which Jon often refers to as an ice dragon.

The second constellation that seems relevant to Jon is Orion, The Hunter or more specifically the sword in Orion's Belt which Jon notices before he is about to climb the Wall - the sword with a diamond in it's hilt.  

Orion is part of a nebula that corresponds to the description of the Crone carrying a lantern as well and this I think is specific to Dany.

So I don't think this is irrelevant, since he also gives us maesters who peer at the stars, with their far eyes gadgets, and conversely stars and astronomical bodies that peer back at the characters in the book.  But the explanation will be fantastical with it's own logic, rather than anything that we understand as scientific

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On 25.4.2018 at 8:46 AM, Black Crow said:

Marsh? 

As to Gared, he clearly did know something, as many of the rangers did, just as they knew what Craster was doing, which is why he was eager to light a fire in hostile territory. He clearly wasn't able or rather willing to articulate his fear to Ser Waymar but that's a long way from not knowing - especially as telling him would have spoiled the story

I've been looking for Marsh quotes, but I have not found any quotes from him concerning winter. Turns out it was Alliser Thorne I meant. And he has some quotes giving the idea that he knows more, although he is only in the NW since Robert's Rebellion. Alliser even claims to be an eye witness.

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18 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I do believe it, yes. Jon is "dead" and things are about to get very messy at Castle Black. It's a coin toss whether Mel will be able to stay there and show us what happens with the Wall; she's just as likely to head for Winterfell or go to wherever they're taking Jon's body (*hint* Karhold *hint*).

So what other PoV do we have? I suppose Davos can see it from Eastwatch or from a ship, or Bran can have a vision, but otherwise George would have to bring a character to the Wall just to watch it fall, and then have them retreat to Winterfell or some other point that can actually be defended. It feels forced, and something similar has already been done with Sam.

My bet here is on "stay" - Mel itself has stated that at the wall her magic is more powerfull. If she resurrects Jon, she will do it at the wall.
And then we have even two PoV at the wall!

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5 minutes ago, The Chequered Raven said:

My bet here is on "stay" - Mel itself has stated that at the wall her magic is more powerfull. If she resurrects Jon, she will do it at the wall.
And then we have even two PoV at the wall!

I'm anticipating spooky adventures when Selyse and party move to the Night Fort.  Mel is aware of the Black Gate from Sam's story.  That has to be of interest to her.

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54 minutes ago, The Chequered Raven said:

My bet here is on "stay" - Mel itself has stated that at the wall her magic is more powerfull. If she resurrects Jon, she will do it at the wall.
And then we have even two PoV at the wall!

There is a possibility that Mel herself will "break" the Wall, either by drawing power from it or by doing something to nullify the ice magic responsible for holding the Others back. But that doesn't mean she will resurrect Jon. People make that assumption way to easily; George doesn't like to follow the obvious path.

I doubt Jon will be resurrected right away. What would be the point then? Just to cheat his vow and have a blatant Jesus parallel for the readers? It would be far more interesting if he stayed out of the picture for a longer period. Give things time to get really desperate, and then when he is brought back people will really see it as a beacon of hope and they'll be more willing to follow him.

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14 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

There is a possibility that Mel herself will "break" the Wall, either by drawing power from it or by doing something to nullify the ice magic responsible for holding the Others back.

Maybe she brings the Wall down by accident...

 

15 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

I doubt Jon will be resurrected right away.

Yes, I don't think he will be resurrected right at the beginning from TWOW, maybe we get some Jon-inside-Ghost-PoV's...

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I'm anticipating spooky adventures when Selyse and party move to the Night Fort.  Mel is aware of the Black Gate from Sam's story.  That has to be of interest to her.

But massively frustrating when she can't find it

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20 hours ago, Black Crow said:

All of this is possible, but not necessarily to shift all the action to Essos.

In the original synopsis GRRM suggested three books; first the Game of Thrones in Westeros; then the conquest of a fatally weakened Westeros by Danaerys the Dragonlord and her Dothraki horde; then her struggle to re-unite Westeros against the blue-eyed lot.

As written it has so far been a bit different and above all totally screwed as to the timetable. I think that there's a massive logistic problem in shipping and disembarking a Dothraki horde in Westeros, but problems in Essos could help reduce the problem by bleeding the Dothraki off. That's not to say Danaerys aint going to make it, but rather that she will look to other allies to invite and carry her there without having to rely on Essos answer to the Comanche

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Dany will make her way to Westeros.  My guess is she’s going to upend a good bit of Essos on the way there. And as Illyrio assures Tyrion, if she goes by ship she will have to stop in Volantis.  My guess is if she’s bringing a Dothraki horde with her, then she’s going to to travel along the Stepstones so the Dothraki always have land to view.  This would first bring her to Dorne, which may also be the actual location of her lemon tree from her childhood memory.

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20 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

And in ASoS, it only took Dany six chapters to recruit the Unsullied, sack Astapor, defeat Yunkai and conquer Meereen. It takes longer to stack up the boulders than it does to roll them down the hill. I expect things to speed up once they gain momentum.

From a narrative standpoint, yes, but the problem is one of geographical distance and travel time.  

To get south of the Neck in one book, judging by canonical maps, the Popsicles will have to move about five times faster than they have so far.  

But the Wall is not going to accelerate the Popsicles; it's going to slow them down. 

After they somehow get past it -- assuming they do -- they and their horde of wights (repeatedly described as slow and clumsy) must somehow travel more than a thousand miles south to get below the Neck.   Even if the Wall, the Watch, and Winterfell were not there at all... even if the North were a flat depopulated realm with no humans resisting Popsicle progress... I still wouldn't expect them to make it so far in one book.

I'd guess the fall of the Wall will be the de facto climax of the next book, much as Jon's ostensible assassination was the de facto climax of the last one.  And if in ADOS (assuming it's ever written) Winterfell is the place where winter falls, I won't be too shocked.

20 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Try to put Davos's chapters into perspective. The last two are absolutely necessary, they set up the whole Northern Conspiracy situation. The first two, well... they establish White Harbor and the Three Sisters.

When you said "they establish White Harbor and the Three Sisters," that's the truth of the matter behind those four chapters.   GRRM just seemingly cannot resist the urge to tour Westeros... even when doing so consumes precious chapters he absolutely should not be burning on sightseeing.  

I'm not sure, even now, that he's realized he only has ~140 chapters to wrap the series. That's it.  

If he keeps writing pitstop chapters, simply to show off new bits of his continent, ASOIAF will inevitably go to eight books and the odds he will ever finish will approximate zero.  Even now, at seven books, it's obviously a dicey matter.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

But massively frustrating when she can't find it

LOL, so you would expect, but I'm guessing the door finds her (in her dream). 

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52 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Dany will make her way to Westeros.  My guess is she’s going to upend a good bit of Essos on the way there. And as Illyrio assures Tyrion, if she goes by ship she will have to stop in Volantis.  My guess is if she’s bringing a Dothraki horde with her, then she’s going to to travel along the Stepstones so the Dothraki always have land to view.  This would first bring her to Dorne, which may also be the actual location of her lemon tree from her childhood memory.

Oh I hope so.  What a waste otherwise. At the very least, Tyrion should get a look at the libraries there.

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22 minutes ago, JNR said:

After they somehow get past it -- assuming they do -- they and their horde of wights (repeatedly described as slow and clumsy) must somehow travel more than a thousand miles south to get below the Neck.   Even if the Wall, the Watch, and Winterfell were not there at all... even if the North were a flat depopulated realm with no humans resisting Popsicle progress... I still wouldn't expect them to make it so far in one book

Providing that the cold doesn't precede the undead hoard.  It seems to have it's own capacity to raise the dead.  We still have plague, famine and war to factor in.

But I suspect that the further south one travels from the Wall, the weaker the animating magic. Othor's hand lasted a long time until it arrived at Kingslanding. 

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

After they somehow get past it -- assuming they do -- they and their horde of wights (repeatedly described as slow and clumsy) must somehow travel more than a thousand miles south to get below the Neck.   Even if the Wall, the Watch, and Winterfell were not there at all... even if the North were a flat depopulated realm with no humans resisting Popsicle progress... I still wouldn't expect them to make it so far in one book.

If GRRM paces TWOW and ADOS the way he paced AFFC/ADWD then there isn't much hope of him finishing within two books, but I do think that once the final events (eg, war with the Others) start unfolding, things should be able to move along at a quicker clip.

As an example of GRRM moving a major plot line along at a quicker pace, in the beginning of aCoK we're learning of the five kings that have arisen in the aftermath of Robert's death; by the end of aCoK, Renly is dead, Stannis is diminished, the Freys and Boltons have already turned on Robb, and Euron has possibly hired his Faceless Man. 

The reader might infer from Bran III ADWD's moon phases that that single chapter spans several months--so even if the Others and the wight horde were to move slow in terms of in-world time, they could still be advanced quickly in narrative time and chapter count.

While I'm not generally a GRRM Optimist, I do think that things will move fast once Long Night 2.0 begins in earnest, especially if he has managed to converge various character journeys by that point in time.

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

From a narrative standpoint, yes, but the problem is one of geographical distance and travel time.  

To get south of the Neck in one book, judging by canonical maps, the Popsicles will have to move about five times faster than they have so far.  

But the Wall is not going to accelerate the Popsicles; it's going to slow them down. 

After they somehow get past it -- assuming they do -- they and their horde of wights (repeatedly described as slow and clumsy) must somehow travel more than a thousand miles south to get below the Neck.   Even if the Wall, the Watch, and Winterfell were not there at all... even if the North were a flat depopulated realm with no humans resisting Popsicle progress... I still wouldn't expect them to make it so far in one book.

I'd guess the fall of the Wall will be the de facto climax of the next book, much as Jon's ostensible assassination was the de facto climax of the last one.  And if in ADOS (assuming it's ever written) Winterfell is the place where winter falls, I won't be too shocked.

I'm not so sure about the Others being slow. We know they never come out when the Sun is up, so I assume the reason they don't advance faster is that they always have to stay within safe distance of a place where they can hide during the day. If another Long Night starts and the weather is bad enough that there's no danger of the Sun showing up in months, they might advance a lot faster.

I'm not a fan of the Popsicles arc resolving itself at Winterfell. One of the major plot points in the whole series is that the Seven Kingdoms as a whole are ignoring this threat (you should find it hard to disagree with this, it's in the synopsis as well), so a proper pay-off should see the Seven Kingdoms as a whole reaping the consequences. Otherwise, the moral of the story, if you will, isn't so much "people should strive to strengthen humanity and prepare for major looming threats instead of butchering each other for stupid reasons", but rather "the North should have minded its own business, now it's getting screwed every which way".

1 hour ago, JNR said:

When you said "they establish White Harbor and the Three Sisters," that's the truth of the matter behind those four chapters.   GRRM just seemingly cannot resist the urge to tour Westeros... even when doing so consumes precious chapters he absolutely should not be burning on sightseeing.  

I'm not sure, even now, that he's realized he only has ~140 chapters to wrap the series. That's it.  

If he keeps writing pitstop chapters, simply to show off new bits of his continent, ASOIAF will inevitably go to eight books and the odds he will ever finish will approximate zero.  Even now, at seven books, it's obviously a dicey matter.

It remains to be seen if those chapters were there for a reason or not. At the moment, you can't be any more certain than I am.

But Davos II lines up very well with a potential Popsicle attack and flight from White Harbor. It builds up the scene for it and there are numerous instances of potential foreshadowing, if you keep an eye out for them. I recommend a quick read through it.

Davos I does less to set up this scenario, but there is at least one interesting tidbit when Lord Godric talks about Ned's stop on the Sisters:

Quote

The Mad King had sent to the Eyrie for Stark's head, but Jon Arryn sent him back defiance. Gulltown stayed loyal to the throne, though. To get home and call his banners, Stark had to cross the mountains to the Fingers and find a fisherman to carry him across the Bite.

This establishes that the only major point where you can access the Vale from the sea is Gulltown, on the other side the peninsula, and if the refugees want to land on the Fingers, they would have to cross mountains that are probably snowed in by now. This effectively makes Braavos a closer destination than the Vale, although the latter is close enough for news to reach Littlefinger and Sansa relatively quickly.

A stop on the Sisters would also allow Jon to meet the fisherman's daughter Lord Godric named as his mother, and maybe come to some interesting conclusions, one way or the other.

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I don't see the Others as slow chapter travelers. Robert made it to KL very early in the first book and during winter I don't expect much problems along the cold and snow, that has fallen everywhere. I also don't expect any problems with Moat Cailin. This is no human army and until now, we know of no supply (besides sacrifices) they need. 

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That presupposes first that the threat is real and secondly that it is conventional, ie; a large [and presumably ever expanding] horde advancing south like a Dothraki khalasar but without the horses.

There are fairly basic problems with this though. First, what is their objective and why? The evidence we've had so far, scanty as it is. contradicts the killing all living things, and as we discussed earlier, there's no evidence of a military juggernaut.

That's not to deny that they are mad, bad and very dangerous to know, but their purpose seems a little more sophisticated than that and therefore the nature of the threat dealing with it may similarly be different from simply counting heads and calling for airstrikes

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The speed the Others travel is irrelevant as to how many chapters they need to get South of the neck.  We've seen time gaps almost as long as 10 years off screen,  and also seen many chapters take place at the same time.   

If the Others travel 2000 miles at 10 miles a day, that is 200 days.  200 days could be 2 whole books or within a single chapter. 

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7 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

The speed the Others travel is irrelevant as to how many chapters they need to get South of the neck.  We've seen time gaps almost as long as 10 years off screen,  and also seen many chapters take place at the same time.   

If the Others travel 2000 miles at 10 miles a day, that is 200 days.  200 days could be 2 whole books or within a single chapter. 

In terms of travelling time perhaps, but an invasion isn't something that can happen off-screen - if it happens at all

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