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Joe Momma

(Spoilers Extended) Fish Men: A theory of The Deep Ones, Oily Black Stone, Mazemakers, Shrykes, the far far east and the far far west.

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Bit of personal backstory to start out on this if anyone cares. Stuffing it into a spoiler tag to save space. Skip over it if you want, you won't miss anything important.


Also general spoiler warnings for World Of Ice and Fire, but nothing relating to the main series. It'll also rely very heavily on info from it, so I highly recommend reading it first or you may get lost.


So during my senior year in high school we got Chromebooks but of course 95% of the internet was blocked. The aSoIaF Wiki however, was not. So whenever I was bored or had some free time I'd do some deep digging into it. I particularly enjoyed the theories and always had them in the back of my mind. During this time I was also reading A World of Ice and Fire, which has a lot of mysterious things left unexplained. So I put these 2 things together and started getting the ol' gears spinning into overdrive. The result is a theory I posted to Reddit back in late 2016. It got some hefty attention, but not really sure where else to go with it, it kinda died. Recently while hanging out with my brother (also a big aSoIaF fan, in fact he's how I got interested in the series) we started talking a lot about AWoIaF and it piqued my interest again, so I decided to brush up on my old theory and move it (with some minor edits) here for some more longevity. Anyways, that's why it's such a long and in-depth 1st post coming from some rando.

All right kids, grab your tinfoil hats because this is gonna get weird.

Reference links to the Wiki at the end of the quotes. As for the World Of Ice And Fire quotes, well... go out and buy the book for yourself. Seriously: it's great.

There's a LOT to cover, so where to start? I suppose with the black stones, and particularly the mazes of Lorath and the Mazemakers.

“A black stone of unknown origin has been used in the construction of several structures throughout the Known World. Some of it is described as oily or greasy, in contrast to the similar but "drier" constructions of Valyrian dragonstone.” -aSoIaF Wiki

“Travelers tell us that the city is built entirely of black stone: halls, hovels, temples, palaces, streets, walls, bazaars, all. Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike.” -The World Of Ice And Fire

There’s been theories about these stones going around. MisogynisticLesbian pieced together a good map of their location (ignore Dragonstone, Crabclaw point and Leng. They’re for something else) with a theory thread trying to connect the dots, but I’m kicking it up to 500% here.

This is not to be confused with the Dragonstone of Valaria, which is very similar but not oily and seemingly more... user friendly as all of the black stone mentioned here is described in a menacing manner, drinking in light and often shrouded in mystery.

(Reddit user Warg42 has suggested that Valerian Dragonstone is in fact treated obsidian, which makes sense. Dragonstone is Valerian, Valeria was surrounded by 14 volcanoes, obsidian comes form volcanoes. What that makes the greasy black stone, I don't know. Thanks Warg!)


So, the mazes of Lorath:

"Sprawling constructs of bewildering complexity, made from blocks of hewn stone, the mazemakers’ constructions are scattered across the isles—and one, badly overgrown and sunk deep into the earth, has been found on Essos proper, on the peninsula south of Lorath. Lorassyon, the second largest of the Lorath isles, is home to a vast maze that fills more than three-quarters of the surface area of the island and includes four levels beneath the ground, with some passages descending five hundred feet." -The World Of Ice and Fire

“The mazemakers were a race of men who lived in antiquity. The mazemakers constructed vast mazes consisting of blocks of carved stone which have been found among the islands of Lorath as well as one in mainland Essos south of Lorath. Most of Lorassyon consists of an underground maze. The purpose of the mazes is unknown as the mazemakers left no written records. Large bones which have been found indicate they were massively built and larger than men, which has led some to suggest the mazemakers were born of the unions of human men and female giants. The legends of the Lorathi state the mazemakers were destroyed by creatures of the sea, such as merlings, selkies, or walrus-men. It is unknown if the mazemakers were connected with the Pattern or their vanquishers were connected with the Deep Ones.” -aSoIaF Wiki

Attackers from the sea and black stone. Remember that, I'll loop back to it. In fact you'll hear hear vague allusions and promises to return to things a LOT throughout because there's a lot to cover and one thing at a time. Anyways:

There’s 6 other examples of this strange black stone substance (and 1 historical):

“... the legend of the Seastone Chair. The Throne of the Greyjoys, carved into the shape of a Kraken from oily black stone was said to have been founded by the First Men when they first came to Old Wyk. Haereg argued that the chair was a product of the first inhabitants of the islands” -The World of Ice and Fire

“The stony island where the Hightower stands is known as Battle Isle… Even more enigmatic to scholars and historians is the great stone fortress of black stone that dominates the isle. For most of recorded history, this monumental edifice has served has the the foundation and lowest level of Hightower, yet we know for a certainty that it predates the upper levels of the tower by thousands of years.” -The World Of Ice And Fire

“On the Isle of Toads can be found an ancient idol, greasy black stone crudely carved into the semblance of a gigantic toad of malignant aspect, some eighty feet high.” -The World Of Ice And Fire

“The origins of Yeen are one of the greatest enigmas puzzling maesters and other scholars. Like the Toad Stone of the Isle of Toads, Yeen is built entirely of oily black stone, in blocks so large it would require a dozen elephants to move them. Yeen has remained in desolation for many thousands of years, yet the jungle surrounding it has scarce touched it” -aSoIaF Wiki

“The origins of Asshai are lost in history. Even the Asshai'i do not claim to know who built it, stating only a city stood there since the world began and will stand there until it ends... The buildings of Asshai are made out of a black stone that can feel greasy to the touch. The stone seems to drink in light, dimming torches and hearth fires alike, causing the city to have a dark and gloomy appearance. Asshai sprawls for leagues across both sides of the Ash, and its great walls allegedly could contain Volantis, Qarth, King's Landing, and Oldtown combined. The population of Asshai, however, is no more than that of a good-sized market town.” -aSoIaF Wiki

"No discussion of Yi Ti would be complete without a mention of the Five Forts, a line of hulking ancient citadels that stand along the far northeastern frontiers of the Golden Empire, between the Bleeding Seas (named for the characteristic hue of its deep waters, supposedly the result of a plant that only grows there) and the Mountains of the Morn. The Five Forts are very old, older than the Golden Empire itself; some claim they were raised by the Pearl Emperor during the morning of the Great Empire to keep the Lion of Night and his demons from the realms of men . . . and indeed, there is something godlike, or demonic, about the monstrous size of the forts, for each of the five is large enough to house ten thousand men, and their massive walls stand almost a thousand feet high. Certain scholars from the west have suggested Valyrian involvement in the construction of the Five Forts, for the great walls are single slabs of fused black stone that resemble certain Valyrian citadels in the west . . . but this seems unlikely, for the Forts predate the Freehold's rise, and there is no record of any dragonlords ever coming so far east." -The World Of Ice And Fire

“The Bloodstone Emperor was a the legendary ninth and last ruler of the mythic Great Empire of the Dawn…. The Bloodstone Emperor not only practiced torture, but also dark arts, such as necromancy. He enslaved his own people, took a tiger-woman for wife, feasted on human flesh and cast down the true gods of Yi Ti, to worship a black stone that fell from the sky.” -aSoIaF Wiki

There’s 3 things all of these have in common (minus the one falling from the sky in Yi Ti for #2 and #3, which I’ve honestly got nothing for. That one is weird so we're going to mostly disregard it. ) :

  1. No one knows where they came from. These stones have always been there before any humans documented them, long abandoned and then rediscovered.

  2. They’re all by some kind of water. The Seastone Chair is on Old Wyk, one of the Iron Islands. Hightower is on Battle Isle in the Whispering Sound. The Isle of Toads is an island just north of Sothoryos in the Summer Sea. Yeen is on the banks of an unnamed river (or at least doesn’t have a listed name I could find) Reference map!. Assahai is a port town bordered by The Summer Sea and The Saffron Straits. And lastly The Five Forts are by The Bleeding Sea. There is some strong significance to this I'll get to.

  3. They are all either far to the East or far to the West, minus Lorath, which can be explained with the Mazemakers, which again: I’ll get to, just disregard it for now. There is some strong significance behind this as well.

A chair, a toad, forts, a giant-ass town. These aren’t naturally occurring, someone or something built them. But those stones had to come from somewhere beyond the Mazemakers since there’s no evidence of them outside of Lorath. How would they leave bones in one area and nowhere else? Plus something like a normal human sized chair doesn't make sense being made by giant(ish) people.

So we can't pin down who they came from (not yet anyways), but we can guess where.

Now it’s safe to assume the world this is taking place on is round, because how could it not be? So what does that have to do with anything? I draw your attention back to #3: These are either all in far west or far east areas, nothing (outside Lorath, which Mazemakers, later, yada yada yada) is in the center of the know world. From this I draw 1 conclusion:

They did not originate from the center of the Known World/Eastern or Mid Essos and spread West to Westeros and East to far Essos.

Instead they started in the most far East reaches of Essos beyond the known world and spread West to East Essos and East across the Summer Sea to Westeros.

Now that’s pretty confusing since Westeros implies West and without a 3D visual, so I’ll use real world examples: Splitting the northern part of the world into 4 even sections (the northern part because otherwise one or more sections would just be the ocean) you get Canada, Iceland, Eastern Russia and Western Russia. Since I’ll be using directional terms let’s just call those Europe Russia (Western) and Asia Russia (Eastern). If something’s popping up in Europe Russia and Canada you might assume it’s coming from Asia Russia and spreading east to Canada and west to Europe Russia. BUT it could be coming from Iceland and spreading East to Europe Russia and West to Canada.

Now swap Europe Russia with Westeros, Asia Russia with Western Essos, Canada with Eastern Essos, and Iceland with the undiscovered, unknown, and unnamed Eastern coast of Essos. Let’s just call that coast The Fishy Lands for simplicity (Why Fishy? Everybody say it with me: I’ll get to that).

Since all of these stone structures are estimated to be extremely old, we need to go back very far, thousands of years. So an empire starts in far far Essos in the Fishy Lands while the Children and Giants roam Westeros and even the Fisher Queens are a far off dream. It spreads across vast amounts of land reaching from Yeen in Sothoryos, looping along Sothoryos and Ulthos (I suspect they didn’t get beyond the Five Forts and Thousand Islands (I’ll get to them too) in Essos as there’s no trace of them there and water is scarce. Again: the water will come into play in a bit. Bear with me here) dominating the far far East Essos, The Fishy Lands and even extending across the Sunset Sea to briefly touch some of Westeros. One fateful day (weather before or after their empire had greatly expanded, one cannot say, but it was before it started to crumble) some of them discover Lorath and the Mazemakers. Fighting ensues, attackers from the sea (again, this is important as you'll see later), the Mazemakers are defeated and their secrets of making that black stone taken and spread throughout the empire. This explains how these black stone structures found their way to the western coast of Westeros while there’s none along the East coast of Westeros or Western Essos (Again: minus Lorath) and why the Mazemakers left no traces anywhere outside Lorath.

So what happened to them to topple their empire? Firstly; they’re largely sea bearing folk (again: I’ll get to why in a bit) and what happened to the sea in ancient times? The First Men crossed on the Arm of Dorne and Children of the Forest were dying en mass. To try and prevent this they used the Hammer of the Waters to shatter the Arm of Dorne into the Stepstones. Note: It’s called the Hammer Of The Waters, thus it’s safe to assume it broke the arm not through tearing apart the land, but rather raising the seas. This would explain why there’s traces of a sunken civilization within the Thousand Islands (a civilization that belonged to our mystery empire building, black stone buddies. And as you’ve probably guessed: more on that in a bit). So in Westeros the arm breaks. But all seas are connected. One sea cannot rise without the other rising with it. So along the Eastern Essos coast of the Fishy Lands and the Western areas of Westeros the Sunset Sea rises too. Our mystery empire lived along the coasts as shown by reasons I will again; get to in a bit, but right now it can be seen through the lack of black stones away from the water. The sea rises and engulfs much of their port cities in Essos and cripples them for generations to come, reducing those not killed to nomads. Judging by their smaller impressions in Westeros they had only recently set up shop there and are cut off from their mainland brothers in Essos, are unable to sustain themselves or run into conflict with the First Men and die off. Though perhaps not entirely. Which again: I’ll get to. So that’s likely a wounding but not lethal blow to our mysterious empire. So, how’d our 7 relics avoid sinking when the seas rose? The Seastone Chair was likely raised after the sea rose (and yet again: I’ll get to that). Ashai, Yeen, The Five Forts, and The Toad Statue could all have been raised afterwards too. Both Yeen and Asshai are large cities likely built after the seas rose crippling the Fishy Empire's hopes of expanding East to Westeros as they lost their ports and the Sunset Sea became even larger and more treacherous to cross. Instead they turned their attention East and South, founding Asshai and Yeen. As for Lorath and the Hightower Base, it’s hard to say. ….Perhaps they were simply built on the highest hill and thus avoided the rising waters. Regardless: they remain where this empire doesn’t.

So what does finally topple them for good? Well, what almost killed the men in Westeros? What almost toppled the great empire of Yi Ti? What threatened to destroy civilization as we know it? The Long Night. This is interesting as there 2 versions in 2 different areas: The Long Night of Westeros with The Last Hero everyone knows by heart by now. And then there’s the legend of Azor Ahai and Lightbringer in Yi Ti and Asshai. Now here’s when things get interesting: in Westeros the Others came from the North, an uncharted expanse. In Yi Ti and Asshai The Darkness came from the East, and uncharted expanse. Now these 2 versions are so similar in nature it’s logical to assume they come from the same source and half of the darkness/Others headed East to Yi Ti and the rest West to Northern Westeros. Now George R.R. Martin has debunked the theory that Essos and Westeros are connected via the lands beyond the Grey Waste (far East Essos) and The Lands Of Always Winter. But there’s definitely water between them. And water can freeze when it’s cold. And when was it colder than the Long Night? It’s essitently what happened with Homospaiens crossing over an Ice Bridge during the Ice Age to the Americas, just with a lot more evil and death. Now as to how they wound up so far North in Westeros, perhaps Essos swerves and turns north after the Known World ends? But regardless to get to Yi Ti/Eastern Essos they had to either originate in far Eastern Essos or originate far in the North and trek across Eastern Essos. I.e.: The Fishy Lands are in their way. So is that end of our poor nameless fishy empire? Perhaps not.

Now it’s going to seem like I’ve changed subjects (and meds) completely, but I promise you that as always: it’ll loop back. Bear with me.

The Deep Ones

“Deep Ones are a species posited by Maester Theron in his manuscript Strange Stone. Theron drew a connection between the black stone of the Seastone Chair and that of the ancient fortress that serves as foundation of the Hightower. Theron suggested they were created by the Deep Ones, a "queer, misshapen race of half men sired by creatures of the salt seas upon human women", according to Maester Yandel. Theron suggests they inspired the legend of merlings and that the sea creatures who fathered them inspired the religion of the Drowned God.” -aSoIaF Wiki

Yeah, our empire is a bunch of fish people.

HEY HEY, I see you trying to leave thinking I’ve gone completely off my rocker! But I promise you, it adds up!

Remember when I said:

“They’re (the black stones) all by some kind of water.

Lorath is an island on the Shivering sea.

The Seastone Chair is on Old Wyk, one of the Iron Islands.

Hightower is on Battle Isle in the Whispering Sound

The Isle of Toads is an island just north of Sothoryos in the Summer Sea

Yeen is on the banks of an unnamed river (or at least doesn’t have a listed name)

Assahai is a port town bordered by The Summer Sea and The Saffron Straits

And lastly The Five Forts are by The Bleeding Sea

(there’s some significance behind this I’ll get to.)”

Now that significance? Fish people would like the water and stick close to it.


Let’s just call that coast The Fishy Lands for simplicity (Why Fishy? Again, I’ll get to that).

That’s why, because they were inhabited by fish people.

I’ve also alluded to the Thousand Islands. How are they connected?

“The Thousand Islands are an extensive archipelago in the eastern Shivering Sea off the northern coast of Essos…. These isles are sea-girt scatter of bleak and windswept rocks. Some believe they are the remnants of a drowned kingdom whose buildings were submerged by the rising sea thousands of years ago. Few mariners land on the islands, due to their inhabitants… The folk that dwell on the Thousand Islands are reportedly xenophobes, inimical to strangers. They are hairless and have green-tinged skin. Females file their teeth into sharp points and males slice the foreskins of their members. They speak an unknown tongue and are said to sacrifice sailors to squamous, fish-headed gods. Likenesses of these gods are visible along the shores when the tide is low, lending credence to the the theory of a civilization submerged by the rising of the sea level. Despite being islanders, the inhabitants of the Thousand Islands fear the sea so much they refuse to set foot in the water, even when threatened by death.” -aSoIaF Wiki

Remnants of a submerged city with fish gods and a fear of the water? I suspect the Thousand Islanders were once men conquered by the Deep Ones and made in slaves or servants. The rising sea from The Hammer of The Waters drowned their city, which leads to some hardships. Some Deep Ones go down with the ship and remain with their sunken city while their human servants remain above the water full time due to the whole drowning thing. Now given the Deep One’s tendencies to build their stone structures on land I suspect they’re amphibious rather than full time water or land dwellers which is why in addition to the homelessness through destroyed cities the rapidly rising seas were so deadly back in the day as pure merpeople would be fine. But the Thousand Islands city isn’t completely sunken as 1,000 (or 300 if you believe the Ibbenese) islands remain above sea level. The humans are above land, the Deep Ones largely under the sea achieving an almost deity status judging by the fish-human hybrid statues, sacrificing (or offering) of sailors to the sea by the locals, and their fear of the water. Now, are there still Deep Ones there? I don’t know, no one has stuck around long enough to find out. Even Corlys Velaryon, The ‘Mother F-ing’ Sea Snake, got there and decided “Nope!” and went back home.

But that’s still not everything I wanted to loop back to (because there was like 50 things). Now, what is their first public appearance? (chronologically)

“The legends of the Lorathi state the mazemakers were destroyed by creatures of the sea, such as merlings, selkies, or walrus-men”

Or Deep Ones. Theron says Deep Ones inspire Merlings, Merlings destroyed Mazemakers... I sense connection!

I also mentioned the rising sea may not have been the end of the Deep Ones in Westeros. So, what remained of them?

"In the Age of Heroes, the legends say, the ironborn were ruled by a mighty monarch known simply as the Grey King. The Grey King ruled the sea itself and took a mermaid to wife, so his sons and daughters might live above the waves or beneath them as they chose. His hair and beard and eyes were as grey as a winter sea, and from these he took his name. The crown he wore was made of driftwood, so all who knelt before him might know that his kingship came from the sea and the Drowned God who dwells beneath it." -The World of Ice and Fire

"From there he ruled the Iron Islands for a thousand years, until his very skin had turned as grey as his hair and beard. Only then did he cast aside his driftwood crown and walk into the sea, descending to the Drowned God’s watery halls to take his rightful place at his right hand." -The World of Ice and Fire

His children could live in land or water? Because they weren’t human, and neither was he. Now, living 1,000+ years, that could be true as nobody knows the lifespan of a Deep One. Although it could’ve just been longer than usual and then greatly exaggerated as legends often are, but I still want to throw the possibility out there. No usual human’s skin turn grey with age, but fish people? Maybe. He one day set aside his crown and returned to the sea. I suspect this was less walking off into the ocean to die and more a voyage to try and return to The Fishy Lands.

Is there anything left of our fishy friends? There’s an interesting side note about Toad Isle.

“The people of this isle are believed to be descended from those who carved the Stone Toad, for there is an unpleasant fishlike aspect to their faces and many have webbed hands and feet. If so, they’re the sole surviving remnant of this forgotten race.” -aSoIaF Wiki

BUT I SAY NOT!, for another supposed animal-man hybrid caught my eye.

“The Land of the Shrykes is a small plain in far eastern Essos…. It is bordered by the Bleeding Sea to the west, the Five Forts and the Mountains of the Morn to the south, Bonetown and the Dry Deep to the east, and K'Dath to the north… The Land of the Shrykes is said to be a dangerous place populated by shrieking monsters.” -aSoIaF Wiki

"The Shrykes are a race of half-human creatures said to inhabit the land beyond the Five Forts, east of the southern half of the Bleeding Sea and south of K'Dath. They are said to have green-scaled skin and venomous men.” -aSoIaF Wiki

Now they’re described as scaled, which is odd if you think about it. Lizard scales are generally small and look more like just a rough texture unless you look close. But what also has scales? Fish. I propose they are not lizardmen, but rather fishmen! They’re located by The Five Forts: one of our 7 black stone structures. While the forts are presumably owned by Yi Ti they do not have a clear origin. They were, again, almost definitely built to defend Yi Ti against the long night. Deep One refugees out of The Fishy Lands fleeing from the Long Night showed up and provided the knowledge of the black stone while Yi Ti provided the finance and manpower. After the Darkness fell the remaining Deep Ones were stranded as the Grey Waste, Cannibal Sands and Dry Deep separated them from their homelands. It would seem Yi Ti kicked them out and if any Deep Ones ever made it back tot he Fishy Lands we cannot say for that is beyond the known world.

In addition there's one more mention of fish people elsewhere: Squishers

"From a distance squishers appear human, but according to legend their heads are larger than those of men and they have scales instead of hair. They have webbing between their fingers and toes, while their mouths have rows of green, needle-like teeth. A squisher's belly is white like that of a fish. Their name comes from the squish-squish sound made when they move on their webbed feet.[1] ... The First Men are said to have killed all of the squishers" -aSoIaF Wiki

I suspect they’re the remnants of those from Battle Isle in The Reach. It’s close to where the First Men came to Westeros, and knowing the first men conflict ensued. This possibly combined with the rising sea sunk their home and they fled east, moving too fast to leave any traces before being wiped out by the First Men in the Crownlands. Even the Wiki suggests the connection.

"It is likely the stories of Squishers are related to the Deep Ones.[4]" -aSoIaF Wiki

Now there’s a few holes to be found: Why was Asshai abandoned? Maybe it wasn’t, maybe it was sacked in a battle nobody remembers. Maybe a plague swept through. Maybe it's something related to the black magic that the region is known for? Maybe it's boneheaded location couldn't sustain a population?

Same with Yeen. Why was it abandoned? Same thoughts as Asshai, but add in the grumpy Sothoryi and wildlife as well (and a possible voodoo curse given that “Every attempt to rebuild or resettle it has ended in horror.”)

Why a toad statue? shrugs

How’d that black stone fall from the sky in Yi Ti? further shrugging

Have the Deep Ones rose again beyond the known world? This we cannot tell as it is beyond the known world. Keyword: known

Any possible tie-in to The City of Winged Men? None that I can think of. If you can think of one, let me know. (Batmen, Aquamen, The Bloodstone Emperor's Catwoman wife... how much longer until we get sentient men made of iron?)

There’s also speculation as to tie-ins with Patchface, the Deep Ones saving him from drowning for 3 days and somehow giving him the gift of prophecy. But as he went down by Dragonstone, which is on the East Coast of Westeros, so I’ve got nothing. If there were a Deep One settlement somebody would've noticed, right?

In conclusion:

The earliest civilization (that we can guess at for now. The southern hemisphere may hold older ones still) was a bunch of fish people.

They expand along northern Essos conquering the Thousand Islands and Lorath.

They touched down on Westeros a little while after the First Men.

When the Children Of The Forest blew The Hammer Of The Water and the Deep Ones’ ports and dreams of the East (Westeros) are crushed (or maybe sunk would be a more apt metaphor).

The Thousand Islands become little more than beachfront property (unfortunately for the humans there).

The Grey King is stranded in Westeros and rules over the Ironborn.

Stranded refugees in The Reach flee to the Crownlands and are killed by the First Men cementing the myth of Squishers.

The Deep Ones in their homeland recover and turn their attention East and Southward reaching as far as Asshai and Yeen.

The Long Night comes, they lose their homeland and are driven East to make a last stand with Yi Ti in The Land Of the Shrykes.

Somewhere along the line the Five Forts arise. Most likely during or after the Long Night, acting as The Wall of Essos.

Yeen and Asshai are abandoned or taken over and the previous inhabitants eventually fade from memory.

Some Deep Ones stay close to the Five Forts and settle in The Land of the Shrykes.

And Jimmy Hoffa killed JFK because he faked the moon landing.

So, what's your thoughts?

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While Jimmy did indeed kill JFK, it was not because of the moon landing.

But in all seriousness, that is a very intriguing theory you have there. It explains a lot of things, most importantly Yeen.

However I think you made some small mistakes with the stone. The Hightower foundation and The Five Forts are made of fused stone, which is made by dragons. The Deep Ones stone is Oily Black Stone.

Also there is a point to be made about Asshai being the capital of the Great Empire of the Dawn. But then again I always wondered why you would put your capital so far away from your core lands. The Fishy Lands might explain the location.

Also I like your take on the shrikes, in addition to the whole story of the last stand by the five forts.

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On 6/2/2018 at 3:06 AM, Joe Momma said:

Stranded refugees in The Reach flee to the Crownlands and are killed by the First Men cementing the myth of Squishers.

Why did you put them in Reach? There are more connections to sea folk in eastern coast of Westeros. Sorceress Ursulla Upcliff was titled as Bride of the Merling King. Velaryons claimed they made a pact with Merling King and were given driftwood throne as a gift from him. Sistermen are rumored to have webbed hands and feet.

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I share your interest in the primal mythos, and admire the thought and tinfoil you have laid out for us. I would like to briefly add that I think that a case can be made that Yeen (the primal Land of Always Summer) is the ancestral home of the Sothyori serpent people (think the Valusians in the old Conan stories) whose degenerate descendants are the Shrykes who can be found on the approach to K'Dath (which I suspect is the ancient capital of the pre-submerged Deep One Empire and the original Land of Always Winter). The Deep Ones and K'Dath are both Lovecraftian so I tend think them linked. The Mazemakers, I posit, are the ancestral form of the Children of the Forest , the Giants, the Lengii, and through the Deep Ones genetic alteration (the mutative power of the Oily Black Stone), the merlings who were created from the remnants of weirwood groves drowned during the war that left the Deep Ones underwater and the CotF masters of Westeros.

Edited by hiemal

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So I'm wondering... Asshai's oily black stone is said to drink in the surrounding light and dim the whole area. The stone used to build Yeen is similarly described in physical appearance to that of Asshai. So does the light from torches and tapers and hearthfires seem to dwindle away in Yeen as it does in Asshai? Or, is the "light drinking" some other magical property exclusive to Asshai?

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On 6/7/2018 at 8:00 AM, Pukisbaisals said:

Why did you put them in Reach? There are more connections to sea folk in eastern coast of Westeros. 

That's why I had them fleeing to the Crownlands, the East Coast. I just didn't consider them to have a prominent impact since they left no obvious traces (namely black stone).

Edited by Joe Momma

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I'm pretty sure that Yeen is on the banks of the Zamoyos River. "Now in ruins, Zamettar was a colony established by the Old Empire of Ghis at the mouth of the Zamoyos. Upriver are the ancient cyclopean ruins of Yeen." The oily black stone seems to have some sort of magical property, as wherever there are objects made out of this stone (except the sea-stone chair), there is something strange, almost evil about the places where this stone is found. Yeen, where not one plant grows within the ruins, The Isle of Toads, where its inhabitants have "fish-like faces and webbed hands and feet", and Asshai, where the stone "seems to drink the light." Outside of Asshai "Demons and dragons and worse make their lairs in the cliffs".

It seems that the stone was a menacing aura about it, and one might wonder whether the "Corpse city", the "City of the Night", the ruined city of Stygai, is made out of this stone, as it is said that even shadowbinders fear the city. There may even be an object or ruin made out of this stone on Ulthos or in the Land of Always Winter.

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Interesting stuff.  I agree with some but disagree on others.  There's a lot more Lovecraftian tie-ins than the Deep Ones. 

I've had the thought that the Mazemakers were hounded by the Deep Ones as well. If your enemy comes out of the water but perhaps for only a limited time,  whether because need of air or need of hydration, a maze that would take them time seems pretty intelligent.  


Edited by The WolfSpider

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There's definitely something going on with the Deep Ones and the oily black stone, and I like your idea they may have emerged from the far side of the globe...

One thing I'd alter in your timeline:

On 6/2/2018 at 1:06 AM, Joe Momma said:


The Deep Ones in their homeland recover and turn their attention East and Southward reaching as far as Asshai and Yeen.

The Long Night comes, they lose their homeland and are driven East to make a last stand with Yi Ti in The Land Of the Shrykes.

Somewhere along the line the Five Forts arise. Most likely during or after the Long Night, acting as The Wall of Essos. 

According to Yi Ti legends, the Five Forts go back much earlier, rumoured to have been built by the Pearl Emperor in the 'morning of the Great Empire' easily thousands of years before the Long Night.

You'da thunk, if anyone was going to have webbed fingers (like the sistermen), it would be the Ironborn, but I've seen little to suggest that - althoughsome of the Farwynds might have been said to be so marked??? Darn it, I need to go back to reading for more details....

Edited by Rufus Snow

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There are two distinct "black stone" materials used in ASOIAF.

Fused black stone: This is the stuff that the Five Forts and the base of the Hightower in Oldtown are made of. It appears to be some natural stone that has been fused by dragonfire into an almost concrete/obsidian mix type material. I'd guess that what happened to the towers at Harrenhal is a similar idea but that was done in anger and probably without and magic to control and shape the molten rock created.

Oily Black stone: This is what Assai and the Isle of Toads, together with Yeen appear to be made of. It's very unnatural in description and i'm thinking it's got some sort of black "plastic" appearance, or possibly it behaves a bit like nano-black coated object in that it absorbs light with no reflection. Come to think of it some form of nano tube material would possibly explain why everyone seems so sick in Assai, that stuff would be akin to living surrounded by asbestos all day long.

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Great theory!

also could the deep ones have controlled krakens or something, as in a meeting of the small council Varys says an Ibbenese whaler was sunk by a kraken. If the Fishy People controlled Krakens that could be a sign they are rising again.

Edited by McGuv19

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Well, this is a clear case of explanatory under-determination, we have little evidence that can explain a cache of theory we can't decide between (and I assume GRRM won't either). Personally I feel like GRRM orginally thought of Ice and Fire but as the world grew larger he thought the motif of underwater evil and secrets (which is also dominant in a lot of fantasy literature) was cool so he made all this references. But I don't see how it connects with Ice and the Others, or how he will even have time to discuss this aspect of the world with more than just nice cryptic references. The Others will be defeated, but there are things lurking you don't anything about...

but this is definitely a concept that will carry on in fan fiction 

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Can’t remember if this has already been said but some of House Farwynd have webbed hands or feet, and Lonely Light is the furthest West settlement we know of. Could this be the result of breeding with the fishy people

never mind this was already mentioned in a comment

Edited by McGuv19
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