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FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

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@Ran, if you've got a second, I was curious about the potential inconsistency regarding maester chains introduced by this excerpt. We find out that the first Grand Maester, Ollidar, was a keeper of histories and had a ring, rod and mask made of bronze. However, in the appendix for Feast, we see that Archmaester Perestan is a historian with a ring, rod and mask made of copper, while Archmaester Vaellyn has the bronze ring, rod and mask, presumably for astrology given that the appendix calls him a stargazer. 

I'm sure we'll be getting further explanations on all things Citadel and maester related via Sam's chapters in Winds, but as someone who's always been curious about all the disciplines and their corresponding metals, I was just wondering if this was a mistake or if different metals can represent different subjects, etc. 

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50 minutes ago, Black of Hair and Heart said:

 

I'm sure we'll be getting further explanations on all things Citadel and maester related via Sam's chapters in Winds, but as someone who's always been curious about all the disciplines and their corresponding metals, I was just wondering if this was a mistake or if different metals can represent different subjects, etc. 

I share your interest in the subject. I think one possibility is that the archmaesters are not necessarily fixed in their roles, and that the rods and masks represent their "chairing" their "department" for a time rather than permanently, and that a learned archmaester may well hold different rods at different times. We are told Ollidar was "exceptionally learned", and this might actually mean even within the context of the Citadel... so perhaps he was a famous historian _and_ astronomer.

Or perhaps it's a mistake that slipped everyone by. I feel like I have a recollection of the issue having been pointed out, and it went unchanged, but to be absolutely honest I'm both not sure and, well, sometimes notes like that fall between the cracks. I'll make a note of it next time we talk with Anne and George.

Edited by Ran

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

I share your interest in the subject. I think one possibility is that the archmaesters are not necessarily fixed in their roles, and that the rods and masks represent their "chairing" their "department" for a time rather than permanently, and that a learned archmaester may well hold different rods at different times. We are told Ollidar was "exceptionally learned", and this might actually mean even within the context of the Citadel... so perhaps he was a famous historian _and_ astronomer.

Or perhaps it's a mistake that slipped everyone by. I feel like I have a recollection of the issue having been pointed out, and it went unchanged, but to be absolutely honest I'm both not sure and, well, sometimes notes like that fall between the cracks. I'll make a note of it next time we talk with Anne and George.

Well lets say you start at war craft, wearing Iron. If you later learned the higher mysteries, wouldn't your mask and rod change then thus to Valyrian Steel? With merely your chain link retaining the iron with now Valyrian steel added to the links? So couldn't Ollider have a copper link and but now wear the ring and rod for Astrology. While still being a master of history and able to serve in that position as sage master?

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@AlaskanSandman

The ring and rod and mask is a construction specific to archmaesters, and indicates that they are the heads of a particular area of learning. But by the point in time where they are archmaesters, they already have aptitude in numerous fields, otherwise they wouldn't be maesters.

One presumes archmaesters are learned in a wide variety of subjects, since maester's wear chains of a number of metals that indicate that they've mastered various subjects to a certain level. An archmaester whose ring and rod and mask is iron is the "head" of the warcraft "department", and presumably the archmaesters are considered among the top in those particular areas.

The question then is could some archmaester be able to "head" more than one "department", if at different times, or if an archmaester is regarded as the foremost expert in their area of expertise and that's that for the purposes of the Citadel's organization.

 

I think it's quite possible. Ollidar certainly must have the copper link of history, but if bronze was intended by GRRM and not an error, then it indicates that he has probably served with the copper mask in the past and was fulfilling the bronze astronomy/astrology role when Aegon chose him.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

@AlaskanSandman

The ring and rod and mask is a construction specific to archmaesters, and indicates that they are the heads of a particular area of learning. But by the point in time where they are archmaesters, they already have aptitude in numerous fields, otherwise they wouldn't be maesters.

One presumes archmaesters are learned in a wide variety of subjects, since maester's wear chains of a number of metals that indicate that they've mastered various subjects to a certain level. An archmaester whose ring and rod and mask is iron is the "head" of the warcraft "department", and presumably the archmaesters are considered among the top in those particular areas.

The question then is could some archmaester be able to "head" more than one "department", if at different times, or if an archmaester is regarded as the foremost expert in their area of expertise and that's that for the purposes of the Citadel's organization.

 

I think it's quite possible. Ollidar certainly must have the copper link of history, but if bronze was intended by GRRM and not an error, then it indicates that he has probably served with the copper mask in the past and was fulfilling the bronze astronomy/astrology role when Aegon chose him.

And each position is held solely by one man? Only one Archmaester for a given topic? And if you do get bumped to another position, you lose your ring, rod and mask? 
Im greatly interested in the maesters too

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1 minute ago, AlaskanSandman said:

And each position is held solely by one man? Only one Archmaester for a given topic? And if you do get bumped to another position, you lose your ring, rod and mask? 
Im greatly interested in the maesters too

Well, that certainly seems to be the case, that only one person holds these symbols of their being the "department head" at a time. 

But maybe that's not correct. Maybe all archmaesters have a ring, rod, and mask, as part of their being elevated to archmaester. But in that case, I think they would have to be duplicates, because the 15 metals George has named basically exhaust the metals and alloys known and workable into quite late in our history. White gold and zinc, maybe, could provide links, but that gets us to 17.

And of course, this assumes the 21 archmaesters listed in the appendix are the only archmaesters. Can't rule out the possibility that there are more.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

Of course it's enough to justify Olenna in saying whatever the hell she wants. She has loads of opinions which are substantiated on nothing but, well, her own opinion. 

But do we really assume she is just of the opinion that the Baratheons have sufficient Targaryen blood to be able to influence their overall character? People hardly run around and essentially make up relations between noble houses and then call that their opinion. The opinion part is the judgment part that the Targaryen blood is responsible for the bad character traits of the Baratheons, not necessarily that these two houses are closely related to each other.

Quote

To settle matter, let me share a passage from TWoIaF:

That specific passage is from George, an addition he made as he revised and expanded our own first draft. This is, of course, Yandel's take on the history, and from what George put there, the orthodoxy is that it is an unsubstantiated rumor but a widely-believed one (which fits everything we read in ASoIaF). Gyldayn's history is somewhat unorthodox in this regard (though again, in the Conquest section he treats the parentage as something that is whispered and rumored, so even he is not absolute).

What means proof in this context?

You would certainly agree with me that in-world the true parentage of Cersei's children is also only a rumor outside the very elite circle of people knowing the truth (basically just Jaime and Cersei - everybody else has just their word or Stannis' word on the matter). A historian writing on the War of the Five Kings would likely - at least at the point where we are right now - only refer to 'rumors' claiming that King Robert's children are not his.

George really exercises this thing with Rhaenyra's sons and Addam/Alyn of Hull. Somebody fathered them, but who is never going to be known (unless Bran tells us).

The only difference between those examples and Orys Baratheon seems to be that we don't have the details of the rumor that he is Lord Aerion's son. If we knew more one could make up one's own mind whether to believe the rumors - like people can do in the case of the Hull boys and the strong lads - or whether one discards them.

It would be interesting to see whether the rumors around Orys are as outlandish as those around Selyse, Patches, and Shireen, or whether they are more informed like the ones perpetrated by Mushroom or even whoever spread the rumors about Rhaenys and the singers.

And if the historian writing things isn't sure whether something is a rumor or a fact, then the scales move more towards the 'fact side' than the 'rumor side'. Gyldayn certainly knows how to dismiss rumors he considers to be completely outlandish.

Completely missed the archmaester thing:

While it makes sense that various archmaester (candidate maesters) would have sufficient knowledge to serve in various archmaester positions, one would assume that such archmaesters actually doing that would have multiple rings, rods, and masks (although one assumes they would only wear multiple rings and rods at the same time, not the masks). And proper, well, academic procedure - which can to be expected from an archmaester like Gyldayn - would press him to actually mention it when this was the case.

The idea that they chair as archmaester only for a limited time doesn't sit well with me, considering George already had the Dean parallel there with office of the Seneschal who is chosen annually - and that's not a position anybody craves. The archmaesters are all nerds obsessed with their various hobby horses, and chances are not that big that they want to suddenly change gears and do, read, or lecture about topics they don't care all that much about.

Also, it makes little sense to mark or characterize an archmaester by his ring, rod, and mask if he can and does arbitrarily change that. Nobody would care that anybody was professor of this or that if he was professor of something else tomorrow.

But this causes the interesting conundrum what is right there if this was a mistake - the appendix of AFfC or FaB ;-)?

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In the universe in which Gyldayn and Yandel write, the parentage of Orys Baratheon is a question of speculation which some have opinions on and some do not, opinions which some sources support and others do not. This is pretty straightforward. 

Edited by Ran

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@RanDo we by chance learn who put those Valyrian sphinxes inside K.L.?? I find that interesting since Maegor finished the castle. Where did they come from? Relics from Valyria kept at dragonstone? Or did old town give them? Seems like rather large cumbersome things for Aenar to worry about grabbing unless they're valuable also for some reason. 

Edited by AlaskanSandman
typo

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33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Also, it makes little sense to mark or characterize an archmaester by his ring, rod, and mask if he can and does arbitrarily change that. Nobody would care that anybody was professor of this or that if he was professor of something else tomorrow.

But this causes the interesting conundrum what is right there if this was a mistake - the appendix of AFfC or FaB ;-)?

I think it makes perfect sense.   It is an assigned office that can change but rather than by the office, the custom is to refer to the regalia of office instead of the title of the office itself.  To my ear it sounds very "Westeros".

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2 minutes ago, Bronn Stone said:

I think it makes perfect sense.   It is an assigned office that can change but rather than by the office, the custom is to refer to the regalia of office instead of the title of the office itself.  To my ear it sounds very "Westeros".

It doesn't sound like university, though. And the thing is ad hoc explanation to explain away something which would otherwise be a mistake ;-).

George really created a university vibe in the Citadel chapters in AFfC, with various types of students - and various points in their career - and that also extends to 'the professor'.

One should also keep in mind that the Citadel was founded as a zoo for, well, nerd to the entertainment of a disabled Hightower. They also make revenues now with their whole maester education program, one assumes, but the archmaesters still seem to be nerds who have found a place where they can escape the real world and pursue their pet interests.

My impression is that the archmaesters are sitting professors with a staff of other scholarly maesters serving them, whereas the Seneschal - chosen each year from among the archmaesters - serves in a Dean-like capacity, overseeing/managing the entire Citadel. There is no need for different 'department heads' as such, considering the Citadel shouldn't be all that large.

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I'm interested in the crossovers between maesters as smiths, forging their own chains, and maesters as dogs, wearing tight collars. These mask/rod/ring items seem to allude to a maester / warrior connection: the metal masks and rods seem very armor-like, and rings are associated with mail. I wonder whether archmaesters see themselves as an army of warriors?

Of course, mummers also wear masks . . .

The other day, I was pondering the three gifts on the table before the Widow of the Waterfront: a goblet, a fan and a dagger covered with runes. I wonder whether these are parallel to the three things held by each archmaester? The picture of the widow with the fan in front of her face might be compared to a mask.

The other comparison that comes to mind is with the Rainbow Guard. Each member has his or her own color, presumably assigned by Renly. He wants a complete set of seven but it's funny how each member of the guard seems to have a connection to the color assigned to him/her. Ser Loras, as Lord Commander, doesn't have a color so indigo is not used to reach the complete set of seven.

Another thought: the high septon is associated with his crystal crown, stolen by the mob during the bread riot, replaced by Tywin at great expense and then sold by the High Sparrow to buy food for the poor. I wonder whether there is a metal / crystal conflict between maesters / septons, like a game of rock / paper / scissors?

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If it is not a mistake, then it means one has to ferret out how it works. As I already said, we'll check with George and Anne about it when we can, but until then, seems like a reasonable place to speculate. And even if it is a mistake, we still have plenty to wonder about regarding the Citadel's organization.

If the regalia represents that you are "department head" -- or perhaps a better phrase would be "head lecturer" --  I just mean that the person is actually the one responsible for lecturing and giving exams on a given subject. Given real world academics, many academics see teaching and exams as a necessary but unfulfilling part of their job, a distraction from writing and research. One imagines it is the same with archmaesters. If the role "head lecturer" in a subject can move among different archmaesters, perhaps over a set term, this would then mean there would be itinerant archmaesters who would have no duties other than attending the Conclave and otherwise researching and writing  and experimenting to their heart's content for a time. 

This would perhaps help to explain the fact that Archmaester Marwyn had been away for eight years, for his research, if he was not compelled to remain at the Citadel to carry out his teaching duties because there was someone else who could do what he did. 

Complicating all this, we have Maester Gormon sitting in to take care of Walgrave's duties as the rod holder in ravenry. Why a maester rather than another archmaester?

I mean, an issue here is we have 21 archmaesters listed, and 15 metals known... and I can't really think of more than 2 more metals/alloys, for 17 (white gold and _maybe_ zinc). Do the 21 known archmaesters mean 21 known areas of knowledge? Or fewer than that, and some of them don't hold rods? Or are there some duplicate rod holders? And are there more archmaesters than the 21 named?

If ever there were a 2nd edition of TWoIaF, a little more detail on the organization of the Citadel and the Faith would please me.

Edited by Ran

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51 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

My impression is that the archmaesters are sitting professors with a staff of other scholarly maesters serving them, whereas the Seneschal - chosen each year from among the archmaesters - serves in a Dean-like capacity, overseeing/managing the entire Citadel. There is no need for different 'department heads' as such, considering the Citadel shouldn't be all that large.

The "department heads" decide who is qualified in that department.  They personally approve anyone who wears the link of that metal.  That role seems essential to me.  (which is also why Marwyn gets away with travelling for 8 years - few maesters seek that link).

And as for Elio's concern about numbers of metals, I'm quite sure GRRM could whip up some additional "magical" metals if the need ever arose to create a comprehensive list.  But that of course, he never would - he keeps some vague precisely for wiggle room.

As for Maester Gormon - I took that to mean that Gormon runs ravenry because it would be an unnecesary insult to a man who'd outlived his wits if another Archmaester were assigned.  Officially, Gormon is only "assisting"

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From what can draw from the Citadel chapter, it seems most exams are done orally (Pate doesn't recall anything about written exams) or by doing certain actions - opening a corpse, doing stuff with the ravens, demonstrating certain skills.

It may be different when you do higher mathematics, learn dead or foreign languages, or do other very specialized research.

Lecturing as such might be tedious for some, but it is also the privilege and duty of sitting professors, so one imagines especially the more nerdy archmaesters would just take on their regalia (we know they lecture with ring and rod and mask) and give their talk, not caring all that much whether those in attendance care or understand what's going on.

And I don't think they have to give any classes or sit in many department meetings and the like. Your Yandel implies that there are staffs of maesters in service at the Citadel, so they would do all the various assistant jobs graduate and undergraduate students would do in the real world. Giving classes - and doing in general things the archmaesters do not want to do - would be part of that work.

Overall, I think we should not assume that there is much an archmaester has to do, considering the Citadel started as a zoo. Marwyn pursues a very obscure subjects, and should have not many students. If an archmaester is incapacitated or otherwise away then a maester (like Gormon) steps in for him, if the need arises (and chances are that little to no such need arose while Marwyn was away, considering that most maesters do not like magic all that much). Personal patronage should play a crucial role, too. While the Citadel seems to make a revenue by getting money for the maesters it provides, a good chunk of the money financing it should still come from the Hightowers, so if the Lord of Oldtown has found another pet that this guy will be allowed to do whatever he wants to do.

I think Gormon taking over for Walgrave is a sign that Gormon is effectively Walgrave's successor. He is another expert on ravens, with as many or more links on that subject as Walgrave himself. 

Another archmaester - in my understanding - would be another nerd in his chosen field of study, and completely incapable of giving a proper lecture in a field he doesn't care about.

As for the metals - perhaps the maesters do know more metals than were known in our middle ages? They most definitely know quicksilver, could be they also know some of the more esoteric precious metals like rhodium, iridium, palladium, etc., not to mention some of those we more used in manufacturing - osmium, wolfram, etc.

The reason why George doesn't mention any such names might very well have to do with the fact that they don't sound like stuff you read about in a fantasy series.

3 minutes ago, Bronn Stone said:

As for Maester Gormon - I took that to mean that Gormon runs ravenry because it would be an unnecesary insult to a man who'd outlived his wits if another Archmaester were assigned.  Officially, Gormon is only "assisting"

See above my thoughts on Gormon. Would like to add that the history of the Grand Maester as laid out in the excerpt very much implies we should only get archmaesters for a Grand Maester. Aegon I wanted one of the Conclave when he created that office, so Gormon being the main candidate for Pycelle's successor back in ASoS implies that Gormon is essentially already treated Walgrave's successor (possibly even attending the Conclave in Walgrave's stead) - they just haven't granted him the title yet, as to not insult or humiliate the old man.

I don't think we have any reason to believe that there was a Grand Maester who didn't serve as archmaester prior to that, no?

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Fire and Blood excerpt on Russian. https://www.maximonline.ru/guide/music/_article/fire-and-blood-part-exclusive/

About content: it's lit. (Aegon's Conquest - Three Sisters, Iron Islands, Dorne. Dorne is dope AF. 

Spoiler

Meria died while fucking a horse apparently (BS Catherine the Great rumor); Oakhearts have all reasons to hate Dornishmen

About translation: it sucks. (Russian translation is so epically bad, I wanna scream).

 

Edited by DanaKz

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56 minutes ago, DanaKz said:

Fire and Blood excerpt on Russian. https://www.maximonline.ru/guide/music/_article/fire-and-blood-part-exclusive/

About content: it's lit. (Aegon's Conquest - Three Sisters, Iron Islands, Dorne. Dorne is dope AF. 

  Hide contents

Meria died while fucking a horse apparently (BS Catherine the Great rumor); Oakhearts have all reasons to hate Dornishmen

About translation: it sucks. (Russian translation is so epically bad, I wanna scream).

 

I can't like, thank, and laugh at this all at once hahaha but wow, that was great :D

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1 hour ago, DanaKz said:

Fire and Blood excerpt on Russian. https://www.maximonline.ru/guide/music/_article/fire-and-blood-part-exclusive/

About content: it's lit. (Aegon's Conquest - Three Sisters, Iron Islands, Dorne. Dorne is dope AF. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Meria died while fucking a horse apparently (BS Catherine the Great rumor); Oakhearts have all reasons to hate Dornishmen

About translation: it sucks. (Russian translation is so especially bad, I wanna scream).

 

Quote

Eygone put an end to civil strife, arriving on the islands in 2 year OZ. Behind the king and Ballerion came the flotilla of Bohr, Heigarden, Lannisport and even a few boats from Bear Island, sent by Torrchen Starck

Hmmmm hahahaha yea, just a little

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