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Rufus Snow

"This land is old" -- spitballing the North

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22 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Ha, my fault White Ravens, I've just returned to the forum after years so have been doing it the old way.  I will figure out the new system.

I am black bolded and the red bolding is what Rufus Snow wants to highlight in my text.  The blue text is his thoughts.

Obvious limitations here cause I can't figure out how to respond now.  And what colour should I use?

Flogging a dead horse, I realise.  Sorry.  But did the old way of quoting involve highlighting swaths of text and assigning colours? 

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2 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Born and bred in Vic, then moved to Van for over twenty years, now living in Sidney.  I shouldn't age myself accurately though or you might accuse me of grumpy old woman syndrome, and you might not mind but I would! But in my case, It's not grumpiness It's this tendency for tangents, and I'm on one again.  Apologies, Rufus Snow.

 

You don't seem grumpy to me at all.  :)

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1 minute ago, White Ravens said:

Flogging a dead horse, I realise.  Sorry.  But did the old way of quoting involve highlighting swaths of text and assigning colours? 

It's fairly standard on a few other forums to do it that way even now.  No designation of colours, you just pick one that stands out from the other text. Anyway, time to drop this or you can PM if you're truly interested, though can't imagine you are! 

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5 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

It's fairly standard on a few other forums to do it that way even now.  No designation of colours, you just pick one that stands out from the other text. Anyway, time to drop this or you can PM if you're truly interested, though can't imagine you are! 

I've been posting on various forums since the 90s and haven't run across the coloured blocks of text approach before.  Just making an annoying point about something I find annoying and not conducive to to general community dialogue and good communication. 

2 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Gee, THANKS!  Nice backhand.

Trying to keep it light but coming across as a jerk.  That's what us old guys do!  :D

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29 minutes ago, White Ravens said:

I've been posting on various forums since the 90s and haven't run across the coloured blocks of text approach before.  Just making an annoying point about something I find annoying and not conducive to to general community dialogue and good communication. 

Trying to keep it light but coming across as a jerk.  That's what us old guys do!  :D

At least you admit it *huffs to herself*. But just for that, I am going to annoy you again temporarily as I figure out how to multiquote in-text on a tablet that won't let me highlight, with YOUR text. Stay tuned.

Edit: no, can't do it without highlighting the text first before using the quotation marks that I can see.  You'll have to put up with me bolding text or ignore my posts. Sorry.

Edited by Lady Barbrey

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3 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Yeah I'm not in the magic is infection but the magic is infected camp.  Magic itself can't be destroyed as a solution to the seasons, in my view, because it is an intrinsic force that keeps the planet in motion.

In a way It's the way the Aztecs or the Vikings thought of the World, made real in George's vision.  Both believed the end of the World was inevitable, but that they could keep it going through blood sacrifice, or keeping toenail clippings! Aztec blood sacrifices were a necessity in their view because if they didn't sacrifice, the sun wouldn't rise, and the World and everyone on it would die.

Blood or life or life-force sacrifice is necessary in Westeros, because magic depends on it, and the World depends on magic to turn.

The Children know this.  Blood sacrifice seems to have been practiced for eons, and First Men got it from them.

But what happens if you practice magic on such a great scale that your sacrifices are not enough, and the magic keeps sucking life out of plants and buildings and people in an effort to maintain its own balance? That's my explanation for ghost grass, oily black stone, grey scale, the Doom, etc.  Magic overuse or misuse means unbalanced magic, and that leads directly to unbalanced seasons.

Love it. Especially on life-force, sacrifice, and magic, I have a few thoughts on that as well:

 

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4 hours ago, hiemal said:

Love it. Especially on life-force, sacrifice, and magic, I have a few thoughts on that as well:

 

Excellent read, hiemal.  I will respond to it tomorrow on that thread.

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@Rufus Snow

Saw an interesting quote, 2nd page of the Coming of the First Men in WoIaF, to wit: 'Such tales we have of those migratory days are not to be trusted, for they suggest that, within a few short years [of crossing the Arm of Dorne], the First Men moved beyond the Neck and into the North.'

So your premise of a secondary land bridge is not supported but your premise of the North having the first stable and oldest settlement of First Men is supported by oral history even if Yandel doesn't want to believe it.

Secondary bit of oral history supporting the same is that the first King of the First Men lived in the north, specifically the barrowlands, as you pointed out in original post.

Master Kennet dug up a barrow near Long Lake with a giant in it skewered by obsidian arrowheads. This suggests a time when the Children and Giants fought, possibly predating the arrival of the First Men.

So First Men might have 'borrowed the barrow' from giants and it is therefore a seriously old burial practice. This land is old indeed.

The barrowlands are huge.  They take up a significant portion of the North.  They are mainly flat grassy plains. So excellent place to stay away from the Children.  The giants might have thought so too. 

But really interesting is that the First Men are thought to come from the grassy plains of the Dothraki Sea, close to the Shivering Sea. 

We can't tell from the current maps of Westeros what was wooded and what wasn't before but we should likely assume most of it was wooded, except Dorne, which is mostly desert, the Iron Islands and other specific areas.

Moreover, we're specifically told the First Men were not a boat culture, so unlikely to settle coastal areas as first choice for that reason.

Anyway, in sum, the oral history of the First Men is that they crossed the Arm of Dorne and were in the north within a few short years.  Moreover, they are thought to come from a grassy plain area in the north of Essos so maybe they wanted the same or similar habitat. (Ha! They did the same thing as the dragons at the hot springs). And last, there would be few Children in the area to fight because there were few trees.

Your theory is therefore supported by:

1. Oral history, in two significant areas: First King, early settlement

2. Archeological evidence: barrows

3. Similar habitat: grassy plains, colder climate

4. Lack of enemies/predators: no trees=few children

I buy it.

Cheers :cheers:

PS. The First Men tie-in to the Tall Men is one of the little clues I would use to support my pre-ancestry and reverse migration theory if I ever got around to writing it in full.  But don't want to derail your thread again, so let me know first if you want me tell you this little bit.

Edited by Lady Barbrey

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1 hour ago, Lady Barbrey said:

@Rufus Snow

Saw an interesting quote, 2nd page of the Coming of the First Men in WoIaF, to wit: 'Such tales we have of those migratory days are not to be trusted, for they suggest that, within a few short years, the First Men moved beyond the Neck and into the North.'

So your premise is supported by oral history even if Yandel doesn't want to believe it.

That was probably buried deep in my subconscious - I'd remembered his doubts about the timescale, but forgotten he'd actually referred to 'migratory days'.

1 hour ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Secondary bit of oral history is that the King of the First Men lived there.

Master Kennet dug up a barrow near Long Lake with a giant in it skewered by obsidian arrowheads. - 

So First Men might have 'borrowed the barrow' from giants, or It's vice versa.

The barrowlands are huge.  They take up a significant portion of the North.  They are mainly flat grassy plains. So excellent place to stay away from the Children.  The giants might have thought so too. 

But really interesting is that the First Men are thought to come from the grassy plains of the Dothraki Sea, close to the Shivering Sea. 

That giant burial still nags at me, as 'the maesters' also say that giants don't build, so there's a little contradiction there to reconcile. But if men and giants fought side by side against the CotF, and the men were the barrow-builders, it's not beyond the realms of possibility they may have honoured a fallen giant-hero with a barrow.

Also good catch regarding the Dothraki Sea - brings me to another point: that the Dothraki are wary of the ifequevron.

Quote

The World of Ice and Fire - Beyond the Free Cities: Ib

The God-Kings of Ib, before their fall, did succeed in conquering and colonizing a huge swathe of northern Essos immediately south of Ib itself, a densely wooded region that had formerly been the home of a small, shy forest folk. Some say that the Ibbenese extinguished this gentle race, whilst others believe they went into hiding in the deeper woods or fled to other lands. The Dothraki still call the great forest along the northern coast the Kingdom of the Ifequevron, the name by which they knew the vanished forest-dwellers.

The fabled Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, was the first Westerosi to visit these woods. After his return from the Thousand Islands, he wrote of carved trees, haunted grottoes, and strange silences. A later traveler, the merchant-adventurer Bryan of Oldtown, captain of the cog Spearshaker, provided an account of his own journey across the Shivering Sea. He reported that the Dothraki name for the lost people meant "those who walk in the woods." None of the Ibbenese that Bryan of Oldtown met could say they had ever seen a woods walker, but claimed that the little people blessed a household that left offerings of leaf and stone and water overnight.

 

The World of Ice and Fire - Beyond the Free Cities: Ib

All that ended two hundred years ago with the coming of the Dothraki. The horselords had hitherto shunned the forests of the northern coasts; some say this was because of their reverence for the vanished wood walkers, others because they feared their powers. Whatever the truth, the Dothraki did not fear the men of Ib.

Very suggestive, that a small, forest-dwelling, tree-carving species in Essos also lived between the Dothraki Sea and the Shivering Sea with some evidence of conflict or distrust between them and the men of the plains. Even the maesters noticed:

Quote

The World of Ice and Fire - Beyond the Free Cities: The Grasslands

In the southeast the proud city-states of the Qaathi arose; in the forests to the north, along the shores of the Shivering Sea, were the domains of the woods walkers, a diminutive folk whom many maesters believe to have been kin to the children of the forest;

1 hour ago, Lady Barbrey said:

We can't tell from the current maps of Westeros what was wooded and what wasn't before but we should likely assume most of it was wooded, except Dorne, which is mostly desert, the Iron Islands and other specific areas.

Moreover, we're specifically told the First Men were not a boat culture, so unlikely to settle coastal areas as first choice for that reason.

I'm wondering now about the non-seafaring assumption. If my scenario is correct, and the First Men (or proto-FM) came across to Westeros at a tech-level equivalent to neolithic, then the FM stories of them coming mob-handed with bronze weapons and horses and whatnot is likely to be back-casting from later days. We know that tales of knights and kingsguard etc also get back-cast into times when they shouldn't exist, so it's quite possible the FM portray their bronze age (ringfort building) cultural radiation as though it were the initial influx.

Taking parallels from our own world, one of the models for the peopling of the Americas stresses coastal migration, with fishing folk in the lead, rather than land-lubbers crossing the Bering Bridge - I'm not sure where the state of debate is on that now, but it's still a possibility. Also in the eastern Mediterranean, the neolithic culture spread to many islands even though 'boat building' was barely beyond the dug-out canoe stage. Cyprus is one place cited as being first inhabited in this era by canoe-using small bands. A similar pattern could have occurred on GRRth, taking the shorter, more direct route from the grassy plains, via the coastline of the Shivering Sea and a more northerly canoe crossing to Westeros, thereby getting to the Barrowlands more easily and quickly than trudging across Essos to the Arm then all the way north up Westeros. Against that, though, we have a sea-crossing of approx 200-250 miles, quite a feat for a canoe (though Cyprus is a minimum of around 70 miles, and that was clearly possible....)

1 hour ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Anyway, in sum, the oral history of the First Men is that they crossed the Arm of Dorne and were in the north within a few short years.  Moreover, they are thought to come from a grassy plain area in the north of Essos so maybe they wanted the same or similar habitat. (Ha! They did the same thing as the dragons at the hot springs). And last, there would be few Children in the area to fight because there were few trees.

Your theory is therefore supported by:

1. Oral history, in two significant areas: First King, early settlement

2. Archeological evidence: barrows

3. Similar habitat: grassy plains, colder climate

4. Lack of enemies/predators: no trees=few children

I buy it.

Cheers

Thanks :cheers:

I'm surprised myself how much we've managed to squeeze out of those few words: 'This land is old'.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

That was probably buried deep in my subconscious - I'd remembered his doubts about the timescale, but forgotten he'd actually referred to 'migratory days'.

That giant burial still nags at me, as 'the maesters' also say that giants don't build, so there's a little contradiction there to reconcile. But if men and giants fought side by side against the CotF, and the men were the barrow-builders, it's not beyond the realms of possibility they may have honoured a fallen giant-hero with a barrow.

Also good catch regarding the Dothraki Sea - brings me to another point: that the Dothraki are wary of the ifequevron.

Very suggestive, that a small, forest-dwelling, tree-carving species in Essos also lived between the Dothraki Sea and the Shivering Sea with some evidence of conflict or distrust between them and the men of the plains. Even the maesters noticed:

I'm wondering now about the non-seafaring assumption. If my scenario is correct, and the First Men (or proto-FM) came across to Westeros at a tech-level equivalent to neolithic, then the FM stories of them coming mob-handed with bronze weapons and horses and whatnot is likely to be back-casting from later days. We know that tales of knights and kingsguard etc also get back-cast into times when they shouldn't exist, so it's quite possible the FM portray their bronze age (ringfort building) cultural radiation as though it were the initial influx.

Taking parallels from our own world, one of the models for the peopling of the Americas stresses coastal migration, with fishing folk in the lead, rather than land-lubbers crossing the Bering Bridge - I'm not sure where the state of debate is on that now, but it's still a possibility. Also in the eastern Mediterranean, the neolithic culture spread to many islands even though 'boat building' was barely beyond the dug-out canoe stage. Cyprus is one place cited as being first inhabited in this era by canoe-using small bands. A similar pattern could have occurred on GRRth, taking the shorter, more direct route from the grassy plains, via the coastline of the Shivering Sea and a more northerly canoe crossing to Westeros, thereby getting to the Barrowlands more easily and quickly than trudging across Essos to the Arm then all the way north up Westeros. Against that, though, we have a sea-crossing of approx 200-250 miles, quite a feat for a canoe (though Cyprus is a minimum of around 70 miles, and that was clearly possible....)

Thanks :cheers:

I'm surprised myself how much we've managed to squeeze out of those few words: 'This land is old'.

 

 

I think we have hints of habitation by small groups of boating or shipwrecked people prior to the First Men and that is enough for me.  Martin even was at pains to show the past swamping of East and West coastlines so hardly any evidence would remain for such people, the same as it is here in Canada where if anyone used the coastal route, which makes sense they did, there is little to no evidence because the former coast is underwater.  Moreover, most boat migrations we know about in pre-history might have consisted of rudimentary watercraft but usually the people themselves are assumed to be boat-adapted to a greater or lesser degree in terms of knowledge of waves, currents, routes, and primitive navigation.

So when the World Book says the FM were not a sea-going people I tend to take it at face value.  

I understand about the barrows, it's a bit nagging.  If only we could go there and dig them up ourselves!

As for the ifequevron (!), I think you will find that these parallels to Westeros exist everywhere in the World Book - the second half in Essos doesn't just give hints about antecedents of the people's of Westeros, it also parallels locations, geographies, myths and people of present day Westeros, even specific people (see my post God-Kings of Westeros). The trouble is untangling antecedent from current reflection from something altogether independent of Westeros, which usually, if independent, turns out to be an homage to George's inspirations,

For instance, there's colour symbolism in the way Yi Ti was settled if you look at their various capitals.  Maroon emperors were the first (a play on words), then purple (nod to the Daynes and the First Men, then scarlet (nod to the Targs), then the various colour symbols of current players for title of King of Westeros.

My interpretation here then is that until Robb's Rebellion, there were only ever three 'high kings' of Westeros.  The first set up as a king of the 'marooned people', our boat people (probably a proto-Hightower because of their location, and not king of many people), the second was a King of the First Men (pre-ancestor identified with purple Daynes as at least one branch of them), and not again till the scarlet Targaryens came and conquered.

I know it sounds sketchy, you have to see it and work it out for yourself, and the only insight it does give me is that there was indeed at one point a king of the First Men, probably a pre-ancestor of both Daynes and Dustin.

But here's something a little more concrete to ponder.  The Fisher Queens in their floating palace scream Fisher King and Avalon to me. They're considered one of the First civilizations.  This is an acknowledgement by George of the inspiration of Arthuriana on his works, but I also believe in this retrofit he's giving us background or antecedents to that most Arthurian of his characters, Arthur Dayne, the best and most worthy knight with his excalibur-like sword. This civilization falls with only a son of the last queen left behind, who goes on to carve a kingdom out for himself and it is his people who become the First Men.  The curiosity lies in his name.  Huzhor Amai.  There is no other name anywhere that sounds so much like Azor Ahai.  Not saying this is the same person, but I am saying in this retrofit that we're given a possible ancestor king to the Daynes who has a name that sounds like It's at least from the same language as Azor Ahai.

So if there were a first King of the First Men, who led an exodus of people from Sarnor to the barrowlands of northern Westeros, he sounds like a pre-ancestor to the Daynes and someone with that same line and language that produced Azor Ahai.

In other words, Azor Ahai was a First Man proto-Dayne from a line of Kings.  So were the Dustins because they retained the title, and the Starks married into them.

This is the beginning of that crucible we were speaking about. How exact does it have to be?  Not very, because as a retrofit, George and the other two are just giving us these names and history so we can make our own connections, but this connection seems pretty solid to me.

But begs the question: where do the Targaryens come into the Azor Ahai myth if Azor Ahai was a First Man?

And how does that other purple-affiliated legend, the Amethyst Empress, fit in?  I have my own interpretation of the Blood Betrayal, and once again it involves a proto-Dayne.

Gotta go! 

 

Edited by Lady Barbrey

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