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Sophia Wilson17@yahoo.ca

What is your theory on The Others?

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On 2/15/2019 at 11:34 PM, Damon_Tor said:

The war with the Children of the Forest ended with the CotF creating Winter with a capital W, a doomsday curse. They demanded the humans submit to their demands or the Winter would never end. Demands included the installment of a ruling family uniquely vulnerable to their mind magic as King. Humanity didn't capitulate right away, and alternative solutions were sought. One group went so far as to alter themselves with magic to be able to survive the Winter, but that was too high a price to pay for most, and eventually most of mankind capitulated.

The demands met, with the installment of The Stark as King, the Winter receded to the North. The humans who had adapted themselves to it could no longer survive without it, so they had to follow. These were the Others. There's a great deal of bitterness there: they see the rest of humanity as cowards who should not have surrendered.

The Others are back because the Winter is back, not the other way around. The Winter is on a dead-man's switch, and it returns automatically when the conditions of Humanity's surrender are broken in some way.

I've long suspected that the Children are somehow behind the irregular seasons, most likely to keep the populations of humans in check, as Sophia Wilson suggested. Remember that Leaf tells Bran that "The gods gave us [the Children of the Forest] long lives but not great numbers, lest we overrun the world as deer will overrun a wood where there are no wolves to hunt them." (ADwD, Bran III). It makes sense that a warlike faction of the Children decided to create the Others to contain the numbers of humans, and are still doing that by controlling the seasons (either through the Others or directly, depending on whether "the Others bring the cold, or the cold brings the Others", as it were).

The reason I'm assuming different factions among the Children is that Leaf and her kind seem to be content with the idea of "dwindling", of going out of this world, whereas those controlling the Others seem to be set on wreaking havoc on mankind. Similarly, this solves the apparent contradiction between (some of) the Children creating the Others back in the Dawn Age, and (some other) Children helping the First Men build the wall to keep them contained. This points to the existence of at least one warlike faction among the Children, and one that aims for coexistence and/or is resigned to the end of the Children at the time of the novels.

I've written more about those ideas and their ramifications here, if anyone's interested: https://asongoftheearth.blogspot.com/

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On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 2:01 PM, YOVMO said:

I have a bit of a pet theory on this that I am sure is wrong, but every now and again I like to take it off the shelf and play with it a bit.

It goes like this:

The return of the Others has a lot to do with Torrhen Stark.

I believe that the war against the COTF say Brandon of the Bloody Blade do a lot of killing of the children. Bloody Brandon's son, Bran the Builder, stuck a peace deal to end the war (and the long night) which inlcuded setting basic ground rules for how the first men dealth with the children, the adoption of the old gods and the ability to raise the wall and do some other feats of building with the childrens magic.

One part of the deal, I think, is that a sacrifice must be made. Bran's line (kings of winter / kings in the north) must sacrifice themselves in perpetuity. Let me explain. The word "vengeful" is only used twice in GOT and both time in reference to spirits in Winterfell. The first is in Eddard I

This lead me to question why the spirits of the kings of winter were "vengeful." What vengence did they seek? Tough, angry, cruel, kind, decent, quiet, adventurous...all could apply to some kings....8000 years of Stark kings I am sure there were all kinds but why were they all refereed to as being vengeful spirits?

Well, let's think about the burial customs. It is only the King/Lord who is given a likeness with a sword across his knee (to keep his vengeful spirit in) with 3 exceptions. Why? Well it would seem like it is to give the king something special. But is it? First men are buried in barrows. Their spirits believed to become part of the greater consciousness/weirnet whatever (think of the bones around bloodraven)......while the statue and sword seem like an honor, if they keep the spirit locked away where custom dictates it is to become part of the oneness then it is a punishment...an eternal imprisonment. I mean, if anyone should be entitled to the rights of the dead by custom it ought to be the king....My thinking here is that the statue serves as a prison with the sword as a lock to keep the stark king's spirit imprisoned. Part of the weight and responsibility of being king (something grrm often stresses is that being king isn't doing whatever you want it is very much a duty).

 

So there, as part of the concession of Bran the Builder to the COTF, in the crypts sit the vengeful spirits of the stark kings imprisoned for eternity to never return "home." This surrendering of the kings spirit is part of what bran had to sacrifice to end the war and the long night.

Enter the problem: Torrhen Stark bends the knee to the Dragon and breaks the line of Stark kings. Now there is no Stark King, no King of Winter, no King in the North....only Lords of Winterfell. With no stark king the deal Brandon struck with the COTF that the King in the North would sacrifice his soul is broken. With the deal broken the magic that Bran the Builder used is revoked. Where do we see evidence of this? Well, many of the structures that Bran build seemed age proof. But now look at the nightfort...total disrepair. Look at the wall...it is shrinking every generation. Look how the oldest sections of the crypts are falling apart. Moreover, look at how ned notices the iron long swords rusting away into nothing. Some of those swords have been there for thousands on thousands of years and they only strike Ned as being rusted through now....I would guess they didn't look as bad or even rusted at all when he was a child. If this was a common thing all his life why comment on it at all? Even the ones that were just red stains....they should have been so long gone 3000 years before the conquest that even the stains would be missing.

Now look back at the others? Why now? It can't be the dragons return and return of magic, Craster has been sacrificing children to them for a while before Dany hatches her dragons.

I took a look at some metal websites and it shows that steel will decompose (in optimal conditions) in 2-500 years meaning the swords of the kings of old, the ones that are 2,3,4,7 thousand years old should have been a distant memory by the time Ned was born not showing signs of rust and recent decomposition or even stains on stone....we are talking thousands and thousands of years. And this is under optimal conditions, let alone being left out in the crypts where they are exposed to moisture and air.

I believe that those swords, like the walls of the oldest keeps in Winterfell, the oldest parts of the crypts, the nightfort and the wall were all held together by magic that bran used, magic from the children of the forest, magic rescinded when Torrhen bent the knee and the stark family could no longer uphold it's end of the bargain by sacrificing and imprisoning the soul of the dead kings.

Given the 3 generations of sacrifice by Craster (short generations due to the fact that he would basically peregrinate his daughters as soon as they were of child bearing years) I think that we can say that the re-emergence of the Others happens roughly 250 AC when Craster first starts making his child sacrifices. 250 years from When Torrhen knelt. This timeline fits perfectly for the time it would take those iron longswords, bereft of the magic of the COTF, to deteriorate and break. In breaking the "vengeful spirits" of the Stark Kings, not able to join the weirnet, were freed....these, I believe, are the Others.

This very interesting I am not saying you wrong but remember the 13 Commander was given away his sons too. I believe that some/other wildlings for over 8000 years were sacrifice their sons too.  (To the Gods) or (Cold Ones)

Edited by Sophia [email protected]
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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 1:04 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

Bran and Jon both remember Old Nan saying that the Others hated iron.

 

Old Nan nodded. "In that darkness, the Others came for the first time," she said as her needles went click click click. "They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins.

 

Old Nan used to tell them, when he was a boy at Winterfell. He could almost hear her voice again, and the click-click-click of her needles. In that darkness, the Others came riding, she used to say, dropping her voice lower and lower. Cold and dead they were, and they hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every living creature with hot blood in its veins.

 

Theoretically, could an iron sword kill an Other if it did not shatter during the sword fight? 

"and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it"

Waymar's sword took quite a beating before it shattered in the prologue.

 

Obsidian is black because it contains iron, is the iron in obsidian the active ingredient?  The CoTF had no metalworking, so obsidian daggers would have been the only way to get iron into an Other's bloodstream.  Did the last Long Night occur during the Bronze Age in Westeros, so were there iron weapons at all?  Is the belief that obsidian and dragonsteel are the only things that can kill the Others a myth?

 

"By ancient custom an iron longsword had been laid across the lap of each who had been Lord of Winterfell, to keep the vengeful spirits in their crypts."

 

As you say the Stark ghosts also don't seem to like iron.

-------

Sidebar:

Obsidian/dragonglass is called "frozen fire," and in H.P. Lovecraft's The Challenge from Beyond, there were "ancient legends that called quartz crystals ice which had frozen too hard to melt again."  If the obsidian can kill Others, then the crystal swords of the Others can kill fire monsters like the dragons, or Melisandre. 

Quartz crystal is used as a prism to make "rainbows".  The Other's sword is a shard of crystal.  The High Septon wears a crystal crown, and the Rainbow/Crystal swords are used by the Warrior's Sons,who are essentially his King's Guard, and Renly's King's Guard were the Rainbow Guard.  The regular King's Guard is dressed in all white, with white armor.  If the Others are a King's Guard, who is their King?  

Also, Dragonbone is black because it contains iron.  And can somebody explain why is dragonbone is flexible? 

------

Also, Old Nan says the Others hate hot blood, or want to drink it.  But the Starks have cold blood.

 

"Ned could never abide the heat. The Starks were made for the cold"

 

"Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him. . . . He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks."

 

 

"The thought of drowned knights under the water gave Bran the shivers. He didn't object, though; he liked the shivers."

"Brandon was different from his brother, wasn't he? He had blood in his veins instead of cold water."

Starks," Littlefinger said. "Here in the south, they say you are all made of ice,"

"Kings of Winter looked on with cold stone eyes."

 

Is this to indicate that the Starks don't have to worry about the Others because they have cold blood.  And are likely to join and/or lead the Others.

"And when night falls, there are said to be ghosts, cold vengeful spirits of the north who hunger for southron blood."

 

"Then a long cruel winter fell," said Ser Bartimus. "The White Knife froze hard, and even the firth was icing up. The winds came howling from the north and drove them slavers inside to huddle round their fires, and whilst they warmed themselves the new king come down on them. Brandon Stark this was, Edrick Snowbeard's great-grandson, him that men called Ice Eyes. He took the Wolf's Den back, stripped the slavers naked, and gave them to the slaves he'd found chained up in the dungeons. It's said they hung their entrails in the branches of the heart tree, as an offering to the gods. The old gods, not these new ones from the south. Your Seven don't know winter, and winter don't know them."

 

That last quote really seems to suggest the Others might be liberators, that they free slaves from bondage and punish the slavers.
 

But then there is this quote that indicates that the Starks are the "good" Others that were supposed to protect the realm from the "bad" Others.

"When a wolf descends upon your flocks, all you gain by killing him is a short respite, for other wolves will come," King Garth IX said famously. "If instead you feed the wolf and tame him and turn his pups into your guard dogs, they will protect the flocks when the pack comes ravening."

 

 

The Starks aren't afraid of the dark either,

Bran:

"Don't be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them."

"Bran knew all their tales. He had never feared the crypts"

"He'd felt safe in the darkness; when you could not even find your own hand in front of your face, it was easy to believe that no enemies could ever find you either. And the stone lords had given him courage."

 

Arya:

"She used to hide in the crypts of Winterfell when she was little, and play games of come-into-my-castle and monsters and maidens amongst the stone kings on their thrones."

"It was very dark right now, she realized. . . the room had begun to lighten as her eyes adjusted to the blackness. Slowly the shapes around her took on form. Huge empty eyes stared at her hungrily through the gloom, and dimly she saw the jagged shadows of long teeth. She had lost the count. She closed her eyes and bit her lip and sent the fear away. When she looked again, the monsters would be gone. Would never have been. She pretended that Syrio was beside her in the dark, whispering in her ear. Calm as still water, she told herself. Strong as a bear. Fierce as a wolverine. She opened her eyes again.

The monsters were still there, but the fear was gone."
 

And she has lived as a blind person and can find her way around in the dark

"Under the temple was a maze of vaults and tunnels where even men with two good eyes were often lost, but the blind girl had learned every inch of it, and she had her stick to help her find her way should her memory falter."

"Not for me. Her nights were bathed in moonlight and filled with the songs of her pack, with the taste of red meat torn off the bone, with the warm familiar smells of her grey cousins. Only during the days was she alone and blind."

Arya will be well-prepared when the Long Night comes again.

 

Jon:

"I don't even dream of Ghost anymore. All my dreams are of the crypts, of the stone kings on their thrones."

"the crypts where the old Stark kings sit in darkness."

 

Finally, Theon reflecting on Bran's fall says

"The gods could not kill Bran, no more than I could. It was a strange thought"

To me that sounds like Bran's fall was an assassination attempt--that the gods wanted to kill Bran, but were not able to.   

 

But my theory on the Others is that they were a superweapon that the CoTF created, and then lost control of.  They were Great Empire citizens who got captured by the CoTF and got mind-control shards of magical stone (Bloodstone or petrified weirwood sap) inserted into them and were sent to attack the empires of men.  The Long Night was a global phenomenon, the Lion of Night attacked with his demon army in Essos, and the White Walkers came in Westeros.  They successfully collapsed human civilization.

How the CoTF lost control of the Others was that Bran skinchanged a human who was about to get converted into an Other and they inadvertently gave him godlike powers, and he became the Great Other.  However, due to time-travel causality paradoxes, he could not change any events that would have prevented him from ending up in Bloodraven's cave.

"If the little crannogman could visit the Isle of Faces, maybe I could too. All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. Maybe they could help him walk again, even turn him into a knight. They turned the little crannogman into a knight, even if it was only for a day, he thought. A day would be enough." 

They do turn Bran into a knight like he always wanted, but the irony is that he is trapped 8,000 years in the past, so he has had to wait around for 8,000 years for Bran to be born before he could enact his plan to destroy the weirwoods. 

 

The idea that the Others are simply misunderstood would fit with George's style, in In the House of the Worm, the evil "other" group were simply misunderstood--the Grouns were portrayed as evil monsters who capture the good guys (the Yaga-la-hai) and eat them and they have been at war with them forever.   Later we find that they are not monsters, they are just a group of humans who lived deeper in the tunnels and have adapted to their surroundings, and are actually fairly peaceful, but have been terrorized by genetically engineered eater worms that the Yaga-la-hai created to destroy them.   And the protagonist Annelyn tries to convince his people to end the war against the Grouns and breed with them instead. 

The mud pots in Guardians were similarly misunderstood and it caused an arms race that went out of control.  Disaster was averted by negotiation and understanding rather than force of arms.

And Greel from Dark, Dark were the Tunnels.  There was a nuclear holocaust and human civ on Earth was destroyed, but the lunar colonies survived intact.  However, the lunar humans needed fresh DNA because their gene pool was too small, so they came back to Earth to get it, but the Earth humans had rapidly mutated from radiation and had become hideous cave dwellers that they did not even recognize as human, they killed Greel's giant rat and then killed Greel when he attacked them, but it was a big misunderstanding--they did not know the rat was Greel's warg mind-brother and that humans in the caves had become telepathic and could see in the dark, and had become "ugly" but were still fully human.

 

 

 "The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous."

The Others are beautiful fairy people made of ice, not ice demons.

Please explain more about the Lion of Night sent his demon army to destroyed the Essos Empire?  The Lion Of Night brought the coldness?  who are the demon army  (the others)   if they are how they got to Westeros?

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On 2/17/2019 at 3:27 PM, Sophia [email protected] said:

This very interesting I am not saying you wrong but remember the 13 Commander was given away his sons too. I believe that some/other wildlings for over 8000 years were sacrifice their sons too.  (To the Gods) or (Cold Ones)

I have considered that which is why i don't promote it as a working theory, but more like an idea i am playing with in my head. I do think that this could be reconciled or the theory could evolve in such a way to compensate for it. If I had the time or if I believed we would ever see the next book I might really put my back into making a larger and more world encompassing theory revolving around the general ideas in that post. That said, your point is good...I just think it is something which could be accounted for even if it hasn't been yet.

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This is not my theory but it is very good and Interesting:

It By Nono Nono  on Youtube

The Starks history is a lie, or forgotten. They were allies with the people of the north, men and old races, before the wall was raised "Winter is Coming" was a boost, their battle cry, and the White Walkers were their weapon, used against the south when needed. The wall was built with their allies to protect the people that would live north of it, and also as vault for the White Walkers to stay in. The horn of winter existed to be blown in order to open the wall, not destroy it, which could be used to let the armies north of the wall march south, more specially the White Walkers. The Night watch existed to protect the wall and lied beyond if from the armies of the south.  The Stark were the guardians of it all, the White Walkers eventually become a weapon in service of the northerners; they could not reproduce, so somehow one was seduced the 13th Lord Commander and he began to give her children, which would  turned into an Other or turn into one. This sacrilegious, the white walker were supposed to be a tool, not a people of their own. The Stark King along with the King in the North worked together undo what the 13th lord commander had done, but it was too late. They defeated him and succeeded in pushing the White Walkers far north, but Brandon the Breaker broke the horn of Winter so that the White Walkers would never walk south, at the same time forcing all those north of the wall to stay beyond it. The Night Watch was reformed, it would no longer protect what lied beyond the wall from the south, but rather protect what lied south of the wall from the north. It was Starks who had put all of Westeros at risk, it was now for the to protect Westeros from what they had created and lost control of.  Jon Snow will live on poorly remembered, as bastard of Ned Stark, friend of Wilding, Night Watch vow breaker, resurrected by a Fire Witch, pretender to the title of King in the North, consort of Mad Daenerys and her dragons and Eunuch army and barbarians and vengeful Lannister dwarf hand, He will be the true hero, Sam will write what truly happened, but all his good deeds will actually be credited to the new King the Other Aegon Targaryen, put on the throne by the Golden Company and Varys. Sansa will marry  Aegon and a repeat of what happened with Ned will occur but with Jon. He will take the fall for sake of the realm, and all of those who know the truth will know that trying to save him would only lead to more war rather thane peace. She will ask to pass the sentence herself, but Jon will be mock-executed and allowed to live far north of the wall with the Widlings.

 

 

 

My thoughts I agree with some of this I think it was the Firstmen who broke the pack by dealing with Andals with their Iron. They started join in killing Children with Andals, then stole White Walkers for themselves as a weapon against any the Southern army, but the 13 Commander come along and started humans DNA into the mix (Stark's gene pool of Warg and Greenseer) and they started to think for themselves an individual persons or people.  The SOME of Free Folks who trap behind learn how to make deal with Others started to add to them it was not only Craster who it did.

 

Edited by Sophia [email protected]
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On 12/5/2018 at 8:47 AM, Three-Fingered Pete said:

Possibly. That then beggars the question, at least on the WW end, a shadow of what?

If Bran becomes the Great Other, the Others are all his shadows.  You guys have convinced me that the Others are not actually living beings but a product of shadowbinding--they are telepathically animated ice ("white shadows") and Bran is controlling their every move and looking through their eyes (this applies to the wights also).
 

Recall what Ned told Bran about executions:

"Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die."
"One day, Bran, you will be Robb's bannerman, holding a keep of your own for your brother and your king, and justice will fall to you. When that day comes, you must take no pleasure in the task, but neither must you look away. A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is."
. . .
"Ice can kill as dead as fire. Ice was Ned's greatsword. Valyrian steel, marked with the ripples of a thousand foldings, so sharp I feared to touch it.  . . . The Starks do not use headsmen. Ned always said that the man who passes the sentence should swing the blade, though he never took any joy in the duty."
. . .
"Ned had heard enough. "You send hired knives to kill a fourteen-year-old girl and still quibble about honor?" He pushed back his chair and stood. "Do it yourself, Robert. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. Look her in the eyes before you kill her. See her tears, hear her last words. You owe her that much at least."
"Gods," the king swore, the word exploding out of him as if he could barely contain his fury. "You mean it, damn you."
The fact that Starks carry out their own justice is mentioned 3 times.  The Kings of Winter were hard men for hard times.
 
"He could almost hear him, and their lord father as well. Winter is coming, and you are almost a man grown, Bran. You have a duty."
 
Justice has fallen to Bran and he is animating all the ice creatures and the undead.  He is following Ned's advice and literally looking into the eyes of every man whose life he takes.

 

 

On 12/10/2018 at 12:24 PM, John Suburbs said:

the Others are able to glide across the surface of snow without making a mark.

If the Others are just white shadows, and the Great Other is shadowbinding Craster's sons into white shadows, that would explain why they don't leave tracks in the snow, they are non-corporeal ethereal white shadow mist ice creations that are being telekinetically animated--they are not real physical beings.

The Great Other is sacrificing the babies to make a shadow assassins--which mirrors Mel's shadow baby, if she and Stannis did conceive a pregnancy and Mel shadowbound her embryo into a "black shadow."

Child sacrifice seems to be the main ingredient in shadowbinding, and can happen in utero.  Mirri Maz Duur was a bloodmage and sacrificed Dany's baby in utero. 

The Others "fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children."

Was the 13th Lord Commander sacrificing children to the Others?


Other shadowbinding parallels:

If the Others are shadow babies of the Great Other, that would explain why the dragonglass dissolved the Other, it severed the telepathic shadow-binding bond, and no longer being animated, the Other dissolved.  Just like the Storm's End walls are a barrier to shadow babies, "Dark walls that no shadow can pass" and the Wall blocking telepathy between Jon and Ghost.  If you are inside one of the fused stone fortresses you are immune to telepathy? The world's biggest long Night apocalypse bunker is the 5 Forts built entirely out of fused black stone to withstand the demon army. 

 

The Others are repeated called white shadows:
 
Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness.
 
"We have white shadows in the woods and unquiet dead stalking our halls,
 
"The cold gods," she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows." (Mel also calls the weirwoods "dark gods")
 
"these white shadows and their wights"
 
"The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows,"
 
 
"Outside, the night was white as death; pale thin clouds danced attendance on a silver moon, while a thousand stars watched coldly. He could see the humped shapes of other huts buried beneath drifts of snow, and beyond them the pale shadow of a weirwood armored in ice."
 
"A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fight a mist, crow? Shadows with teeth "
 
(more evidence that the CoTF made the Others: Bloodraven was alleged to have used a "shadow [that] came at his command to strangle brave Prince Valarr's sons in their mother's womb" and Bloodraven was alleged to be able to turn into a mist)
 
 
A person can cast multiple shadows and at different points in the timeline:
"If she saw two futures, well . . . both cannot be true."
"Some lights cast more than one shadow. Stand before the nightfire and you'll see for yourself. The flames shift and dance, never still. The shadows grow tall and short, and every man casts a dozen. Some are fainter than others, that's all. Well, men cast their shadows across the future as well. One shadow or many. Melisandre sees them all."
 
And the way to fight them is to go after the source, the shadowbinder:

"You are fighting shadows when you should be fighting the men who cast them"

 

"So power is a mummer's trick?"

"A shadow on the wall," Varys murmured, "yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow."

 

Shadows bring the cold:

"The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come." "white walkers, the creeping cold"

And Mel's shadow baby brought the cold:

"'Cold,' said Renly in a small puzzled voice, a heartbeat before the steel of his gorget parted like cheesecloth beneath the shadow of a blade that was not there. "

"Cold," her king said, puzzled, and a shadow moved without a man to cast it, and her sweet lord's blood came washing through the green steel of his gorget to drench her hands. He had been a warm man, but his blood was cold as ice."

"There was a shadow. The candles guttered and the air grew cold, and there was blood—"
"Oh, very good." Jaime laughed. "Your wits are quicker than mine, I confess it. When they found me standing over my dead king, I never thought to say, 'No, no, it wasn't me, it was a shadow, a terrible cold shadow.'"
 
"All the candles were guttering out, and the cold was thick around her. Something was moving through green darkness, something foul and horrible was hurtling toward her king. She wanted to protect him, but her limbs felt stiff and frozen, and it took more strength than she had just to lift her hand. And when the shadow sword "
 
 
And as others have pointed out in this thread there is a strong similarity between the shadow swords used by Mel's shadow and the Other's swords.
 
 
Shadow monsters are the caster's "children":
"He could not behold the fiery heart without thinking of the shadow Melisandre had birthed in the gloom beneath Storm's End. At least we fight this battle in the light, with the weapons of honest men, he told himself. The red woman and her dark children would have no part of it.
 
Mel literally birthed "dark children" black shadow babies, and the white walkers are "cold children of the Other" white shadow babies, and "sire terrible half-human children" with human women.
 
 
They can only come out at night:
The Others "hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night . . . or else night falls when they emerge."
"the Others, the enemy in the night"
"In that darkness, the Others came for the first time . . . that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun"
 
"shadowbinders and bloodmages worked terrible sorceries in the black of night"
Shadowbinders live in the black stone city Asshai that drinks the light and is always dim, shadowbinders are the only ones who dare visit Stygia in the heart of darkness--in the Shadow. 
And in Asshai they have Nightwalkers, that sounds like an Other.
 
Asshai is not a place of Light, it is a place of darkness.
 
 

Who is casting the shadows?

"Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames."
"I saw, maegi. I saw you, alone, dancing with the shadows."
 
In the tent is The Great Other and R'hllor dancing, embodied by a great wolf and a man wreathed in flames.  I think R'hllor and the Great other are both personalities inside the weirwood network, locked in a feud for dominance (as in Nightflyers).  This would explain why their shadow babies are similar, why Beric is a R'hllorist but is so similar to Bloodraven and sat a weirwood throne, and why there is so much overlap of descriptions of weirwoods, Mel, and the fire priests.
 
Sidebar about Dancing Shadows:  Patchface says "The Shadows come to dance, the shadows come to stay" and Waymar asks the White Walker to dance with him.  Bran's horse was Dancer, Bran claimed several times to be a superior swordsman, and thought about using Hodor's body to swordfight with, foreshadowing using other creatures to swordfight with.  (also fyi, arrakis means "dancer")
 
 
Mel's visions of the Great Other:

" A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf's face threw back his head and howled."

. . . "Sleep is a little death, dreams the whisperings of the Other, who would drag us all into his eternal night."

The Three Eyed Crow comes to Bran in his dreams and whispers to him.   I think the Thing that Came in the Night from Old Nan's story was also the Three Eyed Crow.

"Devan fed fresh logs to the fire until the flames leapt up again, fierce and furious, driving the shadows back into the corners of the room, devouring all her unwanted dreams. The dark recedes again … for a little while. But beyond the Wall, the enemy grows stronger, and should he win the dawn will never come again. She wondered if it had been his face that she had seen, staring out at her from the flames. No. Surely not. His visage would be more frightening than that, cold and black and too terrible for any man to gaze upon and live. The wooden man she had glimpsed, though, and the boy with the wolf's face … they were his servants, surely … his champions, as Stannis was hers."

 

Bloodraven and his 'prentice boy Bran are the Great Other.  But Bloodraven's time is up and the title will soon pass to Bran.

The Great Other is the Great Wolf/Winged Wolf/Bran.  The man wreathed in flames is R'hllor, and Dany is his champion, not Stannis (Aemon: "Daenerys is our hope", and stannis means "of tin" whereas denarius is a silver coin, and argyria is silver poisoning and causes purple eyes, silver is a more regal metal than tin).  Both Dany and Bran had the flying dream and are being mentored by shadowbinders, Bran is being advised by Bloodraven who has a white wooden face, and Dany is being advised by Quaithe who has a red wooden face, both of them hear whispers in the darkness, and have weird visions about their ancestors and think about having to fulfill some ancestral purpose or destiny.  Dany almost gets eaten by the Undying in a Esso-style Shade of the Evening weirwood cave, and Bran is about to be eaten in Bloodraven's weirwood cave, they are both wanted for their special blood. 
Spoiler

"Sometimes the sound of song would drift up from someplace far below. The children of the forest, Old Nan would have called the singers, but those who sing the song of earth was their own name for themselves, in the True Tongue that no human man could speak. The ravens could speak it, though. Their small black eyes were full of secrets, and they would caw at him and peck his skin when they heard the songs."

The CoTF were singing a song that the ravens understood, and it made them peck at Bran's skin, in the texts the raven's only peck at food or when they think you have food--with the implication that Bran is food. 

 

Shadows look like the one who cast them:
Recall that Mel's shadow baby was recognizable as being Stannis:
 
"He knew that shadow. As he knew the man who'd cast it. "
"It was Stannis, Lady Catelyn said. His . . . his shadow."
"I saw a shadow. I thought it was Renly's shadow at the first, but it was his brother's."
"Lord Stannis?"

 

What face do the Others wear?

"They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first" but they are faceless.

Are they literally ice clones of Bran, made by Bran?  Body doubles so no one could figure out which one was the true Great Other?

 

"Maester Luwin says there's nothing in dreams that a man need fear."

"There is," said Jojen.
"What?"
"The past. The future. The truth."
 
Bran should fear the truth that is revealed to him in his dreams.
 
"North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.
"Why?" Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.
Because winter is coming.
Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge."
 
I think Bran saw himself in the Heart of Winter, he saw his face on the Others, and this is the terrible knowledge that Bran should fear.  If the white shadows look like the man who cast them, they would all look like Bran.  The heat of Bran's tears burned on his cheeks, because Bran is ice--Brandon Ice Eyes. 
 
"Night's King was only a man by light of day, Old Nan would always say, but the night was his to rule. And it's getting dark."
. . .
"It was the hour of the wolf. The longest, darkest hour of the night."
and remember what Bran told Jon "Don't be afraid, I like it in the dark."

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No theory there just vikings, very simple.

 

Well I mean historically, dressed up in 21st and 20th century horror tropes basically.

Edited by Artimicia

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9 hours ago, Artimicia said:

No theory there just vikings, very simple.

 

Well I mean historically, dressed up in 21st and 20th century horror tropes basically.

:agree: he even says this in an interview, on the other side of Hadrian's wall "it could have been any kind of monster." The Scots or Vikings could even apply, but with fantasy "everything is bigger and more colorful" so it has to be more scary than people. 

*insert generic dark force here*

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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Shadows want to come and stay, and dance.

Okay.   It's the Star Trek episode where Troi and Data got taken over by motes of light from a stormfront of little souls and they behaved like the criminals they now were, as that was a prison planet and the will o wisps were incorporeal spirits of prisoners sentenced to that barren waste planet.

Applied to Westeros,   

Instead of light motes we've got shadow life entities who ride us like jockeys.  The planet's orbit shifts regularly, giving different length seasons.   Out in deeper space (encountered during long winter) there's a dark matter nebula cloud filled with shadow life.  The others first came during long night, when the planet plowed through this thick mist that blocked out the sun.   Shadows descended.    We didn't get along because they're another order of existence, they have a toxic effect on our kind of life, they don't play by the rules and don't want to.  Darkly magical.   

But some of the shadows did want to play.   They didn't want to smash only, they wanted to take the full ride and revel in Matter and Life to test out the possibilities and experience our existence.  Shadows like the one in Melisandre.  The ones who escaped the oort cloud and came seeking us on their comets.     These were the cavalry that came to our rescue and helped us build the wall and beat back their uncaring cousins the white walkers.    I think all the fire priests are driven/ridden by the bright shadows that want to ape our order of life and sort of co-exist, sort of rule us.    The Others are like ghost grass in their philosophy, they simply mean to supplant our kind of life and eradicate us, feeling no need to hide among us and do any play acting within our society.   Dragons are what you get when one of these shadows decides to take it all the way and burn bright like a sun, the apex of what our informational mass has accomplished.  These winged furnaces in the sky do our sun one better, though, by also arriving at consciousness, and they found themselves greater than us so why should they not rule us, but they also wanted to continue dancing the dance of life with us, so they bonded with dragonriders whose hunger for power and greatness mirrored their own inner fire.    

Somebody needs to go to Asshai and the heart of Winter , which each contain one testicle of destiny, and nutpunch those nodes of shadow , severing the shadow's foothold on our world.   Then the Others need to bust out of prison so they can get in the face of the Rhollr bunch and throw down, because even though fire has treated us marginally better, we won't truly be our own until both shadow camps are kicked off the planet.

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1 hour ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Okay.   It's the Star Trek episode where Troi and Data got taken over by motes of light from a stormfront of little souls and they behaved like the criminals they now were, as that was a prison planet and the will o wisps were incorporeal spirits of prisoners sentenced to that barren waste planet.

I hated that episode--no way Data got hijacked like that. 

 

1 hour ago, The Mother of The Others said:

The planet's orbit shifts regularly, giving different length seasons.    Out in deeper space (encountered during long winter) there's a dark matter nebula cloud filled with shadow life.  The others first came during long night, when the planet plowed through this thick mist that blocked out the sun. 

I like that sort of idea, it is very reminiscent of the magical Fae from the Coldfire Trilogy, that was a magical ether that enveloped the planet and could be harnessed to make shadow demon creatures by those magically gifted people who were "Adept," haven't finished the series yet, but I think they negotiate with their version of the Old Ones to abolish the evil Fae.  

But it doesn't work so well because the Long Night lasted for a generation (and because the cloud would rotate with the solar system).  Unless the cloud was stuck in the atmosphere that whole time, but then what made it suddenly disperse?  And why is the orbit so out of round, and you really have to have an very exaggerated elliptical orbit to mess the seasons up that bad.

I was reading a Cthulhu story today called The Black Island, and one of the plot elements is that the Old Ones have the ability to slow down time, and that many of the ancient Earth mysteries could be explained by this. 

From The Black Island:

Spoiler

"Consider almost all the ancient writings which speak of great catastrophe which involved the earth.  Look at the Old Testament, to the Battle of Beth-Horon, led by Joshua. 'And he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed. . . .'  Look at the Annals of Cuauhtitlan of the lore of the Nahua Indians of Mexico, which speak of an endless night, a tale verified by the Spanish priest, Fra Bernardino de Sahagu, who, coming to the New World a generation after Columbus, told of the great catastrophe in which the sun rose but a little way over the horizon and then stood still, a catastrophe witnessed by the American Indians.  And the Bible again: 'As they fled from before Israel . . . the Lord cast down great stones upon then in Azekah, and they died . . . .'

. . . and there are the strangely altered clocks of the ancient times--the water clock of the Temple of Amon at Karnak, now inaccurate for day and night; and the shadow clock of Fayum Egypt, inaccurate too; the astronomical panel in the tomb of Senmut, in which the stars are shown in an order they do not have, but which may presumably have been correct for Senmut's time.

That lead me to think that the Long Night could literally have been a single very long night, that the river of time was halted for a generation.  Then the messed up seasons could be explained by time itself speeding up and slowing down erratically--this would fit with Ice preserving, Ice slows down time, Fire speeds it up.  And the theme of Ice being traditionalism (obsessed with the "Old Ways") and Fire being technological progress.

 

It reminds me of that episode with Picard in the shuttlecraft and he puts his hand in the fruit bowl and it ages rapidly, because there were random bubbles were spacetime was distorted.

1 hour ago, The Mother of The Others said:

we won't truly be our own until both shadow camps are kicked off the planet.

I too think that magic is an infestation that has to be purged, and will be purged by the end of the story (except Sam keeps a single branch of the weirwood in a box because he can't stand the thought of losing all that knowledge).

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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On 2/15/2019 at 9:33 PM, Rose of Red Lake said:

That they're unimportant to the overall narrative. They're just a device to force characters to make choices and to explore their varied reactions to an existential threat.

Maybe like the western perception of the spread of communism.  That fear was partially to blame for Vietnam.  

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If the long night was one actual night when time dilated...   living things, even the ground itself, must have been granted an exempt status.  Cuz they kept living days and months and years during that night.  Humping and digging latrines unabated.  A sky magic that didn't touch down upon the earth.   Selective time dilation.  Which would create rip currents and time tides around it as the larger universe struggled to adjust and reconcile itself to this area of rebellious timeflow.  A reason for the distended seasons that followed.   Ooooh.  And the planet's two magical poles could be what's tethering us to this old magic of time alteration; sever them and fix the existential crisis.  Perhaps some mages can stay magical in the new world that'd follow, but the seasons return to normal and timeless witches would feel the clock start to tick on their newfound mortality.

If I was the one who put you on to Coldfire by blathering about it, hey now!    It's nice when vampires also have more going on for themselves than just sucking.   

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On 11/27/2018 at 4:21 PM, Sophia [email protected] said:

My Theory is that part of the Pact with The Others is the Others demand that population keep the low on (Westeros) or that some sons of the Humans will be given to the White Walkers. Because this happen so long ago the terms of Pact were forgotten. As time went on The Others is now regard as legends.   Also people believe A Hero beat them back and that why the Wall was built.

 

Please list your theories.

They are climate change. Dragons are nukes. Is one more good/evil than the other?

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 12:50 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

I hated that episode--no way Data got hijacked like that. 

 

I like that sort of idea, it is very reminiscent of the magical Fae from the Coldfire Trilogy, that was a magical ether that enveloped the planet and could be harnessed to make shadow demon creatures by those magically gifted people who were "Adept," haven't finished the series yet, but I think they negotiate with their version of the Old Ones to abolish the evil Fae.  

But it doesn't work so well because the Long Night lasted for a generation (and because the cloud would rotate with the solar system).  Unless the cloud was stuck in the atmosphere that whole time, but then what made it suddenly disperse?  And why is the orbit so out of round, and you really have to have an very exaggerated elliptical orbit to mess the seasons up that bad.

I was reading a Cthulhu story today called The Black Island, and one of the plot elements is that the Old Ones have the ability to slow down time, and that many of the ancient Earth mysteries could be explained by this. 

From The Black Island:

  Reveal hidden contents

"Consider almost all the ancient writings which speak of great catastrophe which involved the earth.  Look at the Old Testament, to the Battle of Beth-Horon, led by Joshua. 'And he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed. . . .'  Look at the Annals of Cuauhtitlan of the lore of the Nahua Indians of Mexico, which speak of an endless night, a tale verified by the Spanish priest, Fra Bernardino de Sahagu, who, coming to the New World a generation after Columbus, told of the great catastrophe in which the sun rose but a little way over the horizon and then stood still, a catastrophe witnessed by the American Indians.  And the Bible again: 'As they fled from before Israel . . . the Lord cast down great stones upon then in Azekah, and they died . . . .'

. . . and there are the strangely altered clocks of the ancient times--the water clock of the Temple of Amon at Karnak, now inaccurate for day and night; and the shadow clock of Fayum Egypt, inaccurate too; the astronomical panel in the tomb of Senmut, in which the stars are shown in an order they do not have, but which may presumably have been correct for Senmut's time.

That lead me to think that the Long Night could literally have been a single very long night, that the river of time was halted for a generation.  Then the messed up seasons could be explained by time itself speeding up and slowing down erratically--this would fit with Ice preserving, Ice slows down time, Fire speeds it up.  And the theme of Ice being traditionalism (obsessed with the "Old Ways") and Fire being technological progress.

 

It reminds me of that episode with Picard in the shuttlecraft and he puts his hand in the fruit bowl and it ages rapidly, because there were random bubbles were spacetime was distorted.

I too think that magic is an infestation that has to be purged, and will be purged by the end of the story (except Sam keeps a single branch of the weirwood in a box because he can't stand the thought of losing all that knowledge).

Sir GRRM said that the planet position or change have nothing to do the abnormal seasonal of this planet.

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 12:18 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

If Bran becomes the Great Other, the Others are all his shadows.  You guys have convinced me that the Others are not actually living beings but a product of shadowbinding--they are telepathically animated ice ("white shadows") and Bran is controlling their every move and looking through their eyes (this applies to the wights also).
 

Recall what Ned told Bran about executions:

"Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die."
"One day, Bran, you will be Robb's bannerman, holding a keep of your own for your brother and your king, and justice will fall to you. When that day comes, you must take no pleasure in the task, but neither must you look away. A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is."
. . .
"Ice can kill as dead as fire. Ice was Ned's greatsword. Valyrian steel, marked with the ripples of a thousand foldings, so sharp I feared to touch it.  . . . The Starks do not use headsmen. Ned always said that the man who passes the sentence should swing the blade, though he never took any joy in the duty."
. . .
"Ned had heard enough. "You send hired knives to kill a fourteen-year-old girl and still quibble about honor?" He pushed back his chair and stood. "Do it yourself, Robert. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. Look her in the eyes before you kill her. See her tears, hear her last words. You owe her that much at least."
"Gods," the king swore, the word exploding out of him as if he could barely contain his fury. "You mean it, damn you."
The fact that Starks carry out their own justice is mentioned 3 times.  The Kings of Winter were hard men for hard times.
 
"He could almost hear him, and their lord father as well. Winter is coming, and you are almost a man grown, Bran. You have a duty."
 
Justice has fallen to Bran and he is animating all the ice creatures and the undead.  He is following Ned's advice and literally looking into the eyes of every man whose life he takes.

 

 

If the Others are just white shadows, and the Great Other is shadowbinding Craster's sons into white shadows, that would explain why they don't leave tracks in the snow, they are non-corporeal ethereal white shadow mist ice creations that are being telekinetically animated--they are not real physical beings.

The Great Other is sacrificing the babies to make a shadow assassins--which mirrors Mel's shadow baby, if she and Stannis did conceive a pregnancy and Mel shadowbound her embryo into a "black shadow."

Child sacrifice seems to be the main ingredient in shadowbinding, and can happen in utero.  Mirri Maz Duur was a bloodmage and sacrificed Dany's baby in utero. 

The Others "fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children."

Was the 13th Lord Commander sacrificing children to the Others?


Other shadowbinding parallels:

If the Others are shadow babies of the Great Other, that would explain why the dragonglass dissolved the Other, it severed the telepathic shadow-binding bond, and no longer being animated, the Other dissolved.  Just like the Storm's End walls are a barrier to shadow babies, "Dark walls that no shadow can pass" and the Wall blocking telepathy between Jon and Ghost.  If you are inside one of the fused stone fortresses you are immune to telepathy? The world's biggest long Night apocalypse bunker is the 5 Forts built entirely out of fused black stone to withstand the demon army. 

 

The Others are repeated called white shadows:
 
Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness.
 
"We have white shadows in the woods and unquiet dead stalking our halls,
 
"The cold gods," she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows." (Mel also calls the weirwoods "dark gods")
 
"these white shadows and their wights"
 
"The white walkers of the wood, the cold shadows,"
 
 
"Outside, the night was white as death; pale thin clouds danced attendance on a silver moon, while a thousand stars watched coldly. He could see the humped shapes of other huts buried beneath drifts of snow, and beyond them the pale shadow of a weirwood armored in ice."
 
"A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fight a mist, crow? Shadows with teeth "
 
(more evidence that the CoTF made the Others: Bloodraven was alleged to have used a "shadow [that] came at his command to strangle brave Prince Valarr's sons in their mother's womb" and Bloodraven was alleged to be able to turn into a mist)
 
 
A person can cast multiple shadows and at different points in the timeline:
"If she saw two futures, well . . . both cannot be true."
"Some lights cast more than one shadow. Stand before the nightfire and you'll see for yourself. The flames shift and dance, never still. The shadows grow tall and short, and every man casts a dozen. Some are fainter than others, that's all. Well, men cast their shadows across the future as well. One shadow or many. Melisandre sees them all."
 
And the way to fight them is to go after the source, the shadowbinder:

"You are fighting shadows when you should be fighting the men who cast them"

 

"So power is a mummer's trick?"

"A shadow on the wall," Varys murmured, "yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow."

 

Shadows bring the cold:

"The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come." "white walkers, the creeping cold"

And Mel's shadow baby brought the cold:

"'Cold,' said Renly in a small puzzled voice, a heartbeat before the steel of his gorget parted like cheesecloth beneath the shadow of a blade that was not there. "

"Cold," her king said, puzzled, and a shadow moved without a man to cast it, and her sweet lord's blood came washing through the green steel of his gorget to drench her hands. He had been a warm man, but his blood was cold as ice."

"There was a shadow. The candles guttered and the air grew cold, and there was blood—"
"Oh, very good." Jaime laughed. "Your wits are quicker than mine, I confess it. When they found me standing over my dead king, I never thought to say, 'No, no, it wasn't me, it was a shadow, a terrible cold shadow.'"
 
"All the candles were guttering out, and the cold was thick around her. Something was moving through green darkness, something foul and horrible was hurtling toward her king. She wanted to protect him, but her limbs felt stiff and frozen, and it took more strength than she had just to lift her hand. And when the shadow sword "
 
 
And as others have pointed out in this thread there is a strong similarity between the shadow swords used by Mel's shadow and the Other's swords.
 
 
Shadow monsters are the caster's "children":
"He could not behold the fiery heart without thinking of the shadow Melisandre had birthed in the gloom beneath Storm's End. At least we fight this battle in the light, with the weapons of honest men, he told himself. The red woman and her dark children would have no part of it.
 
Mel literally birthed "dark children" black shadow babies, and the white walkers are "cold children of the Other" white shadow babies, and "sire terrible half-human children" with human women.
 
 
They can only come out at night:
The Others "hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night . . . or else night falls when they emerge."
"the Others, the enemy in the night"
"In that darkness, the Others came for the first time . . . that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun"
 
"shadowbinders and bloodmages worked terrible sorceries in the black of night"
Shadowbinders live in the black stone city Asshai that drinks the light and is always dim, shadowbinders are the only ones who dare visit Stygia in the heart of darkness--in the Shadow. 
And in Asshai they have Nightwalkers, that sounds like an Other.
 
Asshai is not a place of Light, it is a place of darkness.
 
 

Who is casting the shadows?

"Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames."
"I saw, maegi. I saw you, alone, dancing with the shadows."
 
In the tent is The Great Other and R'hllor dancing, embodied by a great wolf and a man wreathed in flames.  I think R'hllor and the Great other are both personalities inside the weirwood network, locked in a feud for dominance (as in Nightflyers).  This would explain why their shadow babies are similar, why Beric is a R'hllorist but is so similar to Bloodraven and sat a weirwood throne, and why there is so much overlap of descriptions of weirwoods, Mel, and the fire priests.
 
Sidebar about Dancing Shadows:  Patchface says "The Shadows come to dance, the shadows come to stay" and Waymar asks the White Walker to dance with him.  Bran's horse was Dancer, Bran claimed several times to be a superior swordsman, and thought about using Hodor's body to swordfight with, foreshadowing using other creatures to swordfight with.  (also fyi, arrakis means "dancer")
 
 
Mel's visions of the Great Other:

" A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf's face threw back his head and howled."

. . . "Sleep is a little death, dreams the whisperings of the Other, who would drag us all into his eternal night."

The Three Eyed Crow comes to Bran in his dreams and whispers to him.   I think the Thing that Came in the Night from Old Nan's story was also the Three Eyed Crow.

"Devan fed fresh logs to the fire until the flames leapt up again, fierce and furious, driving the shadows back into the corners of the room, devouring all her unwanted dreams. The dark recedes again … for a little while. But beyond the Wall, the enemy grows stronger, and should he win the dawn will never come again. She wondered if it had been his face that she had seen, staring out at her from the flames. No. Surely not. His visage would be more frightening than that, cold and black and too terrible for any man to gaze upon and live. The wooden man she had glimpsed, though, and the boy with the wolf's face … they were his servants, surely … his champions, as Stannis was hers."

 

Bloodraven and his 'prentice boy Bran are the Great Other.  But Bloodraven's time is up and the title will soon pass to Bran.

The Great Other is the Great Wolf/Winged Wolf/Bran.  The man wreathed in flames is R'hllor, and Dany is his champion, not Stannis (Aemon: "Daenerys is our hope", and stannis means "of tin" whereas denarius is a silver coin, and argyria is silver poisoning and causes purple eyes, silver is a more regal metal than tin).  Both Dany and Bran had the flying dream and are being mentored by shadowbinders, Bran is being advised by Bloodraven who has a white wooden face, and Dany is being advised by Quaithe who has a red wooden face, both of them hear whispers in the darkness, and have weird visions about their ancestors and think about having to fulfill some ancestral purpose or destiny.  Dany almost gets eaten by the Undying in a Esso-style Shade of the Evening weirwood cave, and Bran is about to be eaten in Bloodraven's weirwood cave, they are both wanted for their special blood. 
  Reveal hidden contents

"Sometimes the sound of song would drift up from someplace far below. The children of the forest, Old Nan would have called the singers, but those who sing the song of earth was their own name for themselves, in the True Tongue that no human man could speak. The ravens could speak it, though. Their small black eyes were full of secrets, and they would caw at him and peck his skin when they heard the songs."

 

The CoTF were singing a song that the ravens understood, and it made them peck at Bran's skin, in the texts the raven's only peck at food or when they think you have food--with the implication that Bran is food. 

 

Shadows look like the one who cast them:
Recall that Mel's shadow baby was recognizable as being Stannis:
 
"He knew that shadow. As he knew the man who'd cast it. "
"It was Stannis, Lady Catelyn said. His . . . his shadow."
"I saw a shadow. I thought it was Renly's shadow at the first, but it was his brother's."
"Lord Stannis?"

 

What face do the Others wear?

"They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first" but they are faceless.

Are they literally ice clones of Bran, made by Bran?  Body doubles so no one could figure out which one was the true Great Other?

 

"Maester Luwin says there's nothing in dreams that a man need fear."

"There is," said Jojen.
"What?"
"The past. The future. The truth."
 
Bran should fear the truth that is revealed to him in his dreams.
 
"North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.
"Why?" Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.
Because winter is coming.
Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge."
 
I think Bran saw himself in the Heart of Winter, he saw his face on the Others, and this is the terrible knowledge that Bran should fear.  If the white shadows look like the man who cast them, they would all look like Bran.  The heat of Bran's tears burned on his cheeks, because Bran is ice--Brandon Ice Eyes. 
 
"Night's King was only a man by light of day, Old Nan would always say, but the night was his to rule. And it's getting dark."
. . .
"It was the hour of the wolf. The longest, darkest hour of the night."
and remember what Bran told Jon "Don't be afraid, I like it in the dark."

I have more questions for you than answers  The Red Woman shadow babies  Shadows are made when an object is opaque (doesn't let light through) the sun or the source of light shines on the object creating a shadow.  In the books it suggest that it created that part of Stannis mix with Light (when the lantern started to glow).  So if what White Shadows are Shadows with ice? how that possible? 

 

Statement The Red Women Shadows disappear after while but don't the "White Shadows" disappear?

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Posted (edited)

I think the Others are somehow connected to both Jon Snow and Daenerys. They form the Song of Ice and FIre and the Others are back to kill them.

They were probably created by the CotF (I know people don't like the Show brought up but we have to take it into consideration, it's stupid to deny it) as a weapon against Men and their magic. The biggest problem I see with the Others is how the timeline works with them. Were they created BEFORE the Pact? AFTER? We don't know.

But I also think we lack key information about them and their motives. We simply cannot know what they truly want by now. I'm sure though their return is linked with the birth of both Jon and Dany. 

Edited by Ingelheim

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