Jump to content
Sea Dragon

Is death good? Why fight the Others?

Recommended Posts

Hello again. I have another question that might be obvious to some but I just have more questions. So far in this series nothing is like other normal and predictable fantasy books. George is doing that undoing the expected thing all over the story. I like this idea and I like it a lot because it keeps me interested. But if a common reasoning says that there must be a balance between life and death, then why are the Others the bad guys? We know Queen Danaerys is the giver of life so why are the Others so bad if they bring balance? 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

Because when you let the Others have their way there won't be any balance between live and death, just death. And why would Daenerys be the giver of life?

We don't know what the Others want. I mean they want a someone it seems from the first book prologue. But Waymar caused the fight. What if they need a new pact to be made because the world has dragons and Danaerys who give life. 

And we see Danaerys birth the dragons. She gave freedom to people so they may live. Everywhere she goes she will bring peace which will bring life. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing that we're living beings, yes, death is to be considered bad.  It's not good for us.  Death is actually an injustice when you think about it.  Living things work to survive and in the end they die.  Let's look at it in terms of how Mother nature looks at it.  She cares not for the plight of the individual, nor for the plight of a specific species.  She gives life and death to all.  Deserving or undeserving matter not.  I guess life has to end for evolution to take place.  It is also a means to keep individuals from becoming too wise.  Smart move if you're god to put a cap on the lifespan of your creation lest they get to the point where they can challenge you.

Fire, warmth, and the light give life.  Which is good.  Listen, if life isn't good then nothing is.  Ice, cold, and darkness is death, the absence of life.  Can you understand why the living would wish to avoid death?  It is obvious.  Mother nature balances life and death.  Living things are born, live, consume, reproduce, and die.  Winter kills.  Cold ends life.  Spring and warmth brings regenerates.  It's just a cycle of nature.  Winter kill prevents overpopulation.   The Others are not interested in annihilation.  They left Craster alone.  As long as he was making sacrifices to them.  Craster is a Stark.  There is a relationship between the Others and the Starks.  Maybe they struck a deal long ago.  The Starks would sacrifice their children to the Others in exchange for being allowed to live.  

Queen Daenerys is the main protagonist of the novels.  She does represent the rebirth.  After all, she did bring back an extinct species from death.  She's the Mother, the Mhysa to the slaves and the converted among the Ghiscari.  I think her biggest role will come later at the end of the long winter.  She will rebuild civilization in Essos and give home to the refugees from Westeros.  

Life and death exists.  Light and dark too.  Life doesn't exists for too long in darkness though.  Photosynthesis is the start of the chain of life.  Dark is the brakes that hold back the expansion of life.  It keeps the population under control.  If you read the novels carefully, you will notice that Brynden Rivers, the Children, the Undying, none of them have truly conquered death.  They've merely delayed the inevitable.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sea Dragon said:

Hello again. I have another question that might be obvious to some but I just have more questions. So far in this series nothing is like other normal and predictable fantasy books. George is doing that undoing the expected thing all over the story. I like this idea and I like it a lot because it keeps me interested. But if a common reasoning says that there must be a balance between life and death, then why are the Others the bad guys? We know Queen Danaerys is the giver of life so why are the Others so bad if they bring balance? 

Thank you.

Death keeps things in balance.  Too many births and not enough death puts pressure on the environment.  Culling takes place during the winter to reduce the number of people.  This is hard to accept because we are taught "the meek shall inherit the earth."  There is a disconnect between religion and the forces of nature in Martin's world.  The strong will survive.  Bran shows he's ready to survive when he ate that rotten wight bone marrow.  He might do it within the tree's roots but he will survive.  He can get around the yuck factor to do what he needs to do.  The ones who can't survive without their support system (cooks, maids, protectors, hunters) will die.  Pampered people like the Wise Masters, the Pureborn of Qarth, the poor dears at the citadel, Sansa Stark, are gonna have a tough time.  

The Others are not interested in destroying all life.  They're interested in destroying our kind of life.  The climate shift favor their species over ours.  They're just taking advantage of the climate to expand their territory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sea Dragon said:

We don't know what the Others want. 

I feel like this is a bit of a tired theory/interpretation of the others. GRRM has said that the story is about the "human heart in conflict with itself." For good and ill, we see the various perspectives of characters in the wars -- the supporters of various thrones all have their reasons and differences, but the Others are different, alien, uncompromising.

1 minute ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Death keeps things in balance.  Too many births and not enough death puts pressure on the environment.  Culling takes place during the winter to reduce the number of people.  This is hard to accept because we are taught "the meek shall inherit the earth."  There is a disconnect between religion and the forces of nature in Martin's world.  The strong will survive.  Bran shows he's ready to survive when he ate that rotten wight bone marrow.  He might do it within the tree's roots but he will survive.  He can get around the yuck factor to do what he needs to do.  The ones who can't survive without their support system (cooks, maids, protectors, hunters) will die.  Pampered people like the Wise Masters, the Pureborn of Qarth, the poor dears at the citadel, Sansa Stark, are gonna have a tough time.  

The Others are not interested in destroying all life.  They're interested in destroying our kind of life.  The climate shift favor their species over ours.  They're just taking advantage of the climate to expand their territory.

People have been living and dying in Westeros for 8000 years between the Long Night and the present. I don't see how the Others are bringing balance, or even how balance is a necessary, good thing in this instance.  What do we say to death? Not today. Or from another of GRRM's works, rage, rage against the dying of the light.

According to the AGOT prologue, "the true enemy is the cold." This is telling us that the War of Five Kings doesn't matter -- humanity needs to rally against the evil of the Others. Someone like Tywin, who only values a specific kind of strength, is doing far more to promote the agenda of the Others than the Citadel. Someone like Roose, who has a vampiric eeriness around him, his icy blue eyes -- he is so far removed from the warmth of humanity that he might as well just be an Other. 

Also, can I just laugh at the notion of Sansa Stark being one of the pampered people who won't survive the series? Yeah, I am sure that being held hostage as a child, seeing your father executed, being surrounded by enemies at court, being forced to marry a grown man and have him grope your body, losing ALL of your family (in her mind) is being "pampered." I guess it's because she likes the high harp or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is a balance function to what they do, we're barring them from getting it done by walling them in, perhaps necessitating the ultra winter.   California has the same thing going on.   We blocked nature by preventing forest fires so well for so long that now we've got underbrush that's nostril-height because no small fires were allowed to deal with it.... which brings on the megafires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Death isn't good or bad, exactly, but it is necessary for life as we know it. The same goes for suffering - nature red in tooth and claw, etc.

I suspect the Others have an alternative to all that messy, painful life-and-death stuff. Get rid of the bodies. Strip the flesh from the soul (and how many flesh-stripping images have we seen so far? Feels like dozens). Preserve the ghost in living crystal (and how much living crystal... definitely some). Let everything else die.

It's the ghost grass scenario. It's The Matrix. (which I have not seen, but I'm guessing it.) From the grrm universe, it's Nightflyers, and possibly Song for Lya (?).

So no more pain and suffering, no more war, no famine, no disease. No reason to be sad or fearful. Nobody lives and nobody dies. And it's going to be forever. It's really a twisted paradise, and why not? If hell is in the south (and it is, pretty much) - then heaven should be in the north.

Edited by Springwatch
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

Hello again. I have another question that might be obvious to some but I just have more questions. So far in this series nothing is like other normal and predictable fantasy books. George is doing that undoing the expected thing all over the story. I like this idea and I like it a lot because it keeps me interested. But if a common reasoning says that there must be a balance between life and death, then why are the Others the bad guys? We know Queen Danaerys is the giver of life so why are the Others so bad if they bring balance? 

Thank you.

Why are the Others the bad guys? Because they’ve proven to be a threat to everything in existence. Their wights are zombies that attack anyone they can find. Do you want to be slaughtered, and your body used as a mindless drone to just kill, and kill, and kill?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

But if a common reasoning says that there must be a balance between life and death,

A "common reasoning"? Seriously? Nothing says there has to be a "balance between life and death." NOTHING. It's not as if Westeros is so heavily populated that every birth must be matched by a corresponding murder. The mantra of the shadowbinders "only life can pay for death" refers to how they view their magic. It's not a rule of nature.

22 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

We know Queen Danaerys is the giver of life

Since when? How many slavers and their families did Dany kill in her crusade to free the cities of Slaver's Bay? In Qarth? How many have her Dothraki killed as part of normal Dothraki custom? How many killings did she authorize for the entertainment of the Meereenese? "Giver of Life"? No way.

22 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

why are the Others so bad if they bring balance? 

Try thinking like a person living in Westeros. Strange non-human creatures appear out of the woods and begin slaughtering your family and companions. By your logic, you smile, submit to their icy blades, with the happy thought that "Oh, there must have been some births elsewhere in the Kingdom, and we need to re-establish a balance! How happy I am that we all must die!"

No way, right? Well, I would hope "no way."

Getting deeper into the issue, however, we don't yet know what is motivating the Others. Communication with them has so far proved impossible. Lord Commander Snow had put a couple of the reanimated wights into the cold cells with the idea of attempting to talk to them, find out something about the Others. But then he was stabbed by his own leal men and that initiative appears to be on permanent hold.

I reject simplistic analyses like the above. George RR is beyond that. I'm looking forward to the end of Superbowl Weekend, when he will be free to resume his writing...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The living are given the will to survive.  Living creatures are programmed to resist death.  We can't help it.  That is how we're programmed.  To live is to struggle.  Life cannot continue without the desire to live programmed deeply in our brains.  The very first specimens of the species would have given up long ago and life ended shortly before it began if we were not strongly programmed deep down to value our lives.  It is this instinct to survive that allowed life to continue.  Death is the enemy of life and we are programmed to resist it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, zandru said:

A "common reasoning"? Seriously? Nothing says there has to be a "balance between life and death." NOTHING. It's not as if Westeros is so heavily populated that every birth must be matched by a corresponding murder. The mantra of the shadowbinders "only life can pay for death" refers to how they view their magic. It's not a rule of nature.

Since when? How many slavers and their families did Dany kill in her crusade to free the cities of Slaver's Bay? In Qarth? How many have her Dothraki killed as part of normal Dothraki custom? How many killings did she authorize for the entertainment of the Meereenese? "Giver of Life"? No way.

Try thinking like a person living in Westeros. Strange non-human creatures appear out of the woods and begin slaughtering your family and companions. By your logic, you smile, submit to their icy blades, with the happy thought that "Oh, there must have been some births elsewhere in the Kingdom, and we need to re-establish a balance! How happy I am that we all must die!"

No way, right? Well, I would hope "no way."

Getting deeper into the issue, however, we don't yet know what is motivating the Others. Communication with them has so far proved impossible. Lord Commander Snow had put a couple of the reanimated wights into the cold cells with the idea of attempting to talk to them, find out something about the Others. But then he was stabbed by his own leal men and that initiative appears to be on permanent hold.

I reject simplistic analyses like the above. George RR is beyond that. I'm looking forward to the end of Superbowl Weekend, when he will be free to resume his writing...

Daenerys is definitely going to be a hero in the end. If the others are ice, then Daenerys is certainly fire: instead of taking life in cold, she rebirths a species in fire.

The army of the dead is vulnerable to fire, dragonglass, and Valyrian steel, all three of which are associated with Dany's house. I think one's missing the forest for the trees to look at her cruelties in ADWD - in the fantasy hero's journey, it's common to have the temptation to darkness (which she kind of has with her "fire and blood" thought process in Daenerys X ADWD) before coming round to the light again. 

GRRM is a great writer, but you don't have to have complexity and nuance for everything to be great. While there are twists and turns and betrayals in the game of thrones, I think we'll be getting something a little more good and evil as the story moves closer to the true battle; the song of ice and fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Vaith said:

Daenerys is definitely going to be a hero in the end.

Well, I hope so, but don't be so sure. Things are not going to be as simple as "fire good, cold bad."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a quote in one of Brans chapters in Dance about the difference between the children and Men to explain this.

on mobile and quotes not working so going from memory,  One of the children is telling Bran a story about the childrens slow decline through the ages and thier gradual acceptance of this fate....

 Bran thinks to himself that man would never accept such a fate, the would fight and struggle and make war, something like that.

So yea, man will fight the others because it is in our nature to do so basically

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's long been my thinking that the Others are an enemy of both humanity and fire.   Enemy of fire being operand here.   It took the great magic of fire (dragons) to unify the kingdoms of Westeros under an oppressive feudal system.   Granted, Westeros was already headed in that direction prior to the conquest and Harren the Black appeared to be doing exactly what Aegon did.   Running the entire show.  Without really understanding what the Others are up to it isn't that far out to say perhaps the annihilation of humanity serves their purpose which may well be related to control of the planet in cold darkness.   This would be good for them from all i've read.  With this in mind, fire is probably an enemy of humanity, too.  Any element in dominion is not conducive happy humans.   Death in ice or slavery in fire are both pretty lousy options for humanity.   I reckon that's why a balance needs to be struck between the elements for the good of humanity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zandru said:

Well, I hope so, but don't be so sure. Things are not going to be as simple as "fire good, cold bad."

Regular heroes kill a lot but only serve to perpetuate the endless cycle of pointless death.

The Last Heroes are the ones who rise above their Ice & Fire identities, become larger than those roles that seek to consume one, and set themselves to the task of defusing the worldbomb.  By Untying the ice & fire knot.

Edited by The Mother of The Others

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, The Mother of The Others said:

The Last Heroes are the ones who rise above their Ice & Fire identities,

Ha. Once there are "last" heroes, there will never again be "heroes." Because they were the "last." This has explained most of Westerosi history for the last, what? 8,000 years? Don't look for any more heroes; that's all done. Everybody is just a regular dude now, incapable of "rising above" his selfish, mortal nature. Or her. Can't leave out The Dragon Queen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×