Jump to content
Black Crow

Heresy 218 a brief walk on the dark side

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, alienarea said:

Do we know whether they dreaamed of becoming dragons before moving to Westeros?

I sure don't, but I haven't read any of the Targ-happy fake history.

Share this post


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

I'm not sure if those are sarcastic quotation marks or not.

Do you mean that the only version of Lightbringer there's ever been is a version from the east that is really a prophecy?

Or that a version did exist in Westeros during the Long Night, and was also understood as having happened (in some distorted form, possibly) in eastern visions?

I apologize for the lack of clarity--the scare quotes were more aimed at myself, to convey that my usage of true story wasn't intended to be read with an authoritative tone, a tacit acknowledgement of the inelegance of the term I was using.

What I meant is that I think Dawn and the LH's dragonsteel are one and the same, that it is the true Lightbringer of the Long Night.

From our perspective, we know exactly what the LH's dragonsteel was being used to slay, yet what it is that Azor Ahai was slaying, and how it was relevant to ending the darkness of the Long Night seems vaguely defined, even by those characters in-world that believe in the myth--and I think it's vaguely defined because there never was such a figure in the far east in the first place.

I propose, instead, that seers and mystics in Asshai glimpsed significant events of the Westerosi Battle for the Dawn from afar (in symbolic, dreamy form), recorded those visions, and those recorded texts later evolved into the myth of Azor Ahai. Salladhor Saan's version, for example, reads more as an allegory than as a history lesson.

I don't expect to get many people on board with that interpretation, but I'm taking inspiration from the HotU as a point of context--eg, visions of the Red Wedding appeared in the HoTU, even though the true event played out half a world away. Or Melisandre, who glimpses true events in the flames, but re-contextualizes them through the prism of her zealotry.

Edited by Matthew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

What I meant is that I think Dawn and the LH's dragonsteel are one and the same, that it is the true Lightbringer of the Long Night.

That's exactly what I believe too.  I just go on to add that Dawn was really forged from meteoric metal, and suggest that's the reason there are no other such blades in existence.

30 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

there never was such a figure in the far east in the first place

Also agreed.

31 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I don't expect to get many people on board with that interpretation

If there are skeptics, here's some evidence:

Quote

xaosx: Mr Martin, why does Westeros seem the only place effected by the Others and the long winters? The other parts of the world seem not to care.

George_RR_Martin: Westeros is not the only place affected, but it's affected most strongly, because it's the only landmass that extends that far north. The other continent is bounded to the north by an icy polar sea.

So the odds seem quite good to me that the canonical maps are not misleading, and Westeros really does just go much further north than any other continent (seen or unseen on the maps). 

And that in turn strongly implies that the Popsicles, in descending from the north in the Long Night, did not hit the other continents at all. The other continents got cold, no doubt... dark, perhaps... but a bad winter isn't the same as an invasion of Popsicles and wights at all.  To whatever extent Lightbringer was used to slay monsters:

Quote

Once Azor Ahai fought a monster. When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame."

...I think it only happened in Westeros.  And that means the east only ever had indirect sources of info about this hero and his magic sword, such as folktales, dreams, shade of the evening visions, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, she has certainly been a pawn in other people's games. But I can't recall any instance in which, confronted by a challenge, she came up with and executed some sort of effective strategy on her own that helped her. 

Even now, in the Vale in book six, she continues to do as Littlefinger instructs -- to follow his plans, not create her own.

It's just a world apart from the kind of strategic and tactical thinking we see in her younger sister, when faced with dramatically greater challenges:

She did indeed make that last name count, and she dramatically improved her situation as a result.

 

I am talking about the fact Sansa having no one to trust and enduring physical abuse from the KG and married to a Lannister. Like I said I am biased to Sansa because she is my favorite Stark. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, St Daga said:

Sometimes I think my mind has been corrupted by a virus called GRRM and nothing will ever be the same...

Seriously, though, I have become so oddly numb and accepting to some of the extreme concepts of these novels, that it seems a little vanilla without at least considering such things as possible, or downright hinted at! Incest and child sacrifice are just two of the concepts that have become almost ordinary for this story.

You are right, I remember reading GoT and I cried when Barra and Rhaego died but after first book I was like "Meh, incest so boring, oh an innocent person died wow groundbreaking." Nothing surprise me anymore and I will be disappointed if Starks are only morally right family of the story lol. 

@Janneyc1 I don't know how to react to the fact you compared my favorite female character to the least favorite, why would you come for me like that? The only thing they have in common is the stars imo. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I apologize for the lack of clarity--the scare quotes were more aimed at myself, to convey that my usage of true story wasn't intended to be read with an authoritative tone, a tacit acknowledgement of the inelegance of the term I was using.

What I meant is that I think Dawn and the LH's dragonsteel are one and the same, that it is the true Lightbringer of the Long Night.

From our perspective, we know exactly what the LH's dragonsteel was being used to slay, yet what it is that Azor Ahai was slaying, and how it was relevant to ending the darkness of the Long Night seems vaguely defined, even by those characters in-world that believe in the myth--and I think it's vaguely defined because there never was such a figure in the far east in the first place.

I propose, instead, that seers and mystics in Asshai glimpsed significant events of the Westerosi Battle for the Dawn from afar (in symbolic, dreamy form), recorded those visions, and those recorded texts later evolved into the myth of Azor Ahai. Salladhor Saan's version, for example, reads more as an allegory than as a history lesson.

I don't expect to get many people on board with that interpretation, but I'm taking inspiration from the HotU as a point of context--eg, visions of the Red Wedding appeared in the HoTU, even though the true event played out half a world away. Or Melisandre, who glimpses true events in the flames, but re-contextualizes them through the prism of her zealotry.

 

11 hours ago, JNR said:

That's exactly what I believe too.  I just go on to add that Dawn was really forged from meteoric metal, and suggest that's the reason there are no other such blades in existence.

I won't say that I disagree with you. I am in fact open to the chance you may be right.
However, I still can't subscribe this idea and I'll try to explain why, what's my reasoning.

First: sure, we don't have to take myths and legends literally. But our task is trying to identify what myths/legends/prophecies may have took wrong or changed. And that may be everything: it's up to us to make that choice. But chosing a detail instead of another changes it all. 

With that been said, the myth of Azor Ahai and the prophecy tell us that Lightbringer should be a red sword. And a feiry one.
Dawn is white and surely not fiery.

However, yeah, I get your point  and these may be the details legends/myths/prophecis took wrong. It may very well be.

However there is a reason as to why I personally  think that's not the case.

In the serie, in fact, 2 colors - white and red - are mentioned quite often. That because - sure -  red = fire and white = ice.
But I believe there's more than that.

I believe it's not by chance that these two colors along the serie are referenced "together" quite often.

White and red (them both) are the colors associeted to the weirwood trees, Ghost, Bloodraven.

They are the colors of Jaqen's hair when he first met Arya.

More importantly these are the colors that in alchemy represent the 2 elements that if merged, generate what later on became the philosopher's stone. Symbolically speaking, the Red king and the White Queen marry and from their union an embryo with a double nature is born. That "embryo" then has to die and to re-born to become the philosopher's stone, the phoenix, etc..  

And that's why red and white are used in literature, in the works of those that pay homage or use symbolism so often and "together".

In addition  - and here comes the most complicated part for me to explain - if we look at the actual phenomenon of "dawn" in physics and if we don't look only to the etymology of the English word "Dawn" then... things are far more interesting.

In fact... The color of "dawn" is not red, it's white (just like the sword Dawn).

Albus in latin => white.
And Alba lux = white lux => Dawn.

And as you may understand people like GRR Martin that work with ethymology and symbolisms, know that Albus = White etc...
That is why - for istance - in the Henry Potter serie, you have the "white bearded" master Albus Silente.

However, like said, white is the color of dawn: because white is light that radiates after the sun has risen, because of the whitening of the sky, after the night (dark) and what appens while the sun is rising... and the sky is red.

In physycs the latter and dawn itself are two different moments, phenomena.

So much that in my language (that is Italian but I bet that's the same in others laguages I am not familiar with)
we still have 2 different words (even tho we tend to use them as synonyms) to define these two different phenomena: "Alba" from "alba lux" (the whitening of the sky) and "Aurora" (Ausus in Latin) for the time lapse between night and dawn/day when the sky gets red (during the sunrise).

And "Ausus" in Latin is a word that comes from old Greek (and ancient Sanskrit before it) that is tied to the idea of... burning. Just because it is tied to the idea of that red light that precedes the whitening of the proper "dawn" (Alba) and day-light.

And this fits perfectly - imo - with the prophecy of Lightbringer as red fiery sword.

So.. if we have the white sword Dawn and the red flaming Lightbringer - whatever it wil turn out to be, an actual sword, a dragon or a person (I actually think Lightbringer is a person: a son/sun) - it's too precise to be coincidence, imo.

That is why, I don't think that Ice was Dawn (sorry LML) no the sword of any White Walker.
And I tend to believe that Dawn was not the sword of the Last Hero/Azor Ahai as well.

I beleive the Deynes were the first "guardinas/protectors" of the Day Light. 
On the North you have the Nights Watch, guarding vs the Long Night, vs the WW.
In the south , the Daynes, "protecting" the Day-light. So much so, the owner of Dawn is not called the Knight of Dawn, or the Sword of Dawn. He's called "the sword of the Morning", and the moring light is... white. 

In short, I believe that the white sword Dawn is a red-herring.

That GRRM is playing with this ambiguity as well.

But I guess we shall wait and see.

Edited by lalt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The legend of forging Lightbringer is at odds with the meteoric legend of Dawn.  Was there enough material for 3 swords?  Or did the hero reforge from shards after it broke? 

Dawn may have been the original Lightbringer, but I think there is more to it, some ritual involving sacrifice that sets the blade on fire similar to what Thoros does. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Was there enough material for 3 swords?

Why 3? I am curious...

19 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

The legend of forging Lightbringer is at odds with the meteoric legend of Dawn. 

Well... they are legeds, so probably it's better look at the "symbolisms" behind them.
In both cases, I guess...

Share this post


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

Why 3? I am curious...

Quote

To fight the darkness, Azor Ahai needed to forge a hero's sword. He labored for thirty days and thirty nights until it was done. However, when he went to temper it in water, the sword broke. He was not one to give up easily, so he started over.

The second time he took fifty days and fifty nights to make the sword, even better than the first. To temper it this time, he captured a lion and drove the sword into its heart, but once more the steel shattered.

The third time, with a heavy heart, for he knew beforehand what he must do to finish the blade, he worked for a hundred days and nights until it was finished. This time, he called for his wife, Nissa Nissa, and asked her to bare her breast. He drove his sword into her living heart, her soul combining with the steel of the sword, creating Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

 

Ah ok... sure. Sorry :)

I forget something about Dawn (the Sword) and its possible origins...

The "white like milk glass" has always got my attention and I believe it may be telling. So I checked...

And: milk glass tecnically speaking is the white version of a specific kind of glass - "opal glass" - invented in Venice. The interesting thing (imo) is that the secret to make this kind of glass was to add into the process substances obtained by the "calcination" of bones.
And calcination is basically to heat something at such an high temperature to the point of reducing it to ashes.
So much so that "milk glass" was also known as "bones glass".

I tried to speculate something starting from that... drangon bones bured and turned into ashes, and then what? or... weirwood branches, white as bones - as we know all too well - possibly petrified (if the weirwood tree was dead) and then burned by drangon fire? Fascinating but... I don't know.

Edited by lalt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lalt said:

With that been said, the myth of Azor Ahai and the prophecy tell us that Lightbringer should be a red sword. And a feiry one.
Dawn is white and surely not fiery.

Not now... but it's been thousands of years since the Long Night.  As to Lightbringer being described as red, imagine how Dawn could look if it were, in fact, a burning blade. 

The white metal underneath the flame wouldn't exactly be the thing people notice most, remember, and pass on in folktales.

2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

The legend of forging Lightbringer is at odds with the meteoric legend of Dawn. 

Oh, not really.  The concept of the base metal coming from the meteorite, per se, says nothing about the new forging process that would probably be required to work a completely novel metal into a sword.

I certainly wouldn't expect a smith to nail it the first time, any more than smiths in our world did when they first began combining carbon and iron to create steel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, lalt said:

First: sure, we don't have to take myths and legends literally. But our task is trying to identify what myths/legends/prophecies may have took wrong or changed. And that may be everything: it's up to us to make that choice. But chosing a detail instead of another changes it all. 

With that been said, the myth of Azor Ahai and the prophecy tell us that Lightbringer should be a red sword. And a feiry one.
Dawn is white and surely not fiery.

I don't disagree with the points you raise throughout your post, as I rarely favor having just a single explanation for open questions; a consolidation of Dawn/Lightbringer/dragonsteel is not the only theory I like, it's just where my current expectations and inclinations lay.

My take on Lightbringer being a red sword of heroes is that the name is evoking the idea of it being red with Nissa Nissa's blood, as well as its function as a firebrand, but does not necessarily describe the default coloring of the metal alloy.

You are right that Dawn not being a fiery sword should be addressed, as both the legends and Aemon set certain expectations on that front, and I do have theories in that regard; my theory is that, for a true Lightbringer 2.0 to emerge, certain additional magical conditions must be met. I have a more mundane theory as to how that might happen, and a more crackpot version.

My mundane suggestion would be that weapons like Dawn and Valyrian steel, because of their magical durability, are ideally suited to be wielded by fire wights--that, wielder and sword alike are unnatural, and the blade is set afire by the user's blood, as we've seen with Beric. Whereas Beric's sword, and Thoros' wildfire lit swords, eventually shatter, I would propose that weapons like Dawn and Valyrian steel would keep their edge.

My more crackpot theory is that Ice will eventually be reforged as one blade, quenched in Stoneheart's heart, and absorb her animating fire to become a new Lightbringer; I'm giving the succinct version of that idea so that this doesn't turn into too much of an unwieldy wall of text.

Edit note: The more frequently suggested modern Nissa Nissa candidates, such as Melisandre or Dany, would work here as well.

Edited by Matthew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone else notice the way Ice changes when reforged, about the color especially?  I got the impression a part of Ned went into the steel. 

Perhaps Valyrian steel starts looking like Dawn and incorporates dark colors from either sacrifices or reforging. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

I am talking about the fact Sansa having no one to trust and enduring physical abuse from the KG and married to a Lannister. Like I said I am biased to Sansa because she is my favorite Stark. 

I think it'd be interesting to see her develop more.  Thwart Littlefinger, etc., by outsmarting him and becoming a Stark openly again, as some believe she is destined to do.  They may be right, and I'd much rather read that sort of thing than her death scene.

If I had to guess, I would imagine Hollywood producers would look at her and say "We need to show Sansa becoming more sly, and more in control of her life than she is so far in the books," and then radically change her story as a result.    (If they were ever to do a project based on ASOIAF, I mean.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

 

@Janneyc1 I don't know how to react to the fact you compared my favorite female character to the least favorite, why would you come for me like that? The only thing they have in common is the stars imo. 

They are both astonishingly beautiful, are both mysterious, and both rarely mentioned. Also the Stars in common could be telling. Stars have been linked to literature in tons of literature, including this ASOIAF.

 

2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Did anyone else notice the way Ice changes when reforged, about the color especially?  I got the impression a part of Ned went into the steel. 

Perhaps Valyrian steel starts looking like Dawn and incorporates dark colors from either sacrifices or reforging. 

So there is an interesting thing that goes with creating smoke. The color of the smoke is dependant upon the purity of the thing being burned and the amount of water inside the thing being burned. For example, burning green, freshly cut wood produces a white smoke, while burning older, more seasoned wood results in a darker smoke. 

If Dawn was forged the same way as Valyrian steel, material selection for the fires could be important. I suspect that burning weirwood, along with a sacrifice is needed. Indeed, if Dragonsteel and Valyrian steel are different, which I think they are, then potentially sacrificing a dragon is needed to create Dragonsteel. 

Furthermore, I think that Valyrian Steel is an attempt to copy the Dragonsteel of legend that is mentioned with fighting the Others. The Valyrians and their magics didn't come around until long after the Long Night. Given that there are no weirwoods in Essos, the Dragonlords would be hard pressed to find some to burn to create their Dawn look-a-likes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, JNR said:

I think it'd be interesting to see her develop more.  Thwart Littlefinger, etc., by outsmarting him and becoming a Stark openly again, as some believe she is destined to do.  They may be right, and I'd much rather read that sort of thing than her death scene.

If I had to guess, I would imagine Hollywood producers would look at her and say "We need to show Sansa becoming more sly, and more in control of her life than she is so far in the books," and then radically change her story as a result.    (If they were ever to do a project based on ASOIAF, I mean.)

I don't think Sansa has to be more Stark to be liked more, on the opposite I would say her naivety is from her Stark genes and not from Tully side, Catelyn is not that naive but impulsive in my eyes. But I can see her be more important in the future books as she will have hand in LF's demise. 

@Janneyc1 Ashara is "mysterious" because she is highly romanticized imo but I can't see a sorceress type in her and I really dislike Shiera so I would be happy if my main wifu wasn't associated with her. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2019 at 7:50 AM, lalt said:

So.. if we have the white sword Dawn and the red flaming Lightbringer - whatever it wil turn out to be, an actual sword, a dragon or a person (I actually think Lightbringer is a person: a son/sun) - it's too precise to be coincidence, imo.

Or perhaps a comet.  But yes I agree, we don’t have any reason to think that a prophecy about the forging of a sword is in fact actually about the forging of a sword.  Most prophecies seem to work more symbolically and less literally.  

If a sword = a person, then how do you forge a person?  It seems that there are two ways to forge a person: nature and nurture.  You forge a person through nature by attempting to bring together certain bloodlines/genes.  In other words a blacksmith may be someone who arranges certain marriages or perhaps entices people with certain bloodlines with paid dalliances with prostitutes with certain bloodlines.

And you forge someone through nurture by teaching them, and molding their personality.  Perhaps a parent, or a teacher, or even a torturer.  Someone who tries to mold an individual a certain way.

I don’t think that it’s any coincidence that the person who took Jon under his wing to try and make him a better person at the Wall was Donal Noye, a blacksmith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Or perhaps a comet.  But yes I agree, we don’t have any reason to think that a prophecy about the forging of a sword is in fact actually about the forging of a sword.  Most prophecies seem to work more symbolically and less literally.  

If a sword = a person, then how do you forge a person?  It seems that there are two ways to forge a person: nature and nurture.  You forge a person through nature by attempting to bring together certain bloodlines/genes.  In other words a blacksmith may be someone who arranges certain marriages or perhaps entices people with certain bloodlines with paid dalliances with prostitutes with certain bloodlines.

And you forge someone through nurture by teaching them, and molding their personality.  Perhaps a parent, or a teacher, or even a torturer.  Someone who tries to mold an individual a certain way.

I don’t think that it’s any coincidence that the person who took Jon under his wing to try and make him a better person at the Wall was Donal Noye, a blacksmith.

You also have the un-natural way. GRRM loves his cross-sex clones and genetic enhancements. I would not discard magical versions of these (probably for Dany and Bran)

Edited by Tucu

Share this post


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

I don't think Sansa has to be more Stark to be liked more, on the opposite I would say her naivety is from her Stark genes and not from Tully side

I haven't taken any of these positions.  

I'm just saying that right now, Sansa is not following her own plan, and she is not openly a Stark.  She is still following Littlefinger's plan of pretending to be Littlefinger's bastard daughter, Alayne Stone.

35 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

But yes I agree, we don’t have any reason to think that a prophecy about the forging of a sword is in fact actually about the forging of a sword.  Most prophecies seem to work more symbolically and less literally.  

I think we have a fair number of reasons to think it's about a sword, actually.

For instance, we have this, which is evidently the AAR prophecy:

Quote

In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him

Now, if a sword is a person, how does this work?  Do we have a great hero clasping another person, and drawing that person from a fire, and the person is burning red?

There's also the curious attitude and response of Aemon, when confronted by Stannis's lightbringer.  We know Aemon has spent the huge majority of his life as a scholar and Lightbringer is something he's studied, because despite being blind he immediately zeroes in on the problem with this Lightbringer:

Quote

"Heat? From the sword?" He thought back. "The air around it was shimmering, the way it does above a hot brazier."

"Yet you felt no heat, did you? And the scabbard that held this sword, it is wood and leather, yes? I heard the sound when His Grace drew out the blade. Was the leather scorched, Sam? Did the wood seem burnt or blackened?"

"No," Sam admitted. "Not that I could see."

So Aemon has indicted this Lightbringer as fake on the grounds that it doesn't generate heat.

What Aemon might have said, and didn't say: "That can't be the right Lightbringer because Lightbringer is a human being, and not a sword at all."

The same applies to the concept that Lightbringer is the Watch.  Aemon certainly didn't say "That can't be the right Lightbringer  because it's not a paramilitary body of men assigned to defend the Wall."  He thinks Lightbringer is a literal sword.

Additionally, I just find the text concerning the "burning sword" that makes the "darkness flee" to be notably similar to this...

Quote

I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it.

Could be a coincidence, but I doubt it. And the above also has nothing to do with the east or the Red Faith at all, but instead comes from the Watch archives, and thus is about as purely Westerosi as it can be.

Edited by JNR

Share this post


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

Now, if a sword is a person, how does this work?  Do we have a great hero clasping another person, and drawing that person from a fire, and the person is burning red?

While I also favor reading Lightbringer as a sword, of all of the oft-proposed alternative readings for Lightbringer - that it's Jon, that it's the Watch, that it's Dany's dragons, etc. - I think reading Lightbringer as Drogon, specifically, is the least tortured metaphorical alternative; the pyre occurs beneath the bleeding star, he was drawn from the fire, he can be 'clasped' and wielded by Dany as a weapon, he fits Aemon's expectation that Lightbringer will burn with a heat all its own, and he literally breathes red fire (well...red and black).

The only question I would have is whether or not Melisandre's expectation that AA will be associated with "waking dragons from stone" is a part of the main text of the prophesy - AA will forge Lightbringer and wake dragons from stone, as separate distinct acts - or whether she's conflating several different texts, which would allow for some overlap.

Edit: However, even then, I'm still reading the original Lightbringer as a sword. As you say, the  LH/AA's enemies being unable to stand before their sword aligns well, and someone wielding a weapon called Dawn to end the Long Night just seems so intuitive that it's almost more strange if that's all just a coincidence.

Edited by Matthew.

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

×