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Maester Luwin's turret was so cluttered that it seemed to Bran a wonder that he ever found anything. Tottering piles of books covered tables and chairs, rows of stoppered jars lined the shelves, candle stubs and puddles of dried wax dotted the furniture, the bronze Myrish lens tube sat on a tripod by the terrace door, star charts hung from the walls, shadow maps lay scattered among the rushes, papers, quills, and pots of inks were everywhere, and all of it was spotted with droppings from the ravens in the rafters.

AGOT - Bran VII

What is a shadow map?

A topographical map drawn with shadow to represent elevation instead of lines? 

Probably nothing worth mentioning - I can't find another example in the text.

Anyone got any ideas?

Edited by Legitimate_Bastard

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Well a 'shadow' is a dark mirrored projection of an object illuminated by light

Keyword: mirrored

Perhaps 'shadow maps' are maps that are in the process of being mirrored or photocopied

Or

Perhaps 'shadow maps' are secret maps to hidden places... possibly secret treasure maps

 

1 hour ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

the bronze Myrish lens tube sat on a tripod by the terrace door, star charts hung from the walls, shadow maps

Anyways...bronze, Myrish, TRI-pod, star, maps ... I like these things lol

 

And no, topographical maps do not use shadows in its development. Maybe if the sun didn't move it is kinda possible, but even then, it would take forever.

Topographical maps use a lot of measuring, math, trigonometry, and barometric pressure. It takes a long long time. With new tech, topographical maps can be made with aerial photography, lasers and GPS...but it will still take a long long time.

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30 minutes ago, The Map Guy said:

And no, topographical maps do not use shadows in its development. Maybe if the sun didn't move it is kinda possible, but even then, it would take forever.

 

I think you misunderstand me. I meant - instead of lines, could shadow have been used to indicate elevation. i.e. the darker the shading the higher the elevation, or something similar.

On second thoughts it may just be maps of Asshai, or maps of unknown lands.

Yes, the definition of a shadow is as you described. But how could that be of use on a map? A map of where shadows fall? What purpose would that serve.

 

 

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The Shadow by Asshai seems a pretty concrete thing. Mappable, perhaps?

All the other 'shadows' we know of represent living beings, I think, so not mappable. Although... stars represent ghosts in some contexts. Shadow maps are described with star charts in the background as context. Still very cryptic.

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5 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

The Shadow by Asshai seems a pretty concrete thing. Mappable, perhaps?

All the other 'shadows' we know of represent living beings, I think, so not mappable. Although... stars represent ghosts in some contexts. Shadow maps are described with star charts in the background as context. Still very cryptic.

Yeah Shadow Lands makes the most sense - IDK why that didn't strike me right away.

I guess it was early in the books. I suppose not calling it 'maps of the Shadow by Asshai' doesn't mean that isn't what they were.

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Just now, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Yeah Shadow Lands makes the most sense - IDK why that didn't strike me right away.

I guess it was early in the books. I suppose not calling it 'maps of the Shadow by Asshai' doesn't mean that isn't what they were.

For me too, mostly. Although I don't see why Luwin would be studying multiple  maps of the area. He has a lot of hidden depths, for a short-lived character.

Great original observation btw :) . I never spotted that one.

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1 minute ago, Springwatch said:

For me too, mostly. Although I don't see why Luwin would be studying multiple  maps of the area. He has a lot of hidden depths, for a short-lived character.

Great original observation btw :) . I never spotted that one.

Yeah it was a real shame to lose Luwin. 

Thank you!

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It could be marking angles of shadows to do calculations about seasons/weather and/or time of year. Which are all a little wonky on Planetos. (Think a shadow stick.)

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Yes, great topic! Nice catch.

This scene in Luwin's chamber is a really pivotal moment in the journeys Bran and Rickon are about to make. I don't think GRRM is a formulaic writer, but a hero's journey often includes a stage where a mentor explains the quest and, perhaps, provides a magic tool or weapon. Maester Luwin has just been bitten by Shaggydog, which probably creates a special link between Luwin and Rickon (via magic). He is reluctant to let them all into his chamber, as I recall, but discusses there the Pact and the Children of the Forest and gives the boys some dragonglass arrowheads.

I suspect the books, candles and wax, Myrish Lens, star charts, shadow maps, papers and inks and even the raven droppings represent important things the travelers will need or will encounter when they leave Winterfell. You may be right that the reference is to the land known as the Shadowlands, but everything in Essos is kind of a mummer's, "fun house mirror" version of things in Westeros. So the maps would reflect something closer to home at the same time they show the distant place.

Of course, after conjuring that theory I actually went back to look at the chapter and found this, just after Bran observes that the youthful bannermen being trained by Ser Rodrik are not good fighters:

Quote

The maester was peering through his big Myrish lens tube, measuring shadows and noting the position of the comet that hung low in the morning sky. "Yet given time... Ser Rodrick has the truth of it, we need men to walk the walls...."

So the shadow maps may be an effort to understand more about the comet. Maybe he takes measurements each day in the hope of calculating the likely crash location of the comet / meteorite.

Later in the chapter (before the group returns to Luwin's turret) there is talk of the importance of keeping the maester's torch lit in the crypt. Shaggydog is described as "the darkness" and Summer as "a leaping shadow" when the Maester is attacked. "In the light of the guttering torch, shadow wolves twenty feet tall fought on the wall and roof." (AGoT, Chap. 66, Bran VII)

We know that the Night's Watch brothers refer to the comet as Mormont's Torch. When Ghost guides Jon to the discovery of the dragonglass cache at the Fist, Jon jabs his torch into the soft sand so he can use both hands to dig. I read this as the symbolic landing place for the comet, as if Jon was digging up the meteorite where it had landed. Perhaps we are meant to apply the same interpretation to the torch Luwin drops in the crypt - at Ned's tomb.

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2 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Yes, the definition of a shadow is as you described. But how could that be of use on a map? A map of where shadows fall? What purpose would that serve.

I was just implying that shadows are a form of mirrors. Shadowing ~ mirroring ~ photocopying. Ludwin's "shadow map" is a photocopied map.

 

1 hour ago, Ser Leftwich said:

It could be marking angles of shadows to do calculations about seasons/weather and/or time of year. Which are all a little wonky on Planetos. (Think a shadow stick.)

I like this answer...but it wouldn't have to be a map, it would be a chart of this data.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

If you guys want to get scientific medievally, there is this guy. He estimated/calculated the Earth's circumference using the shadows at two different cities with the known distance in between.

Technically, you can estimate the distance between two different cities using the Planetos' circumference, the shadow data of each city, and precision-operation of an hourglass.

But again...this type of information doesn't need to be on a map, the data can be on a chart.

 

I dunno, maybe GRRM really likes maps.

 

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1 hour ago, Seams said:

Yes, great topic! Nice catch.

This scene in Luwin's chamber is a really pivotal moment in the journeys Bran and Rickon are about to make. I don't think GRRM is a formulaic writer, but a hero's journey often includes a stage where a mentor explains the quest and, perhaps, provides a magic tool or weapon. Maester Luwin has just been bitten by Shaggydog, which probably creates a special link between Luwin and Rickon (via magic). He is reluctant to let them all into his chamber, as I recall, but discusses there the Pact and the Children of the Forest and gives the boys some dragonglass arrowheads.

I suspect the books, candles and wax, Myrish Lens, star charts, shadow maps, papers and inks and even the raven droppings represent important things the travelers will need or will encounter when they leave Winterfell. You may be right that the reference is to the land known as the Shadowlands, but everything in Essos is kind of a mummer's, "fun house mirror" version of things in Westeros. So the maps would reflect something closer to home at the same time they show the distant place.

Of course, after conjuring that theory I actually went back to look at the chapter and found this, just after Bran observes that the youthful bannermen being trained by Ser Rodrik are not good fighters:

So the shadow maps may be an effort to understand more about the comet. Maybe he takes measurements each day in the hope of calculating the likely crash location of the comet / meteorite.

Later in the chapter (before the group returns to Luwin's turret) there is talk of the importance of keeping the maester's torch lit in the crypt. Shaggydog is described as "the darkness" and Summer as "a leaping shadow" when the Maester is attacked. "In the light of the guttering torch, shadow wolves twenty feet tall fought on the wall and roof." (AGoT, Chap. 66, Bran VII)

We know that the Night's Watch brothers refer to the comet as Mormont's Torch. When Ghost guides Jon to the discovery of the dragonglass cache at the Fist, Jon jabs his torch into the soft sand so he can use both hands to dig. I read this as the symbolic landing place for the comet, as if Jon was digging up the meteorite where it had landed. Perhaps we are meant to apply the same interpretation to the torch Luwin drops in the crypt - at Ned's tomb.

That is why I love this forum. 

Wonderful exposition.

Thanks!

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In this forum, people have been interpreting these shadow maps as documents regarding the astronomical observation of moon phases (shadows on the moon). Hence their mention in the same context of myrish lens (i.e. small telescopes) and star charts. Since Westeros has a lunar calendar, moon phases are supposed to be crucial to maesters' accounts.

Edited by Ckram

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1 hour ago, Ckram said:

In this forum, people have been interpreting these shadow maps as documents regarding the astronomical observation of moon phases (shadows on the moon). Hence their mention in the same context of myrish lens (i.e. small telescopes) and star charts. Since Westeros has a lunar calendar, moon phases are supposed to be crucial to maesters' accounts.

I like this explanation best so far -- that's a sort of shadow that is obvious and observable enough for the name "shadow maps" to make sense to ordinary people, and perhaps moon shadows are also one of the ways in which the maesters attempt to predict the change of seasons?

 

Another image that came to mind for me when reading the description was that of map overlays on transparent-ish paper -- that's something I could see being a lot of use in Westeros (if they can manufacture paper, or something similar, of that sort). So that you have one master map that shows roads & rivers & fields & holdfasts, but then you have "shadow maps" that you put over them to see harvest sizes, hill tribe territories, weather patterns, whatever... things that would either introduce too much detail into the master map or that are more changeable than the land itself.

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10 hours ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

Total S.W.A.G. approach here, but they might be maps that can only be seen when illuminated from behind, like a watermark.

Nice, just almost like Tolkien ... illuminated with moon light.

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Moon-letters

The deciphered message leads to the secret passageways on a map

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Thrór's_Map

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3 minutes ago, The Map Guy said:

Nice, just almost like Tolkien ... illuminated with moon light.

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Moon-letters

The deciphered message leads to the secret passageways on a map

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Thrór's_Map

 

Sort of what I was thinking. You could either have additional information not illuminated on normal viewing of the map or even a blank parchment that has the information only visible by certain means.

I have no problem with the notion that they are moon phase maps, but it seems an odd phrasing that could easily have cleared up the matter by adding the word "moon" to the sentence.

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Quote

Maester Luwin's turret was so cluttered that it seemed to Bran a wonder that he ever found anything. Tottering piles of books covered tables and chairs, rows of stoppered jars lined the shelves, candle stubs and puddles of dried wax dotted the furniture, the bronze Myrish lens tube sat on a tripod by the terrace door, star charts hung from the walls, shadow maps lay scattered among the rushes, papers, quills, and pots of inks were everywhere, and all of it was spotted with droppings from the ravens in the rafters. Their strident quorks drifted down from above as Osha washed and cleaned and bandaged the maester's wounds, under Luwin's terse instruction. "This is folly," the small grey man said while she dabbed at the wolf bites with a stinging ointment. "I agree that it is odd that both you boys dreamed the same dream, yet when you stop to consider it, it's only natural. You miss your lord father, and you know that he is a captive. Fear can fever a man's mind and give him queer thoughts. Rickon is too young to comprehend—"

The full passage

The OP's original quote was taken out of context. Above is the full passage.

 

"Strident" .... a word that is only used once ever in the books, how odd.

You guys ever watch the TV show "How I Met Your Mother"? Barney Stinson is a playboy and in one episode he tries to pick up women at the bar by saying he is an astronaut for "SNASA" (secret-NASA). He claimed he never been on the moon, but he has been to the "smoon" (secret-moon).

Maester Ludwin was bitten by Shaggydog just like Joffery was bitten by Nymeria at the Trident...while Arya was looking for Rhaegar's rubies.

Geeee, I wonder what this all means? *cough Rhaegar Ruby Secret Treasure Map Theory cough*

Maybe it means nothing, maybe it means everything.

Perhaps shadow maps = smaps

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So, he's standing on his balcony. In the morning, in daylight. He's looking through the tube, measuring shadows and taking the position of the comet (if Bran is correct, the two operations are very similar in appearance). He's writing down numbers (the elevation and bearing of the comet?). He has shadow maps scattered on the floor of his workroom, so he's obviously consulting or revising them in the light of his fresh observations.

I still have no idea where or what these shadows are.

Not on the face of the moon, because it's daylight, and the moon is easier to observe at night.

Not on the ground, probably. It seems a bad idea to try and measure something through a telescopic lens when you could go out with a tape measure and get it accurately. As I'm sure Eratosthenes sort of did. (Thanks @The Map Guy.)

I've been wondering if this comet is a tiny bit magical and is bright enough to cast shadows of its own. I've read up a bit on historic observations of great comets, and some were said to have one quarter the brightness of the moon. The moon does cast shadows, though I feel sure the comets did not. And why measure the shadow anyway?

The most rational explanation I can think of is that Luwin is trying to replicate some crazy set of measurements taken by maesters at Winterfell since ancient times. Some method of predicting winter, perhaps.

Still don't know what he's measuring though.

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The Shadow that Luwin was mapping is the old "second moon" from Qartheen Legend, and it is the Lion of Night from Yi-ti that caused the Long Night, and it is the Stranger from the Faith of the Seven.  It is the god of death--the black unknowable wanderer (planet) from far places.  It is a totally black "planet" that is wandering in our solar system (I actually think there are two black planets, one very near by and one closer to the sun).

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/152355-theories-on-magic-in-westeros/&page=9&tab=comments#comment-8257947

 

"The maester was peering through his big Myrish lens tube, measuring shadows and noting the position of the comet that hung low in the morning sky."

"the bronze Myrish lens tube sat on a tripod by the terrace door, star charts hung from the walls, shadow maps lay scattered among the rushes"

Luwin was mapping something called the Shadow--that can be seen from Winterfell with a telescope, and using star charts to do so, indicating that it is moving and being mapped relative to stars, and it was causing him consternation.

"He saw Maester Luwin on his balcony, studying the sky through a polished bronze tube and frowning as he made notes in a book" 

That is from one of Bran's falling dreams when he also sees the Shadow of the Mountain eclipsing the sun.

 

"in Qarth the tales state that there was once a second moon in the sky. One day this moon was scalded by the sun and cracked like an egg, and a million dragons poured forth. In Asshai, the tales are many and confused, but certain texts—all impossibly ancient—claim that dragons first came from the Shadow, a place where all of our learning fails us. These Asshai'i histories say that a people so ancient they had no name first tamed dragons in the Shadow"

The second moon and the Shadow are listed right next to each other as origins of the dragons.  And the second moon is associated with eclipses.

Dragons came from the second moon that cracked during eclipse, and dragons came from the Shadow, therefore the Shadow is the second "moon".  A totally black planet that drinks the light, and can only be seen when it blocks out known celestial objects like other stars and planets, hence the shadow maps.  As in "The moon was a black hole in the sky"

 

The wording of the Long Night events sounds like eclipse

"Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back upon the world, and the Lion of Night came forth"

"the sun hid its face from the earth for a lifetime"

" the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time"

 

In the scene when Drogo pours molten gold over Viserys' head, Lml has pointed out, is describing an eclipse and closely parallels the Bloodstone Emperors blood betrayal which caused the Long Night. 

In Latin, derogo means to "take away" and Drogo is the Sun.  "vis erus" means "master of the power" and I think represents the Black Planet an incredibly powerful spaceship (as in Plague Star), and Dany is the moon, Viserys usurps his sister, eclipses (takes away) the sun, and is given a golden crown (corona) by the sun.

 

The Shadow in Asshai is a literal shadow being cast by the black planet, that is what is messing up the seasons.  

Ghostgrass is a metaphor for the Others, and Ghostgrass can only live in the Shadow:

"Down in the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are oceans of ghost grass, taller than a man on horseback with stalks as pale as milkglass. It murders all other grass and glows in the dark with the spirits of the damned. The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end."

The White Walkers' bones are described as Milkglass, they live in the shadow (in darkness), glow with the spirits of the damned, will someday kill all living things. 

 

"Based upon his work on the movement of stars in the firmament, Nicol argues unconvincingly that the seasons might once have been of a regular length, determined solely by the way in which the globe faces the sun in its heavenly course. The notion behind it seems true enough—that the lengthening and shortening of days, if more regular, would have led to more regular seasons—but he could find no evidence that such was ever the case, beyond the most ancient of tales."

In the ancient star charts, the movement of the stars was regular and circular, they are now irregular indicating that the tilt of the Earth is oscillating causing irregular days and irregular seasons.  The Shadow planets are what is affecting the tilt of the Earth.  The Shadow over Asshai, and over the North pole.

 

 

"Winter is coming, and when the Long Night falls, only the Night's Watch will stand between the realm and the darkness that sweeps from the north."

"The men who formed the Night's Watch knew that only their courage shielded the realm from the darkness to the north."

 

The curtain of light that Bran sees in his dream is the Aurora,  beyond that curtain is darkness and that is where the Others are hiding out, under the shadow of the Shadow--the darkness in the north.  They can only move from that shadow at night and have to return there during the day--that is what has kept them in the far north for thousands of years. 

 

"The Horn of Joramun?" Melisandre said. "No. Call it the Horn of Darkness. If the Wall falls, night falls as well, the long night that never ends.

 

There is a literal shadow in the north that when it moves south, will allow the White Walkers to move south, because they can only move in darkness.

 

"The bleeding star bespoke the end,” he said to Aeron. “These are the last days, when the world shall be broken and remade. A new god shall be born from the graves and charnel pits.” Then Euron lifted a great horn to his lips and blew, and dragons and krakens and sphinxes came at his command and bowed before him."

Dragons came at his command

"a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire"

"It were the black one," the man said, in a Ghiscari growl, "the winged shadow."

But most dreaded of all is the shadow-wing, a nocturnal monster whose black scales and wings make him all but invisible...until he descends out of the darkness to tear apart his prey."

 

The God on Earth arrived on the Lion of Night--the totally black planet-sized spaceship, and his descendant used the Lion of Night to cause the Long Night, so it is an object that can be controlled.  It is associated with dragons, I think the Dragonbinder/horn of darkness can steer the Lion of Night and park it in eclipse formation, and block out the sun over the entire Earth and that is what the Long Night is.

The Horn is a remote control.

 

We learn in Arya's chapters that the Lion of Night is one of the manifestations of the God of Death, depicted in the HoBW as "man with a lion's head seated on a throne, carved of ebony."

And the other gods of death: "On the other side of the doors, a huge horse of bronze and iron reared up on two great legs. Farther on she could make out a great stone face, a pale infant with a sword, a shaggy black goat the size of an aurochs, a hooded man leaning on a staff. The rest were only looming shapes to her, half-seen through the gloom. Between the gods were hidden alcoves thick with shadows"

The phrase "the Lion of Night" means "the powerful ruler of night"--an he sits on a black throne.

"Thirty different gods stood along the walls, surrounded by their little lights. The Weeping Woman was the favorite of old women, Arya saw; rich men preferred the Lion of Night, poor men the Hooded Wayfarer. Soldiers lit candles to Bakkalon, the Pale Child, sailors to the Moon-Pale Maiden and the Merling King. The Stranger had his shrine as well, though hardly anyone ever came to him. Most of the time only a single candle stood flickering at his feet. The kindly man said it did not matter. "He has many faces, and many ears to hear."

"And many names," the kindly man had said. "In Qohor he is the Black Goat, in Yi Ti the Lion of Night, in Westeros the Stranger. All men must bow to him in the end, no matter if they worship the Seven or the Lord of Light, the Moon Mother or the Drowned God or the Great Shepherd. All mankind belongs to him . . . else somewhere in the world would be a folk who lived forever. Do you know of any folk who live forever?"


The Black planet is the God of Death because his arrival coincides with the return of the Others, (aka, the Lion of Night and his demon army) when all men must die, and all men must serve in the undead army during the Long Night.

 

The Stranger in the Faith of the Seven is the Black Planet:

"And the seventh face . . . the Stranger was neither male nor female, yet both, ever the outcast, the wanderer from far places, less and more than human, unknown and unknowable. Here the face was a black oval, a shadow with stars for eyes."

"The Stranger's face was the face of death."

"The Stranger in the shadows, his half-human, concealed beneath a hooded mantle."

"she was the Stranger, hiding her true face from my gaze "

The Stranger's face was a shadow, black, concealed.  Is he the great stone face that Arya saw in the HoBW?  I think it is a totally black spaceship (fused black stone material), perhaps with two lights on it.  It can be seen from Earth only when it travels in front of other known planets and stars that it then blocks out.  It has to be very big, planet sized (see Plague Star, and George mentions black worlds in The Stone City "and the ghost ships flitting out from the core and the screechers of the black worlds in the Far Arm and the ancient races that had locked their stars in spheres and a thousand worlds undreamed of.") 

Sandor is called the Stranger, and he is regularly described as blocking out the sun and emerging from the dark and his black horse is called Stranger.  In Fire and Blood there is a similar character called Sandoq the Shadow, who dresses is all black.  Shadow = Stranger

 

The guy who ended the Long Night is remembered in some tales as "Shadowchaser" he chased the Shadow out of eclipse.

 

The Black Sun in In the House of the Worm seems to represent the end of civilization for George, as in the Dying of the Light, as the light of the suns fades away, civilization ends.   I think the Darkstar/Stranger/Black Planet of the the Long Night represents the end of civilization on Planetos also.  

 

see also:

the Black Sun from Arthur C. Clark's City and the Stars collapsed the galactic empire (and there is a city called Lys, and an immortal polypous creature that lives in a lake, and the destruction of the moon by shooting something from Earth)

In Asimov's Nightfall, the eclipse ("the long night") caused by a dark planet leads to the collapse of civilization.

and the totally black stone planet Yuggoth from Lovecraft's Whisperer in Darkness, that brought aliens to Earth, and will be discovered by Earth's astronomers

and "dark stars"  are mentioned in the Call of Cthulhu "those first men formed the cult around small idols which the Great Ones shewed them; idols brought in dim aeras from dark stars."

In Weber's Mutineer's Moon, the moon is a disguised spaceship whose emblem is a three headed dragon Azhi Dahak--Azhi sounds like Asshai. There is a mutiny and all the smaller ships and escape pods fly out and land on Earth, dragons coming from the moon.  This closely parallels the Qaartheen moon myth, and the myth of the Grey King.

The Coldfire Trilogy books are named Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls, Crown of Shadows, in these stories the planet is suffused with magic called Fae, and the dark Fae is the most powerful and evil kind which is only active when it is completely dark outside when True Night falls. 

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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If there really is a massive black "planet" that is casting a Shadow over Asshai and the Lands of Always Winter, then the area between those spots should also be shadowed, and I just discovered this passage about the furthest explored region of the Shivering Sea:

Quote
Beyond N'ghai are the forests of Mossovy, a cold dark land of shapechangers and demon hunters. Beyond Mossovy...
No man of Westeros can truly say. Certain septons have claimed that the world ends east of Mossovy, giving way to a realm of mists, then a realm of darkness, and finally a realm of storm and chaos where sea and sky become as one. Sailors and singers and other dreamers prefer to believe that the Shivering Sea goes on and on, unending, past the easternmost coasts of Essos, past islands and continents unknown, uncharted, and undreamed of, where strange peoples worship strange gods beneath stranger stars. Wiser men suggest that somewhere beyond the waters we know, east becomes west, and the Shivering Sea must surely join the Sunset Sea, if indeed the world is round.
It may be so. Or not. Until some new Sea Snake arises to sail beyond the sunrise, no man can know for certain.

Mossovy is cold dark land with grim, grey forests (dead forests?), there are shapechangers there and demon hunters--which presupposes the presence of demons, do they mean white walkers?  This parallels north of the Wall in Westeros.

Then beyond Mossovy is a realm of darkness that lies between the North Pole and Asshai, where the world ends, and the sea and sky become as one.  I think this is the shadow of the black planet.  And if the gravitational pull from the black planet is strong enough to alter the tilt of the Earth and thus alter the seasons, and it is close enough to the surface of the Earth, it could actually be pulling the sea water off the Earth--and that is what they meant by "a realm of storm and chaos where the sea and sky become as one."  It is a Lovecraftian trope that mystical islands--where the Old Ones reside--are hidden underwater and they resurface at crucial moments--the removal of massive amounts of seawater might reveal these islands that have sunken.  And/or the massive tidal pull was what sunk them, for example the Thousand Islands which are nearby in the Shivering Sea.  And when the black planet shifts position it will pull a huge tsunami with it.  

In passing they mention worship of "strange gods beneath stranger stars"--and I think the black planet/Shadow is The Stranger, a strange god, Black Sun, the Dark Star, it is itself a Stranger star.

This passage also made me think of Quaithe's riddle to Dany, about "east becomes west" and "passing beneath the Shadow" as well as Bran's dream when he seas "Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise"

To me Quaithe's riddle is about things coming full circle, if the black planet is the Lion of Night that Dany's ancestors arrived to Earth in, then her touching the light by passing beneath the Shadow is about her discovering the truth of her heritage, coming full circle and claiming her birthright as a god--the captain of the Lion of Night.  And Quaithe did promise Dany she could learn the truth in Asshai.

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