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Weirdwood tree seeds?

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I've never seen it mentioned in the series but how do weirwood trees grow? Do they grow out of trees? Are the weirwoods part of a single organism spanning Westeros ? (they're all connected; i forgot what the word for this is)

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5 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

I've never seen it mentioned in the series but how do weirwood trees grow? Do they grow out of trees? Are the weirwoods part of a single organism spanning Westeros ? (they're all connected; i forgot what the word for this is)

Here - they exist.

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

The boy looked at the bowl uncertainly. "What is it?"
"A paste of weirwood seeds."
Something about the look of it made Bran feel ill. The red veins were only weirwood sap, he supposed, but in the torchlight they looked remarkably like blood. He dipped the spoon into the paste, then hesitated. "Will this make me a greenseer?"

 

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Posted (edited)

They have a horrible germination rate apparently.

Edited by nyser1
edit

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WTF are blood blooms? 

  Quote

Closer to the towers, corpses littered the ground on every side. Blood-blooms had sprouted from their gaping wounds, pale flowers with petals plump and moist as a woman's lips.

Reek II, Dance 20

A weirwood sprout/seedling? 

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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 11:46 PM, Falcon2909 said:

(they're all connected; i forgot what the word for this is)

 

Are you referring to a super-organism?

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

Are you referring to a super-organism?

Supra-organism is the more etymologically correct word.

 

Wikipedia told me so! :drool:

Edited by Legitimate_Bastard

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On 3/21/2019 at 11:06 PM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Here - they exist.

 

What if Leaf was lying? (you know, cus its Jojen Paste)

 

11 hours ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

Are you referring to a super-organism?

Yes that's right. I feel its one huge supra-organism that spans Westeros. The Weirwoodnet heh

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On 3/23/2019 at 1:00 AM, Falcon2909 said:

What if Leaf was lying? (you know, cus its Jojen Paste)

In this instance I am going to take a risk and say that Leaf is telling the truth. It seems the seeds are a known thing, or what would Bran have thought he was eating? Jojenpaste or no, I think Bran thought he was eating weirwood seeds. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/23/2019 at 1:00 AM, Falcon2909 said:

What if Leaf was lying? (you know, cus its Jojen Paste)

 

Yes that's right. I feel its one huge supra-organism that spans Westeros. The Weirwoodnet heh

There is real world precedent for this, there is an entire forest in the American southwest that is a single organism connected at the root system, no individual tree is over 300 years old, and are all genetic clones, but the organism itself estimated to have been alive at least 80,000 years.

Edit. Many grasses and herbs grow in this manner but are not nearly as old.

Also, I don't know the scientific name of the tree but they are colloquially called pando clones, and I read a very interesting article in National Geographic about them. The pando forest is located in south central Utah and takes up approximately 106 acres of land above ground, it theoretically could spread out further underground, in addition to being one of the oldest know living organism, it is also the one of heaviest at an estimated 6 million kgs

Edited by Back door hodor

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9 hours ago, Back door hodor said:

There is real world precedent for this, there is an entire forest in the American southwest that is a single organism connected at the root system, no individual tree is over 300 years old, and are all genetic clones, but the organism itself estimated to have been alive at least 80,000 years.

Edit. Many grasses and herbs grow in this manner but are not nearly as old.

Also, I don't know the scientific name of the tree but they are colloquially called pando clones, and I read a very interesting article in National Geographic about them. The pando forest is located in south central Utah and takes up approximately 106 acres of land above ground, it theoretically could spread out further underground, in addition to being the oldest know living organism, it is also the heaviest at an estimated 6 million kgs

Nat Geo is awesome. 

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Given the magical (blood magic) properties of the Weirnet, I've always thought Arya planted a Wierwood when they buried the sellsword on the way to the wall. He died, they dug a grave, then threw acorns on top of the body before burying him.

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In Lovecraft's Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, there is an enchanted forest with a "haunted tree unlike the others, which had grown from a seed dropt down by someone on the moon" the zoogs live inside the trees and in burrows, and they are secretive, small and brown and have weird eyes, and they make a psychedelic drink from the fermented sap of the haunted "moon-tree".

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On 3/26/2019 at 5:05 AM, Back door hodor said:

There is real world precedent for this, there is an entire forest in the American southwest that is a single organism connected at the root system, no individual tree is over 300 years old, and are all genetic clones, but the organism itself estimated to have been alive at least 80,000 years.

Edit. Many grasses and herbs grow in this manner but are not nearly as old.

Also, I don't know the scientific name of the tree but they are colloquially called pando clones, and I read a very interesting article in National Geographic about them. The pando forest is located in south central Utah and takes up approximately 106 acres of land above ground, it theoretically could spread out further underground, in addition to being one of the oldest know living organism, it is also the one of heaviest at an estimated 6 million kgs

There was a big theory on this a while back, that the Weirwoods are acting as a pando type system. It intrigues me and I think it could be a possibility, and maybe links with magic in the wall (maybe).

49 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

In Lovecraft's Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, there is an enchanted forest with a "haunted tree unlike the others, which had grown from a seed dropt down by someone on the moon" the zoogs live inside the trees and in burrows, and they are secretive, small and brown and have weird eyes, and they make a psychedelic drink from the fermented sap of the haunted "moon-tree".

Well, I just re-read this Dream Cycle series a few weeks ago and caught the same notations. It is no wonder this could maybe be something GRRM used from Lovecraft (he does say HPL is an influence on him), but GRRM would definitely use what he wants while reworking it to make it his own.

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4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Well, I just re-read this Dream Cycle series a few weeks ago and caught the same notations. It is no wonder this could maybe be something GRRM used from Lovecraft (he does say HPL is an influence on him), but GRRM would definitely use what he wants while reworking it to make it his own.

I think its the other way around, that ASOIAF is supposed to be the origin story to the entire Lovecraft mythos, and that the Lovecraftian lore is a very distorted recollection of real events from Earth's antediluvian history.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I think its the other way around, that ASOIAF is supposed to be the origin story to the entire Lovecraft mythos, and that the Lovecraftian lore is a very distorted recollection of real events from Earth's antediluvian history.

 

Yeah, no, sorry. GRRM has been very clear about how HPL influenced him and why, and what he does and doesn't use. He is not writing 2 million+ wordcount precursor to the Yog-Sothothian mythos. Plus, are you familiar with the work of Zelazny, Tuttle, Tolkien, Heinlein, etc? Those authors also play huge roles in GRRM's influence, but I don't think he is plagerizing them- he is reworking his influences and using them as his own. Besides, why wouldn't GRRM just come out and tell us he is writing Yog-Sothothian mythos? That wouldn't be worthy of a secret. And why would it take 20+ years, especially if the groundwork is already established? And why would the HPL influences only show up in small doses in certain plotlines rather than all over?

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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On 3/20/2019 at 11:46 PM, Falcon2909 said:

I've never seen it mentioned in the series but how do weirwood trees grow? Do they grow out of trees? Are the weirwoods part of a single organism spanning Westeros ? (they're all connected; i forgot what the word for this is)

 

On 3/26/2019 at 2:05 AM, Back door hodor said:

There is real world precedent for this, there is an entire forest in the American southwest that is a single organism connected at the root system, no individual tree is over 300 years old, and are all genetic clones, but the organism itself estimated to have been alive at least 80,000 years.

Edit. Many grasses and herbs grow in this manner but are not nearly as old.

Also, I don't know the scientific name of the tree but they are colloquially called pando clones, and I read a very interesting article in National Geographic about them. The pando forest is located in south central Utah and takes up approximately 106 acres of land above ground, it theoretically could spread out further underground, in addition to being one of the oldest know living organism, it is also the one of heaviest at an estimated 6 million kgs

There is also a real world precedence involving a symbiotic relationship between mushrooms/fungi and trees/roots.  Mushrooms send out a complex web of root-like fibers called Mycelium.  Most mushrooms appear above ground to create spores that are distributed by wind, contact with animals and a host of other mechanisms, but the bulk of these organisms exist below ground as a massive colony of thread-like tissue.  Plants (including trees) have root systems that branch out into fine threads that absorb water and nutrients from the soil around them.  The fine threads at the ends of the branches of tree roots come in contact with the fine threads of the mushrooms that surround them and merge ( mycorrhiza) where the two organisms exchange water, nutrients and minerals.   I always imagine that the weirwood/weirweb communicates through this vast sprawling web of mushroom mycelia. 

But I don't think that the weirwoods propagate and breed through this mechanism.  Weirwoods are trees and trees propagate through pollination and the production of seeds, nuts, etc.  

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7 hours ago, White Ravens said:

 

There is also a real world precedence involving a symbiotic relationship between mushrooms/fungi and trees/roots.  Mushrooms send out a complex web of root-like fibers called Mycelium.  Most mushrooms appear above ground to create spores that are distributed by wind, contact with animals and a host of other mechanisms, but the bulk of these organisms exist below ground as a massive colony of thread-like tissue.  Plants (including trees) have root systems that branch out into fine threads that absorb water and nutrients from the soil around them.  The fine threads at the ends of the branches of tree roots come in contact with the fine threads of the mushrooms that surround them and merge ( mycorrhiza) where the two organisms exchange water, nutrients and minerals.   I always imagine that the weirwood/weirweb communicates through this vast sprawling web of mushroom mycelia. 

But I don't think that the weirwoods propagate and breed through this mechanism.  Weirwoods are trees and trees propagate through pollination and the production of seeds, nuts, etc.  

I favor the weirwood fungus hypothesis--I don't think weirwoods are trees at all but rather the "trees" are just the fruiting body that sprout up from the vast mycorrhizal network underground, which is the main organism.  Weirwood don't require light, can grow underground, and probably prefer darkness, and they feed on blood rather than photosynthesis.  And they seem to sprout up where blood has been spilled.  They grow in rings like mushroom fairy rings.

Mycelia are also called hyphae, which means "web" and one of the parts of the hypha is called a "septa"

Amanita muscaria is a red and white mushroom that is psychedelic, and has a symbiotic relationship with trees.  It can give the feeling that you are flying.

 

The Greywater Fungus

Spoiler

The fungus from The Men of Greywater Station.  In that story a small research station has recently been established in a swamp on a planet dominated by a mysterious fungus.  That fungus has mind-control abilities, and it has essentially skin-changed all of the animal life on the planet to serve it.  The men are trying to figure out how to weaponize the fungus for military purposes, but the fungus sees them and their facility as a threat and is determined to destroy them and/or absorb them into the collective. 

The humans continually underestimate the intelligence of the fungus and it ends up getting them to kill themselves through an ingenious combination of false prophetic dreams, weather control, strategy, deception, and skin-changing a few people as pawns.

They don't know where the fungus came from, or if it is native to this planet, but during the course of the story they mention that they found spores all the way up in to the highest parts of the atmosphere--suggesting that the spores might be carried from one planet to another by the spores catching a ride on the solar wind or a meteor or comet.

Also, it is suggested that the fungus might be a tree.  At one point the characters are setting booby-traps by cutting most of the way through tree trunks so that they could be used to crush the enemy.  There is one weird tree:

Quote

The fifth tree was giving him trouble. It was a different species from the others, gnarled and overhung with creepers and rock-hard. He was only halfway through, and already he’d had to change the blade twice. That made him edgy. One slip with the blade, one slash in the skinthins, and the spores could get at him.
“Damn thing,” he said, when the teeth began to snap off for the third time. “It cuts like it’s half petrified. Damn.”

Someone on youtube suggested that the tree was only making him think it was difficult to cut through to protect itself and get him to stop.

The main character has a dream before the attack on the base where he sees the base far in the future and it is destroyed and overrun with fungus, and it may be that either the fungus sent this dream to demoralize them and weaken their resolve or it actually can see into the future.

There is a suggestion that the fungus can control the weather, as a particularly strong storm blows in just as the fungus begins its attack and clears just as soon as the attack is over. 

The fungus gets the men to kill each other through deception, by making faction 1 think that faction 2 have already been absorbed into the collective and are fighting for the fungus, when in reality the fungus only had a couple men under its control and they had no weapons and were no threat at all. 

 

The Greywater fungus is a hive-minded, skin-changing/mind-controlling/telepathic, false dream sending/greenseeing, weather-controlling, malevolent, expansionist, planet-hopping, interstellar fungus.  The Greywater fungus is essentially a different type of weirwood.

 

 

Weirwoods also have some similarities to starfish, anemones, and the hydra

Starfish turn to stone when they die.  Seastar means starfish (asteroidea), and Bloodraven loved Seastar, and wed the weirwood.  And in Tuf's Guardians, the hive-minded mudpots weaponize starfish to fight the invading humans.  In ASOIAF the CoTF were said to have turned the trees to warriors to fight the invading humans. 

Patchface says that under the sea the women wear anemones in their hair.  In the Men of Greywater Station, and A Song For Lya, when the fungus infects your brain you grow tendrils of fungus out of your head, in ASOIAF when you are in the weirwood network--when you are "under the sea"/(under the greensee) it looks like you have an anemone on your head, the weirwood has infected your mind.  Also, I think the sigil of Dorne looks like an anemone.

In the DC comics in the 60s there was a creature called Starro, that was a telepathic starfish alien, his powers included absorbing the minds of people, telepathic control via spores (like the greywater fungus), regenerative ability (if you cut him in half, you would have two of him), but he was vulnerable to extreme cold--and in Sandkings, extreme cold put the maws (psionic hive-minded weirwood-like creatures) into hibernation. 

Hydra have been described as being "biologically immortal" because of their regenerative ability, they do not seem to age.  They are a predatory animal that looks like a little white tree with tentacles.  The adult hydra is called a medusa.   They have hands and a mouth and they catch passing prey, paralyze it with venomous barbs and eat it.  If you cut part of it off it just grows into a clone of its parent.

" 'If you cut a worm in two, you make two worms,' the acolyte informed them."

The Medusa from Sturgeon's The Cosmic Rape, was a telepathic hive-minded polyp that spanned several galaxies and tried to take over Earth with mind-control.  Its spores looked like raisins, and if you ate the spore it would take over your mind.

In Arthur C Clarke's The City and the Stars, there is a hive-minded immortal polypous shapeshifting medusa-colony alien that lives in a lake, awaiting the return of the "Great Ones" not far from a city called Lys.

In The Call of Cthulhu, they worship a ancient ageless white polypous thing with luminous eyes that lives at a secret lake, and bat-winged creatures come out to worship it at midnight "It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die. But it made men dream, and so they knew enough to keep away."

And in the Moon-Lens, the Black Goat of the Woods is essentially a weirwood, it is a polypous alien that lives in a cave and eats humans, it is referred to as a gorgon.  It has coexisted with humans for thousands of years and the worship it as a god, and it is the basis for many human religions.

In greek myth the Lernaean Hydra guarded the entrance to the underworld, and had many heads that would grow back if you cut them off.  Hercules kills it by burning the stumps after cutting the heads off. 

 

Just for good measure, check out the Fangs of the Trees, from Silverberg's Earth's Other Shadow, (and Something Wild is Loose, from that same volume about a little polypous alien stowaway called Vsiir that telepathically sends nightmares)  As well as Vance's Sons of the Tree.  Both have intelligent predatory trees. 

And maybe Tolkien's Old Man of the Willow "He is portrayed in the story as a tree, albeit a sentient and evil one with various powers including hypnosis and the ability to move his roots and trunk"  He tries to eat the hobbits.   "Bombadil relates that of the corrupted trees of the Old Forest, 'none were more dangerous than the Great Willow; his heart was rotten, but his strength was green; and he was cunning, and a master of winds, and his song and thought ran through the woods on both sides of the river. His grey thirsty spirit drew power out of the earth and spread like fine root-threads in the ground, and invisible twig-fingers in the air, till it had under its dominion nearly all the trees of the Forest from the Hedge to the Downs.' "

And also, Algernon Blackwood's The Willows, about psychically vampiric predatory alien willow trees that live outside of our conception of time.

 

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23 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I favor the weirwood fungus hypothesis--I don't think weirwoods are trees at all but rather the "trees" are just the fruiting body that sprout up from the vast mycorrhizal network underground, which is the main organism.  Weirwood don't require light, can grow underground, and probably prefer darkness, and they feed on blood rather than photosynthesis.  And they seem to sprout up where blood has been spilled.  They grow in rings like mushroom fairy rings.

Mycelia are also called hyphae, which means "web" and one of the parts of the hypha is called a "septa"

Amanita muscaria is a red and white mushroom that is psychedelic, and has a symbiotic relationship with trees.  It can give the feeling that you are flying.

 

The Greywater Fungus

 

 

I think that the weirwoods are definitely trees.  They have all of the classic attributes of a deciduous tree including broad leaves and they produce seeds.  The wood of the weirwood is prized for making bows and there are examples of it being used to make tables, chairs, beds, doors and rafters.  In my mind they are linked to fungus below ground but are still in fact trees.

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