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Black Crow

Heresy 220 and the nature of magic

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48 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

So, a heretic question. Is R'hllor different ? 

Ooooh, interesting question! When religion is involved it's always tricky, because you can have someone do terrible things while thinking they are saving the other person's soul. Mel seems to feel this way when she burns people, for example. So then are they still evil, if they mean well and think they are saving humanity? I don't know, but I would say it's not a typical fantasy Dark Lord that only wants death and destruction. There is still a sort of purpose behind it. 

51 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

The premise roughly went like this: magic has returned to the world, it is increasing in prominence, and as it increases, GRRM's storytelling approach is shifting to fit that theme. The natural laws of the world become more unsettled, POV chapters go from succinct character names to increasingly fairy tale-esque descriptions, and even characters become heightened and surreal--with Ramsay representing extreme carnality - crimes of flesh - and Euron representing extreme blasphemy - crimes of spirit -.

Very interesting! There has definitely been a shift in the story toward the more magical, so an amplification of character traits may go along with that. 

 

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

What he said was that we would learn more of their history, but "I don't think that they have a culture."

There are various ways of interpreting this and I'm working on something [and some other related issues] for Heresy 221

Thanks for clarifying - that's the one I was thinking of. It's too bad, as a lack of culture seems to greatly limit their potential complexity and possible motivations. 

In any case I'm looking forward to 221! :cheers:

13 hours ago, Mullocose said:

I think that early in TWoW, Jon (inside Ghost) will go looking or the Heart of Winter. GRRM has already revealed that we're going to get a POV Character in the Heart of Winter.

I'm betting that Jon will find his Uncle there, & Benjin will be well on his way to becoming an Other... 

Regardless of how it all goes down, I feel like our information regarding the Others & their Culture (or lack of) will be significantly expanded...

I certainly hope so! 

I would love a Jon/Benjen reunion. It would go something like "Are you a ranger yet, boy?" and "Umm no, I'm your Lord Commander, uncle Benjen". Hahaha. 

I almost feel like Jon would have a better chance of surviving beyond the Wall in his old body (as a Coldhands type of character) than as Ghost. Ghost is still alive and needs to eat, drink and maintain body temperature. Jon could probably do without most of that. 

13 hours ago, Mullocose said:

In the book, my money is on the Others fighting for the side of the Good Guys... 

By 'Good Guys' I mean House Stark...

--

In fact, I'll take it a step further & say that the Other are House Stark...

I wouldn't rule it out. However, I would add the caveat that I'm not sure the Starks will necessarily be the "good guys" by the end of this. I feel like at least one of them (most likely Jon or Bran) will be on the side of death and winter, and that one will lead the Other army...

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

As for the technology, in historical terms round towers are easier than square ones and should therefore be an indicator of antiquity

Interesting! I know nothing about real world history, but the maesters claim it's the other way around, no? Do you think they are simply mistaken, or that they are intentionally hiding something?

2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I think the warlocks of Essos are the opposite side of the coin to the Children, and their House of the Undying is the opposite side of the coin to the Cave of Skulls. The implications are eye-opening, because the corrupt, rotting, blue human heart that Dany saw beating is the opposite side of the coin to a weirwood heart tree. The small dwarf that was a servant inside the HOTU is the flip side to Coldhands. The Undying Ones are the flip side to greenseers, which makes me wonder if Bloodraven really is fading away? It may be a trick to get Bran to stay, just as the Undying use glamours to look beautiful, but in reality they are old and wizened. Daenerys was able to perceive the ugliness hiding under the splendor, and she was able to get away. Will it be the same with the Children? Are they as 'good' as they seem, or are they playing at revenge?

This is a great observation! I have come across many attempts to build the parallels between ice & fire, heart trees & shade of the evening trees, etc, but this one seems to be the best fit overall. YES, the Undying are exactly the counterpart to greenseers - fading away but not gone, holding all the knowledge but physically trapped in their magic caves. Using magic trees to stay alive forever. And luring unsuspecting main characters to their doom in order to feed off their life? 

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49 minutes ago, MaesterSam said:

Interesting! I know nothing about real world history, but the maesters claim it's the other way around, no? Do you think they are simply mistaken, or that they are intentionally hiding something?

This is a great observation! I have come across many attempts to build the parallels between ice & fire, heart trees & shade of the evening trees, etc, but this one seems to be the best fit overall. YES, the Undying are exactly the counterpart to greenseers - fading away but not gone, holding all the knowledge but physically trapped in their magic caves. Using magic trees to stay alive forever. And luring unsuspecting main characters to their doom in order to feed off their life? 

While there are dualities I suspect there isn’t a simply good vs bad coin. The House of the Undying came off as being all ‘bad’, but is that true? Same goes for the Cave of Skulls. On the surface it appears their ‘mission’ is for ‘good’, but is that true?

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2 hours ago, MaesterSam said:

Ooooh, interesting question! When religion is involved it's always tricky, because you can have someone do terrible things while thinking they are saving the other person's soul. Mel seems to feel this way when she burns people, for example. So then are they still evil, if they mean well and think they are saving humanity? I don't know, but I would say it's not a typical fantasy Dark Lord that only wants death and destruction. There is still a sort of purpose behind it. 

GRRM treats us to a lot of parallels with his childhood Catholicism and an obvious one might be the burning of penitent heretics to save their immortal souls, but I don't recall Mel justifying her auto da fe on those grounds. Her "sacrifices" are offerings to her God, not intended to save those involved

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On 5/1/2019 at 9:26 PM, Feather Crystal said:

Your comparison between Tywin and Euron has me wondering why GRRM has presented Tywin as a hidden dark lord and why he's making Euron so obvious as to be cartoonish? Tywin isn't seen as a dark lord, but rather a brilliant strategist, so maybe 'hidden' isn't quite the correct word. He definitely is ruthless, but everything he does is for the betterment of House Lannister - to put them in power and keep them there. But isn't that also what Cersei is doing? She gets a lot of flak. She's called cruel and self-serving - even stupid, but it seems to me she's not all that different than Tywin. Tywin had his hidden secrets, like the tunnel that leads to Chataya's, and using Shae to get to Tyrion. He's done some pretty terrible things, but when he was in control of the realm, he was considered 'just'. 

Euron on the other hand, while elected at the Kingsmoot fairly, is presented as mysteriously evil, but why? Shouldn't he also be considered a ruthless and brilliant strategist? His tactics are brutal, but so were Tywin's. Remember the red wedding? I think it'll also be revealed that he was behind Lyanna's abduction and (I believe) violent rape. Maybe the reason why we think of Euron as a dark lord is because we don't yet know all the terrible things Tywin did?

I think the wood witch was so sad, because she knew the tragedy would occur, and that Duncan and Jenny would die. Prince Duncan gave up his claim to the throne to marry Jenny, although I don't know if the prophecy would have cared if the PTWP was eligible to inherit the throne. The throne would pass to Duncan's brother Jaehaerys, which is probably why the wood witch said it would come through his children, Aerys and Rhaella. 

I have wondered why GRRM has chosen to keep Jon's parentage a secret through five books. What is the necessity? If he excludes the reveal from Winds, we will likely never have confirmation! The man is 70 years old, Dance came out in 2011 (8 years ago) and 6 years after Feast. The time between publications has grown with each book so Dream may be at minimum 10 years after Winds. Will GRRM be around and healthy enough to write well into his 80's? I guess there are plenty of people who live into their 90's so there is hope, but statistics are not on our side. And yes, I know, GRRM is not our bitch, but goddam it - it's his fault that we've gotten so demanding!

Wait I have difficulty understanding you right now, do you think wood's witch changed the ptwp prophecy and originally it wasn't about Aerys and Rhaella or do I need a good sleep? 

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5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Asking if white walkers have a culture is like asking if dragons have one.

I think the warlocks of Essos are the opposite side of the coin to the Children, and their House of the Undying is the opposite side of the coin to the Cave of Skulls. The implications are eye-opening, because the corrupt, rotting, blue human heart that Dany saw beating is the opposite side of the coin to a weirwood heart tree. The small dwarf that was a servant inside the HOTU is the flip side to Coldhands. The Undying Ones are the flip side to greenseers, which makes me wonder if Bloodraven really is fading away? It may be a trick to get Bran to stay, just as the Undying use glamours to look beautiful, but in reality they are old and wizened. Daenerys was able to perceive the ugliness hiding under the splendor, and she was able to get away. Will it be the same with the Children? Are they as 'good' as they seem, or are they playing at revenge?

 

Absolutely love this comparison ! It makes perfect sense. 

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22 minutes ago, Jova Snow said:

Wait I have difficulty understanding you right now, do you think wood's witch changed the ptwp prophecy and originally it wasn't about Aerys and Rhaella or do I need a good sleep? 

I'm saying the wood witch said the prince that was promised would come through Aerys and Rhaella, because she somehow knew who would die at Summerhall.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

GRRM treats us to a lot of parallels with his childhood Catholicism and an obvious one might be the burning of penitent heretics to save their immortal souls, but I don't recall Mel justifying her auto da fe on those grounds. Her "sacrifices" are offerings to her God, not intended to save those involved

My question was more into another direction. Sauron is an "angel" from before the creation of the world, in many ways he is a fallen "angel", very broadly spoken. 

it would be interesting to know the creation mystery around R'hllor as a god and if he was (in the opinion of his followers) from before the creation of Planetos, the same goes for the Others and even the Seven. Did the Seven transform into gods on Planetos according o the church ? That would make them more unique than gods from before time. 

And it would also put them closer to a Pantheon and not to a monotheistic religion, as those are two different beasts. 

Edited by SirArthur

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31 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

My question was more into another direction. Sauron is an "angel" from before the creation of the world, in many ways he is a fallen "angel", very broadly spoken. 

it would be interesting to know the creation mystery around R'hllor as a god and if he was (in the opinion of his followers) from before the creation of Planetos, the same goes for the Others and even the Seven. Did the Seven transform into gods on Planetos according o the church ? That would make them more unique than gods from before time. 

And it would also put them closer to a Pantheon and not to a monotheistic religion, as those are two different beasts. 

That harks back to my response to you're earlier question. Thus far we know absolutely nothing about R'hllor and while belief in his[?] existence apparently drives Mel there also seems to be no history or relevance to Westeros. Even the Targaryens display no interest.

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On 5/1/2019 at 2:30 PM, Feather Crystal said:

Then there are times when I think to myself well, if Jon isn't Rhaegar's son - why the need to string this secret out? He either is a hidden prince or George wants us to believe he's a hidden prince. 

I think it's fair to say GRRM knew people would see that option, because he structured his narrative in such a way as to leave it open as a possibility.  And he certainly gave us plenty of reason to think Jon's parents was a mystery: Ned's thoughts, or the various times Jon wonders about his mother.

As far as what he wanted us to believe... I find that a difficult call. 

Imagine you're GRRM and you really do want people to believe a certain thing.  How do you manage to get that done? 

You can drop clues, but how do you know readers will realize they're clues?  You can have characters say suggestive things, but how do you know readers will believe those suggestions?   Or even remember that the remarks were suggestive?

Guessing games like those are a tricky business for a writer.  If there's one thing we can surely agree on, it's that F/SF fans can and will perceive even the simplest thing in a thousand different ways.

I also note that no character in the books ever suggests R+L=J.  So that was for the fans to recognize as an option and evaluate as we like... and by the same token, it implies there may be other explanations, also never suggested by characters, which may turn out to be just as likely or more likely.

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5 hours ago, MaesterSam said:

Interesting! I know nothing about real world history, but the maesters claim it's the other way around, no? Do you think they are simply mistaken, or that they are intentionally hiding something?

Not sure what BC will say, but he's right that round towers in our world seem to be older (Sardinian nuraghes for instance go back several thousand years).

I find the World book routinely inaccurate on both ancient and modern subjects, so I don't find that surprising.  I think the maesters are just wrong.

Almost a shame Benioff and Weiss weren't born maesters in Westeros.  Their routine wrongness would make them a perfect fit in a Citadel full of scholars who think magic doesn't work, the CotF are all dead, and the Popsicles either never existed or were just ordinary First Men.

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43 minutes ago, JNR said:

I think it's fair to say GRRM knew people would see that option, because he structured his narrative in such a way as to leave it open as a possibility.  And he certainly gave us plenty of reason to think Jon's parents was a mystery: Ned's thoughts, or the various times Jon wonders about his mother.

As far as what he wanted us to believe... I find that a difficult call. 

Imagine you're GRRM and you really do want people to believe a certain thing.  How do you manage to get that done? 

You can drop clues, but how do you know readers will realize they're clues?  You can have characters say suggestive things, but how do you know readers will believe those suggestions?   Or even remember that the remarks were suggestive?

Guessing games like those are a tricky business for a writer.  If there's one thing we can surely agree on, it's that F/SF fans can and will perceive even the simplest thing in a thousand different ways.

I also note that no character in the books ever suggests R+L=J.  So that was for the fans to recognize as an option and evaluate as we like... and by the same token, it implies there may be other explanations, also never suggested by characters, which may turn out to be just as likely or more likely.

I think GRRM did want to lead his readers down false paths. When D&D wanted to base the show on his books, GRRM asked them who they thought Jon Snow's mother was. D&D assumed they guessed correctly, but I think GRRM smiled and was pleased with himself, because they guessed incorrectly.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I think GRRM did want to lead his readers down false paths.

Yeah, I can partly agree with this.

We know what his goal as a writer is, because he's told us that:

Quote

I’ve wrestled with this issue, because I do want to surprise my readers,’ he continued. ‘I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don’t want to write predictable fiction. I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming.

Clearly, he wants us to get it wrong in that we didn't guess the truth.   That's the only way he can surprise us.

But what, exactly, did we guess?  That I'm not sure he can know.  We guess all kinds of wrong things. 

I'm also not sure which of the wrong things, if any, he would rather we guess over others.  In the case of Jon's parents, there are many possibilities and I don't know if he would rather we support X theory vs. Y or Z.  He just doesn't want us all sitting there knowing the truth.

Finally, I interpret the delight part to mean he wants us to feel that his solutions fit, that they work logically and are satisfying in general.  (In this department I am not at all sure he would characterize his reaction to the show's solutions to its own mysteries as delight, if he were being totally honest.  But I bet he was very surprised in certain areas, much like I was.)

Edited by JNR

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On 4/30/2019 at 8:09 PM, Mace Cooterian said:

As for me.....George has left me no alternative.  I'm lapping up every episode, have purchased said goggles and chosen to ignore the story gaps.  After all, I've always been a 'glass is half full kind of guy'.  I'm committed to getting some form of an ending....regardless of it being wrong and certainly different from the books will end. 

First, welcome back.

Second, here's a philosophical question.

Since you clearly agree with me about the show's shortcomings in various areas... is the show's ending any more valid or real to you than an ending you imagined yourself?

Put it this way: Suppose you were to write down a one-page ending spanning the period of time covered by season eight.  OK, I've read your posts for years and I suspect that your summary page would be at least as accurate as the show's ending, compared to the books.

Granted, D&D had conversations with GRRM and worked with him, etc. and you didn't.  Even so!  I would still expect your ending to be as good or better.  So I think whether he finishes the books or not, you don't need to depend on the show to give you "some form of ending."  You just need to trust your own insight.

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3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I'm saying the wood witch said the prince that was promised would come through Aerys and Rhaella, because she somehow knew who would die at Summerhall.

Oh I am just slow then, thank you for explaining :D

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3 hours ago, JNR said:

Not sure what BC will say, but he's right that round towers in our world seem to be older (Sardinian nuraghes for instance go back several thousand years).

I find the World book routinely inaccurate on both ancient and modern subjects, so I don't find that surprising.  I think the maesters are just wrong.

Almost a shame Benioff and Weiss weren't born maesters in Westeros.  Their routine wrongness would make them a perfect fit in a Citadel full of scholars who think magic doesn't work, the CotF are all dead, and the Popsicles either never existed or were just ordinary First Men.

People in Westeros and Essos have been building towers for more than 10,000 years.   Likely many examples of round and square towers are long gone.

In our Europe,  square towers are generally Moorish and round are Roman.   But both could have been built recently or be 1000 years old.   Towers much older than 1000 years old are almost certainly round, but otherwise, the shape doesn't give much of a clue to when they were built.  But we do see an association with culture, round towers in Northern Europe and square in Southern Spain. 

I think GRRM is hinting the early Starks might be closer to the Andals than the First Men,  or another culture that came later (Targaryens fit my theory better than Andals).

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

First, welcome back.

Second, here's a philosophical question.

Since you clearly agree with me about the show's shortcomings in various areas... is the show's ending any more valid or real to you than an ending you imagined yourself?

Put it this way: Suppose you were to write down a one-page ending spanning the period of time covered by season eight.  OK, I've read your posts for years and I suspect that your summary page would be at least as accurate as the show's ending, compared to the books.

Granted, D&D had conversations with GRRM and worked with him, etc. and you didn't.  Even so!  I would still expect your ending to be as good or better.  So I think whether he finishes the books or not, you don't need to depend on the show to give you "some form of ending."  You just need to trust your own insight.

Thanks for the compliment and the words of encouragement on trusting my own instincts.

I've always been gullible and felt (sincerely felt) that the book and the mummers show would walk hand in hand all the way to the end.  The separation point for me was season 6 when....(I can never remember the hidden codes, so behead me now)....Dany walks into the temple at Vaes Dothrak, burns the Khals alive and walks out unharmed.  Do I think that this will play out in the books?  Probably not, especially since GRRM has said that the funeral pyre for Khal Drogo and Dany hatching her three dragons was a special one time event.  So the last two plus seasons has shown me that B&B are certainly pulling fan theories to create the path forward.

There was a period of time that I couldn't get enough of ASoIaF.  I followed BC's direction to go back and read the first 10 Heresy threads and even went so far as creating a searchable database for myself of all the posts that I felt were honing in on the truth.

As to your philosophical question....I suppose it isn't, but will accept what I'm given.  My script for season 8 would certainly have had dialogue from the Night(s) King whether it was strategy on the siege at Winterfell or simply asking for a Dr. Pepper and a hot dog.  Something....not even a grunt was uttered from this guy.  Sigh.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

In our Europe, [...]  round [towers]are Roman.   But both could have been built recently or be 1000 years old.   Towers much older than 1000 years old are almost certainly round, but otherwise,

Maybe you should look into this, because this statement looks very wrong to me. I guess you talk about Spain, I'm not an expert on roman/carthagian spanish architecture. But round towers as indication for roman buildings ? That sounds very wrong. Everything we know from foundations, pictures and standing buildings indicates square towers. 

 

edit: I guess you mean romanesque and the translation is wrong ? 

Edited by SirArthur

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5 hours ago, Mace Cooterian said:

Thanks for the compliment and the words of encouragement on trusting my own instincts...

As to your philosophical question....I suppose it isn't, but will accept what I'm given.  My script for season 8 would certainly have had dialogue from the Night(s) King whether it was strategy on the siege at Winterfell or simply asking for a Dr. Pepper and a hot dog.  Something....not even a grunt was uttered from this guy.  Sigh.

 

Welcome back, this is part of what I'm working up [mainly in my head at this stage] for 221, but in very simple terms the lack of even a grunt underlines the fact that the Mummers' version is not only different from GRRM's but a complete fantasy 

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