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Posted (edited)

Edit: so this conforms to book-only speculation.    

 

[Snipped]......

 The citadel shines the light of learning down on Pate.  (Or on the pates of everyone's skulls, from above, having elevated the importance of learning high enough that science has replaced the lofty spot once occupied by sun gods and superstitions. 

They see the physical world as decipherable, like its workings and physics can be understood by the wise.  And the maesters study the societal forces as well when they write their histories, stories of sun-dappled glory.  The Citadel is studying human nature, trying to put one of their lifeguards in place at every public pool (major castle) to ... 'serve.'   To regulate.  Homogenize.  To establish a continental clockwork. 

 Are the seven kingdoms wed to Citadel policy by maester chain links in lieu of wedding rings, thereby stuck in the same dull round of existence for millennia because of how ideas are being shaped by the maesters, chaining the families' fates into repeating history over and over with only slight variations on the theme thanks to their options being purposely limited and defined by the Cit?   Or is that violent history a rut that the Cit is working to improve but progress is slow with all the inertia toward continued prideful warring?   

The [...] lords' wheel could currently be described as stuck in the mud, in a rut, with history only lurching back and forth to maim the people who are trying to get their national wagon moving forward.   And If you look at what George's Khalisi is attempting in Essos in the books, it does amount to smashing the wheel of slaver history and ending that way of life with some kind of permanance.  That's her hope anyway, to Fix the place so it doesn't backslide the moment she leaves for westeros.

Hell, the long night may be a blessing in disguise if it's the one thing capable of busting up the lords' status quo enough to stop their system from grinding up the masses of humanity.   Banners cannot be seen in the dark!   What if it is only during the long night that mankind's chains loosen enough to where we might reorganize ourselves into a true Brotherhood Without Banners!

Back to the citadel:

Has anyone wondered if this central torch beacon thing of theirs may be the Citadel's loud declaration that they hold the secret to 'bringing the dawn'?   Or once did, long ago, when they still believed in snarks.   Or are they a counterculture to the Last Hero, espousing that learning should light our way, not violence and quests for magic.

The fire priests have gotten weird about light and fire.  Has the Citadel gotten weird too in its stewardship of the light of learning?  Or have they kept it burning pure enough that they may help cleanse Danny's fire after she has dealings with the nutty fire priests?  Have maesters chained the light of learning?   They love forging chains after all, and Danny breaks chains.  But maybe she'll find here chains she likes--she agrees that leaders should be bound to serve the realm well.  Thanks to the Citadel all the world within their reach has been brought low, been made to serve, marshalled by chaining all things to scientific understanding.  And what couldn't be scienced was banished and Walled away.  Maybe she'll like that less?

  The best bits of lore the maesters hoard as secrets for themselves.  Are the maesters blocking and diminishing and containing the light of magic so it doesn't curse our species with the severe sunburn we got from Valyria?   Strangely, this would also ensure the casting of Shadows.    Is the rise of tainted shadow magic in the east related to the blocking of magic light / availability in the west?   Yin and yang.   Some kind of pressure osmosis at work.  Try to put magic in a box and it squirts out the Other side darkened, agitated.

I don't have the answers to these questions.    I'm just a perv.

But I would love to hear the Hightower / Stormborn discussion when she arrives there.  On the future of magic and monsters and whether the Cit is willing to admit they're needed in light of the Others' invasion.  And will they argue over the status of the lords' wheel and what the maesters are doing to help or hinder its turning.  And whence would each of them steer the future of humanity.  What future for humanity would truly be best in a world where there are also Other concerns.

Edited by The Mother of The Others
Staying off the grass, like the sign said.

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Posted (edited)

That's beautiful! (Though... a very show-y opening?, but no spoilers so feels ok.)

Anyway, that astrolabe thing makes an excellent visual metaphor. I like all points above. :)

16 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Are the gold bands around the sun Chains?  Like a maester wears chains.  Has all the world been brought low, been made to serve, marshalled by chaining all things to scientific understanding.

Maesters wear their chains stupidly tight. Not just maesters either; Mel's choker is tighter than any chain. Are they enslaved, or slavers? Is Dany going to free them too?

Anyway, Mel gives us the full picture of light and shadow, and it's messy:

Quote

"Shadow?" Davos felt his flesh prickling. "A shadow is a thing of darkness."

"You are more ignorant than a child, ser knight. There are no shadows in the dark. Shadows are servants of light, the children of fire. The brightest flame casts the darkest shadows."

[ACOK - DAVOS II]

 

Edited by Springwatch

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18 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Are the seven kingdoms trapped, like those gold bands,  in the same dull round of existence for millennia because of how ideas are being shaped by the maesters, chaining the families' fates into repeating history over and over with only slight variations on the theme thanks to their options being purposely limited and defined by the Cit?   Or is that violent history a rut that the Cit is working to improve but progress is slow with all the inertia toward continued prideful warring?   

That was something that always interested me: Did we have always interested me. ASOIAF is based on the medieval period which was around thousand years long. Alot of people think the period was always the same but actually a lot of things started developing during this time (for example wind mills).

We never see this in ASOIAF. We never read a pov mentoning new inventions or in history books about inventions in the past.

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3 hours ago, Springwatch said:

That's beautiful! (Though... a very show-y opening?, but no spoilers so feels ok.)

Anyway, that astrolabe thing makes an excellent visual metaphor. I like all points above. :)

Maesters wear their chains stupidly tight. Not just maesters either; Mel's choker is tighter than any chain. Are they enslaved, or slavers? Is Dany going to free them too?

Anyway, Mel gives us the full picture of light and shadow, and it's messy:

 

They are both. They are a link int he chain between the head-master and the subordinates.

Samwell will soon be the link between the Jon and Bran and the knowledge at the Citadel. Sam is already teaching/speaking true tongue, and the fires of the Citadel tower and the Wall are both described as beacon fires. I have long speculated this is because they will have some sort of contact with each other, and most likely through Sam while he visits the Isle of Ravens.

What knowledge will Sam possibly discover at the Citadel? Most likely something about Jon's paternity and what could result from that knowledge. If there is a fiery-sun symbol at the Citadel, this is connected to Jon's parentage, and well, I also speculate that is because Jon is THE Sun's son (not just 'a' Sun's son). Yeah, this last part kinda takes the filling out of the oreo for the common Sun's son theory. Not trying to be a cookie thief, just that's what seems to be adding up in this old noodle.

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5 hours ago, Karneol said:

We never see this in ASOIAF. We never read a pov mentoning new inventions or in history books about inventions in the past.

We do, but its very slow and mostly thousands of years in the past. 

The First Men defeated the Children with bronze. The Andals with iron. Current times have steel (and Valyrian Steel). And you can can be assured that a steel clad 'modern' knight looks very different than an equivalent Iron-clad Andal. Armour definitely, and weaponry less clearly, have progressed in more than just the materials its made of.

Similarly I'd wager that when the Andals came they didn't the same level or general technology as the current age does at the quite the same level, like mills or mines for example. 

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George Martin flipped the idea of the relationship between magic and science.  The maesters in our magicless world will be considered the intellectual elite and the magicians will get no more credibility than quack alchemists.  Martin's world has magic and it trumps science.  Therefore, it is the Citadel and it's maesters who play the part of quack alchemists in his world.  It's the scientists who are ignorant there.  The open minded practitioners of magic are the intellectuals.  Practical knowledge has its uses though and the maesters are the librarians of Earthos.  But their catalog is woefully incomplete.  Martin is not about to make one side completely right and the opposite completely wrong.  Magic and science have value and it is the person who accepts both who is the truly educated.  

What should be coming obvious is that the classical, maester driven education of the Westeros nobles is woefully inadequate.  It's the people like Jorah, Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Bran, and Marwyn who are getting the best education because of their abilities to read, acquire new languages, exposure to diverse cultures, and travel widely.  

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On 4/10/2019 at 10:25 PM, The Mother of The Others said:

They love forging chains after all, and Danny breaks chains.

I love this part - and it becomes even more poignant when you consider that (according to Marwyn) the maesters were responsible for the decline of the dragons.

Given all this, I'm pretty sure Daenerys will get around to breaking those maesters' chains eventually.

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Semi-related to the Citadel - the Hightowers.

After reading F&B, I came to notice that the Hightowers have frequently had their fingers dipped in many pools throughout the Seven Kingdoms, and have been involved with fights such as the Dance of the Dragons, The Faith, Aegon's Conquest, plus supposedly the Hightower can see the Wall....I am wondering if the Hightowers are more involved with things than we are led to believe.   They have been suspiciously silent.

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5 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

Semi-related to the Citadel - the Hightowers.

After reading F&B, I came to notice that the Hightowers have frequently had their fingers dipped in many pools throughout the Seven Kingdoms, and have been involved with fights such as the Dance of the Dragons, The Faith, Aegon's Conquest, plus supposedly the Hightower can see the Wall....I am wondering if the Hightowers are more involved with things than we are led to believe.   They have been suspiciously silent.

Perhaps they're just content in being rich.  Euron is about to wake them up.  Don't worry.

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