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Syl of Syl

what's the deal with the Isle of Faces

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Legend has it that this is where the Children of the Forest and the First Men signed the Pact that ended the Dawn Age and established the order of the green men. Legend would also have it that they survive to this day.

I find it curious then that nobody seems to have any interest in the Isle of Faces. Rhaegar who seemed to be searching after ancient wisdom never appears to have visited the isle. Rhaena during her quest to find a residence for herself and Dreamfyre never even visited the isle to see what's going on. Harren the Black didn't seem to float some boats on the Gods Eye to check out what's happening on that isle out across the water from the huge castle he's building. Why all this apparent disinterest?

Between the Pact and now, it just disappeared as a place of importance. If I were an upstart lordling looking to establish myself in the old days, I would have looked out across the waters of the Gods Eye and thought that a likely enough place to build a castle and carve out a kingdom around Westeros's largest lake.

We have just two lines from the World book that seemingly may relate to goings on on the Isle of Faces between the Pact and the Conquest. First during the time when the Andals were supposedly sweeping through the Riverlands, and destroying the remaing Children of the Forest:

Quote

It is possible that a few survived on the Isle of Faces, as some have written, under the protection of the green men, whom the Andals never succeeded in destroying. But again, no definitive proof has ever been found.

And then a mention in the Riverlands section of some hero from ancient times called the Green King of the Gods Eye - which could connect to the green men on the isle and then again could maybe not.

So if the reason why no one knows anything about the isle is that the Children and the green men still reside there and are protecting the place, well I would think the Maesters and other adventurous spirits would be more interested in exploring the place. Yet, nobody seems to care much.

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Howland Reed went there and spent a summer there with the green men and one of the wilding raiders that Jon goes over the Wall with wants to go and visit with the Green Men as well. They're apparently still there and some people are still going and becoming Green Men apparently, but there's a reason that it's still called the Gods Eye despite the Andals bringing the Seven and Harren building a giant fortress partially in weirwood in sight of it. The island is essentially the Well of Souls, even if you don't follow the old gods you don't step foot there unless you have a good reason.  Gregor and Hoat and Lorch didn't bother going out there because the people there are probably poor, but as stupid as they were they still didn't want to mess with that place because of the stories of its power. 

Say the Green Men aren't all greenseers, but that they have some kind of power, they could be using that magic to make people not want to come there, or people could be scared of the curses they'd lay down on them for setting foot on the island. 

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We are educated book readers who know the history and see events across planetos. I doubt most Westerosi have much knowledge or understanding of the long term history in their immediate vicinity. Let alone at "some random" place in the Riverlands.

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:55 PM, Syl of Syl said:

Legend has it that this is where the Children of the Forest and the First Men signed the Pact that ended the Dawn Age and established the order of the green men. Legend would also have it that they survive to this day.

I find it curious then that nobody seems to have any interest in the Isle of Faces.

George has long ago revealed that the Isle of Faces and the Green Men will show up later in the series. The reason why they are literally not featured in any of the other historical material strongly indicates that he couldn't think of a way to include them without giving things away he does not want to give away.

What I found the most tantalizing and interesting tidbit connection to the Green Men in TWoIaF is the curious fact that there are similarities between certain descriptions of Garth the Green and the Green Men (green skin, antlers, etc.). This could imply that the Green Men are actually not (completely) human but rather connected to the various supernatural/divine roots of certain bloodlines and people of the Dawn Age (e.g. Durran Godsgrief marrying a goddess, the squishers of Crackclaw Point and other 'Deep Ones'-like non-human peoples, the great power and lifespans of Garth, the Grey King, etc.). The fact that nobody ever tried to conquer the island since the days of the Andals strongly suggests that they must be very powerful indeed. For all we know Aegon the Conqueror and the other dragonriding Targaryen kings never paid the Isle of Faces a visit, either, which only makes sense if they had very good reasons not to do this.

I also assume that the Green Men might either be immortal or at least very long-lived - after all, if they still exist then one should assume they have to recruit people from the Riverlands and perhaps elsewhere to join their ranks, and one would expect some people would have noticed that during the millennia.

I, personally, very much like the idea that Prince Daemon became a Green Man and that he is going to show up as one such later in the books. His body was never found but the dragon crashed into the Gods Eye and if he survived the fall he may have swam to/washed up at the shores of the Isle of Faces rather than back to the mainland. That's certainly a stretch, but not necessary more of a stretch than the idea that Bloodraven might turn out to be the three-eyed crow prior to the publication of ADwD...

What exactly the Green Men are going to contribute to the story as such is completely impossible to even speculate about at this point. One imagines they could play a crucial role in the final resolution of the conflict with the Others, especially since we have, at this point, no reason to believe that they bestirred themselves during the first Long Night. Perhaps they have the means to really deal the Others a blow.

Children of the Forest might live on the Isle, too, of course, but it doesn't seem as if the Green Men as such are Children of the Forest - or at least not solely Children of the Forest.

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33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

George has long ago revealed that the Isle of Faces and the Green Men will show up later in the series. The reason why they are literally not featured in any of the other historical material strongly indicates that he couldn't think of a way to include them without giving things away he does not want to give away.

Interesting. I had not read that, but now it makes a lot of sense why he'd avoid the topic in the World book and F&B. With Jaehaerys and Alyssanne visiting every corner of their realm, including the Wall, I would have expected they'd have some interest in the rather large isle in the middle of that huge lake upriver from their capital. But I guess they could have visited but George didn't want to reveal anything.

36 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I also assume that the Green Men might either be immortal or at least very long-lived - after all, if they still exist then one should assume they have to recruit people from the Riverlands and perhaps elsewhere to join their ranks, and one would expect some people would have noticed that during the millennia.

It seems a big enough island to sustain a small society if they had some women there. But if they are anything like we've seen from Bloodraven, perhaps they do have means to extend their lives. Bloodraven lived quite a long life, and presumably he was already quite close to the end of his mortal life by the time he had access to whatever magic he is using to extend his life.

44 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

What I found the most tantalizing and interesting tidbit connection to the Green Men in TWoIaF is the curious fact that there are similarities between certain descriptions of Garth the Green and the Green Men (green skin, antlers, etc.). This could imply that the Green Men are actually not (completely) human but rather connected to the various supernatural/divine roots of certain bloodlines and people of the Dawn Age (e.g. Durran Godsgrief marrying a goddess, the squishers of Crackclaw Point and other 'Deep Ones'-like non-human peoples, the great power and lifespans of Garth, the Grey King, etc.).

Yes. I have also been very interested in these old legends. But I think these are legends and the commonalities between the ancient stories is more about the evolution of story than some truth passed down over the millenia. Green seems to be a color connected with the Children of the Forest as well, so I think part of the green references to these older stories is related to them. It's also a color associated with fertility and with growth - so it makes sense that green would be a color associated with a hero from the Reach which is a rich and fertile land. Just as grey is associated with the Iron Islands both because of the grey of the sea and the grey of iron.

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