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Ser Loras The Gay

Who is the great other?

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Do you guys think that the great other could be any of the old gods and not just the "winter god"? Maybe the real problem are the krakens and monster of the deep sea and not the others beyond the wall, because we can even reason with them (as was done thousands of years ago). Maybe the real danger lies in another and umpredictable place.

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The way Martin writes magic and gods is that magic is real, but the gods notsomuch. Im guessing he isn't real.

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Doesn't Melisandre at one point say that the Drowned God is either a representation, aspect, embodiment or agent for the Great Other. If memory serves, she mentioned several other deities and lumped them all in as the Great Other. (Obviously, take her thoughts on the subject with a big grain of salt. But I thought it was interesting.)

To be honest, I'm not certain there is one. Actually, I'll say that there is no creature or entity that identifies as or responds to "the Great Other". It kind of strikes me as a conglomeration of various primal/elemental forces that generally represent bad stuff. Even the name, the Great Other, is inherently based on a comparison to something that is not-other. 

I think the more interesting question is what is the greatest force of not-other. 

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The Great Other is the Weirwood. I think, that the Others are "children", creations of the Weirwood, and the Weirwood is a parasite, that feeds on life of the living beings. Bloodraven is not the Three-Eyed Crow. The 3EC never told Bran to go beyond The Wall. He went there because Jojen tricked him. Jojen was affected by the Weirwood thru his green dreams. The only truthful thing, that Jojen said to Bran about his dreams, is that he saw how the 3EC was trying to free Bran from stone chains. In that dream stone chains is the Weirwood, that is trying to grow thru Bran's body, how it did to Bloodraven, and the 3EC, that is trying to free Bran, is Shiera Seastar (who is also a shadowbinder Quaithe).

Most likely, it was Shiera Seastar who lured Bloodraven beyond The Wall, and binded him to the Weirwood, gave him as a sacrifice to the Old Gods, creators of the Others, to stall time, until will come the Prince that was Promised, and will defeat the Others. But now Bloodraven is dying, and the Weirwood needs another sacrifice, and that's Bran. Probably, the idea is thru Bran to steal part of the Old Gods' power, and to use it against the Others, in a sense that, what created them, could also destroy them.

I think, that the First Long Night was caused by the Children of the Forest. They were oppressed by First Men, so they asked Old Gods for protection. And Old Gods created the Others. Though the Others turned out to be too strong and too insatiable, and because they didn't cared on whose life-force to prey, eventually, after the Others killed all people in that area, and there was no more human-food for them, they started to "eat" the Children, whom they were supposed to protect. Thus the Children had to make a Pact with First Men, and combined their powers to get rid of the Others. They lured them to the far north, and with magic build The Wall, to separate them from the land of the living. And to keep the Weirwood satisfied and fed, the Children obliged descendants of the Last Hero, the Starks, to feed the Weirwood in Winterfell with blood sacrifices. Though after The North was conquered by Aegon Targaryen, the Starks stoped giving human sacrifices to the Weirwood. And because the Weirwood had a symbiotic relationship with the Others, i.e. they were receiving life energy, "food", thru the Weirwood, they became hungry, and again started to feed on people directly, by killing wildlings beyond The Wall. That's why Shiera Seastar had to give Bloodraven to the Weirwood. Because, while Bloodraven was full of life and energy, and the Weirwood was "eating" him, the Others were well fed, and remained dormant. Until Bloodraven got drained, and feeding on him was not enough for the Weirwood and the Others. Obviously, that the Children are aware of parasitic nature of the Weirwood, and that it's possible to control the Others thru the Weirwood. That's why they were "connecting" their own people to the Weirwood, why they are using Bloodraven, and why they made Jojen to lure Bran to that cave, to turn him into a new greenseer/sacrifice to the Others.

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2 hours ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

Do you guys think that the great other could be any of the old gods and not just the "winter god"? Maybe the real problem are the krakens and monster of the deep sea and not the others beyond the wall, because we can even reason with them (as was done thousands of years ago). Maybe the real danger lies in another and umpredictable place.

A Stark ancestor.  Maybe even the builder himself.

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2 hours ago, Megorova said:

The Great Other is the Weirwood

So the great other in your opinion is the connected consciousness of all beings connected to the Weirwood or the "spirit" of the Weirwood itself? Someone is controlling the Weirwood or it has will of it's own and just wants to eat? The gods could be the ones who can control these parasites? Maybe we have one for each aspect of nature. I don't know, but your line of thought is bery Martin-like

 

2 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

The way Martin writes magic and gods is that magic is real, but the gods notsomuch. Im guessing he isn't real.

Maybe that isn't ONE guy to be defeated but just an emboidement of "evil magic" that wants to destroy life. Death itself.

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1 hour ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

So the great other in your opinion is the connected consciousness of all beings connected to the Weirwood or the "spirit" of the Weirwood itself? Someone is controlling the Weirwood or it has will of it's own and just wants to eat?

What kind of being was the Weirwood, before it got "connected" to the first greenseer? -> Most likely, it was the same kind of being, as it is now. Only before that, it was feeding a bit differently. And then, probably, mutated, or, maybe, was forced to evolve, under pressure from First Men, that envaded Westeros, and started to "kill" heart trees. So the Weirwood Network (which is a singular being) changed itself, to be able to oppose people. Something like in M.Night Shyamalan's movie "The Happening".

Or, maybe, originally it was some sort of alien-life-form-parasite, that arrived on Planetos with a fallen meteorite, and infected the trees. For example, that black stone, that fell from the sky, and was found and worshiped by Bloodstone Emperor, who, according to some legends, was the one, who caused First Long Night.

1 hour ago, Ser Loras The Gay said:

The gods could be the ones who can control these parasites? Maybe we have one for each aspect of nature. I don't know, but your line of thought is bery Martin-like

I think, that, probably, there is no real Gods in that world (but there are higher "alien" powers). I suspect, that the God on Earth, son of the Lion-of-the-Night and the Maiden-made-of-Light, was actually Haviland Tuf himself. And either it was him, who caused that alien-parasite to fall on Planetos, or he came to Planetos, to stop that parasite. And the power of R'hllor could actually be the power of Tuf's space-ship the Ark (seedship of Federal Empire's Ecological Engineering Corps, developed by the Corps to rewrite genetic coding for entire planets). Technologies of that space-ship are so progressive, that they look like magic. And those, who have control over those super-technologies, are the "Gods". For example, the Faith of the Seven claims, that the Seven appeared in Andalos in a human form, and gave to Hugor of the Hill a crown made from seven stars. Also they gave him a girl with blue eyes, that became Hugor's wife, and gave birth to 44 sons. Those "Gods" are obviously aliens, or androids, and the girl, most likely, was created in Tuf's laboratory on the Ark. 

Also, I got those ideas (that Asshai's shadow could actually be a giant space-ship; that the dragons and Valyrians could be genetically-modified beings; that magic is actually a technology; that it was the Weirwood, who created the Others, and that the Weirwood has a parasitic nature), and some time after that, I sort of found confirmation for those ideas, after reading GRRM's other works, such as "Tuf's Voyaging".

So, in my opinion, the Weirwood is something like an alien parasitic mold, from GRRM's novel "A Song for Lya". Or, maybe, it's even the same thing.

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 Maybe we're a bunch of deep divers having trouble recognizing that a surface level reading of this is what's best:

Mel is a fire lady misreading the Ice because.... fire and ice don't understand each other.  The elements are alien to one another.  As is their magic.  She's misinformed, and can't get more informed about Ice by using her fire magic.  And using fire magic is all she does.  Which is why the fire religion has been off base for so long.   

There is no great other.

There are only her attempts to take whatever Ice magic users appear on her radar and mislabel them as that entity.

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2 hours ago, Megorova said:

Also, I got those ideas (that Asshai's shadow could actually be a giant space-ship; that the dragons and Valyrians could be genetically-modified beings; that magic is actually a technology; that it was the Weirwood, who created the Others, and that the Weirwood has a parasitic nature), and some time after that, I sort of found confirmation for those ideas, after reading GRRM's other works, such as "Tuf's Voyaging".

Many readers have theorized that AsoiaF is part of the connected universe of Grrm. So joining a bunch of older books here wouldn't be so far fetched. We have a lot of hints that old magic could actually be just better technology that was forgotten with time. Storm's end is impossible to rebuild, the wall is impossible to rebuild and so on.

1 hour ago, The Mother of The Others said:

There is no great other.

There are only her attempts to take whatever Ice magic users appear on her radar and mislabel them as that entity.

Do you think evertyhing is just a bad case of misunderstanding or just a conflict of interest?

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Posted (edited)

Maybe the importance of this prophesied Ice & Fire character is they can last long enough to see what's behind the green curtain.   Survive the guantlet of elemental death that kills everyone else, then find themself in a unique vantage point as they look back and forth at the surprised forces of Fire and of Ice before finally asking both of them, "WTF?"   The blending of the bloodlines "must" be to allow that person to serve as a go-between, to bring the elements into alignment.   The 'last heroes' are the ones who see the Ice & Fire equation clear enough to know how to adjust it, balance it.   (Where Mel's lopsided view is askew,  Etc.)

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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No Great Other, Stannis will become an Ice Dragon and be the big bad.

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13 hours ago, Demetri said:

Doesn't Melisandre at one point say that the Drowned God is either a representation, aspect, embodiment or agent for the Great Other.

You might be thinking of this:

Quote

"Your Drowned God is a demon," the black priest Moqorro said afterward. "He is no more than a thrall of the Other, the dark god whose name must not be spoken."

Moqorro is a priest of the red faith, too, of course.

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13 minutes ago, JNR said:

You might be thinking of this:

Moqorro is a priest of the red faith, too, of course.

Thank you! I was very annoyed by my inability to place it but the red faith connection was memorable. I appreciate it.

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There is no such thing. It is only part of R'hllorian theology, and we will never learn to what degree this is *true*.

No other philosophy/theology/lore in Martinworld does support the idea of an evil 'Great Other' deity. Whatever the Others are, they have nothing to do with the arbitrary designs of a (most likely) non-existent deity, just as R'hllor most likely doesn't send anybody visions or gives a damn about people worshiping him (or those who actually can pronounce that name) because he doesn't exist, either.

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Posted (edited)

The Great Other has many names. Iblis. Satan. Morgoth. Encanis. The Dark One. The Crippled God. The list is huge. Almost every famous religion or high fantasy series has its own evil entity who is trying to conquer the world and defeat its benevolent counterparts. There is nothing special about it and Martin has no interest in revealing the truth behind the religious aspects of his universe.

Do the Great Other and the Lord of Light really exist? Maybe. Most of us believe that The Prince That Was Promised is real, and (s)he probably has many cultural representations across the narrative (such as Azor Ahai, The Last Hero or The Stallion That Mounts the World). Maybe they are just personifications of magical forces that are somehow fighting against one another. We will never truly know since all this mystery is a intentional part of the plot. What is known, however, is that all these elements orbit the Song of Ice and Fire and its owner.

Edited by Lumosaca
A word.

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I'm not sure if he exists. At least not in the conventional definition of a divine entity. I imagine that gods may be the embodiment of concepts and/or forces of nature. That's not a very interesting answer though, so I'm going to play devil's advocate. If the Great Other is a traditional god that appears in the books, than I imagine that he's whatever Bran saw in the Heart of Winter.

Quote

North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.

Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.

“Why?” Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.

Because winter is coming.

If Bran is seeing the Great Other, than I'm unsure if he's actually physically there there. We know that greenseers can see symbolic representation of people. Or, maybe the Heart of Winter is one of the most potent hinges of the world that Mel mentioned, and Bran saw whatever the hinge connects to. GRRM mentioned that the R'hlorr was based off of a dualistic religion called Catharism in which the evil god created the physical world. Perhaps that means that the Great Other is closer to the physical world than the other gods. Pretty sure it's not going to happen, but it's interesting to think about.

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