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Aurane

Symbolism of Ice Fire and Earth

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What do ice and fire represent in the context of the story? All that we really know is that ice and fire are seemingly dualistic things. There are a lot of contrasting concepts that could represent ice and fire Pragmatism Vs Passion, Dragons Vs Others, Winter Vs Summer, Death Vs Life and R'hlorr Vs Great Other. Rhaegar seemed to have believed that the song of ice and fire was about finding some sort of merger between the two elements. 

What place does the COTF's song of earth have in this? Assuredly, earth has something to do with nature. The song of earth seems to be outside of the song of ice and fire. It seems to be an outside force in ice Vs fire. Perhaps it's a neutral force  that stops one force from becoming dominant. After all, no matter if it's winter or summer, nature still remains and balances out the two. This makes sense, but it doesn't really explain why the COTF oppose mankind. It would be assumed that mankind do not sing the song of earth otherwise the Children of the Forest would be fine with them. This could mean that mankind sways to much to either ice or fire. I have a different idea than this. I think that earth represents harmony, nature, balance, and the unchanging mankind. Mankind represents something totally different from this. Humans struggle for power, they exploit the natural world and they represent progress over stagnancy. These things don't seem to with align with ice or fire, but rather a totally different song. When thinking of an element that opposes earth, we think of air, but I don't see how that represents humanity well. For a lack of a better term I think that they sing the song of metal (iron and steel sounds cooler but I regress). Humans oftentimes use metals to achieve dominance and progress. They use metal weapons to achieve their goals. On top of that, mankind believes that metals such as gold and silver represent power, and most spend their lives trying to acquire it. The First Men also used axes to chop down the weirwoods. Remember that the COTF use dragonglass as weapons as opposed to metals. The pursuit of scientific progress is also represented by the maesters and their metal chains.

I've said previously that I think that earth is neutral in the conflict of ice and fire, but oppose metal. So that brings into question if metal is also neutral in this conflict. Well, kind of. Humans generally oppose harmony, going to one extreme or the other. Individuals definitely pick sides, however humanity as a whole is split on ice and fire (passion vs pragmatism, etc.) This means that there is a lot of infighting, unlike COTF. There's so much infighting that people can't see the big picture that the seasons are out of balance and winter is coming. This basically balances humanity in the ice vs fire conflict but that doesn't make them neutral. COTF are more like peacekeepers while humans are belligerents. It may be worth noting that the title, ASOIAF is said to be based on a Robert Frost poem in which someone is split on whether the world should end in ice or fire. Either is extreme but there isn't a choice for an in-between in which neither element becomes dominant. The narrator may represent humanity as a whole being split between extremes. Rhaegar seemed to believe that his third child would be the song of ice and fire. Perhaps this means that he/she will be the one to bring harmony to the seasons or represent a fusion of the two elements.

What do you guys think?

Edited by Aurane

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3 hours ago, Aurane said:

When thinking of an element that opposes earth, we think of air, but I don't see how that represents humanity well. For a lack of a better term I think that they sing the song of metal (iron and steel sounds cooler but I regress).

Well, at least one person, Gilly, perceives a song of metal: "Dalla brought him forth during battle, as the swords sang all around her. That should be his name. Aemon Battleborn. Aemon Steelsong."

And Luwin once said that metals of the chains represented different kinds of people.

Still, I'm not sure. Fire is very strongly linked to life, and humans are very much alive.

Another puzzling 'element' is wood. Jojen(?) says there is a power in wood as strong as fire (iirc). Mel sees a wooden faced man in her visions, and concludes he is the servant of the Great Other. Are wood and ice aligned, somehow?

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