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Black Crow

Heresy 226 of wolves, dragons and other familiars

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Jon gives us his understanding of Dragonsteel.  He gets this from Sam:

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

We will see, Jon thought, remembering the things that Sam had told him, the things he'd found in his old books. Longclaw had been forged in the fires of old Valyria, forged in dragonflame and set with spells. Dragonsteel, Sam called it. Stronger than any common steel, lighter, harder, sharper … But words in a book were one thing. The true test came in battle.

How reliable is this statement:  valyrian steel forged in the fires of old Valyria, forged in dragonflame, set with spells.  Sam doesn't say this exactly.  Unless this information is off the page and only given to us by Jon rather than Sam and we're getting it from Jon.

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon II

"The armor of the Others is proof against most ordinary blades, if the tales can be believed, and their own swords are so cold they shatter steel. Fire will dismay them, though, and they are vulnerable to obsidian. I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it."

"Dragonsteel?" The term was new to Jon. "Valyrian steel?"

"That was my first thought as well."

Sam says nothing about how the sword is forged in this passage.    

Edited by LynnS

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23 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Are the “high notes” the same as “hit points”? We had discussed possible high notes a couple months back, such as Jon learns his true parentage, and the Wall is breached. The devil is in the details and I think GRRM left it up to the mummers to fill in the story the way they thought it would go.

Yes, I would say we are talking about the same thing. Could you imagine what we may have gotten if they only knew of Ned’s execution or the Red Wedding, sans context? 

I would say that the earlier seasons, 1-4, were reasonably good adaptations. There are certainly quibble points, but for the most part, it follows well. But that isn’t the point of my reply anyway haha! My point was that I think the key events of later seasons will happen but in different ways.

Referring to an earlier discussion on this thread, I think the Prince that was promised prophecy and Azor Ahai Reborn are both referring to the same event but that both prophecies have lost aspects of them to the years. I think it is the Prince and Princess who Was Promised and AA and Nissa Nissa reborn. I think we are looking for two. 

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Or perhaps none of them existed or will ever exist

There are many many stories in our own world of legendary heroes who will return if summoned to save us all from great danger. An obvious case in point being King Arthur, and there's even Sir Francis Drake, but while the legends are told no-one expects them to be one and the same.

Similarly the World Book is stuffed full of legendary heroes of that nature and a fair bit of time has been spent on the forum if not on heresy debating how they fit into the Azor Ahai story. As I pointed out in the previous thread even the AA/Prince prophecies, or at least what has been revealed of them, are riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

My own feeling is that GRRM introduced all those other heroes into the World Book, not to bolster the AA legends but rather to downplay the centrality it has assumed along with R+L=J, in other words to show by placing them in their proper legendary context that these heroes are part of his world building and any relevance they have to the present lies in how people like Mel respond to the legends by pulling the Manx cat trick and the consequences of that rather than an actual return of the hero.

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2 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Or perhaps none of them existed or will ever exist

There are many many stories in our own world of legendary heroes who will return if summoned to save us all from great danger. An obvious case in point being King Arthur, and there's even Sir Francis Drake, but while the legends are told no-one expects them to be one and the same.

Similarly the World Book is stuffed full of legendary heroes of that nature and a fair bit of time has been spent on the forum if not on heresy debating how they fit into the Azor Ahai story. As I pointed out in the previous thread even the AA/Prince prophecies, or at least what has been revealed of them, are riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

My own feeling is that GRRM introduced all those other heroes into the World Book, not to bolster the AA legends but rather to downplay the centrality it has assumed along with R+L=J, in other words to show by placing them in their proper legendary context that these heroes are part of his world building and any relevance they have to the present lies in how people like Mel respond to the legends by pulling the Manx cat trick and the consequences of that rather than an actual return of the hero.

Mayhaps King Arthur will have to rise November 1st, 2019 ;) 

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Or perhaps none of them existed or will ever exist

There are many many stories in our own world of legendary heroes who will return if summoned to save us all from great danger. An obvious case in point being King Arthur, and there's even Sir Francis Drake, but while the legends are told no-one expects them to be one and the same.

Similarly the World Book is stuffed full of legendary heroes of that nature and a fair bit of time has been spent on the forum if not on heresy debating how they fit into the Azor Ahai story. As I pointed out in the previous thread even the AA/Prince prophecies, or at least what has been revealed of them, are riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

My own feeling is that GRRM introduced all those other heroes into the World Book, not to bolster the AA legends but rather to downplay the centrality it has assumed along with R+L=J, in other words to show by placing them in their proper legendary context that these heroes are part of his world building and any relevance they have to the present lies in how people like Mel respond to the legends by pulling the Manx cat trick and the consequences of that rather than an actual return of the hero.

I have speculated that there is material in the World Book and Fire and Blood that is meant to help us discern some clues he places in the text relating to other events. So while I disagree with you on the main point, I am of agreement on that

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

How reliable is this statement:  valyrian steel forged in the fires of old Valyria, forged in dragonflame, set with spells.  Sam doesn't say this exactly.  Unless this information is off the page and only given to us by Jon rather than Sam and we're getting it from Jon.

I'd assumed they had other conversations off page, though he may also be conflating several different things in that passage--eg, the conversation with Sam that happened on page, things he has heard before about Valyrian steel (separate from any conversation with Sam), and his own supposition about "dragonsteel."

If I'm not mistaken, it's an in-world premise that the secret to making Valyrian steel was lost with the Doom, so those comments about it being forged with dragonflame might just be speculation, though it seems an intuitive enough suggestion. 

(as a personal addition, my theory for Valyrian steel is that its dark and smoky appearance comes from quenching the blade in dragon's blood)

That said, if Sam and Jon really did have an additional conversation, I am curious as to what Sam's line of thought would be for speculating that dragonsteel and Valyrian steel are one and the same--whether he believes the timelines are dubious enough for that to be possible, or whether he believes a "Valyrian style" - for lack of a better term - blade had been forged in an era in which Valyria itself did not exist.

This ties back into timeline talk from the prior thread. If the Long Night was 8,000 years, then the most straightforward explanation is that dragonsteel is either Dawn, or some unknown ancient magic blade; however, if the LN was closer to 6,000 or 5,000 years ago, other possibilities open up.

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2 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I'd assumed they had other conversations off page, though he may also be conflating several different things in that passage--eg, the conversation with Sam that happened on page, things he has heard before about Valyrian steel (separate from any conversation with Sam), and his own supposition about "dragonsteel."

If I'm not mistaken, it's an in-world premise that the secret to making Valyrian steel was lost with the Doom, so those comments about it being forged with dragonflame might just be speculation, though it seems an intuitive enough suggestion. 

(as a personal addition, my theory for Valyrian steel is that its dark and smoky appearance comes from quenching the blade in dragon's blood)

That said, if Sam and Jon really did have an additional conversation, I am curious as to what Sam's line of thought would be for speculating that dragonsteel and Valyrian steel are one and the same--whether he believes the timelines are dubious enough for that to be possible, or whether he believes a "Valyrian style" - for lack of a better term - blade had been forged in an era in which Valyria itself did not exist.

This ties back into timeline talk from the prior thread. If the Long Night was 8,000 years, then the most straightforward explanation is that dragonsteel is either Dawn, or some unknown ancient magic blade; however, if the LN was closer to 6,000 or 5,000 years ago, other possibilities open up.

I recall reading somewhere that the rise of Valyria occurred after the Long Night, so I am persuaded by the argument that Dawn is the actual sword and that the Valyrian steel is misinterpreted info.

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1 hour ago, Lady Rhodes said:

I recall reading somewhere that the rise of Valyria occurred after the Long Night, so I am persuaded by the argument that Dawn is the actual sword and that the Valyrian steel is misinterpreted info.

I would agree that that seems like the most likely explanation. In addition, a hero called the Sword of the Morning wielding a weapon named Dawn to end the Long Night seems very fitting in a narrative sense.

Nonetheless, I've pondered a few alternatives, should it be the case that the blade isn't Dawn:

- It is some unknown (and subsequently lost?) blade that the LH forged after meeting with the CotF, perhaps utilizing magic that he acquired from them

- There's an SSM where Martin says that dragons once could be found "all over," though the exact context for that comment is a little murky. For example, he might have meant that in the context of some far flung age in which humanity had not yet begun to evolve. However, I think it does leave the door open for people outside of Valyria to have had access to dragons--and, consequently, to have forged a magical blade using those dragons.

- Finally, there's the shorter timelines that seem to be occasionally floated in AFFC, ADWD, and the World Book:

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Only no one knows when the Andals crossed the narrow sea. The True History says four thousand years have passed since then, but some maesters claim that it was only two.

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Thanks to the children, the first men of the Night's Watch banded together and were able to fight—and win—the Battle for the Dawn: the last battle that broke the endless winter and sent the Others fleeing to the icy north. Now, six thousand years later (or eight thousand as True History puts forward), the Wall made to defend the realms of men is still manned by the sworn brothers of the Night's Watch, and neither the Others nor the children have been seen in many centuries.

If the LN were 6,000 years ago, it's still not contemporaneous to the rise of Valyria as an expansionist empire (I'm assuming, anyway), but there may have been some sort of proto-Valyrian culture beginning to take shape, so maybe dragonbinding and weapon forging would have been in play by that point in time.
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Ultimately, I'm still inclined toward Dawn, for both the aforementioned reasons, and because Dawn is the explanation that would, IMO, require the least exposition.

Edited by Matthew.

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34 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I would agree that that seems like the most likely explanation. In addition, a hero called the Sword of the Morning wielding a weapon named Dawn to end the Long Night seems very fitting in a narrative sense.

Nonetheless, I've pondered a few alternatives, should it be the case that the blade isn't Dawn:

- It is some unknown (and subsequently lost?) blade that the LH forged after meeting with the CotF, perhaps utilizing magic that he acquired from them

- There's an SSM where Martin says that dragons once could be found "all over," though the exact context for that comment is a little murky. For example, he might have meant that in the context of some far flung age in which humanity had not yet begun to evolve. However, I think it does leave the door open for people outside of Valyria to have had access to dragons--and, consequently, to have forged a magical blade using those dragons.

- Finally, there's the shorter timelines that seem to be occasionally floated in AFFC, ADWD, and the World Book:

If the LN were 6,000 years ago, it's still not contemporaneous to the rise of Valyria as an expansionist empire (I'm assuming, anyway), but there may have been some sort of proto-Valyrian culture beginning to take shape, so maybe dragonbinding and weapon forging would have been in play by that point in time.
_______________

Ultimately, I'm still inclined toward Dawn, for both the aforementioned reasons, and because Dawn is the explanation that would, IMO, require the least exposition.

Re: Dragons elsewhere other than Valyria, it is implied that there were (or still are) dragons in Asshai. 

What is Dawn made of then? I read in another post someone suggest and then another dismiss  that the bleeding star could be construed as a comet or falling star. It does seem quite interesting to me

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1 hour ago, Lady Rhodes said:

What is Dawn made of then? I read in another post someone suggest and then another dismiss  that the bleeding star could be construed as a comet or falling star. It does seem quite interesting to me

I think there was a recent Q&A where GRRM essentially confirmed that Dawn was crafted from a falling star, which I'd always assumed to mean meteoric iron, but I guess it could be anything GRRM wants--a fantasy ore like mithril, something from a comet, etc.

If that's the case, it does raise certain questions under a Dawn = dragonsteel scenario.

One issue would be that House Dayne and Dawn do not appear to be widely and famously associated with the original Long Night and the Battle for the Dawn; granted, most of the oral history we've received comes from Old Nan, and presumably has a northern bias, but even so, it seems strange for nobody to have ever vocalized aloud that the first Sword of the Morning played an instrumental role in the Battle for the Dawn--and stranger still if that's the sort of detail that has been widely forgotten. 

Another issue would be how the tale of the LH intersects with the tale of Dawn and Starfall, and how all of that comes together chronologically with the Last Night and the Battle for the Dawn.

Hmm. I don't know, every time I feel like I'm starting to like a particular interpretation of dragonsteel, I play devil's advocate against myself, and then kind of reset back to square one.

Edited by Matthew.

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3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I think there was a recent Q&A where GRRM essentially confirmed that Dawn was crafted from a falling star, which I'd always assumed to mean meteoric iron, but I guess it could be anything GRRM wants--a fantasy ore like mithril, something from a comet, etc.

I have to go with metal from a meteorite as well, rather than a chunk of comet since they are mostly rock and ice.  Meteorites have different metal compositions; so Martin could be playing with endowing the metal with magical properties (not unlike the red comet).  Everything else aside; a smith is needed to craft the blade, and that isn't a skill set we would normally attribute to the cotf, since they have no metal weapons.  Perhaps they gave him the metal, rather than the sword itself.  I think the skill set to forge a blade does push the timeline forward.

I also like your idea that valyrian blades are tempered using dragon blood.  It seems to me that these blades drink in the blood of their foes; a form of blood magic. The strength of the beast goes into the metal; not unlike MMD's sacrifice of Drogo's stallion.  Dragon blood would certainly account for their dark coloration and add a fiery magical element.  I can see a valyrian blade being made into a fiery sword given the right circumstances.  

In which case, I'm inclined to believe Jon's assessment that valyrian steel is dragon steel.  The dawn sword may be contemporary with valyrian steel; but using different metal with different magical properties, one that is inherent to the heart of a falling star; as opposed to metal that is made with dragons and blood magic. 

Or it could be that the First Men had skill at smithing iron and acquired meteoric iron in some way.  I'm just not sure how the cotf would fit in.  What magic would they contribute to the making of the sword? 

Edited by LynnS

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Hello everyone, recently read Ice Dragon, and I wonder if there are any threads that compare GRRM's previous stories with Asoiaf? The main character Adara is born during a winter storm, and rides an ice dragon, which reminded me Daenerys Stormborn, though Adara is connected to winter, is it possible there is a merit to theories about Daenerys being the daughter of Ned and Ashara? (not my personal favorite) 

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7 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I think there was a recent Q&A where GRRM essentially confirmed that Dawn was crafted from a falling star, which ...

One could interpret it as Dawn being carved out of the bones of Michael Jackson ...

... which is confirmed by the Hardhome video 'Thriller'.

Of course, Michael Jackson was Rhaegar and Jon Snow is the love child of Michael Jackson and ... Madonna? :P

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8 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I think there was a recent Q&A where GRRM essentially confirmed that Dawn was crafted from a falling star, which I'd always assumed to mean meteoric iron, but I guess it could be anything GRRM wants--a fantasy ore like mithril, something from a comet, etc.

If that's the case, it does raise certain questions under a Dawn = dragonsteel scenario.

One issue would be that House Dayne and Dawn do not appear to be widely and famously associated with the original Long Night and the Battle for the Dawn; granted, most of the oral history we've received comes from Old Nan, and presumably has a northern bias, but even so, it seems strange for nobody to have ever vocalized aloud that the first Sword of the Morning played an instrumental role in the Battle for the Dawn--and stranger still if that's the sort of detail that has been widely forgotten. 

Another issue would be how the tale of the LH intersects with the tale of Dawn and Starfall, and how all of that comes together chronologically with the Last Night and the Battle for the Dawn.

Hmm. I don't know, every time I feel like I'm starting to like a particular interpretation of dragonsteel, I play devil's advocate against myself, and then kind of reset back to square one.

It makes me recall, and I hope I am not confusing book and show, but did one of Dany’s Dothraki handmaidens in Game say that dragons came from a moon that was really an egg but it cracked? Could this be the bleeding star/dragon angle? 

The Dayne’s are unique among southron houses, if I recall, because they come from the first men. Another bit of importance 

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6 hours ago, LynnS said:

I also like your idea that valyrian blades are tempered using dragon blood.  It seems to me that these blades drink in the blood of their foes; a form of blood magic. The strength of the beast goes into the metal; not unlike MMD's sacrifice of Drogo's stallion.  Dragon blood would certainly account for their dark coloration and add a fiery magical element.  I can see a valyrian blade being made into a fiery sword given the right circumstances.  

I'm not sure how this fits but this instantly made me think of Ice & the issues Tywin said they had reforging it. I'll look for the quotes but IIRC didn't it have an odd red tone to it that they couldn't change or something? Maybe Ned's blood is in infused in Ice? 

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@LynnS   Here is something. Just musings of Arya but maybe a hint none the less. 

 

aCoK Arya I: "That night she lay upon her thin blanket on the hard ground, staring up at the great red comet. The comet was splendid and scary all at once. "The Red Sword," the Bull named it; he claimed it looked like a sword, the blade still red-hot from the forge. When Arya squinted the right way she could see the sword too, only it wasn't a new sword, it was Ice, her father's greatsword, all ripply Valyrian steel, and the red was Lord Eddard's blood on the blade after Ser Ilyn the King's Justice had cut off his head. Yoren had made her look away when it happened, yet it seemed to her that the comet looked like Ice must have, after."

This is the one I was looking for. The forger did something intending to add a crimson color to the blade so I suppose it need not be Ned's blood. But it wouldn't take the color he intended & he commented that these old swords remember. Interesting either way :)

aSoS Tyrion IV: "Tyrion wondered where the metal for this one had come from. A few master armorers could rework old Valyrian steel, but the secrets of its making had been lost when the Doom came to old Valyria. "The colors are strange," he commented as he turned the blade in the sunlight. Most Valyrian steel was a grey so dark it looked almost black, as was true here as well. But blended into the folds was a red as deep as the grey. The two colors lapped over one another without ever touching, each ripple distinct, like waves of night and blood upon some steely shore. "How did you get this patterning? I've never seen anything like it."

"Nor I, my lord," said the armorer. "I confess, these colors were not what I intended, and I do not know that I could duplicate them. Your lord father had asked for the crimson of your House, and it was that color I set out to infuse into the metal. But Valyrian steel is stubborn. These old swords remember, it is said, and they do not change easily." 

 

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56 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I'm not sure how this fits but this instantly made me think of Ice & the issues Tywin said they had reforging it. I'll look for the quotes but IIRC didn't it have an odd red tone to it that they couldn't change or something? Maybe Ned's blood is in infused in Ice? 

No, when the Lannisters had Ice reforged into two swords they also tried to have it dyed(?) red as well.  Only the dye wouldn’t infuse with the steel and instead created a rippling effect.  Black and red ripples in the blade.

Eta never mind you found the passage.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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27 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

With all of this talk of swords, is it possible that Ice was a sword of the Others during the first Long Night, entrusted to the Stark’s for safe keeping? 

 

Maybe. Would that mean the Starks are in league with the others then? They may have forgotten the history after all these years. I can't help but think of their foreboding house words "Winter is coming" though. It has always reminded me of a warning. Something possibly passed down from generation to generation. Something not as likely to get changed through the years, as would a story of the long night. Maybe the Others didn't give it to the Starks for safe keeping but rather the Starks took it. Or maybe it was always the Starks sword but the Others covet it? Just spit balling with ya.

Edited by Lyanna<3Rhaegar

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2 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

@LynnS   Here is something. Just musings of Arya but maybe a hint none the less. 

 

aCoK Arya I: "That night she lay upon her thin blanket on the hard ground, staring up at the great red comet. The comet was splendid and scary all at once. "The Red Sword," the Bull named it; he claimed it looked like a sword, the blade still red-hot from the forge. When Arya squinted the right way she could see the sword too, only it wasn't a new sword, it was Ice, her father's greatsword, all ripply Valyrian steel, and the red was Lord Eddard's blood on the blade after Ser Ilyn the King's Justice had cut off his head. Yoren had made her look away when it happened, yet it seemed to her that the comet looked like Ice must have, after."

This is the one I was looking for. The forger did something intending to add a crimson color to the blade so I suppose it need not be Ned's blood. But it wouldn't take the color he intended & he commented that these old swords remember. Interesting either way :)

aSoS Tyrion IV: "Tyrion wondered where the metal for this one had come from. A few master armorers could rework old Valyrian steel, but the secrets of its making had been lost when the Doom came to old Valyria. "The colors are strange," he commented as he turned the blade in the sunlight. Most Valyrian steel was a grey so dark it looked almost black, as was true here as well. But blended into the folds was a red as deep as the grey. The two colors lapped over one another without ever touching, each ripple distinct, like waves of night and blood upon some steely shore. "How did you get this patterning? I've never seen anything like it."

"Nor I, my lord," said the armorer. "I confess, these colors were not what I intended, and I do not know that I could duplicate them. Your lord father had asked for the crimson of your House, and it was that color I set out to infuse into the metal. But Valyrian steel is stubborn. These old swords remember, it is said, and they do not change easily." 

 

Yes,Mott may have some knowledge of magic (i.e. Renly's armor); but the sword seems to have a will of it's own.  Course I wonder about Ned's blood being absorbed in the blade as well.  And 'Ice' is valyrian steel forged with dragonflame or dragonblood if that turns out to be correct.  So Arya seeing an image of Ice in the red comet would be appropos.  

Of course, the question is whether or not Ice is actually the sword given to the last hero.  I think not.  We've discussed before the possibility that the Starks received this sword from Aegon the Conqueror when  Torrhen Stark submitted in exchange for the king's sword.  But that sword would also be a regular steel sword rather than the mysterious Ice.  Potentially that real sword called Ice is hidden in the crypts with the crown of the kings of winter. Or it's hidden in plain sight at Starfall.

We're back to the problems of timelines again if Dawn is dragonsteel of some sort.  I'm still not certain that the Others made their first appearance contemporary with the Night King since the Wall is in existence.  Presumably the Wall was built to prevent the Others from advancing south when conditions permit after the LH defeated the Others.  Maybe on a 5000 years cycle?  Perhaps there have been two previous 'long nights' and we are coming up on the third.

How did he do that btw? A lone challenger in a trial by combat?  Was the original sword Ice taken from the loser?   

 

Edited by LynnS

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