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BalorCrowsEye

Azor Ahai's monster sounds like a volcano

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Note: this is operating within the framework of Azor Ahai = ultimate villain of the ASOIAF series.

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"I looked at that book Maester Aemon left me. The Jade Compendium. The pages that told of Azor Ahai. Lightbringer was his sword. Tempered with his wife's blood if Votar can be believed. Thereafter Lightbringer was never cold to the touch, but warm as Nissa Nissa had been warm. In battle the blade burned fiery hot. Once Azor Ahai fought a monster. When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame." -A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

 

The monster = the volcano. The volcano that is implied to sit below Winterfell was compared to a dragon in TWOIAF, suggesting that other legends where volcanoes are represented by monsters are likely.

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Hot springs such as the one beneath Winterfell have been shown to be heated by the furnaces of the world—the same fires that made the Fourteen Flames or the smoking mountain of Dragonstone. Yet the smallfolk of Winterfell and the winter town have been known to claim that the springs are heated by the breath of a dragon that sleeps beneath the castle. This is even more foolish than Mushroom's claims and need not be given any consideration. -TWOIAF

 

(The maesters are, as ever, wrong. You should consider the possibility that a Planetosi volcano is more than just a volcano very thoroughly).

The boiling blood = lava. Lava is referred to as "the black blood of demons" in reference to the Doom.

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"Some smaller than others." Valyria. It was written that on the day of Doom every hill for five hundred miles had split asunder to fill the air with ash and smoke and fire, blazes so hot and hungry that even the dragons in the sky were engulfed and consumed. Great rents had opened in the earth, swallowing palaces, temples, entire towns. Lakes boiled or turned to acid, mountains burst, fiery fountains spewed molten rock a thousand feet into the air, red clouds rained down dragonglass and the black blood of demons, and to the north the ground splintered and collapsed and fell in on itself and an angry sea came rushing in. The proudest city in all the world was gone in an instant, its fabled empire vanished in a day, the Lands of the Long Summer scorched and drowned and blighted. -A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion VIII

 

The mouth = the crater or caldera. This bit fits extremely well imo.

Melted eyes dribbling down its cheeks = lava flows dribbling down its slopes.

Body burst into flame = everything on the mountain or in its vicinity going up in flames.

So the implication would seem to be that Lightbringer might be an actual sword, or some other manner of magical weapon, with the power to split the earth itself and unleash a volcanic eruption. This would doubtless be incredibly effective against Others; if obsidian which is solid lava can kill Others with a touch, a volcano spewing the liquid form in all directions would probably kill every Other for miles around. And it would bring a hell of a lot of light.

Of course it would also make Balerion the Black Dread look like a responsible tool of conflict resolution by comparison. This is the ASOIAF nuclear option and I can't imagine anything good coming of it, especially since it would be only a matter of time before it was turned on other humans. And unlike in our world where volcanic eruptions are natural processes that actually enrich the land in the long term, volcanic eruptions in ASOIAF are decidedly supernatural in nature and blight the land for centuries. There's the Doom of course, but probably Hardhome as well.

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Hardhome had been halfway toward becoming a town, the only true town north of the Wall, until the night six hundred years ago when hell had swallowed it. Its people had been carried off into slavery or slaughtered for meat, depending on which version of the tale you believed, their homes and halls consumed in a conflagration that burned so hot that watchers on the Wall far to the south had thought the sun was rising in the north. Afterward ashes rained down on haunted forest and Shivering Sea alike for almost half a year. Traders reported finding only nightmarish devastation where Hardhome had stood, a landscape of charred trees and burned bones, waters choked with swollen corpses, blood-chilling shrieks echoing from the cave mouths that pocked the great cliff that loomed above the settlement. Six centuries had come and gone since that night, but Hardhome was still shunned. The wild had reclaimed the site, Jon had been told, but rangers claimed that the overgrown ruins were haunted by ghouls and demons and burning ghosts with an unhealthy taste for blood. -A Dance with Dragons - Jon VIII

 

Was somebody trying to forge a Lightbringer in Hardhome? Valyria? It's unclear, but possible. And what's with all this talk of demons and ghouls? That's just silly superstition right?

Well, consider this is Planetos we're talking about. Consider that the Others are dismissed by most as superstition despite being very real. Consider the mysterious ancient structures of fused stone that look suspiciously like corks on a bottle, built to "keep out the demons of the Lion of Night." Consider the other structures built over volcanoes guarded by gargoyles and cold iron. Consider that afterlives and souls are 100% confirmed in ASOIAF, and consider that the many faces of the God of Death (R'hllor, the Stranger, the Lion of Night) share strong similarities to Yaldabaoth, an entity that rules over a subterranean realm of chaos containing the souls of the damned.

In Pistis Sophia, Yaldabaoth has already sunk from his high estate and resides in Chaos, where, with his forty-nine demons, he tortures wicked souls in boiling rivers of pitch, and with other punishments (pp. 257, 382). He is an archon with the face of a lion, half flame, and half darkness.

Under the name of Nebro (rebel), Yaldabaoth is called an angel in the apocryphal Gospel of Judas. He is first mentioned in "The Cosmos, Chaos, and the Underworld" as one of the twelve angels to come "into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld]". He comes from heaven, and it is said his "face flashed with fire and [his] appearance was defiled with blood". Nebro creates six angels in addition to the angel Saklas to be his assistants. These six, in turn, create another twelve angels "with each one receiving a portion in the heavens".

In short, no, I don't think it's superstition. I think GRRM has been using the threat of the Others to distract us while subtly hinting that the prophecy about a great hero with a magic fire sword waking dragons from stone is about punching gaping holes in the fragile shell protecting their planet from a subterranean nightmare realm of chaos monsters.

Oh, and a slight modification that might fit the legend better is that the monster Azor Ahai drove Lightbringer into with intent to destroy wasn't a single volcano. It was the planet. Yikes. 

Edited by BalorCrowsEye

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I do think the endgame might involve a volcanic eruption at Winterfell, but that might be too far fetched. Anyway, thanks for pointing out the similarities. 

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The black blood of demons seems like it might be oil and be related to oily blackstone/bloodstone. 

Which might suggest Valyria's current state might not be too different from a massive eternally burning oil field. 

21 hours ago, BalorCrowsEye said:

the prophecy about a great hero with a magic fire sword waking dragons from stone is about punching gaping holes in the fragile shell

I've always found this line to be pretty ominous. 

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Unafraid, Dany stepped forward into the firestorm, calling to her children.
The third crack was as loud and sharp as the breaking of the world.

 

 

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The black blood of demons seems like it might be oil and be related to oily blackstone/bloodstone. 


I think the black rain might just be a Hiroshima/nuclear fallout reference, but that could also be true.

Looking back I've noticed all kinds of hints about fiery global disaster.

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She saw sunlight on the Dothraki sea, the living plain, rich with the smells of earth and death. Wind stirred the grasses, and they rippled like water. Drogo held her in strong arms, and his hand stroked her sex and opened her and woke that sweet wetness that was his alone, and the stars smiled down on them, stars in a daylight sky. "Home," she whispered as he entered her and filled her with his seed, but suddenly the stars were gone, and across the blue sky swept the great wings, and the world took flame.

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Yoren climbed a rise to get a better look. "Fire," he announced. He licked a thumb and held it up. "Wind should blow it away from us. Still bears watching."
And watch it they did. As the world darkened, the fire seemed to grow brighter and brighter, until it looked as though the whole north was ablaze. From time to time, they could even smell the smoke, though the wind held steady and the flames never got any closer. By dawn the fire had burned itself out, but none of them slept very well that night.
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The Volantene waved a hand. "In Volantis, thousands of slaves and freedmen crowd the temple plaza every night to hear Benerro shriek of bleeding stars and a sword of fire that will cleanse the world. He has been preaching that Volantis will surely burn if the triarchs take up arms against the silver queen."

Edited by BalorCrowsEye

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