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Tyrion1991

Why do the Others need to invade?

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7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Well that's just it. By not having them as the ultimate enemy in the story, he de-complicates the Others while at the same time massively subverting the readers' expectations, which he also loves to do. Then there is no great war for the dawn, no final showdown with a Night King, just a reveal of the horror that Bran saw in his coma dream which may or may not be threatening to bring on a Long Night and might not have to be defeated through a climactic battle pitting the living against the dead.

De-complicating is not what GRRM "loves to do". He keeps magical things mysterious, but he doesn't start out by presenting magic and then proceed to dismiss it as irrelevant. The only reason for the threat to never arrive is if GRRM never finishes the series.

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17 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

De-complicating is not what GRRM "loves to do". He keeps magical things mysterious, but he doesn't start out by presenting magic and then proceed to dismiss it as irrelevant. The only reason for the threat to never arrive is if GRRM never finishes the series.

I didn't say he loves to decomplicate. In fact, that's what he seems to enjoy. I said he loves to subvert reader's expectations.

I'm not sure what you mean by "presenting magic." Are the Other's magical? I don't see any evidence of that. As Martin said, "a different form of life" but I don't see anything that indicates they are magic. 

And neither am I saying that the Others will be dismissed as irrelevant, just that the expectation that they will lead to the ultimate conflict between good and evil, life and death, the future of all mankind, might not be what Martin has in store. To date, he hasn't given us anything to conclude that they are on the march against humanity, are bent on destroying the Wall, or are even the ones raising and animating the wights.

And he has, of course, introduced all kinds of things that are later dismissed as irrelevant or untrue. Cersei/Jaime killing Jon Arryn; Renly; Drogo; Rhaego . . . And even entire races of people have been introduced that are, so far at least, irrelevant: the Ibbenese; the Jogos Nhai, the N'Ghai . . .

 

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The Others want dragons!!
The question is ... how would they bind them to their will?

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From Old Nan's stories at least, it seems like the Others did not efficiently purge all life in the area. Some people still lived lives -- extremely harsh lives, in a very long winter, and there was the threat of Others at their doorstep.

It does not seem like they have a very conventional thought process. Their existence as death and cold personified might supersede any rational plans of theirs. 

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On 4/20/2020 at 4:15 PM, LynnS said:

The long night in an area close to the pole could be an arctic winter when the sun disappears below the horizon for months.

There are places in the far north where darkness lasts and lasts.  The effects will be more severe in the north even though the mid latitudes will also be affected to a lesser degree.

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Some people guess they are like a force of nature. The only difference, is that a typhoon doesn't face an armed opposition who got Dragon Steel swords. 

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On 4/15/2020 at 11:38 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

And so far it seems like they've concentrated their attacks on members of the Nights Watch.

The others know the black crows made a vow. Not even the Watch knows how important those words are, for they are sent only the scum of the realms, but the words seem to connect to the magic imbued to the ice bricks of the wall. 

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12 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

I didn't say he loves to decomplicate. In fact, that's what he seems to enjoy. I said he loves to subvert reader's expectations.

He typically subverts expectations by making things more complicated, like having the Lannisters actually guilty of the incest Jon Arryn suspected and Pycelle ensuring he died for that reason but Littlefinger & Lysa actually being behind it. That didn't make the Lannisters recede from view though, instead Cersei got the most POV chapters in the book after that reveal.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "presenting magic." Are the Other's magical? I don't see any evidence of that. As Martin said, "a different form of life" but I don't see anything that indicates they are magic. 

Yes. Magic has been gone from the world with the dragons, with the Children of the Forest and Others gone further back. GRRM has said Beric is a "fire wight", comparing him to the ice wights north of the wall. The Others can't be killed by ordinary weapons, instead requiring a magic weapon... dragonglass.

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And neither am I saying that the Others will be dismissed as irrelevant, just that the expectation that they will lead to the ultimate conflict between good and evil, life and death, the future of all mankind, might not be what Martin has in store.

He has repeatedly said that they threat they pose is more important than any of the political conflicts between humans.

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To date, he hasn't given us anything to conclude that they are on the march against humanity, are bent on destroying the Wall, or are even the ones raising and animating the wights.

Come on. We know how Beric, Catelyn and Gregor/"Robert Strong" got revived and who is responsible. We see a man killed by the Others and quickly turned into a wight within the very first chapter, and the attack by Others at the Fist also contains wights. This is not supposed to be a mystery.

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And even entire races of people have been introduced that are, so far at least, irrelevant: the Ibbenese; the Jogos Nhai, the N'Ghai . . .

These are brief mentions in things like worldbooks. The undead were in THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER, and have made further attacks on the NW. Bran has crossed their path and seen a horrifying vision of what's further north. There's nothing like that comparable for those other races/species.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/15/2020 at 2:20 PM, Narsil4 said:

In general winters seem to have been getting shorter and summers longer.  
So the actual threat to the world may be an Eternal Summer.  

Which may mean the Others are only showing up now to try and stop the world from burning.  

That's quite interesting. I've never seen that presented before but I like the idea. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

That's quite interesting. I've never seen that presented before but I like the idea. 

Yea, it almost seems as if the winters are counting down to something.  
If the trend continues, this next winter might only be a year or less. 

Edited by Narsil4

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10 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

He typically subverts expectations by making things more complicated, like having the Lannisters actually guilty of the incest Jon Arryn suspected and Pycelle ensuring he died for that reason but Littlefinger & Lysa actually being behind it. That didn't make the Lannisters recede from view though, instead Cersei got the most POV chapters in the book after that reveal.

Yes. Magic has been gone from the world with the dragons, with the Children of the Forest and Others gone further back. GRRM has said Beric is a "fire wight", comparing him to the ice wights north of the wall. The Others can't be killed by ordinary weapons, instead requiring a magic weapon... dragonglass.

He has repeatedly said that they threat they pose is more important than any of the political conflicts between humans.

Come on. We know how Beric, Catelyn and Gregor/"Robert Strong" got revived and who is responsible. We see a man killed by the Others and quickly turned into a wight within the very first chapter, and the attack by Others at the Fist also contains wights. This is not supposed to be a mystery.

These are brief mentions in things like worldbooks. The undead were in THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER, and have made further attacks on the NW. Bran has crossed their path and seen a horrifying vision of what's further north. There's nothing like that comparable for those other races/species.

 

Sorry, but there is nothing that indicates that the Others turned Waymar into a wight. They killed him and he lay dead for hours before Will came down from the tree and Waymar rose. The Others were long gone by then.

There is also no evidence of any Others at the Fist. Nobody reported seeing any, just a whole lot of wights.

Beric, Catelyn and Gregor were all revived, but not a single one was done by an Other.

I would love to see your quote where Martin says the Others are more important than the political conflicts between humans. I think he's equated them with climate change in the sense that they are a threat that no one wants to recognize until it's right there in front of them. But this doesn't mean they are set up to be the ultimate villain in the story. Heck, he's given us an exceedingly simple way to kill them all: mine the dragonglass on Dragonstone, turn it into thousands of arrowheads, and fire volleys of them at any group of Others you encounter. Over and done in a single battle.

But from what Martin has said on the subject, we are not going to get a story where the Others are pure evil and men are pure good and the defeat of the evil leaves a sparkling happy world forever after;

 

I have always found grey characters more interesting than those who are pure black and white. I have no qualms with the way that Tolkien handled Sauron, but in some ways The Lord of the Rings set an unfortunate example for the writers who were to follow. I did not want to write another version of the War Between Good and Evil, where the antagonist is called the Foul King or the Demon Lord or Prince Rotten, and his minions are slavering subhumans dressed all in black (I dressed my Night's Watch, who are basically good guys, all in black in part to undermine that annoying convention). Before you can fight the war between good and evil, you need to determine which is which, and that's not always as easy as some Fantasists would have you believe.

 

So all I'm saying is get ready for a radically subverted expectation when it comes to the Others.

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6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, but there is nothing that indicates that the Others turned Waymar into a wight. They killed him and he lay dead for hours before Will came down from the tree and Waymar rose. The Others were long gone by then.

If wights and Others regularly popped in and out of the the world without any correlation, you might say there's no indication. But instead the dead coming back to life is unheard of, because magic and the Others have been gone for centuries. Then they pop back up in the same place and time in the first chapter. The next time the Others are encountered, so are wights.

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There is also no evidence of any Others at the Fist. Nobody reported seeing any, just a whole lot of wights.

Sam the Slayer killed one with dragonglass while fleeing from the battle.

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Heck, he's given us an exceedingly simple way to kill them all: mine the dragonglass on Dragonstone, turn it into thousands of arrowheads, and fire volleys of them at any group of Others you encounter. Over and done in a single battle.

They'll send a wave of wights first, and wights aren't vulnerable to dragonglass.

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But from what Martin has said on the subject, we are not going to get a story where the Others are pure evil and men are pure good and the defeat of the evil leaves a sparkling happy world forever after

There's no shortage of human evil in this series. Some of the evil humans are interesting, like the Lannisters. Others, like Gregor, are one-dimensional. The Others aren't "characters", they are never given any individuality. They're just a collective threat which help to highlight the failure of humanity to bind together against them. And once they're defeated, the world will remain as flawed as it was before they appeared. GRRM hasn't spent as much time on them, because he's more interested in the more complicated questions of human evil.

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14 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

If wights and Others regularly popped in and out of the the world without any correlation, you might say there's no indication. But instead the dead coming back to life is unheard of, because magic and the Others have been gone for centuries. Then they pop back up in the same place and time in the first chapter. The next time the Others are encountered, so are wights.

Sam the Slayer killed one with dragonglass while fleeing from the battle.

They'll send a wave of wights first, and wights aren't vulnerable to dragonglass.

There's no shortage of human evil in this series. Some of the evil humans are interesting, like the Lannisters. Others, like Gregor, are one-dimensional. The Others aren't "characters", they are never given any individuality. They're just a collective threat which help to highlight the failure of humanity to bind together against them. And once they're defeated, the world will remain as flawed as it was before they appeared. GRRM hasn't spent as much time on them, because he's more interested in the more complicated questions of human evil.

Birds and bees arrive every spring. Are they telepathically connected?

Sam killed one several days after the battle and dozens of miles south. Not one single Other was seen at the battle.

Fire will do for the wights. And if Others have wights to do all their killing for them, why do they bother doing it themselves? Why bother having swords, armor . . .? 

And yet somehow these non-characters of George's represent the entire crux of the fire-and-ice concept that he's created to explore the more complicated questions of human evil. Sorry, try again.

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8 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Birds and bees arrive every spring. Are they telepathically connected?

Lots of things arrive every spring, and there's a causal reason for that rather than some random correlation. Others and wights haven't been seen for centuries, and are back together now. I assert that's not a coincidence.

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Not one single Other was seen at the battle.

The battle began with three horn blasts, which are for Others. You could argue they were blown when the wights were seen, but the stories of the Long Night already told people about the connection between wights (or "dead servants" as Nan refers to them) and Others.

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Fire will do for the wights.

So simple. The Great Ranging wasn't smashed by them at the Fist after all! Plus, have you never seen a Romero film? The dead just keep coming, even if you kill some of them, and they replace their numbers with your dead.

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And if Others have wights to do all their killing for them, why do they bother doing it themselves? Why bother having swords, armor . . .?

Why are westerosi lords often knights who wear armor and carry swords if they have armies of footmen to fight on their behalf?

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15 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Lots of things arrive every spring, and there's a causal reason for that rather than some random correlation. Others and wights haven't been seen for centuries, and are back together now. I assert that's not a coincidence.

The battle began with three horn blasts, which are for Others. You could argue they were blown when the wights were seen, but the stories of the Long Night already told people about the connection between wights (or "dead servants" as Nan refers to them) and Others.

So simple. The Great Ranging wasn't smashed by them at the Fist after all! Plus, have you never seen a Romero film? The dead just keep coming, even if you kill some of them, and they replace their numbers with your dead.

Why are westerosi lords often knights who wear armor and carry swords if they have armies of footmen to fight on their behalf?

Sure, but to say there may be a casual relationship between appearance of the wights and the Others is far, far different from saying that one is responsible for creating the other and that it is controlling them telepathically. They may very well be driven by the same forces, but they are not necessarily in league with each other. They might even be foes.

Considering that there is no code for wights as opposed to Others, it's not unreasonable that the scout blew three times. They obviously were not returning rangers or wildlings. The stories of the Long Night are centuries old legends that also featured kings that lived for thousands of years and knights running around before there were any knights. Old Nan even claims Dagmar Cleftjaw had his head split in two and he just held the halves in his hands until they healed. Take what she says about the present with a huge grain of salt, let alone the distant, mythical past.

The Great Ranging was not prepared for wights and hadn't brought the necessary tools to fight them. Wildfire would have been very useful. And we are not talking about killing the wights; we are talking about killing the Others -- these invincible uber-enemies that portend ultimate destruction of all mankind that can be killed by a scratch of obsidian, of which humans have plenty.

Because footmen die, whereas wights kill and create more wights. All the Others have to do is let their wight thralls overrun the south, killing everything in sight, and then stroll in an enjoy their frozen, lifeless paradise.

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11 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Sure, but to say there may be a casual relationship between appearance of the wights and the Others is far, far different from saying that one is responsible for creating the other and that it is controlling them telepathically. They may very well be driven by the same forces, but they are not necessarily in league with each other. They might even be foes.

There is no third force we've gotten any indication of that is a candidate for causing both. And wights seem more like automatons than intelligent creatures that could summon the Others. When cut apart their parts keep moving despite the lack of a connected brain. The Others, on the other hand, are intelligent, with their own language and weapons. Furthermore, we've seen both of them attack members of the Nights Watch (including within the VERY FIRST CHAPTER), but we've never gotten any indication of them opposing each other. Which fits with the old stories about wights being the servants of the Others.

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Considering that there is no code for wights as opposed to Others

Why would there be any need to distinguish them if they are in league and so correlated with each other (in contrast to rangers and wildlings)?

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The stories of the Long Night are centuries old legends that also featured kings that lived for thousands of years and knights running around before there were any knights

We know the Others are real, we can infer the stories have a basis in truth, even if they've been adapted for the present in order to contain knights.

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The Great Ranging was not prepared for wights and hadn't brought the necessary tools to fight them. Wildfire would have been very useful.

Wildfire isn't commonplace, and is not typically used by rational people.

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Because footmen die, whereas wights kill and create more wights.

Wights can also die, and the first wight we encounter is a newly dead watchman killed by Others, not by a wight. We don't know if wights can create more wights without Others around to actually raise the dead.

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In text we have no idea, let's be honest we're just clutching at straws here.

In the narrative however the others need to invade in order to properly contextualize the story and finally show just how petty and pointless the game is, and how the only way to stop this and fight our common foes is to finally put aside all the petty grievances no matter how bad they might seem.

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On 4/24/2020 at 10:59 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

There is no third force we've gotten any indication of that is a candidate for causing both. And wights seem more like automatons than intelligent creatures that could summon the Others. When cut apart their parts keep moving despite the lack of a connected brain. The Others, on the other hand, are intelligent, with their own language and weapons. Furthermore, we've seen both of them attack members of the Nights Watch (including within the VERY FIRST CHAPTER), but we've never gotten any indication of them opposing each other. Which fits with the old stories about wights being the servants of the Others.

Why would there be any need to distinguish them if they are in league and so correlated with each other (in contrast to rangers and wildlings)?

We know the Others are real, we can infer the stories have a basis in truth, even if they've been adapted for the present in order to contain knights.

Wildfire isn't commonplace, and is not typically used by rational people.

Wights can also die, and the first wight we encounter is a newly dead watchman killed by Others, not by a wight. We don't know if wights can create more wights without Others around to actually raise the dead.

Sorry Fiction, but your arguments are hollow.

We've seen ironmen and Lannisters attack Starks, does this mean they are in league or that one is controlling the other? Wolves attack men, as do bears, shadowcats and lizard lions. Are they all connected somehow?

No one saw, or reported, an Other at the fist. Not one. So seeing that there is no code for each, it makes perfect sense that three blasts were sounded because they were clearly not rangers or wildlings. You're grasping at straws here.

Dagmar is real too, and his much more recent story is full of falsehoods. There is still no basis to conclude beyond doubt that the wights and the Others are related just because of tales that were told and retold thousands of years before recorded history.

Cersei had enough wildfire to destroy the Baratheon fleet, and her own. The guild can make it very quickly. When faced with extinction, you use whatever you have.

Killed by Others, but raised hours, literally all night long, after they had left. We have no real knowledge as to how Waymar was raised, why he was raised, or who did it. But the Others had most definitely left the scene.

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On 4/25/2020 at 5:01 AM, Alyn Oakenfist said:

In text we have no idea, let's be honest we're just clutching at straws here.

In the narrative however the others need to invade in order to properly contextualize the story and finally show just how petty and pointless the game is, and how the only way to stop this and fight our common foes is to finally put aside all the petty grievances no matter how bad they might seem.

And that would make aSoIaF the same trope-filled battle of good vs. evil that Martin has said is exactly what is wrong with fantasy literature today. It's just as old and tired as the orphan boy who turns out to be the rightful king, the helpless maiden rescued by the pure, shining knight, the son who avenges his father, and all the rest.

I would be extremely surprised if Martin were to conclude the series in such a predictable way.

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