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LynnS

The House of Undying

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There are some features in the House of Undying that have always been a puzzle:

1) the door seems to be an imitation of the Black Gate.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

"When you come to the chamber of the Undying, be patient. Our little lives are no more than a flicker of a moth's wing to them. Listen well, and write each word upon your heart."

When they reached the door—a tall oval mouth, set in a wall fashioned in the likeness of a human face—the smallest dwarf Dany had ever seen was waiting on the threshold. He stood no higher than her knee, his faced pinched and pointed, snoutish, but he was dressed in delicate livery of purple and blue, and his tiny pink hands held a silver tray. Upon it rested a slender crystal glass filled with a thick blue liquid: shade of the evening, the wine of warlocks. "Take and drink," urged Pyat Pree.

2) the doors to the Undying seem to be an imitation of the doors at the House of Black and White:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward.

There many other parallels:

- weirwood and shade of the evening trees

- weirwood paste and  the wine of the warlocks 

- rat faced servitors and the cotf

Are there any other features that are imitations of something else created by magic.  And what do you think this means?  For example, the House of Undying is described as flat and serpentine and part of the Wall is described as serpentine.   Is there a connection between the Wall and the House of Undying?  Jon describes the switchback stairs at Castle Black as crooked stitching.  Magic or sorcery is usually described as weaving or sewing.  It also shows up as whorls or patterns, just as Dany sees the doors concealing the undying.   She perceives the carpet in the long hall with whorls of gold:
 

Quote

 

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

The fourth room was oval rather than square and walled in worm-eaten wood in place of stone. Six passages led out from it in place of four. Dany chose the rightmost, and entered a long, dim, high-ceilinged hall. Along the right hand was a row of torches burning with a smoky orange light, but the only doors were to her left. Drogon unfolded wide black wings and beat the stale air. He flew twenty feet before thudding to an undignified crash. Dany strode after him.

The mold-eaten carpet under her feet had once been gorgeously colored, and whorls of gold could still be seen in the fabric, glinting broken amidst the faded grey and mottled green.

 

Is this a reflection of the magic woven into the Wall?  

It seems to me that the warlocks know a lot about the Black Gate/Wall and the House of Black and White.  What do you think?

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Posted (edited)

There are hidden powers manipulating mankind's actions.  These you described are their symbols.  The symbols of death.  Wars and other destruction are made to happen by these beings.  We will find out who they are in the future.  They want to keep civilizations at a lower level of advancement and the human population under control.

Edited by Jeeves

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6 hours ago, LynnS said:

There are some features in the House of Undying that have always been a puzzle:

1) the door seems to be an imitation of the Black Gate.

2) the doors to the Undying seem to be an imitation of the doors at the House of Black and White:

There many other parallels:

- weirwood and shade of the evening trees

- weirwood paste and  the wine of the warlocks 

- rat faced servitors and the cotf

Are there any other features that are imitations of something else created by magic.  And what do you think this means?  For example, the House of Undying is described as flat and serpentine and part of the Wall is described as serpentine.   Is there a connection between the Wall and the House of Undying?  Jon describes the switchback stairs at Castle Black as crooked stitching.  Magic or sorcery is usually described as weaving or sewing.  It also shows up as whorls or patterns, just as Dany sees the doors concealing the undying.   She perceives the carpet in the long hall with whorls of gold:
 

Is this a reflection of the magic woven into the Wall?  

It seems to me that the warlocks know a lot about the Black Gate/Wall and the House of Black and White.  What do you think?

This is to show the similarities of magic. There is no reason as of yet to think the House of the Undying is related to the magic of the wall other than the fact that they are magical and there is nothing I can remember about the warlocks speaking about the wall 

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I think that magic at its core is the same, but it's the way that it's wielded that would make it different. The warlocks have visions because drink shade-of-the-evening and the greenseers get their visions by being plugged into a weirwood. Not really sure what powers the red priests' visions, especially since a non priest like Stannis received a super accurate vision.

Dany's adventure inside the HotU and her encounter with the Undying themselves reminds me a lot of Jon Snow's own encounter with Othor. The Undying Ones are not breathing or moving, but they still whisper to her and shows her visions, then they try to kill her. They seem to be animated by the heart floating above them.

Othor was animated, given his blue eyes (and the other explanations given by Sam). He is dead, but rises again inside CB, fights with Jon and Ghost (Dany has Drogon with her). 

The Undying Ones and Othor are disposed of the same way, with fire. (What's sort of interesting is that Jon seems to play Drogon's role when he burns Othor and Dany seems to be Ghost at the HotU, if that makes sense. It makes sense in my head).

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The Undying Ones and Othor are disposed of the same way, with fire. (What's sort of interesting is that Jon seems to play Drogon's role when he burns Othor and Dany seems to be Ghost at the HotU, if that makes sense. It makes sense in my head).

Yes and now he has a burned hand.  He's been marked by fire. I'm reminded of the Fiery Hands of R'hllor.

 I find this subject difficult.  The magic is similar, yes but it's strange to me that there is a door like the Black Gate and doors like the HoB&W .  It feels like there must be a connection to the real thing rather than some kind of psychic projection.  Dany says she is in the presence of sorcery and her mind has been altered by shade of the evening.  What she perceives while under the influence is all psychic projection.  Is it possible that the warlocks of Qaarth have tapped into the power of the Wall?  Melisandre say she is stronger at the Wall and also tells Jon that he can access it's power.  I wonder if others are doing the same.

I think Mel actually drawing on the power of the Wall at one point.  She has stretched her abilities by glamoring Rattleshirt, Stannis' sword, the great horn, Mance. 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

Stannis Baratheon drew Lightbringer.

The sword glowed red and yellow and orange, alive with light. Jon had seen the show before … but not like this, never before like this. Lightbringer was the sun made steel. When Stannis raised the blade above his head, men had to turn their heads or cover their eyes. Horses shied, and one threw his rider. The blaze in the fire pit seemed to shrink before this storm of light, like a small dog cowering before a larger one. The Wall itself turned red and pink and orange, as waves of color danced across the ice. Is this the power of king's blood?

Mel is almost overcome by it:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

She made it sound a simple thing, and easy. They need never know how difficult it had been, or how much it had cost her. That was a lesson Melisandre had learned long before Asshai; the more effortless the sorcery appears, the more men fear the sorcerer. When the flames had licked at Rattleshirt, the ruby at her throat had grown so hot that she had feared her own flesh might start to smoke and blacken. Thankfully Lord Snow had delivered her from that agony with his arrows. Whilst Stannis had seethed at the defiance, she had shuddered with relief.

Mance does say that he can sometimes feel the heat that connects the ruby at his wrist to Mel's ruby.  But what happens to Mel's ruby at the burning is like massive blow back. 

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

This is to show the similarities of magic. There is no reason as of yet to think the House of the Undying is related to the magic of the wall other than the fact that they are magical and there is nothing I can remember about the warlocks speaking about the wall 

Let me ask you a different question.  Is there a connection between the greenseers and the HoB&W.  Is the many-faced god a weirwood and is the Black Gate another representation of a ghost face hung on the Wall.

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4 hours ago, Jeeves said:

There are hidden powers manipulating mankind's actions.  These you described are their symbols.  The symbols of death.  Wars and other destruction are made to happen by these beings.  We will find out who they are in the future.  They want to keep civilizations at a lower level of advancement and the human population under control.

What do you make of the blue heart at the centre of the HoU.  It's purpose seems to be to consume life.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

What do you make of the blue heart at the centre of the HoU.  It's purpose seems to be to consume life.

Or give life to the warlocks and witches around the table.  The heart provides them with life as the trees provide Brynden Rivers with energy to live.  The flesh is rotting though and I suppose it will need replacement every so often. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Jeeves said:

Or give life to the warlocks and witches around the table.  The heart provides them with life as the trees provide Brynden Rivers with energy to live.  The flesh is rotting though and I suppose it will need replacement every so often. 

Any sense of who the old man and woman sitting at the table might be?  They must have been in Dany's position at one time.  Do we get any clues of who they are when Dany sees the splendor of wizards?    

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Jeeves said:

Or give life to the warlocks and witches around the table.  The heart provides them with life as the trees provide Brynden Rivers with energy to live.  The flesh is rotting though and I suppose it will need replacement every so often. 

Or maybe their attempt at draining Dany's life has to do with them powering the heart. They recharge it and it keeps them "alive" in return. 

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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59 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Any sense of who the old man and woman sitting at the table might be?  They must have been in Dany's position at one time.  Do we get any clues of who they are when Dany sees the splendor of wizards?    

People who dabbled in magic to obtain immortality? 

52 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Or maybe their attempt at draining Dany's life has to do with them powering the heart. They recharge it and it keeps them "alive" in return. 

Could be. 

 

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

Is there a connection between the greenseers and the HoB&W. 

None at all. 

3 hours ago, LynnS said:

  Is the many-faced god a weirwood and is the Black Gate another representation of a ghost face hung on the Wall.

Nope. The weirwoods represent the magic of all things living. The black gate is magic from the children, which is why the others can't force it. 
The Many faced god is death incarnate. Something beyond religion. Death is what the others use and seek to create through the removal of all warmth from the world 

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8 hours ago, Jeeves said:

There are hidden powers manipulating mankind's actions.  These you described are their symbols.  The symbols of death.  Wars and other destruction are made to happen by these beings.  We will find out who they are in the future.  They want to keep civilizations at a lower level of advancement and the human population under control.

Know who recognized the threat?  Drogon. 

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On 5/23/2020 at 5:52 PM, LynnS said:

Any sense of who the old man and woman sitting at the table might be?  They must have been in Dany's position at one time.  Do we get any clues of who they are when Dany sees the splendor of wizards?    

People who have the same talents as Bran and the Brynden.  The people who can read the flow of time.  The splendor was an illusion.  We saw the same trick played by Euron to his brother. 

On 5/23/2020 at 11:35 AM, Jeeves said:

There are hidden powers manipulating mankind's actions.  These you described are their symbols.  The symbols of death.  Wars and other destruction are made to happen by these beings.  We will find out who they are in the future.  They want to keep civilizations at a lower level of advancement and the human population under control.

I agree.  Except they may not be villains at all but they know to keep human development from destroying mother nature.  What humans call progress is an assault on mother nature.  Retarding that progress keeps nature from going out of balance. 

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On 5/23/2020 at 6:00 PM, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Or maybe their attempt at draining Dany's life has to do with them powering the heart. They recharge it and it keeps them "alive" in return. 

It buys them more time among the living.  Death cannot be cheated forever.  

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2020 at 12:06 PM, LynnS said:

There are some features in the House of Undying that have always been a puzzle:

1) the door seems to be an imitation of the Black Gate.

2) the doors to the Undying seem to be an imitation of the doors at the House of Black and White:

There many other parallels:

- weirwood and shade of the evening trees

- weirwood paste and  the wine of the warlocks 

- rat faced servitors and the cotf

1) The same, but not exactly the same - the Black Gate was an entire face, Dany's door was a mouth in a wall like a face. It's seems to be the same kind of magic, but the detail is not important, just the suggestion of the building as a living thing. In the case of the Wall, this aliveness is shown by its weeping, and throwing off climbers. In the case of the HotU, it is serpent-shaped, it has a face, and apparently a heart. Drogon attacks the heart, and the whole thing burns.

Lots of non-magical examples too - Winterfell has a circulation, and the Eyrie has finger bones. Westeros has an eye, an arm and a neck. I think Brienne says somewhere that an attack from Tywin's army is like a punch from a giant (quote below). I think the general idea is that great powers are formed from lots of little powers directed in concert. It might also be true that all giant powers have a heart that can be attacked, sort of an Achilles heel :).

2) Not so sure here - the HoBW has one black door, one white. The HotU has black and white merging together. The real door is grey. I don't think the Faceless Men like grey - they like things clear and separate. The Undying are more messy.

ETA

Quote

A small victory, Catelyn thought when the fighting had ended ... Catelyn asked Brienne for her thoughts. "That was the brush of Lord Tywin's fingertips, my lady," the girl said. "He is probing, feeling for a weak point, an undefended crossing. If he does not find one, he will curl all his fingers into a fist, and try to make one."

[ACOK - CATELYN VI]

 

Edited by Springwatch
quote

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On 5/23/2020 at 10:52 PM, LynnS said:

Any sense of who the old man and woman sitting at the table might be?  They must have been in Dany's position at one time.  Do we get any clues of who they are when Dany sees the splendor of wizards?    

They don't really sound like the Undying - the wizards speak fluently, the Undying don't - so it's not a straight mummer show.  So I suppose we have to shrug and say it's magic - a magical test for Dany created from her expectations and the previous identities of the Undying themselves.

The blue woman in pale rotting silk and the woman in the rose-coloured Quartheen gown are obviously mean to trigger a connection. And maybe the men too, a little bit? The one is wizened, the other a wizard - might ring a bell in the subconscious.

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The faded and moldy carpet.  The old folk are barely alive and hanging on to life.  The general disrepair of the palace.  All are indicative of something that has tried to cheat father time.   Human attempt to freeze time and live beyond the normal lifespan.  Corruption like the crumbling bricks of Astapor.  These disparate scenes create a montage which depict stagnation.  Essos is in need of change.  Humans need to work, to strive to keep the world working smoothly.  It takes work to hold back chaos and decay.  And they always win.  That is why humans have to build and then rebuild.  The old must make way for the new.  To live means to struggle. 

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12 minutes ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

The faded and moldy carpet.  The old folk are barely alive and hanging on to life.  The general disrepair of the palace.  All are indicative of something that has tried to cheat father time.   Human attempt to freeze time and live beyond the normal lifespan.  Corruption like the crumbling bricks of Astapor.  These disparate scenes create a montage which depict stagnation.  Essos is in need of change.  Humans need to work, to strive to keep the world working smoothly.  It takes work to hold back chaos and decay.  And they always win.  That is why humans have to build and then rebuild.  The old must make way for the new.  To live means to struggle. 

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

The mold-eaten carpet under her feet had once been gorgeously colored, and whorls of gold could still be seen in the fabric, glinting broken amidst the faded grey and mottled green. What remained served to muffle her footfalls, but that was not all to the good. Dany could hear sounds within the walls, a faint scurrying and scrabbling that made her think of rats. Drogon heard them too. His head moved as he followed the sounds, and when they stopped he gave an angry scream. Other sounds, even more disturbing, came through some of the closed doors. One shook and thumped, as if someone were trying to break through. From another came a dissonant piping that made the dragon lash his tail wildly from side to side. Dany hurried quickly past.

When I see a reference to whorls of any kind; I think this is a reference to the magic inherent in a thing.  In this case, the magic carpet is old and breaking down..  We see it again in the doors of black and white that she passes but it's much more livid the closer she gets to the undying.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward.

Weaving and sewing are symbolic of magic if you could see magic or spells.  And once again with Qyburn:
 

Quote

 

A Feast for Crows - Cersei IV

"I have informers sniffing after the Imp everywhere, Your Grace," said Qyburn. He had garbed himself in something very like maester's robes, but white instead of grey, immaculate as the cloaks of the Kingsguard. Whorls of gold decorated his hem, sleeves, and stiff high collar, and a golden sash was tied about his waist. "Oldtown, Gulltown, Dorne, even the Free Cities. Wheresoever he might run, my whisperers will find him."

 

Draining Dany of her life energy and the magic that is a part of her and her dragons.  Repairing the carpet in other words.  Drogon would also be a prize if he hadn't destroyed the blue heart.  Recalling that fire magic is stronger just by the rebirth of dragons.  The fire mage with his fiery ladder is one example.  Another is the alchemist who asks Tyrion if there are any dragons around because their spells for wildfire are stronger.

I'm still of the mind that the undying greet both Dany and Drogon.  Dany is the mother of dragons and Drogon is her child, a child of three.  Drogon seems to have a mind of his own; seeing and hearing what Dany sees and hears.  Lashing her with his tail and finally saving her from the undying. Drogon is lucid about the threat that is posed but he is not under their spell.   I can see the undying wanting Drogon as well. 

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I haven't thought much about a connection to the HoB&W, but I think that more or less, the trees around HotU are warped weirwoods and Dany (half Blackwood) actually entered the trees. In this world, black magic warps, twists and rots and I'm guessing that shade of the evening is warping the trees to create a wireless weirnet that's not healthy. Bran's visions are clear, but Dany's in the HotU are kind of insane.

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/153120-shade-of-the-evening/&do=findComment&comment=8303754

Quote

Dany sees Pyat step out from under the trees and asks if he's been there all along. It likens Pyat to BR, Bran, etc. Dany asking this is a prompt to the reader to ask this same question in a more serious way. Maybe he really is there all of the time. 

ACOK Daenerys IV

"Queen Daenerys must enter alone, or not at all." The warlock Pyat Pree stepped out from under the trees. Has he been there all along? Dany wondered. "Should she turn away now, the doors of wisdom shall be closed to her forevermore."

Pyat has blue lips and is implied to live under the trees permanently but is also present in a more real way, though not always so real as a normal person. The Undying are much bluer than Pyat and seem unable to leave, and don't function like Pyat. The Undying strike me as what Pyat will become like Bran will become like BR and the rest. Does the varying blueness indicate the level of connection to the trees like the thoroughness of connection to the roots? Only Pyat's mouth is blue, mouth as a gateway to the trees. But the Undying are all blue as BR is thoroughly run through by roots. Are they actually the trees as BR is nearly so just with a different connection type? 

ADWD Bran III

"Most of him has gone into the tree," explained the singer Meera called Leaf. "He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know."

Dany sees Pyat under the trees, she then walks under the trees again (it's dark) to the door/mouth of the Palace of Dust. Implied is the undergroundness that we see with BR and Bran. She compares it to a face like we see in a weirwood tree. White tree cast its sacrifices into the mouth. The imagery says Dany herself is going into the trees where the Undying live. Dany burns the Palace of Dust but Pyat, outside, burns too. He's always under the trees, and also in the Palace of Dust with the Undying? Looks like a weirnet-type connection outside the roots themselves. 

I wonder at the presence of sorcery and why the trees look different and sorcery being used to by-pass the physical connection requirement for a psychic one or something (lots of psychic connections in the series: wargs, skinchangers, Others' control over the wights) would be a means to create a different connection which is less of a handicap, at least for a while. 

Sorcery being used for a not-physical connection to the trees would explain their being black and blue, like a bruise. It would also explain the weirdness of Dany's visions compared to Bran's. Are they sick trees? Wrong trees? Sorcery is known to warp in this world. Practitioners are often describes as squat, short, hinting at a worsening appearance over time. Cersei makes a more literal connection. The Palace of Dust is hardly a picture of strength. 

AFFC Cersei VIII

The old woman's eyes were yellow, and crusted all about with something vile. In Lannisport it was said that she had been young and beautiful when her husband had brought her back from the east with a load of spices, but age and evil had left their marks on her. She was short, squat, and warty, with pebbly greenish jowls. Her teeth were gone and her dugs hung down to her knees. You could smell sickness on her if you stood too close, and when she spoke her breath was strange and strong and foul. "Begone," she told the girls, in a croaking whisper.

 TWOW Spoiler

Spoiler

This would explain the value of Pyat and shade of the evening to Euron. He's suspected of being a BR flunky. Getting lost in the weirnet is likened to losing oneself like to a drug. Shade of the evening might connect Euron back to the trees as he's suspected to have been before. It would just be a different set of trees and one which allows him freedom from the weirwood's caves and roots. 

 

 

https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/153120-shade-of-the-evening/&do=findComment&comment=8304515

Quote

Dany's path in the Palace of Dust makes a lot more sense if she's actually inside a tree. Right after worm Pyat fades away...

(Sorry for repeating myself in quotes, I'm pointing out different points in the same passages)

Always taking the door of one side leads one in a circle, a circle which goes up. Also when one is in a tower or tree, left side doors and right side doors become very significant depending on which way you're going. 

"When you enter, you will find yourself in a room with four doors: the one you have come through and three others. Take the door to your right. Each time, the door to your right. If you should come upon a stairwell, climb. Never go down, and never take any door but the first door to your right."

 

"The door to my right," Dany repeated. "I understand. And when I leave, the opposite?"

 

"By no means," Pyat Pree said. "Leaving and coming, it is the same. Always up. Always the door to your right. Other doors may open to you. Within, you will see many things that disturb you. Visions of loveliness and visions of horror, wonders and terrors. Sights and sounds of days gone by and days to come and days that never were. Dwellers and servitors may speak to you as you go. Answer or ignore them as you choose, but enter no room until you reach the audience chamber."

 

 ...

 

It seemed as though she walked for another hour before the long hall finally ended in a steep stone stair, descending into darkness. Every door, open or closed, had been to her left. Dany looked back behind her. The torches were going out, she realized with a start of fear. Perhaps twenty still burned. Thirty at most. One more guttered out even as she watched, and the darkness came a little farther down the hall, creeping toward her. And as she listened it seemed as if she heard something else coming, shuffling and dragging itself slowly along the faded carpet. Terror filled her. She could not go back and she was afraid to stay here, but how could she go on? There was no door on her right, and the steps went down, not up.

 

Yet another torch went out as she stood pondering, and the sounds grew faintly louder. Drogon's long neck snaked out and he opened his mouth to scream, steam rising from between his teeth. He hears it too. Dany turned to the blank wall once more, but there was nothing. Could there be a secret door, a door I cannot see? Another torch went out. Another. The first door on the right, he said, always the first door on the right. The first door on the right . . .

 

It came to her suddenly. . . . is the last door on the left!

 

She flung herself through. Beyond was another small room with four doors. To the right she went, and to the right, and to the right, and to the right, and to the right, and to the right, and to the right, until she was dizzy and out of breath once more.

 

When she stopped, she found herself in yet another dank stone chamber . . . but this time the door opposite was round, shaped like an open mouth, and Pyat Pree stood outside in the grass beneath the trees. "Can it be that the Undying are done with you so soon?" he asked in disbelief when he saw her.

...

Dany left him behind, entering a stairwell. She began to climb. Before long her legs were aching. She recalled that the House of the Undying Ones had seemed to have no towers.

Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. They were very beautiful, yet somehow frightening. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid. Dany said a quick prayer, begging the Warrior for courage and the Dothraki horse god for strength. She made herself walk forward.

 

Other posters contributed some great ideas that are definitely worth checking out.

 

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