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Isn’t it likely the Crypts of Winterfell are part of....

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. . . the cave system beneath Winterfell’s weirwood?  In ADWD we saw Bloodraven’s vast cave system that sat below a weirwood tree, full of tunnels that extended miles and miles in all directions, so vast that Leaf says her people have not explored the caves fully.  
 

We know the ground was not leveled when Winterfell was built.  If Winterfell was built around a sacred weirwood with a huge underground network of tunnels it would make sense the original builders would leave the ground untouched lest they dig up the cave system.  
 

The tunnels under the Bloodraven weirwood are a natural occurrence.  This can be inferred from Leaf’s warning in ADWD that “Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years.” 

 

So the Winterfell crypts are the natural tunnels system beneath the weirwood where, much like Bloodraven’s cave, COTF and possibly First Men  bound themselves with the weirwood roots in ancient times.  

 

Edited by level52

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To me the fact that the crypts speak of distinct levels means they’re man-made, so I don’t think the crypt themselves are the tunnels. 
However, it is very possible it is linked to some underground river, geothermal cavern systems. I believe such theories have been posted here before so you might be interested in a quick search!

Edited by Davjos

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Hrm...well, I agree with @Davjos about the crypts being man-made.  Those tunnels may easily have caused the collapse of the section of crypts.  Wonder what that means with crypts dug over tunnels, anyway.  Can't be a great architectural move.  

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5 hours ago, level52 said:

The tunnels under the Bloodraven weirwood are a natural occurrence.  This can be inferred from Leaf’s warning in ADWD that “Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years.” 

 

Spoiler

Hope you all remember the cave of Bloodraven and the CoTFs beyond the Wall, where Bran learns that there are shafts that lead to more places underground and even to the center of the earth. He also sees an underground river that may lead to sub-terranean seas. Could there be more worlds below, maybe from where the giants came when Joramun blew the Horn of Winter?

May be the Others retreated there after the Battle for the Dawn which ended the Long Night. Maybe those creatures such as the unicorn, direwolves, shadowcats, mammoths, giants, firewyrms and dragons still live below in large numbers. I find that the last two creatures I mentioned have a high possibility of being there as the early Valyrians found them first in the volcanic shafts of the 14 Flames. Does this mean that all the places ever mentioned in ASOIAF are connected underground?

 

Please note the possible myth links and tributes to great sci-fi and fantasy authors( I could only think of 2)^_^

:thumbsup:

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The crypts and also the hot and cold pools, I suspect.

Ripples were running across the surface of the water when they arrived, making the reflection of the weirwood shimmer and dance. There was no wind, though. For an instant Bran was baffled.

And then Osha exploded up out of the pool with a great splash, so sudden that even Summer leapt back, snarling. Hodor jumped away, wailing "Hodor, Hodor" in dismay until Bran patted his shoulder to soothe his fears. "How can you swim in there?" he asked Osha. "Isn't it cold?"

"As a babe I suckled on icicles, boy. I like the cold." Osha swam to the rocks and rose dripping. She was naked, her skin bumpy with gooseprickles. Summer crept close and sniffed at her. "I wanted to touch the bottom."

(ACoK, Bran II)

"There are lower levels. Older. The lowest level is partly collapsed, I hear. I have never been down there." He pushed the door open and led them out into a long vaulted tunnel, where mighty granite pillars marched two by two into blackness.

(ADwD, The Turncloak)

It seems likely, to me, that Osha is searching for the outlet of Gorne's Way. Lady Dustin may be interested in the same thing. The washerwomen are also looking for the secret tunnel when they quiz Theon about how the Ironborn managed to invade Winterfell.

The Winterfell crypt / tunnels probably connect to the tunnels where Mance Rayder had his great hall and where Ygritte takes Jon Snow for their first truly naked love-making session.

 

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We know that there are natural caves and tunnels in other parts of the North. So there are probably some under Winterfell as well. From the natural hot springs, we know that the area is seismically active. It seems likely that the earliest settlers at Winterfell discovered these caves. They may even have lived in them for a time before the castle was built.

The crypts, or at least some of them, may be natural caves that the Starks made use of. Come to think of it, that would explain one oddity that I have wondered about. The story mentions that the uppermost level of the crypt contains the remains of the more recent Stark lords, and the older ones are down on the lower levels. Isn't that the reverse of what you'd expect?

If the crypts were man-made, the earliest one would be closest to the surface, and they would dig deeper ones when they needed more space. But if the first crypts were natural tunnels far below the surface, then it would make sense to go up, rather than down, when digging new ones.

 

 

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On 9/13/2020 at 2:24 AM, level52 said:

. . . the cave system beneath Winterfell’s weirwood?  In ADWD we saw Bloodraven’s vast cave system that sat below a weirwood tree, full of tunnels that extended miles and miles in all directions, so vast that Leaf says her people have not explored the caves fully.  
 

We know the ground was not leveled when Winterfell was built.  If Winterfell was built around a sacred weirwood with a huge underground network of tunnels it would make sense the original builders would leave the ground untouched lest they dig up the cave system.  
 

The tunnels under the Bloodraven weirwood are a natural occurrence.  This can be inferred from Leaf’s warning in ADWD that “Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years.” 

 

So the Winterfell crypts are the natural tunnels system beneath the weirwood where, much like Bloodraven’s cave, COTF and possibly First Men  bound themselves with the weirwood roots in ancient times.  

 

You may enjoy reading this classic:

 

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On 9/12/2020 at 6:31 PM, Davjos said:

To me the fact that the crypts speak of distinct levels means they’re man-made, so I don’t think the crypt themselves are the tunnels. 
However, it is very possible it is linked to some underground river, geothermal cavern systems. I believe such theories have been posted here before so you might be interested in a quick search!

Yes, I absolutely think the upper areas of the crypts man made and the further you go down the more the tunnels would be “natural” tunnels.  So deep down you’d have endless passages full  bones like blooodraven’s cave, maybe some Stark and COTF merged with weirwoods, then towards the top you’d have passages that are more man-made. 
 

Bran notices in the BR cave the weirwood ”roots were everywhere, twisting through earth and stone, closing off some passages and holding up the roofs of others.”  So growth and change and movement of weirwoods roots likely collapsed the lower crypt levels. 

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@level52

 

War destroyed civilization in the movie, The Time Machine.  Some of the survivors went underground and became the Moorlock (sp?).  Those who stayed above ground evolved into the Eloi.  Something similar happened in the world of ice and fire as the survivors responded to the long winter.  Plants do not grow underground.  The only way for the underground dwellers to survive is through consuming meat.  They survived like the crows. By eating corpses.  The spring returned and the people on the surface slowly multiplied.  The ones below stayed underground.  The people above were duped into making periodic human sacrifices to meet this need.  The servitors with pointed mole-like faces from The House of the Undying are the ground dwellers. 

The weight of the wall make it unrealistic for a very large cavern to exists below but this is Martin's world.  It is possible for the two caves to be connected. 

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Yes, all those tunnels and crypts, lower levels collapsed and therefore unknown seem full of possibility.

I think Winterfell is interesting because of the thermal heating. Makes it a place where survival in a long winter might be possible (if other resources were available as well) but also potential for explosions of thermal activity if the resurgence of blood & fire magic somehow affects them. 

Good place to hatch dragon eggs although that plot possibility is long gone I think!

I like the way the swords at the dead feet are supposed to stop them walking but after Bran et al steal some of them it seems that the ways of the frightening old Kings of the North (that Ned thinks about at some point) are out of the crypt and affecting the story.

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14 hours ago, level52 said:

Yes, I absolutely think the upper areas of the crypts man made and the further you go down the more the tunnels would be “natural” tunnels.

That's my take.  Reading the world book what popped out at me was the number of cave networks mentioned, and considering that the cave network Bran is current in is probably unknown to the Citadel their actual number could be much larger.  I have also noted that many cultures with strange animal physiological aspects are in close proximity to caves, and in my mind could be linked. 

Other interesting notes about the crypts is that the entrance is near the First Keep and lichyard, linking to the origins of Winterfell.  

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On 9/27/2020 at 12:24 PM, Bobity. said:

That's my take.  Reading the world book what popped out at me was the number of cave networks mentioned, and considering that the cave network Bran is current in is probably unknown to the Citadel their actual number could be much larger.  I have also noted that many cultures with strange animal physiological aspects are in close proximity to caves, and in my mind could be linked. 

Other interesting notes about the crypts is that the entrance is near the First Keep and lichyard, linking to the origins of Winterfell.  

Yeah I noticed the same thing in the world book.  I'm guessing the ancient cultures like the Mazemakers build artificial tunnel systems to mimic the natural, magical underground systems.

Also, The Bones - the mountain range that extends across Essos - is full of maze-like tunnels that have been partially exposed.   I assume these are weirwood tunnels opened up by natural erosion. 

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I would agree that it seems incredibly likely that the crypts of Winterfell connect to the cave systems, which in turn extend beneath the wall, Gorne's Way.

The cold pool in front of the Heart Tree is likely fed by the same underground river which runs below Bloodraven's hollow hill.

This might have a few implications...

Not only do the cave systems almost certainly connect under the Wall, but the Weirwoods may all connect as well.

Bael probably didn't hide in the crypts of Winterfell with Lord Starks Daughter and Grandson, but rather returned to Winterfell through the cave system. The blue winter rose from Winterfell... 

In addition, the wall around the godswood, in Winterfell and all over Westeros, were likely originally meant to face inwards and not outwards... they defended the world from the trees, not the trees from the world... and this may be why the Night's Watch oath speaks of the "watchers on the walls", plural.

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