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Old Man of the River

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Old Man of the River are large turtle's native to the Rhoyne river and were considered sacred by the Rhoynar and according to legend the first Rhoynish wars was started by the Valyrians killing one of these turtles. My question is just how big are these turtles? The Wiki of Ice and Fire call them Gigantic, but just how big are they? Are we looking at Leather back turtle size or even bigger like the extinct Archelon sized?

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The Rhoyne is Large enough that a ship in the middle can not see either bank at points, there is no real world equivalent to this river as far as I know. That  being said I would suspect these turltes(if they are real) are definitely big enough for at least one person, and probably several, to ride on. I'd honestly speculate at least the size of a very small car...think a mini Cooper or something similar 

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It is a tip of the hat from GRRM to Terry Pratchett, for obvious reasons. So, large enough for a DiscWorld to fit on.

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6 hours ago, Ser Leftwich said:

It is a tip of the hat from GRRM to Terry Pratchett, for obvious reasons. So, large enough for a DiscWorld to fit on.

I thought it was a nod to Dune, being that the sandworms from arrakis are called "the old man of the dessert" and are fucking gigantic.

I haven't read discworld yet, would you explain?

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“What was the cause of all that noise?” the Halfmaester asked.
“A turtle,” said Tyrion. “A turtle bigger than this boat.
“It was him,” cried Yandry. “The Old Man of the Ri1ver.”

(ADwD Ch18 Tyrion IV)

So, how big is the boat?

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an old ramshackle single-masted poleboat. She had a broad beam and a shallow draft,

(ADwD Ch8 Tyrion III)

Quote

There were four cabins on the Shy Maid. Yandry and Ysilla shared one, Griff and Young Griff another. Septa Lemore had a cabin to herself, as did Haldon. The Halfmaester’s cabin was the largest of the four. One wall was lined with bookshelves and bins stacked with old scrolls and parchments; another held racks of ointments, herbs, and potions. Golden light slanted through the wavy yellow glass of the round window. The furnishings included a bunk, a writing desk, a chair, a stool,and the Halfmaester’s cyvasse table, strewn with carved wooden pieces.

(ADwD Ch18 Tyrion IV)

Haldon's cabin can hold two and a half-man in enough comfort to learn by paper and pencil (geometry) and by ear (languages and history), but it might not have been large enough to set up the cyvasse table for a game while there are three people in it.

I would suppose that Haldon's cabin was perhaps as large as a VW Kombi, and the smaller cabins only a little smaller than Cooper S's or VW Bugs. Then there is some deck space before and aft of the cabins, and on either side. So conservatively, about forty feet aft to stern, and as much as twenty feet across (she has a broad beam).

That is to say, at least three times larger than the largest Archelon specimen currently known.

ETA: @CamiloRP

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 Through the fathomless deeps of space swims the star turtle Great A’Tuin, bearing on its back the four giant elephants who carry on their shoulders the mass of the Discworld.  A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock
a leg to allow the sun to go past.
Exactly why this should be may never be known.  Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual
business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.

(Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett)

Edited by Walda

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In addition to Arya naming her direwolf Nymeria, I think the giant turtles of the Rhoyne could be one of the clues that helps to tie the Rhoynar/Dornish story to the Stark/Lannister/Baratheon story.

1) The House Estermont sigil is a giant turtle. Robert Baratheon's mother was from House Estermont.

2) The Shrouded Lord is a mysterious "grim reaper" figure who supposedly lurks within the waters of the Rhoyne. Is it possible GRRM substituted the big turtle for the human figure when he decided to scrap Tyrion's underwater encounter with the legendary Shrouded Lord? Why was such an encounter with either the turtle or the shrouded lord important to Tyrion's development? (Note: the Shrouded Lord chooses his successor with a kiss, much as Beric Dondarrion chooses Lady Stoneheart as the new leader of the Brotherhood without Banners. Tyrion is not kissed by the Shrouded Lord or the turtle, but he is kissed by Penny.)

3) Shells. Turtles and eggs both have shells. Dragons are reptiles that have hatched from shells. In ASOIAF, does a turtle represent a reptile in the process of hatching? Or is the turtle exoskeleton symbolic of armor?

4) When Mance Rayder's people try to attack the Wall, they use a covering made of mammoth hide and other animal pelts on a framework of "stout wood." Jon Snow calls it a turtle.

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He swiveled the eye east and searched amongst the tents and trees till he found the turtle. That will be coming very soon as well. The wildlings had skinned one of the dead mammoths during the night, and they were lashing the raw bloody hide over the turtle's roof, one more layer on top of the sheepskins and pelts. The turtle had a rounded top and eight huge wheels, and under the hides was a stout wooden frame. When the wildlings had begun knocking it together, Satin thought they were building a ship. Not far wrong. The turtle was a hull turned upside down and opened fore and aft; a longhall on wheels.

(Storm, Jon IX)

Based on the way GRRM links mentions of Dalla and the turtle in the text, the turtle appears to be related to this pregnant mother figure whose baby will be called Aemon Steelsong. After trying and failing to stop the turtles with other things, the turtle is eventually crushed by barrels of gravel that have been made heavier with soaking and freezing - a stone and ice combination. Barrels may also be egg symbols in ASOIAF. Or, possibly, egg alternatives? Because they are made of wood, they may be on a different team from real eggs, leading to a different kind of rebirth. I think the gravel-as-weapon ties into a larger motif of dropping stones on people in combat. I suspect the Tumblestone River may be part of this symbolism, bringing us back to the river motif closely associated with the Old Man of the River.

5) The excerpt describing the turtle also compares it to a ship and a longhall. (Perhaps addressing the initial question about its size.) I suspect this ties it to the Ironborn, as Asha pretended to be married to a shipwright and the culture is known for its longhall built within the ribs of a monster.

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