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Egged

Hightower = Lightbringer

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What is Dawn for the old gods is a long night for humans, and a long night for the old gods is dawn for humans. Leaf said it literally.

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"Gone down into the earth," she answered. "Into the stones, into the trees. Before the First Men came all this land that you call Westeros was home to us, yet even in those days we were few. The gods gave us long lives but not great numbers, lest we overrun the world as deer will overrun a wood where there are no wolves to hunt them. That was in the dawn of days, when our sun was rising. Now it sinks, and this is our long dwindling. The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well. In the world that men have made, there is no room for them, or us."


The dark trees with blue leaves are the "shadow" of the white trees with red leaves which are light to the old gods. A light casts shadows. Hence the very existence of the weirwood causes the existence of the opposite sort of tree, and humans have drunk from it, which may give humans the equivalent of the "stolen fire of the gods" of Prometheus, figuratively speaking, knowledge they should not have, powers they can abuse. It may have been in a way the original "sin" through which humans sought knowledge. Lightbringer, Lucifer, Light Bearer, you get the idea. By now, humans have built a literal monument to all knowledge, which ultimately stands like a shadow against the monument of knowledge of the old gods:

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"The man who never reads lives only one. The singers of the forest had no books. No ink, no parchment, no written language. Instead they had the trees, and the weirwoods above all. When they died, they went into the wood, into leaf and limb and root, and the trees remembered. All their songs and spells, their histories and prayers, everything they knew about this world. Maesters will tell you that the weirwoods are sacred to the old gods. The singers believe they are the old gods. When singers die they become part of that godhood."

If humans adopted cremation, the weirwoods would no longer have anything uploaded to them. The old gods would know nothing. Burning blood, burning people and trees and so on, it may all serve humans, but it casts shadows against the old gods.

Hightower is said to have a beacon burning AGAINST dawn, with its shadow cutting the city like a SWORD. Yet it is a place of knowledge and fire and light. Light always casts shadows.

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And beyond, where the Honeywine widened into Whispering Sound, rose the Hightower, its beacon fires bright against the dawn. From where it stood atop the bluffs of Battle Island, its shadow cut the city like a sword. Those born and raised in Oldtown could tell the time of day by where that shadow fell. Some claimed a man could see all the way to the Wall from the top. Perhaps that was why Lord Leyton had not made the descent in more than a decade, preferring to rule his city from the clouds.

The Azor Ahai prophecy where dragons are awaken out of stone is about Hightower, which specifically sits in the island surrounded by salt water (the books specifically tells us Honeywine empties itself in the Whispering Sound, the former being fresh water and the later being sea water), and it is a smoking tower.

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From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire.

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It is written in prophecy as well. When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.

Think of the stories about Bran the builder: he is responsible for structures which allowed humans to survive against the gods, such as in Durran Godsgrief' story where he advised on how to build Storm's End which ultimately succeeded in stopping repeated attacks from the gods, the Wall which stands against the Others, Oldtown's Hightower which holds so much knowledge.

So dawn and light and shadow can have the same meaning for and against humans, and for and against the old gods, in reverse.

The Others look like ice with blue-fire eyes because they are, from the view of the old gods, a shadow cast by the bright light of the gods. The Others are the opposite of what Hightower represents, they are dawn for the old gods, a shadow cast against the dawn of humanity. From humanity's point of view they are night, cold, blue fire, but from the point of view of the old gods they are day, hot, red fire, against humanity. The weirwood are white and red because that is their very selves, their own image, they look as such to anyone because they literally are the light of the gods. But whenever someone shadowy is created, it is created from a light. Mel's shadow creature is born out of the light she uses. An Other is born out of the light of the gods. Light can cast a shadow against humans, just like humans can make light to cast a shadow against the gods.

Leyton Hightower will likely hatch a dragon, or a beast of some sort, from Hightower, using secret knowledge or magic, as seen in Daenerys' vision. He has not been seen since the Greyjoy rebellion, and is now with his daughter preparing the defenses of Oldtown using magic.

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And Oldtown's Old Man, Lord Leyton of the Hightower, who numbered "Protector of the Citadel" amongst his many titles, was a sworn bannerman of House Tyrell.

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Samwell: The Hightower must be doing something.
Captain: To be sure. Lord Leyton's locked atop his tower with the Mad Maid, consulting books of spells. Might be he'll raise an army from the deeps. Or not.

Dragon eggs are constantly referred to as stones:

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They were so beautiful, and sometimes just being close to them made her feel stronger, braver, as if somehow she were drawing strength from the stone dragons locked inside.

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A thousand thousand years ago they had been alive, but now they were only pretty rocks. They could not make a dragon. A dragon was air and fire. Living flesh, not dead stone.

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He warmed translucent hands over a glowing brazier where stone eggs smouldered red as coals.

 

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Davos had often heard it said that the wizards of Valyria did not cut and chisel as common masons did, but worked stone with fire and magic as a potter might work clay. But now he wondered. What if they were real dragons, somehow turned to stone?

When you start to think in those terms a lot of the stories about dawn and light and fire and shadows and red and blue and fire and ice it starts to make more sense. Magic is light, and it casts a shadow, and it is the shadow which is the weapon itself which cuts like a sword. You drink shade of the evening? You end up with blue bruised lips, because you are drinking a sword, figuratively speaking.

Fire wights? They are living fire, their shadow is their SWORD, their sword is the people who obey them. Bloodraven? His eye is red like burning ambers, those who he used were his shadow, his sword. True for Beric too. True for Lady Stoneheart.

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Magic should never be the solution to the problem. My credo as a writer has always been Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech where he said, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” That transcends genre. That’s what good fiction, good drama is about: human beings in trouble. You have to make a decision, you have to do something, your life is in danger or your honor is in danger, or you're facing some crisis of the heart. To make a satisfying story, the protagonist has to solve the problem, or fail to solve the problem – but has to grapple with the problem in some kind of rational way, and the reader has to see that. And if the hero does win in the end, he has to feel that that victory is earned. The danger with magic is that the victory could be unearned. Suddenly you're in the last chapter and you wind up with a deus ex machina. The hero suddenly remembers that if he can just get some of this particular magical plant, then he can brew a potion and solve his problem. And that's a cheat. That feels very unsatisfying. It cheapens the work. Well-done fantasy – something like Tolkien – he sets Lord of the Rings up perfectly, right at the beginning. The only way to get rid of the ring, the only way, is to take it to Mount Doom and throw it in the fires from which it comes. You know that right from the first. And if we'd gone through all that, and then at the end of the book suddenly Gandalf had said, wait a minute, I just remembered, here's this other spell, oh, I can get rid of the ring easily! You would have hated that. That would have been all wrong. Magic can ruin things. Magic should never be the solution. Magic can be part of the problem.

 

Edited by Egged

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