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aeverett

A Magical Feedback Loop?

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I was thinking about what could have woken the White Walkers, and I had an idea.  We know from various sources (Quaithe, the acolytes at the Citadel, the Pyromancer in Kings Landing, etc.) that when dragons left the world, magic declined, making it impossible for glass candles to be lit and much harder for those trained in magic to use it.   What if this wasn't merely a problem for those using fire magic, but all magic.   If so, then the Wall's spells might gave been slowly weakening over the century and a half since the last dragon died.  

What if one of the Wall's functions was to keep the White Walkers asleep.  When the magic weakened, the Walkers woke up, and started killing people, effectively creating blood sacrifices everywhere they went.  Each death increased the well of global magic until it grew large enough to power the hatching of dragons eggs.   The dragons created more magic, as they kill more people, etc.    I've stated in other posts that in the World of Ice and Fire that magic could be an added layer of nature that doesn't exist in our world.  As such, it would follow certain natural laws particular to that world.   If so, then the Citadel's supposed goal (according to Marwyn) of ridding the World of Ice and Fire of magic is a fool's errand.  It would be like ridding our world of gravity, expecting to live without it.  

This would also mean that Euron Greyjoy isn't some outlier, performing some magical ritual rather than participating in the game of thrones, but he's playing to win the game of thrones by making such a massive blood sacrifice that he controls the game permanently.  

Edited by aeverett

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2 hours ago, aeverett said:

We know from various sources (Quaithe, the acolytes at the Citadel, the Pyromancer in Kings Landing, etc.) that when dragons left the world, magic declined

Do we really know that?  More specifically: was it the decline of dragons that caused the decline of magic, or was it the other way 'round? Which is the cause, and which the effect?

I agree with your big-picture idea that magic is "an added layer of nature," another resource like water and sunljght; and there might be some sort of tides or seasons that cause its power to vary over time. 

 I've always believed that the rise & fall of dragons is an Effect, and magic is the Cause.  To me, that's what's really been going on through the entire story. We've been reading about Westeros at a time when magical energy is increasing, after a few centuries of decline, possibly starting with the Doom of Valyria. I think there are one or two characters who make statements to this effect, although there are certainly a couple who suggest that dragons are the Cause.

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The Others are a mummer’s trick, a shadow on the wall.

Fire and light is never the outcome of magic, the shadow is each time. Shadows, blue flames, they are the sword cast by the light of magic.

A fire wight is a living flame inside a corpse, the corpse and those who follow it its shadow and the shadow is its weapon.

Hightower is seen as a beacon of light yet it stands against dawn, its shadow cutting the city like a sword.

The Others are made to appear as evil incarnate so that all unite against them. It’s a trick to unite the kingdoms. The Boltons are an example of how such dynamics play out, and how more is needed than just a common enemy to forge peace; divisions must be eliminated, compromises must be made.

In time Bran will learn to love the darkness, the shadows, the mummer’s tricks.

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4 hours ago, Egged said:

The Others are a mummer’s trick, a shadow on the wall.

Fire and light is never the outcome of magic, the shadow is each time. Shadows, blue flames, they are the sword cast by the light of magic.

A fire wight is a living flame inside a corpse, the corpse and those who follow it its shadow and the shadow is its weapon.

Hightower is seen as a beacon of light yet it stands against dawn, its shadow cutting the city like a sword.

The Others are made to appear as evil incarnate so that all unite against them. It’s a trick to unite the kingdoms. The Boltons are an example of how such dynamics play out, and how more is needed than just a common enemy to forge peace; divisions must be eliminated, compromises must be made.

In time Bran will learn to love the darkness, the shadows, the mummer’s tricks.

To what purpose?  And why are the 7 Kingdoms so special that they have to be unified through forces outside their own will?   

What's more, there appeared to be too much free will in Beric Dondarrion for him to merely be a tool of a flame.  Mellissandre makes too many mistakes.  Seriously, the flame that you've given intelligence and intent to looks like a major screw up if its goal is unification without regards to human interests like who stays on what side of what wall or who sits the Iron Throne, or who's god is worshiped where, etc. 

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7 hours ago, Aebram said:

Do we really know that?  More specifically: was it the decline of dragons that caused the decline of magic, or was it the other way 'round? Which is the cause, and which the effect?

I agree with your big-picture idea that magic is "an added layer of nature," another resource like water and sunljght; and there might be some sort of tides or seasons that cause its power to vary over time. 

 I've always believed that the rise & fall of dragons is an Effect, and magic is the Cause.  To me, that's what's really been going on through the entire story. We've been reading about Westeros at a time when magical energy is increasing, after a few centuries of decline, possibly starting with the Doom of Valyria. I think there are one or two characters who make statements to this effect, although there are certainly a couple who suggest that dragons are the Cause.

While I agree it's a dragon and egg problem, which came first, the death of dragons or the decline of magic, the reason for these swings in magic remain unclear.  Yes the Doom of Valyria may have been the cause, but what if the Doom was a result of magical decline?   

Still, whatever caused the decline of magic, the Wall's magic would follow with all the other magics, allowing the Night King to waken and set up shop in the Land of Always Winter.  Oh no, now I've had a really dark thought.  What if the reason the Free Folk are on the northern side of the wall was as a blood sacrifice to the Others?   They weren't just on the wrong side of the wall, they were put there to be slaughtered when magic got too weak and the Night King rose again in order to generate enough blood magic, via their deaths and resurrection as wights, to jumpstart magic in the world because those who built the Wall had a vested interest in preventing magic from disappearing from Planetos.

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2 hours ago, aeverett said:

Still, whatever caused the decline of magic, the Wall's magic would follow with all the other magics, allowing the Night King to waken and set up shop in the Land of Always Winter. 

Wouldn't whatever magic that 'wakes the night king' also be diminished?

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12 minutes ago, Jay21 said:

 

Wouldn't whatever magic that 'wakes the night king' also be diminished?

Magic doesn't necessarily wake the White Walkers (mixed my media with the books and shows, mea culpa).  Think of it like a person kept unconscious with sedatives.  Remove the sedatives, or dilute them to the point where they can't do their job, and the person wakes up.   The magic of the Wall kept the White Walkers asleep.  Weaken it enough and they wake.  

Edited by aeverett

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3 hours ago, aeverett said:

To what purpose?  And why are the 7 Kingdoms so special that they have to be unified through forces outside their own will?   

What's more, there appeared to be too much free will in Beric Dondarrion for him to merely be a tool of a flame.  Mellissandre makes too many mistakes.  Seriously, the flame that you've given intelligence and intent to looks like a major screw up if its goal is unification without regards to human interests like who stays on what side of what wall or who sits the Iron Throne, or who's god is worshiped where, etc. 

Who says all magic is cast by the same person? A fire wight is a flame animated so that its shadow can be "SWORD!" against others. I didn't say fire wights are mummered by the same who mummers the Others.

As to why would one want to unite the kingdoms of Westeros, why not? Why not for the same reasons others wanted to before? You just have to find out who is the mummer to know why.

Edited by Egged

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4 hours ago, aeverett said:

While I agree it's a dragon and egg problem, which came first, the death of dragons or the decline of magic, the reason for these swings in magic remain unclear.  Yes the Doom of Valyria may have been the cause, but what if the Doom was a result of magical decline?   

Still, whatever caused the decline of magic, the Wall's magic would follow with all the other magics, allowing the Night King to waken and set up shop in the Land of Always Winter.  Oh no, now I've had a really dark thought.  What if the reason the Free Folk are on the northern side of the wall was as a blood sacrifice to the Others?   They weren't just on the wrong side of the wall, they were put there to be slaughtered when magic got too weak and the Night King rose again in order to generate enough blood magic, via their deaths and resurrection as wights, to jumpstart magic in the world because those who built the Wall had a vested interest in preventing magic from disappearing from Planetos.

Just to clarify: I didn't mean to suggest that the Doom caused the decline of magical energy, only that it may have been the first sign that the decline was happening.

More broadly, I think that some folks here have gone overboard in trying to puzzle out the rules or principles of magic on Planetos.  We know that GRRM is not super-precise about numerical matters such as dates, prices, sizes of armies, etc.  Similarly, I rather doubt that he formulated a complete set of rules to govern the behavior of magic throughout the entire story.  Has anyone asked him about this, at a con or in an interview?

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3 hours ago, Egged said:

Who says all magic is cast by the same person? A fire wight is a flame animated so that its shadow can be "SWORD!" against others. I didn't say fire wights are mummered by the same who mummers the Others.

As to why would one want to unite the kingdoms of Westeros, why not? Why not for the same reasons others wanted to before? You just have to find out who is the mummer to know why.

Oh, I misunderstood.  I thought you were going all R'hllor / Great Other on me with your previous statements, basically crediting a deity or intelligent designer for all of Westeros' woes.    

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23 minutes ago, aeverett said:

Oh, I misunderstood.  I thought you were going all R'hllor / Great Other on me with your previous statements, basically crediting a deity or intelligent designer for all of Westeros' woes.    

No no. I've come to the conclusion in my Hightower = Lightbringer post that how magic is expressed in the books is always: magic = light/fire in "a higher dimension", but shadow/blue flame when it actually impacts the world (all figuratively of course). So for example, Leaf speaks of their former dawn and how now their own long night is coming, all the while speaking of a future where humanity rules, which would seem to contradict a coming long night. What is a light to one is a shadow to another and vice-versa.

So all magic is light which casts a shadow, it is always double-edged.

Edited by Egged

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:54 PM, Egged said:

No no. I've come to the conclusion in my Hightower = Lightbringer post that how magic is expressed in the books is always: magic = light/fire in "a higher dimension", but shadow/blue flame when it actually impacts the world (all figuratively of course). So for example, Leaf speaks of their former dawn and how now their own long night is coming, all the while speaking of a future where humanity rules, which would seem to contradict a coming long night. What is a light to one is a shadow to another and vice-versa.

So all magic is light which casts a shadow, it is always double-edged.

@Egged Thats a sick idea.

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