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Anthony Appleyard

[TWOW Spoilers]: Events in the far north

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Posted (edited)

The Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winds_of_Winter#Plot says (with a reference) that "The Winds of Winter will take readers farther north than any of the previous books, and the Others will appear in the book.". To avoid making spoilers, how far it is allowed to guess or logically calculate how the story will proceed here?

I have seen the coming ending described as "bittersweet", which seems to say that there will be deaths of loved characters. I (and likely many) hope that:

(1) Central hero characters such as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will survive.

(2) Mammoths and dragons will survive, at least as enough breeding stock of each to carry their species on.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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Posted (edited)

The previous book ends with Stannis's army stranded in the snow near Winterfell running out of food and having to eat their horses. As in the far north the Night King's army and the Others are pressing south and had driven the Freefolk to look for refuge south of the Wall, I suspect that we may see Winterfell and Stannis and the Wall garrison and the Freefolk all in one big alliance against the Night King's army. I can imagine Freefolk bringing mammoths (with Freefolk mahouts) to trample and tusk-sweep roads through the deep snow so that Stannis and his army can reach shelter and food and alliance in Winterfell.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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3 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

The previous book ends with Stannis's army stranded in the snow near Winterfell running out of food and having to eat their horses. As in the far north the Night King's army and the Others are pressing south and had driven the Freefolk to look for refuge south of the Wall, I suspect that we may see Winterfell and Stannis and the Wall garrison and the Freefolk all in one big alliance against the Night King's army.

 

Well, for one the Night's King isn't a thing in the books, at least not yet (perhaps not ever)... however, the others are pushing south all the same. Also, there will be no big alliance while the Bolton's are in charge of Winterfell. They will have to be dealt with first before a northern alliance can be agreed upon. I do think there will be some alliances made before Ramsey is gone (whatever Stannis has left+the northern mountain tribes+whoever at the wall will agree to help Jon when he returns), but these will be for the purpose of specifically winning back WF. The grand northern alliance can only be achieved when the Bolton's are out of power, with Stark blood leading the way. 

 

 

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The Children, the Giants, the Mammoths are all gone or disappearing.

ADwD, Bran III:

Quote

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.

I would like the world that is remade after the Others would be different. With men more caring for these species. But I fear it's too late. This is some of the "bittersweet" for me.

The dragons, however, are intruders. I believe they are the creation of dark magic and blood sacrifices, Blood Mages or necromancers mixing Firewyrms and Wyverns. They are the Fire, what destroyed the Childrens. And part, I believe, of why the Others have returned.

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Posted (edited)

"the unicorns are all but gone" :: That need not mean the animal like a horse with a narwhal tusk as a horn. Some old real-world drawings and descriptions of unicorns show a much bigger bulkier animal with one horn :: to me in the real world, the original real unicorn written about by Roman and Greek authors was the Indian Rhinoceros. (The change likely came from whalers or their merchants inventing stories trying to get a better price for narwhal tusks.) In the quote above, in a winter / Ice Age scenario, the speaker likely meant the Woolly Rhinoceros https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis), or perhaps Elasmotherium https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elasmotherium .

"there will be no big alliance while the Bolton's are in charge of Winterfell" :: the desperate snow-siege-and-Others emergency may be enough to force even the Boltons to seek alliance; or the Boltons' army may mutiny and choose their own leader, who will then seek alliance.

"the mammoths [are] down to a few hundred" :: with elephants, and thus likely with mammoths, a few hundred are plenty enough to breed and increase surprisingly quickly, if the herds are left undisturbed and hunting (including poaching) is prevented.  And, does "a few hundred" mean only those south of the Wall? The Freefolk seem to have plenty of mammoths.

"The dragons, however, are intruders. I believe they are the creation of dark magic and blood sacrifices, Blood Mages or necromancers mixing Firewyrms and Wyverns. They are the Fire, what destroyed the Childrens. And part, I believe, of why the Others have returned." :: Those Blood Mages or necromancers need not have been Valyrians; there are accounts of the first Valyrians being only shepherds, until some of them found a wild dragon's nest in the Fourteen Flames mountains. The long list in  https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Dragon names wild dragons. Note the name Dragonstone (the island); on it is an active volcano hill named Dragonmont, where wild dragons could have bred.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

Note the name Dragonstone (the island); on it is an active volcano hill named Dragonmont, where wild dragons could have bred

I'm here following Septon Barth, who speculated the bloodmages of Valyria used wyvern stock to create dragons.

The World of Ice & Fire:

Quote

In Septon Barth’s Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns, he speculated that the bloodmages of Valyria used wyvern stock to create dragons. Though the bloodmages were alleged to have experimented mightily with their unnatural arts, this claim is considered far-fetched by most maesters, among them Maester Vanyon’s Against the Unnatural contains certain proofs of dragons having existed in Westeros even in the earliest of days, before Valyria rose to be a power.

This is echoed by the kindly man of Bravos:

Quote

Firewyrms. Some say they are akin to dragons, for wyrms breathe fire too. Instead of soaring through the sky, they bore through stone and soil. If the old tales can be believed, there were wyrms amongst the Fourteen Flames even before the dragons came. The young ones are no larger than that skinny arm of yours, but they can grow to monstrous size and have no love for men.

Valyria is much, much older than Dragonstone. But even so, some maesters believe the dragons existed before Valyria. This is likely. There are different legends about the origin of dragons. But each time the dragons came or were created in some unnatural, hostile to life place: The Shadow, the Fourteen Flames, or fallen from the sky.

Quote

The Valyrians themselves claimed that dragons sprang forth as the children of the Fourteen Flames, while in Qarth the tales state that there was once a second moon in the sky. One day this moon was scalded by the sun and cracked like an egg, and a million dragons poured forth. In Asshai, the tales are many and confused, but certain texts-all impossibly ancient-claim that dragons first came from the Shadow, a place where all of our learning fails us. These Asshai’i histories say that a people so ancient they had no name first tamed dragons in the Shadow and brought them to Valyria, teaching the Valyrians their arts before departing from the annals.

The Qarth legend is somehow echoing the story of the Bloodstone Emperor:

Quote

... proclaiming himself the Bloodstone Emperor and beginning a reign of terror. He practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky.

There are different stories about the dragons. IMO, the way to make sense of these stories would be. Something (I suppose a fragment of comet) fell in a place which became the Shadow Lands. Someway Blood Mages created dragons there which came to strive in the Fourteen Flames. Some of these Blood Mages became the Valyrian lords.

To this day, dragons still live in the Shadow (Or so the stories say.)

Quote

 In the caves that pockmark the cliffs, demons and dragons and worse make their lairs. The farther from the city one goes, the more hideous and twisted these creatures become … until at last one stands before the doors of the Stygai, the corpse city at the Shadow’s heart, where even the shadowbinders fear to tread. Or so the stories say.

 

Edited by BalerionTheCat

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2021 at 3:34 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

The Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winds_of_Winter#Plot says (with a reference) that "The Winds of Winter will take readers farther north than any of the previous books, and the Others will appear in the book.". To avoid making spoilers, how far it is allowed to guess or logically calculate how the story will proceed here?

I have seen the coming ending described as "bittersweet", which seems to say that there will be deaths of loved characters. I (and likely many) hope that:

(1) Central hero characters such as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will survive.

(2) Mammoths and dragons will survive, at least as enough breeding stock of each to carry their species on.

 

The books taking us farther north than the previous ones ever did can happen in two ways:

-Epilogue or prologue.

-Jon being resurrected and becoming a weirdo like Melisandre (who doesn't need sleep, heat or food).

On the matter of the bittersweet ending: It is a foolish thinking that only the death of a given character can be called a sad ending. Imagine the worst possibility for an ending possible for everyone while still being alive, and you realise there might be worst things awaiting than death.

Edited by Daeron the Daring

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