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The Hammer of the Waters


LynnS
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Did the Old Gods break the Arm of Dorne with the Hammer of th Waters in a catastrophic geologic event?  Or was the land bridge partially submerged due to gradually rising sea levels?

 

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The World of Ice and Fire - Dorne: The Breaking

Many maesters find Cassander's arguments plausible and have come to accept his views. But whether the Breaking took place in a single night, or over the course of centuries, there can be no doubt that it occurred; the Stepstones and the Broken Arm of Dorne give mute but eloquent testimony to its effects. There is also much to suggest that the Sea of Dorne was once an inland freshwater sea, fed by mountain streams and much smaller than it is today, until the narrow sea burst its bounds and drowned the salt marshes that lay between.

Even if we accept that the old gods broke the Arm of Dorne with the Hammer of the Waters, as the legends claim, the greenseers sang their song too late.

No more wanderers crossed to Westeros after the Breaking, it is true, for the First Men were no seafarers...but so many of their forebears had already made the crossing that they outnumbered the dwindling elder races almost three to one by the time the lands were severed, and that disparity only grew in the centuries that followed, for the women of the First Men brought forth sons and daughters with much greater frequency than the females of the elder races. And thus the children and the giants faded, whilst the race of men spread and multiplied and claimed the fields and forests for their own, raising villages and forts and kingdoms.

 

 

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On 5/16/2022 at 12:30 PM, Moiraine Sedai said:

A magic powerful enough to move the land bridge is too much. Rising sea levels put it under water. 

I'm not sure I believe that either and yet there is this story about the old gods breaking the arm of Dorne.  I wonder if there was some natural catastrophe like a glacial dam outburst that realeased enormous amounts of water into the Narrow sea, causing sea levels to rise.  This might be something that would be attributed to the gods.   A hammer in other words.

Or potentially, the hammer was an asteroid striking the Northern ice sheet and melting it, also causing flooding.  

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On 5/18/2022 at 7:31 AM, LynnS said:

I'm not sure I believe that either and yet there is this story about the old gods breaking the arm of Dorne.  I wonder if there was some natural catastrophe like a glacial dam outburst that realeased enormous amounts of water into the Narrow sea, causing sea levels to rise.  This might be something that would be attributed to the gods.   A hammer in other words.

Or potentially, the hammer was an asteroid striking the Northern ice sheet and melting it, also causing flooding.  

A dam breaking is more believable.  

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Posted (edited)

The Broken Arm of Dorne. 
or The Breaking, of the Broken Arm Land Bridge of Westeros and Essos?,I forget 
 

Makes me wonder about Garin the Great and Garins Curse. And the possibility of the curse causing the Doom.

Nymeria and her voyage to Dorne. The mysterious Island of Ghaston Grey.

The spears of the merling king in Blackwater bay and the sinking Moat Cailin

Storms End and Ship Breaker Bay.

Brandon the Breaker.

And finally, The Stepstones. The Disputed Lands. Located between Westeros and Essos, below the North and above Sothoryos. At the very heart of the world. Bloodstone. Tyrosh. Myr. And Lys.

The Stepstones are barren rocky islands. So many wars fought just to tax or pirate the shipping lanes? Could there be hidden mines like the Iron islands? Valyrian ruins filled with secrets and treasure?
Maybe once an actual bridge was built connecting the islands? Like that grand bridge in Volontis?

is believed that their cold breath is still said to rise from the murk to make the fogs that infest the ruined city of Chroyane, and their flesh is said to have turned as stony as their hearts. It is believed by some that Garin rose from his watery grave and became the Shrouded Lord.[2] Some say Garin's Curse brought the Doom of Valyria.[3]

The Smoking Sea is the place where the sea flooded into the shattered remnant of the Valyrian peninsulaafter the Doom of Valyria.[1] Filled with volcanoes and smoking stacks of rock, it is said to boil in places and to be haunted by demons.[1

 

 

 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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Readers tend to think more of the consequences of a long winter coupled with a long night but the asynchronous seasons are about very long hot summers too. The seasons have been quirky for thousands of years. The consequences of long hot summers are very evident in Essos with many examples given in the World Book. The expansive Silver Sea has dwindled down to 3 lakes. The Great Sand Sea east of the Bones mountains developed during a period in history named "the Dry Times" by the people of the Patrimony of Hyrkoon. Slaver's Bay lies in a strip of desert with a few rivers for relief. There is the Shrinking Sea north of YiTi as well as the Red Waste and the area around the Qarth:

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One such, Qarth, was founded on the coast of the Summer Sea. Yet the lands in the south of Essos proved more inhospitable than those the Qaathi had vacated, turning to desert even as they established their foothold there. TWOIAF, The Grasslands

Then we have Asshai, a completely infertile place where no life exists. The planet shows evident signs of desertification which extend to Dorne. In aSoIaF there are several references made to a "Great Summer" and to a "summer that never ends," suggesting there was such a thing in the past. Horror, just as bad as having a never-ending winter in the long run. Magically altered weather patterns leading to devastating long summers characterised by drought, starvation and the struggle for resources is the likely reason behind the migration of the First Men to Westeros.

The above quote suggests that lack of rainfall and ensuing desertification proceeded at great speed, causing the ancestors of the Qathi to flee ever further south. Such conditions indicate a severe problem of global warming on the planet. That in turn would have accelerated snow and glacial melt at the poles and in northern regions, leading to a marked rise in sea-levels in a relatively short period of time. This is what I think is remembered as the Hammer of the Waters. Entirely possible that a final glacial breakage event caused tsunami-like conditions that broke the landbridge up. 

I can image the CotF calling down a hammer to separate the north of westeros from the south, at the Neck. This makes more sense in terms of the reason given for their alleged breaking of the Arm of Dorne. By magically flooding the Neck they effectively curtailed further migration of the first men to the North, with Moat Cailin a further deterrent to any invaders attempting to migrate via the land route. They must have had allies amongst the first men to accomplish this, imo. In any case that proved effective. The Andals never made it north, the best bet still being to attack from the sea, as the Ironbord did in the past.

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On 5/16/2022 at 4:22 PM, LynnS said:

Did the Old Gods break the Arm of Dorne with the Hammer of th Waters in a catastrophic geologic event?  Or was the land bridge partially submerged due to gradually rising sea levels?

 

 

The Children of the Forest were already masters of sorcery evidenced by their greenseers and the First Men didn't wield it or know of it, so they used their combined magic to break the Arm of Dorne.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Evolett said:

turning to desert even as they established their foothold

It could be read that wherever the Qaathi go that they cause desertification. If a tribe was known to severely alter a local ecosystem, that may be cause enough for a drastic quarantine. If the Arm breaking didn’t stop the contamination at the sea, try breaking the Neck? Or take a bite out of it? If that fails, entrench behind a moat from the Bay of Ice to the Shivering Sea. Then build a wall.


Is Dorne’s climate different because of its geographic location or something about the people of Dorne, or something they practice, have a disastrous effect that scourges verdancy into sand?…they are almost all immigrant families with a foreign culture…and Dorne does keeps a suspicious part of the population under their city in shadow….

Was Nymira and her 10,000 ships filled with women sent to breed in a calamity? Or to breed out a calamity? Are there nefarious species of monsters that look like men? Or just parasites and viral sickness infecting people? Demons and killer mages or asymptomatic plague bearers?

Are the claims of some noble bloodlines, “We are not men” or “Sheep”, “Start Ups” and “Blood of the First Men”, not a claim of supremacy or arrogance of their higher social station, but a simple statement of fact?


 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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On 5/22/2022 at 3:27 PM, Evolett said:

I can image the CotF calling down a hammer to separate the north of westeros from the south, at the Neck. This makes more sense in terms of the reason given for their alleged breaking of the Arm of Dorne. By magically flooding the Neck they effectively curtailed further migration of the first men to the North, with Moat Cailin a further deterrent to any invaders attempting to migrate via the land route. They must have had allies amongst the first men to accomplish this, imo. In any case that proved effective.

I like a lot of your post here, but not so sure about this one! Over the time scale we are discussing (and in light of this entire comment being about desertification) isn't it possible that southern Westeros was flourishing in the lead-up to the Andal invasion? This would then make it logical for the CotF to try to save their whole continent, as opposed to only the North. It was only after the Andals came that they were pushed further and further North.

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On 5/22/2022 at 3:27 PM, Evolett said:

Then we have Asshai, a completely infertile place where no life exists. The planet shows evident signs of desertification which extend to Dorne. In aSoIaF there are several references made to a "Great Summer" and to a "summer that never ends," suggesting there was such a thing in the past. Horror, just as bad as having a never-ending winter in the long run. Magically altered weather patterns leading to devastating long summers characterised by drought, starvation and the struggle for resources is the likely reason behind the migration of the First Men to Westeros.

The above quote suggests that lack of rainfall and ensuing desertification proceeded at great speed, causing the ancestors of the Qathi to flee ever further south. Such conditions indicate a severe problem of global warming on the planet. That in turn would have accelerated snow and glacial melt at the poles and in northern regions, leading to a marked rise in sea-levels in a relatively short period of time. This is what I think is remembered as the Hammer of the Waters. Entirely possible that a final glacial breakage event caused tsunami-like conditions that broke the landbridge up. 

This is an interesting counterpoint.  The long summers would certainly impact the geo-hydro thermal processes and climate patterns in a number of ways, including lake evaporation and desertification.  Rainfall patterns would be changed. 

I'm making some assumptions that Planetos had a kind of ice age given the presence of wooly mammoth. Where water is locked into ice sheets and sea levels are lower forming land bridges.

 

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1 hour ago, FourRavensBlackOnWhite said:

I like a lot of your post here, but not so sure about this one! Over the time scale we are discussing (and in light of this entire comment being about desertification) isn't it possible that southern Westeros was flourishing in the lead-up to the Andal invasion? This would then make it logical for the CotF to try to save their whole continent, as opposed to only the North. It was only after the Andals came that they were pushed further and further North.

I'm not saying the CotF flooded the Neck to prevent desertification. The reason given for their alledged breaking of the Arm of Dorne is that the goal was to prevent a further influx of FM from Essos. The narrative also casts doubt on that because by the time the landbridge was destroyed, the FM already far outnumbered the children. I think the Breaking was caused by the  effects of global warming brought on by periods of intense heat in Essos rather than by the children. But - it makes sense for the children to have tried to reduce migration of the FM to the North by flooding the Neck. So it's not about the children  being pushed further north at that point in time, but about the children preventing more humans from taking over the north as well. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Evolett said:

I'm not saying the CotF flooded the Neck to prevent desertification. The reason given for their alledged breaking of the Arm of Dorne is that the goal was to prevent a further influx of FM from Essos. The narrative also casts doubt on that because by the time the landbridge was destroyed, the FM already far outnumbered the children. I think the Breaking was caused by the  effects of global warming brought on by periods of intense heat in Essos rather than by the children. But - it makes sense for the children to have tried to reduce migration of the FM to the North by flooding the Neck. So it's not about the children  being pushed further north at that point in time, but about the children preventing more humans from taking over the north as well. 

Breaking either makes perfect strategic sense even after outnumbered; stopping the equivalent of reinforcements and supply in a choke point is a common tactic regardless of how well the main war is going, and in that this is more migration than invasion it makes even more sense. Damn the river before draining the lake. 

Edited by James Arryn
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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I'm making some assumptions that Planetos had a kind of ice age given the presence of wooly mammoth. Where water is locked into ice sheets and sea levels are lower forming land bridges.

The presence of wooly mammoth and giants in the Reach at or around the time of Garth the Green does suggest the south of Westeros was once much colder than it is now. However, it seems Dorne was a desert even during the Dawn Age. The CotF called it "the Empty Land" even then:

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The children of the forest called Dorne the Empty Land, and for good reason. The eastern half of Dorne is largely barren scrub, its dry, stony soil yielding little, even when irrigated. And once beyond Vaithwestern Dorne is naught but a vast sea of restless dunes where the sun beats down relentlessly, giving rise from time to time to savage sandstorms that can strip the flesh from a man’s bones within minutes. Even Garth Greenhand could not make flowers bloom in an environment so harsh and unforgiving if the tales told in the Reach can be believed.
The World of Ice and Fire, The Seven Kingdoms, Dorne

And Garth Greenhand's fertility magic had no effect there. So perhaps Westeros upward of Dorne was much colder and Garth succeeded in vitalizing much of the continent. This (possible) sharp divide between hot and cold regions is mirrored by the divide between the icy Grey Waste of Essos and the arid lands which include Asshai east of the Bones Mountains. 

However, there is also evidence that Dorne could have been fertile at some far away point in time, perhaps even before the memories of the CotF:

Quote

There is also much to suggest that the Sea of Dorne was once an inland freshwater sea, fed by mountain streams and much smaller than it is today, until the narrow sea burst its bounds and drowned the salt marshes that lay between.
The World of Ice and Fire, The Seven Kingdoms, Dorne

That the Narrow Sea burst its bounds and drowned the salt marshes is also suggestive of a rise in sea level, one I think continued over time until the Arm of Dorne went under. 

Edited by Evolett
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Posted (edited)

If we imagine The Hammer of the Waters striking the Arm, Neck and maybe the wall, Could that hammer represent a smith’s hammer? Twice the forging fails or breaks but successful on the third? It would be similar to the Azor Ahi and Nisi Nisi story.

The Forging representing the bonds, or links, that bind a diverse community together. The peace pact fails twice but holds on the third attempt. 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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On 5/26/2022 at 7:48 PM, James Arryn said:

Breaking either makes perfect strategic sense even after outnumbered; stopping the equivalent of reinforcements and supply in a choke point is a common tactic regardless of how well the main war is going, and in that this is more migration than invasion it makes even more sense. Damn the river before draining the lake. 

Yes, when do you think this happened? 

4 hours ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

If we imagine The Hammer of the Waters striking the Arm, Neck and maybe the wall, Could that hammer represent a smith’s hammer? Twice the forging fails or breaks but successful on the third? It would be similar to the Azor Ahi and Nisi Nisi story.

The Forging representing the bonds, or links, that bind a diverse community together. The peace pact fails twice but holds on the third attempt. 

There is definately a hammer and forge metaphor here.  I imagine the hammer was the water itself smashing the Arm of Dorne.  This doesn't really stop sea faring people from crossing at the arm.  It stops overland migration.

I'm not sure if magic was involved given real world evidence of sudden catastrophic flooding at the end of the last ice age. Something that might cause flooding at the Neck as well once sea levels rise.  Something catastrophic and sudden might be attributed to the gods for lack of understanding.

I'm not sure that subsequent inasions by the Andals were stopped by the threat of the Hammer.  I think they were defeated by the terrain. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, LynnS said:

I think they were defeated by the terrain. 

Bah! Now I got look at the sun is the shield of Dorne quote. 
 

Ive been looking at plows or ploughing. How the CoT could see the blade of a plow as a sword.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plough

  1. beam
  2. hitch (British English: hake)
  3. vertical regulator
  4. coulter (knife coulter pictured, but disk coulter common)
  5. chisel (foreshare)
  6. share (mainshare)
  7. mouldboard

Tilling and harrowing. The Traces of a plow. The different types of plow like Mole plow, Chisel plow, and Ridging plow.

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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