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Magical events that weren't magical after all


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The lands and lore of Westeros and Essos are filled with mentions and tales of characters, battles and events where magic was involved such as the Long Night, the Doom of Valyria, the Targaryens' coming to Westeros, the burning of Harrenhal and many others. 

However since we can never be sure of the viability and sincerity of the sources and of the authors talking about these events and persons, it's totally possible that at least many of them were exagerated or that magic was in truth not involved at all. 

Amongst the many stories and recorded battles and characters associated with magic, which ones do you think have the best chances of having been embellished or modified or even totally invented for propanga reasons ?

Which ones look the most suspicious to you ? 

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Targaryen brand of madness - characters (and the readers) think that some dragonseeds sinse their birth are aflicted with mental diseases, and that Gods decide whether this or that newborn dragonseed will be crazy or normal, or how Barristan Selmy phrased it - "King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land." - ASOS, Dany VI.

So supposedly the fate of those dragonseeds is decided by supernatural forces - the will of the Gods, magic, etc. Supposedly some of those people become crazy because there is something "wrong" with their blood, which is dragon-blood that has magical properties. Though, I figured out that those dragonseeds actually became crazy because they all were poisoned with basilisk blood by the Faceless Men (they were amongst the Kingsguards). Thus, the supposedly supernatural disease was actually caused by psychotropic substances, and magic or the will of the Gods had nothing to do with it.

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

I figured out that those dragonseeds actually became crazy because they all were poisoned with basilisk blood by the Faceless Men (they were amongst the Kingsguards). 

Assuming you are right about FM KG, desired and book described result would be more likely achieved by using lead (among other things), not basilisk blood.

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- Rhaenyra Targaryen's still-born daughter wasn't magically deformed with dragonlike features - she had a severe form of spina bifida (spinal cord protruding through the baby's back).

 

- Although dragons are inherently Semi-magical, they don't have a magical liking for Targaryens. It is the animal part of their nature that makes them Impress on the handlers that were around when they hatched, like birds (or more specifically like the dragons of Pern, an old favourite of George's).

 

The preference of most dragons for Valyrian features is that people possessing those features had a monopoly on owning dragon-eggs and hatching baby dragons. Nettles being a notable exception as she lacked Targ-like features and tamed a wild, not feral, dragon that would never have Impressed on Targ features at hatching.

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Literary analysis has caused me to be skeptical about the "magic" in a few of the legends. 

For instance, I think that many of the references to disembodied faces and heads could be references to coins, which often feature a "head" and a "tail." When we learn that Clarence Crabb brought home the heads of his enemies and put them on shelves so they could advise him, I wonder whether this is actually a story about a man who killed his enemies and took their coins home with him. It's probably significant that Brienne made a point of throwing a coin in with Nimble Dick when he was buried. 

In a different approach to literary analysis, I was suspicious right away that "Gendel and Gorne" was an anagram involving the word "legend." On the other hand, "dragon," "garden," "dagger," and other words could be hidden within the names of the brothers, providing clues to the reader about what to look for between the lines. I like the anagram solution "Green and Golden" because it uses all of the letters and might help us to solve some other mysteries about colors. 

In the contemporary story, it seems magical when The Shy Maid, with Tyrion and the Griffs on board, passes the Bridge of Dream successfully but, a short time later, passes the same bridge and provokes an attack from the Stone Men. Some readers think that something magical has occurred, but I think the boat just drifted into a flooded oxbow of the river while no one was paying attention. It emerged below the bridge, forcing the boat to cover the same section of the waterway twice. 

This raises a larger point, though: the author wants us to see magic in places where it does not exist and to overlook magic in places where it has played a role. We're not supposed to be certain whether an event was magical or whether there is a logical explanation - or both. Another example: we are told that wildfire is made by Alchemists using secret wisdom known only to them. But I think wildfire may be dragon blood that the Alchemists know how to locate or refine. (Much like the idea of petroleum as the remains of dinosaurs.) Is it science or magic or both?

There are many bows in ASOIAF - archers in tourneys, rainbows, the bow of a ship, bows used by Summer Islanders, cross bows with bolts, Bloodraven's dragon's teeth archers. So a river with an oxbow could be part of a larger set of symbols relating to bows. So the Shy Maid encountering an oxbow may explain away an apparent moment of magic, but it may also (magically!) link that incident to a larger set of symbols in the books. (And also explain to us how GRRM wants us to perceive the passage of time in this world.)

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On 6/21/2022 at 7:02 PM, Equilibrium said:

Assuming you are right about FM KG, desired and book described result would be more likely achieved by using lead (among other things), not basilisk blood.

I disagree.

There was a clue in the books that the FM were using specifically basilisk's blood and not something else to make Targaryens "go crazy". I mean this ->

(AFFC, Cat of the Canals) "This paste is spiced with basilisk blood. It will give cooked flesh a savory smell, but if eaten it produces violent madness, in beasts as well as men."

+ (AFFC, Jaime II)

"A king has no secrets from his Kingsguard. Relations between Aerys and his queen had been strained during the last years of his reign. They slept apart and did their best to avoid each other during the waking hours. But whenever Aerys gave a man to the flames, Queen Rhaella would have a visitor in the night. The day he burned his mace-and-dagger Hand, Jaime and Jon Darry had stood at guard outside her bedchamber whilst the king took his pleasure. "You're hurting me," they had heard Rhaella cry through the oaken door. "You're hurting me." In some queer way, that had been worse than Lord Chelsted's screaming. "We are sworn to protect her as well," Jaime had finally been driven to say. "We are," Darry allowed, "but not from him."

Jaime had only seen Rhaella once after that, the morning of the day she left for Dragonstone. The queen had been cloaked and hooded as she climbed inside the royal wheelhouse that would take her down Aegon's High Hill to the waiting ship, but he heard her maids whispering after she was gone. They said the queen looked as if some beast had savaged her, clawing at her thighs and chewing on her breasts. A crowned beast, Jaime knew."

 

GRRM thru Jaime intentionally compared King Aerys with a beast, because (in my opinion) it's a clue that on that night Aerys behaved the way he did, because he was poisoned with basilisk's blood. And the Waif said that basilisk's blood produces madness in beasts, even though she (or rather GRRM thru her) could have phrased it differently, for example - "it produces violent madness, in animals as well as men". They both used specifically word "beast" because it is a clue that ties those two scenes together, and 1+1=2.

In my opinion, Jon Darry was one of those KG who also was an FM. On that night (if I'm not mistaken) Jon-D was the only KG (besides Jaime, who is obviously not an FM) present at the castle. And because there are many many many other clues that point towards (VERY LIKELY) possibility that in every set of the Kingsguards there was at least one Faceless Man (since the time when this organisation (KG) was created), it appears that Jon-D is our guy, in a sense that - he was an FM and he is the one who on that night added BB into Aerys' food or drink, which caused Aerys to go on rampage. It wasn't the fire nor the execution what caused him to behave that way, it was the poison (which is actually some sort of psychotropic substance). And the FM were poisoning Aerys with BB for many years, that's why sometimes he had remissions and sometimes he was getting worse. That's because the FM were using BB on him from time to time, and sometimes they weren't, and seems that that substance doesn't have a lasting effect, that's why sometimes he was getting better.

 

I'm sure that Aerys didn't had lead poisoning, or rather that the FM to cause his "madness" weren't using on him lead, they definitely were using BB. Because lead doesn't have an immediate effect, while BB affects the victim probably in 20-30 minutes after consumption. So if the FM wanted to make Aerys (or any other of their intended victims) to go crazy on a specific timing, then they would have (and did) used BB. And this is a prove of that -> (AFFC, Cat of the Canals) "A mouse will attack a lion after a taste of basilisk blood." Arya chewed her lip. "Would it work on dogs?" <- Jaqen H'ghar used BB on Weese's dog, to make her (it was a female-dog) kill him. He weren't poisoning the dog with lead for months or weeks, waiting while its accumulative effect will affect the dog's nervous system. He needed that dog to kill her master NOW, so he used on the dog the substance that worked shortly after it was eaten by her - basilisk's blood.

Jaqen definitely used BB on Weese's dog, that's why when Arya and the Waif were discussing properties of BB, Arya asked whether it works on dogs, and the Waif before that said that it works on beasts same as on people, and in the same book (AFFC) Jaime mentioned that night on which Aerys behaved like a beast. Because he was poisoned with BB. By Jon-D, who was an FM.

To achieve that sort of symptoms (madness) by lead poisoning, the FM would have needed to poison their victims for an extended period of time, and gradualy. So the effect would have appeared on the uncontrolled and unspecified timing. Also, to achieve that sort of effect immediately, they would have needed to poison their victim with a big Big BIG dose of lead, which would have just killed the victim, instead of making him/her go crazy. Thus, even though book described result could have been achieved by using lead, that doesn't mean that that's what it was. Just because certain animal has four legs and hooves, doesn't mean that it's a horse, instead it could be zebra, or a giraffe, or even a pig, figuratively speaking. So lead poisoning is definitely not our case - not the option used by GRRM in ASOIAF, because all the clues point towards it being the BB-poisoning.

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4 hours ago, Megorova said:

I disagree.

There was a clue in the books that the FM were using specifically basilisk's blood and not something else to make Targaryens "go crazy". I mean this ->

(AFFC, Cat of the Canals) "This paste is spiced with basilisk blood. It will give cooked flesh a savory smell, but if eaten it produces violent madness, in beasts as well as men."

He weren't poisoning the dog with lead for months or weeks, waiting while its accumulative effect will affect the dog's nervous system. He needed that dog to kill her master NOW, so he used on the dog the substance that worked shortly after it was eaten by her - basilisk's blood.

This usage of term beast on two, among numerous, occasions is awfully small thing to hinge the entire theory, was Ramsay also dosed by FM "Boltons have always been as cruel as they are cunning, but this one seems a beast in human skin." or the entire nation "Dothraki, whose ways seemed alien and monstrous, as if they were beasts in human skins"

Yet you do this while ignoring the fact that madness of Aerys and the madness of Weese's dog are not of the same kind. Dog attacked beloved owner disregarding danger and in all likelihood continued rampage until it is put down. Aerys being sexual sadist when we already know he had sexual quirks is most certainly not suicidal violent rampage. But even if it was it is single private incident which turned no one against Aerys, while the things that lead to the downfall of Targaryens like Stark trial, wildfire plot and simmering paranoia of Aerys couldn't be induced with basilisk's blood. 

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2 hours ago, Equilibrium said:

while the things that lead to the downfall of Targaryens like Stark trial, wildfire plot and simmering paranoia of Aerys couldn't be induced with basilisk's blood. 

(Read the P.S.-section first.)

It could have been induced with BB, in combination with other psychotropic substanses, because BB is not the only thing that the FM were using on Targaryens. Apparently they were using complex of medications that they "prescribed" individually for each of their victims, and they were staying close by and regulating the outcome by moderating dosages and what drugs are used to achieve desired effect. Haven't you watched any movies where a character was artificially driven to madness by people who were adding drugs into his/her food or drink, or even switching his/her medication with something harmful instead?

P.S. Let's end this discussion here, because we are fluding this thread with posts irrelevant to its original topic.

P.P.S. I saw your post in IronShell-thread, though right now I don't have time to reply to it, sorry. Also, I have read your theory, the one where "Bloodraven did it" ;), and if you have read some of my theories, then you know that I have a different opinion on that topic - I think that all that, what in your opinion was orchestrated by BR, actually was done by Shiera Seastar and the Faceless Men, though with the same goal in mind as in your theory - to manipulate the course of history and to create the Promised Prince. When I will have more time, we can discuss that topic later in another thread. Let's not do it here.

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21 minutes ago, Megorova said:

they were using complex of medications that they "prescribed" individually for each of their victims, and they were staying close by and regulating the outcome by moderating dosages and what drugs are used to achieve desired effect.

If you phrased it like this from the start I would have agreed head on.

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On 6/21/2022 at 10:07 AM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

The lands and lore of Westeros and Essos are filled with mentions and tales of characters, battles and events where magic was involved such as the Long Night, the Doom of Valyria, the Targaryens' coming to Westeros, the burning of Harrenhal and many others. 

However since we can never be sure of the viability and sincerity of the sources and of the authors talking about these events and persons, it's totally possible that at least many of them were exagerated or that magic was in truth not involved at all. 

Amongst the many stories and recorded battles and characters associated with magic, which ones do you think have the best chances of having been embellished or modified or even totally invented for propanga reasons ?

Which ones look the most suspicious to you ? 

Dagmar Cleftjaw had his head cut in two and then just held the two sides together with his hands until it healed. Seems rather unlikely to me.

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