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Faith of the Seven political activity facts and theories thread (drafts dump; new p1 tbd)


SaffronLady
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Facts ...

For those of you who don’t know, there are several wikis for learning about the Faith of the 7. But since I'm starting a thread I will summarize what could be known.

So, for starters. Unlike most other faiths in Planetos, the Fot7 is much more organized - so organized that this is why attempting to analyse their political activity has meaning. Trying to analyse the political activities of the believers of the old gods as a unit, OTOH, is fairly meaningless. The old gods have no independent priesthood. The Drowned God has a priesthood, but their political activity is basically limited to "call a kingsmoot and roll with the results".

The Fot7 is organized to a ridiculous degree - it has no schisms, no heresies, nothing. I have my theory on why is that, but there's not much more I could say about the fact itself.

Next, the Fot7 existed for a long time between the conquered kingdoms ... and Dorne, defiant. IRL this caused many a schism, but given we are never told about that in Dorne's case, we should work with the assumption that the Fot7 in Dorne did not schism away from the Fot7 proper. So, since there exists a network of faith across the political divide ... was the Fot7's leadership and the lords under its sway making use of this network?

Finally, before we go into isolated actions, the construction of the Great Sept of Baelor began sometime after 162 AC (Baelor had to return to his capital to order its construction, after all) and was completed before 189 AC, when Prince Maron Martell visited the sept with King Daeron II. This means for around two-thirds of the Targaryen reign, the center of the dominant and royal faith was half a continent away at the Starry Sept in Oldtown. I suppose it should come as no surprise the Targaryens, after one generation since the last dragon's death, realized keeping pressure on so distant a target was remarkably difficult without dragons.

Indvl. actions

Pre-Conquest Organizes Andals into a tribe, keeping up their invasion of Westeros

Pre-Conquest Spreads across continent in wake of Andal progress, both in war and peace

Pre-Conquest Converts Lord Hightower, leads to construction of the Starry Sept

Pre-Conquest Sponsors the creation of knightly Order of the Green Hand

Pre-Conquest Converts House Targaryen

1st year After Conquest (AC) Aegon Targaryen crowned King of the Andals, Rhoynar and the First Men by High Septon in the Starry Sept

25 AC High Septon applies pressure to marry Prince Maegor and his niece, Ceryse Hightower

39 AC High Septon applies pressure to make King Aenys exile Prince Maegor, who had taken a second wife

41 AC High Septon ignites the Faith Militant Uprising when King Aenys marries his eldest son to his eldest daughter

48 AC High Septon crowns King Jaehaerys I, peace process between throne and sept begins; Faith Militant disbanded and exiled to the Wall, Faith loses self-judging power

50 AC Former Faith Militant members mutiny at the Wall

54 AC Doctrine of Exceptionalism becomes official Faith dogma, peace sealed between throne and sept

Between 171 AC & 189 AC Construction of Great Sept of Baelor completed, High Septon and Most Devout moved to King's Landing

233 AC High Septon attempts to absolve Maester Aemon from his vows and make him a candidate at the Great Council

300 AC Faith Militant re-formed

... And Theories

Anyone with a basic understanding of religious history's first question about the Faith should be "why is it so stable?" Leaving aside the admittedly attractive and easy response that "GRRM is writing a medieval fantasy, of course there would be an evil church," I believe GRRM wouldn't pile so many pages onto a caricature and an overused trope. The Fot7 has its own part to play in the Song of Ice and Fire, and unlike the obvious "balance & cooperation" theme of the Rhoynar (thank you, water magic, being melted ice and a very obvious link between ice and fire), this part may be as difficult to parse out properly like House Stark in general.

As Lenin concisely stated,"the goal of" the Fot7 "is to ensure its own survival", but we aren't looking at that in particular. People tend to get themselves into other things once the belly is no longer growling, such as reading a book. So, what "book does the Faith read", what further goals does the Faith attempt to accomplish when its survival is secure? We must try to decipher their origin myth for clues. From the myth of Hugor of the Hill we could extract certain elements: falling stars, blue-eyed maiden, king and sons. Of course, these elements alone aren't enough to build a theory off of, but let us look a little further into the Faith's practices.

Not only do members of the Faith liken lives to flame, they also remove bowels and organs and drain corpses of blood. The Faith - the silent sisters, specifically - reduces corpses to empty husks. As an add-on, the Seven-Pointed Star mentions wights too, specifically "It is stated in The Seven-Pointed Star that spirits, wights, and revenants cannot harm a pious man, so long as he is armored in his faith".

We could derive a theory based on these, and it is connected to some collective memory of the Others and wights. We need to comb through the elements of this collective memory though:

The 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch's actions (corpse queen stunt, among others) had repercussions so serious even the Andals remember him. Yet for some reason, instead of remembering him as a villain, the Andals revere him, and called him ancestor. I think GRRM intends for us to make this connection by letting Tyrion visit the Wall then travel to Essos, taking up the pseudonym of ... Hugor Hill. 

Folks who have done theory-crafting often enough probably would have noticed I have not explained the "falling stars" part. To me it could be one of two things:

1. A mangled Andal collective memory of the fall of the "bloodstones", which caused the Long Night;

2. That the 13th LC was trying to "call down the stars" again, and it was included in the warnings sent out to other peoples by Starks & co.

I don't have enough facts to disprove either (I don't even have enough facts to tell if the Andals knew these were different events), so I'll leave both here for folks.

GRRM clearly wants us to connect the Fot7 to the Long Night too, to the "king crowned by stars called down" - the Bloodstone Emperor, instigator of the Long Night, by making a parallel character in Hugor of the Hill. But of course there is more than that to unpack. The sons, or more importantly, we are given a specific number (44) of Hugor's sons. Now, numbers in mythology ... aren't an exact thing. For the most well-known example, archaeology does not support the notion of 12 tribes of Israel, but that has not stopped "the ten lost tribes" becoming so popular with latter-day myth-makers. But Mormon reworking of Jewish numeral symbology is beyond the scope of this thread. The point is, by mentioning specifc numbers in a religious text, it becomes a symbol. Exhibit A: John who wrote Apocalypse (or Revelations, depending on the version of your Bible). He mentions in Apoc 7 and Apoc 14 "one hundred and forty-four thousand" men inscribed with the name of god on their foreheads, which equals 12 times 12 times 1000, or twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes.

I will wrap up the actual theory of the Fot7's ultimate goal and what it tries to do after the age of myths in a later post.

Edited by SaffronLady
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Fot7 Age of Myth theory - Hail Mary, but for worshippers of the Others

As previously demonstrated, the origins of the Faith have a suspiciously close link to the 13th LCNW and his Corpse Queen. I have no idea if she is supple as a willow, but her eyes would certainly fit the blue.

Anyhow, here goes:

After the Starks crush the 13th LCNW, his surviving followers - including, perhaps, his actual children by the Corpse Queen - flee Westeros and reach Andalos, merging with the local population. Of course, as the Targs have demonstrated millennia later, heirs to magic do not die easily. Instead, they worked their own origin story into something more palatable to the "True Andals", overlaid it with other taboos and laws based on common sense, and founded what would become the Faith of the 7. I mean, if you are "armored in your faith" in the gods of ice and death (the Others), that certainly means the wights can't hurt you. There is the unspoken implication that mastery of ice magic to the point of creating ice armor means you have become something less than human and more like the Others.

By the era of Artys Arryn and other Andal "nights" (seriously, it made me laugh when I realized I missed so obvious a pun), the Faith i.e the heirs of ice magic probably couldn't call upon blizzards any more, but I think they still have some sort of magic left. This part really needs input from the folks who pointed out stone structures of Westeros weren't primarily of Andal construction, but First Men. So the First Men were bested by a technologically inferior but more tightly organized foe. While similar cases have happened in actual human history without the input of magic, I am inclined to believe the Andal Conquest was also a war of magic besides being a "war of the gods", though, because the old gods of the First Men do bestow magic, and the Andals made a point of cutting down the weirwood trees which is where the old gods reside.

So far so good. The heirs of the 13th LCNW had completed what their distant forbear could not - cleared half of the continent from the grasp of their ancient rivals - the old gods and the First Men, leaving the North alone with their geothermal caverns and weirwood groves when the Others attempt to invade again. But what happened between this point and the Targaryen Conquest?

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I don't accept the premise that the Faith is extremely stable.  I just think that GRRM has not chosen to spend his time writing a 7-volume history of the Faith.  He does not write of theological disputes because he thinks they will not much interest his readers.  But we can still presume they have occurred.

I don't accept that it is insanely organized either.  The Faithful are spread out over thousands and thousands of miles, and don't even control their own raven network or weirwood network.

Knighthood is a tradition of the Faith.  And the tradition that any Knight can make a Knight is anything but hierarchical.  I wonder if the Septons have a similar tradition.

And at least one heresy is mentioned, specifically the foul heresy of Targaryen Exceptionalism, wherein the pure doctrines of the Faith are corrupted by the diabolic philosophy of Might Makes Right.

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1 hour ago, Gilbert Green said:

And at least one heresy is mentioned, specifically the foul heresy of Targaryen Exceptionalism, wherein the pure doctrines of the Faith are corrupted by the diabolic philosophy of Might Makes Right.

That's not heresy. That's orthodoxy.

It's that sort of thing that's the problem. You'd expect something so controversial to result in a schism, even if the offshoot was relatively minor and quickly eradicated.

I guess it's possible that there were early schisms in the Faith but many of these happened in Andalos (and may persist there) but those that happened in Westeros have been mopped up. Comparing for example to Christianity, there were a number of schisms in the early church, with relatively small congregations splitting off (the Nestorians, Oriental Orthodox, etc.) but western Catholicism remained relatively monolithic politically for centuries, with attempted schisms like the Cathars, Waldensians, etc. being fairly ruthlessly persecuted.

If anything, one might expect to see heretic schools of the Faith of the Seven flourishing in the North, or even the Iron Islands (or at the Wall) where the political authorities have no investment in the religion and are happy to let them do their own thing, whereas in the more devout Andal areas one would more reasonably expect the authorities to collude in suppressing schisms (or support them for their own ends, of course).

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3 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

I just think that GRRM has not chosen to spend his time writing a 7-volume history of the Faith.

This I could agree with.

3 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

But we can still presume they have occurred.

However, GRRM does not give enough hints about splinter sects - not to mention he doesn't even properly name one of these sects - for it to be useful in theory crafting. We could presume, it just doesn't really be of much use here since there is no material to work with.

3 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

I don't accept that it is insanely organized either.  The Faithful are spread out over thousands and thousands of miles, and don't even control their own raven network or weirwood network.

And when greenseers die out the super-regional organization of old god followers just ... disappear. The Faith is spread out, but for the purposes of analysing its political activity, it is insanely organized. You'd think House Manderley and House Martell belong to different sects of the Faith given how far apart they are, but no existing material could confirm that.

3 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

And at least one heresy is mentioned, specifically the foul heresy of Targaryen Exceptionalism, wherein the pure doctrines of the Faith are corrupted by the diabolic philosophy of Might Makes Right.

:D

Turned into orthodoxy too soon though. A pity.

1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

It's that sort of thing that's the problem. You'd expect something so controversial to result in a schism, even if the offshoot was relatively minor and quickly eradicated.

Kind of what I was trying to express in the OP, thanks for putting it concisely.

1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

early schisms in the Faith but many of these happened in Andalos

This reminds me of Fun Guy from Yuggoth's theory that the Stranger = the Black Goat of Qohor = bloodstone worship.

Maybe the schism was so long ago the factions evolved into different religions altogether.

1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

If anything, one might expect to see heretic schools of the Faith of the Seven flourishing in the North, or even the Iron Islands (or at the Wall) where the political authorities have no investment in the religion and are happy to let them do their own thing, whereas in the more devout Andal areas one would more reasonably expect the authorities to collude in suppressing schisms (or support them for their own ends, of course).

(begins trying to formulate theory on why the Gardeners have an Oakenseat instead of a weirwood throne)

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1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

That's not heresy. That's orthodoxy.

You are obviously a heretic.  :)  That's exactly what a heretic would say.

1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

It's that sort of thing that's the problem. You'd expect something so controversial to result in a schism, even if the offshoot was relatively minor and quickly eradicated.

You might expect such things to occur.  It does not follow that such things would be mentioned in a very short history, written by an ass-kisser of the Targs.

Do you think the brave heroes who stormed the Dragonpit were believers in Targaryen exceptionalism?  Maybe not, eh?  Why doesn't Maester Ass-kisser do a better job explaining their grievances and motivations?   Because he leaves things out, that's why.  And so he leaves you to understand that they are just really mean people who want to throw away their lives just to kill a few cuddly pets, none of whom ever stole a cow or a sheep, much less a daughter.  But there is obviously more to the story.  I'm not going to pretend I know exactly what that is, or that it is necessarily just one thing.  But there is obviously more to the story.

Baelor was attracted to his sisters.  Why did he not just marry them, if he was so convinced it was okay?  Possibly - plausibly --  there was another point of view, and it still persisted within the Faith, even if they sometimes kept their tongues when the King's Soldiers were marching by.

How many High Septons (or Low Septons) actually endorsed Targaryen Exceptionalism, as opposed to (maybe) keeping a strategic silence at times?  We don't know.  But when you're the ruler of the realm, you can always find somewhere a heretic septon to bless your incestuous union.

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"Aye ... the the gods hate incest.  Look how they brought down the Targaryens." -- A Clash of Kings

Spoken by a knight (that is, a member of the Faith) over 240 years after the Doctrine of Exceptionalism was first preached. 

The religion of the people does not die or change just because you bribe and/or threaten a few top officials.

Edited by Gilbert Green
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10 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

Spoken by a knight (that is, a member of the Faith)

While knights are not merely a part of the Faith, but also one of its institutions, for the purposes of this thread they are generally considered outliers whose clout is taken into account only regarding matters of war. Knights aren't the priesthood after all, and attempting to analyze the mess that is the collective will of knights would be a grand derail.

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Fot7 Interim Era Theories - Fading Memories, Sanitization and A Hungry Wolf

Let me be a bit more specific - the "Interim Era" is a generic term for the events between the Age of Myth (Great Empire, Long Night, 13th LCNW & Corpse Queen, Garth & his family etc.) and the couple of centuries leading up to the Targaryen Conquest, where we have the majority of specific event years and dates.

To use a "marker" system to demonstrate, Theon Stark and Garth Goldenhand belong to the Interim Era, while Tommen II, King of the Rock does not belong, despite all 3 kings being Pre-Conquest. Basically, if it's after the Long Night but before a time we get any dates, that's the Interim Era.

For the Faith of the 7, the Interim Era represents an era of forgetfulness and mutual acclimation between them and the locals. They began to grow beyond their initial status as tool of revenge for the loss and death of the 13th LCNW, beyond a cultus of the New Andals, and quite paradoxically started to bring their old enemies - the First Men - into a new "southron" identity. The regional kingdoms are still the primary marker for identities, but the Faith is becoming the supra-regional identity.

A good example of mutual acclimation is the Oakenseat. While oak is widely used for a variety of purposes, this is the only time we see oak used in a context of "magical tree throne", and I think this points to it being abnormal - more specifically, in exchange for the Fot7 recognizing and supporting the Gardener kingdom, the royal house cuts out details in their own legend that link them to their pagan, greenseer ancestor Garth, such as swapping out the weirwood throne for a throne of oak, sanitizing him for a consumption of a more 'modern' audience. Like how Norse, Slavic and Baltic deities transformed into Christian saints.

Quote

garth

a small yard or enclosure

weir

a fence or enclosure set in a waterway for taking fish

But beyond isolated examples like this, the Faith's collective memory of magic and the reasons behind its own rituals continue to fade and melt, like ice under the sun. They light candles, without remembering this was a way to attract living humans to kill and turn into wights, or that this is symbolic of how their magical senses "see" the life force of a living being (re: Melisandre's invitation to Davos and how Quentyn tests his palm over a flame after he gets dragon burns); they use crystals to refract light, without remembering this was the principle behind aligning their armors of ice crystal in ways to conceal them from their preys' vision.

I think my theory finds some support in records of Theon Stark's campaigns. This King of Winter fought on both coastlines of the North against invaders, but only in the case of the Andals did he launch a counter attack on their homeland. If a King of Winter is risking his own hide out on the high seas for a retribution campaign, we could assume it is at least related to why there must be a Stark in Winterfell.

That reason is to guide the last refuge of humanity in the weirwood roots and geothermal fissures beneath Winterfell against the invasion of ice demons.

Which means whatever Theon Stark saw in the Andals, he saw it was connected to the ancient enemy of the Starks. So, like his ancestor who put down the 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Theon Stark attacked Andalos. This is one of the very few records of a Stark campaign beyond the North, and I think to explain it by magical reasons makes more sense than the usual political reasons, because the Starks are ... very magical, as a dynasty. They really roll with the "ancient Big Good family" trope.

Of course, while the Faith as a whole was getting all friendly and lovey-dovey with their new neighbors, there must have been, so to speak, a hardliner faction that has not forgotten "the mission" and await the return of the Others with all the zeal of millennial cults for Jesus. They needed a central base of operations, and preferably a stone structure that does not rot away in a couple of centuries (as the hardliners gradually realized the Others weren't returning any time soon). But why Oldtown of all places, across all the lands inhabited by Faith worshippers?

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I kind of feel the same about this as about the maester conspiracy ideas. Which is that while there is tantalizing material there that GRRM COULD choose to explore, I am not sure is within the scope of the series. The Faith and the Citadel help make his world vivid and complex, but there are limits to HOW complex it can be while still being a coherent story.

A schism could easily be something he works in at some point to serve as either foreshadowing, red herring, or as background on motivation for a character that needs more depth. But in spite of how rich in detail these books are, I don't think GRRM actually sets out to put in detail just for the sake of detail.

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1 hour ago, Hippocras said:

I am not sure is within the scope of the series.

I admit this is sort of what prompted me to start this thread

And focus on a topic that frays my sanity, but in a good way

There is too much detail on the Faith for it to be not relevant to the plot. The main "Ice and Fire" part of the plot. It is my view, as my personal theory states, they started out on the side of Ice, but I am still connecting the dots as to exactly how, and if it would go down that way.

Time to brush up on what little material there is about the Church of Starry Wisdom before the next update.

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There must be Our Man in the South: Mirror outposts, the Nameless and the Starry

(If you think I'm being sarcastic, I invite you to enjoy the song 윤석열의노래 like I did, putting it on repeat as I typed this post)

I would assume most people on this forum have heard of the stock phrase "There must be a Stark in Winterfell". Many are the active and delusional posters who have come to the wrong conclusion that the Starks would betray humanity, a trajectory that does not match GRRM's writing style and demonstrated by @sweetsunray's analysis. The Starks are on the frontline against Ice, as (one of the) most forward outposts of the Fire faction. But it does bring an interesting question: if the faction of Fire has an outpost on the front, does there exist one for the Ice faction?

I think the answer is well, yes, but there weren't any candidates for where exactly that might be because I never really tried to build a theory around the Fot7 before, and the Rhoynar never really seemed to fit as what little we do know of them does not link them to Ice. However, with my recent, personal breakthrough, I believe I have discovered where that outpost of Ice is.

Oldtown. The Starry Sept, to be exact.

I think we could make this connection by noting a previously ignored field of sacrifice: sacrifice of the name. Blood and fertility sacrifices have been covered by other more accomplished theorists, but I don't think I have caught on anyone analyzing sacrificing names, probably because its most well-known example is non-magical.

The High Septon.

Or is it?

Quote

After his fall, when it was discovered that Night's King had been making sacrifices to the Others, all records of him were destroyed, and his very name was forbidden and forgotten.

Now, an inheritor organization to the first Other worshippers would be rather unlikely to forget how completely they lost their first leader, would they? His life, his leadership, even his name were lost to them. What better way to honor him than to take away the names of his caliphs, in memory of the leader whose name was robbed from them?

Quote

the Faith believes that the High Septon no longer has any need of a man’s name, since he has become the avatar of the gods.

So, in a way, much like how the Starks being gone from Winterfell starts a local blizzard, the High Septon being gone from the Starry Sept and effectively sealed at the Great Sept of Baelor, King's Landing by Big Fire - House Targaryen - would most likely had triggered some magical event that led to a further chain of events leading to the return of the Others.

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On 11/24/2023 at 11:20 AM, SaffronLady said:

Time to brush up on what little material there is about the Church of Starry Wisdom before the next update.

Have you read "The Haunter of the Dark" by H.P. Lovecraft?  There, you will encounter not only the Church of Starry Wisdom and the demon god they worship, but you will also encounter (though not by that name) the "bloodstone" referenced in the story of the Bloodstone Emperor.

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On 11/22/2023 at 12:25 AM, SaffronLady said:

Anyone with a basic understanding of religious history's first question about the Faith should be "why is it so stable?" Leaving aside the admittedly attractive and easy response that "GRRM is writing a medieval fantasy, of course there would be an evil church," I believe GRRM wouldn't pile so many pages onto a caricature and an overused trope.

At the risk of derailing the thread ...

I do not accept the premise that GRRM portrays the Faith as an "evil church".  The most I will agree with is that he does not portray it as, unambiguously and monolithically, a good church.  It is full of warts, like any large collection of human beings.  Much can be said in its defense, especially when it is compared to the alternatives.

This connects, of course, with my disagreement with the premise that the Faith is a super-organized monolith.

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I actually find it somewhat unlikely that "Fire" is the "good" faction, set against the "Evil" faction of Ice. Rather I think we will discover that, in line with GRRM's general portrayals of extremism, both Fire and Ice in their absolute form have problems and the real answer is somewhere in the middle. 

The hero of our story, then, will be a sort of champion of Lukewarm Water. TPTWP may yet turn out to be Derek Smalls. 

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1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

I actually find it somewhat unlikely that "Fire" is the "good" faction, set against the "Evil" faction of Ice.

Is that controversial?  That's Mel's position.  The gal who preaches human sacrifice.  Her adversary is Davos, representing the Faith of the Seven.  The Faith of the Seven stands neither with Ice nor with Fire, but nonetheless stands against human sacrifice.  The proper role of a True Knight is to defend the weak, and in particular to stand between the maiden and the monster, or (in Davos' case) to stand between Rh'llor and Edric Storm.

IMHO GRRM has been none too subtle about the idea that Fire Demon and Ice Demon are two different faces of the Many Faced God of Death, who jointly threaten humankind with extinction.

2 hours ago, Alester Florent said:

Rather I think we will discover that, in line with GRRM's general portrayals of extremism, both Fire and Ice in their absolute form have problems and the real answer is somewhere in the middle. 

The hero of our story, then, will be a sort of champion of Lukewarm Water. TPTWP may yet turn out to be Derek Smalls. 

I hope not.  I have nothing against mediocre people.  I am mediocre at best myself.  But the championing of mediocrity, in a work of Fantasy, is boring.

"The Pact of Ice and Fire" refers to a potential marriage alliance between the Starks (represening "Ice") and the Targaryen's (representing "Fire").

I think the message will be that human Ice and human Fire must work together against against the forces of Death.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gilbert Green said:

I hope not.  I have nothing against mediocre people.  I am mediocre at best myself.  But the championing of mediocrity, in a work of Fantasy, is boring.

 

The lukewarm water/Derek Smalls thing is a joke, I would hope so obviously it wouldn't need stating, but experience has hardened me to the worst in people.

I don't believe the champion will be mediocre. But I don't think being a non-extremist is equivalent to mediocrity either.

I'm inclined to agree that victory will come from a union of Ice and Fire - but it follows I think that we can't just say that humans (the Starks in particular) are Fire ergo heroes.

Edited by Alester Florent
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4 hours ago, Alester Florent said:

I actually find it somewhat unlikely that "Fire" is the "good" faction, set against the "Evil" faction of Ice.

Allow me to clarify myself a bit. By putting the Starks in the Fire faction, I am not going by a "Fire = good, Evil = bad" way of thinking. It's just me following the idea that Catelyn Tully was the one who brought magical blood back into House Stark, and she is remarkably heat resistant.

And what's that old saying again, Fight fire with fire.

5 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

I do not accept the premise that GRRM portrays the Faith as an "evil church".

Neither do I, which is admittedly confusing why you need to spell that out.

5 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

This connects, of course, with my disagreement with the premise that the Faith is a super-organized monolith.

Like I previously stated, I don't like to have to run with it either, but I cannot work with another premise due to lack of canon material. If the Faith is not abnormally stable, if it is fractious, squabbling and calling members of different factions heretics, then I need GRRM to actually put it to pen and paper.

I cannot formulate a theory without any support, which means sometimes I have to run with Phlogiston.

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1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

The lukewarm water/Derek Smalls thing is a joke, I would hope so obviously it wouldn't need stating, but experience has hardened me to the worst in people.

It was a rather obscure reference.

1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

I don't believe the champion will be mediocre. But I don't think being a non-extremist is equivalent to mediocrity either.

"Extremist" is just a word, too often used as a term of abuse for anyone one disagrees with.  I don't know what you mean by it until you explain.

If you are referring to people like Mel or the oldschool Sistermen, who burn people alive as a sacrifice, or drowning people as a sacrifice, or murdering innocents for whatever reason, then I agree that that is quite extreme.  And I join with Davos, and the interfering busybody septons on the Three Sisters, in opposing that kind of behavior.

1 hour ago, Alester Florent said:

I'm inclined to agree that victory will come from a union of Ice and Fire - but it follows I think that we can't just say that humans (the Starks in particular) are Fire ergo heroes.

Happy to agree.

Edited by Gilbert Green
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