Stolen from Westeros forums.. pretty good reads if you can sit through them. Three different break downs that this guy wrote and summed up of what has happened and his theories as to what happened in the past and what it means for the future. Hope you enjoy them
Ice and Fire Assessment
Look at the Valyrians and First Men and a speculation of their history and purpose
A lot of what I will type many of us already believe, but I wanted to organize everything into one theory.
There is nothing more interesting in the series to me then the dualism between the history of the First Men and Valyrians and yes, I believe that this is one of the several meanings behind the title : Song of Ice(First Men) and Fire(Valyrians). It is a dance, a song between these two blood lines.
Make no mistake about it. In the simplest form of this story, everything is about Bloodlines. In particular the blood of Old Valyria and the Blood of the First Men. Unlike the boring Andals (Sorry I just had to), those two bloodlines are special in this world. However, I want to emphasize the dualism and the parallels between the two cultures very closely to show that this song started with them and will end with them. Clashing is inevitable and this is nowhere near the first time these two bloodlines have clashed.
The First Men’s origins are tied to the Children of the Forest (COTF). 10-12,000 years ago the First Men crossed the land bridge that connected Essos to Westeros. They began fighting the COTF and chopping down weirwoods in order to gain dominance in Westeros. They fought for thousands of years (An example of inaccurate history). Eventually, a truce was made. The COTF kept to the forest, hills, tunnels, etc and the First Men essentially gained everything else. They also agreed not to cut down anymore heart trees, which was probably a big deal. For 4,000 years they seemed to live peacefully side by side more or less.
The Valyrian’s origins are tied to the Dragons. They were shepherds living on the Valyrian peninsula. Peaceful people I’m guessing. At least 5,000 years ago (I’d say closer to 6,000) they stumbled upon the fourteen fires and discovered Dragons and their lairs. They began teaching, training and taming the Dragons and eventually began to ride them.
- The First Men stumbled across the COTF; the Valyrians stumbled across Dragon lairs
- The First Men ‘tamed’ or conquered the COTF; The Valyrians tamed or ‘conquered’ the Dragons
- Notice the time difference. Although the time periods are most likely inaccurate, it should be safe to assume that the First Men left Essos and conquered Westeros long before the Valyrians discovered the Dragons. This is an important distinction that I will come back to later.
What happens to these two cultures on the rise has to do with their ‘bonding’ with their…partners for a lack of a better word.
The First Men seem to somewhat assimilate into the ways of the Children. They begin praying to the trees and worshipping the Old Gods, which was the culture of the COTF. However, I also believe they learned something else from the COTF. Blood Sacrifice.
It is never really stated that the Children or the First Men practiced Blood Sacrifices, but it is hinted at.
1.) Bran sees a flashback, thousands of years old in which he sees a Blood sacrifice given before the heart tree
2.) The Turnkey tells Ser Davos about the story of Brandon Ice Eyes(Will come back to this) Stark giving slavers to their slaves and then decorating a heart tree with their entrails as a blood sacrifice to the Old Gods.
3.) Many believe (Not me) that Bran is eating Jojen’s blood as a paste to heighten his powers
4.) Bran also seems to be desperate to get Theon to the Heart tree. Maybe his sacrifice will awaken the trees/powers like in eons past? Pure speculation but the power of royal blood is emphasized over, and over and over in this series.
5.) There are many, many scattered bones of beasts, COTF and humans scattered all over the tunnels of the Last Greenseer. Could they really have been eating them? Blood Sacrifice? Decorations?
I find it hard to believe that the First Men adopted the Old Gods from the Children, but that they invented the Blood Sacrifice all by themselves. Just to be sure we are on the same page, when I say Blood Sacrifice I mean the sacrifice of a life. When Bran sees the sacrifice through the eyes of the heart tree they slit the person’s throat.
The Valyrians are slightly more straight forward. The words for the Targaryans, the offshoot descendants of the Valyrians, are “Fire and Blood”. At first glance many of us would assume that means ‘Hi, we are Targaryans. We will conquer you with fire and spill your blood, yadda, yadda, yadda.’ However, what if these words are based on the origins of their power? A certain sacrifice that was needed in order to bind the Dragons to their blood? This did not become apparent until we learned of the Dragon Horn that Euron Greyjoy ‘found’.
When you blow the Dragon Horn supposedly the nearest(?) Dragon will be yours. There is a catch however… Whoever blows the horn will die! In fact, the Dragons do not come to the one who blows the horn. Instead they come to the one who has actually bound the Dragon’s horn to himself via Blood. (e.g. Victarion Greyjoy). This is an immediate blood sacrifice for the binding of Dragons and requires deception or force. It actually implies that in order for you to bind a Dragon to yourself, someone has to sacrifice him/herself. No wonder the Valyrians had slaves. Blood Sacrifice, just like the First Men.
They bound the Dragons to their Blood to such an extent that their race forever has a connection with them. Even Brown Ben Plum who has just a little Valyrian blood seems to be well liked by Dany’s Dragons.
Once they bound the Dragons to their blood they would forever shed the persona of the peaceful shepherds and become the Dragon Lords, the Blood of the Dragon(Literally). This is a blood sacrifice for unification. It makes you wonder how this initially started. Who was the first poor fool to blow the horn? Then after that, did the Valyrians trick any poor peasant to blow the horn kind of like how Victarion is doing to the three poor fools on his vessel? (On a side note, I believe the initial sacrifices had to do with unification. The Dragon Horns IMO were used to help tame/ride Dragons)
It also raises more questions. If the Valyrians used Blood Sacrifices to bind/unify Dragons to their blood, then what did the First Men use the Blood Sacrifices for? What/Who were they trying to unify with?
This actually leads me into my next point (Bare with me)
The First Men lived with the COTF for a long time is relative peace. They adopted their customs and Gods. Blood Sacrifices were probably a part of their cultures. However, the First Men also started receiving new gifts from their agitated neighbors. The Children had many magical powers that are beyond belief (Destroying the land bridge from Essos to Westeros and also trying to separate the North for the South at the Neck.) However, one can say that they mainly have two magical gifts: Skinchanging/warging and Greenseeing. They could talk to and ‘influence’ trees and animals. They could see time through the eyes of a heart tree and could see across vast distances.
Based on what we know on present situations and recent history, it would seem that anyone who has the blood of the First Men in his veins has the potential to be a skinchanger or greenseer.
-Varmyr (As well as other wildlings and it seems to be pretty common beyond the wall)
-Jojen Reed (Seems like Greenseers have been fairly common amongst the crannogs)
Andals, that make up a majority of the population in Westeros, do not seem to have these abilities. It’s no secret that the Children of the Forest and the First Men share these magical traits, the question is how? Could they have interbreeded? It is a possibility. (I believe that the crannogs are descendants of First Men and COTF interbreeding). However, I think that it is a higher possibility that it is some form of blood magic since it seems to be so prevalent in ancient times. Similar to how they are trying to ‘awaken’ Bran’s powers in the Cave(Jojen’s Paste!). Maybe Royal Blood also plays a key to it. Maybe the ‘Pact’ between the COTF and First Men entailed more than just sharing land, maybe they desired to share abilities. I doubt it was mutual gain as the COTF clearly got the worst end of the deal.
This is all pure speculation, but I am forming a theory based on the increasing evidence that blood sacrifice was prevalent, royal blood means something, and that the accuracy of history is tainted. (Especially the whole COTF are sweet, cuddly and lovable while the White Walkers are evil!).
It would seem that despite the formation of opposing sides to this ‘magic’ that they are actually a part of the same overall manifestation with different interpretations. And whether Valyrian or First Men, your magic is based in blood.
Notes: Incestial Marriages:
-Given the importance of the blood lines, it makes a lot more sense for the Valyrians to practice incestial marriages and trying their best to keep the bloodlines pure. If you water down the bloodlines by mating with outsiders, the power within the magic also decreases.
-This also gives reasoning to why the Starks rarely married anyone who wasn’t of First Men descent (There were many reasons for this, but bare with me).
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:38 PM.
So why do it? Why even go through the sacrifice to gain powers beyond your understanding? Greed? It could be, but I somehow doubt that the Valyrian Shepherds were trying to dominate the world. It’s more realistic for me to believe that maybe the Valyrians did it as a desperate way to survive. The Ghiscari Empire was on the Valyrians doorstep. It could’ve been that they were pushing to try and control Valyria. The Valyrians discovered the Dragons, fought back and eventually defeated the the Ghiscari Empire. In fact that is the first we hear of the Valyrian Freehold – when they are battling the Ghiscar. It wasn’t until they defeated that great empire that they truly became the Blood of the Dragon and decided to expand their territory.
Ice and Fire:
The Valyrians began discovering how strong their magic was ‘after’ they bound themselves to the Dragons and soon they began to hone their ‘fire’ magic.
1.) They were incredible builders and they formed wonderful towers from their fire magic that stretched to the heavens. (Dragonstone is a good example)
2.) They made glass candles that could peer across the heavens and communicate with someone from afar. Sound familiar?
3.) As beings, they became more tolerable to intense heat (Not invulnerable, don’t jump on me)
4.) Valyrians also were known for having prophetic dreams
I also believe the First Men eventually binded themselves to a force for survival. I talked about how they adopted the COTF Old Gods as well as blood rituals. However, they never inherited the title as Kings of Winter from the Children. The COTF are associated with nature in general, but the only force that is synonymous with Winter are the White Walkers. Even though all descendants of the First Men have the potential to become skin changers or greenseers, it was only the Starks that were called the Kings of Winter from the very beginning and they also seem to have a greater talent for the ability to skin change or greenseeing. How did this happen? I believe the Long Night and the story of the Last Hero can hint at this.
Long story short, the First Men were getting their asses kicked by the White Walkers as well as the Winter itself. The Last Hero leads a team deep into the woods to try and find the reclusive COTF to see if they have any kind of magic to help them turn the tide. He searches for years and his entire team dies. Last we see of him he is struggling, crawling to get away from his winter specters with his broken sword...and then Old Nan is cut off. There are only a few things that could’ve happened:
1.) The COTF save him
2,) He dies
3.) He fights off the White Walkers
4.) Something totally different.
-History isn’t accurate. I understand that later on Bran thinks that the Children save him but, the Children literally have no motivation to help this human. Hell, they probably watched his entire team die over the years while looking for them, so why help him now? Pity? Yes because ASOIAF is full of characters who pity. The way Old Nan described the story it sounded as if the COTF left the humans to die. We’re talking about a race of magical beings that tried to cut the continent in half to stop the invasion, do you think they would grow sympathetic because the humans are ‘brave’? They abandoned them. Bottomline, I do not believe they helped. If he died right then and there we wouldn’t be talking about him now. Considering that he has a broken sword, freezing and starving I believe it is safe to say that he didn’t go all Aragorn. What if he made some sort of deal with the White Walkers? What if it was one last plea for help for the safety of his life? Was it an ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ mentality? Pure speculation, but what is known is that once the Long Winter was over the Starks were declared the Kings in the North and the Kings of Winter. The Stark ancestors were not the only people in the fight. Evidently the Boltons were there is well, so why give a title of such magnitude to the Starks? Could it be that the men who would become the Starks were the ones that conquered the Long Winter? Makes sense to me. In fact the seat of the Starks is called ‘Winterfell’ and I doubt it’s just because it’s a cool name. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if we come to find out that the White Walkers were called the the Kings of Winter before the Starks. Who wouldn’t call them the Kings of Winter during the Long Winter?
Regardless, after the Long Night, the Starks became synonymous with Winter as well as the powers of ‘Ice Magic’. Brandon the Builder, who eventually became Brandon Stark, seem to possess these powers. He built Winterfell and the Wall, both of which that we know are intertwined with magic (I say blood Ice magic). The Wall was built allegedly to keep the White Walkers out and after witnessing characters like ‘Coldhands’ unable to cross over it, I believe this is true. Even though the abilities to Skinchange and greensee were traits that all First Men seem to possess, it would seem that the Starks became the champions and figureheads of these powers. In the crypts of Winterfell there seem to be many Kings and Lords that have effigies of themselves and their pet direwolves, which means that warging into a Direwolf was probably a staple of the Starks and probably the reasoning for the origins of their sigil. A theorist on Westeros.org months ago stated that he believed the reason why the Boltons started to skin their enemies and then wear their skins is because they were trying to mimic the Skinchanging skills that the Starks possessed. It’s a brilliant theory. After reading a few Dunk and Egg stories people in years past seemed to fear the Starks way more than they do in the present. No doubt they were probably feared a lot more before they became mere Lords.
Just a recap of the powers of ‘Ice’:
The Starks began discovering how strong their magic was ‘after’ they bound themselves to the White Walkers and soon they began to hone their ‘ice’ magic.
1.) They were incredible builders and they formed The Wall and Winterfell with their ice magic
2.) They were able to skinchange into animals and heart trees and through their eyes they could peer across the lands, seas and skies and communicate with someone from afar. Sound familiar?
3.) As beings, they became more tolerable to intense winter (Not invulnerable, don’t jump on me)
-Valyrians built incredible towers and holds with fire magic, the Starks built the Wall and Winterfell with Ice Magic (Just to recall, Both are based in blood)
-Starks used to ability of Skin change to warg into birds, animals and plants in order to see over vast distances and to communicate with someone far way, the Valyrians used glass candles to see over vast distances and communicate with someone far away.
-Greenseers can have prophetic dreams, Valyrians can have prophetic dreams
-Starks were more tolerable to cold, Valyrians were more tolerable to fire.
(These parallels are not coincidental)
White Walkers and the Starks:
I know many are not set on the connection between the White Walkers and the Starks through my interpretation of the Last hero, however even if you are not sold on the idea of the Last Hero selling his soul to the White Walkers for survival, you have to admit that the theory has merit. In fact, it happens again.
The 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch was brother to the Stark King(I believe this – Nan is never wrong). At one point he falls in love with a pale skinned, blue eyes woman. He takes her for his wife and when he gives her his seed, she takes his soul. He declares himself the Night’s King and rules tyrannically over the Night’s Watch for 13 years. Eventually, the King Beyond the Wall and the King in the North join forces to take him out. Eventually they find out that he was sacrificing children to the White Walkers and they had all files and evidence of his existence removed. A few things to take from this:
1.) The King Beyond the Wall and the King in the North evidently got along
2.) It took them thirteen years to realize that the Night’s King was a threat
3.) They didn’t really seem to care that he married a White Walker, but seemed more upset at the fact that he was ruling over them in a torturous, tyrannical way.
4.) The White Walkers were clearly not obliterated during the Long Winter and seemed to be doing fine beyond the wall.
5.) Once they found out that he was sacrificing to the White Walkers, they expunged all records of his existence. It seemed as if this wasn’t the first time that this has happened.
Here is an example of a Stark giving his soul to White Walker. Literal or not, the language is dramatic. Did she turn him into something similar to Cold Hands? Could Coldhands be the night King?
The Last Hero could have been one of the ancestors of the Starks. He could’ve given his soul to the White Walkers in the same way. It makes you wonder about certain the phrase, “Their must always be a Stark in Winterfell”…why? Why must there always be a Stark In Winterfell? And it has to be a Stark, not a Karstak, not a Royce, but a Stark. There could be a Magic connection based in Royal Blood, and I do not think it is a coincidence that everytime a Stark goes South something terrible happens to him. It is almost as if there is a barrier from allowing a Stark to survive away from the Old Gods.
There is not enough material to fully learn the connection between the White Walkers, COTF, Starks, Winterfell and the Wall. But it seems that the magic they possess is based in Blood Magic and Blood Sacrifice, just like the Valyrians and there Dragons.
Battle of Ice and Fire:
This entire long thread has led to this part.
Part 2 of essay 1.
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:37 PM.
Eventually the Valyrians conquered most, if not all of Essos. The Blood of the Dragon and Masters of Fire Magic. One can look at the continent as one founded in the Flames or Light. Why? Some examples:
1.) Obviously the Free Cities were forged by the Fires of the Dragons and their Valyrian Masters
2.) The Religion of R’hillor is based here. The Lord of Light. Flames and Light, Light, Light. Traditionally the Lord of Light has had a hard time getting a foothold in Westeros
3.) Even the story of Azhor Ahai is about a savior wielding Lightbringer, who saves the world from Darkness
4.) Climate Wise Essos may have oasis’, but overall it has a Northern Africa/India feel to me and after going through the Red Waste it seems that Essos is largely an arid, desert like climate.
5.) In Valyria the lands are called “The Lands of the Long Summer.”
So when we see Essos, their Dragon history and the Doom of Valryia, we should think ‘Summer’, that’s the point.
In contrast in Westeros the culture is writhed in darkness and cold. Darkness in history and darkness in climate. Even though I believe that all of Westeros was more ‘dark’ in eons past, their power and magic seem to be strongest in the North. Just like I am sure the power of Old Valyria is strongest in Valyria(No one who travels there returns)
1.) The North was forged in Ice (Winterfell, The Wall) by the Starks through thousands of years of expanding and trying to conquer the other territories.
2.) The Old Gods are nameless, except for the eerie carvings of their alleged faces in the heart trees.
While teaching Bran to look through the eyes of the weirwood(essentially saying ‘play god’) he tells him that ‘Darkness is your friend’ and to never be afraid of it. (I maybe wrong but Mel sees Bloodraven in her flames an thinks he is the Great Other)
3.) Unlike the story of AA, The Last Hero’s journey is and ends all in darkness
4.) Although Westeros has many different climates, the North is cold and dark. Overall the North is the size of the other 6 kingdoms combined.
5.) In the Lands North of the Wall, it is called the Lands of Always Winter
It maybe more accurate to say that this a battle between Light and Darkness with Fire and Ice being the forms of magic that it manifests as. Neither one is bad or good, just is an inevitable clash for a period of dominance.
Valyria and the Lands of the Long Summer is in stark opposition and contrast to the North and the Lands of Always Winter. At one point the First Men ruled all of Westeros, at one point the Valyrians ruled all of Essos. The Starks are an offshoot of the First Men, the Targaryans are an offshoot of the Valyrians. The Starks do not remember a lot about their origins, their magic or what they truly are, the Targaryans do not remember a lot about their origins, their magic or what they truly are. The Stark house is exiled, the Targaryan house is exiled. Neither side practices blood magic anymore, but it seems as if they will be heading in that direction, especially to reclaim what is theres.
I fully expect the Lord of Light to become Dany’s religion. As we have seen they are often giving blood sacrifices to the Flames(That’s not a coincidence). Just the same in the North, Bran may have sacrificed Jojen to unleash his full power and maybe Theon Greyjoy will become the Blood Sacrfice needed before the Heart Tree to re-open a long forgotten tradition.
I believe these two sides have been at war with each other since the beginning of time. I believe that either Light or Dark rules for a long time, but only to be defeated by the opposite who would then rule for an extended period of time. There are hints to this.
For example, GRRM has said that eons ago Dragons covered the world. They were in Westeros as well as Essos. That’s pretty amazing, but what happened? They died out? More likely they were killed off by the opposite force of Darkness/Ice and eventually made extinct in Westeros. However, thousands of years later they are discovered by a few shepherds to train them to be weapons and to try and reclaim dominance over the dark once more. You can call each one of these periods a generation. The Long Winter itself could’ve been a generation on that time scale in which the world was covered in darkness.
Maybe that’s why the Valyrians never tried to conquer Westeros. Maybe they knew about the balance and did not want to trigger their own downfall by upsetting it.
What is different about this generation? A Few things, but none more profound then the invasion of the Andals. The Andals through a wrench in the balance. They are neither light or dark. They have no stake in this war except to advance in a modern sense without magic.
When they landed in Westeros, they conquered all the Kingdoms except the North(Where the Power was the strongest). They killed the COTF and cut down the weirwoods, essentially crippling the magical powers of the First Men and Children.
Eventually, the Doom brings an end to the Valyrian Freenhold as well. Most Dragons and Valyrians die, except the Targaryans who lived on Dragonstone. Eventually the small force on Dragonstone conquers the six of the seven kingdoms in Westeros. In terms of battle between Light and Dark, the two biggest things about this moment in history is that
1.) Even though the Valyrian Freehold was no more, the magic forces of Light was rejuvenated.
2.) The Starks bent the knee and for the first time since the beginning they were no longer called the Kings in the North or the Kings of Winter. They were merely lords and subservient to the Dragons lords of fire and light
-It should be noted, that had Torrhen Stark not bend his knee, the Starks would’ve been obliterated, The Magic of Ice and Blood that flowed through their veins would be lost forever. So in a way, Torrhen Stark was the greatest hero in the history of their House, for he was the one saved them despite being shamed. Either way, The Dragon Lords of Light escape their demise in the Doom and now have dominion over the magic of Darkness, Ice and Blood.
However, the Andals were still there, and they still had plenty of influence.
Maesters: Somebody had to see through history, research, etc. this ancient battle of Ice/Darkness and Fire/Light. We learn that it was the Maesters that killed off the rest of the Dragons in Westeros…why? Just because? Most Maesters today(Especially the higher echelon ones) hate magic, hate talking about magic, look down on it and aren’t above hiring someone to make sure you shutup about anything you think you may know. They wanted to end magic. Why? Honestly, a country is way easier to control without magic(Order), maybe they knew about the eternal struggle between Ice and Fire that usually leads to war and turmoil. Maybe they sought to end it by taking out one side of the coin. Maybe to avoid the next inevitable Long Winter. Killing off the Targaryans and the last of the royal blood bounded by the Dragons was also a part of the plan. Robert’s Rebellion was crafted heavily by the Citadel IMO, to rid the world of these magical beings and to put a normal good King on the throne(Or so they hoped)
Even with Dany and Viserys alive, it probably wasn’t a big deal. The objective was completed. Dragons are killed, Targs are off the throne and far away from us.
Part 3 of essay 1
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:36 PM.
However, life finds a way and something happened that no one thought would happen, the birth of Dany’s three Dragons. I’m also sure that the Maesters have tried to off the Starks at certain times in the past (eliminate the bloodline – We may find out more in the Next Dunk and Egg story). Starks are survivors, always have been. (Ever since their ancestor sold their blood to the white walkers to survive the long winter…just my opinion.)
It would seem that the eternal struggle is inevitable. Sooner or later the Starks, representatives of the Blood/ Ice/ Darkness Magic and descendants of the First Men will meet the Targaryans, representatives of the Blood/Fire/Light Magic and descendants of the Valyrians in an apocalyptic battle that will end the generation. MOST PEOPLE WILL DIE.
The White Walkers are back to cover the world in Darkness again for another generation. The Dragons and their Fire Masters will right to extinguish the Darkness to continue another generation in the Light.
It seems like the blood magic and sacrifices that were forgotten are also making a strong come back. This battle seems cyclical, but I fear that if a balance is not found between these two opposing forces then it will be the end of the 7 kingdoms as well as the free cities.
There is something different this generation. No one has ever been born with both Valyrian and First Men blood. Jon Snow could very well have the fate of Westeros and Essos in his hands. Many of us have seen Jon as becoming leader of the Wildlings and the North in order to fight the White Walkers or the Southern Armies when/if they come. However, whether the White Walkers or the Dragons when, the world has no future. Why? If the White Walkers win, they will cover the world in Darkness in which most people will starve to death and the world will essentially start over with a hand full of people who’s only knowledge of the past world is only known through oral myths. If the Dragons win they will continue to grow larger, larger and larger. They will lead to destruction of Westeros by raining fire on the people below. Dany can barely control them. With the destruction of the opposition there will be nothing standing in their way of feasting, roasting and burning of everything in their sights. Either way, the world has no future, unless a balance can be made.
It is Dany’s job to bring the ‘fire’ to Westeros. She has to take R’hillor as her own to fully understand her destiny. She has to meet Jon Snow. It is Jon’s job to bring balance between the two sides. If Dany refuses to put down her army and Dragons, Jon will have to fight her with the White Walkers as a part of his army. (Dany foresees this at the Trident).
In the end however, they will have to unite or fall. Either that or GRRM wants Winter to come out on top in this one by defeating the Dragons
Very long read, I appreciate who gets through this. Obviously I had many assumptions in this, but let me know what yall think.
Part 4 of essay 1.
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:36 PM.
Hey, I know I left the Greyjoy out of this equation, but I have to add something to this entire thread which lends credence to the Fire vs Ice theory I am presenting.
Check this out:
The Iron Islands were settled by the First Men(Ice, Darkness, etc)
They did NOT take up worship of the Old Gods since they were somewhat isolated from the rest of Westeros.
They created the religion of the Drowned God, etc.
The allegedly discovered the Seastone Chair on the shores when they arrived there as well.
During the Andal(neutral) invasion, the Andals conquered the Iron Islands, yet the culture of the Ironborn and the worship of the Drowned God continued.
Now, check out this description of the Drowned God: It is said the Drowned God have made the ironborn to reave and rape, to carve out kingdoms and to make their names known in Fire and blood and song. The Drowned God himself is believed to have brought flame from the sea and sailed the world with fire and sword, its eternal enemy called the Storm God, who resides in a hall within the clouds and RAVENS are his creatures. It is said the two deities have been in conflict for millennia and the sea roils in anger when they engage in battle. However, much like the Drowned God, no one aside from the ironborn believe in the Storm God.
A lot of symbolism in this description...alot, but familiar.
1.) The Ironborn sailed the seas with Fire and Blood, which are the exact same words as the Targs?
2.) The Drowned God brought flame from the sea and sailed the world with fire and sword?
Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire and Blood. Shoved in our faces and all over the lore of their religion. Whether or not the Andals had influence in the lore or not is not known, but it seems that the Drowned God's lore predates them to when the First Men landed on the Iron Islands.
What does this mean? Well, for one it shows that even though the Ironborn were originally First Men, that they were indeed isolated and they created their own religion and customs, evidently based in Fire and Light, Not the typical Darkness and Ice that seems to define the First Men of legend. No weirwoods, no Old Gods on the Iron Islands. Their customs seem to be closely related to that of Old Valyria.
How is that possible given that they are on opposite sides of the globe?
Well remember when GRRM told us that at one point Westeros and the world were covered in Dragons? Earlier I said that this gives to the theory that maybe the magic front of Fire, Light, etc covered the world, but eventually lost in an inevitable battle with the magic front of Ice, Darkness. Which is why by the time the Valyrians discovered the Dragons, they seem to be on their last leg, or rather regrouping for the next confrontation.
Also remember, even though it is legend, the Ironborn 'discovered' the Seastone Chair standing on the shores of Old Wyk. Discovered? As in there may have been a civilization with people before the First Men arrived? Was there a world to rival that of present day Westeros/Essos before the arrival of the First Men or even the COTF?
It's my personal belief that there was, and that something happened that damn near wiped them out. Could it have been a battle between Ice and Fire? The inevitable apocalypse for that era? No doubt Fire was beaten back to the Mountains of Valyria, but the fact that the Ironborn discovered the remains of an ancient culture on an isolated island makes perfect sense, only because they were isolated for so long. There were no COTF on the Iron Islands. Had there been, I'm sure the remnants of the world long forgotten would have been truly lost.
In short, the Ironborn discovered the Seastone chair, which was a remnant of a forgotten culture that was once flourishing. I also believe they discovered more than just a chair and based off of what they discovered they created the religion of the Drowned God, one who sailed the world with Fire and Sword and whom they tried to mimic and pillage the world with Fire and Blood....because they discovered the remains of a culture that was once a Blood Magic front of Fire and Light. That's why their lore is so similar to that of Valyria. That's why they share the same words as the Targaryans.
To me...its also a subconscious reason to why the Andals adapted to the religion of the Ironborn...because it reminded them of home(That's a joke)
Now the Storm God...the MORTAL ENEMY of the Drowned God. The Storm God resides in the Clouds(Hidden in Darkness) and Ravens are his creatures. This description is supposed to remind you of what you already know. To me, this is clearly references to the Old Gods and the Darkness Magic front. The storm God hides in the clouds of Darkness and has Ravens who are his pets. Bloodraven hides in the darkness of a cave and has Ravens that spy for him. There are no coincidences with GRRM. For all intents and purposes Bloodraven is an Old God. Hell, Mel seems him in her flames as the dark enemy or something. This also confirms that the Drowned God is an entity of the Fire/Light front and the Storms God is of the Ice/Darkness front. You know who else has been known to come hidden in clouds or fogs? The White Walkers.
*On a side note, as the Winter is Coming, and the North is getting ready for a revival we are seeing a ton of Ravens, especially in Theon Greyjoy chapters in ADWD.
Here is another example from the Age of Heroes that shows the battle between Darkness and Light and shows the side in which the Ironborn are on.
During the Age of Heroes, there was a Sea Dragon named Nagga. The Grey King, with the help of the drowned god, slayed the Dragon and then built his hall out of her bones. He warmed his halls with her Living Fire. However, when the Grey King died, the Storm King drowned out her fire and the sea took his throne. Only her bones that made up the pillars and beams remained.
I absolutely love this story because a lot of mysteries behind it.
First of all, this takes place during the Age of Heroes, allegedly 10,000 years ago so who knows what is true. I tend to believe the symbolism of old stories because that is what usually gives away the truth.
1.) How old is the story of the Grey King vs Nagga? How old is his hall that is made up of Dragon Remains?
Could the Hall have just been discovered similar to the Seastone Chair and then given a cute story for PR purposes? If so, then that gives even more credence to the idea of a culture based in fire magic(a dragons) that predates all known history.
2.) If the Grey King really killed a Dragon then that means that Dragons were in/around westeros after the pact and before the Long Winter(10,000 years ago...give or take a thousand years) and were eventually defeated or beaten back.
3.) If the Grey King really killed the Dragon, then does that mean that the Ironborn of old weren't on the Fire side of Magic? Not necessarily, at least not to me. He didn't kill the Dragon and then bury the bones. He created his palace/hall from the bones and warmed the halls with the fire from the Dragon. In other words, he used the magic of the Dragon as his own. He even used the help of the Drowned God(Who is a god based in fire lore) in order to fight the Dragon. Could this have been a moment where the Ironborn and their King tied themselves to the Drowned God and thus fire magic front? Is this when they first started blood sacrifices via drowning?
4.) After the Grey King died, the Storm God drowned out the flames of Nagga and took his throne to the sea. Only thing that remained were Nagga's bones that decorated the halls. Just on time...very similar to the Seastone Chair story in which they seem to just come upon remains of an ancient Dragon/Fire culture from the past. Also, just on time is the Storm King, the Ironborn interpretation of the Old God/Darkness Ice Magic front. He drowns out the FIRE of Nagga and takes the throne of the Grey King into the sea. Not only does it show the eternal battle between light and darkness, but it also shows the Darkness winning and claiming the throne of the Grey King for themselves. Could this story single-handedly show what happened when the White Walkers came during the Long Winter and attacked the Iron Islands? The Storm King(Old Gods) destroys the fire magic of the Iron Islands and take away their King's seat?
Part 1 of essay 2
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:41 PM.
I interpret it like this. Through blood sacrifice or hidden knowledge, the King of the Iron Islands conquered the Dragons in a similar way to how the Valyrians conquered the Dragons. He built a nice kingdom out of the magic of flame, similar to the towers of Valyria. However, one day the Grey King's line ended(The saying 'there must always be a Stark in Winterfell' could've applied here as well. Long Winter seems to always follow). Soon the Long Winter came and the agents of the Old Gods conquered the Iron Islands, snuffed out the fire magic that once presided over the Kingdom and claimed it in the name of Winter and darkness.
However, this could also be a story about an ancient culture that the Ironborn discovered that existed before the Dawn Age. Regardless, either story shows the eternal war between the two fronts.
5.) The importance of the Grey King dying. Why is that so important? What difference could the Grey King dying have on the impending Long Winter? In terms of the story, the Grey King(And his possible line) was equivalent to the Dragon Riders of Old Valyria. He made an 'allegiance'(Probably with blood) with the Drowned God and then conquered the Dragon and carved a kingdom out of his magic. Could the Agents of Winter been waiting for the Fire Magic representatives' lines to die out? Was there some bloodline connection that called for a Grey King to remain on the throne in order to keep back the powers of their 'Storm God'? There is a saying in the North as well..."There must always be a Stark in Winterfell." This is said with an almost paranoia like feeling. Why? Is it for the same reason as the Grey King? Are the Starks holding something back?
Here is another important point. The darkness evidently didnt even try to conquer the Iron Islands until the Grey King, the representative of the fire magic, died. So...when exactly did the White Walkers of present started re-appearing? Was it when the Mad King, the last King of today's fire representatives was usurped by a Baratheon?
Just a theory.
What is dead may never die:
When an ironman drowns, it's said that the Drowned God needed a strong oarsman, and the refrain "What's dead may never die" is used. It is believed he will be feasted in the Drowned God’s watery halls, his every want satisfied by mermaids.
Drowning and resurrection feature prominently in the prayers and rituals of the Drowned God religion. Drowning is the traditional method of execution for the Ironmen, but it is also considered a holy act, and the most faithful have no fear of it. Newborn are "drowned" shortly after birth, being submerged into or anointed with saltwater. This is done as part of rites of the god, committing their bodies to the sea, so when they die they may find the Drowned God's halls.
During the anointment ritual, the priest has a person kneel. Using his skin of sea water, he pours a stream of it upon the person's head. As he does this he intones: “
Priest:"Let <person> your servant be born again from the sea, as you were. Bless him with salt, bless him with stone, bless him with steel."
Response:"What is dead may never die."
Priest:"What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger"
First thing to point out is the line about 'bless him with steel'. Very revealing that the Andals did have influence in their culture and lore. The Ironborn were originally First Men who had bronze, not steel. Andals brought the steel which means that the Andals added to their culture, although I think the text still points out that the Fire lore was created/discovered by the First Men Iron Born.
Second, the idea of 'drowning' newborn babies to the Drowned God brings us back full circle to the original argument in this thread. Blood Sacrifice. How in the hell did this ritual start? Not all children wake up afterwards. The same thing with the Drowned Men who are drowned a second time. To what purpose? They say it's to commit themselves to the sea and so that they can find the halls of the Drowned God after they die. Maybe that is how they feel now, but I doubt that's how it began. It seems like another form of Blood Sacrifice to me.
I have my own theory...it's similar to the origin of the flaying by the Boltons. It is also tied to the words in total:
What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger. Sound familiar? Many on this site have said this reminds them of the wights and rightfully so. Wights are dead men who rise and they are harder and stronger(Vulnerable to fire though, but still)
Wights are thought to be created by the White Walkers, who no matter how you slice it are agents of Winter and thus a part of the Ice front of Magic, Darkness and the Old Gods, or as the Ironborn would describe it, their mortal enemy the Storm God.
In other words, wights are their mortal enemies. We know hardly nothing of ancient Ironborn, but I can guarantee that their were a lot of wars, since the Ironborn were known to travel and pillage. Whether during the Long Winter or a time before, the Ironborn came across the Wights and White Walkers and were probably damn near killed off. So in order to try and survive/fight the enemies of Darkness they tried to become them. They tried to mimic the magic of dying and being reborn harder and stronger just like all of their fallen comrades that the WW turned.
Over time it just became a ritual, just like the Boltons who flay people as a tradition but probably originated as them trying to mimic and compete with the Starks. "What is dead may never die" , gives it away. Their are no coincidences.
They may have also been offering children to the Drowned God in a similar manner to how children were being offered to the White Walkers. Survival? Blood Ties to the Drowned God(Similar to my theory about the Valyrian Dragon Riders or the Last Hero)?
Just saying, any of those theories has merit and just remember: Blood sacrifice tied Dragons to the Valyrians(evidence in text); Blood sacrifice tied Old Gods/COTF to the First Men(evidence in text); Blood sacrifice maybe tied the WW to the Starks(theory with some evidence); and now Blood Sacrifice tied the Ironborn to the Sea/Drowned God(theory, evidence).
I could be wrong though. They could've just sacrificed their children as a religious tradition, but nothing in ASOIAF is that simple, and I expect one of the theories above to be true to one degree or another.
Part 2 of essay 2
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:41 PM.
What does this mean for the future? I expect the Greyjoys and the Iron Islands to return back to their origins. So far, so good. They have returned to the Old Ways and are raping and pillaging everywhere with success. I also expect them to return to their origin of lore with the Drowned God and sail the world with fire and blood, thus letting the world know their place in this song of Ice and Fire that they are indeed on the side of fire. Which means that sooner or later the Dragon and the Ironborn must join sides. Where is Victarion Greyjoy heading now again...? I fully expect Team Dany to join Team Greyjoy one way or another, even if the Ironborn are split on allegiances. After all, there is a reason why their surname has 'Grey' in it. We may have Ironborn on both sides on the fronts. Personally though I believe Victarion to have the true Ironborn. I wonder if the Crow's Eye is aware of this eternal war?
This battle will be an Apocalypse If any of you haven't noticed the world is returning back to it's old ways. The North is about to return to it's old ways of blood sacrificing and feral behavior. The Ironborn have returned to the ways of old, which is a more feral form of pillaging with no mercy. The world is returning back to a more primitive time in order to survive the Long Winter which is the sole reason for the rise in this behavior. Survival in the darkness brings out the worst in people. Expect the Dragon to do the same. Which means Fire and Blood, Dance with Dragons, the works.
More side Notes:
1.) One more parallel between those fronts of Ice and Fire, especially since each one is soo important to what will happen next.
Aegon Targaryan, the fake Targ which represents old Valryia, is taking the place of Dany Targaryan, the real Targ of old Valyria.
Jeyne Poole, the fake Arya, which represents the Starks, is taking the place of Arya Stark, the real Stark.
Im sure many are not on board with the idea I present about there being a global culture that existed before the known 'dawn age' which probably was when Dragons roamed the Globe and the Magic of Fire was strongest.
I believe the Seastone chair is from this time and only survived because it was so isolated.
Look at this battle going on ancient history right now....Anyone ever heard of Civilization X? It's no secret that the monuments of Egypt, Central America, South America and India are very similar (Pyramids, myths, sculptures, etc). Even the facial characteristics are similar, despite the fact that these cultures were thousands of miles apart with no shipping techniques or technological prowess to travel to and fro.
The theory started bouncing around, was there an ancient culture/race that predated all of the known ones of ancient time that covered multiple continents?
It started making more sense once it was estimated that many sculptures, carvings and monuments in Egypt were older than the Egyptian race itself. If the Egyptian civilization mastered agriculture 4,500 years ago, then who built the Sphinx which many have estimated to be near 10,000 years old? We still have no idea how people who recently mastered farming were able to master building the Pyramid of Giza. The answer? They probably didn't They probably came across it and took it for themselves. There they tried to mimic the monuments as best they could and created new stories, legends and myths that incorporated the Old monuments and the new. The same is true for all the cultures around the world to one degree or another. The Egyptians even used electricity...so at what point did we forget?
Honestly, its the only explanation, but then the question is asked, why is it then the ancient cultures seem to take a step back in technology, culture, writing, agriculture, construction etc?
Well there was one universal colossal impact about 10,000-8,000 years ago. The last Ice Age. Whatever Civilization X was, a majority of their culture, knowledge and history was lost and died during this period. Lack of food, warmth, shelter caused a vast majority of it's people to die out. Quest for knowledge, truth, advancement and architecture was put aside in order to find food, shelter, water and ultimately survival. So by the time the Ice Melted and the Civilization X remnants could repopulate, resettle and advance once again most of what they learned through the ages was forgotten. They no longer knew how to build monuments like the Sphinx, or how to align pyramids up with the stars because it wasn't relevant. They had to try and remember how much they could and teach themselves all over again.
Im sure throughout the Ice Age and even afterwards in the rebuilding period, they created hundreds and hundreds of myths, drawings, paintings, that descried their God like ancestors of the past. Sound familiar?
So in Westeros is this arc similar? Very much so. The Long Winter, I interpret as the Ice Age, which is why every story that is older than the Long Winter is considered myths to one degree or another, because the truth is no one knows.
So if you want to know if their was a Civilization X that existed before the Dawn Era, its best to look in isolated areas, such as Iron Islands with the Seastone Chair story.
Maybe on the Isles of Faces or in Greywatch.
Alot of knowledge gets lost as time goes forward. The Targaryans no longer know how to forge Valyrian steel because it was lost with their ancestors, they no longer knew how to bind Dragons to themselves. The Starks forgot how to skinchange, they all forgot their origins of blood sacrifice.
Part 3 of essay 2
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:42 PM.
What I do want to point out though is that I am being very simplistic in the whole 'Ice vs Fire' theme, because it is more complicated than that, but this is just what I feel is the overall arc. Its not so much the story is Team Ice vs Team Fire. In fact it maybe more accurate to say Light vs Darkness. I mean R'hillor is called the 'Lord of Light', The Storm God hides in 'Darkness', Bloodraven tells Bran that 'Darkness' is his ally. In the end there maybe two overall sides in the final conflict, but each faction on either side has their own interpretation. The Ironborn have a different interpretation then the Red Priests, the Red Priests have a different interpretation than the Valyrians, even if they do all end up on the same side.
However I do see it like this. If the Ironborn culture is based on the remnants of a past civilization that was based in the magic of Flame/Light, Dragons, etc than they have longed forgotten it, just like every other culture on the planet of Westeros and Essos. However, I believe history will repeat itself. It is no coincidence that Victarion Greyjoy, the Ironborn Captain is heading straight for Danearys Targaryan. It is also no coincidence that Moqorro just happened to come across Victarion Greyjoy on his way to Dany. This is deliberate and the timing screams of destiny and inevitability. It is also no coincidence that Victarion Greyjoy has basically adopted the religion of the Red Priests as his own and is even sacrificing to the Lord of Light....this is no small matter, this is huge. However, he also continues to give soauls to the Drowned God as well, which to me can be interpreted as the Lord of Light and the Drowned God are different interpretations of the same force front.
Victarion, the Ironborn, who will further adopt the Lord of Light if the battle of fire goes well is headed for Dany, the Queen Champion of the Magic of Flame front. This is why I don't agree with assessments that 'Oh Dany is going to kill Victarion, Moqorro is leading him to his death, yadda yadda, yadda.' That doesn't make sense to me. Why would Dany kill him? She needs him. Who else can sail all across the seas? Selmy? They need each other and Moqorro is leading them to that front where I promise you one way or another Both Team Dany and Team Victarion will unite beneath the Banner of the Lord of Light. Again though, that doesn't mean there will be no conflict. I'm sure Jorah, Selmy, and Tyrion will have their reservations, but the important part is that the Representatives of the Magic of Flame front will be set and they will sail to Westeros. I expect the Dothraki and Unsullied to both come as well. This is called the Battle of Fire for a reason. Why? Because this is where 'Team Fire' comes together(Even though I hate calling it that) There will be many conflicting beliefs, but this is the Fire Front.
I also do not believe that Euron Greyjoy will get a Dragon. I could be wrong about this, but if Moqorro would bind the horn to Victarion only to have the Dragons fly to Euron then this will mark the first time he is wrong and Victarion will skin him alive. No, no....if the other front gets a Dragon it will be through Jon/Bran and no other.
By far one of the most layered, mysterious and interesting characters in the series and I will explain all of the symbolism.
It is said that the Storm God killed Balon Greyjoy:
-Very telling. The Storm God for all intents and purposes is the Darkness front and is the same character as the Old Gods, Ice Magic front. The woods witch also states through symbolism that Euron Greyjoy had something to do with Balon's death. One story says Euron, the other says Storm God. Is there a difference? Mentioning Euron along with the Storm God in any way hints at Euron's allegiance.
It is said that Euron gave a blood sacrifice to the Storm God as to sail further west than anyone, thus allowing the attack on the Reach to be a surprise:
Blood sacrifice again? To the Storm God? Blood to any God in this series means binding. If this is true, I doubt this was the first time Euron has ever given a sacrifice to the Storm God. Its a strange rumor, given that Euron claims to not be religious whatsoever...or rather he claims to be the most religious man in the world.
If the Storm God is with Euron then it is pretty obvious what his allegiance is, whether he is religious or not.
There was another Ironborn who 'gave himself' to a God: The Grey King who gave himself to the Drowned God in order to 'slay' a Dragon, only to have everything he built destroyed by the Storm God after his passing. As I mentioned in Part 2, the way the story of the Grey King is worded to me it seems that the Grey King and the Drowned God didn't join forces to kill the Dragon, Nagga, but rather to 'conquer' the Dragon in much of the same way the Valyrians did in Essos ages later. The fact that the Grey King's hall was built out of Nagga's bones and the hall was 'lit' by her flames is very telling. Not to repeat my entire analogy from part 2, but whenever interpreting old fabled stories you have to look at the symbolism behind the elements in the story in order for them to make any sense. You cant read it literally.
Questions arise like, why didn't the Grey King give the Dragon to the sea? Instead he built a Great Hall made of the Dragon and her flames lit it. In other words he used the magic of flame to build and light the Great Hall. (More of this in part 2)
The point of that is that the Drowned God(Fire Front) joined forces with the Grey King to conquer the magic of flame. However, when the Grey King died, the Storm God(Darkness front) came and destroyed the hall and snuffed out the flame of Nagga and probably gave it back to the Darkness. Coincidentally, Victarion, who is already devout to the Drowned God, must now give himself to the Lord of Light(Same Fire front) in order to conquer the magic of flame(Binding Dragons to himself). It will require Blood sacrifice of course(Blood sacrifice of those three who will blow the horn and the blood sacrifice that will bind the horn to Victarion)
Euron Greyjoy has given himself to the Storm God, whether he has realized it or not. He has allegedly already given a blood sacrifice to the Storm God. He is trying to get the Dragons, but he will not(IMO) because that is not his role in this song.
Euron's coat of arms is a red eye, with a black pupil beneath an iron crown held up by two crows:
Also, Euron Greyjoy's nickname is Crow's Eye. More subtle hints at showing his hidden/unknown allegiance. Whenever I think of Red eyes with Black birds I think of Bloodraven. Crows are different than Ravens, but the symbolism is too much to be just a coincidence. Well we all know what side Bloodraven is on. Also the Storm God himself has Ravens as pets.
Euron is very unpredictable, plays vicious mind games, psychological warfare. He is also a skilled warrior, manipulator, cunning, shrewd and ruthless: In other words, he is smart, experienced and plans ahead. He wouldn't attack the Reach for just the hell of it, whether he is anticipating Dragons or not. He knows that Victarion will probably try and betray him, which is why he left out the details that whoever blows the horn will die. This points to a theory that the horn is already binded to Euron.
He claims to have raped and pillaged all over the world, even Valyria, Asshai: Well, it has to be true to a degree because he has goods from all over Essos. What this means is that Euron probably knows more about the current situation of events better than anyone. Its how he knows about Dany. He has a lot of information at his disposal, which no doubt has helped him plan his overall scheme. Maybe he knows of the Battle of Ice and Fire? Hmmm...
He claims to have had a Dragon Egg, but then decided to throw it overboard when he was in a bad mood: I love this line because of its symbolism....Euron Greyjoy, the master manipulator and planner...throws a Dragon Egg overboard because he was in a foul mood? Right. I personally believe that this is GRRM giving the reader a foreshadowing hint. Why would Euron, who seems to covet Dragons, throw and Egg overboard? Even if the guy couldn't awaken the egg within a year, I do not believe that Euron would simply throw the Egg overboard. And honestly, even if he did it still shows the same symbolism. Euron, the Storm God's servant, throw the Dragon Egg into the Sea. He gives to the Drowned God that in which he was seeking all along. After all, it is the Drowned God that will join forces with the Dragon on the flame front. It also foreshadows that Euron is not going to get a Dragon, or maybe doesn't even want it. Maybe it also shows his turn away from the Drowned God and thus the Magic of Flame side. He is of the Storm God. Victarion is of the Drowned God. That is their roles in this song.
Part 1 of essay 3
Last edited by Anti Hero : 10-23-2012 at 10:43 PM.