World Building

The intended purpose of this page is to catch the overflow of ideas that have more to do with the supporting plots and characters of the story, therefore, this page will be an ever expanding galaxy of randomness. Each character and plot can stand alone, but it is how it works back in to the main plot that is important. Often times, most times, the plot-path of one character will have an impact on another two or three. The story is connected.

Yes, this is a generic picture of a spider web that I chose to illustrate my generic point  😉

You cannot undo one strand of the web without destroying the structure… just as you need a new strand to support two or three others. It can only support itself when each part works with another together.

And just a reminder that at any point on any page I may include information from all A Song of Ice and Fire books, including the supporting novellas, as well as information from any and all of George RR Martin’s work and interviews. Now, read on good friends!

At the moment of this post, I think I am just going to write away and then post the links here.

And to place a list of ideas that are going to be expanded further… I just do not want to lose them before I can type them out properly.

  1. I think the big converging we see in the future of the story is Bran and Daenerys coming to a “game of mind” battle. These two are really more in training for each other than any two characters in the story. Bran drank from the cup of ice, Daenerys drank from the cup of fire. This discussion was started here, but I will expand on it more in this blog when I can.
    • A quickie about these cups: It is not about what is in these cups, it is a metaphor for their decision in life. It is who they are. What path they will chose. Each person was given a hallucinogen that opened up their mind’s eye allowing the subconscious to flow (Jon’s cup is in The Winds of Winter) and from their they make a decision. Just as others like Brynden Bloodraven Rivers is a mix of fire and ice, as is Jon, it is which “cup” they chose that will be reveal their identity and mission to the larger story.
  2. I need to add this in the a page about Daenerys becoming the living fire god and how people are going to worship her like Bakkalon the Pale Child, the Lion of Night, etc… I have long held the theory that once Daenerys re-arrives at the Mother of Mountains, one of the things she will do is she will ride Drogo to the top of the mountain (possibly where no human has been) and will descend as god/dess-like in the eyes of the Dothraki… not sure if this is before or after some burnings???
    • Mount Kailash (khaleesi?) The mountain is located near Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal, close to the source of some of the longest Asian rivers: the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, and Karnali also known as Ghaghara (a tributary of the Ganges) in India. Mount Kailash is considered to be sacred in four religions: Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. (and sooooo much more)
    • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys I

      “It were the black one,” the man said, in a Ghiscari growl, “the winged shadow. He come down from the sky and … and …”

      No. Dany shivered. No, no, oh no.

      “Are you deaf, fool?” Reznak mo Reznak demanded of the man. “Did you not hear my pronouncement? See my factors on the morrow, and you shall be paid for your sheep.”

    • A Dance with Dragons – Daenerys II

      “… mother,” whispered Missandei.

      “Mother to dragons.” Dany shivered.

      “No. Mother to us all.” Missandei hugged her tighter. “Your Grace should sleep. Dawn will be here soon, and court.”

    • A Clash of Kings – Daenerys I

      When Irri and Jhiqui returned with pots of white sand, Dany stripped and let them scrub her clean. “Your hair is coming back, Khaleesi,” Jhiqui said as she scraped sand off her back. Dany ran a hand over the top of her head, feeling the new growth. Dothraki men wore their hair in long oiled braids, and cut them only when defeated. Perhaps I should do the same, she thought, to remind them that Drogo’s strength lives within me now. Khal Drogo had died with his hair uncut, a boast few men could make.

      Across the tent, Rhaegal unfolded green wings to flap and flutter a half foot before thumping to the carpet. When he landed, his tail lashed back and forth in fury, and he raised his head and screamed. If I had wings, I would want to fly too, Dany thought. The Targaryens of old had ridden upon dragonback when they went to war. She tried to imagine what it would feel like, to straddle a dragon’s neck and soar high into the air. It would be like standing on a mountaintop, only better. The whole world would be spread out below. If I flew high enough, I could even see the Seven Kingdoms, and reach up and touch the comet.

      Irri broke her reverie to tell her that Ser Jorah Mormont was outside, awaiting her pleasure. “Send him in,” Dany commanded, sand-scrubbed skin tingling. She wrapped herself in the lionskin. The hrakkar had been much bigger than Dany, so the pelt covered everything that wanted covering.

  3. A little wordplay
    • pyre-pyro-pyramid… volcano, Doom of Valyria, dragons in and on the pyramids, and Daenerys in Meereen acting god-like.
    • tower-tree-tuition (knowledge)… old gods, weirwood, ice magic, the Citadel, Bran, Jon, Hardin’s Tower, library at Winterfell, Odin and Yggdrasil, etc., Bloodraven is a bookworm!
    • A Dance with Dragons – Jon II

      It was a relief when Dolorous Edd Tollett opened the door to tell him that Gilly was without. Jon set Maester Aemon’s letter aside. “I will see her.” He dreaded this. “Find Sam for me. I will want to speak with him next.”

      “He’ll be down with the books. My old septon used to say that books are dead men talking. Dead men should keep quiet, is what I say. No one wants to hear a dead man’s yabber.” Dolorous Edd went off muttering of worms and spiders.

  4. Breaking down of the word “tower”
    • The Tower tarot card, and picture. Yes, GRRM knows about tarot as his wife, Parris, is mentioned and pictured on his blog as a reader of tarot.
      • This Tower tarot really reminds me of (not-so) Good Queen Alysanne messing up the north and northern magics by sealing off Nightfort (Black Gate) and diverting Night’s Watch attention elsewhere with her jewels. This includes the flaking gold crown at Queenscrown.
      • The Tower is commonly interpreted as meaning danger, crisis, sudden change, destruction, higher learning (tuition), and liberation. In the Rider-Waite deck, the top of The Tower is a crown, which symbolizes materialistic thought being bought cheap.
      • In some Belgian tarots and the 17th century tarot of Jacques Viéville, the card is called La Foudre or La Fouldre, (“The Lightning”) and depicts a tree being struck by lightning.
      • Also the fire (symbolic or literal) atop a tower is something we see repeated in ASOAIF.
      • A Dance with Dragons – The Wayward Bride

        Qarl grinned. “I would sooner have a piece of you,” he whispered, “the sweet piece that’s—”

        Something flew from the brush to land with a soft thump in their midst, bumping and bouncing. It was round and dark and wet, with long hair that whipped about it as it rolled. When it came to rest amongst the roots of an oak, Grimtongue said, “Rolfe the Dwarf’s not so tall as he once was.” Half her men were on their feet by then, reaching for shields and spears and axes. They lit no torches either, Asha had time enough to think, and they know these woods better than we ever could. Then the trees erupted all around them, and the northmen poured in howling. Wolves, she thought, they howl like bloody wolves. The war cry of the north. Her ironborn screamed back at them, and the fight began.

        No singer would ever make a song about that battle. No maester would ever write down an account for one of the Reader’s beloved books. No banners flew, no warhorns moaned, no great lord called his men about him to hear his final ringing words. They fought in the predawn gloom, shadow against shadow, stumbling over roots and rocks, with mud and rotting leaves beneath their feet. The ironborn were clad in mail and salt-stained leather, the northmen in furs and hides and piney branches. The moon and stars looked down upon their struggle, their pale light filtered through the tangle of bare limbs that twisted overhead.

    • The Virgin Mary is a Lyanna parallel that Martin draws on from his Catholic background, and she is often compared to a tower. For instance, the Tower of David stood prominently and strongly on the highest summit of the mountains surrounding Jerusalem.  Such a tower was part of the defense mechanism of the city.  From it, warnings would be given of approaching enemies.  Mary is compared to the Tower of David because of her holiness, being recognized as full of grace and having been conceived free of original sin.
    • Tor is a Nordic masculine given name derived from the name of the Norse god Thor.
    • Sir Tor, a Knight of the Round Table.
    • Old English torr tower, watchtower,” from Latin turris “a tower, citadel, high structure” (also source of Old French tor, 11c., Modern French tour; Spanish, Italian torre “tower”), possibly from a pre-Indo-European Mediterranean language. Meaning “lofty pile or mass” is recorded from mid-14c. Also borrowed separately 13c. as tour, from Old French tur; the modern spelling (1520s) represents a merger of the two forms.
      • Torr/watchtower = watcher on the walls?
      • Torr= Tormund “Tall-talker”. Tormund is a wealth of knowledge to Jon now, and most likely in the near future.
      • Torrhen Stark, the king who knelt to a fire dragon = the tree was burned by dragon flame. This reminds me of the in-story mention how trees despise fire:
        • A Storm of Swords – Arya VIII

        • “She will leave on the morrow, with us,” Lord Beric assured the little woman. “We’re taking her to Riverrun, to her mother.”

        • “Nay,” said the dwarf. “You’re not. The black fish holds the rivers now. If it’s the mother you want, seek her at the Twins. For there’s to be a wedding.” She cackled again. “Look in your fires, pink priest, and you will see. Not now, though, not here, you’ll see nothing here. This place belongs to the old gods still . . . they linger here as I do, shrunken and feeble but not yet dead. Nor do they love the flames. For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists.” She drank the last of the wine in four long swallows, flung the skin aside, and pointed her stick at Lord Beric. “I’ll have my payment now. I’ll have the song you promised me.”

    • More etymology, this time seems to be related to Sansa in the Vale: c. 1400, “rise high” (implied in towered); see tower (n.). Also, of hawks, “to fly high so as to swoop down on prey” (1590s). Related: Towering.
      • crackpot: Joseph Leidy (pronounced “lady”) was part of the inspiration for why Sansa named her direwolf Lady. This also circles back to tree=tower=knowledge. Joseph was an extraordinarily intelligent man, including describing the holotype specimens of the dire wolf (Canis dirus) (Stark, Lady, herself), among many others. There are even a few direwolf species that include the name Leidy in the scientific name.
    • Also, GRRM loves his comic books. There was a Tor comic character around when he was a boy reading such stories. The series’ protagonist, Tor, is a prehistoric cave man who has fantasy adventures set in a realistically drawn setting. The original series only ran for five issues and ended in 1954. However, “Tor” was revived by DC Comics in June 1975 for six issues. In June 1993 Marvel Comics released new adventures of Tor. This could explain why and how we have those Valyrian monkies described in ASOIAF.
  5. A sigil is a term that GRRM uses in his ASOIAF series not in place of a traditional crest, heraldry, or coat of arms, but as foreshadowing. Different terms altogether. A sigil is a symbol used in magic. The term has usually referred to a type of pictorial signature of a demon or other entity; in modern usage, especially in the context of chaos magic, it refers to a symbolic representation of the magician’s desired outcome.

    • sig·il
    • ˈsijəl/
    • noun
    • noun: sigil; plural noun: sigils
      1. an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power.
        • archaic
        • a seal.
        • “the supply wains bore the High King’s sigil”
        • literary
        • a sign or symbol.
  6. HODOR- I believe a possible inspiration for Hodor is Saint Christopher. The story revolves around a man who carries the christ child across a river. Well, the wall is a river and going into the true north is part of going into the sea/greenseeing/etc. His most famous legend, which is mainly known from the West and may draw from Ancient Greek mythology, tells that he carried a child, who was unknown to him, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ.
    • Picture of Saint Christopher with a child on his back really reminds me of Hodor carrying Bran.
    • Maybe someone has already thought of this as well?… but IF the name Hodor means “hold the door”, and “dor” is a derivative of Greek names symbolizing water, and the wall is a watery wall, and the fact that Sam said the important part of the vows in front of Bran & Hodor & Meera, and doors are portals, maybe, just maybe Bran does get south again and he has to use the vows to get the gate to open, but that portal/door is closing, and that is the door Hodor has to hold? It would *look* like the gate is “eating” Hodor, but it that would just be a fabricated tale to tell the children, right?
  7. Ashara Dayne was probably based to a large degree on Asherah of biblical times. even has a special pole that is called “tree”, and we know Ashara Dayne jumped from a tower… so we are back to the tower=tree symbolism mentioned in #2.
  8. Blood Oranges in ASOIAF that Dorian Martell has connection to could be based on an older erotic tale. The Blood Oranges is a 1997 erotic drama film directed by Philip Haas. This was Haas’s third feature film, which is based on the 1970 erotic cult novel by John Hawkes. The film depicts two western couples, one with children, coming together in the fictional Mediterranean village of Ilyria, and explores the perils of swinging between married couples.
    • So we have Illyria that could be where Illyrio got his name.
    • We have the idea that the story is an erotic tale, which could be why the Martells and Dornish were written as more hot blooded sexually.
    • This could also be the protoype idea as to why Illyrio and Varys are trying to save baby Aegon and return him to the throne at this point in Aegon’s life. I believe Aegon/Young Griff is the real baby Aegon.
  9. Meaning of name Julian= Jove, Jupiter.
  10. Summerhall, which sorta parallels Winterfell. I came across something interesting a while ago that is not even ASOIAF related… or so it seemed. I have not had time to analyze the entire thing, but so far there are some well known connections of Summerhall to Pandemonium, and the related, Paradise Lost.
    Some things, aside from the literal pandemonium the tragedy caused, include:

    • Sun and Moon deities
    • Zoroastrianism
    • Both sources are called “hell”, and in the story we know the Maggie line about, “I gorged on grief at Summerhall.”
    • Both are also called/referred to as “little deamon”, or the “little demon”
      Pandemonium is described as, “The demons built it in about an hour, but it far surpassed all human palaces or dwellings; it may have been small, however, as the demons are described as shrinking from their titanic size in order to fit in.”
      Summerhall is described as lavish and such, and the dragons in the story had dwindled in size and eventually went “extinct”.
    • Balerion/Drogo was probably based on the demon Belial, and this includes direct links to Paradise Lost, in addition to many other ASOIAF related ideas. Lovecraft was an influence on GRRM, and this Belial was used in that world as well.
      • “Madness rides the star-wind . . . claws and teeth sharpened on centuries of corpses . . . dripping death astride a Bacchanale of bats from night-black ruins of buried temples of Belial. . . .”H.P. Lovecraft, The Hound
      • “Belial came last; than whom a Spirit more lewd
        Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love,
        Vice for itself. To him no temple stood
        Or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he
        In temples and at altars, when the priest
        Turns atheist, as did Eli’s sons, who filled
        With lust and violence the house of God?”John Milton, Paradise Lost
      • “But for corruption thou hast made Belial, an angel of hostility. All his dominions are in darkness, and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and guilt. All the spirits that are associated with him are but angels of destruction.”The War Of the Sons Of Light and the Sons Of Darkness, Dead Sea Scrolls
      • This is also probably a basis for Jaime and Cersei as well.
    • Creation myths
      Birth of the Horse Twins from the grain/horse mother (Cox, p. 234, found in 7/11 language groups, which is a very conservative statistic)
      Danu killed and cut open to produce a river (a parturition creation myth, 3/11)
    • Cyclic myths
      Spring kills Winter, usually with his sprinkler or his striker (Cox, p. 559, found in 4/11 language groups)
      Cloud/cows stolen from the sun god by the wind god and then released (Cox, p. 232, 4/11)
      Death and rebirth of the (often grain-associated) life-death-rebirth deity causes the seasons; Frazer calls him the “Dying Corn God” (Frazer, Vol. 8 and 9 of the Golden Bough esp. Vol. 9, pp. 412–423; 4/11)
      Uncle Water melts the ice and releases the water causing flooding (Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1995, 5/11)
      Quest of the golden apples of immortality, usually by a wind god (Cox, p. 512, 4/11)<<< This is Sansa, and a Sansa is an apple!!!
      So yeah, I guess Summerhall is kind of a “thin” place and that could be why Rhaegar went there to brood and think about his lost family?
  11. Where do whores go” Tyrion repeatedly asks. This means Tyrion is going to follow Daenerys after he meets up with her (which according to George is near the end, if not the end, of The Winds of Winter).
  12. I really cannot shake the feeling that Daenerys Stormborn is either really Robert Baratheon’s daughter (most likely NOT, admittedly), and that Daenerys is coming back as the Storm God as Jon is “coming back” from his under-the-sea/beneath the waves, ice magic, third eye opening which makes him the Drowned God (figuratively), and the two will continue the eternal struggle between the forces in the next Dance of Dragons GRRM has promised. The text says, “The Drowned God and the Storm God are said to have been at war against one another for “a thousand thousand years,” but I tend to believe that the thousand thousand years is just a fanciful storytelling way of saying generation after generation.
  13. I have been yammering on for a few years now that the iron throne is an inverted weirwood tree. This October 2016 post was my first time mentioning this idea, and I pasted the main idea below, and it has developed. For instance, in the Greenseeing is Enlightenment essay, I give a connection to how GRRM has done this inversion to a power seat before.
    • Not sure of this is the right thread for this, but it is weirwood related (if you squint:shocked:)

      George has often said this rendition of the Iron Throne is the one he likes best because it fits his intended vision the closest of all versions.

      Has anyone else ever noticed how it kinda looks like a malformed, inverted weirwood both in symmetry, color and (obviously) material? There is a blood connection between them as well, one kills and one drinks, etc, and both seem to “sprout” from their rooted locations.

      It just seems that those who aspire to sit this throne, a symbol of conquer and oppression, that they are moving away from what is “right”, which is closer to what the weirwood stands for (atleast as far as what is natural to Westeros).

  14. Crazy crackpot! Ramsay sent the catspaw assassin against Bran. History repeats, but with a twist, and we are witnessing the historic Red King Boltons .vs. the Starks all over again.For this analysis, I recommend reading the stories:
    • *The Skin Trade- mainly this story, which among the many other parallels, also has a huntsman named Rogoff (Rogar the Huntsman, a Red King in ASOIAF).
    • Dying of the Light
    • Fevre Dream

    And remember, the books and the show are two very separate entities. I have not watched the most recent seasons, but I understand that the issue with the dagger was extremely rushed and not consistent within the show-world. Apparently a video was made that brought to light all of the show reasoning… watch here.

    The real, canon version of the catspaw dagger is not the fancy show version. No. Instead, the catspaw dagger is rather plain and not adorned with gold or jewels, etc. Just Valyrian steel and dragonbone.

    • A Game of Thrones – Catelyn III

    “The circumstances did not allow me to examine it closely, but I can vouch for its edge,” Catelyn replied with a dry smile. “Why do you ask?”

    “We found the knife still in the villain’s grasp. It seemed to me that it was altogether too fine a weapon for such a man, so I looked at it long and hard. The blade is Valyrian steel, the hilt dragonbone. A weapon like that has no business being in the hands of such as him. Someone gave it to him.”

    Catelyn nodded, thoughtful. “Robb, close the door.”

    • A Clash of Kings – Catelyn VII

    “What dagger was this?”

    “It was so long,” she said, holding her hands apart, “plain, but finely made, with a blade of Valyrian steel and a dragonbone hilt. Your brother won it from Lord Baelish at the tourney on Prince Joffrey’s name day.”

    Lannister poured, drank, poured, and stared into his wine cup. “This wine seems to be improving as I drink it. Imagine that. I seem to remember that dagger, now that you describe it. Won it, you say? How?”

    … and so much more…

  15. I have posited for a few years now that Cersei is pregnant. Those tight dresses aren’t from drinking, and according to the currently most accurate timeline of the ASOIAF series, it has been about 8-9 weeks since Cersei and Jaime last had sex. This actually fits rather well with Daenerys becoming pregnant again and then aborting her baby at the end of A Dance with Dragons when she essentially makes moon tea from the handfuls of green berries. George has said Cersei and Dany are parallels, so I expect something fiery to happen to Cersei’s unborn child as well.

I welcome discussion in the comments section, but I do ask you show respect for alternative ideas and that you stay on topic. As this is an ever evolving site, any new information and credits will be given when credit is due.