A Song of Symbol and Myth

The central hypothesis of the mythical astronomy theory is that many of the ancient legends of Westeros and the rest of the “Planetos” are actually telling us about a world-shaping global cataclysm – the Long Night – through the use of symbolism and metaphor. This is consistent with real-world mythology, which is quite often based on observation of the heavens and the cycles and characteristics of nature.

But it’s not just the ancient legends of A Song of Ice and Fire that tell the story of the Long Night and the War for the Dawn – George has cleverly paralleled the ancient myths with all of the most important and vivid scenes in the main story. Jon and Daenerys may perform deeds which parallel those of Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa, but that’s only the beginning – Robert and Renly Baratheon are modern versions of Garth the Green, and more than a few characters show parallels to the Night’s King and Queen, just to name a few examples. The bread and butter of the Mythical Astronomy podcast is comparing the various legends and myths to the characters in the main story and their symbolism, and by doing so, we can discover many exciting scenes which contain metaphorical references to the Long Night events.

George R. R. Martin chooses his descriptive language with the utmost intention, and the reoccurring turns of phrase that we find throughout the books create a tapestry of symbolism which is remarkably consistent and highly meaningful. For me, it all started coming together when I noticed that the moon cracks in both the Azor Ahai story and the Qarthine “origin of dragons” story…

For a more thorough discussion of George’s use of symbol, metaphor, and esoterism in ASOIAF, click the ‘methodology’ tab above.  Otherwise, just dive on in to the first essay, or you can listen to the podcast version wherever podcasts are found, or you can watch on YouTube (the YouTube versions are embedded at the top of the page of each essay). To be notified when a new essay and podcast are released, please follow the blog here on WordPress or subscribe to Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire on iTunes. The podcast RSS feed can be found here.

NEW! Symbolism of the Others: the Kingsguard

We don’t see much of the others on the pages of A Song of Ice and Fire, but George cleverly slips us clues about them by the use of a symbolic proxy, a kind of metaphorical stand-in… and that would be the Kingsguard.

Azor Ahai the Bad Guy

The Azor Ahai myth is moral relativism test for the reader – one which Dave and Dan failed. See why a deeper look at this all-important legend dictates that George R. R. Martin is *not* steering his books towards a similar ending.

Weirwood Paste is People!

Yep, it’s Jojen Paste theory – but not like you’ve ever tasted before. Brand new evidence will have you believing Bran can fly – but only by eating his friend.

The Doom Was an Inside Job!!

In AFFC, the Faceless Men of Braavos seem to take credit for engineering the Doom of Valyria, and most in the fandom agree they had a hand in it. But the Faceless Men usually work for hire, and there’s this weird Valyrian prophecy about the gold of casterly Rock destroying Valyria… so did someone hire the Faceless Men to do the deed? There’s a strong case to made that someone did – the Targaryens of Dragonstone. In other words… T+FM=D, or, “the Doom was an inside job.”

The Others
Dawn is the Original Ice: the Last Hero
Dawn is the Original Ice: the Pale Sword
Symbolism of the Others: the Kingsguard
Origin of the Others: Night’s Queen

Great Empire of the Dawn
Dragonlords of Ancient Asshai
Origins of the Dothraki

King Bran
Greenseer Kings of Ancient Westeros
Return of the Summer King
The God-on-Earth

End of Ice and Fire
Burn Them All
The Sword in the Tree
The Cold God’s Eye
The Battle of Winterfell

Bloodstone Compendium
Astronomy Explains the Legends of I&F
The Bloodstone Emperor Azor Ahai
Waves of Night & Moon Blood
The Mountain vs. the Viper & the Hammer of the Waters
Tyrion Targaryen
Lucifer means Lightbringer

Sacred Order of Green Zombies A
The Last Hero & the King of Corn
King of Winter, Lord of Death
The Long Night’s Watch

Moons of Ice and Fire
Shadow Heart Mother
Dawn of the Others
Visenya Draconis
The Long Night Was His to Rule
R+L=J, A Recipe for Ice Dragons

The Blood of the Other
Prelude to a Chill
A Baelful Bard & a Promised Prince
The Stark that Brings the Dawn
Eldric Shadowchaser
Prose Eddard
Ice Moon Apocalypse

Weirwood Compendium A
The Grey King & the Sea Dragon
A Burning Brandon
Garth of the Gallows
In a Grove of Ash

Weirwood Goddess
Venus of the Woods
It’s an Arya Thing
The Cat Woman Nissa Nissa

Weirwood Compendium B
To Ride the Green Dragon
The Devil and the Deep Green Sea
Daenerys the Sea Dreamer
A Silver Seahorse

Signs and Portals
Veil of Frozen Tears
Sansa Locked in Ice

Sacred Order of Green Zombies B
The Zodiac Children of Garth the Green
The Great Old Ones
The Horned Lords
Cold Gods and Old Bones

We Should Start Back
AGOT Prologue

LmL on Facebook

Now in PODCAST form!

Click to open in iTunes

• Tolkienic Song of I&F
• Echoes of I&F
• Plowman’s Keep
• Blue Winter Roses
• Pawn to Player
• Weirwood Leviathan
• Culture Wars of I&F

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281 thoughts on “A Song of Symbol and Myth

  1. Just a random tin foil I got while watching your latest youtube video. Do you think if there is a nights king or even the nights queen they where a child or children of the forest that warged into a human and there persons came together? … I was thinking of brans chapter where he says if they were human they would be wroth…when they are describing what the children of the forest are like…we have been told that when a warg dies the animal still contains there feelings… and we are to believe the children created the others … then going back to brans chapter when he warged into hodor and found the cave with the children they where not told about that are connected to the tree network …. and we are told that warging into another being is an abomination…why would we be told this …and we are given 2 examples of this happening … these are all times that you can use to learn more about the children of the forest and what there abilities could be capable of as they where the ones that taught humans how to “fly”. And at the time of the age of heros they where strong enough to separate esos from Westeros… I dont know if any of that makes sense to you but I was just wondering if you have any thoughts


  2. Hey LML!I’m a huge fan and I want to thank you for furthering my knowledge and love for this amazing series of books.
    I’m not sure if it’s been brought up in any episodes or essays and maybe I just missed it, but I am currently reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons and in the first chapter they are traveling the stars in a weirwood tree ship. Thought that was an awesome similarity and just figured I’d share.


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