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! Euron, King of the Apocalypse

A god-king born from the graves a charnel pits. The most horrifying, twisted version of Azor Ahai reborn imaginable. The usher and the ruler of a new age of darkness. The third head of the dragon. A new Night’s King. Euron Greyjoy may be all these things and more.

The Weirwoods: Magic and Lore

An A-Z crash course on the weirwood trees – the symbolism and mythology behind them, the magical ways they work, their role in the story, everything. This is BY FAR the most symbolism I’ve ever explained in one sitting!!

The Doom Was an Abolition

In “The Doom was an Inside Job,” I proposed that Aenar Targaryen worked with the Faceless Men to cause the Doom of Valyria, that fiery cataclysm which brought the five thousand year-old Valyrian Empire to a sudden and violent end. The question now is why? Why did Aenar help to cause the destruction of his own nation, the effective genocide of his own people? I think I have the answer…

Shamanic Thunder Horse (Weirwood Compendium 9)

Astral Projection! Weirwoods! Dunk and Egg! Sleipnir and Yggdrasil! It’s all here in Weirwood Compendium 9!

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
Night’s King Azor Ahai
A New Night’s King?
Euron, King of the Apocalypse

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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295 thoughts on “A Song of Symbol and Myth

  1. Hi Mr LML, new here but I’ve been following you and Quinn for a while. Mine could be a stupid question however…
    When old Nan says “all crows are liars” to Bran, could that refer to the brothers of the nightwatch?
    Maybe they covered up something and lied for so long until the lie was forgotten. They swear to protect and it happened before that characters decided to lie in order to protect someone or something. They protected the north? the Stark’s secrets maybe?
    Not trying to speculate and not having a clear theory behind this, just an idea.

    Thanks for your time and patience



  2. Yo. Huge fan. One question. Is Dragonglass ACTUALLY just stone as we consider it to be obsidian via the maesters? Whaaaaat if it’s actually cooled, dried dragonblood and the “cache” of dragonglass beneath Dragonstone is actually the site of a mass dragon culling of sorts?


  3. Regarding the “why” of the weirwoods destroying the moon:
    I think it’s suggested in the Varamyr prologue—Varamyr tries to skin-change the girl Thistle was it? Though he’d been told it was an “abomination”, and her reaction to being invaded is to claw her own eyes out. I like your theory that Azor Ahai was the Bloodstone Emperor who seduced Nissa Nissa (the Cat-woman) and blood-sacrificed her to invade the Old-God-weirwood net. Their reaction to being invaded (and evicted from control) was to run comets into the moon via their astral projection ability to destroy the planet much as an invaded person tries to destroy themselves rather than ceding control of their body. Only they failed to destroy the planet.

    Their next (more successful) attempt at revenge was to seduce him with Night’s queen and turn him into Night’s King. How the Last Hero came about, remains unclear to me…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You like thinking about TGEotD?

    Have you thought that they came to Westeros from traveling the same routes Sunchaser did?

    They’d hit the western coast first, Old Town and the Iron Islands.

    “To go west you must go east”. So there are mythical parallels between the dragon riders of TGEotD did and what Dany will do. ( Or what Grrm originally planned for her to do)


  5. Hey, congratulations on your analysis. One of then, about the night queen and the creation of the others, game an insight I still haven’t seen being suggested by anyone, so I think I should share. About the formation of The Wall. What if it was not exactly “build’, but just an line on an ice sheet, an great glacier, enchanted not to melt? What if the Night’s King brought a long night so cold that we should compare it to an ice age on our earth, and all the glaciers that are formed with it? During our last ice age, New York was covevered by an ice sheet 300 meters(1.000 feet) thick. It seems quite plausable that a magical “13 years” winter would produce an ice sheet with the thickness of the Wall we see in the books.
    Hope others have already thought about it and discussed it.
    Valar Morghulis


  6. 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


  7. 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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