pylonAbout a year before Game of Thrones debuted on HBO, I was in a bookstore looking though the fantasy section, thinking to myself that it had been a while since I picked up a new fantasy series (I read several when I was a teen, I’m now 35).  I hadn’t been plugged in to the scene for a while, but I had sort of been seeing George R. R. Martin’s name in the bookstore for years, so I picked up Game of Thrones and saw the little “soon to be an HBO series!”  sticker. I figured if they were going to make a fantasy series into a high budget TV show, I should read it first.  And read it I did, tearing through the first books in a fury.  I’ve done several re-reads over the past several years, reading the books once on paper and listening to the dulcet tones of Roy Dotrice for several audiobook re-listens.  These days I usually have the audiobooks on if I am cleaning or driving, etc.

In February of 2015, I was in the middle of moving and other personal turbulence when a bolt of lightning hit me.  I had been listening to podcasts about the Long Night and Azor Ahai from Radio Westeros and History of Westeros when something clicked in for me – the moon cracks in both the Azor Ahai story and the Qarthine origin of dragons story.  That’s when I smacked myself on the forehead and realized, “duh, a thousand thousand dragons pouring forth is a meteor shower.”  I am a big fan of world mythology, the older the better, and I am also a fan of Fingerprints of the Gods author Graham Hancock, whose work stresses the astronomical underpinnings of world myth.  When I realized that Martin might be hiding an astronomy story in his in-world myth, the lights clicked on and I thought “yes, of course Martin is clever enough to be aware of and recreate this phenomena.” I began thinking about his myth in those terms, and I had the connection between the second moon exploding and the meteor shower, and everything more or less unfolded from there.  Somehow in the middle of packing to move, I carved out several days to write like a madman, staying up all night and following leads in every direction, and about a week later I had some kind of first draft.  It really was a bit of a surreal experience – it was so stimulating to the puzzle and creativity parts of my brain that I literally only needed three or four hours of sleep a night, which is very, very unusual for me.

me and the cosmic serpent

That first draft had almost all of the ideas covered in my essays so far in some form or another.  It was crazy, though, jumping from one thing to the next and oh by the way the Deep ones might be real and oh by the way I don’t think the cotf did the hammer of the waters and oh by the way Dawn is the original ice and Ned’s sword might be Lightbringer and King Renly is acting like Garth the Green… you get the idea. I reached out to Yolkboy from Radio Westeros, who was nice enough to read it and try to make sense of it and offer some encouragement and feedback.  I contacted a couple of Westeros.org members who I had seen sniffing in the right direction, most notably Durran Durrandon, who helped me refine the draft and sort through ideas and eventually produce a readable essay to post on the forums, my first real essay.

And then I pressed “submit.”

What would happen next?  I had no idea.  My essay was pretty damn long, and very ambitious.  Would people think I’m a pretentious know-it-all?  That I’m out to lunch, seeing patterns in the noise and conjuring up phantoms?  Would people even take the time to read it?  Maybe it would get two comments, one of which was “Euron = Daario” and that would be it.  I put a lot of time into it, and I was really excited about it – I really felt I had a hold of something, and the more I looked, the more things seemed to line up – but man, I had no idea how the forum community would handle it.

The response was far, far more than I ever expected.

Tons of positive feedback in general, and lots and lots of creative ideas.  What I had hoped was that by pointing at this astronomy pattern and the general set of symbols associated with it, that others would take my ideas and make more connections and unlock other puzzles.  This is exactly what happened.  People had been studying certain characters or themes or angles of the books for years, and everyone has their own area of deep knowledge.  When I put the astronomy idea out there, people came back with their favorite passages and said “hey look, i think the moon is doing some exploding here” or “hey, I think Sansa is playing a moon maiden role here, does that mean something?” etc, etc.  I frequently receive messages from people who catch little passages and metaphors which I haven’t identified yet, which just makes me just oh so happy.

The comments thread of that first essay was at least as dense as the essay itself – I really managed to attract some of the best and brightest minds on the forums to contribute their ideas.  This too was exactly what I had hoped for, only infinitely more so.  People chipped in with astronomy expertise, mythology expertise, book knowledge, different ideas about interpretations of text, and people’s own theories which applied to the subject in some way.  My own ideas were subjected to constructive criticism and scrutiny, and the ideas which needed to go away were dropped or modified, and the good ideas became more clear and better supported. The essays you see on this site are, for the most part, revisions of my first handful of essays which take into account all the things listed above, so I shall take this moment to acknowledge and thank everyone who participated in the conversation over the past several months on the Westeros.org forums… even the couple of cranky people who ticked me off that one time.  😉  Sometimes it’s the slightly offensive criticism which gets under your skin that motivates you to go back and research your arguments a little better, so I really do mean “thanks” to everyone who participated.

Right now I am engaged in a re-read of the series after hopping around a lot during my initial research. I am going through the series chapter by chapter and making notes and highlighting text for each one.  Notes are going into many categories, relating to all the things I have covered so far such as meteor showers, impact sites, Lightbringer stuff, moon stuff, hammer of the waters stuff, God’s Eye, etc., but I also have many categories of notes which have not made it into essays yet, such as notes concerning the origins of the Others, Garth the Green and the sacred order of green men, the Night’s King and the Last Hero, the ancient Starks, the War for the Dawn, the nature of magic in general, and more.  I other words, I have several more essays to write before TWOW comes out.  😉  I also have plans to do line by line analysis of many key chapters, because many chapters are actually extended metaphors which must be analyzed in totality to really understand what George is saying.  Many of the important scenes are played out like the “dumb show” in Hamlet, a play within a play which is at once telling a main story and a secondary, metaphorical story.  These will be almost like a selected re-read project, and I already have several chapters outlined and dissected – I am really looking forward to these.  Finally, I’ve got a few characters in mind which simply need their own essays, particularly the two Stark girls.

The newest development is that I have begun recording these essays as podcasts, to make them more accessible.  I of all people, with my abusive audiobook habits, understand that it is much easier to find time to listen to a podcast than to read a long essay on the computer.  You can check out the Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire podcast here, or just look us up on iTunes.  My lovely and talented wife, sometimes known as the Amethyst Koala, has recorded the text quotes from the essays in her dulcet tones in order to break up my analysis.  We hope you enjoy it as much as a good, fresh-baked cookie.

D&A eating cookies

For now, it’s only audio – if anyone is interested in doing accompanying graphics to make it a video, please contact me.  I just don’t have time to do video and audio.  I want to spent my time writing essays… I have a bunch of half-finished ones that I would like to get out.

In closing, why am I here?  I am here because George R. R. Martin has done something immensely clever, and I want as many people to be in on it as possible.  That’s it in a nutshell – I’m so impressed with what he has done that I simply want everyone to know it and appreciate it for the genius that it is.  I might be wrong about any one part of my theory, but the broader point is simply to show that George is telling us about the Long Night events through the myths and in-scene metaphors in the book. I invite others to look at the evidence and come to different conclusions – the discussion can only help advance the theory.  Most of all, I’m having a blast trying to follow this trail and I’d like to share that joy and excitement with everyone else in the community.  The novels read like an entirely new experience once you have the basics of the astronomy pattern in mind.  You won’t be able to help yourself from noticing the astronomy metaphors, I promise. They add a layer of surreal, celestial grandeur to scenes which are already dramatic and poetic and beautiful and tragic as it is, in addition to giving insight about the past which may jut be insight about the future as well.

Thanks for reading my work, please leave a comment if you enjoyed it, even if only to say that you did – it always means a lot to me.  And if you like these essays, please, please share them with other ASOIAF nerds.  You know the type of folks who would enjoy this stuff, so don’t hold out on them.


~ LmL

bookcase LmL


41 thoughts on “About

  1. Have you ever read about Asharah? She’s a figure in multiple religions including Canaanite and Hebrew. She was apparently the wife of God or companion of Yahweh. She is the mother of other gods.. and is sometimes worshiped n the form of trees. Also the mother of Baal.. and the spelling is very close to Ashara. Like Ashara Dayne. Might be nothing, but I know hoe GRRM likes to pull influence from
    Figures in history and world religions. If you read more about her, it’s very interesting.

    By the way, I’m a big fan of yours and the books. Keep it up man!!


  2. Love all your work on SoIaF. This is probably unrelated to SoIaF, though it is to “LML”: I’ve been to Sinjar, where the Yazidis and other cultures believe Lucifer fell to earth. I wonder where in the world you have to be positioned to see Venus descend on Sinjar…


  3. I just noticed something that I think gets glossed over a lot. There’s a passage that is often quoted, but a tiny detail gets lost in all the mythology lore.

    “The Golden Empire’s first ruler was the God-on-Earth, the only son of the Lion of Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light, who traveled in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. He ruled for ten thousand years until he ascended to the stars to join his forebears. Dominion then passed to his eldest son, the Pearl Emperor, who ruled for a thousand years. Power then passed to the Jade Emperor, the Tourmaline Emperor, the Onyx Emperor, the Topaz Emperor, and the Opal Emperor. Each reigning for a shorter and more troubled time than the previous emperor, for wild men and beasts pressed the borders of the Empire, lesser kings grew proud and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves to sin.

    When the daughter of the Opal Emperor ascended to power as the Amethyst Empress, her envious brother cast her down and proclaimed himself the Bloodstone Emperor . . .” TWOIAF 712

    This tends to be used in your argument to show that Dany is descended from the Empire of the Dawn… but there is something a bit more subtle there too.


    Culture is a HUGE thing, and culture drifts over time. Volantis, afaik, is the ONLY culture in the world other than Yi-Ti to use palanquin. Where did they get it from? Well, probably Valyria considering how proud of their Valyrian heritage they are, and how many other Valyrian traits they kept – like how they allow women rulers, another trait from Valyria, as shown by Valyria having no word for “Prince” or “Princess” only “ruler”. Because Dragons are all that mattered, not gender.

    Well, where did Valyria get it from? Probably the Empire of the Dawn, which ALSO was equal in gender politics. Cultural drift over centuries, but some things remain.


    • Oh, Palanquin are also used in Asshai – but that ALSO used to be part of the Empire of the Dawn iirc, so it’s still sound. And the word isn’t “ruler” but “royal heir” – which is why it can mean both prince and princess. Typing too fast lol.


  4. Hi Lml, I’m pretty new to your channel and asoiaf in general and I love the symbolic connections in the books as well as your great explanation of them, especially your theories regarding the past events in the lore. During one of your podcasts regarding The Last Hero and his 12 companions I couldn’t help but remember a story I read regarding the 13 Shaolin monks who save the future Tang dynasty emperor Li Shimin from General Wang Shicong and his army. I started thinking and I realized there are some parallels between the monastic life of the Shaolin monks and the Nights watch, particularly their abstain from women as well as giving up any titles and land. I’m not 100% sure about it but considering GRRM drew upon Sun Wukong I wouldn’t be surprised if he had heard of this story. I also started thinking about the connections between The Wall and The Great Wall. Seeing as they both separate a Kingdom from the North and the evils that reside there. There are many legends regarding The Great Wall just as The Wall has plenty itself. One in particular regards a Late Ming Dynasty General letting in the Northern Hordes to capture Bejing and end the Ming Dynasty. There are also some parallels between the corruption and GOT esque court life that led to the fall of the Ming. I’m not as well versed in asoiaf lore so I cant be positive about the connections but I know GRRM draws upon alot of world history to enrich his universe and narrative. I definently recommend the book The Shaolin Monastery by Meir Shahar as that’s where I got most of this knowledge from. If anything I see a similarity between the altering of history in asoiaf through tales told by Old Nan that have a central truth to them just misunderstood through time and Chinese folk tales of the Shaolin temple and their warrior monks. The aforementioned story of the 13 monks is based on a real event but is spun up to make the monks sound more heroic then they where in real life. There’s alot more I can think of as i write this but i think it’s getting a little long so I’ll stop here. Maybe I’m drawing lines where I want them to be or maybe I’m right? Idk but I feel like there’s something there. Thank you for all your hard work and all the hours of content that i can enjoy on youtube.


  5. Hey David, it’s Lady Barbrey from back in your Westeros days. I’ve read through most of your brilliant essays. Just thought I’d send you a shout out of support. I think from my days posting with you that if you had done or said anything to offend, you’d be the first to be dismayed. The complaints were really minor and should have been addressed to you privately to address – public shaming is not okay except as a last resort – and I believe you would have done so. But hey I don’t know all the story; just want you to know I always thought you were a decent stand-up guy in addition to being a brilliant self-educated analyst. Take care of yourself, your wife, your child, my friend. Looking forward to whatever you choose to write next.


  6. Hi LML, I have a question for you concerning Hancock. Do you believe that Martin is familiar with his work at all? I’m currently reading his new book, “America Before”, mixed in between my ASOIAF obsessive searching, and I see some similarities. However, I cannot find any conclusive evidence that Martin has the kind of knowledge of ancient history, such that Hancock presents.

    I’m aware Martin is versed in Native American history, but I wonder to what extents?

    Any thoughts?


  7. Just a short note to say thank you for the wonderful content you’ve shared on this site and other platforms. I grew up with a step-mother who was fascinated by the Joseph Campbell stuff, and for whatever reason, I spider monkeyed my way over to this site.

    I’m not part of the online community around all this and stumbled onto something of a spat via Twitter today. I hope all that blows over and the peculiar stuff heals for all parties.

    All I’ll say is the depth and lightness of content and the sense of fun conveyed is the important thing. I hope you keep at it. And I hope everyone is alright because you’ve created a lot of joy.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey LML-
    Thanks for the great work! Have you ever considered making these essays downloadable as PDFs? I have a long flight later this week and I probably won’t pay for internet it would be cool to download these to my Kindle and continue reading them!


  9. Thank you very much LmL for your great podcasts and analysis! I Love your ideas and the very entertaining way you present them.

    While I was listening to an Arya/squirrel episode the other day I was strongly reminded of the squirrel living in Yggrassil, delivering messages from the eagle on top to the gnawing dragon at the tree‘s roots, making it a messenger between the worlds. Would you be prepared to give Arya such a role as well, besides being a death godess? Does that give you any further ideas about her character? Would Love to hear your thoughts, maybe I‘m just rambling.


  10. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Three-Eyed Raven/Green Sea symbolism in Mushroom’s account of Lord Beesbury’s death following Viserys I. Also, wasn’t he on Dragonstone with Rhaenyra? Where would he have gotten this version of events?


  11. Long time listener, first time wading into the weeds.

    This might be traveled ground but after listening to the episode where you all mention wearing skins, I thought of the white lion pelt that Dany wears. What about Dany as an inverted Lion of Night? Drogo kills a white lion, damn absorbs its power, Drogo release the dragons on the world for Dany to ride and cover the world in a second….really long day? I dont really do this stuff but I wanted to offer it up.
    Love what you do. Thanks.


    • Hi LML I love your work. I must say, you are well versed in the world of GRRM. Since you have put so much research and work into your essays, why don’t you publish a book on symbolism. You have a great title already: The Mystical Astronomy of Ice & Fire…..something…something GRRM.


  12. Hi LML!
    I love your work and try to make your youtube chats as much as I can. I stumbled across the work of another content creator (Trey the Explainer) talking about the origins of the Leviathan myth. When he started talking about a common “meme” across many ancient cultures including those as far away as Japan and Mesoamerica involving a creation battle between a storm god and an ancient sea dragon representing chaos, I half expected him to start talking about “moon meteors” next! The ancient mesopotamian myths even involve a character named Ba’al. Have you seen this one go by yet?:

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t but I’ll check it out, I’m always looking for good sources of mythology information. But yeah, if you listened to Grey King and the Sea Dragon lately, you’ll recognize that Storm God vs. Dragon theme which, yeah, its everywhere. It’s amazing how much George is teaching us through ASOIAF, huh?


      • Lol, I have–that must be why it was on my mind!

        But seriously, no kidding. It’s as if, with fiction, GRRM is able to tell a story about a deeper truth than anthropologists and historians could ever quite tell– a surprisingly realistic view of how big worldbuilding events like climate change and catastrophe could be viewed and even influenced by both whole cultures and the actions of real, beautifully flawed individuals, in real time. Not to mention how the histories of those events change over time and become the mythologies that cultures take with them when individual people move from place to place.

        Great fiction is the truth in technicolor. It’s great to have content creators like you really pick into the details and get at what we can learn from the work!


  13. Hi LmL! Like you, i love ASOIAF and guitars. the hubby and i were interested in your pedals on brimstone, (Me in the O. him in the crossover) how do we order? we’re located in AZ, do we contact one of your CA dealers???? We may just try to make a trip out of it when we hit san bernadino in dec. for Randy Rhoads day.


  14. Thanks so much for these essays and podcasts, they’ve been great reading/listening. Was wondering if you’ve read the Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe and would love to get your thoughts/a breakdown of it 🙂


  15. Pingback: History of Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire | The Amber Compendium of Myth

  16. Pingback: Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire: About LML | The Amber Compendium of Myth

  17. Thank you for your podcasts, they’ve really re-lit my love for the series and helped me see it from a new point of view. Once you go Mythical Astronomy, you never go back!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your work is just stellar (pun intended). Have added you to my Patreon creators, you deserve everyones support for your brilliant endeavours. I find mythology fascinating and it is wonderful to find so much woven into my favourite story. Thanks for all youre doing. June x

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi there,

    love your podcast very much, although I do not have much connection to astromony.
    one nitpick though: concerning the latest podcast, aphrodite is the greek goddess and venus is the roman one. not the other way round. iupiter, mars, venus are all the roman versions.


  20. Hey, I was on this path about mythology and astrology and ran across your efforts. I agree but wanted to have a chance to discuss a few other aspects with you regarding Daenarys. For instance, I don’t know about her following the path of the comet, but she IS traveling in the path of Venus which you have pointed out is the star Lightbringer and that her life events in Essos so far are mirroring astrological events in Venus’s path. You were discussing on a podcast about the Solar god and mythology which is where I caught that Daenarys is with Kahl Drogo in early summer when Venus is in conjunction with the Sun. Lots of mythology explaining how Venus was caught by Apollo or the Assyrians believing it was El and Astarte whose symbol is that seven pointed star in a circle and the flower pattern inside is the path of Venus. You pointed out her Mother moon aspect with the dragons and freeing the slaves. That is when Venus is in line with Jupiter as the Father. She gets a prophesy that she must go east before she goes west and that’s Venus’ path. During the summer she travels east and appears in the night sky as the Evening Star rising before the moon only to turn west at her penultimate easterly direction (Khaleesi dome).. and then she comes into conjunction with the moon before disappearing entering her western phase as the morning star during the fall and winter, heralding winter. There are few others, but myth has it that she is also the goddess of the underworld during this where she rules with a darker lord.

    Maybe you’ve had this discussion somewhere else and I am treading turned turf here, but wanted to touch base as I haven’t found the discussion beyond your essays, podcasts and youtube appearance on Westeros History. Great job here and the podcasts. Glad to know I’m not the only crazy gazing at the stars. I mean, there is that whole astrolobe and the beginning the show that gives it away.


  21. These theories are wild and wonderful!

    I am, however, very confused by the site’s organization. It’s hard to tell when there’s been an update because the first page is always the first “chapter”. Is there a good way (without subscribing to the email list) to see when a new essay has been posted?

    It’s just a little difficult to navigate. Or…. I’m a buffoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, the email notification is the best way to stay up to date. But it’s pretty easy even if you don’t – I simply add new episodes to the table of contents at the bottom, and this ToC is on every page on the site. When chapter 6 comes out, you’ll see it right below Tyrion Targaryen (Ch.5).

      You can also subscribe to the pod on iTunes, and I also post my new episodes here and at Westeros.org.

      Thanks for the interest!


  22. I forgot about Thundarr!! Nice catch.. It reminded me of this past Xmas . I was in the middle of a re-read and saw this :

    Rudolph and Frostys Cmas in July ..
    I thought I was just asoiaf obsessed.
    Am I ? 🔥🔥


  23. I would like to know your thoughts on the significance of Dany’s red door. As much as it is mentioned in her thoughts as a place of comfort and refuge, I’m wondering what you think of it. I have been so impressed With your analysis of GRRM’s prose and eagerly await more of your podcasts.


    • Thanks very much blackeyedlily! You know, your name is a nice little piece of mythical astronomy. The moon is a flower – heliotropium, rose, or lily makes no matter – and the moon ends up with black and bloody eyes (sorry about that) after giving birth to Lightbringer. Those moon meteor children are black rocks which can be symbolized as eyes,
      so there you go. 🙂

      As for the red door, it represents fire transformation, which for the most part is bad but it also can be a cleansing as well – I haven’t figured out exactly how that works. If you listen back to the first podcast (or read the first essay) you see that I talk about the red door in a couple of places, once in her dream about Dragonstone containing a thousand fires and a thousand red doors, and in her wake the dragon dream when she is running towards the red door. She transforms into a dragon right before opening the door – her blood boils and she sprouts wings. That’s the scouring fire of fire transformation. For Dany, a creature who has embraced fire, it can be a comfort and a home base, I suppose.


  24. The essays are great, and yes, thank you very much for putting them in podcast form and for making them available as mp3’s. I like to listen at work and on the road but often don’t have good enough reception for streaming. I look forward to more!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you for recording your essays as podcasts. I am one of those people who find it much easier to listen to a recording them to find the time for reading a long essay. I wanted to comment on your podcasts, which are very professional sounding. The addition of your wife’s reading of the text quotes adds a great deal to the quality sound of what you are doing. You are a great addition to the ASOIAF fandom podcasts that add so much to the fandom’s discussions of this phenomenal series.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I really enjoyed reading about the evolution of your ideas. I have a forgiving schedule this week, so I will be reading your essays. a lot! Oh and I cannot wait for the Stark sisters’ two moons extravaganza!

    Liked by 1 person

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