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.
I’ve mentioned this theory in passing many many times, and now it gets a proper (dare I say ‘definitive’) write-up; this is my best presentation of the evidence that the white walkers come from the weirwoods than I can make. Bonus cameo by the green men 🙂
Who are the green men? Why should anyone care (meaning what do they have to do with the main story)? What does this have to do with the origins of the greenseers and the weirwoods? What secrets does the Isle of Faces hold? Get ready to have you mind blown by the clever folkloric connections between Garth, the weirwoods, and the greenseers. This is some of George’s finest world-building and re-purposing of real world myth anywhere in the series.
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…
Astral Projection! Weirwoods! Dunk and Egg! Sleipnir and Yggdrasil! It’s all here in Weirwood Compendium 9!
✧ White Walkers of the Weirwoods
✧ 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
✧ Night’s King Crowseye
✧ Born to Burn the Others
✧ Lord Snow
✧ Promised to the Others
✧ 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
We Should Start Back
✧ AGOT Prologue
✧ LmL on Facebook ✧