The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors (ADWD SPOILERS)

C Of K

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...Melisandre is famous for this prayer, and has been for several books, but I never gave it attention until ADWD. This book featured the greatest degree of conflict between all the different gods of the series. In fact, it was a Bran chapter that started me thinking about this whole situation.

There he sat, listening to the hoarse whispers of his teacher. “Never fear the darkness, Bran.” The lord’s words were accompanied by a faint rustling of wood and leaf, a slight twisting of his head. “The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong.”
The content of that passage is in direct conflict with Melisandre's prayer. According to Moqorro, there are only two gods, R'hllor, and the Nameless Other. All the other gods are just his demon thralls. The above quote, the fact that Coldhands is dead, and that the Others haven't destroyed all the weirwoods beyond the wall, has led me to suspect that Bran may have fallen for a huge and terrible deception.

So my questions: Is the greenseer, Brynden, a servant of the Great Other? Or mayhaps R'hllor is the evil god? Or do none of these gods exist at all, manifesting only through the faith of misguided commoners, lords, priests and sorcerers? Mayhaps there is an entirely different explanation for all these gods. What do all of you think?
 

Koopa

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Well i figured neither where evil. Ice and Fire are opposites, and therefore can be considered each other enemies. The war is probably about the two opponents fighting against each other, when in truth a balance between the two is needed.

Too much ice is no good, and too much fire is no good either.

That is why i'm roothing for Jon still being alive even after getting stabbed like that and that he is the son of Rheagar and Lyanna. (I keep on pondering wether it is a good or a bad thing his Direwolf is named Ghost, and what the possible connections to Jon's maybe possible future could be)

The targaryen words : Blood And Fire
The Stark words: Winter is coming
--> Opposites. United in Jon.
The dude that will bring balance to the Force. or something like that.

Speaking of which, in that way it is also interesting that Brynden Rivers is Bran's teacher, since in his blood also runs Targaryen blood in combination with presumably the Blood of the first men ( since the Blackwood kept to the old gods;had a dead Weirwood tree in their yard and are therefore presumably in part descendants of the first men as well). Though offcourse the Blackwoods don't have the same connection to the First men, let alone to the north (and thus to winter, ice and cold)
 
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Needle

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CoK, I am still trying to work out my thoughts on this but I will say one thing,

I don't trust this Rhallor one tiny bit! Any God who's followers regularly practice human sacrifice (by FIRE no less!) is not the good guy!

I know many of the Gods in ASoIaF are given human sacrifice but not at Rhallor's level. I say he up to no good!
 

C Of K

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I always thought of there being some kind of balance between the ice and fire. I thought of Jon as ice, and Dany as fire. Or maybe Lyanna Stark was ice, and Rhaegar fire.

But I'm not certain. After reading ADWD I only have more and more questions.The specifics of the actual song of ice and fire would be interresting. All we really do know is that the song is probably about TPTWP. That being the case, we can't be too certain of what is signified by "ice" and "fire". It may not be people at all. It could have much more to do with the gods than we believe.

"Your Drowned God is a demon," the black priest Moqorro said afterward. "He is no more than a thrall of the Other, the dark god whose name must not be spoken."
Right now it's not such a long shot to consider the possibility that the other Others might be subordinate to this deity that Moqorro was referring to. If he is the "ice" in the song...well, then evil is as evil does.

But you, Kiwi, and Needle both bring up good points. I don't trust R'hllor either, and too much fire might be a terrible thing. It's just that after getting a glimpse into Melisandre's head, I think I'm just more willing to trust her than I am willing to trust the greenseer.That, and the fact that Moqorro seemed like such a nice guy.

sheesh. If I was a character in this story, I think my willingness to trust would get me killed on the first page.
 

Koopa

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Rhollor uses lifeforce to fuel himself.
The Other re-animates corpses.
....
Maybe we should make a list about what we know of the two gods.
The good and the bad. Determine wether the Old gods are part of the other, the greenseer is half a weirwood now. Or wether they are separate deities.
Determine what other gods are thralls, .... of the two ... or wether moqorro is full of ... and he is just bringing other gods into the dominion of the two. There are also the faceless men view on the gods... it's all pretty confusing just like this post.

Yesterday i wrote that i believed neither where evil, at the same time you could say both are evil, so let's just say theyre forces capable of good an evil ^^
 

Mesanna

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I love the speculation about the gods and the whole Ice v Fire thing.

I cannot believe R'hllor is a good guy either. Anyone who demands sacrifices by fire is evil, and anyone who can willingly condone this is also evil (in my opinion). Mel believes herself to be striving for the 'good' or 'light' side, yet how does this square with these sacrifices, not to mention birthing shadow killers to take out people in your way.

The Others, if they are in fact gods, don't seem like good guys either. They create the wights, and yet the Red God creates his own zombies with Beric Dondarrion and UnCat. Cold Hands is probably the 'Ice' equivalent of these two, in that he's far more sentient than the average wight seems. (On a side note, how did Cold Hands end up with a brain, and the average wight is a mindless killer?) Can the Red Priests produce fire-y equivalents of the wights? (i.e. mindless killing hot bodies!)

And where does the Faceless Men's Many Faced God fit into this? Is this god actually R'hllor, or another god altogether? The Seven are generally reckoned to actually be one god manifesting in different ways, right? So this is probably the same as the Many Faced God, yet different to the Old Gods (the trees?) Is Bran going to become a god?

Maybe there aren't actually any gods at all, just people's belief systems, together with a magical power of some sort that can be tapped into by those in the know.

CoK, I must admit I *love* the idea that Bran has unwittingly allied himself with the bad guys, but I'm not convinced. I believe these people are the remnants of the Children of the Forest, and I just don't think they're evil. To get all philosophical, I suppose what is evil depends entirely on where you're standing. If you're an Other and some humans are trying to eradicate you from existence, you're entitled to attack to save yourself. The Red Priests seem to truly believe that they're the good guys, yet the evidence (to my mind) points in the opposite direction.

Sorry for my rambling, I'm really just thinking out loud here. I don't have any real answers, but I love theorizing!
 

Needle

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Kiwi has a great idea to try and list what we know about the Gods. Little enough I'm sure, but we should work on it anyway.

Just a few ideas on death and resurrection. It seems as if the Many Faced God is death, not directly, just that all things (people) die. Everyone comes to him in the end.

This may be wild speculation but here's a thought: there is a quote somewhere about the weirwoods that, the acorn dreams the tree and stump lives within them both. What if the weirwood Gods simply see time so differently that keeping people alive (the wights) is to them not inherently evil, simply life. After all the stump is technically dead yet it sees.
 

C Of K

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Can the Red Priests produce fire-y equivalents of the wights? (i.e. mindless killing hot bodies!)

Haha. Mindless killing hot bodies is too funny, but this just brings up another question. Are the wights mindless? One did appear to make a calculated attempt on Lord Commander Mormont's life, but most of the time they just seem to act on some seemingly mindless instinct to kill.

I think cataloging everything we know about the Gods of ASoIaF is a great idea. For one thing, it isn't likely to be a long list of facts, but it might help us come up with some answers.

Sorry for my rambling, I'm really just thinking out loud here. I don't have any real answers, but I love theorizing!
keep it up, that's exactly what this thread is for.


1. R'hllor seems to favor fiery sacrifice, things of light, prophecy and visions of the future, gory healing techniques, and gorier resurrections.

2. The Drowned God favors watery sacrifice, and reviving newly baptized/drowned followers.

3.The Old Gods of the north have eyes all over the seven kingdoms and beyond. They can speak to certain people through dreams, and perhaps raise intelligent servants from the dead.

4.The seven that are one are strangely silent throughout the series. They are perhaps the most prominent religion in Westeros, and an army of men has gathered to support them.

5.The Many Faced God originated in Valyria and represents the many faces of the God of Death, encompassing the gods of every religion including the Stranger.

There is more, it would be cool if others could add to this, and help correct anything I may have gotten wrong.
 

Needle

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2. The Drowned God favors watery sacrifice, and reviving newly baptized/drowned followers.

Is it the Storm God who opposes the Drowned God. He who was said to be responsible for the death of Balon Greyjoy.

3.The Old Gods of the north have eyes all over the seven kingdoms and beyond. They can speak to certain people through dreams, and perhaps raise intelligent servants from the dead.

They are very few, but greenseers such as Bran can be considered their priests or disciples.

4.The seven that are one are strangely silent throughout the series. They are perhaps the most prominent religion in Westeros, and an army of men has gathered to support them.

Nothing to add here, just that they do seem to have the largest number of followers, and all of their prayers are being ignored!
 

bedlamite

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Nice points raised with this; here's my 2p:

Bran is now situated underground, so whether it's 'day' or 'night' doesn't specifically matter. Admittedly it's dark, but it's kind of aside from both concepts, isn't it? The visions he's experienced so far are also removed from the conventional passing of time; people have been at Godswoods and experienced a 'moment', corresponding to his viewing them, which physically takes place in the future. So, if he's able to occupy a place outside of time, it might follow that his position now is outside of the influence of gods of day/light or night/dark.

Stopping now before the concept of time being twisty causes a nosebleed.
 

woodsman

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Great stuff!

A coupla thoughts.

Didn't Thoros say he'd known the ressurection rites for some time but they'd never worked before Beric? I thought they had power because there were dragons in the world again. Which would make R'hllor either really weak or something... either way, he's connected to the dragons.

My other thougt, countering the above; is that something happened to allow magic back into the world hence the others and the dragons turning up - creatures of Ice and Fire possibly balancing each other. Question is, what? Have two gods been sleeping all this time - what woke them?

I think the seven are sitting this one out!:confused:
 

TPA

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Please allow me to share my theory about the werewoods.

I suspect that they share some sort of collective consciousness. A rare greenseer that comes along from time to time is able to tap into the collective by attaching himself to the roots of one like the three eyed crow. Perhaps the faces on the trees are some type of manifestation of the integration of human and tree. The union allows the green seer to utilize the faces in trees to see, hear, and communicate with anyone nearby one of the trees. This concept was mentioned on one of the earlier books.

I believe Brans destiny lies among the roots of a werewood.
 

JagLover

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I think it is hinted at in the books that there are not many different kinds of gods.

The seven for example are an organised religion, but have given no sign of their power and similarly with the drowned god of the Ironmen.

There are however two gods, or forces, in this world that are incredibly strong Fire and Ice. The power to see the future, to heal, to curse and have that curse be realised, to reanimate the dead, to create such creatures as Dragons.

Fire is not good or evil, but a force. We cannot survive without it yet it can burn and destroy. Hence why the priests of the firegod can be so terrible, as can dragons, but the alternative is worse.
 

Needle

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I believe Brans destiny lies among the roots of a werewood.
I truly hope this does not happen. My hope is that Bran is strong enough to not need to be in physical contact with the wierwoods. He is also able to warg which adds hope for this. With the talk of bittersweet endings, i don't know but Bran deserves so much better.
 

TPA

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OK, then maybe you'll like my alternate, but I think less likely, theory.

Hodor is a simple minded person, but huge and strong...Bran always dreamed of being a great knight...he is a warg...

Do the math. He's done it more than once already.

Brandor the Strong :rolleyes: :)
 

Syphon of Oor-Tael

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I'm thinking...do the gods have to be exclusive? I.E. If the Seven are real, then by definition R'hllor and his enemy cannot be?
 

Koopa

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Obviously not, since Rhollor thinks of the other as his adversary. Moqorry also claims the drowned god is a thrall of the other. In doing so, other gods are basicaly recognised to be existing alongside .

The Seven has ever seemed such a weak faith to me. Perhaps it's power lies in creating followers (7 faces --> easy to aspire/worship 1 of them whom you feel a connection to). Whom then in the name of faith can do anything. Either as warrior, a stranger, but also as a mother, maiden .... With the power of its followers being wielded by the high septon. Very dangerous stuff indeed, very much like a double-edged sword. One need only to look at the catholic church to know this to be true. Catholic church through his actions has done a lot of good (creating churches, hospitals, ... )but when it's power is wielded badly done a lot of bad as well. If you add their victim toll throughout the centuries (witchhunt, crusades, ...) you get one of the most lethal organisations in extistance.
 

Mesanna

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My money's on Bran ending up as a tree person, but able to warg into animals whenever he pleases, so he still feels connected to the world that way.
 

Needle

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OK, then maybe you'll like my alternate, but I think less likely, theory.

Hodor is a simple minded person, but huge and strong...Bran always dreamed of being a great knight...he is a warg...

Do the math. He's done it more than once already.

Brandor the Strong :rolleyes: :)
TPA, I admit it's unlikely as a permanent solution, but I like it much better! Brandor The Strong! :D
Obviously not, since Rhollor thinks of the other as his adversary. Moqorry also claims the drowned god is a thrall of the other. In doing so, other gods are basicaly recognised to be existing alongside .
Kiwi, I think you got it here. Just like our own religions, however different they are, all basically believe in good and evil, two opposing forces, they just split them up differently.
My money's on Bran ending up as a tree person, but able to warg into animals whenever he pleases, so he still feels connected to the world that way.
Mesanna, you may well be right (honestly it feels like the most likely outcome) but I don't want to believe it.:(
 

Mesanna

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I must admit I don't feel comfortable with the idea of Bran "taking over" Hodor. Yeah Hodor may only be a simpleton, but he's still a person. He seems to experience emotions and we've seen him happy, sad and afraid. It's one thing for Bran to merge with Hodor for a little while (say, to do some action for the benefit of them both), but it's another to take over permanently and basically stamp out Hodor's personality, such as it is. That's a violation and I hope it doesn't happen.
 

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