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Topic: The meaning behind "Ice" & "Fire" and its implications.

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Braavosi Water Dancer
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The meaning behind "Ice" & "Fire" and its implications.
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In a recent interview, GRRM said the following:

"Fire is love, fire is passion, fire is sexual ardor and all of these things. Ice is betrayal, ice is revenge, ice is… you know, that kind of cold inhumanity and all that stuff is being played out in the books."

Which is very interesting answer, because even though passion, love and desire are things we immediately associate with fire... Betrayal and revenge are not the first things that come to mind... Not even when thinking about a cold person.

Thoughts?



-- Edited by Tir Airgid on Wednesday 10th of October 2012 04:40:17 PM

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High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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On that note, the couple of in universe references to ASOIAF, what is the relevance to that? Interesting to think that at the end of it all, it truly still boils down to a battle of good and evil.

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Mistress of the Rookery
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Well, revenge can involve fiery and ardent instincts at first but to carry it all out, cold blood is needed. I think that for betrayal, the coldness of heart and mind must be like raw material or food.
And here I thought that the white walkers would end up being the good ones.
I truly hope that this wont be the final resolution.



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Priestess of R'hllor
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*puts on glasses, clears throat*

I'm really interested in this subject ever since I discovered the Heresy threads at westeros. There are many readers there that challenge the supposition that The Others are purely evil and set on destruction, and since GRRM mentioned time and again he wants to stay clear of white and black shades, I tend to think there must be something more to the Others and the Children that has probably been pushed back for TWoW. I remember GRRM saying we will learn more about the relationship between them, and that we will visit The Land of Always Winter in the last two books.

Now, my take on that interview. The Ice can only refer to the Others, or the Starks. Or both, if you think there might be a connection between the old Kings of Winter and the Others, which I do. I think his choice of words is very interesting. Say he was referring to the Others - why betrayal or revenge? Revenge implies they have been wronged somehow. Betrayal is more vague, were they betrayed or did they do the betrayal? I can't make sense of the latter, in this case. But I think this is important to note - the Others are not dead abominations, they're sort of alien like. There's this quote from the wiki:


in an email to the comic-book artist Tommy Patterson GRRM recently wrote: 'The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.'

But if the "ice" in GRRM's interview refers to the Starks, that only consolidates my opinion that some of the Starks (I'm eyeing Jon or Bran here) are going in a more sinister direction than initially expected. That may be more obvious for Bran, but honestly I have more hope for Bran than I do for Jon. I've already said this on another thread, so I'm not going through all that argumentation again, I'll only say that I believe Jon is being set up as a sort of Anakin figure. Because of R+L=J we tend to see him as an embodiment of both Ice and Fire. From this point, it would only be too obvious that he should "bring balance to the Force". (God, I can't believe I'm quoting SW, I'm not even that huge of a a fan). But I don't think that when he wakes up, he will be the same. Oddly enough, when I read betrayal and revenge, I instantly thought of him.wight

However, coming back to the Others, I think we should think about something else as well. If you're a fantasy reader think Tolkien, if you're a gamer think Dragon Age, Mass Effect or others. Think of the Bible, if you will. Corruption is an omnipresent theme when it comes to the genesis of "evil". Usually you have an evolved race that tackles with unknown forces and end up corrupted by their power. Or a powerful figure - of which you'd expect protection, who instead turns out to be the enemy. Think again Tolkien and Melkor's transformation to Morgoth, and him breeding the orcs for the first time. (wiki: Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turned to darkness and became Morgoth, the definitive antagonist of Arda from whom all evil in the world of Middle-earth ultimately stems.)  What I wanted to say is - the Others come from somewhere, and were created by someone (the Children?). They also have a leader, a force that's driving them. Why the pauses in between their invasions? Or if not, they *will* have a leader before attacking in force, one that we might have met before. There aren't many candidates for that: Bloodraven, Bran, Jon, Benjen (unlikely). Except Bloodraven, these are all Starks.

Back to Fire and Ice, evil and good. I think GRRM has done his best not to create pure black and white so far. Fire Team has done some despicable things, and we may learn things about how the Others came to be that might change our view on them. But you obviously have to have two combatant forces, and it happens that Fire Team seems to at least have humanity's goals in mind. However on an ethical level, we may yet understand what drives the Others and maybe then things won't seem so black and white then. 

BAM!



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Knight
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Nice post Macha. If the Others are similar to the sidhe, they would be elemental beings, connecting them directly with the land its self. Bearing in mind that before the first men came to Westeros, the Children lived a lifestyle in harmoney with the elements. The Others come when the world needs cleansed, but the Children are protected by the old gods, and so are able to reclaim their land and replant the weirwood groves.

The Starks are somehow involved or had knowledge of this cleansing process. The Stark words are a prophecy that will always come true in the end.

All things "North", have a distinct old North European pagan flavour to them. And various Celtic belief systems of the time were pro Earth. So to sum up, when the Ice Elves do their bidding, the Faries (Children of the Forest) put the world back in harmoney.spiderkill



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Goddess of Tits and Wine
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OOOoo I like that !

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High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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BEar in mind TF that the Others came before the Andals had landed and killed both first men and Children of the FOrest.

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Priestess of R'hllor
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Two Feathers wrote:

If the Others are similar to the sidhe, they would be elemental beings, connecting them directly with the land its self. Bearing in mind that before the first men came to Westeros, the Children lived a lifestyle in harmoney with the elements. 

 So to sum up, when the Ice Elves do their bidding, the Faries (Children of the Forest) put the world back in harmoney.


 I selected these because this adds nicely to something I've been meaning to write in my previous post.

I don't know that much of Celtic mythology - this might be more your area of expertise TF -  but I'm going back to Tolkien and thinking the Children are very similar to the elves - beautiful creatures, living in harmony with the land and wielding powerful magic, blessed with long lives but now on the verge of extinction. How and when did the Others appear? Interesting how the Children don't use metal weapons but obsidian - the very same thing that for now seems the only efficient way of killing the Others. Going by this connection, I'd say it's possible that the Others were in some way created or awakened by the Children. But the First Men have to have a say in this somehow. I'm willing to bet anything that blood sacrifice plays a major role in creating or maintaining the weirwoods (see Crackpot thread) and remember Craster and his 'offerings'? I can't find the exact quote now but when Sam and Gilly flee from Craster's Keep the other women urge them to go because Craster's sons are coming. The babies that he offered can't be wights, it doesn't make any sense. wight  They can only be Others. 

Like I said in another thread, Craster doesn't seem to be marrying his daughters because he's a sick perv and he gets off on it. Well, maybe that too but he also seems to be a pious man (a fanatic even) in his own twisted way, it's like that's his mission, preserving an old tradition - not the wives part, the part about offering his children. Remember Mormont's words? The wildlings serve crueler gods than you and I.  Maybe that's just a figure of speech, but when you tie it to everything else...

PS: I think GRRM said we won't see any god's intervention in ASOIAF. But Theon's chapters in ADwD come to mind - he's thinking he can hear the Old Gods whispering his name through the weirwood, but now we know it was Bran doing that. That goes to say a lot about the power of greenseers. 



-- Edited by Macha on Thursday 11th of October 2012 05:35:24 AM

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High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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Macha wrote:

 

I don't know that much of Celtic mythology - this might be more your area of expertise TF -  but I'm going back to Tolkien and thinking the Children are very similar to the elves - beautiful creatures, living in harmony with the land and wielding powerful magic, blessed with long lives but now on the verge of extinction. How and when did the Others appear? Interesting how the Children don't use metal weapons but obsidian - the very same thing that for now seems the only efficient way of killing the Others. Going by this connection, I'd say it's possible that the Others were in some way created or awakened by the Children. But the First Men have to have a say in this somehow. 

-- Edited by Macha on Thursday 11th of October 2012 05:35:24 AM


 Speaking of Tolkien and what you said right here makes me wonder if perhpas the Others aren't like Orcs in this aspect in that mayhaps they have been created as a mockery of the Children. 



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Lady Of The Blue Winter Rose
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Two Feathers wrote:

Nice post Macha. If the Others are similar to the sidhe, they would be elemental beings, connecting them directly with the land its self. Bearing in mind that before the first men came to Westeros, the Children lived a lifestyle in harmoney with the elements. The Others come when the world needs cleansed, but the Children are protected by the old gods, and so are able to reclaim their land and replant the weirwood groves.

The Starks are somehow involved or had knowledge of this cleansing process. The Stark words are a prophecy that will always come true in the end.

All things "North", have a distinct old North European pagan flavour to them. And various Celtic belief systems of the time were pro Earth. So to sum up, when the Ice Elves do their bidding, the Faries (Children of the Forest) put the world back in harmoney.


 Wow, what you said, Feathers.  You made it sound so simple. smile Thanks!



-- Edited by Lyanna Stark on Thursday 11th of October 2012 10:01:35 AM

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Priestess of R'hllor
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@Aegon - a mockery...or a weapon that turned against them? Or perhaps the Others existed all along and something the Children/First men did provoked these "purges" as TF named them.

What's interested about the Others is that they seem to be encapsulated in a barrier, see Bran's dream in AGoT.

Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him ... North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned his cheeks.

And again here:

Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid. 

This points either to the fact that other dreamers have tried seeing the Others and failed, or to what Tir brought up in the Crackpot thread - that dreamers - like Jojen for example - are being sacrificed. 



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Grand Maesterbator
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RE: The meaning behind
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Dreamer by Supertramp is one of my favorite songs. I like that Macha. I didnt pick up on the whole curtain thing or the fact that Jojen may be a sacrificial lamb. How the fuck is GRRM going to tie this all in with only two more books?

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High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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RE: The meaning behind "Ice" & "Fire" and its implications.
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Rygar he said something like he might sit with 1500 pages and no end in sight and just keep writing. Which scares the pants off of me! Please finish the series.
Anyway Macha I always read the curtain as the wall, Bran looking at what's behind the Wall and that scares him.

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Grand Maesterbator
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RE: The meaning behind
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My theory is that Bran is a perv and likes looking through Meeras curtain when shes changing out of her leathers.

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Priestess of R'hllor
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RE: The meaning behind "Ice" & "Fire" and its implications.
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Aegon the Conqueror wrote:

Anyway Macha I always read the curtain as the wall, Bran looking at what's behind the Wall and that scares him.


 I don't think the curtain of light represents the Wall, because of the way it's positioned in the text. Bran already mentions the Wall earlier. "North and north and north he looked", until he reaches "the end of the world". The Wall is not really that, but the Lands of always winter could be considered the edge of the world, since it's an unexplored region. Plus, he's looking "deep into the heart of winter" and that's what makes him cry. It has to be a center of power for the Others. If he's simply lookind beyond the Wall what could possibly scare him so? Mance's host? One or two Others that peek behind the bushes? That doesn't make sense. 



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Grand Maesterbator
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Yep perv

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High King and Conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms
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Always assumed he saw a host of Others gathering beneath the ice since that's where they sleep. Does anyone think D@D might regret knowing where ASOIAF is headed? Sort of like having the RW spoiled before reading it?

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Braavosi Water Dancer
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That whole healing of the land theory ties in well with this, by none other than Jojen:

If ice can burn then love and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one.

I believe Bran says something very interesting right before that would be relevant for this discussion, but can't find it and don't remember where I read it.



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“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.”

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Priestess of R'hllor
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Tir Airgid wrote:

I believe Bran says something very interesting right before that would be relevant for this discussion, but can't find it and don't remember where I read it.


 “Up and down," Meera would sigh sometimes as they walked, "then down and up. Then up and down again. I hate these stupid mountains of yours, Prince Bran." "Yesterday you said you loved them." "Oh, I do. My lord father told me about mountains, but I never saw one till now. I love them more than I can say." Bran made a face at her. "But you just said you hated them." "Why can't it be both?" Meera reached up to pinch his nose. "Because they're different," he insisted. "Like night and day, or ice and fire." "If ice can burn," said Jojen in his solemn voice, "then love and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one."



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Knight
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a SONG of Ice and Fire is very neutral, almost poetic. There is no good or bad implied in the phrase. It seems to be more something more akin to yin and yang, a kind of balancing. I get the image of ice and fire running into each other or over each other, the ice cooling the fire, the fire melting ice kind of thing. The story illustrates this. Sure, there is conflict, but no black and white, for sure.

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Ice is penis and fire is vagina.

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sid
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ice is horse and fire is horse

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Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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Ice is meth and heroin speedballs and fire is pure grain alcohol laced with PCP.

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Ice ice baby and fire fire on the mountain

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Knight
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Fire and Ice

BY ROBERT FROST

 

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.



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Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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The Kindly Man wrote:

Fire and Ice

BY ROBERT FROST

 

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.


 I love you, KM. 



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Knight
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The Kindly Man wrote:

Fire and Ice

BY ROBERT FROST

 

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.


Sums up the character of Jon Snow quite nicely, I would say. 



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