acid fountain

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asoiaf meme: (¼) events ➝ THE DOOM OF VALYRIA

To this day, no one knows what caused the Doom. It was written that every hill for five hundred miles split asunder to fill the air with ash and smoke, and fire so hot and hungry that even the dragons in the sky were engulfed and consumed. Great rents opened in the earth, swallowing palaces, temples, and entire towns. Lakes boiled or turned to acid, mountains burst, fiery fountains spewed molten rock a thousand feet into the air, and red clouds rained down dragonglass and the black blood of demons. To the north, the ground splintered and collapsed and fell in on itself, and an angry sea came boiling in. The proudest city in all the world was gone in an instant, the fabled empire vanished in a day. The Lands of the Long Summer — once the most fertile in all the world — were scorched and drowned and blighted, and the toll in blood would not be fully realized for a century to come.

archangelsky  asked:

Has GRRM (or the books and I wasn't reading well enough) mentioned the cause of the natural disasters that destroyed Valyria? Tyrion's"they reaped what they sowed" doesn't seem like enough of an explanation of what it was that drove Valyria into the state it is now.

From what we know, it appears that the Fourteen Flames (Valyria’s volcanic mountain chain) erupted all at once, including hills that were not even known to be volcanic. Magma and volcanic ash and obsidian and sulfurous liquids rained down, lakes turned to sulfuric acid, an earthquake shattered the peninsula, and the sea rushed in, destroying the city entirely. Among the side-effects was a great tsunami that destroyed the cities of an island some hundreds of miles away.

But what caused this disastrous eruption? Was it the Valyrian magics of blood and fire backfiring? Did something happen with the dragons somehow? Or did they force their slaves to dig too deep, and awakened something they couldn’t control? (Shades of Tolkien there…) Or was it purely natural, just an unpredictable once-in-an-eon massive geological event?

Well, we don’t really know. Valyria and its doom are based on both Rome (for the empire, the roads, etc; Pompeii and the eruption of Vesuvius for the Doom) and Atlantis (the legends of lost knowledge and magics, the mysterious downfall). But those are just the inspiration, and while they can give us clues and references, they’re not really an explanation.

And unfortunately GRRM has refused to comment on the matter. So it is a mystery, and may always be a mystery, maybe we’ll never learn anything more than we got in ADWD. Or perhaps the reason is linked to other events in the world of Ice and Fire, and we will eventually find out the cause of the Doom. (GRRM’s silence does suggest there is a connection to the basic mysteries of the series, and he did say we would learn more about Valyria in future volumes.) But until then, we can only speculate.

But I think that when Tyrion said “An empire built on blood and fire. The Valyrians reaped the seed they had sown”, he meant that as the Valyrians had served blood and fire to the continent, so measure for measure was their empire destroyed in blood and fire. It’s possible it could mean more than that (especially since Daenys Targaryen had prophesied the Doom 12 years before it happened), but at least that’s what I believe was Tyrion’s thoughts on the matter.

Source quotes under the cut, btw:

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anonymous asked:

Do you have any idea what happened to Valyria?

I have a really really out there theory.  Like I would never try to convince people that I’m definitely right (mostly because I myself doubt it,) but I do have a weird theory on the Doom.

What we do know about the Doom is that the Fourteen Flames  (the chain of volcanoes) went off and turned Valyria into an uninhabitable wasteland. There is some measure of irony that the dragonlords were (mostly) burned away.

And admittedly I can’t help but wonder about the mines. We know that the slaves of Old Valyria often perished because they were forced to dig deep in the mines. Well, that makes me think of The Lord of the Rings and how when the dwarves dug too deep, got too greedy, in the Mines of Moria they disturbed Durin’s Bane/the Balrog, which helped bring about their doom (see what I did there?)

Now, that’s probably nothing but GRRM does take some aspects from Tolkien- and he’ll poke fun as well (i.e. Tyrion’s comment on how not to kill a dragon.) And the idea that the dragonlords were greedy and brought about their own demise seems pretty canon to me. 

Could be a freak accident. The Fourteen Flames could have been magically ignited (they did have enemies.) Or, conversely, the dragonlords stopped being able to keep them from exploding.  

But as for my out there theory, basically, I wonder if the Faceless Men had anything to do with it. 

Everything we know of the Doom of Valyria (admittedly not much) seems to indicate it was a natural disaster of some sort involving the Fourteen Flames all going off. I mean it sounds much more similar to Pompeii than it does to anything we’ve seen of the FM:

On the day the Doom came to Valyria, it was said, a wall of water three hundred feet high had descended on the island, drowning hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children, leaving none to tell the tale but some fisherfolk who had been at sea and a handful of Velosi spearmen posted in a stout stone tower on the island’s highest hill, who had seen the hills and valleys beneath them turn into a raging sea. Victarian, ADWD

It was written that on the day of Doom every hill for five hundred miles had split asunder to fill the air with ash and smoke and fire, blazes so hot and hungry that even the dragons in the sky were engulfed and consumed. Great rents had opened in the earth, swallowing palaces, temples, entire towns. Lakes boiled or turned to acid, mountains burst, fiery fountains spewed molten rock a thousand feet into the air, red clouds rained down dragonglass and the black blood of demons, and to the north the ground splintered and collapsed and fell in on itself and an angry sea came rushing in. The proudest city in all the world was gone in an instant, its fabled empire vanished in a day, the Lands of the Long Summer scorched and drowned and blighted.

An empire built on blood and fire. The Valyrians reaped the seed they had sown.  Tyrion, ADWD

Having said that, there are some things worth mentioning.

There is this when the Kindly Man is telling Arya of the origins of the FM:

(on the dragonlord’s slaves) “Didn’t the slaves rise up and fight?”

“Some did,” he said. “Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first Faceless Man was one who did.” 

We know that the FM have their origins in Old Valyria, that they have a grudge against slaves and dragons/dragonlords, that they have a long mysterious future. And then KM continues and says this:

“That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given.”

Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”

“He would bring the gift to them as well… but that is a tale for another day, one best shared with no one.”  

So we find out that the FM (or the original one at least) brought death to the dragonlords of Old Valyria. We also find out that while the KM has no issues sharing the story of the origins of the FM with Arya, he doesn’t trust her to hear that story.

"That is a tale for another day,” if Arya is actually a member of the FM rather than just an acolyte not trusted with secrets??? ”one best shared with no one” a big deal, something top top secret??? Involving the deaths of the dragonlords of the Valyrian Freehold??? The Doom of which brought deaths of most of them and is as of yet unexplained but referenced to multiple times???

I’m not saying anything for certain, there’s certainly not enough to go on and the KM is hardly trustworthy, but I believe the FM definitely know something. They have proven to know a lot in the way of secrets. They are in some ways just as much spymasters/information gatherers as they are assassins. 

Then we know that Jaqen (or Pate or the Alchemist whatever) found a way into the Citadel’s deepest darkest areas for something (that I and some others expect is the The Death of Dragons book that holds many secrets involving dragons, supposedly including how to kill them/why they died out.)

I think the FM may have played a part. Why? We’ve already been told. How? Not sure. What I do know is that there used to be more magic in the world of ASoIaF, the FM know much more than they let on, they have some manner of sorcery, they had motive for sure, they definitely seemed to be anti-dragons now again, and that something had to have happened to cause an entire empire to disappear in a day.

I remember Arya thinks Jaqen is a demon from hell in ACoK because he made Weese’s loyal dog maul/eat him to death. We figure out how later, but with all we know (or more accurately don’t know) of the FM, I noted that remark by the KM and am thinking on theories.

Maybe we’ll finally get the “tale for another day” that’s “best shared with no one”.

Regardless, I do think we’ll find out. It’s been hinted at so much already without any confirmation on what precievely happened.

A Defense of Tyrion’s ADWD Storyline, Part 6: Snarling in the Midst of All

Series so far here

Variation of tension is a vital storytelling principle. You need to pull back on the throttle every now and then, or the Big Moments won’t have as much impact. That’s not to say narrative oases have to be boring or one-note. Good storytellers use breather episodes to let the characters collect themselves and engage in some introspection, determining what’s been important about the journey so far.

Tyrion’s time aboard the Selaesori Qhoran is a classic example. After the orgy of worldbuilding on the Rhoyne and in the Volantene delta, GRRM knows we need some time with just ship and sky and sea, even lampshading the transition via Tyrion’s grouching: 

On the river there had been wonders to behold: giant turtles, ruined cities, stone men, naked septas. One never knew what might be lurking around the next bend. The days and nights at sea were all the same. Leaving Volantis, the cog had sailed within sight of land at first, so Tyrion could gaze at passing headlands, watch clouds of seabirds rise from stony cliffs and crumbling watchtowers, count bare brown islands as they slipped past. He saw many other ships as well: fishing boats, lumbering merchantmen, proud galleys with their oars lashing the waves into white foam. But once they struck out into deeper waters, there was only sea and sky, air and water. The water looked like water. The sky looked like sky. Sometimes there was a cloud. 

Without much big-picture stuff going on, Tyrion’s eighth and ninth ADWD chapters have a laserlike focus on character, and not just Tyrion’s. My focus here will be on the relationships he develops on board the Stinky Steward, and what they may hold for his chapters in TWOW. 

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anonymous asked:

Do you think the volcano under Dragonstone is going to erupt? If it is, could there be any big consequences to it other than Stannis losing his home? I think it's possible it may produce lots of obsidian which is important for obvious reasons.

Good question, Anon. I’ll give my favorite answer: maybe.

Truthfully, I actually like the idea. Dragonstone has a lot of symbolic and thematic meaning for a bunch of characters in the series, especially Daenerys. Dragonstone was the last and farthest outpost of Valyria, the place of refuge for the Targaryens from the oncoming Doom. It saw both the birth and death of the Targaryen dynasty - Aegon sailed from the island to conquer Westeros, and Viserys and Daenerys (born on Dragonstone) sailed from it to flee. Something big is going to happen on Dragonstone, I think, and to understand what, I think we need to look at the Doom.

We know that Dragonstone is connected to what Yandel calls “the furnaces of the world”, and that the volcanic range known as the Fourteen Flames was as well:

Hot springs such as the one beneath Winterfell have been shown to be heated by the furnaces of the world—the same fires that made the Fourteen Flames or the smoking mountain of Dragonstone. (”The North: Winterfell”, The World of Ice and Fire)

What happened at the Doom? A massive volcanic eruption of all of them. That’s not unprecedented - cataclysmic eruptions of volcanoes can and have in our own world smothered cities. What’s curious, though, is that there is almost certainly magic involved as well:

A handful of maesters, influenced by fragments of the work of Septon Barth, hold that Valyria had used spells to tame the Fourteen Flames for thousands of years, that their ceaseless hunger for slaves and wealth was as much to sustain these spells as to expand their power, and that when at last those spells faltered, the cataclysm became inevitable. (”The Doom of Valyria”, The World of Ice and Fire)

Some, wedding the fanciful notion of Valyrian magic to the reality of the ambitious great houses of Valyria, have argued that it was the constant whirl of conflict and deception amongst the great houses that might have led to the assassinations of too many of the reputed mages who renewed and maintained the rituals that banked the fires of the Fourteen Flames. (”The Doom of Valyria”, The World of Ice and Fire)

Ambitious great houses, conflict and deception, increased magic (caused by the birth of Daenerys’ dragons, seen in the burning of the glass candles, etc.) - doesn’t that sound like a situation we’re familiar with. Plus, we have the venerable Septon Barth in there as well, for added evidence. As far as I can tell, no mages are controlling the volcano under Dragonstone. If magic gets too strong around the island, I can absolutely see it erupting.

What you mention about obsidian is also interesting if you compare the Doom of Valyria to an eruption on Dragonstone. Take a look at what Maester Yandel writes happened during the Doom:

Lakes boiled or turned to acid, mountains burst, fiery fountains spewed molten rock a thousand feet into the air, and red clouds rained down dragonglass and the black blood of demons. (”The Doom of Valyria”, The World of Ice and Fire)

What the hell “the black blood of demons” is, I don’t know. But obisidian is going to be crucial for the upcoming battle against the Others.

As a final aside, you may want to check out this old theory, about the Faceless Men’s possible plan for Dragonstone, by /u/shopeIV.

The Queen Regent (Nfriel)