Hello! Firstly, this is my absolutely favorite ASOIAF themed blog, the amount of great meta and theories is overwhelming! Secondly, I wanted to ask one thing: do you have any theories about city of Yeen? Was it build by some ancient civilisation (or maybe by aliens ;))? What happened to Nymeria's people? What makes the city so evil? And finally: whassup with that greasy stone? I know that it is a mystery to all of us, but I really want to know your thoughts on the subject. Greetings!
- I think that Yeen, and the Isle of Toads, and the Seastone Chair, and Asshai – various creepy places and things constructed of black stone with a greasy, oily, unpleasant feel – were made by the Deep Ones, long ago.
- Per Maester Theron, in his book Strange Stone, the Deep Ones are
a “queer, misshapen race of half men sired by creatures of the salt seas upon human women”. FYI, they’re one of GRRM’s tributes to HP Lovecraft, and you can see more info here. In Lovecraft, the Deep Ones worship a Great Old One, Dagon. (Dagon is also an Ironborn name, because GRRM is not subtle with his references; also the “what is dead may never die” of the Ironborn is a reference to the Great Old One Cthulhu.)
- Note that the Mazemakers of Lorath, an ancient race of giants that lived thousands of years ago, were per legend destroyed by creatures from the sea.
- Because the labyrinth-like foundation of the Hightower is similar to the mazes of Lorath, I think that Maester Theron is incorrect in believing that the black stone Hightower base was made by the Deep Ones.
- I believe the grand structures made of black stone that is described as dry or fused like Valyrian dragonfire construction, but predate the Valyrians by millennia – like the base of the Hightower, and the Five Forts – were made by those defending against the attacks of the Deep Ones.
- These defenders may have had dragons, long before the Valyrians ever did. The Mazemakers were evidently not human, it’s uncertain if those who built the Five Forts or the base of the Hightower (also massively scaled) were either, but it probably doesn’t matter.
- This war in antiquity may have been the same as the first Long Night, but more likely even earlier, a different cycle of history, a different ancient Enemy who came from somewhere else.
But anyway, back to Yeen. Whatever the Deep Ones were, they’re evidently connected to creepy, eldritch, alien things (not sf space aliens, but fantasy other-dimensional aliens), evil from beyond, evil beyond what we can comprehend. The places they made are toxic to life (human, animal, vegetable) – though they may attract cultists and others seeking magical powers and forbidden knowledge, and note the people of the Isle of Toads are fishlike with webbed hands and feet so are probably descended from Deep Ones and thus immune. The greasy black stone the Deep Ones left behind creeps people out because of either the evil vibes it gives off, a collective memory of that ancient war, or both. And the abandoned city of Yeen, made of this oily black stone, avoided by natives, animals, even the plants of the jungle – well, every attempt to resettle it has ended in horror, so, like… don’t go there. Just don’t. It’s a Bad Place. (Not to be confused with Thin Places.)
Regarding Nymeria’s people…