manmade structure

Clothing Thief (TadashixReader)

I found an adorable picture of Tadashi smirking and it melted my heart and brought on this gem~


You tossed another paper wad toward the trashcan. It bounced just off the edge, making you groan.

“You are picking those up when you’re done, (Y/N).”

“Yes, dear,” you sullenly replied. Tadashi shook his head at you, giving you a small smirk.

“Don’t you have a project to work on?”

“I am working on a project,” you replied and took another shot at his trashcan, this time making it.

“Shooting paper wads from the couch across the room to the trashcan is not a project,” he clarified as he bent back over his desk, skimming some blueprints. You watched his form bend and smiled. You wadded up another piece of paper and shot it at his backside. He felt the paper hit him and stood up and glared at you over his shoulder. “Are you sure you don’t have some big massive film project to be working on?”

“Positive. I finished it yesterday,” you said before sticking your tongue out at your boyfriend. He shook his head and walked over to you. He took the stack of papers from you and you whimpered in reply.

“Sorry sweetheart, but you’re being a distraction,” he said as he went back to his blueprints. There must be more entertainment in here somewhere. You looked around the area near your seat on the couch. There was a stack of books on one of the tables next to the couch. You noticed that the books were all about robotics, something that didn’t interest you since you were a film major. You drummed your fingers on the cushion before making a decision.

You grabbed all of the books and slid down onto the floor with a quiet ‘plop’. You began to build a small structure out of the books sitting near you, almost like you would build a card house. You smiled in satisfaction when you were done and went to grab your phone to take a picture. You frowned when you realized you’d left your phone on the couch. In the process of sliding yourself across the floor to get it (walking was for energized people), you managed to knock over your manmade structure. Tadashi turned around with his hands on his hips. You cocked your head to the side. Huh. He looks kinda cute when he’s upset.

“(Y/N). On what condition did I say you could be in here?”

“I could be in here if I wasn’t a distraction,” you huffed out.

“Right. And right now darling, you’re being a distraction.”

“But Tadashi!” you cried out. “I’m bored!”

“Then go for a walk,” Tadashi suggested, eyes now on his computer.

“But you’re in here,” you said with a pout. “Can you blame a girlfriend for wanting to spend time with her boyfriend?” Tadashi placed his face in his hands. He stood from the computer and helped you to your feet. You raised an eyebrow. “Tadashi?” He smashed his lips onto yours and pulled your body against his. He swallowed down the squeak of surprise you’d made. It was a particularly messy kiss, especially coming from Tadashi. He was typically very slow and gentle about things. When he pulled his lips from yours you gasped, in need of oxygen.

“I love you,” he said with a smile.

“I love you, too.”

“Now please, I’m begging you; either be quiet or go outside.”

“Okay,” you groaned. He let go of you and you plopped back down on the couch. Your eyes drifted to a sheet of paper that had been lodged between the couch cushions. Further inspection showed that the white piece of paper was indeed blank. You grinned and crumpled it up. You looked at Tadashi for a minute, contemplating throwing the paper wad. Well, he deserves something for trying to suffocate me.

You threw the paper wad and it sailed through the air, hitting Tadashi in the arm. He suddenly shot up from his chair, ripped his hat off, and slammed it on the desk.

“That’s it!” he yelled. “I’m finding you a puzzle book!” Tadashi stormed out of his lab and down the hall. You couldn’t help but laugh. Tadashi wasn’t really mad at you, and you knew he loved you. Still, you couldn’t help but egg him on every once and a while. He was cute when he was angry.

You caught notice of his hat sitting on the desk and thought how you’d never actually tried it on. Grabbing your phone, you made your way over to his desk and sat in his desk chair, plopping the hat on your head and spinning a few times. You stopped to look at your reflection in the massive glass window opposite the entrance to the lab.

“Not bad, (Y/N), not bad,” you said to yourself. You pulled out your phone and opened the camera app. You decided to take a selfie or two in your boyfriend’s beloved possession. The hat was a little big on you, and if you bumped it, it would fall over your eyes. You laughed when you saw the picture of the hat on backwards on your head.

You decided to take one more smiling picture of you before Tadashi came back with some entertainment. You held up your phone to take the picture, but noticed it was out of focus.

“Stupid phone,” you muttered before tapping the screen to refocus it. You smiled and took one last picture. You looked at the other elements in the camera and noticed there was something different in the camera now. There was a new colored object in the background. You squinted your eyes and suddenly shrieked, spinning in the chair to come face to face with your smirking boyfriend. His arms were crossed across his chest, a puzzle book in one hand. You’d been caught red-handed. “Tadashi! I, uh, I…” His smirk didn’t fade as you tried to explain, if anything it only grew. You ripped the hat from your head and put it back on the desk, standing from your seated position. “It was for my film project…?” Tadashi threw his head back in laughter.

“You mean the project that you finished yesterday?”

“Uh…” Tadashi’s rich laughter echoed in the room again. He set the puzzle book down before picking up the hat and setting it back on your head.

“It looks cute on you,” he confessed before tucking a piece of hair behind your ear and kissing your cheek. You felt the heat hit your cheeks.

“Thanks,” you squeaked out.

“You’re adorable,” Tadashi said with a grin before dropping a kiss to your lips, “and you’re all mine.”

Mandalorian color theory in art - Pt. 3 - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) and the Portrait of Ursa Wren

In Part 3 of this series, I will be focusing on the portrait of Ursa Wren, inspired by Gustav Klimt’s first portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer. As with the previous post, I’ll be referring to two posts from @izzyovercoffee​​ when referring to Mandalorian color theory. They can be found here [post 1] and here [post 2]. You can also find more posts about in-universe Star Wars art history in my tag [here].

If you have not caught up on Star Wars Rebels (as of s4e8) then this post may contain spoilers.

Anyway, I was fortunate to find the concept art version (?) version (I’m not sure what the actual name is) of the Ursa Wren portrait. Here, there are four most prominent colors: Blue/green/teal, gold, the color of Ursa’s skin, and black. Her skin tone falls between the primary colors of yellow and red, with more yellow undertones and red to highlight her lips. As with the piece Ursa’s portrait is inspired by, namely Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, Ursa’s actual figure is largely vague in shape, the only parts of her that the audience can really see are her forearms, and the body that lays above the clavicle.

The portrait of Bauer is the highlight of Klimt’s golden phase. It’s reminicent of religious inconography, in that gold leaf is used to create halos and highlights. Gold is precious, and though it’s more common to see gold jewelry now, its preciousness is associated with rareness and holiness. If we look at the portrait of Bauer, we will notice that even Bauer has a halo of sorts wreathing her head: It’s made of spirals, of different colors, than the rest of her form. It’s suggested that in this portrait, Klimt “remove[s] Adele Bloch-Bauer from the earthly plane, transform[s] the flesh and blood into an apparition from a dream of sensuality and self-indulgence.” (On the note of indulgence: Bauer was Klimt’s mistress, and even The Kiss by Klimt (1908) has been suggested to be an idealized portrait of both Klimt and Bauer. Since the point of this post is not about who Klimt had affairs with, we’ll move past his sexuality.)

Now, returning back to the Portrait of Ursa Wren. Besides her figure, there are shapes that make up the portrait. Namely, spirals, blocks, and ellipses. Spirals are a popular motif in art, as well as in nature. The Golden Spiral is a popular one, and many flora grow in spirals. Even galaxies may be shaped into spirals. Spirals are connected with what is natural. Anything with sharp angles, such as the rectangles in the portrait, are the opposite. Angles suggest manmade structure, and her dress is compose largely of these structures. Even the gold highlights throughout the piece are made of rectangles. Yet the way her dress flows, the major shapes in the background that separate spirals from checkered boxes from her, are very natural as well.

When we look at Clan Wren’s armor (besides Sabine’s) we see two major colors: gray and gold “Genet,” the Mandalorian word for gray, refers to mourning, though we aren’t exactly told who they mourn. Yet considering that “Ve'vut” refers or implies vengence, we can understand that the Wrens have been wronged, and seek to right those wrongs.

When we look through the episodes that take place on Krownest and learn the story, we learn that Sabine has been accused of wronging all Mandalorians, of creating a weapon that targets bes'kar and the bes'kar alloy in Mandalorian armor. We even see that weapon in action. It’s possible that Clan Wren’s colors refer to Sabine’s creation and defection from the Empire. It’s possible that Clan Wren’s colors used to be something else, maybe even something closer to what Sabine wears currently (warmer tones of red, violet, orange) and they changed their colors to Genet and Ve'vut after Sabine’s actions. Still, for now let us end the speculation and turn our focus back to the portrait.

Blues and greens create a teal. Blue, as we’ve stated, refers to reliablity and consistence. Green, duty. Teal, the combination of the two, creates an emphasis on duty: Duty is important, duty is everything.

Why these colors? I think that it ties in to the speculation of why Clan Wren’s colors are gray and gold. We know that Clan Wren became less trustworthy in the eyes of other Mandalorians after Sabine’s handiwork in the Empire. We know that Clan Wren has done everything they could to appease the other clans, to ensure that yes, they are Mandalorians, not aruetiise. With that in mind, Ursa’s portrait, focused on the colors that represent duty and reliability, is a reflection of this. 

Ursa was doing everything she could to prove that her clan is Mandalorian, and that included the message this portrait provides.


Can Silence Actually Drive You Crazy?

*Watch with headphones on!

Is 45 minutes really the longest anyone can stay in a perfectly silent, pitch-black room?

Want to watch the whole hour of silence?

Many stories have circulated claiming the longest anyone has stayed in an ultra-quiet anechoic chamber is 45 minutes, the reason being any longer would drive you insane. To me this sounded like unsubstantiated rubbish, like the claim the Great Wall is the only manmade structure visible from space. So I put my own psyche on the line, subjecting myself to over an hour of the most intense quiet on Earth. No, this was not THE quietest room on Earth (-9dB) but it is one of the quietest, and the truth is once you put a person inside, they are by far the loudest thing in there so the sound rating of the room is irrelevant.

I was not surprised to find that I could stay in there for as long as I liked and feel perfectly fine. What was surprising is that my heartbeat was audible. You can hear it on the sound recording. Now I wasn’t consciously aware of the sound of my heart while in the room, but I was more aware of the feeling of it beating.

Huge thank you to everyone at BYU: Duane Merrell, Spencer Perry, Cameron Vongsawad, Jazz Myers, Ann Clawson, and Robert Willes.

via Veritasium.

Into the Woods

After packing himself a day bag and having his crutches handy, Albus decided to take advantage of this low pain day.

Following an easy yet narrow deer path, he picked his way through the trees, his cyan dyed curls pinned out of his eyes with a couple bobby pins. However, as he followed this trail, he noticed something out of place. A manmade structure, standing deep in the woods. Frowning, he waded through the brush towards the building, curious.


After arguing for three years with DCAU fans about whether or not Man of Steel was a “correct” interpretation of the character, watching Superman the Animated Series is SUCH a confusing experience. From what these folks have reported, THIER Superman:

• Always saves people- like, everyone!
• Smiles a lot
• Does not smash buildings or other manmade structures while fighting

Now, I’m not on season 3 yet, so maybe the series changes RADICALLY, but I’ve so far seen:

• People die. Usually in big fights or episodes, typically off screen, and the majority of them are women. Sometimes Superman is nearby, sometimes he’s not, but these deaths are rarely acknowledged. I’m watching it right now, parademons are absolutely and concretely slaughtering people in Metropolis.

• This is the most jarring thing?? TAS Superman frowns so much?? He’s practically glaring nonstop, his brows are like permanently furrowed. He most used smile is my least favorite expression because it’s his smug smile, but even that doesn’t show up very often.

• So much smashing, you guys. I mean, he’s Superman, he’s like a man-sized wreckingball, so he gets thrown through a building in almost every episode. In the big fights, he levels entire blocks. It’s the nature of the job, right?

Of Dragons and Wolves: The Parallel Journey of Daenerys Targaryen and Bran Stark

Written by MoIaF and Queen Alysanne 

Essay II: The Place of Magic and Mythology

Magic in the World of Ice and Fire is not structured, it’s not controlled by a universal set of rules, magic it seems, is of an organic nature. Martin once said of the events of Dany’s pyre that: “The whole point of the scene in A Game of Thrones where Daenerys hatches the dragons is that she makes the magic up as she goes along; she is someone who really might do anything. I wanted magic to be something barely under control and half instinctive–not the John W. Campbell version with magic as the science and technology of other sorts of world, that works by simple and understandable rules.” As we see with Dany’s Lovecraft-esque adventure through the House of the Undying and Bran’s exploration of the Children’s cave give us an interesting insight into the different kinds of magic within ASOIAF, but it also shows us how similar these “branches” of magic are. In the first section of the essay we will look at these two shared experiences and what they have in common and what can they tell us about magic in ASOIAF.

As with most fantasies Martin doesn’t shy away from prophesies of great heroes that will save the world one day. Two of the most prominent prophecies are those of Azor Ahai and The Last Hero. In this section of the essay we’ll be exploring the similarities both Dany and Bran share with these mythical heroes. We aren’t making any judgments about whether either of these character will actually take on these roles, that we believe won’t be something we’ll know until the end of the series, and even then it might not be as clear cut as some expect. Nonetheless we’ll rude down through the different parts of prophecy and see how Dany and Bran fit into them.

The Place of Magic

Both the House of the Undying and the Children’s cave have a lot of mystery to them, there is a lot we don’t understand, however, we have learned a bit from both these places. Both of these locations give us a brief insight into the more mythological and fantastical aspects of ASOIAF. Both the Undying and the Children are in the twilight of their existence, the days where the Children roamed the earth and the Undying lived in amazing spender have long gone, now all that remain is the shadow of those times.

The Places

As Dany is arriving she gives us a describes of the facade of House of the Undying she tells us:

“Long and low, without towers or windows, it coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black -barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening. No other buildings stood near. Black tiles covered the palace roof, many fallen or broken; the mortar between the stones was dry and crumbling. She understood now why Xaro Xhoan Daxos called it the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon seemed disquieted by the sight of it. The black dragon hissed, smoke seeping out between his sharp teeth.”

A fading palace whose glory days are now gone, its crumbling infrastructure mimics the decaying interior:

“The mold-eaten carpet under her feet had once been gorgeously colored, and whorls of gold could still be seen in the fabric, glinting broken amidst the faded grey and mottled green.”

The Undying are reaching the end of their time, however, they still hold on to life awaiting someone (Dany) to awaken them from their preservation. We can imagine that Dany was not the only person to step into the HOTU, yet her ability to perform the magic that hatched the dragons probably represents a life force the Undying had no yet come across, at least not in a long time. As they tell her, that they had been waiting for her for a thousand years.

Now, let’s look at how Bran describes the Children’s cave:

“The caves were timeless, vast, silent. They were home to more than three score living singers and the bones of thousands dead, and extended far below the hollow hill.”
The great cavern that opened on the abyss was as black as pitch, black as tar, blacker than the feathers of a crow. Light entered as a trespasser, unwanted and unwelcome, and soon was gone again; cookfires, candles, and rushes burned for a little while, then guttered out again, their brief lives at an end.”

The Children’s cave has been around a long time, thousands of Children have lived and died there and only their bones remain. We hear from Leaf that the vast network of caves is so large that there are still places left unexplored. The Children have cast spells around the entrance of the cave to protect them from the Wights. There is also a lot of darkness in the caves, the light only lasts as long as the fire burns.

Comparing the two places we have a palace a “manmade” structure as the home of the Undying while on the other hand the Children’s cave is a natural structure of the earth which the Children inhabit. While the HOTU is decaying away the only signs that we have of the Children living in the caves are the bones of all those that came before them.

Drink from the cup of Ice, drink from the cup of Fire

Both Dany and Bran are asked to drink substances that will allow them to experience the visions they are about to be presented with. The substances are made by the black and blue trees surrounding the HOTU and weirwood bark and leaves . Dany described the trees around the HOTU as:

“a grove of black -barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Qartheen called shade of the evening”

The description of these trees is almost the exact opposite of the white bark, red leaves of the weirwood trees. Most likely these two trees are counterparts of one another. While Dany is given shades of the evening to drink, Bran is given a weirwood paste made of the bark and leaves of the tree.  Let’s look at how each one of the describes the taste:


“Dany raised the glass to her lips. The first sip tasted like ink and spoiled meat, foul, but when she swallowed, it seemed to come to life within her. She could feel tendrils spreading through her chest, like fingers of fire coiling around her heart, and on her tongue the taste was like honey and anise and cream, like mother’s milk and Drogo’s seed, like red meat and hot blood and molten gold. It was like all the tastes she had ever known, and none of them … and then the glass was empty.”


“It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as the acorn paste. The first spoonful was the hardest to get down. He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother gave him. The empty bowl slipped from his fingers and clattered on the floor.

Notice how the taste is initially bitter or spoiled but as they continue to drink the flavor improves becoming sweeter and tasting like honey and then the taste transforms in to the things they loved or the memories that brought them happiness, Drogo’s seed or the last kiss his mother gave him.

The drinks awaken memories and feelings within them which is in part what they are about to experience. So, these two trees that appear for all intent and purpose to be counterparts of one another have a very similar taste and from what we’ll later see effect on its drinkers.

Time at a stand-still

The passing of time is noticeable in both places but there is also seems to be a slowing of time in each place. The Undying seem to be preserved in stasis awaiting their awakening while the Children live long lives some still extend their lives further through their bonding with the weirwood trees.

Pyat Pree tells Dany:

“When you come to the chamber of the Undying, be patient. Our little lives are no more than a flicker of a moth’s wing to them. Listen well, and write each word upon your heart.”

While Bloodraven tell Bran:

“A weirwood will live forever if left undisturbed. To them seasons pass in the flutter of a moth’s wing , and past, present, and future are one.”

We can see by both these quotes that there is a connection in the magic, however, different it may be. The Undying, the weirwood trees and the Children have long existed in this world; the men who now occupy it have been there but seconds of its long history. We can extrapolate from this that the magic of ASOIAF is ancient indeed.

As a speculation we wager that the magic of ASOIF has a common root from which different factions draw their magic. There are many similarities that can’t be attributed to mere coincidence. Like the blue leaf tree and the weirwood there must be a common core from where these both sprang.

Life Preserved

As we’ve been discussing even as time is passing them by the Undying and the Children have lived a long time in this world. As we discover there is a strange similarity in the preservation of the Undying and that of Bloodravel and the Children/Singer bonded to the weirwood trees:

While exploring the caves inside Hodor, Bran stubbles upon a chamber:

“He even crossed the slender stone bridge that arched over the abyss and discovered more passages and chambers on the far side. One was full of singers, enthroned like Brynden in nests of weirwood roots that wove under and through and around their bodies. Most of them looked dead to him, but as he crossed in front of them their eyes would open and follow the light of his torch, and one of them opened and closed a wrinkled mouth as if he were trying to speak.”

And when Dany finally enters the chamber of the Undying she sees:

“A long stone table filled this room. Above it floated a human heart, swollen and blue with corruption, yet still alive. It beat, a deep ponderous throb of sound, and each pulse sent out a wash of indigo light. The figures around the table were no more than blue shadows. As Dany walked to the empty chair at the foot of the table, they did not stir, nor speak, nor turn to face her. There was no sound but the slow, deep beat of the rotting heart.”

These two groups seemed to both be in some sort of stasis, the Singers seem to be extending their lives by the magic they draw from the weirwood tree, much like Bloodrave; the Undying on the other hand seem to be drawing their magic from a rotting blue heart at the center of their chamber. The Children once again depend on nature to extend their lives, while the Undying, however, are searching for a different sort of life force:

“They were reaching for her, touching her, tugging at her cloak, the hem of her skirt, her foot, her leg , her breast. They wanted her, needed her, the fire, the life, and Dany gasped and opened her arms to give herself to them …”

They wanted and needed whatever life force Dany has, they grab at her anxiously trying to consume the fire and life within her. Unlike the Children the Undying seem to need the life force of a person, preferably a person with inner magic.

Hot and Cold

Another contrast in Dany and Bran’s experience is the difference in the environment that they encounter while Bran is able to find warmth in the Children’s cave, Dany only finds an ice cold welcome.

Bran says about the caves:

“After the bone-grinding cold of the lands beyond the Wall, the caves were blessedly warm, and when the chill crept out of the rock the singers would light fires to drive it off again.”

Compare that to Dany’s experience in the HOTU:

“The Undying were all around her, blue and cold, whispering as they reached for her, pulling, stroking, tugging at her clothes, touching her with their dry cold hands, twining their fingers through her hair…“

Then indigo turned to orange, and whispers turned to screams. Her heart was pounding, racing, the hands and mouths were gone, heat washed over her skin, and Dany blinked at a sudden glare. Perched above her, the dragon spread his wings and tore at the terrible dark heart, ripping the rotten flesh to ribbons, and when his head snapped forward, fire flew from his open jaws, bright and hot. She could hear the shrieks of the Undying as they burned, their high thin papery voices crying out in tongues long dead. Their flesh was crumbling parchment, their bones dry wood soaked in tallow”

It’s an interesting juxtaposition we have with Dany and Bran here. While Dany is very representative of fire, Bran is usually associated with ice; however, there is a more earthly feel to the magic of the children from what we have seen. Dany’s experience with the Undying in contrast is definitely of an icy nature. It’s an obvious leap to see the similarities of the Undying with those of the Others, blue, cold, ice, death. Bran on the other hand encounters worth, comfort and care.

Songs That They Sing

Dany and Bran have experienced the songs of nature. When Bran was still in a coma Robb told his mother that Bran needed to hear the wolves sing (when the wolves where howling outside his window). Then the night that Dany contemplated taking her own life after her marriage to khal Drogo a dragon appears to her in her dreams and sings to hear, healing her with his fire. Here once again we see the music being performed by both the Undying and the Children.

Dany hears:

“There were women among them, dressed in gowns of surpassing loveliness. Shafts of sunlight slanted through windows of stained glass, and the air was alive with the most beautiful music she had ever heard.”
“The wizards were beckoning her with voices sweeter than song.”

While Bran hears:

“They sang in True Tongue, so Bran could not understand the words , but their voices were as pure as winter air.”

Although they both were treated to music, it was not for the same purpose. While the Children and their Singer sang as part of their rituals, the Undying used their music to try and trick Dany into taking the wrong turn, they used their music to try and deceive her. Music and magic also seem to go hand in hand in ASOIAF, another example of this is Mirri Maz Duur’a chanting while casting her spell in Drogo’s tent.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • The visions that both Dany (the first visions that she sees) and Bran receive go from nearest to the present to the past. 
  • When Dany enters the first chamber of the Undying she passes through a weirwood and ebony set of doors. While Bran see the see that “All the color is gone, Bran realized suddenly. The world was black soil and white wood.”
  • Even as they see these black and white places each places has another dominant color. For Bran it is the color red, Bloodraven’s red eye and red scare, the red leaves of the weirwood trees (above ground) the blood stew fed to them by the Children and the red laces weirwood paste that he is fed. For Dany it is the color blue, she drinks the blue shades of the evening, the Undying are blue shadows, and the corrupted heart of the Undying is also blue.

Now let us look at the mythological associations Dany and Bran share with the in universe prophecies.


*Disclaimer this part of the essay isn’t meant to say Dan is Azor Ahai or Bran is the Last Hero reborn. We are simply comparing how GRRM has influenced both characters arcs from mythical tales in Planetos

Mythology plays a large role in the World of Ice and Fire, additionally it plays a very large part of both Bran and Dany’s arcs. From Old Nan’s bed time stories, to strange tales from the East, Dany and Bran’s share the common thread of having their arcs resemble many of the characteristics of these mythologies.

The Two Heroes

In A Song of Ice and Fire, we learn about two ancient heroes, whose myths are legendary: one is called the Last Hero and the other called Azor Ahai. Both heroes are known for have done something heroic during the Long Night that helped bring back the light of day. Whether both heroes are different representations of one hero is up for debate that, however, won’t be what we’ll be focusing on. The main focus is on how GRRM writes Dany and Bran’s arc similarly in the sense that many of the events in their journey are parallels to these mythical heroes.

Azor Ahai and Daenerys

“It was a time when darkness lay heavy on the world. To oppose it, the hero must have a hero’s blade, oh, like none that had ever been. And so for thirty days and thirty nights Azor Ahai labored sleepless in the temple, forging a blade in the sacred fires. Heat and hammer and fold, heat and hammer and fold, oh, yes, until the sword was done. Yet when he plunged it into water to temper the steel it burst asunder. “Being a hero, it was not for him to shrug and go in search of excellent grapes such as these, so again he began. The second time it took him fifty days and fifty nights, and this sword seemed even finer than the first. Azor Ahai captured a lion, to temper the blade by plunging it through the beast’s red heart, but once more the steel shattered and split. Great was his woe and great was his sorrow then, for he knew what he must do. “A hundred days and a hundred nights he labored on the third blade, and as it glowed white-hot in the sacred fires, he summoned his wife. ‘Nissa Nissa,’ he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.’ She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.”

This is the tale of Azor Ahai which was told to Davos in A Clash of Kings. Dany has several parallels to this story, we will analyze those sections of the myth that relate most closely with the events that have taken place in day’s arc.

Three Tries is the Charm

One of the main themes in Azor Ahai’s story is that it took three tries for him to achieve his goal of forging Lightbringer. This theme of “three tries being the charm” is heavily used in Dany’s arc in A Song of Ice and Fire.

After Dany woke from her coma dream, she remembered that she needed something but could not say what. In the end it took three attempts by her to obtain what she needed, one of her dragon eggs.


“She woke to the taste of ashes. “No,” she moaned, “no, please.” “Khaleesi!” Jhiqui hovered over her, a frightened doe. The tent was drenched in shadow, still and close.”


“…she woke again. The tent was dark, its silken walls flapping like wings when the wind gusted outside. This time Dany did not attempt to rise.”


“When she woke the third time, a shaft of golden sunlight was pouring through the smoke hole of the tent, and her arms were wrapped around a dragon’s egg.”

Like Azor Ahai’s three attempts to forge Lightbringer, it takes three attempts for her to obtain her dragon eggs. GRRM wrote Dany’s arc to be heavily associated with the number three, this cannot be a coincidence, we believe.

The same theme is also used again when Dany considers that the eggs might be alive.

She first tries to hatch the dragons after Drogon appeared to her in her second dragon dream, when he healed her with his dragon fire. When she woke up she went to the egg whose color resembled that dragon she had seen and realized that it was warm to her touch.  The second attempt was when she put the eggs in the brazier, however, this did not lead to the dragon eggs hatching. The third and final attempt was the actual funeral pyre where she was finally able hatch the dragon eggs in accordance with the theme of thee tries.

Sacrifice of a Loved One

Sacrifice is an important elements of the mythology of Azor Ahai. In order forge Lightbringer he had to sacrifice the person he loved most in the world. This same theme of sacrifice is seen in Dany’s arc as well. In order to hatch the dragons she had to sacrifice the things she loved the most.

Dany loses both her son Rhaego and her husband Khal Drogo, magic in the World of Ice and Fire is not without a price, as Mirri once told Dany, only death can pay for life.

Rhaego sacrifice occurs whiles Dany has her fever dream and interestingly the author writes it similarly to how Nissa Nissa was sacrificed, which again indicates that we are meant to compare these two events.

“She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.”

Drogo’s sacrifice may have occurred at the pyre, or when Dany suffocated him or during the spell Mirri performed. Either way the conclusion is still the same, which is that he as well as Rhaego was sacrificed just like Nissa Nissa.


In the story of Azor Ahai, his sacrifices in order to save the world where done in order for him to obtain the means to end the Long Night, the means in this instance was the forgiving of Lightbringer. In Dany’s case her sacrifices lead to the birth of her three dragons. The description of Lightbring is very similar to that of the dragons. In the Jade Compendium we are given a story of the deeds of Azor Ahai, the descriptions is very similar to Dany’s actions in Astapor. The story of Azor Ahai reads:

“The pages that told of Azor Ahai. Lightbringer was his sword. Tempered with his wife’s blood if Votar can be believed. Thereafter Lightbringer was never cold to the touch, but warm as Nissa Nissa had been warm. In battle the blade burned fiery hot. Once Azor Ahai fought a monster. When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame.”

Drogon’s actions in Astapor:

“The black dragon spread his wings and roared. A lance of swirling dark flame took Kraznys full in the face. His eyes melted and ran down his cheeks, and the oil in his hair and beard burst so fiercely into fire that for an instant the slaver wore a burning crown twice as tall as his head.”

Now, let us look at the dragons as a sword. In Meereen while Dany is talking to Xaro he tells her:

“When your dragons were small they were a wonder. Grown, they are death and devastation, a flaming sword above the world.”

In a conversation with Davos, Stannis explains to him why dragons are better than a sword:

“It glimmers prettily, I’l grant you, but on the Blackwater this magic sword served me no better than common steel. A dragon would have turned that battle. Aegon once stood here as I do, looking down on this table. Do you think we would name him Aegon the Conqueror today if he had not had dragons?”

Dany’s tale is not done yet and although we can find more similarities between Dany’s story and that of Azor ahai, these examples should be sufficient enough in showing that there are strong parallels between Dany’s arc and Azor Ahai’s story.

The Last Hero

“Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks.” Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, “So, child. This is the sort of story you like?” “Well,” Bran said reluctantly, “yes, only …” Old Nan nodded. “In that darkness, the Others came for the first time,” she said as her needles went click click click. “They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding their pale dead horses and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children.” Her voice had dropped very low, almost to a whisper, and Bran found himself leaning forward to listen. “Now these were the days before the Andals came, and long before the women fled across the narrow sea from the cities of the Rhoyne, and the hundred kingdoms of those times were the kingdoms of the First Men, who had taken these lands from the children of the forest. Yet here and there in the fastness of the woods the children still lived in their wooden cities and hollow hills, and the faces in the trees kept watch. So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched, until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the Others smelled the hot blood in him, and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds—”

Just like Dany, Bran’s arc also has influences from a mythical hero. Many of the themes that occur in the Last Hero story also occur in Bran’s story.

The Loss of Friends and Family

Perhaps the main theme in the Last Hero’s story is that he in the end is literally the last hero. He loses all his friends and companies and yet he manages to stay alive left alone to try and find an end to the Long Night. 

Bran’s arc is not complete yet, however, the theme of losing his companions seems to be where his story is heading. We see it with Jojen growing sullenness and sadness.

Bran’s story starts as an innocent young boy, who s surrounded by a loving family. However, as his story progresses he begins to lose the people he loves little by little. First his father and sisters leave Winterfell and then his bastard brother goes to the Wall. Then his older brother Robb also goes South. Eventually his father dies and so do many of his father’s men, men whom Bran new having grown up around the.

Then his Master and guardian, Maester Luwin dies. Finally, he is forced to let his younger brother depart from him for his brothers safety, leaving Bran with only the Reed children and Hodor as companions. In A Dance with Dragons we see how Jojen begins to distance himself from everyone and when Bran comes back from one of his lessons in his final scene, Meera and Jojen are nowhere to be found. Like the Last Hero, Bran and his companions go to the far North, along with a dog, which in this case is represented by Bran dire wolf Summer. Perhaps in the end Bran will also be the last of his companions to survive.

Children of the Forest

According to Bran, Old Nan’s stories always ends with the Children of the Forest playing an important role in the Last Hero’s rescue. However, we don’t know exactly how the Children were able to help the Last Hero.

Like the Last Hero Bran is rescue from the Wights attacks by the Children. It seem as these parallels continue that we might be able to deduce how the Children originally helped the Last Hero end the Long Night.

The Truth in Myths

In an interesting parallel at the beginning of Dany and Bran’s stories they both hear myths which in time they will both verify to be true. In AGOT Dany is told thetale of how dragons first came to be and how they will return, the tale is told to her by her handmaiden Doreah. Bran hears from the Wilding captive at Winterfell, Osha, that the Children of the Forest still exist, beyond the Wall.

As the story progresses Dany goes on the hatch the stone eggs and Bran goes on to find the Children of the Forrest. Showing that although these myths contain a lot of fantastical elements to them they also may contain a kernel of truth.


A good question to ask is what GRRM is trying to accomplish by infusing both Dany and Bran’s arcs with similarities to these mythical heroes. Does he want us to simply draw a line from the mythical heroes to the characters themselves. Or perhaps he wants us to look at the nature of what makes a person a hero. Neither Dany nor Bran are purposely setting out to be heroes, yet their actions, Dany’s more so than Bran’s are heroic in nature.


From their magical encounters with the Undying and the Children of the Forrest to their similarities to mythical heroes, we are allowed once again to see through Dany and Bran’s eyes a side of ASOIAF that is still for the most part a mystery to us all. These small glimpses into the magical elements of the story gives is the opportunity to see where the overall story will be heading. As GRRM has told us the elements of magical will become more prominent as the story continues and we have a small taste of what to expect.


I have looked at my pictures from my recent travels almost every day since I have been back in the States and I still cannot believe that I actually went to the Great Wall of China. I can’t exactly pinpoint a defining moment when or why it became a dream of mine to one day see the Great Wall, but it’s a sight that I merely dreamed of seeing ever since I was young. Maybe it was the many Pearl S. Buck and Ha Jin novels I read or because I was culture-deprived having grown up in New Jersey and was fascinated that something so magnificent existed on the other side of the world. I do not know how this dream manifested itself, but somehow it did and it has been there for as long as I can remember.

To me, there are no words that do the Great Wall justice (maybe because I’m more visual and sentimental than articulate). Rather, it’s more a feeling of being emotionally moved by its absolute magnificence and utterly surreal beauty. It’s about being in the presence of this vast manmade structure that rolls over mountain after mountain for as far as the eye can see or the mind can imagine.  It’s about the feeling that this dream-come-reality is so breathtaking, that it still feels like a dream…
Archaeologists find gates of Hell in Saudi Arabia

Along with the odd walls, other clearly manmade structures were spotted including what appear to be animal traps and wheel-shaped objects that are yet to be identified.
A new discovery in Saudi Arabia goes firmly against that notion, with archaeologists revealing the existence of hundreds of stone gates situated in and around ancient lava domes, in an area that is little more than a hellish landscape devoid of vegetation and water.
When researchers are searching for remnants of structures and settlements constructed by ancient peoples they typically focus on areas that are hospitable to human life.
The current best guess as to the age of the construction is somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000 years.
Its an incredible discovery, but the structures and their precarious location are so mysterious that theres bound to be an even greater story waiting to be told.

I am a bot written by a Mathematician

Posted at Fri Oct 20 11:10:14 2017

cowptain  asked:

can you actually see the great wall of china from space





Recently a very cool person sent me a bunch of questions as a sort of interview for a school project, and it occurred to me that I get asked these questions a lot so I’m throwing them down under the readmore for you guys in case you wanted to know this stuff/so if someone asks me one of these in the future I can just link here. So yeah lots of talky talk under the whatcjamacallit

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The 100 S4 Trailer: Questions

Ok, I was going to write a cohesive analysis of the trailer, but it turns out I have more questions than interpretations to offer haha! So if anyone can help me out, please do. Or if anyone wants to comment on my comments, go ahead. But be warned, I am curious/excited about the weirdest stuff in this trailer. 

After a few (okay, a lot) of rewatching, here are some of the random things that popped into my mind:

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Vacation [Klaine] PG Pt. 2/6

In the previous installment, Kurt and Blaine visited the Magic Kingdom - today it’s the Animal Kingdom!  In which Kurt is mildly traumatized and lots of smoothies are exchanged, in addition to other fluff and general Klaine being dorks in Disney shenanigans.
~4,000 words
Also available on ffnet and AO3.

The second day of their Disney trip was swelteringly hot. 

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The Travel Sketches of Louis L. Kahn

Throwback Thursday!

In the summer of 1978, we exhibited “The Travel Sketches of Louis L. Kahn” featuring ninety one drawings by one of the most influential architects of the past century. These drawings, ranging Kahn’s career through the 1950s, provided a unique view on the architectural works in Europe, Greece and Egypt that influenced him the most.

The Grand Tour, a traditional pilgrimage that originated in the 18th Century, served as an obligatory itinerary for classical education on monuments and ruins in Europe and the Middle East. For Kahn, however, it served as an outlet to satisfy a deep search for meaning, which is evident in the works exhibited. The drawings on display explored the intersection between manmade and natural structures. Kahn’s work represents an odyssey of discovery and learning, not only of the ways in which form, light and color work together in architecture, but also on his treatment of drawing as an art form. From his meticulously detailed pencil drawings of buildings in London to his rich watercolor paintings of Italian structures and his bold pastel drawings in Athens, Kahn’s journey allowed him to expand his work as an artist in constant development. Born in what is now Estonia, Louis Kahn achieved great recognition for a style of architecture that combined Modernism with the timeless forms of ancient monuments.

Images: Louis Kahn, Acropolis. Athens, 1951.