In this audio only episode, Aziz, Jim McGeehin (Something Like a Lawyer), Samantha Wallace & Steve Love discuss the paradigm shift in Westeros that occurred as the dragons died out. House Targaryen lost their great source of power, which necessitated many changes. Recorded live at Con of Thrones 2018.
A live roundtable discussion centered around selected favorite animal-related quotes, plus an Ice & Fire Con ’18 chat! Ash is joined by Lady Gwyn (Radio Westeros), Haley (The Manimals & DrinkingGOT), Chloe (Drunk ASOIAF (and History), Ice & Fire Con) & Tara Lynne (The Geekiary, Ice & Fire Con).
The king was in no mood for more argument. “Enough, Ned, I will hear no more. A direwolf is a savage beast. Sooner or later it would have turned on your girl the same way the other did on my son. Get her a dog, she’ll be happier for it.” – AGOT, Eddard III
“Her son was attended by his kittens. As she watched the cats frolic about his feet, Cersei felt a little better. No harm will ever come to Tommen whilst I still live. She would kill half the lords in Westeros and all the common people, if that was what it took to keep him safe.” – AFFC, Cersei VIII
He always slept better with the great white wolf beside him; there was comfort in the smell of him, and welcome warmth in that shaggy pale fur.” – ACOK, Jon VII
A look at this most ancient of cities, the legend of Azor Ahai, and the origin of dragons. With special guest Lucifer Means Lightbringer. Our new introduction was created by Michael Klarfeld (Klaradox), with the cyvasse pieces created by dutchmogul.
The primary topics in this episode:
- Part 1 – Where do Dragons Come From?
- Part 2 – A Hinge of the World
- Part 3 – Asshai
- Part 4 – Deus Ex-Metropolis
- Post-Credits Fun
“And so we come, nearly, to the end of the world. Or, at least, the end of our knowledge. Easternmost and southernmost of the great cities of the known world, the ancient port of Asshai stands at the end of a long wedge of land, on the point where the Jade Sea meets the Saffron Straits. Its origins are lost in the mists of time. Even the Asshai’i do not claim to know who built their city; they will say only that a city has stood here since the world began and will stand here until it ends. Few places in the known world are as remote as Asshai, and fewer are as forbidding.”
“The dark city by the Shadow is a city steeped in sorcery. Warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, bloodmages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child and the Lion of Night, all find welcome in Asshai-by-the-Shadow, where nothing is forbidden. Here they are free to practice their spells without restraint or censure, conduct their obscene rites, and fornicate with demons if that is their desire.”
“He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki sea and beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled lands of the Jade Sea, to Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.”
“She had heard that the first dragons had come from the east, from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai and the islands of the Jade Sea. Perhaps some were still living there, in realms strange and wild.”
“Asshai, Dany thought. She would have me go to Asshai. “Will the Asshai’i give me an army?” she demanded. “Will there be gold for me in Asshai? Will there be ships? What is there in Asshai that I will not find in Qarth?””
In such fragments of Barth’s Unnatural History as remain, the septon appears to have considered various legends examining the origins of dragons and how they came to be controlled by the Valyrians. The Valyrians themselves claimed that dragons sprang forth as the children of the Fourteen Flames, while in Qarth the tales state that there was once a second moon in the sky. One day this moon was scalded by the sun and cracked like an egg, and a million dragons poured forth. In Asshai, the tales are many and confused, but certain texts—all impossibly ancient—claim that dragons first came from the Shadow, a place where all of our learning fails us. These Asshai’i histories say that a people so ancient they had no name first tamed dragons in the Shadow and brought them to Valyria, teaching the Valyrians their arts before departing from the annals. Yet if men in the shadow had tamed dragons first, why did they not conquer as the Valyrians did?
“But there were dragons in Westeros once, long before the Targaryens came, as our own legends and histories tell us.”
“If dragons did first spring from the Fourteen Flames, they must have been spread across much of the known world before they were tamed. And, in fact, there is evidence for this, as dragon bones have been found as far north as Ib, and even in the jungles of Sothoryos.”
“Some of the statues were so lovely they took her breath away, others so misshapen and terrible that Dany could scarcely bear to look at them. Those, Ser Jorah said, had likely come from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai.”
“Travelers tell us that the city is built entirely of black stone: halls, hovels, temples, palaces, streets, walls, bazaars, all. Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike. The nights are very black in Asshai, all agree, and even the brightest days of summer are somehow grey and gloomy.”
“The waters of the Ash glisten black beneath the noonday sun and glimmer with a pale green phosphorescence by night, and such fish as swim in the river are blind and twisted, so deformed and hideous to look upon that only fools and shadowbinders will eat of their flesh.”
A detailed look at the life, times and works of the man who knows the most about the “higher mysteries”. If you want to learn more about dragons, ravens, or why the seasons are so crazy, you do not want to miss this episode on Septon Barth. He’s the leading expert in all of A Song of Ice and Fire on those topics and quite a few more!
“Ser Ryam Redwyne was the greatest knight of his day, and one of the worst Hands ever to serve a king. Septon Murmison’s prayers worked miracles, but as Hand he soon had the whole realm praying for his death. Lord Butterwell was renowned for wit, Myles Smallwood for courage, Ser Otto Hightower for learning, yet they failed as Hands, every one. As for birth, the dragonkings oft chose Hands from amongst their own blood, with results as various as Baelor Breakspear and Maegor the Cruel. Against this, you have Septon Barth, the blacksmith’s son the Old King plucked from the Red Keep’s library, who gave the realm forty years of peace and plenty.”
“With Barth’s aid and advice, King Jaehaerys did more to reform the realm than any other king who lived before or after.”
“Where his grandsire, King Aegon, had left the laws of the Seven Kingdoms to the vagaries of local tradition and custom, Jaehaerys created the first unified code, so that from the North to the Dornish marches, the realm shared a single rule of law.”
He was the son of a common blacksmith and had been given to the Faith while young. But his brilliance made itself known, and in time he came to serve in the library at the Red Keep, tending the king’s books and records. There King Jaehaerys became acquainted with him…”
“Yet if Alysanne was Jaehaerys’s great love, his greatest friend was Septon Barth. No man of humble birth ever rose so high as the plainspoken but brilliant septon.”
“Septon Barth’s claim that the Valyrians came to Westeros because their priests prophesied that the Doom of Man would come out of the land beyond the narrow sea can safely be dismissed as nonsense, as can many of Barth’s queerer beliefs and suppositions.”
“Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it.”
The Doom annihilated the powerful and sorcerous Freehold of Valyria in mere moments. History of Westeros takes a look at what it was, why it happened, and possibly who caused it.
“At its apex Valyria was the greatest city in the known world, the center of civilization.”
“Septon Barth speculated on the matter, referring to a Valyrian text that has since been lost, suggesting that the Freehold’s sorcerers foretold that the gold of Casterly Rock would destroy them.”
“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.”
One thing that can be said for certain is that it was a cataclysm such as the world had never seen. The ancient, mighty Freehold—home to dragons and to sorcerers of unrivaled skill—was shattered and destroyed within hours.”
“Fourteen or fourteen thousand. What man dares count them? It is not wise for mortals to look too deeply at those fires, my friend. Those are the fires of god’s own wrath, and no human flame can match them. We are small creatures, men.”
“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.”
[feature icon=”star” style=”horizontal” title=”Episode Breakdown:”]
Part I: The Sound: A Scream That Burns
Part II: The Look: Black, Gold & Valyrian Steel
Part III: The Origin: Fire and Blood of the Freehold
Part IV: The Plan: From Slaver’s Bay to the Iron Throne
Part V: The Predictions: What Comes To Pass When It Sounds?