He had been four years on the Wall. The first time he had been sent beyond, all the old stories had come rushing back, and his bowels had turned to water. He had laughed about it afterward. He was a veteran of a hundred rangings by now, and the endless dark wilderness that the southron called the haunted forest had no more terrors for him.
Until tonight. Something was different tonight. There was an edge to this darkness that made his hackles rise.
All day, Will had felt as though something were watching him, something cold and implacable that loved him not. Gared had felt it too. Will wanted nothing so much as to ride hellbent for the safety of the Wall, but that was not a feeling to share with your commander.
The Other halted. Will saw its eyes; blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice. They fixed on the longsword trembling on high, watched the moonlight running cold along the metal.
A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.
Explore the dark and ancient past of House Stark and Winterfell. We discuss the crypts, statues, history, dreams, and Bael the Bard. Plus skinchangers, direwolves, dragons, the fires of the earth and so much more. So let’s descend into the crypts of Winterfell. Spooky~~~
The castle itself is peculiar in that the Starks did not level the ground when laying down the foundations and walls of the castle. Very likely, this reveals that the castle was built in pieces over the years rather than being planned as a single structure. Some scholars suspect that it was once a complex of linked ringforts, though the centuries have eradicated almost all evidence of this. – TWOIAF
By ancient custom an iron longsword had been laid across the lap of each who had been Lord of Winterfell, to keep the vengeful spirits in their crypts. The oldest had long ago rusted away to nothing, leaving only a few red stains where the metal had rested on stone. Ned wondered if that meant those ghosts were free to roam the castle now. He hoped not. The first Lords of Winterfell had been men hard as the land they ruled. – AGOT, Eddard I
The past, present, and possible futures of Ser Brynden Tully of Riverrun, Knight of the Gate, called Blackfish.
During one of their louder quarrels, when Catelyn was eight, Lord Hoster had called Brynden “the black goat of the Tully flock.” Laughing, Brynden had pointed out that the sigil of their house was a leaping trout, so he ought to be a black fish rather than a black goat, and from that day forward he had taken it as his personal emblem. – AGOT, Catelyn VI
Even on his deathbed, Catelyn thought sadly. “He has not wed. You know that, Father. Nor will he ever.”
– AGOT, Catelyn XI
Nonetheless, during all those years of Catelyn’s girlhood, it had been Brynden the Blackfish to whom Lord Hoster’s children had run with their tears and their tales, when Father was too busy and Mother too ill. Catelyn, Lysa, Edmure … and yes, even Petyr Baelish, their father’s ward … he had listened to them all patiently, as he listened now, laughing at their triumphs and sympathizing with their childish misfortunes. – AGOT, Catelyn VI
Brynden Blackfish chuckled. “I am too old a soldier to believe that. Hoster will be chiding me about the Redwyne girl even as we light his funeral pyre, damn his bones.”
– AGOT, Catelyn XI
Sean, Aziz & Ashaya chat about Season 7 and Con of Thrones 2017! Listen on your podcast player of choice, otherwise go to the YouTube version. You can also find our full Con of Thrones album at our Facebook page here.
We’re joined by special guest PoorQuentyn for a look at Euron Greyjoy and his past, present and future. This episode includes spoilers for The Forsaken chapter from The Winds of Winter. Listen to our episode on The Forsaken here.
Our introduction and the Westeros and Essos maps were created by Michael Klarfeld (Klaradox), with the cyvasse pieces created by dutchmogul. Check out the episode on YouTube below to see those images and some great art of Euron while listening, as well as the newest art of Mazzalicartho, by Azany. You can also find these images below.
“Tell the Crow’s Eye he’s afraid of kinslaying, and he’ll murder one of his own sons just to prove you wrong.”
– ADWD, The Wayward Bride
Images of God
“Who knows more of gods than I? Horse gods and fire gods, gods made of gold with gemstone eyes, gods carved of cedar wood, gods chiseled into mountains, gods of empty air… I know them all. I have seen their peoples garland them with flowers, and shed the blood of goats and bulls and children in their names.
And I have heard the prayers, in half a hundred tongues. Cure my withered leg, make the maiden love me, grant me a healthy son. Save me, succor me, make me wealthy, protect me! Protect me from mine enemies, protect me from the darkness, protect me from the crabs inside my belly, from the horselords, from the slavers, from the sellswords at my door. Protect me from the Silence.” He laughed. “Godless? Why, Aeron, I am the godliest man ever to raise sail! You serve one god, Damphair, but I have served ten thousand. From Ib to Asshai, when men see my sails, they pray.” – AFFC, The Iron Captain
Euron had seduced them with his glib tongue and smiling eye and bound them to his cause with the plunder of half a hundred distant lands; gold and silver, ornate armor, curved swords with gilded pommels, daggers of Valyrian steel, striped tiger pelts and the skins of spotted cats, jade manticores and ancient Valyrian sphinxes…
– AFFC, The Reaver
“When I was a boy, I dreamt that I could fly,” he announced. “When I woke, I couldn’t…. or so the maester said. But what if he lied?”
– The Reaver, AFFC
When considering his mother Joanna Lannister, Tyrion thinks, “It all goes back and back, Tyrion thought, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us.”
That’s true, Tyrion! Which is a big part of why we made an episode on your mother. Our latest contains a look at the political setting during her life, which included Tywin’s rise as Hand, Aerys’ crowning, Summerhall, the Rains of Castamere, the War of Ninepenny Kings (her father led the Westerlands army) and more. We also take a look at her personality and relationships with other powerful people. Finally, we of course consider “interactions” with the Mad King, and certain parentage theories. So join us for this episode about Joanna!
Our introduction and the Westeros and Essos maps were created by Michael Klarfeld (Klaradox). The cyvasse pieces were created by dutchmogul. Check out the episode on YouTube below to see those images.
In those days, his father had been Aerys’s Hand, and many people said that Lord Tywin Lannister ruled the Seven Kingdoms, but Lady Joanna ruled Lord Tywin.
– ASOS, Tyrion V
In 263 AC, after a year as the King’s Hand, Ser Tywin married his beautiful young cousin Joanna Lannister, who had come to King’s Landing in 259 AC for the coronation of King Jaehaerys II and remained thereafter as a lady in-waiting to Princess (later Queen) Rhaella. The bride and groom had known each other since they were children together at Casterly Rock. – TWOIAF
Though Tywin Lannister was not a man given to public display, it is said that his love for his lady wife was deep and long-abiding. “Only Lady Joanna truly knows the man beneath the armor,” Grand Maester Pycelle wrote the Citadel, “and all his smiles belong to her and her alone. I do avow that I have even observed her make him laugh, not once, but upon three separate occasions!” – TWOIAF
“…though she turned a blind eye to most of the king’s infidelities, the queen did not approve of his “turning my ladies into his whores.” (Joanna Lannister was not the first lady to be dismissed abruptly from Her Grace’s service, nor was she the last).” – TWOIAF
Steven Attewell of Race for the Iron Throne returns. We discuss the 3rd and 4th Blackfyre Rebellions, the Golden Company, and a lot more Bittersteel. Check out our series on the Blackfyres here. Time to find out what is beneath the gold, in this episode on the Golden Company.
Michael Klarfeld (Klaradox) created our introduction, the Essos map, and the Bittersteel and Golden Company images. Dutchmogul created the cyvasse pieces used in the intro video. Joey Townsend does our intro music, and Jesse Kowal does our outro music. Thank you to them as well!
At first the magisters and archons and merchant princes were pleased to welcome the last
Targaryens Blackfyres to their homes and tables, but as the years passed and the Usurper Falseborn continued to sit upon the Iron Throne, doors closed and their lives grew meaner. Years past they had been forced to sell their last few treasures. Now even the coin they had gotten from Mother’s crown had gone. In the alleys and wine sinks of Pentos Tyrosh, they called her brother “the beggar king.” Dany Calla did not want to know what they called her. – AGOT, Daenerys I
Bittersteel gathered exiled lords and knights, and their descendants, to him. He formed the Golden Company in 212 AC, and soon established it as the foremost free company of the Disputed Lands. “Beneath the gold, the bitter steel” became their battle cry, renowned across Essos. – TWOIAF
Ser Aegor Rivers was sixty-nine years of age when he fell, and it is said he died as he had lived, with a sword in his hand and a curse upon his lips. Yet his legacy would live on in the Golden Company and the Blackfyre line he had served and protected. – TWOIAF
It ended far more quickly than the pretender might have wished, at the Battle of Wendwater Bridge. Afterward, the corpses of the Black Dragon’s slain choked the Wendwater and sent it overflowing its banks. The royalists, in turn, lost fewer than a hundred men. – TWOIAF
An episode dedicated to all kinds of ASOIAF dreams and dreamers, whether mundane or magical. Green dreams, wolf dreams, dragon dreams, dreams of guilt, fever dreams… and an accompanying Q&A to go with it, answering all the burning (and freezing) questions sent us regarding the last episode.
“There’s different kinds,” he said slowly. “There’s the wolf dreams, those aren’t so bad as the others. I run and hunt and kill squirrels. And there’s dreams where the crow comes and tells me to fly. Sometimes the tree is in those dreams too, calling my name. That frightens me. But the worst dreams are when I fall.” – ACOK, Bran V
He knew nothing of his mother; Eddard Stark would not talk of her. Yet he dreamed of her at times, so often that he could almost see her face. In his dreams, she was beautiful, and highborn, and her eyes were kind. – AGOT, Jon III
That night Sansa dreamt of Joffrey on the throne, with herself seated beside him in a gown of woven gold. She had a crown on her head, and everyone she had ever known came before her, to bend the knee and say their courtesies. – AGOT, Sansa IV
They are children, Sansa thought. They are silly little girls, even Elinor. They’ve never seen a battle, they’ve never seen a man die, they know nothing. Their dreams were full of songs and stories, the way hers had been before Joffrey cut her father’s head off. Sansa pitied them. Sansa envied them. – ASOS, Sansa II
She had no time for sleep, with the weight of the world upon her shoulders. And she feared to dream. Sleep is a little death, dreams the whisperings of the Other, who would drag us all into his eternal night. She would sooner sit bathed in the ruddy glow of her red lord’s blessed flames, her cheeks flushed by the wash of heat as if by a lover’s kisses. Some nights she drowsed, but never for more than an hour. One day, Melisandre prayed, she would not sleep at all. One day she would be free of dreams. Melony, she thought. Lot Seven. – ADWD, Melisandre
The Long Night, Azor Ahai, strange stone, dragonlords & ancient bloodlines! This episode on The Great Empire of the Dawn, with Mythical Astronomy of Ice & Fire has it all! GRRM gave us all a lot to think about with regard to the (way)back-story provided in TWOIAF. That’s on top of what was already present in ASOIAF proper. Here we attempt to cover as much of it as possible in one place. We also recorded a Q&A episode where we answered the questions you submitted, included below!
Our introduction, stone animations, and the awesome new Essos map were created by Michael Klarfeld (Klaradox). dutchmogul created the cyvasse pieces.
The Reader (Martin Lewis of Echoes of Ice and Fire).
Durran Durrandon’s “Daenerys is the Amethyst Empress Reborn” Essay.
Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white and their eyes were Opal and Amethyst, Tourmaline and Jade. “Faster,” they cried. “Faster, faster!” – Daenerys IX, AGOT
Even more enigmatic to scholars and historians is the great square fortress of black stone that dominates that isle. For most of recorded history, this monumental edifice has served as the foundation and lowest level of the Hightower, yet we know for a certainty that it predates the upper levels of the tower by thousands of years. – The Reach, TWOIAF
If indeed this first Fortress is Valyrian, it suggests that the dragonlords came to Westeros thousands of years before they carved out their outpost on Dragonstone, long before the coming of the Andals, or even the First Men.
– The Reach, TWOIAF
The Bones and Beyond
In ancient days, the God emperors of Yi Ti were as powerful as any ruler on earth, with wealth that exceeded even that of Valyria at its height and armies of almost unimaginable size. In the beginning, the priestly scribes of Yin declare, all the land between the Bones and the freezing desert called the Grey Waste, from the Shivering Sea to the Jade Sea (including even the great and holy isle of Leng), formed a single realm ruled by the God-on-Earth, the only begotten son of the Lion of Night and Maiden Made-of-Light, who traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. For ten thousand years the Great Empire of the Dawn flourished in peace and plenty under the God-on-Earth, until at last he ascended to the stars to join his forebears. – The Bones and Beyond, TWOIAF
How long the darkness endured no man can say, but all agree it was only when a great warrior – known variously as Hyrkoon the Hero, Azor Ahai, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser – arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer that the darkness was put to rout, and light and love returned once more to the world. – The Bones and Beyond, TWOIAF