The first of multiple episodes on Nymeria of the Rhoynar. Foreshadowing for ASOIAF via the rise & fall of the Rhoynar; includes: greyscale, Darkstar, water wizards, the Water Gardens of Dorne, Volantis, dragons and much more. Special thanks to Michal Schick of Vassals of Kingsgrave podcast and Hypable for the voices.
UPDATE: HBO is now developing a Nymeria series with the working title Ten Thousand Ships. Hopefully it makes it to series. In the interim, check out Ash’s Nymeria spinoff pitch from 2017.
“This is Ny Sar, where the Mother gathers in her Wild Daughter, Noyne,” said Yandry, “but she will not reach her widest point until she meets her other daughters. At Dagger Lake the Qhoyne comes rushing in, the Darkling Daughter, full of gold and amber from the Axe and pine-cones from the Forest of Qohor. South of there the Mother meets Lhorulu, the Smiling Daughter from the Golden Fields. Where they join once stood Chroyane, the festival city, where the streets were made of water and the houses made of gold.
Then south and east again for long leagues, until at last comes creeping in Selhoru, the Shy Daughter who hides her course in reeds and writhes. There Mother Rhoyne waxes so wide that a man upon a boat in the center of the stream cannot see a shore to either side. You shall see, my little friend.” – Tyrion IV, ADWD
Rhoynar and Nymeria Images
A special episode! This is a collaboration with Daniele Bolelli of the History on Fire podcast. We chat about a wide variety of real world historical influences on A Game of Thrones/ASOIAF.
“The Wall comes from Hadrian’s Wall, which I saw while visiting Scotland. I stood on Hadrian’s Wall and tried to imagine what it would be like to be a Roman soldier sent here from Italy or Antioch. To stand here, to gaze off into the distance, not knowing what might emerge from the forest. Of course fantasy is the stuff of bright colours and being larger than real life, so my Wall is bigger and considerably longer and more magical. And, of course, what lies beyond it has to be more than just Scots.”
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
We were among the first on the planet to hear this chapter, and it’s safe to say: we’re taken by the “The Forsaken”! It is a truly epic chapter. Find PoorQuentyn’s transcript of The Winds of Winter: The Forsaken here. Check out our episode on Euron Greyjoy, also with PoorQuentyn, here. We are recording a Valar Rereadis episode on it too, so look out for that!
“The Shields have served my purpose. I took them with one hand, and gave them away with the other. A great king is open-handed, brother. It is up to the new lords to hold them now. The glory of winning those rocks will be mine forever. When they are lost, the defeat will belong to the four fools who so eagerly accepted my gifts.”
Euron Crow’s Eye stood upon the deck of Silence, clad in a suit of black scale armor like nothing Aeron had ever seen before. Dark as smoke it was, but Euron wore it as easily as if it was the thinnest silk. The scales were edged in red gold, and gleamed and shimmered when they moved. Patterns could be seen within the metal, whorls and glyphs and arcane symbols folded into the steel.
Valyrian steel, the Damphair knew. His armor is Valyrian steel. In all the Seven Kingdoms, no man owned a suit of Valyrian steel. Such things had been known 400 years ago, in the days before the Doom, but even then, they would’ve cost a kingdom.
“Falia Flowers,” he called. “Have courage, girl! All this will be over soon, and we will feast together in the Drowned God’s watery halls.” The girl raised up her head, but made no answer. She has no tongue to answer with, Damphair knew. He licked his lips, and tasted salt.
Aziz and special guest LML discuss the mystical and ancient side of House Dayne. Dawn (is it Lightbringer?), Sword of the Morning (who decides?), the castles of Starfall and High Hermitage… and plenty more!
Thanks to LML of Astronomy of Ice and Fire for joining us on this episode, and for helping with the quotes. Michael Klarfeld made the maps used.
“The Daynes of Starfall are one of the most ancient houses in the Seven Kingdoms. Though their fame largely rests on their ancestral sword, called Dawn, and the men who wielded it.”
At the mouth of the Torrentine, House Dayne raised its castle on an island where that roaring, tumultuous river broadens to meet the sea. Legend says the first Dayne was led to the site when he followed the track of a falling star and there found a stone of magical powers. His descendants ruled over the western mountains for centuries thereafter as Kings of the Torrentine and Lords of Starfall.
Matters escalated, and more Dornish seats fell to dragonfire in 9 AC. The Dornish responded a year later by sending a host under Lord Fowler that seized and burned the great marcher castle of Nightsong and carried off its lords and defenders as hostages, whilst another army under Ser Joffrey Dayne marched to the very walls of Oldtown, razing the fields and villages outside it.
Sword of the Morning
The Swords of the Morning are all famous throughout the Seven Kingdoms. There are boys who secretly dream of being a son of Starfall so they might claim that storied sword and its title. Most famous of all was Ser Arthur Dayne…
Its origins are lost to legend, but it seems likely that the Daynes have carried it for thousands of years. Those who have had the honor of examining it say it looks like no Valyrian steel they know, being pale as milkglass but in all other respects it seems to share the properties of Valyrian blades, being incredibly strong and sharp.
A detailed look at the life, times and works of the man who knows the most about the “higher mysteries”. 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 more! We made this episode before Fire and Blood.
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.
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…
With Barth’s aid and advice, King Jaehaerys did more to reform the realm than any other king who lived before or after.
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. We recorded this episode in 2014! In other words, this episode is very old. This was well before the release of Fire & Blood. This was even before the release of The World of Ice and Fire. Additionally, you can check out our episode on the Faceless Men here, which was made after the release of Fire & Blood. So enjoy this very old episode!
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.
“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.”
“At its apex Valyria was the greatest city in the known world, the center of civilization.”
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.
In this episode, we give our first impressions of The World of Ice and Fire. We discuss all of the immediate revelations. The latter half of the episode contains discoveries more related to the ‘current events’ of the series.
Special attention is paid to the Kingdom of Sarnor, other ancient cultures, and the mysterious oily black stone that keeps popping up. There is, of course, a lot of discussion on House Targaryen. We also talk at length about the sections on Dorne. The mystery of Asshai’s children is also debated. Who is Hyrkoon the Hero? What’s the deal with Bonetown? Join us on a journey through the world of ice and fire. It is also a journey back to 2014 now!
On the Isle of Toads can be found an ancient idol. A greasy black stone crudely carved into the semblance of a gigantic toad of malignant aspect, some forty feet high. The people of this isle are believed by some to be descended from those who carved the Toad Stone, for there is an unpleasant fishlike aspect to their faces, and many have webbed hands and feet. If so, they are the sole surviving remnant of this forgotten race.
Such questions abound even to this day. Before the Doom of Valyria, maesters and archmaesters oft traveled to the Freehold in search of answers, but none were ever found. 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.
For scholars and students of history, the fall of Sallosh by the Silver Shore was especially tragic. For when that City of Scholars burned, its great library was not spared, and most of the history of the Tall Men and the peoples who had gone before them were lost for all time.