Mythical Astronomy 1: Astronomy Explains the Legends of I&F May 14, 2016 20:25:32 GMT voice and sagenadia like this
Post by LmL on May 14, 2016 20:25:32 GMT
Since voice and the crew here at Last Hearth have been so kind as to set up this subforum, I am happy to present the Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire podcast. This is Chapter One of what I like to call "The Bloodstone Compendium." If you've my older threads on Westeros.org, you'll recognize the basic ideas, but these new podcasts and their matching wordpress essays are about 75% new material from those old essays. Over the course of sharing my ideas and discussing them with many wonderful people over the course of hundreds of comments, my theory has naturally been improved and reformed, with weaker ideas being set aside and better ideas strengthened and corroborated.
For example, the heart of my theory is the comet / moon disaster which I believe caused the Long Night, the celestial forging of Lightbringer the comet in the heart of the moon. Throughout my essays and now podcasts, I highlight important scenes in the text which I believe portray the Lightbringer-forging chain of events via symbolic metaphor. One person is a moon character, another person a sun character, and they either fight or fuck with various symbols of the infamous red sword and / or dragons scattered liberally throughout, something like that. When I wrote the first version of this essay, way back in February of 2015, I used the first Lightbringer forging metaphor scenes which I had come across.. But now, after a year of finding these Lightbringer-forging metaphors in the text, I've realized the ones I chose originally are not the strongest and clearest echoes of the main event, and so instead my new version of this introductory essay focuses on the most important Lightbringer forging scene in the entire series: when Daenerys, the moon of Khal Drogo's life, wanders into the funeral pyre of her Sun-and-Stars and wakes dragons from stone eggs.
This first essay, Astronomy Explains the Legends of Planetos, lays out the basics of what I call "mythical astronomy," which is simply the idea that ancient man has always looked up at the sun, moon, and stars and created myths to parallel their cycles, characteristics, and actions. The ideals and values of a given culture are grafted onto this framework of symbolic astronomy, and the result is a complex and esoteric fable which reaches from the heavens right down to the conflicted hearts of mankind. As well as this cultural and spiritual purpose, astronomy-based myths are in fact astronomy - the observation of the stars by mankind and the documentation of their courses. These myths actually serve a cosmological function - they help ancient man explain the world around him, and most importantly, his relationship to it. Myths about the cycles of nature and world shaping natural disasters go hand in hand with mythical astronomy, and should be viewed as two components of the same phenomena.
Speaking of ASOIAF myths specifically, the first two we will be concerned with are the Lightbringer legend and the Qarthine legend of the lunar origin of dragons. Dany's dragon-waking scene in the Khal's pyre actually portrays the events of both the lightbringer legend and the Qarthine moon dragon myth, and this helps to explain the underlining truth behind these myths.
In addition, all things come round again, as it is said, and pretty much anyone who has analyzed ASOIAF has come across certain key events which seem to parallel and echo other events. What I think we are actually dealing with is an original template of important characters and actions, set out in the Dawn Age, and these events tell the story of the Long Night, the forging of Lightbringer, and the War for the Dawn. The events on the sky parallel those on the ground - Lightbringer was a moon-killing comet, yes, but also a burning sword forged with blood magic. It's fantasy, after all, and the way that Martin has chosen to manifest this sky-groiund correlation is a thing of beauty which has kept me inspired for over a year now. I'm proud to say the first 5 episodes of my podcast have been downloaded over 16,000 times so far, which I have to say is more than a little surprising. I wasn't sure how many people would have the appetite for the deep mythological and symbolic analysis which I seem drawn to, but the feedback so far has been excellent. People even like my reading voice! That was a surprise to me at first too - everyone is self conscious about their own voice, I guess - but I've learned to practice and hone my reading skills in the effort to make the audio production as enjoyable and easy to listen to as possible. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed making them.
Here's the podcast version, and here is the matching text version.