The “Losing My Religion” series operates on the assumption that none of the religions of Westeros, Essos, or any other continent have anything to do with actual gods. The “deities” and the lore surrounding them are in fact mythologized accounts of the history of Planetos and may give us important clues for what to expect as the next Long Night draws near.
This is Part II of a series-within-a-series. I am trying to show the credibility of a three-fold hypothesis:
- A magical comet came out of the constellation of the Maiden-Made-of-Light, known to modern Westerosi as the Moonmaid.
- It hit the earth.
- Someone used it to obtain massive amounts of power, such that he was able to control all of Essos from the Bones to the Grey Waste and rule it for ten thousand years.
Ok, so let’s say a magical comet did come out of the Maiden-Made-of-Light, aka the Moonmaid. Magical comets are totally things that happen in Planetos. But we haven’t seen one strike.
What would that even look like?
I think that, logically, we are looking for three things in any possible impact site:
- Geological damage–shattered islands or a massive crater
- Magical damage–too much magic in one place in Planetos seems to act like radiation, mutating life forms and preventing normal societies from arising or colonizing. (See: Sothoryos, the Isle of Toads, Asshai)
- Proximity to the area of the Great Empire of the Dawn
Sothoryos is crawling with magical pollution, but it isn’t close enough. Asshai is close enough and also clearly has some magical radiation poisoning (no children, can’t grow normal food or fish), but it has no markers of a physical comet impact.
I have wondered if the Shrinking Sea might be a giant crater. Maybe it is not shrinking at all, it’s just a big hole that is not near an underground spring, so it only ever has some rainwater in the bottom of it. It also has the advantage of being squarely in the middle of the historical borders of the Great Empire of the Dawn.
But there is no mention of magical radiation in that area. People live around the Shrinking Sea in modern-day Yi Ti, Trader Town, and the territory of the Jhogos Nhai, and none of them have become mutants.
Maybe the impact site looks something like this:
Still farther east lie the so-called Thousand Islands (Ibbenese chartmakers tell us that there are in truth fewer than three hundred), a sea-girt scatter of bleak windswept rocks believed by some to be the last remnants of a drowned kingdom whose towns and towers were submerged beneath the rising seas many thousands of years ago. Only the boldest or the most desperate mariners ever make landfall here, for the people of these islands, though few in number, are a queer folk, inimical to strangers, a hairless people with green-tinged skin who file the teeth of their females into sharp points and slice the foreskins from the members of their males. They speak no known tongue and are said to sacrifice sailors to their squamous, fish-headed gods, likenesses of whom rise from their stony shores, visible only when the tide recedes. Though surrounded by water on all sides, these islanders fear the sea so much that they will not set foot in the water even under threat of death.
Even Corlys Velaryon dared sail no farther east than the Thousand Islands; this was where the Sea Snake turned back on his great northern voyage. In truth, there was no reason for him to continue, save for his hunger to learn what lay beyond the next horizon. Even the fish taken from these eastern seas are oddly misshapen, with a bitter, unpleasant taste, it is said.
The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (Kindle Locations 8395-8401)
The Thousand Islands are off the northern coast of the area that once was the Great Empire of the Dawn. There is evidence of “towns and towers submerged beneath the rising sea”–the rising sea, or the sinking land? A large comet impact might have contributed to a solid land mass shattering, leaving buildings and whole towns underwater, with nothing but a few hundred islands surviving. The magical radiation could explain the islanders strange appearance. And if that’s what happened to the people on land, gods only know what’s going on under the sea. We know there are “oddly misshapen” fish, what else? Evil mutant mermaids? Perhaps even the undersea creatures known across planetos as “squishers” or “deep ones”? Shudder. Magically irradiated mutant sea life could explain the islanders extreme fear of the water, and their fish-headed gods.
Not only are the Thousand Islands strange, but the shores surrounding them are also sketchy at best.
Only one port of note is to be found on the Shivering Sea east of the Bones: Nefer, chief city of the kingdom of N’ghai, hemmed in by towering chalk cliffs and perpetually shrouded in fog. When seen from the harbor, Nefer appears to be no more than a small town, but it is said that nine-tenths of the city is beneath the ground. For that reason, travelers call Nefer the Secret City. By any name, the city enjoys a sinister reputation as a haunt of necromancers and torturers.
Beyond N’ghai are the forests of Mossovy, a cold dark land of shapechangers and demon hunters.
Beyond Mossovy …
The World of Ice & Fire (Kindle Locations 8407-8411)
I think the Thousand Islands are a very reasonable guess when looking for the strike zone of a magical comet.
Now, supposing a comet did strike, what clues point to the God on Earth using it for his own purposes?