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Game of Thrones - the TV show (Spoilers for the TV show)


No, they’re people who’s skin has hardened and they’ve been driven insane by it. There’s no magic involved.


The ArchMaester flat-out said it was an infection. So, instead of “necrotizing” or killing flesh, it “concretizes”, makes it hard, spreads, and eats brains. Bad stuff. But, obviously, does not metastasize past its parasitic body, it encapsulates to itself, which is the only reason it can be removed.

Very nasty.


Well in the case of the Mountain, specifically, since he was poisoned, my guess would be Qyburn basically drained all his blood and used something else to replace it and keep him “alive”… wether it was someone else’s blood, or some sort of magical substance like the green fire, who knows… but that doesn’t make him a “magic user” per-se, it just makes him a mad-scientist of sorts, using stuff he has lying around to test crazy shit =P

Didn’t say it was magical. I was pointing out the many different cases of “becoming something else” that are in the show… that was originally in reply to Jim’s suggestion that Qyburn might be using the same WW necromancing spell for the Mountain.


Until GRRM says other wise perhaps?

Magic isn’t easily categorised. It seems to be an added element that comes and goes at various times, but never entirely leaves. Dragons died out, the Children of the Forest and the White Walkers retreated into the depths of the frozen lands beyond the wall, but Wildfire still worked in Westeros, although less powerfully, and there were magicians across the sea that Dany ran into a few seasons ago.

What’s happening now is like someone turning the power up and a lot of old, forgotten lightbulbs coming on.


So, you’re saying there was some sort of … awakening?


Dragonscale has been a constant thing though, it’s pretty clear that it’s not related to the return of magic the same way wildfire’s increase in efficacy is.


Well, to be honest, I don’t mind either way, but GRRM has created a magical world so exactly what’s science and what’s hocus pocus is up for grabs as far as I’m concerned.

There was a long debate about the seasons, with people coming up with scientific reasons why they could vary by years or even decades in Westeros, then GRRM addressed the issue and said it was magic.

Has anyone asked him about Greyscale?


I did, he said it was best treated with some bleach and a new round of grouting in the bathroom.

(Sorry that may have been limescale).


I’d need to break out the books for a reread, but my interpretation of Davos’ chapters which talk about Shireen’s greyscale, or Jon Connington’s chapter in a Dance with Dragons is that greyscale is about as well understood as can be, there’s a different vibe from the depiction of wildfire, warging or the various magic users.


Is there an explanation in the books for why magic “returned” (or got stronger I guess) to Westeros at this time?

Could it be the return of the Dragons? probably not since the WW were already wreaking havok in the north… So maybe it’s got to do with the seasons? Maybe magic gets stronger with the coming of winter… huh… who knows.

I feel we’re missing like a huge chunk of the puzzle that has to do with the different gods, but they haven’t really adressed it that much in the show… in terms of a conflict between the gods, or what’s up with them directly, not their followers…


The implication is that it’s the return of the dragons, but there’s also a comet that slowly passes by the world during the length of A Clash of Kings/series 2. The people in Westeros take the comet’s return as a omen, as it coincides with Stannis’ use of Mellisandre’s magic, and the Pyromancers’ wildfire becoming stronger.


Oh alright, I did have that vague memeory of it having to do something with the dragons, but then again, you could always get into an egg/chicken situation with it… did magic get stronger because of the dragons, or did the dragons were able to finally hatch because magic got stronger? =P

I mean, I guess it’s not particularly important for the story, but I’m curious about that sort of thing…


I’m pretty sure it’s been deliberately left vague as to which came first


The White Walkers reappeared first, at least in the show.

There have been many winters without them, but Craster was sacrificing to them and the Wildlings banded together in order to escape by breaking through the Night’s Watch’s defences.


Magic seems to have remained more powerful North of the Wall in general, wargs are rare but not unknown, for example


I imagine it’s the Children of the Forest and the activity of the White Walkers themselves. They came before the dragons, the spell to save Drogo, the shadow assassin and everything else. That said the Three Eyed Raven and the House of the Undying had been around all this time so simply magic users aren’t very common is the simplest explanation. It doesn’t really matter so I doubt they’ll go into it much.


The book makes it clear that the mages in the house of the undying were seeing a similar resurgence in their abilities. They attributed it to the birth of the dragons (though in the books they don’t try to abduct them)


Dragons make everything better.


Especially dungeons


They don’t know about the Walkers though.