Monday, 21 August 2017
Asshai reminds me of the forbidden Exclusion Zone of Chernobyl in our own earth world. I'll mention a little more about this in a moment. In the Shadowlands are cities made of oily black stone, dark perpetual mists, tall Ghost Grass, constant artificial nights caused by dark clouds, ancient volcanoes, underground and hidden lava flows in fortresses, Ash River joins with the Jade Sea, palaces, castles, a small population and apparantly no animals or children in sight. One building in ten is lit at night. Gemstones, gold, amber, silk and dragonglass is exported from Asshai at the trading routes and ports along the region. A massive vast mountain range called Bone Mountains act as a wall between Essos, Asshai and Vaes Dothrak. The Dothraki are wary of people from Asshai and call them "spawn of shadows".
One of the greatest known cities of the Shadowlands is Stygai. It's other name is "City of Night". The place is full of evil, its said by travellers, and they have said dragons and demons live there. The city is so dark that the sun only shines there for a short brief moment during noon. There are libraries within the dark cities and towns of the Shadowlands, but kept hidden. None dare venture to study these books, for its kept under guard. Asshai is full of dragonlore, faith of R'hllor, necromancers, warlocks, human sacrifices, shapeshifters, werewolves, worshippers of the Lion of Night, Black Goat and The Pale Child. The red priestess, Melissandre, comes from The Shadowlands of Asshai. The dragon eggs given to Daenerys Targaryen as a wedding gift come from the Shadowlands. It's my view that some of the people living in The Shadowlands are from all walks of life, outcasted, or seeking a new and darker path, as well as those who've joined the place and live in veils, covered up and appearing as shadowy beings. Very few children would be there, those who've been raised to learn the secret crafts of the warlocks and mages of sinister belief systems. The few people living there are nocturnal and spend most time sleeping or not even in human form.
The place similar to such a location on our world is Chernobyl and its 30 Kilometre Zone. Contaminated plants and animals have been described as monstrous, glowing in the dark, mutations and kept away from spreading beyond. There are 11 checkpoints, deadzones of the region: Pripyat, Poliske, Vilkhova, Stari Sokoly and more. The pine trees were destroyed by radiation many years ago and what grows there is a blood curdling forest nicknamed "the Red Forest". Wild animals such as wolves, deer, horses, boars, badgers, birds and others have flourished and procreated, but observed by game wardens. Household pets that were left abandoned during the crisis in 1986 have sadly all died out. No domestic animal has survived this disaster. Only wild animals have claimed this territory as theirs now since humans left. Water contaminated by radiation is blocked from entering the rest of the supply using dams. The grasses have been known to cause small fires that create filthy plumes.
Water in Asshai (the Shadowlands) is known to be contaminated. The only fish that live in it are blind and deformed and sometimes eaten by the shadow mages and warlocks. The fruits grown on trees are deadly. Its creepy looking cities were built centuries ago but abandoned by the original populations, for unknown reasons. Those who live there now dabble in the most strangest and darkest practices. I believe that George R. R. Martin's uses psychic channelling with otherworldly spirits. This world Planetos is a mirror of our own world Terra. The dark landscapes of Asshai and the Shadowlands reflects Chernonbyl.
Above, there is a photo that represents a woman from Lys, visiting the Shadowlands and is standing in Ghost Grass.
An excellent video of The Shadowlands by Scrivia TV