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[[File:ChildrenOfTheForestGreenseer.png|thumb|300px|A Greenseer of the Children of the Forest]]The '''Children of the Forest''' are a mysterious non-human race that were reportedly the original inhabitants of the continent of [[Westeros]]. Small, druidic, magical creatures, they were already living in Westeros 12,500 years before [[Robert's Rebellion]] when the [[First Men]] migrated to the continent.<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/guide/appendix/westeros-through-the-ages/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 Appendix, Westeros Through the Ages]</ref>
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{{Culture infobox
  +
| Title= Children of the Forest
  +
| Image= Leaf.png
  +
| AKA=
  +
| Status= ''Nearly'' Extinct
  +
| Location = formerly all of [[Westeros]], <br>currently only [[Beyond the Wall]].
  +
| Ruler=
  +
| Society= Clan-based
  +
| Language=
  +
| Religion= [[Old Gods of the Forest]]
  +
| Features= No taller than a human child<br>Four-digits on each hand}}
  +
{{Quote|In the Dawn Age of Westeros, before the coming of man and the raising of castles and cities, there were only the Children of the Forest.|[[Bran Stark]]|The Children of the Forest, the First Men, and the Andals}}
  +
The '''Children of the Forest''' are a mysterious non-human race that were reportedly the original inhabitants of the continent of [[Westeros]]. They were already living in Westeros when the [[First Men]] migrated to the continent, 12,500 years before [[Robert's Rebellion]].<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/guide/appendix/westeros-through-the-ages/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 Appendix, Westeros Through the Ages]</ref>
   
 
According to legend they were last seen during the [[Andal]] invasion six thousand years before the [[War of the Five Kings]]. In the present day, most believe that they are simply the stuff of myth and never existed at all. Even the few that do believe they once existed, such as [[Maesters|Maester]] [[Luwin]] or [[Eddard Stark|Ned Stark]], believe that they have long since gone extinct.
 
According to legend they were last seen during the [[Andal]] invasion six thousand years before the [[War of the Five Kings]]. In the present day, most believe that they are simply the stuff of myth and never existed at all. Even the few that do believe they once existed, such as [[Maesters|Maester]] [[Luwin]] or [[Eddard Stark|Ned Stark]], believe that they have long since gone extinct.
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==Culture==
 
==Culture==
The Children of the Forest worshipped nature gods, the countless and nameless spirits of every tree, every rock, and every stream. Their religion devoted to the [[Old Gods of the Forest]] had no complex temples, but according to legend it was the Children that carved faces into the sacred [[Weirwood]] trees. These carved [[heart tree]]s were the closest thing to a shrine in their religion.
+
[[File:Children of the Forest.png|thumb|300px|The Children inhabited the deep forests of Westeros.]]The Children of the Forest worshiped nature gods, the countless and nameless spirits of every tree, every rock, and every stream. Their religion devoted to the [[Old Gods of the Forest]] had no complex temples, but according to legend it was the Children that carved faces into the sacred [[Weirwood]] trees. 
+
These carved [[heart tree]]s were the closest thing to a 
The Children of the Forest weren't very technologically advanced, though they were very woodcrafty and had a great knowledge of the plants and animals of the forest. They hunted using bows made of weirwood and used blades made of [[Dragonglass]].
+
shrine in their religion.
  +
[[File:ChildrenOfTheForestGreenseer.png|thumb|left|200px|A Greenseer of the Children of the Forest]]The Children of the Forest weren't very technologically advanced, though they were very woodcrafty and had a great knowledge of the plants and animals of the forest. They hunted using bows made of weirwood and used blades made of [[Dragonglass]].
   
 
The wise men of the Children of the Forest were known as "[[Greenseer]]s", who are said to have wielded powerful magic.
 
The wise men of the Children of the Forest were known as "[[Greenseer]]s", who are said to have wielded powerful magic.
   
 
==History==
 
==History==
  +
===Background===
  +
{{Quote|The [[First Men]] called us 'the Children', but we were born long before them.|'''Leaf'''|The Children}}
 
[[File:ChildrenInWoods.png|thumb|left|The Children lived in the deep woods for untold ages.]]Legend holds that the Children of the Forest ruled [[Westeros]] for thousands of years before the arrival of the first humans on the continent twelve millennia ago. They inhabited the vast primeval forests which spanned most of Westeros before humans came and began cutting them down. According to legend, the [[Giants]] also inhabited Westeros at this time, and clashed periodically with the Children. Whatever history, wars, romances, or triumphs the Children may have had in the untold centuries that they inhabited Westeros, their stories have been forgotten.
 
[[File:ChildrenInWoods.png|thumb|left|The Children lived in the deep woods for untold ages.]]Legend holds that the Children of the Forest ruled [[Westeros]] for thousands of years before the arrival of the first humans on the continent twelve millennia ago. They inhabited the vast primeval forests which spanned most of Westeros before humans came and began cutting them down. According to legend, the [[Giants]] also inhabited Westeros at this time, and clashed periodically with the Children. Whatever history, wars, romances, or triumphs the Children may have had in the untold centuries that they inhabited Westeros, their stories have been forgotten.
   
Twelve thousand years ago, the [[First Men]] from the eastern continent of [[Essos]] migrated to [[Westeros]] by crossing a land bridge known as the Arm of Dorne. The First Men began cutting down the Children's forests, including the sacred weirwood trees, leading them into conflict with the Children. The two races fought [[Wars of the First Men and the Children of the Forest|a desperate series of wars for dominance]] for the next two thousand years, during which the Children of the Forest destroyed the Arm of Dorne and flooded the [[the Neck]] through the sorcery of their greenseers.
+
Twelve thousand years ago, the [[First Men]] from the eastern continent of [[Essos]] migrated to [[Westeros]] by crossing a land bridge known as the Arm of Dorne. The First Men began cutting down the Children's forests, including the sacred weirwood trees, leading them into conflict with the Children. The two races fought [[Wars of the First Men and the Children of the Forest|a desperate series of wars for dominance]] for the next two thousand years, during which the Children of the Forest destroyed the Arm of Dorne and flooded the [[the Neck]] through the [[Hammer of the waters|sorcery of their greenseers]].
   
[[File:ThePact.png|thumb|The Children and the First Men clasp hands in peace. Note the four-digited, tattooed hand of one of the Children.]]After two thousand years of violence, the Children of the forest and the First Men fought one another to a standstill. The two races agreed to peaceful coexistence and signed the Pact on the [[Isle of Faces]] in [[Gods Eye]] lake, granting the open lands to humanity and the forests to the Children.
+
[[File:ThePact.png|thumb|The Children and the First Men clasp hands in peace. Note the four-digited, tattooed hand of one of the Children.]]After two thousand years of violence, the Children of the Forest and the First Men fought one another to a standstill. The two races agreed to peaceful coexistence and signed the Pact on the [[Isle of Faces]] in [[Gods Eye]] lake, granting the open lands to humanity and the forests to the Children.
   
 
The Pact lasted for two thousand years before the enigmatic [[White Walkers]] invaded from the uttermost north, bringing death and destruction to both races. The Children of the Forest allied with the First Men to drive back the White Walkers in the [[The Long Night|War for the Dawn]] eight thousand years ago. After the defeat of the Others, the Children, much-reduced in number, are said to have helped [[Brandon Stark (the Builder)|Bran the Builder]] raise the [[Wall]].
 
The Pact lasted for two thousand years before the enigmatic [[White Walkers]] invaded from the uttermost north, bringing death and destruction to both races. The Children of the Forest allied with the First Men to drive back the White Walkers in the [[The Long Night|War for the Dawn]] eight thousand years ago. After the defeat of the Others, the Children, much-reduced in number, are said to have helped [[Brandon Stark (the Builder)|Bran the Builder]] raise the [[Wall]].
   
The Children of the Forest never had a large population to begin with, and they took heavy losses in the struggle against the White Walkers, from which they never truly recovered. Over the following centuries they gradually declined throughout Westeros, until they had all but disappeared by the time the [[Andals]] [[Andal Invasion|invaded Westeros]] six thousand years ago. The few that remained were hunted or driven off by the Andals during their conquest of the continent. The Andals cut down the sacred heart trees in the south (except on the Isle of Faces), but the First Men of [[the North]] withstood their advance, and continued their worship of the Old Gods centered around the remaining heart trees there. The handful of Children that survived the slaughter were said to have fled to the far north, [[Beyond the Wall]], where the Andals would never follow them. By the time that [[Aegon Targaryen]] conquered and united the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros three hundred years ago, there had been no contact with the Children of the Forest for thousands of years.<ref>"The Complete Guide to Westeros: The Children of the Forest" featurette, Season 1 Blu Ray</ref>
+
[[File:AndalsBurnTheWeirwoods.png|thumb|left|The Andals burned the weirwoods and slaughtered the Children of the Forest.]]The Children of the Forest never had a large population to begin with, and they took heavy losses in the struggle against the White Walkers, from which they never truly recovered. Over the following centuries they gradually declined throughout Westeros, until they had all but disappeared by the time the [[Andals]] [[Andal Invasion|invaded Westeros]] six thousand years ago. The few that remained were hunted or driven off by the Andals during their conquest of the continent. The Andals cut down the sacred heart trees in the south (except on the Isle of Faces), but the First Men of [[the North]] withstood their advance, and continued their worship of the Old Gods centered around the remaining heart trees there. The handful of Children that survived the slaughter were said to have fled to the far north, [[Beyond the Wall]], where the Andals would never follow them. By the time that [[Aegon I Targaryen]] conquered and united the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros three hundred years ago, there had been no contact with the Children of the Forest for thousands of years.<ref>"[[The Children of the Forest, the First Men, and the Andals]]"</ref>
   
According to the knowledge of the [[maesters]], the Children are either extinct, or never existed in the first place and are a purely mythical race. This is disputed by the people of the North, who hold that they inherited their worship of the [[Old Gods of the Forest|Old Gods]] from the Children of the Forest, who were real and have long since departed the realms of men.
+
According to the knowledge of the [[maesters]], the Children are either extinct, or never existed in the first place and are a purely mythical race. This is disputed by the people of the North, who hold that they inherited their worship of the [[Old Gods of the Forest|Old Gods]] from the Children of the Forest, who were real and have long since departed the realms of men.<ref>"[[What is Dead May Never Die]]"</ref>
  +
  +
[[File:Child_of_the_forest_2.png|thumb|A [[Child of the Forest 2 (The Children)|child of the forest]] in the [[cave of the three-eyed raven]] ]]Secretly, a handful of the Children actually did survive in the lands [[Beyond the Wall]], unseen even by the wildlings, hiding in vast underground caverns.<ref>"[[The Children]]"</ref>
   
 
===[[Season 2]]===
 
===[[Season 2]]===
 
[[Maesters|Maester]] [[Luwin]] tells [[Brandon Stark|Bran Stark]] that many people think that magical creatures like the Children of the Forest never existed at all. Luwin tells Bran that he thinks they may have once existed in ancient times, but that they have long since gone extinct: "The [[dragons]] are gone, the [[Giants]] are dead, and the Children of the Forest forgotten."<ref>"[[What is Dead May Never Die]]"</ref>
 
[[Maesters|Maester]] [[Luwin]] tells [[Brandon Stark|Bran Stark]] that many people think that magical creatures like the Children of the Forest never existed at all. Luwin tells Bran that he thinks they may have once existed in ancient times, but that they have long since gone extinct: "The [[dragons]] are gone, the [[Giants]] are dead, and the Children of the Forest forgotten."<ref>"[[What is Dead May Never Die]]"</ref>
  +
  +
===[[Season 4]]===
  +
  +
[[Leaf]], one of the Children of the Forest, emerges from the [[Cave of the three-eyed raven|cave]] of the [[Three-eyed raven]] to save [[Bran Stark]] and his companions from a group of [[wights]]. She leads Bran and his companions deeper into the cave as other Children peer at them from around corners, until they reach the Three-eyed raven.<ref>"[[The Children]]"</ref>
   
 
==In the books==
 
==In the books==
 
In the ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'' novels, legend holds that the Children of the Forest ruled Westeros for thousands of years before the arrival of the [[First Men]] from the eastern continent of [[Essos]], some twelve millennia ago.
 
In the ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'' novels, legend holds that the Children of the Forest ruled Westeros for thousands of years before the arrival of the [[First Men]] from the eastern continent of [[Essos]], some twelve millennia ago.
   
Within the first novel, ''A Game of Thrones,'' it is speculated by songsters in the North that the Children might survive north of the Wall, though simply because no one is entirely sure what exists in the uncharted forests beyond it. Nonetheless, the Children have not been sighted in thousands of years, either by the Night's Watch guarding the wall or even the [[Free Folk|wildlings]] that live immediately north of it.
+
Within the first novel, ''A Game of Thrones,'' it is speculated by songsters in the North that the Children might survive north of the Wall, though simply because no one is entirely sure what exists in the uncharted forests beyond it. Nonetheless, the Children have not been sighted in thousands of years, either by the Night's Watch guarding the Wall or even the [[Free Folk|wildlings]] that live immediately north of it.
   
 
According to myth, the Children were diminutive in stature and few in number compared to humans, but formidable in battle. Their greenseers wielded powerful magics and their wood dancers were skilled warriors. It is hinted that the enigmatic green priests of the [[Isle of Faces]] in the midst of [[Gods Eye]] know some of the secrets of the Children and their ways, and others (especially in the North) may know something of their ways.
 
According to myth, the Children were diminutive in stature and few in number compared to humans, but formidable in battle. Their greenseers wielded powerful magics and their wood dancers were skilled warriors. It is hinted that the enigmatic green priests of the [[Isle of Faces]] in the midst of [[Gods Eye]] know some of the secrets of the Children and their ways, and others (especially in the North) may know something of their ways.
   
 
===Physical appearance and comparison to elves===
 
===Physical appearance and comparison to elves===
Although they occupy the position usually filled by Elves in other high fantasy media, [[George R.R. Martin]] has repeatedly insisted that the Children of the Forest are not simply his version of Elves, because "Elves have been done to death". While the Children are repeatedly described as "dark and beautiful" this is not in the same manner of Tolkien's Elves: the Children are described as being smaller than humans with nut-brown skin, large ears, and glowing gold eyes, slitted like a cat's. They also have 4 digit hands (3 fingers and a thumb) that end in small claws instead of primate fingernails. They interwove vines and flowers into their hair and clothing.
+
Although they occupy the position usually filled by Elves in other high fantasy media, [[George R.R. Martin]] has repeatedly insisted that the Children of the Forest are not simply his version of Elves, because "Elves have been done to death". While the Children are repeatedly described as "dark and beautiful" this is not in the same manner of Tolkien's Elves: the Children are described as being smaller than humans with nut-brown skin, large ears, and glowing gold eyes, slitted like a cat's. They also have 4 digit hands (3 fingers and a thumb) that end in small claws instead of primate fingernails. The Children did not weave cloth for garments, but wore shorts of woven leaves, and leg-bindings made of tree bark. They interwove vines and flowers into their hair.
   
Artistic depictions of the Children of the Forest in the "Complete Guide to Westeros" Season 1 Blu-ray featurettes depict them as nothing like stereotypical Elves, who usually inhabit graceful castles and are highly "civilized". Instead, the Children are depicted as being an aboriginal people, somewhat like Native Americans or other hunter-gatherer peoples, adorned with totems and tattoos.
+
Artistic depictions of the Children of the Forest in the "Complete Guide to Westeros" Season 1 Blu-ray featurettes depict them as nothing like stereotypical Elves, who usually inhabit graceful castles and are highly "civilized". Instead, the Children are depicted as being an aboriginal people adorned with totems and tattoos.
  +
  +
When the Children of the Forest finally appeared in the Season 4 finale of the TV series, they were played by children. They apparently don't have claws instead of fingernails - and appear with ''five'' fingers instead of four, contradicting both the books and artwork from the Blu-ray featurettes.
  +
  +
==See also==
  +
* {{AWOIAF}} (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
   
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
   
==See also==
+
{{Peoples}}
* [http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Children_of_the_Forest The Children of the Forest at A Wiki of Ice and Fire.]
 
   
{{Creatures}}
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[[de:Kinder des Waldes]]
[[Category:Children of the Forest]]
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[[ru:Дети Леса]]
  +
[[Category:Children of the Forest| ]]
 
[[Category:Non-Human Races]]
 
[[Category:Non-Human Races]]
  +
[[Category:Legendary and Magical Creatures]]
  +
[[Category:Magic]]

Latest revision as of 17:28, July 7, 2014

Children of the Forest
Leaf
Also known as
Status
Nearly Extinct
Place of origin
{{{Origin}}}
Predecessors
{{{Predecessors}}}
Successors
{{{Successors}}}
Location
formerly all of Westeros,
currently only Beyond the Wall.
Ruler
Society
Clan-based
Language
Distinctive features
No taller than a human child
Four-digits on each hand

[[:Category:{{{Images}}}|Images]]

"In the Dawn Age of Westeros, before the coming of man and the raising of castles and cities, there were only the Children of the Forest."
Bran Stark[src]

The Children of the Forest are a mysterious non-human race that were reportedly the original inhabitants of the continent of Westeros. They were already living in Westeros when the First Men migrated to the continent, 12,500 years before Robert's Rebellion.[1]

According to legend they were last seen during the Andal invasion six thousand years before the War of the Five Kings. In the present day, most believe that they are simply the stuff of myth and never existed at all. Even the few that do believe they once existed, such as Maester Luwin or Ned Stark, believe that they have long since gone extinct.

BiologyEdit

The Children of the Forest were said to be humanoid, but when grown to manhood they were no taller than human children. They generally preferred to live in the depths of the forests in hidden villages, in crannogs of the swamps, or in caves. Thus they came to be known as "the Children of the Forest".

CultureEdit

Children of the Forest

The Children inhabited the deep forests of Westeros.

The Children of the Forest worshiped nature gods, the countless and nameless spirits of every tree, every rock, and every stream. Their religion devoted to the Old Gods of the Forest had no complex temples, but according to legend it was the Children that carved faces into the sacred Weirwood trees. 

These carved heart trees were the closest thing to a  shrine in their religion.

ChildrenOfTheForestGreenseer

A Greenseer of the Children of the Forest

The Children of the Forest weren't very technologically advanced, though they were very woodcrafty and had a great knowledge of the plants and animals of the forest. They hunted using bows made of weirwood and used blades made of Dragonglass.

The wise men of the Children of the Forest were known as "Greenseers", who are said to have wielded powerful magic.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

"The First Men called us 'the Children', but we were born long before them."
Leaf[src]
ChildrenInWoods

The Children lived in the deep woods for untold ages.

Legend holds that the Children of the Forest ruled Westeros for thousands of years before the arrival of the first humans on the continent twelve millennia ago. They inhabited the vast primeval forests which spanned most of Westeros before humans came and began cutting them down. According to legend, the Giants also inhabited Westeros at this time, and clashed periodically with the Children. Whatever history, wars, romances, or triumphs the Children may have had in the untold centuries that they inhabited Westeros, their stories have been forgotten.

Twelve thousand years ago, the First Men from the eastern continent of Essos migrated to Westeros by crossing a land bridge known as the Arm of Dorne. The First Men began cutting down the Children's forests, including the sacred weirwood trees, leading them into conflict with the Children. The two races fought a desperate series of wars for dominance for the next two thousand years, during which the Children of the Forest destroyed the Arm of Dorne and flooded the the Neck through the sorcery of their greenseers.

ThePact

The Children and the First Men clasp hands in peace. Note the four-digited, tattooed hand of one of the Children.

After two thousand years of violence, the Children of the Forest and the First Men fought one another to a standstill. The two races agreed to peaceful coexistence and signed the Pact on the Isle of Faces in Gods Eye lake, granting the open lands to humanity and the forests to the Children.

The Pact lasted for two thousand years before the enigmatic White Walkers invaded from the uttermost north, bringing death and destruction to both races. The Children of the Forest allied with the First Men to drive back the White Walkers in the War for the Dawn eight thousand years ago. After the defeat of the Others, the Children, much-reduced in number, are said to have helped Bran the Builder raise the Wall.

AndalsBurnTheWeirwoods

The Andals burned the weirwoods and slaughtered the Children of the Forest.

The Children of the Forest never had a large population to begin with, and they took heavy losses in the struggle against the White Walkers, from which they never truly recovered. Over the following centuries they gradually declined throughout Westeros, until they had all but disappeared by the time the Andals invaded Westeros six thousand years ago. The few that remained were hunted or driven off by the Andals during their conquest of the continent. The Andals cut down the sacred heart trees in the south (except on the Isle of Faces), but the First Men of the North withstood their advance, and continued their worship of the Old Gods centered around the remaining heart trees there. The handful of Children that survived the slaughter were said to have fled to the far north, Beyond the Wall, where the Andals would never follow them. By the time that Aegon I Targaryen conquered and united the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros three hundred years ago, there had been no contact with the Children of the Forest for thousands of years.[2]

According to the knowledge of the maesters, the Children are either extinct, or never existed in the first place and are a purely mythical race. This is disputed by the people of the North, who hold that they inherited their worship of the Old Gods from the Children of the Forest, who were real and have long since departed the realms of men.[3]

Child of the forest 2

A child of the forest in the cave of the three-eyed raven

Secretly, a handful of the Children actually did survive in the lands Beyond the Wall, unseen even by the wildlings, hiding in vast underground caverns.[4]

Season 2Edit

Maester Luwin tells Bran Stark that many people think that magical creatures like the Children of the Forest never existed at all. Luwin tells Bran that he thinks they may have once existed in ancient times, but that they have long since gone extinct: "The dragons are gone, the Giants are dead, and the Children of the Forest forgotten."[5]

Season 4Edit

Leaf, one of the Children of the Forest, emerges from the cave of the Three-eyed raven to save Bran Stark and his companions from a group of wights. She leads Bran and his companions deeper into the cave as other Children peer at them from around corners, until they reach the Three-eyed raven.[6]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, legend holds that the Children of the Forest ruled Westeros for thousands of years before the arrival of the First Men from the eastern continent of Essos, some twelve millennia ago.

Within the first novel, A Game of Thrones, it is speculated by songsters in the North that the Children might survive north of the Wall, though simply because no one is entirely sure what exists in the uncharted forests beyond it. Nonetheless, the Children have not been sighted in thousands of years, either by the Night's Watch guarding the Wall or even the wildlings that live immediately north of it.

According to myth, the Children were diminutive in stature and few in number compared to humans, but formidable in battle. Their greenseers wielded powerful magics and their wood dancers were skilled warriors. It is hinted that the enigmatic green priests of the Isle of Faces in the midst of Gods Eye know some of the secrets of the Children and their ways, and others (especially in the North) may know something of their ways.

Physical appearance and comparison to elvesEdit

Although they occupy the position usually filled by Elves in other high fantasy media, George R.R. Martin has repeatedly insisted that the Children of the Forest are not simply his version of Elves, because "Elves have been done to death". While the Children are repeatedly described as "dark and beautiful" this is not in the same manner of Tolkien's Elves: the Children are described as being smaller than humans with nut-brown skin, large ears, and glowing gold eyes, slitted like a cat's. They also have 4 digit hands (3 fingers and a thumb) that end in small claws instead of primate fingernails. The Children did not weave cloth for garments, but wore shorts of woven leaves, and leg-bindings made of tree bark. They interwove vines and flowers into their hair.

Artistic depictions of the Children of the Forest in the "Complete Guide to Westeros" Season 1 Blu-ray featurettes depict them as nothing like stereotypical Elves, who usually inhabit graceful castles and are highly "civilized". Instead, the Children are depicted as being an aboriginal people adorned with totems and tattoos.

When the Children of the Forest finally appeared in the Season 4 finale of the TV series, they were played by children. They apparently don't have claws instead of fingernails - and appear with five fingers instead of four, contradicting both the books and artwork from the Blu-ray featurettes.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit


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