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#2808682 Worst Imaginable Scenes from Winds of Winter (spoilers, naturally)

Posted by Der Anarch on 19 November 2011 - 02:21 PM

The Riverlands
Ayra Stark/Nobody: Aha! No one will recognise me wearing the face of a Frey!

Lady Stoneheart: Hang her.

Somewhere in the North
Ramsey Bolton: Reek! There you are. Come over here, I want to show you something. Look, it's the corpse of Theon Greyjoy.

Reek Number Three/Mance Rayder: Very interesting m'lord.

In a Musty Bedchamber somewhere
Arianne: Oh Damphair! Our plan to take the Iron Throne has almost succeeded, we are the two most important people in Westeros. Lets make sweet love.

Damphair: Silence saltwife, I'm praying to the Drowned God to make your father do something.

Beyond the Wall
Bran: So what's point of all this?

Bloodraven: We just watch events from affair, occasionally messing around with little crippled boys heads.

Bran: Nothing else?

Bloodraven: We are trees you know.

Somewhere in Essos
Dany: Westeros is that way! That way!

Drogon: Roar! *pounces on a child and continues his flight to Sothoros*

Kings Landing
Jamie: What are you doing?

Cersei: Sewing.

Jamie: Shouldn't you be plotting revenge?

Cersei: No. I've learned my lesson.

Jamie: Your no fun anymore.

Some Time Later in King's Landing
Sandor Clegane: I've come here to kill you brother.

Huge Knight: *Removes Helmet*

Sandor Clegane: Oh Seven Gods.... Who the bloody hell are you?

Varys: You know, you shouldn't expect everything to work out how you expect it. As poor Shagga here would tell you.

The Vale
Sansa: Petyr, I'd just to say how grateful I am for everything you've done. You really are splendid chap after all, winning back the North for me like that and defeating Damphair's Martell-Greyjoy alliance. So I have a surprise for you, dearest Littlefinger.

Littlefinger: Cat, is that you?

Lady Stoneheart: Do you still love me despite what I've become?

Littlefinger: Catelyn, I've only loved one women in my entire life.

Lady Stoneheart: Croak?

Sansa: Ahhhhh!

Littlefinger: .... Only Lysa.

Lady Stoneheart: Waaaaa!

Sansa: WTF?

Littlefinger: I did tell you not to trust me.

The Wall
Melisandre: Jon is Azor Ahai reborn!

Lord Commander Dolorious Ed: Really? Too bad he died at the end of the last book, eh. Even I didn't see that coming.

Ghost: *mournful howl*

Slavers Bay
Sir Barristen: My Queen, we've found you at last.

Dany: *wipes off sizzling child grease* You know... I've been thinking... Perhaps we should spend a little more time in Meereen.

#3252149 Oberyn poisoned Tywin

Posted by Inconsiderate Inchoroi on 02 June 2012 - 03:18 PM

saw this topic on Reddit today:

Links to this:

Tywin Lannister: Dead Man Shitting?

“Where will I find my lord father?”
“In the solar with Lord Tyrell and Prince Oberyn.”
Mace Tyrell and the Red Viper breaking bread together? Strange and stranger.

—Jaime and Ser Meryn Trant, upon Jaime’s return to King’s Landing

“Widow’s blood, this one is called, for the color. A cruel potion. It shuts down a man’s bladder and bowels, until he drowns in his own poisons.”

—Grand Maester Pycelle, during Tyrion’s trial

“To be sure, I have much to thank your sister for. If not for her accusation at the feast, it might well be you judging me instead of me judging you.” The prince’s eyes were dark with amusement. “Who knows more of poison than the Red Viper of Dorne, after all?”
“Your father,” said Prince Oberyn, “may not live forever.”
Something about the way he said it made the hairs on the back of Tyrion’s neck bristle. Suddenly he was mindful of Elia again, and all that Oberyn had said as they crossed the field of ashes. He wants the head that spoke the words, not just the hand that swung the sword. “It is not wise to speak such treasons in the Red Keep, my prince. The little birds are listening.”
“Let them. Is it treason to say a man is mortal? Valar morghulis was how they said it in Valyria of old. All men must die. And the Doom came and proved it true.”

—Prince Oberyn Martell and Tyrion, in Tyrion’s cell

He found his father where he knew he’d find him, seated in the dimness of the privy tower, bedrobe hiked up around his hips.
For once, his father did what Tyrion asked him. The proof was the sudden stench, as his bowels loosened in the moment of death. Well, he was in the right place for it, Tyrion thought. But the stink that filled the privy gave ample evidence that the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie.
Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.

—from Tyrion’s assassination of Tywin during his escape from the black cells

The King’s Hand was rotting visibly. His face had taken on a greenish tinge, and his eyes were deeply sunken, two black pits. Fissures had opened in his cheeks, and a foul white fluid was seeping through the joints of his splendid gold-and-crimson armor to pool beneath his body.
Red-eyed and pale, Cersei climbed the steps to kneel above their father, drawing Tommen down beside her. The boy recoiled at the sight, but his mother seized his wrist before he could pull away.“Pray,” she whispered, and Tommen tried. But he was only eight and Lord Tywin was a horror. One desperate breath of air, then the king began to sob.“Stop that!” Cersei said. Tommen turned his head and doubled over, retching. His crown fell off and rolled across the marble floor. His mother pulled back in disgust, and all at once the king was running for the doors, as fast as his eight-year-old legs could carry him.
“Ser Osmund, relieve me,” Jaime said sharply, as Kettleblack turned to chase the crown. He handed the man the golden sword and went after his king. In the Hall of Lamps he caught him, beneath the eyes of two dozen startled septas. “I’m sorry,” Tommen wept. “I will do better on the morrow. Mother says a king must show the way, but the smell made me sick.”
This will not do. Too many eager ears and watching eyes.“Best we go outside, Your Grace.” Jaime led the boy out to where the air was as fresh and clean as King’s Landing ever got. Twoscore gold cloaks had been posted around the plaza to guard the horses and the litters. He took the king off to the side, well away from everyone, and sat him down upon the marble steps. “I wasn’t scared,” the boy insisted. “The smell made me sick. Didn’t it make you sick? How could you bear it, Uncle, ser?”

—Jaime, Cersei, and Tommen, during Tywin’s funeral.
I’m just saying: means, motive, opportunity.

Quoted for your convenience.

I, for one, am utterly convinced.

#3253412 [Book Spoilers] Game of Thrones, an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire? Not...

Posted by Linda on 03 June 2012 - 09:32 PM

Of all the atrocious decisions taken in the adaptation of the second season -- having Joffrey and not Cersei be the one to order the killing of the bastards, having Robb fall for a spunky and socially progressive chick from Volantis, cutting out virtually all of the poignant material between Jon and Qhorin, leaving out virtually all the dark character development from Arya's arc, to name but a few -- the utter travesty that is the show's version of the House of the Undying takes the cake. In fact, it takes the whole dessert table.

I/we will be writing a longer piece on how poorly handled both Dany and Dany's whole storyline have been in the second season, contrasting it with the very clear purpose of Qarth in the books, so right now I am just concentrating on the House of the Undying.

Instead of a single one of the visions that Dany actually sees, we get a vision of Khal Drogo. Talk about a cheap-ass publicity stunt to squeeze Jason Momoa back in. Now, it is true that perhaps some of the visions she sees would be too spoilery on TV as opposed to when read, but why not just compensate for that by toning down what is shown? Or going entirely to Dany hearing but not seeing things? I expect that there would be cuts and changes, in particular I expected some of the visuals to disappear. I did not expect them to just throw everything out.

We have, as of yet, not had a single mention of either the Song of Ice and Fire or the Prince that was Promised in the series. What more, not only did they cut out the visions, they cut the whole prophecy. So far, all we have gotten for Dany is an abbreviated version of Mirri Maz Duur's prophecy.

So, they continue to cut out the past from the story and in addition to that they also cut out most of the prophecies. Both these are very significant elements of the story. Whatever the producers and writers might think, A Song of Ice and Fire isn't just about battles and boobs.

The past still matters, it enriches and makes the present more poignant. We'll likely never see Rhaegar now, not to mention Elia. What viewers will care about them? What viewers will care about Rhaegar and Lyanna when they ultimately have to become more important to the story? What viewers will care particularly about the Martells without any establishing of Elia?

The prophecies...well, who can deny their importance? As we see in A Dance with Dragons, even the most obscure ones do come true, just not in ways one might have expected. Magic isn't just dragons and Others.

A Song of Ice and Fire is a multi-layered and multi-faceted story. That also means that people do read it for different reasons. Some may take in all aspects of the story with near equal enjoyment, others may favour some aspects and dislike others. The mysteries of the past and the prophecies fuel a large amount of the discussion on the forums. They are clearly important aspects for many, many fans. And the show has just ripped them out of the story almost wholesale.

Furious doesn't come close to describing what I am today. Nor does disappointed.

I had said before the season started that for this season, the only thing I really hoped for was that they would get the House of the Undying right. If not, I would find it hard to continue watching. Since they didn't even try to get it right, they just threw it in the trash, I have absolutely no interest in watching any more. Unfortunately, we have a lot tied up in the coverage of the show, so I'll probably have to keep watching to some degree anyway. But I no longer look forward to new episodes because the story has been gutted of what matters the most to me and because I do not expect any of the scenes I truly care about to make it in, at least not without being butchered beyond recognition.

As far as I am concerned, it is no longer an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, it is an mainly an original story in the A Song of Ice and Fire setting. And it isn't particularly good.

#3482615 The Last Sentence

Posted by Brony Stark on 07 August 2012 - 11:32 AM

"That was one hell of a dream," Lord Hodor Stark woke up and climbed out of bed, giving a kiss to Lady Osha Tully and looking outside, where the simpleton known as Ned walked around.

#3883479 The Great Northern Conspiracy, Reexamined

Posted by Apple Martini on 07 December 2012 - 12:04 AM

As I hope we all know by now, the World of Ice and Fire app confirms what I think most people have suspected: Robb legitimized Jon in his will and named him his heir, and sent Galbart Glover and Maege Mormont on ahead to the north with the news. While Mormont and Glover have yet to resurface (where we can see, anyway), there's evidence that perhaps the word is starting to get out.

Take, for instance, the letter little Lyanna Mormont sends to Stannis: "Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK."

I remember people wondering about the letter, wondering to whom Lyanna was referring, seeing as Robb was dead, Rickon and Bran and Arya were thought dead, and Sansa was probably disinherited. But now that we know that Robb did legitimize Jon and that Maege did go north with the message, the letter makes a lot of sense.

However ...

... If Maege did get the word out, which I agree it seems like she must have, why did no one actually get in touch with Jon? They could get a letter to Stannis at the Wall; why did no one send Jon a letter or make an attempt to get in touch with him about the news? And why did Bear Island tell Stannis to go piss off a bridge one moment, only to join up with him the next?

Here's my theory: I have said, for a while, that the Northmen are using Stannis as a means to an end (and yes this includes Manderly, although it's speculative as to whether he knows about Jon; more on that in a sec) and have no real intention of bending the knee or recognizing his authority when all is said and done. BUT ... they need someone to flush the Boltons out.

What if they're biding their time to reveal the truth about Robb's will until after Stannis' forces defeat Bolton's, or Bolton's defeat Stannis'? Whoever wins, his forces will be depleted enough from beating up on the other that pro-Stark forces (Mormont, Umber, Manderly, Glover, etc.) will be able to sweep aside the "victor" relatively easily. Or to put it in terms that have been discussed before, Stannis is the Dothraki, Bolton is Robert and Jon is Aegon. :P

If Jon's legitimization and role in the will is revealed too early, the northmen risk that Stannis and/or Bolton will get wind of it and take Jon out. But if they keep it under wraps, they can push Stannis and Bolton's forces into bleeding each other, with Jon and his secret untouched until the time is right and the northerners have the advantage.

As for Manderly, I have also suggested before that something reeks about his offer to Davos — that there's a sleight of wording, that there's something else going on here. There's the question of why the northerners would want Jon if Rickon is alive, and vice versa. Manderly refers to Rickon as his liege lord — and really, he is in a way. If Jon is Robb's heir to be King in the North, Rickon would move into Winterfell as the Lord Stark. As I've suggested before about Robb's will, a lot of it depends on how it's worded. If he thinks that Bran and Rickon are definitely dead, it's likely that he leaves them out entirely and just focuses on Jon, because why include people who you "know" to be dead? This might suit the northerners fine, given that Jon is an adult and Rickon is a small child. However, Rickon is still a legitimate male Stark, still technically Jon's heir now (assuming Bran's out of the picture), and still able to trump the fake Arya. So they can still use him — and they can send Davos after him on the premise that if Davos retrieves him, they'll support Stannis. However, if Stannis loses, they're not bound to that agreement, and if he wins, as I suggested earlier, the northerners can shunt him aside — it's their season, and their country. And if Davos for whatever reason fails, they still have Jon.

And to keep going with Manderly, the insanely analytical Tze once made a point of dissecting the songs that Manderly called for at Ramsay and Jeyne's wedding. All of them have to do with the Night's Watch. Not only that, but all of them send a pointed message in their own way, with context. Manderly has killed and served the three missing Freys = The Rat Cook. Jeyne is a girl disguised as someone she isn't = Brave Danny Flint. Then there's The Night That Ended, in which the Night's Watch rides out and saves the day. Manderly is also pretty jovial about all of this. What if his song selection is his subtle way of teasing/goading the Boltons, knowing what's going on behind the scenes? It almost smacks of someone coming up and saying, "I've got a secret but I'm not going to tell you." Taken together as a whole, the song collection basically says, "I'm onto what you're trying to pull (Danny Flint), but I've drawn blood already under your nose (The Rat Cook), and ultimately my side's going to win (The Night That Ended)."

So to sum it all up — the pro-Stark northern families know about Robb's will and are moving into position, with the aim of forcing Stannis and the Boltons against each other and dispatching with the "victor" before "going public" with the will and reinstalling a Stark king.

ETA: And there's also Barbrey Dustin, as brought up lower down. Now a lot of people think she's totally in the can for Roose, but that doesn't really explain why she had Theon take her down to the crypts. I think she's playing a "lady doth protest too much" game, and went to the crypts to verify that swords were missing and/or that there was evidence of Bran and Rickon having been there. She might not like the Starks, but Ramsay murdered her nephew of whom she was very fond; somehow I have to think that stings a wee bit more.

#3482675 The Last Sentence

Posted by Ser Hippie on 07 August 2012 - 11:43 AM

"Of course the story ends before I get a PoV," Edd whined as he sat upon the Iron Throne.

#3448025 Is Hot Pie overrated as a baker?

Posted by Khal Pono on 29 July 2012 - 11:11 AM

In Arya's POV chapter, she reflects that Hot Pie doesn't do anything well except bake and sing.

I say, however, that fans have made far too much of Hot Pie's baking prowess. First of all, as a street urchin in King's Landing, we know that his mother made the pies and he sold them in the streets, yelling "Hot Pie! Hot Pie!" wherever he went. More pieman than baker, really. He might have watched his mother make pies and helped her from time to time, but I don't think he had enough experience or time with his mother to truly learn the secrets of pie baking.

Second of all I think our appreciation of Hot Pie is somewhat exaggerated by the fact that there are very few competent bakers appearing as characters in ASOIAF. If there were POV chapters about the master cooks of Illyrio's manse in Pentos, or about the artists in the Red Keep's kitchens who made pie full of doves, do you think Hot Pie's wares would even be a blip on our radar? No, ser. While we're on the subject, you may note that one of Joffrey's last utterances was that the pigeon pie he ate was rather "dry," but do not be fooled by this. He was at that point suffering from the effets of the "Strangler" potion, and every other indication we have is that the pies of the Red Keep's kitchen were delectably moist.

Back to the subject at hand, we also see Hot Pie making tarts and cakes in the kitchens of Harrenhal but he is essentially a baker's helper, one of many servants who work in the kitchens. It is the master baker's recipes that he uses, not his own. It's not as if he is running the kitchens himself. Also, note how Amory Lorch or Roose Bolton don't make any comment about the quality and deliciousness of the bread coming out of the kitchens; this shows us that Hot Pie's work, even under the instruction of a master cook, was middling at best.

Finally, Hot Pie informs the innkeeper at the Kneeling Man inn that his breads are tough and unpalatable and that he knows how bake much better bread. This may be true, but keep in mind that this scene takes place in the war-ravaged countryside where baking ingredients such as flour and leavening are scarce and those that can be found are of appallingly low quality. Also, the innkeeper was never trained as a baker, so of course his bread is subpar. While there is no doubt that Hot Pie is knows his way around the oven, almost anyone's baking would be better than the inedible loaves being baked when Hot Pie arrived.

In conclusion, we must be wary lest our emotions and sentimentality--Hot Pie is, after all, an amusing and memorable character---cloud our judgement of GRRM's depiction of his characters' baking abilities. A close, impartial reading of the text reveals in no uncertain terms, to the dismay and chagrin of Hot Pie's fanboys everywhere, that our fat young friend's wares are not the pies that were promised.

#3550409 From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa X

Posted by tze on 23 August 2012 - 07:23 PM

Some thoughts on Sansa and Jon:

Sansa and Jon are, as far as I can tell, the only two Starks we never actually see interact in "present" time, and I don't think that's a coincidence from a literary standpoint. Everything we know of their past interactions comes via someone's reminiscences, so each is present in the other's life, but only in the past, never in the present. If Jon and Sansa meet in the future, it will doubtless come across to readers, in a very real way, as their very first meeting. Given the changes they've both undergone since their last meeting, that type of dynamic makes a certain amount of literary sense.

At the beginning of the series, Jon and Sansa seemed to sit at two opposite ends of the "Stark" children's cultural spectrum: Sansa is viewed by other characters as the most culturally "southern" of the children, (and she did initially seem to value "southern" courtly culture more than Northern culture), while Jon is viewed as the most culturally "Northern" of the Starks because he does not associate with southern-based institutions. Sansa was the Stark child most heavily and explicitly associated with the Faith of the Seven (she was always with her septa and she's the Stark child we see actually worshiping in the sept the most), while Jon was, at the beginning of the series, the most heavily associated with the Old Gods (given that he's the only one of the children who does not keep the Faith at all, not to mention Ghost's physical resemblance to a weirwood tree). Of the boys, Jon looks the most like Ned, while Sansa looks the most (out of the girls) like Catelyn---superficially, readers were encouraged, in the beginning, to associate Sansa and Jon with two different "regions", one with the South and one with the North.

In AGOT, Sansa and Jon occupied two very different, inherently non-overlapping worlds, and each person's understanding of how "the world" worked implicitly contained no real "place" for the other. By that I mean: Jon loved to fight, occupied a world in which fighting was the primary activity, and at the beginning had a great deal of difficulty interacting with people incapable of fighting. Look at his initial attitude toward Tyrion as well as the other Watch recruits, for example. Sansa is the one Stark child inherently incapable of fighting. She loved knitting, dancing, listening to singers, things that Jon had no use for---there was no room for Sansa in Jon's "world".

And Sansa's "world" contained no real "place" for Jon. She believed that knighthood and its accompanying (southern) chivalric code were the celebrated foundations of the world, and interpreted everything she saw through that cultural lens. Sansa knew her "world of chivalry" clearly viewed a bastard like Jon with suspicion, and because of that, I think Sansa probably had difficulty holding what seemed like two contradictory notions in her head: on the one hand, Jon was her brother, raised along with her and someone she never seemed to have any open conflicts with (unlike Arya, for example), and on the other hand, as the occupier of a "place" (bastard) that her social code condemned.

Now, I think it's worth noting that, although bastards have far lesser status in Westerosi society, there are "places" that can be carved out for them nonetheless, especially for paternally-acknowledged highborn bastards like Jon: we're told that bastards have served in the Kingsguard, a bastard (Sam Stone) serves as Master-At-Arms for House Royce of Runestone, a bastard ends up on Cersei's Small Council, at least one bastard served as Hand of the King, bastards freely join the Citadel and the Faith, etc., etc. But the issue with Jon is that Sansa, during AGOT, pretty clearly viewed knighthood as the central aspect of a man's worth. To "properly" occupy an honored place in "Sansa's world", Jon would have to first be a knight---not just a fighter, but an actual anointed knight, with all of the accompanying chivalric duties and responsibilities. (Look at how she thinks about Jory vs. how she thinks of Alyn in AGOT for an illustration of this.) Jon clearly had the fighting ability to attain knighthood, but unlike the other Starks, he has never kept the Seven at all. Knighthood was never a real possibility for him, as it was for Robb/Bran/Rickon, and presumably Sansa recognized that. I think it was difficult for her, especially early on, to really find a positive place for Jon in her understanding of the world, because he obviously couldn't be a septon, he couldn't join the Citadel (she would have recognized Jon wasn't exactly a bookworm), he was not in line for lordship, and he wasn't going to be a knight . . . but deep down she loved him nonetheless. So what was he? Where did he fit? How could she believe that knighthood and chivalry were the cornerstones of her society while simultaneously having a relationship with her non-knight bastard brother? I think this is why Sansa was, in the beginning, so very, very keen on pointing out Jon's exact relationship to her: her half-brother, a bastard. I think deep down Jon really confused her, and this was her way of repeatedly clarifying to herself exactly who Jon was, of seeking a measure of control over a relationship that must have confuzzled her greatly, because its very existence contradicted her understanding of how the world was supposed to work.

Because while Jon and Sansa seemed to have the most "distant" relationship of the Stark children, it's pretty clear that Jon and Sansa did always love each other deep down. At the Wall, Jon mentioned that he missed Sansa. In ADWD, when he thinks of his lost siblings, right before he starts making plans to head to Winterfell, an image of Sansa brushing Lady's coat and singing is included. And even in AGOT, though Sansa rarely thought about Jon, when he did enter her thoughts we saw her seem to subconsciously want Jon to occupy a "positive" position in her understanding of the world order. We know from Jon that Sansa tried to teach him how to talk to girls, and though he mentions that she always called him her "half"-brother, there's no indication she tried to ignore or insult him, as other trueborn children might have done to a bastard. Her love for him was clearly not as "free" as Arya's love for him was---Sansa's world of chivalry and knighthood was a stumbling block to such a relationship, so it's easy for readers to overlook that she did love him. But even in AGOT, look at her reaction to Yoren:

She had always imagined the Night's Watch to be men like Uncle Benjen. In the songs, they were called the black knights of the Wall. But this man had been crookbacked and hideous, and he looked as though he might have lice. If this was what the Night's Watch was truly like, she felt sorry for her bastard half brother, Jon.

It's easy for readers to focus on her calling Jon her "bastard half brother" here, but if we look a little deeper, we notice how she also thinks to herself that the singers called the Watch "the black knights of the Wall". This is important because we know what a huge premium Sansa was putting on the idea of knighthood. Though religion seemingly prevents Jon from attaining knighthood, Sansa seemed to subconsciously look for a loophole there, and found one in the songs: her beloved singers could "grant" Jon a sort of honorary knighthood as a member of the Watch, so that is the route her thoughts took.

(And here we also see that Jon and Sansa, though superficially incredibly divergent, actually did look at the world in somewhat similar ways: each believed in the stories and songs, in honor---just different stories and different methods of honor. Each believed Benjen Stark was the prototypical Watchman. Jon believed all Watchmen were true and honorable, Sansa believed all knights were true and honorable. They each had specific ideas about how a specific place was supposed to be (the Wall and the South), and each of them had those ideas dashed by reality.)

As ASOIAF has progressed, we've seen Jon and Sansa slip into each other's roles, into each other's shoes. Jon becomes a Lord in ASOS, the same book in which Sansa ceases "being" a Lady. Robb disinherited Sansa at the same time (if the will says what many suspect it does) that he declared he wanted Jon to inherit. Becoming Alayne meant Sansa became a bastard, just like Jon, (and Jon could very well have been declared trueborn by Robb's will, which would mean that Sansa "became" a bastard and Jon "became" a trueborn Stark). Sansa began her story by loving singers, and has progressed toward disliking them (Marillion), while Jon initially seemed to have no use for singers . . . until he met the singer Mance Rayder. The Littlefinger/Lysa/Sansa dynamic played out almost as a vicious, over-the-top caricature of the Ned/Catelyn/Jon dynamic, with Sansa forced to literally stand in a (heavily skewed and sensationalized) version of Jon's shoes: Catelyn saw Jon as a living representation of another woman that she feared Ned loved more than her, and Lysa saw Sansa as a living representation of Catelyn, the woman that Lysa (rightly) feared Littlefinger loved more than her. Sansa seemed to have a much closer relationship with her mother than with her father (the exact opposite of Jon), but "Alayne" had a much "closer" relationship with Littlefinger than with Lysa---Sansa takes on with Littlefinger (a much skeevier version of) the relatively close father/child relationship that Jon had with Ned.

In her final chapter of AFFC, Sansa thinks to herself:

She had not thought of Jon in ages.

Or so Sansa tells herself. But I think there's a pretty good chance Sansa had actually been subconsciously thinking about Jon ever since she took on the Alayne Stone identity, because Sansa seems to be subconsciously patterning her "Alayne Stone" persona around Jon Snow. Sansa wants "Alayne" to be 14 years old, because "She had decided that Alayne Stone should be older than Sansa Stark". How old was Jon the last time Sansa saw him? 14 years old. She becomes worried at the prospect of dancing, because she seems to think that, for some unexplained reason, Alayne Stone might not enjoy dancing:

What would she do when the music began to play? It was a vexing question, to which her heart and head gave different answers. Sansa loved to dance, but Alayne...

Dancing is a pretty popular activity among women of all social classes and we know it's an activity very close to Sansa's heart, given that she was able to dance even at her own terrible wedding. But then in ADWD we discover that Jon does not appear to enjoy dancing---he refuses to dance with Alys, and Alys teases him about it when she brings up previous dances they were forced to dance together at Winterfell. If Sansa is subconsciously patterning "Alayne" on Jon Snow, then the fact that she's concerned that Alayne might not enjoy dancing makes quite a bit of sense, given that Jon's apparent dislike of dancing seems like the sort of thing Sansa would have picked up on. (In other words, if "Alayne" is patterned after Jon Snow, then the "real" reason Sansa fears Alayne won't like dancing is because Sansa knows Jon, on whom Alayne is molded, dislikes dancing.) Sansa thinks of Alayne as "bastard-brave", and since she barely knows Mya, what bastard does Sansa want Alayne to be as brave as? The obvious answer is Jon. And we see "Alayne" take on the type of caregiver role with Sweetrobin that the other Stark children (Bran and Arya, especially) seem to have associated with Jon, a role that Sansa herself seemed to take on with people like Beth Cassel and Jeyne Poole in Winterfell, but not with her own younger siblings.

He was only her half brother, but still... with Robb and Bran and Rickon dead, Jon Snow was the only brother that remained to her. I am a bastard too now, just like him. Oh, it would be so sweet, to see him once again.

This is Sansa's thought process once Myranda Royce tells her about Jon's new position as Lord Commander of the Watch. If I'm correct and she's had Jon on the brain throughout AFFC, then this right here actually serves as a breakthrough for her, because Sansa goes from subconsciously longing for Jon to explicitly longing for Jon. And her thought process here is a pretty useful distillation of how far Sansa's come from AGOT, a semi-culmination of her ideological journey thus far: the main issues she once had with Jon---that he was a bastard, that he didn't "fit" the world of knights and chivalry that Sansa loved---have been essentially nullified. She starts out with the "old" Sansa's thought patterns ("He was only her half-brother"), but then she immediately (and pretty substantially) switches gears and starts openly longing to see Jon again, expressly thinking about how she's now a bastard too. The ideological barriers between them are basically gone.

Indeed, Sansa's entire arc had been bringing her closer and closer, ideologically, to the forces (winter, the North, and the Old Gods) represented by Jon. Sansa started out in AGOT preferring the Faith of the Seven, loving knighthood, loving the south, and losing her direwolf. By AFFC, we see her (far) more heavily associated with the Old Gods, favoring a non-knight (the Hound), and in an overall sense, switching gears from the epitomization of a "summer's child" to (IMO) someone on the path to becoming a "winter's child". Jon and Sansa become the Starks who we see most heavily drawing their inner strength from the cold and the snow: Jon mentions on more than one occasion that Ghost loves the snow, we see Jon frequently seeking out the cold (not the heat) at the Wall. We see Sansa literally drawing strength from the snow and the cold at the Eyrie. In the beginning of AGOT, Sansa wanted only to be a queen in the hot south. By AFFC, we see her building a scale model of Winterfell and drawing spiritual strength from the forces of winter.

Given the way Sansa seems to have been sliding more and more "toward" Jon as her arc has progressed---given the way her arc has been bringing her closer to him both ideologically and thematically---I wonder what implications Jon's stabbing (and the potential future that stabbing could bring for him) have for Sansa's future. Because the myth of Persephone looms large over both Jon and Sansa, and given what happened to Jon at the end of ADWD, I'm very, very curious what GRRM has in store for Sansa's arc, especially now that winter has come.

Both Jon and Sansa encounter "the pomegranate": Sansa is offered a literal pomegranate by Littlefinger, while Jon's rulership arc in ADWD was confronted at every turn by the Old Pomegranate, Bowen Marsh. The pomegranate, in Greek mythology, is what causes Persephone to become Queen of the Dead in perpetuity, and it's the reason winter comes in the first place---winter, in Greek mythology, being viewed as Demeter's grief at her separation from her daughter when Persephone descends every year to rule in the Underworld. The pomegrante causes Persephone to undertake two disparate roles, to become a creature of two separate worlds: she is both the Goddess of Spring and the Queen of the Underworld simultaneously (and concurrently), she rules in both the sunlight and the darkness. That idea---of a person moving between two contradictory spheres of existence, of a person gaining strength by a capacity to move between the darkness and the light---is a theme GRRM has played around with in other works, so there's an excellent chance he's exploring it in ASOIAF as well.

Both Jon and Sansa choose to reject "the pomegranate": Jon rejects the Old Pomegranate's demands for the future of the Watch, Sansa rejects Littlefinger's attempt to have her eat an actual pomegranate. But look at what happened to Jon in ADWD: he refused to acquiese to the Old Pomegranate's wishes, but the Old Pomegranate would not quietly accept rejection, choosing to physically attack him: there's been a lot of speculation on these boards that the attack on Jon will lead to some death-based transformation, that he (like Persephone) might find himself transformed (and possibly occupying a new leadership role) because of the Old Pomegranate. GRRM apparently had some Sansa chapters prepared for ADWD, but he pushed them back to TWOW. I'm very curious about what those chapters contained.

Because winter has now come, and in winter, Persephone rules over the dead. Sansa's arc has tracked Persephone in some pretty substantial ways: at the beginning of AGOT, when summer was in swing, she was the Stark most heavily associated with the warmth and frivolity of the South, just as Persephone was the flower-loving Goddess of Spring; Sansa was forced to marry, against her will, a man heavily associated with worldly wealth (in Greek mythology, Hades is associated with wealth because gold, silver, and jewels are drawn from beneath the ground, and Hades of course rules the Underworld). As winter approaches, Sansa loses her childlike innocence and naivete. And winter has now hit Westeros, and will presumably hit with a vengeance during TWOW---so what will Sansa become in the winter? Where winter is a time of imprisonment for Persephone, with spring/summer freeing her to walk the warm world above, it seems that summer was a time of imprisonment for Sansa, and winter might end up freeing her. And the story of Persephone ends with Persephone holding dominion over the dead during the winter. This might be a hint toward our pomegranate-associated characters' future, especially given the heavy associations both Jon and Sansa have with the living dead. (With Jon, those associations are obvious---he's a living man who wears black, his direwolf is named Ghost, he's fighting wights. With Sansa, the associations are less obvious but no less profound: Sansa's direwolf is dead (and since the Starks "are" their direwolves, Sansa is both alive and dead simultaneously because part of her is dead while part of her lives on), Littlefinger associates her with Catelyn reborn (and Catelyn has literally become the walking dead), not to mention the Hound: "The Hound is dead" we are told, and this "dead man" of course hated fire---I doubt it's a coincidence that this description of the Hound, as a walking dead man who hates fire, sounds quite a bit like a wight.)

And then there's this bit from AFFC:

All around was empty air and sky, the ground falling away sharply to either side. There was ice underfoot, and broken stones just waiting to turn an ankle, and the wind was howling fiercely. It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf, big as mountains.

It's easy to forget sometimes that AFFC and ADWD were originally meant to be one super-book. Could Sansa have been "sensing" Jon's "death" here? Is the "ghost wolf" Ghost? Or is there a hint here for Sansa herself? She's become a Stone, and she's been told that a stone is a mountain's daughter. The cold winds are howling, and she thinks the cold winds are becoming a ghost wolf---is Sansa, she of the dead direwolf, en route to her own eventual death and resurrection?

#3335641 Aegon is Legitimate: It's Obvious, Right? (Long OP)

Posted by Bravely Done on 28 June 2012 - 06:13 AM

The core reasons people source for doubting the legitimacy of the newly revealed Aegon are Dany's visions while in the house of undying of the cloth Dragon, Quathe's prophecies of mummer's Dragons, wether or not the switch were possible, and the motivations, whatever they are, of Varys and Illyrio Mopatis.

1. For starters, I can’t seem to gather why people hesitate to believe Varys is a Targaryen loyalist? On page 636 of a GOT, while sitting in his cell beneath the red keep, Eddard Stark and Varys engaged in the following dialogue.

Ned: "Just as you let me believe you were mine. Tell me, Lord Varys, who do you truly serve?"

Varys: "Why, the realm, my good lord, how ever would you doubt that? I serve the realm, and the realm needs peace."

Initially of course, on your first read through of the series, you have every reason to doubt his statement or scoff at the notion of his intentions being peace, and his motivations being that which best serves the realm. He's the master of whispers, painted as devious and void of scruples, as manipulative, treacherous and deceitful. Obviously, he doesn't truly serve the realm, or does he? Have his actions not supported his service to the Targaryen's from the very beginning?

Was it not he that urged Mad King Aerys to keep his gates closed to Tywin and The Lannisters? Did he not warn Jorah of the assassination attempts on Danny’s life? Did he and Illiro not arrange for Danny to marry the horselord, whom was convinced to cross the sea and conquer westeros before he died? He and Illirio have served all remaining Targaryen's; Aegon, Viserys, and Daenerys, and in some fashion, they've aided each of them. Illirio housed, protected, and served all three of them at one point; and is responsible for gifting Dany the dragon eggs she'll one day rule Westeros with. They saw to the education and tutelage of young Aegon through his fathers best friend, and even Viserys was offered board in Pentos with Illiro while Danny traveled with her Khal. They've given them Dragons gold, armies, ships, protection, and even eggs. They've even killed their enemies.(Kevan)

I've seen people cite Varys whispering to Aerys and stirring enmity between Rhaegar and his father for reasons to question his loyalty. And they may have a point if everything he whispered weren't true. Per Jamie, Rheagar did intend on usurping his father in some fashion upon returning from the war, justified or not. Varys played no part in Aeyrs madness, that seed was planted during his confinement in Duskendale, and was fostered and blossomed through the properties of his blood.

Others I've seen suggest their actions are all an act, a ruse, and that they're Blackfyre apologists or that Illirio is Aegon's father. This, I find to be as farfetched a theory I've read on these boards. There's simply no proof to support this claim, and their actions specifically speak against this. If Illirio wanted Dany and Viserys incapacitated in way of his Blackfyre "son", he would have had their throats slit when they resided in his home. He would have made Dany a bed slave and thrown her brother into the sea. He would have done all he could to ensure a Blackfyre would sit the throne instead of a Targaryen, but instead he does all he can to assist the very people he's supposed to oppose, even going as far as to send his "son" to beg the Queens hand.

Least we forget how fondly Illiro spoke of Dany...

"Fear not, my little friend. The blood of Aegon the Dragon flows in her veins."

"Viserys was Mad Aerys's son, just so. Daenerys... Daenerys is quite different. The frightened child in my manse died on the Dothraki sea, and was reborn in blood and fire. This dragon queen who wears her name is a true Targaryen."

People note the Golden Company and its histories as evidence that Young Griff is truly a Blackfyre in disguise. How can this be when the Golden Company had broken its contract and was marching on Volantis with the intent of assisting Daenerys prior to knowing of Aegon’s appearance? Aegon himself was seeking out Dany as a possible suitor prior to receiving council from Tyrion to prove his worth by turning west and conquering, as opposed to begging for the Queens hand. Harry Strickland, the company's leader was hesitant to even fight, especially if it meant crossing the narrow sea. And prior to even all of that, Illirio flat out stated this wasn't the Golden company of old, and that they and Dany had common cause.

Tyrion: "How did you convince the Golden Company to take up the cause of our sweet queen when they have spent so much of their history fighting against the Targaryens?"

Illirio: "Black or red, a dragon is still a dragon. When Maelys the Monstrous died upon the Stepstones, is was the end of the male line of house Blackfyre. And Daeneyrs will give the exiles what Bittersteel and the Blackfyres never could. She will take them home."

Even if we were to operate under the assumption that Aegon is a fake, and is indeed a Blackfyre, what exactly are his motivations or endgame(Dunk and Egg series implies a desire for eventual Blackfyre/Targaryen reconciliation)? House Blackfyre is dead, and has been dead for 4 decades. What glory can Aegon win them? Moreover, the only thing that separates the black dragon from the red is their name and sigil, they are of the same blood, and their blood was all but vanquished from Westeros by traitors and usurpers. This is not a 100 years past, or even 40. The Blackfyre's and Targaryen's have common cause, and the former knows as well as we do that they cannot stand against Dragons. Taking on Dany would be madness.

And the most damning evidence of all? Well, there's two things. Varys epilogue, and Tyrion's having guessed that young Griff was Aegon.

Kevan: "Aegon? Dead. He's dead".

Varys: "No. He is here. Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk. He has been trained at arms, poetry. A septa has instructed him in the faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, and that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them."

No, I'm not convinced he was lying to a dead man. He had no logical reason to do so given the situation, and I'm hardly of the belief that the "Aegon" he's referring to is anybody but the Aegon he carried out his cradle 16 years earlier.(what motivations would he have for deceiving a dead man? Makes no sense)


Tyrion: "The blue hair makes your eyes seem blue... I must admit, you have noble features for a dead boy"

Aegon: "I'm not dead"

Tyrion: "How not? My lord father wrapped your corpse in a crimson cloak and laid you down beside your sister at the foot of the iron throne, his gift to the new king."

Tyrion, one of the most clever and learned(particularly when it comes to Targaryens and Dragons) characters in the series, mistook a Targareyn for a common boy of Lys? And not just any Targaryen, no, he figures this is the dead son of the late Rhaegar. This, while the boys silver/white/blond hair was dyed blue, mind you, and he was disguised. Never mind Jon Connington, whose raised the boy since he was 5(4 year gap), and served both his grandsire and sire. No, he’d haven’t the slightest clue what a Targaryen of royal birth was supposed to look like.

2. In order to harbor the belief that Aegon is false, you must also believe Quathe's prophecies to be true, and they've already proven faulty.

"The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal"

Well, for starters, neither Illiro nor Varys were mummers. Illiro was a water dancer and Varys was the king of thieves. Furthermore, being a mummers dragon doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a fake, but can just as easily be interpreted as being the dragon of a mummer. A real dragon, but the pawn of another. In any case...

Beware the Kraken, right? That she should, for Victarion may eventually reveal himself an adversary. Though I believe it obvious that he'll join or assist her, rather than war against her. Especially not while the threat of the combined forces of Slavers Bay remain present, with the fleet of old Volantis creeping behind. Moreover, it's obvious it'll be the oars of the Ironborn that sail Dany's armies to Westeros.

Beware the Dark Flame? He was specifically sent out by a council of his superiors to aid Dany in her mission, and thus far, he's proven himself a maestro. The red priests are behind her, as Benerro so clearly voiced. Trust him? perhaps not, but she'd be wise to heed his council.

Beware Tyrion? From what I've gathered from reading these boards, many of you believe Tyrion will be one of the three heads of the dragon(I disagree). If that's the case, why should she fear him? We know Tyrion, sly fellow that he is, and though he can be a little monster at times, do any of us believe he'll conspire against Dany, rather than with her?

The Griffin? The Girffin turned around and went the other way, and besides that fact, is actively dying. There's a legitimate chance he wont live long enough to meet the Dragon queen, let alone spoil whatever her plans are. Never mind the fact that based on his POV, his intentions and motivations seem just, and he's forever been loyal to the Targaryen's.

And here's where it gets ever stickier. People assume that the Sun's Son is a reference towards Quentyn Martell, while the Mummers Dragon is Aegon. Why is that? People forget, but Aegon is also a son of Dorne. His mother, Princess Ellia, was and is Prince Doran's sister, and it'll be Dorne who first raises their banners when he hoist his own above Storms End. They're both children of the sun, no one can dispute that, but only one has proven themselves a false dragon.

ADWD pg. 924

Selmy: "What happened when you tried to take the Dragons? Tell me."

Drinkwater: "Quentyn told the Tattered Prince he could control them. It was in his blood, he said. He had Targaryen blood."

Selmy: "Blood of the Dragon."

Drinkwater: "Yes."

3. I’m not quite sure how people can question whether or not the switch were possible? Aegon was a 1 year old hostage whom was seldom seen(confined to a tower for however long Rhaegar was dead), while Varys knowledge and familiarity of the red keep is well documented. In addition, he commands an army of small children whom he has a part in traning, giving him access to a plethora of children of multiple looks, ethnicities, and cultures.

This is the same man that was the dungeons goaler for 15 years without anyone knowing. He helped Tyrion escape from a cell deep within the castle, and before that, was smuggling the dwarf around Kings Landing to his Shae. Of late, he’s been hiding within plain sight, and recently assassinated the King reagent and Maester Pycelle within the keep, after a meeting with his hand and justicar, using a rogue force of children.

In Book 1 of a GOT, Varys snuck Illiro Mopatis within the red keep in the hall amongst the dragon skulls. Yet, no one noticed this, nor believed Arya when she told them. Illirio Mopatis, a foreign fat man of extravagant dress and extreme girth, and people question if he could switch out a babe without notice? Hell, Petyr Bealish snuck out and smuggled away Sansa from Kings Landing during the kings wedding, amidst thousands of guest, and she’s beautiful, tall, and red headed. Ramsay and Roose Bolton have half the north convinced that a girl 3 years her senior, and that looks little like a Stark, was in fact Ned Starks youngest daughter. Gilly tricked everyone on the wall by taking Mance’s baby while leaving her own, a fact Sam failed to realize until months later. And the discovery wasn’t made because of how the baby looked, but because Gilly persisted with her grief.

To pretend as if a switch of an infant baby were impossible and or even improbable given what we’ve seen in this series makes little sense. Who was there to deny the child with the crushed face(It would be highlly difficult for the 8ft monster known as the mountain, whose known for his brutality and other-wordly strength, to crush an infants face, right?) Tywin, Ned, or Robert? Please. If anything, Varys has repeatedly shown himself a master of the shadows, and any doubt to whether or not he could sneak about the red keep, in this case, to switch out a babe, should be answered and dismissed by his already proven prowess. And please spare me the, “Did she now care about Rhaenys?”, or “Ellia wouldn’t trust Varys” arguments. All heirs are kept apart during sacks, and Rhaenys specifically fled to the room of her father in an obvious attempt to seek shelter. Moreover, no woman can sit the iron throne, so the threat of Rhaenys being killed was less than that of Aegon. Ellia had no choice but to trust Varys, or concede to the switch. For one, I don’t doubt this ploy was conceived by Rheagar should he die(his life revolved around the Ptwp), and once he had, it was either trust Varys or watch her son perish.

4. Prior to reaching the room of the Undying Ones, Danny traveled down a hall and looked behind doors that opened up to visions of things past and soon to come. They weren’t cryptic nor where they presented as riddles, they were simply visions. People typically speak of the vision of the mummers dragon when talking of the House of Undying, but one vision, the 5th, is oft ignored when it comes to discussions of whether or not Aegon is truly Rhaegar's son. But I believe it's telling, and in my opinion, supports Aegon's legitimacy.

"Viserys, was her first thought the next time she paused, but a second glance told her otherwise. The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. "Aegon," he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. "What better name for a king?" "Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked. "He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way."

Aegon is the harp to Danny and Jon's song of ice and fire. The Prince who was Promised, and Azor Azhai aren't the same, but separate entities that will join to become the three heads of the Dragon. And Rhaegar knew.

The above was shortly before he ran off with Lyanna, before Jon was conceived. He had two children, and needed one more to fulfill the prophecy, but Ellia was no longer fertile.(The above convinces me she knew of Rhaegar's plight, and went along with it. This was revealed in ADWD) The lone wolf, the black bastard of the wall is who he was referring to when he looked Danny in her eyes and told her there must be one more. And that, besides his love for her, was the motivating factor behind him spiriting Lyanna Stark away. Readers think the decision rash, and it was, because he understood the necessity of the third head. The single difference is that his sister took the position of his daughter, otherwise, the three heads of the dragon are here, and the prophecy is slowly coming to fruition.

Some have carried on thinking it's Tyrion whose the third head; I disagree. Tywin is his father and his blood is that of a Lannister, and though the shadow he cast may be large, even Lions kneel before Dragons. Take Tywin from Tyrion, and the latter loses much of his development. He's defined by the relationships he has with his kin, particularly and especially his father, snatch that away and it cheapens his character. In other words, He wont be mounting any Dragons anytime soon, least he end up like Quentyn Martell. Furthermore, I very much doubt Martin will try and surprise us with another Targaryen, especially one that's so clearly a lion.

300 years ago three Targaryen's, one male and two female, landed on Westeros with three dragons and conquered it through fire and blood. 300 years later, three targaryen's, one female and two male, land on Westeros with three dragons and conquer it through fire and blood. And there’s was the song of ice and fire.

Drogon - Danny

Rhaegal - Aegon

Viserion - Jon snow

#3278353 Why is Stannis so terrible with people skills?

Posted by Independent George on 11 June 2012 - 03:34 PM

He's not. People are just terrible with their Stannis skills.

#3503550 GRRM Bloopers

Posted by Better_off_Ned on 12 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

GRRM fails to mention Hot Pies' radiant purple eyes and flowing silvery hair, despite the fact that it's quite obvious that Hot Pie is a secret Targ.

#3253527 [Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

Posted by Rockroi on 03 June 2012 - 11:27 PM

Dénouement .

What I liked:

All Men Must Die: This episode brought that finality after the climax; after a long life has been lead- maybe into a legend, maybe a life of service, maybe a Handship- we still all end up dead. Usually not by our own choosing. I thought that this episode identified to the bitter end that some ends are more bitter than others.

Jon Snow, 2.0: The battle with Half-hand in the books is basically a passive-voice battle wherein events sort of happen TO Jon and Jon never acts to DO anything; even the final swipe that kills Half-hand, in the books its almost described as if Jon Snow took no part in it .("But in that instant, as he twisted, the opening was there. Jon planted and pivoted. The ranger was leaning away, and for an instant it seemed that Jon’s slash had not touched him. Then a string of red tears appeared across the big man’s throat, bright as a ruby necklace, and the blood gushed out of him, and Qhorin Halfhand fell” Martin, George R.R. (2003-01-01). A Game of Thrones/A Clash of Kings (Kindle Locations 27767-27770). Bantam. Kindle Edition).

And besides, Ghost was the one who attacked Half-hand first.

But in the show? Nope! Here, Jon is an active participant in the deed! THIS Jon Snow actually takes some action; he takes a stand and decides to embrace his roll and take a shot at this! LOVED IT! I even enjoyed the way Jon teased Ygritte as she slashed at him and missed and then as he tells the truth (“…first time you have ever held a sword, huh?”). This Jon Snow is freed from the foolish chains that bound him in the books (the reluctant hero nonsense. I liked that with Jon Snow goes a man who is going to do his hard fought duty. And as for Halfhand- all men must die, few as cool as that.

No Starks in Winterfell: Although the destruction of Winterfell MUST seem odd to the viewers who have not read the books, the finality of these scenes were exceptional. I thought Bran and Rickon’s escape and departure were very well done and beautiful. The wolves, the scenery of desolation, the wreckage. And obviously, once again, Master Luwin was amazing; the pure and unalterable feeling of humanity and goodness from him; how he touched both these boys; reached out to them and sad that he knew every day of their lives from the first and counted himself lucky for that privilege. That was truly touching, deep and real. All men must die but few as dignified as that.

And I loved that Theon was crazy and the ngave this incredible speech ... and then his men knocked him out because he's such a fucking idiot.

Does Stannis Baratheon Have to Choke a Bitch? Stannis is alive, well and rip shit. At first he takes it out on Mel, but then knows that is not … just. In the flames he sees … something. Prophecy means nothing to him as he regrets, deeply, his killing of Renly. But in a whisper he hears that he will do things far, far worse than that. And Stannis…A. King. Knows. All Men Must Die and Stannis Baratheon May be killing a few more of them. Soon.

The Edge of Our Sanity: Dany’s trip through the wreckages of her life and alternate lives- from the Throne she still wants, to the Husband and child she lost, to the Wall she must defend, Dany’s trip through worlds that would be and could be was phenomenal (though… a part of me thought “this could be done better…. No Viserys? Rhaegar?). Regardless, what was actually done was great. At least this part (see more below). All men must die, especially creepy shits who can pull of mass assignations but seem to be confused on proper kidnappings.

Varys and the whore: Holy shit we finally get to a Roz scene that worked! Only twenty episodes in but it finally happened! Granted, it took one of the best actors to pull it off, but it worked! Huzzah!

For YOUR troubles: Pyrcell’s small revenge was sweet, but so is Tyrion’s ever increasing knowledge that he is in quicksand. Varys gives him empty platitudes (though maybe heart felt), his father is nowhere to be found, his guards gone, his clansmen gone and the world suddenly outside his view. And that little coin at the end. A whore is a whore is a whore. For your troubles… classic. (and I almost could stomach Shae's part of the scene.... almost).

The Beginning of the End: All Men Must Die, but some come back as wrights and Others and try to invade the South. Amazing final scene!

What I am On the Fence About:

Before the New Gods and the … Okay Just ... Just the New Gods: The fact that when Robb Stark- The KING in the North, mind you- marries a woman from another continent he swears it ONLY by the NEW Gods it was an unfortunate allegory to how cheaply, tacked on and phony this story line finished. Its not that he did not say anything about the Old Gods- that’s just a symptom; it’s the fact that Robb Stark does this INCREDIBLY STUPID thing with his mother standing there (in her tent) and does so with full knowledge of how FUCKING STUPID he is being! He knows he’s being an ass; he knows he is screwing the Frey’s and he just does it! In the books, Robb could say “I needed to make an honest woman out of her”; in the show? In the show Robb has no protection; he really IS just a stupid, irresponsible oath-breaker! He does everything with real contemplation. That was always my fear once Cat came back and Robb was still there; that his choice to toss the Freys aside would not have that same dimension it did in the books- in the books, Robb was “rash”, “impulsive” and “young.” But in the show? Now Robb is not “rash” but “foolish”; not “impulsive” but “idiotic”, and no longer “young” but “immature.” He wants everything NOW! NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!

You know how bad that was? IN the scene where Robb was talking to Cat – if you go back and READ the scene- just take the dialog- Robb does not sound like Robb; he sounds like … Joff.

Skipping Book Three: So, the Brienne scene. Total waste of time. What happened? What did we need to see here? Brienne got angry and killed a few guys. We knew she could kill people already. Brienne showed that she does not like needless suffering; we knew that already as well. Jaime showed that he did not want to be captured; well, we REALLY knew that already. What the fuck was this scene for? (the actual answer is “The actors have agents and demand screen time.”) It was a complete waste of time. I mean here is what the scene was: travelling with Brienne, seeing the after-effects of a war, seeing cruelty, and most everything we saw could have been skipped;a complete waste of time.

In other words, they are not just starting early on “A Storm of Swords”; the show is jumping right into the epic monotony of “A Feast for Crows.”

What I did Not Like:

Empty: I liked that she corrected Doreah on how to pronounce Qarth. I liked that she caught Doreah.

And the rest of Dany’s story-line was utterly vacant and empty. Void of thought, void of meaning, void of connectivity to the rest of the story.

Look, it was not going to be as interesting as the books, I got that. But this felt tacked on, half-thought out and not well balanced against the rest of the story. Dany’s story was a story-line of half-measures that took twice as long as it needed to. It was no fun and utterly anti-climactic. She starts yelling in the very first scene and then its wandering around. Then she gets trapped and we get the “Drogon dracarys”… and its … bad. They shoot fire. Who cares? That just means Pratt Prye et all had a fucking terrible plan. You know they’re dragons, right? You think maybe they know how to shoot fire? In the books, Drogon Dracarys is the most amazing scene in the series (possible); here? A really, REALLY shitty escape hatch.

But it gets worse. Dany and her people- who seem to fluctuate in number between “three” to as high as “Able to break into the King of Qarth’s Castle, kill everyone and get into the King’s bed chamber without waking him up” – take the King and Doreah to the vault where its empty (ohhh… edgy) and throw them in. Terrific. They then ransack the place. And remember- these are LESS PEOPLE than Dany had when she failed to protect the Dragons the first time! And we waited four episodes … for that.

For Dany to open and empty vault. If that’s not a metaphor for Dany’s story line in this season, I’m not sure what is.

Clash of Kings is pretty void of Dany and the show did not have much to work with. But they wasted SO MUCH time and space on Qarth- on political maneuverings we did not care about; with plots that had more holes in them then a sieve; with characters we had no chance to care about. All of that was empty, vapid, selfish and utterly wasted. In retrospect you could have made Dany trapped in the House of the Undying for two episodes and just done a better job of it. Instead we got a fast-forward House that had NOTHING to it (except what I noted in the scenes I liked) and a plot against Dany that had no substance or reality to it.

Simply put: Fail.

Overall, though, the episode was pretty good, not great. However it did what it needed to do without making it feel rushed.

Overall: This season was uneven, but ultimately very satisfying. It started off with good building blocks and gave us a lot to see, interact with and enjoy. From Robb and Jaime to Stannis v. Tyrion it was a really enjoyable season that did all the things it needed to do and gave us a few moments of real flair and and drama. There were slow points – ultimately Robb’s love problem appears to have been too much “love” and not enough “problem” in Robb’s mind; Dany’s journey was not just unfulfilling but took away too much time from the rest of the story- but it had a series of amazing moments and maybe the best episode in the show’s short life (Blackwater). I am really looking forward to the next season. Again.

(and to all those who explain how much they enjoy my posts- either through comments or the “Like” button, I really, truly appreciate it. Thanks for reading).

#3232187 What small thing really annoyed you?

Posted by Lady Kraken on 24 May 2012 - 05:53 PM

When Joffrey hacked apart the book that Tyrion gave him as a wedding present. I know the brat did a lot worse, but that really, really irritated me.

#3534828 What exactly is the appeal of Jon Snow?

Posted by SerStinger on 20 August 2012 - 07:31 AM

  • He's honorable
  • He has a sense of humor unlike what is said
  • He's human, not a superhero
  • His emotions are human too, what is called "emo" by people who evidently lack feelings
  • His story is amazing with a lot of twists and conflicts
  • He has been through a lot
  • Future holds many promises for him as a character
But unlike what you say, he does have flaws, he's a bit stubborn, and he sometimes can act a bit too harshly.

#3512285 Jackanapes at the Wall: A Retrospective

Posted by butterbumps! on 14 August 2012 - 09:44 PM

Poor Jon. As though he doesn't have enough to worry about, what with the impending Winter, instability of the North and dwindling food provisions, his tenure as Lord Commander is bedraggled with managing the expectations of a veritable parade of fools, who seem to go out of their way to outdo each other's idiocy for the sole purpose of giving Jon ulcers. Looking at this closely in the reread project, they're starting to give me ulcers at the sheer asininity they impose on everyone around them. I thought a tirade on these characters would be inappropriate for that thread, so I'm redirecting my complaints here. I am of the opinion that given their quality of character and reasons for being "unpleasant," that Jon is absolutely justified in not taking these people seriously.

Alliser "Lifetime achievement winner in the field of petty excellence" Thorne: This is a fully grown man who enjoys beating up and berating boys, for gods sake. I just find Thorne to be an inconceivable jerk. That he's such a petty jerk also strikes me as monstrously idiotic politically, as these boys will obviously become men, and as they rise through the NW, they will have exorbitant motivation to not support Thorne in any of his future goals. Was the fact he had so few votes for LC truly surprising to him? I find him somewhat unrealistic in the unfettered pleasure he takes at bullying people he has no chance of escaping from, being as how they are all sworn to the same life-long obligation together. But the coup de grace is the threat he makes to Jon after being appointed to a ranging: "The ones the Others kill don't stay dead...and they remember. I'm coming back, Lord Snow." Wow. A guy who gleefully relishes the chance to torment you from beyond the grave is not someone whose opinion I'd bother investing in.

Janos "No one is actually this stupid" Slynt: Ok, so at least this one has a happy ending. As a refresher, Slynt betrayed Ned back in KL and then pushed him down at the beheading. In SoS, he was also responsible for trying to get Jon executed for having "deserted" the Watch by going over to the Wildlings. Slynt's culminating achievement was refusing Jon's appointment as commander of Greyguard (seriously- he refused to command a castle). He continued to refuse the promotion through the next day, at which point Jon made him a foot shorter. Granted, it was a great cathartic moment, but honestly, Slynt's stupidity strains credulity. I mean, what did he expect would happen, especially given the fact that he had already underestimated Tyrion and got himself sacked 3 books earlier?

Bowen "I haven't a reasonable bone in my body" Marsh: I know that this one is fairly controversial, and many critics believe that Jon ought to have made more of an effort to explain himself to Bowen. But I'll be honest, Jon addresses Bowen's concerns in nearly every chapter of DwD, often in extended conversations. I don't believe that Jon could be any plainer about the fact that the Wildlings will rise as wights and create more havoc unless they are rescued and allowed south of the Wall. I know, I know, Bowen spent his life believing the Wildlings are the "big bads" that needed to be contained, and what Jon is doing is heresy. But seriously-- Bowen's belief in the Willdings as the enemy is against the principles of the Watch (so Jon has institutional intent on his side), and further, Jon does everything he can to explain his rationale short of holding "Adjustment to Wildlings Re-education camps" and handing out "Coping with Change" instructional pamphlets. I really don't think that Jon can take the blame on this matter (and I'm referring to everything prior to his last chapter). Jon does frequently entertain Bowen's concerns, but Bowen does not attempt to be useful, which I find problematic on Bowen's part, not Jon's. When Jon talks through the Hardome evacuation plan, Bowen's advice is to not go at all, rather than accept that it will be happening and suggest alternate ideas he finds more palatable. He also shows obvious disdain for Satin's having been a prostitute, which underscores his small and stodgy persona.

Septon "the drunken Teletubby" Cellador: Cellador isn't quite as obnoxious as some of the other men, but he's outstanding at being useless. Frequently hungover, drunk, or about to get drunk, his token "advice" is "I think you're making a huge mistake so I'll pray to the Seven to show you the error of your ways." I also find his contempt for Satin-- the "painted catamite"-- quite distasteful.

Othell "Borroq will make a pig army and kill us all" Yarwyck: Yarwyck isn't as quarrelsome as Bowen, but he's half a step up from being a nipple on a breastplate none-the-less. Jon considers him "unimaginative," which is odd, considering that he dreamed up the idea that Borroq might be making his own "pig army" that could ostensibly storm the Wall and infiltrate the Watch. He is also purposely dense and ungrateful in that he keeps asking Jon for more builders, but rejects Jon's offers to send able-bodied Wildlings and Wun Wun (who would be extremely efficient at the task). In short, I think Jon's fellow Watchmen have been going out their their ways to be disagreeable and impossible to deal with.

Melisandre "Perhaps if I keep creeping out Jon he'll trust me" of Asshai: What a joke. Her entire POV chapter was consumed by various machinations designed to encourage Jon's trust of her. She completely misunderstands Jon, mistakenly assuming he is just like Stannis (in the shadow of brothers he does not truly love), and that, like Stannis, he's just naturally mistrustful and is bound to come around at some point. No, Mel, he just doesn't trust you. She has this idea that if she keeps performing fancy tricks, speaking cryptically and offering prophesies when it's too late to actually do anything about it, that somehow Jon will see the light and recognize her awesomeness. She even goes so far to blatantly ask to have sexual relations with him so that they can make their tremendous powers "one," lol. The funny thing is, she is obsessed with making Jon realize that she has power, as she thinks he's just a non-believer. The truth of the matter is that Jon doesn't doubt her powers at all, he just wants nothing to do with her: "This was not a woman he wanted to be indebted to." I 100% disagree with the notion that Jon should be giving her more credence, or working with her in any way. As though Jon doesn't have enough to deal with, he has to sidestep these ridiculously creepy stalker-like advances of this woman, who, by all accounts, is technically a succubus. Her one redeeming quality is sparing Mance Rayder from the fires, which should be noted, but god only knows what kind of twisted unpleasantness she's got planned for the poor guy.

Godry "I killed a fleeing giant by stabbing him in the back and now I think I'm a badass" Giantslayer: Godry is just a grade-A jackanapes. He keeps challenging Jon to these stupid duels that really serve no purpose, except to remind us repeatedly that he's killed a (fleeing) giant. More troublesome is the fact that he gleefully led "Mance Rayder" to his death holding a rope that was tied around Mance's neck, dragging him. (I realize that "Mance" was actually Rattleshirt, but the point stands that he was happy to believe he was leading Mance to burn). Additionally, he shows nothing but disdain for other religions.

Ser Patrek "I can't believe someone is this much of a jerk" of King's Mountain: This "Southron Fool" extraordinaire could not be more hamfisted or rude. Upon introducing himself to Jon, he asked: "Should the Others turn up, do you plan to offer them hospitality as well?" Seriously? Talk about someone too big for their britches. He also prances around Castle Black looking to get into pointless fights with the other men, and blows a gasket when Alys chooses someone else to marry. He also makes a complete fool of himself to Val: "Up up with you know, ser kneeler." I suppose the bright side of this is that he was hoisted by his own petard in the end, earning himself quite the Darwin award.

Axell "I'll break Val like a horse" Florent: Axell is just a reprehensible human being. First, he's the "Queen's Hand," which is a completely fabricated position that has no meaning. Secondly, he's beyond sexist. The way he speaks of Val-- calling her a "princess" fit for him to wed and continuously referring to her has a "wench" that he could command brought to the Hall naked for inspection says a lot about his character. He treats Jon poorly, perpetually attempting to undermine Jon's authority with his own (nonexistent) position of importance, and levels crass accusations toward Jon's alleged sexual relations with Val. He oversteps the boundaries of both his (nonexistent) position, as well as his role as a guest of the NW. And to add to his many charms, he's also a religious fanatic. This is not a guy who deserves one iota of respect, and he should be grateful that Jon hasn't kicked his ass yet.

Selyse "I'm an even less charming version of Aerys" Baratheon: I have very little patience for religious fanaticism. I'm even less enthusiastic about religious intolerance. Even further, I have no respect whatsoever for people who are rude, snotty and ungrateful. Selyse is all of these things, and additionally, completely clueless. I would feel sorry for Selyse if she weren't such a raging "culturist" who can't possibly deign to appreciate anyone who is not a Southron Fool like herself. Upon reaching Castle Black, she assumes Jon is a stableboy and demands to be taken to the LC. She talks a big talk about how all the Wildlings had better start kneeling for her husband and the Red God, and her contempt for everyone is not even thinly veiled-- it's a neon sign of hate and disgust. Most heartbreaking of all, she is a complete racist about Wun Wun, whom Leathers (a Wildling now sworn to the Watch), taught Common Tongue courtesies and to kneel, as a gesture of respect to the customs of this guest. She responds with horror and outrage, and her Southron Fool knights all start baring steel to put the poor giant down. As though this isn't enough to induce dyspepsia, she takes it upon herself to crown a new King Beyond the Wall, one Gerrick Kingsblood, based on the fact that one of his ancestors had been a king back in the day. No matter how many times Jon explains that the Wildlings don't follow hereditary titles (or why it is not a good idea to burn the old gods), Selyse insists she knows better because of her (incredibly unfounded) sense of superiority and wisdom. I find this maddening.

In sum, I have a lot of trouble criticizing any of Jon's actions in DwD as it pertains to garnering support from these individuals. I'm going to go so far in saying that I respect Jon more for not further molly-coddling these individuals and taking their points of view seriously, because, in a nutshell, these people are absolutely useless and don't deserve to be factored in.

#3831754 Is Doran Martell a pedophile?

Posted by ab aeterno on 20 November 2012 - 07:09 AM

Yeah, I tend to think that he's an old, crippled man who knows he will die soon and is haunted by the murder of his niece and nephew, has been plotting revenge and is for lack of a better description, 'retired' to the Water Gardens when he can enjoy seeing the children who are carefree and happy. That was the impression I got anyway. I think there is a danger of seeing creepiness behind every shadow.

#3460154 “The Watch Takes No Part:” Analyzing Jon’s “Oathbreaking”

Posted by butterbumps! on 01 August 2012 - 09:40 AM

Ragnorak and I are spinning this off as an auxiliary to the Learning to Lead thread in order to discuss the issue of Night’s Watch vows and “oathbreaking” as it pertains to Jon’s decisions throughout DwD.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the supposed neutrality of the NW. Indeed, there is the mantra stating, “the Watch takes no part.” There are also numerous references to the fact that when a man takes the black, his House loyalties, feuds and politics are to be put aside; a Watchman is loyal only to the Watch.

However, the Night’s Watch vows make no mention of political neutrality:

Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post.

I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.

I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this and all nights to come.

In the first part of the vow, the Watchman promises to abstain from any personal gain and attachments by joining the NW. The Watchman vows to conduct no business other than that which serves the NW. The final portion covers the lifetime contract of speaking the vow.

In the second part, the Watchman outlines his duties. Although this part of the vow uses symbolic language and exact interpretations vary with more supernatural meanings, it is clearly stating their purpose: To be the ones who fight when it seems hopeless and uncertain (sword in the darkness); To keep vigilant for signs of external dangers (watcher on the walls –note, not the WALL); To battle the threat before us (the fire that burns against the cold); To be the hope for salvation (the light that brings the dawn); To alert the realm of danger (the horn that wakes the sleepers); To be the first line of defense protecting ALL men (the shield that guards the realms of men).

It is our opinion that the actual vow is sacred, and that it takes precedence over the tradition of the Watch’s neutrality. We believe that the Watch has forgotten it’s original purpose, and holds to the word of custom, such as “the Watch takes no part.” Instead, we argue that it should go back to the essence of the vow, as Jon does, to uphold the true duties of the Watch: to save the world from apocalypse. When circumstances arise where the vow conflicts with custom, we maintain that protecting the realm IS the right thing to do, even if it means involving the Watch in the realm’s affairs.

We believe that the true nature of the Watch is to guard the realms. When the realm does not comply, heed the Watch or otherwise interfere, we believe that the Watch must take a stand in order to fulfill its true purpose.

For most of its history, the NW was a prestigious institution, respected by the kingdoms and later, the Iron Throne. Political neutrality made sense; the Lord Commander held the same status as the great Lords, and the kingdoms maintained respect and support to the Watch reciprocally. Importantly, the Stark in Winterfell, the King of Winter, had a cooperative agreement with the Watch; if the NW is the first line of defense, Winterfell is the second. A stable and united North is requisite for the NW to perform its service to the realm. Without cooperation of the North, and the kingdoms generally, the NW cannot properly protect the realm.

Recent years have weakened the Watch. Instead of noble families sending their sons, the reputation of the Watch declined, instead manned by criminals for whom the service is a form of punishment rather than honor. Manpower is at an all-time low, and the Throne has repeatedly refused requests for aid. Additionally, the NW has been faced with recent challenges to their neutrality; Cersei attempted to have the NW infiltrated and Jon killed, and Yoren was attacked and killed by Armory Lorch who ignored the NW neutrality.

Neutrality is a two-way street. Between the Throne’s ignoring Mormont and Jon’s pleas for aid (which it was their duty to fulfill), and the fact that the NW’s neutrality had been violated by authority of the Crown directly, it is our opinion that the NW vow to protect man must supersede the custom of keeping neutrality. There is no reason, for either the reader nor Jon to believe that the Boltons will uphold their cooperative relationship with the Watch. In fact, that Roose participated directly in the Red Wedding killing Robb and violating guest right- the most sacred of laws- suggests that he should not be counted on to uphold this other duty. All signs point to the fact that in order for the Watch to be effective, measures must be taken to secure the North and bolster strength at the Wall.

We posit a few things. 1. Jon’s quartering Stannis at the Wall is not a violation of neutrality, but an extension of guest right. 2. Jon’s advice to Stannis is a violation of neutrality, but given the fact that Stannis is the hope for the securing of the North, that Jon is acting on the interests of the Watch itself, and thus, not breaking his actual vow. 3. Any action Jon takes to secure the North- short of taking titles and lands- is in the interest of the Watch, and in accordance with the actual vow; thus, he is not an “oathbreaker.”

In terms of making hard choices, the following provides some evidence for the need to interpret vows to their essence, rather than the word. From a conversation with Aemon:

Doves and pigeons can also be trained to carry messages,” the maester went on, “though the raven is a stronger flyer, larger, bolder, far more clever, better able to defend itself against hawks… yet ravens are black, and they eat the dead, so some godly men abhor them. Baelor the Blessed tried to replace all the ravens with doves, did you know?” The maester turned his white eyes on Jon, smiling. “The Night’s Watch prefers ravens.”
Jon’s fingers were in the bucket, blood up to the wrist. “Dywen says the wildlings call us crows,” he said uncertainty.
“The crow is the raven’s poor cousin. They are both beggars in black, hated and misunderstood.”
Jon wished he understood what they were talking about, and why. What did he care about ravens and doves? If the old man had something to say to him, why couldn’t he just say it?

Why does the NW prefer Ravens? Ravens and Doves are being compared. Then the NW is the poorer cousin of the Raven, the crow, which is parallel to the pigeon. Baelor the Blessed is choosing Doves while the NW is choosing Ravens. How does this relate to Jon choosing to stay or go?

In characterizing Jon's value judgments we think Aemon's "choose and live with it for the rest of your days" is a good starting point. I think Aemon's point with the Doves is that there are no holy and pure hard choices; all hard choices are black and you will be misunderstood and hated by someone for every hard choice you make. The NW prefers to make the hard choices. Here Jon actually has a black and white choice that feels hard but is merely emotionally difficult and chooses his oath over family. Also Jon literally has blood on his hands and is the one serving up the "feast for crows" as Aemon speaks.

Killing the Halfhand and sleeping with Ygritte are his two major black choices and he is misunderstood and hated by some for both of them. Here is where he learns that some choices are worth more than one man's honor. (Ned's advice to Arya about "the lie was not without honor" might be a good comparison to make here.) These two "black" choices allow Jon to stop an attack on Castle Black from the south, the same direction the Boltons would come from.

Do not fail me, he thought, or Stannis will have my head. “Do I have your word that you will keep our princess closely?” the king had said, and Jon had promised that he would. Val is no princess, though. I told him that half a hundred times. It was a feeble sort of evasion, a sad rag wrapped around his wounded word. His father would never have approved. I am the sword that guards the realm of men, Jon reminded himself, and in the end, that must be worth more than one man’s honor.

Jon again choses his vow over his family. So I think we have a good history and reasoning building for Jon's choices and none of it points to his family over his oath.

Then there's this. A Bard's truth is a greater truth rather than a literal truth just as the spirit of an oath is a greater meaning than the literal oath. Jon is the son of Bael and the Lady of Winterfell-- the Bastard of Winterfell who makes the two people one. The Bastard of the story ignored the greater truth that the Wildlings and Starks are one people only to be flayed by a Bolton. Jon will suffer the same fate if he ignores his greater oath (the realms of men) for his literal oath.

“Were they your kin?” he asked her quietly. “The two we killed?”
“No more than you are.”
“Me?” He frowned. “What do you mean?”
You said you were the Bastard o’ Winterfell.”
“So the son slew the father instead,” said Jon.

“Aye,” she said, “but the gods hate kinslayers, even when they kill unknowing. When Lord Stark returned from the battle and his mother saw Bael’s head upon his spear, she threw herself from a tower in her grief. Her son did not long outlive her. One o’ his lords peeled the skin off him and wore him for a cloak.”
“Your Bael was a liar,” he told her, certain now.
No,” Ygritte said, “but a bard’s truth is different than yours or mine.

In sum, we believe that Jon is bucking tradition, but not breaking the essence of his vow.

#3260452 [TWOW Spoilers] Miscon reading : two Winds of Winter chapters

Posted by Hmadkour on 05 June 2012 - 06:55 PM

so at miscon 2012, george r.r. martin read not one but two chapters from winds of winter!
he also answered a pressing and important question: what word did brienne of tarth scream in feast for crows?

the first chapter was from victarion’s pov, and detailed his fleet’s attack preparations! he also challenged three young men to blow the dragon horn from dance with dragons, telling them that the man who died when he blew it had done so three times, and that if they each blew it once they may die but if they lived they would be sung about forever, etc. tl;dr they agreed to blow the horn, he also spent some sexy time with the dusky lady
the chapter ended with victarion’s fleet closing in…
the second chapter was a tyrion chapter and mostly consisted of a game of cevasse with brown ben plumm; tyrion slyly begins to coax brown ben into switching sides (again), telling him that nothing would prove his loyalty to dany like the blood of her enemies! they keep getting interrupted by a second son who tells them that there’s a fleet in the bay and that they should probably go look, but brown ben dismisses the boy and tells him it’s probably just the fleet from volantis
eventually jorah mormont himself interrupts the game and informs them that it’s not the volantine fleet at all, but ships with black sails with krakens on them, oh shi!
anyway after he finished reading the chapters, he opened the floor to some discussion about the plot of asoiaf, and some amazing genius girl said: you know my friends and i were debating this pretty heavily in the lobby just today, brienne screams “one word” as she is being hung by lady stoneheart’s men in a feast for crows - what was the word?
george turned the question on the audience and asked if anyone had figured it out - we shouted all kinds of dumb stuff, “jaime”, “sapphires”, etc. but some other genius in the second row said “sword”!
george confirmed that the word brienne screamed was “sword”; lady stoneheart gave brienne the choice of either swearing her sword to her or being hung, saying “sword or noose”, and as brienne was being hung she screamed “sword”
the questions moved on for some time, but then a girl asked “well what about podrick payne? he was getting hung with brienne!” and george confirmed that brienne had made the decision to swear her sword to stoneheart in order to save the innocent podrick payne from the noose
shortly after that the q&a session ended and we disbanded, but my heart is still ripped up and in conflict about this shit because at the end of dance with dragonsbrienne appears in jaime’s pov and he abandons the war effort to follow her - where is she taking him? will stoneheart ask her to kill jaime? if she does, how will jaime handle the betrayal? will he live? will they both live?

#3436902 Jon Snow at the Crossroads of Resurrection Mythology

Posted by Apple Martini on 26 July 2012 - 01:17 PM

Most of these ideas have been loosely thrown around here before. This is a curation of them, and a way to look at aspects of resurrection instances in various mythologies. I believe that, considering all of them, we can find portions of each one in Jon's story.

ETA: And yes this assumes that Jon is probably the ultimate hero or one of the ultimate heroes, so if you're on the Dany-is-it train, I doubt you'll find much here that you'll like.

In the Belly of the Whale

This is a very old trope, so named for the Biblical story of Jonah. According to Joseph Campbell, this development marks a turning point for the hero, who is sent into the "unknown." It can correspond to death and entering the Underworld. Typically, the hero will face something in the abyss and return with a boon — literal or figurative — necessary to complete his overall mission. It is also what causes the hero to accept the inevitability of his overall mission — the "event horizon," "crossing the Rubicon" portion of his quest. There is no going back.

Jon's speech in the Shield Hall, with its wooden beams resembling (whale) ribs, marks the beginning of his "belly of the whale" sequence, wherein it is assumed he will die (or else otherwise enter an abyss, possibly a coma) and return with his "boon," and continue on with his mission.

Greek Mythology

Much emphasis is put on seasonal shifts in ASOIAF. The seasons are out of joint, they aren't even, they can be overly harsh. There is a story in Greek myth wherein Hades, the god of the underworld, steals Persephone, the daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter. Demeter, anguished over losing her daughter, causes an unending winter. The other gods encourage Hades to give Persephone back, and he agrees. But not before she has eaten the seeds of a pomegranate in the underworld. Because of this, she must stay in the underworld for one month of every year for each seed she ate. The time that she spends in the underworld is winter (because of Demeter's sadness), and her return marks spring. In this way, the pomegranate is tied to unwilling entry into the underworld and the prevention of spring and catharsis.

Who is the pomegranate in our story? Bowen Marsh.

The Corn King

This is a figure in Celtic mythology who must be sacrificed in winter in order to usher in spring. When spring arrives, he is resurrected in turn. It's a pretty straightforward allusion, made more so in that Mormont's warged raven repeatedly caws "king" and "corn" to Jon in varying combinations and at various times. In this sense, Jon is the Corn King who must be sacrificed in order to bring spring, and who will eventually be resurrected.

Norse Mythology

This is the big one and probably the one most discussed in relation to the northern arc and the fight against the Others. Specifically, it ties into the possibility of Ragnorak, wherein many of the gods in the world now (including our one-eyed Odin stand-in, Bloodraven) die, and the world is born again after.

Where this ties into resurrection is what happens when warriors die. The Valkyries (perhaps represented in our own story by Val and the spearwives in general) select fallen warriors to enter the shield hall of Valhalla. They are associated with ravens and horses specifically. Once there, the fallen warriors drink mead and prepare to fight in Ragnorak. The implication is that these fallen warriors will rise again for Ragnorak. In ADWD, the red priests in Volantis describe people who die in Azor Ahai's service as rising from death. Is this a PR move (Melisandre, for instance, doesn't speak of such a thing), or is it something we'll see actually happen with fallen warriors when Ragnorak (the ultimate battle) begins?

Standing above the hall of Valhalla are a stag and a goat. The stag's horns release water that forms rivers, while the goat produces the mead on which the fallen soldiers feast. What these might symbolize, if anything, I'm not sure, apart from the obvious stag allusion to Stannis or another Baratheon.

There are also a couple of in-story anecdotes that suggest that Jon has some attributes of a berserker, both of them in Storm of Swords. When he is extremely enraged and/or emotionally distressed, he is able to lift Alliser Thorne up by the throat (when it's implied he's a turncloak and a traitor), and also able to overpower Iron Emmett to the point where he has to be pulled away (when he is remembering Robb saying that Catelyn told him Jon was a bastard who would never get Winterfell). This strength is not standard (see Mance kicking Jon's ass), but is accompanied by rage. Berserkers were known to go into battle wearing wolf pelts.

Christian mythology

Sorry, you knew it was coming.

Some of the aspects of Jon's stabbing and the events immediately preceding it tie into the betrayal and death of Christ, often in the same way they tie into Ragnorak. Three roosters signal the beginning of Ragnorak. Crowing roosters also play into the betrayal of Christ, namely where Peter's denials of him are concerned.

When Jon arrives in the Shield Hall, the men are there eating. This is, for all intents and purposes, our Last Supper. Wyk's stunned disbelief when he backs away from Jon echoes the statement, "Forgive them, they know not what they do." Christ spent three days in hell before his resurrection, and it is a cornerstone of the Christian faith that Christ died for the sins of mankind. God's intent for Christ to die could tie into an eventually epiphany that Melisandre or Bloodraven were behind Jon's own assassination.

Certain Christian denominations also believe in an eventual literal Armageddon, a Christian variation of Ragnorak. This is, basically, the final battle between Christ and his followers and the forces of Satan. While I doubt that the final showdown in ASOIAF is that clean cut (Jesus good, Satan bad), it does align nicely with Ragnorak. There is also a belief that the souls of dead Christians will rise again (like the fallen soldiers of Valhalla) and participate in the final battle against evil, so again, this ties into the scattered phrases about the resurrection of followers we've seen.

These are the major mythological allusions that I've seen in Jon's story. Some aspects of one are used, and some aspects of another, and some aspects are used simultaneously. The overarching point is that Jon's arc seems to borrow so heavily from these mythological tropes, particularly where death, sacrifice and resurrection are concerned, that I would be surprised if at least one of them didn't fully play out to the conclusion.

#3980442 Why is Jon Snow so popular? Maybe Spoilers?

Posted by butterbumps! on 08 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Because he's the one character in the entire series who balances compassion and rationality, has a true sense of equality, takes full responsibility for all of his actions, is extremely smart and also kind of funny, is the one guy who actually sees the big picture in all of this and genuinely wants to do the right thing.

And he's friends with Mance.