MyDogIsNamedDanerys, on 28 August 2011 - 02:31 PM, said:
Now... I think that your Jon/Dany/Sansa/Arya/Brans of the world will ultimately be good people. But they will not be lily-white. I don't think that Dany will just set Mereen on fire and fly away on her dragon, leaving all her people to burn (rather disturbingly, a lot of people on this board think this would be the correct course of action). I don't think that Arya will truly be a faceless man - I think she will remember who she is - much as Dany does in her last chapter. I think that Sansa will exact righteous vengeance upon Littlefinger, bringing justice as only a Stark of Winterfell can. And poor Bran... he is still so innocent and sweet, despite all. Yes, all are greyer now. But all are more fully realized human beings as well.
Yes, that last bit is why I love the most recent books so much. It is possible we are headed where you suggest, but I am not so sure, mainly because of Martin's views on power, and the fact that all six characters seem destined for powerful positions, either political or magical. As others have stated, there are many shades of gray, and I admit that "evil" was mostly an attention-grabbing headline. But once you obtain power, how easy is it to stick to your original ideals?
Fearsome Fred, on 28 August 2011 - 02:26 PM, said:
I would say your weakest example is Sansa. Littlefinger kidnapped her, and you are holding her guilty by association. Lets wait and see if she cooperates with, or rebels against, his plot to eliminate Sweetrobin.
Yes, much will depend on her reaction to that plan, which we unfortunately didn't get to see. But I would suggest re-reading Sansa's first AFFC chapter, which is all about embracing lies, rationalizing them to herself, and shutting out the screams of Marillion.
Fearsome Fred, on 28 August 2011 - 02:29 PM, said:
If all he wants to do is tear down Good while reveling in Evil, then should we not throw his books in the garbage right now?
Surely they will not be moustache-twirling villains. But GRRM has said "good people don't make good leaders" many, many times. Saving humanity from the Others is "good," but what will it cost?
Errant Bard, on 28 August 2011 - 02:41 PM, said:
I don't see Jon abandon his concern for innocent life and do terrible things. For one thing, he's dead, (yeah, I kid, he'll be back), for another the reason he's dead is that he actually tried to save innocent people. If he was a cold bastard like Tywin or Roose, he'd be still alive...
Not saying Jon will become the next Tywin. But I think Martin in ADWD is clearly setting him up to make a play for power -- probably first as king of the wildlings and remaining Northmen, and then perhaps for the throne once he learns of his parentage. In his own mind he only wants power to beat the Others, but he will start to view himself as an indispensable leader who should
be in charge (in another thread we called it a Caesar arc). What will he do when someone else wants to be in charge but he thinks he'd do a better job?
Errant Bard, on 28 August 2011 - 02:41 PM, said:
Dany... is not embracing "fire and blood". It seems to me to be only fan speculation. She sacrificed about everything for peace in a foreign city. Cries for people she does not know, locks up her "children" to protect the populace, fights slavers, and so on. Maybe she's not successful, but it's not for lack of trying.
This has been litigated in other threads but in her final chapter, Dany regrets her compromises in Meereen, forgets the name of the dead girl Drogon killed, tells herself she'll have no children only dragons, tells herself "Dragons plant no trees," and climactically thinks of the phrase "fire and blood."
Tammy, on 28 August 2011 - 02:54 PM, said:
Jon didn't lick up Karstark without cause. In fact, he gave him several very good reasons for why he was locked up and offered him a way to get out. Yeah, he briefly thought of taking his head, but that would have been more for personal and vengeful reasons and he tells himself that he couldn't do it because it would betray his vows, which implies his taking him prisoner did not.
I read this totally differently. Locking up Northmen and marrying off their relatives to wildlings egregiously oversteps his authority as Lord Commander. It is an action that a King of the North would do. And on beheading, here is the crucial paragraph:
I should make his head a wedding gift for Lady Alys and her Magnar, Jon thought, but dare not take the risk. The Night’s Watch took no part in the quarrels of the realm; some would say he had already given Stannis too much help. Behead this fool, and they will claim I am killing northmen to give their lands to wildlings. Release him, and he will do his best to rip apart all I’ve done with Lady Alys and the Magnar. Jon wondered what his father would do, how his uncle might deal with this. But Eddard Stark was dead, Benjen Stark lost in the frozen wilds beyond the Wall. You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Note that Jon won't behead him only because of what "some would say" and "they will claim" and "he will do." He doesn't make a serious attempt to engage with his vows, only briefly wondering what Ned would do before continuing to do whatever he thinks is practically necessary. His actions with giving Stannis a battle plan, Melisandre/Mance, and Ramsay at the end follow the same pattern -- he wonders briefly if his vows prohibit these actions, and then he does them anyway.
Edited by The Lost Lord, 28 August 2011 - 03:03 PM.