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  1. Subtle Hint: (A Game of Thrones, Ch.01 Bran I) Blatant Hint: (A Game of Thrones, Ch.22 Arya II) Spelling it Out: (A Clash of Kings, Ch.05 Arya II)
  2. Wow, that is a nice catch. Please let me know the thread. The weapon that caught my attention in the Prologue was the dead wildling's axe (Prologue, Game of Thrones) After Edd Tollet had pointed out (A Clash of Kings, Ch.23 Jon III) and the inconsistency of policy when the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch gives it to Craster, it became increasingly clear to me that wildlings do not forge iron weapons, and heavy double-bladed battle axes are a Seven Kingdoms weapon, one the wildling must have traded or obtained from some non-wildling contact. And since I read Dance the first time, I've had this nagging feeling that the Wildling axe appeared again. I was reading fast, and several chapters past the point where it re-appeared (if it did reappear) when I realised it. I decided to leave finding it for a re-read. I haven't done a full re-read of Dance yet, but I've re-read the Jon chapters and Bran chapters and pretty much every north of the Wall chapter, and have not found any sign of the Iron Wildling axe, but did find heaps of allusions to Wildling weaponry that make certain we know that that axe was no Wildling axe. It isn't just the axe and the sword that might have reappeared, either. It's not so clear, but in in ADwD Ch.13 Bran II, I think Bran, if he had not been fixated on looking up to the cave of the three eyed crow, and if the snow had not been so thick, might have seen enough to identify it as the place where Will had found the Wildlings. And the wight whose hand was severed by Summer, might have been Will himself.
  3. Releasing the ravens is an old Viking trick to find land. Of course, it relied on never being so far from land that the raven couldn't see the shore. Ravens can fly for days across an open sea. They are not built like albatross, who can fly a quarter of the way round the world non-stop, and it would be a doomed and desperate raven that flew even one day in any direction when they couldn't see land, but they are strong birds with a large wingspan, and with favourable winds and with ground effect (which still works on the sea, and if it is a calm sea, more effectively than undulating land) and thermals, it is not implausible. If you look at the birds of New Zealand, while a large number are endemic, and a large number are introduced by humans (eg. chaffinches, starlings, blackbirds), and of course a number of migratory birds, there are some few that seem to have flown/been blown across from the east coast of Australia that would not normally migrate over sea. One of these, the Australasian magpie, is of comparable shape and size to a raven. It would take such a bird more than a week to get to New Zealand, even with the most favourable winds. Come to think of it, Noah let a raven out after the 40 days of flood, and it did not return (whatever that means). Then he switched to doves. The first dove did exactly the same as the raven, but he stuck to doves, and the second dove came back. I'm guessing the other two birds were behaving normally and giving him a clue about how to navigate. That the reason for the raven was because it was a bigger bird, bigger wing span, could fly further than a dove over water. That he was waiting til he was hopefully closer to land before releasing the dove. That the second dove was behaving abnormally/miraculously by returning with a stick in its mouth, like a dog. Anyway, the Viking longboats were very rarely more than a day or two from sight of land - like the Polynesian and Maori Waka, long boats were used mostly for fishing and trading, for a bit of island hopping and a lot of coastal and estuarine navigation. The great migrations and voyages of exploration were legendary because they were almost as miraculous as a bird flying back to the ship with a symbol of land-based prosperity in its mouth. Euron knew what his brother was like - Ironborn to the bone, and not open to new ideas. I doubt he expected Victarion to write him a letter every Sunday, keep in touch, give my regards to the salt wife. The main purpose of giving Victarion Kerwin and all the ravens of Greenshield was to ensure that the Reach and Highgarden were deprived of intelligence about Euron's adventures along the coast of Westeros towards Oldtown. I'm wondering what a normal amount of ravens for Greenshield would be, and who they were in the habit of communicating with. Because an interruption in communication to a place that is regularly relaying, can be a communication in itself, and Margaery seems very quick off the mark to identify the seriousness of the problem in the Shield Islands.
  4. It was Petyr Baelish. Baelish does everything. And blames Cersei (everyone wants to blame Cersei). A poor squire like Hugh, suddenly honoured with a knighthood by the King himself. Who could organise that for him? And once he has notice that he is to be so honoured, he will need a suit of armour to be knighted in. How can he afford it? If there was an armourer in the city that happened to have a plain new suit of plate, sans niello design, sans blue jasper falcon, sans mother-of-pearl moon on the breast, that he felt was incriminating and desired to be rid of, who would take it off his hands for a nice price? Or perhaps, for a concession on his loan arrangement? Admittedly, that last could be any of the many antler-men in Kings Landing, and Tobho Mott was not identified as an antler-man. Also, Baelish was helpful to many Renly supporters before the tourney of the Hand - almost as if the tourney of the hand was a ruse to facilitate the rise of an army behind Renly. Petyr Baelish helps a lot of knights in their quest to get what they want. He brought Loras Tyrell to King's Landing where he met Renly (I think Sansa was right that her red rose signalled something different to the other girl's white roses - just that the signal was to a different person and for a different purpose to the one she supposed). I think he also facilitated the purchase of a high-spirited, bad-tempered stallion exactly suited to Ser Gregor's need and temperament. Clearly Gregor didn't know (as Hullen did) that a war horse was not the best tourney horse. And Gregor would no doubt suppose he would have the ready money to pay for it after the tourney, after he killed his brother. And Petyr would know that whether he did or he didn't, he would still be indebted to Petyr Baelish, and in need of another horse to ride away from Kings Landing on. Thing is, the time between Gregor leaving King's Landing after the tourney of the Hand and the trouble at Sherrer is not enough for Gregor to have ridden to Clegane Keep, or Casterley Rock, or really, any further from King's Landing than Sherrer. If Tywin had ordered him to harry the riverlands, the order was given to him at Kings Landing, while Tywin was sitting at Casterley Rock. Or given to him in the Riverlands, while he was travelling from Kings Landing (ie: Not by raven - unless some of the riverlands houses are Lannister turncoats already, willing to receive messages from Casterley Rock and pass them on to Clegane when he arrives on their land). But the chances are that that frisky horse had left him in debt to Petyr bloody Baelish, and banditry might have been a way to reconcile the debt before the matter came to his bannerlord's attention, either repaid by the monetary value of the plunder, or by the trouble it caused between Tully and Lannister. (Although I don't think Gregor is that calculating, and also, Honestly, looking at Edmure without any of Catelyn's sisterly affection, I could almost believe he was a Lannister plant, as determined to cross the Starks as any Frey could be. Except that would take a certain low cunning - I don't doubt the depths Edmure would sink to, but he, like Gregor, seems to lack the cunning.) To paraphrase @Good Guy Garlan , it is complicated. I don't know who Baleish was working for or with, but I do believe it was Petyr Baelish who set Ser Hugh (whose ser-name is no doubt significant in the Vale) up to be knighted by the king, and killed at the tourney. Like the other three members of Jon Arryn's household that Baelish gave Eddard access to, that is a huge favour he owed Baelish, and like all the people Baelish does favours for, he is easy to dispose of, seems almost to be paying for his own demise (as Eddard did, when he had Baelish buy the Gold Cloaks with Stark money. And as Tyrion and Cersei did, when they gave Baelish Lannister Gold to buy the chivalry of the South...although they have not yet learnt to repent their error). Perhaps Eddard misread the situation - perhaps Ser Hugh had information that he was eager to tell the Hand of the King, but wanted to be sure it was the Hand of the King and not some spy of Baelish's that heard him. Doubtless Hugh thought it could keep until after the tourney. I do wonder how Eddard (or Jory) knew Ser Hugh was not a great swordsman, True, Ser Hugh had been squire to Jon Arryn, which I can't imagine was a very active kind of squiring, the Hand being too busy with matters of state to spend much time in his armour in the training yard, and also being near eighty. Hugh of the Vale had been his squire for only four years, of the fourteen Jon Arryn had been at Kings Landing. Hugh couldn't have been much more than twenty when he died (and was possibly as young as sixteen or fifteen). All these count against him, but still, it seems to me that of the three only Barristan had the opportunity to see Hugh wield a sword. Only Barristan was in a position to judge (and did judge him 'not ready to be knighted'). Neither Jory nor Eddard appear to have had any way of knowing exactly how many times better a swordsman Jory was.
  5. Cersei read the signs right - she had felt Arys malice personally, at the tourney of Lannisport, where he came to insult her as his "servant's daugher" (AFfC, Ch.24 Cersei V). She saw how he toyed with Tywin, how he hated her father and mistrusted his popularity and power. Taking Jaime into the kingsguard was effectively taking Tywin's family legacy hostage, and Tywin's legacy was the most precious thing to Tywin. It also robbed Tywin of what was shaping up to be one of his most trusty, capable battle commanders. If Tywin was going to plot with Rhaegar to steal his throne from him, he would learn that two can play at that game. She knew that old Ser Harlan Grandison had died, so a new Kingsguard was required, and she knew that if she didn't do something, Jaime would be married to Lysa Tully.(ASoS, Ch.11 Jaime II) Now you mention it, it does seem a bit too neat for a sequestered fifteen year old maiden to think through and arrange herself. And Varys would doubtless have more powerful objections to an alliance between the Lannisters and the Tullys than even Cersei. I'm guessing it was Varys. We know that Cersei put great trust in him, in former times. (ACoK, Ch.54 Tyrion XII)
  6. Actually, Petyr mentioned Before the wedding, Petyr was in the South, doing deals with the Tyrells. The Lannisters presumed on the Rose Road, somewhere between Storm's End and Bitterbridge, but they had lost track of him quickly, and not even Varys knew exactly where he was, until he turned up with the Tyrells after the battle of Blackwater, just in time to shepherd in the wayns of food and the new Queen to be. It is very possible he had a ship, and not impossible that he had Penny and Oppo brought to Oldtown in anticipation of the marriage, before Cersei knew the marriage to Margaery was on. Although there is a difference between hiding in a brothel and working in one. And why Penny or Groat, either or both, would choose to specialise in cock-sucking while they were hiding out there. No mention of Pretty Pig or Crunch, or the small elderly dancing bear that was also part of the wedding festivities. But maybe they didn't stay in the brothel.
  7. Oh dear, I suspect you speak too soon. If Gendry comes back in Season Seven, she'll be on like Donkey Kong for sure. I love Lady Stoneheart, the mother who became the stranger. She is a desolate, ruthless, inconsolable character, born in the bloody grass by the Trident, with the taste of fire in her mouth, and a cold dead heart. She exists because Beric Dondarrion swore on his honour as a knight that Arya would be returned safely to her mother's arms. Apart from keeping Arya relevant (remember when the Kindly Man asked her if she feared death? It's all about Stoneheart), and killing Freys (which never gets old) in the surrounds of Weirwood Central (God's Eye), a region infested with Westeros's biggest wolf pack lead by Arya's warg (that pulled LSH out of the trident); Lady Stoneheart is also playing fairy godmother for Brienne, bringing her back together with Jaime. Because she is all about love, mother's love, true love, love of duty, love of family, love of honour. What's not to love about LSH?
  8. Lady Bolton might have been pregnant at the Red Wedding, but unaware that she was. Great catch. (and Gilly 2, too) So nobody thinks Tywin/Lanna Graceford is a likely option?
  9. ^Surely the Hightower has a winch @LordManderlyAsDragonRider All that fuel for the beacon. The Mad Maid would be the Step champion of Westeros otherwise. * When the seas fill with pack ice and the snow blows in drifts. Winter is coming. Der. (It must have been mentioned here before, I can't believe I've never noticed this interpretation.)
  10. What ought she be called, @Alester?
  11. ADwD, Ch.62 The Sacrifice Sometime Princess and would-be Queen of the Iron Isles subtly corrects the address of Tycho Nestoris, humble servant of the Bank of Braavos.
  12. Dalla, Gilly, and Lollys have all given birth before the White Raven of Winter flew from the Citidel, so Tyrion Tanner is, as far as I know, the last sweet child of summer. Lady Graceford, Lady Frey, Lady Bolton, and Lady Tully are known to be pregnant, Princess Arianne and Princess Asha might be pregnant...and there could be more. So, any ideas who the first child of winter will be?
  13. Well, you have already read Feast more times than me, but leaving that aside...while I found it distinctly underwhelming on the first time through, for Dorne Arianne Ironborn No Jon no tyrion no Dany Brienne So few chapters such tediously long chapters and especially those mendacious patronising intellectually insulting lies that were called 'chapter 46' to boost the word count all kinds of reasons, the second reading convinced me that maybe it wasn't the sign that GRRM had peaked in the '90s and didn't have to please his readership anymore, could now sit back and watch the royalties roll in and spend the rest of his life selling the derivative rights and organising trusts to ensure the profits flow where he wants them to flow, and not to fanfic writers, at least until the 22nd century. After Game, it is the one I keep going back to, to look forward. There is a lot of repetition in Feast, literally covering ground we have gone over before in the case of Brienne, retracing the route she took with Jaime in Storm of Swords. It gets very interesting, very intricate in the details. I've been stuck in the middle of a big post on the subject for some time, trying to get my head around Briennes chapters, just astounding how much I missed the first time, when I was so much less aware of what was to come, and oblivious of who had been there, by sea and land, before. Or who was likely to come that way in the future, by air. Note that Dragonstone, Duskendale, Rosby, Kings Landing are pretty much a straight flight path, and one that has been done before. We begin to understand better what the cost of Bolton sending Harrion Karstark et al to Duskendale was. (By the way, that re-read of Brienne's feast chapters was prompted by what you said, @Clegane'sPup, on the dead near the saltpans, about Gendry's meeting with Brienne at the Inn at the Crossroads. Although I didn't find anything impossible about Gendry showing up there when he did, I am still somewhat sidetracked by other things.) But there is also Lord Tywin's funeral, seen first through Cersei's eyes, then Jaime's. (Where Jaime sees Cersei abuse Tommen, and does nothing. And we learn that Cersei sees herself as an affectionate mother, is completely oblivious of her cruel treatment of Tommen). Sansa is in the same room in the same tower her mother had at the Eyrie (In these chapters, I believe we see that Marillion is alive and at large in the Eyrie, moving from the Maiden's Tower to the Tower of the Moon on the night Petyr entertains the Lords Declarant); we see Braavos through the eyes of Arya, then Sam traces her steps, then Arya traces his; we see Cersei travelling comfortably to Baelor's sept to bribe the septon with arms in exchange for a crown, laughing as she plots against Margaery, a plot that will have her walking butt naked from the Sept, humbled, we now know. With the prescience of reading Dance of Dragons previously, we also see her bring the Rosby Inheritance down on her own head. That is the real trick about Feast, it is like Janus, looking forward and looking back. Or maybe it is a three-headed beast, looking back to Game of Thrones and earlier, looking forward to Dance and Winds and beyond, and the third head right in the present, saying howdedo to the High Septon and his bones at Rosby, or visiting the ancestral home of the Brunes and the smugglers coves at Crackclaw point. I think Feast might be the pivot on which the whole Song turns, although I won't know until the story ends. I see a lot of things relevant to the riots of Kings Landing cropping up in Feast. There are also a lot of added developments (Like Melara and the Younger More Beautiful Queen) that seem to have been dreamt up this century, and a lot of development of other things mentioned in the Clash, like the Ironborn, and Dorne. Actually, a lot of water themes are being developed: Melara, the Kingsmoot; Cersei flirts with 'the biting crabs' of former Stannis Loyalists like Celtigar and Velaryon; Arya pushs a barrow of molloscs around the canals, Sam is at sea; the action in Oldtown winds around the Honeywine; Brienne heads towards Jaime in the riverlands, when she is not by the sea; and even the Dornish chapters make multiple references to the Watergardens, and reach their climax on the Greenblood. Practically the only part of Feast that doesn't have running water references are the Alyane chapters - Alyssa's tear has frozen at the Eyrie. That it was originally a part of Dance with Dragons, does not mean that it doesn't stand on its own. I can see the chapters that make this book have been carefully selected for juxtaposition: Jamie with Cersei; Cersei with Brienne; Jaime with Sam; Sam with Arya;; Arianne with Sansa, and Asha. Not all the juxtapositions are in Feast, for instance there is Gilly and Sam vs Jon and Val, connected by the swapped children. A lot of things in Feast become more interesting when you consider where people from other chapters and other books are at this point in time. The Ironborn story seems almost entirely unconnected with the rest of the book, until we remember that the Isle of Ravens at the heart of the Citidel was once the stronghold of a pirate king, or that Rosby and Duskendale are a dragon-flight from Dragonstone, where Loras is collecting a navy to repulse Euron (too late), and maybe dragon eggs or awakening a stone dragon (time will tell). Brienne and Arya almost cross paths. I suspect the real reason Feast was hived off from Dance was to introduce the territory before Davos, Stannis, Aegon, the White Walkers attack the east side of Westeros. And maybe to conceal something in Davos' storyline that might be obvious if his chapters are read in sequential order in a Feast/Dragon read. The single chapter points of view have points of interest. Although, to be honest, nearly the only thing that intrigues me about Arys is that he is the only point of view to die after just one chapter not an epilogue or prologue (although he doesn't die in his own chapter). For that reason alone, I wonder if he is really is dead. Or perhaps undead. Hotah, the renegade Norvoshi priest, I still find a bit underwhelming, with his hulk speech thoughts and his steadfast retainer schtick, apparently to foreshadow that Norvos will be as bullshit as Dorne. Still, he juxtaposes with Arys. Then there is Pate. Who is Pate? He doesn't wonder who he is, so neither do we, until he is no more. Likewise Archmaester Walgrave. But then, the prologue did not disappoint me on the first read, it is an elegant introduction to Oldtown and the Citadel, it's stone streets, its people, its politics, with secrets like Alleras and its Pirate heart. The real final chapter (ie chapter 45) bookends it. I think the pirate king has crept back into his ancestral home, although Oldtown does not know that yet. And look how much heavy lifting the Prologue did - the final chapter of Feast is only the second chapter at Oldtown, but it seems almost as familiar as Kings Landing by the time we return with Sam. @Good Guy Garlan , when you say that Sam's future is meant to be at Oldtown, you don't know that. Sure, Sam is under orders from Jon to become a maester of the Citidel, but his author is foreshadowing more like he is now zero chapters from his death. On my first read, Arianne was instantly unlikeable, an idiot full of what seems to me to be GRRM's contempt and objectification of young women. While I have not located any hidden depths in her childish character on re-read, it does make me appreciate Doran as a brilliant father, if not a masterly player of the game of thrones.Among other things, I appreciate the masterly way Doran extracts a full confession from Arianne, and she tells him the names of all her confederates (confirming the plot was hers, and her allies are only the friends she has known since childhood, that she is not the stalking horse of a foreign power) Also the way he strengthens her loyalty to him, by simply leaving her to her own devices in the tower. She is a contrast to the other princess in the tower, Sansa, and to the other Queenmaker, Asha. At the moment, I'm still re-reading Storm, but one of the questions I'm going to ask myself on the next re-read of Feast is why GRRM chose that chapter as the introduction to that place eg. Brienne I as the introduction to Rosby and the Northern Crownlands, Arya for Braavos, Aeron for Great Wyk, Asha for Harlaw, Hotah for Dorne, Victarion for the Sheild Isles, Sam for Skaggos (sort of - we haven't really been to Skaggos). There are a lot of mystery characters to identify, and a few mysteries to solve, a few new prophecies, but every other book in the series has their share of those. So far, Feast and Thrones have been the ones that offered me most on the re-read though. Although if @Cas Stark is right, I'm deluded and have wasted the last four years reading meanings that are not there. It is a bit disturbing to notice how many of the Feast haters here are people who have demonstrated their close-reading skills and sound understanding of the details in many a post, and have read Feast more than once with no lack of comprehension. Even so, I'm pretty sure what they call filler is at the least very high quality, carefully chosen and intricately thought through filler. Hopefully you can find something to keep you involved, or at least prevent you tossing it against the wall. ETA: Also, @Amris gave a good answer to the Feast question at the end of this post.
  14. Dynamite Entertainment are publishing the graphic novel of Clash of Kings on the 7th June 2017 .
  15. re sweetsunray's posts: thanks anyway - I've read them, very quickly, and think she is totally on the money. When I get a chance, I'm going to look at more tourneys and tourney fields because there is clearly a lot going on on them and maybe, if we can crack the tourney of the Hand, we can crack the Great Tourney at Harrenhal.

    Also,and I'm not exactly sure why my subconscious is bothering me with this detail, I'm thinking a winged helm could become a winged chalice if inverted...we've not heard much about House Hersy, which is the only current winged chalice. Of course, SweetRobin wants his eight guards to have winged helms like Artys Arryn (and would doubtless want them to slay the Griffin King on his order). But Renly has a rider with a winged helm, The Ironborn captain Bluetooth and King-beyond the Wall Mance Rayder both have raven-winged helms, the Mallisters of course, Bran is the winged wolf, Drogon the winged shadow, there are stories of heroic winged horses, legendary winged lions (Griffins) and probably less heroic but still mythic winged pigs (House Suggs?). Summer saw a winged snake belching fire at the fall of  Winterfell, whatever that means, but there is something about wings and cups and the Eyrie and its ...maybe it is just that I'm still mulling over  the silver goblet of the Widow of the waterfront while thinking of the tourney.

    Anyway, Sunray's posts are a great read, thankyou for putting me onto them.

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      Hi - Sorry I didn't see a notice about this message when it arrived in my inbox so I just stumbled across it.

      I like a lot of sweetsunray's stuff, too. I'm glad if it feels right to you, too. I'm still amazed by the layers of hints GRRM has hidden for us in tourneys, wedding gifts, scenery, menus at feasts.

      If I see any hints about a winged chalice, I will definitely let you know.

      Come to think of it, Arya uses the Hound's helmet as a bucket or pail, I believe. I wonder whether we're supposed to compare that to Bran using his father's silver direwolf goblet at the harvest feast . . .

      One thought often leads to another . . .