Shouldve Taken The Black

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  1. Not necessarily the case. If you look at our own Ice Age, or at the Arctic Circle for that matter, you'll see that there was a preponderance of large apex predators, and large herbivores, many of which move in very large herds (reindeer for example). Extended periods of cold tend to lend themselves to large animals and big packs/herds - durability is the prime consideration. Very good OP in my opinion. I don't know to what extent GRRM has been influenced by zoology, but Ned's point about how in winter the lone wolf dies but the pack survives does touch on a certain logic. In the summer them decadent southrons might have their day, but in the winter the old values of loyalty start to seem pragmatic rather than naive.
  2. It's described in GOT through Bran's POV when Rob's setting off to war (I think)
  3. Jojen is a case in point. He has visions, and acts upon them, but the visions are not simply a device for him to know things he otherwise wouldn’t. Certainly, at no point in the series has a mystery been solved in such a simplistic way.
  4. Remember that when people receive prophetic visions in this world, it’s very rare that these visions are clear, and that the character receiving them can interpret them correctly. Most of the time, the person receiving the vision doesn’t know what it means until after the event prophesised actually happened. Other times they woefully misinterpret them and it leads to trouble. It is very rare (I actually can’t think of an occasion) that a character simply has a vision, that vision is correctly interpreted, and acts accordingly. Visions are not a simple plot device in the way the OP suggests, where they give characters information they otherwise would not have in order to push the plot forward.
  5. Surely you can find a way to make these points without using the term "final solution"? I don't know if you're being purposefully provocative, or just ignorant, but either way, stop it.
  6. You are wrong, he tried to prevent it. The people to blame were Littlefinger, and Joffery, and to a lesser extent Cersei. Varys explains how the realm would bleed if Stannis won. Can't disagree with his logic really.
  7. Godwin's Law strikes again. I'm sure we can debate the relative merits of characters in a work of fiction without blaming each other for the Holocaust or the Gulags. You know, like grownups do. What bloodshed is Varys responsible for?
  8. In fairness, we don't know either of those things. We think Littlefinger wants power for its own sake, because his actions so far point in that direction, but I wouldn't be surprised if deeper motivations are revealed later on. No idea what they would be, but I think LF's character is more complex than people give him credit for. We think Varys is looking after the realm/smallfolk, but only because he says he is.
  9. What mass murders has Varys committed?
  10. Jaime suggests that Varys also aimed to preserve Aerys and the Targaryens when he advised him not to open the gates to Tywin. That suggests, for whatever reason, that Varys was motivated by a desire to keep Aerys on the throne. The motivation that Aerys remaining in power would be more destabilising does not work for me. Whatever havoc Aerys could have wreaked he already had at that point – the realm was plunged into civil war, Rhaegar was dead... At that stage, in my opinion, the only reason you would fight to preserve Aerys’s throne is actual loyalty. If you wanted to destabilise the kingdoms, removing the one family that had united the 7K from power would surely be the way to go? This is one of the reasons why I remain unconvinced by the Blackfyre theory – Varys’s actions don’t quite add up as neatly as some proponents of that theory suggest. That he is loyal to the Targaryen dynasty adds up much more.
  11. It’s not just from second hand sources that we hear that Aerys was mad. Barristan and Jaime both thought him mad, and they were about as close witnesses as it gets, and Barristan is about as reliable a witness as it gets. Also, in AWOIAF Aerys is witnessed as acting crazy and paranoid at the Harrenhal tourney, with hundreds of people watching on. Pycelle would not have been the only witness to that, Yandal reports these events as if they were widespread and common knowledge.
  12. I don't know, they've got a pretty loyal crew - Jory or Rodrik could go, and there must be others who they can trust to make the trip and ask a few questions. I think Ned did repeatedly try and get in touch with Stannis, but got no reply.
  13. I see your point, and I can see Robert giving him the benefit of the doubt, but we know from Cersei's conversation with Jaime before they shove Bran out the tower that she's already suspicious of Ned's motives. Like most power-hungry, scheming narcisissts, Cersei tends to think everyone has the same motivations as her. Plus, she's utterly paranoid.
  14. I've thought about that option, as that would probably be my first instinct in that situation, but I would imagine the Lannisters would blame Eddard for bringing it to his attention, and that would bring the Starks into their sights.
  15. I seem to recall a SSM where GRRM discusses this, and suggests that the rules of heraldry are pretty loose in Westros, citing as an example that Robb uses a direwolf’s snarling head as a badge rather than the running direwolf which is normal for the Starks. Splitting of sigils seems to be a personal decision – for example Joffery quarters his sigil with both the stag and the lion, obviously a move to give prominence to the Lannisters. Littlefinger simply abandons his family sigil, the Titan’s Head, for a mockingbird. Some bastards reverse the colours of their family sigil, others use a bend sinister, others just make up their own (check out Bittersteel’s badassery of a sigil). Generally, I think most use the family sigil as standard, occasionally altering it according to taste, or because like the Blackfish they’ve got a cool nickname and want to celebrate it.