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About zandru

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  1. Aegon I, no contest. Aegon unified 6 of the 7 kingdoms into a single government and stopped the incessant warfare between them, a kind of "Pax dracaerys". He founded the big city of King's Landing. His dynasty reigned nearly 300 years. There were no further successful foreign invasions and colonizations of Westeros while the Targaryens ruled. Big Bobbie Baratheon sat on Aegon's Iron Throne every now and then, when he wasn't eating and drinking himself into an early grave and impregnating all the young women he could get his hands on. Besides that, all he really enjoyed was killing. He bankrupted the (now 7) Kingdoms with his careless lack of stewardship, and was basically assassinated by his wife's family, never having a clue that he was in danger. And let's not get into the domino effects after Robert's demise... (you can read all about it in "A Song of Ice & Fire" ...)
  2. You're talking only to yourself again, man.
  3. Good analysis! As are the discussions that follow. Catelyn had lapsed again into her "grief-maddened mother" mode, made worse by the slow, prolonged death of her father. The woman is politically astute and intelligent, but easily overwhelmed by feelings toward family. Well said.
  4. More correctly, Tywin says he killed Sansa and Arya. That leaves Sansa actually dead and Arya still missing. But only Arya and the Hound (and a few others) know this. Lady Catelyn goes stark raving mad. She's lost Ned. She's lost her little boys, Bran and Rickon. Now all of her daughters are dead, too. The family property, that she looked forward to her children ruling one day, is in the hands of the treacherous Boltons. Only her oldest, Robb, remains, and he's losing the confidence of his men after all the wrong decisions he's made recently. Catelyn is no longer giving good advice, as she's retreated into "grieving mother" mode. It's a recipe for disaster. Admittedly, we got "disaster" the other way, too. But by not killing Jaime, we can still enjoy Sansa's ladylike chapters and get inside Jaime Lannister's pointy little head as well. Maybe it wasn't worth it...
  5. This was the beginning of Jaime's "redemption arc." As you say, a known oathbreaker is suddenly trusted with an awesome responsibility, under oath. He had to have been thinking at some point, does Lady Cat know something about me that nobody else seems to? Then his experience with the noble Brienne of Tarth (aka "Wench") made an impression on Jaime, cynical though he'd become. Finally, the loss of his sword hand and identity. In the end, Jaime decides not to come to his sister the dowager queen's aid, but instead to go to Brienne as part of fulfilling his oath to Catelyn. Exactly. This led to the Karstark atrocities and the execution of Lord Karstark. Next came the Red Wedding, and the northern rebellion was over. Was Sansa worth it? We, the readers, know that only Sansa was at stake, Arya having gotten away long ago. Better intelligence should have revealed this to Robb and his then-trusted advisor, Catelyn. Would Cat have undermined Robb on a desperate attempt to save only Sansa? (I suspect so. She always liked Sansa better.) No. That came well after the Battle on the Blackwater, after the Tyrells came to town.
  6. Well, I disagree with your assessment of Littlefinger's altruism. I still think he's in it for himself, in it for revenge on anyone considered his "better." Plus, I think Baelish would say that anybody wanting a leg up could just do it the way he did it, and quit whinging if you can't. Baelish is a classic libertarian - with added "vengeance" motivation.
  7. Sorry, no. We're not going to see the death of feudalism, birth of democracy, triumph of the free market, or libertarianism breaking out everywhere. And, you may not have noticed, but "birth" is a really big deal under capitalism, where the rich get increasingly richer, generation by generation. It's dangerous for us to impose our own biases. Littlefinger is no altruist. He certainly resents the disadvantages he's had due to his own relatively low birth, but he's not concerned with anybody besides himself. As others have noted, he doesn't want to improve society - he wants to destroy it.
  8. I generally agree. Littlefinger seems more like Tom Riddle, Jr in that he wants power - but not visibility. Most of what he has done he's tried to keep a secret. Look how long it took before the fact that Baelish, through his manipulation of Lysa Arryn, had (1) killed Jon Arryn, (2) sent the Starks off on the wrong track of suspecting the Lannisters, and (3) implicated Tyrion Lannister in an attempted murder on their family. Here, fairly early in the "game", Littlefinger was just looking to break things up, burn stuff down. With enough death and disorder, the next phase was increasing his power (Lord of Harrenhal! Husband of the Lady of the Vale!) But Littlefinger is still exercising power mainly through "regency" over little Robert Arryn, with hopes of multiplying his influence dramatically via control of Sansa Stark (his "natural daughter").
  9. Good observation! If you re-read the classic book, "Black Beauty" (the story of a horse in his own words), you'll see that racing, drunken riding, and careless stunts were big among young men even centuries ago. Probably inherent in the species.
  10. Well, Olenna's consistent story is that Luthor was not intelligent. But Lady Merriweather? She'd almost have to consent to be "ridden."
  11. Actually, it's more likely Olenna was the skinchanger and "rode" her husband's horse to the brink of the cliff then threw him off. The story grew in the re-telling; moreover, being a skinchanger is such a useful skill that Olenna has kept it a secret. Olenna is undoubtedly "riding" Lady Taena Merriweather whenever Taena schmoozes with Cersei. That way, the old lady can collect intelligence first hand, rather than having it filtered through the eyes and memory of a younger woman, and losing critical detail from her recitation. Who else/what other animals might Olenna be utilizing? Since she's good with horses, we need to examine more closely every incidence where someone has ridden or been around a horse. Is her control range limited in any way? Must she needs have met the animal/person at some point? Good question!
  12. Clearly you've never seen a castration. An animal doesn't need psychic powers to see trouble coming. Are you assuming Sandor was standing there watching the brothers moving in with their sharp tools, and beaming his own castration fears at the horse? Animals are not that stupid or unobservant. And after all, this is a war horse - trained to kick and bite. @Lady Dacey I think has it right. And thanks!
  13. No, actually, it's on the basis of several Sansa POVs in which she never, ever mentions feeling a mental link with Lady. Possibly if they'd been together longer, she might, but she's relatively old when she gets Lady. Even Arya doesn't have wolf dreams for maybe a year or so after getting Nymeria. Shaggy and Rickon bonded at once, but he was 3. Bran had wolf dreams once he came out of his coma. We know Jon regularly sees (and smells and tastes) through Ghost. Robb was never a POV, so we can't be sure. But we see into Sansa's mind for five solid books (plus a pre-released chapter), and never once does she show any warging or skinchanging tendencies, or even seem aware that's a thing. Even if one has "innate" abilities, training and experience are necessary. And - those direwolves were the key to awakening the potential. Even Bran, with his great powers, needed to be trained on what he could do, and how. Sure, Sansa may have "potential" - but it's not going to be realized, nor has it been yet. It's not a part of her character arc.
  14. Okay, sure, why not. Hey! When Sandor calls himself a "dog", it isn't because he's called the Hound, and it isn't because he's a Clegane with a family sigil of three running dogs. It's because Sandor is LITERALLY A DOG. Sansa was just lucky that her super psychic warg-o-matic senses picked up that the man in bed with her whose face was moving near hers might be trying to kiss her. Truly something requiring a high degree of ESP. Had Sansa gone through with it, Sandor would have immediately reverted to his true being: a big ugly mutt. Kind of a "frog prince" in reverse. We all know how George RR loves his old fairy tales, right? (That was meant as a parody, by the way. Please don't feel personally attacked. I have a harsh sense of humor.) On the other hand, many, many people are good with animals, form bonds with animals, and are trusted by animals. More so back in Westeros, where horses etc are more prevalent, and a man can hardly call himself a knight (even if he doesn't) without being mounted. (On a horse.) Not a warg among any of them, either. Like Tyrioni (who is George RR) sez, don't use "magic" as an explanation any more than absolutely necessary.
  15. Exactly. Because of Ned's total unfamiliarity with the backstabbing, cutthroat politics of King's Landing, he was inclined to trust Baelish because Catelyn vouched for him, having known Petyr as a callow, foolish boy. She had no clue as to what Baelish had grown to, and neither did Ned. Meanwhile, Ned was turned off by Renly's flippant attitude, his many irreverent jokes, his fancy clothing, and apparent frivolousness. He thus failed to see the shrewd politician beneath the rainbow banners. Eddard Stark was an honest, decent man thrown into a pit of snakes. He knew something like this would happen, but felt compelled by honor and long-ago friendship to go south and try.