Aemon Targaryen

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  1. On second thoughts, I think the showrunners ran with the LF voice-over because they are concerned that there is not enough "suspense" as to whether Sansa will betray Jon in favour of LF (.... perhaps due to leaks?) Paradoxically, this confirms that Sansa will kill LF - they are just desperate to raise the stakes so as to make the whole LF/Sansa thing make dramatic sense (despite them changing the storylines so much from the books).
  2. So disappointing that I agree with all the takedowns of the trailer. FFS, trailers are meant to have the snappiest lines ... such a terrible idea to start the trailer with greatest emphasis on that sophomoric writing. And the fact the trailer ends with Sansa saying GRRM's lines from the books only underlines it. Shame. Also, I just don't think Sophie Turner is a good actress ... not even really passable. Stiff, wooden, awkward. In sum: gah!
  3. Precisely. Not "You are no Lannister" but "You are no son of mine".
  4. Interesting. Well, we are not too far apart then, except for your last paragraph. The distinction between a feudal world, where the tribe only matters not the individual, and partly based on magic, and many of its rituals are based on notions of blood sacrifice inherited from long ago and almost beyond memory, on the one hand, and a modern world where magic and blood sacrifice are finally overcome, seems a major thematic pull of the series - GRRM's version of that movement in LOTR. The greater potency of magic during the series seems to be a kind of dialectic --- magic is the return of the repressed, with vengeance --- giving way in ADoS to the sense of a possible new world based on the synthesis. This is actually one reason why, paradoxically, though I see Tyrion as simpatico with the dragons, he will not ride them -- he is fascinated as a modern man with the existence of these ancient creatures, and will use them in battle, but that kind of demiurgic aspect is foreign to him. He is a statesman, a man of reason - a true prince, in the machiavellian sense. Anyway, back to AJT. When I first heard of AJT, I instinctively thought - what a fuck up by GRRM if it were true. For the usual reasons people give - the damage it does to Tywin and Tyrion as characters and their relationships. And then eventually I was convinced by it, despite this. However, now I tend to see it as only enriching the Tyrion and Tywin dynamic and them individually as characters. In particular, it turns Tywin from a plastic sort of character to a man of great light and shade. No one can sensibly doubt he loved Joanna. Joanna died in giving birth to Tyrion, just as Lyanna did Jon. Before Lyanna died, she was able - miraculously - to speak to her beloved brother Ned and make him promise. Joanna would have had not miraculous but immediate assured access to Tywin, or the ability to have someone pass on a message to him at least. Tyrion was immediately deformed from birth. Why is it so hard to imagine that Joanna didn't make Tywin promise with his dying breath, just as Lyanna did Ned? Whomever Tyrion's father was, Joanna would have known that there were rumours about her and Aerys, and that the child's paternity would not be beyond doubt. What dying mother wouldn't try to protect her newborn in that circumstance, by extracting a promise that the son would be raised as a Lannister. And of all ppl Tywin would ever consider himself bound in honour to fulfil, it would be that from his dying wife, the only person he ever really loved. There may not be a clear-cut answer, and Tywin or even Joanna may not have known one way or the other --- but Tywin's character is much reduced without a lot of his behaviour toward Tyrion being explained by at least a suspicion that Aerys was Tyrion's true father. Otherwise Tywin is merely irrationally malicious and spiteful towards his most intelligent and politically able child. Similarly, it greatly enriches the tragedy for Tyrion --- a lot of Tyrion's frustration is because he is intelligent enough to be aware of the above point --- that is, that Tywin is very pragmatic and intelligent, and his treatment of Tyrion simply does not make sense --- it would have to be an irrational hatred based on Joanna's death and hatred of physical deformity. It is just plausible as an explanation, but does not make intuitive sense to Tyrion --- especially when he does good things, like the Battle of the Blackwater. It is at points like that that Tyrion just cannot believe how poorly Tywin treats him, because it just makes no sense.
  5. I agree with most of your comments on AJT, but this comment is a fallacy - the same kind as thinking the trolly problem in moral philosophy raises some kind of genuine issue. The fact is if the premises of your argument (or the trolley problem) were actually correct - that if you push the fat man onto the tracks, or cause one person to die, you will definitely save the 5 other people - or, here, that if Jon kills 90% of ASOIAF-world it would "guarantee a victory" of them - then your conclusion that he should do so would carry some weight. But the fact is that both the real world - and ASOIAF-world - are a lot more messy and contingent than that. We never know how things are going to turn out. All you can do is plough on through a fog of confusion and misinformation. Prophecies are predictions often, even usually, turn out to be wrong or flawed in some particular aspect -- often a crucial aspect, that can only be seen in hindsight. What is the point of all this? Morality doesn't work in the utilitarian way you have described because of the absence of certainty. Common sense utilitarian thinking is still is very important - and is a key part of battle strategy, which Jon may be learning. Some will always die, and the plan that leads to 100 people dying is better than that leading to 10000 people dying, no doubt. But conscious, cold-hearted sacrifice in the name of a falsely certain utilitarianism is certainly a major theme of the series, and will be ultimately repudiated by Jon, Tyrion and Dany. As important as the symbolism of Dany's sacrifices are, the literal fact is she did not knowingly sacrifice anyone. Drogo was gone. She didn't know she was sacrificing Rhaego. Jon didn't just directly sacrifice Ygritte. Jon's heart re: Arya was correct, but he will learn to be more pragmatic.
  6. I'm no Aemon Targaryen ( ) ... but when Jon Snow 'innocently' refers to himself in AGOT as being no Aemon Targaryen, that seems to have GRRM's 'irony fingerprints' all over it -- and the foreshadowing clues seem to be more forthcoming in AGOT than in later books. It is possible that it's just that Aemon is just the secret Targaryen in the NW like Jon, but it seems something more than that. And Aemon's renunciation of the throne seems very Jon ... we may yet see the same from Jon, giving it up in favour of his aunt (Dany) or uncle (Tyrion). AGOT, Jon VIII: A toothless smile quivered on the ancient lips. "Only a maester of the Citadel, bound in service to Castle Black and the Night's Watch. In my order, we put aside our house names when we take our vows and don the collar." The old man touched the maester's chain that hung loosely around his thin, fleshless neck. "My father was Maekar, the First of his Name, and my brother Aegon reigned after him in my stead. My grandfather named me for Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, who was his uncle, or his father, depending on which tale you believe. Aemon, he called me …" "Aemon … Targaryen?" Jon could scarcely believe it. "Once," the old man said. "Once. So you see, Jon, I do know … and knowing, I will not tell you stay or go. You must make that choice yourself, and live with it all the rest of your days. As I have." His voice fell to a whisper. "As I have …" ((Also father/uncle issue resonates.)) AGOT, Jon IX: But he had not left the Wall for that; he had left because he was after all his father's son, and Robb's brother. The gift of a sword, even a sword as fine as Longclaw, did not make him a Mormont. Nor was he Aemon Targaryen ... ASOS, Jon VI: Aemon Targaryen, Jon thought, a king's son and a king's brother and a king who might have been. But he said nothing. (king's son = Jon is Rhaegar's son; king's brother = Jon is Robb the KITN's brother; king who might of been (as either Robb's or Rhaegar's heir = Jon himself)
  7. My first reaction was "Fool, that fool be dead". But on further consideration, the ambiguous nature of his "death" does raise questions ... it's like the show is trying to keep an ace up its sleeve just in case Stannis is needed to fill plot gaps. As everyone says, there's no doubt Stannis will meet a different end in the books. GRRM's style is such that Stannis' likely arc is that he DOES do something useful (in the broader sense, vs. the Others) before he meets his end. This would be GRRM logic along the line of "even a broken clock is right twice a day". In other words, Stannis has been amazing at being awkward and wrong ... it would be much more surprising and satisfying if he maintains his rigidity, survives somehow and contributes something, perhaps via BwB or being the new Dondarrion?
  8. The bold above is true, but everything that has happened in Westeros for the last almost 20 years relates to the understanding that Rhaegar caused RR by kidnapping Lyanna .... and it is hard to see how the discovery of RLJ could be convincingly transmitted to the rest of the populace and lesser lords .... why should they believe Sam or Bran or whomever? It doesn't seem likely to be able to turn the tide of popular opinion of the history of RR, which is now ingrained.
  9. Why would Tyrion be ruling a separate part of the 7 kingdoms to Dany? Doesn't seem likely at present. I'd be very interested if you could give some quotes or citations of Tyrion's triarchy talk.
  10. LF at least knows/suspects that Lyanna loved Rhaegar and knows first-hand how rigid and honourable Ned is. It doesn't seem a big leap give LF's ability to divine others' intentions and motives. I agree with other posters that you simply can't be a targaryen or targaryen bastard and be king in the north. Perhaps that's the even bigger irony -- that even though he is the iron throne's true heir, the discovery hinders him. I.e. when Jon declares support for Daenerys, LF uses RLJ (or discovers and then uses RLJ, if he does not yet know) that as a basis for Jon to be rejected by the North, with the aim of LF and Sansa ruling the North and WF.
  11. Could be. Also could be both. You're probably right though
  12. Just a small textual point on the Rhaegar glamour theory (with which I agree) -- the use of the adjective "gleaming" to describe Rhaegar's armour also seems potentially significant (gleaming/glamour). Interestingly enough, there are two likely etymologies for the word "glamour" -- one is that it comes from "grammar", in the sense of occult learning (Rhaegar and his books anyone?), and the other less likely one being from the old German "gleam" - a brilliant light. (Of course, it is far from being determinative, as the word "gleaming" is commonly used elsewhere in asoiaf).
  13. In the trailer, Jon and LF are in the WF crypts. The last time LF was there, he and Sansa spoke of Lyanna. LF's reaction to Sansa telling the kidnap story seemed to indicate he knew that story was false. That means he might know or suspect that Jon is Lyanna's son and perhaps not by rape. Ie LF knows RLJ. Now we see Jon getting emotional with LF in front of Lyanna's statue -- perhaps LF first tells Jon that Ned is not his father ... before telling him about RLJ. My first reaction, if this is true - what a letdown! Wouldn't that somehow 'besmirch' R+L=J. LF would merely be using RLJ to split Sansa and Jon, and perhaps undermine Jon being KitN. But then ... what if that was GRRM's plan all along, or at least his plan from aCoK onwards --- that this great reveal is really nothing on the show? I always took "you know nothing" to indirectly allude to RLJ ... but what if it is RLJ that is really nothing. And just like Jon has already had a potentially shattering revelation about death and what lies on the other side ... and just like that, it's like so what - it's nothing. The irony would be strong: the one person who is the rightful heir to the iron throne rejects his heritage, rejects the whole concept of heritage and rejects the throne, but saves the kingdom anyhow. That is the ultimate f you to the whole feudal patriarchal primogeniture thing. Jon chooses to define himself by his experiences and his actions. He will always be a bastard, in his own mind, and always be Ned Stark's son. The adopting parent is the real parent, not the birth parents. I mean he has already died, before even learning about this. (Also, if RLJ is so underplayed like this, it seems to increase the chance that AJT becomes the bigger dramatic reveal -- which relatively few people will know about or believe in ... which, in turn, makes me think that Tyrion is the ultimate "winner" of the whole series, who finally becomes the wise king at the end ... after Jon and Dany and the dragons (and many others) die. Re-reading aCoK and Tyrion's time as hand, one can see Tyrion trying to be a wise, pragmatic ruler who is also subtly honourable and merciful ... better really than anyone else so far on the show).
  14. Apologies for the resurrection. “Under the sea the mermen feast on starfish soup, and all the serving men are crabs” "starfish" = the symbol of the Faith/the Seven-Pointed Star "starfish soup" = the chaotic and conflicted state of the realm, with men fighting against men "mermen" = the Others (i.e. mutant men, magic men, originally derived from a man -- also, magical and otherworldly and silent, like the Others, and who are the most naturally adapted to "under the sea" i.e. the realm of death) "serving men" = wights -- specifically, dead men of the NW, dead warriors and dead knights, serving the Others and, no longer real men, scuttling around like crabs, with their jerky zombie movements. (after tapping the above out, saw another poster had already suggested the starfish = the seven meaning) I also noticed someone mentioned Patchface's sideways walk -- this could mean Patchface is also a serving man, serving the Others somehow?
  15. "Those you call the children of the forest have eyes as golden as the sun, but once in a great while one is born amongst them with eyes as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of the forest. By these signs do the gods mark those they have chosen to receive the gift. The chosen ones are not robust, and their quick years upon the earth are few, for every song must have its balance. But once inside the wood they linger long indeed. A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees.” Missed this obvious hint that Bran (at least in his 'human' life) may not even last out the series, and in a sense is already dead. No doubt joining the 'godhood' is a kind of death - their "quick years upon the earth are few". If "quick years" simply meant "don't live long", the sentence is tautologous, since it means the same as "their ... years .... are few". Part of the tragedy of Bran is that, in a real sense, he is killed by the fall. (There are lots of textual hints for this). In other words, the metaphor of the greenseer/shaman dying and experiencing a rebirth into their spiritual powers is no mere metaphor. The price of their power is their own (earthly) life. They are their own blood sacrifice. This only strengthens jojenpaste ... it seems in the whole weirwood/greenseer mythos, GRRM is concerned to make the metaphors real.