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About GyantSpyder

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  1. Useless fun fact time! The Scottish Catholic rebels in the late 1600s and 1700s, source of romantic literature and song, were the Jacobites. The later era of Shakespeare, in the early 1600s, after death of Queen Elizabeth, characterized by its heavy, uncomfortable furniture, lively theater scene, and the King James Bible, was the Jacobean era. The hard-core Reign of Terror dudes during the French Revolution were the Jacobins. Useless fun fact time over!
  2. Ah! So now it all comes together! Looking deeper, the Confederates, as Twain suggested, did fashion themselves as Scottish Jacobites. The first Confederate flag was the "Bonnie Blue Flag," and "Bonnie" is a epithet for several prominent Jacobites, including Bonnie Prince Charlie (like Bonnie Dundee), as well as found in the Loch Lomond refrain. And there's theme and symbolism across these various Scottish rebels that speaks to a kind of common archetypal identity. Sir Walter Scott is what pulls it all together! He wrote, among other things, _Rob Roy_, an historical novel about the Jacobite rebellion which, according to Twain at least, help inspire the Confederacy to secede by force. "Roi" in French is "King," and even though Rob Roy in the story isn't the king of Scotland, he is a larger than life figure similar to Robb Stark in some ways, namely that he appears in his own book only through the eyes of others who are watching his campaign while traveling to different parts of the countryside, and he too is wounded at the high-water mark of his rebellion. There are other superficial similarities between Rob Roy and Robb Stark as well, no doubt. And the Liam Neeson movie version of Rob Roy came out in 1995 while GRRM was writing the first books. So yeah, I think Rob Roy is the figure who pulls this all together.
  3. One possible way of looking at it is that the culture and narrative around the Confederacy during and especially after the American Civil War is influenced by the Jacobite revolts in Scotland, with the whole "romantic, heroic failure" vibe, the half-nationalism, and the sort of pastoral imagery frequently used in mourning and remembrance. Comparing the mournful, later versions of "Dixie" common after the war (not the upbeat minstrelsy version) and "Loch Lomond" and I think there are some superficial similarities. Robb Stark is more of a Bonnie Prince Charlie figure ("the Young Wolf" and "the Young Pretender") than a Stonewall Jackson figure, but Stonewall Jackson is himself a bit of a Bonnie Prince Charlie figure. So it all might be connected.
  4. She will appoint Darkstar as Hand of the Queen and will fail to understand what all the people in strange clothes and accents are complaining about when they suggest it makes no sense.
  5. I think one case for Ned Stark in all this is that while Ned loved his kids and strove to teach them both how to be dutiful and honorable and how to love each other, Ned's young adulthood was such a flaming unmitigated disaster that he had no idea how to teach them to grow up. None of them are prepared for the feelings they get in adolescence or what to do with them - Ned saw them as all children who would someday be grownups, but he seemed to have been putting off that day indefinitely, like a lot of parents do, because he didn't know what to say about it. He's just so hurt over Lyanna - and Brandon, and his dad, and everything else that went so terribly wrong - that he never sits down with Robb or with Jon and talks about girls and women and how to deal with desires and impulses.
  6. I don't think the "love" side of the "duty vs. love" dichotomy in the story should be considered to be exclusive to romantic love of a high order - like fairy tale "true love." I think it includes a broad range of kinds of desire for physical touch, sexual gratification, companionship, compassion, familial devotion, caring for others, and social relationships. Like when Brienne has to choose between being hanged herself and watching Podrick Payne be hanged, or betray Jaime Lannister and bring him to her for judgment, there are a lot of choices going on between duty and love, but none of them are on that romantic level where the physical and the personal and the spiritual all transcend in a uniform way at the same time. Just like how Jaime complains that as a kingsguard knight he had to swear a whole bunch of contradictory oaths in the scope of duty that left him without a way to keep all of them, love can be similar in its many dimensions that also sometimes contradict. By contemporary standards, Jon probably didn't really "love" Ygritte. He cared for her, he cared what happened to her, he was attracted to her, he had sex with her, he was sad when she died - but did he "fall in love" with her in a courtly Sir Lancelot sort of way, or a grand romance sort of way? I don't think it was that straightforward or that complete. Same with Robb - I think it's fair to speculate that, as a young man, he probably had a range of desires and feelings for Jeyne Westerling, but absent some private time with him to really hash them out, I think we can bucket them all under the "love" side of "love vs. duty" without really saying he was "in love" with her or that was the only reason he did what he did. Just having sex with her puts an aspect of this in the category of "love" without further proof or elaboration. It's a vulnerability and a human need to have that kind of desire - what "the gods have fashioned us for" - and it's not something that certain kinds of duty allow for. But yeah, I totally agree that it's a big part of the point that the choice goes both ways - that various forms of love and their undeniable importance and power can absolutely torpedo your attempts to keep difficult or complex promises or obligations, and that keeping these complex promises or obligations, which are also undeniably important (as much as we may like to wish that they were not, Bowen Marsh has shown us the truth), makes various sorts of love in various situations impossible.
  7. With bannermen rallying for a tourney at House Goat in the Blue Mountains.
  8. MOJITOS!!!
  9. Jon seems a lot like Rhaegar - sullen, arrogant, a loner, good at things, puts off political problems, tends to think of himself as the only person who can accomplish dangerous tasks that affect everybody, and, of course, very attractive. Jon doesn't seem to pay this much mind, and it's easy to justify or write off in various ways, but a lot of people tend to note how pretty Jon is, and one interpretation of that is he inherited some of his looks from his super-hot daddy. I don't think anybody remarks that Ned Stark is especially attractive.
  11. And to add to this - the more the way everybody's experiences as described in the story are figured mythologically and coincidentally resemble important symbolic things (like, for example, Joffrey cutting the pie and all the pigeons flying out before being poisoned and dying, which echoes a bunch of lore from the various in-universe religions), the more I think that the characters in the story might not "actually" be alive and fully in control of themselves, but are experiencing some sort of altered state of consciousness (like a version of The Matrix in the weirwood net, or the influence of some other not-entirely-human mental influence), a la GRRM's "The Glass Flower" or "This Tower of Ashes."
  12. Another idea that is posted around this kind of discussion and that might be relevant to your ideas is that the story itself might be mythological in nature. As in, mythologies and religious often repeat similar sorts of symbols in different contexts with different holy or sacred figures, and also frame historical figures in that symbolism. In the Bible, some might say this works through the hermeneutics of "typology" - you have people in the book who might be considered to be prefigured by earlier people, or considered an aspect of another person, or are re-accomplishing something somebody else accomplished a long time ago. So, we might be sitting around waiting for Azor Ahai to come back, or for somebody to be clearly identified as Azor Ahai, when in the story Azor Ahai consists of multiple different types, and he has already come back as manifest in the types of other characters in the story (Jaime is a type for Azor Ahai as solar lion and defender of humanity, Beric Dondarrion is a type for Azor Ahai as a reborn fire warrior, Daenerys is a type for Azor Ahai as a dragon bringing fire from the East, etc.). Or, we might be seeing the events of the story as causally happening in "the real world" and the events of the in-universe religions as happening in "the symbolic world" when the events of the story are actually happening also in "the symbolic world" and are already symbolically reflecting the in-universe religions constantly - as if the person telling the story is remembering something from the past and putting it in the context of the symbols of their culture. For example, is "Daenerys Stormborn" a "real person" about whom we are reading a narrative account or a "mythological figure" about whom we are reading a remembered story? And if the story we are already reading is mythological and symbolic in itself, then we don't have to wait for the religions and symbols to synthesize at some future time - it is already happening constantly. For example, Neo from The Matrix (the first one or two anyway) is figured as a sort of identity-queer Christ figure with a death, transfiguration, and resurrection. If you thought "hmm, Neo is a lot like Christ, I wonder if he will turn out to be Christian or meet robot Jesus" that kind of misses the point. Neo is not an actual person. Tyrion, Jaime, Daenerys, none of these are real people. To us, Neo is closer to the level of reality of Jesus than the level of reality of a personal friend you or I might know on the street - in the context we hear about him (a story), he represents ideas and values and truths about the universe as much as he lives experiences. The "meeting" has already happened. Of course real vs. fictional is not a necessary condition for what is symbolic or mythological. Lots of real things are also mythological. And real people can also be highly symbolic. It's more about how it all functions.
  13. You should definitely listen to Crowfood's daughter, but to answer your question, all this mythology analysis is extremely long and detailed fan theories. And extrapolating it takes a lot of work, but people have done a lot of work on it since the books started coming out 20 years ago, so there's a lot to sift through.
  14. There is a Bloody Flux plague outbreak in King's Landing while Tyrion is managing it in A Clash of Kings. We learn about Greyscale when we learn about Shireen in A Clash of Kings as well. The Great Spring Sickenss is a big factor in the Dunk & Egg novellas and a big historical event that has effects throughout the story. Khal Drogo's infected wound gets a lot of focus in A Game of Thrones and is one of the book's essential plot points.. We learn about the Grey Plague that hit Oldtown in A Feast for Crows. There are mentions of diseases of various sorts of every book - it's just that later on in the books, the tone shifts darker, and "closer to the ground," and you get to see more of the bloody flux victims and stone men and such close up. You don't see them earlier because one of the major themes of the whole story is that kings and aristocrats are largely blind to the real problems affecting their subjects, so the hoity toity main characters don't find out how rough disease really is until they get humbled a little bit.
  15. In GRRM's Tuf Voyaging, advanced genetic engineers in the future re-create dinosaurs because they are awesome. In A Song of Ice and Fire, Valyrians are said to have bred dragons from wyverns and fire wurms using some lost magic or technology. It seems reasonable to assume that way back in the day before things went pear-shaped humanity had magic or technology capable of engineering extinct life forms. It seems unlikely that all these events are happening on the "Planet Earth," late linguistic conversations notwithstanding, and there are myths of people coming down from the stars or going back up to the stars, so the people who live on this world probably came here from somewhere else a very long time ago. Those people, when they came to this world, probably knew dinosaurs from the history of Earth, and knew they were awesome, and decided to use their magic or technology to breed dinosaurs. But of course they didn't do it everywhere. They picked one place to do it, a place that would be awesome, and then people could come visit it and see the dinosaurs. But now of course they are all dead and their secrets are lost, probably struck down by hubris of some sort, if not dinosaur-related hubris precisely. They spent so much time thinking about whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. That or creating dinosaurs was too costly to do everywhere, but in Southyros, they spared no expense.