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  1. It's not Alys Karstark, either

    Mel could be right. She gets underestimated a lot - it's way too common to hear, "Mel is incompetent", "Mel deludes herself", "Mel always gets it wrong". Well does she? She says she has studied the art of fire prophecy for years beyond count, and no-one in her order can do it better. Deluded? Well, from what we see directly in her point of view, she is happy to deceive others, but she doesn't deceive herself. She recognises what she doesn't know, but she doesn't tell her listeners because her aim isn't to give the whole truth - more that she wants to manipulate them. In this case, she wants to get hold of Arya to gain influence over Jon - so I think she's giving Mance all the help she can. And she's a good witness here, not adding or interpreting anything, and letting Mance fill in the details: the lake and the direction of travel (she has to do this - she is a stranger in the country, and no-one expects her to identify Long Lake, or Arya, or anything else). The only question mark over Mel is Stannis, and this is so weird because as I said, she doesn't usually deceive herself. All I can think of is that early on, Rhllor spectacularly messed up a vision showing Stannis and hasn't bothered to correct it. Or that Stannis was identified by another method back at headquarters and Mel was given that as a certainty. Anyway, my point is: Mel's competence is not a factor here - Mance knows everything she does.
  2. It's not Alys Karstark, either

    Good points, but I'd add that Westeros winters sound like a step change in the climate - something like the cooling that would happen in northern Europe if the Gulf Stream stopped bringing warm seawater up from the south. There was actually some very precise information in the vision: the great size of the lake, and the fact that it was just freezing over. So it comes down to Mance's knowledge and judgement. I think he knows a lot: Honestly, no-one would survive north of the wall if they weren't wise to the weather. No-one would be King of the Wildings if they weren't intelligent. He is well-travelled. He acts the wandering bard so well that most likely he has been an wandering bard for a considerable time. That would give him access to all the northern great households - why wouldn't he go and have a look? He says, "I know every bawdy song that's ever been made, north or south of the Wall...." So he's travelled enough to meet a lot of bards and other singers. He knows Long Lake. He has 'hidey-holes' there that he uses from time to time. He has a hunger for adventure and knowledge. When he heard King Robert was coming to Winterfell, he thought nothing of racing south and finding a way to embed himself in the royal entourage. Why? He says, "It was too choice a chance to resist." and "I wanted to see this Robert with my own eyes, king to king, and get the measure of your uncle Benjen as well." So we have this picture of a clever, curious, restless man, who has lived through many winters. I think his judgment is good: if he thinks it's possible Long Lake is not yet frozen, then it is indeed possible.
  3. It's not Alys Karstark, either

    I can't disagree - the vision allows these interpretations. I'm beginning to think all visions like this are a composite - perhaps there is a central meaning, but also many fragments linked in. Ash has got to be important, given the whole story is the song of ice and fire. Ash foreshadows snow, snow foreshadows ash; they are an inverse pair - that's pretty explicit. Several characters are marked out by ash (I think) - at the moment I can only remember Asha, and Sandor in his soot grey armour. Are they warriors in the army of fire, or are they its victims? Either way, fire consumes, so probably yes, even Melisandre will get burnt out eventually.
  4. It's not Alys Karstark, either

    I haven't seen any over-analyzing in this thread, but I'm always happy to fill in a gap - and anyone who doesn't like the pie, doesn't have to eat it. Grey of course, means morally grey. This is no bad thing in a time when anybody might face a tragic moral dilemma. It all depends on how dark you go. Blue is an ill-omened colour, generally. People who wear blue usually find death and disaster pretty close. So, endless blue with ice on it could point to a very long period of mortal danger for our grey girl. Moving up a gear, it's been suggested that rivers and streams represent the flow of history, and thus, by staying away from the course of major events (the game of thrones) and sticking to the backwaters, the girl escapes the hunters. The horse can be fun too. Where a horse has a specific description, I ask if it's the reflection of the rider - it usually is (think Dany/Silver, Bran/Dancer, Brienne/the homely yet classy mare etc, etc, etc). The name fits, the appearance fits, the temperament fits. So a dying horse is not good, but not final either - just that the girl is approaching a crisis of spiritual rebirth, like so many others. Fly or die, grey girl.
  5. It's not Alys Karstark, either

    This is pretty convincing. There is still a bit of room for doubt, from the fact that it was Mance who matched the description to Long Lake - and Mance is an intelligent man, and well-travelled, and a Northerner - so he should have a good idea of the changing seasons and at what point the lake would freeze over. More idea than we do. Anyway, water already at the point of freezing could rapidly become ice when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
  6. Viserys meets the dragon

    There would have been tensions all the same. Viserys assumed Dany owed him total obedience as his subject and little sister. Young Dany was willing to go along with this, even as far as marriage. But Drogon is the dominant dragon. Viserys would resent this, particularly if Dany grew to be an alpha personality under Drogon's influence.
  7. Viserys meets the dragon

    I agree with this. There were three eggs, and three Targs present - Dany, Rhaego and Viserys. And we know that even in stone eggs, the dragons have the ability to reach out - so why not? But far from chilling out, Viserys became more and more the archetypal mad Targ.
  8. It's not Alys Karstark, either

    I don't believe Melisandre was wrong. Presumably she prayed for a vision of Arya, and got served up a load of ambiguous, metaphorical fluff. The gods seem to operate that way - Jojen had the same problem. In this case, I bet this is Alys as a metaphor for Arya. Or Alys' journey as foreshadowing of Arya's journey (a future journey, we haven't seen her on a dying horse yet). I think it's Alys because the dying horse points that way - and it was relevant information: possibly a bit of bonus data from Rhllor, even though Mel had no way of asking for it specifically. A very good point. I can only guess how Alys ended up near Long Lake. She might have escaped from Karhold hidden in a cart heading for Winterfell, and only got hold of a horse later. Or the terrain out of Karhold might be so rough that Alys had to stick to the road, and the northern road was watched. She might have travelled the same road as Mance - he could have missed her if she was resting or hiding off the road when he passed.
  9. Sansa knew about Jeynes faith

    Maybe so, but it's way too early for Littlefinger to be poisoning SR. Harry has to be manoevered into marriage to Alayne and loyalty to Littlefinger - this could take time, it's impossible to say how much time. Much more likely that Harry is the figurehead for another group entirely - and it is this group that has the motivation to kill off SR at the earliest opportunity.
  10. Podrick Payne?

    Hope you find something - I'm sure the colours aren't just random. And I've been thinking again about Tywin - he really loves his Payne bannermen doesn't he? It's strange because Tywin is a tough character who doesn't show any kindness. But when King Robert has to find a gift for his bride's father - an important gift, this is a royal wedding - he knows that what would please Tywin would be a job for Illyn Payne. And then Tywin goes and forgives Pod. So maybe the Paynes have done some great service to Tywin, and that is why he wants to reward them. And maybe that is the service that is pictured in the coat of arms.
  11. Sansa knew about Jeynes faith

    Fair enough, but what about this part of the quote: '... what was best for Robert the boy and what was best for Lord Arryn were not always the same....' She's right. The lords of the vale are on the verge of revolt as it is. They know boy lords are always a disaster (Roose Bolton said that, but it's probably the common view). They know Robert is too sickly, too emotionally unstable, and too crazily bloodthirsty to be anything but a disaster to the Vale. So Robert has got to hide all that before some publicly-spirited person bumps him off. But it's not Alayne who's the threat - it's one of his own lords.
  12. Sansa knew about Jeynes faith

    Sansa doesn't know Baelish owns brothels - who on earth would tell her such a thing? I bet she thinks - everyone in my family is dead, and Jeyne must be dead too. (And I should have said: welcome to the forum! and stick with your ideas .)
  13. The Most Intelligent Pre-Teen?

    Arya is super bright, but she does make a few bad mistakes. I don't fault her for this, she's young and had everything to learn about the darker side of life. Empathy too - if she had in fact felt empathy with Rorge and Biter, she would never have let them go - they are monsters inside and out. For the rest, Missandei is streets ahead of everyone.
  14. Podrick Payne?

    It's true Pod did a hugely significant thing by saving Tyrion, but it's also true that, plot-wise, Tyrion could have been saved by any of his men; it didn't have to be Pod (and Pod is an unlikely saviour). So there's still a mystery over why this character has been used in this way. Another mystery is why bother to have Pod related to Illyn Payne - so far they have nothing in common. Perhaps they both represent the King's Justice / the king's justice? Illyn does, I think - when Jaime left KL, justice departed with him - and Cersei did not have a replacement. On the Payne arms - I've played around with a few ideas. Bronn and the Cleganes chose their arms to mark the event that elevated them in rank - the Paynes could be the same. So I first thought the gold coins might point to the Reynes' rebellion, which was about money. I even thought maybe the Paynes are Reynes who changed sides and changed their name. But on the whole, I think that was too recent, and besides, I'd like the purple to represent some royal connection. Maybe the chequy represents the Game of Thrones as a cyvasse board, with Lannister gold dominating. A lot of maybe's with this character!
  15. Small Questions v. 10105

    Yes - that sounds like the best angle to take on this. And not a single cat, but a whole fuzzy thought-cloud of cats. What is very clear though, is that Tywin - who I thought was so competent - actually has very careless hands.