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  1. Why women don't take black

    I am not sure what use the women of westeros would be to the watch. Will they be rangers? No. Will they be builders? No. I guess they could be useful as stewards when they aren't being raped half to death...remember, a substantial number of men are at the wall because they are convicted rapers also, women don't really need the ability to take the black. At no point do we see a woman sentenced to death or dismemberment where the choice of a life of hard cold service in a castle filled with criminals would be a valid choice for them
  2. Most excellent and a propos
  3. I have to agree with @ravenous reader here. This here is exactly right. Authors die, literature is alive and well. One example I like to use is to think of the last words of Socrates. He says "Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius" This seems odd. One might think he simply made a mistake and meant hermes as he was sentenced to death, at least in part, for one of his students knocking the units off of some Hermes statues around athens. Maybe he wanted some kind of cock replacement program to honor his death. Nietzsche, in the Gaya Scientia (1887) points out that sacrificing a cock to asclepius, however, is what one does when they get better from an illness. So, in essence, according to Nietzsche what Socrates is saying is that life, mortal life, is an illness and death is actually the cure, becoming pure spirit again. That sounds pretty good right? But think of where we are. 130 years, 2 world wars, mainstream existentialism and nihilism, a world almost totally bereft of god and sure, Nietzsche's answer makes sense. However, when Nietzsche said it this was after 2 millennia of other people reading this and Nietzsche's ideas were considered interesting, if not groundbreaking when he said them. So for 2000 years people what? just skipped over socrates' last words as if they didn't matter? Of course not. They had other ideas for what they meant --ideas that reflected the values, morals, thinking, weltgeist and general field of vision from their own time. What did Plato actually mean when he wrote them or Socrates actually mean when he said them (if he even did)....who the hell knows. But more than who the hell knows -- IT DOESN'T MATTER. It simply does not matter. The dialogue are a living set of documents interpreted over and over with each successive generation of academics from the standpoint of people who have all the former theories at their disposal. Think about the bible even. Billions of pages on paper about what the bible means, or shakespeare or James Joyce or Dostoyevsky what did the authors mean? It is impossible to guess which means it is simply not interesting. So take one of my favorite characters, The Hound. I see the hound as a romantic. He was a child who played with toy knights. He wants a song from Sansa...not a kiss, a song. The Hound is a beautiful and tragic figure who was a dreamer who had visions of chivalry but faced harsh abuse and had his dreams turned to ash but now and then they pop out....there is still the spark of the boy who played with his brothers toy knight in his heart. Did George intend the Hound to be this character? Not yes. Not no. The answer is, it does not matter and it is not interesting. This is why I generally avoid the SSM. I don't really care what spake martin most of the time. There is the text of the book and that is what matters. All documents, as Derrida points out, are alive. Want proof, read the Constitution. Article I Section 2 Paragraph 3 "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons." Three fifths of all other persons. That would be african americans. We are in a more evolved time now when we can all look at this and say it is absurd, but there it is in the constitution and we are still counting black people as a full person today instead of 3/5 because the document has evolved its meaning over time to suit a new age. Hopefully Martin will finish the entire song of ice and fire and then those books will be read and discussed and analyzed for years, centuries maybe. And how we see these stories will be, as they always are, a reflection of the reader, not of the author. @YOVMO -- help me out here, please! Oh using Heidegger here is so deadly dangerous. In the origin of the work of art heidegger is trying to agree with the methodology of Nietzsche laid out, fragmentary as it is, in the Will to Power while avoiding the conclusion that Art is more important than Truth. Because of this, Heidegger makes so many shoehorn sidesteps with logic that he might as well be arguing that dasein is a secret targaryen. In this very book, Heidegger says about Van Gogh's painting Shoes From the dark opening of the worn insides of the shoes the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth. In the stiffly rugged heaviness of the shoes there is the accumulated tenacity of her slow trudge through the far-spreading and ever-uniform furrows of the field swept by a raw wind. On the leather lie the dampness and richness of the soil. Under the soles slides the loneliness of the field-path as evening falls. In the shoes vibrates the silent call of the earth, its quiet gift of the ripening grain and its unexplained self-refusal in the fallow desolation of the wintry field. This equipment is pervaded by uncomplaining anxiety as to the certainty of bread, the wordless joy of having once more withstood want, the trembling before the impending childbed and shivering at the surrounding menace of death. This equipment belongs to the earth, and it is protected in the world of the peasant woman. From out of this protected belonging the equipment itself rises to its resting-within-itself. In reality the shoes Van the man is painting are his own. Does that make Heidegger's interpretation "wrong" in some way? Of course not. That would be absurd. The art is simply there to occasion a moment of clarity into the self, not into the artist. How you read ASOIAF has more to do with you than it does with Martin. Remember, the hermeneutic circle does not exist to unlock some kind of secret hidden in the book by the author, but unlock some secret about the world and about your soul which is hidden not in the text but in the act of conducting an exegesis on it.
  4. Jon Snow = Pink Letter Writer

    ok, I am letting you off the hook this time but if I find you using sarcasm, humor, jocularity, playfulness, jest, jocose, joshing, wackiness or whimsy again I won't go so easy on you! This is A Song of Ice and Fire and not A Sportive of Ice and Fire. Please try to keep it in mind.
  5. Jon Snow = Pink Letter Writer

    The audacity you have to say this! Humor lacking on the boards? Lately??????? I feel very offended by this. What do you even mean by "board" is that some kind of pejorative against people who play Cyvasse? Really, someone needs to monitor these discussions. I feel very aggrieved and will be speaking to my attorneys...the law firm of X+Y=J
  6. Jon Snow = Pink Letter Writer

    They weren't triplets birthed near a lemon tree by ashara dayne and fathered by Brandon stark! The were triplets birthed near Brandon Stark by Ashara Dayne and her unholy love affair with a lemon tree, which was warged by bloodraven, from the future
  7. Jon Snow = Pink Letter Writer

    First of all, it is very clear that the Pink Letter is a secret Targaryen. I am guessing Aegon IV + Jeyne Lothston = Pink Letter making the PL not just a secret Targaryen but half brother to Bloodraven. I suppose this could lend some kind of credence to this theory if it wasn't so painfully clear that Bloodraven would never want to reveal the heritage of the Pink Letter as the PL is the rightful king of Westeros. Tricksy Lost Umber, the bird is Tricksy
  8. Jon Snow = Pink Letter Writer

    wait, are you suggesting that Mormont's raven, warged by BR, wrote the pink letter? Where did he hold the quill? How did he get the cap off the maester's ink, how did he melt the wax for the seal? why no evidence of bird doodie?
  9. Jon Snow = Pink Letter Writer

    I liked Jon for the author for a little while too. After all, the end result of the pink letter is that Jon now has an excuse to do what he has wanted to do ever since he tried to ride south in book 1 and was stopped by Sam and the Gang. I think there is one single damning piece of evidence that totally ruins this otherwise very good theory and it was pointed out to me on this board when I suggested that Jon wrote the Pink Letter....I wish I could remember who it was, but I cannot....the pink letter is read during a Jon POV chapter. There is no way it could have the effect it did on Jon from Jon's POV if Jon wrote it. If it was anyone else's POV chapter you could easily have said Jon was faking it, but that it was a Jon chapter, IMO, totally demolishes any thought that he was the author.
  10. Why did the Others awaken NOW?

    I am so fiercely in disagreement with this statement that it is forcing me to stop and think about it. Like I have never even considered the idea that the wights were not the thralls of the Others, hive minded and centrally controlled ala borg. I have to say, this is the first theory in a while that really stopped me in my tracks. It sounds so insane to me that the wights are escaping the others as well.....so insane that i need to seriously think about it. This is a genuinely unexamined idea on my part
  11. Why did the Others awaken NOW?

    So I think that the Others have been around for longer than 20 years (Craster has been sacrificing now 3 generations of his sons) but you aren't far off. One idea that I had was that the return of the Others has to do with Torrhen Stark. I am currently of the belief that in order to replay the blood debt of Brandon of the Bloody Blade who killed so many COTF Bran the Builder (his son) made a deal with the COTF. It ended the long night, set some basic ground rules and gave brandon the ability to use some magic to do things like Build the Wall and Winterfell. I think part of that deal was that the line of Brandon, the Kings of Winter and later the Kings in the North, would make an ultimate sacrifice at their death. Normally first men are buried in barrows so they can become part of the weirnet but the KOW were buried on their thrones (their spirits are always described as angry or vengeful) and we know that the sword on their laps hold their souls in. My thought is that they warg the sword and serve eternal prison sentences. This sacrifice saves the entire north. When Tohren bent the knee to the dragon, however, there were no more kings of winter to make this sacrifice. With Bran the Builder's deal with the COTF broken the magic that was given to him is rescinded. Part of this magic was keeping the structures he build age proof. But look at the wall and the nightfort....they have been going into disrepair as has the first keep of winterfell and the crypts. A quick look at some metal websites shows that steel will decompose in 2-500 years in optimal conditions. Of course, being left out in a crypt is not optimal so the time frame fits with the Conquest. If those swords have decomposed, which is noted several times in the story, then those spirits are released and I think that this is what is responsible for the current situation. The Others are these long contained souls of Kings of Winter. Craster, I believe, gets a pass sacrificing his sons because he is a stark and north of the wall so the king of his own keep as it were...not under the protection of Winterfell which no longer exists. This is a long shot crackpot tinfoil theory for sure, but I don't see any equally compelling competing theories.
  12. Actually I am currently listening to Brian Jones' (from the Rolling Stones) band called The Brian Jonestown Massacre Album Take if from The Man is on spotify. Might be right in your wheelhouse here. Just to be a bit persnickety, Nietzsche fleshes out the idea that values can be transvalued in the Genealogy of Morals. It is his contention not that Christ had a noble idea ruined by christian society, but that Christ acted from a position of impotence and rage against a much mightier Roman empire. The idea of a psychological war being fought by the Jewish against the much mightier (militarily) Romans. The idea was that in latin you don't really have a word for "evil" you have good and bad. The transvaluation comes when what is considered bad (meekness, being docile, etc) is now considered good and what was considered good (military strength, wealth, etc) was made to be evil. The analogy he gives is if the Bird of Prey were to follow the morals of the lamb. Of course lambs think of Falcons as evil, they steal their babies. But Falcons don't think of lambs as evil, merely as food. But if the lambs could convince the birds of prey to act on the moral system of the lamb then they would introduce a concept of shame. Nietzsche says that this war was a slow one against rome, but if you want to see who won go to rome and see to whom the roman's kneel. This concept is very interesting for our present discussion because george, whether he is even aware of it or not, has a lot of characters operating on Nietzschean moral paradigms....the one that comes to mind the quickest, of course, is Littlefinger. In many ways littlefinger is the archetype of the Nietzschean Ubermensch. He has released himself from the burden of morality and uses his position as an outside observer to the beliefs of kings and whores alike to manipulate them in such a way that he is an active participant in the creation of his own world rather than passively excepting the "pellets" on the dismal finger island he is lord of. Nietzsche speaks of the transformation of man from camel to lion to child. The camel is the impotent. Think Arya when she was with the hound....so much hate, no outlet, no where to put it so she carries it, like a camel carries water. Arya then becomes the lion first in Harrenhall and later in Braavos when she takes the power of life and death into her own hand expressing her will onto the world. Cersei, ironically, is the perfect Nietzschean lion. However, the lion is surpassed but the child who has the power to forget and transcend realizing that the petty morals and opinions of mankind are merely just shackles which are used to keep the current power structure from being upended.
  13. So @ravenous reader there I was this morning having my coffee when I remembered my Hawthorne: “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” from the Scarlet Letter. I think this is a wonderful quote in general, but specifically for what the Faceless Men (and particularly Arya) encounter in the course of their training and tenure with the FM. Eventually the self is annihilated through the wearing of different faces. Of course, for us this is most tragic wrt Arya. I am wondering if her POV chapters will get increasingly less "aryaish" Of course, it is not just the faceless men but also our wargs and indeed all of our skin changers who lose themselves over time. Jojen specifically warns Bran of staying inside Summer for too long. The temptation to stay inside a dragon forever must be all consuming once one can get in there. I wonder to what degree the Dragon Riding Targaryen's were made crazy simply through melding with their dragons. Bringing it back to the wonderful crypts/swords/KOW/KITN/Others convo we had with @Seams it could very well be the case that the "face" that the old kings of winter are forced to wear, the swords, for so long -- from their death onward -- have stripped them not just of any trace of their individuality as men but as their humanity in general. Finally we have examples where the meaning is literally the same as Hawthorne's meaning. How long can someone like Varys or Littlefinger or Marwyn go on with these long term elaborate plots without somehow forgetting which way is up so to speak. How long has Varys been up to whatever he has been up to? Does he even remember the truth? Could this be one of george's morals here...that these long term plans of great men all wind up meaningless and the men who hatch the schemes wind up being slaves to them forgetting their original purpose?