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  1. Great stuff, I read it all with interest, and you highlight the strengths of Tywin, LF and Varys well. But of course, this is a highly subjective matter of opinion. All three of those characters DO have great strengths, but two of them (Tywin and LF) are deeply flawed as well, much more so than some other characters we have seen. In the end, I don't see how I'll be able to rank Tywin above a number of other people since his blunders have already caused his own death, and I'm sure the same will soon be true for LF, too (not only has LF made some pretty major blunders, but I'm absolutely convinced that before the story is done his blunders will cost him his own life) Regarding Varys...I would give him a grade of "incomplete." He's so mysterious...he MIGHT be a super-mastermind, but he might not, so I just can't grade him above some people whose goals and motivations are well known. and thus whose "actions and results" are much easier to judge and grade.. But again, great stuff, and it's all personal opinion. I enjoyed reading your views,and I think a lot depends on how we look at it, which is the genius of GRRM's work, of course.
  2. Good stuff. If you like treatments of food, ASOIAF is definitely the place for you. GRRM devotes more time to what people are eating or thinking about eating than any other author I've ever read. HAR!!! (Having said that, I love his work, of course, and my memory is that he's said a key to good writing is addressing all five senses, so it makes sense that he spends time on "taste")
  3. Sorry it took me a while to reply, I've not been very active here for the last few weeks (actually, maybe not all) Golden Compass, huh? I didn't realize that was steampunk, I'll try to check it and the Girl Genius stuff out. I wasn't aware of "blood oranges," either in the books, show, or "the real world." I never noticed them in the Godfather series, either. What the heck is a blood orange, anyway? Some special kind of fruit, or just an orange that appears in film or literature before someone gets crossed off?
  4. Great conversation in this thread, by many, many people. I love analyzing and examining these characters from many different angles, perspectives and points of view. I think that's what makes the books and show so great, and we see a lot of that here on these boards, too. Many of the characters seem to be highly intelligent, but sometimes do incredibly stupid things, and others, on the surface, don't seem as smart, but manage to make the right decision over and over, and survive where others have been crushed and destroyed. Ultimately, it just goes to show that there are many ways a person can be smart, and many ways a person can be foolish. Just like in the real world, where some people may be extremely good at certain things (like, say, making money), yet their lives are total disasters when it comes to other things (such as personal and/or family relationships, and true happiness) Great stuff.
  5. [Book Spoilers] Jaime & Brienne- What's going on?

    That's a good synopsis of "the case for Jaime being the Valonqar." (My words) And I agree. I believe it's been carefully and meticulously set up for a long time, and GRRM won't change it now. I'm completely convinced Jaime will cross off Cersei, probably at the end of Season 7 (I believe Season 7 will wrap up the "human vs. human conflicts," for the most part, and Season 8 will be "Forces of Live" vs. "Forces of Death")
  6. Where does Danny land?

    Interesting. My belief, though, is that both GRRM and the show don't worry very much about stuff like "Where are all these people and animals getting food??? Consider the wildling horde of about 100,000. Uhhhhh...where were all those people getting food?? Dunno. Stannis' army? Same thing. Dothraki hordes? Same thing.
  7. [Book Spoilers] Jaime & Brienne- What's going on?

    Well, it's just my opinion, but I'd say it's 99% probable that Jaime is the Valonqar. I don't think he will die with Cersei, though. I think he'll cross Cersei off, then lead southern forces against the WW/Others, and die in the final battle. I have a longstanding prediction (going back at least 10 years) he will die a hero, even though most people will still despise him, except Brienne, the only person to ever know the real Jaime. (I have believed this ever since I read Storm of Swords for the first time)
  8. Steampunk, huh? Interesting. I read some comic books many years ago (maybe 20?) that were steampunk and I think there was a major steampunk movie I saw (can't remember the name), and as a huge fan of science fiction I found it pretty interesting. What's your favorite stuff? Do you have any steampunk recommendations? (Movies would probably be best.)
  9. I read your entire post with interest. You raise many issues. As I stressed, I am not necessarily saying Cersei is smarter (overall) than any or all of those people we've been discussing, just that I can't rank her as the least intelligent person on the show. In my view, she's pretty solidly in the middle of the pack I am certainly not a person who favors characters who "win" by betraying people (as I've already said in this thread, I believe it's smart to be "good" and not smart to be "bad," and I believe that's true for ASOIAF and for what we call "real life"), but the fact is that Cersei's betrayals do show her cunning, ruthlessness and determination to win at almost any cost and by almost any means, and show she has a much keener grasp on the realities of the world these characters live in than quite a few other characters do. An excellent case in point is Ned. Many people believe Ned died b/c of his "honor," but I disagree. Ned was a very honorable man, sure, but the reason he died was b/c he was extremely naive to the realities of how vicious a snakes' nest he had landed in, and foolishly believed other people there had the same sense of honor he did (when Ned confronted Cersei, he believed she would react as he would, by "honorably" taking her children and fleeing King's Landing in disgrace. WRONG.). Anyone who believes Ned died b/c of his honor should ask themselves this: Do you believe that if Ned had known how things would turn out, he would still have foolishly warned and confronted Cersei b/c his honor demanded it? No way. Ned blundered, pure and simple. He was in way over his head, and he died b/c of it. (Also worth considering: At the Tower of Joy, when Howland Reed literally stabbed Arthur Dayne in the back to save Ned's life, I don't recall Ned complaining about what Howland did in any way. Oh no, Ned seemed just fine with that.) Regarding the collateral damage at the Green Trial: Yeah, it's hard to perfectly know all of Cersei's motivations for wanting the various people there dead. I believe her primary targets, by far, were the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. After that, I think Cersei would consider Margaery's death a bonus (even though she foolishly underestimated the impact of that on Tommen), Kevan's death an unfortunate necessity (simply b/c he was there), and Loras...whatever (I don't think Cersei cared any more or less about Loras than she cared about hundreds of others that were there). Pycelle's death was done intentionally, though. My beliefs about why Cersei had Pycelle crossed off: First, there's a long history through the show of Cersei being contemptuous of Pycelle due to his incompetence and b/c of his lecherous ways. Pycelle is a bumbling fool on many occasions, and a serious potential liability for Cersei, b/c Pycelle knows so many of Cersei's secrets. Once Qyburn replaces Pycelle (due to Pycelle's incompetence as Grand Maester, no less, in failing to save Gregor), Cersei actually gives Pycelle's laboratory to Qyburn on the show, and kicks Pycelle out. Once that occurs, Pycelle is truly useless to her, and nothing more than a "loose end" she believes she has to tie up (b/c Pycelle has so much dirt on Cersei b/c he was her henchman for so many years). and as an added bonus for Cersei she has no problem having Pycelle crossed off b/c he disgusts her. (Note that Cersei's contempt for Pycelle is shown in quite a few prior scenes. Check out the exchange between Cersei and Pycelle at Joffrey's wedding, for an excellent example, all the way back in Season 3. Pycelle is arguing with Cersei and defying Cersei when Cersei is countermanding Margaery's order that the leftovers from the feast be given to the poor, and Cersei is clearly very annoyed with Pycelle. Note also that Pycelle's usefulness to Cersei was heavily damaged also going all the way back to Season 2, when Tyrion correctly exposed Pycelle as Cersei's agent and pawn. Once Pycelles' cover was blown, his value to Cersei naturally went down dramatically.) Finally, while I enjoyed reading what you wrote, and i believe it contained a lot of great food for thought about other peoples' blunders which are highly relevant to this thread, I think a lot of it boils down to you pointing out that some other people were even stupider than Cersei in a number of ways, and I'm not sure how that supports what I understand to be your claim that Cersei is the least smart person on the show. Look at the three numbered items you have near the end of your post, which you chalk up to Cersei being "lucky." Here's my translation of that: To the extent that Cersei was "lucky" regarding that stuff, her luck was that some other people were even stupider than her, at least in the ways you mention, and the person most responsible for all three of those other blunders you mention was...the High Sparrow.
  10. [Book Spoilers] Jaime & Brienne- What's going on?

    Yeah, definitely. I think GRRM set this up way back in time, including heavy misdirection (all the evidence pointing to Tyrion, especially in Cersei's mind), with the big planned shocker being that actually it's Jaime, the least likely character (at the beginning of the series, at least, since Jaime and Cersei are so "close"), with the "twist" being that Jaime technically was Cersei's little brother all along, since even though they are twins Cersei is older by a few minutes (Cersei was born a few minutes before Jaime) Another critical fact: GRRM has directly told us he will not change stuff just cuz people have figured it out. As GRRM basically pointed out, this stuff is the result of a lot of careful planning and writing covering multiple books and going back over 20 years. As a practical matter, he can't just abandon all of that foundation in favor of something for which there is no real foundation, at least not without looking ridiculous. Also, of course, we've been told that despite the show's radical departure from the books in certain ways, the show will end up with all the major characters ending up as they do in the books. Yeah, Jaime is the Valonqar, and he will cross Cersei off. I think he'll do it at the end of Season 7. (I believe Season 7 will cover the last of the major conflicts between the human Forces of Life, and will end with the Forces of Life united, then Season 8 will focus on the war between the Forces of Life and the Forces of Death).;
  11. Hmmmm...interesting food for thought. Clearly, to me, Cersei would not be in the top 10 smartest people, probably not even in the top 20, but I can't put her at No. 1 on the "not smart" list, either. She is cunning, crafty and ruthless, and quite a few people have underestimated her to their extreme regret. She HAS blundered quite a few times, that's true, but it's not like she's never come out on top, cuz she has, quite a few times, in fact. Robert, Ned, Pycelle, High Sparrow, Margaery, Loras, Kevan, and Olenna have all been bested by Cersei (not that I'm saying that that makes her smarter than all of them, just that she's had some success against them). She managed to rid herself of Tyrion, too, who had to flee King's Landing hiding in a barrel just to save his life, and even then he only managed that with the help of Jaime and Varys. Again, I'm NOT saying Cersei is smarter than all those people, but she's had her moments, and I just cannot put her at No. 1 on the "not smart" list. I'd say she's not in the top 20 smartest, but she's not in the top 20 "not smart list" either. I'd say she's in the middle of the pack, it's just that she's been in a position of power to DO some really stupid things that have backfired in a major way, of course, whereas other characters have not been in a position of such power.
  12. Yeah, the more I think about it the more I think Missandei falls into this category. No POV chapters in the books, and while she got an increased role int he show (compared to the books) there is a still a whole lot unknown about her, whereas what we DO know is very impressive (she speaks 19 languages at a very young age, and is one of Dany's most trusted advisors)
  13. [Book Spoilers] Jaime & Brienne- What's going on?

    Good stuff, but I"m confident Jaime is going to do more than just "leave" Cersei. He's gonna cross Cersei off, at which time the path will be clear for Brienne to make her move.
  14. Thanks for contributing! I've thought about the Moon Door (and I agree with you), but I find comments about hair and clothing pretty interesting, since I really don't tend to notice stuff like that very much myself. As I've mentioned to a few other people on the subject, though, have you read Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series? In addition to being a great story, he seemed to like to give great detail about the clothes the characters were wearing, so if you haven't read it I think you might enjoy it (it's fantasy/sci-fi, very similar to GOT/ASOIAF in many ways, but the "magic/technology" plays a much larger role than in GOT/ASOIAF)
  15. Great stuff in your post, I read it all with interest. One thing I really liked about what you wrote is that you referred to so many different ways that a person can be smart (probably at least 10 or 15, I would estimate). I've been a big believer for a very long time that there are lots of different ways a person can be smart, and lots of different ways a person can be "not smart" (to put it kindly). I've even considered putting together a list of ways a person can be smart, and even though I haven't done it yet, I believe such a list would have at least 50 items on it, and maybe a lot more. Next, please note that all my comments here are conversational opinions, not claims that you are "wrong," b/c this stuff is highly subjective, to say the least. BRAN: If you watch Bran's scenes closely, you will see not only that we are told that Bran is smart multiple times, but that we actually see it, most clearly when he is matching wits with Maester Luwin, who, as an elderly maester, was no mental slouch himself. If you listen to their exchanges, you'll see that Bran is actually outwitting Luwin (albeit in friendly banter, for the most part). Also, you basically say that Bran's powers do not pertain to his actual intelligence level, but I'm not so sure about that. You might be right, but I don't think we have enough information to say that for sure. (Also a mark in Bran's favor is how he deftly handles his leadership of his travelling group, definitely including the conflicts between Meera and Osha. Skill in managing relationships is a form of intelligence.) ARYA: Great comments from you, I think she's probably the personification of "mental toughness" in the show, and mental toughness is a form of intelligence. LYANNA MORMONT: You make a point worth considering when you basically say our sample size of information on her is very small. For example, some people are very smart in certain ways, but very foolish in others. She might be such a person, we just don't know enough about her to be sure. However, similar arguments can be made about some other characters, too, and when I made my initial list I believed I just had to go with available information. Lyanna has only been in a few scenes, but so far she's always the smartest person in the room, even though she's only 10 years old. How many 10 year olds have you known that you could say that about? DAVOS: An interesting mention, especially what you called his "moral compass." I'm a big believer that it's smart to be good and not smart to be bad, for many reasons. Davos has great faith in his own moral code and sense of right and wrong, and so far I think he's been right a lot more than he's been wrong about a lot of stuff. LITTLEFINGER: A very complex character, to say the least. I could be wrong (cuz we can't read his mind, and I don't think he expressly states this, and even if he did he might be lying), but I do not believe Sansa was his goal all along. I believe it was Cat, until she died, then he shifted his focus to Sansa (I believe any interaction he had with Sansa before Cat died was motivated primarily by the fact that Sansa was an indirect connection to Cat, something to be exploited in the relationship LF hoped to have with Cat). I believe this is supported by the fact that, early on, Littlefinger's primary target was...Ned Stark. He hated the Starks cuz of what Brandon did to him in their "duel," and b/c the Starks were in line to have Cat (first Brandon, then Ned) even though Littlefinger wanted Cat so badly. Thus, LF conspired with Lysa to murder Jon Arryn (who, as a bonus to LF, was like a father figure to Ned), thus causing Robert to bring Ned to King's Landing where Ned was vulnerable so LF could arrange to have Ned crossed off so Cat would be a widow, thus clearing the path for LF and Cat. (It is highly ironic that despite all the mystery and investigation by Ned about why Jon Arryn was killed, and the belief by Ned right up until his death that Jon Arryn was killed by the Lannisters b/c Jon Arryn was close to discovering the truth about Jaime being the father of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, that's not true at all. Jon Arryn was NOT murdered by the Lannisters, in fact they had nothing to do with it, and the murder had nothing to with who the father of Cersei's children was, either. Rather, Jon Arryn was murderedin a plan cooked up by LF in order to create a void that would bring Ned to King's Landing, and to set Stark against Lannister to create chaos on which LF intended to feast) But LF miscalculated terribly (he couldn't control the chaos he had created well enough), and as result Cat died (it's true LF did not directly cause her death, but he played a huge role in it indirectly). Note also that the things I have said so far are strongly supported by the fact that LF then conspired with Olenna Tyrell to murder Joffrey. And why DID LF conspire in Joffrey's murder?? Once we find out he was involved, he lies to Sansa about the reason twice (first claiming it was random to keep people guessing and off balance, and then claiming he did it simply cuz his "new friends," the Tyrells desired it), but I think it's very clear from yet another scene that the REAL reason LF conspired in Joffrey's murder was...revenge against the Lannisters for their part in the murder of Cat at the Red Wedding. Note also that LF blunders when he lies about the Valyrian steel dagger, too (he claimed he lost it in a bet with Tyrion, in which bet Tyrion bet against Jaime, whereas others later deduce that couldn't possibly be true, cuz Tyrion would never bet against Jaime), plus of course his enormous blunder in giving Sansa to the Boltons. A lot more great mentions there. I agree they all have their strengths. Margaery probably does not get mentioned enough, nor the Red viper, and Aemon should probably get more consideration, too. Missandei should probably be ranked pretty highly too (she is very young, even younger in the books, speaks 19 languages, and is very composed and wise as a counselor to Dany) Pod and the Hound are interesting as well. Pod has character traits that are "smart," and the Hound has been the subject of some discussion (someone used the term "street smarts," and I think that's a good way to put it for Sandor . He is nobody's fool, and has a much firmer grasp on the realities of what's going on around him than most people) Again, great, great stuff. One thing I would say though is that when I made my list and considered some of the characters you mentioned, I tried to not only credit them with their strengths, but also take into account their weaknesses, which for some of them means "very deep flaws." Quick examples would be LF's obsession with Stark ladies (plus his colossal ego, which often makes him overconfident, setting forces into motion he can't control which then backfire against him in ways that destroy his own goals), Tywin's warped view of his family and legacy (which causes him to often treat his children poorly, thus, ironically, destroying his legacy), and the High Sparrow's extreme failure to realize that he was deeply humiliating and threatening the lives and livelihoods of very powerful people who were not likely to take kindly to it, and sure enough, he got crossed off (indeed, he was so clueless that he failed to realize it even in his final moments, even with Margaery standing there basically screaming in his face that something was terribly wrong, that Cersei had been underestimated by him, and that they were all in mortal danger and had to get out of there fast. But no, High Sparrow still couldn't grasp it, so everyone there died) P.S. So, who were your top 3?? Maybe I missed it, but I don't think you said.