what about the 3500 men that Stannis gathers for an army from the northern hills? The Wulls, the Liddles, etc...
The northern men just feel contrived, like Stannis needed an army and woh and behold, there was one. Logistically, these people should not be able to survive in such numbers where they are. I mean, how many people live in Siberia or northern alaska, places that only suffer a few months a year of harsh winter, not years at a time of winter. But if they can, then demographically then as many (or more people) should also be in other, more warm and costal areas, like the southern part of the north. Only about 20,000 men marched south from there, and perhaps there are 10,000 left that didn't march. Theoretically, if 3500 are still there from the sliver of land north of last Hearth, then there should be many thousand still available in the rest of the north, that also has not been mustered. But there isn't. It is like, as many people live in the most extreme places like the Himalayas as the semi temperate plains of Mongolia.
When the Xerxes' Persian army march for over a year to invade Greece (remember Thermopyly) the army was massive, the biggest one of it's time. Still today, the numbers are not exactly known, and estimates of the number of fighting men vary from 20,000 to 3,000,000 . I personally think it could have been up to a quarter million.
The persian army was not aided by a river, it marched much farther and much longer, and took much longer to gather. (All reports say that men from all over the Persian empire marched). I don't think a quarter of a million for the Rhoynar army is unreasonable. I mean, the High Garden Army grew to about 100,000 under Rently at the biggest. That was after only a few months from just the Reach, marching on foot, moving slowly. The Rhoynar was one of the strongest nations ever in the history of the world of Ice and Fire. I'm sure that they could organize food carts enough for a mobile city for a few weeks.
Well, I don't really care about the economy or history or the stagnant technology. I think the most glaring thing is percentage of the population that can fight. Like for example how Stannis rounded up three thousand men of the mountain tribes in the northern north. If there were that many men in the northern most north, than there would be tens of thousands in the rest of the north. After all, it is the same size as the rest of the continent. And that would mean that not only was the 20,000 men that marched with Rob Stark a very small number that actually could go, but that if they marched 50,000 men south (which they would have been able to based on the number of mountain men) than they probably would not have lost the war.
Another example is how the iron islands had enough men on the small rocky islands to man the oars of several thousand ships. They were not all massive battle ships, but I'm sure it still would have taken tens of thousands of men, which is not demographically possible on rocks that barley support grass. There society is based on the Vikings, and there were only several hundred Vikings.
Or what about how 30,000 men could live north of the wall where it was too cold for farming, and then could live all together for months as they gathered and marched. The forests would be hunted out.
Or what about the size of the Esterosi armies? The 500,000 that marched against Valaria or the 10,000 ships that sailed to Dorn are the kind of numbers you'd expect if a land mass that size assembled. Persia supposedly marshaled a quarter of a million men against ancient Greece. Dany's 8,000 unsuilied would be like the Spartans. They'd be great, except that they'd be utterly overwhelmed in a long war.
These numbers are the kind of things that do effect the plot. I mean, If Lannisport could pull together the thousands that met at Oxcross then KL would be able to also, or at least more than the 6000 strong city watch, (especially as a bigger city with a bigger population desperate and looking for work) and it would have stood a chance against Stannis with out Tywins aid. It would have taken away the build up, and the suspense of book two. So really, I think there is little regard to real demographics and just information for the better story.
I like the LF reveals to Sansa. The first being about Joffery's murder, the second being who killed Jon Arwyn, and the last about the plot (probably fake or won't turn out, but whatever) for Sansa to marry Harry the Heir and regain power, although this time with knowledge how to play the game.
I think that at the Tourney at Harrenhall, like Rooghar Targaryen said Lyanna dressed as the night of the laughing tree, defeated the three others and hid. When Prince Rhaegar went searching he found that it was her, but at the same time as Benjen Stark. And I think this is when Rhaegar and Lyanna fell in love. And so when the Prince won the tourney, he named Lyanna the queen of love and beauty because not only to pay tribute the the knight of the laughing tree but because he loved her. Then they went freely together from there.
Basically this is all the same as said above, except that Benjen knows. He feels guilty and wants to keep the secret, so he takes the black.
Evidence: He took the black some time between the tourney and the death of his father and eldest brother. ( no one would take the black just after their father and brother are killed, especially when they suddenly become 2nd in line with their older brother going off to fight a dangerous war) That give around a 6 months max window. And probably more like a month, as a month is the maximum time it took to find out Lyanna was missing. I doubt he would have taken the black after the news of his sister's "kidnapping." So in less then a month after the tourney, he suddenly decides to take the black. Well, what else could have been his motive?
I think this is plausible. It would certainly justify the saying that Doran is one of the best players in the realm. It seams like a crafty and long plot, fitting what we've heard of him. Where as the plan he told Arianne seams flimsy, risky, and amateur, not worthy of the only man Tywin Lannister was supposed to fear.
Also all the evidence looks to fit, and some of the points are strong. However there's not been much foreshadowing for this. If it proves true, Gremm will have to do a lot of explaining- everything from how to motive and the complications- basically all you just said. It he doesn't the majority of the readers wont catch on, as its not as simple as the "Liza killed Jon Aryn" reveal.
And as I'm not sure a big long backstory text like this would be put in, it may not be true. But for the time being Ill believe its true for the sake that its an interesting twist. Thanks for the theory
Jamie is more tragic in my point of view. There is really three big acts that he's charged with. Fucking his sister the queen, killing his king, and pushing bran out the window. The first he did for love, and I think he may be the only character that faithful in his love. He never got with any other women, he threw away his lands and lordship in joining the KG to be with his love, and he was not at fault at all when they finally broke up (thats not really the proper term, but you understand) after 40 years, it was his love.
The second happened to save thousands of lives. The war was done anyway, Rangar had been defeated and the capital was being sacked at that moment so it really did not amount to any thing- the king was murdered instead of executed a day or two later(thats if he didn't kill himself and the population of KL first). And to add to Jamie's reasoning, he was ordered to kill his father for the king, something that most people would balk at. And you have to remember he is 15 at the time. No older than Rob, younger than Theon. Then, he takes the blame instead of giving justification is actually really honorable. Not everyone would have forgiven him, but many would have. And while Brennie may not be the first person told (although i think she might be) no one important was told, and his family does not know.
The last thing against him is bran's push. While it is not honorable to try to kill a child, we have to remember that he had no choice. If Bran told anyone about them, which he defiantly would have, then their secret would be out. Robert would go ballistic, Joffery and the royal kids would be put in question, and they would all eventually be executed for treason. It was a him or me situation. Bran, or him, his lover, and his three children. It's not like he gave bran a bad death either. A fall, and a very short moment of impact where if he did not die right away he would at least be unconscious and not feel pain. There was really nothing else he could have done.
I missed every one on this thread except the Nymeria= the big she wolf in the river lands.
the Fray pies
Ayra's poisoned coin
Pate being the faceless man
One of the sand snakes in the citadel
Tywin being poisoned
the secret tunnel being Tywins
Robert strong = undead greggor
the three sell swords LF hires being the same ones with Bernnie (just realized that with this thread)
Theon greyjoy losing his dick
that Euron assaulted Damphair
Loras and Rently
Joarah Mormet is the bear in a bear and a maiden fair
Ayra warging the cat to find out that the kindly man was the one attacking her.
Another one I missed is the Tansy tea. remember how Lord Holster kept saying Tansy on his death bed? that was not the innkeeper woman Tansy Arya saw in the riverlands, that was the tansy tea he gave Liza to terminate her pregnancy with LF, and probably damaged her child birthing ability from then on. (as a matter of fact I missed that LF got her pregnant, or even had sex with her on my first read. Or the fact he thought it was Cat and that he forever told how he took her maidenhead)
But the biggest one for me was Tyrion's One Two Three in one of his chapters in SoS. I had no idea it was because he gave LF Vays and the grand master three different pieces of information, to see which one was Cerci's spy. I wondered about that for a very long time before I discovered the answer after joining this form.
Remember at the time Volantis is on the verge of a slave revolution. There are normally many more slaves than people, and their army has just sailed away leaving really no force of power. They were panicking, already, and did not want to deal with an army of 10,000 camped outside the city.
They decided that 30- 40 ships (in the biggest port city in the world, with the second biggest ship production rate) was an easy bargain to get that army away. And if if the Iron Throne is pissed at them for backing Ageon (if he loses), they cant do much. There is no royal fleet, and only about 200-250 Redwyne ships that now have to battle the Ironborn. I doubt Gulltown has a big fleet (its never been mentioned) and the Northern fleet is not about to sail half way around the world on a Lanisters's bidding. Volantis is too far away to be threatened.
I doubt we'll get a Hightower POV, since Sam's there, but it was stated that both Highgarden and Castley Rock will play major rolls in the last to books. As of now there is no one in either of those places that are a PoV. So chances are if there are any more added PoV's, they will be a Tyrell for HG and possibly Edmud for CR?
I think any deaths will not be as shocking as Ned's or Rob's. And the reason for this is this very form. Speculation on events means it will not be a surprise. And we won't be as shocked if its not a surprise. Whereas, (and I was not reading the books then so im not entirely sure) there was no form or website or group or whatever where people sat around and speculated back in AGOT. No one was like, "hmm, the most shocking twist to come would be if Ned died." And even in book three I doubt there was much speculation. But now, waiting five years for the last book and looking like another five for this next one, all people do is speculate and wonder at the impact at every death. When a character dies, it will already be speculated and wont be as out of the blue. Although, even if not being surprised lessens the Impact a little, any of the major twisting deaths like Jamie killing Cercie, Sansa killing LF, Arya killing Dany or so forth will still have enormous impact and emotion.
I doubt there is going to be a last battle with everyone all together like a big happy family to face the others in one last desperate fight. It may be possible for everyone in the south to forget politics and focus on this new threat, likely even, but they'll still be too scattered. There might perhaps be a number of battles in different areas agains the others. Like the Vale lords battle the others at the "bloody gates" Ageon from somewhere in the south, Dany comes in to own up at the trident, and Jon rallies a force somewhere in the north to finally defeat them. All this simultaneously. But one place with everyone is unlikely. This is not Wheel of Time where the world's armies can just travel by waygate to a central location.
I do think the Meereen story line was necessary, and even though perhaps it could have been better on everyone shortened down a chapter or two, it still needed to be there. And not just for Dany's development, although that plays a huge part. Danny is the stallion who mounts the world. To me, this means that the entire world will somehow get involved with the fight with the others, the battle of ice and fire, not just westeros. Everything from Braavos to Tyrosh to Volantis to Quath is going to raise arms. And this is why Danny needed to stay in Esteros, she needed to get the continent going.
She had to tare apart slavers bay, to get them all into the fight. Volatis city is going to revolt and be hers, while the army and ships are headed towrds Meereen, and will be there shortly. Quath is feeling the ripples of the destruction of the slave trade, and will continuously grow stronger as a presence. The iron fleet has arrived, and cause and epic battle for all those players in meereen, and as some think capture a dragon or two (I really hope not) Danny has now met up with the past and one of the Dathraki leaders she proclaimed to try to kill. I bet she'll follow through with that threat, go to Vas Dothraki and unite all the dothraki people while the old women bow before her like prophesied.
Some other things that are set in motion: Dorn might bring Great Norvos into the fray with their connections, and the iron bank with their westrosi investment will bring bravos into it.
In the end I think Danny will rule all of Easteros. If the fire others from Ashai by the shadow is true, then she will deal with them as westeros deals with the ice others. Or maybe she will just found a second Valaria. But, all in all, I think this is her plotline, not so much Westeros.
Also, one could look at her relationship with Daario as a building block. Her first relationship she had was with her brother, who threatened her and twisted her nipples and abused her. Then she was like 12 with the big Khal Drogo. She eventually got over her trauma from being rapped nightly by him, (plus being in a completely different society of horses and travel might not have been easy) and right when she was starting to enjoy being with him, he dies. Now after being used to Khal Drogo, and losing him after she grew to love him (which might have just been her mind trying to make her rappage acceptable, but it still hurts as much as a loss) she is lusting after a companion, and low and behold, Daario. I doubt shell see him again, because he probably not going to survive his captiveship with the slavers, and so now after that stage she has to move on. It is still prophesied that she will have a baby, so she will find someone. My hope is Jon, although Ageon is a possibility or even someone else. It could even be Joara Mormet, (sorry about my spelling) because after all her death and struggle and hardship she'll want someone to really care for her. I don't know. But perhaps the Daario plot too, serves a purpose.