• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Tagganaro

  1. Yes I do believe she said that in front of Mance as well. At this point, it is still really unclear whether Mel knows about the baby switcheroo or not. I recall Val telling Jon that Mel definitely knows about it and allowed it to happen for her own reasons, but Jon is unconvinced. Yeah...I don't really think Craster is a Stark. Possible but unlikely. In any case, I don't think Mel is gonna burn Monster. It seems like she is more likely to burn poor Shireen IMO.
  2. I'd still maintain that the biggest culprit in the decline in quality in the show is not D & D nor is it HBO- It's GRRM and his inability to finish these books on time. I don't think D & D or HBO traded in their integrity or anything like that- they simply lost the narrative they were adapting the show from and are stuck making up shit to try and fill in the blanks of the narrative endgame they were handed by GRRM.
  3. I just don't even get, with the benefit of hindsight as well, what Sansa could possibly have done to avenge her family by marrying Ramsay. None of it made any sense to begin with- she's getting vengeance by voluntarily providing legitimacy to the Bolton's claim on the North? The only possible way for the show to make this make any sense would be to have a "the North Remembers" plotline taking place in Winterfell where you'd see Sansa using her political skills to make allies like Lady Dustin, Manderley, Cerwyn, etc. But the show never had any inclination to even include these characters, and indeed show-wide the past few seasons the tendency has been to entirely cut out most minor lords and houses. It's sort of the same thing that happened with the show's portrayal of Dorne where you just have to wonder whether they ever had any kind of plan in the first place because none of it really holds up to logic.
  4. Whether it's intentional or not, Jon still did steal her. I don't think we can say even from a modern POV that this doesn't make sense- a guy or girl doesn't necessarily need to have intent to get someone to fall for them. All they need is some initial form of attraction, which Jon checks off by "stealing" Ygritte according to wildling custom, being attractive to Ygritte on a superficial basis, and then sparing her life. And yeah, I do think we're supposed to believe that Qhorin brought Jon along with this sole purpose of being a mole in mind (as unlikely as that may seem at the time). Qhorin specifically requests to bring Jon along on the ranging, so I think it's fair to assume the reason behind that is potentially being able to place him in as a mole if all goes to hell. Qhorin knows Mance like Ygritte knows Mance- I think it's reasonable to suspect that Qhorin knew Mance would take Jon in because of the Bael the Bard/Stark connection. I really can't disagree with any of this. My only quibble is that attraction doesn't necessarily always have to be instantaneous. It can develop over time by spending time together, etc. That's how I read Jon's observation about her crooked teeth and smile and all that stuff. But certainly afterwards the situation in which he first sleeps with her is disturbing as hell and not really any different from Dany's rape by Drogo. Pretty much this. I'd also point out that whatever happened on Dany's wedding night, whether it was fingering or sex, she was in no position to give any real consent in the first place. All this is occurring under threat from her violent and abusive older brother- Viserys explicitly tells her to "please" Drogo or she will wake the dragon as it has never been woken before. Dany is terrified of Viserys and she is terrified of Drogo on her wedding night (and as that passage describes, even afterwards). I do not think that just because Drogo is surprisingly tender with her and gets her wet that it changes the fact that this is still a rape- it may be a tender rape but it is still rape.
  5. I think Dany definitely gives the impression that she was treated as property and abused. This is Dany's own recollection shortly after her marriage to Drogo. To me this is pretty clearly Dany recalling being repeatedly raped and treated like property. I think we have to judge this through the lens of wildling culture, which can be pretty shitty. Jon has unwittingly stolen Ygritte by every iteration of the wildling practice- he has murdered her "kinsmen" and subdued her, "allowing" him to have sex with her. By Ygritte's standards Jon has simply stolen her exactly as is the prescribed custom of the wildlings. Now I do think for Ygritte Jon's "pretty face and body" is certainly an added bonus. I wouldn't say Jon shows no indication of interest in Ygritte- we are not given a current in the moment POV from Jon of his unintentional courtship of Ygritte, but rather past recollections of Jon finding her to be more attractive upon each interaction with her (i.e. such as her crooked teeth not bothering him anymore on account of her great smile and similar recollections.) I think it may be fair to assume that Jon has given off some visual cues to Ygritte that he is not entirely disinterested in her at the very least. All this being said, I certainly can agree that the situation in which Jon first sleeps with Ygritte is disturbing and rapey- essentially it's Ygritte lying to Mance for Jon to spare Jon's life and then blackmailing him into making that lie a truth.
  6. Anything that involves more Dorne just doesn't make sense to me. The showrunners (and I'd argue GRRM too) already screwed the pooch with that one and going back there would just remind people of how dumb and pointless it was in the first place. I honestly think that's the one area that D & D unquestionably did right by this season- get rid of the Sandsnakes and create a great scene with Cersei killing Ellaria. I've said before that there were 2 main problems with this season- 1 is that it was built around the wight hunt which was just building a foundation on a house of cards. 2 is that Cersei had to stick around because I think D & D realized how great Lena Headey was and they wanted her around for Season 8 too. My fix would be relatively simple- Dany would take over the Iron Throne pretty quickly and easily, Jaime kills Cersei, etc. You just basically are cutting the South and Crownlands out of the story quickly. Then you can position Dany demanding fealty from the North and Jon refusing to give it as the main storyline. You can have them negotiating back and forth because Dany doesn't really want to have to take her army north and risk all these casualties. I think that basic fix would be far more logical in terms of the wight hunt (if you even still need to do it) and it would give a lot more time to the truly important characters like the Starks, Dany, Tyrion, etc.
  7. Yes, the Night's King actions of marrying an Other, committing numerous atrocities which were scrubbed from the record books, putting numerous Night's Watch brothers under some kind of spell, and making sacrifices to the Others certainly doesn't hold a candle to Jon allowing Melisandre to send Mance to rescue a girl on a dying horse . C'mon, at least up your trolling game.
  8. Not only is the idea that Sam would have supported the mutiny laughably insane, but I love you putting down Mormont's epiphany before he is assassinated. Not only would Sam have supported Jon's plans, but Mormont would too. I think there is something really tragic about Mormont's death that I wonder about hypothetically- Had Mormont made it back to the Wall, I imagine he would go about doing things exactly the way Jon eventually went about it. When you think about sort of that mirror funhouse version of Janos Slynt sending Jon to "treat" with Mance, I think Mormont would have done the same only he would have been genuine about it and not sending Jon out there to either kill Mance or die himself or both. And then I just wonder how much of it is perception- because there is a perception of Jon as a warg and half-wildling himself, racists like Marsh are prone to seeing ulterior motives behind Jon allowing the wildlings through. I think Mormont would have done the same and been a much better person to do so.
  9. First off I just want to say well done Walda. Really appreciate you putting everything down like that even if I disagree with you. Are we under-rating Marsh or just rating him exactly where he is and deserves to be ranked? He is an able steward and in his own way a brave loyal NW brother, but I would say there's no evidence he's anything more than that. Not just the guys you mention, but Jeor Mormont is also dismissive of him calling him a tired old man unfit to rule while lamenting the state of the Night's Watch. I think competence might be overstating things as well- he completely falls for Mance's feint as Mance knew he would and causes the deaths and injuries of a lot of NW brothers, including his own. I think this is an important point to note- Marsh is a very politically-aware brother of the NW and is clearly predisposed to support the Lannisters over the Baratheons. I do think the fact that he corresponds with the Crown is vital to explaining his actions, as well as his plotting in ASOS. Another important point to note- Marsh is described as a changed man after his bloody encounter with the Weeper...this is not the same Marsh that is described in AGOT. He has lost a lot of weight and if I recall correctly, is described as haggard-looking after returning to Castle Black. I think what the Weeper did to him explains a lot of his extreme hatred towards the wildlings, something that I'd posit did not exist nearly to that level prior to the Bridge of Skulls. Wun-Wun doesn't just go ape apropos of nothing and I don't think we need to read conspiracies into stuff that is easily explained throughout ADWD. The Queen's Men such as Ser Patrek are obsessed with Val- not only do they see her beauty but they continue to mistakenly believe that by marrying her they will gain control over the wildlings. Shortly before Jon's assassination, Selyse informs Jon that Ser Patrek is to marry Val- Jon responds that it is customary among the wildlings to steal women in front of Ser Patrek. I believe that is basically what happens- Ser Patrek tries to steal Val who is being guarded by Wun-Wun and that's it. This just provided an opportune distraction for Marsh and Wick and the other co-conspirators to quickly attack Jon, something I believe they literally just decided the second before on doing. And yes, I again agree that the double whammy of the Hardhome mission and Jon marching on Winterfell provokes a suicide response from Bowen marsh, not a pre-planned assassination. Iron Emmett loves sword-play and didn't seem to mind the incident with Jon- regardless we are essentially given that the rangers (probably including Emmett) largely support Jon while the stewards and builders do not. Mully is an interesting case as I've mentioned above since Ghost tried to bite his fingers off on the day of the assassination according to Mully. I agree with this but I continue to also be a bit puzzled by Wick's reaction to Jon stopping his stabbing attempt. The "it wasn't me" response just seems odd but I am inclined to agree I guess that it was just a cowardly reaction on Wick's part and nothing more. I also agree there's no way Borroq is involved- the wildlings in general are pretty loyal to Jon as they have good reason to be, and while there seems to be some kind of animosity between Borroq's boars and Ghost, I don't see that being enough to cause him to attempt something like this. There's just no motive there. You could have just left it at that but I appreciate your well-detailed and thought-out response to some of these obvious troll attempts.
  10. Agree to disagree on this one. Your examples of plotting in the text are well-taken, but to me they only indicate plotting prior to the election of the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. I also think it's important to differentiate between particularly Slynt on the one hand, and Marsh and Yarwyck on the other (Thorne kind of occupies a middle ground in my mind where he is loyal to the institution of the NW, but at the same time consumed by personal animosity and grievances towards Jon). Slynt is obviously one end of the spectrum- he has no loyalty to the NW and couldn't care less about it, he only cares about politics and power. But Marsh and Yarwyck, in their own delusional incorrect way, behave with loyalty towards the NW and its institutions. I don't believe that we have seen any evidence of continued plotting by them once Jon wins LC. Really well put. A lot of this Jon hate just comes across as trolling honestly, but your reasoned argument is still welcome. I particularly agree with your summation of Jon's arc (and in the process Dany's arc as well) in ADWD. I think obviously neither one is a perfect leader and mistakes were made throughout their respective rules, but at the same time neither one is written to be in the wrong, ethically speaking. Dany is fighting to end slavery in hopelessly difficult circumstances, and Jon is fighting to stop the extinction of an entire group of people in equally hopeless circumstances. It's important to note the when of Jon's decision to allow the wildlings through. He does not start out the book dead set on doing so, in many ways and instances he agrees with Marsh. This changes during the trip to the weirwood grove when Jon encounters the injured and freezing wildlings and listens to the new recruits recite the NW oath. At this moment it dawns on Jon that he is the shield that guards the realms of men, the same realization that Mormont arrives at shortly before his death. The NW has lost its true purpose as both men lament. And it is Jon's unfortunate attempts to get men like Marsh and Yarwyck to change their opinions that signify much of his arc
  11. While I think what Jon overhears in ASOS helps explain Yarwyck and Marsh's actions, I don't think it speaks to any of this being pre-planned. If it was pre-planned, they would have killed him a lot earlier and/or in a safer environment for them to do so. They've had multiple chances where they are alone with Jon, and again, presumably had they planned on killing him they would have done it before Jon allowed all the wildlings loyal to Jon through the Wall. Even in the last chapter, Marsh and Yarwyck are alone with Jon in his quarters. Ghost is there as well, which would obviously dissuade them from attacking then, but it's interesting to note that Ghost does not attack them here, despite attacking both Mully and Jon beforehand. Jon notes that Ghost "sniffs" after them as they are leaving with his tail upraised, but there is no ferocity or violence whereas beforehand, Ghost literally tries to bite both Mully and Jon's hands off. In his meeting with them, Jon discusses Hardhome and they "advise" him to not send any Night's Watch brothers and instead send all the wildlings, so they hopefully (in their minds at least), have fewer mouths to feed at the Wall. Afterwards, they are relatively cordial to Jon and accepting of his orders when he talks about dealing with the corpses and Cregan Karstark in the cells. I don't see any of this going down that way had it been pre-planned. Marsh and Yarwyck are blind-sided by Jon's reaction to the Pink Letter- not only is he confirming their worst fears of taking the wildlings south to attack Bolton and piss off Lannister forces (going back to their conspiring in ASOS), but it's a two-fer when Jon radically changes the plans to send whatever men Tormund asks for along with him to Hardhome. Yarwyck, Marsh, and Whittlestick are all present for Jon's reading of the Pink Letter in the Shieldhall- once he reads it and relays his plans they storm out. I think this was the exact moment they decided to kill him, figuring that they were screwed either way- in their minds, they had to dispose of Jon before the Night's Watch was depleted being sent to Hardhome AND at the same time before he could take the Wildlings South to attack Winterfell. Jon thinks Ghost's behavior is related to Borroq and his boars- obviously I think you are right and we are all right to think that is mistaken...Ghost knows what is about to go down or at least senses danger. Also interesting to note that Mormont's raven (who many speculate is being warged by Bloodraven) is described as extremely agitated by Jon. So I think both Ghost and the raven can at the very least sense Jon is in danger.
  12. As others have pointed out, this has been a topic of much discussion ever since ADWD came out. It really stands out as a reaction that can't be logically explained unless Wick was somehow forced to go after Jon. I mean, I suppose it may be possible that Wick is just cowardly and once Jon deflected his attack Wick was freaking out and couldn't think of any other way to react. Doubtful, but possible. Also interesting is the ending sentence there where Jon can't get Longclaw out of its scabbard- was there some kind of magic or sabotage at play? Or is there just a practical explanation- Jon is already wounded, it's cold out, he notes his fingers are stiff and clumsy. As noted above by @Faera, this was not a reaction by Marsh and Yarwyck based on their hatred of wildlings, but of fear for Jon leading an attack against Ramsay. Going back to ASOS, Marsh and Yarwyck were plotting with Alliser Thorne to make Janos Slynt the LC of the Night's Watch. This was all based on a political calculation of not wanting to piss off the Lannisters. Well, that's exactly what Jon was about to do. If the conspirators had really wanted to kill Jon because of the wildlings, presumably they would have done it before Jon let Tormund and all the wildlings through the Wall.
  13. Two scenes that have always stuck out to me, but especially moreso on reread, are Theon as the Ghost of Winterfell and Sansa building the snow castle of Winterfell. For Theon, it's just so damn depressing and emotional to picture him there, taking in everything he's lost and then you sort of add in Winterfell (and by the extension the Starks) as a character in its own right and take stock of all the misery and pain inflicted on Winterfell and its residents. Same goes for Sansa building Winterfell and dreaming of being back there.
  14. I completely agree with this. First impressions mean a lot, and I don't think Sansa was written to be particularly sympathetic early on in the books. I've grown to enjoy Sansa and her chapters immensely, some of her recent chapters in the Eyrie are among my favorites.
  15. I'm very much looking forward to a meeting of Stoneheart and Jon if that's in the cards- I don't think that would end well, but it's possible that if Jon has Sansa/Arya/Bran/Rickon with him Stoneheart would not immediately try to kill him. I think as far as Stoneheart's true motives go, she is essentially a vengeance monster so that's her #1 motive- to kill Freys and Lannisters who she views as responsible for the Red Wedding. I don't think that's her only motive though. As mentioned above, she has clearly infiltrated Riverrun and probably has designs on re-installing Starks and Tullys wherever she can. I'm not sure there is any stopping Stoneheart until all the Freys are dead, at which time maybe she kills herself for good? IIRC, the Tully man-at-arms and maybe a few other Tully soldiers from Riverrun elected to go to the Wall when Riverrun was taken by Jaime. You also have Blackfish maybe overacting and putting on a show for Jaime when Jon's name is mentioned about how he doesn't like Jon because Cat hated him. Perhaps that's just Blackfish being truthful, but perhaps also it's a show to deflect any attention from Jon.
  16. Great topic. I can't wait to see what happens at Castle Black as you have so many different factions already having tensions with each other- Jon's assassination is sure to be a powder keg that sets them all off against each other. As other posters have noted, Val is definitely the wildcard here. I think obviously there's a lot more story left to tell with her and what was being set up- whether there is romance between her and Jon or violence on her part towards Shireen and the Queen's Men. Val, while portrayed as capable and respected among the wildlings, does not actually command any of them as soldiers and as we know her "princess" designation is Southron nonsense that the wildlings don't respect any more than Gerrick Kingsblood and his claims of kingship. It's interesting to note that you have Ser Patrek who is a Queen's Man really lighting the powder keg- his death will not go over well with Selyse and the Queen's Men who are in a precarious situation as well now that the wildlings outnumber them. Do some of the other Queen's Men now attack Wun-Wun and make their move to "steal" Val? That will not end well for them. It will be interesting to see whether Val goes after Shireen or we get something more along the lines of the show with Melisandre and her obsession with "King's Blood" getting the better of her and Melisandre going after Shireen. Does book Selyse support Mel in that situation or her daughter? We haven't been given much reason to think Selyse has any real love for Shireen and seems to be fiercely devoted to Melisandre. Also, as noted earlier, the Ides of Marsh was a poorly calculated desperation attack that won't end well for the mutineers, who are surrounded on all sides by an overwhelming number of wildlings and Night's Watchmen, a majority of which have sworn some kind of oath of loyalty to Jon. The mutineers certainly will not be surviving much longer, even with varying levels of support among the Night's Watchmen.
  17. That's honestly the most disturbing theory I have ever read. Damn, I hope that doesn't happen and I can't even see GRRM going that far. This exactly. Skinchangers need to live with and assimilate with the rest of the wildlings- those rules reflect taboos that wouldn't help skinchangers achieve that goal.
  18. We have no idea what Mance knew of the Watch or whether he knew what he was signing up for or whether he had any free will to leave, especially as a child. I agree he betrayed his brothers, but I don't quite agree he actively hunted and killed them and I certainly don't believe he "tried" to bring the Wall down- it was an effort of last resort. But yeah, if you want to talk about "half the coin" you have to talk about the survival of an entire group of people in the wildlings, which you seem to be ignoring. It is not obvious that Stannis knows Mance is alive...It's possible but unlikely IMO. Melisandre, speaking of Mance, says to Jon that Mance owes Jon his life and that "only his life's blood could pay for his crimes, your laws said, and Stannis Baratheon is not a man to go against the law... but as you said so sagely, the laws of men end at the Wall...a gift from the lord of light...and me." Some people interpret this as her telling Jon he persuaded Stannis to keep Mance alive, but the bolded section to me heavily indicates she did this without Stannis's knowledge. Plus, just knowing Stannis as a character this is not the kind of thing he would agree to IMO. I think everything involving Rattleshirt/Mance is just Melisandre, and nothing to do with Stannis. We may find out differently in TWOW, but until then it is certainly not obvious. It's a damned if you do-damned if you don't scenario with Alys/Cregan. There is no maintaining neutrality- turning them both away is entirely giving Cregan what he wants- Jon and the NW would be entirely complicit in Cregan's unlawful scheme to steal Karhold. Jon as LC of the NW, and head of that household in essence, has every right to grant someone sanctuary at the Wall and Cregan has no right to demand Jon revoke that sanctuary.
  19. I know this isn't a Mance thread but I would not characterize Mance breaking his vow as childish and I'm not sure I would characterize Mance's decision to join the NW as one of free will. It's what makes his backstory so compelling to me. We don't know the specifics of how he arrived at the Wall, but we know he was born as a wildling and that he ended up at the Wall after some wildling raiders were put to the sword. Perhaps that included his wildling mom or his NW dad? Qhorin Halfhand outright states that when Mance left the NW, he was just returning home. That's not childish to me at all. Jon could have most certainly executed Mance or any of the wildlings at the Wall. When Jon thinks that Melisandre is talking about sending Rattleshirt after Arya (before she reveals the glamour), he threatens to have his head before allowing him to leave. Stannis is gone and Jon is the power at the Wall. Besides that, Stannis believes Mance to be dead and explicitly commanded that Mance be killed- he would have no issue with Jon killing Mance. The only problems that could be caused would be between Stannis and Melisandre. I would say careless, but as has been discussed here, we need a little more info about what is actually happening with Mance and Melisandre and what Mance's plan was and whether Melisandre was involved. Again, Jon did not send Mance to Winterfell to kidnap Arya, he sent him to Long Lake to rescue an already escaped Arya who Jon feared was stuck on a dying horse and wouldn't make it to him. Perhaps an irrelevant distinction, but to me it is relevant. It's what makes Arya's situation similar to Alys Karstark's, where you see a conflict between the neutrality practice of the NW and Jon's basic moral sensibilities.
  20. This blurb is so full of contradictions- you "like Mance as a character" and he has a compelling back story, but you dismiss his entire back story of leaving the Watch as a disagreement over a piece of cloth and a stupid reason? Perhaps you need the reread . Well, I mean the Pink Letter exposes the lie that Mance Rayder is dead- While I do think there's some shenanigans involved and I don't think the Pink Letter is 100% true, assuming that Ramsay has captured and tortured Mance and/or the Spearwives, Mance may have told him that Jon sent him to rescue Arya from Long lake. That certainly insinuates Jon being involved, which is true.
  21. First of all, there is no hypnosis and Jon's "advocacy" for the man is not insane, indeed it's explicitly the opposite and stated as pragmatic. Jon knows that Mance controls the wildlings and believes that the NW needs the wildlings and their numbers to defeat the Others. I do think there's a healthy respect that Jon has for Mance which is only rational- Jon basically "grew up" watching Mance beyond the Wall over the course of ASOIAF and sees similarities between their low birth statuses. What does "demonstrably faithless to non-wildlings" mean? You seem to be fixated on the Weeper, which is odd to me because the issues involving him are hypothetical. Jon is of course willing to provide clemency to the Weeper in exchange for him serving the NW (which the NW has been doing since its inception anyway- providing clemency to criminals in exchange for service), but that has not happened yet nor do we know if it will happen. In any case, I fail to see what Jon's views regarding the Weeper have to do with the situation with Ramsay- they are entirely different scenarios and have almost nothing in common save for both Ramsay and the Weeper being evil brutes. Again, Jon takes a very pragmatic approach to the wildlings vs the Others- he is willing to "ally" with people he hates in order to defeat the Others. The NW is being distracted from their purpose and having their manpower diverted or stifled to begin with by Marsh, Ramsay, Stannis, everyone in Westeros, etc. The question is how you view the NW and their mission- I would argue that the books make it very clear that the NW has lost sight of its mission and purpose through centuries of incompetence, mismanagement, and mistreatment by Westerosi Lords. I would further argue that the books make it very clear Jon is right about the wildlings vs the Others- it is a fight of the living vs the dead and the NW as currently constituted cannot afford to sit back and hide behind the Wall with depleted numbers while the Others continue to grow the Army of the Dead with the wildlings stuck beyond the Wall. Of course- nobody is arguing that Jon is infallible nor 100% correct in his reaction to the Pink Letter and his rule as LC in general. That would be boring writing and a boring read. But you said it yourself- Bowen marsh is a strawman caricature and it amazes me to see so many people sympathetic to him and his worldview.
  22. You can't say Jaime broke his oath for the greater good but Jon did not. Even granting you that Jon's motivations are not pure (which is wrong, but whatever I'll grant it), Jon's actions are still for the greater good. Does anyone think the North is better off with Ramsay ruling it? Does anyone think it's for the greater good to leave Jeyne Poole to be viciously raped and hurt every night? Does anyone think it's for the greater good for Jon to hand over Selyse, Shireen, Val to a monster like Ramsay? How so? How is it wrong to try and protect an innocent girl from being raped and enslaved by Ramsay? Why is "taking sides" in northern politics such a bad thing, when everyone else is doing it and the Watch is suffering either way?
  23. It's so interesting to really think about the history of Westeros and the NW's place in it. Are Lords and the regular people who live in Westeros obligated to send people to the NW? How does that work? Is there some sort of contract in place that has already been breached over the years? Like it's simple to see how the NW would become weaker and more decrepit if Lords only send criminals to the Wall. And furthermore on neutrality has it even been breached so blatantly in the past as it is being with the Lannisters and Boltons (and you can even include Stannis in that I'd say). Yeah, I think it's fair to say that Jeor would not have taken an army of wildlings south of the Wall to attack the Lord Paramount in the North had he received the Pink Letter. But it is an interesting hypothetical. How would he react to this? This is a great question. Is there an impeachment process? Off the top of my head the only historical example we have of a Lord Commander "misbehaving" is the Night's King and obviously that's a bit of a crazy case with him being in thrall to a White Walker. I'd imagine there is no real impeachment process since the LC, even though elected democratically, rules more like a totalitarian dictator as is necessary in a military institution. Maybe the impeachment process must involve the Starks of Winterfell as Lords/Kings in the North? What do you do if there is no Stark in Winterfell which hasn't happened forever? Is that where there must always be a Stark in Winterfell?
  24. The Varys of Season 7 seems to be pretty much incompetent. Maybe he lost all his spies when he left Westeros to meet Dany? I do like the idea behind it I should say, although I have issues with how it's been conveyed. You take Varys, a guy who excelled at the "Game of Thrones" machinations and notably hated magic, and put him into this new world with Dragons, White Walkers, resurrected Jon Snow, etc. Of course he's out of his depth. Same goes for Littlefinger.
  25. Yes, agreed with both these points. Although I should say I'm expecting some kind of civil war to break out amongst the NW with Jon's supporters on one side and Marsh and Yarwycks on the other. I seem to recall at one point it being mentioned that Jon has the majority of the NW rangers behind him (which makes sense as they are by their nature more adventurous and courageous) and Marsh and Yarwyck having the majority of the stewards and builders behind them respectively. Agreed. Yes, I agree. The reaction is entirely about fear, as I said above it is an entirely irrational reaction as Marsh and co. are surrounded by wildlings loyal to Jon. I'd note that even though Jon's reaction to the Pink Letter is entirely emotional and family-based, there is a way to view it as keeping in line with his oath and being NW-centric (putting aside that Jon bears at least some, if not most of the responsibility leading to the Pink Letter as he's the one who allowed Mance to leave the Wall, despite not signing off on Mance going to Winterfell). As we've been told many times, the Wall is entirely indefensible from the Southern side (on purpose of course). And Jon has just read a letter from a Lord known to be ruthless and who bragged about skinning people alive in that very same letter. Ramsay is threatening Jon and the entire NW with coming over and killing them all, demanding that Jon return hostages that he does not have ("Arya", Theon/Reek) and on the other hand demanding Jon break neutrality either way by giving him Selyse, Shireen, Val, etc. It's tough to say whether it was even possible that Jon could maintain neutrality and stay true to the oaths in such an enviroment. Even assuming Jon did not allow Mance to leave and Mance did not end up in Winterfell to help free "Arya" and Theon, are we really sure that Jon doesn't get the exact same Pink Letter from Ramsay upon his "defeat" of Stannis? We know that Ramsay and the Lannisters already have half a mind to assassinate Jon just because of the appearance of Stannis being at the Wall as breaking neutrality- I think assuming that Ramsay defeats Stannis things break a very similar way regardless and Jon is not long for the world as the Lord Commander of the NW. One last thing: I think the situation with the Pink Letter is reminiscent of earlier in the book with Alys and Cregan Karstark. Jon is essentially put in an impossible situation as far as maintaining neutrality goes by that as well.