The Sleeper

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    A series of biological ephemera

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  1. More or less this. He could have gone further. The Lannisters had a guard in the hundreds in the capital. He could have matced it. There were also plenty of younger sons in the North who would have jumped at the opportunity to follow him to the and make a name for themselves, whom he could appoint to various positions. Ned's mindset was completely different. He was used to being the ultimate auhtority and he maintained by keeping his distance. The court was a completely alien environment in that regard. The scene that is telling is the one where he and Selmy try to convince Robert not to take part in the melee. Selmy smoothly gets his point across to Robert. Ned was unable to. Selmy despite the various comments about his wits, has spent decades in the courts of various kings and knows how to maneuver. Ned had never had the need to manipulate anyone. He had no peers or superiors and everything he said was done.
  2. To be blunt, he half assed it. He took the job as a cover for a murder investigation and did not even try to establish his own power base in King's Landing, with the rationale of avoiding making waves until he had sufficient political ammunition, thus relying entirely on the position of being hand. He never trusted Littlefinger. By the end he had simply ran out of other options and he could not get into the mindset of an individual like him and understand what his personal stake might have been.
  3. I think he is the medieval equivalent of a health nut which involves more than a little superstition. Rooses's fixation is control and order and regulating his body and mind fit into that.
  4. I think that sentence reads to most readers here something like: "why is the Sahara so humid" or "why is salt black".
  5. You are using Jaime and thinking in the same sentence. Jaime acts. Jaime quips. Jaime broods. Jaime makes sweet love to Cersei next to their son's corpse. Jaime does not think. Seriously though, Tyrion would have lost his head the next day. He did need to do something if he meant to prevent and he is the one person with any likelihood to escape Tywin's wrath. There was legal no recourse and he did go to the one person who could get Tyrion out of the Red Keep unseen. Obviously he did not think ahead, but it was the last opportunity.
  6. Possibilities include glasses, vases, his toes, hearts and his uncle's favorite tea pot.
  7. We don't get the immediate reactions to news of their deaths for the most part, but during his chapters in Dance he reads depressed an fatalistic. He also jumped off to kill Thorne after he heard about Ned's imprisonment and nearly lost it when he heard that fArya was alive.
  8. When you come down to it, Catelyn had a breakdown. And then she died. The breakdown, given the circumstances is warranted, even expected. And despite the dramatic aspect self-mutilation happens. We don't get to see how she would have fared if she had lived. There is an example of male character that lost it after he lost his sons that I forgot to mention. Rickard Karstark ultimately went berserk endangering the continued survival of his house. Lysa does not fit into the mold as the root of her condition is more an obsession going back to adolescence, followed by a long string of misery and disappointments. On the other hand there is lady Hornwood who seemed to be holding up. I don't see a pattern. Apart from characters being severely affected by traumatic circumstances, which is self-evident, each case is individual enough in make up, circumstances and reactions and in my view well-established. The first question is why would or should her nature make a difference. Does the fact that she is an evil bitch justify her being forced into marriage and being raped by her husband? After all it had nothing to do with her character. It was politics plain and simple. As far as her upbringing is concerned she got her entitlement from being a Lannister and her marriage was dictated by Tywin. He was unequivocally the single greatest influence in her life. The festering hatred that is evident in Feast has its source and its target on Tywin, yet she dares not acknowledge it herself so it spills out against everyone else. It is also that attitude of seeing the world as existing for her benefit that allows her to see other people as lesser and to inflict harm on them when she finds them in anyway objectionable. The way I see it, Cersei has tons of nuance. It is just that it is all dark, disturbing and discomfiting. It is the narrative that shows how she is being treated. It is after all a strict in story point of view. What we see as readers is woman being mocked behind her back in a juvenile, petty way. Granted, the first reaction of the reader is to adopt the point of view of the character who is telling the story. Stepping back from that Selyse's treatment is front and centre. Another example would be Littlefinger making fun of Shireen's disfigurement. Did you think that Shireen's predicament was worthy of mirth or that Littlefinger was being a complete jackass? Ultimately Selyse's treatment shouldn't be any different. Yet it is, because she is an adult and not sympathetic in other respects. The fact remains that all the elements of her characterization are there. My first impression of Selyse was not positive, I'm not more enlightened than the next person. It still isn't positive though for different reasons. It would be interesting to see how she plays out and if these elements come to a head, it depends however on the demands of the greater plot and Martin's whims.
  9. Presumably he had one. Either that or he is made from a chipped block of ice from land of Always Winter, covered with living human skin. That's why he leaches himself. The skin still bleeds and he needs to drain the blood or it will overflow.
  10. I think that is an oversimplification. Catelyn basically lost everything she cared about before seeing her last surviving offspring (that she knew off) being buthcered before her eyes. And this is after a war that has gone disastrously in a very short period of time. Even so, Lady Stoneheart is harsh and ruthless, but she is hardly irrational. Lysa's state of mind is the result of losing her lover in a violent tramautic, being forced into an abortion and marriage with an old man in private disgrace, then suffering through a long series of failed pregnancies, while her only child has a dangerous and debilitating health problem she has no way to deal with. Lysa also appears irrational through her sister's eyes who has very mistaken ideas about her actions, disposition and agenda. I wouldn't expect anyone to deal with these kinds of situations with equanimity and emerged unscathed, nor would I describe the end result as having lost their minds. Rhaenyra would be a better fit, having made rash emotional decisions after traumatic events and again you have multiple losses, in the midst of war. People go through bereavement and make emotional irrational decisions even at the best of times. I'm not sure it qualifies as having lost their minds. You could make the argument that Robb lost his mind when he married Jayne after hearing about his brothers' death on the same grounds. The cases that present as a syndrome as you call it are the Harlaw sisters. In their case however they are much older. And on the other hand, Arya encounters an old knight during her travails with the Brotherhood, who is said to have lost his mind after having lost his sons in Robert's rebellion was not right in the head. And then there is ser Eustace from Dunk & Egg whose relationship with reality has its share of bumps and obstacles. In these cases there is a combination of grievous losses, old age, isolation and lack of meaningful engagement. Under these circumstances I find the portrayal convincing. I think Cersei has a direct parallel in Theon. Though the former is the most extreme case, they are essentially both shits that got a raw deal, that is unlike to get them any outward sympathy, from other characters in the story. After all Cersei is a queen and Theon, being a ward/hostage is a time-honored practise. Both situations are inescapable and serve to build long-standing resentment. I think it is meant that their situations are meant to feed into their characters and exacerbate them, so that they would both explode disastrously when the opportunity presented itself, ironically when both of these characters were on the verge of grasping their long held dreams. Cersei is that combination of monstrous entitlement with repression, both internalized and external. I think that self possession is needed to maintain the years long scheming, of fighting in the dark and all that relentless grind, that Cersei got through. I'd say Tywin raised her all the way through, on one hand instilling her the notion that everything exists to serve her, while using her as a pawn with hardly an afterthought. It's easy to see Selyse as a caricature, however the treatment she gets for her appearance, combined with the humiliations during her marriage, her absence from the courts by residing on dragonstone, her lack of fecundity, her daughter being deemed defective and her husbands distance paint the portrait of a profoundly unhappy, isolated and frustrated, who mirrors Stannis very well. Selyse is a daughter of a powerful house, married to the brother of the king, a celebrated commnder and a great lord. By all rights she should have enjoyed influence and respect and yet these are curtailed for various reasons, so she sets up her mockery of a court and plays it to the bone, with as much officiousness and pomposity as she can muster, like Stannis finds refuge in his duty. Her demeanor is imperious and any comments about her appearance are made behind her back. Consider also that the two people she gives ground to are Melisandre and Stannis. They make quite the triangle and how she is left out in that as well.
  11. The common thread of the people in her list is that they hurt people who Arya felt personally responsible for and made her feel powerless. She felt personally guilty about Mycah's fate. She fought during Amory Lorch's attack during which Yoren died. During both her father's execution and the Red Wedding she tried both times to go to her parents aid. She got captured by the Mountain trying to rescue Gendry. Dunsen got in the list for taking Gendry's helmet and Poliver for taking needle. Chiswyck is the one who initially disarmed her. Tickler and Weese are on the list for frightening her into submission. She didn't witness Jaime's attack nor was she there to prevent it and failed to do so. Or there was considerable time between Jaime's attack and her making her list. Still the list isn't so much about revenge as redress of her own powerlessness.
  12. It could be this technology that caused the destroyers of the protomolecule civilization to attack. Perhaps they saw it as an invasion of their space. As for Nagata, the series from the start was geared more towards highjinx than realism, so this doesn't apply to her only. In this instance it was a bit more justified as she was the first one who had the full data at her disposal.
  13. Naomi's analysis and her ability to predict and recreate the conditions under which disappear makes it sound like a natural phenomenon. Like if the gate system has some a certain capacity and that under certain conditions it can be overwhelmed. Maybe the effect of limiting speed in the slow zone is not a defense system but a security one, intended to prevent the system from overloading.
  14. During Clash of Kings, Varys reports to Tyrion that a group of businessmen wish to see Stannis king and so have armed several hundred followers and plan to open a gate when Stannis attacks. Later these become collectively known as Antler men due to having antlers named to their heads and launched with trebuchets during the battle. Apart from the fact that these appear out of nowhere, it sounds a bit incongruous for Stannis, who is notoriously unpopular to have a grassroots movement in favor of his ascension. Particularly businessmen, as he has never shown any sign of interest in finances. The incongruity is made greater by the inclusion in the number of the antler men of Salloreon, a master armorer who specializes in craftin elaborate and ornate armor for the nobility. Stannis himself seems of a mind with Jon Arryn and Ned of looking for functionality over ostentation. Were they indeed Stannis' supporters? Twice over the course of the following books this group is linked to Littlefinger. Tyrion discovers that many of them are recipients of loans from the crown. Jaime discovers that one of them had purchased an office in the dungeons and assumes that he did that through Littlefinger. Now consider the way that Littlefinger managed the Crown's finances. He loaned or invested the majority of the Crown's incomes. He had to have had partners and associates in those endevors. I beleieve that these associates were the Antler Men. Rather than them being Stannis supporters, Varys saw an opportunity to undermine LF's infrastructure and influence in King's Landing. This would have the added effect of weakening the Crown's economy as well as paving the way for Illyrio to take over when he eventually arrived.
  15. Thankfully, it's not up to the reader.