The Sleeper

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    A series of biological ephemera

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  1. It is certainly less than an elephant. As they are mammals, hominids with not too much different levels of activity than a human, it should be mor e or less proportionate. Like a cat eating less than a tiger. As they were confined to a fraction of the territory they held previously, after ongoing wars and continously enroaching humans, then their numbers after the pact should be a fraction of what they were before the First Men showed up in Westeros. Say if there were ten thousand in Westeros as a whole at the time of the pact, and there had been a hundred thousand prior to humans moving in. It would mean very much to them. Particularly as the humans kept outbreeding them.
  2. Ned should be about six feet tall. He's about the same size as Ice.
  3. They are half the size of humans? During any ecological upset the larger species are the most vulnerable. And it stands to reason that numbers would have dwindled after the advent of humans and the wars. Fewer humans would mean they could claim less territory, meaning the forrests could recover and the children would have a chance to come closer to their previous numbers.
  4. If we take it that the hammer of the waters legend as true, then it seems plausible that the long night and winter, may have been initiated by the Children. Having underground refuges, presumably lesser nutritional requirements and fewer number, they would have been able to weather such events much better than the burgeoning human population. The end result would have been far reduced human numbers, allowing the Children to recover territory and population. They may have gone overboard in their efforts. The Others could be a natural species who siezed the opportunity to expand. An interesting prospect would be if they were humans who magically altered themselves in order to survive. Much like red priests like Mel and Moqorro appear to have done for religious reasons.
  5. Catelyn forces several vows from Jaime at swordpoint in the dungeons of Riverrun. Jaime wonders to himself what would the High Septon say about the validity of vows extracted under such circumstances. Later, Jaime ends the siege at Raventree. And extracts several vows on from lord Blackwood who is under threat of starvation, of his castle being stormed and the death of his people. It is not outright stated, but the threats are there. He also takes his son hostage to ensure his continued compliance. This is not a thread about Jaime. The situation in Raventree is nothing unusual. For a great part, the fealty of the vassals is won over with violence or the threat of it. It seems that oaths under duress rather from being invalid, are one of the foundations of the seven kingdoms' political structure. Thoughts?
  6. I'd give it about a fifty-fifty chance for the Seven Kingdoms to remain Seven Kingdoms and not break apart.
  7. Other than the dragon eggs and the rest of the metaphysical stuff. There is also drastic changes in her circumstances. She goes from an urchin at the mercy of an abusive brother, to khaleesi with attendants dedicated to her comfort and protection, to queen in her own right with fanatical following. By the time she has conquered Meereen, she lives in relative isolation on top of a virtual mountain where people go to quasi pilgrimage to beg her favor. At that stage she actually compares herself to several deities. These things change a person's outlook and character. I am more inclined to see the metaphysical stuff as a vehicle to visualize the changes the character is going through rather than as causal of those changes. As for the wedding, it was Viserys who was Dany's abuser and Drogo represented an escape from the former. Drogo won her over by giving her silver. You can't get a symbol for agency, more poignant than that. I'm not going to dispute that the situation is fucked up in multitude of ways, but I don't see the characterization working without that potential being there in the first place. Otherwise Dany would have just seen it as a change of owner.
  8. The worldbook says that he did it to increase commerce and to foster trade relations with the free cities. Which considering the contempt with which he thought of of the leaders of the free cities, according to Tyrion at least. In any case it revolved around the three greatest ports in the realm. He personally depends less on trade as he has goldmines.
  9. I would dearly love it, if someone could explain how it would have benefited Jaqen to be chained inside a cage. Whatever he might have had in mind. Because, he is anything but inconspicuous and he is actualy chained to the floor of a cage.
  10. It's a figure of speech. They are a sect that have a set of beliefs and rationalize their actions and lives based on those beliefs. We have seen only the basics of those beliefs and then there would be conflict with practicalities and issues of individual interpretation. Sense is not a requirement.
  11. Now, you are taking it to the other extreme. At no point are we told that they simply should sit around and die. Arya never leaves the Temple without at least one knife on her. Likewise Jaqen was in a holdfast under attack and then in a warzone. He couldn't survive or maintain his freedom without resorting to violence. As for the weasel soup, he was forced into it. I am more inclined to believe that his distress came from the prospect of breaking a vow and/or having to kill Arya, rather than killing himself, but we don't really know. We can conclude that helping her was more congruent with his code, or feelings than the other alternatives. “And are you a god, to decide who should live and who should die?” he asked her. “We give the gift to those marked by Him of Many Faces, after prayers and sacrifice. So has it always been, from the beginning. I have told you of the founding of our order, of how the first of us answered the prayers of slaves who wished for death. The gift was given only to those who yearned for it, in the beginning … but one day, the first of us heard a slave praying not for his own death but for his master’s. So fervently did he desire this that he offered all he had, that his prayer might be answered. And it seemed to our first brother that this sacrifice would be pleasing to Him of Many Faces, so that night he granted the prayer. Then he went to the slave and said, ‘You offered all you had for this man’s death, but slaves have nothing but their lives. That is what the god desires of you. For the rest of your days on earth, you will serve him.’ And from that moment, we were two.” His hand closed around her arm, gently but firmly. “All men must die. We are but death’s instruments, not death himself. When you slew the singer, you took god’s powers on yourself. We kill men, but we do not presume to judge them. Do you understand?” The blind girl “Then you do not belong here. Death holds no sweetness in this house. We are not warriors, nor soldiers, nor swaggering bravos puffed up with pride. We do not kill to serve some lord, to fatten our purses, to stroke our vanity. We never give the gift to please ourselves. Nor do we choose the ones we kill. We are but servants of the God of Many Faces.” The ugly little girl From the horse's mouth. If you think they are inconsistent, don't blame me. I think they are about as consistent and honest as any other clergy who claim to speak for and act on the behalf of their respective deities. No, I was just being sarcastic. The ruinously expensive idea is probably a misconception. In the two cases we are told of the price, insofar as we can trust what we are being told, the common thread was lifelong service. The first supplicant became the second faceless man and the waif's father had to give up his daughter along with his wealth. My idea is that the reason that they have so much pull in Braavos, is because there are people who are indebted to them and guys like Izembaro and Brusco are former novices and accolytes who didn't finish their training. The same is probably true about the servants. I also think the other accolytes are prices.
  12. It comes straight from the horse's mouth, in the blind girl chapter. And not only there. Every step of the way they disavow any agency as to who they chose to kill. The original faceless man was supposedly guided by the prayers he heard. Likewise, they are supposed to give the gift to those who are "marked" after prayer and sacrifice. What these prayers and sacrifices entail is a very good question to which we don't have an answer. For all we know there is a frog in the deapths of the temple and they determine their victims from the way it croaks. Or more likely thay have some rituals, which help them gain "divine inspiration", which I suspect usually validates their interests and beliefs. Like it was "revealed" to the high septon in Oldtown that they should open the gates to Aegon or the city would burn, or how Aeron thought to call a kingsmoot. As to death being a gift. It doesn't need to be a gift to the recipient. It could be a gift to the one who asked for it. Though, the Kindly Man says to Arya that there are two qualifiers to the gift. Both suffering and sins. In any case, I doubt that anyone can hire them for assassination, without the price really hurting and being closer to a sacrifice than a price. Otherwise everyone would hire them and no person of any authority would last more than a year upon assuming it.
  13. In the world book, there is an account of Tywin's tenure as Hand. Apparently he built roads, held tourneys and lowered port tariffs. The last item is the only item that receives any attention, and it comes up three times. We are told that Tywin lowered port tariffs for Lannisport, Oldtown and King's Landing. But not for White Harbor, Gulltown, Lordsport or Plankytown. And not Duskendale. Another quarrel between Tywin and Aerys appears to have occured when Aerys doubled said tariffs for the aformentioned ports and tripled them for the rest of the realm. When merchants complained about it he restored them to their previous levels and blamed Tywin for it. I have to say that this sounds kind of iffy. And then apparently one of the reasons for the Defiance was that Lord Darklyn wanted to be able to lower his tariffs and be able to compete with King' Landing. What's up with that? What I can think off is that Tywin tried to concentrate trade to the major ports of Westeros. And by the way why did Tywin and Aerys stuck together for so many years when they hated eachother?
  14. Well, valyrian steel swords apparently require blood sacrifice and they are nearly black ... I'll be surprised if they weren't. Martin has already refferenced most of his previous work in ASoIaF. The Boltons are a dead giveaway for those who had read "The Skin Trade" and "In The Lost Lands".
  15. Too old and of a different brach of the family. Ned Dayne's aunt Allyria though ...