The Sunset King

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  1. It is no coincidence that Stannis will be leading the Battle of Ice while Daenerys and co fight the Battle of Fire. Both events will be important milestones in lead each character to their impending destinies. Stannis is trying to navigate and survive a wintery world. If successful, he will have a significant headstart over competitors. Additionally, he may learn more about the ancient magical forces that operate in the North and at the Wall especially.
  2. It might be possible that a new Night's King will not be quite as bad as the original one is popularly portrayed in Westeros (or at least the North; is the legend well known outside of that region?). The issue of Melisandre's true appearance is very interesting, kind of like Euron's mysterious eye. There must be a considerable amount to the backstory that Melisandre has declined to divulge so far.
  3. [TWoW Spoilers] Barristan

    Euron's plan only really makes sense if he is series about marrying Daenerys or using the horn to gain control of a dragon. The Essos trek is too elaborate and wasteful of resources (if neither of those were true) to simply be a way of disposing of Victarion. Somehow Euron expects the scheme to work in his favor and was either counting on poison killing Victarion or Victarion walking into a trap. Moqorro was unexpected and increasing Victarion's chances but that does not guarantee Euron will not be the one to profit. Either their is something about the horn that makes Euron extraordinarily confident about sending it with the Iron Fleet or he is secretly travelling to Essos. Given the claim that "all of Euron's gifts are poisoned," it is obvious that Victarion's interactions with the dusky woman are extremely dangerous. It is even possible that Euron took on her glamored appearance or that he somehow is coming to Essos as well (perhaps explaining the "corpse on the prow of a ship"). If Euron does end up at Mereen, he may have to dipose of Moqorro to avoid having the red priest contaiminating Daenerys's views of himself. Moqorro basically views Victarion as a tool and ally to help Daenerys; even with the horn he is not that dangerous to her. However, Moqorro already has heard enough from Victarion about Euron to be suspicious of the other squid and cannot risk trusting Daenerys's fate to Euron. He may already have put two and two together with the flame visions that showed threats to Daenerys. Another possibility is that Euron will try to lull his enemies into a false sense of security on a massive scale by allowing Daenerys and Victarion to unite together, bidding his time until they reach Westeros. At that point, he would try to assassinate Victarion and capture/enslave Daenerys. However, the chances of success in such a matter would likely be slim and like a pipe-dream. It would be an enormous gamble. Another thing that lends credence to the idea that Euron knows exactly what the deal with the horn is stems from the fact that he was aware precisely of the consequences of having it blown at the kingsmoot; that was not an experiment. His journeys in Asshai and meetings with mages all over the world may have radically increased Euron's level of knowledge about such artifacts. The question is whether events will thwart his plan or whether he will temporarily triumph. There is also the question of wth happened to his eye.
  4. Rickon, the Black Wolf.

    Definitely seems like Rickon and Osha are on track to come back with Davos. The possibility that Rickon has been deeply influenced by the society he has encountered on Skagos makes the scenario of him ruling more intriuging. Manderly may be surprised upon learning of what kind of liege lord Seaworth smuggled back, lol. If it is indeed true that cannibalism is occasionally practiced on Skagos, then it is in the realm of possibility that Rickon has already engaged in it. Not a certainty at all, of couse, but still could be the case. If some Skagosi warriors do decide to join Rickon/Davos/Osha in the Northern mainland, they might exhibit interest in devouring the corpses of the Boltons. This would be a problematic request/interest though, as cannibalism is generally treated as illegal in the Seven Kingdoms (Skagos does not appear to truly count as part of those seven, despite the history of intervention from the North). Rickon probably will be more receptive to wildling ways than most other northerners. If the influences on him emanating from Skagos are as strong as popular theory holds, he is likely to end up behaving somewhat like the past kings of Winter. Not as Eddard like as the other Starks; perhaps slightly harsher than Stannis. Another point of interest is what manner of religion is practiced on Skagos. Is it the same as the northerners/wildlings? If so, perhaps the rite of offerings to weirwoods is still in vogue there. Rickon may attempt to convince the northern lords of a perceived need to reinstate blood offerings taken from enemy captives to these trees. This could give the weirwood sacrifice revival a further boost, beyond already what may be shaping up around the Battle of Ice.
  5. Most desirable city/region to live in Westeros and Essos

    Under normal, peaceable conditions, somewhere in the Reach, Braavos, or the coast of the Vale sound like some of the better places to be. Some of the other free cities probably are preferable to most other locations as well. Asshai hasn't been mentioned on this thread, lol.
  6. There are various possibilities as to what mechanism would cement Stannis as the Night's King, if he does end up becoming a new one. The restoration of the Nightfort as an expedited, brisk speed, seems quite important. Given the numerous negative events which allegedly occurred there, it is perhaps the single most likely location for a potentially definitive transformation of Stannis into a Night's King or Day's King. Perhaps Melisandre, acting either the original Corpse Queen in disguise, or some new kind of being similar to that ancient individual, will lie with Stannis again while within the Night Fort. Recall that the Wall is very enchanted and magically charged, thus it might strengthen Melisandre's magical effect to a qualitative level different from her past activities with Stannis. This might produce some further changes in his mind and body. Given the House of the Undying vision involving the "slayer of lies," it is possible that Stannis will literally cease to cast a shadow at some point in the story. Another possibility would be that the Others besiege the Wall for a while and somehow Stannis becomes trapped in the Nightfort. Then, something very strange happens when the Others break in or perhaps attempt to communicate with him. Out of all the past stories involving the Nightfort, the Night's King one has by far the most present parallels and chance of recurring.
  7. Who will win the battle of Winterfell?

    I might have to check again, but I seem to recall that the Others do cast shadows or that characters have mentioned seeing them (might have been in a Bran chapter with Coldhands or the Varamyr prologue?). Either that or the Others were being metaphorically described as shadows. Neverthless, given that a lot of the books' visions just outright happen directly as seen, it seems perhaps more likely than not that the king in question literally is not casting a shadow (not only symbolism), either due to some physical/magical abnormality or perhaps due to something strange and significant plot-wise with the lightning in the vicinity. It would indeed be interesting to know whether his sword is casting a shadow somewhere on the ground in that scene. That would give some clues as to what range of weirdness is being conveyed there. Perhaps the Others are different from the legends about vampires and undead where sometimes this beings either have no reflection or no shadow.
  8. Who will win the battle of Winterfell?

    The most likely reason why Stannis would fake his death is to get inside of Winterfell without having to risk conducting a conventional assault or a siege. The ability of Stannis and his allies to send false letters would make any such effort easier substantially than it otherwise would be, provided that the events which transpire on the battlefield can be sufficiently obscured. If the Boltons actually depart Winterfell for the Dreadfort after hearing of Stannis's supposed death, they are done and have committed suicide, no matter how they divide/consolidate their forces. Roose is cunning but not invincible. The constant pressure from the infighting among his forces and the excursions repeatedly commited by Mors Umber are starting to unnerve him. Given how Ramsay signs the pink letter as the supposed trueborn lord of Winterfell, there is a fairly decent chance that Roose has died by that point, perhaps killed by Ramsay himself or by Mance.
  9. Who will win the battle of Winterfell?

    Given that Roose Bolton in part based sending large forces from Winterfell to attack Stannis's position on the notion that Karstark's map would provide a perfect chance to stage a fatal strike, the Boltons are in for an atrocious surprise. None of them are aware that Stannis discovered the treachery, knows that a map of his location was sent to Winterfell, and is aware of an impending assault. This means that Stannis will likely have enough time to prepare and deploy his forces appropriately. Furthermore, his forces, although very low on supplies, have higher morale and actually are dedicated to their cause. By contrast, the portion of the Bolton army that is coming is led mostly by ineffective commanders (the only decent one, Manderly, is 100% disloyal to their cause) and is rife for defections/betrayals. The mutual hatreds that Roose wanted to channel toward fighting Stannis and sacrifice so as to debilitate Stannis's host will outplay itself on the battlefield with the three components unable to coordinate or cooperate effectively. It would be extremely difficult for Ramsay to salvage this situation; he most likely won't and hence writes the infamous pink letter as an act of desperation. As Stannis, notes, Roose has blundered by wasting his advantageous position through the throwing away of a good portion of his force on an attack predicated on factors that have been reversed to work in Stannis's favor. The Bolton numerical advantage is being vitiated in this attack and, consequently, this conflict will Winterfell much more vulnerable soon.
  10. Robb's openess to the likelihood that the letter told the truth was probably similar to that of a large portion of the North's population. One reason is that it provided what appeared to be a powerful explanation was to why Jon Arryn died and about why Eddard Stark was executed (the complete lack of evidence pertaining to LF's involvement would make it seem even more like the Lannisters were essentially the sole party responsible for the deaths of both eminent characters). Good point also about the fact that one of the preachers in King's Landing during ACOK openly sermonized about the incest and argued that a usurper (Joffrey) was in possession of the Iron Throne. It is difficult to tell how much of Westeros believed the letter, however it did have some impact, at least among those that had other motives also encouraging opposition to the Lannisters. Aegon's team may believe and foster the incest thesis once they become aware of it. Varys now has every motive to encourage and spread the belief.
  11. This is an extremely intriguing and intricately thought thesis. What if, instead of the North not wanting to send forces south yet and suggesting to wait until the winter ends, the catalyst for a dramatic change in Stannis is the murder of his wife and daughter at the Wall? He would surely go into a berserk rage and obliterates those responsible. Or, less likely, Melisandre also dies (perhaps Others begin raiding the Wall during the probable fighting) after putting up a vigorous resistance against the chaos there. At this point, he somehow proceeds to convert/transform into the Night's King at the Night's Fort. It does seem that parallels between Robert/Rhaegar and Stannis/Daenerys might unfold, though some of their roles could be reversed in this case (depending on who holds the Iron Throne if the two clash). The biggest difficulty is who would act as the Corpse Queen (Melisandre, Someone else, No one?) and how hard would it be to force Stannis to such a set of events that would lead to becoming a Night's rather than Day's King. Perhaps a conversion to the Northern religion would help set the preliminary stage for him being open to such a possibility. Jon Snow is also a possibility as to a new Night's King.
  12. Long Claw and the Prophecy

    That would be interesting, although it is hard to tell yet how the Night's Watch would benefit from Snow being a Nissa Nissa sacrifice. The Night's Watch would need to be reunited and reconciled with the Wildlings. Perhaps Melisandre would make Jon's death somehow temper the Night's Watch (if it is the Lightbringer in this case) in some kind of fashion.
  13. Long Claw and the Prophecy

    If there is going to be a definitive "Lightbringer" of some kind in the books, I suspect it will be more complex than Longclaw or some other Valyrian Steel sword being imbued with a bit more magic. It might be (or already has been if the dragon theory is true) created through a laborious and sacrificial process like the original one was.
  14. Best and Worst POV

    Best: Davos had several great ones, Tyrion prior to ADWD (though the one involving the contracts with the Second Sons was good), Sansa's chapters are often useful for getting glimpses into conspiracies and political machinations. For AGOT, Eddard's work in King's Landing was very good. Worst: Samwell Tarly until he got to Braavos, Brienne (positive character but chapter content was not one of the better), most, though not all, of Bran's. The Arya chapters were a mixed bag. Some of her chapters in ACOK were some of the series's worst. Others, scattered throughout the various books, revealed quite interesting things about the series's world, however. Jon's chapters got better once he joined the Wildlings temporarily. The battle he had for control of the Wall and the subsequent interactions with Stannis have continuously improved his chapters. Daenerys has experienced heavy fluctuation in chapter quality level. They were at their pinnacle in AGOT and ASOS, though the war against Mereen has some intriguing facets. The only thing that is interesting about the Asha chapters atm is that they show what is going on with Stannis. Cersei is a vile character but her chapters have a lot of interesting scheming and involvement from peculiar characters. Her activities are entertaining to observe and the rise of factions like the Faith Militant make her chapters more interesting as well.
  15. Could Lightbringer be the Night's Watch?

    In this theory is the legend of Azor Ahai and the Lightbringer connected with the Valyrian notion of the PTWP or are the two entirely separate? Would it be correct to characterize this theory as deeming the legend as not being truly prophetic or a vision of the future? In other words, the entire notion of Azor Ahai coming again and drawing a weapon from the fire is a description of how the Night's Watch and its LC continously renew the fight for the dawn. There would thus not really be any need for the writers of the myth to actually have foreseen a predestined future set of events. It definitely looked like this was meant in the first post but just wanted to check for sure. One interesting thing about this theory is that it would remove the need for a single overarching superhero at the end to do a disproportionate amount of the work. It would also avoid the problem where prophecies have a tendency to lock in too specific and easily predictable routes that a story ends up being forced to take. The theory would further explain the reason why characters that become interested in fulfilling prophecies can't seem to make them happen in the manner which they expected. It is possible that the legend may end up having some kind of very metaphorical, timeless nature, as in this theory, even if it is something other than the Night's Watch.