bent branch

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  1. I think there will be far more progress than most people think. Many people are hung up on all the things that need to be resolved before the Others invade. In truth, nothing needs to be resolved before the Others invade. The only thing that needs to happen is for GRRM to get all his characters to where they need to be when the invasion begins. I predict that the Wall will fall in the first half of the book. GRRM ended both AFFC and ADWD with (I'm paraphrasing) "and now winter is here." We will have the battles of Ice and Fire and then we will be in winter's story. We had the story of summer, then autumn and now winter. Jon Snow felt only the cold. I really do believe we will be into the Other invasion much quicker than anticipated.
  2. What is Jon Snow's real name?

    Masha's right. In the books Rhaegar had left Lyanna months before. He left Lyanna and went to Kingslanding, gathered an army, went to the Trident, died, and then what happened after he died was Ned marched his army to KL in time to find Tywin's army sacking it, and then Ned went and broke the siege at Storm's End. Then Ned went and found Lyanna dying from childbirth. Thus, Rhaegar had left Lyanna at least 2-3 months before Jon's birth. The show is an incoherent mess, but the books are clear: Rhaegar had left Lyanna months before the birth of Jon. No need to wait and see at all!
  3. [TWoW Spoilers] Aeron I (Balticon)

    First, your idea about the Valyrian steel armor is great. I wouldn't be surprised if some version of your idea wasn't correct. I don't know if Euron ends up on the IT before Aegon, but I wouldn't object. Of course, I'm someone who thinks Aegon is the one who will end up on the IT in the end. I wouldn't be surprised if greyscale did end up as part of the whole mess. However, I think it will be on the other side of the equation. I think wights with greyscale will make it harder to kill them.
  4. The Dustin succession crisis that apparently never was

    The person who has the final say in who gets a House seat is the overlord for that seat, in this case Ned Stark. What we are told about the current House Ryswell is that the current lord had five children, two daughters and three sons. The older daughter was married to Roose Bolton and has since died. The younger daughter is Barbrey Dustin. The current Lord Ryswell is Rodrik Ryswell. Of his three sons the oldest is his heir. We are also told these three brothers argue constantly over the most minor of things. Anyhow, once Willam died and the seat was to be passed to one of the Ryswell brothers, it was thought their constant fighting would increase. (Just one issue would be that one of the younger sons would become a lord a decade or more before his older brother.) Therefore, it was suggested by Lord Rodrik Ryswell that Barbrey be left as Lady Dustin. The reasons being: 1) Barbrey was already in the line of succession; 2) Barbrey was Willam's widow; 3) Lord Rodrik would have to take Barbrey back into his home; 4) Lord Rodrik's sons would do nothing but argue about it all the time. Anyhow, I seem to remember something like this. Not all in one story, but in pieces here and there. I could be misremembering though. In your scenario Ned would decide who got the seat no matter what the potential candidates thought.
  5. The Dustin succession crisis that apparently never was

    There is no comparable person to Lady Dustin in the story. No where else do we see a widow take over her husband's seat without having a child that she is serving as regent to. There are only three possible explanations for this: 1) Plot hole. Definition from Wikipedia: In fiction, a plot hole, plothole or plot error is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot. Such inconsistencies include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline. The only example from the story that comes anywhere close to Lady Barbrey's example is Lady Whent and in that situation it is not clear if she herself was also a Whent. 2) This second possibility is the one I favor. I also somehow got the impression that this was the answer, but I'm not going to go find the quotes. Anyhow, there are no close Dustin relatives left, only distant cousins. The Ryswells, like the Florents and Hightowers *in the Reach, have married extensively throughout the North. The distant Dustin cousin is a Ryswell. As Lady Dustin is both the widow of Willam Dustin and a Ryswell, the Ryswells are content to let her remain as the Lady Dustin until her death since they are secure in the knowledge the seat will eventually come to one of them. The reason Ned decided to go this route is because the Ryswells are so argumentative. 3) There are no Dustin relatives remaining, either close or distant. As a sign of respect to Barbrey Dustin (because of how her husband died) Ned allowed Lady Barbrey to keep her husband's seat and intended to name a new Lord of Barrowton upon her death.
  6. I don't want the big hardcover

    This is pretty much me too.
  7. Varys: Spy Network Makes No Sense

    They obviously weren't memorizing anything. After all they were required to be able to write. And they didn't need to understand what the adults were talking about. All they are required to do is report the words said. Varys decides what is important in what is reported. If the children are only taught a type of cryptic shorthand (like Jorah was taught a code), then there is no danger of them betraying Varys. However, I think the children were true believers in whatever Varys' scheme is.
  8. Varys: Spy Network Makes No Sense

    My speculation is that he removes their tongues so they won't talk behind the walls. If people heard people talking behind the walls it would be all over pretty quickly. Another speculation on my part is that the children are taught to write in a shorthand developed by Varys. Just like Jorah learned a code for communicating with Illyrio.
  9. Varys: Spy Network Makes No Sense

    The tongueless children are only used within the walls of the Red Keep. Varys uses other types of informants in other circumstances. For instance, Jorah explains how he was setup as a spy with her. Jorah was taught a secret code in order to make his reports. Everyone seems to be obsessed with Varys having a separate source for messages coming in by raven, but anything really secret would come in coded anyway. Varys' "little birds" were different types of people at different times and under different circumstances. At various points in the story, different people described different parts of Varys' spy network. For the most part different types of informants weren't even aware there were other types.
  10. I believe one of the purposes of this chapter was to call the validity of Robert's Rebellion into question. The main reason most reader's side with Robert and Ned is because they have been inside the heads of people who sided with Robert and Ned in the rebellion. We have been given very few glimpses into the motivations of loyalists or people who sat it out on the sidelines. For the most part, the chapters that suggest the rebellion was perhaps not so justified are met with the attitude they are "pointless" or "filler". Another one of these chapters is Nimble Dick. The most important information to take from this chapter is Godric's father's view of Aerys. He did not see Aerys as mad. He saw him as a monarch. Harsh to those who opposed him and generous to those who pleased him. I honestly expect that we will find out that Robert and Ned were already in rebellion and looking for Jon Arryn to join them when Aerys called for their heads.
  11. Varys: Spy Network Makes No Sense

    Actually, the various parts of Varys' system is explained at various parts of the story. You may find the explanations unbelievable, but it is explained.
  12. Its clear that Loras went to an empty Dragon Stone

    I highlighted the section of quote because that was the thing that had been hanging me up for five years. GRRM had set up the situation for a peaceful resolution. I was convinced that must have been what happened. However, with the author's acknowledgement that a peaceful solution was possible but not taken, I finally understand that by not taking the peaceful solution, Loras has created problems for the Iron Throne that will be felt later. The reason that the bones being returned was not particularly convincing to me was when Jaime noted there were plenty of bones and people have no way of knowing what bones they are getting back.
  13. Its clear that Loras went to an empty Dragon Stone

    Uhm, I was agreeing that you were right and I was wrong. Quotes in context absolutely settles disputes. The only problem comes in when people's reading comprehension is not as good as they think it is.
  14. Its clear that Loras went to an empty Dragon Stone

    You know what? I am willing to admit that I am wrong. After years of arguing that no battle took place because it wasn't logical for there to be a battle under such circumstances, I went back and read the whole thing again. Here was the passage that changed my mind (AFFC-Chapter 36): The bolded is where the author acknowledges that the most logical outcome in this situation would have been a negotiated surrender. But that is not what happened. Aurane was telling Cersei the truth. When Cersei was delighted by what Aurane was telling her rather than being horrified, that was when Aurane turned against the Lannisters and Tyrells. Aurane will definitely go back to Stannis (one of Patchface's prophecies suggest there will be an alliance between Manderlys and Velaryons) or join Dany and/or Aegon. I now think the weirdness we see in Aurane is him turning from weakly supporting Cersei to despising everything Lannister and Tyrell. Damn. This is what frustrates me about debate on this forum. If even one person had pointed this out I would have acknowledged that I was wrong. But debate rarely comes with quotes because there is a strong contingent who refuse to acknowledge when they have been proven wrong with a quote. It discourages people from taking the time to look them up. And yes, I know I'm guilty of this myself. ETA: I'm guilty of not taking the time to look up quotes. I will freely admit that I'm wrong once someone make a good argument.
  15. Its clear that Loras went to an empty Dragon Stone

    You could be right. However, I think Aurane was already planning to scarper and even the dense Cersei had a moment's hesitation about Aurane. AFFC-Chapter 36: It was at this point I suspected what Aurane was telling Cersei. He let slip enough of his disdain that even Cersei felt the edges of it. Unfortunately, we haven't actually heard anyone else's story yet so there is no way to know how close to the truth Aurane's story was. And it also seems clear to me that Loras in in direct communication with his father, not Kevan. That seems a bit weird to me, but plausible. Anyway, it is hard for me to argue the details since the only thing I feel strongly about is that there was no battle. All of the details around that are wide open since we only have Aurane's story at this point.