bent branch

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  1. It is far from certain it will take more than three books to finish the story. For instance, many people are interpreting that Dany and Tyrion don't meet until the end of TWOW because of some statements that GRRM has made. However, it is possible that the Essos storylines go something like this: Dany 1: At Vaes Dothrak Dany gathers all the Khalasars (sp?). Someone else's POV (Tyrion, Vic, Barristan): Dany returns to Meereen with the Dothraki. Dany 2: Dany meets with all the pertinent parties in Meereen. It is decided that they shall all now head to Westeros. Dany and the Dothraki will go by land. This is an eminently practical solution because if you put the Khalasars on ships at Meereen, they will get off at the next port of call, dragons or no. All parties will head toward Pentos, where Illyrio's ships will be available to carry the Khalasars over the Narrow Sea. Thus the Dothraki only need to take one trip across the poison water. The rest of Dany's chapters, except tor the last detail her trip across Essos with the Dothraki. Dany's final chapter has her either arriving in Westeros or preparing to leave Pentos. Tyrion's chapters will detail the trip of all those that take the ships to Pentos. Vic will definitely go by sea and Barristan will probably go with Dany. Anyway, the scenarios where Dany and Tyrion are puttering around Essos before meeting and leaving for Westeros are unnecessarily pessimistic.
  2. Winter warfare in TWoW (and later on)

    In ASOS-Chapter 25, Melisandre tells Davos this: This is not the only time we are told the coming long night is about the utter extinction of humanity, it is only the one I can find fairly quickly. However, it is clear that this is a story about an apocalypse. When an author tells this type of story there is only two ways the story can go. Either a group of people avert the coming catastrophe or the apocalypse is triggered. I used to be in the camp where the apocalypse would be averted. However, either the first or second (I can't remember which) Arianne chapter from TWOW, made it clear to me that GRRM intended to trigger the apocalypse and soon. Anyhow, both of you seem to have resigned yourselves to apocalypse being triggered, but have come up with ways in your mind that the apocalypse will be a minor inconvenience at most. Free Northman Reborn, here are some of the statistics of winter in the real world: Murmansk, Russia, ~300,000 population, 40 days where the sun doesn't rise above the horizon Niseko, Japan, ~4,700 population, 49.5 feet/17 meters annual snowfall Yakutsk, Russia, ~270,000 population, average -34F/-36.7C high in January, with a record low of -83.9F/-64.4C With examples like these of what our real world, natural winters can produce (and in places where people actually live), the relatively mild, slightly inconvenient, supernatural winter you describe would rightly be mocked. Lord Varys, you state that you don't think there will be a zombie apocalypse, because, well, lots and lots of people would die. Hell yes! In a book where the entire human population is under threat of extinction, if GRRM doesn't kill off lots and lots of people then his story will rightly be mocked. What is clear to me is that both of you really want the politicking and warring to continue despite the supernatural meltdown. Sadly, I think both of you are going to be very disappointed.
  3. Winter warfare in TWoW (and later on)

    This is especially true since they just had a war that destroyed almost everyone's provisions that they had put aside for winter. The main battles that are going to be fought at this point are those forced on them by the Others.
  4. Winter warfare in TWoW (and later on)

    I had six posts I was going to respond to and then figured it was hopeless. I live in the lands that you guys are comparing to the Land of Always Winter. Yep, I am a RL north(wo)man. As I have said before, it all depends on where you live on how you judge a "severe" winter. I don't know how Werthead came up with 53 degrees north as the best equivalent of how far north Winterfell is, but I think he is at least 500 miles too far south. If we consider the Wall as being at the about the same degree north as the arctic circle, than Winterfell would be closer to 60 degrees north. (Yes, I know Planetos is bigger than Earth, but I am comparing the conditions that Martin describes and my experience in living in the north to make my assessment.) Also, I don't think you should consider the make-up of forests in the north a sign of the climate. The mix of trees that GRRM writes about is imaginary as well as one of the types of trees. The vague "conifers" being referred to is the taiga biome and extends much further south than you seem to realize. It is definitely NOT the land of always winter. I think only crazy people (read: Cersei and Euron) will be inclined to continue warring. But then, I have a much different concept of a "severe" winter than most of you seem to.
  5. There are many different ways a natural (or supernatural) disaster can unfold. I see the Wall being breached like an earthquake and subsequent tsunami. While the fall of the Wall will be the originating disaster, the effects will wash quickly over all of Westeros. This will cause a leveling affect where it is no more dangerous to be in the North than anywhere else in Westeros. Under these circumstances, mounting an expedition to the Land of Always Winter makes all kinds of sense.
  6. I'm sorry I didn't see this before I answered Lord Varys' post. My answer to most of your comments would be the same. The one thing I will say is that I don't think Aegon will siege KL. I think the HotU vision means that Aegon will be welcomed into KL.
  7. Storylines are not superfluous just because they are cut short by the advent of the fall of the Wall. There stories tell of the path they took to that moment in time. GRRM said some of these stories didn't have to be told. I'm pretty sure he mentioned Dany as one of them. If GRRM had not written AFFC/ADWD Dany would have started the next installment with the Dothraki. He just brought her to where she needed to be. There were some characters in the story that we needed to know more about how they came to be where they were. So for some of the characters, it will be important how they came to be where they are at the beginning of TWOW. This does not mean they complete whatever path they were on. It means the path they took holds some greater importance to the path of the story. The actions they took and the people they met on their way to where they needed to be will send out ripples that will have a impact on course of the larger story. I don't know why this concept is so hard to grasp. Sometimes the important thing is not what happens next, but what happened before. Let's look at the scene where we see an Other riding a horse (ASOS-Chapter 18): Although your main take away from that scene was that the Other was riding a horse, there are many clues that the Other's physical state was something very different than a human's. Everything about the scene suggests that the Other was a being made of water, in its various states. The Other riding the horse was the least of the clues given. And riding the horse tells us nothing about the Other's physical state. Seriously, I think the fact the Other was riding a horse is a very weak argument against the Others having only one corporeal form. I sincerely doubt the Others have to touch corpses to reanimate them. If they had to touch them, it would take forever to build an army of wights. Since the Others are far more deadly, I don't see why they would even bother with the wights if they had to reanimate them one by one. It truly is fascinating to me that you think there needs to be more build up to the Wall falling. I strongly disagree that there needs to be more information on the Others before they attack. Why the hell do we need to know anything about them? Or are you talking about characters within the story? Jon already spent the entirety of ADWD collecting information and trying to prepare for the arrival of the Others. It would be incredibly repetitive to spend another book doing the same thing. ADWD set up the fall of the Wall through all of Jon's attempts as preparations. What is fascinating is that he was unable to convince people in the books of the urgency of the situation and it appears some readers were also left unconvinced of the urgency.
  8. I was going to reply to you in relation with my reply to rotting sea cow, but for some reason it wouldn't let me write under your quote. Anyway, as I told rotting sea cow, the whole reason that GRRM wrote AFFC and ADWD was because there was backstory for some characters that he found he couldn't write any other way. These were not stories he intended to tell and only some of them will have a conclusion. As far as everything else (Second DWD, the Wall falling, etc.), there is only a problem because of your ideas of how things need to go down. As I pointed out above, it is entirely possible that the Others are non-corporeal and once the magic of the Wall has fallen they can move south of the Wall. Once they move south of the Wall they can raise a new army of the dead. There are plenty of dead people south of the Wall and we know the dead can be raised south of the Wall. So far, the only thing that seems unable to get south of the Wall is the Others. One prediction I have for the story is that after the battle of ice, Stannis is marching with his army towards Winterfell. Ramsay has been fooled into thinking Stannis is dead and his army is the Frey army. Anyway, as the gates of Winterfell are opened and Stannis' army starts to enter, they are attacked from behind. They are being attacked by the wightified Frey army. Another scenario is that as Stannis' army enters Winterfell a fight ensues. This battle becomes even more chaotic as the dead get up and rejoin the battle against both Stannis' and Ramsay's armies. There, I've given you two scenarios where the Wall is breached without taking another whole book for Jon to wring his hands about the coming apocalypse. Seriously, why do you think the zombie apocalypse hasn't been foreshadowed enough? Jon spent the entirety of ADWD preparing for it.
  9. The thing most often forgotten about AFFC and ADWD is that GRRM did not intend to write them. GRRM said he needed to write those two books because he was spending too much time explaining backstory for some characters. Some characters worked without telling what happened to them in the intervening five years, but other characters stories were impossible to tell without writing those two books. The narrative space that need filling was filled with AFFC and ADWD; these books were what GRRM needed to get everyone where they need to be. Every single thing you mentioned can be swallowed by the zombie apocalypse. We know the battles of ice and fire were cut from ADWD and moved to TWOW, but everything after that is fair game. The assumption you're making, that the Others will move slowly down south, is a pretty big one. In our real world it is a fair assumption that those who live further north (or south) will begin to experience winter before those closer to the equator. However, in the world of Westeros this winter is not natural and the clues we have so far is that it does not behave like a normal winter. Here is the description of the weather in KL from ADWD-Epilogue: This suggests that the unnatural winter is moving south at a quick pace. Also, there seems to be an idea that the Others can only move as fast as a human or a human on horseback. However, we are given this description of the Others from Tormund when the second set of Wildlings are coming through the Wall - ADWD - Chapter 58: This suggests that the Others are not always corporeal; that they appear in an area first as a mist. If this is the case, they are probably able to move anywhere it is cold enough. I think this includes long distances. At this point, the only thing keeping the Others north of the Wall is the magic in the Wall. I think it is highly likely the first hint we have that the Wall has been breached is when the dead get up and start walking south of the Wall. In other words, I don't think that what the Wall is holding back is necessarily corporeal. As Tormund said, you can fight the dead, but how do you fight a mist. Another clue that the Others aren't really corporeal is how the one melted when Sam stabbed it with dragonglass.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. [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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. I don't want the big hardcover

    This is pretty much me too.