with the exception of the octo (which I've really only eaten as sushi), eating shellfish like that just seemed really normal and even had positive associations for me. My grandparents came to assimilate the Italian-American culture of their neighborhood, especially the food, like the 7-fish Christmas-Eve dinners and that sort of thing. so, idk, I just see it as totally unremarkable. I could take or leave it, though. I've never been a big animal-eater.
independently though, I do find meat absolutely revolting (yea, even bacon).
so you're actually going to dig in your heels on this. ok, so if it were truly the case that you totally embrace "conspiracy theorist," you'd have explained you hadn't meant "conspiracy theorist" as a pejorative term in response to me here, if not the actual OP, especially because you acknowledge that the term is not a neutral equivalent to "conservative."
the false dichotomy of the title wasn't a big deal at all until you came in to double down on your position that the board is full of "conservatives" and crazy "conspiracy theorists" without middle ground, and that the term "conspiracy theorist" is a fair one for the people of this forum. It comes across as insulting and quite a bit judgmental.
You could have just acknowledged the false dichotomy (which you did, which tells us that you know perfectly well that "conspiracy theorist" is a more loaded term), and then either laugh it off (i.e. "I'm being cavalier about the term, but I don't mean it pejoratively") or correct the error if you were genuinely looking for a more objective questionnaire (i.e. simply changing the title to something like "do you read the text more cautiously or boldly" or something neutral like that, as mediterraneo was suggesting). It wouldn't have been a big deal at all.
This thread is already toeing the line of getting a bit "meta" in terms of forum analysis. The more you dig in on this issue, the more it comes across like you're judging posters, and the less appropriate the thread becomes.
wait what? I thought the false dichotomy was either unintentional, or perhaps more amusingly, meant to be a kind of self-aware ribbing or something.
But apparently you're going to commit to the position that posters who believe what you believe are "conservative" and those who believe in more are crazy "conspiracy theorists," and further, that posters only fall into the "reasonable like you" or "deranged batshit" in practice with no middle ground on here?
That's kind of "bold," and also pretty untrue, as even a lot of the responses in here point to a moderate approach to theorizing. It kind of makes your discussion intentions questionable, and rather makes it seem more like complaining about those who don't think just like you.
I'm guessing you wouldn't appreciate an "are you closed-minded or progressive" thread, which is exactly what's going on in here, only reversed.
I think mediterraneo is pointing out the way the wording of the title leads posters to identify as "conservative" because of the dichotomy set up. The issue isn't with the word "conservative." It's that there's an equivalency being suggested between "conservative" and "conspiracy theorist," where in reality it's kind of a false dichotomy. One comes across as reasonable and sane, while the other sounds batshit and slightly deranged. So of course more people will self-identify as "conservative" when then other choice makes you sound batshit and slightly deranged, lol.
sorry for intruding on this, I'm sure mediterraneo can speak for himself, but wanted to agree with the point he/ she was making about how the wording is probably skewing the way people are answering.
As per my comment explaining why your earlier thread was locked, I locked that thread because it not only contained show spoilers, but was using the show as a discussion point. Just like you're referencing the show again here.
If you want to discuss this topic in the book forum, then make no reference to the show in the OP (PM me and I'll reopen the thread with an edited OP). Otherwise, please resubmit this topic over in the GoT forum, where you can discuss both book and show.
I'm in the middle of something and can't get to all of your post right now, but just to clarify, I was suggesting that the Wall might have been originally devised by ice wielders once south of the Wall to contain and solidify their Northern kingdom, as well as to keep those with other forms of magics that could threaten their power out, such as the FM and CotF who ended up North of the Wall.
idk if the "heart of winter" Bran saw is actually in the arctic, or if it refers to something more sinister and poetic, like Winterfell or something like that. Which, btw, that snowstorm that's ensnaring Stannis appears to be coming out of WF right now, like an unleashing of winter or something-- Jon's even seeing snow drifts on the south side of the Wall, not from the LoAW.
We know there's super ancient FM settlements up beyond the Wall (ringforts are the earliest forms of "town planning," such as the one at the Fist). If ice magic does in fact originate from further up by the Lands of Always Winter, it could be the case that some clan who originally settled up there decided to expand and consolidate into the more fertile and populated lands to the South, bringing their ice-working skills with them, then sealing up their territory.
(I'm kind of really curious about the Thenns (whose subjects worship them as gods) and some of the Frozen Shore inhabitants who are said to worship the cold gods, as a side point).
On the Blackwoods: Did they control a contiguous swath of land, or were they just simply displaced from the Wolfswood to Raventree? I'd thought it was displacement, but I could be mistaken.
On the Others vs KoW: Well, I'm kind of the mind that the Others = KoW in some capacity. Perhaps either KoW transformed by magic, or the magically extracted shadows of the KoW (like what Shadowbinders can do), or some other sort of direct creation of the KoW or their priests.
As such, I think they might be a singular thing-- that is, I think the KoW and the Others might be inherently part of the same political machine. idk that the Neck would need to be open from the South to justify the idea of the KoW building the Wall; I think that if you consider the cold gods in opposition to the old gods, then it makes sense to seal the CotF and their allies out of the North (it seems that magical power is very scarce south of the Wall, but beyond the Wall, there's a lot more skinchangers and dedicated veneration of the old gods and so forth).
on the NK: I'm not sold on the idea of this being the story of Barrow King integration either-- or, at least, the entire story. I wonder if the NK story is functionally more like the mythic personage of BtB or Durran rather than a singular king. Where it seems like BtB or Durran was really multiple people under the banner of "BtB/ Durran," the same might be true of the NK. It could be a revised history of the KoW/ Others' rise and fall in a post-LN retelling, truncating the actions of multiple kings into this one villainous figure.
Especially after looking at some of the parallels with the Eastern tellings, where the LN is not only dark and in some cases literally cold, but typically involving political "dark ages" and deep oppression/ slavery, the NK kind of fits in with that. He involves himself in some sort of necromancy, gaining power, then he ensorcels his men, then two supposedly opposing parties unite to bring him down.
that's right-- we know the Starks are associated with the old gods and old gods =/= ice magic.
But the question is whether they have always worshipped the old gods. I proposed that they might not have always worshipped the old gods, and that this old gods worship and warging ability we see might have been part of a pact and "rebranding" of the House post-LN.
I'm glad you started this, LM! I'm interested to see where this goes.
As is probably already clear, I'm really skeptical of the idea that the Wall was originally to protect against the Others. I'm also hugely skeptical of the Wall's having the magics of the CotF (or their having helped with construction). The CotF are simply not architects or builders. They seem to be credited for assisting the apparent father of architecture in this world (BtB), but I think we should sort of side eye those claims because building is just not something we ever have evidence of outside of these legends (if anything, they carve space, but not aggregate to create it).
I think instead it could turn out that the Wall was built by Kings of Winter as a containment boundary for their kingdom (the Neck already provides a natural impenetrable boundary to the South), as well as defense against the CotF and their human allies (which the KoW seemed to be in opposition to, starting with our pal Brandon of the Bloody Blade, who slaughtered them en masse).
I know I'm going to need to offer more support and rationale for this, but I thought it might be useful to just get a few thoughts down about how a revised perspective might come together:
There was a period of time during which there were many petty kings all fighting and vying for dominance. The Barrow Kings had already apparently made themselves into fairly major powers (calling themselves kings of the FM). There were also the KoW who seemed to be seeking dominance, beating giants and wargs in very ancient history, and then achieving major gains when they overtook the Barrow Kings, marrying the Barrow King's daughter.
To pause a moment, I think it could be possible that this is where part of the NK myth originates from-- that this depicts the King of Winter taking his "corpse queen" to wife.....and perhaps marries necromancy and ice, in terms of magical power? (And it does look perhaps like the Barrow Kings might have had some sorcery going on according to a small aside (perhaps totally mythic) in the WOIAF).
Whatever the source, I think it might be the case that the KoW developed their ice magic, using it as Valyria had used fire-- to consolidate power and keep threats to that power out. I think the Wall might be a big part of this consolidation. It contains and delineates the most profitable part of the kingdom, and it also would serve to keep out CotF and other magical factions that might be able to put up a greater fight than non-magical subjects, especially when you consider the surveillance and information powers of skinchangers and greenseers.
And what if the building of said Wall wasn't done by totally consenting parties collaborating happily, but instead as an act of thralldom/ slavery, whether by chains, or sorcery or will-binding horns (such as the one allegedly "waking giants")?
Maybe these initiated elite even transform themselves into something like immortal gods or something. Maybe these KoW/ Others actually do a really good job of keeping the North safe from potential enemies and invaders for good while. There's even some ancient figures who bear an interesting possible resemblance to Others that are remembered as heroes (Symeon Star-Eyes, Serwyn of the Mirror Shield).
So what if time goes by and the magic becomes abused or compromised. For example, what if a break within the KoW clan occurs. Maybe it's a bastard brother making a challenge for the crown, or an idealogical difference, or something like that. Point being, what if those with this sort of magic turn on each other? Would something like that cause something like an ice Doom? For example, we know the KoW and the Red Kings (the bastard-obsessed Boltons) begin their long feud during the Long Night (allegedly). Any chance the LN might have something to do with a major civil war between two powers with access to dark magics?
What if this was a turning point for one of the Starks to trump their enemy by making an appeal beyond the Wall to the CotF and other old god allies (like Joramun)? What if this is the point that the Starks adopt the old gods, become CotF allies, put an end to the dark ice magics, entering into a kind of agreement, rebranding themselves as "House Stark, founded by BtB after the LN (even though it seems really obvious the KoW predate the LN)"?
Anyway, I'm not wed to this, but figured I'd toss it out.
That was my read on this, if there is truly a 1-1 to any of this. There's that passage during her fever dream where she visualizes Rhaego with his heart exploding, and I've always taken that (post our introduction to AA, that is), as being the moment of the quickening/ the "Nissa" equivalent:
She could feel the heat inside her, a terrible burning in her womb. Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, violet eyes shaped like almonds. And he smiled for her and began to lift his hand toward hers, but when he opened his mouth the fire poured out. She saw his heart burning through his chest, and in an instant he was gone, consumed like a moth by a candle, turned to ash. She wept for her child, the promise of a sweet mouth on her breast, but her tears turned to steam as they touched her skin.
“… want to wake the dragon …”
there's just a couple of points I wanted to mention--
1. I think some of the posts described their interpretation as being "clear" and the like, but I don't think either interpretation is "clear" or obvious or anything. I mean, I think it's intentionally very obscured whether MMD orchestrated it or merely owned it afterward. I think part of that obfuscation is because Martin wants to keep the magic non-formulaic and mysterious, and the overall effect makes this not entirely clear either way.
2. Something I'm noticing is that when you remove the qualitative values being placed on the actions in question, the two sides' arguments aren't that different. That was kind of what I was trying to tease out in that earlier post. As contentious as this topic is, I actually think there's an awful lot of overlap.
3. I had the impression that Rhaego's life quickened the dragon eggs while the horse went into Drogo. This impression stems from the fact that Rhaego was scaly and decayed, like long-dead dragon, and Drogo's vegetative state (i.e. why he never regained awareness or function). MMD and Dany might have well believed that Rhaego was needed for Drogo's soul, but I'm not sure that's what actually got swapped.
just for some clarification, is the idea behind why MMD would bother to involve herself in killing Drogo and Rhaego (despite the inevitability of their deaths if she took no action) a way for her to assert some semblance of ownership and agency in an otherwise powerless situation?
I mean, is the argument that MMD didn't know the two would invariably die (or that there would be a chance they wouldn't die without her involvement), or that she involved herself merely to put a stamp of ownership on it? I think the argument that she involved herself in the already inevitable to regain a sense of agency might be a more compelling one.
Which I think is more or less what the other side is arguing as the rationale for why she claimed ownership of the actions afterward, right?
I'm not sure if this might be a language thing, but it occurs to me that there might be a misunderstanding in the "double entendre" device. I don't think anyone debates that Hugh is the "straightforward" interpretation. But you seem to be disagreeing that there's a second meaning, that LF couldn't possibly fit, that this is only working on one very literal level. If I'm not mistaken, you seem to be arguing that because it fits ser Hugh so well, it can't fit LF too-- is that part of your argument? If so, that seems like it might be an unfamiliarity with double entendres? A double entendre is specifically a device where you say one thing that has a very obvious straightforward meaning, but has a second meaning that requires a little more thought or processing.
I think you might be using disingenuous arguments again. It's rather disingenuous to say that LF is "a stretch" to the description. It fits him extremely well. It's a clever description for him that's not obvious immediately when first reading it, but comes into relief after thinking about it.
The appeal to Mandon Moore is also kind of disingenuous. I don't believe that you don't see a difference in the way LF fairly fits into that description versus the the way Mandon Moore would. LF really has risen high in his station, all because of the appointments Jon Arryn got for him at Lysa's urging, and maybe most importantly, LF really is involved in the poisoning.
It's not retrograde logic in a book series, where clues and foreshadowing exist and is intentional, especially when this sort of subtle manipulation and talking in technical truths is Varys' MO. This is not the only time Varys speaks very technically by any means. I think that's an important point-- talking in riddles, performing subtle manipulations, sowing information seeds are all very much what makes up the MO of Varys, so this being a double entendre is entirely within character, as well as functioning as an important clue for the reader of the revelations in aSoS.