butterbumps!

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  1. From aDwD: "Her ownfathergot this child on her? We are well rid of her, then. I will not suffer such abominations here. This is not Kings Landing....[Goat's milk is] poor fair for a prince...but better thanwhore's milk, aye." -- Stannis.
  2. Going off memory, the one regarding the kennel girl might be the likeliest of the scenarios where "whore" could have been thrown around (because Rams himself would not be with her), but I just don't see the fact that he didn't use that word to be poignant at all. Is there a directquote that leads you to believe the omission means the word is not in his vocabulary? Regarding the other examples, why would Rams have referred to Kyra-- who was one of Rams' "girls" and a hunted (i.e. "honored")party-- as a "whore?" Rams' doesn't call the women he's with "whores," ostensibly because it has a negative connotation about the men who's with them/ "owns" them in his view. Further, I don't see his not calling Lady Dustin a "whore" during that discussion with Roose to be a conspicuous omission either. Isn't this where Rams complains that she's haughty toward him, so he wonders aloud if she'd remain so haughty after he cuts off her breasts and feeds them to his "girls," as well as jokes about turning her into a(n inferior) pair of boots? idk, I kind of think that insult/ threat is way more relevant to the context and much stronger than flippantly calling her "whore." Whereas Mel is seen by many in story to be basically Stannis' concubine. He's not calling for anyone but Reek by name in that letter (everyone is asked for in relation to being Stannis', including the baby and Val), so he'd hardly do so in the case of Mel. How else would he describe her?Perhaps "His red witch," (which is also used), but "whore" deliversmore of an insult, and probably gets closer to what he'd believe her function actually was, wouldn't it? I'd also argue that in this series "whore" is such a throwaway word that it just doesn't seem like a significant clue. lol, I still can't resist the dulcet siren song of a pink letter thread. @Lord Varys Doesn't Stannis refer to Gilly as a "whore"? or am I misremembering.
  3. Isn't the way you're explaining this a point in favor of why Rams would choose a disrespectful word in this scenario? As in, whywould he be "honoring" this woman by referring to her by name? He hasn't hunted her (it's the successful hunt that's the context for Rams' "honor"), and she belongs/ belonged to Stannis, not Rams.' Why wouldn't a misogynistic sicko like Rams refer to a woman in a scenario where he was being derisive as a "whore?" I get that we don't see him literally say "whore" on page in front of Theon or Bran (I'm taking your word on this, I haven't checked). But can you point to a passage where it would have made sense for Rams to use that word, the absence of which becomes highly conspicuous in relation to this letter?
  4. I do think the purpose goes a step further to neutralizing Jon(they believe Jon is becoming active in politics thanks to the Arya mission, and is therefore a threat). But yea, I think "recovering Arya" is part of that, and very much the stated purposeof the letteras it's directly articulated.-- not trying to rouse Jon to anger or drawing him south or the like.
  5. Yes, the speech was designed to convince the Wildlings to his cause, but what gives you the impression he planned for or wanted a single Watchman to participate in his mission? I'd argue the speech was also designed precisely to dissuade the Watchmen from following him. That speech renders the idea of Watchmen joining his mission totally reprehensible. As a side point, what's the significance if Tormund was going to take even a handful of wildlings with him (not that this is suggested anywhere, but for argument's sake). It's very clear that Jon reconfigured the mission to be carried out by the Watch, as a Watch mission, with Tormund as the leader, and that he's clearly talking about giving Tormund Watchmen in that speech. If he had planned for any wildilngs on that mission, he'd have made a different speech.
  6. Lord Varys, I confess I'm having some difficulty understanding why this point is contentious. I quoted the aDwD text where this is explicitly stated (I downloaded it to my phone earlier in order to do so): As I quoted earlier, he states that "The ranging will be led by Tormund," so the idea that Tormund will lead the ranging to Hardhome is not my assumption. We know that"men" refers to Watchmen since the wildling men are not his to order around (whereas he's the LC of the Watch, the only men that could be said who belong to him at that point truly), made even more explicit by his statement further down the page that "TheWatchwill make for Hardhome." ETA: as to the rest, yes, I agree, he isn't yet the leader of the wildlings so he'd be ill-advised to just start ordering them around on missions before winning them over. And to that end, it is noteworthy thathedoesn't give them a rousing speech about joining Tormund on the Hardhome rescue to encourage them to that mission. Instead, he's delivering this personalized agit-prop to get them to follow him south/ deal with the Boltons. Which also tells us that getting the wildings to follow Tormund is not part of the plan, but winning them to a different mission is.
  7. I don't think it could be much clearer that Jon is sending the Watchman rangers to Hardhome under Tormund. Whether you agree with the wisdom of that move is another issue, but the"men" Jon is referring to is not unclear or ambiguous, especially in how he follows it up with "The Watch will go to Hardhome." The point I'm trying to get at is that Jon is conveniently removing the Watchmen who'd be most likely to stand with him and resist the Boltons away from the Wall, and hence, avoid the risk of Bolton confrontation. Sure, this scenario creates other problems and challenges, but it can easily be seen as preparation for Jon's detaching himself from the Watch (and vice versa). Again, sure, the Watch could be wiped out anyway, but the chances for that seem considerably less than if they all stood beside their traitorous LC. also, idk if Jon cares about being a "traitor" at this point. I think he's of the mind that no matter what he does, he's always going to be a wildling, traitor warg to some of these people, and finally comes to realize that just running with this identity so many come to expect from him is in his best interest to get things done (it keeps the Watch a bit safer from the south, gets him his wildlings, etc).
  8. "But now I find I cannot go to Hardhome. The ranging will be led by Tormund Giantsbane, known to you all. I have promised him as many men as he requires" (the "men" Jon would be promising are Watchmen). And then further down,"The NIght's Watch will make for Hardhome..." I think it's pretty clear that Tormund is leading Watchmen. I think you may be letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. The Boltons might end up killing some Watchmen anyway, sure, but probably a hell of a lot fewer than without Jon making such a clear break from them. Can we at least agree that more Watchmen will be spared if the Rams shows up to the Wall without the rangers there to be heroes about it, and even possibly with the stewards and builders having chosen another LC, renouncing this "oathbreaking wildling warg"?
  9. The plan once the letter arrives is for Tormund to lead a force entirely comprised of the rangers to Hardhome. The wildlings were not to be involved in that mission any longer, but were conveniently left for Jon to win over with a rousing speech (wildlings don't get told to follow a man, the man must win them over first). I'm not so sure of that. I think the plan is that Jon was going to stop Rams from destroying the Watch or die trying, and that by involving none of the Watchmen-- men who'd remain at their posts and likely renounce their LC in the process-- would ultimately be spared. idk if the Boltons would necessarily destroythe entire Watch based on the actions of the LC, as LC's have been taken out by the realm in the past without destroying the whole Watch. I think that's largely why he wants those rangers-- the ones who might actually put up a fight for him against Boltons-- away from CB, and so arranges them to go with Tormund.
  10. I disagree. He'ssendingthe rangers-- the 1/3 of the Watch that's usually in his camp, who'd be most likely to back him on this-- off to Hardhome, which will ostensibly keep them away from whatever fallout from Jon's past and future actions may ensue. I don't have my books with me so I can't quote directly, but we also get Jon's interior monologue during the speech, where he takes ownership of his "crimes," and says something to the effect of "if this is oathbreaking the crime was his and his alone. No man can say I made my brothers break their vow." "No man," meaning, not merely "no Watchmen such as Bowen and Co," but also No Bolton, No Lannister, No clansman, No one. It's to say, "no one will blame my brothers for my actions, past and future." He pretty much said everything to sell this conundrum-- which, let's face it, is actually quite relevant to the Watch, and which they'd be arguably justified in answering-- as a personal issue rather than a Watch issue. He's purposely distancing himself from the Watch and endearing himself to the wildlings. ETA: regarding marching South, I suspect he's thinking more in terms of an ambush/ interception or trickery than full battle, or, least likely, any sort of siege of storming of WF itself. I fear there's a misunderstanding. I was pointing out that contrary to Jon's announcement to go south, nothing in that letterleads to the rational, strategic conclusion to do so. As in, the Boltons (or whoever one believe the author to be)weren't trying to elicit that reaction, having written nothing in the letter that would elicit that reaction. I was speaking to what appears to be a fairly common interpretation of the letter as luring or enticing or enraging Jon toward Winterfell (and/ or rescuing Arya). I'm pointing out that the letter doesn't really do that.
  11. This might be going beyond the topic of this thread, but I'm not really sure that's what's Jon's thinking or doing in that chapter. I don't think he plans to actually go to Winterfell either (at least, not to march on WF and conduct a siege). I get that he tells the Shieldhall this is his plan, but based on Jon's previous thoughts about battle strategy and what this letter is actually saying about the state of affairs (that Arya isn't even there to rescue, for example), I don't think the plan he announced is exactly what he's truly intending. I think the Shieldhall speech had everything to do with distancing himself from the Watchmen (giving the Watchmen every reason to reject him and owning his "crimes," so the Boltons should ostensibly leave them alone), while hitting every note that would rouse Wilings to his cause. As it pertains to the letter, I think Jon's announcement to march south in defiance is not whatthe Boltons would have expected, as nothing in the letter really points to that as a particularly logical, strategicresponse (Arya isn't there, after all, by the letter's own admission), or even something that being called a few names would truly incite even the most egregious hotheadto do given the stakes.
  12. [mod] As ever, show discussion belongs on the show forums. [/mod]
  13. If Winterfell is such a hellhole food desert unfit for longterm occupancy, why does Stannis want his family to be brought there in the first place? Apologies if this was addressed somewhere and I missed it, I just don't quite understand what Stannis' incentive would be to have them brought there, hellhole it is, in the middle of this snowstorm.
  14. I guess I could have been clearer that I wasn't disagreeing with or challenging you, but rather, adding more support to your thesis that one cannot figure out the battle outcome or timeline necessarily by what's written in the letter. Which also serves the function of getting Jon out of the game in the short term, if not permanently. Of course prior tothe Arya missionJon wouldn't have been high on his priority list-- he has to cull the enemies he'senveloped himself with first. Whether the Arya mission happened or not, it's definitely in the Boltons best interest to remove Jon since he's a very clear, public figure that could become a rallying point against the Boltons (people like Alys have already begun to appeal to him almost like a king). But the fact that the Arya mission did happen sends the Boltons the message that Jon isn't content with "taking no part" as a Watchman, and that his interest is pro-Stark/ antiBolton. The need him taken out sooner than later. The letter was crafted in such a way thatbeggedto be opened by those in charge of ravens (men who would be anxiously awaiting news of battle that could render the Watch extremely vulnerable),something Roose would certainly think to orchestrate and exploit. It doesn't seem to me that Jon was the sole intended audience for that letter.
  15. But what if getting Jon taken out of the game without having to march to the Wall is exactly what they're trying to accomplish with the letter? Meddlesome Jon, son of the Ned, in a fairly powerful position as LC would be another threat to the Boltons regardless of the outcome with Stannis. The explicit threat of Bolton invasion increases the pressure on the Watch to put a check on theirdeceitful, intervening LC, ramping up the likelihood that the men at the Wall will disarm this potential threat to Bolton power without the Boltons having to do anything more than writing a simple letter. So idk if the fact it announces they will march on the Wall points to anything about the outcome of that battle necessarily.