InterestsComics(Green Lantern, Flash, Doom Patrol, JSA, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer) LOST, The Thing, Romero Dead series, ASOIAF, Star Wars, King Kong, 007, horror films, Southpark, Indiana Jones, metal rock and prog metal music...too many interests really!
The letter bugs me constantly. At least the mystery of it.
To me, it's one of two things: Ramsey wrote the letter and is lying in it, or Ramsey is dead and Mance wrote it. I change my opinion on this from time to time, but lately I'm going with Mance wrote it.
I can't picture Stannis writing it. Even if he views Jon as an enemy, he's going to be straight up about it and come out and say so. Not his style to do otherwise.
I figured Sarella's "game" is that she wants to defy the rules and be the first woman to become a Maester. Probably not to spend a life as a master, but to at least get a chain as a sort of accomplishment.
I really think that's what brought her there. But the plot will change her path for her as she gets involved with JH/Pate, Sam, and other characters. Maybe she will stay with Sam during his POV's for some time and travel with him if he has to leave Oldtown. They won't stay there forever, Sam's a POV while she isn't, and it would create a line of communication to Dorne and wherever Sam's path takes him.
If, for whatever the circumstance, Stannis learned that Jon was really the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, it would turn Stannis into Jon's enemy. I can't see it going any other way. Stannis wouldn't support any potential claim, since to him the Baratheon claim is one validated by the right of conquest. To him, the Targaryen's lost their claim when they lost Robert's Rebellion. So he'd probably want to keep Jon under his thumb for Mel to use, or kill him before Jon could become a real threat to his crown.
I had completely forgotten about the part about Blount being Tommen's official food taster. The bit about the changes in both of their physical description is beyond literary coincidence; IMO Tommen is already being poisoned. Varys probably needs him out of the way, but in a matter of time that works with his accelerated plan for Aegon.
I'm sure Tommen will be found dead the next time we see him in TWOW.
I think all of this setup by LF involving Sansa, Sweetrobin, and Harry the Heir is going to be a moot point. The whole thing reeks (no pun intended) of a literary slight of hand where the plot looks like it's going to go one way, then unforeseen events force it another. By the end of TWOW, I think Sansa and Littlefinger's status quo will be dramatically changed again. Martin does this all the time; shake up the pieces on the board at the end of the book and reset them in different positions to be ready for the next book.
I don't see Jon and Val becoming any longterm thing. He's got an arc about him coming back including great changes for his status quo that will probably eat up most of TWOW. Val may play a role in that, along with Mel, but I don't see them being an item that rides off into the sunset. Perhaps she will become a choice he will be presented with.
As far as Jon abandoning his vows when he comes back, I really think it will be a matter of him not having a choice in the matter. He will be informed he was released from his vows. He will probably try to retake his vows to re-enlist and be refused by his former brothers. Hell, they could refuse him for his own good if Jon's lineage suddenly becomes common knowledge.
I had no idea about R+L=J until I saw it online. During my first read of AGOT I knew the identity of Jon's mother was going to be a mystery of the series that would be important. I had it in my head that Cersei was his mother and was SO proud of myself. Then I saw R+L=J all laid out and was floored.
But there have been so many little things I didn't see coming. Sarella/Alleras, JH being in the Citadel, Mance being Abel...all of those things made me feel pretty stupid for not seeing.
Wouldn't it be funny if Aegon took the throne by right of conquest, then to show how he was better than the Lannisters who killed HIS family, let Tommen live? He could have Tommen legitimized as a proper Lannister, to shame Jaime and Cersei and the Lannister name, and to once and for all end any pretense that any of the children were ever Robert's or had any claim to the throne.
It would also have an effect of creating a badly needed heir to Casterly Rock; one that Aegon could control in Tommen. Seems a bit far fetched for any ruler who doesn't want to sleep with one eye open, but I could see Aegon doing it to start off his rule by distancing himself from the cruel reputation of his grandfather.
I'd love to get more clarification on Varys and Illyrio's plot in the next book. I'm leaning towards Aegon being real, simply because Varys talking to a dead man is akin to telling the readers the truth. I wouldn't bet everything on it, but that's always been my rationale.
But as far as how much they plotted with or against Dany/Viserys, or used them as tools, they were taking a big risk. Plots and schemes turn to crap all the time for people in ASOIAF. How many times have we seen one thing planned, only to have it fall apart or go another direction? What would they have done if Dany took a back seat, gave Drogo a child, and Viserys showed up in Westeros with a Dothraki army? What if Viserys turned out to be a competent military leader? There were so many ways he could have ruined all of Illyrio and Varys' plans for Aegon. And Viserys would NOT have been deterred by a legitimate Aegon trumping him in the right of succession. That guy would have killed Aegon to make himself next in line so his right of conquest would have been the final word. Varys and Illyrio were taking some BIG chances. They might have been better suited to quietly try to broker some marriages for the both of them that fit into their plans while appearing to be helping.
I wonder how any of these actors can NOT read the books. Even if it's from the viewpoint of knowing about their job security. I'd want to know how long I was going to be working on the show. Let alone showing some interest in what you are DOING for as living. I can't imagine not reading the whole series, or at least up to the point my character is killed off.