The hairy bear

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About The hairy bear

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    Honey in the summer air!
  • Birthday 08/28/1980

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    Many. A Song of Ice and Fire among them.

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  1. Perhaps Balon Greyjoy is not as stupid as it seems. After all, we only see him through Theon's POV and they are not close at all. I tend to think that Balon Greyjoy's primary motivation was vengeance from the siege of Pyke, where one of his sons was killed and another was taken away by the Starks. When Balon was brought in chains to Robert, no doubt Eddard was at his side. Perhaps, strict as Eddard is, he advocated for beheading Balon right there. And the North no doubt played an important part during the siege (Jorah being among the firsts to enter the breach, Old Nan's grandson bein killed,...) Meanwhile, Tywin seems to have kept a lower profile during the conflict. If Balon had been obsessed with revenge all those years and his priority was revenge, then attacking the North was not a bad decision. We have also to keep in mind that, while aiding Robb was the option that could give him the greater gain (since he would be the only one who would acknowledge his kingship), attacking him was also the least risky option. The North had no option to win the war alone, and had no fleet to strike back. After all, we should not discount the possibility that Balon negotiated with Tywin before the attack. ("Some wars are won with quills and ravens"). I can see that they could easily reach an agreement were Balon was allowed to keep his conquests in the Northern Western coast in exchange of acknowledging Joffrey as king, if he defeated Renly and Stannis.
  2. A simpler answer is that the North is just not worth the cost to invade it. It’s far too big to be conquered easily, and far too distant from the Southern seats of power to be controlled eithout leaving there your entire armies for years. And the reward would be scarce: no natural resources, no rich agriculture or farming, no strategic location,... From a Southern kingdom perspective it would make much more sense to try to conquer the Stepstones or one of the Free Cities.
  3. It's very easy to criticize Ned in retrospective. We have inside knowledge from the thoughts of other POVs, and we know the actual outcomes from all his decisions. Eddard had been raised in the North and in the Vale of honorable Jon Arryn. Surely he had no experience dealing with people such as the nest of backstabbing adders of KL's court. But it's completely unfair to call him "biggest idiot in Westeros". The southern politicians probably wouldn't last much in a Northern court either. The causes of Ned's downfall were foremost that he arrived too late (war was already unavoidable), that his natural allies abandoned him (Robert and Stannis mainly), and that his adversaries had an incredible amount of luck. Because lets not forget that once Eddard had discovered Cersei's secret, her plan was only to trust that a sixteen year old gets Robert drunk, and that he gets killed hunting afterwards. Come on. She was extremely lucky, but that would only work one in a million times. We can't blame Eddard for that. That's not to say he didn't make mistakes. He did. But he was much more capable than people is giving him credit for. Letting Cersei know his plans was a risk, but remember than Ned wanted to avoid the murder of children at all costs, and we all know what Robert would have done once he knew. And it was not such a huge risk. As said before, Cersei was only saved due to an unlikely plan and tons of luck. And there's no way he could have left the girls home. Sansa was the king's fiancee: he had to be seen at court. This is getting really old. But let's repeat it again. 1.Cat tries to hide when she randomly meets Tyrion. It's only when she has been discovered that she decides to kidnap him. If she hadn't, Tyrion would have arrived at KL with the information that Cat had secretly been in KL. The Lannisters would obviously assume that Bran has awaken and that the Starks were about to strike. That would put Ned and the girls in terrible danger. At least she got a hostage. 2. You can't blame Ned with the fact that Lysa is nuts and in Littlefinger's pocket. It was reasonable to expect that Tyrion would remain in the Vale's custody for much more time. 3. False. He trusted Littlefinger before Cate even get there. And really, there wasn't much to choose from. Robert and Stannis abandoned him, Pycelle was a Lannister fanboy, and Varys was working for the Targaryen restoration. In retrospective we know that he should have joined forces with Renly, but... 4. You have your facts wrong again. The marriage of Sansa and Joffrey is Robert's idea, and he couldn't be refused. Catelyn didn't even want Eddard to take the girls with him at KL! (reread the chapter, it's from her POV). And Eddard himself realizes that he has to go to the capital to resolve the "murder mystery".
  4. I agree that a lot of the Blackfyre leaders were overtly ambitious, but I wouldn't dismiss the Dorne issue as "an excuse", and I'm convinced it played a significant part on turning people against Daeron. The murder of the Young Dragon under a peace banner was a very serious breach of the basic rules of war. And it happened just 34 years before the rebellion. I imagine that the sons and brothers of the ones that died with Daeron I didn't have an easy time seeing some of the nobles that orchestrated that on court. I assume that even many who sided with Daeron II (such as the lord Tyrell whose father was murdered on a bed under guest right) were probably not very enthusiastic about the union with Dorne under terms that were more advantageous than their own (keeping their own laws, gather the taxes,...). Perhaps they didn't dare to rebel against the Iron Throne, but hey may have not given Daeron II their full support either. And that would have also helped spread the rebellion. More than 50.000 of Daeron's soldiers died in Dorne. That's a huge toll for a kingdom that had already taken a demographic hit due to the civil war just three decades before. Probably most noble familes in Westeros surely had some relative or friend that had been killed by the Dornish. So, in short: while I agree that the leaders of the rebellion used Dorne as an excuse, it only worked because there was a strong (and justified) anti-Dornish sentiment in Westeros, and specially among the noble class. Perhaps a wiser king would have not pressed on the unification with Dorne so soon, or would have made sure that no Dornishmen obtained significant positions at court for some time. Perhaps the fact that she was happily married to Mariah blinded him to the perception that the realm had of Dorne.
  5. This new trilogy seems to be the most ambitious work Joe has written so far. If this "writing before publishing" thing pays out, it can be really terrific. He has let slip this interesting bit of information in the comments section of his last progress report: Five of the central cast of seven have parents a diligent reader will have run into at least in passing before. I won’t say who, though… I'd say that Arde's and Jezal's children are a given. I hope Monza's is in there too.
  6. I don't see why there should be any connection between the number of Andal gods and the Ghiscari number of rulers. Well, there's the historical precedence of the Roman tetrarchy, where each of the four co-rulers of the empire famously named themselves tetrarchs. It's not that strange Newton's division of the light specter in 7 colors is completely arbitrary. He could have divided in 3, 4, 9 or 17 colors as he preferred. He choose 7 for its connection to God. So... there's no basis to assume that in Westeros they divide the light in seven colors, and that they assign each color to a particular god.
  7. I disagree with that assessment. Aerys dies 25 years after the Blackfyre Rebellion. By that time, with both Daeron and Daemon long dead, the wounds that the civil war left in the realm should have started to heal. And it's his fault that they didn't. Bloodraven was competent, but he was hardly a man of peace or someone that could be accepted by the two sides of the old conflict. He was actively hostile against the old Blackfyre suporters, and ensured that no consensus could be met. He made his priorities clear during Dagon Greyjoys attacks, when he allowed him to raid the entire Western coast just to keep his fleet in the East for a potential attack from the Blackfyres. A king that allows that to happen can hardly be on a good kings list. As I see it, a good king would have allowed the least belligerent Blackfyre exiles to return home, and would even tried to negotiate with some of their leaders.
  8. To be fair, Beric Dondarrion acted like a living person (at least at first sight) and that was after being brought back to live half a dozen times.
  9. Cat was always supposed to stay at Winterfel with Robb and Rickon (Cat II: "You must govern the north in my stead, while I run Robert’s errands."). It also has to be remembered that Littlefinger's first intention was not to side with the Lannisters against the Baratheons/Starks. He just intended to put ones against the others in order to cause turmoil and improve his position. But he only decided to go against the Starks when Eddard's strict and honorable character proved to be antagonistic to Petyr's ambitions. Finally, Littlefinger doesn't love Cat. He'd like to have her, of course, but he won't allow any kind of concern for her to interfere with his plans. He did anything for her during the war, and we don't see him sad at all when she is murdered.
  10. I wonder if people who keep looking for hidden revelations providing a more satisfying answer to the dagger issue have taken the time to read the other Martin works. Neither Dying of the Light, nor Fevre Dream, nor Windhaven, nor The Armageddon Rag include any kind of mystery that could only be unraveled through obscure clues and metatext analysis as the ones you are suggesting. Martin just doesn't work that way. Read what he did have to say in relation to some fans discovering R+L=J: I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming. But I can’t change the plans… So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls**t and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution… If he considers that the relatively clear and obvious R+L=J clues (at least in second reading) are "extremely subtle and obscure", and assumes that the answer has only been discovered by "one or two readers" among the millions that he has, do you really think that he is including far more complicated and impenetrable mysteries in his books?
  11. It's not exactly a lie if you consider that the first act of war was Rhaegar "abduction" of Lyanna. It's unlikely that Brandon would have gone to King's Landing to insult and defy the crown's heir if he believed that Lyanna had gone with Rhaegar willingly.
  12. George clearly states that ASOS resolves the mystery of who sent the murderer. The only thing that can be constructed as a "resolution" to the mystery is Tyrion and Jaime's deduction that Joffrey did it, specially because both their thoughts reach to the conclusion that there's no doubt about it. In the whole book no other candidate is put forward by anyone. And of course there's not any clear hint or revelation that could let us identify the culprit, as that would have been detected by now (or would be so obscure that could not be defined as a "resolution").
  13. I agree. There won't be a 1000th Lord Commander. The Wall will fall (via Horn of Joramun, probably), and either the others will be completely defeated, or some kind of Second Pact will be signed where humans and Others will agree to permanent peace.
  14. There are two relevant quotes in SSM: 1: Do we the readers, after having read aGoT and aCoK, have enough information to plausibly be able to reason out who was behind the assassination plot against Bran? There's a couple of additional things to be revealed in SOS... but I think the answer could be worked out from the first two books alone, yes... though of course, =I've= known the truth all along, so in some ways it's hard for me to judge. 2: You should know that even after all this time, we're still debating things like who was behind the assassination attempt on Bran. (...) I will tell you that ASOS will resolve the question of Bran and the dagger, and also that of Jon Arryn's killer. Obviously the answers are not crystal clear because both mails to fans dated from before the publication of ASOS (he couldn't reveal the culprit). And shortly after the publication of ASOS Martin stopped replying to mails from fans, so that's what we've got. It's enough, though. Martin states that the "question" will be resolved after ASOS. Since Joffrey is identified in that book by two POVs and no one else is considered, we can only conclude that it's the correct answer. There's also the fact that the app (compiled by Ran and Linda but with some degree of revision from GRRM) states: "Joffrey steals a Valyrian dagger from his father and hires a servant to kill Bran. "
  15. George has already confirmed in several interviews that Joffrey sent the Catspaw. Within the books, both Tyrion and Jaime reach the same conclusion independently. The case is closed. And yes, it's not a particularly well-constructed mystery. The resolution is forced and requires leaps of faith from the reader. And the red herrings from the first book are even worse (Littlefinger absurdly claiming that Tyrion had won the dagger betting against brother was a stupid and transparent lie). But it is what it is. No need to keep beating a dead horse.