I agree with all this. That's why I don't believe in a theory that assumes that the "promise me Ned" included telling Jon of his ancestry at one point.
The theory states that "What seems likely is that she is asking him to preserve Jon's heritage, which is something Ned would never want to do",and then identifies as Lyanna's motivation that "She also believes in the prophecy of the prince that was promised." If that was the case, allowing Jon to joins the Night's Watch renouncing his lineage and taking a vow of castity would be a betrayal of the promise.
It's worth noting that Eddard thinks to himself that he is keeping the promise: "He thought of the promises he’d made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he’d paid to keep them".
Allowing Jon to take a life oath without all the information would be an awful thing to do, if he intended to reveal it one day. The prospects of a bastard son and a royal heir are completely different, and explaining Jon his origins after he has commited himself to the Watch would be a bertrayal (to Jon and to the spirit of the oath to Lyanna).
I see your point, but there are also heroes that are buried with the broken swords of their enemies, the banners they conquered, or the spoils they captured. Rhaegar's harp in Lyanna's tomb could also be interpreted as Eddard's final revenge on him. After all, he destroyed stone by stone the tower Rhaegar "enjoyed". And then, there would also be doubts on whether the item had been in Lyanna's tomb originally or had been put there recently. All things considered, I think it would be a flimsy preposition.
I'm not convinced with the theory, There are two main points against it, in my opinion:
If the promise that Eddard made to Lyanna had included making Jon aware of his lineage at some point, Ned wouldn't have allowed Jon to say the vows of the Night's Watch renouncing to any family or inheritance rights.
The appearance of Jon with Rhaegar's silver-stringed harp wouldn't convince anyone that he's Rhaegar's son. The Westerosi are aware that Rhaegar spent his last days in the Tower of Joy, and that Eddard went there to kill the last members of the KG and destroy the place where her sister had died. Therefore, the fact that the Starks owned Targareyen items would be easily explained as some looting of spoils of war.
Besides what's been said so far, the Tyrells expected to gain something from the war besides prestige and the royal favour. Among the rebels, the Reach has a long border with the Stormlands, and after the war it wouldn't be unprecedented to receive some strategical frontier castles and lands. That would be easier to get if they where the ones to submit the Stormlands by wining the siege of Storm's End.
Also, a siege is a much more pleasant prospect than marching accross a continent on the hant of a rebel army.
I don't think there's a definite answer in the books, but it's a gradual and long process. There is one character that gets infected, and about two months later he has only four fingers of one hand blackened.
The maesters also say that the process can be slowed by drinking vinager, taking hot baths, and some other methods, but its effectiveness is doubtful.
Saying that they are proud of their work is not the greatest of the endorsements.
I think he refers to the "unexpected". I remember that the scenes in Renly's camp in S2 had to be filmed in a rush because a storm had destroyed the set some days ago, and that in S1 Sandor was suposed to explain his background to Sansa, but the scene couldn't be shot because of bad weather and later on the actor was unavailable (and the monologue was transfered to Littlefinger). Some of the questionable decisions by the producers probably have some reasonable justification.
Probably because they like the final result much more. They are all perfectionists, but the difference is that George can spend five years writing a book until he is reasonably satisfied with the result, and D&D have to deliver the scripts in a few months whether they like them or not. Also, George has way more talent.
It was one of my favored books in my early teens. Besides the depth of the characters and great pace, I found that the book within the book narrative with the two ink colors was exceptionally well done, and the idea of starting each chapter with a different letter of the alphabet was also a fun.
I remembered that after reading it I tried many other books from Michael Ende, but I always ended disappointed. None of them compared to the Neverending Story.
I think that it's in Storm of Sword that Martin includes a foreword warning that the chapters are not sorted out in chronological order. This was even more obvious in A Feast for Crows, where we see the immediate reactions of Balon's death (that happens halfway ASOS) or Tywin (at ASOS' two thirds or so).
Martin has even published in his site the first Reek chapter of TWOW, and it takes place clearly before Jon's last chapter in ADWD.
House Whent seems to have lost a lot of people in the war. Besides Oswell, four sons died presumably during the war. If House Whent had been a house trying to keep a foot in each camp this level of mortality would not seem natural for a house. Even if they had been waiting on the fence, and only joining the war late to support his liege lord but unconvincedly, so many deaths would be strange.
I think it's likelier that they joined the Targaryes early on, hoping that Hoster would join them. After all, they had been favored by the Targaryens by naming one of theirs in the KG, and Minisa Whent had been dead for a decade when the war began.
It also makes some sense geographically: the lords of the Riverlands that joined the Targaryens are the southernmost: Mooton, Smallwood, Goodbrook, Darry,... Whent would fit in there.
Just finished it yesterday. Bfff, that was intense.
It was harder than I expected, for a book that's sold under the YA label. I remember that I used to read plenty of YA when I was 11-12 without much problems, but I think I would have been traumatized by this ending if I had read it then.
Pretty much everyone ends up in a much worse place than when they began. At least Koll got to have the happy ending he deserved.
Yesterday they were interviewing the mayor of Canet de Mar (where the Santa Florentina Castle is located) and she said that they expected no extras and only one or two days of shooting. That would fit with what we could expect of a Horn Hill location.