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. Noble houses downfalling with a Robert

    Interesting! Robert certainly seems to be a cursed name in Westeros. You could also add Ser Robert Strong, that one could say that effectively ended house Clegane.
  2. Lyanna Stark's death?

    Well, Eddard was very lucky: Jon looked exactly like him and had no Targaryen feature, the only survivor at the Tower of Joy was one of the reclusive crannogmen, and the only ones who really knew him at the end of the war were Robert and Jon Arryn (not precisely perceptive *ehem* the seed is strong *ehem*). We must also keep in mind that the war was very short. Close to a year, it's said somewhere. Rhaegar and Lyanna were not together that much time. And when this happened no one knew Eddard was "├╝ber honorable". He was just a nineteen year old second son with no public image. And still, in war people often behaves in unexpected ways: it's not that weird that in the heat of war, an usually cold-blooded man had found the nerve to sire a bastard.
  3. Murdering Aenys Blackfyre was not for the good of the realm

    I tend to agree with the OP. Murdering Aenys was bad for the realm, as it weakened the reputation of the Iron Throne and ensured that a peaceful resolution could not be reached. It's likely that the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion and the War of the Ninpenny kings would never have happened if Aenys had been allowed to speak in the Great Council. From Bloodraven's perspective, perhaps he was honestly fearing that the split Targaryen vote (Daeron's daughter, Aerion's son, Aemon, Aegon) could allow Aenys being proclaimed king. But I don't think that's the case: as Master of Whispers Bloodraven had to know that the support for the Blackfyres in Westeros was very reduced by that time (the Blackfyre invasion 3 years later had very little support), and that Aenys chances were slim (he was not even Daemon's heir). Bloodraven may have acted only out of irrational hatred against the Blackfyres. Good list. Bloodraven is also the most likely culprit for having "slain treacherously" Haegon I after he had given up his sword. It's obvious that when something that he perceives as a "greater good" comes into play, Bloodraven is willing to ignore any code of honour or morals. That's actually incorrect. Perhaps you are confusing it with the highly distorted depiction of 300. But the very first thing that the real Xerxes tried at Thermopylae (both according to Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus) was throwing arrows at the Greeks from a distance, only to find out that their bronze shields and helmets deflected the arrows. In fact, there's the famous exchange before the battle where the Persian ambassador threats that their arrows will be so numerous that they will block out the sunlight (with the Spartans replying that then they'll fight in the shade). You are right that later on, among knights (and specially among French knights after Azencourt) the archers were perceived as dishonourable, but I'd say that this view was restricted to a very small part of the population.
  4. Westerosi civil wars

    The fact that there isn't a land bridge does not preclude the existence of fights between Westeros and Essos, precisely when the sea between the see between the two continents is... well, Narrow. The Stormking and Aegon Targaryen fought against Volantis at the end of the century of blood. Braavos helped the Kigndom of the Vale during the Wars of Conquest. Myrish pirates conquered Tarth during the reign of the Old King. Daemon Targaryen defeated Lys, Myr and Tyrosh and proclaimed himself King of the Stepstones and the Narrow Sea, and then the Triarchy took part in the Dance of Dragons siding with the greens. And he War of the Ninepenny Kings, that took place just a generation before the current events, was basically a war of Westeros against Essos (we can't no longer call it a civil war, since there was no Westerosi lord that we know of that sided with the Band of Nine). I'd say there are plenty of opportunities for a Westeros/Essos war if the plot demands it
  5. If you could ask GRRM one question....

    I think that he has already answered this one. He has been quoted as saying that when he devised the series, he decided that he would not be giving a POV to any of the kings except for Dany. That's why we didn't have POVs for Stannis, Renly, Balon, Joffrey or Robb. He also said that this is the reason why he created the character of Davos. He needed someone close to Stannis to explain what he was doing.
  6. Theon's marriage options (pre AGOT)

    In Westeros, it seems customary for the Lord Paramounts to marry with their bannermen, not with Lord Paramounts from other regions. We tend to ignore this because at the time of Asoiaf there are plenty of unions ignoring this rule (because of Rickard Stark's Southron ambitions, and the alliances during Robert's Rebellion). But those were exceptions. For instance, looking at the family trees of the world books and restricting it to the people born before the war, we have: Lannister: Out of 17 marriages within the family, only two ouside the Westerlands (Rohanne Webber and Emmon Frey, both is strange circumstances and none to a Lord or heir apparent) Stark: Out of 20 spouses, only 5 from outside the North (two Blackwoods, two Royces and one Rogers. Only Alysanne Blackwood was marrying a Lord or heir apparent, but she was Cregan's second wife and they met in very unusual circumstances). Besides those, all the pre-war marriages that we know of where done within the same region: Baratheons married Estermonts, Tyrells married Redwynes and Hightowers, Tullys married Whents, Greyjoys married Harlaws,... My whole point being that, since Eddard was a traditional man and uninterested in playing high level politics, I'm sure that he intended to marry Sansa and Arya to the sons of Northern lords. Well, Sansa is not that close to the succession. In the North she's the fourth in line (after Robb, Bran and Rickon) and in the Rivelrands she's the sixth (Edmure, Catelyn, Robb, Bran and Rickon). With both Edmure and Robb being young bachelors ready to marry soon, I doubt that any sensible Lord would arrange a Sansa/Arya marriage gambling on the possibility of inheriting anything. Of course, being married to the sister or the cousin of a Lord Paramount is not a bad thing in terms of contacts and prestige. But I think that actual power is out of the equation. At the begining of the books, Arya is 9 and Renly is 20. Perhaps too big a difference. Of course, such marriages are not unheard of in Westeros or in real life, but it's not the norm, andt there should be a good justification. And I don't see why such an union would be deemed necessary, since Baratheons and Starks are already good allies.
  7. Baelishs knife

    The quote comes from a Sansa chapter in ASOS, just before the purple wedding, when Joffrey receives the wedding gifts. Tywin gives him Widow's Wail and Tyrion gives him a book by some maester. Then Joffrey uses the sword to destroy the book, and boasts that "he's no stranger to Valyrian steel". That's how Tyrion starts suspecting that he's behind Bran's murder attempt.
  8. Baelishs knife

    This. Archmaester Thurgod's estimate of 227 Valyrian steel blades left in the world would make them expensive, but not prohibitive. Littlefinger is a very rich man, and he certainly could afford it. Meanwhile, Tywin Lannister was after a Valyrian steel sword. That's much scarcer. We only know of six VS swords that were in Westeros at the beginning of the books (Ice, Heartsbane, Lady Forlorn, Longclaw, Nightfall and Red Rain). There could be one or two dozens more that have not appeared yet, but still they were so valuable that the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms could not get one. I agree that the resolution of Bran's knife is one of the weakest subplots from the first three books. First, it stretches credulity that a 12 year old that should be constantly surrounded by bodyguards, servants and half the court could be able to contact a catspaw willing to murder a boy and strike a deal with him. It makes no sense that he would give him a very recognizable weapon to do the deed, and one wonders why the catspaw, after being given a bag of silver and a very valuable Valyrian steel knife, chose to go ahead with a very risky murder inside the walls of Winterfell instead of just fleeing with the booty. And if Joffrey really did it to impress his father, why didn't he tell him? Then, Littlefinger's actions make little sense. When questioned by Cat and Eddard about the blade, he tells the lie that he lost it to Tyrion. Why would he? First of all, he said that in front of Varys, who could have denied it right there. It would also have been likely that Eddard had denounced this to Robert, who would have exposed the lie. So why in the world would Petyr tell such a transparent lie that put him at risk for no reason? Specially when the truth suited his purposes as well! If he wanted to promote turmoil and war, telling Eddard that the blade was Robert's would have also had similar effects. And finally there's the resolution. Joffrey's mere comment that "he's no stranger to Valyrian steel" seems to me too ambiguous to allow Tyrion deduce anything. Surely there are Valyrian steel weapons in the Red Keep's army, or some lord could have shown his own steel blade when Joffrey visited his keep. Linking this comment to that particular knife is a little bit of a leap of logic.
  9. Gendry as third dragon rider?

    If the purity of the Targaryen blood comes into question, it seems unlikely. Daenaerys is 100% Targaryen (4 Targ grandparents). If R+L=J, then Jon would be 50% Targaryen (2 Targ grandparents). None of Gendry's grandparents is a Targ.Only one out of his sixteen grand-grand-granparents is a Targaryen. There should be many candidates in Westeros with more dragon blood than him.
  10. Sweet Robin and Little Finger

    Littlefinger only loves Littlefinger. No one else. He had a teen crush on Catelyn that turned into an unhealthy obsession, and that has been partially transferred to Sansa... but no love. He is not capable of that.
  11. Westerosi Style

    George's own words on the matter, in a 2008 interview: The number of titles of medieval nobility multiplied over times, as the feudal system became more complex and the social structure more layered, with various degrees of precedence, etc. In the earlier periods -- say, England around the time of Henry I and William II Rufus -- all those different titles did not exist. I preferred the simplicity of those times. In hindsight, I probably should have added a least one more title to differentiate the great houses from their vassals, but I am glad I stayed clear of using the whole roster of noble stylings. The complex range of the peerage is something that appeared in much later periods than the ones George wants to evoke in ASOIAF. This is consistent with him using the style of "your grace" instead of "your majesty" for the kings (this was changed in England during the reign of Henry VIII). I'd also add that it makes sense given the fictional story of the Seven Kingdoms. Since the Great Houses were kings before the Conquest, it makes sense that they didn't have a word to name the overlords of all the lords from a particular region. Regarding your proposals of correspondence between the later ranks of peerage and the houses of the Riverlands, I think that that you rank the Brackens and the Blackwoods too way down. They were kings in the Age of Heroes, and the dominating forces of the Riverlands before the Targaryen invasion. I don't see why they should be ranked below the Pipers, and there's no doubt that they'll be above the Freys (they are very wealthy, but they don't stand very well in terms of prestige or antiquity).
  12. Stannis Baratheon General

    The isles control a large part of the Westerosi fleet as seen in the Battle of the Blackwater. And their position is very strategic and could pose a threat to Westeros if they allied with an invader from Essos (Aegon VI or Dany could do a lot of harm if able to block the access to KL and throw surprise attacks at will). Most importantly, it's a very prestigious post associated with the heir to the throne. Who could have Robert installed as Lord of Dragonstone? Someone who had Littlefinger or Varys in his small council doesn't seem to have a large pool of trusted loyal servants to choose from. Look at the situation from another perspective. It's though luck to have Stannis as your lord. He is harsh, strict and unempathetic. He is unlikely to reward your good deeds (it was your duty) and will be extremely severe in your shortcomings. Who would you want to inflict such a lord? To the your loyal servants who have fought for you during the war, or to your defeated enemies that kept resisting you even when their cause was lost?
  13. Stannis Baratheon General

    Cersei tells us that it was meant as a slight. We don't know if this is just an assumption on her behalf, or Robert really did tell her that. Honestly, I doubt Robert ever trusted or confided in Cersei enough to reveal her his intimate thoughts about his brother. And anyway, Robert needed someone to rule Dragonstone, and Stannis was the most sensible option for a variety of reasons: he was Robert's heir, he could inspire fear to the Targaryen loyalists in the isles, he had the one who had conquered it, it was an honourable way to send him away from the Storm's End (the ones who had stood the siege under his orders weren't likely to love him much),...
  14. Daeron the Young Dragon

    The figure of his uncle Viserys II should not be dismissed. As his uncle and Hand of the King, he would have been perfectly entitled to declare himself Regent and Protector of the Realm until the young Aegon reached adulthood. The Young Dragon only became king because Viserys allowed it. Considering that the attack against Dorne started the very same year Aegon was enthroned, I would doubt that such an initiative would have succeeded without his full backing, and it is even possible that it was Viserys himself that put the notion on Aegon's head. Which brings me to... As you say Viserys was the one who should have been pressing Daeron to produce a heir. The problem is that it was Viserys who benefited from Aegon not having a heir. If Viserys had been a plotter wishing to become king (or put his own offspring in the throne), he would have tried to send young and fearless Aegon to lead a war from the front lines, then promote Baelor's piety and influence him to become a septon, and finally discredit Daena the Defiant picturing her as unreliable. And this is precisely what happened...
  15. Scott Lynch's THORN OF EMBERLAIN

    As long as Scott is fine and making progress with the Ministry of the Necessity, I'm fine with the publication of the book being delayed for some months.