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. Free Cities and Westeros

    I'd say Pentos. It's the closest one to King's Landing and its inhabitants are racially Andals (although they have a higher degree of Valyrian influence than the Westerosi). In terms of politics, we have seen that the Targaryen dinasty has historically used Pentos many times as their foothold in Essos: Maegor Targaryen went there when he was exiled by Aenys (and married Tyanna of Pentos), Daemon and Laena lived there for several years (Baela and Rhaena were born there), Viserys and Dany went there... I think I'm missing some other examples. I'd specualte that the ties with Braavos have increased only after the fall of the Targaryens, because of Robert borrowing money from the Iron Bank.
  2. Crazy solution for why Jaqen was in the Black Cells

    @DutchArya Those guards had been taken by surprise, and they had just been thrown boiling water in the face. This is very, very painful. Slaying some guards that are twisting up in pain, and managing to beat the hell out of the only one that can draw his blade out is not, at least as I see it, a sign of extraordinary strength. On the contrary: I'd say that the very same fact that he had to resort to the hot broth deception, that he had to recruit despicable men such as Rorge and Biter, and that he hurried to kill the guards that were down, indicate that he was not some kind of superhuman.
  3. Crazy solution for why Jaqen was in the Black Cells

    No, I say that we have no reason to believe they will be stronger than the average man.
  4. Crazy solution for why Jaqen was in the Black Cells

    Yes. From AFFC, we are told that: "The black cells are little used. Before [Tyrion] was sent down, we had Grand Maester Pycelle for a time, and before him Lord Stark the traitor. There were three others, common men, but Lord Stark gave them to the Night’s Watch." So Jaqen was already a prisoner before Eddard's downfall. We will be wrong if we assume that the Faceless Man are superhuman assassins. Arya is learning to be one of them, and besides the ability to change faces, it does not seem to be anything else there. If they are caught doing something illegal and the City Watch tries to catch them, we have no reason to believe that they will be able to outrun them, or defeat them in a fight.
  5. What if? RPG scenario questions

    There are a couple of things in your scenario that I found out of character for Ned. First, I don't see him leaving the city without his two daughters. In the books he puts Sansa's live before his own honour, so he would stay in KL until he could rescue both his girls disregarding the risks. The other, is that I don't see him going to Winterfell and summoning a council there. Once he flees KL, from Ned's perspective the next in line is Stannis. It would be a most urgent matter to inform him about the bastardy of Cersei's children and Robert's accident/death. Stannis is in Dragonstone, very close to KL by ship. It would make no sense to pass by and go to Winterfell. Again, from Ned's perspective, a summit to fight against the Lannisters should be presided by Stannis and held at Dragonstone. Which is a more convenient place to meet than cold and isolated Winterfell. Regarding the timeline: I don't see Eddard leaving KL and his post as a Hand while Robert is alive. The scenario I could see working is having someone reveal him before entering the Throne Room that Slynt and the City Watch had been bribed by the Lannisters. then he would flee the city. When Jon says his vows (Jon VI), word of Robert's death (or Eddards capture) has not reached the Wall. He receives the news in his next chapter (Jon VII) Tyrion leaves the Vale much before Robert's death. Other random thoughts: You don't mention Renly or the Tyrells in your plan, but they would be major players in your scenario. it makes no sense for Eddard to send a raven to Oberyn, but not to the lords of Highgarden or Storm's End. Perhaps an interesting idea would be explaining that Ned send the ravens, but they did not come to the meeting. Then, in the middle of the game, the news of Renly's proclamation as king could reach the council. I honestly don't see why Maege Mormont would be summoned to such a meeting. I assume that the negotiating room would include only the representatives of regions (Stannis for the Throne, Ned for the North, Edmure for the Riverlands, Brynden for the Vale, Oberyn for Dorne and Asha for the Iron Islands). Including there the major lords of the North without including an equal number of major lords from the other regions wouldn't be welcomed. Even if Maege was around, she wouldn't be a true player and as a loyal bannerman couldn't do much more than agree to everything Eddard says. I don't think that Ned would be offended by Asha being sent to negotiate in Balon's name. She is just an ambassador, just as Robb sent Catelyn to speak in his name in Renly's camp. No one was offended that time. And Ned is not old fashioned in this regard, as we can see in how he adapts to Arya not behaving as a proper lady should. Stannis, and not Ned, would the the one that would dislike Arya the most (for being a woman, and for being a pirate). Possible agenda's for Edmure: Tywin would be at the Golden Tooth with a huge army as they spoke, so Edmure's would be interested in pressing the others to defend the Riverlands asap. He may also try to convince Stannis to give him some Lannister lands (the Northern Coast, or the Golden Tooth itself) in exchange for his support.
  6. Jon Arryn dies at the begining of the books, so Lysa had only been ruling for some months. There was no time.
  7. Possible Discrepancy in Aerys II's Kingsguard

    Yeah, it's clear that Lewys Martell came in the KG after Gwayne Gaunt's death, and possibly he even substituted him. The defiance of Duskendale is in 277, and Rhaegar is betrothed to Elia in 279. Given that after the defiance Aerys became increasingly paranoid and the relationship with Tywin was strained, it would make sense that selecting a new KG would take some time.
  8. D&E time politics and family relations

    We have very strong indications suggesting at odds, though. In TSS Ser Eustace takes it for granted, and Egg doesn't contradict it. In fact, he also shows animosity towards Bloodraven, using arguments that sound as if he had heard them at home. Then in TMK, Bloodraven suggests keeping Egg as a hostage in a way that implies strong rivalry with Maekar. Their personalities do not match up very well, too. Maekar is stubborn, straightforward and serious, while Bloodraven is more subtler, and has a teasing/mocking persona that someone like Maekar probably has a hard time to digest. I'd say that the only think that united them was the hatred towards the Blackfyres, and that's probably the reason why Maekar kept Bloodraven in his council. He was the best at the job. But I'd be very surprised if theirs was not a strained relationship.
  9. Speculation about the Targaryens on Dragonstone

    The Rogue Prince tells us that Daemon was married to Rhea Royce when he was 16, at year 97AC. At this point his father Balon was heir and the Prince of Dragonstone, so Daemon's marriage had to be a big thing. At the same time, though, Balon was very young and Viserys had just married and fathered Rhaenyra, so Daemon inheriting the crown may have seemed a very unlikely preposition. With this in mind a marriage that nearly made Daemon the second more powerful lord in the Vale could make some sense. I think that Aemma Arryn having influenced the match is a strong possibility. She and Rhea could have been childhood friends, and Daemon marries her only four years after Aemma married Viserys.
  10. Let's Figure Out The Mormonts

    All the information that we have would support that the Mormonts are, if not poor, amongst the most modest houses in Westeros. Besides what Jorah tells us, there's the fact that their keep is made of wood with only an earth palisade. Their location in the far North ensures very harsh winters and keeps them away from any trade route. Even their own name (moor-mountain) doesn't suggest much fertile land There are plenty of relatively minor houses with overtly proud mottos: the Follards claim "None so wise", the Footly threaten "Tread lightly here", the Serrets boast "I have no rival",... I'd guess that the Mormont's words take pride in the fact that while they live in one of the shitiest places in Westeros, subject to cruel winters and frequent raids from ironborn and wildlings, they have managed to keep it for themselves. As for Longclaw, I agree that it's unlikely that it was purchased.
  11. What If: Renly backs Stannis

    Stannis could never do that. In his mind, Renly should have helped him in the war because it was his duty. And therefore, he didn't deserve any reward. After all, Stannis wasn't rewarded for supporting Robert during the war.
  12. What If: Renly backs Stannis

    Because Robert was a king who left the ruling to the small council, and thus allowed the likes of Renly a great deal of power and personal freedom. If Stannis was king, the best Renly could hope for was becoming a mere executor of Stannis' will, without any chance of getting rewards or personal gain in the process. At worst, he would be dismissed from his post and Stannis would name a new Small Council of stubborn old school advisors. I honestly believe that Renly could have obtained more benefits negotiating with Tywin than with Stannis. It can't also be taken for granted that anyone who would have declared for Renly would do so for Stannis. Stannis is unpopular, uncharismatic, has a lot of old enemies, is not willing to play the political game of promises and favours, and it's a known supporter of controversial polices (such as banning whoring). Lords Tyrells and Redwynes would have reason to fear, after besieging Storm's End in the war and mocking Stannis by having feasts beneath his walls while he was being forced to eat rats. And in any case, I very much doubt that Stannis would have accepted to set aside Selyse and marry Margaery. Even if his marriage is not a happy one, he's all about duty and tradition. When Renly crowned himself he didn't know that Stannis had discovered that Cersei's sons were bastards, and thus he considered his duty to claim the throne. If it weren't for this, he would have probably remained out of the conflict. He also didn't know that Stannis had a sorceress at his service that could send shadow assassins and cause de dead of rival claimants. If it weren't for this, Renly would have just taken Storm's End and continued to King's Landing When he proclaimed himself king, he knew that the Lannisters were alone. King Joffrey could not count with the support of the North (he had killed Ned), the Riverlands (they had just been attacked by the Lannisters), Dorne (for the murder of Elia and sons), the Iron Islands (traditional enemies) and the Vale (connections with North/Riverlands). All those regions would either join him or remain neutral. Meanwhile, he had the backing of the Reach and the Stormlands. His path to the Iron Throne was a clear one. This course of action would be preferable to crowning a brother you didn't get along with, with the dubious prospect of poisoning him in the future.
  13. US Elections: Post-Mortem Blame Games

    Most Western countries choose their executive like this! The UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and I think also Canada all choose their Presidents/Prime Ministers indirectly, in a vote where the weight of each citizen's vote depends on where they live. The only big sized democracy that I can think of that chooses the president directly is France. The only thing that's weird about the US elections is the figure of the delegates and the "winner-takes-it-all" system.
  14. US Elections: Post-Mortem Blame Games

    In practice it makes urban votes count more. Let's imagine a presidential race on an island with five voters. Three of them live together in a "city", and the other two live in rural areas. Imagine now that we have to choose a "president" of the island entrusted with the task of building hammocks, and that the available budget is 10. Now we have one candidate who proposes to distribute the budget proportionally: 6 to the city, and 4 to the rural areas, and another who proposes to build only hammocks in the city. It's easy who would win. For this reason, to compensate for the higher capacity for coordination and lobbyism in the cities, most Western democracies give some degree of overrepresentation to their rural areas. I think that this is not a bad thing. Of course how much overrepresentation is too little and how much is too much is a far more complicated issue.
  15. Are U.S.A. elections rigged?

    I agree that the first past the post voting is unfair, specially where the electoral circumscriptions are big (as in the U.S.). And the main problem, as you say, is that on the long run imposes a two party system where the voters find themselves having to choose between the lesser of the two evils. This is a more complicated issue. In many situations, the lack of a competitive seat is not due to gerrymandering, but the result of a given community having common interests and preferences. As I see it, though, the problems with gerrymeandering can easily be solved by getting rid of the first-past-the-vote system. I'm inclined to agree that voting on Tuesday is an old relic that could be avoided. However, I think that having small, easily avoidable difficulties for voting is not necessarily bad. The people who is willing to register beforehand and spending half an hour of their time in a cue is likely to be interested in politics, be well informed about the candidates, and really care about the outcome. If someone just doesn't care much about the elections, I tend to believe that his vote is not much missed. [Obviously, when we are talking about huge inconveniences that allow to vote only people with a lot of free time and resources, it's a very bad thing] I disagree. Again, once you get rid of the first-past-the-vote system, the electoral college is perfectly representative of each state. And you'd also avoid candidates to concentrate on a "select few states", while allowing the smaller states to have a say. I'm not sure about that. As Altherion says, there are a lot of counterweights to the presidential power. And I'd say that in many countries their executive has more power than in the US. I agree with this. Every country should change its constitution every 50 years or so. It's undemocratic that many generations are not allowed to vote whether they agree or not with the most important law.