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  1. Anyone else dislike Valyrians/Targaryens?

    Well, I'm with you on this one for the most part. I think Targaryen's bother me more than anything else. Aegon's Conuest was never really given any rationalization except "hey, I can so I will." So they force the submission of six (eventually seven) kingdoms and rule over people that they have nothing culturally in common with. Then, instead of trying to assimilate themselves, they proceed to further alienate the new kingdom's people by primarily interbreeding in their family. This bares the connotation that they believe the people they rule have inferior blood to their own. Now, fast forward 300 years or so later to Robert's rebellion where Targaryens are all but wiped out. Their claim to power was very much intertwined with their command of dragons, which they systematically wiped out themselves during the Dance of Dragons. This, however, did not serve to humble most of them. The very pompous, superior attitude they had about their Valyrian heritage was expressed most detrimentally by Aerys II. The Mad King even had enough gall to insult Tywin Lannister (who had already gained his reputation as a man not be crossed) by saying he would never allow Rhaegar to marry a mere servant (Cersei). While I enjoy Daenerys' story in the first novel, the second she turns her eye to the Iron Throne for her own is when my like for the character really begins to deteriorate. We get to read extensively across the novels how Daenerys calls them usurpers and traitors, but Robert won his throne through the same means that they created it: conquering. Your family set the precedent, so don't act surprised when the same thing happens to you. Despite this, she has a "it is mine and I will take it" attitude that really gets under my skin. To further your point, not only does Daenerys find her family without flaw (even at times mentally forming some revisionist history about Viserys), she silences Ser Barristan while he is trying to tell her the truth (ASOS, Ch. 71). Even if she did learn about the truth, I don't believe it will make a difference. She has shown in Slaver's Bay that she sees herself as special and above the normal rules, stealing an army of unsullied through treachery. She justifies her actions by saying slavery is bad and systematically conquers and liberate the slaves of three cities whose only source of economy was slave trade. To further the irony, Valyrians were infamous slavers (just ask the Braavosi), and the Westerosi Targaryens did not shed this racially superior attitude during their dynastic reign. Daenerys essentially establishes her own identity by picking and choosing the nicer things about her family and Valyrian heritage to suit her ego and needs. I just cross my fingers it will bite her in the ass in a satisfying way because up until this point she has had ridiculous plot armor that annoys the hell out of me. This thread has helped me realize it's not necessarily Daenerys that I don't like but Targaryens in general.
  2. why does everyone blame Renly for Stannis's mistake

    If it's any consolation, I actually like Stannis a lot... well as much as he allows himself to be liked. I compare him to Cersei only in that, while they can be repulsive to other people, they certainly add to the entertainment of the read. Of all the remaining candidates for the throne I would prefer to see him on it more than anyone else.
  3. Rhaegar wasn't polygamous, he was dumping Elia for Lyanna

    Rape's classical definition used to refer to the act of abducting a woman, though GRRM is pretty explicit about his use of the modern definition. It's a little disappointing that Jon hasn't mentioned more about Rhaegar than he has... Of all people he actually had an interpersonal relationship with him and has spent over a decade raising the man's son. And his POV goes out of its way to mention how he felt Elia didn't deserve him but doesn't mention anything about Lyanna. Gah! One of those moments you know GRRM is chuckling to himself while he writes.
  4. why does everyone blame Renly for Stannis's mistake

    As I mentioned above, the "careless generosity" in my opinion refers to Robert not keeping the revenue/levies provided by holding the titles for himself. Stannis and Renly were never situated to inherit anything at any time until Robert won a war and claimed a kingship and Dragonstone. Robert could have easily (and justly) held onto them to supplement his extravagant spending, but was more generous than that (for good or bad). Careless generosity, in my opinion, is synonymous to his noted distaste for what he called "counting coppers."
  5. Tyrion's killing of Tywin was an over reaction?

    Yikes, now I know how I must look when I take my calculated digs at Daenerys. I don't think the OP is being completely unfair, but certainly a radical interpretation of events. I agree Tyrion wasn't purely in the victim role in regards to Tywin. He certainly sought to defy and everyone in Westeros knows what Tywin Lannister is capable of doing to those that defy him. Though we know Tyrion to be a great thinker (most of the time), he is also a very sexual person that has to resort to whores due (at least in part) to his dwarfism. It must be frustrating to Tyrion that his father's attention is so fixated on his sexuality that Tywin doesn't even seem to notice (or if he does, doesn't criticize) Jaime and Cersei's sexual activity. While Tyrion being seen with whores may be shameful to Tywin's perceived family image, incest between twin siblings (one being the consort of the king!) is a much bigger scandal (they aren't Targaryens). From Tywin's perspective, Tyrion was born a malformed freak that killed his beloved his wife, constantly haunts the prestige of his family name through his publically immoral and undignified behavior, and seeks to undermine his authority at all turns. From Tyrion's perspective, Tywin has mistreated him all his life simply because of a deformity outside of his control and does not hold his siblings (who get unconditional positive regard) to the same standards as he does Tyrion. Worst of all, Tyrion has always felt unloved and rejected by his only parent and believes that there is nothing he can do to ever change that. So why should he even try to please him? It's fairly evident that Tywin would not shy away from doing away with Tyrion (short of kinslaying) the first chance he got. Despite Tywin's claims to the contrary, I'm not entirely convinced that Tywin did not intend to go through with the execution as it wouldn't be considered kinslaying by the public. Regardless, the fact that he's willing to exile Tyrion for life for a crime he likely knows he didn't commit was probably the last straw for him. Tyrion swooped in and saved the family from ruin by mitigating the follies of Joffrey and Cersei and repelling Stannis' initial attack. This is more than any of his family (minus Tywin) had done combined at that point, yet he doesn't receive the same praise and regard by any means. Seeing Shae only further fanned the flames of resentment and was the final push, though I am of the camp that Varys somehow pulled the strings for that entire event. I think the main point here is that Tyrion may have experienced unparalleled wealth and privilege growing up, but he was denied the opportunity to be loved and respected by his powerful father. This is something that Jaime and Cersei receive unconditionally and that, for Tyrion, all the money in the realm couldn't buy. His father was ready to finally be rid of Tyrion, even after all the services rendered to his family (including the loss of his nose), simply because of an irrational hatred for him. So, my opinion is no, this was not an overreaction on Tyrion's part. However, I think the trial and the escape (including finding Shae and grabbing the crossbow) was more than just the natural flow of events. I think manipulations were in place to instigate the deep resentment that has always been present in Tyrion. We see in subsequent books that this resentful, cynical personality comes to the forefront in him rather than his usual quirky and playful demeanor.
  6. What would you ask the GRRM??? UPDATED

    Thanks for the transcripts and all the details! Always love to hear what he has to say about his writing process. I'd be more interested in picking his mind for writing in general than ASOIAF questions. I'm a young academic whose hobby is writing and he really makes me want to crumble up every page I write and start over on a daily basis. Though Out of all the available options he creates, how does he choose whose POV to tell events from? The Stark POVs are a given as the family is the focus of much of the original plot. But choosing character's like Brienne, Quentyn, Areoh, and Davos are all interesting. We know from his interviews that he doesn't like to over plan, so I imagine at least some of these characters weren't originally part of these "broad strokes" he consciously follows. Did you intentionally choose slavery as a misdirection in the book because of how morally loaded it is to us in modern times? If so, was there any historical incidences that inspired that? Do you think people have missed the comparison between chattel slavery and the treatment of smallfolk/peasants? Do you personally find it hard to create and stick to fictional religions due to your own personal beliefs? All developed religions depicted in the series are heavily drawn from existing religions, including Christianity (Faith of the Seven), R'hollor (Zoroastrianism), and the Old Gods (general European paganism).
  7. why does everyone blame Renly for Stannis's mistake

    Have nothing to add to the OP, but thought I could share some thoughts on the idea of custom and if Stannis should or shouldn't have been given Storm's End, etc. While Stannis saw being given Dragonstone as a slight (as he does most things), he was Robert's heir when he won/ascended to the throne. Dragonstone was the traditional seat of the heir presumptive, much like holding the title Prince of Wales in England. However, this is a tradition that has obviously died with Rhaegar and Aerys II. It becomes a murky ground because Targaryens never really had lordships (minus Dragonstone, their original home, of course) to juggle, and they set all the precedence for the customs of kingship. They tended to marry within family, so new titles never really came into play. So how a King's former titles, such as Lord Paramount of the Stormlands and Lord of Storm's End, should be handled would have been Robert's own invention. In real life, King's would typically keep the titles for themselves, including Dukedoms, Counties, and Baronies as they could continue to claim revenue and levies from these to fund/support their reign. They really only had an obligation (for prestige's sake) to grant land/titles to their own children, especially an heir so that they could get some experience ruling (ideally). However, giving brothers a spare holding or two of little power/significance (like Dragonstone) kept them out of your hair. Realistically speaking, giving a branch of family members a title/holdfast that came with a large army and income (especially, in Westeros, any Lord Paramount title) means that any ambitious members could one day press a claim to your throne/titles. In a sense, this is exactly what Renly did to Robert's "children." So, if I were in King Robert's shoes, the smartest move would have been to reserve Storm's End for Joffrey and just give Renly a position at court. It would have been the most successful way of protecting what he presumed to be his branch of the family. Then again, we all know Robert was more suited to be a war councilor than a king.
  8. Add this to Cersei's ever-growing list of mistakes

    Though Cersei is a fav of mine, I'll be the first to point out all of her (wildly entertaining) follies. I see the value in the point that she didn't do much to secure the fealty of Aurane. His theft of the newly built royal fleet is yet another crippling blow to KL in regards to its military strength and already substantial debt.I agree he was likely motivated by the arrest of Cersei rather than some master plot to set himself up as a pirate king. To put more context to that situation, I believe he suggested and was given permission to sail the bay with the new fleet in order to inspire order in KL due to the unrest following Margaery's arrest for adultery. To me, this suggests he probably didn't dare dock again for fear of his own personal safety, as he and Qyburn were Cersei's pets. Court favorites hardly ever survive once the favoring lord is displaced, and it was more than hinted that he was aware of and capitalizing on Cersei's fancy of him. Another mistake she makes with Aurane is that she takes his suggestion of appointing young captains versus experienced leaders of the the Battle of the Blackwater that have established their loyalty. Of course, Pycelle suggested using the experienced leaders to Cersei, so she impulsively slapped it down. This ideally makes it easier for Aurane to convince the fleet to jump ship (pun intended) on Cersei and KL when shit hits the fan for her. The promise of glory, gold, and women is usually all it takes to convince young men of anything in that age. I don't think that this was necessarily an intentional gambit on Aurane's part, he had much more to gain by continued service on the small council than a fleet of unfinished and poorly manned ships. Like someone else mentioned, dangling Driftmark in front of him like a carrot on a stick would be an effective way of inspiring a long tenure of loyalty. I personally would think that leaving Driftmark unharassed for so long seems like an odd choice, especially because as of A Storm of Swords the current Lord Velaryon is a 6 year old boy (Aurane's half-nephew). But, Tywin seemed unconcerned and he would certainly know better than I would. I would disagree with the statement that Tywin didn't like to punish anyone but the leaders as his primary tactic. That sounds more like Robert Baratheon, who also had a penchant for winning former enemies over to his side. Tywin's primary tactic has always been whatever it takes to win and place himself (and his family) in the best possible position.
  9. Most Moral Act: Jon befriending and protecting Sam. "We're not friends, we're brothers." Aw, I teared up a little bit. Least Moral Act: I've always found Daenery's freeing the slaves to be more of a personally selfish act on her part, satisfying her own idealism. She displaces an entire class of people into destitution, disease, and into the midst of a bubbling civil war she created among cities whose only source of economy happened to be in slave trade. She never takes any concrete steps to try and create a system where former slaves can be assimilated into full citizenship (yes, these kinds of political concerns have been around since ancient civilizations). Then she perpetuates their hope by encouraging the idea that she is some kind of messianic mother figure. ¬.¬ My heart goes out to the impoverished of Slaver's Bay. Finger's crossed for a healthy dollop of pragmatism from Tyrion.
  10. ASOIAF becoming a GOOD VS BAD story

    I think the OP has a valid concern... though that's mostly because it's a concern I've had for a while now too. Even if the Others have some kind of sympathetic story, they themselves have made it into a war of the living versus the dead. They're the ones marching south, animating the corpses of the fallen into an army. It's the one enemy in the story that unites all the various living people in the world; it brings new light to the old idea that death is the true equalizer. Thus, for all intents and purposes, this becomes becomes a good vs evil, life vs death, light vs darkness topic. Not to mention there is the concept of walking dead being unnatural and an abomination against nature. My thought are that while many conscientious people will likely drop their feuds and wars and answer the call to the ultimate fight for life, proximity to the Wall really plays a factor. We can guarantee the majority of the North will respond once provided with proof of the Others' existence because they'll be the first victims. Southron lords? I think that's where we'll find the grey. Though I'm a fan of Cersei's POV chapters and (heavily flawed) character, I'd be lying if I said I thought she'd pull through and march an army North to try and save humanity. She'll be concerned with protecting herself and Tommen more than anything else. Will the Golden Company, Aegon VI, and Connington suspend their campaign for the throne and march North? Unlikely. Human selfishness will prevail in some cases. I hate to even think about it, but there's a very good chance some factions will take advanatage and still try and strike at their enemies that are fighting the Others. The worst part about that is that they'd be weakening the overall strength of the living and their own chance for survival. But this won't be the first time we've seen characters do this kind of thing. Let's also not forget that Winter has arrived and traveling an army (much less traveling one North!) is a foolish thing to do, regardless of a zombie horde. If that's an idea you're actually interested in, I'd recommend The Sundering series. It's only two books. It's intentionally written as a deconstruction of Tolkien-esque Light vs Dark from the perspective of the losing side. As you suggested, the change of perspective makes everything a very neutral shade of gray. This of course turns a Heroic Epic concept into an Epic Tragedy, but a very good one. Her wording is also very Tolkien-esque, but in a way that isn't hard to read like Lord of the Rings can be. Something to read while we wait for this book to come out!
  11. Rhaegar wasn't polygamous, he was dumping Elia for Lyanna

    It's funny how polarizing the views on him are. Rhaegar as the madman rapist is (as Littlefinger on the show says) "the story [they] tell over and over until [they] forget that it's a lie" because Rhaegar lost and died. The other side (Jon Connington, Selmy, Cersei) all paint an overwhelmingly positive image of Rhaegar. The original post of this thread is guilty of the latter, even going as far is to blame Brandon Stark for spoiling Rhaegar's genius (?) plan to rope the Stark's into his rebellion. The likely truth is that Rhaegar was somewhere in the nitty-gritty realm of flawed and grey like everyone else in the books. I thought I would share with everyone a link to an interesting thread that covers more realistic possibilities on what we actually know about Rhaegar and some of the other players in Robert's Rebellion: I was tempted to make a similar thread but I thought the original post was full of (mostly) rational thoughts on the matter. I thought the tidbit about Benjen being close to Lyanna and then joining the Night's Watch soon after the rebellion's conclusion was an interesting catch. It's one of those little niches that GRRM likes to sneak plot twists into because we otherwise think that it's not unusual for a Northern thirdborn son to join the watch... but hadn't his circumstances changed with the death of Brandon and his father? Perhaps he joined as an act of penance for doing something that was helpful to Lyanna and Rhaegar (whatever that actually was), inadvertently leading to the death of his father and brother. I find theories like this the most compelling thing about this forum. Cheers!
  12. Who will be missed the most if he/she was killed? And why?

    The end of ADWD already implies she's playing meek and humble while biding her time... it reminds me of Norman Bates at the end of psycho. "They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, 'Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly.'" Knowing that Kevan was murdered by Varys she's set to rise again. There's really no one left to resist whatever "genius" (^^;) plan comes to her mind from here on out. I don't think any of us believes that she'd let herself go down in a trial. It'd be very anticlimatic, but I'm still on the edge of my seat to find out. Historically speaking, Margaret of Anjou is pretty unanimously regarded as an inspiration for Cersei. She was a power hungry queen that played the game of thrones hard during the Wars of the Roses, which her husband let her due because he was essentially inept. She basically did every taboo thing she could have done as an English queen because she didn't know any better and they didn't execute her, even after trying to launch an invasion to reclaim the throne for her son. She was exiled back to France under the king's (a relative of hers) protection. I'm not sure how I feel about that kind of ending for Cersei, but I know it'd rub a lot of readers the wrong way... which is what she's best at anyways.
  13. Rhaegar wasn't polygamous, he was dumping Elia for Lyanna

    Couldn't have put it better in regards to Rhaegar acting so oddly with the "abduction" (depending on your bias/view). His actions are so systematically destructive to his cause it's jarring. And certainly in discordance with the "perfect prince" portrait that others always seem to paint of him. I'm fairly convinced there is a missing piece to the story, for good or ill, regarding our perception of his character. In the end, we have to admit that there is conflict between the experiences of people like Selmy and Rhaegar's behavior after winning the tourney. Perhaps he heard a new prophecy, perhaps he reached a snapping point mentally, perhaps he finally just gave up and decided to do what he felt like for a change, or perhaps he was charming and manipulative and just had people fooled. Perhaps there's still a chance (Bran? Howland Reed?) for us to learn the truth. But until such a tidbit is ever revealed, I'm with you that he acted with the irrationality of a madman.
  14. Weird names in ASoIaF

    Hey thanks for the thoughtful response! Yeah, regarding Jaime's name, it seems odd Tywin would give Tyrion a traditional Lannister name and not his firstborn son. I think you may be onto something with the Odysseus references, even though it comes across as a bit corny to me. Circe was, by some accounts, exiled to the island Odysseus encounters her on for killing her husband. Penny as Penelope seems like another one of his deconstructions/subversions since Tyrion seems to feel more contempt towards her than affection, but she'll probably try and "wait" for him (while she lives, at least). Circe was a seductress by all accounts, and we know Cersei has not shied away from using her looks (and female parts) in one of her many entertaining schemes. And, in regards to the topic, like Seams I wonder about people with names that seem more descriptive than given too. What's Hot Pie's real name? Or did he just have a weird mom? Questions, questions...
  15. Targaryen Madness is an Exaggeration

    EDIT: I know other astute people have made similar observations as me, but wanted to express my opinion since a couple of other threads keep referencing this one. I think your overall point may be that Targaryen madness is a political tool that can or has been used against them. Your genealogical observations, as others have pointed out, has some flaws... Probably of more significant value than anything I'll say below is that Targaryen's themselves believe in their family's madness. Barristan Selmy, when speaking to Daenerys, mentions what King Jahaerys II had to say: "I am no maester to quote history at you, Your Grace. Swords have been my life, not books. But every child knows that the Targaryens have always danced too close to madness. Your father was not the first. King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land." The problem with your genealogy observations is that it only really addresses either rulers or major claimants, meaning that they are important in historical records. It is not an exhaustive list of Targaryens by any means. Add onto this that almost all Tagaryen rulers and claimants were male (Rhaenyra being the only major exception), women have never been placed under the same scrutiny as men in regards to their mental health. The only truly confirmed mad member of the Targaryen family was Aerys II; everyone else is just retrospective speculation. Not to mention that madness has a variety of meanings in a medieval context. It's the madness that interferes with a king's ability to rationally rule that becomes notable, such as in Aerys II's case. Also note that Aerys II's madness was triggered by the Defiance of Duskendale. He was betrayed and imprisoned and afterwards delusionally saw everyone as an enemy plotting against him. There is also speculation regarding the connection between the dragon dreams and madness (check the wiki While you personally don't see it happening, GRRM giving Daenerys dragon dreams in future books that start pulling at her sanity wouldn't be out of the blue for him. He's set the precedence and he can very well use it. So, in sum: There have been no Targaryen female rulers (minus Rhaenyra, briefly, and Daenerys) for you to accurately make the claim that Targaryen women don't carry the insanity gene. Plus, you have to define what insanity would even mean in Daenerys' case before you could claim she won't be suffering from it. Has she not demonstrated that she is capable of the cruel callousness definitive of Maegor the Cruel? Did she not irrationally banish Ser Jorah even after all the things he has done to prove his loyalty? Regardless of if she's insane or not, it won't be hard for people to believe she is mad and seek to undermine her in Westeros. Characters in Westeros have already perceived her actions across the sea as mad, including Lord Tarly and Arianne Martell. Perhaps that will be the tragedy of her character. Additional fun historical facts: Henry VI of England was grandson (through his mother) to a French king (Charles VI) that was indeed suffering from mental illness (believing his body to be made of fragile glass, etc.). Though not as cruel as Henry VI later himself was believed to have inherited, at minimum, mental instability due to him entering into unresponsive (catatonic) states during times he became extremely stressed or depressed. Even further, His son with Margaret of Anjou was actually described by chroniclers as being much like Joffrey: " This boy, though only thirteen years of age, already talks of nothing but of cutting off heads or making war, as if he had everything in his hands or was the god of battle or the peaceful occupant of that throne " Also noteworthy that these were all major players in the Wars of the Roses, a major inspiration for GRRM. So the point is that madness in the medieval sense can mean many things. And to address your implications... 1. Not anymore... And I think people would have said the same thing about "GRRM wouldn't..." in the past only to be disturbingly surprised. 2. Targaryens fought a civil war against each other than ended up killing all of the strong dragons, hence the ones being as small as kittens. They didn't just cycle out of existence due to natural causes, Targaryens caused the demise of their dragons themselves. 3. Future children?... So she's not barren after all? Even she seems to think she is. 4. There are those that likely already do see him as mad... especially with his policies regarding wildlings.