LiveFirstDieLater

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    “I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice.”
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    “Hope not ever to see Heaven. I have come to lead you to the
    other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice.”

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  1. I’m gonna just have some fun with quotes here… I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. The end of Frost’s much discussed poem. The poem itself is a reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy, which begins… In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself astray in a dark wood where the straight road had been lost. How hard it is to say what it was like in the thick of thickets, in a wood so dense and gnarled the very thought of it renews my panic. It is bitter almost as death itself is bitter. But to rehearse the good it also brought me I will speak about the other things I saw there. This is not a man who knows no fear. Fear and dealing with it is a main theme of the series, but this passage as a whole is reminiscent of the prologue of Game of Thrones. Not only this, I think the line “It is bitter almost as death itself is bitter.” is reflected in the series repeatedly. Of course Dante’s whole Divine Comedy is about the “truth” about what happens after death, and the “truth” of the human soul. My ears perk up whenever I see “bitter”, I highly recommend using asearchoficeandfire.com to look up “bitter”. There are about 100 uses, almost all seemingly very relevant to the plot. Bitterness however also seems to be associated with truth, or a “hidden” truth whose discovery is bitter. A few nice examples: Robert's mouth gave a bitter twist. "Not well, in truth," he admitted. "I think losing Jon has driven the woman mad, Ned. She has taken the boy back to the Eyrie. Against my wishes. Of course Lysa killed Jon Arryn. That brought a bitter twist to Ned's mouth. "Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King's Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me." "Mothers." The man made the word sound like a curse. "I think birthing does something to your minds. You are all mad." He laughed. It was a bitter sound. "Let Lady Arryn grow as bold as she likes. Whatever she knows, whatever she thinks she knows, she has no proof." He paused a moment. "Or does she?" The hair color gives the little incest kiddies away. Ned had a bitter taste in his mouth. He recalled the two fair-haired boys Robert had sent chasing after a breastplate stretcher. The king had told everyone the tale that night at the feast, laughing until he shook. "Which squire?" "That I did, girl," Ser Jorah said. "And if your brother is the shadow of a snake, what does that make his servants?" His voice was bitter. Jorah isn’t serving Viserys, he is a spy for Varys. "No, he can't die, he mustn't, it was only a cut." Dany took his large callused hand in her own small ones, and held it tight between them. "I will not let him die …" Ser Jorah gave a bitter laugh. "Khaleesi or queen, that command is beyond your power. Save your tears, child. Weep for him tomorrow, or a year from now. We do not have time for grief. We must go, and quickly, before he dies." Dany was lost. "Go? Where should we go?" Jorah might be wrong about Dany’s ability to ward off death, however the truth is that they should just let him die. "You were not there," Ned said, bitterness in his voice. Troubled sleep was no stranger to him. He had lived his lies for fourteen years, yet they still haunted him at night. "There was no honor in that conquest." "The Others take your honor!" Robert swore. "What did any Targaryen ever know of honor? Go down into your crypt and ask Lyanna about the dragon's honor!" R+L=J anyone? The king's mouth twisted in a bitter grimace. "No, gods be cursed. Some pox-ridden Pentoshi cheesemonger had her brother and her walled up on his estate with pointy-hatted eunuchs all around them, and now he's handed them over to the Dothraki. I should have had them both killed years ago, when it was easy to get at them, but Jon was as bad as you. More fool I, I listened to him." Despite the fact that Dany is told she is on the run from the Usurper’s hired knives, Robert had never sent any (thank you Jon Arryn). In addition, we find out later that Illyrio (the pox ridden cheesemonger) had been planning Dany’s wedding for years, so it’s unclear why they were running aimlessly around Essos when he is so wealthy. "For a start," said Ned, "I do not kill children. You would do well to listen, my lady. I shall say this only once. When the king returns from his hunt, I intend to lay the truth before him. You must be gone by then. You and your children, all three, and not to Casterly Rock. If I were you, I should take ship for the Free Cities, or even farther, to the Summer Isles or the Port of Ibben. As far as the winds blow." "Exile," she said. "A bitter cup to drink from." "A sweeter cup than your father served Rhaegar's children," Ned said, "and kinder than you deserve. Your father and your brothers would do well to go with you. Lord Tywin's gold will buy you comfort and hire swords to keep you safe. You shall need them. I promise you, no matter where you flee, Robert's wrath will follow you, to the back of beyond if need be." - It would have to be his grandfather, for Jory's father was buried far to the south. Martyn Cassel had perished with the rest. Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns upon the ridge. It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory. They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed. He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years. - And look! coming toward us in a boat, An old man, his hair hoary with age, rose Yelling, "Woe to you, you wicked souls! ("Woe to the Usurper if we had been,") "Have no hope of ever seeing heaven! I come to take you to the other shore, Into eternal darkness, into fire, and into ice. … With these words he silenced the wooly cheeks Of the old ferryman of the livid marshes Who had two rings of flame around his eyes. Howland Reed is described as a boat paddling marsh dweller. Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. "The way the world is made. The truth is all around you, plain to behold. The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good." She took a step toward him. "Death and life. Everywhere, opposites. Everywhere, the war." Of course if I’m going to examine the start of Dante I may as well look at the end as well. As the geometer who sets himself To square the circle and who cannot find, For all his thought, the principle he needs, Just so was I on seeing this new vision I wanted to see how our image fuses Into the circle and finds its place in it, Yet my wings were not meant for such a flight — (Bran anyone?) Except that then my mind was struck by lightning Through which my longing was at last fulfilled. Here powers failed my high imagination: But by now my desire and will were turned, Like a balanced wheel rotated evenly, By the Love that moves the sun and the other stars. My sun and stars...
  2. It's sort of a whole thing... but in short, I believe both Dany and Jon are the children of Rhaegar and Lyanna. A Targ and a Stark, thus fire and ice. One raised as each. there is also the whole Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys being the three who originally conquered Westeros. The ends of the names are: -on, -ya, and -ys just like Jon, Arya and Danerys. The hair color even matching with the ladies...Arya being his "old" "dark sister"... and Dany being the blond beauty everyone loves.
  3. Why not show Arya? Why would he show Arya Syrio's face? Setting aside the fact that it's still unclear what's the rules are surrounding the faceless men's disguise, and I don't think we've seen any of them reapply a disguise, nor do we know if the face Arya sees is a real face or a disguise... The faceless men are trying to convince her to give up being Arya Stark and to become no-one, just a girl. Appearing as Syrio wouldn't aid this goal in any way I see. Ned's not that important: Ned was hand of the King and the second most powerful man in the seven kingdoms. After Roberts death, there was every reason to believe he would be regent. If Ned wasn't such an honest guy who felt compelled to warn Cersei and pass on Renley's support he would have ruled the Seven Kingdoms. (But ya, heavy sarcasm here, a faceless man was probably in Kings Landing for some nameless unsung reason and at the same time Ned isn't important enough to warrant attention, really consistent). Master Criminals get caught all the time: This is contradicted by the remarkable confidence of everyone who ever mentions the faceless men saying they never fail. why not Joe Beggar? It might have been hard to get out of the red keep... maybe they didn't know if Yoren would just take anyone with him at this point. Meanwhile they knew Ned had already signed the orders giving the prisoners to the NW, and that he had agreed to admit guilt and go with Yoren himself. We could speculate endlessly about roads not taken... better to work with the info we have. Why agree to go to Winterfell? Now remember the timeline here, Ned plans to send his daughters home, confront Cersei, then give the crown to Stannis. If he had accepted Renley's help he might have succeeded. However, I don't think Varys intended to let that happen, it seems his intention was to brew chaos but keep a lid on it as long as possible. Anyway, the point is that by the point we see Syrio talk about Winterfell it's the same day as he coup and likely just a part of his cover. There are guards waiting at the ship to intercept Arya anyway. Bron had a sword: there were about a half a dozen swords lying around the room from the guards Syrio had already dispatched... and he doesn't need to kill Trant, all he has to do is not die. Dues Ex Martin put a Faceless Man in the Black Cells: Its certainly possible, but this is a guy who bothered to create backgrounds for the other two, far less important, prisoners. I guess this just hinges around how believable you think it is that he placed a face changing master assassin in a prison with no explanation.
  4. You are really passionate about this huh? ok starting with the questions... 1. I believe both Varys and Illyrio are faceless men, and that Syrio/Jaquen/Alchemist/FacelessManOnBridge are one and the same. They are all in league. I could speculate on the grander plot if you want, involving Maesters, Eureon, Aegon, and Dany... but it can wait. 2. I don't remember Jaquen joining the Nights Watch? I do remember him being disguised as a prisoner in the black cells (that's indisputable right?). Since he is a highly effective assassin capable of incredible disguise, and ive never even heard it suggested that a facelessman could be caught (let alone that one was caught in Kings Landing), I would suggest he was there on purpose. Why do you think he was in Yoren's cart? I believe he was trying to get close to Ned, so he could fulfil Varys's promises to Ned and Illyrio that Ned would die. And actually I think he stopped by the Iron Islands and killed Balon Greyjoy before going to Oldtown and killing Pate. 3. This comes back to what is the explanation for Jaquen to be in a Black Cell. I'm suggesting that if Syrio was in league with Varys he might have gone to him after escaping Trant. Remember the Red Keep was on lockdown after/during the coup. Varys could easily have suggested (and helped facilitate as Rugen) him taking the place of one of the prisoners in the Black Cells scheduled to go North. Perhaps why the other two prisoners fear him so much. This makes way more sense to me than that a faceless man got caught. 4. It's unclear to me exactly what the mission of the Faceless Men is. Theories abound, but I would guess they are slightly more than just knives for hire. Of course if Arya had made an impression with Syrio it might be that he cared about her, or saw potential. As to why act as Arya's Dancing Teacher in the first place? I told you I think he was trying to get close to Ned. 5. There is no denying Syrio was good with a sword. But I'd expect Jaquen to be talented as well... either I'd expect to be better than Bron, who proves it's possible to defeat a fully armored knight. In fact, Syrio is rather contemptuous of the "iron dance of Westeros". Also, Syrio was not so famous that he was recognized. In fact the opposite, he could pass as a dancing teacher. He came very well recommended to Ned, but we don't know who recommended him (I'd suggest Varys). There is no evidence anyone else ever recognizes him, in fact it's not clear he and Ned ever meet in person. Trant and Cersei certainly just call him a dancing teacher. Only Arya ever knows him as "The First Sword of Braavos" in their private lessons. Now I don't have proof (otherwise it wouldn't be a theory), but it's not as ridiculous as you make it sound. This isn't Benjen and Daario... Syrio disappears just before Jaquen appears. And it's worth noting that the portion of the fight we see is remarkably similar to Bron's fight in the Vale (where we see less well armored combatant prevail). Jaquen shows the ability to change his appearance and still lacks any explanation as to why he was in the Black Cells. Both have a similar relationship to Arya (including the odd calling her a boy when they know who she is). You might think it's stupid and you might be right, but I think it makes perfect sense for Arya's arc, especially since I believe she will have to choose between her loyalty to the Faceless Men and her identity as a Stark. The betrayal of having her mentor and guardian in Syrio and Jaquen having only been in Westeros to kill her dad in the first place would fit nicely. But of course that is getting pretty deep down the rabbit hole of speculation and personal opinion. In conclusion... you really think a faceless man was caught and put in the Black Cells? What was he doing in Kingslanding in the first place? Do you have a more satisfying answer than that the master assassin was clumsy, got caught, and it just happened to be when all this was going on?
  5. Worth pointing out that both Ambrose Butterwell and Mace Tyrell are serving as hand of the king... likely during a blackfyre invasion.
  6. Illyrio Mopatis: "Burnt or bloody, dead is still dead." Saalador Saan: "Burnt or bloody, dead is still dead." Bran: "The things I do for love..." Cersei: "Burn them all!" Jaime: "Hear me whore?!?" Tyrion: "Eureka!" Sandor Clegane: "Gnaws iron, bites steel; grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town... And beats mountain down!" Aegon: "Who am I? I know you explained it but I still don't get it..." Dany: "Drogo?!?" Jon: "Stop calling me that!" Walder Frey: "fuck you Harry, a wizard is never late..." Sansa to Harry the Heir: "It's not the Fall that kills you..." "UN_____" Doran: "Unbowed, Unbent, ummmm Unbroken? "ohhh I'm sorry, Unburnt. The correct answer would have been, Unburnt." Littlefinger: "Cat?!?!?" Victorion: "Et tu, Dusky?" Bolton: "this is so much more efficient than using leeches, ughhh...." Alternate Jaime: "I know something you do not." "What's that?" "I'm not really left handed!"
  7. You are right in that I haven't found hard evidence of Syrio in the Black Cells, but I wouldn't expect to. And I'm not so sure about the ease of putting an assassin in with Yoren. Especially if that assassin was in the Red Keep during Cersei's coup. Remember the wholeness place was on lockdown, both the keep and the city gates. Then we have Varys in the black cells talking Ned into joining the watch, with three criminals down the hall who are already scheduled to go with Yoren. If you wanted to send your man along you might just replace one of those prisoners wth him. Seems the simplest way of escaping Kings Landing and sticking with Ned.
  8. I don't think it's a mistake by GRRM. I think there are probably multiple way since to disguise yourself, including both glamors and "face wearing". We see Jaquen change his face in front of Arya without any physical tools... so it's possible. As for Ned giving the three common men to the Nights Watch... ya that's the point, I don't know why this is hard for you to get. Maybe I'm explaining poorly. We do not know Syrio died... please show me that text if you disagree... but he did disappear after Ned gave away the 3 prisoners in the Cells. I'm suggesting he took one of their place with the help of Varys/Rugen who has free access to the cells. No part of this is contradicted or even complicated by the men already being there. In fact Ned's order giving them to the Nights watch sets up the reasoning for the switch. I certainly do not see any timeline issue, Syrio escapes from the Trant fight after buying Arya time... and with the help of Varys takes a prisoners place (we don't even know if Jaquen was a real person or just an identity). Likely for one of two reasons. As I've suggested, to kill Ned, or more simply just to escape Kings Landing which had its gates sealed and was on lockdown. Much like how Gendry was sent with Yoren as a means of escape. Finally, Occam's Razor doesn't apply to fiction, especially fantasy. There is no logic suggesting simple is more likely in literature. This is a fallacy frequently thrown around to discredit theories. If you want to say you prefer a theory because it seems simpler to you, that's cool, but it's not Occam's Razor. And GRRM is exactly the kind of author to pull a got'ya scene... especially with a character death... are you kidding? (See Bran, Rickon, Arya, Jon, Tyron, Davos, Brienne etc.) And I still disagree that there is no plot reasoning behind it, but since that's totally subjective and speculative I'll try not to go too far down that rabbit hole.
  9. Suppose the way to get to the Sealord was to take the face of his First Sword... All speculation, but just saying it works both ways...
  10. There is more connecting Syrio and Jaquen then just suspicious disappearing/appearing timing... but I can only point things out, I can't make you see. But honestly why do you think Jaquen was in the Black Cells?
  11. Hey I appreciate the spirited conversation, but I think you are confused on a few points... as well as being willfully obstinant. You are assuming Jaquen was once a real person... it could just be an identity. Also, there is no reason to think the physical face is needed, when Jaquen changes his face as he leaves Arya there is no evidence of physical faces being put on or taken off. Glamors likely don't require any physical body parts. Im trying to explain why Varys would have a motive... you're idea of his motivations and goals is assumption and I think deserves to be questioned. Remember this is the guy who cuts out children's tongues to use them as spies. I don't think for a second he cares about the "good of the realm". Arya witnesses him tell Illyrio he'll try and kill Ned. Varys visits Ned in the Black Cells and tells him he's a dead man. You aren't the first to think Varys is just using "mummer's tricks", but I've never heard of fake scruff that can stand up to being rubbed. I think Ned only "sees" through it because the cells are dark and his sight doesn't distract him from noticing it is Varys. I'm suggesting Varys is the first person we see wear another's face and is a Faceless man himself. We could debate that, it's a theory, I'm not stating fact. But I don't think it should be dismissed so flipantly. But that should explain his motives right? And you see that no moving of bodies is required? Varys is in Ned's cell to get him to recognize Jeoff because he wants the civil war to be delayed till he and Illyrio can use it to their advantage. I don't think he ever intended on letting Ned live. You are right that there is no evidence Syrio killed a Sealord, but the marriage pact is pretty hard evidence the Sealord was at least sympathetic to Targs. Of course, there was also a change in power seemingly soon after the pact was signed. And the Targs were seemingly thrown out. Could be coincidence. If Syrio/Jaquen are one person there is no reason to believe it's the same person as the "real" Syrio, first sword of Braavos. (Let's say if Arya was in Braavos and met another member of the Forel family and found out Syrio died before Arya got a dancing teacher, just a possibility). This leads into your meta reasoning, which I try to stay away from since it's so subjective... but... You are gonna tell me that Arya finding out Syrio was Jaquen and is still alive, followed by finding out he had been in Kings Landing to kill her dad isn't a good plot point? Anyway... back to Syrio... We never see him die, that's the big red flag right? Jaquen can change what he looks like... and appears in the Black Cells at the same time Syrio disappears. It's not that crazy a theory.
  12. Wait so you aren't saying the black dragon head covered in rust represents the Golden Company switching its loyalty from Blackfyre to Targ? because that is laugh out loud funny as both nonsensical and a really bad metaphor... it's still black iron under the rust. why didn't they help Viserys? I would agree that complexity is not requires nor is simplicity bad, but it has to make sense... ive seen plenty of rusted metal... not sure where you are going with this... I was just pointing out that any Goldberg company metaphor should show their several failed attempts at returning to Westeros. I simply either don't see the same metaphor or disagree, I think...
  13. I hear you, and you could well be right... if it was "most deadly man in Dorne", or "most fearsome man in Dorne" I'd agree right away. but for some reason "most dangerous" gives me pause, especially coming from Doran.
  14. Wait how does it work without Aegon? I get the idea that one head shows up later rusted red... but honestly if that's the extent of the metaphor, it's really poor. The sign was chopped down in the first Blackfyre rebellion... so a bunch of pieces should have shown up since then. Not to mention that is Aegon is descended from the female line of Blackfyres then he isn't really a Blackfyre at all and isn't in the line of succession.
  15. Ok cpg... First, if Syrio is Jaquen, then what body are you talking about? But even if Jaquen was a real individual killed and replaced in the Black Cells (unnecessary, it could just be a disguise) Varys has access to the Black Cells and can sneak out a living Tyrion, a body of a lowborn criminal shouldn't be an issue. But there is also the weird detail that when Varys visited Ned, wearing the face of Rugen, he tells Ned that Ned is a dead man... then proceeds to try and convince him to take the black and live. This should jump out as a massive contradiction. Until you realize that Jaquen is waiting with Yoren in his cart to travel North with Ned. Even if Jeoff hadn't had Payne behead Ned, Ned was still a dead man. Of course Varys also tells Ned about the Black Cat Balerion. Oh and there is the fact that Arya overhears Illyrio telling Varys:"If one Hand can die, why not a second?", "You have danced the dance before my friend." (this is after Arya followed the Black Tomcat, presumably Balerion, into the Red Keep Basement.) I'm not sure if you understand how witnessing a contract works... One usually signs as a witness in order to prove the legitimacy and veracity of the other signatories. The Sealord would sign as proof of the legitimacy of the document and agreement. This is like having something notarized today. So that down the road there is proof that it really happened. That these men who signed it all died is a different issue and I'm not sure what you talking about Doran's plans. The contract between Darry and Oberyn, involving Viserys, was seemingly signed in Braavos before Viserys and Dany do their Beggar King travels about Essos. They supposedly had all they're valuables (except mom's crown) stolen, and they are thrown out of the House with the Red Door. Now remember the cat story Syrio Tells Arya about seeing what is really there... the Fat Yellow Tomcat. I would suggest that this is remarkably reminiscent of Illyrio and his yellow fools gold beard. But anyway, the moral is that Syrio saw what was there, in particularl the gender of the cat. Both Syro and Jaques Hagar's first words to Arya are to call her by the wrong gender. There is plenty more, and I could go on, but I hope this is enough to maybe make you consider things a little before just saying there is no basis for something. Finally, I agree it's bizarre that Viserys and Dany had to wander Essos as beggars... what with Illyrio planning Dany's wedding for years, and being rich... but something tells me I arrived at a different conclusion.