Amris

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About Amris

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    Role-playing, writing, riding my bike

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  1. I have the first german edition which is from 1997. It says exactly what you cited above. There is no sentence about it having been the hardest thing in Ned's life.
  2. Yes, that the dragon of shadow fire that Bran sees over Winterfell through summer's eyes during the burning of Winterfell is a symbol of Jon metaphorically 'hatching' and 'taking wing' there as a dragon seems quite likely. However that can be only a part of the explanation: first, Jon isn't a stone beast. That's where the gargoyle that falls down at that very spot comes in. And which George found it necessary to explicitly remind us of 3 books later in book 5. Second we know that Jon did neither literally nor metaphorically 'hatch' during the burning of winterfell when the winged snake and the shadow fire are being seen by Summer. Jon's metaphorical hatching will come later when his parentage is uncovered. So the vision sets that up: it shows the pieces that will come together to uncover the lie of Jon's parentage: Bran through his visions - who took wing (fell) right at the spot were the stone gargoyle now lies at the very entrance to the crypts - and (likely) Lyanna's tomb within the crypts with whatever evidence it contains.
  3. Thank you! I don't know if you have read the details of my explanation. The clues towards Bran being symbolized by the gargoyle is not weak at all IMO. I'll post the link with the details again below: George even explicitly shows us the gargoyle three books later, staring out of the snow, into the sky. As for the shadow fire that is being shown during the burning of Winterfell when the gargoyle falls. (The shadow fire may turn out to have a double meaning if it turns out Rhaegar and Lyanna were not married after all so that Jon is a Targ bastard. But that we don't know yet.)
  4. Yes. 2x Stannis makes no sense. It seems relatively clear that the third verse in each triplet is a hint at Jon. So it would follow that the first two verses in each triplet rule out the 'wrong' candidates. stanza 1, verse 1: Viserys as a dead would be prince/savior/Azor Ahai verse 2: Rhaego as a dead would be prince/savior/Azor Ahai verse 3: Rhaegar as Jon's father is also dead - but Jon is alive stanza 2 verse 1: Stannis as a 'lie' would be prince/savior/Azor Ahai verse 2: Aegon as a 'lie' would be prince/savior/Azor Ahai verse 3: Bran - and later a stone gargoyle - taking wing (falling) right at the entrance to the crypts of winterfell which possibly contain the clue to uncover the greatest lie of the story: Jon's parentage stanza 3 verse 1: Drogo was the wrong suitor verse 2: whoever that is is also the wrong suitor verse 3: Jon
  5. To get back to the OP and in addition to my earlier post: While it is theoritically possible to have a beneficial outcome through inbreeding (at the cost of an equally likely chance of getting a negative outcome instead) one has to keep in mind that this theoretical positive chance has a caveat: the only genetic traits that you can (possibly) keep pure through inbreeding are the traits that the parents already have. (Here: dragon-riding). BUT since inbreeding by definition precludes crossing in traits from outside populations you can not improve the family traits with something that the family does not already have. That's a serious disadvantage in the long run (as long as there is natural selection): As an example let's assume some part of population A is naturally resistant to disease D and some portion of population B is naturally resistant to disease E. If you keep inbreeding population A some of their descendents will also be resistant to disease D but they will never become resistant to disease E. And vice versa. Once the populations crossbreed there will eventually turn up some descendants who are resistant to both diseases. Whether disease D hits or disease E or even both: some descendants will be resistant and survive. Thus the species is saved. It's small consolation if you can ride a dragon but then die of a disease because your gene-pool is not variable enough to cope.
  6. Incest among close relatives increases the offspring's chances to inherit good traits as much as it increases the chances to inherit bad traits. That's because close relatives share more similar genes than complete strangers do. However it is very complicated because there are still lots of possible combinations. Theoretically speaking if only say - 2 genes - were passed on then the equation could be: parent 1: gene A: good/bad gene B: good/bad parent 2: gene A: bad/good gene B: bad/good possible results in offspring: 1: gene A: bad/bad gene B: bad/bad 2: gene A: bad/bad gene B: good/bad 3: gene A: bad/bad gene B: bad/good 4: gene A: bad/bad gene B: good/good 5: gene A: good/good gene B: good/good 6: gene A: good/good gene B: good/bad 7: gene A: good/good gene B: bad/good 8 gene A: good/good gene B: bad/bad 9: gene A: good/bad gene B: bad/bad 10: gene A: good/bad gene B: good/good 11: gene A: good/bad gene B: good/bad 12: gene A: good/bad gene B: bad/good 13: gene A: bad/good gene B: bad/bad 14: gene A: bad/good gene B: good/good 15: gene A: bad/good gene B: bad/good 16: gene A: bad/good gene B: good/bad 16 possible combinations for this very simplified example with only 2 genes. And that's when we have limited the two-gene math to one possible parent combination. Really the parents already could have 4 different versions of those 2 genes. Each. So multiply our 16 combinations by 4 to get 64 possible outcomes really. And that's with dominant/recessive traits not even considered yet. Our 16 possible combinations above would have an only 1 in 16 chance of an entirely positive outcome. (5: good/good good/good) The same 1 in 16 chance exists for an entirely bad outcome (Number 1: bad/bad bad/bad) Additionally there is a 3 in 16 chance for a partially good outcome (6, 7 and 8) as well as a 3 in 16 chance for a partially negative outcome (2, 3, 4). The other 8 in 16 outcomes are mixed combinations that are neither good nor bad but much like their parents. So in effect: 4 in 16 chance for some improvement 4 in 16 chance for making it worse 8 in 16 chance for the same as the parents (It gets different if dominant/recessive is taken into account since then one of the inherited gene copies is not expressed (either the good or the bad one). So half of the mixed gene descendants would then also express the positive gene while the other half of the mixed descendants would express the negative gene. But lets not overly complicate it and forget that for now.) The math makes it obvious that the OP question is valid insofar as: Yes, it is possible (theoretically) that inbreeding can be beneficial. But if we look at even only the simplified equation above it is clear, that it comes at a heavy risk. Breeding animals works in the long run by only allowing the successful crossbreeds to breed themselves (in our example above: the 4 in 16 somewhat improved ones). But that obviously does not work for humans. So inbreeding is practically guaranteed to lead to an increasing number of gene defects over time in human populations. Of course some of the less successful variants weed themselves out simply because they are not survivable. (We have an example of this in the infamous Targ miscarriages I guess). This would somewhat skew chances of the surviving offspring in favor of positive outcomes. But not enough. AND of course the human genome is much, much, much longer than 2 genes. So there would be an astronomical number of variants for the descendents and the possibility that one of them inherits all the positive genes and none of the defective ones would be so small as to be virtually nonexistant. The kicker question in the Targ story is: is dragon-riding really genetically coded into their DNA (and not into anyone else's). If it is then it seems indeed necessary for a dragonriding family to take their chances with inbreeding and accept the negative results to keep being able to ride their dragons. If that's just a fairy tale and really anybody could ride a dragon then the Targs have unnecessarily burdened themselves with the negative results of this custom.
  7. Preston's Quentyn is alive video is certainly a great exercise in making the most out of highly circumstantial pieces of evidence. In that way I admire it. It would make good training in law school. However what circumstantial evidence can't do is refute actual proof. We have that proof here in Quentyn's being aflame in his own POV-chapter, his 2- day stay on the deathbed, his dying and his corpse.
  8. I don't know if Aegon is real or not (I think a Blackfyre Aegon would offer more story potential and has some possible hints for it but it still is just conjecture with no solid evidence. Aegon may still be real. Be that as it may: I can definitely answer your above question of 'would Martin choose to use the ONE reference ...': The answer is a clear and resounding 'Yes!' And not by mistake at all. That's what Martin does all the time! It is one of is trademark methods during writing: give a clue which seemingly pertains to a certain person - when it really pertains to another person. (Like Arya looks like Lyanna. Jon looks like Arya. So really the clue was: Jon looks like Lyanna.) It's the same method at work here.
  9. GRRM has fulfilled the 'from a smoking tower a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire' part of the prophecy already word for word in the burning of Winterfell chapter in Clash. It is Bran. There even is a literal stone beast which has taken wing (a gargoyle that fell during the Burning of Winterfell) now lying at the very spot of Bran's fall from the First Keep when Jamie pushed him. Which incidentally is right at the entrance to the crypts with their secret. Likely the lie that gets exposed there is Jon's parentage.
  10. Agree with the OP on all counts except on Daenerys. For me her appearing insecure someties is perfectly logical and expected and makes her more believable and also more likeable. I also am content with Emilia's acting and am wowed by her Dany. Everything else: Yeah, the lack of source material since season 5 is showing. It is like other TV shows now where you always get your nose thumped on the fact that things happen because the writers want them to happen, not because they develop logically and organically. Even with all these caveats it still is a great show though. *** Rant part: (please don't read :P) (i.e.: Dany is too strong for Cersei - what do we do? 'scratch head' - let's have Tyrion come up with a dumb plan to give Euron a boost so the audience gets to think the two sides are equal - but Tyrion is not dumb 'more head scratch' - lets find some reason to make the dumb plan sound smart. Politics? Yeah, politics sounds great. But how do Euron's 1000 ship fleet spot Yara's fleet in the middle of the ocean in the first place? Oh and on top of that not get spotted in return? 'scratch head'. Let's make it a night attack so she can't see him coming. But how does night - time help him spot her fleet? - lets just forget about that.)
  11. It is how I imagine things too. However my impression of the show is they really take their 1000 ship line seriously. I have two reasons for this: one is that in season 6 Euron actually gives the order to build a thousand ships. The other is that in that same episode Dany gets told she'd need at least 1000 ships to transport her troops to Westeros. So we know the show thinks Dany has 1000 ships or more - which means for Euron to be a threat he has to have something in at least shouting range of that. The number is preposterous of course for something as small and barren as the Iron Islands and the relatively short time. (Even if we assume two full years had passed between Euron ordering his fleet built and his showing up in King's Landing - which would be on the high side timewise): how are the Iron Islands supposed to build 1000 warships in that time? Even if they had all the shipbuilders and drydocks for such a huge number (which they can't really but lets assume they can for a moment) - where did they get the materials? The Iron Islands don't appear to have a lot of wood. And even if we overlook that problem too: if the wood itself was there somewhere that would not be sufficient because shipbuilding needs seasoned wood. Seasoning (air-drying) wood takes years. To make the seasoned wood available, the Iron Islands would have had to lay down enough green wood to build a thousand warships (in addition to any shipbuilding for normal replacements) years in advance of Euron declaring his grand plan. It all doesn't add up. So to get back to your posts: yeah, lets just assume Euron is grandstanding and means 'a lot' rather than a literal 1000. It is just unbelievable else.
  12. I agree that Dragonstone should have been manned by - someone. Even if everyone dropped the ball though and left a strategically placed castle standing completely empty - how did Dany know that? When Dany lands it does not seem as if the island and fortress where even scouted by her forces before she walks there ahead of everybody else. I realize this makes for nice cinematic images but would it really have been too much to ask to see some boats land ahead of her and troups making sure she and her advisers were safe?
  13. The OP is a valid question. It indeed seems a little strange for a crown prince in nothing less than a war for survival to leave his three bodyguards (who also happen to be his close friends and among the best fighters in the realm) behind to guard some tower far behind the front lines. One would think lesser men at arms would be sufficient for the task. However aside from a pregnancy there are other potential explanations for this behavior. And because there are Barristan and Jaime did not necessarily have to suspect a pregnancy of Lyanna. Possible explanation 1: due to the break-out of war Lyanna had suddenly become an extremely valuable hostage against the north. And aside from his own bodyguards Rhaegar did not have anyone trustworthy enough within his reach down there in Dorne. He'd rather not risk putting such a valuable hostage in the hands of soldiers he was not 110% sure he could trust. Possible explanation 2: Rhaegar was so infatuated with Lyanna that he was not taking any risks where her safety was concerned. And putting his own safety second (by giving her his own bodyguards) seemed just the thing to do. Chivalry and all that.
  14. People, I sympathize with your hopes about Winds. However: stop trying to read Winds completion theories into everything GRRM says or does. If you look at that blog post objectively it shows no connection to Winds. Besides if he were finished GRRM would say so. He made that clear long ago. My guess is the post might rather have something to do with one of the GoT spinoffs that HBO is developing. Maybe HBO killed a Doom of Valyria spinoff proposal and GRRM is lamenting that but cannot do so openly or maybe they greenlighted its further development and GRRM is happy about that but again can not do so openly.
  15. I hear you. I think your last paragraph is spot on though. Euron as a kind of (please pardon the expression) tier 2 level boss for Dany to overcome makes sense. If he is supposed to be a halfways believable obstacle for Dany he has to be (or at least appear to be) very powerful. And GRRM had to set that up well before it comes to the confrontation between the two characters. So the story really demands we get all this background hype about him now. And in answer to DigUpHerBones above: yeah, in a way the set-up for the confrontation would have been even more organic and believable if Euron had figured more prominently from book 1 and 2. But that would have had a practical drawback: it would have bloated the early books and the number of viewpoint characters for no immediately apparent reason. Earlier has a certain charm but also the above drawback. There is no perfect solution. So I guess Martin is trying to ride a middle course here: giving us the details about Euron and setting his plan in motion early enough for the story to work but not so early as to unnecessarily detract from the earlier Ned's death and War of Five Kings storyline.