Free Northman Reborn

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  1. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    You sound like Joffrey, who also wanted a central standing army. In the Show, at least.
  2. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    Disagree. The world does not have to change. It is the brutality and gritty realism of the world that drew people to it in the first place. This story isn't about social progress. It is about humans dealing with the barbarism and travails of their time period as best they can. Look, I fully believe Jon will indeed seek a more just society, in Egg's tradition, given his relatively egalitarian experiences on the Wall and among the Free Folk, not to mention his experiences growing up as a bastard. But I equally expect these changes to be limited in success and perhaps even limited in longevity, and beset with challenges. George didn't say for no reason that Aragorn's tax policies were never explored or challenged in detail. Ruling is supposed to be hard, and we aren't suddenly going to see the lordly classes overthrown in some type of social justice revolution. Maybe some basic laws will be implemented to ease the lives of the commoners somewhat. Maybe a Magna Carta of sorts, even. But no more than that.
  3. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    I get invested in characters, not worlds. I didn't enjoy the Wheel of Time prequels either, despite being obsessed with WoT until Sanderson took over and ruined it. World Books are good, as they increase your understanding of the setting from an almost academic point of view, but spin-offs, prequels and the like attempt to get you interested in new protagonists, and that just doesn't work for me. And yes, I also am an easy sucker for the first POV trick. The guys you introduce and familiarize me with first retain my loyalty, and shape my worldview in the story. And if it turns out that you tried an unreliable narrator type of trick, where the guys you got me to believe in and root for gradually turn out to be the bad guys, well, that's a big turn off for me too. Anyway, not that it matters to anyone else. Just a bit of a response to your exploration of what informs my reading motivations.
  4. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    Actually I recall that I eventually obtained a copy of Book 1 somewhere and read through it in a day or so, given its relatively low word count. The one where Dunk basically causes the death of a good Targaryen who fought on his side in that melee challenge. And I think there was some Robert Baratheon ancestor involved too. Might be the Laughing Storm, or maybe I'm confusing him with another Baratheon clone. As for Egg, he comes across as an alien-like, aloof little weirdo. Sorry, it didn't grab me.
  5. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    I've largely familiarized myself with all the important bits and pieces in various online reviews, Tor rereads with that Leigh Butler lady, and more recently the Search of Ice and Fire tool. So I basically know the story. Frankly, I just don't find Dunk or Egg very interesting. They're dull, and they mostly serve to give us yet MORE Targaryen backstory, which not everyone is interested in. The She Wolves of Winterfell story, now that one I'll definitely read.
  6. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    I never suspected the Blackfyre thing, even after Aegon's arrival, I still wondered where the hell George dug up this NEW claimant to the Throne. Not having read the Dunk and Egg books might have been the reason why the Blackfyres simply haven't interested me, and still don't.
  7. R+L=J speculation from frigging 1998!

    I can't remember which books it was in, but I vividly remember which passages made me first realize the truth about Jon's parentage. It was the combination of Jon being described as resembling Arya, while Arya was described as closely resembling Lyanna, and Rhaegar riding past his queen to crown Lyanna the Queen of Love and Beauty. That moment it all fell in place for me, and everything after that was only affirmation of a truth I already firmly believed in. So, was that Game of Thrones or Clash of Kings? I think the Harrenhal tourney reveal might have been Clash of Kings. But in any case, it was quite apparent already at that point.
  8. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    I think Rhaegar DID plot to overthrow Aerys - but peacefully. He stated as much to someone about the changes that would be forthcoming after some Great Council after the War, if I recall correctly. And I think key members of the Kingsguard - the three at the Tower specifically - had sided with him in this plot. To them, he was already their King.
  9. Let's wildly speculate about Hotah's stupid, pointless plot.

    I don't see the purpose of a new Vulture King in the remaining books, but I can see a purpose for Gerold Dayne, perhaps linked to the central mystery of the series. In my view, other than being a fly on the wall for Doran's thoughts, I think Hotah was created to reveal more about Darkstar to us. Why is Gerold Dayne the most dangerous man in Dorne? Just for his fighting skills? Or for some secret knowledge that he has access to? There is more going on in House Dayne than has been revealed to us thus far. And Areo will lead us to this knowledge.
  10. Jon was born a bastard and remains a bastard.

    So much to critique. Let me focus on the timing issue for now, which I have always and repeatedly stated is crucial. Note that even the Show has: I think it quite likely that Jon will not learn the truth of his identity until well into Dream of Spring. Since Martin still intends to finish this series in 7 books as of his blog post a week or so ago, who knows how late in the plot this is supposed to occur. So to me there is zero chance that Jon will learn the truth of his birth before Daenerys has landed and conquered much of the South. To me, the reveal of Jon's birth to Westeros will be the big surprise revelation towards the end of the story. And as I have said before, and as strongly foreshadowed by Maester Aemon, he mirrors Egg in that he will not be a conqueror, but a ruler, and not out of choice, but out of duty. I certainly favor the Great Council idea at the end of the series, after the Others have fallen and Dany has died, to try and decide who will rule the realm during the Great Rebuilding after the War of the Dawn. And that this King will be Jon. Remember, by then the entire Westeros will be in ruin, and who knows how few of the Great Houses will still be standing? It might well be that in this aftermath of devestation, war, famine and disease, far fewer men of power will remain to be convinced when it comes time to elect a King. In a Westeros with almost no armies left, the man who was the war hero against the Others might well be seen as a great choice as future king. Especially if the few remaining Lords Paramount now include Tyrion Lannister (who has since discovered the truth of Jon's birth), Bran Stark-Tully (ruler of both the North and the Riverlands, who also knows the truth), Sansa Arryn and maybe Edrick Storm who could be convinced of the truth by Davos. And who knows what the Dayne's could reveal about the truth to Trystane Martell, who might be the only surviving Martell at that point. Martin has strongly hinted that some Great Houses won't survive, and the Tyrells might even be that House, although that is not a requirement, as they could be totally devestated and weak at that point in the story. In a land on its knees in the aftermath of Armageddon, unity might be desperately required in order to rebuild the Seven Kingdoms to its former glory, and Jon might end up being the only Targaryen left alive at that point, without whom the Seven Kingdoms might fall apart in its time of greatest vulnerability. In that situation I see him becoming King. Not by choice, but out of duty.
  11. The Starks and the Children

    Hehehe. I love that. "Knuckle dragging heathens" indeed. That seems to be the theme of pretty much every major North related post by Lord Varys. And I'm still trying to understand why. My theory is that he just dislikes their rural, folksy, what-you-see-is-what-you-get vibe. And that he likes to display the superiority of the more subtle, court politics-focused, Byzantine setting in the more sophisticated South whenever he can.
  12. The Starks and the Children

    Come now. Real godesses and so on? Nope. The simplest interpretation is that we have evidence of only one form of magic in Westerosi history - that of the Children. The First Men brought bronze, horses and a fast rate of procreation. That's it. As for Storm's End, indeed, the simplest answer there is that Bran reached back to inhabit various key historical figures periodically, allowing for the creation of Ooparts (Out of Place Artifacts). For whatever purpose that may be. But the stories of all the ancient necromancers, greenseers, skinchangers, beastlings and the like, all stem from the magic of the Children. There is zero evidence of the First Men practicing any original magic of their own. Other than maybe the normal sheep entrail reading and the like, practiced by various superstitious folk the world over. As for Brandon of the Bloody Blade. I don't dispute the descent story. That might well be true. But my point is merely that there is no way that Bran the Buider of the Long Night fame could have lived closer than say 500 years from Garth Greenhand, if Garth was indeed one of the first wave of First Man settlers of Westeros. And more likely we are talking multiple millenia seperating them.
  13. The Starks and the Children

    For someone who likes to deconstruct myths and legends, you seem remarkably open minded about the supposed longevity of ancient men like Garth Greenhand and his sons. It seems rather obvious that Martin is simply using the exxageration of myths and founding legends here, similar to how ancient patriarchs in various founding myths are assigned lifespans of multiple centuries or more. These were primitive First Men chieftains. Men who likely were counted ancient if they made it to 50 years of age.
  14. The Starks and the Children

    Agree with the timing estimate here. These tales of large scale slayings of the Children are most certainly from before the Pact. Else even the Maesters' history itself would make no sense. Another indication that many centuries - even millenia - would have passed between this legendary Brandon of the Bloody Blade and Brandon the Builder.
  15. The Starks and the Children

    Sorry, but I simply don't agree with the broad strokes conclusions you so easily jump to to justify your views. So the statement that the First Men could not have known about the Others origin or else they would not have asked the Children for help is baseless. Perhaps the First Men did not know the origin at the time, or perhaps the Last Hero went to beseech the Chldren for mercy. The options are legion to reconcile those facts. As for the First Men not knowing the truth after the Long Night. Again, how can you make a blanket statement that the First Men would not have worked with the Children if they knew this. Human lives are short. Within a generation views can change. And if the Children saved humanity from the Others, alliances could have shifted. Also, the First Men were not a monolithic group. (And neither do I believe were the Children). Simlarly, we know virtually nothing about the Warg King. Was he a renegade, who allied with a warlike faction of the Children? We have no idea. So, while your theories could certainly be close to the truth, they could just as easily be totally off the mark. To make sweeping statements saying that this or that doesn't make sense is baseless.