JNR

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  1. Well, this one, from the same source, certainly does: If we believe that, Bran survives the series and becomes a man. But as always, you can use the same source to prove ASOIAF has turned out to be wildly different from the summary. Oh, so easily: "All three volumes" ... "growing from children to adults" ... "a generational saga" ... "three men and two women." Preposterous. GRRM will be fortunate if Bran has even hit fourteen when the last page of the seventh novel is turned, and as for the survival of those five characters, it seems anybody's guess.
  2. Well, it stands to reason. Jon is the protagonist of the series, the meaning of its title, the Prince that Was Promised, Azor Ahai Reborn, the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen, and therefore the heir to the Iron Throne. In a book to be, he will also be revealed as Jon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men and the Rhoynar and the Squishers and the Crannogmen, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. No cushion shall he need for his throne. No jagged iron edge will dare gouge his holy arse. And though it's not often acknowledged, he already, in so many minds, holds one of King Henry VIII's titles: Defender of the Faith. An interesting idea. A slight rephrasing of an ADWD passage gives us:
  3. That's true, and in particular a lot of the World book history. Ser Kermit and Ser Elmo, for instance. I have my doubts. But I also suspect a lot of his recent history doesn't really matter either. Example: Virtually everything to do with the Targs, post Aegon the Conqueror, as discussed so extensively in the fake-history novellas and the forthcoming book that's solely about Targs. I think GRRM just got personally interested in the Targs, more interested than in Dunk and Egg... but that stuff is not going to help us figure things out. And if R+L turns out not to equal J, I'm not so sure it will continue to fascinate many of the fans, either. Where I think you (Black Crow) and I are in alignment is in believing that the canonical myths are important clues to the various mysteries. And the myths and the timeline bear only a loose relationship, obviously by GRRM's design. We see this visually demonstrated in Bran's weirwood visions. They obviously go backwards in time, and there are certainly clues to be found, both subtle and plain -- but there's no way to quantify the amount of time that has passed from the first vision to the last. We just have to understand, more broadly, that when GRRM says ...the idea is that Bran is now going a long, long way back in time. Hundreds and thousands of years. So far back in time that the heart tree itself is obviously shrinking, and Bran's POV is literally getting closer to the ground.
  4. Oh, you wouldn't believe the back-and-forth about the list of LCs, for instance (or maybe you would, if you lurked in Heresy for a while). Even this relatively innocuous line: If it was "thousands" of years later, that means Sam thinks multiple millennia went by between the Long Night and the coming of the Andals. Well, that works fine for the traditional timeline, which says about two thousand years passed between those events. It's not very convenient for the short timeline, or for a rearranged timeline. On the other hand, just to play devil's advocate... It's easy to ask "How much of a timeline authority is Sam, anyway? Why can't he be wrong?" Because it's not like Sam has done any sort of scientific investigation. He's just repeating what he's read, much as Catelyn is just remembering what she's been told about Winterfell, much as Dany is just remembering what she was taught about Valyria and Ghis. I do think that certain tidbits are fairly self-evident. For instance, the Andals would have had precious little combat advantage over the far more numerous, castle-equipped, terrain-knowledgeable First Men, unless it was really the case that they had far superior weapons: steel. This tells me they really did bring steel to Westeros, as LC Jeor Mormont says.
  5. And yet Dany was taught the Valyrian freehold was still fairly new to the world at that point: The Starks, in the conventional timeline remembered by Catelyn, built the First Keep and crypts far earlier than that: But how accurate are such dates? It's probably not something we'll ever learn in canon. The best evidence for any timeline is still nothing like carbon dating in our world. At best, I think weirwood memories Bran accesses might establish that some events really happened, and really were incredibly ancient, and that they happened in a certain sequence.
  6. Seems overwhelmingly likely to me too. -- JRR Tolkien
  7. It's certainly the established tale in the canon: And re: You're right again, and it was heavily implied this happened because of the Pact: Re: As so often the case, this seems to depend on whether one thinks the conventional timeline is basically valid, or is basically crap. If it's valid, then the Starks and their crypts would already have been installed in Winterfell for several thousand years before Valyria emerged and warred with Ghis. But if it's crap, then presumably anything goes.
  8. Well, there's a huge difference between (1) symbolism as used by in-world prophecies (2) symbolism as interpreted by readers of the story written by GRRM We know beyond any faint shadow of a doubt that symbolism in prophecies not only exists, in the ASOIAF book series, but is the typical norm. For instance, reading the Ghost's prophecy of a maid with purple serpents in her hair, we don't ever expect there to to be a literal maid with purple serpents in her hair. We expect that to turn out to be a symbolic representation of truth. Sure enough, that's exactly what we get. Also, translators routinely focus on meaning, not the literal phrasing. In translating "give me a break" into Chinese, a translator would not write a Chinese sentence that means "hand me a divide" but something like "I don't think you're correct," or similar. Literalism always gives way to the translator's idea of the meaning, which might be wrong. So errors can and do easily creep into translations for this reason, just as Aemon explicitly says they can.
  9. Because prophecies are frequently full of nonliteral metaphors. For instance, consider Jojen's prophecy from ACOK: Now imagine someone trying to translate this... into another language... much later, far away. "This makes no sense," says Mr. Translator. "Winterfell is hundreds of miles from the sea, right in the middle of the continent. The sea could never go there." So Mr. Translator changes the language in his translation, based on the human behavior, to this: "That works," he tells himself, "because the Ironborn and the North were ancestral enemies. They could actually do the thing in the prophecy -- go to Winterfell." And Mr. Translator is not wrong; that's indeed what happened. Even though the sea and sea raiders are not really the same words or concept at all. In the same way, the original PtwP prophecy could have said dragon, and that could have been shifted to dragon prince in translation because of the human behavior (example: leading a great host in an endless winter) that simply doesn't work for a dragon. But Aemon thinks the PtwP is Dany. So he looks at the original language, in the original prophecy. He sees it says dragon. And he knows that Dany is just as much of a dragon as Rhaegar, Aegon, or any other Targ you care to name; dragons are not always male. Ergo, Dany fits the true prophecy, and that's what matters to Aemon.
  10. I see in the last thread Professor Cecily wrote: This is something I agree with Feather about, so I'm going to explain why. First, we have to take a look at Aemon's mind. As we all know, he firmly believes Dany is the Prince that was Promised, even though "prince" has a male ring to it, and Dany is definitely not -- even in Heresy -- male. So he needs to explain this apparent contradiction to himself, and this is how he does it. He begins by acknowledging the problem: Simple enough. Then to justify his position he says this: What translation? Well, though he doesn't spell this out, it appears the prophecy that discusses tPtwP was not, originally, in Common. We don't know the original language of the prophecy (though many fans are sure it was Valyrian). We also don't know how many times it was translated before it was rendered in Common. Then he says: OK, what has this stuff about dragons got to do with princes or princesses? What's the connection? Because clearly there must be a connection in Aemon's mind or he wouldn't have brought this up. IMO this means... though again, Aemon doesn't spell this out... that the original language of the prophecy uses the term dragon. Not prince. It apparently says something roughly like this: And because this blah blah blah stuff sounded like human behavior, this was translated into something like: ...because, of course, the translators were sexist people who thought powerful humans (lords) were always men. That was, in Aemon's mind, the "error creeping in through the translation." Aemon also knows from Barth that dragons can change their sex -- so the dragon that was promised might be either male or female (like Dany). So this is why he says: This is also why the Targs, reading this prophecy about the dragon prince that was promised, became very interested: they are dragon princes. They have been ever since Aegon I. And the blah blah blah is apparently very important stuff. One last point. Fans sometimes think the above means the original language of the prophecy has gendered nouns, like German ("das Boot"). Maybe, but if so, that's not the idea Aemon is getting at, IMO. He is talking about the connection between dragons and princes and how translation errors led from the one to the other.
  11. Seems like those are ads for products to me.
  12. GHOST "Bark bark bark bark bark," barked Jon. "Bark! Bark bark bark; bark bark, bark bark bark."
  13. I've always thought GRRM had that in mind, or Istanbul, or both, in imagining Qarth.
  14. Thanks to the Fattest Leech for the fascinating new essay on the Citadel! Interesting. I said in an earlier thread that I now see I was wrong. Rhaegar just needed the right maester... or perhaps it was a little sleight of Hand.
  15. The ! apparently symbolizes something for you... but you're just repeating what Aemon himself said. I don't see any particular sign everyone in canon reads it differently. Rhaegar's phrasing was a lot more ambiguous than Aemon's was. As for us? None of us have read it at all... though some of us seem to have persuaded ourselves we have.