Hodor the Articulate

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  1. The point is, though, that Dany did try to assimilate into Meereenese culture, just as she did with the Dothraki, which contradicts your claim that she doesn't like to adapt. I already said she is violent, but she also often reflects on it ("There is blood on my hands too, and on my heart. We are not so different, Daario and I. We are both monsters"). In the Dothraki Sea, she reconciles her "Mhysa" side with her dragon side. I agree that Dany is merciless to her enemies when she is fueled by compassion, as was the case with the wineseller's daughters. I say it was uncharacteristic though, because torturing the daughters while the father looks on was Shavepate's idea. She wasn't even thinking about questioning anyone "sharply" until prompted by the Shavepate. Her original idea was just to question the wineseller and the daughters separately, and to investigate whatever names they bring up.
  2. The girl who donned "floppy ears" and ate a raw horse heart "doesn't like to adapt"? I'd say Dany is the most flexible character in the series, constantly taking up the customs of the people she rules. And she's shown, repeatedly, that she is different from the average leader. She is violent, yes, but how many lords in Westeros would have reflected on their own violence? How many would have freed all those slaves? How many would have stayed in Meereen to try to stabilise the city before moving onto Westeros? People always bring up the wineseller's daughters, but leave out that it was an uncharacteristic act for her.
  3. No, he has a claim, just not a strong one unless he could convince people that Cersei's children are illegitimate. But even then, he was doomed to fail from the beginning because no one likes him. I never understood why people claim Stannis is an underdog, or rather why he is a sympathetic underdog. Sure, we don't expect him to win, but that's because he's constantly shooting himself in the foot. Usually, underdog characters are people who are of low status because of outside forces. Stannis, meanwhile, has everything going for him - he's got land and wealth, he's the master of ships, and he has a competent witch killing of his enemies, but he squanders it all by being a grumpy ass all the time and tactlessly insulting potential allies. I don't think there's anything contradictory in his portrayal. He commands the respect and admiration of a few men who are extremely loyal to him (Davos, Cressen), and everyone else either respects but dislikes him (Ned, Jon) or straight up can't stand him. And we see this reflected in the POVs.
  4. I think the idea that these characters are stubbornly holding grudges with each other is unfounded. Dany wants vengeance/justice on the Usurper and his dogs. I never got the impression that she also wanted to go full Tywin on them. And on the other side, most of Westeros (the younger generation, anyway) barely remembers her, as evidenced by the prologue of AFFC. I imagine there will be some initial reluctance to ally, but that will be because their families fought on opposite sides in the last great war, not because they feel personal hatred towards each other.
  5. I'm not sure if it will have any impact on her or the story, seeing as nearly all of the leaders of the rebellion are dead. She's not going to stop her ambitions to reclaim the IT just because Ned had good reasons to rebel. I mean, what else is she going to do with her life, go and join the Dosh Khaleen?
  6. Agreed. Alternatively, it wouldn't be that difficult to accuse Cersei of infidelity, or to find "witnesses" to it. He wouldn't even have to exile her children, just spread rumors that cast doubt on their legitimacy.
  7. But there will be change, whether the characters are actively working for it or not. Dany, the Others, and greyscale will see to that. Plus, there's the rising resentment among the smallfolk - what will have been the point of even including their voices if everything just stayed the same for them in the end? And if ASOIAF has a conformist message, why are all the surviving central protagonists outsiders? Also you have, once again, left out Essos, which has already experienced huge structural changes, for the better.
  8. If the wellbeing of the collective lowborn was most important, the right thing to do would be to reconstruct society so that the noble families did not have a monopoly on power. And when you get to Essoss, your interpretation breaks down completely, because "doing your duty" means continuing slavery. Obviously, that is not what GRRM is going for. He did not spend the past five books pointing out all the problems of Westerosi society to say "but don't change anything!"
  9. I get that people want Elia to have some agency, but I don't think GRRM is going to give her that. She's just another in a long line of mothers who died in childbirth to support our protagonists' backstories. There's just too much of a leap from being too sickly to bear more children to helping her husband produce more heirs with a woman from another noble house. Also, there was no obligation for the crown prince to produce more heirs. That's the King's duty, and Aerys was still able to churn out more at that time, as evidenced by Rhaella's pregnancy. Counting Aegon, there were already two spares (and the possibility of three, as they didn't know what sex Dany was going to be), which was enough. I find any sort of arrangement that banks on Elia's barrenness to be implausible. Seeing as a good chunk of the series is about societal upheavals and not conforming to tradition, I highly doubt that the moral of this story is going to be that everyone should have not rocked the boat. I mean, look where doing her duty got Sansa.
  10. I think SanSan is pretty icky, myself, but I wouldn't put it pass GRRM to put them together. He was the one who introduced the romantic/sexual tension between the two, after all.
  11. Rhaegar annulling his marriage, marrying Lyanna, prophecy obsession...pretty much anything Rhaegar related. Also, Dany becoming the Mad Queen or dying of childbirth. Just no. It's not good storytelling.
  12. @SecretWeapon why on earth would Elia want to share her Queenship, and thus her power? You can make a case for her being ok with Rhaegar having a paramour (though passing her for QOLAB was still humiliating for her), but there's no way any Queen (or her family) would be happy with having to compete for influence and inheritance. Besides, GRRM writes Elia as a helpless spectator. She's frail and sickly, and is never given a voice. Her only role in the story is to be a tragic victim and a plot device.
  13. Perhaps this camp follower was a spunky nurse from Volantis who wanders through battlefields without being robbed or raped or kidnapped. Move over L+R=J, the real hidden prince is baby T+R! In all seriousness though, any name but Lyanna's holds no value, as far as I can see. You gave an in-story explanation for why 'Elia' might have been Rhaegar's final utterance, but failed to explain why it would be thematically significant.
  14. Even though the war is framed (by the characters) as being about Lyanna and Rhaegar? It doesn't make thematic sense for Rhaegar to be whispering any other person's name with his literal last breath. Unless you think GRRM is planning to write a subplot about how some random camp follower became bffs with Rhaegar or something.
  15. Elia was either in DS or KL at that rime...you don't take your mistress to where your wife is, or where people you know might spot you - you take her to Hotel Tower of Joy.