sweetsunray

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  1. at the last. I don't think anything will ever make him a strategic mastermind. He's LF on 10 x as much testosterone. He wins because everybody else thinks he possibly can't be that dangerous, that crazy, that evil. Without the shade and whatever magical stuff he has already, I don't think he'd be anywhere. He's not a mastermind. He's cheating I think the armor is good against dragonbone and those bows of the Summer Islanders. I agree though on the dragon. Him on a dragon would be a total nightmare. I do wonder about his ship. There's something about the way George describes it that it almost seems to have life of its own. That's a ship I don't want to come across on sea.
  2. Knowledge is certainly something he's after: shade of the evening and all sort of scryers. Might be certain books too, and maesters with magical gifts. But I don't think glass candles are something to snuff at in a world where it otherwise can take at best days before you learn of something happening. We are so used to knowing what's happening almost in real time, from all over the world. But if it takes half a year to learn what's going on in Mereen, or a month to know what's going on in King's Landing, then those glass candles are wunderbar. And since he controls fast swift ships that can also sail upriver, he can beat armies being sent out against him overland easily. Scouts are obviously very important if you mean to conquer and expect resistance, no? Tactically it gives him enormous advantages. Apparently the guy ventured Valyria for a special armor, just for himself. Tactically it also makes sense to keep such items out of the hands you want to conquer, make them blind to your manouevring. If he can take them all, then he keeps the Citadel blind. If he can do a spell on them (think Sauron and the palantirs), then he might make the other ones blind too perhaps. And if it's what enables Quaithe to communicate to Dany, it might enable Euron to communicate with someone who doesn't have a glass candle too. He could start wooing Dany from long distance. Could George have given him glass candles from someplace else? Yes, George could have done that, but then there would be little story, no? George could have written the series with Dany on the Iron throne and the Others destroyed (not that I think that'll be the actual ending, just saying). But he didn't. He seems to have decided that glass candlers are rare and that the maesters collected several of them for themselves. It makes for a story in which he can involve the Citadel and Sam, while strategically destroying Oldtown. Because of course Oldtown itself has tactical advantages on top of it. He has to sell Oldtown to his Ironborn after all: rich town to plunder and together with the Arbor it practically gives him control over the southern sea. It doesn't have to be either/or. We readers often think of certain things as "pfff, is it only that?" when obviously the in-world characters think it special or something that rocks their world. When Leo says the candles are burning, he's met with disbelief as much as the people sailing in with news of Dany with dragons, and Alleras watches him closely, almost as if she thinks it wrong to announce it like that. The Quaithe scene in Mereen with her message is set up to provoke our reaction on "how did she do that? What powerful magic does she have at her disposal?" I mean, his armor is not something that gets me personally raving with excitement, but I can still recognize why he'd want it, and that it gives him an enormous advantage.
  3. Sure, but he still refers to him as the one who should be Hand anyway. Ned could regard Brandon's actions as having more than a touch of wolf's blood (as in extremely bold), but nevertheless still recognize it as strategic. And regardless of strategic intent, Brandon went into an early grave, because Rhaegar wasn't actually there to answer the challenge, and Aerys was mad.
  4. It appears that Gared had a trial. Bran was young and George obfuscated what actually was asked to Gared and said by Gared. But Ned asked Gared questions, and Gared gave answers. It's but a few lines in Bran's first chapter that covers it, but I'd say that was indeed a trial. Bran simply wasn't focused on it, and George didn't want us to know what Gared said exactly.
  5. I disagree that it doesn't refer to Alleras. You are correct that Aemon never met "her", and I think you have a point that Aemon would have been talking about the sphinxes at the gates most likely. But on a meta-level it does refer to Alleras. Example: Sansa isn't talking about Joffrey being a bastard when she says he's nothing like King Robert, and yet unwittingly she hit the nail on the head, and Ned Stark realized the meta-clue - that Joffrey wasn't Robert's son.
  6. Actually no, legally he cannot refuse trial by combat. If Aerys does that, he's condemnign and executing Brandon illegally. Loads of witnesses saw Dunk strike at Prince Aerion, and Dunk doesn't even deny he did. But even then Dunk is still to be regarded as an "accused" and can demand trial by combat. The facts of striking Prince Aerion were not in question, and there were witnesses that Dunk threatened Aerion. And yet legally speaking Dunk was an 'accused" (not condemned man) and he could demand trial by combat. If someone can legally demand something, then that means the demand cannot be refused. That's the difference between "demand" or "request" She's sharp and knows some things about the Starks, and yet she also believes that Brandon didn't want to marry Catelyn, that he truly wanted her - which sounds like a woman who's telling herself a lie for the past 17-18 years about Brandon.
  7. Yes, while we go on Hoster Tully's comments to Catelyn about the gallant fool, and Jaime's story, it's so easy to forget Ned's words and actions that reveal how highly he thought of Brandon. Even if Ned's judgment is partially clouded by the love for a sibling, he still thinks that Brandon was the one made to be a Hand of the King, not himself, and I wouldn't just chalk that off as "he's only speaking in terms of Brandon being firstborn" too quickly.
  8. It's a metaphor to me that he needs passage through. No, don't think those sphinxes operate a mechanism. They might, but doesn't seem like it from the text. Oh, I know. But the widow's peak, Dornish + Summer Islander parentage, and Doran referencing a Sand Snake being at Oldtown is enough for me. I really don't think George will invent another character in tWoW aside from Alleras in Oldtown to reveal that this new character is actually Sarella and that he "fooled us" with Alleras. That sourleaf eating dwarf of the Faith with bulbous nose that Brienne meets in Duskendale, who tells her about "a fool being fooled" in Maidenpool, is not confirmed to be the sparrow dwarf with bulbous nose whose head was shopped off for Cersei when some murderers met him on the road to King's Landing. And the likelihood that we'll ever read a confirmaton for that is nill. Still, I don't think the sourleaf eating dwarf with bulbous nose who was a brother and intended to go to King's Landing will suddenly pop up alive in KL after all. Do you? I agree you could see them as Valyrian sphinxes. That's what I'm thinking - it's not enough to just own a glass candle. You need someone who shows you how they work or who can work them. Might be that Euron only needs to be taught and can do it himself. If he has sorcerer abilities, he might learn to operate it himself, and then could discard the (half)maester who taught him. I hope she does, but I think there is a good chance that George will have her exposed. I suspect he needs the exposing of Alleras as Sarella and thereby not getting her chain, though she probably has earned all the links, for another character in the books. It wouldn't surprise me at all, if the maesters discuss another case of a woman who pretended to be a man in order to earn herself a chain a few decades ago, with the reveal that Alleras is Sarella. Lazy Leo reads like a character set up for us to hate, but he still needs to actually do something for us readers to think "you little shit". Betraying that Alleras is a woman would just do the trick, no? Agreed. Might have to do with the use of glass candles. Oberyn learned magic, I asumme from Marwyn. And Marwyn might have remained in contact with Oberyn and told him of the glass candles burning. Sending a Sand Snake to Marwyn under the pretext of earning her chain to use the candle to get present day info on what's happening at some places in the world and update Oberyn (before his death) and then Doran would help... If Sarella saw the events in Mereen with Quentyn in the glass candle, then it wouldn't take months for Doran to learn of his son's death by Dany's dragons.
  9. Me neither, until I looked at the 'sphinx' mentioning and the structuring of the aFfC Prologue versus Samwell's 5th chapter. Lazy Leo is such a nasty guy... he's got to fit in somehow, no? He'll probably first blow Alleras's cover. I think that looking into a candle and his comment that he's looking for naked women already sets it right up. I now expect her cover to be blown in the first Samwell chapter. That removes the Sphinx out of the way to protect the glass candle. So, then it's Samwell versus nasty Lazy Leo and Pate (who's actually FM) for the first Sam chapter. The second chapter is set later, with Sam trying to earn his link, along with news of Euron against the Redwyne fleet and that not going well for the Redwyne's. And then just at the end of that chapter, the Ironborn managed to get inside the port walls and Oldtown is attacked. Marwyn won't make it far imo. I don't think we'll even see him alive again, alas. I really wanted to see more of him, beyond the brief exchange we've got with him. On the one hand I think it's impossible for Sam to acquire sufficient links for a chain in the amount of time we can expect to pass. And we have foreshadowing of Sam likely ending up a prisoner of Euron. But when I think of that glass candle, and the maester making ritual, I could see Sam going through that, albeit not the proper way, far more likely the happenstance way - while a prisoner of Euron with the glass candle. If I think about that, I could see George write Sam being able to lit it and see stuff, and realize its potential. It would be an awesome thing for the NW to possess, no? Wouldn't it be awesome if he managed to steal it, from Euron, who stole it from the Citadel? Having instant views of whomever and wherever in the whole of Planetos in the present time seems quite an important and powerful artifact to have. You know where your enemies are, your allies. No need of ravens, delays... Of course a guy like Euron who sailed to Valyria to get himself a dragon horn and and picked up Qartheen Warlocks and drinks shade of the evening would want a glass candle. He doesn't care about the Ironborn and other people, or how many die for him to acquire things that make him more powerful than anyone else. He sends a large fleet all the way to Slaver's Bay with a dragon horn to acquire Dany and a dragon. They're all replacable to him. Heck, he doesn't even care about being King of the Iron Islands. He wants the world, not a driftwood crown, and people are expendable. Imo Euron is the type of guy who believes that if he's a dragonrider, with a glass candle and that armor of his, he'll be able to force as well as sway people to become his army anyhow. There are a lot of bastard daughters and second tier cousins that are jealous of their far more powerful parents or lieges who believe that Euron will make them share in the power if they just turn their coat.
  10. Me neither. I expect Samwell's POV chapter after the Aerion one that was read last year on Balticon. And I think the Oldtown-Euron stuff will take at the most 2 chapters. Everything is already set up, the bow strung. Aegon's doing a blitzkrieg in the Stormlands almost. And let's not forget that the Crownlands are already set up to hold a blockade on KL with Bronn in Stokeworth and the ward of Rosby holding Rosby, and the likelihood that there has been a deception going on at Dragonstone. I'd say that Cersei flees KL and Aegon is welcomed before the end of tWoW. I think that certainly is possible.
  11. It's not LF's way... If you interprete "Fighting every battle everywhere always in your mind" as a fluffy way to portay a strategist who has an overview of every possible moves ahead like a chess player, then LF is not a chess player, but an opportunist. He can make plans, but it's more akin to "I make a move and see where the pieces fall, and then I'll see what I'll do. He's not trying to control events or people, just use them. So,no, LF himself does not fight every battle everywhere always in his mind.
  12. Thank you @Deepbollywood Motte for answering Alleras (aka Sarella Sand) is referred to as a sphinx. I knew it was someone in the prologue of aFfF in Oldtown, but not sure anymore whether it was Alleras or Lazy Leo out of the top of my head. There you go: Sarella-Alleras: a riddle. Did a quick search on sphinxes: The first sphinxes mentioned are Valyrian sphinxes at the doors of the small council. Eddard, Sansa and Tyrion notice them. Tyrion rest his hand on one of them at some point. Then you've got the prologue in aFfC with Alleras the Sphinx, nicknamed so by Lazy Leo (see I knew Leo came into it somehow). Overall, the Prologue imo serves to introduce Alleras to us, who later turns out to be one of the Sand Snakes. Pate describes Alleras quite a lot, and plenty of characters ask Alleras's opinion on stuff. The chapters immediately following the prologue are the Prophet (Aerion's chapter where he calls for the Kingsmoot that will end up making his abuser brother Euron king), and then Hotah's chapter with Doran and the introduction of the other Sand Snakes. Anyway, the prologue is where the riddle-speak begins. In one of Samwell's later chapters we learn that in one of his ramblings, Aemon says that the sphinx isn't the riddler, but the riddle. This seems to be Aemon correcting Roone. Where Roone serves to remind us of the association between sphinxes and riddles, Aemon clarifies that we should not necessarily be trying to figure out what Alleras means or says, but who he is and what his significance may be. This "riddle" is important, because when Sam meets Alleras we get several repeats of the same words. So thrice we get "the sphinx is the riddle, not the riddler". Just so we readers don't forget that one and don't mistake sphinxes for riddlers. Sam ends up telling all about what happened at the Wall and beyond to Alleras, except meeting Bran and helping him through the Black Gate and the baby swap, including the last days with Aemon (a dragon) and "she" ends up taking him to Marwyn. Aemon talked about how the dragon needs 3 heads, and he's too old, and glass candles and sphinxes being the riddle, not the riddler. In the prologue they talked about the rumors of Dany and her 3 dragons, Alleras saying "the dragon has 3 heads" (that's when the riddle talk comes up), and Lazy Leo saying the glass candles are burning. Alleras metaphorically "opens doors" for Sam in the chapter. She leads him to the right person and ensures that both the SLayer and Marywn are introduced. Now the first association we had in the series about sphinxes was not "the riddle" but as guardians of the door in the room of the Small Council. What guards the gates of the Citadel? Sphinxes! In that same chapter, we also learn how Ironborn have tried to use deception to burn the port once they were inside the gates of Oldtown. They conquered a Tyroshi trader, used the dyes to dye their beards green and purple, but they met with an Oldtown ship whose oarmaster's wife is Tyroshi and so he spoke to them in Tyroshi, to which the Ironborn could say nothing, and thus were caught. What is Euron seeking in Oldtown? Sure for the Ironborn he can just say it's military strategy and for plunder, but he's a collector of stuff (including sphinxes) I'd say Euron wants to get into the Citadel and acquire himself a glass candle. Looking into fires and drinking the shade of the evening is all well and good, especially for visions of what may come to pass, but it doesn't seem as if the seer has much control over it. Meanwhile Qauithe's warning about the ones coming to Dany (to seek and lust for dragons) and at the time she gives it, suggests that glass candles give you an enormous vision and likely control of where and who you watch, but always in the present. That's why she ends up warning Dany about JonCon and Aegon coming imo - she doesn't know they will go no farther than Volantis and then sail for Westeros. She only knows that they mean to unite with her and at the time of her warning are starting going downstream on the Rhoyne. Apparently Marwyn was overheard the conversation Sam had with Alleras, but he fears he might have missed some bits and pieces there. So, I'd say glass candles give you the power to look what is happening somewhere in Essos or watch any person you're curious after, but only in "real time" (the present when watching). And Euron wants one (or two or three). But for that he needs to get beyond the Citadel's gates. And Alleras/Sarella I think will be an important guardian of the glass candles, especially because sourleaf is a bad omen imo of the character's fate: several sourleaf eaters have died (such as Yoren and Mistress Heddle of the Crossroads Inn). The red sourleaf smile is the smile of death, parallel to Robert's bloody red smile on his deathbed). Emmon Frey is a sourleaf eater, and the more confident speculation and hints suggest a retaking of Riverrun (and thus Emmon dying). And one of the Second Sons that Tyrion sees is another sourleaf eater. I don't think Marwyn will get far. I wouldn't be surprised if Euron catches himself a Swan ship. We also have seen how Euron uses people. Lazy Leo is one of Marwyn's students,but obviously not one of the most trusted acolytes there. Leo is a mean spirited, malicious guy who openly says the glass candles are burning. He's staring into a candle flame when Sam arrives at the rookery, with the Sphinx asking him whether he's looking into the fire to know his destiny or his death. Leo quips he's looking at "naked women". Imo he doesn't see anything in the real candle, but he knows Alleras's secret through the glass candle. He's definitely set up to be a betrayer. Oh and his father is the commander of the City Watch of Oldtown, and they're Tyrells of a secondary branch. And we just know how nasty guys from a secondary branch can be selfish opportunists for power, which is exactly what Euron used with the bastard daughter on the Shield Islands. Now notice that the guardian sphinxes of the Citadel gates are of a different gender: a male and a female. And then in aDwD, we get this in Andalos while Tyrion rides with Illyrio on the Valyrian road. Ok, so it's not a lion's body, but a dragon's body here, and it has much more to do with an allusion to Viserys having been taken to Vaes Dothrak and die there, with only the dragon queen remaining, and how Aegon doesn't unite with Dany later in the book. But it might also be linked to a male and female guardian in general, with Alleras actually being the female sphinx. If Marwyn does get taken by Euron and get killed, I'd say the sole guardian of the glass candle left, who'd want it not to fall in the wrong hands is Alleras. So, going back to Euron needing "sphinxes"... he needs the sphinxes of the gates of the Citadel to open the doors for him.
  13. He certainly could be an inspiration. I would certainly also check out Poseidon, and any sea deity that has underworld/trickster elements. I would also advize to check out pirate myth and folklore such as Davey Jones, the Heart Locker, The Flying Dutchman, and Lovecraft for sure. Might want to check out the Argonaut voyage too. Certainly the tWoW chapter is full of underworldly subaquatic stuff. Unfortunately I have other essays to work on for the moment + work, so can't get into it myself "in depth".
  14. Haven't looked into Euron much yet in that regard. But thinking about the "krakens, dragons and sphinxes"... A sphinx asks riddles. So, the combo of the three "animals" is a type of riddle. Isn't there someone nicknamed the sphinx? And a "sphinx" is a lion with a human head and breasts if female. You could regard Cersei as a sphinx.
  15. And somehow somewhere sometime they believed that having Gillin say that nonsense with a pause in between every word everywhere always makes it more sensible. Only in their mind! If you were to write it down with the pauses, you get: "Fight every battle ... everywhere ... always ... in you mind!" They need to look up the use of ellypsis.