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[TWOW SPOILERS] March 2014 Preview Chapter Part IV

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Is it me or does this chapter hint at Arya having had some combat training? The way she kills Raff the Sweetling by cutting him in his thigh without having any worries of him being able to get up and attack her seems odd for a 12 year old unless she knew exactly what she was doing. Does this mean there is more to Izembarro or his group of mummers, or did someone at the house of black and white teach her?

Arya was extremely skilled in this scene. She cut his femoral artery and then had the awareness to act as if she was scared and that he was frightening her which ensured that Raff couldn't do anything to her before he became disabled. I assume that Arya has continued her training, honing her assassination skills and that someone in the House of Black and White taught her where a person can be killed quite easily.

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It did not seem to me that she should be appreciative one second, then snide about it the next.

Arya is appreciative, Mercy is snide.

Arya was extremely skilled in this scene. She cut his femoral artery and then had the awareness to act as if she was scared and that he was frightening her which ensured that Raff couldn't do anything to her before he became disabled. I assume that Arya has continued her training, honing her assassination skills and that someone in the House of Black and White taught her where a person can be killed quite easily.

She was learning about poisons all the time, then when she was blind she would get attacked, I guess learning about important places fits as a continuation of that. Not that we can know for sure before the book comes out.

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The Gate’s stage had developed a tilt as the building settled, their costumes were prone to mildew, and water snakes nested in the flooded cellar, but none of that troubled the mummers so long as the house was full.



I should have helped him down the steps before I killed him. Now I’ll need to drag him all the way to the canal and roll him in. The eels would do the rest.



Shit, the flooded cellar teeming with water snakes looks like a perfect spot to dump dead bodies without getting caught. Even Dexter would like it. Speaking of Dexter, that show is the source for my knowledge about femoral artery. Several times I got the impression that GRRM watches these shows (Supernatural, Dexter etc.) and imports some bits to his story.


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The Gate’s stage had developed a tilt as the building settled, their costumes were prone to mildew, and water snakes nested in the flooded cellar, but none of that troubled the mummers so long as the house was full.

I should have helped him down the steps before I killed him. Now I’ll need to drag him all the way to the canal and roll him in. The eels would do the rest.

Shit, the flooded cellar teeming with water snakes looks like a perfect spot to dump dead bodies without getting caught. Even Dexter would like it. Speaking of Dexter, that show is the source for my knowledge about femoral artery. Several times I got the impression that GRRM watches these shows (Supernatural, Dexter etc.) and imports some bits to his story.

As far as I can tell he watches all the popular cult shows.

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How so? Do you think the characters need a few years to grow or something?

Well, there are a whole lot of things some people expect Dany to do before leaving for Westeros...

- Go to Vaes Dothrak and unite the khalasars as the stallion who mounts the world.

- Visit the Shadowlands of Asshai in accordance with Quaithe's prophecy "to go west you must go east ... you must pass beneath the shadow."

- Go to Volantis and assist in the slave revolution there, as the Widow of the Waterfront told Tyrion.

- And, of course, return to Meereen to fix her mistakes, assist her people, and reclaim her dragons.

'Course how many of these things (if any) she'll actually do.... we'll only find out when the books come out. But hey if Dany's Westerosi arrival is ultimate endgame material, like second or third quarter DoS, she can still fit most of this in.

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Well, there are a whole lot of things some people expect Dany to do before leaving for Westeros...

- Go to Vaes Dothrak and unite the khalasars as the stallion who mounts the world.

- Visit the Shadowlands of Asshai in accordance with Quaithe's prophecy "to go west you must go east ... you must pass beneath the shadow."

- Go to Volantis and assist in the slave revolution there, as the Widow of the Waterfront told Tyrion.

- And, of course, return to Meereen to fix her mistakes, assist her people, and reclaim her dragons.

'Course how many of these things (if any) she'll actually do.... we'll only find out when the books come out. But hey if Dany's Westerosi arrival is ultimate endgame material, like second or third quarter DoS, she can still fit most of this in.

There have also been hints of her visiting some part of sunken Valyria.....maybe she could just fly over it :)

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There have also been hints of her visiting some part of sunken Valyria.....maybe she could just fly over it :)





Ah, I was wondering about that. I had heard that idea but I couldn't think of the hints off the the top of my head so I didn't include it.



Perhaps George is a fan of Alien Resurrection and there are going to be a dozen Dany clones sent across the world to achieve various goals.



My personal take, probably two or three of these things will happen but not all of them. I was about to discuss it further but then I remembered this is an Arya thread and I don't want to go wildly off-topic... I'll look for an appropriate Dany thread.


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This is why Lady Stoneheart is not entirely Catelyn, as UnBeric was not really Beric. Beric died in a moment of being brave and dutiful and trying to bring justice to the Riverlands - so he gets to relive that over and over, until all other aspects of life are gone from him.

Lady Stoneheart died in a situation of ultimate grief and rage at the destruction of everything she loved - and that is what Lady Stoneheart is reliving over and over, past the point where all of Cat's warmth and love and compassion are long gone.

Good observation! We can extend the connection to Khal Drogo. He was barely conscious in the hours before his death, and he came back as a vegetable. If this is a pattern, how will Jon be when resurrected (if he needs resurrection)? Perhaps he will become obssessed with Arya, or become paranoid, living his entire life in the memory of the betrayal.

If we extend the pattern to shakier, spiritual ground, this could offer a grim view of the possible afterlife in asoiaf. Resurrected characters always return in the state where they died. Could this mean death in asoiaf consists of living forever you last moments *shivers*. But I digress. This is unproven, unstable, and unrelated ground that GRRM probably doesn't mean to tackle.

Interesting...what does all this mean for Clegane?

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Considering there is talk of the Black Pearl who was likely Aegon's mistress and her friend was called Daena who was Daemon Blackfyre's mother with the same Aegon I wonder if that points to her seeing Aegon Blackfyre.



I remember Sam saying that Dareon looked like some dark prince which made me think that's what Aegon really is if he is a Blackfyre.



IDK who Snapper stands for in the play but the only other time snapper comes up in the books is in ADWD with Tyrion and Aegon when they're at Nymeria's palace and that great big turtle.



I also noticed that Varys had been searching for Arya.




“Arya Stark?” Tyrion cocked his head. “And Bolton? I might have known Frey would not have the stomach to act alone. But Arya..Varys and Ser Jacelyn searched for her more than half a year. Arya Stark is surely dead.” “So was Renly, until the Blackwater.”




Maybe she will find him.



ETA: Plus, seeing Aegon could continue her bastard connection. In book 1 there was Jon Snow. Then there was Gendry. She was engaged to Elmar Frey who might be a bastard. "Arya" is married to Ramsay who some Northmen still see as a bastard and like Daemon he was legitimized. The KM said that Braavos was Valyria's bastard child who ran away.


Edited by ARYa_Nym

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I am back on the forum after an absence - and I skimmed through several parts to this thread.



Are we only allowed to post commentary on "Mercy" in this thread?



Are we not allowed to use "Mercy" in the title of the topic?



I have many ideas to contribute and maybe my ideas are suited for a separate thread. But I do not want to disobey any rules by starting a thread on "Mercy" as a "close reading".



Has the connection to Elizabethan theatre audiences and Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" been discussed? [And all that it entails, including Portia's "Quality of Mercy" speech, her cross dressing, Shylock demanding his pound of flesh, and Shylock's delightful speech about life's inequities.]



I believe I read here or in a topic title on the Forum an interest in the grey mists and fogs. I have traced this grey mist/fog since Bran's 3EC dream wherein Bran is shrouded and protected by the grey mist until the 3EC delivers him to his bed, after which the mist dissipates. Seven times does Martin mention the mist in this Bran POV alone.



The grey mists are present during the blasphemous marriage beneath the heart tree in WF's godswood - and in several other POV's. The significance of this - which I have written about in other threads - the grey mist "can" suggest Bran's presence. We know he is visiting her dreams - she comes across a watchful tree in her wolf dream. {I have more - but I do not want to repeat what others have already said - or steal anyone's thunder!



Thanks. I did not want to address a topic I may have inadvertently missed.


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ETA: Plus, seeing Aegon could continue her bastard connection. In book 1 there was Jon Snow. Then there was Gendry. She was engaged to Elmar Frey who might be a bastard. "Arya" is married to Ramsay who some Northmen still see as a bastard and like Daemon he was legitimized. The KM said that Braavos was Valyria's bastard child who ran away.

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” she sang sadly. A foolish, giddy girl she’d been, but good hearted. She would miss her, and she would miss Daena and the Snapper and the rest, even Izembaro and Bobono. This would make trouble for the Sealord and the envoy with the chicken on his chest, she did not doubt.

She would think about that later, though. Just now, there was no time. I had best run. Mercy still had some lines to say, her first lines and her last, and Izembaro would have her pretty little empty head if she were late for her own rape.

It is pretty obvious that she will abandon Mercy persona and she will even leave the Gate. Sorcery requires years of practice and sacrifice. She does not have that much time. As we see in Mercy POV, she has learned almost everything she needed to. Her basic desire was to learn the necessary skills to kill those people in her list. I think she will definitely leave Braavos.

“The first Black Pearl was black as a pot of ink,” said Daena. “She was a pirate queen, fathered by a Sealord’s son on a princess from the Summer Isles. A dragon king from Westeros took her for his lover.”

“I would like to see a dragon,” Mercy said wistfully. “Why does the envoy have a chicken on his chest?”

This dragon is not Dany or her dragons but Aegon himself. By that time, rumors of his appearance should have reached Braavos. I think she will go to Westeros and possibly King’s Landing first where she knows for sure that Cersei is present. She may be disguised as a boy, especially as one of the little birds of Varys. She has an unfinished business with Cersei.

A squirrel-skin cloak, he remembered, he knifed me for a squirrel-skin cloak.

Death was not so easily outrun, however. So when Varamyr came upon the dead woman in the wood, he knelt to strip the cloak from her, and never saw the boy until he burst from hiding to drive the long bone knife into his side and rip the cloak out of his clutching fingers. “His mother,” Thistle told him later, after the boy had run off. “It were his mother’s cloak, and when he saw you robbing her …”

As sociopaths, Cersei and Varamyr shares some parallels. A boy killed Varamyr for a squirrel-skin cloak. Arya has been called a boy and a squirrel several times. So, Arya will put a knife in Cersei’s belly (similar to the squire in the inn with Hound) to give her a slow and ugly death.

Note the reference “his mother” and “robbing”. These references remind me of the boy’s mother (since the boy is Arya, we are talking about Cat here) and Robb. Cat was wrapped in a Stark cloak in her wedding to Ned. So robbing her cloak means, killing her Stark husband and children including Robb Stark.

However, I don’t think the dragon she wanted to see will be actually Aegon. As Jon told in AGoT (different ways can lead to the same castle) that dragon will turn out to be Jon and she will finally rejoice with him.

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I am back on the forum after an absence - and I skimmed through several parts to this thread.

Are we only allowed to post commentary on "Mercy" in this thread?

Are we not allowed to use "Mercy" in the title of the topic?

I have many ideas to contribute and maybe my ideas are suited for a separate thread. But I do not want to disobey any rules by starting a thread on "Mercy" as a "close reading".

Has the connection to Elizabethan theatre audiences and Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" been discussed? [And all that it entails, including Portia's "Quality of Mercy" speech, her cross dressing, Shylock demanding his pound of flesh, and Shylock's delightful speech about life's inequities.]

I believe I read here or in a topic title on the Forum an interest in the grey mists and fogs. I have traced this grey mist/fog since Bran's 3EC dream wherein Bran is shrouded and protected by the grey mist until the 3EC delivers him to his bed, after which the mist dissipates. Seven times does Martin mention the mist in this Bran POV alone.

The grey mists are present during the blasphemous marriage beneath the heart tree in WF's godswood - and in several other POV's. The significance of this - which I have written about in other threads - the grey mist "can" suggest Bran's presence. We know he is visiting her dreams - she comes across a watchful tree in her wolf dream. {I have more - but I do not want to repeat what others have already said - or steal anyone's thunder!

Thanks. I did not want to address a topic I may have inadvertently missed.

We have meandered considerably already, you will not be taking us off topic. :) Do say more about fog, tree and Bran, the consensus right now is we believe that it is him in the dream but that we have no definite proof, and I do not remember anybody mentioning the fog as hint of Bran's presence.

As for Merchant of Venice, :drool: IIRC only Richard III, Macbeth and Phantom of the Opera (because of the building) were mentioned.

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For me the most exciting thing about this new chapter is that it seemed to possibly hint at the reuniting of two Stark siblings for the first time since ASOS. I think that the real identity of the Black Pearl could be Sansa. I would love to hear if people agree/disagree with me, and if so, what this means for the plot???


My reasoning is as follows:


a) The 'Pearl's' appearance. If it is assumed that 'Black' or 'Brown' stands for hair colour and not skin colour (especially as she is Westerosi), then this matches the dark hair dye Sansa assumes at the end of ASOS. She is also very 'beautiful', a lot like Sansa is described in pretty much any chapter ever.....


b)The envoy's appearance 'slight....with a funny grey whisp of a beard'. This sounds a lot like LF to me (e.g AGOT ch.29)


c)slightly more precarious: the sigil the envoy wears, which Mercy calls a 'chicken' - both of the sigils associated with LF, the mockingbird and the Arryn Falcon, are birds. Coincidence?


d)even more precarious: the allusion to 'lemons and limes' in the next paragraph - this seems to suggest Sansa's chapters in AFFC, and her association with lemon cakes



Points against:


e) the envoy appears to be a lot older than LF, according to Mercy.


f)Mercy doesn't recognise the Pearl, but then again she doesn't seem to remember much about Westeros.



If this is right, what does it mean for the plot??? Will Mercy and the Black Pearl ever meet, or will Mercy recognise her? What does this imply for the Vale folk??



***my apologies if I am doing something wrong or if this has already been discussed, -- this is my first ever post, hopefully some kindly mod can point me in the right direction .


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For me the most exciting thing about this new chapter is that it seemed to possibly hint at the reuniting of two Stark siblings for the first time since ASOS. I think that the real identity of the Black Pearl could be Sansa. I would love to hear if people agree/disagree with me, and if so, what this means for the plot???

My reasoning is as follows:

a) The 'Pearl's' appearance. If it is assumed that 'Black' or 'Brown' stands for hair colour and not skin colour (especially as she is Westerosi), then this matches the dark hair dye Sansa assumes at the end of ASOS. She is also very 'beautiful', a lot like Sansa is described in pretty much any chapter ever.....

b)The envoy's appearance 'slight....with a funny grey whisp of a beard'. This sounds a lot like LF to me (e.g AGOT ch.29)

c)slightly more precarious: the sigil the envoy wears, which Mercy calls a 'chicken' - both of the sigils associated with LF, the mockingbird and the Arryn Falcon, are birds. Coincidence?

d)even more precarious: the allusion to 'lemons and limes' in the next paragraph - this seems to suggest Sansa's chapters in AFFC, and her association with lemon cakes

Points against:

e) the envoy appears to be a lot older than LF, according to Mercy.

f)Mercy doesn't recognise the Pearl, but then again she doesn't seem to remember much about Westeros.

If this is right, what does it mean for the plot??? Will Mercy and the Black Pearl ever meet, or will Mercy recognise her? What does this imply for the Vale folk??

***my apologies if I am doing something wrong or if this has already been discussed, -- this is my first ever post, hopefully some kindly mod can point me in the right direction .

Welcome to the Forums, but what you suggest is impossible for many reasons.

First of all, Arya saw the Black Pearl before (even sold some shit to her) and this time she never noted any difference. Besides the Black Pearl has full breasts while Sansa is not even an adult. Most importantly, the timeline and vast distance between Braavos and the Vale makes such a trip highly unlikely. And you should also explain when and where Sansa learned to act like a courtesan.

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Welcome to the Forums, but what you suggest is impossible for many reasons.

First of all, Arya saw the Black Pearl before (even sold some shit to her) and this time she never noted any difference. Besides the Black Pearl has full breasts while Sansa is not even an adult. Most importantly, the timeline and vast distance between Braavos and the Vale makes such a trip highly unlikely. And you should also explain when and where Sansa learned to act like a courtesan.

I wasn't quite sure how to even address that idea. Pointing out that The Black Pearl is someone that Arya met and exchanged words with face to face on a previous incident is a good start. When Arya was Cat, she did meet the BP and at the same time, we were getting Sansa/Alayne POVs. We do know that GRRM has been holding onto his 'controversial' Sansa chapter since ADWD at least, and I don't suspect that the controversey is that Sansa escaped the Gates of the Moon and fled to Braavos and his impersonating someone already well known. That would make her an FM, wouldn't it?

I did want to say welcome, too, though, to Brienne of Qarth (great name) and hope you have fun.

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You guys think that Arya's still warging a cat here? She noted they have lots of cats.

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I may have missed it in another thread, but does anyone think there is any significance between the obvious phoenetic similarities between Syrio Forel, 1st sword of Bravos and Phario Forel with "the bloodiest quill in Bravos"?

Edited by Brewmaster

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Bringing Catelyn back to be killed by Arya is a waste of a ressurection, especially if like Beric she can pass it on.

Edited by TheReal_Rebel

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Bringing Catelyn back to be killed by Arya is a waste of a ressurection, especially if like Beric she can pass it on.

That was Beric's seventh life. I know the Faith isn't R'hllor but it feels like it is the last life of the miracle and 7 is a holy number.

Which Mountain Man do we think the older big bellied man is? I don't think it was Dunsen because it would have distracted Arya from Raff. He did swear enough for Shitmouth. Tobbot? Eggon?

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