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[TWOW SPOILERS] March 2014 Preview Chapter Part IV

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They're not irrelevant. The Brotherhood Without Banners is exactly the kind of insurgency that could destabilize and overthrow Frey rule in the Riverlands. Combined with the merciless Lady Stoneheart and Nymeria's mega wolf pack, the Freys are facing a real threat.

Besides, Lady Stoneheart is also now in control of two POV characters - Jaime and Brienne.

I have no idea if Lady Stoneheart and Arya are related at all, but I do know that Lady Stoneheart is not irrelevant.

I don't find that relevant in the grand scheme of things unlike say killing Aegon or Dany. It doesn't significantly advance or change the plot. It would be better that by the end she killed at least one person that was important instead of random Freys, a NW deserter, Lannister guards who weren't in charge, etc.

If we get to the end of series and ask what did she do that was important killing random Freys wouldn't help her case especially if you compare that with the things that say Bran will be capable of doing or the things that Dany, Jon, or Tyrion have done.

I also think with the dragon references that points to Aegon or Dany or both. IMO she will have a chance to get involved in something important. Before she really hasn't.

Edited by ARYa_Nym

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Why? She has been bending over to attempt to gain JS's trust, knowingly poffering false prophecy does nothing to get on the inside...

why would Mel lie to Jon?

She would lie to Jon because she wants to seduce him in order to make shadow babies, because Stannis' life force has already been tapped to the degree of danger-beyond-this-point . She senses a power or strength in Jon. (These shadows ,she imagines ,she would use against the Great Other and his servants , but then,she thinks Bran and Bloodraven are his servants. )

She knows she doesn't always see everything , but even common sense says that if Jon leads the Hardhome mission, he would be in danger. The mission would put Jon out of her reach ..perhaps forever.

Of course she has reason to lie. She wants to keep Jon close. She's already lied to him on more than one occasion , all to gain his trust and gratitude .. in order to work him around to the seduction.

ETA; So, yes, I think Tycho will make it back..

Edited by bemused

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So in this chapter she fixes the Stranger's horn and of course the Stranger is similar to Moqorro in description.



Anyways, I was reading the Victarion transcript and I noticed:




Moqorro brought it forth, and the dusky woman lifted up a lantern to give them all a look. In the shifting lantern light the hell-horn seemed to writhe and turn in the priest’s hands like a serpent fighting to escape. Moqorro was a man of monstrous size – big-bellied, broad-shouldered, towering – but even in his grasp the horn looked huge.




That the horn was likened to a serpent. This chapter has serpent/snake references as mentioned as well as her earlier ones when she was in the Riverlands.


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MERCY RESPONSES



I do not presume to know Martin’s mind; however, I have determined his ASoIaF Series is deliberately constructed with purposeful elegance and an eye for detail. Much like a gourmet chef coaxes flavors from entrees by using spices, so Martin coaxes meanings from themes by using words.



Martin’s master plan is a network and sub-network of plots, devices, and motifs that originate in A Game of Thrones and that Martin artfully continues, and adds to, in the novels and POV’s that follow.



Even though Martin separates the Starks’ and other characters’ POV’s by time and place, he binds them together through chance, fate, and magic. Insinuating symbolic significance to people, places, actions, and things and repeating these literary associations within narratives, Martin achieves a literary fantasy that readers can enjoy on a variety of levels.



Martin gifts his POV narrators’ with VOICES to define their perspectives and to report on the people, places, and events around them. [NOTE: Not everyone in the series HAS a voice, figuratively and literally.] Martin further unifies POV narrators in their personal journeys that involve their individual searches for identities



BECAUSE OF Martin’s well-established formula of multiple narrators, it defies logic to separate “MERCY” from “ARYA STARK”. Arya is the ACTRESS who plays “Mercy” in a POV titled “Mercy”. This is similar to a POV entitled “Reek” from ADwD, yet the readers know Reek is Theon Greyjoy.



In passages throughout AGoT, [and the novels that follow], Martin frequently relies on words with theatre and performance arts associations in general, but he is specific in describing the many FACES of Arya Stark and her acting prowess.



Therefore, Martin successfully demonstrates in “Mercy” how Arya Stark applies her training thus far with the House of Black and White and the Faceless Men of Braavos, and her studies with Izembaro and his Mummers.



It is a testament to Martin’s ingenuity that his prose narratives evocate thoughtful, provoking scholarship by members of Westeros. This thread – and all its earlier threads – contains a variety of theories that are well-argued and supported with evidences from the texts. Fortunately, Martin peppers his prose with enough ambiguities to allow for and to justify varying assumptions on many hundreds, if not thousands, of topics.

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ISSUES with “MERCY”



I have discerned a few problems with “Mercy” in regards to continuity.




  1. Martin has strategically avoided describing Arya’s “grey eyes” or attributing a color to Mercy’s eyes.




  2. In a theatre setting, mirrors are plentiful. Here and elsewhere, Martin does not have “Arya” examine herself in a mirror. (I assume this is because she will only see herself as “Arya”.)




  3. The feasibility of illuminating a stage with firelight for a performance that begins at twilight is troublesome. [Historically, theatre performances occurred in daylight hours to avoid such worries.] Furthermore, the safety and convenience of the patrons are concerns as they will need light in the house and on the tiers to enter, to climb and to descend stairs, and to exit without hazards.






POSSIBLE RESOLUTIONS: Martin will address these ambiguities in POV’s to come as “flashback” scenarios most likely appearing in an ARYA POV.



4). How does Arya lug the dead corpse of Raff down five flights of steps, then drag the dead weight to the canal, and finally toss him in? All while remaining undetected and leaving no trace evidence such as blood?





POSSIBLE RESOLUTION: Much like her brother Robb in AGoT, who demonstrates herculean strength as part of his bond with Grey Wind, evident when Robb “manages” to hoist an elk onto his cooperative mount, securing it even though the horses are reactive to the direwolves and to the smell of blood. [i have discussed this at length in my The Blood Motif thread].



Since Bran is part of the fog and mist, he conceals his sister and protects her from discovery.



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SANSA AS A MOTIVATION FOR ARYA’S MERCY PORTRAYAL: NOT!!!!


I appreciate viewpoints that make a connection between Sansa and Arya, but Arya has attended different schooling since stitching alongside her perfect sister – and so has Sansa.


Other than a Stark girl partnered with a “little person”, I am unable to garner exactly how or when Arya “acts” like “Sansa” in her portrayal of “Mercy”?


Now, this does not preclude what Martin intends, which is for his readers to associate Mercy and Arya with Bobono and Tyrion. Mercy securing Bobono’s phallus in his pants with a warning to keep “it” there does mirror Sansa’s refusal of Tyrion and his phallus, but such is Martin’s way of having fun with his players and readers both.




Mercy could not have known about Sansa and Tyrion’s marriage bed.



The evidence to the point is Arya’s assessment of Mercy as “empty-headed”, and Sansa is far from that: Sansa sings, dances, sews, writes poetry, and dresses well, among other talents Arya herself confirms in her first POV in AGoT.


Since Arya credits herself with a keen gift for math and numbers [AGoT], it is my prediction that she will have an internship or a mission with the Iron Bank of Braavos under the tutelage of Tycho in the future novel(s).


Arya wearing a new face might be assigned the duty of collecting debts owed the IB, an opportunity that might take her on the road to revisit old haunts and new, and give her an opportunity to X-off more hits from her death list.

Edited by evita mgfs

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This observation is correct, but with a twist you can see how it may not be so:

Arya caused her to rise from death. The part of being found by Beric and re-animated by the power of R'Hillor - is that all there is to it ?

Mourneblade states quite correctly that Arya is a special case - magic, divine will, or whatever you'd call it, does seem to play a role in her story. She may have a sort of power that we do not quite see, that works at strange angles to the story.

"Rise" she thought. "Rise and eat and run with us."

The Ghost of High heart saw this as well. She thought it was Beric who smelled of death and grief, but then realized this prophecy was tied to Arya.

So many lives given at Harrenhal, so perhaps the Red God owed her ?

What is Lady Stoneheart if not a revenant forever trapped in Catelyn's last moments of grief and rage ?

So, why not Arya? She brings the gift of death, and in this case, it would be one which ends her mother's living hell.

As much as her un-mother's quest for vengeance is something she can best relate to, she also knows the wellspring of emotional horror that it comes from. She may be willing to suffer those burdens herself, but would she want her mother to live in that state, eternally ?

Perhaps this is a way it will lead her to a greater understanding of "the gift" as a gift.

You can't give the gift to someone you know.

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This observation is correct, but with a twist you can see how it may not be so:

Arya caused her to rise from death. The part of being found by Beric and re-animated by the power of R'Hillor - is that all there is to it ?

Mourneblade states quite correctly that Arya is a special case - magic, divine will, or whatever you'd call it, does seem to play a role in her story. She may have a sort of power that we do not quite see, that works at strange angles to the story.

"Rise" she thought. "Rise and eat and run with us."

The Ghost of High heart saw this as well. She thought it was Beric who smelled of death and grief, but then realized this prophecy was tied to Arya.

So many lives given at Harrenhal, so perhaps the Red God owed her ?

What is Lady Stoneheart if not a revenant forever trapped in Catelyn's last moments of grief and rage ?

So, why not Arya? She brings the gift of death, and in this case, it would be one which ends her mother's living hell.

As much as her un-mother's quest for vengeance is something she can best relate to, she also knows the wellspring of emotional horror that it comes from. She may be willing to suffer those burdens herself, but would she want her mother to live in that state, eternally ?

Perhaps this is a way it will lead her to a greater understanding of "the gift" as a gift.

Perhaps this could also end with Lady Stoneheart unintentionally killing her daughter and having to give her the kiss of life. Or the immortality being given to Arya in some way. Then, we would get an immortal assassin killer with a direwolf friend. Plus, she would give the gift of death while being immortal herself.

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I don't find that relevant in the grand scheme of things unlike say killing Aegon or Dany. It doesn't significantly advance or change the plot. It would be better that by the end she killed at least one person that was important instead of random Freys, a NW deserter, Lannister guards who weren't in charge, etc.

If we get to the end of series and ask what did she do that was important killing random Freys wouldn't help her case especially if you compare that with the things that say Bran will be capable of doing or the things that Dany, Jon, or Tyrion have done.

I also think with the dragon references that points to Aegon or Dany or both. IMO she will have a chance to get involved in something important. Before she really hasn't.

Both in my opinion, but Dany first. I don't think she will kill Dany yet, just cross paths with her. I think it's too early to kill Dany off. On the other hand, Aegon is doomed one way or another.

Perhaps this could also end with Lady Stoneheart unintentionally killing her daughter and having to give her the kiss of life. Or the immortality being given to Arya in some way. Then, we would get an immortal assassin killer with a direwolf friend. Plus, she would give the gift of death while being immortal herself.

Mother Merciless will have a dose of Mercy, not the other way around.

Edited by Once

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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"?

I think he is a relative. Perhaps Syrio wrote his letters describing his time in KL describing Cersei, Tyrion*, Jaime, Robert and the Stark sisters. He is then murdered by the Lannister regime.

If the family [Phario Forel] was informed of Syrio's death, it would've most likely been blamed on the Starks.

*Perhaps Syrio and Tyrion crossed paths before the Winterfell trip, at a tavern or brothel.

Edited by voodooqueen126

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I am suspicious about this sentence:

In the fog all cats are grey, Mercy thought. In the fog all men are killers.

Because grey is a Stark color and somebody uptread mentioned how in previous books she at one point noted that a cat was grey and connected it to her House. But I can't remember where she did that.

Cat spy network sounds hella cool, though. In fact, a spy network might be another nod to Varys, along with Mercy's shaven head.

I am suspicious about this sentence:

In the fog all cats are grey, Mercy thought. In the fog all men are killers.

Because grey is a Stark color and somebody uptread mentioned how in previous books she at one point noted that a cat was grey and connected it to her House. But I can't remember where she did that.

Cat spy network sounds hella cool, though. In fact, a spy network might be another nod to Varys, along with Mercy's shaven head.

If Varys is Haviland Tuf that would make another cat connection, Tuf was very fond of his cats.

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