The Coconut God

Will Jon and Sansa lead refugees to Essos in TWoW?

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This is an idea I already mentioned in the Timeframe thread, but I've been mulling it over lately and I decided it deserves its own topic.

Basically, I believe that the final act of the story won't be about stopping the Others but about surviving them in the only way possible: fleeing across the Narrow Sea. There may be a last stand at the end of the series to prevent them from crossing the Broken arm of Dorne, or a desperate quest to reverse the Long Night that might eventually lead to the Others retreating back North, but before that happens Westeros will fall. This is a story where mistakes have dire consequences, and the Seven Kingdoms have done nothing to prepare for the Others; in fact, they are weaker than they've ever been. Stannis will no doubt try to fight them, but he will fail tragically, bringing his arc to a satisfying conclusion through a series of events that parallel what happened to him on the show.

Soon after regaining consciousness and becoming the leader of the North (either through Robb's will, the impact made by his resurrection or as regent to Rickon, it doesn't really matter), I believe Jon will realize he no longer has a chance to fight the Others, so he will try to get as many survivors as he can to White Harbor and use the Manderly fleet to ferry them to Braavos. I suspect this is what actually inspired the show's Hardhome episode, and it will play out similarly, with wights swarming the city and Jon narrowly escaping with heavy losses. Once they reach Essos, the Braavosi will most likely not allow the refugees to remain near their city, but the loan agreement Jon hammered out with Tycho will probably pay off here, and the coin will be used to start a colony further south in Andalos, between Pentos and Norvos (both of which are likely to play a role in the next books). I can see all this happening by the 50th chapter (give or take a few), around the point where the Red Wedding happens in Storm.

As news of the Others arrive in the Riverlands, people will seek refuge in the Vale of Arryn, but whether they all get it or not, in the second act of the book the Vale will need to be evacuated as well. It's hard to say if Sansa will still be in hiding at this time, but I suspect she won't, and she will probably play a role in allowing the refugees inside the Vale.

It's pretty clear that Sansa won't have anything to do with Ramsay in the books, but she may have to face another sadistic psychopath in Euron. If my theory is true, Euron, by now most likely allied with Cersei, will serve as a perfect foil for the second fleet of refugees headed for Essos. Whether Sansa will try to seduce him to gain his support and ships, oblivious to his real character, or he simply captures her during the crossing it's hard to say. If she does succeed in keeping him interested enough make him demote Cersei to salt wife, she could be the "younger more beautiful queen" from the prophecy, although I suspect in the end she won't be very happy with the situation either (the Valonqar will probably be Victarion and it will come completely out of left field for Cersei). In the final act of the book, or early in ADoS, I can see Jon becoming entangled in the Euron plot; if he's not the one sending the Manderly fleet back to the Vale to begin with, he will at least eventually try to rescue his sister.

I'm not sure about any details in the south, but I think it's safe to assume both Cersei and Connington/Aegon will ignore the invasion, either because they don't believe it's true or because they don't think it will spread beyond the North. The last remaining great armies of the south will probably slaughter each other just as the Others spill into the North and Riverlands. If she does burn King's Landing, Cersei might end up reigning from aboard Silence, which would be a way for her to eventually interact with Sansa and end up at Victarion's mercy. There may or may not be a grey scale plague triggered by Connington. Either way, I believe the South will fall to the Others as well, but probably not in Winds.

As for Dany, well, she is the main reason I came up with this theory. Dany and Jon are the titular Fire and Ice of the series, so their arcs are expected to merge before all is said and done. The only problem is that she is very far away from Jon plot-wise. As of ADwD, she apparently has to unite the Dothraki, subdue the Ghiscari, pacify Volantis, march West, deal with Pentos, get past Euron... and that's just to get to Westeros. Unless Jon somehow comes south by the time Dany arrives, she also has to deal with Cersei, Aegon and Dorne before she can get to him and the Others. Many people don't even think she can cover so many plot lines in two books... not without rushing them all.

But what if she doesn't have to cover them? What if Euron is Jon and Sansa's villain, not Dany's? What if Jon himself comes east to meet her half way? Suddenly there's a lot less pressure on Dany to move west. She doesn't have to be rushed ahead to propel the plot. She can follow her own arc, which I believe is using the Dothraki to conquer the entirety of Essos, effectively ending slavery on the continent (something that happens to be very convenient for all the Westerosi refugees, mostly women and children I'd assume, who would have likely ended up as chattel without her arc). Even if she gives up on Westeros entirely, she's still going to meet Jon when she moves to Norvos, or Lys, Tyrosh and Myr.

Speaking of the Free Cities... the cherry on the top is that if my theory is true and much of TWoW and ADoS takes place in Essos, then all the side stories set up on this continent in AFFC and ADwD are that more likely to pay off in the end without slowing the story down. Areo Hotah introduced us to Norvos seemingly without a point - he could have easily been Dornish. Well, maybe that's where Jon and Dany meet (and Quentin's mother gets to play a part as well, react somehow to the mother of the dragons her own son died to claim). Maybe Euron is the reason they make an alliance; or maybe Jon slays or claims a dragon before Dany gets to him.

What do you guys think? Do you see this being a possibility? Have there been similar theories? I'd like to read or listen to them if you remember any. Do you think it would propel the story or slow it down? Would you be satisfied with a story where Westeros falls to the Others, temporarily or permanently?

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Leading her people to salvation by the sea is Nymeria's thing, and she is Arya's parallel.

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Interesting, the show seems to be heavily forshadowing a last stand at Winterfell but that might just be one of many last stands.

Stannis's vision of himself burning seems to imply he'll be roasted by Dany presumably for refusing to bend the knee.

I think I'd retreat to the Vale tho if I were Jon into the arms of a well provisioned Sansa.

In the show Cersei replace Aegon so Euron, Tyrell & Donish all will fight for Aegon. That's why Euron sent Victarian to Dany so there was one of them on each Targ side. 

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On 7/13/2017 at 4:49 PM, The Coconut God said:

What do you guys think? 

It won't happen. When the others come the sea and rivers will freeze, so no boats. 

On 7/13/2017 at 4:49 PM, The Coconut God said:

Do you see this being a possibility? 

Snowball's chance in a blast furnace. Jon has never left the north. Dany, after working so hard to get to westeros isn't going to turn tail and leave

On 7/13/2017 at 4:49 PM, The Coconut God said:

Have there been similar theories? I'd like to read or listen to them if you remember any.

Try searching the forum 

On 7/13/2017 at 4:49 PM, The Coconut God said:

 Do you think it would propel the story or slow it down? 

IT won't happen so there is no propelling or slowing from it 

On 7/13/2017 at 4:49 PM, The Coconut God said:

Would you be satisfied with a story where Westeros falls to the Others, temporarily or permanently?

We will get the story that is given to us 

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Thank you for your replies, guys.

On 8/7/2017 at 2:12 PM, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

Interesting, the show seems to be heavily forshadowing a last stand at Winterfell but that might just be one of many last stands.

Stannis's vision of himself burning seems to imply he'll be roasted by Dany presumably for refusing to bend the knee.

I don't think Stannis will be roasted by Dany. I don't remember that vision exactly, but I think Stannis burning is metaphorical and is meant to represent the way his mission is consuming him. He was built up as a "fake Azor Ahai", so he has to die trying and failing to fulfill the Azor-Ahai prophecy. I don't see how that would play out opposite Dany. She's just not the sort of enemy a would-be Azor Ahai would face.

On 8/7/2017 at 2:12 PM, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

I think I'd retreat to the Vale tho if I were Jon into the arms of a well provisioned Sansa.

The one thing I'm almost sure of in all of this is that Jon's people will have to leave the North soon. If the Others attack, and I believe they will, because there are no other dangling plotlines left in the North, there's no way Jon will be able to hold them back with whatever forces are left after the Battle of Ice and the mutiny at Castle Black. And I don't think Martin introduced the Manderly fleet and set up two PoV characters who also happen to be experienced ship captains (Davos and Asha) in the North storyline for no reason, so they will most likely retreat by ship from White Harbor. That's pretty much a given. Will they head for the Vale rather than Essos? That's certainly possible, but I still think Essos is more likely, for a number of reasons:

- From the characters' perspective, Essos is a lot safer, they would put a whole sea between themselves and the Others rather than a bay and some mountains.

- As far as they know, the Vale might be hostile to them, because it's still part of the Seven Kingdoms and the refugees would be mostly rebels and wildlings.

- Even if Sansa reveals herself to the Vale lords and manages to work her way in a position of power before Jon has to abandon the North, which in itself is doubtful, information still travels very slowly in the books, so he will more than likely not find out in time.

- Jon has that loan agreement signed with the Iron Bank. If he takes his people to Essos, he can just swing by Braavos, cash the gold and reliably supply himself by land from any of the other Free Cities. If he stays on Westeros, with the Others causing chaos, poor harvests pretty much everywhere and constant winter storms wracking the Narrow Sea, making use of that loan would be almost impossible.

On 8/5/2017 at 3:54 PM, chrisdaw said:

Leading her people to salvation by the sea is Nymeria's thing, and she is Arya's parallel.

Nymeria was Arya's favorite character from Old Nan's stories, but the real Nymeria was nothing like Arya. Even though she was painted as a "warrior princess", Nymeria was a commander, not a fighter, and most of all she was a leader. Arya couldn't even get Hot Pie and Gendry to stick with her. Furthermore, Nymeria made a political marriage with Mors Martell in order to secure the future of her people in Dorne, which doesn't sound like something Arya would do. At all.

I don't see Arya paralleling Nymeria herself, but Jon, her favorite sibling, paralleling her favorite character? We might have something here.

 

@Dorian Martell's son Judging by your signature, I take it you like my theories? ;)

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4 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

 

@Dorian Martell's son Judging by your signature, I take it you like my theories? ;)

The problem arises when I tell people exactly how I love their theories 

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20 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Thank you for your replies, guys.

I don't think Stannis will be roasted by Dany. I don't remember that vision exactly, but I think Stannis burning is metaphorical and is meant to represent the way his mission is consuming him. He was built up as a "fake Azor Ahai", so he has to die trying and failing to fulfill the Azor-Ahai prophecy. I don't see how that would play out opposite Dany.

I've never thought of it that way, you could be right. We hear the vision as he tells Davos & what I got from it was that he knows his path leads to his death but does it as it's his duty. Looking at the series it seems clear to me that they gave Stannis's role to Jon in defeating the boltons the & I think it's reasonable to think there will be a confrontation with Dany which could lead to him burning by dragon flame. I think a meeting like that would be fascinating as I imagine that would cause personal conflict with a part of Stannis that'll believe it his duty to bend the knee to Dany. 

21 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Will they head for the Vale rather than Essos? That's certainly possible, but I still think Essos is more likely, for a number of reasons:

- From the characters' perspective, Essos is a lot safer, they would put a whole sea between themselves and the Others rather than a bay and some mountains.

- As far as they know, the Vale might be hostile to them, because it's still part of the Seven Kingdoms and the refugees would be mostly rebels and wildlings.

- Even if Sansa reveals herself to the Vale lords and manages to work her way in a position of power before Jon has to abandon the North, which in itself is doubtful, information still travels very slowly in the books, so he will more than likely not find out in time.

I just think the Vale is a massive smoking gun. GRRM has given Sansa an impregnable fortress, army unweakened by the wars & provisions that Little Finger has been gathering for years. It must play a part. Also there is Bran's vision in GoT when he's dreaming of Jaime, the Mountain & the Hound going to the Vale to find Sansa. I think that means that very soon into WoW Sansa's identity will be reveiled, Jaime & the Hound will each travel individually to try to protect her & Cersei will dispatch the Mountain to kill her. Not sure why Cersei would let the Mountain leave her side but maybe she knows it's all over for her at that point & it's her last bit of revenge?

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On 8/13/2017 at 4:17 PM, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

I've never thought of it that way, you could be right. We hear the vision as he tells Davos & what I got from it was that he knows his path leads to his death but does it as it's his duty. Looking at the series it seems clear to me that they gave Stannis's role to Jon in defeating the boltons the & I think it's reasonable to think there will be a confrontation with Dany which could lead to him burning by dragon flame. I think a meeting like that would be fascinating as I imagine that would cause personal conflict with a part of Stannis that'll believe it his duty to bend the knee to Dany. 

It would be interesting indeed to see Dany and Stannis interact somehow, but I don't think the story has room for that. Dany still has a lot of things to resolve in Essos. I firmly believe her next step is conquering the Free Cities, too much of her story builds to that. If she gets to Westeros, it will be in the second half of the final book, and she will go there to fight the Others, not the other pretenders to the IT. Stannis's story, on the other hand, has a perfect opportunity to end in TWoW with a bloody, bittersweet victory against the Boltons followed by the Others invading a nearly defenseless North and a last stand similar to the one on the show, Shireen burning and all.

On 8/13/2017 at 4:17 PM, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

I just think the Vale is a massive smoking gun. GRRM has given Sansa an impregnable fortress, army unweakened by the wars & provisions that Little Finger has been gathering for years. It must play a part. Also there is Bran's vision in GoT when he's dreaming of Jaime, the Mountain & the Hound going to the Vale to find Sansa. I think that means that very soon into WoW Sansa's identity will be reveiled, Jaime & the Hound will each travel individually to try to protect her & Cersei will dispatch the Mountain to kill her. Not sure why Cersei would let the Mountain leave her side but maybe she knows it's all over for her at that point & it's her last bit of revenge?

I agree that the Vale has to play a part, but so do a lot of other dangling threads from the existing books. These threads need to start connecting to each other if we are to believe George can realistically hope to finish the series in two books.

Plot-wise, Jon has very few opportunities for growth in the Vale.There's no reason he would be calling any shots there, and ultimately it's the same theme as in any other castle, "the Heroes are holed up in a fortress, waiting for Evil to attack them". Where would the story go with Jon in the Vale? Essos, on the other hand, provides a lot more opportunities. It gives Jon something to do that he hasn't done before, and it brings him closer to Dany and Arya without artificially displacing those two from their respective storylines, which are firmly rooted in Essos, and it drives in the point that the good guys couldn't beat the Others and actually had to run away.

That doesn't mean the Vale doesn't play its part. In fact, I see a lot of developments in the Vale, from taking in refugees from the Riverlands (it would be even more interesting if one of those refugees was Howland Reed and he told Sansa about Jon's real parentage, because who else would find out about that if not the schemer in training?), to facing an Others invasion themselves, to facing Euron's fleet in a bid to cross the Narrow Sea. The Vale falling to the Others is even hinted in Alayne's first (I believe?) AFFC chapter, if you choose to read it like that: "The room had grown chilly during the night. It will be worse when winter has us in its grip, she thought. Winter will make this place as cold as any tomb."

I still expect Jon and Sansa to end up in the same camp eventually, but it has to happen naturally and we'll probably have to read through the entire book to see it. Note that it would make a lot more sense for the Vale forces to stick with the Northerners and even take orders from Jon if both groups are displaced from their lands, trying to carve a pieces of Essos for themselves.

In fact, if we ignore the locations and keep in mind that D&D frequently give main characters lesser characters' storylines for streamlining purposes, I think my theory lines up pretty well with the show so far. Just imagine Dany wants Jon's support to take one of the Free Cities while Aegon is the one who actually fights Cersei, and the parallels are there.

 

I'm not sure about Bran's vision, but the three faces he sees are also around Ned and Arya, so maybe they reference things that already happened? Or maybe they symbolize evils the three of them unleashed? Joffrey for Ned, Rorge (wearing the Hound's helm) for Arya, and Robert Strong for Sansa (because it's her part in Joffrey's murder and subsequent escape that led to Tyrion's trial and the Mountain's final fate)?

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The show merged Cersei & Aegon to make Cersei Dany's main enemy, hence the first few episodes focused on getting the factions that back Aegon on Cersei's side, Dorn, Highgarden & Euron. The books are pretty clear they'll be another Dance of Dragons between Dany & Aegon the show just made it Dany vs Cersei instead. I'm guessing in the books Cersei will die when Aegon takes Kings Landing. So Dany will land Westeros & fight that war, that's probably about half the book.

Stannis will prob be caught in the war against the others following victory against the Boltons but I doubt it will play out like the show. It seems clear to me they put Shireen with Stannis in the show so he could burn her to give him a tragic story arc, in the books Shireen's at the wall so she'll burn without his knowledge. I think she'll burn as the kingsblood sacrafice to bring Jon back. But the sad thing is we'll know it isnt needed as we've knowledge of Dondarrion & UnCat (plus the fact that sacrafices have repeatedly done feck all)

Edited by RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon

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9 hours ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

The show merged Cersei & Aegon to make Cersei Dany's main enemy, hence the first few episodes focused on getting the factions that back Aegon on Cersei's side, Dorn, Highgarden & Euron. The books are pretty clear they'll be another Dance of Dragons between Dany & Aegon the show just made it Dany vs Cersei instead. I'm guessing in the books Cersei will die when Aegon takes Kings Landing. So Dany will land Westeros & fight that war, that's probably about half the book.

Even if George cuts everything in Essos to the minimum (which I doubt he will do, because there's too much set up there, especially from AFFC and ADwD), there's still no way that Dany will get to Westeros before the end of Winds. So Aegon vs Cersei is still going to be the main plotline in the south. There are a lot of factions there that won't win or lose or change sides over a single chapter. Keep in mind that George already released two Arienne chapters, and she has yet to meet Aegon in them.

Euron has absolutely no reason to support Aegon, and if anyone in Westeros is going to have a dragon, it's going to be him. Later on, this gives Jon the opportunity to kill or capture his dragon via warging during the second Narrow Sea crossing/rescue mission for Sansa, which is going to be interesting, especially if he does it before meeting Dany.

As for Cersei, Euron will probably marry her to gain legitimacy as Tommen's regent. After Tommen dies/King's Landing burns, he will keep her as a prize on the Silence until he gets Sansa and passes Cersei over to Victarion.

I'm not sure how Dany will interact with Aegon, that plotline is too far away to tell. They could fight, or Aegon could end up being the third head of the Dragon, after all he's the only other important character with (presumably) Targaryen blood.

9 hours ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

Stannis will prob be caught in the war against the others following victory against the Boltons but I doubt it will play out like the show. It seems clear to me they put Shireen with Stannis in the show so he could burn her to give him a tragic story arc, in the books Shireen's at the wall so she'll burn without his knowledge. I think she'll burn as the kingsblood sacrafice to bring Jon back. But the sad thing is we'll know it isnt needed as we've knowledge of Dondarrion & UnCat (plus the fact that sacrafices have repeatedly done feck all)

If Stannis takes Winterfell, Selyse will go there with Shireen, she's not going to want to stay at the Nightfort. She probably won't be able to anyway if the Others invade.

I can see Stannis burning Shireen if he is convinced that's the only way to save the realm. He will put his duty as king and savior before his personal feelings and the life of his daughter. In the show it didn't make any sense because the stakes were too low, but if the Others invade and the Long Night sets in it might start looking like a reasonable idea. Her burning will clear the weather for a bit, and the Northern lords, rather than random sellswords, will abandon Stannis. Cue Selyse coming back as a wight after she kills herself (ultimate proof that the Others are still there) and we have a pretty good parallel to the show.

I'm still not sure Mel will be the one to resurrect Jon. It was too contrived on the show. He could simply stay in a coma for a while (which would explain why everyone cares about protecting his body). His loyalists will take him to Karhold when the Others invade (because that has to play a part too), where he will finally "die". They will attempt to burn him on a pyre, only when the fire goes out he will come out alive, just like Dany did with her dragons. He kind of has to be resurrected by fire, otherwise everyone will just assume he is a wight.

Another reason I don't think Mel will resurrect Jon is that Mel will probably be the last PoV for Stannis. She will encourage him to fight the Others head on and burn Shireen and ignore all the unbelievers abandoning him, and at the very end, because the one thing she is good at sensing is danger to herself, she will realize Stannis will lose and she will flee Winterfell, and that's the last we'll see of it in Winds (although we might see Stannis's dead men, or even Stannis himself at the attack on White Harbor for a final confirmation that he lost). If it plays out like that, it's not like Mel can take Jon's corpse with her, so it stands to reason that it won't be there at all.

Edited by The Coconut God

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Like the Vale, Mel being on hand at Jon's death is a massive smoking gun & the show contriving to get Mel back to the wall for Jon's death has i think conclusively proved she will resurrect. We know the hints from ADWD indicates Shireen's burning isnt too far away & we can see from Val that the wildlings would not stand in the way given her reaction to shireen. Why show this if it isnt to explain why they are not going to stop the burning. Added to that Stannis left the Queens men behind so all of his men left at the wall would not question any request by Mel. I agree the resurection was way too contrived in the show, they have no doubt skipped the time Jon will spend in Ghost's body & the ressurection ritual. I think the reason the resurrection ritual was so glossed over is because of Shireen's death being a part of it. It also would make the Stannis-Jon dynamic interesting.

Euron sent victarion to Dany's side, it stands to reason he would take men to Aegon's as well. He can see the targs could be on opposing sides & is hedging his bets. He will prob be the one to finally kill Aegon & take his forces then in a position of power try to marry Dany and/or take a dragon. 

What is crystal clear is Aegon & Dany will fight. It's been forshadowed plenty. I think Cersei will be gone by then judging on how the show has merged her with Aegon. She is a spent force in the books & i dout Euron was bigged up so much to join Cersei & lose to Aegon. Aegon must win to have the war with Dany, also having a long war between Cersei & Aegon would add extra story for no reason.

We kno that George doesnt plan his book's timelines massively or the war between Dany & Aegon would have happenned in the book called A Dance With Dragons. It will take half the book to get her to Westeros, then we'll have the war with Aegon for half the book & it will end with the others in full invasion mode. I am of the opinion that GRRM will need 3 books (or poss more) to end this story. 

Edited by RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon

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39 minutes ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

Like the Vale, Mel being on hand at Jon's death is a massive smoking gun & the show contriving to get Mel back to the wall for Jon's death has i think conclusively proved she will resurrect. We know the hints from ADWD indicates Shireen's burning isnt too far away & we can see from Val that the wildlings would not stand in the way given her reaction to shireen. Why show this if it isnt to explain why they are not going to stop the burning. Added to that Stannis left the Queens men behind so all of his men left at the wall would not question any request by Mel. I agree the resurection was way too contrived in the show, they have no doubt skipped the time Jon will spend in Ghost's body & the ressurection ritual. I think the reason the resurrection ritual was so glossed over is because of Shireen's death being a part of it. It also would make the Stannis-Jon dynamic interesting.

I have a couple of problems with this interpretation. Not saying it's not going to happen, just that I have doubts:

1. It would be a lot more dramatic if Stannis decides to burn Shireen himself. It would feel like a cop-out if Mel or Selyse do it, because those characters are not developed enough for us to care if they do something like that. Stannis doing it, on the other hand, would get you right in the heart, especially if you were rooting for him (and I'll be honest, I like Stannis a lot myself). You don't want to imagine it, but he would be capable of it if he truly believed it was his duty. Remember what he said about Edric Storm? “What is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?” Wouldn't it be satisfying if he had to make the same choice with his daughter's life at stake (err... pun not intended)?

2. If Mel is going to resurrect Jon (by burning Shireen or some other method), she can do it immediately. If he's going to be resurrected immediately, or in a matter of days, then what's the point? I believe Jon is going to be out cold (ok, pun intended) throughout the fall of the Wall and Stannis's defeat. There will be a sense of "if only Jon was here with us, things could have gone better", and once he's back it will be to late for any of his previous plans to work.

I also don't believe that people will be as protective of Jon's corpse as they were in the show. That made absolutely no sense. He's either not going to die from the wounds immediately, or something will happen that prevents them from burning him right away (in which case he might very well spend some time as a wight before being resurrected).

1 hour ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

Euron sent victarion to Dany's side, it stands to reason he would take men to Aegon's as well. He can see the targs could be on opposing sides & is hedging his bets. He will prob be the one to finally kill Aegon & take his forces then in a position of power try to marry Dany and/or take a dragon. 

Euron isn't like Varys or Doran. He wants Dany because he thinks he can control her dragons, and maybe because she's a trophy wife who would give him legitimacy. He has absolutely no reason to help Aegon. He might not even know about him, he only knows about Dany from the warlocks he captured. Aegon himself can't do anything to Euron because he doesn't have dragons and doesn't have a fleet (he used Lysene transports who dumped the Golden Company all over the Stepstones), so where is the motivation coming from?

"After every battle crows come in their hundreds and their thousands to feast upon the fallen. A crow can espy death from afar. And I say that all of Westeros is dying. Those who follow me will feast until the end of their days." - this is Euron (a quote that also supports my theory that Westeros will soon be lost to the Others, hehe). He isn't hedging his bets for which Targaryen pretender to serve. He only wants to take advantage of the carnage, if not trigger the Others' invasion himself.

1 hour ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

What is crystal clear is Aegon & Dany will fight. It's been forshadowed plenty. I think Cersei will be gone by then judging on how the show has merged her with Aegon. She is a spent force in the books & i dout Euron was bigged up so much to join Cersei & lose to Aegon. Aegon must win to have the war with Dany, also having a long war between Cersei & Aegon would add extra story for no reason.

We kno that George doesnt plan his book's timelines massively or the war between Dany & Aegon would have happenned in the book called A Dance With Dragons. It will take half the book to get her to Westeros, then we'll have the war with Aegon for half the book & it will end with the others in full invasion mode. I am of the opinion that GRRM will need 3 books (or poss more) to end this story. 

I don't think Aegon vs Dany is such a sure thing. The story can go either way and still be satisfying, there's no thematic or character-driven pressure that requires this conflict to happen. There is, however, a character-driven need for Dany to deal with the slavery plotline. There is foreshadowing that the united Dothraki will conquer the Free Cities.

Each of these, even individually, weighs heavier in the story than a Dany vs Aegon conflict, especially one as rushed as to start in the middle of Winds, before Aegon is even developed properly as a character and ruler. Why abandon or rush two plotlines that have existed since AGoT (via Eroeh and the Stallion Who Mounts the World prophecy) for one that the series can entirely do without? It doesn't make any sense.

Aegon vs Cersei already serves a point in the story, mainly making the South as vulnerable to the Others as the North and Riverlands are. I expect less Dany in the South and more death, destruction and a greyscale epidemic. We'll see where Aegon ends up in ADoS, but only after another book's worth of development.

As for the name of the Dance, it doesn't really need to refer to a Targaryen succession dispute. The name is already apt, because the book is full of schemers like Illyrio, Varys, Doran, Quentin, Tyrion, Hizdhar, Euron, Victarion etc., who aim to use Dany, Aegon or the dragons themselves to achieve their own goals. "Dancing with dragons", the same way the characters in book one were playing "a game of thrones".

By the way, the whole point of my theory is to mix up the storylines in a way that would allow the series to be finished in two books, while also making use of all the elements in AFFC and ADwD that were decried as filler, especially the focus on characters and locations from Essos. What role do you think Braavos or Pentos will play if all the PoVs return to Westeros before the second half of Winds? What will happen with Volantis? Why did George feel the need to introduce Norvos through a PoV character who could have been from anywhere else, and why is Quentin's mother there? Why did he introduce a character who wants to rule Pentos? Why did he hint that Tysha is in Braavos and why did he put that mummer's play in the Mercy chapter if Tyrion isn't going there? At what point are we going to trust George that he actually put all these things in the books with a payoff in mind?

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I think the Others will be stopped at the Trident. The North will have to be evacuated, but not this far away: the southern riverlands will be safe, and that's where the refugees will be led.

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I think somethings are there for world building purposes. I dont think Tysha will ever show up again, she's a nod to readers. To me Essos hasnt been built up culturally any where near as much as Westeros, it appears to be a means to provide Dany a place to practice ruling & some foreign forces to land with. The battles will happen on Westeros. To me it would seem even stranger after all the world building in Westeros the books leave it behind to take place in Essos for the remaining time. 

Martin is heavily influenced by Tolkien & wants to paint a living breathing world & that means they'll be stories, details & world building that is not linked to the main plot

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1 minute ago, Arin said:

I think the Others will be stopped at the Trident. The North will have to be evacuated, but not this far away: the southern riverlands will be safe, and that's where the refugees will be led.

Aren't they supposed to be a threat to everyone, though? If they only mess up the North and Riverlands, which were already messed up the most by the previous conflicts, then where's the payoff? That means everyone in the South was entirely justified in ignoring the Others and it's only the Starks and their allies who have to pay the price, over and over again.

If the Others invade the entire continent however, it's the Westerlands and Reach who ultimately suffer the most. Everyone else can try to evacuate to Essos, but these kingdoms are cut off on the wrong the side of the continent, and they're lacking ships because of Euron's raids.

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2 minutes ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

I think somethings are there for world building purposes. I dont think Tysha will ever show up again, she's a nod to readers. To me Essos hasnt been built up culturally any where near as much as Westeros, it appears to be a means to provide Dany a place to practice ruling & some foreign forces to land with. The battles will happen on Westeros. To me it would seem even stranger after all the world building in Westeros the books leave it behind to take place in Essos for the remaining time. 

Martin is heavily influenced by Tolkien & wants to paint a living breathing world & that means they'll be stories, details & world building that is not linked to the main plot

This would have been a good argument for the first three books, but AFFC and ADwD are setting up the second large arc of the series (the first being the War of the Five Kings), the content of these books has to be deliberate. I believe George had a pretty good idea where all the storylines where headed, even if he's taking a long time to tinker with the execution. You don't add something like the Tattered Prince's interest in Pentons at the very end of the book unless you know where you want to go with it.

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On 12/08/2017 at 5:04 PM, The Coconut God said:

Nymeria was Arya's favorite character from Old Nan's stories, but the real Nymeria was nothing like Arya. Even though she was painted as a "warrior princess", Nymeria was a commander, not a fighter, and most of all she was a leader.

Quite amusing. GRRM inserts the idea that Nymeria is perceived as a warrior queen, but actually had many more strings to her bow as a way of indicating to the readers that there is also much to her parallel, Arya, as well. Then the conclusion that you take away is quite the opposite, that Arya and Nymeria aren't actually similar after all.

Arya is very much a leader and a strategist. Yes, it doesn't go perfectly first time around, but it would hardly be a compelling character arc if she was brilliant to begin with. Sansa not having lead people yet does not put you off suggesting her involvement, and nor should it - but leading her people to a new homeland is much more in line with Arya due to the Nymeria parallels.

 

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Arya couldn't even get Hot Pie and Gendry to stick with her.

She had nothing to offer them. It is to her credit that she got them to risk their lives sticking with her as far as she did.

 

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Furthermore, Nymeria made a political marriage with Mors Martell in order to secure the future of her people in Dorne, which doesn't sound like something Arya would do. At all.

It doesn't sound like something Arya would like to do, no. But what kind of story just lets characters do what they want to do all the time? Becoming the wife to a lord and having to live through her children is the anathema of what Arya wants at the start of the story. Arya's endgame being the realisation that she has to commit to this future for the good of her people, putting their needs ahead of her own personal desires, is a perfectly formed arc - encompassing the major themes of her storyline (identity, leadership, self sacrifice, etc) and neatly fits into the bittersweet ending GRRM promises.

 

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I don't see Arya paralleling Nymeria herself, but Jon, her favorite sibling, paralleling her favorite character? We might have something here.

She not allowed a plot of her own?

Edited by Horse of Kent

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1 hour ago, Horse of Kent said:

Quite amusing. GRRM inserts the idea that Nymeria is perceived as a warrior queen, but actually had many more strings to her bow as a way of indicating to the readers that there is also much to her parallel, Arya, as well. Then the conclusion that you take away is quite the opposite, that Arya and Nymeria aren't actually similar after all.

Arya is very much a leader and a strategist. Yes, it doesn't go perfectly first time around, but it would hardly be a compelling character arc if she was brilliant to begin with. Sansa not having lead people yet does not put you off suggesting her involvement, and nor should it - but leading her people to a new homeland is much more in line with Arya due to the Nymeria parallels.

That's some nice circular logic you've got here... You doubled down on the parallel, but did nothing to support it. I don't really have much invested in this notion because it's not really apparent or meaningful so far. Certainly not meaningful and apparent enough to counter my own theory, as @chrisdaw suggested.

Can we see Arya develop more into a leader and savior figure in the future? Maybe... I doubt it, but maybe. Maybe when she's in her late twenties, in the epilogue of the last book, we can see Arya leading her people back to Westeros. But this isn't relevant to what's happening in TWoW.

And so far the biggest parallel Arya has with Nymeria is that she named her wolf after her, but most Stark children named their wolves after a childhood fancy. Sansa named hers Lady, a concept she only dreamed about without really understanding, just like Arya dreamed about an idealized adventurer queen. Bran named his Summer, and we know where he is now. If the wolves' names pay off in any way it's not going to be in TWoW (except perhaps for Ghost).

1 hour ago, Horse of Kent said:

She not allowed a plot of her own?

Of course she's allowed a plot, a plot that develops organically from her current character and situation. That plot, however, is a lot harder to guess. In any case, this is quite a tangent. Do you have any thoughts on my actual theory? If you do, I would love to hear them!

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11 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

You don't add something like the Tattered Prince's interest in Pentons at the very end of the book unless you know where you want to go with it.

But unlike Westeros all the Essos details are very shallow. The Tattered Prince is a good example. We hear he wants Pentos but that is about it, no history of family claim, no back story, no rivals. Why? He needs motivation to switch sides & the simplest motivation is gaining land. GRRM needs ppl to back Dany to tie up the Meerenese knot, Essos isnt important for the story so he gives Pentos to the Tattered Prince.

A lot of the detailed Westeros world building takes place in AFFC so saying it's just the first 3 books is wrong. And the world building carrirs on through ADWD particularly in Dorne & the North.

Essos is important in that I think the doom of valyria holds secrets that might cast new light on the ancient history of Westeros, the origin of magic or TPTWP prophecy. How we learn that I don't know but I don't think the major action will take place there.

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45 minutes ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

But unlike Westeros all the Essos details are very shallow. The Tattered Prince is a good example. We hear he wants Pentos but that is about it, no history of family claim, no back story, no rivals. Why? He needs motivation to switch sides & the simplest motivation is gaining land. GRRM needs ppl to back Dany to tie up the Meerenese knot, Essos isnt important for the story so he gives Pentos to the Tattered Prince.

We don't have a back story because it hasn't been shown yet. It's probably connected to Ilyrio and it will tell us much about his character and his past. There was absolutely no need to have it there unless he wanted to do something with it. The Tattered Prince could have been motivated by gold, or lack of trust in the slavers, or a castle in Dorne, or even the second dragon, but George chose to make him want Pentos.

Same with Hotah and Norvos. He could have been Dornish and nobody would have batted an eye. In fact, readers might have liked him more. But no, George made him a former slave from Norvos, and decided to also install Quentin's mother in this slaver city from Essos. You have to keep in mind that AFFC & ADwD are for the final books what AGoT was for ACoC and ASoS. We didn't really get a lot of information about Stannis in AGoT, or Renly, or Balon, or the Tyrels, hell, even Jaime, and Walder Frey could have easily been a throwaway character for how much we saw him... but they all played major parts later on.

And you can't say the details about Braavos are shallow. There are a lot of plots that gravitate around it, too. Arya is still deeply rooted in her storyline with the Faceless Men, Jon and Stannis have their loan agreements, The Crown has its debt, Tyrion has Tysha and The Happy Port, we have FM connections with Euron and Oldtown, and the Braavosi have a history with dragons and slavers that will make their attitude towards Dany very interesting to see. It has to play a major part.

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