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Black Crow

Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

125 posts in this topic

I'm not too sure about all of this. The land north of the wall is fertile enough for large trees and forests to grow. Mormont, Aemon and Marsh warn about the White Walkers and have knowledge about them.

Yet the prologue happened, where Gared did not know about them. Only very vague. And the rest of our little party wasn't prepared at all. 

What makes me think of the thread as real is the prologue and Mormont/Aemon.

I suspect that the Long Night hasn't started yet, as the sun is still visible. It is only winter. Not Long Night. And the Long Night will be the trigger event. 

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4 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

Otherwise... it seems worth noting that the Popsicles have already made more on-page appearances in ASOIAF than Sauron ever did in LOTR.  And they've played a similar part so far in the story... feared but not seen, driving character action from off-page, threatening from a particular compass-point on the world map

This is true north of the Wall, but only there.

We are, counting the TWOW samples, more than 5/7ths of the way through the canon.  And the Popsicles have had such a tiny impact, have defined such a tiny percentage of the story, that all these statements are true:

• The huge majority of the characters in ASOIAF have no idea the Popsicles are even real

• The huge majority of the characters have no idea wights are, either

• Virtually nobody south of the Wall has any sense or concept that the Popsicles and/or wights, if real, might pose some sort of practical problem in their lives

Now imagine trying to rewrite LOTR so that the above is true for Sauron, the Ringwraiths, etc. in Middle Earth.  It just can't be done -- not without completely wrecking the story and replacing it with some wildly different thing.

Seems like by 5/7ths of the way through LOTR, the One Ring had actually already been destroyed.  :D

Edited by JNR

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2 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I really don't understand the smiley here. Sauron's wish to get the one ring once more dominates the LOTR. The ring wraiths are his physical will as he lacks a body and not some whip enslaved orcs and clearly Sauron in present in more than one location: Barad-Dur and Dol Guldur. 

I understand that this is a stupid discussion over the internet but please, stay close to the source. 

I was suggesting that, insofar as the role of the Others seems analogous to the role of Sauron, the part of the ringwraiths would be played by Martin’s wights (ie, servants or thralls of said evil power)

I suppose I could have just said that.

But I suspect that analogy doesn’t go much further, in the end.  Because where Tolkien’s story relies on a “top down” theology / metaphysics... Martin clearly comes at things from the opposite way.  Thus no Dark Lords, per se.

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5 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

I do wonder, though, whether the Popsicles should have defined the plot of ASOIAF more than they have... and if perhaps they might have retained a more central role if Martin hadn't gotten so carried away with his word counts, with adding characters, with the scrapping of 5 year gaps, and with... well, Meereen.

Otherwise... it seems worth noting that the Popsicles have already made more on-page appearances in ASOIAF than Sauron ever did in LOTR.  And they've played a similar part so far in the story... feared but not seen, driving character action from off-page, threatening from a particular compass-point on the world map, etc. 

And it may be that the White Walkers have already accomplished their purpose, in driving the wildlings south of the Wall.  And at least this far, that seems to be their purpose.  The terror they instilled motivated people to leave their villages and move south in a massive migration.  Mance's "army" was never attacked by the White Walkers.  And according to Mance, they always remained behind the group, to the North.  Which is why Mance seemed to dismiss the attack on his army from the East as being White Walker related. 

The only time the WW's attacked in mass was to destroy the NIght's Watch forces at the Fist, and their purpose was to prevent Mance's army from  making their way to the Wall.  And in the meantime all the attacks that are occurring seem to be directed at people who stayed in their villages rather than those making their way south of the Wall.

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4 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

We're not talking about the detail here. The point is that he was envisaging three successive threats, of which the third and last is that from up north and the reason why its been left hanging for so long is because the middle has been stretched so much, The fact he hasn't advanced that aspect of the story as the mummers did, strongly points first to his retaining the original outline and secondly suggests that there may be a trigger event connected with Danaerys. At the very least everybody needs to be in place.

The exact order the threats come into play is a detail. So is the centrality of Westeros to the plot.

At some point I don't doubt George intended to tell the story roughly in this shape. @JNR didn't provide proof of George ever saying he planned for Dany to arrive in Westeros, but I found it for myself:

Quote

Yes, three more volumes remain. The series could almost be considered as two linked trilogies, although I tend to think of it more as one long story. The next book, A Dance With Dragons, will focus on the return of Daenerys Targaryen to Westeros, and the conflicts that creates. After that comes The Winds of Winter.

Compelling, except for the fact that this is from a December 2000 interview, soon after the release of ASoS, and this was the only solid confirmation I could find. Of course, ADwD came and Dany did nothing to get any closer to Westeros. Considering where she is now and the various plot points that were set up for her, it would be lucky if she manages to get there at the end of TWoW, let alone "create conflicts", yet George still claims he will be done in two books. How come?

I think we should be more willing to consider that George might have changed his plans for Dany's story and the endgame of the series somewhere during the writing process of Feast and Dance. In 2000, he describes ASoIaF as "two linked trilogies". The first one, obviously, was about the War of the Five Kings, and we can see from the outline, themes and speed of execution, that he mostly had that part mapped out - at the very least the notion that he would successively build up Ned and Robb, only to have them fall, and that Joff would die and Tyrion would turn against his family.

The second trilogy seems to have been a lot more vague in his mind, given the fact that it's taking longer to write and that it doesn't exactly line up with his early statements. Feast and Dance should be considered the equivalents of AGoT for this second grand arc. The best indicators for the future direction of the story are here, not in the first trilogy, not in the mummer's version (not like time, space and character identity matters much for them anyway) and not in the 1993 outline.

Many elements in Feast and Dance seem to butt heads with Dany arriving in Westeros, at least if we follow the two rules I mentioned a few pages ago, that the series will end in 2 books and all the things that are introduced will eventually play out. One can even theorize that Aegon was introduced precisely to act as a stand-in for Dany in the plot lines that absolutely required her invasion (Varys and Illyrio's plot, Cersei's incompetent rule, Dorne, and perhaps Euron), while Dany has to learn to rule in Meereen instead of Westeros.

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