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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] The Watcher

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If i recall correctly, after the battle of the blackwater the mountain clans stayed in the kingswood. But later in ASOS Tyrion states how they began to return to the vale. Definately queen men posing as the mountain clans.

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So Doran Martell still doesn't know that Aegon is alive....What will happen when he learns of it? I can't wait!

Well, someone who is claimed to be Aegon is alive. I think the jury is still out on whether this is really Aegon. It smacks too much of several instances of pretenders to the throne who claimed to be one of the lost "Princes in the Tower" during the Wars of the Roses, such as Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, for me to believe it at this point.

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For those of you who are saying this chapter officially takes us beyond the AFFC timeline for the first time in this book:

Hello? I think that job was very well done by the Asha Greyjoy chapter we encountered earlier, isn't it?

Also, I still believe that was really Cersei's plan to get Trystane killed. Coz that's the only way to get Myrcella permanently back to KL; and thereby prevent any uprising exactly of the kind which Arianne was plotting.

Another thing which puzzles me:

Isn't setting the Sand Snakes loose on the King's landing bit of a tricky manoeuvre on the part of the prince?

Given that they wanted a war with KL, which is the reason they were put behind the bars to begin with, and now they have even more reason to want it, after getting to know abt the Trystane-killing plot?

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Very good chapter. I really like the Dornish chapters.

Any ideas who informed Doran about Cercei's plan to kill Trystane on the way to KL?

are we even sure Cersei planned the assanination on trystane and not Varys or someone else?

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The only thing that sucked about this chapter was that it should have been from Arianne's POV... why did he even bother with Areo Hotah?

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The skull they claim to be Gregor's came to Cersei cleaned not long after the High Septon died and only moments after she'd been presented with a dwarf's skull. She states that the previous supposed head of Tyrion had only been an ugly child's. It seems doubtful that the skull sent on to Dorne was a dwarf's and more likely to be the dead High Septon's. This doesn't necessarily account for its size, though so I'm not sure.

As for the plot to kill Trystane, I'm sure that it was indeed Cersei's intention. Balon Swann did seem nervous at the idea of going by sea rather than land which would have foiled the plot. Also when Cersei tells the small counsel that she is sending Swann to Dorne with the skull she thinks to herself "Ser Balon would have another task as well, but that part was best left unsaid." I'm sure this is in reference to this plot which really smacks of Cersei anyways. Trying to blame Tryion? Of course that was her idea.

I'm very excited that the Sand Snakes will be going to KL! That, and I'm anxious to find out what has happened to Cercei by now.

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The only thing that sucked about this chapter was that it should have been from Arianne's POV... why did he even bother with Areo Hotah?

I can think of a few reasons why GRRM likes to use Areo Hotah as a PoV character, but the main one that comes to mind is that we are able to see events unfold in as close to a black-and-white manner as you can get. We are not going to have to worry about any bias or emotions that would play into the storytelling like it would if it was from Arianne's PoV. As a result, what we are shown, however little that may be, should prove to be unambiguous and clear-cut.

Although I am probably in the minority, I find Areo to be a cool cat. I would not mind future PoV's from him.

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So is this the point where we move past the split in location of Feast for Crows and ADWD?

So from now on, everything is happening new, nothing here is happening on parallel to Feast for Crows?

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I think so. It's hard to say for sure but I think it's about right.

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I'm fine with the Dorne arc. Areo as the POV does hide crucial information from us, but Doran is supposed to be a bit opaque. The Sand Snakes are, as always, mreow! More importantly, it sews up the possibility of a civil war in Dorne. Uncorking that bottle would have been too much at this point in the series.

As lezboyd points out, if you read the Cersei chapters carefully, she is very clear that she had an ulterior motive for sending Balon Swann, and some secret mission. She opposed the Dornish marriage from the start. Just as she's intent on separating Tommen and Margaery, she wants Myrcella and Trystane separated. Partially because her own marriage was so awful for her, but also because she views her children as pawns... almost like stuffed animals. They have to be hers and hers alone.

From her POV, it's a perfect plan! She breaks up an inconvenient marriage pact, gets her hostage back, takes one in return, and blames the whole thing on Tyrion, so really she strengths the Dorne alliance. And what good are the stupid Dornish, anyway? She's the queen!

Stupid? Check. Short-sighted? Check. Treacherous and vile? Definitely. This plan reeks of Cersei, is totally characteristic of her.

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Well, from reading everything on here and re-reading the chapter, I definitely think it was Cersei...the fact that she hinted at different agendas in her POV, the fact that Balon was taken aback by the ship suggestion...the fact that Cersei is evil and that this would be a way to frame Tyrion for something and get her daughter back? Yeah. I definitely think it was her.

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Doran. I fucking love you!

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It's still hard for me to take Areo Hotah seriously as a character. He has absolutely no personality of his own and is obviously just there as an observer. I guess I'll never understand why GRRM felt the need to include the POV of completely random people when he has Arianne, for example, at his disposal. These are the chapters that bring down an otherwise very good book.

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I guess I'll never understand why GRRM felt the need to include the POV of completely random people when he has Arianne, for example, at his disposal.

Because Arianne isn't with Doran at all times. Having Hotah solves that problem.

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Because Arianne isn't with Doran at all times. Having Hotah solves that problem.

That's not really a good argument imho, not when it comes to ASoIaF. Until AFFC we had this core group of POV characters (with occasional additions, such as Davos) who did not have to witness something in order to be able to tell us about it. Just take Catelyn in ASOS. She wasn't there when Robb married Jeyne, but she found out about it later. This could have easily been done with Arianne and Doran, I don't see why not. I just feel like GRRM is getting lazy with his writing and chooses the easiest POV possible, even when that POV character doesn't contribute anything to the story itself.

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I feel it was a very wise choice of Martin to write this chapter from Areo's POV.

Because, Arianne's thoughts and her acceptance of her father was portrayed well in Princess in the TOwer

IN this we get minimal Thought INterference by Hotah.

A Very Well-Plotted chapter IMO.

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I don't buy the Trystane plot for a second - it is a total fake-out. We'll find out in TWOW that Cercei's instructions to Balon were about something totally different. It is a total lie - I think Doran believes it, but he's been fed bad information. It's not that Cercei wouldn't do it; I don't think Balon would. He is no Kettleblack, to participate in a plot to murder a young child. I call BS.

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I like when we go down to Dorne but i cant help but think that the whole Dorne story line would be better if it was from the viewpoint of one person. Even during AFFC i had to really go back and check to see what was going on every time i encountered a new Dorne chapter.

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