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Buried Treasure

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  1. Buried Treasure

    How did the Nights Watch get so weak?

    I don't claim there is a dearth of women. I argue that there aren't spare women to send to the Wall because their home regions need to them to marry the men that stay home. It's in that whole full paragraph that I bothered to write and you snipped when you quoted.
  2. Buried Treasure

    How did the Nights Watch get so weak?

    Oh I don't buy the theory is babies being turned into Others at all, that is just a superstition of Craster's wives. When the cold came and he didn't have a boy to leave out he'd sacrifice livestock - are we to believe there are sheep Others too? The forbidding of wives is part of the structure of the society. The ratio of men in the Watch and women in the Gift makes prostitution viable, and while it is not officially permitted it is knowingly tolerated. Marriage would require a greater ratio of women to be supported, and the Starks would have even less support than they do because gifts or taxes to provision the people at the Wall would be supporting not just men sworn to the neutral NW but to their wives and children who owe fealty to Winterfell. And where would these women to marry come from? When there aren't famines or plagues, then war and exile serve to bleed off the pressure of excess men who would otherwise have no place - who don't stand to inherit or take the family trade. Women are lost instead to childbirth; war and exile aren't never to relieve the other kingdoms and regions of excess women - those women stay and marry the sons and brothers left behind. As for why the NW has declined since Aegon's time, @TedBear said it upthread - Essos. The criminal element can flee there, as we have seen with several examples in the books. Furthermore, since the creation of the Golden Company there has been an alternative to the NW for honourable exile. Look at their roster of lords (JonCon), bastards (Franklyn Flowers) and wannabes (Rolly Duckfield) and say none of them might have joined the Watch is the GC had never been formed.
  3. Buried Treasure

    Skinchanging bonds

    I agree that Jon has been resisting his dreams, but definitely think it is the different type of dreams too. His wolf dreams link him to what is going on with the others' wolves at that time, but the example you give of him dreaming the RW was IIRC prophetic and I think from his Targ heritage. I am not convinced that Targs have a ton of super special powers; fire-reistance & dragon-links seem mostly incident and context specific. However there is an established talent for prophetic dreaming that runs in the line. Daenaerys the Dreamer and Daeron the Drunk were both true prophets that had frequent prophetic dreams, and there are indications that other Targaryens have a latent version of the gift which gives them true dreams when they are in a heightened state; Maester Aemon had dragon dreams when he was sick and fevered, Dany through her pregnancy and when fevered. Jon has warg dreams regularly but his prophetic dreams I think have also tended to be when he is injured - though they do not count as 'dragon' dreams as prophets see more easily what is close to them and Jon is closer to his Stark kin than his Targaryen side.
  4. Buried Treasure

    (Spoilers Fire&Blood) Can Velaryons ride dragons?

    Fire and Blood did more to convince me that familiarity is the key to dragonriding, than possession of magical Dragonlord blood - not to say that the Targs don't have magic, but their gift is prophetic dreaming as seen with Daenaerys the Dreamer, Daeron the Drunk and latently in Aemon, Dany and Jon. The maesters and others in-world take for granted that only Targs can be dragonriders, and therefore take dragonriding as proof that a person is a dragonseed. Nettles and Sheepsteeler challenge that assumption, that is the only feral dragon that has been ridden and she succeeded by feeding it enough to gain familiarity, with no hint she is actually of Targ blood. I think the chances of successful dragonriding are in order, familiarity through having the hatchling impress upon the future rider and spending early years being handfed, familiarity by being blood related to an earlier rider, familiarity by acclimatisation through feeding the dragon. After the doom the Targs were the only owners of dragons and gifted viable eggs only within their own family, perpetuating the cycle. Addam of Hull rode Seasmoke, who was previously Laenor Velaryon's dragon. So if Addam were actually the Sea Snake's and possessed no Targ blood, he would still have been the half-brother of the dragon's previous rider, explaining his success. Danny's dragons are all impressed on her, and although Quentyn was related to her it is some generations back, perhaps enough to explain the dragons hesitating though it was not enough to save him.
  5. Buried Treasure

    If Ned+Ashara= Jon, was Jon unwanted in Dorne?

    Maybe she does, if one subscribes to N + A = A. If Ashara was pregnant from Harrenhal then it would have been possible for her and Elia to deliver at similar times. And it seems possible to me that a Dayne could have a baby with the looks to pass for a Targaryen, and that if sickly Elia had delivered a stillborn girl she might have passed off her friends bastard as her own child to avoid being set aside.
  6. Buried Treasure

    To Kingslay or Kinslay: That is the Question.

    I'll go with Kingslaying is the worse crime, kinslaying is the worse sin. Most people in Westeros would seem to be more bothered by what the gods judge them for, especially when there is a regime change that will punish and pardon for different crimes. Though as Lord Browndodd says there is also Jaime's KG vows to consider, he is considered honourless as an oath breaker.
  7. Buried Treasure

    On Janos Slynt

    I don't disagree with you here, letting Mance go free isn't justice. I'm saying that Jon isn't prioritising justice or trying to enforce the rules of the Nights Watch equally for all. He prioritises the needs of the Watch foremost, and the need to maintain discipline by executing oathbreakers was seen to be fulfilled - which is what Jon actually believed was happening during the burning. When he learns of Melisandre's ploy he goes along with it in part because he has a hope of Mance saving Arya, but also because it is Mel's plan, and it does not serve the Watch to oppose her (and by extension Stannis) to serve justice at that time.
  8. Buried Treasure

    Why Was Robb Such An Awful Diplomat?

    I'd disagree with that too. This was Stannis' mistake, not Robb's. Stannis screwed them both over by not declaring until so late. Stannis knew he was Robert's lawful heir before Ned arrived in KL or Robert died, yet he remained on Dragonstone doing very little. Robb had time to receive a raven about Ned's imprisonment, march to Rivverrun, fight a battle, spread word to Dragonstone of his crowning, get news from scouts that Tywin was gathering a second army and decide to send Cat as an envoy to Renly. All before Stannis drafts a letter to the other lords of the 7K about the incest and that he is proclaiming himself the rightful king. And that was the solution Robb would have wanted. Before the council at Riverrun he discusses that Joffrey is the rightful king who he can't support, and Renly has no rightful claim. If Robb had already received a version of Stannis' letter then he could have forestalled the proclamation of himself as KitN by backing the enemy of Joffrey who had a lawful claim to the Iron Throne. I dislike Stannis too, but before the war of 5 Kings he was considered a 'hard man' (maester Cressen's POV) not a joke. Stannis was a weak ally early in the war only because so many of his Bannermen had already proclaimed for Renly, again before Stannis had made it known he was the lawful heir.
  9. Buried Treasure

    Why Was Robb Such An Awful Diplomat?

  10. Buried Treasure

    On Janos Slynt

    Sam may have well had freedom to choose what he wanted to do after leaving Horn Hill, but that is not quite the same as doing whatever he wanted, because after his father cast him out he lacked the resources to necessarily succeed. Let's say Sam had decided not to take the oath after his father's men had dumped him at Castle Black, and that he did decide at that point he wanted to become a maester. It seems that the Citidel is open to applicants so he only had to get there, but the NW was under no obligation to help him on that journey. He has good clothes, perhaps he could have traded that for some food or shelter, but in the hard north nobody has enough to spare to give him more than a couple of meals. He would not have been able to pay passage on a ship and nobody looking at him would have offered him the chance to work his passage. So his freedom not to join the Watch was a freedom to freeze or starve. This is much the same as the peasant boys who choose to follow a recruiter to a Wall rather than go hungry, and even the criminals who opt for the Wall rather the punishment. They all choose the NW, but only because the alternatives are worse for them. And having made that choice they are hardly likely to change their minds once at the Wall, where the NW might let them go free after gelding or taking a hand according to the original punishment, but then would have cast them out with even less resources to survive than if they had chosen the punishment back in their hometown. The likes of Jon and Waymar Royce had less stark choices, they could have have left the Wall before saying the words and returned to the their childhood homes. But as bastards and younger sons they weren't assured of always having a place, I doubt Waymar would have chosen the honour of serving the NW is he were the eldest son. The Wall was always only the choice for those whose other options were worse, even when it was an honourable option for lords and knights many were exiles or had otherwise lost their place - I have a strong suspicion that the turning point for recruitment to the NW was when the Golden Company was created, giving an alternative 'honourable exile'. However poor their options every man who joins the NW makes their choice. Most don't deserve to have that choice thrust on them, but those are the injustices of their wider society, the NW isn't about justice and holds them all to their oaths equally. Jon killing Janos Slynt wasn't for justice but for discipline against one who was flaunting orders, even if it felt like justice to Jon privately. Jon allowing Mance to roam free wasn't justice, but 'he' had already been seen to be publicly punished for his oath-breaking, and there was political expediency not interfering will Melisandre's plans as well as good own hopes for his sister.
  11. Buried Treasure

    Why weren’t Robert’s brothers princes

    Robb's siblings were children, so it could make sense to think of them being termed princes as courtesy titles. Stannis and Renly wouldn't have needed courtesy titles, because they were made lords in their own right.
  12. Buried Treasure

    How could we find out about Aegon

    Jon Con can't be the source of the truth, as he doesn't know it. He absolutely believes YG is Aegon, so we can be sure he has only raised one boy as Aegon but he was with the Golden Company for a time after his exile, and it is possible he was given a fake. The two possible sources for the truth are Varys and Illyrio. If real Aegon was saved then Varys arranged it, if a fake was procured then Illyrio arranged that. I think Varys is less likely to be the source of the truth. I don't fully understand his motivations, but he lives in Westeros so I think he must be more fully invested in the ploy of getting Aegon on the throne, so is more likely to maintain the narrative of Aegon as Rhaegar's son, regardless of the truth. I don't put much weight into Varys telling Kevan about Aegon because that is true regardless of the kid's provenance. It is absolutely true that Kevan's House and legacy are threatened by the advancing army headed by someone with the name Aegon . Illyrio is I think a more likely source of the truth, he is less invested in the plot to win the throne for Aegon than he is in the boy himself. I would suggest that if we learn more from Illyrio of his love for Serra we will learn the truth of Aegon. I think Serra and Aegon must be linked, because they are the only two for whom Illyrio shows love and affection. I do not think Illyrio is the boys father, as why would he give up a son he loves for a throne he cares little for? - the boy must have belonged to Varys' plot before Illyrio developed affection for him. That brings me to my theory that after the original Aegon's death by Gregor, Varys decided to create a fake Aegon and needed to procure a child of the right age and looks. So Illyrio purchased a mother-and-baby/toddler slave set. Aegon is a convincing fake because rather than just picking a random child they went to the trouble of making sure that he had inherited his mother Serra's Targaryen-like features.
  13. Saving his own skin is the key to his motivations, I am sure. It is generally assumed that Renly decided to become King and called his banners, in that order. I am not so sure, I think originally he gathered his army to protect himself, perhaps with the aim of deposing the Lannisters as regent to Joffrey or one of his younger siblings. I think he only decided to crown himself after he saw the size of the army that he had gathered and let that go to his head; it is essentially the argument he made to Catelyn, doesn't the person who can command such a mighty force deserve to be king.
  14. Buried Treasure

    A middle lane view of Rhaegar and Elia

    One possibility I consider is that Rhaegar didn't already have two children; that Elia in her frailty ended her second pregnancy with a stillbirth, and at Dragonstone swapped babes with Ashara's healthy bastard baby. Rhaegar finding this out would have been the impetus for him to run away with Lyanna then, rather than soon after Harrenhal when he first noticed her.
  15. Buried Treasure

    If Robb had declared for Stannis, what would have changed?

    I reject the premise that backing Stannis was an honourable choice for Robb to make whilst he was at Riverrun. Robb did not at that time know that Stannis intended to press a claim to throne, Cat only learnt that Stannis was claiming the throne, and of the incest, when she was in Renly's camp. That was after Robb would have already have moved west. (Recall, Stannis sent his ravens in the prologue of ACoK, after he had already received a letter announcing Robb's crowning which happened late AGoT). Regardless, if the timings had been different I am not sure the military strategy would have played out very differently. Let's suppose that Stannis had sent his proclamations earlier, and that letter arrived at Riverrun before word of Ned's death. Robb would have declared for Stannis, but been too far away from Stannis for immediate conference so would still have been acting as an independent military commander. His logic for moving west would still have been the same, to engage against the Lannisters without falling into the trap of facing Tywins forces at Harrenhal. In the books as they are Tywin was between two enemies in Robb and Renly's and has to choose who to engage first, that would not have been changed if Stannis and Robb had been formally allied. It is possible that if Stannis and Robb had been corresponding then Stannis would have delayed his attack on KL until after Tywin was trapped in the west, but as they would have been sending ravens across great distances they might still have not gotten the timing correct - Robb and Edmure were allied and there was still misunderstanding between the two of them.