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James Steller

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Everything posted by James Steller

  1. I had an argument with a couple of my friends recently over “Fire and Blood”, and the Dance of the Dragons. Specifically, who was the person most responsible for all that bloodshed. I maintained that it was Otto Hightower, since his ambitions pushed for Viserys’ wedding to his daughter. Not to mention that he spearheaded the coup which left Rhaenyra bereft of her birthright. My other friends were split between Alicent Hightower (given her two-faced conduct during the war and her desire for vengeance even after all her kids were dead) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (if only she’d known her place and hadn’t been so ambitious and bloodthirsty, plus the throne rejected her). I suppose that a good case could be made for Daemon Targaryen, Cristin Cole or Aemond Targaryen, but who do you all think was the biggest villain of that storyline?
  2. You didn’t pay attention, then. The Starks have a very ruthless history that isn’t dwelled upon, but the signs are clearly there. For one thing, there’s the various Bolton conflicts, including a siege of the Dreadfort which lasted two years. The Skagosi rebel every once in a while to great loss of life on the Starks’ part. There’s the constant issues with the Ironborn, the wildlings and the Nights Watch. The Starks also had to conquer the North piece by piece, which suggests a lot of battles which haven’t been elaborated because 8000 years of history is harder to make up than 300 years of Targaryen rule. And the Starks being “good” is a simplicity. They certainly have a code of honour, and they tend to be honest and direct, but one of their most consistent traits is a wolfish savagery. There’s the obvious example of Theon Stark the Hungry Wolf, and there’s other examples of Starks performing blood sacrifices. It’s really just Eddard Stark who is entirely defined by his honour, and that’s due in large part to his being raised by Jon Arryn. We see that the Stark traits in his children emerge through their dire wolf connections, such as Robb, Arya, Brandon, even Rickon. It’s when they turn their backs on that wolf connection that they fail (Sansa’s entire story arc, Robb being “his father’s son” and marrying Jeyne Westerling to preserve her honour, Jon refusing to keep Ghost by his side). The Starks have a long and violent history, and they ruled harshly to survive all the hardships, and now that things are getting truly desperate, I foresee a return to that savagery. Jon has made allies out of thousands of wildlings, Bran is getting the heads up on the Starks’ past, Arya is becoming a ruthless assassin, and Rickon, who’s been becoming more and more wild as he loses more family members, is currently living on Skagos, literally the most feared place in Westeros.
  3. Honestly, if anything I find the Targaryens are the ones who are treated like gods in the books, by GRRM as well as the in-canon characters. Sure, we like the Starks and they’re important, but only because of their interactions with the Targaryens. Rhaegar and Lyanna, Aerys torturing Brandon and Rickard, Jon Snow, it’s all tied in with the fire. That’s why most of the Starks are dying off or gone in hiding.
  4. James Steller

    Can the Iron Bank be with financial problems?

    If Braavos is going to hypocritically turn its back on its legacy of abolishing slavery, then they deserve to fall.
  5. James Steller

    Sellswords companies in Westeros

    I need to read it again, but didn’t Stannis bring the freeriders north with him from Dragonstone?
  6. James Steller

    Creepiest part

    Maybe not, but my point is that we haven’t been given any reason to sympathize with the Others unless you hate humans.
  7. James Steller

    Creepiest part

    Well, until the Others are given a good reason for attacking humans (apart from misanthropy), then we have to assume that a god and hero fighting against them have to be sympathetic at least.
  8. James Steller

    Creepiest part

    Agreed, it’s very Lovecraftian. Though I’d say I was more disturbed by the Freys’ treatment of Robb and Grey Wind during the Red Wedding, honestly.
  9. I’m more curious as to why Mushroom, being pro-Black, would paint Rhaenyra in such a way that Westerosi society would be slut shaming her. To say nothing of his account of the brothel queen punishment that he claimed Rhaenyra gave to Alicent and Helaena.
  10. For me, I’d say it’s Aegon III. I always thought he had a traumatic story, especially when I read World of Ice & Fire, but then Fire & Blood convinced me of it. He’s like a blend between Arya Stark and Stannis Baratheon, traumatized by the deaths of his family members, deeply distrustful of the upper class that spent years manipulating and bullying him, and now he’s not interested in playing any kind of game and simply wants to provide justice and peace to Westeros. He’s a tragic figure, but not without some hope in his refusal to be destroyed by the likes of Unwin Peake or his cronies.
  11. Given that Tywin wasn’t trying to sue for peace during the entirety of his eldest son’s status as a hostage, and given that he would have plotted the Red Wedding either way, I don’t think he’d have been any more cruel if Jaime had been killed. Not only that, Jaime dead means that Catelyn doesn’t release him, and Rickard Karstark doesn’t slay the boy hostages. Brienne continues to serve Catelyn and the Starks, so admittedly she might die at the Red Wedding, changing that storyline. Without Jaime, Cersei might go even crazier than she did, if that’s possible. But what else changes, do you reckon?
  12. Assuming that House Targaryen’s fate had truly been tied to the lives of Valyrian dragons, and they were all wiped out during the Dance, what would have happened then to the rest of Westeros? Would they have gone independent again? Would someone have become the King of the Iron Throne? And follow up question: do you think that Westeros would have been better off without the Targaryens post-dance or worse?
  13. James Steller

    Why moat cailin never rebuilded

    Honestly it doesn’t quite make sense to me how the fortress was ever built in the first place. One would imagine that it’s a lot more expensive to build a fortress up from scratch than to repair an old one. So how did the First Men build Moat Cailin in its peak condition (1) with less financial resources and a lower population, and (2) on such uneven and hazardous ground. The fortress is basically falling into the swamp, so either the swamp has advanced since the fortress was first built, or we’ve got a Monty Python situation going on here. Maybe the fourth one will stay up?
  14. Honestly, I’d be happy with Fire and Blood 2. Aegon III is one of the best characters that GRRM has ever created.
  15. James Steller

    Suppose that the Targaryens had died out with their dragons?

    Ah, but Jon Snow doesn’t exist without the Targaryens. You know, I was about to joke that eliminating the Targaryens would be fine with me as they’re my least favourite part of the main storyline. But then if the Targaryens all died during the Dance, not only would we lose Jon Snow, Aegon III, Aegon V, and the Blackfyres, we also lose Jon Snow, the Baratheons as we know them, and possibly Tywin, since his father only became important and a ruler because his elder brothers died while fighting for House Targaryen.
  16. James Steller

    Was Aegon The Conqueror to generous ?

    The more violent he was, the more hated he’d become. You can’t kill everyone in Westeros, even with three dragons. And even if he could, why would he kill the people he wanted to rule? He might as well have stayed on Dragonstone.
  17. I get that Ned is protective towards his children and likes to keep them close, but he’s also the Warden of the North. He must be aware of his own possible mortality. Robb is 14 at the start of the books, and there was no shortage of available daughters who would have made worthy matches. One of Manderly’s granddaughters, Umber’s got daughters apparently, the Blackwoods in the Riverlands had a daughter who would have suited, there’s even one of Mormont’s daughters, if we’re going there. I get that Robb needed to be single so that the Frey storyline could happen, but what would the in-universe explanation be?
  18. James Steller

    The Baratheons Reanalyzed- Copper, Iron, and True Steel

    I too am a major supporter of Stannis. I love your points about him, and I consider him to be the best of his brothers. I also think it weird how Noye was able to comment on the brothers when he barely knew them. If he left the Stormlands after losing an arm at the siege of Storm’s End, he’d only have known Renly as a child at best! You’re absolutely right about Stannis actually being very witty and also being willing to compromise, given the right counsellors (Jon, Davos). Admittedly, he’s more flawed than the rosy picture you paint, but his positives easily tower over Robert or Renly.
  19. James Steller

    What are some significant differences between Robb and Jon?

    You will never convince me that Roose was ever 100% loyal. His actions at the Green Fork prove to me that he was always leveraging a better position for himself at the expense of other Northmen, including Robb. He wasn’t supposed to rush into battle, but he drove his army on a night long march, loudly announce their presence, then abandon the high ground when Tywin appears? And on top of that, they go from 17000 to 10000 but the Bolton unit is essentially intact? And one of the men who died at the battle is Lord Halys Hornwood? I call betrayal and sabotage. Roose was trying to kill off his rivals through battle from the very start. also, I was writing this as the person above me commented, and they also make excellent points about Roose being a traitor.
  20. James Steller

    What are some significant differences between Robb and Jon?

    As if the Targaryens are any better at controlling their emotions. The Starks might be savage wolves, but at least they’re satisfied with the North. The Targaryens, Lannisters, Greyjoys, and Baratheons are all equally volatile and they all have a desire for conquest, especially the Targaryens and the Greyjoys. The latter have spent their entire existence being shit-stirrers, and the former have done untold destruction. If anyone should be wiped out, it’s those two houses. The Doom of Valyria should have taken all the dragon riders and the sea should give the Iron Islands the Atlantis treatment.
  21. James Steller

    What are some significant differences between Robb and Jon?

    Jon would never have been given command over Northern lords. Half of them would have rebelled against Robb if they had to take orders from a teenage bastard, even if he was the perceived son of Ned Stark.
  22. The Targaryen daughter persuading her family to leave Valyria and go to Dragonstone.
  23. It would make Rhaegar look even worse than he already does. The crown prince “abducts” the daughter of the Warden of the North, who is engaged to his kinsman, the Lord of the Stormlands. I don’t care whether or not he thought he was fulfilling an important prophecy, it looks really bad in the eyes of Westerosi people. Frankly, it’s weird that people don’t give him more flak in the books for provoking the destruction of his own royal house. Though to be fair, if we’re assuming that Aerys was less mad if he’d been a dragon rider, maybe Robert’s rebellion never happens, since it was only done when the paranoid Aerys had Brandon and Richard Stark murdered unjustly and then demanded the heads of two innocent young men.
  24. Targaryens were mad even before they lost the dragons. Look at Maegor the Cruel, Helaena Targaryen, I think one of Jaehaerys’ kids was mad too, and probably a couple of other Targaryens that could arguably be called borderline crazy given the stuff they did during the Dance.
  25. Littlefinger is meant to be a dangerous man, highly intelligent and amoral. The one flaw he has is his obsession with Catelyn Stark. He will do the illogical, recorrect his plans, all for Catelyn or her daughter, Sansa. It’s going to be his undoing.
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