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  1. Bronze Yohn. Would you pronounce his name 'Ian' ( or 'Iron' as in Yronwood) or 'Jon' or something else entirely?
  2. While the books do not specifically say there is a Northern style of tourney tack (or that tourney tack is any different from general tack) it does note that the North doesn't have as many knights, and isn't as into the sports of chivalry. I infer from that, that Northerners would be less likely to have a goldenheart lance, or the ornamental armour that Salloreon and Tobho Motte specalised in.. Even when thier tack was the same sort of gear used in the South, they would likely fix it in different ways, ways that derived from how they did it for the training yard, or the hunt, or how they used to set it up when they were in the heavy horse and preparing to charge on a battlefield, rather than in the various fancy ways that gave elite tourney competitors a slight advantage idepending what list they were in, but gave no battlefield advantage. I it is a world where everything is hand made, with no standard sizes. As everything is tailored and arranged to suit a particular horse/ rider/ purse/ house/ forge,/smith or apprentice, , people who know what they are looking at will recognise what they see, the way Ser Karyl and Ser Willum Darry's former stablehand were able to identify the raiders of Sherrer by their size and gear and horses. Could you give me the quote from the books you got that from? I think "all the smiles"could mean "all Robert's smiles" (the ones he was making as he jested with Jon Arryn and Eon Hunter), or all the smiles of the three of them, or all the smiles of everybody. I can't find anything that says Robert laughed it off.
  3. The story we are given has her not dancing at the feast at all. Mostly, because the Knight of the Laughing Tree has a symbol of the Old Gods emblazoned on his shield. Also because neither Robert or Rhaegar were just looking for an excuse to punish Jaime. There would be other clues. For example, the mystery knight challenged and ransomed a Heigh and a Frey, and their reaction indicates this was not a local lad the Heighs and Freys knew, have trained and jousted with before. His courser would be another 'tell' - I'm guessing it was a fine horse, obviously specifically trained for coursing, who knew how to behave in the list and was not unduly concerned by the noisy human audience and the other horses, fitted with all the essential gear Northern style, knew how to charge, well bred, very probably with distinctive traits of Dustin bloodlines. And grazing with the Northerners horses earlier/later in the day. Not need, in fact it would be a pointless thing to do if the person tearing up wasn't someone you knew well, or cared much about. But lovers often do unnecessary things to show their more than ordinary solicitation, reveal their deep emotional connection, or just to find an excuse to be close to each other. I think Robert thought unmasking the mystery knight would be a fun thing to do with Richard Lonmouth, that would bond them together, and win them the approval of King Aerys. For that, a public reveal was necessary. Just having the mystery knight slink off isn't going to get them the glorious mention in all the accounts of the tourney, or gratify their king. My point here is, anyone could see Robert wanted to be with the guy that is closest to Rhaegar at the tourney of Harrenhal. It wasn't so obvious he wanted to be with Lyanna. Actually, when Eddard says the smiles died, it was Robert's smiles he had been observing. (AGoT Ch.58 Eddard XV)
  4. I don't think so. Jacobsen people usually die young of heart defects or bleeding disorders, both of which would be unfortunate conditions for a sellsword. Their eyes are not so much small as wide-set with droopy lids, although the broad nasal bridge does give a porcine look when it is combined with a turned up nose. More to the point, GRRM is very general and non-specific and inaccurate about disabilities. For example, Hodor is not typical of a person with intellectual disabilities or a person with autism. (Not that these very broad catergories are easily typified...there are literally thousands of varieties of both conditions). Illyn Payne can't talk because his tounge has been removed, but he can make a clacking sound when he laughs. In real life, a functional voicebox and cheeks can take you a long way, verbally, but clacking sounds are tricky. Wex's muteness is also unrealistic. Bran's injuries make no medical sense at all. He was in a coma for weeks, and has spinal damage, and given the height he fell from, his skull would be too smashed for him to live. He should have come out of the coma (if he ever did) with severe brain damage and literally years of re-learning to swallow, turn in bed, grasp things, relearning language and speech etc etc, with no guarentees he would ever get far. Tyrion finding something suspicious in Bran's ability to recall what happened immediately before the fall is pure ignorance, as is Bran's vague recollections of the golden man. In real life, he would be lucky to have any memories of anything that happened before the fall, and for a shockingly long while after it. He would need a lot more support than someone to carry him and a few bars around his bedroom. He would not be as quick on the uptake or as verbal as Hodor (who really demonstrated excellent verbal comprehension, but very poor verbal expression) When Jaime returned to Harrenhal to rescue Brienne from the bear (ASoS Ch.44 Jaime VI) Kick, because he only has one hand. GRRM's depiction of ability and disability is not even a little bit realistic. It is done for literary purposes, symbolic purposes, or its just how it came out. His understanding of genetics is neither medieval or modern. And given how important genetics are to the plot, it would be foolishly particular to zero in on a syndrome so rare it was first identified in the early 1970's, and to date has only a couple hundred cases.
  5. My suspicion that Robert knew Lyanna didn't want him is mainly based on details from Meera's story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and Robert's use of the word 'protect'. At the ball, the night before Rhaegar named Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty, Meera tells of Ashara dancing with one partner after another, while Lyanna is with her little brother in one corner, moved to tears by a song sung by Rhaegar, and Robert is in another corner doing shots with Rhaegar's squire. (ASoS Ch.24 Bran II) Here we see how Robert treated an opportunity to associate with his betrothed, one of the few where associating with each other was not only socially sanctioned, but expected. For girls, being asked to dance or not being asked to dance had great social significance, and other people were keeping track on the sidelines (as we can see with Ashara's partners). As Lyanna's betrothed, Robert would be expected to have the first dance with her, which would then allow other men to ask her to dance without seeming to be trying to cut his grass. If they had been married and Robert did not wish to dance, a prospective partner could simply have asked his permission as well as hers, the way Ser Garlan does at Sansa's wedding, but that is not appropriate when Robert hasn't yet put a cloak on it. If he had considered her situation and wished her to be free to dance, he would have danced with her first. By not dancing with her, but still hanging around the hall, any man who attempts to dance with her is publically taking precedence of Robert, and is giving Robert an excuse to 'protect' his betrothed and defend 'her honour' (really, his claim on her). The only men able to dance with Lyanna without risking Robert's righteous wrath are her brothers, and a woman who stands up with her brother at a ball is a laughing stock. I believe that GRRM intended Westeros to have a code for dancing and dueling that was every bit as complex and absurd as that of Regency England, from what we are told of Alys Karstark's marriage to the Magnar of Thenn (ADwD Ch.49 Jon X) So, there is that. I don't think that is why Lyanna is crying, though. Although the fact she is crying, at a ball, and it is Benjen that distracts her, not Robert, is another public display of trouble in paradise. Other people notice (to the point where it makes it into the story Howland tells his children) but Robert is too busy drinking. It is not unusual for Rhaegar's songs to reduce ladies to tears, but Lyanna is a Stark. Starks don't cry. Sometimes when they are sad they get snowmelt on their cheeks, that's all. I think Lyanna heard a particular message in that song that moved her deeply, perhaps decided her on a fateful course. I think that it would take more than Rhaegar's sad eyes or virtuosity or a pretty tune to melt a Stark. Robert did not go to Lyanna to ask her to dance, and he did not go to her when she cried. He had been given no cause to 'defend' her honour with steel, and his obsession with Lyanna did not extend to even an ordinary amount of solicitation for her happiness. At least, not that night. It is very clear Lyanna was not in love with Robert on the night they were betrothed. Lord Rickard might have rapturously gasped "Yes, a thousand times, yes" but Lyanna said (AGoT Ch.35 Eddard IX ) She was speaking to Eddard, who was apparently the one that spoke to her about it. For all the love he professes, Robert seems to think better of actually associating with his bride unnecessarily. This remark tells us that Lyanna is not even trying to pretend to be in love with Robert, and that she does not believe Robert would ever inconvenience himself for her sake, that his love won't make either of them happy together. However her father and Robert felt about it, she was clearly not delighted. Lyanna's answer is a shrewd, level-headed comment about a relationship that is doomed from the start. She isn't giving an obedient "Yes, father" , like Catelyn. Her remark is a little like Sansa's reaction to Petyr's proposal to marry her to Harry the Heir, except less innocent, and Sansa was tasked with winning Harry's affection, with Petyr carefully explaining that she will get the knights of the Vale, and Winterfell, as well as the Eyire. Lyanna doesn't have a cause the knights of the Stormlands could assist, and if she had, it might have taken more than Robert's love for her to get the knights of the Stormlands onside (I notice half of them supported Rhaegar in Robert's rebellion.) Apart from the girl, Robert stood to get the strategic advantage of the banners of the North on his side. His friendship with Eddard might not have been enough to rally the North to his cause, if Lyanna had been betrothed to any other man. Except, of course, Robert had no need of the strategic advantage of armies of allies, as he had no communication with Lord Tywin, no thought of rebelling, until Rhaegar abducted Lyanna and Aerys killed her father and her brother. Right? It seems odd to me that Eddard didn't tip his friend off to the fact that his sister wasn't keen on the match, and wasn't likely to make him happy. Although, the way he deals with Cersei, sullenly ignoring her when sober, assaulting her when drunk, caving to her as a tacit apology later, then blaming her and loathing her for the bad things she made him do - turning a blind eye to how Lyanna feels about marrying him is helping him develop the habits and attitudes of a miserable marriage. Robert doesn't know Lyanna (@corbon has given several examples from the books, earlier in this thread), and at the feast at Harrenhal he acts like he doesn't want to know her. He is too busy drinking Rhaegar's squire under the table. Rhaegar's squire. A day or two later, Robert and Richard Lonmouth join in a scheme to unmask the mystery knight. He is also doing this in the sight of Mad King Aerys, who is full of paranoid suspicion that Rhaegar is trying to undermine him. When the Knight of the Laughing Tree appears in the lists, Aerys thinks he has an excuse to punish Jaime Lannister for defying him in order to compete at the tourney. (ASoS Ch.44 Jaime VI). The size of the mystery knight, the symbol on his shield, his particular targeting of the knights whose squires attacked the Crannogman, made it clear to anyone with an ounce of commonsense that the Knight of the Laughing Tree was not Ser Jaime nor any Westerman. No doubt both Rhaegar and Robert both had enough nous to see it was a Northerner, no bigger than a boy. Robert wanted to ingratiate himself to Aerys, with Rhaegar's squire at his side, so he could rope Rhaegar in if the scheme went pearshaped. Which of course it was bound to do, because Aerys was ruthless and paranoid. I think Rhaegar was smart enough to be able to make the Knight of the Laughing Tree vanish, just by playing a well-chosen song. Robert on the other hand, would require some stripling to be publically defeated and humiliated by him. I doubt Arys would settle for less than the death of a Crannogman. Perhaps if it were the youngest son of Lord Rickard he would settle for him spending the rest of his life on the Wall. That confrontation never took place, but I wonder how it would have gone down. Robert was an indifferent jouster, so Lyanna might have bested him there, but then, Robert would likely have played to his strengths and knocked off her helm with his war hammer at an opportune moment. Looking closely at Robert's obsession, it is driven by hatred of Rhaegar, not love for Lyanna. Why he hates Rhaegar is not at all clear to me, but every time he speaks of Lyanna, his thoughts turn to Rhaegar. Lyanna is the pretext Robert needed to kill Rhaegar. He loved the pretty face, he loves the memory. He speaks in a way that reminds me of Tyrion's cynical reflection on Illyrio's Serra (ADwD Ch.5 Tyrion II) And then there is the rape. It seems to me that someone who really cared about Lyanna's existence would be more grieved by the fact she is gone, and less inclined to dwell on how she died. It takes a special kind of love to ask her brother how many hundreds of times does he think Rhagar raped her. That is yet another sign that this is more about hatred of Rhaegar than love for Lyanna. Drinking with Rhaegar's squire is a good way to obtain information about the condition of Rhaegar's horses and whatever Rhaegar is planning to do on the morrow. He might hope to get Lonmouth so hungover the next day rhat he neglected some vital part of Rhaegar's armour or just want Rhaegar to know he had his eyes on him. Also, with respect to the targets of the Knight of the Laughing Tree, when it was time to enter the battle of the Trident, the Freys and the Heighs were late to the field, but claimed to be on Robert's side, and the only Blount we know of became a knight of Robert's Kingsguard. Really, if anyone is plotting against Aerys at Harrenhal, it is Robert. He is the one that can mingle wirh whom he chooses, unsuspected. We are told time and again that Robert rose in rebellion because Rhaegar abducted Lyanna (ADwD Epilogue (Kevan)) (ADwD Ch.67 The Kingbreaker (Barristan)) (ASoS Ch.42 Daenerys IV ) (ACoK Ch.58 Davos III) (AGoT Ch.66 Bran VII) (AGoT Ch.12 Eddard II) That last is the first mention of the story, so we know from the start that Lyanna herself had a different story. 'Promise me, Ned' follows every time Eddard claims she wanted to come home to Winterfell, or that Robert fought for her. Eddard and Ser Barristan were at the battle, first hand witnesses, but both of them are choosing thier words carefully, both withhold information. A couple of times Eddard says things about his former friend that could reveal a less than brotherly opinion of Robert (AGoT Ch.5 Jon I) (AGoT Ch.35 Eddard IX) The way that last one is written strongly implies Robert had broken some vow he made Lyanna, too. As you pointed out, it was Brandon who went to find Rhaegar and demand satisfaction from him, not Robert. (AGoT Ch. 4 Eddard I) But Robert never contradictd the story that he rose in rebellion for the love of Lyanna. (AGoT Ch.12 Eddard II) Which brings me to what Robert Baratheon means by safe (AGoT Ch.4 Eddard I) Robert saw the Targaryen children, wrapped in their Lannister cloaks. Cersei understands why Lord Tywin would honour Lysa this way, and explains to Jaime (AGoT Ch.8 Bran II) Robert was not concerned about protecting the personal safety of the child, his interest was in keeping the knights of the Vale under the control of the Iron Throne, ready to defend the throne against the Dothraki hordes of Daenerys, and any other threat to the realm that Varys chooses to amp up 250%. Cersei knows SweetRobin is safer with his mother than her father. Eddard also. Robert is not a person that keeps women or children safe. He would kill Daenerys, he would bed his brother's maiden sister-in-law at his wedding, in the hymenal bed no less. Robert's promises to protect people are promises to fight armed and declared male opponents on a battlefield. That's what he does. He doesn't hate children and women, but he regards these weak things as toys that he can take out and play with, or pack away if they are getting in the way. When Cersei defys him or tries to stop him doing what he wants, the fists come out. When Joffrey horrifys him by eviscerating the cat, the fists come out. They should do what he wants when he wants, or the fists come out. When Robert gets what he wants, he can be generous. When he is with fellow fighters, he can be charming. He loves playing Santa to his bastard children, giving long expected surprise visits, then vanishing. (AFfC Ch.41 Alayne II) That is how he treats his bastard children, and that is better than how he treats his 'legitimate' children. Aerys was also known to be generous and charming - to his lickspittles and to men with the power to give him things he wanted. One man's lickspittle is another's boon companion. I do see Robert pays his whores and he gives his wife free rein on the management of their household staff and children, but that does not make him a generous lover or a good husband. Cersei gets the blame for Joffrey's behaviour, but it seems to me that Joffrey is admiring and imitating the fierce and strong Robert. Who lets his son wear a real sword, and decides the problem is how Joffrey will be able to protect her if she keeps that vicious wolf. He decided that. But he blames Cersei for that decision. He also ordered the death of Micha, with far less ceremony. Women and children under Robert's protection are not safe. Lyanna knew, Eddard knew, Cersei and Mya found out. Harwin notes that (ASoS Ch.43 Arya VIII) No harm for Eddard, who was not betrothed to anyone. For a maiden, whose honour required her to be a virgin bride, quite a bit. For Robert after the melee, with a fiancee just waiting for him to do something dishonourable, and a skinful of drink, and plenty of skirt around and a plan to unmask the mystery knight, that hot blood is a disaster all set up ready to happen.
  6. Sallador Saan Daario Naharis Lysono Maar also has nail polish. Purple nail polish. Thus far, they are the only two characters that use nail polish.
  7. Littlefinger gives us the impression that the faceless men are just expensive assassins AGoT Ch. 33 Eddard VIII Grand Maester Pycelle was the first to propse the Faceless men, and Cressen notes that they know how to make a rare and deadly poison. But Littlefinger is a treacherous liar, and what we learn about the Faceless Men from Arya suggests that just giving them money and a name is not how they work at all. Looking at the proposal made in Ch.30, makes me suspect it was Pycelle that ordered the Lysene wineseller. The poisoner might be beneath contempt in his book, but it is the first tool he reaches for in this instance. I suspect too that Petyr rolls his eyes at Pycelle's ignorance, knowing very well that the the last thing Robert Baratheon wants to do is trade coins with the faceless men of Braavos. He exploits that ignorance to build Eddard's trust and give him the impression Petyr is in his corner, talking the rest of the council out of that impossible scheme. The point about the assassination Arya carried out seems to be that a lot of shipowners will have no insurance to collect on if their ships are destroyed. If the target had a re-insurance deal with, say, the bank of Braavos, it would mean the Bank of Braavos would not have to pay out on his business, although it would also mean they no longer got his business. The one clint we see, the prosperous shipowner, is from Westeros (Gulltown? The colours and symbols on his cothes seem a bit Royce-like) and the coin that did the damage was a gold dragon - possibly one with the head of a Targaryen king on it. We know Pate's coin had a Targaryen on it, and the mission was not just to kill the mark, but to bring about a change of ruler. Walgrave is the Seneschal of the citidel. Pate stole the key, and the faceless man stole Pate. Arya bought her passage to Braavos with a coin no Braavosi would take from her, and AFfC Ch6 Arya I While the unfriendly ones had as little to do with her as possible. Captain Ternisio Terys takes her straight to the island in the middle of thw city without waiting for the customs inspectors. He doesn't delegate the task, although he clearly does have other things to do. He gives Arya his name again on leaving, and tells her any man of Braavos would have done the same. Clearly, the way the faceless men use coins has little to do with buying and selling. No man who knows about them wants their coins, or wants to know their names. Some seem hopeful that, if their name should be discussed at the table of the faceless men, at least that one will say “I know this man,” rather than “I will give this man the gift, I know him not.” The tradespeople of Braavos (Brusco, ) are very quick to serve the Faceless Men, no questions asked, but I get the impression they don't really want to, even though they have no complaints, ask for nothing in return, and give their names like they know their whole lives depend on it. It is one thing to make a binder, and another to pay it. Maybe it is as simple as - this man did not pay the binder and the wife of a dead sailor named him when she went to seek the gift for herself in the House of Black and White. Or maybe the Kindly Man was making a general observation about contracting debts. There seems to be rules about who is marked and chosen, though. Lots of discussion at the table in the House of Black and White. Jaqen is compelled by the rules, even when the choosing is done by a bewildered little girl who doesn't know the rules ACoK Ch.30 Arya VII There was onion soup when Jaqen has Arya benefit from Harrenhal's change from King Joffrey to King Robb. Onion soup again when she assassinates the insurance salesman. I'm pretty sure the onion soup thing was already planned by the Brave Companions before Jaqen bought in for the sake of getting his three friends on the winning side. ACoK Ch.47 Arya IX Jaqen killed one of the guards while setting Robett Glover free, so only three lives by his hand. Rorge and Biter took out seven between them. After his friends were set up, Jaqen changed his face. The Kindly Man tells Arya that it is not for her to decide who dies AFfC Ch.22 Arya II Jaqen gave Arya the choice of three lives because she had stolen three lives from the Red God. So presumably the Red God is also He of Many Faces. AFfC Ch.22 Arya II The Kindly Man did not tell the tale of the masters getting the gift, and it seems the first Faceless Man picked what seemed to him to be the most wretched slave. Quite subjective and arbitary, the way it is told. There is a hint that regime change was his purpose, when the Kindly Man explained there was slave revolts, but the Valyrian sorcery meant they didn't change things much. I am guessing the most wretched slave is the one that is the most effective instrument of his master's will against his own, but who knows how the First Faceless Man defined 'wretched'. We do know that there were escapees, and the escaped slaves formed a hidden colony that became Braavos, and Valyria met its Doom and the cursed fires still burn over its remains. But then, the Free Cities still had slaves, they and Westeros still had rulers of Valyrian blood, and Valyrian sorcery did not end with the Doom. The end of Valyria seems to have been a good thing to the Ghiscari, who also had wretched slaves. Being a Faceless Person doesn't stop Arya killing Daeron for defying his Lord Commander, her brother. It doesn't stop her checking her list. As far as I can tell, she doesn't have to confine herself to those marked and chosen. She does now kill on the kindly man's command, though she works out the methods for herself. It doesn't seem like progress. Like, she is as ruthless as Aller Deem, and unlike Bronn, she never asks 'How much?' The Faceless Men do seem to be working for regime change, or at least, serving a master that is (eg. The Iron Bank). Murder of the lowest and least seems an unlikely way to go about it, but that seems to be thier modus operandi. I am wondering if it is a coincidence that a Faceless Man of Braavos turns up in Oldtown just before Sam arrives on the Cinnamon Wind via Braavos, and as one of Marwyn's entourage. Pate's function is to look after the ravens. Perhaps that is why Pate. Or perhaps the Iron Key marks one that is chosen to die, as the Iron coin marks one that is chosen to serve?
  8. I'm expecting expansion in Winds of Winter, in terms of geography and introduction of characters, and complication of plot. There might be a reduction in the total number of characters and the population of Westeros, though. I am basing my expectations on the place where character arcs are now, and on the structure of a story - the climax of any book comes a few chapters before the end. Eddard dies, King's Landing is saved and Winterfell falls, Tywin and Lysa die, Brienne and Pod meet Stoneheart, Jon dies, at nearly the end of the physical book. There are a lot of important and climactic plot points that don't happen at the end of a book - Red Wedding and Purple Wedding, sack of Astapor, Bridge of Dreams, but these are all developing a plot rather than resolving one. So far, most of the character arcs end their books on cliffhangers (although, most chapters end on cliffhanger of some kind, the ones at the ends of the physical books tend to be the sort that can keep you in suspense for a few 'next years'). That is because the series is progressing, and he wants you to buy the next book/be interested in what he writes next. If Winds of Winter really is the penultimate book, it should take us the furthest from resolution of the plot, and have the most complex and convoluted plotting in the series. Then Dream of Spring will take everything up a notch more, except then you see the chess pieces finally closing on the endgame (like they do in the first half of Return of the King). After that, there is the wrap-up. In The Lord of the Rings, there is a sting in the tail - the scourging of the shire, the straight seas bent. GRRM used that as his example of a bittersweet ending, so I don't know which characters will survive, but I am not expecting a happy end. It is also entirely possible to end a story on a cliffhanger like Margaret Attwood did with The Handwife's Tale. Not sure how I would feel about that for Dream of Spring, though. I guess it would depend on how it was done. But for Winds of Winter, we need to get the armies of the Quarrelsome Daughters in there, ship a hundred thousand Dothraki to Westeros. There are other cultures that have been mentioned like they are going to be developed but have not been, like the Lorathi, Ibbenese, Norvoshi, shadowbinders, Skagosi, Thenns, Crannogmen, and the Green men of the Isle of Faces. We have not been to Casterley Rock, and if Tyrion truly is a debt-paying Lannister, he has a lot of promises to pay out - starting with Mord and the Mountain Clans, and currently ending with giving the Second Sons all the gold of Casterley Rock and himself the Lordship of it. The Iron Bank of Braavos is betting that the Night's Watch and the Iron Throne will pay their debts, too. The death of the shipping insurance agent could have financhial implications for the likes of Baelish and Illyrio and all the traders that the Night's Watch and possibly Westeros will depend upon for food during the winter. Dany is another with promises to keep - vengence on Mago, protection of her freedmen, become the stallion that mounts the world. The Myrish and Qohorese have been hiding in plain sight throughout the series, as Ironborn Theon did in the first book. Of course, people die, and their plans and debts with them. So Tyrion could die, or the Second Sons, or the Wildlings of the Vale, simplifying things. But it hasn't happened yet. In order for it to happen at all, things have to happen in Winds of Winter. We know there are going to be battles at Meereen and Winterfell, the Stormlands, Stepstones, and Dorne. Even if these are resolved quickly and in ways that reduce the plotlines going forward, and the plotlines concerning Hardhome and Euron just dropped without explination, it would take half a book to make that happen if GRRM was an economical writer. He is more an epic writer, and while I don't know how he is going to wrap it all up in Dream of Spring, I am pretty sure he isn't going to wrap it up in Winds of Winter.
  9. There is Arya, and Syrio, sure. It is a "Flamboyant Braavosi style" (AGoT Ch.30 Eddard VII) and Arya is intensely interested in it. She has also been working her way around Braavos pretty thoroughly in AFfC. So where are the other dancers? Is it possible she knows where the hombu dojo is, but hasn't checked it out because 'Cat' or 'the blind girl' or 'the ugly girl' wouldn't? We have seen a couple of two-bit bravos, possibly not even water-dancers, and that is it. Isn't it? Unless you count Illyrio's preternatural light-footedness (do you think Illyrio via Varys helped Eddard source his daughter's dancing master?)
  10. I suspect Robert knew Lyanna didn't want him. At all. And unlike Cersei, (or for that matter, Sansa, or her mother) was not going to just let herself be married off to a knuckle-dragging drunk and bully she could outfight and outwit, and thoroughly despised. That was why Robert was so obsessed with killing Rhaegar, and fantasizing about Lyanna being raped viciously hundreds of times by Rhaegar. Because before she left Harrenhal, she had shamed him and rejected him privately, and he was really keen that no one ever found out about that bit. So when she takes off with Rhaegar, it seems monstrously unfair and wrong to Robert, and loudly raising the hue and cry against Rhaegar and hammering him down, loudly proclaiming it was all for her, while quietly hoping she dies of rape-related injuries and serve her right for rejecting the better warrior and better commander, for what he privately knows was the better man. JonCon worshipped Rhaegar for his honour, and despised Robert for his lack of it, even as Robert emerged from the brothel when the bells rang, and handed him defeat, because he wouldn't stoop to Tywin's tactics. The Starks are big on honour. Robert got pretty drunk at the feast of the tourney of Harrenhal, and he was dishonourably inclined to obilge women to have sex with him when he was drunk, and if Gendry's mum and Cersei were telling it true, was inclined to be rough. The Starks are big on honour, and Robert as the Lord of Storms End is not a great catch for Cersei, who lusts for power, or Lyanna, who doesn't. If Lyanna catches him out doing something sneaky and shameful that night, well, that could explain Robert's attitude to me. Also, if Ned found out, either from Robert after the battle on the Trident, or from Lyanna (when they snuck back north via Sweetsister, if she was disguised as Wylla the fishwife, or later, at the tower of Joy, if she was not), well maybe that was the real reason Ned had stayed in the North except when required to go into battle as Robert's bannerlord. And maybe that was why Robert thought better of inviting himself up to Winterfell while Jon Arryn lived, and Eddard thought he had a hide to come even then. Cersei assumes Robert whispered Lyanna's name on their wedding night because he worshipped her, but Robert was a pig in bed, and ashamed to remember what turned him on, he blamed the wine, and chose to drink heavily before sex. It is possible he could have been fantasizing about doing something much less than reverent to Lyanna. And making no secret of it, because he wanted Cersei to know he didn't think about her even when he was using her, and he didn't rate her, no more than Rhaegar did. Heavy dramatic irony that Cersei gets revenge inside her head by pretending she is having sex with Rhaegar, who doesn't seem to have been the Seven's gift to women, either. Robert being the king instead of Rhaegar might have been his fantasy revenge on Lyanna. Btw, do we know if Robert married Cersei before or after Eddard returned from the Tower of Joy?
  11. Theon seems to have heard an Ironborn or Northern varient of the song ACoK Ch.24 Theon II Also, the tower of Mooten's castle was known as "Jonquil's Tower", and we know there are songs about her The Princess and the Queen Also, the Easternmost tower of the Eyrie is the Maiden's tower. While I suspect the towers are named for the Seven, this tower has the view of Alyssa's Tears AGoT Ch.40 Catelyn VII The balcony of the Maiden tower has Sky six hundred feet below it, and we don't know how Alyssa died. There would be a song in it, though. There are plenty of towers with balconies (although a balcony isn't specified or necessary): Riverrun, Queenscrown, Dragonstone. Storm's End is another interesting possibility, given the 'old powers' that built it and six times destroyed it, and the suspicious death of Cortnay Penrose. We know there are songs about it ACoK Ch.31 Catelyn III Perhaps Elenei had a daughter that was given to the sea. If it was a song composed by supporters of the Blacks, to cover their foul deeds, or counteract Green propaganda, Helaena Targaryen and Aegon II could be princess and prince. The Princess and the Queen
  12. Yes, archery such a peaceful pasttime, isn't it? Even traders in their Swan ships practice it AFfC Ch.35 Samwell IV Red archers don't seem to be more pacifistic than archers of another colour. Nor do they only have defensive roles in trading ships. There are Summer Islanders in the Golden Company ADwD Ch.24 The Lost Lord and other Sell-sword companies ASoS Ch.21 Jaime III Jalabhar Xho knows what to do with a longbow AGoT Ch.30 Eddard VII Sansa knows him only as a courtier, but Cersei has some knowledge of his mission AFfC Ch.24 Cersei V AFfC Ch.36 Cersei VIII The Summer Isles might be famous for birds and spiced wine, but its Goldenheart trees make famous bows and lances, its rare spices are used for poisons as well as rum. As for the wanton women and the temple prostitution, Meereen, Yunkai, and Astapor also seem that way to Westerosi eyes, and the Dothraki, and the free cities, and the Wildlings. Westeros has a patriarchal culture where it really matters who your daddy is and whether you are a first or second son. Hence the need for women to be chaste before marriage and exclusive after (at least until they have a son). Dornish women are regarded as wanton too. As are baseborn women. The hypersexualisation and objectification of women might have something to do with GRRM going to a Marist boys school, but it might also have to do with having points of view that are male and living with other men in celibacy, or near-celibacy. Of the 22 male points of view, 9 have made vows of celibacy. Bran is too young, Eddard effectively becomes celibate when he takes up his duties as Hand, Davos ditto, Kevan hasn't seen his wife since he left the West either. Theon is a eunuch, JonCon might as well be, and does anyone know what Aeron Greyjoy's deal is? (Rhetorical question, thanks). There does seem to be a Northern hemisphere bias - Naath and Southeros seem to be equatorial. But I guess, if the other side of Planetos is just coming out of a ten year winter, it kind of screws with the main premise of the book.
  13. Is Ramsay literate? I know that Theon claims he is at Moat Calin ADwD Ch.20 Reek II But that was clearly not a safe conduct, and was never opened. There's the letters to Asha and Robb, and the Pink Letter, but Cotter Pyke sends letters to LC Jon Snow, and we know he is illiterate. I can't recall a scene where Ramsey reads something, or confers with an amenuensis, or glances at a proclamation, or toys with a seal (does he have a seal?). On the other hand, I can't remember anyone commenting on his literacy. My apologies if this is a done-to-death topic. Also,
  14. Yes, one of these days I'm going to make a really long post with supporting quotes to attempt to explain what I think Petyr has done, even if I have not completely worked out why (other than we really need Winds of Winter to come out). Shae dying from strangulation was a careful authorial choice. She could have copped a second crossbow bolt, or Tywin's dagger, been smothered by a silk pillow...but her author chooses to symbolically associate her death with Joffrey's. It is not a proof, but it is a point. There are so many Baelish daggers. Deffo Mandon Moore (who was Ser Vardis Egen's lover in my head) went to battle protecting Tyrion, came back from Petyr with instructions to take him out. Although, if Tyrion had not been fighting Stannis's men outside the gates, maybe Petyr would not have needed him out of the way - I don't think he had planned the assassination in advance, though he did put Tyrion's convalesence to his own good use. Still, it was not like Tywin was going to keep Tyrion on as hand. The transition of power to his father was probably more painless for Tyrion while he was in Ballabar's care, but it was inevitable, and Baelish had probably put a lot more thought into making Tyrion Master of Coin than into killing him and his loathing of the Imp might have made him feel quite sorry if he had had to substitute a muggle like Kevan or Lancel.[ETA I see Baelish as a Jaques Necker/Alan Greenspan type treasurer. Famed as a wizard of finances, gives himself plenty of time to step down gracefully accepting honours and bouquets, everybody knows that Fleury was a chump not fit to fill his shoes, so when Fleury says there is no money at all left in the treasury, it all went into that American war, I'm going to have to raise taxes, that is just proof the idiot can't manage basic arithmetic. There are calls for the wizard to come back, but as it turns out, the wunderkind has too much going on to be able to set the realm straight. So the bubble bursts, and there is a GFC, and a revolution, but no-one blames him for it. Things were going fine when he was treasurer.] Like Bronn, Mandon spent a lot of time serving the people he was overtly serving, when Petyr did not countermand. Unlike Bronn, he probably wasn't motivated solely by money and survival. But also unlike Bronn, he had made contact with Petyr, who really didn't want Tyrion taking note of exactly when and how he had arrived at Kings Landing. He wanted them to assume he had travelled comfortably in the baggage train of the Tyrells, or some bannerman beneath Tywin's personal notice. Petyr made a pretty profit by binding the Tyrells to the Lannister cause, as he did from the Tourney of the Hand, but I don't think he was ever supporting the Starks, or the Lannisters, or Renly. Given he trades across the narrow sea, and Stannis has a Lysene pirate commanding a sizable part of his navy ( the part that survived the battle), I think Petyr has daggers in Stannis's court as well as among the Lannisters, Renly, and the Starks and Arryns. I am guessing, if he has any real affilliations (ones he would not double cross) they are for house Strong. The alliance with Lady Tanda goes back before Eddard came to King's Landing. It might come out if the Rosby inheritance becomes a plot point. He might have been conspiring with Targaryen loyalists back then. And yes, Lord Gyles is no knight. But he was one of the main suppliers of food to King's Landing during a seige that Petyr profited greatly from. I think Ser Creighton and Ser Illifer are Baelish daggers in Rosby. Also, at least one of the dead men in Renly's kingsguard, and probably more, were Baelish daggers. And so many in the Vale. Including Marrillion. Who lives.
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