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Everything posted by Walda

  1. Thank you. That's a plausible and well-argued theory.
  2. Just learnt a little more about labyrinths and mazes. It is the mazes that have the dead ends. Labyrinths are convoluted paths with no branches or alternate routes. You can get lost in a maze. There is no way of getting lost in a labyrinth. So Ariadne's clew and Daedalus' advice ("Always forward and down, neither left nor right") were equally superfluous in Theseus' quest. And the Minotaur chose to live there. Which, like the legend as a whole, makes no sense at all. Mind blown. Although there is a parallel with Dany in the House of the Undying (Dany=Theseus, Pyat Pree=Daedalus/Ariadne, the Undying=the Minotaur). In fact, Dany's arc in general might be based on the story of the labours of Theseus.
  3. There are probably going to be a lot of major character deaths in Winds of Winter. He needs to set these deaths up to have the disastrous impact they deserve, ensure that they are most untimely by our reckoning. But he needs to ensure they don't die before they have been to the places they need to visit, seen the people they need to see, sired the heirs they needed to sire, discovered the secrets they needed to discover, sent the messages they needed to send. Otherwise, mysteries like Ned's promise to Lyanna and what happened at the Tower of Joy and (especially) why, are going to be 'resolved' the way the mystery of the dragonbone dagger was resolved- with a character who was out of the loop deducing it from whatever they could recall. Or worse, whatever they were told/saw in a dream/learnt from a tree or a crow. Worst case of all: told by a raven who was skinchanged by a guy that was shown a dream by a tree. I would honestly rather L+R remained in its current state than have it 'resolved' by dreams and portents. My guess is he has to time the killing of Tyrion, Dany, Jaime,Cersei, Brienne, Stannis, Sansa, Arya,Rickon and Bran so that Penny, JonCon, Illyrio, Jorah, Asha, Sam, Arianne,Nym, Hota and Barristan can know enough to carry the narritive load for A Dream of Spring. Eta: Or maybe he has too many paid gigs with deadlines due to find time to finish Winds in 2022.
  4. Although we have not seen this go spectacularly wrong yet. Escorting Cersei on her Walk of Shame is all we have yet seen the Poor Fellows do, and as Brienne saw on her way to Duskendale, they had formed without royal sanction before they arrived with the bones of the martyrs in King's Landing. The worst thing done to Cersei, her capture, was at the hands of a score or a couple of dozen unarmed septas. The worst thing done to Osney, a scourging he came to and submitted to of his own somewhat coerced will. The Warrior's Sons wouldn't have re-formed without Cersei's proclamation. But again, all we have seen them do is form and protect the Great Sept of Baelor. Perhaps escort Tommen to his blessing, if that has happened off-page. Lancel has given up Darry for them, but at the moment, the only clear consequence of that has been the annulling his marriage to Gatehouse Ami. That is a bit humiliating for Amerie, but not obviously a perilous mistake. Especially if Lyle Crakehall, a solid Lannister bannerman, becomes Castellan for the Frey widow of Darry. We also don't know yet of any dire consequence of Ser Bonifer and the Holy Eighty-Six taking over Harrenhal. True, history and the foreshadowing don't favor any of them. In fact, while the old-time Warrior's sons boasted great knights and sorcerers, they seem to deserve at least a brief mention in this thread. "Rebel and Burn" seems to have been their entire gameplan. But for this new incarnation, we have to wait and see what happens in Winds of Winter in order to have a fair appreciation of just how bad an idea it was to revive them, and whether the High Sparrow was as stupid as Cersei to suggest it.
  5. Oh Barristan. Such a good Queensguard, such a bad Hand. I just know he has handed Meereen to Skahaz, who, if he is not the Harpy, will be, just as soon as all the warriors but his Brazen Beasts leave the city and he slams the gates shut behind them. Barristan has an endearing level of self-awareness. It is a rare quality, and one that does nothing to improve his battle plans. King Mine-by-rights is much better at commanding armies, and gives the stealth missions to stealthy people like Davos and Melisandre. If Dany ever meets him again, I don't think she will thank him.
  6. Vargo Hoat's plan to work for Tywin, double cross Tywin, take Harrenhal for Bolton, take Tywin's son prisoner, cut off his hand, use it to get a lordship from a guy that's already dead and couldn't give him a lordship without killing his own son, killing the Maester of Harrenhal and giving Tywin's son his personal medic, staying in Harrenhal when Bolton left. The Brave Companions are a notably small company, indicating that anyone who could leave had left before they arrived in Westeros. They had enemies in Essos. Zollo would rather cross the salt-water than face his fate in Essos, or attempt to rejoin a Khalasar. They have escaped slaves - not just any slaves, but Unsullied owned by the Red Temple at Volantis. They might have recruited Qyburn,Timeon, Ut after they arrived in Westeros? I can see that the maester and the septon would follow a crew like the Brave Companions the way vultures and hyenas follow weakening animals. It looks like Hoat was forced by extingencies into making one poor choice after another from the time they left Essos to the time they raided the Crossroads Inn. From the outside, the Brave Companions seem to work just the same with and without Hoat's leadership. I am pretty sure a lot of Hoat's commands were direct orders from Tywin, who seems to have decided that he had the right not to pay them. I also think Tywin knew what he was doing when he made Lorch Castellan of Harrenhal. The Brave Companions were part of how Tywin communicated and co-ordinated with Bolton, and Gregor's forces another part, until they set up their MaesterNet (which required both Bolton and Tywin have access to castles that Ravens could fly to.) So a lot of Hoat's lousy planning might be due to Bolton's lies, and Tywin's commands. Other could have been seen as wise if the consequences had played out another way. Cutting off Jaime's sword hand was an act of tactical genius that worked to keep Jaime ransomable and the Brave Companions safe - but they underestimated Tywin. Hoat could not have foreseen that he would needed better medical attention than he got when Brienne bit his ear off. Gregor's crew seem to be as expert in lopping off limbs as Qyburn. They kept Hoat alive in spite of the sepsis from the ear bite. Or maybe the notion that the ear had killed him was Timeon's misapprehension. He perhaps would rather invent a grudge against Brienne for killing the commander he deserted, than put the blame on Gregor. Perhaps he thought he might have a chance of passing as one of Gregor's men, if he could escape Brienne and Randyll Tarly. For planned idiocy, Balon takes the crown. And Euron paid the Iron Price for that crown. I know Victarion sees Euron as a strategic genius, but that is Victarion. It seems to me that the people Euron burns hardest are the strongest supporters of his cause, and his kin, who have cultural prohibitions against killing him. This strikes me as inherently self-limiting behaviour. He is Balon's true successor. Even Theon can't compete against that level of idiocy.
  7. This is the main contention - that the main plot is going to bring Daenerys and her dragons to Westeros, to unite the Dothraki, and sack King's Landing and reclaim (or melt) the Iron Throne as the Stallion that Mounts the World, to make the true fiery sword of the Prince that was Promised to lift the Long Night and fight the Others , and maybe marry Jon Snow and die in childbirth or like Nissa Nissa at the Wall. None of which can happen while Dany stays in Essos. And when the latest books feature Dany not at all, or chilling in Meereen, it is interpreted as putting her story arc in a holding pattern. Tyrion's story has also lost its urgency since he killed his father. In fact it is downright irritating -constantly muttering about where whores go upon establishing that his first wife wasn't one. Tysha is so obviously a flimsy subplot that is headed nowhere. If she is the Sailor's wife (and Ah ha! a whore after all) then Yna has already prophesied he'll be dead when they next meet. (Mind you, he might have died and come back stronger after meeting Prince Garin). As if we'd forget he murdered Shae, hit Penny, creepily sqeezed Sansa's boob after deciding no to molest her, threatened his sister with rape. But Tyrion as a character is more than a hard bargin for women. We know that the Tysha thing is a very minor subplot, a red herring, a dead end that sheds no light on what he is doing and where he is going. Even without Tysha, his jaunt into slavery and flirtation with Penny and the Second Sons is a wild goose chase until and unless he becomes Dany's Hand and rides a dragon back to Westeros, taking Dany and her Unsullied and freedmen and Dothraki hoards with him. Then there is Arya, in assassin school, being nobody. Again, in a holding pattern. She needs to meet up with Nymeria, remember who she is, get the pack back together. Again, won't happen in Essos. These are not the only characters in a holding pattern. Bran is being eaten by a tree, Davos is imprisoned every time he gets off a ship, Brienne was on a seaside tour until she met the woman she swore her sword to. Sansa is some stupid princess in some stupid tower. But at least they are in Westeros, where the central story has to happen. I guess ADwD had to have a period of time where Bran learns to be a wizard and Dany learns to rule and ride dragons, Arya learns to assassinate and Jon to command an army, Sansa learns to negotiate with Lords, and Rickon learns to warg in the Old School Stark style. But I also think that GRRM, the man that killed the main character, might not be telling the story we expect him to tell. As you point out, the Meereenese chapters are carefully written, the characters as multidimensional as the Westerosi. If the Long Night descends and Westeros becomes a howling wilderness where the Others with their ice-spiders hunt down everything with warm blood, where is every survivor destined to end up? Maybe Westeros will come to Dany (and the free cities, and the slave cities, and anywhere that still has a little light, food, or safe harbor.) Yes, I would throw the book at the wall (ie. My bedroom wall), but it is not like I haven't done that before, either.
  8. There's Jon (ADwD, Ch 29 Jon VIII) and there's Jeor (AGoT Ch 48 Jon VI) Before Jon becomes a brother of the Night's Watch, he knows the name ends in 'ar'. He hears Jeor (a northerner) pronounce it 'ar' Ever since he joined the wildlings, Jon thinks of the Septon as merely a drunkard, even when he is sober or absent. Jon is the only one who says the word as a mocking homonym for 'cellar door' (well, him and the appendices after ASoS.) Melisandre gives the man his correct name, showing no contempt for his human failings, does not mock the officer or his office as mortal envoy of the false gods. . Jaime and Tyrion both first think of the oldest Kettleblack as "Ser Oswald". Perhaps remembering the Kingsguard used to have knights like Ser Oswell Whent, before the rise of Ser Osmund Kettleblack. When Tyrion asks if Cercei met Penny in Braavos, Penny tells him (ADwD, Ch 33 Tyrion VIII) This could be GRRM retconning an unfortunate slip of the ASoS pen into an ADwD plot point. Who did Oppo meet? The Kingsguard knight, or his father? And who does Tyrion think he met? I would guess, the wrong one. Tyrion misremembers the son's name and doesn't know the father exists. Or that they are both quietly allied to Petyr Baelish. . As well as PoV characters remembering names after their own fashion, there are names that are deliberately close rather than the same in spelling, used to indicate kinship to more illustrious people, without causing offence. (AFfC, Ch 21 The Queenmaker) (AFfC, Ch 14 Brienne III) Then there are people like Rennifer Longwaters and his ancestors (AFfC Ch 8 Jaime I) Oakenfist was the legitimised Velaryon bastard who was known in his lifetime as Alyn of Hull. Bastardry is stigmatising, no inheritance, suspicions of bad blood. But a bastard name means ones noble sire acknowledges the blood is his own. Or at least, some noble family has claimed the child. So a bastard name implies an education, in letters and in arms, and patronage. Jon Snow was likely groomed for command because Winterfell would support him. Just as Benjen probably became head ranger because his brother would heed his plans. We know how people like Ser Hugh of the Vale and Ser Duncan the Tall get their names, created with their knighthoods. Disguising the absence of a surname or eliding one that would shame him. Although it seems odd to me that Jon Arryn's squire had no family name he wished to guild with glory, nor any desire to attach himself to the Arryns or King Robert, who both liked him well enough to knight him. I can understand the opposite situation better: no mother ever called her child Kegs or Spare Boot. But they were not sent to the wall for the honour of their father's name. And then, there's what happens when High Valyrian names are pronounced in the Valyrian of the Free Cities or Slaver's Bay, or the regional accents of the common tongue of Westeros. The only example I can think of is (ASoS Ch 47 Arya IX) The Sandsnake is given the diminutive Nym, not Nan, so that might be a sign that Northerners pronounce it differently. In English, Nan is a diminutive of Anne, which is a very common name. Exactly the sort of thing one would call a servant. Possibly even if they were not named Anne (in the same way that carriage drivers would be referred to as "James" regardless of who drove the carriage). The Valyrian and the Ghiscari have glyphs (they might even be the same glyphs). From what Tyrion can read of Benerro's fire glyphs, each one (or at least, each one he can decipher) represents a word rather than a syllable or a sound. Which means the written language would be no guide to pronunciation. The unsullied can read Ghiscari glyphs, at least so far as remembering their name requires them to. Presumably they can also pronounce the names in Astapori Valyrian, to avoid being "culled". But those names can also be correctly pronounced in as many different languages as the unsullied speak. It reminds me of when the Astapori named Dany 'Mhysa' (ASoS Ch 42 Daenerys IV) So Serra/Seara and Dalla/Daella. being really the same names is a very reasonable interpretation. (Unless you are claiming that Mance's wife lived 236 years and is Daella Targaryen. But you aren't.) GRRM does so much with names, revealing and erasing identities, it is almost certain, if he meant the names to be the same, he would have the characters quite different, and the outcome of their story.
  9. It was behind the outermost wall of Highgarden. I don't know if it was or could be guarded, or how, but they would have to get past the wall first. Then, there was the second wall. Maybe they could hope it wasn't or couldn't be used to decimate the diggers. Two walls with only a moat between them seemed to work for Winterfell, until they were scaled by Theon, who opened the gates for the Flayed Men. I guess the same could happen if Highgarden was poorly defended, but at least the thorns would slow them down. And Highgarden has a third wall.
  10. If I understand the Tyrells, their brier labyrinth would be a particularly thorny one, and even if the foliage was scorched away and the branches were charcoal, their thorns would remain. So your question reads more like "why would you use barbed wire as a defence mechanism" The obvious answer is that, even after it was burnt, pushing through the maze would be harmful for the horses, and slow work even for men. Where I live there is a thorny shrub called wait-a-while that has fine dangling whips of recurved thorns that catch on to your pack or clothing fast, and you have to carefully unpick each thorn to get yourself free, or your hat or whatever. At least it isn't poisonous, as some thorns are. But it is very effective at slowing you down. And when you see it, you avoid it. Thorns were enough of an issue in the Vietnam war to be used as a justification for napalm. A flimsy pretext, maybe, but most US army ordnance works better on open desert plains. And pitched battles with cavalry and siege engines also work better without acres of thorns and false paths and booby-traps. Another advantage of the maze - if you know the way, you can get horses and yourself through safely, undetected. Burning the maze would ruin any element of surprise. Invaders would have to wait until the fire burnt out before they could cross. The wood in the maze could be green and require a lot of starter fuel to catch. There is a high wall to negotiate before you could light it. You can't navigate it while it is burning, or just producing lots of smoke. It will still be a hinderance when it is burnt. Some mazes (eg. Louis XIV one at Versailles) incorporated water features, which could make it harder to burn and even if the hedge part was thoroughly burnt, the maze of irrigation channels would still stand (minus any wooden bridges that would normally allow a crossing.) Elaborate water features are a renaissance thing, but GRRM has a number of post-medieval technologies and these include the elaborate fountains, canals, and waterworks of Qarth, Ghoyan Drohe, Asatapor, Meereen, Braavos, and Highgarden. So I would suppose the Highgarden labyrinth would have irrigation features, just like the other parts of the garden. There would be at least one entrance to the castle that wasn't through the maze. Renly brought his great host of the chivalry of the South to Highgarden. The normal activities of a castle require cart access (although the King's wheelhouse was too large to fit through the main gates of Winterfell). I would expect that horsemen would be able to enter the gates two by two if not four by four. Highgarden also has tourney-mad horse-breeding inhabitants. It would be too tedious to have to navigate a maze every time one of the boys wanted to attend a tourney. More than any of these considerations, house Gardener built Highgarden as a centre of government, not as a defensive outpost. The point of the castle was to draw envoys in and impress them with pomp. Not to keep invaders out and distress them with fire. That is why they have a huge sept and elaborate groves and collonades full of strolling players. That is why their defensive labyrinth is also an entertainment feature. Also, the difference between a labyrinth and a maze - a labyrith implies tunnels, dead ends, and monsterous beasts confined within it. It is not just a maze, but a maze intended to confine beasts while allowing the keepers in and out.
  11. The captain's sister in Duskendale, at the house with the painted doors, across from the Seven Swords. (AFfC, Ch 9 Brienne II) I suspect Bloodraven informs her dreams, and knows Dunk's shield as well as Brienne, or better. It is as ill-omened as the Lothsom bats. Elms are a symbol of death in English folklore and in ASoIaF, and as Dunk noted. the star is falling, heralding sunset. But the Elm is dressed in green leaves, making the bearer a knight of summer. If the falling star foretold the death of Prince Baelor Breakspear, and the Humfreys Hardyng and Beesbury, it was seen and brought good luck for Dunk (or at least, secret royal patronage and an able body that was alive and completely his). Tanselle also painted over a sigil with wings, from an extinct house. The captain's sister might simply have been an imaginative child, to hear Mad Danelle's giant bats scrabbling at the shutters. Or this might be another clue that her dreams are prophetic. Even if she is only foreshadowing things in Brienne's arc, she seems kind of essential for that. And her foreshadowings seem to relate to King Robert's death (the boar), the Florents and the Sparrows, as well as Harrenhal.
  12. Later in the same chapter Turion makes it clear he does in fact know this (ADwD, Ch 57 Tyrion XI) Yes. Totally agree there. Although I am not convinced it is as bad as being a chatel by law. I'm inclined to doubt Littlefinger's casual claim that Cersei sold a servant of Casterly Rock who had twins to King Robert into slavery (AGoT, Ch 35 Eddard IX), and Jaime's one about putting the Tullys in oubliettes (AFfC, Ch 44 Jaime VII). I remember the times Tyrion displays a complete ignorance of what servants actually do, and the confidence in the superiority of his judgement when it comes to how much pepper his cook Morec puts into the rabbit stew, or when he applies it to winning his master some gold at cyvasse in his life as a slave, or decides the problem is more slaves like Nurse than masters like Yezzen, even while he despises Penny for accepting the yoke of slavery so well. It reminds me that Tyrion despised Penny before she was a slave, for caring how her audience reacted to her act, and for her efforts to placate and ingratiate herself to "big people" in self-effacing and self-deprecating ways. Tyrion has been brought up to comport himself as one of the biggest of the big people, in a family where effacing and deprication were what Lannisters should do to anyone they caught disrespecting them. He is as thin-skinned as Cersei or Tywin when it comes to being mocked, and as constantly on guard ready to attack the first hint of an insult with his own corrosive mockery. It isn't the kind of background that gives him an appreciation of humility and what it can get you. But yeah, those are not qualities that make the Lannisters great masters. Although, family pride does seem to be the reason Tywin and Tyrion make good Hands of the King, why Jaime is a brilliant battle commander, and how Cersei excels at queening for King Robert (when we see her through the eyes of Sansa, Eddard, Jaime, and occasionally even Tyrion can rsee Cersei doing a good job. Her own view seems more designed to show the reader how completely wrong she is at everything and about everything.) Anyway, if I was a waiter, I would be booking the Lannisters into someone else's section, no matter how ridiculously big they tip. Still, Tyrion's apologetics for slavery do read like the author is trying to convince us there is a lens through which slavery would seem an acceptable institution from a slave's perspective. Like the misogyny that Cersei ventilates, I find it very difficult to believe that somebody actually serving as a slave would be able to except themselves and despise all the other slaves for being so content to 'chose' to serve the man. A person in that situation would not be quick to overlook the violence and coercion that their masters so dishonestly dissemble and so easily gloss over, and would have a better understanding of why slaves might 'chose' to live in these degrading situations. But GRRM at the very least wants us to accept that Tyrion can see that there are slaves that would rather be slaves, even when he is a slave. And Tyrion's complaints while in slavery are often things like his cramping legs, which is a thing that afflicts him even when he climbs onto the Iron Throne. And there's that very problematic niggle that maybe GRRM does believe that that most slave owners "treated their chattels decently enough". I am not sure. There's also Dany's "breaker of chains" thing - like it really does seem that these slave revolts are all thanks to her coming along and commanding armies of house elves to revolt for her. That the Unsullied and her freedman companies ( or at least the Mother's Men) and key people like Missandei would rather be her slaves than be free. But you know, this is an author that uses shock value to engage the reader. Give him a metaphorical puppy and he'll hold a metaphorical knife to its throat just to get your attention. And don't think he won't use it even when you give him what he demands. Nobody is safe. Controversial, unpalatable and 'wrong' points of view engage readers much faster than ones like "torture is bad" or "human rights are universal even when they are violated, even in times when violation of human rights was the law". So maybe he gives outrageously wrong opinions rather than adopt a preachy, dogmatic, boring tone because it gets us to the same point with better effect. Except, I am not sure it does, or that it is GRRM's intention when he employs apologetics like this. In interviews he often talks about grey characters, and how villians don't see themselves as evil. He doesn't often point out that sometimes the truth is all on one side, and nobody knows that better than the side whose ends are served by promoting blatent lies. We know he is an athiest, but we don't know if the gods he has created in the book are intervenionist. Even when he claims in interviews they are not When Davos ends up on the Merling's spear,, or Drogo mounts his steed to ride into the heavens, when a shadow-baby chucks Penrose over the parapet at Storm's End, it is hard to tell if we are supposed to accept the supernatural as real, or have a skeptical look for more human causes (like we do when the Weirwood knows Theon's name. As if Bran communicating with Theon through the weirnet is somehow less preternatural than the Old Gods knowing Theon's name.) He often identifies as a liberal. Sometimes he speaks as if that was a pluralistic choice between liberal and conservative world views. But sometimes he writes as if it was a pluralistic choice between libralism and radicalism. Or as if liberalism was a 'sensible centre' between conservatism and radicalism. I'll stop before I get too far off-topic.
  13. Thanks for pointing that out. But it's not when the Walders play it with Rickon, nor when Margaery plays it with Alysanne Bulwer. Nor when Arya plays it. Even as a double entendre, it is obviously not a 'nice' metaphor about emotional intimacy. It is about opportunistically staking a claim to the property that Sansa is, and might inherit. Or of destroying Margaery's Royal claim, by having a commoner take her maidenhead before any of her crowned husbands. Whenever it is used as sexual innuendo (and especially when referring to virgins) there is a palpable threat of force. Smashing her portcullis like an enemy is the goal. Or coercing her into raising it against her own interest. The game is not about being emotionally open and vulnerable with someone you ally and protect, can trust and be trusted by. More like tricking a wary fool into trusting a callous and predatory villian like you just long enough to overpower them, betray them, and take everything they have. I would also note re. dinner that food is noticeably absent in proportion to the sexual innuendo in these scenes. Even when Arya and Rickon play Come-into-my-castle without the heavy sexual entendre, the pies are stolen rather than eaten. Sansa and Tyrion are both without appetite when the game is mentioned in their scenes (Tyrion drinks, however). Osmund and Tanea use the game to comment on Margaery's inaccessibility. We (and Cersei) don't get any direct information from Margaery, and the direct information we get from Osney contradicts them. While Osmund and Tanea encourage her to believe that Osney's charms might have the desired effect if Margaery were less well policed, Osney himself gives a frank admission of failure - the only kiss he can see himself getting from Margaery is the one Cersei might allow him after she chops off her head! The alliances these references to Come-into-my-casle are really about are Cersei's, especially the ones she can't see forming right under her nose, like Osmund and Tanea singing the same song. Like Dorcas and the Swyft girl spying on her, and poisoning her wine (although perhaps not knowingly). Like Tommen turning Tyrell on her. In these chapters we see Cersei alienate Pycelle and Lord Gyles and the Iron Bank, happy about trading Senelle for Dorcas, throwing money at Aurane (who allows all her ships to have Tyrell names), and trusting Tanea and the Kettleblacks, and Qyburn. Considering taking on someone like Darkstar as Tommen's master of arms, for the sake of snubbing Loras. Cersei's quarrel with Tommen for the rule of the kingdom is a theme in both these chapters. In the first one, Tommen starts by demanding to sit on the throne and attend the small council, and ends up begging for a kitten. In the other, we learn that Tommen has acquired three kittens from Margaery, after making three small but kingly demands to his mother. There are a number of castles contested in these chapters: Lord Gyle's Rosby for example. Cersei sends Loras to Dragonstone, where his pretty face has been burnt off by the portcullis, supposedly. She allies with White Harbor when the head and hand of the onion knight appears on its walls. She anticipates her friend Roose Bolton taking Moat Cailin, Torren's Square, and Deepwood Motte from the Ironborn. Mace is flinging stones at the walls of Storm's End. None of these castle-takings is overtly sexual, but I think they are relevent to the game Tanea and Osmund are playing when they talk to Cersei about Come-into-my-castle, nonetheless. Cersei remembers Greenstone and the infidelities she and Robert committed there. Come-into-my-castle seems all about tricking and betraying, when there's a sexual meaning. And ending up with everything but your nipples on the castle walls if you lose. When Petyr Baelish breaches the walls of Sansa's snow castle, he kisses her in full view of Lysa, his wife, whose actual castle he is in. He follows up by tossing Lysa out the Moon Door and taking over the Eyrie as Lord Protector (technically he became Lord Protector when Lysa came in his castle). The Walders playing Come-into-my-castle with Rickon alludes to the betrayal and treachery of the Red Wedding (and perhaps also foreshadows Rickon's return to Winterfell- we shall see). The Red Wedding is another instance of sexual trickery, with a reluctant bride, and the castle being taken is Riverrun, not the Twins Sansa didn't let anyone into her castle - Littlefinger strode over her snow-castle walls and got his kiss without her complaisence, SweetRobin's giant assaulted her walls. Tyrion decided to wait until she was willing. He never claimed ownership of Winterfell, as his father insisted he must, by taking Sansa's virginity. The castle he wants is Casterly Rock, but like Lann the Clever, he isn't planning to take it through a true alliance with the current owner (Cersei), but by trickery. He mentions he wants to "rape and kill" Cersei, too. SweetRobin has to wait while Harold Hardyng tries to take the Eyrie and Alayne from him - that marriage was arranged by Littlefinger without prior consultation with Sansa. It seems Harry hadn't been consulted either , given she was tasked to "win his boyish heart". The incentive Sansa is offered for winning his frankly callous and fickle heart is Winterfell, through a stream of improbabilities that give Littlefinger no clear reason to bother. Littlefinger says it doesn't matter that Sansa is married, because Alayne isn't, but she'll come to the wedding in a direwolf cloak... The metaphor is about treachery, theft, and betrayal, especially when it is about sex. But also when it isn't. I think the two things the game really teaches noble children are which of their bannermen are the most trusty, and how little they can trust even them. Superficially, though, I am not so sure how, but I guess it would teach children the correct styles and modes of address for bannermen, bannerlords, the King, lord and men loyal to him but not to you, and so on (I guess this is the "courtesy" aspect - that the styles you give a person depend on how their family stands with respect to yours). And the other would be identifying houses by their colors, sigil, words, seats, swords, and so on. However, when I look, the styles and titles have more to do with what GRRM wants the character to reveal than showing any type of relationship or particular address. People in Planetos tend to range from informal to incredibly rude whenever they address someone. Cersei especially. So it is difficult to devine what politeness and rank would require.
  14. @Tucu, thanks for the Mos Teutonicus reference. In the "see also" section there was a link to "Excarnation", where there was this
  15. Actually, the highest point on the landscape, the shortest path from earth to cloud, is where the lighting will strike. That is why you avoid taking shelter under the tree at the top of the hill. Also avoid being the tallest thing in the field - or you will be the conductor! Another thing to remember in a storm is that water conducts electricity very well, so even if a tall thing is made of wood or stone, if it is also covered in water it can kill you if you're touching it when lighting strikes. All that is IRL stuff you should know. But physics in Westeros is not noticeably different, even in places where it really ought to be (GRRM knows it aint hard scifi) The Broken Tower in Winterfell suffered the fate of some real life medieval towers and church steeples. There's a reason skyscrapers have lighting rods and it isn't just so storm photographers can get great shots. Here is a source. Bell-ringers in the church were particularly at risk of electrocution, as it was thought ringing the bells would drive lighting away. Belltower, wet rope, big metal bell ... But wait! It gets worse. After the medieval, when Europe started manufacturing gunpowder, where do you think the local militias usually kept their powder? Yes, a number of medieval churches are no longer with us because their belltower exploaded in a storm.
  16. Do we know how old the Tower of Joy is? I am thinking of the Broken Tower of Winterfell: (AGoT, Ch.08 Bran II) A tall tower, especially one as a beacon, on a hill, is going to attract lighting
  17. Dany too (ADwD, Ch.71 Daenerys X) We agree that snow=death, right (as in "Ned knelt in the snow to kiss the queen’s ring"). Well, (ASoS,Ch.80 Sansa VII) If he comes into her castle, his head is gone like old Gorhgan of Ghis. I think I've been missing something about how the foes behave in the game. Peter's sticks might be arming an enemy. The doll crashing down the castle walls doesn't seem to be a friendly. There seems to be an element of wall-smashing in the game, perhaps not invariably followed by beheading. Perhaps there is a way that a foe can approach the castle and breech the walls, and get a smash and grab 'win' if the castle-owner is not on the alert. (ASoS, Ch.28 Sansa III) Note in this unfriendly instance, Tyrion does not make any claim of ownership of the castle, for himself or for Sansa. In real life, a lady's armour is her calling out a sexual harasser as immediately and publicly as possible, but maybe, in come-into-my-castle, there is a way that courtesy can neutralise foes or make them back off.
  18. Yes. It is. Because I really haven't figured it out. That is the puzzle: How to combine courtesy, heraldry, and allegiance into a game that eight year olds would actually play? I am thinking there might be funny walks involved, or random physical movements awarded for wrong guesses. Petyr gathering sticks and shaking them at a distance from the castle seemed to me a bit like the challenges 'Simon' gives in 'Simon Says'. The courtesy element in Mother May I is simply remembering to say "Mother, may I?" before hopping ten steps on one foot or whatever. Like Simon says, but a speaking rather than a listening exercise. That's elegantly simple, and about as much courtesy and self-restraint as a pre-schooler can keep up with anyway, when Mother's commands are coming thick and fast and other competitors approach her. I think I would settle for a game that could plausibly be played by eight year olds. The talking part of Lord of the Crossing seems fairly free-form and complicated and meh as Bran tells it. As described, it's not a game real-world kids would want to play. That might be because GRRM is showing us Bran doesn't really understand the rules, or like the Walders, or want to be the referee. But it could also be because GRRM wants to keep his authorial options open. Every game element he decides on has to do a lot of metaphorical work for him in a variety of scenarios - like the castle walls in the scenes mentioned above. Every rule he explicitly tells is a rod to beat his own back. As it is, if he comes to a scene where two walls won't work, or seven are required, or none, no biggie, walls are optional in come-into-my-castle.. But once he has told us 'oaths were binding unless they said “mayhaps,” ' in a game that the children play, he has to be very careful about the loyalties of characters like Lord Walder and Lord Manderly when they say "mayhaps" while playing the Game of Thones (and he is). There is no need for him to invent games that would interest real-world children, just ones that would interest (or, in Bran's case, bore) his child characters. And reveal details about their world without a heap of exposition. The OP is just a brain-dump of everything I ever thought about Come-into-my-castle, in the hope that some detail might remind you of something you noticed about the game, or a thread about it I haven't seen, or trigger a revelation for you that eluded me. I figured 'throw it all at the wall and see what sticks' would elicit better quality feedback than just the title and 'discuss'. And it has, much sooner than I thought. Seam's post is amazing, and your own contribution is very perceptive. I am kind of thinking Tyrion's version of come-into-my-castle looks like it could be adapted into a forum game. But by myself I can't think of how to turn it into a game anyone would want to play.
  19. (ADwD, Ch 40 Tyrion IX) But what are its rules, and how do you actually play it? . From the context of the above quote, it is a game that can be played in a cramped cabin in the middle of a storm, with no moving pieces. But I think, given this is a game for young players, there must usually be some physical movement. Ser Osmund and Lady Taena tell Cersei that Margaery plays it with Lady Alysanne (AFfC, Ch 24 Cersei V) (AFfC, Ch 39 Cersei IX) Which tells us the pair of them have pre-arranged what they tell Cersei. I suspect Taena has seduced the Kingsguard Kettleblack and knows all Cersei's plots. Rickon played it with the Walders (ACoK Ch 4 Bran I), and SweetRobin plays it (ASoS Ch 68 Sansa VII) - I guess with Lysa, since she sent away Ser Vardis's son for being too rough. She also sent away her "steward's sons", although I don't know who they may be. The only steward I know is Lord Nestor, and his son (singular) is a man grown, who has earnt his spurs. Maybe Lysa had a household steward with younger sons in King's Landing. One that Petyr Baelish would rather not introduce to Eddard Stark? I am guessing physical prowess is not required, (as it is in Lord-of-the-Crossing, where Little Walder was usually Lord) because adults and big kids are playing it with kids of eight and four, and Lysa suggests it as something Sansa could play with SweetRobin, if she lets him win. Being highborn or having your own castle don't seem to be essential. Arya plays the game with the children of freeriders, knights, squires, and men-at-arms. (AGoT, Ch 22 Arya II) What Penny really lacks is allegiances with highborn families. Tyrion shows us the game can be played two-handed, and the Walders show us more than two can play. The Walders foreshadow the Twins gross breach of guest right. With Penny and Margaery there's a certain sexual innuendo, with Sansa it's more like harassment. (ASoS, Ch 80 Sansa VIII) Ick. But Petyr clarifies what Lysa means by "winning". She means Sansa must always let SweetRobin into her castle. Which implies that one player is the castle-owner, the other is a supplicant, the goal is to be permitted to enter the castle, and there are circumstances where the supplicant can be 'out' (either struck out of the game, obliged to start again, or to retreat.) (AFfC, Ch 39 Cersei IX) Is Taena's corollary to Ser Osney's (AFfC, Ch 24 Cersei V) I think there are castle walls in the game that can be but do not need to be human. Arya shows a couple of statues can be the walls in a pinch (ASoS, Ch 22 AryaIV) Sansa's walls are made of snow (ASoS, Ch 80 Sansa VIII) But there are two walls. An inner wall and an outer one. Petyr's behavior makes me suppose the supplicant takes steps to get closer to the castle. (ASoS, Ch 80 Sansa VIII) So there's a physical element like Granny Steps, or Mr Wolf. The game's name suggests there is the courtesy element of Mother May I, too. That you win steps, but if you forget to say "May I come into your castle, my lady/lord?", you can't take them, or have to take them backwards, or go back to the start. While Petyr is moving around and toward the castle, he exchanges guesses about Winterfell with Sansa. When he guesses it was cold, and she tells him it wasn't, he backs right off. From her castle, Sansa issues him a challenge - to represent an element of her castle. Petyr walks around the yard outside the walls gathering his sticks. I don't think Lysa would allow sticks in a game played with SweetRobin, and Tyrion didn't see the need for them either. I think Petyr's sticks, that he fashions into panes of glass for the gardens, are guesses or steps that get you closer to the castle, in the children's game. When Petyr has enough sticks, he gets into the castle. When Sansa says "that's just right", he touches her, game over. (Ugh. I wish. Writing this post has forced me to read that chin-stroking bit three times. It makes my tummy queasy. Ick.) So it seems the supplicants make guesses about the castle's sigil or features or location, and if they guess right, they are given steps, until they pass through the 'gate' between the two walls. Or maybe, as they pass each wall, the steps become more challenging (eg. Walk like a duck, hop like a frog, shikko like a ninja) or maybe the supplicant is given challenge questions, that can send a player back to the begining if they answer wrong. Or maybe the walls bring in the 'friend or foe' element. Eg. When the supplicant comes close enough, the first wall asks "who goes there" and the supplicant names what they hope is a bannerman of that castle. For the second wall they name a different banner. Get it wrong, start again. Then, there is a third and final challenge, from the Castle owner. If they get that right, they win the game. Actually, there is another time Sansa seems to be playing the game: (AGoT, Ch 15 Sansa I) In this game, she was told by a squire the new arrivals were "an honour guard for the king" but he did not identify them further. As she approaches, she sees two knights kneeling before the queen, one white, one green. She notes that one is old and one is young. She also notes the helm with the golden antlers. When Sansa can't identify Illyn Payne, she steps backward, into the Hound, and further back, going onto her knees and hugging her direwolf in humiliation. The white and green knights tower over her. She stands, and the white knight gives her Ilyn Payne's correct name. Cersei, the 'castle owner' tells Sansa Ilyn's office in her court. Ser Barristan, courtier that he is, correctly and civilly identifies Sansa as "the daughter of Eddard Stark" and modestly introduces himself with the short title of his own name and role. Sansa, recalling "the courtesies Septa Mordane had taught her over the years" responds with all his titles in their correct order and form -Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, councillor to the present king and a previous king, his knighthood, name, and moniker. Renly turns it into the game proper, addressing her crudely as 'wolf girl' (which could be taken as a reference to her sigil, or a guess at her relationship to Lady) and more politely as 'daughter of the Hand' (showing he knows of Eddard's promotion). Sansa answers him correctly with, firstly, his sigil (that she correctly identfies as "the Royal house" rather than "house Baratheon"), his relationship to the current king, his name, his lordship, list of kings he has been a councillor for (just the one, and as she had already made it clear that "Robert" was "our king" when she named Barristan, "councillor to the king" is sufficient here.) It's the "and so I name you" that cracks them up - that is the sign that Sansa knows the game Renly was playing when he addressed her so solecistically. So, if this game is also Come-into-my-castle, I guess the "walls" agree with the castle-owner before the game on which bannerlords they represent, and the supplicants are only told the colour of each wall. From that, and the answers to the questions as they approach the castle, they work out the sigil of each wall, and their relationship with the owner, and when they are challenged, they must put the titles and offices and styles of the relevant wall together in the right sequence, followed with "and so I name you". I guess you would keep it pretty simple for little ones. Something like "by your flayed man you can only be bannerman of Lord Stark, Lord Bolton of the Dreadfort, and so I name you". " Maybe for older children or those more skilled at the game, there would be more titles or relationships, things like "By your ten white wolf heads you can only be Ser Rodrick Cassel, Master of Arms for Robb, our king, the King in the North, Warden of the North, Protector of the North, Lord Stark of Winterfell", but you lose if you said "our king" when you are a Codd, because then your king would be Balon and the ruler of Winterfell Prince Theon. Sansa's smug insistence on correctly addressing Jon as "half-brother" might have come from a desire to win at this game. Lysa's "let him win" demand makes me think the castle-owner has the same sort of flexible role as 'mother' in Mother May I, able to allow a little player ten steps, where a player with a wider stride would only get two. Or perhaps the number of steps a supplicant gets depends on their relationship to the castle owner. If they are the castle-owner's bannerlord, they get ten steps per correct guess, a bannerman gets five, if your houses share a lord paramount three, if not, two, if you are a Blackwood and they are a Bracken, one. Or maybe you get backward steps for addressing the owner of Mormont Keep as if you were their king, when you are not a Stark. Thoughts? Insights? Clarifications?
  20. You have to look at smaller characters than those above to find a one-dimensional character. If I had to, I would be thinking along the lines of Shitmouth, Black Brothers like Henly or Cugen (but definitely not like Alf of Runnymudd or Toad). There have to be some cannon fodder in these armies. I remember when I first started watching the other thing, before I read the books, I would familiarise myself with who was who by trying to name each character on the DVD menu. After I started reading the books, Iit startled me to realise I could put at least one name to every non-speaking role black brother escaping the Fist of the First men. The books have far more characters. There are eight thousand unsullied and more freedmen. Yes, most of them are unnamed, but you can see they interact with each other and civilians in complex ways, on and off the page. They can't all enjoy the luxury of a second dimension, but a lot of the named ones have more. Marselen is Missandei's brother as well as an unsullied and the leader of the Mother's Men. Even amongst the Yunkai, most enemy leaders have more attributes than Kahl Fogo (Kahl Ogo's son). At the moment I suspect the "F" in Fogo is so GRRM could remember which one was the father. Both the father and the son are little more than bells on Drogo's braid. There are one-dimensional girl-victims, whose deaths or rapes are consequential, but whose lives are nothing. Hazzea is just a name and a bag of bones. Eroah doesn't do much but sob her fear-fulled life away - she is useless as a handmaid. Layna seems to be a particularly gratuitous example - identified entirely by her father's profession, her age, the Mountain, and his men. The main takeaway of Layna's life story appears to be that Ser Gregor shares his brother's opinion of the honour of knights, and that it was raining at Sherrer, so much so that one has to wonder what an expert at striking a flint he was, to raze Wendish Town. In Chiswyck's account of the meeting with Layna and her father, they had settled at the Inn while the rain held up rather than attempt to ford the flooded river - the Mountain and his men didn't notice the stone bridge right next to Joss's inn. In Chiswyck's version of events they were not hundreds, or even fifty, but only eight:- Ser Gregor, whom Joss the innkeep recognised, and asked about his fortunes in the joust at the Tourney of King's Landing; Chiswyck himself; Raff; Eggon; Joss Stilwood, who had squired for Gregor when he killed Ser Hugh of the Vale; Tobbot; and two more - I'm guessing the Tickler, and Polliver, as they seem to hang out with Raff, and to be more favoured by Ser Gregor than the likes of Shitmouth and Dunsen. Dunsen seems to be a one dimensional character, except he has Gendry's bull helmet at the moment (hence he's on Arya's list, a second dimension). Like so many minor characters (especially soldiers) I'm guessing Dunsen will turn up again with another dimension. Unlike the "Sarsfield boy" that Arya killed -is he Joss Stilwood misidentified? Or does Raff has a habit of harassing virgin boys to become rapists? Raff has three dimensions already, but I guess there is no limit. The Sarsield boy is given a second dimension by the contents of his purse - he carries all his coin around in his wallet, like a young man who doesn't expect to be stolen from. He has a lot more money than Raff, too, but Raff and the Tickler haven't taken him along just to buy their drinks. As Sandor points out, they were going to rob the Innkeeper and maybe kill him before they left. Tobbet and Eggon have only one dimension each, but they are not dead yet. Neither is Layna, so we can live in hope that she might gain a second dimension, when the truth about Gregor comes out. (The account that Vance/Piper/Darry gave of Wendish Town sounds to me a lot like the work of the Brave Companions). And here are some of the dimensions I can think of for the characters listed in this thread when I started this post: Syrio Forel: One has to wonder how the First Sword of Braavos came to be offering his services as a discreet fencing instructor in King's Landing. Of course he is a Braavosi spy. Apparently the failing Sealord of Braavos wanted to know all about what Eddard Stark, Hand of the King is doing, without Eddard knowing. Salladhor Saan: Prince of the Narrow Seas, Lord of the Blackwater. Cersei fan. He knows the current whereabouts of Edric Storm, which is more than Davos does. He knows the rites and dogma of the Red God's people too, which makes him better able to protect Edric than Davos is. Salla is greedy, but he might see Edric as a form of collateral for Stannis's debts to him. He might have some relationship to Pyntos, the Innkeep in Braavos who was the Pirate King of the Stepstones before him. I believe the Good Heart was one of Saan's fleet. Although the taking on of slaves at Hardhome seems to have been an opportunistic thing, most probably done without Salla's knowledge, it has got him on the wrong side of the sick Sealord of Braavos. Ser Gregor Clegane: In his youth he might have been Elia's lover. I suspect Ser Gregor has been framed for Elia and the babes, because I can't work out how he got from scaling the outer ward at the guards barracks, where he hoisted the Lannister Lion, to the nursery inside Maeger's Holdfast so promptly. But I can see how Varys, Rossart, Aerys, or even Tywin (anyone in the throne room at the time, or very near the King's entrance to it) could have got to the nursery in time to kill the babes. Or swap them and kill some other babes. Ever loyal to Ser Tywin, Gregor has severe chronic headaches (caused, like Merrett's, by a massive blow to the head in his youth? Perhaps he came to to that film noir trifecta; amnesia, a dead lover dead and himself blamed for it?) The bad temper he had already. Also already, Gregor is baselessly assumed to be responsible for the deaths of his sister and father. (The natural burden of an oldest child, perhaps, but augmented by the substantiated fact he viciously maimed his younger brother.) He is no angel - Sandor, Layna, Ser Hugh, and Arya's eye-witness accounts of him and his men at work show us that. But we also see him serve Lord Tywin with unflinching devotion even though Lord Tywin gives him the most dangerous and thankless missions, possibly in the hope that they will kill him. Remember how Bronn told Tyrion that a small man with a big shield in the van would give the archers fits? Well, Clegane is the exact opposite of that, and he led the van. Then he got all the dirty unrewarding mop-up-guerilla missions, always in the dark, in the rain, at the fords, in enemy territory. Fighting Lord Beric, who wouldn't die. Getting his nose bloodied when Edmure decided to take the fight to him at Stone Mill. Killing his horse will get his gander up, but most of the time he is sullen and morose, and heavily self-sedated. As if he discovered at seventeen, that when the sun has set, no candle can replace it, only duty, and he cares not if he lives or dies. Gregor seems to have giant's blood in him, and might even be immortal. I can only hope that now, as Ser Robert, he isn't suffering from the migraines or the Viper's poison. His confession means nothing, I think. It was most likely a lie fed to him, uttered to infuriate the Red Viper in the hopes of catching him off-guard and killing him. Which he did. There is imagery associating him with stone and with Dorne. Or maybe with Peter Baelish's grandfather's fiery Titan mask, and the sword that was broken. (AGoT, Ch.69 Tyrion IX) Do you think the skull that Ser Balon brought to Dorne was his? Vargo Hoat: As I have already mentioned re. Layna, I think Vargo Hoat and his Brave Companions had been working hard for Lord Tywin off-page some time before we caught a glimpse of them in the van on the Green Fork (part of the "swarming mass of undisciplined freeriders and sellswords", we learn some chapters later). Hoat is a Qohorick, possibly the only character so far who is. Tobbo Motte was an apprentice or journeyman there, Dany lived there briefly, Brown Ben has a dead Qohorick great-grandparent, Strong Belwas was sold there, Merchant Captain Byam Votyris trades there, but only Vargo seems to be culturally from there. Because there is only him, it is dfficult to say how much his 'slobbery' speech is a result of personal speech impediments and how much is the sound of Qohorick Valyrian to the ears of Arya and Jaime, both who have learnt to speak High Valyrian. Tywin called him Lord by courtesy, but Hoat seems to have really wanted to be a Westerosi Lord. According to Roose Bolton, Hoat turned his cloak when Roose promised him Harrenhal. Hoat himself announces that he will deliver Jaime to Lord Karstark, and marry Lady Alys. Roose claims he wants to be Lord of the Karhold, but I am guessing Roose had kept back the information that Lord Karstark had been beheaded for the deaths of Martyn and Tion, and only told Hoat the bit about Jaime escaping Riverrun. Roose claims Hoat did not know that Harrenhal was cursed, or that Lord Tywin was not a man to be messed with, but Hoat had been working for Lord Tywin with Lord Tywin's bannermen for some time before he met Roose, and had likewise been housed in Harrenhal himself under Tywin's rule and Lorch's. I think, more likely, Roose had emphasised Lord Tywin's determination to get his son back, and how dangerous a swordsman Jaime was. Hoat had witnessed the first for himself, and anyone could have told him as much about the second, and probably had. Jaime picked Hoat for a greedy man, and that he posted guards to protect Brienne to collect her father's sapphires, shows he was right about that. Hoat didn't know that Roose and Lord Tywin had already arrived at a rapprochment, courtesy of their mutual relatives, the Freys. This we know because Roose was going to give Harrenhal to Hoat when he went North. Robb had not instructed Roose to go North. As Ch.20 Catelyn III shows, Robb had felt strongly that Roose needed to be warned about Rickard Karstark's cavalry scatterming into the Riverlands, seeking the head of Jaime Lannister. Robb had intended his foot to take the High Road and attack Moat Cailin from the East, if Lady Lysa would open the Bloody Gate and lend his foot ships at Gulltown. Catelyn and Brynden wised him up about Lysa, Robb attempted to write his warning letter, then burnt it, and spent the rest of the day staring at a map trying to find a way to get to Winterfell without going north. He found his way only when Jason Mallister brought him the Captain of the Myrham and news of the King's Moot. By then, Roose Bolton had left Harrenhal for the Red Wedding. Robb had opposed Bolton's march on Harrenhal, too. He didn't have the men, and it was what Lord Tywin wanted him to do. He had never approved the Riverlords returning to their own lands - he knew that would make it too easy for Lord Tywin's men to move along the river, picking them off one by one. So odd that Ser Gregor killed Darry, who could be ransomed for a fine sum. As Catelyn pointed out, Ser Gregor is no more than a catspaw - and there is more than one way to skin a cat. Karstark's choice of Martyn Lannister as vengence for his younger sons' deaths is an odd one, as Tyrion had counter-offered him Harrion's freedom (and Wylis Manderley's) in exchange. King Robb's peace terms had offered Willem and Tion in exchange for Sansa and Arya, keeping Jaime hostage as a surety for Lord Tywin releasing Harrion along with the knights and Lords taken on the Greenfork. Or perhaps not- as Harrion is neither a lord nor a knight. In any case, it seems that Lord Karstark really wanted to ensure the Lannisters and the Freys both remained hostile to Robb, and vengence had little to do with it. I suspect Bolton had got to him, somehow. Brynden Blackfish has an interesting take on Hoat: "some sellsword out of Qohor who’d sooner maim a man than kill him." Of the men crawling the Riverlands in search of Jaime, Hoat is one of the very few that would rather take him alive. Among Jaime's enemies there is only King Robb, and Roose Bolton who mention the value of taking him alive. I suspect Roose only cares that Lord Tywin doesn't think he was accountable for Jaime's death. Roose planned the Red Wedding and killed Robb with his own hand, but the Freys are held to account for it rather than him. His son razes Winterfell, and Theon accounts for it. Would it be that extraordinary if Roose Bolton saw some value or amusement in Tywin Lannister's golden son killed, if it did not cost him his friendship with Lord Tywin? Or for that matter organising the killing Kevan's son and Cleos's brother, with Lord Karstark to account for it? Hoat is Roose's man now, so it is important that if he captures Jaime, he brings him back alive, for Bolton to barter for his son's legitimacy and fArya. If Hoat had killed Jaime, Roose would have had Hoat killed and the pidgen who killed him sent to Tywin with the bones of both and all the eyewitnesses. Alive, Jaime wins him Warden of the North, Ramsey's legitimacy, and fArya. Another interesting predilection of Hoat's is feeding people to bears. Thanks to Hoat we get the battle of the Bear and the Beauty. Thanks to Hoat, Amory Lorch is killed by a bear. Just as the Lannisters reach an agreement with Doran Martell of Dorne. Very convenient for Lord Tywin. Lord Bolton could have denied Vargo the pleasure, but then it would look like he had something to do with it, when it was simply the end of a grudge that Lord Tywin made sure everyone knew about. I wonder if Lord Tywin had done anything to encourage Hoat to feed Ser Amory to his bear. Hard to tell, as throwing captives to the bear comes second only to chopping off limbs with Hoat. Just seems terribly convenient that Ser Amory is eaten by a bear just as the Lannisters make a pact with Doran. And Daven mentioned he had offered to forage around Harrenhal for Tywin at that time, but Tywin told him "foraging is best left to goats and dogs". I am sure Roose ensured the bear was part of the plunder Hoat took to Harrenhal. And Glover's plan to take the castle disguised as prisoners included the agreement that Hoat would become castellen. Lord Vargo seemed to be using Roose Bolton as a go-between to Lord Karstark, before Karstark lost his head, when Lord Vargo had apparently betrayed the Lannister cause and gone over to Lord Bolton and the North. Perhaps the promise of Alys (who at the time seemed to be a zero-dimensional character) had always been a Bolton lie, a way of reassuring Hoat that he would get his Lordship even if he had harmed Lord Tywin's son. More interestingly, perhaps Bolton was playing Karstark as well as Hoat, and the deaths of Martyn and Tion were really engineered by Bolton, as the Red Wedding was (at least, at the Red Wedding, Roose killed Robb with his own hand). seeking a Lordship through to him three hundred Lannister-loyal horse to join his riders in their rapine and razing of the Riverlands. Biter: Like Gregor and Hodor, he is unusually large physically but suspect intellectually. Filed teeth are a cultural characteristic of the cave-dwelling wildlings north of the Wall, and also of the slaves of the fighting pits of Meereen. Biter is fat and bald, has weeping sores on his hairless cheeks that run with blood when he exerts himself, and eyes that look like nothing human. He has no tongue, and seems to have an intellectual disability as well as skin condition and perhaps a disease that makes him smell bad. Could he be part-giant? Or part-Sotheryl? Was he always a mute, or has his tongue been torn out? He prefers to kill armed opponents barehanded, although he was also effective with kettles of hot soup. He has a high pain threshold, especially for burns. It seems that being a Brave Companion when the company really hit the skids was Biter living his best life. (SSM Canadian Signing Tour, CBC Book Signing Event, Vancover 4-6pm January 13th 2006 Submitted by Whoresbane) (SSM Canadian Signing Tour, Chapters Bookshop Vancouver 7pm 13th January 2006 submitted by EvilAgent) Don't know about you, but the thought of an orphan child, caged alongside the cubs and mastiffs he was dragged out at night to kill or be killed by, kept so hungry he would resort to eating whatever he could kill ... Biter is a pitiable creature, and remarkably good humoured, considering his upbringing. Rorge: Not your typical cage-fighting impresario. If you went into a potshop in Fleabottom, and Rorge was the owner, would you order a bowl o' brown? If you had charge of an orphan child, would you trust him to Rorge's care? His nose was cut off - who by? Jaqen? Was his penis cut off then as well, or was that just a lie Brienne made on the spot (wouldn't have picked her for such a clever liar). I am guessing it was a food violation that brought Rorge to the black cells- human remains in the pot, orders from someone the Goldcloaks couldn't ignore, forcing them to shut the place down in spite of the backhanders they might have been getting and the danger those who arrested him faced. I am thinking Bronn knew about Rorge's place, and Petyr Baelish too. Gambling can be really profitable when you are the bookie, and I'm guessing people bet on the fights. I find it hard to believe Rorge had the skill-set to run a retail business or foster a child, but he seems to have kept both alive for a decade or so (judging by Biter being fully grown when Arya meets them). Did Jaqen meet them before they arrived at the black cells? If he was with them, I suspect he brought the heat down on them. But what brought the Faceless Man to Rorge's pot shop? Was he delivering bear cubs, looking for fighters, singers, or just for lunch? How the hell were these guys offered the option of taking the Black? I suppose, as Jon pointed out, the Wall takes all sorts. Yoren clearly had his reservations about taking them - but didn't live long enough to express them. But back to Rorge. He talks about eyes a bit like Gregor Clegane does Ah, sounds like a father-figure. Rorge has a thing about sticks, he likes kicking too, but he wears a sword and knows how to use it. He is of course a sadist. He masks himself in the Hound's helmet when he razed the Saltpans after he slew a dozen or a score of men including an aged septon, cut out the tongue of a silent brother, raped a septa and/or a twelve year old child. Sometimes masks allow people to reveal things about themselves - I suspect Rorge had some issues with the Faith of the Seven before they had issues with him. It wasn't the best way of finding a ship that would take them from Westeros, which was what others surmise his plan was. Rorge has a short temper and a face that is easy to recognise, so he might have lost it when he found there were no ships in the Saltpans and the place was crawling with Beric's men and Tarly had secured all the other ports. Or maybe he didn't want to leave Westeros, didn't have a plan, was just going to plunder and raze until he died. When they showed up at the Orphan Inn, one of the men he was riding with tried to negotiate fresh horses and food, but Rorge was in charge so it was all fight, rape and raze to the end. Ser Clayton Suggs: another cruel sadist, who threatens to rape and just wants to see things burn. Apart from the nose, the thing that distinguishes this hedge knight from Rorge is that he doesn't have friends to enjoy a laugh with. (But he does have a nose). I can't give him credit for being braver than Rorge, who also flings himself into the fray when that is required. But loyalty is a point of difference. Rorge deserts Yoren then turns his Manticore cloak and joins the Brave Companions, then deserts Hoat and masks himself in the Hound's helm. I would say that makes him more layered than Suggs, but we have known Rorge since A Clash of Kings, and Suggs has only appeared on the page as Stannis approached Winterfell in a Dance with Dragons. He hasn't had as much time to develop an arc. With his idiomatic sigil, it is clear he is going to. His staunch loyalty comes from a deeper character attribute: choice. Rorge didn't have a lot of choice when it came to vows and such - he might have expressed a preference for the Wall over the King's Justice, or he might simply have been cleared out of the dungeons with the rest. Joining Lorch's men and the Weasel Soup was more probably Jacqen's idea, based more on Jacqen's need to preserve the two lives he won from the Red God after Weese and Chiswyck had taken their place, rather than any forward planning on the part of Rorge and Biter. But Suggs's career is not accidental. He has been knighted, by someone, somehow. He became a King's man for Stannis, and a Queen's man for R'hollr. These are conscious decisions motivated by ambition, not duress. Ambition adds another dimension to Suggs's character. --- Ok, I know that Seams has not offered any one-dimensional characters, but rather, minor characters with huge symbolic significance. I had written this part of the post before Seams had put the links in her post. Ser Vardis Egan: Wields the sword that Tobho Mott claims Lord Arryn didn't order (well, it was a gift from Lysa). That fearsome helm and fancy armour might have been Tobho's work, too. Was defeated as much by the statue of Alyssa/the weeping(or dancing) woman/goddess as by Bronn. Ser Vardis has a son and heir, whom Lysa banished from the Eyrie because he was 'too rough' for SweetRobin. Ser Mandon Moore knew Vardis, might have loved him. They share a complete lack of humour and guarded the Hand together in King's Landing for fifteen years. Vardis is someone Eddard Stark would love to have questioned, close confidant of Jon Arryn for years, and in the days and weeks leading up to his death, but Catelyn and Ser Rodrik had no questions for him. Guyard Morrigen: I believe, if Renly was killed by a person rather than a shadow, it would be a person outside the green silk tent, wearing green, rendering them effectively invisible, or a shadow, depending on the angle of the light. This person would need to have a Valyrian sword (although Renly's gorget, coloured green by some sulphurous compound and tempered and beaten back into shape and polished after every tourney, could possibly be about as strong as cheesecloth, so castle steel might have been sharp enough.) The most likely assassin of King Renly is an interesting dimension for Guyard to have, beyond being one of the Rainbow Guard. He sings and plays the harp, and he was passed over for leading Renly's van for Loras Tyrell. Guyard went over to Stannis after Renly died, but he is no fan of Lady Melisandre, claiming she shouldn't carry a banner. He wanted to be the one to settle Storm's End by single combat. Still hankering after leading the van, his wish was granted on the Battle of Blackwater Rush, where he was promptly cut down by Renly's ghost. Which would be karma if he was Renly's assassin. Or maybe Renly's assassin just borrowed his armour. Parmen Crane: Was on guard outside Renly's tent when he died. Loras killed Emmon Cuy (Yellow one) and Robar Royce (Red one) but didn't kill Parmen (Purple one). Perhaps because the Cranes are Tyrell bannermen. Or maybe because Parmen didn't rush in and try to kill Brienne, and therefore couldn't be mistaken for someone trying to kill Renly. Parmen went over to Stannis so fast he had possibly left before Cuy and Royce attacked Brienne. Probably because he is a cousin or uncle of Queen Selyse. He and Erren Florent are currently in gaol in Highgarden, as the Tyrell forces captured them at Bitterbridge, when they returned on a mission to take over Renly's host and bring it to Stannis. Erren seems to have only one dimension - Selyse's brother, captive in Highgarden with Ser Parmen. His name in the story is misspelt 'Errol', as if he was confused with Lord Errol, Renly's bannerman that turned to Stannis. I'd say Lord Errol was a one-dimensional character too, except the appendices of Clash record the head of Haystack Hall as Lady Shyra and Dance has it as Lord Sebastion, and the World of Ice and Fire has it that Shyra died and Sebastion inherited. And that the Errols of the Stormland go back to the days of Orys Baratheon which indicates GRRM has given them more thought after he finished Clash. The Lord Errol Ser Courtney Penrose knew was Renly's man before he swore to Stannis, and apparently converted from the Seven to the Red God in the time it took to march from Bitterbridge to Storm's End. More remarkably, Ser Courtney knows this (even if he is tarring Lord Errol with the same brush as Alester Florence, it is still remarkable that Courtney knows about Alester's very recent conversion). In Erren and Errol's case it is hard to tell at the moment how much is a slip of the pen, and how much yet to be revealed/retrofitted. But I am sure that Parmen has been tucked away at Highgarden to be forgotten about for a solid reason. Alysanne Bulwer: the Lady of Blackcrown and the head of House Bulwar since her father died of a summer fever. Her mother is a Tyrell. She might be related to Black Jack Bulwar the ranger at the wall. (Several of Margery's hens seem to be widowed or orphaned). Her maester, Normand, is a cousin of Mace, another example of the twining roses at work. She might have a brother who has been singled out as a suitable husband for Megga, or that might just be a lie that Tanea told Cersei. Bit of a mystery how she can have an eligible brother and still be the Lady of Blackcrown. Perhaps he is a step-brother, from her mother's first marriage? She loves animals and she reminds Sansa of Arya. Alyce Graceford: is the head of Holyhall, and the ancient House Graceford of the Reach. The question is, who is the father of her unborn child? Is he alive or dead? How does she retain the apparently undivided headship of Holyhall, and her maiden name, if she has a living husband? Was he a cousin? Or was she a Tyrell before she married him? Did she get Cersei's permission to name a bastard child Tywin, if it was a boy? And why are so many of Margaery's ladies the heads of ancient houses with very few men in them? Grenn: was slow and clumsy, thick of neck and red of face, but he shaped up and became a ranger, competent enough to be an outrider in the great ranging, and a good archer. He lost his virginity at Moles Town and has a dragonglass dagger. He is a conveniently stupid Captain Obvious for GRRM and a straight guy for Dolorous Edd. He took command of the Wall and held it honourably against Mance's wildling army when Jon went down to find out what happened to Donal Noye at the gate. He seems well liked, including by people like Rast and Albett who do not like Jon. He admires Dwyer's bushcraft. He has grown six inches in the last two years. Jon sent him to Eastwatch...yeah, I see what you mean, he is pretty one-dimensional. But he does have a story arc, going from a thick boy to a professional soldier, loyal to the bone. He is also now at Eastwatch, where Glendon Hewett rules (cronie of Alliser Thorne, served in the Goldcloaks under Jonas Slynt), and has possibly has taken Slynt's role of Cersei's hidden anti-Stark dagger. So Grenn might become a pro-Stark hidden maul. Or not. Difficult to imagine him taking on a political or diplomatic role, or plotting an intrigue. Leathers: Fights with a stone axe. Not an iron axe, like the wildlings we saw in the prologue of Game of Thrones. Which makes me think a dragonglass axe head is in his future. He can negotiate with Wun Wun when the bg boy is angry, which is a skill the Night's Watch could use right now. Also, there are a whole lot more giants outside of Eastwatch. He has sons and grandsons, 'the death of duty' according to the Night's Watch rubric, so he might have kin on both sides of the wall in the coming troubles, if GRRM finds that useful. He might plot or conspire with Tormund's son Torreg. Horse from Moletown doesn't trust him. Nor the Flint and the Norrey, nor Clydas, Septon Celador, et al. So he probably won't be Master of Arms at Castle Black very long if Bowen Marsh takes over. Umfred: "Drearfort" servant. A white-haired ancient, but strong. Petyr Baelish's steward. While my mind boggles when I think of what that job could involve, I suspect he only manages the Drearfort, it's sheep and the tithes of it's smallfolk. From all I can see, it is a well-run outfit, and GRRM hasn't explicitly noted a second dimension for him, and if one exists it has escaped me so far. Collectively, the servants at the Drearfort show us an unexpected side to Petyr Baelish - every one of these servants have been here since his father's time, and it appears the place remains as it always has been. Petyr might dress himself in splendor and search the world for innovations like repeating crossbows and Myrish glasses for others, but he keeps his family home exactly as it always was, and neither hires nor fires the household staff. Grisel, "Drearfort" servant, Formerly Petyr Baelish's wetnurse, currently his very competent housekeeper. Two dimensions right there. Bryen, "Drearfort" servant. A white-haired hale octogenarian. Commander of the Guards (a brindled mastif, six sheep dogs. Possibly Lothar Brune. Definitely also the old blind dog who provided honourable service to the Lady Sansa by alerting Lothar when she needed him.) Bryen has a second dimension in the form of a sword, possibly his sword of office, which he wears when he comes to take Sansa off the boat. It won't impress the dogs, it distinguishes him from Umfred. Kella."Drearfort" servant. Shepherdess. Lady's maid for Sansa. Mother of bastards. Horas Redwyne: Unhorsed by Jory at the Tourney of the Hand, defeated the knight of the silver griffins at the Tourney of Joffrey's thirteenth name day. Hobber Redwyne: Unhorsed by Ser Meren Trant on the Tourney of Joffrey's thirteenth name day, and injured, after an impressive tilt. As alike to his brother as a pea in a pod. Attempted to escape King's Landing after Renly was crowned on the Pentoshi Moonrunner Melara Hetherspoon: With a father like Tywin, all Cersei's childhood friends had to earn their place. No playing with the butchers boy for her. She is determined. It seems that it was her idea to get their fortunes told, and she was prepared to face monsters like Maggi and Cersei to find out if she would marry Jaime. Which seems like an ambition her landed-knight father might have shared. The sister of the captain of the guard at Duskendale who repaints Brienne's shield: Unfair. She is not a named character, and you have given two dimensions describing her anyway. I think the painting on the door might be inspired by King Robert's death. Not saying that the Faith and the Florents are in league with BlackRaven, but he does come to people in their dreams. Pate: How did Pate get his place at the Citidel? I mean, they say they take anyone, but most of the people we know at the Citidel come from highborn families, albiet as natural or second sons, cripples or delinquents. Was Pate's father a maester? The seventh son of some minor lord? Having his body occupied by someone else gives him an interesting second dimension, but had he lived, I think his knowledge of ravens and the contents of Maester Walgrave's chest gave him a second dimension. We can tell from the other types of life that Pate considered starting upon, and the fact he did not start on them, that he wasn't really a thief, and the Citidel was the only option he really wanted (that, and Rosy). The 'alchemist' that took his life looks a bit like Osney Kettleblack, as well as a bit like the man that Jaqen H'ghar transformed into. Crona: err, you mean Chella, daughter of Cheyk, of the Black Ears, @The_Lone_Wolf? She is a female clan chief, which shows us that the clans of the the Mountains of the Moon will accept female leaders, and joins other hints that suggest some clans might have matriarchal power structures . Her clan has alliances with the Moon Brothers, and not the Stone Crows or the Burnt Men. Chella led the charge when Tywin's van met the Northern army on the Green Fork. Shagga followed in her dust, leaving the Burnt Men behind with Tyrion. Chella personally seems very social and inclined to enjoy a throaty chuckle with most people she meets. When she turned up to the gates of King's Landing after Tywin took over, the red cloaks chased her away and threw dung at the Black Ears. Presumably she has returned to the Mountains of the Moon, but you have to wonder, is she is still a Lannister ally? If Tyrion returns to Westeros, would she be a friend or a foe? Would she take Tyrion's ear? How many bits can Tyrion lose? How many promises can he make before he pays up? The 46 men whose ears hang round her neck are still alive, or at least, she didn't kill them. So a brave warrior, but not a very effective assassin or soldier, with at least 46 enemies, that might include Mord. But she can guard and she can scout, and she can math (well, accurately estimate a force that is 20,000 strong.) Sansa: @Widowmaker 811 concedes Sansa is not one-dimensional, just selfish. So I'll move on. Edric Dayne: The current Lord of Starfell. Shared a wet-nurse with Jon Stark. Noticed that Loras Tyrell gave Sansa a rose and who knows what else about the Tourney of the Hand. Apparently thinks he was named after Eddard Stark. There was an Edric Stark that was Lord of Winterfell in the reign of Jahareys I, and another that was a younger son of Cregan Stark, around the time of Aegon IV and the Blackfyre rebellions, so maybe he was named after a Stark. Interesting they call him 'Ned', given what his family have told him of Aunt Ashara and Uncle Arthur and Ned Stark. He seems to have no hard feelings, but he is so polite, and so young. Edric has purple eyes and ash blonde hair, so he is interesting for Targaryen lineage and spotting Dragon-rider reasons. And he is the squire of a several-times dead man, intended for another of his aunts. If all that had not placed him awkwardly enough, it is unclear what has happened to him since Beric passed away. Has he become a ward of Lady Stoneheart? Is he still with the Brotherhood Without Banners? Presumably his family has some interest in who he is squiring for - he's a Lord, not an orphan. Perhaps his family think he is safer in the Riverlands than at his home, while Darkstar is there. Is Edric knighted? It would be hard on him if he had not been knighted by Beric, after all, Beric has knighted practically everyone else. It'd be a shame if Beric died before Ned was dubbed, leaving him to be knighted by the likes of Lem, or not knighted at all. But then, has he really done anything that deserved spurs? Perhaps it will be enough to survive Darkstar and the next four years and just be Lord Dayne. Podrick Payne: Ilyn Payne's only known relative. Honestly, he is one of those characters you can see, right from when he catches and cooks that trout with quiet competence, but especially from when he informs Tyrion that Lord Baelish awaits with tortured incompetence, that Pod is on a coming-of-age arc and has not only a back-story, but a future (as much as anyone in the Song can be said to have a future.) No hastily cobbled together training montages here, he is in battles and studies the sigils of Dorne as the natural pace of the plot allows. He quietly observes Tyrion's plans and ploys as Hand, and he has an intimate knowledge of people like Shae and Bronn and Sansa, that Tyrion never could have. He started the cheer of Halfman! Halfman! on the battlefield, and rescued Tyrion from the ministrations of Mandon Moore and Ballabar. His loyalty to Tyrion unabated, he manages to get some training in arms from Brienne. Meribald teaches him to talk, and learns he had a dog called Hero that died. But Pod still lives, and I doubt he will disappear like Syrio or Parmen. Jeyne Poole: Mean girl. She was the one that gave Horas and Hobber and Arya those mocking nick-names, not Sansa (who I don't think ever utters them). She tells tales. It was Jeyne that told Sansa Beric Dondarrion would spike the Mountain's head over his own gate. It was Jeyne that told Arya that Mycah's father had at first mistaken his sons remains for a pig he had slaughtered, when they were returned to him in a butchers bag, and before they sat down to ribs for dinner. She wasn't so thrilled to watch Ser Hugh's death, though. Her tendency to fall in love with the likes of Robb Stark and Beric Dondarrion might reflect a desire to marry above her station (just the friend for Sansa, obsessed with marrying the Crown Prince). But that desire is not backed up with any attempt to become better mannered or better educated (The only explanation I can find for her close relationship with Sansa is that Winterfell had no other girls her age, and Vayon Poole had ambitions for his daughter to become Sansa's Ladys-maid.) She isn't interested in politics like Sansa, and she isn't especially bright, but fear gives her an intuition of danger that Sansa lacks. She was sobbing for her dead father (chopped up by Cersei's butcher) while fearless Sansa was still pinning her hopes on Cersei. As fArya, she is a toy for Ramsey, an exercise for his sadism. But that adds a dimension to Theon's character, so why should it not add a dimension to Jeyne Poole, who has been a sex slave of Petyr Baelish, too? She is better behaved and less sure of herself as fArya, and her intuitive fear is sharper, too. She knows Ramsey hates her for not being rArya and she trusts Theon. At the moment she is only bait for Ramsey's fWroth (I don't think it is rWroth because really, his favourite thing to do with girls is hunt them, and he already has two dogs called Jeyne). Jeyne Westerling: The pretty little nothing that King Robb lost the North for. Napoleon's last words were "France, the army, Josephine", Robb's were "Jeyne, Mother, Grey Wolf". Although, he had less time to think about them, and might have been attempting to tell his mother Grey Wolf disliked the way Jeyne smelled after drinking a posset full of wolfsbane. Jeyne being not much is kind of the point of her. It makes us wonder what is in the water at the Craig when Robb starts wittering about how "The Crag is not strong. For love of me, Jeyne may lose all.” (although I personally think it was amortina in the candles rather than something in the water.) Small as her part of the story is, we soon get to see that, politics aside, her brightness, beauty, kindness, and gentle heart don't make her a compatible match for Robb. She wonders why he is so angry and disconsolate at her after killing Rickard Karstark, and suggests to Catelyn that Robb should get a headsman rather than spoil his appetite for the evening meal she ordered for him. Catelyn diplomatically gives her a weak hint: when Jeyne tells her she is praying to the Mother above for an heir, Catelyn replies that she will pray to "the Old Gods and the New". After the fact we learn that Jeyne's heart was true, she mourns Robb sincerely and won't surrender his crown. But she is going to be married to a Lord or heir attracted by a large pot of Lannister gold. (Lucky for her the Lord of Harrenhal was et before he surrendered.) There is also the possibility that Robb's Will could have made her Regent of Winterfell, and her first child, the Lord or Lady of Winterfell. Wylis Manderley: Wynafryd Manderley Wylla Manderley Garlan the Gallant: Wore Renly's armour in the Battle of Blackwater Rush, making him part of the 'hollow knights' theme. More importantly, he got the barges from Highgarden to Tumblestone Falls, and from there to the mouth of the Blackwater. The plan might have been Mace's or Tywin's, but the execution of it was Garlan. (Obviously, Loras had the job of getting the great army of foot to the barges and onto them - a critical but much less stupendous feat). Oberyn once said "Tell me who he has slain in battle, if you mean to frighten me". Garlan has slain a number of men and put Stannis's force to rout for Lord Tywin, but Renly gets the credit. He has managed a Dunkirk-scale military operation, one that made the victory decisive, but Tywin gets the applause. And Garlan noticed and appreciated Tyrion's chain, and his wildlings, and even gave him full credit for the wildfire (that Cersei also had a hand in). All while Tyrion was bitterly interupting the song that was being sung to the honour of Renly's Ghost. The new Lord of Brightwater Keep is a graceful, courteous, and surprisingly humble man. If there is any doubt of Garlan's gallantry, take note of the way he treated Sansa at her wedding. (ASoS, Ch.28 Sansa III). At Sansa's wedding and Joffrey's, Ser Garlan was attended by his wife, and spoke to her and of her in a way that indicates they are a happy couple, who act as a team, communicate well, and have affection for each other. Leonette might be a cousin of the Tyrells (if she is Janna's daughter.) and there were Fossoways on Stannis's side, that were killed by Lothar Brune. As Lord of Brightwater Keep, he is situated at the headwaters of the Honeywine, between Oldtown and Highgarden which makes him strategically important. Also makes him someone Selyse objects to . Mace Tyrell: Thanks to the likes of Tyrion and Stannis, Mace Tyrell is deprecated as a commander, and Randyll Tarly perhaps given more credit than he deserves. Lord Tywin had very little to do but mop up what the Tyrells, led by Mace, had decided in the Battle on the Blackwater, but Stannis has no problem identifying Lord Tywin as the commander responsible for his defeat. At least he doesn't credit the Blackwater victory to the success of the flank of the van that Tarly commanded. Mace managed to keep his army, his lands, and his wealth in Robert's Rebellion. He left the war with an impeccable record for faithful service to the Iron Throne, whomever sat it. Or almost whomever. Stannis can grind his teeth at the bloodless and honourable end to the siege at Storm's End, but Mace will never bow to him as the realm's lawful King. Olenna might object, but Mace was quick to take the chance to make his daughter the Queen of Westeros, confident in his ability to then rule from the seat of the Hand in time, and to be an important adjutant to the Hand before then. I believe Petyr Baelish was the one who thought to bring Loras and Renly together, but I suspect it was Mace who had a miniature of his lovely daughter painted, and fully expected to have her wed to Robert when Loras left to attend the Tourney of the Hand. He acted against his mother's counsel in this respect, but he managed to get Margaery married to one king after another, and came out of the War of the Five Kings with his daughter alive and wed to the winner, and his armies, lands, and wealth largely intact. Tyrion doesn't much care to be told to "leave fighting to the fighters" in ASoS, Ch.19 Tyrion III, but Tyrion is a thin-skinned little imp, and in this instance inflamed by a personal grudge against Lysa. When he cools down, he would be forced to admit the truth of Mace's advice - his Mountain Clan alliance might have given his father's army safe passage through the Mountains of the Moon, but only to shatter themselves at the Bloody Gate of the impregnable Eyrie. And even if Tyrion found a way for them to win, for what? They want the men of the Vale to fight with them, and the lands of the Vale to supply them. Overrunning the vale with Mountain clans, killing their warriors and razing their crops, for what? Tyrion's revenge? Mace's other input on this occasion, that Robb must turn North and pit his army against Moat Calin, is true. Although Robb is not such a fool as to commit all his forces to a full frontal attack, he decides to appear to, knowing that his enemies see he has no other choice. Mace's dismissive remarks on Lysa not entering the war are backed by all available evidence, but like his support for giving Balon the North (on the basis of that who else would want it?) his dismissive hand-waving should be viewed through the prisim of his secret plot to wed Sansa to Willas Tyrell, and the side-eye between Mace and Rowen when Lord Tywin reveals that Petyr Baelish was going to wed Lysa. Mace could come up with no stronger objection to Tywin's plan than, if Petyr Baelish left on the morrow he would miss the King's wedding. Which would only sound like a pointed and serious objection to people who believed he wanted Littlefinger at the wedding to account for his part of the arrangements. His jovial "best you do not linger" might be a masked threat ( Petyr's "drowning would definitely diminish my charms as a bridegroom" seems to have some Ironman foreshadowing to me). Mace clearly intended to control the North through Sansa as well as the East through Lysa, and had very probably thought of Petyr as an ally (at least since Bitterbridge, if not the Tourney of the Hand or earlier) right up until that moment. His mistake. But he was absolutely sensible when he spoke about getting a massive Navy together (of Paxter's ships and Balon's) and laying siege to Dragonstone, getting rid of the most serious threat to the Iron Throne as their first priority. Like most of Mace's strategic counsel, it is basic, but not wrong. Mace seems to take Pycelle's remark that three hundred Dornishmen were joining them for the wedding as a reminder that Lord Tywin had an alliance with his old enemies, and those allies had an army bristling on the border of the Marches of the Reach. Superficially, one might think from his reaction that Mace would have a fit if he knew the Red Viper was taking Doran's place on the Small Council, but we learn from Oberyn himself that Willas had reached out to Oberyn at about the time Myrcella was sent to Dorne. Coincidence? I suspect the thing that was really make him choke was the knowledge Petyr Baelish had unsprung his Winterfell plot as well as his Eyrie one, with Lord Tywin and Petyr Baelish collecting the biggest prizes of the war. And Petyr skedaddled before Joffrey was poisoned, able to point his clean finger at Mace if he desired. Perhaps Mace and the Tyrells had nothing to do with Joffrey's poisoning. Petyr agreed to arrange that marriage in return for their military support, and he did. Mace can't blame Petyr if the bridegroom died before the marriage was consumated, Petyr is miles away. Mace kept his composure and forced a chuckle when he bid Petyr farewell, in spite of seeing two of the three marriage deals collapse right there in front of him. As Tywin notes "The greatest fools are oftimes more clever than the men who laugh at them". Mace had the Merryweathers in his pocket and Loras watching over Cersei. He may well have Harys Swyft in his pocket as well (where else would Cersei's Master of Coin find the money?) It's pretty obvious Harys sent Mace the news of his daughter's arrest, (just as Pycelle told Kevan) and that Mace and Tarly had both been ready to march their armies back to King's Landing from the day they left. And either some carpenter in his artillery was carving him a Hand Throne on the march back to King's Landing, or it was sitting in Highgarden since Renly was crowned. Like a long siege, Mace is patient and he gets there in the end. As Hand, what he tells Kevan of Storm's End passing from one pretender to another, and of Connington being rash and the Golden Company having always failed to take Westeros, are historical facts, although I think in his current flush of success Mace has forgotten that 'past results do not predict future performance' (as some of the less racy literature I read is apt to say). He is at least not as idiotic as Randyll, although when the wisest remarks at the table are coming from Pycelle, you know the Iron Throne is in deep trouble. Fat fool or not, Mace Tyrell has a lot more going on than the Lannisters suspect. Barbrey Dustin: Rooses good-sister, Brandon's lover, a Ryswell by birth, Lady of Barrowtown. She hates Eddard Stark, though he and his never knew it, in the twenty years she has held that grudge. Roose knows and does not overlook or underestimate her. She insisted on having fArya under her protection before the wedding to Ramsay, and Theon. She furnishes Ramsey's bedroom. Roose might know or suspect she still resents Domeric's death. I'm not entirely convinced it was Ramsey, though. These Boltons are very good at making it look like someone else did their killing. Barbrey is a big one for dead bones, though. She wants Eddard's, she wanted her husband's, she wanted to see the crypts. And she lives on the bones of the First King of Westeros, or a King of the Giants. And the main street of Barrowtown is lined by Elms (the grave-marker, the witches tree, a symbol of ill omen). The three Freys Lord Manderley saw off his lands were heading for Barrowtown. And they were riding three fine new horses, gifts of Lord Manderley, but where did he get them? Both the Dustins and the Ryswells were known for the horses they bred. So most GRRM characters have at least two dimensions. He has a formula, where every name comes with at least two characteristics (think randy Cletus with his lazy eye, fearless Willem with his freckles) and every one comes from a family or a village or somewhere even if they are no-one. Especially if they are no-one. He is particularly careful to give his "redshirt" soldiers a story that is not the event that killed them. Perhaps not every named character has a back-story, but I bet GRRM has made sure that every named character who died in battle does, even the ones he will never put in the books. There are so many minor characters, it is simply not possible to inform the reader of every one of their stories. Among that multitude, there must be some that exist only because the inn is full or the castle too large to be cleaned by only two pairs of female hands. Still, the closer you look, the closer you have to look to find characters with a single dimension. Even then, it is hard to tell if a character really is one-dimensional or if we have only seen them once. He is really clever at slipping characters like Harys Swyft, Grazdan mo Ullhor, or Jallabar Xho in. At first they seem to exist only to fill a room, but then they are seen a second time, mentioned offhand a third, and three or four books later we can see they have had their own moves, networks, motives, and have been playing the game in thier own fashion, with their own personalities and concerns, all carefully thought out from the start, or artfully retrofitted when the need arose. Most of the unnamed grizzled oarsmen and lithe dancing girls must remain just that, for the sake of the book-binding, but when GRRM gives a character a name, he nearly always adds two attributes straight away. Even if it is only a couple of adjectives (Mully, with his greasy orange hair, Vinegar Vaellyn the stargazer) it is easy enough to turn an adjective into a motivation, a weakness, a foreshadowing. Which makes it terribly easy for even one-dimensional characters to acquire a second (or even a third) dimension. We really won't know for sure who the one-dimensional characters are, until the Song is sung.
  21. Great points. And where is the evidence that Arya is insane when she uses that training to kill people, while Jon and Robb et al are just putting the excellent education Eddard ensured they got into practice when required?
  22. In the sheep herding trade there is (or rather, was - like WWII vets, I think most if not all are now dead) a type of sheep called a bell-weather. These were trained as lambs to follow a certain path (typically, to cross bridges). Then, they had a bell tied around their neck. When an untrained herd of sheep were driven toward the path/bridge, the bell-weather would cross as they had been trained and the other sheep would follow single file. If there was no bell weather, the other sheep would baulk and ball up on the near side of the river when the path was not wide enough to drive the whole herd through at once.
  23. I think Lady Tands is aware that her loyalty to Joffrey could be questioned. We know Renly counted hers among the swords he offered to defend Eddard as Lord Protecter. (AGoT Ch 47 Eddard VIII) Petyr Baelish was on team Renly at the time and he told (someone always tells) (AGoT Ch 47 Eddard VIII) They add up to over ninety swords though, assuming all the men, their squires and sons are swords too. Varys has an eye on this little cabal. When Tyrion is newly installed as Joffrey's Hand, he gives him Lord Slynt, and when Tyrion asks him why he is being so helpful, Varys presents a list of 'treasons to discuss' (ACoK Ch 8 Tyrion II) The list also included the Redwyne twins, who had bribed a guard so they could escape King's Landing on the Moonrunner. (The guard joins Janos heading for Eastwatch on the Summer's Dream). The Redwynes stay with Cersei. Timmet's treason is killing a wineseller's son. The master of the White Hart was planning to sail for Dragonstone. And Varys recommended caging a noisy flock of sparrows that had descended on King's Landing for "spreading fear". Tyrion says that is Varys's job, but won't let him do it. I don't know if Lady Tanda is aware of how nearly she missed going to the dungeons then. Fortunately for her, Tyrion was not as interested as me in the menu or the guests. Cersei never found this list - Ser Balon is currently on the Kingsguard, protecting Myrcella, thanks to her perferring the counsel of Lord Baelish over Varys. Varys has not taken his eye off Tanda, however. The lady's maid that stole her jewels was his - or was the one his informant suggested could best be sent off without character, more like. Shae seems to see a bit of Ser Tallard when she is with Lollys. (ASoS Ch 32 Tyrion IV) But the page and the serving girl seem more like little birds to me. Petyr Baelish was guiding if not steering team Renly when we first meet him. The blank cheque Cersei and Tyrion gave him to buy them Roses. at Bitterbridge was nice but not strictly necessary, for the Tyrells it is about growing strong, which means the marriage contracts - Lord Rowan at the Eyrie, Willas in Winterfell, Margaery Queen. But Baelish seems to have turned his cloak on them when he got Harrenhal. I don't know why the little birds sing for Tallad, except to make sure Shae knows about Sansa's wedding. Perhaps Varys was giving her the opportunity to leave - but Shae seems more interested in securing a ringside seat at the King's wedding. Perhaps because she knew Sansa wouldn't be around much longer? Also, why would Varys try to help Shae? I think Lady Tanda's page might be Danos Slynt. That is pure speculation on my part. I don't know if the page talking to Ser Tallad is Lady Tanda's. Anyway, Tanda's problem has always been the company she keeps. Tanda knows how easily a cup of wine can be poisoned, and how easily the person nearest to it can be blamed, and how thoroughly scrutinised, and how little scruitiny her past would bear if it were her. So she is out the gates with Sansa, who had been given a head start by Dontos. Gone ahead of many guests that could outrun her, well ahead of the peloton. She is not surprised that Sansa would be getting out too, just that Sansa seemed to be grieving Joffery.
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