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Curled Finger

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  1. Why would Roose kill off his only heir? This kid was given the absolute best of everything Roose could offer a lordling and there is evidence that Domeric was loved, which isn't something anyone can say about Roose. I think Roose is perfectly capable of kinslaying, but there appears to be no concrete corroboration that he did while there is a great deal of reasonable argument supporting Ramsay's role in Domeric's death. Ramsay had something to gain.
  2. LSH is a bad guy. No grey there. She will eventually rest in peace. I think it's likely someone will give her the gift of mercy which ties in nicely with her Mother Merciless moniker. This creature is the character which will teach us all not to root so hard for revenge. It's going to be bloody and ugly.
  3. Jamie hadn't seen Brienne since Biter bit a hole out of her face and that is what the comment is about. For all it's worth, I didn't so much think LSH brought Brienne back, but I did think Brienne died the 1st time I read it.
  4. It's so exciting to post a first topic and welcome to the forum. The show was great for bringing in new interest, but you have to talk about the books in the books forums. There is a separate section for show watchers as the stories diverge quite a bit and no one wants to be spoiled. As @kissdbyfire said above the plot twist character for the books is likely Selmy, Mance or Stannis. The statement was made within days of the end of season 5. Good luck in the show forum and give the books a try. Believe it or not, the books are a far better story!
  5. In the end I don't think anyone so much wants Targaryen rule as to oust the Lannisters. Westeros (for the majority of people) just wants what all people want, freedom, prosperity and peace. Jon's secret identity shouldn't matter at all. The Targs only ruled for 300 years filled with as much bad as good for the country overall. Take bloodline as a prerequisite off the board. What does matter is might. Dany's got dragons and that should trump all in this setting. She wants to rule, too, which could be a factor in the continued monarchy rule. While Jon isn't likely to be fooled by the nobles who do little beyond further their own concerns, he doesn't want to rule. That said I think either would be an effective beginning to whatever rule comes next for Westeros, but someone like Tyrion who knows what jerks these nobles are, is more qualified to actually run the place on a daily basis. Jon and Dany concern themselves with big issues while Tyrion actually works in the minutia. A smart guy like Tyrion with a solid supportive council of forward and fair-minded thinkers (Asha, Davos, Sam) would be best in the long run.
  6. Elder Brother represents what can or maybe should happen to Broken Men who dutifully do as told and end up someone else born of gore and war. There can always be someone else. Take all those mysterious brothers on the Isle. Who are they? What are their stories? EB gets a place on the list for his essential services. He is one of the few who preach peace in this war ravaged place. I think that's heroic and though it isn't stated, I think the people whose lives he touches may think so too.
  7. That's a nice break down of your position on duty and a very clever look at the Kill the Boy speech. Sometimes the hard choice is to do your duty. Barristan has great passion for his duty while Stannis has none and Aemon experiences regret in his last days. Sounds a little bit like all of us, doesn't it? While I was researching heroes and what Westeros considers heroic the total commitment to duty didn't rate super high so much as the few or odd who actually took on new duty. I am thinking along the lines of Robin Darklyn or Arthur Dayne here. Barristan suffers the same problem Stannis suffers; a blind sort of commitment that has no flesh. Serve the King until you die, whatever that means. Take the throne or die, whatever that means. Single-minded, I think. Barristan is forced into a broader scope of duty in Dany's absence (Jorah's too, I think) while Stannis seems to have found an alternative means to gaining his end. That appears to be growth if not fullness. Dutiful is good to a certain extent--in structure, definition and order no doubt. But I have to agree with you that it does not define a hero as a hero cannot be born of rules and blind following. All of this makes me warm up to Jamie a little more. Thankee, Sai.
  8. It's a good question. Westeros is war ravaged and politically unstable. War is waged in the North, The Reach and Stormlands. The Riverlands are decimated, starving and burned. The capitol is dependent upon the Reach for food and men. The King of all this madness is an 8 year-old boy. At this point we have the Iron Islands in open defiance and a foreign invader stocked with Westerosi exiles not to mention elephants, infiltrating the other coast. Winter really is coming. Who will feed the masses if Euron makes serious inroads to the Reach? The Westerlands, Vale and Dorne are the only areas not seriously harmed by the wars of the past years. They will eventually have to either defend themselves or aid a neighbor. The unstable political landscape even in unblooded places like Dorne or the Vale will force the nobility to choose a side because Westeros as a united country cannot continue much less thrive under these conditions. Few in the Vale actually support Little Finger and would likely jump at any opportunity to get him out of there, but they are also thirsty for war glory and could follow him elsewhere just to get out of the freaking Vale and take their place in history. Doran Martell hasn't got 100% support of his people and I wonder how easy it will be for him to convince his region of Aegon's legitimacy. A marriage could help that a great deal or completely break the faith Dorne has with House Martell. Euron is perfectly capable of killing all his own people. I would think the vast majority of regular people in the 7 Kingdoms would want change and support any successful candidate. The nobility are playing a game, but I'm not sure they will all be able to maintain control of their places even to save themselves. PR and marketing will matter, but who would actually plot against a successful candidate when there can be peace and a return to calm? It's obvious they aren't getting it with the current regime.
  9. Well said and argued. I wonder if Stannis has learned any valuable thing from his great losses in the war. When Stannis opts to go save the Nights Watch I could not help but wonder if this was an act of inspiration or desperation. As you say, much of Stannis' story is about making very bad choices for a potentially bad cause. He doesn't see it this way, but he also doesn't see it as Melisandre sees it either. She is a magical vehicle he wants to believe in, but I'm not certain he actually does believe at all. Above @kissdbyfire made a very good argument about duty being the death of love if not life itself. Duty only becomes a virtue when it is tested cannot be invalidated. Stannis is not burning anyone despite pressure from his men. Now at any rate. Stannis is willing to dirty his hands, unlike Robert the King. However, he is convinced of essential ends to the means he is presented with. Perhaps that has changed and I enjoy Stannis without Melisandre or Davos--it's a truer look at him as a commander, perhaps a man. This Stannis is not as eager for full frontal attack against the Lannisters. This Stannis appears to be concerned with the welfare of the North. What he intends to do is quite heroic. I'm just not sold that he is. There can not be a full discussion of duty as an honorable trait without bringing Stannis to the table. I feel indulged and thank you.
  10. I still love it when you buzz by. And so timely. I realize Barristan has some situations wherein a reader could judge his actions as unfaithful for lack of a better descriptor. Much has been made of a person who is dutiful, such as you describe Selmy and I tend to corner next to Stannis. No one has addressed Stannis here. Is Barristan doing the right thing in leading Dany's forces in the defense of Mereen? Making knights in Essos? Jailing her former allies? Isn't that a wonderful bit of writing when Maester Aemon tells Jon love is the death of duty? Kill the boy. All of it. Were the choices Aemon made really not the right choices? This is interesting as all get out. Back to Barristan who served as blindly as Maester Aemon--are the circumstances really so different? Isn't it Jamie who tests our ideas about vows? Is upholding a vow more or less honorable than doing the right thing?
  11. Ah ha, an opportunity to redeem myself in a faster reply! This will bleed over from your original post as I read it. I thought of Stannis because he is my duty guy in this story. Is Stannis heroic or is Davos the one who brings credence to his cause? As I read your list above it seems to me that Stannis, love or hate him, checks all the boxes.
  12. It sure is nice seeing so much of you lately @LynnS. Self sacrifice should absolutely shine near the top of the list of heroic traits and I think it does in some of the heroes' stories. But you had to bring the Quiet Isle into the conversation about heroes in that extraordinarily unexpected way you have. The rubies are long discussed and could be actually anything, but your representation is perfect for this conversation. I will ask you to take a small step further in examining Elder Brother, for surely he is a ruby precisely as you suggest. An honest and compassionate man of faith with the capacity to heal as opposed to say resurrect as my hero, Thoros does. You could be right about Jamie or Thoros or Harlan or any of the broken men we have encountered. What would Jamie reborn look like I wonder. Perfect addition. Thank you so much, short and sweet and perfect.
  13. @Lady Dacey, again with the 2 screens trying to keep up with you. You do seem to be enjoying this and I appreciate the conversation and your effort in it. Tormund and Edd are both on the list, though Edd's actual heroism is a bit more difficult to define than Tormund's. I'll take whatever you've got on those 2. You have nailed it right on the head with the wonderful examples in your 1st quote. Tywin and Robert and Sandor Clegane as points of a triangle of masculinity and I would venture to add, power. Tywin really is a heartless bastard and Robert is a fool. The Hound was a killer. Note killer, not murderer as there is a distinction. I live out in the country so to speak and have on occasion found mice in the garage. As plague carrying disturbers of my peace it is my solemn duty to rid my living space of them. I have a terminator who also acts as undertaker for the corpses because these dead things gross me out to no end. However, calling this guy out on Sunday morning seemed a silly thing to me. Gloved and armed with a dustpan and 2 plastic bags the offender was scooped up and disposed of. This is as close as I can get to understanding the necessity of killing but I suspect it's not far off from the nature of The Hound. Killing is necessary. I believe I was replying to @Mourning Star with a little diatribe of traits I don't equate with heroic in our Hound. Perhaps I need to back up on the statements as I find myself a killer of necessity. Robert would conquer and Tywin would kill babies while our crude Hound ignores commands to protect and defend 2 little girls. That. Is. Heroic. Your Barristan quote led me straight to Jon Snow's and Danaerys Targaryen's doors. Their rooms of heroics are vast I think. How many topics have begun with a simple question along the lines of "Is Jon A Traitor to the Nights Watch" devolve into heated arguments over Jon's worthiness? Too many I think. Dany's book illustrating how easily you should be able to identify heroes and villains was an inspired point to bring up and perhaps the crux of the matter. The vantages we all come from, the characters those traits speak to, and our willingness to overlook the rotted parts of the onion. Lady, I am finding more and deeper traits of heroism in each of your posts. Thank you so much.
  14. I've come back to this twice now and hope to find words adequate to respond appropriately as I find myself falling very short on adequate words today. A ragtag band of misfits does seem to be the thing, doesn't it? Not a beautiful rich young boy king who is cruel because beauty, wealth and status don't actually enter into the realm of heroics. More to come.
  15. @Mourning Star it's good to meet you here and I apologize for missing your post. Barristan is perhaps the sterling standard of hero in Westeros. He does not enjoy intrigue. He's a straight shooter and tactful at that. He is bold in his undertakings whether participating as a mystery knight at age 10 or rescuing his king from captivity in Duskendale to leading an army in the defense of a foreign land this guy is willing to do the job and is smart enough to do it well. I will personally throw honesty in the mix because Selmy is among the few who speak the truth of matters. It's clear you see duty as a major component of Selmy's heroism. Is simply doing one's job heroic? There are many tangible traits to Barristan the Bold's heroic nature and I think it must be nature given the age he decided to become a knight as well as his execution of duties. I'm not a major fan of The Hound. He's crude and seems to jump right to killing and the harshest truths. His lack of refinement is distasteful, but I cannot deny that he has a heart of gold where matters of defense and protection are required. I bring him up in chorus with your Daeron the Good and Daemon Blackfyre. They were polarizing leaders at great odds with each other yet, as you nicely illustrate, both could be considered heroes with little effort. Did either of them do what was right? At the very least we do get The Hound winning a trial by combat and Beric Dondarrion telling us he was innocent of murder. Your examples were a brilliant addition to this conversation. While I agree wholeheartedly that doing right is what Westeros needs of all it's men and women and children, that perception of right varies. I have to ask myself at this point if in the end the Others are the lifeforce holding Westeros together would Craster be considered heroic? Shudders. A tale always has at least 2 tellings because these characters and their perceptions are as flawed as our own sensibilities tend to be. Mercy, check. Wisdom, check. Doubt? Beautiful and so unexpected. Thank you for bringing such poignant detail to our list of heroic traits.
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