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Sly Wren

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  1. Agreed--though I do think there's a whoppingly good chance that when it came to it, after whatever Howland did, it was Ned that delivered the final blow. And that he did it with Dawn. Especially after the fact that Ned, too, is killed with his own sword--really feels like a narrative marker, prepping the reader for info. Agreed--though I'd go further and say that I agree with others before me that Ice is the "stand-in" for Dawn. Dawn, like the Wall, like milkglass reflects and glows with light. Valyrian steel drinks light it. The opposite of "rainbowing" with light (yes, I'm pretending that's a word.)
  2. Martin clearly uses the Seven's crystal to show this. But also the Wall and Dawn--the Wall can act like a Septon's crystal (according to Jon) in how it refracts light. So, to @Lady Dyanna's point (hey, old friend!)--yes, the rainbows seem focused on the crystal in the novels--but they also get tied to the Wall by Jon--makes me think the Faith is drawing on old truths in nature/magic. Whereas the Wall is just . . . engaging in nature like a natural/supernatural force. Yes--and it's the exact same description given to the sword so the Others in the the Game Prologue. So, whatever crystal/ substance the Others' swords are made from, likely Dawn is, too. That said, the other milkglass, glowing with light thingy we have in the novels? The Black Gate--so, my money for the swords is some kind of transformed weirwood--though many have posited that before me. It may even be tied to why is refracts light--the swords (and Gate) are sill living things, like weirwood (and the Gate). Maybe--though the Others' swords in the Game prologue are alive with light before they start stabbing anyone. And Ned says Dawn's alive with light right after Arthur draws Dawn--before the fight.
  3. Nice! And fits in with the horror of Bran's vision of the man being sacrificed, the stories of the children of the forest making sacrifices, etc. I do think the land has seen too much fire and blood in pursuit of power. That won't be what washes it clean. Ned showed us what makes it "clean" in the first chapter of Game--justice, not vengeance. How to get "justice" for all that the Lannisters and Freys have done? Not sure--but I'll be stunned if Stoneheart and others don't engage in more "vengeance" along the way. And, I, too, think Macbeth is a perfectly solid reference point. I did not know this--interesting. Not yet sure what to make of it, but very interesting. Nice--and I agree on the wordplay. Absolutely--I, too, have thought that for a while. Given all that they do, and the fact that GRRM uses the word "fray" throughout the novels, no way he didn't intend that pun. I had completely forgotten that part of Robb's war strategy. Yes--that would make sense. The practicality of a second red wedding does elude me at times--but the idea of this kind of reckoning against such a wholesale atrocity against old laws--GRRM does show that in the novels and in the Riverlands. Reminds me of the "reckoning" against Harren--his use of weirwood. The things he did to get Harrenhal built. And it was "answered" eventually, with another atrocity by Aegon. So, for all my talk of justice above, we may not get too much of it in the Riveralands. 1. Yes. 2. I think House Frey already did this. The question: what's the consequence for what they did with their knowledge?
  4. Far as I can see, we're all working with some amount of head canon--that's what we do when we read: predict, play, etc. Only the next books will solve some of these debates, but they are fun to have. And no point posting if I don't want to play/debate with my ideas. So, thank you for coming to play.
  5. Okay. I agree that Tywin is standing up for what he sees as the honor of House Lannister. No question. The key point: Tywin, starting around age ten, has decided that he gets to say what the honor of House Lannister requires, regardless of tradition, others' definitions or feelings about honor, anything. He could have dealt with his father privately. He chooses, repeatedly, to do things that humiliate his father because he, teenage Tywin, thinks he is right and that the rest of the Lannisters need to get in line or get out of his way. If not--he'll humiliate even his patriarch. This is a dangerous precedent for Tywin: he and he alone decides what's right for House Lannister, regardless of the fact that Tytos is still alive. We know he took this definition to move on to committing atrocities with Reyne and Tarbek. And that he didn't curtail this. At all--we see that in his reaction to Tyrion's kidnapping, even though he dislikes Tyrion muchly. Bottom line: Tywin gets to decide what "honor" is for House Lannister: respect and fear. He clearly doesn't care much for conventional ideas of honor and fair play--the atrocities (before and during the novels) show that. And he will humiliate family members, both publicly and privately, to get his way. And, according to Genna, he got worse as he got older. Heaven help the family member who crosses this too much--even Tyrion will only go so far, and he's one tough cookie--and an example of how far Tywin will go to assert his idea of the "honor" of House Lannister. We have Tywin's wanting the marriage for at least 3-4 years before the Tourney, his refusal to give up on the idea, even when publicly humiliated. And the fact that he persists with getting his family onto the throne and holding on to power. We have his tyrannical measures to assure the dominance and power of House Lannister--Tywin wants to raise House Lannister, dominate his enemies--he clearly sees the Iron Throne as a way to do that. For all of the very obvious reasons. At the tourney, he clearly orchestrates the "reveal" of his ask. And it's a touchy business: he and Aerys are already into toxic sparring. When Aerys arrives, the smallfolk cheer Tywin twice as much as Aerys (according to the World Book). But--when Rhaegar beats all of those Lannister knights, Aerys cheers and is in a spectacular mood--Rhaegar's dominance gets Aerys out of his toxic anger--if only for a moment. Given Tywin's clear goal of marrying Cersei to Rhaegar and increasing House Lannister's rise--given what he knows of Aerys--no way Tywin wouldn't know that Rhaegar's defeating his men would puff up Rhaegar and please Aerys. Which it did. This was a plan. He doesn't have to do it publicly--we've seen him privately and semi-privately humiliate his family. And, given what Tyg has seen him do, what Tyg himself helped Tywin do, Tywin may not have had to do anything more than threaten: Tyg knows his brother will do whatever it takes to get his idea of "respect" for House Lannister across, to raise House Lannister as he (Tywin) sees fit. Tyg might try to fight and "play the game." But Genna says the brothers lose against Tywin when they play the game. And the fact that Rhaegar's wins against the Lannisters change Aerys' toxic mood (temporarily) as much as they do show that it works perfectly with Tywin's goal. That's too much of a coincidence for a plotting, determined man like Tywin. All fair-- it will be cool if it turns out that Lyanna was the knight. And I absolutely think that the KotLT incident is directly tied to Lyanna's disappearance. All fair--though I struggle to find much in the text showing us that Rhaegar did things like this. Books? Check. Plots? Check. Honoring random people without explanation no matter what he thought of their motives and confusing everyone around him? Not so much--but GRRM has left out a LOT when it comes to Rhaegar. Still, really seems like he'd stick to his original plot--though, as you say, I do think giving that laurel to Lyanna might be part of his plot. Okay--as I understand it, our impasse is as follows: Your argument asserts that since, in Martinlandia, knighthood is determined by skill and honor, Barristan must mean those--and that there isn't enough evidence in the text to say that a knight emphasized one over the other. My argument asserts that the context of the quote in this particular chapter shows Barristan's particular values--that all his talk of honor is put there to specifically frame his mindset for us and thus show us what he means. If that's right, we may have to agree to disagree. I take your point about the general, in-world definition. But I cannot divorce Barristan's quotes about his fight with Rhaegar from the chapter it is in. That context seems very deliberate--I cannot excise the quote from the chapter. So I can't see a solution until we get the next book. That said, an excellent debate on this point, my friend!
  6. That works beautifully--am now remembering Sweetsunray's take on Sansa in the Vale. But yes--the North may be the one that remembers the old gods, but even without the weirwoods, really seems like the Land of Westeros has some "will." Interesting. Nice! Especially with the potential that the Wall is "living" and "growing." Weeping before the rise of winter. And, as you say, Jon really seems like he's getting ready to rise and fight for his family (or at least Arya). Yes on the rivers--Tywin and his brothers violated the rivers' courses with the Reynes. Not sure what to make of the Freys and their relationship to the rivers. But Cat--it's already overflowing to kill any and all Freys. I assume it will overflow even more.
  7. I do have evidence--what happened at the tourneys. The motivations of the players. The reactions of the players. That's evidence, put into context. "Right to order?" When does Tywin care about that? He was ten when he stood up and defied Tytos, the pater familias, over Genna's betrothal. It was Tytos' right to betroth her (even if it was a terrible idea). Tywin didn't care--stood up for what he saw as the right way to honor his family against his patriarch. Tytos had the "right" to lend out gold on terms he liked--as a teenager, Tywin disagreed. Began collecting, with impunity, regardless of Tytos' behavior. Even though Tytos was Lord and patriarch. Still a teenager, Tywin took on the Reynes and Tarbeks, over Tytos' objections. That's why the Reynes and Tarbeks would try to get to Tytos, to avoid Tywin. But Tywin would still do as he wished. When Tytos gave in to the Reynes and Tarbeks after the hostage stuff, Tywin kept going, eventually committing grand atrocities over Tytos' objections. Tytos was Lord. Tytos was patriarch. Tytos had the "right," not Tywin. Tywin did it anyway--with impunity. Tygett watched all this for over two decades--he was only 2 when Tywin defied Tytos over Genna. Tyg sullied his "honor" as a squire committing atrocities with Tywin to support the honor of House Lannister--as defined by Tywin. And, according to Genna and others, Tywin got worse as he got older--more iron-willed. More severe. And then got even worse after Joanna's death. Tywin has decided that marrying Cersei to Rhaegar is of upmost importance. I'm guessing (yes, a guess, but an educated one) that he saw this as vital to continuing the rise of House Lannister. He wants it so much, he never gives up on it. So, yeah, Tyg could try to refuse--but there's no way he doesn't know what Tywin could do to him--humiliate, ruin, etc.--if he does. He's seen it for at least two decades. Genna says it: Tyg tried to be his own man, but was no match for Tywin. Meaning: Tyg wasn't his own man when it came to Tywin. Gerion makes japes--better to laugh than to play the game and lose. Meaning: Tyg tried to play the game, and always lost. Tywin wants this--desperately. For the power of House Lannister. Heaven help Tyg (younger brother by 8 years--not patriarch or ruling lord) if he defied Tywin in this context. All fair. 1. No need to apologize for not checking the thread--I'm right there with you. Far as I can tell, we're both still basically on track--and if not, well, we're off track together. 2. Very possible he wasn't intending--until Aerys starts to go off the rails--getting upset about the Knight, etc. I don't deny she could have been the knight. Really, really. But we have no way of knowing if that's why he gave he that crown. Based of some other context, really seems like his motive is different. We do know he had plans at Harrenhal--ETA and that he was known for being determined, single-minded, and deliberate. So, very likely he kept focused on his plans. Excellent analysis--and I agree with much. But, as you say, it would fit if he wanted to enter to crown someone for glory, to show off, or to swat down upstarts. Or any other motive. Not denying math. If it takes both honor and skill to be a knight in Martinlandia. Fully agree. The question is: which one does this particularly knight worry about in this context? Which one would he regret? That's where the context really counts. Skill? Barristan says flat out to Dany that skill at a tourney is fickle at best. Skill can fail due to grass or food choices. So--why would failure of skill be "regrettable" or "less than knightly" for this particularly knight? Plus: in the chapter where he actually regrets not being a "better knight," he never seems to regret his skill or lack of it. He does think he's too old to pull off another Duskendale-type rescue, but he (far as I can see) never regrets his past skill. Honor? He thinks about that all chapter long. About his regrets--being a soiled knight. Being treasonous. About how important it is to have honor no matter the cost. It's throughout the whole bloody chapter. Given all of that, Barristan makes it crystal clear: what he regrets about his past are times when he was outmatched by plots (he wasn't made for this) and when his honor failed. Throw in his comments about skill at tourneys--Barristan doesn't regret his past knightly skills or lack of them. He regrets a lack of knightly honor. Not being a more honorable knight. But, literally, he says that skill is fickle. Depends on luck, fate, dinner, weather--so, if skill failed him, he'd say, "if only I'd had better luck, dry grass, etc." or "if only I hadn't eaten all that chicken." In the context of all of Martinlandia, your point holds. But in the context of Barristan's words and Barristan's values in this chapter, in that context, Barristan is talking about honor.
  8. Well done--all the symbolism around the Silent Sisters works here, too. Putting the dead to rest, etc. Knowing the secrets of the dead. Silent--but for how long? Maybe--but Payne still seems like a night's king figure to me. The mockery/counterfeit of the justice Ned teaches to his boys. But perhaps that could work in taking out Lady Stoneheart. Thanks for following me down my rabbit hole. But I'll fully understand if you look at the rest of this and laugh at my crazy. I also think the concept of the voices crying out might tie into what the OP was asking about the justice of Stoneheart: both Beric and Stoneheart only "rise" after the atrocities of the Lannisters (and Freys). Burning and ravaging the land. Breaking guest right. Violating the old laws. @Voice insists that the Others are a natural response, a miasma sent against human atrocity against the land. (I'm butchering his ideas, but that's at least somewhat on point). I'm not sure I'm sold, and I'm not saying Stoneheart or Beric are Others. But both only rise after atrocities. And both rise to mitigate and avenge the atrocities. Both have at least some semblance of justice when they do so--a trial, etc. And Beric's men insist that putting prisoners in cages to die is wrong, that they should be executed straight away (like Ned teaches). My point: is Stoneheart tied to the vengeance of the . . . . land? Does that make any sense? The justice of natural forces, natural consequences--they are not merciful. Stoneheart isn't sweeping through all people, like the Others apparently do, but she is sweeping through all Freys. Like a natural force. The voices of the dead. The men of the watch even call weather that makes the Wall weep "spirit summer"--ghosts even of the weather and all around. Is Stoneheart part of all these cold winds, these spirits and voices rising from the land? Maybe. And @Canon Claude: if I'm, taking your ideas too far afield, just say so and I'll shut up.
  9. No worries. And I agree on Aegon--whether he's legit or not, he has an actual chance of being taken as such--by the Westerosi and even Dany.
  10. And perhaps not just the flooding--I'm sure someone else has mentioned the Whispering Wood, but I'll bring it up, just in case. The phrase "words are wind" gets used disdainfully in the novels now and again. But in these novels, "words are wind" is actually kinda terrifying: the cold winds rising, the words of the Night's Watch Oath literally having the power to open the Black Gate--words have power. In the text above, it sounds like "words are waves," too. But I also wonder about all the potential shades in the woods around Riverrun. Yes--the power of the dead and their words--Cat had her final words. And I do think the above potentially gives us info even on the Others--cold winds, cold waters. The lands speaking out for the injustice of what was done on it. The water speaking out for the injustice done with it. Yes--it sounds dramatic. But so far, seems the novels are pretty dramatic. Yup--like Jon insisting on sheltering the free folk. Seeing them through Ghost's eyes (or nose)--that free folk and watchmen all smell the same. All people. The Night's Watch oath is to care for people. Edmure wasn't a watchman, but he seemed to grasp this basic concept. At least with his small folk. Seems like there's a good chance the rightness of it, the power of his action, could be tied to the magic of the land. Maybe.
  11. This is gorgeous work, noting the flooding metaphors. Perfect! Yes--Edmure has built up his people to want to do this. I've never been fully sold on Red Wedding 2.0, but this point--this works.
  12. Right--but Brandon's companions are people. And the people at Riverrun (nobles and servants) and anywhere else Brandon could have gone--all of them could be in a position to be spies. Point is: there are a lot of people plotting at this point in Westerosi history. Some may be allies, but they aren't necessarily altruistic--they have their own agendas. My overall point: the idea that no one around or near Brandon could betray him or that Tywin or his allies could get a message to him--that's not workable. It's possible. That said: the books give us very little on this whole incident (Brandon's learning about Lyanna)--so we're all just theorizing. We won't know unless Martin decides to grace us with the next book. Why? Let's go with your (very plausible) scenario: Brandon hears about Lyanna's disappearance because people claiming to be witnesses ran and told everyone at the inn at the crossroads about it. And then Brandon hears. (Or another similar scenario). What if the "witnesses" are actively lying? Rhaegar didn't take her at all, etc. What if the witnesses just get it wrong? They didn't see what they thought they saw (like the Purple Wedding). Point is: if Brandon heard it on the road, it could still be a lie or a mistake. The wiki says this, but I can't find it in the novels or the World Book. Any chance you have it there? The books just say he's going to Riverrun. Wandering endlessly seems an odd way to get him to the sept on time. And there are safe roads, unsafe routes, etc. People want to stay close to inns and food, etc. Brandon's route is not innately unknowable for someone who knew what he was doing.
  13. 1. We know from the books that powerful men (and women) can get spies/traitors all kinds of places--as shown with Cat and Lysa. 2. It's not just Brandon and the Starks: Brandon's marrying a Tully. Lyanna a Baratheon. Ned's fostered with the Arryns--all of them are plotting together. I'd be stunned if Robert had anything to do with this. But Tully and Arryn? They have their own agendas--though @Black Crowand @Voicecould speak to the evidence of Arryn plotting far better than I. Bottom line: it is completely feasible that Brandon got a message. Full stop. But we need the next books. And the rumor that Sansa and Tyrion killed Joff is consistent. Complete with a bounty on their heads. Still wrong. Lysa's "rumor" that the Lannisters killed Arryn held up, too--with Ned (until dead). And Tyrion--far as I can tell, he still believes. Still wrong. Wait--they were heading to Riverrun for the wedding. He was expected. The wedding was known about and on a schedule--they can't just wander randomly. They have to get there by a certain time. So . . how are you getting this? We don't know where they were coming from, but it's safe money that wherever they left really could know their destination. And their likely route. Not shrugging. I said he thought about it. But Barristan is the one who re-evaluates, turns from skill to honor. And he's thinking about honor (not skill) the whole chapter. The whole convo with Shavepate, he insists (even though he knows it would be easier not to) on honor--on the honorable course. He's called and old man for it--but this old man, now towards the end of his life, is holding fast: honor matters more than practicality. Matters more than desire (ie: getting rid of Daario). Even matters more than what he thinks is the better outcome (getting rid of Daario). Honor is what matters. Then, yes, as I said, he does spend some time on skill--but comes right back to honor. Thinking about his own "soiled" state. And then clearly chooses what really matters: honor. And says so to the men--only honor makes a true knight. It's what matters to him, not skill, when it really comes to it. It's honor (or the lack of it) that he regrets, not skill. That's the context in which he thinks of Harrenhal. He's made it plain as day that all that really matters to him at this point in his life is honor. That what he regrets about his past is his honor. So, which would he regret in this moment--his skill (which he turns from to favor honor in the chapter) or his honor (which he's been thinking about all day)? And, just for good measure, we actually do have his take on the "skill" necessary to win a tournament: I have seen a hundred tournaments and more wars than I would wish, and however strong or fast or skilled a knight may be, there are others who can match him. A man will win one tourney, and fall quickly in the next. A slick spot in the grass may mean defeat, or what you ate for supper the night before. A change in the wind may bring the gift of victory." Storm, Dany I He says it himself out loud: skill is fickle at a tournament. So, why would it affect his ideas of knightliness? And when we get his actual thoughts for a whole chapter he makes it very clear what he values and regrets at this point in his life: honor. Given all that context, I'm not dismissing his comments about skill. I'm putting them in the context he himself put them in: what matters, what's worth regretting is honor.
  14. We know for a fact that Tywin can get people to work for him. That in the novels powerful people have messengers, lackeys, spies, etc. He doesn't have to get the info to Brandon personally by way of embossed letter, or whatever. He has the means if he wants to use them. On the lie: my point was that if Brandon picked this up randomly, it doesn't mean he heard what actually happened. Only what the rumor might be. And the Joff thing was to show that even when there are witnesses, doesn't mean they actually know hwat happened. The Starks are plotting with Baratheons, Tullys, and Arryns. Rickard has "southron ambitions." And Brandon is in the south. In the context of these books, no way on earth can Brandon trust them all, even if he doesn't know it. Cat thought she could trust Lysa. Oops. Fair--but they were still trying to get somewhere specific (according to Cat), not Jack Kerouac-ing it through Westeros. Not cherrypicking, contextualizing. I'll cut and paste what I said to corbon above so you don't have to bother with scrolling: Barristan starts the chapter arguing with Shavepate about the hostage situation (whether or not to kill some kids) and Hizdar. Shavepate grumbles that Barristan' honor is stupid. That they will rue his "old man's honor." Barristan sticks to his guns. Then he goes to watch men training to be knights. And yes, he does think about their skill, how some have ferocity but not technique. But then his thinking goes back to the importance of honor: though he probably should knight them now because he might be dead soon, he thinks he's a soiled knight and treasonous, and thus it would be better that he not soil them and jsut leave them as squires. Then he goes further, saying: As the afternoon melted into evening, he bid his charges to lay down their swords and shields and gather round. He spoke to them about what it meant to be a knight. "It is chivalry that makes a true knight, not a sword," he said. "Without honor, a knight is no more than a common killer. It is better to die with honor than to live without it." The boys looked at him strangely, he thought, but one day they would understand. Dance, The Kingbreaker He's now shifted away from skill: no matter the skill, a man is not a true knight without honor. A true knight must have chivaly and honor, or he is less than a knight. This is the context when he goes into thinking about Rhaegar's plots, Harrenhal, and "not unhorsing" Rhaegar (interesting that he doesn't say "losing", but whatever). It's in this context that he regrets not being a better knight--in a chapter full of his asserting his honor. The need for honor. And teaching his squires that honor, not skill, make a knight. Otherwise, that knight is less and not true. Context counts.
  15. Oh--I didn't mean to be misleading. He doesn't compare them to each other. He just makes the same judgment about them--and it's the only judgment he makes about Rhaegar. Is that enough to make the argument? No. But it's interesting.
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