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zandru

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  1. True, true. But remember how rules-based Stannis was. The successor to the King would be the King's eldest legitimate son; if the son was dead, then the son's eldest legitimate son and so on down the chain; failing any of those, his next eldest brother, yada yada and the son-sequence repeats. Stannis stated a number of times that he had to win the Kingship, because "it was his duty" and not something he actually wanted. But come on. It's incredible that anyone would work so hard, kill so many including relatives, expend/borrow so much gold for something they didn't actually "want", but felt "duty-bound" to achieve. Yes, it was Stannis's choice. Was it a dumb choice? Of such are tragedies made.
  2. Just a note in passing re: the showdown between Stannis and Renly: Tywin Lannister bragged that his "red wedding" at the Twins was both smart and merciful, 'better to kill one man at dinner than thousands on the field of battle', or something to that effect. Yet the wedding killed not only Robb Stark the "one man", it also slaughtered most of his bannermen lords and ladies, and killed maybe 10,000 of his troops. That really is a Tywin-class massacre. Lannister has no reason to pat himself on the back. Yet what Stannis did, using dark magic, is to literally kill just the "one man", his brother Renly, and as a result, their armies never fought. Later, he killed one more man, the castellan of Storm's End, which prevented a siege and further killing and deaths by starvation and disease. We can agree that what Stannis did was reprehensible, while recognizing that he did a great job of minimizing the overall death toll. And yet, there are those who don't think he'd be a good to adequate king.
  3. Hear, hear! I'd considered adding Lord Wyman to my list, but wondered if he could get onto the Iron Throne without being skewered. What fat bigotry! My apologies. I'm surprised there hasn't been more love shown here for the Fat Man (now I'm doing it again...) I would definitely leave Cersei off the list, though. From the very first chapters, she comes across as self-obsessed, vindictive, demanding, unempathetic, manipulative, and a little slutty. While I know most of these characteristics are pluses in a king, the "self-obsessed" and "vindictive" traits would be minuses for both queens and kings. As the books wend on, Cersei also comes across as not very bright, less interested in getting solid, expert information than just enough to confirm her prejudices or her first thoughts. She's prone to off the cuff decisions, often involving execution and torture. And, if you believe "but she loves her children", you've been watching too much teevie.
  4. Are you assuming the man became king after 15 years of Robert Baratheon's misrule, or after Aerys II was killed? 1. I would have recommended Rhaegar, had he not been dead. A bookish young man, highly educated, trained to rule, hard working, who upon realizing he'd need competence in the martial arts, went out and attained it. When his father had clearly become cuckoo-bananas, set up a Great Council so that the lords could choose a new king, 25th amendment style, and it would have worked had not Aerys invited himself to it, and Lyanna distinguished herself on the field. Sadly, that's all gone. The man who would be king would need to be just, smart enough to have advisors and staff who were at least as smart as he, would need to care for the good of the realm as opposed to his own glories and gluttonies and neuroses, and politically astute enough to weather the backstabbing, toadying, and scheming of the capital city. Or maybe move the seat of government elsewhere. 2. Stannis Baratheon has many of these characteristics. He could have kept his big brother on as Master of War. It's really too bad that King Robert wasn't smart enough to at least make Stannis his Hand. Tywin Lannister is too corrupt; too interested in furthering the interests of his own house, too brutal in my book. 3. Jon Arryn would have been too old, but might have been a good transitional figure. Ned Stark has the decency and trustfulness of the North. We saw what that bought him in that nest of vipers, King's Landing. Note that he rode away from the capital city in disgust at what he'd seen, after the Lannisters had sacked it, and would have been a happy man if he'd never had to return there. 5. Tyrion Lannister actually looks pretty good on paper, and did surprisingly well as Hand, but was still condemned for being an ugly dwarf, an imp, a little monkey demon. On the other hand, if he was represented by some good-looking figurehead and his actual appearance kept secret, it might work.
  5. Okay, 4. Jon being the son of Mance Rayder. Unless, of course, 5. Mance Rayder is Rhaegar Targaryen. (which I also reject ;-)
  6. Some fan theories that I just can't see: 1. JoJen paste - that Bran has been dining on Jojen Reed. Manflesh doesn't have the magical properties of the weirwood paste that Bran imbibed. (In my opinion. Not that I've ever tried it, beyond a hangnail or two.) 2. Sandor Clegane fights his zombie brother Gregor in Cersei's trial by the Septon. One, the time scale is wrong; he's nowhere near at 100% with his gimpy leg and all. Two, the Elder Bro is clearly protecting him and as a man who's renounced killing, not about to lend Sandor out as the Faith's killing machine. 3. SanSan. Okay, I DO like King Adrian's "3", that Bran never leaves the cave. The last few times we've "seen" Bran, it's been through his influence of the weirwood in Winterfell's godswood. I suspect that most of the rest of Bran's appearances will be this way.
  7. That triggered a third thought... the Braavosi coin that Jaqen gave to Arya. Arya received one to leave with the body of the insurance fraudster. Maybe the coins are used as the Faceless Men's signature, a kind of Mark of Zorro? And if so, why would Jaqen have "extras"? I'm still inclined to the theories that either he's a highly placed Faceless Man on a mission, or a rogue. I can see how a rogue would help the storyline in terms of Arya's arc. Then again, I could see how the Hound might have helped Arya's arc, but that doesn't yet seem to have happened.
  8. This seems to be a distinct possibility. And if so, it would foreshadow Arya doing much the same, using her mad skillz learned in the House of Black & White for her own personal vendettas. I had assumed that it was Euron himself who killed his brother Balon, but maybe I just watch too much teevie. Nonetheless, "Jaqen H'gar" sure gets around. But that still doesn't answer the question of what his mission(s) were. Was he heading to Old Town all along, and just got picked up in King's Landing for something else? (And why would he be so careless?) It seems as if "Jaqen" wants full access to the Citadel, via that skeleton key, and surely there's a reason that he "matriculated" close to Marwen the Mage, a shadowbinder from As'shai. Who had working glass candles, kind of a Valyrian weirnet system.
  9. I think maybe not. After all, Eddard Stark went into the war less because his old bud Bobbie started it than to avenge his father and brother, who died at the hands of Aerys, not Rhaegar. Ned also no doubt had his suspicions about Lyanna's alleged "abduction" and "rapes". Moreover, women die in childbirth all the time in Westeros. Ask the gods why. I can't say anything about Jon Arryn. The information about him as presented so far in the books doesn't really say enough about the other factors leading to "Robert's War," at least as far as I've picked up so far. But there is a lot that a King can do to smooth over old wounds, in addition to making amends and repairing the damage to the kingdom. Arryn was already Lord of the Vale and Steward of the East. Maybe put him in as Hand, like Robert did, or Master of Coin? This would also follow the old rule of "keep your friends close and your (potential) enemies closer." Anybody who remains bitter and dangerous can go to the Wall. It would have thus been a lot better stocked with knights than it is at the current state in the books. Taking the black is not only more useful than getting beheaded; it's much less barbarous, and folks would have been tired of seeing Aerys' many brutal executions. Or maybe the executions drew great ratings. After all, they didn't have tv nor youtube in those days.
  10. After Rhaegar's victory, he would have "retired" his father Aerys II and gone on the traditional apology tour. First, the Starks. Lyanna, presumably alive and about to give birth, would profess her love for Rhaegar and apologize for making Robert Baratheon go crazy. (But everyone knew what a drunken horndog old Bob was - what sane woman wouldn't have left him at the altar, right?) The other "kingdoms" which Aerys had harmed would get similar treatment. Rhaegar would make it clear that a new day had dawned and his first acts would be to try to help those his father had harmed, undo the damage caused by Aerys and by Robert Baratheon's war. After all, what were the traitor lords rebelling against, if not Aerys' maddened and tyranical rule? That's all gone. And we can presume Robert Baratheon was dead, since he'd never surrender. As ringleader of the traitors, he could easily be painted as the villain he was: starting a continent-wide, brutal war because his girlfriend eloped with another man? That's not "romantic"; that's deranged. Tywin Lannister would be a continuing problem. Remember, he didn't lift a finger until Robert's victory was assured, and he'd do the same with Rhaegar. The new king would need to keep a close eye on him and move to rein in Lannister influence at court and power in general. Kingsguard Jaime would be sent to the Wall. King Rhaegar would have to make amends with Elia, let her know that he had wanted to protect her because further children would kill her. And we can assume Lyanna would die shortly, also. For popular consumption, Rhaegar would remind the populace that Targaryens have traditionally had multiple wives; it's a historical fact, and has never been a big deal. Smoothing over relations with Dorne would be important, but since Gregor Clegane hadn't killed Elia's children and raped her to death, would not have been difficult. Rhaegar would welcome his younger sibs back to Westeros, maybe make Viserys the (once he came of age) Lord of Dragonstone. Install baby Daenerys in the Red Keep in the honor she deserved. Depending on whether Stannis Baratheon would bend the knee and swear allegiance to Rhaegar, he could be made the rightful Lord of Storms End. Or sent to the Wall, if not. Ditto Ned Stark and Jon Arryn. Renly was just a kid; he might do well within the Red Keep as a hostage/page. All would be relatively peaceful, and there would never be dragons in the world again.
  11. Come on. Acting, makeup, costuming. Arya learned much of this at the House of Black & White, and with the mummers, has entered graduate school in disguise techniques. Also, as AryaRegina was so kind to note, Raff isn't picky about a child's age.
  12. It was always my impression that the faces come from the many people who visit the House of Black & White to die. No murder is necessary; these are people who have come to receive the mercy of death. The one time that we've seen a Faceless Man kill and replace someone was when Jaqen Hgar killed that maester student, and even then, Jaqen changed to have the boy's face using a glamour. Not a faceskin.
  13. Well, you've got it, kdbergkvist. Arya is ACTING. She's created the persona of Mercy for her stint with the mummers. She's not replacing a murdered woman. This is exactly what Arya did when she was selling shellfish earlier. The play was "The Bloody Hand" or something. It appears to be the Hollywood version of Ned Stark's tenure as Hand to Robert, with the Imp thrown in as the Evil Villain. We know, having seen it through both Sansa and Tyrion's eyes, that Tyrion never consummated their marriage, much less raped or killed her. But this is a fictionalized version. On the other hand, maybe Mercy is playing Shae. But more likely, the play collapses both women into a single character so that Lady Sansa is both raped and killed. Well, in all honesty, you don't know either. Moreover, if the text clearly states "you will wear a new face as pretty as your own", that doesn't mean a woman will be killed, Arya will skin her, and put on her face. Remember Arya's assignment where she wore the badly mutilated face of the murdered girl? It was right off the rack. Like I wrote, Arya has created a new persona, "Mercy", and joined the mummer's troupe.
  14. The "real Mercy"? Arya is the "real" and original Mercy, as far as the text indicates. She hasn't replaced anybody; isn't doing the magic faceskin schtick. I'm not sympathetic to this whole "set up Harys Swift with a scandal" storyline; seems far fetched and byzantine to me. Why would "the locals" go berzerk at hearing a mummer girl was violated and killed? Mummers are a short step above cutpurses; girls routinely sell their "charms" and if they run into the wrong punter, well, that's market forces for you. It's a conspiracy theory. Of course, your mileage may differ.
  15. Exactly. And, ironically, Arya was portraying Sansa. And her lines were simply
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