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rustythesmith

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  1. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    The three instances I referenced before are good places to start if you want to see some unreliable narration in action. There's Alayne's false memory of when the Hound kissed Sansa, Cersei hears false information that Davos has been beheaded at White Harbor. In Arya's POV by God's Eye she mistakes east for west. That one is pretty cool because that mistake is working double duty to obscure the evidence that Arya is the girl from Mel's prophecy. Another example off the top of my head is when Arya mis-remembers the name of Joffrey's sword. I think it was Lion's Tooth and Lion's Paw or something like that. What they all have in common is that the mistaken information is falsifiable somewhere else in the books, which is how we're able to identify it as mistaken to begin with.
  2. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    How can the reader know that a character is wrong unless the way in which the information is wrong is available to the reader? That doesn't even make sense. Imagine if I said that Martin's purpose for writing the story in a feudal setting is to demonstrate why feudalism sucks, but then within the story itself feudalism works splendidly and everybody is happy all the time. How does that prove that feudalism sucks? It proves the opposite, that feudalism rocks. This is the logical wall I think you guys are running into the with unreliable narrator claim. It isn't unreliable narrator unless the reliable narration exists somewhere else. If that were how unreliable narration worked, then every word in the series would qualify as unreliable narration. "We can't trust this information because people are fallible and that's the point of writing it." "Okay how is the information incorrect and the person failing?" "I don't know but he could be." Okay well that doesn't mean anything to me then. It doesn't prove what you're saying the author is trying to prove.
  3. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    Well I tend to think of unreliable narration similar to the way I think of symbolism or foreshadowing. It's a cool literary technique that serves the purpose of telling the story in an enjoyable way. In order for symbolism to be recognizable as symbolism, it needs to exist in a way that the reader can be aware of its existence. The way that the dead direwolf and stag symbolism is recognizable as symbolism is that the rest of the book is characterized by a conflict between House Stark, whose sigil is a direwolf, and House Baratheon, whose sigil is a stag. Martin could certainly write about a duck that symbolizes something to him in his life, but unless he provides the story with a significant duck then the symbolism will not be identifiable as symbolism to the reader and the literary purpose of the strange duck comment will reside in the story having served no identifiable function to enrich the story other than to perplex readers for all time, which might do more to degrade the story with meaningless filler than to enrich it. Similarly, with unreliable narration, it is only identifiable to the reader as unreliable narration when the reliable narration is provided. For example perhaps it is true that Ghost is actually a duck and our unreliable narrator Jon doesn't know that because Ghost, as a mute, has never made a wolf sound. Until some reliable narration gives me reason to believe it beyond all doubt, such as when Ghost quacks at Samwell, then it is reliable narration that Ghost is a direwolf. So that's why I don't think it's appropriate to point to something we don't have the answer to and call it unreliable narrator. Unreliable narrator is a very specific thing. I only saw one dragon but If you've found more I'm listening. Happy to have your permission.
  4. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    Right, which means that it doesn't qualify as unreliable narration. In order for something to be unreliable narration the reader needs to have some way to falsify it with more reliable narration from somewhere else. I think you've made a leap that Summer doesn't understand what he's seeing. It's entirely possible that he understands what he's seeing perfectly. That's true. Let's try to imagine how a more reliable narration might appear in future books and what that might look like. Perhaps we'll get a scene where two soldiers in a tavern are having a conversation about the smoke dragon they saw over Winterfell. That would contradict the idea that it's a real dragon pretty convincingly, but still not concretely because of course people are susceptible to biased perceptions. Look at any other instance of unreliable narration and you will find absolute concrete contradiction. * Cersei hears news that Davos has been executed and his head is mounted at White Harbor. Our absolute contradiction to that unreliable narration occurs the moment we occupy Davos's POV again. We can't occupy a POV of a dead person. A tavern story does not constitute an absolute contradiction. So what would contradict the idea that it's a real dragon and dispel all doubt? Well, the answer to that question seems to be nothing short of divine intervention. We will need the characters to travel back in time and investigate the smoke again. We will need some god to walk on stage and tell us that the smoke was, in fact, just smoke and flame. There does not exist a way in which this narration can be concretely contradicted in the future, therefore it cannot possibly become unreliable narration. Therefore it is reliable narration. Fair enough. But I think that stance is completely unprecedented. I'm not aware of any instance in which a direwolf's perception is not an accurate depiction of reality. It seems to be the opposite. The wolves are hyper perceptive and even prophetic. The wolf's language does not demonstrate that his perceptions are inaccurate, it demonstrates that the wolf thinks in a different language. And it's a language that turns out to be very easy for us to interpret in the context of things a wolf would already know. Man rock is a castle. Man claw is a sword. Hard skin is armor. Unless we believe those castles, swords and armor are made out of smoke and flame, then this isn't metaphorical language. It's literal. So that seems to be a strong indication that the great winged snake whose roar was a river of flame is also literal. This reasoning fits well with a strategy that has proven useful to me in the past, which is to use the text to define the text. So that's a big part of the reason why I think the idea is strong. They might eat each other. I don't have any strong feelings about that theory or particularly subscribe to it either. It could be neat but I don't feel like GRRM has provided us with enough solid information about dragons or their magical nature to speculate too deeply on the particulars of the conditions they're able to survive. It may very well be the case that dragons can be petrified and stored as stone, then awoken with some catalyst or ritual, perhaps involving fire or blood. It's all speculative so I may as well say that the dragon was stored in a lantern and the catalyst is lemoncake. People and maesters don't seem to know much of anything about how dragons work. As a result the underground theory is plausible.
  5. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    Unreliable narrator, like everything else in the books, needs to exist in a way in which the reader is able to appreciate it. In order for it to be possible to appreciate any given instance of unreliable narration, the reliable narration has to exist somewhere else in the books. In the case of Sansa's kiss, we're able to compare the kiss in real time from an earlier book to the kiss in Sansa's memory in a later book, which is how we're able to identify Sansa's memory as unreliable narration and thus appreciate it. Another example is when Arya mixes up east and west. We're able to trace her journey over several chapters and figure out which side of God's Eye she is traveling on, the east or the west side. So in order for us to be justified in classifying Summer's dragon as unreliable narration, we need to find the place where the author provided irrefutable, concrete proof (an unkiss is never a kiss, east is never west) that it could not possibly have been a real dragon.
  6. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    Well here is the quote I'm thinking of. So I guess the debate we would need to have about this quote is very similar to the debate about Summer's dragon. Is Bran looking into the past? The future? Are the dragons metaphorical? Do they only exist in the vision? Is this a dream rather than a vision? To what extent do dreams or visions reflect reality? On and on it goes. The implication seems obvious to me that the dragons near Asshai are real and modern dragons. But okay, sure. The story is written in a postmodern style and we have to behave like all interpretations are equally valid. Martin has created a pretty fascinating fan environment, whether intentional or not. I'm noticing increasingly that the way in which any given reader interprets the ambiguous or fantastic parts of the story has a closer relationship with the individual's personality than with the story. For example I think dragons are cool and it turns out that I'm excited to find a hidden dragon in the story. As a result I find it easy to make a case for why a purposely ambiguous dragon might be real. My friend thinks dragons are stupid and he finds it easy to make a case for why a purposely ambiguous dragon might not be real. The results are that the potential for cognitive bias is exposed on both sides, the temptation of cognitive bias is readily available on both sides, and we're left in a situation where agreement on the subject is impossible and forced to face the dilemma of what to do about it. To wage violent war through ad hominem attacks, to draw borders and separate into tribes of thought, or to try to live peacefully together with our insoluble differences. It's the same dilemma the characters face with regards to magic and religion. So if writing is about making the reader feel what the character's feel, then well played George RR Martin. The fundamental question in the fandom seems to me to be a question of whether Martin intends to wrap up the story by playing in to our expectations of fantasy, playing against them, or allowing this ambiguity to linger beyond the resolution into eternity.
  7. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    Dragons exist near Asshai and always have. There are plenty of examples throughout real world history where people did not believe tales of strange beasts in far away lands. There's nothing wrong with the bear analogy. Some regions have bears and some don't. If it isn't too much trouble could you direct me to a single instance of unreliable narrator in any direwolf POV? As far as I can tell the direwolves are more reliable than the humans. There are several instances where the direwolves demonstrate prophetic capabilities, a complete understanding of their owner's language and intentions as well as those of people who intend to cause harm to the Starks, directly or indirectly. That's true, and many of those accounts turn out to be real animals that were either genetically freakish or mis-perceived due to optic conditions like darkness, reflections, optical illusions and things like that that are comparable to what we're seeing in Summer's fire and smoke scene. So unless you're suggesting that Summer is aware that the reader occupies his POV and is trying to hoax the reader, which I don't think you are, then you must be suggesting that, unlike most bigfoot and nessie sightings, what Summer saw was not some animal he mistook for a dragon. It was smoke and flames entirely. I hope that explains why the bigfoot argument isn't particularly convincing to me, considering that Summer growled at the not-a-dragon. If the dragon is representative of Jon Snow, then Summer growling at the dragon doesn't seem to align with that idea either. The direwolves growl at enemies of Starks, not Starks. Summer is growling at a symbolic representation of a Stark, so the credibility of the symbolism is weakened when I ask the question: Why would GRRM write Summer this way if the dragon is meant to represent a Stark? There's a mismatch that contradicts a thematic pattern that is well established throughout the story. Scientists don't dismiss the claims. They investigate the first one with enthusiasm. They still investigate such sightings when they seem credible, but after many decades without solid findings and a bunch of hoaxes they have become very good at identifying when a sighting is the consequence of a person's ignorance about wildlife or intentional deception, and when a sighting is worth investigating more closely. To use your comparison, Summer's dragon sighting is the first sighting. I'm in agreement with you that the appropriate response from we scientists is to behave like a scientists, which is to investigate the first sighting with enthusiasm. He didn't say the people are lemmings as far as I can tell. He said the logic you're employing is lemmings. I think lemmings are creatures that follow one another blindly. I wouldn't assume that is what you're doing because I think the not-a-dragon camp has enough good points to stand on and it's perfectly understandable to me why you are standing on them. But regardless of the lemming characterization I think the line of reasoning you're using for some of your points is faulty. If I remember correctly the OP didn't chime in with his own arguments until several pages into the discussion. You seem to be suggesting that the appropriate response in the face of majority disagreement is to change your mind to be in alignment with the majority. That kind of fallacious reasoning might be the source of the lemming criticism. No amount of belief makes a fact.
  8. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    I came across this passage today and since it seems to relate to the topic I'll share it here. In what way is the theory debunked? Neither position seems rooted firmly enough to call the matter settled. You may consider it settled but the fact that your opinion is in alignment with the majority opinion in no way makes it more factual than any other opinion. We're free to think for ourselves. This comment seems like an attempt to silence opinions you disagree with by leveraging the social advantage of consensus to shut down discussion about the topic entirely. There is nothing wrong with talking about a topic that has already been talked about before. That's a ridiculous implication, especially considering we haven't seen a new book for the main series in years. In case you haven't noticed, people are arguing against him too. It isn't a one sided assault like you're trying to portray. Argument is a positive thing when it's done with civility. Argument is simply discussion about a disagreement. Unless we're going to suggest that disagreement isn't worth discussing, which I think is one of the fundamental beliefs at the heart of a growing cancer in modern education and intellectual discussion, then arguing our notions--preconceived or post-conceived or otherwise--is exactly what we should be doing.
  9. rustythesmith

    Poll: Did Summer See a Dragon?

    Yeah fair enough. But it goes both ways. I don't think either of us want to open up the philosophical can of worms that is the nature of truth/reality/fact/proof but I don't see how else we can proceed if this is your stance. I think we can agree that the world is such that a thing can be very credible while also being untrue. For example: All doves are white. Earth is flat. The Sun revolves around Earth. These are things we can evidence in many different ways and for a long time without ever encountering an error, or evidence that contradicts them. Intuitively we know that somewhere in the world there must exist a dove that isn't white. Perhaps it is a rare genetic mutation or the dove fell into a bucket of black paint. But finding him is another problem entirely. That's the problem I think you're describing with existence. If I could manage to gather all the doves in the world in one place and examine them, I could prove the dove question one way or the other way and, in doing so, disprove the opposite. Surely those doves exist to be gathered if I had the means to gather them. If I could manage to gather all the informations about the universe in one place and examine them, I could prove the god question one way or the other way and, in doing so, disprove the opposite. Surely those facts exist to be gathered if I had the means to gather them. So it is possible to prove that something doesn't exist. It just isn't easy and it depends entirely on your standards of proof. Even after I gather all the doves in the world, examine them and proclaim that all doves are white, you could lay the valid criticism that perhaps somewhere there is a crow who has transformed into a dove, and so I can't be sure that I have accounted for all the doves. To that I might say your standards of proof are unreasonable, to which you might respond that, in order to complete the proof that all doves are white, I first need to prove that it is not possible for a crow to transform into a dove. That of course is a proof I can never make to the satisfaction of the standards of proof you have established. So unless we're going to throw our hands in the air and proclaim that all things are possible all the time, and all interpretations are equally true and valid, then we have to come to some kind of agreement about the standards of proof. The notion that we can never satisfactorily prove that something doesn't exist is completely untenable. Because of that, I prefer to argue credibility rather than truth/real/fact/proof. Whichever claim can be evidenced across the highest number of dimensions, the most relevant dimensions or both is the stronger claim. We may get stuck believing something untrue for a long time such as geocentrism but the untruth will be useful in those dimensions where it appears to be true. Usefulness, as it turns out, is the only measure of truth available that isn't entirely demolished by relativism. Thank god for pragmatism. From a pragmatic approach, the burden of proof for any claim lies on any person who wishes to convince another person. I have to evidence my points to you and you have to evidence your points to me, to the degree that we want to convince one another. The imbalance arises when we introduce consensus. If the majority of people are in agreement that every individual is innocent until proven guilty, for example, then the burden of proof weighs more heavily on the accuser than the accused. Likewise, if the majority of people are in agreement that the Winterfell dragon was not a living dragon, then the burden of proof weighs more heavily on the people who think it is a real dragon. I think earlier in this topic I listed evidence and my reasoning for why I think it's probably a real dragon. Or rather, what I consider credible evidence. I won't presume to know what your standards of proof are. The evidence that it is a real dragon seems more abundant and relevant than the evidence that it isn't a real dragon. That's not to say that there isn't good evidence against the dragon being real, because there is. I simply think the idea that it's a real dragon fits better with what I read and have experienced regarding stories and this story. And if it does appear in the story, which it did, you can just argue that it was smoke and mirrors again, which you did. It was a dream sequence. It was a metaphorical hypothetical dragon. It was an unreliable narrator. It was not a literal dragon but a Targaryen, a Velaryan, or a Blackfyre. This unproductive back and forth is the reason we need to either define the parameters of what constitutes proof/evidence/truth/relevance or agree to disagree if we're not going to define them. Yes, that's agreeable. Now who defines concrete and real? That is the problem. The burden of proof is on me to the degree that I care to convince you, which is not particularly high but not zero either. A blind man is as content to exchange gold for copper as a one-eyed man to exchange copper for gold. If I have the truth and you don't then the truth will serve me in ways that you won't be served. If it's the other way around then I won't be served. Whichever way it is, I'm not particularly bothered by it. I've had the opportunity to listen to ideas alternative to mine, considered them, and decided that I still prefer mine. That's ok. I don't weigh consensus into my personal assessment of what the words in the books mean. When the discussion becomes tenable again I may find the energy to continue attempting persuasion. Yes you can. Which is why it doesn't hold water for me. Something that can mean everything means nothing. Jon is not referenced anywhere in the scene. The scene is not referenced anywhere in Jon. ("North of the Wall he felt free like a dragon set loose from its icy prison." (Not in the book)) In order for something to qualify as a prophecy, it needs to predict a future event. What the smoke dragon does, if your interpretation is correct, is predict a past event. That is not a prediction, by definition, therefore the smoke dragon is not prophetic. At least not with regards to Jon. I've skimmed but haven't caught up on everything, but if you're referring to personification in smoke and mirrors descriptions such as at blackwater then I like those. I was hoping somebody would bring them to the table because they demonstrate a good point for team Not A Dragon. GRRM personifies the elements. Now show me somebody growling at those elements or interacting with them as if they were living flesh, because that's what Summer did. You attempted to discredit me by associating my reasoning with the reasoning used in unrelated theories. If you can't discredit my points by staying on point then don't resort to fallacious association tactics. I made my burden of proof comment with the assumption that your standards of proof were grounded at some reasonable level. They aren't, so I concede the burden of proof point. The burden is shared equally. The percentages I gave were estimates of my personal assessment. They are not qualifications of any kind. You've incorrectly interpreted the percentages as some kind of truth claim. They reflect my opinion. I've corrected you on it and now you've misinterpreted them again as qualifications for god knows what. I can only conclude now that you're misrepresenting me intentionally. Intentional misrepresentation is what I find irritating. A smoke dragon that represents Jon Snow would be a metaphor. Metaphor is subtext. We can try to wield metaphor like metatext and see if it works. One of the heuristics I use to figure out if something is metatext is to test its usefulness as a rule applied to situations that look like the situation in which I found it. Clues to the reader occur at every layer. They aren't confined to metatext. The best discoveries synthesize text, subtext and metatext. I'll try to take the metaphorical Jon dragon interpretation and test its usefulness as a rule applied to situations that look like the situation in which I found it. Metaphorical Jon: There's a personified element of nature (smoke and fire) who is performing an action (escaping Winterfell) that the character it represents (Jon) has acted out in the past. Metaphorical Who?: There's a personified element of nature (wildfire) who is performing an action (Choose from: dancing upon the river, holding whips, touching things, eating his own, ran a finger, stroking the river with torches, destroying ships, winning sea battles, insert your own interpretation of what the wildfire monster is doing) that the character it represents (Who?) has acted out in the past. If we can find a character who slots into the second situation well then I will feel comfortable calling Winterfell's personified elements a metatextual sign post that is meant to signal to the reader that personified elements often or always represent characters. I think that might exist. It seems plausible. Maybe not with the wildfire personification but perhaps with a different one somewhere. This is where I think you sabotage your credibility. I'm able to acknowledge the plausibility that the dragon isn't real but you aren't able to acknowledge the plausibility that the dragon is real. Both are plausible, and that's as objective a fact as we can hope to find. If we can't agree on that then we aren't arguing credibility anymore. We're arguing truth. Which is something I'm not at all interested in doing. It demonstrates undue certainty which I think is something we both recognize is bothersome and counterproductive, judging from your previous false accusations that I've expressed certainty on my position.
  10. Sorry if my feedback was not clear. I was trying to delineate the degree and scope of presuppositions in which an individual idea or connection is nested in order to demonstrate what I think is the major difficulty with the theory as a whole which is made up of many individually tenuous connections. Several of the connections I think are plausible individually. It's when they're stacked on top of one another that I think they topple. I'm glad you liked it and thanks for your feedback.
  11. Very ironical that the thing that was supposed to be very good was not. My reply is already in there somewhere.
  12. When it's convenient for you, we're dealing with riots in the streets and the fall of governments. When it's convenient for you, we're not setting the world to rights. How about we acknowledge that emotionally motivated reasoning is unwelcome anywhere. And stop trying to justify it with an ends justifies the means argument. The OP didn't even remotely suggest that Martin is a political or cultural arsonist, that this would lead to riots in the streets or the fall of civilization. What you're implying is that his faulty interpretation is the projection of his horrendous political beliefs. The problem with that is that you don't know anything about his political beliefs. You misrepresented him in order to make him easier for you to attack. An interpretation isn't an allegation either. This is what he actually said. So that's the kind of tactic I'm talking about. It's low, vicious and counter productive. Nothing. What's troubling is the weaponizing of your skepticism. You're using it as a justification to attack the idea and the person before you had heard the idea. I shouldn't have to remind you that even if you disagree with a person's idea, there is no justification to attack the person. A valid discussion. Much of what happened was character attacks in the throes of outrage. Not discussion. More post-hoc reasoning. The ends don't justify the means. They never ever do. That's at the heart of the premise of the books we're supposed to be talking about. Hopefully we can get back to them soon. Yeah except we both know that you implied the hell out of it. I'll grant you the plausible deniability you're clinging to. Everyone else is doing it so it's okay. The fact that you feel sneered at should signal to you that you did something wrong. If I've said anything untrue please tell me what it is. No, but I might get people adhere to the forum's rules. Asking for help is grandstanding? The only mistake the OP made was to answer the sneering questions of people like you who are more concerned with depriving a potential charlatan of gratification than helping someone who might not in fact be a charlatan. Name another way to recruit qualified and curious minds. Perhaps you would have him private message thousands of users individually over the course of several months. The title of the thread clearly states the preliminary nature of the topic and tells us that this thread in particular is not a place to discuss a theory. Everyone knew what they were clicking on. By my estimation, particularly fragile people were offended by the exclusivity of the recruitment and so they retaliated. The only thing I "marketed" was that we should hear peoples' ideas before we criticize the idea or the person. And that the books are written in such a way that certainty is a natural consequence of the discovery of great truth. That argument holds true in reference to every theory and theorist under the sun. You mistakenly interpreted what I said as some kind of marketing campaign because you had already decided that the OP is your enemy. Then the friend of your enemy is your enemy. Let's look at what you said, shall we? Now let's look at the definition of gaslighting. So I understand you just fine. I'm not the type to sit quietly when these tactics are used against me. But neither am I the type to hold a grudge about it. Occasionally I can muster the pigheadedness to come to someone's defense when I see them used against another person. I'm accustomed to the tendency for people to become hostile when their mistakes are pointed out to them, so it doesn't bother me. That doesn't make sense. How can I believe a theory that I have not heard? As difficult as it is for me to believe that that is the interpretation you took from my words, I've already resigned to it. They aren't two separate points. They're two parts of the same point. The first is a source of the second. Because of the truth will out phenomenon, the validity of claims to strong truth that I have yet to examine tends to be higher than the validity of claims to average truth. As a consequence, I believe that people are genuine in their belief and that that is the best way for me to behave. Regardless of the theorist or their manner, I don't judge a theory's validity until after I've had a chance to actually examine the theory, and I think that is also the best way to behave, but for everyone. Regardless of what I think about the theory, there aren't any circumstances in which I purposely lay ad hominem attacks at the theorist unprovoked, implied or otherwise. Provoked is another matter. If the extension of this basic degree of respect makes me seem holier than thou to you, that doesn't reflect well upon you. I respectfully disagree. All those theories and sensationalized claims are welcome to be shared, no matter how ridiculous I think they are. You may be entirely right about that. Perhaps we need a new policy that we should not take claims like this seriously - that an interpretation of the story may cause real world harm. That should prevent fake concern from being used as a hype tactic and misguided concern from disrupting the community. The only thing I would caution is that a policy like that will also squelch real concern, should it arise. So maybe a policy like that should be weighed against the prevalence of fake or misguided concerns. Is concern for real world harm a common occurrence? This is the first time I have personally ever seen it. I have a bad eye for irony and a mild appreciation for it as well. There are ironies in your previous comments and in the nature of the subject, but I don't see irony in the comments you seem to be referring to. If you would point out the irony you're referring to so that I can enjoy it I would be grateful. I think most people would prefer this unimpressive back and forth to end and so would I, so it will. I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.
  13. I lean the same way, so I understand where you're coming from. However attempting to discredit the theory and attack the theorist before you have even seen the theory is a bad strategy if you want to be exposed to new ideas, make friends or facilitate the sharing of ideas. It also impedes the discovery of truth, which is why societies take measures to curb against these emotional biases in everything from engineering to justice. I share the same skepticism. What bothers me isn't your skepticism but your lack of control over it at the expense of others. You've laid emotionally driven criticisms against an idea, the person sharing it, and mocked his concerns with sharing it. You purposely misrepresented him with phrases like "riots in the streets" and "fall of governments." You criticized his political opinions without any knowledge of his political opinions. You accused him of projecting his political opinions onto the story, and you did it all based on nothing but your own skepticism. The community dog piled him with the same treatments and for the same pathetic reasons. I feel the same way as you. What gets under my skin is the emotionally driven reasoning that contaminates the sharing of ideas. I understand you well. You've already resorted to a multitude of bad faith argumentation tactics. Let's not add gaslighting to the list. Since you don't seem to understand me, let me use your terms. We live in a world where people kill each other over their interpretations of books. You've criticized the OP for merely seeking out guidance on whether or not his interpretation would cause real world problems for Martin, because it is laughable that Martin would need protection from an idea. Then you went on to suggest that we ought to censor his idea because it is worthwhile to protect Martin from the interpretation of the interpretation. Does that highlight the hypocrisy? No, I'm merely saying that I believe it is due courtesy and a better strategy to behave as if he is neither mistaken nor trolling us. I understand how what I said can be misinterpreted that way. There may have been a better way to formulate it, but that was the best I could manage at the time. The fair play nature of the mysteries is strongly related to the reason I tend to believe that people are sincere in their belief. Those two statements can't be separated while conveying the same point, but maybe they can be reformulated. One clue tends to lead to another because Martin is diligent in providing clues, as obscured as they are sometimes. I've been doing this for a few years now and that doesn't surprise me. I'm well aware that many people do not believe that the author is intending to provide metatextual sign posts to facilitate the solving of his mysteries. The use of metaphor isn't equivalent to cryptography. I have a bad habit of attributing to malevolence what can be explained by ignorance, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not purposely trying to discredit me using a false equivalence. If you would like to discuss metatext more I think it could be an interesting topic for another thread. This one will have run its course soon and the topic of metatext I expect will be a long one. Some of the clues to those puzzles or mysteries exist on the two surface layers. Perhaps a good example of that would be Roose Bolton's military movements that signal his shifting allegiance. At the same time, some of the clues exist on the meta layer where Martin is communicating the tricks the reader needs to watch out for by demonstrating the characters using those tricks against each other. Those clues are often more difficult to find, which is why we sometimes don't find them until after we already know the answer and find it during a reread. But they're absolutely meant to be discoverable before we know the answer. Though not without great effort. The majority of the readership is not interested enough in these meticulous games to devote the time necessary to play them to completion. But I think most readers do sense the meta layer, appreciate it, and engage with it to varying degrees. Much of the time I think it manifests in the form of "GRRM is a genius" which is a sentiment that I think we all share, that has deeper meaning more difficult to articulate, but that we all sense. The latter for sure. He has damaged his credibility in future claims of concern for Martin and I'll probably be less likely to read his theories because of it. However the ends do not justify the means.
  14. He seems to be claiming that he has found something, not that he has placed it there. You have already decided that what he has found has no valid substance before you have seen it. I don't need to point out the flaws in that reasoning. I think you're well aware of the intellectually dishonest tactics you're trying to use to discredit him at all costs. All because you can't tolerate the idea that maybe, just maybe, somebody might know something you don't about a silly story and is being cautious about sharing it for fear of causing more harm than good. Trust me, we noticed. Some random fan on a forum is going to tarnish GRRM and you're going to protect GRRM? Wait, isn't this the same thing you are criticizing him for? Make up your mind. Is it a worthwhile pursuit or not? Oh boy. I'm sure we and the site can survive any interpretation of the story. Even unpopular ones. There you go misrepresenting again. I didn't say it makes him right. I said I tend to believe people who say they have found something solid. Those are two very different things. There's a longer explanation of my reasoning for it earlier, but in short it is because I believe it is a better strategy. Though it may seem foreign to you, I try to reserve judgement about somebody's theory until after I've actually heard it. Patterns and puzzles are often placed there for the readers to find, too. The author is known to say a lot of things about the patterns and puzzles in these books. "The books are filled with little puzzles and enigmas and reversals." Both quotes are true. One doesn't preclude the other. Well I'm glad we have you to provide the true insight into Martin's intentions and steer us away from people like the OP whose interpretations are undoubtedly pure projection and wish fulfillment from the depths of his ideological subconscious. The book is the cipher. ASOIAF can be analyzed in many different ways. On the surface is a narrative layer constrained by the POV's perceptions, biases, and misunderstandings. Below that is maybe a secondary narrative layer that requires us to read what isn't written. That would involve breaking free of the POV's perceptions by questioning character motivations, cross referencing chapters to find faulty perceptions, and synthesizing POVs to gain a higher resolution picture of the narrative. Below that somewhere is a meta layer that can only be accessed through faith, or rather by presupposing that there is value in metaphor. That's where narrative events transform into precedents that map how to approach the puzzles. All the layers are meant to be intelligible.
  15. rustythesmith

    most tragic character

    You're using vague terms and I'm not sure what each line is referring to so please correct me if I guess wrong. Jon volunteered for the Watch, so it seems mildly inaccurate to call it a chance or an opportunity. This opportunity requires that you swear off women, family, land, titles and allegiances for the rest of your life. For that, you have the privilege to labor in the freezing north beside an ungodly large chuck of ice while eating crappy food and traveling nowhere until you die of injury or old age. Alternatively Jon could have done just about anything else with his life, with all his freedoms intact. The Night's Watch is certainly a noble sacrifice but it seems like Jon bought into the lie that the Night's Watch is a fulfilling calling. It seems like you are referring to Janos Slynt who received a lot of votes in the election. How is what Janos did a minor offense? Jon gave Janos 30 men and ordered him to repair castle Greyguard, and Janos refused a direct order and threw a tantrum. Jon was pretty calm and he let Janos sleep on it, hoping that Janos would change his mind. The next day Janos was still disobedient and antagonistic, which forced Jon to enact some kind of punishment. Jon considered locking Janos in an ice cell but he knew that Janos would return to his old ways as soon as he lets him free. So the only reasonable choice is to execute him. Janos's death is completely Janos's fault. He had every opportunity to shape up, and the law needs to apply equally to everyone regardless of their popularity. What course of action would you take to deal with a completely disobedient and antagonistic member of the Night's Watch who is constantly working to undermine your authority to your face as well as behind your back?
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