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About rustythesmith

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  1. I mean outside of the text, or metatextually. It's like a game or a riddle between the author and the reader. To the characters, prophecies are indistinguishable from dreams or magic, and they tend to cause the characters problems when they pursue them. When the story says something, or when a character in the story says or thinks something, we can step back and look at it like a story and recognize that everything the story says is actually something the author is saying. He's just trying to say it indirectly through his characters and themes. So when a character says something like We're invited to wonder if Martin is speaking to us metatextually through Melisandre. 'Is there something here that isn't really here? And that I am only seeing because I expect to see it?' Most of the time the facile reading is all there is, and there's no meta meaning to a line. But when an idea keeps coming up over and over again, that's a pretty good indication that there's more going on. My degree of confidence that an idea, phrase or pattern is a metatextual sign-post is proportionate to the number of times that it recurs. The characters may or may not be aware of when a prophecy resolves. Sometimes they are aware of it and sometimes they aren't. That's different from a character being aware of a prophecy's resolution. For example, every character is aware that Joffrey died, but no character is aware that it was the resolution to the Ghost of High Heart's prophecy about a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair who slew a king. Except perhaps the Ghost of High Heart. Melisandre in particular seems to have inherited the curse of her real world mythological namesake Cassandra. Like Cassandra, Melisandre seems cursed to utter true prophecies, but never to be believed. So I think Melisandre's correctness will sadly continue failing to reach her awareness, and that will continue to be the cause of her internal conflict, self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
  2. I can see for myself why people think what they think, because they tell us in their posts. I have an intimate understanding of this prophecy in particular and the pitfalls in which the readers get trapped, because I spent a very long time struggling through these traps myself, and because I solved this prophecy years ago, wrote the book on it and made a movie out of it. You're right that I'm not the only smart reader. Many other readers were involved in the research and discussions necessary to find the connections that would allow me to put the pieces together. I'm just the madman who had the time to do it. But it wasn't all friendship and roses. Along the way there were plenty of thought-police who thought they were helping but were just in the way.
  3. Yes, personally that's a relatively easy choice. If I were Dareon I would be majorly unconcerned with the well-being of either Aemon, Sam or Gilly. I might feel a slight pang of guilt if they're at risk of starvation, but certainly not enough to throw away this rare opportunity to "desert" this band of criminals called the Night's Watch and the society that unjustifiably placed me among them. How many more years will I have to wait before I have an opportunity to desert the Night's Watch so effectively? Braavos is a long way away and the Night's Watch can hardly spare the resources and bodies to reach Dareon across the Narrow Sea. Dareon can take a new name, a new haircut, and make a relatively phenomenal life for himself with his musical skills. I can see Sam's side too. If I were Sam I would have fought Dareon too. Sam was unfairly sent to the Night's Watch too, so he might think Dareon should pick up his suffering and carry on with it. And then from Dareon's point-of-view, that's an easy criticism for Sam to make when Sam has a woman of his own, a comfortable future at the Citadel, and then a prestigious position at the Wall to look forward to as the Maester and best friend of the Lord Commander.
  4. Yes, I mean he is on her list and therefore condemned to death.
  5. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZrvEAVaBGNOjb1DbDNPwtA?view_as=subscriber LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@applesanddragons:f BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/BnX6YXFFa0zP/ Blog: https://applesanddragons.home.blog/
  6. I tend to think of Sansa's hardships as penance for what I call her original crimes. She betrayed Arya and Ned, and I think those are easy to identify because they're significantly wrong, even if understandable or forgivable. But Arya's original crimes are hard to pin down. She doesn't seem to have any big mistakes in her beginning. There are a few small ones like being unappreciative of her sister sometimes, being disobedient and being naive of the world and how it works. But she's nine or ten years old, so none of those seem particularly damning either. My sister and I fought when we were that age too. It's normal for siblings to fight even while the relationship is still fundamentally characterized by loyalty and an unbreakable bond. I want to say that there is no character who has been through as much hardship as Arya. But I think that's wrong. There are characters who have been through as much hardship as Arya. It's just that Arya is a kid, which changes some things. (1) Traumatic events that are normalized for the adults are not yet normalized for Arya. (2) And it's hard to imagine that a kid has earned as much suffering as Arya is going through. It's so profoundly unfair that I find myself turning my critical eye from the story to the author. What the hell is Martin doing with Arya? By all rights, he should have sent her home in ACOK. Whatever lesson was to be learned, perhaps about family, I think she learned it a long time ago. Now I think the answer is staring me in the face. The unfairness is the recipe. The question Martin seems to be dealing with in this character is the same question that underlies much of what everyone has to say about Arya. How far gone is too far gone? Is it possible for a person to have her father torn away from her by a corrupt king and a treasonous sister, and still be okay at the end? Is it possible to forgive such things? Is it possible to have your mother and brother torn away just a moment before you're reunited with them and still be okay at the end? Can she carry the guilt of murder? Can she hold on to hope when the gods seem to smother it at every turn? Can she hold on to herself when herself is the one person it isn't safe to be? Can she hold on to Jon and Sansa and home? Can she do it for a year? For two? Three? The further Arya's story goes, the more difficult it is to believe that she will be okay in the end. I think most people have a sense that, after experiences of such magnitude, there is no going back to being the person she used to be. Not entirely and not mostly. But maybe fundamentally. Arya is holding onto her identity as stubbornly as the readers are holding onto her happy ending. I feel it slipping away with every turn of the page, but I still can't let it go. There's a sense that my hope is linked with hers. And so I think I'm going to be hyper-receptive to whatever it is that Martin's story has to say about people or the world in the final assessment of Arya Underfoot. Arya's Crimes These are crimes in the context of the theme rather than crimes of law, particularly. As far as I can tell, the most consistent idea that runs through the story is some sort of criticism of good and evil world views. So that's the theme. Like most of the characters, Arya begins the story with a good and evil understanding of people and the world. She condemns the Hound for killing Mycah, and that's completely understandable. But she never stops to imagine herself in the Hound's shoes. The Hound is sworn to protect and obey the royal family. He was ordered to hunt down a boy who reportedly injured the King. Sandor doesn't know the truth of the Lady situation any better than Robert does. Since Arya has judged the Hound evil, the appropriate thing to do with evil people is, of course, to kill them. So she adds him to her list. Arya does this over and over again throughout the story. She condemns Meryn Trant to die and the reader is left to his own devices. Does Meryn deserve to die or doesn't he? I think, upon closer inspection, Meryn's situation is similar to the Hound's. He doesn't deserve to die, and Arya is too quick to judge people evil and kill them. Take Dareon for example. Upon first glance it seems like he deserves to die too. I dislike Dareon after seeing him from Sam's point-of-view. He's a deserter, and the appropriate punishment for desertion in this setting is death. Additionally, I can look at Arya's heritage in the North where the Night's Watch is highly revered and see that Arya might even feel a sense of duty to give Dareon the punishment he has earned. But upon closer inspection I find once again that the supposed evil character has a sympathetic story of his own. Dareon never should have been sent to the Wall in the first place. He was invited into a girl's room for sex. When they were caught by her father, she falsely accused Dareon of rape in order to escape responsibility and her father's judgement. If I were in Dareon's situation, would I honor my vow to the Night's Watch? Would I honor my vow to hold no lands, father no children and spend the rest of my life rotting at the miserable frozen edge of the world protecting the civilization that betrayed me? When a self-righteous little girl who knows nothing about my situation cuts my throat and dumps me in a canal, am I thinking "Yeah, I deserve this?" Well, probably not. So these are the sort of moral exercises I think the readers are supposed to be doing. And from what I can tell, the author is consistent in this condemnation of good and evil world views. The theme hangs over Arya like an executioner's sword, and I tend to want to think that Arya is exempt from this condemnation because of her age. But I don't think she is. Being young or ignorant does not seem to exonerate characters of the narrative consequences of contradicting the theme. "Everything serves the almighty theme" as I've heard Martin say in an interview. That said, I don't think the narrative consequences of contradicting the theme necessarily have to be a wholly unhappy ending, as they might in a conventional story.
  7. If it isn't a lot of trouble could you expound on that please?
  8. Azor Ahai Melisandre isn't wrong about her Azor Ahai prediction. The readers misinterpret her prediction. Melisandre's original prediction wasn't that Stannis is Azor Ahai. It was that Dragonstone will be the place where Azor Ahai is reborn amidst smoke and salt. She mistakenly thought Stannis was Azor Ahai because she knows for certain from the original vision that Dragonstone is the place where Azor Ahai will be reborn. When she arrived at Dragonstone she found Stannis there, a claimant to the throne. Much like the reader's mistake, Melisandre's mistake is that she jumped the gun and settled upon a conclusion too soon. Azor Ahai hasn't been "reborn" at Dragonstone yet, but he/she will be reborn at Dragonstone in a future book, in some interpretation of the words reborn, smoke, salt and so on. Melisandre The reason GRRM says Melisandre is the most misunderstood character is because he wrote her to be misunderstood. His answer was akin to patting himself on the back in a way that is only identifiable to himself, reminiscent of the speech of Littlefinger and Varys. It's also a way of hiding the truth in plain sight, because he knows that the way people will interpret his words is not the way he means them. And that the common interpretation will drown out any other interpretations. Melisandre is written in a way that will cause the less investigative and metaphorically inclined readers to believe that she is foolish and wrong all of the time. The more-investigative and metaphorically inclined readers will find that, much like other prophets and seers, Melisandre occupies a wise fool role. Her visions always come true in some interpretation. But in every case, only the first and original interpretation is valid. Every re-iteration, re-telling and re-interpretation of the vision and the original telling moves Melisandre, the characters and the readers further away from the original vision and telling. It does this for a number of reasons: Because we take shortcuts with speech, we omit vital details, we make faulty assumptions, we use faulty logic. That's why the original telling has to basically be enshrined. It has to be carefully remembered word-for-word so that it can be referenced over and over again. Because part of our job is thinking up new interpretations of the words. Every possible interpretation of those words has to be explored because the author is using symbolism, metaphor, slippery language and he's manipulating our expectations to his advantage. Which is only to say that he wants to pleasantly surprise us. Girl in grey One of the faulty logics that readers tend to use when interpreting the girl in grey prophecy is to assume that a person must be wrong if she is biased. Melisandre's bias towards Arya being the girl in grey stands out to the reader very clearly. One might say too clearly. She obviously wants to give Jon good news. If a prophet is supposed to be objective in her interpretations then Melisandre's conflict of interest is apparent. So with a prophecy, an author is trying to trick the inattentive readers until they become attentive, because that's what a prophecy is. It's foreshadowing that announces itself so that the mystery of how it will resolve can be played like a game. And he knows that some people will be rather pleased with themselves for spotting Melisandre's bias and rejecting the Arya interpretation right from the start. The result is that the player is on the wrong path before he has hardly begun, and on that path there are many red herrings that need to be overcome. But the truth is that a person being biased does not necessarily mean that she's wrong. It's perfectly possible for a person to be biased and correct. So the reader's inability to solve the mystery will be a consequence of his own shortcoming rather than that of the author or story. And that's exactly what GRRM wants in every case. If I thought a person being biased means the person is wrong, that mistake rests entirely upon me rather than the story. It's simply my own failure of reasoning, because the right answer was available all along. As much as I love this prophecy and these books, I find that I often become frustrated when I talk about them. Because in order to talk about them it requires a lot of teaching and unteaching. Thankfully I enjoy teaching, but when I begin doing it people tend to get combative, because teaching carries the implication that I know something they don't. The obstacle is really peoples' insecurities, and I don't know how to fix that for other people. I have enough trouble with my own. It's easier to trick a person than to convince him that he has been tricked. And ASOIAF is a whopper of a trick.
  9. Hey this is my first post. I was using the wiki to make some trivia games about the dragons and I found some things to fix or add. I tried to register for wiki editing but registration is closed. This looks like the place to suggest changes so I'll just put them here. Page: Rhaegal Line: When Daenerys receives the news of the Usurper's death Rhaegal is on her lap. Suggestion: Drogon is on her lap rather than Rhaegal. I considered the possibility that both of them could have been on her lap at the same time, but the text seems to indicate not. Reference: Page: Rhaegal Line: Alias: The green beast Suggestion: I searched but I couldn't find anywhere Rhaegal is called The green beast. He was called the green dragon though, and even a fat lady. Page: Drogon Suggestion: Rhaegal and Viserion are described with black teeth but Drogon's teeth description is missing. Drogon's teeth are black too. Reference:
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