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  1. Strongly. She did: But not strongly... Anyway, I think what's Robb's main problem is that he's too inexperienced to get the best out his war council. Cat shared her serious doubts, but the lords just the surface loyalty and enthusiasm. They should have had more to say about Roose. They've been his neighbours for years. Eons. The northerners put too much on Robb, too young, and guess what, he makes mistakes. We don't really know if Cat remembered to pass on Ned's advice (there was a lot happening) - but we know Robb rejected the Theon-hostage strategy, and probably wanted the archers in his army instead of sentry duty at the Neck. The situation had changed. This!
  2. To be fair, she did beg Robb to keep Theon close.
  3. I don't remember, have you got a quote for this? Yes.
  4. There's no deal yet - the gifts, the lies: her hand is forced every time. All the blame lies with Littlefinger. But I agree he wants to mould her, manipulate her. Make her more like him, less like a Stark.
  5. There's no sign of LF offering a deal like that (dresses and jewels in return for compliance). If there's no deal, she's not accepting a bribe. She has to comply anyway - there's three ways she could get dead here: LF murders her to keep her quiet, the Vale lords condemn her as a murderer's accomplice, or the Vale Lords expose her as Sansa the Regicide. The rich gifts are all about grooming, not bribery.
  6. All true... I looked up lacquer, and learned about tree sap, and wooden objects given shiny red finishes. That will do for me. Trees are a more nuanced identity that pure ice - the Children use torches to drive off wights, and Quaithe's mask is sometimes starlight - the stars that burn and watch over the R'hllorists. I'd like it if Quaithe was hiding a burned face, not a spider face: I believe Cornwell's 'Winter King' was a touchstone work for grrm and see parallels in it - sort of a shared palette of characters: the wicked princeling, the unacknowledged noble bastard, the repeat virgin bride, the one-handed warrior etc. The mask wearer was Morgan, whose face was horribly disfigured by fire. Sandor fits the bill too of course, but Quaithe is a better match for a magic user/priestess - it would be a nice little homage. ETA Another thing in Cornwell is that a child who survives the 'wrath' of a certain god is recognised as being especially beloved by that god. I sometimes wonder if burn victims are especially beloved of R'hllor - a baptism of fire, sort of thing. This is Moqorro: Blacker than coal, blacker than jet, blacker than a raven's wing. Burned, Victarion thought, like a man who has been roasted in the flames until his flesh chars and crisps and falls smoking from his bones. ETA2 Alayne's hair is 'burnt brown' - reflecting the suffering she has gone through? The favour of the god? Or being forced into a new alignment with fire people, away from her ice heritage. In an avalanche. Or a castle of snow. Either way, death is not what it used to be.
  7. I love the pace and development of agot. Not seen its equal anywhere.
  8. I'm curious, what was the bribe? Her wedding dress? Winterfell?
  9. Deep down I want Quaithe to be fire.... Still, theoretically it should be easy to prove - if she communicates to Dany through dreams, she's Other; if waking visions, she's fire. If I remember right though, it's not easy to tell. And all sorts of people get dreams, but very few visions. Second point - are both Melisandre and Quaithe shadowbinders do you think? I suppose they have to be, though it doesn't express the duality of ice and fire magic - and I too feel the duality is key (other, even bigger things may be out there, but the ice and fire conflict will decide the day).
  10. All true, but there might be something in it. Valyrian Steel is a very sophisticated product - there must have been versions before that which shared some of its ingredients/characteristics. The First Men wouldn't have a clue of course, (just as we don't really understand the nature of the sword 'Dawn') - but such a weapon would be so important it might be worth creating a rune or two to try and describe its origin story. This, very much. All those references to puppeteers and cyvasse are adding up. And the building picture is that the shadows and pawns are not just white walkers/shadow babies, but also the characters of Westeros etc - suggested by the 'mummer's dragon' and the red priest's Victarion vision, showing the black strings that make him dance. And Sansa herself being a piece, not yet a player, of course.
  11. I believe Osha: Winter's got no king - which sounds like either a queen (or even empress, suggested by the spider in the woods), or a spirit king. So I agree Jon must die to be that king, not so sure about Sansa. Yes, because Lady died, and Lady is made in the image of her child owner, as all the direwolves are. Or no, to fulfil that image of being the sole red rose among white ones (and again, that idea of not 'belonging' in the world of black and white). Either way, 'death' need not be permanent, because ice is so very, very good at preserving. Arya too - she may truly be found in the spring thaw, with Needle frozen to her grip, but she can come back. Likely she was a queen during winter too.
  12. It's unique at the start of the books. Also, Brightroar cost a king's ransom. The Starks can't pay the gold price like the Lannisters - the north is relatively poor. Therefore there was some event involved - likely true for other houses too - and that event is recent enough to be remembered as Brightroar's story is remembered. Ice's story is being held back. imho
  13. We're twice told it was forged with spells. It's an extraordinary object - a huge, dark, super-sharp sword from a distant land, and it's paraded under the reader's nose - twice - in the early chapters. Including a little history lesson from Cat, with the mystery of original Ice as a bonus. That's all I want to say on the subject, except - Brightroar appears to be named after an original, ancient Brightroar. Good grief, another one?
  14. I'll accept this. (Some time soon(ish) I'll start googling my way through the heresy threads, but right now I'm halfway through Wyrd Sisters and only two pages in to Trouserless Bob.) Even so - Ice has been introduced to us in such a mysterious and dramatic way, I feel a mundane explanation would be a damp squib, not matching the sweep and scale of the narrative. If there's nothing to discover here, I doubt Cat would have brought up Ice's origin at all. The unreliable narrator. Possible but I hope not, because the 400 years makes the time frame very tight (relative to the usual history of a VS sword, to be sure!). For a sword as significant as Ice, there should be some remarkable event marking its entry to Winterfell - and in the 150 year time frame, there is such an event: Aegon's Conquest. ETA To add a bit of weight to the above argument: It's not unlikely that the Targs had another VS sword. They come from the home of VS, and they are a powerful family (the dragons). It is likely that the Starks were rewarded for bending the knee, which saved Aegon enormous difficulty and expense. The dragons would hate the cold anyway.
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