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  1. True - except this is a story, so constructed in a way that's interesting and meaningful. (We could assume the opposite - that Mel is just spewing nonsense - but what then? Is this random filler even worth our time to read, let alone discuss?)
  2. This! So for me I hope Howland's intervention was with words - somehow he got Dayne talking, and negotiated whatever it was that explains all of the above.
  3. Now I think she is being a bit dismissive here, but besides that, I wonder what makes her think this. I presume it is a vision, if so I have to question how likely it really is, given Melisandre doesn't have a fool proof track record when it comes to interpretation her visions. Her track record (and the other red priests' and Jojen's, and Maggy's) shows that prophetic visions are real, but are hard to make use of. As a rule, they come true, though maybe in an unexpected way. And maybe closing off one possibility just allows another to appear. So as things stand right now, destiny is saying the free folk will vanish. This is not even unlikely, given that they're all based at the Wall, for two reasons. First, the Wall is loaded with ghost imagery - ghost castles, watchers in the walls, Mad Axe and so on. The Wall is the land of the dead. Second (for everyone who believes that winter is in fact coming), a supernaturally enhanced winter will be impossible to survive there. A reminder of how Nan puts it: Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. The only hope for the wildlings is for the entire magic system to break, and all prophecies rendered void. GRRM wrote Mel and Old Nan in a way to be despised as truth tellers, but that also makes them a great place to hide facts in plain sight - I've no doubt he's done that. Where Mel might be wrong is not applying the 'one tower may stand in for another' principle. It's possible the free folk in her vision are merely the symbol for free-willed humanity in general - this would be the ghost grass scenario, everyone a wight of sorts, and mind control (from gods/Others/whatever) ruling over all.
  4. You're a harsh critic, you know! Poor little AI. Wrong, but maybe revealing. ChatGPT doesn't seem to have built up a body of facts to rely on, but repeats what is commonly said - it is commonly said that Daenerys is the last surviving member of the deposed Targaryen dynasty, in-world and out. And the older brother thing - the most common event is that the oldest brother inherits the throne, and seemingly ChatGPT parlays this into 'inherits' = 'oldest', without understanding the context of Robert being the dead king. True, but harsh. fAegon is almost always used without any explanation. The question is unanswerable! Even humans don't agree on it. Another interesting one. ChatGPT is programmed to please - a smarter AI would have smacked you down by pointing out that the answer was on potential 'rightful' rulers of Westeros, and Tommen doesn't belong on that list.
  5. I really, really hope so! Someone should definitely sit down and think about teaching computers to read novels.
  6. Exactly so. But then people do terrible things with free will, so we've got another problem. I reckon control versus free will is the foundation stone of the entire structure of the books. I reckon the Others are the epitome of control - corpse handlers, skinchangers, puppeteers. And so, (getting into near-tinfoil territory now), because knights are bound by honour and duty etc, sometimes to extreme levels, I think the template of knighthood comes not from Andals or First Men, but from the mysterious and spooky world of Ice. This gives us an alternative take on 'true knight - not as protector of weak humanity, but the perfection of duty: so, killer robot or animated corpse. Gregor Clegane is no true knight, but Ser Robert Strong absolutely is. And to be honest, the most knightly of the knights (the White Bull, the Sword of the Morning) come close to this ideal too. They both have lots of free will, though. Intriguing thought. I can't really see Barri giving Arya any survival skills. And yet, and yet... Barristan's not quite so rigid as he was. Maybe he could give her something - maybe just seeing him in action would give her a bit of hope, because so far she's just seen the good guys die. I'm a Sandor fan, but I've got to admit he's still off the rails mentally when he's with Arya, and I can't remember anything specific, but I'm pretty sure he transmits some of his nihilism and despair to her. But he did help her too. It is! I am on page 3.
  7. That's like saying the definition of vegetarianism is eating bacon, isn't it? At the end of the day, a knight is a killing machine, therefore a knight with chivalry is infinitely better than one without. It's the difference between Barristan and Gregor. ETA (Working backwards) - the Warrior is not the Knight because knights are bound by oaths and gods aren't. Knights serve, gods don't. A knight is not born, but created by being knighted by someone. Gods aren't. (I will now read the thread properly...)
  8. Best Jonsa thread I've ever seen! I don't see how anyone can deny the signs now. But I don't think it's going to happen (for the usual reasons). I think the signs and parallels point to the symbolic side of things - Jon as Aegon the Conqueror reborn, supported by both his sisters (Ygritte's tangled red hair points to Arya as much as Sansa). Symbols might not mean much in the everyday game of thrones, but I predict they do in matters of high Destiny - the battle for the dawn for example. Or she could remain single? That's not a tragedy - when the books end she'll still be very young, with time to find a partner who deserves her (from current evidence, Harry and Tyrion are far from that). If Sansa was going to find the love of her life, I'd think we'd have seen him by now, and they'd have made a connection - that just my impression from all the books containing romances I've read before. But she hasn't really connected to anyone, except Sandor, and for a number of reasons, he's not available to her. I think we might be looking at a rare example of courtly love in a modern novel. Or we might be looking at Jon, who knows?
  9. The devil is in the interpretation, isn't it? But I love the OP, there so much that feels right about it. I get the same vibe off Brienne's wanderings, especially when the place where she bumps into Pod ('Somehow Brienne had taken a wrong turn. She found herself in a dead end, a small muddy yard where three pigs were rooting round a low stone well. One squealed at the sight of her, and an old woman drawing water looked her up and down suspiciously.[...]') A wrong turn is an easy metaphor to take for Brienne's difficulties - so maybe the rest is metaphorical too? And beyond that, Brienne sees shadows wherever she goes; she sees Arya in Willow (Brienne wondered whether Willow might be more than she appeared [...] she was of the right age to be the younger sister [...] could it be?), and Sansa in Long Jeyne (A man laughed. "She thinks you're Sansa Stark."). GRRM even goes so far as to match up the matriarchs Masha and Catelyn with a 'red smile'. Elsewhere, Hyle Hunt is a reflection of Jaime, and the Elder Brother stands in for Sandor with what looks very much like a proxy confession. There's also the 'false' ending to her search - a castle of whispers, a young weirwood and a fool; a place where the Stark girls might wait for a ship that never comes. Sounds prophetic to me - which is a difficulty, because what prophecy gives is: what is, what has been, or what may be. This is way too broad to be possible to match up to events. Although - if Davos and Brienne are travelling through a prophetic landscape according to that definition, at least some of what they see should be in the past and easier to spot.
  10. Fire and blood - two versions of the same thing...
  11. Understood - but one of the fun things about Sansa is her lack of hero qualities, in a family that's full of the fantasy tropes. I'd be a little disappointed if she lands a hero role early in Winds, which could end up very generic and doesn't use what she learned in the game of thrones, which is to be subtle and unreadable and underestimated. A hidden dagger. Expertise might have contributed to the error of putting the tourney ground in the danger zone. Experts could have checked the snow and reported that no way would that ever come down (assuming of course that no-one's going to roll down the boulders stored for setting of avalanches). I admit it's the foreshadowing that mainly convinces me (as excellently set out by @sweetsunray). Reality can bend to it one more time.
  12. Don't reject it out of hand. GRRM likes repetition, shown by his dragon-of-time idea. Well, yeah. But people everywhere have made a total mess of storing up food for winter, and have to be reminded by the likes of Luwin and LF. Ridiculous, but there it is. There has been a long summer, and people have short memories. Also it's unlikely to be a natural avalanche - it may need (and get) a lot of help to get going.
  13. Well, to disrupt you further, I'll suggest that the green faction aren't weirwoods, but the Haunted Forest, and maybe trees generally. Very ordinary trees, but lots and lots of them, and very, very often described in terms of violence. Might add up to something.
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