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  1. Springwatch

    Is death good? Why fight the Others?

    Death isn't good or bad, exactly, but it is necessary for life as we know it. The same goes for suffering - nature red in tooth and claw, etc. I suspect the Others have an alternative to all that messy, painful life-and-death stuff. Get rid of the bodies. Strip the flesh from the soul (and how many flesh-stripping images have we seen so far? Feels like dozens). Preserve the ghost in living crystal (and how much living crystal... definitely some). Let everything else die. It's the ghost grass scenario. It's The Matrix. (which I have not seen, but I'm guessing it.) From the grrm universe, it's Nightflyers, and possibly Song for Lya (?). So no more pain and suffering, no more war, no famine, no disease. No reason to be sad or fearful. Nobody lives and nobody dies. And it's going to be forever. It's really a twisted paradise, and why not? If hell is in the south (and it is, pretty much) - then heaven should be in the north.
  2. Springwatch

    Poll: Is the House with the Red Door in Dorne?

    I like this post, there's a lot of truth in it. But it's too soon to say lemons are bad, avoid lemons, because it's possible the opposite is true, and lemons are just what you need to get you through the longest winter. Lemons could be the ultimate summer fruit: yellow, like the sun; and when cut: round like the sun, and with an internal structure that is radiant like the sun. And like the sun, lemons are in retreat from the north - places that once saw lemons no longer see them. There are still lemons in their natural home in the sunny south, and I think that's where lemons meet pain. In Dorne there's a place called Hellholt. The Prince of Dorne suffers constant, horrible pain (lots of fruit references too). Oberyn's weapon is a poison causing death in absolute agony. And then there's Quentyn, who got hit with dragonfire and had to wait 3 days to die. And their sigil is not a lemon, but the sun. Conclusion: lemons mean the sun, and the sun is fire, and fire is life. Life hurts. The alternative is floating away in an imaginary sea of warm milk, peaceful like. (Dornish pain quotes below...)
  3. Springwatch

    For the record... and posterity!

    1. Yes 2. Chimaera 3. Could be a metaphor. Jojen has more or less given his life for Bran. 4. Yes 5. Braavos, most likely. Could be a false memory. 6. Tyrion 7. ?
  4. Springwatch

    New Theory: Dany has a super stomach!

    She might have a super stomach, and more. In her last scene, we see her pulling bits off Drogon's kill and eating it as easily as if it had been a tender roast chicken instead of a just-killed horse. But... details like that I don't think we're supposed to notice or care about. It's a story. Eating horse makes you strong. That's all that matters.
  5. Springwatch

    Top 5. Who will die in The Winds of Winter

    There are a few ominous signs hanging over Sansa. A stunningly horrible (prescient?) nightmare of being torn to pieces with knives. All that sleeping; so many bedroom scenes... She goes to bed and gives herself to the darkness. She cries herself to sleep night after night. She falls asleep as soon as the moon rises. She blacks out a couple of times, and is surprised that time has jumped forward without her. She sleeps and sleeps and wishes she could just go back to bed and sleep some more. Her story references Beauty & the Beast, and Snow White - why not Sleeping Beauty also? Anyway, foreshadowing-wise, she's clearly either dreaming or dead. (At least there are good prospects for an afterlife in these books. ) No sign of her true love so far, and I think he should have been indicated by now if that happy ending exists. Ok, I know a female character should not be defined simply through romance, but love and marriage have been some of Sansa's major issues so far, and where's the resolution? All her suitors, and all the likely boys are hopelessly flawed in some way. Not happening. (Sandor is the only person she has made a meaningful connection with, but he brings his own set of problems.) So, we have an arc without an end for Sansa.
  6. Springwatch

    Can Cat be happy?

    I doubt Brienne has become an assassin. Only honour could drive her to that, and love is the bane of honour. Brienne loves Jaime very deeply.
  7. Springwatch

    Frozen Hell

    I assume everything has a meaning, then wait for the theory to fall apart or not. Move fast and break things.... I've been looking at quotes to help along the demolition process: So hell burns. But ice can burn, so the frozen hell could be one of the seven, even though most characters seem to expect heat. Hell can freeze. So Ned's hell might be currently hot. In the last book we see a lot more visions of a cold hell (which may or may not be frozen). Some detail at last (there might be more in the companion books). I think hell might have some form of existence, just as ghosts and wights do. It might be the embodiment of the magic of the seasons - it certainly seems at risk of freezing over. Also characters might get to go there. Sending someone to hell is common wish (including Arya, whose wishes come remarkably true sometimes...)
  8. Springwatch

    Can Cat be happy?

    Perhaps. But it could just be that Stoneheart just doesn't want to hear what Brienne has to say about Sansa. Because Brienne is false, nothing from her can be good. Stoneheart is thinking like Mel - if the onion is even partly bad, it's all bad. I agree Mel is not happy as such. She does reach an ecstatic high in her religious experiences - but I think pain is an essential. The agony and the ecstasy. Extremes. She's also hot - hot enough to melt the Wall. Stoneheart seems to have lost Cat's hotness, but she's still a fire wight. Cold fire. Don't know where that's going.
  9. Springwatch

    Frozen Hell

    I think it's weird. The rule of thumb seems to be that cold is found high up, and the heat is low down. So what does hell mean? Maybe it's just another way of saying frozen fire - not a punishment, but an asset.
  10. Oath taking usually seems to be a joyless business (on page, at least). Maybe Brienne was the exception, I don't know. Generally, serious people take oaths, and happy people (like Salladhor Saan) just don't see the point. I'll have to assume Sandor took KG oaths, even though not on page. He does take oaths; he's Joff's sworn shield. And he acts like he broke a lot of rules when he ran from King's Landing. The main thing is, we've seen enough of the KG to know that strictly obeying oaths can result in very unethical acts. Sandor did well to break free. Can't think of any women's oaths, true. I suppose they're not often asked for any, being expected to back up their man. We don't know if Mirri took any oath to Dany either, but Dany executed her for treason anyway. It's like her oath of loyalty was assumed. But I think Jorah and Barristan did swear alleigence to Dany.
  11. Springwatch

    Can Cat be happy?

    I wasn't assuming anything; the point about looks was just to make the answer complete. We're in a visual age, and it's sort of a convention in film and tv that heroes are attractive, or at least not a charmless, rotting undead. A convention that grrm would be happy to break, imho. Can't see RS lasting beyond Dawn. Nor LSH. This much does seem like conventional wisdom. Family, duty, honor, ok. On the other hand, Cat was aligned with fire right from the start. This is the woman who thinks oh, good when the library goes ablaze. In her first POV she talks about lighting fires - in the room that is the hottest in Winterfell (but not hot enough for Cat, who also has heavy furs on her bed). Her hair is auburn, kissed by fire. So she's got that destructive element in her nature, and it comes out under pressure, such as Bran's coma: "I would gladly butcher every horse in Winterfell with my own hands if it would open Bran's eyes...." [the direwolves howling] "I can't stand it, make them stop, make them stop, kill them all if you must..." and then she reaches an understanding with Summer over the assassin bloodbath. Mel has studied her art for years beyond count, and yet she's flawlessly beautiful (Davos is a bit confused about the beautiful bit, but obviously she's not aged years beyond count). So even though she may or may not have gone through a death, her 'life' is being sustained by fire magic, as is the 'life' of wights. I'd expect the experience to have a fair bit of overlap. Turns out I was wrong about the three days - the Freys kept her for a day and a night before putting her in the river. And then she was on the shore for a while. But obviously the spell in the river made a difference. Can't argue with that.
  12. Partly. He refused to swear a knight's oaths, but at the same time accepted that he would have to give up any hopes of a wife or lands of his own. So it sounds like he was ready to swear the standard oaths taken by Kingsguard when they get the white cloak.
  13. Springwatch

    Can Cat be happy?

    Wholesome good looks are not essential. Ser Robert Strong is probably a hideous monster with no head, but he's just starting a completely new arc. LSH still has her head, and her bones ('the bones remember'') - there's a real possibility her true mind and memories are still there. Even Mel remembers scenes from her childhood, and she has been a wight for a long, long time. And the river is not a problem at all. Time is a river. When you've got a river, you're right in the thick of destiny. So three days in the Red Fork just makes it more likely that LSH/Cat has an arc to follow.
  14. Springwatch

    Can Cat be happy?

    Cat may not be dead and gone forever - things repeat themselves: Cat has already been lost in a very dark mental state before, when Bran fell. She recovered, and what happens before can happen again. You could even go right back to her childhood, when she and Lysa were lost in a deep fog, but they got out again (helped by Petyr!) She's possessed, I think. Fire consumes, and she is driven by fire.
  15. Springwatch

    Mistakes in the Books

    Interesting. Is there a list anywhere of mistakes corrected in later editions? (I'd genuinely love to see it.) And, in the rush, did grrm manage to check and approve these corrections? I seem to remember a remark of grrm's, quoted here, saying mistakes annoyed him very much because some odd things were written that way deliberately, and the mistakes spoiled the effect he wanted to achieve. (I think the thread was discussing the Lion's Paw/Claw mashup.) ETA I try to avoid SSM's and suchlike, considering that they just add to the confusion. So I'll put the quotes I found in spoilers. (Still looking for the forum discussion on this topic....)