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Springwatch

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  1. Lovely theories, thanks for sharing. Hope they're all true - then chances of Dany inheriting the 'taint' from Aerys drop to zero. The only thing is, at the end of the day, there's got to be some consistency in grrm's use of coded imagery - can't have some apples that are loaded with meaning, and others that are just apples. I think 'all the apples' is the correct take, but the story is so huge and the hints are so obscure - when the fans look for patterns in food, the ideas go off in all directions. So far in the books people have been likened to: animals and fish, fruit and root vegetables, ants and bees, and trees. That's a lot to make sense of.
  2. But you agree that she lied, yes? One plan is not all the plans. Sansa hasn't a clue what Ned is going to do that day. Weaker? Not really, coups are tricky things. I can speculate if you like. She's an instinctive bully and manipulator, who likes to see Sansa isolated and friendless. This feels quite likely, because it's happened already - the whole court avoids Sansa because of the treason taint put on her by Small Council, which is reinforced by making Sansa apologise for it (my brother is a traitor etc etc). Those apologies sound very well-rehearsed and therefore well-used. Tyrion is unlikely to be impressed by any of that, so Cersei gives him something better. Now he is suspicious of Sansa too. Sansa is regularly taking beatings from Joffrey's Kingsguard. Cersei finds this hard to square with her self-image as the ideal ruler. So she falls into the habit of victim blaming. Cersei hates Tyrion laughing at her about the twincest, so shies away from reporting her conversation with Ned. It can. However it can not be made with assumptions like But this is an assumption. Like, what?! When Robert dies, there is a power vacuum at the top, which will be filled either by Cersei, or Ned. No other event comes close to the impact of that. And as matter of record, when Ned hears about the death, he acts immediately, and he finds Cersei has acted immediately also. Not really? She's sees Arya being hugged and comforted and rewarded by Ned often enough. Not so bad then. Sansa did nothing to 'the Starks'. Nothing she did affected them one iota. She disobeyed her father, as children sometimes do.
  3. Cersei lied. Or mispoke. When she changed Sansa's information from one plan (which was irrelevant to the coup anyway), to all the plans. She tells Tyrion the success of the coup was a close-run thing, and the thing that made the difference was Sansa. This is a lie, it cannot be made to fit within the facts we're given. Right. My point was that Cersei ignored the message of the Wind Witch, which was that Ned would move slow, until his girls were safely out of the way. And in those few hours, the king died and the race for the Iron Throne began. The timing of the coup only ever depended on Robert; everything else is a side show. She was the good girl, the obedient girl, but she had felt as wicked as Arya that morning, sneaking away from Septa Mordane, defying her lord father. She had never done anything so willful before, and she would have never done it then if she hadn't loved Joffrey as much as she did. She thinks wicked is being like Arya. She has no idea what real wickedness is. Childish misbehaviour. Naughtiness. Disobedience.
  4. Ok, I agree, but most arguments on this topic depend on Cersei being dumb as an amoeba, literally inert like a beached whale. The point is that she does. We saw her do it. The why is interesting - she takes blame from Ned and puts in on Sansa - but it's a distraction here. Sansa's information is that the girls have to be ready to leave the Tower at midday. Therefore, at around 12:15 they will be wandering around in the open, clutching their suitcases - the point of maximum vulnerability. Next they present themselves at the castle gates, and after being waived through by the guards, they trail slowly through the city with their cartloads of luggage, followed by several hours waiting on the ship for the evening tide. ETA (This is not speculation - everything in the para above follows from the text.) If Cersei trusts this information, she'll believe Ned will not 'strike' until well after midday, maybe the next day. But he doesn't. Immediately Robert dies (in the morning, during Arya's lesson), Ned strikes, and so does Cersei. Therefore - it is certain that Cersei did not change plans on account of the Windwitch. Wicked like Arya, meaning not wicked at all - Ned's forgiveness and approval will surely follow. Oh I know Sansa does some crazy things around this time but this one act, going to Cersei, was neither an actual betrayal (had no impact on Ned and his people), or a betrayal in spirit (how could it be wrong to love the marriage he made for her? or trust that he'd never choose a family that wasn't basically good?)
  5. (deleted - editing format produced new post (?))
  6. Yeah, and that is the key point. What information, and how did Cersei use it? What did Sansa know that could cause Cersei to change her commands in the last few hours before the death of Robert? What changed? (Don't try to answer any of that - there was a forty page thread somewhere that hammered these questions into dust. There are no answers. Only simple faith in Sansa's guilt. )
  7. Noooooo! Not this again! I can't believe Cersei receives zero credit on this forum for intelligence or honesty, except on this one point. But observe, and observe... Cersei, at the time of the coup, to Sansa (who already knows the truth): "Why else should you have come to me and told me of your father's plan to send you away from us, if not for love?" Cersei, much later, to the brother she hates: "[...] If Sansa hadn't come to me and told me all her father's plans . . ." That is a big, big change, from, the plan to send you away, to all your father's plans. Cersei is not being honest here. ETA Queen like you. Oh gosh, Sansa.
  8. Ned wasn't going. He was going to stay and sort things out. Besides. Robert was at the point of death, and Cersei's coup was already in motion, and that includes the capture of the Tower of the Hand. Nothing Sansa said could make any difference.
  9. This. Why not? His life is built round all things dog - hound helm, dogs on the shield, happy to be called dog and generally thinks dogs are great (will die for you, but never lie to you, and also can smell lies (?)). Of course he's going to swoon over the direwolves. Not to mention going crazy with curiosity as to how the Starks managed to tame and train them into pets for little children. Nursemaids I think he called them. I bet his kennelmaster grandfather never managed anything like that.
  10. She didn't. You might be thinking of the show. It's possible. I'm starting to think what people believe, in-world, is more important than what actually happened. I mean, Sansa's on the run for regicide - being innocent is a minor detail with no significance. All to show the power of narrative, maybe.
  11. It is, but they would call it a grant. I don't suppose the IB wants the reputation of being forgiving over debt. It does make the IB a lot more interesting though - they have the big picture before almost anyone else. A reasonable solution; I don't recall it though. Not even if there is a lot of forest good for timber in the Gift - it might be mostly moorland/bog/farmland, I don't know. But there are a lot of trees north of the Wall, and in the North generally, so timber should be plentiful and cheap. Certainly the Watch hasn't been profiting from timber, otherwise it would have a bit of cash of its own. So, I still don't know. I suspect GRRM is just freewheeling on fantasy, for some reason.
  12. I was reading these chapters lately and they're just not written in a realistic style. (GRRM is having fun with his starvation scenario.) Jon hides the fact that he can get a loan from the Iron Bank, and tells his officers and allies that the wildlings will pay for imported food with their confiscated valuables. The Wull/Flint/whoever points out that the wildling wealth isn't much and would only buy a few sacks of corn. And then ... the conversation just moves on. Odd. We never hear how the Iron Bank expects Jon to repay the loan, which comes due in the spring, just after the environmental disaster. Odd again.
  13. To be fair to Dany, she's done the planting already: "We are replanting, but it takes seven years before an olive tree begins to bear, and thirty years before it can truly be called productive [...]" ETA I doubt the horticultural advice she's been getting, but anyway, she's also planting beans, which crop in the first year, and can be dried and stored. I think she's also probably the leader that thinks the most about feeding people. Will she switch over to fire and destruction? I don't know, but it's not really been set up yet.
  14. More obvious than Sansa? Brienne's quest is to find Sansa after all. But anyway - GRRM can be twisty answering questions, but this time it sounds straightforward. No way of ending without confirming one answer or another.
  15. Right. And this is what happened - King Robert ordered Ned to have Tyrion released. Cersei did the persuading, but as she doesn't like Tyrion much, Tywin probably did some prompting too. Nice one. They used to call it casus beli, but all it means is we're looking at the match, not the firework.
  16. I'm puzzled what it is you're trying to argue here. That the worst jobs in life are either well-paid or done by slaves??? Everything in my experience suggests that poverty drives people to accept poor wages and conditions. The local history I quoted above stated the community was very poor, conditions were awful, and I've turned up nothing to suggest defacto slavery. I hope they don't forfeit your sympathy on that account. None of this takes anything away from the unique evil that is slavery (I wish this didn't need repeating, but it probably does.)
  17. To clarify, these miners definitely weren't slaves, and it wasn't the ancient world - it was northern England some hundreds of years ago. Doesn't look like they had any sense of choice either.
  18. I saw an information board recently about the history of mining in that place. There was a drawing to show how a man would mine coal in a narrow seam: he sat on his behind, with his arms with the pick stretched out in front, and his back sharply bent forward by the rock above. It looked like a scene from the Fourteen Flames; it looked like torture. There were also small children working in the dark minding doors or pulling carts. The miners were desperately poor. There were horrific and deadly explosions and tunnel collapses. I guess this was during the industrial revolution (the board didn't say), but as an example of what can happen to the very bottom of society, it was chilling, and maybe partly explains why slavery didn't appear as an exceptional or ultimate evil through much of history. It was just one way the poor suffer.
  19. I think I do. Have a sense of shades of grey - slavery is slavery, but it can be aggravated by additional cruelties. I've been thinking about @Mourning Star's posts, (and now yours) - and I see that there something of case nowadays for casting a taboo on allowing any nuances in discussion of slavery, simply because it may encourage modern slavers to give the comfort defence for their actions i.e. I took these people from the gutter, I feed them, I clothe them, I house them, I give them purposeful work - they are better off with me than they were before. (All this is a great shame to the society that did none of those things.) Allowing this defence to stand would break the development of a welfare state that actually does work and respects human rights too. GRRM's world is rather different. Democracy is hardly imaginable. Human rights and state support are in short supply. This is not to say that slavery is not an evil, but it is one evil among many, competing with war and poverty most notably (and btw, I think George is very much aligned with his readers in being passionately against slavery, war and poverty.) Dany, with the best intentions, took Astapor out of the frying pan of slavery and threw it in the fire of war. She saw Astapor's society as purely evil and tore it down, leaving it weak and open to aggressors. In Meereen, she looted the city and crucified the Masters in revenge for the crucified children. Again, she sowed the seeds of war. Whether this or any generation of Meereenese will be better off for her actions (in combined terms of freedom, safety, prosperity) is unknown. Whether there was a better way is unknown. It is a moral dilemma, and GRRM likes his moral dilemmas.
  20. And yet his wolf is named Summer, and described in terms of light and warmth.
  21. @Lissasalayaya just checking, but is this all part of a hugely elaborate campaign to discredit Dany? If so, just cut to the chase and criticise her, that's why we're here. But criticise characters not readers.
  22. I can't speak for the fandom, and tbh, there's not a lot of material in the opposite direction. GRRM is portraying a patriarchy after all, and most of the saviours of legend are male. In Westeros, anyway. Killing Cersei could be heroic, but it's more at the personal level, not world-saving. Or so it seems. btw, what do you think of Maggy?
  23. I am. Greenseers don't need shade of the evening. Euron is team blue, not team green. That is interesting - can you home in on a quote?
  24. Whatever Euron has, it's not greensight. Jojen doesn't need any drugs to receive his prophetic visions. Nor does Bran (the paste was just to wed him to the trees, right?)
  25. At some level, it must be consistent in GRRM's head, else it's all just random and we can relax and do something rational instead. Hmm. irrc, the red priests claim Dany's fallen warriors will rise from the dead, and this is consistent with Thoros raising fallen warrior Beric. Beric is well and truly dead, his life is gone, and Thoros describes breathing a flame into Beric's mouth and he came alive. The flame of life is finally transferred from Beric to Stoneheart. So it's not just switching state from dead to alive, something is given, and that something came from somewhere. Similarly, Mel can't give her shadow babies life from nothing, she harvests 'life-fire' from a willing man. Most likely, Thoros gave a piece of his soul for the resurrection. He does look a bit anaemic lately. Or possibly he can transmute common fire into life force - "Life is warmth, and warmth is fire'" Fire magic is not available to weirwoods, obviously. Blood magic might be. Blood magic seems to be more about cheating death than reversing it. Drogo would have died from his wound but for Mirri ('Strength of the beast, go into the man.') The Undying should have died of old age, but probably cheat death by devouring the flesh and blood of people like Dany. Extended life is also what Bloodraven seems to have, courtesy of his weirwood throne.
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