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Everything posted by YOVMO

  1. I have considered that which is why i don't promote it as a working theory, but more like an idea i am playing with in my head. I do think that this could be reconciled or the theory could evolve in such a way to compensate for it. If I had the time or if I believed we would ever see the next book I might really put my back into making a larger and more world encompassing theory revolving around the general ideas in that post. That said, your point is good...I just think it is something which could be accounted for even if it hasn't been yet.
  2. this is interesting. would you please elaborate?
  3. I wanted to just respond, but felt I had to mention that this got me to actually lol. So this question, to me, is kind of like why lando is wearing han's clothing while flying the falcon and the end of empire. At a con pannel discussion it was revealed that there is a real answer and a fan answer. The real answer is "that costume designer John Mollo decided to put them in the same clothes and that it didn't mean anything as they [ford and williams] were sized differently" and " The fan answer or the universe answer is it's actually part of the Corellien Corps group. If you look at Han Solo's pants he's got those red marks on them and stuff it's from the old army basically, so it's the same uniforms." I really do love the why does blood raven get to bring dark sister to the wall after Aegon V stripped him of titles and honors and sent him there rather than putting him to death, but I feel there is a real answer and a fan answer. The real answer is probably that Dark Sister needs to be beyond the wall and this was as good a way to get it there as any. There won't be any explanation for why BR was allowed to take it, if he stole it, if Aegon let him have it for some reason or other because it is unnecessary. Someone north of the wall will need that sword and it had to be there. The more fun answer I like to think of (though haven't fleshed out entirely) Has to do with Aerys I. Aerys, who was by all accounts bookish, Appointed BR (his uncle) to hand in 209 AC at which point he receded into the library and left most of the ruling to Bloodraven. He also appointed a Grand Maester who was said to dabble in sorcery. I believe it is possible that in his time studying (or perhaps the reason he went into study) was because he understood the threat that was rising beyond the wall (and, if you have seen my other post, had slowly been growing since the conquest when Aegon forced Torrhen Stark to bend the knee and become Lord of Winterfell ending the 8000 year reign of Stark kings and subsequently setting into motion the events that would bring back the Others) and that along with Bloodraven and his Sorcerer/Grand Maester devised a plan that would require BR to go north of the wall (and have Dark Sister with him). It is important here to remember what Sephton Sauton said about Aerys I. "His Grace cares more for old scrolls and dusty prophecies than for lords and laws. He will not even bestir himself to sire an heir. Queen Aelinor prays daily at the Great Sept, beseeching the Mother Above to bless her with a child, yet she remains a maid. Aerys keeps his own apartments, and it is said he would sooner take a book to bed than any woman. Bloodraven knew that this would mean sacrificing his honor and committing a crime that would cause him to be sent to the wall but he knew what the stakes were as well. I believe Aerys I let his brother Maekar I know about this threat when he named him his heir. I also think naming Maekar heir was conditional on Bloodraven remaining hand. When Maekar died leaving the succession in question Bloodraven saw his chance. Calling the great council of 233 he explained to Aegon V what Aerys I and Maekar I knew before. He also explained that the time was here and when he offered Aenys Blackfyre safe passage only to later have him beheaded it was all part of the larger plan. It is pointed out very clearly that Aegon V's very first act as king was to send Bloodraven to the wall in the same caravan that had Maester Aemon, escorted by Ser Duncan the tall and was joined by 100 or so of Bloodraven's followers. Aegon V sent his older brother, Bloodraven and a small army loyal to him to the wall as his very first act. This says to me that the whole thing was agreed upon. That Aenys Blackfyre's head rolled in the process was just a happy side effect for the Targaryns. So why is bloodraven allowed to keep dark sister and take it to the wall only to go beyond the wall on a ranging and never be seen again? Because it is planned that way going all the way back to when Bloodraven, Aerys I and a Sorcerer figured out the new long night had been triggered once again and Bloodraven would be needed north of the wall, with Dark Sister, to fight the oncoming battle.
  4. Oh this is a fun one.... Weese: Pride Smeller Olenna: Oaf Breaker Craster: Daughter Piercer Lollys: Quinquagesimal Lady Dustin: Rat Slayer Fat Walda: Dowry Enhancer Dontos: Fool's Foil Shae: Faithless Floozy ALayaya: The Black Blade Tysha: Lesson Learner Myrcella: Dornish Lamb Sansa: (your) lemon eater Dolorous Edd: Last Man Cersei: Sticky Sibling
  5. I have a bit of a pet theory on this that I am sure is wrong, but every now and again I like to take it off the shelf and play with it a bit. It goes like this: The return of the Others has a lot to do with Torrhen Stark. I believe that the war against the COTF say Brandon of the Bloody Blade do a lot of killing of the children. Bloody Brandon's son, Bran the Builder, stuck a peace deal to end the war (and the long night) which inlcuded setting basic ground rules for how the first men dealth with the children, the adoption of the old gods and the ability to raise the wall and do some other feats of building with the childrens magic. One part of the deal, I think, is that a sacrifice must be made. Bran's line (kings of winter / kings in the north) must sacrifice themselves in perpetuity. Let me explain. The word "vengeful" is only used twice in GOT and both time in reference to spirits in Winterfell. The first is in Eddard I This lead me to question why the spirits of the kings of winter were "vengeful." What vengence did they seek? Tough, angry, cruel, kind, decent, quiet, adventurous...all could apply to some kings....8000 years of Stark kings I am sure there were all kinds but why were they all refereed to as being vengeful spirits? Well, let's think about the burial customs. It is only the King/Lord who is given a likeness with a sword across his knee (to keep his vengeful spirit in) with 3 exceptions. Why? Well it would seem like it is to give the king something special. But is it? First men are buried in barrows. Their spirits believed to become part of the greater consciousness/weirnet whatever (think of the bones around bloodraven)......while the statue and sword seem like an honor, if they keep the spirit locked away where custom dictates it is to become part of the oneness then it is a punishment...an eternal imprisonment. I mean, if anyone should be entitled to the rights of the dead by custom it ought to be the king....My thinking here is that the statue serves as a prison with the sword as a lock to keep the stark king's spirit imprisoned. Part of the weight and responsibility of being king (something grrm often stresses is that being king isn't doing whatever you want it is very much a duty). So there, as part of the concession of Bran the Builder to the COTF, in the crypts sit the vengeful spirits of the stark kings imprisoned for eternity to never return "home." This surrendering of the kings spirit is part of what bran had to sacrifice to end the war and the long night. Enter the problem: Torrhen Stark bends the knee to the Dragon and breaks the line of Stark kings. Now there is no Stark King, no King of Winter, no King in the North....only Lords of Winterfell. With no stark king the deal Brandon struck with the COTF that the King in the North would sacrifice his soul is broken. With the deal broken the magic that Bran the Builder used is revoked. Where do we see evidence of this? Well, many of the structures that Bran build seemed age proof. But now look at the nightfort...total disrepair. Look at the wall...it is shrinking every generation. Look how the oldest sections of the crypts are falling apart. Moreover, look at how ned notices the iron long swords rusting away into nothing. Some of those swords have been there for thousands on thousands of years and they only strike Ned as being rusted through now....I would guess they didn't look as bad or even rusted at all when he was a child. If this was a common thing all his life why comment on it at all? Even the ones that were just red stains....they should have been so long gone 3000 years before the conquest that even the stains would be missing. Now look back at the others? Why now? It can't be the dragons return and return of magic, Craster has been sacrificing children to them for a while before Dany hatches her dragons. I took a look at some metal websites and it shows that steel will decompose (in optimal conditions) in 2-500 years meaning the swords of the kings of old, the ones that are 2,3,4,7 thousand years old should have been a distant memory by the time Ned was born not showing signs of rust and recent decomposition or even stains on stone....we are talking thousands and thousands of years. And this is under optimal conditions, let alone being left out in the crypts where they are exposed to moisture and air. I believe that those swords, like the walls of the oldest keeps in Winterfell, the oldest parts of the crypts, the nightfort and the wall were all held together by magic that bran used, magic from the children of the forest, magic rescinded when Torrhen bent the knee and the stark family could no longer uphold it's end of the bargain by sacrificing and imprisoning the soul of the dead kings. Given the 3 generations of sacrifice by Craster (short generations due to the fact that he would basically peregrinate his daughters as soon as they were of child bearing years) I think that we can say that the re-emergence of the Others happens roughly 250 AC when Craster first starts making his child sacrifices. 250 years from When Torrhen knelt. This timeline fits perfectly for the time it would take those iron longswords, bereft of the magic of the COTF, to deteriorate and break. In breaking the "vengeful spirits" of the Stark Kings, not able to join the weirnet, were freed....these, I believe, are the Others.
  6. YOVMO

    End game predictions for all the characters?

    everyone in westeros dead except for Arya stuck in Nymeria's body
  7. YOVMO

    most tragic character

    I may revise my answer of Jamie to The Reader and not Rodrik Harlaw....I mean us. All this time invested and we ain't never gonna see winds of winter. That's the real tragedy
  8. YOVMO

    most tragic character

    Most tragic is hard. I usually don't weigh in on these as I prefer tinfoil exegetical work on the text but I like this question. I think Jamie is the most tragic character. Everyone will have a different answer depending on their own life experiences I am sure and George writes tragic characters as well as anyone so there is no short supply of choices, but jamies natural talents combined with the near sansa like innocent hopefulness, being born correctly, being in the right place and at the right time -- it is all too much. I think his tragedy started outside Areys bedroom and goes on to this day.
  9. YOVMO

    Winterfell - the Heart of Summer?

    There is a lot of temptations going on here. The same way Robb was raised for lordship, Jon was raised with the deeply ingrained knowledge that lordship...even legitimacy....was not for him. Robb would be the lord, have the castle and the sword. But now, despite a life of assurance that that would never happen, Jon has the title, has the castle and the VS Sword. Somewhere in his mind I would think he feels guilty about this. This is why tries to ride to join Robb.....this is why he decides to Ride to winterfell after the pink letter. In the same way that Persephone is tempted by Hades with something she desperately needs but knows full well she ought not take, Jon has reached out and taken a lordship, a VS sword and a castle that he has learned all his life are not his. I suppose for the analogy to work perfectly Marsh would need to play the role of Hades being the tempter. Off the top of my head I can only shoe horn this by saying that Bowen Marsh is a natural father figure to Jon. Jon is a steward and Marsh is the Lord Steward. During the great ranging Marsh is left castellan of Castle Black by Mormont and is acting Lord Commander when Mormont is killed. After he takes his Night's Watch vows it is Marsh who brings Jon food (blueberries and cream) from "the lord commanders own table" So you have a father figure offering fruit to Jon and Jon taking it alone with the other temptations he is eventually given which keep him locked in Castle Black
  10. YOVMO

    Winterfell - the Heart of Summer?

    Long time seams. I might be a bit rusty, but I always enjoy your tangents so here goes. I am pretty much ready to run down any tinfoil row, but giving Davos super human powers in any way, shape or form really does his character a disservice. Without something really concrete I can't see tossing away Davos' entire, wonderful place in this story for this. I have thought about this one a little myself. I wonder if it is possible that there is enough black brother blood in the wildlings from relationships, consensual or otherwise, during 10,000 years of raiding that in some way all wildlings can trace themselves back to a black brother which throws off the protection of the wall. I like this because of the idea that the KW themselves are the ones who have, over 100's of generations, weakened the walls protective powers. Obvious reasons like gullible, stupid, drunk, in a bad financial state aside there are a few (stretchng) ideas: House Hollard's sigil with three crowns shows the three weddings to Darklyn kings. While it is fairly far removed, there is some argument for at lesat the possibility of kings blood in Dontos. Further, if Dontos is in the line of one of the three Darklyn-Hollard Royal marriages he also has some trace of First Men blood from the Darklyn side Again a reach, but I think you could look at the myth of persephone for something a little instructive here. Marsh is referred to, enough times to make sure it sticks, as a pomegranate. You can look it up, but I am sure it is used to descibe him at least 6 times. In the myth of persephone she eats 6 pomegranate seeds given to her by hades. The punishment for eating food in the underworld was one being doomed to spend eternity there. Demeter, her mother, caused all things to stop growing over mourning and Zeus intervened on her behalf. A compromise was struck that for the 6 pomegranate seeds Persephone would have to spend 6 months per year in Hades. So the pomegranate, Bowen Marsh, is quite literally the reason she has the door closed on her in hades (at least part time)
  11. A lot of good work here and I would easily believe your idea of Marwyn being the child of an Ibbenesse and high born westerosi (whether rape or love or whatever). My only issue is this: despite your excellent work piecing together the evidence for the argument that he is, there is nothing here saying what that would mean for our story, Westeros or the larger World of Ice and Fire. Let's say as a hypothetical you are right. The question becomes: So What? Maesters renounce their family and family name. The Ibbenese don't have any particularly interesting traits that would make Marwyn special (other than being an odd looking minority) and even if they did have some magic resulting in whatever went on in those woods....there is no real magic apparent in Marwyn. So that is my question for you: I will assume you are right. Can you tell me what, if anything, that changes about things?
  12. YOVMO

    Ned Stark and Roose Bolton

    This is pure conjecture, far from conclusive and in all ways speculation....however, while I won't say whether i think Ned ever visited, I think it is fairly certain that when Roose married Bethany Ryswell that Lord Rickard would have gone to the dreadfort to observe the ceremony. As such he very likely might have brought his family and other important members of his household to show respect to one of his most important Vassals marrying the eldest daughter of another Vassal.
  13. YOVMO

    Southron Ambitions - what were they?

    Very true. Also anti-targaryen sentiment is not necessarily a desire to overthrow the established order. A couple of marriages here and there between great houses doesn't have to be a "southron ambition" on the part of Rickard Stark and Jon Arryn and Hoster Tully. It could simply be a defensive posture. Looking at the make up, even f Arys rules for the rest of his life and dies a natural death how much longer does he have? He is 40 years old and not in great health. Even if he lived to 80, which judging by his appearance, is unlikely we are talking about 40 years. What is 40 years in the eyes of houses that are thousands of years old? By pulling together Storms End, Winterfell, Riverrun and The Eyrie in a marriage bound alliance you make a situation where even someone as demented as Aeyrs realizes that open hostility is a poor idea and a few decades later when his son succeeds him there is a powerful block f houses which he must contend with as a reality. Tywin not remarryng never made any sense to me. His absolute obsession with his duty to his house would, I would think, outweigh any love he had for the late Joanna. As far as he was concerned he had only one viable son. Granted it was his Golden child, but the life expectancy, especially for someone whose trade is war, isn't terribly good. Further, after Jamie is named to the KG tywin was only what, 34 or 35? His status, relative youth and wealth meant a very good match was pretty much easy as could be for him....with Jamie on the Kingsguard and Tyrion being...well...tyrion....it always shocked me that Tywin didn't take a wife and have some legitimate sons.I don't know if this is a plot device because it is important to the story for it to be as it is or if there is some thing grrm wants us to know about tywin here Agreed 100%. As I said earlier, an alliance which offset the power of the throne by linking great houses so that the throne had to think twice about its policies from the day to day norm of taxes to the caprices of the mad king is possible but any kind of regime overthrow or destruction of the unity of the 7K seems highly unlikely.
  14. YOVMO

    Southron Ambitions - what were they?

    Thank you for this. This is a spectacular and clear exposition with a lot of damning points. The "southron ambitions" has so much against it and so little for it that I dare say it is the single most unsubstantiated in book conspiracy theory (one given to us, not our nutty machinations). Just the one fact that Rickard alone never married is damning, but your excellent post here really hammers this home with no wiggle room. Kudos.
  15. I have never been to DC or Baltimore, but I would imagine this would be necessary. Of course. The question, as pertains to the story, tongue and cheek aside, is why the knights of the vale don't just clear out the mountians of the moon. It owuld be a lot easier for a military force to clear out DC than a rough mountainous area with nomadic clans. Relevance, of course, is always hard to point out. Directly? No. But clans of first men living in the mountains of the moon will play some role in the war to come i believe....to be fair the knights of the vale haven't played much of a role yet either. I gotta be honest, I don't believe we will ever see WoW but if we did I think they will. I think that all first men ancestors living in westeros will somehow be relevant when the war comes. I certainly didn't mean to pluck a nerve. My humor can be off putting I admit. Apologies all around. As to the nature of man I must confess I am out of my element.
  16. This is very likely so. However, if Artys Arryn made a vow to Robar II Royce that the first men who did not bend the knee would be banished to the mountains of the moon rather than slaughtered I can see the Arryn's, honor bound as they are, upholding that vow and the Royce's, as prickly as they can be, feeling slighted if it were broken (especially if it was a condition of the surrender). That said, it could be very much as people said above...an analogy to taliban...where in the wild mountains it just isn't as easy as people think to rid a nomadic tribal people....but I feel there is more at play and there are only so many possibilities. The Arryn's keeping faith to a centuries old vow is just as liekly as any other.
  17. Being armed by the lannisters surely changes the game so I will leave that out. It is, I believe, mentioned that the mountain clans had become a lot more dangerous with the death of John Arryn. It has been a while so please correct me if i am wrong but the general presence of the knights of the vale in the normal routine. With Sweet Robin as Lord of the vale and dingbat running day to day operations the mountain clans were getting much more bold...in a way that had been gone from the world for long enough that I imagine people had long forgot about it. As for the west virgina hicks, i've seen deliverance. A couple of other ideas...just spitballin' ya know... They might have been left there as a defensive method. Certainly the mountain clans posed no threat in breaching the bloody gate. Any army that was camped outside the bloody gate might have to contend with that? The other thought is that as first men descendants there might have to do with the founding of house arryn. again, pure conjecture. After the first men being led by King Robar II lost to the Andals being lead by Artys Arryn they were given the option to bend the knee. Many did and King Artys pardoned them. This is seen to this day with powerful vale houses like houses royce and corbray lesser vale houses like house belmore. The first men who did not take the knee were forced into the mountains of the moon. No specifics on this, but at the end of the war it is clear that Artys would have had the option to execute the first men that didn't take the knee rather than banishing them. That house Arryn is such an honor bound family (As High as Honor) it could very well be the case that Artys Arryn banished but did not slaughter the ancestors of the current mountain clansmen as a promise to the ones who did take the knee and the lord of the vale to this day honors that promise...whether to maintain honor or politically because of the prickly nature of first men houses and the nature of ethnic politics in the vale or both
  18. It's funny, I always read the mountain clans kinda like the hicks in Appalachia. Sure, we could send the 101st airborn and a few marine batallions to west virginia and clear deliverance up, but why bother? They don't pose a threat outside of their own land which isn't particularly valuable anyway. I think if there was a gold mine near where those clans live the Knights of the Vale would have finished them off years ago. At this point they are cowed into submission and living on land otherwise uninhabitable.
  19. YOVMO

    Jaqen H'ghar's nonsense

  20. YOVMO

    ASOIAF Jokes

    Why did Tyrion go to Harrenhall? Because that is where Hoares Whent.
  21. YOVMO

    ASOIAF in everyday life... Gooble Gobble...

    I have a college age cousin who is a bit of a Northern California hippie type. Last time I saw him he was with his friends. When I spoke to his mother and she inquired of him I told her “he is well, but he is spending time in the company of hedge wizards which is worrisome”
  22. YOVMO

    Dissecting Names

    I always wondered in Sandor was French...as in Sans D'or or "without gold" If this worked it could bleed over to Sansa we might look at "a" which is to posses in latin so Sans a would be to have no possession (though this takes some gymnastics to get to)
  23. It even rhymes! I couldn't resist. I'm a dork. I am so glad you like it. As for the inclusion of "rape" it may not be as disturbing as you thing if we consider the etymology of the word itself. After all, the word rape, while never positive for sure, for most of its history wasn't necessarily sexual. The root of the word is the latin word rapere. meaning simply "to snatch, to grab, to carry off" To Carry a woman off by force was considered Rape according to roman law but sexual intercourse was not necessarily implied. Think of Bernini's sculpture The Rape of Proserpina depicting Proserpina being abducted by the god pluto and taken to the underworld. Zero sex is insinuated there. The same goes with the Rape of the sabine women. There was a being carried off but it is specifically noted that Romulus gave the women free choice and no forcible sex was had. Now we can obviously say that there is consent and there is consent, but the larger point about the ancient world and the etymology is being made here. In middle English rape could refer either to kidnapping or the modern meaning of rape with the sexual connotation, but the sexual aspect wasn't implied merely in the use of the word as it is today. There is a poem called The Rape of the Lock by alexander pope where he is specifically referring to the theft or carrying away of a lock of hair. Furthermore, and maybe even more importantly for us, is that there is another word that, like rape, has its root in the latin rapere which is the word Rapture used in the bible. The rapture, of course, is when the chosen or the good or the people who paid their dues or whatever are snatched up, taken, carried off by Christ to heaven. The idea that rape specifically connoted a sexual component is an incredibly new idea and between George's love of history, love of etymology and progressive politics I think it is very easy to say that he may use this erotic trope of rape in star-crossed lovers and third-eye initiations in a way that matches the biblical use of rapture or the classic and historical use of rape....to take, to snatch, to grab, to carry away. I got very interested in the history of the word rape reading ASOIAF because there is just so much rape in the stories that I felt that looking at it should be important. Now, of course there is rape the way the modern mind sees it....the mountain and the inn keepers daughter (or indeed most of what the mountain does) but there is also this other sense of being taken whether it is bran being taken by bloodraven or even Jamie being taken by a sense of honor and duty. (I have meant to look back at the attempted rape of Brienne and the TAKING of Jamie's hand and see if I can make some kind of connection where Jamie paid the rape debt and had his hand taken and as such is rewarded but haven't done so yet.) I often wonder about grrm and whether he packs important things into very graphic and disturbing moments almost as a way to keep people from them. When something is as disturbing as rape it is often hard to poke around it and investigate it and it is doubly hard to speak about it because you never want to be a crass lout. That said, there is so much rape in this story in both the modern and in the classical/etymological/biblical sense that it almost demands a closer reading even when it seems disturbing and often times when we comb through the difficult parts we come out at the end unscathed and wiser for the journey. I don't think an orgasm is such a bad suggestion. Maybe, however, it is closer to what the French call le petite mort (often times confused with the orgasm but better explained as the moment before the moment...similar to the moment of God's finger touching adam in that painting they got over there on the ceiling of that nice church in Italy and reflects the line in the Sappho poem about being "one step short of dying"). This is also something we can discuss in terms of a taking for sure -- of course, I don't think we have to pick one or the other and rather that both is a better answer. I have never made the connection to the winterfell library fire like this and absolutely love it! There is a ton of back up for this. Right from the start in the AGOT prologue Gared says that "nothing burns like cold' and Will's description of the Other's eyes were "a blue that burned like ice" In Jon I ACOK "dead othor with burning blue eyes" One of the most interesting ones is the description of Rhaegar in Jamie VI of ASOS "Prince Rhaegar burned with a cold light, now white, now red, now dark" So yeah, the burning cold is a really big and important theme here Brandon the Burner....
  24. Oh fun @ravenous reader! In my own little way I am happy for the closed thread. As winter will lead to spring anew, so we have a new poetry thread from you. Allow me to leave this little tidbit which I believe is reminiscent of the greenseers and/or possibly Bloodraven and is from good ole Sappho He seems to me, that man, almost a god— the man, who is face to face with you, sitting close enough to you to hear your sweet whispering And your laughter, glistening, which the heart in my breast beats for. For when on you I glance, I do not, not one sound, emit. But my tongue snaps, lightly runs beneath my flesh a flame, and from my eyes no light, and rumbling comes into my ears, And my skin grows damp, and trembling all over racks me, and greener than the grass am I, and one step short of dying I seem to myself.
  25. YOVMO

    Why do people hate Sansa?

    Well now, Byan Votyris, thanks for throwing me under that Norvoshi caravan! I have never claimed that believing there is some kind of static morality is either vacuous or unreflective my dearest @ravenous reader merely that there is a form of it that is. I would go as far as to say that in the books (as in RL but we won't delve too much into it because what's that got to do with the price of tea in Pentosh) that ethics and morals are subjective universal. That is, sweet summer child, that the stars in the Crone's Lantern don't give a whit about moral, ethical or even admirable behavior and therefor judging that there is an absolute morality is either too strong or not reflective enough...however, that humans share certain principles on the basis of their own humanity, there is some common sense of what is right and wrong and what is deserving or ire or admiration. In this way some, though not all, judgments like this are subjective to humanity while being absolute in an inter-human way. This is the very reason that the Targaryen's claimed multiple wives and incest as fine...they didn't see themselves as human, they were something more...This brings up the real problem with the COTF. While a man from the westerlands can expect certain commonalities in moral judgment (if not custom) from a northerner, a man of the reach or even an essosi sellsword that commonality, that universality, is pinned to the fact that they are human...it is only a universal fact in the context of humanity and as such the COTF, like the Targaryen's, like Gods and like shadowcats will follow different rules that can't be predicted by mankind as man has a way of superimposing his own sense of self on all other beings. Like the great philosopher, centuries before even Plato, Xenophanes said "The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black, While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair. Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw, And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their god, like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own" So no my dear RR I am quite fine with claiming that morals aren't always relative...so long as it is in the context of interspecies subjectivity. That said, and back to Sansa, it is true that she gets her comeuppance handed down from GRRM who is, as you said, not nearly as shade of gray morally as people make him out to be. Often times the characters he writes have shades of gray but that is because they have bad in them and good in them not because good and bad do not exist. My ziplock top is green...that doesn't mean there is no yellow and blue in the world...quite the opposite actually. What we can say about Sansa, however, to her credit is that she is forced to grow into maturity at a young age....even for early age of maturity we have throughout the story....I think your example of Sansa siding with the Lannisters and having her wolf killed is a good one and perfectly parallels her siding with the Lannisters when her father is killed. It is a shame it took her two lessons, but I don't think she will make the mistake again. The reason that people may point to her and say she is horrible is that the stakes are so high. Morality gets easier to judge when there is a body count. Arya also misbehaves and is punished on a much smaller scale with her needlepoint and later with general rough housing. Because the stakes are smaller she is isn't on the hook as much. I still think that Sansa's refusal to learn until it is too late most closely parallels the experience of the reader who, I truly believe, took the entire first book to really have the idea hammered home that this isn't a story that will follow the old tropes. That said, and I know a lot of people have learned the word "tropes" on message boards such as this and now use it the way every kid taking the SAT does--there I said it, people who claim that grrm is throwing away the old tropes often seem to neglect that fact that he isn't going into a chaotic universe, but rather taking massive pains to create a logically consistent universe with new tropes. He isn't George the Tropeless. The same way that people think that nihilists, yeah I'm coming full circle so what, are people who live in a world devoid of morals simply because they destroy the current accepted moral system when in reality nihilists, real nihilists not 16 year olds who read an aphorism book with some Nietzsche in it, annihilate the old order in order to create and then follow their own...some parts similar or even the same, but a self created moral system which is what we were promised by Thomas Jefferson.....life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....which in an 18th century sense for people who read Rousseau very clearly meant the ability to self govern.... Half way through writing this I figured you were just having a little fun with me but I kept it up anyway.