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Therae

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  1. @kissdbyfire Sorry for the long response time--WFH somehow takes more time than it did in the office. I don't disagree with anything you've said. I hope you're well, btw!
  2. @James Steller I'm with you. My whole point is that Manderly's morality is questionable, not that he's one of the villains of the piece. And I am absolutely, positively, in no way attempting to say the Freys (especially Rhaegar Frey & Co.) were innocent lambs ebully done in by ebul Lord Too-Fat-To-Sit-A-Horse.
  3. Fair points, but if Haggon the Wildling considers eating the flesh of man while in the body of a wolf to be abomination (Dance, Prologue), I don't think many of the First Men were likely to be down with eating the flesh of man while in their own bodies. Manderly is pretty obviously channeling Titus Andronicus (the Rat Cook was channeling Atreus), who was arguably deranged by his grief and rage. Manderly was provoked, but I think he had a very good idea what he was doing. I don't think that makes him a straight up sociopath, but it definitely doesn't give morally-superior points.
  4. I didn't say he was evil. I love old Wyman, but that doesn't make him shiny and pure. Whatever the Freys did is on them, and everyone understands them to be cursed for it. What Wyman does is on Wyman. Feeding people to people is not meant to showcase his heroism, and not all the people he fed them to were Freys and Boltons. Every northern family represented there lost sons at the Red Wedding, and while Manderly may have been down with eating his enemies, I imagine most folks would prefer not to. You can just pooh-pooh anything he does, no matter how horrific, because revenge, but do you honestly think Sweetie would have eaten a slice of Frey and mushroom pie given the chance?
  5. Um. It's nothing whatsoever like that, and what we know about Wyman Manderly strongly suggests that this is exactly what he did. We know the Freys went missing after leaving White Harbor. (DwD, Reek III) We know Wyman made a very big deal about leaving them with guest gifts. (DwD, Ghost in Winterfell) We know he brought pies for the wedding and personally served them to everyone. We also know he ate slices from each. (DwD, Prince of Winterfell) We know about the convergence of pies and guest right from the tale of the Rat Cook. (SoS, Bran IV). Ramsay may be the most vile character in the whole story, and Roose may be an evil motherfucker, but Wyman ain't no innocent.
  6. This. Manderly is no gentle giant. He's more loyal to the Starks than the Boltons, but that's not saying much, and old Wyman is no less out for himself and his own. Also there is the small matter of the Frey pies. I mean, that's awfully dark--and he fed them to EVERYONE at the wedding. Like, sure, he was careful to avoid the curse of the Rat Cook by making sure guest right no longer applied, but there is something really, really wrong with feeding Freys to everyone at the party, not to mention making sure you eat some of each pie yourself. That bespeaks of more than a little moral turpitude.
  7. I see no particular reason why Jon's "true Targaryan name" wouldn't be Jon Targaryan (assuming he is legit; if not, his true name is Jon Snow). Never minding that it's as likely as not Rhaegar had no idea Lyanna was pregnant when he went off to war, the mother got to name the babies -- see @Lollygag's GRRM SSM above -- and they aren't bound to stick by the (official) father's family names. All Cersei's children, for example, have historically Lannister names*. If Lyanna lived long enough to give any thought to naming her baby at all, it doesn't seem likely she'd name him anything that would scream DRAGONSPAWN!!! in a kingdom ruled by the guy Rhaegar stole her from. If Rhaegar married her, then Jon's real surname is Targaryen, and the revelation of that would be more than enough to indicate he is Rhaegar's son without him also being named Aegon (or even Aemon--I'm with @tedbear on that, as I think it's Aemon's example he'll follow in the end). I think Lyanna would have been more likely to name him Rickard or Brandon if she got a chance to name him at all.
  8. Feast and Dance don't seem to hang together on their own as well as the first three, and I really wish that just about everyone's story did not end on a cliffhanger (especially with 9 years to hang on...), but, that said, a lot of my favorite chapters come from those books. Davos, Brienne, Arya, Theon, and Sansa all have amazing chapters filled with so much incredible backstory, worldbuilding, and laying groundwork for connecting the storylines to each other. Jaime, Dany, Jon, Sam, and Asha as well. And Melisandre, JonCon, and Barristan. Even Cersei, though she is so toxic, I don't like being in her head. I know a lot of folks find the food and travelogue stuff as dull as paint, but I love it. I think GRRM has a real knack for making the ordinary fascinating. It's the gory details in his sex scenes I can do without.
  9. I think the breakfast scene in the Eyrie would be a lot of fun, when the poor septon maester gets smacked with a bowl of oatmeal porridge and Sansa is about at her wits' end, and even Littlefinger seems like Sweetrobin might drive him to actually raise his voice. I can totally see this scene in Norman Rockwell style.
  10. While I think the jealousy of her prowess and intimidation at her size and strength are a thing for sure, I expect the single biggest reason Brienne gets so much grief vs. any of the other female warriors is her personal insecurity. I think dudebros she can dominate in battle are able to sense the awkward and unattractive little girl in her as a weakness they can exploit in a way they could never manage with women who are much more comfortable in their own skins than Brienne.
  11. This. I'd second @Ser Leftwich's suggestion about putting the What Ifs and suchlike into their own sub. Clearly a lot of folks enjoy them, but at least as many do not.
  12. Adding to the above, it's actually LF's trademark to have accomplices with their own motivations, who actually do most of the dirty work. We see that over and over with Littlefinger.
  13. We have it on pretty good authority that Lysa had her own reasons for being happy to agree to poison Jon Arryn. We have no reason to believe that Maester Vyman would have wanted to poison Hoster. LF may well have wanted him dead, but it seems like he's pretty happy to take his revenge by way of long con, and currently, as far as he knows, nearly all the Tullys, Starks, and Arryns are either dead, disinherited, or in his personal guardianship. If revenge was his goal (I don't disagree that he wanted some), I'd say he probably believes he's sitting pretty without having contributed to Hoster's demise.
  14. Also I would go further and suggest, as have many others ( @Ygrain in particular) that the subversion in this case isn't that Jon is the hidden prince, but that the hidden prince won't end up on the Iron Throne, ruling happily ever after. And everyone who rejects the idea of R+L because it's a standard-issue love story seems to overlook the part where they both die horribly and far from each other. If Ashara=Lemore (which I don't think, because Tyrion failing to notice purple eyes is a blatant literary cheat; you can't give someone a feature that striking, make a big deal about it, and then have one of your most observant characters ignore it to hide her identity from the readers), then I suppose there's no reason she even had to pretend to jump from the Tower. As far as I know, we haven't been told why anyone actually believes she jumped, so as long as it doesn't turn out someone saw her do it, she could have snuck out at any time and made her way to wherever she spent the time until YG was handed off to JonCon (this is also problematic; what did she do in the meantime?)
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