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Here's Looking At You, Kid

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  1. Bowen Marsh didn't kill Jon because they had different ideas on policy. He killed Jon to stop the Night's Watch from going to war with Ramsay. Kill Jon and it's just the wildlings. Wildlings vs. Boltons instead of Night's Watch vs. Boltons.
  2. (It should be someone like James Fenimore Cooper to compose this reaction piece but I will do my best.) Daenerys Targaryen is a better ruler and leader than Jon Snow. We are all familiar with their leadership styles. There is enough information for us to pass judgment on who the better leader is. I will start with Jon Snow. Jon Snow Jon is far from the worst leader in A Song of Ice and Fire. He is actually capable most of the time. His biggest strength as a leader is his ability to teach. Jon was able to teach the other less-fortunate cadets the proper use of the sword in combat. Yes, he was an arrogant and entitled fool when he arrived. A little man to man talk with a seasoned man helped open his eyes. Many of the fans praise Jon for protecting the craven cadet, Samwell Tarly. It is a well-earned praise. Samwell would have died from fright if Jon had not stepped in and helped. I have established that Jon Snow is basically an average guy who has had a good training in the fighting arts. As a leader, he is usually capable of performing his job. However, there problems beneath his exterior. Many of the fans have already brought it up repeatedly. Jon has a chip on his shoulders. Push that chip and he goes ballistic. He is guilty of attacking Ser Alliser Thorne, a superior officer. He has anger management issues which culminated in the inappropriate way in which he judged two guilty men, Janos Slynt and Mance Rayder. By every laws of the land, it should have been the deserter and turncloak, Mance Rayder, who was executed. Matters went downhill from there. He sent the deserter and turncloak to bring his sister to him at the Wall. This is an act of war against Roose and Ramsay Bolton. The Night's Watch should never, and never has until now, make war against the people of The Seven Kingdoms. I served in the military for the better part of my early adult life. I have never been tested in the same way as Jon was with Arya. I will say there are a lot of men who would do as Jon did. They would forsake their duties, no matter how critical it is, to save their sisters. But there are still more who would do their duties and accept that they cannot help their sisters. For proof, you only have to look at those men who are in the business of rescuing and saving people and property. Many men would rather be at home with their families during an emergency crisis but instead they stay at their posts and do their jobs. I knew people who went to Kuwait while they had desperate families back home. Parents battling cancer. Wives struggling to raise handicapped children alone. I could go on and on. The point is, it is not unreasonable nor is it rare for people to do their jobs even when they have critical family concerns back home. And those men who can't do this should never be in command. It's fine for desk jockey to always sacrifice his duties for his families. But that is not acceptable for a commander of an organization who has been tasked with the protection of the kingdom. Quorin Halfhand said something in book 2. He said of Mance Rayder, he was the best and the worst of us. He had trouble obeying. Jon is very much like Mance Rayder. In many ways, he is the ideal black brother. But he is also the worst possible. Jon is a man gifted with martial skills. He is a smart young man who usually makes sound decisions. I don't think his inability to judge and prioritize will matter much with the Wildlings. To the Free Folk, whatever the strong man says is right is right. Might makes right with the Wildlings. Jon does not have to be fair, nor consistent. Laws among the Wildlings are not as well-defined. Daenerys Targaryen Princess Daenerys Targaryen began the story a scared and nervous young girl. Forced to marry into an alien culture, she used her natural intelligence to thrive. Courage, intelligence, and determination allowed her to adapt to the Dothraki culture. She brought the dragons back from extinction. She had the smarts and the courage to lead her khalasar beyond the Red Waste until they reached Vaes Tolorro. This is nothing less than remarkable for a girl of her age. She defeated the Undying in the Palace of Dust with the help of her dragon, Drogon. Over and over, Daenerys has managed to use her intelligence and her cunning to outmaneuver her adversaries. She has become a very good player of the game of thrones with her own style. Queen Daenerys has become the conqueror and the ruler of the slaver city of Meereen. She knows what we know. As humans, we have a responsibility to make laws and judge the guilty. The Meereenese masters perpetrated the most heinous war crime in the entire saga so far. This is many times more heinous than the Red Wedding in The Twins. The masters crucified the children of their slaves and used them to decorate the road to the city. This kind of crime cannot go unpunished. To do so would be to deny justice to those children. Allowing the Meereenese to bring forth the guilty is a modern concept of peers judging peers. It is certainly preferable to the arbitrary trial of combat being practiced in Westeros. She is facing an enemy who refuse to fight her troops in open combat. And yet, she refused to execute her cup bearers. This was a smart move. Those children can be socialized and educated away from their slaver parents. These children will be the foundation of a free Slaver's Bay. The situation in Meereen is very complicated. Skahaz, Reznak, and Hizdahr are unreliable allies. Daenerys has been warned to be careful by Quaithe. Yet, she reacts with reason and caution. A Cersei would have had them all killed. But a good leader knows that you have to trust people. Everything carries a risk. One person cannot manage a city of the size of Meereen. Jorah's betrayal is revealed. Daenerys wisely did not kill the man and instead sent him into exile. Daenerys is a reflective, thoughtful person. Which is a good quality for someone who has to make decisions. She has much to learn about ruling but her potential is without limits.
  3. He confessed to treason. I don't know if that could ever be explained away. It's not going to be a big deal because the Starks are not staying in the south. The ones who survive will make their way back to the north.
  4. Sean is right. Theon was into self-preservation. There is something else too. Theon's spirit was largely broken. I was really surprised when he later found the will to help Jeyne and himself.
  5. Offing those six would qualify as a spree. It won't stop there. When I said innocent, I meant the old man who was selling insurance policies in Braavos.
  6. Here is a bit of sad news for those of you who play role playing games. https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/29/asia/lin-qi-china-yoozoo-poisoning-intl-hnk/index.html
  7. The comparison with Eustace Osgrey is appropriate in this context. They lost sons after being forced to choose a side. There is no doubt in my mind that Walder will lose another son or two to the Starks but Walder will perhaps come out okay, as Lord Osgrey did in the end. Well yeah that would better serve the common good but unrealistic in this case. Arya's and Jon's personalities were not born that way. It goes against their nature. Those two wolves are fierce, primitive, and vindictive. Just remember what Jon did to Slynt at the wall. It was revenge on one of his father's political enemies. Bran will join in the call for revenge after he learns the identity of the person who tried to murder him. Jaime took away his legs and with it his dreams of becoming a knight. Their vengeance will be savage and it will harm many innocents.
  8. How likely is a Targaryen restoration? Likely. Daenerys' time in Essos is to prepare her to assume the leadership of Westeros. And how welcomed would a Targaryen restoration be? Robert, Jon Arryn, Tywin Lannister, Jon Snow, Robb Stark, Balon, and Renly have proven themselves inadequate to the task of uniting the realm. Jon Snow, Robb Stark, High Sparrow, and Balon have even proven themselves as divisive and harmful elements towards unification and cooperation. Fake Aegon has nothing to offer that could stop the Others and his crew brought the greyscale to the realm. He will get the blame for the epidemic. The people will be in desperation to find a capable ruler. Daenerys is the most capable of the young ones. So yes, Dany will be welcomed by most. Most of all by the common people. Westeros will be in very bad shape, thanks to Robert, Jon Snow, Balon, and Euron. The people will beg Daenerys to leave Slaver's Bay and come to Westeros.
  9. Stannis and Renly would have caught Baelish if he was taking more than a small amount. The treasury is not money that has to be collected. It was already collected and stored. Baelish would have limited access. Somebody would have said something if he was walking out with bags of gold every week without authorization from Robert. It's much easier to steal gold while it is in the process of being collected in the form of revenue. Much harder to steal it if it has already been collected, counted, and recorded. Robert spent it all.
  10. The stories ended the same way? I don't think so. Their stories have not ended. And each will be unique as they are quite different. I would gladly serve in Dany's council. I think she has a lot of potential to be an effective ruler of a large continent. She has traveled a lot and speaks many languages. Jon will be more suitable as a leader of a tribal people like the Free Folk.
  11. A great American once said "trust but verify."
  12. Hizdahr is a good match. He could die through some betrayal but still he was a good match. Edmure would be attracted to Dany but he is already married to Roslyn Frey. The Tullys have lost the riverlands but could still be useful if something were to happen to Roslyn. Jon should not really be considering marriage at all but he broke his vows over Arya so his nose is pointing in her direction. That pairing has been in the works since the beginning. It will be Gendry in that long triangle with Jon and Arya as opposed to Tyrion.
  13. The marriage match which heals the rift between the Targaryens and the Blackfyres is Aegon. But George is not going to let the rift heal this easily. And Aegon will have to survive Cersei and the Lannisters. Tristane Martell and Willas Tyrell are the best of the bachelors. Edmure Tully is not a bad choice either. Hizdahr Zo Loraq is really not such a bad choice. Hizdahr might change his ways if Marwyn arrives with convincing proof that a long winter is coming. The Loraqs are a powerful old family. They can sway public opinion to accept the refugees coming east from Westeros. Daenerys' husbands will represent East and West. I say why not a Dothraki khal. This instantly adds a formidable cavalry to her already great infantry. Jon already broke his vows. Why anyone wants to see him fall farther down into dishonor is beyond me. He should stay at the wall and do his job.
  14. Craster's Keep is a mound of dirt around shacks. Jon is better off by building his own homestead in lands owned by the Starks. He messed up rather badly at the wall but that will be forgotten by the small number of people still alive after the darkness has passed. Jon will have a relationship with the white walkers if they are the ones to resurrect him. They could make him the king of the north if he agrees to give them baby boys on regular intervals. There has never been solid proof of the white walkers intending to exterminate every human. They just want the humans to make regular donations of babies. This is Craster's legacy to Jon, the trick of how to keep the white walkers happy.
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