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  1. The eloping vs kidnap/rape reads like a red herring to distract from their being other options. This isn't the only place where the readers have led down one path to distract them. My top guess right now is that they ran away together to prevent a war when Aerys found out about Lyanna being the knight and fearing a war between the Targs and Starks which would blow up. Stuff happened while they were on the run. It all lies with Ned: if Lyanna had eloped effectively ruining his life, the life of his family and truly screwing Westeros leading to countless deaths and even more misery, Ned would have more mixed feelings about Lyanna than he does. If Rhaegar had kidnapped/raped her which led to her death, Ned wouldn't be meh towards him. So whatever it is, it's door #3, something consistent with Ned putting Lyanna on a pedestal and being ok with Rhaegar.
  2. I unexpectedly really love this series and also Hunter's Soulwood series which is set in the same universe and intertwines with the Yellowrock series. I usually ditch a series long before book 13 because the quality goes downhill so much but she's really held it up. One of the very few series of this genre which works great on reread as she plants a lot of little details to discover later. 13 isn't her last JY book. For some reason, her contract is usually renewed only a few books at a time so who knows how long it'll go but it causes a lot of confusion with people thinking every book is the last. Since she just did a total reset, I'm thinking she's not ending it soon at least by choice. Her new Soulwood book is out in July and she's working on the next Jane Yellowrock now. Just checked her blog and 14 is titled True Dead. http://www.faithhunter.net/wp/2020/04/18/title-reveal-2/
  3. Not a theory, but maybe keep in mind that there's a lot of crossover between snakes/bats/dragons in the series. Bran thinks the dragon vision from Winterfell as a snake with wings. Rhaego was described as having been born with bat wings. Sansa was described as a wolf with bat wings when she and Tyrion were clearly symbolic Targs (or not so symbolic depending on your views of A+J=T) at the Purple Wedding with Tyrion in red and black and Sansa in silver and purple with stones from Asshai. Harrenhal was burned by dragons but is now inhabited by giant bats. Bran sees giant bat skeletons in the caves, but the dragon stuff going on there is fairly screaming so I'm not so sure at all that he isn't seeing small dragon skeletons. ADWD Daenerys VIII The dragons craned their necks around, gazing at them with burning eyes. Viserion had shattered one chain and melted the others. He clung to the roof of the pit like some huge white bat, his claws dug deep into the burnt and crumbling bricks. Rhaegal, still chained, was gnawing on the carcass of a bull. The bones on the floor of the pit were deeper than the last time she had been down here, and the walls and floors were black and grey, more ash than brick. They would not hold much longer … but behind them was only earth and stone. Can dragons tunnel through rock, like the firewyrms of old Valyria? She hoped not.
  4. Bran as Plato's Philosopher King I will say that while the show shoe-horned in Bran as King, he's a great fit thematically for the books. I'm not sure that GRRM is pushing the Philosopher King as an ideal ruler as his m.o. is treat things more grey, present pros and cons, and instill debate among the characters and readers. But perhaps Bran who understands history better than any becomes king to break the wheel of history repeating itself through knowledge of history finally allowing Westeros to progress. https://www.inverse.com/article/56007-game-of-thrones-finale-plato-reference-tyrion-bran-philosopher-king Forgotten History - A massive point in the books is how history is forgotten and it's explored in multiple ways. The wildlings are more closely linked to old ways and they tell Jon that he knows nothing. The Starks follow traditions without knowing why, and there's hints at other things they've forgotten entirely. The Royces can't get their runes right. The Isle of the Faces and the Pact are important, but no one can say why anymore. Singers tell of historical events, but in an effort to tell a good story, the actual events are lost. GRRM's in-world histories are filled with what they've forgotten. biases, guesses, etc. Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. Westeros has been stagnated in their Medieval period for thousands of years. Checked that box. The books are filled with parallels upon parallels of the current events which mirror past events in a repeat of history. And we're getting ready to repeat the Long Night because of what we've forgotten. In Westeros, forgetting history and its lessons can have grave consequences which can't be overstated. [Insert STEM rant here.] Enter Bran, the holder of the most complete accounting of history available. Arya sailed for "America", Bran was dressed in Renaissance-influenced clothing at the end, and Tyrion argued to "elect" Bran for his "stories" as D&D eloquently called it (ugh), but it would have been more accurate to say he was chosen for his knowledge - another Renaissancey idea. Under Bran, Westeros will finally no longer be doomed to repeat their history and they can now begin to leave their Medieval period, or the un-pc term, their Dark Ages. The show underscored the importance of Bran in Brienne's writings on Jaime's deeds. In her affection for him which is a bias, she records that he killed Aerys without mentioning that he did so to save the city, and he died saving his queen, not mentioning which queen or the context of either. Sam writes a work titled ASOIAF, but he neglects to mention Tyrion. Both forgotten history. The idea of the philosopher king prioritizes knowledge and experience as the best qualifier for a ruler over random luck-of-the-draw birth or rule by uneducated masses. Plato compares society to the mutinous crew of a ship who fight with each other to become captain despite none of them having knowledge of navigation (heh - The Game of Thrones). They dismiss the captain's ability to navigate as useless star-gazing (again heh, Bran). An idea like this is already recognizable in the books as this is how Aegon was trained, so some version of this idea is already at work in the series and it's escalated for Bran as one of the most important points the idea of the philosopher king makes is that rulers be free of conflicting interests, biases, and promoting the self. Along with the philosopher king, we have Plato's cave, also from The Republic. According to this, all men live in a dark cave facing a wall. Their entire understanding of the world is created as shadows on wall created by puppeteers. In ASOIAF/GoT we have Varys the mummer/puppeteer who says power lies where men think it lies. The shadows are cast by a fire behind the men and this reminds me of Mel who says that without light, there can be no shadows which puts R'llhor into the same category as Varys/LF. There may be more aspects, because these cast shadows on the wall of the cave that we understand to be reality are the creation of powerful people, religion, culture, tradition, the people who have influenced us, etc. At one point, the cave dweller (us) must turn around to look into the fire behind us to see the source of what we think to be our understanding of the world, and to finally turn our eyes to the sun and leave the cave and its cast shadows (our culture and experience which dictates our understanding of the world) behind. So Bran will have to leave the cave. ADWD Bran III "A man must know how to look before he can hope to see," said Lord Brynden. "Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood. Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. They root and grow and die in one place, and that river does not move them. The oak is the acorn, the acorn is the oak. And the weirwood … a thousand human years are a moment to a weirwood, and through such gates you and I may gaze into the past."
  5. I guessed at Euron's general role. My impression is that a lot of people did. I didn't guess at the details we'd get tossed in the Forsaken chapter though. Not by a longshot. TWOW Aeron Spoilers Been seeing a lot of Unsullied say they're starting to read the books. Have to admit a perverse interest in seeing them react to book Euron, comparing him to the Jack Sparrow knockoff and ….
  6. Sorry for the text bomb, but this is one area where many of us (me included at one point) misremember this because of a long time between rereads and show Jon's whitewashing. Jon wants Winterfell so badly it drives him to a berserker rage. While breaking his vows bothers him, it's not what triggers his decision. It's that the heart tree would have to be destroyed that's the deal breaker for him. In ADWD, Jon decides to ride for Winterfell in what for him is motivated in part by vengeance and he's more bothered by ordering others to break their vows than breaking his own. This would be a huge difference between the deeply white-washed show Jon and book Jon in TWOW. ASOS Jon XII When Jon had been very young, too young to understand what it meant to be a bastard, he used to dream that one day Winterfell might be his. Later, when he was older, he had been ashamed of those dreams. Winterfell would go to Robb and then his sons, or to Bran or Rickon should Robb die childless. And after them came Sansa and Arya. Even to dream otherwise seemed disloyal, as if he were betraying them in his heart, wishing for their deaths. I never wanted this, he thought as he stood before the blue-eyed king and the red woman. I loved Robb, loved all of them . . . I never wanted any harm to come to any of them, but it did. And now there's only me. All he had to do was say the word, and he would be Jon Stark, and nevermore a Snow. All he had to do was pledge this king his fealty, and Winterfell was his. All he had to do . . . . . . was forswear his vows again. And this time it would not be a ruse. To claim his father's castle, he must turn against his father's gods. … Every morning they had trained together, since they were big enough to walk; Snow and Stark, spinning and slashing about the wards of Winterfell, shouting and laughing, sometimes crying when there was no one else to see. They were not little boys when they fought, but knights and mighty heroes. "I'm Prince Aemon the Dragonknight," Jon would call out, and Robb would shout back, "Well, I'm Florian the Fool." Or Robb would say, "I'm the Young Dragon," and Jon would reply, "I'm Ser Ryam Redwyne." That morning he called it first. "I'm Lord of Winterfell!" he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, "You can't be Lord of Winterfell, you're bastard-born. My lady mother says you can't ever be the Lord of Winterfell." I thought I had forgotten that. Jon could taste blood in his mouth, from the blow he'd taken. In the end Halder and Horse had to pull him away from Iron Emmett, one man on either arm. The ranger sat on the ground dazed, his shield half in splinters, the visor of his helm knocked askew, and his sword six yards away. "Jon, enough," Halder was shouting, "he's down, you disarmed him. Enough!" No. Not enough. Never enough. Jon let his sword drop. "I'm sorry," he muttered. "Emmett, are you hurt?" Iron Emmett pulled his battered helm off. "Was there some part of yield you could not comprehend, Lord Snow?" It was said amiably, though. Emmett was an amiable man, and he loved the song of swords. "Warrior defend me," he groaned, "now I know how Qhorin Halfhand must have felt." That was too much. Jon wrenched free of his friends and retreated to the armory, alone. His ears were still ringing from the blow Emmett had dealt him. He sat on the bench and buried his head in his hands. Why am I so angry? he asked himself, but it was a stupid question. Lord of Winterfell. I could be the Lord of Winterfell. My father's heir. ... You can't be the Lord of Winterfell, you're bastard-born, he heard Robb say again. And the stone kings were growling at him with granite tongues. You do not belong here. This is not your place. When Jon closed his eyes he saw the heart tree, with its pale limbs, red leaves, and solemn face. The weirwood was the heart of Winterfell, Lord Eddard always said . . . but to save the castle Jon would have to tear that heart up by its ancient roots, and feed it to the red woman's hungry fire god. I have no right, he thought. Winterfell belongs to the old gods. ... He wanted it, Jon knew then. He wanted it as much as he had ever wanted anything. I have always wanted it, he thought, guiltily. May the gods forgive me. It was a hunger inside him, sharp as a dragonglass blade. A hunger . . . he could feel it. It was food he needed, prey, a red deer that stank of fear or a great elk proud and defiant. He needed to kill and fill his belly with fresh meat and hot dark blood. His mouth began to water with the thought. It was a long moment before he understood what was happening. When he did, he bolted to his feet. "Ghost?" He turned toward the wood, and there he came, padding silently out of the green dusk, the breath coming warm and white from his open jaws. "Ghost!" he shouted, and the direwolf broke into a run. He was leaner than he had been, but bigger as well, and the only sound he made was the soft crunch of dead leaves beneath his paws. When he reached Jon he leapt, and they wrestled amidst brown grass and long shadows as the stars came out above them. "Gods, wolf, where have you been?" Jon said when Ghost stopped worrying at his forearm. "I thought you'd died on me, like Robb and Ygritte and all the rest. I've had no sense of you, not since I climbed the Wall, not even in dreams." The direwolf had no answer, but he licked Jon's face with a tongue like a wet rasp, and his eyes caught the last light and shone like two great red suns. Red eyes, Jon realized, but not like Melisandre's. He had a weirwood's eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one. And he alone of all the direwolves was white. Six pups they'd found in the late summer snows, him and Robb; five that were grey and black and brown, for the five Starks, and one white, as white as Snow. He had his answer then. ADWD Jon XIII "The Night's Watch will make for Hardhome. I ride to Winterfell alone, unless …" Jon paused. "… is there any man here who will come stand with me?" The roar was all he could have hoped for, the tumult so loud that the two old shields tumbled from the walls. Soren Shieldbreaker was on his feet, the Wanderer as well. Toregg the Tall, Brogg, Harle the Huntsman and Harle the Handsome both, Ygon Oldfather, Blind Doss, even the Great Walrus. I have my swords, thought Jon Snow, and we are coming for you, Bastard. Yarwyck and Marsh were slipping out, he saw, and all their men behind them. It made no matter. He did not need them now. He did not want them. No man can ever say I made my brothers break their vows. If this is oathbreaking, the crime is mine and mine alone. Then Tormund was pounding him on the back, all gap-toothed grin from ear to ear. "Well spoken, crow. Now bring out the mead! Make them yours and get them drunk, that's how it's done. We'll make a wildling o' you yet, boy. Har!"
  7. @Ruki88 Foreshadowing is overestimated on this forum. Can't overstate this enough. Nothing is technically foreshadowing until it actually happens. There's tons of stuff in the early books which look like foreshadowing but are clearly not as it's now impossible for those things to happen. GRRM covered his tracks well. You can find evidence for Hot Pie becoming King if you look hard enough. It's all over the place for all kinds of characters and obvi it's not all true. There's no widely accepted endgame theory out there for any character. About nobody saw the foreshadowing for the Red Wedding until it happened and we backtracked to find it. GRRM's foreshadowing is often very complicated. Another poster broke down the bulk of events for AGOT's tourney as foreshadowing for the War of the 5 Kings events. Crazy complicated. GRRM often uses switcheroos for foreshadowing. Take this Tyrion/Sansa foreshadowing: Sansa is engaged to Joff --> She thinks she'd rather be engaged to Tommen --> Tyrion arrives in KL --> Sansa compared Tyrion to Tommen in height --> it's Tyrion that she ends up marrying. We get the same format for Garlan/Willas, and there's a third that I'm forgetting offhand. AFFC Alayne II It is quite vexing. I had hoped to have four or five quiet years to plant some seeds and allow some fruits to ripen, but now . . . it is a good thing that I thrive on chaos. LF (GRRM) lost his 5 year gap. GRRM the Gardener plants seeds which readers interpret as foreshadowing, but some of those seeds will never grow. Despite all of the obsessive analyzing, we will be surprised. Who saw Euron in the Forsaken coming? Who guessed at Aegon? Tyrion as a slave in Essos? Barristan taking up with Dany? Ned dying? Tywin getting killed while shitting? Jon as LC? Arya in Braavos as a FM? Bran being rigged up to a tree in a cave with Bloodraven of all people? Sansa in the Vale? LF tossing Lysa out the Moondoor? Catelyn as a revenge fire zombie? Jon getting stabbed? Whatever happened to Victarion? Were any of these really foreshadowed well if at all? Yet they happened. It's a pet peeve of mine on this forum that people absolutely insist something will never happen because it's "not foreshadowed". As so much foreshadowing doesn't reveal itself until we've backtracked after knowing the actual event (and even then there's no guarantees that we'll find it), we'll have to wait for people to do their re-reads.
  8. Only death (or great sacrifice) can pay for life (or exceptional power over life and death). But the cave isn't the only possible payment. Bran dreamed of being a knight, he loved climbing and adventure, and Ned said he'll never sleep with a woman or be able to father children. The payment's already been made without him having to be stuck in the cave. As with the NW, the KG, Dany getting dragons, Maesters, MMR's lack of kids and the great price she said she paid, the CotF, the inability to have or raise one's own children is often the price for such. It's something which is very much a part of rl myth as super heroes are never told of having families and monsters with their supernatural abilities and exceptional lifespans are also unable to procreate or manage families with the obligations that come with their abilities. And everywhere there's a weirwood you find a place of the old gods. Ned prayed in the godswood in KL and it didn't even have a weirwood.
  9. I don't think we can assume what's required here because there's too little info. In the quote in the post above, greenseers are marked with red or green eyes and a sickly constitution. This fits BR and he didn't merge with the trees until he was 77 or so, yet it really sounds like he was doing greenseer stuff way before that with skinchanging being an important component of that. But BR says that he's almost desperate for Bran as they're about out of time, but Bran has Tully blue eyes, and his weak constitution was created by an accident, not by birth. In short, it sounds like Bran may be Frankensteined into the position somehow and we don't know why or what that entails. The Stark line seems important though, guessing for the skinchanging trait. But like BR before he was 77, like the bizarro weirwoods in Qarth and the shade of the evening, the connection to the trees may not be required permanently until one is nearer to natural death.
  10. On Bran being just supernatural - he's a font of history, including the history of man. A thousand eyes and one. The old gods are the histories and memories of those who have gone before and all that was witnessed through the trees. They're not gods in the traditional sense of the word. ADWD Bran III "In a sense. Those you call the children of the forest have eyes as golden as the sun, but once in a great while one is born amongst them with eyes as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of the forest. By these signs do the gods mark those they have chosen to receive the gift. The chosen ones are not robust, and their quick years upon the earth are few, for every song must have its balance. But once inside the wood they linger long indeed. A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. Greenseers." Bran did not understand, so he asked the Reeds. "Do you like to read books, Bran?" Jojen asked him. "Some books. I like the fighting stories. My sister Sansa likes the kissing stories, but those are stupid." "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one. The singers of the forest had no books. No ink, no parchment, no written language. Instead they had the trees, and the weirwoods above all. When they died, they went into the wood, into leaf and limb and root, and the trees remembered. All their songs and spells, their histories and prayers, everything they knew about this world. Maesters will tell you that the weirwoods are sacred to the old gods. The singers believe they are the old gods. When singers die they become part of that godhood."
  11. Based on the TWOW chapters, there may be some number of mini-jumps totaling up to a few years or so. Not sure if enough could be worked in to amount to 5 years, though. We're are getting Winter and lots of travel which would help that.
  12. "Only a theory" doesn't mean it isn't true. RLJ used to be "only a theory". And I'm not dismissing RLJ, that was just an example making my point. You've done exactly zero to establish that the theory has nothing to do with the facts of the show and haven't shown any evidence at all of even having had watched the video or researched the popularity of the idea and the support cited for it. And again, it's not my theory that that statement was in reference to Bran, That was your projection. I'm just holding that it fits that the 3ER/Bran did conquer the kingship (not the world obvi). I see why we're going in circles. I say something and you ignore it.
  13. Bold: No. I said that GRRM wasn't letting the younger characters' arcs change just because the 5 year gap made them younger. You assumed I meant that statement referred specifically to Bran. I took issue with your statement that the 3ER/3EC won the kingship in a contest when there's evidence to the contrary which you keep ignoring. You're still not discussing the particular points of the ideas and just throwing out ad hominem arguments. I could have dismissed RLJ fairly recently with the same just some fan theory idea, but that wouldn't have been right, would it? You can't apply ad hominems when it suits you and then handwave it off when it doesn't. It doesn't hold that previous pacing will equal future pacing. See the TWOW chapters. There's jumps in timing in the series. Travel speeds up time, and battles slow it down. We had multiple POV chapters cover the single night of the Battle of Blackwater and the immediately surrounding time, But we don't get the same treatment when Sam travels from Castle Black to Oldtown thank goodness. While we can be fairly certain that we won't see any characters say 10 years later, any reader is out of line in being certain of the pacing within the frame of a few years, especially as we're facing Winter (travel through snow is slower) and long sea voyages half-way across the world when GRRM won't be using jet packs. The characters will converge. That takes time.
  14. That you refuse to discuss the specific points of the idea and ignore that Bran's the 3ER/3EC and the implications of that are telling. Noted. I suggest a more expansive definition of conquering as some are conquered by words, not swords. Ask Robb. LF and Varys also did a helluva job bringing down houses without a sword themselves. ASOS Tyrion I (Tywin as he's writing the letters to arrange the Red Wedding.) "Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens. The books aren't a perfect keeping of a single Earth year. We don't know how that pacing will work out. In AGOT, Sansa is 11. In AFFC, she's only 13. In TWOW Alayne I and the Mercy chapter, most think there was a time jump of some significance. Sometimes it moves slowly and at other times quickly. We don't know and 11-12 is too close of a call, especially as Winter slows everything down. It might be Arya, it might be Bran, it might be both, or even more likely, it's just a turn of phrase as I don't see any character at all conquering the whole world. But as Arya goes off to wander and explore as she has since AGOT, and we know Bran becoming King comes right from GRRM, Bran seems much more likely if one had to choose.
  15. Google this topic and see how common this view is. It's all over the place, not just "a fan's interpretation" and this particular "interpretation" is quite sound and well-cited. D&D did show that Bran may have made sure these events came about otherwise why would this idea be everywhere complete with evidence to cite for it? Isaac said Bran as king came from GRRM. He doesn't get it like he won a beauty pageant or something. So yes, the 3EC might well be that hypothetical 12 year old who conquerors.
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