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The Coconut God

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  1. I am experiencing similar issues. Would be neat if they got fixed.
  2. This is your answer. Feast & Dance are transitional books. They move the plot from the largely resolved War of the Five Kings which dominated the first three volumes to whatever the endgame is going to be. People who already made up their minds about the endgame before Feast & Dance were even published tend not to like them. To them, many of the newly introduced plot points are "filler" because they don't move the story along in the direction they "know" it "must" follow. People who like to read between the lines and theorize, such as myself, tend to enjoy Feast & Dance more than the other books because they are still open ended and therefore allow us to play with the puzzle pieces and construct a multitude of potential scenarios from them. If Winds makes good use of the plot points set up in Feast & Dance (even subverting long standing expectations about the endgame if it has to), naysayers will have to concede that everything was necessary for the story after all. They may get a new enjoyment out of a re-read, since obviously they would have missed the point of the books the first time. If the plot points are dropped or hastily resolved in a manner that makes them seem superfluous, then it will be hard for people to take those books seriously even if they originally enjoyed them, much like the show is now hard to watch because of the poor ending.
  3. I'm not sure if Jon's ending will be the same in the books, as in him rejoining the Watch or living north of the Wall with the wildlings. That seems a little disconnected and trite to me. He goes through this gigantic arc only to end up more or less back where he began? What about the LotR ending George said he was aiming for? Some characters did "go back home". but neither Frodo nor Aragorn ended up where they began. The events of the books changed them to much. Now, when it comes to his assassination, I don't think that's actually about Jon... Well, it is to some extent, but that's not the main reason why George made it happen. I think it's more about how Jon's absence will affect the rest of the story in the North, especially Stannis's. Unlike D&D, George doesn't make his character stupid just for the sake of advancing the plot. Stannis is stubborn and flawed, but he's not stupid. If Jon was around when the Others invaded, he would listen to his advice, just like he did in the Bolton campaign. I can see Stannis failing to take advance from Davos in the future, and that would be one of those big tragic mistakes for the character, but Davos would only be in a position to give ethical advice. Jon knows a lot about the North, the wildlings, the wights and the Others, he is in a position to give informed tactical and political advice. If the end of Stannis's arc is that he burns Shireen and leads a doomed attack against the Others after half his men abandon him, I can't imagine that happening with Jon at his side. And simply saying "Jon was caught up somewhere else" would be a cop out if we assume the clash with the Others is imminent. Another important part of this is that Jon, not Stannis, was the glue holding all the factions at the Wall together. The wildlings wouldn't turn on the Watch while Jon was in charge. The northern lords presumably wouldn't turn on Stannis if Jon was at his side. Especially if they know about Robb's will. Taking Jon out of the picture is an opportunity for these conflicts to play out. I will be very surprised if they don't. Of course, this also serves Jon indirectly, because you want to think of him as the character who would have known what to do. Had he been around and incapable of doing anything while all the shit the fan, then you would ask yourself "Who is this guy to pick all the pieces at the end? He's just as responsible as everyone else". So I don't think it will matter all that much if he's dead or in a coma or if people will make a big deal of his resurrection or not. The real plot point is that he won't be around for a while, and the way in which this will affect his character is that he won't be directly involved in whatever goes down (while still being able to internalize some of the blame, since the assassination itself was a result of his own political and leadership mistakes). Personally, I still suspect he will die and be resurrected, first of all for the "cool factor" and the impact it will have on some of the people who choose to follow Jon afterwards, and second of all because it would allow George to tighten up the narrative a little bit. Think about it, Cat stopped getting PoV chapters after she became LSH, so George can stop giving us Jon chapters for most if not all of TWoW, to keep us in suspense on whether or not it's still our Jon in there. Then all the other PoV characters in the North, like Davos, Asha, Mel and Theon, instead of being superfluous after Stannis dies, can serve as a window into whatever Jon is doing.
  4. You assume Jon will be resurrected at Castle Black while Marsh is in charge. I certainly don't. And yes, fire wights are "not who they were", but that doesn't mean they are enslaved husks either. IIRC, Martin said each time they die something is lost, and they become more single minded, but I assume what remains still comes from who they were. I imagine they are like people coming back after a massive stroke, minus the paralysis. But in any case, I don't really understand what the point of this argument is. I'm not married to the idea of Jon dying and coming back to life, I'm perfectly fine with him not dying at all. The points that are important to me are: He's not dead right now. I think the story would be served better if he's out of commission for a longer time, allowing Stannis to ruin his relationship with the North and possibly lose to the Others all without Jon's intervention. So, to me, he's in a coma at the moment. Whether he recovers or not remains to be seen. Robb's will is what frees him of his vows and makes him KitN. The resurrection, even if it happens, is just a red herring with regards to the vows, and he doesn't need to fight the Boltons to prove himself as king. He is king by Robb's decree. That's it. If he doesn't die at all, that works just fine for me. Who says the North needs to be united? The Others are coming, this is when the ball drops. The North needs to be at its lowest. Ditto for the Wall, things are already at the point where they are about to fall apart when we last see the place in Dance. Why fix it when we know it has to break again for the story to move forward? This is a show to books thread, what part of the show gave you the impression that the Others will be held back at the Wall? But Roose vs Stannis is already in the final phase! If Roose loses, the story can progress to the Others, to the mother fucking stepping stone to the endgame. If Stannis loses, the story goes into another side quest loop. Roose vs Jon, interesting or not, is not necessary for progressing anything. Why not have Jon vs Lady Dustin afterwards? She's interesting too...
  5. But why must we have this convoluted mess... Stannis losing, surviving, running away to the wall, somehow growing mad enough to burn Shireen instead of running off to Braavos to get more sellswords... all for the sake of the boring ass Ramsay vs Jon side story? I don't get it. It's just bad. The story flows smoother, is more satisfying, and serves the characters better thematically if Stannis retakes Winterfell, finally loses his skepticism about his higher destiny and makes the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the realm, only to be crushed by reality in the most tragic way. It doesn't matter what you and Martin call him, what matters is how he is seen by his potential followers. Fire wight or not, Beric's resurrections were enough to convert a lot of people down in the south. The crucial difference between them and the ice zombies (at least the ones the Others use) is that they can pass off as real people.
  6. Being resurrected by fire means that you can't possibly be a wight. Wights are killed by fire. This is why I believe that, if he dies at all, he will come back to life from his own funeral pyre.
  7. Sure, but we don't have to rely on resurrection to free him of his vows, therefore there is no contradiction. If she hasn't done it already, how will she now? Stannis is prepared to die at Winterfell, and in that situation he wants Shireen to succeed him, we already know this. The only thing that could make him change his mind is if this existential threat of the Great Other actually manifests itself, because then he will have to believe that he is Azor Ahai and it is his duty to save the realm.
  8. You are free to disagree, but that is the enemy Melissandre set him out to face. If he's ever going to burn Shireen, and the show basically confirmed it, he will do it to protect the realm from an existential threat, He won't do it just to win a castle for himself, we've already seen that in the Theon preview chapters. If he dies in battle, Massey's orders are to win the throne for Shireen. I don't think he's dead either, not yet at least. I agree that getting out of the Night's Watch on a technicality would be highly questionable, but a king has the power to free him from his vows. We know this from both Stannis, who offered it to Jon, and from Cersei, who promised it to Osney. Since Robb legitimized him and named him his heir in his will, it stands to reason that he freed him of his vows as well, otherwise he'd just be in Maester Aemon's position. So technically speaking he's been free of his vows by northern law since the Red Wedding, he just didn't know it yet.
  9. They're not nulled by his death, they're nulled by the will.
  10. It's very simple, though. Stannis is the false Azor Ahai, the king with an iron will who will break before he bends. The Others break through the Wall, and he is convinced it is his destiny and duty to stop them. The northern lords abandon him in fear, he is hopelessly outnumbered, so he burns Shireen for a blessing from Rh'llor. Nothing happens, but he goes forth anyway, and all that happens is that his paltry forces get added to the armies of the dead. He is destroyed by the corpses of the very Freys he drowned and northmen he slaughtered to take Winterfell. Perfect ending for him, now Jon finally succumbs to his wounds and is placed on a pyre, but he comes back to life again, and on top of it all he was Robb's chosen heir as well. Boom, everyone pins their hopes on him!
  11. Good point about the ungrateful northerners. This wasn't convincing at all with Dany given the circumstances in the show, but it works perfectly for Stannis. I don't think she will march to Winterfell either, I think there's a high chance the North will be abandoned at least temporarily before the Others are dealt with. I keep saying this, but I think the show had very strong reasons to avoid winter as much as possible. Filming on location in Iceland is one thing, but having snow on demand on large sets like Wintefell or locations like King's Landing would have been a huge production challenge and likely insanely expensive. Of course they would opt for a season of Ramsay over the Others invading early. Even in season 8, the snow is blatantly fake and never more than ankle deep. What were they going to do for a meter high snows, rebuild their sets in Alaska and keep their crew there to shoot in the winter? I bet we'll see a much harsher and longer winter in the books. Luckily, George's imagination doesn't have budgetary constraints. I'm actually going with Brienne as the Last Hero 2.0. She has a "magic sword" after all, and this would vindicate her eight chapters of character development that a lot of people are complaining about. D&D probably thought Brienne wasn't important enough, or didn't know how to make this work for the character. Remember that fight she had with Arya? You can call me a tinfoil hatter, but I think eventually we'll see that scene as a nod to this change. Kind of like "In the show, Arya is better than Brienne, so we are giving her the job of ending the Long Night". She even used the same knife move she used when she killed the Night King in that scene, so they're clearly connected. This also means that book Jaime will get show Theon's ending. He will go full circle and die protecting Bran, which I find a lot more satisfying for his character than being squashed by a bunch of bricks.
  12. I subscribe to the theory that Stannis will use the frozen lake to defeat the Freys, then dress his own men in their armor and enter Winterfell by guile. The Pink Letter is supposed to be a direct result of this trick and a hint for the reader that it is taking place. I also believe that Stannis's men and the loyal northern lords will tragically butcher each other because neither knows about the others' deception. Manderly's knights will fall in the same trap as the Freys, and Stannis won't be inclined to spare any survivors. The northern lords will defend themselves fiercely against a perceived Frey betrayal. So in the end Stannis will win, but there will be very few soldiers left in the North. Then Ramsay's raven reaches Castle Black first, everyone believes Stannis lost, Jon is assassinated and everything turns to shit over there. Cue the Others breaching the Wall. Good luck everyone! That's what I understand by progressing the story. I accept that I may be biased, but half a book of Jon Snow fighting the Boltons after Stannis dies in an anticlimactic way sounds like a turd sandwich to me and I don't want it!
  13. You make a good point about fArya, but on the other hand the clansmen don't really plan to return home. Part of their reason for joining Stannis was that old men usually go out in the cold to die anyway during hard winters, to leave more food for the young, and they'd rather die in battle. As for Roose, even if he has some special powers, unless they connect to the main plot line, he's still going to be a side quest. I suppose he could be this ancient creature who can reveal something about the Others, but that would feel a bit too tacked on for me (and not really necessary, considering Bran is linked to the weirnet).
  14. I agree that he has to lose, but not to the Boltons. The Boltons are much weaker end game material than Stannis. I understand that the show focused an entire season on Ramsay vs the Starks, but I'd call that a side quest more than story progression, and they had to deviate quite a lot from the books in order to have it happen anyway. Keep in mind Jon doesn't need to prove himself in battle to become KitN because Robb's will exists in the books. The pack absolutely has to pay off, but we've clearly seen that Arya can serve as a PoV for them and maybe even control Nymeria regardless of where she is. Arya doesn't need to come to the Riverlands for the gun to be fired.
  15. Not saying she won't take control of the North, but that's hardly a guarantee. The story in the books is poised to have Stannis beat the Boltons, which means the next step is either a much earlier invasion of the Others (very fitting given the title), or a war between Stannis and the North and/or the Vale. Cersei as queen is also highly unlikely. In the books she has to deal with Aegon as well as the Faith and the Tyrell, and Euron is not exactly the sex-crazed puppy from the show. He is the kind of man book Cersei has no hope of playing. She'll engineer her own doom by allying herself with him.
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