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The Bard of Banefort

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  1. Something I've been pondering is what the true story behind the fallout between Rhaenyra and Criston Cole was. It does seem to have hinged on one's rejection of the other, although we don't know which party did the rejecting. I've seen some people make the argument that Cole had a massive Madonna-whore complex, and that Rhaenyra trying to seduce him before her wedding soiled his opinion of her, but I'm turning against that interpretation. For one, Rhaenyra's virtue was already called into question before then (more on that later), and he didn't seem to have a problem serving Alicent, despite the rumors of her having affairs with both Viserys and Daemon prior to her marriage. That he fought in a "black fury" at her wedding tourney also suggests a scorned lover, so I think we can probably assume that Cole offered to run off with Rhaenyra, she turned him down, and this is what turned him against her. Going with this interpretation of their fallout makes me wonder what really happened a few years prior to that, however, when Viserys banished Daemon from court for a second time. Eustace said he and Rhaenyra were caught in bed together, whereas Mushroom claims that she tried to seduce Cole instead. Her trying to seduce Cole would explain why he thought she would be willing to run off with him, but judging by how quickly Rhaenyra married Daemon after Laenor's death, it lends credence to the belief that she really was enamored with with her uncle. If Rhaenyra was in love with Daemon at this time though, it makes me wonder if she ever really loved Criston Cole to begin with, or if it was much more one-sided than we were led to believe. And then there's Breakbones. Mushroom claims she turned to him after Cole spurned her, but if we're going with Eustace's version of the story, then we don't really know when or how the two of them came together. I wish we had more information. The details may not be that important to the greater story, but it definitely entices the reader.
  2. I think it had more to do with the Blacks and Greens hating each other so much that Joffrey was upset to see Aemond try to mount Laena's dragon so shortly after her death. We're not really given any definitive answer on this, but I suspect Jace probably would have taken the name Targaryen upon ascending to the throne.
  3. I'm guessing we'll find out what happened to Aemond's son in F&B pt. 2. Maegor will probably play a role in the Dunk and Egg stories, which would explain why we still know so little about him.
  4. Hey, I never said she was perfect ;-) But to me at least, she felt more sympathetic this time around.
  5. The Bard of Banefort

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    To be clear, I don't think Jaehaerys was some sort of horrible monster, nor do I think that of Alysanne. They both undeniably had good intentions, even if those intentions didn't lead to good results. Small side-question: was Rhaenys the first legitimate Targaryen who had dark hair? Targaryens with dark hair tend to make waves--notably Rhaenyra's sons and Baelor Breakspear--so I'm curious who the first one to grow up at the Red Keep was.
  6. I think we can ascertain that Rhaenyra must have had real feelings for Harwin, rather than just picking him as a suitable secret father for her heirs. I don't know much about the various European monarchies, but I do remember reading about how Mary Boleyn's husband looked very similar to Henry VIII, which is one reason why scholars still have trouble figuring out which of her children were his and which were the king's. If Rhaenyra were thinking more critically, it would have been wiser to have found a paramour who looked like Laenor (I'm not in disbelief that Corlys would have found her one if she asked). With that in mind, I think it likely that she was thinking with her heart instead of her head, which worked against her. Originally, at least. In TRP and TPATQ, George seemed to be trying to make both the Blacks and the Greens responsible for the carnage, with Rhaenyra being something of a Cersei precursor who was selfish and only cared about her own desires. Reading Fire and Blood, it felt like George just kind of went, "ah, f**k it," and made Rhaenyra a tragic figure whose life was ruined by sexism and the power-hungry Greens. I actually prefer sympathetic Rhaenyra, but she did feel like a different character to me this time.
  7. The Bard of Banefort

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    Jaehaerys' sexism is definitely interesting, considering what we know of his life, especially his marriage with Alysanne. I guess he saw Alysanne as the "great woman behind every great man," rather than one-half of a great team the way she did. Granted, it makes him look especially bad when you consider that neither Tyrion nor Arys Oakheart thought Myrcella would struggle as a queen, yet Jaehaerys had no faith in Rhaenys. It also makes me wonder what Aemon would have thought if he knew his brother was to be his heir instead of his daughter, and if Baelon would have stepped aside had it been asked of him. The grossest thing about Viserra and Manderly--and this is applicable to Westeros at large, not just in this instance--is that she was was basically his reward for being a loyal lord: serve the king, get a hot chick. This became a pretty common conversation after season three of GOT, when Sansa was portrayed as being very sweet to Tyrion and some book readers started criticizing her book-counterpart for being a "bitch" to poor Tyrion. The basis of this debate was whether or not the showrunners were rewarding Tyrion for being a nice guy with getting a young, attractive wife who dotes on him, whereas the books showed a more realistic predicament, where even a kind husband such as Tyrion isn't going to find much happiness in his marriage when his pretty wife is a preteen whose family was murdered by his. But I digress. Daella's marriage seemed to be as much about sticking to the status quo--Daella had to get married because that's what Targaryen princesses did--as it was about Jaehaerys wanting to get her off his hands. Finding her a husband would essentially make her someone else's problem.
  8. The Bard of Banefort

    [Spoilers] Fire and Blood Errata

    The US version of Fire and Blood states that Daemon was born in 76 AC, but that he was only twenty at the Great Council of 101.
  9. The Bard of Banefort

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    Viserra's story made me reflect on when Cersei was in captivity and noted how Baelor essentially punished his sisters for their beauty by locking them in a tower. In a way, this felt very similar to me, and made me wonder if George was intentionally making Viserra's story about a woman who was being punished for being beautiful and ambitious. She certainly doesn't strike me as a femme fatale -- what little we know of her suggests that the girl died a virgin and, like you said, her attempted seduction of Baelon seems more clumsy than calculating. That Alysanne may have been jealous of her daughter is an interesting thought. It does boggle my mind that Daella was offered to every eligible bachelor in the land, but Viserra was forced to marry an elderly man. Daella, on the one hand, was described as being quite simple, whereas Viserra clearly wasn't, which probably played a roll in how their mother thought of them. And yet, Viserra isn't really described as troublesome, so I doubt she would have married a Lannister or Baratheon or Blackwood and then used their influence to cause some kind of political trouble. To further nail this point home, Viserra actually agreed to marry Manderly -- she wasn't running away the night she died; she was just out having fun. So yeah, jealousy may well have played a role. It was probably unconscious, but it definitely does feel like Viserra was being punished for being young and beautiful.
  10. The Bard of Banefort

    [SPOILERS] Jaehaerys and Alysanne

    As much as I like Alysanne, she is quite a hypocrite when it comes to her female family members. She champions Daenerys, and later Rhaenys, as the rightful queen due to her birth order, but seemingly forgets that Rhaena was older than Jaehaerys and should have therefore been crowned queen before him. She also vilifies Viserra for wanting to marry Baelon in order to be queen, which also rings false. Firstly, why can't she marry Baelon, seeing as the man's a widower and was already married to one sister? And secondly, Alysanne had that exact same ambition. Hell, she and her brother barricaded themselves on Dragonstone and staged a stand-off with their mother in order for the two of them to rule as king and queen.
  11. The Bard of Banefort

    Season 8: News, Spoilers And Leaks

    After journeying through Freefolk for a few hours, it seems like we don't really have any good spoilers this year. With that said, I read through some quotes from the cast about their impression of the final season, and while we know that usually they just hype each season as the biggest, best one yet, I did find some of the interviews illuminating. Despite people predicting Sansa's death for years now, Sophie's interviews all make it sound like she's making it out the series alive. She seems over the moon about the character's development, and judging by how much she clearly loves Sansa, that's a pretty big indicator that Sansa has some sort of happy ending, to me anyway. Emilia and Peter praised the final season a lot, but they also seemed pretty morbid about their characters' arcs, which has me thinking things don't end particularly well for Dany or Tyrion. Compound that with all the quotes about how unpredictable the finale is, and I think we're going to be in for a bit of a surprise with them. (On a side note, there's definitely something curious about how George retconned Jaehaerys and Alysanne's children in Fire and Blood to include a daughter named Daenerys who dies of something called "the Shivers"). Apparently the paperwork from Nikolaj's lawsuit with his former agent revealed that he was paid for all six episodes this season, so it sounds like he'll probably be the Lannister who survives. Here are some of the links I took a look at: https://www.gamesradar.com/game-of-thrones-ending/ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/game-of-thrones/game-of-thrones-season-8-finale-ending-plot-spoilers-cast-emilia-clarke-hbo-a8494781.html https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/game-of-thrones-season-8-spoilers-leak-lawsuit-jaime-lannister-nikolaj-coster-waldau-a8528761.html
  12. The Bard of Banefort

    GRRM video: one prequel pitch "set only 100 years" before Game of Thrones?

    I'm pretty sure 5,000 years ago is The Long Night, seeing as he's been talking lately about how no one really knows how long ago it was. 100 years ago was probably a loose reference to the Blackfyre Rebellion.
  13. After reading Fire and Blood, I think that if there was a maester's conspiracy (I doubt it would have been mentioned in AFFC and ADWD if there wasn't), it probably started after the Dance, not before. Morning seems to be doing fine as of now, so I'm guessing there was some manipulation that resulted in her death. Perhaps there was a prophecy that the dragons would return, leading the maesters to attempt to supplant the Targaryens. (Granted, they left the Velaryons well enough alone).
  14. The Bard of Banefort

    "various book deadlines"

    I'm really excited to learn more about Daemon Blackfyre. The little we've learned about him thus far suggests that he's someone we're actually going to end up liking and sympathizing with. It's going to make for an engaging story.
  15. The Bard of Banefort

    Sansa's first impressions of Daenerys?

    I image that Sansa will be suspicious of Daenerys at first, given the whole burning-people-alive thing. D&D seem to want everyone to love Daenerys though, so I'm sure there probably won't be much suspicion after the first episode.
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