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The Bard of Banefort

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  1. If I remember correctly, ToJ Ned’s actor is one of the leads in the Lord of the Rings show.
  2. Yeah, I didn’t include Arya because we haven’t gotten much description of her appearance recently, but it sounds like she’s growing into a beautiful woman.
  3. The world book, which is written by the maesters, more or less says outright that Quellon was the greatest lord to ever rule the Iron Islands. He had both the strength and the sense to reform the Islands and modernize them more than any other lord previously. The problem was his successor(s). Ironically, if Balon had died before Ned and Theon had been recalled to the Iron Islands, he probably could have undone some of the damage that his father did, especially if Asha swallowed her pride and helped him. Doran is actually a great leader if you're just a regular commoner who would otherwise have been crushed by war and famine should Oberyn and the Sand Snakes have gotten their way. Instead they got twenty years of stability and prosperity. Rodrik Arryn for the Vale The Westerlands prospered under Tywin, but I'm not sure that annihilating any house that crosses you is the sign of a great leader. Maybe the lord who supported Egg, Rohanne's husband? None of the Tyrell lords seem all that impressive, to be honest. It's actually a bit of a head-scratcher why no one tried to overthrow them, especially when you consider their vassals' strength. Same for the Tullys: they all seem somewhat ineffective but, through the grace of plot armor, somehow stayed in power. Probably Bran the Builder for the North Possibly Rogar Baratheon for the Stormlands, or maybe his son Boremund
  4. It's no secret that George RR Martin loves writing about beautiful women. With the exception of a few women whose unattractiveness is a focal point of their character (Brienne, Selyse, etc.) pretty much every women is described as pretty to one degree or another. This doesn't bother me; it's a fantasy series, it might as well feature a bunch of pretty people. The issue is that GRRM has a tendency to describe several different women as earth-shattering, mind-blowing, breathtakingly beautiful. Well, they can't all be the most beautiful woman on earth, especially since plenty of them are alive at the same time. It's not even like this is a "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" thing, since there usually is a pretty broad consensus for all of these women. So who is the most beautiful woman in ASOIAF? First there's the obvious one, Daenerys. She's the last of the dragonlords, who were so beautiful that they were regarded as closer to gods than humans. She's described as the most beautiful woman in the world, although the only POV characters who've actually seen her are Barristan and Quentyn, who don't make much mention of her looks. She's got the hair, eyes, skin, and slight frame, although she's not very buxom (unlike Cersei and Sansa, whose amazing racks are mentioned quite frequently throughout the books). There's Arianne, the most voluptuous woman alive, whose wondrous curves, skin, and hair are described so thoroughly you'd think you're reading about some exotic animal. Unlike Daenerys and some of the other women, however, we don't hear random strangers across Westeros talking about how beautiful she is. Cersei is right there up at the top of the list, with her golden locks, green eyes, and aforementioned rack. Her beauty is known throughout the world, and Kevan describes young Cersei as comparable to the "rising sun." The only drawback is that weight gain and childbirth have begun to take their toll on her figure. Catelyn, with her auburn hair and blue eyes, was fetching enough that it spawned a decades-long obsession from Littlefinger, and even young Jaime Lannister found her charming. She's not usually lusted over to the same degree as the other women on this list, however. Sansa's chapters are an endless stream of men hitting on/fawning over/creeping on her, and her beauty is constantly mentioned by everyone from Cersei to Marillion to those hedge knights from the TWOW sample chapter. Her looks are also commented on at-length by POV characters such as Arya, Tyrion, and Theon. Even that one creep that Arya and the Hound fought at the inn mentions how pretty Sansa is, despite having never met her. There's also Margaery, who is described as extremely pretty by Cat, Tyrion, and Jaime, but not to the same degree as the others. Pretty Pia was described as quite attractive despite being lowborn, although the Mountain and his goons left her physically scarred. Val is a "warrior princess" with full breasts and a slim waist, lovely eyes and honey-blonde hair that always looks perfect despite living in a tundra. She hasn't met many POV characters yet, but is attractive enough that Selyse's men have clearly talked about her among themselves. Melisandre is beautiful in a fantastical, somewhat mythical way. If anything, her beauty seems to intimidate people more than it awes them. Then there are the previous generations. . . Everyone wanted a piece of Ashara, including Barristan and the Stark brothers. With her dark hair and purple eyes, people are still enchanted by her twenty years after her (alleged) death. Then there's Lyanna, ASOIAF's ultimate Cool Girl. Not only was she a tomboy who stood up to bullies and fought better than the boys, she was also so pretty that Bobby B still can't get over her fifteen years later, and Rhaegar (who may have been the fairest of them all himself, now that I think about it) abandoned his wife and children and started a war to run off and play house with her. Viserra Targaryen was described as the most beautiful of Jaehaerys and Alysanne's six daughters who lived to adulthood, and was regarded as a "goddess" by some of the boys who met her. Shiera Seastar was described as the greatest beauty of her era, igniting the lifelong rivalry between Bloodraven and Bittersteel, although we have yet to meet her. So which of these exceptionally beautiful women is actually the most beautiful woman? More importantly, which woman needs to be the most beautiful for her story to work? As of now, I would say the answer is Dany and Cersei. Dany's Valyrian beauty adds to her mystique and mythology as the conquering queen and mother of dragons. For Cersei, her appearance is integral to her sense of self and vanity, plus it emphasizes her downfall (and the downfall of Tywin's carefully crafted façade) from the impervious golden queen to whatever inglorious end awaits her. If Sansa is the third of the "three queens" that Littlefinger mentions, then beauty would be as valuable a resource for her as it is as it is for Dany. What are your thoughts? Did I forget anyone?
  5. Hopefully when Big Walder becomes Lord of the Twins, he’ll prove to be more faithful and diplomatic than his grandsire.
  6. Right now, I see Quiet Isle as more of a rehab for Sandor rather than his new calling. His story has always been tied to the Starks—mostly to Sansa, but also Arya. (It’s actually pretty funny how Arya is oblivious to the Hound’s infatuation with her sister, even though he keeps bringing her up all through ASOS. It makes sense because Arya’s so young, but as a reader it’s pretty obvious). I think the Quiet Isle will change him, but I also think that he’ll eventually leave by his own volition.
  7. Probably Dorne, although a lot of their victories are kind of vague. I’m not sure how they managed to all hide from the dragons during the Conquest.
  8. Sandor claims he hates liars, but he also helps Sansa lie to Joffrey during his nameday tourney when she makes up the story about it being bad luck to kill someone on their birthday. So he’s already shown that he’s willing to lie if he thinks it’s for a good reason.
  9. My personal theory is that GRRM wrote the first draft, didn’t like it, and decided to start over. It would explain why he thought he could finish in a few months in 2015 but still had “hundreds of pages left to write” at the beginning of this year. I get the impression that the farther away he gets from King’s Landing, the harder the story is.
  10. For what it’s worth, Russia declared war on Japan the same day the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and many historians believe this double act is what led to their surrender. Usually when people cite this, they do it to condemn the USA’s use of the atomic bomb, but I actually think it has the opposite effect, since it would indicate that Japan’s leaders didn’t think the bomb was “bad enough” on its own to surrender without the additional threat of the Red Army. Speaking of Russia, someone with more knowledge about the USSR than me could probably make a compelling argument for why Lenin is an historical counterpart for Dany. There are other questionable acts of war that don’t get as much attention. Sherman’s March to Sea is one that’s always stuck with me. It helped end the Civil War, yes, but he still burned multiple cities to the ground. Not to mention that, since the North was fighting to preserve the Union, this was technically his own country he was destroying.
  11. To use the character names, as far as I recall, Meera, Catelyn, Ygritte, and Brienne read all the books. Stannis said that he should have read the books because he had no idea what was going on lol. I know the books are long, but I can’t think of any other series where the majority of the actors didn’t read the source material.
  12. And to think, that was season 6, just a year before the Weinstein scandal broke and this sort of thing started receiving mainstream criticism. (The women in that scene are also portrayed as old, uptight, wrinkled prudes too. It should still be on YouTube). These fckers got SO lucky. I really don’t think GOT would be half as successful if it premiered today.
  13. I think one of the reasons why these books take so long is that George is great at having everything make logical sense. For a series this detailed, there are remarkably few plot holes. I have confidence in George’s ability to make the attack make sense for the character. I think Dany’s fans can take comfort in that. Jon’s righteousness goes back to their refusal to change popular characters. Jon should have been radically changed by his resurrection, but instead he came back the same as before. I think that if Jon kills Dany, it will still be portrayed as morally questionable, but he also won’t be “our” Jon by then either.
  14. I know some of you don’t like Cogman, but at least he took a more respectful approach to the rape backlash from fans. D&D were indignant that anyone would dare criticize them. People online are really tying themselves up in knots over George’s comment about how Dany goes from a scared child to someone who “burns cities to the ground,” trying to rationalize that he couldn’t have meant King’s Landing. To me, it seems obvious that she would, because the Ds would never have opened themselves up to that kind of criticism on their own—we’ve seen how well they’ve dealt with sexism accusations in the past. This is probably also why they made Sansa Queen in the North, despite northern secession making no sense, to lessen those accusations a bit (she’ll probably be the first Lady of Winterfell in the books). They received a boatload of praise for creating a “feminist icon” in Daenerys, and judging by how they always portrayed her as morally righteous, no matter how many people she killed, they clearly didn’t want that to stop. It’s similar to how they continued to write Arya as a feisty twelve year old (which got real stupid in season seven), Tyrion as the kind-hearted jokester, and Jon as the noble stoic. They kept popular characters unchanged to preserve their popularity.
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