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Lady Dacey

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  1. Time may not be linear. Eshu throws a rock today and kills a bird yesterday.
  2. Is Aegon a ruler at all? I don't remember him ruling anything in the books I read
  3. What a beautiful thing to come back to Westeros and immediately be greeted by a topic such as this one! I am lucky to have such friends. The OP intrigues me. I think I follow and agree that Longclaw seems out of place in the group. Nothing is a coincidence, at least not after ten years. I love to find new topics to obsess over. Premises we definitely agree on: the swords are magical; they will be wielded by important people (heroes?); their names and histories matter. I find it curious that, when Jon asks if the sword has a name, Mormont tells him “it had once”. Why is that? It feels significant to me, but I may be seeing something that’s not there. The nod @hiemal made to the totemistic nature of Longclaw really spoke to me. I think he nailed something important. The religion of old gods is based on animism, the belief that objects, places, creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. So all this swords connected to different times of the day (dawn and nightfall) and elements (rain and fire) and feelings (lamentation, forlorn) and even people (orphan, widow), each of them must have their own spiritual essences, let’s call it… their own magic? Bears and wolves have claws, Jon notices. I suppose, Jeor answers. Longclaw is the only sword that has an animalistic quality to it. This sword’s spiritual essence, or magic, is of animal origin and that’s quite unique. That got me thinking about claws. What I wanted to add to this interesting and compelling thread regards claws. The very first time “claw” comes up at all in the books is in Jon II. Jon defies Catelyn Stark to say goodbye to a comatose Bran before leaving for the Wall. This is it: She was holding one of his hands. It looked like a claw. This was not the Bran he remembered. The flesh had all gone from him. His skin stretched tight over bones like sticks. So Bran, the kid with the magic destiny who will become very much raven-like in the future, has hands like claws, and this is the first time ever the word shows up. Ravens and crows have claws, too. Mormont’s raven (Bloodraven?) even repeats “claw, claw” after Mormont says the sword’s name for the first time. Another passage sprung to my eyes, one that I feels first connects claws and swords before Jon gets his. This is Arya III: The Red Keep was full of cats: lazy old cats dozing in the sun, cold-eyed mousers twitching their tails, quick little kittens with claws like needles, ladies' cats all combed and trusting, ragged shadows prowling the midden heaps. Needle is Arya’s sword, and she likens the claws of “quick little kittens” (the ones she’ll favor and emulate later on in the story) to needles i.e. swords. There are other instances where claws might be significant, like when Ned has a dream of Rhaegar crowning Lyanna and he reaches for the flowery crown but the hidden thorns claw at his hands and spill his blood. This crowning is the point of no return that sets the whole story in motion, and this crawn has claws in Eddard Stark’s mind. Food for thought, I say. But now comes my favorite excerpt: Clash of King, Bran VII. We are inside Summer’s mind. He padded over dry needles and brown leaves, to the edge of the wood where the pines grew thin. Beyond the open fields he could see the great piles of man-rock stark against the swirling flames. The wind blew hot and rich with the smell of blood and burnt meat, so strong he began to slaver. Yet as one smell drew them onward, others warned them back. He sniffed at the drifting smoke. Men, many men, many horses, and fire, fire, fire. No smell was more dangerous, not even the hard cold smell of iron, the stuff of man-claws and hardskin. The wolf calls all and every sword man-claws. Jon calls this one swords a wolf’s claw.
  4. The mind boggles. I always read Petyr Baelish to be very connected to the "game of thrones", so to speak, I feel he's precisely the character that seeks mundane power by means of mundane power plays. But your post has picked up my interest and I'd love to read more about this you think we know if you'd care to explain, or maybe provide some links?
  5. How is Sansa altruistic towards Robin?? She only acts reasonably towards him when it's necessary - when she know the outcome will be much worse if she doesn't portray the kindness he expects. She finds him an annoying spoiled child and when she can do it without consequence she is terrible towards him. She orders the servants to keep him locked in his room all night!!! He is seven years old and recently lost his mom, I'd like to point out many healthy kids this age still don't "go to bed" alone by themselves and if they wake up in the middle of the night they require an adult to put them back to sleep.
  6. @Lord Varys I agree with you (actually there shouldn't be a debate around that, but oh well ) I'm sort of arguing the counterfeit. If the author were so inclined, he could try to retcon this to some degree. I don't think GRRM cares about that.
  7. The presence of maesters giving assistance to childbirth could be the driving force behind the high morality rate. This obviously would qualify as retconning, but it's something I could get behind, and I believe many readers who care about such issues would too. For it to work, though, it would have to make it into the story some way or another. @Ran is making a terrible argument on this, though. If maesters contribue to death in childbirth its definitely not by spreading infection because they are unaware of germ theory. Think more on the line of restricted liberty of movement, forced lithotomy, administration of poppy milk during labour, and more importantly: fundal pressure (Kristeller maneuver) and episiotomy (this one could be an entryway to infection). Interventions such as these increase by manyfold the likelyhood of postpartum hemorrhage and puerperal fever. If maesters assisting highborn births adopt such practices, this could reasonably explain the maternity mortality rate in Westeros. If GRRM wants to go in that direction, he needs to do the work and put it in the books. Maybe have Sam hear an off remark about a archmaester who will be giving a speach on "how to properly extract babies when the woman isn't strong enough". Of course this guy should be considered a lesser scholar because he dedicates his studies to women's health. Maybe he could be called Sims.
  8. He isn't though. Robb and Jon had true steel longswords at 14, Joffrey at 13. Jon got Longclaw at 15. Ned Dayne was 12 in 299 AC, a squire participating in battle (unlike Gendry and Arya, he doesn't stay behind when the brotherhood attacks the Brave Companions). He hadn't killed anyone yet, but it stands to reason he bears a sword. As a nobleman, he has most definitely been trained in arms. We are fast approaching 301 in Winds. So Ned will be 14. Dawn is a magic sword. Though not of valyrian steel, we can expect some special properties come attached to the sword, so even if it's a great sword, maybe it's light enough for him to bear?
  9. Well met, Camilo! Mátria amada, Brasil. I've never met a brazilian who didn't boast of speaking spanish (though most don't) but few hermanos speak portuguese. Que legal. Há outros lusófonos aqui no fórum também. I believe there are even more spanish-speaking people. Unfortunately I feel much more comfortable in english than spanish, though it shames me to admit it. I read and understand spanish well enough, expressing myself is a different matter. It tangles with portuguese and then I choke, and when I try to extricate myself from my mother tongue I fall in the traps of more foreign langagues, and next thing I know there are words in dutch finding their way between hola and mucho gusto. But not to derail this thread too much, I believe we have given some examples of how 'timely and relevant' asoiaf is - though I mantain that applies to most litetature. We use it as fodder for imagination, and that in itself can be political. In engaging with the narrative our views and opinions about the story and its characters are constantly informed by our political and ideological beliefs. In a similar fashion, I believe that in exercing critical thinking about fictional narratives we are ever honing our abilities to engage with the "real world".
  10. Now I begin to dig into Storm. Everyone's favourite book, is it not? Storm is very very slim in the hero department though. the first few mentions of heroes don't strike me as noteworthy or at least mean nothing new after what we've gathered form the first two books. But then this does come up: That's a brilliant one! So much fodder to our conversations. So Tywin is informing us on many things that once: he himself does not care to be a hero, Robert Baratheon did, but he wasn't one, he is willing to kill children after all. The Hound killed Mycah, but now maybe he's not the Hound anymore, just Sandor Clegane. Is he on a redemption arc? Is it overused to say someone is on a redemption arc? Does he have to be redempted to become a hero, or it is possible to be a child-killing hero? If he wasn't a hero but is bound to become one, what does this tell us? The same goes for Jaime Lannister too, of course. Okay, next passage that struck me is this one. I know you are interested in Westeros and this happens in the far-far-away Slaver's Bay, but bear with me. These are two westerosi noblemen discussing, so I think it earns a place among our references. Jorah and Baristan Selmy argue about Mereen's "hero": Is that also the role of a hero? To give people something to believe in, to give the opponents something to fear? But a hero should not inspire so much fear, that people believe he'll do anything (say killing children, no, if your opponent is a hero you can rest assured you be treated right even if defeated). Now I'm not sure of any of this, just tossing ideas. Barristan speaks of doubt, that's an interesting notion, that the hero inspires more doubt than fear. Deanerys sends Strong Bewals to deal with the "hero" in the most unheroic way. Daenerys again: Our Garlan would make a good hero in those books, would he not? Children's stories, Daenerys dismisses them, but yet still there is something here that speaks to me. I feel like Mr. Martin is paroding himself with this line. Cause really, can traitors ever look more traitor-y than Walder Frey and Roose Bolton, from the very first appearance of each of them?
  11. Heroes heroes heroes... Took me a few days but I've come back. oh but a date with Garlan Tyrell, what an interesting concept! I like what you did there. It makes sense. As an experiment, say we get two characters that qualify as much as 'undisputed' heroes as possible. Let's say Sandor and Brienne. Now we want to try and strip the layers to get to what they have in common, and then see if we can identify those same core characteristics in other hero candidates as well... not sure if this will work. it's an experiment. So Sandor Clegane and Brienne of Tarth. Not much in common, I'd say. Brienne is much more in Garlan Tyrell territory, in being courteous and just and honorable. Wait, is Garlan honorable? I don't think we have enough evidence for or against, but he's definitely chivalric and chivalry involves at least the performance of honor. But I digress. Brienne is all... nice. Good. A really good person who treats other people with respect. Not so Clegane. He’s not nice. I don’t think it’s his ruthlessness or his violence that makes him a hero, though. More than fearsome size and strength and a disfigured face, I think Brienne and Clegane have in common a deep sense of inadequacy. Something a person like Garlan would never know, sorry dear Garlan. You fit in with the popular crowd, our heroes are the outcasts. ‘A ragtag band of misfits’, I think that’s the trope.
  12. ooh I was following that really closely. Congratulations, hermano! That was a close call. I can only hope your victory means we can work some similar miracle here in a couple years. I'm Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro. Municipal election are happening within one month, so that should give us a good thermometer of Bolsonaro's true popularity and support at least. I was actually visiting Buenos Aires in 2015 during Macri's first campain, what a disgusting guy. Your prospects seemed grim then, but of course that was before the coup we had here in 2016... These are not easy times to live through. I take solace in fantasy.
  13. not sure we are that many, but happy to find resonance anyway... I think I'm a full fledged old-school commie at heart, though publicly I assume a much more moderate persona because of pragmatic reasons It sure does! We do have a tradition of public scandals that's hard to match, though, or so I believe... It's precisely that media thing you're referencing I guess Say what? I'm up to my neck involved in politics around here.
  14. There are people among us ASOIAF readers who want Daenerys to be queen because they believe she'll make a good ruler for Westeros. I tend to disagree, but I respect such an opinion and I usually find myself willing to read what they have to say and engage in some arguing. But saying "Westeros belongs to xxx" is truly a non-argument. As modern readers, we should understand what it means to be a 'ruler'. In most countries where we reside we elect presidents and prime ministers for executive functions (albeit arguably we have been doing that very poorly) and also legislators that go by different officers and names and attributions. These guys "administer" or "manage" our countries, they make most of the political and pragmatic decisions that affect each and every one of us. Now, in asoiaf we are talking about a monarchy, and that's that. There is no separation of powers, not system of checks and balance. That's that. Okay. Sad but true. Now when we argue about what we want for Westeros, 'birthright' arguments really baffle me. I understand (though not necessarily agree with) the notion of hereditary property. But when it comes to ruling... Why should ruling be hereditary at all? Why is that even brought up by modern readers? We're not talking about reclaiming a castle or an ancient sword, but an entire continent. How come Westeros belongs to anyone? Is it theirs to do whatever they want with? What about the people that live therein? When one says Westeros belongs to xxxx, does it mean it is xxxx's duty to rule it? Why? Are we talking about ruling or owning here? In modern days, there is a common understanding that a sovereign state collects taxes and uses those to manage the needs of its people. Tax money is for the state, it doesn't go into public officers' pockets (or shouldn't go, but if you're Latin-American you know the difference). Not so in a monarchy, where the crown's money is the King's (or Queen's) money. But what to do with it? And who gets to decide? And how to menage the natural resources of the realm? "My trees, they said, you can't eat them apples. My stream, you can't fish here. My wood, you're not t' hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I'll chop 'em off" this explanation is really pedagogic, the state is the entity that holds legitimate use of violence. Of course a bunch of people living together require some sort of organization and that usually requires someone ruling... but where do ownership and birthright and 'belonging' fit in? edited to add: sorry for the rant.
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