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FictionIsntReal

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  1. We don't get the entire night's worth of discussion quoted. We get a few quotes early on, then everything up to Beesbury leaving briefly summarized. If we're going beyond quotes, then we get more than "two sentences" about the sack of KL. How does the story work if we're not supposed to believe those memories are accurate? That sounds like a difference that doesn't make a difference. You're not a character in this series You said you dismiss the majority of F&B. Not knowing for certain is not the same as having "no clue". No, he was not next to Rhaenyra. As relatively tertiary characters, we don't get that much insight into their marriage and what they thought of their kids. Be sure to tell GRRM that some time! No one can force you to accept that Ned's logic was correct about Cersei's kids, even though GRRM validated it completely. They can privately wish things? Sure. That has no bearing on whether they would actually get what they wish for. To his sister/lover! As a married woman who has left her father's household, I would think he's no longer in charge of who her sworn shield is. As you note, Harwin isn't a KG, so he's not sworn to Viserys. I've cited the text repeatedly. He can't be sent as a peace emissary to Dragonstone if he's in the dungeon with Beesbury. My reading of the book is based on my knowledge that it's a work of fiction by GRRM, who made it all up. F&B has little to do with real history books. The trustworthiness of some of the sources is explicitly highlighted as an issue in the text. How can the Iliad have a historical basis without the Trojan War happening? A war just without divine intervention & miracles is precisely what you were arguing against. A truly omniscient narrator could tell us the thoughts of characters who are never POVs! And when we are in one character's POV, we don't get the thoughts of other characters even if they are also POV characters. Why would having an additional character as a POV change it from non-omniscient to omniscient? That's just multiple third-persons. Real people are not fictional characters written by GRRM. Do they have printing presses in Westeros? How popular are these histories? Yandel seemed to be targetting his at the king, not the broader populace. There's the question of whether you "like to" believe something, and then what you actually do believe. I actually believe that Joffrey sent the catspaw because GRRM has indicated as such, even though I don't LIKE that explanation at all (it makes no sense). Joffrey never confessed and was not caught red-handed, but we got a confirmation (even if not an "explicit" one). I can't be certain of the truth of an account, but when one is more plausible I say it is more likely to be true. I, of course, disagree, as do multiple people I've linked. Lord of the Rings is supposedly adapted from The Red Book of Westmarch. The only time any possible inaccuracy comes up is when Gollum willingly giving Bilbo the ring in the earliest version of the Hobbit was retconned as something Bilbo himself falsified. Neither of them are in the mood to make deals, but Alicent had to in order for Aegon to be able to come over from Dragonstone with his hostages. Once he's over, Aegon doesn't have the same pressing need but must be persuaded that it's necessary. It's never referred to as a "promise". That's backwards. Having an heir means that the death of one king results in the proclamation of the next! Tyland was advocating killing Aegon the Younger, but he still accepted him as king. He did not "turn Black", he just didn't have any other king to serve after Aegon II. The Velaryons could have done more to overtly act against Aegon II. And the king's own preference for bloodshed over peace was as self-defeating as Rhaenyra's. The eldest son of the king who preceded him. As I said, there were executions for one but not the other. They don't need to inform him of anything because he doesn't actually do anything. He's a small child. No. If I really thought a king's heir was unacceptable, I could not deny them the throne by killing the current king. Who would they proclaim king, then? Jaehaera? Do they have to be at that specific date? If dragonriding is relevant, why can't past dragonriding or the possibility of future dragonriding by relevant? And it's tautologous because it's tautologous. It wasn't just pretend, they actually were forbid! He has descendnats. Because GRRM wrote them, and if he wanted their memory to be an issue he could have indicated that. I don't have reason to believe your standards are amenable to better arguments I argue for the benefit of anyone who might read. Both executions & celebrations serve the purposes of the people who decide to have them. None of the people I linked have changed their minds after reading F&B. Usually as we gain knowledge our beliefs shift incrementally rather than overturning entirely, and F&B was not written to make those earlier sources appear useless. Rhaenyra was overthrown. In an alternate history where she wasn't, there would be more time for them to spend down the treasury. "Blogs" plural. I'll agree there's not much characterization, but we get political agendas. Wat explicitly opposes Celtigar's taxes, and Trystane also promises to abolish those same taxes. Gaemon's proclamations resemble modern egalitarianism, whereas the Shepherd embraces a more radical kind of egalitarianism fitting his proto-anarchism. There are many varieties of anarchism, including anarcho-primitivism (which would abolish the wealth of modernism). I would say the Shepherd is a proto-anarchist whereas Proudhon is an actual anarchist. The Shepherd wanted to overthrow all the existing monarchs, but refused to provide any other authority in their place. There are people who are the products of English-Scottish marriages. And, in case you forgot, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman The "moon of three kings" provides "more than" the riots that preceded it. Come on. We know that there were factors contributing to the riots that had been there for a while before boiling over. We have that "moon" I just mentioned about the aftermath. We don't get the same for the Shivers.
  2. She says nothing about Stannis changing his mind. She just repeats Jon's argument that Stannis had already rejected without giving any new reason for Stannis to have changed. And it's in one of her POV chapters, so we could have gotten her remembering Stannis privately telling her he had, but we don't. She specifies that Mance owes his life to Jon, rather than Stannis, and she refers to Mance as "A gift from the Lord of Light … and me" but not from Stannis. How reassured could he be in this deal he gets nothing out of? Stannis is blamed, but Ramsay thinks he's been killed. Sure he did, he sent Mance after Ramsay's bride after realizing the real Mance had escaped execution! How does Mance surviving serve his interests? Stannis isn't sending him on any mission to help him win the throne, Jon is sending him after his sister. Is he not going to be reluctant to permit an oathbreaker to escape punishment for his crimes? She'd already sacrificed people who had no claims to king's blood at all in order to obtain favorable winds to get to the Wall in the first place. If Mance's blood is no good, then neither is his son's. Is Melisandre going to say that while she earlier said there was power in such blood, they should just nevermind? Stannis & Selyse still seem to believe wildlings have royalty (despite Jon telling them otherwise), referring to Val as a "princess". But if Jon is being told my Melisandre then Stannis can't be "[k]eeping information to himself"! Why not? If Stannis doesn't want him (and isn't obligated to execute him for oathbreaking), better to give him away. How is it a "coincidence"? Melisandre just has to glamor one as the other, then after the execution suggest handing over "Rattleshirt". Stannis wouldn't have reason to object to that. It's not some one-off thing. It's a defining act for his character. What is the most cunning thing he's done? How would that work? Is he going to publicly execute someone who had already been publicly executed? And Jon had already argued against Stannis executing him, there's no "decision" for him to make. Really cunning of Stannis to not have a private meeting giving any such assent in order to trick readers. Too bad that doesn't help him among the inhabitants of Westeros once Ramsay reveals the deception. They are different people. When Stannis offers to make Jon the Lord of Winterfell, Jon refuses. As I quoted above, Stannis got blamed. English & Spanish spread via colonialism, and their overseas colonies later attained independence. Does that resemble how the Andal language spread north of the Wall despite the Andals being stopped at the Neck? For some UNSPECIFIED reason. We are given no in-universe explanation. Over that amount of time you'd expect languages to diverge. The Romance languages have had less time to diverge, but Romanian isn't mutually intelligible with any other language. I think there can be conflicting desires: to serve a narrative purpose and to make the story easier to write. The wildlings do serve "crueler gods", but the real way to emphasize their similarity would be to have both speak the Old Tongue, rather than the Andal language. But the vows are not "recent" (nor is the practice of sending prisoners & defeated enemies there), even if the decline is. And Rhaegar is known to have stolen Lyanna, but nobody in Westeros thinks they married. "Ordinary smallfolk" don't think of it that way. The Wall is in the way. Easier said than done. Crows can pass through gates during rangings. France & Germany both have governments & printing presses to encourage linguistic unity. "Thousands of years" would lead to DIVERGENCE (as with Papua New Guinea), not similar languages. English was once close to Frisian, but over time and with the separation of the English Channel & North Sea it has diverged. What means? They don't really have kings like the "kneelers". There's no dynastic succession, just one charismatic man gathering together supporters temporarily (usually to attack the Wall). Hence there is no territory to be called a "realm". There are mountain clans in the North, but they owe fealty to the Starks. There are also such clans in the Value, but the Arryns claim authority over them. Magical fire could help with that There are in-universe mysteries that characters don't know the answer to. Here we have an explicit explanation but you want to imagine more. Stories connected to the Five Forts, far from Westeros. Fighting Ramsay isn't fighting the Others. He left in the confusion when the direwolves attacked after he refused to kill someone. I wouldn't say it was nothing, since he killed all three pyromancers (needlessly, it would seem to me, for the latter two). But he didn't join alongside Qarlton Chelsted in opposing the plan prior to Tywin sacking KL. Fair enough. I thought you were referring to the reigns of Aerys & Robert. Yes, just as it is individuals who commit crimes even while larger organizations try to punish it. I don't actually know if all Other-worshippers get along. Northerners were able to fight each other while all worshipping the Old Gods, and the Faithful have fought each other as well. The anthropologist Kenneth Good married a Yanomamo woman and brought her back to New Jersey. It didn't work out very well, so she returned to her tribe in the Amazon rainforest despite having children still in NJ.
  3. Was that first Green Council meeting not "crucial"? It affected and shaped the beginning of the war, and per Eustace & Mushroom contained the killing of Beesbury. Since we had both Ned & Jaime chapters reflecting on that, GRRM had the opportunity to have their memories conflict... but he didn't do that. Jaime just feels unfairly judged because of things that happened before Ned arrived & which Ned never knew about. Ned's own description of the scene reads like GRRM describing such a scene... because that's how he likes to write. Nobody can stop you from doubting everything GRRM wrote and concluding it's actually the dream of a magic beetle. Not nonsense at all in the real world. Everything was written by GRRM and only exists to the extent he makes it. If he wanted to in the future he could publish "unabridged" versions of his sources, and then he could rewrite anything he wants (like he can retcon Jeyne's hips, or Renly's eyes). But until he does, this is what actually exists of them. The former does not follow from the latter. Alicent is the most obvious source because him being a confessor & confidant to her was made explicit, and that was not the case for the other members of the council. It's logically possible that Otto Hightower (for instance) could have been as well, but since we haven't gotten any confirmation that was in fact the case Alicent is our more likely candidiate. Thus not "no clue". When a police detective is looking for "clues" they don't need it to be that explicit. Anything which can potentially point them somewhere is a "clue". And a clue can turn out to be a red herring! Your argument appears to be heavily based on your own personal opinion, deeming that of others "ridiculous". But why should anyone take your opinion more seriously than, for example, Ran's? Shouldn't you be attempting to make an argument that could be appreciated by someone who doesn't already share your opinions? Such as by quoting from the text, or showing that other people and not just you have arrived at certain contested views? What question is being begged there? The other two sources designated a target for Swann in their main text, but Eustace didn't. That reads as significant. GRRM failed to anticipate he would need a source on Driftmark to satisfy you personally. You are the only person I'm aware of trying to argue otherwise. It's directly preceded by Gyldayn talking about Rhaenyra having eyes only for Cole (whom many women found attractive), without anything about him experiencing any lust. In the context of the Black vs Green dynamics it is Alicent trying to undermine the connection between her rival and said rival's greatest champion on the field. It's not "silly" to GRRM. You can argue all you want about how genetics doesn't work that way, but GRRM does not care. It's GRRM's way of tipping off readers who remember the parallel with Cersei's kids. When does that happen? Jaime wanted to be reassigned to be competing in the tourney or fighting Robert's rebels rather than guarding, but it wasn't up to him. It would not be his prerogative to leave, and as a servant of the king (and to an extent the royal family) his own preferences for his duties aren't supposed to be relevant. He's supposed to do his duty and obey orders, insofar as that doesn't conflict with his duties & oaths. Not so. It's well-known that people can find it unpleasant to be around someone they are attracted to but has rejected them. And if Rhaenyra can replace Criston with another knight who doesn't reject her, all the more reason to dismiss him. I was referencing what happened before that. It was said "all smiles died" and Brandon had to be restrained because it was widely regarded as inappropriate. Putting someone else's words in your mouth is not "downplaying" your own role. He had the option of saying nothing about himself rather than making himself more prominent. And nobody is holding him responsible for that specifically. Rather, it's the lack of punishment Orwyle faced vs Beesbury which is at issue. If Criston is killing members of the SC who weren't on board, that raises the question of why Orwyle was still alive. I accept that some things are just ambiguous and we can't have much confidence in. I just don't think that applies to the bulk of the book where there's no indication of ambiguity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_War#cite_note-3 More generally, it has been said that you'd get a more accurate understanding of history from reading Robert Howard than mid-century archaeologists. No, Doyle was always open about the fact that he was writing a work of fiction (set in then-contemporary times). Yes, people got "confused" and thought they should just dismiss everything even though Shakespeare turned out to know more than they did. This is closer to my perspective on F&B. Gyldayn doesn't have a very distinctive POV, so the way that GRRM adds back in the ambiguity and conflicting perspectives of his main series is with clashing sources. It wouldn't have been that hard for GRRM to give Cersei's children a recessive genetic disorder to actually prove they were the products of incest, but he didn't do that. GRRM has Gyldayn discuss the sources only when he feels like that should be relevant to the reader. I know that "the death of the author" exists and readers can't be stopped from coming up with their own interpretations, but I'm not talking to someone who has only read F&B and knows nothing else about GRRM or the universe he created. A reader like you can consider Ned's deduction to be "silly" (just as I find nonsensical the reveal, confirmed by GRRM, that Joffrey sent the catspaw) but you have to recognize that within that fictional world his logic was correct. Is that different from what anyone is arguing for F&B? I didn't argue that the crowns of Aegon or Rhaenyra were actually custards So the omniscient narrator lies to us by telling us what the POV character believes (such as the identity of a disguised character) rather than the truth? How is that different from a non-omniescent narrator? And shouldn't an omniscient narrator aware of even the thoughts of characters write "he thought" alongside that quote I gave from Ned? The TV show repeatedly took lines that were not quotes and put them in the mouths of the POV characters for their respective chapters. Wouldn't that work much worse if such lines didn't actually reflect what the characters were thinking? Speak for yourself, I certainly talk about him! That's a matter of putting words in Penny's mouth, not who the narrator is and what they know. Why couldn't we? Wouldn't such a narrator hear the same words from Penny? That they are "lazy" and don't actually read the sources they cite? I am obviously in a different position from Gyldayn. I can ONLY quote those sources via Gyldayn because that is the only form in which they exist. Gyldayn exists in the same universe as his sources. You are using Yandel's account of the work's accuracy as a reason for doubting it? As difficult as GRRM feels like making it. Tyrion & Catelyn are somehow able to meet up at the Inn of the Crossroads even though the distances don't make sense, LF can hop over to the Tyrells to make an alliance with enough time that they can join up with Tywin. I suppose there are as many transcripts as GRRM wants there to be and to whatever degree of accuracy he wants. GRRM has Gyldayn write that and with no indication he was wrong. You have just been emitting squid ink rather than actually pointing to anything in the text indicating otherwise because you objected to my characterization of the Blacks. It means there's no reason to think his competence/diligence is an issue for readers to be concerned with. She's not the king. The text explicitly tells us she had agreed without Aegon's consent, which is why his agreement was necessary in addition. Is he said to be the heir of anyone else? That's not how Tyrion views Viserys allegedly killing Baelor... and people actually were executed for Aegon's assassination! Aegon III was innocent of any regicide. Someone else hurrying him onto the throne (like Baelor was hurried on by Daeron's regicide at a peace meeting) doesn't prevent him from being heir, even if the person who got him there must be executed. During the War of 5 Kings Stannis is the one who accuses the Lannisters of killing Robert, but his argument against Joffrey's claim to the throne is that Joffrey is a bastard born of incest. One of them had a dragon and one had ridden a dragon. Both had Targaryen descent. They certainly can't agree if the discussion ends prior to choosing one. Not the reasons of the actual characters in-universe. So the actual laws of succession that did exist in history for centuries were "radical" because you don't approve of them? Is Orys Baratheon obscure beyond measure? I suppose as a bastard they can't be sure he really was the half brother of Aegon. There weren't "dragons aplenty" when Aegon III's heir was being debated. Ulf himself did A presumably short amount of time, although the exact number of days isn't clear. We do get Celtigar proposing a new tax in between the arrest & Helaena's death. Credit where credit is due: that made me laugh. The text gives no such indication. Because I can tell you otherwise. Do we have any reason to think Ned or Jaime's memory of their encounter in the throne room was inaccurate? It wouldn't be an execution if there wasn't a victim, but it's not "for" that victim. So now you are in the situation where you can't quote the text saying that and instead must point elsewhere Where does your sureness come from? What attitude do you get from her? It's not just me who sees in Rhaenyra a remarkable talent for alienating people under the assumption that anyone who has a problem with her can just suck it up or die. Not if her enemies are spending that treasury to fight against her. I don't imagine many smallfolk sat in on her planning sessions. Some of them might have said things like this: "He bathes in scented waters and grows fat on lark and lamprey while his people starve!" What they experienced were taxes, and the aristocratic guests at any hypothetical wedding getting first dibs on the food the smallfolk paid for would have resembled that remark. The question is whether he cared about the victims, not the still living rivals. He was able to use Helaena's death as a rallying cry because people did find her death shocking, as the deaths of her children had been. Mad as in "angry" certainly. You again just dismiss all the smallfolk who rose up no matter their motivation. Is that not a symbolic way of undoing them? They manage to survive longer than him, but he's not painted as a "lunatic" when he correctly predicts the deaths of his enemies. If GRRM agreed with you on that he could have had dragons come later to burn the Shepherd. As things were, the loyalists in KL weren't even able to handle the smallfolk of KL, much less the Green army (sans dragons). "Property is theft" is an anarchist slogan (although Proudhon's perspective was more complicated by that). And "freeganism" is linked to anarchism. The smallfolk are only riled up some of the time (as were their real medieval predecessors). But GRRM deliberately had multiple leaders in the riots so that it was not the case the "The Shepherd was just a single crazy person". You are selecting one person and then dismissing the larger mass of smallfolk who succeeded in overthrowing a monarch because you don't share his (fictional) religion. Wat had a name. And not giving names to large masses of people is just convenient for an author. What do they have to do to pass your muster as "genuine"? Why should anyone care what you call "genuine"? You can tell us all who qualifies as a Genuine Scotsman. Perhaps they are truer than a True Scotsman! You infer that because you don't care about Helaena that nobody else could have, despite the text indicating otherwise.
  4. Yes, and the non-Targ Westerosi regard it as an abomination. Loras is not known to have committed it, so bringing it up is irrelevant to him. Right, and I noted he was in the Rainbow Guard (which contained Lord Bryce Caron, who did not disavow his title & land when joining) rather than the actual KG. After he joined the actual KG he kept his vows, as far as we know. When KG fail to protect their king, they have been held responsible (although I think it's dumb the rule is damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't when a rival king takes over), and sent to the Wall or killed. Of course, Loras' brothers then were RG rather than actual KG. They understand why he did what he did (not that they would ever put themselves in such a position), but neither they (nor Loras) did that themselves. Rather, Ned acted to protect even his enemy's children. He didn't merely think about it, he sought to find her first before Ned's men so he could do so. He merely failed in his aims, just as he failed to kill Bran. It's a common motivation, but the point of joining an order like the KG (or NW, for that matter) is to put aside that motivation. Robb executes one of his own vassals, despite that man claiming it's kinslaying, in retribution for the murder of enemy hostages. That shows he doesn't simply rank his own over everybody else. Like I said, you can check out a different thread for me defending Jaime. I listed all those examples of him violating Westerosi norms in response to people saying he was no different from any other noble.
  5. Which thing that I listed is Loras also guilty of? In case you need a reminder:
  6. It explicitly says he couldn't be found, with the result being that Aegon killed all the ratcatchers. He doesn't have to explicitly list every single death from old age, although if that was the standard we might not hear so many theories about how Shiera Seastar is secretly still around Who says he lived happily ever after rather than leading a miserable life that ended ignobly some unspecified time later? Is that really the case in this series? Or does GRRM have his characters remember whatever he feels like (Ned finding Jaime on the Iron Throne, for example) without ever indicating it was inaccurate? Tyland Lannister is said to have indulged Orwyle and helped give him with his confession. The quotes we get are what actually exist, since GRRM would have to write any longer versions and hasn't done so. There are no "actual dialogues" in the sources beyond what we got. How inaccurate do they have to be for that to be relevant? We know he was a confessor & confidant to Alicent, who was there, so that's not "no clue" 100% entropy. Ran himself has talked about Eustace's account being slanted toward the Greens, and again I wouldn't say we have "no clue" over whether his sources would slant things. He wasn't close to Rhaenyra, and the fact that he didn't include it in his history is an indicator of how well he knew about it. Homosexual affairs typically aren't official. But GRRM makes it obvious to readers that Laenor was gay and "surrounded himself with handsome squires of his own age" for that reason. His relationship with Joffrey is a clear precursor to that with Qarl Correy, as well as to a lesser extent to Prince Daeron's with Ser Jeremy Norridge. Mushroom was with Rhaenyra when Qarl was with Laenor. He was not in Laenor's court prior to the marriage with Rhaenyra. Mushroom claims she did, which is consistent with the earlier characterization of her having "eyes only" for him (causing Alicent to imply her chastity was at risk). Come on. Ned doesn't conclude based on Cersei's children that the father was merely "someone else", he leaps to the outlandish (but correct) conclusion that it was Jaime. There is no other suspect for Rhaenyra's children. And if someone else said Harwin was actually a scrupulous knight, then his known character would be more uncertain. That summary says Harwin was "returning from a night of revelry in the stews of the city", and since he'd been a captain in the goldcloaks under the "Lord of Fleabottom" it makes perfect sense for him to be intimately familiar with the various dens of vice. Criston beat the tar out of Harwin. I don't think he liked him much. It is not up to a KG to "cut ties" with a royal. They serve not out of personal preference, but duty. Barristan Selmy can be indignant that Joffrey dismissed him without needing to have high regard for Joffrey himself. You had expressed a preference earlier for Eustace's account of Daemon's rift with Viserys, in which Arryk Cargyll caught them in bed and ratted them out to Viserys. Rhaenyra was not even betrothed then (unlike the married Daemon), but it was a matter worthy of his intervention. We get a quote from Criston later warning that Rhaenyra & Daemon will turn KL into a "brothel", which is consistent with him being someone very judgmental over the sexual behavior of others. They're not bound to forswear marriage, but they are expected to uphold the ideals of chivalry. A woman being unfaithful to her betrothed is considered serious. Lyanna's betrothal to Robert is party of why it caused such a stink that Rhaegar crowned her, whereas Ned & Ashara not being betrothed is why Harwin shrugs off any rumors about them. The idea is not simply that Rhaenyra happened to have slept with Harwin at some point prior to her later marriage. Rather the story we hear is of her asking Criston to break his vows with her with an explicit hope of alienating her betrothed, then her replacing Criston from his prestigious position precisely because he upheld his vows in order to replace him with someone less scrupulous, and both spouses flaunting their relationships at the wedding tourney. Mushroom & Eustace agreeing on something is a clue. They both say Criston killed Beesbury, but differ as to the method. Orwyle claims he was imprisoned in a dungeon for his dissent, and died there, but since Orwyle himself survived that raises the question of why those arguments he puts in his own mouth didn't result in a much worse fate for him. If the truth is that he just lied about Beesbury in order to change his own depiction, that explains everything. It's Gyldayn's take, which is the one GRRM deliberately used to give us Mushroom. The notion of GRRM writing all that material we're supposed to dismiss is much more "silly" to me. It's a methodology I'm using for a work of fiction. There were people who doubted the Trojan War happened for that reason. And, closer to GRRM's main inspirations for this series, lots of people who doubted that Richard III was hunchbacked until his skeleton was found. What is the "message" GRRM-as-Gyldayn is trying to convey? If F&B was one big parable, that would be interesting. It's explicitly about reality vs fantasy. And of course GRRM was never going to do that, because he's a fantasy author rather than a professional historian. You should. Communication depends on understanding what a signaller is attempting to convey. The Gricean maxims exist for a reason. Including knowledge of how the genetics of hair & eye color work, what the accumulative effects of incest are, how often women die of childbirth, how much linguistic diversity there was in the pre-modern era, how stable aristocratic dynasties are over the very long run, whether boiling wine makes it more or less effective as an antiseptic, etc. No, it's not actually omniscient. We get the thoughts of the POV characters, including when a question comes into their heads. "Could it be that Lord Renly, who looked so like a young Robert, had conceived a passion for a girl he fancied to be a young Lyanna?" No, when one character is disguised as another the text identifies them via the identity the POV character believes them to be. It does not say "Rattleshirt (or so Jon thought)", it just refers to the glamoured Mance as Rattleshirt. The only time a POV chapter gives us information the POV character might not have is that bit I've quoted from a Victarion chapter. We get what she actually heard. Her interpretation of the meaning of those words would come later. How well do you know maesters that you can make this claim about their "professionalism" so as to suggest this hypothesis suggested nowhere in the text itself? Read the link on privileging the hypothesis. There is no actual evidence for Eustace ever citing any maester, much less Norren specifically, nor of Gyldayn knowing about Norren's writings via Eustace rather than the specific work he cites. Why should I, or anyone else, take such speculation seriously? Why are we talking about some "existing popular history" that is never mentioned anywhere and doesn't exist in any form because GRRM hasn't made it up!? Yeah, GRRM hadn't made up those others yet. Similarly, there's no mention of the Blackfyre rebellion in The Hedge Knight or prior books, but a lot of mentions later on. GRRM can just change his mind and retcon things, so rather than Gyldayn writing his chronicle and dying during the reign of Aegon V, Corso becomes the maester at Summerhall instead and Gyldayn can live some other time. We have no evidence that he wasn't, and no reason to think GRRM wanted us to think of him that way. We have him agreeing to do so, and no indication that he didn't follow through on that agreement. Rather than ridiculous, it's something that has happened at other times. Cersei schemed to kill Robert so as to make Joffrey (Robert's designated heir, even if he was illegitimate) king instead. Aegon IV is alleged to have killed his father Viserys so he could take the throne, and Viserys in turn is alleged to have killed Baelor to take the throne. They were already short of candidates for the throne at that point And Aegon III was a child that nobody thinks held any responsibility (rather Cregan wanted to punish Larys & Corlys). I don't think we know quite how unusual that was. Rather that incident is highlighted because it's when the Lannisters became an Andal house. Is Lysa Tully a Targaryen dragonrider? I have quoted the bit from that very regency council in which Munkun ended the discussion by reminding them they had to abide by primogeniture. Correct. Why should anyone take seriously your personal assesment rather than the text itself saying it was the view of "many", with no one calling it radical or impractical? The next heir being a male relative that just turned up is what actually happened. Realistically, if Munkun had found some more obscure candidates a Great Council would have likely been in order. Daemon II Blackfyre, Viserys & Dany are not alleged bastards, but having an egg (or, even better, actual dragons) is supposed to support their claim to the throne. How do you know when the plans stopped? We only hear when those began. How else would it be paid for? The reason for the backbreaking taxes was because there wasn't money to spare. By looking at other instances of the crown celebrating things. The Hand's Tourney, for instance, is paid for via debt because the crown's vaults are empty. Because I'm not a fictional character. Fictional characters are not bound by the constraints of reality. They are only bound by their authors. Something being done for show does not make it "for the general public". Aristocrats engage in conspicuous consumption for their own benefit, not that of the people they rule. Are those guests the smallfolk? And how lucky they would be if they were, to be fed the very food they paid for with their taxes. Where did it say that? And again, such lucky people to get the leftovers. There is no indication she had any such wish, and you just generalized that it was not the case for medieval rulers. Wars are the biggest expenses medieval rulers faced. They would expect to be in debt at the end, rather than having ample coin. When taxes are easy a lavish ceremony is not so bothersome. It signals "I have so much money I can afford to spend it frivolously", always important for aristocrats. Not among aristocrats. The interests of that class are not the same as the people they rule. Yes, he preached earlier, but there weren't riots until the death of Helaena. Trystane had to issue his own proclamations in response to Gaemon. And prior to that, Wat was leading a political movement against Celtigar's taxes. GRRM is not mocking the politics of Gaemon's edicts just because they were all reversed later. The dragons don't protect people. Everywhere the dragons dance, the people die. They're a cross between WMDs and wild animals, typically used by incestuous aristocrats who think they're above the laws of gods & men because of that, though potentially available for lowlives like the Betrayers (who also come to think they're above all rules as a result). Perhaps you approve of Gaemon but not the others (I personally would consider the Shepherd to be more of an anarchist than an actual theocrat, since he claimed no position for himself), but the smallfolk are large and can contain multitudes. The rioters against Joffrey are sympathetic in their demands for bread, but they also do awful things like commit rapes. The High Sparrow is right that Cersei should not be above the law, but what she has officially been punished for so far is something that wouldn't be a crime at all in our society. Steven Attewell is outspoken about his own left-populist politics, but he doesn't attempt to argue that authentic populism & moral righteousness always go together. It was a war that started with the assassination of an archduke, and one in which the aristocratic officer class disproportionately died. In a hypothetical scenario where only the elite killed each other (like Frank Herbert's "war of assassins" in Dune), that might simply be ignored by commoners or instability wrought by such deaths could upend the system (as is implied to have happened on a fantastical scale with the Doom of Valyria). But in both the real world, and ASoIaF, wars tend to cause deaths for both. Lots of people followed a Shepherd insisting they must shed their own blood killing dragons. Enormous numbers of them died, but they kept going. Nobody ever had any reasons to dislike Helaena (partly because she's so thinly characterized). We get reasons why Rhaenyra went from the Realm's Delight to Maegor With Teats, it's just to you that it doesn't make sense. Which rebel groups frequently engage in. Did Beric obey any orders after Ned's? Did Brynden Tully do so even after conceding Riverrun? An "actual uprising" does not need "the majority of the people".
  7. An execution isn't normally considered a "murder". Jon had authority as LC to command members of the NW, and such members can face execution if they do something like desert (see Mance Rayder). Janos repeatedly defied orders, and belongs in a different category from murder victims. In your mind, based on info Jon doesn't have. There's no indication Stannis himself believes that (or even that she believes Stannis belives that). Melisandre is using the justification that Jon already gave & Stannis rejected. It's not "perfectly" achieved if the real Mance is around to reveal that was a sham, which is what happens. Perhaps Davos could have just pretended to have lost his fingers. Ceased to be a goal for Stannis, or just for Melisandre? Stannis was tricked into thinking the ritual of burning the leeches with Edric Storm's blood actually killed three "false kings". Melisandre knows their deaths were already foreordained via her visions. Jon doesn't know that (unlike us), but he does know Melisandre is from Asshai rather than Westeros and thus has no attachment to Westerosi laws & traditions related to the NW. We know that's just not true, and that he did argue with her about sacrificing Edric Storm (until the leeches worked). We also know that it's hardly unprecedented for a king's advisors to sing a different tune when the king is not around, for they are not always on the same page. Stannis didn't suggest anything of the sort when Jon objected, nor is he privately confiding in him now on the decision he's supposedly made. Stannis himself is not making use of the real Mance, rather Jon is to rescue his sister. Would he be willing to promise the Lannisters to give up his own claim in exchange for them supporting the war against the Others? Is Stannis known for being a thoughtful gift-giver that everyone likes? Or is he known for being deliberately unpleasant much of the time and insisting that everyone else has to put up with him because he's in the right? "I gave you Rattleshirt. Be content with him." He did that openly. Doesn't Stannis punish people openly rather than covertly? Is he a subtle man? Why can't Stannis privately reveal the truth to Jon, as Melisandre did? That was Jon's argument to Stannis for not killing Mance, but instead making use of him. But if Stannis is "gifting" Mance, then he himself is not getting any such use. Melisandre swapping them out purely helps out Jon (and secretly subverts Stannis' upholding of the law) rather than Stannis. If the glamour is ever revealed, then the buck doesn't stop with Jon at all. Stannis is revealed as a fraud for supposedly executing Mance and can no longer be said to have "publicly upheld the law". Do you mean like how German is also spoken in Austria, parts of Switzerland & Luxembourg? The Austro-fascists had a difficult time defining themselves as separate from Germany on the thin reed of Catholicism, which is why so many supported the Anschluss. They are separate now because the victors of WW2 didn't want to permit Germany to be that large again. I think the notion of a nation/ethnic group doesn't travel very well to this fictional world. The Dornish are the closest thing to a proto-nation, but even they don't speak a distinct language. It was, and logically in the present the Northerners should be speaking members of a language family descended from that. But instead they picked up the Andal language (which, again, should have fragmented over time) because it was more convenient for GRRM (who is not a linguist like Tolkien) to write it that way. "Communication" is not sufficient for a community to adopt an entirely different language. There's communication across the French & German borders, and the lack of geographic barriers makes them genetically indistinguishable (at least by current methods), but the French speak a Romance language (like the former Roman subjects there picked up) while the Germans speak a... German one. GRRM again just wanted to simplify things. If a magical inhuman enemy suddenly appeared in our world, the actual militaries of our world would respond to fulfill their ordinary military functions. The purpose of defense does not depend on who the defense is to be against. No, voluntary enlistment can exist alongside involuntary drafting. If you've ever watched Oliver Stone's autobiographical Platoon, some of the draftees laugh at his upper-class standin for enlisting out of noblesse oblige, but it's what he really did. What marriages have existed? When do we hear of such people? The closest thing would be Bran being let through by Sam (and the pitch letter having Catelyn go as well when the NW can't give her refuge themselves). I've mentioned France vs Germany and the many languages of Papua New Guinea (which is closer to the wildling situation since they didn't develop states). I recall you said you'd studied languages, so give me an example of something like this happening. They have repeatedly attacked the Wall, and never contributed to its upkeep. The wildlings don't even have a central government, so there is no authority to sign any kind of binding peace treaty. Not a single "realm", they are fragmented into many tribes. The Wall is a defensive military structure. Counteracting the cold would seem to require maintaining a source of magical fire instead. You are imagining something not actually indicated by the text when the text itself gives a sufficient explanation for what we observe. If a reader has no need of your hypothesis, they can discard it. If the Others have a navy to cross the Narrow Sea, they can already get around the Wall. There was no such territory as "the North" prior to that. It's called that because it's the northernmost area south of the Wall. The Wall was created defend against the Others, and it's not positioned that far south by mistake. Yes, I said he's a tragic hero. I was contrasting it with characters I was discussing in another thread who are, to me, not only villains but clear villains. Those priorities are not sticking up for Jon's family and fighting his family's enemies, however much Jon would like them to be. Their priorities are the ones that have permitted them to persist for thousands of years so some people (even if they're fewer than they should be) can defend the Wall. He only entered into a relationship with her after he joined the NW, thus breaking his vows (although he was obeying orders to do so). Ygritte is killed by someone else. If he was motivated by morality, he could have done it earlier. He made his decision when he was ordered to kill his own father. KG serve for life, they can't just leave when they feel like it. It is to organizations those oaths are sworn to. That social structure permits the maintenance of the Wall, which they repeatedly attacked. More like "never". The wildlings opposing the LC of the NW is normal. What's unusual is the Starks opposing the LC as well because he's a villain.
  8. I think you mean warden of the east. Tywin is warden of the west. Plenty of people are hypocritical, so Loras could well qualify. But when I listed all the ways Jaime deviates from the norms of his peers, none of them apply to Loras. There were people who expected Loras to violate his KG oath and kill Joffrey once he eventually went too far with Margaery, but he hadn't actually done so yet. Loras is also implied to have been in a sexual relationship with Renly while in the Rainbow Guard, but since the actual KG already existed and that was an entirely separate organization, it's unclear whether he should be held to the same standards (as a member of the actual KG, Loras is not known to have violated any oath). We know more than what we've heard of his past, we observe him directly. It's in another character's POV chapter in Clash that we get him saying he does his own killing. I think the decision to give him a POV in ASoS points to that being where his arc starts. Clash just reframes him as a character who could potentially have such an arc. Wouldn't Jaime give a damn about Tyrion if they weren't family? Cersei taking such a different stance toward someone she's equally related to as Jaime just shows how extra horrible she is. It's particularly glaring since the Lannisters being willing to hurt others on behalf of their kin is what causes the conflict. Jaime throws Bran out a window so he isn't caught with Cersei, thus revealing their children are bastards born of incest (causing both Ned & Catelyn to understand Cersei's reaction). Jaime attacks Ned's men and helps his father attack the Riverlands in revenge for Tyrion's arrest, which is the injustice the Brotherhood is still fighting against. Cersei schemes for Robert to die and Ned to be arrested (killing even more of the people he brought to KL in the process) to ensure they stay on top rather than fleeing into exile when given the chance. A guy who is still acting like a mob-enforcer in the Riverlands, and thinks his family should be above the laws of gods & men like the Targaryens. What minions? He wasn't even riding Hodor yet! Knighthood is relatively uncommon in the North, but Jory was able to participate in the tourney with Jaime as a peer. You seem to be mistaking feudalism for slavery. The Ironborn have thralls that they treat like slaves, but even the lowly peasants of Westeros are above that, and are supposed to have customary rights (however paltry by modern standards) their lords respect. It is the case that attacking the vassals (this applies to nobles, who are undoubtedly "people") of a lord is like attacking that lord. Lords are supposed to have an obligation to their vassals to protect them in return for service. It is literally the case in such battles: capturing a rival lord is the best possible outcome. Jaime wasn't trying to take Ned captive to trade against Tyrion, he was instead running away before the goldcloaks could arrive. And when Jaime joined in the attacks in the Riverlands, he actually did personally take part in the fighting (which is how he eventually got captured). How big does Bran or anyone else have to be in order to be a "somebody"? I've talked about how Jory is no Mycah (who was himself allegedly punished for his own actions rather than some lord he served). It was a fight Jaime himself ran from rather than participate in. He ran to escape the consequences wrought by him aggressing against another lord, which is the same sort of thing that would motivate someone to hire an assassin rather than personally committing a murder. It was necessary to the show, because they were already writing Jaime differently than he had been in the first book. They let us see Jaime in scenes that aren't with any of the POVs from that first book, and they had him talking to Ned about killing the Mad King and saying how it felt like justice. It fit his character on the show, not in the book, where he's explicitly given an entirely different motivation for leaving Ned alive (and he's not around to try to take Ned as a captive). Sandor Clegane explicitly says that he spits on knighthood, but he never killed any king he was sworn to protect, and he didn't abandon his post until the Blackwater was on fire. Jory took part in the tourney with Jaime, he is a peer rather than a smallfolk. Again, feudalism is not slavery. Jory was not chattel. When did he do that? He just wanted to fight alongside other knights rather than be Aerys' "crutch" against Tywin. This is ranging a bit off-topic, but there's another thread where I defend Jaime against the charge that he was always plotting to betray Aerys in favor of his family, but also say that his killing of the other pyromancers doesn't seem to have been necessary since they weren't actually causing any problems days later. The perverse result was actually to prevent the secret from getting out and thus keep KL more of a powderkeg! He's justifying himself in the face of Catelyn's accusations. Knighthood is less common in the North, but his father is one. Jory was permitted by King Robert to face other knights in the tourney (although we know other tourneys like Ashford's are exclusively for knights). Bran isn't a knight either, but if it was proved that Jaime actually had hired the assassin he wouldn't then say to Catelyn "It doesn't count because he was just a child, and therefore an extension or property of his parents, rather than an actual person". The problem is that the Lannisters view themselves above EVERYONE. Jory competed in the Hand's Tourney, other participants would know who he was and that he was not some peasant.
  9. What negative consequence would he face for saying that he killed somebody they themselves wanted to find & kill alongside him? They do talk about it. It's not a mere absence of evidence, it's evidence of absence: "no trace of Cheese or the White Worm was ever found". Aegon kills the ratcatchers of KL out of frustration. What makes your personal opinion "common sense"? Is this what most readers believe? It's not like the quotes we have are as long as Barth's account of Aerea. A short quote could be remembered reasonably (you might have an unusual definition of "reasonable") accurately. Eustace didn't even include that in his history. That was in a later letter, and it's described as him "suggest[ing]" rather than remembering. Someone is He knew Laenor was having an affair with Joffrey without needing any offspring to look like Joffrey. He knew Rhaenyra better than Laenor, having served her for years, and in this account he knew even more about her desire to sleep with her sworn shield to spurn her husband. Come on. You can insist all you want that all three kids looking like someone other than the father isn't "strong textual evidence", but GRRM himself made that sufficient evidence for the correct (even if outlandish) deduction in the first book of the series. No, I actually do think Criston regarded it as a snub that he was replaced. Criston had risen to prominence as Rhaenyra's sworn shield, and in his mind deserved such a high position for exemplifying KG ideals. A knight like Harwin who "lacked Ser Criston's scruples" was less deserving of such a position, and for him to receive it precisely BECAUSE of his unscrupulous willingness to help Rhaenyra make a mockery of her marriage would be the most hateful thing possible. If Criston had no reason to think Harwin was having an affair with her, and instead he was just some other knight who happened to be around, he would merit less spite. They didn't flip a coin or shrug before the oath either. Orwyle did. But he didn't change on a "whim" either, he did after seeing how much of the SC vociferously opposed Rhaenyra. I did not express it as an equation, nor do I think every case of a person being physically close is reliable (I think Orwyle lied about Beesbury). Rather, that source is more reliable than they could be absent that closeness. It's not irrelevant, even if it's also not a guarantee. We can debate what quantity of salt is reasonable. But Gyldayn clearly places Mushroom's work within the domain of "bounded distrust": there are parts where he can guess "just Mushroom being Mushroom" and others to take more seriously. Your stance is that we should discount basically all of it by default, along with huge swathes of F&B as a whole. To me that doesn't make sense because GRRM wouldn't have gone to the trouble of writing all of that and even having a maester talk about which parts are reliable vs doubtful and give a method for detecting reliability (seeing where different accounts agree). Mushroom wants to entertain AND dish the info he was privileged to have access to. There are repeated instances where Gyldayn notes Mushroom's claim is independently supported, moreso than Eustace. I don't think it's just chance that the one claim from Munkun which came pre-debunked in ADWD was corrected by "broken clock" Mushroom. If Mushroom said something like "Lyonel Strong gifted King Viserys a valyrian steel dagger which the king praised as a great gift, at which I whipped out my own member and scoffed that it was not nearly so great in size as my own" I would guess that the gifting was probably real even if the phallic demonstration was not. A fake history book, written by a non-historian. Only as much like reality as GRRM likes them to be. A guy who wrote "Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. [...] Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. [...] Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?" You are making F&B "smaller" by saying it should mostly be dismissed because you demand a match against real historiography GRRM is uninterested in. Do you think GRRM wants his writing to reflect those "countless studies"? Or does he write POV characters specifically to give his readers access to info they wouldn't otherwise have? He's writing fantasy, not realism, so he doesn't need to bother. And he would not have bothered writing all that material if we were supposed to just dismiss it. All of the books are supposed to be fun. They're fantasy. F&B has a page-count comparable to a novel in the main series, even though it's only part 1. And it's going to be adapted into yet another TV series! GRRM wrote everything Gyldayn "writes". He wrote it all deliberately. There's a reason GRRM has Gyldayn take some things seriously and expresses skepticism toward others. On a topic like magic where readers know maesters are overly skeptical, we can use that "bounded distrust" to skeptically evaluate the skeptic himself. Otherwise the default should be to take him seriously. Let's talk about narrative art generally. If you consume a story and want to discuss it with me, and I say "None of that happened in-universe, it was all just the dream of a magic beetle", you would need some very solid evidence for my beetle theory before discarding your presumption that the narrative is to be taken seriously. Yes, he himself says there are cases where the truth is ambiguous or just completely unavailable! For me it goes the other way. A POV in the main series can get things wrong, and it's acceptable because another POV can contradict them and thus tip the audience off that they were wrong. With the profusion of POVs we can learn their distinct traits and the ways they might be unreliable. With Gyldayn we didn't get that, we aren't going to get that, and GRRM knew it when he wrote it (his substitute instead was to have conflicting sources and a narrator who admits uncertainty). Gyldayn is not personally involved in any of the events, he's just writing at a sholarly remove without much of a character for himself. So what can the audience do with that? When does Eustace quote any maester's account? Why privilege the hypothesis that Eustace was the actual source rather than the one Gyldayn cites? Why would GRRM secretly have that be what actually happened but give no such indication to the reader? GRRM is the source of ALL the quotes, as well as the surrounding text quoting them. It's all as accurate as he wants it to be. If he wants to destroy part of a text to deprive readers, as in that account of the Tragedy of Summerhall, he can do so. You should care. If it was thousands of years ago and civilization collapsed, went through a dark age, and then re-emerged you would have more reason to doubt how much information was passed down. Why privilege that hypothesis either? Marwyn seems to travel whenever he feels like it. Couldn't he deliver that "point" with a lot less effort & pages? Wouldn't the point be better delivered if it explicitly contradicted things we know from the main series rather than just your headcanon? It's explicitly up to Aegon to name his heir, not Alicent (although Alicent's POV is worthwhile since the conflict goes back to "The Princess and the Queen"). And rather than "nothing", that's the setup for Aegon eventually agreeing to it, and then it becoming reality. Alicent's accord with Corlys is explicitly noted to avert a Velaryon attack, and afterward Aegon must agree to ensure continued Velaryon support. At the time he agreed to it, he was not yet in imminent danger of death. And Aegon III was already his hostage on Dragonstone well before he ever heard of this plan! We got an explanation then for him remaining as a hostage rather than just being killed as Alfred Broome advocated. Aegon II doesn't need his daughter there to proclaim a new heir. Nor to betroth her, for that matter. What "newer agreement"? The ravens had already been sent to Jaehaera before Cregan arrived. What Cregan agreed to was not disrupting the agreement already made. Yes, it's a story of that family rather than the collective political aspirations of the Andals. Who is the active party? The council. We don't hear of Andals actually doing anything other than marrying into the family beforehand (with their own kin given as hostages to ensure good behavior). F&B itself has examples of councils being used to anoint an heir/king. Normally a Lannister directly inherits, but they were in the unusual situation of not having male heirs so a council arranged for Joffrey Lyden to be King Joffrey Lannister. I quoted from Asha's chapter (whereas Alys was in Jon's chapters) before stating the obvious that the current lord not yet going through the formality of dying precludes anyone else from being lord. Alys' own view is that Arnolf declared for Stannis in the hopes that this would result in Harrion's death, and we know from Theon that Arnolf was meeting with the Boltons despite his professed support for Stannis as well as statements from captured Karnolf men backing up Alys' interpretation of Arnolf's motive. Catelyn's father is the same man, and she's older than Lysa. Ok, Viserys accepted the existence of a man claiming to be his bastard son and then punished the man for making a false claim that was never accepted as having any validity. The text never refers to them as "radicals", only you do. Instead it says "In the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendants". When Otto was trying to get Daemon displaced as heir Gyldayn refers to that precedent as a "formidable hurdle". The position of heir did in fact remain empty after Munkun "put an end to the debate", and rather than anyone saying Munkun was ridiculous we end with him resolving to research who could be the male heir. During the Dance itself Rhaenyra's first three sons make the claim that riding dragons shows their legitimacy (although their descent from Rhaenyra specifically was never in doubt). Even an unhatched egg can be used as a claim to legitimacy, as with the second Blackfyre "rebellion" and Illyrio's wedding gifts. Those characters did not (or have not yet) sat on the Iron Throne, but then the point was to lend legitimacy to people making a claim against the status quo. During a situation of uncertain succession supporters of a claimant can point to a number of factors rather than everyone just going with the obvious Schelling point established by precedent. Probably not when he was locked up, and recall he and his wealth had already been party to the war from the beginning. How do you think it would have been paid for? I'm not a fictional character written by GRRM And I'd like for you to get in the habit of making more arguments from the text, which is the same for everyone, rather than from your own headcanon. I agree entirely. But I say this ALSO applies to her "lavish celebration". Actually, even moreso than something like paying for goldcloaks, who can at least protect the denizens of KL from each other to some extent. Why would you characterize Rhaenyra's spending as being "on the smallfolk" when you JUST said the consumers would be "not the general public"? During the riots he had people, including the Shepherd, blasting Rhaenyra for the deaths of her royal kin. In the main series, we have Jaime reviled as a kingslayer despite the king he killed being an enemy of the currently ruling regime (and a madman to boot). It is explicitly in this one. How many popular uprisings do you need? So you know what was truly in the Shepherd's heart-of-hearts? How do you know it was a "pretext" for him? And Rosa Parks was an NAACP member who had planned to sit in a whites-only seat of that bus. You can't dismiss social movements as phony "astroturf" because there are leaders. For "team smallfolk" I linked to Steven Attewell, a historian of politics as well as a labor activist (and descendant of both a medieval smallfolk rebel & a Labour MP). He contextualized the riots against Rhaenyra as part of a larger tradition of the smallfolking exercising agency and resisting authority. If you want to argue that he & I are wrong about the riots, you need to actually provide a real argument rather than just asserting that Rhaenyra's opponents should all be thoughtlessly dismissed because you don't like them. Was WW1 not the cause of the Russian revolution? Is the War of the Five Kings not the cause of the BWB and Sparrows rising up? Did the common people of Stony Sept not hide Robert when Jon Connington was looking for him? The Greens weren't actually about to arrive imminently at the time of the riots, which was why the Moon of Three Kings got to go for a while. The Greens never even took their few remaining dragons out of Tumbleton. You are simply asserting it was the "actual cause", rather than the text (which explicitly highlights the death of Helaena) saying so. Like I said before, you can't remove a single factor and then say if it was necessary it must be the one "actual" cause. Multiple factors went into what happened, and the text lays them out. In academic science there is something called "researcher degrees of freedom" in which people after the fact construct a narrative which fits the data but depends on choices other researchers might not share. To prove your argument you need to show that the "data" (which is to say the text) actually constrains the answer to be just yours, rather than it just being one you chose that others don't have to share. Asserting any argument to the contrary is ridiculous does not cut it. The opposite of rebellion would be loyal support. And they aren't hiding their responsibility, which the Freys & Lannisters are fully aware of. Couldn't an unusually extreme event be explained by an unusual confluence of contributing factors? The Lannister regime would just take the Twins back even if a revolt seized them.
  10. How is he bending the truth or rules via passivity? We're talking about Jon's decision to collude with Melisandre in sending a disguised Mance out of CB after he has been sentenced to die (and supposedly executed), even after Stannis heard all of Jon's opposing arguments. A "people", "nation" or "ethnic group" is most often defined by its language. The next most important cultural factor is generally religion. That language would be the Andal tongue, of an entirely different origin. Not just nowadays, it has been that way for a very long time. The NW choosing allies in order to ensure support is precisely what the oath is supposed to block. Every house is supposed to regard the NW as neutral and worthy of support because it WON'T ever side with a rival house. A verbal "diss" is disrespect, and hostility to Ned Stark's son as LC similarly expresses a cynical view of the NW not actually adhering to its avowed neutrality. Cynical & accurate! "Until"? Who says Tywin was ever going to attack. The Others attacked the NW repeatedly in-series. Tywin Lannister never did. He just didn't help them (during the War of the Five Kings, he did send men after the sack of KL), and the act-omission distinction is relevant to most people even if consequentialists say it shouldn't be. Is defending a wall not an ordinary military purpose? Conscripts don't normally gain much materially, or they wouldn't have to be conscripted. Sellswords fight for gain, and we agree that's not the NW. A "political-military arrangement" among the kingdoms south of the Wall. Winterfell was not actually doing much for the NW under Robb/Bran either. Robb wanted to remove Jon from the NW to prevent Tyrion from claiming Winterfell via his marriage to Sansa. What "in-world history" explains the Andal language becoming the most common one spoken by the wildings despite the Andals themselves failing to penetrate north of the Neck? What are the borders of that kingdom? Does that kingdom support the NW or oppose it? And the NW is not supposed to defend that area. Certainly rangers do not transform into another species when they go ranging. But unless they desert, they remain subjects of Westerosi political authority which acts to ensure the defense of the Wall. They belong to the human race, but not to any realm. Craster is defended by nobody, and obeys no authority. Essos has its Five Forts (though as far as we know they are just the creation of the Yi-Ti empire rather than Essos as a whole) defending an entirely different area. World War 2 involved both Germany & Japan as allied countries, but the RAF fighting the former in the Battle of Britain was not thereby defending China against the latter. We haven't actually learned that. The explanation we have heard from Tycho is that they are just motivated by Cersei not paying them what is owed. That I'm not buying. If any threat emerges from the wastes beyond the Five Forts, the NW isn't doing anything about that. True, and less meaningful than you think. The relevance is that the Wall could have been much shorter just to deal with them; its height implies a more formidable threat. Not so much the presence of one kind of enemy as the absence of another. The abundance of something he blames is "years". "Rejoin"? They never lived south of the Wall. No, I don't think that's the point of what he wrote. Jon is a tragic hero, and not a clear villain like many of his other characters (such as ones I'm arguing about in a different thread). Jon is a person whose priorities are NOT the same as the institution of the NW, and this gives rise to conflict. Not only conflict within himself, but also with people who have been in the NW longer than him and don't share his other experiences & priorities. He's a more sympathetic version of Jaime. Jaime joined the KG with some idealistic notions about it (although he never had any intention of abiding by the oath of celibacy), was eventually forced to choose between his family and violating the most defining oath of the KG (for a very good reason), and came to decide that all oaths were worthless and that he would act purely on behalf of his family regardless of how many laws of gods or men he broke. Jon intended to be an honorable member of the NW, but has found himself torn and ultimately decides to leave his post to fight his family's enemy, only to then be assassinated by his own men for doing so. Then why are the wildlings north of the Wall and why have they never sent any of their men to join the NW like the kingdoms south of said Wall have? If they'd been supporting the NW this whole time, the NW would not have "forgotten" which side they were on.
  11. I agree, that could potentially serve as a Watsonian explanation for something I've been explaining Doylistically, but to get technical here we're only comparing Game to Clash (where he was not yet a POV character). Is there any evidence of that in Game? It's okay, you can name names Did he have a "personal grievance" with Bran, the kid just climbing around his own family's property in a place he had no reason to expect anyone else to be? As he did it, he claimed it was "for love" rather than grievance. I do think that's closer to what he meant than anything about it being "secret". If he had personally stolen Ice out of Ned's scabbard, that would fit. But he didn't. Now you're saying something different from your earlier quote about getting his hands dirty. Why would "look[ing] in the eye" be important? Jaime confesses that he discussed making a second murder attempt on a comatose Bran, and the reason he held off was not that Bran's eyes would be closed. And if you claim that giving an order is metaphorically getting his hands dirty, recall that Tywin arranged for Walder Frey to carry out the RW in order to keep Tywin's own hands clean with the blood just on Walder's. No, we get his explicit reason for not ordering Ned killed: Tyrion was Catelyn's hostage and Ned threatened that Tyrion would be killed in revenge for his own death. In what sense is it "right"? It's certainly not "more" faithful to the book than the book itself is. It IS more consistent with Jaime's later claim to Catelyn, which is precisely why I claim Jaime himself is inconsistent across those two books. D&D had access to all the books (minus perhaps ADWD) when they wrote that episode, so they could write Jaime to be more consistent with that. GRRM did not have his own books which he would yet write in the future. Hence all the "early installment weirdness" about Jaime being Warden of the East and potentially inheriting the title Warden of the West even though later books establish the KG can't inherit anything, Robert threatening (even if in jest) to pin the Hand badge on Jaime and people thinking about Jaime looking more like a king than Robert. It fits the version of Jaime in the pitch letter who's supposed to murder his way atop the Iron Throne (just as Ned got a preview of during the Sack). Those are very different things. How are they both "taking personal responsibility"? Not just, to me it seems like multiple different principles! I don't think other Westerosi nobles think it's acceptable to sleep with your own sister, to kill a king you swore to protect, to cuckold another king and claim you'll kill him if he catches you, to throw a child out a window and then plot to kill that child before he can wake up, to seek out that child's sister to kill or permanently mutilate because your sister/lover asked for it in revenge for something your king already dismissed, to threaten and then violently "warn" the father of both those children (also the best friend of the king you're supposed to be serving), then to run off & abandon your post dedicated to said king in order to pursue your family's vendetta against the in-laws of said father despite your KG oath superseding any such family loyalty. Jaime is distinctive for REJECTING the normal ideals of Westerosi nobles, saying there are too many conflicting oaths for him to obey all of them, so he just dismisses them. He's lost a hand by that point (unlike when he was a prisoner and saying Robb should duel him) and has to depend more on others. It's his high regard for his own martial prowess that led to him saying things like he would just kill Robert if he got caught with Cersei. Does Jaime make any claim that it's the secrecy of doing so that he objects to? It was certainly personal to Jaime, he was very upset about his brother being seized. Why wouldn't he? He brags about doing his own killing, and that would be an example. He cared enough to order them dead. Jaime's not a lord, he's a glorified bodyguard prohibited from inheriting any such title even after his father dies. He is admittedly of noble birth though. Jory is not as highborn as him, but he does have a surname, comes from a (minor) noble house with a coat of arms, and participated in the tourney against knights like Jaime. Jory is captain-of-the-guards, and thus another bodyguard like Jaime (which would make the show-version where Jaime personally kills him fitting for their respective stations). Jaime is very upset about Cersei cheating on him, when their entire relationship while Robert was alive was adulterous. He was going to kill or permanently mutilate Arya for something her pet did (plus hitting Joffrey with a stick) but his own (unacknowledged) child was to be spared any punishment for anything ever. As a loyal member of House Lannister (particularly loyal to Cersei, who lacks even Tywin's sense about norms are prudent to at least publicly abide by) he's dedicated to hypocritically advancing the ends of his family and disregarding everyone else.
  12. He had good reason not to do that considering the retaliation his family would face. All sorts of things "might" be the case in that they are not logically impossible, but there's no reason to believe that's the case considering Blood said nothing about that and he had no reason to withhold it. Orwyle was there. A confessor to Eustace who confided in him was there. There's disagreement over some parts of that meeting but NOT what Criston said. GRRM gives no indication that we should distrust that passage, rather we are told that if both Eustace & Mushroom agree on something it's probably reliable. Aside from all that, Criston loathing Laenor for his sexuality fits very well with him beating Laenor's lover to death! You can selectively dismiss any evidence that doesn't fit your headcanon and preferred narrative, but to everyone else there is your regular responsen "lol don't care". In the same paragraph where he denounced Laenor for his sexuality he already denounced Rhaenyra for having bastards with Harwin, who was already her lover by the time of that tourney. The council was not flipping coins or saying "Oh, sure, whatever". They swore a blood oath. That's about as far from a whim as you can get! A claim "could be true" regardless of whether he was in the vicinity. Him being in the vicinity means he has access to information that others wouldn't. Which is not the approach Gyldayn takes, or says readers should take. Rather, it would be very strange for GRRM to devote so much to Mushroom's Testimony when we're just supposed to "dismiss it out of hand". There is another phrase for information that it is to be used, though not too credulously: "taken with a grain of salt". Mushroom being at a place means he can know things directly WITHOUT the mediation of "a buddy of his". There are events they claim to be eyewitnesses to. That's firsthand knowledge. They're fictional characters, not real people. This is a work of fiction. A work of fiction by a man without much consideration for the gap in timing between events. When GRRM wants to give a character imperfect memory, he can do so and has talked about doing so for a reason. We the readers can know that Sansa misremembers her interaction with Sandor because we have her earlier POV material to compare to her later memory, and reason based on what we know of Sansa why she would misremember in that particular way. If Sansa's POV had been absent from ACoK, we readers would just accept her memory, just as we accept the things remembered in lots of other POV chapters in the main series. He can entertain readers by quoting Mushroom's stories while also dismissing them, just as Eustace would raises rumors he dismissed. Instead he takes a number (thought not all) of Mushroom's claims seriously and says the evidence supports some of them. GRRM wrote the entire thing as Gyldayn. Gyldayn himself doesn't have much of a character, so there isn't an easy way for the reader to adjust for his perspective, particularly without any other historian to provide a contrasting POV. That is him quoting the chronicle. Your view is that Gyldayn might just be lying and that Norren didn't actually write that, even though we are given no reason whatsoever to believe that might be the case. When does Eustace ever cite a maester's chronicle? The Dance of the Dragons was fought less than two centuries before Gyldayn wrote F&B. During that time there was no collapse of civilization, and the literate order of maesters continued their writing uninterrupted. Why would GRRM have him quote it otherwise? WHY would he write a work we can "basically dismiss almost completely"? That would seem to be an enormous waste of time for someone already behind on writing a number of other works in the same universe! I already gave you the quote where Aegon II agreed to it. What you are demanding is a redundancy. Larys & Corlys conspired to kill Aegon II AFTER the latter had agreed to make Aegon III heir. All that material involving that agreement would seem rather pointless if he was never actually named heir, but you seem to think F&B is mostly to be dismissed anyway. Why is that in quotes? That phrase appears nowhere in F&B, so I don't know who you're supposed to be quoting. It's true that dead people can't enforce their edicts, but Jaehaera was married to Aegon III, as per the earlier agreement. There are lots of Andals who could have a lot of different preferred kings, but we aren't told any Andals were on that council. What Andals wanted isn't discussed there. He certainly can't be lord if the current lord is still alive. On what basis could Lysa make a claim when she is the younger sister? The point of the GC was to have candidates evaluated. We are told "The tenuous claims of nine lesser competitors were considered and discarded (one such, a hedge knight who put himself forward as a natural son of King Jaehaerys himself, was seized and imprisoned when the king exposed him as a liar)". That's not "accepting" all such claims, that's hearing them. Recall also that the Great Council of 101's precedent implied not only that males inherit before females, but that succession does not even travel through the female line, so half-siblings would only count if their father was also Daemon. Not ridiculous at all for Targaryens. Aegon I didn't become king via inheritance but because his dragons were enough to make the Westerosi submit to him and acclaim him king. Aenys' legitimacy was doubted early on, and his bond with Quicksilver helped turn things around. The Targaryen "doctrine of exceptionalism" is based on them riding dragons, and it's implied their incestuous practices help bind their bloodline to said dragons. The lack of "I, personally" makes the former more of a Schelling point. Which is how such norms of succession emerge. They joined together for that. Celtigar himself thought more taxes were necessary to "replenish the crown's coffers". I won't deny he raised some revenue, but the "lavish celebration" Rhaenyra planned placed a higher burden on him. You could quote the text rather than just giving us your spin on it. Gyldayn told us about Tyland hiding the gold and the taxes Celtigar enacted prior to Helaena's death. No, all taxes* depend on changing consumption. And in the premodern era all business cycles are real business cycles. What Rhaenyra wants to do is to redirect resources that her subjects would have used on themselves, and instead use them for her "lavish celebration". The SC tries to tell Ned that the Hand's Tourney is good for the city, but they don't actually give a damn about the smallfolk. What it does is alter consumption in wasteful ways that result in people like Anguy getting very drunk. *The linked example there is wrong in the specific that taxation can alter that person's consumption, but right in its general point. The riots broke out ON THE VERY NIGHT Helaena died. How much more obvious could GRRM make the importance of that? I brought up social science specifically. And analyzing the sources of riots in the real world would be in the domain of social science. I brought up the natural sciences to make it extra obvious how multiple factors can contribute to an outcome. The timing of the riots makes it not just speculation, although the recollection that "rioters spread throughout the city, shouting for justice for the dead princes and their murdered mother" makes it extra obvious. As does the Shepherd's quote "this unnatural queen who sits bleeding on the Iron Throne, her whore’s lips glistening and red with the blood of her sweet sister" Elsewhere you were saying the real cause was Tyland hiding the money so Rhaenyra had no choice but to raise taxes. And there you had Wat killing Celtigar and explicitly venting against the taxes. It's only "obvious" in your mind because you decide to ignore all the other factors the text itself highlights. But things AREN'T going well for them, thanks to those taxes. So your point is irrelevant. The Brotherhood Without Banners are rebelling against the Freys, killing a number of them already and with more planned in the future. And Qyburn relays that the Sparrows demand justice for the RW (resulting in Cersei trying to shift all the blame onto Walder Frey). It changed the nature of the BWB. Before Beric did things like give Sandor a trial and permit him to live. They are in a much darker place now, just killing as many Freys as they can to fill Stoneheart's insatiable desire for vengeance.
  13. The NW is a medieval-esque military order, but they were not "facing a fight" when Janos was executed. His orders were not even to fight, but instead to make improvements to a tower. Right, even if the penalty was rather severe for the offense, Slynt was acting in a way that pushed his commander to have no mercy. I don't think Janos is innocent of insubordination & disobedience (or being an awful person before he was even sent to the NW). On what basis? How is Stannis "knowing" something or "letting" something happen an example of him "bending"? I suppose you could argue that by sleeping with Melisandre he was bending his commitment to be faithful to his wife. Why would Jon think he himself has any ability to determine what is "secretly" in character for Stannis? Which would work better if GRRM had let the wildlings realistically speak a different language, follow a different religion, etc. How can intervening in political conflicts south of the Wall be reconciled with the NW oath? "Hoping" is not interfering. Why would a military order 8000 years ago not act like a military order? The North was not unified when the NW was founded. The Bolton "Red Kings" were rivals to the Starks for a long time in the North, and the NW was not to take part in any disputes between them. It signals a writer who didn't want to bother with linguistic complexity. There is no Doylist explanation for it. Certainly. And different ones for different wildlings. Which doesn't cover places outside of any kingdoms. The Wall itself demarcates them. And, handily enough, GRRM has located all the non-kingdom republican governments on another continent. No they don't. The wilderness does not belong to any realm, and the Wall/NW don't even defend Essos. No, Mormont never said the wildlings were on the same side as the NW. Rather, he was trying to attack Mance Rayder's army right before he himself was attacked on the Fist. Mormont is saying the Others are the threat powerful enough to require the creation of something superlative as the Wall. He still characterizes the wildlings as "savages in skins stealing women" (which it would be logical to defend against), but just thinks that real threat is a much smaller one than the Others, which the NW is no longer prepared to face. Jon is a teenager who doesn't understand the nature of a "realm". The Shield that Guards was maintained by men south of the Wall. When Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia sent troops into the disputed territory of South Ossetia, he might have thought that NATO would support him against Russia. He was wrong, because Georgia is not actually a member of NATO and so the member states had no obligation to do so, even though Georgia was on good terms with those countries (and had aspired to join NATO) and NATO was formed to oppose the Russian (then Soviet) military. The wildlings were NOT on good terms with the NW and the kingdoms south of them, rather they had just assaulted the Wall (after it was already weakened from conflict with the undead) and sought the Horn of Joramun with the power to bring it down.
  14. It's not Jaime's embrace of secrecy that makes him a hypocrite, because he never actually claimed to be against it. It is rather YOU who claim what he actually meant depended on the factor of secrecy. The hypocrisy is that when he wanted Ned Stark's men killed, he didn't do ANY of that killing himself. Instead he left it to Lannister goons, who just follow orders & get paid without it being personal to them. He doesn't have to kill all 3 (not "dozens") of Ned's men "singlehandedly". He just has to contribute. Instead he hid himself behind a line of his own men, gave the order, and rode off. Again, Jaime doesn't claim to decry assassination. He just says he would do the killing himself (regardless of whether it's "secret" or not) rather than fobbing off the work to a hired man.
  15. You should care about absence of evidence as a kind of evidence of absence, and Blood had no reason to withhold the fact that he killed Cheese when he was admitting to so much else. Laenor isn't a prince, the example showed that even people more royal than Laenor were expected to adhere to the martial aristocratic ideal of manhood. Criston is not angling for any position Laenor was born into, but as a knight he's going to have opinions of other knights. We get plenty from Jaime's POV, usually thinking he's better than others (at least when he has two hands). Jaime respects Loras Tyrell, one of the most accomplished tourney knights of his generation, but there are others who speak of him derisively as "Renly's little rose" or "Knight o' Pansies" (the latter quote from someone even more lowborn than Criston). In another time, the tourney at Whitewalls was supposed to result in a victory for Daemon II Blackfyre (also subject to a same-sex love-triangle among knights resolved via homicide) via rigged opponents. Bittersteel, the most important supporter of the Blackfyre cause over the long run, refused to have anything to do with it, and this is taken as confirmation that the young Daemon is not "his father's son" (which would be "a warrior, not a dreamer"). There were multiple survivors of that Green Council meeting, one of whom was Orwyle. GRRM wrote those lines for a reason, and they fit with Criston directing a surprising amount of rage toward Joffrey (unless you want to claim we can't believe that happened). Otto had long pushed for Aegon to be the heir, which was why he'd been removed as Hand. It's not a "whim" for him to push for the same thing again. The council as a whole was not fanciful, they were deadly serious. Otto & Criston both supported Aegon until they died. You yourself have said that Mushroom sometimes comes to correct conclusions based on public knowledge. Why would his private knowledge be irrelevant? It changes what he can know. His memory isn't discussed. If we were supposed to doubt it, GRRM could have noted it. But you object to Mushroom's Testimony based on what Gyldayn says about the manuscript industry (applied to A Caution, not the Testimony). If Gyldayn has that reliable knowledge of the manuscript industry, why does Gyldayn not give that as a reason to doubt the Testimony when he himself expressed doubt about multiple passages in it? GRRM had Gyldayn cite the contents of it. To basically every other reader that conveys the idea, ensuring that you personally can't engage in denial is not the criteria by which he judges if his work is "better". That would be for Daemon's letter, whereas the quote you are responding to was about the Chronicles of Maidenpool (which you also don't accept as evidence). Everything "Gyldayn" writes was written by GRRM. WHY does GRRM have him write those things if we're supposed to dismiss it? GRRM isn't doing something just because other people did certain things (otherwise he would have given a LOT more focus on religion & politics relative to sex). He's writing the book for his own reasons. Everything was done deliberately by him, so everything that exists must be explained by reasons that would fit GRRM. If he wanted to cast doubt on the letter, he could have done so. But instead it's stated as a fact, like so many other facts in F&B that you actually do consider reliable. You're not going to argue against anything I said? Aegon II specifically removed his Hand because he disagreed with his approach to the war. That's not a pawn. Your notion that he removed Otto because he was a pawn of Criston is supported nowhere in the text, unlike Daemon being the one behind Mysaria hiring Blood & Cheese to kill one of Aegon's sons. Yeah, Cersei didn't want to discourage rando murders of dwarves in case one was of Tyrion. Similarly, the murderers figured they might as well kill the dwarf (in a context in which even clergy were already being killed without consequence, hence the rise of the sparrows). The quote says that Aegon II agreed with Larys to name Aegon III his heir. GRRM does not need to say that he then proceeded to do the thing he had just agreed to do, rather if he hadn't there would need to be an explanation that this didn't happen. Furthermore, Aegon II was not agreeing for that to happen at some point off in the future (rather he was hoping that Aegon III being heir wouldn't prevent someone else from taking his place in the future), rather he'd been told that Corlys wanted it now as a condition for support. Weeks is indeed "after", and Jaehara needed time to travel there at any rate. That very chapter says "A lavish coronation was planned for the boy, to be followed by his wedding to the Princess Jaehaera" right in the middle. We hear of the betrothal being agreed to in the previous chapter (which goes right from the death of the king to saying when the wedding took place), in this chapter the wedding is still expected, and nowhere is there any indication that Corlys changed his mind at all about it. Only when Aegon was absent. Ned Stark also sat on it in Robert's absence. Cregan is coming into a situation that already existed before he got there. He could decide to kill both bride & groom, which would trivially prevent the wedding, but there's no sense in saying that the wedding is actually the result of him not doing that. Cregan is not badgering Corlys into agreeing to the wedding, rather the wedding is what Corlys already wanted. Ravens had already been sent out by the survivors of Aegon II's council before Cregan arrived. Why did they proclaim him king? Because he was married to the previous king's only daughter. Catelyn was Hoster's heir while her uncle lived, but not after her younger brother was born. And when Alys Karstark is her brother's heir despite her uncle being alive, that doesn't indicate her family are "liberal or inclusive", rather her uncle tries to marry her to his son to claim her inheritance via marriage (as happened with Joffrey Lydden & the Lannisters). A single heir, even if not named, is different from multiple people who might attempt to make a claim while none are clearly the next in line. Fair enough on one bit: LC Lorent Marbrand is killed in the same section discussing Perkin's seizure of the Mudfoot garrison & Torrhen's retreat, but he died in Flea Bottom. No, Mysaria was killed before Baratheon arrived. When Borros arrived he allied with Perkin to put down the others. Perkin's "gutter knights" gave him power. They had joined in the first place for Trystane, but continued to be useful after he was executed. Those methods resulted in him being castrated. Celtigar was talking about taxing bastards well after such plans "to replenish the Crown's coffers". He was continually trying to collect money (by "ever more exacting taxes" alongside the "fresh heads [...] appearing daily"), not just doing it all in one fell swoop. Because GRRM is writing fiction he can stack the deck to make it nigh-impossible to miss the point, but it seems he underestimated you. Her downfall comes shortly after she orders the arrests (or death) of her dragonseeds and alienates her Velaryon supporters. That's not something she was forced to do, that's an error. The proximate cause of the riots is the death of Helaena, after which the deaths of her sons (again, not something Rhaenrya was forced to do, or to condone by raising up Mysaria) is brought up as a reason to oppose Rhaenyra. This goes together with her hated taxes. And GRRM didn't have to add that Rhaenrya was planning that "lavish celebration" for Joffrey, thus showing Rhaenyra didn't give a damn about how her people were straining under her taxes. But he did. The Lannister regime in the main series also makes numerous errors that turn people against them. Joffrey shooting people begging for help with a crossbow and later siccing his KG on the people after a cowpie sparks a riot. And the party they throw for Joffrey's nameday (and later his wedding) shows how little they care for the smallfolk. She was called "a grasping and vindictive woman [...] a queen as cruel as any king before her", and as I just quoted people recalled things other than her fiscal policies on the night the riots broke out. There are always alternatives. They just would have likely resulted in less money. Not enough money for a "lavish celebration". Turning against the dragonseeds & Velaryons was quite closely related to that. And, as I keep having to remind you, the proximate cause of the riots was the death of Helaena which was in turn linked to the deaths of her sons. You need to understand how causality works. When Daniel Drezner accused some other IR theorists of "piss-poor monocausal social science", it was a real dig because sensible people know multiple causes contribute to outcomes. You are choosing to focus on one causal factor and explicitly dismiss the others, even though the text itself tells us they all contributed to the outcome. It would be asinine to claim that oxygen or a spark "doesn't really matter" for some combustion, because that combustion wouldn't happen without hydrocarbons. There are many ingredients that can go in a dish, and many straws that can add up to break a camel's back.
  16. Refuse to accept it is my guess. Those aren't examples of Stannis privately agreeing to something he publicly refuses (and of course Jon wouldn't know about the private sides of them). Letting Mance go (for a purpose chosen by Jon rather than Stannis, of all things) is not something he can lie to himself about and only have subconscious awareness "deep down". Melisandre does not share Stannis' priorities, she regards the political struggle as insignificant compared to the larger struggle against the Great Other. She's not there to uphold the law, she's not even a Westerosi who's been raised from birth to regard NW oaths as sacred. Not that she regards any oaths not made under R'hllor to be! That's a weird phrasing. People are native to a place rather than another person. You might phrase it in terms of his birth family vs his adoptive family. How so? The "spirit" of the NW "vocation" has nothing to do with getting involved in conflicts south of the Wall. The Boltons are the ones close by, they have Ironborn to deal with and expect to play defense when Stannis attacks them. Being a reason does not mean being the only reason. It was an imaginary situation because nobody else was actually attempting to use the NW to interfere with events south of the Wall. Even "very special" military orders don't permit their members to take individualized oaths. Precisely. The oaths put that in stark terms: brothers are supposed to remember their part is to sacrifice rather than to win any glory. Marching at the head of an army against Ramsay doesn't really fit the NW paradigm. Nicholas Ostler wrote "Empires of the Word" on how certain languages spread. GRRM's Planetos (and Westeros specifically) does not resemble that. There are an enormous number of languages in Papua New Guinea, as the actual tendency of people is to shift their language AWAY from neighbors to differentiate themselves. And the barriers between neighboring tribes there aren't comparable to the Wall! It's unrealistic that the North speaks the same language as the Andals (really it's unrealistic that the Andals haven't linguistically diverged over time). Modern English is a language that formed after Britain was invaded by a volkwanderung of Angles, Saxons & Jutes, subject to Viking raids that took over some portions, and then they were all conquered by the Normans. France was also conquered by a Germanic tribe (the Franks) after the Romans, but they speak more of a Romance language. Per the history we get, the Andals weren't able to conquer north of the Neck. The North already had literate maesters, so it's not like even just the literate classes would all be adopting Common. The point of "true Scotsman" logic is that you can prove any arbitrary thing you want that way. There is no one enforcing any norm on Craster, who certainly isn't inclined to "kneel" to any such norms. We're told that every wildling regards himself as his own king, and that fits him. People can make sacrifices to them whether or not they exist or are around. There weren't just Seven Kingdoms when the NW was formed. The NW has been around for thousands of years, remaining the same even as the political landscape of Westeros has changed. The vow applies to ALL the kingdoms south of them. "Is" and "entity" are singular, "realms" is plural. Of course there's no singular proper noun whose name is the same as that summary of a plural category! No, the NW is a collective political creation of people south of the Wall to defend their lands from everything north of the Wall. For the thousands of years that the NW has existed that is the role they have served, fighting against the wildlings (who attack rather than contribute to the NW) rather than protecting them. That's an exaggeration. He talked back rather than following orders but he didn't "sieze" anything or make a real attempt. Mutiny as defined under law requires multiple people to act in concert, and that didn't happen. Simple refusal to obey an order does not result in death in any first-world army I'm aware of.
  17. He could have declared to the world that he was sleeping with Cersei, and wants to do that later, but he only tells it to Catelyn/Brienne & Ilyn Payne. He threw Bran out a window specifically to keep that secret, and then admits he talked about killing Bran before he woke up to keep it secret. But those are different things, and what Jaime says is "I have never yet hired anyone to do my killing. Believe what you will, Lady Stark, but if I had wanted your Bran dead I would have slain him myself" without anything about it being "secret" but instead just a matter of doing it himself. He was saying he does his own killing. But he didn't do that at all when he ordered Ned's men to be killed! Not only is he not a "one man army", he's not even one man in an army doing his killing in that instance. Jaime himself qualifies as an assassin for killing Aerys (the more specific term would be "regicide"). And I know Aerys isn't a secret. The alchemists are, which plainly shows that his objection is not to "secret" murders (though Bran should have already proved that).
  18. Like I said, not even the body was found. If Blood is leaving the city quickly, he doesn't need to care if it turns up a little later. Additionally, he didn't reveal anything about that even after he confessed everything else. Daemon was known for doting on Rhaenyra, being opposed by Otto, and notoriously made that quip about Viserys' "heir for a day". So it would be in character for him to be among the "few" (implied to be among those who opposed Otto) who said such things about Alicent, even if (as I said) Criston would not be in the loop for them. That's more than "loosely" associated, marriage alliances are foundational in that world. No one says that of him. You said those standards are irrelevant to "royalty" which Daeron surely was. Yeah, Criston didn't fight a civil war on behalf of some non-existent person claiming Laenor's seat. Instead he beat Laenor's lover to death and then denounced Laenor himself for his sexuality after his death. It should indeed be noted that, as SLAL wrote, "this fixation on the black’s sexuality is unmatched by any other character in the green camp" and Criston's unusual origins compared to the other prominent members of that camp are a clue to why he had that different perspective. His identification with an ideal which includes sexual purity is what elevates him above being a "nobody", as you said. Even if he were handsome, he'd still be a dwarf, which is what Sandor mocks him for. And he's a scion of House Lannister (the very people the Cleganes have long served), one of the wealthiest families who happen to be in-laws to the king. Being announced there does not mean it was "on a whim". The Hightowers spoke of it as a life-or-death matter. Aemond refused to join Criston when he marched away from Harrenhal, which doomed his army. Aegon & Aemond participating in Criston's earlier plan resulted in a Green victory which took out a Black dragon & rider (something the Greens really needed to do given how many fewer of those they had). There are no guarantees in life, but being present gives Mushroom greater access & knowledge compared to when he's not. Hence not "irrelevant". Not only confessor but also "confidant". The recently deceased Betty White was on a show whose theme song used that word, but I guess the Golden Girls weren't supposed to be close. It's not any kind of restriction for GRRM. Barth can do whatever GRRM wants him to. So when he talks about how valuable the Testimony is, how great it is for maesters that they have copies available, how much truth there is in it, that's valid? What kind of evidence would you expect if he had vs hadn't? He lists it right after the Testimony, a source he consulted directly. And with Eustace in particular, I don't recall him citing the writings of any maesters. Orwyle is cited on that when he actually visited Dragonstone. Mushroom & Eustace are both more willing to discuss rumors (whereas Orwyle/Munkun stays out of Jeyne Arryn's bedchambers). Orwyle was effectively writing a confession/apologia. Where do you expect to get any such "confirmation" for anything? Is GRRM going to mock up library records showing what Gyldayn or any other historian checked out? GRRM had Gyldayn cite that specific work, which GRRM invented for this very history, and there's a very simple takeaway for the reader which doesn't require any of your imagination. Are you going to claim none of the documents cited in F&B actually existed? Why is GRRM having Gyldayn quote from such a letter if it isn't actually supposed to exist? Mysaria was known for being the one who hired Blood & Cheese, and she was brought into the Red Keep once Rhaenyra took over. The riots were explicitly linked to the death of Helaena and people remembering what happened to her sons, and once Rhaenyra was overthrown Mysaria was whipped to death in the streets. Joffrey let his granddad decide the policies because his granddad was Hand (and, yes, Joffrey was under a regency). Aegon's granddad shouldered responsibility for Viserys I, who hated dissension and was known to be pliable (except on a few matters). Aerys I was checked out of ruling and let Bloodraven handle everything. Robert Baratheon wanted no responsibility and thus fobbed all the work onto Jon Arryn and later Ned Stark. In contrast, Aegon II removed his granddad as Hand and personally fought in the war. Of course he had to let others take up the slack after he was so severely injured at Rook's Rest, "normal kings" are generally not in that condition. Prior to that there's no evidence he was a "pawn" of Criston's rather than just being of likeminded belligerence. When was she named to the SC? When we get a listing of "the members of that small council on the eve of the great events of 129 AC", she's not there. You should, as it's relevant as to whether he was "just a little Hightower goon" during the coup or acting on his own initiative. The anti-parallels are obvious. Those randos were not specifically hired by Cersei or anyone in her chain of command, rather nobody had even heard of them prior to them showing up with the head. None of them were ever going to face any punishment, unlike Blood who died after being caught with the head. So there's no selection for non-"morons" in terms of applicants (unlike with the Lord of Flea Bottom knowing of the rare person in low places who could penetrate the Red Keep), and the risk-reward calculation entirely favors delivering the head. I gave you the quote where it explained what happened. GRRM does not need to hold your hand by reiterating what the earlier section establishes. Corlys was reconciled by Aegon II agreeing to the heir, and if Aegon had simply welched on that agreement Corlys wouldn't have put up with it. Nor did he have reason to welch, since he'd agreed that merely naming the heir wouldn't mean Aegon III would actually become king. Why not? They went right ahead with the wedding after the murder was not merely agreed to but carried out! You should, you're the one bringing up this unprecedented idea as a real possibility. They were not co-monarchs, Aegon specifically was king and sat on the Iron Throne. It's not popular in feudal political systems. Someone opposing a policy would be apt to call it an "innovation" while its defenders would instead claim it's in line with custom & precedent. The Glorious Revolution occurred after they'd already had a civil war in which Parliament defeated the king, then the leader of the New Model Army ended the monarchy and declared himself Lord Protector of a Commonwealth. This was well after the medieval era, and the GR was another move by Parliamentary forces trying to constrain the monarchy. Yeah, Corlys' original suggestion was never agreed to by Aegon II. Larys' was. We don't hear of any such later deal being made. Right after Aegon II dies Corlys proclaims Aegon III to be the new king, the war ends, and in the very next sentence after that's declared we get the marriage. Since Corlys had already favored the marriage and Aegon III didn't have any other guardian figures around to arrange things on his behalf I don't know who would actually need to agree to such a deal. Yes it does. The late Gerold Lannister III having the crown pass to his daughter's husband because he had no male issue predates the Conquest (it was instead during the rise of the Andals). Winterfell never having a ruling Lady includes both before and after the Conquest. The "She Wolves of Winterfell" story was supposed to involve a succession dispute after a lot of "fairly recent Lords" died, but the result still wasn't to elevate a woman. We don't have a list of every single monarch before the Conquest. I just mentioned Gerold III Lannister. He was not succeeded by a "more distant male relation". Instead the completely unrelated (by blood) husband of his eldest daughter was crowned. That's not a queen, but it's still proceeding based on a primogeniture ordering which includes daughters. Otto warned that if Rhaenyra was crowned "it will be Lord Flea Bottom who rules us", and Joffrey Lydden was an example of explicitly making the daughter's husband ruler. If a "possible heir" is anyone who hasn't been named yet, that would be everyone. Neither of them were named heir, nor was there a plan to name any of them heir, and no heir would be named until another male turned up. I suppose he could try. For that matter, he could also try naming his horse. Primogeniture & the naming of an heir both serve to create a Schelling point: if everyone expects & accepts the same person to rule, they can avoid fighting over it. A Great Council (or democratic election) work even better to total up who all would support which candidate. But once a king dies, they can no longer enforce any of their edicts and have to rely on people choosing to go along with them. Right there, "multiple groups". That's a phrase used by Steven Attewell, and you should read him to understand it. Perkin the Flea killed the LC of the KG, took over the Red Keep, publicly had Mysaria whipped to death, then later put down both Gaemon & the Shepherd's camps. Before then he had "four of the city’s seven gates and more than half of the towers along its walls". Prior to that, Wat killed Rhaenyra's Master of Coin. GRRM talks about all of them during the riot because they weren't "irrelevant". Why wouldn't the Shepherd attack Syrax in the Red Keep after first attacking the Dragonpit? I don't know what would constitute "proof" in your eyes. Sansa has no training in medicine or poisons, and doesn't even have an accurate take on what Sandor did to her during the Blackwater. You should care. I gave an example of a real person with bipolar disorder (and who is prescribed antipsychotic medication) who torpedoed himself while in the throes of a manic state, and that person has always reiterated that he bears responsibility for his own actions at that time. Do you mean he literally looks weird with his unkempt beard? That's not how we determine responsibility. Not apples & oranges at all. When the coffers are empty, it's time to tighten your belt. Robert was able to borrow money, and thus did not have his Master of Coin killed & mutilated by a tanner. The whole point of that material is to show what awful rulers both Rhaenyra & Aegon were to cause their own downfalls. We the readers are presumed to live in democratic societies where all governmental authority is supposed to be derived from the consent of the governed in order to protect our rights. Rulers who think they just have a right by birth and can dump on everyone else get their comeuppance.
  19. Assume Steelshanks Walton attacks Castle Black despite people there making clear there's no wanted person there. What would the northern vassals do in that situation? And Jon tried that argument, which Stannis rejected. The idea that the law against desertion ends at the Wall would be a complete non-starter for him (and most Westerosi, I'd expect). Stannis would not see this swap as not going against the law, which "should be made of iron, not of pudding". Qhorin was trying to fight Mance. He had wildlings tortured to obtain information about him, and said that members of the NW should be willing to sacrifice their lives as well their honor to protect the realm from the likes of Mance. Understandable or not, Qhorin still deems him an oathbreaker. A dangerous one who can threaten the Wall. According to the NW, you can and must. If it was always easy, it would be no sacrifice. The oaths are not conditional on such things. I also don't think anyone is monitoring his conversations for permissible topics. Precisely! Stannis has hosted his army there, so there's something very obviously to be gained. And the castle is deliberately constructed to be vulnerable to an attack from the south precisely to prevent any lord from regarding the NW as threats. How were they going to do that? By having the NW march against Stannis' army? A military order is not like a wedding, individualized vows are not permitted. How much credit did Tyrion get for keeping Stannis out of KL long enough for a relief force to arrive & defeat him? And Tyrion did some really impressive stuff with that chain & wildfire. But Robb is declared King of Winter in the present. What period do you think those were different? The Soviet Union being in a desperate fight for survival in WW2 led to them inducting large numbers of prisoners into the army. Whereas the US after Vietnam has relied on an all-volunteer force of much smaller numbers precisely because we don't need that many soldiers. It's both. Which is why I used the word "might". Usually world-building requires more effort in order to add more detail, not less. This is something completely unrealistic, at odds with the established history of the continent, and only amenable to a Doylist explanation. There's not really an in-universe explanation for why wildlings (usually contemptuous toward the culture of "kneelers") would adopt the Andal language, much less speak a dialect close enough to be completely mutually intelligible/indistinguishable. There's a lack of Watsonian reasoning on the page, which leaves only the Doylist variety. She's engaged in "No True Scotsman" logic. He holds himself above all the laws of men, as the Targaryens did to a lesser extent. Deities don't have to actually exist for people to make sacrifices to them. The NW are a military order defending a specific structure/geographic feature. They are not defending a region of the human body corresponding to a celestial realm, or any other such abstraction. When characters talk about "the realm" (such as in the title of the King), everyone knows they're talking about a specific area and not such abstractions as you listed. The term "men" in contrast to "children" indicates they are human sized. Riding elks (like Coldhands does) would also be more fitting of a larger species rather than ones as small as the Children. Indeed, the ability to tax was far more limited in the past when there was less "state capacity". Feudal governments had even less of that than the Roman empire did.
  20. Tyrion has some fantastic stories, but it's not just Tyrion. The story GRRM is telling is one where the fantastical happens. The maesters may be skeptical of magic, but magic is real. It's widely known that Tyrion never slept with Sansa. The accusation made against him is not that he was already in cahoots with Sansa when they married (which would have been odd since Tyrion's family supported the marriage), but that she made Joffrey's assassination the requirement to be willing to sleep with him. Mushroom is suspected of exaggerating when he talks about himself being involved in the stories. Precisely because he was just a fool rather than an actual political player, he wouldn't be expected to be so important. Tyrion more naturally belongs in a prominent place in the histories, but anything he writes about himself would also be suspect.
  21. He was close to Rhaenyra specifically, I don't think he would have been in the loop with someone like Daemon. If it was just "a few" spreading the rumor, I don't think you can conclude Cole heard and/or took it seriously. He's LC of the KG and thus not a "nobody". It's not easy for someone to rise up in that society, but he'd done it. Eustace Osgrey is a representative of the aristocratic class, not a "weirdo". To that we can add the rumors about Aenys not being the Conqueror's child because he wasn't a natural warrior like Maegor (who managed to usurp the throne from Aenys' son via force). Aenys was at best "adequate" with sword & lance and remembered poorly, whereas Jaehaerys was "fine" martially speaking and well-respected as the best Targaryen king. Aegon IV is hated in the present, but he was well-liked when young in part because he was skilled with the lance. Sandor is Joffrey's sworn shield, and regards it as his duty to protect Joffrey (up until he deserts in a battle Joffrey left). He does not have much respect for Tyrion, who does not fit the martial mold. Criston was not Laenor's sworn shield, nor was Laenor a child when he was married. You seem to be using a completely different definition of "on a whim". They were not nearly indifferent, swaying this way and that as various flights of fancy popped into their heads from moment to moment. It's an oath all KG take, and the point (as with the NW) is for the man who swears it to be completely devoted to their cause, up until death, and not have any conflicts of interest due to family. Jaime chose his family over his king. No, Jaime killed Aerys, you can't get more disloyal than that. Criston was loyal up until Viserys died, and not by Cole's hand. Aegon II bears responsibility for his own actions. We get no indication that Cole "turned [him] into his pawn", it's just something you repeat without evidence from the text. Because Cersei was sent away. When Cersei came back to KL he violated them with her, just as he had always planned on doing. It's certainly relevant to people like Stannis, Ned, Viserys, Daenerys, Brienne, etc. Young Griff justifies his choice of Rolly Duckfield by pointing out that the Kingslayer had the qualities Duck lacks. No it isn't, which is why Gyldayn repeatedly makes note of whether a source (including Mushroom) was present. What makes you think Eustace doesn't? We know he had a close relationship with Alicent. GRRM can give Barth perfect memory if he feels like it Gyldayn discussed the manuscript industry as part of his critique of a source. And I don't know why his "empirical firsthand knowledge" is more relevant for A Caution than the Testimony. I'm thinking things like Maester Norren's "Chronicles of Maidenpool". A proximate cause is still a cause. He's dinged for relying on Orwyle for "the inner workings of the court". But Orwyle wasn't part of Dragonstone's court. He seems to have looked up a large number of papers, and Orwyle wasn't on Dragonstone at that time. Maesters handle ravens and the letters they pass. And as Grand Maester, Munkun is supposed to be trusted by the throne. Raising up Mysaria is tantamount to that. A queen piece on a chessboard is still a "pawn" in the exact same sense that it is moved around by the player rather than by its own initiative. If a person is called a "pawn" nobody assumes that means they can only move one step forward (or diagonally if someone else is there). Aegon accepted the Hand he started with, until he got fed up and replaced him. That's normal king rather than "pawn" behavior. Being present in front of the SC does not make you a member. She had no title associated with it, like all the members have. Nobody indicates the Hightowers told Cole to kill Lyman. And Blood hid the body well enough that it was never found, but was not clever enough to slip out undetected himself? Why would he waste time doing that? Those are randos looking for a publicly announced reward, and they face no punishment for delivering the wrong head. Killing some dwarf traveling the roads doesn't take much, whereas Blood & Cheese penetrated somewhere few could get to. Some time passes between that and the Muddy Mess, and the marriage between Aegon III & Jaehaera (which was part of the deal making the former heir) happens directly after Aegon II dies. It's not Corlys' original proposal that gets adopted, but Larys' version. That's a separate issue from whether Aegon III is actually proclaimed heir. Larys' reasoning to Aegon II is that naming him heir won't actually imply he must become king. It's not like they hadn't already rejected an heir named by a dead king! When has the Iron Throne ever had that? Where would they both sit? Winterfell is distinctive in never having a ruling Lady, but the Vale had one during the Dance. The Lannisters became an Andal house when their king died without issue and his only daughter married an Andal who took the Lannister name. He pointed out there were no males available to come ahead of the females, but they still didn't designate a female heir because Munkun "put an end to the debate". He was a child under a regency that Munkun referred to as "dead inside", interested in nothing, and only friends with Gaemon. His regents reversed his attempts to make decisions, and the claimed bastards had all been dismissed at the last Great Council (with Gaemon having already had his paternity attributed to a Lysene sailor by his own mother). Gaemon might have been better adjusted mentally than Aegon III, but nobody was going to take him seriously as a candidate. He had enough followers to kill all the dragons in KL, which was an impressive feat. I mentioned "multiple groups", and you have completely ignored the camps of Trystane Truefyre, Gaemon Palehair or Wat the Tanner (except when blaming the Greens for that last one). Hearing is not knowing. Arya heard Illyrio, but she didn't understand what he was saying. Bipolar & schizophrenia often go together as schizoaffective disorder. "Sick" is not the same as "not responsible for his actions". It was "for" her child. When Ned is annoyed by all the spending for the Hand's tourney, he's right, while Robert is irresponsible.
  22. When he threw Bran out a window, was that not "in secret"? When he admitted he talked of killing Bran before he could wake up, would that not have been secret either? Yes, when you have other men to do your killing for you, you don't need to do it yourself! Except that he did secretly throw Bran out a window with the admitted intent to kill him, and admitted he talked of killing him to prevent him from waking, which would be pointless if it was done publicly! I could add that he killed Aerys' three alchemists without anybody else knowing (and he muses to himself how nobody wonders who killed Rossart).
  23. Mushroom accused Aemond's mother of poisoning King Viserys. The sole source for multiple instances in which Alicent argues for a more peaceful approach (and who never even acknowledges the existence of negative rumors about her) and Aegon being reluctant to displace Rhaenyra does not say anything about Aemond being black-hearted. Even Orwyle/Munkun doesn't. I don't think Eustace likes Aemond that much, instead sympathizing with the Hightowers more during the Dance. But he still doesn't say that about him. Tyrion uses publicly available information to come to the same conclusion Mushroom did on Byron Swann, but Mushroom had the advantage there of being right by Rhaenyra (unlike the imprisoned Orwyle). A well read layman who comes to the conclusion not doubted by maester Gyldayn, and for which Haldon Halfmaester has no rebuttal. Would you include the death of Aerea there? It's quoting from the written source of Septon Barth's writings, but it's a long segment in narrative-mode. How can both those statements be true? Is it like one of Raymond Smullyan's knaves that always lies and thus can be reversed to get the truth? Sure it does. If GRRM hadn't introduced Munkun's True History as being unreliable and then hadn't had Gyldayn doubt parts of it, fewer readers would doubt it. More people do doubt Munkun because he did so. Absence of evidence is a kind of evidence of absence, and in this case the evidence is all deliberately created by GRRM for his own purposes. Why does GRRM (himself no historian, modern or otherwise) write him that way? Why is he written to be more skeptical of A Caution than Mushroom's Testimonies? Remember this is Gyldayn telling us that, so if you think Gyldayn isn't reliable on the question of which sources are reliable, that would also apply to this! There's no indication any kind of translation took place. Mushroom was from Westeros and the people most interested in his account of events mostly in Westeros would have also been Westerosi. Baelor's decree wouldn't even be able to extend outside Westeros. That is true, but there's also no indication that it is "pretend". Gyldayn instead says that "later accounts" (rather than public information) confirm enough of his stories & Eustace's to indicate "they contain at least some portion of truth". How is this person pretending to be Mushroom & having special access to "kings and lords and princes" able to guess in advance what those later accounts will confirm? He writes of being right next to her as the dragonpit was being stormed. When discussing Byron Swann, Gyldayn notes that he was "at the queen's side in the Red Keep". Of course being closer to events (close enough to be an eyewitness) gives "more credence" than one would have otherwise. Which is why Gyldayn discounts Mushroom making claims about the Red Keep when he was on Dragonstone, and Orwyle about things happening above him when he was in the dungeons. I will grant we at least know where A Caution begins & ends, whereas we don't know that for Mushroom's Testimony. Why doesn't anybody? That actually happened to the Roman Empire, as well as the Carolingian Empire (three parts for that), Alexander the Great's conquests, the Mongol empire (four parts), and others. It was normal for a realm to get too large to be effectively administered from one place and to fragment. What's bizarre is how large Westeros is for a single polity. The US has seen riots over the deaths of people FAR less notable than a royal. Jacob Blake of Kenosha didn't even die! And the riot began the very night after Helaena died. Not merely the Green dragons. People attacked the non-Green dragons of the dragonpit in massed numbers, and died in such numbers as well in order to ensure their deaths. Is there any reason to think Munkun specifically would be denied access to what papers existed? Are we given any indication they destroyed such letters? Or even they regarded it as much of a secret except with regards to the Greens and then only up until the deed was done? Mysaria was named as the one who hired Blood & Cheese and gave them their task, and rather than trying to hide or deny association with her they raised up the former whore after she emerged from hiding on their arrival in KL. As I said, not acting like they cared much about "bad press". In this case we know everything quoted was "invented" by GRRM. He can make any letters he wants appear in the record. There's a distinction to be made between what the Hightowers intended and how Aegon actually acted. Otto had already gotten Rhaenyra named heir, not because he assumed he'd be able to control her, but simply on the grounds that she wasn't Daemon. It would be a reasonable assumption on his part that Aegon would be less hostile to his interests than Rhaenyra/Daemon, and would at minimum not kill his own grandfather, and would hopefully leave at least as much governance to him as Viserys had. As with the last time Otto got involved in the succession, he made history but not as he intended. Aegon sidelined Otto precisely because he wasn't actually a pawn. Your assumption that Daemon must have also shared your assumption about Aegon being an irrelevant pawn, despite Aegon's own subsequent decision showing otherwise, is unfounded. If they really regarded Aegon as a "non-entity" acting as a puppet for his grandfather... the logical person to send Blood & Cheese after would be Otto! After all, he's not even a Targaryen at all, and thus wouldn't receive KG protection like Aegon is noted to have (as the reason he wasn't targeted). To the extent you think Daemon would have regarded Aegon as a puppet of his own mother, that just raises the question of why Blood & Cheese let her live when they had her tied up & helpless. The whole point of referring to someone as a "pawn" is to indicate they aren't acting on their own initiative but are under someone else's control, like a playing piece in a board game. A pawn in chess never just gets stupid and does something other than what its player makes it do. You should care because Westerosi understand Westeros on a deeper level than non-Westerosi (particularly us W.E.I.R.D. folks). The members of the SC made a blood vow after Criston killed the one dissenter among them. Alicent was not a member of the SC. Certainly, he would have never been born without her! Cole drew first blood in the Dance (thus prompting the blood oath) and served as Hand when Aegon sidelined the Hightowers. Since when does an extra displace a lead for large stretches of a story? Ah, you're right. I mixed up the timeline. Wouldn't it be simpler for them to kill everyone and leave no witnesses? Cheese was smart enough to not get caught, I don't think he'd be so stupid not to realize that. The quotes we get (because there were surviving witnesses) indicate the single victim (not counting the bedmaid, I guess) was a requirement. We don't know how much she promised, how much she had available to pay with, or whether her authority was sufficient to deem that this job had been completed to satisfaction. Cheese was never caught, so there was still someone to experience that (my guess is that he wasn't punished at all, but also wasn't paid in full since he didn't have the head). As far as we can tell, zero problem at all. Which should raise a question about just how "noble and heroic" they were. Alicent's sons aren't quite so fungible, seeing as how one was king (and as Gyldayn notes, would be heavily protected by the KG). If they knew the person they killed was not who they were hired to kill... why would Blood bring that wrong head to Daemon in Harrenhal!? What makes you say that? We have him agreeing that he's "lived too long" before he engages in a dragon fight, during which he jumps off to his death. For that murder we get the wildling women denying to Theon it was one of theirs. For Jaehaerys we have Blood confessing who hired him. There's nothing indicating it's supposed to be a mystery. Bran was thrown out a window and has an assassin sent after him later. Ned never considers attacking Cersei's children in revenge, instead he seeks to protect them (and even Cersei herself, since she'd be traveling with them) from Robert once he realizes they're bastards born of incest. Oberyn Martell crippled Willas Tyrell, and while Willas' family (but not Willas himself) dislike Oberyn, there's no indication they sought to punish any of his kin for that. When Sandor is put on trial by the Brotherhood and people list his brothers' crimes, that's considered a valid defense, and it's only his own killing of Mycah that Beric adjudicates via combat. I never claimed anyone believed in female-preference primogeniture. Aegon III was named by Aegon II to be his rightful heir. There was talk of naming Jaehaera, but it never actually happened (perhaps because Aegon II was planning to remarry and father another heir). Going by Andal succession laws, a daughter can inherit before a more distantly related male relative. But the Targaryens had already deviated from that by disfavoring female heirs, so if you combine that precedent with Aegon II naming Aegon III his heir and Jaehaera doesn't have much standing over him. Which kings have set aside wives married under the Seven? Baelor the Blessed would later, but he took holy vows. Not to Munkun. I wouldn't consider him a serious claimant, since it was just Aegon III who suggested him. You can't "never mind" the leaders. A fish rots from its head down. I would classify her as a non-entity, falling into GRRM's "Mother's Madness" method of sidelining female characters (the other is the Dead Ladies' Club of women who die in childbirth). They were both (there were actually multiple groups involved in the uprising, some of which followed the Shepherd, but those were still smallfolk). And one of the points made in the link is that the people commonly express their grievances through a religious lens (which GRRM has them do multiple times throughout the history of Westeros). You can dismiss the Shepherd if you want, but all his claims that people would die within the year turned out to be true. GRRM borrowed a lot from Druon's "The Accursed Kings", and this is presumably borrowing from that, in which executions of men devoted to the divine herald doom. If the succession is "pointless" and the Blacks are led by people that flagrantly violate GRRM's #1 moral rule, what makes them "good guys"? GRRM was a conscientious objector during Vietnam, and it's not like the boat people fleeing afterward convinced him that Charlie was actually bad and should have been fought harder. That's how the Greens describe the Blacks, thus justifying anything bad they do to them. Diligent readers. The narrative function is of escalation as this terrible war ensues. It's relevant that fighting had not yet broken out and people like the Hightowers were attempting a more diplomatic approach. There was no reason to think Aemond was going to expect any such person wherever he was going. It was an unplanned, unexpected meeting. The maester says something about it staying in the flesh, but Sansa doesn't know medicine. Readers hear from the House of Black & White how much sweetsleep causes death, but Sansa doesn't have a copy of the book she's in. She's not directly administering it to her cousin either, rather she's asking the maester to provide it and he's doing as much as he thinks is safe (though she actually prevents one such dosing that would have made him sleep through the descent). The standard for responsibility is supposed to be awareness of what you're doing and how it complies with norms (or violates them). People with bipolar disorder don't necessarily lose that sense of responsibility. Freddie De Boer certainly doesn't try to deny his own responsibility for making false accusations in a manic state prior to being hospitalized. She taxed people for current and future expenditures. And the description of the upcoming celebration as "lavish" indicates it was not goint to be trivial. A responsible person with empty coffers would hold off on such expenditures. A father has primary responsibility for all his children. That's called "patriarchy". Ned's lies are foundational to the series. I think you have an argument with GRRM. I personally think Ned screwed up royally in his meeting with Cersei, but I'm not GRRM and have a far more consequentialist view of morality.
  24. I do think there might be might be an aspect of him disliking Laenor for not performing masculinity. Gyldayn notes that Laenor was knighted shortly before the wedding because it was deemed that the prince consort ought to be a knight. This would imply that Laenor would not ordinarily meet the standards for knighthood. Criston was something like the apex of knighthood of his time (and replaced the previous version of that on the KG), rising up from steward's son to LC of the KG based purely on his knightly prowess (and often defeating all others in tourneys), so he may have looked down on that sham of a knighting. But if a "real man" is measured by his sexuality, Criston himself hadn't been known for performing that (in contrast to Daemon of "infamy", and even though Criston was "a favorite of all the ladies at court"). And if he'd thought that, he picked one of the worst organizations to join. I've seen others float the theory that Criston was a homosexual who projected his self-loathing outward, but I don't think there's evidence for that. Rambling a bit about Criston and knighthood, there's another knight in the series who kills an opponent in a tourney in the first book (and was also furious toward a homosexual knight): Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane. He's supposed to be nigh-unstoppable for most fighters, and the fact that he was knighted by Rhaegar proves to Sandor what a sick joke knighthood is (his undead corpse being named to the KG after confessing to abominable crimes only enhances that). Later we get a historical knight Jaime regards as the Mountain of his time: the Smiling Knight. He's an antagonist and part of a band of outlaws, but is supposed to madly combine cruelty and chivalry together (admittedly we don't hear of him killing an opponent in a tourney, or even participating in any). He also serves as a foil to Arthur Dayne, the ideal knight of the KG (though one who nevertheless fights to the death keeping Ned Stark from a dying Lyanna and seems to have helped Rhaegar spark the civil war). Criston Cole is a further iteration on this theme in order to represent "the best and worst" of the KG, and knighthood. His combativeness in one tourney goes to such an extreme that he mortally wounds Joffrey and breaks the bones of Harwin (whose surname is shared with undead Gregor/"Robert"). People aren't happy about it, but he's still the winner and isn't actually punished for it (like Gregor wasn't for Hugh) because that's not actually a violation of the rules. He never openly dissents from his king (at most he disagrees with Prince Regent Aemond on strategy), and he vociferously spouts common Westerosi norms, but his dedication to his avowed cause manifests as murdering an old man, justified afterward by deeming all opponents traitors. Rumored by "[a] few" people like Mushroom. But even Mushroom didn't claim Criston knew that to be the case. At the time Criston got Alicent's favor, she was a married woman who had given the king sons of unquestioned paternity, and Gyldayn doesn't note any rumors of her cheating on Viserys (or being anything but chaste after he died). There were multiple reasons given for why he revolted, including the less "noble" reason that "he acted from ambition, for Prince Aegon was more tractable than his willful older sister". Aerys' recollection of the "spurned" motive was that they had been lovers prior to Criston even joining the KG, which doesn't fit the timeline (since she was 7 around that time). That seems overly binary. He beat Joffrey to death and severely injured Harwin. GRRM has said that all of us are mixes of good and evil, and that the villain is the hero of the other side. Hardly "on a whim". He'd been decidedly Green for a long time, and the Hightowers had already announced Aegon as the heir earlier in the Green Council meeting. Jaime never had any intention of adhering to his KG vows (or the pre-existing prohibition on incest) when he joined, and personally fouling up the succession and thus causing a civil war is not "stay[ing] out of politics". He was explicitly choosing his father over his king, something his oaths prohibit. Because he's reckless and wants to (publicly) embrace them, not because he's rejecting them. That was more whimsical than Criston's choice of heir. Aerys II wasn't just the grandfather of Rhaegar's children, he was also the king Jaime swore to protect. Robert's decision to keep him on the KG was unusual, as we see from prior KGs of toppled kings (who were deemed guilty of failing to save their king rather than outright regicide). Stannis would have gotten rid of Jaime as well and Ned would have approved. I took Mushroom to be inspired by Tyrion (and GRRM himself, who has said Tyrion is his favorite character). He'd already confessed to her when he was alive. Mushroom was present on Dragonstone during the latter (and if he was right that Erryk spent four days cursing while slowly dying, might have heard his account), and there were surviving witnesses of the former. Gyldayn notes conflicting accounts of who separated Rhaenyra from Aegon III.
  25. Does that describe the kind of fealty the northern vassals have toward the Boltons, or Ramsay specifically? What makes you say that? Showing what Jon thinks of violations of the NW oath. As Jon thinks to himself "All Mance ever did was lead an army down upon the realm he once swore to protect." As a member of the NW, he's no longer supposed to have any obligations to his family. And in the pitch letter, both Jon & Benjen could not provide refuge to Catelyn & her surviving kids. As the latter says "We put aside our old families when we swear our vows. Your father will always have a place in my heart, but these are my brothers now." Sending a NW deserter, who'd just recently attacked the Wall, south of it, to retrieve someone he knew the Boltons would be pursuing. Benjen is actually the man who brought up the idea of Jon joining: "We could use a man like you on the Wall." The story has developed since then, so that Catelyn got turned into a fire-wight by Beric rather than an ice-wight by the Others, and Benjen has been long missing, but the NW taking precedence over blood remains. "Totally" is an exaggeration. None of them have attacked an NW fortification like Mance has. They appear to be a different set of vows than the ones they repeat ritualistically, perhaps because they are more relevant to a commander than a new recruit, but it's clear they are sworn vows they take as seriously as their others. There's no evidence the current prohibitions are not the same ones they began with. The wording of those vows focuses on subsuming personal ambitions into the NW, hence the talk of giving up various things a person could gain. It's generally less glorious. Stannis did not win much glory for persisting through the siege of Storm's End. Very high ideals alongside people who can fall short of them is a major theme in this series. Jaime Lannister & Sandor Clegane express cynicism toward knightly vows, while non-knights Brienne & Duncan the Tall live up to those ideals and through their actions show the value of them. Not explicitly, just in your mind. Yes, I'm pretty sure that would be accepted. The Wall would no longer be functioning as the defensive line against the threat to the North, and they could not perform their defensive role north of where the enemy forces had relocated and were heading. Robb was declared to be just that, so the history was not quite dead even after Targaryen rule. It's easy to forget over thousands of years. Although I suppose "not being under attack by the Others" would qualify as a change. Rather, I think it means Jon himself thinks he might be breaking his vows. He's granting the premise that he is in fact breaking them (rather than just opening himself up to the accusation), and rationalizing that at least he's the only one breaking them. If you want less extreme/magical versions of LCs who forgot their vows, Benjen lists some to Jon. That's overly binary. Roose Bolton isn't the same as Ramsay, but I think he'd regard the NW as hostile in the same situation (though he might be more subtle about dealing with that hostility). A civil war usually results in at least one faction surviving, rather than mutually assured destruction. Linguistics is not his strong suit. He's always admitted he's no Tolkien and wasn't going to create entire conlangs. I'd guess that the wildlings mostly speaking Common Tongue was to make things simpler. An odd belief by which culture can be genetically transmitted, not that we know his father performed sacrifices to the Cold Gods. The Wall didn't yet exist when the Others were last seen. "Realm" is a geographic term (denoting a political domain). It essentially means "kingdom" although the "Third Reich" was not a kingdom "reich" is the German version of "realm". The Isle is part of the Riverlands, and as such politically considered part of that realm.
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