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Karlshammar

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  1. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    I'm not sure I count as a wise man, but I haven't accepted either possibility as fact. I just see one possibility as more likely than the other, based on the evidence.
  2. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    Of course it's possible, but do we have any indication that they are different, though? Everyone in the books who speak of the matter associate the two. That does not give us 100% certainty, but it is some sort of evidence. Is there any evidence to the contrary?
  3. Karlshammar

    What to ask GRRM?

    Oh, this is an interesting question! Never thought about it. Also makes me wonder if there are any landed non-lords in the North, given that only Manderly follows the Seven.
  4. Karlshammar

    Biggest Mistake Made by Robb

    Wikipedia uses the definition that an absolute monarchy is "a form of monarchy in which one leader has supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs." But all of the kings have been bound by various customs. This isn't really the case with any of the kings, except perhaps Aegon. But that was only after he bowed to many major Westerosi customs. Maegor tried, and failed, to exercise absolute authority. Like you say, Stannis thinks the northern tribes should have been loyal and fighting for him anyway. But they weren't and didn't, until he flattered them. And GRRM is correct in that Joffrey wants to do anything he wants (of course he's correct, it's his character, heh), but he's not correct in likening the Iron Throne to an absolute monarchy. In reality, Joffrey couldn't do anything he wanted. In fact, basically his entire reign was spent in open warfare with people who didn't care to obey his will. You make a good point about Joffrey's army. He basically has none. He has to rely on his vassals keeping their oaths of fealty, another feature of a vassal system rather than absolutism. One could make arguments that certain periods of time have been, or at least close to having been, absolutist. But definitely not since the dragons died, and certainly not in the time after the death of Robert when large parts of the Seven Kingdoms have been in open rebellion trying to unseat and possibly even kill the king.
  5. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    Great points! Good catch with the free folk vs. fair folk - it never even occurred to me. I did a search and during the Ramsay and "Arya"/Jeyne wedding Theon actually thinks that due to the mists "It felt like some strange underworld". I'm Swedish, so I was actually taught Norse mythology in school. Ice and fire did both come from Ymir (the primordial giant that the world was made from that you mention), though so did the sun, the earth, and other things. Your post reminds me a bit of the ragnarok theory of ASOIAF - have you read it? There is a quid pro quo between Craster and the Others, though I wonder if they is an explicit agreement, or just a belief much like the old Irish belief in leaving offerings for the Sidhe in return for being left alone. The only difference being that in ASOIAF it turned out to be true, while in the real world it's just a fairy tale. You know, I never perceived the white cold and the Others to be distinct. When Gilly mentions it she says: "He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often." I took it for the cold of the Others that everyone who has been close to them mentions, and not anything else. Were you thinking differently? There doesn't necessarily have to have been some sort of agreement, I think. Is the Others considered themselves beaten they may just have withdrawn. The other races, rather than chase into the far north of the Land of Always Winter, may have been content to build the Wall for whatever reason, and some stayed north of it. Maybe it was their ancient homeland and they felt tied to it, but who knows? I think an agreement may very well have been possible, but I think it's also possible that there wasn't one. I don't think we don't have evidence either way.
  6. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    We don't know that they have a single-minded desire to destroy all life on Earth. Wasn't that one of your own points a few posts ago? Giving offerings to someone is not the same as having communication or diplomatic agreements with them. I posted in my original post here how the Irish leave offerings for the sidhe. I don't even believe the sidhe exist, much less are capable of reason. Yet people still leave offerings to them. If people can give offerings to fictional creatures, they certainly can do it to real beings without some sort of agreement with them. They may have language, emotion, needs, and desires, sure. That doesn't mean they are willing to reason with humans, or even if they are, that this has ever happened. We're just going to have to accept that we don't know if there was some sort of agreement at the end of the Long Night, or has been since. We can hypothesize just like you have done (and I admit that your reasoning is pretty good), sure, but there isn't anything definitive yet.
  7. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    We don't know this, though, do we? I don't remember reading anything in the books about some sort of agreement or truce between the Others and the other races. I don't think the books says much about it, other than that the Others were defeated and the Wall was raised. Am I forgetting something here?
  8. Karlshammar

    Biggest Mistake Made by Robb

    I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused by your latest post, Hugorfonics. I'm not 100% sure what point you are trying to make, but I _think_ you are saying that the Targaryens were absolute monarchs? They weren't, though. As GRRM once mentioned, when you have dragons, you can get away with a lot. People are less likely to resist when they risk facing a hungry, fire-breathing monster, heh. But even Aegon the Conqueror had to concede a lot. He adopted the local religion of the Seven, accepted the abolition of slavery (a mainstay of Valyrian civilization, and a major foundation of the entire Freehold and its colonies), After him polygamy virtual ceased to exist, and the incest was drastically dialed down. The breaking of Joffrey's vow to Sansa is a perfect example of how the monarchy was feudal rather than absolute. Sansa's original liege, her father Ned, had been executed as a traitor to the crown. Her next liege, her brother lord and then king Robb, had also turned traitor to the crown and broken his fealty, even going to outright war against the crown. Despite this, Joffrey was _still_ considered bound by his vow. He had to put on a huge public show and get the blessing of the High Septon and his confirmation that the gods considered him no longer to be bound by his vow (which wasn't even his vow, but his parents, and he wasn't even of age yet). The Seven Kingdoms never practiced absolutism, and even less so after the death of the dragons.
  9. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. I meant mindless as in single-mindedly devoted to their goal, and not to be reasoned with - more a force of nature than living beings as we normally conceive of them. However, that part was the least relevant of the entire post. I think the rest can stand on its own without it. Since it draws attention away from my main point, I'll edit it out.
  10. Karlshammar

    most tragic character

    Agreed, I think Theon is the most tragic character. It's easy to forget who he was and think of the show character, who was kind of a goofy guy who then turned mean, got tortured a bit, and then released but looks mostly physically unharmed (we know what you can't see when he's fully dressed, though). Book Theon was torn from his family as a little boy, and taken to the lands of the ancestral enemies of his people, to serve as a hostage to be executed if his father dared raise his hand again. Despite this he prospers, becomes good friends and trusted advisor to the sons of his holder, an attractive young man, master archer, socially skilled, in many ways an example of prime young manhood. Later on he's at a crossroads: choose to serve as a close confidant of the King in the North, or become a prince and later king of his homeland? He chose the second, but due to the psychological trauma of his early childhood experiences and his father's rejection, tries to prove himself in foolish ways. He ends up falling into the hands of the worst psychopath in Westeros, and his life turns into torture hell. Castrated, teeth shattered, digits flayed and cut off, absolute terror. This Theon's wounds are clearly visible from the outside: his own sister can't even recognize him any more, his hair has gone white, he looks like an old man, can barely eat due to his shattered teeth, has to wear special gloves not to make his missing fingers obvious. One of the last things he hears before he finally manages to escape is that Ramsay is going to cut off his lips as well. He's the character in the novels I think has suffered the most and survived, and is an absolute ruin of a human being. Considering how he was before he invaded Winterfell, he didn't just fall deep: he fell far, from high above.
  11. Karlshammar

    Biggest Mistake Made by Robb

    The Nazis did kill POWs. Soviet POWs alone saw close to 3.5M deaths in custody due to German mistreatment. Up to half a million of them were direct murders/executions in concentration camps. They did treat British and American POWs reasonably well, as long as they weren't Jews, who would then be treated... less well. I do agree that what lord Rickard Karstark did merits punishment, but I think that Robb was a fool to execute him. He should have done what someone suggested (can't recall who atm) and held Rickard hostage to guarantee the continued service of his men. The Seven Kingdoms is a feudal state. Feudalism is based on mutual loyalty between liege lord and subject. For a liege lord, even the king, to break an oath was a grievous offense. The king who does whatever he wants is an absolute monarch, not a feudal monarch. Absolutism was a later development in European history. PS. If Robb had truly been an absolute monarch and not a feudal monarch, he would have been equally free to (give the order to) kill POWs as to break oaths. Both would have been regarded as bad behavior by most, though.
  12. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that for legal reasons GRRM could no longer use the story he originally imagined, as the factor that the birth was during a rebellion somehow pushed it over the line from permissible to impermissible? I don't believe that that's true. But even if it were, it would have made no difference. In patent law whoever gets the patent approved first owns the invention, so tough luck for others. In copyright law independent creation is a defense against claims, so if two people come up with the same or similar work independently, neither has any claim against the other. IIRC GRRM has also confirmed that there was an essay (I think it was Untanglig the Meerenese Knot over at The Meerenese Blot) that correctly identified that nature of the Meerenese knot.
  13. Karlshammar

    What to ask GRRM?

    What woke the Others?
  14. Karlshammar

    The Others and the Sidhe

    This is a post I originally wrote to answer a question on another forum about what we thought GRRM would do to make the Others more interesting: I think we'll find out that they are operating under the belief that they are engaged in a struggle to protect their homes. GRRM has described the Others as: According to Wikipedia: (In Irish mythology, the Milesians were the humans who became the final inhabitants of Ireland.) Underground or behind the Wall? And the Otherworld sounds a fit abode for the Others. Craster's sons as offerings? Not named directly - simply "The Others"? Or White Walkers? Fits the Others to a tee. So why do I think they are engaged in defense? Another thing they engage in is: Craster's sons again? "Winter is coming." To go a bit further, what may have awakened them? Who knows what the wildlings have been up to up there? But after eight thousand years, I'd wager some of their knowledge of the Others has been lost, and they may have inadvertently trespassed on or even ruined some lands or property of the Others. There's a host more material on the sidhe in hundreds of books, so I think there's likely to be a lot more information to be found there, if anyone's interested.
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