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  1. Lluewhyn

    Does Asoiaf Have a True Protagonist? *SPOILERS*

    He *thinks* he is striving towards the light. See all the ways that he pats himself on the back about being a good guy in AFFC, and how he's rejecting Cersei, etc.. But he's still perpetuating injustice on the Riverlands in the name of his family all throughout that book, because he hasn't had a true introspective moment about all of the evil that was done there in the Lannister name. You can look at his dealings with Edmure and Brynden Tully to see the depths of his delusion about what he's doing. And yes, I think he's about to get a true reckoning since he's being led to Stoneheart, who has probably heard from Tom O' Sevenstrings EXACTLY the threat that Jaime made to Edmure's child. If Jaime is the Valonquar, I'm guessing he is somehow able to realize the depths of his folly and persuades the BWB. If not, who knows where his story leads?
  2. Lluewhyn

    Does Asoiaf Have a True Protagonist? *SPOILERS*

    Protagonist =/ Hero. There are many protagonists in the story, none of them are perfect, and a few aren't even good guys.
  3. Well, Cersei is deadly with a lute. IIRC, she knocks out several teeth of the bard she casually smashes in the face. All kidding aside, I'll agree with Bernie Mac: It's unlikely that the twinswaps included actual attendance of instruction of any kind. It seems more like they used these opportunities to explore around and see how people reacted and if they could tell the difference. Plus, as stated, weapon training is a skill in need of constant practice. In addition, how would Cersei explain showing up and suddenly losing all of the existing training that Jaime had learned by that point?
  4. Well, you are correct in that the main purpose of the PL is to get Jon to take action. Specifically, GRRM wrote it to have Jon take a specific action that would further his character arc (getting killed by the NW, presumably to get resurrected). It would be really unfortunate if this was a time where GRRM was sloppy about the details and all of this speculation back and forth was pointless because GRRM had Ramsay write the PL to push Jon along his path and didn't think through all of the various details that us fans would quibble about because he just needed to get the plot moving to complete the book*. Now, I really don't believe this, as there's too many fine details in the letter to be that crude, but I can imagine the reaction from all of the fans who have argued this for the past seven years were this to be revealed. *I'm thinking of my reaction to watching Revenge of the Sith. I imagined George Lucas realizing that he was 2.5 films into a 3 film story of Anakin Skywalker's downfall, still had Anakin being mostly on the side of good and realized he needed to hurry things up because he was running out of time, so has Anakin go full Dark Side in a rather abrupt fashion. Your own mileage may vary.
  5. For me, the big issue when I first read it was that there was WAY too much information in there that Ramsay wouldn't know (or likely care about for some things). At the time, I wasn't speculating about there being an alternate author, just that this was absolutely BS writing. The only defense that people have for that is that Ramsay tortured Mance to get that information. Except, most of it isn't information that Ramsay would easily glean because he wouldn't know the questions to ask. The only way this works is if we ignore all previous portrayals of Mance being a strong force of personality and accept that he broke from torture almost immediately and volunteered information beyond the questions that he was asked, including information that would get his own sister-in-law and child killed. Brings to mind the scene from The Goonies where Chunk is babbling every little thing he ever did wrong to the Fratellis while they sit around amused.
  6. People claim that Mance would have been easily captured after the Jeyne rescue went south, but I would agree here that Mance is the least likely to be caught. Jeyne screaming and ruining her own escape mostly had negative consequences for the Spear-Wives, which revealed the escape sooner than expected. However, Mance & Co. wouldn't have expected a whole lot more time to escape than what happened in the book, because someone could have checked on Jeyne in her room at any moment even had Jeyne not blown their cover. I bet that when Theon and the "Washer-Women" are pulling their ruse, Mance has already started his escape, and the Spear-Wives were going to meet him (maybe in the crypt). My theory is somewhat similar to yours, except I do believe Mance wrote the letter. The basic points: 1. Mance is still at Winterfell, and is glamoured to look like someone else (the chapter where Melisandre explains all of the aspects of the glamour in oddly great detail seems to be a key pointer that Mance could learn to manipulate the glamour on his own. However, just looking like someone else only buys him a finite amount of time, so he needs another option. 2. As seen from the Theon TWoW chapter, Stannis seems to be up to something with the Battle of the Ice, and specifically mentions the possibility that his men may hear the rumor of his defeat. 3. Stannis's gambit goes off as expected, and the remains of Ramsay's army bring back Stannis's sword as proof of his defeat. 4. Although Stannis is really not defeated, Mance unfortunately doesn't know that and thinks something needs to be done. He fakes the letter with two possible outcomes in mind: Jon comes down and attacks Winterfell, or Jon capitulates and brings some of the people that Mance wants for his own needs. I guess we'll eventually see, whenever the book comes out.
  7. Lluewhyn

    The Trolley Problem and A Song of Ice and Fire

    One thing I forgot to state earlier is that I think you were missing Social Contract Theory in your moral philosophy as well, which shows up in discussions about Robert's Rebellion, Robb Stark's war for independence, and various passages pondering what makes a true king (A King is one who protects his people).
  8. I think there's more than the pacing, although that's certainly affected. The earlier scene with Newt's family gives too much away about what happened at the colony IMO, when part of the tension is wondering what happened when the marines arrive (yeah, you kind of know because it's a movie about aliens, but the scene makes it clearer). Plus, I think it gives away the plot point that they were sent out deliberately to go find the spaceship, which gives away part of the subplot about someone using Ripley's information to find an alien (don't remember if Burke was mentioned or not?). The scenes where they talk about the sentry guns and their otherwise meager amount of ammo runs into some consistency problems. If you figure there's only a max of about 140 aliens or so from all of the colonists, you see way too many aliens killed onscreen between the sentry guns and later fights. Plus, I think Hicks states that they only have about 50 rounds apiece for their rifles, and you'll see that they fire a heck of a lot more than that. The part where Ripley learns about her daughter is interesting, but it's also another scene in the beginning that's delaying the first bit of action, and the explicit portrayal of Newt as a surrogate daughter isn't needed, it's fine in the subtext, or even just leaving Ripley being a caring person regardless of a mother/daughter aspect.
  9. Lluewhyn

    The Trolley Problem and A Song of Ice and Fire

    One previous thought I've had on this matter are the Dunk and Egg stories. In The Hedge Knight, Dunk sticks with his principles and fights the Trial of Seven to defend himself against Aerion Brightflame's accusations. At the conclusion, he considers whether following Just principles was worth the cost. Had he accepted the injustice of submitting to the accusations, he would have lost a foot, but all of the other knights who had died on his behalf would have lived, including the beloved Prince Baelor. This seems to be a more Deontological perspective from the story, with the protagonist pondering if he should have followed more Consequentialist principles instead. In The Sword Sword, Dunk volunteers to take the blame for another knight's assault of a smallfolk in hopes of de-escalating a conflict and sparing lives. So, he's willing to take on an injustice to himself for the greater good (Consequentialist). Interestingly, the attempt is appreciated but doesn't work, and he gets to resolve the matter in a manner more just to his own person that spares further bloodshed (except for the one bad knight he defeats).
  10. Lluewhyn

    The Trolley Problem and A Song of Ice and Fire

    There may be some of that in here, but I think GRRM's thesis on ruling is simpler than what you've proposed. He previously criticized Tolkien's line "Aragorn ruled wisely" as being too simplistic, and not addressing what "wisely" meant. See "What was Aragorn's Tax Policy?" Rather, I think his thesis is that ruling his hard, and there is no perfect way to do it. So, it's not that people were being too Deontological or Consequentialist, but that they were going to have a hard time ruling *period*. Individually, I think there's a strong indicator for always acting the right course regardless of the consequences, especially when you look at Dunk or Brienne's storylines.
  11. Lluewhyn

    The Trolley Problem and A Song of Ice and Fire

    From what I've read in the stories and pondered previously, individual actors should follow deontological ethics whereas Leaders should follow Consequentialist/Utilitarian principles.
  12. Nah, the Tyrells were already planning on marrying him to Margaery then killing him immediately afterward at this point. This would just give them extra incentive to proceed with their plan, and allow them to reassure themselves "Yep, we definitely did the right thing."
  13. It really sounds to me like he needs to reexamine his writing style. This whole "writing without an outline" is not working at the endgame of the series. I know it's how he enjoys writing, but if he is actually serious about completion, he needs to think about changing things up. Find a person or two he trusts, hole up in his house for a week or so, and discuss what he's got done, where the story needs to go overall, what he's thinking about doing with the dozens of various plot threads and themes, what's working, what's not, etc. A week should be sufficient time to come up with "here's what this book needs to do, and here's what needs to happen in each chapter to do it". Otherwise, if he keeps wanting to write from a spontaneous perspective and never set up an outline, the series will never be finished.
  14. Lluewhyn

    Why did Jorah push Dany to go to Asshai?

    Regardless of the dragons, who would have kidnapped Rhaego, and how would they have gotten away with the kid without anyone noticing? The Dothraki wanted nothing to do with the magic or anything related to it. If the kid had been discovered, they would likely have killed it. And there weren't a whole lot of people there besides Daenerys, Jorah, and the Dothraki. So, I'd agree that it doesn't make sense for a variety of reasons.
  15. Lluewhyn

    Most melancholic and "Human" moments in ASOIAF?

    Dunk cutting his own cheek in hopes of averting further bloodshed was one of my favorite quiet "Oh Wow" moments.