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  1. The stories mention in a couple of places that "any knight can make a knight." E.g. Ser Rolly Duckfield in ADWD, and also Ser Duncan The Tall. So apparently the blessing by a septon is not always necessary.
  2. The OP seems to have spotted a significant plot hole. I'll try to help fill it. :^) We know that, as teenagers, Jaime and Cersei were once caught in bed together by their mother. After that, Jamie's bedchamber was moved to a different part of the castle, far from Cersei's. When that happened, I'm sure that rumors and gossip flew amongst the servants, and from there would probably spread all over town, and eventually to other places as well. You know how, when two people are falling In love, sometimes their friends or co-workers notice it before they do themselves? There may have been some of that going on, so that anyone who saw Jamie and Cersei together might get an impression that they seen seemed closer than most siblings. I don't think there's any textual evidence for either of these, but they are both plausible, just based on human nature.
  3. ACOK 30 (Arya VII): So it seems that Vargo assembled a motley crew of warriors from several different cultures in Essos, as well as a few Westerosi, some Summer Islanders, and ... Hmmm, I don't know about the sickly one.
  4. So white settlers are not colonialists because they lived in the same country as the natives? My tablet isn't very good at editing quotes, so excuse me for replying to all your comments down here. Duskendale fought against Aegon. He was harsh to his enemies, but open-handed with those who bent the knee. Taking reparations from a defeated enemy is not the same as exploiting a peaceful colony. And I think the answer to your question is Yes; and by the way, the skin color of either side has nothing to do with it. "Colonialism" refers to government from afar. Not all colonies are colonialistic. Either type may exploit or conquer the natives; I'm not suggestong that either type was morally superior. I may have gotten a few facts wrong, but my main point was that we're not talking about the story any more here; we're debating the meaning of a word. I was hoping to clear things up so that we can move on. I don't seem to have succeeded ...
  5. It seems like this has become a debate about semantics, not about history or the story itself. The English language is a bit slippery in this area. Here's my take on it. When a group of people from country A move to country B and establish a settlement, that's called "colonization." It may or may not involve violence against the previous inhabitants of country B. "Colonialism" is not the same; that's a political term. The new settlement is not colonialist unless the government of country A controls it from afar, effectively making it part of country A. If the settlement has its own independent government, then it's colonization, but not colonialism. By that logic, when the Targaryens settled on Dragonstone, that was clearly colonization. If they were still controlled by the Valyrian government at that time, then it was also colonialism, and Dragonstone was a Valyrian colony. But I don't think the books are specific about that. And of course, the Valyrian empire was long gone when the Targaryens began their conquest of the rest of Westeros. So Aegon's Conquest should be viewed as one part of Westeros taking over another part. That's not colonialism, at least not by the definition I've given. It's just another intramural fight of the sort that had been going on in Westeros for thousands of years. Also, colonialism usually involves taking control of the original inhabitants of country A, and exploiting their resources. Aegon didn't do any of that. He established a seat of government on the Westerosi mainland; he didn't try to rule from Dragonstone. He didn't levy new taxes, or steal all the gold and ship it back to Dragonstone. He didn't impose Valyrian laws, customs, or language on the Westerosi people.
  6. The mention of House Manderly remind me that they also worship the Seven. They brought their religion with them when they migrated from the Reach to the North. So yes, as Grey Wolf said, it does seem that Westerosi people are pretty tolerant of different religions. There are a few places in the books where some character expresses skepticism about another religion, such as Southrons who question the validity of a marriage ceremony held before a heart tree. But I don't think there's any evidence that Catelyn was subjected to any prejudice. It occurs to me, the religion of the Old Gods is extremely informal, perhaps unrealistically so. There are no priests, not even village shamans or medicine men/women. There are no formal prayers or rituals; you just kneel down and pray to a tree, and listen to the sounds of nature for your reply. Are there any real-life examples, now or in the past, of such a minimalist belief system?
  7. 10 thousand years would normally mean MORE linguistic diversity. The real South America is less linguistically now compared to the past is because the Spanish & Brazilians colonized it mere centuries ago. First, a minor correction. I think you meant to say "Portuguese," not "Brazilian" above. Obviously Brazil didn't colonize itself. But more importantly, I think you're arguing against yourself here. Ancient indigenous languages are still spoken by some people in South America. But the vast majority of people across the continent speak Spanish or Portuguese. Why? Because they were conquered by an invading power that imposed its will on the population. That was 500 years ago, and I don't think there are any new languages that have sprung up since then, or old ones that have been revived. The same thing presumably happened in Westeros.
  8. Yes, and King's Landing must be full of people who will recognize her ... although some of them might have reasons to deny it. Also, she has the "Tully look." She has a strong resemblance to Catelyn, at least enough to stir Littlefinger's passions. I respectfully disagree about this. If Arya confronts Jeyne, Jeyne will probably drop the pretense and tearfully confess the truth. And Arya has the "Stark look;" with both of them side by side for all to see, it will be obvious which one is real.
  9. Actually, Westeros does have a fair amount of diversity. There's the whole First Men/Andal/Rhoynar thing, that builds three cultures into the story right from the start. The North still has a different religion from the rest of the realm; and Dorne has a distinctly different culture in terms of its food, legal system (prince instead of king), and other distinctions such as allowing women to rule and different sexual taboos (or lack thereof). And in the far North, we have the giants and some other groups who still speak the Old Tongue, as well as the COTF with their own language, culture, and history. And across the narrow sea, of course, its Diverse-o-rama. A number of characters from these places (Varys, Melisandre, Jaqen, Sallador Saan) have made their way to Westeros, where their religion and language find their way into the story.
  10. Sorry, I find it wildly improbable that there will be any sort of vote. For one thing, they don't have the infrastructure for it. The fastest form of transportation is a horse, and the fastest form of communication is a bird. And Winter is coming! There's no way they can have elections across an entire continent. Ballots would be stolen or lost, fake ballots would be added in, and some of the winning candidates would probably be dead by the time the results were announced. Also, in terms of the narrative, that seems like too big of a transition, to go from monarchy to democracy just like that. To me, that would be kind of like if a platoon of Starship Troopers dropped out of the sky at Castle Black, and killed off all the Others with lasers and high explosives.
  11. We've read some pretty vivid descriptions of his swollen joints. But I don't know anything medical about gout. Is it possible for someone to have such severe swelling without also being disabled and in pain?
  12. I'm not sure the term "colonial" is appropriate here? House Targaryen lived on Dragonstone for 114 years before the Conquest. They never ruled from thousands of miles away. Some were good kings, some were bad, but at least they all had their royal boots on the ground in Westeros. It would be nice for the people if the 7K could transform from a monarchy to a republic with one Grand Council. But I don't expect that to happen. That would be the stuff of fantasy. -- Oh, wait...
  13. I think it's difficult to draw a single message from the story. When the good guys sometimes break their vows, and the bad guys sometimes redeem themselves, it's hard to choose sides. Maybe that's the message: that everyone is a mix of good and bad, and we should all avoid the tendency to oversimplify and see people in absolute terms. Or maybe that's just George, breaking the stereotypes to keep us wondering what will happen next. Looking at the big picture of the entire story arc, the thing that stands out the most to me is the way that most of Westeros is caught up in petty political struggles, when there's a huge threat coming to them all with the arrival of Winter. I mean, come on, Westerosi people! Autumn started in the prologue of "Clash," and many of you believe that the unusually long Summer will be followed by an unusually harsh Winter. But you're still out there killing each other, burning crops, and destroying each other's resources, precisely at a time when you ought to be conserving them. Even if you don't believe in the Others, you should know better than that. The only one who's gotten it right is apparently Littlefinger. He advised the other Lords of the Vale to hold onto their grain, when they wanted to sell it to take advantage of rising prices. He pointed out that prices will be even higher later on. By Spring, the Vale could end up as the effective capital of the 7K, the only region that's still functioning more or less normally.
  14. Good morrow Aldarion, I always enjoy your historical insights! But I have to question this comment. Unsullied are well trained, disciplined, and of couse fearless. Why do you think Westerosi infantry could defeat them?
  15. I just had a thought about this, which is new to me; perhaps it's old news to the Council Members. GRRM has created some great villains, but not one of them has ever had a POV chapter. We see Euron through Aeron's POV. We see Ramsay though Theon's POV. Lord Tywin, Lord Walder, Ser Gregor ... no POV chapters. Jon Con has had a couple of POV chapters. That may be an indication of where his story line is going.. It occurs to me that Cersei might be an exception to the pattern. She's a POV character who is selfish and dishonest; and she's been involved in a few murders, although she didn't actually do the killing. Does she count as a "villain?"
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