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  1. I don't think it could be done. The number of men in the City Watch is mentioned in various places in the books, ranging from 2000 to 6000. So the number of infiltrators would have to be quite high, from several hundred to a few thousand. It would take a long time, months or years, to insert or recruit that many turncloaks. With so many men knowing the secret, it's only a matter of time until someone lets it slip. The truth would come out before the Targs could assemble a force large enough to accomplish their goal.
  2. Oh yeah, I had forgotten about that one. Of course, it's not a complete proof. King Robert called Cersei "Lyanna" on their wedding night, but it's unlikely that he actually thought that he was with Lyanna at the time. He was just drunk. When LF claimed to have deflowered both Tully girls, he may have just been boasting. Guys do that sometimes. But you make a good case. Thanks!
  3. That's a nice collection of evidence, but your conclusion seems very far-fetched: definitely in the tinfoil category. Is there any reason to think that Ashara was a skin-changer? Starks seem to inherit the ability, but we don't know of anything like that for House Dayne. Baby Daenerys was many leagues away at the time; the two had never met. Do we have any examples of skinchanging under those conditions? If Ashara's mind was in Daenerys's body all through her infancy and childhood, there would probably have been some clues: unusual intelligence at an early age, memories of places she had never been, fluency in languages she had never studied, etc.
  4. I've seen this idea mentioned a few times recently: that Petyr thinks he was the first lover for both Catelyn and Lysa, but it was actually Lysa both times. Where is the textual evidence for this please? Regarding Petyr himself, I doubt that he was as calculating back then as he is now. More likely he was an innocent boy dealing with a crush on a girl he could never have. It's possible that the whole Brandon / Catelyn incident hit him so hard, it started him on the path to becoming the selfish, manipulative guy that we see in the story.
  5. That's a nice analysis of the parallels between Jon and Arya. Of course, we don't actually know if Jon is dead. Excuse me for repeating a few points from a previous post: Real-life people do sometimes recover from multiple stab wounds. Melisandre is present at Castle Black. She foresaw the attack on Jon. Her powers are stronger than usual because of her proximity to the Wall. If she can bring a dead Jon back to life, surely she can prevent a wounded Jon from dying. Having Jon live through the attack might seem like a cliché, like an action-movie hero who runs through a hail of bullets without being hit. But GRRM is known for killing off the good guys, and for having dead characters return to life (sort of). So for him, the cliché is if Jon does in fact die and/or get resurrected. If George wants to surprise us, methinks, it will turn out that Jon didn't die at all.
  6. This all seems rather tenuous to me. But I haven't read a lot of GRRM's other works or interviews. Does he know the Gaelic language? Does he often consult a Gaelic dictionary when trying to decide the names of his characters?
  7. It would cost a heck of a lot... If it's even possible. Moat Cailin was built before the Children of the Forest used the Hammer of the Waters to turn the Neck into a swamp. Today, it may be lacking critical resources such as fresh water, farmland, timber, etc.
  8. Just to clarify: I didn't mean to suggest that the Doom caused the decline of magical energy, only that it may have been the first sign that the decline was happening. More broadly, I think that some folks here have gone overboard in trying to puzzle out the rules or principles of magic on Planetos. We know that GRRM is not super-precise about numerical matters such as dates, prices, sizes of armies, etc. Similarly, I rather doubt that he formulated a complete set of rules to govern the behavior of magic throughout the entire story. Has anyone asked him about this, at a con or in an interview?
  9. Do we really know that? More specifically: was it the decline of dragons that caused the decline of magic, or was it the other way 'round? Which is the cause, and which the effect? I agree with your big-picture idea that magic is "an added layer of nature," another resource like water and sunljght; and there might be some sort of tides or seasons that cause its power to vary over time. I've always believed that the rise & fall of dragons is an Effect, and magic is the Cause. To me, that's what's really been going on through the entire story. We've been reading about Westeros at a time when magical energy is increasing, after a few centuries of decline, possibly starting with the Doom of Valyria. I think there are one or two characters who make statements to this effect, although there are certainly a couple who suggest that dragons are the Cause.
  10. Are you saying that Tywin was involved in the murder of Joffrey? I hadven't seen a theory about that before.
  11. I think I have to go with Stannis. By the laws of the 7K, he is Robert's heir. If Cersei hadn't brought down Ned Stark, the truth would have come out about her kids; and Stannis would be the obvious successor. Renly seems like a nice guy ... except for the part where he flouted the laws and decided to take the throne just because he could. He justified it by pointing out that Robert did the same thing; but I don't think the cases are parallel. It's true that Robert's rebellion was fueled partly by his anger. But the misrule of the Mad King had become clear to everyone by that time, so the rebellion had some justification. Stannis might not be an ideal king, but I think he could have done a decent job of it (and still might). Hugorfonics made that comment about him being "a tyrant who relishes in mass capitol punishment for pardonable offenses." Sorry, I don't recall that; when did it happen? Widowmaker811 mentioned the Targaryens, which is slightly off-topic since they didn't participate in the War of Five Kings. I admire his loyalty, but I wonder if they still have the right of it at this point? Robert took the throne by force; but again, the previous ruler was doing a pretty awful job. And Robert gave the realm 17 good years. How many years have to go by before a Targaryen resurgence can no longer be considered justice, and becomes just another uprising? Illyrio to the contrary, I doubt that Westeros was full of people who were secretly toasting House Targaryen and sewing dragon banners. Robb Stark's rebellion may have been justified by the misdeeds of Aerys; and he clearly had some support from his bannermen. But considering all the other turbulence in the realm, it might have been smarter for him to sit tight and see how things went for the other four Kings. What Aerys did to the Starks was clearly wrong. But the murder of three people doesn't really justify a rebellion, even if they are high lords. If the North had stayed out of the war, they probably would have come through it largely unscathed, and much more able to prepare for the coming Winter. Balon Greyjoy I might admire for his commitment to his people's traditions, but not for anything else. And I don't think there's anything at all admirable about Joffrey.
  12. Is there? Littlefinger has claimed to have taken both their maidenheads. But I seem to recall a chapter where Catelyn is reminiscing about her first sexual encounter with Ned. It's pretty clear from the wording that this was her first time ever. (Sorry, can't find the specific book/chapter.)
  13. I would guess that the situation for weirwood is about the same as today, in the real world, for exotic hardwoods. If I want to buy some mahogany, paduuc, or zebrawood, I can get it at a specialty store a few miles from my house. It's expensive, but there isn't all that much demand. It's kind of a novelty or luxury item. Weirwoods may have been common when the First Men arrived in Westeros, but many of them have been cut down, especially in the lands South of the Neck. In the North, most people still regard them as sacred; so they wouldn't be in any rush to cut them down for profit.
  14. Yes, but consider this from ACOK 18 (Sansa II): I'm pretty sure there are a few other moments like this, where he shows an uncharacteristic bit of kindness towards her.
  15. I still think it's possible that Jon will survive the attack. Real-life people do sometimes survive multiple stab wounds. And if Melisandre is powerful enough to bring someone back from the dead, she's probably powerful enough to keep a wounded man from dying. She has said that she is more powerful than ever because of her proximity to the Wall; and John's connection to Ghost may also be helpful in some way to keep him alive. Of course, for John to survive such a severe attack would be kind of a cliché, like all those action movies where the hero runs through a hail of bullets and doesn't get hit once. GRRM is famous for breaking clichés and sometimes killing the Good Guy. But he's done that so much, it's become kind of a cliché in itself. I don't know the man or his work as well as some other members, but I wonder if he might pull a switcheroo in this case. He might let the Good Guy live, just as a surprise or a bit of a prank on his fans.
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