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  1. Arianne would give fAegon all of Dorne. If he's going to marry a daughter of a lessor house that opens up all kinds of possibilities. How about he marries Demara Redwyne and tries to get a bunch of the Reach to turn against the Tyrells? I actually hope nothing like that happens. After five books I don't really want some briefly mentioned character to suddenly play a prominent role. We have more than enough characters with screen time as it is.
  2. Slave trading north of the Wall was never going to be some big profitable business. Sparsely populated, widely scattered, difficult terrain, and most people living far from the coast. There are plenty of reasons why slavers regularly traffic in other more profitable regions. No one is going through some long difficult scheme to put a new king on the throne where the big anticipated payoff is open slave hunting north of the Wall. That's not even going to make the top 10 list of benefits of having a new compliant king.
  3. People with a strong sense of duty don't always dream of growing up to be dutiful. Their general sense of responsibility tends to take over and shape their adult lives but that doesn't mean that's what they wanted when they were young. I'm sure Ned was never wild but might he very well have been more open and fun loving when he was growing up with Robert, especially if he was happily following young Robert's lead. The quote above might just be Ned humoring Robert but it might also be an insight into what younger Ned would have found appealing without all of his responsibilities. I don't think we can just look at adult Ned and use that to predict what we would have wanted for himself if Brandon hadn't died.
  4. Agreed. Stannis absolutely would have cut a deal with Slynt if it got him King's Landing.
  5. So why didn't Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf, die when he left Winterfell and sailed across the sea to wage war in Andalos? Why didn't Cregan Stark, the Old Man of the North, die when he went south to King's Landing? Why didn't Rickard Stark, the Laughing Wolf, die when he went to the Neck to defeat the Marsh King? The list goes on. Starks don't just drop dead because they leave Winterfell.
  6. They would have given a competent performance and then when they broke they would have broken hard. Janos was an effective leader in the sense that the gold cloaks were definitely under his command and did as he said, even participating in massacre of the Stark men and arrest of Ned. They were still poorly trained, as @Targaryeninkingslanding said above, and Janos doesn't inspire actual loyalty in anyone so when they did break it would be bad. I also can't see Janos trying to rally people when the fight appeared lost. He'd be too busy looking for his own escape.
  7. The only one of these that was in place before the books started was the Viserys-Arianne marriage. It seems likely that Oberyn and/or Mellario would have known about that. The Yronwoods obviously know about the Eastbound Frog. The whole Martel clan knows about the overt reason Oberyn went to King's Landing. At the moment, any covert objectives Oberyn had are still just speculation. So, the problem isn't that Doran is the only one who knows about various plots. The real problem is having kept Arianne in the dark for so long.
  8. Isn't Braavos a bigger mystery? They even have to import firewood yet they can crank out a new warship in just a day. The answer for the Iron Islands is likely trade. The islands are supposed to be abundant in iron which is certainly valuable enough to trade for timber.
  9. Yes, I always found it odd how chatty she was with Theon down in the crypts. The only direct evidence of her being any kind of Stark hater comes from that one conversation. On a first read I simply found the conversation odd. After reading various threads on the forum, I now realize how odd the whole trip to the crypts was and it's at least plausible that she was setting up a cover story for the visit knowing that "Reek" was likely to repeat everything to the Boltons.
  10. Robb wasn't king when he marched south and Ned was still alive. Robb wasn't even Lord of Winterfell yet let alone king. When he was first crowned they had just captured Jaime, freed Riverrun and were planning to raid the Westerlands. Nobody wanted a regent. They had just declared independence, named a new king, and things were looking good.
  11. I agree that Rhaegar naming both his sons Aegon would be silly. The only argument I could see in favor of Aegon is if you're a fan of the importance of numbers. If fAegon is crowned he'll be Aegon VI. This sets up the possibility of Jon being Aegon VII. Seven, of course, is the big religiously significant number for most of the realm. With how tied Jon is to the old gods it would be strange for him to end up in some quasi religious role involving the new gods but some writers would definitely go for the symbolic number.
  12. Ned and Jon. It would have been really interesting to see Jon's reactions to finally being told about his mom. It would have been interesting to see how Ned handled his own guilt as well.
  13. Sure, although this is another version of dealing with Robb first over dealing with Stannis. Note that there's an important difference between an enemy that is boxed in and an enemy that has nowhere to go to. Robb was close to being trapped in the Riverlands but he had somewhere to go. He could rebuild if he could get back to the North. Stannis, on the other hand, didn't appear to have anywhere else to go. Again, my point is just about timing. The original poster was bothered by Stannis being ignored in the third book while Tywin kept focusing on Robb. Apart from the logic of the situation, Stannis brooding at Dragonstone actually felt natural to me. Stannis didn't naturally attract followers. To get his army he had to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat with the shadow babies. After the Blackwater he was back to no army and few followers. No one was going to flock to his banner. In fact, I would say the world seemingly ignoring Stannis at Dragonstone is in keeping with his whole personality and character arc.
  14. Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that Tywin was just going to let Stannis be. The original post was questioning why Tywin spent all this time dealing with Robb and not immediately dealing with Stannis. My point is that Robb was the bigger priority which is why Tywin was dealing with him first. I'm sure Tywin was planning to eventually crush Stannis.
  15. Robb had just finished raiding the Westerlands and still had a viable if diminished army. If he could get back North he could even raise another army. He was the bigger remaining threat. More importantly, Tywin was maneuvering for big political and territorial gain. The whole North was at stake, hence Tyrion's marriage to Sansa. Tywin was also going to be able to shape and control the Riverlands. All Stannis had was Dragonstone. Tywin had his priorities straight. Stannis was the enemy "who was basically defeated already" and little was at stake in finishing him off.
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