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Everything posted by Groo

  1. I would say not leaving with Sandor on the night of the battle. She alerted Cersei but I don't think things would have gone all that differently even if she hadn't. The whole gold cloaks betrayal was Littlefinger's doing and if he had sided with Ned it would have been Cersei who ended up in a cell. Ned was also perfectly willing to warn Cersei himself anyways. Ned even had time to get Arya and Sansa away but he let Littlefinger delay him. On the other hand, image how differently things would have been for Sansa if she left with Sandor. No marriage to Tyrion. No threats from Lysa. No Littlefinger. It was also more of a true decision. She knew what Sandor was offering. She had a basic understanding of the situation and the risks involved. With Cersei, Sansa didn't really understand all that was going on.
  2. Ha! That's a trick question! Water immediately vaporizes in any vacuum, including space. Temperature is irrelevant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What? Claiming fantasy/sci-fi readers are science nerds is just a stereotype.
  3. If Melville could fill Moby Dick with long tedious chapters about the minutiae of sailing and the extraction of whale oil, then Martin can definitely add a few chapters on pH factors and proper drainage techniques.
  4. Why would Aeron call a Kingsmoot if Theon was around? Aeron wanted Euron gone and all he would have to say is Theon is the rightful heir like it had been for centuries. It had been a long time since there had been a Kingsmoot and Aeron only called one because he was trying to replace Euron with his younger brother Victarion.
  5. Isolating himself was a real problem but the mistake wasn't Sam and Aemon. The Night's Watch needed more maesters. Sam was obviously an excellent choice, and the hope was Aemon could influence the Citadel to send more. No, the problem was sending away Grenn, Pyp, and Edd. He got rid of loyal reliable men just to appear to not be playing favorites.
  6. Perhaps there was more to the dowry. Horses and other gifts, for example, but the silver was the highlight.
  7. Greensight, hatching dragon eggs, creating wights, growing lemons. It's probably best that GRRM leaves an air of mystery around all the magical elements in the story.
  8. I think that's a fair grade. It's always hard to judge military leaders when they're put in difficult positions where a big "win" isn't possible. Tyrion didn't have the forces to crush Stannis or sweep his army from the field. Tyrion was in a perilous defensive position where the question is just how long you can hold out. If Kings Landing had held out for weeks or months, then Tyrion would have looked like a hero. The relief army came fairly quickly, however. He gets credit for not collapsing right away but Tyrion didn't really have a chance to make a major impression on people one way or the other since relief came so quickly.
  9. You've got me thinking now. I always thought arresting Tyrion was supremely boneheaded, but in fairness to Cat, it was a sudden unexpected encounter and she had been led to believe that Tyrion was behind the assassination attempt. Releasing Jaime, on the other hand, is nothing but raw desperation. She had plenty of time to think on it. It's not a good plan. It has plenty of downside and she went ahead and did it anyways.
  10. That is an amazing line. Is it yours? Can I borrow it?
  11. My problem with this is there isn't much rejoicing in Dorne about Robert and Renly's deaths. The Martells aren't sitting around saying "That's Robert and Renly taken care of. Now we just need to take care of the Lannisters." It's clear from all their conversations that their primary hatred was always for the Lannisters. More importantly, they have a very active notion of revenge. They didn't just want Tywin dead. They wanted to be the ones to do it. I think it's more than fair to ask if they blew their chance at revenge during the war. Renly was only a boy during Robert's rebellion. He didn't actually do anything against them. Why not support Renly and thoroughly crush the Lannisters? Why not be cynical about it, too? Support Renly, wipe out the Lannisters, elimate the other Baratheons, and then later support Viserys against Renly?
  12. Slight tangent but this made me consider who in the main story I actually think of as a knight. The vast majority of official knights only really register in my mind as fighters. I don't mean that as some sort of social or philosophical statement about the institution of knighthood. I just mean, as a reader, for which characters does the word "knight" come to mind when I think of that character. Brienne obviously tops the list. The other two, for me, are Barristan and Sandor. Granted, Sandor might be an odd choice, but I always think of him as the angry tormented knight. I suppose some might put Jaime on the list but there's way too much other stuff going on with him for me to think of him as a "knight".
  13. Interesting discussion but you seem to be making a morality argument rather than an analysis of vows. Different vows can and do come into conflict. At some point, there has to be precedence or hierarchy to the vows. Following the precedence isn't a violation of the vows and doesn't mean the vows were empty words. Using your first example, the Kingsguard vows to obey the king come before their vow to protect the queen. You're taking the moral stance that protecting the queen should have come first in this instance. Your essentially putting morality ahead of vows, which is all well and good, but it doesn't mean vows are simply empty and meaningless. You've also set the bar as high as it could possibly go. Your Brienne and Dunk examples are people knowingly and willingly sacrificing their selves for others. If that's your standard, then any vow is automatically meaningless. The ultimate action matters and any words before that are meaningless. But vows don't have to be so supremely dramatic. If a brother of the Night's Watch is cold, miserable, and missing family but stays because he vowed not to desert his post, does that not count? Isn't he keeping his vow even though it's hard?
  14. I'm honestly mystified by your posts. In addition to all the points others have already made, in her subsequent POV chapters Cat never once thinks or mentions that she's now Robb's heir. No one else mentions it to her or treats her any differently than they did before. Your entire theory seems to amount to misconstruing a single sentence that was part of Cat's internal thoughts. It wasn't even something Robb said. He didn't say he had a trap for her.
  15. I'm confused. The original post said Robb's worst decision was "Marrying Jeyne Westerling". How is that different from breaking his oath to Lord Walder?
  16. Yes and No. For example, it is amazing how good a job Martin did in making Jon's ascension to Lord Commander feel like a surprise to readers and to the characters in the story. However, unliked boy hero joins military order on eve of apocalypse and rises to command it when the great enemy appears is exactly what anyone who has ever read a fantasy novel would have expected.
  17. To me, the questions of when do you kill and why are a central part of Arya's story. Killing the stable boy in Kings Landing was pure survival, as was the fight against Lorch and his men. Weese and the Tickler were killings of personal vengeance. Dareon's death was supposedly enforcing the penalty for desertion. The ship insurer was the first time she killed because someone told her to and was potentially for justice. With the Faceless Men, Arya is all but guaranteed to be responsible for many more deaths, likely for many different reasons. I don't think Martin is looking to write about the development of a psychotic serial killer. I think he intends to deeply explore these questions with Arya. Looked at from the perspective of politics and war, you're right. Not having Jaqen kill someone important was a big mistake. Looked at from the perspective of Arya's evolving reasons for killing, however, I'm not sure this even stands out.
  18. This is a tough one. Personally killing Robb is the kind of big move where he could expect a big reward from Tywin. Would working quietly behind the scenes to help Tywin be enough to get Winterfell?
  19. Stannis. A middle son who normally wouldn't inherit anything. He becomes Lord of Dragonstone and gets a seat on the small council as Master of Ships. He acts like he's been locked in a broom closet and fed scraps his entire life. Family didn't love you as much as you wanted? Welcome to the human race. People don't seem to like you? Either change how you act around them or accept the fact and cherish the few that do. King seemed stingy in his rewards to you? Most subjects feel that way.
  20. Let's put killing Rickard Karstark as Robb's second worse decision.
  21. Yes, but he had other options besides tipping off Cersei. Here's an obvious one: arrest Cersei, seize the children, and send the children to Winterfell for safekeeping while Cersei is tried. Ned was foolishly hoping that Cersei would make everything easy for him. If she ran away it would confirm her guilt, keep the children safe, and avoid a showdown with Robert about killing the kids. Wishful thinking always imagines great and easy outcomes.
  22. In thousands of years, the Iron Islands had never been ruled by a woman. Calling a kingsmoot and championing Victarion was not an obviously bad move. Victarion got a lot of support and it could have worked. When I think of bad decisions, I think of moments that left me stunned as they were happening. Top of my list is Ned tipping off Cersei. Even on my first reading, I was gob smocked by the stupidity of it. I have that same reaction to much of what Cersei does so it's hard to pick a "winner" for her. I'd probably go with arming the Faith, like you said. I thought that was blindingly stupid as I was reading it.
  23. Came here to say exactly this. Theon would be in a dramatically improved position if he had just taken hostages and gone back to the Iron Islands.
  24. While the potential might be there, these are pretty small examples. Look at the huge differences in Jon and Arya's storylines. Jon's story arc is very explicitly about leadership: making hard decisions that affect large groups of people, his own personal desires to rule Winterfell, trying to get opposing groups to work together, dealing with conflicting agendas, feeling the need to not appear to be playing favorites, etc. Whether you think he's done a good job or a poor one, his whole story arc is centered on leadership. I don't think you can say anything like that about Arya's story. One could argue that your examples just show that Arya is good at making personal friends. I approach the original question from just looking at the flow of the story. Think of the questions that people naturally ask and wonder about with Jon. Will he still lead the Nights Watch, assuming he's still alive or gets resurrected? Will he become King of the North? Will he unite the Wildings and the North? If he discovers his true parentage, would he want to claim the Iron Throne? Would he put himself before the Stark children? Would he put himself before Daenerys? Imagine how weird it would feel if Jon's story ended with him taking a ship to go sail the seas and have adventures. If Jon lives, he ends up with one of the top spots just because that's what his story has been about. I wouldn't say that's what Arya's story has been about.
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