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Mourning Star

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Everything posted by Mourning Star

  1. Don't conflate story telling and cosmic (author) justice with moral reasoning. I'm not advocating for murdering Tommen or Myrcella, but yes I think Jaime, Cersei, Tommen, and Myrcella are doomed. Does he? Or does he love himself? When did he ever sacrifice for another? This is also why I said his line and not necessarily the whole of House Lannister.
  2. Where he ended up does not determine the morality of his choices. You don't get rewarded for doing the right thing. You cannot know the future, or know how a different action would change the past. You can make a case for murder if you want, but you still seem to miss the entire point here. Morality is not determined by what results in the best outcome for you, that's just self interest. Perhaps. This is at least a more interesting argument. Although I think it still falls terribly flat when you are talking about murdering children. I think you are misinterpreting this wildly. Honor isnt the same as morraly good, neither is love. Jon says Ned would do what is right, and for the reader Ned is the best example of a "good" man we are given. This is not to say he is perfect. In the case of his life Ned would not lie, but for his daughters he would. Life is complicated like that. But don't confuse this with Aemon's twisted view of honor and duty... something highlighted by his assumption that Jon meant duty by saying Ned would do what was right. Ned would sacrifice his own honor and live a lie for the sake of his sister and her son. Where is Aemon's child? Absolute nonsense, this is the definition of a false choice. You are presenting two options as if there are no others, a classic fallacy. Wrong, the dothraki have never crossed an ocean, something everyone knows. Even Illyrio never expected Dany to return from the Dothraki Plains. Again you present as inevitable that which is not. I care. A good man cares about doing the right thing even when it does not benefit him. And rights are not rights if you deny them to those you dislike. If Tywin Lannister was truly dead, no one was safe . . . least of all her son upon his throne. When the lion falls the lesser beasts move in: the jackals and the vultures and the feral dogs. I think you will see both the karstarks and the dustins are not as anti Stark as you seem to imagine. But again, this is a part of the story teaching lessons not a reason to be moral. Being moral is its own reason.
  3. No, I mean the end of his line. Not sure exactly what you are asking... This series is fairly clearly a condemnation the Iraq War and the attempts to legitimize that "pre-emptive attack". And that's a hypothetical you are welcome to entertain.
  4. Thank you, and it's a fair argument to have... so... I do not agree here, nothing about being moral guarantees good outcomes for one personally. This sounds like the argument for moral relativism. Basically that morality all depends on where you sit. While I understand the perspective, and there is no denying that culture and viewpoint change outlooks on many things, I would argue that this series, for all it's grey characters and difficult choices, does not promote a morally relativistic worldview. Rather there are some moral truths which are true across the board. A good example is the very topic at hand, it is wrong to punish an innocent for someone else's crime. Again morality is not all about the ends. Good choices can result in bad things happening to you. I understand the argument and I strongly disagree. And how far does this argument go? Do you kill everyone with a drop of Blackfyre blood? What about the Other legitimized bastards? What about anyone who might have a claim? What about their families and their friends? When you start down the slippery slope of condemning people for crimes they have not yet committed, I think you can open the door to legitimizing all sorts of horrors. I disagree again. I think it will be the Lannisters haunted by the murders of Elia and her children. Robb sent Theon to Balon out of ambition and misplaced trust, not mercy. While obviously we don't have the end of the story, Ned's treatment of Theon will likely play a role in how his story plays out. The North is not lost, and castles can be rebuilt. Judgement should be made and the weight of it taken personally. Remember this is part of a larger debate between him and Robert over how to deal with the Targaryen children. Ned would wait until they actually invaded to fight them rather than sending assassins to kill pregnant women who might one day birth a threat. I feel like I've already made my case on this point. No, I do not think it would have solved the problem of a Mad King, nor ended the conflict. It is simply a great example of how far someone can go, and the horrors they could commit, if they justify their means by the supposed ends.
  5. I disagree with you very much on this and believe the text itself makes a compelling case for why. Even more to the point, it was not mercy that got Ned killed, it was Littlefinger's betrayal... which was a result of misplaced trust in him through Cat. Still, if you want to argue that the mercy did result in Ned's fall, there is no promise that doing the right thing will result in good things for you personally. In practice it is often the opposite. However, the results do not necessarily change what is right morally. It does highlight once again the theme of comparing the morally good with the advantageously practical. The Means and the Ends. The Ned and Tywin. Perhaps there is a difference between being a good man and a good king, although given how flawed the rest of Aemon's advice was, I'd suggest that it isn't anything close to a given. Because a careful reader will have noticed just how much Aemon is wrong about, and even here he admits Ned is a better man. I do not think I am. And I do not think killing children in the name of preventing war is logical or moral. It is a false choice. You do not punish a crime before it is commited. Any number of crimes and evils can be explained away by some nonsense about trying to prevent future events. This is not the way. You set me up so beautifully here I have to wonder if it is intentional? We do not know the future. Life is not a series of dichotomous choices. All we can do is our best to do the right thing. And while personal gain isn't the aim, the difference between how the North Remembers even after Ned and his heir are both dead, and how everyone turns on the Lannisters after Tywin's death, highlights the long reaching implications of their choices which we have only begun to see.
  6. I think this is a question the series begs one to ask... and that it fits directly into the theme of justice. One can make the argument that the ends justify the means, and I understand the point of view. However, I believe both myself and a critical reading of this series condemns that way of thinking. Honestly, is it ever ok to kill a child because of something their parent's did? In my opinion punishment should be reserved for those, who are found guilty of doing the wrong. We see this conflict rear its head repeatedly in the series, and it is perhaps best personified by Ned and Tywin. Ned had heard enough. "You send hired knives to kill a fourteen-year-old girl and still quibble about honor?" He pushed back his chair and stood. "Do it yourself, Robert. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. Look her in the eyes before you kill her. See her tears, hear her last words. You owe her that much at least." Ned believes it's wrong to have a girl killed, even if she is the child of a king he deposed who will likely raise an army and invade. But Tywin, on the other hand, would burn down an entire town if it meant victory: "Lord Tywin would not have bothered with a search. He would have burned that town and every living creature in it. Men and boys, babes at the breast, noble knights and holy septons, pigs and whores, rats and rebels, he would have burned them all. When the fires guttered out and only ash and cinders remained, he would have sent his men in to find the bones of Robert Baratheon. Later, when Stark and Tully turned up with their host, he would have offered pardons to the both of them, and they would have accepted and turned for home with their tails between their legs." I think an interesting and difficult question to ask is would Ned have ever actually killed Theon because of something Balon did?
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma
  8. Maybe the real answer is you shouldn't be taking hostages at all then. It comes back to the question of justice, and another major theme in this series: It's wrong to punish children for the sins of their parents.
  9. This is a false dichotomy. Life is not made up of black and white choices like you are presenting here.
  10. I disagree. Mercy is never a mistake. And see those men lost to whatever chaos erupts in her wake? I think the real issue is one of goals... what is she trying to accomplish? Toppling governments is one thing, ruling quite another. But trying to half do both is a recipe for disaster. Without clear goals its hard to even recommend a solution. Again, spending more and more of her limited manpower on each conquest is not a good idea if she still has designs of leaving entirely. And, unless you are willing to stay and fix things in the long term, one should think hard before breaking what is already there. Great question. Again, back to the goal here. If you are going to stay and actually be a queen, then it's worth trying to fit in. If you are just passing through, then realize what you are doing and act accordingly. Trying to fit in and also leave is a recipe for disaster. Again, what goal are you trying to accomplish? Conquest? Is this just a stepping stone to Westeros? Or is actual progress and change for the good the goal? Because something like slave fighting pits might make practical sense for those in power, but you are gonna have trouble justifying them to me morally. This is a theme we see repeated in this series. Morality vs practicality. The ends vs the means. If your goal is to help people, there were probably better ways to go about it. If the goal was just to win the war then it's absolutely a mistake. Ahhhh, and here in, as the Davos would tell us, lies the rub... "What is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?" "Everything," said Davos, softly. A Storm of Swords - Davos V
  11. Jaime says he doesn't think Cat would kill a hostage in retribution, although he isn't willing to risk it. When push comes to red wedding, she does kill the hostage. But is it honorable either way? Perhaps not... It was also raining when Ned was ambushed and Jory was killed.
  12. I like this idea, especially because he was part of setting up the purple wedding. And the Baelish sigil being the head of the Titan of Braavos is an nice connection. Although it's Robert whom Sansa continues to compare with Jof. Although, I'm inclined to also stick with my original somewhat more literal assessment, even if it is in addition to other fulfillments of the prophesy. One might even see the Titan as a "great mountain giant".
  13. So I think I prefer the idea that these prophesies can come true in more ways than one. The best example is the that I suspect the Prince that was Promised prophesy will come true in three different ways for three different "heads of the dragon". In the case of Sansa and the Snow Castle Giant, I would love to see real giants make a return, but if we are applying to the vision to the prophesy I think it actually could be rather dark. The Medusa imagery works wonderfully for the poisoning of Jof. If we take the giant to represent Sweet Robin, there is also the disturbing reality that Sansa is currently at best enabling and at worst a willing participant in Littlefinger's plot to poison Robert Arryn, Sansa's cousin, and marry her to Harry the Heir. One of the waycastles to the Eyrie is Snow.
  14. Ok so this is a stretch but... Ayrmidon is very similar to Myrmidon, the famous "ant-people" soldiers of Achilles, famous for their loyalty and armor. Although obviously "Ayr-" sounds like "Air". Troy was perhaps the most famous siege of all time. (There is a fantastic rabbit hole about the parallels between the sack of Troy and the Fall of Valyria and the sack of King's Landing I will refrain from fully diving into). "Engines" the word, in ASoIaF, is exclusively used in the title "Ayrmidon's Engines of War" and as part of "siege engines". Obviously, a medieval siege was usually an attempt to take a castle. But literally, "siege" means seat.
  15. Absolutely, but when talking about Valyrians it seems to always come back to dragons:
  16. Burning isn't the same as dead especially when burning isn't even the same as burnt... plus there is no denying the oddly suspicious way in which the burnt beyond recognition body is described after. As I said, I'm inclined to think Quentyn is dead... but in this series it absolutely isn't certain, any more than the other examples of characters appearing to die. But she was fine...
  17. Because the writing in this series never makes it seem like characters die when they don't? I don't really think there is much evidence Quentyn lived, but acting so certain about it is silly.
  18. I think the obvious answer for where the current dragons will get saddles is Tyrion... A saddle like the one he designed for Bran. Nobodies legs will be big/strong enough for a dragon and one would likely want to be strapped in. Also, it's possible that the answers you seek lie in the old Valyrian Scrolls... Unfortunately, the library of Winterfell was burned, but Tyrion has read the above, it's possible that other copies exist, and even possible that whoever set the fire took scrolls from the library first.
  19. Counterpoint, giants we've seen so far haven't been true "great mountain giants" at all. Rather the stories we hear from Old Nan, the song "the last of the giants", and the vision of a castle made of snow paint a Starkly different picture. I would point out that Brandon the Builder supposedly had the help of giants in building the Wall, and that it was Joramun and the Stark in Winterfell who put down the Night King. So, I would suggest that true giants built out of ice and snow, which is why we have not found their giant castles. It also fits with the dream/prophesy of a giant in a castle made of snow! While the Giant Horn burned by Mel is almost certainly not the horn of Joramun, it was found in a giant's grave. Even just the fact that they built graves, wrote songs, and had horns with runes on them indicate levels of sophistication we simply do not see in the giants so far. I for one have long since stopped doubting the accuracy of Old Nan, but here again it seems that like the Wall, or Storms End for Mel's Shadow baby, the castle of the giants seemed to keep out the supernatural Others. It would seem that like the Children can ward their caves, the Giants too could build and ward their constructions against the Others. Ooooooh, I am the last of the giants, my people are gone from the earth. The last of the great mountain giants, who ruled all the world at my birth. Oh the smallfolk have stolen my forests, they’ve stolen my rivers and hills. And the’ve built a great wall through my valleys, and fished all the fish from my rills. In stone halls they burn their great fires, in stone halls they forge their sharp spears. Whilst I walk alone in the mountains, with no true companion but tears. They hunt me with dogs in the daylight, they hunt me with torches by night. For these men who are small can never stand tall, whilst giants still walk in the light. Oooooooh, I am the LAST of the giants, so learn well the words of my song. For when I am gone the singing will fade, and the silence shall last long and long. We know giants bury their dead, that the horn of Joramun woke giants from the earth, and that the sigil of the Umbers (who live very close to the Wall) is a Giant in broken chains. I would suggest that like there is a supposed dragon binding horn, the horn of Joramun can bind the great mountain giants, possibly even after they are dead and buried. So be careful, the only thing worse (but better for the reader!) than expecting the fantastical from a prophesy that results in the mundane, is expecting the mundane and being surprised by the fantastical!
  20. Ser Corliss Penny gave the clan chief an incredulous look. "Do you want to die, Wull?" That seemed to amuse the northman. "I want to live forever in a land where summer lasts a thousand years. I want a castle in the clouds where I can look down over the world. I want to be six-and-twenty again. When I was six-and-twenty I could fight all day and fuck all night. What men want does not matter. "Winter is almost upon us, boy. And winter is death. I would sooner my men die fighting for the Ned's little girl than alone and hungry in the snow, weeping tears that freeze upon their cheeks. No one sings songs of men who die like that. As for me, I am old. This will be my last winter. Let me bathe in Bolton blood before I die. I want to feel it spatter across my face when my axe bites deep into a Bolton skull. I want to lick it off my lips and die with the taste of it on my tongue." "Aye!" shouted Morgan Liddle. "Blood and battle!" Then all the hillmen were shouting, banging their cups and drinking horns on the table, filling the king's tent with the clangor.
  21. I completely disagree about her not trying to wake a dragon from stone in the North! I'm not saying she will be literally successful... but I think it is almost certain she will try. Frankly, she is a bane for northern support as it is, burning Weirwoods won't make her friends among the First Men any more than burning the seven does for their followers, probably more so. Also, she was willing to sacrifice Edric, and willing to kill his father, so I have to be honest I see no reason to expect her to be overly concerned about consent.
  22. Gonna go ahead and just say that I don't buy the good vs evil, light vs dark, hot vs cold, man vs woman dualistic war nonsense for a minute. My heart is full of doubts. Seems much more likely to be unresolved daddy issues for Mel if you ask me!
  23. If I'm just guessing what will happen I bet Mel still wants to wake dragons from stone. That is the prophesy after all. So she'll probably try to sacrifice Monster, but either someone will talk about the baby swap or Mance will save the baby under the assumption that it is his child (this becomes fantastically ironic if Craster was Aemon's son). Then Stannis's slippery slope can continue. After all, if he is willing to sacrifice one life to save a kingdom, and willing to sacrifice another's child, then shouldn't he be willing to sacrifice his own child? (note: this is a road to hell paved with good intentions situation) And it's very hard for me to overlook dragon dreams... especially since she is of the blood, which seems to be the whole point. Although, as we see in other places, the dragons can be real or metaphorical... and Jon may need waking.
  24. I would suggest that the reason Mance met Val and Dalla was to tell them about the death of their brother: The catspaw who tried to kill Bran while the Winterfell Library burned was the paw of a Shadow Cat, not a Lion! Just like Val thinks Shireen should be killed the catspaw thinks killing Bran would be mercy. Mance was there for Roberts feast, and afterwards he meets Dalla and Val on his way to digging in the Frost Fangs, looking for something. Could it have to do with something recovered from the Winterfell Library?
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