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StarksInTheNorth

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  1. I’ve essentially zero basis for this but I recently had the thought that the fight at the TOJ wasn’t about them showing up for Lyanna, but about what to do with Jon. Under this, I’d speculate that the “they” was Howland, the companions, and the Kingsguard. More realistically, I think it may have been Howland and Wylla. Perhaps Wylla was sent with Ned after Ashara / the Daynes told him where to find Lyanna. Maybe she was already there to help Lyanna. Idk. Back to wild speculation, I suggest this because when Ned recalled fighting at the TOJ and heard Lyanna calling, it was actually Vayon Poole’s voice and Ned was actually having a fever dream. So who’s to say that he remembered the order correctly? Thus, I’d speculate that maybe Ned shows up, they let him go upstairs to see Lyanna, she dies, they all find him. He meets Jon and says he’s taking his nephew home. The Kingsguard disagree. Fight ensues. Occam’s Razor says this is too complicated and it probably happened as Ned dreamed it, but I doubt we ever get the real answers. So until then, we can speculate and have fun with it.
  2. The sarcastic answer is "yes, because GRRM would've wanted to kill off the dragons someway or another." My actual answer is that yes, still. Say neither brother dies when they do originally. Aemon becomes King Aemon I. We know little of Jocelyn Baratheon's end, though she was known to be alive in 92. If she died shortly after her husband's original death, maybe Aemon takes a second wife in an attempt to father a son and heir. Potential wives might be a Velaryon or Baratheon maiden, his sister Gael, or he maybe waits for his niece Aemma to mature and marries her. If that happens, the New Dance could likely be Team Rhaenys vs. Team Son-of-Second-Wife. But that might be solved if one of those children marries Laena or Laenor. Or maybe he doesn't marry and names Rhaenys his heir. TBD when Aemon dies, but if Rhaenys is Queen, Laenor might marry Rhaenyra anyway. And if her children are still Strong-fathered, it could turn into Viserys or Daemon vs. Laenor's heirs. Especially if Daemon is claiming the throne as Regent for his daughters, who might still be Laena's children. (Although in this case Viserys/Laena would be a much smarter pairing).
  3. It’s also unclear that anyone south of the wall knows about Bael since the only person we’ve ever heard mention it was Ygritte and Mance.
  4. Yes to all of your post except she was only abducted a few months after the Tourney. The Tourney happened during the False Spring, as we know from Ned’s fever dream and a few other references. But TWOIAF tells us “the false spring lasted no more than two turns” and that winter came back with a vengeance by years end. Thus, the Tourney had to happen between October and December of 281. Also from TWOIAF, we know Aerys burned wildfire on the walls of King’s Landing to address the cold early in 282 but Rhaegar wasn’t around to see it. He’d left King’s Landing with his companions by then. He’s a few weeks away from the Riverlands, where Lyanna disappeared so we can reasonably estimate that it was a few weeks to a month into the new year, no later than February. This is entirely speculation, but I personally like the theory that Lyanna was asked to be a lady-in-waiting or companion to Lord Whent’s maiden daughter. The Whents are cousins of her brother’s future wife (Catelyn) who was supposed to be married a few months into 282. They also have one of the largest castles in the realm, and Lady Shella Whent could provide useful lessons that Lyanna would need as the future Lady of Storm’s End and may not have had since her mother was dead and she hadn’t spent time in the south. This is all pure speculation, of course, but makes sense as to why she was “near Harrenhal” when Rhaegar abducted her.
  5. @Ran has already confirmed that Aelinor is not descended from Elaena. Most likely she has a Martell mother or is descended from Baela Velaryon or Rhaena Hightower.
  6. There were probably at least two other attempts. When discussing raising dragons from stone in ASOS, Davos III, these are all listed: “Did we learn nothing from Aerion Brightfire, from the nine mages, from the alchemists? Did we learn nothing from Summerhall? No good has ever come from these dreams of dragons, I told Axell as much.” Aerion died drinking wildfire to turn him into a dragon, so maybe it’s that. Or he tried something else to hatch a dragon. Summerhall means The Tragedy of Summerhall, but we don’t know what “the nine mages” means. “The alchemists” could refer to Aerys’ wildfire plot, or something else. We also know that Baelor the Blessed prayed over eggs to make the hatch. @Lord VarysI have essentially no proof for this, but I wonder if there was a bit of a Valyrian Revival after Aegon III died. We know he had the dragon eggs removed from the Red Keep in 134 or 125 AC (after which Viserys didn’t speak to him for a month). He also refused to let his sister’s dragon, Morning, on progress or anywhere near him. If this anti-dragon kick continued past the death of Morning and after his own children were born, I’m sure Daena, Elaena, Rhaena, Daeron, and Baelor didn’t get them in their cradles. Viserys III was very pro-dragon and pro-Valyrian traditions, like marrying his children to each other, so I’m sure he would have liked to see them reborn. Aegon III had wooden “dragons” constructed as weapons of war. With Baelor wanting dragons so much he prayed over the eggs, I would speculate he gave baby Daeron II an egg. It would make sense for a revival to occur as Daeron II had his children and grandchildren and almost even great-grandchildren, the most loving Targaryens since before the Dance.
  7. I stopped reading after this because you’ve got a lot going on but a few things. Dark hair lightens in the sun, it doesn’t get darker. I can tell you this from experience as having dark hair that’s lightened every summer of my life and from a quick google search. Just to be clear, you simultaneously believe that: GRRM told an artist to use the “same” hairline for Larra Rogare and Serenei of Lys, to show that they’re the same person, but also that GRRM is not willing to tell the comic artist Dunk’s hair color because THAT is too much of a spoiler? The other thing that stands out of all of this is that you rely too heavily on external sources rather than the information presented in the main text of ASOIAF. Most readers will not have read F&B, the world book, or Dunk+Egg. The identity of Dunk as a likely ancestor of certain characters, like Brienne with her shield, is an Easter egg for the super fans, but almost certainly not more than that. If he’s the Blackfyre legacy of as many characters as you claim, it will be entirely out of left field for the majority of viewers. Here’s how we know this: the word “Dunk” does not appear once and the name “Duncan” appears only six times in the entirety of A Song of Ice and Fire. Of those, half are referring to Prince Duncan. The mentions are: Once in ASOS, Jaime VIII when he is listing previous Lord Commanders of the Kingsguard Later in that same chapter when Jaime is reading Barristan Selmy’s entry in the white book, it says “he was defeated and unmasked by Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies. . . .defeating Prince Duncan the Small and Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.” In AFFC, Sam II, Maester Aemon says that King Aegon V “insisted that his friend Ser Duncan see me safe to Eastwatch.” In ADWD, The Discarded Knight, Barristan thinks “Afterward Prince Duncan helped him to his feet and removed his helm.” Compare that to other historical figures: Jenny of Oldstones gets eight mentions and Bittersteel gets sixteen mentions by that name alone. This theory is little more than well-thought out fan fiction, though some of your suggestions like Old Nan or Johanna Swann as Lady Rogare do track more than other parts, like Larra=Serenei or what not.
  8. @Jon Fossoway this entire Swan Song theory is built in the idea that Johanna Swann, mentioned a few times in F&B, is the mother of Larra Rogare. Then, Larra Rogare used blood magic to come back as Serenei of Lys and have a child with her son, Aegon IV. Somehow this all unravels to mean that every major contemporary ASOIAF character is descended from Johanna Swann through Larra/Serenei, and apparently Calla married Lord Runceford Redwyne. I haven’t seen that specific part mentioned, but I’m guessing it has something to do with his wine bottle in Illyrio’s basement.
  9. Only a small observation on all of this, but: while boys become men at age sixteen in ASOIAF, they aren't always viewed as men by the narration. Plenty of people are called boys even after reaching the supposed age of majority. This is just one example, but here's Sansa talking about Wallace Waynwood: Robb would be his age, if he were still alive, she could not help but think, but Robb died a king, and this is just a boy. Wallace is between 17 and 22 at this point and a knight, yet Sansa still considers him a boy. So someone being called a boy in the narrative isn't automatically a clue to any big secret. As for the rest, it is significant extrapolation to take one line about a tournament and say that it means that Dunk is a Blackfyre/Targaryen bastard. GRRM has given previous examples to questions that indicate the fandom has way overthought details that he's never thought upon. Two examples: For a while, all anyone knew about Ned Stark's mother was that her name was "Lady Stark. She died." GRRM didn't have plans for the mother of arguably one of the most important characters of the entire series. He didn't seem to think it was important that we know anything about her: "Did Tolkien ever get letters asking about Aragorn’s mother, I wonder?" Similarly, he hasn't named Doran's mother, the Princess of Dorne. When someone asked him about the theory that Oberyn's four youngest daughters were named for him, his siblings, and his mother, GRRM's response was "I think you’ve given this a lot more thought than I ever did." For mysteries that GRRM has intentionally introduced into the narrative, there's loads of references to it to puzzle together. Consider Hoster's tansy mystery; the question of who killed Jon Arryn; the Manderly meat pies; who killed Little Walder, etc. Yet this portion of your theory, any many others, extrapolates into infinity based off one small observation. There is nothing to indicate that these details are anything more than one-offs meant to enlargen the world building and connect to greater mysteries. The term dragonseed hasn't shown up in any books of the core series, or any Dunk + Egg novel. If the idea of dragonseed would be important to the core development of anything in either series, surely it would have been introduced in material published before 2013? But it wasn't. Compare that to the Tansy mystery, which would overall have less of an effect on the world than the reason for the Blackfyre Rebellions. It's explicitly spread out across four chapters in ASOS: Catelyn I posses the question of "who is Tansy?" Catelyn II reminds the reader of it with one line Catelyn IV lets us know its important enough to be Hoster's last word Sansa VII reveals that tansy isn't a who, but a what, used to give Lysa Tully an abortion It's also woven into three other chapters more subtly: Arya IV informs us that maids drink tansy tea to keep away a pregnancy. Arya V and VI include a red-haired woman named Tansy But there's never any reference to a living son of Daemon, no rumors of a bastard in the south, no features mentioned of Dunk's that would connect to his Targaryen ancestry. Looking at the ancestry you've suggested, including the ??? theory re Viserys as father to Aegon's children, the mentioned appearances of any speculated ancestor are Valyrian, without fail. The only ancestors we don't know anything to surmise appearances are Hazel Harte (great-great-grandma and mother to a Valyrian daughter) and Rodrik Arryn (grandfather of Rhaenyra). Everyone else in the family tree has Valyrian blood or explicitly has Valyrian features. Yet Dunk doesn't. It's worth noting that Dunk has dark brown hair in the comics, which surely GRRM would've told them to make blond or golden, if not explicitly silver, if Dunk was Targaryen.
  10. @Seams @Megorova If Dunk would be a Blackfyre, he would have to be the direct son of Daemon, not a descendant. None of Daemon's sons were of age to father children at the point of Dunk's birth: Duncan the Tall was born between 191 and 193 in King's Landing. Daemon's eldest sons (twins) were born in 184, so were between seven and nine when Dunk was born. It is incredibly unlikely that Bloodraven wouldn't know that his half-brother had a bastard son in Flea Bottom and moreso strange that Daemon would dump a trueborn son in the streets of King's Landing.
  11. Ulmer of the Night Watch, and formerly of the Kingswood Brotherhood, claims he stole a kiss from the lips of a Dornish princess. The fandom assumes this princess was Elia. I've also seen speculation it was her mother. However, the Unnamed Princess was dead by the time Elia married Rhaegar so was most likely not the princess in question. I propose that the "Dornish princess" was in fact Mellario of Norvos, wife of Doran Martell, and that she was traveling to King's Landing and/or Dragonstone with Princess Arianne to meet the newborn Rhaenys. To prove my point, I will analyze the known timeline of the Kingswood Brotherhood, Elia's pregnancies, and finally Mellario herself. First, I propose that the Campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood occurred approximately between January or February 281 to September 281. To explain, I will work backwards. Second, I discuss Elia's pregnancies to discuss the beginning of the Campaign and how she had virtually no time to travel to Dorne. Finally, I discuss Mellario of Norvos and the meeting of Arianne and Rhaenys. THE END: Jaime's Journeys across Westeros The Tourney of Harrenhal occurred during October, November, or maybe December of 281. The Tourney of Harrenhal occurred during the False Spring. (AGOT, Ned XV). "The False Spring of 281 AC lasted less than two turns. As the year drew to a close, winter returned to Westeros with a vengeance. On the last day of the year, snow began to fall upon King's Landing, and a crust of ice formed atop the Blackwater Rush." (TWOIAF, Year of the False Spring). After defeating the Kingwood Brotherhood, Jaime returned to Casterly Rock and "a moon's turn" later received his summons to Harrenhal to join the Kingsguard. (ASOS, Jaime II). Therefore, the Brotherhood was defeated at least a month before the Tourney of Harrenhal, in September, October, or maybe November of 281. This does not account for the time of Jaime's stay in King's Landing (when he met Cersei in Eel Alley) or the travel time between King's Landing to Casterly Rock and Casterly Rock to Harrenhal. THE BEGINNING: Elia's Pregnancies Elia Martell was pregnant at least two times. Once with Rhaenys and once with Aegon. Rhaenys was born in late 280, the year of her parents marriage. Assuming she was born after a nine month pregnancy, Rhaenys would be born between September and December 280. After the birth of Rhaenys, Elia was on bedrest for half a year. (ADWD, The Griffin Reborn). Thus, she would not have been traveling until three to six months into 281 (March to June). Aegon was born in late 281 or January 282. Assuming a full pregnancy, he was conceived around February or March of 281. There is virtually no time between pregnancies for Elia to travel to Dorne or really anywhere south. She did traveled to Harrenhal while pregnant with Aegon. However, she had to be in King's Landing when the bleeding star was in the sky for Aegon's conception. Rhaegar would likely not approve traveling when they needed to be working on heir-making. THE PRINCESS: Mellario of Norvos Mellario of Norvos did not want to be separate from her children and thought the Westerosi tradition of fosterage was barbaric. She felt this so strongly that she eventually left Dorne, choosing to leave her children rather than have Doran take them from her. Arianne Martell has been told she once held Rhaenys, but she was too young to remember it. Arianne was 7 when Elia died. She would have been 4-turning-5 in 281. This is an age she could not remember meeting her cousin. If Arianne met Rhaenys, it was likely in King's Landing or on Dragonstone. Mellario is most likely similar to Cersei in AGOT and refused to travel without her daughter. Thus, if Arianne went to King's Landing, Mellario would have been with her. (Maybe also Doran, but Ulmer didn't mention kissing him). Thus, Mellario of Norvos has a strong likelihood of being the Dornish Princess attacked by the Kingswood Brotherhood. QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE Why was she going to King's Landing? To see her goodsister, who was sick and on bedrest. According to Oberyn, Mellario and Doran were betrothed by the time Tyrion was born in 273. Arianne was born in 276 and Rhaegar/Elia weren't betrothed until 279. Mellario would have had at least 3, if not more, years of living with Elia. Mellario is younger than Doran, although we don't know how much. She could be close to Elia's age and it is possible they were friends. Why was Gerold Hightower with the convoy? Likely sent by Tywin Lannister or Rhaegar as an honor guard for the last few days of the journey. The small council sent an honor guard to meet Robert in AGOT and Cersei was escorted to King's Landing for her wedding by an honor guard led by Barristan. Especially if the gold/jewels in the wagon were birth gifts for Rhaenys, they'd want it to be protected. Why were they traveling by road? It was still winter and there are dangerous (but infrequent) storms on the Narrow Sea. Arianne faces the same question when traveling to Storm's End in TWOW. This way, she isn't facing deadly storms on her travels. How does this fit into the overall events of the Kingswood Brotherhood? Purely speculation, but this seems to be the kickoff event that makes Aerys (but really Tywin or Rhaegar, probably) demand the Kingswood Brotherhood be dealt with. Early in 281, Mellario is attacked, gifts meant for the new princess are stolen, and the Lord Commander is injured. This is a huge threat to the King's Peace and so the troops are called and they spend the better part of the year dealing with them.
  12. The problem with all of this speculation is of course that we are acting as if GRRM had it ALL written at the same time Although I'd push back on at least some of the Reek material and maybe also Wayward Bride because that all intersected nicely with Jon's POVs of Stannis. The other option would be to potentially swap all the Cersei material and the Jon material so Jon was the 'leading' POV of AFFC and Dany was the 'leading' POV of ADWD, foiled simultaneously against Cersei's attempts at ruling. Cersei's material is shorter and so it might work out.
  13. It's been a while since I read the original somewhere on tumblr, but the general gist is that Barristan leads Team Dany in Battle of Meereen and wins. However, back in the Great Pyramid the Shavepate uses the chaos and distraction of the battle to kill Hizdahr for his crimes against Daenerys and then to kill the wards, pages, cupbearers, etc. for the same. He kept pushing to kill the children from the minute they were introduced, so finding an opportunity to do so won't be hard for him. And his distaste for Hizdahr is also pretty well-known to Dany and Barristan. Barristan's death would come after he arrives back on the scene, filled with plans of how to save the city, and finds all of Dany's children dead along with her husband. He confronts Shavepate and tells him that this type of killing is treason against Dany. Shavepate either claims the city for his own people, i.e. the slaves and the Brazen Beast claiming Meereen as their own without Dany, or says Barristan wasn't willing to do what needed to be done and kills him for it. My support for this is borne from a few things: Barristan died in Meereen in the show which could suggest a sort of trajectory (or it couldn't because who knows with anything after season 4ish); There's 3 POVs in Meereen at this point and the numbers of POVs will end up dwindling. Personally, I think both Victarion and Barristan die, but if not Barristan definitely will. Tyrion will be able to talk his way into the war planning meetings through Brown Ben Plumm so he can be the POV for a lot of necessary information, with the added element of focusing westward and not caring about Meereen's outcome. Whereas Barristan imo will never leave without a command or appearance from his queen. (as an aside, I think it's less "Meereen is rejecting Dany" and more "Meereen makes a semi-autonomous decision to the point that she and/or her advisors are willing to let it go and won't see it turn into another Astapor because the Shavepate/Brazen Beasts have it under control so she can get on her way to Westeros").
  14. From the words of the author himself: "The Seven Kingdoms is a single realm made of seven realms that once were independent and the North is perhaps the largest of those seven kingdoms. Winterfell is the seat of House Stark, which is the central family of the series." From this video at minute 1:10. There's extra material about other characters, sure, but GRRM has said time and time again the Starks are the central family.
  15. Pod and Sansa have interacted more than briefly. She was married for at least a month, probably a bit more, and he was around doing squire things every day.
  16. Barristan wasn't trusted by Rhaegar, for all that he acts like he was. Rhaegar had his crowd of people around him and he brought his 6 companions out to galavant in the Riverlands and/or meet up with Lyanna (a truth likely to never be shared in full). Likely among them were the Kingsguard who died at the Tower of Joy (minus Lord Commander Hightower, who arrived on the scene later). For that reason, I don't think Barristan will be relevant to the R+L reveal. I'm a fan of the theory that the Shavepate will stage a coup after the battle is won and that Barristan will arrive back in the Great Pyramid to find Hizdahr and the young hostages dead (hopefully not Missandei, though I am fearful for her ending. . .). Unfortunately, this includes the young boys that Barristan is training to be knights. This ending is both practical - by the time Barristan dies, there are at least one other POV remaining in Meereen, if not two (Tyrion and Victarion) - and in line with character goals that have been stated (Shavepate is very clear he thinks the kids should die and that he hates Hizdahr. It's also somewhat thematic, related to the tragedy of a knight and the questions of their vows. Barristan decided it held him to Hizdahr, who didn't want him, and to his queen's city, which is starting to reject her.
  17. For the US hardbacks, AFFC is ~700 pages and ADWD is ~950. To fit Battle of Meereen into ADWD, we'd need to find a way to move probably ~200 pages to AFFC. We can get ~45 pages if we move the Areo and Arya chapters from ADWD to AFFC. The Jaime and Cersei chapters would also give us another ~45 pages. Another ~30-40 pages if the Bran chapters are sent to AFFC. In total, I've moved ~120 pages and can't seem to cut much more, but there's always too many descriptions of food. We could maybe move Theon for another ~90 pages, but it would be tight.
  18. The primary characters are the Starks. GRRM has been pretty clear about that. The first scene ever envisioned for the books was Bran's POV finding the direwolves in the snow. In comparison to the direwolves, the dragons came later in the development of the series and were not part of the original plan. GRRM has explicitly said that "the Starks are the heroes" and left out the Targaryens, Daenerys or otherwise. "[T]he children were always at the heart fo this. The Stark children, in particular, were always very central." The Starks are "the center of the story, when it begins. . . . the Starks are the center of the book and, to a lesser extent, the Lannisters. It is undoubtable that Dany is an incredibly important character to ASOIAF. If she wasn't, then she would've been an added POV later on, like Theon or Arianne or Davos or Jon Connington, etc. But she has never been the primary hero of the stories and the jury is out on whether or not she will actually be a hero to the people of Westeros.
  19. The slave masters have already refused to release their slaves. Volantis is the center of the slave trade in Essos. Benerro preaches that Volantis will burn if the triarchs fight Dany. By the end of ADWD, Volantis has launched its slave fleet to fight and kill Dany. The Black Walls of Volantis are not the entire city. It's the equivalent of destroying the pyramids of Meereen. They are a continued sign of the oppressive forces of the masters. One of the many lessons of Astapor is that so long as those symbols remain, the forces will return. In her last chapter, Daenerys chose Fire & Blood over other methods and if a few must die so the rest might live, she doesn't mind running the trolley down that track. However, the fight against slavery was not initially part of the novels and it's not the final fight/climax — the Others are. GRRM has stated that the focus is about Westeros, he was essentially never interested in a freedman POV, and it has been highly implied by his interviews and statements that the slavery plotline was invented so Daenerys had something to do on the way to Westeros. It's going to have to end with a bang because GRRM doesn't want a Volantene knot. Thus, the WMDs of ASOIAF will have to go off in Essos, and that's most likely going to be if&when Volantis burns.
  20. EDIT: I failed today's reading comprehension test apparently. Leaving my original answer as a testament to my shame. Post-dragons, there was the Blackfyre Rebellion as discussed below. Probably one of Daeron's sons or grandsons could have if they wanted. But no one wanted to as during that era Targaryen infighting would've led to a Blackfyre king. There was the Great Council of 233 after Maekar's death, where there were several contenders of various ages. If Aerion had lived, he would have been a contender but his madness may have led to a Great Council anyway. -- There's examples where they had the power to contest the succession, and where they did contest it. The examples we know the most of are Maegor, the Dance of Dragons, and Blackfyre Rebellions. King Maegor - Even before Maegor claimed to be king, Aenys made Maegor Prince of Dragonstone after Aegon I died. Maegor also claimed their father's dragon, Balerion the Black Dread. Aenys also gave Maegor the sword Blackfyre, which had been wielded by their father, even though Maegor was already wielding Visenya's Dark Sister. Finally, he made Maegor his Hand and considered him a close advisor until Maegor was exiled for taking a second wife. Maegor had all the symbols of a Targaryen king, except a crown and the Iron Throne. Their ancestral seat, the greatest dragon, both swords, and the political power. Notably he claim his seat until after Aenys' death, likely because Aenys was the uncontested ruler. But there was already lots of dislike for Aegon the Uncrowned, Aenys' son, because of his incestual marriage with his sister. The Dance of Dragons - During the Dance, Rhaenyra had the ancestral seat as Princess of Dragonstone and her husband-uncle wielded Dark Sister. She was also the acclaimed heir of the previous king, Viserys I. In comparison, her brother Aegon II wore the crown of Aegon I, controlled the capital and Iron Throne, and one of his allies was their brother Aemond, who flew Vhagar, the oldest living dragon originally flown in the conquest by Queen Visenya. The contesting there led to the dance, and that ended in the death of the dragons and the near-destruction of their House. Blackfyre Rebellions - Finally, the Blackfyre Rebellions were also caused by someone who believed he had the power to contest the succession. Whether Daemon actually had the power to contest it is a question for F&B vol. 2. But he was legitimized from his father's deathbed, openly acknowledged as the son and preferred heir of Aegon IV, and carried Blackfyre, the sword usually given to the preferred heir. It's also worth looking at the various claims put forward at the various Great Councils. In fact, Catelyn even suggested calling a Great Council at Harrenhal to resolve the issue of Renly v. Stannis. Notably, though, Stannis was claiming the throne as a matter of right while Renly was clear he cared only about matter of conquest and strength. So either way, they were going to have conflict because someone (the Tyrells) put it into Renly's puffed-up ego that he should be a king.
  21. Just saw the movie, not quite sure how I felt about it overall, although it was very aesthetically pleasing. Also really want to find out if anyone's written a meta comparing Ser Gawain to Brienne in Feast because I have THOUGHTS.
  22. Pushing back on this: the Iron Bank really wants its money. Dany is the candidate for Westeros that is most likely to actually get them that money, because dragons. They can deal with dragon slaying later, if that was their goal, but getting the gold from Westeros after all the trouble will be a big driving factor too.
  23. I've been rereading the non-Arya Essos chapters recently and imo there's tons of hints towards a Dothraki attack coming to Volantis throughout the chapters. Especially this interaction from Tyrion III: The fat man made a rude noise. "Zekko visits Qohor every three or four years. The Qohorik give him a sack of gold and he turns east again. As for Motho, his men are near as old as he is, and there are fewer every year. The threat is—" "—Khal Pono," Haldon finished. "Motho and Zekko flee from him, if the tales are true. The last reports had Pono near the headwaters of the Selhoru with a khalasar of thirty thousand. Griff does not want to risk being caught up in the crossing if Pono should decide to risk the Rhoyne." Haldon glanced at Tyrion. "Does your dwarf ride as well as he pisses?" Pono was one of the kos who served Drogo, the first to abandon him after his death. Dany making some appearance with her growing khalasar, claiming to be the Stallion Who Mounts The World, and using her newly-claimed 30k Dothraki would be a pretty easy way to set off this hint. IDK if it's a hint on the same level as Nymeria's pack, though. Only GRRM knows (for now, since we will hopefully someday get TWOW). As for the other cities . . . Norvos is on the way to Pentos so actually works for the direction she's likely to head. Lys or Tyrosh are also generally in that direction, but since we've actually seen the inside of Volantis on-page, imo it makes more sense for any city-burning to be that one. There's the Benerro and the R'hllorites, the Widow of the Waterfront, and the Black Walls. But at the same time we knew nothing about Yunkai besides "it has slaves" when Dany made her attack there. I think Qarth is the least likely, though, since it's so incredibly far away and in the opposite direction of everything else that Dany needs to get done. It would have thematic sense and "Their ships arrived back in Meereen" can be explained in a few paragraphs, but if Winds is a book of characters coming together, Qarth is not in the right direction.
  24. @BlackLightning Balon seemed unwilling to stop raiding or make any deals with anyone, which would make the timeskip without his death a problem. If Stannis had died at some point and Shireen was considered the heir to his claim, his forces would have a reason not to beat back the Ironborn on the western coast, though. Maybe decide to bunker down in the Nightfort or another Wall castle then reclaim her claim after the winter is over, when people are sick of Joffrey? Idk exactly how, but Stannis surviving is a big problem to continue without much actual change during the time skips because he's so driven to get what he wants, even willing to march his army through the world's most ridiculous blizzard. @Mithras I wouldn't call it a "must" but depending on how TWOW ends I do think GRRM can and should successfully skip several months in a few chapters. He's done it before - Dany in Meereen is only one book but takes place over about half a year, there's a Bran FeastDance chapter that lasts two-is months. It's not official, but Alayne I in TWOW seems several months after her last AFFC chapter (Lyonel Corbray's wife is pregnant and far enough along they feel safe to announce it; Sweetrobin's hair has grown super long; it takes a while to send out invitations and prepare a tournament). I'd imagine we get several chapters like that throughout both Winds and early Dream. Travel in general. I know we all joked about "Varys' jetpack" back in season 6 of the show, but something like that would be useful. It's GRRM so I don't think it will be unrealistic, but I do think we'll see less travelogues than the previous Jaime, Brienne, Arya, and Tyrion chapters. Sort of like how Quentyn goes from Volantis to Astapor to Meereen in three chapters, even though that's months of traveling. I imagine we see lots of that. Dany or Tyrion leave Meereen, spend one chapter a few weeks later on the dragon roads, and the next of either of them is in Volantis. Sansa + co. decide to go to Winterfell, and her next chapter could be in Winterfell (this depends on where she confronts Littelfinger, and if the theory that she goes through the Riverlands is correct. I generally think no since the high road is snowed in already, but it is possible) Bran's chapters are so far removed he can pretty easily timeskip as necessary Theon + Yara can narrate the Battle of Winterfell and then just stay put. Open their next, post-victory chapter with "settling into Winterfell had it's troubles. The months of burnings displeased the northern lords . . ." A timeskip there would make sense because, somewhat like Dany in Meereen, the changes will be pretty wide, rather than the more play-by-play chapters in a battle sequence. Theon can survive via the birds talking, and then be kept around if he admits the boys are alive and he needs to verify their identity. Or if he's dead, Yara is still around anyway. Aegon can spend time working from Storm's End to shore up a coalition before marching on King's Landing, giving enough time for the Tyrell v. Lannister feud to resolve itself before he takes the city. IMO, Winds ends with Cersei either leaving King's Landing or in Casterly Rock (to escape Aegon and crown Myrcella as queen in exile after Tommen's untimely death, bringing her new favorite septa, Tyene, with her, who will encourage her insanity and eventually poison Myrcella). If Cersei's last chapter is in Casterly Rock, it'll be at least a month timeskip since she'll need to cross the continent to get there. Something like "they had ridden their horses until they needed to be changed, hiding under cover of night as the moon turned black then showed its face again." Areo Hotah's chasing of Darkstar can lead to some pretty big leaps in time, too.
  25. I could see this, although the Brandon and Rickon deaths at Theon's hands also are a pretty clear analogue for Richard and Edward, especially with the younger brother being the one to come back (Rickon and Perkin Warbeck claiming to be Richard).
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