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Posts posted by FourRavensBlackOnWhite

  1. On 6/14/2022 at 12:18 PM, John Suburbs said:

    So only the most self-absorbed, narcissistic people can be ambitious? Tywin, whose duty has always been to his house, was not ambitious when he took over half the kingdom? Robert wasn't when he toppled a dynasty? Aegon I was not acting in the interests of his house or his family when he conquered Westeros?

    And all of Cersei's actions are only to benefit herself, not out of a desire to protect her children like she says? Daario has no sense of duty to Dany? She's just a means to empower himself? Brown Ben is not acting out of duty to the Second Sons, just himself? 

    Your point on Tywin is fair. He is both ambitious and dutiful.

    Robert, Cersei, and Brown Ben all are acting without any duty to a higher cause, only themselves. If you can read Cersei's chapters and believe she is doing anything to benefit her children I would love to see it. It's all about her; her power, her appearance, her time in the sun, all at the expense of poor Tommen who she claims to want to support.

    From what I can tell we were having a discussion on whether or not Quentyn was ambitious, and I think maybe I used the wrong word.

    Ambition: a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

    This does seem to define Quentyn's actions, even if they were (by your own admission) spawned by lesser emotions like fear of shame or vanity.

    I suppose my theory should use the words Aggression, Violence, and Strength. Point taken

  2. 19 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

    By that definition, who is ambitious? Isn't everybody acting out of duty to something?

    Daario, Brown Benn, hell even Cersei. Just a few examples of people who are dutiful to nothing.

    Duty is described as a moral or legal obligation. Those three people do not seek to fulfill any obligation whatsoever, but do what they want in the moment to gain power/money/whatever.

    So no, many people aren't beholden to duty.

  3. On 6/9/2022 at 6:33 PM, Evolett said:

    Quentyn keeps at it and might have succeeded but unlike Dany, he did not have the advantage of being bonded to Viserion and most problematic of all, he was up against two dragons, not one.


    However, none of these methods are necessary when Targs bond with dragon eggs at birth, or with young hatchlings and I don't recall any dragons later rejecting their bonded partners even if they were considered to be weak (like Aenys for instance). 


    Size is linked both to a dragon living free and to the power of the individual bonded to the dragon imo.   

    I really like all 3 of these points.

    I never even considered the validity of the bonding from birth. However, if it is true that none of the mounting methods were required, why was it required for Dany? She was deeply bonded to all 3 from birth (and Drogon moreso) yet still had to take him.

  4. 2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

    Not bad. My only quibble is that Quentyn did have ambition: first to travel around the world to bring back his dragon bride, then, when that didn't pan out, to bring back a dragon.

    Would we call that ambition? Is Barristan Selmy "ambitious" because he so staunchly follows his duty?

    Seems to me Quentyn's chapters are rife with misgivings and a desire to please his father. Not for glory, nor personal gain, or even love. He only operates from a sense of duty to his house. To me, that sounds almost the opposite of ambitious

  5. If being liked to a human affects size, that is one step away from the personality of said human having an influence! I just find the dragons so interesting and mysterious.

    Plus, Dany is our only POV riding one and she almost blacks out on Drogon's back (and has burned hands)

  6. 8 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

    I think it's likely all the points have to be checked, attitude, blood and opportunity.  

    Children can be ambitious! But my original post does tend to agree with you: it's not only blood, but also the attitude (in other words, the current physical state) of the potential rider.

  7. 13 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

     The Greyjoys seem to do this fairly regularly.  

    A good observation! Seems like Drowned God worship is encouraged but "open to exchange" when the Greyjoys are around other religions. All great examples.

    Still doesn't explain Victarion actually hearing the joyous songs of burning, or a voice in his head for the first time.

  8. On 6/5/2022 at 9:30 AM, Rondo said:

    He doesn't know what to believe.  He sacrifices to gods to cast a wide net. 

    Sure, but don't you think it's odd that only now does he hear the "voice of the waves" that he thinks is the Drowned God? This man has lived on the sea, been in countless battles and readings, and only once he is introduced to R'hllor and has his hand healed he can hear a voice? Seems odd

    23 hours ago, Springwatch said:

    and thinks confidently that Aeron speaks with the voice of the Drowned God. Also, Victarion dresses the part - his full armour is basically a giant kraken costume. In asoiaf, what's on the outside (usually) reflects what's on the inside, especially important when religion's involved

    But does this really show a religious man? All I see there is two instances of "Greyjoy". He trusts in his brother, not the Drowned God himself. He wears Kraken armor for his family, not anything to do with the god. 


    @Springwatch good catch RE the similarity between his experience and Davos'. Either implies that the gods can speak and do exist, or the one god R'hllor is speaking to these men under the guise of gods they are familiar with, or that these men are imagining things and it is a literary device. Hard to say!

  9. Here I want to lay out the start of a theory that "being blood of the dragon" isn't only a hereditary position but a physical state of being.

    For this I will only be using the main series (due to time constraint) but any evidence from Fire and Blood would be appreciated!

    1. The clearest piece of evidence is Dany's taming of Drogon at Daznak's Pit


    "Let me go!" Dany twisted from his grasp...Running, she could feel the sand between her toes, hot and rough. Ser Barristan was calling after her. Strong Belwas was still vomiting. She ran faster.

    I am looking into hell, but I dare not look away

     I cannot let him see my fear. She scrabbled in the sand, pushing against the pitmaster's corpse, and her fingers brushed against the handle of his whip. Touching it made her feel braver.

    "No, " she screamed, swinging the lash with all the strength that she had in her.

    Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, "No, no, no. Get DOWN!"

    A few things of note here: Dany is not simply "entitled to ride Drogon" because of her blood, but because she conquers him. She sees her goal and heads for it with her blood already up. Yes she is afraid, but as we know the only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid.

    Ambition, violence, strength. Traits that allow her to finally ride her dragon.

    2. We also see some other oddities when it comes to dragons interacting with other characters, namely that the dragons "like" Brown Ben Plumm.

    Dany thinks this is because of his heritage, with a drop of Valyrian blood generations back, but I posit that it has more to do with who he is: a cutthroat intent on taking what he wants from the world.

    Ambition, Violence, and Strength. More of the same traits that allow Dany to conquer Drogon.

    3. Now, what about Quentyn? He has almost the same amount of "dragonblood" as Brown Ben (with Quentyn's ancestor born around 172AC and and Brown Ben's getting married around 176AC) but obviously fails in his mission.

    Again, I believe this to have more to do with the three qualities above then simply blood. Quentyn's final chapter is rife with fear


    No, just scared. I do not want to burn.

    He did not want to do this, but he saw no other way.

    Use their names, command them, speak to them calmly but sternly

    These things lack all 3 traits specifically. No ambition, no violence, no strength. Quentyn completely misunderstanding what Dany did in the pit, and arrives with the idea he will mount them like one mounts a horse.

    Therefore, it is my position that having the blood of the dragon is more a state of mind than lineage (although both may play a role together).



    As a last aside, I know that all of the Dragon Seeds who obtained dragons were of similar ilk. Netty is considered "foul-mouthed and fearless", Hugh Hammer is clearly strong and ambitious (tried to crown himself), Ulf White was also a schemer who aspired to take what he wanted (i.e. Highgarden over Bitterbridge), and Addam Velaryon is called "relentless and determined".

    And just to throw one more idea in the pot: does dragon size correlate with these traits of their riders? Was Balerion the largest "because he was born in Valyria and lived free" or because Aegon had almost unlimited ambition? Is Drogon the largest out of chance, or because he is bonded with Dany from the start? Is it true that the dragons began to decrease in size because of captivity or the growing contentedness of House Targaryen?

  10. In some way, Victarion is being influenced by The Lord of Light or by Moqorro.

    I searched the forums for this, but all the discussions surrounding Victarion and R'hllor are outside the scope of my observations, mostly referring to whether or not he is controlled by Moqorro. Here I just want to point out what seems to me like an obvious connection to some sort of power associated with R'hllor having an influence after his hand is "healed".


    1. The first thing that caught my attention was something he actually attributes to the Drowned God, right after sleeping with the Dusky Woman:


    He wondered if this was how his brother Aeron felt when the Drowned God spoke to him. He could almost hear the god's voice welling up from the depths of the sea. You shall serve me well, my captain, the waves seemed to say. It was for this I made you. But he would feed the red god too, Moqorro's fire god.

    Up to this point Victarion has numerous doubts about his religion and is very clearly not a religious man. Why the sudden change after his hand is "healed"? Going from non-religious to prophet is quite a big leap.

    Also, literally hearing the god speak just seems extremely uncommon for him, or any other Ironborn including Damphair. The very phrasing itself seems closer to what one would hear from a monotheistic god, referring to creation. Does anyone else ever refer to being "made" by the Drowned God as opposed to just reborn?

    Also, he immediately thinks about the Red God in the following sentence, strengthening the connection.

    2. In that same chapter we see during the burning of the Seven girls:


    "With this gift of innocence and beauty, we honor both the gods," he proclaimed, as the warships of the Iron Fleet rowed past the burning ketch. "Let these girls be reborn in light, undefiled by mortal lust, or let them descend to the Drowned God's watery halls, to feast and dance and laugh until the seas dry up."

    Near the end, before the smoking ketch was swallowed by the sea, the cries of the seven sweetlings changed to joyous song, it seemed to Victarion Greyjoy."

    First, where did he get that phraseology about being undefiled by mortal lust? Did Moqorro give him the words to say? Is that something Victarion would accept, and in front of his own crew?

    Also, before the ketch sank the screaming changed to joyous song. This seems like a confirmation to me that whatever he is hearing (or imagining) is not the drowned god, as it happens before they are in the water. This is a lot like what Melisandre and some of the more fervent Queen's Men claim to hear when people are burning.

    What do you guys think? I don't care as much about who or what is doing the influencing (be it a god or a priests magic) but it seems extremely clear to me that little pieces of R'hllor worship are being interwoven into Victarion's thoughts and words without him even noticing.

  11. On 5/22/2022 at 3:27 PM, Evolett said:

    I can image the CotF calling down a hammer to separate the north of westeros from the south, at the Neck. This makes more sense in terms of the reason given for their alleged breaking of the Arm of Dorne. By magically flooding the Neck they effectively curtailed further migration of the first men to the North, with Moat Cailin a further deterrent to any invaders attempting to migrate via the land route. They must have had allies amongst the first men to accomplish this, imo. In any case that proved effective.

    I like a lot of your post here, but not so sure about this one! Over the time scale we are discussing (and in light of this entire comment being about desertification) isn't it possible that southern Westeros was flourishing in the lead-up to the Andal invasion? This would then make it logical for the CotF to try to save their whole continent, as opposed to only the North. It was only after the Andals came that they were pushed further and further North.

  12. 31 minutes ago, spearson said:

    GRRM also said we'd see the rock, and the prologues have gone:
    AGOT: North of the Wall
    ACOK: Maester of Dragonstone
    ASOS: North of the Wall
    AFFC: Old Town (Maesters)
    ADWD: North of the Wall

    I say we see the POV as the Maester of the Rock.  Kevan is dead, Tywin is dead, Jamie is missing, Tyrion is wanted, Cersei is in KL.  It's going to be a mess, with maybe a baby Westerling in tow.

    The rationale here is oddly fitting. Do I think this is how GRRM makes decisions or plans his chapters? No. He most certainly writes how he says he writes "like a gardener" and "to make a story you can live in". However, I support this theory.

  13. On my (hopefully) final re-read of ADWD before Winds of Winter releases, and a character stood out to me that I had brushed off in the past: Hildy. She is the "camp follower" in Lord Bracken's tent when Jaime arrives at Raventree. To be clear, this is nothing definitive, but something to keep in mind for any future hints.

    I believe Hildy is a spy for the Brotherhood Without Banners. Evidence:

    1. She is extremely modest and shy when Jaime bursts in, covering her parts and commenting that "her turnips are not for sale", before rushing to don her clothes. However, within a minute or two, she is speaking to Jaime as a woman who knows what she is doing, even "giving Jaime a brazen look" and commenting once Jaime rejects her "no turnips for you then". Nevermind that she "squeezes him" on her way out. That type of extreme switch reminds me of mummery more than anything.

    2. She also receives a lot of words for a character that is only (supposedly) there to show characterization of Jonas Bracken and Jaime's sexual desires in conflict with his honor/thoughts of Cersei. How many named camp followers are there? Shae, Ser Ryman's Queen, Fireball's Mother, and Hildy.

    3. A small connection, but this also comes on the heels of Jaime's previous chapter (in AFFC) which ends with him speaking to Tom O' Sevens, another smallfolk infiltrating Riverlands locations held by those loyal to the Lannisters. (Not to mention, Mance does that same thing as Abel throughout ADWD).

    4. Finally, it seems to fit with Brienne miraculously coming upon Jaime at Pennytree. It makes sense that she is now "working with" The BWB to find Jaime, so it would be assumed that their network would have to bring them together.

    Any thoughts? I know it is speculation, but a good reason to keep an eye out for a woman with "pug nose and a shaggy mane of hair, with nipples darker and thrice the size of Cersei's".

  14. I'm surprised more people here haven't mentioned the basics of castle stewardship. With truly no knowledge, nor reading ability taught at a young age, your options are limited. However, if you  are ambitious you can attempt to sign on as a pot boy/girl and actually try to learn all of the ins and outs of highborn service! Cleaning floors or filling tubs or fetching food/clothing is an easy thing to start (if you can remember to smell nice and be exceedingly polite).

    Then, once you are in the door, you can learn other tasks from all of the other smallfolk who serve that particular lord (who I am sure would already be discussing their work, because what else do they have to talk about?). These same conversations/education sessions extends to the septon or septa, and possibly even the maester depending on who that is, which leads to literacy. 

    From there it is just a matter of being hard working, overly polite and attentive, and getting a bit lucky with the smallfolk politics when it comes to promotions. You could even specialize! Good with figures and organization? Understeward! Love horses and riding? Stablehand! Love to eat? Cook! All of these positions come with job security (even if the castle falls, you will most likely retain your position if you are good at it), as well as food, protection, and ways to move up. As we know, the children of the castle may even grow up alongside their lordly cohorts and become known enough to acquire higher and higher positions as the years go by.

  15. Today I was reading Damphair's second chapter in AFFC when I noticed the following about the Grey King:


    For a thousand years and seven he reigned here, Aeron recalled. Here he took his mermaid wife and planned his wars against the Storm God. From here he ruled both stone and salt, wearing robes of woven seaweed and a tall pale crown made from Nagga's teeth.

    This instantly made me think of Durran Godsgrief and his story all the way from the other side of Westeros. From the Wiki:


    According to legend, Durran won the love of Elenei, the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind, during the Age of Heroes. Her divine parents forbade their love, but Durran and Elenei wed despite them. The gods' wrath was terrible to behold, destroying Durran's keep on his wedding night and killing all his family and guests, but Durran survived under Elenei's protection. Enraged, Durran declared war on the gods, who replied by hammering his kingdom with massive storms. Each time Durran built a castle to face the sea the gods destroyed it.[1]

    Afterward, Durran supposedly ruled for a thousand years. Archmaester Glaive proposed that the "King of a Thousand Years" was in fact a succession of monarchs all bearing the same name.

    I couldn't find elsewhere on this forum, but this connection seems extremely clear to me. Does anyone have any thoughts? Any contradictory evidence? We know a lot of the things in ASOIAF (especially from the Dawn Age and Age of Heroes) are changed dramatically over that many thousands of years.

    I propose that the Grey King and Godsgrief are the same historical/mythological figure. Possibly, this could tie into the Nagga's Bones = Weirwood Shipwreck theory.

    Any other cases of crossed identities of mythological figures that stands out to you guys in this story?

  16. On 3/30/2022 at 11:12 AM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Plus, they need food, so there has to be some farming somewhere.

    Just to add a bit to this! Reading Asha's and Damphair's first chapters in AFFC today and it is mentioned how all winter they eat a diet extremely heavy in fish (as the sea "always provides no matter the season"). And at the feast they enjoy mutton, so we have to assume it is a combination of goats, sheep, and pigs which would do alright in an area like that.

    Also, as was stated above, these places are big. The ride from the sea to the Hammerhorn on Great Wyk takes Damphair almost an entire day.

  17. 21 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

    There is nothing wrong in giving up trying to make a relationship work. There is nothing inherently good or moral about loving family members no matter what. 

    I never thought of it from this angle. I suppose because Tyrion clearly sees value in "improving" that relationship, so I assumed the value was there. But you are right, it is an impossible battle, and just as Tyrion thinks when he asks his father for The Rock, he probably already knows the answer.

    On 3/4/2022 at 11:28 AM, John Suburbs said:

    Tyrion likes to think he can read other people, and sometimes he can, be he is not very self-aware. I love the line where he says Tywin lets others talk and keeps his opinions to himself, something that he (Tyrion) tries to emulate. Oh really, Tyrion? When have you ever kept your mouth shut?

    Another good observation on Tyrion's character I never explicitly realized! Masterful at reading other people and predicting actions and manipulating, but not a good judge of self. Relatable.

  18. Let me start by saying, yes, Tywin emotionally abused and manipulated Tyrion from the time he was a child so i can understand Tyrion's reservations when speaking to his father. However, the consistent lack of truth and seriousness with which Tyrion speaks to Tywin always makes me grind my teeth in frustration.


    Every interaction is as if Tyrion tries his hardest to be witty, when these are some of the few times his more serious side would command more respect. They don't have too many direct interactions, and only a couple 1 on 1, but this holds particularly true after Tyrion's injury on the blackwater.

    1. He goes to see his father in the tower of the hand while injured (this is good and shows strength!)

    2. Every single sentence out of his mouth is a joke. Does anyone have any psychological explanation for this? Is it a defense mechanism? Trying to hard to appear "strong" in the one area he is strongest in? (in any case, I call it extreme folly)

    3. Tywin comments on the stupidity of his sortie to defend the King's Gate, and instead of indicating the importance of stopping the battering ram, he mentions it in passing and makes a joke, which then eclipses the whole event in his father's eyes

    4.Tywin compliments Littlefinger's success in facilitating the Lannister-Tyrell Alliance, and Tyrion thinks to himself how it was his idea, and says nothing.

    5. Tyrion then gets (justifiably) angry that he is being undercut in his role defending the city, and it all goes downhill. Tywin even compliments him (in his cold fashion) on the chain and the Dorneish alliance and his advice on "putting down" Ser Gregor to appease Dorne, yet ends with more sarcasm in response. Then he goes into his whole spiel about Casterly Rock, which he knows was wrong.


    Maybe I am missing something, but would a small amount of truth and seriousness not go a long way in communicating with his father? I know Tywin is hard, and merciless, but he cares about his legacy and his family name, so shouldn't Tyrion have the wits to work with that? Meet him on a field he understands? I just don't understand why there is never any honest dialog from Tyrion to his father.

  19. On 2/19/2022 at 4:06 PM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

    I don't see any romantic relation between Jon and Arya or Sansa, for the very simple reason that they are his "sisters" and he loves them as such, and that he would surely feel disgusted at the idea of having any sexual or romantic relation with them. 

    Besides I am more interested about the Stark siblings' interactions than any romantic relation involving them. 

    I mean, but truthfully you can't see this as the case in books 1 and 2. If you go through a reread with knowledge of the potential love triangle outcome, the clues are ALL OVER when it comes to Jon thinking romantically about Arya, and Arya about Jon.

    I can see what you mean going forward. I don't think that's the case in the future based on how their paths diverged, but to imply disgust is, I think, placing a bit of your own views onto Jon's character.

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