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Everything posted by Ran

  1. Nice association. Watched the video with interest, but didn't think very much about what it meant for the tundra beyond the Wall!
  2. Ditto. Really sticks with me. Some beautiful cinematography, and terrific performances from Yalitza Aparicio (Cleo) and Marina de Tavira (Sofía).
  3. I've commented on the one major thing that didn't appear in F&B on Reddit, but figured I should mention it here as well. It's indicated that "every castle" in Dorne was burned thrice in the Dragon's Worth, including Sunspear, and that Visenya had burned it earlier. This, however, was removed from TWoIaF after we pointed out to George the issue that the "ancient" Sandship and so on don't show any sign of the dragon-burning damage seen in Harrenhal and mentioned in other instances. George agreed that was an issue, and in fact expanded on it by providing the maesters several speculative explanations for why the Targaryens left Sunspear alone. We noted it when we were helping with the edit, but it fell through the cracks in the editing process, so it'll have to wait for a new print to be put back in.
  4. She is not a "plot line". She's a historical figure, and GRRM didn't forget her, mentioning her half a dozen times or more, including details such as how she traveled with Jaehaerys on Vermithor, and her being appointed the gaoler in charge of Princess Saera.
  5. You forgot Jonquil Darke and the wildling girl who was raised at White Harbor.
  6. My guess is that most smallfolk who have land do so as tenants of a lord, and this would mean they have some obligations, obligations that can't be met if they leave that land. But presumably they can discharge those obligations, as Varys suggests -- pay their expected rent, maybe a small tax on top of that, and go where they please. And even smallfolk who outright own their own land (and we know they exist) likely swear some service to the local lord for their protection, obligations that they'd have to transfer to someone else if they decided to sell their land and go elsewhere.
  7. Bloodraven can also command some lordling to go back to his lands. As Ser Rodrik orders the Wild Rabbits to quit their antics and go back to Torrhen's Square. Or as Jaime commands Ryman Frey to decamp from Riverrun. Bloodraven's order is to try and preserve the peace and stability, because these starving people are only going to cause more problems by mobilizing than they'd solve. It doesn't implicate them as being serfs who are bound to the land. Sure. Which is why lords need to be careful with how they treat their smallfolk, broadly speaking. Many don't because many of them are happy enough with what they have versus the chance that they won't . Better to toil with land that's sure under your feet than to set out hoping you'll manage to acquire a plot of land elsewhere. So, yeah, you don't need serfdom to explain why peasants tend to put up with even fairly unpleasant lords -- the alternatives are often worse. The only "chain" is the land. There are no lords that we know of who are actively offering to hand out farms to people who move to them. So if you are a farmer working a lord's land, paying rent for it, and you get upset -- what do you do? You leave behind your home, you leave behind your land and your crop, you leave behind the legacy of your heirs, and you go somewhere else to do ... what? Become a hired hand for some other farmer, and hope to have a little room in a cottage for you and your family? Or do you just keep your head down and keep working the land you've got and just hope things will get better? You do not need serfdom to have peasants or feudalism, and for that matter the way George has written about the thralldom in the Iron Islands makes it clear that it's a custom that is frowned upon in Westeros, even though it's essentially a type of serfdom. Smallfolk are free in the Seven Kingdoms, free to strike out and try to make a different life for themselves, with the only sticking point is that making a life for yourself is hard when you can't take your land with you and you may have no good prospects for acquiring new land.
  8. Serfdom doesn't exist in Westeros, outside the thralldom of the Iron Islands. It's a word George has never used in discussing smallfolk, we meet many smallfolk who have travelled and settled in new places, and so on.
  9. Yronwood is the Warden of the Stone Way. Fowler is Warden of the Prince's Pass. Yronwood's army is called at Doran's behest, part of the deal with Tyrion. So regardless of the language around "whose" army it is, it is a royal army being lead by the Prince's warden. Yronwood and his vassals no doubt make a large proportion of it, as would be expected from them, but that other houses who are not vassals of the Yronwoods are part of it is no surprise because it's a royal host raised at the command of the Martells. The same for Fowler's host. The difference in language, then, is not in my mind an indicator of the Yronwoods being more vastly powerful, but rather political language related to the fraught relationships between the Yronwoods and Martells. They are more standoffish with one another, for historical reasons, and the Martells provide Lord Yronwood the courtesy of being spoken of as having a greater degree of independence than they necessarily actually do. It's a bit of social nicety, a way to keep certain pretenses for a prickly, proud family that refuses to let go of the fact that they were once kings, the most powerful in Dorne. Doubtless because, if they get annoyed enough, they are very able to rebelling and causing a lot of problems, as they have done in the past. A good assessment of how strong they are _really_, when not leading a royal host, is that Arianne believed that if Dorne rose up for Myrcella but the Yronwoods held out for Quentyn, they would stand "alone" and would not be a significant threat. They are a strong house, but they don't outweigh the rest of Dorne, or even half of it.
  10. After coming across yet another reference that GRRM's snuck into AFfC, I've decided to actually go through the process of compiling all of these to put into the FAQ at the Citadel. I'd appreciate any assistance people can give. :) AFfC references should be proteced. We're including those that actually appear in the novels, rather than those that appear outside of them (i.e., unpublished Heraldry). We include some references that GRRM makes to his own work, but only those which seem like deliberate nods to those works rather than simply reusing names, ideas, etc. (i.e., Robb and Lyanna are reuses of the names Rob and Lya from "A Song for Lya", rather than a nod). To kick it off, I'll just rattle off a few that come immediately to mind: "... black hood, blue beetle, and green arrow": A reference to comic books, specifically the Archie comics superhero the Black Hood and the DC Comics heroes Blue Beetle and Green Arrow. SPOILER: AFfC A variation on this appeared where the black hood was replaced by thunderbolts, which has been speculated to be a reference to the DC Characters the Flash (who is, with the Blue Beetle and Green Arrow, a member of the Justice League of America) and/or Johnny Thunderbolt of the Justice Society of America. "Lharys, Mohar, and Kurliket": Reference to the Three Stooges, Larry, Moe, and Curly. The Houses Vance: References to Jack Vance abound. The castle Wayfarer's Rest refers to Liane the Wayfarer in The Dying Earth, and the castle Atranta refers to the fantasy world invented by the titular character in Bad Ronald. And speaking of Bad Ronald, the sons of Lord Norbert (who, like Vance, is blind) are further Vancian references: Ronald the Bad (reference to the aforementioned novel), Kirth (reference to The Demon Princes), Hugo (for his Hugo awards), and Ellery (for the Ellery Queen mysteries that he ghost-wrote). The children of Lord Karyl Vance are also references: Emphyria (referencing Emphyrio), Rhialta (another reference to the The Dying Earth sequence, specifically the novel Rhialto the Marvellous), and Liane (as in the Wayfarer mentioned above.) House Jordayne of the Tor: A nod to Robert Jordan, who is published by Tor. The arms of the house include a quill, referring to his writing. SPOILER: AFfC The lord of the House is Lord Trebor, whose name when reversed reveals "Robert". SPOILER: AFfC Archmaester Rigney: An archmaester who wrote time is a wheel. This is a reference to Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. Jordan's real name is James Rigney. House Willum: Lord Willum's sons are named Josua and Elyas, and are quarrelsome. The reference is to Tad Williams and his "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" epic fantasy series, which feature (in part) the feuding royal brothers Josua and Elias. GRRM has cited the series as a major reason for why he went forward with "A Song of Ice and Fire". H.P. Lovecraft: It is speculated by some that the Drowned God of the Ironborn is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu. This may be made likelier by the fact that the name 'Dagon' (that of Lord Dagon Greyjoy) was used by Lovecraft in his horror fiction, who borrowed it from an ancient Philistine fish-god. Costayne of Three Towers: A reference to a Thomas B. Costain, a favorite historical fiction writer of GRRM's. SPOILER: AFfC Harry Sawyer and Robin Potter: Two mock suitors of Brienne the Beauty who paid for their humiliation of her at the melee in Bitterbridge. She recalls unhorsing Harry Sawyer and then mentions having given Robin Potter a nasty scar on his head. Some intrepid readers speculate that the close proximity of the names, and the scar Potter received, is a reference to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, who has a distinguishing scar on his forehead. SPOILER: AFfC Courtenay Greenhill: A knight who pays court to Margaery Tyrell, his names refer to two makers of to knights (which GRRM collects), Richard Courtenay and Peter Greenhill. Alaric of Eysen: A far-travelled singer in the books, the character is a reference to Phyllis Eisenstein and her minstrel character Alaric. Samwell: Speculated to be a nod to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which contains the character Samwise Gamgee. Both characters share the diminutive Sam and both are loyal and steadfast to a friend (Samwell to Jon and Samwise to Frodo). Nightflyer: A ship captained by Lord Baelor Blacktyde that refers to an award-winning novella by GRRM, "Nightflyer". SPOILER: AFfC Bakkalon, the Pale Child: A god of some foreign culture in the series, referencing a god of the same name in GRRM's story "And Seven Times Never Kill Man" and mentioned in several other tales set in GRRM's future history. SPOILER: AFfC Rugen the undergaoler: Speculated to be a reference to be a The Princess Bride, which features the villain Count Rugen who maintains a dungeon. The Fever River: A river whose source is in the Neck is named after the river which gave GRRM's novel, Fevre Dream, its name. Lord Titus Peake: A reference to Mervyn Peake and his seminal work of fantasy, the Gormenghast trilogy, starting with Titus Groan. Blackadder: House Wyl features a black adder on its arms. GRRM has confirmed that this is a nod to the BBC historical comedy series, [strong]Blackadder[/strong]. House Frey: The famously virile Lord Frey and his large family probably owe their name to Frey, a Norse god of fertility.
  11. Ran

    Just an observation...

    Earlier iterations of this forum, such as the Eesite and EzBoard, existed. There's a partial archive of Eesite as it was abandoned here, and in fact there's part of a thread about Jon Arryn's killer. You'll get a sense of the tenor of our discussions there.
  12. Addam Hightower is indeed the father of Manfred #2.
  13. I wouldn't put it past people to impute numerous bastards on him without any real evidence, I suppose.
  14. Again, we have a surprisingly similar situation described within a few pages, one that sounds pretty reasonable as an argument between two people, and one that then sounds absurdly exaggerated. We have quoted text in both, but one has an explicit sourcing, and the other does not. Even the pattern of these things are echoed, which feels exactly how incidents tend to be enlarged through rumors and second-hand accounts. Before this alleged dialog, we have sources cited about the situation, yes. And then the dialog appears without citation. And then when Alicent hears of the plans and preparations -- clearly a different, and more public, occasion -- we once again have actual sourcing, both Eustace and Munkun being in agreement about the Alicent-Rhaenyra dialog. It sure sounds to me like there's no clear source on that dialog, and just from internal consistency I see no way of making sense of Daemon thinking Stokeworth and Rosby were reasonable rewards to thinking that wiping out two Great Houses to reward them with their seats instead made more sense. It's certainly not that they _did_ anything, since between the time they get their knighthoods and lands and this alleged suggestion, they're involved in precisely nothing that would make them seem any substantially more loyal than they were earlier. It makes a lot of sense if gossip, or Mushroom's unsupported account, has been placed here, and it has augmented or enlarged a very real debate that happened somewhat earlier.
  15. That exchange -- between Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Corlys -- is one of those cases where we have quoted dialogue and yet no clear idea of what the source is supposed to be. Orwyle was not present, being in the dungeon. It does not seem to be some open court session, so no Eustace. Mushroom claims he was around for all these sorts of things, and generally his picture of Daemon tends to the sinister and bloodthirsty. It might be a council session, recorded by someone... but it could be no more than gossip, and may be a claim to discussions going on that the creator of Gyldayn's source believed but couldn't prove. So, I don't know that I buy that it can be taken at a given that Daemon advocated, rather randomly, for completely wiping out two Great Houses to reward two dragonriders. I don't even see the sense of his picking the Lannisters as a target. Yes, they were fighting against them, but the Lannisters did nothing infamous or especially outrageous in their conduct of their opposition. I can see Daemon having a grudge for Borros, given the death of Luke, but going after the Lannisters seems like an enormous leap. Surely, if he were that bloody-minded, he'd be suggesting the Hightowers and Oldtown, not the Lannisters and Casterly Rock? And anyways, just a few pages earlier Daemon argued (according to Munkun, whom we're told is the source of this information) for a much more modest reward of Stokeworth and Rosby. It seems bizzare for Daemon to advocate for marriages to created-heiresses of minor houses as a reward. to wiping out entirely families of two Great Houses to give them seats. It almost feels like someone heard that Daemon had advocated giving lordships to Hugh and Ulf, and then through the rumor mill it grew into an enormity.
  16. I agree. It was cold-blooded revenge that was Daemon's motive, an "eye for an eye" situation in a vendetta, rather than ruthless politics. People understand feuds, and people certainly understand to some degree the "right to vengeance" which can be used to strike at ancillary figures simply because they are related to perpetrators of a misdeed. As gross as the murder of a child may be, though, the murder of multiple children, and women to boot, would shift it from any plausible connection to vengeance to being the most brutal sort of political assassination. Which, you may rightly think, probably didn't matter so much to Westeros-at-large... but the only person who matters in this is the person ordering it, and how he thought about it.
  17. Munkun also used contemporary records, such as those of stewards, the kind of people who would be noting down things like how many people had to be fed, how many horses needed stabling, etc. He's going to have pretty accurate numbers, except in cases of bad organization such as Hightower's initial disaster of a campaign.
  18. Not something I can discuss.
  19. Ran

    "various book deadlines"

    I don't think we should assume that "The Mystery Knight" is the only one of the planned D&E stories that depend on some aspect of a mystery or a plot that needs to be unraveled. For example, we don't know why Pennytree is a royal fief. One can expect that the reasons for that would be a D&E story. But F&Bv2 could just up and say why that happened, and maybe it has to do with some Blackfyre Rebellion or some plot against Aegon V or something else we've no idea about. Now, personally, for me it's the journey rather than the destination that matters. But by revealing plot points as history, any plot depending on a sense of mystery or hidden motives will be less appealing to read for those who want to puzzle it out for themselves, and they may even be less appealing to write for GRRM because of the fact that he "spoiled" them, in a sense.
  20. He's one of the people on the small council who does appear to try and do his job, given his pressing Slynt to keep law and order in King's Landing prior to the Hand's tourney.
  21. It's a joke. (Not really). To quote myself:
  22. Yeah, I don't think the timing is right at all. That said, to answer the OP, no. Ashara Dayne is Quaithe of Asshai. It is known.
  23. Also true. Very different categories of activity...
  24. I feel like it would be much too obvious a lie to any of his readers to make any such claim with a straight face if it were obviously false. It's one thing to question his sources of information about events for which he was not present, but when he discusses structural aspects of how the world works (e.g. the various types of producers of copied manuscripts), this is an obvious world-building detail. The individual corrupt maester or septon might... but the issue is that there were what seem to have been many hundreds of copies in the span of a few decades, and if you look to the Middle Ages such popular texts would have been created through mercantile interests, not universities or the Church. Maesters do not have much use for turning a profit, septons want to keep their place in their hierarchy, but scribes whose income is entirely based on copying texts... well, they may have a need. But scribes are generally commoners, and those in Westeros run the risk of being run out of business if they cross the Faith or some pious lord or other local authority who'd take umbrage. For that matter, we are told that the text appears to be more of a matter of the non-noble class, people in the "low places", people with "goodwives", and so on. And to be sure, an obscene book making the lords and ladies of Westeros look like lascivious perverts would probably not be looked on fondly by many nobles in Westeros. Finally, it provides very sound reasons for why the books have varied texts: these were not rigorous copyists, but people who in the course of copying also added their own details to attempt to enhance the value of their text. Which against suggests profit motive, and again points to scribes rather than maesters or septons. I suspect failed scholars and defrocked septons in Oldtown started the initial wave of the very oldest and shortest form of the text, but the apparent high demand in those "low places" would have made it much, much easier for workshops in the Free Cities to create the supply to meet it... and as each workshop would have wanted to distinguish itself, that's where the expanded editions with new details and episodes start coming into it. I definitely see no reason to think that most of the copying was being done on the behalf of noblemen who were having their own maesters or septons carry out the copying. The people producing the bulk of the copies were doing it for money. And yet the suggestion that such things are too obscene for normal society suggests that there must be some risk to them, and the general opprobium of the Faith and perhaps even persecution from the Crown don't seem out of place. Since Gyldayn explicitly mentions "hired quills" in the Free Cities who are among the likely sources of the copies, I rather think we have been told.