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About Loras

  • Birthday 08/16/1989

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  1. I’m completely with you on this. I would love a new sample chapter and I regularly go through phases where I expect him to release another (more optimistic hope than expectation before people jump on that with ‘George is not my bitch’). I would love him to release Sam I for example. A chapter that we know he has written between ADWD release and TWOW as all the samples were chapters originally meant to be included in Dance. I find this really interesting too - especially considering how light this year has been so far. George has only written one blog post in Feb. I wonder if that means his writing on Winds is going so well that he doesn’t want to break momentum by blogging?
  2. I agree that The Green Grace wants peace on her own terms. But then, all of the characters want things on their own terms. Interesting. I’m not sure I agree that The Green Grace should be dead, religious war would aggravate all of the Ghiscari based cities in the region. I agree that the slavers should be destroyed, but Dany doesn’t have any other economy to support the city - this is mentioned again and again in her chapters. Without a trade economy Meereen would die too - she doesn’t really think about how to build a new economy in her chapters. Absolutely, he isn’t a good guy. He is a shrewd businessman, he bought all the pits and persevered until they were open again. He may not be an important figure in the conspiracy theory, but he is the king of Meereen. Do you believe then that Skahaz is a ‘good guy’ (relative term) and his recruitment of Barristan into the coup was for noble causes? Restoration of Daenerys’ power? I’m asking because I think that interpretation of this specific character’s motives really changes the way you view Barristan’s arc in Dance is.
  3. I think that Daenerys has to learn something from each of the slave cities that she conquered in ASOS. Front loading my bias, I’m not a Daenerys fan though I do really enjoy her chapters. Her final chapter in ‘Dance’ is testament to George’s writing and the entire book is worth it for the quality of prose in some of those chapters. What she has shown is that she can’t cope with resistance - she tries really hard, throughout the novel, looking for compromise and trying to rule justly, but she doesn’t have what it takes when she has forced a massive cultural shift on her people. Ultimately, she has disrupted the economic power of the region without presenting an alternative for how the cities could be sustained. The Green Grace tells her this with the discussion of the olive trees. I don’t think her struggles will be a moot point though, many have argued on this post that she will focus on the other slaver cities, that she isn’t done yet. Dany needs to present some reasonable alternative to ensure that the cities she is claiming (or razing?!) can sustain themselves. She doesn’t have the capacity to see beyond her idealism (and FWIW it is absolute the right thing) because she doesn’t understand the economics of rule. I don’t see it as likely that Victarion will claim a dragon, but the dragon horn itself will have some significant role in the plot going forward. I would like to see Vic survive the battle, but I guess that deserves its own thread. Could Tyrion and Moqorro team up to ‘tame’ Viserion? It seems highly likely that this disease is water-bourne, we are given information about the sewers of Meereen too. It’s just a suggestion as to how Tyrion could ingratiate himself with the rulers of the city. He is bankrolling the Second Sons, this MAY give him some level of influence. But probably not. Again, a lot of this can be explained by Skahaz having control of the beasts. It is likely that Hizdahr is still using the Beasts as guards and they may have overheard. The way that I read that scene in ‘The Kingbreaker’ is that Hizdahr is genuinely surprised by Barristan’s actions. He has been shown to ‘freeze’ in a crisis - the Groleo situation. I think he believes that Quentyn did do the poisoning. Whether that means that Skahaz was responsible remains to be seen, but I don’t think that Hizdahr knew. You quoted the section where Hizdahr misspoke earlier regarding the ‘bedslave’, I think it is reasonable to believe that Hizdahr believes Quentyn responsible and thus isn’t lying at that point. I meant that using the critics responses about George’s writing as evidence that the food clue is correct is confirmation bias - which it absolutely is. Again, I’m on mobile and will respond to the other comments ASAP
  4. Barristan reflects on the battle in his first TWOW sample chapter: To be honest, I had initially thought the battle was less bloody than that too. But, it is clear from Barristan’s thoughts that the battle was significant and the fighting particularly extreme around the square. I think the military power of the Great Masters is broken and their leadership were likely those chosen to be crucified by Daenerys. As is pointed out above, Shavepate warns that the widows in the Pyramids are Dany’s main enemy in Meereen.
  5. Going further to discuss the subject brought up by @Lord Varys regarding the role of Tyrion in Barristan’s upcoming arc reminded me of this quote from Tyrion II, ADWD: We also know from one of Moqorro’s visions that he has seen Tyrion snarling and surrounded by dragons. To me, this whole dream is reflective of the conflict that Tyrion faces in his current and future plot. Choosing between two dragons. Does Barristan represent Daenerys while Bittersteel represents the Golden Company? Or is it, as many believe an indicator of the so-called Barristan ‘Turncloak’ theory?
  6. That really is a tiny hint though, and if your right I’m happy to stand corrected. To be honest, in the UK, where I am, we would only use peppers to refer to bell peppers and chillis to refer to chilli peppers. The fact that the locusts are regarded as a delicacy could also be seen as a clue, perhaps they were aiming to take out a Ghiscari figure. Time and again we see Daenerys remarking negatively about Meereenese food and drink. Why not poison something like the figs, which she is seen eating often in the book. The fact that the Shavepate wanders freely amongst the Beasts even after his dismissal by Hizdahr is established again and again throughout the later chapters of the novel. The idea is equally valid, seeing as the Shavepate also manipulates Barristan into joining the coup. This is confirmation bias. I agree that the food is relevant, but beyond that you are conflating ideas. Hizdahr’s taste + food clues because George wants to get back at critics =/= Hizdahr did it. When I first read the books, and the second and third times, I was convinced that Galazza was the Harpy. In my most recent re-reads, I have moved away from the idea. I think that Galazza wants peace and would be happy to accept the terms that Hizdahr accepted. The people of Meereen and presumably Yunkai too hate the dragons, as the Green Grace explained. I think this explains the way they respond after Daznak’s Pit. I absolutely agree with this. I think his main motivation is money though and I think he would sell offices and positions in government. He believes, kind of like Cersei and Tyrion, that he can buy loyalty - as we see with employing the Pit Fighters as guards. Do you think that Daenerys cared about ruling Meereen by the end? I kind of feel like she was worn down by ruling and took the opportunity to ‘escape’. What do you think that will mean for her as a ruler going forward? She tried and failed and so now it’s fire and blood? Well... it did go wrong whoever did the poisoning! If Dany or Hizdahr was the target. Not that this is a defence of the plan - but we have seen this before in the story, depending on whether Margaery was involved in the plot at the Purple Wedding. Skahaz is definitely a social climber - that is why he shaved his head. As a minor house, he has pegged his banner to the new order to rise in status - which Hizdahr tries to take away when he becomes King and Daenerys allows. I think that Barristan would likely arrest Skahaz if he took out Hizdahr or the children, Barristan’s fondness for them is remarked upon again and again - including in ‘The Kingbreaker’. Though it may be that like Tyrion, Barristan is wounded in the battle and not there for the immediate aftermath? This is one of the plots I’m really interested in... how does Tyrion regain his status? I think it is likely that Tyrion and Barristan will have a very strained relationship. Barristan is unlikely to accept the help of a kinslayer readily, I wonder if Tyrion’s plot will be about uncovering the poisoner/the Harpy etc? I really don’t know what to expect from Vic... I think that Moqorro has a role to play with the Volantene fleet and the Tiger soldiers, so it would make sense if Vic was our viewpoint for that. Do you think that Tyrion is going to claim Viserion? I think you are overestimating Dany’s influence here. She has just proved in Meereen that even if she wants to change a culture that she doesn’t have the power to do it. Culture change takes a very long time. This is an interesting idea, though I think Tyrion, as a sewer expert, could be instrumental in reducing the spread/rate of infection. I totally get the point you are making here, I disagree with the example but that is more to do with the evolution in quality of prose as you move through the books. Theon’s Winterfell arc in Dance is when Winterfell feels most alive to me. We got a taste of how multiple viewpoints in Meereen felt after Dany left, so I’m excited for that. It’s a shame that we didn’t see Dany from someone else’s (Barristan’s viewpoint) before she left - but I’m assuming he is waiting for Tyrion for that!
  7. Well it couldn’t be as long as 17 years (more or less as soon as he was in exile) but must be more than 4 - that was the last time he saw Myles. Erm... Viserys wasn’t worthless. He would be Aegon’s heir until Aegon married. Viserys ultimately was desperate to cling on to his birth right and the army he thought he had bought, that was why he went with the Dothraki. His paranoia ultimately cost him his life. This really can’t have been the plan, it makes no sense at all. And surely this is going to be one of, if not the central dilemma facing Daenerys in the next book. Is she going to be happy to accept that the Dothraki culture of enslaving (or catching people with the intent of giving them to slavers) people is necessary to achieving her ideals? Or is she going to try to change the Dothraki culture and way of life as she has done in Meereen? For me, the general feeling that people have appears to be that she is going to get this awesome army and burn cities - but - it just isn’t that simple. To win the Dothraki she will have to destroy a culture (like she has done in Slavers Bay), or accept the culture and reconcile her own feelings towards slavery, to burn cities to the ground she will have to reflect on Astapor and Yunkai. Perhaps Quaithe’s prophecy is not about geography but about her own morals and values? Perhaps he thought Dany needed a knight to protect her from danger? I don’t think that Barristan would be able to identify Aegon as a fraud if Connington couldn’t. There must be at least some resemblance between Rhaegar and Aegon for JonCon to have his flashback at Griffins Roost (though remembering that JC is biased). I think you are overestimating the strength of the nobles here. There armies were slaves freed by Dany after the battle of Meereen, their children are hostages, and Skahaz has control of the Beasts and some Unsullied inside the walls. His stated goal is that he wants Hizdahr dead and wants Dany to kill the hostages. I think there is a high chance of Skahaz using the battle as a distraction for removing Hizdahr (at least) from the game. Barristan is going to have a difficult time clearing it up in the aftermath of the battle - and that is if the dragons don’t go mad at the sound of the horn!
  8. This is true, though I think it is also highly likely that they interacted during the events directly before AGOT begins. I think that it is likely that Barristan will arrest Tyrion, he is thought to have killed Joffrey and known to have killed Tywin - though I can’t recall whether this news has made it to Meereen or not. Barristan has Hizdahr arrested rather than having him executed and I think it likely he would behave the same way for another of his queen’s enemies. Brown Ben Plumm and Jorah are also both likely to have some sort of reckoning with Barristan - would he execute Jorah? He will be clearer on her feelings on Jorah from ASOS. I don’t really like the Tyrion as a secret Targ theory, not because it’s unfounded but personal preference. I do think that Barristan will have to have some kind of reckoning with his history regarding Aerys (particularly). I’m definitely not familiar enough with the canon surrounding the war of the nine penny kings. Who do you think Tatters could be? Barristan does go along with the idea of offering Tatters Pentos for his support. One wonders whether Barristan actually intends to keep his word on this? Especially seeing as he has come to Dany through Illyrio and the conspiracy. I really can’t see this being as simple as burning down the cities though. Dany has seen the destruction caused in Astapor as a result of her actions, and the danger of not leaving competent leadership in Yunkai and Meereen. Will she simply destroy cities? If she did go full on dragon, I don’t think there would be any other word to describe her than: villain. One of Barristan’s key traits is his self doubt, I wonder how he would feel if he knew that Dany was destroying cities and the innocents that lived there? Could there be some more parallels drawn to Jaime here? I’d love to get some more information on the defiance from Barristan’s viewpoint, and I’m sure that he will be the viewpoint that gives us more information about the battle at the trident. He could be very useful for establishing Rhaegar’s state of mind towards the end. Barristan’s role in Illyrio’s plot is one of the big questions for me. Perhaps Barristan was sent to make sure that she gets back safely - seeing as Viserys didn’t survive the Dothraki sea? The timeline of all of the events seems a little off though - Connington appears to have been brought into the fold at a later date, along with Haldon - unless they were always meant to bring the GC on board? So does that mean Lady Lemore has been involved in the plot for longer that JC?
  9. Hizdahr is much more liberal than the ‘Old Masters’, and his power as Barristan points out stems from Daenerys. The section that you have quoted about Hizdahr’s favourite dishes is ambiguous at best. Those stuffed peppers could as easily be bell peppers - not spicy - as chilli peppers which are spicy. Looking at the other foods on that list, I can’t speak for dog, but the rest indicate an indulgent and sweet palate. I don’t think that the Hizdahr that we see on page, through his interactions either with Dany or with Barristan / the court scene, would be capable of orchestrating a plot to poison Dany. He is a shrewd businessman, not a cold blooded killer. I don’t think that she liked Hizdahr either. There was definitely compromise there though, Hizdahr put aside some of the important traditions of Ghiscari weddings. While the fighting pits are open, the fighters are free men. We do see his frustration about certain things - particularly in Dany IX when he does have some power. Such as his response to Dany cancelling the follies - but he does go along with it. I don’t think that Skahaz was trying to poison Dany though, I think he was trying to poison Hizdahr. You are right, he gained a lot of power through Dany but he lost it when Hizdahr gained power. Importantly, Skahaz’s dismissal happens some time before Dany IX, as she reflects on Hizdahr replacing Skahaz. In that chapter Barristan and Dany discuss not knowing who is beneath the masks of the Brazen Beasts. I think it is entirely plausible that Skahaz was there. I do swing back and forth on the whole locking Barristan out of Meereen thing. I do expect Skahaz to make a move during the battle to remove some of the nobles or kill the hostages and weaken the greater houses. He may even have Hizdahr killed. I’m definitely not trying to argue that Hizdahr is a good guy - not at all - but he is being given a lot of credit for something that he, in my opinion, isn’t capable of. The Green Grace was the brains behind the political operation, Hizdahr is a shrewd businessman, Skahaz is a loose cannon definitely capable of orchestrating a poisoning. I think that the Green Grace is motivated by restoring peace, while Skahaz is looking to extend his personal power. When his power was threatened he struck out. I guess Theon being dropped from ASOS is the only example, I assume this was planned but I wasn’t part of the fandom back then. Restructure of ADWD led to Arianne and Aeron being dropped from that book, but as non-major viewpoints at that point they probably don’t count! I do think that Brienne won’t get any chapters for a good chunk of the book. The blanks will be filled in at a later date? I completely agree with you on this, we have discussed the need for a second viewpoint in KL at the start of Winds due to the limitations of Cersei’s viewpoint. Tyrion, Barristan, and Victarion will in all likelihood be telling us the story of Meereen in the aftermath of the battle. However, the characters would need to have their own separate stories as well as the main drama - this would follow Martin’s style of using multiple viewpoints in one location (Sansa/Tyrion being the best example). All this being said, the richness that is derived from having overlapping viewpoints is something I’m super excited about! I’m sure that highlights of the series for many occur when viewpoints overlap - the Red Wedding, Cat and Tyrion in the Eyrie, The Purple Wedding and aftermath... I’ll address the other points raised shortly... writing on a mobile isn’t the easiest!
  10. I don’t really agree with this - Hizdahr throughout Dance showed willing to accept and work with Dany’s ideas, even those that went against Ghiscari tradition. While I don’t think that he would be a wonderful ruler for Meereen, I do think that Dany would put him in charge. Hizdahr would be a better ruler of Meereen than any of the other characters that we have been introduced to in that area. Particularly Skahaz, who I believe to be behind the locusts and other attacks. This was a really interesting aspect of his story in ‘Dance’. His relationship with them is even more important in the sample chapter too, his speech about battle really does emphasise to me his tendency to romanticise the horror of war. I was thinking about this the other day actually, about how George will rotate the viewpoints when there are overlaps. I think it would be more effective if in the case of Jaime and Brienne (for example) he stuck with one viewpoint until they separate and then fill in the blanks and thoughts of the other character. So: tell the story from Jamie’s viewpoint and reflect on it in Brienne’s viewpoint. In a story that is as tightly knit as that, I think it would be distracting to be rotating the viewpoint as well. Meereen however would be similar to Tyrion/Sansa and then Tyrion/Jaime inhabiting the same place and giving different views on the same/similar plot beats. The Meereen plot in Dance picked up steam when we were going between Barristan and Quentyn, with Tyrion supplementing. This is an aspect of his story that I hadn’t really considered, and would expect more detail on soon. A good question for me would be why did Illyrio send Barristan to Dany and not Aegon? I think she will continue to think back to those that she has left behind - part of her identity is this mother persona that she has cultivated. While she was really ground down by ruling in Dance she still has a duty to her people and I don’t see that going away. I agree with you that she is going to spend a significant number of chapters with the Dothraki - and I personally don’t buy into a lot of the Dany is going to spend the next book burning tonnes of cities to the ground thing. If her own khalasar finds her, which they might if she is in Vaes Dothrak, she would surely face a decision about going back to Meereen or staying put? They would have some news of post-Dany Meereen - though none of the significant events. Yes, it seems likely that the Tattered Prince is going to have to have a discussion with Tyrion/Barristan/Dany about the role of Illyrio. The question would remain about how limited Tatters’ knowledge is on the subject though. At some point we, as readers, and the characters need to be able to pinpoint Illyrio’s motives... both Barristan and JonCon need to give us a bit more background on this conspiracy.
  11. I don’t think that the war was inevitable - and I think that for Daenerys to accept that war was inevitable is actually really sad, I think in the Dothraki sea she has realised that she can be the ‘dragon’ and achieve peace through a conqueror’s method. Again, much has been made of the Volantene soldiers being slave soldiers. Dany doesn’t want to kill slaves, she wants to liberate them. That aspect of her personality hasn’t changed. Barristan even recognised this when he says to not aim for the slaves - though he appears to go on to do this. Hizdahr is a good ruler for Meereen, I think taking him out will not go favourably for either Skahaz or Barristan. I don’t think Barristan’s story arc is done either - I was talking about his book arc in Dance rather than his whole arc as a character. i really want to know more from him about Rhaegar, Ashara, and Rhaella. I think we might also find out a little bit more from Duskendale... but who knows. His use to the reader as a source of past history is huge!
  12. I think that you are right insofar as he is feeling more secure in his identity. Each of his monikers, unlike say Arya or Asha, is a title or position. Queensguard, (Discarded) Knight, Queen’s Hand, and Kingbreaker which is a deliberate contrast to Ser Criston Cole. He seems to be a man defined by position and status rather than his own character. Which contrasts to Jaime, who is moving toward becoming ‘Goldenhand the Just’ - perhaps. Leading from the front, and determination to strike the first blow, feels like he is pushing against his current role by trying to find some symbolism in his contribution to the battle. His own doubts about his political role have strong storm/foreboding symbolism - and the sun comes out just in time for the battle. it is clear that to Barristan, his title is of equal if not more importance than his name. There are still the elephants, crossbowmen, and slingers that we don’t have too much information about - and the camels. There is also the potentially game changing moment of the dragonhorn still to come. I think that Daenerys should judge Barristan for his actions in Meereen. It is important that he faces the consequences of destroying the peace in Meereen. I don’t think this would be thematically pointless - Feast and Dance both examine the role of knighthood. I would argue that Barristan and Quentyn are triumphs in ‘Dance’, their arcs are so well developed and completed.
  13. This thread is born from a discussion in the 2021 thread regarding Barristan. On ‘Ser Barristan’ in TWOW. “[Hizdahr] gave her peace. Do not throw it away, Ser, I beg you. Peace is the pearl beyond price.” The Green Grace, The Queen’s Hand, ‘A Dance with Dragons’. As ‘A Dance with Dragons’ draws to a close, Ser Barristan Selmy with the assistance of his ally, Skahaz mo Kandaq, lead Meereen into renewed conflict with Yunkai. The Ghiscari king, Hizdahr zo Loraq, has been overthrown in a coup, and is now a prisoner. Hizdahr, through Daenerys, was influential in brokering a peace with the Yunkai (Daenerys VIII) and appears to be out of his depth in maintaining that peace following Dany’s flight from Meereen. The Yunkai’i supreme leaders appear to be keen on maintaining the peace, executing Dany’s least valuable hostage and returning Hizdahr’s kin. Yet Barristan, despite suffering self doubt throughout his viewpoint arc, is determined to lead the Queen’s armies to war. The purpose of this thread is to speculate on both a literary and meta level about the role of Ser Barristan in ‘The Winds of Winter’. As a starter for 10: In ADWD, Barristan’s chapters are titled. Barristan finds himself in an uncomfortable position where he no longer fulfils the role that he designates for himself. He goes through an identity crisis, moving from an observer to a clumsy player of the game of thrones. From TWOW, we see that his chapters are given the heading ‘Ser Barristan’. He seems to have reclaimed his identity in these new chapters focusing on the Battle for Meereen. Unlike any other character in the story, Barristan retains his title - ‘Ser’. Does this indicate that Barristan, unlike Jaime and Arys, thinks of himself as a true knight? Does it give us a clue about Barristan’s fate in ‘Winds’? The true knight actually being cast as a traitor? Two of Barristan’s character traits are his arrogance and recklessness. In his second sample chapter, the report indicates that Barristan intends to strike the first blow himself, despite being the commander. Comparing this to Tywin or Stannis, it appears that Barristan is seeking glory. A second question relates to his future after these two chapters. It seems reasonably likely that Barristan will have at least one more chapter - especially if, as many believe, Skahaz intends to purge the Meereenese nobles and close the gates on Barristan. For me, I think that Barristan will be the viewpoint for the aftermath of the battle. He links all of the current plots, moving pieces, and new characters in Meereen. To me, this makes him the logical viewpoint to navigate a tricky first chapter following the battle where the characters all come together again without tonnes of new introductions taking the pace out of the novel. What are your thoughts on Barristan’s actions? His fate in the battle of fire, and beyond?
  14. I think that technically this episode was poor in places. What on earth was going on with the lighting of that final Dragonstone scene, that was just atrocious! It was as though Nutter had paid no attention to how that set had been lit previously - lots of cold, grey daylight. One of the things I loved about the show was the lighting of the various locations, so I really picked up on this. Overal I voted a 9/10 for this episode. Liam Cunningham was great as Davos. The Dragonstone scenes were a real highlight for me. Loved Arya and the Freys. I also liked the Dany scene at the end, while cheesy, there was some fantastic acting. I would have liked something supernatural at the end of the episode, but then I am a stickler for a pattern.
  15. I gave this episode a 9/10. I loved the whole sequence on Dragonstone, barring that scene in Episode 3, the Dragonstone storyline has been consistently good for the entire season. I particularly loved the scene between Stannis and Davos in the dungeon, everything about that scene was masterfully done. I really like how they are playing Davos as the Jiminy Cricket to Stannis' Pinnochio. Once again, another fantastic set of scenes featuring Daenerys. Emilia Clarke is evolving in the role, there is certainly something reptilian about her performance this season that I am really enjoying. I also liked the toned down version of Daario - though I do wonder whether simplifying this aspect of the story could cause headaches down the line. I enjoyed the additional scene with Daario and the second sons, but I think the theories here are built around some lazy dialogue (every D+D episode has one particular phrase that gets repeated in different places - or so it seems). KL was fantastic as usual. It was nice to see almost all of our regular players down there being featured. Though this season is seriously lacking Varys. I really like where they are taking Cersei this season, but I think that due to her reduced screentime, that the casual viewer will not have been paying attention to Cersei's increasing paranoia. My big problem with this episode is really the choice of scenes to include. Why not have Sam the Slayer and Osha's monologue in the same episode? It seems quite tacked on to have included this scene at the end of this episode. Also where on earth is Catelyn Stark, I really thought that S3 would be 'her' season but so far she has appeared for what... 20 minutes?
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