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  1. MinotaurWarrior

    Can You Forgive Lord Walder Frey?

    Robb Stark was a literal bloodthirsty monster, whereas House Frey seems to be the only house actually concretely working towards building a better future. They were responsible for the second most notable infrastructure development in the past 600 years, and Walder has contributed more to human capital than seemingly any other Lord in the seven kingdoms. Would you ask if anyone could forgive Dany for her betrayal of guest right in Astapor? What about the time she created a false truce and got enemy troops drunk to facilitate a massacre outside Yunkai?
  2. MinotaurWarrior

    Which five disappearing Houses will you miss the most?

    Going extinct requires a level of unpopularity and political opposition that is rarely found among characters I really like. I guess that if fAegon and Dany remember who Jon was, Harry or Timmet might choose to go by a different last name, or the Royce's could take over, and I kinda like the Arryns. And, of course, there's the Baratheons - but I'm not sure how much I really like them either. I don't actually think I much cared for Dondarrion. I think I just liked fire zombie. If House Reed dies out, I would certainly be sad about it, but we just don't know enough about the crannogmen to say if they're in serious danger of that. Even if Rickon dies on-page (doubtful) Bran is functionally immortal. I'd be a little sad to see house Baelish extinguished. Even if he's a bad person, I have to admire Petyr's great achievements. I kind of like Edmure, but I have sufficient distaste for House Tully overall that I wouldn't mind seeing them die out.
  3. MinotaurWarrior

    Is it possible that Daven Lannister married Amerei Frey

    There's not really a new house. Lancel was born a Lannister of Nowhere, his father being landless. Upon taking over Darry he became Lancel Lannister of Darry, the same way a bastard living in Darry might be called "Tom Rivers of Darry." In the Iron Isles we see how flexible this is with the Harlaws, where Rodrik the Reader, as the overlord of Harlaw, decided to move from Harlaw to Ten Towers, making a cadet branch into House Harlaw of Harlaw Hall, while Rodrick is now a Harlaw of Harlaw or of Ten Towers. Sometimes these sorts of branches can grow into truly distinct organizations - e.g. the Karstarks of That Place Karl Stark Held, but, for the brief time House Lannister of Darry existed, it was just the Lannister Household in Darry. Martyn "The Hostage" Lannister is the current lawful heir to Darry. He might want to marry Amrei, for the same reasons as Lancel, but then again, she's older than him, famously promiscuous, and said to have no useful skills. From a narrative standpoint, I think making Lancel lord of Darry was mostly just important so that Lancel had something to give up. If he went from being a homeless anointed warrior of the faith, to being a homeless anointed warrior of the faith who has confessed his sins, that's not very meaningful. The Lordship of Darry was everything he had worked for turning sour in his mouth. It's a statement about how petty Lancel's BS ambitions and pride really were. He got everything he ever wanted, achieved a flawless victory, and it wasn't worth it.
  4. MinotaurWarrior

    What do the Others want?

    I think another obvious thing is that this has been the longest warm period in the history of the world, in a world where GRRM has confirmed the seasons are magic and that their funkiness will be explained, and where we know of at least two religions that actively seek to bring about an eternal summer.
  5. MinotaurWarrior

    What do the Others want?

    I'll just add to this by saying that if the Others motives essentially could be boiled down to "hate life and warmth" they'd be about on par with Balon "revolt for rape for life" Greyjoy and Gregor "is big and violent" Clegane. Some of George's character are wrapped up in intricate struggles between a variety of motivating forces, interacting complexly as the forces of history pull them in different directions. Some... aren't. Could be prophecy, could be that a ~30 year warm period, with ten years of solid summer just passes a critical threshold for the Others. Think of it from our perspective - all the years of winter where your food stores run low aren't that bad. It's the year when your food runs out, that's the problem. That 8th, 9th, or 10th year could have been devestating in a way no previous summer was. And the Others now have no reasonable expectation that the current balance of supernatural forces that determines the seasons will just hand them over a winter adequate to rebuild, because they haven't had a decent winter in so long. It could be that the 10-year summer is the important bit, or that it's the year 8,000 ALN according to their calendar The Others in AGoT's prologue can talk. "The Other said something in a language that Will did not know; his voice was like the cracking of ice on a winter lake, and the words were mocking." Could be an Other walked up to him in the night and asked to adopt his sons. Could be trial and error. Could be a tradition he picked up from one of his non-incesty wives. All we know is that his older wives seemed to understand the deal completely.
  6. MinotaurWarrior

    What do the Others want?

    This past summer was the longest in recorded history, with Westerosi historical records going back an incredibly long time. And even before this summer officially began, the seasons had been unbalanced. Tyrion believes seven or eight winters have passed since he was born in 273, and Jon snow only remembers one mild winter in his life. The winter of Tyrion's birth lasts to 274 and then there's a winter from 280-282 with an abominable false spring in the middle, then a summer in 284 when Dany is born, and another starting in 288. It's possible that there really has only been one winter in Jon Snow's life, but it's also possible that childhood amnesia has erased some. Tyrion's four or five missing winters have less than ten years in which they could have occurred - in a setting where seasons are said to last for years. The average length of the turn of non-summer seasons has to have been less than a year over the course of tyrion's life. And I think climate is one of the main determining factors of intelligent behavior. There's climate change and blah blah blah george is a hippy blah blah, but there's also the medieval little ice age and the flooding of the Nile and the bering ice bridge and the windstorms that sent the Spanish and Yuan chinese armadas crashing into British and Japanese rocks. Weather makes history. Finally, there's the fact that weather in westeros isn't natural. George hasn't spoiled what causes the seasons, except to say that it will be revealed, and is nothing scientific. The Andals and the Ashaii'i both believe their god(s) will send an eternal summer when certain conditions are met. The wildlings believe (and evidence suggests) that the Others bring the cold. This is an active struggle.
  7. MinotaurWarrior

    What do the Others want?

    The "Others are a weapon against man" theory generally holds that humans failed to keep the peace, citing places like Deepwood Motte as humanity intruding upon the Children's domain. I don't really buy into it, but that's what they claim. We know that Others were present at the time of the 13th LC (~13-260 years after the long Night), and we know they were present when Craster's sons were born, so I see no real reason to believe they were wiped off the face of the earth some time between then and now. Their inactivity for the majority of those 8,000 years is no more baffling than their inactivity over all but the last year and a half of Craster's life, or humanity's inactivity north of the frostfangs in the Land of Always Winter. While some people dismiss the Others as being mythical or historical they do the same of Giants who we know to be a totally normal part of beyond-the-wall life. As for what might have provoked them into stirring, we're told early on that long winter's follow long summers, and that this was the longest summer in recorded history. A large number of characters profess belief in or knowledge of this theory, and nothing seems to contradict it.
  8. MinotaurWarrior

    What do the Others want?

    We know long winters follow long summers, and that the Others specialize in manufacturing goods out of ice. I think it's reasonable to assume that part of what they want is simply to establish a long winter, to rebuild and recover from the long summer of Robert's reign. We also have reasonable evidence that Others adopt human children, and that Craster was literally the only guy in the world who was voluntarily giving his children up for adoption in this way. I think it's reasonable to think that they want more children and more child donor families. We also know that they enjoy killing people, so I think it's reasonable to think that they plan on killing a lot of people. They also might want to kill people just because people want to kill them. Perhaps their leadership believed that any winter long enough to rebuild would also be long enough to provoke an invasion by humanity.
  9. MinotaurWarrior

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Mansa Musa was one of the richest men alive at his time, with his kingdom being involved in a worldwide network of trade, but from most people's perspectives he came out of absolutely nowhere with his dazzling wealth. China, Rome, and India traded heavily for centuries, with Chinese silks being famed the world over, but real knowledge of each other's realms was very sparse and occasionally ridiculous. The reason for this was that trade happened through intermediaries and around geographic obstacles. The same holds true in Westeros. Paxter Redwyne has certainly never been to Vaes Dothrak, and he doesn't need to have gone anywhere at all to be a successful Wine Lord - all he has to do, personally, is grow fine wines and put them on boats. Even for his captains, to go from The Arbor to White Harbor you need to sail the whole way around Westeros, sailing by rivalrous Dorne and passing through King's Landing, the largest market with the highest prices on the continent. I imagine most of Paxter's captains never bother sailing past King's landing, but those that do certainly have no reason to go to White Harbor, regardless of the size of it's economy, because its trade in commodities is monopolized by the Lord who pays for goods at cost (Feudalism) and the technology for manufactured goods is not substantially different in the North than elsewhere.
  10. MinotaurWarrior

    What if Domeric Bolton lived?

    Even if he did think of it eventually, he'd never be able to execute on it, because he didn't bring their clothes on the hunt. Ramsay was only able to pull it all together in time because he had just pulled the same trick himself a few weeks prior.
  11. MinotaurWarrior

    What if Domeric Bolton lived?

    1) Domeric would have been at the battle of the red fork in AGoT, and likely killed or captured Tyrion. (Remember that Tyrion only lived because his mounted opponent was an impulsive poor rider) 2) Domeric would have made a good match for Lady Hornwood. 3) I doubt Domeric would have been able to take Harrenhal the way Roose did. Meaning he'd have either actually fought the Mummers, or joined up with Edmure? I'm not sure what he would do, but I think the deal with Hoat was a veteran's move. 4) Theon never would have thought of the fake children gambit on his own. That's with Domeric taking both Roose and Ramsay's places. It really throws the whole series into chaos. I think it could even be enough to make Stannis king (though it far from guarantees it). There's much less chaos if Domeric simply replaces Ramsay. In that case, I think he marries lady Hornwood peaceably, and they "swear to find" the stark children, whose realm they are "safekeeping." This probably would make things much harder for the Rickonite faction, because fewer people would hate the Boltons. Compared to Ramsay, a wolf in a child's skin raised by cannibals seems like a savior. Compared to Domeric, though?
  12. MinotaurWarrior

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    I'm not talking about normal cattle but rather proper wild aurochs, which several characters eat throughout the series, and yet have no known source. It seems very unlikely that they come from below the neck, given that most of the flatlands have been converted to farms, and, generally speaking, the further north you go in westeros, the more extinct european fauna you encounter (woolly rhinoceros, I'm looking at you). Real aurochs generally got bigger the further north you went, thriving in cold climates and biomes somewhat similar to those of the North. Still, could just as easily be the case that aurochs meat all comes from Skagos or royal game preserves or even essos. It would just neatly wrap up two mysteries (the source of the aurochs meat and the use of the non-forested Stark lands) Also, is there ever any evidence of the woods being well-managed? Not just the wolfswood, but any? I know the haunted forest is chopped down regularly, but we don't even know if that lumber is sold. There's a big difference in the value of a felled piece of gnarly knotted wild wood, and, say, a strategically coppiced birch tree.
  13. MinotaurWarrior

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    This is actually hugely interesting to me. Consider that, in some sense, the richest single individual we've met in the series so far was probably Khal Drogo with his 40,000 strong personal army, vast baggage train, Pentoshi palace, personal jewelry, and slaves. Obviously, Ned hasn't been collecting tribute from all over Essos - he's clearly not in league with the most powerful Khal of the dothraki sea. But it should remind us that pastoralists can do quite well for themselves. What if Wintertown is the Vaes Dothrak of northerners who follow the great aurochs herds of the cold waste? What if the average northerner isn't a peasant breaking their back trying to get seeds to grow from frozen earth, but rather a cowherd who follows massive wild horned beasts as they journey from pasture to pasture, venturing into town only when the grazing land becomes intolerably cold, or to sell hides, horns, and excess meat? This would likely mean that the average Northerner has much more personal wealth than a southerner (a family herd v.s. whatever excess from the harvest your lord let's you keep, and what little you're able to make from cottage industry) and lives a much more rugged, isolated, "frontier" style life. Now, there's no real direct evidence for this being the majority occupation of the North, but neither is there much evidence for farming in Ned's demense, and it makes more sense for all of the herds to have been off screen than for all of the farms to have been beyond the horizon of the kingsroad. Also, this really sheds almost no light on the household wealth of the Starks. Could be that these pastoralists evade almost all taxes by just evading the tax collectors. Could be Eddard caught half of each slaughter. Could be aurochs are a precious delicacy, could be they're cheap filler at all the feasts we've seen them in. This is really just me brainstorming a solution to the question of northern land use.
  14. MinotaurWarrior

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Do we even have confirmation on how much of the North is actually meant as farmland? During Ned's trip South, I don't recall seeing any worked farms or meeting any farmers in his lands, compared to how the south is described as being endlessly repeated farms, barns, and holdfasts. Hell, aurochs are still a thing, somehow. Maybe most of the North are actually pseudo pastoralists living off of extinct European megafauna, with andal settled agriculture being a minority occupation.
  15. MinotaurWarrior

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    I think we need to not use everything we have, or, in other words, be selective in the evidence we consider, because even in worlds with perfectly realistic prices (e.g. real history) these sorts of price comparisons can easily lead you astray. The only real sure things we can rely on are apples-to-apples comparisons, direct statements on wealth, and head-to-head economic competitions. E.g. we know Winterfell and the Eyrie have comparable graneries, we know the Lannisters are reputed to be the richest westerosi house, and we can imply from the Iron Bank's confidence in it's ability to win any bidding war over a mercenary company that it is likely the richest institution out there.