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Lord Varys

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  1. Had to take a break the last couple of days, but today I continued a little bit. Bah, how regressive and backwards Jordan is can be drawn from the little things like, you know, the women not being able to draw the big and manly bows of the Emond Fielders (sassy Faile has to be kept in the dark about the fact that she, meek little girl that she is, can only use the bow of a boy). That hammers home the fact that basically no woman is strong enough to be a proper fighter. In fact, it even kind of sends the message that even the weakest man is stronger than the strongest woman, since the bows most likely were not designed that only the strongest men of Emond's Field can draw them. And then the women actually - and I kid you not! - are part of the fighting force after the Trollocs have been attacking the village continuously for days. Instead, they continue to be good little house wife and heroically deceive the men about the fact that they are only eating half rations now since the manly men have to keep up their fighting strength. Obviously the way to go here would be to have shifts and allow whatever men who want to help at home and recover somewhat to do that, while the more martial women man (pun intended) the defenses and shoot some Trollocs with the guys. Instead we celebrate the fact that we still aren't as savage as to allow/force our women to fight. Other issue: Does the Dream World continue to be little more than a plot device where people can meet and watch real places as if they were there? I must say, that this place is completely stupid so far. If you have it be a world which can depict the real world realistically ... then there should have been ways to affect or change things in the real world from the Dream World. Just having it as another world looking more or less like the real world feels strange. Also, it is incredibly lazy for Jordan to make the Dream World basically the only place where the girls actually to 'investigate' something. And that's not really investigating but rather accidentally or randomly overhearing stuff they did not expect to overhear. Nynaeve randomly sees one of the Blacks torture the Panarch, and then she accidentally sees Moghedien and Birgitte randomly tells her who she is. How Jordan deals with Moghedien is also rather telling. First she is introduced as this subtle super plotter - but even the way she manipulates the super girls is kind of stupid since she doesn't ask precise - something a character as cunning and subtle as this character is supposed to should have figured out centuries ago. I mean, if your powers of persuasion as strong as Moghedien's then she should have had the problem she had with Elayne/Nynaeve years ago - that people are so eager to please her that they don't get to tell her everything she might want to know. I looked forward to the girls freeing themselves from Moghedien all by themselves - or having problems with her for quite some time. But, no. Jordan has to turn the subtle woman into a stupid girl. Also - seriously, the domination band for male channelers is just in a museum and so far nobody figured out that this is a powerful ter'angreal? Weren't there never any Aes Sedai advisers/ambassadors in the palace of the Panarch?
  2. To summarize a couple of things in FaB: Whenever there is a story or anecdote where we have more than one version then we can only decide what's the more or most outlandish version. Just because Eustace sounds more plausible than Mushroom or vice versa doesn't mean either of them is true. The very fact that the sources differ means the event as such is in question. If our most likely source claims to be an eyewitness - or is confirmed to be an eyewitness - then their scenario might be a tidbit more plausible, but if the text in question was written years or decades later then the text isn't worth all that much, especially insofar as details are concerned. Whenever a source isn't an eyewitness - say, Eustace's and Mushroom's accounts on Rhaenyra's last words or Rhaenyra's behavior when her father threatened to disinherit her or the final battle of the Cargyll twins - then neither account is worth anything. We can only speculate which account sounds more plausible in light what else we know about the character in question - knowledge we draw from the episodes where our sources aren't in doubt and which are based on public events where our sources all agree on. Such scenarios where the characters do something or talk about something are scenarios where the historical figures are completely in the hands of the people writing their story.
  3. Yes, that's earlier, after his return from the Riverlands. There he says they should marry and Tywin should sit the throne in Tommen's stead. It is pretty clear that Jaime's plot will continue in that direction just as the ultimate culmination of the twincest plotline will include the public and official condemnation of the children as bastards. Folks ignored it for so long that people are getting the impression that this doesn't matter ... but it does, at least when the right (or wrong) people actually believe it - or pretend in public that they believe it. Cersei's trial-by-combat will be completely irrelevant, for instance, if Jaime were to publicly state that he is the father of her children. He would be soiling his own honor to an insane degree by doing that, so nobody is going to ignore that.
  4. In AFfC and ADwD he explicitly plans to reveal the truth to Tommen and Myrcella, and it is made clear that he doesn't just intend to tell them in confidence behind closed doors but so that it will also affect Myrcella's betrothal to Trystane Martell. And that's before his meeting with Stoneheart. My guess is that his intention there is to finally be a man, confess what he and Cersei have done, and be an actual father to his surviving children. That this will destroy their royalty and turn them into bastards isn't something he seems to care about at all.
  5. Oh, but Jaime was already determined to effectively unmake Tommen and Myrcella as royal children by revealing their true parentage. His thoughts about the Dornish being pissed when he tells Myrcella the truth means he doesn't just want to tell his children the truth in private. He intends or expect this to have broader consequences. Also, remember how he was keen to marry Cersei and put Tywin on the throne instead of Joffrey? He doesn't really care that his children are royalty. Jaime might not be the same kind of 'Kingmaker' as Criston Cole, but if he goes through with the plan to destroy Tommen/Myrcella's claims to the Iron Throne after his meeting with Lady Stoneheart - which, to be frank, might be one of the few reasons why she is not going to kill him I can think of - then this might prove to be crucial step in Aegon's rise to the Iron Throne. If a majority of the lords of the Realm were in agreement that Cersei's children aren't Baratheons then the game will be over very quickly and perhaps even without a fight. And if Jaime Lannister were to actually publicly acknowledge Cersei's children as his own then people will listen to that. They cannot possibly ignore something like that. And, no, I don't think Aegon would have to execute Jaime if he were to join him. Aerys II was just Aegon's grandfather, not his father. Rhaegar and Aerys II had considerable issues before and during the Rebellion, and Aegon, Rhaenys, and Elia were apparently hostages against Dorne at the end of the war - not honored members of the royal family. Also - it seems as if Aerys II passed over Aegon and named Viserys his new heir after Rhaegar's death. All that means that Aegon isn't *really* expected to avenge his royal grandfather. And if Jaime really helps him to take the Iron Throne they can make an exception there. In fact, one can see such a thing as Aegon demonstrating that he is the king and he makes the decision in his camp, not the people surrounding him. They may have their own agendas and old blood feuds ... but he doesn't. My take on the Lannisters in general is that Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion will end up in completely different political camps in the latter half of the series - Jaime with Aegon, Tyrion with Dany, and Cersei with Euron.
  6. I'm not sure that is why he is remembered in that way. I'd think the good part just is that he was a good knight and Kingsguard before 129 AC whereas the bad part started when he, a simple Kingsguard who was supposed to obey his king without having a political mind of his own, decided on whim to help to make a king of his own choosing, and plunging the Realm into civil war over this. In a very real sense Jaime is actually a better Kingsguard than Criston Cole since he does his best to stay out of politics. His betrayal and murder of Aerys II doesn't come at a time when it was making a difference politically. Robert would have been king, even if Aerys II had been able to implement the wildfire plan (not that I think Jaime had to kill Aerys to stop it). And the lesson Cole's example is to teach Loras is that a Kingsguard must not mess around with politics. Which is a temptation Loras as brother of the queen is most likely going to face. The irony there, I think, will be that Jaime is going to become another Kingmaker when he sides with Aegon in his desire for redemption.
  7. Who cares? I don't agree that being 'blackhearted' is an insult, and it is completely pointless to even entertain speculations what fictional historians may or may not have written. And I'm at a loss why this is relevant. Mushroom supposedly liking Rhaenyra as a person - which I don't believe in light of the stories he tells about her and her family - has nothing to do with Aemond. Aemond is such a monstrous person that even fervent supporters of the Greens could dislike him and make such judgments - if you want to interpret them as judgment - in their works. I mostly don't trust Mushroom. I think there are, perhaps, one or two instances where he is correct in his conclusions - say, in his speculation about who the actual father of the Hull boys might be. But that's not because he actually knows stuff other people don't, but because he can make good conclusions on information that was almost publicly available. Again, any judgment any of the sources make who write decades or years after the facts is clouded by what they know about those people at the time of the writing. Who cares? I talked about Tyrion here and Tyrion simply isn't a scholar. He is a well-read layman. I mean, go along - believe that Mushroom and Tyrion are right of Byron Swann. But I don't. If we ask the question how reliable FaB as a whole is, how accurate a picture it paints of the *reality* of the historical figures it purports to depict, then everything is and should be under suspicion. Especially, as I said, direct quotes given in private, character assessments, speculations based on rumors, etc. Anything that goes beyond official and widespread documents - proclamations and the like (which are things we see quoted rather often without Gyldayn explicitly mentioning them) or events which would be well-attested by a number of different court observers like coronations, burials, tourneys and celebrations, open court sessions and audiences, etc. - is in doubt. All longer episodes and anecdotes are constructed (and in that sense false) narratives. The gist of it might be more or less accurate, but the details wouldn't be. Especially not the actual quotes given. That goes especially for dialogue in council sessions or private conversations behind closed doors (like we get them so often for Jaehaerys and Alysanne). Just stop pretending that this book is supposed to more than it is. It is just a fake history. It doesn't give us any actual truth about the fictional world. In that sense it is like a medieval chronicle pretending to tell us the truth about, say, the Anarchy a century or two after the events took placed, based on more contemporary sources. That doesn't mean it is worth nothing - we now know much more about the Targaryens than before FaB was published - but the details cannot be trusted very far. Just because George is actually a fantasy author and is not going write more books about that era doesn't mean the stuff in the book gets more credence. It remains what it is - a medieval style history book, which is deliberately written to be as unreliable as a medieval history book. I don't need Gyldayn or George to tell me how to assess spurious sources mentioned in a history book, thank you very much. Gyldayn himself is no modern historian, so the way he assess and judges sources is also problematic. Gyldayn's standards are obviously not my standards. But as you well know, Gyldayn himself tells us that only a few copies of the Testimony survived Baelor, and we don't know no the textual history of the copy or copies Gyldayn consulted. What George told us about the manuscript industy in Martinworld via the Coryanne book strongly implies that the rigid standards in manuscript-copying applied to professional text written by maesters or septons like Eustace's history or the True Telling wouldn't necessarily be applied to Mushroom's Testimony, especially if the text was actually written by an Essosi scribe and only later translated into the Common Tongue (which is certainly possible). In that sense, it is quite valid to wonder about the accuracy of the copies of the Testimony compared to the now lost original. Just as it is valid to question whether the scribe actually put down Mushroom's correct words. In fact, if you recall the Mercy chapter and remember Phario Forel's take on the War of the Five Kings then we might get a glimpse at how The Testimony of Mushroom developed - the mummer troupe of the dwarf was looking for inspiration for comedies and plays in Mushroom's own time at court. Just because a work pretends to be written by this or that person doesn't make it true. Mushroom isn't a source 'at Rhaenyra's side'. He talks about events all over the place, and what he has to tell about Rhaenyra doesn't necessarily have more credence because he was physically close to her or the events he describes. We know more about her life's journey and end than we know about Mushroom's. Folks don't have to identify nonsense for it to be nonsense, you know. The so-called 'peace offer' grants Rhaenyra and the Velaryons only what they already had - or rather it pretended to do that, since it was conditional on Rhaenyra doing obeisance in front of the Iron Throne in person, meaning they could have just seized her when she showed up. It is also quite clear that Aegon and Viserys were supposed to be hostages for her good behavior. The idea to split Westeros between the pretenders was laughable. It would have created two royal branches of House Targaryen and two independent kingdoms, destroying the unity of the Conqueror's Realm and turning one succession war into a possibly never-ending series of wars between two kingdoms. It wouldn't even be feasible since the very structure of the Realm couldn't stop this or that lord from deciding to acknowledge the other pretender as his or her monarch. Nope. Gyldayn always draws on sources and since he rarely mentions or quotes specific sources we cannot really pretend that the stuff he tells us is only drawn from this or that source when he mentions them specifically. In this concrete case the fact that Gyldayn says that Alicent wanted to bathe in the blood of Blood's family matter-of-factly and then points out that all his sources don't tell if this actually transpired indicates that all his sources agree that Alicent wanted to do this. In general, Gyldayn mostly mentions specific sources when they are at odds with each other or they are suspect. I didn't say it played no role. Helaena's death also played a role. But something as irrelevant as the murder or a royal woman or child wouldn't cause such major riots. We know what happened and the Gyldayn actually tells us why the people rioted. Because of high taxes - one group of rioters dealt with the Celtigar Master of Coin, after all - and because people were afraid that they would be killed by the Green dragons. If we had reason to believe Eustace or Munkun had access to the Dragonstone archives or if we had reason to believe Rhaenyra and her court would preserve letters about secret assassination plans then, yes, this might be possible. But we have no such reasons. It is quite common for medieval historians to invent both dialogues and letters, so there is really no reason to assume that those letters are accurate. You do want to misunderstand me, right? Aegon II was a pawn of his grandfather and mother when he was made king. He was never groomed to rule and he may not even have the ambition to become king. If this was so, then Rhaenyra and Daemon would have known it. The Greens were the queen's party, not the party of Prince Aegon, after all. He was their pawn as well ... until he wasn't. He even was their pawn at Storm's End just a very stupid pawn who fucked things up. Who cares what people in-universe call her? They even excluded her from their blood vow never mind that she, as Aegon's mother, was his most loyal supporter. Aegon II would have never been king without his mommy. She is the real Kingmaker, Criston Cole is just an extra compared to her. LOL, what? Aemond was in KL at the time. Daeron was in Oldtown. I know that Aemond being a target isn't mentioned, but that's why this was my assumption, not something that's in the text. I gave you the reasons why I don't buy the narrative as given and think that the weirdo decision to only kill Jaehaerys was something Blood and Cheese themselves made in their stupidity. It is also kind of telling that Blood is caught when he tries to leave KL to go to Harrenhal to collect his reward from Daemon. Why should that be necessary? Couldn't Mysaria pay the thugs whatever she promised? Chances are she cut ties with those morons after they turned this whole thing into this bloody shitshow, forcing Blood to demand payment from Daemon directly. One wonders what exactly Daemon would have done to the guy had he revealed to him he could have actually killed Alicent, Helaena, Jaehaera, Maelor and (technically) Otto in addition to Jaehaerys. Obviously they didn't have *that much* of a problem with that - and neither did any of their noble and heroic followers. Most of the lowborn Riverlanders joining Rhaenyra did so after Blood and Cheese. And Mysaria was Daemon's old buddy and later again his lover, so it is quite clear why she served Rhaenyra in the role she later had. It is actually easily explained how such a mixup could have happened. Daemon could exchange letters via raven with Dragonstone, but not with Mysaria in the slums of KL. To contact her he would have to send a messenger, and it is easily imaginable how a son of Alicent's might have become a son of Aegon's in all that. But then - I think Blood and Cheese knew what they were hired for but decided to kill one of the children when they were in the Red Keep because they felt or knew they could not return to Mysaria without at least some success. In 129 AC he was a settled and rather prudent guy who didn't want the war to escalate or do anything bold or rash. For the point here it doesn't matter who did it. If the Manderlys or the wildling women did it, we would understand why they did it. It makes sense in context of that world where an attack on your family demands revenge in an 'eye for an eye' way. If you don't do that, you look weak. That wasn't the original story but an abridged version of a part of the actual story. Rhaenyra certainly began her party, but her followers followed her and her children, not the idea that an elder sister should come before a brother - nor the idea that women should rule in general, etc. In a very real sense the Blacks turn Green and the Greens Black in the end - Aegon II wants his daughter as his heiress, in defiance of the weirdo interpretation of the Great Council, whereas Aegon III suddenly was the only male pretender left, so for all those Greens who just wanted a male monarch Aegon III was the guy to go with rather than Aegon II's rightful heir. To somebody like Unwin Peake or the late Grover Tully Aegon III is the rightful king because he is make, whereas Aegon II's rightful heir - his only surviving child Jaehaera - has either a lesser or no claim to the Iron Throne at all. Assuming the marriage would ever be consummated and Jaehaera never be set aside. Which was actually quite likely. But you very well know that the Blacks didn't continue the fight because Aegon III was betrothed or married to Jaehaera. And we can be very sure that Aegon III would have never married Jaehaera if the Lads or the Northmen/Vale army had been forced to take KL by force. We know from Ran that the original material from George has Aelora as Heir Apparent and Princess of Dragonstone before her death. They just cut it for length. Aegon III had heirs before Viserys' return - the regents just couldn't agree who they would name Heir Apparent. That is a difference. It was clear to all that it was one of Aegon's half-sisters. The only male claimant they had left was Gaemon Palehair and he was dismissed. Who cares about that? The Greens are mostly all thugs and traitors and opportunists, whereas most of the Blacks are good guys, never mind how you view their leaders. Alicent has two monstrous sons in Aegon and Aemond, one incompetent daughter, and a seemingly good son who burns down a town full of refugees, committing one of the worst crimes in the entire war. Rhaenyra and Daemon might be not exactly great people, but neither of them is as bad as Aegon and Aemond, and their descendants are all very good people. Ditto most of their allies. The Hull boys are actual heroes, the same many of the Blackwoods and other Riverlanders we meet. LOL, Rhaenyra wasn't overthrown by team smallfolk, but by team religious fanatics. Of course, the succession war as such is pointless - this is a shitty monarchistic world and nobody should care which royal prick sits on a throne that shouldn't even exist. But within the context of the story the Blacks are the good guys, the one standing with the chosen heir, whereas the Greens are basically all traitors. Who cares? Is it confirmed that Daemon in distant Harrenhal got a detailed report as to how and why Aemond decided to murder Lucerys? Do you think he or Rhaenyra or anyone on the Black side is obliged to give Aemond the benefit or the doubt or to assume that Aemond was not also sent with the order to kill any representative of Rhaenyra's who might be at Storm's End? She is told and she does know. Daeron is one of the worst war criminals in the Dance, insisting on the sack of Bitterbridge and personally burning down the town. I'm not sure whether Aerion is responsible for his own actions when he develops the delusion to drink wildfire. In fact, I'm not even sure Dany was responsible for her own action when she jumped on the pyre - or when she earlier believed that killing Drogo and burning him and Mirri might hatch the dragon eggs. She seems to be quite mad there. Aerys II goes from wrath to joy to sadness in a matter of minutes at Harrenhal. That isn't normal but pretty much a textbook case of somebody suffering from a severe mental illness. That he still can give coherent commands doesn't mean he is responsible for his actions. She taxed people because her coffers were completely empty. The idea that she taxed the people to throw a lavish celebration is wrong. We don't even know how much of her money would have gone in that celebration. I'm right here, you have the ridiculous view that only a father is responsible for how his son turns out, even then when he doesn't want him to rule. But we also have no confirmation - or reason to believe - that Wylde ever told Viserys I that his heir shouldn't be his heir or that he couldn't possibly name his daughter his heir. Nope, that's just excusing Ned's lies. Robert was dying. Ned could have told Robert the truth while also ensuring any commands Robert might give involving the lives and well-being of Cersei's children might not be executed. He had that power, at least if Robert would have kept him as his Hand. Ned also didn't know anything here. He feared Robert might command the murder of the children, he didn't know that. And in the end it isn't that decision to stops Ned from telling the truth - he cannot bring himself to cause Robert more grief by telling him the truth about Joff and his siblings. Insofar as the royal succession is concerned Stannis is not the legal heir. Both because Robert named another heir - his legal son Joffrey - and because Ned had no idea who Robert would name his heir if he knew he wasn't the biological father of Cersei's children. He could have chosen to ignore that revelation. He could have legitimized one of his bastards to name them heir in Joff's stead. He could have only declared Joff a bastard, deciding that Tommen - a good lad - could be a better king under Ned's guidance than Stannis or Renly. I, personally, think Robert would have either gone with Tommen as king or the legitimization of Edric Storm, since the big thing he is proud of on his deathbed is handing the reins of government to Ned. And for that he needed a minor on the throne or else Ned couldn't rule as regent. He could also have decided to name Renly his heir since he was better suited for the throne than Stannis ... and in the capital, so they could crown him much faster than Stannis. Ned has good intentions, to be sure, but he still betrayed his dying friend and made a decision he had no right to make. Sure it is. Stannis was not only Robert's brother but also a part of his government. Both means he had a duty to inform his brother about something like Cersei's betrayal. Not doing it meant he was aiding and abetting Cersei's usurpation by means of installing the false king Joffrey. Which then happens, thanks to Stannis' inaction. As loyal servant to your king you are also obliged to give him bad information - even if you expect he might not listen to you you are still obliged to try your best. Stannis had months to figure out the right way to tell Robert, perhaps even longer depending when exactly he first had his suspicions. Not to mention that Ned sent multiple letters to Dragonstone asking Stannis to come back, etc. and the man never even replied. He could have told Ned about the twincest asking him that he would tell Robert. But he didn't do that, either. Traditional succession practices within House Targaryen actually never favored Rhaenyra. Give it up. Sunfyre wasn't a particularly large dragon. LOL, it is 'the Tyrells' now, just that you can pretend you made an accurate point here. Some Tyrells were involved, but certainly not all of them. Perhaps a handful or a dozen of people at the feast knew about the plan, not more. That's not Joff being surrounded by traitors. It is a very small cabal of traitors working very efficiently. Cersei is still alive. If Aegon II had any loyalists left then Larys and Corlys would have been arrested after they committed their murders. Aegon II had so many loyal people about him that a Black leader caring about justice had to punish the murderers of Aegon II. Joff was smart enough to know when his life was in danger. There are multiple examples in the books. Aegon II never understood that. LOL, just drop it, you are making a fool of yourself. Otto was Aegon's grandfather and most important follower. Aegon II agreed to be king and wanted to be king after he was crowned (else he could have abdicated in favor of Rhaenyra which he never considered). Otto gave him that crown. He should have been grateful but he wasn't. He never even gave the old man a lordship, now that one thinks of it. What a disgrace. That doesn't matter, Laenor Velaryon acknowledged the boys as his, so they are. If Robert had said it was a lie that Jaime (or some other guy who wasn't Robert himself) was the father of his children then this would have been the truth as well. There are no gene tests in Westeros. And there is also no indication that lords or princes or random people have a right to demand that royals prove to their satisfaction that their children are actually their seed. You can spread rumors and whatnot - but then there will be a ruling by the king and that will be final. And Viserys I did rule on the parentage of his grandsons, did he not? You also see it with the Naerys-Aemond story - there was a trial-by-combat there and that settled the question. It was an accident since there is no indication that Luke ever wanted to cut out his uncle's eye. Alicent Hightower demanded that this young boy's eye be put out to punish him - which is sadism and madness or her part - and Rhaenyra reacted to that. And all she basically demanded is that the boy tell why he had called his nephews 'Strongs'. He wouldn't be question sharply if he were to tell the truth right away, would he? Daemon and Laena had to go into exile after they married without royal permission. And what point would a trial be in this case? If the king didn't allow you to marry then this is a crime no matter what you think you are entitled to do. You cannot get out of that by winning a duel. Not to mention that the king basically decides what your rights are, anyway. Jaehaerys I grants the Stinger the right to a trial-by-combat. Nobody would have stopped him if he had just mutilated the man the way he suggested it earlier. Ditto with Lysa, etc. LOL, then imagine that he refused her. Never mind that it isn't in the text and their split there only takes place in 113 AC after Rhaenyra's wedding. Who cares? I never said that Eustace actually talked to them, I just offered a possibility how Eustace could have gotten that information. That I find Eustace much more credible here than Mushroom's ridiculous version doesn't mean I say Eustace is confirmed to be correct. All we know for sure is that Daemon and Viserys quarreled and Daemon subsequently left.
  8. I'm enjoying my reread so far. Started with THoWwL after BotW, then the two books of the new series, and then I returned to MST. Especially THoWwL is pretty well-written and actually seems to have a lot of subtlety going on.
  9. Terry Silver summarizing and commenting on the ridiculous plot of Karate Kid III was priceless. The same when Daniel reflects on the weird turns his life took during the movies. That the world as such is one we cannot take that seriously can, I think, be drawn more from the importance an underage karate tourney plays to people in this world ... especially much older guys who should have moved on with their lives ;-). Also, the whole importance of karate philosophy for your everyday life is basically a Star Wars-like scenario. That is only believable in this weird secondary world. Although I like how in every good soap legal authorities do shop to service the plot, e.g. when Kreese is arrested or when he earlier issued that restraining order against Amanda or when Robby had to go to prison. But the really fun aspect is that there is still a kind of normal world in the background.
  10. You mean Criston there, of course ;-). In addition, what really gives it away is that Eustace's version of the events in 111 AC has Viserys I being able to keep the entire affair a secret, whereas in Mushroom's it is basically all over the place since quite a few people were involved in the lessons Daemon gave to Rhaenyra and Mushroom himself claims he helped that it came out. Which would have had severe consequences for Mushroom, lackwit fool or not, if it were true. That Daemon would actually confess to a story as silly and damning as this is also not really believable. That could very well get him killed. Not to mention that Rhaenyra being a slut of that caliber - a woman so depraved that she would learn all about sex from scum in brothels and a lackwit fool only to get into the pants of an anointed knight and Kingsguard she could never hope to marry ... then she wouldn't be the kind of woman Viserys I would want as his heir. He threatened to disinherit her when she refused to marry but would allow her to get away with that episode? To the point that she was allowed to go on a progress to the Riverlands and the West in the next year? With Criston Cole at her side, presumably? And Daemon's entire motivation was to marry Rhaenyra because she was the Heir Apparent. If his entire plot there were to risk that she might be disinherited in favor of Aegon he would gain nothing. Because he clearly had no interest to marry a niece who would not succeed to the Iron Throne. This really isn't even something one should take seriously as an account. Especially since Mushroom basically tells the same story twice. Also, we have Lyonel Strong knowing the truth in that scenario, and him pushing Viserys I to execute Daemon ... which would also imply that quite a few people knew the truth of what transpired. The Eustace version has the benefit that basically only Daemon, Rhaenyra, Arryk Cargyll, and the king knew what transpired. And Viserys commanded everybody to keep their tongues ... which seems is what happened. Else more historians than just Eustace and Mushroom would claim to tell the full story. Eustace could have learned the truth - or what he considers the truth - when speaking to the king, Cargyll, Rhaenyra, or Daemon in confidence.
  11. I just trust Eustace more than Mushroom. Deal with it. LOL, don't you understand? Those sources wrote or dictated all their texts in hindsight. It is completely irrelevant what they did or didn't yet do at any particular point in the narrative because nearly all the source texts are written years or decades after the fact. Any judgment of Mushroom, Eustace, Orwyle, or Munkun about the Dance guys is made long after most of them are dead. I already made that crystal clear. I can add that Tyrion is just a pretty well-read layman. He is no maester, he never attended the Citadel, and he never wrote a book or tried to a scholar. But I just don't care. The scenario of the fake history book is that by virtue of its existence there are source material - else the entire fiction of the history book breaks down. Gyldayn used much more sources than he named specifically (or else he just told us fairy-tales) and we have no clue how accurate the quotes he gives are. If you have a problem with that, it is yours, not mine. Who cares? He won't tell us but the very nature in which he presented this 'information' means it could be erroneous. Of course it is an opinion if he doesn't give us an actual quote. We have no confirmation that Eustace didn't like Rhaenyra or that Mushroom supposedly liked her. Because the story as such makes no sense in context. Obviously I don't think that. I don't care what George could have done and didn't. I care about what's in the text, and nothing in the text gives us the impression that the Testimony is a reliable text. That Gyldayn quotes it at all shows how bad of a historian he is, since no diligent historian would quote an anonymous work like that. But then - most of what Mushroom gives us are trivial details no proper historian would care about. Who had sex with whom in what manner isn't all that important. He bothered with Coryanne's later travails earlier, did he not? That's just nonsense. The Velaryons and Rhaenyra already had Dragonstone and Driftmark. Aegon II would have to take those holdings with force if he wanted them himself. He wasn't granting them anything. I never said it happened either. I just buried your weird claim that Eustace creates a shining picture of Alicent. If he is one source for this episode - and he could be - then he certainly painted her in a very bad light there. You don't understand what a rumor is, apparently. A rumor is something other people spread and believe and a historian mentions and discusses. It is not something he himself comes up with. What he himself comes up with is a theory to explain something. That Eustace does occasionally, like all the other sources. But Gyldayn doesn't invent rumors - unlike Mushroom. It is a minor affair since it actually had pretty much no influence on the continuation of the war. Rhaenyra is hated for a lot of reasons when she is overthrown. The butchering of royal children had little to do with that. LOL, sorry, I don't care about your interpretation here, since I do not for a moment think that Gyldayn's narrative contains so much as a single accurate word of Helaena or Blood or Cheese. I also don't think Daemon's writing there is necessarily accurate, since there is no indication that Gyldayn actually saw this private letter sent from Harrenhal to Dragonstone. Assuming it actually existed. In context, though, it makes little sense for Daemon to target Aegon's children. Aegon II is a non-entity. A pawn of his mommy and grandfather, and these two are Daemon's and Rhaenyra's real enemies. Their other pawn, Aemond, just murdered Rhaenyra's son and Daemon's stepson, so Daemon wants revenge for that. Alicent made Aegon king, so it would make sense if Rhaenyra lost a son that Alicent should lose a son in turn. I assume Daemon wanted Mysaria to kill either Aegon or Aemond or Daeron ... but she and/or her instruments chose a safer road and targeted Aegon's children instead because that was more convenient. The decision to target Helaena came when they had already invaded the Red Keep and had learned Helaena's daily routines and her visits with her mother in the Tower of the Hand. Daemon - although Mysaria perhaps not - also strikes us as too smart for something as ugly as this. Murdering such a child would give them very bad press, not to mention the stupidity involved - killing all of Aegon's children along with Helaena and Alicent (and Otto, a floor above) would have been much better for the Black cause. I context, though, I view Blood and Cheese basically as the murder of Little Walder or feeding Freys to Freys ... something that's ugly business and shouldn't have been done. But something that's part of a revenge that is entirely justified after what had been done by the other side before. The Black cause isn't Rhaenyra or whether a woman should rule. It is a dynastic struggle, it is about whose bloodline should sit on the throne in the future. And there the Greens lost and the Blacks won. Nobody on the Black side fought for equal primogeniture, after all. They fought for Rhaenyra because she was the king's chosen and legal heir and after her death they continued to fight - and eventually won - fighting in the name of her heir. That nobody really cared much about 'the female question' there can be seen by the fact that none of Rhaenyra's descendants (aside from Aerys I) ever named a woman his Heir Apparent thereafter. I didn't say all the Blacks were heroes to the same degree, I said they are the heroes in general. Their cause is just. It might be ugly to murder a child in an eye for an eye scenario but that's what can happen in war. Oh, she does. Littlefinger tells her what they are doing. It is not breaking of guest right as such, but still very insidiuous. The Greens killed thousands or tens of thousands of innocent children at Tumbleton. You don't have the author tell you that Aerys II isn't responsible for his actions. You see it in the text when you realize from what symptoms he suffers. He might have some clear moments, but he is clearly suffering from a severe mental illness. Of course. Robert had named Joff his heir and successor in his last will and Ned chose forge that will and decided to crown somebody else. It isn't Ned's call to decide who the heir should be or to assume or presume he knew who Robert would have named his heir had he known what Ned knew about Robert's children. If Ned had decided that Joffrey should succeed him knowing what Ned knew, then Ned would have had to accept that. In the book we read no such money was wasted since Rhaenyra only made plan for that. And don't pretend you know how lavish that ceremony would have been or how much it would have cost. Considering that a war was going on it might have been as 'lavish' as Joff's thriteenth nameday party. Nobody said Otto was a father to Aegon II. Just reread the books. It is still the approach most lords actually take. Bran isn't a part of his father's council, Shireen - merely Stannis' presumptive heir, not his chosen heir (that's the son he'll never have) - isn't, either. That guy disagreed with his king only while said king was a rotting corpse in his chambers ... not while said king was still ruling the Realm. But Ned is still a traitor to Robert here. It is treason by omission. He presumes he can decide who the king should be without actually talking to the king about it despite the fact that he could have told him. It is the same with Stannis. He is a traitor to Robert as well since he never told him what he believed about his children and then presumed to usurp the throne without any actual evidence that his fancy theory about Robert's children was correct. Last time I looked, Otto Hightower shat on the Great Council in 105 AC. Sunfyre is a small dragon. Else Moondancer would have never been able to kill him ... which she did. LOL, just LOL! Joff was surrounded by most loyal folk. A small cabal murdered him ... and they are lucky they got away with it so far (I'm honestly looking forward to this thing biting both Littlefinger and the Tyrells in their asses!). But Aegon II was apparently murdered by effectively his entire court. The only people still 'loyal' to this failure were his mommy and the corrupt and savages morons who helped him take Dragonstone. And he didn't see that coming. He had no clue what was going on. I don't think Joff would have been that stupid in a similar situation. It is obviously a betrayal of trust and friendship and family if you sack the very grandfather who made you king. Oh, I'm sure the implication in FaB is that Aemond would have seized the crown if Aegon II had died. He was already wearing his crown, after all - which is already a presumption and something a regent normally doesn't do (a queen regent might wear her own crown, of course, but a prince or lord regent would not wear the monarch's regalia). What that would mean for Maelor and Jaehaera we can speculate. Stop giving this thing about Rhaenyra without context. She wanted Aemond questioned sharply about the lies the boy heard after Alicent had demanded that Lucerys Velaryon - at that time a boy of five! - lose an eye because of something that was clearly an accident. The one woman fond of torture here is clearly Alicent - she is the one confirmed to want to put out the eyes of children and the one who wants to bathe in the blood of innocent women and children. She is also the one who wants her granddaughter to murder her own husband and king ... who happens to be her own step-grandson. I'm not sure why you are writing this. It has nothing to do with what I wrote before. I think Viserys I may have executed Harwin if he married Rhaenyra without his permission because Harwin was just a Strong. Not Daemon Targaryen, the king's own brother, a man Viserys I loved despite his many flaws. He did allowed Daemon and Rhaenyra to get away with things others might not get away with. And if Harwin was the father of Rhaenyra's sons - or the king believed that - then such a marriage may have been too much for him. Lyonel was the Hand. But the Hand can be dismissed. And Harrenhal can go to another house.
  12. 'Into the Narrowdark' - no idea what that could refer to at this point. Prior to the Parting the two peoples lived together in all the cities - possibly there were even some Sithi at Nakkiga-That-Was at that time, although not that many, one imagines, just as after the Parting there remained some Norns at Asu'a as we learn in BotW. Specific cities where they are confirmed to have lived together prior to the Parting would be Tumet'ai (which was swallowed by the ice before the Parting) and Enki-e-Shayo'saye (where Drukhi and Nenais'u seem to have lived together) but that should have extended to all the cities prior to the Parting. The place where Sithi and Norns lived together very much in harmony prior to the Parting (and perhaps even some time thereafter) seems to be the city of Hikehikayo which has been mentioned repeatedly in the new books, especially as the place where Ayaminu lived before the Parting. The big question in THoWwL is who the Norn was Ayaminu knew in her youth. Chances are pretty big that it was Yaarike and he was the guy who stole the document that Morgan and Tanahaya found with her master's corpse in EoG.
  13. It just seems to be a very petty and shitty thing to do. The condenscending attitude there is almost unbearable. 'You are so stupid/inexperienced that you don't even understand why you cannot do that on your own.' The heroes defying their teachers and mentors can make sense, but those aritificial and nonsensical barriers the author creates just make no sense. That's just a way to burn pages and slow the narrative down. Yes, the women are all abusive. I don't expect that Lan is ever going to give Rand a well-deserved spanking, nor are there any scheming, manipulative men in the books. Even Rahvin seems to actually dominate Morgase rather than, you know, manipulate her. Yes, of course. The whole slave girls thing comes so naturally to this series that I honestly was confused for a moment that the damane and sul'dam were actually depict as being of equal height - I'd had intuitively imagined that the damane have to crawl on all fours like good little slave girls. Unless I'm misremembering the domination band for male channelers isn't as effective as that for women and needs two women to control you and is designed so that eventually the male channeler will break free/control his controllers, no? In that context we can also discuss Jordan's obesession with physical height - men are always taller than women, establishing the natural hierarchy of the sexes, which is why a small female Aes Sedai dominating a room full of people is actually wrong/unnatural and would normally be countered by taller, more charismatic, more powerful male Aes Sedai. I expect Rand will continue to put women in their place with his mere presence alone as his powers continue to manifest. I've no issue with initiation rituals ... but with a culture which continues to teach the un-initiated lies about their true origins. It is like folks believing in a flat earth learning the truth is some ritual and then keeping that to themselves. There is no innate reason why the Aiel cannot know the truth about their origins and remain an honorable people. Okay, but they could have certainly come up with a better way to do that, namely, build some kind of retreat where they could store the artificats or something else along those lines. It also strikes me as completely stupid that they wouldn't send at least one Aes Sedai with the Aiel when they left. That strikes me as not exactly very likely. The Aes Sedai at that time had a very long lifespan, so we would have to assume that all Aes Sedai at the end of the Breaking were taught by Aes Sedai who were born during or even before the Shadow War even began. You are right that apparently no Aes Sedai lived through the Breaking, but that alone does not constituate a breaking in tradition. It can't, actually. For that Jordan would have to establish that the Breaking lasted so long that mulitple generations of Aes Sedai were born and lived and died during the Breaking, so that - like with the Aiel - the Aes Sedai at the end would only have the tales of their grandparents or great-grandparents about the beginning. But that clearly isn't the case as per the author. If 'mainly wilders' formed the White Tower then things should have been more different than they actually were. Instead, the impression I get from the Worldbook is that the Aes Sedai fractured into those different Ajahs but that there is a direct link from those Ajahs back to the pre-Breaking Aes Sedai. Again, knowing that you, as an order, once had a bunch of servants named Aiel is just not something that you would forget as an institution. They might forget details about the Aiel or what their function was exactly, but not the general knowledge about. Keep in mind that they still remember that there was a Dragon and an Age of Legends and Forsaken. The Aiel were a crucial part of the earlier society, nearly as honored as the Aes Sedai themselves. Technically, even mundane people should still remember them. And when you bring the Ogier into the mix it becomes clear that nobody should have ever forgotten the Aiel since they live as long as the old Aes Sedai and they survived the Breaking, with some Ogier possibly living through the entire Breaking. There is no chance that the Ogier would not remember and pass on the knowledge what they and the Aiel and the Nym did back in the good old days. Those Aes Sedai can make sense if they were never part of the Tar Valon Aes Sedai - the order did fracture, after all, and the Aes Sedai in Seanchean and Shara and elsewhere never became part of the Tar Valon regime. But if those Aes Sedai remembered what the Aiel were - and they did that - then it makes little sense that the Tar Valon girls would completely forget that. There would be little to no change in the plot if the White Tower still knew about the Aiel and what they were but refused to reveal it. But the idea that they don't actually know is very odd. Also, as I already said, it also strikes me as impossible that something like the connection between the Way of the Leaf and the Aiel would ever be forgotten. The Way of the Leaf remains a part of the public mind of people via the Tinkers ... but we are to believe that the Tinkers themselves and the world around them including the Aes Sedai should forget who used to follow the Way of the Leaf in the past? The Myrddraal swords are especially deadly, but the Trolloc weapons seem to contain mundane poison - which is common enough so that Moiraine immediately realizes what's going on with Tam. This isn't something you can save. Jordan either forgot or didn't care what he established earlier. If he had thought about it he could have had Perrin's wolfish nature act fight and/or slow down the effects of the poison ... but there is nothing of that sort in the text, so that's nothing we can assume happened. I think what confuses me there is the idea that the head of state/government of the White Tower serving for life cannot, on her own, decide how to deal with a male channeler she thinks is the Dragon Reborn. Why do they have a ruler chosen for life if she cannot make such a decision on her own? And regardless what we might assume Elaida and cronies presented to the other Sitters - which we don't know since the author didn't depict that scene - what Siuan did was, at best, misguided, but nothing against the White Tower or for the Shadow. Up until Callandor she couldn't even be *completely sure* that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. And how should any of them ever know if they do not give him the opportunity to try and fulfill the prophecies? Honestly, I don't see how Siuan could be certain that the girls and Moiraine weren't also Darkfriends. I mean, there are means to turn you against your will, and Moiraine was at the Eye with the gang where she encountered two Forsaken. They could have turned them all and Siuan would have had no way to know anything about that. The Black Ajah hunt would have made sense if the girls had been part of a larger group of Aes Sedai consisting of sisters Siuan thought - perhaps wrongly - she could trust. That way the girls could have actually learned something during the missions. Nah, that idea makes little sense since Siuan clearly doesn't have a clue in what danger she herself is ... and the girls are not more important than she herself. Yes, Elayne should have definitely trusted Gawyn. At least when she went on a mission THE SECOND TIME. Although, frankly, it would have made a lot of sense to take the boys even the first time around. No idea why the Pattern would want something that's clearly a victory for the Dark One and something that causes considerable problems further down the road. 'The Pattern' might have only intervened when Min and Gawyn and Logain helped Siuan to escape ... in a manner that doesn't really make sense in a realistic scenario. A fifth isn't that much, so one imagines that a full assembly of the Hall would have had a different outcome. The Blacks may have eventually murdered her, but if they had had the strength to depose her own her own they would have done so ... and then Alviarin or Mesaana herself would have been the next Amyrlin, not the moron Elaida.
  14. Well, if family meant anything to him then Larys should have turned against the Greens the moment he learned what Aemond did at Harrenhal. But it seems that Rhaenyra took KL before that happened, since Aemond butchered the Strongs after he learned what had happened in KL. Larys could have saved Aegon II and his children to go then underground because he knew when Daemon and Rhaenyra came to KL that Aemond would take Harrenhal ... and then things would go very well for his family and friends there if they were to learn that Larys Strong was sitting on the Black Council at Rhaenyra's side. We can also kind of assume that Larys couldn't remove Aegon II and the children without Alicent's knowledge and involvement (she acted as surrogate mother for them, after all, and they all lived in Maegor's Holdfast where nobody can just march in), so we could speculate that Larys may have hoped or wanted that the Greens remaining at court would inform Aemond what he did for their cause. That Larys Strong later seems to have had *never* any intention to continue to work with Aegon II and Alicent might be a direct consequence of Aemond's actions at Harrenhal. While Aegon II's fate is sealed when Borros Baratheon loses on the Kingsroad, Larys were already actively working against him even before his situation was hopeless. Larys' entire take to insist on the betrothal of Aegon and Jaehaera is obviously a preparation to install Aegon III as the next king even while Aegon II had still a very small chance to win the war. And it is a very subtle and successful move since convincing the king to have Aegon the Younger as his presumptive heir made it very hard for any remaining Greens to continue to the war after Aegon II was finally out of the way. In that sense, what we can say about Larys' final actions is that he wanted to get rid of Aegon II and Alicent, that he wanted an end of the war that didn't destroy KL even further (he and Perkin were only behind Perkin's riots, not the Shepherd's madness), and a government effectively run by him (he got everything but the latter). Sacking and executing Larys may have been one of Cregan's biggest blunders. Larys as one of the regents - or even Aegon III's Hand - would have made the Regency a peaceful and quiet era, not the shitshow that started when Corlys and Tyland died.
  15. I'm with Ran on that one - Renly definitely had the potential to be a great king. There is no doubt that he was the best of the Baratheons and the least problematic of the pretenders during the War of the Five Kings. The only caveats in his case are the way in which he would have come to power - as a usurper with the worst legal claim - and the bad precedent this would have set for the future - Robert's own usurpation was the first bad precedent in this regard. If Renly had ended up with as many belligerent sons as Rogar Baratheon had belligerent brothers, his succession would have been another bloody mess. That were also possible if all of Margaery's children looked like her and Loras rather than inheriting the Baratheon looks. In light of Renly's sexual preferences talk that he may not be their father could also cause problems, especially if Margaery and/or Loras were to predecease Renly. Also, if his rise to the throne had come with a lot of ugly murders like Robert's own back in the day - say, the brutal murder of all of Cersei and/or her children in a kind of mirror image of the murder of Elia and her children - or if he had been forced be very stern to Stannis/Shireen and the Starks to ensure that his reign is secure, this could have cast long shadows on his reign. Renly's charisma would give him the best chance of all the Baratheon pretenders to deal with a Targaryen invasion launched by Viserys and the Dothraki - one including Dany's living dragons would be a harder nut to crack. In relation the Others Renly's hold over the southern folks - Stormlanders, Reach, and even parts of Dorne - might allow him to launch a counterattack against them if he believed in the threat.
  16. I guess to have leverage over Rhaenyra and Daemon if he were ever captured. We have to keep in mind that Aegon is basically completely at Larys' mercy until Sunfyre returns to Dragonstone (which nobody could have foreseen). The people caring for Aegon aren't his people - they are Larys' people. In the end it looks as if Larys was more or less after the Iron Throne. He is the guy behind Ser Perkin the Flea and 'King' Trystane Truefyre (who may actually have been Viserys' bastard in light of the fact that Robert also had his Master of Whisperer take care of his bastards, so Larys may have known where the one secret bastard of Viserys I was) and he only pretends to switch back to the Greens when Lord Borros shows up and Aegon II has killed Rhaenyra and taken possession of Dragonstone. The restored Aegon II is even more of a pawn of his advisers than the boy who took the throne in 129 AC, so if they had actually restored order he may have controlled the cripple for the remainder of his reign - which wouldn't have been *that long* considering his injuries - to then run the government in the name of Aegon II's successor. When that didn't work out his plan was to use Aegon III as a puppet king - who was even better suited for that role considering his personality. And Aegon III did trust Corlys and Larys since they actually got rid of his evil uncle and put him on the throne. If Cregan Stark hadn't interfered, Larys Strong could have been the Bloodraven of his era, ruling the Realm as Hand for the next thirty or forty years. Larys being a crucial player behind the riots against Rhaenyra is odd only at first glance. After the Two Betrayers switched sides KL was about to be burned by Green dragons. The only way to save the city was to get rid of Rhaenyra before the dragons arrived. One can see him handing the city back to her like he later did hand it to Aegon II if Rhaenyra had returned from Dragonstone with a dragon instead of Aegon II.
  17. Yeah, I get how it works, but even there you, as the impeached head of state/government leader, are allowed to present your case and defend yourself against the accusations and/or convince the assembled people that you should not be sacked. That didn't happen there. They actually assembled the Hall without the Amyrlin and the Keeper. Which strikes me either as a break of procedure ... or as Jordan not giving the Aes Sedai a good procedure. If random people can just assemble and depose a head of state on a whim then the system is pretty bad. So far we don't even know what exactly Siuan and, especially, Leane stand accused of. I get it what the Black Ajah likely want, and we also understand that Elaida hates Siuan and Moiraine for her own petty reasons ... but wouldn't the others have needed actual evidence for crimes or a bad behavior? And why didn't they want to hear Siuan's side of the story? I'm not sure that can make much sense in-universe. They know the Dragon will be reborn and that he must be a male channeler, so how the hell could they find him if they were not to watch possible Dragon candidates? And Siuan/Moiraine do have 'evidence' that the Dragon has been reborn already, so the other Aes Sedai shouldn't be able to dismiss all that. At least not all that easily. I know that the Blacks had this secret male channeler murder program earlier ... and I've also trouble swallowing that outside the Black Ajah circles since the non-Blacks should have known if the Dragon is out there they need him. They cannot kill him before the Last Battle. That may be a reasonable point of view from their side ... but why any of the others should view it their way.
  18. Just adding a few comments since I like some of your takes. That - and Rhaenyra would have to be an utter fool to try the same routine a few years later shortly before her wedding. If you try to seduce a guy in a weird way once you don't try it again in the same manner. This is pretty much a textbook case of Mushroom being inconsistent as hell and recycling the same plot device again, possibly because he has a bad moment and cannot come up with another way to entertain the scribe milking him for information. Also, Mushroom's entire take on the apparently well-known attraction/romance between Criston and Rhaenyra (to the point that they still talk about that in Dorne over 150 years later) smells like Mushroom trying to give Criston Cole and the entire story a new spin. Sort of like: 'You have heard Criston Cole had the hots for the princess? Guess again! I, Mushroom of the Largest Member, tell you THE ACTUAL STORY!' But - of course - with the king and others finding out the story as given by Mushroom should have had severe repercussions at court. Criston Cole losing his sworn shield job would just be a minor result. Mushroom may have been executed or at least banished for getting his member to close to Rhaenyra instead of being allowed to entertain her on Dragonstone in later years, and we could also expect this to result in Viserys I to change the succession since it is a pretty big thing to assume he would have wanted to have an heir who behaved in such a way. Yes, and in context he would have asked the king to separate them back in 111 AC when Rhaenyra made her first attempt to seduce him if Viserys I hadn't done that himself. We have to keep in mind that the KG are supposed to be celibate, so the merest rumor that they might have an affair with a woman - especially a royal princess! - could have resulted in Criston to be disgraced. And the biggest precedent here is old Ser Lucamore the Lusty, so Criston would have considerable reason to fear that Rhaenyra might ruin him (or get him killed) by claiming he had sex with her. That is an interesting idea, one I like as well ... but as I said above this is also one of the cases where we could just have a genuine murder committed by a jealous lover/friend. Correy disappearing is odd, but his wagering and whatnot could indicate he connected with organized crime and they did away with him when he asked them for help to get off Driftmark rather than risk the wrath of the Sea Snake (or, possibly worse, that of Princess Rhaenys). Another take could be that the Velaryons did kill Correy quietly because he knew too much about the parentage of Laenor's children and they did not want a public trial to cast further doubt on that. That might make sense, for instance, if Correy was found by Corlys immediately after the Vhagar incident. In fact, in such a scenario, Rhaenyra and Viserys I may have commanded/insisted that this be dealt with quietly. Corlys' bounty would then be just for show. Here just an accident also makes a lot of sense. If not, then I prefer the Larys Strong version, although even that is lacking sufficient motivation in light of the fact we have no clue whether Larys got along with Harwin and Lyonel ... nor whether he actually wanted to be Lord of Harrenhal. He isn't even married during the Dance, indicating he felt no rush to father heirs who could succeed him as Lord of Harrenhal. My gut feeling is that neither Daemon nor Viserys I nor the Hightowers nor Rhaenyra had sufficient agents in place at Harrenhal to cause a fire there. Those Strongs seem to be rather sly people, especially Lyonel and Larys, and Harwin also knew how to get what he wanted, so I doubt you could easily buy your way into their castle and get the people there to act as your arsonists. If it was no accident then the person arranging it must have already had people in place, so a spur of the moment thing like Viserys I wanting to kill Harwin and accidentally killing his Hand in the process of that, or Daemon jumping on a chance to kill Rhaenyra's lover seem to be very far-fetched. The idea that Rhaenyra could have married Harwin after the Vhagar affair is not very likely. The king had separated them, so if they had dared to marry afterwards there would have been severe repercussions, possibly resulting in Rhaenyra being disinherited and/or Harwin being executed. I think all sources are in agreement that Aegon was with a mistress. Munkun is vague claiming he was 'at his revels', Eustace talks about well-cared for daughter of a wealthy trader ... but that would imply he was with her, i.e. outside the castle since trader's daughters usually don't live in the Red Keep. That is the gist of it ... although either detailed version could be based on reports that eventually reached KL. Gyldayn's broad retelling of that story can imply that various people took great effort to collect all the information about the events at Bitterbridge. The Brothel Queens seem to be one of the stories Gyldayn himself considers to be one of the least likely stories he mentions, so that's very unlikely indeed. Rhaenyra had time and opportunity to do whatever she wanted with Alicent and Helaena ... and she seems to have done literally nothing to the former, possibly keeping her in the same chambers the Greens kept her in after her mental breakdown. Making it extremely unlikely she would ever do something like that to her. In context, Helaena isn't even a relevant rival of Rhaenyra since she is just a queen consort, going along with the plans her mother and grandfather and brothers made. As long as her person is secure and she cannot prop up any of her sons as rival pretenders she poses no threat at all. And Alicent should have been executed. That Rhaenyra basically spared the life of her greatest enemy shows how reluctant she was to command the death of women, how unlike she was like actual tyrants like Maegor. And how soft compared to a woman like Visenya who burned multiple castles in a single night. Nettles is the only woman she ever targets, and that only after her entire council and the scheming Mysaria push her into a mad rage. This whole episode is very much a kind of blank space where people don't know why something that should have happened didn't happen - and then they come up with various 'explanations' for this - one of which is the weird Brothel Queens storyline. Another such blank space is why the hell Rhaenyra didn't kill Alicent - or at least take her with her - when she fled KL. Not to mention what the hell Mysaria thought when she stayed behind.
  19. Sorry, but I see it as part of a general courtesy to reply to remarks directed at me. If you don't like that, just don't reply. I've no issue with that at all. My issues with that are basically twofold: One there is the way it is depicted in TSR - we don't see the actual deposition nor the questioning/torture thereafter. This is a rather crucial event in the larger plot, so it would have been great if the author had given us more details about the process as such. The other thing is that we don't really understand - at least as per TSR - what exactly Elaida and her allies accuse Siuan of? Remember, in this very book we get learn from Siuan's own POV that she has received word from Moiraine that Rand has claimed Callandor at Tear ... and that she plans to assemble the Hall to reveal that and talk about it. In context it is pretty much inconceivable that Siuan could that and actually fool the Hall into believing that she didn't actually know or strongly suspect that Rand was the Dragon Reborn when she met him at Fal Dara. It would also impossible to deny or conceal that Moiraine had discovered Rand at Emond's Field because she was looking for the Dragon Reborn and that she had been at his side for a quite some time at this point. But if all that was enough for Siuan to be deposed ... how could she ever hope not to be deposed? How could she convince the Hall that she was doing was okay when it couldn't possibly be okay in their eyes? And then there is question what allows you to depose an Amyrlin in the first place? The first precendence is Tetsuan of the Red Ajah who betrayed Manetheren's call for help during the Trolloc Wars - which seems to be a crime on multiple levels - assisting the Shadow, betraying an allied nation, betraying a fellow Aes Sedai. And the second one was Bonhwin - her actions seem less openly treacherous than Tetsuan's, but they definitely put the entire order into a very bad position. Compared to this ... I don't actually see what Siuan did wrong. There is no law or anything that would have forced her to reveal everything she suspected or knew about Rand - and depending how much Moiraine told her at Fal Dara she may have only fully believed that Rand was the Dragon Reborn after Falme or Callandor. While this whole thing certainly can be a risk in the view of other Aes Sedai ... it is by no means too late to control Rand. There are various means to do that, some more forceful than others, and even I know that Elaida's girls repeatedly attempt to control Rand, just as the Forsaken do. So what exactly are Siuan's crimes? And - more importantly: What exactly did her enemies know when they deposed her ... and what did she and (especially) Leane do to deserve being stilled - the latter basically had no clue about Siuan and Moiraine were doing? What little TSR indicates is that Elaida didn't even have Min's testimony - Alviarin, presumably, went to the farm and tortured and killed the novice who overheard a talk between Min and Gawyn in the beginning of TSR, but that's clearly not 'evidence' of anything. I get it that the Black Ajah were most likely instructed to sack Siuan and replace her with the easily controlled moron Elaida, but even the Blacks would have to actually build a case against Siuan and Alviarin could not really publicly say that her Forsaken buddies told her that Rand was the Dragon Reborn ... even more so since she was at Fal Dara, saw and interacted with Rand there, and didn't capture him. I mean, even Elaida's regime is not all Black Ajah. They still are just a powerful faction within a larger whole and they have to act behind the scenes. Else they would have just made Alviarin or Mesaana herself the Amyrlin, no?
  20. Aegon having just two sons doesn't keep the tree particularly simple. If there had been daughters, Aenys and Maegor could have married them (especially Maegor the polygamist), and spare daughters could have been married to a Velaryon or Baratheon cousin - especially the latter could have done very well with more than less Targaryen blood. So if you have a Targaryen daughter you don't know what to do with - just marry her to a Baratheon. We could also have had a younger son of the Conqueror as a member of the Kingsguard, one rising to the position of Grand Maester to later serve Jaehaerys I in that capacity, or one as a High Septon. It is also somewhat of a letdown that Aemon and Bloodraven seem to have been the first Targaryens to take the black. But, of course, it would have also been great to have some cadet branches of House Targaryen which were cut down both during Maegor's tyrannical rule and the Dance of the Dragons. We know very little about the Targaryens pre-Conquest, but we do know that Aegon was Lord of Dragonstone for quite some time since he did fight the Volantenes on dragonback some time before the Conquest. We also know that all three Targaryen siblings were already dragonlords before their marriage which may imply that Lord Aerion must have died before the marriage since it stands to reason that Aerion rode either Balerion, Vhagar, or Meraxes before the children claimed them. The duty Aegon had to follow was the Targaryen tradition that the eldest son marry the eldest sister ... and the eldest and the or a younger sister. It is not impossible that Aegon had two weddings, but so far there is no confirmation for this and what I take away from the story is that Aegon married Visenya and Rhaenys in a single ceremony, most likely after his father had already died. They are in their early twenties in 2 BC when the Conquest starts, so regardless when Aegon became Lord of Dragonstone, there is a chance that he was married to either or both his wives for quite some time. Traditionally, the Targaryens marry around the age of 16, say, from 15-18 or so. Visenya if finally confirmed to have been two years older than Aegon, so to prevent her from marrying outside the family they could have married shortly after she became a woman grown - say, when Visenya was seventeen and Aegon fifteen. The Volantene episode seems to be just a short sideshow, and a dragon makes you very mobile. Rhaenys/Visenya could have visited Aegon in Lys, or he could flew back home for a short visit. Keep in mind that Rhaenys and Visenya both managed to get pregnant - allegedly by Aegon - during the First Dornish War when they all were moving around on dragonback more often than not. That is not true. They were apart for a considerable time, but they were also together in camps on multiple occasions, namely on the Field of Fire, when they accepted Torrhen Stark's submission, and earlier at KL and later in Oldtown. Also, their dragons made them very mobile - Rhaenys' stint in Dorne was very brief, just as Visenya's 'conquest' of the Vale was. The campaign in the Stormlands and the naval attack on the Vale may have taken Rhaenys and Visenya some time, but even that cannot have lasted more than a couple of months. They had more than enough time and opportunity to have sex repeatedly - although that's certainly no guarantee that they did have sex. When Aegon travels the Realm he left one of his queen back in KL to sit the Iron Throne ... but the other usually accompanied him, so there would be plenty of chance to have sex with one of them on the road ... and one imagines that it was Rhaenys who accompanied Aegon most of the time (although she also spent some time in KL as the Rule of Six shows). When relations with Visenya deteriorated they effectively separated. Visenya and Maegor were on Dragonstone while Aegon was in KL and vice versa, and when Aegon was touring the Realm with Aenys, Visenya sat the Iron Throne in KL. Visenya doesn't get pregnant after the gang hangs out in the field burning Dorne - although that does happen in 10 AC. She gets pregnant after there is talk in KL that she is barren and Prince Aenys might die. Dragons fly, so the time it took Aegon and Visenya to torch most of the Dornish castles yet again are more likely to be a couple of weeks than months. When they learned about Rhaenys' death, Hellholt likely burned a 2-3 days later - however long it took Aegon to fly to the place. Without having Rhaenys' body or knowing what had happened to her exactly there wasn't even a need to have a funeral before starting the revenge spree. Remember how many castles in the West and the Riverlands Maegor and Visenya allegedly burned in a single night? But anything that happened after Rhaenys' death and Maegor's birth two years later doesn't really matter all that much for the question at hand. Aegon had twelve years and more to father children on two wives and he only got one child from each of them. That is just weird. Even more since the pressure to produce an heir would have been there even before the Conquest - but much, much more afterwards. They had this gigantic kingdom which was too large to be ruled effectively ... and which they could easily lose in old age when they could no longer ride their dragons in battle if they had no clear and universally accepted heir. An adopted heir - or even a Baratheon or Velaryon cousin - might lack the ability to become a dragonrider, meaning he might end up ruling for less than the proverbial fortnight.
  21. I'm not sure why anyone should care about your view on Eustace when you neither know the guy nor wrote anything he has ever written aside from a few quotes given by Gyldayn. Mushroom isn't Eustace - and his 'work' isn't worth all that much - but him saying a guy who basically extinguished an entire noble bloodline for pretty much no reason has 'a black heart' isn't a bad description of that person. It isn't actually a judgment, I think, since having a black heart can be as much insult as explanation for Aemond's behavior. Haldon asked test questions about dragonlore. He wanted Tyrion to answer his question so he knows whether he actually knows dragonlore. He did not want Tyrion to give the impression that he knew more about dragonlore than Haldon did - that's what he did. But whether Tyrion is actually right about who Byron Swann tried to kill is unclear. He is nothing to him. The whole thing is not about Bran, but about Joffrey showing that he is strong enough to give a comatose child a mercy killing ... something that his father, King Robert, thought was the right and proper thing to do. Nope. Whenever anyone writes a ficitonal history book then by the mere fact of doing so you create a universe of fictional texts. Like a real history book is full of errors and misquotes and inaccuracies so is a fictional history book - even more so one written by a fictional medieval historians with no modern academic standards. Like you cannot assume that something that has only been reported by the source given in a real history book, you cannot assume only the source(s) given in a fictional history book did know about and/or report the given event. That's not so hard to understand - it is the obvious consequence of the fact that there is a fictional history book. I'm not claiming anything - I'm just pointing out that Gyldayn giving us a source - or quoting a source - doesn't mean it is only sourced by them. It makes sense to assume he is correct when he specifically says that only one of his sources says something he tells us (but even then he could be mistaken) but if he just says 'Septon Eustace tells us' or 'according to source X' then this doesn't allow us to conclude that only that source reported this. It only allows us that conclude what's there in the text - namely that Gyldayn is of the opinion that source X said that. At times, certainly. Gyldayn's entire account on the motives of Princess Viserra seem to be utter horseshit, for instance. Not only for that - Gyldayn's words about Coryanne's little bit also tells us that certain subjects (filthy literature, like that of Coryanne and Mushroom, for instance) are not treated with the same reverence as texts written by septons and maesters ... which means they end up being part of the entertainment industry run by unscrupulous scribes and mummers and their ilk. We can reasonably assume that Mushroom's testimony was originally written by one such scribe, meaning you certainly could make a case that it is a complete fabrication. But even if that's not the case then chances are pretty good that either the original scribe or whoever copied the book later on added his own funny little anecdotes. Gyldayn doesn't tell us anything about the textual history of Mushroom's Testimony, Eustace's big history, or Munkun's True Telling. We don't know how many copies survive, whether they are all identical, etc. But pretty much no medieval manuscript contains the same text as another, so we can be safely sure that even the maesterly copied manuscripts do contain at least some errors/alterations. We have no idea how many copies of Mushroom's Testimony Gyldayn has seen. If the Citadel just had one manuscript left - which doesn't seem unlikely considering they have only an incomplete copy of Barth's big work - then Gyldayn could not possibly know if and how much it might differ from other surviving copies. Also - Gyldayn never bothers with the other episodes in Mushroom's life the Testimony covers. It is not a history of the reign of Viserys I, the Dance, or the Regency but the story of Mushroom's own life - very much like Coryanne's little book is (allegedly) the story of her life. Yes, a peace offer if Aegon II kingship was accepted. Just like Aegon would be allowed to keep his head if he were to accept Rhaenyra's queenship. The peace offer entailed that Rhaenyra and the Velaryons were to keep their holdings and lives if they accepted Aegon's kingship. If they refused it made no such guarantees. That isn't convincing to me. For instance, Gyldayn states it as fact that Alicent wanted to learn Blood's true name, so she could bathe in their blood. All is sources don't tell him whether this actually happened, but he seems to have no doubt that Queen Alicent wanted to do that - which would imply that Eustace corroborates that story. You also seem to have a rather short and limited view of how those books work. Mushroom is clearly making up a lot of shit, including rumors no contemporary ever spread of a believed in ... instead they are exclusively a part of his Testimony and, one imagines, repeated a lot in literature written by people who knew the Testimony (including the works of Gyldayn and Yandel). Eustace seems to raise - and at times dismiss - contemporary rumors he heard at court and from other people. Those are completely different ways of writing. Mushroom is a sensationalist, Eustace a septon with a layman's interest in history-book writing whose guilty pleasure is to be also interested in salacious rumors - but he doesn't invent such rumors, he merely records and discusses them. Blood and Cheese isn't a big thing in the Dance, especially not compared to the tens of thousands of innocent people the Green sacks of Bitterbridge and Tumbleton got killed. Also, we cannot pretend we know under whose authority Blood and Cheese acted. Daemon reached out to Mysaria who hired those the two men ... but did she give them the order to target Helaena and her children? It is implied that she did not, since we are informed that the original target of the two seems to have been Aegon II himself. If they decided on their own to target Helaena and the children - like they also decided on their own which child they killed - neither Mysaria nor Daemon are actually directly responsible for the murder. More importantly, Blood was captured and punished quite harshly for his role in the murder. Should Rhaenyra have punished his corpse? Cheese seems to have disappeared. If we knew for a fact that Rhaenyra/Daemon/Mysaria had commanded to target Helaena and the children I'd agree that they were to be blamed for what happened. But as it is stands, we don't know that and have reasons to believe they were given explicitly that order. The Blacks do also not fall down. They win the war, and Rhaenyra and Daemon's sons continue House Targaryen. Dynastically and as a succession war, the Dance is a total victory for the Blacks. With Rhaenyra dead, the question whether women should or shouldn't rule becomes irrelevant. The important point is that Rhaenyra's sons take the Iron Throne. Nobody said that the Blacks as a group were shining or morally inspiring heroes - but they are the heroes nonetheless. Most people fighting on the Black side are very good and inspiring people, especially the rank-and-file of the Black Riverlanders. Things like Blood and Cheese or the Maidenpool incident you can put in the same category as Arya's murders, Sansa helping to poison her first cousin, Wyman Manderly feeding Freys to their relatives, or Bran possessing Hodor against his will. All of that isn't nice, either, but it doesn't change the fact that these people all still qualify as 'good guys'. Aerys II is a tragic figure as well. He is a man suffering from a mental illness to the point that he was no longer responsible for his actions - the way he's described at Harrenhal shows this. LOL, even if this were a parallel to Cersei - acting similarly to Cersei doesn't turn you into Cersei or 'a villain'. Vaemond Velaryon tried steal Driftmark from Corlys' rightful heirs and got punished accordingly. The idea that a lavish celebration for which there were made plans were the reasons why Rhaenyra raised the taxes is laughable. We do know that the treasury was empty when she took the city. She had to raise the taxes to simply continue her war and maintain the government of the Realm. It even shows her modesty that she planned only a celebration for Joff's investiture as Heir Apparent and Prince of Dragonstone than throwing a more expensive party to celebrate her own coronation - which she could and should have had now that she finally sat on the Iron Throne. The lack of coin was so devastating for her cause that Gyldayn goes as far as to tell us that Tyland Lannister's decision to split up the treasury and never reveal where the money was was the deciding decision that caused Rhaenyra's downfall. Which, in the end, means that Rhaenyra's alleged 'misrule' in KL - what made her so unpopular - was more inherent necessity on her part - the circumstances that constrained her - than incompetence. If she had had plenty of money to throw at her subjects, if she had had the means to reduce the taxes instead of being forced to raise them, the Kingslanders wouldn't have had any severe problems with her rule. LOL, just let it go. Brynden Tully - while not Robb's grandfather but his maternal granduncle - plays a very crucial role in his life. Tywin plays a considerable role in the life of Cersei's and Genna's children, Walder Frey in the lives of many children of his daughters and granddaughters, etc. Since all that leads nowhere, Bran was not able to enact a (lasting) political decision. Bran was never groomed to rule until he was forced to - then folks start to help him with his new role. That's all irrelevant because the lawful Heir Apparent of the Iron Throne in 129 AC was Rhaenyra - since the royal decree of 105 AC. There being a bunch of people with different opinions doesn't erase a royal decree. Nobody ever says that King Viserys I had no right to make Rhaenyra his heir ... or that it was illegal to do so. Thus the whole thing was a coup. They crowned a king who wasn't the anointed heir of the successor and they did that in secret without informing the actual heir that her father the king was dead. Traitorous Westerosi, you mean. You certainly can do that - it might not be wise to do so ... but we are talking whether making Aegon a king was a wise decision, remember? And I said - and say - that if they wanted to make a king of their own choosing - which Aegon was since the rightful heir chosen by the actual king, Viserys I, was Rhaenyra - then they should have made an actual competent king. That they could have done that is painstakingly obvious. The Greens controlled the court, they imprisoned anyone who might even think about opposing them. If they had wanted to make Aemond or Daeron or Jaehaerys or Maelor or some royal bastard, etc. king then they could have just as well imprisoned or murdered all the people who insisted that Aegon should be the king, right? LOL, no. Littlefinger was named Lord Paramount and Lord of Harrenhal long before anyone offered Riverrun to Emmon Frey. If Littlefinger had never been made Lord Paramount and then Emmon could and would have become his father's overlord. And this can happen all the time. A king can grant the son of some lord a lordship of his own and then make that lord the overlord of the entire region, his father included. LOL, they were staging a coup. They could have crowned whoever they wanted. They controlled everything. Aegon II started out as a pawn and figurehead king ... and I'd say he remained that until the end. He just passed from Alicent's and Otto's hands to Criston's, then to Larys' and Marston's and the hands of the Toms and Alfred Broome, and then back to those Alicent and Borros and Larys again. The only independent political decisions the guy seems to have made was commissioning the silly statues for his brothers and burning hundreds of people. Sunfyre was a pretty small dragon ... but who cares about dragons when you control the persons of the dragonriders? If Otto and Alicent had wanted to crown Daeron they could have imprisoned Aegon and Aemond to ensure their compliance. I meant Criston Cole there, not Aegon. Aegon is so insignificant as a player that his opinion doesn't really matter. They could have crowned him against his will easily enough. Aegon strikes me as a guy even more stupid than Joffrey. Joffrey would have been smart enough that his people are about to kill him in the end. He also understood that he was in real danger during the Blackwater. Joffrey also never sacked his maternal grandfather. Otto was the real kingmaker here. Aegon turning against him is a clear betrayal, and even I think he was stupid enough to come up with the idea to sack his grandfather and greatest ally all by himself. He must have known that this could cause problems in his own family. I've not come around here, I have always thought that Otto Hightower was pretty effective and could have won the war for Aegon II, possibly even by keeping the actual fighting out of the Crownlands. Crison is a known turncloak as his switching allegiances show. He is also of very low birth. The Handship is something that rarely goes to lowborn, possibly untrustworthy fellows. Not to mention that the last KG Hand was a complete disaster. The conclusion that Criston wanted Aegon II to make him Hand is thus not exactly unlikely. We don't know if Aegon was asked whether there should be a regency or whether anybody cared for his opinion who should rule the Realm in his stead. Aemond had no experience with the government of the Realm ... which is something a regent should have. LOL, aren't you the guy insisting on the line of succession and stuff? Maelor Targaryen was Aegon's suriviving son and thus 'the rightful heir' until Aegon II named a different heir - which he never did as far as we know. It is quite clear that Aemond may have seized the throne if Aegon II had died - regardless whether he was regent or not - but that would then have been the same kind of coup/usurpation that had made Aegon II king earlier. Or perhaps not as drastic an usurpation if Aegon II had never formally acknowledged his children as his immediate heirs - but that must strike us as very unlikely since folks from both factions later still view Jaehaera as having a better claim than Aegon III.
  22. I don't have that much time to read, actually. The reread was triggered when I read BotW when it came out, and I first reread the two new books and then was actually in the mood for the others ... which I actually never got through before during an actual read (I had to go with the audiobooks for the original trilogy). I got to Tad Williams via Otherland around 2000, and Osten Ard only started to interest when I learned about the continuation. I always liked Utuk'ku from the original series - a kind of evil Galadriel character - and it was pretty obvious from the start that a continuation of the series would have to focus on her and the Norns. Also - seeing Miri and Simon as rulers was also something I was interested in. I had my troubles with a lot of the travelogue chapters the first time around ... but in reread I realized that Morgan alone in the forest was actually material I very much enjoyed. I still find it a pity, though, that we have no Utuk'ku POV so far - nor a Norn POV who really know what's going on. I guess we will get to that before the end, but it could also have been interesting to see the naive guys - Viyeki, Nezeru to a point, to be contrasted with the POV of a person who is very much in the know about the queen's evil plans - kind of how we have Pasevalles' real persona in EoG. But then - what we can glimpse at might imply that - with the possible exception of Akhenabi, Jijibo, and Ommu - only Utuk'ku might know what she is about. In EoG we do get that Prince-Templar fellow Pratiki, who is of Utuk'ku's extended family, and even he has no clue what the Witchwood Crown plan is actually about. At first I was turned off by that since it seemed to establish things that were completely invisible in the earlier series ... while not *really* developing much on the characters we had from MST. I had expected that Akhenabi would feature very prominently in THoWwL, for instance. Oh, well, some Norns like Xaniko liked them ... Utuk'ku basically bred them all into beasts of burden. But, yes, if you kind of remove the Orwellian setting in which the Norns live and grew up in they seem to be more pragmatic and less aloof than the Sithi. Not only did they interbreed with the Tinukeda'ya but also with the mortals even before they establish their official breeding program in THoWwL. Something we have no indication the Sithi ever did. Also, something like the bond between Viyeki and Tzoja - despite everything that still sets them apart - is something you cannot really imagine between a Sitha and a human. On the reread it also seemed to me pretty likely that Ekisuno and Suno'ku - descendants of Ekimeniso who are apparently not descended from his wife Utuk'ku - might be descended from a human lover he may have had. I mean, Simon feels like Aditu's pet at times while he lived in the Sithi city, and that's a feeling you would likely not get from an 'enlightened Norn'. That said - we don't know how much the Fall of Asu'a changed the Sithi ... but if it changed them then it is very odd that there were no intermarriages and relationships between certain Nabbanai/Hernystiri and the Sithi. That is the other big possibility. We don't know, but it seems to be a possibility. I think at this point only Utuk'ku would know considering the fact that she lived long enough in the Garden that her great-granddaughter was born on the ships. Tanahaya's story - who seems to be very knowledgable with the historical Garden lore - doesn't know the origins of the Keida'ya. But since the new revelation is that the Tinukeda'ya are part of the hive-mind (or hive-sentience) of the Garden - like all the animals and plants and other beings in the Garden were - then the Sithi/Norns should also be like the Tinukeda'ya in that sense. But apparently they are not, which seems or might imply that they were originally as foreign to the Garden as they are to Osten Ard now. And that would then imply that they got to the Garden in a similar manner they got to Osten Ard much later. If any of the Gardenborn back in the Garden had some kind of secret and now lost knowledge about their ultimate origins then Utuk'ku is the only one might still remember something about that. It also seems that the exploitation approach to the Garden and 'its fruits' was the consensus approach of all the Gardenborn until Sa'onsera did her meditations, etc. A crucial issue in this context seems to be to what degree Utuk'ku's and Jijibo's narrative they forced on the weird Tinukeda'ya of Nakkiga is true. That story blames the Tinukeda'ya for Unbeing ... is that completely wrong or did Nerudade and Hamakho actually discover something the Garden/Tinukeda'ya planned to use against the Sithi/Norns and then (tried to) turn it against them? Also - and much later - why does Utuk'ku view Ruyan VĂ© the Navigator as 'a traitor'. He got them to Osten Ard, did he not? So what did he do later that earned him her undying wrath?
  23. I expect that he is going to play a very crucial role in Utuk'ku's plan ... presumably the same role Ineluki was supposed to have played after he had successfully taken over Elias's body ... which never happened. They only had to take the weird 'rewind time' plan with Ineluki because after the Fall of Asu'a Ineluki was barred from ever returning to Asu'a. The lesser-tier Norns are still irritated that their immortal queen relied so much on a Zida'ya prince during the last war ... and Viyeki openly asks his peers at Naglimund what the hell they need the Storm King's dead brother for. In light of Utuk'ku's feelings towards her family we can expect that a member of the ruling family of the Sith has to help him with a crucial step in the plan. Else one assumes that there were literally thousands of Norn skeletons she could have put in the suit of the Navigator. BotW supports this idea in light of the fact that when Utuk'ku's cronies come to Asu'a to 'help' Hakatri, they clearly try to recruit him to Utuk'ku's side. They only turn to Ineluki when Hakatri is not responding. And at the very end it becames clear that Ommu definitely wants Ineluki to succeed Iyu'unigato as Protector ... it is possible that they thought Ineluki would be the best pawn if he was also the (future) ruler of Asu'a and not just a prince. But I think it more likely that only the Protector/Sa'onsera can do. Nobody ever sealed Asu'a against Hakatri, and it seems very obvious that the 'Witchwood Crown plan' does involve stuff hidden at Asu'a. They think the Norns might be after those witchwood seeds the Norns buried there when the castle was built, but that cannot be the actual answer (Utuk'ku doesn't really care about her people or their longevity ... and she cares is about herself and her exit). It is much more likely that a very crucial piece of magic is still there which Utuk'ku needs to enact her plan involving the Tinukeda'ya - and that seems to be a plan to bring Unbeing back, since it is very much implied now that Unbeing was actually something the Tinukeda'ya brought forth - either intentionally or unintentionally because they were forced by the Hamakha. It is more interesting than the original series ... I've really grown to like the Orwellian Norn society. While I find such a complexity strange at first I realized during my current reread that despite the fact that the Norns are almost exclusively perceived and portrayed as almost demonic villains in the original trilogy, there is a small episode in SoF where Josua's gang shortly interrogates a captured Norn in the forest. And that guy lets it slip that he has children and that his sacrifice ensures that his name will never be forgotten, making it perfectly clear that they are more than just Orcs. Ingen Jegger has a similar attitude.
  24. Is the claim that Aemond had a black heart a bad judgment in light of what we know about the man? LOL, you don't really get it, do you? Those tidbits are not not necessarily there to establish historical facts. Haldon wanted to know whether Tyrion actually knew something about dragonlore ... and he passed the test. LOL, to know that the High Septon was unable to travel you have to ask him whether he wants to travel. It is quite clear that they originally wanted the High Septon to do the coronation since Eustace is clearly only their second choice. All who actually cite conflicting sources do. Summer howls because Bran is still alive ... Joffrey is still a human being and the view that it would be a mercy to put Bran out of his misery is a view shared not only by King Robert but many other people, including certain Northmen. You really don't get it. Insofar as fictional history books exist in-universe a lot of unquoted sentences also exist there. We cannot have the view that only the only parts of the books mentioned in FaB *exist* are the ones that are actually quoted. Because it is made clear that we are not to take anything given to us via Eustace/Mushroom is to be taken as gospels. And we are all 'students of history' so it falls to us to decide whether what we believe or dismiss. Because sometimes what he gives is clearly horseshit, no matter how well-attested it is. Barth was one of the greatest minds and scholars and statesmen in Westerosi history ... whereas Mushroom was an illiterate, lying, reputedly mentally challenged court jester. And we can transfer what we learned about manuscripts in the episode about Coryanne's book to basically all the manuscripts mentioned in FaB ... and especially those who were not written and copied by maesters (or septons). If you have read FaB you know that Mushroom went to White Harbor when the Regency ended, and moved on from there to Braavos, Ib, and a mummer ship. Chances are pretty good that the anonymous scribe who allegedly recorded his words wasn't even Westerosi by birth. LOL again. Aegon's so-called 'peace offer' was also dependent on Aegon being allowed to keep his throne, no? It makes her look like the average important woman in Mushroom's Testimony. You cannot compare a source like Mushroom to somebody like Eustace who actually wrote a proper history. They are not reruns, but like the Boltons, Freys, and Lannisters are clearly 'the villains' of ASoIaF, the Greens are obviously the villains in the Dance. There are some good guys in service to bad causes among the Greens, of course, just like there are some good Lannisters and Freys. The Blacks are still the good guys. Their cause is the just one, most of the people fighting on their side are morally superior to the Greens. Rhaenyra is tragic figure who is driven to extreme measures by the circumstances, not a character who is evil or cruel from the start. LOL, no, just no. That's way too rigid a view to be taken seriously. Bran doesn't make a single political decision. He just acts as a figurehead and is only taken seriously by the Reeds. Who cares? These people staged a coup. They could crown a dog if they wanted to. Again - who cares? If you stage a coup to remain in power you should choose a puppet king you can control. For Otto Hightower, crowning Aegon II was clearly not exactly a smart decision if we assume Otto wanted to continue to serve as Hand - which seems to be the case. LOL, that's because Littlefinger is the new Lord Paramount of the Trident. If the Lord of Riverrun were still the Lord Paramount Emmon Frey would indeed be his father's overlord - and there is nothing wrong with that. And again - if you stage a coup you can make king whoever you want. They could have easily said that Aegon was unworthy of the Iron Throne due to his character and his clear inability to rule properly. I mean, it is painstakingly obvious how much of a pawn little Aegon is when he complains to his mommy that he wants to be crowned. The decision that he is going to be king is not his own, so if the kingmaking Green faction had decided they wanted to crown somebody else then that person would have been crowned ... never mind what Aegon had to say about that. He certainly was loyal to Alicent and Otto during the coup. And while Aegon can certainly sack his Hand ... Aegon was a moron and a pawn for essentially his entire reign, always being controlled and moved around by others, so one certainly can wonder who fed him the idea that his grandfather was an ineffective Hand - when Otto was actually doing very good work! - and who suggested to him that Criston Cole might be a better Hand. Going with a lowborn KG as Hand is pretty ususual. The Lannister on his council would have been a more obvious choice. Aemond was even younger than Aegon II, and had no role in the government whatsoever until he was made Prince Regent. Running a government is a very daunting task, especially in wartime, so you would want an experienced person doing that, not a young and inexperienced hothead. Cole pushed Aemond to take the Regency, but he wouldn't have decided that. One can understand why they would want to give the appearance that they had a royal guy in charge while Aegon II was incapacitated - to project strength and all. But to have Aemond do that - and to allow him to be more than just a figurehead was clearly a mistake. The Regency should have gone to Alicent or Otto or even to Criston Cole ... but never to Aemond.
  25. I kind of understand why we didn't meet her in BotW, but I still would have liked to see her. Her weirdo courtiers were still creepy as hell, though. The guy with the weird nails was another future member of the Red Hand Akehnabi mentioned in passing in TWC, and we also saw the Gardenborn philosopher Yedade who invented the box which puts the Norns in their neat little castes. His father Nerudade was the guy who invented or discovered Unbeing in the Garden. In relation to the other books I'm expecting that information to counter the evil plan will come from Norns/Sithi who once lived at Hikehikayo before it was abandoned ... because the really big thing in BotW was Utuk'ku persuading Hakatri via Ineluki do not bother looking for medicine at that place. Since it is quite clear that she couldn't care less about Hakatri's state it stands to reason that folks at Hikehikayo may have told Hakatri stuff that might enable him or his parents from figuring out what Utuk'ku wants to do. Ayaminu has already revealed that she lived in Hikehikayo before the Parting, and we can assume that Yaarike may have lived there as well ... and Tanahaya's master Himano - who was murdered by the Norns in AoG -, too. Hakatri definitely got much more interesting as a character now that we know what kind of person he was before Utuk'ku turned him, presumably, into an undead monstrosity. I wonder whether we are going to get his POV at times. It is very much implied that at least a fraction of his original personality must remain, or else the whole foreshadowing stuff with the vision at the Farewell Stone would lead nowhere. We can expect that what's left of Hakatri must make a very crucial choice for good or bad at the very end. But I'd have still preferred it if Hakatri had still been alive in that era. Having him as an antagonist who finally returned to Osten Ard after he succeeded at healing himself and subsequently being mislead or manipulated by Utuk'ku may have been a better take on him than this resurrection game which seems to have wasted a lot of time that could have been used to depict him. At this point it has to be either space or another dimension. Because it clearly cannot be another place on the same planet. What we saw about the remnants of the ship at Mezutu'a certainly implies that ship either came down from the sky or materialized there from another dimension. I prefer the space alien version since the Gardenborn clearly are very distinctly different from the native beings of Osten Ard. A story taking place in the Garden could be interesting as well. We already get a lot of backstory on life there in EoG.
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