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About bemused

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    Art, dance , film ,books, archaeology , history, politics. hockey, figure skating, dogs ..and on and on.

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  1. bemused

    Secrets of Braavos by Jonathan Roberts

    I had the following almost ready to post two nights ago when life intervened, so this comes a bit late ... I think Arya will definitely encounter her. Quotes from "Cat of the Canals" : You would find softer service in the household of some merchant. Or would you sooner be a courtesan, and have songs sung of your beauty? Speak the word, and we will send you to the Black Pearl or the Daughter of the Dusk. <snip> “I sold three cockles to a courtesan,” Cat told the sailors. “She called to me as she was stepping off her barge.” Brusco had made it plain to her that she was never to speak to a courtesan unless she was spoken to first, but the woman had smiled at her and paid her in silver, ten times what the cockles had been worth. “Which one was this, now? The Queen o’ Cockles, was it?” "The Black Pearl," she told them. Merry claimed the Black Pearl was the most famous courtesan of all. "She's descended from the dragons, that one," the woman had told Cat. "The first Black Pearl was a pirate queen. A Westerosi prince took her for a lover and got a daughter on her, who grew up to be a courtesan. Her own daughter followed her, and her daughter after her, until you get to this one. What did she say to you, Cat?" "She said 'I'll take three cockles,' and 'Do you have some hot sauce, little one?'" the girl had answered. "And what did you say?" "I said, 'No, my lady,' and, 'Don't call me little one. My name is Cat.' <snip> Cat told the kindly man about the Black Pearl too. "Her true name is Bellegere Otherys," she informed him. It was one of the three things that she had learned. "It is," the priest said softly. "Her mother was Bellonara, but the first Black Pearl was a Bellegere as well." Bringing this up to date, I have a slightly different take on the events of the Mercy chapter... It's my bet that the Sealord who signed the marriage pact was the current Sealord's predecessor. This one took a compliant stance toward Robert (supported by members of the wealthy merchant class) and was responsible for the expulsion of Dany and Viserys. Now, with Dany rising in power, Braavosi factions who sympathized with the Targaryens in the past will be trying to come to the fore again. Bellegere's bloodlines may evoke a personal sympathy with their cause, beyond obedience to "Valar Dohaeris". After thinking about the implications of the Mercy chapter, I have to wonder if Bellegere had some inkling of who "Cat" was when she called to her, and overpaid so generously for her cockles. The KM, a priest, speaks "softly" of Bellegere ... out of what, respect, friendship? I doubt it's purely physical admiration. And in ADWD, when Plague Face says to Arya... You were a cat, they tell me. Prowling through the alleys smelling of fish, selling cockles and mussels for coin. ... who are "they"? So yes, I think the Black Pearl could be quite prominent in TWoW. To come back to the OP, I quite like #6 as her residence. And if (big if) Otharys/Otherys is not a mistake, could it mark descent from a founding family on the female side?
  2. bemused

    Will Jon come back to life?

    To come back to life, he would first have to die. In my view he's not dead or injured in a way that would bring on a coma.
  3. Sansa may assume Jeyne is dead, like all the others.
  4. I'm leaping in from the wings, here. I haven't read everything in the thread, just checked it out every couple of days, give or take ... so @Lost Melnibonean (or others) - feel free to take me to task, correct me,etc. etc. ( and apologies if this has already been well covered). One of the things that makes me open to the second maid in GoHH's dream being Arya is this.. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow." She turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. "You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now."...ASoS, Arya VIII That she suddenly turns to look at Arya at that juncture may be suggestive in itself, and I can't help feeling it may somehow connect to... "Mummers change their faces with artifice," the kindly man was saying, "and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye. These arts you shall learn, but what we do here goes deeper. Wise men can see through artifice, and glamors dissolve before sharp eyes, but the face you are about to don will be as true and solid as that face you were born with. Keep your eyes closed." She felt his fingers brushing back her hair. "Stay still. This will feel queer. You may be dizzy, but you must not move." ... ADWD, The Ugly Little Girl It seems to me that Arya glamoured as Sansa is one way the OP's proposition could work out, in the end. We've seen her don a FM mask and in the Mercy chapter , We have yet to see her learn how to cast a glamour, but she (and we) have the Kindly Man's assertion that she shall. Arya "cannot hide" from GoHH... People use glamours to hide their true identities. I assume we can all agree the GoHH has wisdom. She's sharp-eyed enough to be able to look right at Arya through gloom when Arya is watching the scene through bushes (and note GoHH turns her head sharply). Since this follows immediately after her "that maid again" dream (without skipping a beat), I wonder - can GoHH see through a glamour in her dreams? She recites the visions from her dreams and leaves it up to her listeners to interpret them, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have her own interpretations or some deeper knowledge. For example in her first scene, in Arya IV, ASoS ... I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings. ... Makes no mention of a king or his death. Yet in her second scene in Arya VIII, as part of her "news" she tells them the king is dead. "Which bloody king is dead, crone?" Lem demanded. "The wet one. The kraken king, m'lords. I dreamt him dead and he died, and the iron squids now turn on one another. So, did she have another dream in the interim, or did she always understand that the dream from Arya IV would result in Balon's death? If she did, that could lend weight to the idea of Arya being glamoured as Sansa at some point, and Gohh being aware of it. There might be another bit of foreshadowing in the Mercy chapter... Littlefinger could find himself up against a "Sansa" who can kill with equanimity, one who has some skill with weapons, and one who is well versed in the lying game. ... I'm not saying Arya would be sent for him, but she could soon have all the skills she would need to take on the mission herself. (See "Mercy" again.) Just a little bit about Jeyne Poole. I agree that Jon may well send her to Braavos, but I don't think it would serve anyone to send her as Arya. I think he would do it out of kindness, after all she's been through.
  5. bemused

    Mance Rayder violated guest rights!

    Roose didn't set aside all arms and armour as the other guests were expected to do. He had foreknowledge of the event and was at least a willing participant if he didn't contribute to the planning. I admit that I picked a weak example for Ramsay, but it was yet another betrayal .. My point is that he doesn't respect any rules or norms of behavior. He abuses Lord Stout's hospitality by expecting?.. demanding?.. a welcoming feast, depleting Stout's winter stores. That's at least putting a strain on guest right .. but it's nothing compared to his other behavior. Manderly and Glover sum things up neatly in Davos IV... "Was ever snow so black?" asked Lord Wyman. "Ramsay took Lord Hornwood's lands by forcibly wedding his widow, then locked her in a tower and forgot her. It is said she ate her own fingers in her extremity … and the Lannister notion of king's justice is to reward her killer with Ned Stark's little girl." "The Boltons have always been as cruel as they were cunning, but this one seems a beast in human skin," said Glover. The Lord of White Harbor leaned forward. "The Freys are no better. They speak of wargs and skinchangers and assert that it was Robb Stark who slew my Wendel. The arrogance of it! They do not expect the north to believe their lies, not truly, but they think we must pretend to believe or die. Roose Bolton lies about his part in the Red Wedding, and his bastard lies about the fall of Winterfell. And yet so long as they held Wylis I had no choice but to eat all this excrement and praise the taste." In light of all the Bolton betrayals and lies, the Northmen are justified in their resistance ("mayhaps" lives in their heart of hearts) and the rest is nit picking, IMO.
  6. bemused

    Mance Rayder violated guest rights!

    Still...?!? This has been hashed out many, many times . No, Jon does not think that. In Jon XIII we read... A lord needed men about him he could rely upon for honest counsel. Marsh and Yarwyck were no lickspittles, and that was to the good … but they were seldom any help either. More and more, he found he knew what they would say before he asked them. Reading ahead, we come to... Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. The Night's Watch takes no part. He closed his fist and opened it again. What you propose is nothing less than treason. He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. Kill the boy and let the man be born. He thought of Bran, clambering up a tower wall, agile as a monkey. Of Rickon's breathless laughter. Of Sansa, brushing out Lady's coat and singing to herself. You know nothing, Jon Snow. He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird's nest. I made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell … I want my bride back … I want my bride back … I want my bride back … Apart from Jon flexing his burned hand, this paragraph is entirely composed of Jon's memories. The statements in bold are all things that other characters have said directly to him. Maester Aemon was the first to tell Jon the NW takes no part, back in AGoT and later in ADWD, kill the boy and let the man be born. There is Ygritte's, you know nothing, Jon Snow (which may be meant to temper Jon's "There is truth in there.") and of course, the last part of the paragraph is a direct quote from the author of the letter. What you propose is nothing less than treason comes verbatim from Bowen Marsh in Jon XI ... "The lord commander must pardon my bluntness, but I have no softer way to say this. What you propose is nothing less than treason. ... Bowen simultaneously accuses Jon of his going against his oath ... yet when Jon challenges him on the meaning of the oath, Bowen can't come up with a logical response. So when Jon thinks, after reading out the letter... No man can ever say I made my brothers break their vows. If this is oathbreaking, the crime is mine and mine alone. ... he says If because he already knows what Bowen and his ilk will say about it. He's trying to avoid dissension among the Watch. Generally, there is nothing prohibiting a LC riding south, or any NW member designated or given permission by the LC. There is nothing that prevents the LC from answering a personal threat or a threat to the watch. Until TWoW is released the question of whether Arya or the safety of Castle Black was foremost in Jon's mind, or whether they were equal concerns, will go unresolved. But we have seen, in the case of Jaime,and now twice in the case of Jon that eventually oaths and normal regulations can be overwhelmed and rendered ineffective in extreme circumstances. They can even be more damaging if they are followed. In the question of Mance and guest right, there are no completely honest brokers in WF. Roose and Ramsay have been proven not to give a damn about guest right. They have purposely broken it.(Roose at the Twins, Ramsay when he was not just Theon's guest, but had declared himself Theon's man) For the others, in the extreme political circumstances, I'm sure they're not double checking their own every move for infractions. They are in rebellion, as @Clegane'sPup has pointed out numerous times. Manderly kept to the form of guest right in his own home, but now he's at war.. with a "host" the Northmen consider illegitimate. There are signs that Mance is being aided by the Northmen. His mission has been folded into their rebellion. If they don't win at any cost, they can't expect to survive.This is when norms cease to have any meaning.
  7. bemused

    FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

    Yup ... so I've heard uh.. somewhere. M-m-m.. loves me some dramatic satisfaction
  8. bemused

    FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

    I just choked on my coffee.( Let's not rush the inevitable.)
  9. bemused

    FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

    Yeah, well... this was a cruel blow to me.. I've been bummed out for two days. I'm interested enough in the histories, but it's not the same as being able to immerse yourself in a novel or even a short story. This, I wouldn't have minded waiting another 7 years for. The one bit of salve I now hope for is copious excerpts from "The Testimony of Mushroom" @Lord Varys good health and long life. I'm another who (now) has real worries that I may not live to read to the end of ADoS. I'm slightly older than George. I had two elder sisters. One died when she was 2 yrs younger than I am now; the other died when she was four years older than I am now. I hope my chances are better than that, but all the gods are silent on the matter...
  10. bemused

    Mance Rayder violated guest rights!

    Maybe adding fuel to the flames, but... oc·cu·pi·er ˈäkyəˌpī(ə)r/ noun 1. BRITISH a person or company residing in or using a property as its owner or tenant, or (illegally) as a squatter. 2. a member of a group that takes possession of a country by force. "the occupiers were reported to have rounded up civilians and carried them off to unknown fates" It's a bit misleading to leave out the second entry since it resonates with what has happened to Winterfell - first occupied by Theon and the Ironborn - now by the Boltons. And I think we can be pretty sure that GRRM uses it in this sense since he wrote the book. And he writes the Boltons as people who are trying to take Winterfell and it's lands based on an illegitimate claim. In medieval society a castle and its lands are like country writ small. Speaking for myself, I would have expected the word occupants to be used if GRRM meant legitimate residents. Look up "Occupant" and you don't get that secondary meaning... Yes the words can be used synonymously (they have the same linguistic origin). But I have to say, I have never used "occupant", or seen it used to convey that secondary meaning
  11. bemused

    What will Iron Bank do if NW doesn't pay debts?

    I think they are joined at the hip - at least when it comes to clients whose activities could affect the state of Braavos politically, or in important matters of trade. I see Braavos, (for so long the secret city) as being (secretly) another Essosi triumverate composed of IB, HoB&W, and Sealord. (Or as @Lollygag says, like three heads of the dragon.) Ideally, any two could curb excesses of the third. ... Of course that doesn't mean things can't "gang agley" from time to time - two can also force excesses on a more reasonable third. Why wouldn't the IB or Sealord use the espionage talents of the FM to keep them abreast of political developments among their neighbours and important trading partners? They would be foolish not to - after all, it appears that is, in part, exactly what the Alchemist is doing in Oldtown. I agree there would be no need for the IB to have any awareness of say, the Ugly Girl's request, or who it was that made the contract targeting the insurance broker, nor for the HoB&W to have any awareness of the loans or deposits of most men or women. The IB may not have had any reason to know about Arya when she first arrived, but I think they could very well know by now. Arya is not the only one with eyes and ears on the docks. They would have heard of Jon's elevation to LC, they know Stannis has gone to the Wall, they definitely will have heard about the Goodheart and I'm sure someone will have questioned the captive wildlings. I don't know how heavily he's involved, or what sort of involvement... It seems he's been defrauding the IB as much as the crown. I doubt he has ties to the FM. Littlefinger's secret will be out once Tycho & co. reach Jon, and I think they will. (Mind you, I don't think Jon is dead, or will be out of commission for long.)
  12. bemused

    What will Iron Bank do if NW doesn't pay debts?

    Well, Jaqen was Lorathi, not Braavosi. We have no idea how much money Ned was spending on Syrio. There's no reason to assume it was exorbitant. Ned doesn't have a reputation for stinginess - just for practicality. He's not one for ostentation, but there's no sign he was loathe to spend money on his children ... or even his ward. When Theon returns home , Balon takes him to task for wearing velvets and bought silver... well who paid for that? Balon certainly thinks he acquired the taste at Winterfell. When did Syrio speak to Illyrio? Do you mean Varys? As I see it, there are one of two options for Syrio. If he is exactly who he says he is, he was formerly the first Sword of Braavos (not currently). As such he would have prestige in Braavos , but not so much in Westeros, where his style of swordsmanship is not too useful in their knightly culture or style of warfare. Westerosi nobles' sons would expect to have little use for the skills of a waterdancer. So why is Syrio in Westeros? He would do better for himself Essos. OTOH, if Syrio is a faceless man, the original Syrio is most probably dead. Either he's using a full on FM mask (in which case he would "remember" certain memories, etc.,as shown by Arya's experiences) , or he's using a glamour. He might not even need any possession of Syrio's to create it. Syrio's appearance, style of speech etc. would be well known to many Braavosi. And very unlikely to be known to many (if any) Westerosi. (Certainly not to Ned who had spent 15 yrs. largely out of circulation.) I don't think Syrio/Jaqen set out to recruit Arya. Syrio wanted to get as close to Ned as he could for political purposes(What kind of Hand would he be? How would he affect the politics in KL?). Ned's search for a teacher familiar with the use of swords like Arya's gave Syrio a way to get into the Red Keep and somewhat close to Ned. Jaqen left only after he thought Arya was safely with her brother's men. But when she didn't reveal herself to them and begged Jaqen not to go, he offered to take her, then gave her the coin, not knowing if she'd ever use it. If she truly wanted to learn to change her face someday, she could find the HoB&W. And if she changed her mind afterward, or failed her training, he knew they'd settle her in a more suitable life. I don't think it's precisely right to see her as simple collateral .. they've already offered to return her to Westeros. If she asked to be reunited with Jon, I think they would accommodate her, but they wouldn't just trade her like a commodity. If she and Jon are reunited though, he'll owe them a further debt of gratitude. He'd come to know that whatever she's become, they've saved her life more than once. ETA: I think Tobho Mott recommended Syrio.
  13. bemused

    Forest guy who only blames human beings

    Nice analogy.
  14. bemused

    Mance Rayder violated guest rights!

    Yay! It's the only answer that makes sense to me. (I've had a lot of demands on my time, but hope I can be back more frequently.) I'd eat my hat. And of course by Bolton men, I mean Dreadfort men and any of those Roose brought with him that he hasn't released. I don't think he can have released many, with Stannis posing a threat... In any case, we are forced to speak in estimates. I don't see that a distraction benefits them, as I've said. If anything, mistrust and suspicion works against them. They went to some trouble to appear as "business as usual" as possible. Roose sending out the men forced them to act precipitately. They still might have carried it off quietly, but for Jeyne's scream. The two guards they killed might not have been discovered until the watch was changed. It may not pan out, but it's not wishful thinking. There are many hints, parallels, posed exercises in logic (along the lines of 'if this is true,then that must be true') that led me to my opinion. I'll just mention two out of the many. 1. Bran first plants the idea of secret passages in WF, followed by the tale of Bael, followed by a likely parallel (on a tiny scale) in the secret tunnel into the holdfast found by Arya , Gendry et al near the God's Eye. They use it to get into the holdfast before they need to use it to escape. 2. In Theon V, ACoK, during Asha's visit... She knows more than I do, Theon realized. That only made him angrier. "The victory has given Leobald Tallhart the courage to come out from behind his walls and join Ser Rodrik. And I've had reports that Lord Manderly has sent a dozen barges upriver packed with knights, warhorses, and siege engines. The Umbers are gathering beyond the Last River as well. I'll have an army at my gates before the moon turns, and you bring me only ten men?" I see this as foreshadowing. A reminder is served up to Davos (and us) when Manderly tells him he intends to travel to WF by barge. Naturally the numbers of barges and what they're packed with would vary - e.g. seige engines would be useless, but fighting men, and supplies to restock WF ,once it's taken would be very useful indeed - and so on. Theon realises he'll have an army at his gates .. Roose doesn't realise he'll have an army within his gates. I don't expect even the long form of the theory would convince you (in particular), but I do get a teensy bit annoyed when people assume my opinions are founded on mere wishful thinking. I don't understand why you're so attached to the idea that the Northmen need to be suicidal to be considered brave. Surely brave and smart is preferable. Certainly, any of them know that they are risking their lives, but it doesn't make them cowards if they're trying to preserve as much of the already decimated northern manpower (thanks to Roose) as they can. Why Wyman would want to poison himself and his allied lords (including Umber, Dustin and Ryswell) is beyond me. Because his succession is now secure, he can risk making himself the brunt of suspicion (perhaps keeping others, like Barbrey,from being scrutinized too closely) and even though Wyman tells Davos he may not survive, I'm sure he'd prefer to. I don't think it would help their cause to waste their men, then hope Roose has fewer men than he needs to face Stannis. I don't believe they actually want Stannis to defeat Roose. They want to defeat Roose themselves and be in possession of WF when Stannis comes to call. then they can deal with him as a potential ally, not as their king or overlord. No, no ...this kind of petty twisting and trivialising doesn't deserve a reply. My reply would only be pointlessly twisted about further if I cared to take the time to make one. I don't. This is where I had to stop writing to carry on with life some five or six hours ago.. Now I have to go back and read the last couple of pages Did i notice Jon's name being bandied about ? ETA: Caught up with the thread now. I'm going to find a drink...