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Ser Lepus

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  1. Maybe GRRM just wanted to leave Aegon and his sister-wives's relationship veiled in mystery? There must be a reason they had so few children and so late in life... but GRRM didn't say why. You say "if it was stillbirths... why didn't GRRM say it?" but that would apply to any other reason we could give: "if it was ********... why didn't GRRM say it...?".
  2. The decadence of Planetos goes beyond that. Essos hasn't just decayed into petty fiefdoms ruled by warlords... it's like 80% empty, and even nature is degrading, becoming unable to sustain civilization or even human life... It is very common for fantasy worlds to be littered with the ruins of previous great civilizations... but new civilizations are usually built around these ruins... You have hobbits living next to the barrows where the kings of Arnor are buried, but while the hobbits are rustic compared to these ancient kings, they work their farms, build homes, raise children and live rich lives. You have the Rohirrim living among the renmants of more advanced cultures, from Isengard to Helm's Deep and from the Paths of the Dead to the Pillars of Argonath... but the Rohirrim are a vital and vigorous people, claiming that land for Humanity. Classic D&D settings like Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk have ruins and dungeons all around, but there are villages sprouting around these ruins, and adventurers appear in these villages who explore and loot these ruins... In the aSoIaF world great civilizations are destroyed... and that's all. Nothing replaces them. Nobody resettles. The land itself becomes arid and hostile, and savages roam the regions still able to support life, making sure nobody rebuilds... Valyria - Has become inimical to life. Cities of Sothoyros - Cursed, ravaged by disease and cannibals. Ghiscar - Most of the land has become desertified, and the few cities surviving at its fringes have become slaving shitholes. Red Waste - The Qartheen had to leave it for the coast when it became a desert. Sarnor - It hasn't just been destroyed by the Dothraki, the Silver Sea has dried out. Plains of the Jogos Nhai - The ancient Patrimony of Hyrkoon disappeared due to the attacks of the Jogos Nhai and droughts, and its heart now is the Great Sand Sea. Its central sea has shrunk and become a few lakes. Meanwhile, the Dothraki, Jogos Nhai and corsairs of the Basilisk Islands make sure nobody can rebuild. They Dothraki and Jogos Nhai are actively trying to wipe civilization out, apparently unaware that their current lifestyle is dependent of their thievery, and they won't be able to keep it if the succeed (the Dothraki can't even forge the swords they wield...). I wonder if GRRM is purposely implying a dying world... Something even worse than the Long Night... people rebuilt after the Long Night... this time nobody rebuilds...
  3. Aerys commanded Jon Arryn to execute Eddard and Robert. So Robert has little choice but to start the rebellion...
  4. Meh. I think that, having access to the records of the Targaryen family history as Valyrian Freeholders and as Lords of Dragonstone, he was well aware that half the Targaryen go mad, so he would probably shrug the crazy and incompetent ones off as wrong tosses of the coin... But he wouldn't be happy about the Blacks and Greens driving the dragons to extinction during the Dance of Dragons... he would be mad about that. With dragons, the Targaryen could endure as monarchs despite a hundred mad kings... without dragons, it is a countdown to being dethroned and eventually fall into being just another petty noble family claiming a long gone glorious past...
  5. I suspect that, if he had ran away, he would have returned after a few weeks living as a commoner. He might be teased by the other squires, but he still was Lannister of Casterly Rock, and enjoyed the greatest living standards and honors that Westeros can offer... commoners, on the other hand, are treated like trash... and he would be a 13 years old commoner in a city under siege... not fun... As for his baby wife... she makes him the lord of Hayford. And he can enjoy a bachelor life for like 16 years until she becomes an adult... by that time he will be close to 30, and ready to settle and become a father... not a bad plan, if he stops to think about it.
  6. After re-reading the World of Ice and Fire, I feel a strong sense of a world in its twilight: Magic is waning; empires fall and cultures disappear, and they aren't replaced by new ones; grasslands dry out, inner seas shrink and deserts expand; the Dothraki, Jogos Nhai and Basilisk Islands Corsairs prey at will on the civilized peoples of the world, destroying their cities, which aren't rebuilt; the Children of the Forest are dying out, and their magic and knowledge will be lost; the Others threaten Westeros and maybe the world; a ten years long winter is starting, and nobody is prepared for that... Is GRRM portraying a dying world on purpose, or is it just an accident? Did he just want to create a world with a rich past, and he went overboard with the fallen empires? Or, is there really an ongoing theme of the aSoIaF world going to ruin and nobody can stop it...?
  7. We don't know if the Doom was like that. Most volcanic eruptions leave plenty of time for flying creatures to escape: People could escape Mount Vesuvius's eruption by sea and land. Even if the Doom was like Krakatoa multiplied by fourteen, and it happened without previous warning, there probably were dragons flying out of Valyria or in the fringes of Valyria proper; some of them could have been far away from the volcanoes to escape the cloud of ashes. If ALL of Valyria terrain had exploded as if the whole peninsula were a single Plinian volcano, and not just the Fourteen Flames, the effects would have been way more catastrophic on a global scale than they are described.
  8. The problem with the feudal contract is that, in the absence of Pope-like figure wielding power above kings who can act as an arbiter (and even Popes were often under the thumb or some monarch or another who dictated what they had to do, or they were interested part in the conflicts and dictated sentences that benefited their own interests as temporal princes) the ones who decide if the contract has been violated or not are the interested parties, the lord and his rebelling vassals... So, were Robert, Ned, Hoster and Jon justified in removing the Mad King from the throne and replacing the Targaryen as ruling family? Or maybe they were justified only in removing Aerys, and his children should have inherited the throne? Robert and his allied decided they had to remove the Targaryen entirely, but other people didn't think so: Connington, Mace Tyrell (who only joined Robert's side after being captured), Doran Martell... even Stannis had doubts. In the end, Robert and his allies took the more pragmatical decision, the one that ensured the safety of their houses and secured their power, regardless of how justified they were (because, where is the neutral arbiter who says if they are justified?). And Daenerys would be doing the same if she wiped their houses after retaking the throne...
  9. Mmmm... all these High Septons were chosen before King's Landing's Great Sept replaced Oldtown's Starry Sept as the seat of the High Septon... It seems that the Hightower had a strong influence on who became High Septon when the High Septon lived in Oldtown, but that influence probably was lost afterwards... If the Targaryen have the same or a greater level of influence over the Faith as the Hightowers once had, they probably pick direct vassals from the Crownlands, or maybe other nobles from houses that had shown a great loyalty to the crown... Lord Jon Arryn and later Tyrion and Tywin probably selected high ranking Septons from the Crownlands or the Westerlands...
  10. What is being "justified" depends on your moral and ethic context. Some cultures think "an eye for an eye" it totally justified, others do not. Some cultures think a criminal's family should share the punishment... Our culture thinks Daenerys wiping the Baratheons and Lannister wouldn't be justified, but Westerosi culture probably would think it right (but Daenerys should give then the option of going to the Wall). I think making an example of the Lannisters and the Baratheons would be the most pragmatic choice, if not the most moral one...
  11. He is a strong and handsome man who kind of likes and respects her... of course she wants him to be a good man. I don't think she believes Jamie could ever be her lover, but she likes him and doesn't want him to be a monster... Nobody wants to accept that the people they like are evil...
  12. It has been years since I read the book, but, maybe it was Egg who spotted it?
  13. Its a gamble, I guess. When you become a Maester your post depends on your talent: The better you are, the greater the house. If you are lucky, they are decent people, they treat you well... if not... well, bad luck!. If too many Maesters die too fast the Citadel may grow suspicious and refuse to send more, but if they get wind of a Maester being mistreated or tortured, the best they can do probably is to send an appeal to the king or to the torturer's overlord so they stop it... or the Maester may try to escape, reach the Citaldel and ask for a new post... If the lord torturing or killing Maesters is great lord... well, the Citadel is in trouble... they can't risk opposing such powerful lord, and if they refuse to send new Maesters, the lord can just steal the Maesters from his vassals' castles...
  14. Tyrosh is inspired by the phoenician city-state of Tyre. The name is almost the same, they have a reputation of greedy merchants and great sailors just like the Phoenicians, and their wealth started with their production of dyes made from seashells, just like Tyre... Maybe a bit from Genoa too, given the role of mercenaries in their history. Lys is probably inspired by Corynth, a rich, powerful maritime power that has come to be known more for its decadence and luxury than for its achievements. A bit by Florence too, given the parallels between House Rogare and the Medici family. Myr seem to be inspired by Florence, a merchant city famous for its crafts, arts and learning.
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