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The Sleeper

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  1. Bit late. Pretty much every thread with that kind of topic and a few others besides, turns to Arya's mental state which in turn inevitably turns into a discussion of Daeron. It's like gravity. I must have seen a hundred of them.
  2. https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/161101-the-gods-are-not-done-with-me/ I had a similar idea.
  3. There is quite a bit of set up for Theon becoming Bran's vehicle. Bran's arc with Hodor, Varamyr and Theon's own arc. In short Theon is broken, familiar with Bran and has been likened and lived with dogs. All the prerequisites for him to be possessed by Bran have been set up. As for convincing the people present that this is in fact what is happening, that seems easily manageable, too. Bran and Bloodraven could very plausibly arrange for some kind of divine omen. For instance, crows in mass speaking at once or raising the wind. There should also be a way to confirm Bran's identity. The Liddle who Bran's group encountered on their way north, could well be present or have shared details of the encounter with other members of his clan. Moreover, it is a way for Bran to re enter the plot without the trouble of having him travel all the way back south and brings all these previous arcs together.
  4. I think the most straightforward answer is that it refers to Alleras/Sarella, pointing out that there is something going on there. And indeed there is the riddle of her identity. That said the way that Martin uses sphinx is more akin to the generic term chimera, as opposed to the specific monster as a mixture of disparate things. There is a variety sphinxes after all. I don't recall if all of them have human heads, which would justify the use of sphinx. They maybe allusions to the Valyrian genetic experiments, or perhaps to skinchangers in that they share traits with their animals.
  5. That's certainly an aspect of it, but not what I was going for. To clarify, Robert had a Hand, councilors and vassals all with their own agendas and context and therefore had constraints on his ability to exercise power. Theoretically, he could order anyone to do anything, for instance he could order Tywin to dump all his gold into the sea. Of course that would cost him a major source of income and Tywin would never do that. How any king rules depends on his support, administration and bureaucracy and has limits to his authority. Acting outside of those limits undermines his ability to exercise power and also has the pressure to reinforce the power of those immediately lower than them in the chain of command in order to maintain their own power. Hence the person of the sovereign influences the outcome only so far. I think you'd be hard pressed to find any human society where this power dynamic doesn't exist though its influence varies of course.
  6. It is too generalized, fair enough. The point is though that some things are inherent in the hierarchy and don't depend on the character of the person occupying the position or their intentions.
  7. Bran is king in the north and his seat is Winterfell.
  8. There is no such thing as a good king. For one, no single person can govern, they are at the head of a hierarchy and often stand as no more than a figurehead. in fact in many cases that would be for the best. The less they do the less mess they will make. Tommen is an excellent prospect in that regard. For another that whole system is founded on coercion and exploitation top to bottom, as well as the belief that some people are better than others.
  9. Tywin and Cersei essentially are doing the same shit. They antagonize and try to undermine everyone else and think they are being subtle about it. The outcome would have been the same had Twin survived in the long run. The reason Tywin got away with it for as long as he did was because of hype and various other reasons that ultimately come down to him being a man. Tywin is the only character that Martin broke the fourth wall for to tell that he is full of shit and rotten to the core.
  10. You're missing the following points: There was a rebellion to begin with He is preparing for the next stage, where he doesn't have the title. Littlefinger's situation means the title is causing him problems and he is setting up a situation where he doesn't have the title. So, where is the benefit? Why did he supposedly aim to gain the title and how does it make him more powerful in comparison to his position as Master of Coin prior to the start of the series? The title does not allow him to exercise any actual power, any power he has is the same as he had in King's Landing. Rather than ordering people around as their Lord he bribes and manipulates them like he did before and he has to spent money to achieve it. The title rather than a boon is a burden as he has to spend political and literal capital to maintain it. The reason he does so is that he controls through it access to Robert, without which he would simply be irrelevant to most of the Vale. Which is why he is setting up a situation like in King's Landing where he can influence things as part of the Harry's inner circle. There you hit on what I consider to be his only true agenda in the Vale: to profiteer on food. I'm not sure if he has any food on his own to sell, the food is the lords to sell. He probably plans to have some appointment regarding exports in Gulltown, through which he would take some commission on sales. He is not there, yet. He is still setting things up. There is also the fact that his machinations are corrosive to the ability of the Vale to function as a unit. The most powerful lord of the Vale will certainly not follow his lead and in matters of war it is questionable if even his own friends will take directions from him. The other major issue is that having granted the Gates of the Moon to Nestor Royce means that lord of the Vale has no seat for most of the year and will essentially be the hostage of whoever houses him. You cannot compare also the amount of money that went through his hands in King's Landing where he treated the entire kingdom's economy as his personal bank, with whatever he stands to make in the Vale. He also cannot be said to wield influence in King's Landing through the Kettleblacks. Not only they are small fry, they are not under his control anymore. As for being imperative to him to leave King's Landing. His whole financial bubble was bound to burst during the war, shipments and payments would have fallen through and he have fewer options when it came to borrowing money. His own value was that he never said no to anybody for money or anything else. He wouldn't have been able to produce money out of nowhere or to go along with anything his superiors said. For example, Cersei halted the payments to the Iron Bank. Was he going to go along with it? What was he going to do then when she would start demanding money out of him? The Kingdom's finances were becoming a hot potato, which is why he pushed Tyrion for the role. The other reason he had to leave was the Tyrells. Littlefinger himself murdered Dontos, his own partner in crime so that he wouldn't talk. Why would he expect any different treatment from the Tyrells?
  11. How exactly is that clear? The whole fault in your line of reasoning is that he is more powerful now. That's just not true. Titles are of limited use to him. He doesn't have the prestige or the troops to make good on them. You'll have noticed that he faced near open rebellion over his guardianship of Robert. In contrast, in King's Landing, prior to the war he controlled the finances of the entire kingdom, had the second most powerful man in the kingdom as his patron, had access to the most powerful people and had tons of others in the government either appointed by him or beholden to him. he even sold offices. In contrast, in the Vale, he has spent money and do favors in order for him not to be removed. You can tell how much the title means to him, by the fact that he doesn't care whether Robert lives or dies.
  12. Littlefinger did not start or want the war of the five kings. His main motivations was to prevent Stannis from gaining prominence in the court and later from ascending to the throne and keep his own head and position. The way things turned out was a disaster for him. He didn't plan to go back to the Vale. He fled there.
  13. That is a cool idea. The first thing my mind went to when I first read the books and specifically the depiction of Ice was Stormbringer and Melnibone. I can get by the idea that Valyrian swords are haunted/cursed or perhaps fated, but it's not a general rule. There plenty of people who are bloodthirsty without Valyrian steel and others who have Valyrian swords and are not bloodthirsty. It could play out as theme but there is room in the story for it to be a genuine magical element. If we are to look to something like that, it should be the original Valyrian sword, Ice. Original in the sense, that it was the first portrayed in the story and the one most attention has been given to, by far. it has been used regularly in a fashion that has been shown to be very similar to ancient sacrifices (Ned using it for executions, then ritually cleaning it before Winterfell's heart tree, feeding it in the process) even turning against its wielder when it was used to execute Ned. Then there are the resulting swords, which appear to be stained by blood. Their names are also relevant to the stories of their wielders. Widow's Wail appears to be referring to Cersei wailing when Joffrey was murdered. Brienne and Jaime have story arcs that revolve around the keeping of oaths. The description of the fight at the Whispers refers to Oathkeeper coming alive in Brienne's hands. The name "Oathkeeper" could itself be a reference to another sword in Moorcock's mythos "Traitor" which belonged to Corum (Moorcock has tons of cursed swords). Still, there doesn't appear to be any direct, overt influence, which is why I said that these particular swords may be fated. For the most part, so far it appears to be a theme rather than in story magic.
  14. The Yunkai'i have plenty of inoconsistencies, starting with having slaves to begin with after supposedly releasing them, along with some other stuff like the girl emperor having bred her slave soldiers despite being sixteen etc. It does have an easy fix, which is consistent with the story. The Yunkai'i did not release all of their slaves, not even most of them. They couldn't have or their society would have fallen apart and it's not like Dany checked. It should have been addressed though. I think that Dance was rushed through editing and publication to coincide with the first season of the show, which is why stuff like this slipped though.
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