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About Damon_Tor

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    The Mad Maester of Orkmont

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  1. Damon_Tor

    The House of the Undying

    At least some of those bloodlines play into the Song. The Starks and the Greyjoys most directly. And not filler: prologue. You misunderstand. The children won't be born and then have an impact on the story. Their birth is the whole point. The story doesn't end when the children do something, the story ends when they're born. They are the story. Christ doesn't have any impact as a child, but we still tell the story of his birth, then we pop back in 30 years later and talk about what he did when he was all grown up. To be clear, I'm not saying there will be a time skip. I'm saying that the story won't end with the Others being defeated. Quite the contrary, the most plausible ending for the last novel is the sun rising, just barely, in the southern sky, peeking over the horizon for a moment before setting again. The last sunrise and sunset in a generation. a generation You notice how that phrase gets used when they talk about the Long Night? Did you never stop to think what that meant? It doesn't simply mean "a long time". A dream. That's the bittersweet ending we're left with: Winter with a capital "W" is upon the world but the prophecy is in fulfillment, and we have a glimmer of what that means. But just a glimmer: a dream.
  2. Damon_Tor

    The House of the Undying

    The point, I think, is that this is a story about the birth of Dany's three (human) children. But a writer is faced with a challenge with that sort of story: if the entire purpose of the story is the birth of three children by a single woman, then the time involved would have to mean that the climax of the story would be split into three parts, at least one of those parts happening fairly early in the story. That's not good storytelling. Instead, hide the birth, reintroduce him to the story soon after child #2 is born. This way all three children get to be revealed in Act 3, and all three get to be a part of the "conclusion" of the story, which can all fit into a span of a year instead of three years.
  3. Damon_Tor

    The House of the Undying

    Everyone seems so sure about that...
  4. Damon_Tor


    Skinchangers, Greenseers and Shadowbinders are people. People aren't inherently magic: they don't need magic to survive. There are things which suggest that the wall does interfere with Skinchanging: Jon loses contact with Ghost while the wall separates them. And to be frank, we don't have any evidence that the Wall stops Others at all. They were able to control Wights in castle black, after all. Odd that the wall seems to block skinchanging but not corpsehandling. If the wall was meant to stop the Others, allowing them to control the dead through the wall seems like a somewhat glaring weakness.
  5. Damon_Tor

    The House of the Undying

    The men listed are the ones who sire children on her. Hizdahr did not, and will not. I don't get why people are so against by this. Daenerys very clearly has "a type". She likes large, strong, violent men. This is entirely consistent throughout the series. When she meets Quentyn she instead eyeballs his large brutish companion and thinks to herself "now, if only he looked more like this guy." Victarion isn't a good guy. Neither was Drogo. Neither is Daario. They're all aggressive, murderous brutes, and that's exactly what gets Daenerys going. And Victarion is about to show up as the answer to her prayers, with a ton of ships to get her forces over the sea, covered in the blood of her enemies. Frankly, I can't imagine a scenario where she DOESN'T fall for him. EDIT: Now, it's entirely possible that Victarion is where she learns better; Drogo and Daario have love to give beneath their barbaric exteriors, and treated her well enough, but at his core Victarion is filled with self-loathing and seems to think very little of women. And I'm reasonably certain that Euron maintains a psychic link with Victarion via the dusky woman and will extend that link to Daenerys when Victarion and she begin have sex. To what end, I'm not entirely sure, and I don't think Daenerys or Victarion will really understand what's happening to them (neither will most readers, for that matter) but having evil magic float around every time you have sex probably isn't good for a relationship.
  6. Damon_Tor


    It's likely the magic simply isn't precise enough to block magic A but allow magic B. Or maybe there's a "whitelist" for magic that's allowed to pass, and dragon's weren't added to it because they weren't really a thing yet. Or we don't understand the wall and its builders entirely.
  7. Damon_Tor

    An evil girl's dark heart

    A Faceless Man becomes the identity he's assuming in a very real way, or at least in a way that's real to him.
  8. Maester Conspiracy. The Maesters have been using selective breeding for centuries to strengthen certain traits and stifle others. Lyanna Stark pretty clearly had the Stark skinchanger trait, Robert obviously has the Durrendon wargod trait. The two might not seem terribly complimentary, but consider that Lyanna is often suspected to be the Knight of the Laughing Tree. If that's true, then despite having no particular strength or experience, she was able to successfully compete in a jousting tournament, presumably by exerting influence over the horses. Imagine if someone had those gifts AND the Baratheon combat competence. It's both. There are two factions at the Citadel, anti-magic and pro-magic. They aren't enemies, they're rivals at best; both do seem to be working towards the same end, the final victory over the Children of the Forest.
  9. You need to establish a metric here. Best hand as in "was best for the Kingdoms"? In the short term or the long term? Bloodraven manipulated the royal family, but to what end? And he wound up a tool of the Children, the ultimate enemy of humanity by some perspectives. Was he their ally (or puppet) even before he became a part of them? As to "what was best for the Kingdoms" that's entirely subjective. To someone who would think humanity should be subsumed by the Children, maybe Bloodraven really is best. To someone who thinks dragons (as the nuclear weapons metaphor) or magics in general are the biggest threat to humanity, then Lucas Lothston gets the gold medal, since it appears to be his bloodline taking residence in Harrenhal that shut down magic to begin with. Then again he took possession of Harrenhal before he became hand, so I suppose there's another question there: do we only count their actions while they're acting as the Hand? Does Bloodraven's tenure as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and then as the Three-Eyed Crow count for/against him?
  10. Damon_Tor

    What was Mirri Maz Duur actually saying?

    I would say so as well, but GRRM referred to it as a prophecy when asked about it. I'm not sure why he'd call it that if she was just being mean.
  11. Damon_Tor

    What was Mirri Maz Duur actually saying?

    I assume she meant Rhaego.
  12. Damon_Tor

    Is Littlefinger Getting Bankrolled?

    We don't hear about it, but we also don't hear anything else about how he increased revenue. Yes, if there's higher volume the capacity of the port would need to increase. Any growing business needs to... grow. Presumably Baelish handled this well. Most likely they would take their tariffs in coin, not by physically unloading whatever goods were being moved. There's probably a whole song and dance about "this cargo is worth fifty stags!" "no, it's worth five and thirty stags at the most" "last year you got forty stags." and so forth. Plenty of room for bribery and kickbacks and other waste, too. It was an example. One particularly short-sighted lord might be demanding 50% while the others are more reasonable. The point is, it isn't standardized and those lords aren't necessarily considering how their tariffs are impacting traffic along the road, and one of the problems with inherited nobility is that there's no good way to ensure the people in charge actually know what they're doing. Maybe there just isn't a good way to convince Lord Thirty-Three Percent that his tariffs are discouraging traffic along the road, that he would be better off with a lower tariff, that he would make more money by demanding less. That wouldn't make sense to him because he can only process a few layers of cause and effect. Someone who COULD get him to lower his tariffs, or could convince Aryn to force him to lower his tariffs, would be in a position to make a positive change. And figuring out how to make money flow properly and convincing people to take actions against their own apparent interests are both in Baelish's skillset.
  13. This is relevant. My understanding is that Rhaegar was nothing special on the battlefield. I think it was Barristan who says as much.
  14. Damon_Tor

    Is Littlefinger Getting Bankrolled?

    Or he's aggressively cutting customs and taxes. If you've got twenty different petty lords along a road or river, and each of them demanding 25% of whatever passes through their lands, that's going to hurt the business of the port at the start of that road/river, and it's not going to result in great income for the petty lords either, because traders aren't going to want to go down those roads. It's entirely possible he got Aryn to standardize tariffs, increasing the popularity of the port because it's now at the mouth of a much more profitable trade route.
  15. Damon_Tor

    Maesters pre-Andal invasion.

    Lord Commander Hoare is confusing and suspicious, but we know too little about him to do anything but speculate on what drove him to take the black and what factors were behind his rise to power in the Watch. Maybe it was part of the Maesters' anti-magic plan and maybe not. Maybe he spread his "black blood" among the wildlings, a lineage that eventually led to Craster and his inbred brood. Was that why he was there? What happens if the Others get the Grey King's magic nullification trait? Was that the plan? Only speculation.