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the trees have eyes

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  1. Actually, the gun above the mantelpiece was established in the prologue to AGOT when dead Waymar Royce rose up and throttled Will. With the danger established for us but hidden from the characters GRRM sets about confounding our expectations by showing how resurrection (if done right, fire magic style) retains the personality more or less intact. Or, like Beric, he will appear much himself, committed to what he was beforehand and prompt the same reactions from those who know him. If they are even aware he died at all as opposed to being healed by a powerful sorceress or whatever they think Mel is. Personally, I think we're jumping the gun on assuming he's dead but even if he is, Mel, who is handily close by and worships R'hollor, only needs to give him the kiss of fire as Thoros did for Beric and Jon's back and Bowen Marsh is about to become considerably shorter. The white pup not being accepted by the mother and driven away is symbolic of Jon being a bastard and thus different to his siblings and you can argue it foreshadows him being driven out of Winterfell by Catelyn when Ned heads south. He was accepted by his father and his siblings though, just as he was accepted at the NW (Mormont, Aemon, Donal Noye), by the Wildlings (Ygrittte, Mance, Tormund, Val), by Stannis and the (non-Bolton) Northern Lords. It's really only the ultras around Marsh and Thorne who have thrown their lot in with the Iron Throne - and by extension the Bolton side in the Northern civil war - who don't accept him and when we get TWOW I think we'll find they backed the wrong horse. Mel = fire magic. Jon's wounds are on his body so will not leave the impression that Beric's do (bashed in skull, rope burn around the neck, one eye put out by a dagger through the visor). Even if he's brought back from the dead who will know by looking at him? Why? As an ice wight he would be under the Others' control. If a wight raised somehow by Bloodraven or Bran (and we have no reason to presume they have these powers) he would presumably be controlled by them. If he's brought back by Mel (a la Beric) he's still Jon Snow, LC of the NW.
  2. Lol, ok. If you're 100% with it being fully consensual roleplay then it's not problematical. The scene doesn't start or feel that way, not to me at any rate. Interesting how you can find Ned and Cat's bedchamber scene disturbing and give this a pass. Whatever the fuck it actually was is kind of the point. What happens if Qarl doesn't get the axe out of her hand? A Dance with Dragons - The Wayward Bride Qarl followed her up to Galbart Glover's bedchamber. "Get out," she told him. "I want to be alone." "What you want is me." He tried to kiss her. Asha pushed him away. "Touch me again and I'll—" "What?" He drew his dagger. "Undress yourself, girl." "Fuck yourself, you beardless boy." "I'd sooner fuck you." One quick slash unlaced her jerkin. Asha reached for her axe, but Qarl dropped his knife and caught her wrist, twisting back her arm until the weapon fell from her fingers. He pushed her back onto Glover's bed, kissed her hard, and tore off her tunic to let her breasts spill out. When she tried to knee him in the groin, he twisted away and forced her legs apart with his knees. "I'll have you now." "Do it," she spat, "and I'll kill you in your sleep." She was sopping wet when he entered her. "Damn you," she said. "Damn you damn you damn you." He sucked her nipples till she cried out half in pain and half in pleasure. Her cunt became the world. She forgot Moat Cailin and Ramsay Bolton and his little piece of skin, forgot the kingsmoot, forgot her failure, forgot her exile and her enemies and her husband. Only his hands mattered, only his mouth, only his arms around her, his cock inside her. He fucked her till she screamed, and then again until she wept, before he finally spent his seed inside her womb. I find this problematical. You can argue roleplay but she tells him no, grabs an axe and tries to knee him in the balls but he overpowers her. Sure, she gets off on the sex but the idea of the male as a sex god who can ignore a woman saying no because of course she wants him really and it's ok to use force because she'll change her mind once he uses his supreme sexual skills on her and he'll show her a good time is a pretty disturbing one. Much easier to brush it off as rough horseplay where wrestling an axe out of your partner's hand is just part of the regular weekly couples' time. You're fine with this but you're bothered by the notion of consent when Irri initiates with Dany? Interesting how we read things differently.
  3. I don't know that we can say the "sweet ache" suggests nothing of pleasure, it does to me. Granted it's not a chandelier swinging event leaving Catelyn in mindblown rapture but maybe a middle-aged couple have a more sedate approach to things in the bedroom. If not mindblowing it doesn't mean it was unsatisfactory for Catelyn. And if she is feeling broody or maternal and wants another child to reaffirm her bond with Ned in the face of upheaval in their household (as duly follows) or for it's own sake, hoping for it after sex is pretty natural (or the author introducing those thoughts immediately after the event to show us this is pretty standard writing). Yes, arranged marriage is problematic and they were strangers when married so I take your point about how required rather than voluntary sexual relations were on their wedding night and may have been for a portion of their marriage but with the benefit of their povs we know they love each other dearly by the time of what I'll term the "aching loins bonk" so I was unclear why you would see this as morally grey. I forget if you included it but what for me was the most troubling sexual encounter was Qarl the Maid and Asha Greyjoy as she clearly said no but he didn't accept that. I'm not American so I may be totally wrong but I still can't buy this. Any contractual clause that limits your freedom of association or relationship outside the workplace is no business of the company's and is legally unenforceable (UK term alone and thus irrelevant maybe). Grounds for dismissal are non- or poor performance of contractual duties (i.e. the relevant work duties you were hired to perform) or engaging in illegal / amoral activities that bring the company into disrepute / attract negative publicity (such as storming the US Capitol and live-streaming yourself doing so...). Dating a co-worker may be undesirable because of potential drama affecting work performance but the company would have to prove that happened (in which case you're being fired for poor work performance) or else it's conjectural, arbitrary and discriminatory. Limiting a person's legal activities / freedom of association outside the workplace by inserting a clause against dating a co-worker is as arbitrary as a clause saying wearing sneakers or drinking herbal tea is grounds for dismissal. At work don't do those things, outside work do as you please. I'll step down off my soapbox now but I'm pretty astounded by this. I'll repeat I don't know US contract or employment law so I may be 100% wrong but I'm aghast that a country so in love with the notion of liberty would allow these practices (in which case the grass really is greener over here - in one small sense at any rate).
  4. Dany is doing her thing when Irri wakes up and then takes a hand on her own initiative. At the most you could read Dany's pause in her actions as an unspoken invitation to / expectation for Irri to take over but why would she not voice or indicate this? There is no pattern of behaviour or previously created expectation to guide Irri here, she reacts to Dany's obvious sexual frustration as she thinks best. The relationship between Dany and her handmaids is more complex and much closer than the mistress / servant or employer / employee analogies being used: they are part servants, yes, but also part companions and friends and there is a bond of affection and loyalty that transcends transactional assessments. What I think you're objecting to is the power/status imbalance and the assumption that Irri's background renders her unable to assess the situation and undertake actions in a way that we can be comfortable with. It's certainly true that we would not approve of this power imbalance today and there are no comparable situations (Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, President and White House Intern? - which obviously fails as a comparison on a number of levels) but real life as well as fiction doesn't always put people together on the same social footing. Dany does after all tell her the next morning that she is free and does not have to do "that". It's also worth remembering Doreah was the bed slave while Irri's brief was to teach Dany riding: A Game of Thrones - Daenerys II Her brother Viserys gifted her with three handmaids. Dany knew they had cost him nothing; Illyrio no doubt had provided the girls. Irri and Jhiqui were copper-skinned Dothraki with black hair and almond-shaped eyes, Doreah a fair-haired, blue-eyed Lysene girl. "These are no common servants, sweet sister," her brother told her as they were brought forward one by one. "Illyrio and I selected them personally for you. Irri will teach you riding, Jhiqui the Dothraki tongue, and Doreah will instruct you in the womanly arts of love." He smiled thinly. "She's very good, Illyrio and I can both swear to that." Can you say why you think Ned and Catelyn's lovemaking is morally grey? I read it that a couple married for fifteen years with five children have sex and the wife hopes she may become pregnant again while she is still able. The sex may have been more high tempo and urgent than a slow comfortable screw (due to the stress of Robert's visit, the fear of separation with Robert expecting Ned to leave WF for KL - and what the king wants is a command not an invitation - and the hidden anxieties' preying on both their minds, particularly Ned's about Jon) but there is nothing in the scene to suggest violence or abuse. You would have to read Catelyn as a timid mouse or a battered wife and Ned as a serial abuser to assume she could not or did not tell him he was being too rough. After those fifteen years and five children there's a presumption they know how to act around each other in bed. A Game of Thrones - Catelyn II So when they had finished, Ned rolled off and climbed from her bed, as he had a thousand times before. He crossed the room, pulled back the heavy tapestries, and threw open the high narrow windows one by one, letting the night air into the chamber. The wind swirled around him as he stood facing the dark, naked and empty-handed. Catelyn pulled the furs to her chin and watched him. He looked somehow smaller and more vulnerable, like the youth she had wed in the sept at Riverrun, fifteen long years gone. Her loins still ached from the urgency of his lovemaking. It was a good ache. She could feel his seed within her. She prayed that it might quicken there. It had been three years since Rickon. She was not too old. She could give him another son. What, really? If you mean between employer / direct line manager and employee / direct subordinate I can see why it would be frowned on or kept hidden: the fear of pressure because of unequal positions and the assumption of favouritism but I don't see how a contract could enforce restrictions on personal relations outside the workplace. If between employees I'm even more surprised and I can't see how these contracts would be legally enforceable at all. [UK here]. The admittedly thin silver lining to this cloud is that Jaime's squire and Pia seem to quite happily engage in a healthy / normal sexual relationship. Whether this is particularly realistic given her physical and sexual mistreatment is another matter but in terms of what's on page she seems to be a survivor recovering from her experiences.
  5. Ned secured infant/baby Jon as soon as he practically could and brought him to WF where he not only kept him safe but raised him as part of his family. He really could not have done more to protect Jon's true identity by laying such a convincingly false trail at some cost to his own reputation and of course to his and Catelyn's relationship. No one suspects he is a a Targaryen bastard or potentially semi-legitimate heir due to potential polygamy on Rhaegar's part which keeps him safe from an unstable Taregaryen-hating Robert's vengefulness; any realpolitik decisions to remove an inconvenient alternative to the newly established Barratheon dynasty which is notably short on legitimacy; and free from any political ploys to seat him on the Iron Throne as a child and rule through him by unscrupulous Lords tempted to try a power grab. Ned raises him to lead and command, exactly as he does Robb, and though he is sent off to the NW for plot reasons both Mormont and Maester Aemon are quick to spot his potential and his rapidly accelerated rise to a leadership role confirms this quickly enough. He's a bastard so he'll never get to marry or inherit lands and in the North a career in a leadership role in the NW is not such a terrible thing. For those thinking it is, remember that the prologue to AGOT starts with Waymar Royce, a third son from an influential and powerful noble house in the Vale voluntarily turning up to pursue a career (i.e. lifetime in the NW). Catelyn precipitated it and Jon was unusually young but it's not that different to what Waymar Royce or Ned's own brother, Benjen Stark, chose themselves.
  6. That Daario Naharis is really Euron (or the other way round. Honestly who knows?). That Euron is the Dusky woman and is banging Vic for *reasons* That Catelyn's animosity towards Jon was not due to Ned shaming her by publicly equating his bastard with her trueborn heir but because she was secretly guilty about the fact that Robb was illegitimate due to her having premarital sex with Brandon and lying about it her whole life That Dany was a changeling or outright imposter coached by Viserys That Howland Reed is the High Septon (Sparrow) That Qhorin Halfhand was really Gerold Hightower because one of the Kingswood brotherhood once put an arrow through Hightower's hand and Qhorin lost two fingers catching a wildling axe aiming to split his skull open so it's cast iron proof they are the same man (or maybe Qhorin was Arthur Dayne; it's interchangeable because none of the KG actually died at the ToJ and all went to hang out with Elvis) Anything to do with the CotF greenseers being omniscient timetravelers able to constantly go back in time and effect events to turn out the way they want...despite facing extinction That Joffrey went to WF as an agent of LF under orders to kill Sansa, his intended betrothed, in order to stir up animosity between the Barratheons/Lannisters and Starks for LF's benefit, only hatching his plan to off the crippled Bran after Jaime had obligingly stumbled into the middle of an intrigue and LF was able to redirect his protege.
  7. Ah, yes, the good old religious extremist Aeron who quite literally drowns people as a test of their faith in order to perform resuscitation on them as a display of his personal convictions and power. The guy who, on being told Euron had sailed into Pyke harbour, claimed the throne and drowned Lord Botley in a cask of salt water when he protested, didn't give two hoots about the murder because the law stipulated that no blood be spilled and so as a "godly man" was fine with the murder being committed by drowning rather than the sword. A real role model here. 1. 45 2. Male 3. Impossible to pick one really: any of Dany, Jon, Sansa, Cat, Tyrion or Bran 4. Littlefinger - for causing so much chaos and suffering because of his poor little bruised ego
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