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the trees have eyes

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  1. On 2/1/2023 at 7:50 PM, James Arryn said:

    Does anyone else remember the…dunno if rumour or theory is more appropriate…after the last book that his comments that he had already written a bunch of later chapters, that therefore the delay between Dance and Winds would be relatively short? Also the absence of a Mereneese knot would mean smooth sailing.
     

    Or, OMG, the advance chapters he was reading OUT LOUD surely had to mean imminent publication? I think the first of those was like 9 years ago. I now use the shadow of southbound geese to prognosticate Winds release dates. So far they haven’t been any less accurate than any other method. 

    Most definitely.  And there was an implication (or maybe I made an inference) that the battles of Meereen and Winterfell / Stannis v Boltons had already been largely written and were simply moved into Winds.

    I thought the publication of sample chapters was something in his contract to show the publishers he had reached a certain page count or milestones for advances.  Maybe I shouldn't say that :uhoh:

    On 2/2/2023 at 12:45 AM, BlackLightning said:

    GRRM gave his 75% done and 500 pages left to go chat in December.

    AGOT is 800 pages long.  Either TWOW is going to be 1600 - 2000 pages or he's about half way, maybe not even that.  He could write faster if he was motivated to but that's the real issue and has been for some years.  Only he can rediscover his desire to write this story.  I sure hope he does :)

  2. 8 hours ago, Springwatch said:

    Nevertheless, a Jon presidency would be a different thing to a Robb presidency.

    I'm not so sure.  They are both war time presidents and while Robb is on the offensive campaigning in the Riverlands and Jon is on the defensive at The Wall - to both north and south - they are both acting strategically in the best interests of The North as Ned taught them and as they believe right.

    Of course GRRM being GRRM they both make strategic mistakes (Robb more so than Jon) and are both blindsided and undone by treachery (how very Nedlike :crying:) but I think their peacetime rule in the North would be very similar in how they treat their vassals and the smallfolk, which is really all ruling is in the absence of crises to manage.

    Are they different individuals? Of course but nothing like, say Robert and Stannis or Balon and Euron in terms of how their character would shape their rule.

    7 hours ago, SeanF said:

    Jon was actually dealt a pretty bad hand by the Starks.

    A big motivating factor for him to join the Watch was his belief that he would be destitute before long.  When it came to it, Catleyn was in a position to throw him out, in Ned's absence, and Ned had made no provision for him.  The Watch was a shithole, a penal colony, where 90% of recruits joined up only as an alternative to execution or starvation.  The likelihood was that Jon would die at a young age, on a wildling's axe, never having married, fathered children, or held lands.

    It is no thanks to either Ned or Catelyn that he survived and became Lord Commander.

    I think the example of Uncle Benjen takes the edge off this.  True, Jon is a bastard and he can expect no favours from Benjen but as Donal Noye, Aemon and Mormont all know and quickly confirm he is castle trained and, more importantly, educated as a Lord's son.  He has a lot of potential and he has to earn any rank or station in The Watch but he has a huge head start over the average recruit and is groomed for command from almost the beginning.   This wasn't guaranteed - Sam shows that - but I think it was always a good bet, if not that he would make such a meteoric rise.

    It's still a hard and bleak life for sure and he does get picked for Qhorin's suicide mission so life is not without dangers but the alternative was probably dying with Robb at The Red Wedding or with Ser Rodrik in The Sack of Winterfell. 

    And a lot of Jon's danger stems from Lannister overtures to yes men in The Watch.  Ned thought The Watch would be a safe haven compared to the particular dangers to Jon at Court but he couldn't know The Lannisters would prevail at KL and bring court politics to The Wall as well.

  3. 17 hours ago, Springwatch said:

    Truth is stranger than fiction, it is known...

    Jon's rivalry with Robb is natural, I think. There's more of the north in Jon, and his wolf is bigger, strong, white as snow - a wolf fit for a King of Winter. So, more of the south in Robb - his nature is warmer, he's not snow, he even melts snowflakes. They're not just rivals for high office, they represent opposing forces. Which is better for Winterfell? We don't know yet.

    Whatever the symbolism their relationship was close rather than one of sibling rivalry to the extent that Robb very likely legitimised Jon and made him his heir.  Contrast that with the Barratheon and Greyjoy brothers - or with Domeric Bolton and Ramsay Snow!!

    Only when he believes all his brothers dead is Jon tempted by the offer of WF and even then he says no.  He never reaches for it or plots for it or considers it, however idly.

  4. 2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

    Jon's psyche and mental-well being

      Reveal hidden contents

     

    Pretty good as it happens.  The sibling rivalry was never an issue and although there was coldness from Catelyn as "the wicked step-mother" the relationship with Ned was one of warmth.  I can't help but contrast Jon's joining the watch with "Megxit" and Harry's unresolved issues with his brother and father (and the impact of the absence of his mother during his adolescence).

    It's a bit colder on The Wall than California but Jon found his place and both a cause / duty and surrogate family.   Regrets over Ygritte, Qhorin or the burden of leadership are pretty natural and he knows he had to distance himself from his friends - "Kill the boy and let the man be born" (sic).  Ghost is a source of companionship and an anchor. He's managing it all pretty well until you know what.

  5. 17 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    He's not putting Cersei before Tyrion either. He's choosing Tommen.

    Ultimately.  And only maybe - as part of trying to become a better person.  But he's at Riverrun not safeguarding Tommen from Cersei's influence.

    But when Cersei denies she had anything to do with the dagger I don't think she is lying and doing it out of a fear Jaime will choose Tyrion or Tommen over her.  Tyrion's transgression is far too great and outweighs anything else.

  6. 2 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    It wasn't much of a gamechanger when Tyrion lied he killed Joffrey

    Actually it does mark their estrangement and Jaime turns his back on him for good.  I can't think of him regarding Tyrion either fondly or with regret after this.

    He's not putting Tyrion before Cersei here in any case which seems to be the heart of whether Cersei would need to lie to him or not.  I still can't see that she does.

  7. On 1/29/2023 at 3:00 PM, sweetsunray said:

    I'm pretty sure that Jaime cares more for Tyrion than he does for Joffrey. And Cersei knows this. Jaime loved her, and was the seed provider, but he was never allowed to form a bond with them. The sole son he just tried to become some type of father figure to was Tommen, right before Cersei sent him away to the RL.

    True but Joffrey is Cersei's son so it's not so much pitting Jaime's love for Tyrion against his love for Joffrey as against his love for Cersei.  And murdering her son (as is believed) is surely a gamechanger if there was any doubt as to whether Jaime was going to ride off into exile with Tyrion.

  8. 13 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Jaime is seeking for a justification why Tyrion would murder Joffrey.

    She knows Jaime has a fondness and weakness for Tyrion that is in her opinion irrational.

    So your view is that it was Cersei that uttered the line about it being a mercy to kill Bran / putting down injured animals etc leading to Joffrey hiring the catspaw?

    I mean it's possible and she's blaming Robert just like she blames her maid for "shrinking" her dress in the wash rather than acknowledging her middle-age spread.

    But to think she would consider Jaime would be angry with her for an action that indirectly led to Tyrion being in danger that he came through unscathed is a pretty light straw against the pretty heavy bale of Tyrion having (as she believes) murdered her and Jaime's son.  I just don't see a reason for her to lie in this scenario.

    If she did send the catspaw then she might have more reason to hide this from Jaime but Tyrion having murdered her son outweighs this by far and makes it very hard to see why she would need to hide an action that was not intended to harm Tyrion and, though it made his life uncomfortable, did not.

    If anything - and as  Jaime wonders - revealing that she did send the catspaw might give Tyrion a / another motive for killing Joffrey (to punish her rather than get revenge on Joffrey).  Which in turn would surely help to overcome Jaime's "strange affection" for Tyrion and help her to convince Jaime to kill him for her - as she later attempts to persuade him to do in White Sword Tower in return for a blow job :blink:

    13 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Jaime is seeking for a justification why Tyrion would murder Joffrey.

    She knows Jaime has a fondness and weakness for Tyrion that is in her opinion irrational.

    I'm not a narcissist, not a pathological liar and don't have a brother who's always had my other brother's back. You approach Cersei as a rational normal person. She isn't. She never was.

    She loathes Tyrion so cannot understand why Jaime does not as well.  That's not really that unusual.  Is she self-centred, manipulative and narcissistic?  Yes, but I don't see how lying here benefits her.  At best I can see that she (not Jaime) might think that the dagger became a reason for Tyrion to kill Joffrey so she disassociates herself from the event and projects blame onto Robert for inspiring Joffrey, similar to how she disassociates herself from Melara's "fall".

    Interestingly you've made me consider that the catspaw plotline may still have some mileage - in the culmination of the Lannister siblings tangled relationship.  I still think it unlikely though: Cersei accepting responsibility for inspiring Joffrey to hire the assassin, leading to Tyrion's arrest, leading to Tyrion's murder of Joffrey, only really has relevance if Cersei admits it to herself as no one else can know this and it only really has relevance for Cersei's personal tragedy (as she morphs into Catelyn with all her children dying) because no one else gives a damn about Joffrey. 

    This doesn't seem likely and the reveal about who did kill Joffrey is likely to have more of an impact on their relationship.

    Cersei is not "normal" as in "well-adjusted" but neither is she irrational (unless you're positing her misuse of power as a secret Targ developing full-blown Targ madness rather than a standard case of megalomania?).

    3 hours ago, Aebram said:

    Ironically enough, the "both barrels" aspect of it is one reason why I don't trust it. If an author writes a mystery subplot into a story, does it make sense that he will have some characters simply blurt out the answer? It seems too obvious. It seems like it could be a misdirection.

    Such an important plot element ought to have a strong resolution, not just a few characters guessing at it.

    That's a stretch.  You seem to be looking for reasons to reject the text rather than assessing what the author is trying to do.  If he wants to misdirect then Tyrion's conclusion is enough.  Instead he gives us two pov characters who come to the same conclusion.  No, there's no trial or smoking gun, no deathbed confession, but that doesn't mean we should assume what the author shows us and then reinforces with a second confirmation is false.

    He's on the record as saying that readers might come up with solutions that were more pleasing than his own and this seems exactly what he has in mind.  I feel you simply don't like the solution or the reveal while a deeply-layered and complex scenario planned years in advance and still hidden (the enigma of Mance Raydar) seems more satisfying.  Whether you feel the solution ought to be stronger or more satisfying this is what he came up with.

  9. 6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    It's not the morals of the assassination attempt on Bran's life that Cersei would lie for. She doesn't care about that. But it was such an amateuristic sloppy execution too (so nothing to claim in pride), and it got Tyrion arrested by Cat. Cersei doesn't care about Tyrion, but she knows Jaime does. 

    But this is long after Tyrion returned to KL quite safe and sound.  If he was still a prisoner in The Eyrie I could see why she might want to hide it from him but not at the time Jaime talks to her.  At that point Tyrion is a convicted regicide and parricide and Cersei asks Jaime to kill him for her.  I don't see her worrying about his reaction to her having put Tyrion at risk, however inadvertently.  And after all she would have been protecting Jaime and herself by trying to get rid of the witness to their incest.

    7 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Automatic response. She does it even in her own head during the walk of shame. She's a pathological liar due to her narcissism who cannot be seen as being responsible for anything "bad" that happened, and by extension Joffrey. At the most she can admit at some point during the walk of shame is that she agreed to do the walk of shame. 

    In part.  She remembers that Melara "fell" down the well when they were children but even in her head she does not admit she pushed her.  The reader has to infer that.  But the author presents us with a very clear picture that she did.  Given she is a pov and truly believes that Tyrion killed Joffrey I would at least expect her to gnash her teeth that her ploy with the dagger did not get Tyrion killed and thus spare Joffrey.  But the author gives us none of this, just Tyrion and Jaime reaching the conclusion that it was Joffrey.  And then it's never mentioned again.  Except on this forum  :P

    7 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    There's no way she's going to allow Jaime to be angry with her over the brother she despises.

    That brother has killed her son.  Jaime's son.  He was found guilty in Court and Trial by Combat and I really don't think Cersei is going to worry about Jaime being angry with her over Tyrion.   After all Joffery was both her and his son and she might expect him to feel something for Joffrey (though he does not). 

    Forget we're talking ASOIAF for a moment: your son is murdered by your partner's brother.  Are you really going to worry your partner might get angry with you over something you may have done that put him at risk a few years ago or are you going to be cursing that he wasn't killed before he could harm your son?  If your partner is more angry about you accidentally putting his brother at risk (he survived unharmed) than he is about the murder of your son you are 100% getting a new partner.

    31 minutes ago, Aebram said:

    Cersei was aware of the change; that would give her a reason not to trust him as much as she normally would.

    Tyrion is a criminal and kinslayer wanted for murdering her and Jaime's son.  He knows secrets that will kill them both in a heartbeat (Tommen and Myrcella too).  The dagger doesn't even register on the scale for her and is not something she needs to hide from him with Tyrion being Westeros's Most Wanted.  Assuming she ever had a reason to hide it from him when they were travelling from WF to KL for however months.

    Cersei is not honest I give you.  But that doesn't support Cersei sent the catspaw and it certainly doesn't outweigh the textual explanation the author gives us with both barrels.

  10. 14 hours ago, Jekse said:

    Indeed. This is a major plot-hole. 

    I always wondered why he didn't given LF's low birth and status but I feel we have to allow the author to set the pieces on the board how he wants and that this is relatively minor.  LF's strength throughout the early book is that he makes himself useful to those with real power and is too insignificant to be seen as a threat and too useful to be discarded without a good reason: sort of like Varys.

  11. 11 hours ago, Aebram said:

    Since Cersei's character (or lack thereof) has been called into question, I will add one piece of evidence.

    First she merely suggests that Robert probably said it, as if she was groping for an excuse for Joffrey's behavior.  A moment later, she suddenly recalls that he did say it, not once but "often."  If he had said it many times, wouldn't she recall it at once?  Is her sudden "recollection" actually a lie?

    The sudden switch from "most like" to "often" reminds me of the switch from "we were alone" to "us and the children" in chapter 72.  Later in that chapter, she tells Jaime that she had lied to him "a thousand times." It seems that she's quite willing to lie in order to protect herself and her children.

    But why lie about this?  Cersei is with Jaime when he throws Bran out the window.  What does she need to keep hidden from him?  After all they travel together all the way back to KL from WF.  When Cersei has that conversation with Jaime it's after the Lannisters have won and after Stannis has declared their incest to the realm to no effect.  Who tried to kill Bran Stark, a boy believed murdered by Theon Greyjoy, is of no importance. Why does she need to lie or hide anything from Jaime?

    We gain her as a pov in AFFC and learn all about Melara Hetherspoon and "Robert's children".  There's simply no reason to speculate that she was somehow behind the dagger but is lying to Jaime and hiding it from us and herself.

  12. On 1/26/2023 at 1:32 AM, Rosetta Stone said:

    We obviously do not know who will go insane but the OP is right.  If the condition that Rhaegar fathered Jon is met then he has the same chances to go insane as any Targaryen.  Further, it looks like the men in the family were the ones going insane.  So there is that going against Jon.

    Well this is correct but we have to put it in context: we have Jon as a character for five books and, unlike Viserys, he has shown no hint of "the bad gene".  He's quiet, reflective, introspective, dutiful, rather like both Ned and Rhaegar as it happens, without any "episodes" or red flags.

    On 1/16/2023 at 6:53 PM, Victor Newman said:

    The Dany haters can't really have it their way.  Either Jon is not Rheagar's son and has no claim to Westeros.  Or he is Rhaegar's son and just as likely to go insane as any Targaryen.  I say Jon has a higher chance of going batshit crazy because of his short temper, wolf bond, and having Lyanna's wolf blood.  The bond with the direwolf make Jon's sanity even more fragile

    If we acknowledge the theoretical possibility that he will go mad due to genetics we should also acknowledge the very real possibility that he won't, like ninety year-old Father Aemon.  But we have Jon as a character for five books to draw our own conclusions about any propensity towards madness without saying it's a coinflip.  It's a coinflip at birth, it's a coinflip with an unknown character but based on what we know of Jon it's extremely unlikely due to genetics.  The kind of experience, grief and despair that drove Catelyn mad could drive anyone mad but of course at that point genetic inheritance is irrelevant.

    The wolf bond is a stabilising, positive force for all of the Stark children and they rely on it very much.  Far from the wolf bond being a vulnerability that increases the chance that Jon will go mad I think it gives him added mental strength and stability: Ghost is often his anchor.  This is true of Bran as well: Jojen's warning not to stay too long in Summer's body or risk losing himself is a key training point a warg school but the bond with Summer is Bran's refuge, not an assault on his sanity.

    BTW I like both Dany and Jon.  It took this forum (years ago now) to make me realise people picked sides and I still find that really weird on what is essentially a book club website.

    21 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

    I agree though I'm not sure Viserys was really mad. Definitely showed some signs though. 

    Agreed.  He was on the path not at the destination.  His isolation and irrelevance on The Dothraki Sea galvanised his deterioration and he was drunk at Vaes Dothrak to boot (when even well-balanced individuals make stupid choices).  But he was only ever a minor character from behind whom Dany was meant to emerge so GRRM gives us "Targaryen madness" in outline and at top speed.

    20 hours ago, King Robb of Winterfell said:

    Jon does have a chance considering he is coming back from a traumatic death. But it seems we are talking about genetics, so no. Compared to Daenerys, a girl born from incestuous rape by a batshit crazy father, she is far more likely to go mad than Jon. But neither of them will, so this conversation doesn’t even matter

    He's not dead :).  Any more than Bran when "the ground rushed up to meet him".  I know you're arguing he won't go mad but it's worth pointing out that Bran's near-death trauma did not drive him mad either.

    19 hours ago, LongRider said:

    Here's what he said about prophecies “...Prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is... and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams... Prophecy will bite your prick off everytime,”

    A bit harsh, but it gets one's attention.

    Quote Of All Quotes :D

  13. 15 hours ago, Groo said:

    After he sided with the Lannisters against the Starks he looked ahead and made new plans. I don't think he mapped everything out from the beginning. For example, I'm sure he would have made different plans if Ned had listened to his advice.

    He specifically had Lysa write to Catelyn in secret alleging the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn.  Given Jon Arryn fostered Ned it is extremely unlikely he expected Ned to forget or forgive this.  This is exacerbated by him telling Catelyn that the dagger was Tyrion's, so making it seem that the Lannisters are now murdering Starks too.

    You could argue that he did not know Joffrey was illegitimate so was not aware that pointing the Starks and the Lannisters at each other would make his advice to Ned impossible for Ned to follow but I feel he must know Ned won't take it.  Once Ned reveals Joffrey's infidelity I feel his advice is really meant to be ignored but is part of setting the trap.  If he does bring the gold cloaks in on Ned's side Ned is in his debt and probably enough to offset any accusations of financial impropriety from Stannis and secure his position as a "true friend to Ned because Cat asked him to be".   It's hard to see Ned honourable Stark turfing him out of office after that.  So why doesn't he side with Ned?  (He gains no reward from the Lannisters for this: only when Tyrion sends him to arrange Joffrey's marriage to Margaery Tyrell with the offer of Harrenhall as incentive does he get a tangible benefit from serving the Lannisters).

    I think we just have to accept that the author likes surprises - and they are major, pivotal moments in the series - and LF is a wild card that allows this to happen. But also, LF was never serious in his offer to Ned and always intended to betray him and his odd fascination with mini-Cat Sansa seems his motivation.

  14. Well, Arya isn't mad, Jon's father, Rhaegar, wasn't mad, Dany isn't mad and Jon himself isn't mad.  None of them showed or show any signs of madness.  Dany's brother and father did - and quite obviously so - but that just highlights the contrast.

    Have Arya, Dany and Jon made difficult decisions, sometimes poor decisions and sometimes out of anger that we either disagree with or are troubled by?  Yes.  Which ones and how much is up to the reader.  Have they done anything to indicate the onset of madness?  No.  But it's an easy way to register dislike of a character or goad other forum users which seems a bit silly really.

  15. 11 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

    He does not come to the conclusion independently.

    Jaime comes to the conclusion that Joffrey hired the catspaw.  Tyrion comes to this conclusion too.  They reach these conclusions independent of each other, i.e. without conferring.

    I thought my meaning was clear.  Hopefully this helps.

  16. On 1/25/2023 at 1:44 PM, Jekse said:

    The last time Joffrey tried to impress his dad by killing something (the kitten) he was beaten, so he would not care to appease Robert. Supplying a cat's paw with a dagger is asanine, the dude got sent to get deal with a crippled child, his hands would have served well enough. Also Tyrion is drunk when he deduces this, and our POV characters rarely figure out a mystery correctly, they are almost always wrong. 

    Don't forget Jaime comes to the same conclusion independently.  It's to reinforce Tyrion's realisation.

    A Storm of Swords - Jaime IX

    Robert? Jaime had guarded the king long enough to know that Robert Baratheon said things in his cups that he would have denied angrily the next day. "Were you alone when Robert said this?"
    "You don't think he said it to Ned Stark, I hope? Of course we were alone. Us and the children." Cersei removed her hairnet and draped it over a bedpost, then shook out her golden curls.  "Perhaps Myrcella sent this man with the dagger, do you think so?"
    It was meant as mockery, but she'd cut right to the heart of it, Jaime saw at once. "Not Myrcella. Joffrey."

    If the assassin left no dagger there would be no clue to follow or for LF to lie to Cat about setting up the whole catnapping.  It's the author who intends the dagger to be found as he intends the assassination to fail to set the storyline of AGOT in motion.

  17. 8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    It is only in deference to privileged information that this mystery is considered solved.

    In your opinion.  Many people find the text quite clear.  The reason the "privileged information" is quoted is to show the conspiracists what GRRM told people in advance he would do.  If you're still not happy then, sure,

    8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    we may as well enjoy our speculations!

    Go right ahead.  But "while you wait" I have to warn you you are doing yourself a disservice B)

  18. 8 hours ago, Aebram said:

    On your first question:  As I pointed out in a recent post, there is evidence for both the Mance and Cersei theories in various chapters of ASOS.

    On your second question:  We didn't need a character POV to tell us that the old black tomcat in the Red Keep is actually the former pet of Princess Rhaenys. And we didn't need a character POV to tell us that some members of House Frey ended up on the menu at Ramsay's wedding feast. Half the fun of reading these books is finding and solving these hidden mysteries, where you can't even look for the answer until you notice that there's a question.

    The text may be"pointing to" Joffrey, but we know that the Martin sometimes makes use of unreliable witnesses that give us false leads.  The characters who suspect Joffrey are just guessing; they don't have any hard evidence. And I still have trouble believing that any 12-year old boy, even a prince, could arrange to have arson and murder committed in the home of the Warden of the North.

    He didn't plan it, he just hired someone, that's pretty easy to do, no master plan required.  The arson was simply the assassin's idea to draw the guards away.  Joff is not a pleasant character, that's pretty clear.  What part of his conduct in AGOT, ACOK and ASOS makes you think he would baulk at ordering someone killed?

    Unfortunately I feel you won't ever be satisfied because I think you just don't like what the author wrote.  You try very hard to find reasons to reject both what is presented in text as the solution and the response the author gave to several readers at the time who were asking about the mystery and telling them when he would resolve it.  For the vast majority of people this was a puzzle that was solved over 20 years ago and you have both in book and out of book confirmation of this.

    We all come from different places in reading and assessing the text and a lot of people who are bemused by you flogging this dead horse read this story and had this mystery resolved over 20 years ago.  GRRM's point about how people would come up with ideas they liked more than what he wrote is bang on the money here and it seems some people just can't let go.  Please don't take this too critically but I feel you show the place you are coming from and your (un)conscious motivation here:

    On 1/7/2023 at 1:48 AM, Aebram said:

    Jacobs'  video is impressively thorough.  It covers, in great detail, all the ground that Mourning Star and I did ... in 2017. (*sigh*) It seems that all the good theories are taken ... 

    I understand that ASOIAF is rich in detail and plot twists and mysteries and that people gain a great deal of enjoyment in theory-crafting and looking for hidden elements.  But the wish to find a killer theory, inspired perhaps by the example of a content creator, might skew your reading.  Everyone is partial to their own creations and theories on this forum are often defended with a parent's tenacity but this whole thing was tied up long ago.  It may be new and fresh for you and it must be annoying to have people tell you it's done and dusted when you are just beginning to explore it but please look at it the other way round: some of us really don't get why this is being unearthed after so long.  Mance was not fleshed out by the author until after he had closed this out.  It might look like you can project things on to Mance but this is projection not the author's intent.

    I don't know if GRRM still answers readers' questions but I think the only way for you to get the comfort you want is to ask him directly rather than asking for someone to provide you with a "watertight" quote.  Then again I don't know how he would feel about being asked over 20 years on to confirm something he already has but in a specific form of words given to him by you so you couldn't dismiss his answer as evasive.

     

  19. 1 hour ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

     

    The children of the house do not need to suffer.  Big Walder, little Cersei, Elmar, and Olvar will build the strong foundation of the Frey future.  I don't want Lord Walder to die.  I think Daenerys on the throne is the best hope of a just judgment for the House of Frey.  The Twins, bridge, and lands need to remain with the Freys because they know how to operate the business.  I am biased but those are my wishes for the Freys.  It is the Starks who more deserved to lose their titles because of their penchant for rebellions. 

    I feel that taxing trade across the only bridge over a river for hundreds of miles is not a specialist business skill or an operation that only the Freys could manage.

    The Freys are married into multiple Riverland Houses and many in the Westerlands and elsewhere, how not when Walder had dozens of children, grand- and great-grandchildren?  The spouses and children of these unions will suffer no consequences but the Freys will be disinherited and the adult males involved in The Red Wedding will face capital punishment, either formally or in revenge killings (BwB, Manderly, GreatJon Umber, etc, etc).

    Like the Boltons it's hard to see how they would ever be trusted again and Houses do fail or fall: Gardener, Whent, Durrandon and so on.

  20. 10 hours ago, Aebram said:

    So I think that the other theories still have merit ... unless you know something that the rest of us don't? Has George ever explicitly said or written that Joffrey is the culprit?

    Can I ask you to look at it the other way: what in anything in ASOS makes it look like GRRM is revealing either Mance or Cersei as the culprit? 

    It's clear that he is pointing to Joffrey but he uses character povs not an omniscient narrator so how could he point to Joffrey except through other character povs?

  21. On 12/22/2022 at 4:28 PM, John Suburbs said:

    So you are not giving him credit. You are turning him into a hack.

    Because I don't support your pet theory pulled out of thin air? :rolleyes:  It's a silly accusation to make to someone who doesn't agree with your unestablished musings.  The Trouble on The Trident is one of the key scenes in the development of AGOT and it's a pity that you try and replace it with your own version.  It's pretty slippery to try and position yourself as the author's champion and defender while doing this so that any criticism of you is presented as rejection or undermining of GRRM.  That's sly and the problem of course is your theory not GRRM's story.

    On 12/22/2022 at 4:28 PM, John Suburbs said:

    Ned had already sent the bulk of his men with Beric, and no, he would have no idea that either of his daughters, let alone the good one, would go sneaking off to the queen to tell her his plans. Nothing unusual there -- other than the fact that even Sansa is surprised at her newfound willfulness, which may also be a subtle sign of things happening in the subtext.

    Don't hand wave this away.  Ned wants to get his children out of KL so they are safe and he fully understands the danger they are in yet he posts no guards.  On The Trident when there is no appreciable danger he allows both his daughters to go off without guards yet at KL you say Nothing unusual there when they are in grave danger.  For Arya on The Trident you don't bat an eye-lid.  You can't have it both ways.  Either they should be surrounded by guards at all times or the author presents situations in which they are not to allow the story to flow and to write scenes he wants - Bran's "fall", Sansa's "betrayal", Syrio's sacrifice and of course, The Trouble on The Trident.

    On 12/22/2022 at 4:28 PM, John Suburbs said:

    So none of what you are proposing as evidence is even closely the same as this.

    The "evidence" I am proposing is simply how the author writes his scenes and how he puts children in positions without any adult supervision.  The only reason you consider this particular scene any different is your own internal dislike of some of the author's decisions leading to an alternate theory.

    On 12/22/2022 at 4:28 PM, John Suburbs said:

    unlike two of the most valuable children in the world riding off alone into the countryside.

    Is this meant to be your clinching argument?

    Is it really so hard to see that there is not expected to be any danger and Joffrey is arrogant enough to dismiss Sandor and to try and impress Sansa out of ego?  If he really intended to kill her why did he get drunk or approach people who might be witnesses rather than trying to avoid them as Sansa asked him to?

    Look at it without your theory-tinted goggles on  What if Joffrey is captured by outlaws who demand a king's ransom?  He and Cersei look pretty stupid then, don't they?  So much for the master plan.

  22. On 1/16/2023 at 2:00 AM, Adelstein said:

    Obviously different cultures have different standards as to what gives them the squick when it comes to incest. In much of Europe, marrying your first cousin might raise a couple of eyebrows, but it's entirely socially acceptable.

    What parts of Europe? :blink:

    On 1/15/2023 at 11:30 PM, sweetsunray said:

    Yes, half-uncle

    I must be slow today but what's a half-uncle?  If your parent has a half-brother they are still your uncle in terms of blood ties.  Do we mean step-uncle?

    On 1/15/2023 at 11:05 PM, Der_Erste_seines_Namens said:

    Hoster had no a problem with unusual marriages. Jon was old enough to be Lysas grandfather. In real history, marriages between uncle and niece often happened. So why should not Edmure marry Sansa? 

    What cultures practiced this kind of incest?  The ancient Egyptians practiced sibling incest but only because Pharaoh was considered divine and that's all I can think of.

    On 1/15/2023 at 10:44 PM, Der_Erste_seines_Namens said:

    Edmure was not always married. I think he would have liked Sansas prettiness. Hoster would probably also like the idea, to have his granddaughter in Riverrun.

    In the absence of anything to the contrary saying the Tullys practice or approve of incestuous marriages or that Edmure has become LF with a fascination for Cat and / or Sansa or that Hoster "probably" wanted this I'm going to say a hard no. 

    Edmure and Cat both married and one of their children (Hoster's grandchildren) will inherit Riverrun without any intermarriage.

  23. 18 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

    Nonsense. It's all subtextual evidence that there was a plot afoot

    It's really straightforward and "evidence" of nothing that you're pushing.  GRRM needs Sansa and Joffrey to encounter Arya and Mycah far enough away from any adult supervision for the scene he wants to show to play out how he wants.

    I'm bemused anyone could complicate this.

    18 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

    Give Martin a little credit. When he uses "authorial devices" to advance the plot, he at least makes them plausible.

    Oh, I give him tons of credit, I'm a big fan.  It's the implausible conspiracy theorists and fantasists who leave me bemused.  Authorial devices to advance the plot?  It's what writing is!!!!

    So Bran happens to be an agile climber, despite being seven (?) and just happens to come upon Jaime and Cersei in a  compromising position in a pretty much abandoned part of the castle and just happens to be stood in an open window five stories up for Jaime to push him with no one around to see?

    Ned, despite knowing of the danger he and his family are in (and planning to get his daughters away from KL) nonetheless puts no guards around them?  It's to allow Sansa to sneak out and get kidnapped and Syrio to buy time for Arya's escape and GRRM the opportunity to showcase Syrio's heroic sacrifice.

    Or Tyrion happens to blunder into The Inn at The Crossroads with only one servant allowing Catelyn to kidnap him?

    Or Arya briefly leaving The Hollow Hill only to run straight into Sandor and get kidnapped by him?

    GRRM shows the scenes he wants to and develops the story the way he has chosen and that requires putting individuals in precarious or isolated positions.  It's simply how writing works, I really don't see what is so hard to follow here.  What is less plausible about Joffrey and Sansa going riding than any of these other examples?  What is implausible about Joffrey and Sansa going riding at all?  He simply wants them to encounter Arya and Mycah in isolation.

    Plausible to you, now?  Well, that's up to you.  How does it go: "Die on this hill, if you want"? :D

    18 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

    If he just made up whatever scenario out of thin air whenever he wanted, it wouldn't take him 10 years to write a novel.

    Say what?   You must have noticed that AGOT, ACOK and ASOS did not take ten years to write....  It's precisely because he didn't waste any time with elaborate and extravagant plot points to get Bran alone with Jaime and Cersei, or Arya and Sansa unguarded in The Red Keep, or Bran and Catelyn alone with an assassin that provokes the conspiracy theorists into picking holes in it and positing double bluffs or elaborate alternatives. 

    And it's breath-taking that you wave away his lead in to The Trouble on the Trident incident by dismissing this as a scenario  made up out of thin air when this is exactly what you are doing in your counter-argument!  That's truly remarkable.

  24. 6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    I don't know what you are talking about, Littlefinger wasn't even in Winterfell to know that Bran had "fallen", let alone plot an assassination attempt.

    I am talking about how one or two people push the idea that LF was behind the attempt to kill Bran.  I quite agree with you on this point as it happens.  I'm just equally sceptical of the textually unsupported idea that Mance was behind it.  It's as much a reader substitution as LF for the culprit revealed by the author, namely Joffrey.

    6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    However, the only reason to send the king's unique dagger to kill a cripple in bed (when a pillow would do) is if it was meant to be found after the deed was done.

    Not at all.  If the assassin succeeded it would never be found.  And finding it doesn't point to anyone on it's own, it just makes it clear that someone took it from the king's armoury.  When would anyone notice it was gone and if the assassin was successful who could possibly join up the dots months later?  Only Catelyn's meltdown and refusal to leave Bran's side for any reason and the intervention of a direwolf save Bran, neither of which could be foreseen by the assassin.  We see his surprise in story.  You only discount this as it doesn't fit your theory and need to argue that the blade was meant to be found.  There is no reason to suppose it was.

    6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    I do think causing strife was a clear goal of the catspaw attempt on Bran's life.

    Like the guy who claims Joffrey meant to kill Sansa on The Trident you are overlooking the fact that the assassin and the dagger are an authorial device to move the story forward by launching Catelyn off to KL to warn Ned that Bran's fall was not an accident and that the Lannisters are trying to kill him because he must know something damaging to them.  It's part of upping the ante in the Stark-Lannister conflict and pivotal in the drift to war.

    The dagger was not meant to be found or the assassination fail by the person behind it but both were by the author to drive the story forward.  It's tradecraft.  Some people find this clumsy or unsatisfactory and look for alternatives but the author said he'd wrap up the mystery in ASOS and he did so why are we here?

    Mance?  He's not even a character in AGOT.

    6 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    At the end of the day you can handwave anything away as just being how it was written and having no meaning, but I think you are doing yourself a disservice.

    Just do not say you were not warned.

    Well that's me warned for my disservice to myself :rolleyes:

    What is it about people with pet theories and their need to tell other people that until they drink the kool-aid they are missing out on the "truth".  I'll file your warning with those about Dany not being a Targaryen, Old Nan being the three-eyed crow, the poison being in the pie, Howland Reed being The High Septon and more than I wish to recount.

    You have a particular interpretation that is not well-supported in the text or by the author's own interview comments on the matter and you're attached to it because it's your thing so you're welcome to it but you won't find many people to agree with you.  Some, sure, but not many.  So enjoy your head cannon but don't be surprised if other people don't agree.  And it's better to keep warnings and ruminations on handwaving and disservice to yourself, they don't add anything to a post other than pique.

  25. 8 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

    No that's not it. It's the fact that they were allowed to go off all by themselves in the first place.

    This is your smoking gun?  The reason they are unaccompanied is an authorial device so the Joffrey - Arya conflict can happen without adult witnesses or intervention.

    8 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

    And, of course, we first learn that Sansa hates horses and has very little experience at riding, but there she is bouncing overland on her common mare while Joff tears ahead on his courser, which is a horse bred for speed. And what do we later learn Cersei believes happens to young girl's bodies when they go in for hard riding?

    There's more, but this was a setup, clear as day.

    Joffrey is just showing off and Sansa is attempting to please him by going despite not liking riding.  They have to go riding otherwise they are in camp surrounded by adults and, as GRRM is pointing them at Arya and Mycah practicing swordplay far enough from camp to avoid notice, that encounter can't happen at all if they don't ride out and can't happen the way he wants if they are accompanied by guards (Ned's for Sansa, Robert's or The Hound for Joffrey).  This is all pretty obvious.

    Clear as day a set-up?  Yes, but for Joffrey and Arya to cause trouble on The Trident.  For Joffrey to kill Sansa?  Good lord, no.

    4 hours ago, Aebram said:

    I've already shown that it's not sound.

    Not dramatic enough or even particularly satisfying?  I can see why people don't like it for those reasons but that's no reason to dismiss what we're presented with.

    4 hours ago, Aebram said:

    Regarding your final question about relevance, I will suggest that the murder of John Arryn had no relevance by the time GRRM revealed it.

    Depends what you mean by relevant.  It revealed how long LF had been plotting and how long Lysa had been his accomplice.  It also got her killed when she divulged his secret which gives Sansa an axe over his head should she ever be in a position to use it.  And it shows us how ruthless and cynical he is.  Pretty relevant imo.

    4 hours ago, Aebram said:

    So it seems reasonable to think that he may do the same for Joffrey.  Perhaps the truth will come out during Cersei's trial, if she did indeed do it.

    But he already has. 

    And Cersei?  She gave Jaime grief for throwing Bran out the window when she planned to simply frighten him into silence.  She has been a pov character and revealed her childhood murder of Melara Hetherspoon.  We've had retrospectives from her pov to inform us about her character even in youth.  There's no reason not for her to have reflected on trying to kill Bran and no story impact from her having tried to do so.

    4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

    Mance Rayder is (presumably) alive and in Winterfell.

    What was Mance digging for in the Frostfangs? Did he find it? Is there a connection to the rare old information that burned, or was stolen from, Winterfell's Library?

    How would the knowledge that Mance tried to have Bran killed impact his relationship with Jon?

    What game are you playing, priestess? Did you have some other task for Mance?

    This just replaces LF with Mance as the master of chaos.  I leave that to Preston Jacobs.

    Mance was digging for The Horn of Joramun to bring The Wall down if needed.  The fire in the library tower was just a distraction to pull the guards from Bran's room.

    I imagine it would impact his already complicated relationship quite severely but you could pull any name out of a hat and say the same thing.  I don't take Mance for a child killer but why advertise to Jon that he had been to WF when the royal party was there if he was behind the plot to kill Bran? That's LF style boasting/taunting of someone who you wronged but is ignorant of it (Ned).  That doesn't feel like Mance.

    As with all these alternative theories, we are talking about an event early in Book One that the author said would be addressed in Book Three and was.  Some people don't like how it was addressed but it is what he planned and wrote.

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