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the trees have eyes

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Posts posted by the trees have eyes

  1. On 2/24/2023 at 2:06 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    I don't doubt her commitment or her heart.

    She almost died, saved by a boy.

    So you don't doubt that her commitment is to fulfilling her oath to Cat.  Ok, we agree.  Except you challenged the idea that the reader knows that Brienne's actions vindicate her.  This is contradictory.

    If, as your comment on her actions at The Crossroads Inn seems to imply, you are questioning her ability to deliver on that oath then that's something else entirely.  Were the KG who died at The Tower of Joy obeying Rhaegar's last command somehow guilty because they failed?

    On 2/24/2023 at 2:06 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    Return them. 

    What does that mean? To Stoneheart? Back to the pad with Bolton? It's so ambiguous, and if I was angry Catelyn I wouldn't respond well to ambiguity either 

    Return them to her.  There is no ambiguity in that at all.  With Catelyn dead Brienne meant to find and protect them.  A wild goose chase and a fool's errand perhaps but one in which she was sincere.  Except Catelyn is not dead so there's a twist.

    On 2/24/2023 at 2:06 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    Right but Berics justice was the same. Sandor was kinda innocent and shoulda died but Berics sword broke. And when Cat takes command a trial for the Freys is just a nod.

    Sandor was not innocent.  Arya specifically accused him of the murder of Mycah of which he is guilty.  He claimed he was duty bound to obey as Joffrey alleged Mycah had attacked him.  This is what Beric tries him by combat for.

    Brienne, Hyle Hunt and Podric are guilty of nothing.  They are hanged for suspicion and association with the wrong side.

    The Freys hanged are guilty of involvement in The Red Wedding.  We see that with Merrit Frey in the ASOS epilogue with Petyr Pimple and Merrett Frey.

    Brienne did not get a "sweet deal" because she survived a hanging as she has done nothing to be punished for.

    On 2/24/2023 at 2:06 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    Cat doesnt know Jaime is arguing for castles to surrender instead of war or that when he went to KL Sansa wasn't. It's understandable that Jaime should answer to Cat. Did she go hard in getting what she wanted? Sure. Did any one die yet? 

    And she admitted her boys were gone, betrayed by the foster child. Said goodbye to her dying father, and judging his treatment of her sister. It started off pretty fucking dark.

    I've no idea what you are trying to say here.  If you are saying unCat is hanging Brienne and co in order to force Brienne to bring her Jaime, then yes, I follow. 

    If you are saying that this is part of a pattern because of a) a cruel statement to Jon and b) a bit of exposition to the reader that reveals the reason for Lysa's deep unhappiness and resentment of her family and are somehow equating these actions with embracing the end justifies the means and hanging children as a bit of persuasion then I think that's a bit silly.

    On 2/24/2023 at 2:06 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    She threatened and tried to stop Jon when he was saying goodbye to his possibly dying brother, then told him she wished he was dead. And you know she meant it. That lady could be super fucking cruel.

    So you have an issue with Catelyn.  Ok.  But this is not factual or objective at all.  She never wishes Jon dead.  She wishes her son was whole and well and she effectively tells Jon she would have him trade places with Bran.  I believe that 100% just as I believe she would have preferred any other child than her own to suffer that fate.  A cruel comment is not the same thing as hanging someone.  Does this really need to be argued.

    On 2/24/2023 at 2:06 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    Briennes innocent. Maybe.

    Hyle? He was a knight for Tarly. Definitely guilty of crimes against the Riverlands.

    Pod? He was the Imps squire. By helping Tyrion he was hurting Stark. It's a little more ambiguous, but like I said I don't think Catelyn likes ambiguity 

    The Catelyn Tully who took Tyrion, whom she believed arranged the attempted murder of her son (kudos LF for misdirection) intended to have him tried by Robert.  That person did not hang him an his serving man and would not have hanged three people for being on the other "side". 

    Resurrected unCat is something different and darker however you try and portray pov Catelyn as as a ruthless child-killer for being mean to Jon.  Catelyn =/= Cersei.

  2. On 2/22/2023 at 9:02 PM, Hugorfonics said:


    Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon's life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

    Wait, what?  What is that eyeroll meant to imply?  That of course Catelyn would murder children?

    Leaving aside the conjectural hypotheticals Catelyn of course never harms any children and never harms Jon. 

    UnCat hangs Pod, why exactly?  Because he is Brienne's de facto squire (actually Tyrion's but he's acting more or less in this capacity) and he is guilty by association.

    On 2/22/2023 at 9:27 PM, Frey family reunion said:

    Wode is an old English word meaning: mad, crazy,  or insane.

    So we have a Wode who is with the Whents, Cat's maternal line.

    And in the same castle, predating the Whents, are the Lothstons.  The most famous being the red haired, Danelle Lothston, known as Mad Danelle.

    What is the link between the Lothstons and the Whents, though?  Is there any relevance to Danelle Lothston being mad.

    On 2/22/2023 at 11:08 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    She obviously may kill kids, she wishes Jon croaked after all.

    Nah.  She is cold and distant towards him because he is not her son and she makes one particularly unpleasant remark to him when Bran is lying crippled in a coma, the gist of which is she would have preferred it if Jon had been crippled in his place.  Wishing the life-changing accident that befell her favourite son had befallen someone else is not the same as wishing that person dead and being a clear and present threat to his life that she "may" act on. 

    What we know is that she expected Ned to raise his bastard out of her sight not in front of her face.  I believe you're mistaking her for Cersei here.

    On 2/22/2023 at 11:40 PM, Angel Eyes said:

    Which is one of the reasons why I think Jaime is going to be hanged.

    Yup.  If she'll hang Brienne and Pod, she'll not want to hear what Jaime has to say or let him swear a second oath to return her daughters to her.  Question is, will Brienne turn into the new "Kingslayer" and decide that unCat has to be stopped and that doing the right thing is more important than her oath of fealty.  I wouldn't put it past GRRM....

  3. On 2/22/2023 at 8:27 PM, Many-Faced Votary said:

    The "good side" in her is vastly diminished, and seems to be tied solely to her faith in life rather than her significant personal empathy as well.

    The "bad side" in her is drastically intensified, to the point that she isn't anything like Catelyn was in life, as @the trees have eyes alluded to regarding her approach to "trials." It's more a vengeful spirit possessing a corpse than a version of Cat at this point, and you can bet that the physical decay of Lady Stoneheart is meant to reflect her mental and moral decay.

    The Cat-Brienne-Jaime intersect is particularly interesting as GRRM is playing with character arcs.

    On the one hand we have Cat's tragic story which appeared to end at The Red Wedding but is given new life with Lady Stoneheart.  That name is revealing enough on it's own and doesn't need much explanation.  It might be too much to see her as The Furies unleashed but I see this version of Catelyn as not just a more war-weary and bitter version of herself (like Lysa became) but one who lost something of herself in those two days before she was resurrected and is more ruled by the clearer memories of the end of her life than the fuzzier ones of her earlier life.  This borrows a lot from Beric's exposition and he of course had multiple resurrections and memory losses / reinforcements of his last objective in life but I think it offers insight into what I term unCat.

    Then we have Jaime, the boy who wanted to be a dashing knight and the next Arthur Dayne but ended up, in his own thought, becoming The Smiling Knight instead.  Brienne has become the catalyst for him to consider honour, oaths and the purpose of knighthood.  It's no accident that he gave her a sword named Oathkeeper so she could attempt to fulfil his bargain with Catelyn and return her daughters to her bearing her late husband's sword (ok, half of it, but that's the best he could do).  Whether he will find it any easier to do the honourable thing and stick to the ideals of knighthood is open to question: the threat to destroy Riverrun and send Edmure's baby to him from a trebuchet suggests it's work in progress at best.  Brienne, who began this transformative experience and who he goes with unquestioningly, is now leading him to a meeting with unCat...

    And Brienne, the most straightforward, honest and loyal character in the book who lives up to the ideal of knighhood better than any knight is about to find out how hard it is always to do the right thing when all your choices are bad.  Stick to an oath even when your Lady orders you to do something "vile" or break your oath?  To an extent it parallels Jaime in KL in Aery's KG.

    What is the right thing to do here and who is attempting to do the honourable / right thing or "do justice"? 

    GRRM at his best.

  4. On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    Do we?

    Do we, the readers, know that Brienne is true to her purpose?  Yes of course we do.  Why question such a clear and obvious statement?  It's the whole purpose of her "knight's quest" through the Riverlands.  What part of her pov chapters leads you to doubt it?

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    When destiny will eventually knock on their door in the form of Gregor and Amory?

    Amory had a close encounter with a bear iirc.  If unGregor comes calling Brienne will behave as she did at the Inn at The Crossroads when Rorge and co were about to unload on the smallfolk there.

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    She obviously trusts Jaime, it's not impossible to think they'd fall back into Lannister hands.

    And I thought you dismissed someone else's post as conjecture?  What we know is that Jaime secured Brienne's release from KL and sent her looking for Cat's daughters precisely because he was trying to fulfil his part of the bargain to return them to her in exchange for his release.

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    What was Briennes plan?

    Are you really suggesting that as she doesn't have a definite plan about how to keep them safe we should doubt her intention to do so?  It really shouldn't be hard to accept that she intends to find and protect them and will deal with the situation as she finds it.

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    It's not immediate. It's a long list of sketchy things.

    Brienne is recovering from serious wounds suffered in protecting smallfolk from The Bloody Mummers.  Riverlands smallfolk whom Catelyn Tully would have owed her a debt of gratitude and rewarded for bravely protecting.  Instead she's ushered, off balance and unprepared, into a farce of a trial with unCat, the hanging judge, where her guilt is assumed by association and she has to prove her innocence, a notoriously hard thing to do and why our criminal justice system works on the presumption of "innocent until proven guilty" and returns verdicts of guilty and not guilty.  It's more appalling for the reader because we know Brienne's trustworthiness and loyalty.

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    But words are wind and Cat forced her to choose action. And Brienne did wind up choosing.

    What unCat did was hang Brienne, Hyle Hunt and Podrick Payne for no crime at all.  Brienne chooses not to let Podrick die.  She is watching him kicking on the end of the rope when she decides and yells "sword".

    unCat has a new purpose for her sworn sword.  Vengeance against the enemies who betrayed her and brought ruin on her family.  Catelyn had more hope and sent Brienne to recover her daughters. It's much darker.

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    Definitely a darker Cat then what we're used to, but ask Snow and he'd say she's regularly dark.

    Are you seriously comparing a wife, shamed by her husband's public humiliation of her, being cold towards the bastard son raised along with her own with.....hanging innocents out of anger and callousness?

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    But the brotherhood is still feeding and looking out for the vulnerable, at least in the Riverlands so we see both sides of "un"cat like we did prestoneheart.

    How would she stop them?  Why would they follow her if she attempted to?  Something of Catelyn Tully remains, it's why the BWB look to her for leadership (plus the whole resurrection thing being a bit awe-inspiring for simple folk) so she's hardly likely to.

    On 2/22/2023 at 6:58 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    Good call. Very similar. Eerie. 

    That's quite good, actually :thumbsup:

  5. 57 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

    She's looking for her kids, with a parchment stating she's working for Tommen, armed with a perverted Ice and mouthing off about the Kingslayer.

    There is no version of Catelyn "Cat" Tully Stark Stoneheart that would let that slide.

    Cat would let her speak and explain her actions which, as the reader knows, completely vindicate her.

    UnCat experienced betrayal in the last moments of her life and immediately leaps to the conclusion that Brienne has betrayed her too.  Brienne's "trial" is far more Lysa at The Eyrie than Catelyn, who reminded Lysa that Tyrion was her prisoner and who confided to Brynden that she was unsure of his guilt.  UnCat is a travesty of Catelyn.

  6. 2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

    I agree, that's why I put crazy in quotation marks.

    Oh, I know.  I was agreeing with you then leveraging the same post to elaborate on Lysa.

    41 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

    She isn't. You can make the case that during the final moments of her life she had a psychotic episode, but that is not the same as being crazy, and it had a very clear external cause as opposed to being mad due to genetics.

    Which makes her end all the more poignant.  Overcome by grief and despair, she's one step away from clawing her own eyes out :crying:

    36 minutes ago, Lord Edmure of Riverrun said:

    And now she is back, fueled by a single desire. Justice.

    I'm of the view that Cat is now "unCat", further heaping indignities in GRRM's savage treatment of her.  With Beric we see that he loses part of himself and his memories but that what motivates him most strongly and that what he holds to the closest is what he felt in the last moments of his life - a duty to protect and serve the realm.  With unCat I fear that what she'll hold to most closely is the loss she suffered and the desire for revenge.

    Whatever GRRM is up to it looks appalling enough: mushrooms growing on her face, having to clasp both hands over her throat to manage an approximation of speech because of how deeply the blade cut into her vocal cords.  She has only been resurrected the once but Thoros refused because of how long she had been dead and Beric sacrificed himself to do it.  The BWB appear darker with her at the helm.  As we see with her hanging Brienne, I'm not sure how much of the real Catelyn is left.

  7. 14 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

    Both of them went 'crazy' due to external events. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Tullys are genetically predisposed to madness. People should cease and desist with these arguments that are clearly made in bad faith.

    Have to agree in sentiment but I'm not convinced Lysa is mad.  She's certainly emotionally unstable, self-centred, foolish, capricious and temperamentally ill-suited for power but is that enough to be deemed crazy?  It's easy to refer to her actions sometimes as crazy or label her as "batshit crazy" but the same is true of Cersei.  Neither is well-adjusted and both have glaring character or behavioural flaws but neither is "mad".

    Lysa's conduct is largely driven by her deep unhappiness.  A childish infatuation with Petyr Baelish led to an accidental pregnancy, a forced termination and an unhappy marriage to a much older man who knew of her indiscretion.  She clings to Sweetrobin and smothers him because he is all she has.  Jon Arryn's plan to foster the boy with Stannis led her to murder him and flee to The Eyrie at LF's instigation but he's been playing her like a harp for years.  Her resentment of her family for her forced marriage and her resentment of both Catelyn and Sansa for being the object of LF's affections lead her to fiddle in The Eyrie while Westeros burns but this is a bitter, unhappy woman enjoying being her own mistress for the first time in her life.  Her judgments and actions are atrocious but they are understandable.

    Traumatic events leave a mark and unhappiness makes people bitter, distrustful and dangerous.  Genetics have nothing to do with Lysa's behaviour.  But that's not as much fun as the "Tully/Stark madness" chew toys currently in vogue.


  8. 9 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

    They did survive. I don't think any of the men survived but the last Theon chapter has Ramsay give orders to take the women and children captive.

    The appendices say that the survivors (Old Nan and Beth Cassel included) have been imprisoned and effectively enslaved at the Dreadfort.

    Yes, at the end of ASOS and then what?  The only reason Ramsay kept the female survivors alive was for his "sport".  Maybe he needed some new boots or just fancied a bit of recreational rape, flaying and murder (the order's inter-changeable).

  9. 4 hours ago, Many-Faced Votary said:

    Poor Asha, the only Greyjoy who isn't insane, is always underrated. :( I find her quite clever.

    I also have a sweet spot for Theon after his character development and everything the poor man has been through. He thinks he is smarter than he actually is, but he's certainly wiser and more knowledgeable than most others.

    She's smart and written sympathetically but I question whether we really know her or how far she'll go for The Seastone Chair.  She's engaged in the Greyjoy version of the game of thrones right in front of us.  She does appear to recognise that reaving in Westeros is a dead end for the Ironborn - probably literally - but I'm not sure she is going to turn swords into ploughshares.

    I'm conflicted on Theon.  He was written so unsympathetically in ACOK and his actions were so appalling; killing his own men, either accidentally - the man he shot in the stomach when he meant to shoot the winecup out of his hand - or deliberately to conceal the truth of what he and Reek did with the Miller's sons; murdering children to avoid looking foolish and having his delusional reign undermined; terrorising the castle folk at Winterfell and executing some to cow the others into obedience; raping Kyra; threatening to hang Beth Cassel to blackmail Rodrik into backing off.  I came pretty close to loathing this fictional character.

    Yet Reek emerges as a very different character, one it's impossible not to pity.  A real tribute to GRRM's skill and vision for his characters.  I would love to see a meeting with Bran or any survivors of his brief reign at WF (should any have survived The Dreadfort and Ramasy's "pursuits").

  10. I think she'll be as out of her depth as she first was on The Dothraki Sea with everything new and unfamiliar.  I also think she'll be disappointed both with Westeros - she's a summer child used to warmth and light not muddy streets, frozen fields and gloomy stone castles - and her reception - an invader, the heir of a mad king who brought disaster on the realm, not a saviour or mysha to her people.

    She'll have to earn their trust and welcome every bit as much as she did with The Dothraki and newly freed people of Slaver's Bay and she has rumour and poisonous propaganda to contend with as much as rival claimants with legitimacy.

    I also agree that she will realise she doesn't want the IT or even Westeros as it's not her home (home is where the heart is) but she'll have to follow the path her feet are set on and battle The Others and perhaps her rivals before she realises this.  By then duty will have her in it's grasp and she won't be able to put down the burden of leadership (no more Dany the barefoot Queen in Essos in a house with a red door than Robert the sell sword king).

    On 2/3/2023 at 3:09 PM, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

    This is actually something I'm very curious about. Is stability a real possibility for Meereen in such a short amount of time? I don't find it realistically possible. What lengths would she have to go to in order to achieve it?

    Fire and Blood.  She realises that she needs to be harsh, even ruthless, to overcome reaction.  A good analogy is The French Revolution: how to ensure the survival of the revolution in the face of hostile neighbouring powers and an entrenched elite.  That's exactly where we are at the end of ADWD and a guillotine / Astapori cleansing is on the cards.  She's learnt from Astapor so will leave Slaver's Bay in the hands of a capable loyalist.  Volantis, the Russia of this analogy, is key to whether Dany's, i.e. Revolutionary, forces prevail and overcome their neighbours and spread the revolution further afield.

    Whether this will lead to stability in the long-term is another matter. To impose order she needs to shift from revolution to Bonapartism and that's either a long way off or a task for a different ruler.  In the short-term it's going to be upheaval.

    On 2/3/2023 at 8:04 PM, StarkTullies said:

    Is that what he is doing though?  His intentions were vague... and that is even if you take his words as truth (which I don't).  Regarding prophecy, this is what Marwyn says about that:

    "Born amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star. I know the prophecy. Not that I would trust it. Gorghan of Old Ghis once wrote that a 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. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time."

    It doesn't seem like Marwyn is convinced that Dany is any savior of the world.  I also am not convinced he has altruistic motives.

    We don't really know Marwyn at all except he's not as averse to magic or dragons as the other arch-maesters seem to be.  It could simply be he thinks prophecy needs to be midwifed rather than people thinking it's guaranteed so can just be left to happen.  I think it's more likely he intends to steer Dany as Aemon intended (and like Mel with Stannis) than put poison in her porridge.

  11. 15 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Do you believe that Mance went to Winterfell of his own accord and for his own reasons, then? 

    It's opaque but Mance does what Mel wants, as all the Wildlings do what Jon / The NW want, because Mel / Jon took hostages.  What better way to turn the tables and escape that bind than to have something Jon dearly wants to offer in exchange, namely FArya?

    Mance was King Beyond The Wall and his interest is in leading and protecting his people.  Mel has a temporary hold over him but that's all it is.  Whatever Mel's vision (vague) and instructions (conditional on that vision) Mance has a plausible objective in going to WF. 

    How he would know that he had not simply left FArya freezing to death around Long Lake while he headed to WF is another matter.

    17 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

    You had a pretty good theory a couple years ago about who wrote this, didn't you? 

    I can't take any such credit, unfortunately :)

    The simplest explanation is that Stannis, having sprung Ramsay's trap with the Karstarks, has planted false information with Ramsay to trick him, including having Lightbringer presented to Roose / Ramsay as a trophy by Glover / Umber / AN Other Northmen dressed up in Karstark colours.  The Boltons think they've won and make demands accordingly but Stannis is probably preparing to launch an attack on a WF now off guard.  He prepared Massey for this exact news and ordered him to stay focused on his mission but he couldn't prepare Jon or The Watch resulting in unforeseen chaos at The Wall.

    Stannis' trick is a sound tactical ploy to wrongfoot Ramsay / Roose and retake WF.  This only works if they remain at WF and receive no word of what really happened in the battle from survivors (it's a few days to WF in heavy snow so survivors would face slim odds without provisions, equipment or firewood).  Stannis doesn't foresee Ramsay's letter to WF and the outcome at Castle Black.

    Of course this is what I would like to happen and thought was going to happen and GRRM is master of the rug pull so maybe it didn't.  Maybe The Freys were not outnumbered and slaughtered by Stannis's troops fighting with Glover, Umber and Karstark men who turned sides in accordance with their captive Lord's orders, all while Manderly took them in the flank.  Maybe all that did happen but Stannis's follow-up assault on WF failed (hence seven days of battle being more than one engagement) and the "false king's friends" really are dead, "their heads upon the walls of Winterfell" (again this would be days after any battle at the crofters' village).

    But I can't see it.  The Freys are in an impossible position given the Manderlys will turn on them once they engage Stannis and the "friendly" Karstarks will prove anything but.  Same with any assault on WF: those loyal to the Boltons will be those who didn't lose anyone at The Red Wedding, which is no one apart from maybe the Ryswells but surely self-preservation, plus the chance to not have their hounds mauled to death by Ramsay's in their own Hall, will sway their decision. 

    But then my optimism and GRRM's storytelling don't often go together well (Ned's failure, The Sack of WF, The Red Wedding) so I can't rule out taking the letter at face value.  Whose heads are on the walls of WF?  Is Ramsay bluffing or has he been duped here as well?  I still think it's from Ramsay in either case.  It should really be from Roose but with Ramsay being the aggrieved husband wanting his "bride" back he has a strong argument to send it as Bolton spokesperson.  Maybe Roose wants him to work at his statecraft and negotiating skills which surely could do with some polishing.

  12. 6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Did I say this was a "good news update"?

    See this retwisting of someone's guess of motive as a straw man to shoot it down was exactly my point about the "motive" part of the debate.

    I don't care whether I convince you or not.

    Then I have no idea what you are talking about.  I don't understand what you are implying Mance's putative coded communication with Melisandre was designed to achieve.  If Mance's coded message to Melisandre was telling her

    "The message itself is coded to give an update on what is going on:

    • The Boltons believe Stannis dead and have his sword, but Mance is equally boasting Stannis' battle abilties
    • Arnfolf Karstark and Crowfood are dead
    • But the walls of WF are manned by friends to Stannis
    • Ramsay's hunting for fArya and his Reek, believing them to be at CB (and Mance has no way of knowing the contrary), in other words, he did his job.
    • Mance is in a pickle
    • Come with everyone and all forces"

    and these are your words, how is that not a good news update?

    Strawman?  Retwisting?  Huh? 

    Yeah, you're not going to convince anyone like this so it's a good job you don't care. :rolleyes:

  13. 3 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Imho, literary evidence points to Mance:

    I follow your arguments for Mance based on wording, it was the objective he was aiming at I am querying.

    3 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    My guess of the motive is that Mance was supposed to send a letter to Castle Black with an update by Mel's request (for she couldn't see Stannis in her fires anymore). She expected a letter and the letter instructs Jon to confer with Mel over it. Mance had no way of knowing that Jon would distrust and abhor Mel's manipulations so much, he'd rather plot and plan with Tormund over it for hours than go to Mel with it. He also had no way of predicting that Jon would read it aloud at the Shieldhall.

    So it's a good news update disguised so elaborately that it achieves the opposite effect and everything at CB becomes fubar.  Wow.  I mean GRRM likes to do the good guys down but to screw them over when they've won due to simple miscommunication?  That trumps Theseus and the black sails for tragedy.

    I'm not convinced, it's too risky, can easily go awry (as it does), if he can even get the letter out anyway.  It also relies on Mel and he having a code worked out in advance, not impossible, but another layer and there's little to suggest Mel and Mance are thick as thieves.

  14. 46 minutes ago, sifth said:

    Isn't that just another word for "slave", lol

    It was a pretty restrictive long-term employment contract - usually used for apprentices to learn their trade, to pay off debts or as a judicial punishment.  Indentured servants of European extraction were used in the Caribbean and U.S. colonies in return for their passage being paid to The New World until the hardship and mortality rates from disease led to a supply shortage and landowners to look elsewhere for labour and we all know how that ended up......

  15. On 1/30/2023 at 8:18 PM, sweetsunray said:

    I'd rather say the point is to make the wildlings march on WF, not necessarily Jon. Though one of the possible motives could have been to freak the NW out and get Jon LC-off, which was a dumb move from Mel and/or Stannis. Mance's motives may have been more malicious. I don't think he cared if Jon got killed in the process.

    But what if Jon decides to comply with The Pink Letter and hands over Val and The Monster?  Or, if he doesn't and a cabal within The Watch try to assassinate Jon and to comply with the letter's demands - as appears to be happening?  What if Jon keeps his counsel and plays the long game, waiting for Ramsay to come to him?

    The only way Mance can be confident Jon or The NW won't hand over Val and his son to Ramsay's agents is if Stannis has completely defeated The Boltons.  And if that's so why does Mance need to lie and get Jon to march south - is he really hoping Jon will hand him an army so he can fight Stannis?  He couldn't get away with a lie here for long anyway as Stannis or any of the Northern Lords would soon send word that The Boltons were defeated, proving his bluff a lie.

    I don't see how Mance makes this calculation.

    Stannis makes less sense as the letter might drive Selyse, Shireen and Mel to flight or risk them being handed over to The Boltons.  Even if it didn't, look what The Pink Letter led to at Castle Black: mutiny, murder and chaos - hardly any objectives of Stannis.

  16. 50 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Ah, right. Maybe those were some "off the record" thralls, then?

    It's more the practice of gaining new thralls that would provoke Robert or any Lord in the 7K, there are no enforcement agents inspecting The Isles for open or hidden thralls.  It seems they head to Essos like Euron with his crew of mutes for that until Balon's rebellion Mk II.  Any complaints by Smallfolk to Ned, Tywin or Mace (or their forebears) about IB ships stealing women and children and they would have been shut down pretty hard.

  17. On 2/10/2023 at 2:15 PM, Prince Rhaegar Targareyen said:

    I honestly can’t believe no one talks about this. She is one of the most evil and conniving characters in fiction. She portrays herself to the world as a plucky little underdog girl (with 3 dragons) freedom fighter, when is truly an evil soul that is completely irredeemable.

    Succinct yet comprehensive and well-written OP.  Sadly some may not take it as parody.

    On 2/10/2023 at 6:54 PM, SeanF said:

    I certainly don’t.

    She used to post here as Apple Martini.  She gives the impression that Daenerys wronged her personally.

    Holy cow, well I know what to expect so I'll give it a pass.  I remember her constant arguments against Dany very well.  I particularly remember her saying how happy she was that she had persuaded a friend who thought well of Dany to see her point of view and regard her negatively.  It truly felt like she made it a mission to try and convert people.  Being an influencer reaches a wider audience than this humble forum I suppose... :blink:

  18. On 1/16/2023 at 2:13 AM, Sydney Mae said:

    The stress triggered the madness in Cat.  Ned's public execution triggered the same illness in Arya.  Something very stressful will happen to Sansa and she might break too.  Their blood make them vulnerable to madness

    PTSD is not hereditary.  Arya, arguably, has a form of PTSD. 

    Cat went mad at the very end, but that was just the final act in the classical Greek tragedy of her life.  We meet a happily married powerful noblewoman with five children and progressively: her middle son is crippled and rendered comatose, her husband and daughters are separated from her and then arrested / taken hostage, her husband is executed, her father dies perhaps of cancer, her elder daughter is married to a mortal enemy and her younger daughter disappears, her two younger sons are murdered and, finally, her last child is murdered in front of her face.  Sophocles could not have done any more to her.

    On 1/16/2023 at 11:02 AM, StarkTullies said:

    There's a sudden explosion of madness threads which are obviously joke threads, but it seems that this one is actually real?

    It's not, at least no more or less than the others.  It's just a circle jerk for some people.  Establishing contrarian positions and then pretending the "alternative facts" are legitimate is apparently entertaining and empowering.  We all got to get our fun times somehow I guess.

    On 1/16/2023 at 1:10 PM, SeanF said:

    Terms like "madness" and "insanity" are bandied around far too readily.

    There is nothing to suggest that Catelyn suffers from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or major clinical depression.

    However, Catelyn does get increasingly depressed as her life goes from bad to disastrous.  Her husband and (as far as she knows) two sons, and a daughter, have all been murdered.  Sansa is a prisoner, and then Robb is murdered in front of her. She finally snaps.  At the point that she kills Jinglebell, she is almost certainly insane in the legal sense. 

    But, it's not because mental illness runs in her family.  Her psychosis is triggered as a result of all the horrible things that get done to those that she loves. 

    Exactly.  But some folks have chosen a side and anything that makes the other side look bad is good and anything that riles the other sides' supporters is extra special fun. You'll have more luck convincing a MAGA crowd to drop election denial.

  19. 19 hours ago, James Arryn said:

    My most sympathetic angle on the idiot Balon Greyjoy;

    Too sympathetic I think :)

    The IB are a raiding seapower who plunder their neighbours and have not been dispossessed of any lands, in fact they have been confirmed in their ancestral lands despite rebellion, i.e. being the one to break the peace treaty.

    And in fact they conquered the Riverlands so are really an imperial power themselves who have been pushed back to their core territory.  Balon can't abide this any more than Euron so they seek to conquer their neighbours again and restore their geopolitical influence which shows them for what they are: a revisionist, expansionist power with imperial ambitions wanting to return to the glory days.

    More Putin than First Nations in other words.

  20. 7 minutes ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

    She may have her Theon the Latecomer, to make the Kingsmoot illegal and take power while Euron is away or after suffering one or several defeats that weakened his credibility. 

    Though of course she and Theon need to survive, and to be freed on condition by Stannis or the Starks for this to happen.

    That does seem to be her plan but even with Rodrik The Reader backing her it's really just a coup.  How will she hold power against challenges and how does she even go about changing the culture without being replaced?  Besides, she was just fine with taking part in Balon's assault on The North to prove herself worthy of being his heir so she's not exactly a change agent.  Major problems lie ahead.

  21. 31 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

    The Ironborn do not place that great a stock in being clever, but being strong. In addition, the Islands are not built for an easy life. This means that selection pressures are, in essence, favouring brawn over brains. I expect most clever but not particularly strong Ironborn, especially those not of the noble class, would leave the islands, meaning the availability of 'intelligent genes' is lower and lower each generation.

    I like this :thumbsup: Selective breeding for stupidity. 

    The culture, like many island cultures, is, well, insular to the point of impenetrability and xenophobia: outsiders are thralls or potential victims of reavings.  It's hard to see how this changes and why they would follow someone who tried to enforce change.  Maybe Asha will show us the answer but after her rejection at The Kingsmoot it's hard to see the Lords of The Isles changing their minds and taking her seriously.

  22. 10 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

    True, many will find it hard to trust the Freys.  But if we use the same idea, many would find it very hard to ever trust the word of a Stark.  Robb Stark broke his oath to Lord Walder Frey.  Jon Snow broke his vows to the Night's Watch.  So in this, I say both families will have a terrible time earning trust again.  Both families violated something considered sacred. 

    Robb broke a promise to marry a man's daughter; he made restitution by Edmure marrying one of Walder's daughters in his place.  Walder Frey slaughtered thousands of men and murdered dozens of guests from noble families in The North and Riverlands under his own roof.

    What harm did Robb really do the Freys other than a bit of injured pride and what possible restitution can the Frey family make after The Red Wedding?

    You are drawing an utterly repugnant false equivalence that beggars belief and it's absurd to see people engage in this nonsense.

    As for trust: why does one of the Mormont girls write to Stannis to say they will recognise no king whose name is not Stark?  Why does Stannis offer to legitimise Jon and make him Lord of Winterfell?

    This stuff is not hard to pick up from the books, really it's not, you might try reading them some time :read:

  23. 6 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

    Yes. To all of the black brothers his behavior and his intent to attack the Boltons is madness. 

    Which part?  After he read out the pink letter his intent to attack the Boltons appears exactly as it is: a move to gain the tactical advantage in view of Ramsay's threats.  Or do you mean his behaviour in sending The Watch to Hardhome?  Maybe  you think Chett and his pals a fine bunch of heroes for planning to murder Mormont and the other officers for "the madness" of their orders too.  At some point the penny has to drop you're backing the wrong side.

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