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the trees have eyes

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  1. I invited you to start a different thread so you would avoid hijacking this one but it seems you just can't let it go. It's truly remarkable you constantly conflating opinion with fact but no matter how you jump up and down it doesn't make it so. You think you're right. We get that. We don't agree. Agree to disagree and move on
  2. That's all well and good but it really only deals with the first part of the quote and not the second part: The reason I bring this up is because that’s an interesting question of redemption. That’s more like killing Hitler. Does the Queen of Thorns need redemption? Did the Queen of Thorns kill Hitler, or did she murder a 13-year-old boy? Or both? She had good reasons to remove Joffrey. Is it a case where the end justifies the means? I don’t know. That’s what I want the reader or viewer to wrestle with, and to debate. That's not refusing to confirm anything or leaving something open. It's choosing to bring something up and inviting the reader to think about these things. Just as he mentions both Jaime and Cersei and expounds on the theme of redemption, he specifically says this about Olenna. Why invite that if Olenna doesn't need redemption? If he misleads us in the text and misleads us in interviews it never ends surely? Is LF wanting to kill Tyrion a big enough mystery to conceal in story and go to these lengths of obfuscation outside of it over? Just whisper in Joffrey's ear and he would oblige.
  3. So what are we to take from this: that we should read the books carelessly? That thoughtful analysis and extrapolation and logic are all just pointless as the rug pull is his objective? I mean there's something in the idea that he subverts expectations and wrong foots the reader but aren't the people claiming that certain mysteries aren't solved after all basing their arguments on their own careful reading of the text? Which would leave them where exactly? I'm curious as to how you think Cressen died and how you think everyone present think he died. And if the facts of the book make it irrefutably clear why do so few people agree with you? We know what you think. Let's leave it at that.
  4. You were lecturing everyone on your theories. Most people do consider them solved so whether you consider the OP's statement "incorrect" or against your view of the "facts in the book" it's just your subjective interpretation. Not the unvarnished truth of the story, just a view that most people don't agree with.
  5. I didn't read anything except this. I'm aware of your insistence on your own reasoning being correct and was obliquely and maybe not so tactfully inviting you to take it elsewhere. You're welcome to wait but you may be disappointed.
  6. I think the problem with finding a common language or understanding on what's happening in the NW stems from essentially different readings of the characters and motivations of those involved. The "For the Watch" argument, as best I understand it, sees the NW in an heroic light, men of honour serving with dignity as the knights in black to defend civilization from the terrible wildlings. It seems a fairly partial reading to me and has a kind of band of brothers appeal to it but it's essentially an institutionalist view with the NW having both a vital duty and a glorious purpose to fulfil, provided it's sacrosanct nature is preserved by strict neutrality from politics in the 7K. Slynt / Thorne / Marsh are seen to some degree or other as protagonists in that they are trying to preserve the NW's duty to allow if to fulfil it's mission. Enter stage left, Jon, a man who puts at risk this vital purpose so our heroes act to preserve the NW. Exit stage right, Jon. I disagree with almost all of that. The purpose of the NW is to defend the realms of men from the Others & wights, a purpose they have forgotten and, on rediscovery of that purpose, Mormont so memorably said to Sam "You don't build a thousand foot wall to stop savages in skins from stealing women". The more limited and time-serving members of the NW cannot abandon a lifetime's hostility to the wildlings and seem more intent on keeping as many of them as possible north of The Wall, as seen in Jon's confrontation with Marsh and the latter's indifference as to how many wildings might die at Hardhome and be raised as wights. In short Jon has the vision to see what the NW's true purpose is and is versatile enough to work towards that while Marsh can only think of preserving what tiny ineffective fragment of the NW remains because that's what a large part of his life has been dedicated to. And of course all of Slynt, Thorne and Marsh are hip deep in the politics of the 7K, receiving correspondence from Cersei and Tywin and acting as their surrogates. The Lannisters care not a hoot for the NW and consider any difficulties at The Wall a good way of punishing the North for it's rebellion. It is they who see Jon as a threat and determine to neutralise him, a similar view taken by the Boltons. Given Marsh's opposition to Jon's wildling policies, the veiled hostility from the IT and the open threat from Ramsay provide the excuse for him to assassinate Jon. What Marsh missed and where two groups of people talk past each other is that the NW is virtually annihilated. It's purpose was to guard The Wall until forces could come up from the south to assist with dealing with the threat. As it turns out forces came from both the north - the Wildlings - and the south - Stannis - and Jon has gone about using both to hold The Wall. Preserving the NW is unimportant except emotionally to the NW members themselves, preserving the realms of men from the existential threat of The Others is everything. In order to preserve the NW as he sees it Marsh has endangered the far greater purpose of defending mankind by undermining Jon's whole coalition. The NW just isn't that important at this point in the story. The coalition to defend The Wall is.
  7. Everyone in this series thinks they're smart and have things under control until they get cleaned up by the trap / betrayal / unexpected development they didn't see coming. And everyone trusts LF because he is so obliging and clever yet not important enough to be taken seriously as a threat until too late. Maybe start another thread on the purple wedding if you want to convince people of your take on it.
  8. Everyone believes Jon to be the son of Ned Stark. He has a target painted on his chest the moment Roose / Ramsay supplant the Starks. Whatever he does there are people who will look to him for leadership or see him as a threat. House Mormont's response to Stannis that they know no king whose name is not Stark (sic) shows this. Jon's position with the Boltons in charge is pretty much the same as Gendry's in KL after Robert's death with Cersei on the hunt for any of Robert's offspring: fight, flight or die.
  9. Hmm, I've worked with some of those... But if the project manager was Ivan the Terrible or Vlad the Impaler what followed would be memorable but it wouldn't be pretty
  10. To be fair, most of the NW are criminals given the option of the axe, some other dismemberment or The Watch. I'm personally rather glad Rorge and Biter didn't make it but they were en route with Yoren. They are not noble or glamorous. Tyrion dispelled those illusions for Jon before he even reached The Wall. I feel I have to point out the obvious: Ramsay is a sadistic murderer who skins the corpses of the women he rapes, if he doesn't skin them alive. Roose himself casually recounts how he raped Ramsay's mother right after he hanged her husband simply because he wanted to and that seemed the easiest way to proceed. So who is law-abiding and who does as they please? The North is already in the middle of a war between Stannis and the Boltons. This isn't about saving the NW, all 200 of them, as some kind of pristine and totemic institution, it's about saving the realms of men from The Others. Jon is forging along the second path, Marsh only seems capable of seeing the first.
  11. It's really not that different, no. Which would no doubt make poor old Walder positively apoplectic. Problem is the Lannisters are well-established (Kings of the Rock of old and Lords Paramount in the Westlands) and hold all the Westlands in check behind them during the Robellion. So it looks like considered statesmanship, if cynical. Walder is merely a Tully bannerman and sits on the fence unlike the Targaryen loyalists like the Goodbrooks and Darrys or the rest who follow Hoster Tully. It's hard to be the odd one out and not attract scorn. The Lannisters have the prestige and the power that Walder lacks and do eventually come off the fence and get their hands dirty even if at the eleventh hour. Walder doesn't and just looks like a cynical opportunist. Which is what he is of course. Idk if principled neutrality wins you much respect in medieval warfare. It's a feudal pyramid and unless you are at the very top you owe loyalty somewhere and pay homage to someone, i.e. promise military service in return for the lands you hold. The conflict between the immediate oath to your direct lord and the ultimate loyalty you owe the monarch is played on in the series but abandoning both wouldn't win many admirers.
  12. The Freys are looked down on by others because they are a newer house and the root of their wealth and rise is their tolls over The Crossing - parvenus are always looked down on by the establishment and feudal nobles whose wealth came from land traditionally looked down on those whose wealth came commerce or trade. Take how Janos Slynt's elevation is regarded. Given the Freys are landed this isn't a significant problem except they have grown more powerful than most of their contemporary Riverland Houses so those Houses retaliate by clinging to their prestige rather than their power; even if the Freys are richer and more powerful than they, at least they have their pedigree and family histories. It's exacerbated by Walder Frey who chafes under this patronising attitude and who is ambitious, proud, irascible, vindictive, selfish and unreliable. So he makes a good number of very good marriages both for himself and his children / grandchildren but it's never enough to satisfy him unless he can marry into the Tully family so removing the chip from his shoulder. Of course his unreliable nature means he turns up late to The Trident so earning the scorn of Hoster Tully and, we can assume, the other Riverland Lords as "the late Lord Frey". The one moment he needed to show his loyalty and reliability that chip on his shoulder and the resentment he felt at not being given his due led him to hold back and that only confirmed his and his House's unreliability to others. The sense of grievance we see when Catelyn goes to meet him to secure his alliance with Robb in AGOT is almost overwhelming and leads by twists and turns to The Red Wedding. Ironically, Walder Frey can't see that his conduct has made the Freys reviled even by their allies: his need for recognition and the elevation of his House's status has doomed him and it.
  13. Has anyone suggested it was Tywin yet? Because Joffrey was difficult and Tommen was biddable..... But I agree with your list. 1 - 3 are proven in the text* although as with everything ASOIAF (and as this thread has demonstrated) there are always a few dissenters. 4 seems to be revealed but Varys is so opaque and his motives unclear that I would not be surprised by a twist. 5 is supported outside the main series. *to most people's satisfaction GRRM did say that the internet / his readership would come up with some explanations that they preferred to what he had actually imagined / written and that does seem to be the case here.
  14. Absolutely. The prologue set up the threat of The Others but what GRRM intends to do with them and what his play on the trope is is still unknown five books in. The trope is more vanilla in WOT but the complexity and chaos of the world and it's politics appeal to me. It's not as gritty as ASOIAF but there's plenty of conflict.
  15. The Freys were rebels themselves. They then betrayed the Starks-Tullys to join the side that appeared to be winning. Even Jaime throws this in their faces at Riverrun when they are besieging it later on. I hope you are not insinuating the Freys are loyalists as it's not at all the case. Is it understandable to change sides in warfare? Yes. Is it considered honourable? No. And the price of the Freys turning their cloaks was murdering a lot of men who had been granted safe conduct. It makes perfect sense for Tywin as the infamy attaches to Walder Frey and Roose Bolton but they have just painted targets on themselves as the families of their victims will not forget.
  16. The opening book of WOT, The Eye of The World, is often described as being a homage to The Lord of The Rings. Really that amounts to the opening part of the book and the roles some characters play and there are noticeable parallels to The Fellowship of The Ring but that doesn't apply to the series overall. The map of WOT has a patchwork quilt of nations with some large neighbours off map and as the story unfolds the political and military aspects of the competition for power are a huge part of the story, alongside the magic and prophecy. Even mid to late story key powerbrokers do not believe in certain realities that as a reader we have been clued into since early in book one and are working on their own powerbase. There is a certain amount of Arthurian influence - a few name drops are obvious as is a certain prophecy of drawing the sword from the stone but these are really just references rather than determinative in terms of story direction. Anyway, I don't mean to advocate for WOT - people know what they like and choose what they want to read and this is a very wide-reading group to boot - but having completed a re-read it's fresh in mind and the story is an awful lot bigger (and I don't just mean longer) than the opening book and the JRRT comparisons suggest.
  17. Some tropes are hard to escape from entirely. If not the farm boys (or hobbits) then it's more or less the prince that was promised. Or if we don't have a Dark One / Sauron we have The Others. Different takes on the same theme. It's hard to avoid this kind of oppositional set-up in heroic fantasy (maybe an evil king or dark sorcerer instead) or sci-fi (Luke vs Vader/The Emperor, Neo as "The One") but if the author's way of dealing with the tropes and the way the story's written or characterised doesn't appeal then I can see how it's not going to grab you.
  18. It's referred to as the slog. 1 - 6 develop our characters and set things up nicely but then things kind of drift 7 - 10. 11 - 14 pick things back up and finish in resounding fashion. Book One has to take completely ordinary and innocent, uneducated village folk and begin setting their feet on the road to greatness. Things do develop slowly but watching how characters develop from scratch to how they act mid- and then end- series is quite beautifully constructed. It is a long and detailed story so not to everyone's taste. The role of prophecy and Fate is more pronounced than in ASOIAF for sure.
  19. He wrote 11 books before he passed away. Brandon Sanderson finished the story based on copious notes and did a really good job imo (I've just re-read the series so it's fresh in mind). Of course, depending on how deep in you got, reading a 14 book series (average length of book 800 pages) is no small decision to make. Tolkien, Jordan and Martin are the three fantasy authors whose works make the most impression on me and I came to their works in that order. Each to their own in terms of writing style, pacing and characterisation but each has a vision for storytelling that is staggering in scope, depth and richness. The irony is that I started reading ASOIAF in about 2000 because I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next WOT novel and wanted something to read. Times don't change
  20. Patrek of the Mountain is most definitely stupid. He's one of the sycophants around Mel who has decided that marrying Val, "The Wildling Princess" will make him a powerful figure, as if the wildlings followed kneelers' rules. Wun Wun is Val's protector and Patrek probably figured he could press his suit better by going around or most likely through Wun Wun and got educated otherwise. This kind of post baffles me. Maybe my humour detector is off of course. The story is ASOIAF not the story of The 300 or so men of the NW. The Wildlings are not the enemy, the Others and the wights are. Right before he died Mormont relayed to Sam that the NW had forgotten it's true purpose. Marsh clearly didn't get the memo. Jon has built a coalition to defend the Wall against the Others. Marsh is doing his best to destroy that coalition. Yeah, he did it for the watch, based on his limited and flawed understanding of what the Watch was created to do. He was wrong. That was forgivable before The Others struck, unforgivable after. His myopia and intransigence is why he's a quartermaster and is unfit for overall command. Jon is actually working on saving mankind. Allying with Stannis after the latter arrives is unavoidable - and highly beneficial. Giving in to Ramsay's unmeetable demands is impossible. Striking when threatened by Ramsay but using wildlings not NW keeps the NW out of it. Bowen just reveals himself as a pawn of Cersei and the Boltons. The NW at this moment in story is militarily insignificant and is not combat ready. It lost it's fighting strength on The Fist of The First Men. It needs allies which Stannis and The Wildlings provide. I don't get this obsession with "For the Watch" even if there's only a few men left. It's served it's purpose in holding the wall and giving warning until military power could finally come from the south to assist. The least we could expect is that guys like Marsh not now screw everything up. Or that people cheer them on while they do it. #Team Wun Wun
  21. You're very welcome: it's a general discussion and I wasn't aiming to debate anyone on their take on things. But yes, in terms of a sacrifice echoing that made by Azor Ahai with Nissa Nissa my point was none are really comparable as only Dany truly loves Drogo and Drogo is already lost to her and to himself. I read Stan's views on Edric more as the duty of blood at most and grudgingly so to one of Robert's bastards. The castellan at Storm's End refused to hand Edric over to him as he feared for Edric's safety. That guy had effectively raised Edric and both cared for him and felt he had a duty to protect him, and he saw Stannis as a threat: cue shadowbaby to allow Mel to get her hands on him. Mel sees kingsblood, Stannis sees Robert's child, albeit illegitimate, and thus kiling Edric makes him a kinslayer, hence the reluctance but I don't see any love or affection. About as much as Cain loved Abel
  22. Not very much. Next you'll be telling me he loved Robert and Robert loved them both, and so on. Sure, there's a sibling connection but the rivalry far outweighs any geniune affection. There's some guilt and regret as he and Renly practically fought each other right before Renly died in some very suspicious circumstances, with Stan asleep in his tent unable to be woken.... Edric was raised at Storm's End wasn't he? Stannis barely even knows him, if he does at all. He's fantasizing about finding his one true love: Tysha. Jaime tells him she was for real and he comes to get Tywin to tell him where he sent her. Cue dramatic encounter with Shae and severe working through of daddy issues with Tywin. Absolutely. Her love for him is genuine but she is not giving up some rosy future with Drogo or depriving Drogo of years of happiness, she's ending his suffering. It's poignant but it's not a sacrifice for either of them.
  23. Stan can't stand Renly though (and vice versa) and he cares nothing for Edric. Or for his wife for that matter. Which leaves Shireen, his only child and heir, if Stan / Mel were to try and re-enact that. It doesn't quite fit for me, however I look at it, which is why trying to fulfil prophecy or a pre-ordained role usually backfires in story. It's almost always misunderstood or the actions people take to achieve it have a chaotic effect and the prophecy is fulfiled in a completely unforeseen way, and it turns out the who and how was hidden right under their noses all along. It's foreshadowed with the different myths and prophecies: The Last Hero, Azor Ahai Reborn, The Prince That Was Promised: "The dragon has three heads". Dany, Jon and Bran all seem to have a role or a destiny to play out but smaller heroes like Davos and Sam have their seat at the table if not in a grand magical-historical sense. There's not much of sacrifice in any of those, though. Love has turned to hate for Tyrion, Drogo is already gone to Dany's mind and Shadow Stannis kills Renly before Renly's forces kill Stannis in battle. Of course there's no reason to believe either that Azor Ahai really loved his wife as much as the story makes out or that an equivalent sacrifice is required but if we're waking dragons from stone Dany definitely looks the part. I like this but I'm not convinced Jon's dead. I don't remember: what has Mel told him about the promised prince to make him throw that in at the end of the other two visions Mel has told him about, both of which were intended to gain his trust?
  24. There are a lot of posts in this thread making it out as some sort of Stark vs Frey feud. The real picture is that the Freys butchered a good deal of the Northern and Riverlands nobility and took a bunch more prisoner for ransom and as hostages. In other words Robb Stark broke a promise of a marriage alliance and Walder Frey (and Roose Bolton) responded by starting a blood feud with practically every House in The North and The Riverlands. Saying enough Freys have died and we should call it dibs isn't going to work with Great Jon Umber and Edmure Tully any more than with Wyman Manderly. It's not a Stark / wild child Arya vengeance thing, it's far bigger than that. The Freys will lose Riverrun and The Twins. Given Walder Frey has, what, 100 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and they are married into any number of Houses in The Riverlands, Westerlands and Vale, plenty will survive but there will be either judicial or extra-judicial "proceedings" against those who took part in The Red Wedding who haven't yet met the BWB or a cold welcome in the North.
  25. POV creep is always hard to avoid as there is always a good reason to add another to give a different perspective or, as you say, the appropriate one isn't in situ. But you provide the answers even if you find them unsatisfactory: Tyrion (and one of those POV creepers, Barristan) is at Meereen and Theon is at Stannis's camp. The battles are key to the story advancement but that doesn't mean they have to be The Pelennor Fields or The Blackwater. The Greenfork, The Whispering Wood and The Wildling assault on The Wall are all told from one POV (Tyrion, Catelyn, Jon). Even The Blackwater is really told from Tyrion's pov with an intro by Davos and Sansa huddling inside KL. I didn't find this a problem and maybe reflects our preferences for how the story is told: more povs and more detail vs what the author judged enough to tell a satisfying story while moving it along quickly. All the battles have worked fine for me. Even things like the Sack of Winterfell where we see almost nothing of the actual combat between The Boltons and the other Northmen. It depends what you want from the "action" so to speak, lots of combat tactics and hack and slash, or an outline with some dramatic momemts for our POV participant (Tyrion on both The Greenfork and The Blackwater). I don't need another POV to see the other side particularly. The Blackwater is stupendous but the multiple POV format is really only there so we can witness the wildfire firsthand from inside Davos's head: Tyrion could just as easily have watched and described it in real time from the city walls. And if you told the wildling assault on The Wall from two POVs you might lose a Jon chapter but you would gain another from the other POV and they would have to be introduced and fleshed out before being dropped into the battle scene: so you might even add a couple of chapters. Yeah, Stan got sold a pup. It didn't work for anyone in story or for anyone watching it that I know. Poseidon makes the most sense as God of the Sea but I did a quick Google and it said Artemis and as I belive everything I read on the Internet... Ah, ok. If your overriding imperative is to avoid the mistakes you think the Show made (and as you detail them) then, sure, you won't want to axe anything at all and your preference will be to stick as closely as possible to what GRRM has written. I don't think the Show is a good indication of how GRRM would have written the story if he had kept it narrower and I would avoid comparing the two too closely but I understand your position. I think the problem for the Show was going from published novels that they adapted for tv to trying to guess from GRRM's outline and changing intentions what the official story was actually going to be and how they could fit that to what they had already produced, which is of course an adaptation of what had been written. They had to resolve some things GRRM hadn't (and hasn't) been able to based on the actors and sets and plots they had fashioned into the story on screen. Whether he can resolve them satisfactorily in the novels remains to be seen but I think he would have had a better chance and more appetite if he had kept the story more manageable.
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