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The hairy bear

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About The hairy bear

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    Honey in the summer air!
  • Birthday 08/28/1980

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    Many. A Song of Ice and Fire among them.

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  1. The hairy bear

    Which minor houses do you want to see more of?

    For me it's mostly the Dornish houses, specially the ones from the Marches: Dayne, Yronwood, Fowler, Wyl, Manwoody, Blackmont,...
  2. The hairy bear

    A new look at the puple wedding

    Of course there was. The harnet was supposed to be the the incriminating evidence. Littlefinger wasn't supposed to help Sansa escape, and she was the one supposed the take the fall. She's the perfect scapegoat, with no friends at court and with obvious motives: revenge for the deaths of Ned and Robb, and having been repudiated by Joffrey. Once she had been found with a hairnet full of tear of lys, not even a trial would be needed.
  3. The hairy bear

    Does Asoiaf Have a True Protagonist? *SPOILERS*

    Executing Janos by hanging had some interesting implications too. It is the death reserved to commoners, so Jon would be rejecting his claim to nobility and the way he obtained it. It would also be a nice parallel seeing that even if Janos betrayed Ned to became a noble, Ned had a noble's death while Janos died as a commoner. At the end, I think that we all prefer the beheading version (first of all George, and that's why it's the final version), but that doesn't mean that other options had some merit too. In order to judge George's original draft we should know the context in which it was written. Perhaps George wanted to highlight at this moment that Jon was distancing himself from his Stark heritage (shortly before that, Jon had refused Stannis' offer of legitimation and Winterfell), to embrace his role as Lord Commander. Arya Stark has killed people by poison. I don't see anyone claiming this is out of character.
  4. Chapters 10-19 Thinks I loved: The characters: All of them are really interesting, and each has a clearly distinct voice from the very beginning. A lot of important pieces that will become important in later books are introduced casually as world-building, such as the Gurkish menacing Dagoska or the commoner's revolt in Kern. And Sulfur almost spoils the ending when he tries to convince Jezal to keep training: “Give up fencing and you give up more than that! This is how one comes to the notice of the public, you see? They decide, in the end. There’s no nobility without the commoners, no nobility at all! They decide!” Thinks I didn't like: Too many plot convolutions. In this reread, it seems to me that many of the secondary characters act stupidly or without a clear purpose just to bring the plot forward: Superior Kalayne shows to the Mercers the confession of Salem Rews, and they decide to murder everyone on the list. Then they learn that Salem Rews, who has already confessed everything he knew and was about to be sent to Angland, is still in the city. Sending an assassin to him is just stupid. In the first place, it's just stupid to try to get revenge because everyone confesses under torture. In the second place, many men would say that a life at Angland is a fate worse than death. In the third place, it's an obvious ploy. How can the Mercers be stupid enough to send there the same assassin? And one that know the identity of the man who has contracted him?!? Many things make little sense around the character of Quai. Why does Bayaz has an apprentice that does not seem to have the character, the will or the memory to become a Magi? Why did he send him to find Logen when he clearly wasn't up to the task? Why does he recite the First Law in his fever dreams? Why does he insist that it is forbidden to touch the other side? Are we supposed to assume that he is tempted? How did Bayaz pretended Quai to find Logen in the Wilderness? Bayaz tells Logen "I have called and you have answered, and that shows good manners", but later he also says "The spirits have little to say to men, I understand, though I have never spoken with them; I have not the gift." After Logen’s “death”, his band separated for a month for no apparent motive. When they reunited, it seems that they still haven’t decided who among them should be the new leader. And although they had been attacked a month ago by “an awful lot” of Shanka, it’s only after they met a group of twelve that they feel the need to “warn someone”. Random thoughts: What do you think that happened between Bethod and Logen? I think it's interesting that it's not revealed (for now), but I wonder what it could be. Calder says Logen "bit his master's hand", and Logen says that “the feud cuts both ways”. Bethod accuses Logen of being “An animal! A coward! An oath-breaker!“. The first one is obvious, but I wonder about the other two. I particularly struggle to imagine what could have done Logen to justify the accusation of cowardice. Knowing what will happen, it's particularly fun when Sult asks Glokta if he has absolute confidence in his practicals, and he says "absolute". Introducing Bayaz as a butcher makes for an interesting image and a nice presentation of the characters, but... what was he doing, really? Ardee says the “The Fall of the Master Maker” is full of wise Magi and stern knights. Knights do not seem to be around Adua in present times. It’s nice to see some fantasy with actual signs of evolution across the centuries. We should ask Abercrombie if Carpi the Styrian assassin is a relative of Faithful Carpi from Best Served Cold. Glokta thinks about his mother in present tense. If she is still alive during ALH, she would be in her nineties. In the mural of the abandoned house, Kenedias appears with two “practicals”. Joe once confirmed that one was Tolomei. Any ideas on who could be the other? Blacktoe calls Logen “Ninefingers! The Brynn! The Bloody-Nine!”. Does anyone know what a Brynn is? Joe wisely sends us the first clue that the order in which his work is to be read is not a straightforward matter. In chapter 9, Glokta had told us that "it was a bright summer day", but in chapter 12 Glokta himself says it's "a bright, cloudless spring day". Which implies that Glokta went to Villem dan Robb's house before deciding to go there.
  5. It's probably my profound despise for torturers here, but I like him even less. I mean, it's fun to read, but I see him completely rotten as a person and well past redemption. Well, it seems that a typical Roman legionaries used to carry between 30 to 45 kg (65 to 100 lbs) on their campaigns. A man would weights more than that, but Logen didn't have to do it every day. If Quai isreally skinny (how old is he, anyway?) and Logen really strong, perhaps it's not impossible. Not sure.
  6. Being more like each other does not make a better couple. The important thing is being complementary, not equal. And in any case, we actually know about Aegon's preferences here. He preferred Rhaenys, and spend with her ten night for each one that he spent with Visenya. Rhaenys died at 10 AC. Visenya was Aegon's only wife for 27 years. During that time, not only they didn't warm up but became more and more distanced. We know that Aegon went on progresses alone, leaving Visenya at King's Landing. And later, we are told that in the court there were rumours that he had entrusted Visenya the building of the Red Keep "so he would not have to endure her presence on Dragonstone." Killing cats, marrying a second (and a third) wife without permission of the king, menacing said king and refusing to return him the ancestral family sword, beheading the Grand Maester for rightly suggesting that his ascension was against the laws of succession,... all of those are things that Maegor did before the trial by seven. I agree with you here. But I don't think it's unrealistic that this is the story that was written down, only that it happens. I don't think it's unlikely that Argella was just forced to marry Orys. The story that Glyndayn and Yandel tell is not necessarily "the truth", but the commonly accepted version of what happened.
  7. The hairy bear

    Robin Arryn's fostering

    I'm not denying that. But for Robert Arryn, it would be of a comparable level of prestige being fostered in Dragonstone or in the Rock. Meanwhile, the statuts of Stannis and Tywin would be greatly heightened if ether were chosen to take care of him. Robert had started favoring the Lannisters over his brothers way before that: Ned was ready for that. “Yet we still must have a Warden of the East. If Robert Arryn will not do, name one of your brothers. Stannis proved himself at the siege of Storm’s End, surely.” He let the name hang there for a moment. The king frowned and said nothing. He looked uncomfortable. “That is,” Ned finished quietly, watching, “unless you have already promised the honor to another.” For a moment Robert had the grace to look startled. Just as quickly, the look became annoyance. “What if I have?” “It’s Jaime Lannister, is it not?” Robert kicked his horse back into motion and started down the ridge toward the barrows. Ned kept pace with him. The king rode on, eyes straight ahead. “Yes,” he said at last. A single hard word to end the matter. There's a clear pattern of Robert advancing the Lannisters over his brothers. Robert Arryn is just another example of that. And I'm not saying that Stannis was a great guy (he wasn't) or good father figure (he wasn't). I'm just saying that Tywin was no better, and choosing one over the other was a political statement.
  8. The hairy bear

    Robin Arryn's fostering

    Being the ward of the Lord of Casterly Rock would be prestigious for a son of a minor lord, but not so much for the Lord of the Eyrie. It's a seat as much prestigious on its own. As I see it, the one who would see his prestige increased by the arrangement would be Tywin, as it would show the realm that he was favored by the king with the heir of his trusted Hand and friend. And if is not only that. Robert's wife was a Lannister, Jaime regicide had been overlooked, both Robert's squires were Lannisters, Robert was planning to name a Lannister Warden of the East... This last one, when Stannis is a seasoned warrior with a holding strategically positioned to control the East is particularly offensive. Not to mention that Tywin is the man who ordered his son's wife gangraped to teach him a lesson. Is the man who had no problem murdering the grandchildren of a old friend of him for political advancement. No one in his sane mind would think it's a good idea to entrust him with the care of a kid.
  9. The hairy bear

    Robin Arryn's fostering

    The reason why is the rellevant factor here. Lysa doesn't want Robert fostered out because a sentiment of property and an insane overprotection. None of those is present in Ned. Ned is a great parent (relatively, by his society's standards). Lysa is a terrible one.
  10. Here are my thoughts for the first nine chapters: Things I loved: It's a great read. Pure Abercrombie. Great characterizations, billiant dialogues (Jezal and Ardee first encounter is gold), playful tone, superb action scenes, lots of quotable parts ... The first scenes for the three main characters are really good. In particular, Logen's prologue starting in media res at the middle of a skirmish is a great introduction, showing with only a few pages the main traits of the character: battleworn, reflexive, practical, stoical... Both Glokta and Jezal came across as characters you love to hate (In my first read I was convinced they would be Logen's antagonists) In the first few chapters many great characters are already introduced or name-dropped: the Dogman, prince Ladisla, Bayaz, Bremen dan Gorst,... There's also a cameo of Sargent Forest, who Abecrombie confirmed that would have a significant appearance at ALH. Things I didn't like: In second read, I find that it's a bit out of character that Logen leaves all his companions for dead. He returns to his camp and does not find a single corpse of his old friends. One could fear that some had been killed, but I don't see why he takes for granted that all of them are dead. His band included some of the toughest names in the North. And if they really had been against impossible odds, one would expect that at least one of them would have died. A danger that even Forley the Weakest can escape from can't be that unavoidable. Logen's spirit-talking and the fire-breatheing abilities are inconsistent with the later depictions of the character. I fail to see why he wouldn't look for guidance with the spirits in later situations (they provide him with real useful information, after all), or why he doesn't put some fire under his tongue before every battle. I guess it's the remnant of a previous idea of Logen that wasn't developed, but it should have been edited out. It's the anti-Chekov gun! Random thoughts: How do you imagine the Shanka? Perhaps because of them being called "flatheads", I imagined them very different from humans, closer to trolls, orcs or goblins (in my first read I thought that Abercrombie was doing some kind of hobbit->kender move. That is, making up a new name for something that already had one). But the comic adaptation made them very human-like, so perhaps they are just some backward tribe. Thinking about it, couldn't it be that when Logen falls at the river the Bloody-Nine saves his life? Otherwise, it wouldn't seem realistic that he gets unconscious under water and wakes up some hours later on the river bank. It's the first reread I make with the complete map of the Circle of the World... and so far it's useless. The High Places, "the moors to the south" or the Great Northern Library could be anywhere. Why does Glokta does this? We are never told why he decided to capture and torture Salem Rews, against Superior Kalayne's instructions. After reading "A beautiful bastard", where Salem avoids to join Glokta in his sacrifice with some excuse, I wonder if it's not only a matter of tax evasion but an excuse to satisfy Glokta's vendetta. Marshall Varuz mentions having an eight year old grandson. The boy will be 37 during A Little Hatred. King Jezal should have some place at court reserved for the family of his old mentor! I wonder which were those Three Kingdoms that Harad and Bayaz fought to unite. The plural of Magi is Magus, which seems to follow the structure of Latin's second declension (dominus, domini). A lot of other names from the Old Empire seem to come from Latin too: Malacus, Zacharus, Aulcus, Darmium, Aostum, ... It seems that Abercrombie uses Latin as the tongue of the Old Empire. I'll have to keep an eye to see if any name can be translatable. Glokta already dreams with Ardee this early in TBI! I'm eager to see how their relationship works in the new trilogy.
  11. The hairy bear

    Great Houses - Valyrian Steel Sword Names?

    @White Ravens I don't know much about swordplay either, but you may be right in pointing out that if Valyrian Steel weights significantly less, it could be used in more situations. Still, I think that in close hand to hand combat or in reduced quarters greatswords would not be very useful, as I imagine you'd need plenty of space to maneuver with a weapon that is basically as large as yourself.
  12. The hairy bear

    New Forum Census

    I'm Andorran. To only one in these forums, as far as I know.
  13. The hairy bear

    Great Houses - Valyrian Steel Sword Names?

    Brightroar was a greatsword, as per ASOS: The old Kings of the Rock had owned such a weapon, but the greatsword Brightroar had been lost when the second King Tommen carried it back to Valyria on his fool’s quest. We are not told what kind of sword Lamentation was, but given that it was used in hand to hand combat in the Storming of the Dragonpit, we can safely assume that it wasn't a greatsword.
  14. The hairy bear

    Great Houses - Valyrian Steel Sword Names?

    Thanks @HelenaExMachina , I didn't rembember that one. I think that somehow this reduces the likelyhood of the Arryns owning one VS sword, although it would still be possible. The blade you mention was a longsword, and many of the VS blades that we've seen were greatswords. Greatwords would not be normally brought to battle (unless you are the Mountain), so the houses that own them would still need smaller swords to fight. We would only now of them if we witnessed an executions (such as with Ice) or if they have some rellevant history attached to it (such as Brightroar).
  15. The hairy bear

    Sex and stuff - How different is Dorne?

    Well, I don't think that reminding Robert of the existence of a boy who is actually the son and heir of Rhaegar Targaryen would qualify as "bright". He is the one who dreams of killing Rhaegar every night, and thinks that dragonspawn must be killed regardless of their age or innocence. If Jon's identity is ever revealed or suspected, it would pose great danger to both the realm and Jon. I don't see why keeping Jon close to him is a bad decision. And that is without even considering the promise Ned made to his dying sister.