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The hairy bear

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

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  1. And why is that? Because it doesn't fit with your preconceived notions of how Westeros should be?
  2. I think this is one of those instances where the unusual seasonal pattern of Martin's world can provide a good justification. During a long winter, the seas around all the Northernmost parts of the North would get completely frozen. Not only the fleet would be rendered useless, but all ships on the water would be destroyed. Small fishing ships could be moved up to a dry dock, but that would be very hard to do with war galleys. Building a sizable fleet would be very expensive and hard to maintain, without much gain: the Northern coast is huge and the ironborn will always be better seafarers. They could still pillage any coastal settlement while the fleet is miles away, and be back home before. It's also worth considering that the Northmen wouldn't have let Brandon the Burner destroy the fleet if it was a key item to the defense of the kingdom. It seems to me that having a fleet never really helped the North much in preventing raids from the Ironborn, and that the tale of the two Brandons is just a colorful excuse to justify the absolute naval superiority of the Ironborn. Fire and Blood establishes that Brandon the burner lived "thousands of years" before the conquest: Thousands of years before the Conquest, when the Kings of Winter still reigned in the North, Brandon the Shipwright had built an entire fleet of ships to cross the Sunset Sea. He took them west himself, never to return. His son and heir, another Brandon, burned the yards where they were built, and was known as Brandon the Burner forevermore. Complaining that the North doesn't have many coastal cities is similar to complaining that there are no big settlements on the Northern coast of Canada or Russia. Those are inhospitable places, with difficult communications, and with land that produces little agricultural output. Large agglomerations of people just can't be sustained. This map may be useful to get some perspective on the issue. The North is equated with the Scandinavian countries, and if we look at the population of their capitals around thee 15th century, we see that Oslo had around 5,000 inhabitants, Stockholm had 7,000, and Copenhagen around 30,000. Again, considering that the conditions in Westeros are even harder due to the extra-long winters, it makes plenty of sense that no big cities have appeared, and the only big settlements (White Harbor and Barrowton) are located in the Southernmost part of the North.
  3. A volcanic eruption sometimes takes then form of a sudden explosion, which can send rocks at velocity faster than 200-300 m/sec. Then, they can emit poisonous gases that could also be the cause of the death of dragons. It appears that the Doom of Valyria combined both elements, since we are told that "every hill for five hundred miles exploded, filling the air with ash and smoke and fire". And we are talking of 14 volcanoes exploding simultaneously. It's not unrealistic at all to assume that all living beings on the area had to die.
  4. I'd like to see how the planned couples before the war would interact with each other: Robert and Lyanna, Brandon and Cat, Ned and Ashara.
  5. Perhaps the current rulers of Harrenhal do not own "vast lands". When Maegor gave Harrenhal to House Towers: "Maegor named him Lord of Harrenhal (...) though its domains were much diminished, as the king granted Lord Harroway’s Town to Lord Alton Butterwell, and the rest of the Harroway holdings to Lord Darnold Darry". It's complicated to figure out how the balance of power evolved in the area. At one point the Butterwells lost Lord Harroway's Town to the Footes, but still they became very wealthy. Then they lost nine tenths of their holdings at the 2nd Blackkfyre Rebellion, and somehow eventually Lord Walter Frey also became very rich. But I'd guess that at the present time, after being in the losing side of the rebellion, the land controlled by Harrenhal is unlikely to be particularly big. The fact that Littlfinger is not interested in moving there would confirm this.
  6. Nonsense. It has already been explained in this thread how Ned's actions were notable and out of the ordinary. Being outraged for the murder of children when everyone else just saw it as politically convenient, giving one of the most precious and unique items in the continent back to the family of a fallen foe without even asking for a ransom, returning home after winning at the rebellion without asking for any title or compensation... All those actions are high-profile actions that would be far from the norm among Westerosi nobility. It's completely logical that Ned would gain a reputation of honorability. And although I only know George from his public persona, I'm fairly confident that in terms of personality and behaviour he is quite apart from the strict, cold and stern Northern lord. He is on the record several times saying that the character he likes to think he's closer to is Tyrion, although he admits that probably it's Sam.
  7. It has been calculated that the Battle of the Blackwater takes place in 18/Sep/299 (using our calendar), and that Stannis decided to depart to the North on 4/Jan/300. Just two and a half months. It's not that much time. And it's not like Stannis had many options after his resounding defeat. During this time Tywin also had many pressing issues: take over the government, rebuild King's Landing, reward his allies.... And in any case, he needed the Tyrells and their bannermen to assault Dragonstone, and the Tyrells wouldn't cooperate until Joffrey and Margaery had been wed. And Tywin wasn't in a hurry. Most of his supporters had abandoned him at the time (surely Tywin had intervened in many cases), and Stannis only had 1,500 men with him at Dragonstone. He could harm Tywin in no significant way. I don't see any problem with the timeline, to be honest. The wildings were not an army, but a massive group of refugees fleeing from the Others. There were women and children among them. They were tired, hungry and ill-equipped, and had been caught by surprise. Their elite fighters had already been shattered in their previous assaults to the Wall. They were were undisciplined, had never fought together before, and had never faced an army of armored knights. Again, I don't find the battle's result unrealistic at all.
  8. It was not unusual to have women die for childbirth complications several days after the delivery, due to post-partum infections. For instance, Elizabeth of York died nine days after giving birth, or Lucrecia Borgia died ten days afterward.
  9. @Julia H., We can be assured that Lyanna really died from fever. From Ned's own thoughts: He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes. So I think you are right on the point to assume that Ned just said that her sister died from fever, without needing any further explanation.
  10. Very good question. It would be hard to believe that Varys didn't knew. From ASOS: ”My Sworn Brothers were all away, you see, but Aerys liked to keep me close. I was my father’s son, so he did not trust me. He wanted me where Varys could watch me, day and night. So I heard it all.” He remembered how Rossart’s eyes would shine when he unrolled his maps to show where the substance must be placed. Garigus and Belis were the same. Jaime also says that Lord Chelsted discovered the plot because "he was not utterly stupid". And the caches of wildfire were hidden in underground chambers and in the passages under the Red keep, which is clearly an zone that Varys knows and oversees very closely. It's very hard to speculate about Varys because his ultimate goal is inscrutable from us, but it would seem that: Varys was OK with Aerys blowing up King's Landing. It's notable that after Tywin is allowed to enter the city, he disappears and made no attempt to evacuate from the city Aerys or Rhaegar's kids (which is something that he could probably have done without much difficulty). The fact that he didn't reveal where the hidden caches were after the war would suggest that he plans to use them to his own benefit at some point.
  11. Canon Claude, I'm not saying they couldn't both support the same side. In fact, I believe that it's probably more likely that they both followed Hoster's commands. But we shouldn't discard the possibility that they didn't. When do you think it should have been mentioned? I may missremember, but I can't think of any particular moment when this should have been brought up naturally. Both the Brackens and the Blackwoods had been treacherously attacked by the Lannisters without warning. By the time Robb was crowned, the Lannisters had taken Raventree Hall while Gregor Clegane had slaughtered Jonos's smallfolk and had left Stone Hedge "a smoking ruin". It's not that they chose a side in the war: they had no other option than to join Robb. There's a pattern in past wars of them choosing different sides (Dance, Blackfyre Rebellion,...), and using the conflict as an excuse to attack their neighbours. For this reason, I think that there's some likelyhood of them joining different sides in the Rebellion.
  12. Yandel reports a rumor, not "official story". And in any case, he reports that Hightower and Whent died with Dayne. Of course Yandel does not intend to imply that Eddard killed all three singlehandedly. That would be an epic feat that would merit a whole chapter of his book. The presence of more people in Eddard's side is implicit, as I see it. And in any case, what other explanation could there be for the deaths of those five noblemen? After the fall of King's Landing, there was no further violence. The lords of the Reach had bent their knee as soon as Ned arrived at Storm's End. Now, imagine if you are a part of Ned's army. Ned departs with six lords one morning. After a few days, he returns without them and anounces that they are dead. You hear that the three remaining KG have been killed. Even if Ned and Howland do not give detailed explanations of what has happened, I think that most people around could conect the dots easily and assume that the five dead guys were killed fighting the KG.
  13. Probably not. But the fact that Willam Dustin, Ethan Glover, Martyn Cassel, Theo Wull and Mark Ryswell died there has to be. Eddard departed from his camp with them one day, and returned without them. He returned Arthur's sword to the Daynes, Dustin's steed to his wife, and surely the personal effects of the rest were also given back to their families. Stone cairns were build for all the decesased. Yandel's World Book records that Arthur Dayne "died nobly with his sworn brothers at the end of Robert's Rebellion, after Lord Eddard Stark was said to have killed him in single combat." Even if Eddard's companions are not mentioned, at least in the North everyone would know that five other men died there that day.
  14. I'd assume that there are two lines of thought regarding to what happened at the Tower of Joy. The cynics will remind that it was a seven against three fight. Arthur Dayne may have been easily been killed while fighting several men at once. Even if we swallow the story that Ned killed Arthur in single combat, this would have taken place after Arthur had fought other oponents. He would likely be wounded and/or exhausted by then. The romantics will claim that Arthur realized his fight was lost. Aerys and Rhaegar had died, an the loyalists had surrendered. Duty required him to die fighting, but he had no hopes of prevailing. Even if he managed to kill Ned and the others, many more would came for him. He knew Ned was honorable, that Ashara was in love with him, and that he only wanted to help Lyanna. So he decided to allow Ned to kill him. To gain the respect of your peers and to contribute to heal the wounds of a civil war is probably much more valuable than a famed sword. Ned didn't use Ice at the Tower of Joy. Ice is a two-handed ceremonial sword, used only for beheadings. George confirms it here: 2) Asked if Ned ever used Ice in battle. George points out it was a greatsword, very large and cumbersome, a ceremonial sword for beheading people more than a fighting sword, so he suggests that it was "probably too heavy and clumsy" to use unless you're the Mountain. So, I think that's a pretty clear "no".
  15. They were very split. Perhaps it was close to be evenly split. Among the loyalist there where the Whents, the Darrys, the Mootons, the Goodbrooks, and the Rygers. The status of some of those houses has gone low after the Rebellion, but at time they were very powerful. The Whents where the richest lords of the Riverlands, and the Mootons controlled it's most important town and port. Also, geographically it seems as if the loyalists controlled the entire south-eastern half of the Riverlands. We know that the Freys remained neutral until a winner had emerged, and the Lychesters divided their forces between the two belligerents. Meanwhile, the only bannerman that we are sure that supported the Tullys are the Mallisters. That would leave the Blackwoods, the Brackens, the two Vances and the Pipers as the major Riverland houses that we don't know who they fighted for. Most of them likely declared for the Tullys, but given historical precedent, it wouldn't be surprising that Blackwoods and Brackens choose different sides (perhaps the Blackwoods were loyalists, given that Aerys II was 1/4th Targaryen).
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