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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. Yeah, fifteen years ago Martin was thinking of writing a biography of Aegon IV from his own POV and it's something that I'd really love to read. I'm not sure how well the idea would translate to TV, though.
  2. Well, I mentioned those examples to counter your claim that Westerosi noblemen wouldn't "steal a name" because they are too attached to their ones. The fact that a learned maester casually suggests that if Beren Tallhart is chosen as the Hornwood name he should change his name proves that it's something that it's not exceptional or unheard of. So, as I see it, the lack of precedent or the attachment to the previous names can't be the reason why the Tyrells didn't take the Gardener name, or Orys' descendans aren't known as Durrandons. If I were to make up an in world explanation, I'd guess that they didn't change their names because Aegon the Conqueror didn't allow it (as he would prefer the new houses ruling with a name without kingly associations) I'm not convinced at all that this would always be the case. Aegon and Benedict were not replacing one ruler, they were forging a new realm out of smaller kingdoms. There wasn't any previous prestigious kingly name that they could have taken. And a claimant who hadn't passionately hated the Targaryens as much as Robert did could have taken their name (he was a quarter Targ himself). A conqueror would do as he pleased, but a successful one would be wise enough to embrace the local trappings of power in order to ensure some stability and consolidate his power. This has been done in our real world in multiple occasions. Egypt had dozens of dynasties, across thousands of years, and even the usurping or the foreign pharaohs attached to their names the title/proto-surname Sa-RĂȘ (Son of Ra).
  3. We know there are some who did, such as Joffrey Lydden. There's also maester Luwin suggesting that Beren Tallhart changes his name to Hornwood to claim the family lands. Precisely because noble names are important throughout all of Westeros, ambitious men would be eager to change theirs if the new one serves them to consolidate their grasp on a territory. :p
  4. I think there's a lot of this in the long-lasting Westerosi dynastyes. It probably came to a point when the name Stark had become a synonym for "King of the North", and any ruler of the North claimed the name regardless of blood ties. Just as in our world Caesar became a synonym for "King of the Romans", and it was used by hundreds of subsequent emperors with no relation to the Julii House or the Caesar cognomen, including usurpers and foreigners (and it even continued to be used by German Kaisers and Russian Tsars until the 20th century). Although, to be honest, I miss an in-world explanation of why this practice seem to have been abandoned in recent times: the Baratheons renounced to the much more prestigious Dundarron name, and similarly the Tyrells weren't renamed Gardeners, Phillip Foot didn't take the Caron name, and Roose is still a Bolton after having taken Winterfell.
  5. I feel some of the suggestions proposed in this thread don't take into account the age gaps. Cersei married when she was 18, and that's about the age most Westerosi ladies seem to marry. At this point, Edmure was 11, Wylas was 9, Renly was 6, and Lancel was 2. IMHO, all of them are too young to be seriously considered for marrying Cersei.
  6. If the Weaver is a magi, I'm convinced it would be Khalul. My Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory on this matter would go something like this: After his Thousand Words are destroyed and his armies shattered, Khalul realizes that he can't defeat Bayaz fighting in the open and with the traditional weapons. So he fakes his own death and lets the Empire fall, while he focuses in destroying Bayaz's grasp over the Union from the inside. He finds an ally in Glokta, who wants to free the Union from Bayaz. He is ready to assume the risk himself, but is worried about the well-being of his adopted daughter, and demands that Khalul ensures her safety. For this reason, Khalul assigns East Wind/Ishri/Zuri to protect Savine. Glokta being on board with him would explain why the Inquisition has not only made a terrible job at exposing the Breakers/Burners, but also is the main root of rebel leadership (Pyke, Risinau, and all the practicals in Valbeck). Khalul could easily be bald, and can certainly be rich enough as to be described as having a bottomless purse. Him being the original Weaver would explain why no one commented on his unusual looks (as would be the case with Pyke). And his disappearance could be explained by the huge influx of Kantic immigrants to the Midderland (he could no longer be seen in the open, or someone would recognize him as the Prophet). Also, the fact that the Burners identify V&B as one of their primary targets (both when they take Valbeck and when they assault the convoy) suggests that it's ultimate leader knows the importance of the bank and/or has a personal vendetta against Bayaz. I doubt Pyke would fit that profile.
  7. If (and that's a big if) Littlefinger had been Robert's father, I have no doubt that Lysa would have told him. It's not something that she could keep to herself, specially once Jon was dead and she had married Petyr.
  8. I think that a point that played a significant part on Ned's deduction is the fact that Cersei (or any Queen) would have close to no opportunities to be alone with any man other than her brother Jaime. Once Ned guessed that Cersei's children were not Robert's, he would immediately would ask himself how that would be possible without the complicity of the queen's maids and servants. Once you start thinking on who could have the opportunity to have sex with Cersei repeatedly without generating rumors or creating suspicions, you are already on the right track for solving the mystery.
  9. I'm sure Tyrion thought that Arys' hatred towards the Dornishmen was a plus. He surely didn't want him to get in bed with the Martells, did he?
  10. The problem is that we just don't have any information of how taxes work in the Seven Kingdoms. In real history there were times and places that worked as you say, but there were also many other instances where the nobles were exempt from taxes, or the overlords could not rise taxes without the approval of their vassals, or the level of taxation that was established by ancestral custom was very low. Given that the Starks do not seem to have any spare money, with great parts of their castle falling in ruins and no luxury seen in their court, I'd guess that they are not receiving any huge influx of money from taxes.
  11. Not necessarily. Besides the Manderlys, other houses in the North could easily be wealthier than the Starks, such as the Dustins or the Boltons. And it's clear that Winterfell is not a trade hub (Marillion says that a singer has nothing to do there), and we know that Winter Town is almost empty during spring and summer. We also know that the Starks have passed centuries without reconstructing their fleet (since King Brandon the Burner set it on fire), or that many sections of Winterfell are in ruins. It seems obvious that the Starks are not particularly wealthy, and they would never be able to compete with the bigger Southern houses when bidding for the services of a sellsword company.
  12. This thread has made me realize that Jaime's constant half-joking thought that Moon Boy may be fucking Cersei can be seen in a whole new light if he is aware of Mushroom's story.
  13. I hope the difference in costuming is not too "subtle". The fashion among the nobility should have changed noticeably in such a long time, and it would be a nice way to make the two shows distinguishable. I'd love if they took the opportunity to use simpler designs and more vivid colors. I'm happy to read that George is optimistic enough to plan for finishing the whole D&E series. And of course, I wouldn't like another good story spoiled.
  14. Probably not that much. The Karstarks seem to own a significantly bigger territory than the New Gift, located in a more Southern position that presumably has warmer climate, and they also have a large coast that they can use for fishing and trade. And yet, they only provided 2,300 men to Robb's army. The mountain clansmen, also with a much greater territory to the South, are said to be able to provide between 2 and 3 thousand men. I don't see how that would represent a cost for Winterfell. Currently, the gift is abandoned, and it does not even belong to Winterfell. And if the plan was succesful, it would prevent future raids against lands that actually pay taxes to the Starks. It seems natural that this idea only came late in Eddard's rule, for many reasons: Right after the rebellion, the North would have suffered demographic losses that would make the plan unfeasible. Right after the rebellion, the Wall had just received a significant influx of recruits (Thorne, Rikker, and other defenders of KL), so the decline of the Night Watch wouldn't be as notorious. Right after the rebellion, Benjen still wouldn't be the First Ranger, so the Watch wouldn't have such a direct connection to Winterfell. As others have suggested, this idea would work nicely as a way to leave an inheritance to one of Ned's younger children. That wouldn't be a pressing issue at the beginning of Ned's rule. It depends on how you look at it. There was a period between 170 and 220 when the North was really unstable and there were many lords in quick succession. But in the immediate past before Ned's ascension, between 226 and 282, there had been only two lords (Edwyle and Rickard) averaging 28 years of rule each. Ned could easily expect to rule even more time than that, given that he lived in a peaceful time and he was only 18 when his father was killed.
  15. I like them detailed and sharp.
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