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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. Technically, the "Stark lands" are the entire North, so obviously they rule over a population greater than the Boltons. The Boltons surely have a feudal structure of bannermen under them (they were kings, after all), so we should not confuse the population that is directly controlled by you with the ones that owe you fealty indirectly through different layers of intermediate lords. For instance, the lands of houses Glover and Tallhart are probably what we could consider as historical Stark lands. They are very close to Winterfell, their rulers are not even entitled to the lordly title, they include the Wolfswood, and Ned is ready to dispose of their men at a moment's notice when he needs to fortify Moat Caitlin in AGOT. Other lands of lords that are very close to Winterfell (such as erwyn) could fall into the same category of lands of Stark rule that are just ruled by local administrators with very limited power.
  2. The time that took to build Dragonstone is particularly difficult to assess, since we are told that it was build using Valyrian sorcery, liquefying the stones to shape them at will. But we have the reference of the Red Keep. FiB tells us that Aegon ordered to begin the construction of the Red Keep in 35 AC, and Maegors finishes at 45 AC. So that's 10 years. As @Lady_Qohor explains, though, in all likelihood additional improvements were added in the following centuries.
  3. I don't think the Arryns are likely. Daella, the eldest of the sisters, was born at 199. Given that Jon Arryn was born at 225, that would mean that the only way to realistically introduce one of the princess into the Arryn family tree would be making her Jasper's wife/Jon's mother. That's something that I believe that would have been mentioned. (Although if it was the case there would be a nice irony in Robert's irrational hatred towards the Targaryens, given that both his father (Steffon) and his surrogate father (Jon) would be half-Targ. Martell would seem a likelier guess. If Elia had a quarter or a eight of Targaryen blood (plus whatever came from Daenerys), it would help to explain why Aerys chose her as Rhaegar's bride. That's an interesting line of thought, but unfortunately Aemon served at more places than the Citadel or Dragonstone. We are told that after forging his chain he went at "some lordling's court". Then, he was summoned to court until he decided to go with his brother Daeron at Dragonstone. And we do not know what Aemon did between Daeron's and Maekar's death. Makes a lot of sense, as the World Book tells us that "In the fateful year 259 AC, the king summoned many of those closest to him to Summerhall". But it would be very improbable that Daella and Rhaella's lines ended at Summerhall. At 259 they would be in their late fifties, presumably with a healthy number of children and grandchildren. It'd be a strecht having all of them at Summerhall and all of them perishing there. Plus, that would mean the extinction of two not insignificant noble houses that we should have heard about.
  4. Not willing to derail this interesting thread, but I've heard George himself talking about how he likes to introduce Red Herrings in his story. I don't quite recall the particulars, but I think he was discussing the first book misleading clues about the murder of Jon Arryn: George Clegane killing Hugh of the Vale, Robert asking Tywin to foster Sweetrobin... He has also discussed about him using red herrings in other cons or interviews.
  5. It's funny how you accuse Robb for failing to take the necessary risks to rescue Ned, while you deride him for rushing to rescue his uncle. By your logic, Robb should have rescued neither Ned nor Edmure, since their deaths would mean that he would inherit both the North and the Riverlands. Of course Robb has not been raised that way. He would try to rescue both of them. If one of the rescues was easier, and its success allowed to recruit more men to confront the other with better chances of success, it's obvious which one should be addressed first. Stafford is described as an incapable old dullard, and his army composed of "raw green leavies". I doesn't seem to me that they would suppose that much of a threat to the Riverlands, as Robb's army (the one that defeated them easily in the realm timeline) would be there to defend them. You are making wild speculations and treating them as foregone conclusions. If Robb is able to defeat Tywin at the Green Fork (although Tywin was more experience, has chosen the ground and his army bigger), and if Robb is able to give the Lannisters pursuit after his victory (although his troops would be exhausted after an extenuating march while Tywin's men had spent the last days just waiting for them), and if Tywin chooses to return to Harrenhal via de Ruby Ford (Tywin would know if he's being followed, and could decide to use other potential crossings to the south. For instance, could have retreated to Saltpans) and if Tywin is incapable of mounting a solid defense at the Ruby Ford that allows his army to cross sacrificing a small part of it and if, in this second confrontation Robb wins again.... then yes, then the part of Tywin's army that would not have time to cross may be anihilated. That woud still leave you the part of the army that had crossed to deal with, including most of the command and the elite fighters, as they would be the ones who would cross first. Agreed. I was only replying to the claim that if Tywin had pursued Roose's army, it would have been "annihilated". Tywin knew that such a chase is a risky endeavor and it's outcome wasn't a done deal. It could turn out badly for him. And precisely because he isn't reckless, he didn't pursue.
  6. Tywin is a ruthless veteran general. If there had been the possibility to annihilate the Northern army without significant costs, he would have taken it. Of course not, but Robb had to take a chance. Attacking Jaime was a much safer bet, because he was rash, inexperienced as a commander, and besieging Riverrun forced him to divide his forces in three parts. Robb was a 16 year old that had never led armies before. He absolutely need to win his first battles, or his men would lose confidence in him. Attacking the enemy that he had bigger chances of defeating was a very sensible decision. This is where you assessment is most mistaken, IMO. Riverrun had an enormous strategical importance. Rising it's siege freed the leadership of the Riverlands (Hoster, Edmure, Tytos...) and brought the riverlords to your cause. If the Lannisters had taken the castle, it would have been a huge moral blow and it would have freed Jaime's army. Not true. After freeing Riverrun and defeating Jaime's army, a combined Northern and Riverlands army had more options to threaten KL than a Northern army alone. Not to mention that if Ned had been alive, trading him for Jaime would have been a very feasible prospect. It's the same position in which Edmure gave the Lannisters a scolding in the Battle of the Fords.. It was not. Robb had much greater chances of winning against Jaime's army than Tywin's. Jaime was less experienced, had his forces divided, and to deal with the defenders of Riverrun. You seem to assume under the assumption that the losing army on a battle is annihilated. It never worked that way. In medieval battles, the average number of casualties on the losing side amounted to about 5% of the soldiers. When it was a really severe defeat, they could rise to a 10% or so. So, if against all odds Robb had defeated Tywin's army at the Green Fork, then Tywin would have made a more or less orderly defeat to Harrenhal and would have entrenched himself there. There's no realistic scenario in which Tywin's army suddenly ceases to exist and Robb has a free uncontested pass towards King's Landing.
  7. I see this quote comes from the wiki. I believe it's wrong (and if no one corrects me on that one, I'm going to change it). We are never told that Vermithor and Silverwing became a mated pair. And it's only at Tumbleton where Vermithor and Silverwing coiled about one another, without any indication that this had anything to do with mating, or that it was something that they did on a recurrent basis. I don't think that's the case. We first hear of Rhaena having received an egg from Syrax during the Black Council, which took place at the 3rd moon of 129. And Aegon II receives news that Jeyne Arryn, Rhaena and Morning have assembled an army by the 12th moon of 130. But of course, Morning could have hatched much earlier in 130 or even in 129.
  8. By the way, this is my own speculative gentree for the first generations of Targaryen dragons that I've made.
  9. I tend to interpret the following passage of Gyldayn's history as confirming that there were no other dragons at Dragonstone at the time of the Conquest. Of the five dragons who had flown with Aenar the Exile from Valyria, only one survived to Aegon’s day: the great beast called Balerion, the Black Dread. The remaining two dragons— Vhagar and Meraxes—were younger, hatched on Dragonstone itself. Emphasis mine. It's not conclusive, I admit. But think it fits the rest of the story better (the next Targaryen princes all rode newborn dragons, there were no dragons comparable to Vhagar's size during the dance, etc.) The number of dragons in the early Targaryen years that were never ridden but are no longer alive during the Dance of Dragons is a troubling issue. The "dozen hatchlings born on Dragonstone" in 31 AC, then two more in 37 AC, the three eggs from Dreamfyre on 51 AC,... all of them should be kicking and running by 129. Some disappearances can certainly be attributed to the Cannibal, but I feel it's a little too much. Regardless of whether Vhagar could change her sex at will, at the time of Silverwing's bith, Quicksilver and Vhagar wouldn't have a lot of opportunities to mate. From Fire and Blood: Prince Aenys was the heir apparent, and King Aegon kept him close by his side. As the king moved about the realm from castle to castle, so did the prince. Prince Maegor remained with his mother, sitting by her side when she held court. Queen Visenya and King Aegon were oft apart in those years. When he was not on a royal progress, Aegon would return to King’s Landing and the Aegonfort, whilst Visenya and her son remained on Dragonstone. I don't know if Martin intended it that way or not, but I think it's very cool that while Aegon is alive, Balerion mostly mates with the dragons of people the Conqueror would spend time with (Rhaenys, Aenys); but when Balerion passes to Maegar's control he starts mating with Visenya's Vhagar. I believe the most likely parents for Sheepstealer are Balerion and Vhagar. Vermithor fled with Jaehaerys from Dragonstone at 44 AC, to hid in Storm's End for a few years and then reside at KL. There would be a very small window of opportunity for Vermithor to mate with Vhagar, and he would be a very young dragon by then. Also, with most species it's the most strong animal who is able to mate with the desirable females. Balerion and Vhagar makes much more sense, IMO. For simila reasons, I also thing that Balerion and Vhagar are the likeliest parents for the "red dragons" Meleys and Caraxes. And as I said upthread, since Balerion's secondary color very possibly red, it would make for a nice match. Sadly, I don't think we can take that for granted. Glydayn callsQuicksilver a "young dragon" at the time of her death, when she was past thirty. Then the Black Dread fell upon her from above, his jaws closing round her neck as he ripped one wing from her body. Screaming and smoking, the young dragon plunged to earth, and Prince Aegon with her. And come on. I'm even older than that and I'm still young!! I assign the two grey dragons (Seasmoke and Grey Ghost) to Silverwing and the Cannibal. My rationale is that they both appear in the Dragonstone area (if they had been Vermithor, they would have born in the Dragonpit). We know that during her quarrels with her husband, Alysanne resided at Dragonstone. This would fit the time where Seasmoke was born. In that time, the Cannibal would be the biggest male dragon around the area, and of course grey and silver would produce some greyish color. My own theory is that the yellow dragons come from Vermithor and Meleys. They were together at KL around te thime they were born, and both Meleys and Sunfyre have pink as secondary color. We don't know how much time passes until an egg becomes petrified, but it's far from immediate. We know Dreamfyre produced a clutch of eggs at the Fair Isle. Then Rhaena started to feel uncomfortable and decided to go to Casterly Rock, where she spends a considerable amount of time. Then she goes to KL and then to Dragonstone, where the eggs finally hatch. All that should amount to more time that the period passed between the later Rhaena receving Syrax's egg and Morning's birth at the Vale.
  10. Exactly. No doubt he enjoyed it, but proclaiming himself kings was Renly's moral obligation. Otherwise, the realm would be left between the sadistic bully or the fanatic iconoclast who wanted to impose his foreign religion.
  11. Oberyn Martell is not a realistic option. At the moment he was the heir to Dorne, and Doran's health had never been good. No way he could join the KG in this situation. Not to mention, of course, that Oberyn would never swear an oath of chastity.
  12. I like how all the dragons from the earlier generations seem to nicely fit as offspring of either silver Meraxes (Quicksilver, Dreamfyre, Silverwing) or bronzish Vhagar (Vermithor, Shepstealer) It's only with in later generations that more diversity in the dragons coloring begin to appear, which I believe is how it would work in real life. If Balerion's secondary color was red (which doesn't seem unlikely, for the reasons you mention upthread and also because it makes plenty of sense that Aegon's banner was inspired in Balerion's colors), then both Meleys and Caraxes could be the offspring of Balerion and Vhagar. I may be wrong, but I think that we are missing Stormcloud's color too.
  13. While the first three books could benefit from some revisions, I think that it's only at AFFC that the series started going out of hand. This is the book where there's a major shift in terms of focus and pace, and there are multiple chapters devoted to side stories that do not move the central plot forward. I don't see the number of secondary plots or characters as problematic by themselves. They flesh out the story, and help to build a greater scope. It's only a problem is when you delve too much time on them. For instance, in ASOS we first hear of the Defiance of Duskendale. And it's fine, because it's just an offhand reference that doesn't take more than a couple of lines. However, in AFFC, there's half a chapter devoted to describing the conflict, in a history lesson that doesn't relate to the plot and that would have fitted much better in the World Book. Or in ACOK, when Davos is introduced as a POV, he gets only 3 chapters. As it should be, because he is not a central character (and neither is Stannis). But in Feast Brienne receives 8 chapters. I still think that the five year gap was a good idea, and that Martin's first instinct was the right one. If a five year gap was too ambitious (Martin claimed that for some storylines it wouldn't made sense that nothing happened for 5 years), at least a "few months gap" would have made much sense. We didn't need to spend the first dozen of chapters of a book with the direct aftermath to the events in ASOS. The book would work much better if Doran had already imprisoned the Sand Snakes, the kingsmoot had been already summoned, Tywin was already buried, etc. And in this fourth book, the characters where the gap did work (Sansa, Arya, Bran) should not appear. The available sample chapters for TWOW of both Arya and Sansa were originally intended to be the continuation of their stories after ASOS, and are both are excellent chapters. The chapters we got in Feast... not so much. They are wonderfully written, but they are only showing how the girls are trained, and they feel like filler.
  14. There are real people that have been stabbed multiple times and have survived without need of magical intervention. None of the wounds that Jon receives are necessarily mortal, or imply any kind of disfigurement. That said, I agree with your assessment that it will be difficult for George to resolve that plot point satisfactorily. If Jon is easily resurrected, his death will be seen as a cheap cliffhanger. If he comes back horribly scarred or zombie-like, I don't see how he will be able to work as a POV or serve worthwhile role in the future events. And I don't know how it will be possible to reconcile all this with George's statement that Gandalf should have remained dead. Sometimes I wonder if the best George could do is subvert all expectations and do what no one expects him to: leave Jon dead.
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