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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

    Decline in gravitas among major characters as series progresses

    The abandonment of the five-year gap may have some of the blame of this. We were supposed to start the fourth book of the series not only with all the characters five year older (Jon and Dany in their early twenties, Jaime and Cersei in their early forties), but all of them already well established in the new positions that they earned at the end of book 3. So we were supposed to start with already a five-year experience for Jon as Lord Commander, Dany as queen of Mereen, Cersei as regent, etc. That should have brought a lot of "gravitas" to the table. But scrapping the original plan forced George to fill the following books with scenes were the protagonists were unexperienced, insecure, questioned by everyone, and in learning stages. That is, as gravitas-less as you can get.
  2. The hairy bear

    Shaera in Aerys´ rule

    The World Book is very biaised, but it is biaised against Aerys II. It is written as a present for the king that overthrew him, so maester Yendel would put every effort to justify the rebellion and depict the Mad King in the worst possible light. Yandel's main source on what happened in the court was Maester Pycelle, a Tywin fanboy that also has every interest to bash the old dynasty. If there was any incident in Aerys youth that showed any sign of early madness or sadism, Pycelle would ceirtanly know it and would contribute to spread it. If Aerys had been a "Joffrey", Pycelle would know it, Yandel would know it, and the World of Ice and Fire would delve pages on the matter.
  3. The hairy bear

    Justice, Lack Thereof, and Mixed Allegiances

    Robar explains himself to Catelyn when they meet: “My lord father owes Lady Lysa fealty, as does his heir. A second son must find glory where he can.” Ser Robar shrugged. “A man grows weary of tourneys.” Robar was a young tourney knight of age with Renly. He probably admired him and was his friend, so he'd jump at the opportunity of joining his cause. Who would take action against Loras? In Westeros, as in our Middle Ages, there were no independent courts of law. If Lord Cuy had any grievance, he should bring it to Lord Mace Tyrell. If he found that no justice was being served with Mace, his only other option would be to bring it to the attention of the king. And as Peach King says, no king would antagonize the Tyrells to defend a knight murdered on the service of a rival king. You probably can't. But then again, can you be sure of anyone's person's loyalty at all? Medieval wars, and particularly the War of Roses (which is the primary inspiration for ASOIAF) had multiple families changing allegiances back and forth depending on who offered them the most or on who seemed to be on top at a particular moment. A wannabe king just has to deal with that. So he would try to ensure that it was in his main bannermen best self-interest to support him. If a family decides to send men at each camp, they do so because they ensure that they will be in good terms with the eventual winner. Therefore, they are very unlikely to betray any of the sides. The best you can do is convince them that if you win you'll keep their privileges and pardon the losing part of their family, and then, use them as much as you can to further your cause.
  4. The hairy bear

    Is Mace Really an Oaf?

    I agree with you. Also, so far in the series, he has always managed to bet on the right horse and adapt quickly to changing cirumstances. Crowning Renly, then wainting until he got an offer from the Lannisters, and when in the Council playing his cards well until he managed to get up to three more lords from the Reach in the Small Council.
  5. The hairy bear

    The wealthiest family by region before AGOT

    Thanks Ran, that was certainly a great read. I do agree with your assessment that he puts too much weight into the urbanization ratio, without considering that the maps are not supposed to be complete. That said, I completely agree with the idea that the Westeros that George designed (single language, little cultural diversity, stable centralized government, long dynasties,...) would have been better served if all the distances had been halved.
  6. The hairy bear

    The wealthiest family by region before AGOT

    To be honest, I've always found that Ran's estimates for the population of the North are a little too high . IIRC, one of the methods that were used was to apply to each of the kingdoms the average population per square area of a similar region in medieval real history. Another method was to use Gibbon's estimation that any given state could field at maximum one hundredth of its population. But I don't think any of those calculations are taking into account the unusual seasonal pattern of Westeros. The North can be at a similar latitude than Scandinavia, but I'm sure the Scandinavian population in the Middle Ages would have been much lower if every twenty years you'd have a couple of four-year winters. I figure that this should be completely devastating to the population numbers, specially among the oldest. I also imagine that the North's population has a life expectation for the no-nobles much shorter than in the other kingdoms, or in medieval Europe. A lucky Northern commoner may survive one long Winter, but is very unlikely to survive two. When the series start, they are about to begin the tenth year of summer, so we don't get to see the effects of a long winter. But we know that just thirty years ago there was a decade (272-282) with seven years of winter! (the "cruel" three year winter of Tyrion's birth, the two years before the False Spring, and the two years after). The fact that there is any commoner in the North older than 30 seems miraculous to me. Wow. That sounds interesting. Is this study, or at least the conclusions, available anywhere?
  7. I honestly think that the colors have absolutely no hidden meaning. Not everything has to be a a hidden hint or an allegory of some past event. In my experience, George doesn't write that way. The dance being between blacks and greens make perfect sense by itself, given that the conflict was between an essentially Targaryen line and one whose support came basically from the Reach. Yes, from the first one, with the only difference of Viserys II being Aegon III's fourth son instead of his younger brother.
  8. The hairy bear

    Shouldnt great houses have numerous wards?

    Jon Arryn lived in King's Landing with Lysa and Robert before he died. I assume that the reason he didn't take more wards was that his duties as Hand took him most of the time. And living in the royal court, there would be already enough nobles from all Westeros to establish lasting friendships.
  9. The hairy bear

    What if Ned Died During the Rebellion

    It must be remembered that Benjen was 13-14 during the Rebellion. So in the extremely unlikely case that he had joined the Northern army, surely he wouldn't have been entrusted to run to King's Landing, lift the siege of Storm's End, or find Lyanna.
  10. I agree that Daeron should not be described as mad. Otherwise we would have to call mad every conqueror in history: Alexander, Caesar, Charlemane, Attila, Gengis Khan,... Surely they all were aggressive, rashful, over proud, and probably megalomaniacs. But calling them mad is probably going to far.
  11. The hairy bear

    Robb instead of Catelyn

    IIRC, Littlefinger discovered that Catelyn and Rodrik were coming in secret before they even reach King's Landing. So, in all likelihood, if it had been Robb and Rodrik they would have also been intercepted by Littlefinger's man just as they reached KL, and everything would have gone more or less the same. Littlefinger didn't help Catelyn. Quite the opposite. He took advantage of her past relationship, and manipulated her in order to gain the trust of Ned. If it had been Robb, I also don't think much would have changed here. Littlefinger would have offered to help Robb get in contact with his father, he would have accepted (it wouldn't be possible to smuggle into the Red Keep under a false identity), and at their meeting Littlefinger would have lied again about the ownership of the blade. I don't see why. This is a medieval world when the faces of the noblemen are just not known. In King's Landing, only the people who part of Roberts retinue when he visited Winterfell could recognize Robb. That's harder to say. It would be much more difficult for Robb to summon the Rivermen to their side (Catelyn was Hoster's favorite daughter and had been heiress to Riverrun for years, while Robb was not known in the Riverlands). Perhaps he would have tried to challenge Tyrion to a duel, but once he refused, I'm not sure what would happen.
  12. The hairy bear

    Which crown will secret Targaryens wear when they take the throne?

    Aegon I's crown was lost at Dorne 150 years ago when Daeron I was killed. If the Dornish had the crown, one would expect that they would have given it back when Daeron II married them into the realm. So I'd say it's very unlikely that we'll see this crown again. I'd assume that the only crowns that would be available at King's Landing are the golden circlet of Aegon III and V, the spiked crown of Maekar and Jaehaerys, and the cumbersome crown of Aegon IV and the Mad King. Given the bad press that those last kings have, if I were king I'd go for the spikes (If I want to give a martial vibe) or the circlet (if I'd wanted to seem fair and peaceful)
  13. The hairy bear

    how inbred is daenerys?

    Jaehaerys was "deleted" in a first season episode where maester Aemon explained to Jon that the mad King had been his nephew and Rhaegar his grandnephew. When they were writing that, B&B they did not even conceive that this could become a problem when developing prequel shows. In some interviews they even admitted that at the time their worries were whether HBO would cancel the show before they were able to shoot the Red Wedding (their favorite part of the books). So probably they thought that "nephew and grandnephew" was easier to say and understand than "grandnephew and grand-grandnephew", and did not give the issue any second thought.
  14. Answer 1: He promised not to tell anyone. Answer 2: Sharing this secret with Catelyn would make her accomplice to treason. If anyone found out and it could be proved that she knew, it would be punishable by death. Why would he want to put her in such a position? Answer 3: Ned could not trust Catelyn, at least in the beginning of their relationship. The hardly knew each other when they married, and when they reunited again in Winterfell Jon was already there. NEd could not know what kind of woman was Cat back then. And even though both grow to love each other with time, what would be the point of revealing the truth to Cat a decade after? Answer 4: The only good way of hiding an important secret is not telling anyone. Ned may have decided that Cat was completely trustworthy and tell her. And then Cat could feel that she needed to confide with Septa Mordane. Mordane could have told Septon Chayle, and he surely may have trusted maester Luwin, who in turn... when lives are at stake, it's better not to gamble.
  15. The hairy bear

    How are Kingsguard chosen?

    And why would they do that? If Ser Barristan and even the kingslayer were allowed to rejoin Robert's kingsguard without any problem, why would they want to resort to a fake death for anyone else? But anyway, this would require a conspiration that at least should include Ser Barristan, Jaime, Varys, anyone at court from the Tragaryen era, all the highborn people from the Crownlands and the King's Lander commoners who had ever attended any of the frequent public acts where the kingsguard appear. Just not possible.