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The hairy bear

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  1. Fair enough, although if I'm not wrong we only hear about that from a minor house's septon. He was only speculating, and, at the end, there was no war that we know of. Also, given that the incident took place just a decade after the Redgrass Field, I'd also say that there's grounds to question the "accidentally" part. It's easy to assume that, at the very least, Ser Otho was exceedingly vicious. So the Blackwoods would be justified in their grudges, I'd say. Agains that we have: the Blackwoods being the leaders of the rebellion against Humfrey Teague, the Brackens betraying the riverlords and joining Harwyn Hoare, the Brackens joining the greens at the Dance, Missy being "the best loved" of Aegon's mistress, Bethany being unfaithful to Aegon IV, the Brackens rebelling with the Blackfyres, Serenei choosing Bloodraven over Bittersteel, Egg marrying a Blackwood, the wise hand Tywin supporting the Blackwoods while the mad king sided with the Brackens, the Brackens abandoning the Starks after the war, Tytos is depicted as learned and honorable while Jonos lies with whores... It's a very one-sided situation. The initial advantage in dragons is not that huge if you dismiss the dragons belonging to underage children and you consider the size of the dragons (Vhagar was the biggest one, and Dreamfyre would be the second). It'd be Vhagar, Dreamfyre, Sunfyre and Daeron on one side versus Caraxes, Syrax, Meleys, Vermax and Arrax on the other. I'd say those odds are about even. At the beginning of the Dance we are told that Rhaenyra was to weak to ride after delivering. Then, the news of Luce's death leave her in a state of depression for some time. But we know that, eventually, she rode with Syrax to the Stormlands. It's a pity that Glyndayn decided not to write about that part of the war, but It seems reasable to assume that this was Rhaenyra trying to punish Borros. I like to thing that when she reached Storm's End he saw that Borros had installed dozens of ballistas on the drum tower, and she decided to leave. Not the Conqueror, nor any other Targaryen king before, did ever use a dragon indiscriminately against civilians. I think doing that would have been a very bad idea. We are told that the widespread revolt in King's Landing and the assault to the dragonpit was a result of the sack of Tumbleton. If instead of a brutal sack of a market town, it had been the deliberate destruction of two of the greatest Westerosi cities, commoners may have reacted with even more violence.
  2. I completely agree that the Blacwood-Bracken feud is absurdly skewed. Every time that there's a conflict between the houses, the Blackwoods are on the most fair, reasonable and justified side (I counted 10 instances of that happening, with no existing case of the opposite situation). I also agree that the both the Dance and the Blackfyre Rebellion would improve from a dramatic point of view if the greens and the Blackfyres had been painted in a more positive light. I wouldn't say that the advantage is that extreme. Visenya's first invasion of the Vale failed, and Dorne remained unconquered and managed to kill Rhaenyra. Aegon had some luck in his conquest, and his rival kings were terrible at decision-making (concentrating all forces on dry wheat fields?! Sheltering on a high castle and not watching for coming dragons?) In the Dance, Rhaenyra wasn't able to capitalize on her dragon superiority, and in the Gullet, a well-trained army was able to take a dragon down. Also, since the number of persons who can ride dragons are limited, murdering them can also effectively deal with the problem.
  3. He answered that one. Not with one, but with two potential answers you can choose from.
  4. It seems that Tyrion's main residence had been King's Landing court for some time by the time AGOT starts: He was present at King Joffrey's name day tournament, and had been on KL tournaments long enough for Renly to know his betting habits. (A pity the Imp is not here with us,” Lord Renly said. “I should have won twice as much.”) When he meets Lysa at the Eyrie: "Lysa Arryn and her half-sane weakling son had not been known at court for their love of wit, especially when it was directed at them." When he meets Ser Vardis: "Tyrion remembered him well from the years he had spent at King’s Landing as the captain of the Hand’s household guard." After Tyrion visits the Wall he departs towards KL, not Casterly Rock.
  5. He would have made an incredible Robert. Mark Addy was great, but he might have been even better.
  6. I don't think Lady Stoneheart would want any of her children to see her in her current state. But it would like her to learn that Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon are all alive, and see her reaction to that.
  7. Martin said Cyvasse is a mix of chess, blitzkrieg, and stratego. I've never played blitzkireg, but it seems that Cyvasse shares with stratego how each player places their pieces secretly on the board before the actual game starts, and after that, it develops in the open like a standard chess game. I don't think it's very similar to Risk, since dices are not involved.
  8. A bastard born from a noble woman and a bastard born from a commoner have completely different prospects. Edric Storm may be legitimized at some point. But even if Mya or Gendri knew they are royal bastards and could prove it somehow, they'd have no chance at inheriting anything.
  9. The Blackfyres may have had better chances in that scenario. Aerys I wasn't a popular king, Bloodraven was widely hated through he realm and many people blamed him for the drought, and Maekar had retired at Summerhall. Without Daeron II, Baelor and Lord Daemon Lannister, it seems likely that fewer lords would turn to the leaderless cause of a heirless king. But on the other hand, with Bloodraven already in control, he may have put an end to Daemon's rebellion before it started, just like he did with the second one.
  10. We are also told that the Dothraki name for the continent of Westeros is Rhaesh Andahli: the land of the Andals. <
  11. They surely aren't. It's fan art, from a French freelance artist. It's very cool and does a great job at capturing the essence of many characters, but it has a few mistakes (Daemon Blackfyre's twins died at 12 yet here they are depicted as grown-up men, Elaena lacks her golden streak, Ormund Baratheon is misspelled,...), and makes a few dubious hair choices.
  12. Just thirty years ago, the lords of the West openly ignored the Lannister's orders, borrowing money from the Rock and not bothering to pay back the debt. Tytos was openly mocked, and "twisting the lion's tail" became a thing. Then Tywin massacred the Reynes and the Tarbecks, and suddenly everyone became "loyal". But it seems to me that this is not loyalty, but fear. I'd say that the lords of the Iron Islands and Dorne are more loyal than the lords of the West.
  13. Is 'Patriot' any good? Being Dunk and Egg the most obvious pitch for a new GOT show, and the only one based on an actual fully developed story from Martin, I find a little bit shocking that it has been given to who seams the least experienced writer/showrunner of the group. I'm hoping the pitch fails, though. I'm also in the group that would prefer D&E not being adapted. Their short stories are wonderful, and there are still many mysteries in their lives that it'd be a pity not to discover them through Martin's prose.
  14. Well, given that Varys is actually orchestrating a rebellion against his king and want to see him overthrown, I wouldn't hold that against him. I don't think I'd want any of them as my Master of Whispers. Both resort to awful means to achieve their petty goals.
  15. As someone who started to read the Eye of the World twice and had to put it down after a few chapters (Jordan's prose wasn't my cup of tea and the story failed to grab my attention), I've enjoyed this first four episodes much more than I expected. Perhaps the thing that's bugging me the most is that they have failed to explain (if I haven't missed anything) why Morraine believes that she'll find the Dragon in the Two Rivers, and why she decides that a given group of four or five teens are the only candidates. Another think that they fail to explain is why the Dark One decides to send his army at the town the dame day Morraine arrives there, and why everyone seems to assume that once the group leaves, the Dark One's army will leave the town alone. How are they supposed to know that they left, to begin with? All this confusion around how the identification of the Dragon Reborn works is, for me, a major weakness of this show's start. But once you get past that, there are plenty of things to enjoy. Acting, dialogues, pace, effects, imagery are all fine enough. And I particularly like the Aes Sadai as a group, and the dynamics between their different colors were very interesting (btw, we've seen many reds and greens, but so far the only blue seems to be Morraine. I wonder if there are other blues around that can serve as her allies).
  16. It's a truly cruel and unmoral act. Even for a hard-liner and Blackfyre hater such as Bloodraven, it seems far too much. If you stop to think about it, one must conclude that Bloodraven would have only harmed the crowns reputation and risked his own life if he really believed that Aenys had real chances to convince the lords of Westeros to choose him as king. Which makes his action even more depicable.
  17. Of course their official justification for awarding the prize are going to sound reasonable. But members of the commitee have declared that they want to avoid being "too predictable, too popular" (thus, snobbery), and the permanent secretary of the commitee vetoed Tolstoy because while he admired "his immortal creations", he could not "condone his social and political theories" (thus politics). There are plenty of other glaring omissions that have been politically motivated. Here's the wikipedia article summarizing some of them. I don't think anyone's claiming that the actual winners are bad writers. The point being made is that many authors that are clearly superior by any reasonable metric are excluded. If you don't take my word on it (and you are right to do so), see what other more qualified opinions say on the matter: Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nobel for Literature): “their judging criteria are unpredictable, contradictory, and impervious to all omens…” Joseph Epstein: “Would the literary world be better off without the Nobel Prize in Literature? Certainly it would be no worse off without the Nobel, for as currently awarded the prize neither sets a true standard for literary production nor raises the prestige of literature itself”
  18. Aerys had just murdered in a particularly gruesome and cruel way his best friend's father and brother. He had also murdered Elbert Arryn, who was also likely a friend of Robert, for no reason at all. And then there's the little fact that king Aerys had asked for Robert's head. I'd call that "a rational reason to feel animosity" towards Aerys.
  19. The Nobel literature prize has little to do with actual literature. It's just a mix of politics and snobbery. It could be the most discredited prize ever, if not for the existence of the Nobel peace prize. In any case, GRRM can be content to stand with writers such as Tolstoy, Joyce, Proust, Borges, Ibsen, Chekhov, Zola, Twain, Woolf or Orwell.
  20. Sandor was certainly very useful in a fight, and the Lannisters had reason to consider him royal. But I don't recall him ever offering any particularly deep insight. And I can't find in myself to give credit to the intelligence of a grown man infatuated with a twelve year old...
  21. Sandor is no knight, has fleed in battle abandoning his king, and has sworn the oaths of the kingsguard renouncing to his inheritance. Any of those three alone should prevent him for receiving his brother's lands. I think that if he had knew, it's an information that he would have traded once he had abandoned the Lannisters. Sandor is not particularly thoughtful or bright. Sandor was Cersei's creature and did her bidding. His opinion about Tyrion is surely influenced by her. But it's also likely that Tyrion mocked him, making jokes about his hideous burns, him being Joffrey's dog, etc.
  22. We don't really need a POV for every battle. Three of the four battles at the end of AGOT are not experienced through any POV (the Whispering Wood, the Camps, and the battle against the Lhazarene).
  23. Sex: There's ample precedent for excluding women from the Targaryen royal succession. Rhaena, Rhaenys, Daena the Defiant... And queen Rhaenyra is considered a traitor and excluded from the offical list of monarchs, even though two of his sons ended on the throne and all the later Targaryen kings descend from her. For this reason, she'll probably find opposition to the idea of her becoming queen. Specially if there are other potential Targaryen claimants such as as Aegon VI or Jon Snow/Targaryen. Paternity: Daenerys is the daughter of the Mad King, who is widely despised in Westeros. Also, many lords who rebelled against him may feel that opposing Dany is a matter of life or death for them, since they will fear that she retaliates if she gets crowned. Allies: If she comes back to Westeros married to a Ghiscari slaver and accompanied with a kinslaying dwarf, an exiled knight, and a bunch of Dothrakis, she'd have big PR issues to solve.
  24. Our own wiki also suggests that House Dayne may be based on Dane Whitman, but I'm not entirely convinved. Besides the name similarity, the only coincidence is the idea of a sword being made out of a meteor, which is a relatively common fantasy trope...
  25. The Winter Wolves from the Dance of Dragons were old men who rode south to find a glorious death, leaving more food for their families to survive the winter. The situation when was completely different for Robb. It was summer, and people thought that it would still last for many years. Robb wouldn't find an suicide army, particularly if he decided to stay at Winterfell himself. Besides, at the time Robb marched South, he just wanted to pressure the Lannisters into freeing Eddard, not causing as much carnage as possible. This is a recurrent criticism, and one that I believe is based on a missunderstanding of the situation. When Robb was proclaimed king, Stannis hadn't proclaimed himself and had (stupidly) not told anyone his suspicions about the bastardy of Cersei's kids. I Robb wanted to declare allegiance to any king, his only options were Joffrey (his father's murderer) or Renly (an opportunist usurper). He couldn't acknowledge any of them as kings. In a medieval society, you can't deceide to be 'kingless' for a temporary period of time. Deciding that you owe allegiance to no one is akin to proclaim yourself king. In other words, the Greatjon's iniciative to proclaim Robb as King in the North was the logical consequence of refusing Joffrey, Stannis and Renly as kings. Also, what you suggest (waiting until Renly or Stannis die, then support the other) is completely honorless. You may as well ask the Starks to stop being Starks... It seems to me that you wouldn't be suggesting this without hindsight. We know that Theon, Rickard and Roose will betray Robb. He didn't. It makes sense, if you trust Theon, to send him to Pyke. After all, Robb would always get more cooperation from Balon through an alliance than through blackmail. In fact, blackmail would have got him absolutely nothing, since Balon was already planning to attack the North before Theon was released. Not to mention that attacking the North was a truly stupid move, since Robb was the only other king who would accept the Iron Islands to regain their independence. The "old way" could only work with a fragmented Westeros, and Balon's attack to the North was a direct blow to his own goal. At the time Robb was crowned, it was reasonable to assume that the Lysa Arryn and Balon Greyjoy would support him. Working together, North+Riverlands+Vale+Iron Island would make a really powerful entity that should be able to resist any atempt of dominance from Southern Westeros, specially if they are fighting between them.
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