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Frey family reunion

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  1. The one thing no one is really bothering to address regarding Olenna being the poisoner, is how is she able to poison the chalice? Or even the pie for that matter? Visualize the table where everyone is seated. Presumably it’s a long table, on top of a dias where they can look down on everyone else at the party. To Tyrion’s right is Sansa. To Tyrion’s left is Garlan. To Garlan’s left is his wife. Tyrion is seated to Jeffrey’s right and notes that a dozen people are seated closer to the King than him. Tyrion notes that he’s seated so far away from Joffrey that it’s probably intended as an insult. Presumably Olenna, being the grandmother of the bride, was seated closer to Joffrey than Tyrion to avoid insult to the grandmother of the bride. So the closest Olenna can be from Tyrion is three seats away to his left. We also know that Olenna has two fairly significant physical limitations. She is under five feet tall and she walks with a cane. As for the chalice, we know that after the chalice is dumped on Tyrion’s head Tyrion refills it from a serving girl, presents it to Joffrey, who drinks from it without any ill effect. The chalice is left on the table in front of Tyrion’s chair. We know this because when Joffrey demands that Tyrion refill his chalice, Tyrion has to stand up on his chair get the chalice. We also know that the chalice is three feet high and the chalice is positioned far enough away from the side of the table the guests are sitting that Tyrion has to stand up on his chair to reach it. Thereby making it impossible that Olenna, even if she were able to walk up to Tyrion without him noticing, could have reached the top of the chalice to drop the poison. Now after Joffrey approaches Tyrion the second time after the pie is served, all eyes were on Joffrey and Tyrion and the chalice would have been in front of them. Making it very unlikely that anyone could have dropped the poison without notice. After Joffrey takes his first gulp the chalice is positioned to Tyrion’s right, almost in Sansa’s lap: So Sansa could have potentially been in a position to poison the chalice between Joffrey’s first gulp and his second gulp while Joffrey was eating the pie. In fact she would have been the only one with the opportunity to do that. Assuming that the poison was in the wine. The problem with Olenna poisoning the pie, is that while easier to reach than the top of the chalice, the time frame when she could have done it is even less. The pie is in put in front of Tyrion and while he and Sansa do get up to leave they are not given an opportunity to leave before Joffrey approaches them. And once again at this point all eyes are on Joffrey and Tyrion with the pie positioned between them. Making it unlikely that anyone could have poisoned the pie without notice. Once again the only person really in a position to drop the poison even in the pie is Sansa. Joffrey approaches Tyrion from the left and all eyes are on them. The only one to Tyrion’s right is Sansa.
  2. I kind of fail to see what you're getting at. You seem to be saying that the second part of the quote confirms that it was Olenna who had Joffrey killed. Which of course ignores the first part of the quote where he is very specifically stating that as to the identity of Joffrey's killer he may or may not have a further surprise up his sleeve. I think what he's saying is very simple: 1. He wants the careful reader to come away with the conclusion that Olenna killed Joffrey. 2. He wants the reader to wrestle with the morality of that action, whether killing a thirteen year old boy, aleit an evil thirteen year old boy, is justified. 3. But while he wants the reader to come up with the conclusion that Olenna killed Joffrey, he makes no promises that this is necessarily the case, that he may or may not have another surprise up his sleeve.
  3. No, I don't think that's the takeaway. There are people who just read the books for the plot, they want to see what happens next. They're not terribly interested in any subtext nor do they try to figure out any mysteries or plot twists. They are more than happy just to read, take everything at face value and are happy to be surprised when any surprise twists develop in the story. Than there are others, who like to try and spot any plot twists ahead of time, and figure out the mystery before it's revealed to them. This is the type of viewer/reader that GRRM classified his mother as. He's looking to surprise/fool those that are actively engaged in figuring out the plot twists and mysteries ahead of time. As an aside, when he said that the careful reader would have come away with the conclusion that Olenna poisoned Joff, it made me raise my eyebrow a bit. There doesn't seem to be anything that would require the reader to be terribly careful to come to that conclusion.
  4. You really don’t get GRRM’s interview style at all. George loves to talk about his books, he just doesn’t like committing to anything. So for the most part, it’s kind of a waste of time to try and figure out “the truth” of anything George writes via his interviews. He intentionally likes keeping things ambiguous, and letting his readers debate it out. For all we know, he himself hasn’t completely decided on the culprit behind the purple wedding, because at the time of the interview he probably hasn’t completely figured out how he wants the story to conclude. So if George never revisits the purple wedding in the books, then you might as well chalk it up to Olenna poisoning Joffrey. At least if you want to. If you don’t that’s probably fine as well. So when George said he “might” have some surprises in store, that may not be George just being coy. At the time of the interview he may himself be on the fence as to whether he gives the reader another curveball or not.
  5. I don’t really get why Netflix makes all of the season (or in this case half of the season) available at once. It seems that would encourage people to just binge the show over the weekend, cancel Netflix and then just resubscribe in July, binge again and then cancel. It seems like a foolish business model.
  6. At least for the Royces the simplest explanation is that they were the victims of a forcible conquest by the Andals. As such the Andal religion was probably forced upon them. I'm sure that there were several generations of Royce's that may have secretly kept to the Old gods, but after a while and after subsequent generations, the hold of the Old Gods would grow weaker and the religion mandated by their Andal conquerors would just become passively accepted.
  7. Eh, not really. Like everything else George dances around the topic quite skillfully. I will add that George has made commentaries on the HBO series in the past. In one of the commentaries he talks about how his mother was always able to spot the plot twists in the shows they watched before they were revealed. GRRM added that when he wrote Ice and Fire, he wrote it wanting to surprise careful viewers (or readers) like his mother.
  8. Another possibility is that the passage was one of GRRM’s many, many, homages to other works of fiction that have inspired him. Whenever you see passages like this look for any odd phrases and then google search the phrase and see what comes up. In this particular passage the term “dreaming couch” caught my attention. What exactly is a “dreaming couch”? It’s not something we hear about anywhere else in the series. So when you google “dreaming couch” up comes a Hugo award finalist sci fi novel, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, written by Frederick Pohl back in 1980. In the book, the “dreaming couch” is a device used by aliens called the “The Old Ones” who use the device on the protagonists which cause them to relive memories of dead “Old Ones”. The book is part of a larger series known as the Heechee Saga. The fact that the book was a Hugo finalist in 1980, makes it almost a sure bet that the Hugo obsessed GRRM would have been familiar with the book. So it’s very possible that the two dead characters may be further homages to some of Pohl’s characters in that book, or in some of Pohl’s other books.
  9. From what I recall, the Red Priests were supposed to be some mix of Zoroastrianism and Catharism. From the Cathars it took the idea of two gods, a good god and a bad god.
  10. Maybe, but not necessarily. Yandal could have been absolutely correct about the schism between Aerys and Rhaegar. But perhaps something happened after Harrenhal where father and son found common ground.
  11. Regarding Aerys search for a bride for Rhaegar, I think this quote might be telling: This search happens after Duskendale, a period of time when Aerys' distrust of his Hand and Rhaegar was growing. The author makes a point of noting that Aerys kept Rhaegar out of the search for Rhaegar's own bride. Which caused the author at least to raise his eyebrow a bit. The clear implication is that Aerys was attempting to marginalize his Hand and his Heir by taking the choice of the next queen out of their hands. After that failure, Aerys verbalizes his fear that if he dismisses Tywin, Tywin might kill him as well. This is also the time that Aerys shuts himself in the Red Keep as his paranoia deepened. It's very possible that Rhaegar used this time to try and take back control a bit and started by arranging his own marriage to Elia.
  12. While I agree with the premise that the pie was poisoned, I think we are leaving one potential suspect out in this discussion. Sansa. Outside of the servant the only one who really was in a position to put the poison in the pie during the time period involved was Sansa. It seems very unlikely that Sansa would not have come to the conclusion that the black amethysts in the hair net was poison. It’s not like Dontos really tries to hide that fact when he gives her the hairnet: So why would Sansa think that these gemstones hold justice and vengeance for her father? Sansa was always spoiled and a bit sheltered. But she really isn’t stupid. She could come to the conclusion that what she really had was poison fairly easily. While we are only given Tyrion’s POV during the feast, we’re still given the most probable time that Sansa would have taken one of the stones from her hairnet, when the feast is first being served: The thing that throws the reader off is that we’re given Sansa’s POV in the next chapter and she doesn’t acknowledge that she did the deed. But the answer is fairly simple, Sansa repressed it. Just like her father repressed part of his memory with Lyanna on her death bed. We’re even given the exact moment she represses the enormity of what she just did: She swallows the memory of what she did, into her tummy. The same tummy that often flutters about like it has a bat in it wanting to escape. The fluttering starts up when she thinks about becoming a widow:
  13. So last week, the wife and I took a trip to New York. While there, we took in the Broadway show, Hades Town, which is a retelling of the Orpheus story where he descends to Hades to try and free his beloved from the Underworld. Anyway, the tale made me revisit an old theory I had vaguely developed concerning GRRM using inspiration from that tale in his own story. Much of it is predicated on the idea that GRRM has intentionally woven some aspects of Persephone's tales within Lyanna. A large number of posters have seen parallels with Lyanna's abduction and Persephone's abduction by Hades. Where after her abduction, her mother Demeter, falls into a despair which brings on winter, and it's only when the other gods can negotiate with Hades that Persephone will be returned to her mother six months every year, does winter abate into spring and summer. I think there is probably an intentional parallel with Lyanna's tale. The biggest problem with the parallel is that Rhaegar never really made a good stand in for Hades. But Rhaegar does make a pretty good stand in for the musically talented, prophetic Orpheus. And at the Harrenhal tourney there is a sneaky, neat parallel with the tale of Orpheus' descent into the Underworld. In the Orpheus tale, Orpheus stands before Hades and Persephone and crafts a song trying to convince Hades to free his beloved, Eurydice, from the Underworld. The tale moves Persephone to tears and she implores her husband to let Orpheus take Eurydice from Hades. Similar imagery occurs at the Harrenhal tourney, where Rhaegar sings his sad song of lament to the various nobles, including Lyanna, our stand in for Persephone. Whatever the tale is, it moves Lyanna to tears. Now in the Orpheus tale, Hades relents under one condition. Eurydice can follow Orpheus out of Hades, but if Orpheus looks back to make sure Eurydice is following behind him, he will lose her forever. Interestingly enough, though Rhaegar dies, we have a lot of imagery and hints, that Danaerys takes over the role of Rhaegar in our story. And, as Danaerys prepares her magical funeral pyre, one thought keeps entering her consciousness. If she looks back she is lost. It's a refrain that follows the character throughout her story. If she looks back she is lost. It's also the same thought that Dany had in her dragon dream where she transforms into a dragon. That she is being chased and she knows that she can't look back or she is lost, so she keeps running through the Red Door and transforms into a dragon. So if this is an intentional parallel that GRRM is making with Rhaegar and Dany, then it might give us a hint at what Rhaegar was so sorrowfully singing about. The journey that Dany was on where she told herself she couldn't look back led to the rebirth of her dragons. She literally brought the dragons back from the dead. Just like Orpheus tried to do with Eurydice. So I do wonder if that might reflect what Rhaegar was singing about as well. That Rhaegar's song of loss dealt with the loss of dragons.
  14. One of the rites for priesthood in the cult of Mithras was the “taurobolium”. It entailed the ritual bathing in the blood of a sacrificed bull. Sam goes through a similar ritual:
  15. There is evidence that the Romans brought the cult of Mithras to Hadrian’s Wall. And Hadrian’s Wall is obviously one of the biggest inspirations behind GRRM’s Wall. A poster a while back posited his theory that Jon Snow was an actual representation of Lightbringer which in turn was inspired by the mythology surrounding Mithras and Mithras’ sword. Of course the theory kind of ignored the fact that the most obvious Mithras related symbolism was found in Sam’s backstory not Jon’s.
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