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Nathan Stark

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About Nathan Stark

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  • Lord Food Taster for House Manderly
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    Destroying Freys.

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  1. With regards to King Stannis, this quote from an interview George R. R. Martin gave always bears repeating: At the end of A Storm of Swords, Stannis, who has been convinced by Davos to help the Nights Watch, admits to Jon that he intends to earn the right to the Iron Throne by saving the realm, rather than demanding it bend to him. That is character growth. Before, Stannis was rightfully angry at being usurped in the line of succession not only by Roberts illigitimate bastards, but also by his own younger brother, who never had any legal claim to the throne. Perhaps he was in denial at that point about wanting the throne, but I suspect Stannis is telling the truth when he says he doesn't want it. Stannis wants the love and respect of his brothers, but as they are both dead, the Iron Throne just becomes a stand in for all the acknowlegement and respect that has been denied to him. It will never fill the aching need to be loved by Robert and Renly, and I think he knows that, deep down. Stannis would not be the first person to lose sight of his own sense of justice and personal values in his blind pursuit of the throne. Better men and women did the similar things as Stannis in the game of thrones. However, it takes a certain type of courage to chose, as Stannis did, to earn the right to rule by fighting to protect his would be kingdom. That alone makes him a worthier person to sit the Iron Throne than any of the other claimants taking part in the War of the Five Kings. Doesn't mean he'll win, though.
  2. I mean, there are other alternatives to Marvel Comics and the MCU. I kinda doubt George would want the Disney version of his stories out there.
  3. I know. I meant the series should have been written as comics from the start, not written as traditional novels.
  4. 90% of the population are smallfolk who do not care who sits the Iron Throne or calls themselves Lords. They just want to be left alone and kept safe. None of them are angling for political power. It's only a tiny minority of the population causing chaos in search of power. The characters I mentioned earlier are some examples I came up with off the top of my headb there are many different people who could have positive contributions to the story in future. Ned Dayne, perhaps. Or Arriane. I suspect Willas Tyrell will be a person of good will. And then there is also a second category of people doing good things simply because it is expedient to do good things. Whatever works. It'll take more than just inspiration and hope to defeat the Others and bring justice and stability to Westeros.
  5. For the type of story GRRM is writing, I bet he'd finish a lot faster if the saga was presented as a series of comics or graphic novels. Thoughts?
  6. No. Syrio was awesome and badass and great. And now he's dead. We ain't reading Dune.
  7. I fundamentally disagree. Not about The Lord of the Rings, which is exactly as you describe, but about the fundamental message of A Song of Ice and Fire. The thematic throughline of ASOIAF is about power: who has it, who wants to have it, who does not have or is denied it, what one would do with it if they had it. The message carried through with this series is basically Michelle Obama's argument that power doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. So far, we've mostly seen how badly things can go wrong when people with power abuse it, like Tywin, or Cersei, or Tyrion. However, when we have characters like Jon Snow, Sansa, Davos, Brienne and Sam, people who are still basically decent human beings in spite of everything they have gone through, it's hard to argue that there is little hope, or that everything in Westeros deserves to be wiped out. I think these characters disprove the argument you are making. Though sense we haven't got an ending yet, this is still up for debate.
  8. I think many of the commenters on this thread are making mistakes in their analysis of the series, mostly by projecting thier own feelings of ASOIAF onto the public at large. For example, claiming the series is too "realistic" and too much like the modern day, as @Aldarion has argued, is undermined by the huge fantastical elements of undead weights, Others, dragons, humans warging with animals, 700 foot high walls, bloodmagic, prophesies, Lovecraftian horror, children of the forest, giants, glass candles, undead Beric, undead Cat, undead Gregor, undead Jon (maybe). If you are looking for an escape from the real world, well, it's abundantly clear these elements are highly fantastical and each serve important purposes to the story Martin is telling. It may not be "realistic enough" for some, it may feel too much like the modern world for some to escape into fully, but this is a subjective experience. It is not shared by all, and probably not even the vast majority, of audiences. Everyone has their own experience. Another mistake many are making is taking the reactions of people they know, or at least read/watch on social media, as evidence of some kind of larger lack of interest in the series. But it is safe to say the overwheliming majority of ASOIAF readers/GOT and HOTD viewers are not flocking to Reddit to share their latest hot take on ASOIAF. Its like saying "everybody I know likes political candidate X, so he must be about to win," and then being shocked when political candidate X loses. Also, one could just as easily make the opposite claim about the longevity of the series using the same sort of evidence. For example, my older brother recently bought a copy of Fire and Blood shortly after the new spinoff show premiered, even though he hasn't read the ASOIAF novels in years. I could argue that he proves the series is timeless and relevent, but I won't, because that is anecdotal evidence. And so is the talk about Reddit threads and other family members or friends indicating more negative reactions. Again, these are all subjective experiences reported by a tiny minority of people, so their value as evidence is very limited. Well, yes, and also this: the books aren't going anywhere. I think it would be silly to argue that they will stop being read just because George didn't finish writing them. (As an aside, I kind of doubt the publishers of the series would just let the franchise die that easily. If there is a demand, it will be met, and there is still a demand for ASOIAF). I wanted to quote this one in full, mostly because I think your first paragraph is a pretty solid prediction. The second one though, feels more like a stretch. The show is doing well precisely because of the $100 million HBO spent advertising it, and the ratings are impressive because people like what they are seeing. And there is no reason why other creative ventures in the future can't set orgininal stories in Westeros without any book material established beforehand. It just needs George's blessing. More to the point, though, is that, even after the horrifically bungled ending of GOT, HOTD is a ratings smash, reflecting a continued desire for more stories in this setting. When HOTD is getting better ratings than Marvel or Star Wars shows on Disney+, it says something about the kind of cultural impact it is having. This is such a weird argument to make. Jodorovsky's Dune never saw the light of day, never had a chance to make any impact whatsoever. ASOIAF has five books which audiences can read, and had already become bestsellers in their own right even before spawning a highly successful TV series. Even more than that, you have Frank Herbert's Dune, David Lynch's Dune, Dennis Villaneuve's Dune, each of which has a large fanbase. Your argument would only make sense if Jodorovsky's attempt at making Dune was the only example of anyone trying to adapt the book. And even then it still wouldn't work as a comparison to ASOIAF because ASOIAF at least has material available to read. I stand by what I said. Regardless of whether Martin himself finishes the books, the franchise has real staying power.
  9. Heh. He just completely slipped my caffiene deprived mind. He holds up pretty well as a paragon of knighthood, but is a vanishingly rare specimin.
  10. It already is. The numbers the HOTD show is pulling in show this can all be a marketable franchise, whether GRRM finishes writing the actual books or not.
  11. Well, that's easy. Ser Duncan the Tall. Brienne the Maid. That's about it. The motif GRRM is going for is that the truest knights of them all are the ones who are somehow either entirely prevented from being knights like Brienne, or are faking knighthood because they were never properly annointed, as is the case with Dunk. All the others, like Jaime, Barristan or Crystin Cole, and probably Arthur Dayne, have some major skeletons in their closet to indicate that their knightly virtues in public are hollow.
  12. There isn't really much to talk about here. The First Men are not Numenorean parallels. The Numenoreans are highly regal, very sophisticated, dealing regularly with the elves and some of the Valar, before their pride and arrogance causes them to fall. The First Men were basically Stone Age/Bronze Age people migrating to Westeros and building a society from that. The two fictional groups are complete opposites. The much better comparison would be Numenoreans versus the Valyrians. The Valyrians actually do parallel Numenor in most ways.
  13. The North: House Manderly. Sure, people can argue for House Bolton all they want, but in reality, the Boltons are where they are due to ruthlessness and cunning, not because of any intitutional advantages the House has. House Manderly has less land, but a lot more wealth, a very large army, a navy, control over a major population center in White Harbour. It's not an especially close comparison. The Manderlys probably couldn't rule the North in lieu of the Starks, but they don't seem to particularly want too since their angle is to set Rickon up as the Lord of Winterfell. The Riverlands: House Mallister, probably. The Freys are indisputably the most powerful house in the region right now, and the Tullys were never more than a middling power even as the ruling house. I guess the Mallisters are the second most powerful Riverlands house, but it all honestly seems like a wash to me. One thing about the Freys though is that they are ultimately victims of their own success. They are going to have a serious succession crisis upon the death of old Walder. The Vale: House Royce. They have the institutional clout, support from other Houses in the region, prestige. There is a reason Littlefinger is trying so hard to isolate them. They are a significant threat to his rule in the Vale. The Westerlands: House Marbrand, possibly? They seem to have their shit together. The Iron Islands: House Harlaw. Not only are they the wealthiest Iron Islands house, but they don't have the Greyjoy family curse of immense stupidity. The Stormlands: House Swann. I'm going with the consensus on this one because I don't know that much about the relative strength of Stormlands houses. Everyone else is pretty much dwarfed by whoever controls Storms End, so I really don't think the question applies much for this region. The Crownlands: House Rosby. They have considerable wealth. So I'm going with them. The Reach. House Redwyne. They are wealthier than everyone except the Tyrells, they are safe enough on an easily defensible island, while simultaneuosly owning the largest navy in the Seven Kingdoms, allowing them to project their strength effectively far beyond their shores. Dorne: House Yronwood. Their control of the Boneway and their ability to raise a large army makes them a force to reckon with, and so are a house the Martells have to contantly worry about.
  14. Balon's a bully with no brains. That's why he chose to start a war he couldn't win. He thought he could, and was spectacularly wrong about it. Stupid people like Balon typically flatter themselves that actually they are really smart and then spend all their time blaming others for their own screwups. That's Balon Greyjoy for ya.
  15. That's what you're doing with Tywin. He was all of the things you accuse Tyrion of being, as well as a monumental hypocrite, since he happily paid Shae for her services, and most likely others prostitutes on the down low. Your comments about rape in this series reminds me of comments made by right-wing politicians in my own country to the effect of "just lay back and enjoy it if you get raped." I assure you George R. R. Martin didn't add these details about Tywin's life and career in order to sing his praises. You are entirely missing the point that Tywin was meant to be a villian just as much as Tyrion is.
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