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Mithras

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  1. I didn't say that. All the Blackfyre Rebellions will take place from the first one at 196 to the last one around 210. Dunk & Egg will start after that. Obviously it won't. Either it will be completely discarded or certain changes will be made. The plot of gathering the old Blackfyre supporters for a tourney can still take place with Daemon Blackfyre secretly joining the lists as a Mystery Knight to win the dragon egg. After the attempt fails, Daemon might succeed in capturing the dragon egg and fleeing across the Narrow Sea where he sells the dragon egg to hire mercenary companies for a future war. If you cannot stomach the idea of making even the slightest change to the source material, I have nothing to say to you.
  2. I've thought about the problems with Blackfyre and D&E adaptations before. It seems to me that the best solution to avoid a colossal mess is to do massive rewrites in order to separate the two definitively. And the process should start with the Blackfyre adaptation. Let me explain. First of all, we should go with the Dexter route for the Blackfyre adaptation. First Blackfyre Rebellion will be adapted rather faithfully and after that the show will write its own story. This way, they can avoid a generational saga (which doomed the Vikings after Ragnar’s death) and fit the whole thing into the lifetime of a single main lead that is Daemon Blackfyre. The later Blackfyre Rebellions will be heavily edited and merged. Each season might be a single Blackfyre Rebellion. The first season might feature the prelude to the First Blackfyre Rebellion and end just as Daemon Blackfyre rises in rebellion. As I mentioned before, Daemon Blackfyre should not die at the First Blackfyre Rebellion but instead survive till the end of the show, leading the rest of the Blackfyre Rebellions as well. The audience would not be interested at all in his lame-ass sons and other descendants that led the later Blackfyre Rebellions. Bittersteel should be reduced to a side role and Daemon Blackfyre vs. Bloodraven dynamic should be promoted as something similar to Thor vs. Loki. This can carry the show until the end. To make the story better, Daeron II needs to be changed. I think a king like King Baldwin from the Kingdom of Heaven would do well. This seemingly weak and sickly but actually smart and capable king will be opposed by a Thor-like figure that is Daemon who looks like every inch a king should be. Daeron II in the show will be basically Aerys I combined with Daeron II and Jaehaerys II. Team Blackfyre will claim that Bloodraven is a sorcerer and the weak king who is not fit to rule is his puppet. It might even be that Daeron II is slowly but secretly dying from greyscale. Team Blackfyre will also be opposing the Dornish marriage of this king as well as the peace with Dorne. Depending on what GRRM plans with them in the future, more roles should be given to some side characters like Shiera, Danelle Lothston, Elaena Targaryen etc. For example, the first Daenerys can be merged with Shiera and she could be the love interest between Bloodraven and Daemon Blackfyre. Elaena Targaryen might be made the mother of Daemon Blackfyre. Elaena might stay loyal to the king whereas Shiera might join Daemon for love. By giving more depth and connections to a select few of cast, the show can avoid some of the problems in the books. I mean, GRRM wrote all this historical stuff basically as wiki entries. There is over-abundance of characters. If GRRM wrote the First Blackfyre Rebellion as a proper narrative like a novella or a novel, then he would have to pay attention to character economy, which means he would be the one to make a similar consolidation of characters and events. All in all, the Blackfyre adaptation will cover a decade for 6 seasons at most. Daemon Blackfyre will survive and lead all the rebellions until the end where he dies. All this story will be concluded before D&E properly starts. Since the Blackfyre backstory will concluded by the time of Dunk and Egg, there will be major revisions to them as well.
  3. I always thought Theon will be the new Tyland, not Tyrion. I don't expect Tyrion to survive the series. Especially in a Bran the Broken ending, Theon-Tyland makes much more sense than Tyrion. A lot of those things have not happened in the story yet and probably never will. For example, I don't think Jon kills Dany in the books. She will die in childbirth. Even if your scenario is true, that is still a very far-fetched parallel between Bran and Egg. Such parallels can be drawn between anybody. If anything, GRRM intended Aegon III as the more direct parallel to Bran, not the fifth. Dany-Egg have a lot more direct parallels than Bran such as Viserys-Aerion or the Tragedy of Summerhal. By the way, Bran doesn't even have a proper story in the books yet, let alone the best. GRRM has a lot of homework to do on Bran.
  4. TL DR: Egg is meant to be a precursor to Dany, including his tragic end. After Dany’s downfall is revealed in the show, the readers realized how essential the involvement of Young Griff is in the story. But the important thing is that Young Griff does not come out of thin air. He comes riding a backstory, the Blackfyre expansion of the world-building. GRRM created the Blackfyre backstory during the writing of ACoK where the series expanded from 4 books to 6 books with a 5 year gap after book 3. Before this point, Dany’s “invasion” was supposed to be the “second greatest threat” to Westeros. This was a vague idea that GRRM did not have clear clues to work with. After the Blackfyre angle was created, this upcoming conflict of Dany became more grounded in history and hence promising a stronger story. But GRRM did not stop there. He also created another backstory; the Dance of Dragons, which clearly gives another perspective to the upcoming conflict between Dany and Young Griff. It is unclear whether GRRM once entertained the idea of a descendant of Aerion being Dany’s adversary in the upcoming Dance of Dragons. Brightfyre theory incorporates both the Blackfyre and Brightflame angles. Regardless of the Brightfyre theory or the pure Blackfyre theory, the ultimate purpose of GRRM seems clear: he had the endgame for Dany in mind since the beginning but he did not have clear ideas about how to reach there. The expansion of the world-building about Blackfyres and the Dance of Dragons provided him a template to work with similar conflicts and characters. All of the Targaryen history work for Fire & Blood seems like a practice for writing the story of Dany in the main series, which brings us to the main point of this thread. I think after the show revealed Dany’s endgame, it became clear that even the D&E novellas were meant to serve as a template for Dany’s downfall. There are several parallels that can be drawn between Dany and Egg, which I leave to you because many readers made these comparisons as soon as TWOIAF was published. Some of them goes even directly to the novellas themselves. Long story short, when Egg became the King, he tried to make reforms that improve the lives off the smallfolk (whose troubles he knew well from his time squiring for Dunk), but this infuriated the nobility and caused a lot of troubles in his reign (hint for breaking the wheel). It also did not help that his children chose love over duty (hint hint), and married according to their heart’s desire instead of accepting those arranged marriages with Great Houses and strengthening the dynasty. By the end of his reign, Egg became convinced that the only way he could accomplish his reforms was to recreate the dragons. His pursuit for dragons ended in the Tragedy of Summerhall where House Targaryen barely survived. The Tragedy of Summerhall was first introduced in ASoS by many references from different sources (like Alester Florent to Barristan to even the Ghost of High Heart). Then this backstory kept growing more and more. It is the great finale of the D&E novellas and GRRM conveniently avoided telling what really happened there despite publishing TWOIAF. Hell, even with a Barristan POV, GRRM is still not giving a clue, which I think hurts the story a little. It does not make sense why Dany does not learn more about her private family history, especially the Summerhall stuff, with a witness like Barristan at her disposal. GRRM clearly wants to save this mystery to the D&E novellas. The first D&E novella, the Hedge Knight, is an oddity. There is no hint whatsoever of the First Blackfyre Rebellion that happened some 13 years ago but it was such an important event and a still standing threat at that time that it should have come up in the novella, especially with some of the characters were present. The explanation is that GRRM had not created the Blackfyre Rebellions yet when he wrote the Hedge Knight. Finally, I am coming to the title. Leaving the Hedge Knight aside, the other two D&E novellas are all about the Blackfyre backstory, which as I argued above was created with the purpose of fleshing out Dany’s story in the main series. Now consider the Mystery Knight. D&E blunder into a Blackfyre Rebellion by accident. Egg was captured by the indecisive host Lord Butterwell, who had doubts about the outcome of the attempted rebellion. Worse, Egg’s true identity was revealed by his ring. Bloodraven had things under control regarding the outcome of the scheme but Egg’s life was in jeopardy, and maybe far worse troubles were possible if they successfully kidnapped Egg and sent him away to the hands of Bittersteel. At this moment, the prophetic dream of Daemon II Blackfyre about a dragon hatching at Whitewalls was fulfilled: As Bloodraven explained in the end of the story, the dream was true but Daemon was wrong about the interpretation. His egg did not hatch but the dragon that came into being was Egg, when he lied to Lord Butterwell and intimidated him by appearing sure of himself. Dunk observed a visible change in Egg and GRRM made it appear like a glorious moment for Egg. There is still a long way from this Egg to the one who sought the ways to bring dragons so that the Great Lords would submit to his reforms. But the way GRRM explained what it means to “hatch as a dragon” in Egg’s case and how he remembered Bloodraven’s mantra that it was “better to be frightening than frightened”, we can kind of tell how Egg can agree to proceed with whatever controversial thing that was supposed happen at Summerhall. Considering Dany’s final chapter in ADwD where she embraced that “dragons plant no trees” and the show line that “let it be fear”, we can tell that in the books, Dany will lead herself into her own Tragedy of Summerhall, from which House Targaryen might not survive. When TWOIAF was published, the wishful interpretation was that Dany will succeed where Egg failed and carry out her reforms thanks to her dragons. The show revealed that Egg’s end was not an inversion but a sign of things to come for Dany.
  5. What is the point of killing Cat, especially while bragging about killing major characters and dissing other works on that front? That is what I'm thinking.
  6. Ned would never want to go to war against Robert over Jon's claim. If he were to do such a thing, he would have done that while Jon was a baby. And Jon wasn't mature enough to join the Night's Watch. That is the first thing in his story. He thought the Night's Watch was honorable and valiant knights wearing black, not the sweepings of the Realm.
  7. Ned's promises to Lyanna: Protect Jon by raising him as his own child and keeping his parentage secret. Tell Jon his true parentage when he grows mature enough to grasp it safely. Ned thought about broken promises only when he was thrown to the black cells. Ned was thinking that he would never go out of the black cells alive when he thought about the broken promises. Varys had not come with his offer of taking the black yet. That is one of the reasons why Ned accepted Varys' offer to take the black because he was going to see Jon and fulfil his promise to Lyanna by telling Jon who his actual parents were. This point is further emphasized by the following quote from the same chapter: Therefore, when Ned was executed unexpectedly, his promise to Lyanna was broken. However, I think Ned's ghost will fulfil the promise in that crypt dream which Jon will finally complete till the end.
  8. Yeah, Rhaegar should have brought Lyanna directly to the court when they eloped. Then he would tell Aerys that he is setting aside Elia and marrying Lyanna. Brilliant plan. Or maybe Rhaegar would prefer to set aside Elia after he returned from Tower of Joy to take the leadership of the royal army, which had Lewyn Martell and lots of Dornishmen in it. That too would be a brilliant moment.
  9. Proposition: Rhaegar and Lyanna married even though Rhaegar was married to Elia at that time. Status: Confirmed for all intents and purposes (unless a person feels confident enough to know the story better than the people who learned GRRM's secrets). Examples of strawman attacks against this proposition: 1. "Polygamy is illegal" Not only this is textually unsupported, but also it is irrelevant even if we assume that it is true. Polygamy being illegal does not mean that Rhaegar and Lyanna did not marry. Rhaegar might have still married Lyanna even if he, for some reason, considered it illegal. The proposition is about only the existence of this wedding, not its legality. Hence, this is strawman fallacy. 2. "Rhaegar could never get away with polygamy" Again, a very popular strawman. The proposition does not have anything to do with whether Rhaegar actually could get away with it or he thought he could. We don't know Rhaegar's thought process until further material is published. Also similar to the point above, it might be revealed that Rhaegar still married Lyanna even if he thought, for some reason, he could not get away with it. 3. "No one at that time or in the present story would consider that marriage legal/No one would consider Jon legitimate based on this secret wedding" Again, the proposition does not have anything to do with people's approval or the recognition of Jon's legitimacy. These are all speculations about the future unpublished material. I am sure there are more. These were the most common ones that came to my mind because the same people were typing the same things about a decade ago. You would expect some progress, considering the TV show started and ended in the meanwhile.
  10. Anyone who knows English and watches the interview I quoted can see that Kimmel asks whether the mother is the same in the books and D&D confirm that it is. Both in this interview and in others, D&D tell that they answered correctly when GRRM asked them Jon's mother. GRRM himself told that they were right. What you do is the ASOIAF equivalent of being a borderline flat-earther. There is no point of debating with you if you don't accept 2+2 equals 4.
  11. Maybe so. But I prefer their drivel to the fan fiction you guys produce in Heresy.
  12. I will keep holding D&D in a much higher regard than random people on the internet who have not talked to George to learn his secrets.
  13. For the time being, the winning position is that Rhaegar and Lyanna married in some fashion. No one exactly knows what GRRM will do with Jon's parentage AND Jon's legitimacy. No one exactly knows how the characters in the story will react to Jon's parentage AND Jon's legitimacy (if it ever becomes public knowledge). LV might feel authorized to speak in the name of us or the characters inside the story about the stuff that is still unwritten, by typing things like "nobody would do this" or "nobody would believe that" etc. Thank you but no. I am allowed to have my own opinions about the things I read in the books. If there was a marriage, then it is done for me. If LV can't handle that, or if any character inside the story will have a problem with that (if it ever becomes public knowledge), too bad for them. It is their problem, not mine.
  14. Not to mention, that High Septon would gladly turn blind eyes towards polygamy if it was her niece that became the second wife instead of the first one that got shafted.
  15. Seriously though. That interview is no different than many of the SSM's we have. It is as solid as it can get.
  16. Did Rhaegar and Lyanna marry according to any given wedding ceremony? This answer is either Yes or No. There is no but. It is immaterial how many people would consider that marriage legal, be it a Tywin Lannister or a random Pate from nowhere. It is also immaterial how many vocal readers find that marriage illegal. If I were not on mobile, I would also give the quote from F&B about Cregan Stark and Sara Snow. He was furious at first when he heard that Sara slept with that Targaryen prince but after hearing that they had a wedding ceremony before the heart tree prior to bedding, he let his rage go.
  17. Oo, shiny! Can we also add to the OP that X + L = J is confirmed?
  18. By itself, the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart does not suggest that the castle made of snow should be Winterfell. All of the usual connections (like Sansa-Starks-Winterfell etc.) are flimsy evidences at best. Winterfell is not made out of snow, nor can it be symbolically or figuratively referred to as such. For example, if it was built of white stones like Whitewalls, then the poetic license in a prophetic line could have been accepted for the case of Winterfell. The castle might get covered with snow during winters but so are almost all the castles in the north and many others in the south. There is no way to single out Winterfell if we are talking about literal snow. The only way to single out Winterfell in the prophetic context among a host of potential castles made of snow is the scene with Robert’s doll where Sansa literally built Winterfell out of snow. That means the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart about the maid is not enough to specify a particular castle and further explanation is required. Now, it is possible that GRRM provided this further explanation meant for Winterfell in the same book where he also revealed the prophecy. There are several problems with this plan. First of all, a lot of readers might take the savaging of the doll as the fulfilment of the prophecy, which is not the purpose at all. One cannot simply prophesize the savaging of a stupid doll in the same sentence with the deaths of kings. Another thing is that the scene with Robert’s doll is extremely heavy in symbolism and foreshadowing without having anything to do with the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart. The erotic metaphor about the gatehouse, the portcullis and come-into-the-castle is self-evident. In addition to the giant doll that attacks Sansa’s gatehouse, LF (the savage giant) literally says that he wants to come-into-Sansa's-castle. With this perspective, “the giant doll” attacking “Sansa’s gatehouse” (and paying for it with his head) is itself foreshadowing a rape attempt in which Sansa slays the rapist. This result can be inferred without the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart. The only problem is of course where it will take place. But this was mostly ASoS we are talking about and GRRM wrote it with a 5 year gap to follow. In the later stages of the writing, he dropped the gap, expanded the story and did a lot of major revisions. Among other things, he made sure that Sansa literally refers to Eyrie as a “castle made of snow” in AFfC. Of course, Eyrie will be closed and unavailable during winter. GRRM solved that problem in the sample Alayne chapter from TWoW. Recalling how GRRM likes to play with prophecies, we can realize how strongly above two quotes serve as evidence for the solution of the prophecy. Conclusion Even if GRRM originally planned to have the slaying of the savage giant at Winterfell, the evidence from the later stages of the writing suggests that the castle made of snow will be Eyrie made of sugar that adorns the giant lemon cake. This is perfectly aligned with how GRRM likes to play with prophecies. And this whole thing will take place quite soon, while that Eyrie made of sugar is still on the table (literally).
  19. Shadrich made it clear to the readers that he knew who she was. A huge difference.
  20. Problems with “Seven Days of Battle” and “Three Days’ Ride” Medieval battles did not last for days. The actual engagement between two armies may take hours, even a whole day. But usually, one of the armies is routed and the victorious army starts chasing down the routed army, which is the part that might go on for days. In some historical battles, actual fighting went on for days, by giving a break during the night. But I don’t think this will be the case for the Battle on Ice. As a side note, sometimes it would take many days for armies to meet each other, especially if they do not know where the other army was. The armies would keep moving, with scouts and possible skirmishes, which might have lasted for days until a preferable battleground is decided. But this is not the case for Stannis. He is not moving anywhere, even if he wants to. Roose knows where to find him thanks to the map sent by the Dreadfort maester. The letter also claims that Stannis is three days from Winterfell. According to the Pink Letter, Stannis was defeated in seven days of battle. The ongoing assumption about the seven days of battle is that the fighting lasted for a day and the remaining six days account for the arrival to and the return from the crofter’s village as it is stated to be three days ride away. Regardless of whether the battle really happened like this or not, the fandom considers this as the best explanation for the mindset of the author of the Pink Letter. This distance of three days ride is problematic for me. Let us have a look at where it comes from. It appears that at the thirty-second day of the march, Benjicot Branch claimed that they were three days ride from Winterfell. First of all, I don’t have any reason doubt his word. All the scouts and hunters given to Stannis by Lady Sybelle Glover seemed capable at their job. They know their wolfswood. This might be trivial but in the series, when the distance between two places is stated in units of horse riding, it goes without saying that the horse should be a healthy horse being ridden by a healthy rider under normal weather and road conditions. Sometimes a “hard ride” is mentioned in the text. This means the rider is in hurry (like delivering a message) and riding the horse to its limits under normal conditions. Reconsider the words of Richard Horpe and Corliss Penny. Branch certainly said that they are three days ride from Winterfell. But did he also add the condition that if they leave the weakest men behind or is it a commentary by Corliss? The “If” is italic in the original text and it is possible to read the text such that Branch indeed added this condition to his calculation. This brings the question: did Branch use the three days ride (with or without the leaving the weakest men condition) under normal weather conditions or in the blizzard conditions they are currently in. Remember that at the beginning, they were able to cover some 20 miles a day. When their march came to a halt, they could only cover a mile or two in that terrible winter storm. Are we absolutely certain that the crofter’s village is some 60 miles away from Winterfell (based on the usual use of the unit “three days ride”) instead of some 6 miles away from Winterfell (based on the unusual and specific use of the unit “three days ride under their current condition”)? By the way, the winter storm is so severe that even the fresh troops of the Freys and Manderlys will not be able to come to the crofter’s village in three days. The snow is waist deep and the Freys will be extra slow and careful in their march after the death of Aenys Frey. Moreover, the green boys of Crowfood will give them further troubles on the road. Also it is not clear how much time passed between Tycho Nestoris finding Crowfood at Winterfell and coming to the crofter’s village from there with Theon and fArya. Tris only said it took “some time” to find the place. Another point is that even if the storm stops and the snows miraculously melt for some reason, it will still not be a three days ride journey for the Freys and Manderlys. So much snow melting so rapidly means that streams will be swollen and the roads will turn into mud. Remember they have to carry their baggage train to the battle and they can’t pull those carts across the mud. Speaking of which, if the Freys only took 7 days of provisions in their baggage train for the campaign according to the letter of Roose, they will definitely starve if the crofter’s village is not around 6 miles away from Winterfell according to the specific interpretation of the distance. Am I reading the text wrong? Even if this is the result of prematurely publishing ADwD without a proper editing, what is the correct way to solve this mystery? Did GRRM give enough consideration to the fact that it is impossible to cover the distance from Winterfell to the crofter’s village under those conditions within only three days? Finally, Roose commanded only the Freys and the Manderlys to march. But that is not necessarily his final saying in the matter. Theon said that Ramsay will be coming too and I have no reason to disagree with him. The march will be very slow due to the weather and extra caution they have to take because of Crowfood’s traps. This provides many days for the Boltons to torture Mance/spearwives and catch up with the marching armies later. My solution I think the distance is within the 60 miles scale and it took far more than three days for the Freys to reach the crofter’s village, followed by the Manderlys and finally Ramsay riding in a row. As for seven days of battle, the first day saw the actual fighting which ended with the army of Stannis being routed (despite a lot of Freys drowning in the ice lake). I also expect desertion especially from the Peasebury men and Karstarks before the battle (will come to that in a moment). More should have fled at the night of the first day. During the following six days, Ramsay hunted down the routed army, killing and taking prisoners wherever he can. From these prisoners, and also possibly from Mance and the spearwives, Ramsay picked up the necessary terms in the Pink Letter (such as the wildling princess and the wildling prince). It is very unlikely that anyone who has not been to the Wall recently should know their existence. Furthermore, the way Ramsay refers to them speaks of the ignorance of the southrons about the wildlings. That should mean that the source of Ramsay on the existence of Val and Monster should be some southron knight in the army of Stannis, probably one of the queen's men. Furthermore, there is a significant gap between the impending execution of Theon, and Ramsay thinking that Reek is alive and well at the Wall and demanding him in the Pink Letter. Therefore, fArya (and Theon as I believe) left the village many days before the battle with the group of Massey. Not many people in the army of Stannis can be expected to see them leaving or know where they are going. For all they know, the people leaving the camp might be going to some northern castle or the Wall or across the sea or somewhere else or someone leaving the group on the way. Stannis does not share his plans with every single man in his army. Any random soldier Ramsay cannot be expected to tell him of their whereabouts. Until after the battle, Ramsay will have no reason or proof to believe that Stannis sent fArya and Theon somewhere else. He will not find any trace of them because of the winter storm. Besides, with deserters and the routed army all over the map as I argued, even if there were any tracks of Theon and fArya, Ramsay will not be able to tell who left them. Only after hunting down Stannis and the remnants of his army, Ramsay will be able to piece together that Stannis sent Theon and fArya to the Wall before the battle. But by this time, a couple of weeks will have passed since they left the village and it is impossible to hunt them down especially with this winter storm making it near impossible to leave tracks or dogs to pick up scent. Recall that even without winter, Bran evaded being captured by Ramsay's hunters because they evaded the kingsroad. The idea that Ramsay would go hunt Theon and fArya before such a proper setup stems from the failure to realize that the characters in the story cannot read the books just like the readers. Ramsay does not have these books. He has no way of knowing the whereabouts of Theon and fArya. His major evidence will be the confessions of Mance under torture plus the prisoners he will have caught from the army of Stannis who are privy to the plans with the departure. That is how Ramsay will know the involvement of Jon and be convinced that the runaways might have gone to the Wall. The Upcoming Desertion Before the Battle on Ice takes place, Lord Peasebury will desert with his remaining men and the leaderless Karstarks. Above is all the textual evidence needed to understand that the four Peasebury men caught in the act of cannibalizing a corpse were not the only cannibals in the camp; in fact, Lord Peasebury was also eating human flesh along with his other men. Up to this point, cannibalism seemed like a “don’t ask don’t tell” thing in the camp. As long as it was done secretly, the men in the camp were ignoring cannibalism. What about Stannis though? I give this as metaphoric evidence that Stannis is not really aware of everything that is going on in the camp. Of course, this will come as blasphemy to those who gave themselves into the popular wishful theories according to which Stannis knows everything before they happen, is playing 10-D chess and will totally stomp the Boltons effortlessly. But the truth must be told and the truth is, Stannis had not left his watchtower in the last four days until he appeared to observe the burning of the cannibals and he quickly returned afterwards. Specifically, Justin Massey has become “as formidable as a loose stool”. But of all the people, Stannis chooses this man and sends him away to Braavos. Massey is aching for a way out. This shows how clueless Stannis has become about his men. He truly became half-blind by isolating himself into his solar and staring into the fires. Every night, the men let out all sorts of treasonous talk but Stannis is not notified about them (unless you want to argue that Stannis knows all about the cannibalism and the talk of defeat but lets it slide). I won’t give all the quotes but if you have a quick look at The Sacrifice chapter, you will see how desperate the situation seems to a lot of men. Those who think like Justin will not simply sit down and embrace death (unlike the northmen). Among the southrons, there are red god fanatics and there are brave men. These might be expected to stick with Stannis till the bitter end but there are also cravens and cannibals. They are the weakest link in the army. Cravens are cravens. After the burning, the cannibals also lost faith. After the Karstark leadership is apprehended, the camp starts boiling. Stannis thinks that the Karstark treachery is averted but these Karstark men are now leaderless, suspected of treason by the other men in the camp. Traitors or not, Arnolf was their leader and the Karstark men will not like the execution of Arnolf, no more than the Karstarks reacting to the execution of Lord Rickard by Robb. As a result, at the very night of the Theon sample chapter from TWoW, the Karstark men, the cravens and the cannibals who would do anything to escape burning at the pyre will desert. This will be revealed at the beginning of the fragmentary Asha chapter we saw. But the fate of the deserters is another matter. The deserters, much like the mutineers at Craster’s, will try to go separate ways. One of the greatest benefits of this desertion scenario is that just as mentioned in the Pink Letter, the battle will truly take seven days. The Battle on Ice will be concluded one way or the other in a quick manner. The rest of the “seven days of battle” will be reserved to Boltons tracking down and killing the deserters and survivors who make it out alive from the Battle on Ice. In the process, Ramsay will take southron captives from the deserters he tracked down like the Peasebury men. It is very important that Ramsay catches and flays such Southron captives. This is perhaps the only reasonable source from where Ramsay would catch the terms “the wildling princess” and “the wildling prince” as mentioned in the Pink Letter. I think Mance and the spearwives are definitely caught by the Boltons but they will not refer to Val and Mance’s son as such. Ramsay needs a Southron mouth for that. Finally, seven days long skirmishes and hunting of the deserters/survivors will provide Stannis the chance to flee and fake his death by leaving fLightbringer behind as proof of his death. Only after that Ramsay will return to Winterfell to write the Pink Letter. The Battle on Ice According to the Pink Letter, * Stannis dies off-screen, * Stannis would normally execute Theon but he is reported to have fled (again off-screen). All of these really suck. The most important reason why the readers are looking for additional explanations for the Pink Letter is that we obviously do not have all the pieces for this mystery. Even if the Pink Letter is not meant to be a mystery, it is still a failure of editing because that intent certainly does not work for most of the readers. If we had the above chapters in ADwD, the Pink Letter would have worked much better. The immediate impression of the readers would be that the Pink Letter is true. Only in rereads, some fans might consider that the Manderlys might have attacked the Freys instead of Stannis, which would put the contents of the Pink Letter under suspicion.
  21. Aeron’s dreams in the Forsaken chapter are not prophetic dreams or true visions. It is just Aeron’s subconscious speaking up under extreme duress and torture in the hands of his abuser. His religion (his only source of strength and stability and sanity) is failing him, hence the title Forsaken. What makes the whole thing worse is the use of a potent drug (shade of the evening) which gives him very vivid, nightmarish acid trips. Every element in these dreams can be explained by everything Aeron knows and fears about Euron, even if it is wholly in his subconscious. Let me start with a brief chronology. After the Kingsmoot, Aeron is captured and chained deep in the bowels of Silence. They set sail to take the Shields. On the Silence, Aeron has his First Dream. Once the Shields are taken, Aeron is transferred to Lord Hewett's dungeon in Oakenshield. This is the first dungeon he is referring to in this chapter. Victarion leaves for Meereen. Falia Flowers brings food to Aeron in the dungeon and tells him that Victarion is gone. Aeron is taken to the Silence again and they leave Oakenshield. On the Silence, Euron confesses killing his brothers to Aeron. Euron takes the Isle of Pigs and uses it as one of his bases to raid the Reach. Aeron is thrown to the dungeon at the Isle of Pigs. This is the second dungeon he is referring to in this chapter. This is where the warlocks and other priests are thrown to his cell. Aeron has his Second Dream in this dungeon. At the end of this chapter, they take him out and tie him to the prow of Silence. First Dream This dream happened not long after the Kingsmoot. Therefore, Aeron still had some defiance and sanity left in him. The despair had not fully kicked in and Aeron still had some hope for deliverance by the hands of Victarion and Drowned God. He was a long way from realizing the extent of his hopelessness. However, doubt was already eating away his faith given Euron’s victory at the Kingsmoot and brazenly blaspheming the gods without any consequence. As a result, this dream was bad but not as bad as his second dream was going to be. The imagery in this dream is mostly about Euron offending every god and blaspheming in every faith, yet none of them smites him down, which is why Aeron’s fear of Euron keeps growing constantly. No doubt, Euron is doing this on purpose and with malicious intent. He enjoys tormenting his victims and he is trying to break Aeron’s faith. In ACoK, Aeron thought that the bleeding star was a sign from the Drowned God telling the ironborn to set sail for plunder, conquest and victory. In fact, he prayed to kill all those foreign gods as in the dream in the name of the Drowned God and conquer the green lands by taking the Iron Throne. Now, that belief is crushed by Euron as even the Drowned God becomes his victim, at least in Aeron’s subconscious. The creepy horn blowing at the Kingsmoot and Euron’s talk about dragons, plunder, conquering the Iron Throne etc. all bleed into this nightmare. Second Dream This time, Aeron was in a far worse state than the previous one. He had learned that Victarion was gone. He had no hope left for deliverance. Clearly his god had forsaken him or his god was a lie all along. The burning longships of the ironborn result from Aeron’s realization that Euron does not even care for the ironborn or the Old Way. Just recently, he had told Aeron about the Shields and why they are poisoned gifts. Aeron realized that Euron did not care about the lives of the ironborn as long as he got what he needed. That is why Euron sheds the last bit of humanity Aeron could attribute to him in this dream and appears as a monster. The shadow in woman’s form is the dragon queen. Previously, Falia Flowers told Aeron about Euron’s plan to wed the dragon queen (the most beautiful woman in the world), who would rule all Westeros at his side. That information bleeds into this dream. The dwarves are just subjects beneath Euron and they only exist for the amusement of Euron and his mate. In short, don't get carried away.
  22. Disclaimer: I did not read the books and I did not play the first 2 games. I only played the Witcher 3 excessively. Master Gwent player and of course Team Yen. I think the show is good but it would have been excellent if they did not show Ciri until the season finale where Geralt finds her. They made a choice between the actress playing Ciri and the script. They chose the actress. They could have built the mystery about Ciri without showing her, which would make her union with Geralt more powerful. The jumps between different timelines are confusing. They could have focused on Geralt’s and Yen's timeline linearly, using them to expose worldbuilding, why people hate witchers, racism, why the Law of Surprise is a big deal, parallel stories etc. After all that ground was covered, the story would have followed Geralt as he came to Cintra to take Ciri. And then, instead of showing Ciri’s escape through the wilderness, we could have followed Geralt searching for her tracks, trying to figure where she is and what happened to her, always one step behind; much like the Witcher 3 game until we found Ciri in the Isle of Mist.
  23. Cersei spent almost all her life at King’s Landing. She has no real connection to Casterly Rock. Power flows from King’s Landing and Cersei is addicted to it. She did not flee during the Blackwater and she will not flee ever. In fact, after the tragedies she suffered since Blackwater and will further suffer in the Winds, she will be even more resolved to make her last stand at the seat of ultimate power. She will not go down meekly. She will not give the joy of victory to whoever comes to overthrow her. She will just want to see the city burn. Thus, either Cersei burns King's Landing at the end of TWoW or fAegon does not take King's Landing ever.
  24. GRRM talked about the butterfly effect of deviating from the source material. I think it should be clear how even smallest changes necessitate even larger changes to keep the whole thing afloat. For example, the moment D&D dropped the valonqar part of Maggy’s prophecy (probably because they did not want this “ugly end” for their favorite actors), a lot of things automatically change. The act of burning King’s Landing is given to Dany to show her dark turn. They would not have needed to do this if they incuded Dany’s civil war with fAegon or her bloody campaign in Essos while coming to Westeros. And so on. So, here is how I see the story ends in broad strokes: fAegon: He conquers major parts of Stormlands, Dorne and the Reach throughout TWoW. By the end of TWoW, he grows strong enough to threaten the Casterly Rock and the King’s Landing. However, this is also when Dany finally arrives. Their bloody civil war war continues for the best part of ADoS. Many cities and towns are sacked. Thousands are slain. Wherever the dragons dance, people die. Neither side attempts to take King’s Landing from Cersei while the Dance is still going on. Eventually, fAegon dies and Dany wins. Jaime/Cersei: The victorious Dany descends on King’s Landing to overthrow Cersei and complete her conquest of Westeros. Cersei believes that Dany is the Younger and More Beautiful Queen and Tyrion beside her is the valonqar. Cersei chooses to decide the manner of her own death as defiance of Maggy’s Prophecy. She prepares the wildfire plot to deny Dany of her prize and Tyrion of the joy of strangling her. She might even think of taking them down with her. However, Jaime interferes because he is the real valonqar. They kill each other and die together as heavily foreshadowed. As they die, Cersei’s wildfire destroys King’s Landing. Dany: Dany does not have any part in the destruction of King’s Landing other than marching towards the capitol. But by that time, Dany will have burned several other major cities during the course of the Dance. Her stains from the Dance (and her trail of destruction in Essos) are more than enough to show that she has become a tyrant, not a savior. After seeing the destruction of King’s Landing just when she was about to take it, Dany turns her eyes towards the North and confronts Jon. She dies in childbirth instead of getting murdered by Jon. Tyrion: There is no way he survives the series. His dark turn will only get worse. The best case scenario is that he dies in a similar manner to Daemon Targaryen, i.e. half suicide, half heroic sacrifice while taking down worse villain than him. Sansa: No Queen in the North or Lady of Winterfell. She will make a Lannister marriage and be the Lady of the Rock. Jon/Arya: Jon gathers the remnants of Dany’s armies after her death and leads the living in the Battle for the Dawn. After the victory, the Great Council at Harrenhal elects him as the king. Otherwise, GRRM will have a hard time justifying the amount of effort and emphasis he is putting into RLJ. That being said, the war will not be over yet. There is still “something” to be done at the Heart of Winter in order to restore balance to the seasons and prevent Others from ever coming again. Jon designates “someone” as his heir and leaves for the Heart of Winter. After sometime, Arya leaves too and starts following Jon’s tracks to find out what happened to him. After all, “the lone wolf dies but he pack survives” and “different roads sometimes lead to the same castle” and “When the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers”. Also there is the following arrangement from AGoT: It is as if GRRM’s answer to who will go find Jon is Arya. The story does not have further Arya and Jon chapters. One day, the surviving characters in the south can tell from the sudden coming of the spring that the mission must have been successful. They start waiting for the “Return of the King”. But neither Jon nor Arya return within the pages left. Their fates remain uncertain. Bran: One might suggest that the “someone” Jon designates as his heir before leaving for the Heart of Winter is Bran. This might even be GRRM’s original plan. But I am convinced that GRRM will change that when he comes to that point and send Bran to the Isle of Faces, away from human contact ever again. That is the most proper way to end Bran’s arc and GRRM should eventually see it. For me, the most reasonable heir Jon would choose is Rickon. If not, there will be babies (such as the one Dany dies giving birth to or even the future baby of Sansa from her Lannister husband or another one). A council of regents will rule until this heir comes to age. Theon: He will be the Lord of the Iron Islands and the new Tyland Lannister of the council of regents. Davos/Sam: Members of the council of regents. The Wall/Night’s Watch: Since the seasons will return to normal and the Others will be permanently defeated, there will be no need for a new Wall or a Night’s Watch to guard it. All the surviving brothers will be released from their vows. The North: The North as we know it will be no more at the end of the story. SSM: The North is the place that suffers the consequences of winters most severely. Others: Unlike the show, they will have a huge impact in the books. The North will take the brunt of the icy apocalypse. Do we really expect the North to survive the story intact as if the Others were just a bad weather or as if the Long Night was just a single bad night? Jon vs. Mance: There is a poetic irony of Jon finding himself in the shoes of Mance as in seeing the futility of trying to hold their ground against the dead. At a certain point, Jon might be expected to give up trying to fight the dead off and decide to abandon their homelands. His so-called “Azor Ahai dream” from ADwD might be interpreted as such. While trying to hold the Wall, Jon realizes that he is the only person left defending the Wall. There is no point of trying to hold the Wall if it means the deaths of everyone including Jon's family and friends. It should not come to that. Jon might be Mance 2.0 by leading a mass evacuation of the survivors to southern kingdoms. “The North is not a place, it’s a people”. Mance was considered as leading a massive wildling host in order to invade the Realm while in fact he was fleeing from the Others. Jon might be mistaken just the same, especially by Dany. Chekhov’s plagues: Grey plague or Shivers or Winter Fever or any other disease that might cause a huge depopulation in the North, making their war against the dead impossible. Fire & Blood: Massive lawlessness and starvation during bad winters. In one case, many Northmen sold themselves to slavery to buy food for their families throughout the winter. I guess the stakes should be higher in the upcoming Long Night. Fire & Blood: Cregan Stark brought a host of Northmen to the war, from which none of them expected to return. This is the Northern way and GRRM is constantly bringing it up. These people did not get the war and the death they volunteered for but they did not return to their homes either. Instead, they were married to the many widows of the Dance of Dragons in Riverlands. Because of thousands of marriages like these, Riverlands saw the revival of the faith of the Old Gods which the Northmen brought with them. This might be a hint that after their country is overrun by the Others, the surviving Northmen will settle in Riverlands as refugees and another merging of cultures will take place. Riverlands already took significant damage from the War of the 5 Kings. There will be even more decimation during the upcoming Dance of Dragons 2.0 and whatever damage the Others will cause. Therefore, Riverlands will be suitably depopulated for a possible merging with the surviving Northmen. New North and New Free Folk: After the Others are dealt with, the North will not be repopulated by the Northmen. There will be no such excessive population to fill such a vast country to begin with. There will be no returning to the pre-war state, at least for a long time. The North will mostly turn into a wilderness, much like the Lands Beyond the Wall (while there was a Wall). Surviving wildlings and clansmen and people out of the feudal system will live in the North as the new free folk. As Ygritte told Jon, the whole northern vs southron thing is a matter of perspective. TWOIAF: After a couple of centuries, a fool will write a history book arguing that the Others were just a tale fabricated as justification for the savage Northmen coming south and conquering war-torn countries. A fool like this: “Archmaester Fomas's Lies of the Ancients—though little regarded these days for its erroneous claims regarding the founding of Valyria and certain lineal claims in the Reach and westerlands—does speculate that the Others of legend were nothing more than a tribe of the First Men, ancestors of the wildlings, that had established itself in the far north. Because of the Long Night, these early wildlings were then pressured to begin a wave of conquests to the south. That they became monstrous in the tales told thereafter, according to Fomas, reflects the desire of the Night's Watch and the Starks to give themselves a more heroic identity as saviors of mankind, and not merely the beneficiaries of a struggle over dominion.” Growth arc: That means no one will rule Winterfell in the end because Winterfell will be no more. Surviving Stark kids will have to found new homes for themselves. The home of their childhood will be just a memory. This is a bittersweet growth arc that fits ASOIAF.
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