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Posts posted by Mithras

  1. 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.




    A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

    I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.



    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.




    A Feast for Crows - Jaime V

    “You know why they call her Gatehouse Ami? She raises her portcullis for every knight who happens by.”


    A Storm of Swords - Sansa III

    He [Tyrion] hopped down from the dais and grabbed Sansa roughly. “Come, wife, time to smash your portcullis. I want to play come-into-the-castle.”


    A Storm of Swords - Sansa VII

    “Winterfell is the seat of House Stark,” Sansa told her husband-to-be. “The great castle of the north.”

    “It’s not so great.” The boy knelt before the gatehouse. “Look, here comes a giant to knock it down.” He stood his doll in the snow and moved it jerkily. “Tromp tromp I’m a giant, I’m a giant,” he chanted. “Ho ho ho, open your gates or I’ll mash them and smash them.” Swinging the doll by the legs, he knocked the top off one gatehouse tower and then the other.

    It was more than Sansa could stand. “Robert, stop that.” Instead he swung the doll again, and a foot of wall exploded. She grabbed for his hand but she caught the doll instead. There was a loud ripping sound as the thin cloth tore. Suddenly she had the doll’s head, Robert had the legs and body, and the rag-and-sawdust stuffing was spilling in the snow.

    Lord Robert’s mouth trembled. “You killlllllllled him,” he wailed.



    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.




    A Storm of Swords - Sansa VII

    “That will give it strength enough to stand, I’d think,” Petyr said. “May I come into your castle, my lady?”



    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.




    A Feast for Crows - Alayne II

    The Eyrie shrank above them. The sky cells on the lower levels made the castle look something like a honeycomb from below. A honeycomb made of ice, Alayne thought, a castle made of snow.



    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.




    The Winds of Winter - Alayne

    And best of all, Lord Nestor’s cooks prepared a splendid subtlety, a lemon cake in the shape of the Giant’s Lance, twelve feet tall and adorned with an Eyrie made of sugar.



    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.




    Surely the plot is very unpredictable despite all the prophecies you give to help us…

    [Laughs] Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword. You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy... In the Wars of the Roses, that you mentioned, there was one Lord who had been prophesied he would die beneath the walls of a certain castle and he was superstitious at that sort of walls, so he never came anyway near that castle. He stayed thousands of leagues away from that particular castle because of the prophecy. However, he was killed in the first battle of St. Paul de Vence and when they found him dead he was outside of an inn whose sign was the picture of that castle! [Laughs] So you know? That’s the way prophecies come true in unexpected ways. The more you try to avoid them, the more you are making them true, and I make a little fun with that.




    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).

  3. On 3/8/2020 at 3:40 PM, aryagonnakill#2 said:

    Shadrick made it clear to Sansa that he knew who she was in the spoiler.  When they are in the yard watching Corbray beat up on the other knight.

    Shadrich made it clear to the readers that he knew who she was. A huge difference.

  4. Problems with “Seven Days of Battle” and “Three Days’ Ride” 



    A Dance with Dragons - Jon XIII   

    Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. 


    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. 



    A Dance with Dragons - The King’s Prize   

    The storm did not abate. The march continued, slowing to a stagger, then a crawl. Five miles was a good day. Then three. Then two.  

    By the ninth day of the storm, every camp saw the captains and commanders entering the king’s tent wet and weary, to sink to one knee and report their losses for the day.   


    On the twenty-sixth day of the fifteen-day march, the last of the vegetables was consumed. On the thirty-second day, the last of the grain and fodder. Asha wondered how long a man could live on raw, half-frozen horse meat.   

    “Branch swears we are only three days from Winterfell,” Ser Richard Horpe told the king that night after the cold count.   

    If we leave the weakest men behind,” said Corliss Penny.   

    “The weakest men are beyond saving,” insisted Horpe. “Those still strong enough must reach Winterfell or die as well.”   


    Finally, after a nightmarish day when the column advanced a bare mile and lost a dozen horses and four men, Lord Peasebury turned against the northmen.   


    The next day the king’s scouts chanced upon an abandoned crofters’ village between two lakes—a mean and meagre place, no more than a few huts, a longhall, and a watchtower. Richard Horpe commanded a halt, though the army had advanced no more than a half-mile that day and they were hours shy of dark. It was well past moonrise before the baggage train and rear guard straggled in. Asha was amongst them.   

    A Dance with Dragons - The Sacrifice   

    “Then go. You have my word, I will not run. Where would I go? To Winterfell?” Asha laughed. “Only three days’ ride, they tell me.”   

    A Dance with Dragons - Theon I   

    “Rather than use our swords upon each other, you might try them on Lord Stannis.” Lord Bolton unrolled the parchment. “His host lies not three days’ ride from here, snowbound and starving, and I for one am tired of waiting on his pleasure.”


    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 swears we are only three days from Winterfell,” Ser Richard Horpe told the king that night after the cold count.   

    If we leave the weakest men behind,” said 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. 



    Asha had been as horrified as the rest when the She-Bear told her that four Peasebury men had been found butchering one of the late Lord Fell’s, carving chunks of flesh from his thighs and buttocks as one of his forearms turned upon a spit, but she could not pretend to be surprised. The four were not the first to taste human flesh during this grim march, she would wager—only the first to be discovered. 


    “Too few fish and too many fishermen,” Lord Peasebury said gloomily. He had good reason for gloom; it was his men Ser Godry had just burned, and there were some in this very hall who had been heard to say that Peasebury himself surely knew what they were doing and might even have shared in their feasts. 


    It was the same argument as last night and the night before. _Press on and die, stay here and die, fall back and die._ 

    “Feel free to perish as you wish, Humfrey,” said Justin Massey. “Myself, I would sooner live to see another spring.” 

    “Some might call that craven,” Lord Peasebury replied. 

    “Better a craven than a cannibal.” 

    Peasebury’s face twisted in sudden fury. “You—” 


    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? 



    “Your king gelds men for rape,” she reminded him. 

    Ser Clayton chuckled. “The king’s half-blind from staring into fires.” 


    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. 



    “Have you lost your faith in red R’hllor?” 

    “I have lost faith in more than that,” Massey said,


    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. 


    “One of Lord Peasebury's men was killed, and two of mine were wounded. If it please Your Grace, though, the men are growing anxious. There are hundreds of them gathered around the tower, wondering what's happened. Talk of treason is on every lip. No one knows who to trust, or who might be arrested next. The northmen especially—“ 

    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. 



    TWoW Theon I

    Preps for the Battle on Ice. 

    TWoW Asha I

    Theon is brought before the weirwood tree. He confesses the truth about the boys he killed. His story is confirmed. Theon asks to take the black. The Northmen grudgingly raise their voices in favor. Stannis spares Theon and sends him to the Wall along with Massey’s party. Many days pass before the battle starts. Cold count skyrockets. Starvation and cannibalism run rampart. The morale in the camp gets worse and worse. Desertions start. Karstark and Peasebury men are chief among the deserters. Finally the Freys arrive. Battle on Ice starts. Ranks of Stannis are composed of hungry and weak soldiers. He has considerably weakened and depleted host. The only hindrance for the Freys is the winter storm and the deep snowfall. Frey vanguard breaks the enemy easily. The host of Stannis is routed. Survivors flee all over the frozen lakes. Freys give them chase. This is when the ice breaks. Both the fleeing men and their pursuers drown by the hundreds. The Freys still have their reserves and supply train intact. Asha spots the Manderly knights charging to battle. 


    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.

  5. 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.
    1. After the Kingsmoot, Aeron is captured and chained deep in the bowels of Silence. 
    2. They set sail to take the Shields. On the Silence, Aeron has his First Dream. 
    3. 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.
    4. Victarion leaves for Meereen. 
    5. Falia Flowers brings food to Aeron in the dungeon and tells him that Victarion is gone.
    6. Aeron is taken to the Silence again and they leave Oakenshield.
    7. On the Silence, Euron confesses killing his brothers to Aeron.
    8. 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.
    9. Aeron has his Second Dream in this dungeon.
    10. At the end of this chapter, they take him out and tie him to the prow of Silence.
    First Dream


    And when the Damphair slept, sagging in his chains, he heard the creak of a rusted hinge.
    “Urri!” he cried. There is no hinge here, no door, no Urri. His brother Urrigon was long dead, yet there he stood. One arm was black and swollen, stinking with maggots, but he was still Urri, still a boy, no older than the day he died. 
    “You know what waits below the sea, brother?” 
    “The Drowned God,” Aeron said, “the watery halls.”
    Urri shook his head. “Worms... worms await you, Aeron.” 
    When he laughed his face sloughed off and the priest saw that it was not Urri but Euron, the smiling eye hidden. He showed the world his blood eye now, dark and terrible. Clad head to heel in scale as dark as onyx, he sat upon a mound of blackened skulls as dwarfs capered round his feet and a forest burned behind him.
    “The bleeding star bespoke the end,” he said to Aeron. “These are the last days, when the world shall be broken and remade. A new god shall be born from the graves and charnel pits.”
    Then Euron lifted a great horn to his lips and blew, and dragons and krakens and sphinxes came at his command and bowed before him. “Kneel, brother,” the Crow’s Eye commanded. “I am your king, I am your god. Worship me, and I will raise you up to be my priest.”
    “Never. No godless man may sit the Seastone Chair!”
    “Why would I want that hard black rock? Brother, look again and see where I am seated.” 
    Aeron Damphair looked. The mound of skulls was gone. Now it was metal underneath the Crow’s Eye: a great, tall, twisted seat of razor sharp iron, barbs and blades and broken swords, all dripping blood. Impaled upon the longer spikes were the bodies of the gods. The Maiden was there and the Father and the Mother, the Warrior and Crone and Smith...even the Stranger. They hung side by side with all manner of queer foreign gods: the Great Shepherd and the Black Goat, three-headed Trios and the Pale Child Bakkalon, the Lord of Light and the butterfly god of Naath. 
    And there, swollen and green, half-devoured by crabs, the Drowned God festered with the rest, seawater still dripping from his hair. 
    Then Euron Crow’s Eye laughed again, and the priest woke screaming in the bowels of Silence, as piss ran down his leg. It was only a dream, a vision born of foul black wine.


    • 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

    The dreams were even worse the second time. He saw the longships of the Ironborn adrift and burning on a boiling blood-red sea. He saw his brother on the Iron Throne again, but Euron was no longer human. He seemed more squid than man, a monster fathered by a kraken of the deep, his face a mass of writhing tentacles. Beside him stood a shadow in woman’s form, long and tall and terrible, her hands alive with pale white fire. Dwarves capered for their amusement, male and female, naked and misshapen, locked in carnal embrace, biting and tearing at each other as Euron and his mate laughed and laughed and laughed...

    • 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.


  6. Quote

    “Tell Lady Sansa why I keep you by us,” said Cersei.

    Ser Ilyn opened his mouth and emitted a choking rattle. His pox-scarred face had no expression.

    “He’s here for us, he says,” the queen said. “Stannis may take the city and he may take the throne, but I will not suffer him to judge me. I do not mean for him to have us alive.”


    “You heard me. So perhaps you had best pray again, Sansa, and for a different outcome. The Starks will have no joy from the fall of House Lannister, I promise you.” She reached out and touched Sansa’s hair, brushing it lightly away from her neck.

    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.

  7. 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:



    A Game of Thrones - Tyrion III

    My uncle is out there,” Jon Snow said softly, leaning on his spear as he stared off into the darkness. “The first night they sent me up here, I thought, Uncle Benjen will ride back tonight, and I’ll see him first and blow the horn. He never came, though. Not that night and not any night.”

    Give him time,” Tyrion said.

    Far off to the north, a wolf began to howl. Another voice picked up the call, then another. Ghost cocked his head and listened. “If he doesn’t come back,” Jon Snow promised, “Ghost and I will go find him.” He put his hand on the direwolf’s head.

    I believe you,” Tyrion said, but what he thought was, And who will go find you? He shivered.

    A Game of Thrones - Arya II

    Her father had been fighting with the council again. Arya could see it on his face when he came to table, late again, as he had been so often.


    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.

    1. SSM: The North is the place that suffers the consequences of winters most severely.

    2. 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?

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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 thisArchmaester 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.”

    9. 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.



  8. That might just be, GRRM coming across a cool old name while researching


    Also, isn't Donner Germanic for "Thunder?" In my home language, Afrikaans for instance, we call thunder "Donderweer" orThunderweather


    Thursday means Thor's Day in reference to Thor. Its German is exactly the same. Donner comes from Donar, Germanic name of Thor.

  9. Theon/Lady Dustin's descent into Winterfell crypts, wasnt just dialogue, but fit an empty hole with plot.


    It's stated that a Barrow King of old, warred with the Starks. The Stark's won, and to maintain compliance and peace, The Barrow King awarded his daughter to them. I'd theorize, Brandon The Breaker won this prize.


    Lady Dustin explains to Theon, that she had a thing for Eddard's brother, Brandon Stark.


    The idea is, the Barrow King's daughter was a Dustin. Lady Dustin of old, daughter of a barrow king, could inherit the monicker (like Sansa=wolf queen; Daenerys=dragon queen, etc) Corpse Queen.


    A Dustin, fell for a Brandon, and things go awry (both timelines). There's also a missing sword in both (Ice, in aeons past, and one of the iron blades of the now)


    Lady Dustin is not a Dustin by birth :S

  10. Also, in the book, the brothers assassinate Jon because he is deserting the night's watch to go participate in a political war. In the show they murdered him because they were butthurt about wildlings, even though they have proof that Jon's decision was the best option by far.

    The plans for the "assassination" of Jon started long before the Pink Letter in the books. What they tried to do was murder in the books as well.

  11. In George's original draft, he planned to have Dany murder her husband because he would murder her brother and not be committed to the invasion of Westeros. George changed this into what we have today: Dany comes to the point of suicide due to the abuse and rape from Drogo but she has a dream about dragons and suddenly, she is strong!

    The original plan was much better. I never see any feminist criticism about this stupid turn of events in the books.

  12. I believe she will be in WF, I always believe she is the person to restore house Stark and be the magnet that brings her siblings together.

    As far as the GOHH, I still believe it's Baleish the Titan of Bravos and burner of the realm.

    I think Theon or Roose will do in Ramsey.

    But just as the books are GRRM story, the TV version is tied to D & D and things could change.

    Except it is all but confirmed that Rickon will be the first Stark to return to Winterfell (at least physically :)).

    He will be Stannis' public figure to bind the North to his cause. George promised us that Stannis is one of the lies Dany is supposed to slay; so, he should empower Stannis enough so that he could be a challenge to Dany when she comes. The only way to do that is to give him the North and that Manderly Fleet in the making.

  13. That reminds me, there was some question about the "evil-ness" of the Others and that they might be misunderstood. However, they are clearly positioned as bad guys here - the ultimate antagonists - and I'm wondering if there will be some ambiguity in the books.

    Although I believe the Others are the ultimate bad guys, I think there might be a few good Others who do not want to kill people and turn them. George is the writer of Fevre Dream and that was exactly the case for the vampires there. A good vampire and his followers were trying to find a cure that would release them from being addicted to human blood.

  14. I wish the R&R thread were still open.

    Just rewatched the preview -did anyone else cringe at Stannis' line?

    "We march to victory or we march to defeat. " Way to cover all the bases. He follows it up with "Either way we move forward " but it's still sounds clunky.

    They probably learned that the Boltons married Sansa and anticipated that some Northern Lords are going to join them. Meanwhile, the winter must be hitting hard on them. I think that is making the way for Stannis to send Davos to bring some Northern Lords to his side. In his absence, Mel will try to burn Shireen. Stannis will not yield until the news from Davos arrives.

    Meanwhile, Davos will discover that Rickon is alive and well with the Umbers. But before that, the news of his false death might be spread.


  15. I think other people have given you explanations, but far too detailed and possibly confusing because it seems like you are asking about the basics of what he said, not the thematic/dramatic purposes of what he said.

    "No one" means she is not Arya. She's not anyone. He wants her to become "no one" as in forgetting her identity.

    "Some one" means taking on the role of someone else, now that she's "no one" (AKA no longer Arya). So she's ready to "take on another face". Another persona.

    You must first be no one (have no identity) to become someone (else).

    I don't agree. Becoming no one is to stipping off old identity completely. Arya is not ready to do that because she still has lots of Arya in her. But she has learned a bit of lying and acting. So, she is ready to be someone else, meaning that she can pretend to be someone else. That refers to the Cat of the Canals in the books. She didnot change her face but assumed a false identity and roamed the streets and docks, selling stuff and spying on secrets.

  16. In ADWD something similar happened. I'd have to recheck if it the same thing was in AFFC too.

    Hmm yeah. But even Arya herself thought that she should stop that stupid lip bitting habit of hers :)

    In AFfC, the KM was trying to catch her unawares while hitting her with his stick and faking a different voice.

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