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Alaynsa Starne

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  1. Alaynsa Starne

    GoT and Feminism: What Happens Now?

    I think this is being pretty uncharitable to the OP. No one is saying that women can't be villainous or that having female villains is misogynistic. In the real world, we don't have people saying "Men are more emotional than women, ergo women are more rational, ergo women are more fit to be leaders." We usually see the opposite. So Dany snapping for seemingly no reason other than in the past two episodes she's just gone crazy out of nowhere falls into sexist tropes, even if that wasn't the showrunners' intention. The social implications of having Mad King Aerys as background worldbuilding versus seeing Mad Queen Danaerys mow down fleeing civilians with no nuance or contextualization aren't equivalents. There's nothing wrong with Dany being villainous, just that the way we got there reads too easily as "Hysterical woman scorned can't be allowed near the nukes!"
  2. Alaynsa Starne

    The Ghost of High Heart, and a promised... “Prince”?

    Definitely interested in your perspective on this because I, too, like to think that Bran is tptwp and that Summerhall is somehow related to broken promises and the current encroachment of the Others. Curious to hear more!
  3. Alaynsa Starne

    The Ghost of High Heart, and a promised... “Prince”?

    That's possible, but I personally just interpret the emphasis that's placed on the word "wedding" in her dialogue and the fact that she cackles afterwards to mean that she's in the know. I can't really think of any other reason for Martin to include that little bit if it's not meant to imply the GoHH knows the RW is coming. I've thought of that as well, and it's definitely a possibility, but I think context lends itself more to the interpretation that the GoHH is speaking of Arya's coming grief from the RW. Firstly, the GoHH makes the connection between her grief from Summerhall and Arya. Unless Arya will, in future books, assassinate someone close to the GoHH (which I find to be fairly unlikely) I'm not sure why else the GoHH would be speaking of her own personal losses if she didn't sense something similar coming for Arya. Secondly, given that the GoHH visions are predominately related to the RW and its aftermath, it seems that Martin is attempting to foreshadow that the visions the GoHH just had are directly related to Arya. To me at least, that makes the most sense. It seems more likely that the GoHH can interpret her visions, she just doesn't care enough about them to act on them or to try and prevent them. Which could be how she's always been, or that could be the result of Summerhall. I honestly don't know which. Though, I do think it would be a lot more compelling if she were directly related to/responsible for the tragedy that occurred.
  4. Alaynsa Starne

    The Ghost of High Heart, and a promised... “Prince”?

    In response to the question posed by the OP in terms of whether the GoHH was trying to issue a warning pertaining to TPTWP, I think the answer is no, probably not. Here's why: Here, the GoHH is actually giving instructions. She tells them to go to the Twins to find Cat instead of going to Riverrun. However, she also knows exactly what is going to happen at the Twins. We know this because she foretells Cat's body in the river, Grey Wind howling and no one listening, and the music at the wedding. She also looks at Arya and says that she smells of death, likely less because of what Arya has already been through (Beric, Thoros, and the rest of the BHWOB have all been through the violence in the Riverlands) and moreso because of what's coming. She compares the grief she felt at Summerhall to the grief Arya is about to feel. And yet, she doesn't give a direct warning about what's coming. She conveys information in a roundabout way -- e.g "I saw a girl with purple snakes in her hair" -- but she also conveys info in a perfectly direct way -- "There's to be a wedding." It's not that she's having visions where she sees things but isn't sure about how to interpret them the way that Mel does. She sees things and knows exactly what they mean. But she also knows the Red Wedding is coming and deliberately chooses to withhold that information from relevant parties. The closest she comes to giving a warning is telling Thoros to look for visions of it himself. But she also does so after telling them to take Arya to the Twins, but before saying that Thoros must look for the visions later. It almost seems that she's deliberately obfuscating any indirect warning she's attempting to give. This is somewhat underscored by the fact that she finds the impending doom of the Starks humorous. It doesn't seem that the GoHH goes out of her way to give warnings. Granted, this is decades after Jaehaerys and Summerhall, and the Red Wedding has dire political implications for the Starks and the North whereas TPTWP is likely more significant to mankind as a whole. So her character and motivations are likely quite a bit different, here. But, were the GoHH genuinely attempting to give Jaehaerys a warning, I think it unlikely that the warning would go so misinterpreted. We've seen the GoHH speak very frankly, and I think if TPTWP were to be detrimental to either House Targaryen or the world at large, and were the GoHH so inclined to speak frankly about that, Jaehaerys would have to be unusually stupid for the warning to go so far over his head. If anything, I think it's more likely that the GoHH was attempting to further the Targaryen's cause and probably did encourage the Aerys/Rhaella match. But I think that's for another thread.
  5. Alaynsa Starne

    Why was Viserys mad and his "Sister" and "Brother" wasn't?

    I think, at least with Targaryens, insanity depends largely on how one reacts to dragon dreams and the outside perception of those that surround the individual. For instance, when Dany enters Drogo's funeral pyre, it probably seemed to people who were watching that that she'd had some sort of mental breakdown. But then dragons were born, so everyone assumed she was actually the most smart. And yet, other Targaryens did things that seem crazy believing that it would bring dragons back based on their dragon dreams. But they didn't. So everyone thinks they're crazy even though it was likely that the conditions simply weren't right for dragons to be reborn as they were with Dany, but the basic premise was correct.
  6. Alaynsa Starne

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    Why would Ramsay need to torture that information from anyone? Ramsay isn't looking to make the letter look like it was written by Mance. None of the language used in the letter is actually exclusive to Mance, and to believe so is to have such a strong bias towards the Mance theory that one ignores the fact that 1) the series is written by one person and will inevitably have phrasal/stylistic repetition even between different characters, and 2) literally any character can use the language you've cited. Mance is not the first human to threaten to cut someone's heart out. Mance has not only never actually used the phrase "for all the north to see," but he certainly doesn't have the phrase trademarked, either. Most characters have called Jon a bastard. Plenty of other characters have talked about cloaks, and if Ramsay actually did make a cloak out of the washerwomen's skins, what else is he supposed to call it? Should Martin not use the word "cloak" just in case readers jump to wild conclusions just because a cloak was important to Mance once? Ramsay probably wants to avoid alternative authorities in the North. He probably doesn't understand the dynamic of wildlings, and so assumes that Val and Mance's baby are "heirs" of sorts. Selyse and Shireen are the same, and, more importantly, they're noble and could theoretically raise swords to come fight him eventually. Better to nip that shit in the bud. The term "crow" is not used exclusively by wildlings at all, and is it really so far a stretch to believe someone in the south would have the "imagination" to add black to that nickname? They're called "black brothers" they "take the black," they wear all black. It's not as though this is the greatest leap, here. Theme: a central topic in a story. The main theme of Jon's story is duty. I believe it was three-eyed monkey who said that what I cited as theme was related to character arc, but not theme. Which ignores how character arc acts in direct service to theme, but that's probably because I worded my original comment poorly.
  7. Alaynsa Starne

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    This is the fundamental problem I have with this. Jon continuously refuses to break his vows, and Stannis figures he can get Jon to do so and swear fealty to him after it's been proven to Jon that Stannis lied to and betrayed Jon in a political maneuvering that hurt Jon and his cause and helped only Stannis. And Stannis plans to do this by telling Jon that Ramsay no longer has his sister, which would negate a serious motivation for Jon to come south. Why on earth would anyone do this? This is the hoop-jumping I was talking about. Sure, Stannis would benefit from Jon swearing fealty to him. But no sane person in Stannis' position could possibly believe that the pink letter would achieve what he theoretically wants to happen. You'd have to assume Stannis is sitting around, thinking to himself: "Goddammit, I need Jon Snow to break his vows. He keeps telling me no even after I offer him all this cool shit. I bet I can get him to do it by telling him his sister is no longer in immediate danger. Winterfell wasn't motivation enough, but I'm sure that'll get him. Gee, I sure miss my wife and kid. I should ask him to bring them down in the middle of a horrid snowstorm to war torn lands while I'm at it." And I don't mean that to be snarky at all, I'm just trying to show you why this line of reasoning makes absolutely no sense to me. As a side note, I don't think it's a coincidence that Theon quoted a line to Stannis from the letter word for word. I think it's evidence that Theon knows Ramsay well enough to understand his speech patterns. The letter calls Theon Reek. Stannis is currently in possession of Theon. Stannis knows that Jon has no way of knowing who Reek is. What is the point of imitating Ramsay so perfectly when Jon 1) wouldn't know what the hell he's talking about, anyway, and 2) wouldn't be able to tell the difference regardless? It makes more sense for the letter writer to assume that Theon is at the Wall, or at least on his way to the Wall, and therefore Jon would actually know what Reek means.
  8. Alaynsa Starne

    The High Sparrow's Plan

    I think, after experiencing the atrocities of war firsthand, he's looking to bring down the ruling class and establish the Faith as the leading power in Westeros. I think he, rightly, recognizes that the current system is not working and is to the detriment of the majority of the people who live in Westeros, but wrongly thinks that the replacement system should be armed religion.
  9. Alaynsa Starne

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    It also ignores how thematically it makes the most sense for Jon's arc for Ramsay to have been the one to write it. One of the main threads of Jon's story is how badly he's wanted to be Lord of Winterfell and how that's been denied to him again and again because of his birth and his own choices. The biggest character change in Jon's arc in ADWD isn't that Jon chose Arya over the Watch, it's that Jon begins to act as Lord of Winterfell in absentia with his political meddling. Jon has the mindset of a Lord of Winterfell, not of a Lord Commander. And that's essentially his downfall. When he gets a letter calling him bastard over and over again and signed "Trueborn Lord of Winterfell," he doesn't think "I'm coming to save you, Arya," he thinks "I'm coming for you, bastard." And that's because he's not prioritizing his family, he's prioritizing his political goals. Which is what he's been doing for the entire book. If the Pink Letter was written by Mance or Stannis, that functionally undermines the main thematic element that was building in Jon's arc since he was elected LC. It's the same as the theory that Tyrion is a secret Targ fundamentally destroys the tragedy of the Tyrion-Tywin dynamic. Jon's political choices need to have direct political consequences. If Ramsay didn't write the letter, then the lessons from Jon's arc are "Better not be fooled by an impostor, otherwise you'll be Caesar'd" instead of "The Watch takes no part."
  10. Personally, I think Ashara makes the most sense. She's the most historically recent and therefore the most likely to still have popular songs being circulated about her. Plus, Daeron is from the Reach, so she's at least geographically relevant to his life experiences. Daeron could just be playing fast and loose with the titles here by mislabeling Brandon, Arthur, or Ashara's kid as princes. Or, for some inexplicable reason, it could be about Ashara being such an diehard Targaryen loyalist, she killed herself when Aegon was murdered because life without the Targs just wasn't worth living. It's also a possible reference to Bael the Bard, but that seems like a much further reach given the wildlings (or at least Mance and Ygritte) seem a lot more interested in ancient folklore than men at the NW do, so I'm not sure where Daeron would have heard the story. Could be Helaena as well, but she lost two sons, not just one, and the loss of life seems like a much bigger detail to fudge than just a title, but who knows. For all we know, Daeron made up a story about Naerys throwing herself off a tower after Aemon died.
  11. Alaynsa Starne

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    The Ramsay "theory" -- which shouldn't even be considered a theory, but rather an acceptance that some things in the series really are what they seem and not everything is carefully crafted subterfuge -- can't answer the questions you posed because no theory can. You're asking us to answer questions that aren't based on text that has been released yet. The Pink Letter posed questions (i.e. how did all this happen) but we have to wait for subsequent books to fill in the blanks. You're expecting us to write the northern plot line of the next book, which shouldn't be necessary to answer the question of who makes the most sense to have written the letter. Furthermore, most of them aren't relevant to whether Ramsay actually wrote the letter. He could have written it if he had or hadn't hunted Jeyne and Theon. He could have written it if he had or hadn't defeated Stannis. He could have written if he had or hadn't captured Mance. He could have written it if he does or doesn't have the sword. Just because the letter is written without blood and skin doesn't mean it's "out of character," it just means he didn't go to the same trouble of theatrics with this letter as he did with two others. The tone of the letter in consistent with Ramsay's character, even if the lack of add-ons arguably is not. There's no "vague reason" necessary to explain why he considers Val a princess. He's in the vicinity of men who were at the Wall who also thought of Val as a princess. He or his men could have captured some of them. It's not exactly rocket science. If you consider that vague, then ok, but again, you're expecting us to answer unrelated questions that we fundamentally cannot with any reliability, which is rather bad faith on your part. Ramsay wrote the letter. No other character has motivations that make any sense at all. Theorists essentially have to write fanfiction to make sense of why Stannis or Mance or anyone else would write the letter in the first place, how in the world those characters thought that the letter could achieve the theorized motivations, and then have to jump through hoops to put the pieces together for how anyone else would have the means to send the letter to Castle Black. Which, again, is a lot of fun, especially when we have to wait so long for another book, but it ultimately doesn't make a ton of actual sense. The Ramsay theory is not at all devoid of textually-based evidence, explicitly stated character motives, foreshadowing, set-up, etc. The letter was sealed with pink wax, it was signed "Ramsay Bolton," it's full of insults, taunts, and violent language as we would expect of Ramsay, Ramsay has ravens that can go to Castle Black, Ramsay is literate, Ramsay grew up a bastard and knew personally how infuriating that word would be to Jon, etc. Ramsay's character motives are literally written in the letter and based on events that we have seen happen. He wants Jeyne and Theon back. And those, as motivations, are not only acceptable, but actionable. The spark of a conflict between Jon and Ramsay has been in the works for the entirety of the book, so there's your foreshadowing and set-up. If those aren't convincing to people who prefer other theories, that's fine, but please acknowledge that it's because of your own personal bias towards those other theories rather than what the books are explicitly telling us and thematically laying out.
  12. Alaynsa Starne

    Robert and Maester Aemon

    I think Aemon mentions he and Rhaegar were in regular correspondence when he was still alive, no? Jon may not have been told Aemon was on the Wall, but I'm sure the Targaryens, and thus King's Landing, were at least aware at the time that he was still up there. I think Robert probably didn't see the value in killing Aemon. He was sworn to the Watch, he wasn't politically relevant, and he was too old to become so. There's no use in marching all the way to the Wall, and potentially starting another war to do so, just to get one old man.
  13. Alaynsa Starne

    Victarion GreyJoy is a Jerk

    I always got the sense that people who "like" him really only do so ironically? If you don't take him too seriously, he's unintentionally hilarious, so he's got that going for him, I guess. He doesn't really have too many other redeeming qualities, otherwise, but I suppose he's the least worst of Balon's generation.
  14. Alaynsa Starne

    Jon's Shield Hall Speech and Subsequent Plan

    Jon could not deny Mance wasn't who Ramsay claimed him to be. I mean, he could, but we've been shown time and again that justice in Westeros boils down to whoever has the most power is right. Ramsay is, by law, Lord of Winterfell. Roose is, by law, Warden of the North. Jon is the bastard Lord Commander of a military order that is essentially, at this point, defunct. The position of the North at this time is such that whatever the Boltons say goes. The other Lords don't really have a choice, practically and lawfully, but to go along with it barring interference from an outside power like Stannis. But Stannis is, according to the letter, dead. So for all Jon's knowledge, he's alone in this. It also happens that the Bolton's claims with regards to this issue are actually the truth. Any northern lord who'd seen Mance before he defected could back up their accusations. So even if we do assume that lords loyal to the Starks would want to side with Jon, even if we assume that they wouldn't consider it a betrayal for Jon to have allowed wildlings to infiltrate south of the Wall, they have no leverage against the Boltons that Jon can currently use to his advantage. Jon is in a bad position at the Wall. He has wildling refugees holed up in Mole's Town. He has supplies that he desperately needs to keep protected. Personnel is stretched too thin to protect the Wall from the north, let alone from the south. He has approximately 1000 fighting men, and even more mouths to feed. Waiting for Ramsay to attack the Wall, regardless of which castle they choose to wait at, is probably Jon's worst bet. There are too many variables to consider with no room for error. He can try to reach out to northern lords, but he can't expect much from them. Again, practically, they have very little to offer. Even if they had the will to respond favorably to Jon (which is a bit of a stretch) very few of them would have the means. He definitely was not planning on marching on Winterfell. He thinks that he needs Mel to find Ramsay. If he were planning on attacking Ramsay there, he wouldn't exactly need to go looking for him. Additionally, even if Jon's response is a mistake, he's not an idiot. People who aren't idiots make mistakes all the time.
  15. Alaynsa Starne

    The Hooded Man is Torren Liddle.

    Sure, but there's not really any reason to assume that Torren Liddle is Myrtle, as far as I can see.
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