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JNR

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  1. Well, he'd wanted Storm's End all along, ever since he was given Dragonstone and Renly was given Storm's End by Robert following the Rebellion. But wanting it wasn't enough. It wasn't until Renly crowned himself in flat defiance of the order of succession -- Stannis being the elder Baratheon, and thus Robert's heir, as Ned also recognized and stated in writing -- that Stannis moved against Renly. And while Mel wasn't around earlier, he could certainly have hired an assassin of some sort. We're reminded of Renly's treason multiple times, including Stannis himself. For instance, here's Stannis from the ACOK prologue: Or this, after Renly dies: That's pretty direct stuff. Davos also takes the same line I did, re the hard but fair business: Of course we'll never know what would actually have happened to Edric, because Davos solved that problem, but I think Davos' opinion as given above is the correct one from Stannis' own POV. Meaning Stannis has rules and he plays by them. Those rules don't include burning his sole heir, a little girl, alive, as far as I can see. (A shame we didn't have Stannis running America's FBI in 2016. People who followed the rules would have served their country much better.) Sansa, btw, sees Renly this way also: As for Penrose, he was Renly's loyal instrument in holding Storm's End against Stannis, and hence a traitor too... much as (for instance) Mace Tyrell would have been a traitor in Robert's eyes, if he had for some reason continued holding the Reach against Robert, out of loyalty to the Targ dynasty once Robert was king, instead of acknowledging Robert as his true sovereign.
  2. Link, please. And are we talking about the same Benioff and Weiss who lied to the entire fandom -- for no apparent reason -- when they repeatedly claimed Jon was permanent dead and Harington wouldn't be coming back to the show? All they had to do was use GRRM-esque evasive maneuvers, but they resorted to lies and a lot of them. Even if they didn't mean to lie re Stannis, I have little to no faith in their competence recalling the exact words GRRM told them in the exact context, and as we all know, precision is everything in working these things out. These are the same people who had Varys teleporting back and forth between Dorne and Meereen in one episode. Precision isn't their strength. An innocent little girl is burned alive, and that draws no reaction unless Stannis was involved, really? Do you mean D&D are sociopaths? You seem to mean that. Well, it's not impossible. We can imagine it. I mean that there's no very good reason to think Stannis would reverse his character and outlook as the canon clearly establishes it. He is constantly described, particularly by Davos, as hard but fair. He doesn't burn people just to get ahead in the world. As with the shadow assassin, sent to Renly because he saw Renly as a traitor, burning is for Stannis a form of punishment for treason, cannibalism, etc. Example from ADWD, the most recent book: In the exact situation, advancing to Winterfell in horrible weather, Show Stannis chose to do the opposite thing as Book Stannis, notice. Here's a bit that's also on point from the most recent canon we have involving Stannis, the Theon sample chapter from TWOW: Uh huh. There's no way, IMO, that Book Stannis is going to see his little daughter Shireen as deserving such a horrible fate. He means Shireen as his heir, and he has no other. But what about Shireen's other parent, Book Selyse? The R'hllor zealot, back at the Wall with Mel (whom she worships)? Who, unlike Stannis, is local to Shireen? That might be another matter...
  3. True, we can't compare the show to the unwritten story. However, we do know that the show has made truly radical departures from major canonical storylines. Examples: Brienne (in AFFC and since) and Sansa (since ASOS). Both are major POV characters. And virtually everything GRRM did with their stories in this millennium was simply deleted and replaced by something utterly different in every respect. There's no way those characters can shift and become more canonical now, either. The gap between the two narrative worlds is permanent, to themselves and other subplots they've affected. In short, everything they've done in recent seasons (and they've done a lot) cannot be mirrored in future canon, just as Hodor and Shireen cannot possibly meet the same fates in the books that they do in the show.
  4. To say the least. This kind of optimization is exactly what I had in mind in suggesting he get a world-class consultant -- if there is one who has both the requisite skills and the deep mastery of the canon. The last eighteen years have not been promising for the future of the series.
  5. Well, this definition of "essence" is only your subjective concept, though. How do you know what GRRM said, or what he considered essential about it? For instance: I find it remarkably unlikely that Book Stannis has a single thing to do with Book Shireen's death (assuming she dies in TWOW). From both character and logistical standpoints it just seems very doubtful to me. If on the other hand, GRRM simply told D&D "Mel burns Shireen," then that IMO would accord neatly with the books. Book Mel and Book Shireen were both left behind at the Wall, after all... a complete reversal from the show... and so there's no apparent reason to think Stannis is connected. Similarly, if GRRM told them "Hodor's name derives from the phrase hold the door," and never said a single word about which door, or when, or anything involving Bran, that too would work for me. D&D have made a dog's breakfast of many concepts, like the "annulment" Rhaegar supposedly got despite his two children as irrefutable proof of marital consummation, and I think the Hodor business is just another on the list. Of course we may never get future books, so we may never know one way or another. But on the subject of the third "holy shit" moment they think GRRM gave them, clearly we will know, and in less than a year. If my prediction is wrong, and it's not a particularly memorable death for the previously-discussed character, we'll know what it was instead, because D&D will almost certainly tell us in some interview ("Yep, that was the third one").
  6. They still didn't know what GRRM was doing... although they'd made up their minds what they were doing. Completely unsurprising. What did he tell them? Scraps, as far as I can see. As for this: Maybe, but I doubt it. After all, the dramatic scene on the show, re Hodor, literally can't happen in the books. There simply is no such door for Hodor to hold: So we know that if they said "holy shit" in response to whatever GRRM told them about Hodor, it wasn't really either holy or shitty enough for them to use on TV as it was. They decided to warp it into a different thing -- a manifestly noncanonical thing. We also know they must have done this for Shireen... who in the books, simply did not go south with Stannis at all, and thus, can't meet the same fate at the same time in the same way that we've been shown. D&D took what they were given, and they did what they could to add some weight, but the books (if we get any) will be far superior to the post-canon show, because GRRM is just... better than they are, in practically every way except punctuality. That's a "theory" I'd expect almost every Heretic can get behind.
  7. I suppose it comes down to what you think a "holy shit" moment means. I think they did abstractly know earlier than that meeting, agreed, but... as with Shireen... the specific circumstances are hugely important in delivering an emotional WHAM! to the audience. We know GRRM still worries about this, years later! So I doubt there was any real detail available back then. "Broad strokes" was the phrase used, and I think any of us could have given them that sort of thing too.
  8. Classically Hollywood thing to do, yes. Voldemort's got to be stirred in there somewhere; best get it done early. In fact, I think we can deduce with reasonable confidence that D&D were never even told who Jon's parents were. Because if they had been, that would certainly have been a "holy shit" moment of its own (the oblivious show audience not being remotely as conscious of fan theories as we are). And we know Jon's parents can't be on that list, because Which, of course, is going to be ...though I doubt that's going to shock any regular reader of Heresy. I was smacking myself on the forehead and complaining how obvious D&D had made it waaaay back in season two, with their radically rewritten and simplified HOTU visions.
  9. Well, I think it suggests quite a different thing: that Benioff and Weiss only got, at best, table scraps from GRRM about his future books. We know GRRM gave them exactly three "holy shit" moments, and we also know that two of the three involve characters Hodor and Shireen -- not exactly star players. I think that's a measure of just how guarded GRRM really was. And because D&D were forced to make command decisions to get the show on the air, they frequently jumped to conclusions that will turn out to have been ludicrously wrong. Just as they did in countless other areas, like geography, travel time, continuity, plausibility, etc.
  10. Mr. Benioff has clearly never seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  11. It exhibits Gaiman's strengths (line-level phrasing, command of global mythology, innovation) but also his weaknesses (tendency to lose his way in a long story in which he can't hold it all in his head at once, anticlimax that isn't either anti enough or climax enough).
  12. I think we know, factually, that he isn't dead in a permanent sense. The B&N interview from circa 2009, now scrubbed from the Net, had a fan asking "Will Jon ever find out who his parents are?" and GRRM responding in the affirmative in simple, unambiguous terms. Since Jon hasn't found out yet, we know he will return to the story, and he'll fundamentally stil be himself, too, or he couldn't learn this information. (Nobody's going to tell Ghost who Jon's parents are.) Someone should ask him at a convention why he starved ASOIAF to death, though. I wonder what he'd say.
  13. JNR

    Heresy 212 The Wolves

    It's always been my strong opinion that what he intends is going to blow minds anyway. The question is whether a diehard gardener like GRRM can accept his new job... in architecture... which is to build a highly complex and detailed house inside a specific chunk of land -- a chunk that is exactly two books wide and two books deep. Unfortunately, the chapters from TWOW are not promising in this department. A business in this position -- for instance, a software company struggling with a new app rollout -- would do the obvious: get a world-class consultant. The problem is that such writers as have the architectural skills to help GRRM generally do not know, about his immense world and story, even 1% of what they'd need to know to make effective suggestions. And I doubt his pride would tolerate such consultation anyway.
  14. JNR

    Heresy 212 The Wolves

    Slowly, I'm sure... I think there's at least one other option: he's always known, even in surprising detail, what he's doing, but (per interview responses), he is trying much too hard to live up to his press and deliver an ending that blows minds. He said that seven years ago. Well, a perfect endgame just isn't going to happen. It probably can't even be defined objectively. IMO, he'd do much better simply to deliver a skilled and complete ending in which major character arcs are executed, the plot concludes, and all the major mysteries are resolved -- inside two (very large) books.
  15. JNR

    R+L=J v.165

    Imagine you are Ned. Imagine R+L=J and all the usual assumptions that come with it, such as the standard TOJ scenario. How, in the face of the Rebellion just concluded, do you 1) Prove this baby, that no one knew existed, is the rightful heir to Rhaegar? 2) Overrule Aerys appointing Viserys as his heir? ... which Aerys did when both of Rhaegar's children were alive, bumping them down in the line -- a situation that would apply to Jon as well. 3) Persuade anybody in power, anywhere in Westeros... such as your best friend King Robert, who sits the throne... that another Targ is a better idea than King Robert? 4) Dismiss your sacred promises to your dying sister to raise this baby as your bastard and hide his true identity? I doubt Ned would have had a good answer to any of these challenges.
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