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  1. That we see things differently doesn't surprise me, LV. We have differing opinions on many things over the years, so why should this be different? I believe we need to look at this in the context of the history Martin has given us to evaluate if this decision by the show runners is a wise one, not important, or a huge plot hole and change created in contradiction to what Martin has given us. It doesn't have to be this last option - IF there is a backstory that creates a believable reason why the Royal Family would allow a Dornishman as one of their personal bodyguards. But without that backstory, we have to believe the Targaryens have become both lax concerning their personal safety and somewhere off screen some major changes in the politics of Targaryen/Martell relations have taken place that we don't see in Martin's history of the time. Perhaps it is a simple as the history of family Cole in service to House Dondarrion has proven young Criston's unquestioned loyalty to the royal family. I'd love to know what in that history justifies such trust. Great swordsmen can serve in many places and in many ways without putting them within a quick thrust of killing a member of the Targaryen family. All I'm asking is that the show runners show us the reason for this change.
  2. Thank you! The fact this comes from the show and not Martin's text explains a lot. While not ruling out the show runners created this backstory perhaps with Martin's consent, it does raise considerable need of explanation. A man of Dornish descent in the Kingsguard, and indeed who becomes the Lord Commander, is not something we would expect in this time period. The death of Rhaenys and the refusal of Dorne to accept Targaryen rule is too strong a backdrop to Martin's story to just accept Cole's Dornish heritage, to whatever extent it is, without some detailed explanation.
  3. Quick question. I was recently watching a video by someone previewing the upcoming HBO series, and was taken aback when he described Criston Cole as "Dornish." Did I miss something somewhere? House Cole gains power serving House Dondarrion, a Dornish Reaches House pledged to Storm's End. Enemies of Dorne. Cole himself serves in the Kingsguard at a time Dorne is outside and opposed to Targaryen overlordship of the seven kingdoms. Not a likely place for a Dornishmen to serve. Is this a mistake on the previewer's part, a change that the show runner is making, or something I missed in the text?
  4. Isn't it precisely the point that Biden is not, in fact, in charge of the Senate? Manchin and Sinema now hold the veto over the Biden agenda, and until that changes its pretty ridiculous to hold Biden responsible for not getting all of his economic package passed. Manchin played a phony game game all along to string his fellow democrats into negotiations in which he never had any intentions of reaching agreement. Sinema, likely has her own political ambitions, fanciful as they seem, for 2024 that motivates her actions. If we want real change we still need to change the makeup of the Senate, and, probably even harder, maintain a Democratic majority in the House. I agree with "It's Biden too" part of your argument, but Biden isn't responsible for not being able to persuade two Senators who clearly have put their own political agendas above the economic needs, and securing voting rights protection, abortion rights,, and a host of other reforms the US voters clearly support. For me, it's too easy to fall into the simplistic view of it all is Biden's fault that not every thing he campaigned for hasn't got passed into law yet. Not calling your post simplistic, but I am saying is that what the Right wing wants to make this election about is Biden's faults - real or imagined. Which doesn't mean progressives or liberals should not criticize Biden where he needs to be criticized, but it does mean we shouldn't help the right wing shape this election into a personal vote on Joe Biden. Criticism needs to specific, real, and with ways forward. Or at least I think so.
  5. As an aspiring completist of all things Elio and Linda, and of course that Martin fellow, I'm in. I loved Fire & Blood and will happily buy this new book for the artwork alone even if there is nothing else new.
  6. Lyanna is a girl of fourteen to sixteen years old when the events from the time of the Harrenhal tourney to her likely death at the Tower of Joy. She is member of an aristocratic family in which her role is rigidly defined. Yet the Lyanna we know is a young woman who rebels against that role time and time again. Think of her battle with the squires over their treatment of Howland Reed, the possibility she rides in the tourney as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and her remarks about Robert's nature to Ned. Which is also consistent with the "wild" northern girl who rides like a centaur and trains in skills decidedly not approved by her father or much of Westerosi society. This is a portrait of a young woman fighting for her own way in her world, not just a tool of others. I call that "agency." That is even more so if, as I think is likely, Lyanna herself plays a role in her "kidnapping" or escape from an impending marriage to a man she wants no part of.
  7. While I think I agree with most of this, I think it is also worth taking a closer look at the usage of the word "kidnapping" in the Westerosi context. "Theft" might be the more appropriate term when used concerning Rhaegar's actions. Combined with "rebellion" by Lyanna and I think we get closer to the cause of the outrage that follows Rhaegar and Lyanna running off together. It not really a question of whether or not Lyanna is a victim in most people's eyes, but rather the damage done to her House, by both Lyanna and Rhaegar that is in question. The damage done to Lord Rickard's "rights," and Aerys's rights as well. Nor does Lyanna's age really much enter into it. We see many marriages by children younger than she was and no one bats an eye at them. Btw we don't know her age when the "kidnapping" takes place. Children become adults at sixteen, but they are not really free to marry whomever they wish afterwards. Perhaps in a strictly legal sense, but in every other way the custom dictates children follow the dictates of their fathers. The repercussion of not following those dictates range from Tyrion and Tysha's example at the worst, to fatherly acceptance depending on the individuals.
  8. I've always considered the real reason Rhaenyra is not considered a Queen is simply that the politics of Westeros after the Dance was such that many of the Lords of the Realm's views on female monarchs didn't permit her inclusion as a monarch because of the rather important precedent it would set. Most of the male nobility don't want their preference for male inheritors of their power and prerogatives messed with. Can't have those scary women upsetting the "natural" order of things. Damn the reality that Rhaenyra was crowned and ruled from the Iron Throne. She can give birth to monarchs, but she can't be counted as one in her own right, or things might get out of control. Rhaenyra's descendants acquiesce to her posthumous slight is in exchange for real power.
  9. I've a question to the "completists" out there. Does anyone have a complete list of all the non-Martin story collections in which his short stories, novellas, etc. have been published? I'm particularly interested in the English language publications. The bibliography in Dreamsongs Vol.II is helpful as far as it goes, but I keep finding new anthologies that have Martin stories included in them that are not referenced there. Part of that is simply because of the publication date of Dreamsongs, but instead of trying to recreate that list myself it would be helpful to know if there is a easily accessible place for such information. Thanks Found it. All the information I needed is here
  10. You wanted a short answer, so I gave you mine. Want a discussion on the topic? Probably better to start a new thread or revive an old one than do it here.
  11. He should go to the Happy Port in Braavos. It's near the Ragman's harbor, and is just across from the Mummer's Ship. Ask for the Sailor's Wife or her daughter Lanna. Your mate might not make it out alive, but he will have his question answered.
  12. You're right that most of this is pure speculation, and as such we shouldn't put to much stock in believing one way or another. One thing we do know is that Yoren left the Wall long before Jon takes his vows. So he can't be the source of any news to Ned that Jon is a member of the Night's Watch. I don't think we have any evidence that Ned knows that fact before he dies. Which would make it extremely unlikely that his regret is because he knows he should have told him something before Jon takes his vows. Perhaps, his knowledge that Benjen is not there to stop Jon from doing so is a factor. I'd say his regrets around Jon most likely have to do with not having an opportunity to tell Jon who his mother was, and not knowing if Benjen will ever return to tell Jon in his stead. Again, the latter is based on my guess that Benjen knows that secret. That would be a reason to write a letter to Jon, but obviously the information in it might not be something he would want Varys to read. That's especially true if Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon's parents. Perhaps a message for Jon to seek out Howland Reed? Another guess. We obviously need more evidence here.
  13. Perhaps, but we don't even know if it was the plan to allow Jon to actually take the vows. Ned needed to get Jon out of Winterfell and away from the antagonism with Catelyn, and to someone he trusted as far away as he can from King's Landing. Being at the Wall with Benjen might just have been a temporary solution. Such a interpretation would mean Benjen is in on the plan. Unfortunately, Benjen goes missing, and Ned doesn't find out about until Yoren arrives in King's Landing. Or Ned just placed Jon's safety over any ephemeral claims he might have had to the Iron Throne. Doesn't mean he wouldn't have told Jon before he joins the Night's Watch, but just that he doesn't have any belief that there is a chance Jon could ever sit the Iron Throne. His promise most likely was to just keep him safe at all cost. Something we will have to wait and see if it is ever answered. One reason I think we just might see Benjen again.
  14. I would disagree. I think the larger lesson is that all perspectives and all accounts of events should be evaluated for strengths, weaknesses, and bias. What Martin has done in the very structure of his novels is to give us different perspectives to view reality. If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing the classic film Rashōmon by Akira Kurosawa then you have a guide as to how to handle what is "true" and is to be "trusted." So, for instance, when we read Ned's innermost thoughts we should note that, unless Ned is delusional, those thoughts reflect his point of view of reality. Not reality itself. It is for the reader to judge what his bias does to how reality is interpreted. Yes, second hand accounts lack the perspective of someone who was on the scene. That does not mean they have no value. When we read Viserys's point of view, as told through the filter of Daenerys's memories, we need to note that Viserys was not present at the Trident, for instance, but it is very important to also note that he is likely to have been told his stories by other Targaryen partisans, including Rhaella and Ser Willem, who may well have reason to know things Viserys doesn't . The bias is important, but the stories are as well. If nothing else, Viserys's stories to his sister tell us what is likely the loyalist's view of history. Given that we get the rebel's view of history through almost everyone else's point of view it is extremely important not to just dismiss what Viserys says. So, yes, Viserys doesn't show a knowledge of the differences between Ned Stark and Tywin Lannister on the day of the sack of King's Landing, but his view, as told through Daenerys's perspective, of Rhaegar "dying for the woman he loved" tells important information that we don't get from all the rebel view points. The Targaryen story speaks of love, not of rape, brutality, and abduction in Rhaegar's motives and actions toward Lyanna. We would be foolish to dismiss that view for bias, just to accept the other biased viewpoints as told by Robert, Ned, and others. The lesson, it seems to me, is to evaluate all the evidence as distorted by perspective to some degree, and not assume bias from only one point of view.
  15. Ned was absolutely there during the sack of King's Landing. He confronts Jaime in the Red Keep as he sits upon the Iron Throne during the sack. Ned's troops come late to the sack, but they, and he, are there while it is still ongoing. So, no, not total bullshit. That the Targaryens don't make much of any differentiation between the Lannister's and the Stark's role in the sack is a important nuance in the reader's eyes, but not so much in the eyes of loyalists. Both armies were in the city and involved in the overthrow of Targaryen rule. It's not surprising that in Viserys's view they are both responsible for Aerys's death. Why should it matter to loyalists what the command structure was during the sack as long as they both were there, they both were responsible. After all, who ends up controlling the Iron Throne on that day? Stark troops do, with Ned Stark leading their way into that seat of royal power. Jaime surrenders it to them without a struggle.
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