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  1. I have often seen people react very strongly against any suggestion of a secret identity for main characters beyond Jon. Valid and well argued reasons exist for thinking that Dany, Tyrion, Pod and more might be more (or less) than they believe themselves to be. However in most cases the argument against centres around the belief that we as readers can only handle so many lies, secrets and major reveals. It is a dilemma that has me wondering if GRRM is actually up to something: Maybe he is stretching the lies and secrets beyond our breaking point as readers deliberately, in order to tie the story together in the end with a finale that centres on truth: what it is; what matters and what does not; how an entire society can be built on such lies and therefore have the most crumbly of foundations imaginable. In other words, the lies and secrets are the point.
  2. If you ask me, the reason why they disagree on who were the original kings and who the usurpers may have to do with my hunch that the Blackwoods follow somewhat matrilineal practices (and the Brackens don’t). It is more a hypothesis than a theory mind you, but is rooted in deep tracking of clues in lineages, and small moments such as Lord Blackwood asking for his son to be taken as hostage and not his daughter. Even in an overarching Westerosi patriarchy, the system would be maintained by tracking female descendants who married into other families and re-incorporating their line into the Blackwood (extended) family after one or two generations. The reason they would stick to this system IMO has to do with the greensight; it was in their family and to keep it there they needed the female line. Imagine there was an ancient pre-historic ruler who died, leaving behind an older daughter, married perhaps into a Northern family (Blackwood origins), and a younger son, much like the Dance. For the Blackwoods, by their system, the daughter was heir. For the Brackens, by their system, the son was heir. Both considered the other the usurper, legitimately.
  3. Whatever the origins of the dispute, it seems clear IMO that the Blackwoods have played the game more successfully. I would love to maintain neutrality, but a review of the history makes it hard. If Brackens were initially first men, then when the Andals came they betrayed their gods. Then they helped bring in House Hoare. They supported the zealots of the faith millitant. Then they fought for Maegor. One led a selfish mutiny at the Wall. Later the supported the darkest phases and actions of the greens. They have a consistent pattern of humourlessness, and fighting for causes that do not favour women, or the general good of their region really. Not the easiest family to love.
  4. House Swann is also very powerful. But it is one of the Houses with a "two-faced" symbol, which is another sigil set I have been meaning to start a thread for discussing. Just connected to House Frey the "two-faced" sigil Houses are: Swann Farring Paege And of course we know that Walder himself has earned quite a reputation for being two-faced. The fact that the Twins is actually two castles connected by a bridge (and separated by a river) is perhaps a reference to this.
  5. I really think we can't look at every instance of ANY poison being used and see it as some sort of pattern. If there is a set of 3, it is a set of 3 uses of the strangler at public feasts. Tywin might have been poisoned. Or not. But if he was it was not with The Strangler. My personal take on Tywin's stink is that it was meant to be symbolic. A bit of a playful way for GRRM to state that this is a man who left a stinking and foul legacy. Some saw his ruthlessness as necessary evil, but really it was all built on a big load of shit and lies and tyranny.
  6. Oberyn’s use of poison was a different kind, so the third step might actually be still to come. I would not be against a mass strangler murder (in the story, not real life, where i am always against mass murder) in one particular House… In terms of the story however, it might make most sense for Cersei to be the next one to use the Strangler. She has a history of almost using poison when things get dire, and she has a way of taking things used against her and learning from them. So maybe we should fear for the Tyrells or the Faith Millitant rather than the Freys.
  7. I have wondered if there is an element of « family rejects » going on when it comes to who marries in to House Frey, or if it is just a matter of dead mothers having little power to influence their children. Both the Blackwood and Royce branches have multiple characters who participated in the Red Wedding, but both branches also include one or two who are (or might turn out to be) decent. Alysanne Blackwood and Perra Royce died long before the Wot5K and probably while their children were still quite young. It could really be just that they did not actually get to raise their children. On the other hand, both the Blackwood family and the Royce family are relatively large and may contain factional sub-branches. So the same internal rivalries that are beginning to explode within House Frey may also be present, lower key in other families, and the ones that were married off to House Frey may have been the disfavoured 4th or 5th daughters or even suspected bastards of those families. Maybe it is not only the Frey family that will have a period of kinslaying while the ambitious try to rise via murder.
  8. @Melifeather I agree on a lot of things here, such as the importance of timing. I also agree that the chalice was meant to provoke and distract. But the cup Melisandre drank from was not exceptionally ornate or deep. I really don't think that GRRM made two scenarios with deliberate similarities, but that require different explanations. To me an antidote is more convincing because it applies potentially to both scenarios, not just the one.
  9. Alright well, interpretation in absence of info I guess. But if i knew there was poison in a cup I would not depend on intangibles like bottom settling or dissolution speed. I would just not drink, because mixing and spread could not be predicted or controled. Yet I do agree that nothing has been directly said about either an antidote or dissolution time so it is up to us to pick our preferred idea.
  10. Neither did I with the gnat. It was an outside party with colourful cups. I could see it from above before taking a sip. And as the chalice would have been wider at the top than the cup I had, I genuinely think they would see a seed in there too.
  11. I guess I just think the theory the strangler poison dissolves slowly is doubtful because I think noone would risk using it if it were that slow. Too much risk of being caught. Wine is translucent and I know that I have had a tiny gnat fly into my wine outside before and seen it right away. So even if there was a seed sized crystal in my wine, that I would also see. The only way the poison is useful is if it dissolves fast IMO.
  12. No, I think her vision made it clear which poison. The Ghost of High Heart saw a maid with purple serpents in her hair. Let's say Mel saw something similar. Even though she did not see the vision as if it were a movie, directly showing Cressen choosing strangler crystals, if she saw purple serpents and wine, I would say it is relatively easy to narrow down which poison was intended.
  13. Yes, but in one of her chapters she directly states that her visions have more clarity when they concern threats to her, personally. So I don't think her misinterpretations with Alys Karstark and the the Tower by the Sea are much to go by.
  14. Except that when Davos intended to kill her she had not even seen him return from being rescued after the Blackwater yet. He was arrested when he arrived at the castle because she saw it in a vision. There is even a quote somewhere about her visions, and how they are most accurate and clear when her life is threatened.
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