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About talvikorppi

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  1. talvikorppi

    Honor and starks

    So what is honour? (Besides Jaime's horse - BTW, he has two, named Honour and Glory by his young squire (hostage), and he keeps riding only Honour.) I think GRRM really wants us to think about the concept of honour and what it is and is it all good or might it have problematic aspects as well.
  2. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    Sigh. But Bowen Marsh is taking sides in realm quibbles, or even wars. He sided with the Lannisters (Janos Slynt) at the LC election. Yes, Jon let his love for his little sister Arya cloud his judgement and made mistakes. But he sees, or saw, the bigger picture. Old Pomegranate only sees his prejudices and his little job and the present tradition of the NW. He's a narrow-minded, conservative jobsworth. Jon is, or was, a visionary who understood what needed to be done to save humanity from an existential threat. Compared to that, who holds Winterfell or the Iron Throne really is pig shit. Stannis is also pig shit, but he was the only one to help the NW, so Jon owes him at least some courtesy and advice. Jon probably overstepped the line a bit, but what do you do when a (pretend) king, who actually helped you, squats at your place? This is why GRRM writes these things so knotty. Nothing is clear-cut or simple. Jon knows/knew the big picture, the real war, but he also had personal motivations. A bit like Jaime. He killed the Mad King to save the people of KL, but also because he hated his guts. Just don't try to paint Bowen Marsh as some kind of a hero, because after all is said and done, he'll be seen as a competent middle-manager, out of his depth when big things happen. (Stannis is actually similar.)
  3. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    Hmmn... Bowen Marsh doesn't have a smartphone, he can't just tweet at Roose/Ramsay Bolton. Bowen Marsh is in the yard where all pandemonium is going on, men of various factions pouring out from various buildings. The ravens are in the rookery, and where's Clydas - supposedly the only one who knows how to use ravens? Also, should Bowen Marsh & co. bow to Ramsay's demands on the basis of the Pink Letter? Isn't that taking part in realm politics? Notwithstanding they don't have all the various personages Ramsay demands.
  4. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    Yes, Jon went underground to where they were all eating now and holding the LC elections because their usual above ground mess hall had been destroyed. I don't want to argue and belabour this point, especially since I mostly agree with you about the main points, and I don't have my books here to quote chapter and verse. But the Pink Letter reading scene does not take place in the usual NW mess hall. GRRM especially mentions it's the Shield Hall, and describes it. It's a new location, not the usual place. Jon especially chooses it for its capacity to hold more men than their presently used undercroft mess hall. He has benches brought in (because men sitting down are more patient) and reflects on all the old, crumbling shields and so few new ones along the walls. This place has not been described in the books before this chapter. I seem to even remember weak winter light filtering through the windows but I might be misremembering that, confusing my mental images with the actual text. It's of course highly symbolic that it's in the Shield Hall, the home of "chivalry" at CB, with crumbling old shields on the walls, that Jon makes his stand. Chivalry doesn't matter, guarding the realms of men matters, whether you're a fancy southron knight or a nightswatchman or a wildling. (You can debate endlessly whether Jon conveyed his policy adequately, and practiced what he preached, but he's got the big picture pat.)
  5. talvikorppi

    Did Edmure save Robb's Life?

    Did Edmure save Robb's life? Obviously not, since he's dead. That's how GRRM wrote it. I don't usually like too much "what-iffery" about a fictional work. Because things are how they are because the author wrote it that way. "What-iffery" is more interesting (and a hell of a lot more complex) if applied to real life. What if Napoleon/Confederates/Nazis had won are the favourite topics around the alt-history communities. Or what if this or that princess had married this or that prince, at the soap-opera end. The best alt-history I've seen is, what if a genetic mutation in a tubular plant native to Australia had enabled agriculture and then metal-working, native nation and empire building to develop in Australia before first European contact. It even changes European history as we know it, very fascinating. There's the "butterfly effect". A butterfly flaffing its wings in the Amazon can move enough air particles, cumulatively, to cause a fierce storm in northern Europe; or one small change can have lots of reprecussions all over the world. Like I said, I don't usually like what-iffery about a fictional work, but I'll bite this time. Edmure obeys his King, Robb, and merely holds Riverrun, lets Tywin's forces pass back west. Blackfish explained the plan. Lead them a merry chase until maybe getting them to a position advantageous to Robb. This "butterflies" two things. Firstly, Tywin's Lannister forces won't get to King's Landing on time, so Stannis might actually win the Battle of the Blackwater, capture King's Landing and Cersei and Joffrey, even Tyrion, declare the truth, that the children are incest abomination bastards. Tywin is bogged in the West, Jaime is a prisoner at Riverrun, Cersei, Joffrey and Tyrion at KL. Stannis acceeds to the throne as Robert's rightful heir. The only way Tywin can hope to save his "legacy", his children and grandchilden (Joff in KL, Tommen at Rosby and Myrcella in Dorne) is to bend the knee. Secondly, maybe Robb is too busy in the field, so he won't marry the Westerling girl, but Roslin Frey (sorry, Edmure, but Robb will pick the only pretty Frey girl, haha!), old Walder Frey will be happy, no Red Wedding... OK, so you can see why "what-iffery" about fictional work is not fruitful. It wouldn't be the same story. It'd be a lot shorter. Probably pretty boring, too. Enlivened by some household accounts.
  6. talvikorppi

    Did LF encourage Joffrey to beat Sansa?

    It wouldn't help, because you'd still have to read what's going through her head in her POV chapters. Logic fail.
  7. talvikorppi

    Did LF encourage Joffrey to beat Sansa?

    Joffrey didn't need any prompting from LF or anybody else. Sansa witnessed his humiliation at the Trident, at her sister's direwolf's jaws. The said sister then compounded the humiliation by taking away his sword, his pride and joy, and throwing it away into the Trident. The more symbolic level is Stark maids emasculating a "Baratheon" man at the Trident, a disjointed replay of Lyanna and Robert and Rhaegar and the battle of the Trident. Oh, and Joff was left sobbing and crying for his mummy. Sansa witnessed it all. Of course a spoiled brat like Joff is going to hold it againt Sansa. Robb's victories were just an excuse for Joff to punish Sansa for having seen his humiliation. Plus, the little shit apparently enjoyed seeing people and animals get hurt. ETA: Also, the GoT incident at the Trident, Sansa and Arya are representing two sides of Lyanna. The romantic and irresponsibly silly and the wolf-blooded, fierce and irresponsible. It's almost like they're together doing something about the past, but it's too early and they're at cross purposes so it ends up badly. But one day... I'm sure the Stark sisters will find a common tune and then enemies of the Starks will hear the singing.
  8. talvikorppi

    Honor and starks

    I'm thinking that the North is such a harsh environment that really, really old concepts of honour - a man's word is his bond - were/still are held in high regard in the North, similarly the concept of guest right, which in the North can be a matter of life and death, to reciprocally give shelter from the elements even to "enemies". Guest right is sacred even in the south - that's why the Red Wedding sent such shockwaves even in the south, it was viewed as horror even by southron people. (Good luck, Freys! hahaha!) The southron, Andal concept of honour seems to be mixed up with a lot of "chivalry", that is, rationalising warfare, killing, explaining it away, (ask Sandor Clegane!) and Ned, being fostered in the Vale - grand central of Andal notions of high chivalric honour - may have picked up southron notions there. Catelyn certainly grew up with the Andal honour tradition, so their sons and daughters (and Jon Snow) learned it... It's almost like they, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran (and Rickon?) have to unlearn southron chivalric honour and return to their Stark forefathers' simpler and harsher honour concept. I don't know what exactly it is, but GRRM sure as seven hells tells us it's not the southron chivalric honour concept that has become corrupt. Why don't we ask Jaime? No character thinks about honour and the conficts inherent in the concept more than our shit-for-honour knight. GRRM very deliberately made it so.
  9. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    Great points again, Azarial. We seem to be thinking broadly similarly. I quoted and highlighted just this little bit. I don't think the Shield Hall is underground. It was where the highborn nightswatchmen at CB took their meals and gathered, the lowborn had their own hall, back in the day when the NW was thousands of men strong, many highborn. Before the disgrace it became in the past 200 hundred years or so (kind of coincides with strengthening Targaryen rule down south during Jaeharys I and "Good" Queen Alysanne... hm...). Plus, locking the doors... For one, the doors probably didn't have modern type locks but bars. Also, I get the impression Bowen Marsh & co. rather seized the opportunity, maybe no chance to send anybody to barr the Shield Hall doors (can they be barred from the outside anyway - I think not). Plus maybe already free folk pouring out... Yes, a very confused situation.
  10. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    That is what I was prodding at. Selyse is a religious zealot, so all for Mel's kool aid, especially because it says her husband shall be King (and Selyse, a Florent, who are resentful of the Tyrells, shall be Queen (and have sons)). Because Mel has told Selyse her husband is Azor Ahai Reborn, the warrior of light, this great prophecied hero. Now, what if Mel realises she got it wrong? Her POV chapter already gave us hints. What if she next thinks Stannis isn't AAR, Jon Snow is! How is Selyse going to react? Will Mel even tell her right away? Mel sees herself serving a higher purpose, not Stannis and Selyse. And what about the recent r'holler converts in Stannis's/Selyse's entourage? Would they follow the priestess Mel if she now told them to follow someone else altogether (provided he isn't or won't remain dead)? Especially since there's some foreshadowing and this theory around that Mel could sacrafice poor Shireen. Maybe to bring back believed-dead Stannis/aid his war effort (Selyse is zealous and mad enough to maybe go with it)... and inadvertently resurrects/heals Jon Snow, and then Mel sees the light. But that's another discussion. See, so many moving parts! :-D
  11. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    I'm trying to think of the factions now at CB (and the Wall in general). Not even thinking about numbers, just possible divisions. There are the Queen's men, about 50, composed of knights, sworn swords and men-at-arms (=ordinary soldiers). They seem to be mostly R'hollists of varying "piety". Are they loyal to Selyse or Mel? Or Stannis's cause or their own advancement? I don't think we should see them as a totally unified block. Selyse is a deranged religious zealot (I feel kinda sorry for her, it couldn't have been easy being married to unbending, humourless Stannis, failing to produce male heirs - so easy prey for an ambitious religious leader) but how many of the Queen's men are as zealous as she is? How many would follow Melisandre, the religious leader, over their self-interest? What happens if Mel's and Selyse's views/interests clash? So that faction is not necessarily a unified block. Then there are the wildlings. From Jon's POV we see quite many integrating fairly smoothly, even taking the black, but even Jon is aware that many more are barely controllable. Maybe Jon is wearing pink goggles and he sees things in too positive a light? Some wildlings might feel truly loyal to Jon, but by no means all. And what will they do if he is (mostly) dead? Before he gets better? What then? So the wildlings south of the Wall are not a unified block either. Then there are the wildlings still north of the Wall, unless they get wightified soon. There are the Norrey and the Flint and some Northmen IIRC. It seemed Jon won them over but what if he's dead? What do they know, anyway? Lastly, there's the NW. Like others above have said, it seems most rangers and Fist of the First Men survivors plus new recruits are with Jon. Bowen Marsh and the other conservatives, who haven't witnessed the true horror, are against Jon. There must be a third NW faction, the opportunists. They'll keep their heads down and come out for the winning side. So the factions even at CB are messy, not to mention the rest of the Wall, beyond the Wall, in the North... Yeah, no wonder it's taking GRRM so long to write the books. :-D
  12. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    Hey, thanks, Azarial, for digging up all these numbers. And all your other thoughtful, measured and well-considered contributions in this interesting thread - thanks OP for starting it and all the others for contributing. I'm getting really excited about what will happen at the Wall next!
  13. talvikorppi

    Meanwhile back at the Wall

    I think you get "inside Bowen Marsh's head", into his motivations and psychological state quite well. I bolded that one bit. Is Bowen Marsh devoted to serving the realm, i.e. the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the realm (until recently) ruled by the Iron Throne? He dropped out of the LC election after Alliser Thorne etc. made it known the Hand of King Joffrey, Tywin Lannister, had made it subtly known he preferred Janos Slynt to be elected as the new LC of the NW, so getting entangled in southron realm politics. One character claims a couple of times to serve the realm or work for the good of the realm: Varys. Are you trying to draw a parallel between Bowen Marsh and Varys here? (Of course, whether Varys serves the realm or his own agenda is up for debate but beyond the topic of this thread.) The NW vow speaks of guarding the realms of men. LC Mormont and Jon Snow independently come to understand it to mean all humankind, including the wildlings, against the Others and the Long Night. The Wall wasn't put up to keep out other men but the Others. The NW has forgot its true purpose and its duty. Understandable, with such a long time since the real threat last manifested itself. But now there are men of the NW who have seen the real threat, plus wildling men, women and children. It's time to guard the realms of men once again. Except the NW has all gone to seed and got entangled in petty politics and infighting. Sorry, OP, to have wandered OT.
  14. talvikorppi

    Lady Stoneheart-looking ahead.

    I'd quite forgot about that. So, Jaime, painfully honest and truthful, flat out told Catelyn he tried to kill her favourite son. She knew this when she set him free, in hopes of getting her daugthers back. Should we blame Catelyn or Jaime? Jaime has, after all, kept his promises and oaths to her. It's not his fault neither of the Stark girls were there when he finally got back to KL. Afterwards, he does his best to protect Sansa. ("Hey, wench, here's a Valyrian steel Stark sword, and I hope I've got your measurements right for this amazing armour because I looked at your naked body so haaar....uhm... nevermind . And there's a horse as ugly as you, so just get out!") (It's actually a very pretty horse.)
  15. talvikorppi

    "The Others Take You"

    As a linguist, folklorist and non-religious person, I've always loved GRRM's "sweary language". Seven hells! The Others take you! It's very world-building. Ancient people who really, deeply believed in the Others would not so lightly cast this curse. It's the equivalent of "go to hell" or "devil take you". In earlier middle age Europe, such curses would've been taken a hell of a lot more seriously than we do now. For us, especially non-religious people, those are just phrases, not magical/religious words that have some magical power. Similarly, I think, the whole of Westeros, even the North, has forgotten, and people here, there and everywhere say "the Others take you!" without knowing or understanding the Others are actually a real thing. They could quite literally take you. As to Craster. He gave all his male babies "to the gods". Do we know if that was what the gods = White Walkers wanted? Maybe Craster just gave all the baby boys in a twisted Oedipal way - he didn't want any son to grow up and challenge him. Keeping the girls meant he could produce more offspring, boys to the gods and girls to produce even more boys to the gods. I see some short-sighted logic in it, it's almost like a pyramid scheme. But why wouldn't the gods (White Walkers) be happy with just male babies? Why didn't they demand girl babies? Do they reproduce asexually or not at all? Were they happy with Craster providing only male babies? It seems so. Why?