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Julia H.

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  1. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    Ugly. I don't think she knows where she is going at first or what will happen to her there. But even if she does, she only goes to Braavos when all other options she was clining to (in Westeros) have been lost She didn't want to go to the Wall, she wanted to go to Winterfell. But her home is lost as are her family members. And she can't find her family in Braavos. Raff is reaping what he has sown. This is justice as eleven-year-old Arya with her experience understands it. You say so, but Arya doesn't know about any such possibilities. You and I are adults. And we are not at war fighting for survival. She is just trying to survive. Her experience is that she will be attacked anyway, which may be a reason why she would resort to a pre-emptive strike. One of the focus points of this series is how children are victimized in war. Some of them are killed, some of them are orphaned, some of them are nearly sacrificed at the stake, and Arya is a victim, too. Children who become murderers in a more or less normal world, where they live in a protected environment are one thing. Children who become murderers after seeing countless murders and other instances of cruelty and live in constant mortal danger in a world where only the strong and the violent prevail are quite another. Perhaps she is the Stark who has already learned to be "tough and hard" as you say Ned should have been. Yet, this series specifically calls our attention to why it is wrong to "just sign death warrants" and hide behind paid executioners. Sure, killing must be easier when you don't see your victims, it must be easier to forget about your responsibility. But your victims are still dead and you have still caused their deaths, and if you think otherwise, you are deluding yourself. In addition, when you are in a position to give out orders, you are also responsible for those who obey you. Cersei can afford the luxury of not killing with her own hands, because she is in a position where she can give the orders. One instance of a perfectly unjustifiable murder with her own hands is not "only". It shows she is mentally, psychologically capable of it, but normally she has the opportunity to make others do her killings for her. And even when she only "signs the death warrants", she targets innocent people, including children, without any problems. You think you understand why she does what she does. But that's your subjective opinion, and your posts reveal that you are not interested in her motivation, not interested in what she was and in how and why she has become what she is now or how she relates to the world through her own age and experience. You have labelled her a psychopath and deny that she is a victim of war suffering the results of countless traumatizing events. As a matter of fact, intent matters. Absolutely. In real life and in literature as well. Incidentally, she is also seeking justice. She had a sense of justice before the tragedies in her life happened. It is not a mantle a child of her age should take on, but her childhood has been lost forever. It doesn't mean she has become an adult though. She is just a very lonely child who is trying to make sense of a very twisted world around her. She may still succeed.
  2. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    OK, you don't care about abused orphans. You care about the kind of murderers like Cersei with her paranoia and Gregor with his headache and self-made man rapist Varamyr. Dissuade her? They explained to her the job as a sort of "service", as something good and necessary. She has seen murders left, right and centre (including the murder of her own father and other people she cared about), and now she is learning that there is a god who looks after these things. There is an overall explanation! Of course, she wants to understand. What alternative "studies" are offered to her, half as relevant to her experience? So where else could she go? She didn't originally want to go to the House of Black and White. She wanted to go home. But war prevented her and now her home doesn't even exist. She has no family members to turn to. She could choose to live the life of a homeless, helpless orphan who has no one in the world, and she knows how dangerous that can be. She has chosen a life where she could learn to protect herself. BTW, she mainly wants to kill a certain set of people. As I've repeatedly said, it is not a good thing, this is not the right way to live for her. But she ended up there through no fault of her own, and, being a child, she is a victim. If you look at one chapter, yes. But we have five books before that and we know how and why Arya became an assassin and what part Raff played in it all. Sure, it's murder. Yet, Arya is a victim. In our modern world, perhaps I wouldn't need to lure you into a trap because there would be an official authority that would do it instead of me, that would arrest you and arrange for a proper trial. In Arya's world there is no authority to mete out justice for her or for the other civilian victims of war. Life has taught her either she does it or it will not happen. That's one of the results of the war. The Bolton soldier's case IIRC was a pre-emptive strike in a situation where her immediate survival was at stake. She didn't have the time to read and reread the novels a thousand times, she had to make a decision instantly, and she couldn't make a mistake. It is quite possible that this decision saved her life. At least she didn't make the mistake you chastise Ned for: She thought of herself and her friends before thinking of the interest of the enemy. The insurance guy was part of her training. She was sent out by the adults who had taken her in and given her a sort of home. Dareon: There she was trying to uphold the law as her father had done. Dareon was a Night's Watch deserter. Of course, it wasn't her job to do justice, but she does not trust the justice of the world any more, besides this was an expression of her Stark identity. Not the right way to express her identity, but that's what has remained for her. Obviously, she didn't give Dareon a fair trial, she didn't try to explore his motivation. But she is only a child. If she had a parent by her side, she wouldn't be allowed to take justice into her own hands. Without appropriate guidance (and with what she has learned in the House of Black and White), she thinks she is doing the right thing. But she is still learning the world, and at the age of eleven, her story, her personal development is not finished. I don't think Arya's fate is as cool in its darkness as you seem to think. Unlike Cersei, she was shown to be a caring and intelligent child, whose life was ruined by war and by the twisted and dark people she met. I don't understand how anyone who claims to be able to empathize with Cersei (who was a murderer already as a privileged and protected young girl, without suffering any of the traumatic events Arya had been made to suffer) can't see Arya as a child victim of the adults' game and can't understand why she resorts to murder.
  3. Julia H.

    Tywin didn't have affair for 27 years

    1) Tyrion was 13 when his marriage with Tysha happened. He is an adult now. He should have matured, but in this respect he hasn't. I think he could have matured if his father had had a more humane approach to his son's mistake. 2) In my opinion, the "lesson" had a great impact on Tyrion though not in the way Tywin probably intended. Perhaps. But I still think Tyrion has a bit more obvious reason to want to reject reality than most men (though any number of other men can be insecure as well, of course). I don't think he just imagines that. I can agree with this.
  4. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    Did you also check prepubescent child offenders who had previously been orphaned (their fathers being killed in front of their eyes), left to their own resources in the streets, later attacked by armed gangs, kidnapped and made to experience abuse and unspeakable cruelty by groups of criminals? It's not about cheering. Of course, this is not how Arya should live, this is not what an eleven-year-old girl should be doing. The question is whether we are blaming the criminal or the victim. If Raff hadn't been what he was, he could never have been lured anywhere by an eleven-year-old prostitute. Since you brought up our modern world, if the police today, in a civilised country, catch an adult man with an eleven-year-old prostitute, which of them do you think is more likely to end up in prison?
  5. Julia H.

    Tywin didn't have affair for 27 years

    It may be so, but Tyrion does get infatuated with Shae to the point where he seems to be genuinely in love and deludes himself thinking that Shae also loves him. It is also apparent that mentally he has not got over Tysha and on how their brief marriage ended. (He tells the story to Bronn and his reaction makes it clear it is really not a story the average Westerosi would regard as normal.) Also, Tyrion wants affection and he doesn't hope to get any unless it's paid, because of his condition. You are right that marriages in this world are not based on love, but I guess most noblemen just expect their wives to accept them in bed as in life in general, once they have got married, without thinking too much about what a wife's expectations might be, and this is what Tyrion cannot imagine doing because he has too often seen the negative reactions to his body in other people's eyes and he has become too self-conscious.
  6. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    The fact is that I believe every "evil" (call it what you want) person (in real life as well) must be the product of either some horrible accident of nature (born with serious mental disorders) or his / her upbringing or other circumstances. I don't think people just "choose" to be evil, or when they do, then already something is wrong. What Ramsay does simply precludes a normal personality. There is something fundamentally wrong with Cersei as well. Yet, I also believe that for most people the choice of becoming a better person is somehow given. Cersei may not have an easy life, but she has better opportunities than most other women in her world. She does not try to become a better person, not even when everything goes wrong around her, not even when she sees how she destroys people around her. For all his faults, Jaime faces his own "evilness" and tries to do something about it. He takes a small step at a time, and I think it is psychologically believable. Major changes don't happen overnight. I think we have Cersei's POV to see her narcissism and cruelty better. There is a reason for it, there is always a reason, but without a single redeeming quality, I find it hard to empathize with her. Sure, when she is defeated and humiliated and suffers, I feel sorry for her, but that's because I don't think this should happen to anyone. But I don't "understand" why she wants to destroy Margaery - I know her reason, but it's not a reason that I can accept. Yes, she loathes Tyrion because she believes him to be the valonqar, but we find out that even before she spent years with this fear on her mind, she had killed a friend of hers for no justifiable reason at all. It is never indicated that there was a time when she was caring and "good". Her supposed "love" for her children is perhaps the most selfish and narcissistic characteristic she has. True love is not like that. I could go on, but I won't. She never shows remorse or any willingness to put the good of another person (anyone) before her smallest interest. I completely disagree with the bolded. Arya is a victim of Raff and others' cruelty. There is a reason why she included him in her list: It is that Raff had a more than average traumatizing effect on her. Can you really demand that a child who lost her family due to war and went through what Arya went through and who had to fight for survival at an age when she should have been playing should still be able to follow the honour code of the family she lost? You accuse Ned and Robb of being too naive for their own good, now here's a Stark who has learnt the ways of the world. The world into which she was thrown alone does not respect the Stark code of honour. The Starks do not kill women or children, they do not rape anyone and they treat the men of the Night's Watch with respect. Arya saw the opposite of these values during her journey in the Riverlands and she learn the lesson. What is more, at the moment she is still a child and she is still being exploited by adults - even if she has her own agenda as well. You can really empathize with Cersei and understand her motivation to do evil to people who never hurt her even though she has lived her whole life in a privileged situation but you can't empathize with Arya and understand why she wants to kill Raff, how it is an act of liberation for her (though it probably only lasts a moment), how it is proof that her "prayer" has been answered at last, that she does not have to be a victim forever? Sadistic instincts most likely. He needs power to freely dedicate himself to what he enjoys, and we all know what it is.
  7. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    In Dany's case, I thought of Mirri. I don't think he sacrificed Viserys rather than stood by as he was being killed (and I don't think she could have done much to save him in that moment). Killing Drogo may be seen as a sacrifice but it was more like mercy killing in my opinion - Drogo had to go at that point, and Dany finished his sufferings as tenderly and mercifully it was possible. Rhaego is another dubious question. It is implied that deep down somewhere Dany knew that the "horse" she was sacrificing was not really Drogo's horse but Rhaego. It's very psychological and in my opinion a murky situation. Perhaps she "knew" in her subconscious, perhaps she didn't. A mother who has just lost her unborn child may feel unreasonably guilty. Anyway. Killing Mirri was human sacrifice though, and yes, she regarded her as someone who deserved that horrible death by the fire, of which I'm not convinced, but suffice it now to say that Dany firmly believed she had intentionally destroyed Drogo and Rhaego (as Mirri herself was saying in the end). Another instance of human sacrifice we have is Alester Florent, burned as a traitor but also as a sacrifice to R'hllor. Then we have "Mance", who turns out to be Rattleshirt (what did Melisandre think R'hllor would say to that?), an enemy of the Seven Kingdoms. Yes, the actually happening instances of human sacrifice in the books so far have been people regarded as guilty. I agree that it doesn't generally seem to be a problem with most characters in-world, maybe they consider it only an execution "with a plus" (or a weird kind of execution), but also an execution that would most likely have happened anyway. (Jon does seem to be against burning people alive, which is why he orders his men to shoot arrows at "Mance", but it's not the sacrifice aspect, it's the painful and cruel nature of the execution that he wants to change.) It is also true that we don't know whether the First Men sacrificed innocent people at all or just criminals and / or captured enemies, that is people who still often get killed in that world (and the First Men at least didn't burn them alive). This is history though. However, the idea of sacrificing king's blood (whatever is regarded as such) does imply the sacrifice of innocent people who simply have the right kind of "blood" according to this or that person - in the current story. This possibility comes up with Edric Storm and Mance's baby son, and even Maester Aemon is regarded as being in danger, and we see that Jon is actively against such an idea. Stannis is not comfortable with it either, yet, he can be persuaded. The "stuff" about killing innocents is a major theme in the books, and it takes a sort of hero (such as we are ever likely to have in these books) to stand up for the innocents, when "normal" people don't care. By the way, even Bran wants instinctively to stop the sacrifice when he sees it through the weirwood: "No," said Bran, "no, don't," but they could not hear him, no more than his father had. Ned is a hero all right, a hero in the first book, but his hero arc gets subverted before the end (and no, that doesn't make him an anti-hero). Jon's hero arc is much closer to a classic hero arc, and I believe that the stabbing by Marsh and Co is part of that arc. (I agree with Martin that Jon is the closest we have to a hero in these novels.) Ned's story indeed tells us that goodness can be weak when confronted with evil. If AGoT stood alone, that would be the moral of the story. But it's only the first part of the series, and the reader can notice how Ned's legacy (his honour, his values, his approach to life) lives on in his children, in his subjects, sometimes even in his enemies. He is the gold standard even when the Starks seem to have lost everything. Compare Cersei to that: She has never been able to give even her own children anything important, anything that is worth keeping. Despite the defeat, the Starks are difficult to destroy. The Lannisters, on the other hand, are destroyed in their victory. That's a message, too. This is a rather cynical view of the world. Robb has another subverted, or, if you prefer, failed, hero arc. He does things heroes typically do: While very young, he steps into his lord father's shoes, he vows to free him from captivity, later he fights for his own independent kingdom, he wins battles and marries the girl he loves, despite adversities. His intentions are noble, he has a strong sense of honour. Then we are shown how "reality" deals with him. The father is killed due to the whim of a moronic teenage king before Robb gets a chance to free him. Winning battles is not necessarily enough to win a war, and marrying the girl he loves (who is not the noble princess of fairy tales) means conflict with his allies. And he can't even remain honourable on all fronts. The way I see this can perhaps be described with reference to fairy tales (and other stories) where the real hero is preceded by his two older brothers (replaced here by two older family members). The older brothers usually set out with the same purpose (which can be paralleled here by all Starks having their main duty in the North), but they get distracted, they choose the wrong way or are lured in the wrong direction. It is implied that going South is a mistake both for Ned and Robb: Ned has a sinister premonition about accepting Robert's offer (his place is in Winterfell), while Robb is specifically warned through Osha and Bran that he is going the wrong way. In this sense, Jon starts out in the right direction: He goes North. In some tales, the older brothers get close to the goal but make a mistake and fail. They usually end up captured or killed (though the youngest boy usually manages to save them). In all versions, the youngest boy becomes the real hero, and "the third time pays for all", as Bilbo used to say. I think this is what we see with Ned, Robb and Jon. The Starks are the heroes in the story, but not in the sense of each one being a separate hero, they have the qualities and quests of heroes, they try and fail, but one of them will succeed. If you knew how few fantasy novels I've read... and how many classical novels. So far I don't think the typical fantasy hero is very different from the heroes of myths and tales, except that he has a more detailed background and personality. You can discover the classic archetypes in ASOIAF as well, but the writer serves them with a good deal of realism. Basically, he has these classic hero types and puts them in a fairly realistic environment, where they have to cope with "real life" problems and obstacles. The villains have also become more realistic, but we can still discover their mythical backgrounds and characteristics. That's one of the things that makes ASOIAF so fascinating for me. Perhaps.
  8. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    That was my point. I don't think anyone in this world is preoccupied with an ancient First Men religious practice that went out of fashion long ago. But human sacrifice is present in the story through Melisandre (and in a rather more painful way than in the case of the ancient First Men), and it is a moral issue several characters have to face - not from the religious aspect, but it ties into the morality of killing innocents to gain advantages (for example). Melisandre argues for it, Stannis has to face it as a dilemma, Davos lectures him on the morality of it (and Davos is right); neither Davos, nor Jon Snow will allow it to happen when they can prevent it. The blood magic that Dany uses also involves human sacrifice. She uses it to give birth to the dragons, the WMD of ASOIAF. It is definitely an issue. Or Ned just didn't want to be the one who caused the deaths of innocent children - anyone's children. He apparently didn't see a better solution to protect Cersei's children than warning her - it wasn't a clever move, I agree, but the immorality of killing children is a major theme in the books, and the conclusion is not as simple as you say. Otherwise we would all have to cheer for Jaime Lannister as he clearly cared first for his own kids when he pushed Bran out of the window. Yet, it's not so easy to congratulate him. Not to mention that this wonderful father didn't really care for his own children otherwise, at least not much, while Ned obviously did, very much. It was GRRM who wrote them in that way. So who is the better father, who is the better person? Is it really Jaime? Come on. Robb didn't know the girl had been set up to seduce him. As he understood it, he had destroyed her honour and took the responsibility for it, instead of looking for some cheap excuse for himself. Heroes are people who dare to think of other people before they think of themselves. They don't necessarily do what they have to do, but whatever they consider right. They may die for it, sure enough. Showing your cards to your enemy and telling them you want to save them takes significant moral and physical courage. The soft option would be to avoid the conflict altogether, keep quiet and marry your daughter to the bastard crown prince. Owning up to your mistake and trying to rectify it even when it causes difficulties is what a real man does. The soft option for Robb would be to just leave behind Jeyne or to find her some husband later on, when he has time. Heroes are not perfect characters but they certainly dare to think and behave in a way most people would not dare to. They are usually generous and caring, and they try to change the world around them for the better. They follow their own moral compass rather than the established rules and are ready to make personal sacrifices for other people or for their principles and goals. Their intentions are usually noble. When they make mistakes, those mistakes tend to be huge and tragic. Granted, it is not necessarily easy to be a hero's family member. Of course, just being "a tough and hard man" does not make anyone a hero. That's another good reason why humans should care about humans. He is Stark enough to me. Sure. Ned is not the protagonist of the series (as he dies in the first book), but still a hero. But what? That's the problem. I can feel sorry for her when she is humiliated in the streets of KL, but that's only because of her suffering, and I don't need her POV to understand that. However, I can't find any redeeming characteristics in her when I read her POV, I can't find anything that could be a reasonable excuse for some of the evil things she does. Just to clarify: We are talking about the Raff, the cruel and sadistic guy who drove his spear through the wounded and yielding Lommy Greenhands' throat and chuckled to himself right in front of Arya, the guy who raped a peasant girl and killed her brother just for fun and committed countless further atrocities, right? For Arya to kill him may well be a way of processing the original trauma of being exposed to the cruelty of such people both as a witness and a potential victim, an act of liberation, a way of feeling empowered and safe again, a way of putting a wrong right in her mind, of making the world a better and safer place. Lack of a clear motivation is not a problem for me. I can see Vargo Hoat's motivation: He wants mostly money and other material advantages and doesn't mind having a bit of fun while working hard. Ramsay wants to gratify all his base instincts without restrictions, and he wants to climb the social ladder as well. If you can empathize with Ramsay the hunter and the other evil, twisted characters, for whom the author has not shown a single redeeming chracteristic (and he wouldn't need to give them a POV to do it), that's fine. But I wonder why it is that your ability to empathize with a character like Jon Snow, whose motivations and intentions are noble, just never comes through in your posts.
  9. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    I think even the current Starks think that the old Kings of Winter were terrible and frightening (or something similar). As for the Old Gods, I wouldn't blame them for anything, just as I don't blame R'hllor for anything Melisandre does. There is no evil that I would put past Roose Bolton. I also agree that there must be others besides Manderly who see through the mummer's farce. They may be saving face but they may also be biding their time. Or both. Bolton at least does not dare to openly brag about the Red Wedding. For the moment at least. He also thinks that having "Arya Stark" in his family helps him. The mummer's farce, as it is, can go two ways though. Bolton very probably has the strongest single army now among the Northmen, but I doubt that everything will go his way. Not always anyway. I wouldn't make such a prediction, but we'll see. Until we do, I will regard all the current Starks as innocent of any horrible crimes that they have not committed. Should one of them make or accept human sacrifice at some point, that still will not mean that it is something that the Starks of the current story generally do, as a group, and it certainly will not make Ned or Robb somehow guilty in retrospect. I wouldn't call Ned or Robb soft. Ned followed his principles and did what he considered thet right thing to do from a moral viewpoint, and died as a result. He was brave and never selfish. I also think Robb did what he regarded as the right thing to do and his intentions were noble. He made a tragic mistake or maybe several tragic mistakes and died for it, like so many heroes before him. We'll see what it takes to prevail, but I think the sort of humanity that, for example, Ned had will have to be preserved by whoever turns out to be the "real hero" (or the survivor if you prefer that), otherwise the "realms of men" will have no hope - even if some "hard and ruthless" individuals survive. If all the conflicts of the heart (love duty, honour and so on) boiled down to simple "you must be hard and ruthless to survive", it would be a most unsatisfying conclusion. Besides, this point was pretty much brought home in the very first book. There would be no need to write further books. That leaves us Jon. I'm fine with that. And I can't recall anyone ever arguing that there is one. It doesn't mean there are no heroes though. I'm not sure about the bolded at all. When I started reading Cersei's POV, I almost expected something similar to what had happened when I had started to read Jaime's POV. But nothing happened. I still find her as horrible a person - maybe worse - as before. There is also Varamyr... There are novels that are told from the POV of a psychotic killer. I don't like reading them precisely because I can't empathize with the protagonist. More importantly, I don't believe that we, the readers, are meant to empathize with every single character. The POV structure in these novels is great and it gave me food for thought as much as to anyone else. But I think the line can be drawn at the likes of Roose and Ramsay, who are worse than Cersei. Otherwise GRRM should really, really give them their POV's, just to make the point that we can come to like anyone whose feelings and motivations we find out. If GRRM wanted to make this point, then giving a POV to Cersei would not be enough, he would have to give a POV to one of those you mentioned and manage to make us empathize with that character. But these characters simply don't have the human heart that can be in conflict with itself because such a conflict requires a conscience.
  10. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    First, we don't know if Ned was really "feeding blood to the gods". All we are told is that he was cleaning his sword. Secondly, even ritually giving the blood that is on his sword for a reason different from human sacrifice, is not human sacrifice. It may be a more civilised custom that replaced a more ancient custom (human sacrifice), which has been abandoned, in order to appease the Old Gods for not sacrificing humans to them any more. The two acts - actually sacrificing people, as Melisandre does, and giving the gods a ritual replacement for human sacrifice (which would be people killed in order to please the gods) - are very different from a moral viewpoint. Thirdly, it is also possible that Ned is simply following a ritual custom without realizing or thinking of its origin. We have Ned's POV and he never thinks of human sacrifice in any way. The author has Jon confront the practice of human sacrifice and does not make him recall how it was something normal according to the Stark values He is just appalled by it without any mixed feelings. Yet, even in our society children, i.e. people under a certain age, are not held legally and morally responsible for their actions. Yes, and Davos put a youngster on a ship. Just for fun. I guess only GRRM does. We'll see where he will go with Bran. He's a child and currently out of the story. I know what an anti-hero is. But when we mean an anti-hero we should say an anti-hero. The two terms are not interchangeable. It was explained somewhere upthread how Martin implied that the Starks are the heroes of the story. Where does he imply that he really meant 'anti-heroes'? Anyway, I wouldn't classify the Starks as anti-heroes. (Though truth be told, I wouldn't classify every single one of them as a hero either, I would rather say the heroes of the story are among them if I wanted to be precise.) If you want an anti-hero in the story, the best example would be Tyrion. Heroes don't have to be perfect human beings and they can certainly make mistakes. Yet, if you want to say that the Starks are "just protagonists" (not anti-heroes), so be it. To some extent, I can accept this. But I still maintain that, as per the story, they (the present-day Starks) are not guilty of human sacrifice, and their hero status (or lack of it) is independent of what their ancestors did or did not do. I also maintain my opinion about Arya as stated above.
  11. Julia H.

    Tywin didn't have affair for 27 years

    The bitter irony is that it may well have been Tywin who made Tyrion infatuated with whores by doing what he did to Tysha and by teaching the teenage Tyrion what he had considered true love (his first experience of love) was only business for money. Tywin was reaping what he had sown when he couldn't keep Tyrion in line.
  12. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    That does not mean Eddard is guilty of human sacrifice in any sense of the word. I meant Jon saving Mance's son and Maester Aemon from Melisandre's fire. She is the one who practises human sacrifice in the current story, and Jon, just like Davos, tries to stop her. As for selfless or not, it is no way in his personal interest to save an orphan wildling baby from the fire, yet, that's exactly what he does. I regard Jon as one of the Starks, and when we say the Starks are the heroes of the books, I include him. In addition, we know he was brought up by the Starks and Eddard is his role model, so when he is appalled by the idea of human sacrifice, it is hard to imagine that Eddard somehow may have taught him that sacrificing humans to a god was OK. "Rough" does not adequately describe what she went through. A lot of kids simply die in similar circumstances. I agree that she has moved beyond survival killing, and she has also learned that she cannot trust and cannot expect justice from the world, so she has to take justice (as she understands it) into her own hands. That's not how she should live, but she is still a child and a victim of the adults' game. Being killed is not the only way to become a victim. Ah... fine. The Starks are the heroes of the story. How could any character in any story be the hero and not be the hero at the same time? I'm not arguing that the Starks are perfect as people. Heroes don't have to be faultless, what is more, they make their own mistakes in most stories. What I'm arguing against is specific points you listed, because I find it unjust to blame anyone for what their ancestors did and to blame a child victim (who is still a child) for what war and the cruelty of adults did to her psyche, especially when we have been shown by the author that the child had started out as a perfectly normal and caring human being.
  13. Julia H.

    Dissecting Names

    The Jon Barleycorn reference with regard to Jon is further strengthened by the appearance of a black brother whose name is Tom Barleycorn. The word barleycorn comes up a few times in the novels, but Tom seems to be there to warn us that we might think of it as a proper noun as well. There is another Oakenshield in the story, which is one of the castles of the Night's Watch, and it is given to Tormund. I do think this is a nod towards Thorin Oakenshield. Tormund is described like this: He was not a tall man, Tormund Giantsbane, but the gods had given him a broad chest and massive belly. Mance Rayder had named him Tormund Horn-Blower for the power of his lungs, and was wont to say that Tormund could laugh the snow off mountaintops. In his wroth, his bellows reminded Jon of a mammoth trumpeting. Not a tall man and Horn-Blower for the power of his lungs: We have both the dwarf and the thunder reference in the same quote. Roose definitely refers to a ruse. Too bad the characters in-world don't dissect names.
  14. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    Just curious: Do you really hold the Starks of the current story responsible for human sacrifice? Because they are the heroes of the novels, not the Starks of old. The current Starks most definitely do not practise human sacrifice, and one of them has done his best to save other people from being sacrificed. Holding them responsible for something their ancestors did perhaps thousands of years ago would be like blaming Dany for the Valyrian practice of slavery. I suppose you are speaking of Arya here, but don't forget that she is a child who has been through horrible, traumatic experiences and has been "taught" - by the adults she met (soldiers, murderers, rapists etc.) and by the events she experienced - that in this world killing is normal and you either kill or get killed. It is not her fault, and at the moment she is still a child, robbed of her childhood too soon. She used to be a compassionate little kid, who grieved for the butcher's boy (and probably for others who were killed), saved Jaqen et al from certain death in a moment when a lot of people would have thought only of themselves and of their friends, and who had a keen sense of justice / injustice. She was transformed by war and by the people who eventually took her in and provided her with a sense of relative security.
  15. Julia H.

    Why did George give daenerys everything

    The Red Wedding is the bigger issue, and they lie about it, too. But the burning of Winterfell and killing the Stark children must also be an issue, otherwise Roose wouldn't be so keen on blaming everything on Theon; and that crime is something they can actually hope to keep secret, as they haven't left any witnesses alive and free - except that they don't know about Wex. Robett Glover took up the tale. "We may never know all that happened at Winterfell, when Ser Rodrik Cassel tried to take the castle back from Theon Greyjoy's ironmen. The Bastard of Bolton claims that Greyjoy murdered Ser Rodrik during a parley. Wex says no. Until he learns more letters we will never know half the truth … but he came to us knowing yes and no, and those can go a long way once you find the right questions." I find it likely that should the truth about Winterfell came to light, Roose would be willing to sacrifice Ramsay, claiming that he himself had been deceived as well. (Especially, if he had another son by that time.) I agree that Roose's participation in the Red Wedding is not a well-guarded secret. Manderly, for example, apparently knows how his son died. Nor can Roose realistically hope that the Northerners do not and will not suspect anything. But for the moment, he is very eager to keep up appearances. I don't think it's because he is reluctant to continue the killings for any reasons of conscience. He simply doesn't feel strong enough and safe enough without having the firm support of the North. (I don't think he has any illusions about the Lannisters or to what extent he can count on them.) He wants to build up a strong power base of his own, which at the moment he doesn't have. (Lady Dustin suspects that Roose wants to be King of the North.) His authority at the moment is based on the shadow on the wall that is King Tommen's power.
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