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Julia H.

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Everything posted by Julia H.

  1. To be honest, this is an issue even if R+L=J is not true. I mean we know what people in-world believe about Rhaegar and Lyanna, and as long as they believe that, they should wonder, regardless of the hidden truth. It is possible that Ned arranged the journey home in such a way that Lyanna's bones and the baby would not be transported together or seen arriving anywhere at the same time, just so people would dissociate Jon from Lyanna.
  2. They are "alike" at a superficial glance perhaps. Lyanna may well have seen the difference that was significant to her. (And no, Robert wasn't just "rumour".) There are certainly huge gaps in the story that we know. There is no evidence that Lyanna and Rhaegar didn't care about the war around them, there is no reason to believe that any of what happened had been their intention, that things did not go terribly wrong somewhere. Nor is there evidence that it all started as a romantic elopement story. (I have some ideas on that, and perhaps one day I'll have the time to do some research on those ideas and maybe write them into a post.) Their story is definitely not a happy one, the general outcome makes that much clear, and it couldn't be a "proper" love story given all the complications we know of. I don't think it means that it must have been something totally dark though, like the deliberate sacrifice of thousands of people for "the greater good". (If a prophecy is really to come true, I would expect it do so in a roundabout way, not as a character intends to fulfill it anyway.) Both Rhaegar and Lyanna deserve the benefit of the doubt until we find out what really happened. This is not a finished story, and the author may still have some secrets he has managed to keep.
  3. ... and then the two of you would get the easiest characters in this game!
  4. Yes, though I'm not totally sure that they figured it out correctly. I mean it is possible, but it could also be some kind of self-deception. Perhaps they want to reassure themselves that their children are still alive and well. That's absolutely possible, but I cannot blame them for doing that while they had no alternative - it is like the Others were imposing a terrible kind of tax system on them - and it is all the more important that they accepted an alternative solution when it was offered. Ygritte calls Craster cursed and says he is not really like the wildlings, and it shows a moral attitude towards Craster's practices. I think that in this story the Night's King is a symbolic stand-in for the Others, there is a reason why it is mentioned that he sacrificed to them, and it gives an example where wildlings and Starks can fight together rather than against each other. Exactly. Craster had a choice, which makes him different from those who may have been forced to give the Others what they wanted with no alternatives. Also, a population where sacrificing all male baby children is the norm is not likely to survive for long. It has as much ground as the one where the wilding ancestors are Other-worshippers. Possibilities, nothing more. The Others take human children from Craster, so they may have taken some humans during the Long Night as well. Servants or captives or slaves. I agree that it is very possible. I agree with this, too. Perhaps, but again, they are all sorts of people. Some will find it easier to integrate. Some will have more courage to fight when there is a magical Wall between them and the Others. Some may want to take revenge for loved ones killed by the Others. Some may stay because of the hostage they gave or the promise theymade. Some may come from so far North, that the Gift may seem to them to be a summer paradise. Some may have come from so far away that they have hardly heard about the Wall or the Watch, so they feel no hatred for them. It is very realistic that there will be also those who will not want to fight or those who just want to go as far South as possible. But at least they are not wights, fighting for the Others, and, of course, they'll experience the bitter realization that the Long Night is coming after them.
  5. That's a bit rich, when I quoted Melisandre's exact words to Jon and everything that Stannis said to Jon as well. I pointed out why it is very likely. The logical implication in Melisandre's words is that Stannis accepted Jon's argument. Mance was wearing Melisandre's ruby, so it is possible that Stannis had some reassurance that this would not happen. And currently, the blame is put on Jon, not on Stannis, even though he had nothing to do with the fake Mance. That would not have served the interests of Stannis. But Stannis is capable of deceit and hypocrisy - his "Lightbringer" is proof of that, also the whole shadow baby business, his secret extra-marital affair with Melisandre. Stannis argued with Melisandre about Edric Storm because he was reluctant to sacrifice a kid (and a kinsman) at the stake - at least until he was given proof that it would work oh, so well. But he does not argue with Melisandre about how magic works. If Melisandre tells him that Mance's blood would not be good enough for R'hllor, what can Stannis say against that? Stannis does not have to confide in Jon when he makes a decision. Keeping information to himself means an advantage he does not give up unless it is necessary. LOL, didn't I say "almost" any means? Obviously, by "victory" Stannis means his own victory. He is willing to fight for the realm but not selflessly as Jon Snow does. But giving Jon Rattleshirt does not make sense. Giving him Mance does. And it's an awfully big coincidence if Stannis has no idea who "Rattleshirt" is. Once. He is cunning. He does things openly and he does things secretly, as it suits him. There is nothing too "subtle" about it. Because he does not need to. Besides, in this way, when Jon finds out the truth, it will be Jon's responsibility to decide whether the deserter is to be executed or not, since Stannis will not be there. This worked so well that even many of the fandom keep accusing Jon of letting Mance live instead of punishing him as though the whole switch had been Jon's idea. Between Melisandre and Jon, Stannis can wash his hands of the deception. But Stannis and Jon are allies, and Stannis realizes that Jon will be holding the Wall while he is away fighting the Ironborn and the Boltons. So why not give him some help? Unless it's Jon who gets the ultimate blame. German, English, Spanish and other languages spoken in several different countries by peoples with their own national identities. Right, call the difference / similarity between the Northerners and the wildlings whatever you want to. For some reason the Andal influence was strong enough for their language to become the official language even in the North. It was a process that may have taken six thousands of years to happen, a time period that real life language historians cannot really look back on. Perhaps he wanted. But he would hardly have wanted to simplify things if the result had been contrary to his larger purpose. If he had wanted to emphasize the difference and the barriers between the wildlings and the northerners, he could have given them different languages and different religions. I wouldn't presume to say what the author "wanted" though. Whether by design or by mistake, the wildlings and the Northerners used to speak the same language and changed that old language to the same new language, and kept the same common religion. All that makes them strongly connected. Come on now. If it is involuntary drafting for a lifetime, not just for a limited amount of time (however long), with no glory or other gains offered, then it's a slave or prison institution, and no, not an honourable option for young nobles who have committed nothing wrong. It is clearly shown by the recent decline of the Watch. A few noble houses still hold the Watch in enough respect to send a son there sometimes, but it is only for the historical reputation of the Watch. For most, it's hardly an option to consider. Don't they complain that the wilding raiders steal girls? At the same time, we know that stealing is the actual wilding wedding ceremony. Thanks for the examples. Why wouldn't there be such people? Noble ones can afford to go as far as Essos (like Jorah), smallfolk, however, can't pay for the voyage overseas, but can climb the Wall when they are in trouble. Crows also leave the Watch sometimes and join the wildlings. Why not ordinary people? That many thousands of years of coexistence, spent in a predominantly oral culture, led to the people speaking a common language? Where is France and Germany with their short history compared to that? Which is why they do not sign anything but have other means to make an agreement. Well, those who follow the same king can be considered to be part of the same "realm". There are tribes and other fragmented groups in the Seven Kingdoms as well, and yet you consider this country a realm. The Long Night comes with the Others, and the purpose of the Wall is to prevent their invasion. The Long Night doesn't only mean cold, it also means lack of sunshine, lack of light, lack of food, lack of proper water supply. You forget that the series is not yet finished. There are plenty of things that have not been indicated by the text but still are parts of the story, yet to be revealed. Something happened in Essos because they also have stories of a Long Night. The Others don't need to sail, if the sea gets frozen, they can cross on foot. Or maybe it was simply the night and the cold that was extended to Essos, but it does seem sure that Essos was and can again be affected by a Long Night, therefore preventing the Long Night wherever it starts protects them as well. Yet, it is repeatedly said that the Watch has forgotten the true purpose and how to fight for it. I didn't say Jon killed Ygritte. But he did leave her behind to return to the Watch even though he was sincerely in love with her. That's a kind of moral necessity, given the strong prohibition against kinslaying. He would have been cursed if he had done it. You don't believe the wildfire thing really factored into his decision? I know that, but there was a point where Jaime could have done it - after Joffrey had sacked Barristan, when Tywin was at the peak of his power and wanted Jaime to leave the KG, when Jaime had already lost his hand. Not everyone would have approved, but the Lannisters were mostly past that point by then. But it's individuals who decide to keep or break the oaths, not the organizations. Yet, if the wildlings are Other-worshippers, shouldn't they either support or at least leave alone an Other-worshipper with great magical power? By bringing down the Night's King, the Watch was freed, and that was part of the story as well - and that's what the wildlings helped to achieve.
  6. I was pointing out the difference between an object and an organization consisting of people. Talking of speculation, it is possible that the name "the Others" is not the "real" or "original" name of the Others, but that there was a taboo against mentioning them by their own name, and that's how they came to be known as the "Others", any other name they could be known by being forgotten. After all, the name of the Night's King has also been forgotten. That would be quite a twist, but it cannot be ruled out. However, if it is so, then there is something to say for the people who managed to stay human (as a group) beyond the Wall for thousands of years. Lots of different groups, yes, but we know that most (or many) of them flee the Others, instead of making a pact with them. Sure, for all we know, there can be any number of humans still staying happily in the Far North, but if it is so, we don't know anything about them. We are discussing the wildlings we have seen in the books, no? Joramun being a king probably means that he did not join with the Starks as a single person, however, what really matters, I think, is the message of this historical fact in that it provides a precedent for the Starks and the wildlings cooperating against the Others (even if it was only the Night's King). The point is not the actual numbers, but that there is this historical episode, which can be quite relevant with regard to the present, and it is clearly not about the wildlings supporting the Others or the Night's King against the Watch. But we have only seen one wildling feeling "safe"due to a pact with the Others, while we have seen thousands flee from them. That should mean something, either that such pact is not readily available to everyone or that these people do not want to make a pact with the Others. It is easy to assume that the wildlings ended up beyond the Wall because their ancestors chose to worship the Others, and it is certainly a possibility, but not the only one. What if their ancestors had been the captives of the Others and taken to the Far North for whatever purpose, and perhaps they only managed to free themselves well after the Long Night had ended, and by that time there was a huge Wall built across the continent, so they were stuck north of the Wall? This could be a (by now forgotten) reason why they call themselves the "Free Folk". It is even possible that another group remained the Others' slaves - the not so free folk - who have also been forgotten by now even by the free folk beyond the Wall. There are several possibilities regarding their history and their relationship with the Others. That's totally reasonable to expect. Some of them will fight, some will not. Some will integrate into the North more easily, and some will cause trouble. But the people born south of the Wall will be the same. Some of them will fight against the Others, while some will flee. Some of them will help their fellow humans to survive, and some will take advantage of their fellow humans' tragedy. As for whether the wildlings would want to stick to the Gift, it is a legitimate concern, especially in times of peace (Jon demands hostages from the families to make them more likely to stick with their end of the agreement), but right now, the other option could well be that they all arrive as wights, and that would not be in anyone's interest. At least some of the wildlings will probably give up their wildling lifestyle quite happily when they can have a plot of land to call their own (if only for the total novelty of this lifestyle), but before that, spring / summer needs to come. In the meantime, the not so docile can make themselves useful as warriors.
  7. Yes and no. The Wall and the NW belong together, but the Wall is an object and a sort of man-made landmark, a means of defence, while the NW consists of living, feeling and thinking people. If the Others are magically transformed people... But who transforms them? Perhaps they are victims of a power above them, but I don't see any indication of that for the time being. The fate of Craster's sons is rather obscure. There must be a reason why they are called "the Others" and why their preferred environment is one where human life is impossible. They are not mentioned in the vows, but the Wall was built against them, and the NW was established to provide protection against them. Doesn't Craster eat and drink to stay alive? If he can feed on ice, is not bothered by extreme cold and needs no sunlight, then maybe. But I doubt it. His strategy is one where he sacrifices the future for momentary respite. Ygritte calls him cursed and says he is more like the crows than the wildlings, so it is not likely that what Craster does is typical of wildlings. They would have already died out if sacrificing all their male children to the Others had been their norm. If there was a group that did the sacrifice Craster-style, it is very probable that the current wildlings are largely not their descendants. We know very little of their history. But we do have the bit where Northerners and wildlings (early on) did cooperate, and it was against the Night's King. We would hardly have this bit of their history if the author wanted to present them as worshippers of the Others. Well, the idea was to settle them on the Gift and to populate the NW castles with them, no to send them to the Reach. It is totally fair to expect them to help with the fight against the Others.
  8. The Wall, naturally, cannot protect the people living north of it from the Others. No one is arguing that. However, when these people seek refuge south of the Wall, it is the right thing to grant them this refuge. In this respect, it is relevant that the purpose of the Night's Watch is to protect humanity. Thwarting the Long Night is in the interest of all people, even those who live north of the Wall. We do not know how and why the wildlings originally ended up on the wrong side of the Wall, but the present ones were simply born there, so they can hardly be blamed for whatever sins their ancestors committed, if it was indeed a sin (which is by no means certain) that caused them to stay there. The author shows us that they are definitely human and not so different from those living south of the Wall. Judging them by Craster would be like judging the entire Seven Kingdoms by Ramsay Bolton.
  9. Often, yet, in our real world, there are languages that are spoken in several countries, and the religion may also be the same or similar, yet the people define themselves in accordance with their respective countries as different nations (with common origin). Anyway... do you want to say Northerners and wildlings are the same nation / ethnic group still? And yet you wonder why the wildlings should be united with the Northerners in this critical situation? Not quite. The Old Tongue was the language of all First Men. That includes the ancestors of wildlings and Northerners. The same original language due to their shared historical origin. Later, yes, the Northerners have adopted a new language, of indeed different origin. That (some groups of) the wildlings have also learned or adopted this other language is the result of continued interactions. So GRRM gave them the same language twice: first their common ancestral language (as one ethnic group), then the same adopted language because communication continued between them despite the divergent political development. For a long time, but not always. They weren't always divided by cultural differences (or by a Wall). Yet, this support has not been coming for a while, no matter how nicely neutral letters were sent out by Maester Aemon asking for help in their hour of need. Until Stannis arrived. No, it isn't, because it is defence against a magical, non-human enemy. Conscripts? Today it is more like convicts in a prison camp. But it wasn't always like this, otherwise it wouldn't be still an honourable option for the son of a nobleman to join voluntarily. True. I wonder if it is really "the most common" one - we mostly meet the wildlings who live relatively close to the Wall, so I'm not sure, but it could be. The in-world history is that the wildlings and the Northerners (who have already adopted the Andal language) have always lived close to each other, and they are not actually isolated, despite the Wall. It is the nature of humans that they want to communicate with each other. The NW is concerned with the raiders only, but besides raiders there can be trade and marriage among ordinary smallfolk, there could be occasional refugees who cross the Wall to avoid their overlord's justice and so on. Obviously, the free folk could only learn the Andal language from the Northerners (unless there were Andal groups arriving in the lands north of the Wall by sea) - which means that the communication / intermarriage between them was intensive. There is nothing unrealistic about that. Even the NW recruits who follow the Old Gods religion go north of the Wall to take their NW vows, and no one finds it strange. They have been at war, but wars can be ended, and former enemies can become allies, especially when it is in their mutual interest. They belong to their own realm, as well as to the realms of men. Craster chooses not to be defended by anyone because he has his own pact with the Others. The wildlings who are admitted into the Seven Kingdoms choose to be reunited with the Northerners and to enjoy the protection of the Wall. Many of them volunteer to help defend the Wall as well. With the Others though, the Long Night comes, and it affects the whole world, it does not stop at the borders of any realm. So stopping a global natural disaster would be a better analogy. Yes, that's what we have heard. It does not mean that they cannot have some other motivation as well. No, the NW has its post on the Wall and protects humanity there. More meaningful than you think. It directly pertains to one of the main themes of the novels. The lone wolf dies, the pack survives. All humanity is one pack, wars bring suffering and stop people from noticing the global danger. The Wall that divides them didn't always exist. Not any kind of a villain. And it is made entirely clear several times that the priorities of the NW as an institution are not what they should be. Not a version of Jaime, but in some ways his opposite. Jaime joined the NW for the wrong reason and never meant to give up what was personally the most important thing to him (sex with Cersei). Jon, on the other hand, sacrificed his love for Ygritte, his love of his family, of Winterfell, and found the purpose of his life - to protect the realms of men. Jaime only found nihilism, because he had basically joined the wrong organization, whose purpose was to keep a madman on the IT with absolute power over other people's lives. Therefore Jaime came to despise all oaths. His ultimate oathbreaking is an example of a situation where keeping an oath is arguably not the right thing to do. He betrayed Aerys out of a moral necessity. Unfortunately, he also betrayed Robert out of lust. Yet, he remained in the Kingsguard even when he could have left it despite having no illusion about the organization. Recently, there are signs that he is sorting out the meaning of oathkeeping and true commitment (to something other than one's own pleasure). Oathkeeping has its place among human values, but it is not the single most important one. Automatic, unconditional oathkeeping can be a selfish and morally coward thing to do. Jon has never denied the value of oathkeeping, yet, he is not a slave to his oath. We have never been told why the wildlings are north of the Wall, but it would be rather wrong to imply some collective guilt in connection with that. What we do know is that the wildlings have rejected the "kneeler" lifestyle and social structure, and it is very probable that they have preserved a more ancient way of living, which may have characterized the whole North once. They have not always supported the NW, but the historical event when the King of Winter and the King-beyond-the-Wall joined forces to free the Watch from the bondage imposed on them by the Night's King has not made it into the books by accident.
  10. What do you all think of this quote? Rowan is a spearwife from beyond the Wall, a wildling. Yet, she does not only know the Stark words, but she also feels such respect for "Lord Eddard's words" that she doesn't think Theon, after what he did, has the right to even say those words.
  11. That's perfectly possible, especially given that Stannis is the boss. And he was certainly active when he fathered the shadow assassin that killed his brother. All right then. Melisandre implies that Stannis agreed to the decision to keep Mance alive. Otherwise she does not need to mention Stannis at all. She could say she was convinced by Jon, but no. She says Stannis does not go against the law, but guess what, the law ends at the Wall. Logically, the latter argument is only needed when someone does not want to go against the law. Now, this is said by someone that Jon knows is the number one advisor to Stannis. Jon also knows that Stannis himself is aware of how much Mance knows of the true enemy. Let's look at the conversation between Stannis and Jon: In this exchange, Stannis is unhappy about the conundrum of having to kill - in order to uphold the law - such a useful source of information. He knows that going against the law may backfire (others may be encouraged to desert) - and this is where Jon mentions that curious argument about the law ending at the Wall. Stannis also indicates though that he has two further practical reasons to burn Mance (Stannis is a pragmatic person): On the one hand, he wants to make an example of him for the North to see. Note that he does not say he wants to warn the NW but that "the north will see" how he deals with traitors and turncloaks - he is obviously thinking of his war to win Westeros rather than the rules of the NW. On the other hand, he says burning Mance will make Mance's son king, and we know what the plan is with the baby at this point. The goal of making an example of Mance is perfectly achieved by burning the fake Mance. At the same time, the law is upheld to all appearances - so would-be deserters are warned. The kingsblood goal has obviously ceased to be a goal since Melisandre is absolutely on board with letting Mance live. For some reason, she has apparently changed her mind about Mance's value as kingsblood; and since she is the red witch, Stannis probably does not argue with her on matters of magic. Therefore, burning the fake Mance has become enough to satisfy the practical goal, while keeping Mance alive means his knowledge of the Others can still be obtained - another practical consideration. Stannis knows there is going to be another war, and he clearly is ready to deploy almost any weapon and use any resources to secure victory. One more curious detail that may suggest (to me as well as to Jon Snow) that Mance knows who "Rattleshirt" is: Jon is disgusted with this "gift", and the idea of giving Jon Rattleshirt out of all the wildlings when he has asked for "men" sounds very much like blatantly mocking him. After all, he has told Stannis before what he thinks of Rattleshirt: Why would Stannis mock Jon by giving him such a worthless gift? It is rather puzzling (Jon is certainly perplexed), but Stannis knowing that "Rattleshirt" is really Mance explains it all, after all Jon did plead with Stannis for Mance's life, so the real "gift" in this case is granting Jon his wish and giving the man himself into Jon's service. This is very much like the Stannis who both punished and rewarded the Onion Knight at the same time. He gives Jon, as a gift, something Jon has asked for, a kind of double-edged sword to deal with, which is both a reward and a punishment - reward for giving Stannis sage and sincere advice but punishment for supporting the cause of a deserter, and Stannis even tells Jon to be content with this gift. To sum up, there are several reasons to suggest (both to Jon and the reader) that Stannis was on board with replacing Mance with Rattleshirt at the stake. It is also quite likely that the order was that the man's true identity was not to be revealed to Jon while Stannis was still in Castle Black. In this way, Stannis publicly upheld the law, made an example of "Mance", warned his enemies, and then gifted the surviving, real Mance, all his skills and knowledge as well as all future responsibility for him to Jon Snow.
  12. Some really cool observations in that post! Regarding the "white sister" idea, it was @bemused who suggested years ago that Val and Dalla - their joint names being reminiscent of Valhalla - could be sisters not by blood but by belonging to the same order of women practised in some kind of magic. Mance describes Dalla as wise, and she warns Jon about the use of sorcery. Val clearly has some special knowledge, and her white clothes were given to her by Dalla. I agree that there must have been some sort of communication (other than raiding) between wildlings and Northerners living close to the Wall through all these years. Somehow some of the wildlings learned the Common Tongue, after all. Some sort of trade may exist, and also, when someone gets into trouble with the law or the local lord, and does not fancy ending up on the Wall, crossing the Wall nearby can easily be an option. Marriage probably also happens sometimes.
  13. And his descendant, the Greatjon will do it again!
  14. Bending the truth here, bending the rules there. Jon? I have that ability. No, it wouldn't. The wildings and the Northerners do have a common origin and a shared history, hence the shared language, religion and other aspects of culture. Nevertheless, nowadays they are two different ethnic groups (whether you want to call them nations or not, doesn't really matter) and in conflict with each other. This is not a unrealistic situation, real history gives us real life examples where historically and in many ways culturally related ethnic groups have had divergent recent histories and have even been in conflict with each other. I was talking about Mance's divided loyalties, and divided loyalties are possible towards just two different families or two different persons even, not only in the case of nations, but any groups. If you don't think the wildlings and the Northerners are two different nations, so be it. "Nation" is not a medieval concept. We can call them ethnic groups or whatever you want to. For example, the NW may need strong backing from the country in order to defend the realm, and may need to make sure that the powers that be in the North are their allies. Perhaps it is not enough to guard the Wall, but larger scale defence arrangements are needed. It is disrespect of the neutrality and the NW goals. GRRM has shown us what the various powers think about the neutrality of the NW (nothing much). Saying that it all doesn't matter until they attack the NW is like saying you won't believe the Others are dangerous until they kill all humans in the world, regardless of the examples of the danger already in the books. Because it was not formed for ordinary military purposes, nor did it recruit soldiers who wanted to gain material goods through this vocation. At the time, the threat by the Others and the Long Night was fresh on everyone's memory, and future peace was probably sealed by magic as well as a political-military arrangement. In this sense, the early "black knights of the Wall" were te Grail Knights of this world, and I think joining was based on both an informed decision and sincere, voluntary self-sacrifice. (I find interesting parallels between Wagner's Parsifal and the story of Jon Snow.) And from all the history we know, we can learn that it was the Stark of Winterfell who supported and fought in alliance with the NW, not the Boltons. Now Winterfell has been taken over by the Boltons, and nobody in charge pays attention to the needs of the NW, and by extension, those of the realm. It can be perfectly well explained with in-world history though. I don't agree, but in any case, the wildlings are a sort of kingdom, since they have a king. The Wall demarcates the geographical area which belongs to non-human, magical, humanoid races. It does not define who is human, who is not. The wildlings, however, certainly belong to the human race. As for not defending Essos, that is not necessarily true. We know from history that the last Long Night occurred in Essos as well. It is in everyone's interest to keep the Others in the Far North. We may just learn that it is not only for Stannis that Tycho Nestoris, the representative of the Iron Bank of Bravoos, appeared in Castle Black. The Wall defends the North first and foremost, but beyond the North, it defends the rest of the realm, and beyond the realm, it defends the whole world, all the "realms of men", regardless of local political structures. He also characterizes them as "men". Mormont wanted (in the past) to attack Mance Rayder, but instead, he was attacked by the Others, and that fact led to the realization and quote that I mentioned, in which he clearly says that fighting against the wildlings made the Watch forget its true purpose. Jon is a young man who, through his experience, his perceptive nature and sense of duty, has come to understand that a radically new approach is necessary if humanity is to survive. Centuries of battles, even recent battles notwithstanding, now is the moment to reconcile the people from both sides of the Wall and offer the wildlings the chance to rejoin the North and help to defend it against the common enemy. Do you really think that GRRM put Jon through experiences that made him see the enemy ethnic group as fellow humans just in order to show how wrong it is to make peace with each other and work towards the common good? Jon's vision is radically new in the context of the status-quo of his world, and it does not set an easy goal to reach, which is why it has to face opposition, but, ironically, it is probably not "only" a novel approach but also an approach that reaches right back to the long-forgotten foundations of the Night's Watch.
  15. Maybe, but this scenario sounds to me like one where Tysha actually has some power backing (or protecting) her, a powerful church.
  16. Those are examples of Stannis bending this or that. Melisandre's wording in that particular exchange is ambiguous, but being secretly on board with Melisandre on that issue (as on several other unusual issues) is not out of character for Stannis at all. I might but I was thinking in terms of "nations" or "peoples" rather than just families. He was born to be a wildling but was raised to be an NW member as a child captive. His "adoptive family" had probably killed his real family. As a child or young teenager, he was trained to fight his own people. He might have to fight against his own brothers or cousins. Having divided loyalties in this situation does not mean that the person is naturally evil or disloyal, it is just not possible to be loyal to two opposing parties at the same time. Perhaps not. But I wouldn't rule it out in some situations. Interfering with the NW's own business and hoping that the wildlings would cause as much truble as possible mean disrespect of their supposed neutrality as well as of their vocation to protect the realm. Today. But 8000 years ago in Westeros? Nor does Ramsay fit with the 8000-year dynamics between the NW and the Stark in Winterfell. I have studied linguistics, and particularly language history, for years. I am not arguing that language history and the linguistic situation in Westeros is realistic. Regardless, it still reflects a bond between the wildlings and Northerners. Not only do the wildlings somehow speak the Andal language, but it is also made clear that the Old Tongue, which is also spoken north of the Wall, was the language of all First Men, who were the ancestors of both wildlings and Northerners. GRRM obviously did not attempt to create a linguistically realistic situation, but he has made sure that the Northerners and the wildlings have a common origin, which (realistic or not) is still very easy to recognize. The wildlings somehow acquiring the Andal language (realistic or not) signals ongoing connections between the different groups, in addition to the common origin. Apparently, realistic language development was not the purpose. Making sure that the wildlings are historically and culturally closely related to the Northerners apparently was. Yet, the wildlings have customs, traditions and norms. Ygritte condemns Craster's ways as alien to the wildling ways. She calls him cursed, although she does not call every wildling who is "his own king" cursed. When most wildlings flee from the Others, Craster does not think he needs to. This all indicates that sacrificing to the Others is not what wildlings normally do, and that Craster is pretty isolated with this. The corpse queen, for one, was certainly around. Some dark magic, affecting the Watch, was certainly around. My point is that Northerners and wildlings fought together against someone representing the Others, and that point stands regardless of the Night's King having real or imaginary contacts with the Others. Actually, my point stands even if the story of the Night's King never happened in reality, because even as a fictional story, it highlights the fact that the Others are enemies of both wildlings and kneelers and that the North and the wildlings can and must unite their forces against the enemy of mankind. All the kingdoms of human beings. Again, no geographical conditions are mentioned: the realms of men. All men, all humanity belong to those realms. And nowadays they are realizing that they have long forgotten their original purpose. These are LC Mormont's words, and he does not agree with you: And this is what Jon realizes in the weirwood grove: The wildlings are men and they deserve to be shielded against the Others - they are part of the realms of men.
  17. Not a bad future dilemma, especially if we consider Tyrion's present situation. However, I don't think Tysha would dare to step forward and make such a claim on a Lannister unless she has some very powerful protection. The way I can see something like the above happening is if Tyrion meets Tysha while still in Essos, tells her that he has killed Tywin to avenge her, and convinces Tysha to follow him back to Westeros. Then, as the situation changes, he may have to face a dilemma like the above - marrying his true love, who has already agreed to follow him back to Westeros (giving up whatever life she had in Essos) or marrying for political advantage. It would be interesting, but I don't know what it would take for Tysha to want to have anything to do with Tyrion again. Tywin's death could be a factor, and also if Tysha has a very Lannister-looking son or daughter (or a son or daughter who looks like Tyrion), she may consider the advantages of Tyrion acknowledging him / her as his legitimate child. But it is also possible that she would never want her child to go near a Lannister.
  18. However, it is possible that the question won't be exactly "who has the best claim to rule the North", but "who will be able to defend the North". The North may need a "King of Winter", who may just resign when spring / summer comes so that a summer King(-in-the-North) can take over.
  19. Well, now you are here, for this night and all the nights to come till the end of this game.
  20. Thanks, I didn't know that. Interesting. (It's a bit of a let-down perhaps, because MMD did tell Dany not to enter the tent, which she eventually did, and if it's not totally just revenge, it gets more complex from the characters' viewpoint. But then again, the deliberate revenge version also makes sense.)
  21. I agree with this. Killing children is probably the single most evil thing to do that is highlighted in the series, and for someone who is closest to the profession of a midwife, perhaps even more so. Still, it must be taken into consideration that MMD was not in a position of power (quite on the contrary) and she couldn't choose the way to strike back. Also, she had undergone a trauma huge enough to make anyone lose their moral compass. It was the Dothraki who had turned her into this bitter, vengeful woman, who probably couldn't see any of the Dothraki (including Dany) as human beings - and that may actually have been her justification when she killed Rhaego. As we have seen other times, vengeance rarely affects only the guilty. On the other hand, @sweetsunray had an interesting and convincing post, a long time ago, analysing MMD's behaviour and advice and arguing that MMD did not intentionally kill Rhaego (it was more like magic gone wrong) but she claimed it out of bitterness when she was accused of murder (a bit like Tyrion).
  22. Thanks for this observation! I was thinking along similar lines, but in terms of the Sword of the Morning and the Ice Dragon constellations being perhaps both celestial equivalents of the ancient swords. The Sword of the Morning "hung in the south", whereas the Ice Dragon shows the way to the Wall several times in the novels. The Wall itself is repeatedly compared to an ice dragon. The mirroring relationship you mention between the Wall of "Ice" and the Sword of the Morning sounds very significant.
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