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  1. There's cognitive empathy and affectionate empathy. Psychopaths and narcissists are capable of the first: they "know" intellectually that it will hurt, anger or pain someone else if they do a certain thing. The last is the sensation of feeling the pain, anger and hurt another person would have. Psychopaths and narcissists do not have the latter (or barely a glimmer with the latter). Linguistically we refer to it as "feeling sympathy". Because they have the first, they can be sadistic: by knowing they will hurt someone, they get enjoyment out of it. The second will bar us from inflicting pain, because the emotional response is too strong. When people say that neither disorder have empathy, they mean the latter. In contrast, someone with autism will lack the first type of empathy, but has the second one. They have difficulty foreseeing they will hurt someone with their behaviour or actions, but can feel it acutely once shown the consequences. When it comes to empathy, people also often make the mistake that because psychopaths and narcissists can feel very sorry for themselves, they must be able to have affectionate empathy. But alas, that is the sole person they can "empathize" with - themselves. Except, we cannot count that as "empathy", because the point of empathy is that you can feel sympathy for another, not just yourself. This is exemplified in Cersei by her solely having sympathy for Jaime as long as he looks like her. Her empathic range goes no further than herself and someone she identifies as an extension of herself. This is the range of empathy a narcissist can have. And there is also a misconception that empathy itself is absolute - you have it or you don't. But once you have empathy it can actually exist along a spectrum. The range depends on how much they can empathize with a stranger - those they identify as being like them (Jaime, Joffrey in Cersei's case until Jaime looks no longer her image), close family, wider family, friends, neighbors, complete strangers they only know by name. When Arya puts people on her list for raping a woman she hears off only through a story told, her empathy spectrum is the broadest available. That is the range of affectionate spectrum of someone we refer to as an "empath". Most people have affectionate empathy towards people they know. To complicate matters empathic people, including empaths, are able to override their feeling response intellectually. We can switch-it-off momentarily. It's what most of us do, when we walk passed someone asking for coin. Even when people feel for them, they will rationalize why they cannot give that person an alm - no change, can't give to everyone, etc. And it's what Arya learns to do in Braavos for example. With Cersei, I'm more inclined to see her as a malignant narcissist than a psychopath. Even disordered psychopaths are more calculated and cool-headed behind their mask than Cersei is (Roose Bolton is an example). Cersei's coolness is the mask, but inside she's nothing like it. How differs a malignant narcissist from a narcissist? Add sadism to the narcissism, and of this we have ample examples with Cersei. As for the arguments on how to deal with the checklist of psychopathy of Robert Hare: Hare did not make the list to be seen as "absolute" yes/no. It's a scale that totals to 40, with a cutoff at 30. Someone who manages to acquire 30 is regarded a psychopath. That doesn't mean a 25 or even 15 is not a harmful human being. 30 represents the 1% of population range on the attributed. 50% of the population though score between 0-4 on the test. Machiavellists and narcissists would score highly though, but beneath 30. If you know that the average of the prison population on the Hare scale test is 25, you get an inkling on 1) how many convicts are in the psychopathy range in comparison to the general population 2) don't get personally involved, because if you are a 0-4 you're going to be hurt. Anyway, empathy is a complex concept and complex to measure. It's not enough to say "that character shows no sympathy". You must ask yourself whether they could have sympathy, but chose not to have it (sign of empathic person, switching it off momentarily). Likewise it's not enough to say, "they feel sick at the sight of a mangled corpse, so must have sympathy". Emotions are a higher level process than a physical sensation only. Without processing of the sensation it cannot be called an emotion and therefore is not regarded affectionate empathy. Instead of just feeling /being sick, we end up saying, "I am disgusted". In other words, there's a linguistic filter component to the concept of emotions, to differentiate our bodily sensations and responses between pure reactive physical reaction and a more complex reaction. This is a learned/experience process. Apply that to Cersei. We know she sympathizes with herself. Rather than choosing to not have affectionate empathy for people, she chooses to mimic empathy when it suits her. She may have bodily responses to seeing the worst results to another person, showing she has the wiring to spark the sensation that could result into affectionate empathy, but she does not do the processing.
  2. She did fairly well at the Kingsmoot, despite not winning. No, she stayed in Deepwood because she couldn't remain on the Iron Islands without being married off. Now there's only a proxy marriage. Yes, Theon was attached to Winterfell... that doesn't make it a "smart" move. It got him more than fear and hatred. Without them he had no real leverage of importance to prevent an attack on WF. It was stupid. And it were his own broken promises to Bran in the first place that made Bran choose to run. He promised to not harm anyone of the castle if Bran surrendered. Bran surrendered, and yet he had Chayle drowned for a god Theon doesn't even believe in, without even Aeron being there, just to impress his men. That death was the last of the three that Jojen had prophesied. And it's what made Bran run. You know, you don't need years of experience to get people to respect you. You just act as if you already have it. And the more you worry and focus on winning the respect of people, the more you lose it. And Rodrik would have attacked anyway, at the cost of his daughter's life, if Theon hadn't been so lucky and unlucky at the same time that Ramsay attacked the Northerners from behind. True. I already pointed that out myself. You don't take a castle to "gain respect". You gain a castle because it's of strategical advantage. If you can keep it, you keep it. If you cannot you get out. They are not under Euron's authority. It's unlikely he knows of it. They are with her nuncle. No, Assha does not have access to them. But as long as she lives and her nuncle doesn't learn of her being killed, he'll keep those hostages alive. Well on that we disagree, as there are certain things that can happen still for the Northerners to form a different relation with Asha and even Theon. Overall I consider Asha and Theon equally stupid and smart, but on other stuff. Theon has foresight. Asha has better hindsight. Theon is good in greenlanding thinking. Asha understands the needs of the Ironborn better. Asha as leader of the IB with Theon as Hand would be a combo who could actually be smart.
  3. Already discussed: Her captor wasn't Ramsay. And she couldn't know about Ramsay, nor could Theon. Yes, she had years to gain their respect. Theon didn't. And he ignored that fact. Lol... more stubborn than the man who refused to surrender against an overpowering siege, refusing to take the black, etc.? Less hindsight than the man who "killed his hostages" and got himself a landlocked castle without a way to escape if attacked? Yes, he knew it was a natural ally, and yet he made sure to make it a mortal enemy of him. I wouldn't say any alliance is impossible. Sybelle freeing her prisoners suggests an alliance is possible.
  4. Stannis has clearly taken a complete different stance to burning (and even may be in on the glamor or The Lord of Bones), and might not even be willing to burn the WF tree if Bran "miraculously" informs him about the secret ways on how to move around in the surrounding walls of WF. @kissdbyfire has proposed that Theon may surrender to Bran skinchanging him before the tree on the island of the ice lake, and be his voice to pass on Bran's knowledge about this. It seems by comments made from the show -book written and published over the summer that Stannis may indeed be the one to burn Shyreen, but we both know he would not do such a thing before he ends up in a most desperate situation. It means a great deal for the Northerners. The Lord of Deepwood Motte is Galbart Glover, not Robett Glover. Robett is Lord Galbart's brother, and primary heir. Robert's children are Galbart's heirs after Robert. It was Galbart who was sent on a mission into the Neck along with Maege Mormont by Robb, with fake letters if caught. They took ship in Seagard. Alysane reveals she knows where her sisters are (with Maege), and thus that they survived the RW, though she of course does not disclose the whereabouts to Asha. Alysane was not the one to answer Stannis's letter. A kid had to answer it. This points to Alysane having not been at Bear Island at the time Stannis sent his letters. So, Alysane must have been acting under orders from her mother and Galbart. Since she was in the bay for Deepwood Motte, this means those orders included freeing Deepwood Motte, and that order must have been sent from Seagard (not the Neck). The sole thing that kept Alysane from freeing Deepwood Motte was Asha taking the hostages to the Iron Islands, and then not returning with all of them. Later on, Sybelle, the now freed mother of the hostage children hands Asha's men over to Tycho Nestoris in exchange for money, and these men are returned to Asha. Anyway, you mixed up the Glovers and underestimate their value for the Northern factions, who Stannis must please and win and keep in support of him. Nope. She didn't "kill her hostages" in the eyes of the Northerners, but used them for the reason you take hostages in the first place, and treated them correctly. I think in some ways she's better than Theon (she wouldn't kill kids out of fear of not being respected by her men), but in other ways she's more limited in how to use a castle (she exits the castle to battle, instead of letting the enemy throw itself against the walls). And that didn't help Theon much, did it?
  5. Stannis's men want to do a lot of stuff, to which Stannis says "pray harder". Notice how the Northeners do not clamor for Asha's death. They want Theon dead though. I said zilch over her plan for peace on the kingsmoot. I just said that keeping her hostages and the heirs of Deepwood Motte alive and keeping the heirs at her nuncle's while bringing back Sybelle was way smarther than Theon pretending to kill Bran and Rickon (and he would have killed them with Ramsay's whispers eventually if caught). It's not her fault she didn't know that Freys and Boltons intended to stab Robb Stark, when she sailed off for the kingsmoot. It's like none of the Ironborn know of this by the time they hold the kingsmoot. Not surprising. After being held at Pyke for 6 months, very few ships intend to dock at the Iron Islands. They would have avoided it like the plague. And that's on Balon. Anyway, only the Freys, Boltons and Tywin knew of the RW beforehand.
  6. Yup, but overall the IB do not seem to have kept on the update of Robb Stark's fate. Robb Stark is still alive when she learned of Balon's death. None of it is discussed at the Iron Islands, except that Asha tried to look for Theon's body amongst the shambles of Winterfell. She had no knowledge of Ramsay, let alone that he would have such power over the North after the Bolton betrayal at the Twins. She only learns of the likes as Ramsay the night she's taken by Stannis, only then having received his spikey written letter. I'm not saying it was the smartest move, but it certainly was smarter than making it seem she killed her child hostages and heirs to the castle. BTW I think that Maege sent her daughter Alysane the command to seize Deepwood Motte in Asha's absence, explaining why the youngest daughter was the sole one who could reply to Stannis's letter and why Alysane was in the bay after all. But the taking of the hostages to the Iron Islands, and leaving the children at her nuncle's prevented Alysane from executing the plan, until Stannis forced her to jump in and inform everyone there not to harm Asha.
  7. Yup, but she left hostages at her nuncle's (that was a smart move). A man of the mountain clans even apologizes to Asha for calling her cunt, likely after Alysane informed him that the Deepwood Motte heirs are in IB hands, far away. Asha probably did so to have a bargaining chip and ensure her physical survival. And she had to stay clear of the Iron Islands to avoid being physically wed off to a man she didn't want.
  8. I'm leaning to a Lannister, or accidental by a Targ (fake or real). Regardless it will kill a fire person. Wildfire is green of color and note the word "wild". It tends to lead to tragic loss or death for those with fire in their blood. Aerion Brightflame drank it and got himself killed Aegon V used it to hatch eggs, and begot the Summerhall tragedy Aerys II wanted to use it, and ended up killed by Jaime for it Cersei ordered it and Tyrion used it successfully in the battle at the Blackwater, destroying the fleet of Stannis (with his flaming heart), and in that battle we alsp have "Renly's ghost" in Renly's green armor, the same armor in which Cat saw her reflection and the image of a drowned woman (allusion to greenseeing). So, when it denotates it works in favor of the green magic faction and against a flame fire character.
  9. I don't think you can say that, because as long as Roose Bolton has tight control over the North, and all the other Northern houses have hostages, and Stannis doesn't move either, the will cannot come into play yet.
  10. Much of the 5 year gap writing had George writing backlog events, and Robb's Will could have come into play. He also said during a reading in 2015 when answering question about Robb's will and Jon's legitmacy that he hopes to resolve it. He also scrapped the 5 year gap because it didn't work for some aspects of the story, and that could implicate Robb's will. So, I don't think you can conclude it won't have an impact in the near future. Overall I agree that the will won't alter the ultimate outcome that George had in mind for the ending, and thus in that sense the will won't ultimately matter. I also agree that it's mostly meant as a tool to heighten the dramatic stakes between Robb and Catelyn before both are killed.
  11. Torrhen knelt for the North during his reing, whether as king or as warden, not for perpetuity. If it was perpetuity, there would be no need for a renewal of fealty vows for each Stark heir, or for each new ruler of the IT. It is not just a formality - it is the basis of the feudal contract. If it's just a formality, a king wouldn't need to threaten with "swear fealty or I'll execute you". And they do get to choose. Several chose not to swear fealty to Joffrey even after being captured at the Battle of the Blackwater. Sure, they were killed for it. But they still chose not to recognize Joffrey as king. If enough choose not to, especially when all from the same region, then that king has a genormous problem. Why do you think those feudal kingdoms had so many messy wars and the map of Euope looked like patchwork? Because of this. The North was Robb's, because each lord did swear fealty to his father, Warden of the North, and after his father's death to him explicitly. Feudal fealty follows a trickle up process: bannerman to their direct liege and that liege to the one above. That automatically makes the North his. Since they swore to him, he is likewise according to the feudal contract obliged to protect them - whether as warden or king, doesn't matter. He swore no fealty to Joffrey, so the fealty swearing chain ends with Robb Stark, and by feudal logic he's not in breach. I'm not saying it was the smartest or most strategic move. Nor am I saying it's an independent kingdom by the end of aDwD - it clearly isn't. The bannermen in the Riverlands swore fealty to King Tommen, Roose Bolton I assume did so as well and some of the Northern bannermen. But the civil war is not completely won, and King Tommen still has to content with two other claimants - Stannis and now Aegon. And that makes that practically makes the status of the Riverlands and the North a limbo one. All of these lords (and ladies) I'm sure will have ample opportunity to break away again, and some will do so, with each switch on the IT. If Aegon manages to chase the Lannisters off and Tommen dies before Myrcella, he must ask once again for the lords of the Riverlands to swear fealty to him. Will they do so? With LS avenging the RW by killing both Freys and Lannister forces trapped there, and having something up her sleeve with that crown and Robb's will coming into play, they may decide to swear fealty to a Stark once more. And what Aegon may have done with his GC in the Stormlands, may not be something he can attempt in the Riverlands. While war-wary, they're also war-hardened and have become quite organized underground rebels. Aegon won't be able to rely on the Reach forces, if he himself culled their numbers from his side, and they are being culled by Ironborn in the homefront. And the Vale will eventually rally around Sansa, for the North. And this too is an interesting detail - the Freys may have Riverrun, but they are not the Lord Protector of the Riverlands. Littlefinger is the LP, and he has yet to receive any fealty vows from the Riverlands. Ultimately, Aegon might have to save face and consolidate peace by drawing up an agreement between an independent kingdom of the North and the Riverlands, where he grants them their independence. Without dragons there isn't much he could do about that. Meanwhile Stannis is making an effort to convince the North to be part of the 7K again, by fighting for their causes - getting rid of the Ironborn, Freys and Boltons. But whether he will survive this in the long run is doubtful. Once he's dead as are the Boltons, then all the lords who swore fealty to either of them are once again free to swear fealty to a King/Queen Stark. The sole character with the military means to try and consolidate all of the kingdoms to become united once more will be Dany. Regardless of current or future status of the North and the Riverlands. Robb had the legal right to draw up a will on who gets to be his Stark heir, and since he was king at the time, he had the right to legalize an already acknowledged bastard. It was signed by lords of both the Riverlands and the North, and none of them have sworn fealty yet to anyone else. They may have yielded castles under duress, but they are still prisoners (Edmure, Greatjon, Mallister) or remained out of sight (Maege Mormont, Galbert Glover). Heirs have been named and wills have been drawn regardless of that family in question still having lands and castles or not. The Blackfyres didn't need a castle or be in Westeros to name an heir. Nor do the Targaryens in the present timeline. Viserys may have been a beggar king of nothing, but he's still recognized as such, and the potential loyalty within Westeros to Viserys was enough for Robert to be concerned, especially when Dany was pregnant. The same thing is true for the Starks. Robb got to decide who is the Stark heir of his family bloodline, as well as gets to decide who cannot be his Stark heir. And if there are Stark loyalists they will accept Robb's will, once they're made aware of it. And no crying about "he can't do that" will change that. Feudal society is a mix of fealty vows and having the swords at some point to enforce it.
  12. Yes, he knelt. That was my point. He voluntarily and peacefully chose to join the 7K and have Aegon Targaryen as king. You do realize that every new king has to ask for the promise of fealty by the lords from all over the kingdom, right? This promise of fealty is thus still a choice. In other words, a people have always a right and freedom to choose whether they want to be a part of a kingdom or not. There's no law that can stop them from choosing. Sure, they will have to succeed in keeping enemy armies out, just like the king of the 7K has to make sure he can keep it. But you cannot legally claim that a warden or lord does not have the right to secede. They can. Joffrey was a new king, and Robb never swore any fealty to him, therefore he was not bound.
  13. Through Arya's wolf dream we know she finds her dead mother floating in the Green Fork. Nymeria runs off at the appearance of men, whom we later learn were Beric and his men of the BwB, and this in the direction of the Twins. So, the BwB at least followed Sandor's trail towards the Twins. In the epilogue of aSoS that reveals LS, the BwB inquire after the Hound with Merret Frey There you go, by their own words, Thoros saw in the fires that Sandor was heading towards the Twins with Arya, they interrogated the ferryman who ferried them over and the man he robbed on the Kingsroad. So, yeah, does that satisfy as evidence that the BwB followed and were on Sandor's and Arya's trail?
  14. There were witnesses - the prostitutes and Masha Heddle's "heir" Brienne has her info via the Dornishman of the Bloody Mummers, and Elder Brother who has it from Sandor's own lips. But notice that while the innkeep was killed by Rorge, the whores were not and basically squatted at the inn until Jeyne Heddle kicked them out. It's doubtful she could have done that by herself. She's too close with the BwB, and I don't even believe Jeyne Heddle claimed the inn without knowing beforehand she had back up from the BwB. In the Riverlands it's not a secret what Sandor's exploits were as far as Saltpans, and that he had a child with him. The sole people who know who that child was are the BwB, Sandor and Elder Brother
  15. The Targaryens never conquered the North. Their king decided to unite with the Targaryen kingdom peacefully, like Dorne did at some point.
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