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Everything posted by Matthew.

  1. This was the exact scene I thought of as well. I don't know if this was just the show attempting to make Aemond more sympathetic - by being less complicit - in what happened, or if some of this is coming from GRRM, and is being used as a platform to explore broader ideas about the dragons. Another dragonlore related scene was that Rhaenyra's stillborn baby, according to the books, had dragon-like features, just as Rhaego did, and the show made a point of cutting between Rhaenyra's labor and Syrax reacting, as if it "knew" what was going on.
  2. Speaking of anti-dragon conspiracies (or more accurately, anti-magic), I wonder whether this show will ever address the premise of Marwyn's "grey sheep."
  3. Mine too, Paddy Considine is doing an excellent job. I'm enjoying the show a lot more than I thought I would, although I think it has way too much expository dialogue, and most of the secondary and tertiary characters feel pretty insubstantial--as though they only exist within the world to occasionally deliver the aforementioned expository dialogue. However, I put a lot of the blame for those issues on the source material, rather than the show writers; GRRM has entered this phase where he's treading closer to being a "content creator" than a novelist, churning out books that are heavy on world building and plot points, but lacking the approach to prose, characterization, and narrative that made ASOIAF and Dunk and Egg engrossing.
  4. Yes, the Others themselves don't need to be numerous to pose a tremendous threat. Depending on what the range is on the ice horde's wight raising ability, they have a whole potential army of the dead awaiting them if they ever breach the Wall, thanks to the civil war. The other factor in their favor is the (presumably) long winter, and all of the freezing and starvation that will entail; the Others don't need numbers, they only need patience.
  5. Generally I would agree, and I think GRRM even gives a warning at the beginning of AFFC or ADWD to that effect--that book order of POVs should not necessarily be taken as a chronological order of events. However, with Dany's aGoT chapters, we do have at least a little bit of guidance as to the order of events. Robert orders her assassination after Eddard has been named Hand, but before she has hatched the dragons.
  6. My point about the Internet culture that has sprung up around ASOIAF is not about whether or not RLJ is "difficult" to solve, it's the notion that its primary narrative function is to distract--that, having solved the mystery, people will become overly enamored in its potential consequences. The latter premise is, IMO, heavily influenced by the fandom culture that has subsequently developed around ASOIAF, and not necessarily reflective of the way an author would have expected readers to engage with the story before the ascent of Internet discussions.
  7. I agree, which is why I find that particular interpretation of RLJ unconvincing. The narrative of aGoT, in particular, is being crafted in the early to mid 90s with an expectation on GRRM's part that he is writing a trilogy that will be finished within a reasonable time frame--he could not have remotely envisioned the internet fan culture that would spring up around the novels.
  8. Possibly related to this, while most discussion of the aforementioned show scene has focused on Aegon's dream(s), during the scene Viserys also says a couple of other interesting things: that the idea that Targaryen's control the dragons is "an illusion," that they're a power men should have never trifled with, and that trifling with that power is what lead to the Doom. Now, in context, those comments could have been more of a general sentiment than something that is to be taken literally--that he is trying to impress upon his heir the responsibility she is inheriting. However, it might also be hinting at some more specific knowledge regarding the unnaturalness of both the Dragonlords and the dragons themselves.
  9. As a note on that scene, as is often the case with the way prophecy is presented, it's not clear how much of what we're being told constitutes the actual content of the dream, and how much is Aegon's (or his descendant's) interpretation of the dream--eg., the ostensible importance of a united realm. Accordingly, it's not clear whether the show is implying that Aegon's prophecy ("A Song of Ice and Fire") is the origin point for the Prince that was Promised, or whether tPtwP is an older prophesy that Aegon has assumed would link logically to what he has seen.
  10. It isn't a reveal from one of the published books, but Condal has already acknowledged that the "Song of Ice and Fire" moment of episode 1 was controversial at the premier, and says it came straight from GRRM himself--which GRRM has confirmed.
  11. I've been seeing some of the scuttlebutt about this premise for the last few weeks. Apparently, the running assumption - and one I find reasonable - is that a combination of the Dance of the Dragons wiping out several adult Targs, plus Baelor the Blessed going on a book burn frenzy, caused House Targaryen to lose a great deal of their internal family lore.
  12. This is an interesting take, especially since GRRM has given multiple interviews in which he cites the importance of Stoneheart--whatever her future role is, it seems certain to escalate beyond simply roving the Riverlands and hanging Freys, and if Stoneheart is a revenant carrying out Catelyn's grudges, Jon does represent one potential point of conflict. GRRM did an interview with Esquire China after season 7 in which he was asked about differences between the show and the books, and he said the change he "most wished" that the show had not made was the removal of Stoneheart. In terms of plot changes (as opposed to more fundamental issues with the writing, such as bad dialogue) I'm not sure that the removal of Stoneheart would top most reader's lists as the change they're most disappointed by, so it's interesting to me that she tops GRRM's list.
  13. I always took the Stallion that Mounts the World as an example of someone trying to foil a prophesy, only to end up accidentally fulfilling it--kind of like how Cersei's Maggy the Frog paranoia is causing her to take actions that will contribute to her own downfall. In the case of the Stallion, her ritual is meant to pay Rhaego's life to 'heal' Drogo, but also inadvertently heals/resurrects the stone eggs; in essence, the 'Stallion' still lives in Drogon, and Dany and Drogon are primed to be at the front of a unified khalasar.
  14. This paragraph: ...is a pretty good summary of why these books are taking an eternity to come out. Fans who were around during the wait for ADWD, back when it was supposed to be the fourth book (and there was supposed to be a five year gap) will recall similar comments about how much he rewrites. The manuscript that was eventually split into AGOT and ACOK (and again into ASOS) faced similar issues. I've expressed this sentiment before, but I suspect that if GRRM had resigned himself years ago to the notion that he probably can't finish within just two books that, paradoxically, he would actually be making quicker progress--the more he's allowed to sit on these giant manuscripts, without having a portion split and published, the more materials he can go back and rewrite every time he has a new idea, all while he tries to make too many plots work within a single volume. I'm glad he's motivated to finish, but I kind of wish he had gone in the direction of publishing several "smaller" volumes - say, in the range of 400 to 600 pages - at a regular pace, rather than sitting around and working on one bloated volume for decades at a time.
  15. On this note, I'm curious as to whether or not the CotF know what Bran is doing to Hodor in stealing his body--and if they don't know, whether this discovery would be met with horror or indifference. We can't yet know for sure the motives of the CotF and BR, but we do know Bran, and Bran has shown himself (thus far) to be someone who is willing to abuse his powers, even when he knows that what he's doing scares Hodor. This willingness to abuse his powers potentially becomes important when we consider that, as of Bran III ADWD, Bran still didn't know about the Red Wedding, and all that has befallen House Stark.
  16. As an aside, ice dragons - the mythical beasts, not the constellation - go unmentioned in ASOIAF up until ADWD, where they get a couple recurring references, all in Jon chapters. Maybe nothing, or maybe a bit of foreshadowing, if one is inclined to interpret Jon as some sort of champion of Ice.
  17. Interesting point, and although I'm still reluctant to attribute the Riverlands events to Bloodraven, the BwB using a (presumably) former CotF cavern filled with weirwood roots as their hidey hole is difficult to entirely dismiss. To reiterate your former point, even though Bloodraven has the powers of a greenseer, there's no particular reason to believe he hasn't also recently gained access to previously dormant Valyrian magic--and perhaps even understands it better than his post-Doom predecessors, depending on just how much history and information weirnet is able to draw upon. In other words, there's no reason to believe he can't draw upon the magic of both bloodlines.
  18. In magical terms, it doesn't matter; he has the dragon blood, so we might reasonably assume he has inherited their sorcery, however much (beyond dragon dreams and dragonriding) that might entail. That said, I'm still more inclined to believe that it was the R'hllorist Last Rites that performed the miracle, even if it was unintentional. GRRM once talked about the religions of the world during a Q&A in Guadalajara, and in it he mentioned that the Red Faith is, by far, the most popular religion in Essos, and joked that having priests that can bring back the dead is a pretty appealing recruitment tool. Now, granted, that's clearly being said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I believe that what we're seeing is a part of an overall pattern of magic getting stronger, and previously inert spells and rituals suddenly gaining power; while we haven't seen any other resurrections, Moqorro seems to have done something to Victarion with magic, so it does seem like the Red Priests have real power at their disposal.
  19. IIRC, Jon and Ghost are together with what remains of the Free Folk in the final scene; I can't recall whether we were supposed to interpret that as the new Watch, or Jon deserting and heading north to live as a wildling. Either way, a sequel series is already a bad idea, but a sequel series centered on one of the more boring characters, who is living in one of the most desolate and politically inactive regions of Westeros is just really strange.
  20. I mean, it could have been a Walder Frey situation where naming your Stark son Brandon was very in vogue, especially if the Stark patriarch of the time had had more than one wife; it may also be the case that the Night's King was Brandon Snow.
  21. I also never read the book, nor do I know much of anything about the story, beyond what has been referenced in the main series books. I do recall one portion of the book that was brought up in a prior Heresy, a tale that the bards spread, that I would be interested in seeing depicted on screen if it turns out to be true (spoiler tagged in case you don't want to know):
  22. At the least, I plan on watching the first two episodes and seeing how I feel about it. I'm kind of lukewarm towards the subject matter, but I'm open to the possibility of a good execution elevating it into something I'll enjoy watching.
  23. I'm feeling fairly pessimistic about it as well. TWoW being a big book seems more like the rule than the exception; the publishing circumstances for every single book in the series except for ASOS was that GRRM had written more material than could be physically bound in a hard cover, and Anne Groell had to practically drag a portion of the manuscript out of GRRM's hand and convince him to split whatever volume he was working on. Increasingly, my suspicion is that GRRM's clout in his relationship with his publisher is now so disproportionate that he cannot be convinced to do another split, and is going to try to make his remaining story work in only two volumes--which, IMO, isn't possible. If GRRM is left to tinker with TWoW until it meets his satisfaction - rewriting whenever he has a new idea he wants to retroactively introduce, trying to hit all of his intended plot points without taking shortcuts, struggling with Meereenese Knot-esque problems - then I suspect that, not only will we never see ADOS, we might not even see TWoW.
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