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UnmaskedLurker

A+J=T v.8

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I believe the second dance of the dragons will be fought between Daenerys truely born of House Targaryen, an old house, on the black dragon waiving a bright red dragon on her banner, and Aegon falsely born of House Blackfyre, a much newer house, on the green dragon with a dark black banner locked in one of six chests from Pentos. Snarling in the midst of both of 'em, we'll find Tyrion, who, much like Ulf the White, will betray the dragon-riding gal for all the gold of Casterly Rock and cause the white dragon to fight on Aegon's side. 

As to the three heads The George told us to look for way back in Clash, the first is Daenerys who will devour the dying. Vision Rhaegar was looking right at her. Jon will be reborn as the third one. Vision Rhaegar knew his son would be one, but he didna know which son. We don't know what the second head's supposed to do, but black or red a dragon is still a dragon. Since we pretty much know that black or red Aegon is a dragon, I'm going with him. If Tyrion does turn out to be a sort o' brown dragon Targaryen, and he actually rides a dragon, I'll give it another thought. But while I think you have to ride a dragon to be one of Rhaegar's heads I don't think riding a dragon makes you one of Rhaegar's heads. 

I can accept the idea that there might be another dragonriding traitor, but the chances that Tyrion will be this guy is pretty low. If we go with Jon Snow being one of the dragon heads and a future dragonrider then this is going to happen very late in the series - at least one of Dany's dragons might have multiple riders in-between. Victarion and Brown Ben Plumm are potential dragonriders, too, and either of them might begin a series of events that makes them traitors/turncloaks or hands the dragon to another person who then betrays somebody.

The chances that Tyrion is going to rejoin Aegon are astronomically low if you ask me. He is now in Slaver's Bay where Aegon never went due to his own meddling, and he is not going to abandon whatever role he can play with Dany's people as a dragonrider in favor of rejoining Aegon in Westeros. That he then later betrays Dany is not exactly very likely (although there is a small chance if events convincingly lead to such development).

And Sheepstealer is long dead, of course. If one of the old dragons is going to show up it will be the Cannibal because George didn't use him at all during the Dance.

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Of course many of us come up with "fringe ideas" some of which might turn out to be true -- most of which will not. But as I have said before, those theories don't seem to engender anger -- most people just laugh at the notion that the Others are really the good guys -- they don't get upset at the idea.

Just got a chance to reply.  I think I'll probably stop talking about this topic after this as I don't want it to become too personal regarding about how you personally engage in debate.  Since that's your choice.

I'd say A lot of people get upset about a lot of things around here.  Everyone has a different horse in a different race, it seems.  If you don't have a horse in that particular race, then you probably don't really notice the "problem."  Personally while I think A+J = T is true and I argue for it when it comes up, I could see it working well either way.

As to Brandon -- here is why I think more people think that Brandon is the lover -- Ashara was "dishonored" at Harrenhal -- Ned was too shy to ask her to dance - and we know he is an honorable guy -- is the reader really supposed to conclude that Ned dishonored Ashara? The way Brandon is described is much more consistent with the notion of dishonoring a woman (i.e., seducing her). Ned seems like the type who actually did wait until his wedding night (as was formally expected even if not followed by most noble men).

But is Ashara the type that would wait?  And it's Barristan talking about Dishonor here - aka sour grapes.  And it being Brandon but only Barristan seeming to know about it (while the rest of the world thinks that Ned and Ashara had some kind of relationship) stretches credulity for me.  Not to mention the asshattery required by Brandon in order to sleep with Ashara right after introducing her to shy, blushing Ned.  

It matters because it gives Ned an extra connection to Ashara and the Daynes. If Ashara's still-born daughter would have been Ned's niece, then the loss of the girl gives Ned another reason to be close to the Daynes. I think this relationship is going to be important once we find out more about how Ned pulled off passing Jon as Ned's son.

I agree with the bolded - but to be honest I now lean towards the idea that Ashara didn't sleep with either of them and was never pregnant...  despite my reaction at the time.  Though that doesn't preclude some sort of romantic relationship with Ned.  

GRRM had to approve everything that went into TWOIAF. GRRM needs to be able to defend everything that went into TWOIAF.

I think specific events and such in TWOIAF are canon (ish).  However I think characterization in TWOIAF should be taken with a massive grain of salt and always go behind what we are shown in the books (where it's not second hand accounts of biased narrators we are seeing).  

As to Jorah's comment -- he seemed confused that he might have thought that marrying Dany would allow him to ride a dragon -- or he just wanted to marry her and would worry about the fact he could not ride a dragon later. Notice that Dany does not respond to Jorah. Dany does not confirm that she thinks that Jorah could ride a dragon.

This is a stretch.  While we don't see her reactions in real time, Dany's later thoughts on the matter include A.) she thinks that her husbands will be her fellow dragon riders and B.) she toys with the idea of these husbands being Jorah and Daario (haha).  If she knew their blood precluded them from being such dragon-riding spouses, it would have been foremost on her mind but it wasn't.

Of course, GRRM could have been using slight of hand or something to avoid telling us this, but I don't see a good reason for it.  More likely that Dany simply doesn't know and GRRM didn't see it as an important issue.  

Thus, it's ambiguous enough that some readers concluding that Dany should have known if you needed Targ blood to ride a dragon, and therefore maybe it was not needed was in no way irrational at the time.

 

Assume for a moment that I am correct -- that my analysis is based primarily on dispassionate critical analysis of the text -- and many others are slanting their analysis by a larger amount due to their emotional reaction to the text (just go with me for purposes of this paragraph). Am I precluded from pointing out that observation? Does that make me too arrogant or make this thread too hostile to objectors? Maybe -- I agree that truth is no defense for rudeness. I try hard not to be rude to anyone (unless they really deserve it -- like by trolling, for example). I simply don't see many of the arguments being put forth against this theory as containing very much in the way of non-emotional textual analysis. I don't think that pointing out that certain arguments seem overly emotional is inappropriate -- as long as I can back up that conclusion.

You can say whatever you like, of course, but I think it's worth taking into consideration that you are pretty invested in this theory (as evidenced by you're appearing quite frustrated about others not believing it).  Personally, I think it's dangerous to ever assume I am more rational/less emotional than the people I'm arguing against.  I'm in the worst possible position to judge it (I mean, unless as you say they are actively trolling or insulting others so it's pretty obvious they aren't even arguing in good faith).  And yeah, on a personal level that particular observation does seem come across as somewhat arrogant, since even if I go with you for that paragraph, you cannot know whether your analysis was truly more dispassionate than your opponent (excepting obvious cases).  

I think this thread is somewhat hostile to outsiders in the way every thread along these lines is.  Only people who post here regularly are those who really strongly support/care about the theory, so it becomes echo chambery.  If you post any argument you're likely to get several people replying to argue against.  Not "ganging up" but it's not the kind of thread that makes debating seem "fair" to an outsider.  It's not exactly fun to be told by 5 or 6 people that you're wrong.  

As for the content of the arguments, I think initial gut reactions are probably the ones you're talking about mostly, and for a variety of reasons most people don't go beyond this (often, they don't care).  You get dumb arguments like "how can Tyrion be Aerys' bio-son he's so much like Tywin" which is essentially an insult to all adopted people.  The funny thing is that many also had/have a negative gut reaction to R+L=J along the same lines.  "Jon is so much like Ned!  He has to be his son!" Is something I remember reading before R+L was so ubiquitous... and a lot of people argued back of course he was - he was raised by him!  

But there is also skepticism at the correlative nature of the evidence.  I think many of these arguments are somewhat reasonable.  You even point out in your OP in these threads that taken as a single piece none of the evidences is very convincing, and many might be wrong, weak, or misleading.  Further, there's ambiguity and disagreement in the theory as presented about major points such as whether Johanna was raped or cheated and whether Tywin knew Tyrion wasn't his son.  Of course, there's some disagreement along the same lines for R+L.  

I am not trying to shut down debate -- I really am just trying to understand it better. My musings on this issue began by observing that this theory is 2 to 1 against -- but is one of the only theories in which my personal view is in the minority -- and I tried to think whether there is something different about this theory that makes me in the minority of views when I agree with the majority on almost all the other theories. I don't think that I would be considering all possible answers to that question if I did not examine whether emotional thinking might be the cause of that difference. And I think I have provided decent support to back up that proposition.

How can emotional thinking be the cause of this theory being unpopular?  That would imply somehow that there are a lot of people around here that are generally emotional thinkers and that's the reason they don't like the theory.  I think its unpopularity is due to most people not engaging with it one way or another after first exposure...  partly due to it's unpopularity.  

1.) People have negative gut reactions to this theory since it causes them to re-evaluate many aspects of character that they had previously taken for granted.

2.) The theory is not very popular.  Thus, people feel content that their negative gut reaction is correct as they get positive feedback from others (echo chamber problem).   

3.) For most people that are not fans of Tyrion it is easy to dismiss the idea that he ride a dragon and be the son of a king as wishful fanboy/girl thinking.  Personally I think this is a typically weak argument but I think it's a very common one on the boards for many, many topics.  

Also, when I suggest that people are engaging in emotional thinking -- I am trying to challenge them. I want a good debate. I enjoy hearing opposing views. But I want people to engage in real analysis -- not preference-driven conclusions. If someone thinks that the relationship between Tyrion and Tywin would be ruined -- explain how the trajectory of the characters support that analysis. Explain how Tyrion's future arc works better as a Lannister than a Targ. Now that would be real analysis -- not just emotional thinking (even if the impetus for the view might have started with emotional preference). But I rarely see anyone take it to the next step. They just assert the conclusion as if it is self-evident and then move on. I think I have every justification to describe that analysis as more emotional than analytical.

So it is not about giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. I try to give that to everyone. I want to hear better and crisper analysis. Try to convince me I am wrong. Counter my arguments in a persuasive way (not just showing how the clues don't "prove" that Tyrion is Targ -- but evidence that Tyrion as a Targ would not work as well for the story and why). And I also don't really think I am too hard on myself. I hate to be wrong, and if I am I will not be thrilled. But I will admit my mistake and move on. I realize this board is just for fun, and ASOIAF are just books. 

I think this is a reasonable perspective.  I just don't think it's a good idea to say "you're engaging in emotional thinking" (or worse, "you people who think X are engaging in emotional thinking").  People who are just acting from gut instinct won't care or will dismiss it, but people who hold the same position and are arguing in good faith and with an open mind will feel insulted by proxy.  

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I think specific events and such in TWOIAF are canon (ish).  However I think characterization in TWOIAF should be taken with a massive grain of salt and always go behind what we are shown in the books (where it's not second hand accounts of biased narrators we are seeing).  

This is a stretch.  While we don't see her reactions in real time, Dany's later thoughts on the matter include A.) she thinks that her husbands will be her fellow dragon riders and B.) she toys with the idea of these husbands being Jorah and Daario (haha).  If she knew their blood precluded them from being such dragon-riding spouses, it would have been foremost on her mind but it wasn't.

Of course, GRRM could have been using slight of hand or something to avoid telling us this, but I don't see a good reason for it.  More likely that Dany simply doesn't know and GRRM didn't see it as an important issue.  

Thus, it's ambiguous enough that some readers concluding that Dany should have known if you needed Targ blood to ride a dragon, and therefore maybe it was not needed was in no way irrational at the time.

TWoIaF is canon in the same sense as the books are. Just as there are uncertainties, biases, mistakes, false memories, and lies in the heads of the POVs, there are similar things in TWoIaF. You should read TWoIaF and check how often people actually refer to events we see firsthand in the books - aside from the Afterword there is no such event, actually, because the TWoIaF stops before Jon Arryn is even murdered (and even that only refers to the deaths of Jon Arryn, Robert and Joffrey, and the rumors about dragons in the east).

Yandel's accounts on the lives of Aerys and Tywin seem to be pretty accurate and unbiased in a lot of ways, and certainly give us more detailed and better information on their lives than any of the POVs in the books ever did. The accounts given in the books by non-POVs are technically not more trustworthy than anything Yandel concludes or his sources tell him. As long as we don't see into their heads we don't know whether they are telling the truth or are lying (e.g. Tyrion's original belief about Tysha).

As to dragonriding:

It is true that the early books didn't really explore the topic, but it was always sort of clear that the Targaryen dragons were only ridden by Targaryens because nobody ever thought or told as anything about other Westerosi dragonriders. Dany and Jorah don't yet seem to think about the dragonriding thing all that much back in ASoS but Dany knows certain things she later, in ADwD, shares with Quentyn - that you can only ride one dragon at a time.

Back in ASoS the dragons are still relatively small, and it may be that Jorah and/or Dany simply thought people of Dany's choice could eventually claim the dragons. It only became apparent some time later that the dragons could be a threat, and that even Daenerys might not be able to rein them in. By ADwD she has reached her own conclusions what the talk about the three dragon heads means.

George really tried to keep up the ambiguity about 'Targaryen specialness' and the whole dragonriding stuff until ADwD. But there it becomes clear that the predominant belief among certain people (Quentyn, Tyrion) is that you have to have Targaryen/dragonlord blood to become a dragonrider. Whether Dany believes or knows that is another matter. She might not know it because as a Targaryen she never had to doubt the fact that she could become a dragonrider - she is the blood of the dragon, that was always clear, and if all her ancestors were dragonriders once why should she not be able to become one if she is the Mother of Dragons? She could easily have believed that in absence of any other Targaryens her choice of husbands might be able to make normal men dragonriders, too. If she ever really thought about that in detail.

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[snip]  

ASoKaF--

I appreciate your feedback and found it to be well thought out and incisive. To clarify -- while I think you are 100% correct that 5-6 people pointing out why someone is "wrong" can be intimidating and uninviting, I am not sure how to solve that problem (maybe there is no way). As to accusing people of being emotional -- as I stated before, I try my best to avoid "personal attacks" unless someone really seems to be trolling or arguing in bad faith. All of the discussion of emotional arguments has been talking in general terms and not addressed at any particular poster.

And if you ask Rhaenys_Targaryen, who posts to this thread from time to time and does not agree with the AJT theory, I think she can confirm (at least I hope she can confirm) that I have never accused her of being overly emotional about the issue (and don't think she is), and we have had pretty good discussions about the AJT theory on an evidence-based level. Unfortunately, people like her -- who do not believe in the theory but also engage primarily in evidence-based argumentation about the theory -- seem to be few and far between. So I don't think that I merely assume that someone is being emotional because they disagree with me. I think they are emotional based on the nature of the arguments they make.

Essentially, when I state that the arguments are emotional, I am basing that assessment on the nature of the arguments. There are arguments that are backed-up by concrete evidence -- and then there are arguments that you accurately point out obviously stem from "gut reaction" to the theory. So you, yourself, seem quite capable of coming to a conclusion regarding the type of arguments that are primarily evidence based and which are not. I simply am engaging in the exact same evaluation. And I don't think that because I have become "invested" in the theory that I am no longer capable of assessing the difference.

And again -- the point was to try to assess whether there is something different about AJT than other theories. I was putting forth a preliminary hypothesis to see what others thought of the possibility that AJT seems to get more hate than other theories -- even other theories that have even less support. I was also musing as to why I might be in the majority view on almost every other theory but in the minority on this theory.

I don't know how else to have such a discussion without getting into the possibility that maybe lots of people who otherwise simply evaluate the evidence dispassionately fail to do so for some reason regarding this theory. I don't know if that is the case -- I am trying to get thoughts from others on whether they think it might be the case. But to be clear -- I am not stating that most people don't engage in thoughtful analysis. Almost the opposite -- I am stating that most of the time most of the people do -- but for some reason on this theory maybe there something else going on -- I just am not sure. And I think you describe a possible explanation for why that might be.

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Re: TWOIAF

heres the deal - I presume that GRRM would have told the authors the outlines of what he wanted to say but that since he did not pen the words, the details of the execution would be up to them.  Hence the facts are correct and fully canon, but things like personality assessments, or opinions that characters have are potentially subject to (probably unconscious) biases to prior positions/theories held by the (real life) authors.

That is why, I think, GRRM chose to use second or third hand accounts as the narrators in the world book in the first place (rather than simply using a "word of God" approach like has been done for some other similar books).  That way if the (real life) authors did tweak some detail or details of character in a way semi-inconsistent with what "really" happened it can easily be chalked up to biases in the (fictional) author of a particular third hand account.

Re: dragonriding

I agree with you - it appears that for some reason Dany during ASOS did not know that only those with Targaryen blood can ride Dragons and that this is well-established by the side stories and twoiaf.  The core of my argument was that it seems strange that Dany would not know that - especially given she has some other dragonriding knowledge like how a dragon can only be ridden by one person at a time and no one can ride two.  I'd chalk things up, ultimately, like a lot of things in these books, to the fact that characters sometimes have to act in service to the plot.  GRRM wanted At the time to keep this issue unclear so he didn't give Dany that knowledge.  

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I rarely post...I read alot, but the drama when those who are emotionally vested in a theory heats up is just not my cup of tea. I've been on and off the A+J=T train several times over the years, but the more I look at the evidence, I think it has to be a valid theory. I have no desire, one way or the other for it to be accurate or proven false...I just want to see if I can figure it out. My enjoyment of the books isn't gong to waver, regardless of the outcome.

As someone stated upthread, dragonriders do not necessarily have to be one of the 3 Heads. I've separated the two in my mind and have come to the conclusion that a number of folks might ride dragons, but the 3 Heads will be the ones who save the realm from the Long Night...and I've also thought that it is possible that not all of the 3 Heads will get a dragon (one dragon may die before that happens) If I'm proven wrong, then I'm just wrong. It isn't GRRM's fault or shoddy storytelling. I was just wrong.

That's just like any other aSoIaF theory. I look at the evidence in the books. When the Howland Reed/High Sparrow theory popped up, I thought 'HEY!', but the more I looked at the evidence, it became clear that it wasn't working. There are a number of these 'almost' theories floating around and I do read the conversations...but...I go to my books and decide for myself if the theory holds water.

I've changed my mind about some over the years, some I've held onto from the get go. (the first time I ever read the books, when the Targ babies were laid at Robert's feet...I knew that a kid claiming to be Aegon would show up)

I just do not enjoy sarcastic, snarky put-downs. Intelligent debate, yes, but so many people think because we're not all sitting face to face, the anonymity of the internet gives them a free pass to be rude. You can disagree without being disrespectful.

There are several of you who are long-time posters that I enjoy reading. You have well-thought out theories and can put your thoughts on the page in an intelligent and sensible manner. You may even disagree with each other, but it never results in personal attacks. I'm more inclined to listen to what folks have to say if they give me their info in a civilized manner.

The A+J=T theory has polarized fandom for some reason...that means GRRM has done a good job. If everything was easy to figure out, the books wouldn't have the following that they do. He gives us false clues to keep us guessing and that's what I love s much about the story. We don't know for sure what is going to happen.

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I rarely post...I read alot, but the drama when those who are emotionally vested in a theory heats up is just not my cup of tea. I've been on and off the A+J=T train several times over the years, but the more I look at the evidence, I think it has to be a valid theory. I have no desire, one way or the other for it to be accurate or proven false...I just want to see if I can figure it out. My enjoyment of the books isn't gong to waver, regardless of the outcome.

As someone stated upthread, dragonriders do not necessarily have to be one of the 3 Heads. I've separated the two in my mind and have come to the conclusion that a number of folks might ride dragons, but the 3 Heads will be the ones who save the realm from the Long Night...and I've also thought that it is possible that not all of the 3 Heads will get a dragon (one dragon may die before that happens) If I'm proven wrong, then I'm just wrong. It isn't GRRM's fault or shoddy storytelling. I was just wrong.

That's just like any other aSoIaF theory. I look at the evidence in the books. When the Howland Reed/High Sparrow theory popped up, I thought 'HEY!', but the more I looked at the evidence, it became clear that it wasn't working. There are a number of these 'almost' theories floating around and I do read the conversations...but...I go to my books and decide for myself if the theory holds water.

I've changed my mind about some over the years, some I've held onto from the get go. (the first time I ever read the books, when the Targ babies were laid at Robert's feet...I knew that a kid claiming to be Aegon would show up)

I just do not enjoy sarcastic, snarky put-downs. Intelligent debate, yes, but so many people think because we're not all sitting face to face, the anonymity of the internet gives them a free pass to be rude. You can disagree without being disrespectful.

There are several of you who are long-time posters that I enjoy reading. You have well-thought out theories and can put your thoughts on the page in an intelligent and sensible manner. You may even disagree with each other, but it never results in personal attacks. I'm more inclined to listen to what folks have to say if they give me their info in a civilized manner.

The A+J=T theory has polarized fandom for some reason...that means GRRM has done a good job. If everything was easy to figure out, the books wouldn't have the following that they do. He gives us false clues to keep us guessing and that's what I love s much about the story. We don't know for sure what is going to happen.

Great post -- thank you. I agree with you that the debate should be respectful and personal attacks should be avoided. I have tried (perhaps not always succeeded) at following that approach. I hope you keep visiting this thread. :cheers:

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I rarely post...I read alot, but the drama when those who are emotionally vested in a theory heats up is just not my cup of tea. I've been on and off the A+J=T train several times over the years, but the more I look at the evidence, I think it has to be a valid theory. I have no desire, one way or the other for it to be accurate or proven false...I just want to see if I can figure it out. My enjoyment of the books isn't gong to waver, regardless of the outcome.

As someone stated upthread, dragonriders do not necessarily have to be one of the 3 Heads. I've separated the two in my mind and have come to the conclusion that a number of folks might ride dragons, but the 3 Heads will be the ones who save the realm from the Long Night...and I've also thought that it is possible that not all of the 3 Heads will get a dragon (one dragon may die before that happens) If I'm proven wrong, then I'm just wrong. It isn't GRRM's fault or shoddy storytelling. I was just wrong.

That's just like any other aSoIaF theory. I look at the evidence in the books. When the Howland Reed/High Sparrow theory popped up, I thought 'HEY!', but the more I looked at the evidence, it became clear that it wasn't working. There are a number of these 'almost' theories floating around and I do read the conversations...but...I go to my books and decide for myself if the theory holds water.

I've changed my mind about some over the years, some I've held onto from the get go. (the first time I ever read the books, when the Targ babies were laid at Robert's feet...I knew that a kid claiming to be Aegon would show up)

I just do not enjoy sarcastic, snarky put-downs. Intelligent debate, yes, but so many people think because we're not all sitting face to face, the anonymity of the internet gives them a free pass to be rude. You can disagree without being disrespectful.

There are several of you who are long-time posters that I enjoy reading. You have well-thought out theories and can put your thoughts on the page in an intelligent and sensible manner. You may even disagree with each other, but it never results in personal attacks. I'm more inclined to listen to what folks have to say if they give me their info in a civilized manner.

The A+J=T theory has polarized fandom for some reason...that means GRRM has done a good job. If everything was easy to figure out, the books wouldn't have the following that they do. He gives us false clues to keep us guessing and that's what I love s much about the story. We don't know for sure what is going to happen.

Applause for this. I'd like to think you just wrote what most of us are constantly thinking.

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ASoKaF--

I appreciate your feedback and found it to be well thought out and incisive. To clarify -- while I think you are 100% correct that 5-6 people pointing out why someone is "wrong" can be intimidating and uninviting, I am not sure how to solve that problem (maybe there is no way). As to accusing people of being emotional -- as I stated before, I try my best to avoid "personal attacks" unless someone really seems to be trolling or arguing in bad faith. All of the discussion of emotional arguments has been talking in general terms and not addressed at any particular poster.

And if you ask Rhaenys_Targaryen, who posts to this thread from time to time and does not agree with the AJT theory, I think she can confirm (at least I hope she can confirm) that I have never accused her of being overly emotional about the issue (and don't think she is), and we have had pretty good discussions about the AJT theory on an evidence-based level.

 

Unfortunately, people like her -- who do not believe in the theory but also engage primarily in evidence-based argumentation about the theory -- seem to be few and far between.

Yeah i guess this is the kind of statement that could rub someone the wrong way.  Like when some people say that fans of character X are irrational/blind, which is definitely a common generalizing fallacy around here.  When I see someone write "only someone who likes Dany would think that" yeah, it pisses me off.  Because I'm a member of the diverse group of people who like hay particular character and I'm being called out, whether I was involved in the original debate  at hand.  So when someone reads "people who don't like A+J=T engage in emotional thinking" it could be a little insulting.  I'm guilty of the same, but I'm trying to be better about it.

So I don't think that I merely assume that someone is being emotional because they disagree with me. I think they are emotional based on the nature of the arguments they make.

 

But to be clear -- I am not stating that most people don't engage in thoughtful analysis. Almost the opposite -- I am stating that most of the time most of the people do -- but for some reason on this theory maybe there something else going on -- I just am not sure. And I think you describe a possible explanation for why that might be.

I think that this theory is newer than some other theories and yet involves a living POV character that most readers care about.  I think that puts it in a separate category from popular theories such as R+L=J or Aegon Blackfyre.  The former is OLD and has had plenty of time to "settle in" to fans minds (and it used to be less popular than it is).  The latter is new, but primarily involves the identity of a new character so requires no reassessment of important POV characters (though it does require reassessment of Varys and TBH I am still not convinced the pieces all fit WRT Varys).  

I think there are a few other theories that are controversial because they share these two elements.  One is lemongate.  The idea that Daenerys is actually born in Dorne but Viserys didn't know (or was able to keep it a secret from her) to me seems absurd.  But I think I must admit that I think deep down it's a stupid theory and the reason I think that may be because I'm not particularly keen to reassess the identity of Daenerys as someone other than Rhaellas daughter.  I think it's up to the proponents of that theory to actually explain what this would add to the plot or character going forward. 

Another example i'd argue garners quite a bit of heat is The (pretty popular) theory that Jon will be resurrected as a "fire wight" by Melisandre ala Beric.  To me it seems the obvious course for the plot to take, but many Jon fans appear opposed to any mode of revival that might "change" Jon. They don't want their favorite character to be "lessened" much like some see the Tyrion or Dany identity theories as lessening them.  Thus we get counter theories like people being burnt alive to save him (how is that better??), or "it's just a flesh wound", or "warg ghost and freeze his body".

Anyway, I dunno.  I don't think this theory is particularly exceptional.  It does seem to currently inhabit an interesting middle ground as it is neither "fringe" nor universally accepted, but it's certainly on the upswing!  No small part due to your efforts in these threads I think.  :)

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Re: TWOIAF

heres the deal - I presume that GRRM would have told the authors the outlines of what he wanted to say but that since he did not pen the words, the details of the execution would be up to them.  Hence the facts are correct and fully canon, but things like personality assessments, or opinions that characters have are potentially subject to (probably unconscious) biases to prior positions/theories held by the (real life) authors.

That is why, I think, GRRM chose to use second or third hand accounts as the narrators in the world book in the first place (rather than simply using a "word of God" approach like has been done for some other similar books).  That way if the (real life) authors did tweak some detail or details of character in a way semi-inconsistent with what "really" happened it can easily be chalked up to biases in the (fictional) author of a particular third hand account.

You would be mistaken on the general approach of the book. George provided pretty much all of the text of the unknown stuff (i.e. the unknown regions, the unknown parts of the history, the Conquest and the subsequent reign of the Targaryen history we had pretty much no clue about, the history of the individual kingdoms).

Ran and Linda didn't not so much write stuff themselves but condensed George's words so that they would fit into the book (easily to see if you compare TRP and TPatQ to Yandel's accounts on the reigns of Viserys I and Aegon II). George's prose didn't make into there verbatim but the facts insofar as Yandel covers them are the same.

In other instances, it is mostly George's prose cut down a little bit and some mistakes corrected (like can be seen by comparing the Westerlands history on his page with the Westerlands history in TWoIaF). This is also the case for the history of the Rhoynar and all the sections on the Free Cities and the lands in the Far East and South.

More important topics like the relationship between Tywin and Aerys and the events leading to Robert's Rebellion would be pinned by George alone since Ran and Linda simply don't know anything about nor could make stuff up that is crucial to the plot.

The 'in-universe history' approach was chosen not so much to explain away mistakes but to be able to actually withhold information that an all-knowing narrator would have to know (i.e. stuff about magic, the Others, and so on). There isn't really any false characterization in the book nor are there many outright lies. The only such instances are things that actually can be recognized as such by the attentive reader (the murders of Elia and her children). A false characterization of, say, Daemon Targaryen or another historical figure we have never heard anything in the main series would never be an issue because we would never even realize that he was falsely portrayed.

Re: dragonriding

I agree with you - it appears that for some reason Dany during ASOS did not know that only those with Targaryen blood can ride Dragons and that this is well-established by the side stories and twoiaf.  The core of my argument was that it seems strange that Dany would not know that - especially given she has some other dragonriding knowledge like how a dragon can only be ridden by one person at a time and no one can ride two.  I'd chalk things up, ultimately, like a lot of things in these books, to the fact that characters sometimes have to act in service to the plot.  GRRM wanted At the time to keep this issue unclear so he didn't give Dany that knowledge.  

Well, it is always possible that Viserys only told Dany the stuff about one dragon for one rider while either of them is alive because Dany asked him why it seemed that Aegon or Visenya never rode Vhagar or Balerion. Since the dragons were long extinct Dany might never have inquired what exactly enabled a person to become a dragonrider or how the whole thing worked in detail. And even if she did - Viserys might not have known. He wouldn't have been told all that much about the dragonriding thing, either, considering that the last Targaryen dragon died over a century ago.

Dany/Jorah thinking her husbands could become dragonriders could very well just them being not thinking all that much about the topic. Again, at the time this comes up it isn't a pressing matter, and since Dany pulled off the miracle of hatching the dragon eggs she and Jorah might both sort of thought that the dragonbonding process would also work itself out. It would not be the first instance in the book when characters don't completely think a topic through they could have thought through or consciously remembered all the stuff they could have remembered...

Another example i'd argue garners quite a bit of heat is The (pretty popular) theory that Jon will be resurrected as a "fire wight" by Melisandre ala Beric.  To me it seems the obvious course for the plot to take, but many Jon fans appear opposed to any mode of revival that might "change" Jon. They don't want their favorite character to be "lessened" much like some see the Tyrion or Dany identity theories as lessening them.  Thus we get counter theories like people being burnt alive to save him (how is that better??), or "it's just a flesh wound", or "warg ghost and freeze his body".

Occasionally I try to explain to people that Jon Snow could remain perfectly himself if merely his body was resurrected via the kiss of fire and later reunited with his soul which should reside in Ghost during the meantime, never actually 'being dead' in the same sense Beric and Catelyn were.

In fact, Jon could actually greatly profit from such a fire magic infusion due to the fact that he has quite a lot of Targaryen blood. My take on why the spell worked with Beric is that he must have had a drop of Targaryen blood (explaining why Jena Dondarrion was married to Prince Baelor) through one of the daughters of Rhaena and Garmund Hightower. The kiss of fire could only work on people with dragonlord blood, sort of the dragon gene in those people reacting to the fire spell, bringing the person back to life in the process (Cat also could have Targaryen blood through a possible Tully-Lothston marriage in the past, and even if not Beric passes the already working spell matrix on to her).

This could also explain why his blood could suddenly set steel afire, and could foreshadow what Jon Snow might do with Longclaw soon, and what Brienne (who also seems to have Targaryen on the basis of TWoIaF) could do during the coming War for the Dawn. There might be multiple burning Valyrian steel swords, after all.

In that sense, I find the idea that Jon should remain 'exactly the same guy metaphysically' after his return could actually become a problem to the plot...

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Spoon, I havevthe impression that The George wrote a lot of World...

Martin revealed that he was required to provide 50,000 words for the companion book, but, in the end, wrote nearly 250,000 words, which is nearly equivalent in length to A Game of Thrones. The average fantasy novel clocks in at around 120,000 – 150,000 words. So, it’s a lot.

 

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Something that would be good for theory discussions such as this is new information to digest - the release of TWOIAF certainly gave this particular theory a boost. Unfortunately, TWOW still seems far from being completed.

With S6 of the show starting in late april, it's quite likely that the theory will be answered, one way or another, by what happens during the season. And even if not, there will likely be new fodder to discuss (for or against).

However, the powers-that-be on the board have made it clear they don't want show discussion to spill over to book discussions. A number of people have stated they will not follow the show so they can avoid spoilers. On the other hand, it seems likely that others will, on purpose or by mistake, post spoilers from the show during and after the airing of S6. And some will debate with show knowledge, without openly mentioning it. I would not be surprised if a number of threads will get disrupted with bans, removed posts and even getting locked as emotions of book vs show fans start to run high.

Since I think the most interesting thing for theories is to combine book and show knowledge, I would very much like it if this discussion could continue, come april 24th and afterwards, incorporating knowledge from all sources. What do you guys think; continue in a book-only oasis or discuss any new info the show might bring?

And for the people who would like to discuss show and book together, do you think it will be possible at all to do it on the westeros board? Would it be possible to open a thread on a specific theory such as this in the TV part of the forum?

If not, maybe we should lookout for possible alternatives, such as http://forums.previously.tv/forum/196-game-of-thrones/

I am a bit worried there may be major revelations on the show this coming season and no way to talk about it here, in relation to theories that orginate from book-readers.

 

 

 

 

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Something that would be good for theory discussions such as this is new information to digest - the release of TWOIAF certainly gave this particular theory a boost. Unfortunately, TWOW still seems far from being completed.

With S6 of the show starting in late april, it's quite likely that the theory will be answered, one way or another, by what happens during the season. And even if not, there will likely be new fodder to discuss (for or against).

However, the powers-that-be on the board have made it clear they don't want show discussion to spill over to book discussions. A number of people have stated they will not follow the show so they can avoid spoilers. On the other hand, it seems likely that others will, on purpose or by mistake, post spoilers from the show during and after the airing of S6. And some will debate with show knowledge, without openly mentioning it. I would not be surprised if a number of threads will get disrupted with bans, removed posts and even getting locked as emotions of book vs show fans start to run high.

Since I think the most interesting thing for theories is to combine book and show knowledge, I would very much like it if this discussion could continue, come april 24th and afterwards, incorporating knowledge from all sources. What do you guys think; continue in a book-only oasis or discuss any new info the show might bring?

And for the people who would like to discuss show and book together, do you think it will be possible at all to do it on the westeros board? Would it be possible to open a thread on a specific theory such as this in the TV part of the forum?

If not, maybe we should lookout for possible alternatives, such as http://forums.previously.tv/forum/196-game-of-thrones/

I am a bit worried there may be major revelations on the show this coming season and no way to talk about it here, in relation to theories that orginate from book-readers.

 

 

 

 

I have been worrying about this very issue for a little while now. In fact, I wrote a PM to Ran on Jan. 6 recommending that a new sub-forum be created prior to the start of HBO season 6 -- the sub-forum being a place where the primary focus is talking about what is going to happen in the books, but where information from the show could be openly used in connection with this analysis. As of now, Ran has not replied to my PM.

While technically, I think such a discussion would be permitted in the TV show forum -- it really would get lost there as it is not a natural fit. That forum is for discussion of the show -- not discussion of the books using information from the show as another source of "spoilers" -- like SSMs or companion books (like WOIAF or the DoD-related books).

To be honest, although I did not get into this issue in my PM to Ran, I disagree with the decision to preclude discussions of the show on this board -- as long as the primary focus of the discussion is oriented toward the books. The show is a good source of spoilers -- just like other sources of spoilers. What makes them "off limits" when all other forms of possible spoilers are permitted. But that issue is a tangent -- as I am not proposing a change to that rule.

I agree, however, that unless the powers-that-be set up a sub-forum along the lines of my recommendation -- or some other similar accommodation, the chaos on the books forum will be out of control. Setting up such a forum will not be a panacea -- but at least it will give a clear place for people who want such a discussion to go and a clear place to direct people who violate the "no show talk" rule on the main book forum.

If anyone thinks he or she has any influence with Ran and Linda, feel free to discuss this suggestion with them. No matter what, this board is going to get a bit hairy once the new season starts and the potential spoilers for the books start to multiply. Given how long we might have to wait for WoW, I don't know how this board remains silent regarding all the possible spoilers until WoW finally gets released -- especially if it is many months between the end of season 6 and the release of book 6 (as seems almost certain to happen given the "bad news" we got from GRRM).

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While I don't deny that we can gleen clues from the show, ww have to be very careful. For example, let's say Tyrion is Tywin's trueborn son. Further, let's say he will help Brown Ben ride Viserion. And let's say Ben gives him a ride and remains under Tyrion's influence, thus satisfying a lot of the Tyrion-dragon foreshadowing. The show, which has ignored the idea that only Targaryens can ride dragons as far as I know, might just condense all of that by eliminating Brown Ben and putting Tyrion on the dragon himself. 

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While I don't deny that we can gleen clues from the show, ww have to be very careful. For example, let's say Tyrion is Tywin's trueborn son. Further, let's say he will help Brown Ben ride Viserion. And let's say Ben gives him a ride and remains under Tyrion's influence, thus satisfying a lot of the Tyrion-dragon foreshadowing. The show, which has ignored the idea that only Targaryens can ride dragons as far as I know, might just condense all of that by eliminating Brown Ben and putting Tyrion on the dragon himself. 

That is part of the fun -- trying to figure out whether the evidence from the show can be seen as reliable or not. Just as SSMs are subject to interpretation and are understood by some people as more convincing evidence for a point than others. Why should the show be any different?

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I have been worrying about this very issue for a little while now. In fact, I wrote a PM to Ran on Jan. 6 recommending that a new sub-forum be created prior to the start of HBO season 6 -- the sub-forum being a place where the primary focus is talking about what is going to happen in the books, but where information from the show could be openly used in connection with this analysis. As of now, Ran has not replied to my PM.

While technically, I think such a discussion would be permitted in the TV show forum -- it really would get lost there as it is not a natural fit. That forum is for discussion of the show -- not discussion of the books using information from the show as another source of "spoilers" -- like SSMs or companion books (like WOIAF or the DoD-related books).

I had made a similar suggestion months earlier, to one of the moderators. But I doubt they are going to do so; Westeros.org is nearly on a war-footing with the show and many posters hang strongly to the idea that the show is irrelevant to what happens in the books (but they still don't want spoilers from the irrelevant show, anyway). IMO, most likely those kind of ideas will be ignored or rejected.

Which would leave us with the choice of setting up shop in the TV show forum (I agree it would not really fit, but as long as it is tolerated that's fine I guess) or to move to another forum.

I think the new info on the show would rejuvenate many theory discussions, while show-only viewers miss background and more that the show leaves out. And discussing what things on the show might or might not be relevant to what happens in the books would be fun in its own right.

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That is part of the fun -- trying to figure out whether the evidence from the show can be seen as reliable or not. Just as SSMs are subject to interpretation and are understood by some people as more convincing evidence for a point than others. Why should the show be any different?

Agreed. Those of us who care, though, should realize when we're building theories on solid footing or on possibly false assumptions. 

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Agreed. Those of us who care, though, should realize when we're building theories on solid footing or on possibly false assumptions. 

Assumption always are possibly false. This kind of thing - what does event x on the show mean for storyline z in the books - is exactly why we need to be able to discuss this "legally".

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The "emotional" debate over Jojen paste is instructive. As soon as Jojen was whacked by friendly fire on the show, proponents said, "See?" Detractors disagreed, suggesting Jojen's death with no sacrifice meant Jojen paste was malarkey. 

If Peter Dinklage rides a CGI dragon forum members here will say it proves AJT. 

As TV spoilers, maybe we should simply use tags? 

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