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UnmaskedLurker

A+J=T v.9

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@Lord Varys

Thanks for backing me up. And thanks for reminding me about the three-level reveal, which I have used as part of my argument on this issue in the past, but it had slipped my mind until you brought it up again. I agree that often in the series, a reader who picks up on a mystery at level 1 or level 2 may come to think that they were able to figure it out and it would be "cool" if it is never revealed more explicitly. But I really think that for any of the major mysteries, that approach really is not GRRM's style. He will get to level 3 and will reveal pretty much all the mysteries to the readers (I agree, not necessarily to the characters in the story) -- he just takes his sweet time.

I also appreciate how well you have laid out how Tywin's behavior really is better explained by someone who either knows or suspects that Tyrion really is the son of Aerys. I understand all of the opposing views who think that this behavior is more meaningful if it comes from a "real" father who simply cannot accept his own son. I have heard the arguments for years and understand why many people have that view. I just agree with you that the behavior really makes more sense -- and the character of Tywin really is a "richer" character -- and the relationship become more "subtle" and "interesting" -- if Tywin either knew or suspected that Tyrion was not really Tywin's biological son. But ultimately, that analysis is somewhat irrelevant to my personal conclusion regarding AJT which is based on all of the clues outlined in the OP. I simply don't find that arguments about "ruining" Tywin's character if AJT is true to be a persuasive counter-point for the reasons you have detailed above and numerous past posts.

I remain conflicted, however, between thinking Tywin knew and thinking Tywin was not sure (or only "knew" subconsciously) about AJT, but I agree that at some level Tywin must have either known, had strong suspicions or subconsciously believed that Tyrion really is the son of Aerys. Of course, AJT could be accurate even if Tywin had no clue at all -- but for the reasons noted above, it seems that Tywin did know or suspect. Ultimately, the way GRRM wrote Tywin and showed his behavior toward Tyrion simply makes more sense to me that way (although I hope I am not simply engaging in confirmation bias).

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@UnmaskedLurker

I guess we'll get more insight into the past of Tywin, Joanna, and Aerys if there is any truth to our reading of the story, and then we might also learn what the hell Tywin thought Tyrion was. Tyrion himself will ask the question should he ever learn or believe he is actually Aerys' son. He'll ask the question why his father didn't kill him if he knew the truth.

Selmy or Varys could shed some light on those questions, and it is pretty clear that Tyrion will eventually meet Varys again considering that George has said multiple times that there are things he has yet to reveal about Varys' role in the events that led to Tywin's death. While it is technically possible George will reveal this without involving this is not very likely - aside from Tyrion nobody should be interested in ever bringing Shae up again.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not exactly sure how Tywin saw Tyrion because, you know, we cannot be sure about that. But if we assume Tywin believed or suspected that Tyrion was Aerys' son then he would see everything Tyrion did with that in mind. Tyrion's promiscuity would remember him of Aerys' in his youth (indeed, they seem to have about the same libido and at least after the Tysha episode Tyrion was treating his women effectively the same as Aerys treated his mistresses). His want of recognition would remember him of Aerys' own narcissistic personality. (1)

Not to mention that any time Tyrion excelled at anything it would have been - in Tywin's mind - not a triumph for House Lannister but for Aerys' shade. That must have been a huge problem for him. I mean, just look how he reacted when Genna told him that she thought Tyrion was his true son. If he believed the boy was his seed then he certainly wouldn't have not spoken to her for an entire year after that. (2) That's just insane.

In addition, Tywin most likely constantly looked for any sign of Aerys' madness in Tyrion, fearing that once this came forth both his shame - that he had raised Aerys' bastard as his own son - would be apparent to anyone and House Lannister would be in danger. (3)

In that context I don't think it makes much sense to believe Tywin could ever be happy seeing Tyrion perching on the Iron Throne or wielding any sort of power in KL. (4) That would be just wrong.

 

1.  Sure, that's one interpretation.  But Tyrion's promiscuity only seems to bother Tywin when it is made public and embarrasses his House.  After all, he says "you will not take that whore to court."  If the whoring reminded Tywin of Aerys, he could have easily taken measures to prevent it, namely by carrying out instead of continually making (what became) non-credible threats.  The only time Tywin carries out this threat is ironically with Alayaya, which is again tied to the Tommen business.  It makes much more sense that Tyrion's proclivities actually reminded him more of what he hated in himself, particularly if we consider the actual text (Shae, Varys' hints regarding Chataya's tunnel).  This explains his ambivalent behavior as reminding Tywin of a weakness he hated in himself.

2.  Tywin's reaction to Genna makes perfect sense without anything to do with Aerys.  From the moment Tyrion was born Tywin was ashamed of him.  He was a blight on his and his House's reputation, literally referred to as Lord Tywin's Bane.  In fact, if anything, if Tywin knew Tyrion was not his own seed, it follows that he would be less ashamed by Tyrion, and being compared to Tyrion, not more.

3.  I don't know how this is really relevant to the conversation, but how would Tyrion showing signs of madness make this apparent to anyone decades later?  The only way it would is if the individual already suspected AJT, in which case it could be confirmation for such parties (e.g. Barriston, Varys), but could hardly be used as proof to the world that Tyrion was Aerys'.  How Tywin would think this would put his House in danger similarly makes no sense - danger from whom, for what reason?

4.  By what context?  Your assumption throughout the post that Tywin believed Tyrion to be Aerys'?  Well, of course.  I thought we were discussing the reasons why Tywin sent he Tyrion to KL as it reflects Tywin's attitudes and beliefs about Tyrion.  You seem to be presenting "Tywin didn't want to Tyrion to succeed in KL because he believed Tyrion was Aerys'" as your counter to my contention the "you are my son" and sending Tyrion to KL is a clear indication Tywin views Tyrion as a potential heir.  This is, by definition, circular.

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@dmc515

1. You are right that Tywin also had issues with promiscuity but we don't know if his urges were as strong as Aerys'. Unfortunately we don't yet know when exactly he began to frequent Chataya's via the secret tunnel - before of only after Joanna's death. If the former is the case then Tywin's deep devotion to his beloved Joanna might have been part of his public image, too (I don't find that very likely but it is not impossible).

But Tywin's issues with sex and women also have to take in account his treatment of Tytos' last mistress and the fact that he fucked Shae and put the chain of his office around her neck in the very night before he intended to execute Tyrion. That suggests he did not only have issues with publicly entertaining whores or mistresses...

2. It depends on context, really. Do you imagine Genna actually meant her comment as an insult (e.g. 'Hey Tywin, this hideously looking stunted dwarf who looks nothing like is your true son.') or did they actually have a conversation going like that: 'I know you don't like Tyrion all that much Tywin, but if you look beyond his stature and ugly face and honestly assess his intelligence, determination, and character he really resembles you a lot.'

One assumes Genna didn't just make her remark but that there was a conversation in which it was clear that Genna was talking about Tyrion's merits and that Tywin should have been able to recognize them as such and make the connection to his own traits Tyrion was emulating or had picked up on. In that sense Tywin shouldn't have had no good reason to shun her so long after this remark. Especially not if he knew his sister had not tried to be insulting or anything like that.

3. I was bringing up the madness as a potential factor influencing Tywin's decision to not name Tyrion his heir. A mad Lord of Casterly Rock could easily have brought upon the downfall of House Lannister just as it brought about the downfall of House Targaryen.

4. By 'context' I meant that Tywin used the 'You are my son' card as a means to manipulate Tyrion and make him feel as if his father recognized him as his son. But I don't think that was actually the case regardless what he said there. He certainly wanted him to rein Cersei and Joffrey in, but I don't buy the idea that he wanted him to have as much success as he did.

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@Lord Varys

1.  Agreed entirely.  Thanks for supporting my argument ;)

You keep on beating around the bush about this so let's clarify things - of course none of us know what Tywin was actually thinking.  He may be the Saint of the West for all we know.  I prefer to operate under the assumption that Tywin is, more or less, the man that has been presented to us in either ASOIAF and even the World Book.  This is the Tywin I am basing my arguments from.  Oftentimes it seems as if you are assuming there is something yet to be told that will radically alter our perception of him.  I doubt it. 

Anyway, as you say, Tywin's issues with whores, and thus his issues with Tyrion's whoring, were quite complicated.  That was my point; it's a much richer story.  Whereas, alternatively, you were saying it was simply because Aerys liked to sleep around too.  Much less interesting, and if that was the case much easier to be "corrected" by Tywin.

2.  You're making a lot of assumptions here but I agree with the general gist - I think it was likely Genna was trying to illustrate their coequal strengths, broadly.  Again, the only reason Tywin has to shun Genna in such a case is if he believes, or at least suspects, that Tyrion is of his person.  If Tywin does not think Tyrion is of his seed, then why take such offense to the remark?  The comparison is mitigated by the knowledge that this individual that shames you, especially publicly, is not of your own making.  If he, however, in fact is of your own making, there is only yourself to blame.  In which case, even the compliments taste like insults, so such comparisons fester for years on end.

3.  Ok, that makes sense internally.  But what evidence do you have to present that supports this musing?

4.  I agree that Tywin did not anticipate Tyrion would be as successful as he was in KL.  However, there is absolutely no reason to believe he pulled out "you are my son" as some type of manipulative tool.  Hell, he only uttered it after Tyrion pressed him about sending the latter.  The entire chapter clearly shows Tywin is reacting in the moment.  That's why I think it's so important - it gives us a glimpse at his true feeling srather than teleprompter Tywin.

Edited by dmc515

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You know what? For reasons I cannot fully expand here (I do not want to be banned from this forum), I think AJT is actually the key to A Song of Ice and Fire. It's not Jon - he is just a verse of the song-. Tyrion (Fire - The only surviving Lannister / Targaryen in the end) and Sansa (Ice - the only surviving Stark in the end - because she managed to survive without a Direwolf's help?) are the song's refrain. Dany, Cersei, Jaime, Rickon, Arya... And Jon..! Are all doomed IMHO. As are all the direwolves and dragons.

EDIT: And Bran? Well... I seriously have no idea (or too many).

Edited by Jo Maltese

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14 minutes ago, Jo Maltese said:

You know what? For reasons I cannot fully expand here (I do not want to be banned from this forum), I think AJT is actually the key to A Song of Ice and Fire. It's not Jon - he is just a verse of the song-. Tyrion (Fire - The only surviving Lannister / Targaryen in the end) and Sansa (Ice - the only surviving Stark in the end - because she managed to survive without a Direwolf's help?) are the song's refrain. Dany, Cersei, Jaime, Rickon, Arya... And Jon..! Are all doomed IMHO. As are all the direwolves and dragons.

EDIT: And Bran? Well... I seriously have no idea (or too many).

This makes me think you're the kind of guy who can look at a brown object and see blue, I mean really see blue. :)

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29 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

This makes me think you're the kind of guy who can look at a brown object and see blue, I mean really see blue. :)

I probably am this kind of guy :D

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19 hours ago, Jo Maltese said:

You know what? For reasons I cannot fully expand here (I do not want to be banned from this forum), I think AJT is actually the key to A Song of Ice and Fire. It's not Jon - he is just a verse of the song-. Tyrion (Fire - The only surviving Lannister / Targaryen in the end) and Sansa (Ice - the only surviving Stark in the end - because she managed to survive without a Direwolf's help?) are the song's refrain. Dany, Cersei, Jaime, Rickon, Arya... And Jon..! Are all doomed IMHO. As are all the direwolves and dragons.

EDIT: And Bran? Well... I seriously have no idea (or too many).

I really hate when people make too much of the "original outline" as I believe that GRRM made YUUGE changes to the plot after that outline was delivered to the publishers. But certainly based on the original outline for ASOIAF, Sansa (who was going to side with her husband, Joffrey, against the other Starks) was unlikely to be the Ice in A Song of Ice and Fire. The "big five" were Jon, Dany,Tyrion, Bran and Arya. Sansa was not even going to be one of the big main characters (just an important secondary main character -- which many people still think she is in the actual books).

I agree that Cersei, Rickon and Jaime will die. I even suspect that you are right that Arya will die and Sansa will survive.

As to Jon, Dany and Tyrion -- I have no idea which, if any die, and which survive. I don't think all three die, but I don't know how we have enough clues at this point to determine which will survive. Either way, as Rhaegar said, ASOIAF is the song of TPTWP -- Jon is TPTWP -- the song is about him.

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7 minutes ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

I really hate when people make too much of the "original outline" as I believe that GRRM made YUUGE changes to the plot after that outline was delivered to the publishers. But certainly based on the original outline for ASOIAF, Sansa (who was going to side with her husband, Joffrey, against the other Starks) was unlikely to be the Ice in A Song of Ice and Fire. The "big five" were Jon, Dany,Tyrion, Bran and Arya. Sansa was not even going to be one of the big main characters (just an important secondary main character -- which many people still think she is in the actual books).

I agree that Cersei, Rickon and Jaime will die. I even suspect that you are right that Arya will die and Sansa will survive.

As to Jon, Dany and Tyrion -- I have no idea which, if any die, and which survive. I don't think all three die, but I don't know how we have enough clues at this point to determine which will survive. Either way, as Rhaegar said, ASOIAF is the song of TPTWP -- Jon is TPTWP -- the song is about him.

I tend to agree about the 1993 letter. I think all we can use it for is to compare where he was when he started, and that the overall three acts of the saga are I) the War of the Five Kings, II) the Second Dance of the Dragons, and III) the War for the Dawn. 

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11 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I tend to agree about the 1993 letter. I think all we can use it for is to compare where he was when he started, and that the overall three acts of the saga are I) the War of the Five Kings, II) the Second Dance of the Dragons, and III) the War for the Dawn. 

I generally agree - but to clarify my original point -- GRRM had already chosen the name ASOIAF prior to writing that outline. While GRRM could have changed his mind regarding which characters would qualify as being "Ice" and "Fire" when he eventually wrote the books -- it seems that something as fundamental as that probably did not change. Whoever GRRM thought would be "Ice" and "Fire" when he wrote that outline probably never changed when he wrote the books (even as so many other fundamental details did change). And based on that outline, Sansa almost certainly could not have been the eventual "Ice" from the title. So she likely is not "ice" in the actual books.

ETA: By the way, the fact that GRRM is working on Book 6, and he probably still will not get to DoD 2.0 by the end of Book 6 is quite disconcerting. Ending the series in 7 books seems rather impossible -- and finishing the series at all may become an increasingly fleeting fantasy itself (how depressing a thought -- the show may be the only closure we ever get). I really am starting to wish more and more that GRRM were less of a "gardener" and more of an detailed-plot-outline maker. He seems to have no clue on how to get from where the story currently is to where he knows it needs to go. He knows what the major plot points to the end need to be (how else can he work in foreshadowing if he does not know what is being foreshadowed) -- but he seems to have almost no ability to figure out how to get there.

Edited by UnmaskedLurker

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58 minutes ago, UnmaskedLurker said:

I generally agree - but to clarify my original point -- GRRM had already chosen the name ASOIAF prior to writing that outline. While GRRM could have changed his mind regarding which characters would qualify as being "Ice" and "Fire" when he eventually wrote the books -- it seems that something as fundamental as that probably did not change. Whoever GRRM thought would be "Ice" and "Fire" when he wrote that outline probably never changed when he wrote the books (even as so many other fundamental details did change). And based on that outline, Sansa almost certainly could not have been the eventual "Ice" from the title. So she likely is not "ice" in the actual books.

ETA: By the way, the fact that GRRM is working on Book 6, and he probably still will not get to DoD 2.0 by the end of Book 6 is quite disconcerting. Ending the series in 7 books seems rather impossible -- and finishing the series at all may become an increasingly fleeting fantasy itself (how depressing a thought -- the show may be the only closure we ever get). I really am starting to wish more and more that GRRM were less of a "gardener" and more of an detailed-plot-outline maker. He seems to have no clue on how to get from where the story currently is to where he knows it needs to go. He knows what the major plot points to the end need to be (how else can he work in foreshadowing if he does not know what is being foreshadowed) -- but he seems to have almost no ability to figure out how to get there.

Feel better now that you got that off your chest? :) Don't worry, I'm sure Winds will be 1,200 pages. That's  a lot. 

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34 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Feel better now that you got that off your chest? :) Don't worry, I'm sure Winds will be 1,200 pages. That's  a lot. 

If he gets through DoD 2.0 by the end of Book 6, I will feel much better. Otherwise -- not so much.

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'The tale grew in the telling.'

If George were a plot driven writer who stuck to his outline and wrapped up in the allotted time and word count, I have a feeling none of us would be here doing this. There would be one wikipedia article, not several entire wikis.

I'm curious - where has George said that the title of ASOIAF specifically refers to one or two central characters? I'm not saying it's a bad assumption, but I'd like to know before trying to guess the endgame anymore. Because it's already a pretty great title for the story, just based on the themes we've already seen throughout, and it already applies to the RLJ story, which is already the seed for the War of the Five Kings, and possibly the PTWP, or at least the person who will help most against the Others. We're already there, is my point, at a Song of Ice and Fire. If the story suddenly ended in a trite wrap-up, I wouldn't necessarily like it, but I also wouldn't be scratching my head wondering why he titled it that way.

Also, we don't know how long the DOD2.0 story will be really. It could wrap up really quickly for all we know. The original outline has obviously been rewritten many times, and the Dance2 might not be an 'act' so much as a through line story, just like the Aegon story has been so far. It could grow very naturally out of the Aegon/Arianne storyline, and the conflict could be really violent really fast when Dany arrives, with dire consequences for a lot of folks most likely, before everyone's attention is focussed by the arrival of the Others.

Don't despair!

 

Edited by Weirdo
spelling, spelling, spelling!

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13 minutes ago, Weirdo said:

'The tale grew in the telling.'

If George were a plot driven writer who stuck to his outline and wrapped up in the allotted time and word count, I have a feeling none of us would be here doing this. There would be one wikipedia article, not several entire wikis.

I'm curious - where has George said that the title of ASOIAF specifically refers to one or two central characters? I'm not saying it's a bad assumption, but I'd like to know before trying to guess the endgame anymore. Because it's already a pretty great title for the story, just based on the themes we've already seen throughout, and it already applies to the RLJ story, which is already the seed for the War of the Five Kings, and possibly the PTWP, or at least the person who will help most against the Others. We're already there, is my point, at a Song of Ice and Fire. If the story suddenly ended in a trite wrap-up, I would necessarily like it, but I wouldn't be scratching my head wondering why he titled it that way.

Also, we don't know how long the DOD2.0 story will be really. It could wrap up really quickly for all we know. The original outline has obviously been rewritten many times, and the Dance2 might not be an 'act' so much as a through line story, just like the Aegon story has been so far. It could grow very naturally out of the Aegon/Arianne storyline, and the conflict could be really violent really fast when Dany arrives, with dire consequences for a lot of folks most likely, before everyone's attention is focussed by the arrival of the Others.

Don't despair!

 

I think you might be making a false choice between "wrapped up in the allotted time and word count" and my suggestion that he map out a more detailed outline so that he has figured out a coherent way to get from points A to B to C etc. without getting caught up in things like a Meereesean knot that takes months or years to work out of (if one even agrees that he ever really worked out of it -- or just sort of did what was done with the proverbial Gordian knot -- it was sliced in half by sword, in case someone did not know). And maybe he would not need to add so many additional side stories to mark time if he has figured out a more careful way to keep the pace of each story line matching up so that they came together under the needed timing more organically. All of the world building and creative story telling can still be done in the context of a series that is more tightly plotted out. After all, GRRM originally thought he could tell the story in three books. That view might have never been realistic -- but it should not take him over five years to write a book.

As to the title ASOIAF -- of course it does not just refer to one character or two characters. I am fairly certain that GRRM has stated that the title has multiple meanings. I believe he stated that this period in Westeros history would be known at the Song of Ice and Fire. So presumably, the War for the Dawn 2.0, itself, and the events leading up to it is the song (as a "song" is consider in this context to be an epic saga). So presumably, the battle between the Others and the Dragons are a meaning. The general notion of the balance between opposing forces in the universe likely is another intended meaning. I presume there are other metaphorical meanings for the title. This issue has been discussed before and people have come up with many plausible additional possible meanings for the title.

But the one time where the title actually is spoken in the series is by Rhaegar when he says that the song of TPTWP is the SOIAF. I believe that inclusion is significant. Of course, one could state that because TPTWP is the central figure in the epic saga, that explains why that "song" is his song. And when Rhaegar believed Aegon to be TPTWP (or himself), I presume he would have understood the meaning that way (i.e., he would  not conclude that TPTWP somehow is Ice and Fire, personified). But once we consider that Jon is TPTWP and that his father is Rhaegar and his mother Lyanna -- this comment from Rhaegar becomes understood to me to indicate that another meaning for the title is a reference to Jon being this combination of Ice and Fire, personified (the only known offspring of a Stark and Targ), and that somehow this unique combination is critical in his ability to win the final battle.

I agree that DoD 2.0 likely has been dramatically scaled back from what it might have been when it was thought to be the main focus of the second of three books. I still think, however, that if GRRM has any hope of finishing the series in seven books -- as he still seems to maintain -- getting through DoD 2.0 by the end of Book 6 probably is necessary. Perhaps it could be wrapped up at the very beginning of book 7. But after DoD 2.0, the endgame and aftermath will play out. I don't think GRRM intends to scale back that action, which he thought would take an entire book when he was only planning three books. Can he do it in less than one book now? I doubt it.

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Good summary - I agree with all your points, with the possible exception being whether he should take more than five years to write a book - but that's just on principle (and I wish he wouldn't!). I really love some of the side plots that he came up with, and I know when he's finally finished I'll be wishing for more anyway, so I wouldn't wish away any word count. The waiting is still hard though.

After reading that "new" Arianne chapter yesterday, I saw a quote from George about how he went back and forth about including the Arianne travelogue in DwD. He mentions something happening in WoW that would provoke a response from Dorne, or words to that effect, and it would happen at the end of WoW. If that event is the Dance, then it would follow that the Dance is finished at the end of WoW, leaving him another book for the endgame. Whether that's enough, who knows!

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1 hour ago, Weirdo said:

Good summary - I agree with all your points, with the possible exception being whether he should take more than five years to write a book - but that's just on principle (and I wish he wouldn't!). I really love some of the side plots that he came up with, and I know when he's finally finished I'll be wishing for more anyway, so I wouldn't wish away any word count. The waiting is still hard though.

After reading that "new" Arianne chapter yesterday, I saw a quote from George about how he went back and forth about including the Arianne travelogue in DwD. He mentions something happening in WoW that would provoke a response from Dorne, or words to that effect, and it would happen at the end of WoW. If that event is the Dance, then it would follow that the Dance is finished at the end of WoW, leaving him another book for the endgame. Whether that's enough, who knows!

Would you happen to have a link?

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13 minutes ago, Weirdo said:

http://watchersonthewall.com/george-rr-martin-releases-new-winds-of-winter-chapter/

It starts with a summary of the chapter. The quote is under the heading 'Interesting Tidbits'.

This is a very old quote, actually, and it comes from before George even published ADwD. The event he is most likely referring to is Aegon's landing in the Stormlands. That provoked a Dornish reaction causing him to write the Arianne chapters. The third will most likely cover Arianne's meeting with Aegon, whereas the other POV chapter complement he mentioned would be the Jon Connington chapter he later announced that would cover the taking of Storm's End.

There won't be any important event necessitating a Dornish reaction early on in TWoW. We already got that in ADwD. However, there might be other events Arianne is going to react to, that is pretty clear.

Edited by Lord Varys

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