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James Fenimore Cooper XXII

George Martin's Message

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I have been rereading some of the old topics (listed below) on this forum as well as all of the released print materials.  I paid particular attention to the topics "All the main characters will die" and "Do you think any Frey will survive?".  I believe most of the fans are failing to grasp what Mr. George R. R. Martin is saying.  So let me start with Aenarion's posting "Do you think any Frey will survive?" and then move onto to Annalee's "All the main characters will die."

The purpose of this plot is not so the Starks can get what they think is justice.  The Starks are as much wrong as the next family over.  I know this won't sell to the Stark fans but that is my opinion of where I think the story is headed.  The Freys are going to die but not because of some comeuppance for their part in the red wedding.  They will die by dint of being in the wrong place.  Their Twins is in the path of winter and the white walkers.  Winter kills and leaves only the few to keep the species going.  I will come back to this later because this part of the nature that winter kills is important to the plot.

What has been going on in the plot to this point?  The plot has nicely done the job of setting up very understandable reasons why these families should hate one another.  The Freys hate the Starks for understandable of reasons, Robb dumped on them. The Starks hate the Freys and the Boltons for understandable reasons, the red wedding massacre.  The Targaryens hate the Lannisters for good reason, they killed Aerys,  Rhaenys, and Elia.  The Martells hate the Lannisters for the same.  The Starks hate the Lannisters.  The Starks hate Theon Greyjoy.  The Starks hate the Targaryens.  The Targaryens hate the Starks and the Baratheons for killing Rhaegar.  The Baratheons hate the Targaryens because Aerys killed Brandon and Rickard.  The Lannisters will go batshit crazy with rage when they learn the Tyrells killed Joffrey.  The civilized parts of Westeros hate the free folk for their raiding ways.  The free folk hate the kneelers for taking freedom away.  The religions want to promote themselves at  the expense of competing beliefs.  All of these people have good reasons to hate the people that they do hate.  Our author has done a good of job setting them up against each other.  Families vs. families, religion vs. religion, individual vs. individual, culture vs. other culture, male vs female.  So there you have it, he set them up to oppose the other for reasons that are justifiable to them.   Most of you are with me so far but I will lose you in the next paragraph.

This story is not about getting justice for the sins of one family against another.  It's about setting those differences aside in the interest of survival.  That means Arya, Doran, Lady Stoneheart, Cersei, and Ramsay will have to go.  They are the worst offenders and impedes any chance of cooperation.  L-S and Arya are messed up with thoughts of revenge.  What is happening in the west is an environmental disaster in the making.  The opposite of global warming.  The White walkers are like communicable disease that turn humans into zombies.  The author can do something really bizarre and make peace possible with the others that will require extreme sacrifice on each and every human in the land.  Which we know is possible.  Craster did it.  The author's message is this.  All grievances should be set aside in the interest of survival.  The parties do not have to like one another and forgiveness is out of the realm of possibility but discipline can allow these parties to work together for the common good.

Here's the bad part.  The author wants to send a message.  He doesn't claim to have all of the answers because life is complex in his fiction and in real life.  He won't claim to know it all.  But his point is, the real world is facing enormous problems and unless people can set aside their differences, things will only get worse.  He wants to generate discussion and lead people to make better decisions.  It's been said and it's been written, Mr. Martin is harsh but practical.  He knows another story with a happy ending is not going to serve to deliver his message.  I predict that the people of Westeros will continue to behave as they have been doing and most of the people will be wiped out.  They will continue to put grievance, pride, and emotional attachment ahead of cooperation.  Their prized castles will crumble.  Lords and ladies will freeze to death in their castles as easily as the poor man in his hovel.  Feudalism will end because civilization will be turned backwards to the primitive.  The Starks will have no better chance of surviving than the Freys and they will be just as responsible for the mess as the Boltons and the Lannisters.  Everyone will be partly to blame.

All the fighting and bitching between the families will continue until it's too late.  It's not easy to set aside the wedding massacre but if it were easy then everybody would choose peace and cooperation.  It's hard to forgive a man who broke his promise to marry your daughter after your family fought for him and lost its first born son in his service.  It's not easy to reswear fealty to a king that holds your rather in prison and attacked your mother's family but if Robb had done it how better off the north would be today.  Jon Arryn just couldn't put his honor aside and sacrifice Robert and Ned but chose instead to start a rebellion that killed tens of thousands of people that had nothing to do with the feud between the Targaryens and the Starks.  It's not easy to send two boys that you love to execution for the possible crimes of their families but that was preferable to sending tens of thousands of men to fight in a war.  Jon loved Arya and he wanted to rescue her from Ramsay but it was the wrong course of action.  Jon knew as well as anyone what is coming for them and he should have been thinking with his head instead of his heart.  He should have made peace with the Boltons no matter what the cost to the Stark family.  Keeping as many men alive to defend the north should have been Jon's priority instead of Arya.   He should have counseled Stannis to make peace with the Lannisters and take the Black.  There are only two armed conflict that helped more people than it harmed and the ones that died, died for a good cause.  The much maligned Edmure Tully's call to arms to defend his people against the raiding army of the Lannisters.  Daenerys Targaryen's war against slavery in Essos.  The first is pure self-defense and the second is the fight to rescue slaves from their sadistic owners. 

Winter is when people die.  Count on it.  Most of the people in Westeros will die and only a few will survive. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If the Others make it that far south.  We don't yet know how far the ice will advance.  Many Freys serve other houses.  Those who live outside of the riverlands will survive.  The Freys are crafty and I would not underestimate their resourcefulness.  I can see many of them migrating to Dorne where the lands will remain in warm.

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2 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

 It's not easy to reswear fealty to a king that holds your rather in prison and attacked your mother's family but if Robb had done it how better off the north would be today.  Jon Arryn just couldn't put his honor aside and sacrifice Robert and Ned but chose instead to start a rebellion that killed tens of thousands of people that had nothing to do with the feud between the Targaryens and the Starks.  It's not easy to send two boys that you love to execution for the possible crimes of their families but that was preferable to sending tens of thousands of men to fight in a war.  Jon loved Arya and he wanted to rescue her from Ramsay but it was the wrong course of action.  Jon knew as well as anyone what is coming for them and he should have been thinking with his head instead of his heart.  He should have made peace with the Boltons no matter what the cost to the Stark family

 

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Is it possible that you didn't understand and integrated the fact that Joffrey, Aerys and Ramsay are mentally ill, sadistic, people with whom it is impossible to get along?

You seriously think that Aerys would have been content with the execution of Ned and Robert, if Jon Arryn had obeyed him? His madness would be miraculously healed, and business would resume its normal course?

As for "peace with the Boltons", the cost would have been total annihilation…

You blame everybody for the "fighting and bitching between the families", except the Lannisters and Boltons…

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It's funny as I read your impassioned OP I began to argue actions characters should have taken well before they were dealt the consequences of their actions.   For example, Jon Snow doubted his desire to join the Nights Watch and he should have gone with that feeling.  I don't know what GRRM intends nor his message.   I always felt this was an anti war story over anything, but that was just my impression.  Certainly the main points of your argument are valid, cooperation is all that will save Westeros...and magic.  I read this story as a fantasy, not necessarily art or social commentary.   I only bring this up to perhaps add a layer not really addressed in the OP which of course, is magic.  

I've spent a great deal pondering why Arya is this little killing machine when in truth she is just a child with a child's ambition and honor.  When I was her age I had the blueprints to the USS Enterprise memorized.  Star Trek was all consuming to me as vegeance is to Arya.  Lady Stoneheart seems to serve no purpose other than exterminating Freys--as you say, a vengeance.   However, when you begin to imagine Arya in conjunction with LSH a lesson becomes apparent.   LSH, formerly Arya's beloved mother, could be the device to teach Arya the lesson The Hound tried so hard to teach her: the gift of mercy.   I don't have a crystal ball and don't even predict this outcome, but the underlying messages of both Arya and LSH are vengeance and mercy.   Mercy needs to happen.   That said, I don't expect either to survive the tale. 

The Others are still our greatest mystery.   We don't know what they are or their intentions/motives.  I don't expect they plan a bonfire with hot chocolate and Sesame Street for all.  I imagine their story has to do with survival, but I could be so wrong about that.   We know that they are inhuman, but alive and that they command some greater power over ice than we possess in 2018.   They are able to raise the dead as shambling zombies.  I still think a dragon could devastate this army of the dead.  Eventually the store of bodies diminishes, so there should be either more Others, some great nullifying weapon against humanity or they get their asses handed to them.  A few good fires even the numbers substantially--at this point.  Who knows what is in store?  Who knows that the Others are not the higher life form near extinction simply looking for a way to continue?   I don't know. 

As you describe in the OP, people in this tale are their own greatest enemy.  While my higher mind agrees with you, it is unlikely the old grudges and vendettas will just vanish.  I think it's more likely that magic vs magic is our end game.   Still there is a possibility for alliances and conspiracies against those alliances.   These are humans and people like Cersei are unlikely to understand the merit of anything beyond winning.   Jon gives the reader something to believe in--a prince who was promised to unite all people.  I think he will get his shot, messages and all.  

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3 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

The Starks hate the Targaryens

Ned, most notably, does not hate the Targaryens. If more people understood this they would get one of the most subtle clues in the books.

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2 hours ago, Allardyce said:

If the Others make it that far south.  We don't yet know how far the ice will advance.  Many Freys serve other houses.  Those who live outside of the riverlands will survive.  The Freys are crafty and I would not underestimate their resourcefulness.  I can see many of them migrating to Dorne where the lands will remain in warm.

I think we can be sure that the ice will keep advancing until the Others are defeated. Dorne will not remain warm if the Others haven't been stopped yet. In Westeros, winter and summer are not mere climatic or seasonal events, they mark the shifting frontline in a war between competing forms of magic - we cannot assume any 'natural' limit to their extent. With the return of the Others, we are facing a Long Night, not just any old winter....

What Mr James the 12th is saying is a deeper look at Ned Stark's admonition to Arya:

Quote

When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths.

What applies to wolves also applies to noble and great families.

Thing is, I wouldn't put it past GRRM to end the series not with the few surviving, but with no-one surviving. I think that's his very real message to a world so bound up in identity politics, partisanship and special pleading. It only takes a look at the various family fanboyz here to see what he means...

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4 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

I have been rereading some of the old topics (listed below) on this forum as well as all of the released print materials.  I paid particular attention to the topics "All the main characters will die" and "Do you think any Frey will survive?".  I believe most of the fans are failing to grasp what Mr. George R. R. Martin is saying.  So let me start with Aenarion's posting "Do you think any Frey will survive?" and then move onto to Annalee's "All the main characters will die."

The purpose of this plot is not so the Starks can get what they think is justice.  The Starks are as much wrong as the next family over.  I know this won't sell to the Stark fans but that is my opinion of where I think the story is headed.  The Freys are going to die but not because of some comeuppance for their part in the red wedding.  They will die by dint of being in the wrong place.  Their Twins is in the path of winter and the white walkers.  Winter kills and leaves only the few to keep the species going.  I will come back to this later because this part of the nature that winter kills is important to the plot.

What has been going on in the plot to this point?  The plot has nicely done the job of setting up very understandable reasons why these families should hate one another.  The Freys hate the Starks for understandable of reasons, Robb dumped on them. The Starks hate the Freys and the Boltons for understandable reasons, the red wedding massacre.  The Targaryens hate the Lannisters for good reason, they killed Aerys,  Rhaenys, and Elia.  The Martells hate the Lannisters for the same.  The Starks hate the Lannisters.  The Starks hate Theon Greyjoy.  The Starks hate the Targaryens.  The Targaryens hate the Starks and the Baratheons for killing Rhaegar.  The Baratheons hate the Targaryens because Aerys killed Brandon and Rickard.  The Lannisters will go batshit crazy with rage when they learn the Tyrells killed Joffrey.  The civilized parts of Westeros hate the free folk for their raiding ways.  The free folk hate the kneelers for taking freedom away.  The religions want to promote themselves at  the expense of competing beliefs.  All of these people have good reasons to hate the people that they do hate.  Our author has done a good of job setting them up against each other.  Families vs. families, religion vs. religion, individual vs. individual, culture vs. other culture, male vs female.  So there you have it, he set them up to oppose the other for reasons that are justifiable to them.   Most of you are with me so far but I will lose you in the next paragraph.

This story is not about getting justice for the sins of one family against another.  It's about setting those differences aside in the interest of survival.  That means Arya, Doran, Lady Stoneheart, Cersei, and Ramsay will have to go.  They are the worst offenders and impedes any chance of cooperation.  L-S and Arya are messed up with thoughts of revenge.  What is happening in the west is an environmental disaster in the making.  The opposite of global warming.  The White walkers are like communicable disease that turn humans into zombies.  The author can do something really bizarre and make peace possible with the others that will require extreme sacrifice on each and every human in the land.  Which we know is possible.  Craster did it.  The author's message is this.  All grievances should be set aside in the interest of survival.  The parties do not have to like one another and forgiveness is out of the realm of possibility but discipline can allow these parties to work together for the common good.

Here's the bad part.  The author wants to send a message.  He doesn't claim to have all of the answers because life is complex in his fiction and in real life.  He won't claim to know it all.  But his point is, the real world is facing enormous problems and unless people can set aside their differences, things will only get worse.  He wants to generate discussion and lead people to make better decisions.  It's been said and it's been written, Mr. Martin is harsh but practical.  He knows another story with a happy ending is not going to serve to deliver his message.  I predict that the people of Westeros will continue to behave as they have been doing and most of the people will be wiped out.  They will continue to put grievance, pride, and emotional attachment ahead of cooperation.  Their prized castles will crumble.  Lords and ladies will freeze to death in their castles as easily as the poor man in his hovel.  Feudalism will end because civilization will be turned backwards to the primitive.  The Starks will have no better chance of surviving than the Freys and they will be just as responsible for the mess as the Boltons and the Lannisters.  Everyone will be partly to blame.

All the fighting and bitching between the families will continue until it's too late.  It's not easy to set aside the wedding massacre but if it were easy then everybody would choose peace and cooperation.  It's hard to forgive a man who broke his promise to marry your daughter after your family fought for him and lost its first born son in his service.  It's not easy to reswear fealty to a king that holds your rather in prison and attacked your mother's family but if Robb had done it how better off the north would be today.  Jon Arryn just couldn't put his honor aside and sacrifice Robert and Ned but chose instead to start a rebellion that killed tens of thousands of people that had nothing to do with the feud between the Targaryens and the Starks.  It's not easy to send two boys that you love to execution for the possible crimes of their families but that was preferable to sending tens of thousands of men to fight in a war.  Jon loved Arya and he wanted to rescue her from Ramsay but it was the wrong course of action.  Jon knew as well as anyone what is coming for them and he should have been thinking with his head instead of his heart.  He should have made peace with the Boltons no matter what the cost to the Stark family.  Keeping as many men alive to defend the north should have been Jon's priority instead of Arya.   He should have counseled Stannis to make peace with the Lannisters and take the Black.  There are only two armed conflict that helped more people than it harmed and the ones that died, died for a good cause.  The much maligned Edmure Tully's call to arms to defend his people against the raiding army of the Lannisters.  Daenerys Targaryen's war against slavery in Essos.  The first is pure self-defense and the second is the fight to rescue slaves from their sadistic owners. 

Winter is when people die.  Count on it.  Most of the people in Westeros will die and only a few will survive. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annalee is forecasting a sad ending and maybe that is what George has in mind.  I will probably hate it.  I want my favorite people to live happily ever after.  This forecasted ending has more bitter than sweet to me.  So George believes in tough love.  Sometimes it's more effective.  George doesn't have to answer to a C.E.O. and he doesn't write through a committee.  He doesn't poll the readers and asks "what do you want to happen" to decide what to do.  He's a strong minded, independent man who has never given in to fan pressure.  Annalee and the op may be on the right track.  Family pride, loyalty, and chivalry get in the way of cooperation.  Throw in grudges and arrogance gets you war.  All of those families are to blame for the disarray and it will take a Queen in exile and her dragons to save the west. 

1 hour ago, Nowy Tends said:

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Is it possible that you didn't understand and integrated the fact that Joffrey, Aerys and Ramsay are mentally ill, sadistic, people with whom it is impossible to get along?

You seriously think that Aerys would have been content with the execution of Ned and Robert, if Jon Arryn had obeyed him? His madness would be miraculously healed, and business would resume its normal course?

As for "peace with the Boltons", the cost would have been total annihilation…

You blame everybody for the "fighting and bitching between the families", except the Lannisters and Boltons…

How do you know?  You can't say it's impossible.  Difficult, yes.  But not impossible.  I side with the op.  Jon Arryn should have sent the heads of Robert and Ned to Aerys because it will save the lives of thousands.  The lives of those two are not worth the death of thousands. 

Roose doesn't want to annihilate the north.  He wants to rule the north.  Let him rule and forget about the red wedding because he's a good commander who can fight against the white walkers.  Nobody said cooperation will be easy. 

1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

It's funny as I read your impassioned OP I began to argue actions characters should have taken well before they were dealt the consequences of their actions.   For example, Jon Snow doubted his desire to join the Nights Watch and he should have gone with that feeling.  I don't know what GRRM intends nor his message.   I always felt this was an anti war story over anything, but that was just my impression.  Certainly the main points of your argument are valid, cooperation is all that will save Westeros...and magic.  I read this story as a fantasy, not necessarily art or social commentary.   I only bring this up to perhaps add a layer not really addressed in the OP which of course, is magic.  

I've spent a great deal pondering why Arya is this little killing machine when in truth she is just a child with a child's ambition and honor.  When I was her age I had the blueprints to the USS Enterprise memorized.  Star Trek was all consuming to me as vegeance is to Arya.  Lady Stoneheart seems to serve no purpose other than exterminating Freys--as you say, a vengeance.   However, when you begin to imagine Arya in conjunction with LSH a lesson becomes apparent.   LSH, formerly Arya's beloved mother, could be the device to teach Arya the lesson The Hound tried so hard to teach her: the gift of mercy.   I don't have a crystal ball and don't even predict this outcome, but the underlying messages of both Arya and LSH are vengeance and mercy.   Mercy needs to happen.   That said, I don't expect either to survive the tale. 

The Others are still our greatest mystery.   We don't know what they are or their intentions/motives.  I don't expect they plan a bonfire with hot chocolate and Sesame Street for all.  I imagine their story has to do with survival, but I could be so wrong about that.   We know that they are inhuman, but alive and that they command some greater power over ice than we possess in 2018.   They are able to raise the dead as shambling zombies.  I still think a dragon could devastate this army of the dead.  Eventually the store of bodies diminishes, so there should be either more Others, some great nullifying weapon against humanity or they get their asses handed to them.  A few good fires even the numbers substantially--at this point.  Who knows what is in store?  Who knows that the Others are not the higher life form near extinction simply looking for a way to continue?   I don't know. 

As you describe in the OP, people in this tale are their own greatest enemy.  While my higher mind agrees with you, it is unlikely the old grudges and vendettas will just vanish.  I think it's more likely that magic vs magic is our end game.   Still there is a possibility for alliances and conspiracies against those alliances.   These are humans and people like Cersei are unlikely to understand the merit of anything beyond winning.   Jon gives the reader something to believe in--a prince who was promised to unite all people.  I think he will get his shot, messages and all.  

I don't have the same impression of Jon as you do.  He started a fight with Ramsay when he should have tried to keep the peace.  He needs the Boltons more than he needs Arya.  Arya is useless at the wall.  A smart and disciplined leader would know that and put Arya out of his mind to focus on more important stuff.  I like the op's advice regarding Stannis.  If the man really wants to put the interest of the people ahead of his own he would give up any claims he thinks he has and make peace with the Boltons.  The wall and the north will need every able bodied people to fight.  Attacking Winterfell will diminish the armies and use up needed supplies. 

1 hour ago, bent branch said:

Ned, most notably, does not hate the Targaryens. If more people understood this they would get one of the most subtle clues in the books.

:agree:  Ned wasn't a bad sort.

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I believe the message is not about being a ruthless, heartless military dictator. Tywin won some battles, but he ruined his family despite their wealth and talents. He ends up dead on the sheethole. The realm was impoverished, and in chaos by the end with his grandson a monster, then a dead monster.

Look at what good would have come if Tywin had been more human, if Aerys hadn’t been a sadist, if Catelyn hadn’t kidnapped Tyrion, if the Blackfyres had worked it out...there could well be a long list of more thoughtful responses. The whole Iron Throne is a metaphor for thoughtless ambition.

It will end up important that people can bond and work together, even if the price is high.

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10 minutes ago, Bowen 747 said:

 Jon Arryn should have sent the heads of Robert and Ned to Aerys because it will save the lives of thousands.  The lives of those two are not worth the death of thousands. 

I fail to see how to accept all the bloodthirsty demands of a mad king could improve the situation. If Jon Arryn had killed his protégés you would be in first line to blame him.

btw, why don't you blame Jamie for NOT killing his father when Aerys demands him…

Roose doesn't want to annihilate the north. 

I meant the annihilation of the Stark family/heritage, but I suppose you see it as a good thing… And so far Roose is a treacherous commander who doesn't care for the Others. Come to me Jon Snow so I can flay you before you realize the girl I'm torturing is not your sister… :wacko:

 

 

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6 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

This story is not about getting justice for the sins of one family against another.  It's about setting those differences aside in the interest of survival.

The author's message is this.  All grievances should be set aside in the interest of survival.  The parties do not have to like one another and forgiveness is out of the realm of possibility but discipline can allow these parties to work together for the common good.

Here's the bad part.  The author wants to send a message.  He doesn't claim to have all of the answers because life is complex in his fiction and in real life.  He won't claim to know it all.  But his point is, the real world is facing enormous problems and unless people can set aside their differences, things will only get worse.

Yeah that all sounds well and good and if an asteroid were to threaten earth and we all agreed it was actually hurling towards us I'm sure American, Russian, Pakistani, Chinese, and North Korean engineers could find a way to work together to eliminate the threat before going back to their issues.  The problem with the Others is that most of Westeros doesn't believe in the threat, so there is no urgency to set aside differences.  So GRRM could be using the Others as a metaphor for climate change, for capitalism, for communism, for the horror of abortion, for anything at all and it wouldn't mean a damn.  Same as anyone else in the world crying "believe what I'm saying and conform to my ways or the world will end!"

I think GRRM has an anti-war message, sure, and he has opinions like everyone else and the books may be somewhat didactic, but for the most part I think he is having fun creating a compelling story and getting paid.

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The Others made a deal once, and perhaps they can again,or not, who knows.

I think there is a lot of black and white imagery in the book, and I don’t think just being all heart or all heartless pragmatism is the message of the books. The series is partly enjoyable because there are no simple answers. It is the Song of Ice and Fire.

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4 hours ago, Nowy Tends said:

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Is it possible that you didn't understand and integrated the fact that Joffrey, Aerys and Ramsay are mentally ill, sadistic, people with whom it is impossible to get along?

You seriously think that Aerys would have been content with the execution of Ned and Robert, if Jon Arryn had obeyed him? His madness would be miraculously healed, and business would resume its normal course?

As for "peace with the Boltons", the cost would have been total annihilation…

You blame everybody for the "fighting and bitching between the families", except the Lannisters and Boltons…

yeah I don't see why that isn't obvious.

Aery's killing brandon stark would have been okay in my opinion because of what he did. But killing the rest was a great way to start a war. Aery's started that war.

Also people forget that what really got the war (rob stark as king of the north) was that tywin essentially had his men go through the riverlands and burn,pillage,and rape everything they could. Yes his son was taken but that was done by a stark and the people that helped were not anyone who was a lord they were just random people who were not taking orders from their lords. Joffrey executing ned stark was just making it official.

 

And ramsey bolton is a psychopath who causes nothing but chaos. Even though jon didn't have those people with him ramsey would have killed him. and when mance was sent to rescue fake arya. She was suppossed to be found on the road not taken from winterfell.

 

The starks aren't perfect but I don't get where the hate comes from.

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I think too many in this fandom confuse GRRM showing the costs of war with ASOIAF being an anti-war story.

Saying that the Starks are the same as the Boltons and Lannisters is a false equivalence. Both sides are not the same.

Edit: I would also say that trying to state what ASOIAF's message is without its end is basically a fool's errand. We know GRRM is exploring issues of identity, for instance, but without the conclusion, it is difficult to say what, if anything, is his statement about it.

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As I have said before, you are mistaken if you think Martin doesn't dish out karmic justice in this story. Off the top of my head:

Joffrey, Vargo Hoat, Jaime Lannister, Rattleshirt, Gregor Clegane, the Tickler, the Freys in the Frey pies, Janos Slynt, Dareon the Deserter with the Good Boots, Viserys, Khal Drogo, Theon Greyjoy, Tywin Lannister and Aerys Targaryen would probably disagree with you.

The fact that the likes of Cersei, Roose, Ramsay, Littlefinger and Walder Frey are not on that list yet is almost certainly just because Martin is such a slow writer.

 

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3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

As I have said before, you are mistaken if you think Martin doesn't dish out karmic justice in this story. Off the top of my head:

Joffrey, Vargo Hoat, Jaime Lannister, Rattleshirt, Gregor Clegane, the Tickler, the Freys in the Frey pies, Janos Slynt, Dareon the Deserter with the Good Boots, Viserys, Khal Drogo, Theon Greyjoy, Tywin Lannister and Aerys Targaryen would probably disagree with you.

The fact that the likes of Cersei, Roose, Ramsay, Littlefinger and Walder Frey are not on that list yet is almost certainly just because Martin is such a slow writer.

 

I've never seen a karmic list like this before, paints a very intriguing picture indeed.

@James Fenimore Cooper XXII, interesting OP Ser, some thought provoking thoughts about Jon Arryn's defence of his former wards - were these two lives worth more than the thousands who died in war or did the noble Falcon believe Aerys was mad enough to eventually kill thousands anyway?

In regards to Jon's refusal to work with the Boltons - I can see why one might think the most peaceable course of action would be for the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch to pay tribute to the new Warden of The North and his son, but at the end of the day they sacked and burned down his childhood home, followed by the betrayal and murder of Jon's brother and his Direwolf. In Jon's mind, House Bolton holds a fair share of the blame for the "extinction" of House Stark.

The Boltons have too many recent severe cases of betraying their associates for Jon to be able to trust them, especially at such a time when the Others are getting closer - Jon seems to have no evidence of Lord Bolton's belief in the threat from beyond the Wall, as well as the fact that there seems to be no reason why the skinners wouldn't screw Jon over, which would put the rest of the Watch and the safety of the Wall at serious risk.

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13 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

All the fighting and bitching between the families will continue until it's too late.  It's not easy to set aside the wedding massacre but if it were easy then everybody would choose peace and cooperation.  It's hard to forgive a man who broke his promise to marry your daughter after your family fought for him and lost its first born son in his service.  It's not easy to reswear fealty to a king that holds your rather in prison and attacked your mother's family but if Robb had done it how better off the north would be today.  Jon Arryn just couldn't put his honor aside and sacrifice Robert and Ned but chose instead to start a rebellion that killed tens of thousands of people that had nothing to do with the feud between the Targaryens and the Starks.  It's not easy to send two boys that you love to execution for the possible crimes of their families but that was preferable to sending tens of thousands of men to fight in a war.  Jon loved Arya and he wanted to rescue her from Ramsay but it was the wrong course of action.  Jon knew as well as anyone what is coming for them and he should have been thinking with his head instead of his heart.  He should have made peace with the Boltons no matter what the cost to the Stark family.  Keeping as many men alive to defend the north should have been Jon's priority instead of Arya.   He should have counseled Stannis to make peace with the Lannisters and take the Black. 

I don't think that Ramsay and Cersei are people you can deal with in a civilized way. Making peace with someone who would kill you in your sleep is a difficult task. You say it yourself, but somehow later you say that it's Jon Snow's responsibility to convince Stannis (of all people) to take the black and make peace with the Lannisters. How can he do that when Cersei is running the Lannister regime, is beyond me. How can one deal with the Boltons if Ramsay is basically 1/2 of them, and you say that like Cersei, he also has to go as a person impossible to choose humanity over his psychopathic and monstrous tendencies. He IS anti-humanity. It would be in contradiction with the Bolton's characters to stand on the side they are practically against.

Why on earth would this writer give a chance to characters like Roose, Ramsay, Cersei and Walder Frey to have some heroic role in dealing with the Others. He will not. It's not his style. At least I hope he won't. 

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13 hours ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

Yeah that all sounds well and good and if an asteroid were to threaten earth and we all agreed it was actually hurling towards us I'm sure American, Russian, Pakistani, Chinese, and North Korean engineers could find a way to work together to eliminate the threat before going back to their issues.  The problem with the Others is that most of Westeros doesn't believe in the threat, so there is no urgency to set aside differences.  So GRRM could be using the Others as a metaphor for climate change, for capitalism, for communism, for the horror of abortion, for anything at all and it wouldn't mean a damn.  Same as anyone else in the world crying "believe what I'm saying and conform to my ways or the world will end!"

I think GRRM has an anti-war message, sure, and he has opinions like everyone else and the books may be somewhat didactic, but for the most part I think he is having fun creating a compelling story and getting paid.

Those items you mentioned (capitalism, communism, abortion) are beliefs.  They're what cause divisiveness in people.  Winter and the Others are the fantasy way of conveying the global threat of climate change and the meteor you mentioned.  Things that are forces of the natural world that threaten to destroy us.  Things like famine, high rates of crime, drugs are man made miseries that people heap on one another.  The author is anti-war for the most part but he is smart enough to accept that there are good reasons to take up arms (against the Nazi, according to him).  George would suit up and fight the Nazis because there are real evil.  I think where he draws the line is fighting for beliefs and ideology.  Fighting to halt the spread of communism might not meet his criteria for taking up arms but fighting to stop the holocaust is. 

19 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

The plot has nicely done the job of setting up very understandable reasons why these families should hate one another.

Agreed and there are good reasons that we can all understand.  I believe this is where the issue of putting feelings aside and making compromise will help.  George didn't make it easy and it can only get harder.  Those people have been tormenting one another for generations and asking them to set that aside is not going to happen.  They have good reasons to hate and it takes a very special human to set their personal feelings aside (like Dany marrying Hizdahr because she believed it will bring peace; which only gave the masters time to reload their weapons)  for the good of the many.  

I don't blame Arya for hating the Lannisters and I can't say I blame Walder Frey for hating Robb.  The other parties did something deserving of hate.  It's easy to fall into the revenge mindset and difficult to get out.  Forgiveness is the answer but I somehow don't think this is the story of forgiveness. 

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6 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

I've never seen a karmic list like this before, paints a very intriguing picture indeed.

@James Fenimore Cooper XXII, interesting OP Ser, some thought provoking thoughts about Jon Arryn's defence of his former wards - were these two lives worth more than the thousands who died in war or did the noble Falcon believe Aerys was mad enough to eventually kill thousands anyway?

Isn't this the same line of thinking that people use to take preemptive moves against those they perceive as a threat?  That's the point of restraint.  It's not easy and it's risky but you take the chance anyway because you know that rebellion will kill hundreds of thousands of people.  Sacrificing the lives of two boys whose families were playing the game of thrones is much less damaging.  Starting a war that will surely kill hundreds of thousands because the other person may kill the same number in the future is a poor choice.

In regards to Jon's refusal to work with the Boltons - I can see why one might think the most peaceable course of action would be for the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch to pay tribute to the new Warden of The North and his son, but at the end of the day they sacked and burned down his childhood home, followed by the betrayal and murder of Jon's brother and his Direwolf. In Jon's mind, House Bolton holds a fair share of the blame for the "extinction" of House Stark.

It's not easy but he should have been able to do it.  You seem to equate the good of House Stark as the good for everybody.  I don't think that is the case.  What Jon did to help Arya is divisive. 

 

The Boltons have too many recent severe cases of betraying their associates for Jon to be able to trust them, especially at such a time when the Others are getting closer - Jon seems to have no evidence of Lord Bolton's belief in the threat from beyond the Wall, as well as the fact that there seems to be no reason why the skinners wouldn't screw Jon over, which would put the rest of the Watch and the safety of the Wall at serious risk.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Ponzi Scheme said:

Those items you mentioned (capitalism, communism, abortion) are beliefs.  They're what cause divisiveness in people.  Winter and the Others are the fantasy way of conveying the global threat of climate change and the meteor you mentioned.  Things that are forces of the natural world that threaten to destroy us.  Things like famine, high rates of crime, drugs are man made miseries that people heap on one another.  The author is anti-war for the most part but he is smart enough to accept that there are good reasons to take up arms (against the Nazi, according to him).  George would suit up and fight the Nazis because there are real evil.  I think where he draws the line is fighting for beliefs and ideology.  Fighting to halt the spread of communism might not meet his criteria for taking up arms but fighting to stop the holocaust is. 

Agreed and there are good reasons that we can all understand.  I believe this is where the issue of putting feelings aside and making compromise will help.  George didn't make it easy and it can only get harder.  Those people have been tormenting one another for generations and asking them to set that aside is not going to happen.  They have good reasons to hate and it takes a very special human to set their personal feelings aside (like Dany marrying Hizdahr because she believed it will bring peace; which only gave the masters time to reload their weapons)  for the good of the many.  

I don't blame Arya for hating the Lannisters and I can't say I blame Walder Frey for hating Robb.  The other parties did something deserving of hate.  It's easy to fall into the revenge mindset and difficult to get out.  Forgiveness is the answer but I somehow don't think this is the story of forgiveness. 

I just laugh at these wannabe moral equivalence posts. I'm as big a Stark fan as you are likely to find, yet I would have utterly blamed Robb Stark if he slaughtered his allies at their wedding while guests under his roof. There is no moral equivalence there. Not even close.

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1 hour ago, Ponzi Scheme said:

Those items you mentioned (capitalism, communism, abortion) are beliefs.  They're what cause divisiveness in people.  Winter and the Others are the fantasy way of conveying the global threat of climate change and the meteor you mentioned.  Things that are forces of the natural world that threaten to destroy us.  Things like famine, high rates of crime, drugs are man made miseries that people heap on one another.

I get what you're saying, I suppose where I am going with this is that if the Others/winter is a metaphor for climate change, the real challenge is convincing the people that the threat is real and imminent - not actually combating the threat.  People by and large understand what a meteor strike would mean for humanity, and would believe and act accordingly if sufficient information suggested one was likely - there is consensus on how to detect the trajectory of a celestial body.  The problem with climate change as a metaphor is that in the real world while people agree that mass flooding, regular super hurricanes, and severe drought could end our species, they don't necessarily believe the threat of those things happening is imminent, and they don't agree on the cause of those things.  Could be climate change that causes that to happen because of carbon consumption, could be a higher power who causes those things to happen because he is smiting the world for pissing him off for any number of religious offenses - makes no difference.  So if George's point is that "the world will end if people don't prioritize collective survival over personal interests" then sure, great message, but not a very novel or interesting one - I believe most people agree with that message, and even agree on ways in which humanity may become extinct, but disagree on what the underlying causes are or how to recognize them.

Winter is coming - nothing has happened in the story to suggest it could have been prevented by a change in human behavior, and in the books not many people have yet been presented with good evidence of the Others and the threat they pose, so can they be blamed for not acting accordingly?  Right now the Night's Watch's warnings are more analagous to the few crazies who predict the world will end every few years and less like the scientists calling for change in the way we provide and consume energy.  So I really have no takeaways as a reader unless GRRM is saying I should take every cataclysmic threat anyone prophesices seriously and change my ways accordingly.

If GRRM believes earth is under an imminent threat, no matter what he believes this threat or its cause to be, if he wanted to persuade people to combat the threat he could have done more than write a badass, incomplete fantasy series in which the threat is only revealed to few.

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