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Black Crow

Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

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14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

"Transparent" secrets that George are fairly obvious if you pay attention and may or may not be revealed officially, like R+L=J,

I have provided more text (here and through my link to the reread thread) to support my theory than there exists for R+L=J.

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Tormund sleeping with one of the Mormont women, etc.

There's maybe a couple sentences to support this.

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Things that are hinted at, but far from certain, likely never to be confirmed, like Tywin being a regular at Chataya's.

Just as much evidence of this as there is for Tormund fathering Mormonts.

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Parallels between characters that don't have any reason to be exact or explicit, like the parallels you suggested between Doran and Tywin.

Oh, but there are many, many more than just Doran and Tywin. Every titled chapter is filled with parallels, and because there are so many we can be assured that they are deliberate. Even before the titled chapters there are parallels, even in the in-world stories like the Knight of the Laughing Tree.

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

George doesn't trick the reader by pretending the characters are different than they really are. Catelyn warns Robb about Walder Frey in the first chapter he is introduced.

But weren't we tricked? Doesn't the first time reader believe that the laws of hospitality will protect them?

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Nothing here requires or even suggests that the wildlings are hatching some sort of complicated plot involving the Others. You have to strain yourself and pick fragments out of context to interpret as symbolism and metaphors to even go there.

This is where you've lost all credibility with me, because I have supported my theory with text, and rather than address the passages that I've supplied, you choose to ignore, pass over, or dismiss and comment like the hosts on Westworld, "It doesn't look like anything to me."

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

You say Mance's clothes make him a "divine predator"... which I have to confess is another Kayne West for me :P I don't even know what you mean, let alone how that is proof of your theory...

His attire is symbolic, and symbolism communicates information. Why dress like that when they were scavenging the Fist of the First Men?

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

It's not enough to find a few quotes and say they'd work with your theory. If the theory is true, then in every scene with Jon and Ygritte, you know she is manipulating him, including her death scene. Same for Tormund, Val, Leathers etc. Every time you see the wildlings dying somewhere, it has to make sense that either:

  • they're just pretending
  • Mance made a conscious choice to sacrifice them for the plan

I've supplied more than a few quotes and there are many more in the link I provided. Ygritte wasn't privy to the inner workings of Mance's plan. She tried to educate Jon with everything she knew, but she wasn't one of the leaders. Tormund and Val on the other hand...I expect revelations to come from scenes with these two. Val is the remaining ice priestess, and Tormund is the wildling's leader now with Mance and Rattleshirt gone. Only the leaders would know the full plan. The rest just follow their respective leaders.

14 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

And especially with the latter, you have to believe that the wildlings are willingly going along with this instead of turning against Mance and revealing his plot. And you have to believe nobody in the wildling camp simply has a big mouth, because as Areo Hotha cleverly put it, "someone always tells".

There have been a few slips - examples already provided - that give us glimpses of the truth under the charade. Overall though, I tend to disbelieve the "someone always tells" phrase, because nobody told Robb or Catelyn about the Red Wedding. Maybe Areo believes it, but I don't. The laws of hospitality are a lie. Neither Littlefinger nor Lyssa "told" who killed Jon Arryn. Again, only the leaders of the plot would know. The phrase about telling is a lie - people are capable of lying - Old Nan says "crows lie" - Mance says he lies too. If anyone "tells" its, because there's a benefit for them to tell.

3 hours ago, Tucu said:

You are assuming that the WW and the wights are that ancient enemy that hates all living things. I believe that they are the tools of groups that we already met: greenseers, weirwoods, CoTF and their allies. These groups will have an advantage during the coming resource wars.

The weirwood at Whitetree could have another greenseer beneath it. The burned sacrifices in it and the sheer size of the tree suggests it.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

If the Others are a tool, their likeliest masters are the CoTF and/or the weirwoods, and what other motivation can they have than to drive humanity away and restore Westeros to what it was in the Dawn Age? If this is the case, a reversal of the migrations of the First Men and the Andals  would be quite poetic, as would be the rekindling of the Valyrian empire brought about by Dany's conquest of Essos. Only this time, instead of the Andals and First Men running away from the Dragonlords, they will run to her for succor.

The "Others" include more than white walkers and wights - the term includes the people involved. The white walkers are magically created, and their opposing force is dragons, which are also magically created. If dragons require blood sacrifice and magic to hatch, then we should expect white walkers to require blood sacrifice and magic to exist.

1 hour ago, Tucu said:

I expect for the Long Night to be something that can't be stopped. I can only be survived.

:agree:

Edited by Feather Crystal

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22 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I would suggest that given the way they have played things so far, if the blue-eyed lot do come south of the Wall we are going to see more of the same rather than massed hordes of zombies shambling towards an epic battle

Absolutely.  I see no sign that Team Icy Blue Eyes even have a political agenda, or any knowledge of the governmental structure south of the Wall.  

Do they know enough to head straight for Winterfell because it's the power center of the North?  Do they know there's a kingsroad south of Castle Black, or where it goes?  Do they even have a map of the continent?  (Do they even have writing?)  It all seems incredibly uncertain.

Without that stuff, not at all sure they're going to create a military-style strategy optimized to conquer territory as efficiently as they can.  The primary reason they've taken so long to deal with Beyond-the-Wall is that they were not efficient, and did not head straight for the Wall to attack the Watch following the prologue of AGOT.

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15 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

You failed to acknowledge my rebuttals or counter them in any way, but you keep going to your original statement that "GRRM explicitly said" like it was still in play.

You still don't seem to get it.   Look: You aren't arguing with us. You're arguing with GRRM.  Your standard routine is this:

1. Propose something goofy

2. Others then point out GRRM contradicted you outright, and more than once

3. You say that GRRM's contradiction is "outdated"

4. You assert he must have "changed his mind," and he just never told anybody that

5. How do you know he changed his mind? Well, you apparently have a psychic link to him.  It sure isn't coming from the canon.  

Dany never says anything like: "I intend to spend my life in Essos," but quite the opposite.  From ADWD... the most recent book... we have such blatant bits as:

Quote

No, Dany thought, and the Usurper's dogs will learn that, when I return to Westeros.

Quote

If I were a dragon, I could fly to Westeros, she thought when he was gone. I would have no need of Xaro or his ships

Quote

The next morning Dany woke as full of hope as she had been since first she came to Slaver's Bay. Daario would soon be at her side once more, and together they would sail for Westeros. For home.

So you see, you are arguing that all this... means Dany is never going to Westeros.  Really?  You're arguing with GRRM, not us.  

6. Why didn't he tell us he changed his mind about Dany going to Westeros? Your case is that "he doesn't want to give away a major twist."

7. Why, then, did he originally tell us, over and over, that certain things were going to happen, such as Dany going to Westeros?  Wasn't that giving away his future plot?  

Er... uh... you have no answer to that.

You see how it goes.  You keep arguing with GRRM, and you keep losing, because he's the world's leading authority on these books, and you... aren't.  You've really never been arguing with us at all.

It's not that we owned you.  It's that GRRM did, and you didn't realize that, because you aren't up to speed on his long history of SSMs, and you don't really seem to care what he wrote in ADWD either.

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

I have provided more text (here and through my link to the reread thread) to support my theory than there exists for R+L=J.

And as for the bogus notion that GRRM will never confirm Jon's parents, we have this Rolling Stone exchange:

Quote

Some readers, I think, would also ask who Jon Snow's father truly is, even though Jon was always claimed to be Ned Stark's bastard son.
[Martin smiles] On this I shall not speak. I shall maintain my enigmatic silence, until I get to it in the books.

"Until I get to it in the books."

Uh huh.  I see.  

Of course, that interview was done in 2014, three years after ADWD came out... so I'm sure some nut will argue it's outdated and that GRRM has changed his mind since then and that he will never confirm Jon's parentage in the books, and the nut will say he knows that because of what ADWD says.

And we'll all think: Too much nut, not enough coco.

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1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

The CoTF could very well be using some humans for their own purposes, I agree with this. Bran and Jojen are likely, but some on your list are highly doubtful. Sam, for one, acted on his own, regardless of what Mormont's raven did, and I highly doubt they are working with the wildlings.

But the most important questions are:

  1. Why must this be brought into the main plot? Just like Littlefinger's role in starting the War of the Five Kings, this doesn't need to be public knowledge in the books. The reader knows and one or two relevant characters may find out, but there's no need to make it a major plot point.
  2. How do you see it playing out over the length of two books if it is? It took Jon 3 books to develop a somewhat constructive relationship with the wildlings over a fairly straight-forward plot that mostly centered on Mance's march on the Wall. How will he go from being resurrected and processing that, to defending the Wall from the Others, to finding out about the Children, to meeting them, developing a rapport and coming to some agreement with them, with a pit stop somewhere to meet Dany, develop a rapport with her so it doesn't feel like her whole arc was irrelevant, and maybe find out R+L=J as well? How can you see this happening over such a short narrative space without the feeling that the story is going through bullet points compared to previous character development speed?

This is important because Winter is the main obstacle for survival in the coming Long Night. The groups better adapted to it have a better chance of survival.

I don't think that there are only two more books. The publishers have already asked GRRM to split TWOW in the same way that he did with ADWD and AFFC. It is likely that we are ~60% into the story with 3500-4000 more pages to go (if the series is ever finished)

My expectation for the rest of the series is a cruel winter hitting all Westeros and the population struggling for survival. GRRM already showed us a glimpse of how life will be in the chapters showing Bran walk towards the CoTF cave and during the march on Winterfell. I don't expect a clash at the Wall; I expect battles between Ice and Fire around the Riverlands.

Edited by Tucu

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5 hours ago, JNR said:

Absolutely.  I see no sign that Team Icy Blue Eyes even have a political agenda, or any knowledge of the governmental structure south of the Wall.  

Do they know enough to head straight for Winterfell because it's the power center of the North?  Do they know there's a kingsroad south of Castle Black, or where it goes?  Do they even have a map of the continent?  (Do they even have writing?)  It all seems incredibly uncertain.

Without that stuff, not at all sure they're going to create a military-style strategy optimized to conquer territory as efficiently as they can.  The primary reason they've taken so long to deal with Beyond-the-Wall is that they were not efficient, and did not head straight for the Wall to attack the Watch following the prologue of AGOT.

I don't quite agree with this interpretation of the Other's leisurely pace (there are a couple factors checking their threat level in aGoT), nor what their pace will look like once the Wall fails--it's not that the pace will be picked up because the Others will suddenly hightail it to King's Landing, it's that a certain amount of their progress can happen off screen, and one might assume that the in-book and out-of-book factors that have stalled them from coming to the fore will be out of the way for the end game.

When I talk about pace, I'm speaking specifically of the chapter count. Lets say, in theory, that the Wall falling is the Epilogue of Book X; how soon within Book Y, in terms of chapter count, does the author finally get around to the Others attacking a place we care about, peopled with POVs that we're interested in? IMO, if GRRM has converged his characters by the time the Wall falls, it shouldn't take much in the way of chapter count at all.

But, again, I am optimistically assuming GRRM hasn't entirely lost his instincts as a storyteller, and understands that once dragons and Others are in Westeros, the storytelling must accordingly shift tone to accommodate the stakes; more succinctly, I don't think the Long Night book(s) are going to be paced like AFFC/ADWD, where you have some cliffhanger involving the Others, then ten chapters of like...Brienne on a quixotic quest, Littlefinger scheming about how he's going to turn the lords of the Reach against one another, a Dorne chapter, Arya separated from the other Starks and still focused on her list, and so forth before it finally jumps back to another Other-centric chapter.

Edited by Matthew.

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3 hours ago, JNR said:

You still don't seem to get it.   Look: You aren't arguing with us. You're arguing with GRRM.  Your standard routine is this:

1. Propose something goofy

2. Others then point out GRRM contradicted you outright, and more than once

3. You say that GRRM's contradiction is "outdated"

4. You assert he must have "changed his mind," and he just never told anybody that

5. How do you know he changed his mind? Well, you apparently have a psychic link to him.  It sure isn't coming from the canon.  

Please! As if my theory is any goofier than half the stuff proposed by the fanbase, like A+J=T, R+L=D, Stannis the Mannis winning the Iron Throne, or Jon Snow leading the Others in battle against the evil dragons. Doesn't mean it's not fun to theorize.

It's been 7 years and counting since Dance was released; most of the mainstream theories have been debated to death. I came up with a new hypothesis that is actually fairly well supported by the text of the last two books and not precluded by anything in the series, and instead of having some fun with the idea, you act like the ultimate spoilsport and try to shut me down with a two decades old GRRM quote.

First of all, the incomplete story is like a puzzle to be solved, a complex and wonderful logical problem with multiple possible solutions. Your attitude is that of the guy who immediately reads the solution at the end and snickers at those who are actually trying to think for themselves. Even if George doesn't take his story in this direction, it doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good solution for the end of the series.

Second, your very cleverly thought out GRRM quotes at most cast some doubt on the theory, but by no means shut it down, given their age, context, and the fact that the published books already showed them to be inaccurate. But it's great to see how you substitute yourself with GRRM to reinforce your position, must feel awesome to be so humble. :D

3 hours ago, JNR said:

Dany never says anything like: "I intend to spend my life in Essos," but quite the opposite.  From ADWD... the most recent book... we have such blatant bits as:

Quote

No, Dany thought, and the Usurper's dogs will learn that, when I return to Westeros.

Quote

If I were a dragon, I could fly to Westeros, she thought when he was gone. I would have no need of Xaro or his ships

Quote

The next morning Dany woke as full of hope as she had been since first she came to Slaver's Bay. Daario would soon be at her side once more, and together they would sail for Westeros. For home.

So you see, you are arguing that all this... means Dany is never going to Westeros.  Really?  You're arguing with GRRM, not us.  

I can't argue with you here, when George is blatant, he's blatant. What you see is what you get! I mean, look at these quotes here:

Quote

I do not have the power to give you your father back, no more than Thoros does, but I can at least see that you are returned safely to your mother's arms.

Do you swear? she asked him. [...]

On my honor as a knight, the lightning lord said solemnly.

Quote

If you want to be some stupid outlaw knight and get hanged, what do I care? I'll be at Riverrun, ransomed, with my brotherd.

Quote

We'll make good time after that, straight up to the Twins. It's going to be me who hands you over to that mother of yours.

Quote

You will have command of my rear guard, Lord Bolton. I mean to start for the Neck as soon as my uncle has been wedded and bedded. We're going home.

Quote

There was nothing between her and her mother but a castle gate, a river and an army... but it was Robb's army, so there was no real danger there.

Wasn't it great when Arya was reunited with her mother at the Frey Wedding and then they all went back North and kicked out the Ironmen? I, for one, sure was satisfied when those blatant hints finally became reality, weren't you?

I'm sure all those things you quoted will happen verbatim, because Dany thought about them after all. It's not like she doubled down on her decision to stay in Meereen immediately after having those thoughts, no, she turned herself into a dragon and flew away with Daario towards the cheering crowds of Westeros, all of which have no trouble at all remembering her name. And the only reason the Others are coming is to raise the Usurper's dogs from the dead so she can kill them all over again, because it was in her head, so obviously it must happen!

3 hours ago, JNR said:

You see how it goes.  You keep arguing with GRRM, and you keep losing, because he's the world's leading authority on these books, and you... aren't.  You've really never been arguing with us at all.

It's not that we owned you.  It's that GRRM did, and you didn't realize that, because you aren't up to speed on his long history of SSMs, and you don't really seem to care what he wrote in ADWD either.

:rofl: Ok, Voice of George, Knower of Spoken Truths, Breaker of Theories and Loose Interpreter of Texts, I admit you have all the power. I shan't expect you to discuss my theories with me any longer. Thank you for taking the time to spar with me, that, at least, I sincerely appreciate. But now I should get to answering the points that @Feather Crystal raised about her own "goofy" theory. Hopefully from not as high a horse as you.

Edited by The Coconut God

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4 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

But weren't we tricked? Doesn't the first time reader believe that the laws of hospitality will protect them?

We were tricked, but on a re-read we would immediately realize that he was laying it on thick. Even though Robb was confident, trusted Bolton or wasn't worried about the Freys, we could read the doubt in Catelyn's mind, and we could see how dangerous those characters were from other PoVs, like Arya and Jaime.

So we can easily test out theories by reductio ad absurdum. We just assume the theory is correct and X is going to happen, and then we go back and re-read some chapters and see if we get a similar feeling that everything makes sense, or if there are things that would obviously cause issues. That's what I did with my own theory, at least. There may be bit of personal bias involved, but that's why we talk about such things on forums. I applied this with your theory as well, and didn't gel for me.

Now, since you're challenging me with this:

4 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

This is where you've lost all credibility with me, because I have supported my theory with text, and rather than address the passages that I've supplied, you choose to ignore, pass over, or dismiss and comment like the hosts on Westworld, "It doesn't look like anything to me."

I'll have to be more specific. Good thing it's Saturday!

  • In a previous post, you quoted this bit:
Quote

And there were other weapons in the tent, daggers and dirks, a bow and a quiver of arrows, a bronze-headed spear lying beside that big black... horn. Jon sucked in his breath. A warhorn, a bloody great warhorn.

  “Yes,” Mance said. “The Horn of Winter, that Joramun once blew to wake giants from the earth.”

  The horn was huge, eight feet along the curve and so wide at the mouth that he could have put his arm inside up to the elbow. If this came from an aurochs, it was the biggest that ever lived. At first he thought the bands around it were bronze, but when he moved closer he realized they were gold. Old gold, more brown than yellow, and graven with runes.

And you immediately jumped to the conclusion that Mance has the Horn of Winter. Of course, as the story progresses, Mel burns the aforementioned object, and Tormund claims it was never the Horn of Winter to begin with. Who are you going to believe? And whichever is the answer, how does Mance either having or not having the horn leads to him being responsible for the Others and using them as part of a plan?

  • Then you point out that Mance admits that he is lying:
Quote

Did you think only crows could lie? I liked you well enough, for a bastard . . . but I never trusted you. A man needs to earn my trust.”

Again, how does this serve as proof? Jon was a spy in the wildling camp and lied to them, part of what Mance says here is an accusation. But Mance never fully trusted Jon, so he lied to him too. That's part of the spying game between any regular foes, it does not need extraordinary circumstances in order to happen. Mance had good reason to suspect Jon because he had lied about the size of Mormont's expedition.

But even without a secret plot, it would make total sense for Mance to try to work Jon and turn him to their side in spite of the doubts. Being raised in a castle and the son of a Lord, he could give them a lot of useful information, he was trained in tactics and swordfighting and he could serve as a ransom in a pinch, so all in all he would have been a great asset. And at that point Mance didn't know the North was in dire straits; from his perspective killing the Lord of Winterfell's son or brother would have only brought the Starks down on his head harder. So he played it safe.

Therefore, Mance lying is hardly a hint of anything, because it makes total sense anyway... unlike, for example, Arya's reluctance to reveal herself to Roose Bolton, which I'm sure made a lot of readers scream in frustration: "Just tell him who you are, he can take you to your broher!".

  • You also say that "His plan is not the shortest route past the Wall but it's the safest. There are additional dangers after they're through to consider."

Well, his safest plan with the conspiracy theory in play would have been to convince Mormont that the Others were the real danger and have him allow them through for the same reasons Jon did it (so their corpses wouldn't make the wight army even larger), or at least serve as an intermediary between Mance and the acting Stark lord. After the attack on the Fist, Mormont was already pretty much convinced. Here's what he had to say:

Quote

"We never knew! But we must have known once. The Night's Watch has forgotten its true purpose, Tarly. You don't build a wall seven hundred feet high to keep savages in skins from stealing women. The Wall was made to guard the realms of men... and not against other men, which is all the wildlings are when you come right down to it. [...] We lost sight of the true enemy. And now he's here, but we don't know how to fight him.

This is echoing the same sentiment Jon will go on to have in Dance, when he reminds Bowen Marsh that the wildlings are men as well.

Of course, you would say that this is Mormont falling for Mance's ploy. I don't particularly like the idea, because in retrospect it would turn what appears to be a moment of wisdom into a moment of naivete - something George rarely does when he sets up his bigger twists; there's always an ambivalence there, the chapters leading to the Red Wedding are never joyous and hopeful, the opposite of what the twist will be; they are ominous and heavy, and there are doubts all around, the first time reader is simply inclined to ignore them... But I digress. Let us assume Mormont is falling for the ploy. Well, in that case, Mance succeeded.

All he has to do is come out and try to make a deal with the Lord Commander, and insist that his men won't accept anything less than autonomy in the Gift, or whatever it is they want. Maybe it wouldn't work the first time, but as winter approaches and there are more wight sightings, the southrons would reconsider.

Instead of that, here's what Mance plans:

Quote

"Then who command at Castle Black?"

"Bowen Marsh." [...]

Mance laughed. "If so, our war is won. Bowen knows a deal more about counting swords than he's ever known about using them."

Quote

My Lord of Bones, keep the column moving at all costs. If we reach the Wall before Mormont, we've won.

This clearly shows that his main intention is to capture Castle Black or another crossing point and get his people south of the Wall on his own strength as soon as possible, not to convince the Night's Watch and the southrons to let him pass legitimately by using the threat of Others as leverage. This decision wouldn't make sense if your theory was correct; it directly goes against what you said here:

Quote

5) Mance lists all the ways he could have gone to get the wildlngs past the Wall. He's got the numbers to defeat the Watch, but what happens after that? He's playing a longer game and needs to figure out a way to diminish attacks from the south after they've passed. But if it's the Watch that allows them through, then the northern clans and the Warden of the North may not be so quick to attack.

And why is that? Because Mance knows that, wights or no wights, the Lord of Winterfell and the King of Westeros would never allow them passage on their own terms. Best case scenario, they would come north and fight the Others alongside the wildlings, and maybe some of them would be granted titles and accepted in the kingdom, provided that they play by the rules. Worst case, they would find themselves forced to choose between kneeling and dying north of the Wall. It is only the War of the Five Kings, and not the Others, that gives them real leverage.

  • You then insist about Mance's attire:
5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

His attire is symbolic, and symbolism communicates information. Why dress like that when they were scavenging the Fist of the First Men?

The Fist of the First Men had been the fortified position of one of his enemies, recently attacked by his other, worse enemy. Mance didn't know what to expect there, so he was dressed in his armor in case there was still resistance or someone attacked them. There doesn't need to be another reason. And the attire itself:

Quote

Under his black wool and red silk he wore black ringmail and shaggy fur breeches, and on his head was a great bronze-and-iron helm with raven wings at either temple. 

There is nothing all that special about it. The cloak from his story, typical wildling pants and black mail armor taken from the Night's Watch, since wildlings don't make armor. The helm is the only thing that stands out. You say it's Ossa Ravenhead, which I can't find any information on, aside from a site called Alchemy Gothic with gothic art and jewelry. I'll believe you that this was a real figure, but even so, it says there that he was "god of wisdom and strength", which isn't something that implies deception, ice magic or working with the dead, in spite of the skeletal aspect of that brooch. I still maintain that George was going for Vercingetorix, since there are many parallels between them, including their defeat by an outnumbered Caesar/Stannis. Vercingetorix is a much more well known figure, famously depicted with a winged helmet, at least in recent centuries.

In any case, turning him into a "divine predator" from this description and then linking that idea to a plot involving the Others is very much a stretch. Just compare to how clear cut the symbolism is in Arya's last chapter from ACoK:

Quote

"Is it safe, my lord?" Qyburn asked. Only three days past, septon Utt's men were attacked by wolves. [...]"

"It is wolves I mean to hunt."

And then of course he returns with with a bunch of dead wolves - the number is wrong, but the imagery is there - and orders them skinned to make himself a comfy blanket. There is nothing this obvious in the fragments you linked.

6 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I've supplied more than a few quotes and there are many more in the link I provided. Ygritte wasn't privy to the inner workings of Mance's plan. She tried to educate Jon with everything she knew, but she wasn't one of the leaders. Tormund and Val on the other hand...I expect revelations to come from scenes with these two. Val is the remaining ice priestess, and Tormund is the wildling's leader now with Mance and Rattleshirt gone. Only the leaders would know the full plan. The rest just follow their respective leaders.

21 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

And especially with the latter, you have to believe that the wildlings are willingly going along with this instead of turning against Mance and revealing his plot. And you have to believe nobody in the wildling camp simply has a big mouth, because as Areo Hotha cleverly put it, "someone always tells".

There have been a few slips - examples already provided - that give us glimpses of the truth under the charade. Overall though, I tend to disbelieve the "someone always tells" phrase, because nobody told Robb or Catelyn about the Red Wedding. Maybe Areo believes it, but I don't. The laws of hospitality are a lie. Neither Littlefinger nor Lyssa "told" who killed Jon Arryn. Again, only the leaders of the plot would know. The phrase about telling is a lie - people are capable of lying - Old Nan says "crows lie" - Mance says he lies too. If anyone "tells" its, because there's a benefit for them to tell.

Tormund is the kind of guy who always tells tall tales about himself, really enjoy talking about his member and isn't ashamed to leave his king's tent with a chicken in his pocket. Are you saying this is all just an act, and we're about to see a cold and calculated Tormund? Because I have a really hard time believing that.

And what about Rattleshirt? He got switched with Mance and burned, and you're telling me he wouldn't sing about this plot to save himself from that? He wouldn't feel betrayed? :P It's not like he died with courage and dignity.

Val is the only person we know little enough about that it wouldn't feel out of place if she was involved in something, but even then, her reaching Tormund is not that much of a stretch. The Others were probably trailing the larger groups of wildlings, so as long as she didn't get within the stalking zone during the night, she was probably safe.

And again, there were many ominous slips leading to the Red Wedding, from the Freys' rudeness to Tywin's relaxed attitude towards the Westerling "betrayal". The examples you provided are not as strong as that. You are struggling to add extra meaning to things that don't necessarily need it - an interesting collection of observations, but ultimately, I think, not strong enough to carry the full weight of all the wildling scenes and plot lines. And that's about as much as I can say on the subject.

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6 hours ago, Tucu said:

I don't think that there are only two more books. The publishers have already asked GRRM to split TWOW in the same way that he did with ADWD and AFFC. It is likely that we are ~60% into the story with 3500-4000 more pages to go (if the series is ever finished)

My expectation for the rest of the series is a cruel winter hitting all Westeros and the population struggling for survival. GRRM already showed us a glimpse of how life will be in the chapters showing Bran walk towards the CoTF cave and during the march on Winterfell. I don't expect a clash at the Wall; I expect battles between Ice and Fire around the Riverlands.

Splitting Winds would still lead to something like 2 books and a half. Not much help. The series would need 4 or 5 more books to keep Dany's invasion and the conflict with the Others proportional to the War of the Five Kings, which was supposed to be the first arc of a trilogy. The only solution is to condense the last two arcs into one, which an exodus to Essos would accomplish.

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Have you heard of cosmic inflation?  Did you know it is impossible to travel across the Universe?  Even at the speed of light, space itself is getting larger faster than you can progress.

The rest of the series will go this way.  Right now, GRRM has 3 books worth of material unfinished, and is set to release a book next year.  But after it comes out, he won't have 2 more books worth of material,  but rather 4 or 5 due to new plots, characters and events.

I am not complaining.   Hearing GRRM died without finishing will be sad, but learning he finished and will never write another asoiaf book is almost as sad.

Edited by Brad Stark

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13 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Splitting Winds would still lead to something like 2 books and a half. Not much help. The series would need 4 or 5 more books to keep Dany's invasion and the conflict with the Others proportional to the War of the Five Kings, which was supposed to be the first arc of a trilogy. The only solution is to condense the last two arcs into one, which an exodus to Essos would accomplish.

ADWD started as one book and ended as two. TWOW started as one book and now publishers want to split it into two. ADOS will start as one book and will end as...?

Edited by Tucu

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@Brad Stark, @Tucu It's certainly possible that the story simply spun out of control and George refuses to acknowledge it. @Matthew. might have been prophetic when he said that the Wall will fall "in the Epilogue of Book X", even though that's not what he meant. But I don't think falling back to this argument is particularly constructive and fun. If we can think of creative ways in which the story can be condensed without breaking character motivation or sweeping plot lines under the rug, why not discuss them?

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1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

@Brad Stark, @Tucu It's certainly possible that the story simply spun out of control and George refuses to acknowledge it. @Matthew. might have been prophetic when he said that the Wall will fall "in the Epilogue of Book X", even though that's not what he meant. But I don't think falling back to this argument is particularly constructive and fun. If we can think of creative ways in which the story can be condensed without breaking character motivation or sweeping plot lines under the rug, why not discuss them?

I just don't see how a migration to Essos solves anything. We can expect a similar invasion of people from the north of Essos towards the areas still habitable (Volantis, Qarth, Lhazar, Ghiscar and what's left of Slaver's Bay);

So fight and die of starvation in Westeros or fight and die of starvation in Essos.

This is what GRRM said about the Winds of Winter a couple of years ago:

Quote

Yeah, that is a dark chapter. But there are a lot of dark chapters right now in the book that I’m writing. It is called The Winds of Winter, and I’ve been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming. Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fills the world, so this is not gonna be the happy feel-good that people may be hoping for. Some of the characters [are] in very dark places…In any story, the classic structure is, ‘Things get worse before they get better,’ so things are getting worse for a lot of people.

He is also planning to leave ambiguity when all is done:

Quote

We’ll see by the end of the book if I’ve left any loose ends. I hope not. That’s not to say that everything is going to be tied up completely neatly in a bow. I think there’s a difference between a loose end and something that’s deliberately left by the author ambiguous, or something for the readers to think about and worry about and debate about. For me, that’s part of the fun of reading and writing is having stories that maybe have a little ambiguity to them, a little subtlety to them, and everything is not crystal clear and laid out. You have to think about some things and put clues together and see what it all adds up to. So some of that is gonna be left there deliberately. But first I have to finish the damn thing.

 

Edited by Tucu

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

I just don't see how a migration to Essos solves anything. We can expect a similar invasion of people from the north of Essos towards the areas still habitable (Volantis, Qarth, Lhazar, Ghiscar and what's left of Slaver's Bay);

So fight and die of starvation in Westeros or fight and die of starvation in Essos.

The North at least would be hit harder and sooner than Essos, and Westeros would have to deal with the Others and the wights on top of winter. Lastly, most of the Westerosi kingdoms lost a lot of crops and livestock as a result of the War of the Five Kings, while the cities in southern and western Essos should be well supplied at least for the first years of winter, and also have easier access to the Summer Sea for fishing.

But the main benefit would be the condensation of the plot. Right now, the remaining length of the series is dictated by Dany and what she is expected do before her plot line finally intersects Jon's and the "Song of Ice and Fire" climax can happen, whatever it entails. The problem is, ADwD left her with several dangling plot threads in Essos that could easily take half a book to resolve, not counting the travel time, and the seeds of her conflicts in Westeros haven't been planted at all, aside from "Aegon exists". Then there are the Others, which would also need to be established somehow to Dany before that whole arc can start, and I don't even dare think of Euron, Pentos, Volantis and Braavos, all of which have potential reasons to enter her story. In a perfect world, George would tell all these stories with his usual pacing, pushing the series up to 10 or 11 books, and they would all be amazing, but at the moment the plan is to only have two more, which means some of these things need to be condensed or cut.

An exodus to Essos provides a scenario where Dany is no longer required to go to Westeros in order to encounter Jon. That would shorten the required length of the series by a lot, and that's the main appeal. Many fans may not like an ending where the secret prince and the exiled princess don't manage to reclaim their respective castles, but it would be in keeping with George's penchant to challenge tropes and subvert expectations, and thematically the characters wouldn't end that far off from the original outline: Dany as the conqueror of an entire continent, and Jon as a savior figure for his people.

Edited by The Coconut God

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

I just don't see how a migration to Essos solves anything. We can expect a similar invasion of people from the north of Essos towards the areas still habitable (Volantis, Qarth, Lhazar, Ghiscar and what's left of Slaver's Bay);

So fight and die of starvation in Westeros or fight and die of starvation in Essos.

This is what GRRM said about the Winds of Winter a couple of years ago:

He is also planning to leave ambiguity when all is done:

 

:commie:Yuup, that's pretty much how I've understood it. thanks for digging up that SSM

 

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44 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

The North at least would be hit harder and sooner than Essos, and Westeros would have to deal with the Others and the wights on top of winter. Lastly, most of the Westerosi kingdoms lost a lot of crops and livestock as a result of the War of the Five Kings, while the cities in southern and western Essos should be well supplied at least for the first years of winter, and also have easier access to the Summer Sea for fishing.

But the main benefit would be the condensation of the plot. Right now, the remaining length of the series is dictated by Dany and what she is expected do before her plot line finally intersects Jon's and the "Song of Ice and Fire" climax can happen, whatever it entails. The problem is, ADwD left her with several dangling plot threads in Essos that could easily take half a book to resolve, not counting the travel time, and the seeds of her conflicts in Westeros haven't been planted at all, aside from "Aegon exists". Then there are the Others, which would also need to be established somehow to Dany before that whole arc can start, and I don't even dare think of Euron, Pentos, Volantis and Braavos, all of which have potential reasons to enter her story. In a perfect world, George would tell all these stories with his usual pacing, pushing the series up to 10 or 11 books, and they would all be amazing, but at the moment the plan is to only have two more, which means some of these things need to be condensed or cut.

An exodus to Essos provides a scenario where Dany is no longer required to go to Westeros in order to encounter Jon. That would shorten the required length of the series by a lot, and that's the main appeal. Many fans may not like an ending where the secret prince and the exiled princess don't manage to reclaim their respective castles, but it would be in keeping with George's penchant to challenge tropes and subvert expectations, and thematically the characters wouldn't end that far off from the original outline: Dany as the conqueror of an entire continent, and Jon as a savior figure for his people.

You just want to change one apocalyptic location for another. Essos has been in trouble since the Doom. Now we have winter, the wars in Slaver's bay, the slave rebellion in Volantis, the dothraki and other tribes migrating south, the pale mare, the Stone Men from the Sorrows, the ghost grass, the war between Lys, Tirosh and Myr,etc.

Edited by Tucu

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11 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

The North at least would be hit harder and sooner than Essos, and Westeros would have to deal with the Others and the wights on top of winter. 

Which is exactly what GRRM set up in the original outline, with the blue-eyed lot working themselves after the War of the Five Kings had burnt itself out and Danaerys the Dragonlord had done her thing. Yes, that was back in '93 but the story is still heading that way. GRRM is still writing a story of Westeros. Essos and beyond is incidental.

http://web.archive.org/web/20001005212114/eventhorizon.com/sfzine/chats/transcripts/031899.html

Mr Martin: why does Westeros seem the only place effected by the Others and the long winters? The other parts of the world seem not to care.

GRRM : Westeros is not the only place affected, but it's affected most strongly, because it's the only landmass that extends that far north. The other continent is bounded to the north by an icy polar sea.

You can argue all you want about an exodus to Essos and make good practical points, but happily you're not writing the story. 

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36 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Which is exactly what GRRM set up in the original outline, with the blue-eyed lot working themselves after the War of the Five Kings had burnt itself out and Danaerys the Dragonlord had done her thing. Yes, that was back in '93 but the story is still heading that way. GRRM is still writing a story of Westeros. Essos and beyond is incidental.

http://web.archive.org/web/20001005212114/eventhorizon.com/sfzine/chats/transcripts/031899.html

Mr Martin: why does Westeros seem the only place effected by the Others and the long winters? The other parts of the world seem not to care.

GRRM : Westeros is not the only place affected, but it's affected most strongly, because it's the only landmass that extends that far north. The other continent is bounded to the north by an icy polar sea.

You can argue all you want about an exodus to Essos and make good practical points, but happily you're not writing the story. 

I think I finally realized where the crack in your logic is in regards to the synopsis.

You fully accept the changes made to characters and their arcs, but you think the original idea of Westeros is immutable. It's not. "Westeros" in that synopsis simply meant "Relevant Story Space". At that time Essos was nothing more than a place for Dany and the Dothraki to come from, so it didn't qualify, but things have clearly changed since then.

Synopsis Jaime was split into Book Jaime, who kept the name but is a very different character, Tywin, who got some of his ruthlessness, and Cersei, who loosely inherited the plot line of becoming Queen. Why not apply the same principle to the "Relevant Story Space"? Originally, it was only Westeros, but later parts of Essos entered that sphere as well - Pentos and Braavos very early on.

The general plot points need not change that much; Dany is still a conqueror who struggles with her subjects, only on a different continent. Maybe the original idea was for her to hold King's Landing while Jon led refugees south of the Neck, but now she will hold Volantis while he seeks refuge in Andalos. The circumstances of their encounter and their motivations would still be very similar. In the synopsis, Catelyn was supposed to be killed by the Others north of the Wall, but in the books she was killed by the Freys at the Red Wedding. How is this a bigger change?

Edited by The Coconut God

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55 minutes ago, Tucu said:

You just want to change one apocalyptic location for another. Essos has been in trouble since the Doom. Now we have winter, the wars in Slaver's bay, the slave rebellion in Volantis, the dothraki and other tribes migrating south, the pale mare, the Stone Men from the Sorrows, the ghost grass, the war between Lys, Tirosh and Myr,etc.

All of those are potential dramatic conflicts, which is a good thing. The crux of the matter is that Dany's story can only move on to Westeros if either:

  • The plot lines in Essos, many of which were only introduced recently, are abruptly ended.
  • Dany's storyline once on Westeros will actually be very short.
  • The series will need a lot more than 2 books to reach its conclusion.

Moving the other characters on Essos can be achieved more efficiently under the pressure of a wight invasion.

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5 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

All of those are potential dramatic conflicts, which is a good thing. The crux of the matter is that Dany's story can only move on to Westeros if either:

  • The plot lines in Essos, many of which were only introduced recently, are abruptly ended.
  • Dany's storyline once on Westeros will actually be very short.
  • The series will need a lot more than 2 books to reach its conclusion.

Moving the other characters on Essos can be achieved more efficiently under the pressure of a wight invasion.

How would that simplify the story in any way? Why invading the free cities, fighting the dothraki, the stone men and other threats makes this any simpler?

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