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Areo Hotah - The Most Boring Man in Westeros?

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5 hours ago, Euron Lannister said:

you would miss who arianne is, who will play a role in aegons story in twow.

also most of the dorne stuff is exposition till now, like the pre kings landig chapters in agot, there is more to come and it will come.

If so those pizzas sure are taking their time to get here, lol

 

I still stand by what I said, as of now Dorne has been a pointless waste of time, if it stay that way, well only GRRM know for sure.

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On 12/6/2018 at 7:21 AM, Euron Lannister said:

i'm sure Qohor and Norvos will fall. i think Essaria (or however it was called) the 10th free city destroyed by the dothraki is a foreshadowing for what will happen to Qohor, and Croyane is the forshadowing for Norvos.  The Rhoyne was never a good place for a city :D

which brings us to Volantis, hey might go down as well, but i'm not entirely sure-.

As for Areo, if he survives Darkstar, he will be our Doran Cam until Dany burns Norvos, i think then he will either seek revenge or he will Join someone who is in open opposition to Dany. like Aegon. i would like to see Areo in his Kingsguard for example

Interesting catch about Croyane. I wonder if this means a dragon will die at Norvos.

If anything is going to happen there at all, though, I'm sure it will take much more than a single chapter. This is going to be the curveball pay-off for Quentin's death and by extension the Dornish Master Plan; it needs a proper arc to unpack all the twists and emotional punches, at least as much as ASoS took to get to the Red Wedding. I believe Mellario will end up being one of Dany's great betrayals. She may even be the cryptic perfumed seneschal - we don't explicitly know if she's partial to any perfumes, but it wouldn't be surprising at all if she was.

Keep in mind George said that Tyrion and Dany will "intersect" in TWoW but they will be apart for most of the book. This makes me think that Dany will split her forces after Meereen and the conquests of Volantis and Qohor + Norvos will happen at the same, with Tyrion and Barristan/Victarion as PoVs for the former and Dany (and Jon, if my Exodus theory is correct) for the latter, so a longer arc in Norvos wouldn't be impossible.

If you get down to it, his Norvoshi origin is the only outstanding thing about Areo. All his other purposes could have been served just as well by an entirely different character. He could have been Oberyn's gay paramour, or a hot-blooded Dornishman eager for war with the Lannisters, but still fiercely loyal to Doran, or a veteran of the Battle of the Trident, or even one of the Sand Snakes, and he would have done more or less the same things while being a lot more interesting. George's choices tend to be very deliberate, so I believe the "ex-slave from Norvos" part of his character is necessary for something, if only to obliquely familiarize us with the location.

On 12/6/2018 at 7:21 AM, Euron Lannister said:

i highly doubt this, george would ruin all the plots and make it an escape apocalypse story

What plots are there to "ruin" though? There's no Dany-shaped hole in Westeros that has to be filled, no open plot line that demands a resolution. All there is is the inertia of 20 years of readers taking for granted the idea that she would eventually get there. In terms of plot lines, though, everything would have to be set up from scratch. Even when it comes to Aegon, her most obvious rival at this point (because the interesting ones, like Robb, Tywin and Stannis, aren't on the table anymore), we don't know how and why she'd start a conflict with him.

The apocalypse, on the other hand, fits in perfectly with how utterly unprepared everyone is for the coming of Others. If Ned, Robb, Tywin, etc. weren't spared for their mistakes, why would the Seven Kingdoms as a whole get a pass?

On 12/6/2018 at 7:21 AM, Euron Lannister said:

Braavos and Lorath will not be on her list, i hope we will see the latter through Arya's eyes though

Braavos has a ton of set up. It largely goes unnoticed because people don't expect it to matter, but it's there nonetheless:

  • The wildlings freed from the Lyseni slave ship are a precursor for more wildlings coming there with Jon. Their presence also means Jon will have fewer explantions to give to the Sealord/the Iron Bank. The Braavosi know about the situation with the Others, and they also know what to expect from wildlings (meaning they likely won't let them settle in or around the city, and Jon will have to take them further inland towards Dany).
  • The current Sealord is sickly and failing and we know there will be elections when he dies (same as Volantis had elections). Why would this matter to the story? Well, we know the Braavosi should be split when it comes top Dany, they are both anti-slavery and anti-dragons. I suspect once Dany starts her conquest of Essos, she will be the main talking point of the elections, and the events in Norvos, which are likely to end in tragedy because of Mellario's machinations (i.e. she will do something to avenge Quentin that will really piss Dany off and she will burn most of the city to the ground), will swing the vote to the anti-Dany side (you may say there's a lot of tinfoil here, but it would tie everything together, wouldn't it?).
  • There are two rather juicy plot points set up for Tyrion in Braavos. The first one is the Sailor's Wife being Tysha, which would be huge if true. Can you imagine how that would affect his emotional state and motivations? Nothing else would matter for him anymore. The second is Izembaro's play from the Mercy chapter, which is painting a vary unflattering image of Tyrion for the Braavosi. What are the odds this wouldn't lead to anything in the future, say when Tyrion goes to Braavos to negotiate for Dany?
  • Braavos is where the House with the Red Door is. It's been mentioned so many times I find it hard to believe it won't play a role. It's the closest thing to home for Dany. How will that affect her if she has to fight the Braavosi?
  • Arya is currently associated with the Faceless Men. Most people expect her to break that connection and somehow go back to Westeros, but how much sense does that make? Can we really expect them to let her go? And if they do, what's the point of her whole arc? A glorified training montage? A war between Braavos and Dany would be a far better way to thrust Arya into the endgame. Who would you even root for if she is sent to assassinate Dany? What would Jon do if he could see through her disguise thanks to his warging powers (as hinted at via Casso, King of Seals)? Now that's drama!
On 12/8/2018 at 11:00 PM, sifth said:

I read all of the books, 3 or 4 times now, I stand by what I said. The only thing you said that had any logic is that "Faegon is a fan theory", which is true. Either way my point still stands regardless if the kid is real or not. I mean if you want to believe something amazing will come out of all of these Dorne chapters, where next to nothing has happened so far, that's cool, but I'm frankly not holding my breath. You can literally remove all of the chapters from Dorne in AFFC and not really miss a beat, IMO

You can't remove Dorne and the Iron Islands if you truly want your story to be tight. They are both major geopolitical actors that had been introduced from the start, and it makes sense that they would do something. Otherwise George would have to write in the Epilogue: "And then the Dornish spilled into the South and conquered everything because their army was intact, and when they reached the Trident they met the Ironborn and fought for a new border, as their forces had also been untouched. And then the Greyjoys of the North and the Martells of the Crownlands quarreled for centuries to come. The End."

As for something coming out of Dorne, no, you don't have to accept any one theory about where it might lead... But I am kind of flabbergasted that you want people to accept that it will lead nowhere simply for the reason that you were bored with it and couldn't really think of anything. The fun part, for as long as we can still do it, is to look at the clues and try to figure out what could be done with them so that as many elements as possible tie together into a cohesive story. Even if we're wrong, at least we had fun playing the game... and if it turns out George put clues there that were pointless and wrote a story that is overall unsatisfying, we can criticize him then (with all the understanding he deserves for writing such an engaging story so far, of course).

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50 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

As for something coming out of Dorne, no, you don't have to accept any one theory about where it might lead... But I am kind of flabbergasted that you want people to accept that it will lead nowhere simply for the reason that you were bored with it and couldn't really think of anything. The fun part, for as long as we can still do it, is to look at the clues and try to figure out what could be done with them so that as many elements as possible tie together into a cohesive story. Even if we're wrong, at least we had fun playing the game... and if it turns out George put clues there that were pointless and wrote a story that is overall unsatisfying, we can criticize him then (with all the understanding he deserves for writing such an engaging story so far, of course).

Why so shocked, when Queten Martell's story went nowhere and he himself only exists to die. You know Doran's master plan, which we're suppose to be shocked by at the end of AFFC is just a shaggy dog story. I mean the only thing that can come from his death is Dorne joining Aegon's forces, but a character who only exists to die is totally worth being a POV, totally worth it. We didn't need to see Arys Oakheart's death either. The guy was a minor character among minor characters and was only in 2 or 3 chapters at most before his POV and wasn't even remotely emotionally connected to any of the main characters, aside from being the one Kingsguard member who abused Sansa the least............but still did it all the same. So until you can name me something important that's not fan theory related, that's come from Dorne my opinion stands.

 

Don't even bring the Ironborn into this chat. Those chapters actually are important and if nothing else they do have a connection to Theon who is a major character.

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1 minute ago, sifth said:

Why so shocked, when Queten Martell's story went nowhere and he himself only exists to die. You know Doran's master plan, which we're suppose to be shocked by at the end of AFFC is just a shaggy dog story. I mean the only thing that can come from his death is Dorne joining Aegon's forces, but a character who only exists to die is totally worth being a POV, totally worth it. We didn't need to see Arys Oakheart's death either. The guy was a minor character among minor characters and was only in 2 or 3 chapters at most before his POV and wasn't even remotely emotionally connected to any of the main characters, aside from being the one Kingsguard member who abused Sansa the least............but still did it all the same. So until you can name me something important that's not fan theory related, that's come from Dorne my opinion stands.

 

Don't even bring the Ironborn into this chat. Those chapters actually are important and if nothing else they do have a connection to Theon who is a major character.

Quentin's story doesn't "lead nowhere". I just explained to you the potential domino effect: Dornish Master Plan leads to Quentin's arc and death, which leads to Mellario's revenge, which leads to Norvos burning, which leads to Braavos electing an anti-Dany Sealord, which leads to a confrontation, which leads to Tyrion betraying Dany in order to save Tysha and Arya being sent to kill her. Yes, that's just a theory... but a theory based on the assumption that George didn't write in Quentin for nothing. You are declaring that he's pointless, but you fail to realize that you are making an assumption yourself. And a pretty boring one at that; you are saying the story is just bad and warrants no discussion.

You're asking why he was a PoV at all if he was going to die, and again.... mind boggling. We get the Dornish Master Plan and Quentin's arc for dramatic purposes. If he would have just shown up to die, we would have called that an ass-pull. It's like having a character called Master He Kup from Yi Ti randomly show up to teach her how to train her dragons. You can't just have the twist and the consequences, you need some build up and some narrative space for your sleigh of hands.

Besides, Quentin only has 4 measly chapters, and they're not just wasted on him. The first one, besides introducing us to Quentin and his group, shows us Volantis and establishes that free companies are sailing to Slaver's Bay. The second shows us the aftermath at Astapor, which is pretty important - we get to see the destruction Dany left behind from a somewhat unbiased PoV. The last two establish the Tattered Prince and tie into the chaos in Meereen prior to the Battle of Fire, culminating with the release of the dragons. And in spite of everything you say, his arc is only "pointless" in terms of the goal he set for himself... thematically it is well constructed and compelling, something you refuse to accept (or appreciate) because you have decided that the character is pointless.

I do understand where you are coming from, but I disagree that you have any basis for your opinion prior to the release of Winds. The way the issue should be presented is rather like this:

Quentin's arc will prove to be superfluous for the overall story unless:

  • His death triggers some serious consequences in the future, kind of like Ned's did.
  • Volantis is going to be relevant enough to the story to warrant fleshing it out here and in Tyrion's chapters.
  • The Tattered Prince plays an important role in the future, enough to warrant introducing him.
  • Astapor is thematically important for Dany's future story, and not just a side serving of gore (i.e. her campaign keeps having a lot of collateral damage, maybe not as bad as Astapor each time, but enough to make us think back of it and take all the Fire and Blood with a grain of salt).

What I like to do is look at those necessary condition and try to figure out how the story might look like if they are to be met. Maybe George won't meet them, but that still remains to be seen. His previous track record with plot consistency and twists in AGoT, ACoK and ASoS says I should give him the benefit of the doubt, so that's what I'm doing for now. Saying that he absolutely won't tie his plots together is just... angry teenage edginess.

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6 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

Quentin's story doesn't "lead nowhere". I just explained to you the potential domino effect: Dornish Master Plan leads to Quentin's arc and death, which leads to Mellario's revenge, which leads to Norvos burning, which leads to Braavos electing an anti-Dany Sealord, which leads to a confrontation, which leads to Tyrion betraying Dany in order to save Tysha and Arya being sent to kill her. Yes, that's just a theory... but a theory based on the assumption that George didn't write in Quentin for nothing. You are declaring that he's pointless, but you fail to realize that you are making an assumption yourself. And a pretty boring one at that; you are saying the story is just bad and warrants no discussion.

You're asking why he was a PoV at all if he was going to die, and again.... mind boggling. We get the Dornish Master Plan and Quentin's arc for dramatic purposes. If he would have just shown up to die, we would have called that an ass-pull. It's like having a character called Master He Kup from Yi Ti randomly show up to teach her how to train her dragons. You can't just have the twist and the consequences, you need some build up and some narrative space for your sleigh of hands.

Besides, Quentin only has 4 measly chapters, and they're not just wasted on him. The first one, besides introducing us to Quentin and his group, shows us Volantis and establishes that free companies are sailing to Slaver's Bay. The second shows us the aftermath at Astapor, which is pretty important - we get to see the destruction Dany left behind from a somewhat unbiased PoV. The last two establish the Tattered Prince and tie into the chaos in Meereen prior to the Battle of Fire, culminating with the release of the dragons. And in spite of everything you say, his arc is only "pointless" in terms of the goal he set for himself... thematically it is well constructed and compelling, something you refuse to accept (or appreciate) because you have decided that the character is pointless.

I do understand where you are coming from, but I disagree that you have any basis for your opinion prior to the release of Winds. The way the issue should be presented is rather like this:

Quentin's arc will prove to be superfluous for the overall story unless:

  • His death triggers some serious consequences in the future, kind of like Ned's did.
  • Volantis is going to be relevant enough to the story to warrant fleshing it out here and in Tyrion's chapters.
  • The Tattered Prince plays an important role in the future, enough to warrant introducing him.
  • Astapor is thematically important for Dany's future story, and not just a side serving of gore (i.e. her campaign keeps having a lot of collateral damage, maybe not as bad as Astapor each time, but enough to make us think back of it and take all the Fire and Blood with a grain of salt).

What I like to do is look at those necessary condition and try to figure out how the story might look like if they are to be met. Maybe George won't meet them, but that still remains to be seen. His previous track record with plot consistency and twists in AGoT, ACoK and ASoS says I should give him the benefit of the doubt, so that's what I'm doing for now. Saying that he absolutely won't tie his plots together is just... angry teenage edginess.

We see Volantis through Tyrion and Jorah's chapter and we learn that free companies are gathering to attack Dany in her own chapters, so I stand by what I said, it was a waste of time. Astapor was a minor city in Dany's ASOS arc and only served as "random location where Dany can buy a slave army",  and considering no major characters lived in the city at the time, seeing it's down fall was simply violence for the sake of showing violence, in other word loud noise. Did GRRM honestly expect me to give a dam about a bunch of nobodies being killed, because if so he failed miserably. Quentin's other two chapter do little else then set up his death. So yes, until proven otherwise I view his arc as a waste of time and the only defense you've provided otherwise are fan theories.

 

The difference between you and me is I'm sticking to the facts, for as much as possible, while you're sticking with what you want to be facts. You sort of remind me of one of those guys defending Lost back in the day. The ones that were expecting everything to have a pay off, when almost everything did not. Also I now GRRM hates that show, but that sort of makes this all rather ironic. At least until he proves me otherwise, which he's been doing a bang up job with the Dorne arc.

 

The only fan theory I believe that has a chance of actually happening is Dorne joining Aegon's army, once they find out about Quentin's death and even that one I only think has a 50/50 chance of coming true.

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3 minutes ago, sifth said:

We see Volantis through Tyrion and Jorah's chapter and we learn that free companies are gathering to attack Dany in her own chapters, so I stand by what I said, it was a waste of time. Astapor was a minor city in Dany's ASOS arc and only served as "random location where Dany can buy a slave army",  and considering no major characters lived in the city at the time, seeing it's down fall was simply violence for the sake of showing violence, in other word loud noise. Did GRRM honestly expect me to give a dam about a bunch of nobodies being killed, because if so he failed miserably. Quentin's other two chapter do little else then set up his death. So yes, until proven otherwise I view his arc as a waste of time and the only defense you've provided otherwise are fan theories.

As I said, edgy. "Not a Main Character™, so I couldn't care less what happens to them". I suppose Grave of the Fireflies is not an emotional story for you either, because it's just stuff happening to cartoons in a place you can't point on the map. ;)

But like I said, it's not just about the violence. It sets up the theme that Dany is leaving ash and grief behind her even when she's trying to do good, for various reasons. Will this theme stick with her going forward? Will she care? Will she try to fix this? Will she get better? Or will she just learn to ignore it and have her way anyway? That's pretty fundamental in setting up what direction her character will take.

11 minutes ago, sifth said:

The difference between you and me is I'm sticking to the facts, for as much as possible, while you're sticking with what you want to be facts. You sort of remind me of one of those guys defending Lost back in the day. The ones that were expecting everything to have a pay off, when almost everything did not. Also I now GRRM hates that show, but that sort of makes this all rather ironic. At least until he proves me otherwise, which he's been doing a bang up job with the Dorne arc.

I'll have you know I'm actually quite critical. But this isn't a right or wrong, blind defense kind of situation.

I completely agree that your position is plausible. It's very possible that George will botch the series. It's possible that he never knew what he was writing about in Feast/Dance and he can't figure out how to go forward. You can put money on that and I won't call you crazy... It's just that any discussion in that direction is intellectually barren, it's boringly beating a dead horse. And it's not exactly hard to come up to that conclusion, so its not like you can prove something by having it...

Making theories, on the other hand, is engaging and fun. And even if it turns out we're wrong, trusting in George's writing skill isn't exactly crazy. The man is an acclaimed writer who says he's struggling to write a good story. In his interviews he comes off as a man who thinks things through, so there is at least a small chance he will write something cool. Enough of a chance to try to figure out what that may be. I see no harm in that, and you shouldn't either.

You know what I think you're doing? I noticed this at other posters too. You're hedging your emotions. You're clearly invested in the series, otherwise you wouldn't be here at all. If the book is good, clearly you'll read it and enjoy it. If it's bad, you just want to feel better about it because "you knew it all along and told everyone it will be so". I think that's just going to cut from your theorizing fun... you might want to try a different approach ;)

32 minutes ago, sifth said:

The only fan theory I believe that has a chance of actually happening is Dorne joining Aegon's army, once they find out about Quentin's death and even that one I only think has a 50/50 chance of coming true.

The thing is, Dorne might join Aegon's army without learning about Quentin (because Aegon is supposed to be Doran's blood, and Arianne is kind of selfish, so she'll push for being queen anyway). And you can argue that if Quentin never existed, Dorne would have joined Aegon by default, even against Dany, so that can't be it. It's Mellario or bust.

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51 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

As I said, edgy. "Not a Main Character™, so I couldn't care less what happens to them". I suppose Grave of the Fireflies is not an emotional story for you either, because it's just stuff happening to cartoons in a place you can't point on the map. ;)

But like I said, it's not just about the violence. It sets up the theme that Dany is leaving ash and grief behind her even when she's trying to do good, for various reasons. Will this theme stick with her going forward? Will she care? Will she try to fix this? Will she get better? Or will she just learn to ignore it and have her way anyway? That's pretty fundamental in setting up what direction her character will take.

I'll have you know I'm actually quite critical. But this isn't a right or wrong, blind defense kind of situation.

I completely agree that your position is plausible. It's very possible that George will botch the series. It's possible that he never knew what he was writing about in Feast/Dance and he can't figure out how to go forward. You can put money on that and I won't call you crazy... It's just that any discussion in that direction is intellectually barren, it's boringly beating a dead horse. And it's not exactly hard to come up to that conclusion, so its not like you can prove something by having it...

Making theories, on the other hand, is engaging and fun. And even if it turns out we're wrong, trusting in George's writing skill isn't exactly crazy. The man is an acclaimed writer who says he's struggling to write a good story. In his interviews he comes off as a man who thinks things through, so there is at least a small chance he will write something cool. Enough of a chance to try to figure out what that may be. I see no harm in that, and you shouldn't either.

You know what I think you're doing? I noticed this at other posters too. You're hedging your emotions. You're clearly invested in the series, otherwise you wouldn't be here at all. If the book is good, clearly you'll read it and enjoy it. If it's bad, you just want to feel better about it because "you knew it all along and told everyone it will be so". I think that's just going to cut from your theorizing fun... you might want to try a different approach ;)

The thing is, Dorne might join Aegon's army without learning about Quentin (because Aegon is supposed to be Doran's blood, and Arianne is kind of selfish, so she'll push for being queen anyway). And you can argue that if Quentin never existed, Dorne would have joined Aegon by default, even against Dany, so that can't be it. It's Mellario or bust.

To be perfectly honest I never saw Grave the of Fireflies. Truth be told, I'm not a huge Studio Ghibli fan. Don't get me wrong, I loved Spirited Away back in high school, but Howl's Moving Castle is a great novel and I feel like the movie is a complete bastardization of a story I honestly love. I'm also one of the few people who didn't like Princess Mononoke, but I was very young when I saw it, so I might like it if I rewatched it I suppose. Naskaka and the Valley of the wind was alright, but sort of used the cheat code by having Patrick Stewart in the dub. Pretty sure those are the only animated films I've seen by that studio though.

At the end of the day, be it movie, tv show or book, I feel violence without any emotional investment is just loud noise. Unless there are people I emotionally feel for and I'm worried about what happens to them, it might as well be filler. That's what the fall of Astapor was for me, all noise and no emotion. Don't get me wrong, it's sad what happened to those people, but at the end of the day they were a bunch of nameless nobodies. I mean I hope this has some impact on Dany, but that's all I really can do, blindly hope.

 

Simply put the first novel, AGoT's helped me get through one of the most depressing times of my life and I'll always be thankful for GRRM and the series as a whole for that. In fact back in the day I was so excited for AFFC and ADWD I would make up all sorts of crazy theories, about how Tyrion would be Dany's Hand, how Jon would ride the dragon named after his dad, how Dorne would help Dany take the Iron Throne how Stannis would join the Night's Watch and become the Lord Commander after Jon. Then the books came out..............and nothing really happened. Simply put, GRRM has either let me down or taken the story is such crazy direction that it's starting to not make sense to me anymore..............I'm looking at you Faegon. So I've started tempering my expectations. To be honest I was expecting The Others to be here by now and this whole WotFK's nonsense to be over by now, but whenever we get that 6th book, it's still going to be a thing. I mean heck, minor villains like Walder Frey and Roose Bolton are still alive, which is shocking in and of itself to me.

 

I love this series and will always be thankful for GRRM for how his work helping me through a very painful time in my life, but in terms of the second half of this series it just seems to be one pacing issue after the next and that's something I've been unable to over look.

Edited by sifth

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7 minutes ago, sifth said:

To be perfectly honest I never saw Grave the of Fireflies. Truth be told, I'm not a huge Studio Ghibli fan. Don't get me wrong, I loved Spirited Away back in high school, but Howl's Moving Castle is a great novel and I feel like the movie is a complete bastardization of a story I honestly love. I'm also one of the few people who didn't like Princess Mononoke, but I was very young when I saw it, so I might like it if I rewatched it I suppose. Naskaka and the Valley of the wind was alright, but sort of used the cheat code by having Patrick Stewart in the dub. Pretty sure those are the only animated films I've seen by that studio though.

At the end of the day, be it movie, tv show or book, I feel violence without any emotional investment is just loud noise. Unless there are people I emotionally feel for and I'm worried about what happens to them, it might as well be filler. That's what the fall of Astapor was for me, all noise and no emotion. Don't get me wrong, it's sad what happened to those people, but at the end of the day they were a bunch of nameless nobodies. I mean I hope this has some impact on Dany, but that's all I really can do, blindly hope.

Grave of the Fireflies is great if you don't mind a dark flick. I personally liked it a little better than Miyazaki's films (which might be sacrilege for fans of the genre). To be honest myself, it was just the first think that came to my mind when I thought of a very dark tale. Maybe I should play for the home team and recommend something by Mungiu instead... like 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days or Beyond the Hills.

As for emotional reaction, I think you're supposed to react primarily in relation to Dany, because that horror is partially her fault. Not directly, for sure, but it still reflects on her quite a bit. And we shouldn't forget that, even though many readers may not care about the freed slaves or the Meereenese, the story established that Dany cares, and she has assumed responsibility for them. This is established with enough strength that I expect it to actually drive the story, or otherwise completely rock the character and turn her into something else if it doesn't. This is why I can't really see Dany leaving Essos very soon. If George really intends to do that, I will be the first to say he messed up her arc in Meereen... unless it plays out that she went mad and we're not supposed to sympathize with her leaving, but that would be... very hard to pull off properly, let's say.

29 minutes ago, sifth said:

To be honest the first novel AGoT's helped me get through one of the most depressing times of my life and I'll always be thankful for GRRM and the series as a whole for that. In fact back in the day I was so excited for AFFC and ADWD I would make up all sorts of crazy theories, about how Tyrion would be Dany's Hand, how Jon would ride the dragon named after his dad, how Dorne would help Dany take the Iron Throne how Stannis would join the Night's Watch and become the Lord Commander after Jon. Then the books came out..............and nothing really happened. Simply put, GRRM has either let me down or taken the story is such crazy direction that it's starting to not make sense to me anymore..............I'm looking at you Faegon. So I've started tempering my expectations. To be honest I was expecting The Others to be here by now and this whole WotFK's nonsense to be over by now, but whenever we get that 6th book, it's still going to be a thing. I mean heck, minor villains like Walder Frey and Roose Bolton are still alive, which is shocking in and of itself to me.

 

I love this series and will always be thankful for GRRM for how his work helping me through a very painful time in my life, but in terms of the second half of this series it just seems to be one pacing issue after the next and that's something I've been unable to over look.

I think part of the beauty of theorizing is that you don't read a single story... you're basically experiencing a dozen. Same goes for the false hopes and curveballs he threw in the previous books. I was always able to imagine the characters' hopes and dreams, so I did play through my head a scenario where Ned was able to outsmart Cersei, where Arya managed to get to her family and everything was fine, where Jon stayed with Ygritte in the cave, where Ned came back and told him who his mother was, etc. I was sad when these things turned out to be false hopes, but I can't say I was disappointed with the writing.

I put Dany's invasion of Westeros in the same category... I think I have imagined all possible scenarios for that, and I'm more invested in her anti-slavery plot line because that's what the character cares about. I genuinely enjoyed reading about that in ADwD. Right now I'll be more disappointed if the Exodus doesn't happen, and I'll be really happy if it turns out the invasion of Westeros was just a red herring. But that's just me being biased towards my own theory. I know it only has a small chance to be true, and I'll deal with if George had something else in mind. In part because I already went through this story in my head, and I can be satisfied with that.

It's up to you in the end, but I think it's worth following a few crazy theories now while you still can. So what if you'll be disappointed later? At least you can say you had the experience. Once Winds is out, you won't feel like theorizing anymore, because you'll know for sure what the story is. And if it's going to be bad, it will be an even bigger shame that you missed out. I tell you, aside from us growing old and the obvious threat of George's mortality, this long wait is a blessing future readers will never understand. :D

Anyway, it's way past midnight here, so I'll take some time with the next reply, if one will be called for. Have a nice time!

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17 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

What plots are there to "ruin" though? There's no Dany-shaped hole in Westeros that has to be filled, no open plot line that demands a resolution. All there is is the inertia of 20 years of readers taking for granted the idea that she would eventually get there. In terms of plot lines, though, everything would have to be set up from scratch. Even when it comes to Aegon, her most obvious rival at this point (because the interesting ones, like Robb, Tywin and Stannis, aren't on the table anymore), we don't know how and why she'd start a conflict with him.

why do you break it down to dany?

every storyline needs to be finished and exept of dany's and her entourage's every one of them is set to be finished in westeros.

Sansa, Arya, Bran, Cersei, Jaime, Brienne, the Greyjoys, the Dornish, Aegon, Stannis and so on, all of their storys focus on a westerosi solution, and would be completely useless if the story would end focused of Jon and Dany in Essos.

i actually think there will be a refuge movement, but from essos to westeros, people from the free cities and maybe qarth fleeing from dany, as well as later maybe the dothraki hordes migrating to westeros on dany's orders, IF she will come to westeros, which isn't guaranteed but not unlikely.

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51 minutes ago, Euron Lannister said:

why do you break it down to dany?

every storyline needs to be finished and exept of dany's and her entourage's every one of them is set to be finished in westeros.

Sansa, Arya, Bran, Cersei, Jaime, Brienne, the Greyjoys, the Dornish, Aegon, Stannis and so on, all of their storys focus on a westerosi solution, and would be completely useless if the story would end focused of Jon and Dany in Essos.

i actually think there will be a refuge movement, but from essos to westeros, people from the free cities and maybe qarth fleeing from dany, as well as later maybe the dothraki hordes migrating to westeros on dany's orders, IF she will come to westeros, which isn't guaranteed but not unlikely.

I strongly disagree with the bolded part.

I understand that people expect all these stories to finish in Westeros, and that it's very likely that George will follow the path of least resistance and write the story like that, but there are no textual hooks that make it mandatory. Not by any means.

Let's take a look at the characters:

  • Stannis - He will provide the catharsis of destroying the Boltons and retaking Winterfell. What else is left for him to do except face the Others and fail? His story will come full circle soon, way before either Jon or Dany swap continents.
  • Aegon & the Dornish - They will cause chaos in the south. Their armies and the Lannister & Tyrel forces will likely destroy each other to a great degree, creating a vacuum for either the Others or Dany, it doesn't matter much. We don't know what their endgame is supposed to be after that, so we can't say where it's set to be finished. For all we know, they could die in this conflict. I expect that Doran at least will be captured or killed by Euron, because Sunspear is way too close to the shore to be safe from the Ironborn. I don't expect him to find out how his Master Plan turns out.
  • Euron is the perfect villain for an exodus scenario. Imagine Westeros is overrun with zombies, the only way to get out of there is to sail east, and this blood thirsty maniac controls the Narrow Sea with his fleet of longboats and a stolen dragon. Think of an evil, lovecraftian version of the patrol ships trying to prevent the refugee ships from crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. I can't imagine a more fitting role for him.
  • Cersei will ally herself with Euron. The Forsaken preview chapter strongly hints at it, and he's her only natural ally. I expect she will offer to marry him if he helps her get rid of the faith, and Euron will play along at first because he's always smooth for a while before turning psycho (think of Falia Flowers), and it will suit him to call himself King of Westeros and get some more priests to sacrifice in the process. And if she marries Euron, that will eventually put her in Victarion's crosshair. We all know Victarion has a fixation with his older brother and wives...
  • Bran - It's sad, but the story doesn't really need him to ever leave the cave. Whatever role he'll play, he can play it from there.
  • Jaime & Brienne can't really be connected to the Exodus in any way. My take is that Bran will contact Jaime just like he contacted Theon, and the two of them will go North with the BwB to serve him because of the oaths they swore to Catelyn. Either Brienne or Jaime will be the Last Hero 2.0 and stop the Long Night. My money is on Brienne, for a slew of reasons (the dream Jaime had in ASoS, her character development in AFFC, the magic sword, the fact that Jaime's arc would be better if he was a hero-enabler who sacrifices himself than if he was the actual hero, Brienne's ancestry, etc.)
  • Arya - As I stated before, if we think logically, her story is really tied to the House of Black and White and Braavos right now. Some "super convenient shit" would have to happen for her to even go back to Westeros at all, and unless you think the climax of her story will be her taking names off her list, which frankly is kind of too straight-forward and tacky, there's nothing for her to do in Westeros at all. She can meet Jeyne Poole and Jon in Braavos/Essos, where her plot currently is.
  • Sansa is the only one who is kind of up in the air, but can you tell me what kind of endgame she might have that would only work in Westeros? I don't really count her becoming the lady of X or Y castle or queen of Z nation as a mandatory.

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On 12/12/2018 at 2:16 PM, The Coconut God said:

Arya - As I stated before, if we think logically, her story is really tied to the House of Black and White and Braavos right now. Some "super convenient shit" would have to happen for her to even go back to Westeros at all, and unless you think the climax of her story will be her taking names off her list, which frankly is kind of too straight-forward and tacky, there's nothing for her to do in Westeros at all. She can meet Jeyne Poole and Jon in Braavos/Essos, where her plot currently is.

What about Nymerias's pack? There's way too much focus on the bond she has with Nymeria to end up not seeing her again. And some people theorize she could go to Westeros because of LSH since she spent a big part of her story searching for Cat, she pulled her out of the river, shares the themes of family and revenge/justice with her, they share a connection to the brotherhood and Gendry, and Arya also has the theme of killing as mercy going on because there're things worse than death.

She wouldn't be going to Westeros right away because she has to do something more singnificant in Braavos, but in my opinion, there's no way she stays with the FM for long. She doesn't believe in their filosophy of killing without asking questions, she doesn't believe in their god, she doesn't follow their rules, she keeps Needle to use it "one day", she still calls herself a water dancer, she keeps thinking of her family and using names of people she knew instead of becoming "no one", her connection with Nymeria and her skinchanging keep growing stronger, she even wanted to ask Dareon to take her to the wall. I don't know how the hell she'll manage to leave them but is seems like a matter of time for that to happen.

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7 hours ago, elipride said:

What about Nymerias's pack? There's way too much focus on the bond she has with Nymeria to end up not seeing her again. And some people theorize she could go to Westeros because of LSH since she spent a big part of her story searching for Cat, she pulled her out of the river, shares the themes of family and revenge/justice with her, they share a connection to the brotherhood and Gendry, and Arya also has the theme of killing as mercy going on because there're things worse than death.

I don't think Arya needs to see Nymeria again. It would be a cool reunion, but what next? How would it serve the story? A pack of wolves doesn't exactly mesh with the kind of skills Arya is learning, what would they do together?

I do believe the pack is a sort of Chekhov's Gun and will eventually do something important, which is why George keeps reminding us of it, but it doesn't need to involve Arya. And even if it does, it's already been established that she can have wolf dreams from afar.

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3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I don't think Arya needs to see Nymeria again. It would be a cool reunion, but what next? How would it serve the story? A pack of wolves doesn't exactly mesh with the kind of skills Arya is learning, what would they do together?

I do believe the pack is a sort of Chekhov's Gun and will eventually do something important, which is why George keeps reminding us of it, but it doesn't need to involve Arya. And even if it does, it's already been established that she can have wolf dreams from afar.

I personally think that if she never sees Nymeria again and the wolves importance has nothing to do with her, it would mean lot of words wasted on a relationship with a very underwhelming outcome. And like I said, she does have a very strong connection to Cat/LSH and her family has been her main motivation through the story, it's not too crazy to think something related to her family could make her go back to Westeros, and having a wolf by her side would convince anyone that she is Arya Stark. Identity is also a huge theme for her and she's doing a terrible job at becoming "no one". 

About her purpose, I can actually  see her having some leadership role (leadership, not ruling). Finding a pack and protecting her people are really important in her story, much more important than revenge or the FM actually, she remembers some leadership lesson from Ned to his sons which is would be pretty useless otherwise, she knows the suffering of the smallfok first hand and doesn't judge people based on status, she has a charismatic personality, she takes the lead when traveling with Gendry and Hotpie and tries to protect them, and even the things she's learned with Syrio and the FM like strenghtening her perception, reading people, gathering indormation, lenguages and manipulation could be useful for that. And then Nymeria, the direwolves are supposed to be like an extension of the warg, and if Arya's wolf, named after a leader, is gathering and leading a huge pack of wolves with Arya feeling stronger that ever when she's in that role, there's no reason to dismiss it's potential as foreshadow.

I'm not saying that it WILL happen because she's not mentally in a position to do that for now, she lacks any actual experience, and a 12 year old as a leader does sound pretty ridiculous, just saying that some groundwork is there and that she has a way stronger connection with things in Westeros like Nymeria, Winterfell, Gendry, her siblings or LSH than with the FM. And GRRM did basically said he won't give a damn about characters being too young.

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41 minutes ago, elipride said:

I personally think that if she never sees Nymeria again and the wolves importance has nothing to do with her, it would mean lot of words wasted on a relationship with a very underwhelming outcome. And like I said, she does have a very strong connection to Cat/LSH and her family has been her main motivation through the story, it's not too crazy to think something related to her family could make her go back to Westeros, and having a wolf by her side would convince anyone that she is Arya Stark. Identity is also a huge theme for her and she's doing a terrible job at becoming "no one". 

They're not wasted. Arya was one of the very few PoV that could show us actual glimpses of Nymeria through her wolf dreams. Everything else we get about the pack is just distant rumors. Those words make sure that Nymeria is still on our minds and that we know that this mythical pack we keep hearing about every once in a while is real and is hers. And I'm not saying Arya won't be inside Nymeria during that pay off, either controlling her or witnessing her actions in a dream. I'm only saying she won't physically be there.

LSH playing a part in Arya's story is, once again, wishful thinking. She is the big boss in Jaime and Brienne's story, which is set to happen way to soon for Arya to come and play a part in it. By the end of that arc, either LSH or Jaime (and likely Brienne) will be dead, make no mistake about it. My bet is that LSH will use Jaime to gain access to the Twins, fulfill her primary cathartic objective of taking revenge on Walder Frey, then attempt to kill Jaime as well, only to be killed by Brienne in a climactic twists that reveals our Maid of Tarth to be Azor Ahai, earning her and Jaime the support of the BwB and thus allowing them both to get out of that situation alive. And if you're going to tell me that Arya needs to be the one to kill LSH because she played a big part in her creation, I will remind you that it was Brienne and Gendry who put an end to Rorge and Biter, the other two monsters Arya unleashed.

You have to keep in mind that Arya is now part of an extremely powerful and dangerous cabal organisation, with goals and beliefs far greater than playing the Baloo to Arya's Mowgli. She wouldn't be able to abandon them and go do her own thing very easily... nor would it be very satisfying if she was, because what's the point of her trip to Braavos then, just a self-contained side quest?

Arya interacting with Nymeria and LSH would be cool moments, but that's all they are. The plot would have to bend itself backwards to get her there, and then wouldn't know where to go afterwards, which makes me doubt they will actually happen. The series is filled with epic "what if"s that got crushed by reality, case in point our brief hope that Arya would actually reach the safety of her family prior to the Red Wedding.

As for Arya's future as a leader, if it ever happens, it's way too distant to be a part of this series.

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1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

They're not wasted. Arya was one of the very few PoV that could show us actual glimpses of Nymeria through her wolf dreams. Everything else we get about the pack is just distant rumors. Those words make sure that Nymeria is still on our minds and that we know that this mythical pack we keep hearing about every once in a while is real and is hers. And I'm not saying Arya won't be inside Nymeria during that pay off, either controlling her or witnessing her actions in a dream. I'm only saying she won't physically be there.

How can you be so sure Arya won't see Nymeria again? Their bond is constantly broght up and not only for worldbuilding, but as Arya'smain reminder of her identity, how can you be so certain that them meeting again is not possible at all? Besides, Arya reclaiming her identity is pretty sure to happen and after having a fake Arya Stark, having Nymeria would be definitive proof she's the real one.

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

LSH playing a part in Arya's story is, once again, wishful thinking. She is the big boss in Jaime and Brienne's story, which is set to happen way to soon for Arya to come and play a part in it. By the end of that arc, either LSH or Jaime (and likely Brienne) will be dead, make no mistake about it. My bet is that LSH will use Jaime to gain access to the Twins, fulfill her primary cathartic objective of taking revenge on Walder Frey, then attempt to kill Jaime as well, only to be killed by Brienne in a climactic twists that reveals our Maid of Tarth to be Azor Ahai, earning her and Jaime the support of the BwB and thus allowing them both to get out of that situation alive. And if you're going to tell me that Arya needs to be the one to kill LSH because she played a big part in her creation, I will remind you that it was Brienne and Gendry who put an end to Rorge and Biter, the other two monsters Arya unleashed.

I'm not saying that Arya NEEDS to be the one to kill LSH, but I do think it would make sense. It's not only about being the one who pulled her out of the river, the themes in Arya's story would fit this theory really well. Like I said before, they're both dealing with revenge an justice in some rather extreme ways, they both have a connection withe the brotherhood and Gendry (I think Arya has more chapters with the BwB than she does with the FM actually), Arya learned about killing as mercy, she took Mercy as her name and Cat is also called mother merciless, Arya spent a ton of time trying to reach her mother and keeps remembering her in Braavos by calling herself Cat, and LSH is currently searching for Arya. Maybe you're right in you prediction, I won't deny that there' things against mine, but LSH, the BwB and Nymeria are all in the Riverlands and are all too relevant in Arya's arc for simply dissmissing the possibility of them meeting.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

You have to keep in mind that Arya is now part of an extremely powerful and dangerous cabal organisation, with goals and beliefs far greater than playing the Baloo to Arya's Mowgli. She wouldn't be able to abandon them and go do her own thing very easily... nor would it be very satisfying if she was, because what's the point of her trip to Braavos then, just a self-contained side quest?

Like I said in my first post, I don't think Arya would go to Westeros right away, you're right with that, she has to do something more significant in Braavos, I just don't think it's becoming an assasin. I also mentioned the reasons I have to think that Arya and the FM meant to part ways, they're not a good match, she cant become no one and they know it, maybe they have other motives to keep her there that are not about making her an assasin but we don't know yet. I have no idea why they would let her go but we also don't know for sure if she went past the point of no return or what exactly are their intentions with her.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Arya interacting with Nymeria and LSH would be cool moments, but that's all they are. The plot would have to bend itself backwards to get her there, and then wouldn't know where to go afterwards, which makes me doubt they will actually happen. The series is filled with epic "what if"s that got crushed by reality, case in point our brief hope that Arya would actually reach the safety of her family prior to the Red Wedding.

As for Arya's future as a leader, if it ever happens, it's way too distant to be a part of this series.

Well, if Arya kills LSH, the BwB would be lacking a leader, right? Look, I'm not saying things will absolutely happen the way I say, I'm just giving my reasons to think it's plausible and that it would make sense themativally. I think you're being way too dissmissive of anything that's not what you want, you talk as if you had already read the manuscript for next book or something. You just can't guaratee that Arya absolutely won't meet other characters that she had a constant connection for most of the books, and trust me ,I am aware that a child as a leader sound ridiculous and that Arya is far from being able to fullfill such a role for the time being, but you can't guarantee that those parts of her story that might foreshadow a leadership role absolultely won't have an outcome. Honestly, I wouldn't even even consider it possible if it wasn't for GRRM basically saying that he'll write what he originally had in mind for characters with or without the age gap.

Q: 5-year gap?

A: It worked for characters like Arya and Dany but not so much for the adults or those who had a lot of action coming. He was writing chapters where Jon thought, "Well, not a lot has happened these past five years, it's been kinda nice." And Cersei chapters where she thought, "Well, I've had to kill sooo many people the last five years." So he ended up dropping it. He said he would have done it sooner if he hadn't told so many fans about it. And there is no gap anymore. "If a twelve-year old has to conquer the world, then so be it."

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56 minutes ago, elipride said:

How can you be so sure Arya won't see Nymeria again? Their bond is constantly broght up and not only for worldbuilding, but as Arya'smain reminder of her identity, how can you be so certain that them meeting again is not possible at all? Besides, Arya reclaiming her identity is pretty sure to happen and after having a fake Arya Stark, having Nymeria would be definitive proof she's the real one.

I'm not saying that Arya NEEDS to be the one to kill LSH, but I do think it would make sense. It's not only about being the one who pulled her out of the river, the themes in Arya's story would fit this theory really well. Like I said before, they're both dealing with revenge an justice in some rather extreme ways, they both have a connection withe the brotherhood and Gendry (I think Arya has more chapters with the BwB than she does with the FM actually), Arya learned about killing as mercy, she took Mercy as her name and Cat is also called mother merciless, Arya spent a ton of time trying to reach her mother and keeps remembering her in Braavos by calling herself Cat, and LSH is currently searching for Arya. Maybe you're right in you prediction, I won't deny that there' things against mine, but LSH, the BwB and Nymeria are all in the Riverlands and are all too relevant in Arya's arc for simply dissmissing the possibility of them meeting.

My argument is that these are cool, emotionally charged moments that ultimately wouldn't fit with the narrative unless they're the actual end goal. Arya reclaiming her identity with Nymeria at her side... ok, awesome, but where does she go from here? Does she keep Nymeria with her, thus negating her ability to blend in and pretend to be other people? Or does she use her spy/assassin skills but has to leave Nymeria behind? It's kind of an awkward partnership once you get over the "high" of the reunion.

Arya killing LSH would be poetic, true... But how would we get there? Why would Arya go the villages and hideouts in the Riverlands, where the outlaws are? Why would she want to kill LSH? Simply out of pity? Is there no conflict? No motivation? What would LSH do until Arya finds her? The Jaime & Brienne plot line is about to unfold, so it can't be that, and it's highly likely the Freys will be included here as well. Is she just going to wait there on moth balls just to offer us the pay off? Is she going to get involved in other plot lines that don't really have any need for her? And what is Arya going to do afterwards? If she goes to Winterfell, or KL, you can ask yourself why she didn't go there in the first place.

I dunno, once I get out of the comforting coolness of "the moment", I have a hard time connecting these scenarios with the rest of the story. And that's bad news, because getting out of Braavos is already gonna be a little contrived. Too many contrivances for a bunch of low hanging heart tugs, imho.

If she stays with the FM and is sent on a mission, it feels like the story is growing more naturally from existing circumstances. That Arya is still clinging to her identity can pay off in a more low key, but still emotionally charged way, such as sparing Dany for Jon'd sake if she is sent after her.

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3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

My argument is that these are cool, emotionally charged moments that ultimately wouldn't fit with the narrative unless they're the actual end goal. Arya reclaiming her identity with Nymeria at her side... ok, awesome, but where does she go from here? Does she keep Nymeria with her, thus negating her ability to blend in and pretend to be other people? Or does she use her spy/assassin skills but has to leave Nymeria behind? It's kind of an awkward partnership once you get over the "high" of the reunion.

Arya killing LSH would be poetic, true... But how would we get there? Why would Arya go the villages and hideouts in the Riverlands, where the outlaws are? Why would she want to kill LSH? Simply out of pity? Is there no conflict? No motivation? What would LSH do until Arya finds her? The Jaime & Brienne plot line is about to unfold, so it can't be that, and it's highly likely the Freys will be included here as well. Is she just going to wait there on moth balls just to offer us the pay off? Is she going to get involved in other plot lines that don't really have any need for her? And what is Arya going to do afterwards? If she goes to Winterfell, or KL, you can ask yourself why she didn't go there in the first place.

I dunno, once I get out of the comforting coolness of "the moment", I have a hard time connecting these scenarios with the rest of the story. And that's bad news, because getting out of Braavos is already gonna be a little contrived. Too many contrivances for a bunch of low hanging heart tugs, imho.

If she stays with the FM and is sent on a mission, it feels like the story is growing more naturally from existing circumstances. That Arya is still clinging to her identity can pay off in a more low key, but still emotionally charged way, such as sparing Dany for Jon'd sake if she is sent after her.

Again, I don't think Arya would go to Westero right away, I never said that LSH would just sit drinking tea waiting for Arya to arrive, between the conflict with Brienne and Jaime and the possible Frey massacre she'll keep herself busy for a while. And meeting Nymeria again doesn't necessarily mean they'll stay together 24/7, it's not like that for Jon and Ghost for example. Maybe Nymeria on her own doesn't ensure that Arya goes back to Westeros, but when you add her to all the things that are in the Riverlarlands that relate to Arya she's pretty prominent. And I don't know, but knowing your mother is a walking corpse might be a bit of a motivation to go see her, Arya has plenty of focus on the theme of killing for mercy because some things are worse than death.

And why didn't she go to Winterfell in the forst place? The story is incomplete, we don't know what is it that she has to do in Braavos of how many more things she'll learn there, but so far she has learn plenty of things that she wouldn't have if she'd gone to Winterfell sooner.

You think that being sent on a mission as a FM would be a more natural development but why? She had very little training, she constantly breaks their rules and she's failing miserably at becoming no one, it doesn't make any sense that the FM would sent someone like that to kill Dany. And why would having Arya becoming a full member of an organization that she spent not that many chapters with and that she clearly doesn't like be more natural than interacting with characters that she had a very strong connection with for the majority of her story? Why would becoming an assassin, which she never actually wanted to be, fit her narrative more than going to find her family, her biggest motivation through the story? What would she do after sparing Dany? Where would she go? If she stays in Essos, what was the point of making her spend so many more chapters in the Riverlands? What was the point of building up her connection to Winterfell? If she was meant continue to blend in and be invisible, what was the point of constantly remarking how much she was failing at that and making her so sociable? If she was not meant to meet her "pack" (which can refer to Nymeria's pack, her family or her companions), why make her the character who is the most obsessed with the idea of finding a pack? 

Just saying, Arya's story has many possible outcomes, nothing is set in stone.

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6 hours ago, elipride said:

Again, I don't think Arya would go to Westero right away, I never said that LSH would just sit drinking tea waiting for Arya to arrive, between the conflict with Brienne and Jaime and the possible Frey massacre she'll keep herself busy for a while. And meeting Nymeria again doesn't necessarily mean they'll stay together 24/7, it's not like that for Jon and Ghost for example. Maybe Nymeria on her own doesn't ensure that Arya goes back to Westeros, but when you add her to all the things that are in the Riverlarlands that relate to Arya she's pretty prominent. 

But that's exactly the problem. George would have to give this character something to do just for the sake of being around for a big moment later. Maybe that wouldn't be a huge problem at another point in the series, but now the story has to be condensed if it is to fit in two books. And what could she keep herself busy with? Everything that she does affects other stories as well, not just hers. And the Riverlands is a bit of a plot vacuum right now except for Jaime, Brienne and the Freys.

6 hours ago, elipride said:

And I don't know, but knowing your mother is a walking corpse might be a bit of a motivation to go see her, Arya has plenty of focus on the theme of killing for mercy because some things are worse than death.

First, you assume that she would find out. Another convenience, considering very few people know LSH is Cat. But let's say she finds out through her wolf dreams, fine. The mercy killings performed by the FM are done with consent. Usually people come on their own to drink from the poisoned fountain. LSH doesn't want to die, she is an avatar of vengeance. Arya would have to take that decision for her, which is a pretty big deviation from the theme, and invites the question "Why?" Why would Arya, herself fixated on revenge, think "This is not a worthy existence, I should put an end to it"?

6 hours ago, elipride said:

You think that being sent on a mission as a FM would be a more natural development but why? She had very little training, she constantly breaks their rules and she's failing miserably at becoming no one, it doesn't make any sense that the FM would sent someone like that to kill Dany. And why would having Arya becoming a full member of an organization that she spent not that many chapters with and that she clearly doesn't like be more natural than interacting with characters that she had a very strong connection with for the majority of her story? Why would becoming an assassin, which she never actually wanted to be, fit her narrative more than going to find her family, her biggest motivation through the story? What would she do after sparing Dany? Where would she go? If she stays in Essos, what was the point of making her spend so many more chapters in the Riverlands? What was the point of building up her connection to Winterfell? If she was meant continue to blend in and be invisible, what was the point of constantly remarking how much she was failing at that and making her so sociable? If she was not meant to meet her "pack" (which can refer to Nymeria's pack, her family or her companions), why make her the character who is the most obsessed with the idea of finding a pack? 

Because most of the time life goes forward, not backwards. If you leave your broken family or war torn country to go study medicine abroad, chances are you'll start practicing over there, not return to your previous life. Especially when all your memories of it are from your childhood.

Why would the FM send her after Dany and not a more experienced assassin? Perhaps because Dany is more trustful of children, or because Arya is the right size and build to impersonate Missandei. Perhaps she won't be the assassin, but she will know about the plot and she'll betray the FM to tell Jon. Or, even crazier, maybe the FM will ask her to warg a dragon. Either way, an assassination attempt on Dany would be pretty close to the climax of ADoS, if her story is about conquering Essos instead of Westeros. Braavos is the "end boss" on that continent. Arya wouldn't have another arc after that, whereas killing LSH doesn't feel like end game material, unless LSH somehow becomes a bigger player in the overall story.

7 hours ago, elipride said:

Just saying, Arya's story has many possible outcomes, nothing is set in stone.

That's true, but you are the one arguing that encountering Nymeria and LSH are mandatory plot points for Arya.

I'm just saying that everyone, including Arya, could have satisfying story lines under the Exodus to Essos scenario, and that these connections with Westeros aren't as strong as people may think.

Like I said in a different thread, I believe Arya, not knowing the full story, will be disillusioned that Jon gave up his NW vows to be king and "allowed" Jeyne Poole to be passed as her, and that will make her fully embrace the FM for a while, instead of revealing herself to him when he passes through Braavos. But you might find that too heartbreaking. :P

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2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

But that's exactly the problem. George would have to give this character something to do just for the sake of being around for a big moment later. Maybe that wouldn't be a huge problem at another point in the series, but now the story has to be condensed if it is to fit in two books. And what could she keep herself busy with? Everything that she does affects other stories as well, not just hers. And the Riverlands is a bit of a plot vacuum right now except for Jaime, Brienne and the Freys.

Why? Plenty of character are theorized to intersect and that doesn't mean that they're are not allowed to do anything plot relevant on their own or that they're just killing time in the meantime.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

First, you assume that she would find out. Another convenience, considering very few people know LSH is Cat. But let's say she finds out through her wolf dreams, fine. The mercy killings performed by the FM are done with consent. Usually people come on their own to drink from the poisoned fountain. LSH doesn't want to die, she is an avatar of vengeance. Arya would have to take that decision for her, which is a pretty big deviation from the theme, and invites the question "Why?" Why would Arya, herself fixated on revenge, think "This is not a worthy existence, I should put an end to it"?

You got me, I assumed. Although I never said my opinion was fact, we're all assuming a bit when we talk about theories of future developments. And how the mercy kill is done by the FM specifically is not that relevant for Arya since, like I said before, she never accepted their filosophy. The important thing is that mercy as a theme in general comes up quite often in her story, not just with the FM, also with Sandor and in that moment when she gave water to some men who were dying in cages before the brotherhood gave them a quick death. And do you really think that Arya would see her mother as a walking rotten corpse and think "wow that's badass, we can go kill people together"? It would be traumatizing. If anything, I can imagine seing Cat in that state might make her realize that getting fixated on revenge is not a good life path for herself either. And yes, I am assuming.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Because most of the time life goes forward, not backwards. If you leave your broken family or war torn country to go study medicine abroad, chances are you'll start practicing over there, not return to your previous life. Especially when all your memories of it are from your childhood.

And yet, while abroad, the author kept strenghtening her connection to her home country and even made her want to ask a person to take her away from Braavos and back to to Westeros where her brother was. That might not be definitive proof of Arya going back to Westeros, but is is definitive proof that Arya going back to Westeros is a possibility and that it would make sense.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

That's true, but you are the one arguing that encountering Nymeria and LSH are mandatory plot points for Arya.

I'm just saying that everyone, including Arya, could have satisfying story lines under the Exodus to Essos scenario, and that these connections with Westeros aren't as strong as people may think.

Now you're just making things up. I kept saying things like "i think" or "in my opninion" and I acknowledged the possibility of being wrong and things working out the way you say, while you kept dismissing anything I said as just nonsense.

2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Like I said in a different thread, I believe Arya, not knowing the full story, will be disillusioned that Jon gave up his NW vows to be king and "allowed" Jeyne Poole to be passed as her, and that will make her fully embrace the FM for a while, instead of revealing herself to him when he passes through Braavos. But you might find that too heartbreaking. :P

And look who's assuming now. I won't dismiss the posibility of this happening, but I personally disagree. I said my reasons to think that Arya might go a little too deep with the FM but that she won't ever fully embrace them.

Edited by elipride

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21 hours ago, elipride said:

Why? Plenty of character are theorized to intersect and that doesn't mean that they're are not allowed to do anything plot relevant on their own or that they're just killing time in the meantime.

You got me, I assumed. Although I never said my opinion was fact, we're all assuming a bit when we talk about theories of future developments. And how the mercy kill is done by the FM specifically is not that relevant for Arya since, like I said before, she never accepted their filosophy. The important thing is that mercy as a theme in general comes up quite often in her story, not just with the FM, also with Sandor and in that moment when she gave water to some men who were dying in cages before the brotherhood gave them a quick death. And do you really think that Arya would see her mother as a walking rotten corpse and think "wow that's badass, we can go kill people together"? It would be traumatizing. If anything, I can imagine seing Cat in that state might make her realize that getting fixated on revenge is not a good life path for herself either. And yes, I am assuming.

And yet, while abroad, the author kept strenghtening her connection to her home country and even made her want to ask a person to take her away from Braavos and back to to Westeros where her brother was. That might not be definitive proof of Arya going back to Westeros, but is is definitive proof that Arya going back to Westeros is a possibility and that it would make sense.

Now you're just making things up. I kept saying things like "i think" or "in my opninion" and I acknowledged the possibility of being wrong and things working out the way you say, while you kept dismissing anything I said as just nonsense.

And look who's assuming now. I won't dismiss the posibility of this happening, but I personally disagree. I said my reasons to think that Arya might go a little too deep with the FM but that she won't ever fully embrace them.

Yes, of course we are all formulating theories and making assumptions. I wasn't calling you out for assuming things, I was criticizing that particular scenario for requiring a lot of convenient things to happen in order to work. Which doesn't even make it impossible, only less likely, based on the assumption that George is the kind of writer who would avoid using too many conveniences to push the plot ahead.

In any case, I think we are getting a little side-tracked. Arya staying with the FM is something that works in the context of the Exodus to Essos theory, which I brought up here because if it is true it would also give Areo Hotah's chapters an additional purpose in setting up Norvos. My original statement was that many characters, Arya included, could still have rooted, satisfying story arcs in the context of this scenario. I am not using this to claim that my theory is absolutely correct, but that the motley collection of potential interactions these characters might have in Westeros is not strong enough to outright make my theory impossible.

I certainly don't believe that Arya's story alone can dictate where the series as a whole will go, That depends more on where the Dany and Others plot lines are headed. I think we can agree that George could give Arya something to do on either continent. But if you mean to frame Nymeria and LSH as mandatory plot elements for Arya, well... then I would ask you to consider the deeply rooted anti-slavery themes in Dany's story and the fleshing out of Essos that happened in ADwD. Nymeria and LSH are much more likely to stand on their own without Arya, than Volantis, the Tattered Prince, the social politics of Slaver's Bay, etc. if Dany up and leaves.

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