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Areo Hotah - The Most Boring Man in Westeros?

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1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

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.

I've NEVER said that your theory is impossible and I've NEVER said that my theory is mandatory, only that it seeme inevitable in my opinion, I would appreciate you stop implying I did that. If anything, until now you were' the one who kept dissmissing all of my arguments as "conveniences" and refuse to acknowledge even the posibility of things being the way I said. But anyway, Arya definitely has some purpose in Essos, and it's true she and many other characters could have a satisfactory story without being in Westeros, I was just explaining my reasons to think that Arya going to Westeros makes a lot of sense thematicaly and for thinking it would require less conveniences than Arya getting involved with Dany's slavery plot that she had no connection to until now. 
I will admit my bias for thinking that if the story has to be condensed soon, it would be in Westeros. Dany seems to have a lot of set up for going to Westeros and I think she'll clash with fAegon in there, although I would actually like it if Dany stayed in Essos to deal with all that mess that was cause by abolishing slavery. I could also imagine tyrion in Essos, if he's meant to get involved with Dany's plot. But other main characters like Jon, Bran (who I'm not convinced will stay on that cave for too long), Arya and to a lesser degree Sansa have such a powerful connection to the North that I have a hard time imagining them finishing their stories in Essos, and beyond any connection I think they have possible plots in Westeros that, in my opinion, make more sense than staying in Essos. Although I don't rule out something like an exodus happening.

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1 hour ago, elipride said:

I've NEVER said that your theory is impossible and I've NEVER said that my theory is mandatory, only that it seeme inevitable in my opinion, I would appreciate you stop implying I did that. If anything, until now you were' the one who kept dissmissing all of my arguments as "conveniences" and refuse to acknowledge even the posibility of things being the way I said.

I think you shouldn't be so hung up on this. :P When the discussion starts to get more heated and complex, you stop saying "in my opinion" all the time, but it doesn't mean it isn't implied. Not to mention that a stated opinion can still be a very categorical statement, like when you said the words spent on Nymeria would be "wasted" if Arya doesn't end up reuniting with her.

1 hour ago, elipride said:

Arya definitely has some purpose in Essos, and it's true she and many other characters could have a satisfactory story without being in Westeros, I was just explaining my reasons to think that Arya going to Westeros makes a lot of sense thematicaly and for thinking it would require less conveniences than Arya getting involved with Dany's slavery plot that she had no connection to until now. 
I will admit my bias for thinking that if the story has to be condensed soon, it would be in Westeros. Dany seems to have a lot of set up for going to Westeros and I think she'll clash with fAegon in there, although I would actually like it if Dany stayed in Essos to deal with all that mess that was cause by abolishing slavery. I could also imagine tyrion in Essos, if he's meant to get involved with Dany's plot. But other main characters like Jon, Bran (who I'm not convinced will stay on that cave for too long), Arya and to a lesser degree Sansa have such a powerful connection to the North that I have a hard time imagining them finishing their stories in Essos, and beyond any connection I think they have possible plots in Westeros that, in my opinion, make more sense than staying in Essos. Although I don't rule out something like an exodus happening.

That is fair enough.

I am perhaps a bit aggressive in arguing for the Exodus, but that's just because it's a lesser known theory and I want to get people to engage with it. There may be some bias here as well, but once everything clicked for me I found it difficult to let it go. I certainly don't think it makes the traditional outcomes impossible, though. It's just a different way at looking at the puzzle. If a character is a square, you notice a square shaped socket somewhere and suggest that the character is supposed to go there. I point out that the character was a triangle before being a square, so the next step in their story is to become a pentagon. It's ultimately up to George how he wants to solve the puzzle.

With regards to Jon, I will point out (again, but if some posters can complain about George's writing every second post, I can enjoy beating my dead horse too :D) that there are a few plot points that may hints toward a departure to Essos, it's not something I pulled out of thin air (him and Dany are the main driving forces of the theory):

  • Mother Mole's prophecy says a fleet of ships will take the free folk to safety across the Narrow Sea; the Lyseni slavers only had two ships and Melissandre said the Eastwatch fleet won't be coming back, so I believe these are red herrings and the vision was actually about Tormund's wildlings leaving on the Manderly Fleet.
  • Jon signed a loan agreement with the Iron Bank, for a flexible amount which he would use to feed his people through winter; going to Braavos would be the best way to claim the money, and it's more likely to find food to buy in Essos than in Westeros anyway, because of the recent war.
  • Jon would believe that Arya is in Braavos, because that's where Justin Massey is taking Jeyne Poole; he would be eager to see his little sister again.
  • Jon mentions Braavos as the closest safe port in one of the chapters.
  • The Sealord freed the wildling slaves from one of the Lyseni ships, which could be the set up for Jon bringing more.
  • There is a lot of foreshadowing in Davos II, ADwD that White Harbor will be attacked by the Others; Davos also muses that after Stannis's war he wants to sail east with his son Devan to "see the dragons and all the wonders of the world" (most of which are in Essos).
  • It is hinted that White Harbor is the place of salt and smoke ("White Harbor's scent was sharp and salty, [...] but he could smell the peat smoke drifting off Seal Rock too."
  • Davos writes is wife to take the children and sail to Braavos if Stannis loses the war.
  • Jon already gave up Winterfell when Stannis offered it to him, which might have been done to ease us into the future revelation that the castle will be lost for good; I understand many readers have a strong emotional attachment to Witerfell, but the sad truth is almost all of its original inhabitants save for the Stark children are dead, so Winterfell can never truly go back to what it was in AGoT.
  • Mance told Jon that he had to take his people south to hide behind the Wall because they had no way to beat the Others; Tormund reiterates that towards the end of ADwD ("A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fights a mist crow? Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breath, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold?"). This problem has not been solved yet and now Jon is "dead", which leads me to believe the North won't be able to hold the Others back.
  • Everyone agrees that it is extremely important for story lines to converge at this point; Jon going to Braavos and then further inland towards Dany would make the story's 4 most important characters converge faster than any other scenario.

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So anyway LOL...

Areo Hotah (lolz) is probably not going to survive the series. Arianne, however, stands a pretty good chance.

I too am very shocked at the fact that some people view Quentyn as a pointless character. Quentyn is essentially another Ned Stark. His death at the "hands" of Daenerys' dragons and all the horrors associated with Daenerys that his friends witnessed (remember....they are still alive) are the things that's going to make the Martell-Targaryen regime very, very hostile to Daenerys.

Not to mention, Areo is one of those slaves who actually love and honor the institution. There might not be many of them (least of all in Volantis) but they are there. Then again, I feel Areo's POV story has more to do with the Dornish homefront -- namely the abundance of mysteries revolving around House Dayne and the unhappiness of the Dornish people.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 1:57 AM, Jabar of House Titan said:

I too am very shocked at the fact that some people view Quentyn as a pointless character. Quentyn is essentially another Ned Stark. His death at the "hands" of Daenerys' dragons and all the horrors associated with Daenerys that his friends witnessed (remember....they are still alive) are the things that's going to make the Martell-Targaryen regime very, very hostile to Daenerys.

I agree here in part and disagree in part. I don't think Quentyn is pointless, and do think that there will be a "dance" so to speak that destroys Dorne (hence, the symbolism of the overripe blood oranges) but I would hope that his friends (maybe not Drink, but the Big Man for sure) would emphasize that stealing the dragons was his own stupid idea.  Dany rejected him, but I don't think she was heartless to him.

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On ‎12‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 2:46 PM, Lady Rhodes said:

I agree here in part and disagree in part. I don't think Quentyn is pointless, and do think that there will be a "dance" so to speak that destroys Dorne (hence, the symbolism of the overripe blood oranges) but I would hope that his friends (maybe not Drink, but the Big Man for sure) would emphasize that stealing the dragons was his own stupid idea.  Dany rejected him, but I don't think she was heartless to him.

Yeah well, Quentyn's friends are on the other side of the world and their chances of surviving the wars and games of thrones to come in Essos are slim.

There's more to worry about than just the Battle of Meereen.

The Sons of Harpy are still out there. Qarth and Volantis have picked a fight with Daenerys that -- once she gets at least one or two Dothraki khalasars, if not all of them -- they can't win. The other Free Cities (maybe even Braavos) might feel compelled to move against Daenerys. Daenerys Targaryen herself is not likely to be in a friendly mood when she returns. Tyrion Lannister will be at court in Meereen soon and he won't be playing nice this time around. Quentyn and his friends made a deal with the Tattered Prince that they can't uphold, leaving Barristan, Tyrion and/or Daenerys to pick up the slack. Jorah Mormont is unhinged, a loose cannon who will likely try to do something as drastic as killing Daenerys if she spurn his romantic overtures one more time. Victarion Greyjoy will be there...

 

There's a good chance that Quentyn's friends may never ever see Dorne again. They might never even get a message sent that way.

And here's one thing I noticed about Arianne in contrast to the other female characters in the political arena. Cersei never "watches the news" (because if it's not immediately relevant to her wants, it's unimportant). Sansa alternates between having her head in the clouds/sand or her nose in the grindstone. Arianne though? Arianne pays attention to everything she hears; too much in fact.

If you pay very close attention to her chapters (including her sample chapters from Winds), Arianne has this thing where she's getting 24/7 news coverage across the globe and she's paying it mind. However, nearly all of the information she receives is either an ongoing development, shallow, has a unreliable source, out-of-context or completely wrong.

Arianne already has heard stuff about Daenerys that is halfway true...and it's been cause enough for Arianne to be uncomfortable.

Let Arianne hear the wrong thing at the wrong time from the wrong person. It's a problem.

 

In other words, Arianne is the type of person who will listen to Varys. Which, judging from the Dance epilogue, is probably going to be a bad thing.

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On ‎12‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 4:31 AM, Jabar of House Titan said:

And here's one thing I noticed about Arianne in contrast to the other female characters in the political arena. Cersei never "watches the news" (because if it's not immediately relevant to her wants, it's unimportant). Sansa alternates between having her head in the clouds/sand or her nose in the grindstone. Arianne though? Arianne pays attention to everything she hears; too much in fact.

If you pay very close attention to her chapters (including her sample chapters from Winds), Arianne has this thing where she's getting 24/7 news coverage across the globe and she's paying it mind. However, nearly all of the information she receives is either an ongoing development, shallow, has a unreliable source, out-of-context or completely wrong.

Arianne already has heard stuff about Daenerys that is halfway true...and it's been cause enough for Arianne to be uncomfortable.

Let Arianne hear the wrong thing at the wrong time from the wrong person. It's a problem

This is a very good point. She knows more than most, but she isn't very good at thinking critically about that information (considering the source, the bias of the source, the credibility of the evidence, etc)

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25 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

This is a very good point. She knows more than most, but she isn't very good at thinking critically about that information (considering the source, the bias of the source, the credibility of the evidence, etc) 

Exactly.

That is why characters like Arianne (who is becoming the (wo)Man Who Knew Too Much) and Catelyn (who knows/figures out a lot but has zero control of the situations and their results) are POVs whereas people like Tywin, Doran, Littlefinger, Stannis and maybe even Margaery are not given POVs.

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I realize I am at a lonely table for one with this, but I actually really like Areo. His second chapter did a lot to sway me to his POVs, because the Sand Snakes were really fascinating in that one. Plus, I really liked the first chapter with Doran, it set up a lot of his character. 

Also, “Someone told. Someone always tells.” is just such a great line, in my opinion. It kind of sums up the futility of all of the succession battles, and just how pointless all of the constant scheming is. 

Areo is a dull, dull man, but I like him. 

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 12:40 PM, Plain, Simple Tailor said:

Areo is a dull, dull man, but I like him. 

I am inclined to agree with you, even more so because people who are dull go unnoticed. People who go unnoticed tend to overhear things because other take them for granted. 

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10 hours ago, Lady Rhodes said:

I am inclined to agree with you, even more so because people who are dull go unnoticed. People who go unnoticed tend to overhear things because other take them for granted. 

Exactly.

I think that his little mission in Winds is going to make it so that a lot of the lingering mysteries and questions concerning Dorne can start to be unveiled and answered.

The light at the end of the tunnel is clear in sight.

Areo can't die until A Dream of Spring

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On 4/9/2019 at 12:08 AM, Jabar of House Titan said:

Exactly.

I think that his little mission in Winds is going to make it so that a lot of the lingering mysteries and questions concerning Dorne can start to be unveiled and answered.

The light at the end of the tunnel is clear in sight.

Areo can't die until A Dream of Spring

I made mention a few months ago I think we are going to find out about Jon Snows parentage through Darkstar and Areo in Dorne. 

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2 hours ago, Lady Rhodes said:

I made mention a few months ago I think we are going to find out about Jon Snows parentage through Darkstar and Areo in Dorne. 

Hmm....interesting.

It'd be really cool if the Areo POV story did all the investigative legwork and the Bran POV was the one that actually had the big revelation and shed light on all the splendid/sordid details.

 

The Daynes are also First Men and I think they have an actual godswood.

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3 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Hmm....interesting.

It'd be really cool if the Areo POV story did all the investigative legwork and the Bran POV was the one that actually had the big revelation and shed light on all the splendid/sordid details.

 

The Daynes are also First Men and I think they have an actual godswood.

I hadn’t thought of the Dayne’s having a godswood!!!

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So I personally did not like Areo as much when I first read the series back in high school. But after time to develop, being able to read world and F&B when I got back to AFFC on my reread last week I actually enjoyed his chapters much more. I have a personal pet theory that Arys was originally going to be a Prologue character, subverting the expectation that the prologue character dies IN the chapter, but that GRRM changed his mind and went with Pate (which creates an interesting question about the House of Black and White's modus operandi.)

However with Areo I think we see something that is different than usual. Areo needed to be the POV for his chapter, and a POV in general, for a few reasons. 1. He's a foreigner in Dorne, and so he reacts and notes the weather in a way that would be consistent with the experience of most readers, to Doran and Arianne it's normal but to Areo/Arys it's living in a desert. We're seeing the environment of Dorne from a perspective similar to our own. 2. He's a foil to the three KG knights we know. He keeps his vows in a way none of them did. Serve. Obey. Protect. Given in a specific order just as House Tully's words of Family. Duty. Honor. are given in that order. He's also very similar to Mandon  Moore in some ways. We don't see him having any friends or things he loves save his duty. 3. Doran is not mobile, that's one of the main parts of his character, he was never a great fighter and now he can't even stand. 4. There's something a little different about Areo's story than most story structures we're used to. For the moment, Areo is already self-actualized and at the point many are at the end of their stories. The "static characters are boring" rule is similar to the "show don't tell" rule in that what constitutes boring and showing vary according to the reader not the writer. (Great example for anyone who has seen the RoosterTeeth show RWBY, can anyone tell me how many of the main characters are racist or have racial prejudice at the beginning of the series?) 

This all ties together into an interesting situation where Areo Hotah actually shows what a KG life should be like. The vows are incredibly similar and the goals are nearly the same. I think we've hit on a pretty good point for what we can expect from the Darkstar hunt in Winds, just looking at a map it seems like the best way to get to High Hermitage involves passing near to the tower of joy and the nine cairns that Eddard left there. That's a moment for a direct comparison between the three KG that died there and Areo Hotah. There's also the possibility of uniting us with Edric Dayne and actually finding out what criteria determines who can wield Dawn (as well as who makes that decision.). This quest also provides an opportunity for Balon Swann to grow and prevent Trystane's murder.

  I believe that there is one other purpose to Areo Hotah going west. There are currently two armies of Dornish that we know of, one in the Prince's Pass and one in the Boneway. The one in the Boneway is certainly best poised to threaten King's Landing, taking any army that moves on Storm's End in the rear. The one in Prince's Pass is aimed at Oldtown and Highgarden. Currently we've been hyping the Siege of Meereen and the battle of the ice, but I think there's one other battle to be considered. That of the Hightower. There are certain fantasy moments, inspired by historical ones, that tug at the heart strings and some of the bigger ones involve enemies coming together in unity or the cavalry arriving. Stannis coming at Castle Black, The Last Charge of the Rohirrim, Erkenbrand/Eomer arriving at Minas Tirith. Right now Crow's Eye is pointed strait at Oldtown, and it's not a guarantee that he will just be able to stroll into the harbor, there might be a siege or he might actually be able to take most of the city. But there is something to be said for attacking Oldtown. King Samwell Dayne, called Starfire (Didn't even notice that earlier!) burnt Oldtown. Ser Joffrey Dayne attacked it during the First Dornish War. While Darkstar makes a fine point about Daynes killing Oakhearts for thousands of years, the star and sword has never been a good sign for House Hightower, so who best to show up in their darkest hour to provide aid? Someone wise once said that you have to save the kingdom to win it. It would be a mark of a good king if Aegon sent Dornish aid to help Oldtown, both to Mace Tyrell but also to the High Septon who presumably cares about a bunch of Ironborn threatening the Starry Sept. 

 

Just my thoughts and opinions. Nothign confirmed. Can't wait to read what actually happens. 

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