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The Regret of Killing Characters

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On 8/24/2018 at 9:59 AM, Morte said:

Old Nan is dead, they all are. But I don't think a simple info-dumb would be a reason to regret killing them off; this could be done by someone else or even a book, chronicle or diary. It wouldn't even look strange that the surviving Stark-children did not know it existed. So one could well work around something like that.

Quentyn is on my list too, even if I still think that Kevan or Aemon are more likely, he would be necessary if Martin does plan to make Dorne question which dragon to side with.

Actually, from what I have found, Old Nan could actually still very well be alive. Theon only assumes she has dead but then turns right around and hears that the Dreadfort is housing captives taken from the Bolton sack of Winterfell. Most of the captives consist of the elderly, women and children. So, Old Nan could very well be having a "good ole time" at the Dreadfort.

If it's Old Nan, he can easily pull off a retcon.

Someone like Beric or Syrio on the other hand? Retconning is a big no-no. The series will jump the shark at that point.

I disagree: Kevan needed to die. He was the most powerful Lannister in the capital and he is 2x more competent than Mace Tyrell and Cersei combined. He's too big of a threat to the Aegon machine.

Aemon? I can see that being a mistake but how? Sam and Gilly couldn't just leave Aemon in Braavos. They certainly couldn't drop him off on Dragonstone for sentimental reasons, they couldn't take him all the way to Meereen. He would have just ended up in Oldtown at the Citadel, fighting with the maesters there about Daenerys and then bearing witness to the abomination that is Euron Greyjoy.

Oh wait.

Never mind, we can agree on Aemon.

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16 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Actually, from what I have found, Old Nan could actually still very well be alive. Theon only assumes she has dead but then turns right around and hears that the Dreadfort is housing captives taken from the Bolton sack of Winterfell. Most of the captives consist of the elderly, women and children. So, Old Nan could very well be having a "good ole time" at the Dreadfort.

If it's Old Nan, he can easily pull off a retcon.

Good to know, I have really forgotten that part. But you are right, Old Nan would be an easy retcon, so unlikely.

16 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

I disagree: Kevan needed to die. He was the most powerful Lannister in the capital and he is 2x more competent than Mace Tyrell and Cersei combined. He's too big of a threat to the Aegon machine.

I do agree that Varys was right in his reason to kill Kevan, he had to die for Aegon to work. If it is Kevan it's because Martin did underestimate how difficult it would become to make the remaining KL-crew work at all without him.

16 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Aemon? I can see that being a mistake but how? Sam and Gilly couldn't just leave Aemon in Braavos. They certainly couldn't drop him off on Dragonstone for sentimental reasons, they couldn't take him all the way to Meereen. He would have just ended up in Oldtown at the Citadel, fighting with the maesters there about Daenerys and then bearing witness to the abomination that is Euron Greyjoy.

Oh wait.

Never mind, we can agree on Aemon.

This scenario would even be a better reason then him being important in Mereen. Now we have Sam and a few other youngsters searching for something, without any clue or guidance. Finding something of interest will look just as stupid and "deus-ex-ish" like in "the-abomination-that-should-not-be-mentioned". Beside: The interesting books about dragons and the long night are most likely locked away, Aemon's presence would make it more believable for Sam to get access to this part of the library. And Maewyn could have a letter from Aemon for Daenerys, making him more reliable in her eyes...

Yes, we can agree on Aemon.

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On 7/27/2018 at 4:53 PM, Trefayne said:

Craster? Nah, I doubt it.

I feel like it might be Craster. That is one of the things that has been the biggest problem for me - why did Craster sacrifice his sons? Who started it? Why didn't he have a son to continue the practice at his advanced age? Has it been going on since the Long Night?

Plus the mutiny at Craster's keep could have gone down much the same with Craster alive.

I guess Bran will tell us if we find out at all.

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Or he regrets killing off Hodor because there is no way that Meera Reed can drag Bran back from the heart tree to the Wall all by herself with those weak girl arms of hers. Now she's gotta go hunt down two wights, break off their bottom jaws, harness them to Bran's sled, and dangle a rabbit in front of their noses in order to mush him back home.

Yes, we do have confirmation from GRRM that Hodor's dead, even in the books.

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On 8/30/2018 at 6:11 AM, Talking Hodor said:

Or he regrets killing off Hodor because there is no way that Meera Reed can drag Bran back from the heart tree to the Wall all by herself with those weak girl arms of hers. Now she's gotta go hunt down two wights, break off their bottom jaws, harness them to Bran's sled, and dangle a rabbit in front of their noses in order to mush him back home.

Yes, we do have confirmation from GRRM that Hodor's dead, even in the books.

Hodor isn't dead in the books published so far. If he dies in TWOW, then GRRM can reverse it without any problem.

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Of the names mentioned, I feel like Maester Aemon is the most likely candidate. He could have potentially played an important role going forward if he survived. I suppose that Beric is another possibility, or maybe Craster for some info dumping on the Others (although Bran/Bloodraven should be able to manage that just fine), but not too many other names are springing to mind for me.

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On 9/5/2018 at 7:54 AM, bent branch said:

Hodor isn't dead in the books published so far. If he dies in TWOW, then GRRM can reverse it without any problem.

He's not going to reverse it. That death in the show was awesome and one of the only parts of Season 6 that felt like 100% GRRM. If he did, then the show would upstage him. My previous entry on this subject was rather tongue-in-cheek. I'm sure it'll be easy enough to write Meera and Bran out of the heart tree and back south of the wall without Hodor's mighty dragging skills. Bran can warg direwolves, and direwolves can mush, for example.

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33 minutes ago, Talking Hodor said:

He's not going to reverse it. That death in the show was awesome and one of the only parts of Season 6 that felt like 100% GRRM. If he did, then the show would upstage him. My previous entry on this subject was rather tongue-in-cheek. I'm sure it'll be easy enough to write Meera and Bran out of the heart tree and back south of the wall without Hodor's mighty dragging skills. Bran can warg direwolves, and direwolves can mush, for example.

The point I was making was not that he wouldn't kill off Hodor. The point was that TWOW hasn't been published yet, so if he wanted to delay Hodor's death it wouldn't be a problem. It is only a problem if the death is in material that has already been published.

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On 8/30/2018 at 10:11 AM, Talking Hodor said:

Or he regrets killing off Hodor because there is no way that Meera Reed can drag Bran back from the heart tree to the Wall all by herself with those weak girl arms of hers. Now she's gotta go hunt down two wights, break off their bottom jaws, harness them to Bran's sled, and dangle a rabbit in front of their noses in order to mush him back home.

Yes, we do have confirmation from GRRM that Hodor's dead, even in the books.

Meera doesn't have weak girl arms?

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An interesting topic for speculation.

We don't know how long ago Diana Gabaldon's lunch with GRRM was, so this could be old news, and the problem already solved.

Or...

GRRM didn't seem to be struggling with this problem in the fall of 2015, when he thought he could finish before season 6. The problem may have cropped up since then as a result of changes he made, but he likes the changes too much to abandon them. Thus, the death in question happens in TWoW and hasn't been revealed yet.

Or...

Aemon - He has been at the Wall since 233. Anything he knows could be already known by Marwyn, or perhaps Howland Reed. It could also be found by Sam, Rodrik the Reader, or Hos the Hostage.

Pycelle - If he knew about a mole on Baby Aegon's butt that could prove or disprove Young Griff's claim, it would not be too hard to conjure up a servant who changed his (Aegon's) diapers back then that is still alive, either in the Red Keep or on Dragonstone. Any knowledge concerning Cersei's, Jaime's, or Tyrion's parentage should be in the keeping of Ilyn Payne. Perhaps something else about Aerys II's last days?

Kevan - His death was necessary to set up Mace's rise and fall, leaving Cersei an opening to recover some power. If Cersei needs some help with that, a couple Westerlands lords could be brought back to KL.

Best bet - Pycelle.

Edited by Ibbison from Ibben
eta-grammar problem

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It can be someone from TWOW and then Barristan or Aeron Greyjoy are the best bets, although it can also be a relatively minor character like the Blackfish. Even Beric Dondarrion is a possibility if he cannot figure out a storyline for Lady Stoneheart. 

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Jon, possibly. Upon re-reading that last "Jon" chapter, Martin realizes there's no plausible way that Wun-Wun and the wildlings don't just go ahead and kill every MFer in Castle Black born south of the wall after Jon's murder.

Alternatively, one of R or L. Keeping one of them alive would have cleaned the mess up quite neatly.

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23 hours ago, Greg B said:

Jon, possibly. Upon re-reading that last "Jon" chapter, Martin realizes there's no plausible way that Wun-Wun and the wildlings don't just go ahead and kill every MFer in Castle Black born south of the wall after Jon's murder.

Alternatively, one of R or L. Keeping one of them alive would have cleaned the mess up quite neatly.

I see your point, but then i think more about Donal Noye, since i have no doubt he could keep the wildlings and NW members on Jons side in check, seeing he is respected. 

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4 hours ago, nickdt said:

I see your point, but then i think more about Donal Noye, since i have no doubt he could keep the wildlings and NW members on Jons side in check, seeing he is respected. 

Well, presumably Noye was respected by the wildlings because he died fighting Mag the Mighty. If he hadn't died in such an epic battle, he wouldn't be as respected. So that strikes me as somewhat circular. In any case, if Jon hadn't been assassinated in full view of everyone, the "little scrap" between Wun-Wun and Patrek wouldn't necessarily escalate into a full-blown massacre.

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On 9/21/2018 at 7:07 PM, Greg B said:

Jon, possibly. Upon re-reading that last "Jon" chapter, Martin realizes there's no plausible way that Wun-Wun and the wildlings don't just go ahead and kill every MFer in Castle Black born south of the wall after Jon's murder.

I think this is where Melisandre comes in.

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When I think about whose deaths likely made it unfeasible for Martin to implement the (much needed, IMHO) 5-year-gap in a manner satisfying to him, I come back to one of Tywin Lannister or Balon Greyjoy. Either of them surviving would have made 5 years of "stasis" believable. IIRC, he scrapped it because he felt that certain events in ASoS would have elicited immediate responses from the other players.

And of the 2, Balon is the more likely, because his being alive would have neatly solved the problem of the Ironborn not doing much over that time-span _and_ of Stannis remaining unquashed at the Wall for that long, because the Ironborn fighting the northmen during the long Autumn would have resulted in a delicate balance of power that would have prevented the Boltons from eradicating Stannis. Everything else in the South could have been weathered by a less incompetent/crazy Cersei, who'd have initially worked together with Kevan, but whose grip on things would have gradually deteriorated over the years.

Tywin looming over the landscape would have also put things in abeyance, IMHO, but it is difficult to see how Stannis could have been preserved for so long in such a scenario and Euron would have definitely tried something regardless.

Generally, I feel that it is rather unrealistic how all important characters died violently so far - surely some natural deaths would have been nice for verisimilitude and could  provide us with drastic and far-reaching consequences just as well.

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2 hours ago, Maia said:

When I think about whose deaths likely made it unfeasible for Martin to implement the (much needed, IMHO) 5-year-gap in a manner satisfying to him, I come back to one of Tywin Lannister or Balon Greyjoy. Either of them surviving would have made 5 years of "stasis" believable. IIRC, he scrapped it because he felt that certain events in ASoS would have elicited immediate responses from the other players.

And of the 2, Balon is the more likely, because his being alive would have neatly solved the problem of the Ironborn not doing much over that time-span _and_ of Stannis remaining unsquashed at the Wall for that long, because the Ironborn fighting the northmen during the long Autumn would have resulted in a delicate balance of power that would have prevented the Boltons from eradicating Stannis. Everything else in the South could have been weathered by a less incompetent/crazy Cersei, who'd have initially worked together with Kevan, but whose grip on things would have gradually deteriorated over the years.

Tywin looming over the landscape would have also put things in abeyance, IMHO, but it is difficult to see how Stannis could have been preserved for so long in such a scenario and Euron would have definitely tried something regardless.

Generally, I feel that it is rather unrealistic how all important characters died violently so far - surely some natural deaths would have been nice for verisimilitude and could  provide us with drastic and far-reaching consequences just as well.

I've never thought about this at all....but now, it's so apparent. I feel kind of dumb. Occam's Razor for the win!

This is why forums need to exist.

---

You really, really believe that the 5-year-gap was that necessary?

I think a big, across-the-board time jump of 1 year (2 years max) was kind of necessary. But 5? That's a very long time, especially for time-sensitive things such as the Others and the wildlings.

And wasn't the 5-year-gap part of the 5-book plan? Because we have a 7-book plan for now....

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3 hours ago, Maia said:

When I think about whose deaths likely made it unfeasible for Martin to implement the (much needed, IMHO) 5-year-gap in a manner satisfying to him, I come back to one of Tywin Lannister or Balon Greyjoy. Either of them surviving would have made 5 years of "stasis" believable. IIRC, he scrapped it because he felt that certain events in ASoS would have elicited immediate responses from the other players.

And of the 2, Balon is the more likely, because his being alive would have neatly solved the problem of the Ironborn not doing much over that time-span _and_ of Stannis remaining unquashed at the Wall for that long, because the Ironborn fighting the northmen during the long Autumn would have resulted in a delicate balance of power that would have prevented the Boltons from eradicating Stannis. Everything else in the South could have been weathered by a less incompetent/crazy Cersei, who'd have initially worked together with Kevan, but whose grip on things would have gradually deteriorated over the years.

Tywin looming over the landscape would have also put things in abeyance, IMHO, but it is difficult to see how Stannis could have been preserved for so long in such a scenario and Euron would have definitely tried something regardless.

Generally, I feel that it is rather unrealistic how all important characters died violently so far - surely some natural deaths would have been nice for verisimilitude and could  provide us with drastic and far-reaching consequences just as well.

 

40 minutes ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

I've never thought about this at all....but now, it's so apparent. I feel kind of dumb. Occam's Razor for the win!

This is why forums need to exist.

---

You really, really believe that the 5-year-gap was that necessary?

I think a big, across-the-board time jump of 1 year (2 years max) was kind of necessary. But 5? That's a very long time, especially for time-sensitive things such as the Others and the wildlings.

And wasn't the 5-year-gap part of the 5-book plan? Because we have a 7-book plan for now....

 

Five years was always too much, but in this scenario would be quite problematic IMO. Five years gives Tommen the chance to become a young, but competent ruler under Kevan's guidance, severely curtailing Cersei's influence over the story and having her and Jaime's plotlines just peter out. We'd be left with those two squabbling over regrets and probably just doing something stupid.

Tywin would never had let the High Sparrow or the Faith Militant exist, let alone allow what happened to his daughter to stand. He may have left Stannis to die in the snow fighting snarks and grumkins while he replenished his forces in the south, but I suppose that would depend on how successful Stannis would have been in attaching northern lords to his banner.

The Balon angle has merit, although I was always of the mind that the Ironborn were introduced as more of a threat at that point because GRRM needed something to occupy time (and pages) until he got the main players into position in what he felt was a believable time frame sans five year gap.

Then it seems it all got out of hand. Two of the IB have become more "main", with one getting his own POV (Victarion) and the other a surrogate POV (Euron through Aeron), while a third has become a stand in for Davos (Asha) because she pulled a minor Theon and thought she could hold an inland fortress without support from home while everyone's backs were turned.

Edited by Trefayne

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