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FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

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I loved the excerpt and it has me really excited for the book. I always like learning about the houses' genealogies so Lord Alaric's Mormont wife was a fun titbit and has me looking forward to other reveals about which houses had marriage alliances during various events. 
It changed some assumptions I had about Westeros - I had thought, from studying the Stark family tree, that Blackwoods and Royces were always a prominent feature in the Stark genealogies, but it looks like this is a tradition begun with Lord Alaric's children. 
Jonquil Darke also seems like an intriguing character that I hope we'll hear more from.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I still say Lord Alaric is niggardly, but what the hell do I know ;-)?

No, this Stark lord really seems to be one of the finer guys.

I think the Silverwing thing lays down to rest this ridiculous assumption that the dragons will be 'miracle weapons' against the Others. They will be effective and all, but if the Others are living ice and the dragons living fire, then the latter won't like it all that much in the cold, especially not snowstorms, blizzards, and the like. Not to mention that their fires should be worthless and ineffective then, too.

My guess would be that the Wall keeps the Others and their magic firmly in the northern part of Westeros, explaining why Silverwing behaves the way she does in close proximity to the Wall. The Wall itself shouldn't be that much of an issue for her, considering that winters should bring snow and ice to Dragonstone and King's Landing, too.

Maybe the same magic the keeps the Others and the wights north of the Wall is the same magic that keeps dragons south; it's not that Silverwing refuses to fly north of the Wall, but she can't?

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7 minutes ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Maybe the same magic the keeps the Others and the wights north of the Wall is the same magic that keeps dragons south; it's not that Silverwing refuses to fly north of the Wall, but she can't?

Could also be. But I'm not sure why the people building the Wall would have wanted its magic to affect the dragons...?

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If you check out the video, you see Androw Farman is finally confirmed as the third husband of Rhaena Targaryen.

And there is a picture that looks a lot like one would imagine the peace-and-plenty king Viserys I. That is already one of my favorites.

 

Edited by Lord Varys

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Wonderful read. A pity it wasn't longer.

16 minutes ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Maybe the same magic the keeps the Others and the wights north of the Wall is the same magic that keeps dragons south; it's not that Silverwing refuses to fly north of the Wall, but she can't?

I agree that this is most likely. The Wall preventing magic to cross would fit with many tidbits that we know, such as Coldhands not being able to pass, or Jon not sensing Ghost on the other side of the Wall.

Regarding this last example, I think it's exciting that George already remarked the fact in an interview in 2005:

Martin: He gets the direwolf back in the third novel too, of course. There is a significant point, though, concerning Jon and Ghost in the third novel. There is a period in the novel where he cannot feel him, he cannot sense him as he previously did, then he can again. That's a minor but still significant plot point.

46 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

As to the dozens or so houses in the south still following the old gods I doubt the Royces are among them as some people have previously suggested. If such a prominent family were still following the old gods not only we but Alysanne, too, would know that.

The best candidates would be the houses descended from the First Men that,as far as we know, have no knight among their members. That would include Farman and Banefort in the West, Bowler in the Reach, or Fowler in Dorne.

But we should also consider the possibility that many of the houses that worshipped the Old Gods in 58 have switched religion by 300. And with the Faith being an already polytheistic religion, it's also possible that there are houses that worship both the Old Gods and the New, trying to combine both creeds. I think the Royces could be in any of those two groups.

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4 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

I agree that this is most likely. The Wall preventing magic to cross would fit with many tidbits that we know, such as Coldhands not being able to pass, or Jon not sensing Ghost on the other side of the Wall.

Regarding this last example, I think it's exciting that George already remarked the fact in an interview in 2005:

Martin: He gets the direwolf back in the third novel too, of course. There is a significant point, though, concerning Jon and Ghost in the third novel. There is a period in the novel where he cannot feel him, he cannot sense him as he previously did, then he can again. That's a minor but still significant plot point.

 

I've thought about that, but Brandon and Bloodraven clearly can see *through* the Wall and, presumably, also control animals south of the Wall via skinchanging, etc.

Coldhands cannot pass through the Black Gate which makes sense for a creature that seems to be a self-aware wight.

4 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

The best candidates would be the houses descended from the First Men that,as far as we know, have no knight among their members. That would include Farman and Banefort in the West, Bowler in the Reach, or Fowler in Dorne.

But we should also consider the possibility that many of the houses that worshipped the Old Gods in 58 have switched religion by 300. And with the Faith being an already polytheistic religion, it's also possible that there are houses that worship both the Old Gods and the New, trying to combine both creeds. I think the Royces could be in any of those two groups.

I think the focus there should be on houses who only keep the old gods. That's the Blackwoods and most of the Northmen. Every lord who still has an (ancient) godswood effectively keeps the old gods in addition to the new ones. Only those Andal houses who don't have godswoods do, essentially, not keep them. 

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33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I've thought about that, but Brandon and Bloodraven clearly can see *through* the Wall and, presumably, also control animals south of the Wall via skinchanging, etc.

Basically, it's only Bloodraven who is able to magically send visions through the Wall. He sent dreams to Bran and Jojen.

I like to think that it's because his roots go under the wall. :)

33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Every lord who still has an (ancient) godswood effectively keeps the old gods in addition to the new ones. Only those Andal houses who don't have godswoods do, essentially, not keep them. 

I meant that some Southron houses may actually use the godswood for praying, instead of using it as some garden and keeping it for prestige, as a relic, or as a consideration for Northern visitors. I could see a lord praying to the Father for justice, to the Warrior for strength, and to the Heart Tree for a good harvest.

 

Edited by The hairy bear

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2 hours ago, Prince Yourwetdream Aeryn said:

 

Is it odd that wildling girls found by rangers are given to foster?

 

I thought it odd too. <_< Maybe it's "foster" or maybe an exception, this spearwoman. 

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Hi there, long time reader, first time poster here.

I really liked this excerpt. I think Lord Stark's bad reputation could stem from his wife's death three years prior.  He might have withdrawn a bit, not willing to engage with women, etc. But it speaks volumes for Queen Alysanne being able to charm him.

Also the part about Queen Alysanne's sworn shield being a woman, similar to Brienne in ASOIAF, is very interesting as well as the duel with the wildling woman. I wonder what happened to her? Her being fostered might lead to her being married to some lord's (second) son.

The part about Silverwing not willing, or able, to fly over the Wall stood out to me on my first read. This was for me an absolute WTF moment, because it really opens up a lot of questions regarding the new Long Night and the battle for the Dawn. If Daenerys ever comes to Westeros in time, the Wall must be down for her dragons to join the fight against the Others. Otherwise they might be just sitting ducks behind the Wall, being ineffective to the battle. 

Edited by LC Jon Snow
Formal reasons

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Beyond this whole passage about Silverwing either not being able to cross the Wall or not wanting to for dragon reasons, I wonder if it doesn't also say something about the whole PtwP prophecy and the passage about waking dragons from stone as one of its prerequisites.

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Lord Alric is hilarious! The fact that Sliverwing didn't like the haunted forest is troubling.I always thought The Riverlands were totally converted to the 7.

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47 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Basically, it's only Bloodraven who is able to magically send visions through the Wall. He sent dreams to Bran and Jojen.

I like to think that it's because his roots go under the wall. :)

Bran also sees and speaks through the Winterfell weirwood, so he, too, can reach through the Wall. And at this point he doesn't have any visible roots ;-).

Also, if Bloodraven talks through Mormont's raven and had it involve itself in Jon's election - not to mention the entire direwolf-and-stag charade early on in AGoT - then apparently greenseers can make use of their skinchanging powers beyond the Wall while non-greenseeing-skinchangers can't.

Also, what about Jon's dream from Bran back in ACoK when he was north of the Wall and Bran still south of the Wall?

Or the wights targeting the important leaders in the Watch? Surely it must be the Others/magic in them that directed them to targeting them.

And how is that one can carry a wight through the Wall but not fly a dragon across the Wall? Shouldn't the wight react the way Silverwing there and actively try to get not through the Wall, like Silverwing didn't want to follow her rider's directions?

47 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

I meant that some Southron houses may actually use the godswood for praying, instead of using it as some garden and keeping it for prestige, as a relic, or as a consideration for Northern visitors. I could see a lord praying to the Father for justice, to the Warrior for strength, and to the Heart Tree for a good harvest.

You mean like the Harmund II did with the Drowned God? Never thought about, but it doesn't seem to be likely that stuff like that happened.

To me it seems the First Men practices are a very different form of religion, one that didn't care much about prayers and the like. They have no priests, no caste to observe degrees of piety. With them no longer sacrificing, even devoted followers of the old gods don't seem to be doing much with their religion aside from assembling in the godswood for certain rituals.

1 hour ago, LC Jon Snow said:

The part about Silverwing not willing, or able, to fly over the Wall stood out to me on my first read. This was for me an absolute WTF moment, because it really opens up a lot of questions regarding the new Long Night and the battle for the Dawn. If Daenerys ever comes to Westeros in time, the Wall must be down for her dragons to join the fight against the Others. Otherwise they might be just sitting ducks behind the Wall, being ineffective to the battle. 

Well, they could always fly around the Wall. But it really puts things into perspective. If the wanted to fly to the Heart of Winter for an air attack it would most likely not work by flying above the Wall.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Beyond this whole passage about Silverwing either not being able to cross the Wall or not wanting to for dragon reasons, I wonder if it doesn't also say something about the whole PtwP prophecy and the passage about waking dragons from stone as one of its prerequisites.

Not sure what you want your point there is?

40 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

Alaric is so obviously channeling the changed Jon, all warmth having fled from him.

Lord Alaric isn't cold. He just pretends he is. He is like Ned aside from the fact that his facial expression froze one winter while he was playing the lord.

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5 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

I do hope this is not the last asoiaf book we get 

Don't worry, the Winds are coming, and in the it Rickon will be beaten to death.

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6 minutes ago, Kandrax said:

Don't worry, the Winds are coming, and in the it Rickon will be beaten to death.

*Sighs* If I only had a golden dragon for everytime I've read or heard that. I would be richer than a Lannister. :p

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5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Lord Alaric isn't cold. He just pretends he is. He is like Ned aside from the fact that his facial expression froze one winter while he was playing the lord.

His mannerisms, perception and priorities are as Jon's will be, and on purpose is the (repeated) use of warmth in this passage to parallel with the overarching description of Jon's character arc.

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5 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

I am not so sure. The wall is arguably the most powerful magical thing on the planet. It has kept the all life destroying Ice demons at bay for nearly 8000 years. If the ice magic others can't cross the wall, it would also seem that the fire magic dragons cannot cross either. 

I got the impression Silverwing knew what was out there North of the Wall, and the danger, so was protecting Alysanne 

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6 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

His mannerisms, perception and priorities are as Jon's will be, and on purpose is the (repeated) use of warmth in this passage to parallel with the overarching description of Jon's character arc.

His priorities are those of a Lord of Winterfell. And this isn't a thread about Jon's hypothetical development.

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Just now, lrresistable said:

I got the impression Silverwing knew what was out there North of the Wall, and the danger, so was protecting Alysanne 

That is more or less my impression, too. Or rather, it is one of the possible interpretations, especially in light of Alysanne being troubled by the fact that Silverwing didn't want to go there. Considering that she didn't persuade Jaehaerys to raze the Wall to make way for her dragon - which would have been potential outcome if she had blamed the Wall and its magic for her dragon's behavior - but instead became one of the greatest supporters of the Night's Watch, I think that at least Alysanne concluded that there was something beyond the Wall that was worth it be kept out of their lands.

This doesn't mean Alysanne must be right in her conclusion - it might be that it was just the Wall that was the problem, and not what lay beyond. And since the purpose of the Wall clearly seems to be to cut Westeros into two parts - one for the Others and another for mankind - it might very well be that the magic accomplishing this had to be so powerful that it had to be a barrier for all magic, even flying creatures like dragons.

But perhaps the magical aura and presence of the Others is omnipresent north of the Wall, and simply isn't felt south of it. If Silverwing felt that - and if it was strong and ugly and unpleasant - then this certainly could explain her behavior.

After all, the Haunted Forest and the lands beyond the Wall have been described as sinister and weird places since the very Prologue of the series. Part of it might be just the vastness of this wild place, the thickness and enormity and old age of the forest, etc., but quite another simply the fact that the Others are out there - and may have been out there the entire time.

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