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Sea Dragon

Is death good? Why fight the Others?

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On 2/6/2019 at 7:09 PM, 867-5309 said:

The Others are trying to survive too, aren't they?  Isn't that why they accept Craster's offerings?  To continue the existence of their species.  The Others are not dead.  They're just a different form of life.  Both sides in this fight want to continue living.  Maybe they should work together and reach a compromise.  The warm bloods move south and leave the north to the cold bloods.  That's the way to harmony where no one need die.

I’ve always wondered about this. How did Craster communicate this arrangement with the others? The others don’t seem to speak westerosi and I don’t remember reading them picking up the babies. Could we be sure they were the ones picking up the babies?

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On ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 12:55 PM, Sea Dragon said:

Hello again. I have another question that might be obvious to some but I just have more questions. So far in this series nothing is like other normal and predictable fantasy books. George is doing that undoing the expected thing all over the story. I like this idea and I like it a lot because it keeps me interested. But if a common reasoning says that there must be a balance between life and death, then why are the Others the bad guys? We know Queen Danaerys is the giver of life so why are the Others so bad if they bring balance? 

Thank you.

The Others aren't dead , 

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On 2/20/2019 at 6:47 PM, Gabbie Roxas said:

What a question!  Great thoughts written by my predecessors already.  We are genetically programmed to value our lives.  It has served us well and got us this far.  But in my humble opinion, this is not the true path to our evolution.  We can better our instincts.  The true path to enlightenment and morality is to learn to value the lives, rights, and wellbeing of other species as much as we value our own.   We have to evolve beyond being a humanists and learn to value non-human lives as much as we value our own.  I think that is the real path to morality.

The concepts of right and wrong that you present is bound by the limitations of human instinct, which we know is not programmed for morality but rather to serve the survival of that one species.  It is selfish.  Selfish is not good.  There is a better way.  A life of generosity and compassion is much, much better to me.

Give them back the land.  Westeros belonged to them in the past.  They want it back.  So pack up and give it back.  That's the way of peace.  It doesn't even make sense to stay when its winter.  

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On March 9, 2019 at 6:20 AM, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

The Others aren't dead , 

Hello. I guess I said it wrong. I meant that Queen Daenarys gives life and the Others give death so that must be a good balance. If one is good then so is the other. 

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On 3/9/2019 at 1:16 AM, Crona said:

I’ve always wondered about this. How did Craster communicate this arrangement with the others? The others don’t seem to speak westerosi and I don’t remember reading them picking up the babies. Could we be sure they were the ones picking up the babies?

Craster treat them as if they are his gods.  "Gods" demand sacrifice.  

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Females give birth and thus life among the living.  The Others take the dead and control their corpses.  It's different.  

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On 2/3/2019 at 10:17 PM, Mordred said:

Death is the status quo.  For the lack of a better term, it's the default state of the universe.  Life constantly work to exists.  Life has to be the hero because without it, ahem, even this discussion would not take place.  The question of good guy vs. bad guy is microscopically insignificant when you put it up in comparison with the cosmic scale of the universe's existence itself.  We are only insects in this universe.  Small and powerless.  Judging who is good and not only exists in our microscopic existence.  This is an extreme topic to be discussing and it falls outside the realm of the novels.  I would even say it is beyond the normal course of every day life because we take it for granted that living is a good thing.  Without life even philosophy and morality cannot exists.  

 

On 2/6/2019 at 11:51 PM, Ser Leftwich said:

Death is not good. Death is necessary.

 

On 2/20/2019 at 6:47 PM, Gabbie Roxas said:

What a question!  Great thoughts written by my predecessors already.  We are genetically programmed to value our lives.  It has served us well and got us this far.  But in my humble opinion, this is not the true path to our evolution.  We can better our instincts.  The true path to enlightenment and morality is to learn to value the lives, rights, and wellbeing of other species as much as we value our own.   We have to evolve beyond being a humanists and learn to value non-human lives as much as we value our own.  I think that is the real path to morality.

The concepts of right and wrong that you present is bound by the limitations of human instinct, which we know is not programmed for morality but rather to serve the survival of that one species.  It is selfish.  Selfish is not good.  There is a better way.  A life of generosity and compassion is much, much better to me.

I wish I can convince all of you to play Nier Automata.  The game was created for people who think such as you.  It's deeper than ice and fire and you get more involvement because it's a game.  

 

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On 3/5/2019 at 7:56 PM, Mordred said:

George RR Martin hasn't created the story with this level of depth.  But yeah.  Empathy and charity are more moral choices than a pre-emptive strike for self-defense.  

yes they are

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...why are the Others the bad guys? We know Queen Danaerys is the giver of life so why are the Others so bad if they bring balance? 

Just returned to the website after a while - surprised no one has articulated what I thought was a common hypothesis. I subscribe to the belief that the story (or this part of it) is an allegory of climate change. In terms of Gaia Theory, the Others are not 'evil' - they represent the Earth rebalancing what humans have thrown out of kilter. Nature is amoral, impersonal, as are the Others. The cause of 'winter', the 'long night' the reawakening of the 'Others' is human transgression, as represented in the story as the "game of thrones" although I suspect in the story there is some specific mythological/magical trigger (a birth, an event decades previously) that will be identified and 'undone'.

 

Dany, by the way, is not 'the giver of life' in my view. GRRM has superbly misdirected us with her character development, and I think the's edging more and more to replicating her father's character. I suspect that when we learn more about Aerys' backstory, he'll turn out to have been a good man and great king in his early days. If there is to be any rebalancing of Gaia/Planetos after the Long Winter it must be without Dany and her dragons - they together with the Others as Fire and Ice are the two extremes that need to go.

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The Others can't just be a part of mother nature's amorality because they have been shown to possess intelligence.  They build weapons.  They hunt women for fun. 

Ice (Stark) must go if Fire (Targaryen) must go.  They are opposing forces that keep planetos working.  The climate shifts and the organism who can thrive in the conditions prosper until another shift takes place. 

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3 minutes ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

The Others can't just be a part of mother nature's amorality because they have been shown to possess intelligence.  They build weapons.  They hunt women for fun. 

Ice (Stark) must go if Fire (Targaryen) must go.  They are opposing forces that keep planetos working.  The climate shifts and the organism who can thrive in the conditions prosper until another shift takes place. 

GRRM has certainly anthropomorphised The Others to make the plot more exciting for sure, but I maintain (as GRRM has himself stated) that they do represent Climate Change.

Now the role of the Starks is intriguing. One position is the one you maintain, that they represent Ice so have to go, like the Elven race in LOTR. However, another argument is that they worship the Old Gods, respecting the weirwoods and fought with the COTF against the Andals. The Andal butchery of the weirwoods and slaughter of the Children is the 'evil' that has unbalanced 'Gaia' (Planatos version). I'm waiting to see which side of the divide they stand, although I suspect I won't know from the telly and will have to wait to read the next book.

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Ice and Fire take turns calibrating the world.  Fire destroyed Valyria.  Ice will destroy Westeros.  These disasters keep humans from becoming too powerful and further upsetting the planet's resources.  It culls the weak and the unlucky to force evolution.  

The female part of this equation during the time of the story is Life.  We only need to go to the first book to see the examples.  What did the white walkers do in the prologue?  They killed Will and Waymar.  Ned killed the wandering crow in the following chapter.  Ice is the bringer of death.  Robb rebelled.  Ned killed Lady.  Arya has become mentally bent on killing.  Jon was set to lead his small army into a very avoidable war before Bowen Marsh killed him.  

On 3/20/2019 at 8:43 AM, 867-5309 said:

Females give birth and thus life among the living.  The Others take the dead and control their corpses.  It's different.  

They recycle bodies and put them to good use from the way they see it.  

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Posted (edited)

I've been tossing around an idea for the titular "ice and fire" that is new to me at least. Maybe ice is mercy and fire is revenge.

Mercy seems to be the mode of justice that Jon exhibits and revenge seems to be the mode of justice that Dany exhibits. But in an attempt to abstract them further, maybe ice is stoicism and fire is passion. Lately I am liking the stoicism and passion angle because they seem to represent the type of judgements that their respective characters exhibit. Jon's judgements regarding execution are always stoic. Even when he executes Janos Slynt you can see the hatred in his thoughts, and how that contrasts with his calm and collected decisions. He even gives Janos a night to sleep on it and change his mind. Dany's judgements regarding execution are always passionate. She lets those emotions overwhelm her and she acts on them righteously, vengefully, compassionately and spitefully.

If that's one of the major things that ice and fire represent, then it might help characterize the Others. If Dany is the embodiment of passion, all the ways in which emotions corrupt judgement and how that can cause a good person with good intentions to do evil things, then the Others may be the embodiment of stoicism, a superior mode of judgement un-corrupted by emotions. There is something so right about stoic justice that it can even cause evil people to do good things. It makes me think the Others may be the only thing that will be able to stop Daenerys.

Edited by rustythesmith

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1 hour ago, rustythesmith said:

I've been tossing around an idea for the titular "ice and fire" that is new to me at least. Maybe ice is mercy and fire is revenge.

Mercy seems to be the mode of justice that Jon exhibits and revenge seems to be the mode of justice that Dany exhibits. But in an attempt to abstract them further, maybe ice is stoicism and fire is passion. Lately I am liking the stoicism and passion angle because they seem to represent the type of judgements that their respective characters exhibit. Jon's judgements regarding execution are always stoic. Even when he executes Janos Slynt you can see the hatred in his thoughts, and how that contrasts with his calm and collected decisions. He even gives Janos a night to sleep on it and change his mind. Dany's judgements regarding execution are always passionate. She lets those emotions overwhelm her and she acts on them righteously, vengefully, compassionately and spitefully.

If that's one of the major things that ice and fire represent, then it might help characterize the Others. If Dany is the embodiment of passion, all the ways in which emotions corrupt judgement and how that can cause a good person with good intentions to do evil things, then the Others may be the embodiment of stoicism, a superior mode of judgement un-corrupted by emotions. There is something so right about stoic justice that it can even cause evil people to do good things. It makes me think the Others may be the only thing that will be able to stop Daenerys.

I actually disagree with you.  Jon's killing of Janos Slynt was passionate and brought on by his dislike for the man who he sort of blamed for the death of his father.  So ice is not the good side here.  Daenerys is liberating an enslaved people and that is a very positive thing to do.  She has shown more mercy.  Take the example of Jorah Mormont, who was partially responsible for the death of Rhaego when he brought her inside Mirri's tent.  She banished Jorah but did him no harm.  There aren't many people in this story who would show that kind of mercy.  Daenerys is also willing to win the people of Meereen over despite how she feels about them as a people.  Jon didn't even try to win his people, the Night Watch, to his cause.  Ice is the one destroying Westeros not fire.  

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, 300 H&H Magnum said:

I actually disagree with you.  Jon's killing of Janos Slynt was passionate and brought on by his dislike for the man who he sort of blamed for the death of his father.  So ice is not the good side here.  Daenerys is liberating an enslaved people and that is a very positive thing to do.  She has shown more mercy.  Take the example of Jorah Mormont, who was partially responsible for the death of Rhaego when he brought her inside Mirri's tent.  She banished Jorah but did him no harm.  There aren't many people in this story who would show that kind of mercy.  Daenerys is also willing to win the people of Meereen over despite how she feels about them as a people.  Jon didn't even try to win his people, the Night Watch, to his cause.  Ice is the one destroying Westeros not fire.  

Jon's inner thoughts are starkly contrasted with his words.

Quote

Jon slid the oilcloth down his bastard sword, watching the play of morning light across the ripples, thinking how easily the blade would slide through skin and fat and sinew to part Slynt's ugly head from his body. All of a man's crimes were wiped away when he took the black, and all of his allegiances as well, yet he found it hard to think of Janos Slynt as a brother. There is blood between us. This man helped slay my father and did his best to have me killed as well. (ADWD Jon II)

He's very tempted by revenge. What kind of behavior might we expect from a person who is tempted by revenge? Well, we might expect Jon to seize the first available opportunity to hurt or kill Janos.

So the question now is, on what grounds is a Lord Commander justified to hurt or kill a brother of the Night's Watch?

1. Plotting to overthrow and kill you.

Quote

Do I really want to spend the rest of my life eating salt beef and porridge with murderers
and thieves?
Not that the rest of his life would last very long. Janos Slynt would see to
that.

2. Undermining your authority.

3. Disobeying an order.

Quote

"Keep your ruin, bastard."

I am giving you a chance, my lord. It is more than you ever gave my father. "You mistake me, my lord," Jon said. "That was a command, not an offer." (ADWD Jon II)

Does Jon think of Janos as somebody he eagerly wants to kill?

Quote

“And has m’lord decided who’s to command at Greyguard?”

“Janos Slynt,” said Jon. Gods save us. “A man does not rise to command of the gold cloaks without ability. Slynt was born a butcher’s son. He was captain of the Iron Gate when Manly Stokeworth died, and Jon Arryn raised him up and put the defense of King’s Landing into his hands. Lord Janos cannot be as great a fool as he seems.” And I want him well away from Alliser Thorne.

No, he thinks of Janos as a competent and useful man who is more valuable to him and to everyone if he is alive. Jon clearly has no intention of acting upon his dislike of Janos.

Does Jon leap at the first opportunity to kill Janos?

Quote

He could only hope that a night's sleep would bring Lord Janos to his senses.

No. Jon forgives Janos for kicking furniture and shouting insults at his Lord Commander and he gives Janos a night to sleep on it and come to his senses, because Janos knows damn well that the punishment for this level of disobedience is death.

When the morning comes around, did Janos come to his senses?

4. Throwing away his second chance to obey an order.

Quote

“Then you had best be on your way, boy.” Slynt laughed, dribbling porridge down his chest. “Greyguard’s a good place for the likes of you, I’m thinking. Well away from decent godly folk. The mark of the beast is on you, bastard.”
“You are refusing to obey my order?”
“You can stick your order up your bastard’s arse,” said Slynt, his jowls quivering.
Alliser Thorne smiled a thin smile, his black eyes fixed on Jon. At another table, Godry the Giantslayer began to laugh.

No. Janos doubled down on his insolence and continued to refuse a direct order from his Lord Commander.

Did Jon make the punishment more cruel than it needed to be?

Quote

"Please take Lord Janos to the Wall—"

—and confine him to an ice cell, he might have said. A day or ten cramped up inside the ice would leave him shivering and feverish and begging for release, Jon did not doubt. And the moment he is out, he and Thorne will begin to plot again.

"—and hang him," Jon finished. (ADWD Jon II)

No. Jon knows that torturing him with the ice cells won't do any good to change Janos's  mind so there is no reason to put Janos through the extra suffering before killing him.

Janos once sentenced Jon to death too. Did Janos spare Jon from unnecessary suffering before Jon's execution?

Quote

“Your father died by the sword, but he was highborn, a King’s Hand. For you, a noose will serve. Ser Alliser, take this turncloak to an ice cell.” (ASOS Jon IX)

No. Janos thought it would be appropriate to torture Jon in the ice cells before killing him.

I think everything about Jon's justice regarding Janos Slynt is a great example of how a ruler should behave and how justice is done properly when tempted by revenge. I  see plenty of vengeful thoughts and absolutely zero vengeful behavior, which demonstrates a level of self control and respect for justice that no other character has ever demonstrated in the story.

Jon's decision to send Janos away to Greyguard was a sophisticated act of mercy, because Jon knows that if he doesn't send Janos away, Janos will eventually attempt some mutiny that will get himself rightly executed. Jon was trying to protect Janos from Janos right from the beginning.

Edited by rustythesmith

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I don't think 'The Others' are bad guys. They can be considered antagonists but claiming they're intentions are bad would be ignorant. If the Others wanted to mercilessly kill as many humans as they could, they could of had a field day with Mance and co. Plus, it would be untrue to say that the Others and Whites simply kill. They also raise the dead. Bringing about a different kind of life. It's feasible that Dany can also do something similar, only with dragons. The magic of Ice and Fire isn't all that different and neither one should be allowed to win over the other. In-between this struggle is humanity. The world can end in ice, it can also end in fire. Humanity must find the balance. 

The fandom love Dany. She wears the veil of a hero well. But she did bring three ferocious creatures into the world. Creatures that will burn and kill many people. Maybe even as many as the Others. Who can say? I think she represents Fire. I'd say that was definitive of her character. She just hasn't fully embraced it yet. 

As for a balance and what that looks like. I think neither Dany nor the Others can win over Westeros without destroying it for mankind. So mankind needs a hero who can balance the two sides somehow. Jon could be the man to do this. It seems fitting that he would try to temper the situation. His alleged parentage alone is the perfect symbol for this. So he does have ice and fire in him. And we see him struggle with his passions vs his duty. Which is also a fire and ice comparison. So it looks like the story is moulding Jon into discovering a version of himself that is equal parts. Someone who doesn't fight for magic, or crowns or power, but balance. Someone who can balance mercy and justice. He clearly hasn't found that yet. But he will. Just as Dany hasn't fully embraced the Dragon/fire. I think this is the most natural way for the story to continue. 
 

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On 4/17/2019 at 7:05 AM, 300 H&H Magnum said:

I actually disagree with you.  Jon's killing of Janos Slynt was passionate and brought on by his dislike for the man who he sort of blamed for the death of his father.  So ice is not the good side here.  Daenerys is liberating an enslaved people and that is a very positive thing to do.  She has shown more mercy.  Take the example of Jorah Mormont, who was partially responsible for the death of Rhaego when he brought her inside Mirri's tent.  She banished Jorah but did him no harm.  There aren't many people in this story who would show that kind of mercy.  Daenerys is also willing to win the people of Meereen over despite how she feels about them as a people.  Jon didn't even try to win his people, the Night Watch, to his cause.  Ice is the one destroying Westeros not fire.  

:agree:

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Death is not to be confused with what the Others do.  Death is the end of life.  The Others take the dead and control them.  It's not death they bring.  They take something natural and twist it into something ugly.  Craster and the kings of winter bought into this promise.  The baby offerings and the human sacrifices to the trees show this.  The First Men were a cruel people who gave blood generously to their trees. 

 

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6 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Death is not to be confused with what the Others do.  Death is the end of life.  The Others take the dead and control them.  It's not death they bring.  They take something natural and twist it into something ugly.  Craster and the kings of winter bought into this promise.  The baby offerings and the human sacrifices to the trees show this.  The First Men were a cruel people who gave blood generously to their trees. 

 

Interesting parallel. Craster was just buying his own safety though; no other benefit that I can see.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/16/2019 at 11:06 PM, Unit A2 said:

Ice and Fire take turns calibrating the world.  Fire destroyed Valyria.  Ice will destroy Westeros.  These disasters keep humans from becoming too powerful and further upsetting the planet's resources.  It culls the weak and the unlucky to force evolution.  

The female part of this equation during the time of the story is Life.  We only need to go to the first book to see the examples.  What did the white walkers do in the prologue?  They killed Will and Waymar.  Ned killed the wandering crow in the following chapter.  Ice is the bringer of death.  Robb rebelled.  Ned killed Lady.  Arya has become mentally bent on killing.  Jon was set to lead his small army into a very avoidable war before Bowen Marsh killed him.  

They recycle bodies and put them to good use from the way they see it.  

Ice is the threat to the living and the Starks will take their side.  Those ancient boneheads napping in the crypts will come back in the form of ice wights.  

Edited by Great Oshiro

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