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Black Crow

Heresy 219 and a whisper of Winter

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to Heresy 219, still trudging through the snow and desperately surviving on little tidbits suggesting that the Great Atuin is slowly approaching the next stop in his destination - or if you're feeling obtuse little hints that GRRM is getting close to finishing Winds of Winter, perhaps with a view to telling us what really happened once the Mummer's version closes.

In the unlikely event that you've not been here before, Heresy is a thread which has been running continuously since 2011, taking a slantendicular look at the story, and largely concentrating on the Starks, Winterfell, the Wall and the magical Otherlands beyond - otherwise known as Dark Narnia. We talk about other things as well as the whim takes us, but this is not a Targaryen Fan-page and notwithstanding the Mummers' version we still cast a sceptical eye upon the R+L=J fantasy tropes.

For this particular iteration of the thread I'd like to start off with a couple of things said by GRRM anent the Mummers' version. As the final season approaches he has not unnaturally been interviewed by the Press and said some disturbing things, at least disturbing if you subscribe to the more popular fan theories/fan fiction. 

The Mummers' version is not the one that GRRM is writing. This shouldn't come as surprise to anyone. Its very rare to find a story faithfully adapted for stage or screen, but in this case while the differences can be explained by the usual logistic and artistic limitations and opportunities of film and television up to the end of ADwD, from that point on the Mummers have been flying by the seat of their pants and apparently subscribing to fan-fiction rather than an as yet unpublished text.

And here's where the clues come in. The cast have quite properly been gagged as to how it all ends, although there's pretty heavy undercurrent of mass extinction, but curiously enough there's also a fairly consistent thread running through that some at least will be disappointed - and the tone doesn't suggest that its a simple case of favorite characters winding up dead [really really dead, honest; corpse in one corner of the room, head lying next door, kind of really dead] , but that expectations may be upset, which suggests that at least one popular theory may be overturned.

We're not supposed to talk about the Mummers' version and I don't really intend that we should, but what I'd like to examine are a couple of issues where the Mummers' version is pointing in one direction and GRRM appears to be pointing in another.

Jon Snow obviously figures largely in all of this, but I'd like to start off with someone else, briefly touched upon in an earlier thread.

In talking in the past about the differences between his own one true version and the Mummers' farce, GRRM has commented about the consequences of the Mummers killing off at least one character far too early - with consequences. We've speculated before as to the identity of this character to no great purpose, but I'd like to suggest an intriguing possibility. In the past discussion has centered around real characters - Baristan Selmy being a good example, but what if GRRM wasn't referring to a real character as such? In the book, Robb Stark [remember him] married one Jeyne Westerling after having his wicked way with her. He then died in the Red Wedding. She didn't. In the Mummers's version however he instead married a random volunteer from the International Red Cross, who was killed off there. End of the story, except that in canon it isn't because not only is Jeyne Westerling still living, but GRRM has told us that she will feature in an up-coming prologue - why? Despite her mother telling the late and unlamented Tywin Lanister that she'd been substituting moon tea for young Jeyne's gin, was the poor girl carrying Robb's true-born heir after all and is this what is to be revealed in the prologue featuring Robb's "dead" queen?

If this is so it will upset a lot of theories about one Jon Snow, last seen bleeding out at Castle Black

Edited by Black Crow
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45 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

GRRM has told us that she will feature in an up-coming prologue - why? Despite her mother telling the late and unlamented Tywin Lanister that she'd been substituting moon tea for young Jeyne's gin, was the poor girl carrying Robb's true-born heir after all and is this what is to be revealed in the prologue featuring Robb's "dead" queen?

If this is so it will upset a lot of theories about one Jon Snow, last seen bleeding out at Castle Black

It's an interesting area for speculation, definitely. I'm not sure it applies to the question of the SuperTwist, the contemplation of which by GRRM has apparently delayed TWOW by multiple years, though, because Jeyne never existed in the mummer's version at all (as you point out).  So she can't be the character they killed and he didn't.

The same applies to Aegon (aka Young Griff), whom I expect will turn out to be quite a big deal in the books, as he really already was in ADWD. 

That there is no such character in the broadcast morass (BM) is yet another powerful sign the show-runners had no real notion what the fuck GRRM was going to do in future boooks, except in a very broad sense: "Dragons! Popsicles!  The North! It all ends in tears." 

Re Jeyne... I'm guessing she won't die in the prologue, assuming we ever read TWOW.  GRRM seems to prefer to focus on more minor players in those (though I suppose Varamyr is a step up from, say, Chett).

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58 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

upset a lot of theories about one Jon Snow, last seen bleeding out at Castle Black

On this, I'm just going to post, for the amusement of my fellow Heretics, a very recent quote from Vanity Fair:

Quote

Still, the implication for years has been that while Weiss, Benioff, and their writers may have taken a few detours along the way—ones Martin may or may not approve of—they’re ultimately headed toward the same goal, and the same general ending, that the author laid out to them years ago. So rest assured that Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen are Jon Snow’s parents in the books, as well as on the series.

-- Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair

The idea here seems to be that Jon's parentage is known to be an incredibly important fact for the books -- much too important to change across mediums.  This writer also apparently assumes that GRRM told the show-runners what that parentage was.

But none of that is established.  It's just RLJ dogma.

In fact, I would ballpark the odds at two in three that Ms. Robinson will be eating her words... if TWOW ever comes out at all, and if it pulls back the curtain on the solution to this particular mystery.

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34 minutes ago, JNR said:

...because Jeyne never existed in the mummer's version at all (as you point out).  So she can't be the character they killed and he didn't.

 

On the contrary: my point is that in the Mummer's version Robb Stark's wife was killed [and just for good measure as I recall was stabbed in the stomach] and in the book his wife is still living.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

End of the story, except that in canon it isn't because not only is Jeyne Westerling still living, but GRRM has told us that she will feature in an up-coming prologue - why?

I'll reiterate from the last thread that Jeyne was last seen being sent home to the Crag with Lord Gawen and Lady Sybell, and an armed escort; perhaps I'm thinking in overly simple terms here, but I assume this Prologue is going to follow the format of the others, and that the prologue character won't be Jeyne herself - perhaps it will be one of her parents, or Ser Forley Prester, the man tasked by Jaime with leading the escort - and that the escort in question will never make it to the Crag, with the Prologue character meeting an untimely end.

I would have to re-read the Jaime chapter to fully refresh my memory, but I believe Tom of Sevenstreams from the BwB is hovering around during that same time period, so it may be the case that the BwB will be tipped off about the group's movement; presumably, contextual evidence - pardons issued, Lord Gawen being on the Lannister-Frey side of the siege of Riverrun - might lead the BwB to conclude that Gawen and Sybell were Red Wedding co-conspirators, and accordingly, they should be on Stoneheart's hit list.

Alternately, Checkhov's wolf pack, lead by Nymeria, is still hovering in the Riverlands--it might be thematically fitting for GRRM to kick off TWOW (and the final arc, one would hope) with some direwolf action.

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

On the contrary: my point is that in the Mummer's version Robb Stark's wife was killed [and just for good measure as I recall was stabbed in the stomach] and in the book his wife is still living.

A "wife" is an abstract role, not a character.  The character who carries out that role in the show just does not exist in the books, and vice versa.

Similarly, the role of "person who gets greyscale while traveling via water," in the books, is Jon Connington. 

In the show, it's a very different entity. 

But that in no way tells us Jon Connington is somehow the same character as the person who gets greyscale in the show.  Role ≠ character.

3 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

The only concrete thing I’ve ever thought was interesting about the possibility of Jeyne appearing in a prologue was the idea that we’d finally get a peek into Casterly Rock.

Hmm, that'd be cool... though I really have no clue where she'd be in this imaginary prologue from the imaginary book that may never be published.  For all I know she'll turn up in the Summer Isles, sunbathing with her feet propped up -- Popsicle in one hand, Oreo cookie in the other.

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9 hours ago, Black Crow said:

End of the story, except that in canon it isn't because not only is Jeyne Westerling still living, but GRRM has told us that she will feature in an up-coming prologue - why? Despite her mother telling the late and unlamented Tywin Lanister that she'd been substituting moon tea for young Jeyne's gin, was the poor girl carrying Robb's true-born heir after all and is this what is to be revealed in the prologue featuring Robb's "dead" queen?

If this is so it will upset a lot of theories about one Jon Snow, last seen bleeding out at Castle Black

I must be missing something, because I have no idea how Jeyne impacts Jon Snow. You'll have to spell this one out for me.

 

8 hours ago, JNR said:

That there is no such character in the broadcast morass (BM) is yet another powerful sign the show-runners had no real notion what the fuck GRRM was going to do in future boooks, except in a very broad sense: "Dragons! Popsicles!  The North! It all ends in tears." 

Book readers know that dragons cannot pass over the Wall, therefore it's highly unlikely that a dragon would end up wighted.

 

8 hours ago, JNR said:

The idea here seems to be that Jon's parentage is known to be an incredibly important fact for the books -- much too important to change across mediums.  This writer also apparently assumes that GRRM told the show-runners what that parentage was.

But none of that is established.  It's just RLJ dogma.

In fact, I would ballpark the odds at two in three that Ms. Robinson will be eating her words... if TWOW ever comes out at all, and if it pulls back the curtain on the solution to this particular mystery.

There's a consistent theme with various character interviews with all of them saying their theories were all wrong and that they had to go back and reread the books. Something is up, and it's something big.

Jeyne may be in the prologue of Winds, but it's a maester that will die. that is the pattern of the prologues.

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12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

If this is so it will upset a lot of theories about one Jon Snow, last seen bleeding out at Castle Black

Wow, a prologue ending when Jon's souls manages to overcome Barroq and secure Ghost's skin for his 2nd life.

That would be a nice start. Hopefully I'll still be able to read by the time it reaches publication.

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8 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I must be missing something, because I have no idea how Jeyne impacts Jon Snow. You'll have to spell this one out for me.

She does if she is the mother of a lawfully born Lord of Winterfell.

There is also a related but much broader issue with Jon not much discussed here far less on the broader forum, namely his probable death - in corporeal form at least.

Thus far GRRM has left him bleeding out on the snow. What happens next in GRRM's world remains to be seen, although he has offered hints of him running through a forest hunted by his enemies and of course the famous "oh, you think he's dead do you?".

It could of course just be a case of "only a flesh wound", but that doesn't seem to be consistent with the story, which strongly points to death and resurrection 

The Mummers' version of course blew it with a fan-fiction driven raising of the dead by Our Mel and then what appears to a consequence-free return to life and whatever happens next.

Personally I think that Jon is Ice and the precedence for his return to the land of the living [via Ghost] will be modelled on Coldhands rather than Beric Dondarrion and Catelyn Stark.

Be that as it may, in either event he is going to be a dead thing. Not necessarily a monster but certainly dead and so not likely to rule over anything but a kingdom of the dead, or to father children. Hence the need for a living heir to Winterfell.

[digressing slightly, the obvious reason for Danaerys the Dragonlord, not being able to bear children, is that she too is dead]

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"I see dead people!"

It would be interesting to know the contract details between GRRM and HBO. What is he allowed to change after the tv show has aired?

If the ending he communicated is something like the iron throne is melted and the seven kingdoms disband and go their own ways, or we end up with a weak ruler as a figure head and a democratic structure making decisions, then a lot could change between the tv show and the books.

My expectation for both endings is  that all people / beings with a magic touch die:

Jon Snow

Daenerys Targaryen

Dragons

Direwolves

White Walkers

Melisandre

...

 

 

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I never took Jon’s potential claim for Winterfell seriously. As soon as he turned Stannis down I felt his future remained with the Watch. I do believe he will be resurrected, and that whether it’s by Mel or Val, the final product is basically the same.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, alienarea said:

"I see dead people!"

It would be interesting to know the contract details between GRRM and HBO. What is he allowed to change after the tv show has aired?

I very much doubt that there are any such contractual curbs. GRRM has been at some pains over the years to emphasise that the two versions are different and in the latest interview very different

Edited by Black Crow

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10 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I never took Jon’s potential claim for Winterfell seriously. As soon as he turned Stannis down I felt his future remained with the Watch. I do believe he will be resurrected, and that whether it’s by Mel or Val, the final product is basically the same.

Ah, but Ice preserves while Fire consumes. Both Beric and Catelyn are indeed consumed, while Coldhands on the other hand has been preserved. In both cases they are dead, but Coldhands remains and I can foresee Jon going that way, more readily than being consumed by anger and revenge.

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13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Book readers know that dragons cannot pass over the Wall, therefore it's highly unlikely that a dragon would end up wighted.

And that's the least of it.  Since it passed the canon, the show has become an epic disaster of failed continuity -- not just in contradicting canon, but itself. 

(Varys, for instance, is clearly not supposed to be a mutant teleporter similar to Nightcrawler  from the X-Men, but he does teleport if he's present in both Dorne and Slaver's Bay inside one episode.)

13 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

There's a consistent theme with various character interviews with all of them saying their theories were all wrong and that they had to go back and reread the books.

You mean the actors?  I don't think most of them ever even read the books in the first place.  I'm sure they're nice people,  but if you gave them a pop quiz -- "Who became Jorah Mormont's wife?" -- I think every one of them would flunk.

2 hours ago, alienarea said:

It would be interesting to know the contract details between GRRM and HBO. What is he allowed to change after the tv show has aired?

Well, they are two different stories, and GRRM never sold them creative control over future books in any sense at all.

HBO do have the right to use info in published books in ASOIAF as they see fit for their show... and they have seen fit to ignore/change a hell of a lot, obviously... but their show will almost certainly conclude before TWOW is even published, never mind ADOS.

So GRRM can do precisely as he pleases with future books, and HBO will not have a thing to say about it.  What will happen instead, very likely, is that he will do interviews roughly like this:

Quote

 

INTERVIEWER: But we thought XYX must be true in the books because the show did that.  We were so sure!

GRRM: So were Benioff and Weiss.  (Smiles.)

INTERVIEWER: So you're saying you never told them that? They were just making educated guesses?

GRRM: That's exactly right.  There were always critically important things I was never going to tell them, though I did think I would publish those things before the show got to them. But... (sighs)... time marches on.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Be that as it may, in either event he is going to be a dead thing. Not necessarily a monster but certainly dead and so not likely to rule over anything but a kingdom of the dead

I'm not even sure he's dead or is going to need resurrection. A man can be stabbed, yet not die, especially if he's young.

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Especially Cat, but also Berric - death very much changes a character.  In Cat's case, she is completely obsessed with revenge.  It seems like whatever was in their mind when they died is there sole purpose when they come back. 

We don't know this doesn't apply to Coldhands, and I would argue it does - he doesn't seem to have much of a life other than serving BR.  He probably was a member of the Night's Watch and had no wife or children, but may have been a much warmer, more pleasant fellow.

If this is true and Jon comes back, the last thing he did was his march on Winterfell speech, so he'll either obsess over Winterfell, or the betrayal of the Night's Watch or both.

The mummer's version hints strongly at a parallel or connection between Jon Snow and The Night King, and I've said all along that Jon will become the next Night King, but I don't know whether the mummer's version goes this route.  I think some of the role of the Night King we've seen on the show will be in the books, but it will be a character we know and love leading the Others - Jon or Bran most likely.

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4 hours ago, JNR said:

I'm not even sure he's dead or is going to need resurrection. A man can be stabbed, yet not die, especially if he's young.

 

I once thought that to be possible. but having cogitated on it for nearly a decade, I now think that the momentum of GRRM's story demands the intervention of magic and the consequences which follow.

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4 hours ago, JNR said:

You mean the actors?  I don't think most of them ever even read the books in the first place.  I'm sure they're nice people,  but if you gave them a pop quiz -- "Who became Jorah Mormont's wife?" -- I think every one of them would flunk.

Yes, I meant actors. I've read more than one interview where the actors said they planned on rereading the books, because the finale didn't turn out the way they predicted or thought it would. 

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1 minute ago, Feather Crystal said:

I meant actors. I've read more than one interview where the actors said they planned on rereading the books, because the finale didn't turn out the way they predicted or thought it would. 

Given the spectacular deviations from the books already -- I'm just going to cite Sansa as a blatant example -- I'm surprised they haven't already realized these are two very different stories.

Especially since  their continuity expert, Cogman, and their two show-runners, Benioff and Weiss, and  GRRM himself, have all done interviews in which they spell out that the books and show are really just not the same at a basic level.  GRRM's been saying so since season one.

26 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

the momentum of GRRM's story demands the intervention of magic and the consequences which follow

"Story momentum" is a remarkably difficult thing to establish or quantify, though.  I prefer to stick to what we know, which is simply that Jon was repeatedly stabbed and passed out.

I wouldn't be surprised if he dies and is somehow brought back, but if that happens, I don't think it will involve governing the dead.

1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

The mummer's version hints strongly at a parallel or connection between Jon Snow and The Night King

See above about show v. books. 

However, if we grant your premise, I think the question is really not about Jon, but about the Night's King

This figure from many thousands of years ago, and what he did, and why, are topics not very well understood in Westeros the continent (or Westeros the Web site either), we can be sure of that.  There isn't even any agreement in the myths about which family he came from -- there are some eight different versions or so.

So even if Jon does develop in some parallel fashion, it will probably be parallel to the actual Night's King, not the figure of myth.

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