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The Coconut God

The Updated Exodus Theory and its Corollaries

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On 3/26/2019 at 5:23 PM, Sire de Maletroit said:

Exodus to Essos, agree.  This is pretty much guaranteed to happen.  

Jon leading this exodus, disagree.  Jon is more north than any other northman we've met.  He's more ice than any of the Starks.  He stays put in the north.  He continues to live as the lone wolf inside Ghost or he leads the Stark pack.  The Starks will stay put in the north and live as a pack of direwolves.  They will have their very own Winter Kingdom and Jon, the Alpha Direwolf, will be the King of Winter.  

The man to lead the surviving people to the east is somebody who already has connections to Essos.  Aegon Griffin or whatever the hell his real name is.  

Daenerys and the ex-slavers will have ended their military conflict but there will remain a hard core group of evil Ghiscari who will be socially active in trying to bring back the slave trade.  Think of the KKK, ku klux klan and the other hate groups.  The slave trade will have formally ended but the task to build a new society is first on Dany's task list.  

Daenerys will visit Westeros and realize it's hopeless to turn the weather.  She will iron out her differences with Aegon Griffin and they can work together to open the way for the refugees to move to Essos to places like Vaes Tolorro.  

Cersei will be dead, but Tyrion and Jaime will probably still be living when the exodus happens.  Martin likes Jaime and I can predict the author will keep him alive.  Gendry will be the lone Baratheon remaining.  

The Starks are not leaving the north.  Many highborn will choose to remain with their beloved castles.  The long faces of the Starks will stay in the north.  Jon and Arya.  Bran has no choice.  Rickon will be full on wildling.  The only Stark who might leave the north is Sansa because she's the odd wolf.  

Dany is slowly but surely carving out her own kingdom.  It's more empowering to build your own rather than taking back her family's kingdom for the usurpers.  I'm praying for the rise of a Valyrian Empire under her rule.   It won't be built on slavery this time.   I don't think the long night will have much of an effect on Essos.  The weirwoods are extinct in the east and the magic there is Fire.  

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18 hours ago, Targaryen Restoration said:

The Starks are not leaving the north.  Many highborn will choose to remain with their beloved castles.  The long faces of the Starks will stay in the north.  Jon and Arya.  Bran has no choice.  Rickon will be full on wildling.  The only Stark who might leave the north is Sansa because she's the odd wolf.  

Dany is slowly but surely carving out her own kingdom.  It's more empowering to build your own rather than taking back her family's kingdom for the usurpers.  I'm praying for the rise of a Valyrian Empire under her rule.   It won't be built on slavery this time.   I don't think the long night will have much of an effect on Essos.  The weirwoods are extinct in the east and the magic there is Fire.  

Dany would have a richer and more satisfying story if she stays in Essos and continues with her mission, yes. Arriving in Westeros is just a plot point the readers were conditioned to expect, but she doesn't really have any established conflicts there, in spite of a slew of potential opponents. The people she had legitimate bones to pick with are all dead.

The problem is, the story lines still need to converge. If Dany doesn't go Westeros, then Westeros must come to her, and Jon first of all. You already broke free of one delusive expectation, strike off the other one as well, and see that it makes total sense for a hopeless Jon to lead his people east! :D

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On 3/28/2019 at 5:47 PM, The Coconut God said:

Dany would have a richer and more satisfying story if she stays in Essos and continues with her mission, yes. Arriving in Westeros is just a plot point the readers were conditioned to expect, but she doesn't really have any established conflicts there, in spite of a slew of potential opponents. The people she had legitimate bones to pick with are all dead.

I don't think Dany going to Westeros is just a plot point readers were conditioned to expect. It's been her goal from day one and it is what has driven her story. It's her destiny as she sees it and I expect her ride with Drogon will put her firmly back on that path because for the majority of readers, Dany in Westeros packs more emotional punch than Dany in Essos.

While Essos has been well developed, particularly with the help of companion material, I would say the vast majority of readers have a greater investment in Westeros. Emotionally, the story is about saving Westeros, more so than saving the world. That's where the story began, that's where the majority of the story is taking place, that is where most of the characters we love call home, and that's where the story shall end, with Westeros no doubt better, or at least with the potential to be better, than it was when we found it. To shift the story away from Westeros would, in my opinion, break the promise of what has been set up in the series, and that would only leave more readers dissatisfied than satisfied.

And finally, I would think there are more iconic locations like the Trident, Harrenhal, the God's Eye, etc that are likely to feature some more in the story. I'm certainly hoping that will be the case, rather than say Norvos. The God's Eye seems a good bet for the endgame, but who knows.

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On 3/27/2019 at 6:52 PM, Targaryen Restoration said:

The Starks are not leaving the north.  Many highborn will choose to remain with their beloved castles.  The long faces of the Starks will stay in the north.  Jon and Arya.  Bran has no choice.  Rickon will be full on wildling.  The only Stark who might leave the north is Sansa because she's the odd wolf.  

Dany is slowly but surely carving out her own kingdom.  It's more empowering to build your own rather than taking back her family's kingdom for the usurpers.  I'm praying for the rise of a Valyrian Empire under her rule.   It won't be built on slavery this time.   I don't think the long night will have much of an effect on Essos.  The weirwoods are extinct in the east and the magic there is Fire.  

 

On 3/28/2019 at 1:47 PM, The Coconut God said:

Dany would have a richer and more satisfying story if she stays in Essos and continues with her mission, yes. Arriving in Westeros is just a plot point the readers were conditioned to expect, but she doesn't really have any established conflicts there, in spite of a slew of potential opponents. The people she had legitimate bones to pick with are all dead.

The problem is, the story lines still need to converge. If Dany doesn't go Westeros, then Westeros must come to her, and Jon first of all. You already broke free of one delusive expectation, strike off the other one as well, and see that it makes total sense for a hopeless Jon to lead his people east! :D

The stories do not have to converge.  It's much bigger now than George planned.  Each main character is the protagonists in her or his plotline with antagonists to fight.  Parts of Westeros are already coming to Essos to meet and serve the Dragon Queen.  But I don't think Jon Snow will be leading an exodus of the Westerosi because the only people who will follow him after the fall out at the wall are the wildlings.  They're not leaving the north.  The Starks cannot and will not leave the north.  The example of the dead direwolf made that clear.  Creatures of the north will not leave the north.  The Starks have a pack mindset like actual wolves.  They will stick together in the north and work out a new deal with the white walkers.  Most of westeros will die.  The remaining will cross the step stones and get themselves to Essos.

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33 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I don't think Dany going to Westeros is just a plot point readers were conditioned to expect. It's been her goal from day one and it is what has driven her story. It's her destiny as she sees it and I expect her ride with Drogon will put her firmly back on that path because for the majority of readers, Dany in Westeros packs more emotional punch than Dany in Essos.

In storytelling, particularly arcs following the Hero's Journey, you will often see a Want vs Need dichotomy.

The way that works is that the Hero has a Goal or Destiny they know they must accomplish, and they conceptualize this Destiny in the form of a Want. At the beginning of the story, the Hero sets out on a Journey in order to satisfy the Want, and along the way they are faced with Challenges that make them grow. They begin to understand that there exists something more profound than Want, and that something is the Need. The Hero won't achieve their true potential until they learn to let go of the Want and embrace the Need. It's a sign of moral and intellectual maturity, and in the end it is the Need, not the Want, that sets them on their way towards their Destiny.

In Dany's case, the Goal or Destiny is "becoming a Queen". In order to become Queen, she Wants to reclaim the Iron Throne, but that never develops into anything more than a naive and kind of selfish fantasy. In Slaver's Bay, Dany discovers a Need greater than her Want, which is to fight against the evils of slavery, and ultimately to protect the freedmen who look up to her and call her "mother". What makes a Queen, a throne or a people? Want vs Need. She very explicitly makes this choice when Xaro brings her the ships in ADwD.

Many people called out that Dany's story would be better if she stays in Essos, it's not something new, but that was doubtful because the stories had to converge. The Exodus simply fixes the convergence problem.

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

While Essos has been well developed, particularly with the help of companion material, I would say the vast majority of readers have a greater investment in Westeros. Emotionally, the story is about saving Westeros, more so than saving the world. That's where the story began, that's where the majority of the story is taking place, that is where most of the characters we love call home, and that's where the story shall end, with Westeros no doubt better, or at least with the potential to be better, than it was when we found it. To shift the story away from Westeros would, in my opinion, break the promise of what has been set up in the series, and that would only leave more readers dissatisfied than satisfied.

Funnily enough, this is exactly the conditioning I was talking about! :D

The reader is absolutely convinced that he was promised a pony Westeros, when in fact the set up for that scenario is much weaker than it seems.

For Dany, any place in Westeros would be just as alien as Qarth and Meereen. There would be no emotional impact on her as she recognizes places from her childhood, no open plot threads waiting to be connected. And she has no rapport with the characters in Westeros either. All the leaders of Robert's Rebellion are dead, she can't even go Inigo Montoya on them. If she's gonna fight fAegon, or Cersei, or Euron, all that needs to be properly set up, since the characters haven't even met yet, they have no bones to pick with each other. "We both want the throne" is a very weak and cliched motivation.

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

And finally, I would think there are more iconic locations like the Trident, Harrenhal, the God's Eye, etc that are likely to feature some more in the story. I'm certainly hoping that will be the case, rather than say Norvos. The God's Eye seems a good bet for the endgame, but who knows.

Norvos has a heart broken mother whose son was burned alive by Dany's "children".

Braavos has, oh so many things (potential or confirmed): the house with the red door, Tysha, debts unpaid, identity crises. a taste for freedom with a sinister twist... So many ways to hook Dany, Jon, Tyrion and Arya in tales about the human heart in conflict with itself!

What do Harrenhal and the Trident have? They were... mentioned more often? :laugh: Actually they're pretty close... Harren+Harrenhal, 276 mentions in the series, Braavos+Braavosi, 218, the Trident, 203. The God's Eye doesn't even have that, it's just a place with a cool name and a nice backstory we don't even see in the series proper. Even Ibben has more set up than that.

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45 minutes ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

But I don't think Jon Snow will be leading an exodus of the Westerosi because the only people who will follow him after the fall out at the wall are the wildlings. 

He will lead the wildlings because he let them through the Wall and the northmen because of Robb's will, and both of them because his resurrection will give them a ray of hope. I very much doubt there will be no convergence of stories, On Essos or Westeros, the plot lines must meet, otherwise why put them in the same book?

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Oh you know there will be an exodus but it won't be similar to Nymeria leading her ships.  This is going to be informal and chaotic.  Those on the western end will flee across the sea and take their chances of finding land.  Essos is not going to be the only intended destination.  The Free Cities are not going to open their doors to the refugees.  Slaving cities will attempt to capitalize on this and capture many of the refugees to make slaves out of them.  The children of Westeros will be scattered across planetos.  

Braavos is not going to oppose a Targaryen who will be seen by millions of former slaves as their Mhysa.  They will send their envoys to build an alliance with Mhysa and offer their friendship.  The Sealords have always been partial to the Targaryens.  They might offer a prominent son of the city for marriage considerations.  

Dany is a person of strong will and determination.  She will visit Westeros to at least check out the situation and conclude that she will have to wait until Spring in order to take back what is hers.  This is the meaning behind the title of A Dream of Spring.

Many of the highborn will stay behind and freeze their buns off inside their castles.  Including the Starks.  The only one of that clan who might leave the north will be Sansa.  The rest will huddle together in Winterfell where they do one of those choices:  follow Craster's example and worship the white walkers or die.  

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On 3/27/2019 at 2:58 AM, The Coconut God said:

Jon has to lead the first wave of refugees, that's the only way for the three story arcs to properly converge in two books. Otherwise you're still pacing the entire series after Dany.

The plot or plots doesn't have to involve Jon.  His time should have ended with his stabbing.  It was history repeating itself if you believe he was the son of Rhaegar.  Rhaegar brought war and misery on the realm because he couldn't tame his desire for one woman.  Jon brought ruin to the wall because he couldn't control his desire to help a woman, Arya.  Rhaegar's story ended and so should Jon's.  

Jon will probably be back if George Martin caves in to the pressure from the character's supporters but it doesn't have to involve a plot convergence.  He can stay in the north with Bran and lead the wildlings.  Fire in the East and Ice in the West is a better story in my opinion.  The challenge for ice is surviving the long night and they are equipped to do this with their warg powers.  The human body may die but they get to survive as a pack of wild wolves.  Ice is about family and the struggle between family and duty.  Fire's challenge is to fight human evil and reform Essos.  Dany's challenge has always been learning how best to use her power.  

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On 3/27/2019 at 6:52 PM, Targaryen Restoration said:

The Starks are not leaving the north.  Many highborn will choose to remain with their beloved castles.  The long faces of the Starks will stay in the north.  Jon and Arya.  Bran has no choice.  Rickon will be full on wildling.  The only Stark who might leave the north is Sansa because she's the odd wolf.  

Dany is slowly but surely carving out her own kingdom.  It's more empowering to build your own rather than taking back her family's kingdom for the usurpers.  I'm praying for the rise of a Valyrian Empire under her rule.   It won't be built on slavery this time.   I don't think the long night will have much of an effect on Essos.  The weirwoods are extinct in the east and the magic there is Fire.  

Sansa is Littlefinger's girl.  Where he goes she goes. 

Edited by Great Oshiro

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21 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

In storytelling, particularly arcs following the Hero's Journey, you will often see a Want vs Need dichotomy.

Want and need are part of every character arc. But we can't say that Dany wants to go to Westeros therefore she must learn that what she needs is to stay in Essos. I think Jon and Dany will eventually understand what they need and it will differ from what they want, but I don't see why that can't happen in Westeros.

Dany wants to reclaim her birthright and take the Iron Throne, but she needs to learn to rule and her journey has been teaching her that. She is now in a position where she is stuck between her need to stay Mereen to establish stability and her want to continue her quest for the Iron Throne. I suspect the solution will emerge from her vision-quest with Drogon on the Dothraki sea and that it will drive her to Westeros by the end of Winds.

Once she is there, Dany will want to be a good queen, but I imagine she will learn that is not quite the same as what she needs to do in the grand scheme of things. And I suspect that lesson will be very similar to the lesson Jon will have learned in his arc, which will involve the true king/queen/knight theme and potential self-sacrifice, in my opinion.

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On 3/26/2019 at 5:23 PM, Sire de Maletroit said:

Exodus to Essos, agree.  This is pretty much guaranteed to happen.  

Jon leading this exodus, disagree.  Jon is more north than any other northman we've met.  He's more ice than any of the Starks.  He stays put in the north.  He continues to live as the lone wolf inside Ghost or he leads the Stark pack.  The Starks will stay put in the north and live as a pack of direwolves.  They will have their very own Winter Kingdom and Jon, the Alpha Direwolf, will be the King of Winter.  

The man to lead the surviving people to the east is somebody who already has connections to Essos.  Aegon Griffin or whatever the hell his real name is.  

Daenerys and the ex-slavers will have ended their military conflict but there will remain a hard core group of evil Ghiscari who will be socially active in trying to bring back the slave trade.  Think of the KKK, ku klux klan and the other hate groups.  The slave trade will have formally ended but the task to build a new society is first on Dany's task list.  

Daenerys will visit Westeros and realize it's hopeless to turn the weather.  She will iron out her differences with Aegon Griffin and they can work together to open the way for the refugees to move to Essos to places like Vaes Tolorro.  

Cersei will be dead, but Tyrion and Jaime will probably still be living when the exodus happens.  Martin likes Jaime and I can predict the author will keep him alive.  Gendry will be the lone Baratheon remaining.  

Agree on the Starks and Jon staying put in the north.  Well, excepting maybe Sansa.  I think she dies in the Eyrie with Petyr.  Aegon will die at the hands of the Lannisters.  Too bad because I'm hoping he chokes Jaime Lannister to death.  I don't see that happening though.  Daenerys will still be fighting the slave masters because they won't give up easily.  

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On 3/31/2019 at 3:28 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

Want and need are part of every character arc. But we can't say that Dany wants to go to Westeros therefore she must learn that what she needs is to stay in Essos. I think Jon and Dany will eventually understand what they need and it will differ from what they want, but I don't see why that can't happen in Westeros.

We can absolutely say that protecting her freedmen is a more mature, responsible and noble pursuit than chasing a throne in Westeros, because that's how Dany's ADwD arc reads (echoing ideas that were present in ASoS as well). You could perhaps argue that George inadvertently introduced some deeper themes in the Meereen story line when all he wanted was to thread water while allowing some time to pass, but that would be incredibly contentious, and would stand out better as a basis for criticism, should it turn out to be true, than a solid basis for character analysis.

On 3/31/2019 at 3:28 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

Dany wants to reclaim her birthright and take the Iron Throne, but she needs to learn to rule and her journey has been teaching her that. She is now in a position where she is stuck between her need to stay Mereen to establish stability and her want to continue her quest for the Iron Throne. I suspect the solution will emerge from her vision-quest with Drogon on the Dothraki sea and that it will drive her to Westeros by the end of Winds.

There is no reason for an unbiased reader to sympathize with Dany if she goes to Westeros at this point. Yeah, people will cheer for it because "the story is finally moving along!", which comes from their subconscious perception of a need for convergence, but Dany as a character has nothing but selfish reasons to go to Westeros. The Others don't come into consideration because she shouldn't know about them, and everything else is trumped by the needs of the freedmen she is responsible for.

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13 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

"the story is finally moving along!", which comes from their subconscious perception of a need for convergence,

I think we agree that most readers will be more satisfied with Dany getting to Westeros than her staying in Essos because they will feel the story is moving along. But moving along towards what? In my opinion, "the story moving along" is a perception created by the writer and comes from the promises they make to the reader at the beginning of the story and how they subsequently get there.

 

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On 3/30/2019 at 10:52 AM, The Coconut God said:

He will lead the wildlings because he let them through the Wall and the northmen because of Robb's will, and both of them because his resurrection will give them a ray of hope. I very much doubt there will be no convergence of stories, On Essos or Westeros, the plot lines must meet, otherwise why put them in the same book?

I don't think so coconut.  The north is not following Jon.  Well, most of them won't.  If he gets resurrected it will be by the white walkers.  Robb's will is worthless.  He was a failure who tried to become king.  He failed.  He didn't have the authority to legitimize a bastard.

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19 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

I don't think so coconut.  The north is not following Jon.  Well, most of them won't.  If he gets resurrected it will be by the white walkers.  Robb's will is worthless.  He was a failure who tried to become king.  He failed.  He didn't have the authority to legitimize a bastard.

I believe there's a lot more head canon in your rebuttal than in my theory... :D

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