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Free Northman Reborn

Master thread on what the Show means for the book plot

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9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't expect anything of that sort in a negative way. The red priests will bring fire and warmth to Westeros during the Long Night. The literal fire that burns against the cold (freezing black brothers never did that kind of thing all that convincingly, just ask Gared ;-)).

Anybody sacrificed to R'hllor or Brandon 'the old god' or the Stranger (and there will be many such people) should not be seen in a negative way.

Well it looks like the show is trying to say that once the long night is over, 'public opinion' :laugh: turns on these fire mages.

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Just now, Ser Hedge said:

Well it looks like the show is trying to say that once the long night is over, 'public opinion' :laugh: turns on these fire mages.

Yeah, right. Just as public opinion was staunchly in favor of the queen with the zombie guard and the Frankenstein Hand who blew up half the nobility of the Realm, including the Westerosi pope ;-).

And in the books - do we really think Dany is going to become worse than Cersei, Euron, Catelyn, the brave Northmen/Riverlanders dealing with the Freys, Boltons, Lannisters, Stannis' cannibalistic and pyromaniac followers, resurrected Jon dealing with winter and starvation in a war-torn country? She definitely is going to be harsh, too, but not harsh in a sense that is setting her completely apart from the other characters. And if that's the case then the show plot pretty much breaks down.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, I was relaying what Linda said there - she also doesn't believe the boy gets out of the cave. And it is really silly to suggest otherwise, in my opinion.

I think it's really silly to suggest that-wise, in my opinion, and I don't care who's doing it.  "Hold the door" is essentially confirmed as canon, in some way.  If Hodor isn't holding the door for Bran to leave the cave, what the hell is he holding the door for?  There's much else I could say, but I don't see how you mental gymnastic your way around that one.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, have you ever asked why the hell George made Bran into a cripple in the first place? In this setting? Most likely not to make him a specifically mobile character...

Your primary defense is Bran can't leave the cave because he's a cripple?  The same kid who traveled all the way up there - as a cripple?  M'kay.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Because it is quite clear that the show changed stories based on the ages of the characters, no? We are also not going to see strong Baratheon seed getting pumped inside the she-wolf pup, are we?

Oh, who knows - and that's a creepy way of putting it, btw.  Women have sex at a very young age in Martin's society (and do in the real world too!).  I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Arya hooks up with Gendry, but doesn't stay with him.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Overall I expect Arya and Dany to hook up somehow before Dany gets to Westeros - because she already is in Essos, and it seems 'Jaqen' wants to steal the book that tells you how to kill dragons.

I like this idea as well.

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13 minutes ago, DMC said:

I think it's really silly to suggest that-wise, in my opinion, and I don't care who's doing it.  "Hold the door" is essentially confirmed as canon, in some way.  If Hodor isn't holding the door for Bran to leave the cave, what the hell is he holding the door for?  There's much else I could say, but I don't see how you mental gymnastic your way around that one.

Do you honestly think Bran could get out of the cave and back to the Wall if the Others were truly out there to get him? In the show logic they could carry Bran back to the Wall in the middle of winter with all the wights and Others out to get them, but in the books that's not going to work.

I think I figured out how 'HOLD THE DOOR' is going to happen - the crucial issue the show actually completely botched is the following: Why should past-Hodor say 'Hodor' all day long if he he is taken over by Bran in the present? That makes no sense...

The door Hodor is going to hold will be the Black Gate beneath the Wall (the cave of the Children doesn't have any doors), either when Jojen/Meera return to the Wall, or later still when the Others attack the Black Gate in an attempt to cross the get through the Wall. Keep in mind that George clearly plans some sort of Nightfort plot with Stannis, Selyse, and Mel eventually settling there. One imagines something is going to happen with the place.

Now, my idea is that Bran is going to transform Hodor into his second body basically, the pawn he uses to be close to Meera, possibly to even have sex with her at one point in the future. In any case, he will be there in Hodor when they are at the Black Gate, and the Black is a living weirwood tree. Weirwoods perceive time differently, non-linear. Now, what do you think would happen if Hodor-Bran were stand, Gandalf-like, on the bridge at the gate, keeping the enemy at bay, and merging himself with the weirwood to strengthen it long enough to keep the Others. In fact, the fact that the Black Gate can talk could indicate that it is fueled by some sort of human spirit, meaning that this could be Hodor's ultimate fate as well.

In any case, if Hodor merged/got connected with a weirwood and was suddenly overwhelmed/forced to perceive time the way a weirwood did could explain why this feedback loop fried his brain back to his birth. Since in the books it is quite clear 'Walder' never said anything but 'Hodor'. From birth. The scene the show gave us there is not going to happen in the books.

Thus: Bran doesn't have to be physically there when this happens.

13 minutes ago, DMC said:

Your primary defense is Bran can't leave the cave because he's a cripple?  The same kid who traveled all the way up there - as a cripple?  M'kay.

See above.

13 minutes ago, DMC said:

Oh, who knows - and that's a creepy way of putting it, btw.  Women have sex at a very young age in Martin's society (and do in the real world too!).  I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Arya hooks up with Gendry, but doesn't stay with him.

I know, I find the idea that Gendry and Arya could have sex in the books creepy. She is still only eleven years old. This would be pedo sex, even by Westerosi standards. And I'm not sure they will be able reforge whatever bond they had. They have met different people, Arya will meet even more people, and, most importantly, Gendry abandoned her. You do not abandon Arya Stark. She won't forget that.

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Just now, Lord Varys said:

Do you honestly think Bran could get out of the cave and back to the Wall if the Others were truly out there to get him? In the show logic they could carry Bran back to the Wall in the middle of winter with all the wights and Others out to get them, but in the books that's not going to work.

Yes.  It's a fantasy story.  Do you honestly think Bran could get to that cave in the first place if we're talking about realism?  He will presumably be infinitely more capable of acquiring help on the way back.

3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Why should past-Hodor say 'Hodor' all day long if he he is taken over by Bran in the present? That makes no sense...

Because he was accessed through present-Bran in Hodor's past.  Will it happen like that in the books?  No idea, but that's pretty standard time-travel logic.

7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, the fact that the Black Gate can talk could indicate that it is fueled by some sort of human spirit, meaning that this could be Hodor's ultimate fate as well.

I did think that was maybe the most Tolkein-ish part of his story, having the gate talk.  I think you may very well be right that Hodor is holding a door that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the cave, sorry should have clarified that earlier.  But what I don't think is it's anything other than Hodor holding the door so Bran can survive (and obviously leave the cave).  That's the entire point of that moment.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

the cave of the Children doesn't have any doors

I want to respond to this generally because it's a common dismissive critique.  That is an assumption.  We don't know if the cave has doors or not.  The CotF have clearly been occupying the cave for a very very long time, there's plenty of textual evidence there.  That they could have built a door or two during that time isn't, like, some insane proposal.  Nor is that we simply haven't been informed of such door(s) to this point.  

Moreover, from my perspective the contention there aren't any doors in the cave only further weakens the "Bran stays in the cave" position.  If you accept "hold the door" will happen in some respect, it follows that it's based on Bran's survival.  If it's not in the cave, it then follows that Bran is no longer in the cave.  Coming up with convoluted explanations like this...

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In any case, he will be there in Hodor when they are at the Black Gate, and the Black is a living weirwood tree. Weirwoods perceive time differently, non-linear. Now, what do you think would happen if Hodor-Bran were stand, Gandalf-like, on the bridge at the gate, keeping the enemy at bay, and merging himself with the weirwood to strengthen it long enough to keep the Others. In fact, the fact that the Black Gate can talk could indicate that it is fueled by some sort of human spirit, meaning that this could be Hodor's ultimate fate as well.

...just make the argument seem more silly.  Why does Hodor-Bran need to make this last stand at the Black Gate?  What's the purpose of this sacrifice?  Let's be frank about it, Hodor is a dispensable character.  So who is Hodor-Bran saving in this scenario?

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9 hours ago, DMC said:

Yes.  It's a fantasy story.  Do you honestly think Bran could get to that cave in the first place if we're talking about realism?  He will presumably be infinitely more capable of acquiring help on the way back.

LOL, right? Just as the Others who were smart enough to place wights before the entrance of the cave the last time around would not do this when they were trying to kill the boy, right? If George actually tried to sell us the idea the cripple boy could get back to the Wall in the middle of winter while the Others are massing their forces to attack the Wall his entire story would break down. The lands beyond the Wall are their lands, and they had 8,000 years to explore it thoroughly.

9 hours ago, DMC said:

Because he was accessed through present-Bran in Hodor's past.  Will it happen like that in the books?  No idea, but that's pretty standard time-travel logic.

That's how the show tried to sell that nonsense, but there is no hint whatsoever that a past-watching greenseer can even try to possess an individual from the past. Perhaps Bran can eventually speak through weirwoods in the past, but even that remains to be seen. But the fact that Hodor never spoke like a normal person is already confirmation that Bran is never going to try to possess his past self. That's a show invention.

9 hours ago, DMC said:

I did think that was maybe the most Tolkein-ish part of his story, having the gate talk.  I think you may very well be right that Hodor is holding a door that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the cave, sorry should have clarified that earlier.  But what I don't think is it's anything other than Hodor holding the door so Bran can survive (and obviously leave the cave).  That's the entire point of that moment.

There is no reason to believe that 'HOLD THE DOOR' has anything to do with saving Bran's life. Bran is outside the grasp of the Others now, not to mention that there is no indication whatsoever that the Others are actually targeting the Children of the Forest or their greenseers. There is no silly Lich King in the book, nor weirdo mark that gives the Others power to enter the cave, no desire of the Others to erase the memory of the world. All they seem to want to destroy are humanity as such, not beings who remember stuff.

2 hours ago, DMC said:

I want to respond to this generally because it's a common dismissive critique.  That is an assumption.  We don't know if the cave has doors or not.  The CotF have clearly been occupying the cave for a very very long time, there's plenty of textual evidence there.  That they could have built a door or two during that time isn't, like, some insane proposal.  Nor is that we simply haven't been informed of such door(s) to this point.  

We know that the main entrance doesn't have a door, and we know the cave is protected by a magical ward that doesn't need doors. That makes it rather likely that the back entrance doesn't have or need a door, either.

But it is silly to assume that as ridiculous a scenario as we got in the show makes sense in the books. If the Others ever found a way to get through the magical ward and attack the cave, they would not attack only the front entrance. They would have their minions at both entrances meaning it would be help no one if Hodor held the door against the wights/Others inside the cave, thus delivering Bran and his companions to the Others/wights outside the cave.

2 hours ago, DMC said:

Moreover, from my perspective the contention there aren't any doors in the cave only further weakens the "Bran stays in the cave" position.  If you accept "hold the door" will happen in some respect, it follows that it's based on Bran's survival.  If it's not in the cave, it then follows that Bran is no longer in the cave.  Coming up with convoluted explanations like this...

...just make the argument seem more silly.  Why does Hodor-Bran need to make this last stand at the Black Gate?  What's the purpose of this sacrifice?  Let's be frank about it, Hodor is a dispensable character.  So who is Hodor-Bran saving in this scenario?

Either the Wall as such, for a time, because some meddling of the Others or Stannis/Melisandre has weakened the Black Gate which might be the centerpiece of the spell upholding the Wall, keeping the Others out. Or much more mundane - to save Meera's life. Because it is quite obvious that, while Bran is never going to leave the cave, Jojen and Meera will, either because Bran/Bloodraven/the Children are sending them on some mission or because Jojen cannot stay in the cave and will insist to return back home, knowing that he won't survive the journey.

With Hodor-Bran accompanying them, Bran would never leave them, nor would they ever leave Bran. You really have to stop pretending that Bran's physical body has any significance to the plot. It doesn't. While Hodor is alive he can move around like a normal person.

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, right. Just as public opinion was staunchly in favor of the queen with the zombie guard and the Frankenstein Hand who blew up half the nobility of the Realm, including the Westerosi pope ;-).

And in the books - do we really think Dany is going to become worse than Cersei, Euron, Catelyn, the brave Northmen/Riverlanders dealing with the Freys, Boltons, Lannisters, Stannis' cannibalistic and pyromaniac followers, resurrected Jon dealing with winter and starvation in a war-torn country? She definitely is going to be harsh, too, but not harsh in a sense that is setting her completely apart from the other characters. And if that's the case then the show plot pretty much breaks down.

To be clear, not a Dany troll here.

Since this thread is about drawing valid inferences from the smouldering wreckage of the show and applying to the book, we can't completely ignore the turn Dany took, and I thought our discussion was going towards something broader than just her, as you said the whole fire side of things taking root in the 7Ks. Maybe they help with the Battle for the Dawn, maybe they try to help and actually don't contribute meaningfully who tf knows, but after the Long Night, the people being a fickle lot could easily turn on dem 'foreigners'.

We saw in FaB the smallfolk in KL got incited to kill the dragons one moment, the next they're celebrating the birth of Rhaena's hatchling. Maybe someone plays the role of Clubfoot Larys Strong (Tyrion?) and spreads rumours about Dany after she's finished Cersei and fAegon. :dunno:

A lot of the villains we know do not have noteriety across the 7K. e.g. Ramsay is local to the North, the Freys are hated in the North and the Riverlands. Euron's atrocities are felt directly in parts of the Reach.

There is also the question of perception. The ravaging of the Riverlands was easily one of the worst wide-spread atrocities we have seen, and this was from the same man who sacked KL quite brutally. Oh, and let's not forget the RW. Yet, once Tywin was once again Hand (and grandfather) of the King, the nobles fall in line eventually, and his funeral is well attended etc. Sure the North and the Riverlands (and Dorne and some Stormland lords) still hate him, but some of the Riverlands smallfolk also suffered at the hands of broken Northmen or Karstarks looking for the escaped Jamie (perceived as just 'Northmen') or at the hands of Boltons when Roose was in Harrenhal (again 'Northmen'). The Qohorik sellswords, now reduced to broken rabble including other Lannister hirelings and recruits in the smallfolk's minds are probably not even attributed to Tywin. For all you know, they're blaming Lions, Wolves and foreigners equally.

So, Dany does not have to be the worst by any means, she just needs bad PR and I think Arianne is going to get that ball rolling early.

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53 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But the fact that Hodor never spoke like a normal person is already confirmation that Bran is never going to try to possess his past self. That's a show invention.

I don't see Hodor never speaking normally as confirmation of anything.  It just may mean he was always incapacitated in such a manner.  I'm unaware of or unable to recall any confirmation of when exactly he started only saying "Hodor."  But please, correct me if there is, I definitely could be wrong.

57 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no reason to believe that 'HOLD THE DOOR' has anything to do with saving Bran's life.

Um, yeah there is.  What is Hodor's reason for existing as a character in the first place?  You may disagree, but in my view it's pretty clearly as Bran's protector.  So if he dies screaming "hold the door," there is every reason to assume he's doing so to save Bran.  I would argue there's no reason to believe that 'hold the door' has anything BUT to do with saving Bran's life.  Like, seriously, what are the alternatives here?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

All they seem to want to destroy are humanity as such, not beings who remember stuff.

I tend to agree, but they clearly have a blood feud of some sort with the CotF, whether the latter created them or not.  And it's quite possible they view Bloodraven and/or Bran as a particular threat to their designs.  We know Mel has seen them in her visions (and interprets them as a threat as well).  It's not really a stretch to think the Others may also be aware of their abilities/potential influence.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If the Others ever found a way to get through the magical ward and attack the cave, they would not attack only the front entrance. They would have their minions at both entrances meaning it would be help no one if Hodor held the door against the wights/Others inside the cave, thus delivering Bran and his companions to the Others/wights outside the cave.

If the Others attack the cave, they will certainly attack it and cover as many entrances as they are aware of.  But that doesn't mean it's not still possible there is some kind of secret door that will lead them to salvation only the CotF are aware of.  Between the Red Keep, the foreshadowing about Tyrion's role with the sewers of Casterly Rock, and Winterfell, the books are pretty damn into secret passageways.

Not for nothing, but this discussion reminded me of a scene in Donnie Darko about the literary meaning of the phrase "cellar door" (specifically when Drew Barrymore tells Donnie she got fired).  Googling it, seems there's more basis for that than I was aware of, and could be of some relevance.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

You really have to stop pretending that Bran's physical body has any significance to the plot. It doesn't.

No, I don't; and yes, it does. :P   If 'hold the door' is about saving Meera and Jojen that would be..particularly anticlimactic.  As for the Black Gate being the source of the Wall's spells, meh, I suppose that's more compelling and I'm open-minded to the idea.  But your arguments are plainly not convincing enough to dismiss the very high probability that you're just simply wrong about this.

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14 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

To be clear, not a Dany troll here.

Since this thread is about drawing valid inferences from the smouldering wreckage of the show and applying to the book, we can't completely ignore the turn Dany took, and I thought our discussion was going towards something broader than just her, as you said the whole fire side of things taking root in the 7Ks. Maybe they help with the Battle for the Dawn, maybe they try to help and actually don't contribute meaningfully who tf knows, but after the Long Night, the people being a fickle lot could easily turn on dem 'foreigners'.

I actually expect the fire aspect to become in very handy for the guys in Westeros in the middle of winter. It is not going to be something they will reject. George made that clear with the success Thoros and R'hllor have as 'a religion that works' in the Riverlands.

Dany's people certainly will be resisted at first - but we can be reasonably certain that the Faith is not going to deliver Westeros from the Others. Their ways will eventually turn out to be a dead end. And when people are pushed hard enough they will do anything to survive.

14 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

We saw in FaB the smallfolk in KL got incited to kill the dragons one moment, the next they're celebrating the birth of Rhaena's hatchling. Maybe someone plays the role of Clubfoot Larys Strong (Tyrion?) and spreads rumours about Dany after she's finished Cersei and fAegon. :dunno:

I actually think the kind of a frenzy the Kingslanders worked themselves into back during the Dance is a hint that the kind of nonsense the show portrays is not very likely to happen. These people killed the dragons because they feared other dragons would burn them any minute. If dragons knock at the door they are also likely to raise up against whoever is trying to resist them, unless we have a scenario where both sides have dragons.

14 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

A lot of the villains we know do not have noteriety across the 7K. e.g. Ramsay is local to the North, the Freys are hated in the North and the Riverlands. Euron's atrocities are felt directly in parts of the Reach.

There is also the question of perception. The ravaging of the Riverlands was easily one of the worst wide-spread atrocities we have seen, and this was from the same man who sacked KL quite brutally. Oh, and let's not forget the RW. Yet, once Tywin was once again Hand (and grandfather) of the King, the nobles fall in line eventually, and his funeral is well attended etc. Sure the North and the Riverlands (and Dorne and some Stormland lords) still hate him, but some of the Riverlands smallfolk also suffered at the hands of broken Northmen or Karstarks looking for the escaped Jamie (perceived as just 'Northmen') or at the hands of Boltons when Roose was in Harrenhal (again 'Northmen'). The Qohorik sellswords, now reduced to broken rabble including other Lannister hirelings and recruits in the smallfolk's minds are probably not even attributed to Tywin. For all you know, they're blaming Lions, Wolves and foreigners equally.

So, Dany does not have to be the worst by any means, she just needs bad PR and I think Arianne is going to get that ball rolling early.

George has already told us that TWoW is going to be a very dark book, meaning that both the obvious villains as well as 'the heroes' are going to go to very dark places there. The North and the Riverlanders seem to be getting brutal (and likely very self-destructive, both physically - loss of lives - and mentally - destruction of human empathy and normal morality) revenge stories. In that sense, I don't think we will have (m)any good guys left by the time anyone is going to face Daenerys.

Even Aegon is going to have to fight dirty if he wants to prevail against Euron - assuming he prevails against him in the first place (if they ever clash directly, I cannot see the boy prevail - even if they never clash directly, Euron should be able to remove him magically).

We should be in a world of cynics like Lem Lemoncloak when we enter the last phase of the political game - and a world of desperate animals when the true threat of the Others is finally understood.

I mean, how many people will kill themselves when they understand how stupid they have been pursuing their own selfish goals? If Robb was still alive he should cut his throat once he realizes how much he has weakened the North...

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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

I don't see Hodor never speaking normally as confirmation of anything.  It just may mean he was always incapacitated in such a manner.  I'm unaware of or unable to recall any confirmation of when exactly he started only saying "Hodor."  But please, correct me if there is, I definitely could be wrong.

Go and research Hodor's history. Old Nan told the gang that his name was Walder, not Hodor, and that he has never said anything but 'Hodor'.

The show clearly did not follow Martin here.

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

Um, yeah there is.  What is Hodor's reason for existing as a character in the first place?  You may disagree, but in my view it's pretty clearly as Bran's protector.  So if he dies screaming "hold the door," there is every reason to assume he's doing so to save Bran.  I would argue there's no reason to believe that 'hold the door' has anything BUT to do with saving Bran's life.  Like, seriously, what are the alternatives here?

No, he is Bran's servant, Bran's pawn, Bran's second body. He is not a person in his own right - thanks to Bran himself.

I'm not even sure he will 'die' as such holding the door. I think he will cease to be a human being and merge with the weirwood gate, explaining how his mind is shattered. Anything else doesn't really make sense.

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

I tend to agree, but they clearly have a blood feud of some sort with the CotF, whether the latter created them or not.  And it's quite possible they view Bloodraven and/or Bran as a particular threat to their designs.  We know Mel has seen them in her visions (and interprets them as a threat as well).  It's not really a stretch to think the Others may also be aware of their abilities/potential influence.

Sure, but it seems the Others are only interested to prevent humans to talk/interact with the Children, they make no attempt to attack them. If they cared much about them, it is very odd that there is no such attempt done during the main series up to that point.

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

If the Others attack the cave, they will certainly attack it and cover as many entrances as they are aware of.  But that doesn't mean it's not still possible there is some kind of secret door that will lead them to salvation only the CotF are aware of.  Between the Red Keep, the foreshadowing about Tyrion's role with the sewers of Casterly Rock, and Winterfell, the books are pretty damn into secret passageways.

But even if that worked - Bran the cripple can never get back to the Wall in the middle of winter. He nearly froze to death while making the journey in autumn, in winter he would definitely die. Not to mention that the Others would pursue them and eventually hunt them down. Last time they had no idea Bran was coming, if they attacked the cave because of him they would do this because they know and want to see him dead.

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

No, I don't; and yes, it does. :P   If 'hold the door' is about saving Meera and Jojen that would be..particularly anticlimactic.  As for the Black Gate being the source of the Wall's spells, meh, I suppose that's more compelling and I'm open-minded to the idea.  But your arguments are plainly not convincing enough to dismiss the very high probability that you're just simply wrong about this.

Well, all arguments you do have seems to be the show. But then we can just as well also believe the Lich King is going to ride an undead dragon after the wight hunt, no?

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9 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I actually expect the fire aspect to become in very handy for the guys in Westeros in the middle of winter. It is not going to be something they will reject. George made that clear with the success Thoros and R'hllor have as 'a religion that works' in the Riverlands.

Dany's people certainly will be resisted at first - but we can be reasonably certain that the Faith is not going to deliver Westeros from the Others. Their ways will eventually turn out to be a dead end. And when people are pushed hard enough they will do anything to survive.

I actually think the kind of a frenzy the Kingslanders worked themselves into back during the Dance is a hint that the kind of nonsense the show portrays is not very likely to happen. These people killed the dragons because they feared other dragons would burn them any minute. If dragons knock at the door they are also likely to raise up against whoever is trying to resist them, unless we have a scenario where both sides have dragons.

George has already told us that TWoW is going to be a very dark book, meaning that both the obvious villains as well as 'the heroes' are going to go to very dark places there. The North and the Riverlanders seem to be getting brutal (and likely very self-destructive, both physically - loss of lives - and mentally - destruction of human empathy and normal morality) revenge stories. In that sense, I don't think we will have (m)any good guys left by the time anyone is going to face Daenerys.

Even Aegon is going to have to fight dirty if he wants to prevail against Euron - assuming he prevails against him in the first place (if they ever clash directly, I cannot see the boy prevail - even if they never clash directly, Euron should be able to remove him magically).

We should be in a world of cynics like Lem Lemoncloak when we enter the last phase of the political game - and a world of desperate animals when the true threat of the Others is finally understood.

I mean, how many people will kill themselves when they understand how stupid they have been pursuing their own selfish goals? If Robb was still alive he should cut his throat once he realizes how much he has weakened the North...

Good points! Yeah, it's going to be fascinating to see how it plays out in TWOW. The horrors of the show cannot spoil it in any way with so much still in play and with a very different set up, but yeah, I guess we are going to see horrors of another kind as you say.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Go and research Hodor's history. Old Nan told the gang that his name was Walder, not Hodor, and that he has never said anything but 'Hodor'.

I'm well aware.  What I'm not aware of is any canon statement about when Walder started only saying Hodor.  That was my question.

6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I think he will cease to be a human being and merge with the weirwood gate, explaining how his mind is shattered. Anything else doesn't really make sense.

Uh..right, because the first sentence screams of good sense.  He'll merge with the weirwood gate?  What does that even mean?

6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

it is very odd that there is no such attempt done during the main series up to that point.

It is very odd that they haven't already gone after Bloodraven, definitely.  But then again, we don't know, maybe they have.  We don't have his POV.

6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, all arguments you do have seems to be the show.

I have been arguing for things on the show I think are plausible on this thread, yes.  There are plenty of things I think the show did that are implausible, or downright wrong, or infuriating, but there's nothing there to argue about, right?

Edited by DMC
Think not seem.."are plausible" in the last graph. Embarrassing typo

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1 minute ago, DMC said:

I'm well aware.  What I'm not aware of is any canon statement about when Walder started only saying Hodor.  That was my question.

It comes with Nan's story. She tells us he only ever said 'Hodor'.

1 minute ago, DMC said:

Uh..right, because the first sentence screams of good sense.  He'll merge with the weirwood gate?  What does that even mean?

I explained that. That Hodor is going to perceive time the way a weirwood does. This creates a 'temporal feedback loop' that shatters his mind frying his brain since before he was born.

1 minute ago, DMC said:

It is very odd that they haven't already gone after Bloodraven, definitely.  But then again, we don't know, maybe they have.  We don't have his POV.

Considering only a couple of wights sit before the entrance this doesn't seem to be very likely...

If you thought the greenseer was a big problem one would expect some Others to be there - or an entire army of wights.

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Just now, Lord Varys said:

She tells us he only ever said 'Hodor'.

For the third time, I'm asking if it's ever confirmed when he started saying Hodor.  Because I don't believe she mentions that.

3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If you thought the greenseer was a big problem one would expect some Others to be there - or an entire army of wights.

Well, they were obviously laying in wait outside the thing.  Not sure an entire army is the wisest strategy, I don't think they wanted to raise attention to the location.

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16 minutes ago, DMC said:

For the third time, I'm asking if it's ever confirmed when he started saying Hodor.  Because I don't believe she mentions that.

She confirms he only ever said 'Hodor'. This is all we need to know to dismiss the show take on that as nonsense.

One assumes he started to talk around the same time the average child starts to talk, don't you think? If her dear descendant had ever had acted normally, she would have mentioned that. And not only she would have mentioned that, but Ned and other Winterfell characters, too. Because Hodor is not that old.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

She confirms he only ever said 'Hodor'. This is all we need to know to dismiss the show take on that as nonsense.

But, it doesn't.  My original point, which clearly I did not articulate well, was that it still is possible he never said anything until something akin to what happened in the show transpired, and only then did he start saying Hodor.  That is why I was asking about if she ever mentioned when, specifically.

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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

But, it doesn't.  My original point, which clearly I did not articulate well, was that it still is possible he never said anything until something akin to what happened in the show transpired, and only then did he start saying Hodor.  That is why I was asking about if she ever mentioned when, specifically.

It is not really necessary to refute that low probability. The show didn't properly establish how the past vision thing worked while we actually do have such background in the books. The books make it exceedingly unlikely that a greenseer can (try to) possess another person via watching the past through a weirwood (he might be able to speak through the tree, though), but even if he did there is literally no reason why such an accidental attempt in the past should actually fry Hodor's brain from that point on.

Just think of the concept. Hodor's mind would be invaded, of course, but that shouldn't create some feedback loop. Or do you think Thistle's brain was equally fried by Varamyr's attempt to take her over? I don't think so.

It is quite clear, in my opinion, that the first piece in the puzzle to the Hodor mystery was the time perception of the weirwoods. The next step is to look for a way for Hodor to actually come into a situation where he perceives time in this fashion. And my idea for that is the Black Gate.

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On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Don't get me wrong, I liked the last three episodes and have no real problem with the ending (the first two of the season bored me and the third was too dark but the last three were very entertaining). But the show and the books are quite different. The show is not as fleshed out as the books, and what they can get away with in the show will, in my opinion, not translate to the books due to the huge amount of source material and GRRM's pains to establish it as more akin to our own middle aged than a fairytale.

I agree entirely. But the thing that I would think we diverge on is that I think that the show became a mess because they followed GRRM's plotlines without enough time to flesh them out like Martin can in the books. Also GRRM is a kind of romantic person, not as in dinner out with living candles, but more in a King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table kind of romance. I don't think that he can stand having those he has judged to be bad guys as not losing in the end.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Cersei and Bran becoming rulers of Westeros should not be viable options in the book, neither have claims and at the time neither had heirs. Every Lord would be looking over their shoulders now that a precedent had been set that blood no longer mattered. The only way someone like Bronn could get the Reach is through marriage. And Gendry becoming ruler of the Stormlands is also a nonstarter.

Well, let's not forget that while the feudal machinery works on, many of its key pieces have been hurt and would need to be replaced. Personally I don't find much of the character choices impossible. Unlikely yes, but Westeros has been in a shake up regarding the nobles for a time so its not impossible that people unthinkable a decade ago might rise high. There are times when the traditional leadership of a country has been decimated and it has allowed new people to climb up without bringing the whole system down.

To start with Cersei and Bran. Cersei has the advantage of being a born Lannister and a married Baratheon and is in the capital where she's cultivated influences and allies. Given how both Renly and Stannis, the main claimants after Robert's "children" are gone, are also gone I don't see what person has a clear claim that's so much better than the wife of a Baratheon king and the mother of two Baratheon kings? I can't recall anyone at least.

As for Bran, well, he's a Stark and have that going for him while at the same time no one of importance and alive in the end would need to feel fear of retribution from King Stark. So a kind of working compromisse choice. And given how there are no Baratheons left, nor Targaryens, in the end and Bran is of the blood of House Stark and a son of Eddard Stark, how can you possible claim that blood wouldn't matter in this choice?

Not really in regards to Bronn. The Tullys got the Riverland and the Tyrells the Reach despite there being Houses with far better credentials to both positions of Lord Paramount. Same with Gendry who is at least a son, even if a bastard son, of Robert Baratheon. It wouldn't be the first time that the Stormlands goes to a man born as a bastard, after all.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

As a Lannister fanboy I was OK with it, the House was intact, a Lannister basically rules the realm and Cersei and Jaime's ending was quite poetic and given Dany's actions the Lannisters becoming the villains of history seems unlikely. It was actually a great ending for the Lannisters, or as good as they could have expected given that they were the main protagonists of a fantasy series. 

I assume you mean "antagonist" and not "protagonist". :) In my heart they are the heroes but I know that's not a common perception.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

But in the books I'd be disappointed with the realm being carved up between Starks, Lannisters and their allies. The North and Riverlands are currently in no position to be calling the shots, things obviously will get worse in the next two books.

Indeed. The problem is of course if the rest of the realm is in a better shape and if its leadership has the will for more war and bloodshed.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Possibly. However my counter is unless the great battle happens in the South I have my doubts that any of the Lords will believe it. They'll take it as more grumpkins and snarks and convince themselves that the Others were just another Wildling tribe and the people in the North are exaggerating their claims.

Could be. But when the dragons comes flying I don't think that people will try to claim those flying monsters are all smoke-and-mirrors.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Not so much win, but they are in no ones shadows, the most important people in their corner of the world and expect lives of importance. Arya Columbus setting out to find the New World is both exciting and sets her up as a potential major player in that world's history. Jon is likely to become the Lord Commander again, ruling his own section of the world. All four Starks are the most important people in their section of the world.

Yeah. But more importantly Sansa gets the North and Winterfell and for that I am ready to accept many things.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Much happier than the alternative. She has regained her humanity, her sense of adventure and stopped being a killing machine. Which is a happy ending and one I think will happen in the books. But they felt the need to sugar coat it with the further adventures on the high seas.

I'm not sure I share you sentiment about high adventure and so but I'll leave it at that.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

The writers wanted all the remaining Starks to be great, so having them all remain at Winterfell means three will be in the shadow of one. So they split them up and made them 'rulers/captains' of their own world. Many shows do this, its setting up potential spin offs.

Entirely possible. I watch ot little TV to know what's common or not in such shows.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

That was before the kingslaying and kinslaying. GRRM has stressed what these mean in Westeros and he's admitted to both.  Kinslaying is worse than breaking Guest Rights in the South, should Walder be named as Hand there would be outrage and he denies his crimes.

Absolutely. Yet even while they despises the Freys and threw much at them. So the Lannisters and their allies were ready to work with the Frreys and didn't turn on them, sword in hand.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Remember when Davos lands on the Three Sisters and news of Tyrion's deeds has Lord Sunderland(?) talking about how dwarves are a curse and talks of how they should be killed at sea like they were in the good old days.

Yes, I recall such.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Tyrion was hated and despised before killing his father and nephew, he's never going to be trusted again. A dwarf Hand and a Cripple King is simply not going to work in a world where most Lords are more Randyll/Robert than they are Sam.

It remains to see in what shape the Westerosi nobility is after the books are done. After two Targaryen invasions, Euron's rampaging across Westeros and so on, we'll have to see how much many Robert/Randyll people are actually left to urge for more wars. I have an idea that the nobility will be kind of hit hard also in the South, with much of its adult male members killed off or otherwise having had their fill of war.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Who has she taught? Jaime is the only real one we know that has changed his mind on her and she had to save his life and best him in battle to do just that.  Most nobles still see her as a joke come AFFC.

I recall several instances were Brienne has kicked thes shit of men; from Loras, the guys who betted on who could bed her first to the Brave Companions in, or by, the ruined castles and so on. I don't doubt she will keep smashing pigs' faces as the series progresses and beyond the last page.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

If she does somehow kill Stannis maybe this might change, if its in battle and there are witnesses, but I don't think Brienne is about to be accepted in the sexist medieval world of Westeros. The Suffragette movement took decades to get incremental change, GRRM is enough of a history buff to know that having Westeros suddenly accept Brienne would be odd.

Indeed. We won't see a general shift in the attitudes to women. But just like Joan d'Arc has a special position so I think that Brienne can reach a special position as well. Or at least I hope she will. :)

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

So should she be made a Kingsguard for a normal King it could be tolerated, but the trifecta of Bran, Tyrion and Brienne is a recipe for rebellion. Especially once Bran gives away a third of the realm. Two of the least popular British monarchs, John and Mary, were hated during their own reigns for giving away parts of France.

There needs to be energy and will to rebel. After all that's happened in the series I don't find it strange if the nobles who are left are so sick of violence and loss of friends and relatives, that they just go along with a Stark on the throne.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

They were born common, one a smuggler the other a sellsword.  Littlefinger is a noble and still looked down upon because of his birth.

I didn't say they were highely respected. But they are still nobles and even if many will call them upstarts.

On 5/23/2019 at 11:10 PM, Bernie Mac said:

Having one or even two commoners on the Council is not the problem if was in isolation. Just as having a cripple with no claim to the throne as King would be fine if it was in isolation or having a hated kingslaying/kingslaying dwarf as Hand or the very first ever female knight as Lord Commander. All are fine in isolation, maybe even two are passable. But for a new dynasty this is a recipe for disaster.

No claim would be a problem if there were people around with claims to challenge Bran, but by the looks of it, there won't be such people to cause problem. And I don't think that Bran will found a dynasty. It will just be Bran and I have no idea how long he'll last. But it should be at least generation before a new generation of cocky young warriors are ready to start execution of mass violence for some really stupid thing, that Bran can at the ealiest get deposed.

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24 minutes ago, Lion of the West said:

 

No claim would be a problem if there were people around with claims to challenge Bran, but by the looks of it, there won't be such people to cause problem. And I don't think that Bran will found a dynasty. It will just be Bran and I have no idea how long he'll last. But it should be at least generation before a new generation of cocky young warriors are ready to start execution of mass violence for some really stupid thing, that Bran can at the ealiest get deposed.

I've gone over a lot why Bran being elected does not make sense but one part I did not bring up is that in the books Bran is 10. He is still going to be a teenager by the time the books are over. The previous Kings in the books will be

  • Joffrey; on being crowned the War of the Five Kings breaks out,
  • Tommen during his reign the Golden Company attack, the Ironborn attack, war reignites in the North
  • He is likely to be replaced by either Aegon or Dany, which in turn means another invasion via Essos
  • While either Tommen, Aegon or Dany are on the Throne or fighting for the Throne the Others attack either the North or even further

They are all basically children in the eyes of the Lords and Ladies of Westeros, two of them with mysterious backgrounds. Electing another child after the devastation that has happened to the realm after the last 5plus years of being ruled by children seems bizarre. They'd want stability, not revolution.

Obviously from a literary viewpoint Bran being made King to rebuild the Realm is poetic, the saga begins and ends with a Bran the Builder, but its a little on the nose and makes little sense from the perspective of the characters who inhabit the world.

 

 

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