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Master thread on what the Show means for the book plot

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41 minutes ago, SeanF said:

@BlackLightningBurning cities in war happens for a reason.  It might be a horrible reason, but there's still a reason.  The burning of Hamburg, Tokyo, the Ruhr etc. in WWII was done to break resistance and punish the enemy.  Genghis Khan burned cities that resisted, so that others would surrender without a fight.

The problem with the burning of Kings Landing is it was done for no reason.  Dany had reason to burn the Red Keep (to kill Cersei and her followers).  She had reason to kill Lannister soldiers.  It might be unpleasant, but it makes sense, militarily, and emotionally.  But she had no reason to swerve away from the Red Keep and burn random civilians (and risk her own soldiers).  And D & D know this, because they've come up with a string of alternative explanations, none of which fit.

All the debate, prior to this, between Dany and the rest, was about the level of civilian casualties to be incurred when she burned the Red Keep.  No one was discussing burning their own capital city, the most valuable piece of real estate in the world.  Burning a capital is the act of a loser, not a winner.

If Dany burns Kings Landing in the books, there will be a reason.  For example, her soldiers might be bogged down in street fighting, and taking huge casualties;  or the surrender of the city might be botched (eg someone lets off a bolt that injures her or Drogon, leading her to believe it's a sham);  or the fire runs out of control as caches of wildfire get ignited in a wooden city.

The Sack on the ground would have made enough sense on its own.  The Northern soldiers in particular would all have friends and relatives who died at the Red Wedding, and they would be itching for revenge for that, and the deaths of Ned Stark and his men.

I mostly agree but I'm not quite sure why you're telling me that burning cities in war happens for a reason.

I know it happens for a reason; that's why I find it absolutely ludicrous that someone would burn a city that they have for no reason. Show Dany had absolutely no reason to burn King's Landing. You can't say that she's insane because she's delivering eloquent speeches, coming to rational conclusions and having coherent intimate conversations the very next episode. And for her to just do a complete 180 in her character development and burn King's Landing, she would have to be more insane than the Mad King which she wasn't. Not even the Mad King was so insane as to burn King's Landing when he still stood a chance of winning Robert's Rebellion, much less when King's Landing was owned. The Mad King didn't even think to burn Duskendale and kill all of its inhabitants after the Defiance of House Darklyn was ended. The Mad King didn't order the cancellation of the tourney of Harrenhal neither did he orchestrate a sack on Harrenhal and an assassination of the lords and knights gathered there....and he believed that they were conspiring against him.

So, the fact that Daenerys would be King's Landing and killed lots of people for no reason makes no sense. She is neither cruel, stupid nor insane enough to do so.

I don't doubt the fact that Daenerys will burn King's Landing. I'm almost sure she will. I'm pretty sure that I won't see anything wrong with it because I really feel like she won't want to do it but she will have a very good reason for it.

Euron -- not Cersei -- will likely be ruling the city by then. Euron is a major threat now; I imagine he will be 2-3x worst by the end of the series. I, for one, believe that Euron is going to bring all sorts of subterranean beasts -- krakens included -- to the surface and make King's Landing a Lovecraftian horror. All the clues are there. Combined with a greyscale epidemic courtesy of Jon Connington's stupid decisions, I think King's Landing will be lost and will have to be burned and cleansed. Especially if the city under Euron's rule offers resistance. The city has been established as being rotten to the core since A Game of Thrones anyways and many of the people who live are generally awful.

Plus, if Daenerys is the last of the dragonlords, House Targaryen is extinguished and the Iron Throne is destroyed, then King's Landing being wiped off the map fits. Not only does it mark the end of the Targaryen era and the Age of the Iron Throne but it also fits the themes GRRM has established--one of which being that the history is wheel.

As for the sacking? Yeah, there was no way that was not going to happen. All cities that have been taken from an opposing army are sacked. Is all sacking violent and bloody? Not necessarily but the victors always has their way with the spoils. The regimes change and the victors set the terms of who gets what, who takes over and who is punished.

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4 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

I mostly agree but I'm not quite sure why you're telling me that burning cities in war happens for a reason.

I know it happens for a reason; that's why I find it absolutely ludicrous that someone would burn a city that they have for no reason. Show Dany had absolutely no reason to burn King's Landing. You can't say that she's insane because she's delivering eloquent speeches, coming to rational conclusions and having coherent intimate conversations the very next episode. And for her to just do a complete 180 in her character development and burn King's Landing, she would have to be more insane than the Mad King which she wasn't. Not even the Mad King was so insane as to burn King's Landing when he still stood a chance of winning Robert's Rebellion, much less when King's Landing was owned. The Mad King didn't even think to burn Duskendale and kill all of its inhabitants after the Defiance of House Darklyn was ended. The Mad King didn't order the cancellation of the tourney of Harrenhal neither did he orchestrate a sack on Harrenhal and an assassination of the lords and knights gathered there....and he believed that they were conspiring against him.

So, the fact that Daenerys would be King's Landing and killed lots of people for no reason makes no sense. She is neither cruel, stupid nor insane enough to do so.

I don't doubt the fact that Daenerys will burn King's Landing. I'm almost sure she will. I'm pretty sure that I won't see anything wrong with it because I really feel like she won't want to do it but she will have a very good reason for it.

Euron -- not Cersei -- will likely be ruling the city by then. Euron is a major threat now; I imagine he will be 2-3x worst by the end of the series. I, for one, believe that Euron is going to bring all sorts of subterranean beasts -- krakens included -- to the surface and make King's Landing a Lovecraftian horror. All the clues are there. Combined with a greyscale epidemic courtesy of Jon Connington's stupid decisions, I think King's Landing will be lost and will have to be burned and cleansed. Especially if the city under Euron's rule offers resistance. The city has been established as being rotten to the core since A Game of Thrones anyways and many of the people who live are generally awful.

Plus, if Daenerys is the last of the dragonlords, House Targaryen is extinguished and the Iron Throne is destroyed, then King's Landing being wiped off the map fits. Not only does it mark the end of the Targaryen era and the Age of the Iron Throne but it also fits the themes GRRM has established--one of which being that the history is wheel.

As for the sacking? Yeah, there was no way that was not going to happen. All cities that have been taken from an opposing army are sacked. Is all sacking violent and bloody? Not necessarily but the victors always has their way with the spoils. The regimes change and the victors set the terms of who gets what, who takes over and who is punished.

Oh, I was just agreeing with you.

It's a good example of the way that D & D just don't understand military matters - along with all the daft strategies and tactics they came up.  The best battle scene was the one scripted by George Martin, the Blackwater, because he took the trouble to study these things, and had considerable assistance from Bernard Cornwell in writing his own battle scenes.

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15 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Oh, I was just agreeing with you.

It's a good example of the way that D & D just don't understand military matters - along with all the daft strategies and tactics they came up.  The best battle scene was the one scripted by George Martin, the Blackwater, because he took the trouble to study these things, and had considerable assistance from Bernard Cornwell in writing his own battle scenes.

Oh okay.

But yeah.

On 12/5/2019 at 6:26 AM, Darryk said:

I think GRRM painted a massive target on his back with that quote, because he's obviously going to need to do the same thing as Tolkien in his book. It's pretty hard to include every minutiae of detail, and at some point you have to leave things to the reader's imagination. Like Bran being king for example, GRRM is not going to write another book showing how Bran rules, we'll just have to assume he rules wisely because of his sage powers.

He probably was referring to Dany and Jon with that quote, ie. he shows how hard it is for them to rule, but it's easy to do that when you're still in the middle of the story. At some point you have to wrap things up and the "he/she ruled wisely for the rest of his days" cliche becomes inevitable at that point.

Not necessarily.

A Dream of Spring can end with a Bran chapter (he was our very first POV) with Bran ruling competently as king and a epilogue that takes place years, decades or even millennia into the future that ties up the very last loose ends and adds interesting tidbits.

On 12/5/2019 at 1:29 PM, divica said:

No. If the story ended with danny, jon, cersei or euron (to an extent) as the ruler we know a lot about how they would rule. We have them dealing with loans, feeding people, hostages, advisers/allies that opose them… We have seen bran dealing with zero problems related to ruling… And we won t see it in the next book...

Meh, I don't know. We've seen Bran rule as a regent in A Clash of Kings and maintain a leadership rule of his little troupe in A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons. He'll be learning from Bloodraven in The Winds of Winter and Bloodraven was probably a great politician.

I think we'll start to see Bran step into the role of a ruler by the end of The Winds of Winter and throughout A Dream of Spring. Remember that Dany didn't have any experience or desire to rule at the beginning of A Game of Thrones but, by the end of it all, she's ruling and doing a pretty good job at it. She's a natural and Bran is too.

On 12/5/2019 at 4:21 PM, Lord Varys said:

Guys, you should stop bother making sense of things. With things like Headey telling us publicly that Cersei was supposed to have a miscarriage back in season 7 (which was filmed!) we do know that there was no coherent plan for anything. In fact, if there had been the miscarriage we would have gotten a real breakup between Jaime and Cersei and then Cersei would have been the one to burn down KL in the end because she had nothing to live for, etc.

And in relation to who is king in the end or other such crap - somebody has to. In the books Jon and Dany and Tyrion and Aegon and Arianne and Sansa all can have children before the curtain falls. But the show rushed things - so if the throne were to pass to an infant/toddler they simply did not have in the books they would have to pick somebody else for the job.

All true.

Bran would make a good regent or a good king. I think GRRM is just taking a very unorthodox approach to the classic King Arthur story in showing how a crippled dreamer can become a powerful medieval king.

I really do believe that Bran will be the Professor X of Westeros with a mixed group of native Westerosi, Dothraki, Unsullied, CoTF and/or maybe even one of the Others acting as his X-Men.

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

The Sack on the ground would have made enough sense on its own.  The Northern soldiers in particular would all have friends and relatives who died at the Red Wedding, and they would be itching for revenge for that, and the deaths of Ned Stark and his men.

That was the only thing that made sense to me in that entire episode. When the Northern soldiers went apesh*t on the Lannister soldiers and KL citizens. But even there D&D had to take it to a level that was stupid, having the soldiers try and rape people in the middle of an ongoing battle.

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On 5/13/2020 at 9:56 AM, Mystical said:

That was the only thing that made sense to me in that entire episode. When the Northern soldiers went apesh*t on the Lannister soldiers and KL citizens. But even there D&D had to take it to a level that was stupid, having the soldiers try and rape people in the middle of an ongoing battle.

Not to mention one of them turning on his own King in the North cause he interrupted his rape.

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6 hours ago, Darryk said:

Not to mention one of them turning on his own King in the North cause he interrupted his rape.

Yep, except for the KitN part.

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I just copied most of this from another post I made elsewhere:

I've never believed the theory that Bran will sit the Iron Throne. My opposition is grounded in the practical realities of succession. George tries to be as realistic as possible with regards to real world historical politics, and the Starks do not have ANY claim to the throne, at all. No Targaryen princess has ever married into House Stark, nor has the non-Targaryen descendant of any Targaryen prince or princess. Certainly, power is power (Varys) and Robert's blood-based claim was a justification pasted over his military victories over the Targaryen armies (Renly), but a claim to rights through descent from Aegon the Conquerer is a necessary prerequisite to sitting the Iron Throne. The Starks are neither well known enough nor militarily strong enough to put one of their own on the throne to rule all of Westeros. Without a blood link to the Targaryens there's no way the other noble houses would accept a Stark royal dynasty.

In medieval politics the only ways to assume control over a territory were through military force (conquest) or a claim seen as legitimate by the other power players in the region. Westeros is grounded in real world type medieval politics and the North is NOT strong enough to conquer the other six kingdoms and the Starks have the same claim to the throne (i.e. none) that other noble houses like the Tyrells, the Lannisters, or the Hightowers have. It would be more likely for a Martell, a Velaryon, or even a Plumm to sit the Iron Throne, as those three houses all had Targaryen princesses marry into them over the close to 300 years of Targaryen rule.

Personally I see three possible scenarios for the endgame, in terms of politics:

  1. The Seven Kingdoms split into two or more independent kingdoms - probably not the same kingdoms from before the conquest, for example a Stark becomes monarch of the North and the Riverlands (uniting Ned's claim to Winterfell and the North and Catelyn's claim to Riverun and the Riverlands and maybe also Harrenhal (through Catelyn's mother Minisa Whent)). If this monarch is Sansa the kingdom might also the Vale of Arryn, through marriage to Harry the Heir.
  2. A Targaryen claimant (Dany, fAegon, Stannis, Jon as Rhaegar's son, someone else, or a combination of (married) claimants) takes the Iron Throne and restores Targaryen rule over the Seven Kingdoms.
  3. A Targaryen claimant takes the Iron Throne and reigns over a portion of the Seven Kingdoms, with one or more regions (e.g. Dorne or the Iron Islands) becoming independent nations.

I personally think that scenario 1 or 3 is more likely than scenario 2, but I don't consider Bran (or any Stark) ruling the Seven Kingdoms from King's Landing to be at all possible or plausible.

Even if Bran saves the world from the Others and the threat of winter and enough Westerosi are sufficiently aware of what happened to be super grateful to him, the realities of medieval power politics and aristocratic desire to advance a family's interests aren't just going to disappear. I believe David and Dan chose Bran as king for the same reason Arya slew the Night King: he is "the most obvious choice provided we aren't thinking about [him] in that moment."

 

In regards to what the show gets right...Dany will probably turn tyrant, though not the way she did in the show, Westeros will splinter politically, aaaand I think that's about it. 

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I think the facts like:

Jon is the son of L+R
Bran is king
Daenerys goes dark
Jon kills Daenerys

Will be how the story unfolds in the books as well. Yes of course it will be a nice story(nothing like the show), my problem with it is that i know it will happen now... and im not really sure if i will like a story where i know the ending.

Its like a NBA or football game - if you see the score before the game its never the same...

Edited by bluntt

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