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Moiraine Sedai

The role of forgiveness

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24 minutes ago, SeanF said:

someone has to break this cycle, but who?

It will take more than someone, like, a few “someones” IMO.

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33 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Unfortunately, there is a cycle of atrocity and revenge in Westeros.  Arianne is not the most vengeful of the Martells, but assuming she and Aegon take Kings Landing, I could see the Sand Snakes and Jon Connington conducting a reign of terror against the Lannisters and Tyrells.

Dany has her own scores to settle, and if say, Margaery and Tommen were executed by the Sands, she'd be joined by people wanting revenge for those deaths.

someone has to break this cycle, but who?

Breaking the cycle. Well, it's not the revenge-driven Starks. Arya and Jon are pretty bad. Almost as bad as Stoneheart. Jon didn't let justice stop him from killing Slynt. The only Stark who may be able to forgive is Bran. The chip on his shoulder is not as big as those carried by Arya and Jon.

 

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3 hours ago, Springwatch said:

 

I don't see a false dichotomy exactly; her character does contain both rage and pity, though it's true that one or the other dominates her thinking at times. The 'if I look back I am lost' mindset reinforces that (so we don't see her take down the crucified masters, even though she pities them).

Yes. Fine, I agree and hope so too. I very much like the idea of Dany as a major hero of the book, and I'd like to see her win and keep a share of life's glittering prizes too. Happy every after.

I say rage or pity isnt even the biggest parts of what Dany is portrayed to feel. Id say those are worry and rue. But it would be wrong of me to declare that those two things are what defines her because all we know is what is written on page and on no page says what you said.

She couldnt have taken them down even if she wanted to, slavers thinks she is weak.

If she doesnt flip hats and turns Joker on us she will make planetos a better place.

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On 12/13/2019 at 8:38 AM, Moiraine Sedai said:

The case has not been made of how working together can stop the army of the dead. Running away and avoiding combat seems the logical way. But let's say George mean for everyone to work together to survive this threat. The only way it can work is to let the past go. Forgiveness of past wrongs must happen. There are people who will impede this process of forgiveness. People like Petyr, Arya, Doran, Catelyn, Stannis, Ramsay, and perhaps Jon. It's harder to make a list of the forgiving types. Maybe Samwell?

Samwell, Elder Brother, Daenerys, a few others can forgive if it meant it would lead to something good.  Forgiveness is not something I can expect from Arya and Cersei.  Doran is too much of a hard case and set in his ways.  Peace between Martells and Lannister is not going to happen.  Lady Stoneheart is no longer Catelyn.  All she knows is revenge.  Jon is a very compromised dude.  I can see him going ape shit crazy if he believes Arya got killed by the Boltons.  It would not be out of character for him to lead an army of the undead to attack the Boltons. 

There is a subtle parallel between the doom and the long night.  The Valyrian ruling families were fighting amongst themselves and put the freehold in a constant state of conflict.  Their version of the game of thrones or rather the flame of thrones.  We don't know the trigger for the doom but it could be that, the never ending war between the forty ruling families.  Westeros is in that state right now.  Perhaps the Targaryens saw the folly of the past and that is why they conquered Westeros.  Robert's brothers failed to hold the land together.  One succession and they could not even manage that.  The Targaryens held it together for 300 years.  The Baratheons couldn't hold it together and manage one succession properly. 

Edited by Jeeves

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6 hours ago, SeanF said:

Unfortunately, there is a cycle of atrocity and revenge in Westeros.  Arianne is not the most vengeful of the Martells, but assuming she and Aegon take Kings Landing, I could see the Sand Snakes and Jon Connington conducting a reign of terror against the Lannisters and Tyrells.

Dany has her own scores to settle, and if say, Margaery and Tommen were executed by the Sands, she'd be joined by people wanting revenge for those deaths.

someone has to break this cycle, but who?

 

Jon Connington has promised (at least in his thoughts) to end the Usurper's (Robert) line for good.  I assume that means he plans to slaughter Tommen and Myrcella and possibly, if he can find her, Shireen.  Which is disgusting; since Tommen and Myrcella and Shireen had nothing to do with the deaths of Rhaegar and his children.  If Dany is still obsessing about "the Usurper's Dogs" if/when she reaches Westeros, she'll find there aren't many left:  Ned Stark and Tywin are dead.  Is she planning on killing their descendants or just ending the Starks and Lannisters as Great Houses?  I would think that Jaime Lannister occupies a high place on Dany's list, since he did murder her father.  Cersei didn't do anything to the Targaryens.  

I think that Mace Tyrell, if he's in King's Landing when Aegon approaches, could have Tommen killed in order to save Margaery's life.  Or Jon-Con will do it.  I'm not sure who will kill poor Myrcella.

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15 hours ago, Raksha 2014 said:

 

Jon Connington has promised (at least in his thoughts) to end the Usurper's (Robert) line for good.  I assume that means he plans to slaughter Tommen and Myrcella and possibly, if he can find her, Shireen.  Which is disgusting; since Tommen and Myrcella and Shireen had nothing to do with the deaths of Rhaegar and his children.  If Dany is still obsessing about "the Usurper's Dogs" if/when she reaches Westeros, she'll find there aren't many left:  Ned Stark and Tywin are dead.  Is she planning on killing their descendants or just ending the Starks and Lannisters as Great Houses?  I would think that Jaime Lannister occupies a high place on Dany's list, since he did murder her father.  Cersei didn't do anything to the Targaryens.  

I think that Mace Tyrell, if he's in King's Landing when Aegon approaches, could have Tommen killed in order to save Margaery's life.  Or Jon-Con will do it.  I'm not sure who will kill poor Myrcella.

Yes, Jon Connington's plan is revolting.

I imagine that Jaime would be at the top of Daenerys' list when she gets to Westeros.  I don't think she'd seek revenge on the Stark. Tully, or Lannister children, though.  They might be at odds politically, however.

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George is first and foremost an entertainer.  Forgiveness is the noble virtue but it isn't entertaining.  So the primary characters in the story are not taking the way of forgiveness.  He doesn't care about making them likable as long as they're entertaining.  Arya's atrocities and sickening madness is shocking to most and that is the intention of the writer.  A seemingly decent character that upon further digging into the backstory may turn out not so decent, like Ned.  Rhaegar might not be the hero that Daenerys and Viserys thinks he is.  C'mon, he should have sent Lyanna packing home if she went to him.  For whatever reason.  And if they were not involved, which is possible, that doesn't excuse his disrespectful behavior towards Princess Elia.  He was a husband and a farther, ffs.  A Walder point can easily make him sympathetic if George wants to play with his readers.  Don't count on forgiveness coming.  Well maybe Barristan, Samwell, Daenerys, Sansa, and Brienne can forgive.  Daenerys might do it just to make governing easier.  Sansa might forgive LF if it meant marrying a handsome young lord.  Samwell forgives his father.  It's possible fat boy forgives his old man.  But Arya?  No, I don't see that happening at all.  She's coming after Cersei and the Freys.  Griff is not going to forget what happened to his mother, sister, grandparents, and father.  It's even less likely if Arrianne starts whispering in his ear.  Jon might come back to some type of zombie and we can't expect him to be reasonable.  He wasn't right before he died and he won't be if he comes back.  Stannis is a hard man and he has burned more people than Aerys, that we know of.  That  one isn't about to show mercy. 

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On 12/18/2019 at 5:25 PM, SeanF said:

...I imagine that Jaime would be at the top of Daenerys' list when she gets to Westeros....

If there is anyone living that Daenerys would wish vengeance on, it's Jaime.  And yet - he briefly enters her thoughts in her very first POV chapter, and never subsequently.  Jaime, I believe, never thinks of her at all.  It's a curious absence, and suggests to me that they will never meet.

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13 hours ago, Lord Browndodd said:

If there is anyone living that Daenerys would wish vengeance on, it's Jaime.  And yet - he briefly enters her thoughts in her very first POV chapter, and never subsequently.  Jaime, I believe, never thinks of her at all.  It's a curious absence, and suggests to me that they will never meet.

They will probably never meet.  Westeros will be under the blanket of ice before Daenerys arrives.  Her arrival will be the return of Spring and the end to the reign of Ice.  Jaime will long have been dead by then or at the least turned to a wight.  

 

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On 12/17/2019 at 3:06 PM, Moiraine Sedai said:

Breaking the cycle. Well, it's not the revenge-driven Starks. Arya and Jon are pretty bad. Almost as bad as Stoneheart. Jon didn't let justice stop him from killing Slynt. The only Stark who may be able to forgive is Bran. The chip on his shoulder is not as big as those carried by Arya and Jon.

 

Bran is cool-headed for a Stark.  Imagine the disaster if Arya had become the Greenseer. It would have been a bloodbath. The jury is out on Bran but he does seem the most reasonable of the wolves. 

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On 12/19/2019 at 6:18 PM, President Andrew Yang said:

George is first and foremost an entertainer.  Forgiveness is the noble virtue but it isn't entertaining.  So the primary characters in the story are not taking the way of forgiveness.  He doesn't care about making them likable as long as they're entertaining.  Arya's atrocities and sickening madness is shocking to most and that is the intention of the writer.  A seemingly decent character that upon further digging into the backstory may turn out not so decent, like Ned.  Rhaegar might not be the hero that Daenerys and Viserys thinks he is.  C'mon, he should have sent Lyanna packing home if she went to him.  For whatever reason.  And if they were not involved, which is possible, that doesn't excuse his disrespectful behavior towards Princess Elia.  He was a husband and a farther, ffs.  A Walder point can easily make him sympathetic if George wants to play with his readers.  Don't count on forgiveness coming.  Well maybe Barristan, Samwell, Daenerys, Sansa, and Brienne can forgive.  Daenerys might do it just to make governing easier.  Sansa might forgive LF if it meant marrying a handsome young lord.  Samwell forgives his father.  It's possible fat boy forgives his old man.  But Arya?  No, I don't see that happening at all.  She's coming after Cersei and the Freys.  Griff is not going to forget what happened to his mother, sister, grandparents, and father.  It's even less likely if Arrianne starts whispering in his ear.  Jon might come back to some type of zombie and we can't expect him to be reasonable.  He wasn't right before he died and he won't be if he comes back.  Stannis is a hard man and he has burned more people than Aerys, that we know of.  That  one isn't about to show mercy. 

Aegon (Griff) will want to punish Jaime Lannister for what he did. He might be a reasonable lad but you cannot really let a Kg do what Jaime did. 

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1 hour ago, 867-5309 said:

Aegon (Griff) will want to punish Jaime Lannister for what he did. He might be a reasonable lad but you cannot really let a Kg do what Jaime did. 

Jaime should get a medal for putting that nutso Aerys out of his misery. :)

 

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On 12/19/2019 at 6:18 PM, President Andrew Yang said:

George is first and foremost an entertainer.  Forgiveness is the noble virtue but it isn't entertaining.  So the primary characters in the story are not taking the way of forgiveness.  He doesn't care about making them likable as long as they're entertaining.  Arya's atrocities and sickening madness is shocking to most and that is the intention of the writer.  A seemingly decent character that upon further digging into the backstory may turn out not so decent, like Ned.  Rhaegar might not be the hero that Daenerys and Viserys thinks he is.  C'mon, he should have sent Lyanna packing home if she went to him.  For whatever reason.  And if they were not involved, which is possible, that doesn't excuse his disrespectful behavior towards Princess Elia.  He was a husband and a farther, ffs.  A Walder point can easily make him sympathetic if George wants to play with his readers.  Don't count on forgiveness coming.  Well maybe Barristan, Samwell, Daenerys, Sansa, and Brienne can forgive.  Daenerys might do it just to make governing easier.  Sansa might forgive LF if it meant marrying a handsome young lord.  Samwell forgives his father.  It's possible fat boy forgives his old man.  But Arya?  No, I don't see that happening at all.  She's coming after Cersei and the Freys.  Griff is not going to forget what happened to his mother, sister, grandparents, and father.  It's even less likely if Arrianne starts whispering in his ear.  Jon might come back to some type of zombie and we can't expect him to be reasonable.  He wasn't right before he died and he won't be if he comes back.  Stannis is a hard man and he has burned more people than Aerys, that we know of.  That  one isn't about to show mercy. 

" Rhaegar might not be the hero that Daenerys and Viserys thinks he is.

Sure and Ned Stark might not be the moral man that his kids think he is.  The past can reveal uncomfortable things and it's not only directed at Rhaegar.

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On 12/22/2019 at 7:42 PM, kissdbyfire said:

Jaime should get a medal for putting that nutso Aerys out of his misery. :)

 

I will accept that if you are willing to accept Bowen getting a medal for taking traitor Jon out of the living category.

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19 minutes ago, Dr. Miguelito Loveless said:

I will accept that if you are willing to accept Bowen getting a medal for taking traitor Jon out of the living category.

What makes you think I care one fig whether you accept my opinion or not? :lol:

And I can tell you right now, a medal is not exactly what Marsh will get. 

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On 12/19/2019 at 6:18 PM, President Andrew Yang said:

George is first and foremost an entertainer.  Forgiveness is the noble virtue but it isn't entertaining.  So the primary characters in the story are not taking the way of forgiveness.  He doesn't care about making them likable as long as they're entertaining.  Arya's atrocities and sickening madness is shocking to most and that is the intention of the writer.  A seemingly decent character that upon further digging into the backstory may turn out not so decent, like Ned.  Rhaegar might not be the hero that Daenerys and Viserys thinks he is.  C'mon, he should have sent Lyanna packing home if she went to him.  For whatever reason.  And if they were not involved, which is possible, that doesn't excuse his disrespectful behavior towards Princess Elia.  He was a husband and a farther, ffs.  A Walder point can easily make him sympathetic if George wants to play with his readers.  Don't count on forgiveness coming.  Well maybe Barristan, Samwell, Daenerys, Sansa, and Brienne can forgive.  Daenerys might do it just to make governing easier.  Sansa might forgive LF if it meant marrying a handsome young lord.  Samwell forgives his father.  It's possible fat boy forgives his old man.  But Arya?  No, I don't see that happening at all.  She's coming after Cersei and the Freys.  Griff is not going to forget what happened to his mother, sister, grandparents, and father.  It's even less likely if Arrianne starts whispering in his ear.  Jon might come back to some type of zombie and we can't expect him to be reasonable.  He wasn't right before he died and he won't be if he comes back.  Stannis is a hard man and he has burned more people than Aerys, that we know of.  That  one isn't about to show mercy. 

But without at least occasional acts of forgiveness, the cycle of vengeance and atrocities goes on and on; and that becomes boring too, from an entertainment prospective.  At least for me.  

Sam doesn't have to forgive his father; but he won't try to kill him either or harm his siblings either.  We don't know if Arya will kill every Frey woman and child (as Tywin killed every Reyne down to babies and servants, as I recall).  Griff doesn't have to forget what happened to his family, but those who killed Elia and her babies are dead (well, in the Mountain's case, sort of).  He has the right to go after Jaime for the murder of Aerys; but to pursue an anti-Lannister vendetta against Tommen and Myrcella, or other Lannisters who had nothing to do with Targaryen deaths, would be overkill.  

I hope that Sansa does manage to kill Littlefinger or have him killed.  But if she kills the few Baelish retainer/smallfolk back on the Fingers, that would be overkill.  

Stannis doesn't know the meaning of mercy.  I have no patience for religious fanatics, even opportunistic ones; especially those who burn people alive.  

Ellaria Sand gives one of the series' best speeches when she pleads with Doran and the older Sand Snakes not to pursue vengeance for Oberyn.  It's all the more original and surprising because she has lost the man she loves, another Martell dying at the hands of the Mountain.  (of course, the Sand Snakes are unimpressed; they seem very happy to smirk and make undisclosed plans, Tommen is probably first on their hit list; despite his not having anything to do with Oberyn's death).

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7 hours ago, Raksha 2014 said:

But without at least occasional acts of forgiveness, the cycle of vengeance and atrocities goes on and on; and that becomes boring too, from an entertainment prospective.  At least for me.  

Sam doesn't have to forgive his father; but he won't try to kill him either or harm his siblings either.  We don't know if Arya will kill every Frey woman and child (as Tywin killed every Reyne down to babies and servants, as I recall).  Griff doesn't have to forget what happened to his family, but those who killed Elia and her babies are dead (well, in the Mountain's case, sort of).  He has the right to go after Jaime for the murder of Aerys; but to pursue an anti-Lannister vendetta against Tommen and Myrcella, or other Lannisters who had nothing to do with Targaryen deaths, would be overkill.  

I hope that Sansa does manage to kill Littlefinger or have him killed.  But if she kills the few Baelish retainer/smallfolk back on the Fingers, that would be overkill.  

Stannis doesn't know the meaning of mercy.  I have no patience for religious fanatics, even opportunistic ones; especially those who burn people alive.  

Ellaria Sand gives one of the series' best speeches when she pleads with Doran and the older Sand Snakes not to pursue vengeance for Oberyn.  It's all the more original and surprising because she has lost the man she loves, another Martell dying at the hands of the Mountain.  (of course, the Sand Snakes are unimpressed; they seem very happy to smirk and make undisclosed plans, Tommen is probably first on their hit list; despite his not having anything to do with Oberyn's death).

I agree and I would say this is Arya's arc (but also all the Starks'), to not become bitter and obsessed with vengeance like the Hound, Stoneheart, Sandsnakes, Dany, ect. I think Bran and Sansa have a head start.

You can see this unproductive cycle of vengeance with Dany vs. Mirri. Also in Jaime's belief that if you just kill the whole family you solve the problem. Even Dany knows that she cant solve hunger by just burning up all the slavers. The author is not going to show mass murder as a productive way to solve problems all the time.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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YI don't understand why most posters seem to be operating with a binary reasoning that oposes "forgiveness" and "revenge" as a dicotomic choice. Asoiaf is way way above that. Please. Human interaction is complex.

I wanted to point out a few things. Fist, I disagree with the OP in the statement "the only way it can work is to let the past go" when it comes to people working together to survive the threat of the Others. I mean yeah, of course I agree fighting a supernatural force must be a joint venture of the intire humanity - but I don't think people have to forgive each other to work together. People are capable of reason and strategy, and it's possible to make common cause with an enemy to face a bigger threat without "putting the past behind". Alliances can be momentary, tactic. And that's ok (maybe reading "On Contradiction and Practice" by Mao Zedong when I was nineteen left too strong an impression on me). 

Another thing I feel like I have to dispute is this notion that Arya is driven only by revenge and "too far gone" or "incapable of anything else". That is ludicrous. There are many arguments to be had around this subject, but I don't want to derail the OP. I'll just say that it is canon, it has been published and read by all of us how she comes to take the Hound away from her list after being his captive for a while - that is, we have textual proof that she can change her mind about the people on her list. That sets a precedent and informs us on her principles. 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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On 12/17/2019 at 6:47 PM, Jeeves said:

Samwell, Elder Brother, Daenerys, a few others can forgive if it meant it would lead to something good.  Forgiveness is not something I can expect from Arya and Cersei.  Doran is too much of a hard case and set in his ways.  Peace between Martells and Lannister is not going to happen.  Lady Stoneheart is no longer Catelyn.  All she knows is revenge.  Jon is a very compromised dude.  I can see him going ape shit crazy if he believes Arya got killed by the Boltons.  It would not be out of character for him to lead an army of the undead to attack the Boltons. 

There is a subtle parallel between the doom and the long night.  The Valyrian ruling families were fighting amongst themselves and put the freehold in a constant state of conflict.  Their version of the game of thrones or rather the flame of thrones.  We don't know the trigger for the doom but it could be that, the never ending war between the forty ruling families.  Westeros is in that state right now.  Perhaps the Targaryens saw the folly of the past and that is why they conquered Westeros.  Robert's brothers failed to hold the land together.  One succession and they could not even manage that.  The Targaryens held it together for 300 years.  The Baratheons couldn't hold it together and manage one succession properly. 

Forgiving is not the same as forgiving and forgetting. It simply means letting a wrong go unpunished.  In this case because it leads to the greater good.  Samwell doesn't any options but to let wrongs go.  Give him power and he might misuse it to get even with dear dad.  Daenerys has options and she will take the more constructive one to forgive if it will result in the greater good.  She is one of the few who considers the greater good.

Jon has already demonstrated his inability to put the welfare of the people ahead of the Starks.  He has shown himself incapable of forgiving when he chose revenge instead of justice in the manner in which he handled Janos Slynt. 

Edited by James Fenimore Cooper XXII

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