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Moiraine Sedai

The role of forgiveness

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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?

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There is nothing more uniting than a common enemy my friend. I doubt people will fully cooperate and picturing war meetings between Jaime, (Un)Jon, Stannis, Dany, Tarly and Euron is a tad ridiculous. But I can see the lords and armies getting behind a trio of let’s say Jon, Dany, Stannis. Perhaps include a Reach Lord(sson) like a Baelor and Tyrion. Dany has her personal nukes to keep people in check. Stannis has only antagonised the Reach-Westerlands power block. Once the battle comes down to the choice between fire, ice or fighting next to a (former) enemy, most would choose the last (I can see Cersie brightflaming herself). 

I think the Realpolitik from Von Bismarck clearly shows this is the case, and the Western powers from the Middle Ages up to WW1 shows how easily former enemies worked together. 

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It's an endgame thing and we are not near the end game. Catelyn is dead, the BWB will be folded before the end, ending them somewhat peacefully without wholesale slaughter is part of Jaime's arc. Petyr is as good as dead, Sansa will control the Vale through manipulation of SR. Stannis is as good as dead, his forces will fold into Jon's.

Part of Arya's arc is to learn to forgive, to put aside her anger for a greater good (watching Jaime handle the BWB will be part of it, watching what Catelyn has become another part). This idea of revenge will be a massive part of Jon's arc. As he marches South and takes head after head after head people (Arya and Bran particularly) will wonder if he's about consolidating the realm to fight TWFTD or just revenge for Robb and Ned. It will be the latter, he'll be only as harsh as he has to be to lead effectively, having learnt from his failure of softness at the Wall.

Doran I don't know. He might die. It might the point that after he loses his brother, son, daughter and however many nieces all in pursuit of revenge, that he needs to let it go before he loses what little he has left. Or the point of Dorne may be that they're the exception to the rule, that their grievances are so great that they're the one realm that doesn't join TWFTD, and the realm will need do it without them.

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The author may not want a good, clean ending.  Most of life will end in Westeros. The north will fall because they're putting emotions and pride on top of duty.  Stannis can agree to a peace deal in which he takes the black in exchange for peace with the Boltons and their help in defending the wall.  He didn't and it cost thousands of his own men to die as well the deaths of potential allies. 

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I have never anticipated people consciously cooperating. It would indeed have to be the endgame for people to unite against a clear danger - so far few people are aware of the Others. But I thought it's possible that people's actions will touch each other. ie one person decides to do the right thing on one side of the country and this somehow makes something possible elsewhere. A chain of events that was not necessarily planned.

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This is not the story of forgiveness.  George R.R. Martin might intend to send us a lesson on the consequences of revenge. 

19 hours ago, Castellan said:

I have never anticipated people consciously cooperating. It would indeed have to be the endgame for people to unite against a clear danger - so far few people are aware of the Others. But I thought it's possible that people's actions will touch each other. ie one person decides to do the right thing on one side of the country and this somehow makes something possible elsewhere. A chain of events that was not necessarily planned.

Daenerys Targaryen is the lead character and the only one who has been known to set aside her feelings towards people in order to make things right.  That will inspire the slaves to make an effort to forgive their old masters.  How much will that affect the family feud that has been going on for many generations in Westeros?  The Martells, Arya Stark, Cersei Lannister, Walder Frey, Stannis Baratheon, and Roose Bolton are not gonna care what's right.  They want payback for the wrongs done to them and they want their status back.  I don't expect Stannis to back down on the face of a superior claim.  I don't see much hope for Westeros.  The feudal system is not going to survive the long night.

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On 12/15/2019 at 10:44 AM, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

Daenerys Targaryen is the lead character and the only one who has been known to set aside her feelings towards people in order to make things right. 

I dont know about that:

“Lannister or Stark, what difference? Viserys used to call them the Usurper’s dogs. If a child is set upon by a pack of hounds, does it matter which one tears out his throat? All the dogs are just as guilty.” 

“Bitter old women with a taste for blood. Women do not forget. Women do not forgive.”
No, Dany thought, and the Usurper’s dogs will learn that, when I return to Westeros.” 

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Forgiveness is going to be pretty rare, because most of the bad guys show no ability to redeem themselves. But they have powers, so it might be essential to work with them anyway, even with gritted teeth. Littlefinger, Stoneheart, even Cersei, possibly.

Or, they have their own motives for fighting the common enemy. Or not. (One of the things I love about Lord of the Rings is that every faction is independently motivated. Even the dark lord can't achieve a united front: the orcs are unruly, the balrog beyond control, the stupid dragon got itself killed, etc etc etc.)

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10 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I dont know about that:

“Lannister or Stark, what difference? Viserys used to call them the Usurper’s dogs. If a child is set upon by a pack of hounds, does it matter which one tears out his throat? All the dogs are just as guilty.” 

“Bitter old women with a taste for blood. Women do not forget. Women do not forgive.”
No, Dany thought, and the Usurper’s dogs will learn that, when I return to Westeros.” 

Cherry picking much?

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6 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Cherry picking much?

Cherry picking her thoughts on...Westeros? I dunno, might want to pay attention to that. The Usurper's dogs she's railing about aren't even alive at that point. She ranting about dead people. 

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Just now, Rose of Red Lake said:

Cherry picking her thoughts on...Westeros? I dunno, might want to pay attention to that. The Usurper's dogs she's railing about aren't even alive at that point. She ranting about dead people. 

First, Stannis and Jaime aren't looking great at the end of aDwD but you still can't just assume them dead.

Second, who cares if she vilifies the people that made her grow up alone with Viserys? You seem to hold her to Baelor the Blessed-standards.

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3 minutes ago, Sigella said:

First, Stannis and Jaime aren't looking great at the end of aDwD but you still can't just assume them dead.

Second, who cares if she vilifies the people that made her grow up alone with Viserys? You seem to hold her to Baelor the Blessed-standards.

The Usurpers dogs are: Tywin and Ned according to Viserys.

But if Dany wants to expand it to Stannis and Jaime, that's also not a good lewk?

These lines indicate that she doesn't care to learn about why her family was kicked out of Westeros. She doesn't want to learn her history or why it might be more complex than she thinks. "If I look back, I'm lost" isn't a good motto.

And I do hold Dany to a higher standard because she can blow everyone up.

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2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The Usurpers dogs are: Tywin and Ned according to Viserys.

But if Dany wants to expand it to Stannis and Jaime, that's also not a good lewk?

These lines indicate that she doesn't care to learn about why her family was kicked out of Westeros. She doesn't want to learn her history or why it might be more complex than she thinks. "If I look back, I'm lost" isn't a good motto.

And I do hold Dany to a higher standard because she can blow everyone up.

It indicates anger towards those who stole her family's place in the world. So long as they are distant abstractions it doesn't mean anything. What you read into it is on you.

So can Cersei but I don't see you obsessing over how bad she is. 

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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?

I would not be so sure of Samwell.  We've not seen him in a position of strength over someone who has done him a great deal of harm.  Arya, Jon, Doran, Cat, and Petyr are motivated by revenge.  Peace might not happen if they continue on this path.  Jon is coming back as a wight with a grudge.  Doran wants to wipe the Lannisters off the face of the kingdom.  It will all lead to tragedy.

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9 minutes ago, Dany's Red Comet said:
On 12/13/2019 at 9:38 AM, Moiraine Sedai said:

I would not be so sure of Samwell.  We've not seen him in a position of strength over someone who has done him a great deal of harm.  Arya, Jon, Doran, Cat, and Petyr are motivated by revenge.  Peace might not happen if they continue on this path.  Jon is coming back as a wight with a grudge.  Doran wants to wipe the Lannisters off the face of the kingdom.  It will all lead to tragedy.

I’m sure Dany the Chosen One (like trump) will deal w it all diplomatically and perfectly, and we’ll end up with all characters sharing arbor gold around a nice lil bonfire. :wub: ETA: singing kumbaya. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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17 hours ago, Sigella said:
18 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I dont know about that:

“Lannister or Stark, what difference? Viserys used to call them the Usurper’s dogs. If a child is set upon by a pack of hounds, does it matter which one tears out his throat? All the dogs are just as guilty.” 

“Bitter old women with a taste for blood. Women do not forget. Women do not forgive.”
No, Dany thought, and the Usurper’s dogs will learn that, when I return to Westeros.” 

Cherry picking much?

Not really. The quotes show Dany has a vengeful streak. She's still a layered character, a nuanced character, but we can't be surprised if she chooses not to forgive.

And there's this:

Quote

She had them nailed to wooden posts around the plaza, each man pointing at the next. The anger was fierce and hot inside her when she gave the command; it made her feel like an avenging dragon. But later, when she passed the men dying on the posts, when she heard their moans and smelled their bowels and blood...  [ASOS - DAENERYS VI]

She feels both rage and pity. But there's a difference. Her pity can't undo the effects of her rage, but her rage can always destroy the effects of pity. Pity has to be sustained; rage happens in an instant, before there's time to think things over.

So Dany's rage is more likely to be significant than her pity.

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31 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

Not really. The quotes show Dany has a vengeful streak. She's still a layered character, a nuanced character, but we can't be surprised if she chooses not to forgive.

And there's this:

She feels both rage and pity. But there's a difference. Her pity can't undo the effects of her rage, but her rage can always destroy the effects of pity. Pity has to be sustained; rage happens in an instant, before there's time to think things over.

So Dany's rage is more likely to be significant than her pity.

Thats your intrepetation. Mine is different; more like a learning curve than a false diconomy (rage/pity).

The men crucified had crucied children - anyone would agree that it is awful and needs to be severly punished. So she feels great condemning them (naturally) and then sick at what the punishment amounted to. So next time maybe she’ll avoid the whole ”eye for an eye” because this is how she learned.

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

Not really. The quotes show Dany has a vengeful streak. She's still a layered character, a nuanced character, but we can't be surprised if she chooses not to forgive.

And there's this:

She feels both rage and pity. But there's a difference. Her pity can't undo the effects of her rage, but her rage can always destroy the effects of pity. Pity has to be sustained; rage happens in an instant, before there's time to think things over.

So Dany's rage is more likely to be significant than her pity.

That's unsurprising.  Anyone in her position would have a vengeful streak.  I know that I would, if my aunt and her children had been brutally raped and murdered, and their murderer rewarded for the deed, and if had then spent my life on the run.

19 hours ago, Sigella said:

First, Stannis and Jaime aren't looking great at the end of aDwD but you still can't just assume them dead.

Second, who cares if she vilifies the people that made her grow up alone with Viserys? You seem to hold her to Baelor the Blessed-standards.

Some people expect her to be Patient Griselda.  I would hold her to a higher standard than, say, Tywin Lannister, but I would not hold her to a higher standard than leaders like Stannis or Robb Stark.

Edited by SeanF

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2 hours ago, SeanF said:

That's unsurprising.  Anyone in her position would have a vengeful streak.  I know that I would, if my aunt and her children had been brutally raped and murdered, and their murderer rewarded for the deed, and if had then spent my life on the run.

Sure. I'm not trying to judge her as a good or bad person, or even rate her 1-10. I am expecting more righteous anger in her future, though.

2 hours ago, Sigella said:

Thats your intrepetation. Mine is different; more like a learning curve than a false diconomy (rage/pity).

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).

Quote

The men crucified had crucied children - anyone would agree that it is awful and needs to be severly punished. So she feels great condemning them (naturally) and then sick at what the punishment amounted to. So next time maybe she’ll avoid the whole ”eye for an eye” because this is how she learned.

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.

Edited by Springwatch
Added last sentence to first para

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

Sure. I'm not trying to judge her as a good or bad person, or even rate her 1-10. I am expecting more righteous anger in her future, though.

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.

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?

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