Loras Posted July 7, 2020 Share Posted July 7, 2020 This thread is born from a discussion in the 2021 thread regarding Barristan. On ‘Ser Barristan’ in TWOW. “[Hizdahr] gave her peace. Do not throw it away, Ser, I beg you. Peace is the pearl beyond price.” The Green Grace, The Queen’s Hand, ‘A Dance with Dragons’. As ‘A Dance with Dragons’ draws to a close, Ser Barristan Selmy with the assistance of his ally, Skahaz mo Kandaq, lead Meereen into renewed conflict with Yunkai. The Ghiscari king, Hizdahr zo Loraq, has been overthrown in a coup, and is now a prisoner. Hizdahr, through Daenerys, was influential in brokering a peace with the Yunkai (Daenerys VIII) and appears to be out of his depth in maintaining that peace following Dany’s flight from Meereen. The Yunkai’i supreme leaders appear to be keen on maintaining the peace, executing Dany’s least valuable hostage and returning Hizdahr’s kin. Yet Barristan, despite suffering self doubt throughout his viewpoint arc, is determined to lead the Queen’s armies to war. The purpose of this thread is to speculate on both a literary and meta level about the role of Ser Barristan in ‘The Winds of Winter’. As a starter for 10: In ADWD, Barristan’s chapters are titled. Barristan finds himself in an uncomfortable position where he no longer fulfils the role that he designates for himself. He goes through an identity crisis, moving from an observer to a clumsy player of the game of thrones. From TWOW, we see that his chapters are given the heading ‘Ser Barristan’. He seems to have reclaimed his identity in these new chapters focusing on the Battle for Meereen. Unlike any other character in the story, Barristan retains his title - ‘Ser’. Does this indicate that Barristan, unlike Jaime and Arys, thinks of himself as a true knight? Does it give us a clue about Barristan’s fate in ‘Winds’? The true knight actually being cast as a traitor? Two of Barristan’s character traits are his arrogance and recklessness. In his second sample chapter, the report indicates that Barristan intends to strike the first blow himself, despite being the commander. Comparing this to Tywin or Stannis, it appears that Barristan is seeking glory. A second question relates to his future after these two chapters. It seems reasonably likely that Barristan will have at least one more chapter - especially if, as many believe, Skahaz intends to purge the Meereenese nobles and close the gates on Barristan. For me, I think that Barristan will be the viewpoint for the aftermath of the battle. He links all of the current plots, moving pieces, and new characters in Meereen. To me, this makes him the logical viewpoint to navigate a tricky first chapter following the battle where the characters all come together again without tonnes of new introductions taking the pace out of the novel. What are your thoughts on Barristan’s actions? His fate in the battle of fire, and beyond? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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