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In what ways do you think/hope Martin will significantly subvert expectations?

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31 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

So she's a hero because she killed a winged beast. I like people who didn't kill winged beasts. Okay?

No sir, she's a hero IMO because she killed the Witch King. I don't care one iota about the fell beast. 

2 hours ago, Groo said:

We could get something like the Others overrun the North but Danny and dragons hold a new line at the Neck and a prolonged truce or stalemate sets in. We'd end up with a new realignment where the North belongs to the Others and the south belongs to men. 

My opinion is that the final battle will be at Harrenhal and/or the Isle of Faces or at the Ruby Ford. Maybe if GRRM wanted a battle in the Neck, he could do a battle at Moat Cailin and maybe line the Neck with wildfire. 

3 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Ding, Ding, we have a winner.  The only correct answer at this point.

There are some other things that I could say are good. 

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1 hour ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

No sir, she's a hero IMO because she killed the Witch King. I don't care one iota about the fell beast. 

That was snark, my friend.

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Posted (edited)

The expectation I hope (but really don't think) he will subvert: Jon Snow stays dead.

As in R+L= Dead children come last everywhere.

As in Azhor Ahai stays dead, does not ride Drogon.

GRRM called Gandalf the White "Tolkien's biggest mistake", thinks it would have been better if Merry had to persuade Théoden to ride to the aid of Gondor, or something like that.

I thought it was outrageous that he killed the main character in Game of Thrones seven chapters before the end. I couldn't believe he pulled the same stunt with Catelyn in the middle of Storm of Swords, only to bring her back as a zombie at the end. 

There is foreshadowing for bringing back Ned's bones, and Robb as a hollow suit of armor like Renly, and Jon will most likely be resurrected. Given the plauge of walking dead and especially those two in the ice cells and the cold winds rising as he died, it would be odd if he didn't. I don't know how the Song can be Sung without him, he seems absolutely essential to the plot. 

But wouldn't it be a different story if the nine hundredth and ninety-eighth Lord Commander stayed dead? 

Edited by Walda

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45 minutes ago, Walda said:

GRRM called Gandalf the White "Tolkien's biggest mistake", thinks it would have been better if Merry had to persuade Théoden to ride to the aid of Gondor, or something like that.

I think that's rather because Gandalf was the good old master figure, etc, not the young hero like Jon. 

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1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I think that's rather because Gandalf was the good old master figure, etc, not the young hero like Jon. 

Agreed. I think Martin's problem was that by bringing back Gandalf, it made things easier for the other characters because they could always rely on him and his advice. But having him stay dead would force the younger characters to face problems on their own and make difficult choices without the backup support of Gandalf (like the whole Breaking of the Fellowship chapter where the Fellowship falls apart without Gandalf). Sort of similar to how the deaths of Eddard and Tywin are the catalysts that propel the rest of the characters into their own storylines and dilemmas, so to should Gandalf's death have been like that, and while it was for a while, Tolkien sort of went back on it rather quickly.

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17 hours ago, Groo said:

We could get something like the Others overrun the North but Danny and dragons hold a new line at the Neck and a prolonged truce or stalemate sets in.

The Others will get as far as the Trident (Dany saw in her dream the battle between her army and the Others at the Trident), the Undead will overrun not only the North but maybe also the northern part of the Vale, and the part of Riverlands above the Trident, and maybe most part of the Westerlands. And maybe parts of the Reach too.

This map is good:

https://atlasoficeandfireblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/westeros.png

It seems that the Undead can't swin, so they will be stopped only by the rivers - the big river at the Vale (that for some reason GRRM has left unnamed) - the one that flows from Heart's Home to Strong Song. That river will cut off the Undead Army from going further into the Vale's area. Same with Westerlands - they will be stopped there, cut off from the rest of Westeros by the Red fork river and the western mountains.

Though if they can navigate and to go through the mountains, then in Westerlands they will go as far south as Highgarden, and only then will be cut off by the Lesser Mander and Mander - directly across and above from Highgarden. So they will also overrun most of the Westerlands, and will stop there.

Unless they will get to Casterly Rock and from there will go on the Gold Road towards King's Landing, infesting parts of the Reach on their way there.

So the final battle will occur near the Trident, on the same location where previously have occured two other major historical battles - the Field of Fire, where Aegon the Conqueror set his claim over the Thousand Kingdoms, and the Redgrass Field, where has occured the main battle of the First Blackfyre Rebellion.

So the Others will infest more than 50% of Westeros' area, and will kill more than half of the 7K's population. Thus there will be no truces - Dany, her dragons and her armies, and Jon with Lightbringer/Dawn of Daynes will obliterate the Others. The Last Hero was unable to get rid of the Others only because he didn't had Lightbringer. And Jon will have it, so there's no need to make any truces with the Enemy.

 

In my opinion GRRM will subvert expactations by killing all the Others, not like it was during the First Long Night, when half of them was left alive. The final battle will be a clean cut. Though the surprise part will be that afterwards there will be a lot of the White Walkers/zombies left - the North, part of the Vale, maybe also most of Westerlands and parts of Riverlands and the Reach will be swarming with zombies, so it will take decades to clear all of Westeros' lands from them, by burning entire cities to get rid of them, and it will be Rhaego's job:

Quote

A tall lord with copper skin and silver-gold hair stood beneath the banner of a fiery stallion, a burning city behind him. - ACOK, Dany IV.

So ASOIAF's ending will be bittersweet, same as The Lord of the Ring's ending - they won the main battle, though there are still many other lesser battles ahead, including freeing the Shire.

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8 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I think that's rather because Gandalf was the good old master figure, etc, not the young hero like Jon. 

Nah, it's more like (per GRRM), Gandalf the White = bad; Zombie Gandalf = ok. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Megorova said:

they will be stopped only by the rivers

The rivers will ice over in the winter. 

The firth of the White Knife will ice over. Possibly the shallows of the bay on the lee side of the Quiet Isle along the shore by the Saltpans too.

The Trident is deep and has a strong tidal current so maybe it won't ice up, but its forks will. The Greywater is tidal, but also shallow and in many places stagnant, so I don't know what happens there.

Winterfell has geothermal springs, which might mean it could be a refuge, or might not. I think it would take some human engineering, eg. Divert hot water to the moat, recreate glass gardens, repair the heating system.

Around Eastwatch, the seas will be as dry as pack ice, and the freezing spray at the edge of the pack will form mountains of ice that will drift in the wind like dunes.

 

Edited by Walda

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Euron will die leaping from Hightower but skinchange into Jon’s body and become the new Night’s King. His sigil reveals it.

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8 hours ago, Walda said:

The rivers will ice over in the winter. 

The river at the Vale has three lakes over its length, so it seems that it's one of those big rivers with a lot of water and fast currents, so it won't ice over. Trident's Red Fork and Green Fork also won't ice over. Though in Westerlands the Lesser Mander possibly will. Though the thing is, even if at certain locations the zombies will be stopped by the rivers, they won't just stay there. They will keep walking alongside the rivers, until they will find a way out.

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3 minutes ago, Megorova said:

The river at the Vale has three lakes over its length, so it seems that it's one of those big rivers with a lot of water and fast currents, so it won't ice over. Trident's Red Fork and Green Fork also won't ice over. Though in Westerlands the Lesser Mander possibly will. Though the thing is, even if at certain locations the zombies will be stopped by the rivers, they won't just stay there. They will keep walking alongside the rivers, until they will find a way out.

Rhoynish accounts of the Long Night say that the Rhoyne froze past the joining with the Selhoru. That would be at the same latitude as Oldtown or northern Dorne.

Quote

Lomas Longstrider, in his Wonders Made by Man, recounts meeting descendants of the Rhoynar in the ruins of the festival city of Chroyane who have tales of a darkness that made the Rhoyne dwindle and disappear, her waters frozen as far south as the joining of the Selhoru

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 10:07 AM, Megorova said:

It seems that the Undead can't swin, so they will be stopped only by the rivers - the big river at the Vale (that for some reason GRRM has left unnamed) - the one that flows from Heart's Home to Strong Song. That river will cut off the Undead Army from going further into the Vale's area. Same with Westerlands - they will be stopped there, cut off from the rest of Westeros by the Red fork river and the western mountains.

 

The Frostfangs and Milkwater didn't stop the Others. Why would other rivers and mountains stop them? If they can't swim then just cut the causeway south of Moat Cailin and let the Neck stop the Others.

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A lot of folks expect a family to win because most stories are comfort fiction. George should bring down the existing Stark family and make them losers in the end. He needs to show that little kids like Bran and Arya can die.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Eldon Tyrell said:

A lot of folks expect a family to win because most stories are comfort fiction. George should bring down the existing Stark family and make them losers in the end. He needs to show that little kids like Bran and Arya can die.

I'm not sure why any of us, including GRRM, have any particular need for dead children.  We see plenty of them in news articles.  They can serve a purpose in fiction, to be sure, but I would not count "subverting expectations" as a worthwhile purpose by itself.  But I'm sure he'll give us a few (poor Tommen; Jojen; and maybe Edric Storm and/or Shireen and/or some other Kingsblood human sacrifice to show how evil the villains are); and in fact already has, here and there (Rhaenys; Micah; Hazea; the 163 kids on mileposts).

I agree that none of the POV characters should be 100% safe, and I would not be too surprised if things ended badly for Bran or Arya.  But the idea of killing kids just for the heck of it, in a work of entertainment, is a kinda icky.

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On 10/10/2021 at 10:57 AM, TheMiddleHero said:

At this point, he could circumvent expectations by actually putting a book out.

This is the best guess of all. Personally I think that the publics reaction to the ending of the TV show has shaken his confidence a bit. Now the TV show did a lot of stupid things.

As for Bran and Arya, I've always thought Bran was the key to the story. He's an easy character to kind of forget about because he fights in no real battles like the others do. However he finds the Direwolves in the very beginning of the series. Characters who find defenseless animals and help them rarely bite the big on at the end. 

As for Subverting expectations. The faceless men serve a death god, the stranger. The very existence of Lady Stoneheart and the others is kind of an affront to the Stranger. I would like to see the faceless men get some kind of strange power over these undead. Have Arya kill her mother for not giving herself to the stranger. That would subvert expectations. 

I would like to see the redemption of Jamie Lannister. It seems this is the real quest he has been on, attempting to redeem his honor. Perhaps people find out why he killed the king he swore to protect and realize that blind faith and servitude to evil people mean less than doing the right thing. His honor as a knight was in direct conflict with his vow to protect his king. 

Perhaps Jamie and Brienne evade the Brotherhood and find Arya and Sansa. They could realize Arya must have gone to Bravos and go looking for her. Arya could then identify the poison that killed Joffrey which makes Jamie realize  that it had to be little finger. Just spitballing. 

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On 10/9/2021 at 6:15 PM, Dr. Eldon Tyrell said:

A lot of folks expect a family to win because most stories are comfort fiction. George should bring down the existing Stark family and make them losers in the end. He needs to show that little kids like Bran and Arya can die.

I expect we're going to see lots of kids die in the next book, just not those two. Dany's cupbearers and Missandei aren't looking to alive, Myrcella, Trystane, Tommen, maybe some of the sand snakes. There's others as well, but those are just off the top of my head.

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On 10/5/2021 at 9:09 PM, Jaenara Belarys said:

If she did, would the Ring of Power not have made her evil, like Gollum? Also, wasn't the last dragon in Middle-earth Smaug? And the Nazgul are riding wyverns....they don't breathe fire, which means they're a wyvern. Plus, Aragorn didn't sieze the RoP. Neither did Gimli or Legolas so far as I remember. Does that mean thy're losers?

Was Gollum evil? 

I know what you mean. I'm teasing b/c our very own GRRM once said something really really really stupid about Tolkien's characters all being a predictable good/evil dichotomy. It's as if he never read Tolkien.

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19 minutes ago, Aetta said:

I know what you mean. I'm teasing b/c our very own GRRM once said something really really really stupid about Tolkien's characters all being a predictable good/evil dichotomy. It's as if he never read Tolkien.

He also said something about Aragorn's tax policy and how he handled the orcs......IMO, the story is over and even if Tolkien had goe into the realms of "tax policy" I probably wouldn't have read it. If I wanted taxes, I'd talk to accountants. 

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