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Crackpot Debunking Thread


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On 1/4/2022 at 4:41 PM, Mister Smikes said:

The problem with this debunking of the lemon-tree discrepancy is that the debunking has itself been debunked.  Many times. And in recent years by GRRM himself.

@Lost Melniboneanfound an early draft of Dany's chapters from AGOT, pre-published in magazine form under the title THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGON.  In it, Dany's city, containing the house with the red door, is referred to not as "Braavos" but as "Tyrosh".  

"Eureka!!", says Lost Melnibonean.  "That explains the lemon tree discrepancy.  The house with the red door was originally in Tyrosh, which is in the south.  GRRM moved the city north but forgot to remove the lemon tree.  Which is an error, and a left-over artifact of his original intention to place Dany's city in the south."  [Disclaimer, not a literal quote but a paraphrase from memory]

Problem is, these guesses are merely guesses.  They do not follow from the evidence.  That GRRM revised his text can only prove that the prior draft was in error, not that the current draft is in error.  Moreover, GRRM merely changed the NAME of the city.  It does not follow from this that he also changed its location.   For all we know, may have been his original plan to place Tyrosh in the north and Braavos (inspired by Venice) in the South.  No discrepancy was apparent in AGOT.  The climate discrepancy did not become apparent until DANCE and certain sample chapters in WINDS, when GRRM gave us maps of the free cities and several quotes which practically shoved the climate discrepancy in our faces.

Moreover, GRRM was asked about the lemon-tree climate discrepancy, and confirmed that the discrepancy was significant and pointed to something significant.

Which does not necessarily prove that the house with the red door is in Dorne.  But at the very least, it debunks the debunking of Lost Melnibonean.

In the thread, I tried to suggest that the lemon tree was indeed significant to Danaerys's arc, but rather than having anything to do with where she started, it has everything to do with where she will end up... in bitterness and disappointment. 

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46 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

In the thread, I tried to suggest that the lemon tree was indeed significant to Danaerys's arc, but rather than having anything to do with where she started, it has everything to do with where she will end up... in bitterness and disappointment. 

That's fine.  But I was discussing the significance of the lemon tree climate discrepancy.  And so was GRRM, unless he failed to read the question he was answering.  On the issue of the lemon-tree climate discrepancy, have you adjusted your position?

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I am going to debunk a theory that's pretty much accepted in the fandom as fact. It's not a bad theory. In fact, it's a pretty good one, and one I also accepted as fact previously.

The theory in question is that the ants that attack Dany in her last chapter of ADWD are symbolic of the Others. On the surface, that seems like the obvious explanation.  After all, they attack her at a Wall, which Dany specifically compares to the Great Wall in Westeros. However, if you look below the surface, you will come to the conclusion that the ants can't be the Others for several reasons.

First, the text specifically states that the ants attack Dany in the morning. If they were representative of the Others, why would they attack in the morning and not at night. Isn't the sun anathema to the Others and don't they go into hiding then or become mist or something.

Now maybe the ants did bite Dany during the night but why didn't she wake up. They were ants all over her person and she had dozens of bites. Maybe you wouldn't wake up if you were bitten by one or two ants during the night. You might just slap them and go back to sleep, but dozens of bites. There is no way that you wouldn't wake up.

Another reason that I don't think that the ants represent the others is that to make this assumption means that you have to ignore George's metaphoric use of the word ant 4 other times in the chapters. It's not really that long a chapter when you think about it and yet George uses the word ant 5 times in the text. Actually, you can say he uses it 6 times because while he doesn't use the actual word, it's present in the scene in another instance.

You also can't ignore how George has used the word in other chapters. All total, the word ant appears about 15 times in the text throughout all the books and George never once uses it to symbolize the Others. He uses the word to represent the small folks, warriors, the Wildings and the Nights Watch brothers. Why would he suddenly use it to metaphorically represent the Others when every previous usage was tied to humanity? Seems kind of strange to me.

When you consider the theme of the chapter of getting Dany to make choose to be the Mother of Dragons over being Mhysa, and George's prior use of the word, you have to consider the possibility that he didn't switch up the symbolism.

When Dany brushes the ants off her body and stamps on them, the word still has the same symbolic meaning. The word still represents the small folks, the warriors, the Wildings, and the Nights Watch. It especially represents the people of the East to whom Dany was Mhysa.

I don't think that you can look at this passage...

Quote
 
A Dance with Dragons - Daenerys X
 
The next morning she woke stiff and sore and aching, with ants crawling on her arms and legs and face. When she realized what they were, she kicked aside the stalks of dry brown grass that had served as her bed and blanket and struggled to her feet. She had bites all over her, little red bumps, itchy and inflamed. Where did all the ants come from? Dany brushed them from her arms and legs and belly. She ran a hand across her stubbly scalp where her hair had burned away, and felt more ants on her head, and one crawling down the back of her neck. She knocked them off and crushed them under her bare feet. There were so many …
 
It turned out that their anthill was on the other side of her wall. She wondered how the ants had managed to climb over it and find her. To them these tumbledown stones must loom as huge as the Wall of Westeros. The biggest wall in all the world, her brother Viserys used to say, as proud as if he'd built it himself.

...without comparing it to this one...

Quote

 

A Storm of Swords - Daenerys IV
 
Dany felt a lightness in her chest. I will never bear a living child, she remembered. Her hand trembled as she raised it. Perhaps she smiled. She must have, because the man grinned and shouted again, and others took up the cry. "Mhysa!" they called. "Mhysa! MHYSA!" They were all smiling at her, reaching for her, kneeling before her. "Maela," some called her, while others cried "Aelalla" or "Qathei" or "Tato," but whatever the tongue it all meant the same thing. Mother. They are calling me Mother.
 
The chant grew, spread, swelled. It swelled so loud that it frightened her horse, and the mare backed and shook her head and lashed her silver-grey tail. It swelled until it seemed to shake the yellow walls of Yunkai. More slaves were streaming from the gates every moment, and as they came they took up the call. They were running toward her now, pushing, stumbling, wanting to touch her hand, to stroke her horse's mane, to kiss her feet. Her poor bloodriders could not keep them all away, and even Strong Belwas grunted and growled in dismay.
 
Ser Jorah urged her to go, but Dany remembered a dream she had dreamed in the House of the Undying. "They will not hurt me," she told him. "They are my children, Jorah." She laughed, put her heels into her horse, and rode to them, the bells in her hair ringing sweet victory. She trotted, then cantered, then broke into a gallop, her braid streaming behind. The freed slaves parted before her. "Mother," they called from a hundred throats, a thousand, ten thousand. "Mother," they sang, their fingers brushing her legs as she flew by. "Mother, Mother, Mother!"

...Or wonder about this one.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

Faster and faster the visions came, one after the other, until it seemed as if the very air had come alive. Shadows whirled and danced inside a tent, boneless and terrible. A little girl ran barefoot toward a big house with a red door. Mirri Maz Duur shrieked in the flames, a dragon bursting from her brow. Behind a silver horse the bloody corpse of a naked man bounced and dragged. A white lion ran through grass taller than a man. Beneath the Mother of Mountains, a line of naked crones crept from a great lake and knelt shivering before her, their grey heads bowed. Ten thousand slaves lifted bloodstained hands as she raced by on her silver, riding like the wind. "Mother!" they cried. "Mother, mother!" They were reaching for her, touching her, tugging at her cloak, the hem of her skirt, her foot, her leg, her breast. They wanted her, needed her, the fire, the life, and Dany gasped and opened her arms to give herself to them . . .

Also, as George has compared the Wildings to ants, one can argue the answer to the question that Dany asks about how the ants got over her wall, is that Jon opened the door to them. 

Of course, I doubt any of this will convince anyone but it's my attempt at debunking a theory.

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21 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

That's fine.  But I was discussing the significance of the lemon tree climate discrepancy.  And so was GRRM, unless he failed to read the question he was answering.  On the issue of the lemon-tree climate discrepancy, have you adjusted your position?

Nope. 

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21 hours ago, Stormy4400 said:

Of course, I doubt any of this will convince anyone but it's my attempt at debunking a theory.

I could go either way on this one… but just to play devil’s advocate:

Counterpoint, “Tumbledown” is a very fun asearchoficeandfire result!

"No," Tyrion admitted, "not me. I seldom even dream of dragons anymore. There are no dragons." He scooped up the fallen bearskin. "Come, we had better return to camp before your uncle calls the banners."

The walk was short, but the ground was rough underfoot and his legs were cramping badly by the time they got back. Jon Snow offered a hand to help him over a thick tangle of roots, but Tyrion shook him off. He would make his own way, as he had all his life. Still, the camp was a welcome sight. The shelters had been thrown up against the tumbledown wall of a long-abandoned holdfast, a shield against the wind. The horses had been fed and a fire had been laid. Yoren sat on a stone, skinning a squirrel. The savory smell of stew filled Tyrion's nostrils. He dragged himself over to where his man Morrec was tending the stewpot. Wordlessly, Morrec handed him the ladle. Tyrion tasted and handed it back. "More pepper," he said.

Benjen Stark emerged from the shelter he shared with his nephew. "There you are. Jon, damn it, don't go off like that by yourself. I thought the Others had gotten you."

Obviously, Jon’s “uncle” can both take on a new meaning if Lyanna is his mother, and Benjen is still his uncle. But Dany, his aunt, has a bit of a dragon banner motif throughout her story arc, and at this point Viserys is alive.

Then after the wight attack:

His friends meant well, but they did not understand. It was not their fault, truly; they had not had to face Othor, they had not seen the pale glow of those dead blue eyes, had not felt the cold of those dead black fingers. Nor did they know of the fighting in the riverlands. How could they hope to comprehend? He turned away from them abruptly and strode off, sullen. Pyp called after him, but Jon paid him no mind.

They had moved him back to his old cell in tumbledown Hardin's Tower after the fire, and it was there he returned.

Then in Whitetree:

Whitetree, the village was named on Sam's old maps. Jon did not think it much of a village. Four tumbledown one-room houses of unmortared stone surrounded an empty sheepfold and a well. The houses were roofed with sod, the windows shuttered with ragged pieces of hide. And above them loomed the pale limbs and dark red leaves of a monstrous great weirwood.

And of course there are more, the Tumbldown Tower of Queenscrown where Bran and company stay the night so close to Jon (on the other side of its walls), Arya’s High Heart chapter, the Whispers, and finally Dany’s ant wall. (Edit: as pointed out below the Tumbledown Tower and Queenscrown are two different towers!)

I would suggest that maybe the Others are more significantly tied to a “tumbledown” wall than to ants! (Although an aunt may be a different story!!! Re: Dany and Lady Stoneheart? Haha)

Edited by Mourning Star
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8 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

And of course there are more, the Tumbldown Tower of Queenscrown where Bran and company stay the night so close to Jon

I think the Tumbledown tower and the Queenscrown tower are two separate towers.  Bran and company stayed in the Tubledown tower while they were still in the Wolf’s Wood.  It was basically a vault surrounded by a few remaining stones of the tower.  The Queenscrown tower was very much a still standing tower and was in Mountain Clan territory.

Edited by Frey family reunion
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13 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think the Tumbledown tower and the Queenscrown tower are two separate towers.  Bran and company stayed in the Tubledown tower while they were still in the Wolf’s Wood.  It was basically a vault surrounded by a few remaining stones of the tower.  The Queenscrown tower was very much a still standing tower.

This is a great catch, my apologies!

I conflated two towers, and should have included them separately.

There is the Tumbledown Tower, Bran stays at, and the Tumbledown reference from Jon at Queenscrown:

Near the edge of the village, Jon came face-to-face with one of the guards Styr had posted. The Thenn growled something in the Old Tongue and pointed his spear back toward the inn. Get back where you belong, Jon guessed. But where is that?

He walked towards the water, and discovered an almost dry spot beneath the leaning daub-and-wattle wall of a tumbledown cottage that had mostly tumbled down. That was where Ygritte found him sitting, staring off across the rain-whipped lake. "I know this place," he told her when she sat beside him. "That tower . . . look at the top of it the next time the lightning flashes, and tell me what you see."

"Aye, if you like," she said, and then, "Some o' the Thenns are saying they heard noises out there. Shouting, they say."

"Thunder."

"They say shouting. Might be it's ghosts."

Edited by Mourning Star
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