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Is Asha Greyjoy, really the smart one in her family ?


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So over a few topics the majority of this forum seems to agree that Balon was a too dumb, or too incompetent, Victarion is also seen in the same light but with even the author telling us how dumb he is. Euron is too crazy, and Aeron is just as crazy or stuborn as the rest of his brothers.

With that said, my perception is that  the majority of the fandom see Asha as the rational one in the family, and belive that she will be the one to change the IB. But is she really the “smart Greyjoy”? I think not.

Her decisions are poorly made as her father, she lacks the hindsight that even Theon had as early as Clash, she followed Balon until it was too obvious that the plan would never work it out, just like her father she was quick to ignore Theon, and jump on the oportunity of attacking the north.

Then Balon dies, and another paths are open to her, She is offered to become the heir of Harlaw, have her own castle being the lady of the richest island in her region, as long as she does not take part on the Kingsmoot, but she refuses the offer, she then fails to make a deal with Victarion, of becoming his "hand of the king".

Her offer at the Kingsmoot, a lot of people see that as a rational thought, that since they can’t conquer the north, they should ally with them and make a alliance against the Iron Throne, all good right? Well not really, at the very least I don’t think so.

The north rebellion was carried by the Starks that are no long in power, at that point it was already was putted down, the ones rulling the North are the Boltons, and they are doing it, thanks to the Lannisters intervention, they even have claim on Winterfell thanks to the lions, why would Roose Bolton betray his benefactor for the Greyjoys after the way they acted with Robb when he offered than a alliance? Who would trust them ? they already backstabed them once. The moment has shifted,  such alliance was never gonna happen, even more with her idea of keeping some of the lands in the north. Her plan is a badly makeshift on Theon’s initial idea, but not taking into account the vast diferent context at the moment. It may be even worse than the idea of Victarion of keep fighting a losing war…

Then after all this backfire on her, and Euron is made king, like Rodrik had already warned her, she flees to the North, and decides to keep Deepwood Mottle, knowing that she can't defend the place, and gets captured later, she mocked Theon for the same decision before, but made the same mistake that he did.

So am I wrong to think that she is just as erratic as the rest of her family ? Even if she is a improvment over Balon seems too little.

So Is Asha Greyjoy, really the smart one in her family or just the least dumber one?

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4 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

Unfortunately, Euron is the smartest member of the Greyjoy family. He's crazy, like an evil, egomaniacal fox. He is not dumb, but he is very warped in the mind. Asha isn't stupid either, but like Theon, she thinks she is smarter than is actually the case. 

Someone theorised that the only one who doubts Euron's stories is Rodrik Harlaw, who is nicknamed The Reader, which is a meta clue from GRRM that we as readers should doubt Euron too. I'm on the fence on that one, but I'd rather have Euron be a fraud than an MCU supervillain.

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49 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Someone theorised that the only one who doubts Euron's stories is Rodrik Harlaw, who is nicknamed The Reader, which is a meta clue from GRRM that we as readers should doubt Euron too. I'm on the fence on that one, but I'd rather have Euron be a fraud than an MCU supervillain.

I don't think it matters if Euron's claims end up being true or not. What does matter is that he undoubtedly has access to shade of the evening, has some apparent understanding of magic, and is intent on aquiring dragons. At this point, the trajectory is definately headed towards the MCU villian end of the spectrum. This is high fantasy, and we do have at least one other superpowered character in Bran. Euron can be both a fruad, and also a highly terrifying villian.

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My impressions of our fine Greyjoy bunch is much the same as the OP though I didn't ascribe the same attributes as first thoughts.   Nonetheless, I don't see a solution in the OP either.  I think this right here is where Asha wins gold medals for leadership, vision and intelligence among her people.   Despite her people.   She is a kid with some power in very interesting times.  Her return trip to Deepwood Mote was something of a self rescue and of opportunity.   Whether she was able to keep DM wasn't the point but the connections and thereby inroads she could make in the future.  She doesn't want to rule the greenlands.   She doesn't even really want to run the Iron Islands as illustrated in her offer to join forces and become the Hand of Victarion.  Asha is higher minded and forward thinking to a time perhaps, when raiding and reaving weren't all they were known for.  Maybe she has more Harlaw than Greyjoy in her.  Asha is not an idiot.  Her interactions with Alysanne open her eyes to how her people are percieved.  This doesn't jibe with Asha's feelings.   Raiding and reaving is what they've always done.  These conversations humanize the victims of the family business and Asha is paying attention.   Give Asha some credit.  She really is the smartest of the choices at hand.  

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8 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

I don't think it matters if Euron's claims end up being true or not. What does matter is that he undoubtedly has access to shade of the evening, has some apparent understanding of magic, and is intent on aquiring dragons. At this point, the trajectory is definately headed towards the MCU villian end of the spectrum. This is high fantasy, and we do have at least one other superpowered character in Bran. Euron can be both a fruad, and also a highly terrifying villian.

I totally wouldn't hate an MCU villain end of the spectrum end for Euron.  It can't all be swords and sorcerers here.  Think of the utterly spectacular end he could have and ponder at which of our own in story heroes can bring it about.  Get hype.  

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Well intelligence is a relative word in the Greyjoy family and for most of the Ironborn. 

And even more than intelligence it's common sense that the family is very lacking at. 

Asha is just a little bit richer in it than Theon and much more than her father and traditionalist uncles, but still far from normal.

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Thing is Asha's plans aren't that bad. While becoming lady of Ten Towers (She won't become Lady of Harlaw Rodrick makes that clear but she'll gain a valuable castle with good lands) would be a nice prise being in charge of a castle under King Euron or Victarion would probably end up  an unpleasant experience in different ways(At least some of Euron's boasting is true. He has a suit of Valyrian Steel armor so he must have gone to valyria and survived. Given the suggests on what he's planning I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him with real power in his hands).

Her plan as Queen relies on the idea that while the Starks are gone the Northerns aren't just going to accept the Boltons as Wardens and a revolt will begin swiftly against them. Given the dislike of the Boltons (only really the Dustins and Ryswells are their side at all, plus the treacherous Karstark branch, and even with them their are serious doubts about their loyalty) by supporting such a revolt they can one earn favour with the Northerners for helping defeat the worst traitors in the North. Given the relative strength of the Northerners they would definately be the weaker position in such a negotiation. They may consider from a purely practical standpoint consider giving up the mostly valueless lands of the Stoney Shore and Sea Dragon point for support against the Boltons and Iron throne worth it (they may also not consider it worth it but they don't have a lot of options at this point). They also likely hate the Boltons more than the Ironborn at this point so working with the lesser evil is something they may consider even if temporarily.

And the Naval forces of the Iron born are a huge asset if they can drive those Loyal to the Boltons and the Iron Throne from the North. The Iron Throne really by this point only has the Redwyne fleet to face the Iron fleet and it's not exactly clear which fleet is superior. WIthout the Fleet of the Iron Throne itself it's unlikely the Iron throne can easily defeat the Iron fleet in battle. SO Basically once the North has locked down Moat Cailin the Iron Throne would have few options to actually attack the North. They can't really in such a situation pull the Redwyne fleet from the West to support a landing in the east lest the raids the Ironborn unleash do enough damage to cripple them economically. There other ships probably aren't enough to deal with the Fleet Manderly has mustered at White Harbour and attacking Moat Cailin from the south is a fools errand. Unless Asha grievously mishandles the Iron fleet and loses it against the Redwyne Fleet she should be able to force the Iron throne to a stalemate at the worst while at the same time being the first Ironborn ruler to have possibly made permanent gains in abut 400 years.A good position to set up a reformist rule to fix some of the Ironborn's many problems.

And she is right in Clash when she upbraids Theon for trying to hold Winterfell. He had no chance of holding it. The fact she flees to Deepwood Motte which she has no chance of holding is mainly because she's out of better options. It'the one place she can be certain of temporary safety and staying would likely only result in getting herself killed off by Euron (or worse). It's fairly clear she only intends to stay long enough to consider her next move but Stannis shows up right as she figures out a way to overturn the Kingsmoot.

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Euron's the smartest one , Asha's the most rational. her mistakes are due to her upbringing , her limited Greyjoy brain (just look at Victarion and Baelon to be surprised with Asha's wit)  and her youth ; all of which can be remedied over time when she becomes more experienced.

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11 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

With that said, my perception is that  the majority of the fandom see Asha as the rational one in the family, and belive that she will be the one to change the IB. But is she really the “smart Greyjoy”? I think not

She doesn't have too much to compete, you could say that Euron is the smart one but he's just crazy.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, frenin said:

She doesn't have too much to compete, you could say that Euron is the smart one but he's just crazy.

 

 

 

Crazy isnt being dumb. Its just being insane and thinking outside the box in weird ways. Someone can be both crazy and highly intelligent. Like the joker whos probably the most insane person in fiction but he still posses high levels of cunning.

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I don't know about intelligence, but Asha is the most sensible Greyjoy, the most compassionate one, and hence the most relatable one.

And yet, Ironborn culture is so toxic and obviously awful. Asha has found a way to thrive in the culture despite being a woman, but a huge part of that thriving includes embracing the virtues of rape and plunder. GRRM doesn't blame Asha for the awfulness of the culture she was born into, and in fact grants her the desire to reform into something more sustainable, yet he still paints her as having internalized a lot of the Ironborn cultural norms. So even at her best, Asha is ambivalent about what she wants and she is ineffectual at enacting change, at least at this point in the story.

As for Euron, I hope that he rides the line between fraud and great threat. Someone who is so convinced of his role as a super villain that he unleashes the actual Final Act Big Boss upon the world and is driven mad or discarded once it happens. 

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
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7 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

As for Euron, I hope that he rides the line between fraud and great threat. Someone who is so convinced of his role as a super villain that he unleashes the actual Final Act 3 Big Boss upon the world and is driven mad or discarded once it happens. 

I wonder if we will get the swords in three acts as well.

The first forged in water shattering into a thousand pieces - Euron

The sword forged in the heart of a lion breaking in two - Jaimie and Tyrion

The sword forged in the fiery heart - ????

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1 minute ago, LynnS said:

I wonder if we will get the swords in three acts as well.

The first forged in water shattering into a thousand pieces - Euron

The sword forged in the heart of a lion breaking in two - Jaimie and Tyrion

The sword forged in the fiery heart - ????

Whoops, that "Final Act 3" was a typo on my part. Now corrected! 

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9 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Whoops, that "Final Act 3" was a typo on my part. Now corrected! 

Euron truly is a monster.  I cringe at the thought of him chasing after Samwell and what will happen to Aeron and Falia.  He intends to ram his damn ships.  I'm creeped out that he may have seen Bran in his visions and mocks him by cutting off the legs of Pyat Pree and hanging him from the roof beams.

 

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33 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Euron truly is a monster.  I cringe at the thought of him chasing after Samwell and what will happen to Aeron and Falia.  He intends to ram his damn ships.  I'm creeped out that he may have seen Bran in his visions and mocks him by cutting off the legs of Pyat Pree and hanging him from the roof beams.

Yeah, it's hard to say how his arc will pan out. In the published books, his threat has mostly been established through suggestion. Most casual readers disregard him as a late-story interloper; some weird pirate dude who talks big but won't deliver. And yet, the Forsaken chapter certainly establishes him as a credible magical threat, and the suggestions become much more overt. Even there, though, there's so much we still don't know about his knowledge, his abilities, and his full intentions. One of the more anticipated segments of TWOW for me!

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
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