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[Spoilers] Episode 102 Discussion


Ran
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1 hour ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

I don't think it's the throne literally rejecting them, I always thought it was purely symbolic.

That's just calling the same thing by a different name. 

You have to look at the factual part of things, and ask yourself: Why did  get cut on the Throne, meanwhile Y  did not, altough, based on why rulers get cut on the Throne,  arguably deserved it even more than X?

23 minutes ago, Ran said:

No one will ever mention if Aegon the Conqueror or Jaehaerys the Old King were scratched by the Iron Throne. It's all retrospective detail, for the most part, gaining significance only when the histories hold a person was an unworthy ruler 

That's the point I was making, altough I didn't say it out loud (for not having enough time to write a longer comment).

Aenys is called 'the Weak', and never gets cut by the Throne, Aegon IV is called 'the Unworthy', yet no mention of him being cut by the Throne, altough it seems to be a major thing whenever it happens.

And, for example, it is, In Viserys' case. Because he was severely cut by the Throne when he cut out the tongues of the Velaryon cousins, and decided to never again sit on it. It seems like the equation is fair play, but you have to ask yourself, what should've Viserys done? Disinherit Rhaenyra or her 3 eldest sons? Rhaenyra was still his daughter and heir, the Strong boys were his grandchildren just as well as Aegon II's children were. I don't think he made a bad decision there, not to mention that silencing the Velaryon cousins was a necessity to defend his rule and authority, as well as Rhaenyra's legitimacy to the Throne.

3 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I mean, who qualifies as a "good" king in the setting?

My point is that it's not the Iron Throne that decides wether the people sitting in it are qualified or not. Maegor was likely pushed into the blades or committed suicide (I'd personally go with suicide), and the rest is mythical history. A legend. I doubt there's any magical power in the Iron Throne, and even if there is, it clearly can't make up its own mind, shown by not cutting people like Aegon IV, Aenys I, Robert Baratheon, and arguably Jaehaerys I as well. There is no mention of the Throne ever cutting a Hand who had to sit in it, nor did it cut Jaime Lannister, who walked up and sat on it with his sword covered in Aerys' blood. Nor does it cut Daemon (in the show), who has no right to sit in it, just like Jaime didn't, but Viserys starts out with one already.

I think this is an ongoing myth that evolved and grew bigger over time, so much so that people freak out when Joffrey cuts himself, and not worried for his health because of that injury, but because viewing it as the sign of the Throne deeming him unworthy and foreshadowing his eventual fall.

If there was a vote on this, I'd wote myth over magical element. That's what I'm tryna say here. The Throne is not haunted or anything the like, this just became a device for both George and in-world storytellers.

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10 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

That's just calling the same thing by a different name. 

You have to look at the factual part of things, and ask yourself: Why did  get cut on the Throne, meanwhile Y  did not, altough, based on why rulers get cut on the Throne,  arguably deserved it even more than X?

That's the point I was making, altough I didn't say it out loud (for not having enough time to write a longer comment).

Aenys is called 'the Weak', and never gets cut by the Throne, Aegon IV is called 'the Unworthy', yet no mention of him being cut by the Throne, altough it seems to be a major thing whenever it happens.

And, for example, it is, In Viserys' case. Because he was severely cut by the Throne when he cut out the tongues of the Velaryon cousins, and decided to never again sit on it. It seems like the equation is fair play, but you have to ask yourself, what should've Viserys done? Disinherit Rhaenyra or her 3 eldest sons? Rhaenyra was still his daughter and heir, the Strong boys were his grandchildren just as well as Aegon II's children were. I don't think he made a bad decision there, not to mention that silencing the Velaryon cousins was a necessity to defend his rule and authority, as well as Rhaenyra's legitimacy to the Throne.

My point is that it's not the Iron Throne that decides wether the people sitting in it are qualified or not. Maegor was likely pushed into the blades or committed suicide (I'd personally go with suicide), and the rest is mythical history. A legend. I doubt there's any magical power in the Iron Throne, and even if there is, it clearly can't make up its own mind, shown by not cutting people like Aegon IV, Aenys I, Robert Baratheon, and arguably Jaehaerys I as well. There is no mention of the Throne ever cutting a Hand who had to sit in it, nor did it cut Jaime Lannister, who walked up and sat on it with his sword covered in Aerys' blood. Nor does it cut Daemon (in the show), who has no right to sit in it, just like Jaime didn't, but Viserys starts out with one already.

I think this is an ongoing myth that evolved and grew bigger over time, so much so that people freak out when Joffrey cuts himself, and not worried for his health because of that injury, but because viewing it as the sign of the Throne deeming him unworthy and foreshadowing his eventual fall.

If there was a vote on this, I'd wote myth over magical element. That's what I'm tryna say here. The Throne is not haunted or anything the like, this just became a device for both George and in-world storytellers.

yes , I agree . it's a myth . it's worth noting that as long as Dance is considered , Gylidane seems to favor the side of the male ruler . it happens when he writes about Rhaenys and Viserys in great council and again happens when he questions Viserys's decision , for I think writing specifically that Viserys was cut and Rhaenyra was cut is a clear indication that he believes making Rhaenyra heir was wrong . when it comes to IT and monarchs in general , there's a good chance that they all cut themselves at one point or the other (if  you know , it wasn't all imaginary tale). it was a bunch of melted swords after all ! only , after Viserys's case, it became the myth you talk about here . 

 

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11 hours ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

An Aegon II who was trained to be king or, at minimum, wasn't seen as "lesser" by his father would be a completely different person. (Seriously, the fact that Viserys I says in F & B that "she wants HER blood on the throne" (emphasis mine) rather than "our" tells me that however much he may have loved Alicent he clearly saw her and the children she gave him as being inferior to the daughter Aemma gave him. Not for nothing does Beesbury, who we are clearly supposed to sympathize with, bring up Rhaenyra having more Targaryen blood, which I personally find disgusting because it actually justifies racial purity when a few generations down the line the exact opposite is lauded with Daeron II and Baelor Breakspear.)

We have to wait and see how Aegon II is portrayed in the show ... but I don't think Viserys spending more time with him would have magically made him another person. And I'm not sure that Baelor Breakspear's looks helped to make him more popular with the lords. I imagine Daemon Blackfyre's Valyrian looks played a role in many lords supporting him in light of Daeron II's half-Dornish heirs. Although, of course, Daeron II also had prominent Valyrian looks and was incest-born himself.

Rhaenyra was the chosen heir and better suited for the Iron Throne, just as Jaehaerys and Alysanne were better suited to rule than Aegon and Rhaena (although nobody chose them, it just worked out that way). Viserys II would also have been a massively better king than poor Aegon III, the Dragonknight a better king than the Unworthy, etc.

Primogeniture sucks in general, not just when it is about women vs. men.

Regarding bastardy, though, children born in matrimony who are acknowledged by their legal father aren't bastards by definition. A bastard is a child born out of wedlock. Married women cannot really give birth to bastards. Or rather: They can do that only if their husbands declare that the children of their wives aren't their seed - and considering the power imbalance among lords and their wives they seem to be able to that pretty much on a whim.

In a setting where there are no paternity tests available the only important criteria is the will/view of the husband/father. Laenor ackowledging Rhaenyra's children as his settles this issue, just as Robert not doubting the paternity of Cersei's children kind of settled this case. Viserys I ruled on the issue already, and Stannis failed to put this case before King Robert.

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Regarding the cutting issue:

The Iron Throne is very much a death trap. Everybody cuts oneself up there, Ned nearly does it when he sits up there, and one imagines every new monarch/Hand sitting up there got his fair share of cuts, especially the more clumsy, agitated, impatient, nervos people, when they still had to figure how they were most comfortable up there. One imagines the child monarchs had the best of it, considering their size. Although Joffrey also cuts himself once ... but then he was already taller than Robb and Jon at the age of twelve, so not really small or slim.

I mean, that chair is so stupidly designed that the person sitting up there has lots and lots of sharp barbs and spike directly next to their hands, arms, and other body parts. It is actually quite ridiculous that nobody ever had the sharp edges grinded down or added proper, less dangerous armrests.

Even Aegon wouldn't have had fun on that silly chair, and he sat on it for 37 years (when he was in KL, perhaps the main reason why he preferred Dragonstone and the progresses was to avoid the silly thing altogether and have Visenya cut herself to pieces in his stead...).

Just now, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

It's not ridiculous if the king doesn't make a mess out of it, which Viserys most certainly did.

Primogeniture always has the ridiculous aspect to it that the person to inherit might be manifestly unsuited for the job at hand, either ability- or character-wise.

Which is why I think George should really go with Viserys II considering/planning to pass over the Unworthy for Daeron II and that being the reason why Aegon poisoned him (if he did that) because a really good king would never even consider leaving his kingdom to a guy like that.

If you build something you might want to leave it to your children ... but if it is plain that they cannot deal with the responsibility or lack the will, the interest, or the ability to continue your work then it is better to turn to somebody else. In a hereditary monarchy this is certainly more difficult than in a private enterprise, but even there are ways how to do this.

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1 hour ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

It's not ridiculous if the king doesn't make a mess out of it, which Viserys most certainly did.

I mean, Viserys didn't actually for all the crap he's given.

He didn't give unambiguous orders on the subject, his son committed treason against his chosen heir with the aid of his hand and wife.

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If Brackens and Blackwoods are the same family, by that logic, the Boltons and Starks also are. Unless GRRM wants us to believe that in centuries (being generous) no Stark girl, nor no Bolton girl, ever married into the Boltons or the Starks. If that is the case, why do the fandom and people in-universe see the Boltons as being different from the Starks?

I can't help but to laugh out loud every time I remember seasoned military commander Benjicot Blackwood (age 12). It would be nice to see GRRM write some (some) members of House Blackwood as traitors or ambitious men, and some members of House Bracken as noble and loyal, even to the bitter end.

Also, concerning the Iron Throne rejecting kings, I'll just paraphrase our lord and master Robert Baratheon: 'Nonsense. It's a chair made of steel blades. Whoever got cut by it likely gripped the damned thing too tight'.

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23 minutes ago, zajaz said:

If Brackens and Blackwoods are the same family, by that logic, the Boltons and Starks also are. Unless GRRM wants us to believe that in centuries (being generous) no Stark girl, nor no Bolton girl, ever married into the Boltons or the Starks. If that is the case, why do the fandom and people in-universe see the Boltons as being different from the Starks?

I can't help but to laugh out loud every time I remember seasoned military commander Benjicot Blackwood (age 12). It would be nice to see GRRM write some (some) members of House Blackwood as traitors or ambitious men, and some members of House Bracken as noble and loyal, even to the bitter end.

Also, concerning the Iron Throne rejecting kings, I'll just paraphrase our lord and master Robert Baratheon: 'Nonsense. It's a chair made of steel blades. Whoever got cut by it likely gripped the damned thing too tight'.

George R.R. Martin kind of struggles with Tolkien's flaws, which is a bit amusing. After all, by simple math, every single person in Gondor should have Isildur's blood running through their veins after thousands of years. There should also be lots and lots of Stark, Lannister, and other cadet houses too.

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5 minutes ago, zajaz said:

If Brackens and Blackwoods are the same family, by that logic, the Boltons and Starks also are. Unless GRRM wants us to believe that in centuries (being generous) no Stark girl, nor no Bolton girl, ever married into the Boltons or the Starks. If that is the case, why do the fandom and people in-universe see the Boltons as being different from the Starks?

That is a kind of bad examples - a much better example would be the Targaryens and the Blackfyres. The Blackfyres are just Targaryens who use a silly name - they are 'house king's sword', what a joke. Thankfully, the Targaryens lack a sceptre, or else some other bastard would have called himself 'royal sceptre'.

Another good example would be the Velaryons and the Targaryens in the era of the show. They are basically the same family due to the heavy intermarriage - which is why it is actually a moot question whether Laenor or Jacaerys Velaryon would rule as a Targaryen or Velaryon king. They were the same at that point, and people knew it, so no need to style yourself 'Targaryen' if the Velaryon name is just as good and noble and dragonlordy.

So far there is no indication that the Starks and Boltons are heavily intermarried - or intermarried at all, although you are right that some marriages must have taken place between those two houses. Although it wouldn't be a given that the current branches of those houses are actually descended from such unions. We can, for instance, imagine that some Bolton-Starks which were created in the wake of some of the earlier treaties with the Red Kings involving a Bolton woman becoming a Stark queen turned out to be bad apples and were eventually cast down and destroyed by a nobler, cleaner branch of the Stark family tree.

I don't think it is an accident that the TWoIaF Stark family tree doesn't list a single Stark-Bolton match. No Bolton married into House Stark in about two hundred years. In general, though, Starks and Boltons must be pretty close cousins still because the children of a Stark woman marrying into House Dustin, say, may have ended up marrying a Dreadfort heir, which means the Lord of Winterfell of that generation and the Lord of Dreadfort would have still been second cousins or so.

With the Brackens-Blackwoods it is clear that there were lots and lots and lots of arranged marriages between those two houses in the hopes to create a lasting peace. To no avail. Blood-wise they are the same family/clan waving different banners. It is silly, very much like the Blackfyre nonsense.

But if people use different names and different banners other people think there is a meaningful difference there ... but it isn't, really.

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9 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

George R.R. Martin kind of struggles with Tolkien's flaws, which is a bit amusing. After all, by simple math, every single person in Gondor should have Isildur's blood running through their veins after thousands of years. There should also be lots and lots of Stark, Lannister, and other cadet houses too.

The fact that House Stark is said to be 8000 is also so laughable that I sometimes just pretend that present Starks are actually descendants of some Cerwyns, or Lockes that decided to adopt the Stark name (and even then, it only takes one guy saying 'Nah, I like my House name just fine', for House 'Stark' crumble to pieces. Besides, I'm sure some Stark King was cucked by some of his vasssals at some point in time, even if the Starks have been a house for 'only' 2000 years.

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58 minutes ago, zajaz said:

no Stark girl, nor no Bolton girl, ever married into the Boltons or the Starks.

I'm sure they have, but not in the published history. There has not been a pairing in at least 200 years.

OTOH, we're told that there have been many intermarriages over the centuries to seal peace after the latest Bracken-Blackwood inter-clan feud. 4,000 years of feuding, 100 peace agreements and marriages, that's basically intermarrying every two generations on average. They may well be more closely related than the Velaryons and Targaryens by the time of ASoIaF, frankly!

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35 minutes ago, zajaz said:

If Brackens and Blackwoods are the same family, by that logic, the Boltons and Starks also are. Unless GRRM wants us to believe that in centuries (being generous) no Stark girl, nor no Bolton girl, ever married into the Boltons or the Starks. If that is the case, why do the fandom and people in-universe see the Boltons as being different from the Starks?

I can't help but to laugh out loud every time I remember seasoned military commander Benjicot Blackwood (age 12). It would be nice to see GRRM write some (some) members of House Blackwood as traitors or ambitious men, and some members of House Bracken as noble and loyal, even to the bitter end.

Also, concerning the Iron Throne rejecting kings, I'll just paraphrase our lord and master Robert Baratheon: 'Nonsense. It's a chair made of steel blades. Whoever got cut by it likely gripped the damned thing too tight'.

Yeah, all the Rhaenyra stans who are meme-big about how the throne has rejected Viserys are going to regret that in approximately two years lol.

The only sympathetic Bracken I can think of is Bethany, who is essentially a fictional Catherine Howard—pimped out to a gross old man by her family, then executed after falling in love with someone else.

The Blackwoods are on the “good” side of every conflict (the Dance, WOT5K, Blackfyre Rebellions). They produced the most beloved of Aegon IV’s mistresses, the girlboss wife of fan-favorite Cregan Stark, the wife of King Egg, and the badass lady who stood up to Harren the Black. They sided with Rhaenys at the Great Council. They follow the Old Gods. They are so clearly written to be superior to the Brackens in every way that it makes me hate them out of pure annoyance. 

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is a kind of bad examples - a much better example would be the Targaryens and the Blackfyres. The Blackfyres are just Targaryens who use a silly name - they are 'house king's sword', what a joke. Thankfully, the Targaryens lack a sceptre, or else some other bastard would have called himself 'royal sceptre'.

Another good example would be the Velaryons and the Targaryens in the era of the show. They are basically the same family due to the heavy intermarriage - which is why it is actually a moot question whether Laenor or Jacaerys Velaryon would rule as a Targaryen or Velaryon king. They were the same at that point, and people knew it, so no need to style yourself 'Targaryen' if the Velaryon name is just as good and noble and dragonlordy.

So far there is no indication that the Starks and Boltons are heavily intermarried - or intermarried at all, although you are right that some marriages must have taken place between those two houses. Although it wouldn't be a given that the current branches of those houses are actually descended from such unions. We can, for instance, imagine that some Bolton-Starks which were created in the wake of some of the earlier treaties with the Red Kings involving a Bolton woman becoming a Stark queen turned out to be bad apples and were eventually cast down and destroyed by a nobler, cleaner branch of the Stark family tree.

I don't think it is an accident that the TWoIaF Stark family tree doesn't list a single Stark-Bolton match. No Bolton married into House Stark in about two hundred years. In general, though, Starks and Boltons must be pretty close cousins still because the children of a Stark woman marrying into House Dustin, say, may have ended up marrying a Dreadfort heir, which means the Lord of Winterfell of that generation and the Lord of Dreadfort would have still been second cousins or so.

With the Brackens-Blackwoods it is clear that there were lots and lots and lots of arranged marriages between those two houses in the hopes to create a lasting peace. To no avail. Blood-wise they are the same family/clan waving different banners. It is silly, very much like the Blackfyre nonsense.

But if people use different names and different banners other people think there is a meaningful difference there ... but it isn't, really.

My problem is that GRRM seems to treat the Blackwoods and the Brackens are two clearly separate entities (genetics be damned), even if he sometimes states that both Houses have intemarried through the years. I'd just like for GRRM to write about a couple of Blackwoods lords that were as bad as Tywin, and some (or even a single one) Bracken lords that were as beloved or honorable as Ned.

Edited by zajaz
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9 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

George R.R. Martin kind of struggles with Tolkien's flaws, which is a bit amusing. After all, by simple math, every single person in Gondor should have Isildur's blood running through their veins after thousands of years. There should also be lots and lots of Stark, Lannister, and other cadet houses too.

There are Stark cadet branches. The Starks of Barrowton, the Karstarks, and the Greystarks, who are wiped out because they tought they are rightful rulers of the North. They used to own the lands currently owned by house Manderly.

 

37 minutes ago, zajaz said:

If Brackens and Blackwoods are the same family, by that logic, the Boltons and Starks also are. Unless GRRM wants us to believe that in centuries (being generous) no Stark girl, nor no Bolton girl, ever married into the Boltons or the Starks. If that is the case, why do the fandom and people in-universe see the Boltons as being different from the Starks?

I can't help but to laugh out loud every time I remember seasoned military commander Benjicot Blackwood (age 12). It would be nice to see GRRM write some (some) members of House Blackwood as traitors or ambitious men, and some members of House Bracken as noble and loyal, even to the bitter end.

Also, concerning the Iron Throne rejecting kings, I'll just paraphrase our lord and master Robert Baratheon: 'Nonsense. It's a chair made of steel blades. Whoever got cut by it likely gripped the damned thing too tight'.

I think George did not intend the Blackwood-Bracken conflict to looked so deep into. Just as he meant Jaehaerys I to be the best Targaryen king to ever live, but at the same time intentionally kept House Targaryen at a smaller size, which resulted in him and Alysanne butchering their own daughters' lives, and arguably taking away from his accomplishments.

But if that makes you any happier, the Blackwoods used to be Stark vassals, but their ambition made them turn their backs on the Starks to become Kings in the North. They failed and got banished/expelled from the North,  and they ended up setlling in the Riverlands.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Which is why I think George should really go with Viserys II considering/planning to pass over the Unworthy for Daeron II and that being the reason why Aegon poisoned him (if he did that) because a really good king would never even consider leaving his kingdom to a guy like that.

Chances for this are closer to 0 than 1%. Viserys had to be very much aware of what a guy Aegon was when he married him to Naerys, and then again had to be very much aware of Aemon being deeply in love with Naerys, and that Naerys was also in love with Aemon (altough she would've still loved to become a septa anyway), and decided to act as he did, despite all the huge red flags. And Daemon Waters was already very much a thing at that point, since Baelor's reign.

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16 minutes ago, zajaz said:

The fact that House Stark is said to be 8000 is also so laughable that I sometimes just pretend that present Starks are actually descendants of some Cerwyns, or Lockes that decided to adopt the Stark name (and even then, it only takes one guy saying 'Nah, I like my House name just fine', for House 'Stark' crumble to pieces. Besides, I'm sure some Stark King was cucked by some of his vasssals at some point in time, even if the Starks have been a house for 'only' 2000 years.

I mean you're not actually speculating as Jon Snow is flat out told that the Stark line ended with Bael the Bard at one point. At least according to the male primogeniture of the time. It's just Jon is picking up the subtext that the Wildlings don't get, or maybe do, that the Stark line may end up continuing through a bastard.

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I feel like I should clarify that I don't even like the Brackens, it's just the fact that GRRM as an author does not seem to realize how (badly) is affecting the theme of the series that a single House always appears to fight for the 'right' side of historic conflicts, and some of his members are so 'badass' and 'cool', with no tyrant or despicable man ever making an appearance among their ranks, while the other House does not seem to get this same treatment. I just want to GRRM to prove me wrong and write in F&B II that some random Bracken lord was just and beloved (and even highly respected by other riverlords), while some random Blackwood knight like to pillage towns for his own gains (and to this day is considered to be by the other Blackwoods a taint for the House name).

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2 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Chances for this are closer to 0 than 1%. Viserys had to be very much aware of what a guy Aegon was when he married him to Naerys, and then again had to be very much aware of Aemon being deeply in love with Naerys, and that Naerys was also in love with Aemon (altough she would've still loved to become a septa anyway), and decided to act as he did, despite all the huge red flags. And Daemon Waters was already very much a thing at that point, since Baelor's reign.

But that was back in 153 AC when he still may have hopes for Aegon ... and when Aegon III still sat the throne and his two sons lived, and it looked like Viserys' branch would never actually inherit the Iron Throne.

When Viserys II becomes king he clearly knows his eldest son is a wastrel and a disgrace ... and he already has a dutiful and capable spare heir in his grown-up grandson Daeron - who just had produced his first son, giving the king his first great-grandson. While Daeron was still young Aegon would have been Viserys' only heir, of course, but by the time he became that changed.

10 minutes ago, zajaz said:

My problem is that GRRM seems to treat the Blackwoods and the Brackens are two clearly separate entities (genetics be damned), even if he sometimes states that both Houses have intemarried through the years. I'd just like for GRRM to write about a couple of Blackwoods lords that were as bad as Tywin, and some (or even a single one) Bracken lords that were as beloved or honorable as Ned.

I certainly think Bittersteel and the Brute of Bracken are badass. I also happpen to like Jonos Bracken more than Tytos Blackwood. Bloodraven has some good character traits ... but he is hardly a hero, all things considered.

I also don't really like people just because they are tree-hugging followers of the old gods.

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8 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I mean you're not actually speculating as Jon Snow is flat out told that the Stark line ended with Bael the Bard at one point. At least according to the male primogeniture of the time. It's just Jon is picking up the subtext that the Wildlings don't get, or maybe do, that the Stark line may end up continuing through a bastard.

Even said 'Stark' line should actually be the spawn of some Flint or Glover, depending on how long ago the whole Bael story was supposed the have happened.

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I should point out that the fact that the Brackens and Blackwoods being closely related doesn't mean anything since these kinds of feuding noble houses being closely related is actually historically accurate. FUN FACT: I actually wrote my Masters degree thesis on Beowulf's Peace-Weavers and Political Marriages.

There's a scene in Beowulf where basically he talks about how a family is doing a truce marriage and how Bewoulf notes this is going to do jack all to make peace between this family that has been feuding for generations. In fact, it will actually make the troubles between them worse.

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Just now, zajaz said:

Even said 'Stark' line should actually be the spaw of some Flint or Glover, depending on how long ago the whole Bael story was supposed the have happened.

Like I said, if the Starks are 8000 years old, everyone in the North is probably one.

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