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Original AFFC Outline


The Bard of Banefort
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18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Sansa's future is so hard to predict, which is probably why fans spend so much time theorizing about her. I think most people agree that she'll make it back to Winterfell at some point, but it's hard to tell what the road there will be like. The show was no help, given that they merged her with a different character. What's "fresh" is her S7 plot, which could have just been an invention, but as I explained before, I think it may very well have been based on something George has planned for her, and we're definitely seeing her take on a maternal role in the story now.

One reason why I don't think Harry is long for the world is because GRRM almost never mentions him when he talks about important characters who were missing from the show. He mentions Arianne and Quentyn, the Tyrell brothers, Jeyne Poole, Aegon and JonCon, and sometimes Strong Belwas. It's why I've also started to suspect that Val may not be that important in the grand scheme of things either.

The part I find so curious is that Sansa (like Sam and Bran) does hardly anything in AFFC/ADWD. At the beginning of Feast she's at the top of the mountain, and then by the end of Dance she's at the bottom of it. It seems like she and a few other characters are treading water while other characters get into place. There are lots of factors that could effect her storyline: Jaime and Brienne running into Stoneheart, Jon's death (and presumed resurrection), Cersei's downfall, Aegon's landing in Westeros. Whether she goes north or south, she'll have to go through the Riverlands, and there's plenty going on there. And--assuming this twenty-year-old hint is still in play--GRRM has suggested that LF's lack of an army will become a problem for him the Riverlands.

As for Bran and Sam, neither of them has anything revealed in this outline. They're not usually regarded as the most tantalizing characters, but the fact that we've seen so little of them in the last two books is probably an indicator that they're getting into place for something big (Euron? Hold the door?)

I think it's because Sam, Sansa and Bran benefit THE MOST from the five-year gap.

With the exception of maybe the very last Sam chapter in Feast and the very last Bran chapter in Dance, I feel like every single chapter that the three of them have had after A Storm of Swords** is stuff that either would've told or talked about over the course of expository flashbacks and inner monologues. In other words, it's filler. Everything that happens from here on out will be both vital and heavy on action.

**The same sort mostly applies to Arya as well, with the exception that I believe all of her chapters in Dance were supposed to take place after the time jump.**

Personally, my prediction is that I think Sansa and the Knights of the Vale (after everything is settled with Harry, Mad Mouse and the Tourney) are either going to head straight to the North by ship...

...or Sansa and the mountain clans (!!!) are going to go to King's Landing first and then leave for the North with the rest of the Knights of the Vale by ship. And if she does go back to King's Landing, she'll arrive after the city has fallen into the hands of fAegon and FriendsTM and leave before shit pops off and Cersei is able to escape. 

But or Sansa to be able to mix it up with Connington, Arianne, fAegon, Cersei, Varys, etc. and still make it back to the North before the Wall falls and Jon Snow becomes Jon Stark, King in the North that means that the takeover of King's Landing can't happen towards the end of the book. It has to happen somewhere in the middle.

11 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

There’s just one problem: Sansa is still legally married to Tyrion. Just like with Cersei and Rhaenyra (and Elaena), any child she has will technically be his, logistics be damned.

Which is why I think she is going to have to take a detour and go to King's Landing.

Unless the High Sparrow can be so incentivized to openly declare war on the Lannister-Tyrell regime and give the likes of Sansa Stark an annulment by way of raven, Sansa is going to have to make an in-person appearance in order to get her annulment.

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10 hours ago, Mithras said:

LF wouldn't be concerned about that. If he is able to get a legitimization, he should also be able to get an annulment. What matters most is to have the child in the first place and create a fait accompli. Legality will follow that. 

There is a historical precedent that Lord Hightower wanted to marry his widow stepmother (Lady Sam Tarly) but the High Septon didnot approve it and declared it as a form of incest. But they did not mind him and kept on living and made six children. 13 years later a new High Septon was elected and he reversed the decision of his predecessor. The High Septon allowed the marriage to take place and their 6 children were retroactively declared legitimate.

I’m definitely in agreement that LF’s plan has something to do with replicating his scheme with Lysa—kill off the husband, then marry the widow and rule through her young son. I also think it’s he’s likely Sweetrobin’s biological father (Harry looks like Jon Arryn, and neither look like Sweetrobin). But I think that, as of now, he’s planning on having the marriage go through that way the child’s legitimacy can’t be contested, and because he wants to crown Sansa in some capacity (battle of the three queens). Her reputation will be destroyed if she has a bastard child.

The danger comes in when you factor in LF’s own appetites. Kissing Sansa out in the open was a dumb move (as is repeatedly kissing the girl he’s trying to pass off as his daughter), but he was overcome with lust.  He’s absurdly proud of (allegedly) deflowering both Tully sisters, even bragging about to Sansa, as if that’s supposed to impress her. I think the idea of someone else getting with Sansa first will prove unbearable to him and that he’ll eventually try to seduce her. What happens next is up in the air—I doubt he’ll succeed in having sex with her, but whether she is able to physically stop him or is saved by another interruption is unclear. It’s also possible that she’ll put her newfound acting abilities to the test: she may lie and say that she’d already lost her virginity to someone else. That seems most in line with the way her character arc has been progressing.

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I'd not bet on the Mad Mouse's apparent death being a fixture in the Sansa plot. Other characters grew in the AFfC Alayne chapters, notably Myranda Royce, Lyn Corbray, and, eventually, Harry the Heir who may not have been there as a character in the five year gap scenario.

The Mad Mouse is clearly a catalyst, but we should assume things get subtler and more complex with rewrites. Brienne's chapters established a Varys connection, IIlyrio told us about the little mice, and then we have Sansa enter Littlefinger's study with an open window and messy papers.

Rather than trying to capture Sansa he could help her reach the conclusion that she could convince Harry and the Vale to support Aegon as a means to free herself of Littlefinger, destroy Cersei, etc., clear her name, and seize power.

It is obvious that the news about Aegon must reach the Vale right in time for the tourney. And Haldon is not very subtle about them calling on Vale help as they did Doran as they know that the Vale remained neutral in the earlier conflicts.

They could still choose to ignore Aegon ... but how likely is it that they want to war in the North in winter?

5 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I’m definitely in agreement that LF’s plan has something to do with replicating his scheme with Lysa—kill off the husband, then marry the widow and rule through her young son. I also think it’s he’s likely Sweetrobin’s biological father (Harry looks like Jon Arryn, and neither look like Sweetrobin). But I think that, as of now, he’s planning on having the marriage go through that way the child’s legitimacy can’t be contested, and because he wants to crown Sansa in some capacity (battle of the three queens). Her reputation will be destroyed if she has a bastard child.

Lord Robert looks like Lysa, just as many of Cat's children look like her. Littlefinger would have long ago joked and mocked Robert if he were his actual father. Not to mention that Lysa would have ranted about it in ASoS.

5 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

The danger comes in when you factor in LF’s own appetites. Kissing Sansa out in the open was a dumb move (as is repeatedly kissing the girl he’s trying to pass off as his daughter), but he was overcome with lust.  He’s absurdly proud of (allegedly) deflowering both Tully sisters, even bragging about to Sansa, as if that’s supposed to impress her. I think the idea of someone else getting with Sansa first will prove unbearable to him and that he’ll eventually try to seduce her. What happens next is up in the air—I doubt he’ll succeed in having sex with her, but whether she is able to physically stop him or is saved by another interruption is unclear. It’s also possible that she’ll put her newfound acting abilities to the test: she may lie and say that she’d already lost her virginity to someone else. That seems most in line with the way her character arc has been progressing.

I rather see Sansa seducing Littlefinger to manipulate him. She already lies to him, so that is the next step. Doesn't have to include sex (yet), but promises.

The idea that anyone would 'save' Sansa from him is very unlikely in this world. He is the Lord Protector and she his pet. They would all be good little tin soldiers like Jaime was with Aerys and Rhaella.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd not bet on the Mad Mouse's apparent death being a fixture in the Sansa plot. Other characters grew in the AFfC Alayne chapters, notably Myranda Royce, Lyn Corbray, and, eventually, Harry the Heir who may not have been there as a character in the five year gap scenario.

The Mad Mouse is clearly a catalyst, but we should assume things get subtler and more complex with rewrites. Brienne's chapters established a Varys connection, IIlyrio told us about the little mice, and then we have Sansa enter Littlefinger's study with an open window and messy papers.

Rather than trying to capture Sansa he could help her reach the conclusion that she could convince Harry and the Vale to support Aegon as a means to free herself of Littlefinger, destroy Cersei, etc., clear her name, and seize power.

It is obvious that the news about Aegon must reach the Vale right in time for the tourney. And Haldon is not very subtle about them calling on Vale help as they did Doran as they know that the Vale remained neutral in the earlier conflicts.

They could still choose to ignore Aegon ... but how likely is it that they want to war in the North in winter?

Lord Robert looks like Lysa, just as many of Cat's children look like her. Littlefinger would have long ago joked and mocked Robert if he were his actual father. Not to mention that Lysa would have ranted about it in ASoS.

I rather see Sansa seducing Littlefinger to manipulate him. She already lies to him, so that is the next step. Doesn't have to include sex (yet), but promises.

The idea that anyone would 'save' Sansa from him is very unlikely in this world. He is the Lord Protector and she his pet. They would all be good little tin soldiers like Jaime was with Aerys and Rhaella.

By interruption, I meant like in ASOS when Robert runs into the courtyard to see the snow castle.

That said, Sansa may finally run into Brienne in TWOW. Geographically, they’re not far from each other, and I’m willing to bet she and Jaime squeak through their confrontation with Stoneheart.

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7 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

That said, Sansa may finally run into Brienne in TWOW. Geographically, they’re not far from each other, and I’m willing to bet she and Jaime squeak through their confrontation with Stoneheart.

We won't see a confrontation with Stoneheart.  If one occurred (and I see no reason to assume it has or will), it already happened and we missed it.  GRRM has decided to keep us in the dark.

But I agree that Sansa's POV is one place Brienne, or someone resembling Brienne, is likely to show up.  Sansa will not know what is going on, and GRRM wants his readers in the same boat.  And a tourney is a great place for mystery knights.

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45 minutes ago, Gilbert Green said:

We won't see a confrontation with Stoneheart.  If one occurred (and I see no reason to assume it has or will), it already happened and we missed it.  GRRM has decided to keep us in the dark.

So that whole plot is a dead end? What do you think happens there? Does Brienne just abandon Hyle and Pod in your version? I struggle to imagine that such a potentially important, dramatic event, with two PoVs there no less, would be cancelled or skipped.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Harry the Heir who may not have been there as a character in the five year gap scenario.

George revealed that he was writing about Harry the Heir less than a year after the publication of ASOS, way before he decided to scrap the five year gap. This confirms that Harry is not a late addition to the plot, and that the idea of his marriage with Sansa had been there since the beginning.

Morover, I find it very telling that George mentions Harry the Heir altogether with the King of Mummers. They will first appear in Arya I and Sansa I from TWOW respectively. We know that Arya I from TWOW was supposed to be Arya I from pre-gap AFFC, with minimal variations. So I'd say that it's not unlikely that the same is true for Sansa I, and that Myranda Royce & Co had been there from the earliest conceptions.

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Brienne reveals the truth to Jaime. They make plans to free the captives and run. While they wait for a proper moment to attempt the rescue, they go over every detail Brienne can remember. They conclude that Brienne never had a real lead on Sansa. Moreover, they piece together that the silent gravedigger at the Quiet Isle is Sandor Clegane and he might know where the real Arya went. The opportunity for saving Pod and Hunt comes when most of the brotherhood goes to join the rescue mission for Edmure as it happens in the Prologue. They find out that Hunt is already executed. Brienne and Jaime manage to free Pod. After that, Brienne and Pod flee to the the Quiet Isle for hiding and also for extracting information about Arya's whereabouts. Jaime returns to King's Landing.

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Just now, The hairy bear said:

George revealed that he was writing about Harry the Heir less than a year after the publication of ASOS, way before he decided to scrap the five year gap. This confirms that Harry is not a late addition to the plot, and that the idea of his marriage with Sansa had been there since the beginning.

Morover, I find it very telling that George mentions Harry the Heir altogether with the King of Mummers. They will first appear in Arya I and Sansa I from TWOW respectively. We know that Arya I from TWOW was supposed to be Arya I from pre-gap AFFC, with minimal variations. So I'd say that it's not unlikely that the same is true for Sansa I, and that Myranda Royce & Co had been there from the earliest conceptions.

GRRM announced that he scrapped the 5 year gap at Worldcon in August 2001 but it is very likely that the decision took place months before the announcement. GRRM could not do such a radical change without thinking about it for long and discussing it with friends and his editors. In that very same worldcon, GRRM also announced that he introduced a new book that would take place right after ASoS and he named it as AFfC, pushing ADwD further away. This supports the idea that GRRM had given lots of time and thought to the idea of abandoning the 5 year gap before the announcement because he was able to name a new book that was not supposed to exist before.

In short, although the first mention of Harry the Heir is several months earlier than the announcement of the DEGAP, it makes sense to think that GRRM made the decision long before the announcement. If so, Harry the Heir might be one of the first new characters envisioned after the decision of DEGAP was made.

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@BlackLightning

A problem I see with the idea that Aegon takes KL, Sansa goes to get an annulment after, is that Aegon needs allies to win KL. To get allies he would probably need to marry or at least do something clever to avoid it while still pleasing those who would side with him. I just don’t see much chance people will join his cause without a marriage pact.

Arianne, Myrcella, Margaery, Sansa….the list of suitors is interesting and each opens up possibly great story paths.

1. I tend to think that Arianne is too old and not planning to marry Aegon herself, but that isn’t clear in the sample chapters. That might be her plan.

2. But there is also Myrcella who needs to pass through/past lands Aegon has captured to get home so either she is about to die, or Aegon will see the advantage of using her as a means to contest Tommen’s rule. If Aegon marries Myrcella he might be able to take KL with very little opposition. Although unless Trystane first has had some kind of mishap, this version might alienate Dorne.

3. Marge is tiring fast of Cersei’s scheming in KL. After the ordeal she was just put through I would say she is looking for a way out. If Tommen died she would be free to marry again. Or even if he did not die, she might be able to obtain an annulment as the marriage is (probably…because he is a child) not yet consummated. This would be another even stronger way for Aegon to take KL relatively peacefully.

4. Sansa has a much more difficult path to annulment than Marge. Still, if she did somehow manage it, it would need to be before Aegon takes KL (if he ever takes KL). Afterwards doesn’t make sense as he already would clearly have the allies he needs to take the capital. Unless of course he married one of the other ladies first, but she died. So much depends on people meeting untimely deaths.

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Guys, it has been long established that an annulment can be granted either by the High Septon or 'a council of the Faith'. The latter might be convened by the local clergy of the Vale, beholden to House Arryn, so remarrying Sansa Stark is a non-issue. Tyrion Lannister is presumed dead, anyway - and would be killed on sight were he to ever show his ugly face in Westeros again, at least under the current political regime - and the marriage was not consummated as per Sansa's testimony and whatever examinations of her body might reveal.

2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

George revealed that he was writing about Harry the Heir less than a year after the publication of ASOS, way before he decided to scrap the five year gap. This confirms that Harry is not a late addition to the plot, and that the idea of his marriage with Sansa had been there since the beginning.

Morover, I find it very telling that George mentions Harry the Heir altogether with the King of Mummers. They will first appear in Arya I and Sansa I from TWOW respectively. We know that Arya I from TWOW was supposed to be Arya I from pre-gap AFFC, with minimal variations. So I'd say that it's not unlikely that the same is true for Sansa I, and that Myranda Royce & Co had been there from the earliest conceptions.

Regardless of this, if you reread the sample chapter and compare it to the AFfC chapters it feels a bit disjointed and off as there are stronger ties between Sansa and Myranda/Lyn established there than seem evident in the sample chapter. The same goes for the characterization of Lord Robert who is much more mature in the sample chapter.

Earlier plot threads introduced in AFfC are missing, notably references to the sweetsleep poisoning, the Lyn-Littlefinger pact, the friendship with Myranda Royce and, most importantly, the Winterfell-North plan Littlefinger revealed as a cliffhanger in the last chapter.

The Mad Mouse as a character is now introduced as a searcher for Sansa with some connection to Varys in the Brienne chapters ... something we wouldn't have had in a scenario where the character is first introduced in the sample chapter. In such a setting him trying to abduct/attack Sansa might work as a surprise while now the character's agenda is already clear, so a more subtle approach might see things play out differently.

Or not. Hard to say.

11 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

By interruption, I meant like in ASOS when Robert runs into the courtyard to see the snow castle.

Possible, but Littlefinger would likely do such things now only in the privacy of his study or solar and nobody is going to disturb the Lord Protector there, never mind what sounds may be heard outside the door.

11 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

That said, Sansa may finally run into Brienne in TWOW. Geographically, they’re not far from each other, and I’m willing to bet she and Jaime squeak through their confrontation with Stoneheart.

The Vale is cut off from the mainland in winter. People could go there by ship but that would take time. Not to mention it would be a hell of a filler if Brienne of all people were to go to Sansa now that she wasted two books looking for her.

It seems rather likely that Brienne and Jaime will be put on a different task in the wake of their meeting with Lady Stoneheart.

The quite interesting part of the notes is that events and characters are in a flux - e.g. the Winterfell rescue plan passing from Davos to Mance. That tells us not only that the POV character - or whether an event gets POV coverage or not - can change easily but also what characters are connected to certain events in general.

What do you people make of the Melisandre/king's blood/dragon-hatching lines erased from the Jon chapters of ADwD?

Is that a sign that this plot is completely gone now, or is it only postponed or moved to other locations?

It seems George did have the Alysanne-Jaehaerys Nightfort visits as a preparation for dragon eggs at the Wall. But that is quite unlikely now. TWoIaF gave us the Vermax Winterfell clue, so perhaps such a plot could now take place at a Winterfell under Stannis' control? Or back at the Nightfort after Stannis finds eggs and delivers them to Mel at the Wall? Burning Shireen for dragon(s) actually seems like something that could make a lot of sense to them if things get really worse. At least more sense than just random burnings for no concrete reasons. If it were to work, though, Jon Snow might actually end up with a dragon from a different egg.

That would fit rather well with the decision to move the wedding from Barrowton to Winterfell.

Any other dragon eggs hatching is quite unlikely now. The Epilogue confirmed it again that there seem to be none left on Dragonstone. I guess Mel could eventually reveal she and Stannis found some in the caverns before they left ... but that strikes me as unlikely.

The Nightfort should still be important as a location, but I think not as early or not exactly in the way it was thought to feature when it was introduced in ASoS.

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3 hours ago, Alester Florent said:

So that whole plot is a dead end? What do you think happens there? Does Brienne just abandon Hyle and Pod in your version? I struggle to imagine that such a potentially important, dramatic event, with two PoVs there no less, would be cancelled or skipped.

What I think happens is that we have reached a point where the threads start to come together and we won't need so many POVs.  We will find out what happened when Sansa finds out what happened.  Or when Cersei finds out what happened.  Or when Jon Snow finds out what happened.  Or when Davos finds out what happened.  Or maybe we will be able to piece together what happened from multiple people.

If we see a mystery knight with a mystery squire, we readers are not supposed to know whether it is Sandor and Edric, or Brienne and Pod, or Lem and Shadric, or some other combination of persons.  GRRM wants to keep us guessing, so he does not want us to know if (for instance) Podrick is alive or dead.

If we see a big person running around in a scary Hound helm, we will not immediately know if it is Lem, or Brienne, or Sandor, or someone else.

If, as has been foreshadowed, Jaime returns to KL in Cersei's POV, I anticipate that Cersei will notice that he seems changed, and will wonder why.

Broadly speaking, 4 possibilities (1) Brienne keeps her oath and slays Jaime; then brings his corpse to Stoneheart; (2) Brienne keeps her oath, slays Jaime, but then does not return to Stoneheart; (3) Brienne breaks her oath, does not slay Jaime, and does not bring Jaime to Stoneheart; (4)  Brienne breaks her oath, does not slay Jaime, but returns to Stoneheart anyway, with or without Jaime (maybe to save Pod and Hyle).

You assume Pod and Hyle were cut down alive.  I'm not saying whether this is true or not true.  But I do think that GRRM intends to keep us guessing.

 

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1 hour ago, Hippocras said:

@BlackLightning

A problem I see with the idea that Aegon takes KL, Sansa goes to get an annulment after, is that Aegon needs allies to win KL. To get allies he would probably need to marry or at least do something clever to avoid it while still pleasing those who would side with him. I just don’t see much chance people will join his cause without a marriage pact.

My point of contention with this is that I believe that Aegon does not need that many allies to take King's Landing.

The High Sparrow (along with thousands of other people) already hates Cersei and distrusts anything that is minutely associated with her or her family. Cersei is on very thin ice as it is...one more mistake or misdeed from her (which is inevitable) and it's over. As it so happens, Varys is deeply invested in making sure that Cersei continues to mess up.

The Golden Company is just getting started and the Martells are already Aegon's back pocket. It's not a matter of if House Martell joins him but a matter of when and how.

If he can get the Faith Militant behind him, Aegon is more than capable of taking and holding the city. In fact, if Cersei, Varys and/or Margaery keep at it, Aegon will be able to walk up to the gates and politely ask to rule the city and the people will just let him.

Granted, that means that Mace Tyrell is going to have to be defeated and Randyll Tarly will have to turn. But, honestly, the writing is on the walls. The real interesting stuff is going to be what happens after Aegon gets in the city.

1 hour ago, Hippocras said:

@BlackLightning

A problem I see with the idea that Aegon takes KL, Sansa goes to get an annulment after, is that Aegon needs allies to win KL. To get allies he would probably need to marry or at least do something clever to avoid it while still pleasing those who would side with him. I just don’t see much chance people will join his cause without a marriage pact.

Arianne, Myrcella, Margaery, Sansa….the list of suitors is interesting and each opens up possibly great story paths.

1. I tend to think that Arianne is too old and not planning to marry Aegon herself, but that isn’t clear in the sample chapters. That might be her plan.

2. But there is also Myrcella who needs to pass through/past lands Aegon has captured to get home so either she is about to die, or Aegon will see the advantage of using her as a means to contest Tommen’s rule. If Aegon marries Myrcella he might be able to take KL with very little opposition. Although unless Trystane first has had some kind of mishap, this version might alienate Dorne.

3. Marge is tiring fast of Cersei’s scheming in KL. After the ordeal she was just put through I would say she is looking for a way out. If Tommen died she would be free to marry again. Or even if he did not die, she might be able to obtain an annulment as the marriage is (probably…because he is a child) not yet consummated. This would be another even stronger way for Aegon to take KL relatively peacefully.

4. Sansa has a much more difficult path to annulment than Marge. Still, if she did somehow manage it, it would need to be before Aegon takes KL (if he ever takes KL). Afterwards doesn’t make sense as he already would clearly have the allies he needs to take the capital. Unless of course he married one of the other ladies first, but she died. So much depends on people meeting untimely deaths.

Arianne is not too old. In fact, if you want to start having babies right away, Arianne is the best bet. She's a grown woman who is still in her prime.

By the time Myrcella becomes an eligible candidate for Aegon's queen, she'll probably would have already been exposed as a Lannister bastard and he'll have already taken Storm's End. There won't be any need for her...plus, Myrcella is way too young. Aegon will have to wait at least 6 years before he can impregnate her. He can't afford that.

Margaery has already been wed to three different kings. It doesn't matter whether she is a virgin or not; she's proven herself to be an instrumental and controversial piece in the deeply troubled Baratheon dynasty. Aegon is not going to want her nor is anyone else in Aegon's camp is going to want her. By the time Aegon comes to power, I think Margaery will have died.

Are you crazy? The only way for Sansa to get an annulment before Aegon takes King's Landing is if she suddenly becomes best friends with the High Sparrow without Cersei (or Littlefinger for that matter) knowing. Which is unlikely given how much the High Sparrow is prejudiced against northerners and women. Moreover, the High Sparrow has good reason to believe that Sansa is a kingslayer. In order for him to give her an annulment before Aegon takes the city and becomes top dog is if he is prodded/pushed into doing so.

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2 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

Broadly speaking, 4 possibilities (1) Brienne keeps her oath and slays Jaime; then brings his corpse to Stoneheart; (2) Brienne keeps her oath, slays Jaime, but then does not return to Stoneheart; (3) Brienne breaks her oath, does not slay Jaime, and does not bring Jaime to Stoneheart; (4)  Brienne breaks her oath, does not slay Jaime, but returns to Stoneheart anyway, with or without Jaime (maybe to save Pod and Hyle).

If you are broadly speaking, there are more than 4 possibilities my guy.

Because there is a really good chance that Brienne is not going to kill Jaime without first bringing him before Catelyn...and still be keeping her oath

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1 hour ago, BlackLightning said:

If you are broadly speaking, there are more than 4 possibilities my guy.

Because there is a really good chance that Brienne is not going to kill Jaime without first bringing him before Catelyn...and still be keeping her oath

Two binary yes/no questions have 4 possible answer combinations.

Does Brienne take the sword and kill Jaime?

Does she return to Stoneheart?

4 possible answers:

Yes; Yes

Yes; No

No; Yes;

No; No.

But fair enough, perhaps I messed up the double binary by specifying the order that the events occur.

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2 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

My point of contention with this is that I believe that Aegon does not need that many allies to take King's Landing.

The Golden Company is just getting started and the Martells are already Aegon's back pocket. It's not a matter of if House Martell joins him but a matter of when and how.

Arianne is not too old. In fact, if you want to start having babies right away, Arianne is the best bet. She's a grown woman who is still in her prime.

 

I firmly disagree. The High Sparrow may be unimpressed with Cersei, but in Tommen he sees the same thing Cersei does: a puppet. Someone to rule through. There is no way he or any of his followers will back Aegon, especially considering there is no proof he is who he claims to be. The only way the Faith might get behind Aegon is if Tommen dies.

I also disagree that he has the Martells in his pocket. Arianne is on her way to meet him, and try to figure out if he is real. She is not, in any of the sample chapters we have, actually convinced that he is real. Dorne expected a marriage in return for their support from Dany. They will expect the same of Aegon, and he might resist doing so because he is holding out for Dany. That could lead to Dorne sitting this one out.

Arianne is about a decade older than Aegon. Not old by any means, but he is a teenage boy, given power too early, with noone who can tell him what he must do. It is all up to him if he wants a significantly older wife, and chances are high he will not. And Arianne offers only words of support from Dorne. She doesn’t have much bargaining power.

Margaery has something noone else has: the means to get him into KL and stage a coup. She also has the means to capture Tommen and hand him over in exchange for being his queen. It doesn’t matter how many husbands she has had previously or how old she is, because she has what Aegon wants and needs, therefore the most bargaining power. Arianne and Sansa might be able to provide modest armies far away from KL, but Margaery comes with the biggest ones, already in place in the capital and beyond.

 

As for Sansa, calling me crazy is not helpful. You misunderstood. The fact is, the circumstances I described are unlikely and that is what I was trying to point out to you. I do not at all think Sansa will be getting and annulment.

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On 12/7/2023 at 6:59 PM, BlackLightning said:

My point of contention with this is that I believe that Aegon does not need that many allies to take King's Landing.

The High Sparrow (along with thousands of other people) already hates Cersei and distrusts anything that is minutely associated with her or her family. Cersei is on very thin ice as it is...one more mistake or misdeed from her (which is inevitable) and it's over. As it so happens, Varys is deeply invested in making sure that Cersei continues to mess up.

Cersei is a political non-factor right now. She doesn't run the government and she lacks the men and the (moral) authority to seize power after Kevan's murder. What she thinks and says and wants to do will have very little effect on King Tommen's defense of KL or his campaigns against Aegon.

Even if she were to magically seize power somehow, she would still lack the authority to actually do much as chance are zero that the Reach troops would follow her in the wake of the Margaery situation.

On 12/7/2023 at 6:59 PM, BlackLightning said:

The Golden Company is just getting started and the Martells are already Aegon's back pocket. It's not a matter of if House Martell joins him but a matter of when and how.

If he can get the Faith Militant behind him, Aegon is more than capable of taking and holding the city. In fact, if Cersei, Varys and/or Margaery keep at it, Aegon will be able to walk up to the gates and politely ask to rule the city and the people will just let him.

That is a very likely scenario for a number of reasons some of which are connected to the Ser Robert Strong situation. Once his nature and identity is revealed - possibly only after Lady Nym and Tyene are already in the city - Dorne will never stand with the Tommen regime. Even if they thought Aegon was fake before, they would not suffer this monstrous slight.

Also, we can assume that the High Septon is not going to approve a trial-by-combat victory won by zombie magic. That would be insane. A duel between two people where one happens to be undead (and thus, perhaps, almost inviolable) is a sham. So if Gregor's identity and nature were to be revealed during/after the trial-by-combat, Cersei could be declared loser even if Ser Robert wins. And that would also declare Tommen and Myrcella Jaime's bastards.

From that point on the Tommen government would quickly collapse and we are likely to see massive riots in the city with the Tyrells standing aside as Margaery can't gain anything from staying connected with confirmed pretender bastard.

Aegon will then be handed the city on a silver platter with no fighting between the Kingslanders/Tyrells and his forces.

On 12/7/2023 at 6:59 PM, BlackLightning said:

Granted, that means that Mace Tyrell is going to have to be defeated and Randyll Tarly will have to turn. But, honestly, the writing is on the walls. The real interesting stuff is going to be what happens after Aegon gets in the city.

It looks as if some part of the Tyrell army will fight Aegon at Storm's End - or somewhere between Storm's End and KL - but if that actually happens should depend on when exactly the trial-by-combat takes place. Kevan's murder could also lead to it being postponed or cancelled right away depending on if Cersei is accused of Kevan and Pycelle's murder or not.

If the Tyrell army is soundly defeated by the Golden Company and their allies this should also lead to further destabilization in the city - which could also be destabilized further if Mace and Randyll decided to cancel Margaery's Faith trial in favor of Tommen declaring her innocent - as Tarly suggested they do.

On 12/7/2023 at 6:59 PM, BlackLightning said:

Arianne is not too old. In fact, if you want to start having babies right away, Arianne is the best bet. She's a grown woman who is still in her prime.

By the time Myrcella becomes an eligible candidate for Aegon's queen, she'll probably would have already been exposed as a Lannister bastard and he'll have already taken Storm's End. There won't be any need for her...plus, Myrcella is way too young. Aegon will have to wait at least 6 years before he can impregnate her. He can't afford that.

The point of a Myrcella match would likely be that of Aegon strengthening his claim for the time being against Tommen. If the Golden Company would capture her and Nym on the way to KL - which is still possible, I think - this could be a nice way to destabilize Tommen's 'reign'.

But Myrcella would then just be a placeholder - like Jaehaera - who Connington would quickly get rid of as soon as Aegon has taken KL.

On 12/7/2023 at 6:59 PM, BlackLightning said:

Margaery has already been wed to three different kings. It doesn't matter whether she is a virgin or not; she's proven herself to be an instrumental and controversial piece in the deeply troubled Baratheon dynasty. Aegon is not going to want her nor is anyone else in Aegon's camp is going to want her. By the time Aegon comes to power, I think Margaery will have died.

If she is dead, then she won't be a good match. But if the twincest were to be confirmed by the High Septon, the Tyrells could cut their ties with Tommen before he actually goes down - that would free them to try to marry Margaery to Aegon.

Whether that will be a success is hard to say. Arianne (and Myrcella) are likely to reach Aegon first, and if Aegon does fall for Arianne and/or Arianne's hand will be her price for Dorne declaring for Aegon (which is not unlikely at all) then he won't have any other choice but to marry her.

Margaery might then simply come too later.

But if Dorne declares for Aegon without insisting on an Aegon-Arianne match then Margaery is the best possible match. With her would come the strength and support of the Tyrells which isn't something Aegon and his followers can dismiss easily.

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29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei is a political non-factor right now. [...]

Even if she were to magically seize power somehow, she would still lack the authority to actually do much as chance are zero that the Reach troops would follow her in the wake of the Margaery situation.

You underestimate Cersei.

She is very likely to ally with Euron, who is right now destroying the Reach. Reach armies are irrelevant as they will be busy trying to defend/take back their own castles very shortly. Euron has taken the Shield Islands which opens up everything along the Mander. He will soon attack Oldtown, and therefore may soon also have made everything along the Honeywine vulnerable.

Cersei doesn't need the Reach. All she needs to do is destroy the High Sparrow.

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33 minutes ago, Hippocras said:

Even if she were to magically seize power somehow, she would still lack the authority to actually do much as chance are zero that the Reach troops would follow her in the wake of the Margaery situation.

Doesn't the Mercy chapter take place after the trials? It's implied there that Cersei is back in power.

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7 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Doesn't the Mercy chapter take place after the trials? It's implied there that Cersei is back in power.

It is an unfinished chapter and likely reflects a status quo prior to Cersei and Margaery's arrest. The talk referencing KL in that chapter makes no mention of Kevan's death, the trials of the queens, or the threat Tommen's reign faces both from Aegon and the High Septon and thus doesn't fit with events after the Epilogue. The chapter was originally supposed to be in ADwD, so it would have taken place before the Epilogue. The Epilogue already made it clear that Cersei isn't going to send Harys Swyft to Braavos. The Small Council and Mace/Kevan decided that already. And the guy who might take his head if he were to fail is not going to be some queen - be it Cersei or Margaery - but Mace and Randyll.

It is similar in that regard to the Alayne sample chapter as that, too, makes no references yet to the events in the last Alayne chapter - poisoning plot, Winterfell-North plan, etc. Even the Harry situation is somewhat off as AFfC established that Lady Waynwood would not force Harry into the match ... while the sample chapter implies they are already betrothed before they even met.

There will be considerable rewriting in both chapters.

49 minutes ago, Hippocras said:

You underestimate Cersei.

She is very likely to ally with Euron, who is right now destroying the Reach. Reach armies are irrelevant as they will be busy trying to defend/take back their own castles very shortly. Euron has taken the Shield Islands which opens up everything along the Mander. He will soon attack Oldtown, and therefore may soon also have made everything along the Honeywine vulnerable.

Cersei doesn't need the Reach. All she needs to do is destroy the High Sparrow.

She might eventually ally with Euron, but Euron can't help her in the city. Cersei has no men who are loyal to her left aside from, perhaps, some Lannister guardsmen. The City Watch is run by the Humfrey Waters guy she doesn't even know, the Faith Militant control Visenya's Hill (at least), and there are 30,000-40,000 Reach men under Mace Tyrell's command in the city.

Cersei has no way to seize power in the capital at this point. Even if she were to win her trial.

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