Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

cteresa

AFFC Reread Project - Dorne

Recommended Posts

I really really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on this chapter. Since I came late to the discussion it doesn't seem like I can add much to what everyone else has said but what I liked and what I didn't like so that's what you are getting =)

____________________________

I wouldn't say it's my favorite chapter but I really enjoyed it a lot. There are so many things to see and enjoy. I loved the way we were introduced to the Sand Snakes and how each one of them has their weapon of choice. And I could see Dorne in my mind's eye with the descriptions given. From the Water Gardens all the way to Sunspear. Along with the culture. So obviously different from the rest of Westeros because come on, Nym openly says to Doran that she was abed with the Fowler twins when she heard the news -- by looking in the appendix we learn that they are both female. Don't think you are going to hear that discussion in any other place than Dorne in Westeros. But I could be wrong. =)

I also didn't see Doran's actions at the end as being cowardly. I figured he had to have a reason for what he was doing that wasn't going to be easily seen. I honestly can say that I certainly didn't see where he was going with it all but I really do enjoy seeing how the plotting in Dorne is going and how the master of the game in Dorne trumps all their plotting in the end.

I agree with The hairy bear's summation of the Sand Snake's plotting and how they might have worked to a degree but since Doran has more pieces to the puzzle, his plot is SO much better! I just can't classify the Sand Snakes as dumb. Not even in the slightest. Oberyn wasn't dumb and his daughters certainly are not. Even if Obara is a bit course she certainly isn't dumb.

I really enjoyed getting the peeks into Norvos. Will we learn more about it later? It's one of the Free Cities(?) and obviously has a much cooler climate since Areo had to abandon his armor from Norvos of a heavy horsehair cape, studded leather tunic and an iron half helm. If nothing else, I'd like to learn more about the religion that brought about those whom are married to their ash and iron wives, branded with an axe and give simple vows for simple men of "Serve, Obey, Protect."

The three bells mentioned have distinct sounds -- I don't know why I feel it is important to note this but I do so here we go.

1) Noom -- deep peals set the bones to shuddering

2) Narrah -- proud strong voice

3) Nyel -- sweet silvery laughter

-----

All in all I just really love the way Martin can give us a new setting that we have only heard about before and make it so vivid and easy to step into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have much to add here. I like all the ideas for the blood oranges but I am leaning toward the Lannister idea.

One question: What is Obara chasing after?

Hotah has heard many things Doran said to Arianne. He was counseling her to become a queen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The fact that he didn't send for her when he put the others in the tower made me think he has more faith her her abilities? I mean, the only reason he locks them up is so they won't ruin his plans and bring war to Dorne, I think he knows that Sarella won't do this, and thus there is no reason to lock her up.

It also might have something to do with the fact that Doran is likely assuming that Sarella will be staying at the Citadel for at least a few years in order to continue playing her "game" and also to forge more links . . . although as we don't exactly know what Sarella is up to we can't really speculate exactly how long she is planning to remain at the Citadel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It also might have something to do with the fact that Doran is likely assuming that Sarella will be staying at the Citadel for at least a few years in order to continue playing her "game" and also to forge more links . . . although as we don't exactly know what Sarella is up to we can't really speculate exactly how long she is planning to remain at the Citadel

Perhaps we can speculate what Sarella is up to. The game may be that she is trying to be the first female Maester. She is probably as loyal to her father as all the other sandsnakes and wishes to emulate him like they do. Therefore, she is trying to get and obtain her chains, like Oberyn before her. What she will do with this knowledge, though, that is the question. Will she advise Prince Doran? Unlikely. Perhaps, she is doing it for the pure mischievious pleasure of it and seeing the faces of the maesters when she reveals hereself. That sounds more like a sandsnake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The blood oranges are red and orange. House Martell's colors. House Lannister's colors are crimson and gold. The overripe oranges don't represent House Lannister at all. They are meant to symbolize House Martell's long overdue vengeance. You need look no further than the very first sentence in this chapter to find proof of this. "The blood oranges are well past ripe"-Doran. The swollen appearance of the oranges and the plopping sound they make are meant to show that Doran has been waiting for far too long to have his revenge. The sweet juice of the oranges represent the taste of vengeance. When Doran says "Enough. It is enough" and winces he is lamenting inside that the time for waiting is over. The symbolism here is typical GRRM genius.

Areo is a fascinating character (if apparantly one dimensional in this chapter). I didn't view his intuition about a face off with Arys as precognative as much as I thought it was a warrior's hunch. It seems quite obvious that he is a tremendous fighter and hos no doubt that he would dispatch Arys in a fight, but we never get to see who is truly the better fighter. When Hotah kills Arys later in the book, the White Knight has been peppered with numerous crossbow quarrels. Suffice to say Oakheart is nowhere near top form when he goes the route of Ned Stark.

The Sand Snakes could all have easily gotten what they wanted had Doran given them leave. It would have been relatively easy to poison one or all of the Lannister targets. Naming Myrcella queen would have drawn Dorne into a conflict with KL. But the Snakes like their father before them are all about action and little about the repecussions of their actions. They want vengeance for vengeance's sake. Doran wants a vengeance that will also keep his lands and position safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess that Obara and Sarella don't like each other much, given as Obara wants to burn Oldtown, probably with Sarella in it! Luckily Obara and Nymeria's schemes don't go through - allthough Tyene's smarter one nearly does, through Arianne.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the blood oranges possibly representing Lannisters, keep in mind the Sansa / Littlefinger scene in ASOS (Sansa 6) :

"So one of the Kettleblacks put the poison in Joff 's cup?" Ser Osmund had been near the king all night, she remembered.

"Did I say that?" Lord Petyr cut the blood orange in two with his dagger and offered half to Sansa. [...]

"I love the juice but I loathe the sticky fingers," he complained, wiping his hands. "Clean hands, Sansa. Whatever you do, make certain your hands are clean."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the blood oranges represent Lannisters. They are much closer to the Martell colors..

Martell: red sun on orange

Lannister: gold on crimson

Maybe Doran was tired of waiting for his revenge, or maybe he's had enough of losing more of his family members to Lannisters- he has already lost Elia, her children, and now Oberyn.

The Sansa/Littlefinger scene gave me doubts, though. But I still think blood oranges represent Martell colors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arys is finally humanized, the man who beat Sansa because Joffrey ordered it, hints at regretting these actions. He is not a man who listens to his ideals though, as much as preaches. His affair with Arriane speaks to a man who obeys his lusts and the fact that he hurt Sansa, on command, shows that he is afraid to do what he knows is right. I am surprised that Arriane would love such a man. And probably doesn’t but manipulates Arys to do what she wants, which is crown the princess.

On page 186 there is a mention of a singer who mentions “that love can make a fool of any man,†is this the betrayer that talks to Hotah and reveals the meeting between Arys and Arriane.

On page 198 Arriane presents herself to Arys with a snake coiled around her arm. Why did she do this? To show how comfortable she is with dangerous men and beasts? And I am assuming she discarded it when they had sex but there is little mention. Manage et trios?

In the book there is a lot of mention of Myr, in this one Arianne hints that the Golden Company, a bunch of honorable mercenaries, broke a contract. Arriane thinks it is because they are coming back to Westeros, to claim her father’s seat for Quentyn. She mentions a dragon symbol that represents time. Could more symbols that we have seen with dragon’s represent time? The three headed dragon of the Royal House, for instance, could it represent Past, Present, Future?

Lastly, as Arianne shares this news she fails to recognize that she herself is playing the part of Criston Cole reborn by whispering to Arys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Arys is finally humanized, the man who beat Sansa because Joffrey ordered it, hints at regretting these actions. He is not a man who listens to his ideals though, as much as preaches. His affair with Arriane speaks to a man who obeys his lusts and the fact that he hurt Sansa, on command, shows that he is afraid to do what he knows is right.

I disagree with the implicit meaning that Arys wasn't "human" in ACOK. Arys is in his POV exactly like in his ACOK-cameo's: a man without much of a spine but nevertheless a basicly decent sort. Like he can't resist Arianne's advances in Dorne, he didn't dare to really disobey Joffrey wrt Sansa. But he has good points: he's the only one of the KG (besides Jaime, who's not there, and Sandor, who's not ordered to beat Sansa) who protests with Joffry about beating Sansa, and he didn't beat her nearly as hard as the others did. From the jovial way he spoke to Sansa - almost conspiratory-like, shutting up when Lannister guards come near - he seemed to be about the only one in KL who was genuinely friendly to Sansa. This keeping in mind that Dontos' friendliness was at least partly caused by LF's gold, that Sandor can't really be called friendly even if he was trying to help in his own gruff way and that Tyrion was friendly enough but still one of her principal captors, and unwilling to let her go. I suspect that Arys, like Clegane (who kept silent about Sansa's nightly excursion) might have kept his mouth shut if he got wind of Sansa trying to escape, as long as he wouldn't have to expose themselves in being negligent or being involved. After all, he was ashamed of beating her and he certainly didn't Joffrey all that much.

She mentions a dragon symbol that represents time.

Could this be a wheel-of-time reference? The great serpent eating it's tail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it was metal snake Arianne wears - a piece of jewelry. Don't have book at hand, but there was something about bronze and iron scales.

Yes, the snake eating its tal is probably another WoT reference.

Arys isn't most interesting PoV, but he seems decent enough, if rather dull guz but evidently regrets it. OTOH, Arianne is interesting PoV but decidedly unpleasant personality. She plays Arys coldly and he is quite helpless against her. I think she very well fits the most common complaint of people who hate Martin characterisation - that his characters are not realistic human beings but only players in the game of thrones. It certainly isnt't true about most of Martin's characters but it does seem to be true about Arianne.

We get to see from outsider's eye how angry are Dornishmen with Lannisters. Doran seems convincingly scared in conversation with Arys. I wonder how much of it was playacting?

Difference in sexual mores between Dorne and the rest of Westeros is quite big. Arys comes out as somewhat of a prude, buti t is only to be expected in this context.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the snake that Arianne was wearing was probably a piece of jewellery. (Edit: as BoG said)

There is a comparison that can be made in this chapter also, that between Arianne and Cersei. There is a notable contrast in our reactions to them: Cersei seduces a man to get him to do want she wants, and most of us regard her with contempt; Arianne seduces a man to get him to do what she wants, and most of us now consider her to be one of the hottest females in the series. It could be just that Arianne is good at it :), but my guess is that is simply because she is younger, fresher and less hardened than Cersei.

I think that there is a chicken and egg element in the relationship between Arianne and her father. I see Arianne always being a little wild, thus causing Doran to not be open with her, thus driving Arianne to further wild behaviour in order to force him to notice her, thus causing him to be less willing to be open with her. Certainly some of Arianne's actions seem to be deliberately provoking her father. I note that she lost her virginity (and she knows Doran found out about it, and may even have ensured that he found out) at the same age that she came across that letter that Doran had written to her brother. It is hardly unknown for an angry adolescent girl to punish her father by flaunting her sexuality.

Edit: Yes I also assumed that Doran was playing Arys when they met, being well aware that he reports back to KL. He talked up his difficulties keeping the lid on the unrest, and I doubt his hands were really shaking with fear.

(And I trust you enjoyed yourself with Arianne that time BoG :lol: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Could this be a wheel-of-time reference? The great serpent eating it's tail?

I doubt it. The serpen-eating-its-tail is a very old symbol of eternity, rebirth etc. that Jordand didn't invent. It appears e.g. as Jormungand the Midgard Serpent allready in Norse mythology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Arianne comes off as very much a player in Arys's chapter, a somewhat cliched seductress/temptress leading men astray. But I think her later two chapters do an excellent job of humanizing her, when we come to understand the emotional forces at work.

As to why Cersei and Arianne come off so differently ... Cersei feels nothing for those she sleeps with, except Jaime, and even there it's a rather vain and egotistical love. Arianne's sexuality is, indeed, "fresher", less bound up in concerns of power. Cersei holds her queenliness and her place as a daughter of the Rock over everyone, because she never forgets it, while Arianne explicitly says that when naked and in bed she is just a woman, not a princess or an heir to Sunspear, and her partners are just men, not Kingsguards or knights or anything else of the kind. Sex remains a potential tool, but Arianne really does seem to enjoy it more in a positive way.

So, it is rather refreshing, and I suppose it is to some degree because Arianne is less "hardened". Sex hasn't become a mirror of her vanity and a pure tool for bedroom politics, as it has for Cersei.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arys Oakheart's first chapter can be summed up by that most excellent Johnny Cash song

I fell in to a burning ring of fire

And it's not just a reference to the mustard seeds and dragon peppers in Dornish food. Food which sears Oakheart's mouth and makes him gasp and burns "even worse coming out than it did going in."

I went down down down

and the flames went higher

and it burns burns burns

A terrible situation for any Kingsguard knight to be in. But doubly so for an Oakheart surely...

the ring of fire

the ring of fire

Arianne Martell's naked body shimmers in the yellow darkness of shadowtown like the scales of a serpent. Her voice is numbing as her slippery limbs squeeze the life from Arys' parched frame. GRRM is fantastic at feverish writing. Writing at a pitch. Oakheart is in hell. He's toast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I disagree with the implicit meaning that Arys wasn't "human" in ACOK. Arys is in his POV exactly like in his ACOK-cameo's: a man without much of a spine but nevertheless a basicly decent sort. Like he can't resist Arianne's advances in Dorne, he didn't dare to really disobey Joffrey wrt Sansa.

What page does Arys beat Sansa?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Sansa's first chapter in ACoK:

Arys Oakheart was courteous, and would talk to her cordially. Once he even objected when Joffrey commanded him to hit her. He did hit her in the end, but not hard as Ser Meryn or Ser Boros might have, and at least he had argued.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Timeline Some details: News of Tywin's death has not yet reached Dorne, so I assume we are still in January. I think this is the (chronologically and textually) earliest mention that the Golden Company has broken their contract with Lys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts on the chapter:

First off, I have to say that this is my favorite sex scene in the books. And I'm glad that we finally have a woman in the series who seems to really enjoy sex (& isn't underage!)

We learn some more details about Dornish culture in this chapter, such as eating grilled snake. It seemed like GRRM brought in some southwestern culture w/ that. We also learn that Dornish men wear tunics. I assume they go to the knee.

It is very interesting how Arianne is compared to Cersei. There are certainly some parallels. Both use sex to get what they want. Both think they have been cheated out of their birthright. Both try to play the game but get totally upstaged by their fathers are the main ones I can think of. Maybe Cersei would've ended up like Arianne if she'd been born a Dornishwoman. However, Arianne is a much more sympathetic character than Cersei.

As for Arys, I got the impression that he was trying to model himself after the great kingsguard knights of old, but simply didn't have what it took. He couldn't resist Arianne & he did end up beating Sansa, even if it wasn't very hard. He seemed like a nice guy, not the sharpest tool in the shed, but a decent guy. He totally got played like a harp by first Doran & then Arianne.

I have to applaud Doran for pulling off an Oscar winning performance with Arys. It seems that Doran is one of the best actors in Westeros. Hell, he fooled Tywin. 'Nuff said.

Interesting point made above about Arianne using her sexuality to provoke her father. Doran does still think of her as his little girl & doesn't seem to want to accept that she is a grown woman. He lives in the past a bit too much. I can't imagine he'd be really angry w/ her for losing her virginity, though. This is Dorne. I doubt Dornishwomen have to remain virgins before marriage. They also seem to marry later. Maybe this is because they actually have rights. On another note, I wonder why Arianne never approached her father about that letter. We know they were very close when Arianne was younger. Maybe she is like her father in that way: nonconfrontational.

Well, that's enough of my ramblings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel sorry for Aerys, who foolishly accepts Arianne's word as truth for everything she says and allows himself to be manipulated into kidnapping Myrcella. As for Arianne, I have little sympathy for her. She is Cersei without the cruelty, which makes her better but still - she misunderstands both the military strength of Dorne and the plans of her father. Considering the consequences, those are some really serious errors!

My thoughts on the chapter:

First off, I have to say that this is my favorite sex scene in the books. And I'm glad that we finally have a woman in the series who seems to really enjoy sex (& isn't underage!)

She may enjoy sex in general, but based on her thoughts in the chapters from her POV I got the impression that she's at least partially faking it with Aerys (or at least that she doesn't consider him a particularly good lover).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×