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Samalander

How easy is it for Stannis to threaten Jon?

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Meanwhile, I don't see Stannis trying to burn Jon. As a plot twist, it has only one possible outcome--Stannis failing. Which isn't very interesting.

I can see another one. Jon spends the book making all the right moves, but still failing, and Stannis burns him at the end.

This is Martin, anything's possible...

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I can see another one. Jon spends the book making all the right moves, but still failing, and Stannis burns him at the end.

This is Martin, anything's possible...

No, it isn't. Jon's not going to die during ADWD, any more than Daenerys would. GRRM doesn't do deliberate anticlimax, and Jon has a lot to do still in the storyline. (He pops up in Dany's visions at the House of the Undying, for example.)

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I expect Stannis to become really desperate, and with the stakes so high--if he fails, he believes that all of humanity will die with him--how could he as Azor Ahai not make every imaginable sacrifice?

Meanwhile, I don't see Stannis trying to burn Jon. As a plot twist, it has only one possible outcome--Stannis failing. Which isn't very interesting.

In itself, Stannis trying to burn Jon and failing wouldn't be very interesting. But if the reason he failed is because Jon doesn't burn, or because Melisandre betrays him, or something even more fanciful, then it could be quite a plot twist.

I'm also a little guarded against any scenario where Melisandre continues to believe as she always has -- if, in fact, she was being genuine this whole time in the first place. She might misinterpret her flames but if she is actually spending quite a bit of time viewing Jon therein, I would expect even the misinterpretation of those viewings to have quite an impact on her whole outlook and her future actions. I don't know, there is definitely something going on with her character in the spoilers, beyond that shown on the surface of things.

Although, having said all that, I actually do think that Stannis will reach the point of desperation you alluded to (I don't know what will become of it, though).

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I expect Stannis to become really desperate, and with the stakes so high--if he fails, he believes that all of humanity will die with him--how could he as Azor Ahai not make every imaginable sacrifice?

Meanwhile, I don't see Stannis trying to burn Jon. As a plot twist, it has only one possible outcome--Stannis failing. Which isn't very interesting.

this does not bode well for poor Shireen :stillsick:

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Trying to burn jon could be the reason of is fall. Because stannis is gonna fall.

Even stronger if he's NOT a bastard. R+L could have married. I think they did.

This is not the point. Jon descends from the kings in the north, he has king blood regardless of L and R.

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Trying to burn jon could be the reason of is fall. Because stannis is gonna fall.

This is not the point. Jon descends from the kings in the north, he has king blood regardless of L and R.

But the point is silly. You are assigning strictly scientific logic to sorcery. In a scientific world, kings blood is the same as anyone else's blood. ASOIAF does not take place in a strictly scientific world and we don't at all understand the mechanism that makes Melisandre's magic work. Because if you go back far enough, almost everyone in Westeros has SOME king's blood, even if not in a direct male line. Yet Melisandre would not accept just anyone. The only thing we KNOW is that she thinks the blood of a son of a king will suffice. Is grandson good enough (male line)? Mayhaps. Is son of a son of a son of a son of a king good enough? Mayhaps as well, but mayhaps not. Seems a LOT less likely to me.

Did whatever magic makes a kings blood more powerful than blood of a peasant seep out when Torrhen Stark knelt? Do passing generations without sitting on a throne cause the power to fade? Who can say? The only thing we know for sure is that Melisandre doesn't appear to be looking for the great-great-great-grandson of a king. She's looking for sons.

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I'm also a little guarded against any scenario where Melisandre continues to believe as she always has -- if, in fact, she was being genuine this whole time in the first place. She might misinterpret her flames but if she is actually spending quite a bit of time viewing Jon therein, I would expect even the misinterpretation of those viewings to have quite an impact on her whole outlook and her future actions. I don't know, there is definitely something going on with her character in the spoilers, beyond that shown on the surface of things.

I don't agree. I don't think that Melisandre says anything to Jon that she hasn't said to Davos or anybody else that might be able to influence Stannis. She saw Davos in her flames as well without reaching the conclusion that she was wrong about Stannis being Azor Ahai.

Besides, I think you're incorrect in assuming that Melisandre just sees whatever the flames happen to show her. But it seems to me that she looks for specific things. She tells Jon that she'll seek out Tormund in the flames, for example. So I don't think that Melisandre is unintentionally running across a lot of Jon-related imagery in the flames; I think that she's actively looking for stuff about him because he's an important person.

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I don't agree. I don't think that Melisandre says anything to Jon that she hasn't said to Davos or anybody else that might be able to influence Stannis. She saw Davos in her flames as well without reaching the conclusion that she was wrong about Stannis being Azor Ahai.

I think seeing Davos in her flames and seeing Jon are two different things. Presuming that Jon is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, then the flames would make for very interesting viewing. Although, I'm also not arguing that Melisandre has reached the conclusion that she was wrong about Stannis being Azor Ahai -- at least, not yet. I was talking more about going into the future, after Stannis has left the Wall, with her continuing to see Jon in her flames. I just can't imagine her view on the matter will stay constant if it becomes clear that Jon is more connected to Dragons than Stannis ever was or will be. Granted, all of my thinking is dependent on my own confidence that L + R = J, which I can be completely wrong about and which would torpedo my thinking on this issue for good measure as well.

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Besides, I think you're incorrect in assuming that Melisandre just sees whatever the flames happen to show her. But it seems to me that she looks for specific things. She tells Jon that she'll seek out Tormund in the flames, for example. So I don't think that Melisandre is unintentionally running across a lot of Jon-related imagery in the flames; I think that she's actively looking for stuff about him because he's an important person.

Maybe my post was not too clear on the matter but I never assumed that Melisandre did not have some measure of control over what she wanted to view in her flames. Which I think actually aids my point because if she's spending so much time focusing on Jon, interesting information is going to start showing up.

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I just can't imagine her view on the matter will stay constant if it becomes clear that Jon is more connected to Dragons than Stannis ever was or will be.

Jon has no connection to dragons at present, any more than Stannis. If Melisandre perceives R+L=J in the flames, then that'll tell her that Jon was descended from a Targaryen--just like Stannis is also descended from a Targaryen.

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Jon has no connection to dragons at present, any more than Stannis. If Melisandre perceives R+L=J in the flames, then that'll tell her that Jon was descended from a Targaryen--just like Stannis is also descended from a Targaryen.

But won't even that knowledge cause her to start having doubts on the issue, especially as Jon's descent is so much more recent and pure than Stannis' own? What if she starts seeing Daenerys and Rhaegar in her flames? Or even the concept of the Dragon having three heads? Or what of about a vision of a future meeting between Jon and Dany?

I mean, I guess it's possible that Melisandre is so invested in Stannis and so much a zealot for that cause that she will twist reality to suit her needs (something she has done before), but I still say the possibility is definitely out there that she'll start making readjustments to her previous thinking on the issue.

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But won't even that knowledge cause her to start having doubts on the issue, especially as Jon's descent is so much more recent and pure than Stannis' own? What if she starts seeing Daenerys and Rhaegar in her flames? Or even the concept of the Dragon having three heads? Or what of about a vision of a future meeting between Jon and Dany?

What does she care about the Westerosi laws of inheritance? Or about Valyrian blood? If that's what she was looking for, she would be with Daenerys right now. Stannis is Azor Ahai, and his claim (for her) rests on having been chosen by the Lord of Light, the God of Flame and Shadow. In her own words, "do you think I crossed half the world to put yet another king on yet another empty throne?" No, she went to defend the Lord's chosen. And the Lord is by no means confined by laws of inheritance propagated by unbelievers.

I mean, I guess it's possible that Melisandre is so invested in Stannis and so much a zealot for that cause that she will twist reality to suit her needs (something she has done before)...

I don't think that's "possible." I think that's how the character has been defined up until this point. I wonder what about Melisandre makes you think that she's likely to second guess her basic assumptions. That's a difficult thing for anybody to do, and particularly so for Melisandre who has justified extreme actions (up to and including murder) under that basic assumption.

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I don't think that's "possible." I think that's how the character has been defined up until this point. I wonder what about Melisandre makes you think that she's likely to second guess her basic assumptions. That's a difficult thing for anybody to do, and particularly so for Melisandre who has justified extreme actions (up to and including murder) under that basic assumption.

I don't think anything is particularly likely at this point in the story; I'm certainly not wedded to any theory or anything like that. And I'm not dismissive of the possibility that Melisandre will continue with her zealotry -- all the way to her death, if need be. But she is working off a script. Azor Ahai is not something she invented herself. There is a red star, and Lightbringer, and so forth. If she starts seeing visions in her fire, specifically because she is focusing on Jon, which show her a much better candidate for all these things, won't she at least start having doubts? What if she sees a vision of Dany or Jon that is so suggestive that only the blind could deny its connection to the Azor Ahai prophecy? Or are you implying that there is nothing she can possibly view in her flames that will cause her to do a re-think, that there is nothing that will change her mind?

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Or are you implying that there is nothing she can possibly view in her flames that will cause her to do a re-think, that there is nothing that will change her mind?

Yes, that's basically what I'm arguing. That's how religious zealotry works, psychologically--there's always a way for the most committed to rationalize away whatever outside information that they've received. In fact, to the right sort of person, discovering contradictory information actually increases their certainty about their original position. And we've seen that tendency in Melisandre already--she is utterly confident about Stannis being Azor Ahai, she was willing to sacrifice whatever life she had in Asshai to serve him, and she's willing to do anything, even murder innocents, to accomplish his rise. If she started to question that, then she'd have to admit that she's basically a monster.

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Yes, that's basically what I'm arguing. That's how religious zealotry works, psychologically--there's always a way for the most committed to rationalize away whatever outside information that they've received. In fact, to the right sort of person, discovering contradictory information actually increases their certainty about their original position. And we've seen that tendency in Melisandre already--she is utterly confident about Stannis being Azor Ahai, she was willing to sacrifice whatever life she had in Asshai to serve him, and she's willing to do anything, even murder innocents, to accomplish his rise. If she started to question that, then she'd have to admit that she's basically a monster.

I'd really like to read her POV before I commit myself to having such certainty with respect to her character. I do think her continued zealotry in the face of contradictory evidence is certainly possible though. That has been the status quo up until now after all, although, I'd argue that she hasn't confronted something truly compelling yet which I would have expected to change her mind. That said, I'm not sure I'd enjoy reading that storyline very much, especially as it would include her POV, which would probably be something like reading Cersei's POV I'd think. I do wonder how you think her story will end. Will she die before Stannis or will she die with him? Or will she commit suicide after Stannis dies? Those seem to be the only options available to her under the theory that she will remain absolutely convinced that Stannis is Azor Ahai.

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I'd really like to read her POV before I commit myself to having such certainty with respect to her character.

I don't think that's necessary. We have to have some way of knowing who the non-POV characters are, after all. And I think we can be pretty certain how Tywin (for example) thought without reading his POV. And the only assumption that I'm making in my evaluation of her character is taking her statements to Davos while he's in the cell under Dragonstone at face value.

I do wonder how you think her story will end. Will she die before Stannis or will she die with him? Or will she commit suicide after Stannis dies? Those seem to be the only options available to her under the theory that she will remain absolutely convinced that Stannis is Azor Ahai.

I don't know, to be honest. I think that she and Stannis will end up opposing Daenerys in a major way in TWoW, and probably die at the end of the book as a result. But I don't have a specific scenario for how that all will play out.

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Yes, that's basically what I'm arguing. That's how religious zealotry works, psychologically--there's always a way for the most committed to rationalize away whatever outside information that they've received. In fact, to the right sort of person, discovering contradictory information actually increases their certainty about their original position. And we've seen that tendency in Melisandre already--she is utterly confident about Stannis being Azor Ahai, she was willing to sacrifice whatever life she had in Asshai to serve him, and she's willing to do anything, even murder innocents, to accomplish his rise. If she started to question that, then she'd have to admit that she's basically a monster.

PDC,

Interesting stuff! However, Mel may well be a religious zealot but I'm not as sure as you are that she is absolutely confident that Stannis is AAR. If she were that sure then why the need to make a fake Lightbringer? If Stannis is AAR then he'll inevitably get/create Lightbringer, right?

Basically, I think Mel is a lying liar who lies :D We're quite sure she's lying about Lightbringer and pretty sure she lied about Rh'llor protecting her from the poison. She just has the same sort of magic poison protection amulet that Dany was said to receive as a gift. If she's lying about these things then I wonder what else she could be lying about? I even think her very appearance is a lie. It's too perfect ;)

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I don't think that's necessary. We have to have some way of knowing who the non-POV characters are, after all. And I think we can be pretty certain how Tywin (for example) thought without reading his POV. And the only assumption that I'm making in my evaluation of her character is taking her statements to Davos while he's in the cell under Dragonstone at face value.

It depends on the character I think. Tywin was not so much a mystery because everything about him was so straight forward. Had we never got a view inside Jaime's head I think our perception would be a little skewed. With respect to Melisandre, I remain very unsure because her mind is a black box. We have to take her word for everything. And she has already shown that she is willing to lie and create false narratives, to Stannis even. So I'm not taking anything for a given. Let me ask though, if when you read Melisandre's POV you find out many of your assumptions about her are wrong, would you think that George cheated? Or do you think he created enough leeway with her that it would allow a complete revolution in her character?

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Let me ask though, if when you read Melisandre's POV you find out many of your assumptions about her are wrong, would you think that George cheated? Or do you think he created enough leeway with her that it would allow a complete revolution in her character?

If I found out that she was a liar out for some hidden agenda, then that's one thing. I'm dubious about that as a character direction, but it would depend on execution and GRRM could certainly do it in an interesting way.

However, if it turned out that Melisandre honestly believed that Stannis was Azor Ahai but retained enough perspective to question her basic assumptions in the manner that you're imagining, then I would find that hard to swallow given how she's been painted thus far.

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