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Ran

[SPOILERS] New POV Revealed

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A previously-unnamed POV has now been revealed by George...

Barristan Selmy!

Who, according to my prior speculations when I considered a Barristan POV, shall probably be dead by the end of the book... but anyways!

I'm guessing this probably means that Barristan was the new POV he introduced to help resolve the Meereenese Knot.

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Wow.

Talk about a gold mine of information.

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Cool! I can't wait to read it.

Who, according to my prior speculations when I considered a Barristan POV, shall probably be dead by the end of the book... but anyways!

I tend to agree that Ser Barristan's going to die. (I wonder if Ser Barristan's going to be a one-and-done--if part of the trouble GRRM was having was finding a POV to witness his death.) Dany's going to leave Meereen only after some personal cost, I suspect, and Ser Barristan's the most important character around.

Ran, did you have a specific theory for how Ser Barristan was going to die?

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An interesting choice for sure, Barristan will definitely be an interesting mind to delve into, although I was really hoping for an entirely new character from the Golden Company to shed some light on what happened with Bittersteel after he fled Westeros.

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Nice to have it confirmed. We did consider Barristan as the new POV since GRRM said it was someone 'inside' the situation (i.e. inside Meereen) and aside from Barristan the other choices seemed a bit random. Irri? Jhogo? Fat Belwas (mind you, I'd pay to read an 'Adventures of Fat Belwas' novella)? With Jorah (apparently) off the stage, Barristan seemed the most likely character.

That gives us a current POV roster of:

Prologue: Varamyr Sixskins

Daenerys Targaryen

Tyrion Lannister

Jon Snow

Bran Stark

Arya Stark

Davos Seaworth

Asha Greyjoy (aka The Wayward Bride)

Theon Greyjoy (aka Reek)

Victarion Greyjoy

Quentyn Martell (aka The Merchant's Man)

Cersei Lannister

Ser Barristan Selmy

Melisandre of Asshai

Epilogue character: unknown

Sansa, Arianne and Aeron are 100% out, as I understand it, whilst GRRM has never commented on Brienne, Jaime or Sam, so they could be in or out.

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Who, according to my prior speculations when I considered a Barristan POV, shall probably be dead by the end of the book... but anyways!

I feel much the same, and it worries me. Poor Barristan...

Hopefully the same holds true for Mel. I've been waiting for her to bite the dust ever since she took out Renly, who was fast becoming one of my favorite characters.

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Well, I'd have preferred Missandei. Somehow I find that girl more interesting than this old done man ;-).

And he could have revealed both his Targaryen knowledge and his dirty secrets (say, the name of his secret mistress, or the name and taste of the girl his cousin ended up marrying) through dialogue.

The chances are not pretty good, that we are going to see the last of him in ADwD. And that's good, as the cast has to be reduced in this volume, to enable the reader to follow the story.

If he dies, I hope it will be anticlimatic and pointless, like Maester Aemon's death in AFfC. Meaning I don't want him dying to save Dany from an assassination attempt, nor want I see him die in a trial-by-combat or another single combat situation.

He should either be poisoned - by one of the schemers surrounding Dany, who can't stand it that she such a capable protector and conscience - or be a victim of the disease that's going to hit Meereen. He is an old man, after all, and old men get ill very easily. I prefer the second option.

But I'd not be surprised if he survived in the end. It's not that unlikely that he is one of the Meereenese Knot POVs, and I'm not sure if he would have been introduced as MK-POV if he was supposed to die. After all, the fact that Selmy is supposed to die would most likely be an event GRRM decided very early on, so this should have been part of the story long before he got entangled in the knot. And even if Selmy chapters somehow helped to solve the knot problem, it already feels like bad writing to introduce a POV just for one or two chapters. That was true with Arys Oakheart in AFfC, and it would also be true in ADwD. Having five or six Selmy chapters would give him really a story line of his own, which he deserves if he has to die.

If he has only 1-3 chapters he should live. And I'm pretty sure he is not the Epilogue character. Selmy in the Epilogue would just be an old guy regretting his mistakes. We already had this with Cressen in ACoK.

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Sansa, Arianne and Aeron are 100% out, as I understand it, whilst GRRM has never commented on Brienne, Jaime or Sam, so they could be in or out.

Has GRRM ever said that Arianne (or, I suppose, Aeron) are 100% out? All I recall from the Dornish development post is that two Arianne chapters were moved to TWOW.

-------

Lord Varys:

If GRRM has given a character one POV chapter before they died already, why don't you think that GRRM would do it again? It may be bad writing by your estimation, but that doesn't mean that GRRM would shy away from trying it a second time.

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I am guessing that Theon will be a regular POV, just renamed to "Reek" like Sansa and Arya were renamed Alayne and Cat of the Canals.

Which leaves plenty of room for more guest POV chapters. Barristan might be a guest, but I'm not counting on it. I'm hoping for a guest POV or two from the Tyrells, personally.

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PDC,

it's possible, but don't want that to happen. Just tried to make my personal preferences based on solid ground. Sorry, if it did not work ;-).

He could try it a second time, I suppose, but I still don't understand why we had to be in Arys's head, so I really do hope that he'll give us a really good reason for being in Barristan's head for a single chapter. But I really doubt that is going to happen. A one-shot chapter would most likely not justify that line of GRRM:

'Ser Barristan fans might be interested to know that he has a big part in A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. In fact (drum roll, please), he becomes a viewpoint character.'

You don't have that big a part if you have just one chapter, I assume.

As to Arianne and Aeron:

GRRM confirmed that the only Aeron chapter he had written ended up in TWoW - he suffered the same fate as Sansa, although there is more than only one Sansa chapter already written.. The Arianne situation is more complicated, however, if I remember it correctly. He mentioned two or three Arianne chapters who ended up in TWoW due to the fact that 'this event in KL and the Dornish reaction to it' is now no longer in the middle of the book but at the end, but he did not mention that these three Arianne chapters were all Arianne chapters he had written for ADwD.

So it's entirely possible that there will be Arianne chapters in ADwD.

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A one-shot chapter would most likely not justify that line of GRRM:

'Ser Barristan fans might be interested to know that he has a big part in A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. In fact (drum roll, please), he becomes a viewpoint character.'

You don't have that big a part if you have just one chapter, I assume.

He's the Lord Commander of Dany's KG, and his duty requires him to be at her side. He's in all four of the spoiler chapters, IIRC. He'll be in the book a lot. That doesn't mean that he has more than one POV chapter, though.

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A previously-unnamed POV has now been revealed by George...

Barristan Selmy!

Who, according to my prior speculations when I considered a Barristan POV, shall probably be dead by the end of the book... but anyways!

I'm guessing this probably means that Barristan was the new POV he introduced to help resolve the Meereenese Knot.

Cool news! Why do you and others feel pretty certain that Selmy is going to die?

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Cool news! Why do you and others feel pretty certain that Selmy is going to die?

Well, I can't speak for Ran, but my thought process is this. Dany is going to leave Meereen, and probably not in triumph. The spoilers point in the other direction--GRRM talking about plague being a major factor in ADWD, Daenerys musing about the city is starving and how she can't send the Unsullied out of the city without being overthrown, her enemies are massing around her, etc, etc. (Also, GRRM isn't going to make Dany's invasion force so overwhelming that her enemies never stand a chance.) Dany made a big mistake in believing that she could end slavery in an afternoon where it's existed for five thousand years, and she's going to face a personal cost from that mistake.

But what kind of cost? Dany herself isn't going to die, obviously. But if the cost is only visited on minor NPCs like Brown Ben Plumm, then it would seem like GRRM flinched at the last minute; those minor NPCs don't mean much to Dany or to the reader. Ser Barristan dying, particularly when he still had much to tell her... that's a loss that will pain Dany, and feel big enough to the reader as well.

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Yeah, well, you are right.

We assume that, because it's a pretty common theme in fantasy novels and movies to kill off the wise old guy when he has fulfilled his purpose (i.e. to prepare the hero for his quest by giving him the skills and information he needs).

All Selmy has to do as the information guy is to share all his Targaryen knowledge with Dany - meaning introducing her to the concept of Aerys the Mad King and telling her all he knows about Rhaegar and his interpretation of a certain prophecy. And he hopefully is going to give us readers some information about Jaehaerys II, Aegon V, and Summerhall.

But I actually hope we are mistaken here. I could see Tyrion-Selmy-interactions being pretty entertaining. Just because the guy is old, is not reason enough to kill him off. Especially if the author wants to do something unexpected ;-).

Adding to PDC:

I'm not sure if one dead guy is going to be enough personal cost. This whole talk about ADwD being about 'disease' strongly suggests that there will be a huge epidemic in Meereen, which will both be a greater blow to life and civilization in Slaver's Bay than Daenerys presence, and which is also going to kill off many characters - important and unimportant alike.

That is, at least if GRRM is going to describe 'disease' as realistic as he described everything else up to this point. And the chances are pretty good, that he is going to do this.

The one great epidemic we know about in Westeros, the Great Spring Sickness, killed lots and lots of people, three quarters of the population of KL, including the High Septon, King Daeron II, Princes Valarr and Matarys (along with his children), and most of the highborn hostages of the rebels partaking in the First Blackfyre Rebellion (which motivated some of them to rebel again in the Second Blackfyre Rebellion).

I really assume we can expect an epidemic of this size in Meereen and the other cities of Slaver's Bay.

So all these characters are potential victims of the disease in my opinion (more or less likely):

- Tyrion

- Quentyn

- Marwyn

- Vicatarion

- 'Aegon VI'

- Jon Connington

- Missandei

- Irri

- Jhiqui

- Rakharo

- Jhogo

- Aggo

- Groleo

- Barristan Selmy

- Strong Belwas

- Grey Worm

- Brown Ben Plumm

- Daario Naharis

- Jorah Mormont

- Dany's Seneschal with the shaved head

- the other important guy in her Meereenese administration

- Cleon the Butcher King

- Xaro Xhoan Daxos

- Khals Jhaqo and Pono

- the as of yet unknown leader of the Golden Company

- the maester the Grey Sheep are sending to Meereen (if they sent anyone)

- many of the new characters introduced in ADwD

Dany herself I consider to be safe. Her death would kill the story, essentially. But she might be harmed by the disease. And Tyrion is safe as well, I assume, at least to 90% or so.

Quaithe and Pyat Pree I consider to be safe from the death through disease as well, as they most likely know means (magic) to protect them against such things.

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kill off the wise old guy when he has fulfilled his purpose (i.e. to prepare the hero for his quest by giving him the skills and information he needs).

Well, that settles it. As something of a wise old guy (girl) myself, I hereby declare I'm not preparing any more heroes, period!

Just because the guy is old, is not reason enough to kill him off.

Agree!

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He promised in ASOS to tell Dany all of the King's secrets.

Should be interesting what he tells her

Like to see her reaction when he tells her what the Mad King did to Rickard and Brandon Stark.

He may also explain more of the Rhaegar/Lyanna relationship maybe?

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He promised in ASOS to tell Dany all of the King's secrets.

Should be interesting what he tells her

Like to see her reaction when he tells her what the Mad King did to Rickard and Brandon Stark.

He may also explain more of the Rhaegar/Lyanna relationship maybe?

You know I just thought of something about the whole Rhaegar and Lyanna thing. If this is so true why didn't Barristan go to Jon and tell him some how? I mean wouldn't he be the person that Berristan would go to? Anyway maybe he doesn't know enough about that but this pov is going to be awesome!

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So all these characters are potential victims of the disease in my opinion (more or less likely):

...

Dany herself I consider to be safe. Her death would kill the story, essentially. But she might be harmed by the disease. And Tyrion is safe as well, I assume, at least to 90% or so.

To be clear, I don't think only Ser Barristan is going to die. But given that Tyrion and Dany are safe, I think your list makes it pretty clear nobody else could take his place. Most of those characters are minor characters like Brown Ben Plumm and Daario Noharis. Some others (Quentyn, Victarion) aren't really that close to Dany, so their deaths wouldn't affect her that much. Maybe Ser Jorah's going to die, but I can't see that happening in the next book.

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