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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] Melisandre 1

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"I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and yet R'hllor shows me only Jon Snow."

I don't think Jon Snow is Azor Ahai, but this seems to be suggesting...

Yes, but when she "talks" to the flames at teh beginning of the vision she asks to see "the king" (thinking that king=Stannis=AA). Then the flames show him Jon, which is consistent with R+l=J.

It's only when the flams have failed to show her what she demanded that she thinks of AA.

* Melisandre sees a black tide rising up to smash towers perched on a cliff. In 'The Wayward Bride', Asha mentioned that Aeron has disappeared and is trying to raise the wroth of the Drowned God to smash down his fury upon Euron Greyjoy. That is my interpretation of that vision.

Emphasis mine. There's a noble house in the Iron Islands calles Blacktyde, whose pious lord Baelor have been murdered by Euron after the Kingsmoot.

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I'll just echo a few comments here:

A part of me is glad to see that Mance is alive and kicking, but another part says another switcheroo!?! First Jeyne/Arya, then Prince Aegon/orphan baby, and now Rattleshirt/Mance. GRRM is sure fond of this trick.

Not to mention Mance baby/Craster baby.

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I take it Melony is Melisandre's real name?

That's what I gathered, B. And she was sold to the Red Temple in slave Lot 7.

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This was a fantastic chapter, one of the best in the entire series and the one chapter I was looking forward to most ever since I heard that GRRM would include Mel as a POV. My only complaint is that it is the only Mel chapter in the book, though clues in this chapter point towards more Mel chapters later. I think the amount of people who like this chapter will convince GRRM to add more Mel chapters in the next two books, assuming enough people write to him to request him that. (or if he reads about it here. I am 100% convinced after reading up to this point that GRRM visists these boards regularly.)

The best thing about this chapter was that it has FINALLY put loony theories about Mel being an agent of the great other, or Mel secretly deceieving Stannis for her own gain, etc etc. Basically, retarded theories that made Mel into something she definately she is not. Thankfully, this chapter has put an end to all that. Mel cares about other people, she is compassionate (Devan), she cares for Stannis and belives he is the one, she cares for Jon Snow and wishes to gain his trust, and she is a 'good guy' who is against the ultimate 'bad guys' of this series.

It's interesting to note that Mel's powers have increased at the Wall. That must have been the reason Lightbringer was so bright in a previous Jon chapter. Apparently, Mel is strong in Asshai, less powerful in Westeros, and at her strongest at the Wall. It was also very interesting to note that Mel looks to danger upon her person first thing every day. Me thinks this might turn out to be her doom, as since the fires obviously do not show everything all the time, she may not see her doom when/iif it approaches. Another intruiging thing was that she uses powders and pyromancer tricks. We saw one of them, when the Horn of Joramun was burning the fires turned green.

My only real confusion in this chapter is why did Melisandre let Mance Rayder live? Didn't she need Kings Blood to awaken the Stone Dragon?

To Jon Snow she seems to say that she let Mance live because he is the only one who could save 'Arya'. But that doesn't seem right to me. Why would she risk Stannis's ire? And what about the Stone Dragon?

And does all this mean that Jon sent Mances baby south for no reason at all, and that he sent Maester Aemon to his death when he would have been safe at the Wall?

If someone can explain this to me I would be very grateful.

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The best thing about this chapter was that it has FINALLY put loony theories about Mel being an agent of the great other, or Mel secretly deceieving Stannis for her own gain, etc etc. Basically, retarded theories that made Mel into something she definately she is not. Thankfully, this chapter has put an end to all that. Mel cares about other people, she is compassionate (Devan), she cares for Stannis and belives he is the one, she cares for Jon Snow and wishes to gain his trust, and she is a 'good guy' who is against the ultimate 'bad guys' of this series.

Well I will agree that she seems well intentioned, but that doesn't make her a good guy. Cersei thinks she's doing what's best for the realm and her children at all times too. I think Mel definitely wants to defeat the Great Other and does care about Stannis, but I don't think that means she can't actually work against that. She is arrogant, secretive and absolutely convinced of the righteousness of her actions. This can be dangerous. Her insistence on the "trappings of power" and to cling to her king's blood is needed line drove Jon to send Aemon away from the Wall to die, when he would have been far more useful had he stayed if she indeed had no intention to burn him.

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The sister = Jeyne Stark, Jon's sister through marriage. Though I don't know why she would be by herself, unless the Blackfish is with her and Melisandre just failed to see her.

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The sister = Jeyne Stark, Jon's sister through marriage. Though I don't know why she would be by herself, unless the Blackfish is with her and Melisandre just failed to see her.

You know, I never subscribed to the Jeyne switcheroo theories, but this makes sense.

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This was a good chapter. In the space of 11 pages Milisandre went from being an irredeemable cold blooded villain to a grey character, well intentioned but misguided, who though capable of black deeds is not without a conscience, and who actually cared enough about another's grief to seek to protect his son.

ETA:

I really hated the way Mance went out earlier, seemingly out of character, but since Jon watched it while we were in his POV, I couldn't come up with any real theory as to why that wasn't Mance.

This works for me.

I'm also a little surprised that Melisandre actually believes her shit, but I kinda figured it could go that way when her chapter was first announced.

As for the grey girl running north...

Asha, Jeyne, Shireen are all possibilities. But the first person who came to my mind wasn't a girl, but a woman... Maege Mormont, with Robb's letter.

The preponderance of switcheroos is wearing a little thin on me, that is not to say that it didn't feel goo to see Mace alive. THis switch was not wholly a surprise though, it first occurred to me that Bones may not be Bones during his sword fight with Jon.

Maege Mormont as the girl in grey would be awesome.

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I definitely thought that something weird was going on in the sword fight. I wasn't suspicious about Mance's begging in the fire, but in retrospect, I see how that was supposed to give us a clue.

As soon as it became clear that Bones wasn't who he seemed to be, it clicked... Mance!!!

Still don't know why Mel saved Mance. I think it's possible that Mel doesn't know why she saved Mance. She may have seen him in a vision doing something important (saving Jon's "sister" for example) and saved him for that reason.

I think it's pretty obvious that Mel's visions are more guesswork than anything. She puts on a front of supreme confidence, but is really just flailing around. Chasing shadows, if you'll excuse the pun.

I'm going to guess that the fleeing girl is Jeyne Poole at this point, but will posit the minor crackpot theory that the vision is actually farther in the future and is either Sansa or Arya after returning to the North.

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This was a fantastic chapter, one of the best in the entire series and the one chapter I was looking forward to most ever since I heard that GRRM would include Mel as a POV. My only complaint is that it is the only Mel chapter in the book, though clues in this chapter point towards more Mel chapters later. I think the amount of people who like this chapter will convince GRRM to add more Mel chapters in the next two books, assuming enough people write to him to request him that. (or if he reads about it here. I am 100% convinced after reading up to this point that GRRM visists these boards regularly.)

GRRM has stated several times that he does not visit such sites too often (or at all), neither do any other contemporary authors of popular fiction. The reason you think they do is probably due to those "retarded theories" you mention: some of them are bound to turn out true and you take that they have influenced the writing. I hope not. In my humble opinion, Eragon has shown us, what comes of writing that is to please the readers' expectation but not their taste. Though other might have liked it, so I'm not to argue.

As for Mel, I didn't like her and the fact that she believes she's right rather makes her more dangerous in my eyes. She's not heard of, lest considered Daenerys. I liked her to be a blank sheet of paper. Knowing more of her has taken away some of the mysterious atmosphere of the book. I do not want to see any more from her POV, to be honest.

If people do follow your advice, requesting more of Mel, I hope GRRM will do what's best for the project and not yield to fandom begging, unless for a good purpose. Such is my personal opinion of course.

The best thing about this chapter was that it has FINALLY put loony theories about Mel being an agent of the great other, or Mel secretly deceieving Stannis for her own gain, etc etc. Basically, retarded theories that made Mel into something she definately she is not. Thankfully, this chapter has put an end to all that. Mel cares about other people, she is compassionate (Devan), she cares for Stannis and belives he is the one, she cares for Jon Snow and wishes to gain his trust, and she is a 'good guy' who is against the ultimate 'bad guys' of this series.

There is hardly any "good" nor "evil" in the novels. Most characters are "grey", or to put it more bluntly, "human". Same is true for Mel. Even from good causes harm can be brought upon others. I'm fairly certain that in fact Melisandre will be the one to show us most convincingly. I will not dislike her more for that, I dislike her for being a religious fanatic. Again, just me.

It's interesting to note that Mel's powers have increased at the Wall. That must have been the reason Lightbringer was so bright in a previous Jon chapter. Apparently, Mel is strong in Asshai, less powerful in Westeros, and at her strongest at the Wall. It was also very interesting to note that Mel looks to danger upon her person first thing every day. Me thinks this might turn out to be her doom, as since the fires obviously do not show everything all the time, she may not see her doom when/iif it approaches. Another intruiging thing was that she uses powders and pyromancer tricks. We saw one of them, when the Horn of Joramun was burning the fires turned green.

I noticed that bit as well, but it didn't come as much of a suprise to me. We have known the wall to be magical. That she has to use worldly means to pose as divine messenger only shows, that her god is not as powerfull as she had us believe up to know. That may be for better or for worse. I like to be pondering on that and I'd prefer to see the truth with eyes that are not her own. It will be more of a dramatic reveal if we see her fail or triumph in crunch time and not learn about her capabilities beforehand, in some dull inner monologue. So we might have different tastes of literature, which prooves a capable author (As we both like those books).

My only real confusion in this chapter is why did Melisandre let Mance Rayder live? Didn't she need Kings Blood to awaken the Stone Dragon?

To Jon Snow she seems to say that she let Mance live because he is the only one who could save 'Arya'. But that doesn't seem right to me. Why would she risk Stannis's ire? And what about the Stone Dragon?

And does all this mean that Jon sent Mances baby south for no reason at all, and that he sent Maester Aemon to his death when he would have been safe at the Wall?

If someone can explain this to me I would be very grateful.

Now that she switched Mance did come suprisingly. Many a reader might have wondered about the screaming of the Lord o' Bones at his cremation. I confess, I didn't. At first second, I even thought she's turning the Lord to Snow and vice versa, so he can look for his sister and she can control the wall. That's how far I trust her. I think she didn't burn him, as there are no stone dragons to awaken at the wall, I guess. Maybe she's given up on that afer leaving Dragon Stone, maybe she's saving Mance for later.

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Really great chapter! I love what GRRM did with Mel's POV. I love that this book has triumphant moments - as compared to ASOS which just had doom after doom after doom...

Glad to see Mance alive! Kudos to the person in a previous Jon chapter thread figuring it out! The switcheroo is getting a bit stale tho..

My crackpot theory is that AA = J + D in some fashion... you need Ice (Jon) and Fire (Dany) for the mojo. If it's not that, it's probably Dany.

Really great theory! I think that would be a epic conclusion ;x

Yes, but when she "talks" to the flames at teh beginning of the vision she asks to see "the king" (thinking that king=Stannis=AA). Then the flames show him Jon, which is consistent with R+l=J.

It's only when the flams have failed to show her what she demanded that she thinks of AA.

Another really great theory!!

Oh and the theory about the sister in grey being Maege Mormont would be great too!! We still don't know who Robb claimed as his heir, right?

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Wow - without doubt my favourite chapter so far! I didn't expect GRRM to make Mel a sympathetic character, but I really liked what he did here. In a few short pages we learned so much about her. While the plot of the chapter wasn't mindblowing, don't get me wrong the reveal was, I am in awe of the writing!

Some observations from this chapter:

* Melisandre sees a black tide rising up to smash towers perched on a cliff. In 'The Wayward Bride', Asha mentioned that Aeron has disappeared and is trying to raise the wroth of the Drowned God to smash down his fury upon Euron Greyjoy. That is my interpretation of that vision.

* I noticed the same thing about the finger bag, does Melisandre have Davos' luck? That would just be a bit creepy.

*Melisandre was sold as a slave, that is very interesting. I wonder where she was born, I am thinking that she might be Northern and that her whole purpose is to be the instrument against the Great Other.

* Is the three-eyed-crow and instrument of the Great Other? Surely not, as the Children of the Forest were fighting the Wights in Bran II.

* Mel is so insecure that she always checks for her own safety first, loved the characterization here.

* 'He will not love me, but that is how it started with Stannis' - I'm calling this now: Melisandre is Dany's treason for love. I think that Dany's three treasons will come from godly women: Mirri Maz Durr, the treason for blood, The Green Grace, the treason for gold - because Dany destroyed the Slave Trade and economic hope of Meereen, and Melisandre who is going to cling onto the idea of Jon as AA even when she knows its Dany, because she loves him.

****** Crackpot theory I know, but I like it ******

Loras, once again I find myself agreeing with what you have to say. I reached many of these conclusions on my own and was glad to see someone else echo them. I really like your theory at the end, I could definitely see that being the case. Also really liked your observation regarding Mel's black tide vision.

Great chapter and as much as I want more chapters from her POV now, I'm somewhat glad we wont be getting anymore simply because it could end up being too revealing if we got too much.

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I came away from this chapter feeling that probably more happened here than in any other chapter so far, somehow. So much was revealed, hinted at and foreshadowed that it's difficult to know where to start.

I hadn't thought of Asha, Jeyne Westerling or Maege Mormont being the rider, personally I hope it will be Maege but think it will be Jeyne. Who could Robb have named as heir? Completely forgot about that!

The Davos reference really stood out to me straight away, no idea what it means but it doesn't bode well I don't think. The Devan touch was so unexpected, which was nice except... It's in the same vein as 'swapping out' Mance. Why? It was her that was pushing for him to be given to the flames, so it really doesn't make sense to me. Good to know my least favourite part of the book (Mance's pleading) can be explained- GRRM really does think of everything.

Interesting that she has no knowledge of Dany at all, of course it's possible she's mistaken those visions for something else but who knows- loving the third betrayal theory too, it's way more plausible than most and could see it happening. I definitely think the second betrayal will happen in aDwD, too much is about to happen in Meereen for it not to.

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I liked getting clarification of Melisandre's motives. I always thought of her as a fanatic and this has revealed to be true. She misreads her visions as much as anyone else who has experienced them, and her certainty that Stannis is Azor Ahai when everything says otherwise confirms that she thinks power == righteousness.

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I think it's pretty obvious that Mel's visions are more guesswork than anything. She puts on a front of supreme confidence, but is really just flailing around. Chasing shadows, if you'll excuse the pun.

This is one of the main things I took from this chapter, and in some ways it only makes more dangerous for Jon.

Mel: if the wildlings do attack the shadow tower, it will just be a feint and they'll attack somewhere else.

Jon: You mean Eastwatch?

Mel: Huh? No, not Eastwa - wait, I mean... yeah. Yeah, definitely Eastwatch.

:bang:

It does however answer a question that was playing on my mind during her chapter: how did she know it was Arya on the horse, when she never knew what she looked like? Then I realised that she only told Jon about it after Jon got the letter on the Wall. So Mel saw some girl on a horse and had no idea who it was, then she heard from someone at Castle Black that Jon's sister is about to be married, and then she told Jon, "hey, I saw your sister in the flames!". So she took 2 and 2 together and is now absolutely convinced the answer is 5. I don't care how well intentioned she is, she's a bullshit-merchant and very dangerous.

We still don't know who Robb claimed as his heir, right?

It was Jon, wasn't it? Though I don't think it was 100% confirmed, he seemed pretty set on it.

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A very interesting chapter. I definitely think that Martin did a better treatment of Mel as a POV character than he did with Cercei. What interested me more that most, and which I greatly enjoyed, was seeing how much of Mel's visions are just guesswork, and how much of her 'magic' is just tricks. It was great to see her her affection for Devan, and also some astute comments about the 'trappings of power' - something which I feel she is right on. Jon is too obsessed with duty and honor, and too grim and dark to see that he must show his men his authority.

I don't think that Mel is getting more powerful by moving from Asshai to Westeros to the Wall. I don't think her power is a function of geography but of time. Throughout the series we see magic returning to the world, and magic users increasing in power. Mel simply interprets it as something that comes about because of the places she is located in. I'm also more convinced than ever that 'R'hlorr' himself probably does not exist, much like the other Gods do not exist. I think that there are simply fantastical forces in the world - strange forces manifest themselves in fire, some in nature, some in blood, some in the sea... the Gods are just ways that men have interepreted these powers once they become exposed to them.

The only thing I did not enjoy that much was the Mance reveal. I liked Martin for not going down the cheap deus ex machina roots for getting his characters out of tough situations, but instead killed them off. It seems in this book that we have so many cases of characters who just pop out of nowhere and survive in situations where they should have been dead. It would have been much more interesting if it turned out that Rattleshirt was a grey character, that we were only seeing Jon's own biased view, and that Mance did die screaming in the end... A bad ending to an otherwise good chapter. I hope Martin does kill 'somebody' though, and that they'll stay dead.

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