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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] Melisandre 1

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Why didn't she see the risk or know that she'd feel intense physical pain in order to carry off this plan? And what would have happened to her if the Lord of Bones had burned to death?

Maybe the flames somehow reassured her it would not come to that? :unsure:

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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.

If we go with that theory than it's also mentioned that she sees winged shadows, could this mean that Euron get's dany's dragons?

Also I think that the boy wolf and the wood faced guy mean the 3EC/Child of the forest and and Bran. Ooviously bran would cover the boy wolf and since the 3ec seemed connected to a tree i think that would suffice. Also couldn't the Children of the Forrest warg into trees so I geuss there could be that.

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I wouldn't say this chapter made me feel sympathetic towards Mel, it just gave me nice insight into her way of seeing things. Most importantly that she seriously does think Stannis is AA and how much guesswork goes into her fire-visions.

It does seem to me that what she's really pining for is to win Jon over to her side in any way possible so they can make scary, powerful shadowbabies (for Stannis army? creeeeepy).

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The thing I liked best about this chapteris how she sees Brynden and Bran in her Flames, and that she notes that Brynden sees her, and Bran is seen is a boy with a wolf's head who throws his head back and howls.

There is great power beyond the Wall.

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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.

Wasn't there some prophecy about needing the blood of a father king and his son? I thought that was somewhere in AFFC. It could be that she knew about the switch and is keeping Mance alive until she can recover Mance's son from Oldtown. In fact, I wonder if she hired the Faceless Men to steal the child from Oldtown, among other things.

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Not to mention Mance baby/Craster baby.

Don't forget the possibility that R+L=J could add another one (more or less).

Although I was excited to see Mance alive (and I thought the 'light magic' angle was cool) the numbers of switcheroos annoys me a bit too. But it does make a certain kind of sense in a world obsessed with succession and lineage. Hopefully before the end the switches will play out in such different ways that it won't seem overused.

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I'm surprised that when people read a new POV, it suddenly changes their opinion on the character and creates sympathy towards a character that wasn't sympathetic at all. It happened with Jaime in ASoS (granted, it took some time, but still), and now in ADwD with Reek (!!!) and now Melissandre (wtf?!) Apparently having a POV chapter makes readers forget everything they read about that character before.

I'm terrified at the notion of GRRM creating a POV chapter for Ramsay Bolton in the next book and then suddenly people will begin to say that flaying and torturing people isn't that bad because he does it with "good intentions". (If you can justify burning people alive because it's well-intentioned, you can justify ANYTHING)

Haha. Ramsay Bolton chapter sums up something like: Ramsay was a good and honest lad, but Reek one was a bad influence that forced him to flay little kittens. After awhile, Ramsay was able to justify flaying as a necessary evil because Reek convinced him that it made the kittens love him since they eventually stop trying to scratch him. Fast forward to Reek two and look how docile he becomes and how much he loves Ramsay lol.

I was certainly caught by surprise with the whole Mance thing. I actually liked that he turned coward when faced with fire. I know some think it was out of character, but it is easy to appear brave when not faced with a burning alive scenario. I was a bit disappointed that Mance turned out to be alive. I keep waiting for someone to pull off Mel's mask only to find out that she is really old man Wilson from the hardware store that would have gotten away with it all if it weren't for those nosy kids.

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Great chapter. One of my favorites in this book.

I don't think I've seen it mentioned yet and I'm very curious:

What do people think the deal is with Melisandre's ruby necklace? She never takes it off, not even when she's feeling intense pain like when the fake Mance was being burned. She made it seem like she feared she didn't know what would have happened if Jon hadn't given the command to have the archers take the guy out instead.

I think the ruby is somehow tied into her glamour in a similar way that the bracelet is tied into the glamouring of Mance. I wonder if this means that somebody else is controlling Mel and that she's perhaps technically still a slave only maybe a higher ranking one since those in charge at the temple in Asshai seem to think she's particularly good at being a red priestess. Maybe this is why we can't see her slave mark?

OTOH if she's being controlled or helped by some R'hllor follower in Asshai I do wonder why she thinks to her diminishing powders and materials as though she thinks it's possible that she won't be able to refill her supply? Why wouldn't she be able to send for supplies if she's working at their cause? Is it possible that she fled Asshai to become something of a rogue priestess? Could this be another reason why she's a little paranoid for her personal safety?

Whatever the case I definitely think that Mel is way older than she appears to be. Not needing to eat, barely needing to sleep, always attractive, always radiating heat, and referring to other men as "mortal"? I think she's old, very old, but I don't think she's immortal. She has shown too many doubts.

Finally, I thought this chapter made it clear that Stannis isn't only having sex with Melisandre in order to unleash shadowbabies on whoever it is who defies him. It's been awhile since we've seen or heard about a shadowbaby attacking anyone but she makes it seem like he's been sharing her bed all the same.

So much for Stannis being sexually uptight.

I was wondering this same thing about the ruby. I don't remember Thoros being described as having one, so everyone must not wear one. It would make sense if she was a glamor thoug I don't think she's being controlled in the same way that Mance is. Her descriptions of herself do make me believe she is much older than what she appears though, and the ruby probably hides that.

I was actually a bit disappointed over the confirmation that Stannis is sharing her bed.

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Didn't see the Mance shapeshift thing coming !

Another dead-but-not-dead-after-all character...

You got many nice theories about the "sister", it's obviously not Arya, and I found all this story boring, since I thought we were talking about Jeyne Pool, which I don't care at all (sorry for her, but she's really useless). So your theories make me curious about this thing.

It seems in theses books, there is a lot to people (especially Stark kids) to be found by other people : In AFFC we got Sansa and Arya (half of Westeros kept looking after her), now we got the quests for Jon's "sister" and Rickon.

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About the ruby:

"Dany's tight silver collar was chafing against her throat. She unfastened it and flung it aside. The collar was set with an enchanted amethyst that Xaro swore would ward her against all poisons." (A Clash of Kings)

I always assumed Melisandre's ruby would be something similar, even though it does seem to have additional powers, too.

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"Melony... lot 7". She hears these voices from her past at the beginning of her vision which seems to be painful for her. She repeats this line when she expresses her wish to never sleep again and be rid of dreams. She wants to forget. Slaves are sold in lots. Was she separated from the woman calling her Melony? If she is Melony, did she choose to change her name to escape her past? Is agony the key to her visions? Then I shudder to think what her training was like.

So few words, so little information, yet this is what I remember best from this chapter.

I still don't like her better, though.

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I'm going to be in the minority here, but the scooby doo switcheroo didn't really impress me. Yes, it certainly opens up a lot more avenues to have Mance back in the story, but it did seem deus ex machina as an earlier poster mentioned. I mean what's next?

  • Melisandre = Varys?
  • Ned Stark wakes up in a stable and says, "Seven hells! No more of King Robert's special wine before bed!"?

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I think the most important thing to take from this chapter is the repeated thing about the trappings of power. It's all about image, which gets people to do a lot more for you than just the truth. They like bells and whistles and bright shiny flashing things. So we know she's mostly just making shit up as she goes along, because nothing is certain in her visions. I kind of like that, but the problem is that a lot of action is based on what she supposedly sees and how she interprets it. That can lead to a lot of wrong moves and bad stuff happening as a result. (Though I suppose the whole story is bad stuff happening among more bad stuff, so...)

What really struck me is something that I pretty much thought from the beginning... that her shows were mostly hocus pocus. Again, these things were done to demonstrate that trappings of power thing. But we have the fake fire sword, burning "Mance", all the fires and powders and on and on. This leads me to something else I have thought ever since we first started hearing about it, which is that the horn or joramun isn't that one burned at the night fire when "Mance" was killed; it wasn't the thing Euron had at the Kingsmoot; it's that little horn Jon found out ranging, which he gave to Sam. This has always seemed so obvious to me, and I've always wondered why no one talks about it. You'd think with all the theories everyone has about every little thing, it would get some play!

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I kind of like that, but the problem is that a lot of action is based on what she supposedly sees and how she interprets it. That can lead to a lot of wrong moves and bad stuff happening as a result.

So true. The Battle of the Blackwater is a great example of this. When Stannis lost, he lost almost everything. Mel then came up with an excuse why he failed and blamed it on something else. What I wonder is, are there some things that occur in her prophecies that just can't be stopped, even if the prophecy is predicted correctly?

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I think the most important thing to take from this chapter is the repeated thing about the trappings of power. It's all about image, which gets people to do a lot more for you than just the truth. They like bells and whistles and bright shiny flashing things. So we know she's mostly just making shit up as she goes along, because nothing is certain in her visions. I kind of like that, but the problem is that a lot of action is based on what she supposedly sees and how she interprets it. That can lead to a lot of wrong moves and bad stuff happening as a result. (Though I suppose the whole story is bad stuff happening among more bad stuff, so...)

What really struck me is something that I pretty much thought from the beginning... that her shows were mostly hocus pocus. Again, these things were done to demonstrate that trappings of power thing. But we have the fake fire sword, burning "Mance", all the fires and powders and on and on. This leads me to something else I have thought ever since we first started hearing about it, which is that the horn or joramun isn't that one burned at the night fire when "Mance" was killed; it wasn't the thing Euron had at the Kingsmoot; it's that little horn Jon found out ranging, which he gave to Sam. This has always seemed so obvious to me, and I've always wondered why no one talks about it. You'd think with all the theories everyone has about every little thing, it would get some play!

Well, we do know that she can perform magic successfully, although I agree there's also a lot of hocus pocus there too..

She succeeded in surviving a poisoning, slew Renly and the Castellan of Storm's End, burned up Varamyr/Orrell's eagle, knew that Davos was returning to Dragonstone to kill her, and gave Mance the appearance of Rattleshirt and vice versa. All that was achieved successfully through magic.

OTOH, I've no reason to believe that burning the leeches led to the deaths of the three Kings or that burning Lord Florent guaranteed a fair wind. And, clearly, she makes her share of mistakes - the biggest being to confuse Stannis with Azhor Ahai.

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Lots of questions/comments on this chapter.

Why is Melisandre stronger at the Wall? Does anyone know?

I am naive because I didn't think she was having an affair with Stannis but the bed comment makes it seem like she is. Then later it mentions her different powder and smokes and one of them is "a smoke for lust." Does she use this to seduce Stannis and others?

Then later Mance, speaking about the glamor says he feels it warm as a woman's kiss, "your kiss." Is she sleeping with Mance too?

When she talks with Mance about the girl on the horse she says it Jon Snow's sister and then thinks Who else could it be? So it sounds to me as if she's not really sure herself it's Arya, just guessing.

She thinks about Jon, " he does not love me, will never love me, but he will make use of me." Then thinks that she had "danced the same dance with Stannis Baratheon" in the beginning. That kind of makes it seem to me that she plans to seduce Jon too.

Why does she mention the bag of fingerbones in connection with a glamor? Is she planning to make someone appear to be Davos? Or has she appeared to Stannis in the form of Davos herself?

And the whole idea of the glamor leaves open all kinds of plot twists since it can mean noone is who they appear to be.

And also, if she keeps seeing Jon everytime she tries to see AA, doesn't that make it a good chance that Jon really is AA?

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I don't think the thing about the bed was meant to be that they were together. I think that people are reading something else into it.

Also, when she said Jon doesn't love her, etc., she doesn't mean literally. There are lots of examples of this type of phrasing throughout the series. It is like saying there is no love lost between two people. It isn't literally about loving someone, it just means Jon doesn't particularly like her or think she's an awesome hot chick or something. Jon isn't overly enchanted by her, and she knows it. She just has to work with the situation as is. Same thing with Stannis. He's so cold and inflexible. He wasn't immediately obsessed with her, he just eventually realized he could make use of her, and also probably had his damn wife nagging the hell out of him with all the red god stuff.

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I don't think the thing about the bed was meant to be that they were together. I think that people are reading something else into it.

Also, when she said Jon doesn't love her, etc., she doesn't mean literally. There are lots of examples of this type of phrasing throughout the series. It is like saying there is no love lost between two people. It isn't literally about loving someone, it just means Jon doesn't particularly like her or think she's an awesome hot chick or something. Jon isn't overly enchanted by her, and she knows it. She just has to work with the situation as is. Same thing with Stannis. He's so cold and inflexible. He wasn't immediately obsessed with her, he just eventually realized he could make use of her, and also probably had his damn wife nagging the hell out of him with all the red god stuff.

This was my take as well. The reading alludes to the necessary bedding to form shawdow children and it may indeed be the case, but until I see it in black and white....

I don't think the Mel chapter changed my views of her. Most of what is there was formed long before this chapter. Any character in the books will destroy those they see as dangerous and save those the like or feel for. Thus with Devan, additionally she sees Davos as an asset to Stannis and her own ends. Of course Mel is flawed, not sure what people were expecting. She, not being a god, fumbles through life like everyone else. Makes good and bad choices, and attempts to cover the bad ones. She has power, no doubt, and the illusion of more, but she also pays for it through pain and suffering. The one thing that I take for her chapter is she is insecure in herself and is loathed to make it known. Her position is balanced on what people believe she can do and any chink means her fall. Aquiring more power better secures her image, so she strives for it, illusion or otherwise.

All that being said, I like her for her deadlyness and see her as pivotal in the coming storm. Be it for good or ill.

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An interesting thing I thought was that it said that she had no need for her bed since stannis left. certainly implies a relationship very strongly.

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