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[twow Spoilers] Arianne II, Part 2

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57 minutes ago, JCRB's Honeypot said:

There are endless descriptions of food and plants in the first books :dunno: 

Remember how quickly it takes Ned and the girls to get to Kings Landing in the first book and how long it takes Sam to get to Old Town in AFFC, the travel chapters are the crap I'm talking about, not the food descriptions and back stories.

 

We don't need to know every stop a character makes along to a destination, unless it serves a purpose to the story.

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Another travelogue zzzzzzz. He couldn't have released anything else? Maybe something he hasn't read at a con before. And Dorne no less? This is getting comical.

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Just now, sifth said:

We don't need to know every stop a character makes along to a destination, unless it serves a purpose to the story.

Ah, well... I guess it depends. Aegon got to Westeros "off camera" between to chapters. I suppose is relevant for Arianne to see the places she has seen so far. We still don't have the whole picture.

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Nice to read the chapter firsthand. So much more nuance to pick up than when relying on secondhand reports from a reading.

Much is becoming quite clear in the Aegon/Dorne storyline.

Firstly, it is quite obvious that Arriane is going to join Dorne to Aegon's cause. Likely through a betrothal. The entire Quentyn plotline had the sole purpose of alienating Dorne from Daenerys. Dorne will join with Aegon, giving him 20k-30k extra spears for his campaign. This will happen after the Golden Company has demonstrated in front of Arriane's eyes, in all its professional efficiciency, how it anihilates the Tyrell army on the field of battle.

Which brings me to my second point. This idea that Randyl Tarly will turn cloak is fantasy. Aegon needs a decisive victory on the field of battle, and the battle below the walls of Storms End will be it. I don't think Tarly will lead it, because that would reduce Aegon's chances of victory significantly. Also, it won't be remotely close to the full Tyrell strength that will be descending on Storm's End.

Mace will keep 20k or so at King's Landing, Another significant portion of the Tyrell strength will be off fighting Euron, and this will be a fast reaction force, moving at haste to reach Storm's End. I expect 10,000 -15,000 Tyrell soldiers at most. With a sound battle strategy the Golden Company can take those odds. After all, we have been hearing about their vaunted reputation for years now. It is time for them to live up to it. They will open up a can of whipass on the Tyrells in this battle, I have no doubt.

Thirdly, regarding Storm's End. I'm sure we read somewhere before that Aegon took Storm's End by subterfuge. With hints of the "Mummer's Dragon" theme involved. How large was Rowan's force below the walls of Storm's End? The wiki says it is only a token force. Could Aegon not have disguised his forces as Baratheons in service of Stannis, attacking and destroying Lord Rowan's besieging army. The defenders would then have opened up the gates to their saviours, only to find out too late that it is in fact Aegon Targaryen's forces who they have let into the keep.

Lastly, there is really no reason to dispute Winterfell's reputation as one of the strongest castles in the Seven Kingdoms. As Werthead pointed out, it has massive defensive fortifications, and its fall to Theon was by guile, not by force. It is without a doubt the strongest castle in the North, and we know that the Dreadfort - which is probably the second strongest Northern castle - held out for 2 years under siege from the forces of House Stark in years gone by, until the Boltons were starved out.

Winterfell must therefore be even stronger than that.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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56 minutes ago, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

Well he's giving it away for free, it's not gonna have anything too consequential in it

Yes, its just sad that while this book is supposed to start winding things down and we have two chapters of endless travelogue and Arianne still hasn't met fAegon. So much space wasted on obviously doomed character thats going nowhere.

It makes me sad that I am starting to anticipate GOT TV more than I do this book.

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6 minutes ago, Masha said:

Yes, its just sad that while this book is supposed to start winding things down and we have two chapters of endless travelogue and Arianne still hasn't met fAegon. So much space wasted on obviously doomed character thats going nowhere.

It makes me sad that I am starting to anticipate GOT TV more than I do this book.

I think his editors deserve a lot of blame. They have no control over him or this story anymore. 

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19 minutes ago, JCRB's Honeypot said:

Ah, well... I guess it depends. Aegon got to Westeros "off camera" between to chapters. I suppose is relevant for Arianne to see the places she has seen so far. We still don't have the whole picture.

I'm not holding my breath. I honestly think GRRM just likes world building these days and he can't give us a Dorne chapter unless we see as much of Dorne as possible. lol

Edited by sifth

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Just now, sifth said:

I'm not holding my breath. I honestly think GRRM just likes world building these days and he can't give us a Dorne chapter unless we see as much of Dorne as possible now a days. lol

Well, I'm not "defending" it. As I said, we don't know the context. Could be one chapter like this, and the rest will be less descriptive.

I wonder if he eventually wrote SE being taken in Jon's POV as he considered. That one surely is going to be a hell of a good chapter.

(damn, I honestly wish he had released a Griff one instead... maybe if Loras dies this season?)

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4 minutes ago, JCRB's Honeypot said:

Well, I'm not "defending" it. As I said, we don't know the context. Could be one chapter like this, and the rest will be less descriptive.

I wonder if he eventually wrote SE being taken in Jon's POV as he considered. That one surely is going to be a hell of a good chapter.

(damn, I honestly wish he had released a Griff one instead... maybe if Loras dies this season?)

To be fair this the second Arianne chapter he wrote for the book, that consists mostly of her traveling around Dorne. So their will be at the very least two chapters like this, not just one.

 

This is why I'm worried to be honest.

Edited by sifth

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2 minutes ago, sifth said:

To be fair this the second Arianne chapter he wrote for the book, that consists mostly of her traveling around Dorne. So their will be at the very least two chapters like this, not just one.

 

This is why I'm worried to be honest.

And this is where the editors have to step in. They've honestly done a bad job.

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Just now, Jack Bauer 24 said:

And this is where the editors have to step in. They've honestly done a bad job.

I agree, both chapters could easily be combined into one.

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2 minutes ago, Jack Bauer 24 said:

And this is where the editors have to step in. They've honestly done a bad job.

Well, we won't know that until we can see the whole picture.

15 minutes ago, Masha said:

Yes, its just sad that while this book is supposed to start winding things down and we have two chapters of endless travelogue and Arianne still hasn't met fAegon. So much space wasted on obviously doomed character thats going nowhere.

Relax, it's gonna be a long book. Plenty of time for some shit to go down.

Plus, with Arianne and Dorne... I think (or have seen fan theories that suggest) that there's going to be some betrayals and such like - perhaps a repeated Dance of Dragons with Dorne split between Quentyn and Arianne? Could she resist the opportunity to be Queen?

And if that's the case, then the groundwork needs to be laid. I'm of the opinion that much ofthe Dornish story is not as it seems, and that all the wheel-spinning and dawdling and fruitlessness will lead to an awesome twisteroo. But I might just be optimistic.

3 minutes ago, JCRB's Honeypot said:

I wonder if he eventually wrote SE being taken in Jon's POV as he considered. That one surely is going to be a hell of a good chapter.

Didn't I read somewhere that he had done just that?

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The rest of released chapters look well condensed to me, IMO. I'm giving Arianne the benefit of doubt.

FOR NOW.

 

Just now, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

Didn't I read somewhere that he had done just that?

Honestly, no idea. The only thing I remember is that he was pleased to hear people wanted that chapter and he considered writing it. (MARTIN YOU WERE GOING TO DEPRIVE US FROM SEEING GRIFF BEING AWESOME WHY?!). If he did, haven't heard anything.

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I don't think that it's up to us to decide what he should be writing, its a mistake to think we know better than the author, this world building its essential, to give us a clear picture of westeros before, during and after those events, if we don't see this details, the consequences of the grand plots will have no weight since we would have nothing to compare with

i'm sorry to invoke the blasphemy that is the HBO show this season, but if the books was an endless sequence of shock moments, reveals and gruesome deaths like the show currently is, that you can kill a high lord and warden, throw a newborn baby to the dogs, resurrect a corpse and still be boring, it would not have the same weight,

there was a lot of symbolism in this chapter, character development (the human heart in conflict), hints about the dorne reaction to the impending news of quentys crispy death at the hands of the mad king daughter , after she served a similar fate to her brother(in their point of view)

Dorne, along with the vale, are the only armies in westeros that are still 100% of their power and untouched by war, so every bit of diplomatic a political events surrounding these noble houses are extremely important, they can very well hold the fate of the IT in their hands,

 

Edited by BlueNightzx

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Good chapter. There's some very obvious foreshadowing of Elia causing trouble.

I might be in the minority but I love the travelogues and the world-building. I enjoyed getting to see another part of Westeros firsthand - the caves, the weather, the plantlife. It reminds me of some of Brienne's AFFC chapters, which in my opinion are some of the best GRRM has written, even if they don't have a huge impact on the plot.

Although I still think Arianne is quite a boring character.

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2 hours ago, Hos the Hostage said:

@Lord Varys @Ibbison from Ibben Randyll sought the help of some warlocks from Qarth and made Sam bathe in blood to make him braver. Not the sign of a devout follower of Seven. Sam tells that House Tarly has been worshiping the Seven for thousands of years, but Randyll Tarly, like Stannis and Tywin, may care only to do what is needed, and not worry about the Seven.

Thanks, didn't remember that. The only time Randyll does something remotely positively in relation to the Faith is when he punishes that poor guy even harsher when it turns he had stolen from a sept. But that shows Randyll being cruel and uncaring, not that he is pious.

The source for Sam's song about the Seven is also his mother. If Randyll was a pious guy (like Lord Butterwell was, of instance) one would expect him to visit the sept with his children and perhaps being a good singer, too. Sam could have learned a few pious songs from his father in such a scenario. But there is no indication of anything like that.

@Free Northman Reborn

I'm not remembering my numbers right now but the two combined Tyrell armies in KL might actually be insanely huge. They are what remains of Renly's about 80,000 men at Bitterbridge, after all. It could still be 40,000-50,000 men. Half of them would be 20,000-25,000 men, more than double what the Golden Company has right now.

But numbers do not matter all that much in the coming battle. The Golden Company is made up of professional soldiers and veterans, and most of the Tyrells levies will just be peasants with pikes. And Harry Strickland has elephants. The crucial factors will be choosing the right terrain for the battle (one assumes Aegon V lured the Golden Company into a trap at the Wendwater Bridge during the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion) and making use of that advantage. Jon Connington can do that. The man is a Stormlander by birth, he should know the right place and way to lure the Tyrell men into a trap. And with the Kingswood close by they might even be able to use the elephants as a surprise element.

Tarly might be the best soldier in Westeros, but the fact is that there aren't many professional soldiers in Westeros. But every man in the Golden Company is a soldier, so he might find his master there. The man certainly did never fight against elephants before, nor would have any experience with archers as professional and effective as the Golden Company's. The knights of the Reach might be more than a match for the Golden Company's knights, but we don't know yet how they will react when they realize they will have to ride against horses and elephants. The Tyrell foot most likely will break as soon they see the knights or their fellows being trampled by the beasts.

I don't see any chance that any Tyrell men right now in KL will fight Euron while the Golden Company hasn't been dealt with. They don't have any ships to get them down south, and there is little to no chance that Mace would split up his troops before Aegon is defeated.

The source for the token force at Storm's End was actually the App. The books have yet to mention where the hell Mathis Rowan is. But I remember mentioning/suggesting that he must be down at Storm's End (unless he died offscreen) and the first major Reach Lord joining Aegon pretty early after ADwD came out. Rowan should have a few hundred men at least, though. He has to have more men than Stannis has inside or else the garrison could just butcher the force besieging them.

Considering the strength and size of Storm's End the only way how Aegon could take the castle if they can convince Stannis' people to open the gates. And they can achieve that two ways. First by simply attacking the Tyrell forces pretending to be Baratheon men (disguising the Golden Company banners as golden Baratheon banners) or by revealing themselves as the Golden Company but claiming that they have been hired by King Stannis on whose command they have invaded the Stormlands to end the siege of Storm's End.

The latter version could also be supported/aided by a ruse involving ravens. Connington has now control over the rookery of Griffin's Roost and he could send a raven to Storm's End claiming that Griffin's Roost has already been joined the Golden Company which is working on behalf of Stannis. Stannis' people would have no way of double-checking that. If such a raven would reach the castle a few hours before the Golden Company arrived there the chances that Stannis' people would open the gates would be very high indeed. And that is really all they would need to succeed.

Winterfell most certainly is one of the strongest castles in Westeros, however I don't think it has the same reputation of impregnability or invincibility as Harrenhal once had, or as Storm's End, Casterly Rock and the Eyrie still have. We don't have any evidence for that but I'm pretty sure that Winterfell (especially earlier incarnations of it) were conquered and sacked by enemy hosts in the past. Both by rival First Men kings as well as by rival Stark pretenders for the Northern crown. 

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YEAH!!!!!!! New chapter!!!!!!!

Lets see. What do we get in this?

My Observations:

1. A beautiful description of the Stormlands, with an in-depth description of Storm's End's defenses. (In fact I think this the most we've had yet and it is good. Glad to see that GRRM's prose is sharp as ever plus he seems to have found a way to give details while also moving the plot forward more like in the first three books).

2. New places. Holf of Men (maybe a typo?). Maiden Isle (Related to the Faith somehow considering the motherhouse (also the first time that word appears in the books I believe).) Mistfall (new castle!).

3. New family. House Whitehead of Weeping Town!

4. New world-building detail. (The corpse of Daeron I spent three nights in the Weeping Town before it moved on). 

5. Storm's End has fallen, which means that Stannis has lost his last toehold in the south. Considering that its heavily foreshadowed he will soon have the North in his pocket were it not for the Others he'd be in a very powerful position nonetheless.

6. Arianna is so going to fall for Aegon and not like Dany. I really wonder what her and the rest of the Martell family's reaction to his death is going to be like. She's spent years thinking of him as her enemy, plotting to steal her place in Dorne, and now, without having had the chance to see him for the first time in a long time, he's gone.

7. In addition to the Battle of Meeren, the Battle of Winterfell, and possibly the Battle of Oldtown, we're getting the Second Battle of the Kingsroad (that's what I'm calling it). I wonder if it will be told entirely from JonCon's POV (will he be watching from afar? In the thick of the fighting?) or if it will switch between his and Arianna (maybe her watching from the battlements of Storm's End?)

8. I personally think Mace is the one leading the Tyrell army. It fits his character, it would tie back into that Cersei chapter-ending line in AFFC where Jaime tells her to send Mace off to Storm's End where either way he'll fail or succeed to their benefit, he's the one named as leading them, and it would make the Golden Company's victory (which is a narrative necessity, seriously there is no way GRRM would have them be defeated at this point in the storyline) more plausible. For an in-depth hypothesis of how the battle is going to shape look up Blood of the Dragon: Agincourt at Wars & Politics of Ice and Fire. Its really good.

9. COF Caves...I want more.

10. The Martells...Actually acting like a family!!!!!!!! God, when I was reading this chapter I couldn't help thinking in the back of my head of the abomination that GOT has turned them into.

11. Oddly enough I really want that Aeron chapter GRRM offered to read sometime ago now.

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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I think that every so-called 'impregnable' castle will be captured during the story. (Not necessarily by force).

Winterfell was captured by Theon and his 20 good men.

Harrenhal changed hands due to Arya's weasel soup.

Storms End taken by Jon Connington and GC (we don't know how).

Eyrie is all set to be captured by either the Mountain clans or the dragons or both. The number of times Lysa and Robert says 'Eyrie in impregnable' means something will happen to contradict it.

Casterly Rock could be captured by Tyrion on his return to Westeros. This is one castle that cannot be taken by force even if you have dragons (according to Visenya Targaryen), so I am really eager to see how (if) Casterly Rock will be captured.

Twins could be taken by the Brotherhood without Banners during Red Wedding 2.0. I am looking forward to seeing this in season 6 of GoT.

 

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4 minutes ago, Hos the Hostage said:

I think that every so-called 'impregnable' castle will be captured during the story. (Not necessarily by force).

Winterfell was captured by Theon and his 20 good men.

Harrenhal changed hands due to Arya's weasel soup.

Storms End taken by Jon Connington and GC (we don't know how).

Eyrie is all set to be captured by either the Mountain clans or the dragons or both. The number of times Lysa and Robert says 'Eyrie in impregnable' means something will happen to contradict it.

Casterly Rock could be captured by Tyrion on his return to Westeros. This is one castle that cannot be taken by force even if you have dragons (according to Visenya Targaryen), so I am really eager to see how (if) Casterly Rock will be captured.

Twins could be taken by the Brotherhood without Banners during Red Wedding 2.0. I am looking forward to seeing this in season 6 of GoT.

 

Intimate knowledge of the drainage systems. Say, by someone who was given charge of that as a youth...

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2 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Intimate knowledge of the drainage systems. Say, by someone who was given charge of that as a youth...

:thumbsup:

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