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Does anyone know if Skahaz/the Brazen Beasts were mentioned at all during the chapter?? Just interested to know

Yes.

SER BARRISTAN I

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The Shavepate’s beasts are manning the city walls in place of the unsullied. They will serve as the city’s last line of protection if Barristan’s attack fails and Dany has not returned.

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So if so far we have Vic x 1, Barristan x2, Tyrion x2 for the Battle of Meereen, and from a post on another thread the Barristan Chapter seemed pretty 'short' does that mean it is likely we will have a Red Wedding style Battle of Fire? You know, how we go Catelyn - Arya - Catelyn - Arya? Whereas mostly we go from a PoV in one situation to another elsewhere


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So if so far we have Vic x 1, Barristan x2, Tyrion x2 for the Battle of Meereen, and from a post on another thread the Barristan Chapter seemed pretty 'short' does that mean it is likely we will have a Red Wedding style Battle of Fire? You know, how we go Catelyn - Arya - Catelyn - Arya? Whereas mostly we go from a PoV in one situation to another elsewhere

Yes, it seems so. It's the same way George masterfully described the Battle of the Blackwater, flipping between Tyrion, Davos and Sansa.

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This chapter is short… In paperback, the Barristan chapter is only ~9 pages. Typically, in paperback pagination, GRRM’s chapters shake out to be anywhere from ~12 to ~17 pages or thereabouts…



So, at first – after reading the full chapter – I had to go back to the first page of this thread to confirm that it was, in fact, two separate chapters, which it seems it is, which I presume is mostly for pacing.



In that case, I’m guessing the battle goes something like Barristan à Tyrion à Victarion à Barristan à Tyrion… or thereabouts. Much like the Red Wedding and Blackwater battles, as mentioned above.



In any case, I think my biggest takeaway on a full read is still Barristan’s apparent blind trust of the Shavepate and the Brazen Beasts. For the moment, I’m a subscriber to the Shavepate as the locust-poisoner theory, which suggests to me that the Shavepate is going to lock Barristan outside of Meereen to die, say, as Barristan is attempting to ride Dany’s silver back through the gates upon retreat from insurmountable odds.



After all, now that Tyrion is in Meereen, and Meereen is going to hell in a hand basket, we won’t “need” Barristan’s POV for long, with the exception of being a window into the battle.



Further, as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, not only is Barristan literally riding the pale mare, but after thinking to himself: never speak of defeat before a battle, for the gods may be listening, he also thinks to himself multiple times that he may die, and even goes so far as to pray to the Seven for his safety prior to battle. Isn’t that expressing directly to the gods a fear that you might be defeated?



Either way, on a full read, I didn’t really pick up anything that I hadn’t already gleaned from the synopsis on this thread, and from other reader observations throughout…



However, reading the full chapter did make me think again about how this battle might shape up…



For example, while the battle kicks off with Barristan and company riding out to fight the Yunkai’i, then Victarion showing up and (somewhat comically) fighting the Yunkai’i as well (because he doesn’t know who’s who yet), it seems like the Volantene fleet pretty much has to roll up on Vic’s hindquarters and sandwich him to the shore… and then the dragons come out to play.



Or the other way around – that the dragon’s burn Vic’s fleet before the Volantene navy shows up, just as everyone is thinking the battle has ended.



And, yeah, the dragon horn is sure to make an appearance, but it’s in Victarion’s hands, and not one of his plans has ever gone by design. So I’m guessing the horn backfires, inspiring the dragons to rain fire on Victarion’s parade instead of aligning with him.



However it plays out, it’s my suspicion that the Volantene fleet is more likely to end up as Dany’s eventual naval transport to Westeros rather than Victarion’s, and I expect the battle for Meereen to end in fire.



And why not? It seems fitting that if ASOIAF is to feature two “overlapping” battles in the first portion of the book, that one of them be the Battle of Ice, and the other the Battle of Fire.



In any case, before I get mod-gloved, it seems pretty clear Barristan dies. And, along with him, whatever he knows about Rhaegar and Aerys II that he has yet to share.



The question is, will he spill any more info on his deathbed, a la Maester Aemon’s final moments, or the dying red shirt in every action movie ever made? Or will he simply die in battle without providing any additional exposition into the overall plot?


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This chapter is short… In paperback, the Barristan chapter is only ~9 pages. Typically, in paperback pagination, GRRM’s chapters shake out to be anywhere from ~12 to ~17 pages or thereabouts…

So, at first – after reading the full chapter – I had to go back to the first page of this thread to confirm that it was, in fact, two separate chapters, which it seems it is, which I presume is mostly for pacing.

In that case, I’m guessing the battle goes something like Barristan à Tyrion à Victarion à Barristan à Tyrion… or thereabouts. Much like the Red Wedding and Blackwater battles, as mentioned above.

In any case, I think my biggest takeaway on a full read is still Barristan’s apparent blind trust of the Shavepate and the Brazen Beasts. For the moment, I’m a subscriber to the Shavepate as the locust-poisoner theory, which suggests to me that the Shavepate is going to lock Barristan outside of Meereen to die, say, as Barristan is attempting to ride Dany’s silver back through the gates upon retreat from insurmountable odds.

After all, now that Tyrion is in Meereen, and Meereen is going to hell in a hand basket, we won’t “need” Barristan’s POV for long, with the exception of being a window into the battle.

Further, as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, not only is Barristan literally riding the pale mare, but after thinking to himself: never speak of defeat before a battle, for the gods may be listening, he also thinks to himself multiple times that he may die, and even goes so far as to pray to the Seven for his safety prior to battle. Isn’t that expressing directly to the gods a fear that you might be defeated?

Either way, on a full read, I didn’t really pick up anything that I hadn’t already gleaned from the synopsis on this thread, and from other reader observations throughout…

However, reading the full chapter did make me think again about how this battle might shape up…

For example, while the battle kicks off with Barristan and company riding out to fight the Yunkai’i, then Victarion showing up and (somewhat comically) fighting the Yunkai’i as well (because he doesn’t know who’s who yet), it seems like the Volantene fleet pretty much has to roll up on Vic’s hindquarters and sandwich him to the shore… and then the dragons come out to play.

Or the other way around – that the dragon’s burn Vic’s fleet before the Volantene navy shows up, just as everyone is thinking the battle has ended.

And, yeah, the dragon horn is sure to make an appearance, but it’s in Victarion’s hands, and not one of his plans has ever gone by design. So I’m guessing the horn backfires, inspiring the dragons to rain fire on Victarion’s parade instead of aligning with him.

However it plays out, it’s my suspicion that the Volantene fleet is more likely to end up as Dany’s eventual naval transport to Westeros rather than Victarion’s, and I expect the battle for Meereen to end in fire.

And why not? It seems fitting that if ASOIAF is to feature two “overlapping” battles in the first portion of the book, that one of them be the Battle of Ice, and the other the Battle of Fire.

In any case, before I get mod-gloved, it seems pretty clear Barristan dies. And, along with him, whatever he knows about Rhaegar and Aerys II that he has yet to share.

The question is, will he spill any more info on his deathbed, a la Maester Aemon’s final moments, or the dying red shirt in every action movie ever made? Or will he simply die in battle without providing any additional exposition into the overall plot?

He doesn't have to die, only because Tyrion is comming closer and closer to Meereen. Tyrion could be accepted by Daenerys, and send out agains as an envoy. The same could happen with Barristan. We had multiple POV's in Winterfell before (Arya, Sansa, Jon, Ned, Catelyn, Bran). That they are all together at one point, doesn't mean they'll stay together for long. Jaime and Cersei both had POV's in KL, and Jaime had just returned to the city, maimed and not yet completely healed from his long captivity. Who had expected him to ride out of KL so quickly again? Not me, but it did leave Cersei as the only POV in KL.

Barristan has an important role to play yet, I believe (and hope!).

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He doesn't have to die, only because Tyrion is comming closer and closer to Meereen. Tyrion could be accepted by Daenerys, and send out agains as an envoy. The same could happen with Barristan. We had multiple POV's in Winterfell before (Arya, Sansa, Jon, Ned, Catelyn, Bran). That they are all together at one point, doesn't mean they'll stay together for long. Jaime and Cersei both had POV's in KL, and Jaime had just returned to the city, maimed and not yet completely healed from his long captivity. Who had expected him to ride out of KL so quickly again? Not me, but it did leave Cersei as the only POV in KL.

Barristan has an important role to play yet, I believe (and hope!).

I did not say Barristan had to die only because Tyrion is in the area.

I’m saying the foreshadowing is there for him to die if GRRM wants to kill him, and I think Barristan’s necessity in moving the overall story along becomes less and less the closer we get to the end.

Unlike Tyrion, he’s not been a POV since Book 1, and he does not seem like an integral endgame character that has major plot foreshadowing dating back to Book 1 in the way that, say, Jon, Dany and Tyrion do.

Contrarily, he wasn’t introduced as a POV until Book 5, and he only has four published chapters so far.

Further, since GRRM has the obstacle of attempting to go from 20 POVs down to something more manageable by the end of Book 7, and since he’s already admitted the obvious – that killing POVs is a way to do this – Barristan becomes an obvious candidate for elimination, like him or not.

Will he do something important before he dies? I hope so. Besides being a window into Meereen, he is also a window into things of historical interest to the reader concerning Rhaegar and Aerys II, if GRRM chooses to use him in this way (again).

But he’s riding the pale mare. He’s speaking of possible defeat directly to the gods. And the Shavepate – a man Barristan should have the instincts to mistrust – is manning the walls – and gates – of Meereen while a battle involving the Army (Yunkai’i), Navy (Victarion/Volantis) and Air Force (fire-breathing dragons) wages on outside the walls.

If the battle isn’t going the Shavepate’s way, or if a fresh wave of men is marching on Meereen while an injured Barristan is riding hard for the gates, I think the Shavepate locks him out, and Barristan’s done for.

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I also believe that Barristan is likely to die - the question is whether his death comes courtesy of Shavapate or Victarion or someone else.


Barristan trusts Shavapate and Barristan believes now that the Ironborn are fighting on their side - both of this suppositions are warning signs to me.




As to the valuable information about Rhaegar and Aerys - well he did not bother to tell their story for 2 books, why would he start talking now?


Also, he might have some reflections on Rhaegar or Ashara during his last chapter(s) - informing us, the readers, but not Danny.


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I did not say Barristan had to die only because Tyrion is in the area.

I’m saying the foreshadowing is there for him to die if GRRM wants to kill him, and I think Barristan’s necessity in moving the overall story along becomes less and less the closer we get to the end.

Unlike Tyrion, he’s not been a POV since Book 1, and he does not seem like an integral endgame character that has major plot foreshadowing dating back to Book 1 in the way that, say, Jon, Dany and Tyrion do.

Contrarily, he wasn’t introduced as a POV until Book 5, and he only has four published chapters so far.

Further, since GRRM has the obstacle of attempting to go from 20 POVs down to something more manageable by the end of Book 7, and since he’s already admitted the obvious – that killing POVs is a way to do this – Barristan becomes an obvious candidate for elimination, like him or not.

Will he do something important before he dies? I hope so. Besides being a window into Meereen, he is also a window into things of historical interest to the reader concerning Rhaegar and Aerys II, if GRRM chooses to use him in this way (again).

But he’s riding the pale mare. He’s speaking of possible defeat directly to the gods. And the Shavepate – a man Barristan should have the instincts to mistrust – is manning the walls – and gates – of Meereen while a battle involving the Army (Yunkai’i), Navy (Victarion/Volantis) and Air Force (fire-breathing dragons) wages on outside the walls.

If the battle isn’t going the Shavepate’s way, or if a fresh wave of men is marching on Meereen while an injured Barristan is riding hard for the gates, I think the Shavepate locks him out, and Barristan’s done for.

What I think makes probable Barristan will make itt back to Westeros next to Dany is Twins quote about him.

His name still has strengh in the realm and grants greatness to any king he is serving (could the same be told about the hound?)

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Would the Shavepate close the gates to a victorious Unsullied/Ironborn coalition? Mereen needs to get the gates opened to trade with the rest of the world, specially to import food.


OTOH, he might hope the Pale Mare would take all of them if he lets them outside the gate, and he can reopen them once the plague has run its course (outside the city, that is)


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I also believe that Barristan is likely to die - the question is whether his death comes courtesy of Shavapate or Victarion or someone else.

Barristan trusts Shavapate and Barristan believes now that the Ironborn are fighting on their side - both of this suppositions are warning signs to me.

As to the valuable information about Rhaegar and Aerys - well he did not bother to tell their story for 2 books, why would he start talking now?

Also, he might have some reflections on Rhaegar or Ashara during his last chapter(s) - informing us, the readers, but not Danny.

In his last chapter in aDwD Barristan thinks to himself how both he and Dany never truly trusted the Shavepate. He does not trust him.

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I doubt he's completely trustworthy. He'll have an agenda. But I seriously doubt he's the poisoner.


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I don't see Selmy falling victim to the 'pale mare'. He's been fighting a long time and I'm sure he's come in contact with the disease before. I've got two children harassing me and can't think straight at the moment to come up with a specific instance of him mentioning this. With most horrifying diseases throughout history, and diseases that tend to follow military groups and decimate them, certain people are just not susceptible to them. As a young solider himself and as a military commander for almost a half century I'm sure Selmy would have either been surrounded by the disease and not caught it, or gotten it and fought it. I can see the 'mare' destroying the troops but even decimation by definition leaves a certain percent left :)



Basically, I don't want to see Barristan die. Especially far away from home.


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I actually think it might be important for Barristan to be around when Dany shows up to Westeros. I'm hoping Cersei is dead long before they arrive, but of course I would love to see her reaction to an invasion being lead by an enemy who is supported by the very man she fired from his post. But that's just my own hopes, which don't matter quite as much as the rest of Westeros seeing her with the support of Tyrion, a member of house Lannister and their wealth, along with Selmy who is one of the most revered warriors in the land in which she wants to claim. I think it would help her tremendously because people respect him.



At the same time, who's going to pay attention to the fact that she has a Lannister and Selmy with her when she's got dragons burning down the house? So he could die, now that I think about it.



ADDITIONAL NOTE: I personally like Selmy. I don't want him to die. But if he goes out in a blaze of glory at an old age I will be satisfied. I'd love to see the report Dany receives saying he died, but there were countless dead around him.


Edited by Steve Stark

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I actually think it might be important for Barristan to be around when Dany shows up to Westeros. I'm hoping Cersei is dead long before they arrive, but of course I would love to see her reaction to an invasion being lead by an enemy who is supported by the very man she fired from his post. But that's just my own hopes, which don't matter quite as much as the rest of Westeros seeing her with the support of Tyrion, a member of house Lannister and their wealth, along with Selmy who is one of the most revered warriors in the land in which she wants to claim. I think it would help her tremendously because people respect him.

At the same time, who's going to pay attention to the fact that she has a Lannister and Selmy with her when she's got dragons burning down the house? So he could die, now that I think about it.

Perhaps it's also important for Selmy to still be around when they arrive in Westeros in order for Selmy to confront Jaime (considering he's still alive at that point). If Selmy learns about Jaime's true reasons for killing Aerys before Jaime dies, Jaime can regains his honour a bit through this, by Selmy spreading the story.

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I don't see Selmy falling victim to the 'pale mare'. He's been fighting a long time and I'm sure he's come in contact with the disease before. I've got two children harassing me and can't think straight at the moment to come up with a specific instance of him mentioning this. With most horrifying diseases throughout history, and diseases that tend to follow military groups and decimate them, certain people are just not susceptible to them. As a young solider himself and as a military commander for almost a half century I'm sure Selmy would have either been surrounded by the disease and not caught it, or gotten it and fought it. I can see the 'mare' destroying the troops but even decimation by definition leaves a certain percent left :)

Basically, I don't want to see Barristan die. Especially far away from home.

It isn’t that I think Barristan is going to contract the pale mare disease. The argument that he’s going to die is symbolic in nature. The pale mare symbolizes death, and Barristan is riding a pale mare. This, to me, counts as potential foreshadowing, though it’s not a guarantee.

I doubt he's completely trustworthy. He'll have an agenda. But I seriously doubt he's the poisoner.

While I have stated that I believe the Shavepate is the poisoner for the moment, that’s largely just a suspicion formed out of the lack of trust.

A key quote, though, is as follows:

Hizdahr had stocked their box with flagons of chilled wine and sweetwater, with figs, dates, melons, and pomegranates, with pecans and peppers and a big bowl of honeyed locusts. Strong Belwas bellowed, “Locusts!” as he seized the bowl and began to crunch them by the handful. “Those are very tasty,” advised Hizdahr. “You ought to try a few yourself, my love. They are rolled in spice before the honey, so they are sweet and hot at once.”

So, despite part one of the Meereenese knot essay being an excellent and convincing read, the author does not directly address that Hizdahr stocked the box with the locusts, Hizdahr advises Dany to eat a few, and Hizdahr even appears to know how they were made.

But – even if you don’t take Barristan riding the pare male as potential symbolic foreshadowing of his death, and even if you don’t believe the Shavepate is the locust-poisoner – Barristan is still riding out into a battle that he seems to believe is unwinnable, although a necessary (and honorable) effort, and GRRM still needs to whittle down his POV count throughout Book 6.

“Proof” of his inevitable death aside, Barristan is a "relatively disposable" POV, IMO, despite being a very likable character.

Edited by Slayer of Lies

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