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Ran

[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Jon 1

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I don't think there are goats in the Neck. Just my opinion, it seems like Shaggydog would be hunting lizard-lions if they were there.

I think it's more likely that there are goats in the Neck than that Shaggy would go hunting lizard-lions. Only men are crazy enough to do that.

Frankly the reference is too vague for me too belabor the point. I will just say that it doesn't seem like Shaggy, and hopefully that means Rickon and Osha too, can be found in the wilds of the North. I think his prey would be different if that were the case.

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It is not known where Tormund is but Jon thinks he will lead a force against the Wall again. Jon starts thinking of burning dead babies and how they have done it.

Thanks for the report, JT!

I don't quite understand the quoted part though, who has done burning of dead babies? I understand the live babies part (Stannis and Melisandre), but what's the dead babies part about?

Winterfell comes up and Jon thinks it says it belongs to Sansa. Stannis asks if Jon is so ready to give up Winterfell to Tyrion Lannister.

Yay Jon! I take it Stannis and co don't know yet about Tyrion's supposed regicide and Sansa's disappearance?

It gets tense and Stannis draws Lightbringer. Jon lays out his proposal. The castles must be garrisoned by the Watch. Stannis says Jon doesn’t have the men. Jon replies, “give me the men.†Stannis scoffs that they won’t take the black. Jon says as long as they obey orders from us it will be fine.

Finally, someone in westeros gets the idea that the sworn (but dwindling) cadre of the Night's watch can be supported by man-at-arms who only serve temporarily. Smart fellow, Jon.

That "you know nothing" at the end is fairly chilling, allthough it's probably a coincidence.

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I don't quite understand the quoted part though, who has done burning of dead babies? I understand the live babies part (Stannis and Melisandre), but what's the dead babies part about?

I imagine there must have been some dead babies and children after the battle beneath the Wall, and since they are burning all the dead bodies, this would include the babies and children.

The idea of burning dead babies is quite grim, but so would be wight-babies... though I couldn't see what purpose they would serve.

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That "you know nothing" at the end is fairly chilling, allthough it's probably a coincidence.

Right. It's not as if Melisandre has the habit of knowing things that she would not otherwise be in a place to know via some sort of magical device or technique. THAT would be suspicious.

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Melisandre has often done or known less than she claimed, though. Take the three leeches - she saw the death of three kings in the flame and then made Stannis believe her leeches were the cause.

I didn't have the impression that her visions in the flames came with stereo (or surround) sound, so possible in-depth knowledge of Ygritte would have to come from other means.

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I agree with you Wouter, I have always thought that Mel saw then used that info with the whole leeches thing.

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Awesome report, Jon Targaryen! :rofl: at the "Great Gatsby" joke.

Melisandre has often done or known less than she claimed, though. Take the three leeches - she saw the death of three kings in the flame and then made Stannis believe her leeches were the cause.

Really? I've actually always seen the leech ritual as genuine magic. I thought Melisandre's magic somehow put the idea of regicide into people's minds. A bit naïve of me, I guess. But that's tangential to the thread.

I didn't have the impression that her visions in the flames came with stereo (or surround) sound, so possible in-depth knowledge of Ygritte would have to come from other means.

I think she may have heard the phrase "You know nothing, Jon Snow" whispered in her vision, perhaps along with Jon's face, without knowing the story behind it. Then she decided to toss it out in conversation, to gauge Jon's reaction. I love that closing line, it was very spooky even when reading it in a summary.

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Really? I've actually always seen the leech ritual as genuine magic. I thought Melisandre's magic somehow put the idea of regicide into people's minds. A bit naïve of me, I guess. But that's tangential to the thread.

That Melisandre saw in the flames what would happen and then performed her leeches ritual to capitalise on it (to gain favor with Stannis) was IIRC widely believed on the old board after ASOS came out, allthough some may have disagreed.

Look at the way the murders happened though: any place for leeches there? Joffrey was murdered by the Tyrells, with good reason, helped by a opportunistic LF (who probably also wanted to stop anyone from finding out his influence over Joffrey). Balon was murdered by a faceless man, probably hired by Euron. And Robb... that was Tywin's and Walder's doing, not a leech.

Melisandre does have powers, but she likes to have those believed larger than they really are. And sometimes she misreads, as she did with Renly's ghost.

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Look at the way the murders happened though: any place for leeches there? Joffrey was murdered by the Tyrells, with good reason, helped by a opportunistic LF (who probably also wanted to stop anyone from finding out his influence over Joffrey). Balon was murdered by a faceless man, probably hired by Euron. And Robb... that was Tywin's and Walder's doing, not a leech.

My feeling is that these murder plots were very convoluted, at least the ones which brought down Joffrey and Robb. They included a large number of actors who had to act independently (in the case of the Red Wedding, we had the Freys, Lord Bolton, Tywin Lannister and Sybell Westerling who all had different parts to play. Even Jaime played a small part without even being aware of the plot). For this reason, I think that Mel's magic may have served to bring people together.

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People brought together by magic leeches to murder kings, allthough they have perfectly valid reasons to do so on their own? The leeches are what is convoluted, imo. Except as a means of Melisandre to get the credit for something that was going to happen anyway.

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You might be right. I may have to rethink my stance on this. You are absolutely right that Mel tends to exaggerate her magic powers and the influence of her Red God. If the leech ritual was a hoax, it would fit neatly with this tendency.

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First, if Melisandre has in-depth knowledge of Ygritte from ANY source, then it's not the coincidence you were claiming it was. So the question of whether or not Melisandre received said knowledge through the flames is a red herring.

Secondly, I'm not sure why you would think that the visions can't include sound. In the paragraph just before this, Melisandre says that she talks with kings long dead in the flames. Granted, she might be lying, but it's not like hearing things coming from the flames is any more unreasonable in a fantasy universe than seeing things in the flames.

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What I drew from the reading was how tenuous Jon's hold is on his position. He has good plans, but some of them don't seem to come out very well. I fear that he'll be tempted to listen to Melisandre. :(

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ToL:

Word. And the other thing to keep in mind that Jon has, for the best of reasons, sent away some of his friends and seems to be in the process of alienating others. It would be bad if Jon started to listen to Melisandre, but who else is there for him to discuss this with? Bowen Marsh?

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As an opening chapter, it does rather set Jon up for disaster.

Thought: if Dragonstone has indeed fallen, Selyse and Shireen may be dead in the fighting. Would Stannis decide to depose Jon and install himself as LC as penance?

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Are Selyse and Shireen still at Dragonstone? I was under the impression that they were at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, which would have been the logical place to put them since Stannis fully expected Dragonstone to fall soon (and his comments to Sam in ASoS reflect that).

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First, if Melisandre has in-depth knowledge of Ygritte from ANY source, then it's not the coincidence you were claiming it was. So the question of whether or not Melisandre received said knowledge through the flames is a red herring.

Unless she has no in-depth knowledge of Ygritte, offcourse. Which was what I was thinking off. Do you have any other sources of knowledge in mind, other kinds of magic or sources among the wildlings?

Secondly, I'm not sure why you would think that the visions can't include sound. In the paragraph just before this, Melisandre says that she talks with kings long dead in the flames. Granted, she might be lying, but it's not like hearing things coming from the flames is any more unreasonable in a fantasy universe than seeing things in the flames.

Just that the flames have always been shown as visions, formed inside the flames, and rather allegoric/symbolic images at that. Allthough I hadn't considered the point about "talking to kings long dead". Wonder how literal this is, but with Melisandre, anything is possible.

Perhaps she knows, perhaps not. We'll find out when ADWD comes out, cause if she knows details about Ygritte Jon will probably take notice of this over the book. One time may still be a coincidence that she happens to use the same turn of speech as Ygritte.

Angalin;

Selyse and Shireen are in Eastwatch-by-the-sea, far away from Dragonstone.

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W:

It seems pretty clear to me that (a) it's not unreasonable to believe that Melisandre knew precisely what she was saying and (B) we're meant to believe stylistically that she did in fact know (a coincidental turn of phrase being a rather less-than-satisfying chapter end). So while there's potential room for skepticism, I'm not entirely clear what's prompting yours.

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Fat Man, Wouter - thanks for the clarification. I couldn't remember what Stannis had done with them. (Who are the poor sods left on Dragonstone, then?)

I'd say that Melisandre is not entirely full of bullsh!t, but it never pays for prophets to be too precise in their predictions.

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