Aug 31 2012 2:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: Spoiler Free-For-All!

Hi all! We’re sorry to say that this week’s post has been held up due to all the hurricane-related craziness going on New Orleans: last we heard, Leigh had just gotten her power back on, but no internet. In the meantime, we hope everything’s getting better down on the Gulf Coast, and that everyone is staying safe.

Thanks so much for being so patient over the last two weeks, everybody! Since we’ve got all this time on our hands (it’s a holiday weekend in the States, after all—and a blue moon!), we figured, why not go crazy and set up a spoiler thread? So let’s go nuts: all those things you’re dying to talk about, all those dark, GRRM-y plot twists, secrets, lies, and resurrections—get them off your chest! For everyone rereading the series, or just reading ahead, this is now the place to discuss any and all things related to the Song of Ice and Fire series that you just can’t wait to get to. Leigh will not be checking in the comments, so no need to hold back: unleash the spoilers, speculate wildly, and generally throw caution to the wind. In short: go wild, wildings free folk!

Please just keep in mind that if you don’t want to encounter spoilers for any of the later books or the HBO series, you should avert your eyes and pray for patience, and we promise to be back on schedule next week!

1. kolchin
I think it's cute when she talks about how she can't wait for Rob to bust some ass on Theon. Looking forward to reading her thoughts on Jaime and Theon once they start getting more likeable!
2. Asbjorn
Okay. First of all, will Leigh upload the post in the weekend, when she have internet again?
Pat .
3. dolphineus
Verbal Kint is Keyser Soze.
Vader is Luke's father.
Snape killed Dumbledore.

Theon more likeable? When does that happen? Oh, I might feel sorry for the craphole. But likeable?

Jamie however, I like. It's kinda funny how he saves Tyrion from the dungeon, where he was falsely imprisioned for killing Joffrey, and Tyrion repays him by giving him the truth about what a whore Cersei is.

Starting from there, I began to like Jamie. I absolutely loved his solution to the Riverrun problem. He managed to keep his vow to the sorta deceased Catelyn, and capture Riverrun and simultaneously ignoring Cersei's crys for help.
4. andNowMyWatchBegins
R + L = J
The Dragon has 3 Heads
The Price that was promised
Where do Whores go?

George Jong
5. IndependentGeorge
It's his old sled.
She's her sister and her daughter.
He's been dead the whole time.
6. MikeDeepo
Secret Targaryens hiding all over, everyone's a Warg who is warging into everything and anything, Jeyne is in hiding and pregnant with Robb's child, and Littlefinger is Varys in disguise!

And Merlings!
Marty Beck
7. martytargaryen
Hi there. New to the forums and blogs. One thing I'm wondering, why does Tyrion constantly say he killed Joffrey in the later books? I get that it is his witty personality hitting rock-bottom, but it really bugs me and I keep thinking it will come back to haunt him.
Pat .
8. dolphineus

I completely agree that Rheager + Lyanna are John's parents. Seems like a no brainer at this point. The question is, was it consensual? Or a rape, legitimate or otherwise. Also, I like the allusion in Dany's visions of the blue rose trapped in ice. Since they are storing bodies in a frozen cell inside the wall, and since the shocker of an ending to Dance With Dragons.

The prince ... definitely not sourpuss Stannis. That should be obvious.
Marty Beck
9. martytargaryen
dolphineus @3 - I agree with the Jaime getting likeable and Theon not (yet)...but I also think that Theon is on the verge of doing some really cool (very cold) stuff, even if he is beyond total redemption.
10. Jeff R.
Yes, and A+J=T, too.
Those two, and Dayne. Dany isn't one.
...he keeps showing me snow.
Valar Morgulis.
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
I'll still muttering about stuff Leigh missed in the Arya chapter a few weeks ago. Bolton's squire Elmer Frey is Arya's fiancee. Elmer's distress that his "princess" was dishonored - and other serious irritation in the Frey camp and Leigh doesn't mention it in the summary or analysis. Fully loaded chapter, agreed, but there was such juicy stuff I wish she had tackled.

Yes, Jaime is more impressive of a character as the series continues. Loras-Brienne handling was masterful, as was Riverrun and Blackwoods. Very concerned about him as of end of ADWD....

Yes, R + L = J. Still waiting for Howland Reed to make an appearance on screen so that the info will come out in text. Query whether Meera and Jojen know but have kept silent.

Three heads, yes, but which three heads? Or, for that matter, who are going to be the riders of the three dragons. Dany, certain. Tyrion, likely. Who else?

PTWP and Azor Ahai - not the same person. I have my guesses but I'll let others weigh in.

Where do Whores go? Any where they want to, in Westeros and Essos, apparently.
Joseph Haines
12. IamJoseph
@7 martytargaryen - Half the time, he wanted to kill Joffrey himself. It's the irony that casues part of his angst. He wanted Joffrey gone; he was proven guilty in the trial by battle; and now he is an escaped convict.

On the other hand I agree that this will likely lead to a confrontation later between him and Jamie. Tyrion told Jamie directly that he killed his son. Then again, the killing of Tywin didn’t help his cause. What’s one more death.
Vincent Lane
13. Aegnor
A friend of mine just finished aSoS. You should have heard his reaction to the RW. He called it the best book he'd ever read. I wonder what Leigh's reaction will be when she reads that.

I was really looking forward to the post today, but if I would have thought about it I would have probably realized it wasn't going to happen. Dang hurricanes.
14. andNowMyWatchBegins
I have John as the 3rd but depending on the Mummers Dragon it could all get shot to shit.

I think Meera and Jojen have a good idea (mainly based on the story they tell) and I cant see us seeing Howland reed for a while because GRRM is a bastard like that.

I still have Dany as PtwP, mainly because she was reborn in fire, she gave her 2 most dear possesions to forge her version of Lightbringer (Drogo and Rhaego for the Dragons)

and I think Whores can be found anywhere (and may have already been found...)
Marty Beck
15. martytargaryen
Re. Three Heads: Jon really deserves to ride a dragon!

Edit: ah, andNowMyWatchBegins beat me to it.
16. Aduiavas
I really enjoyed the beginning of these series, but around book 4 I had to fight with myself to continue to read. There is a lot of talking and backstabbing, but the action just disappeared after book 3.1 or so :(
I especially thought it strange when GRRM brought out that Aegon (or whatever that second Targareyn's name is) It just came really out of the blue for me...
Marcus W
17. toryx
Jon is clearly the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

There, I said it.
Rob Munnelly
18. RobMRobM
OK, here's my biggest spoiler issue - Bran becoming a tree in Jon's dreams and triggering warg visions earlier in ACOK. It is simply not plausible that ACOK Bran had the level of magic skill needed to do what he did (enter dream, find Jon, enter Jon dream, turn on third eye warging button). I long have held that theory that it must be Future Bran coming back in time to do the deed. I was gratified by ADWD because Bran's "I like it in the dark" and musty smells are consistent with the CoF training locate he reached in ADWD; and because Bran thought he was able to communicate with his father in the past, even though the 3EC said it was impossible. It's obviously not imposible, and I consider the issue teed up for WoW and looking forward to revelations on this front. Indeed, I saw exerpts from an WoW spoiler chapter that suggested some serious talking tree action taking place that smelled an awful lot like it would come from FBran.
Mari Ness
19. MariCats
Theon, likeable????

Ok, I get that he's sort of on a redemption arc in Dance With Dragons, and that he's a bit (a very small bit) better in the HBO show, but likeable is not my first word for Theon. Yes, yes, Lady Stark was All Mean to You and yes, yes, your father Let You Go Off to Be a Hostage and then Didn't Love You When You Returned but, Theon, you are still annoying.

@RobMRobM In all fairness to Leigh, I didn't pick up on the Elmer Frey and Arya deal until a later reread -- I'd totally forgotten on a first reading that their marriage had been arranged.

On a later reread, I just added that tidbit to the list of Things Caitlyn Screwed Up. When she made that deal with Walder Frey, she didn't even know if Arya was alive, and knowing the fragility of Walder Frey's temper and ego, she should not have made promises she was unable to keep, even if that wasn't the bit that eventually sent the whole thing south.
Vincent Lane
20. Aegnor

I don't think there is any way that Aegon is actually the Aegon. Remember the prophesy about the mummer's dragon? That was predicted back in book 2?

And the main problem people have with book 4 is the following...
1) They waited forever to find out what happend to Tyrion, Jon, Bran, Dany, etc. Instead of that there were chapters from new characters that we didn't care about yet. It ended up with a situation where the reader was going "Who the hell is Areo? What happened to Tyrion?!". That isn't what you want your reader to be thinking when you are trying to introduce new characters and plotlines. I found that after I'd already read book 5, and knew what happened to all those characters, I could more easily accept the book on it's own terms and it was actually quite good.
Rob Munnelly
21. RobMRobM
@16 - Not out of the blue. Clearly envisioned in Dany's HoD vision in ACOK. Mummer's dragon and, also, the lead in text to that part of the vision - Dany as "slayer of lies." Pretty clever plot by Varys, Illyrio, Jon Connington and who ever else is part of the conspiracy - get Viserys on a path to challenging Westeros, arrange for his death, and then pull fully trained, handsome fake Aegon (who if real would be senior to Dany in the succession) to pick up the thrones. And if Khal Drogo died, have Aegon marry Dany. So, who is Aegon? Perhaps Ashara Dayne's baby with Brandon Stark?
Marty Beck
22. martytargaryen
"So, who is Aegon? Perhaps Ashara Dayne's baby with Brandon Stark?"

That makes an interesting parallel with the baby-switch at the wall.
Deana Whitney
23. Braid_Tug
At first I was really confused, since we already have a "Spoiler Thread", then I realized - "Oh, we get to say stuff on the main page! Cool!"

But hey, this delay will make her final reaction to this book that much better! Right? Let's hope.

I agree with 20, Aegnor: we waited forever, then got a bunch of people we didn't care about. Like with Robert Jordan started a new major plot line in book 6. Dude! Too late!! We don't care!!!
My biggest disappointment with DwD is : only one Arya chapter! Want more!!!!

And thanks to whoever said that GRRM use to write for TV. That helped explained SOOOO much of his endings and twist. Did he write for day time Soap Operas? because sometimes these books go that direction.

So does anyone think we'll get to 100 post on this one? Would be a blue moon occurrence for this blog.
24. Rootboy

My big complaint about book 4 is we get 5 new POV characters with names that start with A.
Rob Munnelly
25. RobMRobM
@23 - Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast.

To me FFC suffered because it had less likeable characters, with the really cool ones going into ADWD. I liked that they finally introduced the Dorne PoVs because they are really important - they are playing a long, long game where they were going to be the landing point for the Targaryen invasion. It would have been premature to introduce them earlier.

Ditto with introducing Aegon and his circle in ADWD. Hinted at in HoUndying vision, really couldn't have been introduced before without giving away the plot. My problems with ADWD were not content, but more than that the ending in Mereen didn't work well - pacing problem. Dany needed to meet Tyrion - we've been waiting on that for a while, and that would have been a satisfying end that would pick up in WoW with Victarion showing up and causing trouble.
26. Molybdenum
Who are the three heads of the dragon?

Popular assumption is
The first is obviously Dany.
The second, Jon, as he would be a Targaryen.
And there is nowhere near consensus on the third.

First, I'm unsure about Jon. Let's ignore the popular R+L theory for now. I truly believe he is going to be too incapacitated to become on of the major heads of the dragon in the next book. The text would suggest that he fled into Ghost shortly before dying like Varamyr had in the DoD prologue, as that would be the purpose of the prologue. So then what happens to his body? It would be presumed dead. There is a possibility Melisandre could attempt a Thoros-like resurrection, but we don't have proof that she knows how to do that. And if she did, we've learned that what was left of Beric Dondarrion was something less than a man. So Jon would be in that same sorta dead state, which in my mind, would prevent him from being a true head of the dragon.

The other option is Jon just became unconscious and will come back healed and never dead in the next book. This would be a disappointment, as it would just prove the end to be a cliffhanger intended to keep us in suspense for what everyone knows will be a long wait. And Martin has already pulled this sort of thing with Arya's blindness, so this would be one time too many. But yeah, if this is the case, Jon is one of the heads of the dragon.

For me, the second head of the dragon is Aegon. Now, I think the majority of fans now believe Aegon is fake based on the mummer's dragon prophecy. Personally, I feel this is referring to the fact that he has Varys pulling his strings and not because he isn't real. Also, the part in the house of the undying where Rhaegar and Elia (could be Lyanna, but I don't see it) are standing over Aegon and Rhaegar is reading the prophecy is suggestive. It could be that Rhaegar has made a mistake and that prophecy was intended for Jon ("the song of ice and fire makes this actually likely), but for now considering Jon's precarious position the simplest explanation may be the best: that great things were always intended for Aegon.

For my third head of the dragon, I'm going to go a little off the beaten path. I'd submit Bran as my pick. No, I don't believe Bran is related to the Targs. However, I believe his warginess will be able to make up for that to give him a natural connection to the dragon that would usually only be acheived by being a Targaryen.

Where is my evidence for this? The quote given to Bran is
"You will never walk again, but you will fly." If he was simply referring to Bran becoming a bird or something that can fly using warg powers, by that logic he will walk again, as he has already become Summer, who is a walking being. If it is referring to riding on a dragon as physically flying, then it is something different. The counterargument to this is that then riding on Hodor could be considered walking, which Bran has also done. That's true, but we tend to be a bit looser with the verb "to fly" than the verb "to walk". For instance, we consider being on a plane "flying".

That's too much speculation for me not to be horribly wrong on something (or many things), but I look forward to finding out what. Oh, and I look forward to everyone disagreeing with me.!
27. Mike Tempest
First of all, I have to say how amazed I am about the speed of posting on this thread. I mean, I know I'm a slow reader, I can't help it, but still...

Second, the "Sound" of Ice and Fire? Really? :)

Third, I've been hoping that at least this blog will be spared that whole R+L=J thing. I personally don't believe in it - there, I've also said it. :) The reason for that is because so many people seem to go along with it that I fear GRRM will do it in a different manner just to spite all you guys. :) In any case, Jon has bigger problems to deal with at the moment, doesn't he? Like getting back to life...

Also, um... yeah, maybe Aegon is one of the three heads, maybe not, I just don't see it happening either. Not because he may or may not be that Aegon, but just because he just doesn't seem, I don't know, strong enough to be able to lead an army - let alone mounted on a dragon. Dany, yes, Aegon, no.

And one more thing, I still wonder what was up with all the kids that showed up at the end, when Varys killed Kevan Lannister. That scene made me shiver a bit...
28. Molybdenum
Who are the three heads of the dragon?

Popular assumption is
The first is obviously Dany.
The second, Jon, as he would be a Targaryen.
And there is nowhere near consensus on the third.

First, I'm unsure about Jon. Let's ignore the popular R+L theory for now. I truly believe he is going to be too incapacitated to become on of the major heads of the dragon in the next book. The text would suggest that he fled into Ghost shortly before dying like Varamyr had in the DoD prologue, as that would be the purpose of the prologue. So then what happens to his body? It would be presumed dead. There is a possibility Melisandre could attempt a Thoros-like resurrection, but we don't have proof that she knows how to do that. And if she did, we've learned that what was left of Beric Dondarrion was something less than a man. So Jon would be in that same sorta dead state, which in my mind, would prevent him from being a true head of the dragon.

The other option is Jon just became unconscious and will come back healed and never dead in the next book. This would be a disappointment, as it would just prove the end to be a cliffhanger intended to keep us in suspense for what everyone knows will be a long wait. And Martin has already pulled this sort of thing with Arya's blindness, so this would be one time too many. But yeah, if this is the case, Jon is one of the heads of the dragon.

For me, the second head of the dragon is Aegon. Now, I think the majority of fans now believe Aegon is fake based on the mummer's dragon prophecy. Personally, I feel this is referring to the fact that he has Varys pulling his strings and not because he isn't real. Also, the part in the house of the undying where Rhaegar and Elia (could be Lyanna, but I don't see it) are standing over Aegon and Rhaegar is reading the prophecy is suggestive. It could be that Rhaegar has made a mistake and that prophecy was intended for Jon ("the song of ice and fire makes this actually likely), but for now considering Jon's precarious position the simplest explanation may be the best: that great things were always intended for Aegon.

For my third head of the dragon, I'm going to go a little off the beaten path. I'd submit Bran as my pick. No, I don't believe Bran is related to the Targs. However, I believe his warginess will be able to make up for that to give him a natural connection to the dragon that would usually only be acheived by being a Targaryen.

Where is my evidence for this? The quote given to Bran is
"You will never walk again, but you will fly." If he was simply referring to Bran becoming a bird or something that can fly using warg powers, by that logic he will walk again, as he has already become Summer, who is a walking being. If it is referring to riding on a dragon as physically flying, then it is something different. The counterargument to this is that then riding on Hodor could be considered walking, which Bran has also done. That's true, but we tend to be a bit looser with the verb "to fly" than the verb "to walk". For instance, we consider being on a plane "flying".

That's too much speculation for me not to be horribly wrong on something (or many things), but I look forward to finding out what. Oh, and I look forward to everyone disagreeing with me.!
29. Asbjorn
@22 if it isn't the real Aegon (which i am ca. 78% sure it isn't), I think he is Illyrio Mopatis' son. From one of the first Tyrion-chapters i Dance:
"There is a gift for the boy in one of the chestes. Some candied ginger. He was always fond of it." Illyrio sounded oddly sad. "I though I might continue on to Ghoyan Drohe with you. A farewell feast before you start downriver..."
As for things I am looking forwards to... Definately the last Sansa-chapter in Storm. We see pedofinger, we see who really killed Jon Arryn, and we see Lysa fly.
30. Molybdenum
Gah...double post!

Sorry. It was taking forever to post my comment the first time, so I assumed it wasn't happening. I went to post again, saw a different last post than mine, so went ahead. And you see the result.
31. TyrionStark
I fully believe that the PtwP and Azhor Ahai are not the same person. I think that only thing that would make Jon's storyline work is if R + L= J is true. Else GRRM made us invest 4 books into a character for a death without really no meaning. The death of Jon means the end of the wall and the beginning of the The Long Night.

As to the 3 riders.


The reason that Aemon has to be Targaryen is that one I don't belibare an heir. After the 3 save the Westeros from the Others. Dany will not want to rule, JOn will have his vows, which will leave Aemon the one who was best trained for it the throne. I think the mummers dragon is the same dragon that Melissandre will try to conjure. But that's my two sense.

PS. For all you Theon haters out there. Yea he does dick things. But you all forget how much during our formative years that the need to be accepted and loved can affect person. Just remember all the things you've done to gain acceptance and then judge.
Rob Munnelly
32. RobMRobM
If Jon is a Targ, he is the PTWP - because his is the song of ice and fire, per the HoUndying vision. Dany is Azor Ahai - the great warrior, born amidst salt and smoke on Dragonstone, whose death of her husband led to creation of her weapon "Lightbringer" - namely, her dragons.

@31 - are you saying Aegon is the third rider? Aemon is DED ... dead. I'm more inclined to see Tyrion as the third rider (and ultimate King of Westeros, with Sansa as his Queen).

@29 - could be. Interesting thought.

@27 - R + L = J - song of Ice and Fire, dude. That's what the tale is about. It makes perfect story sense, assuming Jon comes back to life. I'm guessing a Mel revival is in the works and he will be a bit darker afterwards. (Not eight times darker like Beric.) And Varys' little birds FTW! No longer just spies hiding in the walls, no sir.
Mari Ness
33. MariCats
@TyrionStark -- Oh, I get that Theon needs to be accepted and loved. However, in order to get accepted and loved, in his very first appearance, second chapter of the series, he starts out by kicking the head of someone who has just been beheaded, and follows this up by making fun of Jon Snow. Bad start. He then promises Robb that he can get the Iron Islands behind Robb, and ends up betraying Robb. Not helping. Then, after conquering Winterfell, which might have regained the trust of his father and sister, he follows THAT up by killing two kids, one of whom might even have been his, solely to save his pride -- in an act that, as his sister points out, pretty much dooms any slender hopes that the Iron Islands ever had that the North might not turn against them, and also, although I grant that he didn't know this part, helping to leave the North even more defenseless against the upcoming ice zombie invasion. It's just bad decision after bad decision, plus, constantly telling us how mean everyone is to him.

Meanwhile, Tyrion and Brienne, also high on the I need someone to accept me category, at least attempt to accomplish things: Tyrion educates us, fixes drains, saves King's Landing from an invasion, marries Sansa in part to help restore peace in the land (although fear and obedience to his father is another motive). Brienne fights to defend innocent people. know, the contrast is pretty strong here.
34. bluemeanies
The line of thought that R + L = J is too obvious always puzzled me. I didn't start putting it together until at least my second read through. I see new readers occasionally get the light bulb from reading an on line discussion. Of course, there are people who told themselves - 'that's got to be it' or just 'hmmm... maybe, tell me more' in their first read but a lot of the certainty in fan circles is the results of re-reads and internet crowdsourcing adding more and more clues. I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of people who have read all five books but don't look on the internet have thought it beyond maybe a 'wouldn't it be interesting if...'.

The clues are spread through Eddard, Jon, Bran and Dany chapters that are frequently seperated by multiple hundreds of pages. Some of them, like the Bael the Bard stories are tenuous. There are enough, however, that it is clearly deliberate and also deliberately obtuse. It is widely accepted because a) the Ashara/Ned story is set up for us to think it is clearly false b) it fits Ned's character best c) all other theories are very thinly supported. What do we have Ashara Dayne, Wylla or sister's girl - all of whom are stories supposed by someone in story, and all of whom seem to have some timeline confusion (though a complete timeline would be a good help). In fact, it's a little odd that no one in story wonders idly about Rhaeghar and Lyanna. It's probably because the second someone pairs them together many things start clicking so GRRM leaves us to puzzle over things like blue roses, knights of the laughing tree, 'let them grow up as brothers', and 'promise me Ned' (as an aside, if not R+L=J what is the conscience haunting aspect of that?- not seen a real alternative) while he chooses his moment. R+L=J seems to me to be both deliberately hinted and deliberately obscured. If it existed to be disproven down the road I would have expected it to be a little bit more out in the light.

I guess what I am saying is that just because there are multiple foreshadowings that support R+L=J, none of them are really all that obvious. Indeed, many are presented as obscure symbollism or parrallells. It only seems obvious because once you start seeing some of it you can see more of it. If we were looking at it from the perspective of reading through the second time after the big reveal in book 7 on our first read of the series it would be clever, subtle and well executed. Instead we are seeing it from the perspective of our nth read while we are still looking for the answer and have spent n years discussing the possibility to death online and thus it is 'obvious'.

I don't think Leigh has mentioned the possibility yet, who wants to guess when she will?
Steve Lord
35. Wybaar
I'm waiting for the light bulb to go off in Melisandre's head about who Azor Ahai really is. "Pesky flames, every time I ask you to show me Azor Ahai you show me this Snow kid instead of Stannis ... oh wait ..."

My guess is that she received this revelation just about the time Jon was getting stabbed, and she probably felt the way Leigh did when she first realized what "the seed is strong" meant. If so I could see an early chapter of the next book starting with her sprinting to Jon just in time to fan the last ember of his life back to flame. Doing so could somehow touch him with fire that provides a nice contrast to (and weapon against?) the icy Others.

It would also cause some serious $#!% to go down at Castle Black. Does Commander Snow execute his would-be murderers, thus weakening the Night's Watch when he KNOWS the Others are around? Would commuting that sentence to an exile to another of the Wall's castles to keep the Watch strong be seen as a sign of strength or weakness? Is he even a member of the Watch anymore? It shall not end until my death." If he actually died but was revived, was his oath fulfilled?]
36. Cass314
I'm going to weigh in with those who've been saying they don't think Aegon's real. It's not "mummer's dragon" by itself that does it for me, though. (Conceivably, that could just thematically call back to Illyrio's and Varys' scene in Arya's AGoT PoV.) It's mummer's dragon in conjunction with a couple of other things.

1. The cloth dragon (presumably the mummer's dragon) features in the section of the Undying visions for "mother of dragons, slayer of lies", and coninhabits that section with Stannis, the blue-eyed king who cast no shadow. It's not just that he's the "mummer's dragon", but that the cloth dragon is specifically called out as a lie.

2. Especially in ADWD, GRRM practically beats us over the head with the fact that Valyrian features are still common in Essos (especially Lys and Volantis), even the silver hair and purple eyes. We're also, perhaps purposefully, perhaps not, informed that Illyrio's own wife had the look. There are a lot of Blackfyre descendents from the female line, as well as descendants of Aerion Brightflame's bastards, potentially floating around, on top of the general Valyrian look.

3. Meta wise, GRRM has a tendency to both foreshadow well and break common tropes. (Or, use them and break them). Most major events of the series have been heavily foreshadowed, but even some readers I know who saw the Red Wedding coming a mile away and picked out R+L = J as a major possibility in the first book said they felt like Aegon came out of practically nowhere. This does not seem to be in keeping with GRRM's style, especially if R +L does = J, to double up this trope, once without much foreshadowing. It does seem in keeping with his style to start us on that path and then subvert it, possibly complicating a subsequent reveal in-story because the first reveal was a lie. But who knows, as this is a meta point. The biggies are 1 and 2 above.
37. David B
Y'know, given what I've discerned from Leigh's commentary, I'm not waiting for her reaction to the Red Wedding so much, as I am to the blooming of Sansa into a cynical teenager, Arya into a vengeful assassin and Dany into a simpering, um, person that simpers. Oh, and the transformation of Jaime.

That said, I'm looking forward to her trying to *guess* what will happen as we get closer to the Red Wedding. It's always fun to watch people make predictions when you already know the outcome.
38. dankness
.... (for all!)
39. octarineoboe
@Molybdenum - As you point out, Jon seems to have fled into Ghost, which makes his situation notably different than Beric's. So I think that if Melisandre revives him he'll be more like his old self than Beric was.

Personally, I'm conflicted about Jon's apparent death. If he's dead, it seems like a lot of setup with him - particularly the character growth - for nothing. On the other hand, the only thing I heard about this series before I started reading it was that GRRM had no compunction about killing major characters, and I feel he's been less deserving of that reputation in the later books and I sort of miss it. Not because I want Jon to die, I like Jon a lot, makes ASOIAF have a certain emotional punch and I liked that. (maybe I'm crazy?)

@32 RobM - Sansa as queen of Westeros? Really? I see how Tyrion could end up as king, and yes, logically then his wife would be queen, but I don't think the role fits Sansa's character. There are so many stronger female characters - Dany, of course,and Arya and even Arianne and Asha - that I'd just be disappointed if the queenship went to Sansa. Sansa has been growing as a person somewhat, though, so maybe she'd grow into it. And given what I just wrote about somewhat enjoying it when major characters die I'm not really in a place to complain about disappointments. But still. Sansa?
40. Belerephon
What does PtwP stand for again?
Bridget McGovern
41. BMcGovern
@40 Belerephon - "PtwP" is the Prince that was Promised in an ancient prophecy, supposedly the reincarnation of Azor Ahai, reborn to make a last stand against the Others. Mel has convinced Stannis that he's the PtwP, but clearly not everybody is drinking their particular brand of Kool-Aid...
42. DMAC
I'm really curious about the specifics of Ned and Ashara Dane's union...was there actually a bastard out of that? I know the book mentions the lady ashara's child was stillborn, but that probably is a red herring...was he the substitute baby as Aegon's doppleganger sacrafice? And what role does this other Willa woman play in their affair? Anybody connect the dots on this one yet?
43. DorneSand
@RobM - how interesting i have Dany as the PtwP and Jon as AA

mainly through what Aemon was saying before his death, and i am also unconvinced that Lightbringer is a dragon, i think that Lightbringer is still to come and Jon will wield it after his rebirth

am about 98% sure that Young Griff is fake, the only foreshadowing for him was the baby swaps and the House of the Undying visions have me convinced
i think Dany can 'Slay the lie' because the Dragons will reject him as a non Targ

a big shock on first reread was Theon's Feast of the Dead dream in A Clash of Kings, he hasn't had any other prophetic dreams before or since has he?
him talking to Rob, Lyanna being there in a bloody white dress was interesting, we have seen women married in white in the books

Arya talking to Edric Dayne was my 'hang on a second' moment then i thought back to Ned's chapters in AGOT,Promise me Ned, Tower of Joy etc I am 100% sure of this one
however i don't think Jon will find out the truth, we will as readers and a few characters might but i don't think Jon will

god i hope Dany and Jon do not get together, aunt and nephew.. ew

i love The Knight of the Laughing Tree story and can't wait to read Leighs reaction to it

@RobM i also think that Bran can 'travel to the past', Arya and Bran are doing other things that aren't generally done by wargs like warging into cats and humans, and being told that Bran can not affect the past is a clear set up that he will
44. DorneSand
@DMAC there is a theory that Ned and Ashara didn't have a union and that it was Brandon that had the affair with her

that Brandon and Ashara are having a good time at the tourney, Brandon feels sorry for his shy brother and asks Ashara to dance with him, but that is all that happens between them

this makes Ned an even more tragic character in my book, Brandon is betrothed to Catelyn so Ned covers for him

Having Brandons (stillborn?) child and Brandon's death are what drive Ashara to jump - her brother's death also contributing

Now the Daynes are known to have Valyrian colouring Ashara herself had purple eyes so her child is a likely candidate for Young Griff, some people also have her as a candidate for Septa Lemore

What we know of Willa is that she worked for the Daynes and was Jons wet nurse, she probably loved Ashara and may have known Ned prior to Lyannas death other than that i've got nothingmaybe Ned did something for Ashara so she felt she owe'd him?

evidence- knight of the laughing tree story, Neds character traits,Brandons impulsiveness and Barristan Selmy's thoughts on Ashara, the Stark brothers and the tourney in ADWD
45. Auga
Is there some requirement that this blog can only go up on Friday's? We didn't get a post last week either, but the Wheel of Time one seems to have updated, even though it's this one that's behind. :(
Sean Vivier
46. SeanVivier
Melisandre saw a man then a wolf then a man in her flames. We've seen two wargs now survive death through their familiars. Jon's gonna make it, released from his vows.

Anybody else notice the emphasis on the fact that Jon is the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch? That'll make whichever traitor takes the role 999th. Plenty of time for Sam to learn how best to defeat the Others from the maesters at the Citadel and return triumphant as #1000. So that thousands of years later, fathers can tell their children about the brilliant general Samwell Tarly, Sam the Slayer, Thousandth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
47. Jeff R.
It's the same trick that spies and such use when tailing somebody: one of them you're supposed to see, so you don't pay enough attention to spot the second one. Everyone is supposed to figure out that Jon's a Targ bastard, which makes them less likely to pick up on the various clues that Tyrion is as well.

Also, I'm dead sure that Dany is going to die either immediately before or immediately after setting foot in Westeros. She's not one of the three heads. Nobody in politics is ever only going to be betrayed three times unless the last one is fatal. So the third head is probably Dayne, but the Greyjoy horn is going to steal one of the dragons anyway.

Finally, I've recentl come to the theory that Rhaegar was planning his own rebellion against Aerys, probably because Aerys was the actual father of Elia's kids (This was both a personal betrayal, of course, and a potential disaster if Rhaegar knew from prophesy that the PtwP and/or AA had to be an actual child of his own.) So that's why he was ready to drop Elias for Lyanna, and Brandon was probably in on the plan but didn't tell Ned, obviously. And Walder Frey was probably also committed to Rhaegar's side; possibly the Lannisters as well. But then Robert becomes the wild-card, starting his own rebellion before Rhaegar's can start, and then killing Rhaegar, leaving the houses that wew going to be part of the other rebellion twisting in the wind...
(Makes more sense than an apparently good/smart/promising future king recklessly inciting a civil war to service love or lust, at least.)
Mari Ness
48. MariCats
@Auga -- Since most of the staff is off partying er Working Very Very Hard at Worldcon or Dragoncon, as a reader and blogger I'll jump in here. I don't know that it's a requirement, exactly, that the Song of Ice and Fire posts go up only on Friday. But it does make it a bit easier for readers looking specifically for Leigh's posts if they know that the Wheel of Time posts pop up on Tuesday, and the Ice and Fire posts on Friday -- that way they can remember to pop by on Tuesday or Friday.

And, I'm just guessing here, but I suspect it also helps out to know that in general, that's one slot filled for Friday, meaning that they need X number of posts to keep posts running throughout the day and Y number of slots for any breaking news stories, which in turn allows them to assign material on that basis with a general deadline.
49. MJF
...probably because Aerys was the actual father of Elia's kids

Wait, WHAT? When did that happen?
50. Molybdenum

You know what, I kind of felt the same way. I like Jon a lot, but the misdirection is getting to be too much at this point. Which is why I take a straight forward stance on most of my theories, because GRRM is too good a writer to resort to the continual pulling the rug out from under the reader. If most common theories are to be believed (these are the ones I can think of):

Book 1: You think Bran died by falling out the window? Think again!
Book 2: None I can think of.
Book 3: None I can think of.
Book 4/5: You think Arya went Blind? Think again! You thought Theon was gone for good? Think again! You thought Aegon the baby really died? Think again!
Future: You thought Jon was dead? Think again! You thought Aegon was actually real? Think again! You thought Jon was actually Ned's son? Think again!

Plot twists such as the Red Wedding are fine, and a little bit of misdirection works now and then, but if done continually, which will be true if the mainstream expectations (since R+L=J and fake Aegon are past the theory stage and to the expectation stage), you begin to lose the trust of the readers. I would have a hard time reading a book where I don't believe a word the author says about what is actually happening. This may be a personal failing, but I am a firm believer that an author has to be mostly straight-forward, so when they do have one or two misdirections, it is more effective.

Ok, non-speculation food for thought:

I think Jon majorly screwed up his post as Lord Captain of the Night's Watch, by doing too much different too quickly and isolating his men. We were looking at it from his perspective, but looking at it from and outside perspective, he kind of made it into a dictatorship. If Jon truly ends up dead, I think Martin would have realistically portrayed what would happen if someone tried to change systems as quickly as they try to do in works like this. And it would be a nice reversal that the one expected to be the difference ends up dead for trying to hard to be that difference.

I think Jon's plotline was the best, most clever part of DwD. And despite him being pretty much in my top three characters (with Pod and either Tommen or Stannis), him being actually dead would do a lot to validate DwD as a much better book than its currently being given credit for.
Bill Stusser
51. billiam
This got really long, sorry.

I have believed in R + L = J from the very beginning and after a first reread I believe that the relationship was not only consensual but that, in fact, Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. I also think that the woman with Rhaegar in Dany's HotU vision is Lyanna and not Elia and that the baby Aegon who's song is the SoIaF is Jon. We know that Rhaegar did not join the fighting during the rebellion for almost a year. I think that he stayed with Lyanna in the ToJ until Jon was born before he went to meet Robert at the Trident. This would, in all likelihood, make Jon older than Rob.

Why do I think that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married? Because three of the Kingsguard were guarding the ToJ when Ned got there. At this point, Aerys and Rhaegar were both dead. Before I go any further I want to quote a passage from AGoT that totally blew me away upon rereading that book.

AGoT, Eddard, page 424 (paperback edition)
He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.
In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life. (This is followed by descriptions of those friends.)
They were seven facing three. In the dream as it had been in life. Yet these were no ordinary three. They waited before the round tower, the red mountains of Dorne at their backs, their white cloaks blowing in the wind. (This is followed by descriptions of the three Kingsguard.)
"I looked for you on the Trident," Ned said to them.
"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.
"Woe to the Usurper if we had been," said Ser Oswell.
"When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were."
"Far away," Ser Gerold said, "or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells."
"I came down on Storm's End to lift the seige," Ned told them, "and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them."
"Our knees do not bend easily," said Ser Arthur Dayne.
"Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him."
"Ser Willem is a good man and true," said Ser Oswell.
"But not of the Kingsguard," Ser Gerold pointed out. "The Kingsguard does not flee."
"Then or now," said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.
"We swore a vow," explained old Ser Gerold.
Ned's wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.
"And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petal blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.
"Lord Eddard," Lyanna called again.
"I promise," he whispered. "Lya, I promise..."

It is obvious from that passage that the three Kingsguard believed that the heir to the throne was inside the ToJ at that time. Jon could only have been Rhaegar's heir if he was a trueborn son and not a bastard. If Jon was only Rhaegar's bastard, then Viserys would have been king, but it is obvious that the Kingsguard did not believe that Viserys was king, otherwise they would have been with him and not at the ToJ.

Now it could be that Rhaegar just decided to take a second wife in Lyanna's case. It wouldn't be un-Targ like to have two wives, after all. Most people seem to think that the reason for doing so (taking another wife) was that Elia was too frail to have another baby and Rhaegar was convinced that he needed a third child so that the dragon would have three heads. I think that there is more to it than that, but since that would be pure speculation on my part, I will leave it for later. However, there are a couple more things to think about. We know that Rhaegar was, at the very least, thinking about taking the throne away from his bat-shit crazy father. And why wasn't Lyanna taken to KL?
52. Joel Prophet
To change the subject. Who do you believe sent the assasin to kill Brad in his bed?
My vote is for Joffery, it is the type of screwup he would do and he would want to frame his uncle, remember the slap. He also said it would be a mercy if Brad died.
But sense Joffery is dead, I'm not sure how this will ever be known. :-(

Bill Stusser
53. billiam
A couple of things.

Jeff R @ 47: RE Rhaegar's children with Elia not being his. This is something I mentioned on the spoiler thread a couple weeks ago and part of the speculation I was talkin about in my last comment.

Something else I commented on in the spoiler thread was that I was wondering if Darkstar could be the son of Brandon and Ashara Dayne. I am a firm believer in that it was Brandon that had a thing going with Ashara. It could certainly be said that Darkstar has the wolf blood in him (as Ned called it) like Brandon.

Also, I do not believe that Bran will ever ride a dragon, but he will wear one. And I am totally in agreement with RobM that Bran can speak to the past through the trees.

One last thing, how can Dany be AA when Mel keeps asking to see AA in the flames and she keeps seeing Jon? That seems to strongly imply that Jon is AA. And Jon is not dead dead, just mostly dead. After all, AA has to be reborn.
54. bluemeanies
@52- It was Joffrey, re-read the Tyrion chapter right before the purple wedding. Joffrey says he is 'no stranger to Valyrian steel' and it all adds up for Tyrion. The dagger is also traced as being Roberts and I think Cersei and Jaime pretty much come to the conclusion it could only be Joff, and that Tyrion's realization of his framing was the immediate motive for Joff's murder.
55. octarineoboe
In book 2: Think Theon killed Bran and Rickon? Think again! Also false reports of Davos' death in book 4 and Tyrion's supposed drowning in book 5. Plus somewhere during the Reek/Ramsay confusion we were supposed to believe Ramsay was dead. We've been faked out with Brienne twice, once when Biter was attacking her and once when she was being hanged. I think those were both in book 4.

I do think that the way characters misinterpret things is well done - for example, I found Catelyn's death particularly tragic because she died thinking Bran and Rickon were dead - so I guess you could say that a character thinking they're dying (or permanently blind, for Arya) falls under this category, but it feels different to me.
56. Jeff R,
MJF@49: It's entirely speculation, but it's the only thing that really fits with the facts that (1.) good-guy Rhaegar would be willing to cast aside his wife and insult one of the strongest houses in the kingdom and (2.) the kids were unmistably of the Targ. lineage. There aren't all that many other suspects once you go to infidelity as the simplest explanation.

Also, if he had managed to set Elia aside in favor of Lyanna without starting the war that he did, things would be really, really bad for those kids' immediate and long-term prospects; not something that good-guy Rhaegar would have countenanced if they were actually his.
57. AndrewB
I may be in the minority (at least based upon the above comments) but I beleive that Jon's stabbing at the end of ADwD was not fatal. The description of the reaction of the Black Brothers who stabbed Jon stood out for me. The are remorseful of stabbing Jon. No more so than the description of Bowen Marsh ("Then Bowen Marsh stood there before him, tears running down his cheek. 'For the Watch.'" . IMO, Bowen would not have tears if his actions were malicious.

It is my opinion, that the Black Brothers stabbed Jon as a means to disbale him from leading the Wildings on the assault on Winterfell. They took this action so that Jon would not betray his oaths. I do not think it is an accident that it was Bowen who was described as having tears in his eyes. Throughout the Jon chapters in ADwD, Bown was consistantly described as being displeaased with Jon actions. One would have expected him to be glad for the chance to rid the Watch of Jon's rule. Yet when he does stab Jon he says "For the Watch" with tears in his eyes.

At this point in the series, it should not be unexpected when a major character dies (even a significant point of view character). Nevertheless, I would be surprised if Jon were to die. As others have theororized above, I beleive that Jon is the son of Rhaegar & Lyanna. I think that there has been to much time devoted to Jon's story (over the course of the entire series) for him to die at this stage in the series.

Thanks for reading my musings,
58. Belerephon
@41 BMcGovern: Thank you for the short-hand explanation!
Tracy Durnell
59. kaeldra
I have a soft spot for Gendry, Robert's bastard, and suspect that he'll have another part to play going forward. I'm basing this on the dramatic way he was prevented from learning the truth from Brienne. Any thoughts?
George Jong
60. IndependentGeorge
I think the main reason I'm so eager for the next recap is that the last three COK chapters are all denouement, and SOS is just beckoning. Most fan polls I've seen rate SOS as the best book of the series, and I agree; there are certain chapters that I'm just dying to see Leigh's reactions to.

SOS Scenes/Chapters I anticipate the most:

1. Queen of Thorns
2. Jaime's reveal.
3. One does not simply warg into Hodor.
4. Ned always loved my hair.
5. Kof.
7. "Is there gold in the village?"
8. "Only Cat."
Birgit F
61. birgit
It wasn't future Bran who showed Jon how to use his warg powers to spy on the wildlings:
Here in the chill damp darkness of the tomb his third eye had finally opened. He could reach Summer whenever he wanted, and once he had even touched Ghost and talked to Jon. Though maybe he had only dreamed that.
Last Bran chapter in ACoK
62. jerediscool
couldnt the mummers dragon that was mentioned be the dragon that they claimed that ate the child? Hezzea or whatever? it was a fake dragon, that lead to her imprisoning her dragons, and then losing her mother of dragons ness that she finds out about from ghost jorah in the grass?(her last chapter)
Thats my idea on the mummers dragon. I think Aegon is the real deal, the griffin chapters quickly became some of the more intrguing I thought.
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
@39. Yes, Sansa. She's been growing through the series and is fated to take down a giant, whom I believe to be Littlefinger - the best player of the game of them all. It would make dramatic sense for the girl who simplemindedly believed in romance and to marry her perfect prince will end up with her accidental husband - who in spirit is arguably the most honorable, kindest character in the entire series.

@43 - you could be right that AA and PTWP are reversed. I had this all worked out way back when and could be getting mixed up on the specifics. Ah well.

@44 - am with you this as a very possible scenario. Baby not stillborn - baby taken.

@46 - yes, noted. I hadn't thought of Sam as the 1,000th, but could be.

@47 - I can't see any scenario where it makes sense for Dany not to be one of the three heads. I also don't buy Aerys as father of Elias's kids, but I like the idea that Rhaegar was planning his own coup. Only thing is I can't see him relying on a weasel like Walder Frey.

@50 - I can't see any scenario where it makes sense for Jon to be dead dead. Also, Jon's actions were necessary - Bowen Marsh was a spineless idiot, as shown throughout the books. (He was going to support Slynt for Lord Commander, for goodness sakes). The inability of the old guard of the NW to see the necessity of Jon's actions is the sign of an institution that has lost its way for many years, and needs to be reformed from ground up.

@51 - with you on this very much but I still can't figure out why no KG was with Vis and Dany. At minimum, they were also heirs that needed protection and I'm having trouble seeing how Vis is not next in line even if Jon were legitimate. I think the problem is that Jamie was the KL member of the Kingsguard who was supposed to guard the family and Darry stepped in after the Lannisters killed Aerys, Elia and kids.

More to come.
Rob Munnelly
64. RobMRobM
@52 and 54- Joff, clearly, as Tyrion figured out. Access to father's blade, wanted to help carryout expressed wishes of mother and Jaime.

@59 - assuming Arya doesn't go visit Dany and become the third dragon rider, she will head back to Westeros, hook up with Nymeria and start killing Freys. If so, I can see her meeting back up with Gendry and acting as an awesome team.

@61 - good quote, Birgit, but not dispositive to me. If it is, it's a bit of a cheat because the powers Bran showed were far beyond a newbie warger/CoF-er.

Good comments, all.

65. amcorrea
To add another, completely different line of speculation to this thread... Any thoughts on the Alchemist from the FFC prologue? I immediately thought of Jaqen H'ghar. But what is he doing in the Citadel? Why does he need that key? What is he really after...? Loved that he ends up meeting Sam...but frustrated that this is never referred to again... Perhaps in Wow?
66. lampwick
@64 -- Arya is going to become a cold and terrifying assassin, killing people without compunction. At least, that's the sort of thing I can see GRRM doing to her -- making us love her and then taking away her loveable qualities -- and I already hate him for it. (Wouldn't mind being pleasantly surprised, though.)
Rob Munnelly
67. RobMRobM
@65 - that is a fascinating subject. Plainly Jaquen, based on the physical description. I can understand why he takes over for Pate - to be close to Marwyn to see what he is doing - but why get the key that opens all doors at the Citadel - was he hired to kill Marwyn? Or kill those opposed to Marwyn? Maybe Marwyn even hired him as a bodyguard. One other interesting point - funny that Jaqen's manner of killing Pate - poisoned coin bitten by the victim - is the same method as Arya used in ADWD.

@66 - I wouldn't have thought it but the old women on High Heart Hill made very clear that Arya had a lot of death in her future. But she'd be with Nymeria (yay) and god willing will reunite with Jon and regain her humanity.
Bill Stusser
68. billiam

The way I understand it, since Rhaegar was heir to the throne, his children (his heirs) would come first in the line of succession before any of his brothers or sisters (Viserys or Dany).

Also, about Rhaegar taking the throne for himself. There is no way that Brandon was in on it, from Cat and Jaime's talk in the dungeon at Riverrun in ACoK we know that Brandon was on his way to Rivverrun when he heard about Rhaegar and Lyanna. He immediately rode to KL and challenged Rhaegar, who wasn't there. Aerys had Brandon and those with him arrested and ordered their fathers to come to KL. That is when Aerys had both Rickard and Brandon killed (burned and strangled) and ordered Jon Arryn to send Ned and Robert to KL. Jon Arryn refussed and called his banners. That is what started the rebellion. I also can't see the Freys being Rhaegar's allies, either.
69. Auga

"who in spirit is arguably the most honorable, kindest character in the entire series."

Please tell me you are being sarcastic about Tyrion. I don't think Shae, or that slave girl, or even Tysha would call him those words.
Rob Munnelly
71. RobMRobM
Not sarcastic at all. Tyrion treats honorable people well, even when he doesn't have to, and goes out of his way to help in many cases. Counterexamples: Jon Snow friendship and mentoring, Bran Stark horse riding design, Sansa Stark (especially her - helping her with Joff and then, after the marriage, refusing to have sex unless she consented, even knowing she would have submitted had he asked), Pod, Catelyn Stark (who he saved from the tribesmen even with her arresting him on a death sentence), Myrcella and Tommen, Penny....

Shae would have, until she betrayed him. Tysha would have, until Tywin stomped on his barely teenaged son and organized the gang rape. Not sure which slave girl you are talking about. If you are talking about the one in ADWD, she was being openly contemptuous of him, at a time he was profoundly down, and he responded in a way that wasn't nice but could have been worse.
72. MJF
CN: rape

@ RobM: "She was openly contemptous of him when he was really down, but he only raped her even though he could have done much worse" isn't an excuse; you don't get cookies for common decency even if you're one of a very few characters in a series to display it.

Personally, I see Tyrion's story arc as having some similarities with Arya's here: they both started out as nice people and have taken some seriously worrying turns along the way.
73. MJF
Drat, posted too fast. What I meant in the first paragraph was that A) You Don't Get Cookies For Common Decency, and B) ...which Tyrion didn't even display here.
Rob Munnelly
74. RobMRobM
In Westeros, you should get cookies for common decency.

That's one of themes of the book - how few people, especially knights who should know better, show knightly virtues and honor. Tyrion does, many many times in the book, even in the face of nearly universal dislike and distrust because of his status as a dwarf and a Lannister. He certainly is a bare knuckled player of the game and is ruthless when needed, but he does honor people and acts in a self-sacrificing manner on many occasions. He may look like a frog but he does act like a knight - and, from that standpoint, it makes story sense for the match with Sansa end up permanent as a love match.
75. Aellinsar
@62 I agree that the Griff chapters are some of the more intriguing ones in ADwD, so I want Aegon to be real. I don't know if I believe he is or not, though.

Actually, I listened ot the audiobook of ADwD recently skipping thorugh all of the Mereen chapters and found it to be afar more enjoyable book.

Anyone have thoughts about Euron and why he would send Victarion with the horn to bring back Dany? Euron strikes me as a smart enough guy to realize that Victarion would try to use the horn and take Dany for himself. Why entrust such an important mission to Vic? There has to more going on.
76. Aellinsar
Oh, and Rob - from your early post about Elmer Frey. I've read coK at least 4 times and I don't think I noticed that he was Arya's betrothed until you posted it. :)
Rob Munnelly
77. RobMRobM
@76 - subtle but juicy. Precisely why I enjoy GRRM.

@75 - I like ADWD, even if I agree the Mereen parts are where much of it bogs down. My thought is Euron can't go himself for fear that his throne would be usurped in his absence and Vict is the most competent guy around to get a difficult job done without annilating the Iron Born fleet. He probably figures he can take out Victarion one way or another if it comes to a fight.
78. Jeff R.
@68: You're right; it makes more sense to assume that Rickard was Rhaegar's co-plotter and that he told neither of his sons.

As for Frey, remember that his weasel-ness reputation is entirely due to his late committment in Robert's rebellion, which the Rhaegar theory gives another explanation to (he really couldn't commit to either other side while Rhaegar still lived.) Also, the idea of his having been promised the sun and the moon by Rhaegar, getting screwed out of that deal by events, and then being unable to even complain about that fact without admitting to treason for decades on end really does explain a lot of his personality as we see it.
79. Auga
71 -
Tyrion did not have to kill Shae. Tywin posed a threat to his continued existence, but killing Shae was plain revenge and not at all kind. He strangled a defenceless woman. She wounded his pride with the "giant" comment, and that set him off. He always knew he bought her loyalty with his gold, and when that was gone, what did he expect? He openly referred to her in her capacity as a "whore" rather than his secret lover and struck her once. And he's outraged she didn't stand up for him against Tywin and Cersei who offered money and protection, neither of which Tyrion could offer anymore?

Tysha - Tyrion himself admits that it was his lust which betrayed him and led him to join in the rape.

The girl - I don't have my copy, but it was at the beginning of Dance, a girl provided by Illyrio. Tyrion admitted he knew the girl wasn't willing but he had her anyway as she was a slave who couldn't refuse him. That's rape.

Perhaps he's not in the league of Gregor Clegane or Ramsay, but he is not the most honourable or kindest character!
80. Auga
73 - I agree. Tyrion was one of my favourites in GoT. In Clash, his relations with Shae made me a little uncomfortable but I made excuses for him. But with Swords and Dance, I just can't anymore.

I still try to make allowances for Arya, given how she's still so young and how badly she was traumatized seeing people tortured by the Tickler and killed right in front of her, but she's far from the Arya I loved in GoT.
Rob Munnelly
81. RobMRobM
Anga - I think you're being hard on Tyrion. He saved the City in ACOK and got nothing for it other than a scar and the knowledge that his sister (or nephew) tried to have him killed in battle. He gets forced into a marriage with Sansa, keeps his promise not to force himself on her, and gets caught up in a poisoning plot and gets accused of murder while his father and sister buy off all of his allies. His beloved whore (and he clearly loved her and told her so) not only rats him out publicly and then has sex with his supposedly whore-hating father. Understandably, he's angry enough to kill his father with premeditation and to kill Shae in the heat of passion when he discovers her there (technically, that is manslaughter rather than murder and culpabiiliity is far less). He goes to Pentos, gets shipped around in Illyrio's plot, gets treated not too nicely by Jon Conn, gets attacked by zombies and nearly dies or get greyscale (same thing), gets kidnapped by Jorah, almost gets murdered by Penny, has to talk his, Jorah's and Penny's way out of a death sentence as clowns in a house of death, and has to talk his way into Ben Plumm's camp by signing his fortune away.

Even through it all, he acts with intelligence and kindness (to Penny and even to Jorah). He continues to be one of my favorites.

Bill Stusser
82. billiam

Sorry, I have to disagree with you. Shae got exactly what she deserved. I certainly wouldn't call Tyrion the most kind or honorable person in this series but I think he was justified in killing Shae. Also, I do not think Tyrion will end up on the Iron Throne or married to Sansa. As a matter of fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Tyrion ends up dying in the last book.
83. Melhr
Just a thought that ocurred to me...The valonquir of Cersei's prophecy might not be would be very Martin-ish, wouldn´t it?
Bill Stusser
84. billiam
It has always been my belief that Jaime is the valonqar.

Young Griff is not Aegon, as I said before, Jon is Aegon. I'm beginning to question whether Elia's Aegon was even Rhaegar's son. Maybe the baby wasn't Elia's either? Now that I think about it, maybe the baby was just a distraction to keep people from knowing that the real baby was in the ToJ?

Anyways, i think that fake Aegon is Illyrio's son. Remember the statue in Illyrio's garden and the childs clothes he gave Tyrion to wear? I think Illyrio had a son with his Valyrian looking wife who, I believe, is from the female line of the Blackfyre Targs. Varys may or may not be the dead wife's brother. That would make fake Aegon a Blackfyre which would explain why the Golden Company broke a contract, something it had never done before, to join with fake Aegon and Jon Con. I also think that the trunk that Illyrio brought with him and Tyrion might hold the sword Blackfyre.

GRRM has said that there is going to be a second Dance of the Dragons. This will, I'm thinking, be Dany vs fake Aegon. Fake Aegon is the mummer's dragon and one of the lies that Dany must slay, the other being that Stannis is AA (the blue eyed king with no shadow).

Unless the dance is between Dany and Jon. Shit, I hadn't thought of that before.
85. Auga
81/82 -

Are you really ok with the idea that infidelity, as much as a prostitute can be unfaithful, makes it justifiable to strangle said prostitute? Your legal assumption that it would be manslaughter is doubtful enough, but even if that were legally true, ethically it is on very dodgy grounds. "Nice" Tyrion strangled to death with intent a young prostitute because she insuled his pride.

As for his "love" for Shae, it didn't stop him hitting her “not too hard, but hard enough” (hard enough for what?) when she said something he didn't like. Also, saying “You help me most here, between the sheets,” is not the sign of love. Tyrion "loved" Shae as a sex object, someone who would flatter his ego and service him. She did these because he paid her. When he was charged with treason, it's no surprise she went looking for a new "client."

And yeah...I'm still missing your point about Tyrion saving the city, not raping a child, being nice to Penny. It doesn't change the fact that he is a rapist and strangled one of the two women he claimed to have loved and had a dubious involvement in the gangrape of the other one. Seeing women as sex objects who can be raped obviously isn't an unusual viewpoint in Westeros, but it compromises Tyrion's claim to be among the most noblest. I can't see Ned doing any of these things.
Bill Stusser
86. billiam
@ 85

Shae did much more than just wound Tyrion's pride. When she testified against him she betrayed him in the worst possible way. Tyrion would have been executed for Joff's murder eventually if Jaime hadn't released him. Helping to send someone to a death sentence is a lot more than just insulting his pride.
87. owleyes
I think that Jon is AA, and the Night's Watch itself is the sword, Lightbringer. Consider the words of the oath:

"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.
I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all nights to come.

"Light that brings the dawn" sounds a lot like "Lightbringer" to me!
Rob Munnelly
88. RobMRobM
@87 - I was reading FFC again. Sam finds a book that "dragonsteel" can be used against the Others. Jon asks whether this could refer to Valyrian steel. Given the repeated references to spell-forged Valyrian steel and the above reference, Lightbringer could well be Jon's current blade. I don't think that's necessarily inconsistent with your reasonable point.

@86/85. Agreed. Shae gave the capstone testimony used to convict Tyrion. It goes far beyond mere hurting his pride. I'd also argue that the text makes clear that despite his flip talk Tyrion loved Shae deeply and that she knew it - it was far beyond the usual mere financial transaction. The multiple betrayals were profound and should be taken into account in judging Tyrion's action. Also, leaving her alive might have blown his escape and risked his life - another factor to be considered. He certainly had no reason to trust her to stay quiet.

Re Ned, he had an overly simplistic view of honor and it led to his entire family and household facing extermination. In a ruthless, honorless world, basically good people face tough decisions and sometimes have to act ruthlessly themselves. That is the question that GRRM poses with many of his characters, notably Tyrion. Isolating a couple of instances and damning him for it is, to me, not fair or balanced. But YMMV, of course.

89. Auga
Re Shae: I'll have to go back and reread, but does Tyrion ever think: "Oh, damnit, I'll have to kill her in order to escape" ? Did he ever have any intention of killing her before finding her in his father's bed, and then that line which was "the worst thing you could have said"? I kind of got that impression it was that insult which made him to decide to murder her.

Re Ned: Sure, Ned struggled with being ruthless when it was necessary to be so, but how was it necessary for Tyrion to torment that slave girl? She wasn't a threat to him like Tywin or Shae *might* have been. It was unjustifiable. By his own cultural standards as well. He was *getting off* on her fear of him!

And as for "isolating a couple of instances", what, you mean we should ignore instances where Tyrion acts extremely unkindly just so you can carry on believing he is the kindest in the world? That is what you think being fair is? It's fair for you to isolate instances like his being polite to Penny and Ser Jorah, but negative instances such as his raping and terrifying a slave girl should be ignored?
Rob Munnelly
90. RobMRobM
This will be my last word on the subject.

Read the post that kicked it off. Tyrion's done an awful lot of good in the series that he didn't have to do and in the face of unprecedented attack and abuse by his family and society at large. In many respects, it is clear that GRRM views him as the focus character for doing good in an unjust world I believe it will make dramatic sense for that to be recognized by the end of the series by having him married to Sansa - as being the "prince" she deserves, even if he doesn't meet the classic definition - and being happy together. I never claimed he was perfect, I never said he was the "kindest in the world." I do say that the enormous list of positive things he has done in the series very far exceeds the two or three instances of bad acts - all provoked by the alleged victims (Shae, we discussed above; the slave girl was openly contemptuous of him as I recall) - that you keep referring to in your posts. Mileage apprarently varies a great deal in this instance. You are free to keep your opinions. I don't share them.

91. Aellinsar
I don' t think he ever claimed Tyrion as "nicest in the world", he just had a higher opinion of his moral character than you.

I agree that he has fallen in the most recent books, and probably a lot of people would given his situation. Particularly in regards to Shae, being sentenced to death based in large part on her false testimony is certainly motive for murder if not justification.

From her side, you can certainly see where she would lie - the most powerful man in the realm offers you wealth and a good life if you lie, and probably a pretty horrible fate if you tell the truth about Tyrion. Tough situation al around, but I think we can all agree that Tywin is a jerk. :)

For all those that look forward to the ASoS reread and call it their favorite in the series... I'm not so sure myself. Both the Red Wedding and the Red Viper/Mountain scenes were very disturbing to me. Definitely not something I enjoyed reading.
Deana Whitney
92. Braid_Tug
@ 43, DorneSand: "god i hope Dany and Jon do not get together, aunt and nephew.. ew"
Well considering how surprised Dany was to be marring someone other than her brother in GoT, I would consider a nephew as step in the right direction.

@ 47, JeffR – why do you think Dany will die once she hits Westeros? Because we’ve waited so long for it to happen GRRM has to screw it up for us?

Just random – how many people think that Rickson will ever be “normal?” The poor kid has been abandon and has a wild direwolf. If he makes it to adulthood, that kid is going to be one crazy man. Not Bolton crazy, but there is no way he could be the noble man his father was.

Quick Poll to get to the Hunny:
Who’s the “Worst Family”?
Frey’s – greedy, overly sensitive about everything, and desperate to always improve upon their position
Lannister’s - selfish, over proud, and short sited (okay only half of them)
Bolton’s – crazy psychopaths

I go with the Frey’s
93. Auga
1. "all provoked by the alleged victims(Shae, as we discussed above; the slave girl was openly contemptuous of him as I recall".

You are really scaring me here. Are you really saying rape can be provoked by a girl being openly contemptuous of Tyrion/anyone?


2. So I take issue with your claim that Tyrion's actions can be justified by the mere presence of "provocation." I find that a really horrible opinion. If we're going to say contempt can provoke rape, then almost any of the ASOIAF villains' behaviour may be justified. Maybe Elia was really rude to Gregor Clegane when he knocked on her door politely asking to be let in.

Furthermore, even if we DID accept it, neither of the two slave girls Tyrion uses in DoD were "openly contemptuous of him."

The first slave girl was perfectly polite to Tyrion, despite how he didn't deserve it by telling her he didn't care what her name was (as she was just a slave). Only after he twice asks her "Where do whores go?" is there a sign that sh doesn't like him:

The girl's mouth tightened. She despises me, he realized.

Was that provocation for Tyrion then deciding he wants her and to make her frightened of him? Telling her that it might please him to strangle her like he did his "last whore", and that no one would care if he did, as she was just a slave? And then: "This time, when he grinned, he got the fear he wanted."

And the second slave girl, the one in the brothel where Jorah captures him. She's broken and lifeless, and he regrets having her, thinking he's just "f*cked a corpse". Then he has another drink and decides to take her again ("She did not understand that either so he shoved her legs apart, crawled between them, and took her once more. That much she could comprehend, at least.")

I don't see any provocation with either of them that led Tyrion to treat them so awfully. He knows both are slaves and appear to have little free will. But he makes the first one fear for life, and uses the second one even though she's a broken, battered victim.

3. Well, actually I did go "read the post that kicked it off", and again here is exactly what you said:

" in spirit is arguably the most honorable, kindest character in the entire series."

Is that different from "the nicest guy in the world?" Actually, your words are even more of a panegyric to Tyrion! Most honourable, long as you exclude his rape of slave girls and murder of his former lover, as they're isolated instances. Fortunately, the times where he has shown common decency such as choosing not to rape a child half his age and being nice to a dwarf girl whom he doesn't have the hots for (luckily for her, because now he can see her as human being rather than a sex object) do count...

4. "You are free to keep your opinions. I don't share them."
That is very kind of you. I'm glad you set me straight - I was too stupid to realize that you didn't agree with me! Obviously I had other motivations when I argued against you, as clearly I believed you agreed with me the whole time!

And also stupidly I wasn't aware there was any doubt as to whether or not I could keep my opinions in freedom, or whether I was forced to bow down your ideas that rape can be provoked. Or that is an isolated incident that shouldn't be counted when judging someone's character. Thank you for setting me straight.

5. "Mileage apprarently varies a great deal in this instance."
Yes, you know, this guy, sure, maybe he did rape someone, but he's a pillar of the community who does lots of charity work, so let's just overlook the rape. Or you know, there's the guy who is such a great director. I don't know what the exchange rate is for rape, but maybe you're allowed one per Oscar award. And Tyrion, well, he did save the city, and got no thanks from anyone, so maybe his reward can be a get out of criticism free card for his dodgy Essos behaviour with those slave girls, who really did provoke him after all.

6. I never said he was the "kindest in the world."
Actually, you did - see above. You said he was arguably the kindest character in the entire series. Unless you wish to reference characters in the world of ASOIAF that we haven't met and thus TECHNICALLY can't be counted as part of the series...that is what you've said. And that is what I am disagreeing with. There are characters who wouldn't think what Tyrion did was acceptable.

Maybe Tyrion could have made a decent nomination for your "Most kindest/honourable" Award in GoT. But after SoS and DoD, he has gone far from his original character traits. He's not so wholly gone as to be OOC, but the guy who took pleasure in making a slave girl fear for her life as he got ready to take her is NOT the Tyrion from GoT. He's closer to being written as a villain at this point. Which, interestingly, is something Leah speculated about ages ago.

Speaking about that, you say this is the last words for you on this subject, somehow I doubt that by the time Leah gets to these parts in the blog.
94. Jeff R.
Braid_Tug@92: A couple of reasons. First, as I said before, the only way she's going to be Queen of this place and only get betrayed a total of three times is if the last one is fatal. Second, if Dany does show up with three Dragons in tow, that's pretty much it; all problems are now solved; no-one can resist her from the Dornish up to the Others. Even if one of those Dragons is temporarily squid-jacked, that's still not much of a problem. Third, the long-term problem of Westeros is the restoration of stable governance, and Dany, being childless and barren, isn't any kind of real solution to that problem. And fourth, yes, offing her right at her moment of triumph is exactly the sort of thing GRRM likes to do.
Marty Beck
95. martytargaryen
I've only read the series once, so a lot of details are often lost on me, but I see Tyrion as two seperate characters: one before Jaime told him the truth about Tysha and their father, and one after. Tyrion was living his entire adult life thinking that only prostitutes could ever be intimate with him. The two biggest motivating factors in Tyrion's life to that point were gaining the respect of his father, and finding love (which, thanks to Daddy, could only come from whores - or so he thought). With one unveiling of the truth, Tyrion's entire identity was destroyed.

This does not absolve him of any guilt for subsequent actions. But as far as I can tell, that is not GRRM's intention. Also, it can be argued that the worst thing a person can do in Martin's universe is to slay one's kin. If you take that at face value, then Tyrion's murder of his father could be seen as a crossing of some Moral Event Horizon. I get the feeling he "gave up", morally, after that; at least temporarily.

I think Rob's opinion is absolutely spot on for the Tyrion prior to this. I have a hard time even thinking of post-SoS Tyrion as the same person. However, I am very curious to see if he returns to the GoT character, especially if it is found that Tywin is not his father after all.
96. Auga
With the previous emphasis on how kinslaying is the ultimate sin, and Tyrion's dramatic moral dive, there is a good chance of Tyrion being set up to become a villain.

Not sure I buy the Tyrion-as-Targ idea. If it were true, I feel it would cheapen the dynamics of his relation with Tywin. Tyrion seems to be the only one of the three Lannisters who has Tywin's cunning. It would be more deliciously ironic if it were Jaime and Cersei, the ones Tywin prized, who were the Targ bastards.
97. Aellinsar
Worst family? I can't take the Frey's over the Boltons. Both were equally complicit in the Red Wedding, and were both turning traitor totheir liege lord. bu tthe Frey's at least had the "justification" of a perceived slight, which moves them slightly higher. And they don't have Ramsay on their side. Just when you thought a character couldn't get worse than Joffrey or Gregor, Martin introduces him. Ick.
Marty Beck
98. martytargaryen
Worst Family: I have to go with the Boltons *shivers*. I won't repeat a lot of what Aellinsar@97 said, which I agree with 100%.

It is interesting what is considered a greater sin in Martin's world (kin slaying and guest slaying versus rape and other torture). To the people of Westeros, kin slaying > guest slaying > oath breaking > flaying alive. As for the Lannisters, their ethics or lack thereof can be seen as machiavellian more than evil (not that I share their ethical slant).

Edit to add nod to @97.
Rob Munnelly
99. RobMRobM
Worst family - I'll go with the less obvious pick of the Greyjoys.

EDIT: Pillage, rape, kill, fratricide, maiden sacrificing, backstabbing foster brother, etc.
Deana Whitney
100. Braid_Tug
@ RobMRobM, you know I almost included the Greyjoys in the list, but with the turn of events in DwD...
The uncle is the biggest jerk of the family left, and he just didn't carry the weight of the rest.

Bolton vs. Frey - 3 guys vs. 100's of guys - that's one reason I picked the Frey's.

Yeah!! We hit the Hunny on this post!

Thanks for those that responded!

EDIT: spelling
101. Jeff R.
I think that breaking guestright is a more serious crime than kinslaying, although yes, those are the top two.

(And also that, as magic returns, natural justice is going to start strongly enforcing them. It's possible that one of the last clues in favor of A+J=T will be that Tyrion _doesn't_ get a heaping serving of divine vengeance because Tywin was actually just a cousin once removed (don't remember if T and J were 1st or second cousins right now), and if that counted as kinslaying then nobody would be able to get any warring on.)

Speaking of natural justice, my other prediction is that Walder Frey will live just long enough to see the death of his last living descendant. Natural justice demands that such a criminal be brought down in that which he holds the most pride in, after all.
George Jong
102. IndependentGeorge
101 - I think that Walder Frey dies of natural causes, smug and satisified at his house's ascent. His death sparks a civil war between his heirs, and more Freys end up dying at each others hands than by Stoneheart or Manderly.
103. Jeff R.
102- Come now, you don't really think that the Freys will be patient enough to wait until the body is cold, do you? Or that they aren't far more talented at killing each other than at surviving those attempts? (I agree that fratricide will be the proximal cause for more Frey deaths than either person actively hunting them, but it starts the moment he gets too sick to stop it, and he can linger in a deathbed more than long enough to clear the entire board.)
104. Melhr
What about Lady Stoneheart? Any thoughts on what her role/fate will be? I must add that I'm enjoying a lot reading all these ideas, all of you felpow posters rock!
Rob Munnelly
105. RobMRobM
BT!@100 - Both uncles are really bad. Euron killed his brother and is an overall nasty piece of work. Victarion remains a highly nasty piece of work. The father, Balon, same, during his life. Theon did a lot but obviously is on a redemption arc now. Asha I love but she doesn't redeem the rest of the family. As a collective body of work, it's a pretty impressive group even if it doesn't equal the average jerkage of the Bolton-Snows or the sheer volume of the multiplicity of crappy Freys.

P.s. We call it the "hunny" on Honey is perhaps implied.

101-03 - I'm betting more than 50% that Arya will be the avenging Stark in the Riverlands and will do more damage that Frey fratricide (which will definitely play a part, as is made clear by Edwyn's statements in FFC). I'd also bet more than 75% that Walder will not die a satisfied man.

The Stoneheart issue is fascinating, both from the Arya angle and from the Brienne angle (she promised in ACOK to not stand in Brienne's way to get revenge for Renly's death, but that seemed to go by the boards and forced Brienne to have some type of Jaime trap - query whether that form of forcing Brienne to abandon honor will blow back at Cat).
106. Melhr
Haven't been able to read A Dance yet, but has the word Brienne shouted/her means of escape been revealed yet? If not I think the possibilities could be: She shouted Stannis to remind Stoneheart of Cat's promise, Toros released her somehow, or she took the Jamie deal. I hope it wasn't the last one, because I'm rooting for her and hope she gets a decent ending (or at least a not so crappy one).
108. Auga
Or apparently not, even though it was white in preview... :(
109. Melhr
Cool thanks for the info...So I guess crappy ending for Brienne then...
Rob Munnelly
110. RobMRobM
Melhr - I don't know what 107 said but it is not explicit what Brienne said. However, it doesn't look like rainbows and ponies based on what is implied by the text.

Re the shoutout - Stoneheart wasn't in the room during shouting time so hard to score points with her by shouting Stannis or even Arya.
111. Melhr
Yeah, I suppose. Not that it has ever been ponies and rainbows at any point with any character in the series :) Guess we will just have to wait. At least I hope Mr. Martin lets Lady Stoneheart do something badass like showing up at the eldest Frey's room in the middle of the night or something...
Rob Munnelly
112. RobMRobM
FYI - I've been enjoying my series re-read I've done over the past month, currently completed through FFC. I laughed out loud in ASOS when a character mentioned Alys Karstark as being next in line for her family seat and just picked up, during one of Cersei's rants during FFC, that she mentioned that the Bolton's had won over both Ryswells and the Umbers - the latter a surprise to those in the North. Martin did plan out some of these later plot developments well in advance.

One question still bothers me - how did Jaqen H'gar end up in a black cell in Kings Landing? Who caught him and under what circumstances? Did he have an assignment before his current gig in Oldtown and, if so, did he carry it out before getting caught. Ideas?
113. Auga
If you want to be spoiled re Brienne's word, go look it up on or google "So Spake Martin Miscon Report."

You can also find all of the theories discussed here in more depth on the forums there.
114. Melhr
About the Jaquen issue... As far as I can recall there was only that plot to murder King Robert during the melee at the Hand's Tourney... But I don't think it has to do with him. Jaquen is definitely a wildcard, as we hardly know anything about his background or agenda...
George Jong
115. IndependentGeorge
Checkhov's Guns That Are Still Just Quietly Hanging There On The Wall:

1. Jaqen
2. Greyscale
3. Horn of Winter
4. Benjen Stark
5. Alliser Thorne
116. Black Dread
So who wins the whole thing? I'm guessing Gendy hooks up with Lady Jane Westerly and they take King's Landing by storm.
George Jong
117. IndependentGeorge
116 - Hot Pie. The wights cannot hope to stand against warm sticky buns - it is known.
Rob Munnelly
118. RobMRobM
Getting concerned about the post-1 pm delay. *twitch*
119. Melhr
Pies, the ultimate defense against the White Walkers... Who needs valyrian steel and dragon glass? Hot Pie the Slayer FTW! Maybe Lightbringer is just a delicious hot loaf of bread... I'm with George, it is known...
120. owleyes
The latest it's ever been is around 12:30 mountain time. That would be 2:30 Eastern. I'll be concerned if it doesn't come out in the next hour.... *crosses fingers* :/
Deana Whitney
121. Braid_Tug
RobMRobM, same here...

I don't remember Benjen Stark... uncle at the Wall? confussed...
Cory Hill
122. Cory-Lee-Hill
Isn't Leigh in CDT, wouldn't it be a post-12 pm delay. Sorry I was trying for a pendantry joke but that feels a little flat. Seriously though has anyone heard if Legh's okay? She had a post earlier in the week in her blog I don't read but nothing here. Hope nothing's wrong
Marty Beck
123. martytargaryen
*twitch* indeed.

Benjen was at the Feast to honor King Robert, the first of his name, at Winterfell. He was head ranger, went off ranging, and has not been seen nor heard from since.

124. owleyes
@121 Braid_Tug: We're pretty sure the wight "Coldhands" is Benjen Stark. Last we heard he was chillin at the base of the tree that Bran, Jojen, and Meera are in, because apparently the Children of the Forest magic keeps frozen zombies out. Not exactly sure what his role will turn out to be, or how he was able to remain sentient through the frozen zombification process.
Marty Beck
125. martytargaryen
Leigh seemed perfectly well (in her pajamas with power on) for Tuesday's post.
George Jong
126. IndependentGeorge
119 - It's really obvious when you think about it. Wights are demons of ice and cold, and fire is their enemy, right? Well, what do we know that's hot? Ovens. And who works with ovens? Bakers. And what bakers have we met? Hot Pie. He's even got 'hot' in his name. The Song of Ice and Fire is really the eternal debate over hot vs cold desserts. Namely: Ice Cream, or Hot Pies?

I think we all know what GRRM's answer is.
127. My Amyrlin > Your Amyrlin
NASA must be looking for a few patient people to man the impending Mars expedition and this is our test.
Deana Whitney
128. Braid_Tug
@ 119, IG: nice

@ 124&25; Thanks! I thought he was dead. Forgot he was now a cold one.
129. Asbjorn
Am I the only one, that finds it very suspicious, that Leigh apparently disappeared for several weeks, right after she called Ramsay Bolton a bastard in last weeks entrance? O.O

(I know about thursdays entrance and all, I just wanted to make a silly joke. Doesn't hope anything is wrong, Leigh!)
130. Melhr
Hot Pie is Azor Ahai. He is in fact a baseborn son of Aerys, and will take command over Dany's dragons once they land. Then he will proceed to use them to keep huge ovens designed by Gendry working, and thus produce enough pies to destroy the wights and the Others...ending the winter and the famine, after which he will rise to the throne, and have as many children as Walder Frey, after his death all his children start a civil war and the process begins yet again.
131. Black Dread
Maybe Leigh decided these books suck and has moved on to something better.
Marty Beck
132. martytargaryen
Maybe she accidentally got spoiled re. Ramsay or the RW or some such and decided WTH.
Deana Whitney
133. Braid_Tug
So, with all the delays for the "end of book 2" post, maybe we won't have to wait a week for the "start of book 3" post.

Fingers still crossed for something today.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
135. Lisamarie
Frankly, I kind of wish (even though I actually enjoy the GRRM read more than the WOT re-read right now) that after she finishes this book she takes a tiny hiatus from it and resumes the WOT reread to twice a week, to make sure it gets done before AMoL comes out. I'm not sure how that's going to work though - is she going to do a 'read' of AMoL? Or read it, and then do a re-read?

But yeah, I wish she'd post - there's what, two or three chapters left in this one?
Brandon Lammers
136. wickedkinetic
On Tyrion's character arc:

I would concur with the sentiment that he was 'good', going through life, making the best of a bad situation, ok with the glass ceiling for dwarves, even dwarven Lannisters, and happy to have enough money for drinking and whoring and collecting books.

His experiences through the first 2 books expand his possibilities, get his hopes up, leads him to dream and believe in the real possibilities out there for him. He's the Kings Hand! He is a proud, fierce leader of men! IN COMBAT! He saves the whole Kingdom! He is Hero, He is Lion, and this being a GRRM story, he is thusly and quickly doomed.

After coma, he is bitter, dour, angry dwarf. But he still has his humanity I think. But you can see the downward decline, all of his 'friends' loved his money and power and now move on (even Bronn) that he is once again the insignificant little bastard (and yes, I believe he was the product of Targ-rape and not Ty's son - though ironic he is the only 1 of the 3 with Ty's political and strategic abilities.....)

at any rate, after Joff's murder and his own family sets him up to take the blame, he is now broken-man, he has no humanity, he has no empathy, he learns his own brother, the one person he thought liked him and respected him and treated him well in this world. the ONE person he could trust and LOVE had committed the greatest treason against him in his terrible life!

and not to minimize or condone rape and/or the Shae-murder, but when he mounted his first wife for the last time, he believe she was 'just another whore' due to the scheme his evil dad and stupid brother cooked up for him. which is awful and a huge red-flag compared to the other pre-Joff-murder-trial evidence we have of him as a fairly decent fellow. I do not recall if there was a threat or motivator involved, like 'you will go last or we will skin her like Michael Bolton! "When a Maaaan, Flays a Woman............"

at any rate, Tyrion is now a broken dangerous man, capable of anything. he hates whores because Shae betrayed him, he hates his family because they all tried to kill him in one way or another, except Jaime who only participated in the little greatest betrayal of his life. he is always asking 'where whores go' perhaps because the one purpose he can see in his pitiful life is to find his first wife and apologize to her maybe?

and yeah, post-Joff-wedding Tyrion is a totally different character I guess is the point. he goes from being about the only decent non-Stark in the book to being a truly evil villain leaving a trail of death and misery in his wake... at the same time he seems heavily invested in the pig-rider and saving her in spite of herself.....

oh well, I'm rambling at this point.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
137. Lisamarie
I have to admit, even though I tend to be pretty sensitive about these things, I never considered what Tyrion did to Tysha rape. If anything, I interpreted it as both he and Tysha being raped by his father, as it were. This may be based on my own bias against Tywin, etc, but it seemed like he was definitely pressured into it by Tywin.

I do NOT think that it is okay to force yourself on somebody even if they are a prostitute (although not sure that belief is prevalent in Westeros, and in his mind she was technically hired to have sex with him so he may also have tried to justify it that way), and the most virtuous thing to do would have been to stand up to his father and say no, and he was wrong not to, but I just don't think at 16 or however old Tyrion was at the time, he was up to doing that. So while what happened was definitely wrong, I didn't see Tyrion as having the most culpability in THAT particular incident. I may need to re-read it though. I think he does feel a lot of guilt regarding it though.

I do think that he was totally wrong in murdering Shae (despite how badly he betrayed her) and definitely agree he is going down a much more villainous path, so I am not going to attempt to justify his actions after that point.
138. Tiera
I did not think of R+L=J but am quite happy to accept it as the most obvious solution.

I started with the assumption that Ned is a very one-dimensional character, and infidelity is really uncharacteristic, so Jon couldn't be his son. Then I had the problem that Jon looks like a Stark, so how can that be explained. I started wondering if perhaps Jon was Brandon's son instead ... but if that were the case, then why all the secrecy. There would be no dishonour in taking home your deceased brothers son to raise, so if that were the case why not admit Brandon was the father.

I'm afraid I didn't think of Lyanna, but as soon as I stumbled across the theory, it all made perfect sense, and gave a reason for the secrecy.
Tabby Alleman
139. Tabbyfl55
Here's the problem with R + L = J.

Even if GRRM originally planned it that way, he hasn't written the reveal yet. And now that so many people have figured it out, and he's bound to know that they have, I wouldn't put it past him to decide to throw a change-up.

OR maybe it was never really true in his mind, and he's been feeding these hints deliberately to misdirect.

It ain't true until it's true. That's all I'm sayin'.

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