Sep 21 2012 2:00pm

Spoiler Thread for A Read of Ice and Fire

Spoiler Thread for A Read of Ice and Fire on

As of today, our official spoiler thread for Leigh Butler’s fabulous Read of Ice and Fire has a new home here on the main site. Now that we’ve reached A Storm of Swords, we’ve decided to consolidate the conversation and move the ongoing discussion from the forums to the main page of, so please join us below for our ongoing, spoiler-filled dissection of George R. R. Martin’s bloody fantasy epic.

(Please note that while the forums are closed for comments, you can still access them here if you'd like to read up on previous conversations in the the thread).

Spoilers for the entire series ahead, naturally.

Deana Whitney
1. Braid_Tug
So does this mean all the past discussion will be moved from the past spoiler thread? or do we get to start new?
Rob Munnelly
2. RobMRobM
Looks like it.

Tansy is one of the cooler mysteries in the series as I don't think it is definitively resolved. On the one hand, Tansy is a plant and a potential aborto-facient, so he could be apologizing for killing Lysa's baby with Littlefinger. Also, there is a whore named Tansy who shows up later outside of a town in which Hoster Tully spent time in recovering from wounds, he could be referring to a lost love or a bastard baby as well.

And I love Leigh pointing out flaws in the moss theory - boy, are they all going to get so lost....
Deana Whitney
3. Braid_Tug
Thanks RobM, I couldn't remember if the whole Tansy thing had ever been answered or not.

So sad. Doesn't Ayra get there just in time to see the dead of the Red Wedding?
Jeff R.
4. Jeff R.
I don't have any doubt that it's about Lysa's baby with Littlefinger, which was conceived while Lysa was pulling the bed-trick on Varys (impersonating Catelyn), a deception Varys didn't ever find out about (or at least actually believe) until shortly before he kills her...
Deana Whitney
5. Braid_Tug
@ martytargaryen, from other thread discussion - hope you find this one soon:
"maybe the WWs can't reproduce normally, and need the babies to make more of their kind"

I want to know why they would need / want BABIES!!!
Seriously? Unless being turn into an "Other" puts them on an accelerated growth - why would weird creatures want to saddle themselves with infants? or Toddlers?
Rob Munnelly
6. RobMRobM
@5 - Leigh's frozen day care center bit was one of her best riffs in the entire read.

@4 - Varys???? What are you referring to?

@3 - yes, more or less. Close enough to see and flee from the ambush.
Jeff R.
7. Jeff R.
Rob@6: Brain-fart; read that word as "Peter".
Bridget McGovern
8. BMcGovern
@Braid_Tug: New start! Now with waaaaay less spam :) We're hoping to keep the old spoiler thread accessible to everyone, in case you guys want to check in on previous conversations. I'll keep you updated if there are any further the meantime, have at it!!!
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
In my re-read of ADWD, I just noticed that Selmy said Varys was inciting Aerys to believe that Rheagar was plotting behind his back, leading Aerys to attend the Harrenhall tourney in person. How does Varys apparently acting in opposition to Rhaaegar square with Varys support of Viserys, Dany and Fake Aegon?
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
double post - darn it.
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
@7 - was there proof of a switcheroo? I thought LF got Lysa voluntarily (and claims to have gotten Cat, but I'm skeptical).
Jeff R.
12. Jeff R.
Rob:@9: Well, since I think Rhaegar was plotting behind Aerys's back, I'd put all that down as "doing his job".

The interesting question is why Selmy wouldn't have known/admitted that Aerys and Varys where right here. I mean, the whole business of Lyanna was absolutely oging to result in a civil war, if not with Baratheon then with Dorne, and starting civil wars without the say-so of the King should certainly count as plotting against.

@11: The idea is that, right after the duel, Lysa snuck into LF's bed and, with no light around, impersonated Cat. Then, much later, the two got together on a more permanent basis behind Jon's back. So LF wasn't lying about Cat, just mistaken.

There's some strong implications toward this in Lysa's ramblings in Feast. And there's the fact/timing of LF's killing of Lysa. Politically speaking, he'd really have been better off keeping her alive at least for a year or so. But if he'd just then learned (or stopped being able to deny) that he'd been lying to himself his whole life and that he'd never actually been with the love of his life...
Joseph Haines
13. IamJoseph
@11: I believe that Peter genuinely believes that he slept with Catelyn and not because of Lysa. I figured he was just so out of it after the duel, drugged up with milk of the poppy, that he didn't realise who it was he was with. Catelyn and Lysa used to look very similer in their youth, and Peter was in love with Cat.
Deana Whitney
14. Braid_Tug
@13: I really need to re-read that part of the story.

But sometimes I wonder how far LF is going to push Sansa before she gets to marry "the Heir." She'll be well and often kissed before then by her "father."
Jeff R.
15. o.m.
Winter is coming back. Worse than the last couple of times, it seems.

The Others are coming back. Did they appear last winter?

Magic is coming back. Supposedly because of dragons. But it always existed beyond the wall, right?

Dragons are coming back. But Others were coming before dragons did.

What is the cause, what is the effect, and what is coincidence?
Jeff R.
16. o.m.
Braavos is about as far north as the Neck. The winter will be a problem for all of Westeros, not just the North, but we don't hear much about preparations in the Free Cities.

Very selective ice ages, or just plain magic?
jon meltzer
17. jmeltzer
Lysa and VARYS? You mean ... he - isn't? Or, should I say, "is"?


(Yes, I know ...)
Jeff R.
18. EvilclosetmonkeyM
@ 9 If one subscribes to the Varys is a Blackfyre supporter, then it squares rather nicely. Rhaegar would have been a good king and likely able to mollify the hurt parties after the Lyanna incident. Aerys just started burning people then demanding more people burn, whIch is what actually sparked the rebellion.
George Jong
19. IndependentGeorge
#2 - Lysa's final rant involves her father murdering her baby with tansy tea, and much of Hoster's deathbead rumblings involve his guilt over something he did to Lysa. I think this is about as explicitly confirmed as it gets in the story.
Daniel Castellanos
20. TheEightChandrian
@9 I have two theoryies about that point.

The first one is: Varys was just doing his job. Similar to what he does with Cersei when Tyrion is arrested, he has to be some kind of double agent or he's out of the game

The second: his plan is to establish a Targaryen kingdom in which he (and Mopatis) have greater incomes or benefits. They crown Daenerys or Aegon, and since, they are "friends" to them they are rewarded.

The second one seems odd I know, after all, Varys could have got whatever he wanted just by spreading the right whispers, and Mopatis is already rich, so, what do they REALLY want?
Unless... they want the Dragons. After all, Mopatis had the eggs, and so far (as far as I know) we don't know where they come from, but he couldn't hatch them. And the citadel apparently killed the dragons, or so the archmaester claims. So maybe they want a new age of dragons, and they want to control them to conquer the whole world or something (unlikely, but I do think they want the dragons).
Jakub Wrobel
21. ptyx
Re: Varys
I think that a theory that he is a Blackfyre loyalist explains quite a lot here. Even though we have no idea what has made him support the Blackfyres in the first place.
He has always plotted to weaken the current regime, be it Targaryen, Baratheon or Lannister, to prepare the ground for another Blackfyre rebellion.
It seems that both Varys and Illyrio were scheming for Viserys to ignite an uprising, but to fail at grabbing the power eventually - who would support another mad Targ with a horde of wild Dothraki? This woudl have been just a war where all parties would have bled themselves and then there could come Fake Aegon to (re)unite the Seven Kingdoms under his rule.
Actually I think that the coming of dragons could have ruined their plans somewhat as they had to include Daenerys in their scheming, as a co-ruler probably.
George Jong
22. IndependentGeorge
I think 'loyalist' is way too strong a term with regard to Varys. Just because Varys is supporting a Targaryen or Blackfyre doesn't make him a Targaryen or Blackfyre loyalist; it just means he thinks those claims will work to his best advantage. It doesn't actually matter whether Aegon is really Rhaegar's son; it only matters whether people believe he is.

Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick - a shadow on the wall.
Jeff R.
23. EvilclosetmonkeyM
I'm not sure whether you can call Varys a Blackfyre loyalist or whether he's using that cause to further some personal goal of his (I don't believe his claims of altruistic motives). I am pretty sure he's not a Targaryen loyalist. His actions, or lack thereof, regarding the Targ siblings wandering the free cities shows that he wasn't too concerned with their overall well being. I agree with #21 that the dragons caused Varys & Illyrio to alter their original plans. Nobody expected those eggs to hatch, but when they did the plans had to change.
Marty Beck
24. martytargaryen
@5 Braid-Tug: Okay, wow, I'm slow but I finally got here. Thanks for your concern. :) I've been transfixed by the discussions on TWoP (thanks Rob for the zomboni reference) and they are long.

I've always loved the LF character and storyline. Do we know for certain what his endgame is? In particular WRT Sansa? Is she just a surrogate/substitute Cat, or is his fascination with her that she is Cat's daughter (thereby giving him the fantasy that he and Cat had a daughter together)? He is just such a complex, conniving, deep, deeply creepy character.

(edit for spelling)
Marty Beck
25. martytargaryen
Re. WWs taking the babies: The "obvious" or cliche answer would be that Crastor is simply "buying" his peace w/ the WWs through tributes, while simultaneously ridding himself of any future rivals within his house. On first read I took this at face value, but the more we got into Leigh's read through and my own re-read, the less I buy it.
Jeff R.
26. Jeff R.
I'm not sure it's remotely reasonable to assume that Varys is playing the same game post-Robert's Rebellion as he was pre-Robert's Rebellion.

It also occurs to me that his switch from Vicerys/Dany to Emergency Backup Heir Aegon makes perfect sense if he, somehow, knows about Dany's barrenness. I think that he is, in fact, as he said, serving the Realm, and what the Realm needs is a monarch with legitimacy, power, and long-term stability that comes from having an unquestionable and well-defined line of succession to future heirs.

(Well, what the realm really needs is a democratic revolution, or at least a devolution of power to a Westminster style parliament, but that's way outside of Varys context.)
George Jong
27. IndependentGeorge
I'm not sure it's remotely reasonable to assume that Varys is playing the same game post-Robert's Rebellion as he was pre-Robert's Rebellion.
That depends on what game you think he was playing pre-rebellion. Remember Illytio's monologue about how he and Varys earned their fortune? Varys would steal, and Illyrio would be hired by the victim to recover what was lost. They began by stealing gold and gems, worked their way up to stealing letters, and then to leaving the physical letters and simply ferreting out the secrets contained within.

Who's to say that they didn't just take the next logical step and play their two-man con to steal (and recover) an entire Kingdom?
Jeff R.
28. Jeff R.
Well, mainly because I think that Robert's Rebellion came completely out of nowhere as far as the major plotters were concerned. Which is to say that they tended to underestimate just how crazy Aerys was, and that his putting Robert's pal Ned in command of the entire North by killing his father and older brother, which was absolutely essential to making Robert's Rebellion anything other than a complete non-starter, was something that nobody saw coming.

(They may have been working on such a scheme with regard to the rebellion I think Rhaegar was planning, but probably not. I think that any plan involving Aerys' gratitude is a bad plan, and that the point of that was 'put the one who's not going insane on the throne, soonest.')
Jeff R.
29. EvilClosetMonkey
I think it's entirely reasonable to think Varys is playing a very similar game post rebellion as he was pre rebellion. It sure seems like he took steps to make sure Aerys remained king and he even warned him against Rhaegar. That certainly doesn't fit with being in it for the realm.

There is no switch from supporting Viserys/Daenarys to supporting Aegon (fake or real doesn't matter). Varys allowed the Targ siblings to wander the free cities without any of the training and support he & Illyrio have been supplying Aegon with all this time. He never supported them as anything but pawns in whatever game he is playing. Illyrio (who is Varys's partner in all of this) straight up says Viserys was crazy & a fool and that he expected Dany to die with the Dothraki.

I believe that Dany was supposed to be the means to get the Dothraki to invade & Aegon was supposed to be the savior. It's up for debate as to why Varys is playing this game but personally, I think the Blackfyre theory makes the most sense with the information we have.
Jeff R.
30. EvilClosetMonkey
I don't think Varys planned the specifics of how the rebellion started but I do think he intended to keep Aerys in charge because it was likely that either Aerys would do something to spark a rebellion or that he would prove ineffectual at countering their long term plans
Rob Munnelly
31. RobMRobM
Thanks to all for the informative theorizing re Varys. Still not sure it all holds together. Was fake Aegon alive at the time of Robert's rebellion? When did the plan arise to put Aegon on the throne and could it have realistically been planned while Aegon was a babe? Those are the key questions. It could be that Varys was loyal to Aerys and properly advised him when little birds advised that Rhaegar had concerns and was planning some type of action. Or it could be that Varys was trying to cause trouble and Rhaegar had no traitorous plans at all. Or ... it could be something else.
Jakub Wrobel
32. ptyx
Was fake Aegon alive at the time of Robert's rebellion?
If he had not been born yet, then surely his parents were alive, whoever they were, so the initial plan could have been to crown Aegon's father, before something happened to him.

could it have realistically been planned while Aegon was a babe?
It seems that since Aegon's early childhood, he has been trained by Jon, Illyrio and co., so we can assume that yes, this was the plan.

Rhaegar had no traitorous plans at all
Jaime recalls that Rhaegar had some kind of plan and even if we don't know the details, it seems clear that it would have included removing Aerys from the throne.
Rob Munnelly
33. RobMRobM
@32 - "Aegon's father" - who is that? Are you assuming a Blackfyre Targ? Obviously, can't be Aerys.
Jeff R.
34. EvilClosetMonkey
I don't think we can say Varys has loyalty to the Targaryen line or to Aerys in particular, just doesn't mesh with the facts. Based on his stated goals, he should've been against Aerys yet he tries to keep him on the throne. Then he lets the Targ siblings wander the Free Cities unaided for at least a decade.

Not enough evidence yet to say it is definitely a Blackfyre plot but I think it fits best. We have to also account for the Golden Company. True, JonCon says that the current Golden Company is not what it once was and just wants to go home but he makes it clear that when this plot began that it was a different entity. I just don't buy that they threw in on a plot to crown Rhaegar's kid. They were always a Blackfyre organization. GRRM is also very careful to note that the Blackfyre line died out on it's male side, not entirely.

I can't remember the full argument (haven't been to in awhile) but there are a lot of little things that all seem to be pointing the same way on this.
Jeff R.
35. EvilClosetMonkey
@33 The prevailing theory seems to be that Aegon is really the child of Illyrio and the wife he talks about at length in Tyrion's early chapters. I'm not convinced on this point but it does make some sense. The wife does have some Valyrian features and Illyrio is blond. Plus, it explains why Illyrio is doing this in the first place and why he is so disappointed that he can't see Aegon. Though as long as Aegon's mother is from the Blackfyre line it satisfies the larger theory. Or rather as long as some key plotters believe Aegon is from the female Blackfyre line.

And I'm pretty sure JonCon believes that Aegon is real. I don't think he is privy to the larger plot.
Jeff R.
36. Jeff R.
I'm still not entirely convinced that fake Aegon isn't real Aegon (which is to say, Elia's son, swapped with some unrelated infant just before Clegane arrived.).

Of course, I still think that real Aegon's father was Aerys rather than Rhaegar as well, so he'd be fake in that sense.
Rob Munnelly
37. RobMRobM
@35 - that makes sense to me, even if I don't necessarily endorse the theory. Am trying to remember the wife in question. Didn't he first marry a woman related to a Prince of Pentos, then married the second (blond) one for love - so the child is from second marriage, correct? And the assumption is that she is a Blackfyre relation to the Targs? One wouldn't expect the plot to hatch until the kid was old enough to know he'd have white blond valyrian hair and was handsome and had brains in his head.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
Continuing - so the Targs fall, Vis and Dany ramble through the Free Cities, and Illyrio and Varys hatch the plan to put I's kid on the throne as a (putative) restoration of the fallen Targ dynasty but the actual return of the Blackfyres. This would require the reign of Robert and his successors to be incompetent, such that a restoration would hold appeal. Varys was well positioned to help that along subtly. It would also require the early recruitment of Jon Conn, and Varys could get that done as well. Need to give more thought to other elements and how they fit together.
Jeff R.
39. Jean Arnaud
How do I find the old spolier threads to read what is written there. I wasn't following this read until recently and there is a comment I would like to find, likely made by RobM around May 21 of last year that he referenced in the A Read of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, Part 10 comments. Please help!
Bridget McGovern
40. BMcGovern
@ Jean Arnaud: You can find the older spoiler thread here:

I'll add the link into the post itself as soon as I get a chance, but I hope that helps, in the meantime!
Rob Munnelly
41. RobMRobM
Jean A @39 - look to page 20 of the GOT spoiler thread - my comments and sarcastro's dated May 27.

In AGOT 10, Leigh made a comment that Cat is the type of person who would kill first and ask questions later. In the spoiler forum, I noted that the best evidence is the last Brienne chapter in FFC.
Jonathan Levy
42. JonathanLevy

Not really convincing evidence, though, is it? I mean, the resurrected Cat is a shadow of her former self - all hatred and bitterness, none of Catelyn's usual deep insightfulness and naturally cautious nature, much like a Chess Grandmaster planning twenty moves in advance.

/sarc! :)
Rob Munnelly
43. RobMRobM
JL - well played.

By the way, hope things at home are going well. Getting enough sleep?
Joseph Haines
44. IamJoseph
I can't believe Leigh caught on to the Shae betrayal. When I first read this book, that was the biggest shock for me. (I had figured that something would happen at theRed Wedding if not the severity.) I thought Shae had truely loved Tyrion so seeing her at the trial left me completely blindsided.

So much happens in this book. This will be a fun read.
Rob Munnelly
46. RobMRobM
From today's post, re Davos:

"Merling king? Like as in mermaids? Reaalllllly. Well, we’ve got dragons and zombies, why not mermaids? Next it’ll be unicorns, I suppose. Although Martin’s unicorns will probably be horrific ichor-dripping monsters that eat virgins instead of gambol with them. Very low gamboling quotient in Westeros, I’m thinking, avec virgins or otherwise. Yeah."

This is incredibly LOL, in light of ADWD. While not stated directly in the book, the clues strongly point towards Davos going to the isle of Skagos, to save Rickon. By repute, Skagos has unicorns - as well as vicious cannibals. Oh, too much. Can't believe have to keep this point under wraps for how many years - at least four or five?

Marty Beck
48. martytargaryen
@44. I wanted to say something about Shae, but what can I that would not taint Leigh's view...even though as you say, she was thinking in that direction.

Rob and Aegnor - that particular reveal, to me, is the #1 reveal in the first five books. Maybe the timing of it, along with it being that "straw that broke the camel's back" for my favorite character. So I'm glad you jumped all over that one.
Jeff R.
49. EvilClosetMonkey
Much of what made me think Shae actually cared for Tyrion occurs in this book though. For me, it was the way she stuck by him when he was down that made the betrayal surprising.

Nice catch, I didn't quite get what you meant in the other thread. Now, I'm chuckling to myself.

Also, were you just pointing out the possible implications of Tywin's rant or do you subscribe to the Tyrion is a secret Targ theory?
Deana Whitney
50. Braid_Tug
oh yes, Leigh had some great predictions in today's post.

Davos - than man knows how to survive. Totally forgot about the unicorns on Rickon’s island.
Again, that kid is going to be VERY messed up by the time he’s 12. Then he’ll get to play with his assassin trained sister Ayra and really become dangerous.
In honor of “The Princess Bride” 25th Anniversary…
Let’s hope “The Hound” is really dead by the time Rickon is older, otherwise it’s going to be a “You killed my Father, prepare to Die!” moment.

Shae - oh my.

Any bets on which scream is louder?
The Red Wedding or the Murder of Tywin & Shae?

Or will she just be so disillusioned by then, and not surprised by the time Tywin is killed?
Marty Beck
51. martytargaryen
Sheesh, I have to be careful about which thread I'm posting on now...And I'm paranoid about spoilers, so I'll ask here first.

Question, guys: On the other thread, @30 Braid_Tug. Re. Jamie/Tywin/Kingsgard...I believe that is a RAFO for the uninitiated, correct?
If Jamie is Tywin golden boy - why was he allowed in the Kingsgard again? I'm surprised Daddy allowed that. Then again, I can't remember when that is /was talked about.
Doesn't that come up in FFC in some Jaime POV, where he thinks about not getting Casterly Rock? Did Tywin put him there to keep him away from Cercei? I just can't seem to remember.

Anyway, Braid_Tug, good question.
Joseph Haines
52. IamJoseph
@51. martytargaryen
You're right. It's later in this book.

To be precise, it's Jamie's next chapter which we'll be seeing in 3 weeks.
Jeff R.
53. EvilClosetMonkey
Personally, I wouldn't go there on the other thread. We find out (I think in Feast) that Cersei pulled some strings to get Aerys to name Jaime to the Kingsguard. Jaime agreed beforehand so he could be near Cersei again and Aerys was for it because he enjoyed pissing Tywin off. Tywin couldn't do anything about it because it was done in front of everyone by the King, so no going back.

Tywin was so angry that he quit the Handship and went back to Casterly Rock with Cersei so in the end, Jaime & Cersei just switched locations and their plan was foiled.

IIRC, most of this comes out either later in Storm and/or in Feast
Deana Whitney
54. Braid_Tug
@ 51, martytargaryen & 52, IamJoseph
Thanks. I hope I phrased it in a non-spoilery way. Becasue I really couldn't remember.

Indeed the screams of "Spoiler!!!" get heard so much, it makes the other thread not as much fun.
Jeff R.
55. EvilClosetMonkey
I think you phrased it in a very non-spoilery way in the other thread.

I read every Friday but I usually don't post because it is so easy to find oneself in spoiler territory. Hard enough to keep all the information about the series in your head, remembering what we know at any given point is just too hard for me to risk it most times.
Rob Munnelly
56. RobMRobM
Yes, later in either this book or FFC. Daddy Tywin didn't have a chance to say no. Jaime expressed interest at Cersei's idea (so the two can stay close together) and then Aerys jumped in and granted it publicly at Harrenhall tourney so that Tywin could not object. Of course, then Tywin takes Cersei off to Casterly Rock so they won't be together anyway. Yet another f-ed up Cersei brainstorm.

BT - Ser Illyn killed Ned, not the Hound. So he'd be the one to Inigo Montoya.

ECM - I never bought for a moment the Tyrion as illegitimate theory, until ADWD - now I'm not sure. If you need dragon blood to be a dragon rider, how is Tyrion going to get it? I don't think we yet have text support for Targs in Lannister blood (although it is of course possible). If not, then Tyrion won't likely qualify as a dragon rider unless he got Targ blood somewhere - and ADWD goes on to note Aerys' lust for Joanna Lannister. So, it is possible. Also, if the dragon has to have three heads and Aegon is a fake, who is the third head in addition to Dany and Jon? Absent other proof, Tyrion has as much chance as anyone. And the fact that he looks like a Lannister is a red herring because his mother was one in any event.
Marty Beck
57. martytargaryen
EvilClosetMonkey @53 - Thanks. I was quite off, but that's why rereading is so worth it.
Jeff R.
58. EvilClosetMonkey
@ RobM
I still don't buy it, though Dance does give more ammunition to its proponents. I'm not sold that you need dragon blood to be a dragon rider (and we know of at least one way around that, Euron's magic horn). We know straight from GRRM that you don't have to be a Targ to be a dragonrider, though that does leave room for needing Valyrian blood.

I know it's meta-reasoning but the strongest evidence for me that Tyrion is Tywin's son is that it takes away a lot of the power of his story if Tywin isn't really his father. Just doesn't work on a storytelling level for me. Plus, that would be way too many secret Targs running around.

Regarding Aegon, I think he could end up being a dragonrider even if he isn't Aegon, son of Rhaegar. If the Blackfyre theory is correct, he does have dragon blood and the slayer of lies prophecy may indicate that Dany will discover that he isn't Rhaegar's son but that doesn't mean she'll toss him aside. As of right now, Aegon could be an important ally for Dany and I could see her accepting him as long as he acknowledged her supremacy (and if she controls the dragons and rides the biggest and strongest dragon then it certainly appears that she can force that claim).
Rob Munnelly
59. RobMRobM
ECM - but house of undying prophecy (referring to both mummer's dragon text and Stannis) states that Dany is "slayer of lies." Hard to see how the Dany and Aegon can coexist given that text.
Jeff R.
60. EvilClosetMonkey
RobM - Depends, does she slay the lie itself (Stannis is The Prince Who Was Promised, Aegon is the son of Rhaegar) or does she slay the person that embodies the lie?

If Aegon is actually a Blackfyre, I could see Dany slaying the lie but also reuniting the Red & the Black dragon. If Aegon is some random kid with the requisite features then I'd say he's screwed if his lie is slain. If he's actually Aegon, son of Rhaegar then I'm not sure what lie she'll be slaying in regards to the mummers dragon (though it would probably have to have something to do with Varys in that instance).

In ADWD, I believe someone says something to the effect of black or red a dragon is still a dragon. Dragons (the creatures and the Westerosi lineages) are mighty rare these days, might be that they'll band together.
Vincent Lane
61. Aegnor

Yeah, I'm not one to jump over minor spoilers, but that one is huge. Not RW huge, but still a massive spoiler. I remember when I read that initially, and the ramafications of it hit me...

Apparently the moderators were confused though, as they left all the spoilery posts and instead whited out mine, which was entirely not spoilery.
George Jong
62. IndependentGeorge

I'm horribly biased against all things Targaryen-related, but I roll my eyes every time I see "blood of the dragon". I don't think that Targaryen blood matters in the least with regard to the dragon riders; I think that, like being fireproof or resistant to disease, it's a bunch of propaganda that the Targs were stupid enough to believe. It's like the robot elders on Futurama, who couldn't remember if humans could really breathe fire, or if it was just something the made up.
Vincent Lane
63. Aegnor
It can't all be propoganda. After all, Dany was able to survive the funeral pyre.
Jeff R.
64. Nick S.
Any chance that Tyrion wasn't Aerys' seed, but the wonder twins were? If Aerys boned Tywin's woman, isnt it more likely to be the older kids? I may be mistaken, but wasn't there something hinky with Tywins wedding night involving Aerys? I don't know, maybe i dreamed it. Would make Jamie a kinslayer as well as a kingslayer. Also would put him in the running for a dragonrider slot. Seems to potentially fit his redemptive charactor arc.
Jeff R.
65. Nick S.
It would also explain Aerys making him a kingsguard, beyond just wanting to piss off Tywin.
Rob Munnelly
66. RobMRobM
@64 - yes, in ADWD, note was made of "liberties" taken by Aerys during the bedding of Joanna. Hard to believe that they'd be as far as penetration, though.
George Jong
67. IndependentGeorge
#63 - Word of God says that was a one-time occurance related to the spell that hatched the eggs. Her hands do in fact get blistered at the end of DWD from merely being near Drogon, and the fact that dozens died during the great spring sickness refutes the idea that Targaryens can't get sick.

I'm not even convinced that the Valyrians practiced incest the way the Targaryens did. I think it's far more likely that this was a practice they developed after their exile to Dragonstone, and that the Targaryens were the hillbillies of Valyria.

I think the they're the equivalent of a nuclear apocalypse wiping out 99% of the world's population, but somehow the cast of Jersey Shore escapes not only untouched, but in sole possession of the entire 1st Cavalry Division's weapons.
Jeff R.
68. Nick S.
Thanks RobMRobM. Glad I wasn't dreaming. I hope he is, I would enjoy the irony of Tywin elevating up the bastard kids and treating his trueborn like crap. What with his thing about his blood being most important.
Jeff R.
69. Jeff R.
Anyone else at least suspect that Shae was literally working for Tywin all along? (And, by implication, Bronn as well, from the arrival at the camp onward.)

The wonder twins don't have any Targyren physical traits, though, and Tyrion sort-of does. (His hair is so light as to be practically white, and that one black eye of his could easily be a deep indigo.)
Jeff R.
70. Nick S.
@Jeff R.

Yeah the twins being Aerys' is a bit of a stretch. It would be GRRM's style, though, to turn the guy who chucked our first POV charactor out a window into a big hero and turn the fan favorite, sympathetic dwarf into a villain. I mean Tywin is a dick, but he's pretty spot on with his assessment of Tyrion in the chapter this week despite all of us (or maybe just me), getting upset with him and wanting to defend Tyrion.
Jeff R.
71. owleyes
If the Wonder Twins did turn out to be Aerys', that would make Joff (and his siblings) Targaryens. Ironic.

I never considered that to be a plausible scenario, but for irony purposes it would be pretty in tune with GRRM's style. I always thought if far more likely that Tyrion is a secret Targ... there's a lot of what seems like foreshadowing about him being a king, having a big shadow, etc. But I'm not sure if both him and Jon Snow can be secret Targs... it's got to be one or the other.
Rob Munnelly
72. RobMRobM
Jeff - no, I don't believe Shae and Bronn were Tywin creatures. He's smart but he can't have planned that.
Bill Stusser
73. billiam
I was going to put up this comment lsat weekend but then never got around to it.

I think that Varys's endgame since the rebellion has been to get Aegon on the Iron Throne. The following is purely speculation on my part and could prove to be a big pile of bullshit in the long run =)

I don't think that Varys is a Blackfyre loyalist, I think that he himself is a BF. Remember when Varys told the story of how he lost his manhood? Was he just a random victim or was he chosen for a reason? Mel said there is power in a king's blood when she asked Stannis to give her Robert's bastard Edric to wake the stone dragon. If Varys was from the female line of BF he would indeed have king's blood. Could that be why Varys was castrated? Did the sorceror need the blood of kings for the ritual in which he burned Varys's manhood?

So the next question is why Aegon? Because I believe that Aegon is the son of Illyrio and Varys's sister, the dead wife with the Valyrian looks. That would make Aegon a BF. Which would also explain why the Golden Company broke a contract, something it has never done, to help Aegon claim the throne. I also wonder if the chest for Griff that Illyrio dragged along on his journey with Tyrion in ADwD might hold the sword Blackfyre.

I think the plan was for Dany to bring the Dothraki across the Narrow Sea to start a war and throw Westeros into chaos. Then they would have Aegon return to sweep up the mess. Aegon, who as Rhaegar's son would be heir to the throne before Dany, could save the kingdom from Dany and her Dothraki by offering up a marriage between the two to unite Westeros once more. When Drogo died and Dany lost the Dothraki, Varys and Illyrio had to make changes to the plan and so decided to send Aegon to Dany in Meereen.

But, whatever the plan with Aegon is, its not going to work because Dany is going to slay the mummer's dragon. As I've said before, I think that the second dance of the dragons is going to be fought between Dany and Aegon.
Jeff R.
74. faiz Imam
Restless as I am to see Leigh get the the highlights of the book, I calculated when they would be.

For future refrence, assuming 2 chapters a week, plus one week off in october:

The red wedding(Chapter 52) will be on Friday March 15th

Selmy will be revealed to Danerys(Chapter 58) on Friday April 5th

Joffreys death(Chapter 61) will be on Friday April 12th

Tyrion's escape, details of his marriage to Tysha and patricide(Chapter 78) will be on Friday June 14th

Jon's electoral victory(Chapter 80) will be on Friday June 21st

My calculations may be off by a week from the get go, also if she does any 1 or 3 chapter weeks or takes more time off things will also be off. But its nice to know.
Deana Whitney
75. Braid_Tug
@ 74, does that account for Winter holiday / New Year's recover breaks?
But either way the wait for the "big reveals" is going to be hard on everyone.

@73, I think you just made my head hurt. No, GRRM makes my head hurt. But since I'm here, I must enjoy the pain...
Marty Beck
76. martytargaryen
I read The Hedge Knight this weekend. What a fun read.
Rob Munnelly
77. RobMRobM
@76 - Isn't it? The next two are fun as well (although the second one is a bit drier in subject matter; and in the third one Walder Frey shows up as a toddler, LOL).
George Jong
78. IndependentGeorge
Ok, who else is giddy at the thought of tomorrow's chapters? I LOVE Olenna, and she gets one of the greatest introductions in the entire series. We also get more clues about Renly/Loras for Leigh to pick up on and probably misinterpret. That's not a criticism - I completely missed it myself even after THREE re-reads before I saw the HBO series. It's just amusing to see someone else misinterpret something in the exact same way that you did yourself.
Jeff R.
79. EvilClosetMonkey
Color me stoked. Been excited for Olenna's introduction since end of Clash!

I remember loving her the first time I read Storm then being sad that she had such a non-plussed reaction to Sansa's thoughts re: Joffrey. Hundreds of pages later, we finally see her real reaction. Much cheering for the death of a minor.
Marty Beck
80. martytargaryen
Ditto...stoked here. And the thing I love about the Jon chapter, is the possibilities from this point are virtually endless (without the benefit of hindsight).

I re-read Sansa's chapter getting giddy at the idea of Leigh being introduced to the QoT....And that back and forth between the ladies' conversation and Butterbumps singing is A RIOT (dying to see that on TV - but that's for another time).
Jeff R.
81. EvilClosetMonkey
What's the argument in the WoT thread? Haven't participated in those rereads but quite familiar with the series.

I think the Renly-Loras relationship might sneak past Leigh here. Though I could see her catching it after Loras's comments comparing Renly to the sun or maybe Jaime's "I'll shove that sword somewhere even Renly didn't find."
Deana Whitney
82. Braid_Tug
She asks if that was when Lord Renly was killed, and Loras shuts her down sharply. She apologizes, but he does not warm up to her again, and Sansa curses herself for bringing it up.
You know, I'm really starting to think that Leigh might not catch the Loras / Renly affair. She just doesn't seem to clue into the drops made.
Sansa's all "oh, your poor sister!"
Loras' all "why? she wasn't there!"
Jeff R.
83. EvilClosetMonkey
Don't have my copy of Storm available right now, but doesn't either Margaery or Olenna also tell Sansa something to the effect of Willas being a better potential husband than Loras and Loras being more suited to the Kingsguard?
Jeff R.
84. owleyes
Love Lady Olenna! Or as I usually refer to her, "Grandma Highgarden." I'm a little dissappointed that Leigh didn't pick up on the song that Butterbumps was singing "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and the way the interjected lyrics interacted with the conversation. I've also come to think of that song as kind of a foreshadowing/parallel to the Jaime/Brienne story (which climaxes with handless Jaime rescuing Brienne the "maiden fair" from an actual bear, if we needed further hinting). It pops up a few more times in this book and in later ones, so maybe she'll start to notice. I wonder if it has further significance than just Jaime and Brienne. Anyone else pick up on this?
Jeff R.
85. EvilClosetMonkey
@ 84 owleyes
I've noticed some of that as well. It could also have something to do with Dany & Jorah, he is a Mormont (bear) and even plays one with Tyrion & Penny while Dany is obviously fair, though not a maiden.
Another possible link that comes to mind is San-San, she's a maiden fair and while maybe not a bear, the Hound is beastly at times.

Also, it is a fun, dirty song.
Marty Beck
86. martytargaryen
Braid-Tug & EvilClosetMonkey: I think Leigh did herself a big disservice when she misinterpreted a narration in Renly's camp shortly after his and Margaery's wedding. Renly pretty much ignored her the entire time, but Leigh misread and got the exact opposite impression

Unfortunately, to point out the error would be to tip her off, and this is one of the most fanscinating and dramatic aspects of her read.

I wonder what she thinks of all this veiled banter about her getting it and there being hints and whatnot.

All that said, the two quotes quoted by you Evil @81 must do the trick...I wonder if she'll retro-think it once the light bulb goes off.
Rob Munnelly
87. RobMRobM
Leigh just doesn't get the Renly - Loras thing (or the Blackfish thing, for that matter). At this point, hard to see how she will get it, as she hasn't done much looking back unless something in text triggers the change of view.

Funny how the posters in the main thread are thinking of QoT as merely amusing. She schemes to take over three of the seven kingdoms plus the Iron Throne, and arranges to kill off Joff to make sure Margaery is not abused (and there not being any psycho children down the line, likely). She has massive bodyguards - which other women in Westereros has them? It's because she is up to stuff and others may take offense ....

So much fun reading Tormund quotes - the wildling version of Dolorous Ed, except with a braggart take on life.
Jeff R.
88. faiz Imam
There are more than a few clues coming up, they are all listed here:

Here are the ones from ASOS in chronological order:

"When the sun has set, no candle can replace it." ASOS p137

"Loras is valiant and handsome and we all love him dearly...but your Imp will make a better husband."ASOS p322

"There are those who say that Ser Loras is better than Leo Longthorn ever was," said Tyrion.
"Renly's little rose? I doubt that." ASOS p437

"Varys had suggested the woman to him; in former days, she had run Lord Renly's household in the city, which had given her a great deal of practice at being blind, deaf and mute." ASOS p655

"Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I'll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found." ASOS p698

"I buried him with mine own hands, at a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm's End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest." He looked at Jaime definatly. "I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them." ASOS p759

"We had...we had prayed together that night." ASOS p760

"And it relieved him {Mace} of the difficult task of trying to find lands and a bride for a third son, never easy, and doubly difficult in Ser Loras's case."ASOS p769

She is almost certain to get it by p698 but i'm hoping p437 will be obvious for a reader like Leigh.
Rob Munnelly
89. RobMRobM
I still think Leigh's going to have trouble. She's been on the wrong path and these still might be too subtle for her when he mind is in the same rut.
Jeff R.
90. Faiz
On another note, there is a strong clue on the identity of Arstan next week next time.

": This Arston Whitebeard is playing you false. He is too old to be a squire and too well spoken to be searving that oaf of a eunuch. That does seem queer, Dany had to admit."
Faiz Imam
91. FaizImam
On that note I was wondering. If next time leigh is like:


Arstan? OR BARastan?


What do we do in the comments?

Do we have carte blanche to talk about it at will? or should we hold off until its official in a few months?

Because i'm certain many will blather away regardless, this is more a question about Moderator policy.

Same goes for the Renly and Loras question too I guess...
Bridget McGovern
92. BMcGovern
@FaizImam--until the text has confirmed or given the lie to any of Leigh's guesses or theories, the Moderation policy will be to treat these topics like any other spoilers. Whether she's right or wrong about what's coming up, as long as it's just speculation on her part, no one in the know should be discussing whether she's right or wrong on the non-spoiler thread. Potentially frustrating, I know, but that's the only way to be fair to Leigh and anyone else who hasn't read ahead. Thanks!
Deana Whitney
93. Braid_Tug
So, carry over poll from the Non-spolier thred, but since we have more information....

Who is a King, by end of this Series ?
Do you think Westors will be One or More Kingdoms?

Or, to steal RobmRobm's idea...
Who is the next speaking roll character to Die?

I say Litterfinger at some point, but not next...
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
BT @93 - 90% odds that next major character to die will be Jon. Whether he stays dead is an entirely different matter. I'm also not sanguine about the prospects for Barristan Selmy.

Littlefinger will get taken down by Sansa in A Dream of Spring.

King and Queen at the end: Tyrion and Sansa.
David Goldfarb
95. David_Goldfarb
I have a suspicion that Jon will be king of Westeros at the end. If R+L=J is true, he's a Targaryen -- and Dany is infertile, which makes her rather a dead end as queen.
George Jong
96. IndependentGeorge
I can't say when, but Stannis and Barristan have 'DOOMED' stamped on their foreheads in 72-point bolded type. Maybe not right away, but there's no way they survive the series. Which is a shame, because Stannis is my favorite of all of the claimants to the throne.
Rob Munnelly
97. RobMRobM
DG - not certain Dany is infertile - query whether her excessive bleeding at the end of ADWD was a miscarriage. But my current guess is that Jon and Dany will get together but then something will happen such that they do not end up King and Queen happily ever after. Maybe they'll head off to Asshai together....
Bill Stusser
98. billiam
I would say that Jon and Dany would end up king and queen but ASoIaF isn't that kind of story, I mean we know the end is going to be bittersweet afterall. I think Dany will be queen by the end of the whole thing, otherwise, what was the point in her being in the story. And I agree with RobM, Dany isn't barren, the poison berries she ate at the end of ADwD caused her to miscarriage Daario's baby. MMD most likely lied to Dany. I do think that Dany will end up having Jon's baby.
George Jong
99. IndependentGeorge
Here's my ending scenario: Dany wins the throne, but it's largely an empty title as the realm is in ruins and too sparsely populated to form a unified kingdom. She gradually turns as mad as her father, but this time, Barristan decides to end things himself to spare the kingdom another mad Targaryen. Dany has a lucid moment just before she dies, and the last time he sees her alive is not in a crazy spell, but a look of hurt and betrayal. Barristan goes to the wall where he spends the last years of his life tormented by guilt and shame. Jon is revealed as a Targaryen, but he cedes the throne to rebuild the Night's Watch. The survivors rebuild, and finally, the smallfolk who do the actual building and farming find themselves more valuable than the nobles who rule them. Life is hard, but for the first time in generations, there is peace.
Tricia Irish
100. Tektonica
In all these scenarios, there's no mention of the White Walkers, and the Wildings? What part will they play in the end game? I mean, we could see some real Fantasy havoc here! Anyone?
Rob Munnelly
101. RobMRobM
Dragons v. Others is inevitable, with the Prince that was Promised, AA Reborn and SuperBran (TM) fighting with the forces of Light. Role of wildlings will depend on what happens to Jon. If he remains as head of NW, the wildlings are the front line troops battling the wights and Others. If he's dead or exiled and Bowen Marsh is put in charge, all heck will break loose.
Jeff R.
102. Jeff R.
I'm still with Dany as the next biggest name to die. (And all y'all who think Dany's not barren are deluding yourselves. MMD never lied once; she wasn't going to start then. The only way out is for all of the elements of that prophesy/curse to come true, and there's not enough magic in this series or going to be to make that work.)

I orignally thought Jon was end up as King, but I just don't see anyone suitable to co-found a dynasty with him out there. So I'll change my guess to King Tyrion and Queen Sansa. (Second time's the charm...)
Bill Stusser
103. billiam
I'm not buying it. If Dany dies before reaching Westeros then what was the point of even having her in this story? That just doesn't make any sense storywise. And I still think Dany had a miscarriage in ADwD.

As for MMD, there are two different ways to look at that. Let's take her treating Drogo's wound as an example. Did she do what she was told to do and it was Drogo's fault for not following her instructions? Or did she put something on Drogo's wound to make sure it would become infected? At first, while I was reading the book and before I knew the what the end result would be, I thought it was Drogo not following her directions. But knowing how it all ends now, I can't help thinking how easy it would be for her to poison Drogo by not treating his wound right. I know there are people on both sides of the MMD fence.

I don't think Tyrion will be king, as a matter of fact, I think he dies in the last book. I can see Sansa ending up as queen but then who would be her king?
Jeff R.
104. Jeff R.
Well, her barrenness may be of a type that causes inevitable miscarriages rather than preventing conception; no problem.

And the point would be to explain where the three big honking dragons came from (as well as the army and various named personages that made the trip with her.) And I'm open to her death being immediately after setting foot on Westeros just as much as shortly before.
George Jong
105. IndependentGeorge
The only way out is for all of the elements of that prophesy/curse to come true, and there's not enough magic in this series or going to be to make that work.
But Dany being barren was one of the conditions, and not the curse in itself; Dany had asked her when Drogo woud be again as he once was. MMD's answer sounded to me more like hyperbole than actual prohpecy.
"When will he be as he was?" Dany demanded.

"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and the mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before.
Finally, one might actually interpret all of those conditions as occuring or close to occurring. Quentyn Martell, the sun's son, was born in the west and died in the east. Gregor the Mountain is dead, his life blowing in the wind. The Dothraki Sea is made of grass, and can dry quite easily. The last term is Dany bearing a living child, which is really a tautology.
Jeff R.
106. Jeff R.
As far as I'm considered, they're all tied together, which means that Drogo reassembling from ash and waking up hale and hearty has to happen as well as all the others (which I'm inclined to require as much more literal than metaphors involving people MMD most likely never even heard of) before/immediately after any live births from Dany.

Which I don't think is going to happen. So I'm more inclined to think that it was hyperbole+'oh, by the way, you can't have any more kids ever', both of which are absolutely true.

(It's interesting, though, that HBO-version Dany didn't get this information, and also didn't get the Threes Prophesy, both of which are pretty key to book-Dany's view of her future as well as ours as readers...)
George Jong
107. IndependentGeorge
@106 - but when have prophecies ever been literal? Well, besides Agnes Nutter, Witch.
Jeff R.
108. JoannaTargaryen
My first time posting here - usually I just lurk. But this prophecy business is too much fun.

There's actually one prophecy that came true already. Near the end of a Dany chapter in AGOT, the one where she finds she's pregnant, we have this:

"`He told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi,' the Lysene girl said. `Once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and cracked from the heat. A thousand thousand dragons poured forth, and drank the fire of the sun. That is why dragons breathe flame. One day the other moon will kiss the sun too, and then it will crack, and the dragons will return.' "

Which everyone else in attendance dismisses as ridiculous.

But, what did Dany and Drogo call each other?

I'm guessing that the other prophecies will be fulfilled in a similarly roundabout way. If at all.
Rob Munnelly
109. RobMRobM
Perhaps I'm dense but I always assumed that MMD's statement was more an insult than a prophecy. How can it be a prophecy - she is setting forth conditions for Drogo to return to the way he was, which is not going to happen under any circumstances? Three literally impossible things (sun, seas, mountains) then the throw in about bearing a living child.

Even then, even if one can argue (as above) that the three impossible things can occur or even have occurred, there is still the problem that the end result remains impossible - Drogo is DED, he is an un-Dothraki. So whether Dany will or will not bear a living child is immaterial to the end result - Drogo will not return as he was. What does that leave - an insult that Dany having a child is impossible/unlikely. Could this be read as a prophecy that Dany won't have kids - maybe but the internal logic is off.
Jeff R.
110. Jeff R.
Fundamentally, I read MMD as one of those incredibly deceptive characters who never actually tells a lie. And knows enough fantasy gynecology to be authoritative when she says that Dany having another live birth is in the same category of 'never' as all of those other things. So either it's a literal truth (most likely option) or it's a very clever deception, and all of the linked things are going to happen.

(One notes that Dany dying in childbirth delivering future baby could, just barely, be stretched into 'Drogo returning to Dany'. But then you've got the other elements to deal with. And an infant with the best 'legitimate' claim on the throne.)
Marty Beck
111. martytargaryen
Welcome aboard JoannaT. I'm about half way through aGoT reread, and will look for this as I go.

Yes, Rob (@109), you put to words what I was thinking on some level but couldn't quite put together.
Also, I wonder (in the fantasy trope) who has "authority" to declare prophesy? In WOT it is much more cut-and-dry (viewings, foretelling, dreams, and what is written of same). Clearly, the viewings in the House of the Dying hold prophesy weight, but why does MMD?

@110 "fantasy gynecology" - some terms should remain in context.

Also, I would include myself as one who initially thought Drogo's illness was the result of his own carelessness. But I changed my mind during Leigh's read-through, and now think that MMD caused the illness.
Jeff R.
112. Helen_Joan
I think that Joanne@108 has a point. Maybe all those things will/have happened when Drogo is reborn as Dany's child. Maggie, the lady who prophesied to Cercie, was probably related (not by birth but by religion/training) to MMD, so why cannot MMD also have the ability for prophesy.

(excuse my sometimes incoherent ramblings - it makes sense in my head! Thus I mostly lurk)
Rob Munnelly
113. RobMRobM
Helen and above - interesting thoughts.

Maggy the Frog (a corruption of Maegi) used Cersei's blood to perform blood magic in prophesizing/seeing Cersei's future. Mel and Moqorro see people's futures by looking into the flames, inspired by R'hillor.

Mirri Maz Dur didn't use R'hillor's flames or Dany's blood - instead she used death magic, tied to the death of Drogo's horse, Baby Rhaego, or both - to "cure" Drogo but keep him a vegetable. Given the above, it is unclear how she can speak with authority as to Dany's future in addition to the magical impacts on Rheago and Drogo. We need more info on the "rules" for Asshai shadowbinders, I guess.
Marty Beck
114. martytargaryen
Given the above, it is unclear how she can speak with authority as toDany's future in addition to the magical impacts on Rheago and Drogo. We need more info on the "rules" for Asshai shadowbinders, I guess.
My initial reaction to your statement, here, Rob, is to say that from a meta/storytelling standpoint, having such "ambiguous authority" on prophesy mixed in with similar, but different, yet clearly authoritative announcements of foretelling really just muddies the waters for us the readers. After thinking it over, I then thought maybe that is exactly GRRM's point. To your point, we need to learn more about the nature of DDM's brand of magic.

Actually, we are still unclear just how accurate Mel's viewings are, or what the limitations are, anyway. She clearly could scry & foretell Davos's attempt at offing her, so there is that. But do we have any indication that her long-term foretellings are accurate?
Rob Munnelly
115. RobMRobM
Marty - yes, but she almost never reads them properly. She foresaw Renly leading troops against Stannis at Blackwater, which lead to the assassination, only to learn later that Loras's brother in Renly's armor was the tipping point in the battle. She foresaw a girl on a horse fleeing from a marriage, thinking it was Arya, and it turned out to Alys Karstark. She foresaw Jon getting attacked by his brothers - accurately, as it turned out. And then, of course, she keeps asking the flames for visions of Stannis as AA reborn and can't figure out why she keeps getting shown Jon Snow....
Julian Augustus
116. Alisonwonderland
I always thought MMD directly caused Drogo's illness. After all, Drogo has been fighting since birth, and it is inconceivable that this is the first time he's been given what he originally called a scratch, or that Drogo and the Dothraki in general don't know how to treat minor battle wounds. I think the wound would have healed without the active intervention of MMD. And why did she do it? Recall her speech to Dany just before Dany had her burned. MMD thought it was in the interest of her people to stop Drogo's predations against them and, more importantly, to abort the coming of the 'Stallion that Mounts the World' and what that would mean people like her.
Julian Augustus
117. Alisonwonderland
Robm @ 115,

I agree with you. Mel always sees accurately, but like Elaida always misinterpretes her foretellings.
Jeff R.
118. Jeff R.
Feh. The Dothraki don't have any medical tradition of their own at all, and their treatment of battle wounds is pretty much limited to 'clean, bandage, and wait for it to heal.' Which is all well and good until someone gets infected, in which case their treatment is 'let them die, since getting sick proved that they were weak in the first place.'

Drogo's wound became infected before MMD started treating it. And I still say that her treatment would have worked, but she knew Dothraki well enough to have no doubt in her mind that Drogo would never stick to the regimen and would sicken and die as a result.
Julian Augustus
119. Alisonwonderland
Drogo's wound became infected before MMD started treating it.
How? MMD started treating Drogo right after the fight, when the wound was fresh. Unless you are claiming that the Drothraki fight with infected blades, there is no way that wound gets infected if it is washed, cleaned and covered right away.
Jeff R.
120. Jeff R.
I was, perhaps, being overly generous about the 'cleaning' part. I'm sure it doesn't involve anything resembling soap, and certainly does involve pre-germ-theory water supplies or, at best, fresh horse blood.
Faiz Imam
121. FaizImam
The WOT re-read is up, we are back on the road!
Marty Beck
122. martytargaryen
I am listening to AGoT audio to get a different feel for it.

I noticed that there are a couple times that Ned is thinking on Jon with shame (for himself, not Jon). Assuming he is in fact not Jon's father, why would Ned feel shame?

Reference - Ned in his cell in the Red Keep, just prior to Varys's visit.
Rob Munnelly
123. RobMRobM
Marty - not standing up to Cat when she didn't treat her well, is my guess without having re-read the text.
Jakub Wrobel
124. ptyx
Or he could simply be ashamed of lying about Jon's parents.
125. Ryamano
Looking at today's post I wonder how much could be saved if people shared more information in the world of Westeros. Basically as much as in the world of the Wheel of Time, is my conclusion.

If Doran Martell had cared to tell Daenerys or Viserys that he was loyal to them and would rebel if they came ashore under the right circunstances, all the detour to Astapor and Slaver's Bay could be spared. But, of course, if that happened the sun couldn't rise in the west and set in the east (young Martell dying while trying to tame a dragon), so I guess GRRM had all that figured out beforehand. I just think, in the end, the slaves rebellion isn't all that interesting and makes the books kind of overly long.
Rob Munnelly
126. RobMRobM
@125 - I see GRRM as wanting to have any earn leadership and not get just it magically handed to her. She gets to lead people, make decisions, make mistakes and, eventually, come out as a better leader and ruler. Just like the ancient Greeks, many of whose stories centered on the theme "Knowledge Though Suffering." I certainly could have done with less suffering in ADWD, of course.

127. BFG
Although I agree that Dany has just gone through 'how to be a leader' training 101, I sorta wonder why.

As readers we know that she should be able to have children again one day and thus she isn't barren. We're also waiting for a frozen zombie invasion from the north, where dragons may well be helpful - but Dany doesn't know any of this. As far as she knows there's no frozen zombie invasion looming, because she doesn't know that frozen zombies exist. She also believes she's barren, so when she dies, if she's Queen of Westeros then their's a fair chance of another civil war.

(hi :) )
Faiz Imam
128. FaizImam
Relatively uneventful Davos chapter coming up, then Jaime.

As a full member of the Jamie fanclub, I'm wondering how far this chapter will turn Leigh away from the understandable hatred. Should be fun :)
Deana Whitney
129. Braid_Tug
I had thought this weekend. Some of you are saying that since Dany is barren and therefore a “dead end” for succession, that she shouldn’t be Queen of Westeors at all.

What about Queen Elizabeth I of England? She was a “dead end” genetically, but is still considered one of the best rulers of England. A rulers ability to rule is not defined by their ability to reproduce.

So Dany could become Queen, marry, and establish nephew or other relative as the heir before she and hubby die. Given the right marriage and alliances, it might prevent a future Civil War.

If there has to be some blood connection to the “Dragons” surely they can find some minor branch or bastard offspring from one of the previous generations?
Rob Munnelly
130. RobMRobM
BT - sure - she can appoint Gendry (Baratheon lineage includes one of Aegon V's daughters).
Jeff R.
131. Jeff R.
I see Ned's shame there as being for having chosen his friend over his family, inadvertantly. For having believed the 'rapist Rhaegar' story and helping Robert kill a largely innocent man as a result. (Not so much for having started a war, since Aerys really did have to go in any case, but for that part of the business...)

And, since he's a Man of Complicated but Strong Loyalties, he's probably also ashamed of having betrayed Robert by keeping a potential Targ. heir alive and secret...
Bill Stusser
132. billiam
I think that a big part of the shame is a result of an honorable man like Ned having to lie to everyone for so many years. But more than that, I think we are going to find out that Ned is somehow responsible for Lyanna's death, either directly or indirectly. There is obviously more to what happened at the ToJ.

While I'm on the subject, there was something relevant in the Dany chapter. Arstan said that Rhaegar's best friend was Ser Arthur Dayne. The same Ser Arthur Dayne who was standing guard outside the ToJ when Ned arrived to reclaim his sister. On a side note, does anyone else wonder just how Ned managed to defeat Ser Dayne? I know that Arstan said that even the best Knight could fall to anyone depending on the circumstances of a fight or luck in this very chapter. So is that what happened, did Ned get lucky?

Also, notice how Arstan still considers Viserys a prince and not king? Do you think he knows about Jon being the true heir to throne (if R + L =J is true, of course)?

Lots of clues as to who Arstan is here. At this point in the story I hadn't figured out who he was, but it was obvious that he had been a knight in KL. Jorah's obvious jealousy is funny to me, what a loser. I really don't like Jorah and found his coming on to Dany very squicky. Twenty years may not be a big deal when you are talking about adults but Dany is still a teenager.

I can't wait until Friday's Jaime chapter. There is some really good stuff in that one.

RobM @ 130: Can you really see Dany legitimizing one of the "Usurper's" bastards?
Jeff R.
133. Jeff R.
Interesting about Arstan. (Also, a nephew is ahead of a bastard son, so for this to be true, there would have to have been a marriage as well. Do the Targs practice polygamy or would that also require a divorce/annulment/what have you?)

Oh, and since I forgot to say this again, @127, Dany having a miscarriage doesn't disprove MMD's no-live-births diagnosis, it confirms it.
Jeff R.
134. Aeryl
Reading the old spoiler thread, talking about whether Leigh will catch on leading up to the RW.

I think she will, she's savvy enough, and unlike me, she caught the reference to RW in the HoTU. Me I got a BAD feeling during the chapter, where Robb's war council met, and it laid out how Robb was gonna take back the North.

When I read it, my stomach sank, and I had to put the book down and walk away. I just KNEW that Martin had something terrible planned, and that carefully laid out plan was not going to pan out.

Of course, 20 minutes later I was putting the book down again.
Jeff R.
135. Asbjorn
@134 I believe that she will realize something is going to go wrong in chapters leading up to the RW - especially Grey Winds behavior towards the Freys etc - and there is a good chance that she will suspect Robbs death... from that point of view its a shame, really, that Leigh is reading the chapters so slow, because this way she will have more time to adapt to the thought that Robb is going to die. I dont think she will suspect Catelyns death, or the way they mutilate Robb's corpse.

I wonder if she will guess some of the prophecies from the Ghost of High Heart - especially "I dreamed about a woman who once was a fish. Dead the drifted, with red tears on her eyes, but when her eyes did open, oh, I woke from terror".
Rob Munnelly
136. RobMRobM
Billiam - I was mostly joking re Gendry but he does have Targ blood and if he does good service during the upcoming war with the Others, I can't rule it out entirely.

Also-Ned beat Dayne because he and his gang outnumbered Dayne and his KG gang 7-3. Even then, only two of the seven survived - Ned and Howland Reed.

Several - I have very substantial doubts about Leigh's ability to accurately predict the RW. To date, she hasn't tried to dig in deep enough to make accurate forward looking predictions. Hence - her lack of putting the pieces together re Arstan. I do predict, however, that she will make several amusing comments leading up to the event that will humorously and ironically be viewed in retrospect as presaging the big event - because that's the way Leigh rolls.
Faiz Imam
137. FaizImam
I anticipate the 4 weeks between the RW and Joffrey's death to be the most entertaining of the whole read. Assuming the the project is not put on hold when she just quits and walks away from the whole thing :)

The moment Grey Wind is caged I thought "oh that's not gonna end well" but until that point we had no precedent to how brutal GRRM could be. It's a truely paradym shifting event, and as such I can imagine the analysis leading up to it to be relatively beningn.

The role of Gendry going forward remains a genuine mystery to me. IIRC no one alive knows who he is(nor does he himself know), and the only person who knows he is "special" is Arya, who is in no position to convey this information to anyone of consequence.

Of course this is high fantasy, so something will of course happen, but it seems to me that it would have to be quite arbitrary no?
Jakub Wrobel
138. ptyx
Note that Gendry seems to look like a younger copy of Robert. Remember how easily he was recognized by Ned and how Brienne mistook him for Renly at first.
No idea why it should matter any longer that he is Robert's bastard. I don't believe he can be anywhere near the throne by the end of the series.
Maybe something like a history repeating itself and Gendry killing Aegon at the Trident just like his father killed Aegon's father? Or, assuming that Aegon is a fake Targ and R+L=J, Gendry killing Jon? Or vice versa? Or... or...
Bill Stusser
139. billiam
I'm not sure if it matters or not but there are a few people who know who Gendry is. Varys and Illyrio know since they were talking about Ned finding Gendry when Arya overheard them talking in the tunnels under the Red Keep. Also, I always thought it was Varys who took Gendry to the blacksmith and paid for his apprenticeship, do we know if that is right or not?

I'm also sure that LF also knows since it was him who gave Ned the clues he needed to find Gendry.

The blacksmith knew who his apprentice was too, but I can't remember whether he is still alive or not. Was he one of the antler men from ACoK?
Rob Munnelly
140. RobMRobM
Yes, Varys both arranged for the apprenticeship and spirited him out of town with Yoren. Thus, Illyrio knows too. LF knows something is up with Mott's armory, as Arryn visited it, but not clear he knows that Gendry was the target of the visits to that location. I don't recall Mott as being one of the Antler Men. He was definitely one of those who made Tyrion's chain.

Re Gendry, I could easily see him falling into Arya's pack if she returns to Westeros and hooks back up with Nymeria to start killing Freys and Lannisters. She'll then hook up with brother Jon and battle the Others. So Gendry could well be in the middle of things at the end game.
Rob Munnelly
141. RobMRobM
Read something on line that floored me a bit. There is a pretty good argument that Brienne is a grandchild or great-grandchild of Dunk. Apparently, GRRM said an ancestor of his was in the books as of FFC. The shield Brienne had painted replicated a shield found in her family's castle, which was Dunk's (Tree with shooting star across the sky). Hard to see how Dunk's shield could get to Tarth without some type of connection. And Brienne's father is named the "Evenstar," possibly a play on Dunk's sigil. The thought would be that Dunk has an illegitimate child who then marries well, either directly into the Tarth noble line or the child marries into the Tarth line, probably the former. The Brienne's dad is born.

Interesting thought and adds to the paralellisms between Dunk and Brienne that are obvious in text.

George Jong
142. IndependentGeorge
Man, it's really getting hard to bite my tongue on the main thread. I love her speculation about Aerys & Cersei.
Jeff R.
143. EmmaPease
@133. Jeff R.

The Targ kings have certainly practiced polygamy. The first king married both his sisters.

Those who are nearest to Danys seem to be Aegon (if he is really Aegon) and Jon Snow (if he is Lyanna and Rhaegar's child, except by becoming a crow he has renounced any claims to rule elsewhere). Both could even have a claim ahead of Danys. Next would be her second cousin, Stannis, and then his daughter, Shireen. I'm assuming here that Tommen and Myrcelle will be officially recognized as not Robert's children otherwise they come ahead. There may be other legitimate closer kin but the Martells as fifth cousins are the next we know of. The Blackfyres are at the same level (fifth cousins) but may not have any descendents left. The Plumms are also be distant cousins. It is also possible that the Velaryons are in line (the Targ kings married Velaryon women so it isn't impossible that some younger daughters were married to Velaryon lords).

If Danys becomes queen and can't have children, she could also go outside her own line (much like a few Roman emperors did when they had no children, they adopted a likely looking man).
Jeff R.
144. Aeryl
I love how Jamie's thoughts on the sack still leave his eventual actions completely ambiguous. He mentions its the day of the sack, and that Rossart's already dead before he slays Aerys.

It kinda comes across like he was actively participating in the sack, instead of the averting a Wildfyre conflagration that would consume the city.

I watched the show first, which put more effort in making Jamie a tad bit more sympathetic(I viewed him as an enthralled pawn of Cersei's more than his own person), so I always felt that his actions in re. to Aerys weren't THAT bad, before Jamie's ultimate motivation was revealed.
Jeff R.
145. Aeryl
@144, That was always my thought, was instead of allowing an accident of birth determine her heir, Dany would choose one instead, prolly Jon, if R+L=J. I'm assuming if the series ends the way I think it will, with the end of the Others & Dragons, which has caused the magical upheaval in the world i.e. screwed up seasons, dead rising, and the Wall & NW aren't needed anymore, allowing Jon to take the throne.

Not a perfect democratic solution, but one preferable over the one in place at the moment.
Faiz Imam
146. FaizImam
Following on from the Gendry thought, I wonder what the ultimate use of Needle will be...

Given that it was given by Jon and has survived 5 books and 2 seperations, I see it as a pretty big chekov's gun. But nothing thus far suggests anything more specific at the moment.
Faiz Imam
147. FaizImam
Another Loras/Renly hint next week, but its the weakest one of all.

Who knows, it might catch her eye?

Loras re:love : "When the sun has set, no candle can replace it."

These Arya chapters do nothing but make me sad, I look forward to no part of her story till she gets on the boat to Braavos.
Marty Beck
148. martytargaryen
I think Leigh would get the Loras/Renly thing if she slowed down reading and put some thought to that one particular line. If she asks the follow-up question about what is Loras's "sun" that has "set". The fact that Loras's line is in context with Tyrion talking about love could be enough to spark the question in Leigh's mind.

We'll see. Meanwhile...
Symon says..., Symon says..., Symon says...
...Symon says.

Actually, my two favorite characters this week. Should be fun!
Jeff R.
149. Aeryl
Am I supposed to know who Loras was in love with? I hope not, because I have no idea.


She did it again! I swear someone needs to smack her with a clue by four!!!

But she is picking up that Shae's not necessarily to be trusted. I wonder where they are going to go with this in the HBO show, because she's really portrayed differently. Seeing some of the set photos, I wonder if LF won't smuggle both Sansa and Shae out. There is one of Sansa and Shae sitting on a dock as LF and Ros approach.
Jeff R.
150. Aeryl
And she missed how a Winterfell man ended up in the Riverlands!!

I wonder if she'll even remember Beric Dondarrion and Thoros when they show up.
David Goodhart
151. Davyd
It's a little painful.. all the headdesking.

I was sure this passage was going to be the passage. Loras is heart broken? Let me just think back a bit on who he's been acquainted with? Hmmm.. DUN!

But alas..
Jeff R.
152. Aeryl
OOOH, Aegnor gave her a good clue. Maybe she'll do a recap of the body count and figure it out.

I just can't believe with how irritated she is with the lack of gay portrayals in fantasy she hasn't caught this yet.

She never did figure out the Blackfish, which I figured out within minutes of meeting, as soon as he said something about he and Hoster fighting over his refusal to marry and the whole Black Sheep=Black Fish thing.

And my captcha has "Work" in it. I wonder if is trying to tell me something.
Deana Whitney
153. Braid_Tug
Well at least she now knows that Loras does love someone, so she'll be more likly to catch future clues that point to WHO.

Oh the moments that are coming!
"Hope she doesn't crash the wedding."
Isn't Shae at Tyrone & Sansa's wedding? Not exactly crashing it, but still...

Reprinting from thread 6, but since that is dead:
So I just read the Jamie chapter, rather than the re-read. He focused on his Gold armor and questions why no one ever asked who killed Rossart.
Wonder if wearing the gold armor was his way of saying "I'm not Kings guard." But also wondering if Rossart did something to help piss him off.

Anyone know?
Rob Munnelly
154. RobMRobM
Yes, headdesk city. Arrgh. That is all.
Marty Beck
155. martytargaryen
I would love to see all the relevant references compiled to gether and handed over to Leigh.
Jeff R.
156. Aeryl
We'll probably have Jaime to thank when she does figure it out, when makes the comment about sticking the sword somewhere Renly never found.
Vincent Lane
157. Aegnor

What Rossart did to piss Jamie off is rig the entire city of King's Landing to go up in a blaze of wildfire upon the King's command. The King gave the command and Rossart was cheerfully on his way to trigger the blaze, which likely would have killed the majority of the inhabitants of Kings Landing. THAT is why Jamie killed him, and later the rest of the pyromancers involved.


Yeah, that is the clue that finally clicked with me when I was reading the series the first time.
158. BFG
@133 - sorry for taking conversation back a week or so due to slow reply. My interpretation of the sun setting in the east most likely being fulfilled by the frog means that eventually the rest will be fulfilled and she'll be able to have kids one day again. The miscarriage to me, just means that they likely haven't all already been fulfilled - I guess I view MMMD's speech as half prophecy/half curse.

@143 - unless Rhaegar did marry Lyanna, Jon is illegitamate and thus outside of the line of succession (in my understanding of it)

@147 - So I'm still alone in finding that heart-breaking? Braavos sounds to much like a brain-washing cult to me. By the time they've succeeded in making her an assassin she won't be Arya anymore - although I like to speculate that that means she could kill Cersei (their rules say you can't kill anyone you know, if their brainwashing works she won't know Cersei - kind of like the Unsullied and the puppies (or something))
Jeff R.
159. Aeryl
BFG, I saw that by her burying Needle that she won't allow them to make her forget everything about herself(I don't know what happens in ADWD yet)
Deana Whitney
160. Braid_Tug
@157. Aegnor; Thanks! I did not remember that at all.

Re: Renley...
Does anyone consider him naming his guard the "Rainbow Guard" a clue? or just a fun joke for the modern reader?
Jeff R.
161. Thenion
@160: GRRM denies anything like that, but personally I think he's just being coy. ACOK was written around '96-'97, and rainbow flags were already a cultural icon by then, I really don't see him failing to make the connection, though he might not have got the idea directly from that.
Jeff R.
162. Helen_Joan
Are we ever explicitly told in-text about Loras and Renly? I never picked it up before stumbling across it on-line several years later. Although I knew there was something up when Margaery was able to wed Joffrey as a virgin even though she was with Renly on his procession. I just thought it a bunch of noble hand-waving to get the marriage approved.
Vincent Lane
163. Aegnor

No, it is never explicitly stated, just hinted at quite a bit. The hints, when put all together, are enough to leave no doubt whatsoever, but they are spread out and easy to miss if you aren't paying attention.
Faiz Imam
164. FaizImam

Scroll up, I compiled everything together in post 88.

The next clue is not the best:
"Loras is valiant and handsome and we all love him dearly...but your Imp will make a better husband."ASOS p322

But the one after should do the trick:

"There are those who say that Ser Loras is better than Leo Longthorn ever was," said Tyrion.
"Renly's little rose? I doubt that." ASOS p437

The Dondarrion story is reasonably well retold to catch people up, it should be fine.

Either way, this should be great fun!
Jeff R.
166. owleyes
It's been a while since I've read the earlier books in the series, and I can't remember exactly when this "domino effect" was set into play for Arya... can anyone fill me in on when these guys first appeared?
Vincent Lane
167. Aegnor

Actually the clue I was refering to came later. When Jamie first showed up in King's Landing and Loras freaked out over Brienne. Jamie told him essentially to stand down or he'd take his sword and shove it somewhere not even Renly was able to find. It was pretty clear to me what he was talking about there.
Vincent Lane
168. Aegnor

It was briefly mentioned on pg 265 of AGoT (an Eddard chapter) that Anguy won the archery competition at The Hand's Tourney. I'm not sure about the others.
Rob Munnelly
169. RobMRobM
The others were mentioned in the chapter in which Ned sent Beric Dondarion and Thoros of Myr to arrest the Mountain. Ned included either 25 or 50 of his own Winterfell men in the force - hence, Harwin.
Vincent Lane
170. Aegnor
Yeah, true. I should have mentioned him. I was thinking of Lem and Tom Sevenstrings, which I'm not sure if they've been mentioned before now or not.
Jeff R.
171. AO
There were two things that suggested very strongly to me to pay attention for evidence of Renly and/or Loras being gay. The Rainbow Guard, which reminded me quite a bit of the Rainbow Flag in our world, and the fact that Renly was the Knight of Flowers. A heterosexual man *could* be okay with associating with flowers, but it certainly suggested to me that the potential was there.

With those two facts strongly in my mind, I had no problem picking up on all of the scattered clues in my initial read of the series. But of course I missed other "hidden" elements.
Jeff R.
173. EmmaPease
@171 AO
Knight of Flowers because roses were the emblem of the Tyrells so in world Knight of Flowers aka knight of the Tyrell family makes perfect sense. Flowers in general were a symbol for the Reach so Knight of Flowers also meant the knight from the Reach (and by implication claiming to be the best knight of the Reach).
Jeff R.
174. corejay
Also, Leigh on Tyrion and Pycelle:

"Nothing warms up a guy to you like throwing him in a dungeon, after all!"

I hope she rereads her rereads after finishing the book. Because this sentence, in some ways, is the central idea to Tyrion's storyline in ASoS. First with Pycelle and his role in having Tyrion thrwon into the dungeon - and then for Tyrion and Tywin in the privy...

As for Loras/Renly, I just want to give her a clue without spoilering her, but it's really hard to do that, I guess. Aegnor already gave her the best shot she may get, though.
Asa Zernik
175. AsaZernik
Maybe I'm a bit behind the curve here, but (in light of the ADWD epilogue) I'm suddenly much more suspicious of Varys's testimony about Moore's personality. If his policy at this point in time was already to pick off everyone who seems likely to stabilize the kingdoms, Moore may have been his agent. This would also explain his failure to give Tyrion anything useful on the matter.
Rob Munnelly
176. RobMRobM
@175. That is a really interesting thought. Motive, opportunity, etc. point to Cersei (or Joff) but Varys could be added to the mix as well, I guess.
Jeff R.
177. AO
@ EmmaPease,

Yas, and all of that was set-up by GRRM. So I paid attention to what the author established there and that attention turned out to be relevant.
Jeff R.
178. corejay
@176: Actually, not that much points to Cersei. The fact the she never even thinks of it during all her Imp-paranoia in AFfC means, for me, that it wasn't actually her. Joff might be a candidate, but I'm unsure if revealing this would have any kind of effect right now, so long after Joffy's (un)timely demise.

My money for who was behind the assault on Tyrion is on Littlefinger. He has Motive and Opportunity: Motive, because we know he later on tries to have Tyrion executed. We know after all that he framed Tyrion for Joffy's murder, with Penny and her brother being hired by the Kettleblacks. All in all, Tyrion was the most dangerous opponent to Baelish: he knew of Petyr's dagger lie to Catelyn that ultimately started the current war. He also outplayed LF in the Myrcella affair, and I don't think Petyr can stand that - plus, it meant Tyrion was in Petyr's way to getting Harrenhal.
There's also the opportunity, since Littlefinger and Ser Mandon are old friends; both were members of Jon Arryn's entourage in KL before rising to their current positions.

Varys might also be a possibility, I agree - I just don't see any connection to Ser Mandon, and Varys might have tried again afterwards but never did, while Baelish tried to have Tyrion killed again.
Asa Zernik
179. AsaZernik

Even if Varys did try to get Tyrion killed at the Blackwater, it's not clear to me that he'd have any motive to try again afterwards - for comparison, in Kevan's case, Varys only takes interest because of that Hand's position in the Westerosi power structure. Once Tyrion has been sidelined by the rest of the family, he might as well have been assassinated as far as Varys's purposes are concerned.
Jeff R.
180. corejay
As I said, Varys is a possibility. I don't think he is, but I also won't think it's a logical or narrative mistake if he is. We simply have no idea whether Varys wanted Tyrion dead at all, or why - while we know both for Littlefinger, in quite some detail.
181. BFG
Aeryl - I think at the moment I see it as a straight up competition. For her to become a great assassin she needs to leave behind everything that Arya was, the final test of which could well be to kill someone that Arya knew but no-one doesn't. Or she holds onto Arya (and Needle) and either fails as an assassin or manages to trick them into thinking she's become no-one. (if any of that makes sense).
David Scotton
182. Kaxon
@158 BFG - Three members of the Kingsguard were guarding Jon and Lyanna at the Tower of Joy, at the time that the rest of the royal family was being killed in King's Landing. That strongly implies that he was somehow in the line of succession.
Kat Blom
183. pro_star
To be fair to Leigh, there's quite a few people who have read the series, and not put the pieces together until HBO slammed it in our faces. (yep, I confess, I didn't clue in to it either, nor did my boss, who got me into the series).

GRRM just tends to be a little bit more...subtle.
Jeff R.
184. Aeryl
@ BFG, Yes I definitely see that for Arya there is a true risk of losing herself in her endeavor, but I think that by hiding Needle she was definitely insisting to herself that she wasn't going to lose herself.

Now, as of my last read, she's been blinded, likely as punishment for killing the NW dude who abandoned Sam & Maester Aemon, so I guess this will be a larger factor in the next story.
David Scotton
185. Kaxon
@183 pro_star

Honestly, I don't think it was subtle... at all. My only guess is that people don't notice it because they don't expect there to be a gay couple in a fantasy novel. I don't consider myself a perceptive reader, but I did grow up in San Francisco, so...
Jakub Wrobel
186. ptyx
I wish that people stopped commenting on Loras' secret in the chapter thread...
Myself, I read the series up to AFFC without noticing the relationship, then discovered the fandom adn thus the "secret" was revealed to me, but then I reread the whole series and still wasn't convinced that it was "obvious".
Yes, there are hints, but not only can they be missed, but you can also get all of them and still not be convinced they are gay (or at least - that Renly was gay).
And it's not that the readers don't expect any gays in a fantasy novel, after all , there are characters here clearly described as "uninterested in women" etc. It's rather because people stick to the first impression, and it was that Renly was really in love with Margaery, ever since he showed Ned her picture back in AGOT, asking if she resembled Lyanna.
Jeff R.
187. Aeryl
I gotta go with Kaxon, I really think it's how much exposure you my have to non heteronormative stuff that helps determine when you catch it.

All of my gay friends caught the implications for Renly, Loras and Blackfish pretty quick.

I think Leigh, who is actively searching for gay people, is reading to0 fast and expecting something more blatant and has ended up letting it pass her by. Like I said, Jaime will solve this problem later, YAY!!!
Bill Stusser
188. billiam
@ 186

Renly was not showing Ned Margery's picture because he was in love with her. He was hoping that she looked enough like Lyanna that Robert would fall in love with her and want to make her his new queen, thus getting rid of Cersei and the Lannister influence over the king. At least that's how I always saw it.
Jakub Wrobel
189. ptyx
Reading too fast? Or too slowly? I don't think that what Leigh is doing can be called fast reading in any way. Maybe the fact that she is reading too slowly, so these are weeks and months for her between consecutive hints, is why she hasn't caught it yet.
And I don't know how it feels for actual gay people, but these characters don't follow the real world stereotypes about gays. They are mostly proper badass warriors, instead of soft effeminate men, we might imagine, thinking of gay.
Deana Whitney
190. Braid_Tug
@ 188, billiam: I'm with you about why Loras was showing off Margery's picture.
But that just really shows how much her daddy really wants to be grandpa to a King. He keeps marrying her off to "will be King" guys.

Re: Loras & Renly - it's amazing how much time we spend on this topic considering it really has zero impact on the overall plot.
We also have to remember, Leigh has had 10+ years with Jordan to think about and "complain" about gays in the books. It could be she just has not had enough "fridge logic" time with these books to wonder about the seemly lack of gays.

Her thinking that Renly was attentive to Margery at the wedding feast is also hurting her. See, ptyx’s comment at 186 about first impressions. She’ll have a “wait a minute” moment when they talk about Margery’s virgin status soon.

And I really don’t think someone telling Sanas So-n-So will make “a better husband than Loras” is much of a clue unless you already know. Willas or the Imp could be “a better husband” for a number of reasons, not just that they could perform in bed with her, wherein Loras could /might not.
Jeff R.
191. Aeryl
That's kinda the point I'm making, if you are looking for stereotypical gay people, you won't find them in ASoIaF. But you will find gay people who resemble actual gay people, capable people who excel in their fields, like Loras, people who hide their true identity for power, like Renly, people who eschew the responsibilities a heteronormative society puts on them and suffer ostracization, like the Blackfish.

That's why I'm saying a real life exposure to gay people may have helped some readers identify them sooner, whereas a lack of exposure could lead to some people not picking it up. Me, with so many friends and family that identify as gay/bi/queer, I don't feel stories are very realistic unless there are some gay people there, because if not it isn't an accurate reflection of my reality, so I actively seek them out.

But to be fair, Martin did start writing these books in the 90's and gay people weren't so visible in society then as they are today, so it wasn't necessarily something people were actively looking for in their stories. So when it was definitively announced in the show, I think for the people who didn't know, it wasn't even something they considered.
Melanie S
192. starryharlequin
Aeryl @191 (and etc): Yeah, I agree--I'm queer and figured out Renly and Loras and the Blackfish right away, and was a bit suspicious of Cersei and Whatserface (...I've only read the books once) before that was fully revealed. Among others who turned out to be straight. I think it's a combination of having the possibility at the front of one's mind, plus being used to the coded language sometimes used to describe various non-straight orientations. Which is not to say that queer and queer-adjacent people can't miss the obvious, just...on average, more likely to pick it up, I think.
Jeff R.
193. Sad Doctor
One thing that Martin's being perfectly accurate about is that being "a gay person" wasn't really an identity through a lot of history the way it is today. There were still people who were gay obviously, but they were mostly expected to have loveless marriages and do their duty to produce an heir, just like everyone else. Granted it varies a lot depending upon the particular society, but romance and marriage rarely crossed paths, and there's no shortage of historical men (see: Rome) who had to be pushed into their marital beds
Jeff R.
194. Sad Doctor

Shae's a tricky case, because -everyone- who's not Tyrion considers her painfully, obviously just a shallow social climber who's attached herself to Tyrion out of naked opportunism. But we only see her through Tyrion's PoV, where he desperately wants to believe she loves him and ascribes a lot of qualities to her she obviously does not actually possess.

While that's easy to do in the PoV structure of the books, you really can't do that in TV. So they had to decide whether to keep Shae's personality and risk making Tyrion seem like an idiot, or if they should rework Shae so that his fascination with her makes sense to the audience.

They went for the more sympathetic Shae, which I think is gonna be great for season 3, with the very complex relationship Tyrion, Shae, and Sansa are going to find themselves in, and adds a lot of complexity to why Shae ends up choosing to betray Tyrion
Chris Nelly
195. Aeryl
From Leigh:

"... Robb’s direwolf. Because you totally know this is only going to cause major problems down the line."

Oh, if you had any idea.

Ok, now Leigh touches on something that I haven't really seen confirmed(hinted at yes), but was this all what they call a "honeypot"?

Did Jeyne knowingly seduce him into marriage, and cause him to be seperated from his wolf, just so the RW could go down? I mean it is pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain that IF Robb welched on his deal with the Freys, he would seek to resecure his alliance through marriage. And it all works out a little too well.

The show has just confused this issue by getting rid of Jeyne, bringing in a Volantene woman instead. But I still have my suspicions about Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, her backstory is just too perfect, her desire a little too reluctant, so I find her to be a perfect Lannister spy.
Chris Nelly
196. Aeryl
@ 194, That makes a lot of sense, and now makes the decision to make Shae Sansa's maid instead of Lollys' look brilliant, now that I've read SoS. The ending of Season Two I think demonstrated that Show-Shae really does care for him, IMO, but that care will get twisted by the events of next season.
Faiz Imam
197. FaizImam
I' getting worried that even if no one really spoils anything about the RW, the comment theads will get progressivly depressing and bleak, which if too obvious will be a spoiler in an of itself.

something to keep an eye on. We should all keep our comments are vague as possible till March.
Deana Whitney
198. Braid_Tug
@195, Aeryl; it's it revealed in the next book that Jeyne's mother was the Lannister sympathizer?
She’s the one that ensures Jayne does not get pregnant, but don’t remember if she arranged the marriage or just took advantage of teenage hormones.

@ 197, FaizIman: I think most of us are good. Seems the worst possible spoilers comes from the random “red shirt” who does not often post. So we have to wait for a moderator to modify the post. Does make me wonder how often Leigh reads the comments?
She didn’t say anything about “stop hinting people” re: Renly & Loras last time. And there were lots of hints in that thread!
Jeff R.
199. EvilClosetMonkey
@ 195
I've suspected for awhile that Jeyne's mother quite intentionally put her into the situation with Robb. I'm not sure that Jeyne in on a plan to get her and Robb together or whether The Westerlings just arranged it so it was likely that this happened (though I have to think that the quick marriage had to be a bit of a surprise for everyone).

My theory is that Sybell is using Jeyne to try to get her family ahead. If Robb wins, the Westerlings are better off (especially post marriage) and if Tywin wins, she can say that her intention was to screw up Robb's alliances. I lean towards Jeyne legitemately loving Robb so I don't think she's in on the plot.

I also suspect that the "Jeyne" that Jaime meets in AFFC is not the real Jeyne. I'm basing this mostly on differing descriptions of her hips between Catelyn & Jaime, so it is admittedly thin evidence but I'm not willing to let this one go. I will be vindicated!
Chris Nelly
200. Aeryl
See I've read FFC, and I'm not remembering it being stated that it was intentional. I remember Tywin telling Tyrion that he was going to pardon the Westerlings, but that's it.

Guess I'm going to have to read it again.
Peter Stone
201. Peter1742
Edmure's attack was really, really stupid. Not necessarily the attack itself, but remember that he called back the 400 men that Robb left at the Twins in order to carry out this attack? This is in direct contravention of Robb's orders, and makes a certain incident later in the book possible.
Jeff R.
202. EvilClosetMonkey
Sybell Westerling tells Jaime that her and Tywin had a deal and that part of the deal was to make sure Jeyne didn't get pregnant. Since Tywin isn't around anymore, kind of hard to confirm whether there was actually a deal.
Jeff R.
203. EmmaPease
I'm pretty certain they had a deal. The Tywin to Sybell information channel would have had a few people in the know and some of Tywin's commanders in the field would have to know so they could take care to value properly any info the Westerlings/Spicers passed along.

However Sybell nee Spicer may have deeper plans. It is apparently her grandmother who tells Cersei that she will marry a king and have three children and that she will be killed by the valonqar.
Faiz Imam
204. FaizImam
This conversation is frustrating... I first read AFFC years ago and speed read it and ADWD last fall so most of this stuff is a blur. But I wanted to follow leigh's pace this time :/

Guess i'll have to pick a moment and sprint ahead.

Next week we should expect the Jon and Sansa chapters, maybe Arya?.

Lots of commentary should emerge from the prelude to sexytimes at the end of the Jon chapter, can't wait since I'm sure its the first positive comepletely non-icky sexual situation in the series thus far... right?

then its the prelude to Sansa's wedding. Sansa asks herself a LOT of interesting questions, and if leigh were to spend more than a few moments doing the same, much would become clear.
Jeff R.
205. corejay
@204 There was also Catelyn and Ned early on in AGoT. But yes,most of the sex since has suffered under a massive power imbalance at least.
Chris Nelly
206. Aeryl
Speaking of the valoncar, like I said, I haven't read ADWD yet, waiting for paperback, but my guess is that the valonqar is Jaime not Tyrion like she believes.

And regardless which of her brothers kill her, it was something she brought on herself by her treatment of them.
Faiz Imam
207. FaizImam
@Aeryl I was about to suggest you buy the kindle version but its almost the same price as hardcover!? WOW.

I bought the kinder version when ADWD first came out and it was $9.99

Guess it was a special price?
Rob Munnelly
208. RobMRobM
Funny that leigh has all these great inights but can't figuire out basic grrm logic - such as that if frey can't gett robb, the next best option is the unmarried heir to the lord of all the

Lady westerling def is working for tywin re preventong pregnancy but I'm not quite sold - but intigued - by the honeypot possibiloty. Leaning against it but wow. Jeyne is innocent in any event.

Leig, by the way, is going to figure that something bad is comiong for robb - how could she not - but not sure she'll know the specific what or when. It could just as easily be him getting annihiolated in the field..
Chris Nelly
209. Aeryl
@ Rob, I didn't really get that something bad was going to happen to Robb in the chapter with the RW, because of the very well thought out plan to retake the North. When I read that, I had to put the book down, because I knew Martin would never let it happen.
Jeff R.
210. Zizoz
I for one didn't guess that they were talking about Edmure either. Really, this confused me since there's no one else who is of equal rank to Robb.
Chris Nelly
211. Aeryl
@ Faiz,

Kindle books can go die in a fire!!

HA, no seriously though, don't do ebooks, and my waiting for paperback has less to do with $$ and more to do with wanting a matching set. I'll never forget how mad I was when I droppped $100 on the Plume editions of the first four Dark Tower books, only to learn the rest would not be released like it, and I now have missmatched sets on my bookcase, and I just do not know what I will do about it.....


OK, yeah, waiting for paperback is SOOOO much better.
Vincent Lane
212. Aegnor
Ebooks are absolutely awesome. It's one of those things where once you've gone to ebooks, it is really hard to go back to regular books. I'd be fairly upset about the last Wheel of Time book not coming out on eBook until months after it comes out on hardback, but I've got the set, so I am getting the hardback anyway. Though I likely would have just got both.

Regarding the price for the eBook being so expensive, this is due to the publisher. Typical publisher model is for the retailer to buy the book at 50% retail and sell it for whatever they want to. That is how eBooks were initially done. But Amazon was selling eBooks for less than the 50% they paid (so they were losing money). They did this as a loss-leader to get people to buy Kindles. Publishers freaked out about Amazon getting too much power, so they worked with Apple to use the iTunes model instead. With that model the publisher gets 30% and can set prices. So yeah, the publisher is making less money, but they have more control to prevent Amazon from selling eBooks for cheap.

TL;DR: Publishers are scared of Amazon, so to get back at Amazon they screw their customers.
Faiz Imam
213. FaizImam

I plan to get matching sets of both ASOIAF as well as WOT, but I KNOW that an "official" box set of some kind will be released at the end. Plus there are often revisions, such as the new ASOIAF novels having HBO labeling/art and the new WOT being a new art style(which I prefer 100000X more than the old one)

So my M.O. is to not worry about it and get the authors words into my brain in the quickest, ideally cheapest way possible, and spurge big later.

Similar reason to why I pirate music as well, I spend big bucks on concerts.
Chris Nelly
214. Aeryl
From todays's post

"I mean, we can hope that Margaery’s awesome grandmother has some sneaky contingency planned,"

Oh lord
Marty Beck
215. martytargaryen
(edit because I posted a blank post)

Aeryl@214 - is "preemptive contingency" a thing? Agree that was a great chuckle-inducing line.
Deana Whitney
216. Braid_Tug
@ 215: "chuckle-inducing line"
So are all the wedding comments.
Has a wedding ever NOT caused a shit fit in GRRM?

She see something coming, just can't put her finger on what yet.
Marty Beck
217. martytargaryen
@216: "She see something coming, just can't put her finger on what yet."

I can only hope she is remotely shocked by the time we get to either wedding. What will be the biggest shock, I wonder... in-wedding, I think it will the overall slaughter of the northerners at the RW. I mean, how can she be shocked by Robb's death or Joffrey's? Maybe Cat's, but individual deaths won't be a will be the massacre.

Outside the weddings themselves, Aria's little-too-late arrival and Jaime finally coming clean about the true nature of Tyrion's (first) marriage.
Chris Nelly
218. Aeryl
My first thought after reading these chapters was that they should have titled the book, Storm of Rice for all the damn weddings in it.

Leigh's heart is gonna break for Sansa.
Jeff R.
219. moleman
@217. I think the biggest shock will be Sansa's wedding. Based on what Leigh is saying, she's not even thinking in that direction. I can't wait to hear her thoughts on that one.

Though of course, the sheer inhumanity and brutality of the Red Wedding may cause her to lose her mind. I will say, however, that having read Leigh's musings since near the beginning of the WOT reread and since the beginning of this read, I think she'll know shit is seriously NOT RIGHT the moment they don't allow Grey Wind into the festivities. She picks up on those cues pretty well.
Bill Stusser
220. billiam
Knowing that something bad is going to happen at the RW does not prepare you for what happens. I knew that the Frey's were planning bad shit. I knew that Robb and company were walking into a trap. While I was reading I kept mentally telling Robb and Cat to turn around and get the fuck out of there. And still I was shocked by the brutality of the whole thing. I had to put the book down and walk away for a while before I could continue.

I predict that Leigh will see the red wedding for the trap that it is and will be expecting bad shit to happen but will still be shocked by the events.

And I agree that Leigh is not going to be a happy camper when she finds out about Sansa's wedding.
Rob Munnelly
221. RobMRobM
Oh goodness, Leigh's comment re a QoT contingency. "You know nothing Leigh Butler." Say "bye bye Joff."

Still waiting for the love for Tormund - not quite sinking in yet but at least she realizes his stories are far-fetched.

I'm wondering why Leigh doesn't pick up that blabbing to Dontos is, at best, risky. If Sansa kept her mouth shut, she'd be Lady of Highgarden and, potentially, happy. But no....
Faiz Imam
222. FaizImam
"I'm wondering why Leigh doesn't pick up that blabbing to Dontos is, at best, risky. If Sansa kept her mouth shut, she'd be Lady of Highgarden and, potentially, happy. But no...."

My memory is a bit rusty, how is that the case? Dontos is Littlefingers, and its Cersei/Tywin that married off Sansa. Was there some communication I missed?
Jakub Wrobel
223. ptyx
So Dontos told LF and LF told the Lannisters about the plan.
Why? He wanted to grab Sansa for himself (just as he did after Joffrey's death) and if she were sent to Highgarden and married to a Tyrell, she would be out of his reach fo good. By helping arrange the marriage between Sansa and Tyrion he was sure that she wouldn't move anywhere until he can capture her.
Jonathan Levy
224. JonathanLevy
216.Braid_Tug view
Has a wedding ever NOT caused a shit fit in GRRM?
This reminds me of a quote by Robert Jordan to the effect that all the women in his series were in some way a reflection of his wife.

What happens if we extend that analogy to GRRM and weddings? (evil grin)

Interesting data from Wikipedia: GRRM's first marriage ended in divorce 4 years later, and he lived 30 years with his next girlfriend before marrying her in 2011.

Guess he had some serious PTSD from the first wedding, eh? :)
Rob Munnelly
225. RobMRobM
ptyx has it right on the Dontos-LF-Cersei love connection. It is stated expressly in text that LF is the source of the info. It's actually a two-fer, as it blocks Sansa's move to the Tyrells and gets LF in even better with the Lannisters.

JL - LOL! It's reminiscent of the Varys-Tyrion discussion on the walls of KL before Stannis' attack re how bells signal tragedies, including (as Tyrion points out) weddings.
Jeff R.
226. Jeff R.
Also, Leigh is about to be introduced the the Quaint Westerosi Tradition of 'bedding', which should provide some particularly choice reaction, no?
David Goodhart
227. Davyd
Oh gods.. the bedding. I forgot about that. Someone get Leigh a cushion for her desk. And some advil.
Deana Whitney
228. Braid_Tug
@ 224, JL: :-) Guess you are right!

Bedding: Ahw, come on! There is a rich tradition of the "bedding" ceremony from our world.
But, ye Gods, am I happy that went out with powdered wigs.
Jeff R.
229. Sad Doctor
Yeah, I'm not sure how she'll take bedding ceremonies. On the one hand it's actually got the potential to actually be a kind of silly and charming celebration of joyful sexuality. On the other hand there's also a certain element of "let's all get a nice look at this piece of meat we've just sold off before she's despoiled forever"

But personally I'm just counting the weeks until she gets into the really juicy Jaime chapters.
Chris Nelly
230. Aeryl
Yeah, the bedding ceremonies I've heard about, the MARRIED women put the bride to bed, and the MARRIED men put the groom to bed, so it seems a little more"appropriate".

The bedding scenes in SOS put me more in the mind of sexual assaults, YMMV.
Jeff R.
231. Jeff R.
So, new topic: who do people think Margery is sleeping with, in the Feast/Dance timeframe? Anyone at all? Is there any information on this that can't be dismissed as coming directly or indirectly for Cersei or people desparate to tell Cersei what she wants to hear?
Rob Munnelly
232. RobMRobM
@231 - I vote none. She's too savvy for that. But I'd be intrigued to hear contrary theories.
Chris Nelly
233. Aeryl
I'm convinced she sleeps with her retinue of devoted cousins for sexual pleasure, she's a little TOO happy to be that sexually frustrated, IMO, since there would be no risk of conception in a same sex relationship. But has probably been a lot more discrete since coming to Kings Landing.
Faiz Imam
234. FaizImam
After a number of misunderstandings around "pillowfriends" in WOT, I assumed that when I read Sansa talking about Margery sharng her bed with a different friend every night and talking for hours that something more was going on.

But otherwise I don't recall and specific proof either way.
Arghya Raihan
235. Umbar
I wonder if it's possible that Margaery is gay herself. I'm not claiming that's so, just all this talk of her sleeping with her 'friends' put the idea in my head. Have we had any lesbian characters so far? Cersei and Tarna had that thing, but Cersei is not gay and Tarna might just be bisexual. Irri is more like a masturbatory aid to Dany than an actual partner. It would be interesting to have a lesbian character up and front like Loras and the Blackfish are, but her being Margaery would be a bit weird.
Deana Whitney
236. Braid_Tug
As a history major I can't get onboard with idea that "Margaery is gay because she shares her bed with friends."

And if she is still a virgin, why would she be sexually frustrated? She’s never had it to miss. If she needs something, she can make a date with her hands, just like a guy can. And she does enjoy her horse riding.

The concept of sleeping by yourself in your own bed is a Very modern one. Shared beds was just too common of a practice. And a sign of respect / friendship, when you invited a guest to share your bed. It was different in the bachelor halls for the men. But for the women sleeping with your girlfriends was one way of "protecting your virtue." Being know to "sleep alone" was more likely to get you in trouble.

Think of Much Ado About Nothing when Hero is accused of having sex with a guy the night before her weeding. Beatrice was able to protest and protect Hero because they always sleep together.

Look at all the trouble Cersei, who "now sleeps alone”, gets into.

But no, I don't think we've seen a gay women in GRRM yet.
Arghya Raihan
237. Umbar
@ 236 Braid_Tug

I am only extending the speculation, by others, of Margaery sleeping with her friends being her 'sleeping' with her friends, to another front. I don't exactly think that she is, in fact, 'sleeping' with her friends. I come from a culture where sharing a bed is quite common and sleeping alone is still considered 'modern' and 'Western', so I know that that does not at all imply sexual activities of any sort. In fact, I had never thought so about Margaery before coming across the idea here. I simply took the speculation as a basic assumption and wondered 'if that is true...what if it's not sexual frustration the way it's for Dany, but simple sexual attraction?" That is, "What if Margaery were gay?"

Deana Whitney
238. Braid_Tug
@ 237, Umbar: it's an interesting line of thought.

@ Everyone, the weeks between Tyrion learning he's to marry Sansa, and when Sansa learns of it are going to suck.

But at lease Leigh will be happy that Sam comes back. And we’ll have the next Jamie chapter to look forward too.
Chris Nelly
239. Aeryl
My train of thought for my hunches on Margaery fall like this.

Firstly, Highgarden seems to be fairly tolerant of the non-hetero persuasion. Loras was openly supported by his family, instead of being ostracized like Blackfish. And QoT is anything if not practical, and I could see her advising Margaery that a woman companion is far more advisable for pleasure that dallying with the stableboy and getting pregnant.

Second, I thought it was generally understood that women did engage in sexual relations with each other when sequestered from men, even in the Middle Ages. There is a tone to Margaery's relationship with her cousins that we haven't been shown before with any of the other women characters, like Sansa, Arya and Jeyne, or Cersei.

Lastly, since when is being a virgin a cure for sexual frustration? Didn't being a virgin make it all the more frustrating, or did no one start masturbating before they became sexually active? Just because Margaery is a virgin does not mean she is without sexual desire. As an "Always a Bride-Never a Wife" I imagine the anticipation is KILLING her.

I don't think Margaery is gay, I think she is more like Dany, utilizing those close to her for that purpose, with the understanding that it stops once she is "married". I think it is probably going on still, even married to Tommen, just not when he's around(if I recall he shares a bed with Margaery and her cousins on some nights, but not all).

So there was a probably a grain of truth to the things Cersei accused her of, but it was mostly exagerrated, IMO.
Jeff R.
240. Black Dread
"Of course, if Mormont then dies in the next chapter or whatever I’m gonna be real red-faced. Oh well."

Is she Psychic?
Jeff R.
241. corejay
@240: Yes and no. In some regards she's more perceptive than anyone I know who read the books. But other times, she's almost willfully blind (Renly and Loras, Jon's parentage). Perhaps we should dub her the official Melisandre of our world?

Still, that sentence takes the cake in terms of accuracy of unwitting prophecies.
Faiz Imam
242. FaizImam
The tyrion chapter for next week should be enough to hint at most of what is to come. it is DARK.

she probably won't know the means, but its obvious that Robb will die. I can't imagine she'll miss it.
George Jong
243. IndependentGeorge
@241 - I think it's more the pace of reading than anything else. On the one hand, it gives her more time to digest things that happen within a given pair of chapters, but it also means little details tend to slip from her short-term memory and she can't piece the puzzle pieces together unless she took special notice of a particular detail.
Rob Munnelly
244. RobMRobM
243 yep.

Leigh being red-faced - ha!

I really like all the Arya is like Lyanna clues all through the books. Hope is enough for Leigh to make the correct deductions when they get to the Knight of the Laughing Tree story coming up.
Faiz Imam
245. FaizImam
I loved the knight of the lauging tree story, but never made the Lyanna connection. Cool!
Rob Munnelly
246. RobMRobM
And ....Aerys commissioned Rheagar to hunt down the Mystery Knight. One can expect he found out Lyanna was the one, became suitably impressed, perhaps she was impressed in her, and Rhaegar then crowned her as king of love and beauty.
Deana Whitney
247. Braid_Tug
@ Rob, 246 - Thing you meant "Queen" of Love and Beauty. "King" of L&B would be Loras, in a different timeline. :-)

I didn't pick up on the Arya / Lyanna connections. Really adds to the whole "John is the results of a consensual act." Because if Lyanna was really like Arya, she would have stabbed anyone who tried to rape her.
George Jong
248. IndependentGeorge
The next couple chapters are mostly set-up/exposition, but then we get a double-dose of Jaime & Arya next week. Jaime's and Arya's POVs are the ones that really stand out on my re-reads, and Jaime's next one is a doozy ("And Jaime screamed."). After that, we've got some good ones coming up. I assume Leigh will take Christmas week off, but assuming we proceed at the usual two chapters/week rate, we've got some fun chapters coming up:

Dec 21
Chapter 24 (Bran): The Knight of the Laughing Tree

Jan 4
Chapter 27 (Daenerys): "Dracarys"
Chapter 28 (Sansa): Gold Wedding

Jan 11
Chapter 29 (Arya): "The gods had heard her prayers after all."

Jan 18
Chapter 31 (Jaime): Jaime the woobie.

Jan 25
Chapter 34 (Arya): Beric revealed

ETA: I got some dates wrong
Jeff R.
249. Jeff R.
I got the impression that, at least outside of the North, bedsharing and the employment of bedwarmers were a seasonal thing, required or at least very strongly encouraged in the late fall and winter but completely optional in spring and summer...
Jeff R.
250. Jeff R.
Also: The Gold Wedding? Is that what we're calling that one now, alongside the Red and the Black? (What color is Margery-Tommen?)
Chris Nelly
251. Aeryl
Oh, I was just wondering when that Jaime chapter was coming.
Rob Munnelly
252. RobMRobM
BT - King of Love and Beauty would be Renly, right? LOL.

Perhaps we should call the Sansa-Tyrion wedding as the Stool Wedding.
Bill Stusser
253. billiam
I'm not sure where all the wedding names come from but apparently Sansa/Tyrion has been dubbed the gold wedding while Joff's is called the purple wedding. I think we all know the RW.

The only reason I know this is because I was reading about GoT III this last weekend and the different weddings were discussed.
George Jong
254. IndependentGeorge
For those curious about the other fun chapters, Jaime's reveal is in Chapter 37, and the Red Wedding is Chapter 51 ("Catelyn"), Joffrey's death is Chapter 60 ("Tyrion"), the duel is Chapter 70 ("Tyrion"). I didn't calculate the dates, but assuming 8 chapters per month, we should be due a fun spring.
Chris Nelly
255. Aeryl
Those colors make no sense.

Well Gold kinda makes sense, Tyrion is a Lannister, the only one getting married with his house name.

But Joff's wedding should be Green, since green is both the color for Baratheon and Tyrell. Unless Joff's is purple because of what color his face turned.

You know during Joff's wedding, I had a sneaking suspicion he was gonna die too, as two of Melisande's leech kings had already died, but I honestly thought it was gonna be because Cersei was trying to poison Tyrion, and Joff drank from his cup instead. Of course when I saw the end of Season Two(hadn't read the books yet) I was convinced during that scene with Cersei sitting on the throne with Tommen, that she had already killed Joffrey.

I guess that's what I really want, is for Cersei to get hers by causing the death of the children she's killed so many to protect.
Rob Munnelly
256. RobMRobM
Yes, purple = poisoned Joff face, IMO.
George Jong
257. IndependentGeorge
I believe purple wedding is so named because it involved the strangler, described by Maester Cressen in COK as being a deep purple. It was hidden on Sansa's amethyst necklace, and delivered via Joffrey's wine.
Chris Nelly
258. Aeryl
It was a hairpiece, but yeah I see it now.
Faiz Imam
259. FaizImam

I calculated the most significant dates further up the thread in post #74.

I think at this point the dates are all 2 weeks premature, if one accounts for the holidays.
Jeff R.
260. Jeff R.
I'll still keep calling Joff's the Black Wedding, thank you. At least that one is something that people in the world could plausibly call it without being arrested for light treason or revealing knowledge of things that very few people actually know about...
Brandon Lammers
261. wickedkinetic
Gendry is currently the blacksmith of 'The King's Men' - if he or any of their company figures out he is the King's son - he may end up being their fearless leader - hopefully he also has Daddy's skill with a giant warhammer - and maybe he can even make his own!

ADWD paperback hits in March I think - looking forward to the bonus chapter.....

I think the entirety of the story to this point has been a Murphy's Law string of catastrophes over most of the known world - all of these Wars and infighting leaving them in as bad a situation as possible when 'winter comes' - they've wiped out their farmlands and emptied their storehouses - Jon's plans to turn the Wall and the Night's Watch into an actually effective defense are up in smoke - the terms he reached with the wildlings aren't going to work with Stannis' stupid noble suck-ups or the other crooked stoopid night's watchmen - The North and Winterfell are in shambles - all of the vikings (Theo's clan) are off east likely to lose their fleet and also sink an untold number of Easter naval vessels.... any help the East could have provided has been lost to Dany's anti-slavery campaign and the bloody flux.... its easy to predict when someone is going to die in this series - as soon as they have a good plan to set things right and the will and power to bring it in to action - they are DOOMED!

on Varys - I do believe he wants what's best for the realm - and what's best for the realm is a strong King in King's Landing with a stable succession plan - preferably a King with DRAGONS to keep all the worthless nobility in line - to ensure a stable, peaceful, survivable kingdom for the little people..... although we have very little information on which to judge his true purpose or motivations - perhaps after being castrated in the name of magic he is a believer in the white-walkers and winter-is-coming and we-better-get-our-shit-together-or-we're-all-gonna-die!-ism
Jeff R.
262. Jeff R.
So, exactly how did anyone manage to survive any winter longer than a year or so in the past, anyhow? I mean, during the first few books I was vaguely imagining that the landscape was positively littered with giant grain silos and other food storage larders that don't get mentioned because nobody pays much attention to them during the summer years, but if people are starving because of war disruption in years where there are actual crops coming in, those can't actually exist at all, so that's no solution. And the "Dorne still grows crops" solution doesn't really work either, firstly because if they're able to grow enough food to feed the entire seven kingdoms in their leanest years then food should be pretty much free and plentiful everywhere during the good years, and besides that, even if the South did have massive food surplusses, distribution when the roads are under foot-deep snow and the ports are all iced shut doesn't seem possible...
Joseph Haines
264. IamJoseph
Remember also that Winterfell had a large greenhouse, that could likely supply some food even during the long winters. Also, when the Boltons come to Winterfell for the wedding, even though most buildings were destroyed, the food storage was largely intact.

Below the neck, the Riverlands were the main food producer. But you've had armies riding back and forth across it pillaging everything they could carry and burning the rest. The Vale is still well supplied because they avoided the fighting and likely have enough to handle the winter for themselves.

Highgarden is south enough that they can farm some crops even during winter, and Dorne, probably produces better in Winter than they do in summer.
George Jong
263. IndependentGeorge
but if people are starving because of war disruption in years wherethere are actual crops coming in, those can't actually exist at all, sothat's no solution.
They do exist. That is also what makes them such tempting targets in a war. It's what Gregor Clegane and the Bloody Mummers have been doing since the start of the war - looting every granary or storehouse in the Riverlands that they can find, and burning anything they can't carry.
Sudo Nym
265. Shakerag
I can't wait to see Leigh's reaction when Lysa and Littlefinger marry.

Also, I couldn't stop grinning when I read the first part of her commentary.
Chris Nelly
266. Aeryl
I wonder if Hoster's ramblings will clue her in.

The first hints for RW are here too, with Tywin's other plans for the North(Boltons) and lack of anger at the Westerlings.
Jeff R.
267. TBGH
Interestingly, I think her figuring out that the former Lady Westerling may have had help getting Rob (which a LOT of people miss) will distract her from the possibility of Frey vengeance. It'll send her down the wrong path of complicated maneuverings and put her focus on the Westerlings and Tywin rather than the Freys.

Also because of MOL, I bet her pace will slow even further and she'll forget about those ramblings. I can't wait to hear her rant about weddings and how of course GRRM couldn't let even them be happy. Martin is evil but it is so much fun watching him torture others.
Julian Augustus
268. Alisonwonderland
on Varys - I do believe he wants what's best for the realm - and what's best for the realm is a strong King in King's Landing with a stable succession plan - preferably a King with DRAGONS to keep all the worthless nobility in line - to ensure a stable, peaceful, survivable kingdom for the little people.....
The last chapter of aDwD makes it pretty clear to me that Varys' objective may not necessarily be what is best for the realm. Varys tells Kevan, as Kevan is immobilized by a cross-bow bolt fired into him by Varys, that the sole reason he is being murdered is because he is so competent, and he is setting right all the damage to the realm Cersei had done when Queen Regent. Just before he has his boys finish Kevan he tells Kevan that the realm must be in deep shit in order to welcome Aegon as a liberator. Clearly, Varys' immediate objective is to restore the Targaryen dynasty. Whether he believes a Targaryen on the throne is only a means to making the realm safe and peaceful is still open to question.
Chris Nelly
269. Aeryl
SHalter also caught on that Tywin's seemingly doesn't know Theon's whereabouts, as he's considering marriage possibilities, but that is a very subtle hint that Tywin actually KNOWS exactly where Theon is, because he is in communication with the Bolton's.
Brandon Lammers
270. wickedkinetic
the red wedding threw me - but when I got to the Sansa-escape chapter - and figured out that Littlefinger was the mastermind behind all of the madness (and the little throwaway line that he had a few very large and unusually heavy tapestries relocated to the Vale - full of little round yellow colored heavy things methinks) - really threw me - like sick-to-the-stomach what-audacity oh-my-god-how-could-he.... but he really is a genius - how deep a game did he have to play to go from a goatherd - the lowest of nobility - a punchline looked down on by everyone - to most powerful man in the kingdom (secretly - hiding behind a small army of pawns - buying and selling the goldcloaks, stealing the Riverlands and the Vale..... ) he still gives me goosebumps....

maybe Varys is simply loyal the Targ's because they were the only ones who appreciated him? more likely he knows if he puts his King on the throne he can take revenge on all those that deserve it and 'set things right'
Marty Beck
271. martytargaryen
I need a history lesson!

Hi, I've recently finished the Dunk and Egg stories (and am very much looking forward to Leigh's read-through). I've also started a first-listen to the audio of ACoK. I just finished the scene where Lord Mormont gives Jon the history lesson that includes Maester Aemon. I guess I'm trying to figure out if Aegon V, Aemon's younger brother, was our Egg.

I'm going to have to re-read the D & E stories again...with mad Raegel, the Great Spring sickness, the timing seems to fit. I can't believe I wasn't looking out for mention of Aemon when I read them.
Chris Nelly
272. Aeryl
Yes, in Feast for Crows, Aemon talks about Egg in his delirium. And he mentions that "tall knight" he hung around with.
Rob Munnelly
273. RobMRobM
Agreed. King Maeckar was a fourth son and his fourth son, Aegon, became King - nicknamed Aegon the Unlikely. Aemon was third son of Maeckar. Aegon = Egg.

And Marty, note the reference to the very tall knight in Bran's tree vision in ADWD.
George Jong
274. IndependentGeorge
So, how do we think Leigh will react to Jaime's chapter tomorrow?

1. Schadenfreude
2. Happy dance.
3. Disbelief/skepticism.
4. Surprised sympathy followed by self-loathing.
5. Worry for Brienne's sake.
6. No, really, schadenfreude.
Chris Nelly
275. Aeryl
The TV show ruined me for possible Jaime hate, as Nikolaus Coster-Waldau is adorable and he played a Delta Force sniper in Black Hawk Down, and I've been crushing ever since, and I NEVER got the fact that everyone was so mad about the guy who killed the crazy king who burnt people alive*, so I was HORRIFIED by the Jaime chapter tomorrow.

But, like everything Martin does, it just makes like the story better because no you get Jaime's redemption, plus now Cersei has inadvertantly informed me that somehow Jaime's gonna get his hand back, as I'm pretty sure the valonquar Maggie the Frog warned her about is Jaime NOT Tyrion, and he has to have two hands for that.

Now Leigh, having bought season ticket passes to the Jaime hate train, will probably laugh in glee when she realizes what Vargo's doing to him, but I can bet that she will feel real bad about it later.

*I DO remember that he threw Bran out the window, but I dunno, I've always despised Cersei to the marrow of my bones, so I view Jaime as much a victim of Cersei's as anyone else(though there isn't much in the text to support this), so while I can't forgive him for what he did to Bran, I can kinda still understand it.
Marty Beck
276. martytargaryen
I just love reading how the Goat talks! Hope she qoutth him a lot.

"Jaime hate train"...yes, funny how shoving a kid off a tower will do that.

I think Jaime is a "victim" (used losely) to his own narcissism. I think the focus of that is Cersei. That (along with the loss of his skills - read self-worth) is why her infidelity hits Jaime so hard later, and forces him to reevaluate his life.

What I'm getting at is, as for watching Leigh re. Jaime, I think this is just the beginning.
Rob Munnelly
277. RobMRobM
Leigh is so perceptive re Jaime - she hates him but has *known* from the start that GRRM was going to make her sympathize with him, and she's going to fight it tooth and nail....and ultimately lose.
Faiz Imam
278. FaizImam
Though I am concerned that given what the past week has been like for her, she might not be in the best emotional place to feel much one way or another.

So it might be more "meh" than one would otherwise expect.
Jeff R.
279. AsbjornGV
We see the first glimps of Good Jaime in today's chapter: First when he thinks to himself that he plans to return Sansa (and Arya) when he returns, and second when he protects Brienne from being raped, by telling Hoat that Tarth is called the sapphire island.

Also, not related to Jaime, but do we know if Leigh is going to read all three Dunk & Egg, before moving on to Feast for Crows?
Marty Beck
280. martytargaryen
Oh, btw, than you Aeryl and Rob for the helpful responses to my Egg question.
Faiz Imam
281. FaizImam
Ah well, I guess it might have been expected.

I'll be hoping for 3-4 chpaters next week :)
Rob Munnelly
282. RobMRobM
Re Dunk and Egg, I think Leigh's planning to read first two after ASOS and the second two after FFC. FYI - fourth one is coming out this Spring.
Faiz Imam
283. FaizImam
I read them and didn't find any useful info on "The prince that was promised" I was continually looking for refeences but nothing stood out.

Can someone clarify what in those stories is relevant?
Jeff R.
284. Milk Steak
They set up all the Blackfyre rebellion stuff which could relate to Illyrio/"Aegon".

They possibly show the lineage of Brienne and Hodor.

They show Bloodraven before he became half tree.

They're setting up the tradgedy of summer hall which sets up Rhaegar's beliefs.
Rob Munnelly
285. RobMRobM
They are the stories of Ser Duncan the Tall that noble children throughout the Seven Kingdoms would read to learn about knightly virtues....or was that just in the HBO show and old Nan reading to Bran.

Beyond Illyrio/Aegon issue, also gives background on the Golden Company and other expatriate groups that arose following Blackfyre.

Upcoming tale should be very illuminating about the background of the current Starks and why there are so few of them.

Most importantly, to me, they teach us more about the Targaryeans - give us a bigger data pool to help us determine whether Dany as Queen would be a good or bad thing....or Jon Snow for that matter.

Lineage of Hodor? Don't think so but can't rule it out either. Lineage of Brienne - that could very well be true. Evenstar on Dunk's shield, Evenstar as the nickname of Brienne's Dad.
Chris Nelly
286. Aeryl
Oh WOW!!!

I have to read these books. Once the fourth comes out, they are going to be compiled right? I remember reading that somewhere.
Rob Munnelly
287. RobMRobM
All four D and E will be compiled one year after the fourth novella comes out this spring in the Dangerous Women collection.
George Jong
288. IndependentGeorge
I've been putting off reading the D & E stories until they were either compiled in a collection, or available individually as eBooks. I'll have to bow out of the discussion when Leigh gets to them.
Chris Nelly
289. Aeryl
I have found the individual compilations at a cheap price on, but I've been putting it off.
Rob Munnelly
290. RobMRobM
IG and A - you should read them. They're delightful, especially The Hedge Knight.
Marty Beck
291. martytargaryen
I did not want to buy the full anthologies, so I got them at the library (remember the library?). Bonus, while I was searching my local system I saw they had the graphic novel version of The Hedge Knight. Very nice.
Marty Beck
292. martytargaryen
...also, they may not add a ton of information, but they really do add a lot of flavor (or flavour) to the core series. For instance, I just recently finished D and E, and am on ACoK... Ser Jorah's background story has more texture to it regarding having to give up his armor when he lost at the lists...
Faiz Imam
293. FaizImam
For those so inclined, there are a number of torrents that have compiled the 3 stories, that how I read them.

I'm certain to buy the complation when it comes out, so I have no qualms about where I got them.
Marty Beck
294. martytargaryen
Getting back to @274. IndependentGeorge 's question on how Leigh will react to Jaime's chapter this week.

1. Schadenfreude - never been Leigh's way (I'm morbidly looking foward to her reaction to Theon-Reek as well)
2. Happy dance - maybe for Brienne's holding her own against Jaime, but I doubt she will be happy that the Bloody Mummers have the upper hand (::cringe:: sorry)
3. Disbelief/skepticism - Perhaps momentarily, if she is convinced that what happened just happened. And only briefly before....
4. Surprised sympathy followed by self-loathing. - Not at first. It will take a lot to balance out attempted child-murder. Also, her sympathies are generally more for the down-trodden, not the "golden child". I do keep forgetting about the role that Jaime plays to try to save Brienne from being raped. If Leigh focusses on that, then this reaction is more likely.
5. Worry for Brienne's sake. - Yes, definitely. For reasons touched upon in 4, above.
6. No, really, schadenfreude. - If she does take this route, and sticks with it, I will be surprised.
Chris Nelly
295. Aeryl
It will be highly amusing to watch Leigh's angry descent into Jaime sympathy.
Jeff R.
296. Milk Steak
I used the Library to read them but I've had to move to a different county that doesn't have them so they're the only I&F stuff I've only read once. My wait for the collection will break my will.
George Jong
297. IndependentGeorge
@295 - It took me a long time to admit to my Jaime sympathy; I don't think it was until FFC, when he finally stood up to Cersei, that I finally admitted that maybe he wasn't so bad. Then, when he got to the siege of Riverrun and started ripping on the Freys, I realized I was grinning at all his lines. Then I finally gave in, and hated myself for it.
David Goodhart
298. Davyd
I don't really think I felt any true sympathy for Jaime until he's back around Cersei. That whackadoo's shadow casts everyone around her in a positive light. Except maybe Joff. Common denominator = Jaime. So, sympathy.
Marty Beck
299. martytargaryen
Today, I learned who George RR Martin's favourite ASOIAF character is.

I'm not sure how I feel about that, because now in my head he or she is bullet-proof...

Bloody and their light-forsaken interview links!!

Edit to add: I was just looking for updates or news on the release of TWoW.
Marty Beck
300. martytargaryen
"And don’t think I see what Sneaky McSneakerson Mr. Martin is doing here with Jaime, either, trying to make me like him because he actually (sort of) respects and (sort of) is trying to (sort of) protect Brienne. Sort of. And now neither of those words make any sense anymore, but nevertheless Jaime is not forgiven, dammit! He threw a kid out of a window so he could fuck his sister some more! Hello!"

HA! Knew it!
Chris Nelly
301. Aeryl
She is kinda oversimplifying Jaime's motivations here, it wasn't just so he and Cersei could keep having sex(considering how angry Cersei was at him, I'm pretty sure that killed the "mood") but it was to save their lives and the lives of their children.
Marty Beck
302. martytargaryen
@301 - you are absolutely correct...that came out in CoK, so would not be spoiler material. She ought to be reminded.
Faiz Imam
303. FaizImam
I'm wondering, when rossnewberry says

"I can't wait to see the reaction that a certain four words evoke a bit later on."

what is that a refrence to?
David Goodhart
304. Davyd
Chopped the chains OR his hands/arms?

How does removing his chains cause him to scream?

And with the dialogue up to is, WHY CAN'T SHE SEE WHAT JUST HAPPENED THERE?!

I guess we will just wait TWO weeks to find out.. if even then.
Jeff R.
305. corejay
Also, wondering if Lysa will run away from Littlefinger:

Well, she won't. Until she will. In free fall...

I can't wait for Leigh to experience the Lysa/Littlefinger connection. I'm so expecting it to blow her mind. She's so totally oblivious to the idea that Lysa and Littlefinger might possibly be in cahoots, it's hilarious.

As for the Jaime chapter - come to the dark side, Leigh. We have cookies and Jaime-love (at least a sizable man-crush in my case). It's strange, but by AFfC, Jaime had taken over the Favorite Lannister Spot from Tyrion, in my mind.
Irene Hipo
307. zambi76
@ 303 - "I dreamed of you." Was my guess.
Faiz Imam
308. FaizImam
For anyone holding off on buying ADWD, its on sale at amazon.

Marie Veek
309. SlackerSpice
Well, I gotta admit I didn't see 'no way he'd actually do it' coming re: Jaime's hand, though the buildup to it happening rather makes it a bit annoying.
Chris Nelly
310. Aeryl
That Lysa and Littlefinger connection blew my mind when I went back to reread GoT last week, because I had totally forgotten that it was Lysa who fingered(heh) the Lannisters in the first place and that those suspicions were the entire catalyst for Ned accepting the Hand's position.

Now my mind is racing. WHAT WAS THE PLAN!!
Chris Nelly
311. Aeryl
Oops, double post, and that's the paperback Faiz!

Which I still might preorder now, but I do wonder if it'll be cheaper come release, cuz wow $11.60 for a paperback, WOW!
Marty Beck
312. martytargaryen
Seems as though steve is right in line with Leigh, except that he pretty much figured out that Jaime was losing a definitely losing a hand. Good catch with tying it in the Hoat's "methage".
Vincent Lane
313. Aegnor

I'm with @307. Definitely "I dreamed of you".
Brandon Lammers
314. wickedkinetic
yes, $11 is alot for a regular paperback, but this one is 1056 pages (and probably includes a preview chapter of book 6)

it does seem that monster paperback tend to be more expensive than the standard 300-page-ish ones. but think if it as buying 3 regular sized books for $4 a piece maybe?
Jeff R.
315. Zizoz
Context for "I dreamed of you"? I don't remember it and don't feel like searching through three books. (I know, I'm a bad ASOIAF fan, only having read the books once...)
Marie Veek
316. SlackerSpice
@315 - When he goes back to save her after the Bloody Mummers threw her in the pit with the bear.
Faiz Imam
317. FaizImam
Given the recent delays, I figured i'd recalculate a timeline for upcoming important events.

Barring further delays, I think these are at worst a week off.

Chapter 29, Sansa and Tyrion's marriage and attempted consumation: February 1st

Chapter 45, "I dreamed of you": March 29th

Chapter 52, The Red Wedding: April 19th

Chapter 58, Deanerys's discovery of Barrastan and Jorah's true natures: May 10th

Chapter 61, Joffey's wedding/ first look at Littlefingers true plan's: May 24th

Chapter 80, Jon's electoral victory: August 2nd
Jeff R.
318. MJF
@SlackerSpice: Where is "Are you so craven?" from?
Marie Veek
319. SlackerSpice
@318 - The start of the next Jaime chapter (31) where Brienne is trying to encourage him to live.
Jeff R.
320. Zizoz
315/319: Thanks.
Marie Veek
321. SlackerSpice
While we're on the subject of people losing bits, care to place bets on Leigh's reaction to the piece of Theon's skin in Catelyn Chapter 49?
George Jong
322. IndependentGeorge
@317: I took your list and added a few chapters of note. There's just a ton of good stuff in this volume:

Jan 18 (Bran): "She was, but that's a sadder story."
Feb 1 (Tyrion): "That is why the gods made whores for imps like me."
Mar 1 (Jaime): "Curse me or kiss me or call me a liar. Something."
Mar 29 (Jaime): "I dreamed of you"
Apr 19 (Catelyn): "No, don't, don't cut my hair, Ned loves my hair."
May 10 (Daenerys): "The crow calls the raven black, and you speak of betrayal."
May 24 (Tyrion/Sansa): "It's, kof, the pie, noth-kof, pie."; "You are safe with me, and sailing home."
Jul 12 (Jaime): "There was a time I would have given my right hand to wield a sword like this."
Jul 19 (Arya): "Is there gold hidden in the village?"
Jul 26 (Tyrion): "Wherever whores go."
Aug 2 (Jon): "You can start by telling those king's men that it's done, and we want our bloody supper."
Aug 9 (Sansa): "Only Cat."

I think Leigh will be fully aboard the Jaime train by July 12; the only question then becomes whether she ever jumps on the Stannis bandwagon, or off of Dany's. Both of those happened to me eventually, but not until after my first re-read.
Chris Nelly
323. Aeryl
Since there is no new thread today, I thought I'd ask, does anyone else have trouble doing a reread?

I recently started on my first reread, after having learned all of the revelations in SoS and FFC, and I'm having a hard time of it.

Like Lysa's letter to Cat. Was that to lure Ned to KL so Littlefinger could set him up for death, first with the Jaime confrontation then later in the Sept of Baelor? And Varys? Does he know who really killed Jon Arryn and if so, why keep Ned off track by implying the Lannisters? Everytime I read Ned imply something that we now know to be false, my brain gets so caught up in trying to make the connections, that I forget to keep reading.

Anyone else have this problem?
Jeff R.
324. olethros
The only problem I have with doing a reread is that I have a kid now, so it takes a long fucking time. I'm about 2/3 through SoS at the moment.

I will say that somewhere early in the second time through GoT is when I bacame absolutely convinced, instead of merely pretty sure, that Littlefinger's ultimate motivation is and always has been to take vengeance on the Starks for "stealing" Cat from him. He has no designs on the kingdom as a whole, just on Sansa and through her Winterfell.
Rob Munnelly
325. RobMRobM
LF's goal (as I think he states to Sansa in Book 3 or 4) is to pit the Starks and Lannisters together to create chaos that he can exploit, especially where he can instruct Lysa can keep the Vale out of the early chaos and thereby have the strongest army at the end when the others have waged war against each other. He succeeded by any measure, potentially beyond his own expectations. I even like the other subtle things, such as the discussion upthread that LF's likely the one who hired Ser Mandon Moore to try to kill Tyrion during the battle to rid himself of an effective opponent, while at the same time increasing strife between Tyrion and Cersei if Tyrion manages to survive.

Contra @324 I think LF does want the Iron Throne in the end. No doubt he'd settle for power behind the throne with a puppet king or queen as well, of course.
Rob Munnelly
326. RobMRobM
*double post*
Jeff R.
327. Jeff R.
My own take is that LF's ultimate endgame is a Royal grandchild. And if that grandchild is throne young enough that it needs an experienced regent, so much the better.

(He'll have technical titles and claims to a pretty wide range of lands if everything goes right, but nothing near the kind of loyalty that would turn those lands into armies in a rebellion under his own name, and knows he's never going to have that, and I don't think that he'd ever consider setting Sansa aside for, say, Dany after going to the considerable trouble it'll take to unattainder her claim to Winterfell. But if the entire seven kingdoms falls completely apart, his kid would have enough titles that the right marriage (presumably to someone with claims on one or more of the major southern houses) would dynastically reforge the thing.)

Of course, one doubts that things will continue to go so well for LF. I don't think he believes at all in magic/dragons/ice zombies, and so that whole aspect of the situation is going to completely blindside him.
Rob Munnelly
328. RobMRobM
LF is going to be taken down by Sansa. Giant killer indeed.
Chris Nelly
329. Aeryl
@ 328 If she doesn't get corrupted. I worry for her with no wolf.

@ 327 That IS in an interesting thought, one I hadn't really considered. Outside of Dorne and the Iron Islands, no one is taking notice of Dany and her dragons, and no one but Stannis and Jon(who NOONE is considering for the throne) have noticed the White Walkers.

So yeah, that is gonna wreak havoc with LFs plans, whatever they are.

Someone mentioned about getting on the Stannis train, I honestly can't see it. Not that he's not a noble guy, like Ned, and a little rigid, like Ned, nor that he doesn't have the "best" claim(depending on whether you view Robert's claim as valid). But, like Ned, he'd make a terrible king, so no matter how sympathetic the story may make him, I can't support his goal(unless that changes in DWD, still haven't read it).

As far as off Dany's, I don't know that I necessarily support her, though she's got the right idea, trying to free slaves and all that. For the most part, Martin's done TOO good a job on showing the failures of dynasties(hereditary magical abilities aside) that I keep hoping Martin's got a better ending in mind than "ancient dynasty of sibling fuckers reigns supreme again"
Jeff R.
330. Jeff R.
Our other major plotter, Varys, is probably fully aware at least of the reality of dragons and magic, and probably has some cluefulness in re White Walkers.

Which reminds me: should we allow Varys's thoughts on magic expressed to Petyr in the TV show at all influence our theories about book-Varys? (Or do we think that TV-Varys may well have been lying completely during that scene to disguise his actual agenda?)
Chris Nelly
331. Aeryl
Oh, you're gonna have to refresh my memory on which convo that was(awesome thing about the show, you get all this interplay between characters POV characters don't see, like LF and Varys).
Faiz Imam
332. FaizImam
We get an explicit reference to "tansy tea" in the next Arya chapter. It should clear up any confusion on what Holster is talking about.
Jeff R.
333. Auga
@331 Aeryl, or if a moderator reads this, if you can edit your last comment in the main thread for the latest chapter, you might want to take out that bit about Arya not being in Westeros...

And on the subject of spoilers....I guess that one was accidental, but as we get closer to Joffrey's Wedding and the eventual RW, can people (haven't noted names here, there's so many doing it) just stop making little sneaky hints about how awesome weddings are in the comments?

And other spoilers like that on those lines.

You may think they're better than outright spoilers (e.g. "Hey, Leah, guess what, Character Y dies!"), but really, they're not that much better. Just sneakier. Nudge nudge, wink, wink, knowing look, etc. And the result is you're conditioning her to expect something seriously huge to happen at the coming weddings.

Would you have liked someone doing that to you when you were reading for the first time? I don't think so! So please stop nudging Leah to a particular conclusion. And if she misses a clue, please don't go draw her attention to it, just because you've already read all the books and know it's important.

Let her read it naturally.

e.g. if Leah misses a "clue" about Jon's parentage, PLEASE let's not have someone say something like: "Oh, Leah, did you miss the fifth sentence of the eleventh paragraph in this chapter? You didn't say anything about it in your summary! Have a think about what it could mean."

Rant over.
Chris Nelly
334. Aeryl
Oops, fixed! I tried to make sure that all of my character references were only for what we've read so far, skipped that one.
Jeff R.
335. andNowMyWatchBegins
For Part 13 - Arya 22

So until I reread this chapter this morning I was still in the dark about how Balon bites it in the end. I know there have been theories but considering the old lady was spot on for the other 2 events I wouldn't be surprised if she was right about the faceless man pushing Balon off the Bridge on the orders of Euron (drowned crow).

This brings up an interesting it possibly Ja'qen or another Faceless man who we/Arya meet in Feast/Dance
Vincent Lane
336. Aegnor
She keyed in to the dead-fish = Catelyn right away.
Marie Veek
337. SlackerSpice
@335 - Likely another Faceless Man, as Jaqen is (apparently) the one who murders Pate the alchemist maester in the FFC prologue.
Chris Nelly
338. Aeryl
Back into my reread again, quick question.

In reference to the speculation of Jon being a Targ, what about the scene where he throws the lamp onto the wight? His hand was burned by the lamp, wouldn't that indicate that he isn't a Targ? I mean, if Rhaegar was a dragon, it would seem Jon would inherit that. I know Viserys didn't, but I don't know if Jon is supposed to be this foretold warrior to save the kingdom, it seems like he'd get the best abilities that both families had to offer.
Jeff R.
339. corejay
No Targaryens are fireproof in principle. Even Dany only survived the dragon pyre, but Drogon did burn her in the fighting pit in ADWD. While thinkin she's fireproof, she's looking at blisters on her own hand! To me, it seems that Mirri's magic was more important to Dany's fire resistance during Drogo's pyre than Dany herself.

Also, there were lots and lots of Targaryens who died through fire. Rhaenyra Targaryen died being rosted by her brother's dragon. Aerion Brightflame died from drinking wildfire. Aegon V died in the inferno of Summerhall. Targaryen fire-resistance is a myth, just as Targaryen disease-immunity (after all, a number of Targaryens died during the Great Spring Sickness, Dany had fever after giving birth, and Greyscale was supposedly used as biological warfare to deter the Valyrians!)
Jeff R.
340. Jeff R.
Dany being absolutely heatproof/fireproof is a TV series thing, yes.

Speaking of Jon and Fire, next time you read A Game of Thrones, pay close attention to the uses of fire in that book. Basically, there are only three people who directly use open flames to accomplish a goal in the entire book: Jon kills the wight, Tyrion makes signal to attract the Vale clans, and Dany kills a witch and hatches some eggs.

(For the first book in a series with the word Fire so prominent, it's surprising how little of the stuff you actually see. The only other events that even come particularly close are Winterfell's central heating system as seen in the triple-reverse-entendre that opens Catelyn's first chapter and Vicerys's crown, which is melted over hot coals rather than open flames.)
Chris Nelly
341. Aeryl
That's an interesting observation, but I think that owes more to the fact that the story begins as a cast of nobles who don't prepare their own food or light their own fires. Only those who are the lowest of the low(Jon the Bastard, Tyrion the Dwarf, and Dany the Chattel) are related to fire in that story, as well as the ones who are speculated to be true Targs. Interestingly enough, if I recall correctly, Arya a creature of the North and Ice, has trouble lighting fires later in the story, so that may track as well.

That Catelyn chapter is her second chapter. The first is when she goes to tell Ned Jon Arryn is dead, in the Godswood.
Jeff R.
342. Jeff R.
@Aeryl: Actually, none of those three prepared the fires in question either. Some unnamed steward lit the lantern Jon used, Bronn lit the one Tryion used, and the other Dothraki let the funeral pyre.
Chris Nelly
343. Aeryl
I know they didn't prepare the fires, I was just drawing the connection between the fact that fire is primarily dealt with by those of a lower caste(servants and slaves) it is also solely associated with the POV characters who sit the lowest in the hierarchy, one of whom is a Targaryan, and the other two are rumored to be.
Chris Nelly
344. Aeryl
Ugh, the fact that the next Dany chapter is the good one is so frustrating, WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT ANYTHING.

The same with Harrenhal tournament. So much more gets revealed when Jaime recalls it, but we can't talk about that yet.
Marty Beck
345. martytargaryen
Funny you say that Aeryl, b/c as I was reading that chapter, in my head I had put the two together and was suprised it hadn't happened yet!

Jeff R.
346. andNowMyWatchBegins
@martyn. I had the same thing this morning when I re-read the chapter. I was expecting much more of a reveal here. I just hope to the Old Gods and teh new that Leigh remembers this chapter when Jamie tells his version of the tale to combine the 2. I cant imagine shell pick out all the juicy implications that even I missed first time around but we can hope!

As For Dany this chapter really only sets up the epicness of the next one so cannot wait to read the reaction to that.
Asa Zernik
347. AsaZernik
@346 Yeah, this Dany chapter really is just a set up for the awesomeness of the next - and interestingly, the next one is probably one of the few parts of the series where someone gets to Do The (kind of) Right Thing and benefit from it in this series, despite the general correctness of Leigh's takeaway from this chapter.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
348. AlirozTheConfused
Wait, isn't this the spoiler thread?
Why should a wait hang over your head?
Why guard your tongue in mere chitchat
and say "we can't talk about that"
In this thread, fear no recompense,
and let the spoiler-talk commence!
Chris Nelly
349. Aeryl

I bow to the power
of your iambic pentameter
the ARGH of which I spoke
means the thread where Leigh is yoked

Ok, that's all I can do.

But, yeah Jaime's story adds so much to the Harrenhal tournament, really setting up the conditions the realm was under right before Robert's rebellion. The Mad King was descending into madness, Rhaegar was stuck in what seemed to be a loveless marriage, Tywin was losing power in the eyes of the realm, by losing his heir to the Whitecloaks and that Aerys could dishonor Jaime at his own tournament.

Great stuff.
Jeff R.
350. andNowMyWatchBegins
in response to @348s wonderful prose:

Have at Thee!

So would it be safe to assume that most readers agree that the KotLT was in fact Lyanna, from references to her fierceness by Ned and how Arya takes after her it would be EXACTLY what Arya would try.

This then adds to the R+L=J talk when Rhaegar was sent off to find the mystery Knight and then proclaimed Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty.

I'm not sure if it is told by Jaime or where but I believe Rhaegar found Lyanna skinny dipping at some point(?) but I may be mistaken.

This has to be one of the biggest conspiracy theories in the fandom at this point its still bigger than the 'Dragon with 3 heads' although it may be pushed for popularity by 'where do whores go?'
Jeff R.
351. Jeff R.
How can it be bigger than the Dragon with 3 heads when it's part of it? I mean, is there any real interpretation other than 3 dragonriders/Targeryn heirs, of which Jon would be one and the other two would be some permutation of Tyrion, Dany, Edric Storm, and the most-likely-false Aemon?

(Also, do people actually think that Tysha is actually kicking around somewhere and will show up again, and that Tywin actually had some clue where she was rather than just saying something as dismissive as possible?)
Vincent Lane
352. Aegnor
Edric Storm? I've missed something... How is Robert's bastard son a possible dragon-head? I mean he is very very distantly related to the Targaryens, as are all Baratheon's, but that is a very remote connection.
Jeff R.
353. Jeff R.
Wait...sorry, wrong Edric. I'm talking about the other Edric, the one who shows up in Feast hanging with Margery. Can't at the moment recall if he was a Dayne or used one of the southern bastard names.

Also, I obviously mean Aegon rather than Aemon.
Jeff R.
354. Jeff R.
And that's hanging with Myrcella, not Margery. Can't get any names straight today.
Vincent Lane
355. Aegnor
Edric Dayne (Ned)? When was he with Mycella? I just remember him from being with Dondarion's band and befriending Arya. But yeah...he could be a Targaryen.
Jakub Wrobel
356. ptyx
Yeah, like the one that Tysha is Sailor's Wife.
Still, "wherever whores go" is one of the most annoying phrases of the series. I wish Tyrion could find out about Tysha at last, so that I wouldn't have to keep reading it anymore.
Faiz Imam
357. FaizImam
In the next Davos chapter, Alester talks about dragons and "have we learned nothing form summerhall?"

I look forward to seeing if whe picks that part out.

As well as Melisandre's " do you think I crossed half the world to put yet another vain king on yet another empty throne?" That one should really get some gears turning.

Then we get Jon and the greatest amount of positive consensual sex in the whole series. Leigh should have fun summerizing that one :)

Which means the destruction of Astapor will most probably wait for another week. Though the Jon chapter is short enough that she might attempt 3.

I shall hope for the best.
George Jong
358. IndependentGeorge
I just realized - in the next Dany chapter, we get the literal translation of 'Valar Morghulis'. The context of it is not revealed yet, but I'm kind of looking forward to Leigh's reaction.
Faiz Imam
359. FaizImam
What do you mean "The context of it is not revealed yet, but I'm kind of looking forward to Leigh's reaction."?

I think it revealed all there is to know on the topic:

"Valar morghulis," said Missandei, in high Valyrian.
"All men must die," Dany agreed,
Rob Munnelly
360. RobMRobM
I assume context refers to what it means relative to the Faceless Men of Braavos.

Leigh's not going to get Summerhall. No way. Far too subtle. She might have some chance later on with the woman of High Heart talking about her sadness about it.

Re the Jon Snow chapter, Leigh will figure out immediately that this is not going to end well.
Faiz Imam
361. FaizImam
Yeah, I pointed out summerhall more for us than her.
Marie Veek
362. SlackerSpice
@357 - While we're on the subject of Jon and Ygritte, how much of the sexual content falls under the same heading? I keep thinking back to this quote of Martin's:

"It's a uniquely American prudishness. You can write the most detailed, vivid description of an axe entering a skull, and nobody will say a word in protest. But if you write a similarly detailed description of a penis entering a vagina, you get letters from people saying they'll never read you again. What the hell? Penises entering vaginas bring a lot more joy into the world than axes entering skulls."

And much eye-rolling ensues. (It didn't help that I first read this quote as part of a .gif set that was 75% show-exclusive sex:
Jeff R.
363. Gesar
Corbin said that about the Knight of the Laughing Tree in the non-spoiler thread.

" figures out her identity but respects her actions and pretends publicly he never found the KotLT and thats why he awards her the crown, not some mythical love of a girl he's never met when he's currently happily married"

I can't answer out there since there's no reason so far to think Rhyanna is anything else than "mythical love", but we really don't need KotLT AT ALL to make the love affair about something completely different than mythical love... We know Rhaegar read something in his books that made him start doing things in real life, and we can assume it was something about the prophecies and Azor Ahai and promised princes and three-headed dragons... I would assume he believed for some reason that Azor Ahai needed to have a Stark mother, and he was aiming for that in his pursuing of Lyanna.
Faiz Imam
364. FaizImam

2 very important chapters in a row next week. Hopefully she(and we) will have lots to talk about.

First is Daenerys's MOA, we all know what to expect there. But then its Sansa and Tyrion's marriage.

Two characters that we have invested so much in. The end is full of great nervous tension, and im very interested in Leigh's opinion on the way Tyrion ends it.

Also, there is the weakest of hints about Loras "...the imp will make a better husband..."

But I am hoping that she will note the fact that none of the Tyrells were at the wedding, and remember the information paths that led to this re: Dontos

But given that it all happened before she did the WOT marathon the past 2 months, i'm not expecting her to put much together.
Zachary Sellinger
365. Archangelxiii
Actually the Tyrells are at the wedding, Ser Garlan even dances with her.
George Jong
366. IndependentGeorge
Diverted from the main thread:
Well, several prominent people possess Valyrian Steel blades, enough that trade had to happen. These people have histories that stretch back 10,000 years. I would assume that knowledge of Valyria was pretty common amongst educated nobles.
I don't think that's nearly as important as you do. Outside of Dorne, how much does the Westerosi nobility really know or care about Essos in 300? Tyrion is far more curious and knowledgeable about such matters compared to the average noble, and even he is largely lost when it comes to Essos politics. Considering the sheer disdain the nobility has for such base concerns as trade and commerce, I wonder how much interest they really had in Valyria besides those nifty blades, and assurances that they weren't planning on sailing west.

Heck, consider what passed for knowledge of the east in our world. Marco Polo's journals are pretty much works of fiction, yet they informed European perceptions of China for centuries. For that matter, the imperial court in China was no better when it came to cultural understanding. Just because there's commerce doesn't mean there's much knowledge being transferred across borders.
Vincent Lane
367. Aegnor

Not at Sansa's wedding. No Tyrells knew about it until after it had already occured.
Vincent Lane
368. Aegnor

"Marco Polo's journals are pretty much works of fiction, yet they informed European perceptions of China for centuries."

Marco Polo's journals weren't exactly fiction. There were some likely exagerations (mainly regarding his influence), and some inaccuracies caused by multiple transcriptions, but overall they were accurate ( much as any 700+ year old book is).
Faiz Imam
369. FaizImam

More specifically, there were no Tyrells at the wedding ceremony, Sansa explicitly mentions this.

After the vows were read, we can suppose than an anouncement was made that would inform the Tyrells. Later that night, they were invited to the wedding banquet, as benfits their station. Obviously they would not make a fuss or complain, since there was nothing "official" to complain about.
Zachary Sellinger
370. Archangelxiii
Ah, my mistake. I forgot that they weren't there when the actual vows were being exchanged. I have that whole sequence (the wedding, the feast, and the bedding) all as one event in my head anyway.
Jeff R.
371. white_walker
What do you guys think of the theory of Jon Snow's mother being Lysana
Rob Munnelly
372. RobMRobM
@371 - 100% chance of being correct, as far as I am concerned.
Chris Nelly
373. Aeryl
@366, I am now in CoK in my reread, and interestingly enough, Sam found some Valyrian scrolls in Castle Black's library, and mentioned it to Jon. So if the answer is gonna be found somewhere, it will likely be there. The average person may not be very knowledgeable, but there is an established institute of learning that has been around for thousands of years, and I would say that the maesters would make it their mission to learn everything about Valyria that they could as well. Now that's not to say that the Targs didn't melt with dragonfire any maester who was willing to tell the truth about Valyrian customs.

@371, I am also 100% convinced. He's the blue rose growing on the Wall that Dany saw in her vision.
Jeff R.
374. Jeff R.
'And R'hllor shows me only Snow'.

(Which, for the record, I'm taking in the 'when will Leigh finally start considering R+L=J out loud' pool.)
Jeff R.
375. zambi76
Eventually Ser Garlan Tyrell asks her to dance, and tells her that he has seen how she looked at his brother Loras, but opines that the Imp is “a bigger man than he seems,” and will make her a better husband.
And the she wonders why Garlan would say something that unflattering about Loras and concludes he must secretly hate him. Arrrgh!

Now I'll just be over there until Jaime makes his ugly homophobic joke, if she doesn't it then, I'm going to give up.
Chris Nelly
376. Aeryl
How does Dontos know indeed? And I wonder how Leigh will feel about Valar Morgulis after Arya hands over the coin.

And this:

because oh my God that was the most miserable, uncomfortable, painful wedding EVER. I mean, wow.

OMG most hilarious thing EVER
Chris Nelly
377. Aeryl
@375 I caught that too! Jaime's joke is when she'll have to get it, and that's TWO WHOLE WEDDINGS from now.
Jeff R.
378. EvilClosetMonkey
With RobM & Aeryl, 100% sure. There is an awful lot pointing to it, especially in the first 2 books. I also think that Rhaegar & Lyanna were married and Jon is legitimate.
Chris Nelly
379. Aeryl
But Rhaegar was married to Elia of Dorne, so how did that work?
Jeff R.
380. EvilClosetMonkey
Targaryens had a tradition of polygamy. Granted it had fallen out of favor in recent years but no real reason Rhaegar couldn't bring it back. Rhaegar and Lyanna being married is the only way I can come up with that the Tower of Joy scene makes sense.

Ned is confused as to why the Kingsguard is at the tower and he asks them about all the places it would make sense for them to be. The fact that they stand and fight must mean they are protecting the king. Since Rhaegar, Aerys, and Aegon are dead that would be Viserys unless Lyanna's child was legitimate. Since they didn't leave to protect the Viserys and Dany, baby Jon must have been king.
Chris Nelly
381. Aeryl
@380 I just read that as they being devoted to Rhaegar, and were protecting who he wanted as his heir. It just seems to me if there were a marriage, there would be more of a record, which there seems not to be.
Jeff R.
382. corejay
I agree that Jon is definitely Rhaegar's and Lyanna's son, and that they most likely were married via polygamous marriage.

The interesting part of the ToJ dialogue is that the King's Guard cite their vow - i.e., obey and protect the king - as the reason for staying at the tower instead of going to Viserys. But if Viserys was the king, they'd be breaking exactly that vow. Sure, they might be devoted to Rhaegar, but if so, their explanation for staying conflicts with said vow. The entire scene only makes sense if the king is at the tower.
Marie Veek
383. SlackerSpice
@381 - Unless that's what the whole "promise me" thing with Lyanna was about?
Jeff R.
384. EvilClosetMonkey
There's no record because it happened during a civil war and nearly everyone (if not everyone) who was around for it is dead.

Everyone who knew the 3 Kingsguard involved makes a big fuss about how they were everything a Kingsguard is supposed to be and from Jaime's POV we see that they were devoted to protecting the King to such a degree that they tell Jaime it's not their job to protect the Queen from him. It doesn't make sense that these paragons of everything it means to be a Kingsguard would abandon their duty to protect the new King (Viserys) just because Rhaegar asked them to watch over his mistress and their bastard. Once they know Aerys, Rhaegar, and Aegon are dead their duty is to protect Viserys and they know that Darry has taken Viserys and Dany across the Narrow Sea.

So, if Viserys is king then all 3 of these Kingsguard abandon their oaths in order to prevent the brother of Rhaegar's mistress from seeing her. The only way that their actions fit with everything else we are told about them is if Viserys is not the king. The only way that Viserys is not king is if baby Jon is legitimate and the only way he can be legitimate is if Rhaegar and Lyanna were married.
Deana Whitney
385. Braid_Tug
Is anyone else, just tired of the whole "Is Jon or isn't Jon?"

Anyone heard anything about "Winds of Winter" answering some of these pesky riddles?
Or maybe getting more / better information so that more in-book people are thinking along those lines?

Yep, Leigh will have to retract her statement about the “worst wedding EVER” in 3, 2, 1… oh darn. Not for several months.
Jeff R.
386. EvilClosetMonkey
I haven't heard much about Winds but if these riddles are going to get answers, they'll need to start coming soon. Would love to see someone, anyone find out.

Like everyone else, I laughed when Leigh said that. I just worry that with all of the comments about weddings that she'll be too on guard once it comes. Granted, she's perceptive enough that she'd probably catch on that something was very wrong but now I have little doubt that she'll looking for something at that wedding.
Chris Nelly
387. Aeryl
I completely agree that the Kingsguard is there protecting the King, the King that they were told by Rhaegar to protect, because Rhaegar viewed Jon as his legitimate heir because of The Song, not because of marriage.

I view this story in part as a deconstruction of the idea of monarchy, so splitting hairs over whether Jon is legitimate in marriage is kinda beside the point, IMO.

And no, as I only got started in this story last year before S2 started to air, so I haven't gotten tired of it yet. I imagine if I had gotten started on these at the beginning, I would have.
Marty Beck
388. martytargaryen
ECM@387 - She'll realize some thing is up at The Twins...but that in no way will prepare her for what actually happens at the RW.
Jeff R.
389. EvilClosetMonkey
The problem is that Rhaegar has no authority to command the Kingsguard to protect baby Jon over the rightful king, especially not after his death. Protecting Jon over Viserys is breaking their oath unless Jon was legitimized. Rhaegar never had the authority to do that and at the time of Rhaegar's death, Aegon would have been the heir not Jon and Rhaegar thought that Aegon was the prince who was promised.
Given the timing and what Rhaegar seemed to believe about the prophecy, he probably expected Jon to be a girl and would have had no reason to expect taht Jon would be his heir.
Chris Nelly
390. Aeryl
No authority except The Song. I don't know(still haven't read ADWD yet) what they knew about the prophecy that Rhaegar believes in, but we do know Barristan knew he had found something, so it stands to reason that the Kingsguard were his confidants and that he knew Jon would be needed in the future and they were to protect him and the prophecy at all costs. My guess is that Lyanna knew about the prophecy as well, so the promise she extracted from Ned was to protect Jon and ensure he was at The Wall when he was old enough, so he could play his part.
Jeff R.
391. Jeff R.
I'll pop up to once again bring up my theory that Elia's kids were themselves illegitimate, with Aerys as the actual father, and Rhaegar knowing this and know that the prophecy requires a son of his rather than a half-brother. Polygamy, while technically possible, wasn't politically an option, and any plan that would remotely come near putting Jon ahead of Aegon in the line of succession would inevitably involve a civil war with Dorne.

Now, the real question is how all of this gets unravelled. Pretty much everyone involved who might actually know any of it is dead, with the exception of Howland (Ser No, still not appearing in this book either) Reed. I guess there's also direct revelation via Melissandre, Time-travelling Bran, or other magic.
Jeff R.
392. EvilClosetMonkey
IIRC, Ned didn't want to let Jon join the watch. He wanted him to be older before making that decision. Ned in no way encouraged Jon to go to the Wall so it seems unlikely that that was part of the promise.

It seems that Rhaegar believed that Aegon was the prince who was promised but he originally believed that he was TPWWP, which is why he decided he had to become a warrior. The dragon has three heads and I think Rhaegar was trying to recreate the original Targaryen trio but everyone seemed to think Elia was too sickly to have another kid. Thus a different mother was needed and Lyanna fit the bill. At the time that Rhaegar and Lyanna ran away together, I don't see why it wasn't politically feasible for Rhaegar to go all polygamous. Dorne might be angry but Elia would still be the mother of the heir and the Dornish views on these things are different than the views of Westeros as a whole. Marrying Lyanna wouldn't put any child of hers ahead of Aegon as he would still be the eldest son of Rhaegar.

By the time of TOJ there is no reason to believe that Rhaegar's interpretation of the prophecy is correct as two of his kids (and therefore two of the heads of the dragon) are dead. I find it hard to believe that the Kingsguard would abandon their oaths to protect the king (while claiming that they are keeping their oaths) because of a prophecy that seems to have exploded in their faces.
Chris Nelly
393. Aeryl
Yes, Ned was hesitant to allow Jon to go to the Wall, but his thoughts were full of Lyanna. I don't think there is anything conclusive yet.

The reason it seems obvious to me that Rhaegar would elevate Jon over his legitimate, is Song of Ice of Fire. It alludes to a child of both bloodlines, which Rhaenys and Aegon were not. That is why protecting Jon at the TOJ was more important than Elia's children in KL. So I don't necessarily think that Rhaegar thought his Dornish children played into the prophecy at all.
Jeff R.
394. EvilClosetMonkey
His thoughts were full of Lyanna because he was thinking about Jon. I don't think we can conclusively say what the promise was but I don't see any evidence that Ned actually wanted Jon at the Wall.

When Dany sees the vision in House of the Undying, it's Rhaegar, Aegon, and Elia that she sees. Rhaegar says about baby Aegon that his is the song of ice and fire. That's also where we see him say that the dragon has three heads and there needs to be another. Maybe he changed his mind but we should also remember that he seems to think that it is a Prince that is promised and at the time Rhaegar goes to fight Robert he has no way to know if his child with Lyanna will be a boy or a girl.

Maybe he changed his mind, scrapped the old idea about Aegon and the three headed dragon and went with Lyanna's unborn child as the chosen one but I'm not familiar with anything in the text that implies that. That may explain why the Kingsguard at the TOJ are defending baby Jon but it doesn't explain why they insist that they are fulfilling their Kingsguard oaths since Viserys would be the king under that scenario.
Bill Stusser
395. billiam
@ 385

Not me, I love discussing R + L = J.

This is what I believe. I've said all of this before in this thread but here we go again. First off, Ned's promise to Lyanna was not to reveal that Jon was Rhaegar's son and heir.

Jon is Aegon and Lyanna is the woman in Dany's vision, not Elia. Ned wouldn't have named his bastard son with a Targ name so he changed it to Jon.

Rhaegar and Lyanna were married, which makes Jon Rhaegar's heir. I don't believe that Elia's Aegon was Rhaegar's son at all, so he was never heir to the throne.

The Kingsguard at the ToJ believed that they were there protecting the heir to the throne.

ETA: One more thing, I think that Rhaegar stayed with Lyanna at the ToJ until after Jon was born before he rode off to face Robert on the Trident.
Jeff R.
396. Jeff R.
Well, an heir, not 'the heir'. Vicerys should still be in front of Jon (and also ahead of Aegon, if Aegon actually belongs in the succession at all).

(Unless Rhaegar was already in rebellion against Aerys, and the kingsguard he had around him were his kingsguard, and thus only concerned with his heirs rather that Aerys. Exactly how kingsguarding works in cases of civil war probaby isn't particularly formal with regard to succession laws. I really like my Rhaegar rebellion theory almost just for the possibilty that Lord Frey was committed to it, early on, with lavish upward marriages promised. The idea that he could have been so utterly screwed over by how events turned out, to the point where he was massively wronged in a way that he can't even complain about to a single living soul without implicating himself in treason really fits with his character...)

My own take on Ned's promise was that it was more simply "Don't let Robert kill my baby", and that the deception was his own solution to that problem.
Chris Nelly
397. Aeryl
billiam I mostly agree with you. I know some people feel that Lyanna died during Jon's childbirth, but I don't think so, maybe it was another child that caused her bed of blood.

I don't believe whether they were married was important, because as has been demonstrated, a King can confer legitimacy on illegitimate children. Rhaegar couldn't do so publicly without causing problems in Dorne, so he had to wait until his hold on the rest of the kingdom was secure by defeating Robert. We know he told Jaime things were going to change when he got back from the Trident. I like to think he was prepared to depose his father with Jaime's help, and that Jaime was doing his damndest to ensure that Aerys didn't escape justice.

I don't necessarily think it was to never reveal Jon's parentage, it was just to protect him from Robert. Lyanna knew what kind of man Robert was, that was partly why she didn't want to marry. Having seen this man plunge a nation into war to possess her, she knew he would never let her child by Rhaegar survive. I can't imagine any mother* wanted her child to go through his entire life not knowing the truth of who he was. Sure there are some circumstances outside of voluntary adoption where this may be the case, and this particular one may be one of them. But if there has been left no one with the knowledge of Jon's true parentage left alive, it will be hard to reveal sensibly in the story. Likely Howland Reed knows, but I don't Jon will learn it directly from him, maybe Bran in the tree will talk to him, it's been established that Reed has an affinity with the wierwoods due to his trip to the Isle of Faces.

* I state mother just to be clear that I'm only referring to people who wish to raise children, not pregnant women who voluntarily terminate their parental rights.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
398. AlirozTheConfused
I really am quite surprised
how often it is surmised,
That Jon's not Eddard's son
(despite book one
unless Eddard the Honest lies)

Wylla's said to be Jon's mommy
Not Cersie, Lyana, or Lommy
not Ashara Dane
Or Septa Mordayne
And Jon's dad's neither rhaegar nor Jommy

I wish the comments about weddings would cease
The chances of Leigh catching on will increase
her head-wheels are turning, keep away from the grease
if only one poster decides to release
the truth, our wait, which is soon to Surcease
is for nought, for the reaction surely will decrease
in magnitude; please, your impatience appease
in other ways. This terrible misease
of waiting for the RW just to hear of disease
and schedule slips your stomach may quease
but the wait will be worth it, despite the unease
we must be a membrane and not a permease.
Bill Stusser
399. billiam
@ 396

The way I understand it, the line to the throne after Aerys would be Rhaegar and then his male heirs, then the next of Aerys' male children (Viserys) and his male heirs (which he didn't have) and so on until there are no more male children of Aerys. Then it would be Rhaegar's female children and then Aerys female children.

So, if Jon is Rhaegar's legitimate heir, after both Aerys and Rhaegar are killed that would make Jon king before Viserys and explain why the Kingsguard are at the ToJ protecting Jon and not with Viserys. The Kingsguard make it clear that they do not believe that Viserys is the rightful king.

Also, Ser Barristan called Viserys Prince, much to Dany's displeasure, a few chapters back so it is clear that he did not think that Viserys was the rightful king either. I wonder if Ser Barristan knows about what happened at the ToJ.
Bill Stusser
400. billiam
@ 398

If keeping Jon's true parentage a secret isn't what Lyanna wanted Ned to promise her than what was the promise? That he would take her back to Winterfell to be placed in the crypts with the rest of the Starks? Why would she make Ned promise to do that? Wouldn't he do that anyways?

It seems obvious that Lyanna wanted Ned to do something that he wouldn't want to do. Like lie. It would take something very important to make an honorable man like Ned do something he thought was dishonorable. Like to save his children maybe or a deathbed promise.

If Ned would lie to protect Sansa and Arya in King's Landing is it such a stretch to believe that he would lie to protect his sister's son?
Rob Munnelly
401. RobMRobM
I see the last two chapters as well intentioned train wrecks. Both Dany and Tyrion will come to see the problems caused by their decisions to protect others that violated local norms.
Faiz Imam
402. FaizImam
Not doing 3 chapters next week will really test leigh's resolve :)

It starts with the Arya chapter that finally ends the seemingly endless worldbuilding, (great the first time by boring every other time). And the uneventful inner monologue chapter of Jon going back over the wall.

BUT it ends on the left side page, and is followed by JAIME, and the first line sticks out as saying "His hand burned"

I have no expectations, but if next week isn't 3, then none of them ever will :D
Marie Veek
403. SlackerSpice
@402: Kinda doubt it, though it'll be interesting to see her reaction to the fact that Dothraki-Mummer didn't cut Jaime's chains after all.

I'll settle for her trying to figure out who the Mad Huntsman's prisoner is - the only clue she has is that it's her prayers being answered, meaning it's someone on Arya's list.
Jeff R.
404. Asbjorn
@402: I know it sounds weird, but in this case I would actually prefer only two chapters next friday.
This way, chapter 31 and 32 will be in the same post, and the contrast between Jaime, the seemingly "bad" Lannister saving a woman who was her enemy from getting raped, (getting a boot in his stump for his trouble), and Tyrion the seemingly "good" Lannister killing an innocent singer and makes him into a stew for trying to blackmail him, is too good too miss.
Deana Whitney
405. Braid_Tug
@ 398. AlirozTheConfused; Love your bottom rhyme. and totally agree.

Please people, stop Capitalizing "Red"." If that's not a major "Pay attention to Me!" I don't know what is.

@ 404; Singer into a stew?! What?! totally forgot that one.
Chris Nelly
406. Aeryl
Yea, it's that singer that Shae likes who is auditioning to sing at the wedding. She's blabbed too much about her trysts with Tyrion, so in his mind, the singer's got to go!
Jeff R.
407. moniq
So I had a thought, and I left my lurker cave to point it out, though I'm not sure if it holds up. I thought that you had to be crowned to be a king? maybe? As is, it doesn't matter that Vicerys is the heir, since he hasn't been crowned the king's guard can legitimately follow Rhaegar's orders still, or something like that? I'm not really sure about it, but it's a thought.
Jeff R.
408. corejay
@407: Joffrey wasn't crowned yet directly after Robert's death, and still Barristan felt honor-bound to stand against Ned here, albeit reluctantly.

Another question regarding that last Dany chapter: Anyone has an idea about the 'three treasons will know'?

My pet theory is that ist's Dany who's the traitor in those, not the betrayer, and I think this one is her treason for gold - i.e., because she doesn't have enough gold to pay for the Unsullied, she betrays Astapor.

Which has me looking forward to the treason for love, incidentally. Could be really heart-breaking.
Chris Nelly
409. Aeryl
@408 that is an awesome thought, and completely in line with her actions, IMO. At the end of SOS, she's convinved Jorah's her treason of love, and it is, just the other way around.
Vincent Lane
410. Aegnor
Regarding the conversation in the read thread, I don't think it can be said that Theon is universally disliked anymore. He went a hell of a long way at rehabilitating his character. Further than what I thought possible under the circumstances.
Chris Nelly
411. Aeryl
I haven't read ADWD yet, though I know what happens to Theon while held prisoner by Ramsey Bolton because I lurk around in spoiler threads all day(HA!). So without knowing what else goes on with Theon as far as his actions, not actions done to him, I'll have to hold judgement on whether I'm over my loathing or not.

That being said, terrible things were done to Cersei in FFC and I still hate her, mainly because they were her own damn fault(arming the Faith, SRSLY???). I kinda view where Theon's at right now as his own damn fault too, so......
Vincent Lane
412. Aegnor
Pre-ADWD I would have been right there with you on Theon.
George Jong
413. IndependentGeorge
@411 - I didn't realize you hadn't read DWD until now. Since you're here in the spoiler section, I hope you don't mind my spoiling you in response to your post #62 in the part 16 recap.
The fact that there is a group that dislikes her that much was a shock to me. Catelyn and Sansa, while I don't agree with the people who dislike them, I at least get. But Dany, while not perfect, is at this time the best legitimate contender for the Iron Throne that I could support.
It was Dany's chapters in DWD which caused a lot of people (including myself) to sour on her and, in my opinion, it's partly due to meta reasons related to the publication history. Basically, GRRM originally intended for there to be a 5-year gap between SOS and the next volume, but had to scrap that plan when he realized how much story he had to fill in between them.

As a result, he had to hurriedly re-write everything several years after he originaly expected to publish the novel. And while it made sense for the surviving Stark children to have a gap while they were each completed their internships with their respective dubious new mentors, Dany seemed to break character in order to "fill" the novel.

I don't go so far as to call Dany evil or crazy, her behavior is at such odds to what we've previously seen from her that if you judge her by the same standards as other characters, she begins to look stupid, blind, arrogant, hypocritical, and, at the extremes, crazy & evil. In trope terms, she becomes a designated hero; meanwhile, Stannis looks more and more like an actual hero.

The best comparison I can think for Dany in DWD is Meadow Soprano. Meadow started as an idealist, but at the end has been thoroughly corrupted by Tony. Where she once rebelled, she is now wilfully blind to her father's sociopathy due in no small part to the lifestyle it affords her.

The difference is that while Meadow's character change was clearly intentional, with Dany, it feels like GRRM didn't think through the implications of the story (probably due to the hurried re-write).
Marie Veek
414. SlackerSpice
Re: Theon, I was too busy freaking out about Reek turning out to be Ramsay and burning down Winterfell. Like with Jaime losing his hand, any sense of karma, to me, is nullified by the fact that the other party involved probably doesn't give two shits about the victims. Vargo Hoat just wants the rewards, and Ramsay just wants someone to torture.
Chris Nelly
415. Aeryl
@413, Yeah I know better than to get upset about getting spoiled hanging in the spoiler thread so no worries. As a matter of fact is was spoilers that finally got me to read the books instead of just watching the show.

Based on the preview chapter in FFC, I knew Dany's road wasn't gonna get easy(Drogon ate a child). Knowing about the horn the Auron has, I'm assuming she'll get that and gain control over her dragons, since I think she'll be immune from the damage it causes to those who uses it, but I'll have to wait and see.

I plan on getting ADWD as soon as it comes out in paperback, so I'll be caught up shortly :^D
Marie Veek
416. SlackerSpice
@413: How is her behavior different, would you say?
Jakub Wrobel
417. ptyx

I don't go so far as to call Dany evil or crazy, her behavior is at such
odds to what we've previously seen from her that if you judge her by
the same standards as other characters, she begins to look stupid,
blind, arrogant, hypocritical, and, at the extremes, crazy & evil.

Funny how, whereas I don't agree with what you say here about Dany, these are actually my feelings (more or less) about Tyrion (after the Oberyn-Gregor duel) :)
Chris Nelly
418. Aeryl
I almost cringe going into the comments every week, I swear. I read the earlier articles in the reread and Leigh engaged a lot more in the comments before, but now I think she stays away because spoilers.

Jeff R.
419. corejay
Sorry for the spoilers, guys.

But seriously, I already thought that when I read the entire thing the first time. And screaming "spoiler!" for a post that doesn't rely on later facts to explain something doesn't help either.

Still, that one goes on me.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
420. AlirozTheConfused
Aye, the spoilers were once on the fringe
and Leigh was active, a respondent
when only my rhymes made people cringe
but that's no reason to be despondent

I see your point, Mister corejay
it might help to look at it this way
back in the day, you would not say
that Loras and renly are secretly nevermind
e'en though a few readers that secret will ever find
It's supposed to be just Leigh and her clever mind.
Unless she asks for clarity
which is mostly a rarity
so your post contains a disparity.
Vincent Lane
421. Aegnor
Oh hey! Because I'm so smart I was able to deduce that Mance has the horn and also Mance's reasoning for not using the horn. See how smart I am? It totally isn't because I've read the chapter towards the end of the book where he clearly explains his reasoning. It's totally because I'm so smart.

Jeff R.
422. corejay
I don't think Mance's horn is the real thing, but that's another discussion.

And yes, I'm calling myself that already. Thank you for reminding me.
Chris Nelly
423. Aeryl
Laying it out as speculation is one thing, but I felt it crossed a line by out and out confirming it. I understand, tbh, I ALMOST did it too, but decided against it as crossing a line. And at the same time, her speculation ran the completely opposite way, it would have been quite amusing to watch her keep running with it, only to get smacked in the face with how wrong she was.
Jeff R.
424. corejay
OK, but I actually tried to lay it out as speculation. That was kinda the point - I'm always saying 'IF Mance has the horn' etc. That's why I felt the 'spoiler' screams weren't helping, because I tried to frame it as speculation.

But ok, I see that I failed there.

As you said already, I'm an idiot.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
425. AlirozTheConfused
Well, when Leigh couldn't remember the green men
I described their founding, it's where and when
When Leigh stopped asking such things of the readers
We became info bandits with no ringleaders
We need concrete rules as regards such things
but to that table, each poster brings
his or her own guidelines and rules of thumb
So we're all on the sidelines, and it just feels dumb.

How 'bout Aeryl, Corejay, and I
Fix our conversation, rewrite each post
agree not to call "Spoiler!" in a reply
that's the option I like most.
Jeff R.
426. corejay
Since I apparently don't have the option of changing my post, if a mod sees this could he or she either remove it or at least white it out in the most problematic parts (mostly the second and third paragraph)?

Thank you for your calm head, ATC

... and for the great poetry, too :)
Rob Munnelly
427. RobMRobM
By the way, Leigh missed the Tansy reference - and the fact that Hoster Tully got injured in the nearby town during the Battle of the Bells and could well have had a Robb Stark like fling with a cute young local girl, without the marriage, while in town recovering from the wound. I'm still betting that the "tansy" references refer to Lysa but this seems too odd a circumstance to be fully unrelated.
Marie Veek
428. SlackerSpice
Now to wait and seee just how Leigh takes Jaime losing his hand...
Faiz Imam
429. FaizImam
Jaime's chapter has the line:

"they were waiting for him... Tyrion, who loved him for a lie"

All the facts are there to figure out what lie he's talking about, since there is only one story of Jamie and Tyrion, and its been repeated at least twice aleady.

The Bolton's and Frey's together at Harrenhall, with their spitting at the Starks name is another hint she might notice.

Though however far she gets, any further discussion along that line is going in serious spoiler territory, so we should keep an eye for rogue comments on that front.
Marie Veek
430. SlackerSpice
@429: Though first-time readers will probably interpret that as the initial 'lie' of saving Tysha.
Vincent Lane
431. Aegnor

Sorry, I shouldn't have been so rude. But speculation on stuff that is clearly spelled out later is going too far. It's the same as spoiling her on the whole Joffrey being Jamie's son thing from book one. Even though all the evidence was there for her well before she figured it out, it would still be a spoiler to have pointed it all out to her.
George Jong
432. IndependentGeorge
I've been thinking about Jaime's chapter coming up... GOT Season 3 is going to be friggin' comedy gold for Arrested Westeros.
Brandon Lammers
433. wickedkinetic
Just wanted to add that I believe Lyanna's deathbed request was fairly specific - "take this child and raise him as your own - tell nobody who his real parents are" - which would both explain his internal conflicts about the deception but his willing to do what would otherwise betray his personal code of honor.... plus it wasn't safe to be a Targ during most of John's life so wouldn't want that getting out for a variety of reasons... not to mention King Bob's irrational/self-deceiving/romanticizing of his Lyanna.....
Jeff R.
434. My Amyrlin > Your Amyrlin
I am in total agreement with @433. Never understood frankly, while there is so much difference of opinion here. In the same vein, it's obvious to me that valonqar Jaime will kill Cersei.
Chris Nelly
435. Aeryl
Me too @444. Poetic justice in my book
Vincent Lane
436. Aegnor
I've been in the R + L = J camp since I read the series for the first time (a few months before the HBO series aired). But one thing that I didn't think of until my second read through. So I had assumed Jon was still a bastard, just a bastard of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Then I realized that for a Targaryen being already married is not necessarily a barrier to getting married to a second person. Rhaegar and Lyanna could have been married and, if so, that would mean Jon is legitimate and that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Faiz Imam
437. FaizImam

There is no evidence of that but its a very reasonable theory. Ascribed to by many, we talked about it a bit further up the page.

Its obvious that we will be told the details in Winds of winter (or gods forbid, the last book) somehow. The real question is, will Jon be told? what effects will it have on him, Danerys, and the future of Westeros as a whole?
Jeff R.
438. zambi76
In the same vein, it's obvious to me that valonqar Jaime will kill Cersei.
I actually never liked that theory, because I would find that cheesy beyond words. Give me Stannis, Loras, Sandor, Arya or even Dany as the valonquar. Say no to Jaime or Tyrion!
Bill Stusser
439. billiam
@ 438

Since valonqar means little brother in high valyrian, I'm pretty sure it has to be either Jaime or Tyrion. And my money is on Jaime.
Jeff R.
440. Cassanne
I vote Tommen for Valonqar, and he does it because she never protected him from Joffrey, thus providing the 'little brother' thing. And I have another theory ( which is probably too cliche for Martin) , that there is a marriage and a birth certificate of some kind in Lyanna's tomb. This because of various prophetic dreams pointing to there being something there. Could also include the sword Dawn, which would at this point be far more useful to Jon than those certificates...
Chris Nelly
441. Aeryl
I'm assuming Jon is somehow going to get his hands on one of the blades Ice was turned into. Tommen has the one that was given to Joffrey, and Brienne has the other, which Jaime gave to her. How that would happen, I don't know, but it seems poetic to me.

Tommen as the valonquar is one I haven't thought of, but it is nice to consider it. I do love that, as of my last read, Jaime abandoned Cersei to The Faith.
George Jong
442. IndependentGeorge
@439 - If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that the valonquar is NOT Tyrion. Why? Because Cersei is the George Costanza of Westeros. If she thinks it's Tyrion is the Valonquar and Margaery is the younger Queen, then the exact opposite must be true.

Sometimes, I fans tend to overthink theories during the long stretches between books. Jaime is the obvious choice for the Valonquar, and Dany is the obvious choice for the younger Queen (though Sansa works pretty well, too). There's really no evidence in favor of those interpretations, though, so I tend not to get worked up about it.
Chris Nelly
443. Aeryl
See I think Cersei is right about Margaery, but that her own paranoia about the matter is what is going to bring it to fruition. But I still haven't read ADWD yet, so.................
Faiz Imam
444. FaizImam
love the sword idea, I wonder if Jon getting his hands on one will lead to a "magical" prophetic event that melisandre will understand and reveal to Jon directly...
Chris Nelly
446. Aeryl
Ooh, I just had a though in re Jon as a Targ, and Tyrion fits too.

Jon, Dany, and Tyrion are the only POV characters we read who get love stories(all the romance talk today got me thinking it) and tragic ones at that. Dany has Drogo, Jon has Ygritte, and for Tyrion both Tysha and Shae could count, but since Shae is only one we see well, that's the one I'm counting(and I do think he loved her, fool that he is).

I think it's definitely more circumstantial evidence of Tyrion as a Targ.
Jakub Wrobel
447. ptyx
Well at least Sam + Gilly is one other "true love" story
To some extent you could qualify also:
Sansa + Joffrey
Arianne + Arys
Jaime + Cersei
... one more from ADWD that I won't spoil for you, although it's not really crucial
Chris Nelly
448. Aeryl
I don't count Sansa and Joffrey, that wasn't really love, Arriane and Arys, same thing, that was manipulation not love. Jaime and Cersei, we don't see them fall in love, we see the after effects, and once you get their POVs, it seems like they fall OUT of love pretty quick. Sam and Gilly is the only one you've listed that I'm iffy about, and I still don't think it qualifies, as you don't see Sam fall in love with Gilly from his POV, because that happens in COK, you just see his physical attraction and consumation in SOS & FFC.
George Jong
449. IndependentGeorge
I think you're forgetting:
Ned + Catelyn
Davos + Stannis
Chris Nelly
450. Aeryl
Love story, as in seen them meet, get to know one another, and fall in love.

I am not referring to characters who have relationships, I'm talking characters who we watched fall in love. No characters who manipulated other's love either.
Jeff R.
451. andNowMyWatchBegins
With this weeks read has it been explicitly stated by Jaime or otherwise that Aerys was pretty generous with the Wildfire showers? And do we know if it was wildfire or a regular pyre that he roasted Stark Sr. Sr. on?
Joseph Haines
452. IamJoseph
7 DougL was a spoiler. The only mention in this chapter was how Brandon Stark was tortured while while wildfire was poured over his father Rickard.
Marie Veek
453. SlackerSpice
And hello Qyburn! Man, is Leigh gonna loathe you... (At least once she gets to FFC, that is...)

Next week on Read of Ice and Fire: Craster's Keep explodes (and Sam's just lucky that it wasn't literal), rumors of Dondarrion's death(s) aren't all that exaggerated, and... okay, now what were you saying about Thoros being a phony, again, Leigh?
Chris Nelly
454. Aeryl
Thoros had been gone so long from the story that I had forgotten who worshipped R'hllor like Melisandre. Interesting to see if Leigh remembers.
Marie Veek
455. SlackerSpice
@454: Dunno. Was there any reference to him being a Red Priest before? (Memory's kinda spotty right now.)
Vincent Lane
456. Aegnor

Yeah, I was just going to mention that. It is a rather significant spoiler that is revealed in the next Jamie chapter. Fairly annoying, but I am assuming it was inadvertant. Nothing we can do but flag it and hope a moderator fixes it. But it is fairly early in the comments, so if Leigh is reading them I'm sure she's already been spoiled.
Chris Nelly
457. Aeryl
@455, Yes, but the reference was given before we had the context of what that meant in Melisandre.
Marie Veek
458. SlackerSpice
@457: Eh, I didn't really get the connection either when I read it, I suspect, and I wasn't reading a couple chapters per week. At this point, I'd suggest keeping notes on general principle.
George Jong
459. IndependentGeorge
I'm travelling next week, and probably won't be able to comment until the following Monday, so somebody better quote Leigh's post from Part 10 (Nov 30):
And Mormont, as well, which frankly I find kind of shocking. But Mormont is possibly the Keith Richards of this universe. Which is to say, there are some people who seem to die when you breathe on them wrong, and then there are other people who seemingly won’t die no matter what you do to them. Or they do to themselves. People are weird that way.

Of course, if Mormont then dies in the next chapter or whatever I’m gonna be real red-faced. Oh well.
Faiz Imam
461. FaizImam
On the subject of leigh's comment reading.

Do we know what her current policy actually is?

does she read them at all?

The smart thing to do would be for her to read them a few days later, once all the blatant spoilers have been flagged and whited out and have a trusted other vet them first.

Can any mods here shed some light on that?
Rob Munnelly
462. RobMRobM
Re the other thread and the HBO show - I' m referring to the Renly-Loras love connection.

I do believe Leigh reads the comments at some point, probably during preparations for the next week's read. She has occasionally referred to them in her posts. I believe/hope she is waiting at least some time so that spoilers have been scrubbed.
Nisheeth Pandey
463. Nisheeth
@462, RobMRobM:
Ah! If I am not mistaken, it is never cleared up in the coming books? So I don't think that she will get it until she reads those sections again.

And the other Lannister you are referring to is Genna?
That's the problem with having this huge a cast. I had forgotten about her. I actually had to look up the lost of Lannisters in the wiki, and this is the only other that I found to be likeable (I am, obvoiusly, not including Tyrion and Jamie).
Jeff R.
464. FaizImam
No need to worry, there are more than a few clues coming up, they are all listed here:

I have some hope for p437, but she better get it by p698 or else were screwed. Though p759 -p760 really should be more than enough to confirm any suspicions.

Here are all the ones from ASOS in chronological order:

"When the sun has set, no candle can replace it." ASOS p137

"Loras is valiant and handsome and we all love him dearly...but your Imp will make a better husband."ASOS p322

"There are those who say that Ser Loras is better than Leo Longthorn ever was," said Tyrion.
"Renly's little rose? I doubt that." ASOS p437

"Varys had suggested the woman to him; in former days, she had run Lord Renly's household in the city, which had given her a great deal of practice at being blind, deaf and mute." ASOS p655

"Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I'll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found." ASOS p698

"I buried him with mine own hands, at a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm's End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest." He looked at Jaime definatly. "I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them." ASOS p759

"We had...we had prayed together that night." ASOS p760

"And it relieved him {Mace} of the difficult task of trying to find lands and a bride for a third son, never easy, and doubly difficult in Ser Loras's case."ASOS p769
Nisheeth Pandey
466. Nisheeth
@464, FaizImam:
Oh! Thanks for pointing it out.
Rob Munnelly
467. RobMRobM
Nis - there is also Damon (?) Lannister in FFC, who comes acrosss as pretty cool.
Rob Munnelly
468. RobMRobM
Nice to see Stevenhalter pick up two of the interesting things in the chapters - the Frey-Bolton connection and where's Ice? Wish I could give him direct kudos and more info - but can't.
Lindy Brown
469. lbrown
I just finished reading A Dance With Dragons and I am so happy to be caught up and able to read the spoiler thread!

One thing I still haven't quite figured out is which are the 7 Kingdoms?

This is what I figured out with notes from the appendices.
The following familes were definitely kings before the Conquest:

1. Arryns- Descended from King of Mountain and Vale
2. Lannisters- Descended from Andals who carved out a kingdom in the west
3. Martells- Last of 7 kingdoms to swear to the Iron Throne
4. Starks- Descendents of Kings of Winter and North
5. Greyjoys- descendants from the Grey King

So that's 5 but then there's also the great lords that emerged after or during the Conquest and weren't kings before: Baratheons, Tyrells and Tullys. That would make 8.

Baratheon- House born during years of Conquest, when Orys Baratheon slew the last Storm King. Aegon granted him a lordship.

Tyrell- Were stewards to the kings of the Reach. Harlen Tyrell surrendered to Aegon after his king was killed and was raised to Lord.

Tully- Lord Edmyn Tully was one of the first of the Riverlords to swear fealty to Aegon the Conqueror. King Aegon rewarded him by raising House Tully to dominion over all the lands of the Trident. (And I know that King Harren was the king over the Trident before he was burned by the dragons).

So, what I figured is that House Tully does not represent one of the 7 kingdoms, BUT their story seems the same as the Baratheons and Tyrells. All three families represent past kingdoms before the conquest that all lost their kings and Aegon awarded the ancestor of all 3 families to be a great lord. So...why aren't all 3 kingdoms counted?

Or are one of that first group not counted?
Jakub Wrobel
470. ptyx
Basically, the Riverlands were not a kingdom itself. At the moment of the conquest it was ruled by Harren, king of the Iron Islands and the Riverlands. The Riverlands had been ruled by the Iron Kings for many years before the Targ invasion, and earlier these lands belonged to the Storm Kings.
It was the Targaryens who divided the region into two parts - awarding the Riverlands to House Tully and the Iron Islands - to House Greyjoy (Harren the Black was of House Hoare which became extinct after Harren's death).
Lindy Brown
472. lbrown
470- Thanks for clearing that up. I knew that one of you would have the answer. :)
Bridget McGovern
473. BMcGovern
@461 FaizImam & 462 RobMRobM: for what it's worth, I don't think Leigh currently has a rock-solid policy when it comes to comments. It's my understanding that she mostly reads over them whenever she has a chance, and does her best to avoid potential spoilers by skimming when necessary.
George Jong
474. IndependentGeorge
@467 - I think you mean Daven. I can't remember who's son he was (Jaime calls him cousin, but he's not Kevan's or Genna's), but I rather liked him quite a bit.

ETA: The appendix says he's Stafford's son. Stafford died during the Young Wolf's ambush at Oxcross.
Rob Munnelly
475. RobMRobM
@474 - correct, thanks.

Re Leigh and the HBO spoiler that Renly and Loras were lovers - this is particularly hilarious for those who were followers of the Wheel of Time re-read, like me, because one of Leigh's key complaints in the WoT-verse was that Jordan didn't show any instance of male homosexuality "on screen." (That lack, by the way, was remedied in A Memory of Light - twice.) She's even made the same point early in this read, wondering whether GRRM would differ from Jordan. Hence, it is pretty funny that she missed out on numerous clues to the most obvious male-male relationship in the series. She also hasn't picked up on other potential candidates - such as the Blackfish, who has consistently refused to marry.
Vincent Lane
476. Aegnor

And my point in that WoT thread was that it wasn't really unusual that we hadn't run into any male gay characters in the story because:
1) Latest numbers I've seen show about 2% of the population to be homosexual.
2) We don't know that many male characters well enough in WoT to even know if they are gay or not. There are significantly more female characters that we know well than male in the series. We knew maybe 12 characters well enough at that time to know that type of info. That means the chances that 12 random people would all be straight is about 78%. So not that out of the ordinary.

Same applies here. Leigh doesn't know enough about Renly or Loras to know they are gay, and yet they are.
Rob Munnelly
477. RobMRobM
In WoT, the issue was that there were multiple examples of female gay or at least experimenting characters, and nothing similar for male characters. Hence, the perceived discrepancy that we talked about in many WoT re-read threads. I believe Leigh actually wondered earlier in this read how Martin would handle these issues and it's amusing (to me at least) that given that perspective going in Leigh didn't pick up on Loras-Renly.

As I think about it, ASOIF is almost the converse of WoT. I'm not aware of really any female gay characters (I don't count Dany getting pleasured by Irri as falling into that category - but if I'm forgetting some, please remind me). But re males there is one couple confirmed (by GRRM) and several hinted possibly gay male characters (Blackfish, possibly; Satin in ADWD - probably).
Vincent Lane
478. Aegnor
And my response to that was that we get into the heads, or are in a position where that type of thing would come up, for a LOT more women than men. That is due to the whole nature of the world it takes place in (e.g. importance of Aes Sedai, etc). We know a lot of intimate information about a lot of female characters, but outside the big 3, we don't know that many details about male characters. Galad, Gawyn, Lan, some few others. For women, if we say we know about 30 women characters to that level of detail (which is probably a pretty conservative number) then you are talking about 50% chance that one of those characters would be gay, 30% that two are.

That's why I say that it would have been odd for there to be no female homosexuals, but not odd for there to be no male homosexuals.
Rob Munnelly
479. RobMRobM
Aegnor - my take is that you're understating the number of male characters we know reasonably well in WoT, including political and military leaders in Shienar, Carhien, Andor, Tear, Altara and other countries, plus many in the Two Rivers, plus many Aiel, plus the Band, plus the Children of the Light, plus many Ashaman, plus some Sea Folk, plus the Seanchan, plus the Foresaken, plus various dark friends....

That's the best part of WoT - the ridiculously extensive world building, with hundreds of characters of both sexes who get relatively extensive screen time. My point is that Jordan had plenty of opportunties to suggest gay males characters, just as he did for female characters (such as the various references to Aes Sedai pillow friends and the two woman having an affair that Rand tied up and hid under a bed in LoC) and as BS did in AMOL. And my point is that given Leigh's sensitivity to this issue, it's remarkable that she has so far missed the clues intended by GRRM to suggest the relationship between Renly and Loras. It's amusing and I don't want to spoil the fun prematurely.

Thanks for the interesting perspective.

Vincent Lane
480. Aegnor
You have to keep in mind that many of those male characters are in situations where intimate details like that just don't come up. Military discussions, meetings between leaders of state, etc. There isn't the same exploration of everyday living that you get with the female characters (via the White Tower). As an Asmodean gay or straight? Taim? Ishmael/Mordin? There are so many major male characters that we have no idea on their sexual preference.

I do agree it is interesting she has missed the Renly/Loras tidbit so far. She picked up on quite a bit of that in WoT that I missed (Therava).
Jeff R.
481. bajan sea fold
if i remember correctly cersi had a somewhat lesbian affair with a woman (FFC i think??) from the other side of the narrow sea. but again not nearly the level of renly/loras, but more so than dany/irri
Jeff R.
482. violetdancer
I'm a bit behind in the reread but noticed that in the last posting (Arya), Harwin told Arya a story about the Battle of the Bells fought at Stoney Sept. He said Hoster Tully was seriously wounded there. Funny that the red-haired innkeeper of the Peach happens to be called Tansy? And all that talk about Robert fathering bastards too. Clue or red herring?
Vincent Lane
483. Aegnor
I'm thinking it is a red herring and the real Tansy is the herb used to induce an abortion. Of course who knows for sure (except GRRM).
Faiz Imam
485. FaizImam
Taena of Myr was the one having an affair with Cersei. Do we know her sexuality with any certainty? Either if her attraction is legitimate or for convenience?

We can be pretty sure that Cercei for involved as a result of stress and paranoia of having no one she could trust, nothing more.

Oberyn Martell is explictly(or at least strongly implied, I don't remember) shown as being Bisexual.

Re: homosexuality in WOT, talking about percentages in "real life" reminds me of "Historically accurate sexism" which is very selective and used to apologise for legitimate critiques of sexism in fantasy.

The way BS wrote male homosexuality was his choice, just like not doing so was RJ's (if only by omission).

I'm quite certain acedemic surveys of homosexuality in the population had no standing in either authors choices, nor to GRRM.

The extent to which some of these revelations are throwaway lines show how trivially easy it can be to be inclusive in this way.
Jakub Wrobel
486. ptyx
In ASOIAF, both Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Lyn Corbray are explicitly homosexual, and possibly pedophile as well.
Rob Munnelly
487. RobMRobM
Very good examples of gay characters - forgot about Xaro and Corbray and agree Oberyn and his paramour are pretty wild and crazy with respect to sexuality. Taena was coerced into the encounter by Cersei, as I recall. I don't believe she had any reasonable choice in the matter. For her part, Cersei was lonely and didn't have anyone else at hand - she also realized it was probably a mistake while doing it.

Re Tansy - it looks to be a red herring with big flashing letters except that there are too many connections to Hoster to dismiss them entirely. I was looking through the Peach for women with Tully coloring or a Tully name but didn't recall seeing any - anybody? Alternatively, she might have been a past lover during Battle of the Bells recovery whom Hoster later relied on to procure the herb to use on Lysa - no doubt she was well-familiar with its properties. Interesting issue - I wonder whether GRRM will resolve it later in the series. Right now, we can't know for sure what "Tansy" measns.
Chris Nelly
488. Aeryl
Rob, that's not how I remember the Taena-Cersei thing. I thought it started with Taena masturbating and Cersei being all like "Why the fuck not?"
Rob Munnelly
489. RobMRobM
Here is the Wiki of Ice and Fire description:

Back in her room, a very inebriated Cersei contemplates how to deal with Bronn, and then begins to fondle Taena, 'claiming her rights as queen' the way Robert would do to her when he was drunk
Chris Nelly
490. Aeryl
Ahhh, I dunno, I always felt that Cersei was a bit disgusted with the whole thing.
Vincent Lane
491. Aegnor

Comparing my argument with "historically accurate sexism" is a poor comparison not to mention unfair.

Leigh's argument at the time was that it didn't make sense that there were no male homosexuals in the series. That it didn't fit with reality and there should have been some. My argument was in response to that. RJ could have written in a hundred gay characters. I was only addressing the argument that it didn't make sense from a purely statistical perspective.
Deana Whitney
492. Braid_Tug
On a semi-related note, I've just started watching the show Game of Thrones. So Episode 3 of Season 1 - love that Ned heard the clash of battle as he watch Ayra practice her "needlework."

But I'm guessing the scene when Robert demanded to know the last words of the King from Jamie, is one of those things they added to make Jamie look more friendly early on. "Burn them All!" after we just had Jami and Ned's conversation about the other Starks. And 500 men standing still not doing a damn thing.
Nisheeth Pandey
493. Nisheeth
I had a question, which is a bit sidetracked fom the current discussion. Is there a significance to the vision Bran sees trrough the wierwood tree in Winterfell and looks back in the past (last Bran POV chapter in ADWD)? The only thing that I could make out was that the White-Hared woman was a Targaryen. That part, as a whole, confuses me.
Chris Nelly
494. Aeryl
@492, Yeah, that was a lot of the reason I was a lot more predisposed to find Jaime a lot more sympathetic than the books portray him at first. In addition, I really don't understood WHY everyone held his murder of Aerys against him, it was established early that he was a bad king, wasn't that a good thing? Robert had sworn oaths to him as well that he broke when he went into rebellion, what's the big diff? And then Ned's whole fauxtrage over Jaime sitting on the throne(that I think even the books make obvious Jaime DOES NOT WANT). Just because Robert had some trumped up "relation" to the Targs that made him more worthy? BS.
Nisheeth Pandey
495. Nisheeth
@494, Aeryl: The only reason I see that people would hate Jamie for killing Aerys would be that he had stained the name of the Kingsguard, who had sworn an oath to protect him. I see in as similar to just like how the southern lords despise the Freys for killing Robb, even though in their eyes he was a rebel and the son of a traitor.
About Neds reaction to jamie's sitting on the throne: I might be wrong, but don't the Kingsguard give up any right to a Lordship(or similar or something) when they take the oaths? That would mean that he himself had no right to sit on the throne. Him sitting on the throne was a sign of ambition, and something that could threaten his friend, Robert.
Chris Nelly
496. Aeryl
All I'm saying is that oaths were broken all around, that's the POINT of a rebellion against a monarchy. I don't know why Jaime's oaths are supposed to be held to this higher standard.

And sure he was sitting on it, probably because of Lannister pressure(their forces were there), and (gladly, IMO) gave it up as soon as Ned showed up. I think this is more to demonstrate Ned's closedmindedness in re Lannisters, that he sees nastiness in everything they do, regardless of their actual motivations. This blindness is what led him to misunderstand the true cause of Jon Arryn's death.
Nisheeth Pandey
497. Nisheeth
To an extent, I agree. Oaths were broken. But some oaths are seen as superior (or stronger, not sure what word to use here) to others. Its not just Jamie's oaths, but Kingsguards oaths that are held so high. Similar to how desertion from NW is punished by execution, regardless of the reason.

I think that thething that turned Ned agains Lannisters was not jamie sitting on the throne. Most likely, the fact that the Lannisters didn't move until the last moment, when the victor was all but decided. Tywin, being ruthlessly strategic as he was, decided to take the winning side, and waited out the whole battle. He attacked Aerys late enough that it wouldn't have made much difference that he came (though he had Pycelle working for him, so he saved quite a bit of bloodshed, but that is beside the point). That and what Gregor did to the children.
Rob Munnelly
498. RobMRobM
Braid Tug - I think Jaime relates that info in the books either late in ASOS or in FFC. That's one example of why the show is dangerous for Leigh - some info is brought forward.

@493 - there are some key scenes related. One is the play sword fight between Lyanna and Benjen; one is Ned commenting on Jon-Robb relationship (let them be as brothers - implying they are not brothers in truth); one appears to be Dunk (from the Dunk and Egg stories) kissing someone (Old Nan? One of the Starks? Note that GRRM has hinted that Brienne may be Dunk's grandkid or great grandkid - if so, this might be the start of that relationship); one appears to be Bloodraven (later better known as the Three eyed Crow). Lots to chew on - pregnant woman swearing revenge? No doubt there is a reason the Starks have so few close relatives -perhaps they were killed and revenged 30-50 years before.

Re Jaime and the oath - I do see a difference between an oath of fealty to a monarch and one in which you swore to defend him as his bodyguard to the death. If Jaime didn't like it, he probably should have resigned his white cloak. It's bad form to be the one to kill the person you are oath-sworn to defend.
Nisheeth Pandey
499. Nisheeth
@RobMRobM, 498:
I noticed the first two (but didn't think on them much).
I had to read it again, and Dunk makes sense! I didn't notice that part. Could you tell me which suggested Bloodraven? I don't notice him even now. I was most curious about the last one though. That because of the fact that I didn't get a thing of it when I read it first, and that it suddenly stopped at that vision.
Bill Stusser
500. billiam
It is not so much that Jaime broke his oath, like you said, the others broke oaths too. Jaime was one of the Kingsguard, it was his job, his duty, to protect the king. Killing the person he was supossed to protect is why so many people dislike him. It would be like one of the secret service assigned to guard the president turning around and killing the president.

I don't think that Ned thought that Jaime sitting on the throne threatened Robert in any way, after all, it had not yet been decided that Robert would be king at that point.
Rob Munnelly
501. RobMRobM
Bloodraven is the one who makes arrows from the tree. Physical description matches his from D and E stories.

I'm intrigued about the last one as well - I can't tie it to a historical Stark event that I can recall.
Bill Stusser
502. billiam
I agree with RobM that it is Bloodraven making the arrows. Also, Dunk was the first thing I thought of for the tall man and a young Nan makes some sense. Could the pregnant mom have anything to do with the story about the Starks that is told to Jon in ACoK? I might have to go back and reread that now. As for the last vision, is it mentioned anywhere that the first men made sacrifices to the weirwood trees? Maybe to ward off the others?
Marie Veek
503. SlackerSpice
@498: Except he couldn't really do that either, could he? Kingsguard serve for life, so it'd just be trading one form of oath-breaking for another.
Chris Nelly
504. Aeryl
@500, I understand that, but at the same time, if a secret service agent murdered a president who was acting like say, Stalin, I don't think I'd have a problem with it. I understand that actions can make those you swore oaths to invalid.

Now I understand that Westeros is a different culture, but it seems there would be someone other than amoral Lannisters, who'd agree with me on this. Though I think maybe Brienne has, after she learned the truth from Jaime.
Jeff R.
505. Jeff R.
I suspect, though, that that secret service agent would be in no uncertain terms forced to retire from that particular job immediately. Keeping him there quasi-legitimizes him as an unofficial ultimate veto point for the monarchy. Keeping Jaime on the Kingsguard is sending the message that Robert (and successors, especially if one doesn't believe Stannis's accusations) serve as king only until they displease the Lannisters.
Chris Nelly
506. Aeryl
I can agree with that, but I always felt it also symbolized that Aerys' death was justice, but of course NOBODY agrees with me :^D

And HA, wonder what Leigh will have to say about "zealotry" after Beric's "replaced".
Jeff R.
507. owleyes
"‘Cause I’m pretty sure “mutiny and wholesale slaughter at the dinner table” would be distinctly frowned upon by Emily Post. Just a feeling I have."

Oh, lordy.
Jeff R.
509. Kolchin
So, by my count, the middle of April is when she'll hit the RW if she keeps following the 2 chapter per week pace. Chapters 49-52 pretty much cover this event, so will she do a 4 chapter summary that week? Does she go at her own pace, or is there an editor or someone saying "Do 1 chapter this week, and 4 the next." or something?

I just discovered this thread so sorry if it's been covered.
Chris Nelly
510. Aeryl
Yea,Leigh pretty much sets her own pace, though sometimes commenters will suggest she try to group them, but not too much, cuz we don't wanna spoil.

And that's alright, this thread's getting massive, can't read it all.
Don Barkauskas
511. bad_platypus
Kolchin @509:
Leigh sets her own pace. She's pretty consistently done 2 chapters per week with very few exceptions (mainly a few one-chapter weeks where real life intervened; I seem to remember one three-chapter week where one was really short). As Aeryl said, sometimes people suggest she group them, but I don't recall her ever doing so (maybe once?).
Marie Veek
512. SlackerSpice
And now I'm reading these comments re: Mellisandre, Thoros, and R'hllor and wondering what these people will be saying come FfC and the Faith Millitant.
Jeff R.
513. Under the Hedge
I hate, hate, hate that you can't get the D+E stories independent of the anthologies. They provide a lot of added value and were fun to read to boot. However now I can't find my copy of the first Legends! I also never got the third story.
Any suggestions?
Rob Munnelly
514. RobMRobM
Re D and E - order them from the library. The third D and E in Warriors is worth reading, so good to get it. I can't wait until GRRM gets his first D and E collection out the door- probably sometime in 2014.
Faiz Imam
515. FaizImam
They have been compiled and are easilly availbile on Bittorrent.

But GRRM will come out with a 4th story and will be released with the first 3, if you want to wait.

Check post #317 for dates of significant upcoming events.

Someone has to make certain to bring up

"Even if he wasn’t half a world away at the moment, I’m fairly sure Jorah will feel that his present seducing-a-would-be-queen gig offers way better potential benefits than coming to the arctic ass end of nowhere,"

When Jorah gets found out and banished :)

I'm surprised she didn't grok the full meaning of Beric's healing(ie: all the rumors of him being killed repededly, the various lethal scars on his body) or else she understood but didn't write it out.

I forget what the next few chapters are like, do we see enough of him for her to discuss the idea of resurrection and the loss of humanity and all that?
Marie Veek
516. SlackerSpice
I think Leigh suspects that Beric used wacky R'hllor-ish powers to bring him back, but isn't sure.

Next week will be Hoster's funeral and more wacky fun with the Lord of Light.

The week after will be the reveal behind Jaime's Kingslaying and Oberyn's arrival at King's Landing.

The week after *that* will have more on Beric and Thoros.
Chris Nelly
517. Aeryl
@516, I can't wait for that Jaime week!!

Or to hear what Leigh thinks of Oberyn.
Zachary Sellinger
518. Archangelxiii
Ironic that there's discussion about asking Leigh to group chapters since I was going to see if we could ask her to group the upcoming Bran and Jon chapters. They just work better together.
Marie Veek
519. SlackerSpice
@515: And even then, he's determined to worm her way back into her favor. (Not even sure if he realizes he's done anything wrong - though it's been a while since I've read DWD. Correct me if I'm wrong?)
George Jong
520. IndependentGeorge
Man, I leave for a week, and all y'all are at each others' throats in the comments.

Anyway, I'm not wading into this week's heated debate, but I do think this is as good a time as any to clarify our unofficial rules on spoilers/speculation in light of this week's chapters.

It's obvious to me in retrospect that Melisandre's Tres Leeches is a load of hooey. Her 'spell' doesn't do but jack and squat, but she was able take credit for Balon, Robb, and Joffrey's deaths.

However, I never figured that out until much, much later. Until then, I was sure she had some Infinite Improbability Generator. As such, even though there's plenty of reason to believe she can't actually remotely kill the three kings with her mind, I still think it's a spoiler to reveal this to Leigh if she doesn't pick up on it. Even if she starts railing about 'deus ex macchina' (which is how I viewed it on first reading, I think correcting her should count as a spoiler because GRRM was clearly clouding the issue on purpose.

@518 - I was going to do the same thing next week. Bran & Jon's chapters really are meant to be read together - it's just so much more effective that way. The other one I'd cite is Arya's chapter after the RW - it's a really gut-wrenching double-whammy even if you aren't fooled (it was too similar to Yoren cutting her hair, or Bran & Rickon's "deaths" for me to get tricked again).
Marie Veek
521. SlackerSpice
@520: Yeah, if there ever was a need for a "Well, that escalated quickly" .gif...
Deana Whitney
522. Braid_Tug
Random thought:
As I wait for this thread to load (seems to be getting slower all the time) I keep looking at the covers of the books.
I can't help but wonder what color is coming next.

Maybe Gray, for The Winds of Winter? They've used all the primary colors, so it seems like the next two books will just have shade variations from one of the others.

Anyone else go on random tangents like that?

Yes, I'm staying away from the other comments. But it was nice to see the comments hit 100 this week.
Chris Nelly
523. Aeryl
Is it that bad? I mean, yeah there were a few bad ones, but I thought it was pretty civil for the most part, but hey maybe I'm the worst so I don't see it.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
524. AlirozTheConfused
Marie Veek
525. SlackerSpice
#524: Aaand I suspect this is just as much what IndependentGeorge was talking about. I get disagreeing with her - but calling her "out-of-whack" and "blinded"? Really?

Suddenly, I'm very much looking towards tomorrow's read...
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
526. AlirozTheConfused
Apologies, SlackerSpice
I shall try harder to be nice.

I was in the wrong in this
(though I wasn't talking 'bout the Butler miss)
A hypothetical scenario I described
but I see I screwed up when I diatribed
There's hasn't been any smack talking
but if there is, I'd not be balking
to leave the conversation and my time I would bide
Doesn't matter if the smack comes from either side.
Jeff R.
527. zambi76
I can't help but wonder what color is coming next.
Funny, I was thinking about the same thing the other day.

Since ADWD is white, I also thought that the last two books will be probably be grey and black. Not enough books anymore to go through all the secondary colors.

Well, maybe not enough books. I'm rather sceptical about the seven volumes estimate at this point, to be honest.
Deana Whitney
528. Braid_Tug
@ zambi76; I hope it doesn't go beyond 7!

Or turn into Jordan's WOT at 14 books. Don't think I could hold on that long to this very depressing story. It's exciting in its own way, but overall, depressing.
Rob Munnelly
529. RobMRobM
BT - he'll have trouble keeping it to 7 but will fight hard to do so (7 Kingdoms, 7 gods, etc.) Don't see anything beyond 8.

Note to all - Winter is Coming just published the titles for 8 of the 10 episodes in Season 3. Several are fascinating and indicative of when certain events hit the TV show.

For example,

Ep. 4 is Now His Watch is Ended - Mormont death at Craster's; probably also Jon being accepted by Wildlings as one of their own.

Ep. 5 is Kissed by Fire - Jon and Ygritte FTW and probably also Astapor dragon fire.

Ep. 7 Bear and the Maiden Fair - Brienne in the bear pit; also probably some good Dany Jorah drama.

Ep. 9 is Rains of Castemere - nice way to refer obliquely to the RW.

Ep 10 is Mhysa - mother in Giscari, and making clear that Dany taking Yunkai will end the season for her storyline, leaving the taking of Mereen for S 4. One can also imagine the other "mother" plot lines (Cat turning into Un-Cat, some good stuff
Chris Nelly
530. Aeryl
OH MY LORD She's calling Robb's assasination at the Twins. Remember the date!
Jeff R.
530. Joruus
Also, I’m probably being paranoid, but I really got my hackles up at Walder’s condition that Robb apologize to him face to face. Not because of the apology itself, which I think is actually quite apropos, but because all that says to me is prime assassination attempt opportunity. I’m just saying, Robb, if you go there, watch your back.
And there it is!
George Jong
531. IndependentGeorge
@523 - yeah, I'm just busting your collective balls. It was actually kind of fun to read.

Anyway, it's too soon for me to write my ten part series on the awesomeness of Stannis in the unspoiled section, but I think this was the chapter where we really first begin to understand what Davos sees in Stannis.

I hated Stannis all the way through the end of SOS, but even after he arrives at the wall, I was at best lukewarm and skeptical about him. It wasn't until DWD that I started to truly appreciate his strengths, and on re-reads, this is the chapter where I really start to like the guy.
For a moment Davos was too stunned to move. I woke this morning in his dungeon. "Your Grace, you cannot... I am no fit man to be a King's Hand."

"There is no man fitter." Stannis sheathed Lightbringer, gave Davos his hand, and pulled him to his feet.

"I am lowborn," Davos reminded him. "An upjumped smuggler. Your lords will never obey me."

"Then we will make new lords."
I love this passage more every time I read it. Stannis has many faults, but of all the Kings we've met, Stannis seems the most willing to look past birth and focus on merit. His biggest error at Blackwater was when he tried to play politician and put his in-law Imry Florent in charge of the fleet instead of his old, lowborn friend. He seems determined not to make that mistake again.
Vincent Lane
532. Aegnor
Interesting that they names the 9th episode Rains of Castemere. I kind of figured it wouldn't be The Red Wedding. That is way too much of a spoiler. I was kind of hoping for Bread and Salt.

Interesting thing mentioned by the producers in the season 2 bluray. They wanted the Rains of Castemere to be catchy and easily recognizable so that when the viewers heard it later they would recognize it. Said that book readers would know why that is important.
Chris Nelly
533. Aeryl
I really hope the explain the Castemere reference before then. I know the lyrics were featured in Blackwater, but explaining what Tywin had done to make it so notorious will help non book fans, IMO.
Deana Whitney
534. Braid_Tug
@530, Aeryl: Yep, she is.
And I’m really happy to see that, so far, no one on the non-spoiler thread is pointing out how right she is.

Re: Show titles, glad they are being oblique. But I don’t remember what Castemere refers too.

Ep. 7: now that’s one tongue in cheek title!
Chris Nelly
535. Aeryl
Some terrible awful destruction of a long lived noble family that had the temerity to piss off Tywin Lannister. Very apt title for the RW episode.

I'm actually surprised that she's calling it so early. I didn't figure it out until halfway through that chapter, and even then I was hoping it wouldn't be THAT bad. I wonder if all of the stress over trying to ensure Robb's protected under the hospitality rules will make her relax any?
George Jong
536. IndependentGeorge
@532 - Yeah, I remember brainstorming titles on the Westeros forums, and Bread and Salt was the consensus winner. I hope they take the time to explain the idea of the guest right in the show, but that might actually make the RW even more obvious.

@535 - there's a big difference between anticipating something, and actually being ready for it when it happens. I expected a Frey betrayal at some point, but I never expected events to shake out as they did, especially barely halfway through the book. I figured if Robb were going to die, it wouldn't be until the end.
Chris Nelly
537. Aeryl
@536, They usually do a pretty good job with stuff like that, coinciding Viserys explanations of the dragon skulls in the same episode Arya finds them. So I imagine in that episode, a point will be made about offering hospitality ELSEWHERE, so when it's shown again with Robb, the audience will feel he's safe.

I didn't expect it either, just got a really bad sense of foreboding during all the oh-so-sensible plan for retaking the North, b/c I knew enough of GRRM to know THAT was never going to happen.
Jeff R.
538. Jeff R.
Over on the weekly, Cass314 mentioned the leeches scene as why some think Edric Storm's blood has power. But aren't we mostly agreed at this point that the leeches was pure mummery; that Mellisandre foresaw those three deaths and then did a bit of show to be able to claim that she actually caused them?
Jeff R.
539. Ephidel
Oh boy, it begins. The chapter Stannis The Mannis starts to live up to his name. If Leigh's reluctantly warming to him already, by the time he gives The Nod™ to Jon in ADWD she'll be declaring Stannis the one true king.
David Goodhart
540. Davyd
Guys.. I think I SQUEE'd my pants a little today.

Vincent Lane
541. Aegnor

The Reynes of Castamere were a old and somewhat powerful house whose liege lords were the Lannisters. However Titus Lannister (Tywin's father) was a weak lord who did not command the respect of those under him. The Reynes figured it was a good time to rebel against the Lannisters. Unfortunately for them Tywin and become of age, and was tasked to put down the rebellion. He did so utterly and completely. The Reynes no longer exist.

They made a song about it. The Reynes coat of arms was a red lion, hence the line "In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws". There have been snippets of the song throughout the series (it is the tune Tyrion is whistling when him and Bron are hiking through the woods after leaving the Vale in S1E07, he also whistles it when he enters the council chambers in S2E1. Then, of course, the soldiers sing it in the brothel right before the Battle of the Blackwater (S2E9) and it was the closing credits song for that episode as well.

They want the audience to recognize it when the musicians play it at the Red Wedding, so I think they might include something in season 3 prior to the RW to reenforce it.
Jeff R.
542. Nessa
@538: Martin doesn't always make it clear what's magic and what's just mummery. I think the trick with the leeches is supposed to be one of those ambiguous things where we're just left to wonder if the three kings died because of R'hllor's will or because they were just marked to die already and Mel only thought she was killing them. It's fun to speculate on the different possibilites though.
Chris Nelly
543. Aeryl
Now, keep in mind I haven't read ADwD yet, so I don't know what happens in her POV chapters, but there seems to be big differences between what she's capable of and what Thoros does. I'm pretty sure most of her magic doesn't come from being a preistess, it comes from being a shadowbinder, which Thoros isn't. At the same time, Thoros can easily create fiery swords, something Melisandre has to use mummery to achieve, with no great effect for the sword wielder.

I believe her when she says she recieves visions in the flames, but she continues to use "magic" to intervene in her visions, and inadvertently brings them to pass, like killing Renly, allowing his ghost to ride at Blackwater Bay, as her vision told.

Considering the amount of effort it took for Melisandre to create and send the shadow magic baby assasins, I highly doubt three slugs full of royal blood would be sufficient for the spell being cast here.
Jeff R.
544. Sagitta
@541 You mean the other way round: the Lannisters were liege to the Castameres.
Vincent Lane
545. Aegnor
Oops, yeah. I twisted it around until I said the opposite of what I meant. Reynes of Castemere owed their allegience to the Lannisters.
Jonathan Levy
546. JonathanLevy
Considering the amount of effort it took for Melisandre to create and send the shadow magic baby assasins, I highly doubt three slugs full of royal blood would be sufficient for the spell being cast here.
That's a substantial point. But it's still quite a coincidence that Balon slips on a bridge he's been walking across all his life, and Robb and Joffrey both die at their weddings. If you say that Melisandre forsaw these things and pretended to cause them, well, you're effectively saying that Melisandre successfully saw, understood, and interpreted three visions in the flames - this is also quite a coincidence. :)

Perhaps there's a difference in degree here which should be taken into account. Melisandre needed Renly dead right away. The usurpers? She needs them out of the way some time in the near future. Maybe these requirements need different amounts of magic. A real-world analogy: If you need to destroy an enemy's nuclear reactor right now, you need an air force. If you need to destroy it sometime in the next year or two, you need a computer virus.
Nisheeth Pandey
547. Nisheeth
@546, JonathanLevy:
But for Robb, the things that set into motion the RW started before she burned the slugs.
And wasn't Joffery's death planned after Sansa's dinner with the Tyrells (where she told how horible he is etc), which also happened before this event?
George Jong
549. IndependentGeorge
@546 - it's not a coincidence. Being a king is dangerous work, because it means you've got a lot of people trying to kill you.

Balon didn't just fall off a bridge; Euron helped him (and the Ghost of High Heart implies that he used a Faceless Man to do so). Robb was killed by Walder Frey, not a burned leach. Joffrey was assassinated by the Tyrells. Three kings, murdered by their ostensible allies.

Melisandre saw their deaths in the flames, then did a bunch of hocus-pocus to claim credit for it. The alternative is that Rh'llor can mind control these individuals remotely and force them to do things they otherwise wouldn't, all at the behest of his favored priestess. And if that is true, let me be the first to say that I, for one, welcome Rh'llor the Lord of Light as our savior.
Vincent Lane
550. Aegnor
I don't think there is any way to know whether Melisandre burning the slugs had anything to do with their deaths, or if she just saw it in the flames and the slugs bit was just mummery. There is no real evidence either way and so it is just pure speculation.
Nisheeth Pandey
551. Nisheeth
@549, IndependentGeorge:
I agree. I was pointing the fact that Melisandre burning the slugs couldn't have been the events leading up to their deaths (there was no way to argue for Balon though) began before her actions.
@550, Agenor:
I would have to disagree here. As I posted in 577, if her burning the slugs was the actual cause, the events leading to their deaths were also because of the slugs. This would imply that the effect happened before the cause. This would be illogical even in a fantasy setting. And if she could do that, she could have killed any king before even the wars started.
Vincent Lane
552. Aegnor

A couple things. First, I don't believe that this is the first time they've done the leach thing. Second, although certain events were leading up to it, that doesn't mean it would have happened.
Bill Stusser
553. billiam
The leech thing was pure mummery. Mel saw the deaths of the three kings in her flames. So knowing they were going to die she did the thing with the leeches to get Stannis to think she had a hand in their deaths. Just like the fake Lightbringer, it's mummery.
Faiz Imam
554. FaizImam
"A couple things. First, I don't believe that this is the first time they've done the leach thing."
I'd like to reliterate that point. We have heard that Edric is "sick" and to me this, plus Stannis's reaction to the leaches implies that they have been doing the practice repeatedly for some time.

We just happened to see it that one time.

While this doesnt add any info on causality, personally I think its self-delusion on the part of Mel, just like we see in ADWD on the question of Stannis himself(vis a vis Jon and Azhor Azai.
Rob Munnelly
555. RobMRobM
As you can see from ADWD, Mel has actual powers but nearly always misreads the important visions (Renly's at Blackwater, Arya at the Wall, Stannis as AA). Almost comic, really.

So I'm torn if she actually believes or if she's using mummery (and ADWD confirms we is willing to use mummery to buttress her powers). Here, strangely, we have an unusual combination for her. I can agree she may well have seen the three deaths in the flames and actually read them right; and is using mummery.
George Jong
556. IndependentGeorge
@552 - Unless Mel's spell has the power of retcon, it absolutely means it would have happened.

@554 - The maester has been leaching him because he's sick; that was a common medieval medical practice. This is the first time that Mel has performed her "spell".
Chris Nelly
557. Aeryl
IG, I don't recall comepletely, but I thought the whole thing about Edric being sick was just a front to allow them to leech him. Hasn't Mel been trying to use the leeches to wake the stone dragons? And complaining that its not enough
George Jong
558. IndependentGeorge
I don't have my kindle with me, but I'm almost positive he really was sick and that the maester had been leeching him, not Mel. I'll check the text later.

This week: Jaime's revelation, and the Red Viper's entrance. It's a nice pairing, as we get to see two perspectives on the sack of King's Landing. Hopefully we can communicate to Leigh to have Bran's & Jon's chapters at the Queenscrown paired together, too.
Vincent Lane
559. Aegnor
@556 - "The maester has been leaching him because he's sick; that was a
common medieval medical practice. This is the first time that Mel has
performed her 'spell'."

I really don't think there is any evidence to support this statement, but I could be wrong. Also, the maester could be leaching him under orders from Stannis.
Jakub Wrobel
560. ptyx
@ 547
And wasn't Joffery's death planned after Sansa's dinner with the Tyrells
(where she told how horible he is etc), which also happened before this

As I see it, Joffrey's death was part of the initial agreement between Littlefinger and the Tyrells, where the former convinced them to support the Lannisters. LF was aware of all the plan and why would Olenna have shared it with him after the moment you've mentioned?
That is also very typical for LF's actions: help them and screw them at the same time, just to cause more turmoil and have a chance to improve his own position.
One thing that is interesting here is: was Tywin aware of the plan or not? I would say that no, but it is not impossible (including the framing of Tyrion).
Nisheeth Pandey
561. Nisheeth
@560, ptyx: Oops... Forgot about Littlefingers entirely. This makes sense. I ought to read the chapters before commenting. Thanks. But regardless, my main point still stands, that his death was planned before the slugs burning was shown.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
562. AlirozTheConfused
Bolton wed a Frey daughter already. There's another link in that thread
of things. Bolton and Frey again. "Oh, trout makes for a tasty supper."

I wouldn't call this a spoiler, I guess

I don't think it will even impress

On Leigh's mind more than she's already surmised

But too much of these hints and she won't be surprised.

Moderation in all things,

it is the tree to which one clings.
Chris Nelly
563. Aeryl
That was from SHalter, who is also a first time reader.
Jeff R.
564. Auga
I think the Tyrells nominally gave their accord to Littlefinger for Joffrey's death at Bitterbridge/wherever they held their negotiations. But I think they only made the decision to go through with it when Sansa confirmed Littlefinger's descriptions of Joffrey.

They made quite a point of interrogating her on the subject and seemed to find her confessions significant. I don't think they'd have done that if they had already decided to kill the little sh*t. The Tyrells are pretty shrewd, and I think they'd have been wary about trusting Littlefinger without confirmation.
Chris Nelly
565. Aeryl
Come to think about it, I don't know how much of a hint the trout line is, trout isn't on the menu, wolf is.
Jeff R.
566. Auga
Also figured that Mel was responsible for Edric's illness. I suppose it could have been a coincidence, just when she was in the market for some juicy royal blooded leeches...but she probably gave him food poisoning or something.

Interesting the idea that Mel saw the deaths and then tried to set herself up as their instigator. I always thought that either the spell worked, or it was a complete coincidence, or that it was just statistical probability, choosing three people who all lived in high risk situations with lots of potential enemies anyway. Never considered that Mel was trying to take advantage of what she already saw coming just to gain Stannis's confidence.
Chris Nelly
568. Aeryl
She married the wolf, mothered the wolf, so I'm not counting her as a trout. Plus the unceremonious way she was dumped, instead if staged like Robb, makes me feel her death wasn't planned.
Jeff R.
570. MJF
@Auga & ptyx: Joffrey's murder definitely wasn't a part of any agreement between Littlefinger and the Tyrells: on the contrary, he pretended to be completely loyal to the throne while subtly manipulating them into doing what he wanted. From the Sansa chapter following the wedding:
When I came to Highgarden to dicker for Margaery's hand, (Lady Olenna) let her lord son bluster while she asked pointed questions about Joffrey's nature. I praised him to the skies, to be sure... whilst my men spread disturbing talse amongst Lord Tyrell's servants. That is how the game is played.
I also planted the notion of Ser Loras taking the white. Not that I suggested it, that would have been too crude. (...) Mace Tyrell actually thought it was his own idea (...) Lady Olenna was not about to let Joff harm her precious darling granddaughter, but unlike her son she also realized that under all his flowers and finery, Ser Loras is as hot-tempered as Jaime Lannister. Toss Joffery, Loras, and Margaery in a pot, and you've got the makings for kingslayer stew.
Jeff R.
571. Auga
There must have been some sort of agreement between them. His stooge (Ser Dontos) provided the hairnet, which Lady Olenna used to get the poison from in the banquet.

Can anyone remind me what happens in the chapters coming up that means they have to be read together? I don't have a copy of the book at hand.
Marie Veek
572. SlackerSpice
@571: Bran and Jon have a (sort-of) run-in via a warged Summer.
Vincent Lane
573. Aegnor
Yeah, at Queenscrown. You see the same event from two different perspectives, so having them together makes a whole lot of sense.

On a similar topic, what is the best grouping for the Red Wedding. My opinion is definitely the Arya chapter followed by the Catelyn RW chapter. The next Arya chapter should be the following week.

I am curious on that Arya chapter if she thinks Arya is killed. I've not understood that. I had a friend that texted me after the RW just freaking out. Eventually he calmed down and read the next chapter and freaked out all over again because he thought Arya was killed too. If Sandor wanted to kill her he could have done it a billion times. know...let her go into the tower like she wanted. She'd be dead pretty quick that way most likely.
David Goodhart
575. Davyd
So, “Prince Oberyn”? As in “Oberon”? Interesting. Not sure it has any real significance, storyline-wise, but the (possible) reference caught my eye, so I thought I’d mention it.
Also interesting that he is apparently openly bisexual, and no one really seems to care, though that may be a by-product of his fearsome reputation (i.e. no one dares to bring it up/throw it in his face). Hmm.
Maybe I am having a massive brain fart here, but is this really the first time we’ve come across a character in this series who is not (entirely) heterosexual? I find that incredible,
Me too, Leigh. Me too. /sigh
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
577. AlirozTheConfused
The Red Wedding hould be in chapters of three

Because in Arya's chapter, eye-eye-arr-see

it describes catapults and pavillions that burn

multiplying the slaughter; Leigh's stomach will churn

But having Leigh end a week

With Arya so close but so far, so to speak

Just outside the castle; hearing the Queen

Saluted by people that she's never seen

That chapter really starts the event

I might have to say that she shouldn't have spent

A week with Arya's plight to resolve in her mind

'cause that's too much time for answers to find

Leigh's quite perceptive, she'll figure it out

what the Freys and others are really about

So, no, no, no; we can't leave Leigh dreading (yay, patrimony)

We cannot split the , well, crimson matrimony.
Brandon Lammers
578. wickedkinetic
Tywin hates whores - do we know why? I didn't want to add a spoiler but it seemed like Leigh is repeatedly questioning what Tywin's issues with whores are?

I know that his mother was replaced by a mistress and essentially upgraded to nobility (in Tywin's mind his Dad replaced his Mom with a whore and then made her legitimate - noble-izing his Step-Mom etc etc) which explains to me his massive issues with whores - and his also xxxtreeeme reaction to Ty2 marrying a common farmgirl or barmaid or whatever Tysha was in a similar vein

- Tywins seriously strong convictions that Lannisters don't marry commoners and whores are evil etc etc = on some level you'd think that after years of failing to find tyrion a promised bride he would have been happy he found one on his own - but like all Westerosi nobility - marriage is about power and politics and never about love..... oh well

Just wondering if it'd be valid to point this out in thread or if its spoilerish because we find this out later?
Chris Nelly
579. Aeryl
Tyrion said he was as near Joff's age when he met Tysha, in this chapter I believe, so I don't know if he'd been spending years failing to find a bride for Tyrion. How old is he anyway? I think Cersei and Jaime are in their 30's, was her age in this memory Oberyn shares mentioned?
Faiz Imam
580. FaizImam
I'm pretty sure Tyrion is in his mid to late 20's

Oberyn and Elia were in their early teens, and I beleive Jamie and Cersei were mentionned to be of similar age, and Oberyn is explicitly in his 40's.

I think the factual details of Tywin's father are in spoiler territory, but general talk of his hate for whores is fine.

Speculation of any kind is fine as long as it does not suggest future knowledge, in my opinion, especially on minor points like that one.

On another note I really like how the mods and Leigh jumped in on this thread. It shows a level of care I did not expect.
Irene Hipo
581. zambi76
Oberyn and Elia were in their early teens, and I beleive Jamie and Cersei were mentionned to be of similar age, and Oberyn is explicitly in his 40's.
Oberyn says Jaime and Cersei where eight or nine when they came visist. (i.e. the twins born aproxx. in 266 and Tyrion born in 274). So as of ADWD (late 300) Tyrion is 26 and the Twins 34.
Me too, Leigh. Me too. /sigh
What's so utterly frustrating about Leigh not getting the Renly/Loras stuff is, that she does actually get (talk about) almost all the hints in the text but interprets them all totally wrong/different.

I almost fell of my chair when for an odd moment she contemplated if Loras had something to do with Renly's murder, because she couldn't make any sense of Loras killing his fellow guards (i.e. trying to get rid of witnesses) otherwise. Or thinking Garlan must hate Loras if he thinks him such a bad marriage prospect. Or thinking Renly was madly in love with Margaery (she already thought so in GoT when Renly showed Ned the medallion of Marg), before the CoK clusterfuck even.

I think this Tyrion chapter is the first time she didn't even get the "Renly's little rose?" hint (she just talks about Loras debated warrior powers), which in her defense is exactly three words long. Oh well.
Chris Nelly
582. Aeryl
The next hint in Jaime's chapter is pretty explicit. I think she'll get it then.
Rob Munnelly
583. RobMRobM
Re Tywin's whore issues - I see it as the pot calling the kettle black. I think he himself is addicted to whores and, thereby, detests seeing a similar problem in Tyrion. Recall the discussion during ACOK when it was discussed that "some Hand" created the secret passage between the Tower of the Hand and Chataya's pleasure house? I'm betting on Tywin.
Chris Nelly
584. Aeryl
That makes a lot of sense Rob, considering where we last see Shae.
Jeff R.
585. Auga
Yes, I always see Tywin as a complete hypocrite, and that partially his vehemence against whores stems from his own secret dependency on them. Perhaps he truly holds high standards for himself, the celibate widower devoted to the memory of his old wife, but he can't keep them and resents whores for tempting him. It's all too easy for him to project his worse qualities onto Tyrion and punish him it.
David Goodhart
586. Davyd
Shae's last appearance is why I've never been on the 'Tywin is anti-whore' train. Obviously he knew who Shae was, knew what she was, and was bedding her just to spite Tyrion, even if he wasn't expecting him to catch them in the act (or on the shitter, for that matter). I've just always pegged him as anti-Tyrion, and since Tyrion is pro-whoring, Tywin would be disapproving.

And, if she doesn't get it with the whole somewhere Renly never found line, I quit. lol. Not really but, I will need a new desk.
Jonathan Levy
587. JonathanLevy
Did anyone find Bolton's explanation for Vargo Hoat's actions in the least intelligible? I've read the series through a couple of times, and it never made any sense to me.

He wants to marry the Karstark girl? Kill Jaime and be done with it. Embalm the head and head north. He can't get there now? Kill him and wait. Or keep him alive and in chains until a suitable time. Cutting off his hand only makes incredibly powerful enemies, and lights up huge neon arrows pointing to him. Not to mention the fact that it almost killed Jaime anyway, and only Qyburn's skill kept him alive.

I don't get it. Can someone explain it to me?
Rob Munnelly
588. RobMRobM
@586. Not buying it. Tywin's supposed to be true to his dead wife, and can find lots of ways to punish Tyrion other than sleeping with his whore girl friend. Tywin - "Oh Tyrion, please do something else bad soon because this feels sooooo good...."

JL @587. It makes a weird kind of sense. Hoat backstabbed Lannisters by working with Bolton to take Harrenhall. Lannister expected defeat in KL didn't happen, and killing Jaime would lead to Hoat's death ASAP. But...also can't let Jaime go or he'll piss off Bolton and his other northern allies, who would destroy him ASAP. So, he picks a third way and hopes for the best - maim Jaime, thereby removing him as a puissant warrior for the Lannisters and against his northern friends. Re Alys, I guess the hope is that the remaining Karstarks will give him partial credit for taking Jaime off the field of play and give him a defensible holdfast that might not be worth it for the Lannisters to attack, certainly not in short term and maybe not in longterm. He correctly views Harrenhall as not defensible. If not, he can go to nearby White Harbor and go back to Essos with his head intact. He gets killed before he can execute the plan becase he doesn't realize that Bolton already is in bed with the Lannisters and Bolton can get brownie points for killing Hoat outright.
Peter Stone
589. Peter1742
JL @587:

Hoat likes cutting people's limbs off. If he's planning to give him to Lord Karstark, who will kill him evenutally, Hoat might as well get some pleasure out of it first. And he can always kill him later, if he needs to.
Jeff R.
591. SpoiledReader
Hi y'all, first time poster here. I started with Leigh's WoT re-reads and then got onto the SoIaF ones only a few weeks ago, and I was REALLY hoping that Leigh would get to the Red Wedding before I caught up in the reads. Sigh... I guess waiting is just part of the game in a series like this. AND still waiting for Leigh to figure out the Renly/Loras thing! I saw HBO Season 1 before I read the books so I can't say if I'd have picked up on GRRM's hints with so much else going on, but man, she of all people I thought would have a eagle eye for that stuff! alas...
David Goodhart
592. Davyd
@588 I know it's been a long while since I read it, but wasn't Tywin sleeping with Shae when Tyrion kills him?
Faiz Imam
593. FaizImam
Given the spoiler meta-talk going on in the main thread, I'm wondering what happens if Leigh misses/ignores/brushes off the Loras/Jaime line...

The chapter (68) will come up in mid may FYI.

The comments are just going to keep getting worse, and the hints after the next one are not the easiest to see.

Though if she does figure it out,the last few hints are going to be hillarious.
Jonathan Levy
594. JonathanLevy
...killing Jaime would lead to Hoat's death ASAP
Whereas lopping off his hand lead to death by a thousand cuts? Sounds like ASAP would have been a better choice.
So, he picks a third way and hopes for the best
As opposed to, say, holding him prisoner and waiting? Trying to keep him incognito? Faking his escape? Packing up with Jaime and heading north to Karstarkistan? Each of these plans has its upsides and downsides, but maiming Jaime seems to be the only way to get the worst of all of them at the same time.

I appreciate that he's got a difficult decision to make once Jaime falls into his hands. Bolton is describing his choice as the result of an overly cunning plan by a foreigner who didn't quite understand how things work in Westeros, and which went awry quickly anyway. But the chain of reasoning this requires makes no sense.

My first instinct is to say that maybe GRRM needed Jaime's hand cut off in a way which didn't otherwise affect the plot, but making it completely senseless seemed too much like a Deus ex Machina, and this is what he came up with. Maybe it made more sense in earlier drafts.

My second instinct is to say that Bolton is lying through his teeth here - he knows perfectly well that Hoat is a limb-lopping idiot, but if he leaves it at that then the question becomes - who was in charge of Hoat, who gave him orders, who was responsible for his behavior - and the answer might be Bolton. So he has to associate Hoat's decision with personal treason towards the Lannisters, which he does by making up a feeble connection to the Karstarks, which Jaime buys, because all he cares about at this point is getting away.

Hoat likes cutting people's limbs off.
That's quite true, and such an explanation from Bolton would have been simple and accurate. But Bolton gave us something quite different.
Rob Munnelly
595. RobMRobM
@592. Yes, Shae is in Tywin's apartment when Tyrion kills both of them.
George Jong
597. IndependentGeorge
I think Leigh is going to think Jaime is mocking Loras' manhood, without ever figuring out that he actually is gay (she'll also rip Jaime for his homophobia in the process, which will be hilarious). I think RobM is right - she misread that one line in COK about Renly paying attention to Margaery over Loras instead of the other way around, and now is unlikely to ever figure it out.

At the current pace, Leigh should be done with DWD sometime in early 2015, which is also the optimistic projection for publication of WOW. If she catches up with the books, I'm trying to decide if I'm strong enough to slow my own pace to read it along with her.

Incidentally, my two favorite places to go while waiting on WOW is Leigh's read, and the unspoiled discussion thread at TWOP. It's even inspired a fun meta thread over on the Westeros forums - I compiled a quick reference guide to the Unsullied thread here. I'm actually jealous - I wish I could have watched it unspoiled.
Vincent Lane
598. Aegnor
If she doesn't get it after the huge hint Jamie gives, then she isn't going to get it at all. At that point I'd be tempted to say it isn't a spoiler anymore and someone should let her know. *shrug*
Rob Munnelly
599. RobMRobM
Yes, the TWOP forum is wonderful. I love the names they come up with (Zombonis for the wights, Zomponies for the horses the Others rode in the finale, the Milk Carton wall for missing characters - Beric, Selmy, Thorne, etc.)
Chris Nelly
600. Aeryl
Aegnor, I'm in the same boat. Jaime's remark makes it very explicit, if she doesn't get it, she should get clued in.
George Jong
601. IndependentGeorge
The thing is, in any police/military/locker room setting, every third sentence is a gay joke. Taken in isolation, Jaime's just ripping Loras' masculinity in exactly the same way every soldier in every army in the history of the world does.
MCNULTY: "You know what I love about you Bunk? It's not that you gave me advice and wisdom on shit. It's that when it was time for you to fuck me... you were gentle."
BUNK: "Well, I knew it was your first time, and I wanted it to be special.
MCNULTY: "It was, Bunk. It was."
We never got to see it, but I can easily picture Ned & Robert having thousands of such exchanges over the years. Jaime's line doesn't convey anything else unless you're looking for it.

Heck, to go back to The Wire, look at Rawls' rants in the first two seasons. It's not until you actually see him in the gay bar in S3 that you realize it's just a front to mask his own sexuality. Unless you already know Loras is gay, Jaime's just busting his balls (figuratively!).
Vincent Lane
602. Aegnor
But there is more to it than that. He goes mad with rage when he sees Brienne. In any case, it is the last significant clue. If she doesn't get it from that, then there really isn't any other place for her to get it. I don't want her spoiled on it, as I want to read her reaction when she finds it out for herself. But if she doesn't find it out with that last clue, then it isn't going to happen.
Faiz Imam
603. FaizImam
FYI, here are the rest of the clues:

"I buried him with mine own hands, at a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm's End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest." He looked at Jaime definatly. "I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them." ASOS p759

"We had...we had prayed together that night." ASOS p760

"And it relieved him {Mace} of the difficult task of trying to find lands and a bride for a third son, never easy, and doubly difficult in Ser Loras's case."ASOS p769

As far as I can find, there are no subsequent clues in AFFC and ADWD, so if she misses them all, we'll have to find a mechanism for her to find out.

I vote for a Youtube reaction video where one of the mods emails her this link:

It might be the most epic thing ever, overshadowing OtakuAssemble guy's Ned Stark death reaction by a mile ;)
Vincent Lane
604. Aegnor
I don't know if anything can surpass OtakuAssemble's Dead Ned reaction, but it'd be fun to find out.
Vincent Lane
605. Aegnor
And I am so pissed that someone spoiled OtakuAssemble on Robb's death. I don't think he knows how, so there is still that. But still...ugh.
Faiz Imam
607. FaizImam
As long as he has no idea Joffrey dies, i'm happy.

I think the (celebratory) reaction when Joffrey dies will be "better" than the (depressed) reaction after the Red Wedding.


On the off chance she misses the clues, can we put something together?
Rob Munnelly
608. RobMRobM
Marie Veek
609. SlackerSpice
@609: Actually, I'd imagined it as a mass version of Rogers' reaction (the snarky chamberlain) to Prince Derek's "What else is there?" comment in The Swan Princess (if anyone here remembers that movie) - a big-ass buzzer and a collective thumbs down.

Seen here (Scroll down to "Wrong answer, pretty boy."):
Jeff R.
610. Lurker
@603 There's another clue in Cersei's first chapter in AFFC:

"Mace Tyrell claimed his daughter was still a virgin, but Cersei had her doubts. Joffrey had been murdered before he could bed the girl, but she had been wed to Renly first... A man may prefer the taste of hippocras, yet if you set a tankard of ale before him, he will quaff it quick enough."
Jeff R.
611. Zizoz
Isn't there also one when Jaime asks Loras why he was willing to take the Kingsguard oath, and he says something like "When the sun has set, no candle can replace it"? That told me he was in love with somebody, but I had no idea who, having missed the previous clues. I'd like to see how Leigh interprets that scene.

Also, I think she (mis)read the ACOK scene the same way I did -- not as Renly paying more attention to Margaery than Loras, but as him paying more attention to Margaery than the other women present.
Jakub Wrobel
612. ptyx
Leigh has already reached that fragment (it was Tyrion there, not Jaime). She figured out Loras must have been in love, but had no idea with whom, just like you.

I cannot understand why anyone considers this thing a "spoiler" and why anyone wants to "reveal" it to Leigh.
I mean, this is only a theory, because there is no single place, in any of the books published so far, where it is confirmed that they are lovers.
I know that there are dozens of hints and I know that it has been confirmed by GRRM that he meant them to be gay, but until it is written explicitly in the text of ASOIAF, it is up to the reader to catch the hints or not, and to come up with any interpretation he/she feels like.
Therefore, I would say it is a kind of speculation that should not be allowed on this blog. Maybe it finally gets explicitly stated in WOW? If Leigh doesn't figure it out before that, then I'd say it would be worth waiting :)
Rob Munnelly
613. RobMRobM
ptyx - it's the only reasonable theory that fits all of the facts. It may all be circumstantial but that doesn't mean it is not correct beyond reasonable dispute.

I liken it (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) to the classic illustration of circumstantial evidence. You are in a room next door to a person alone in an adjoining room in which there is no access to the outside. A gunshot is heard; you go next door and find the person is found dead by a gunshot wound with the gun lying on the floor with his fingerprints on it. You didn't see the death so you can't confirm that the person killed himself by gunshot but strong circumstantial evidence makes clear that it happened that way. I'd argue it's the same thing here with Loras-Renly.

I only want to "reveal" it to Leigh because she's been so wrongheaded about it from the outset that I can't wait to see the moment when the scales lift from her eyes. It would be awesome. I'd pay to see it.
Jeff R.
614. zambi76
There are other hints in AFFC mostly among Cersei's insane ramblings.

- thinking Renly might have fucked Marg, gay or not (what Lurker mentioned).
- mullying if Margaery may be homosexual (like her brother).
- not wanting Tommen around "unmanly" Loras and fighting with Jaime over it (who makes another quib about Loras being not interested in Cersei's tits like the other kingsguards).
George Jong
615. IndependentGeorge
@603, @614

But all of those things have perfectly plausible, non-sexual interpretations, and only work as clues when you assemble all of the pieces together. In isolation (which is how Leigh is reading them), they are not indicative of anything other than Cersei's disdain and rivalry with the Tyrells.
Chris Nelly
616. Aeryl
In Re: Arstan/Barristan

Sad thing for me, I knew from spoilers that he showed back up again, so all through COK I kept my eyes peeled, even though he never showed up in S2, I thought maybe the show dropped him. Which it did, as he shows up in Dany's last chapter, has superb fighting abilities, and wears WHITE, and still didn't get it. NuMord(sorry forgot his name, but I can't help but think of Mord) was a huge misdirect, I was too busy trying to figure him out, I missed the stoic guarding type, IN WHITE, right next to her.
Vincent Lane
617. Aegnor
Yeah, it definitely is one of those things that you headdesk when you read the reveal, as it is so obvious. But most people I know who've read the books didn't figure it out beforehand either.
George Jong
618. IndependentGeorge
On the plus side, the TWOP Unsullied have Barristan on a milk carton, so the forums there could potentially be erupting in pandemonium in less than three weeks. I am waiting gleefully for that.
Chris Nelly
619. Aeryl
I hope his features are obscured by the beard enough that he's not immediately recognizable, and they have to go through the whole damn season.
George Jong
620. IndependentGeorge
@619 - It won't matter - they're way too good at watching TV to be fooled by it for a second. Besides which, McIlhenny has a very distinctive voice, and anyone who's watched S1 recently will recognize it immediately.
Vincent Lane
621. Aegnor
Yeah, there is no way they can or should try to hide it from the audience. The only way that works in the book is because of the strict POV structure of the books. They should certainly still keep it a secret from Dany, but not the audience.
Jakub Wrobel
622. ptyx
@ RobM
I'm not trying to say that this theory is not true, I'm quite sure they were lovers.
But it's similar case as with R+L=J. It is a speculation that most fans agree with, but it has not been confirmed yet in the books. Nevertheless, I believe the consensus is we should not "reveal" it to Leigh.
The only difference is that we are quite certain that this secret will get revealed eventually within the series, whereas reagarding Renly+Loras, it may be left hanging forever (just like the mystery "who sent the assassin after Bran Stark" - probably Joffrey, but never confirmed).
Chris Nelly
623. Aeryl
I think the casual viewers, which are the majority, if he's wearing a beard that obscures his features, will miss out who he is. Sure, the obsessed ones on the internet will not let it slide, but I think a good chunk will be surprised by the reveal(if they even remember who Selmy is, he's a lot less important in the show than the books), provided their obsessed friends can hold out, which is a pain I can sympathize with. I am the only book reader amongst my set of friends that watch it, so I've been sitting on the RW for AWHILE! It's been driving me nuts, tbh.
Vincent Lane
624. Aegnor
I think a majority of viewers will know who he is. Maybe not right off the bat, but by the time of the actual reveal the overwhelming majority of viewers will know exactly who he is. If they try to make it a surprise for the audience it will come off as stupid. "Tada! It's Selmy!" "Uh...duh."

And the thing is, you don't have to try and make it a surprise to the audience to make it work. You just have to make it be a surprise to Dany. In fact, they should make it very clear to the audience who it is (for the minority who don't recognize him). Then the tension comes from the audience knowing who it is and wondering when Dany was going to figure it out.
Chris Nelly
625. Aeryl
I don't know if it's because you hang with a savvier crowd, but if I walked up to my fellow watchers and started talking about Selmy, they'd go "Who?" Then I'd probably have to bring up 5 things he'd done to get them to remember him.
Vincent Lane
626. Aegnor
Oh yeah, they wouldn't know his name. I didn't mean to imply that. More likely it'd be "Hey, he's that one guy from season 1." TV viewers have enough trouble remembering the main character's names.
Rob Munnelly
627. RobMRobM
ptyx - understood. I was trying to be somewhat flip in my earlier response.

Re Selmy - some will pick him out, some won't. Really will depend on the power of the beard.

Entertainment Weekly references "wild weddings" on its GoT cover story tease re the upcoming season. Wild is better than deadly, I guess.
Jeff R.
628. Gesar
They might not even go there. They might just have Barristan present himself to Dany and try to earn her forgiveness back for his "betrayal", simple as that. Joffrey Lannister aside, they haven't really gone for the reveals in the way that the book did.

I thought I had read someone say he was casted as "Arstan" for season 3 but I can't find it anymore itt, did I imagine that?
Rob Munnelly
629. RobMRobM
The HBO press release issued yesterday refers to the actor as Barristan not Arstan or Whitebeard.
Vincent Lane
630. Aegnor
I think that definitely indicates that they will not be trying to conceal who he is from the audience. I don't think it necessarily indicates whether they will have Barristan conceal his identity from Dany.
Marty Beck
631. martytargaryen
I must say, I am really enjoying the ramp-up to S3 on TWoP. Highly recommended lurking for any "bookwalker" as they like to dub us.
Vincent Lane
632. Aegnor
General comment for those going to check out the TWoP thread. Follow the rules. No one from this thread should be posting in that thread at all. Only those who are completely unspoiled are allowed to post there.

I haven't been following the thread in the "offseason" but I always check it out after the latest episode. I can't wait to see their reaction to the Red Wedding. I'm sure it will be epic.

I went and checked it out just now and went back a few pages and found this comment that made me laugh. Talking about Myrcella and her marriage in Dorne..."She's not going to actually be married, as she's too young". Wait until they get a load of the Margaery and Tommen mariage, lol.
Rob Munnelly
633. RobMRobM
Or the Tyrion-Sansa marriage for that matter. Not as creepy on the show as it is in the books but the newly flowered Sansa is still pretty darned young.
Faiz Imam
634. FaizImam
So... 12 hours to go. Will we get one chapter? or three?
David Goodhart
635. Davyd
IIRC, she did mention noting the suggestion for coupling chapters. My guess is one tomorrow, then two coupled next week.
Jeff R.
636. Gesar
I'm not sure how this happened but I'm actually expecting Leigh's read more than I am expecting season 3 or reading aDwD myself ^.^
Rob Munnelly
637. RobMRobM
@636 - welcome to the club. I've been part of the Butlerian jihad (random Dune joke) re the Wheel of Time reread since it started many moons ago.
Marty Beck
638. martytargaryen
Ha! I hope that was the Dad's version of the Jihad and not his son's.

(sorry for the OT - yes, Friday's have eclipsed Tuesdays for me, as well)
Chris Lough
639. TorChris
Hey all, we're continuing the spoiler discussion over in a new thread (less lengthy loading times, hooray!). Here's the link:
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