Mar 15 2013 1:00pm

Spoiler Thread for A Read of Ice and Fire, Part 2!

Welcome to Part 2 of the Song of Ice and Fire thread, in conjunction with Leigh Butler’s fabulous Read of Ice and Fire. (The first thread, now massive, can be found here.) 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.

1. olethros
That said, her budding assassin ways are still disturbing. It’s one thing to be willing and able to defend yourself from those who would harm you, but it’s quite another to numb yourself into straight-up sociopathy. But learning to kill so young… I’m not sure how well anyone in Arya’s situation would be able to avoid it, really. Sigh."

Faiz Imam
2. FaizImam
dammit, beat me to it...

That might just be the most accureate unaware prognistication she's done since the beginning. damn.

It's funny how apprehensive she is about next week, I wonder if it'll lower her guard for later?
When she's right she is VERY right.
Sky Thibedeau
4. SkylarkThibedeau
And Arya asking about whether Thoros could bring back a man without a head…

Never thought about the God of the Red and Ned before. I would not put it past george to resurrect those olde Bones.
5. Aglaia2
So what happens with the Red Wedding chapters? Should Leigh's read include Catelyn VII and Arya XI together? If so, then her 2 chapter reread will be off again soon. Or is having the one-two punch of both chapters too much for her to take in one go? She seems pretty guillible. I for one did not believe Arya had died at the end of that chapter, so it wasn't quite as gut wrenching as other people take it.
David Goodhart
6. Davyd
I believe, IIRC, that the end of Arya's chapter was when I had to put the book down and take a couple days (weeks?) to process. I think at that point, I was done. It was just too much. So, I'm pretty sure I fell for Arya's 'death' at the end of the chapter. But only because it was so close to the actual massacre and at that point, hadn't put it past Martin to leave us with Sansa as the last 'living' Stark. Bran and Rikkon were allegedly dead, as far as Westeros was concerned, so I think I was also mourning prematurely for Sansa too. To my chagrin, I realized my error when I finally picked the book back up again.
@5 I say no.

Arya XI goes just as well with Tyrion VI which is also about the RW.

Besides, I want to see all the positive comments after Jon VI and Catelyn VI before she gets the rug yanked out from under her again.
Chris Nelly
8. Aeryl
Her speculation that Beric is the Chosen One instead of Stannis is too funny, but it does make me start to ponder strange things.

Ok, there's a prophecy about Ahor Azai that Mel believes is Stannis, but all indications of miracles would point to Beric. Now later Beric revives Catelyn from death, dying himself. WHY??? Why would R'hllor need Catelyn alive? Especially if Jon is AA, because Catelyn HATES Jon. And Rhaegar got a prophecy too, that led him to make certain decisions. Was that prophecy from R'hllor? Or was it elsewhere? The Targs didn't convert to The Faith until later, so what is their ancestral religion? Is it Valyrian? Perhaps that's where The Red Priests come from. The trees, representing the gods of the North, seem to have had some influence on the events at Harrenhal, which we speculate led to R+L=J. Arya obviously belongs to the gods of the North, warging and all, but at the same time, it's obvious R'hllor is reaching out for her as well(I'm assuming Jaqen's "Red God" is R'hllor).

The theology of this world boggles me and I'm trying to figure out if maybe there is some deeper "all religions are one" thing going on behind all the surface religions here. But the fact that R'hllor is intervening here with Beric indicates that there is some deeper purpose and that perhaps the "gods" are working together across faiths to ensure it happens.
9. Gesar
"That might just be the most accureate unaware prognistication she's done since the beginning. damn."

Well she actually called that Bran would be the Last Hero, Next Generation, upon hearing Nan's tale of the last hero. That was pretty damn good =)
10. sofrina
@8 - "I'm trying to figure out if maybe there is some deeper "all religions are one" thing going on behind all the surface religions here."

i think various pantheons are working together against the great other beyond the wall. not sure about the drowned god yet, but i tend to believe when someone thinks they hear the seven or the weirwoods or whatever, that they really do hear them. r'hllor is a mystery to me. he's speaking to someone but some of his people are better at hearing him than others (quaithe, the priest victarion picks up). melisandre is misinterpreting larger events, but it seems to be her destiny to do that in order to get particular players to right positions.
Chris Nelly
11. Aeryl
@10, I'm curious as to why you say Quaithe? I'm in the middle of rereading CoK right now, haven't gotten to her yet, but I always read Dany's time in Qarth as a "Hero's Temptation" and viewed her as suspect for trying to get Dany to go to Asshai instead of Westeros(though it could be speculated Dany could have learned something about how to raise dragons from them). I'm still behind on DwD, so I don't know anything about Victarion's priest.
12. Gesar
Re: Arya I'm pretty sure that's just GRRM's way of being
deconstructivist toward the 'adventurous boy/girl in fantasy' character, and this is one of the things I enjoy the most amidst all of his deconstructive ideas.

I wonder if he's going to make her a villain in the end, cause that
would be effin' awesome (but also, I know, hard to pull off).
Chris Nelly
13. Aeryl
I can see that, I'm just somewhat bothered that that deconstruction relies on the sexist idea that girls are more fragile than boys and must be protected, which is the only distinction I can see as to why everyone's so concerned about what this is doing to her versus similar stories.
14. Gesar
You are way overthinking/overreaching with this^^

Nothing has been said in the books to make Arya look weak, and to my knowledge, no one ever commented that she was. And if Jojen started to go "yay, dead people, awesome!", we would be as concerned for him as we are for Arya now (and we would have been for Joffrey if it hadn't been apparent from the start that he was an antagonist).
Chris Nelly
15. Aeryl
No, I am not. Overthinking is when you put too much thought into a mystery, zooming right past the obvious answer. I am analyzing, which is what I thought we were all here to do. And overreaching? You were the one who suggested it was a deconstruction in the first place. If the basis for the deconstruction isn't gender, what is it?

Where did I say anyting about Arya being weak? I said GRRM is playing with the SEXIST assumption amongst the AUDIENCE that women are weaker and must be protected, to deconstruct the idea of an adventurous child.

And once again, Arya is not just cheering on the deaths of any one, but the deaths of MUMMERS! One of of whom stole Needle. The ones she watched delightfully torture the denziens of Harrenhal. The ones she knows are out raping and pillaging and murdering, and now, thanks to the BWoB, won't be doing that anymore. Of course she's happy, I'm happy and I'm not a murderous psychopath like everyone seems to think she is. I don't know why everyone is concerned about WHAT this is doing to her, other than the fact that she's a girl. The judgement everyone has, seems to be doing more damage to her psychologically than the actual killing she's had to do to survive, IMO.
16. olethros
@Aeryl: there's one hell of a difference between Ned making Bran watch an execution because he might someday be duty and honor bound to perform one and Arya going on a killing spree. Taking your 12 year old kid to a sex ed class is not the same thing as dropping them off for a year of work in a brothel.
17. Gesar
Calm down.

I'm saying you're overreaching with the whole 'it's connected to sexism' idea. Not everything that happens to Arya is defined by the fact that she happens to be a girl (now that would be sexist too btw).

I had understood what you said. My answer was that there was no assumption in the audience that Arya was weak. She was never written to be so, and to my knowledge, no one ever said he thought she was.

And ofc the Mummers had to be killed. There is being happy about a death (struggled to find a good example but let's say Robert about a Targaryen death), there is feeling that a death is necessary (Ned), and then there is being excited about a death. It's a degree thing. I would say Arya taking that step is a foreword to the few other steps she's going to take.
Chris Nelly
18. Aeryl
I know that, but taking Bran to that was Ned's way of introducing him to the horrors of this world, and the necessities that you must take.

Arya's getting the same lesson, albeit a lot more horrifically(and Bran got his own horrific lesson shortly thereafter). The readers weren't worried about what that was is doing to Bran. They understood it as a necessary thing to grow up IN THIS WORLD. What Arya is going through is very similar. If she were a boy, she would be about to become a squire, facing the horrors of warfare. There were other boys in the group to The Wall, heading off to war and forced to kill or be killed to survive(and failing usually) and no one was worried that Lommy, Hot Pie or Gendry was becoming a subhuman psycho.

I see Arya becoming a hardened little girl, yes. But there is a big difference between that and being a cold blooded killer, which is where a lot of people seem to feel she is going(a villain? Really? Just because, like practically every OTHER character in these books, she has to kill to live. I see more disturbing signs of psychopathy from Sansa, TBH.
Deana Whitney
19. Braid_Tug
So I guess it wasn't just my computer that was having a problem with the 600+ comments of the Part 1 spoiler thread?
Thanks Tor! We'll try not to break this one too, but with the RW and everything, no promises.

@ 8, Aeryl: never thought about it, but have to agree with you.

Arya, I would hope that if her gender were reversed, we would be feeling the same. I know most people feel for little abandoned Rickon. Still say that kid is going to be the most messed up of all the Starks.

Sandor, poor guy off in a sept for now (well, in a few chapters). Wonder if he’ll “come alive” again when Sansa “comes out” at her next wedding? I only skimmed DwD, didn’t see anything about her.
Chris Nelly
20. Aeryl
I don't need to "calm down", I am not using capitals to yell, but emphasize, cuz caps lock is faster, but YMMV.

OK, fine you think I'm overreaching, why don't you rebut my actual argument instead of the one in your head. I never said that anything that is happening to Arya is because of her sex, I said characters in the story and the audience are judging her on the basis of her sex. If the audience doesn't believe Arya to be weak, why all the concern over her state of mind, that goes above and beyond any concern I've ever seen demonstrated to similar characters and actions in these same books, and to characters in other stories. "Boy goes on adventure" is a pretty standard fantasy trope, but rarely see this concern.
Stefan Mitev
21. Bergmaniac
Arya is already a cold blooded killer. The way she was all "business as usual" and talking about boots calmly after she murdered Dareon and then was all sang cheerfully is pretty indicative. And then to confirm it we have the murder of the insurance broker in ADWD.
Chris Nelly
22. Aeryl
@19, Well everyone seems convinced that the books are a deconstruction of fantasy in addition to just being entertaining, so I'm wondering what he's getting at with this, and my instincts are telling me that "All religions are one" might be a part of it. Just the fact that all these disparate faiths are still moving in the same direction seems to point to it.

My opinion is that Catelyn was brought back to avenge the violation of hospitality, and lead the crusade against the Freys, which were all tied in with their religious belief in the 7. But why would R'hllor care if the tenets of another faith were violated?
Stefan Mitev
23. Bergmaniac
IMO R'hllor and all the other gods don't exist, and the abilities of the red priests are just another form of magic.
24. Gesar
Her reaction in this instance goes far beyond the standard of a "boy goes on adventure" reaction. I mean, hear it from Leigh:
"Kill them all, thought fiercely. She bit her lip so hard she tasted blood. Kill every single one.

I’m a little conflicted over my instinctive glee at Arya’s bloodthirstiness."

You can treat Arya's reaction as good or bad given her shitty world, but I don't think you can deny that it's there.

I'll explain my idea about deconstructivism later, I have to go now and I fear it'll take me some time to put it in words, since I haven't done it yet and I'm not a native english speaker.
Chris Nelly
25. Aeryl
Well I would say that the existence of actual prophecies belies that. Prophecy implies a plan.

But wouldn't that just be like GRRM, creating a godless fantasy world.
Chris Nelly
26. Aeryl
@24, All good, can't wait to hear it! See I don't put the same emphasis on that line though. She thought "fiercely"(GRRM could learn a few things from Stephen King about the overuse of adverbs, IMO).

What does that mean? Nothing really, other than the fact that she really wanted them to die, which I don't think is a negative thing. If the line had said "She thought gleefully" I could understand the concern. But thinking "fiercely" just means she really wanted it to happen. And biting her lip again, doesn't mean to me what it apparently does to everyone else. Just because she is tasting blood does not make her literally "bloodthirsty"* it means she was fiercely wishing these people would die, because of all the pain they had caused and will cause if not dealt with.

*Though that is a connotation I can see GRRM using.
27. olethros
Aeryl, I think Leigh's mountain of commentary concerning more or less the same thing happening to Rand in WoT pretty thoroughly rebuts your argument.
28. kolchin04
The "UnCat revives Jon when Mel couldn't" idea has been my new pet-theory lately. I won't get too much into how it could happen, but two things make me like it so much.

1) It would round out Catelyn's story pretty well, with her final action bringing back Jon, whom she hated as a constant reminder of Ned's unfaithfulness.

2) Assuming Jon = AA is true, the AA stories talk about 3 resurrections. Beric, Catelyn, and Jon being the third.
Stefan Mitev
29. Bergmaniac
I have to disagree emphatically. Why the hell would Catelyn ever want to resurrect Jon Snow of all people? This would be the worst possible ending for her story by far, completely illogical and out of character.

@25 - are any of the prophesies so far proven to be correct for sure? I can't recall any, but admittedly I don't pay much attention to them.
Chris Nelly
30. Aeryl
@27, Never read that one, so good to know Leigh's consistent. Doesn't mean others are, this is not the only place I follow, and the concern I see displayed for Arya outweighs concerns I've seen displayed elsewhere, except maybe for Jake Chambers in Dark Tower.
Chris Nelly
31. Aeryl
@29, Well that is the rub, isn't it? To see if any other prophecies will pan out. So far the only thing I've seen come true has been visions, which could be related more to magic than to godly influence. And the "prophecies" put in by GRRM as a misdirect the audience to what might happen, and to the fact that this is a godless world.
George Jong
32. IndependentGeorge
@18 - Nope, readers are worried about what mind-raping an innocent like Hodor is doing to Bran, and what living as (an alleged) cannibal on Skagos is doing to Rickon. Different worries, same basic principle.

Interestingly, show viewers have been particularly worried about Rickon since he apparently started spending his days banging rocks together and grunting.
Chris Nelly
33. Aeryl
To be honest, I'm more worried for Bran than I am for Arya, I think what he is doing is WAY worse.
Sky Thibedeau
34. SkylarkThibedeau
So far Dani's vision of the Red Wedding is the only prophesy I've seen to come true.
Marie Veek
35. SlackerSpice
@34: So has Jojen's greenseer stuff back in Clash of Kings.
36. Gesar
For starters, I can’t speak for a community of people thinking Arya is sliding down because there is no such thing as this community, but my personal opinion around it is that it’s awesome. So yeah, wouldn’t put that in my ‘I’m concerned because she’s a girl’ list, I actually want it to happen because that would be a very cool and non-standard way for the story to go.

I don’t know if a consensus has been reached or not regarding what Martin is doing with fantasy. I did already hint at what I thought about this matter on another forum and got mocked for thinking it (by two people I have a very low opinion of, but still), so yeah, here are examples of what I think are deconstructions by Asoiaf.

- The Hero. This is not only fantasy-related, this is deconstruction in all settings, having the hero character die at the end of the first book is a pretty clear message that things are getting done differently in Westeros.

- Honor (obv). Honor is a great thing to have in fantasy, and here we see Ned do a whole lot of things that he shouldn’t really do (the biggest being the warning of Cersei) because they are the most honorable. Jorah said about Rhaegar, that he thought bravely and without slaves and following a certain set of rules, and that he died because of it. He advises Dany not to follow this road if she wants to live. It’s interesting that the memes we got out of Ned are “stupid Ned” rather than “honorable Ned”. Kind of makes me think GRRM was successful. In my experience honor is a pretty standard indicator of a good heroic character in most fantasy, so I’d say that’s a big factor. Also note that Ned is stripped from his honor BEFORE getting killed anyway, as he chooses family & life over truth (like anyone would). To me this is one of the most violent things that ever happened in this series. Ned is also the clearest deconstruction of them all, for “hero” and for “honorable character”.

- Knighthood. Kind of goes with honor, and with the overall vision of a noble war that is a frankly stupid notion to begin with. Gregor, Amory Lorch, Meryn Trant, Kettleblack… Sansa and Sandor help in that regard: Sansa expresses what most fantasy pictures a knight to be in her expectations and dreams about Florian, and Dontos shows us what a knight is. Sandor has some nice speeches about knights that help us with the learning curve too.

- Marriage. See that’s a good one because it doesn’t spring to mind when it comes to fantasy tropes. Marriage in fantasy tends to be a reward. War is ended, we won, so it’s time to live happily and Aragorn+Arwen, Faramir+Eowyn, Garion+Xe’nedra, Rand gets three^^, Perryn gets Faile, Richard gets Kahlan, weeeeeeee there’s a long list. Now marriage in Westeros sucks so hard in comparison. Sansa dreams of princes, her first prince turns out to be a fullblown psycho, then she has to settle for Willos Tyrell, a cripple but at least a nice person so oookay, then she gets goddamn Tyrion… Clear copy, thank you George. Robert and Cersei served as a background introduction to that theme. But what happens when two young people love each other, George? Well, the Red Wedding happens.

My idea of the overall gameplan is that George went over this in a methodical fashion. He took all the clichés he found in fantasy, and he thought about what made them clichés, and how he could turn this over in a way that was extremely clear, yet still entertaining. Sanderson wrote this very cool essay about post-fantasy here:, where he noted that deconstruction is dangerous. If your whole story is killed by deconstruction, you lose the audience. You can’t just have Mordor win at the end of LotR, people would feel cheated. I did feel cheated at the end of Pullman’s books about a certain thing, so I understand and agree with what he’s saying.
To counter that and still do deconstruction, you have to make it in a way that doesn’t hurt the overall feel of the book. You need a more realistic setting than most fantasy, because most of your deconstruction is going to view the fantasy trope in a more “realistic” light, so, a more “realistic” setting helps. I hate the term “realistic” in that sense, because I don’t think we’re talking about “realistic” fantasy. It’s not realistic that Sansa dreams of the absolute best spouse and gets the absolute worst (in her POV): the realistic approach would have her wed an average spouse. Still, if you’re not going to be spewing rainbows, it helps not to have unicorns around.

I’m about halfway through affc right now, and I haven’t found a good example of a deconstruction in that book yet. A friend of mine who I trust with these things (because she’s fucking awesome) told me that there is a clear deconstruction in affc, but wouldn’t tell me what it is. So I guess, more on that matter when I have read or found it.

I would say a few fantasy tropes are yet to be discussed:
- Prophecy. We’ve all seen a standard prophecy in a fantasy setting, we know what it entails. So far the prophecies we’ve seen from Westeros seem very standard, and it seems they could be fulfilled without hurting the story. I expect something to be done about that. I will say that Melisandre completely misunderstanding the prophecies and her reactions to her errings are a good start.

- The heroic background. You know that whenever you meet this boy from the little village, with an undetermined father and no specific features or skills, he’s going to turn out to be the most important of them all. Now that’s pretty much my boy Jon Snow. As much as it pains me to say this, a perfectly easy way to do deconstruction from the basis we’ve been given with Jon Snow is to make him completely and utterly unimportant in the end. Like, have everyone believe he is Azor Ahai, bring Catelyn there to get the third resurrection and complete the whole Azor Ahai return prophecy, and then have him do nothing at all in the battle (because Bran has done the whole job by himself for instance). Having him be a Targaryen heir and never hear of it would count too, I guess. I’ll wait to see how and if he does something deconstructionist about Jon, but I’d be very surprised if nothing happened.

- The boy/girl-meets-world that we’ve been talking about with Arya. Now it seems kind of common for fantasy to bring in their adventures someone who isn’t necessarily a child, but who needs an initiation process. This process always works: the person comes out of the story changed by what they have seen, and becomes a better person than they would have become otherwise. Now let’s have an adventure / initiation journey that turns a perfectly good a likeable character into a murdering psycho? Yeah, that hasn’t happened before in fantasy. And it’s really hard to pull off. I really hope-hope-hope that Martin tries this, and if he does try, I’m very curious to see whether he manages it.

Okay, now that was a bit longer than I had originally planned. I’m sorry about that. I’d post it on my blog if I had one^^
Yuriev Olmos
37. Baikala
@18 - Aeryl, I agree about the sociopathic hints in Sansa's behaivor. And she is the one aligning and learning the 'game of thrones' from Little finger, a mentor as far away form a good, solid moral compass as you can get.

I think that the fantasy deconstructivism in ASOIAF has more to do with the negation of 'Good will prevail at the end!' and 'the goods favor the just' tropes more than any other thing. It's hard to conciliate the harsh and raw 'reality' if the novels with the world of Dunk & Egg tales where insurmountable odd are always beaten by unexpected circumstances that are almost like divine intervention. It may be that the 'Dunk and Egg' tales exists as a fictional work within the ASOIAF universe and that's why they are more like conventional fantasy. I remember someone making fun of either Brandon of Sansa about their naive idealism of knigths like 'Duncan the Tall'.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
38. AlirozTheConfused
How many times do we have Near Misses

is it more than the times of Forcible Kisses

How many times can you have the rug

pulled from beneath you before they bug

you enough to stop reading the story

and will we ever find honor, honor and glory?
Chris Nelly
39. Aeryl
@36, Thanks, that was awesome. I agree with pretty much all of it, but like you said, you can't let the deconstructivism get in the way of the story. GRRM has sown the seeds for redemption and vindication in enough characters that I am riveted to see who comes through and who doesn't. And no matter how these characters turn out, even if they are outcomes I don't agree with(like Arya, psychopathis murderer) I know that it will be earned.

The point about Knighthood is really interesting to me, because one thing that has always stuck out to me, is Sansa's attitude about knighthood. I mean, she grew up in the North. I know she takes after her mother, and lived in a dual religious household, educated by a Septa & Septon. But at the same time, the men-at-arms who lived around her predominantly were not people who followed the Faith, and therefore not knights. It seems a kind of willful denial on her part to be so blinded by stories, despite being surrounded by hundreds of counter-examples to the idea that goodness is inherent in knights alone.

@37, Oh that's a terrible(yet wonderful!) thought. ;D
George Jong
40. IndependentGeorge
It's too bad Leigh isn't watching the show, becaues this is utterly hilarious.
Chris Nelly
41. Aeryl
I was thinking about that too. I think its safe for her to watch, it doesn't show anything substantial that would inform her show watching, and she's already aware of the "mawwiage" theme of this book.
42. MJF
Could someone give me a specific example of sociopathy from Sansa in the later books? It's been a while since I read them.
Rob Munnelly
43. RobMRobM
@42 I don't think there are any. Only hints of possible issues are how well she slides into the role of LF's bastard daughter. If there are more, I'd like to hear them.
44. zambi76
I never get this talk about sociopath Sansa either? What the hell? She's like the anti-sociopath of the story to me.

Maybe she's developing split personality disorder or paranoid delusion if we must play amateur-Westeros-psychatrist but sociopathy? That girl has so much empathy it hurts. Mostly her so far.
Chris Nelly
45. Aeryl
She is willfully coinciding with LF's slow poisoning of Robert. Now, I haven't read DwD yet, so I don't know if this gets better but at the end of FFC LF told her Robert had to die for her to go home, and she pretty is much accepting that.

Plus, I worry for her more than Arya, because she doesn't have her wolf. I know Arya technically doesn't either, but right now, remote as it as, she has a chance to reconnect with Nymeria, where Sansa cannot.

But I completely agree that not all of the people who started the story as our "good guys" will stay that way. On an personal level, I don't feel the story will have a satisfactory conclusion unless the status quo of monarchy is done away with, and that's something I feel Sansa is still a little TOO invested in to see her coming through this.
Peter Stone
46. Peter1742
Deconstruction in AFfC: yes, indeed. Matching ones in AFfC and ADwD (which were originally intended to be the same book).

Whited out to avoid spoilers:

Brienne's and Quentyn's quests, which both end in total disaster.
George Jong
47. IndependentGeorge
@46 - no need to white out text in the spoiler thread.
48. Nessa
I don't agree that Sansa is a psychopath, per se. As far as I know, she's not exactly planning to kill Robert by herself. She just has an unfortunate habit of not seeing things that may be difficult for her to cope with. GRRM has called her an unreliable narrator, and I think that really shows with her false remembrances of events, and her relative non-reactions when it comes to horrible revelations most people would be freaking out over.

Cases in point:
1) Joffrey attacks Mycah: She believes it's the other way around, because she wants Joff to be the 'good' guy and her sister and Mycah to be the real instigators. She even starts believing this is actually true, as she screams it at Arya in King's Landing.

2) LF pushes Lysa out the Moon Door: She justifies by thinking that Lysa tried to kill her but she doesn't think about how evil LF is for doing that. Why? Because she's completely under his mercy, and she probably knows subconsciously that if he turned out to be actually evil (which he is), it would be completely horrible for her. She works around this by not even considering the option that he may be on her side after all.

3) Lysa killed Jon Arryn on LF's orders: She only looks at the first part of this. She understands that Lysa killed Jon Arryn, because that would show that Lysa was crazy and totally deserved her death at LF's hands (which Sansa wants to belive). But she disregards the other piece of info that Lysa gave her about it all being LF's idea, again because she can't believe (for her own peace of mind) that LF is the bad guy here.

4) Marillion's death: She says in book 4 that she's said the lie so many times, it almost feels to her hat Marillion did kill Lysa. Another example of how she misremembers events to help her cope with terrible situations.

5) LF telling her about how Robert is going to die: She doesn't even think about the Robert situation, instead focusing on her 'betrothal' to Harry (which I doubt is ever going to take place, but I digress). Again, she doesn't want to think about LF potentially poisoning Robert.

Looking at the past events, and trying to understand how traumatic they must be for a 13 year old girl to cope with, I don't think Sansa has any psychopathic tendencies. She's around people who are psychopaths a lot, and she uses delusion and her special pair of pink reality-distorting glasses to cope with the terrible things they do. Because notice that Sansa herself has never done any horrible things. She's in fact one of the few main characters who has never killed anyone, ever (except maybe Joffrey, but she didn't know she was involved in that). But some day she has to take those rose-coloured glasses off, and I really wonder what will happen when she does.

I will add another event here that GRRM has twice (if I am correct) said to be a notable example of her mis-remembering things - the Unkiss (as it is called in fandom) with Sandor Clegane. I don't think it really goes with the other examples of this problem, because it doesn't seem to be an indication of her trying to cope with her problems. Rather, it seems to be an indication of her budding sexuality, and her subconscious attraction to the Hound. GRRM has said this would be important later on. I myself can't fanthom why, but that's what discussions are for, I guess =).

Anyways, wow, that was a longer post that I thought it would be. I hope I didn't ramble too much, but those are my thoughts the matter.
Chris Nelly
49. Aeryl
@48, I don't disagree with anything you say, but in my mind, rationalizing psychopathy and participating in it are not that far apart, and with Sansa completely under LFs influence(and I completely agree that she is in denial about LF too. She can't acknowledge what he is and what he's doing without becoming terrified for herself, so she doesn't think about it) that's even more troubling.
50. Gesar
@46, yup, that will be it, thank you for contributing. If I could edit I would also add something about getting dragons, it came to me after I wrote the whole thing.

Re: Sansa, I think she's too old to become a psychopath, and anyway I don't think LF is a psychopath, I think he's just a narcissistic ass (not that it's better as an influence in any regard btw)
Vincent Lane
51. Aegnor
I think Arya is showing some sociopathic tendencies. She's definitely not a complete sociopath, but events have totally skewed with her moral compass. I mean she murdered two people who did absolutely nothing to her and posed no danger to her. You can excuse the stable boy, the Bolton guard, the Tickler, the squire. Heck, even thrown out Cheswick and Weese as she didn't actually kill them herself. Weese was extremely abusive to her, and Cheswick was truly terrible.

But Dareon had done absolutely nothing to her and posed her no danger whatsoever. And he wasn't a great person by any means (deserting the Night's Watch and abandoning Sam and Aemon), but he wasn't evil, just a foolish philanderer. No idea what the merchant guy in Braavos' crimes are, but Arya had no evidence of any and not only was he not a danger to her, he didn't even know she existed.

And I don't think concerns about that have anything to do with her sex. I think the concerns would be there even if it was an 11 year old boy instead of a girl. On the other hand, her badassery is kind of awwesome. It is a dichotomy...both awesome and troubling.
Deana Whitney
52. Braid_Tug
@ 48. Nessa; Good points and outlines.
Re: Sansa and the Hound.
I see him popping back up and "saving" her in some twisted fashion. Really can't even put my finger on why. But she's been the closest we get to the "princess trapped in the tower" theme.
Currently she's being held by the "evil warlock" and mind rapped in more than one way. At some point LF is going to push for more than kisses.

So to me it makes since that it is going to be the “non-Knight in un-shining armor” that saves her, possibly from a better situation. And she’s going to think it’s a great idea because of her “kiss memory.”
And she might do the typical teenage thing of thinking the people and places far away from home are better and more true to the stories.

Thus why she can grow up around the real men of the North Knights, but still have this ideal of them. She meet the “ideal” knight, Ser Lorres. Thus they do live, in her mind.
Rob Munnelly
53. RobMRobM
@51. I'd argue that Dareon was a deserter from the NW, subject to execution. Arya likely felt the same way. I'd also argue that his philandering and wasting NW funds directly led to Aemon's death and came within a hairbreadth of stranding Sam, Gilly and Mance's baby in Braavos, directly contrary to the Lord Commander's orders. I have very little sympathy for Dareon, and am supportive of Arya's handling of it. She's a Stark and her duty as a Stark is to execute NW deserters.

@52. Still betting on Tyrion to be her knight in shining armor, ultimately.
Chris Nelly
54. Aeryl
@53, I wanted to say the same thing about Arya and Dareon, but as I'm Arya biased, I'm glad you said it instead. Yes to me that was an embrace of her heritage, not a forsaking of it, and that's why she's punished for it at the end FFC, IMO. Not for the pointless killing, but for the fact that the killing had a point.
George Jong
55. IndependentGeorge
Dareon was murder, not justice.

Why does Ned carry out the sentence himself? So he look him in the eye and hear his last words, and if after that he can't bring himself to execute him then maybe he doesn't deserve to die at all.

Arya doesn't do anything of the sort. Instead, she lures him into a dark alley, and slits his throat while he's too drunk to resist. She wasn't passing judgement on a deserter; it wasn't the sombre duty of the ruler of the North. It was petty vengeance on a douchebag who happened to mock her beloved brother.

It's the difference between being tried, convicted & executed, versus being gunned down in cold blood by a cowboy cop. She's the Westeros equivalent of Dexter - the fact that her victim is guilty doesn't make it justice.
Rob Munnelly
56. RobMRobM
IG @55. My mileage varies, of course. There is no Ned with his bannermen to hold him in chains near the block hear his last words before execution. Arya knew from D's own statements at the whorehouse that he had abandoned the NW and his starving and, in the case of Aemon, dying NW brothers and their wards. Self-help but justified under the circumstances, IMO.
57. Nessa
@49: I agree, it's all a matter of perspective, and if Sansa were actually 'agreeing' with LF's actions, I would be getting seriously worried for her sanity. But I don't think lack-of-disapproval equates to agreement, per se. Sansa mostly tries not to think about LF has done, but that doesn't mean she approves of it, so she's not really LF 2.0 (at least, not yet IMO). I think there are extenuating circumstances here, and so far I've never seen her exhibit the characteristics of a true psychopath. I find it hard to see her as one, since she's actually very empathetic most of the time. She even helps Lancel Lannister at BW, and he's from a family she despises.

@52: I have this feeling that Sandor is going to die for her. He does tell her in the third book that a dog is loyal and would die for you but never lie to you. I wonder if that's foreshadowing for some future event, but not really sure what or when or why. Maybe it's going to be another one of those trials-by-battle where he's her champion to try and prove her innocence (of Joffrey's murder perhaps)? I still wonder what the 'unkiss' has to do with any of that, though.
58. Gesar
Still not through with AFfC, and while I agree that Brienne's quest is definitely a thing, I don't think it's the main concern of the book. I mean, I haven't seen the endgame of it all yet, but it feels like there are way too many sparrows, high or otherwise, and Bonifers, and Lancels, and gods and priests of everyone and everything lurking around this book for the prime deconstruction not to be about deities & faith... I could see how this would be considered a fantasy trope, too. This is more a new lead than anything else, I still need to read the end...
Vincent Lane
59. Aegnor

"She even helps Lancel Lannister at BW, and he's from a family she despises."

Ummm...what? I admit to not being able to figure out the BW acronym, nor can I come up with any interaction Lancel and Arya had. What am I forgetting?
Chris Nelly
60. Aeryl
Sansa helped Lancel during Blackwater Bay, when he came to give Cersei reports.
Vincent Lane
61. Aegnor
Ugh...sorry. I thought that was refering to Arya and was confused.
Rob Munnelly
62. RobMRobM
Picky note - Blackwater Bay is from the TV show. Blackwater is a river in the books.
Chris Nelly
63. Aeryl
Any body of water that widens into a port is called a bay. I'm pretty sure it's labelled that way on the maps from the books as well. So while the characters in the books may not have called it that, it's not an inaccurate term.
Vincent Lane
64. Aegnor
In the book there is both a Blackwater bay and river. The battle takes place on the river. In the TV series the battle takes place on the bay.
Chris Nelly
65. Aeryl
I understand that, but that makes NO sense, based on the descriptions in the book. There was a discussion about the map of Westeros posted on Tor about how terrible GRRM is with geography, and those chapters are a mess in trying to understand where things are in relation to the battle. He wrote that episode, so like the kids ages, I figure he realizes it was something he got wrong and fixed it.

It's one of the ways seeing the show first can mess with your perceptions*, but I try to seperate most of it. But the kids ages, the battle for KL, the Moon Door, these are things the show does better than the books.

*Seriously, I only started the books, because of the cliffhanger ending with Sam in jeopardy, because I HAD TO KNOW if he survived. In trying to find out, I learned too much about SoS(not the RW) to wait for the next season.
66. sofrina
@11 - @10, I'm curious as to why you say Quaithe? I'm in the middle of rereading CoK right now, haven't gotten to her yet, but I always read Dany's time in Qarth as a "Hero's Temptation" and viewed her as suspect for trying to get Dany to go to Asshai instead of Westeros(though it could be speculated Dany could have learned something about how to raise dragons from them). I'm still behind on DwD, so I don't know anything about Victarion's priest.

well, i'm thinking throughout the entire series, but i believe dany is the prince who was promised, and quaithe seems to believe that as well. i don't think she's trying to tempt dany from her path, i think she is actually trying to usher her, but she can't give clear directions. melisandre on the other hand believes stannis is azor ahai and that the "stone dragon" is literally a sculpture or something at dragonstone. given events throughout, and especially in DwD, it seems like melisandre is fulfilling a different part of the effort and just doesn't realize it.

r'hllor is showing his adepts what they need to see, not what they want to see.
Rob Munnelly
67. RobMRobM
I accept Quaithe as being in good faith. So far, her advice makes sense. Go back to go forward probably refers to Dany getting back with the Dothraki as is implied in ADWD. Going south to go north probably implies a landing in Dorne in Westeros. It all makes sense. The rest - I think it just has to happen, not trying to mislead Dany - although I still can't figure out how a trip to the east to go west would work with the story.
Chris Nelly
68. Aeryl
Probably something that GRRM thought he'd have more time to do. I get the feeling sometimes that the story kinda got away from him, and now he's having trouble, closing in on the end, trying to tie it all up.
Birgit F
69. birgit
Dany had to go east (to Slaver's Bay, not Asshai) before she could go west (to Westeros).
Chris Nelly
70. Aeryl
Slaver's Bay is to the west of Qarth. Unless you mean that Slaver's Bay is in the East(i.e. Essos). Which is certainly possible.
George Jong
71. IndependentGeorge
I'm not sure I believe it, but there's a theory that Dany's fleet will sail east around the world, landing in the Westerlands. She has to head south and secure King's Landing before she can go north to fight the real war.
72. Gesar
if she uses Victarion's fleet she might do the whole trip around the world. The ironmen are on the west, Aurane Waters is building is fleet on the east of Westeros, he could block their way back and force them around. Maybe? Don't know if that makes any sense at the end of ADwD
Lindy Brown
73. lbrown
@57 Nessa- Since it's the spoiler thread, I think it's alright to say that Sandor is dead, confirmed in FFC, in a Brienee POV.
74. Gesar
@73: it is widely believed that the Elder Brother lied to Brienne, and that Sandor is a novice at the monastery, doing penance (in echo with the story about the Elder Brother's own life that he tells her). He is probably the one digging the graves.
75. Nessa
@73: Yup, what Gesar said.

Ooh, I like this sailing around the world idea. Especially if it involves the fleet Aurane Waters stole from Cersei (how on earth did he manage to steal all those ships without her finding out anyway?).
Chris Nelly
76. Aeryl
@74, See this is where I think GRRM is kinda messing with us. All these little moments(Mirri Miraz Duur's "prophecy",Quaithe, KotLT, R+L=J, penitent Sandor) play into our ideas of where we want the story to go, but goodness, if it's anything 4 books has taughtme, it's that the man does not give us what we want.

Like one of the characters, likely Bran, will learn R+L=J, but somehow be prevented from dessiminating it to Jon. Or Brienne learns after she inexplicitly ends up in the Neck, guest of Howland Reed(stranger things happened), but dies trying to fulfill her oaths to both Catelyn AND Jaime. IDK, but I can just see all this playing out like this. I mean after all, if The Hound is dead, would it still feel a Dog's loyalty to Sansa and come to save her? Or would he recognize their relationship for the creepy(if gothically romantic) thing that it was, and never leaves the monastary?
George Jong
77. IndependentGeorge
I have to admit, a part of me really hopes R+L=J just so we can have a moment where Jon tells Dany that no, she's not the rightful heir, so what's "rightfully hers" is a whole lot of nothing, and her father got what was coming to him.

Of course, I don't want Jon to gain the throne, either, but just for once I'd like somebody in story to call Dany on her BS.
Vincent Lane
78. Aegnor

Sandor is definitely not dead. You have to remember the whole unreliable narrator thing. Notice the brother never says Sandor is dead. He says the Hound is dead. There is a big difference there.
Rob Munnelly
79. RobMRobM
Yes, and Brienne sees a war horse in the monasteru stables. Yet more evidence that the big novice is Sandor.
Rob Munnelly
80. RobMRobM
Re today's post, I love her discussion of people sneaking through a privy system to attack a castle - looking ahead to the taking of Mereen in ADWD.

Ditto re her commentary about the ethical issues with warging Hodor - again, something addressed in ADWD.
Nathan Martin
81. lerris
I think Catelyn will discover R+L=J, because it would cause her the most pain. GRRM is cruel that way.

With my comment in this week's thread regarding Jon's lucky escape,
1. He may be the true Azor Ahai, making divine intervention a unique possibility for him
2. His honor resulted in the attack that may or may not have killed him at the end of ADWD.
3. Summer's presence was not entirely random happenstance due to Bran's intervention.
Chris Nelly
82. Aeryl
@81, Regarding your number one, that leads back to my thoughts on the religions in Westeros. Why would a wolf that represents the magic of the north and their gods, intervene to help the chosen of the R'hllor? Now, Jon is a special case, being of the north and the Targ dynasty(if R+L=J), but it leads credence to the idea that gods are working together, or that all religions are the many faces of one unifying religion.
83. MJF
@RobM: Daenerys takes Meereen at the end of this book.
Faiz Imam
84. FaizImam
Re: height of the wall and the tower in oldtown.

GRRM and/or the producers at HBO said explicitly that 700ft in the book is a mistake.

When they made the wall 700ft in CGI GRRM realized immediately that it was much too big. The wall on the show is 300ft, which is what he visulaized.

This also puts the tower at oldtown back into reasonable territory.

The washington monument is 555ft, and Phillidelphia city hall is 548ft.

There are plently of mideival structures between 300ft and 500ft. See many of them here:

To my knowledge, this and the age of the kids are the only 2 things in the book that GRRM has explicitly stated was a 'mistake'
Vincent Lane
85. Aegnor
Ugh...just did the math on the RW. She would have finished Cat's RW chapter on April 26th. Now it sounds like it will be May 10th. Talk about poor timing!
Chris Nelly
86. Aeryl
It's like she's taunting us, inadvertantly.
George Jong
87. IndependentGeorge
It wasn't until my second time through the books that I realized that Jon had unconsciously warged the horse so that he could mount it. Despite Qhorin's supposition in COK, I didn't really think of Jon as a warg until Varamyr's prologue in DWD. I couldn't put it together until I read this chapter with the idea of Jon as a warg fresh in my head.

@85 - it's just as well. Can you imagine her at JordanCon right after reading the RW? I was dazed and unwell for days afterwards. I've updated my spreadsheet - Leigh should be finishing SOS on Aug 30, which means this book will have taken almost exactly one full year.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
88. AlirozTheConfused
Look, guys, I don't know why

You assume that gurmy's a smart guy

Dude doesn't know wrought iron from cast

and is no artist, just an iconoclast

So, before you try to explain how this works

realize that this series is filled with quirks

think of it as a bad eighties film to enjoy

and remember your common sense not to employ.
89. DorneSand
@Aeryl - Re Religions - goodness i look at these books completely differently to you. Not a criticism!

What do you mean when you say that Mel is an agent of R'hllor? that R'hllor is sending her messages through the flames like say The Powers That Be did to Cordelia (her visions) in Angel? that R'hllor (and some/all the other god/s) is an entity that has a plan and uses agents to help carry out that plan?

from earlier in this thread Re- Prophecies/Dreams that have come true
- Maggy the Frog
- House of the Undying
- Brans Three Eyed Crow visions while in a coma
- Quaithe, the pale mare etc
- Theons Feast of the dead dream
- Shireens Fool
- Ghost of High Heart
- Jojen green dreams
- the Flames - Mel and Moqorro

possibly have come true - mirri maz durr, quaithe (to go east etc)

i'm with sean t collins on this one (, i think of prophecies/dreams as like recordings of the future, they can not be changed, but some people get to look at these recordings and the number of people who get to see has gone way up recently because of the dragons and when big events are about to occur like the RW

Nit Pick Rant - you cannot warg into a dragon or Hodor or a horse, warging is for Wolves Only, you skinchange into a dragon etc you don't warg- end rant
Chris Nelly
90. Aeryl
@89. No, that's totally ok. I'll admit that a lot of the high fantasy I read is centered around religions and religious conflicts, so I'm biased in my interpretations. I don't have a problem with believing that the visions/prophecies aren't divinely inspired, only magically, and that the religions are all just fronts for men's and women's desires to impose control on the uncontrollable(magic, dragons, ice zombies, trees that weep "blood").

The difference between warging and skin changing is interesting. Skinchanging means you lose control of your true form, leaving it vulnerable, like Orell. But warging means you can control both, correct?
91. DorneSand
@90 Hi, i think earlier in the thread you said that you hadn't read ADWD yet or if you have did Bran's chapters change your thinking at all?

i haven't read many fantasies just LotR and the Malazan series and i think i am definitely biased about religions because of my atheism, i just don't happen to see any 'evidence' that such an above world entity exists and that george will just leave the source of the 'magic' a mystery

Re Warging - am not sure about differences in control between the two terms, it was just a terminology nit pick, warging is a form of skinchanging - it is just a term specific to skinchanging into wolves

amendment to my @89 post
Whoops forgot about Rhaego - will change my theory to what happens in visions (definitely with the Flames and green dreams) cannot be changed, but prophecies can be
Faiz Imam
92. FaizImam
Reading ahead, am I the only one who thinks of jack sparrow when picturing a Toshiba? Especially Dario?
Faiz Imam
93. FaizImam
AAAnd thats what happens when I post from my phone.

I mean Tyoshi.

And while i'm at it, there are lots of interesting points in the next 2 chapters.

a mention of Summerhall in BOTH chapters, which might get a mention.

Also, the old woman seems to explicitly(for those that understand) suggest that Sansa will kill Littlefinger. I had no idea.

"Later I drempt the maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow."

Also "slaying the savage giant" suggests to me that she is doing heroic work, as opposed to murdering in a psychotic manner.

Not that I'm misunderstanding your discussion above, I mean that I feel like her act will be one of redemption for her lack of action so many times before.

Also I wonder if leigh will catch that the tourney Barrastan is talking about is the same as the one Meera and Jaime told.

There is enough there to make the connection, if she does AND goes back to compare them, she could develop a pretty comprehensive idea of the whole story there.
Jakub Wrobel
94. ptyx
That's Tyroshi :)

I cannot see a clear connection between a "savage giant" and Littlefinger. Actually I think the most popular theory regarding this particular vision is that it refers to Sansa destroying Robert Arryn's doll after he had demolished her Winterfell replica made of snow.
Rob Munnelly
95. RobMRobM
ptyx and others upsream. I don't see Robert Arryn's doll justifying this partucular prophecy. Far too mundane. I expect great things from Sansa. I'm in the LF camp myself - he'll prove to be a giant in the upcoming maneuvering and Sansa will take him down. I guess it also could be Robert Strong but I don't see how Sansa could accomplish that sort of take down.

I hadn't thought about a Tyroshi looking like Jack Sparrow but I like it.
Jakub Wrobel
96. ptyx
RobM - I too expect great things from Sansa, but this is not how I see this prophecy. Littlefinger can only be seen as a giant metaphorically and those visions seem more literal.
We don't know what the woman actually sees, we just know what she shares with the Brotherhood. Maybe she sees a lot of things, but she chooses to speak only of the ones she thinks important. She may have seen a mundane vision which she mistook for a great matter.
It would fit the general approach of GRRM to the prophecies and visions - some of them never come true, some of them show what might have been, and some of them are unclear even after the events described in them possibly happen.
Deana Whitney
97. Braid_Tug
Not sure Leigh will connect the two stories of the tourney. Hasn’t she said, she’s trying to read this story without flipping back too often to review things? Then again, it might be fresh still in her head.

And I can’t believe it’s going to take a year to review one book! But I guess that shows you how long it takes to tackle this work 1 to 2 chapters at a time. It’s going to take her the rest of the year to review the last WoT book.

So for all those who have not read ADWD, or just want to review it again, I suggest checking out the Amazon review below. If the link doesn’t work, it’s the second review on the ADWD page, called “Twentyfour Characters in Search of a Story.”
Fun in the way Aliroz’s poems are always fun.
George Jong
98. IndependentGeorge
@93 -
I mean that I feel like her act will be one of redemption for her lack of action so many times before.
I don't think Sansa needs to redeem herself for anything. Exactly what actions should she have taken between COK and FFC?

The only thing Sansa did that I can't get past is lying about what happened on the Kingsroad - and she's more than paid for that lapse in judgement by an 11-year old girl. There, she was old enough to know she was wrong, and her persistence in blaming everyone but herself, Joffrey, and the Queen was maddening, but again - she's paid for it.

Everything else I consider perfectly reasonable given her knowledge at the time, including letting Cersei know Ned meant to send her back to Winterfell and telling Dontos about her marriage to Willas. The results were bad, granted, but neither action was unreasonable given what she knew.
99. EvvilClosetMonkey
I could see the vision just being Sansa destroying Robert's doll because it wouldn't be a surprise for that GRRM put something mundane in there. However, don't forget that while Littlefinger uses a mockingbird as his sigil, the sigil of his house is the head of the titan of braavos with fiery eyes. Pretty easy to see how Littlefinger can be the giant between that and his current political position.
Deana Whitney
100. Braid_Tug
Thank you Closet Monkey! Forgot about LF house sigil.
The heraldry in this series overall violates so many Heraldic laws, I tend to block it out, besides Lion and Wolf, that is.

And with that... I take the first hunny.
101. Gesar
Why would the Eyrie be a castle made of snow? Unless she kills him in the forteress that's on the way to Eyrie and is called Snow, but that's kind of a stretch... If you add the second stretch, which is, there's no reason for Littlefinger to be a "savage giant"... I'll go for Robert's doll as most likely explanation.

...Then watch her go to the wall and kill Gregor there =)
102. eriktdahl
Maybe the prophesies about Sansa slaying a giant are a disguised Arya killing Robert Strong?
George Jong
103. IndependentGeorge
I also vote for Robert's doll and Sansa's snow castle as the simplest interpretation of the vision. That's not to say that eventually she doesn't move against Littlefinger, but just in terms of the vision, the doll requires the least stretching.
104. DorneSand
@96 ptyx

the ONLY prophecy/vision that has not come true (or has yet to come true) is Rhaego - and the reason it didn't is because Blood Magic was used to thwart it.
Jakub Wrobel
105. ptyx

Rhaego actually pops up twice - the second time in House of the Undying when he had already died.
Moreover, there are some that are very unlikely to be fulfilled, like Quaithe's prophecy:
"Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark
flame, lion and griffin, the sun’s son and the mummer’s dragon."
I think we can agree that neither the griffin (Jon C.) nor the mummer's dragon (Aegon?) are likely to come to Dany.
Vincent Lane
106. Aegnor
I'm not sure why you would say that. I think it is very likely that they will come to Dany. Not necessarily in Meereen, as I don't think she will be staying there much longer, but wherever she lands her invasion force in Westeros.
Jakub Wrobel
107. ptyx
At Dany's current pace, Jon will be long dead before she gets anywhere near Westeros and it will be rather her coming to Aegon and not the other way around.
Anyway, I believe Quaithe meant specifically Meereen, but she wasn't able to foresee they would change their minds before they reached the city.
Vincent Lane
108. Aegnor
Anyone else nervous about the JordanCon thing? Leigh will have lots of interaction with people who have likely read the books. What are the odds that there will be a single troll in that group that will try to ruin the RW for her. It would suck to have it spoiled two weeks before she finally reaches it.
Chris Nelly
109. Aeryl
Well, I wasn't but now I am. Thanks. ;D
Rob Munnelly
110. RobMRobM
I'm not worried. I know (virtually, anyway) 15-20 of the WoT re-read folk who will be there and they're not going to ruin Leigh's spoiler free experience. Ditto the rest of the WoT/JordanCon troops - Leigh's a goddess to them, they won't burn her.
Deana Whitney
111. Braid_Tug
Re: JordanCon spoilers
Makes me want to give her a button to wear.
"No GRRM Spoilers Please! Stop at Sansa's Wedding"

I should ask Bug to make it.
Any better suggestions for wording? I know she's beyond Sansa wedding by a bit, but having a hard time coming up with the right words that won't spoil her.

This way, even the people who don’t know about her GRRM read will not spoil her.
Rob Munnelly
112. RobMRobM
"Just Say No to
Ice and Fire Spoilers"

No ASOIF Spoilers or
I'll Stick You with the Pointy End"
Chris Nelly
113. Aeryl
BTW, anyone interested can go to and make their very own house sigil.

Like This:
114. Gesar
House Ganiev is a glaring owl over a diagonal background, red on the upper side and white on the lower. The House's words are "We remember running".

We are undeniably very cool.
116. kolchin04
She really touched close to R+L=J in this one. Really nice insight to the issue with feeding the dragons as well.
Rob Munnelly
117. RobMRobM
She's really sharp today. Picked up on problems with Dany being nice to slaves. Picked up on issue of where Dany is going next and what her goal should be. Picked up on Jorah issues. etc.
Peter Stone
118. Peter1742
Picked up on the issue of feeding dragons, as well. Which is what causes her to chain her dragons up, which leads to Meereen being attacked.
Vincent Lane
119. Aegnor
GarrettC@30 in main thread,

I've kind of wondered if some of Dany's later story line got inspiration from the Iraq war, but I think the book came out too early for that. But probably similar conflicts were an inspiration. The leaders of Meereen were truly terrible. The slave empire they have setup is a blight on Essos. But her intervention was a misserable failure from the perspective of helping out the people of Meereen . Similarly the Iraqi leadership pre-war was a horribly brutal dictatorship, but did the U.S. intervention to remove that leadership (and the chaos that followed) help the Iraqi people?

In either case it isn't something that can definitively be answered without several decades of separation. If Iraq becomes a paragon of democracy and freedom in the middle east, does that mean it was "worth it"? Same for Meereen. The similarities are pretty striking and it makes me wonder if it was intentional.
120. GarrettC

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my thoughts. One of the nice touches about Dany's campaign that I avoided mentioning in the main thread (though it happens in ASOS, which is as far as I've read, it would I think still be a spoiler for where Leigh is) was that the government Dany left behind her, for all intents and purposes to uphold her vision, was almost immediately ineffectual and overthrown. It's a nice touch because it forces her to question the morality of her quest (or at least her methods), which is something she should definitely be doing.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are more than a few good analogues historically. The US has installed lots and lots of temporary governments post-wars, and if only I was fresher on my history I'd be able to rattle off a few that might fit the bill. And that idea doesn't even scratch at Imperial Britain.

Working within the narrative as it is, at least, it does seem clear that these cities just plain have Human Rights Issues That Need to Be Fixed. Where the question has always been tough for me is whether or they should or need to be written that way. How much of the writing is paternalistic and how much of it is critiquing paternalism? I think Martin does a very fine job of making the answers to those kinds of questions deeply ambiguous, but... I also wonder... is the answer to that kind of question one that needs to be ambiguous?
Vincent Lane
121. Aegnor
Well, the issue is that there are societies like that, and you don't have to go to history to see them. Not exactly alike for sure. In some ways better, in others much worse. So in answer to whether they should or need to be written that way, I'd say that it happens in real life so why not add it to fiction. Is it really paternalism to condemn Astapor's rulers? Or North Korea's?

What this really allows you to explore is here you have this dispicable regime in Astapor, deserving of absolute destruction. But if you bungle it so badly that what you leave behind is chaos and death, even for the regime's victims, is anybody really better off? Her desire to avoid another Astapor led her to Meereen and quagmire. It is really complicated and messy, just like in real life (as the U.S. found in Iraq).
122. GarrettC
Oh, it's not the art imitates life thing that troubles me. Lots of examples from the real world fit, and we should be able to look at them critically in fiction. It's the attitude about fixing it that I think gets into the squick-zone. Paternalism is not about fixing things that need to be fixed. It's about assuming the role of Undisputer Savior of the World, and then blurring the line too much between what actually needs to be fixed and what it merely sufficiently different. To this point, at least, pretty much all of Easteros (including Qarth, as I see it), and not isolated regimes, is depicted pretty poorly and in need of fixing, and unless I have my geography mixed up (as I may, admittedly) the further we get from Westeros the worse it gets. (Keep in mind here as well that I have yet to begin AFFC.)

Of course, though, as I hinted in the main thread, Westeros is not exactly a paragon of not needing fixing, sooooo.....

But I'm totally okay with art imitating life. Where I get uncomfortable is when the imitations gets unrealistic in either direction. Too vanilla is obviously a problem. But too... uh... chocolate??? is no better.
Faiz Imam
123. FaizImam
Really excellent analysis, I hindsight feel pretty stupid to not have considered it that way.

though let me raise the most minor and nit-pickyest of points... its Essos, not Easteros. Sorry about that.

I have nothing insightful to add to this, other than to say you should not read anything else in this thread and read AFFC and ADWD forthwith. There is soo much more material, including a factor that Aegnor is speaking vaguely about only because he expects everyone to understand implicitly, to deconstruct.

Get reading and come back to us! there is some really meatly stuff waiting for you.

Also i'd suggest the next few commentors to also watch out. I'd like to minimise friendly fire if we can :)
124. Gesar
@122: I could make a point that the depicting of Essos sort of needs to be paternalistic, because Dany has a savior complex. I have a vague memory of her thinking blatantly that she will just be a great queen for Westeros and be loved by all her people because she will be fair and awesome ; and if I'm wrong about it being a quote, I think we can agree that she does think something similar... I mean you don't raise an army to claim a throne that you didn't really care for in the first place, unless you think that things needs to be fixed and you're the Chosen One to break the matrix.

Arya has no such complex and in her narrative we don't see much judgment of Braavosi (and she's coming across pretty nasty stuff too)

I also disagree that Westeros is depicted to be a better place. I mean yeah, slavery isn't allowed and there are no Dothrakis cruising around in time of peace, but it's not like anyone cares about slavery except for Ned, and there are a whole lot of background stories that happened in time of "peace" (Randyll Tarly's chasing of Sam, Tyrion and Tysha, hell, even Bran having to watch a beheading at seven years old...) that I wouldn't deem especially attractive.
125. GarrettC
FaizImam@123 Thanks! I'll step pretty lightly in these spoiler threads until I've caught up, but I'll be reading! Also, well corrected on Essos. I've seen Easteros somewhere else, and it just stuck in my mind because it mnemonics so well with Westeros.

Gesar@124 I suppose there's probably something symbolic going on in the paternalistic sense with the way everybody keeps calling Dany "mother," too. It doesn't get a whole lot more blatant than that. Also, I didn't mean to imply that Westeros is depicted is better than Essos. I did mean that Westeros is also kind of cesspool, and that that keeps things good and complicated. In the non-spoiler thread I hinted that because Westeros seems more or less just as bad, I would hope that Dany's approach to fixing it doesn't change when/if she sees it. If she treats Westeros differently from Essos, there might be a problem there. If not, then that might just solve a lot of problems.
126. Gesar
Then the moment where you lose me is when you're seeing Dany as a Westeros savior to the Eastern people. Dany is a savior because she thinks she's one, not because she happened to be born in the West. She hasn't lived in the West at any point and has no idea what living in the West looks like. She doesn't condone Dothraki war-rape and Ghiscari slavery because it goes against her set of values, not Westerosi set of values (btw war-rape definitely doesn't go against Westerosi set of values...). If you agree that Westeros is in no better shape than Essos then I don't see where your concern stems from.
127. GarrettC

But Dany was raised by Viserys, who was raised in Westeros, and who clung to Westeros and Westerosi culture like scum on grout, and who made sure that with every waking moment, Dany understood, believed in, and longed for a return to a Westerosi way of life. You don't need to be raised in the West to be culturally Western. The British spent a long time raising kids all over their former empire proving that.

As for Westeros and Essos being as scummy as each other, it's a nice touch by Martin to say that the barbarians aren't only in the East. But the problem isn't simply in recognizing barbaric behavior. It's also in the way we treat that behavior. If Dany, who I believe is culturally Western (and ymmv with that, I concede), does not treat the barbarism in the two areas the same way, then that represents a problem. Similarly, if Martin does not treat them the same way as an author, then that represents a problem.
128. Gesar
Yeah when I look in the general direction of Viserys, the first thought that comes to my mind isn't "brother figure that's going to teach me the great values of the West"... Willem Darry would be a better candidate for that, but I don't remember how old Dany was when he died, so it might or might not work...
129. GarrettC

I'm going to step back from this topic for a little while until I've had time to read more, let these conversations settle in my mind, and develop my thoughts in general a bit more clearly.

Thank you for taking the time talking to me about these things, though. It's been very interesting, and it's given me more to consider w/regard to all these questions.
Faiz Imam
130. FaizImam
I just noticed an error as I was making an excel timeline for the future.

If I see correctly, Leigh is off on her chapter numbering.

Dany's chapter is 43, not 42:

I wont bother going back to see when the error was, but the mods might want to fix it up, I imagine she was just adding numbers every week, since there are no listed numbers in the book(at least not in my copy).

My timeline is here, if anyone is curious or wants to add anything of interest, go right ahead, its fully editable:
131. Gesar
On a more gloating sidenote,

"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'm just sad that the little girl was a warlock, when she went into the water I was sure for five seconds that she was a mermaid :/
Deana Whitney
132. Braid_Tug
Thanks FaizImam,@ 130.
But don't forget, she might still be dealing with JordanCon stuff the week after JCon (4/20).
She might have great intentions, but we might only get a 1 chapter post that week.
Faiz Imam
133. FaizImam
That's fine, I've iterated my table quite a bit, such that I can move chapters and posts down without having to redo everything.

I'm not involved in conversations elsewhere, So i'll bring it up here. What were you guys opinions about last nights opener?

I was almost perfectly satisfied. Though I was disporoportinately annoyed that:
-Sam didn't become the Slayer
-Ghost was with the NW
-Mance wasn't playing an instrument, nor was he very jovial.
-Also the girl at the end should have been described as a faceless man, to intro Arya's future story.

Other than that the rest of the episode was pretty perfect.

Tywin's lines were copy pasted from the text, which was nice, though noticable. And margery's visit to the orphanage was a brilliant way to show her dynamic vs Cersie.
Chris Nelly
134. Aeryl
Sam doesn't become the Slayer until the retreat, so it's still to come.

I can forgive Ghost being with NW, b/c that will prevent Jon from having to ditch him later when they go over the Wall. I just figure he's looking at the NW as Jon's "pack". Plus they used him to save Same, so BONUS!!

I agree with you about Mance, but Ciarin Hinds still sells the charisma.

The assassin in the books was a Sorrowful Man, so I can forgive them for not bringing in ANOTHER group of assassins. At the same time, I can't really think of a way, visually, to announce the presence of a Faceless Man, w/out having him change his face, and I don't see how you get a smart assassin hanging around to show you, "LOOK, I'm a Faceless Man". Turning the assassin into a warlock was probably the best option. I don't think anyone has forgotten Jaqen H'gar, he WAS just in the last episode(which was 9 months ago, but still :^D).

I loved it. I thought all of the scenes tied in nicely to the theme of service. Margaery serves the orphans of KL. Robb's NOT serving his men. Tyrion's service is being ignored. Dany seeks people to serve her.
Rob Munnelly
135. RobMRobM
My memory from the books is that the warlocks of Qarth were assumed to have hired the assassin, so having a warlock do the deed made perfect sense to me.
Deana Whitney
136. Braid_Tug
I posted this on the show thread, but it can be repeated here.
“I want to fight for the side that fights for the living.” Great line.

However, I think Jon’s book story is more convincing reason for turning “traitor.”
Yet, but having Ghost stay with the NW, it's showing everyone where his true loyalty lies.

So if Highgarden is north of KL, how is the climate “more forgiving?” Guess it’s the ocean current thing. Or the costume designers wanting to show more skin of the lovey “soon to be queen.” I mean we’ve already seen her breast.
Chris Nelly
137. Aeryl
I thought Highgarden was to the South, aren't they always feuding with Dorne for premier kingdom of the South? And that was before the whole thing with Willas and Oberyn(though Oberyn says they are totes cool). And Oldtown is in Highgarden, and it's REALLY far to the South.

I saw a funny gif on tumblr that had that line translated, from Tyrells are hot blooded, to the Tyrells are just hot. Which is so true.
George Jong
138. IndependentGeorge
@133 - Making the failed assassin into a Faceless Man would turned their continued failure to kill Dany for the next 4 seasons into proof positive that their fearsome reputation (not established in the show) is completely undeserved. Depending on things shape out in Winds of Winter, it might also completely contradict Arya's story (the FM may well have future interactions with Daenerys, so having them try to assassinate her now would just muddy that considerably).
Chris Nelly
139. Aeryl
The Faceless Men become part of Sam's story too, if my guesses on FFC are anything to go by.
Rob Munnelly
140. RobMRobM
HG is SW of KL.

HG is City, the Reach is the region. Oldtown is in the Reach.
Faiz Imam
141. FaizImam
Is it fine to continue the conversation here? or should I move over to the TV recap comments? I prefer here since I don't have to be considerate of spoilers.

In any case, I found this 100% TV based fan theory of how the Red Wedding is organised, based around the theory that Talisa is a plant.

Makes sense, I always figured something like that, and the visual details make it a perfectly reasonable solution.

But honestly I didn't put much mental energy in that sub plot. I really don't care. I actually fast forwarded most of it last season.

But it combines the roles of (personality-less) Jeyne, Sybell, and to some extent Roose into one character who is worth investing in.
Chris Nelly
142. Aeryl
@141, I don't mind talking about it here, but I don't know if all the readers are watching. When I first came to Tor last year when S2 aired, the show discussions were considered fair ground for spoilers, in fact that was how I found Leigh's read, because it was stated that if you wanted to stay spoiler free, go to the that instead of the show recaps.
143. Ephidel
Oh god, it begins. Say it with me folks.

George Jong
144. IndependentGeorge
@140 - It's another reason why I think that in the long-term, the Tyrells have the potential to be far wealthier than the Lannisters. Gold mines eventually run out, but Oldtown is the 2nd-largest port in Westeros, and the Reach has an enormous agricultural surplus to trade. We've already seen that, like most Westerosi nobles, Tywin looks down upon trade and commerce, whereas the Tyrells and the Hightowers seem to embrace it.
145. Gesar
Okay, I've just been introducted to A+J = T for the very first time. After like, four years.

My god. It's unbelievable how blind I can be when I don't think things through.
146. FaizImam
Yeah, I never figured it either. Not a big deal.

The evidence is scant few lines spread out far and wide. It only takes a moment of inattentive reading to miss it.

Even now i'm not 100% convinced, but its a pretty good theory.
Chris Nelly
148. Aeryl
Scott Silver
149. hihosilver28
Interesting. What evidence do we have from the books that it is a possibility? From my memory, I can't remember anyone commenting on Aerys having a thing for Joanna, but I do forget small "insignificant" details like that one. Like how I completely blew over the fact that there was a horn in the bundle with the dragonglass and it's now with Sam in Oldtown and is likely the Horn of Winter.
Deana Whitney
150. Braid_Tug
@ 149, I think the only "evidence" is speculation.
Others might have the text quotes handy. What I remember from the theory is at:
1) Aerys liked to claim "King's Right" and sleep with anyone he wanted - be they married or not, willing or not. And he either visited the Rock before Tyrion’s conception, or Joanna was in KL with her husband prior to his conception.
2) Tyrion - one of his eyes might be a very dark "purple", which is a Dragon thing.
3) Tyrion's daddy refusing to believe he is his.
4) Tyrion's fascination with Dragons.

But there is even less evidence for this theory than for Jon being legitimate.
Chris Nelly
151. Aeryl
Someone pointed out to me, that in GOT, for a series names Ice & Fire, only Jon, Tyrion and Dany have any exposure to it. Tyrion asks Bronn to make a fire to draw out the Hill , Jon uses fire to kill a wight, and Dany uses it to birth her dragons. Which might not MEAN anything.

So far all the evidence is circumstantial.
152. Gesar
Also it has been stated as a reason for Tywin's hatred of Aerys that Aerys had an attraction towards Joanna (amonst the very many reasons that Tywin had to dislike Aerys, ofc)
And the first description ever made of Tyrion was made by Jon in a Game of Thrones, and he speaks of "hair so blond it seemed white".
This + fascination with dragons + all that @150 said make it quite compelling. Less obvious than the other Targaryen offspring, but still compelling enough for me to headdesk myself =)
153. Gesar
@151: this is interesting and cool, thank you for pointing it out.

Also note that Dany's mother, Jon's mother, and Tyrion's mother died in childbirth. The dragon must have three heads, but maybe Aegon isn't one of them...

I'm going to register so I can edit next time =)
Chris Nelly
154. Aeryl
OK, she missed out on Vargo Hoat at Harrenhal vision.

The one about Sansa, of course went over my head the first time.

Sad to see she's talking herself into the Wyllas theory, but at least she talked herself out of the Ashara theory.

OK, she figured out the one about Hoat! HA! I'm glad she's figured out Jaime's in love w/Brienne, but sad that she thinks something will come of it. Jaime hasn't grown THAT much. I bet she'll be tickled when THE GREAT TWIN LOVE AFFAIR OF ALL TIME fizzles out on Jaime's return.
Julian Niquille
155. Gesar
Okay I shall not ramble henceforth but

Other character who had mismatched eyes just like Tyrion => Shiera Seastar, Targaryen bastard.

To me the most obvious hint for R+L=J has always been that when Cersei asks Eddard if he would do anything for his children, Eddard thinks of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. Not Jon. Also reinforced when right after that, he is able to say to Robert that he is going to take care of his children without lying, because he means his bastards => Ned doesn't consider bastards as something else than children, so there's no other reason for him not to mention Jon at that point.
at the end of aFfC, Jaime dreams of his mother, and she talks about the future Tywin wanted for his children: his son a knight and his daughter a queen. No Tyrion. That's EXACTLY the same thing.

I will proceed to headdesk some more.
Chris Nelly
156. Aeryl
Remember though, that remembrance is from before Tyrion's birth, as that's when she died. Not necessarily conclusive.
157. corejay
So, last time I posted a more speculative post I went too far. Don't want to do it again but yould like to post anyway. I've seen R+L=J posts on the main comment threads before, so I don't think this would be out of question, but I don't trust my own assessment any more. So, what do you think about the following?

I... don't think Ashara is Jon's mother. I also don't think it's Wylla. Why? Because then I see no reason for Ned not to tell Jon and Cat who Jon's mother was. It's really unusual for Ned to be so cruel towards his wife he loves so dearly, and even more to Jon, who he loved too. Unless he had a good reason for not telling them. But Ashara? What's the danger in telling Jon that his mother is a dead Dornish noblewoman? What's the danger in telling Cat she doesn't need to worry about Jon's mother because she's dead? And even more so in the case of Wylla.

No, I can see only one scenario for Jon's mother that would require strict secrecy from Ned. And it's neither Ashara nor Wylla...
Julian Niquille
158. Gesar
I guess you're right... I'll stick with the overall theory despite that tho

Btw do we know about this grieving wolf howling in the rain? Nymeria? Summer? Or someone else?
Scott Silver
159. hihosilver28
@155. Gesar
As you have now taken the black (name), I can give you the words:

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

Welcome to the black, and all the benefits therein, like editing posts! :)
Scott Silver
160. hihosilver28
The grieving wolf should be Grey Wind at the Red Wedding.
161. Jeff R.
Also, (Book) Tyrion's hair is extremely pale; closer to Targyren white than Lannister blonde.

Quick question: have we ever found out exactly how Dolorous Edd wound up on the Wall?
Deana Whitney
162. Braid_Tug
Headdesking at all the short woman said, because I totally forgot about everything she said

“I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs."
Totally love that image!
Marie Veek
163. SlackerSpice
@161: Doesn't say. Wiki of Ice and Fire says he was born "to a lesser branch of the House Tollet", and that he was raised in fairly poor housing - maybe the Wall was a more appealing option.
George Jong
164. IndependentGeorge
Aerys + Joanna is my least favorite fan theory, because it completely ruins the Tywin/Tyrion dynamic. Tyrion is the most like Tywin of all his children, and yet is hated for it; if Tyrion is Aerys' bastard, then that is all lost, and Tywin actually does have reason for treating him like dirt.
165. EvvilClosetMonkey
I agree with IndependentGeorge on this. There is certainly circumstantial evidence supporting the theory and I wouldn't be surprised if Tyrion is one of the heads of the dragon (though being a Targ is not necessary for that to be true). However, the most convincing argument against A+J=T in my mind is a meta one. It doesn't make sense as a story. All that depth that is built up in the Tyrion/Tywin dynamic is lost for what? Yet another secret Targ? To me, that makes for a worse story so I believe it is a Red Herring.

Maybe it's GRRM's way of adding gray to Tywin. After all, his treatment of Tyrion (while not laudable) is more understandable if A+J=T
Chris Nelly
166. Aeryl
@164, I don't see it that way. Doesn't matter who his genetic father is, Tywin raised him and he learned from him.

@160, Or Nymeria. Grey Wind doesn't live for too much longer after Robb dies. Maybe even before, to ensure they could get to Robb safely. Or Lady, mourning from the afterlife as her brother meets her there.
167. FaizImam
I always assumed the wolf howling alone in the rain was Jon's scene the chapter before when he was pulling the arrow out of his leg.

He effectively "lost" Ygritte.

Made sense to me.

Wasn't Grey Wind killed at about the same time as everyone in the Hall?

I hindsight, I'm going with Arya mourning after the wedding.
Julian Niquille
168. Gesar
There is probably a matter of Tywin not being 100% sure whether Tyrion is his son or not. If he was sure, he probably would have had him killed, in some sort of accident or other. Yet the doubt being there is certainly enough for him not to take the risk to give Casterly Rock to a Targ'. And at the end, when Tyrion ends up killing him, the doubt is no longer possible for him: in his eyes, his son wouldn't do that. I don't have a basis for that but it allows a kind of father-son relationship.

Anyway, when considering what it *ruins* in the story, the Tywin-Tyrion connection, you should also consider what it helps the story with. It gives the three heads of the dragon the same genetic background (and maybe a same father btw, as I've read an Aerys + Lyanna = Jon theory that made me wonder.) It helps with the foreshadowing of Tyrion being a king / drawing a large shadow. It explains why Varys goes out of his way to help him, when he didn't for Ned. It helps with the foreshadowing of Tyrion with dragons. It helps refocus the Valonqar prophecy on Jaime. It gives a new foreshadowing tone to "all dwarfes are bastards in their father's eyes." and "Don't look at me that way, bastard. I know your secret. You've dreamt the same kind of dreams." Also that time when Genna told Tywin that Tyrion was his true son and he got so upset that he didn't speak to her for six months... That sounds like the kind of thing one would pick up on a reread, after the reveal has been done.

Sounds to me a lot would be explained / enlightened, and one thing would be hindered (or simply changed).
Deana Whitney
169. Braid_Tug
Re: J+A=T & R+L=J

At this point, I'm starting to not care!
What I want is for Someone - In STORY - to know and give everyone else in story a clue!
Because Jon’s not dead. If he’s dead, there really is no hope for series at all.

Was also hoping that with GRRM's new website look he would post a differnt "peak" at WoW, but was disappointed there too.
170. EvilClosetMonkey
I think it's possible Tywin is suspicious that Tyrion isn't really his son, though I'm not sure on the timeline enough to know if it was even a physical possibility. Either way, I'd say that Tywin's words at the end are both meant to hurt Tyrion and because he does believe a true son of his wouldn't have shot him. Now, true son can be different things, so...

I'm going to address each point separately here:

1. Genetic Background
I'm not sure that it does help the story to have all 3 heads with the same genetic background. Not sure it hurts it either but I'm pretty indifferent to the parentage of the 3 heads (as far as being a head of the dragon goes). I've read the A+L=J theory and I don't buy it for a second, pretty sure that one doesn't work with the timeline.

2. Foreshadowing Regarding Tyrion's Shadow
Tyrion doesn't need to be a Targ for this to be true, in fact he already casts a large shadow regardless. There are plenty of people and even kings that cast large shadows and are not Targs.

3. Varys
Varys tried to help Ned to some degree but Ned wasn't going to be of much use to Varys in the future. Tyrion is someone that Varys would be able to use. Plus, if he's working on behalf of the Targs (which I don't actually think he is) then maneuvering him into killing Tywin serves his purpose without Tyrion having to be a Targ. There's also substantial evidence that Varys is actually a Blackfyre supporter which would make it strange that he would help Targ Tyrion.

4. Tyrion and Dragons
It does help with this point, though again I don't see the necessity. Makes perfect sense for a young, unloved boy to develop a fascination with something like dragons. There are plenty of non-Targs that are interested with dragons.

5. Valonqar
Again, not necessary for the prophecy. Jaime and Tyrion are both younger brothers so the prophecy doesn't really need to be focused. Especially since the prophecy actually says the valonqar, not your valonqar. I expect it to be Jaime but by the wording, any younger brother would fulfill it. After AFFC with the uncertainty of gender in Valyrian, one could say that any younger sibling would fulfill the exact wording.

6. The Bastard Lines
Agreed that it gives some more meaning and foreshadowing to the lines but again the lines make perfect sense without it. Tyrion is equating how he is treated with how Jon is treated and telling him he understands. Of course they both have similar dreams about having more power over their lives, etc. This one is the most compelling to me thus far though.

7. Genna & Tywin
Could be. I think it's just meant to show what low regard Tywin held Tyrion in and how blind he is to Tyrion's similarity. Also shows how blind he was to what Jaime was actually like at that point.

The relationship between Tyrion & Tywin would still have some depth but it takes a pretty big hit if A+J=T. To me, what's lost there far outweighs the minimal gains I see. But that might be based on what parts of the story resonate with me, YMMV.
Chris Nelly
171. Aeryl
@Rob, I think this is one of the areas the show has done such a good job with. When Robb is lecturing him on his broken oaths, he has this wonderful line about how they make you swear so many oaths, what do you do when they start to contradict one another? Obey your father, protect the king. Which oath do you choose? The fact that Robb has now learned this lesson makes it so poetic. And even covered in shit I swoon over Jaime. I took a test, and it said I was most like Cersei, whom I hate, but maybe that explains the Jaime love and Cersei hate! LOL
Chris Nelly
172. Aeryl
All this speculation on milk brothers has got me wanting to dig into the timeline here. But I think I'll wait until I get to SoS. The mercurial seasons prevent us from knowing how much time has passed, damn Martin. We know Joff's b-day was immediately before Robert & Co's trip to the North. Joff had another bday when Tyrion arrives in KL. So that's one year. Has he had another? I remembered thinking about this when reading so I think I'd remember. And now that he's dead I can't think of any other reliable indicator's for the passage of time. Unless the anniversary of the comet is mentioned, because it was in the sky at the beginning of CoK, during the second b-day tourney.

I do wonder if there is a hint in that story Ned tells Arya that points to Jon being older than Robb, which would indicate he's not Ned's son.
174. Zizoz
@130: Since no one's replied: the "error" with the numbering would seem to be just that Tower of the Hand counts the Prologue as the first chapter, while Leigh does not and calls the first non-prologue chapter Chapter 1.

On Tyrion's parentage -- I don't know if it's been mentioned here, but I think it was Aliroz who first proposed the composite theory: A+T+J=T, i.e. Tyrion is a chimera. This would explain the mismatched eyes. Another bit of evidence might be Tyrion Tanner, son of Lollys, of many fathers.

Personally I've never much liked the A+J=T theory, for much the same reasons as EvilClosetMonkey, and I think I'll continue to believe T+J=T for now, but this theory was surprisingly interesting to me.
Chris Nelly
175. Aeryl
Oh, so Tyrion has TWO fathers!(maybe) Neat!
176. Milk Steak
By the way Tyrion being Aerys son does absolutely nothing to help make him one of the heads of the dragon. Egg made Aerys marry his wife because their decendants would fit prophecy. Even if Aerys was Tyrion's father he wouldn't fit. Only descendants of Rhaegar, Viserys and Dany fit.

To throw away so much thematic work, so much subtext, so much good writing just to make a favorite character one of the main three is silly.
Julian Niquille
177. Gesar
@170: You are of course right that we don't need any of these things to be true for the story to work. It's just that we've seen a lot of evidence so far that Martin had already plenty of ideas about what would happen in the few next books he's already written when he wrote the first few, and we call the clues "foreshadowing" or whatever. I don't see why he wouldn't have had ideas about the books he hasn't written yet, and clue them in all the same.

So yeah, it's certainly not necessary. I just like to find directions in what I read. When a lot seems to point to the same direction, I tend to think why not rather than why.

Re: Tyrion's shadow, the exact quote is "When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king." Again, could be the moment he's the King's Hand, but it could well be something else...

Varys, well I don't think he's human to start with, and I haven't read ADwD yet, so I'm a little late on the subject of whose exact side he might be on and I probably shouldn't have mentioned him.

@176: correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that the Ghost of High Heart told them the Prince that Was Promised would be born from the Aerys-Rhaella line, not all three heads of the dragon. Since I believe Dany to be the prince that was promised, I don't see how it's a problem.

Also fail to see how the Tyrion-Tywin connection is "thrown away". Tywin manifestly has doubts about Tyrion, not certitudes, so he has to raise him as a son just in case. Most of their relationship comes from living together, Tyrion growing up with Tywin. If Tyrion isn't Tywin's son, that doesn't change. Also, most of their relationship is seen from Tyrion's eyes, Tyrion who really has no doubt that he's Tywin's son. So that doesn't change either. What I see changing is the reason for a few lines of Tywin, and the reason why he doesn't want Tyrion to get Casterly Rock. That must be where I miss things, because if that's all, that's not so much a throwaway as a shift of focus...
Sanne Jense
178. Cassanne
Also, Joanna was Tywin's full cousin, she was named Lannister before her marriage. So even if Tywin is sure, Tyrion is still family!
Rob Munnelly
179. RobMRobM
I really don't like the Aerys as father of Tyrion theory, and don't believe it, but was troubled by the "need Targ blood to be a dragon keeper" theme in ADWD. If so, where is Targ blood for Tyrion? My guess is it can't be Aerys (as Tyrion has never had in-text doubt that Tywin is his dad) so there must be some other Targ blood in the line not mentioned yet in text.
Beth Meacham
180. bam
Only descendants of Rhaegar, Viserys and Dany fit.
And Jon Snow, if the Rhaegar/Lyanna Stark theory is true.
Michal Jakuszewski
181. Lfex
The lonely wolf howling and no one hearing it. "No one" is Arya, as we learn in ADWD. I think it means Arya will forget who she is, but Nymeria will bring her back.
Julian Niquille
182. Gesar
@181: actually it already sort of happened in aFfC, the only tie that Cat of the Canals had to Arya was the wolf she was dreaming of... and suddenly Arya comes back and kills Dareon. That's an awesome catch Lfex, I'm definitely subscribing to that.
Bill Stusser
183. billiam
The exact quote is:
"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief,"
Since it says 'his' I seriously doubt it is about Arya or Nymeria. I agree with hihosilver28 @ 160 that the wolf is most likely Greywind and that dream is about the RW.
Bill Stusser
184. billiam
@ 172

I have commented before about thinking that Jon is older than Robb. I think that the baby Aegon in Dany's HotU vision is Jon and the woman with Rhaegar is Lyanna. If that is true then Jon was born before Rhaegar went off to fight at the Trident and Lyanna didn't die from childbirth.
George Jong
185. IndependentGeorge
but was troubled by the "need Targ blood to be a dragon keeper" theme in ADWD. If so, where is Targ blood for Tyrion? My guess is it can't be Aerys (as Tyrion has never had in-text doubt that Tywin is his dad) so there must be some other Targ blood in the line not mentioned yet in text.
Except most of that "need Targ blood to be a dragon keeper" stuff is complete BS, as evidenced by Quentyn Martell's death. I'm convinced that 99% of the things we hear about the Targs' special powers is Targ propaganda.

It would actually make me retch in my mouth a little if the blonde-haired, fair-skinned, purple-eyed Targs turned out to be the Master Race to whom all must bow because they are inherently superior beings destined to rule over us all. It's like finding out the Jedi are a bunch of eugenics-minded fascists whose right to rule is determined by the amount of phlebotinum in their blood.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
186. AlirozTheConfused
@174: Yes, Zizoz, it was me

Who suggested that theory

Lannisters tend to twins, and that's another layer

of evidence; but that makes Tyrion a kinslayer

absorbing his other twin in the womb

in addition to taking Joanna to her tomb.
187. Gesar
@185: where do you draw this conclusion from?
The Targs have been described as champions of fire. They are not the master-race, but the fire-race. As such, Dany doesn't die to fire, and as such it would make sense that only them get to rule dragons (not because of destiny, but because of whatever Aegon did back in the day)... Anyway, the idea that they are superior and should rule us is in no way an idea of the series. Fire was never particularly friendly toward humans, and we've historically seen what happens when we bow too long to targs.
Faiz Imam
188. FaizImam
Welp, This weeks episode means that nomatter what Leigh figures out in SOS. She can't watch season 3 until she finishes ADWD.

Good job by HBO to understand what does and does not work on TV. Just like Selmy, keeping theon hidden away till season 5 would be quite useless.

Also, i've forgotten, do we have confirmation that she'll read Dunk and Egg(one or all) after finishing SOS?
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
189. AlirozTheConfused
three pairs of chapters, and then the next pair

Is the one, you know which, where Ned loves her hair

The next two weeks there'll be no post

So five weeks, and another, for the chapter you remember most

On friday, may seventh, 2013

And here I was hoping it'd be on halloween.
Deana Whitney
191. Braid_Tug
@ 188: Yes, I think the rest of the HBO show will be a mixing of all the books. Only season 1 and 2 are "safe" if you havn't read all the books. Season 3 will be mostly SoS, but with a few other things thrown in for timeline / plot develoment.

FYI, Leigh missed her Tuesday post due to illness. She's going to post that post, next Tuesday. Not sure if her illness will affect Friday's post or not. Hoping she gets better soon.

Re: 189, maybe the 7th flowed better? or you were looking at June?
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
192. AlirozTheConfused
I meant may seventeenth.

in the year of our lord the twenty-thirteenth

But seven flowed better than seventeen and ten

I gave her an extra week for my when

because I don't trust her to not take some break

for sickness or holiday or hatching a drake

Besides, to extimate things to take longer

makes your satisfaction that much stronger

when things go right

and you know, they just might.

also, 17-5-13 is much prettier than 10-5-13

that sequence of numbers is lovely and keen.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
193. AlirozTheConfused
Brandon Lammers
194. wickedkinetic
Targs may be master race - or 'the chosen people' - If the setup is god of Ice vs. god of Fire and the only hope in stopping Walker-pacalypse is to have a few good dragons... well - its best to have them in charge every few thousand years to address the frosty problem.....

Wonder what Varys real end-game is - if he was in fact responsible for pushing the 'mad' king over the edge? Is he possibly an agent of the Ice-God? Do we know of any agents of Rh'llor's counterpart? or do most humans' side with life vs. siding with the walkers and being a zombie-sicle?
Chris Nelly
195. Aeryl
One chapter! Again! It's like she KNOWS and is just drawing it out now.

This Catelyn chapter is the one I had to put the book down and walk away. Just like Ned in GOT, lining up all his ducks in a row before confronting Cersei, only to have it fall apart. As the plan for retaking the North coalesced, I knew it would never happen.
Chris Nelly
196. Aeryl
@194, I've seen speculation that Baelish is actually working in the interests of the WW.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
197. AlirozTheConfused

In the face this is a slap!

What a shame and what a pain

to split that one event in twain

by getting off and back on the two-chapter track

go back, go back, or pick up the slack!

If it were up to me,

she'd post that event in three

chapters, and I know that's too much

to ask, but the series, as such

has all been leading up to this one scene

in design practically damascene

We've been waiting for it since the start

to split it in two just kills the art.

Please, please, can we ask for three?

Or is that too much for Miss B?
198. EvilClosetMonkey

RE: Tyrion's shadow
I guess I'm just not that hung up on the wording there. I interpret it as showing that, like a king, he will have a large influence on events, thus cast a king-like shadow. I'll readily admit that that is my interpretation and that it is one of those things that supports A+J=T though. I dislike the theory & I don't think it's true but there is enough evidence that it makes me uncomfortable, which makes me dislike it more :)
Plenty of foreshadowing if it is true but I believe that it is a red herring and maybe is GRRM's way of showing us Tywin's side of this.

RE: Varys
Once you read ADWD come back to this one. My views and theories on Varys changed considerably after ADWD.

RE: Prince who was promised
Pretty sure you're right on that. In fact, GRRM has specifically stated (many years ago) that the 3 heads of the dragon are not necessarily Targaryens.

RE: Tyrion-Tywin Connection
Again, this is a meta argument for me. Their relationship loses some of it's depth and tragedy if Tyrion isn't Tywin's biological son. If he is the son of Aerys, then Tywin was in some sense in the right for treating him the way he did (or at least it is more understandable). By Westerosi law, he shouldn't have inherited the Rock if he's not Tywin's son and if it could be proved then Tywin would have had no obligation to care for Tyrion. Sure, Tyrion's nature and proclivities (cunning, a certain ruthlessness, fondness for whores) could be taken as more nurture that nature but it loses the classic storytelling element if Tywin had an excuse for treating him like garbage (even if by our standards there is no excuse for it).

It's good that we have the suspicion, just as Tywin might have. However, Tywin hating his own son for 'killing' his wife and for being so very much like him is more powerful, imho, than him hating the child of Aerys's rape of Joanna that he is forced to raise as his own. Also, Tyrion being a kinslayer and taking the final ruthless step that even Tywin never did is more powerful than Tyrion killing the guy that isn't really his dad (even if he thinks he is) that has been so cruel to him over the years. It makes for a shallower story which is why I don't like it.

I too think the dragon blood angle is either Targ propaganda or legitimate misunderstanding. Quentyn's death shows that just having Targ ancestors isn't enough and GRRM's statement that the not all 3 heads need be Targaryen also implies that 'dragon blood' isn't necessary to be a dragon rider/keeper.
Deana Whitney
199. Braid_Tug
Oh Aliroz,
How I enjoy your posts!
Don’t despair for our Host,
Another one chapter post is on its way,
Thus you might have your say,
And see the Wedding of Red
As it should be read.

Sorry if that’s a really bad poem. I do enjoy yours, but my skill is lacking as you can see. So this will probably be my one and only attempt.
Happy Poetry Month!

Such great insights on Liegh post today. Oh how it does indeed all go wrong.
Chris Nelly
200. Aeryl
@198, That's why I like Aliroz's theory that Tyrion is both Tywin and Aerys'. That's having your narrative cake, and eating it too!
201. EvilClosetMonkey
I discussed this in the previous spoiler thread as well but I believe that Varys is a Blackfyre supporter and is playing a very long con.

I've seen that, don't buy it. Littlefinger is working for Littlefinger. All the chaos benefits him because he's better at playing off of it than most (or so he believes, so far at least he's been right). Not sure why the Others need be involved. Sure, it benefits them that Westeros is in shambles but that doesn't prove causality.
202. corejay
Agreed, Aliroz. The scene only really works if she reads all the scenes, including Sandor's attack on Arya, in one go.
203. EvilClosetMonkey
Ha, fair enough. I'm sticking with Tyrion is the son of just Tywin until we see the Lines of Blaschko on Tyrion. You're right though, could eat a lot of narrative cake off of that.

I got so excited today when Leigh started talking about how she thought the Battle for Moat Cailin would go, hope is renewing that the RW will blindside her.
Rob Munnelly
204. RobMRobM
Guys - Leigh's been sick and skipped the WoT re-read on Tuesday. I'll take a chapter from her rather than nothing anytime. We can work with her to time the RW chapters correctly.
205. Asbjorn
Re. whether she should tackle the RW and the Arya chapter together:

I do not think we should arrange for her to do this. There are three reasons:

1. It is not like the Bran/Jon chapters, where you have to read them both to understand what happens. Also, as someone pointed out some time ago, the Arya chapter works fine with the following Tyrion chapter too.
2. Setting this up might warn her that something is going to happen at this point.
3. Most importantly, she should read the chapters in her own pace. I could easily imagine if she read the RW chapter, and then wanted some time to think it over before going on to the next. We should her decide herself when the time comes.

That's just my opinion. Sorry for the english, not a native speaker :)
206. AlexRandom
I agree with Asbjorn. The RW chapter proper is the Catelyn one. Like many other readers, I had the "throw away the book and not open it for days" reaction at the end of that chapter; I'd rather Leigh has time to digest and process it without having to read immediately the next one.
207. Black Dread
@205 - She will know something nasty is coming. Every chapter (including this one) until the Red Wedding is full of foreboding. The feeling that something is horribly wrong is impossible to miss.
208. Nymeria
Also, it would be kind of a cruel one-two punch to deliver the RW chapter AND a cliffhanger that ends with Arya getting hit with an axe to the head in the same week.
Chris Nelly
209. Aeryl
@208, By the time that happened, I knew she wasn't dead. Because people still read these books, and I figured killing Arya immedeately after killing Robb & Cat, would be a bridge too far for most people.
Peter Stone
210. Peter1742
I agree: we should let Leigh read the Red Wedding chapters however she wants to. There is only one main one, and she is going to get the full experience from that whether or not she reads the following Arya chapter at the same time.

When it comes to Joffrey's wedding, though, we might want to think carefully about which chapters should be read together.
211. Gold for Petyr
@207. Black Dread

Oh I dunno. I certainly liked the sound of Robb's plan to retake the North. After they got to the Twins and didn't fight, I was lulled into complacency. Robb always pulls it out in the end after all, whispering wood, the battle of the mill, oxcross, everwhere. I certainly didn't see THAT, comming. And you see Leigh is already focused on the upcomming battle, as I was. Martin does a great job comming up with characters having fully thoughtout plans despite being immenently doomed. The same thing happens with Tyrion and the Redviper, with Joffrey even. The same thing happened with Renly. They're just going along making plans, then boom. dead.
212. Gold for Petyr
@207. Black Dread

Varys is clearly working for the Others.
George Jong
213. IndependentGeorge
I'm neutral on how the RW chapters should be grouped; the section with Bran/Jon were different because the narratives overlapped with each other directly. While Arya & Cat are in the same location, and it's a nice gut punch to get both chapters in rapid succession, it's not on the same level.

Furthermore, Leigh could very well chuck her book out the window after Cat's chapter, and asking her to read on might be interpreted as a minor spoiler.

Personally, I've been preparing by bookmarking a series of cute puppy videos on YouTube.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
214. AlirozTheConfused
From Arya's view

We see the true


of the craze

with tents

in a blaze

Buildings sundered

killing hundereds

With trebuchets

that richochet

it decuples the slaughter

(Does Cat see her daughter?

It's been so long

since I read the song

I lack proper anamnesis)

but we must practice ascesis

ultil she gets there

no matter when, no matter where
Faiz Imam
215. FaizImam
I agree that reading the last Arya chapter together is preferable, and If @Braid_Tug is correct and another one chapter week is upcoming, it should ome to pass.

In any case, if it does not end up happening, its fine. All we really lose is some more educated and considered analysis, which that final chapter certainly provides, along with the Tyrion one(and honestly, the Davos one right after).

So, after reading some chapter summaries:

Catlyn: uneasyness, but then Roose brings good news
Arya: Arrives at the twins with Sandor

Catlin: Red Wedding
Arya: Witness to the slaughter

Tyrion: Aftermath of RW, details of the betrayal
Davos: Aftermath of RW, forshadowing their trip to the wall

Not a bad way to do it.

Google doc with the full timeline:
Julian Niquille
216. Gesar
What sucks is with all the reactions on the comments about how the next few chapters should be read, it's pretty easy for Leigh to realize something big is going to happen... :/
Faiz Imam
217. FaizImam
Nothing we can do about it. If the mods are on the ball they'll tell her to just not read them.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
218. AlirozTheConfused
Well, as-is, it's only three or four comments, and I don't really think that that's anything compared to all the awful "Weddings are so much fun, aren't they?" "Such an awful Wedding. It made me see Red" "Leigh, you think this is the worst wedding ever? Just wait." stuff.

However, it probably would be best for me to delete my comment now; because the discussion has moved here, and nothing but spoilers can come of leaving it up.
Julian Niquille
219. Gesar
@212: That's not clear to me but I find it interesting that it's clear to you, could you elaborate?
220. Gold for Petyr
How else do explain his efforts to undermine every side. Certainly there's not evidence he's a Blackfyre either, but if he was, then he wouldn't put Aegon on a raft in the middle of a hostile continent. The only one's who benefit from the total disorganization of the 7 kingdoms are the Others. Its the only logical conclusion.
Julian Niquille
221. Gesar
I doubt getting dragons to hatch is good for the Others... if he wanted to help them, why would he have Illyrio give dragon eggs to Dany? His efforts to undermine every side seem to also cover the side of Ice.
Peter Stone
222. Peter1742
The first time I read these chapters, I was expecting Euron to have sailed under the rope bridge in a driving storm, with a man tied to the top of the mast wielding a knife and cutting the bridge just when Balon was crossing. That would have been epic!

Of course, we don't know exactly what really did happen, but I think that at this point, the above scenario is pretty unlikely.
223. Gold for Petyr
@221. Gesar


You think Varys knew the those eggs were gonna hatch? To quote Jorah, if he knew that he would've sat on them himself. If he knew they were going to hatch and were on Dany's side, why allow the eggs and Dany to wonder off into wilderness with a bunch or murderous tribes men. Anyone could have killed her and taken them.

In fact, Varys has pledged himself to ridding the world of Magic, magic which is the main weapon against the Others.
224. Gold for Petyr
@222. Peter1742

Faceless man.
Julian Niquille
225. Gesar
@223: so we are to assume that Varys knew the Others, the ice, were coming back, because he's been working for them from the start (i.e. 15 years at least), but in the same time he had no idea that dragons, the fire, were also coming back? That's some tunnel vision that is quite uncharacteristic of him... There are better ways for Varys to buy her an army if he doesn't want dragons specifically; it's not like Illyrio can't afford it.

As to why send her to the Dothrakis, that can be explained with any theory. You have Viserys and Daenerys wandering around: no one cares in Westeros. You have Viserys and Daenerys wandering around with three dragons: no one cares in Westeros, because dragons don't exist, duh. You have Viserys and Daenerys wandering around with forty thousand dothrakis ready to invade Westeros? Now that will raise some eyebrows. Dothrakis are known to exist and be dangerous. He puts her back on the chessboard with this move, whether he wants her as pawn or kingpin.
226. Gold for Petyr
well first of all, i'm sort of kidding about Varys working for the Others though it does make sense. More sense than him being a Blackfyre.

That being said, Dragons and the Others having nothing to do with each Other historically. The Others last appeared 8,000 years ago, and were defeated without the use of dragons. Dragons last appeared 100 years ago. They're not linked in anyway, except in Dany's dreams. (And she doesn't realize it)

As for Dany and the Dothraki, there's no reasonable expectation for her except that she going to end up dead. No one takes her seirously with her army of Dothraki, not Ned not even Robert, not really. He sends a low budget assassin and only after she gets pregnant. And Robert is the only one who cares at all. Even Illyrio thinks Dany is going to end up dead.

Its not a believable plan, unless Varys is an idiot.
Julian Niquille
227. Gesar
The Others and the Dragons are meta-linked, by the fact that we're reading the song of Ice and Fire. Also the prophecies seem to tell much of the same story (Azor Ahai, three-headed dragons... damn I'd enjoy a Rhaegar PoV^^), and again I don't think Varys should/would ignore that.

As for your last paragraph, it goes against what the books tell. Drogo is not shown to be willing to kill or harm his wife, and the Dothrakis show respect to their queen, so there's no reason to think she'll end up dead if she's accepted as Khaleesi. Robert throws a major fit on the Kingsroad because he hates the idea that Daenerys is marrying Drogo. Everyone on the council except Ned and Barristan agrees that sending an assassin to kill Daenerys is the right move because of her Dothraki connection. They were mentioning the Faceless Men as a possible assassin to send, that's not really low budgets in my standards... If that's not concern, what is?
Marie Veek
228. SlackerSpice
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
231. AlirozTheConfused
It's inconsistent writing, not sophisticated plots

the end is far from sighting, and surely there'll be lots

of books before any progress is made

with these schemes that intrigue you; that's above GRRM's pay-grade.

If you want real midieval seting, read The Cunning Of The Dove and other books by the same author. If you want intricate plans and mind-games in a grim, dark setting, read the classic japanese comic Monster. If you want intricate plans and brilliant mind-games in a non-grim-dark setting, read The Westing Game. If you simply want an awesome story, read The King's Shadow.

Really, guys, I think that you care a whole lot more about this series than the actual author does; and you've put more thought and effort into trying to decipher Varys' actions than the author put in making them.
232. Gold for Petyr
@227. Gesar

Varys doesn't know we're reading a Song of Ice and Fire. And besides, Ice and Fire are Starks and Targaeryans, Rhaegar and Lyanna. Jon Snow. Not the Others.

But then I don't think the Others are evil so... I don't think they're that important.

Dany is not in danger from Drogo. But there are other Khals, they exist in a constant state of war, traveling nomatically. Dany is a 13 year old girl, wondering around in the middle of a war zone, carrying the war zone with her where ever she goes. You have to expect her to end up dead. And that's with Drogo alive. There was always a decent chance Drogo could die in battle. And it is what the books tell us, Illyrio says as much.

They don't take her seriously. I still would have voted to have her killed, even though she's joke. Why not? Obviously talking about sending a faceless man is not the same as sending a faceless man. Talk is cheap. Taking Dany seriously, would be making some plans to defeat an invasion, trying to think up an anti-dothraki strategy. Planning a preemptive invasion of the Dothraki sea. Doing anything that requires actual time energy or cost of any kind. The way Ned orders archers to Moat Cailin becuase he precieves a threat.
233. Gold for Petyr
231. AlirozTheConfused

I don't think so. There are good criticisms of GRRM. But his books are very consistent, very logical. I think Martin does put a lot of time and energy into plots or atleast they reconcile.

You have a lot of third order guessing games that have to work, the whole series is based around characters thinking another group killed a guy we never meet and then trying to prove it while not letting on, all of which was set in motion by a third faction trying to force the actions of the second faction. Which we don't find out until the end of the third book.
Julian Niquille
234. Gesar
@232: Ice and Fire are a lot of things. I think they are at the center of a deconstruction of manichaeism, which I call ambivalence and plan to talk about a lot some time in the future. So I would agree that the Others aren't necessarily pure evil, and probably aren't, but I don't think you can limit Ice & Fire to Targ & Stark.

Look at it this way: if you're right and Varys doesn't know about dragons, then obviously it makes little sense to send her to the Dothrakis if he's really on her side.
Now if he knows the dragons are hatching, then amidst the Dothrakis is exactly where she wants to be. How long do you think she could have stayed in Pentos with three baby dragons, basically a burden rather than a protection, before they were stolen from her by merchants or sorcerers? Her being with Dothrakis provides her with people to revere and protect her, instead of an entourage that just wants to obtain her dragons. We know how long it took before the dragons are actually fit to protect her. I don't know how many places can provide that type of devoted entourage for that long. I remember how Qarth was.

Illyrio, I don't think he knows the whole plan. But well, that's just speculating.

Also I'm pretty sure killing the conqueror is a good way to stop a conquest =) It's basically the argument Pycelle used. By killing her, you avoid having to plan anti-invasion strategy, which is basically the same thing as planning an anti-invasion strategy. She's taken seriously, but they also understand how long term that is.

And obviously I agree with @233 pretty much word for word.
Chris Nelly
235. Aeryl
Still haven't read ADwD yet, but I always got the impression Varys was full of it whenever he said he was against magic. Arya believed him to be a sorceror of some sort when she overheard him with Illyrio, and I think that's a clue. My own suspicion has always been that he sacrificed his own genetalia for magical power(their are old religions with traditions of self-castration, so not outside the realm of the possible in high fantasy, IMO).

That of course does nothing to illuminate his motives, but you have to ask yourself, did he no that Dany would be in no danger if Drogo died. I mean, its Dothraki tradition that the khaleesi's of fallen khals are left alive and taken to Vaes Dothrak. If he knew that, and Varys has revealed knowledge of a great many things, then sending Dany off with the Dothraki is a way to guide her to power and ensure her survival.
236. Gold for Petyr
@234. Gesar

The problem is the Dothraki aren't really a secure place for Dany with the dragons. First of all consider Illyrio send her ships as soon as he find out about them. There are just too many things that can happen. Sure the Dothraki can defend again a front assault, but they're not good against anything stealthy. Would they be able to stop someone like Euron? I doubt it. He would take out Drogo the same way he took out Balon and then Dany would lose all her support. And its Varys who tells Robert about Dany in the first place. They could have sent a faceless man. Then she would be dead. And
237. Gold for Petyr
AND if Robert had followed Pycelle's advice then I'd agree, he took her seriously. Look don't get me wrong, he wants her dead. But Robert is pissed he only got to kill Rhaegar once. That's Robert. No one else is the least bit concerned. Pycelle isn't even concerned, he just points out the best method to kill her if that's what is to be done.
238. EvilClosetMonkey
@Gold for Petyr

There is actually a decent amount of evidence for Varys being a Blackfyre. I don't see the problem with sticking Aegon on the raft with several people that are devoted to his cause and to training him. Essos is no more hostile to Aegon than it is to anyone else and it's no more hostile than Westeros. While there isn't enough evidence to be certain, saying there is no evidence is just incorrect. The Others are not the only ones that benefit from the disorganization of the 7 kingdoms and I'm not aware of anything that actually points to him supporting them.
239. EvilClosetMonkey
Agree that Varys's actions make no sense if you assume that he wants Dany to be Queen or is concerned with her wellbeing. They make a lot more sense if you assume he's using her for some reason. While he certainly couldn't have predicted the dragons, I think it's pretty clear that he intended to precipitate a Dothraki invasion using Dany.
240. Gold for Petyr
And what exactly is this evidence?

Also, Essos is more dangerous than Westeros, generally. Besides Balons rebellion there had been 15 years of peace. Besides the stepstone pirate and the wildlings the more or less enforced the laws. Even Asha was trading oranges rather raping and pillaging. Comparatively, essos, is full of Dothraki, Sellsword companies, slavers, pirates. Any of which could overwhelm a raft with only two knights to defend it. They're almost overwhelmed by diseased men out of their mind. Aegon is in an even less safe position than Dany. Sending Gendry to the Night's Watch was safer than either of those. Aegon could have pretended to be a squire like Quentyn Martell or been put in some lord's service. Shit they could have sent him to Dorne to hangout in the Water gardens, we all know Doran can keep a secret.
George Jong
241. IndependentGeorge
Dany and the Dothraki are a distraction; Aegon was always his real play on the throne. It never mattered if Dany lived or died, or even if the Dothraki ever invaded (though one would expect that her death would have accelerated the invasion by provoking Drogo into action - "Delay, you say; make haste, I reply.") - only that Robert and the Kingdoms were focused on her, and ignoring Connington and Aegon until it was too late.

If the Dothraki invade (as seemingly intended), Aegon is the savior who united the Kingdoms to defeat the threat. If they don't invade, then they're still a good distraction which gives Connington more time to lay the political groundwork without being noticed. Dany's dragons were a wild card nobody could have predicted, and had Varys & Illyrio scrambling to integrate into their plans for Aegon.

As for the Blackfyre theory, there is one distinction I think gets consistently lost by fandom: just because Varys supports a Blackfyre doesn't mean he is one, or is even a Targ/Blackfyre loyalist. They're just a means to an end, and nothing more.

If Aegon is real, that doesn't mean Varys is a Targ loyalist; it just means the Targs are a useful piece in his power plays. If Aegon is Illyrio's son with a Blackfyre descendant on the female line, that doesn't mean they're Blackfyre loyalists. It just means the Blackfyres are a useful means of making Illyrio's son into King.

By the end of DWD, we see more results of Varys' machinations, but we still don't know his motivations for anything. Even his explanation in the epilogue is tinged with double-meanings and likely half-truths; you can't trust anything he says.
242. Gold for Petyr
241. IndependentGeorge

Yeah precisely. Except Varys can't possibly care about "Aegon" either or he wouldn't have put him on that raft.
Julian Niquille
243. Gesar
Still think you're quick to dismiss his knowledge of hatching dragons. If he's Blackfyre then ok there's no reason for him to know and it would make sense that he doesn't. But if he sides with the Others, like we were saying, how could he possibly be aware of the ice side and then provide highly symbolic dragon eggs to the fire side without knowing what he's doing...
George Jong
244. IndependentGeorge
Yeah precisely. Except Varys can't possibly care about "Aegon" either or he wouldn't have put him on that raft.
Was that Varys, or Illyrio? I can't see Varys micromanaging affairs from across the narrow sea - he seems to be responsible for the Westeros half of the plan, and Illyrio handles the details on Essos. They share intel, but distance and communications prevents them from truly coordinating, even if they share the same strategic goal.

In any event, I think you overestimate how much of a threat the the stone men are perceived as. Given that magic seems to be increasing over time, it is likely that they were a minor annoyance until very recently. Boats apparently traveled up and down the river all the time, and stories of the stone men were likely viewed by the Pentoshi the way the Northerners view the wildlings - real and dangerous enough in isolated incidents, but ultimately a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things. That of course turns out false, but the perception is what matters.
Deana Whitney
245. Braid_Tug
Leigh will now have a sticker at JordanCon that warns people about not spoiling her. Made up two sheets worth, so she can use them as her "Needle" if need be. :-)
Check out my gallery if you want to see it. I don't know how to post the image directly here.

@ RobM, I've used your suggested text!
Faiz Imam
246. FaizImam
Very nice looking.

Though practically speaking I fear its not "blunt" enough to be maximally effective...

But actualy, Now that I think about it, my solution would be a giant neon sign, so really, what do I know :/
David Goodhart
247. Davyd
Not sure how I missed the last Catelyn read but..
She’s got cause for it, Lord knows, but damn if Catelyn isn’t depressing to read. I really hope she finds out that at least one of her children besides Robb and Sansa isn’t dead before too much longer, because she’s reaching Artex-like proportions here and they’re going to need to start keeping her out of swamps soon.
Marie Veek
248. SlackerSpice

Personally, If Leigh's reaction to Catelyn's last POV chapter is just a long stream of "WHY?!", I wouldn't be surprised.
George Jong
249. IndependentGeorge
This is probably a little late, but my idea for a 'No spoilers' button would be a stick figure-type face with her eyes tightly shut and hands over the ears, with "LALALALALALALALALALA" scrawled in crude letters throughout the background.

At the bottom, a simple "No Spoilers" in nice, friendly letters.
250. pythia
Anyone else conserned with the re-read getting to the Red Wedding before the show does? I realize people are concerned about Leigh reading certain chapters together and are concerned about spoilers at Jordoncon but I'm more worried about the show. Assuming the reaction to the RW is anything like it was to Ned's death its going to be impossible to avoid spoilers after the episode airs. It will be all over the internet. I would rather Leigh get to the chapter as soon as possible than get almost there only to be spoiled by the internet.
Deana Whitney
251. Braid_Tug
Since the show has it on week 9, I think she should be okay. But it will be close.

Leigh got a good laugh out of her “No Spoilers” stickers. I didn’t see any floating around the convention, so I think people were too wrapped up in WoT world to talk about GRRM. Thus, she didn’t have to “stick” anyone.

Also per a conversation with her, as people have suspected, the clever “not spoilers” hints really are overdone. Thus, she skims the comments, rather than reading them. Because she might get spoiled otherwise.

Leigh said in a group of people that she had just read about Cat and Robb heading to the wedding at the Twins. There were a few looks passed around, but no one said anything! I was so happy!
Well a few people said “I can’t remember what happens when, so I’m going to say anything.” But that works too.

Edit to add more thoughts. was acting strange and I could post my full thoughts yesterday.
George Jong
252. IndependentGeorge
My handy Excel spreadsheet predicts Leigh getting to the Red Wedding on May 17, which is just before episode 8 airs; the show should be getting to it two weeks later (I believe HBO is delaying its schedule for Memorial Day this year).

On the other hand, IF the Purple Wedding is in episode 10 (June 9th), that's two weeks before Leigh will probably reach it (June 21). It's not quite as devastating, and it's a question mark as to where exactly S3 will end, but there's a very real possibility that Leigh will be in a diner somewhere and overhear someone say "Praise Rh'llor! Joffrey finally got it!".
Deana Whitney
253. Braid_Tug
As I understand it, Joffrey will NOT be getting married this season.
Only Red wedding and aftermath in Season 3.

Have to save stuff for Season 4, and you don't want to rush Joffrey choking. Too many of us have waited too long to enjoy it.
Faiz Imam
254. FaizImam
There is no evidence one way or another if the PW is this season or not, but I doubt it. first of all the simple lack of evidence/leaks suggests it. Also that event Starts more stories than it ends, so narratively it makes sense. Also the sheer amout of time it takes to get all the right characters in position also makes it highly unlikely.

@Braid_Tug didn't you say/hint that there would be another 1 chapter week coming up? That would mean the RW reread would be on the 24th, a mere 2 days before episode 9 "The Rains of Castamere".

Leigh is really lucky. Either way only days later at any point in the past and she would most probably be spoiled.

just make sure she doesn't have TWO more 1 chapter weeks. We've waited much too long for her to be spoiled in this way :(

PS: thanks to whomever filled in my google doc!, looks awesome.
Deana Whitney
255. Braid_Tug
@ FaizImam,
I'm just guessing that she'll have another 1 week chapter review, due to catching up with life and writing post-JordanCon. (That's what she did last year.)
Holy cow! I just realized this has been going on for 2 years!

But when we talked there, she's aware that "something" big is coming up because of all the talks on the main tread about how she should read the upcoming chapters.

But yes, the mods do keep her in that loop. So fingers crossed that everything works out to the best timeline!
George Jong
256. IndependentGeorge
But yes, the mods do keep her in that loop. So fingers crossed that everything works out to the best timeline!
Cool. Then my puppy videos won't be for naught!
Chris Nelly
258. Aeryl
Me too, Gesar, me too! We're back this Friday though, right?

George Jong
259. IndependentGeorge

Fortunately, the HBO series has taken it to another level just as Leigh was at Jordancon, so I had plenty to think about in the meantime. Man, the next three weeks are going to be fun!
Chris Nelly
260. Aeryl
Oh, didn't it though! What's really surprising to me is how SLOWLY they are building toward the RW. Instead we are getting more set up for next season, with the focus on Tyrion and Tywin(Lady Olenna's brow-beaten accountant remark broke my heart. But it also spelled out why he was the PERFECT PATSY), and Jaime's growth. Five episodes in, and we just now got a reference to Walder Frey. I really thought the fallout from marrying Talisa would play a larger role. Instead it's been more internecine amongst the Northern Lords, not much to do with the River Lords.

Also, did I miss it, but wasn't Balon Greyjoys death already announced? I'm just wondering, because someone pointed out that Selise's three fetuses in a jar(wow, they went the Loopier Than Lysa route, OK) would make handy replacements for leeches.
Deana Whitney
261. Braid_Tug
@ Aeryl, are you implying that Stannis should burn the fetuses for the "King's blood"?

Problems with that:
1) Stannis was not a King when they were born, and with the pickling, no "blood" is left.
2) It would deviate WAY TOOOO much from the books
3) Yuck!! The whole concept of keeping them to begin with was scary crazy. Burning your own dead children...I would hope that is one line Stannis would not cross.

Now I’m just disturbed and want to give my son a hug. I don’t have HBO, so have not been able to watch the show. Just read the recaps, missed that part.
Chris Nelly
262. Aeryl
I didn't suggest it, someone else did, and it was "odd" that there were three fetuses and they used three leeches. Rumor has it Mel shows up with the BWoB looking for Gendry, so who knows. They may just have her do one spell with Gendry(NOOOOOOO!) that's for Robb, and then next season another spell for Joff. But that's going with the belief that Mel's spells matter, and I don't, so we'll have to wait and see.

I don't usually get HBO either, my cable company just gives me 3 free months when I sign up, and guess how long it takes to air the show? 8^D
Deana Whitney
263. Braid_Tug
@ Aeryl,
But it also spelled out why he was the PERFECT PATSY),
Something I was waiting on for the Purple Wedding, but will ask now.

So the show implies that Tyrion is being set up as the fall guy?

Somehow I thought the Tyrells’ goal was to kill Tyrion, thus freeing Sansa for their plans. I figured that the Tyrells at least wanted Margery secure as the Queen. Maybe kill Joffery once she gave birth to an heir.
But that Joffery eating / drinking the poison meant for Tyrion was an accident.

And Littlefinger had his own plans for Sansa. So he messed up the Tyrell's plans to marry her and secure the North for themselves.

Or did I just see this whole situation wrong and it was the plan to kill Joffery from the beginning?
George Jong
264. IndependentGeorge
@262 - I did that last year - I got 4 months free, and then cancelled. This year, I only got 2 months free with 1 month paid.

@263 - I thought the plan was to kill Joffrey (before he can hurt Margaery), frame Tyrion (anulling the marriage, since it's common gossip that they never consummated), and then clear Sansa and wed her to Willas when the dust settled.
Chris Nelly
265. Aeryl
@263, Yeah, I agree with IG here. They didn't want to risk Joff hurting Margaery at all. That's why she is encouraging Joff in Tyrion's humiliation at the reception feast, so he will look like he had motive.

I saw in that scene, knowing what's coming, Lady Olenna decide that Tyrion wasn't this fierce independent man rumor had led her to believe, but instead a man who's been beaten down by his family, making him the perfect fall guy. That framing Tyrion had the added bonus of freeing Sansa was just a feature.
Rob Munnelly
266. RobMRobM
Goal was to take Joff down. He's a monster and Tommen would be more pliable as replacement. No way to pin it on Tyrells, so mostly immaterial who could get blamed for it. I don't believe it was specifically targeted to blame Tyrion to bring back the Willas marriage but any strife between Joff and Tyrion was a good thing for shifting attention from them.
Chris Nelly
267. Aeryl
So we're back tomorrow, right?


Zorila Desufnoc Eht
268. AlirozTheConfused
Sorry, Aeryl, but the answer is negatory.

Leigh's not a Nintendo-Whig; she's a Sega-Tory.

She's also my aunt, and she totally told me

that she's stopping the read 'cause somebody told she

all of the twists and turns; and now she's bored

the series is ruined; like an apple that's cored

she apologizes with all of her love

And now she's gonna read Lonesome Dove.

So we railed against spoilers; but not all did our bidding

she's stopping the read now; I say so. ......................................

Deana Whitney
269. Braid_Tug
Oh, Aliroz, you are cruel!

But I have heard it is Leigh's Birthday! So wish her well!!
(Not Kidding)
George Jong
271. IndependentGeorge
But dammit, there had damn well better be at LEAST one Stark reunion in this book or I will seriously have to throw a hissy fit. Because COME ON. Throw me a frickin’ bone here, Martin. It will not destroy your street cred to have a mere one-fifth of Catelyn’s current crushing amount of grief lifted, I totally swear. Sheesh.
Oh, you sweet summer child.
272. olethros
OK, someone must have spilled the beans. There's no way that last bit of commentary was unintentional. But if it was, HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA.
273. slybrarian
Keep your mouth shut and do as I tell you, and maybe we’ll even be in time for your uncle’s bloody wedding.
Oh, GRRM, you incredible troll.

I have to admit, at this point I was thinking that there would a tearful reunion, followed by a double wedding with Arya as the bride and Random Frey as groom. Possibly followed by a funeral for Random Frey. I guess that there is a reunion in, uh... Nymeria pulling Catelyn's corpse from the water.... yeah.
Chris Nelly
274. Aeryl
@273, Yeah it is. Make sure it's pointed out to Leigh, that she did get a Stark reunion. It'll make her feel better.

Zorila Desufnoc Eht
275. AlirozTheConfused
So, can someone delete comment number five?

It's not hip, or cool, or groovy, or jive.

By Dolphineus, and also, additionally, would

a mod delete my extra posts? I'd do so if I could.
276. RaySea
She's so excited about the wedding....makes me want to cry, it does.
David Goodhart
277. Davyd
It will not destroy your street cred to have a mere one-fifth of Catelyn’s current crushing amount of grief lifted, I totally swear. Sheesh.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
278. AlirozTheConfused
Is it a spoiler to post the following:
"We're approaching wedding # 3 of the "4 weddings and a funeral" that
this book could have been titled (if you count Rob's shotgun off-screen
wedding as number 1). Man, I am sooooooooooooooo excited. Nothing like a good ASOIAF wedding :) I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait. Aaaaargh! Oh, I've seen some debate about the chapters that should be read together coming up. I'm not sure what would be good, but I think you might not want to have another chapter come after 51 that week. Just a suggestion..."

or not?
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
279. AlirozTheConfused
doublepost toast.

the toast with the moast.
280. dougg
Augh, today's first chapter only served to remind me what a letdown Coldhands' identity turned out to be - unless there's another reveal coming for him.
Vincent Lane
281. Aegnor
Do we have a reveal of Coldhands' identity? I don't think we do.
Chris Nelly
282. Aeryl
@281, No, which is why I posted my speculation, since I haven't read ADwD where it's confirmed I'm wrong.

@278, Yes, that's crossing a line, I agree.
Peter Stone
283. Peter1742
Being north of the wall, and knowing Coldhands' connections, it seems that the only gods he would be answering prayers for are the Old Gods. Do the Seven talk with the Old Gods, or was this complete coincidence?
284. MDNY
Just curious what about my post was a spoiler? The 4 wedding? We've had 2 (Rob's and Tyrion-Sansa's) It's already known that a wedding is approaching at the Twins, and that Joffrey is due to marry Margaery soon. The funeral already happened (Hoster Tully's).
Chris Nelly
285. Aeryl
It's called an anticipatory spoiler. You're giving away something huge is gonna happen, in case you hadn't noticed while the other weddings happened, nothing noteworthy occured. Our anticipation of the next wedding is giving Leigh pings that something's up.
Deana Whitney
286. Braid_Tug
My 2 cents:
Let's leave the "4 weddings and a funeral" alone for now. It will be much more accepted and maybe even funnier after the 4th one takes place. You know, before they have to add more funerals to the mix.

@ Aeryl: I think your Coldhands post on the other thread is fine. I don’t remember enough of ADwD to remember who it was.

Oh, did Leigh have some great gems for use today!
Kicking things back off with great cackles of evil delight – for those in the know.
Rob Munnelly
287. RobMRobM
From @5

Ah, springtime! Weddings in Westeros are on the menu. Huge affairs with nobles and kings and queens and arranged marriages. Food and fun. Music and dancing. Oh how I long to hear the Rains of Castamere once more. Such wonderful memories it provokes! I think I even know this dance ...

Gack. This is straight out of the Red Wedding playbook, coming up in a few chapters. Rains of Castamere is the Lannister song - even Leigh should know that. That shouldn't be at a Frey wedding and it sends a clear signal of betrayal. Can we white that out?
288. MDNY
Okay, I can see that point, but I've seen people every week writing that they can't wait for certain upcoming weeks. And EVERY wedding seems a big deal. Rob's totally screwed up the war, Sansa's was a miserable nightmare for both her and Tyrion....Is it really that spoilerific to say I can't wait for the upcoming wedding? It seems pretty clearly that a lot is building up toward it, including both Rob/Cat and Arya/Sandor approaching the wedding independently. No matter what, it's had enough buildup that it's clearly gonna be a big deal....Though admittedly it turns out to be bigger than anyone knew.
Deana Whitney
289. Braid_Tug
@MDNY - first welcome to the party. and I didn't see the proplem with your post that @27 does.

@ 288, yes, lots of people are making a big deal about every wedding.

And more of us are trying to tell them to "Shut up and keep quite!"

At this point Leigh knows something big is coming. She admitted that at JordanCon. The trick is going to be her getting there without more of the “clever” people like @5 on the main thread.

All those “I’m not telling you the hint, but I’m hinting at the event really strongly” are the reason she doesn’t really read the comments. She can’t read them safely! Not for a week or so, after the mods clean it up.
291. MDNY
Okay, I'll drink that Kool-aid. I just didn't think what I wrote was spoilery compared to other things I've seen written on the main read comments. If I could have gone to JordanCon perhaps I'd be wiser (not to mention happier in other ways). I will endeavor to be more discerning in any future posts.
Regardless, I can't wait for the wedding! What's everyone's thoughts on pairing the chapters around it?The Arya chapters right before and after seems to fit matching them, so she could possibly do 50-52 at once, but I really feel like she won't be capable of reading another chapter after 1/3 of the remaining Stark family is slaughtered along with some other great characters like Dacey Mormont, who I know is one of her favorites.
292. Ser Tom
@291: I remember that, for me, that scene was a total "Holy Crap!" moment. I had to put the book down and walk away at that point. I had to digest and process (as they say). I suspect Liegh will have much the same reaction. Ergo, no pairing with the next chapter.
Pat .
293. dolphineus
I would love for someone to let me know why my comment was deleted.
Katharine Duckett
294. Katharine
@293 dolphineus Apologies, I thought I had mentioned it in the original thread! It was pointed out in @287 that the comment contained a spoiler, and as we're trying to be really cautious about confining spoilers to this thread alone, we decided to remove it.

It seemed like whiting out the offending line would make it clear exactly what the potential spoiler was, which is why I choose to delete it. Thanks!
Katharine Duckett
295. Katharine
@293 I do see we had another whited-out comment in that thread, so I've republished yours the same way. Just urging everyone to be extra cautious about anticipatory spoilers or spoiler hints. Thanks!
Katharine Duckett
297. Katharine
From @287 in this thread: Oh how I long to hear the Rains of Castamere once more. Such wonderful memories it provokes! I think I even know this dance ... Gack. This is straight out of the Red Wedding playbook, coming up in a few chapters. Rains of Castamere is the Lannister song - even Leigh should know that. That shouldn't be at a Frey wedding and it sends a clear signal of betrayal. Can we white that out?
I haven't read the books yet--I know, I know, unending shame!--so I'm trying to be extra-cautious about spoiler alerts and not take chances in the non-spoiler thread. Hope that makes sense!
Pat .
298. dolphineus
Hmmm ... Ok

It is not the only appearance of the song in the books.
I can see how that might be a problem though. THanks for hte explanation.
Vincent Lane
299. Aegnor

Weird. I see it as clearly in spoiler territory. It directly associates Edmure's wedding with the Lannisters. There is no obvious association between them, so drawing attention to it leads one straight to one conclusion. Trechery.
300. Gold for Petyr
Honestly, I found the purple wedding and subqequent Sansa chapters more shocking (and glorious YES LITTLEFINGER YES!). Hopefully people will shutup after the red wedding,
Chris Nelly
301. Aeryl
In some ways they are more shocking, because you thought after Robb's death, it was done. But Robb is brother to the beloved Arya nd Robb, son of stalwart Catelyn. He's not a POV, but he's the closest thing to a traditional "hero" this story's got, so it becomes easy to fall into this trap that he's untouchable.

In addition, feeling Arya's hope, then Cat's grief and Arya's distress, hits you in the feels differently than the triumph you get when Joff dies, then horror when Tyrion's blamed, then triumph again when Sansa escapes. Purple Wedding is a roller coaster, while the Red Wedding is just so sorrowful and enraging.
302. Gold for Petyr
And Yeah, Robb is the first hero we've had since..... Ned....

Then Martin does to you again, just when you start to believe its Robb's Story like you believed it was Ned's. That is great.

And the red wedding sucks you in too. The way they get their and settle in. And everyone is talking about the march north. The tension eases off. Its very well done as well.

With the purple wedding et al. I really mean the conversation with Littlefinger and Sansa as well, finding out he was behind the dwarves and Olena was in on killing Joffrey. And then Sansa's final chapter. Find out who shot J Arr. The hits just keep on comming.

Jon's storyline at the wall is pretty awesome too.

The Red Wedding is almost the anti climax as a result. Between Stannis, Jon, Oberyn and Littlefinger.
303. Auga
Red Wedding not a shock for me, as I was spoiled for it.

But the "Purple" Wedding, wow. I think the biggest shock was Littlefinger on the ship. I was screaming "No!" when I realized Sansa had escaped straight into his clutches. :( :(

So I find it kind of weird the show has spoiled that moment already by getting rid of Dontos.
Jakub Wrobel
304. ptyx
I'm confused about several posts re: Coldhands.
His identity has not been revealed yet in any of the books (ADWD included).
I believe Benjen is still the most probable possibility.
ADWD (sort of) confirms that Coldhands is not Bloodraven and other theories are less convincing.
305. Gold for Petyr
@303. Auga

What do you mean "no"? YES! The Master totally pulled of the greatest heist since Bael the Bard stole that other Stark daughter. Plus he got 2 of the 7 kingdoms. That's some Oceans 11 shit baby. And then the hits just keep on comming.
Julian Niquille
306. Gesar
@304: Leaf spoke to Bran about Coldhands and said "they killed him long ago." I doubt three years is a long amount of time for a child of the forest. I just did some research and some people seem to think he's the Night's King, which could make sense I guess.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
307. AlirozTheConfused
Dude, GoldforPetyr

Littlefinger's a pedophile responsible for thousands of deaths.

His intentions towards Sansa are just as bad as Joffrey's, but Baelish is more subtle about it.
309. Gold for Petyr
@307: Both of thoses things are untrue. Littlefinger, didn't invade the riverlands or make Cersei pass of bastards as the royal heirs. He didn't force Catelyn to kidnapp Tyrion either. He's not "responsible" for any of that.

Also, Sansa is an adult according into herself and the standards of Westeros. Everyone, from Jamie to the Hound, to Tryion and Tywin have said she's attractive in an adult manner.

And of course, I don't care about Sansa. Who care what their intentions are, as Tywin said, the girls happiness is not my concern.
Julian Niquille
310. Gesar
I don't think I enjoy the way the show has been opposing Varys and Littlefinger on a scale of good and evil. I never gave Littlefinger as much of an evil vibe as he is given here (although he does thrive in chaos, and "chaos is a ladder" was a great quote), and I doubt Varys would be horrified by the discovery (little birds die, who cares?).

This raises one major point for me: is this Martin approved? Was I supposed to like and "value" Varys that much? And how are they going to turn it around if it becomes needed?

I might have to go on a reread trip.

(on an unrelated note, ahah, someone spoiled Larry Williams again, didn't they? "I don't see why Theon is in this season", a little too directly on the money right there =) )
Rob Munnelly
319. RobMRobM
Per the showrunners and GRRM, GRRM is consulted on major plot deviations but does not have approval rights. One hopes that his counsel is taken on most issues, however.

I agree I don't see Coldhands as Benjen. Not sure who he is. I was thinking someone post-Bloodraven's time that he would have been able to control, so Night's King wouldn't work.

Re the TV show, fascinating that Mel said she would meet Arya again. Hasn't happened as of ADWD, so one expects Arya will need to get back to Westeros and join the battle against the Boltons or the Others.
Chris Nelly
320. Aeryl
I am so FUCKING pissed they killed Ros. She finally got to exercise some agency this season, and THIS is how it turns out.


She was just so damn important to the story!! She offered that low class perspective the books lack. She didn't NEED to die to prove this point, we already knew this point. It was just so gratuitious.
Marty Beck
321. martytargaryen
Sorry I haven't been contributing much, but I've been lurking regularly!

Re. post-RW shockers...for me the biggest was the Jaime's revelation to Tyrion about his (first) wife actually not being a whore, with the implications of just how devistating Tywin's actions were to Tyrion's self-esteem and attitude toward women.
That, and Tywin's subsequent murder.
(oh, and the fact that Tywin was bedding Shae)

I kind of expected Joffers to snuff it soon, so even though it was very fun and dramatic, no real surprise.

The trial was painul to read, especially Shae's testimony.
George Jong
322. IndependentGeorge
To me, the single most chilling line in the entire series was "This singer's murdered my wife."

Just the perfectly calm way he tells such a blatant lie, immediately after murdering his wife in cold blood while taunting her ("Only Cat.")... I found that far more unnerving than anything else that happened in the story, before or since.
323. Gold for Petyr
@322: He had to have a plan before he pushed her. Otherwise it would have been a really stupid thing to do.
Chris Nelly
324. Aeryl
It was a stupid thing to do. Just because LF is calculating doesn't mean he is incapable of being moved by his passions, and his passion at that moment is Sansa who was in danger from Lysa. He surely planned to kill her at some point, he recovered with the Lords of the Vale to well for that, but he surely didn't plan to do it at that moment.
325. Gold for Petyr
Oh come on! That's silly talk. Littlefinger killed Lysa because, she won't shut up. She just told Sansa and Marrillion 1)They murdered Jon Arryn 2)They framed the Lannisters.

Lysa has to die, and Marrillion has to be nuetralized as well, immediately.

Love for Sansa had nothing to do with it, Sansa was already safe, for the moment.
326. Gold for Petyr
P.S. He didn't plan to do it at that moment befor Lysa blabbed all their secrets. But he surely had worked out a plan before he pushed Lysa. He had listened to at least enough of their conversation to know Marrillion had heard too much, since he warns Lysa of this. He was deciding what to do while listening.
Chris Nelly
327. Aeryl
She was furious at Sansa b/c LF kissed her and she saw it. Sansa was the furthest thing from safe. LF even admits that he killed her to protect Sansa. Like I said, sure he always intended to kill her and had a plan for how to secure the Vale afterward. But he surely did not intend to do it then and there. Too much of what happened afterward depended on Sansa keeping her head and keeping the story straight, which she had not yet demonstrated the capacity for.

LF's original intention was to have Lysa killed in a way that could never lead back to him or Sansa, ensuring Sansa stays free of any(more, plenty of people believe she knew of Tyrion's "plan") stain against her, which is what his plan hinges on. If people readily accept that Sansa Stark habitually murders her political enemies and rivals, she will not get the Tywin Lannister treatment, she'll get the Anne Boleyn treatment, and that's the last thing LF wants.
328. Sunny D
there is not a speculation thread here. and these are not really spoilers, by more "creation myth" type questions.
i dunno here are some ideas i was thinking about.

Ice (Sword)
We know the great sword Ice that was wielded by Ned was not the original Ice. in fact the term Ice for a sword is a Stark “legacy” type name.

Hypothesis: The original Ice/ Stark “Legacy” name of Ice actually refers to Swords Made of Ice. Similar to those wielded by the Others.

The Wall

Hypothesis: the wall was not build by Bran the Builder (stark) but was in fact build by the others.
The others built/ summoned the wall with Ice magic during their retreat from Azhor Ahai (AA) and lightbringer (Nights watch).
The wall was build to protect winter and the Others from the humans (AA). Not the other way around. The Others built the wall to retreat behind and rebuild their strenght/ army.
Bran the Builder may have built the nights watch Outposts. But the wall is an Other/Ice magic construct.
We know that the Others have strong Ice type magic. Why would a wall of ice stop them? also we have never seen ice construction methods by any human other than the wall. the others built the wall to keep the humans out and to keep the realm of ice magic alive. Are there wards like those in the wall found in any other place in westeros/the realm?

The long night
This was in fact a war between fire and ice (r’hllor? and the Others). But it is more of an analog for the summer and winter fae courts, where the humans acted as the mortal weapons of these two sides.
The Others are similar to the Sidhe, and there is a summer/fire analog that we may not have seen yet.
These Sidhe-like creatures can interbreed with humans. This creates wargs, and priests, etc. there is probably “fae” blood in people like Bran, and Mel, and maybe both types in Jon.

In the beginning of the Long Night humans fought on both sides (fire and ice). But ice/Others was betrayed. Not by AA, but by the Starks/ the Northmen. The northmen allied with AA and became the nights watch and began to defeat the Others. This lead to the eventual retreat of the Others and the construction of the wall by the Others via Ice magic. (This also might confirm my hypothesis about the Stark “legacy name of Ice. originally the Starks fought alongside the others using ice swords, before the Starks betrayed the others).
History, of course, is written by the victors.

The others
The betrayal of the Others by the humans is the reason they seem so evil. In fact they are vengeful. These creatures have long lives and presumably can still remember the betrayal. This is why they are using wights. They would rather have legions of zombies that will not betray them, instead of these fickle humans.
They have taken the ~3000(?) years since the dark night to slowly bolster their ranks. And when they bring the wall down (I think the horn of joramunn is actually an Other construct). They will have an army fueled by the memory of betrayal.

Winter is coming
This is really a warning to the Starks/Northmen that the Others are coming to revenge their betrayal.

John will not become AA, even though he could. Dany or Victarion are the better bets. Jon has been betrayed by Humans too often. I think he will become an analog to the Night King. And perhaps act as the mortal sword/mortal ruler among the others.
Deana Whitney
329. Braid_Tug
@ SunnyD: wow, way to toss from left field.
Not sure how I feel about your theories, but they are fun to read.

Re: Thread
Are we breaking the Part 2 post already? Is it slowing down for anyone else? Have to say, I like the covers used on Part 1 better. They flowed as a group more than these.
Chris Nelly
330. Aeryl
Yes, but that kind of reversal would be something Martin would do, after setting you up to believe the Others are Bad Guys, to switch it out on you.

I imagine some type of balance must needs be achieved between Fire and Ice at the conclusion of this story, but hell if I know what it is.

As far as the thread, I don't know.
Marty Beck
332. martytargaryen
I've seen no problems with this thread, btw.

Oh, a quote from my favorite poster on the Unsullied TWoP thread:

"Oh one other thing, it seems like somehting(sic) has to work out for Robb, no matter how unlikely it seems. Otherwise the North is done for and this story is coming to a close too quickly."
-Stillshimpy :(

We bookwalkers do not post on that thread.
George Jong
333. IndependentGeorge
@326, @327 - I think Littlefinger's plan involved convincing Marillon to confess in exchange for being put on a ship to Essos, faking his death via fall from the sky cells. It's a perfectly plausible cover story (it takes time to find and recover the body, during which time scavengers will have rendered the already-battered corpse unrecognizeable), and Marillon is already in a desperate enough situation that he would grasp at it eagerly (he is hated by the Lords of the Vale, and it's his word vs that of the Lord Protector and his beautiful, virginal daughter).

My guess is that Littlefinger faked his maiming as a sign of good faith (I can protect you - here, watch me lie to Nestor Royce just to show you how much you can trust me and how our fates are bound by your willingness to remain silent), and then betrayed him later to tie up loose ends. There's no way Littlefinger would risk Marillon on the loose; he had to kill him to ensure his silence.
Chris Nelly
334. Aeryl
Oh he absolutely killed Marillon. I just feel that killing Lysa and framing Marillon was a last minute impulsive decision.
335. Jeff R.
I still think that he killed Lysa because he only just then, from overhearing what she had been talking about realized/faced up to the fact that he never in fact slept with Cat and that after the duel is was Lysa pretending to be her sister.
336. Gold for Petyr
@327. Aeryl

Look you're agreeing with me. All I'm saying is he decided what he going to do before he pushed Lysa. Not long before, like 5 minutes or 2 minutes. But he didn't push her before he knew what he was going to do.

I also agree he didn't originally intended to involve Sansa. All I meant was that Lysa was no longer in a position to push Sansa out the moon door by the time Littlefinger pushed Lysa. He'd put himself between Lysa and Sansa and Sansa was away from the edge. Sansa wasn't safe in the long run, but she was for the moment. Meaning Littlefinger had time to poison her or kill her in another manner, yet he choose to push her. All the rest, he had to make up on the fly, that Marrillion was summoned because he was going to be sent away and all of that.
337. Gold for Petyr
@333. IndependentGeorge

No way he let Marrillion live. He knew way way too much, who do you think you're dealing with Tyrion, who offers free trips to Essos to nosy singers?

@330. Aeryl

I agree the Others are definitely not "bad". It would be way too cliche for Martin. He already foreshadowed this with the Children of the Forest and how the First Men originally thought they were evil and then made a peace and adopted some of their wats. So far the Others have only killed two people as far as we've seen. Not the wights, but the Others propers. Meanwhile people have killed thousands of people. Of the two, people are the evil ones so far.
Faiz Imam
338. FaizImam
What about those villagers in the GOT prologue? its not explicit, but we only saw Others there. No wights
Julian Niquille
339. Gesar
It's pretty clear to me that the Others are out for blood against all humankind. The wildlings don't differentiate between the Others and the wights, which they probably would be doing if only one of the two were attacking them. More, Craster is sacrificing to the Others to keep safe, not to the wights, which means the Others have at least some power to keep him and any other worshippers safe from the zombies. Also, wasn't Small Paul or whatever his name was killed by an Other too? I can't remember where he was from, but the Other also attacked Sam in that encounter, and Sam isn't from the North at all.

Bear in mind that just because the Others want revenge on humanity doesn't mean they can't have dimensions and need to be all evil. Humanity tends to suck, and Westeros humanity is clearly no exception. The Others could have solid motives to wish to wipe us out, and CotF (or at least their majority) might not disagree with them.
340. Sunny D
If the others are just some personification of evil , well, how dull.

GRRM, is a bit more interesting than that I hope.
Julian Niquille
341. Gesar
Really that's what you got from my post? :/
Chris Nelly
342. Aeryl
I'm guessing that the Others actually ARE the CotF, but deformed and warped by magic. Like perhaps, they cast some spell to access more power from the Gods, in an attempt to fight the First Men, and it went badly, metamorphasizing the Children into the Others.
Rob Munnelly
343. RobMRobM
Leaf in ADWD is a CoF.

Creatures with ice swords who kill rangers in AGOT prologue are not CoF and unlikely to have any intentions other than to take over the world (as they were attempting to do in ancient times until stopped by Azor Ahai and Lightbringer.)
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
344. AlirozTheConfused
I do not share your faith in GRRM, Sunny D.
Chris Nelly
345. Aeryl
Yes, because thousands year old religious texts are such accurate arbiters of history :^D

I don't think all the CotF did this, but I can see a section of them doing it, and being twisted by it. Or that the CotF were looking to create creatures to fight for them, and ended up with the Others, kinda like how the mages of Takhisis created draconians in Dragonlance.
Vincent Lane
346. Aegnor
So today the final pieces of the RW are put into place. I'm really looking forward to it, and I wonder if she will pick up on the sense of dread and impending doom.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
347. AlirozTheConfused
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
348. AlirozTheConfused
There's only one chapter today.

What does this mean for our plans for miss Leigh?
Vincent Lane
349. Aegnor
Ugh...haven't read today's post. Just the 1st paragraph. Little birdies are wrong and need to be fed to cats.
350. Sunny D
@341: Yes and No.

@344: Its not faith. Its more like: i really, really, hope i havent wasted my time reading all these contrived plot moments, just for some bland ending.
Its a plea really, even if only to myself.
352. Mark R
The next two weeks are going to be delicious.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
353. AlirozTheConfused
Is the show going to beat miss Leigh to the slaughter?

And the non-reunion between a fish and its daughter?
Chris Nelly
354. Aeryl
If the RW takes place in Ep 9, she should read it before it airs.

5/12 Ep7

5/17, Pre-RW
5/19 Ep8

5/24 RW
5/26 Ep9-RW

Which is really important, as she won't be able to stay away from it.

But yeah, someone needs to tell her it's one next week, three the week after that.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
355. AlirozTheConfused
Well, as our semi-leader

and official post-reader

and unnofficial representative,

I say, however doubtful and tentative

I say that that that someone) should be well,

yourself, Aeryl.

I mean, you are the sofa king, and the idea ain't that hard to sell.

P.S. Thanks, Aeryl! I appreciate the suggestions and the help. :)
356. zambi76
There will be no GOT airing on 5/26 because of Memorial Day so we can really relax. Still not sure she will even be able to do 51/52 together since most people tell me they couldn't read on.
Vincent Lane
357. Aegnor
That's why 51 should have been the final chapter that week. Like I said above, little birdies need to be fed to cats.
Chris Nelly
358. Aeryl
He asks if word has been sent to Winterfell and the king, and reels when he hears the news

You GUISE, When I read that I thought the next sentence was about the RW! I was all like, YOU SKIPPED IT, WTF!!!! I forgot all about what everyone thinks happened to Bran and Rickon, knowing they ain't dead.

@355, Just so you know, the correct pronunciation rhymes with sell and well, if that helps your iambic pentameter.
Chris Nelly
359. Aeryl
Well if we request three one week, and she can't finish move one, that works too. I think the important part is that 50 & 51 don't get split correct? I don't have the books onhand to check.
Vincent Lane
360. Aegnor
I would have been perfectly fine to do 48 and 49 today, 50 and 51 (RW) next week, and then 52 and 53 the week after. That would have been a fairly good breakdown. Of course that's screwed now.
Chris Nelly
361. Aeryl
Well I asked to only do 49 next week, so we'll still get 50&51 together if she heeds.
Irene Hipo
362. zambi76
I wouldn't confuse her with more demands yet. Either it's 49/50 and 51/52 or the 5/24 reading, well, will also just be one chapter because of NOOOOOOOOO!
Vincent Lane
363. Aegnor
@362 Yeah, at this point people just need to shut the hell up about it. It doesn't really matter too much how it is laid out. It would have been good for the RW chapter to be the last for that week, as it is the type of chapter that requires some time to recover from. Other than that it doesn't really matter.

What matters to me is that I was really looking forward to her reactions to this week's Catelyn chapter, and to her reaction to the RW next week. Now I'm just disappointed and annoyed and impatient.
364. MDNY
I agree that the important thing should be ending with the red wedding. It's just not possible to truly tackle another chapter after Robb, Cat, and the Stark hopes are killed completely. The Starks will still be out there, of course, but as a power they're out of the running for a while at least (until Jon becomes the 3rd dragon rider, but that's due to his Targaryan blood not Stark blood, and Leigh hasn't made that connection). I'm just not sure about the wisdom of the chapter choices for that reason, though in general I agree it's not a big deal and people shouldn't get worked up about which chapter comes when. I just think the Red Wedding makes an exception to that, because reading Arya's chapter after reading that Robb and Cat are killed is really kinda difficult, I definitely had to go get a drink right away.
365. Auga
What's with the need for her to read certain chapters in pairs or not?

Anyway, apparently a lot of people need to take a break after the RW chapter
Deana Whitney
366. Braid_Tug
Yep, I think we just need to accept how the break down will fall.

There have already been enough hints. And her “little bird” could be one of moderators, who has not read the book, and misinterpreted the sheer number of suggestions about how the break down should happen.

Anyone else really wish GRRM had numbered his chapters? Because of Leigh’s read, I’m now looking for the chapter numbers and get annoyed when they are not there. But my RW chapter and the Purple Wedding chapter are marked with post it notes so I don’t lose how far we are from them.

Edit: Just doubled check the next two weeks.
If she is up to reading a second chapter after RW, best to put Cat and Arya's together. Get all the blows out at once. Expecting a "Headdesk" or a "Throw book across room / I hate you GRRM" moment.

Oh, it's just going to be delicious - in such a schadenfreude way.
George Jong
367. IndependentGeorge
The only 'pair' that I really cared about was Jon & Bran's parties crossing at Queenscrown; that mattered because the POVs intersected, and it made sense to read them together.

The 1-2 punch of Cat & Arya hurts like hell and works well together, but it's really not necessary to read in tandem, and there's way too much meta foreshadowing that something big is going down.
Bryan Cogswell
368. shmoo
Blah - if someone told me what chapters i needed to read together it would have hurt my reading of the books - she is now expecting something. Wouldn't it be better - in the future - to just let her read at her own pace? Isn't whatever is saved in linking chapters together lost in telling her that said chapters should be linked?
David Goodhart
369. Davyd
*snort*[quote]That said, pregnant or not, there’s no way we’ve seen the last of Ygritte even if she wasn’t part of the party coming to attack the castle. That little soap opera is far from over, y’all.
Even beyond the RW.. there are some pretty shocking deaths. This little gem is going to come back to bite her Real Soon Now.. lol. I don't know about you, but I wasn't necessarily shocked at Ygritte's death, but I was rather shocked at the abrupt off-screen nature of it. I was thinking there was going to be a Y/J duel to the death, which would have been pretty epic, considering.
Rob Munnelly
370. RobMRobM
Leigh should understand by now that just because chapters are linked doesn't mean that something extraordinrily tragic is going to happen. In the Bran-Jon one, it was just cool. She could assume the same coming up. I'd just prefer not to leave her in medias res once the RW kicks into gear.
Sky Thibedeau
371. SkylarkThibedeau
@350. GRRM will resort to a tv trope to wrap every thing up. Either it's LIMBO or Jon Snow is KHAN.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
372. AlirozTheConfused
Yeah, Leigh is probably just assuming that it's something like the Bran-Jon moment from earlier.

I bet she expects an Arya-Cat moment, just the same really, but girlier.

Where we see the same conversation from Arya's and Cat's side

where they summarize their adventures to each other, in a wide

recap of the series from then until now

and we want her to get the full effect of the WOW.
Chris Nelly
373. Aeryl
I think it worked. We were kinda worried our obsession with the paired chapters was gonna give the game away, but since we harped so much on the relatively harmless chapters, we've lulled her into a false sense of security.
374. Gold for Petyr
@339. Gesar:

Small Paul and Waymar Royce are the two people.

The fact that Craste can negotiate with the Others just demonstrates that that they're not some ridiculous sure evil construction.

Yes, wanting to kill all human life, would make the Other pure evil, at leat for practical purposes.

The Wildlings do differentiate between Others and Wights. Tormund has a long lecture to Jon about how killing a Wight was no big accomplishment, Mance killed a 100.
Chris Nelly
375. Aeryl
You forgot the other guy on the patrol. The third one escaped to be beheaded by Ned.

And all of Craster's sons.

And the NW at the Fist.
377. Gold for Petyr
No I didn't.

I don't think the Others are killing Craster's sons. Why would they?

Will was killed Waymar Royce who was a Wight not an Other.

The nights watch at the fist, as far as we saw, were all killed by Wights. The only Other we see is the one Sam killed.
Julian Niquille
378. Gesar
@374: Craster isn't negotiating with the Others. He is, for all purposes, sacrificing to them (I know the sons might not be dead, but they're certainly dead to him, do it doesn't really matter if they survived). Sacrificing and negotiating are clearly separate actions, if you look at the morality they imply.
If the wights are the killers and the Others are non-evil creatures, how come the wights aren't attacking Craster after he sacrificed to the Others? We are forced to conclude that the Others have some control over the wights and prevent them from attacking Craster. Which means they don't prevent them from attacking anyone else.

About evil, I'm going to do a weird parallel. Robert wanted to exterminate the Targaryen, because some of them wronged him in the past. Vyserys and Daenerys never did anything to him, and he wanted to have them killed. He was okay with Aegon and his baby sister's death. Is Robert evil? Most people won't agree to that, they will just say he had a blinding lust for revenge or however they want to explain it, and point out that in other regards he was a decent (or at least non-evil) character.

Robert is wronged by the Targs. He wants all Targs dead. He isn't necessarily evil because xyz.
The Others are wronged by humanity. They want all humanity dead. They are pure evil?

Humanity is overrated.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
379. AlirozTheConfused
Maybe the nice, personable Others

Are just staying home, ignoring brothers

of the Night's Watch, and having some good times

waiting for when the ivory clock chimes
Rob Munnelly
382. RobMRobM
In reference to the discussion on the main thread. Pretty clear to me that Jon is likely to be older if you buy R + L theory. R and L run off; Rickard and Brandon find out and go to KL. Rickard and Brandon are killed. Decision for Ned to step in for Brandon with Cat and for Jon to marry Lysa. Marriages happen. Ned gets Cat pregnant with Robb. Under this scenario, R and L had at least a several month head start on Ned and Cat.

I don't remember how Tower of Joy (in middle of Robert's Rebellion) compares to Robb being born but I'll get it was earlier. Jon is assumed to be younger because of the cover story (Ned sleeping with someone early in Robert's Rebellion and bringing baby home after).
383. Gold for Petyr
@378. Gesar

Of course it matters if they survive. Did the Others even want Craster's sons or did he get rid of them because they weren't as easily bullied and bedded as his daughters? I think its pretty clear why he keeps the daughters and not the sons. So if the Others take care of the sons, its probably an improvement to live with them over Craster. As for a distinction bestween sacrifices and negotiation, what happens when a lord doesn't pay his taxes to his over-lord? Its a distinction without a difference, all the peace in Westeros is only enforced at sword point.

First of all, what did Ned have to say about Robert wanting to kill all the Targeryans? Second, killing a family is not the same thing as genocide. Third, of course people will say someone who wants murder children is evil.

As for the Others v. Wights, all I'm saying is we don't have very much information. The Others have only killed two people. The reasons for and motivations behind their actions are generally a mystery. Before we perscribe motives like genocide to them, we need to know more about them.
Rob Munnelly
384. RobMRobM
GFP - Others killed lots more than the two people in the Prologue. They led the attack on the Night Watch in the Prologue of ASOS and an Other killed Small Paul and tried to kill Sam and Grenn before Sam stabbed him with the dagger. There's no in-text evidence that their intentions are anything other than malign towards humans.
George Jong
385. IndependentGeorge
I have to apologize for opening the can of worms on requesting particular chapters. It's clearly gone too far, because all the talk in the main thread is making too bloody obvious something huge is happening in the next 4 chapters. This was never my intent back when I requested Bran & Jon's chapters together, but the genie is effectively out of the bottle now.
Julian Niquille
386. Gesar
No one blames you, we just have to keep flagging ;)
Rob Munnelly
387. RobMRobM
BM - sorry for the delay in getting back to you. One defect in the two per week format is that it may split up chapters that are linked and should be read together. Bran-Jon was the perfect example. Fact that they are linked doesn't mean that something bad or something good is going to happen, just that the issues go closely together and, if possible, should be read together. We've done only an ok job at explaining the above concept and I agree that we've done enough re the RW, but this issue will recur and we should't hesitate to recommend to Leigh that she adjust her reading pattern - ideally, after commenters have first discussed the issue in the Spoiler Thread so we can try to keep the messaging on point.

Rob Munnelly
388. RobMRobM
Also, it may be just my computer, but it may be getting towards time for a new Spoiler Thread to be opened.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
389. AlirozTheConfused
So, if Leigh wants to quit

After the upcoming bit

And stop the read at that spot

should we encourage her to continue or not?

Should we expect her to read

The books five and four

which to absolutely nowhere lead

and have writing that is poor?
Bridget McGovern
390. BMcGovern
RobM @387: Oh, no worries--I'm stuck in meetings all Tuesday morning, anyway :) So, first I will point out that Leigh really doesn't thoroughly read through the comments on the non-spoiler thread; at best she skims them, so I'm not entirely sure how fruitful these suggestions actually are, to be honest. But if suggestions are going to be made, they should be limited to something along the lines of "Chapters 50 and 51 should be included in the same post, because they are linked in an important way." Unfortunately, some commenters in the non-spoiler thread can't seem to keep themselves from throwing in some unnecessary foreshadowing and the odd PORTENT OF IMPENDING DOOM!!!, and I really have no choice but to unpublish those on sight, since it's really not fair to anyone actually reading along with the series. I've been happy to pass suggestions on to Leigh so far, but I really can't promise that she will always adhere to suggestions made in the comments--she needs the freedom to do her thing, and get through the books in the way that makes the most sense for her, at the end of the day!
Chris Nelly
391. Aeryl
@389, It was the RW that told me I was hooked. Of course not everyone will feel the same way, but I don't know, I just love an author that steadfastly refuses to give me what I want.

That probably helps explain a lot of things about my life, TBH.

FFC(still haven't read ADWD*presents hands for striking*) was definitely when I noticed the story suffer because of the peculiar POV format GRRM uses. He needs things to happen elsewhere, and he needs the reader to know about them, but the growth to these new characters isn't very organic. Before we meet Cersei's POV, we'd had three books to get to know her, same with Jaime & Brienne. But Asha, we'd only seen twice, the KG guy and the Dornish princess came out of nowhere. I really like Arianne though, I do wish we had more of an introduction before being thrown into that story though.
392. Gold for Petyr
@391. Aeryl:

How long did we have to get to know Davos? Some of the best characters are "new". The real problem is there are sooo many POV's I was thinking the other day, what will they do with Jamie and Brienne and Cersei while also covering Theon and Asha and probably Jon and Davos and Dany and Victarion and Tyrion and Samwell and Arianne.

There's a lot of moving pieces out there.
Chris Nelly
394. Aeryl
Yes, but Davos introduced the second book, which was still fairly early in the story, IMO, and not as jarring. Arianne comes in fresh over halfway through the story, which is a big diff to me.
Jakub Wrobel
395. ptyx
@ Aeryl
I think the problem is different. There are too many chapters for some POV's who don't actually do much nor move the story much further (like Brienne or Cersei in AFFC).
If we had more chapters devoted to the new characters, they would probably feel more inherent to the story.
Chris Nelly
396. Aeryl
See, those are the two characters I enjoyed the most, but I can never get enough of Cersei eating crow and Brienne being awesome(if naive). Plus, POD!
397. Gold for Petyr
Yeah Cersei is classic. Like reading Tyrion the a paralell universe, she's just as devious but everything always goes pear shaped. Still her musings are great. And Brienne is great as well. We could do without Areo Hotah and Aeron Greyjoy though. Those are two people who don't do things.
Chris Nelly
398. Aeryl
YESSSSS!!! Less Aeron more Asha, Less Areo more Arianne. And no Arys, only Arianne.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
399. AlirozTheConfused
Hey, Aeryl, wanna be spoiled on what happens to Jon?


Too bad.

The last two words of his story are "the cold".

So there.
Chris Nelly
400. Aeryl
I know it's intimated he's dead at the end of ADWD. I wouldn't hang out in a spoiler thread if I was worried about it.
Bridget McGovern
401. BMcGovern
@399: I got spoiled for that in a meeting, while I was halfway through the last book. (Shakes fist at the heavens...) BUT: Good luck actually staying dead, Jon Snow. Not buying it for a second, personally :)
Vincent Lane
402. Aegnor
I think the main issue with this particular chapter split is that there was no consensus or even a fully fledged discussion about it. Some suggested it, others suggested other pairings, and it was kind of dropped. If I had known that a suggestion was going to be made to Leigh I certainly would have given my input, as I think the way it turned out there was 1) a needless delay, 2) a poor chapter pairing IMO.

If this pairing would have naturally come up then I would have thought, "oh well, not the best but it'll be ok". But to have it delayed to intentionally paired this way, especially when I was so looking forward to her reaction to the Catelyn chapter, was just annoying.

I really think the intentional pairing of chapters needs to be undertaken only in situations like the Bran/Jon chapters where it is fairly obvious that they should be read together.
Vincent Lane
403. Aegnor

Yeah, I am so not buying Jon's death. Too many clues that there is something mysterious going on there.
Chris Nelly
404. Aeryl
Wouldn't it be fucked up if he came back a wight? But still in control, like Lady Stoneheart?

I dunno, but I definitely feel there is some connection between how the wights are brought back, and Beric/Lady Stoneheart.
405. Gold for Petyr
@401. BMcGovern:

Staying dead? He hasn't even died you yet. All they did was stab him a few times. He's not going to die in the first place. Especially now that we've seen how Moqorro can heal Victarion.
406. Gold for Petyr
Am I the only one who noticed Jon's wrounds smoking like Victarions after it was healed by Moqorro. I reallu just don't see a resurrection.... that would be so fucking lame. I mean this ain't LODR.
Bridget McGovern
407. BMcGovern
@405: It's true. At best, he's probably only mostly dead--I'm just saying, I wouldn't go through his clothes and look for loose change, quite yet :)

@Everybody: I've been meaning to mention that we'll be switching over to a new spoiler thread soon--not for this week's post, but the next one. THE BIG ONE.
Deana Whitney
408. Braid_Tug
@ BMcGovern: Yea! Sorry we broke this one so fast...
Rob Munnelly
409. RobMRobM
Re linked chapters - if someone sees an upcoming clump of chapters that should be read together, best to indicate that without details in the main thread and then direct people to the spoiler thread to develop a consensus. Ms. McGovern can join us in the spoiler thread and make the call on whether to advise Leigh at that point.

Re Jon Snow - I'm betting on about to be dead and then resurrected by Melissandre. Note that smoke and salt (tears) that is there in the scene, thereby fulfilling the AA prophecy.

Aeryl - not seeing a connection between wights and LOL resurrections. Two different mechanisms, as far as I can tell.
Chris Nelly
410. Aeryl
I am saying that having two different and seperate forms of resurrection is a stretch to me. There HAS to be some sort of connection. That the WW use the wights differently doesn't mean it's a different mechanism.

Considering the name of the series, this seperation from Ice and Fire has to be an artificial one, IMO(and it follows then, if R+L=J, that the two must be rejoined if balance is to be achieved), and that they are two sides of the same coin. So the resurrections are the same, it's just that when the WW do it, they do it in such a way that only the body, but not the soul or spirit, is revived.
Chris Nelly
411. Aeryl
This brings me back to something the slaver said during last week's ep. He told Dany that Yunkai had been a slave city since before the dragons rose in Old Valyria. So that implies, to me at least, that dragons haven't always been around, and that perhaps the came about from nature's attempt to counterbalance the rise of the WW is Westeros.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
412. AlirozTheConfused
Nah, I think you're putting more thought into it than the actual creators.
Chris Nelly
413. Aeryl
Considering it was the actual creator who put those words in the slaver's mouth, I think it's worth paying attention to.

And you know what, so what if we are? Do you think Homer thought college classes would be dissecting The Odyssey thousands of years after it was written, and that he thought that moment when Odysseus rises from the see soaking wet was a symbolic rebirth? Or was he just telling a story, without a lot of thought put into it?

Most writers will tell you authorial intention means didly squat when the reader gets a hold of it, because they will always impute what they want onto the story.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
414. AlirozTheConfused
I mean, it should be YOU who writes the story, Aeryl, not George Martin.

I don't attribute that involved and intricate a world with the author who seems to be very anti-worldbuilding and pro-character-development.

You're putting more thought, effort, and insight into your analysis than Martin and whoever works on the series.

You should be the author.
Chris Nelly
415. Aeryl
I am an author, thank you. Just not one anyone's ever read. :^D
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
416. AlirozTheConfused
I'm sure you could do the series better than Martin does.

Well, I'm going to be an author when I grow up.

But I'm not going to let anybody put my books on the kindle/nook/e-book.
417. MDNY
I don't think Jon is dead. He's too important to the story. And not in a "Ned is important" way. Jon is central to both the most important battle, on the "Winter is Coming" front (or the frozen zombie apocalypse as Leigh puts it) and the "Dragon has 3 heads" front, if you buy R+L=J as I do. I think it's pretty telling that Melisandre stayed at Castle Black while Stannis went off to fight. She may still believe Stannis is Azor Azhai reborn, but she clearly thinks that Jon is important, and thus happens to be handily nearby when he is fatally? wounded. If a drunk non-believing priest like Thoros can bring Beric back 6 times, and Beric can bring Cat back, surely Mel can either prevent Jon's death or bring him back.
I'm not sure I buy that dragons rose in answer to the WW/others. If you buy the dichotomy of the red priests, then maybe that's the case, but it seems to me that there are multiple religious viewpoints out there that are all at least partially true, including the old gods of the north, possibly the seven, and the god of many names/faces.
I also have a feeling that some of these larger questions about gods and magic may never be fully answered to everyone's satisfaction. Martin has said that he prefers his magic to be "magical", rather than following clearly defined rules/laws etc like a rpg. I feel like he approaches his gods the same way, and maybe the WW but we don't know enough about them (yet) to be sure what their deal is.
I am so pumped for the Red Wedding. I can't wait to see Leigh's reaction, because that one event changes the whole series even more than Ned's death did. Can't....wait.....2....weeks....
Vincent Lane
418. Aegnor
This brings me back to something the slaver said during last week's ep.
He told Dany that Yunkai had been a slave city since before the dragons
rose in Old Valyria. So that implies, to me at least, that dragons
haven't always been around, and that perhaps the came about from
nature's attempt to counterbalance the rise of the WW is Westeros.
I'm not 100% sure where I got this, but I understood it that dragons were always around in the east, but they were wild and untamed. It was Valyria who first figured out how to control them.

But I'm not going to let anybody put my books on the kindle/nook/e-book.
Umm...why exactly? The days of not releasing books in e-book form are quickly disappearing. There was a huge outcry when the last WoT book had it's e-book release delayed 4 months. That's because it was a highly anticipated book. For books that aren't quite so highly anticipated, the response by many will be just not to read it. "Hmm...that book sounds interesting. I think I'll get it. e-book format? Oh well...lets see, this other book looks ok. I guess I'll get that one."

Publishers know this and would likely never give you the option of not providing an e-book version. So I guess what I'm saying is that going in with the stipulation that you won't allow an e-book format will make it very very difficult to get published. And every year it will get more and more difficult.

Also...can I ask what your reasoning is for not allowing e-book publication?
Chris Nelly
419. Aeryl
@417, That's fair enough, but I have some comments in a previous main thread, about my opinion that the 7 gods are made up, a tool of social control, and no actual divinity behind them, something that isn't the case with the R'hllor and the Gods of the North, both of whom we've seen take a more active hand in actions. That's what prompts me to believe the real dichotomy is between Ice and Fire and that the Faith of the Seven plays no role in this, other than politically.

I can't wait for the RW either.
Chris Nelly
420. Aeryl
@418, That's also a possibility. It was just a line that jumped out at me before I even knew who wrote that episode. But that still doesn't preclude that the magical ability to control dragons rose in opposition to the WW.
Vincent Lane
421. Aegnor

Yeah, that is definitely a possiblity. It seems that might have played a part in the prophetic dream that the daughter of the Targaryen lord had that indicated they should all leave Valyria for Dragonstone. All other Valyrians and their dragons were wiped out.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
422. AlirozTheConfused
I'm not going to allow my books to become electronically distributed because that's an atrocity like unto comic sans and singular "they".

I know that isn't possible, and I know that the publishers won't allow it, and I know it won't make any money.

I'm expecting to die bald and penniless at age thirty, anyway.
Vincent Lane
423. Aegnor still haven't really given any reason. IMO e-books are awesome for so many different reasons. Once I made the switch it was an absolute revelation.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
424. AlirozTheConfused
There isn't a reason. It is the reason. Books are the thing I live for. Books are the thing I'll die for. And a book is more than a cold, unfeeling surface. A book is paper and binding and glue and the imprint of the press. A book is a joy not only to sight, but to the tactile sense as well, with the texture of paper and binding, and it is also a joy to the sense of smell and to the taste (just licking the air near a book, ahh), and a joy to hearing, the rustle of pages.

It's all five senses. An E-book/nook/kindle is only sight. The difference is that between a flower and a photograph of a flower.

The form matters just as much as the content, and the form of a physical object to be read has existed since the first man carved in the dirt with a stick. Digital words have no physical substance, even a book's ink has a few molecules of substance.

It's one of, if not the oldest traditions of mankind.

And the world is moving away from it.

I can't change the world, but at least I can refuse to be changed by the world. As long as I live, there will be at least one person who loves books.

If I can't have control enough of my art to choose both form and content, I am stripped of half the message. I'd rather not live in a world without books, a world where I cannot exclusively have my work in printed form.

I'm willing to die for my convictions, because they're what keep me alive, and they're what keep me me.

Like Thomas Moore says in A Man For All Seasons, (paraphrased), once you let go of your convictions, your whole self is water in your hands and slips away from you.

I know you'll have something clever to say that will defeat everything I say here. I don't expect to convince anyone. I've never won an argument in my life.

I just don't understand like you do. But that's okay.

I'm not Aliroz The Understanding.

I'm Aliroz The Confused.
425. Gold for Petyr
@410. Aeryl:

There are at least 5 forms of resurection. 1) Wights 2)Lord of Light 3) Patchface/drowned god 4)Qyburn reanimation. 5)Skin changer/second life

The one thing all these forms of resurrection have in common is that the original person is destroyed. That's what we lean from Beric, Patchface, the Wights. Resurrection is no get out of death free card in Martin's world. Its a form of living death a hell on earth or a reduction from person to animal or primal force.

If they want to bring Jon back as a Wight who can't think for himself or move, I have no problem with that. But don't give this Gandolph bullshit.
Bill Stusser
426. billiam
I don't think that the wights are any kind of resurection. Resurection implies bringing the dead back to life while the wights are not alive at all, just reanimated corpses. I think that the WW control the wights in a way similar to warging.
427. Gold for Petyr
Well they move around. And they seem to have some memory as Lord Mormont points out, they knew where to find him. Also there's coldhands who seems to be a Wight with indepedent command and control.
Julian Niquille
428. Gesar
@419: is there a specific reason for us to believe that R'hllor and the Old Gods exist? It seems Thoros's prayers started getting answered at the same time magic grew stronger for the Warlocks and other magic stuff. No one seems to think of the red priests as magicians who just believe their power to come from a God, and I've never understood why everyone is so quick to distinguish them.
429. Gold for Petyr
Blood Raven and Thoros do shit that actually works. The Septors just fucking prey and are useless. Even Melisandre does something right occassionally. Whether their actual gods exist or not is irrelevant, some religeons can get their preyers answered.

I would say the same thing is true of the Drowned God, that its made up, but patchface. In contrast the 7 don't seem to correspond to any known supernatural force.
Chris Nelly
430. Aeryl
Plus, we don't know Patchfaces past. He's from the Free Cities, where R'hllor is more prevalent. Perhaps he was resurrected previously(not accounting for the indication that this ability returned with dragons).
Bridget McGovern
431. BMcGovern
Braid_Tug @408: I started to respond yesterday and then got ensnarled elsewhere on the site, but the enthusiasm on these threads make me so happy (it doesn't hurt that I love this series, too :) We'll keep swapping out threads if you guys keep filling 'em up!

RobM @409: Sounds like a plan to me; I'll continue to keep an eye out, and you can always flag if it's urgent or whatnot. Thanks!
Chris Nelly
432. Aeryl

There are at least 5 forms of resurection. 1) Wights 2)Lord of Light 3)
Patchface/drowned god 4)Qyburn reanimation. 5)Skin changer/second life

1 and 2 are some type of divine resurrection, IMO, and I agree that the wights have their soul, but the WW warg them. I don't think it necessarily implies an absence of soul, as Hodor has a soul and Bran warged him. 3 I don't have enuf info to make a judgement, but I could accept the Drowned God as real. 4 is pretty much the OPPOSITE of divine resurrection, so I don't see it as related. 5 I don't see as a form of resurrection, as an extension of life. Orell's body died, but his soul was still alive. The eagle is a horcrux, pretty much.
433. Gold for Petyr
meh, its all different version of the same shit. Life after death, no matter how you cut it.

And again the important thing is, the people aren't themselves in anymore. It dimishes death, and agency and drama for people to come back from the dead. That's why I don't want Jon doing it. If he does come back, he needs to be like Patchface.

Whether there are souls or horcruxes in this universe is yet to be determined, I believe.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
434. AlirozTheConfused
Stefan Mitev
436. Bergmaniac
I am so disappointed, now we'll have to wait almost 2 weeks for the grand moment we've been expecting this reread started...
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
435. AlirozTheConfused




Zorila Desufnoc Eht
437. AlirozTheConfused
This is BAD, this is BAD, this is VERY VERY VERY BAD.

There's no way in heck that Leigh can avoid the internet explosion that the RW is gonna cause.

And we were so close to getting her there without getting spoiled! Just seven more days and we'd get that reaction that we'd been waiting for ever since she first posted her first post on the Read of ice and fire.

This is, this is, this is going to ruin the entire course of the read.

How can we tell Leigh this without spoiling her? Can she post the next two chapters tomorrow? Can she post them thursday or sometime before the episode airs?
Noneo Yourbusiness
438. Longtimefan
in two weeks, the shit, she will be lost, and it will be awesome.

The waiting is the hardest part.
439. PieTester

Take a deep breath Aliroz, HBO is taking a break next weekend for Memorial Day. Leigh's reaction will still come before the episode airs.

It's quite a marvel how well the read and the show are lining up at this point.
440. olethros
Well, congratulations. All if the reading instructions and hinting doom worked.
Scott Silver
441. hihosilver28
Aliroz, I thought you conveyed your reasons very well. I love books too, and it definitely is a part of involving all of the senses. It's a different thing to read a printed book than in another format and it feels sacred.

That said, there are many ways to encounter a story. Audio, computer, ebook. While I would agree with you that the ebook removes an almost imperceptible joy of reading by making it intangible, I have enjoyed having my Kindle for many reasons.

I don't think it would be sacrificing your convictions to put anything you wrote on an e-format, but that's why they are your convictions and not anyone elses.

Always glad to have people in the world who think differently from me and are willing to get into discussions. I also love seeing your poems pop up in the rereads, so glad you're hanging around in this neck of the internet woods.
Sudo Nym
442. Shakerag
It feels like someone is fucking with us on purpose now.
443. Gold for Petyr
444. Steve G.
eek! Made me laugh out loud...I wonder if Leigh will catch the irony later on?
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
445. AlirozTheConfused
For all Leigh knows, next chapter will be the climax of the book, but in a happy way, with Arya reuniting with Cat, the Freys pledging fealty to Robb, and all that.

Arya reuniting with Cat is the sort of thing that would prompt the response that we've been having, what with all the tension and stuff.

So, she knows something huge is gonna happen, but really, the chapters before this make it really obvious that something huge is about to happen. It's the conflux of the arc, where the stories meet and where Arya's escape from her enemies is finally completed. Of course that's important.

So, Leigh, like anyone who reads the chapters before this, knows that something huge is going to go down. But she doesn't know whether it's going to be amazingly great or soul-crushingly horrible.

So, no, it's not as if she's been spoiled, she's just picked up on the foreshadowing.

Anyways, Gold For Petyr, what makes you think she already knows what the next two chapters are?
Sudo Nym
446. Shakerag
1) What is the 'eek' reference?
2) She pretty clearly laid out that it wasn't sunshine and rainbows foreshadowing.
Vincent Lane
447. Aegnor
Nah, there is plenty of foreshadowing of impending doom in the books. Knowing something big is coming and seeing it play out are two completely different things. I was actually expecting her to pick up on it, cause I did, and she's better at this than me.
448. Steve G.
Sorry, though it was obvious...rhymes with Reek.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
449. AlirozTheConfused
Parsely, sage, rosemary, thyme

Sorry for posting not in rhyme

but as it is, I haven't the time

the bells in my head, they just don't chime

when I'm upset (reacting like Isozyme)

But soon I'll be making my poems on a dime.
Nathan Martin
450. lerris
Just FYI, though: if either Robb, Catelyn or Arya dies in the next two chapters, I may have to LOSE MY SHIT. Be ye forewarned.
Be ye doubly forewarned... not sure it's going to be safe on this continent when leigh reads it...
451. Asbjorn
@450 Triple, if you count Arya's "axe in head" line
452. fuzzy dunlop
In 2 weeks Leigh will reach critical mass and destroy New Orleans. The redidents must be warned!
453. MDNY
I'm with lerris on that one. When Leigh said she would lose her shit if either Robb or Cat dies, it made me wonder what exactly will hapen when they both die in one chapter. Forget headdesking, we may be hearing her scream from all over the country (I'm in New York and I will be prepared to hear screams drifting up from the South that week). Good god, this slow buildup has just added to the tension. I don't think it's only people hinting that tipped her off- the first time I read the books, I immediately knew something bad was due at this wedding. I remember being so relieved that Robb and Cat were offered bread and salt, and then I remembered that the Boltons and Freys have shown they have practically no honor and was prepared for the worst. Actually, I was prepared for Robb to die- it seemed kind of obvious. I mean, he and Rickon are the only members of the family to have NO chapters devoted to their POV, and Rickon's a baby. I always thought Robb was a goner long before this point, once I realized some time during ACOK that he never gets his viewpoint told, even when he's winning all these battles and making judgments.
However, Catelyn dying was a total shock- well, sort of dying. She was never my favorite character, but she was definitely one of the most interesting ones. Her death, plus the deaths of so many Stark allies, seems to end the Stark chances at "winning". Bran is still alive, but a cripple and on his way to leavinf the 7 kingdoms forever, Sansa is an idiot and will not help propogate the Stark line, Arya is my awesome little sociopath on her way to being a hit man (hit girl?), and Rickon is young and thought dead. The Starks are soon out of the running for the game of thrones, at least in the short run. Well, other than sleazy littlefinger's Sansa plan, which only comes out near the end of the book. And which makes me say ICK every time I think about it, cause Petyr Balish= one of the most truly evil characters in this series IMHO (after Gregor and Lorch, he may be next).
Rob Munnelly
454. RobMRobM
Bridget and TorChris - wow, lots of pretty obnoxious posts in the main thread that openly assume disaster rather than just nodding heads at Leigh's foreboding feelings. I'd suggest a generous application of cover up is in order.

I wouldn't mask the "eek" post, which is brilliant. It's funny because she says "eek" re Theon and in FFC Theon starts to be called by the name Reek.

Alrioz - as others are noted, the RW episode on HBO will be after Leigh's re-read post. Missed it by thaaaaat much.

Gold for Peter - I doubt that Leigh knows but she probably suspects that something bad is going to happen. The Completely Unspoiled folks on Television without Pity - half assume Robb is toast, another 1/4 assume Robb will be taken captive, his wife killed, and he be forcibly remarried to a Frey and 1/4 assume that Cat will be biting the bullet. No one has predicted the exactly correct scenario.
Sudo Nym
455. Shakerag
You know, I don't necessarily agree with everything HardTruth was saying @21 in the main thread, but I do have to say that it *does* seem like Leigh's re-reads are significantly more succeptable to "no post this week, sick/something else" than the other re-reads.
Scott Silver
456. hihosilver28
@451 Asbjorn

I hate that line. It's also when I stopped believing Martin. He uses the fake-out cliffhangers waaaaay too often to build up trust in his audience. Especially with Arya. But that's why I don't believe Jon is dead. Martin's cried wolf too many times for me to believe any of his cliffhanger endings.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
457. AlirozTheConfused

Right away, sir, right away!

I see the game you're trying to play!
458. Halibulu
@Aliroz 424-

That was... beautiful. Thank you for that. I've followed these forums for well over a year, but I never see fit to post within them. However, I felt compelled to let you know that at least one person was moved by your words, and felt a resonance within the chords of his soul.
459. Gold for Petyr
@445. AlirozTheConfused

She says she thinks its a trap. She obviously, know the trap is going to be sprung in the next two chapters. Whether she knows specifically who dies or what the trap is is besides the to me. If you know there's a wedding trap, then you've been spoiled for the read wedding. Again, when I read that section I was busy thinking about reconquering the North.
Faiz Imam
460. FaizImam
@Gold for Petyr

I read SOS in a single weekend, so I wasn't thinking much of anything, but in retrospect, and after repeat readings, the forshadowing is very strong.

Based only on what we know about Walder Frey a trap is a reasonable possibility. You add in the dark dreary tone of the last few chapters, plus Grey wind and lack of sympathetic Freys at the Twins, its very normal for her to sense a trap.

Like others have said, the TWOP people, who are very intelligent and have nothing more than 60minutes of Show to go on, and pretty certain the wedding is a trap and Robb is surely dead.

Its the most narratively reasonable trajectory.

In any case, we'll know in 2 weeks. If she knew/was spoiled, she'll tell us straight up, I'm quite certain.
461. Gold for Petyr
Foreshadowing is always obvious in retrospect. Basically, yes, its reasonable for her to predict a trap... but when you ADD all the crazy commenmts people have been making about wedding and the when chapters should be read. The whole thing goes from suspicious to certain. I was certainly afraid it was a trap. But I simply didn't believe Robb and Catelyn would actually be caught and killed. It had been a long long time since dead ned's head. And I thought they were wilely and clever, in retrospect I thought Robb was an idiot who was doomed regardless. Catelyn did her best. She gets a pass.
Vincent Lane
462. Aegnor
@Aliroz 424,

To each their own I guess. I certainly don't understand it, but I don't have to.

To me, the words themselves are what's important. The physical book itself is just the method for transfering the words from the author's mind to my mind. Whatever method does that best without "getting in the way" is the best. E-books do that for me. It is a much easier reading experience. And that's not even taking into account the incredible convenience.

As for your contention that the difference between a physical book and an e-book is the difference between a flower and a picture of a flower? I strongly disagree. The flower is the story in the mind of an author. Both the physical book and the e-book are pictures of that flower. One a physical picture, and the other a picture on an electronic device.

Audio books are a bit of a different story. That completely changes the medium through which the "reader" absorbs the story (through hearing vs sight).
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
463. AlirozTheConfused
Oh, my other reason for preferring books over e-books is that books can have braille while e-books cannot, as of yet.

I like audiobooks and how much help they've given to the blind.
464. Gold for Petyr

I listened to the entire series on audiobook. I don't think it really changes anything. I really only started listening to audiobooks alot of after ASOIAF and it doesn't really change the experience. Except its faster to listen to the audiobook unless you have countless hours to do nothing but read, you can listen to the audiobook and do other things.
Marty Beck
465. martytargaryen
@463 - "I like audiobooks and how much help they've given to the blind."

+1 this! Also, dyslexics. As one myself, I am very grateful for the audiobooks. I usually like to read them once, but I am very slow, so the audio are great for re-reads.

Back to the RW chapter - I just re-listened to the next two chapters. The thing that struck me the most is how much material Leigh would have to talk about regarding Westeros wedding customs in this chapter, leading up to the bedding and The Rains of Castermere.
Considering the subsequent events, I wonder how much she's going to say about all that, assuming she reads to the end of the chapter before she takes notes.
Faiz Imam
466. FaizImam
I think sometimes she takes notes during the first read while othertimes she does it after.

Given the very interesting customs and practices here, I can't imagine she'll read it stright through. Too many things to make fun of. It should provide some substance and structure after the obligatory AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA moment.

More impoartantly I wonder how much time she'll give between that and the following chapter. she might do it right away, or perhaps days later. who knows? given the 2 week gap, she might be there right now :)
Chris Nelly
467. Aeryl
Now you've sent me into a depressing spiral, wondering if NOW is the moment when Leigh's heart is shattered.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
468. AlirozTheConfused
No, it's NOW.

Wait, no........










It's NOW!

Oh wait, no.

It's now!
George Jong
469. IndependentGeorge
To me, the words themselves are what's important. The physical book itself is just the method for transfering the words from the author's mind to my mind. Whatever method does that best without "getting in the way" is the best. E-books do that for me. It is a much easier reading
experience. And that's not even taking into account the incredible convenience.
I totally agree; it's one thing to prefer a physical book to an e-book reader, but another thing entirely to denigrate the entire medium as being somehow fake or impure.

I would go so far as to argue the opposite - to be so wed to a physical medium instead of its content is to value self-image and style over substance. To me, it's the equivalent of saying the Bible shouldn't be translated from Latin because it diminishes the purity of its message.
Birgit F
470. birgit
If you don't want people to read your words electronically you shouldn't post on the internet (I doubt anybody prints out your comments before reading them).
Faiz Imam
471. FaizImam
I read DwD on my phone in about 36 hours, I don't think it took any enjoyment away for me.

In any case, i'm starting to feel some GOT withdrawl. No leigh, plus no HBO this weekend.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
472. AlirozTheConfused
The bible wasn't originally written in Latin.

It was written in multiple languages, one of which was Latin.

It needed to be compiled and translated into a single language, or else only those who knew all the languages of the bible would be able to read it, and even then only by going from record to record.

Latin was a language that didn't change and was understood by those with a religious education. It formed sort of a universal tongue for Europe, giving the spanish no advantage over the french over the english. Nothing to do with the message, it was more to do with the distribution; with getting the message to as many people as possible.

The main issue with translating the bible into the living, spoken languages of the day was how differently shades of meaning are in different languages; there's no perfect way to convert one language into another. The same passage in Spanish would have a slightly different connotation than in French or in English; and what was needed was a single bible, not several slightly different bibles.

Also, there would need to be rewritings every fifty years, because language changes so fast. Heck, people in the northern part of Spain spoke differently than the southern part of Spain, and those in cities spoke differently than those in the rural fiefdoms.

Having the bible be in Latin ensured that everybody was on the same page; thus preventing one cause of religious disputes and fights and wars.

Really, it has more to do with the distribution of the message than the message itself.

If you really wanted to make a point, you should have gone with the change from the handwritten word and the art of Calligraphy to the printed word and the mass-production of books. Lost art, separation from humanity, less true physical connection ot the author; but more distribution and easier to get; in addition to allowing mass literacy. Form versus content.
473. Sunny D
bible was originally written in greek IIRC. (the new testament at least, the old T was yiddish or hebrew, i think)

It was translated into latin. The latin version was used by the church and the clergy. One language, one version for all the christian church. This made the so called "word of god" inexcessable to the public, except through the clergy. Therefore the only interpretation available was the church's.
This is how it was, in europe at least, for a long time.
In fact there was no other bible, other than the latin bible, until Martin luther (1500's?) translated it to german. Thus lutherinism was born.
but that lead to Anabaptists and Munster and all sorts of crazy stuff.

That is pretty simplified, but whatever. There is probably an argument that the bible never should have been translated in the first place. To keep the word Pure, or something.

I see no reason why book and ebook are mutually exclusive. unless its a pop up book.
or like, a book with cut-out dinosaurs.
474. MDNY
Just to clarify, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and some parts in Aramaic- Yiddish didn't exist until about 1000 years ago in Eastern Europe. Also, there have been partial translations of the bible (at least the New Testament) in existence for over 1000 years, since long before Martin Luther, but the King James Bible (1611) was the first complete one done in English- I believe that many translations were completed around the same time as Martin Luther's version (including into Spanish, Basque, Portuguese, Italian, etc.) Oh, and the New Testament was originally written in Coptic Greek, which isn't ancient Greek or Modern Greek, but the language spoken in the empire of Alexander the Great and the early Roman Empire. Sorry, nerdy history buff here.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
475. AlirozTheConfused
No, KJV was not the first complete one done in English.

That was William Tyndale.

And Yay! A fellow history buff! We casn talk about John Wenlock together!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
476. Lisamarie
@473 -I don't know why I even bother because people looooove to parrot this idea, but as others have pointed out, this myth of the 'Church keeping the Bible in Latin so nobody else can read it' needs to DIE. There are multiple instances of the Bible being translated into the vernacular before Martin Luther. For example, Sts. Methodius and Cyril translated the Bible for the Slavs in 863. Also, the rise of Lutheranism was not about the translation, he had other issues with the Church (some of which were justified) and places where he differed with Church theology. But it's not like he got kicked out/left the Church over wanting to make the Bible available in the vernacular.

At any rate, not totally relevant and people more knowledgeable of history than me have commented ;) I'm just here because today COULD have been the day ;) At least we don't have to wait a whole week!
Adam S.
477. MDNY
Aliroz- any time. BTW- you're almost correct, but Tyndale was executed before he completed his translation- there were a bunch of partial translations even older than his. All I know about Wenlock is he was like the original Benedict Arnold- but love his nickname "prince of turncoats". Guess he could be Littlefinger if you go by ASOIAF as analagous to the war of the roses.
*pouts* I could have been reading Leigh flipping out/headdesking herself to the ER today. Everyone in the New Orleans area, get your earplugs ready for next week. It's gonna be a doozy.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
478. AlirozTheConfused
Well, about eighty to ninety per-cent of the King James Bible is exactly the Tyndale bible; so I consider his to be much more than a "partial" translation.

I'm aware of the pre-Tyndale partial english translations, but those really don't count to me as "complete" like Tyndale's does.

Yeah, ASOIAF kind of looks like the War of the Roses if you completely ignore religion (one of the most important aspects of society in that era) and if you blend it with all sorts of generic "mideval" times. The Hand Of The King is basically Godwin Wulfnothcild to the King's Edward The Confessor; Ramsay Bolton is Sweyn Godwinson turned up to eleven while Roose Bolton is all the worst parts of Godwin Wulfnothcild turned up to eleven.

The brotherhood without banners is Robin Hood and his merry men.

It's part War Of The Roses, part King Arthur, part Crusades, part Norman Conquest (the comet); which is kind of like mixing the 1600's with the 1800's with the 2000's with the 1900's.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, T.H. White did it brilliantly in The Once And Future King; but such anachronism rings false to a history buff like me in an ostensibly "historically accurate/realistic" tale.

If you want a real feel for a place and a time, read Alfred Duggan's books.
Adam S.
479. MDNY
Don't forget the historic Black Dinner in Edinburgh, which was the inspiration for the wonderful chapter coming up (Red Wedding). I don't have issue with Martin distorting "history"- he isn't writing "historical fiction", this is all clearly pure fiction, with a dash of fantasy that becomes a bigger piece as the books progress. My biggest issue is I have no one I'm really rooting for at this point. I just kinda want Ned to come back and rule the whole world. I love Tyrion, but he's a Lannister. Arya is becoming quite the little psychopathic assassin, Sansa's an idiot, Jon is stabbed/likely saved by Melisandre but he's stuck at the wall- I'll be disappointed if he becomes a Targaryan and decides to abandon his duty, which I doubt he will. Bran is off stuck in his really creepy tree chair. And Dany has clearly gone bye-bye from reality, like her ancestors. Oh and Sansa remains an idiot. The Martells...whatever, I like some of them, but the Red Viper was my favorite one. I still love the series, but I have no one I want to win the game of thrones at this point.
M Rouse
481. pharom
At this point I just want the Red Wedding chapter over so we can all go back to enjoying the read without all the extra drama and people trying to be cute with spoilers.

On the plus side, I have friends who only watch the show and have no idea what's coming and at least I'll get an honest reaction from them, which I assume will be glorious.
Birgit F
482. birgit
Luther's bible had more impact than earlier translations because Gutemberg printed it. The new technology made it affordable and easier to spread than handwritten copies.
Don Barkauskas
483. bad_platypus
pharom @481: If you think the cutesy spoilers are going to stop just because we've reached the RW, then I've got a bridge to sell you... :-)

To be fair, the spoilers will be about less dramatic events, but I don't ever expect them to stop.
Faiz Imam
484. FaizImam
Ditto on Asha, She and Davos are my primary protagonaists at this point. With Arya and Jaime close behind.

Everyone else is really coasting along. I hope WoW Jump starts them back up.

In any case, The cute spoiler talk will ramp right up to the max for Joffrey, but since its quicker, and much more complicated, I shoudn't be as problematic, I think.

After that its the usual small stuff. Other than a previous chapter that forshadows a specific event, we needn't worry overmuch.
Bridget McGovern
489. BMcGovern
Aliroz @485, 487: That kind of name-calling won't be tolerated on this site.

@486 and 488: I'm sorry to delete your comments as well, but the term used in the original comment is unfair and offensive to the person being discussed, and has no place here.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
490. AlirozTheConfused
Oh, the rules I rent in twain!

I shan't post like that again!

I see what I said was wrong.

My restraint will be more strong.
Rob Munnelly
491. RobMRobM
@BM - Thanks for keeping an eye on things. Looking forward to the opening of Spoiler Thread III before the website explodes with RW discussion from the book and TV show on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Bridget McGovern
492. BMcGovern
Aliroz @490: Thanks for understanding; I appreciate it!

RobM @491: Yep! I believe Chris has the new Spoiler Thread ready to debut with the new post on Thursday afternoon (no more Friday posts!)
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
493. AlirozTheConfused
So, this thread will be locked, stopped, and almost sundered?

Well, let's see if we can make it to post five hundred!

And, I know precisely what I'll say

On that fateful, fateful thursday.
Adam S.
494. MDNY
Everyone cook some rare lamb for dinner Thursday in honor of the Red wedding. And play The Rains of Castamere as you eat it. I wanna be just like Walder Frey one day!
Leigh's read is going to be ahead of the TV show for the RW, so at least she can avoid the public discussion spoilers somewhat. Oh, I know some people who haven't read the books and they're going to FREAK- in some ways it will be even more shocking in the TV series because Robb's death was a gimme in the books- he never even had his own chapter, so only Cat's death was really surprising. But in the TV series he's just as big a character as the other Starks, so killing him AND Cat? And ending the season that way? That's harsh.
Chris Nelly
495. Aeryl
My coworker, who was IN LOVE with Robb Stark, completely wrote him off when he got married, and is now all Tywin or GTFO(???)

So while I was at first concerned that she'd stop watching when I first read the RW, now I think the show has done a decent job at playing up how ineffectual he is, and how bad his decision was, that it's not going to come out of left field. They've already written him off as a true contender.
Faiz Imam
496. FaizImam
Aww, I hate missing the fun before posts get deleted.

Executive summary plz?

Anyways. 47hrs and counting!!!!
Rob Munnelly
497. RobMRobM
Re TV show, dying to see (pun intended) whether Talisa buys the farm as well and, if not, how does she escape. If it happens, watch speculation re the books (and whether there was a Jeyne switcheroo) bloom!
Adam S.
498. MDNY
Aeryl- if she's all about Tywin, she has a nasty surprise coming next season. Killed by his own son? On the toilet? Such an undignified ending for the man in charge of beating down the Starks, and who (as Tyrion observes) does not, in fact, shit gold, despite the assertions of the peasants.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
499. AlirozTheConfused
Last post starting with a four!

And some water I must pour!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
500. Lisamarie
The shit gold line is one of my absolute favorite chapter ending lines in any book, anywhere.
Vincent Lane
501. Aegnor
I'm wondering if maybe the timing of the Red Wedding post was delayed by Tor with the intention of lumping it together with the Red Wedding in the TV series to create a sort of "Red Wedding Extravaganza". As much as it would annoy me, as I really hated not having that post last week, it does make a certain kind of sense.
Chris Nelly
502. Aeryl
I think there is just too much traffic to the site on Fridays, prompting the move to Thurs, amd Leigh probably couldn't get a post ready in time for last Thurs.

@498, MDNY, It's not that she's a fan, she thinks he's an asshole, she's just at this point where she believes only assholes can get things done. But I think starting with the death of Joffrey and ending with the death of Tywin will still be a treat for her(she still despises him for how he treats Tyrion).
Chris Nelly
503. Aeryl
I think there is just too much traffic to the site on Fridays, prompting the move to Thurs, amd Leigh probably couldn't get a post ready in time for last Thurs.

@498, MDNY, It's not that she's a fan, she thinks he's an asshole, she's just at this point where she believes only assholes can get things done. But I think starting with the death of Joffrey and ending with the death of Tywin will still be a treat for her(she still despises him for how he treats Tyrion).
Adam S.
504. MDNY
In my mind, Littlefinger is actually the most impressive villain in the series to date. He literally started a war and got thousnds of people killed just to create chaos so he could rise in status (well, that plus mack on the woman he thinks took his virginity until the last chapter in this book). He is directly responsible (behind the scenes) for Jon Arryn's murdeer, Cat kidnapping Tyrion which led to the destruuction of the riverlands and Ned breaking his leg when Jaime attacked and killed his men, and the Tyrells poisoning Joffrey. Plus he pushes Lysa out of the Eyrie. He is so uncomfortably sleazy in his pseudo-sexual play with Sansa it freaks me out every time I read about it.
Chris Nelly
505. Aeryl
Season Five will be interesting, it'll be when LF's long con is finally revealed. The moment he revealed how deep his game went, was a game changer for me. I ALMOST wanted to applaud him.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
506. Lisamarie
Does anybody else have the Billy Idol song 'White Wedding' stuck in their head? Because I keep hearing "It's a nice day for a Wedding" going through my head.

I am a bit too excited for tomorrow :)

Also, BMcGovern - I am actually kind of glad you deleted the comments because I did not mean to imply that I hold the discussed person in low esteem, despite various differences of opinon, and I do think the conversation was in bad taste and could have been unecessarily hurtful.
Scott Silver
507. hihosilver28
Aeryl, remind me, what is Littlefinger's long con? To gain control of Winterfell through Sansa while retaining Harrenhall for himself? I don't remember specifically what got revealed in AFFC.
Chris Nelly
508. Aeryl
"Hey Big Brother, What have you done?"
"Hey Big Brother, Why's Jeyne the one?"
"Hey Big Brother, Who's a Lannister man?"
"Hey Big Brother, Sure this is what you want?"
"Hey Big Brother, bedding's done"

"It's a nice day to start again"
"It's a nice day for a Red Wedding"
"It's a nice day to start again'

"There is nothing fair in this world"
"There is nothing safe in this world"
"And there's nothing sure in this world"
"And there's nothing pure in this world"
"Look for something left in this world"

(That last part is word for word)
Chris Nelly
509. Aeryl
More of just how deep into the game he is, killing Jon Arryn and blaming the Lannisters, than actually revealing what his plan is. It's not exactly a long con, just a realization that almost everything that's happened, happened because of LF(whether he intended all those consequences)
Adam S.
510. MDNY
1. Had Lysa poison her husband Jon Arryn, hand of the king.
2. Had her send a lens and a letter implicating the Lanisters in Jon Arryn's death
3. Hired an assassin to kill Bran when he survived, using a dagger he claimed was Tyrion's.
4. Made an agreement with the Tyrells to have Joff killed at his wedding to Margaery, giving Sansa her "magic" hairnet
5. Had Dontos killed after bribing him into sneaking her out after the purple wedding
6. Got the Lannisters to give him Harrenhal for his service in bringing them the Tyrells, which made him a high lord despite his poor background, and allowed him to aim for the Vale.
7. Got Lysa to marry him, making him lord of the Vale, then killed her when she threatened the little girl he was into
8. Is pervy with Sansa because she's like a younger Cat, and is just a gross pedophile with her
9. Plans to have her (under his thumb) rule over the North
10. All of these plans together could give him the Vale, the North, and Harrenhall with a chance at the Riverlands

He is a very, very, VERY devious and dangerous bastard. A true villain, much more devious even than any Lannister. He even managed to keep most of this secret from Varys, his chief threat.
That about sums up what he's up to and how devious he is.
Adam S.
511. MDNY
1. Had Lysa poison her husband Jon Arryn, hand of the king.
2. Had her send a lens and a letter implicating the Lanisters in Jon Arryn's death
3. Hired an assassin to kill Bran when he survived, using a dagger he claimed was Tyrion's.
4. Made an agreement with the Tyrells to have Joff killed at his wedding to Margaery, giving Sansa her "magic" hairnet
5. Had Dontos killed after bribing him into sneaking her out after the purple wedding
6. Got the Lannisters to give him Harrenhal for his service in bringing them the Tyrells, which made him a high lord despite his poor background, and allowed him to aim for the Vale.
7. Got Lysa to marry him, making him lord of the Vale, then killed her when she threatened the little girl he was into
8. Is pervy with Sansa because she's like a younger Cat, and is just a gross pedophile with her
9. Plans to have her (under his thumb) rule over the North
10. All of these plans together could give him the Vale, the North, and Harrenhall with a chance at the Riverlands

He is a very, very, VERY devious and dangerous bastard. A true villain, much more devious even than any Lannister. He even managed to keep most of this secret from Varys, his chief threat.
That about sums up what he's up to and how devious he is.
Rob Munnelly
512. RobMRobM
No. 3 doesn't work. LF wasn't on scene to know that Bran was crippled. Pretty clear (to me) is that it was Joff trying to "do something" to help his family (the little sh*t).

However, can change no. 3 to be lying about the dagger being Tyrion's, in order to cause trouble between Lannisters and Starks.
Chris Nelly
513. Aeryl
@MDNY, #3, That was Joffrey, not confirmed, but that was how I read it. That he was tired of everyone moaning about Bran, and overheard Robert saying a more merciful thing would be to kill the boy. So he took a Valyrian knife from Robert's stores, and used it to pay the assassin. Joff thought he was doing something to make his father proud.

LF just saw an opportunity to increase the animosity between the Lannisters and Starks by saying he lost the dagger to Tyrion. But that was quickly revealed to be a lie, because Tyrion never bets against Jaime, and Jaime lost that tournament.
Adam S.
514. MDNY
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention betraying Ned in Game of Thrones, selling him out to Cersei. And managing to sneak the Kettleblacks into King's Landing, getting one of them into the Kingsguard, when they're secretly his men.
Chris Nelly
515. Aeryl
I've also read it theorized that Bronn is his man too.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
516. AlirozTheConfused

Here's hoping that Sansa and Robin kill him; and grow up to be honorable, but intelligent and clever leaders like Jon Arryn.

Yeah, it will be an awesome moment when these two reject the man who killed both their fathers and is trying to be both their fathers.
Chris Nelly
517. Aeryl
Clever and intelligent? I don't know about that.

Why was he never married? Why in the world was he still an eligible bachelor, when Hoster Tully forced him into marriage to Lysa in exchange for an alliance?

Unless you buy into the idea that the insurrection had been planned for awhile, with indications that Ned's father was busy marrying his children into Southron families, previously unheard of in the North. Then perhaps Arryn stayed single to be available for marriage alliance.

But still an intelligent man would never have backed a hedonistic idiot like Robert for king, bloodlines be damned.

Plus I secretly suspect Robin IS LF's child. I mean it's hard for me to believe that a woman of proven fecundity like Lysa would have such a hard time concieving again, unless Arryn was infertile.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
518. AlirozTheConfused
Maybe he was asexual, or homosexual.

And Robert was not nearly so hedonistic back then; if I remember correctly. The loss of Lyanna, the idol he loved (but, ironically, never truly knew and who would not have actually been the girl he thought she was) drove his proclivities towards wine, women, and food to far greater extremes.

Yes, he was known for call girls (ugh! Really, GRRM, what is it with you and your scarlet women? Do I even want to know?) before, even Lyanna knew it; but I think that after Lyanna died he really threw himself into drunkenness, scarlet women, and despair; always trying to find someone who loved him; trying to find that love again.

And, well, I'm not sure an idiot would be able to win four battles in a day; and turn enemies into friends. It appears that Robert was, once, a capable diplomat and a sweet-talker who apparently showed great potential.

The tragedy of Robert Barathoen/Barathone/Baratheno was not that he was a hedonistic idiot, it's that he became a hedonistic idiot. The tragedy isn't that he had no potential, it's that he did and he lost it.
Rob Munnelly
519. RobMRobM
Arryn was married previously, at least once and I believe twice. He had a son and heir who died during the rebellion, but did not have other surviving children. Still, he was an old man by the time of his marriage to Lysa - probably in his 40s, heaven forbid - and I guess the seed was not all that strong.
Chris Nelly
520. Aeryl
I knew he was a widow, but the impression I got from Ned's chapter remembering growing up in the Vale with Robert was that they were there alone, with no other children or Arryn's wife. It just seemed he'd been single without an heir for quite some time when the rebellion happened.

And you can't judge, look at Walder Frey in his 90's, but his advanced age could have made it harder for Lysa to concieve andwasn't she plagued with "miscarriages" too. All of which leads to me suspect Robin is LFs, and perhaps she was using Tansy tea to abort Arryn's children, awaiting the moment she could carry Petyr child again.

It's hard to judge what Robert's behavior was. He had his first bastard at 15, the recollection of the tourney at Harrenhal implied a man already incapable of much self control, Lyanna already KNEW what he was. Robert liked to IMPLY that the death of Lyanna turned him into who he became, but I don't see that at all. He didn't love Lyanna, he loved the IDEA of Lyanna, and pitched a fit that plunged a nation into war because Rhaegar took his toy.

As far as the four battles in a day, well so could Gregor Clegane, and NO ONE wants him as king.
Vincent Lane
521. Aegnor
There is also the possiblity that Lysa's forced abortion damaged her reproductive system.
Chris Nelly
522. Aeryl
@521, That's a possibility, and without knowing how far along she was when she was forced to drink the tea, it's hard to say. Early termination should have had no adverse effects. But if she hid the pregnancy until into the second trimester, possibly.
Rob Munnelly
523. RobMRobM
From ASOIF wiki:

"Jon Arryn was married three times, first to Jeyne Royce, and then to Rowena Arryn, a cousin. Neither marriage produced a child. Because he had no children, he had appointed a number of heirs who died one after another. First his nephew Elbert Arryn, the son of his younger brother Ronnel. After Elbert was executed by Aerys II, Denys Arryn became heir. He was of a lower branch of House Arryn, and had married Jon's niece. He was killed in the Battle of the Bells.
During the Rebellion, Jon had married a third time to Lysa Tully, the daughter of Hoster Tully. Their marriage was loveless. Lysa found Jon to be too old and hated his bad breath. After several miscarriages Lysa gave Jon a sickly son and heir, Robert Arryn."
Chris Nelly
524. Aeryl
When was the Battle of the Bells? Anyone know? That'd help explain how long he went without an heir. But that does feed my theory that he was infertile and that Robin is LFs, IMO.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
525. AlirozTheConfused
I agree that he loved the idea of lyanna and not Lyanna herself.

However, I think that, at one point, he had potential to take another path and not become the brutish slob that he was already becoming then.

I think it's that much more pathetic if he could have easily stepped away from becoming what he did; but didn't.

How much more loathsome and pitiful is self-inflicted flaws, and choosing a path you know will lead you astray.
Rob Munnelly
526. RobMRobM
Battle of the Bells is near the end of Robert's Rebellion. Robert was hiding in a town. Jon Connington, the Hand, surrounded the town and went house to house to find Robert and end the war. Robert fought his way out and the townspeople rang the bells in celebration. Jon Connington was deposed as hand thereafter.
Chris Nelly
527. Aeryl
Ok, so he was "heirless" for only a small time, because Tully didn't ally with them until right before the battle of the Trident, right?

Still, he backed ROBERT. Saying he was intelligent is assuming facts not in evidence, IMO.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
528. AlirozTheConfused
Okay, so maybe he wasn't intelligent.

He was still a good guy and one of the respectable characters in the series.
Chris Nelly
529. Aeryl
OK, I can give you that. He protected Robert and Ned from Aerys. He apparently governed well, aside from allowing Robert to bleed the kindgom dry..

But, I don't know why, I just dislike the man. He suggested marrying Robert and Cersei, which turned out terrible. He helped instigate the Robert's Rebellion, instead of working with Rhaegar to depose his father, which Jaime implies he was willing to do. He brought in LITTLEFINGER!!!

Now he would have needed foresight to know that things would turn out the way they did, but that doesn't mean he's exempt from criticism for those decisions.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
530. AlirozTheConfused
Oh, he's not exempt from criticism.

I just give him major kudos for surviving King's Landing with his honor intact for so long. Dude lasted way longer than Eddard did. And, besides, I don't think Robert really listened that well to anybody; and expecting someone to reign (pun intended) him in is not reasonable.

And, well, Rhaegar didn't exactly tell people he was willing to depose his father. How was anybody supposed to know that?
531. MjF
I don't remember what they are exactly, but supposedly there are hints that the tourney of Harrenhal was basically (used as) an excuse for Rhaegar and his allies to get together and plot. Aerys suspected something was up, which is why he surprisingly left King's Landing for the first time in years to be present.
532. kolchin04
Today's the day! * giddy *
George Jong
533. IndependentGeorge
Today's the day! * giddy *

I've been so wrapped up in Arrested Development I almost forgot about this! Good thing I had it marked on my something calendar. Anyway, after today, I think we can look forward to a new start to Leigh's read.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
534. Lisamarie

I feel like we can at least be reasonably confident that her shit has been lost by now though...
535. MjF
Behold, my friends, the time's at hand
the day come 'round at last
and all throughout the bunkerland
we're bracing for the blast
When Leigh finds out just how the Freys
will set some wrongs aright
I fear her usual snarky ways
won't help her in her plight.

So please be sympathetic
and keep the comments kind
as Robb and Cat are murdered
and Arya left behind.
Adam S.
536. MDNY
Do we think she actually got 2 chapters done? Or was the Red Wedding enough to make her go out and drink past the point of continuing? This is why I was apprehensive about the schedule- I think it's cruel to expect her to do another chapter after that one. Either way....SO excited.
Deana Whitney
537. Braid_Tug
Wow did this post explode in anticipation!
I know after this we will all be looking forward to the Purple Wedding and the end, but does anyone think the rabid “hint, hint, hint” will slow down on the main tread?

Or will that come after this book? Because book 4&5 just don’t have the major punch like this one does.

Oh it’s a Schadenfreude Day!

But since this pain is based on imaginary characters, I’m all over it. Been dealing with the Oklahoma tornado fall out, which is not fun. (Not me, but my friends.)

Congratulations Lisamarie, for taking the 5th Hunny!
Bring on Part III!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
538. Lisamarie
Hunny hunny hunny - my son is obsessed with Winnie the Pooh right now so that immediately brought to mind the weird song from the 2011 movie...

You know, when I read the RW the first time, I didn't quite believe the characters were dead - it's hard to trust a death of a POV character because you can't really be conscious of your own death, if that makes sense. It wasn't until I later read the outside accounts of them nailing the wolf head to Robb and dumping Catelyn in the lake that I realized he really did it.

Although Catelyn does come back later, which...not sure if I think that lessons the blow or not. Stoneheart is pretty...intense!

Also, Aliroz - I loved your Red Wedding song, thank you :)
George Jong
539. IndependentGeorge
I assume Leigh has doing this for a few days.

I've been saving up links to baby animal videos on YouTube for this day; it's all prepped and ready to go at H-Hour. Hopefully I don't get flagged as spam.
Karen Morrell
540. karenm83
@539 LMAO!! I'm sure her reaction wasn't that quiet. I imagine lots of profanity and throwing things after the intial shock wore off. I can't wait for the post, I keep checking every few minutes!!!!!!
Marty Beck
541. martytargaryen
Brace for impact, folks.

Dammit! I have a 1PM meeting on Thursdays. Enjoy without me for a couple hours.
Vincent Lane
542. Aegnor
A lot of the mistakes Jon Arryn made were only mistakes in hindsight. Robert marrying Cercei should have been a good move. Cercei (and Robert to a lesser extent) really fouled that up, but Jon couldn't have known that would happen. He brought Littlefinger in on the recomendation of his wife. Expecting that Littlefinger was a machiavellian schemer of epic proportions is not something he realistically could have predicted. Littlefinger has been overlooked and underestimated the entire time by nearly everyone.
Chris Nelly
543. Aeryl
@538 LisaMarie, Not to be a toddler, or anything, BUT THAT WAS ME!!!!!

I'm so proud of that stupid song, I'm a dork.
Vincent Lane
544. Aegnor
And why the hell am I refreshing Tor frontpage already. There's still another hour before her post goes up.
Karen Morrell
545. karenm83
@544 I think we're all dying of anticipation. I know her post doesn't normally go up for at least another hour but I keep hoping it'll make it early :/
Chris Nelly
546. Aeryl
@542, I agree, to an extent. And honestly, I'll blame Robert more than Cersei. She did try. It was only at the wedding where Edric Storm was created(I think, I remember there was a wedding) that she finally had it, and went back to Jaime. And Arryn should have seen that the daughter of Tywin Lannister would not suffer to be dishonored like that.

For LF I think he can be held accountable. Did he know who/what LF was? No, but he could damn sure see what he was doing as Master of Coin, indebting the crown to cause a destabilization, and if he didn't see that, that's a dereliction of duty IMO, he's was the Hand, overseeing what the council did was his job, and that means accountants get auditted(I should know).

Part of being Hand was doing the ONE thing Ned got right, refuse to do the job when you think your king is wrong. There were a hundred times Jon Arryn should have walked, but didn't. Sure Robert could have punished him, but how would that look? Punishing/beheading/shunning the man who was your surrogate father? Who backed your conquest of the throne? You biggest supporter? If he wouldn't let Ned walk away, he surely wouldn't have let Jon Arryn.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
548. Lisamarie
OMG! I'm so sorry :) I had it in my head it was Aliroz (both A's, and I think he/she also posts some poetry!)
Vincent Lane
549. Aegnor

Robert was, no doubt, a poor husband. But Cercei's actions in response were excessive, to say the least.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
550. AlirozTheConfused
On what post did Leigh write her big, sparkly YAY?

I need to know right away.
551. Anticipation

Countdown is on
Chris Nelly
552. Aeryl
@548, Aliroz does most the poetry around this place. You just said that about the song, I couldn't wait!!!

@549, Sure! She reacted badly, but I lay fault with Robert. Nobody in these stories acts like they should, which is why it is so hard to find "heroes"(typo'd herpes, shoulda left it)
Julian Niquille
553. Gesar
Aaand let the shit be lost, ladies & gentlemen
Chris Lough
555. TorChris
We've started a new spoiler thread for the Read of Ice and Fire, everyone. Head here to continue the discussion. (Let's talk weddings!)
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