Thu
Dec 12 2013 2:00pm
A Read of Ice and Fire: “The Hedge Knight” Part 2

GRR Martin The Hedge Knight A Song of Ice and Fire Welcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 2 of “The Hedge Knight: A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms”, which originally appeared in the anthology Legends: Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy, edited by Robert Silverberg.

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

The Hedge Knight: Part 2

What Happens
As the second day of the tourney goes on, faintly heard from his prison cell, Dunk curses himself for a fool. He hasn’t been allowed to speak with Egg or anyone else after they arrested him for assaulting Aerion. He thinks of what the old man had told him about hedge knights being the truest kind of knights, serving only those whose causes they believe in, and protecting the weak and innocent better than those sworn to great houses. When dark falls, food arrives, and Egg along with it, dressed richly in Targaryen garments.

Egg apologizes to Dunk for lying, and tells him “Egg” is short for “Aegon,” a nickname his brother Aemon gave him before going off to the maesters. Dunk asks him if it was all just a big joke played on the stupid hedge knight, but Egg gets upset and protests it wasn’t. He explains that he was supposed to be Daeron’s squire, but Daeron had no interest in going to the tourney, and Egg had just wanted to be someone’s squire. Dunk reflects that he knows what it is like to want something so badly you will lie to get it. He asks what they will do with him, and Egg says his uncle Baelor wants to see him.

Baelor makes Egg serve Dunk wine and chastises him for running for Dunk instead of Baelor before dismissing him. Egg leaves, and Baelor explains to Dunk that Maekar, being severely disappointed in his sons so far, is targeting Dunk as an outlet for his wrath, a matter not helped by Daeron’s lie that he’s been hunting a “huge robber knight” who abducted his brother. He says that Dunk will be tried for laying hands on the blood of the dragon, and mentions that the last time a man was tried for such, he lost his hand for it. Baelor says he will urge his fellow judges to be merciful, but Maekar’s word will carry weight as well. Dunk is speechless. Then Baelor reminds him that a knight accused of a crime also has the right to demand trial by combat, and asks just how good a knight Dunk is.

Later, Prince Aerion, demands a “trial by seven,” which Baelor explains is an ancient and seldom-invoked version of trial by combat in which the accused must face seven combatants instead of one: one for each of the seven gods. However, he also has seven on his side, and so Dunk must find six other knights to stand with him. Dunk asks what will happen if he cannot find six knights to stand with him, and Maekar says coldly that it will prove he is guilty.

Feeling very alone, Dunk leaves the castle and contemplates fleeing, but decides he would rather die a knight than live as an outlaw. Then he sees Thunder tied up outside the Fossoway pavilion. Inside, Raymun is worried about the conditions of the trial; his cousin Steffon mocks him for cowardice and throws in, saying he saw what Aerion did to the puppeteers. Dunk confesses he knows no one else to ask to stand with them, but Steffon declares he will take care of it, and cheerfully leaves. Raymun is much less confident of Steffon’s chances in convincing others to stand with them, and says Dunk should try to recruit as well.

Then Egg enters, declaring Dunk needs a squire. Dunk sees that Daeron is with him and grows angry, throwing Daeron’s lies about him at the prince, but Daeron doesn’t seem to care much. Egg tells Dunk that his father Maekar intends to join the seven accusers, and Daeron says he’ll be there too, but assures Dunk he will be no problem, and asks him to maybe gently knock him out in the first round, as he is very good at “lying insensible in the mud,” but not much else. He says that Maekar has commanded the Kingsguard here (Ser Roland Crakehall, Ser Donnel of Duskendale, and Ser Willem Wylde) to fight with him as well, to Dunk’s horror, but they don’t know who the seventh man will be.

Egg says he can find Dunk more knights. Dunk points out he will be fighting Egg’s own brothers, but Egg says he won’t hurt Daeron, and as for Aerion, he and Daeron both agree Aerion is a monster and they won’t mind at all if he dies. Daeron asks for a private word with Dunk, and Dunk reluctantly goes with him. Daeron tells Dunk he dreams true dreams, and dreamed of Dunk and a dead dragon. He does not know if Dunk killed the dragon or not, but asks that if he does, that he make sure it is Aerion he kills and not Daeron. He apologizes for his lie, and hopes he has not killed Dunk with it.

Dunk find that the puppeteers are gone. Steely Pate finds him and says the puppeteers have gone to Dorne, but he has the shield Dunk commissioned from Tanselle. Pate has also redone the rim and reinforced the shield for him. Dunk thinks the paint job on it is beautiful, but worries it is an ill omen to use fading light and a falling star, but Pate points out that the elm is alive and growing. Dunk asks how much he wants for it, and Pate only charges him a copper. On the way to the lists, Dunk is surprised at the goodwill show him by the crowd, and asks Pate what he is to them. Pate replies, “a knight who remembered his vows.”

At the challengers’ pavilion, Raymun is waiting with Dunk’s horse Thunder. Dunk is shocked to see Robyn Rhysling, Humfrey Beesbury, and Ser Humfrey Hardyng there as well. He says he is in their debt, but Hardyng replies the debt is Aerion’s; he cannot walk, but he can still sit a horse and fight. Then Ser Lyonel Baratheon appears; Dunk thanks him for listening to Ser Steffon, but Lyonel tells him it was the young prince Aegon who came to him, and that he would not miss a chance to fight the Kingsguard and tweak Maekar’s nose besides. Dunk hopes that Steffon will bring the seventh with him.

There is a roar from the crowd as the other side appears, the three Kingsguard, and Maekar with his sons Daeron and Aerion, but they have no seventh knight either, to Dunk’s puzzlement. Egg and Pate help Dunk get his armor on. Steffon finally appears, but informs Dunk that he is going to fight with Maekar’s side, not his. Raymun is appalled at Steffon’s betrayal, and asks if Steffon has forgotten his vows, but Steffon says he shall be a lord after this, and leaves to join Maekar’s side. Outraged, Raymun demands that Dunk knight him so he can fight along with him. Dunk hesitates, and then is summoned by Lord Ashford. Ser Lyonel says he will knight Raymun in his place, and does so. Dunk is relieved, but thinks they are still one knight short. Lord Ashford tells him that if he cannot find a seventh, he is guilty by default.

Dunk thinks a moment, then rides before the stands and calls out to the knights there, asking if they remember Ser Arlan Pennytree, and asking them to fight with him in memory of his honor. He entreats Manfred Dondarrion, Lord Lannister, Lord Caron, Lord Swann, and Ser Otho Bracken specifically, but they ignore him except for Bracken, who refuses him.

Heartsick, Dunk wheeled Thunder and raced back and forth before the tiers of pale cold men. Despair made him shout. “ARE THERE NO TRUE KNIGHTS AMONG YOU?”

Only silence answered.

Across the field, Prince Aerion laughed. “The dragon is not mocked,” he called out.

Then came a voice. “I will take Ser Duncan’s side.”

At first everyone thinks it is Prince Valarr, but it is Baelor, who brought no armor of his own and had to borrow his son’s. Maekar is incensed, reminding Baelor that Dunk attacked his son, but Baelor replies that Dunk protected the weak, as a knight should, and now the gods will determine if he was right or wrong. He and Dunk go back to the pavilion, where now-Ser Raymun shows them his new device, the Fossoway apple painted green instead of red. Baelor advises them that their opposition will charge with heavy ash lances, but that they should use tourney lances, which are made to break but are twice the length of the cavalry lances; if the others are unhorsed first their lances will be useless. He says Maekar made a mistake in ordering the Kingsguard to fight, for they will not be able to hurt Baelor, so he will take care of them.

Egg gives Dunk his shield and lance, and wishes him luck. Dunk panics a moment when the trial begins, but Thunder saves him and goes forward anyway, and Dunk’s training kicks in. The knights charge toward one another, Aerion directly across from Dunk. Dunk tries to focus, but his lance slides at the last moment and he strikes Aerion’s shield instead of his chest. Aerion’s lance pierces Dunk’s side, and Thunder almost goes down, but recovers at the last moment. Dunk yanks the broken lance out of him, bleeding, and pulls his sword, though he does not know if he can wield it.

He sees that Beesbury is down and Hardyng wounded. Maekar is unhorsed along with one of the Kingsguard. Aerion comes for Dunk again and knocks him off his horse, and then comes again and strikes him in the head with his morningstar. Dunk lays in the mud and thinks that he has failed his companions. Aerion laughs and taunts him before swinging the morningstar again, but Dunk rolls into him and knocks him down, and then grabs Aerion’s shield and beats him with it. Aerion tries to pull his poniard and knife Dunk, but Dunk knocks it away and pulls up Aerion’s helm. He shouts for Aerion to yield, and to Dunk’s shock, Aerion does. Dunk gets up and pulls Aerion up as well, and sees Baelor and Lyonel holding Maekar back from getting to them, while the rest are still fighting. Aerion suddenly goes for his morningstar, but Dunk knocks him down again, and drags him before Lord Ashford’s seat and shakes Aerion until he tells Ashford he withdraws his accusation.

After, Egg and Pate help a dazed Dunk out of his armor. Egg tells Dunk that Beesbury died in the first charge and Hardyng is gravely wounded, but everyone else is alive, including Daeron and Aerion. Dunk says Daeron’s dream was wrong, then. They are concerned about the wound in his side. Baelor appears above him, and tells the others to use boiling wine, not oil, on it. Dunk assures him Dunk is his man. Baelor seems disoriented, and asks Raymun and Pate to take off his helm.

Pate lifted the battered helm away. “Gods be good. Oh gods oh gods oh gods preserve…”

Dunk saw something red and wet fall out of the helm. Someone was screaming, high and terrible. Against the bleak grey sky swayed a tall tall prince in black armor with only half a skull. He could see red blood and pale bone beneath and something else, something blue-grey and pulpy. A queer troubled look passed across Baelor Breakspear’s face, like a cloud passing before a sun. He raised his hand and touched the back of his head with two fingers, oh so lightly. And then he fell.

Dunk caught him. “Up,” they say he said, just as he had with Thunder in the melee, “up, up.” But he never remembered that afterward, and the prince did not rise.

At the funeral, Dunk stops to offer sympathies to Prince Valarr, but Baelor’s son only says that Baelor could have been the greatest king since Aegon the Dragon, and asks why the gods took him and left Dunk. He commands Dunk to leave him, and Dunk does. Dunk’s wounds are healing clean, and he thinks Baelor saved him twice, and that the world makes no sense to save him and kill a great prince.

The next day, Maekar comes to see him under the elm, and Dunk is sure they’ve come to kill him after all. Maekar says that he has sent Aerion to the Free Cities, in the hope it will change him for the better. Then he says he is sure that it was his mace that dealt Baelor the fatal blow, but that he never meant to kill his brother, though he is sure no one will believe that. Dunk answers that Maekar may have swung the blow, but it was for him Baelor died, and Maekar agrees that the whispers will follow Dunk as well. Dunk says if he had yielded they’d have chopped off his foot, and wonders whether his foot will someday will be more valuable than a prince’s life. Maekar doubts it, but says the septon told him no one can understand the workings of the gods.

Then he tells Dunk that his youngest son needs to be a squire, but has said he will serve no other knight than Dunk, and asks if he will have him. Dunk is stunned, and protests he is only a hedge knight, but Maekar offers to give him a place in his own house. He surmises that Dunk still has much to learn, and Dunk agrees. Dunk tells him that before Baelor died, he swore to be his man, and Baelor said the realm needed good men. He says that he will take Egg on, but only if he will go on the road with him, as a hedge knight. Maekar is incredulous, and Dunk says he wagers that Daeron never slept in a ditch, and Aerion never went hungry. Maekar stares at him, then leaves without a word.

The boy came the next morning, just as the sun was coming up. He wore old boots, brown breeches, a brown wool tunic, and an old traveler’s cloak. “My lord father says I am to serve you.”

“Serve you, ser,” Dunk reminded him. “You can start by saddling the horses. Chestnut is yours, treat her kindly. I don’t want to find you on Thunder unless I put you there.”

Egg went to get the saddles. “Where are we going, ser?”

Dunk thought for a moment. “I have never been over the Red Mountains. Would you like to have a look at Dorne?”

Egg grinned. “I hear they have good puppet shows,” he said.

Commentary
Aw.

So, Dunk and Egg are completely adorable and I heart them. I am kind of laughing and being upset at the same time, though, because of course Martin can’t write a story without which someone you don’t want to die totally dies in it. Because OF COURSE NOT.

Man, that was genuinely upsetting. And I really should have guessed it from the moment Daeron told his dream to Dunk, because of all the Targaryens there, who besides Baelor was the big, actual dragon, the one worthy of the title? I probably would have gotten it, really, if I’d stopped to reason it out, but all things considered I’m glad I didn’t. It was really much nicer just to get it all as the story unfolded on its own. There really are times where I think my tendency not to see plot twists coming is a kind of enjoyment-of-stories superpower, and this is one of them.

“Enjoyment” being a relative term, of course, since I was really quite saddened that Baelor died. Attrition of the non-insane portion of the Targaryen family tree is not a good thing, people, let’s not do that! But, well. We already know how that goes down for them in the end anyway, don’t we. One must wonder how differently things would have gone if Baelor had lived to ascend the throne instead of Valarr. Who, admittedly, seems to strike a sort of rare middle balance between the usual Targaryen extremes of either “brilliant” or “batshit,” but we already know it just goes downhill from there.

But, maybe Baelor on the throne wouldn’t have made that much difference, in the long run—not as long as that wild card of psychopathy continues to run through Targaryen veins. Maybe Aerys wouldn’t have been on the throne when he was if Baelor had lived, but sooner or later one of the Aeryses (or Aerions, or Viseryses) in the family would have wound up there, and things would have gone from there anyway. So, maybe it ultimately makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.

*shrug* It’s not like we’ll ever know, right?

[Daeron:] “Aerion’s quite the monster. He thinks he’s a dragon in human form, you know. That’s why he was so wroth at that puppet show. A pity he wasn’t born a Fossoway, then he’d think himself an apple and we’d all be a deal safer, but there you are.”

LOL. Daeron’s not exactly a shining example of humanity in this story, but at least he has a handle on excellent snark.

And Maekar eventually acquits himself rather well, too—not on the battlefield, mind you, because wow, you couldn’t have not swung your giant heavy mace at your brother’s head?—but after, in seeing the wisdom of sending Egg with Dunk and actually doing something hard for once.

In other news, ohhh, okay. Aemon is the third son, the one who went to the maesters… and ultimately ended up in Castle Black. Got it, okay. Of course, I am a little astounded by this, since the disclaimer at the start of this story states it takes place a century before the events in the series proper, which means that Aemon is well over a hundred years old by the time we meet him in… er, whichever book we met him in. Damn, that’s some serious longevity—and probably the reason I didn’t immediately make the connection. If I had thought about it at all, I would have assumed Aemon came from at least one further generation down the line, if not more.

Also, ha, I totally called that Egg’s real name was going to have an “ae” in there somewhere. Not that this was an especially incisive prediction to make, because Targaryens are nothing if not predictable in their naming patterns, but I am still pleased I predicted it. So There.

I elided a lot of it in the summary, of course, but I did love the way Martin portrayed the trial-by-combat from such a necessarily narrow POV (Dunk’s, natch), and how realistically it seemed to be portrayed. For me in particular, the reminder that the slit of the visor in full armor completely cuts off peripheral vision was very anxious-making. I hate having my peripheral vision curtailed in any way, so that brought the whole thing into very sharp relief for me. Well done.

Also, wow. Is Steffon a bag of dicks, or is he a large and drippy bag of dicks? You decide! I was initially kind of confused as to why Raymun wasn’t ponying up and joining in as well, but I don’t think I had realized before that he wasn’t actually a knight until Lyonel did the deed for him. Oops.

As far as the trial-by-combat thing goes, I’ve given my vehement disapprobation of the concept on this blog before, and I still think it’s kind of cuckoo-bananas, but it occurred to me on this occasion that one thing it does do is provide the accused an alternate avenue of recourse in a system of justice in which the “standard” method of judgment is acknowledged to be biased. This is something I hadn’t necessarily caught before, conditioned as I am to the idea that a system of justice ought to be as unbiased and objective as possible by default, but that of course is not at all the case in Westeros. (And, well, it’s actually not truly the case in the U.S. either, but it’s supposed to be. Grumble.)

Operating from my previous premise, then, the idea of trial by combat is thoroughly ridiculous, but supposing that the system is prejudiced from the beginning and allowing for at least some kind of end-run redress to that fact, however wonky, makes a certain amount of sense. Ignoring, of course, that this alternate avenue is only available to the rich, the noble, and/or the extremely lucky, aka Dunk. Because so much classism, so little time, eh, eh, amirite? Sigh.

But whatever, my point is that if you choose to look at this wackadoo system of justice as an at least partial attempt to compensate for its own flaws, the whole idea of trial by combat becomes at least a little more palatable. Not entirely, mind you, because seriously, the idea that Dunk would have become automatically guilty just because he couldn’t find six other guys willing to go get the shit beaten out of them on his behalf is really just bonkers, but it’s a little bit better than the idea that nobles and royalty can just go around accusing whoever of whatever and there is no possible way around it. A little.

But in any case, after reading this I sort of wonder and/or hope that HBO will decide to film this story as well as the series proper, because it is actually a wonderfully self-contained-yet-related companion to the series proper that had some great “cinematic” moments in it—Egg’s reveal and Baelor’s reveal as the seventh champion for Dunk being the most obvious. The entire thing, in fact, would make a great made-for-TV movie to put alongside the series on HBO, in much the same way this story is a companion piece to the written series proper—linked, but not interfering.

But either way, I look forward to seeing more of Dunk and Egg’s adventures, though it might be nice if they didn’t all end in tragedy. This being Martin, though, I probably shouldn’t hold my breath, huh?


Well, we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we? Join me next Thursday for the start of the next D&E story, “The Sworn Sword,” and until then, cheers!

76 comments
Cass314
1. Cass314
Ah, you picked out my favorite line in the whole story re: Aerion and apples! Love your take as always, and looking forward to "The Sworn Sword".
Michael Duran
2. MRHD
The apple line is priceless, it alone makes up for any aggravation Daeron might have caused in this story. Maekar comes across as a nasty hothead at first, but in the end shows that he has a reasonable side as well. The what if about Baelor is a big one: how much better might Westeros have been if the long reign of Daeron the Good, one of the kingdoms best kings, had been followed by Baelor II?

And indeed, Aemon is quite old. Although not quite as old as the introduction would make you think, since this story takes place closer to 90 years in the past than 100. Still, I believe he is 102 in the main series, so he's very old regardless.
Cass314
3. TG12
Man, I love this story so much. It makes me tear up every time I read to the end. Martin really gets every element just about pitch perfect.

And you're right, it would make a great little "special event" movie, I've often thought.

One thing that makes it great is Martin's characteristic moral complexity. I mean, yeah, there's obviouse villains (Aerion), and obvious heroes (Dunk, Baelor), but even the heroes...

Like, did you catch that (roll over to read about a detail you may have missed) Dunk almost certainly wasn't an actual knight? Or rather, he shows that he is in spirit, which I suppose is rather the point of the story, but never actually "knighted"... the narrative never comes right out and explicitely says so, but there are clues sprinkled throughout: him thinking he knew what it was to want something so bad you would tell a terrible lie to get it; his reluctance to knight Raymun (easily passed off as not wanting his new friend to get his knighthood from a hedge knight, but..), etc.
Cass314
4. DougL
Heh, thanks Leigh, there was some measure of restraint exercised by some posters in not pointing out the Aemon thing. I constantly wonder how much your reading pace affects your memory of these books and the huge amount of nuance GRRM puts in them, but I think that just makes your comments even more fun to read.

Can you do a reread of a read when you are done? Heh.
Cass314
5. djizeus
Do you picture a plastic bag and they're all mushed in together like chicken parts, ate written on it with Sharpie, keep it in the freezer? Or is it a paper bag and they're sticking out like baguettes? "Here you go, Susie. Take a blue one." LOL
Adam S.
6. MDNY
Yes, the Fossaway green and red apples is great. It also brings up the whole question of Dunk's knighthood. Is Dunk hesitent to knight Raymun because he himself was not properly knighted? It was never clear whether Arstan had knighted him or not, but Dunk's hesitence may suggest that Dunk himself is not a knight, despite being the people's champion.
This was my favorite of the D+E stories, but ASOS is my favorite of the ASOIAF books, too, and in both cases there is lots of death for heroic characters (and less heroic characters). But there's no use wondering how different history would have been if certain characters had died or lived in these books/stories, because there are so many Targs and so many are insane, and all the blood that happens 90 years from now would have happened sooner or later.
Dunk and Egg setting out for Dorne is a great, hopeful ending for this story, and one of the few cliched endings we've seen from GRRM. Dunk and Egg leaving for Dorne was reminiscent of a cowbay riding off into the sunset.
Church Tucker
7. Church
Can a mod white out @3? Seriously people, let her figure it out.
Rob Munnelly
8. RobMRobM
Glad you enjoyed the story, Leigh. Some of this is already mentioned in the books - such as there is a reference to Baelor and that he died in a tourney mishap - it is buried in all the assorted historical text. When you've finished these two, you'll have a better sensitivity to these references when they appear in the main books. That's why we wanted you to read them now.

I love love love this story. Beautifully crafted piece of story. The poor folk cheering Dunk on. Your buddy Steely Pate charging him only a copper. Lyonel Baratheon acting like young Robert and jumping into the contest to test himself and to tweak Aerion. Baelor and how wise he is in his dealings with Dunk and in the use of tourney swords. The nastiness of the red apple Fossaway and the "birth" of a green apple Fossaway. The details of the challenge itself, won by Dunk using streetfighting techniques rather than knightly skills. The painful but touching denouement and, as always, the sprightly back and forth between D and E. All so good.
Cass314
9. GreatJon
Another thing I loved about the story is that in the main series we do see several times references to the Red Apple Fossaways and the Green Apple Fossaways, and this story actually explains how that Red/Green distinction came about.
George Jong
10. IndependentGeorge
At times like this, I ask myself, "What would Stannis Do?" I imagine the whole trial of the seven by seven could have been avoided.

Dunk: Loses a hand for striking the Prince.
Daeron: Loses a tongue for lying to the King.
Aerion: Attainted and exiled.
Cass314
11. Guest77
I also enjoyed Daeron's confession of not being able to find Egg because he wasn't in the bottom of his tankard, the only place he was searching.
Cass314
12. Guest77
I also enjoyed Daeron's confession of not being able to find Egg because he wasn't in the bottom of his tankard, the only place he was searching.
Julian Augustus
13. Alisonwonderland
This book brings a lot of aGoT into focus. Like Maester Aemon's history he told Jon of how various Targaryens (his brothers) ahead of him in the succession died and he refused to take the throne himself, leading to his younger brother (who we now know is Egg) becoming King. Reading aGoT, all those names meant nothing to me, but that little story was well-fleshed here.

This book also shows how the rivalry between the "Red-Apple Fossoways" and "Green-Apple Fossoways" that we met in aGoT got started.

Edit to white out the above comment, just in case.
Cass314
14. Gregor Lewis
The trial-by-combat is indeed claustrophobic & tense, yet curiously eye-opening as well. Actually, that's the wrong term. It's so well written, so focused, that GRRM slips the stillness and calm of acceptance in, like a stilletto.

"Up" indeed...

As for the moments, Leigh Butler has fully quoted my favourite bit of snark - a case of acceptance morphing into obsession, as seen through the eyes of one who ran fast and hard from accepting who he was and what he could do, and turned his denial into a fine line of biting snark - at others and self directed.

Speaking of self-directed, the summary does quite the injustice to the "lying insensible in the mud" line. I remember it unrolling hilariously, but can't quote it verbatim, as I don't have my THK copy handy.

One last thing. I may be pissing into the wind here, but isn't it curious whenever a Targaryen Crown Prince has married a Dornish Princess, some tragedy (seemingly pre-ordained, given Daeron's Dreaming and Dany's visions of Rhaegar in the House of the Undying) has befallen that union. This pattern is shaded further by the clear conditioning provided by GRRM's description of Baelor & Maekar's sons' appearance as well ... But more on that another time, because after The Sworn Sword, we'll know a little more.

grl
Cass314
15. Rancho Unicorno
@7 - I don't know if I would say that needs to be whited out.

I mean, if the matter is clarified further in the later stories, sure white it out. But this is the only D&E I've read and my memory was that this was made very clear. I remember being bothered Leigh first started this I was reading for the first time and posted a theory I thought was novel from my reading of an early chapter. When people called me out for posting spoilers, I was kind of bothered that people thought I was posting more than my own theory. But, in hindsight, I suppose it's better to have a bright line "no theories" rule than sort out the reading-along-for-the-first-timers from the spoilers.

Wow, that was a ramblingly confusing paragraph.
Robert Dickinson
16. ChocolateRob
It's interesting how the people of Westeros never learn the right lesson from these things. In this they learn a lesson about how coming to the aid of a mere hedge knight got a great man killed, instead of, how ignoring a good man's plight and letting a big bag of dicks behave like a big bag of dicks costs the lives of great men.
Julian Augustus
17. Alisonwonderland
@7, why is @3 a spoiler? It isn't like this is a fact later revealed in the books. It is the poster's own speculation. If commenters are not even allowed to post their own speculations on this blog, then what are we even doing here?
Michael Duran
18. MRHD
@15: I think the second half of this story is about as clarified as it gets, at least out of the three published D&E stories. Still, I suppose that if the stories continue long enough it will probably be brought out in the open in one of them as a plot point, but that's purely speculative on my part.
Martin Cohn
19. arixan
I don't think I am talking out of Spoiler School since the Tragedy at Summerhall is covered in Storm, so no happy endings for Dunk and Egg ultimately, but boy is their journey a lot of fun. (roll over for Dunk & Egg-related events already covered in A Storm of Swords)
Michael Duran
20. MRHD
@17 Well, this is a similar situation to the Loras Renly thing, and Leigh made it pretty clear that she didn't appreciate being clued in on that.
Rob Munnelly
21. RobMRobM
@19 That is a spoiler, as this group has defined it. Taking a small piece out of landscape that Leigh may or may not have noticed during her read and highlighting it for all to see. I'd prefer to have it whited out or moved to spoiler thread.
Rob Munnelly
22. RobMRobM
@17, 20. I actually don't see @3 as a spoiler, as I view it as plainly apparent in text rather than the subtle piece parts that had to be put together re Loras-Renly, but others have expressed different views so better to be safe.
Cass314
23. Linnaeus
As a remedy to the class-based biases of a feudal society, trial by combat isn't much of a remedy. Remember that it's pretty much only the nobles (which more or less includes knights as lesser nobility in most RL historical methods of organization) who had much in the way of formal armed and unarmed combat training. Your average peasant MIGHT be big and strong from a life of physical labor, but even that's unlikely to be much of an edge when many of the nobles have better nutrition growing up and can exercise without being worked into crippling injuries. Merchants and crafters and such won't even enjoy that dubious advantage.

A lot of medieval societies had arms control laws to go with the sumptuary ones, with allowable weapons defined by class. That's actually one of the ways the Grosses Messer/Langes Messer (lit. Big Knife) short sword-y weapon became so widespread in medieval Germany, as an endrun around such laws.
Bridget McGovern
24. BMcGovern
Hi, all! As I mentioned in last week's post and over on the spoiler thread, I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to handling spoilers and connections between texts that Leigh hasn't explicitly made in the posts. I also wanted to mention that when we mods white out a post, it shouldn't be seen as a chastisement in any way--we just want to give Leigh and everyone else fair warning that something beyond what's been covered in the post is being discussed, so that they can choose to read it or not. It's a useful compromise when dealing with things that may or may not be considered spoilerish, depending on where you're standing, and we'd rather let people play it safe, if that's what they want to do!
Michael Duran
25. MRHD
@22: I'll agree that it is not near as subtle as Loras-Renly is. I suppose it got lost in the intensity of the action and pace surrounding it. I don't remember there being much if anything in Sworn Sword or Mystery Knight to help clarify things.
Cass314
26. TG12
Wow. I mean, if that's the rule, I guess I'll abide by it, but seriously?
We can't discuss something in the very text that was just read and reviewed, because it's a "spoiler"? For what, itself?

This is a definition of spoiler with which I am not familiar....
Steven Halter
27. stevenhalter
(Read on the plane last night and written just now.)
I was hoping that Aerion would be the one to die, but of course Baelor (who wasn't an ass face) had to be the one doing the dying.
I liked the solution to the Kingsguards. They couldn't hurt Baelor and so were easily dealt with. Too bad Maekar couldn't figure that out.
I liked the end very much and look forward to reading more of the adventures of these two. Good quips as all have pointed out.

Dunk seems to be a knight to me. From the text from last week:
"He always said he meant for me to be a knight, as he was. When he was dying he called for his longsword and bade me kneel. He touched me once on my right shoulder and once on my left, and said some words, and when I got up he said I was a knight.”
Good enough, I say. Also, actions speak louder than words and if I were the administer of knighthood, Dunk would be a knight and all of the lords who denied his cause would be right out.
Scott Silver
28. hihosilver28
@27
The thought is that Arlan died before being able to actually knight him. If that's the case, Dunk is lying. I think it makes for a compelling thought that he isn't "technically" a knight but upholds the honor and values more than all who surround him. Similar in some ways to Sandor.
Nathan Martin
29. lerris
@26
There is a separate thread specifically for the discussion of spoilers, however they may be defined. So yes, we can talk about it. Just not here.

In my offline environment, I am in the "let's talk about this when we're both finished" school of thought. Many of us are in here for the same reason we watch the "Red Wedding " reaction videos on youtube... to see the unspoiled reaction of the first-time reader as she puts the various pieces together. And I believe Leigh wants the satisfaction of figuring things out without the relentless "nudge nudge" of fans waiting for her to catch up.
Maiane Bakroeva
30. Isilel
But it is not actually revealed anywhere, is it? Shouldn't we be able to discuss what Dunk's reluctance to knight Raymun Fossoway and this thought of his:

"He knew what it was like to want something so badly that you would tell a monstrous lie just to get near it."

might imply...

Re: Prince Baelor, since I have read and re-read the first 3 books when this novella first came out and remembered Jeor Mormont's explanation of how maester Aemon nearly became king, I knew that Egg's crown prince uncle was for the chop, but it was very powerful for me regardless.

As to Maekar, he is sort of similar to his descendant Stannis, no? Only less just. But still susceptible to a good council from a lowborn source...
Scott Silver
31. hihosilver28
Isn't it all speculation, though? This is just a theory that has little to no weight to the story being told, as far as spoilers go (unlike Renly & Loras which had information peppered in as the books went on up until ASoS). All I'm pulling from is the text itself, not the main body of ASoIaF or the following two novellas. I would say that these comments are exactly where we can discuss the thematic elements of such a thing.

I have always respected Leigh's desire for spoilers to be kept under wraps so she can discover things for herself. This isn't to wink at her that she's missing something, as there's nothing to miss. We don't know what happened. I just wanted to discuss the theme of Dunk's warring desires both for some renown as well as enough wealth to get by, with his unerring desire to do what is right and protect those unable to protect themselves. The fact that that is coming from a man who is oddly tall and strong makes for a very interesting character. The thought of him possibly just claiming he's a knight to be able to enter the tourney just deepens him as a character and his warring internal motivations. Once again, this entire train of thought may not be true and he was knighted as his masters dying act, but I do believe it is relevant to this discussion.

If we can't comment about the content (not future content, as that's definitely spoiling, especially if further information comes to light about things going on currently), but solely the current content, what good is having a comments section for these posts? All we can do is comment about Leigh's writing. It is extremely entertaining and an absolute highlight of my Tuesdays (WoT) & Thursdays, but I also want to get into deeper discussions with the peers who are also reading these stories.
Nathan Martin
32. lerris
@31
Again, there is a spoiler-oriented comment thread to which Leigh conveniently provides a link at the start of the post.
Bridget McGovern
33. BMcGovern
I'm not claiming it's a perfect system, but as lerris @32 points out, the spoiler thread is the best place for deeper discussion of connections and theories with peers in the know. The discussion is no less valid (or lively) on the spoiler threads, and it keeps Leigh free to develop her own readings, interpretations, and theories as she goes, which is how she wants to approach the text, as a first-time reader. Once she's entirely caught up, there will be plenty of time to fill her in and discuss interpretations, twists, details, etc. But for the purposes of these posts, the spoiler threads is the place for the kind of informed discussions of the content each week by people who have already read the books and stories.
Cass314
35. Gregor Lewis
C'mon people!
This has become ridiculous.
Dunk's possible secret is not a spoiler. The details exist in their entirety in the story, which Leigh Butler has now finished. Are we saving these suppositions for the 'Re-Read of the Read'?
Everything raised in the story deserves to be speculated upon freely, whereupon it isn't explicated further in books/stories Leigh Butler hasn't read yet.

Other than being underwhelming, I have only vague recollections of 'The Sworn Sword' & the third novella - The Mystery Knight from Warriors anthology, no?

Is the provenance of Dunk's knighthood a key plot-point in either of those? If so, fine ... Spoiler Away, otherwise ... C'mon! Let the readers speculate on the finished article.

grl
Julian Augustus
36. Alisonwonderland
@33,

if that is the interpretation of what is a 'spoiler', then why have this comment section at all? Why not just lock this thread as soon as Leigh posts the blog, then move all comments and discussions to the 'spoiler' thread?

I don't mind people yelling 'spoiler' when it involves a secret later revealed in the books that has not yet been twigged by Leigh, but this latest definition of a 'spoiler' is getting ridiculous, in my view. If we are to go by the rule that any thought not expressed by Leigh is a spoiler, then we are saying no one else is allowed to express any original thoughts on this read. The only legitimate non-spoiler comments left would be everyone queuing up to say how wonderful Leigh is and how much we all enjoy her writing.
Julian Augustus
37. Alisonwonderland
Just to illustrate my point about how ridiculous this 'spoilering' has become, here's an extract from @14:
I may be pissing into the wind here, but isn't it curious whenever a Targaryen Crown Prince has married a Dornish Princess, some tragedy (seemingly pre-ordained, given Daeron's Dreaming and Dany's visions of Rhaegar in the House of the Undying) has befallen that union.
Can the spoiler police tell me why speculation that Dunk may not actually be a knight is a spoiler and this speculation above is not? Leigh has not mentioned either speculation and may not have twigged to either, has she? So are we going to pull that as a 'spoiler' as well?
Marcus W
38. toryx
This was actually the first GRRM story I ever read. I happened to read it in its original publication in Legends, which I'd bought solely to read the WoT and Dark Tower novellas within and then ended up not particularly liking either one.

When I read The Hedge Knight, however, I was so blown away by it that I immediately went to Amazon and ordered Game of Thrones. Totally worth it. I ended up going to a Con in Illinois not long after and had the priviledge to meet both Robert Jordan (for the second or third time, actually) and GRRM and almost everyone I talked to had been converted to ASoIaF fans the same way I had.

So The Hedge Knight will always be dear to my heart.
Michael Duran
39. MRHD
When the mod comes in and politely explains how Leigh wants to go about the read I do not see why people are still having such a problem respecting that. There is a spoiler thread. We have all sorts of great conversations there that go into things yet to come. It takes one click to reach. It's not hard.

Sure, this specific point doesn't "spoil" anything for those who didn't pick up on it... yet. But it IS a big point, and if the D&E series continues I think it is pretty much guaranteed that it will come out at some point and become a major plot point for one of the stories. White it out. If Leigh wants to know, she can scroll over your comments and read it.

In the past, Leigh's commentaries have always sparked lively discussions without getting into spoilers or tipping her off to things she might have missed. Let's keep it like that, respect the wishes of the person giving us this Read, and take everything else to the spoiler thread.
Bridget McGovern
40. BMcGovern
@36: I disagree that there is nothing to discuss in the non-spoiler thread beyond Leigh's writing, but anyone who wants to skip these comments in favor of the spoiler thread should feel free. It's also not hard to white out comments when there's disagreement. Really not sure why there's such resistance to this concept, but that's the way it is.

At this point, the conversation is just going in circles, so I'd appreciate it if we could get back to talking about the fiction in both threads. Let's move on.

@ 39: Thank you.
Cass314
41. Brian_E
Not having a horse in this race, perhaps I'm clearer-headed here.

Spoiler:
5. A published piece of information that divulges a surprise, such as a plot twist in a movie.

The question is (and I can't answer, not having read any of these): Does this apply?

If not, it's not a spoiler and is simple conjecture on something that (seems to) be a possibility with no real bearing?

If so, then clearly it should be whited out and discussed there on whatever ramifications are caused by it.
Bridget McGovern
42. BMcGovern
My last comment on this topic: the problem isn't just spoilers, or the ultimate definition of "spoiler." The problem is that our rereader, Leigh, is also trying to make it through the books without readers acting as backseat drivers explaining every detail she's missed. Not everyone picks up on every detail in their first read--as I said, Leigh will get there, and if she doesn't, there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss any and everything with her when she's done. Until then, there's an entire spoiler thread dedicated to that sort of discussion, where you can just go to town and let it all out. I'm simply trying to respect the wishes of our intrepid blogger and the people who are on board with this experiment, such as it is.
Steven Halter
43. stevenhalter
It seems to me that GRRM likes to play with ambiguity. In the larger work we see this with the nature of supernatural entities. Here, he seems to me to be making a nice point on the nature of knighthood. We can speculate on what Dunk and the old man may or may not have done off screen. Nicely ambiguous there.
What we can see is Dunk's defense of an innocent. We also have Barlor and Raymun's defense of Dunk for reason's that go against their personal benefits. These actions define these three as knights. That's what being a knight is really about and is, I think, the point GRRM is trying to make.
Captain Hammer
44. Randalator
@43 stevenhalter

These actions define these three as knights. That's what being a knight is really about and is, I think, the point GRRM is trying to make.

Judging by the evidence presented, I think the point he's trying to make is "Being a knight gets you killed. Don't bother."...
Cass314
45. zambi76
As to Maekar, he is sort of similar to his descendant Stannis, no? Only less just. But still susceptible to a good council from a lowborn source...
Hells yes. You should read Maekar's Wiki entry, the similarities to Stannis are ridiculous. Well, except he has last-son syndrome, instead of middle-child syndrome but still.
Cass314
46. Maddy1990
I think it's kind of awesome that even though Dunk might not technically be a knight, or is 'only' a hedge knight, he is the one who actually upholds their values. I know this is random speculation, but I kind of hope that Brienne is his descendant - she is constantly disrespected as not a 'real' knight, but actually upholds the vows and honour of knighthood more than anyone else. I'm generally not someone who really reads short stories, but this was awesome. I also just read Tuf Voyaging (which is a series of short stories by GRRM later compiled into a novel) and I loved it. (Roll over whited out text to read speculation/theory)
Cass314
47. a1ay
As a remedy to the class-based biases of a feudal society, trial by
combat isn't much of a remedy. Remember that it's pretty much only the nobles (which more or less includes knights as lesser nobility in most RL historical methods of organization) who had much in the way of formal armed and unarmed combat training.

I am pretty sure that trial by combat is never available to smallfolk. Otherwise, why would anyone accept a death sentence when they could fight and have a chance of acquittal? Smallfolk get hanged. Full stop.

I also wonder whether it's automatically available even to nobles. It's never even mentioned as a possibility for Ned Stark. And that's not because he's wounded; if you're unfit to fight (like Lysa and Tyrion) you can nominate a champion to fight on your behalf.

I know this is random speculation, but I kind of hope that Brienne is his descendant

Not just pure speculation: that shield ended up on Tarth somehow... nice one though, I missed that. (roll over to read)
Cass314
48. lolololol
One thing that connects all the trials by combat is that the accuser felt they were guaranteed to win so it didn't matter if they granted it. It always helps, especially if the other party is a noble, to be able to claim "we gave him a trial by combat and the Seven themselves found him wanting".

Lysa expected no one would stand for Tyrion so it wouldn't matter. Cersei figured Clegane would chump in chunks anyone dumb enough to face him. Aerion didn't think Dunk could get six other knights to risk their lives for him. And we all know what the Mad King had in mind for Brandon Stark's trial by combat.

The stakes were too high (Joffrey's claim to the throne) and Ned Stark was too well connected to risk him winning so it would never be allowed.
Cass314
49. a1ay
You might think that mass trial by combat is something Martin made up. Not so!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Clans
The Battle of the North Inch (also known as the Battle of the Clans) was a staged battle between the Chattan Confederation and the "Clan Kay" in September 1396. 30 men were selected to represent each side in front of spectators that included King Robert III of Scotland and his court...
on a Monday morning in late September, the clans marched through the streets of Perth, "to the sound of the pibroch and armed with bows and arrows, swords, targes, knives and axes," to the western banks of the River Tay.

Immediately prior to the commencement of the battle, it was discovered that Clan Chattan were short one man with 29. Some claim the absentee's courage had deserted him; another source states he had fallen sick. Whatever the case, the Chattans refused to fight at anything but full strength, and the opposition didn't proffer to even up the numbers.
Just when it seemed that the battle would have to be abandoned, a substitute stepped forward by the name of Henry Smith. Also known by the names Hal o' the Wynd and the Gow-Chrom, Smith was a harness-maker and armourer in the town. "Small in stature, bandy-legged, but fierce," he was promised half a French crown of gold and the guarantee that he would be maintained for life if he survived. The offer was accepted, and the battle was given the go-ahead...
Cass314
50. a1ay
Post has been eaten by gnomes: just noting that an incident of mass trial by combat in history was the Battle of the North Inch ... also including a last-minute substitute!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Clans

Not all the trials by combat are foregone conclusions. Beric Dondarrion allows Sandor trial by combat, which he then wins. In fact, a common factor in trials by combat seems to be that the result is never what people expect: Dunk wins, Tyrion wins, Sandor Clegane wins...
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
Randalator@44:Amusing, but I don't think that is it. Being a knight is certainly dangerous. Being a hedge knight is certainly rough. Being a peasant is very rough. Just being alive gets you dead in the end, also.
Julian Augustus
52. Alisonwonderland
Shouldn't a mod white out the following (the last two sentences in @47) ? It is spoiler according to the rules of this thread:
I know this is random speculation, but I kind of hope that Brienne is his descendant

Not just pure speculation: that shield ended up on Tarth somehow... nice one though, I missed that.
Julian Augustus
53. Alisonwonderland
@OP
One must wonder how differently things would have gone if Baelor had lived to ascend the throne instead of Valarr.
Am I mistaken that it was in fact Maekar and not Valarr who ascended the throne in place of Baelor? (roll over to read)
Rob Munnelly
55. RobMRobM
@53 - AiW - I'd rather you whited that out. We haven't covered that yet.
Michael Duran
56. MRHD
@52: I'd agree with whiting that out, since I think that fact isn't mentioned until AFfC.
Cass314
57. DougL
First, nobody knows the truth about Dunk, also we should not be discussing things GRRM has talked about since those all typically relate to later books and I doubt Leigh has read the So Spake Martin entries at Westeros.org.

To avoid such furor over whether something is a spoiler in the future, maybe we should contain our discussions to things Leigh has mentioned in her comments and if she missed something, go have a cry in the bath and don't point it out since she has consistently asked us not to do so.
Cass314
58. WhiteVoodoo
I think its obvious what the spoiler/theory solution is. Leigh needs to hire me to read the comments for her and filter out all spoilers and theorizing. Done and Done.
Cass314
59. WhiteVoodoo
On a serious note:
Mods, the people are upset that they are being silenced, its a natural reaction to censorship. Thats why there is resistence to your methods, reasonable as they may seem.

People, the Mods aren't going to change their minds on this, they have all the power and discretion. That discretion is being directed toward Leigh's benefit, not yours.

I think the underlying issue here is that the definition of spoilers was broadened beyond its usual scope for Leigh's sake, but that broader definition wasn't made adequately clear. So if the defition of Taboo subject matter on this blog is Spoilers AND Theories, then so be it, but call it what it is. I think that all we really want is to not have to agonize over what is or is not a spoiler.
Sasha P
60. AeronaGreenjoy
@16 ChocolateRob: I thoroughly agree. That "moral" made THK, for me, one of the most embitteringly-cynical ASOIAF events covered by this Read thus far. Few good deeds go unpunished here.

When Maekar said he was sending Aerion to Lys, my first reaction was an outraged "What?? Your acanthocephalan [spiny-headed intestinal parasite] of a son made you kill your brother, and you're punishing him with a trip to Sex World?!" The Free Cities aren't all paradise, but still.
Cass314
61. Gregor Lewis
I am not interested in demonstrating Leigh Butler's apparent forgetfulness of things she's already read, nor am I bothered by the selective things she chooses to note in her summaries and expound upon in her commentary.

However, I resent being dictated to by a group of 'White-Out Nancies' as to whether I can raise a point or a topic that was in the text being covered, or relates to said text, from previous, already "Read" sections.

I read Leigh Butler's contributions on Tor.com for two reasons (she is incredibly sharp in tone and acumen & writes in a manner I find interesting, enjoyable, thought provoking and amusing, and secondly I want to hear from fellow readers who I've come to learn are just as interesting and entertaining), and inspite of one reason (the nonsensical application that has unfolded in the thread above, regarding what constitutes a spoiler and the pernickety assessment that has encouraged said 'White-Out Nancies' to emerge in force).

Having said all of the above, I don't care to demonstrate to Leigh Butler just how sharp I am, by intimating things to come, that I *cough, cough* expected her to pick up on from clues in the passage just presented. Nor do I shy away from voicing a difference in opinion about what is covered & how.

I do all this with a view to not spoiling, in any minute way, anything that I KNOW lies ahead. I get the gimmick here and Leigh Butler's Talents raise it to another level, because what she delivers is done so undeniably well - even when I don't find it agreeable.

But I refuse to accept being told something that appears in its entirety, in a certain "Read" section and plays no further part in fifteen years of subsequently published works, is out-of-bounds because Leigh Butler "missed"/didn't include it. You had your shot and you didn't take it, but I want to discuss it - if not with you, with other readers here at Tor.com - without the danger of running headlong into actual spoilers of things to come, that I actually I have no interest in reading about until Leigh Butler has presented them.

That's what the Spoiler Thread had been for before this week's 'White-Out Nancies' explosion. Now we're being encouraged to go there to discuss something that's ostensibly been "Read", just because it wasn't remarked upon by our LEAD READER.

What kind of discussion is that?

Just to be CLEAR. When I use the term 'White-Out Nancies', I DO NOT refer to BMcgovern. This person has the difficult job of balancing mature discussion with the pernicious wowsing of those I am actually referring to - the Greek Chorus that piles on in supposed defence of maintaining Leigh Butler's ignorance.

grl
Cass314
62. Lyanna Mormont
@61

It's simple, really. This is Leigh's Read. She has asked not to have things she may have missed pointed out to her, so we should respect that.

If what you want to discuss really isn't ever brought up again in what's been published so far, then simply post it here but white it out, and mark it as speculation. That's not so hard to do, is it? Not really worth getting all "I refuse to accept this!" over something so simple.
Cass314
63. D-Mac
@47 and @48
re: Ned
Ned would have actually been entitled to the right of trial by combat, but Ned "cut a deal". The Lannisters manuevered around getting to any sort of trial, show trial or combat, by getting Ned to cop a plea. Once he pleaded guilty, game over. It now becomes the kings discretion as to the punishment, regardless of any prior promises, implied or otherwise. But as was stated in the previous comments, he wasn't in any condition to fight and i doubt his honor would have allowed him to name a champion to fight in his stead.
Michael Duran
64. MRHD
@62: Very well said. This is simply about respecting Leigh's wishes. After she felt upset over being clued in on Renly/Loras I would have thought people would have been more amenable to showing that respect, but apparently not.
Sasha P
65. AeronaGreenjoy
@50 a1ay: Beric probably expected Thoros would resurrect him if Sandor killed him, a safety net most people lack.
Faiz Imam
66. FaizImam
*Greek chorus chiming in*

@61 Good gods man, there are literally countless places in the world wide web where you could potentially discuss ASOIAF.

Reddit, Good Reads, Westeros.org, the forum section of every tech blog!

This space belongs to Leigh. We are in her playground and in return for reading her thoughts we abide by her rules.

As Lyanna Mormont excellently put it, her wish is for us to not discuss things she might have missed in any specific way.

Simple really.

The fact that there is an elegant solution with white text that allows us to talk about anything we want is a bonus that I don't take for granted.

You shoudn't either.
George Jong
67. IndependentGeorge
I think a big problem here is that The Hedge Knight is a prequel, which inevitibly ties in to later events. One might even say that's a major point to a prequel.
Cass314
68. a1ay
65: true, but I doubt he was looking forward to the experience even so...

Sorry about the inadvertent spoiler.
Cass314
69. Combo
Leigh- Love reading your GOT posts, and I'm inspired to start reading WOT. Can anyone here tell me if Leigh's re-read posts of WOT are too spoilery if I read Leigh's post after each chapter??? Sorry if this has been asked/answered.
Scott Silver
70. hihosilver28
@Combo
She started her re-read between Book 11 & 12, so yeah, I wouldn't recommend reading them until you're well into the series if you're worried about spoilers.
Faiz Imam
71. FaizImam
Yes, unlike here, her WOT posts extensively talk about forshadowing and future reprecussions or developments. It really dissects the novels to a level very few have done. It's why they were so popular.

Can anyone recommed first time analysis of WOT? i've never come across any, but i'm sure there are forum threads that give it a shot.

At the very least you could look for "no spoiler" book discussion threads. These are not chapter specific, but discuss a single book without spoiling ahead.

Don't know any off hand though.
Steven Halter
72. stevenhalter
@Combo's post is a nice example of why having a fairly spoiler free thread exist is a useful thing. In addition to people participating as the thread goes on, people start books and are interested in such places.
I know we've had various people in the Malazan forums start the books and the threads together but later on than the rest of us. The Malazan threads are relatively spoiler free for major ideas.
Cass314
73. DougL
@61 and others. Well, over in the Wheel of Time Reread you can discuss anything in the books because Leigh has read them several/dozens of times and maintained a WoT FAQ for a time. Here, she is a noob and wants to remain a noob for as long as possible, which I truly understand.

Westeros.org is a great place to let loose on your theories, I even posted there guiding people to this Read because I like Leigh's work so much. So, if you track down that post (you can probably just search Leigh) then you can post all your spoilerish/questionable material in that post and we can talk about it there.
Cass314
74. MoreJorahPlz
@64: [Leigh] felt upset over being clued in on Renly/Loras

Could someone please point me to where she responds to being clued in, I've looked through a bunch of posts and can't find it. Thanks.
Cass314
75. zambi76
It's in the part 41 read of ASOS MoreJorahPlz Jaime's chapter 67.
Cass314
76. MoreJorahPlz
Thank you zambi76, :)
Benjamin Moldovan
77. benpmoldovan
I haven't read this story, just Leigh's post. I can't say I *knew* right away that it was Baelor who was going to die, though in hindsight, I can't say I'm terribly surprised. That said, as soon as I saw that Baelor was going to be Dunk's seventh, I immediately thought, "Oh, crap."

Ben

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