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JHav

HBO: Game of Thrones

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24 Jan

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These questions and answers are from the comment thread on the Dangerous Women / “The Princess and the Queen” announcement post. So. From this we can conclude:

  • GRRM has prioritized finishing The Winds of Winter over finishing the “She-Wolves of Winterfell” story. The release of The World of Ice and Fire will come first, naturally, hence the publication of this too-big-for-that-book fake history about the Dance of the Dragons, but even so, that’s pretty good news — no more appetizers, it’s main-course time.
  • A Dunk & Egg collection comprising the first three stories, but not the as-yet-unpublished fourth, is planned to come out in 2014.
  • I think, though he doesn’t say it in so many words, that means we won’t see TWoW until after that 2014 D&E collection? So…2015 at the earliest, unless they’re going to cram two releases in a single year?
  • And then, after that, D&E4. I guess. It’s possible he’ll roll into A Dream of Spring and save all the remaining D&E stories for after the completion of A Song of Ice and Fire proper.

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1 Jul

davisdaredevil asked: With all the talk about how GRRM said the show isn't going to catch up to the show, do you think that GRRM is focusing harder on ASOIAF, or was it the Meereeneese Knot which caused the long delay in Feast and Dance?

I talk about this some in the forthcomign Guys’ Night Out edition of A Podcast of Ice and Fire on which I was a guest, but I think it’s several things at once.

First, yeah, the Meereenese Knot, and the issue of removing the planned five-year jump, and the issue of splitting the material between two books, made Feast and Dance unusually slow, or at least I’m guessing it’ll remain unusual.

Second, the temptation is to believe that the ancillary ASOIAF stuff Martin’s been producing — stories for the world book, the Targaryen novella that’s going into Dangerous Women, the Dunk and Egg story that was supposed to go into Dangerous Women, the episodes of Game of Thrones he writes — are distractions from the main event. But given his now somewhat frequent proclamations of confidence that the show isn’t going to catch up to the books, despite years and years of trying to downplay expectations in every other respect, I think maybe we should look at it differently. Perhaps it’s now an issue akin to the saying “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Maybe his productivity is up across the board, and he’s cranking out all this ancillary ASOIAF material because he’s cranking out Winds of Winter pages at a similar rate. I’m not George R.R. Martin, but I do write for a living, and there are times when my ability to work on a million different things at once is counterintuitively positive for the rate at which I work on any given one of those things.

Finally, you know, the show’s breathing down his neck and he knows it. I’m sure he doesn’t want to be scooped by his own adaptation any more than we do.

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Finally finished ADWD. Now I can read through this **** thread. Bring on the spoilers.

I had already read a spoiler about Jon, so that wasn't a surprise unfortunately, but holy **** the epilogue. I've been wondering where Varys went. And I'm assuming Qyburn turned the Mountain into Robert Strong?

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I read the Jon spoiler too, but was not prepared for the sadness that was involved in the whole thing. I remember reading the line with Bowen Marsh crying as he stabbed Jon and thinking, "God d*mn this is horrifying." This is like what would have happened to Julius Ceasar if Julius Ceasar wasn't a piece of ****.

The Varys epilogue was deliciously evil. Throughout the entire series Varys has been painted as a guy who knows everything, but also a guy who is a victim of Littlefinger's ambition. That moment where you realize that he is behind WAY more **** than we could have imagined is one of the more holy **** moments of the series.

And yes, the accepted belief is that whatever Robert Strong is now, is made up of what Gregor Clegane used to be. Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.

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I read the Jon spoiler too, but was not prepared for the sadness that was involved in the whole thing. I remember reading the line with Bowen Marsh crying as he stabbed Jon and thinking, "God d*mn this is horrifying." This is like what would have happened to Julius Ceasar if Julius Ceasar wasn't a piece of ****.

The Varys epilogue was deliciously evil. Throughout the entire series Varys has been painted as a guy who knows everything, but also a guy who is a victim of Littlefinger's ambition. That moment where you realize that he is behind WAY more **** than we could have imagined is one of the more holy **** moments of the series.

And yes, the accepted belief is that whatever Robert Strong is now, is made up of what Gregor Clegane used to be. Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.

Yeah even though I knew what was going to happen to Jon, I didn't know it was going to happen like that, I figured it would have been someone Cersei had finally planted on the wall after talking so much about it in AFFC. Pretty gut wrenching, especially how Jon was so surprised and distraught he couldn't even fumble for his sword.

Yeah the Varys reveal of everything he's behind is similar to Lysa Arryn revealing she and Littlefinger had Jon Arryn poisoned. Those are two of the most powerful men in the realm, and absolutely fascinating characters. I guess he was necessary to incense things with Dorne with Cersei incapacitated, I figured she would have started Westeros World War 97 when she learned about Myacella.

Ok, one burning question that I assume has already been discussed . . . but what are the thoughts on Ramsay's letter? The battle for Winterfell hasn't taken place yet, and GRRM says it and the battle for Mehreen will happen early in TWOW. When we last see that group of folks, Theon, Jeyne, and some of the iron born have just ridden up to Stannis' camp. I'm assuming the letter is at least half false. I assume he does have Mance, he was left behind to let Theon and Jeyne escape. But if the rest of the letter was true, Stannis was dead and the battle fought, Ramsay would have Jeyne back and wouldn't be demanding her. I know there is a Theon TWOW chapter online, I need to read it, I assume at least some of this will be answered there. But I don't believe Stannis is dead, Melisandre would have seen it.

Some random ADWD thoughts . . .

When did Selyse get so bitchy?

I'm interested to see what they do with Patchface. Anything that makes Melisandre nervous is nothing to be ****** with.

I don't know where Arya's character is going. Whereas all of the other characters are finally moving towards each other and connected story lines, she's just off by herself serving in this temple. I hope she eventually finds Ja'qen, and I assume GRRM has a storyline for her that will be meaningful. I just don't know what it will be.

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Ok, just read a synopsis of Theon's TWOW chapter and that answered my questions, though I'm assuming it will be revealed why, and if Ramsay even sent the letter at all.

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When GRRM released the Theon WINDS sample chapter he included the following note:

The chronology, as usual, is tricky. This chapter will be found eventually at the beginning of WINDS, but as you will be able to tell from context, it actually takes place before some of the chapters at the end of DANCE.

http://grrm.livejour...com/257002.html

Here's my theory about Ramsay's letter, but you'll need to read the Theon preview chapter and this first.

Here's how I think The Battle in the Ice will go down...

Near the end of DANCE, Roose Bolton sent the Frey and Manderly forces out to find Stannis. Some of the Frey's fell into a trap set by Crowfood Umber, who had been waiting outside the walls of Winterfell, blowing horns, banging drums, and digging booby traps. The Manderly's will kill all remaining Frey’s, then find Stannis and let him know that they are on his side. It's also possible that the Manderly's will wait longer to reveal their true allegiance, and the Frey's will be tricked into fighting on the frozen lake where Stannis is encamped. In the Theon sample chapter from WINDS Stannis received the message that Jon Snow had sent by way of the Braavosi banker that Arnolf Karstark was planning to double cross him, so the Karstark's are no longer a threat and Stannis has use of the ravens that the Karstark's had secretly been using to send word of their position to Roose.

Manderly and Stannis plot how to best fool the Bolton's, and possibly use the bodies of dead Karstark's and/or Frey's to pose as Stannis' forces when Manderly returns to Winterfell to inform the Bolton's of Stannis' defeat. Manderly and Stannis further plot how best to ultimately defeat the Bolton's and retake Winterfell for the North. Upon his return to Winterfell Manderly arrives with his forces "decimated" (though they actually remain behind with Stannis) and word that the Frey's were completely wiped out in the battle. Manderly presents Roose with the bodies/ heads of Stannis' captains as well as Stannis' sword, Lightbringer. Ramsay asks Manderly, "Where are Reek and my bride?" to which Manderly replies, "Stannis sent them to the Wall before we arrived." At this point Ramsay sends the Pink Letter to Jon at the Wall.

The only people who could possibly know all the information contained in the Pink Letter are Ramsay, Mance, Mel, and a combination of Stannis/Theon. I have trouble imagining the circumstances that would allow Mance to have sent the letter, and it just doesn't feel like the type of tactics that Mel would use. So I lean towards the theory in the previous paragraph that Ramsay wrote the letter. However, the next most likely explanation is that after the Frey's have been defeated Stannis wrote the letter with Theon's help (and also probably the Mandrely's) with the intention of provoking Jon Snow to march on Winterfell and aid their cause.

In the Theon WINDS sample Stannis sends Ser Justin Massey to accompany the Braavosi banker so that he can acquire at least 20,000 sellswords (free companies) as well as ships from the Free Cities of Essos. Stannis tells Massey the following:

“It may be that we shall lose this battle [Winterfell],” the king said grimly. “In Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true. You shall find my sellswords nonetheless.”

Every Northern lord currently in Winterfell (including Lady Barbrey Dustin) is about to reveal that they were never on the Bolton's side. The gates will be opened for Stannis, and the Bolton's will be slaughtered.

I'm not sure when Davos will arrive back on the scene with Rickon, and I don't know how Robb's will is going to play into things.

I wish that in the end the Iron Throne could belong to Stannis, but I just don't think that's where the story is headed. Out of all the feasible candidates I feel that only Stannis and Jon Snow are fit to rule over Westeros. After Stannis defeats the Bolton's I think he might die fighting The Others. However, I think there could be another endgame for Stannis. Jon Snow was the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. I don't expect the 999th to live long. Stannis will become the 1000th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.

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More on the Pink Letter -

[spoilers for every book in the series, up to, and including,The Winds of Winter]

THE PINK LETTER

A word of warning, this post contains spoilers for every book in the series, up to, and including, The Winds of Winter. This means that not only should you hesitate to read it, you should keep in mind that it will likely all become bullroar upon the release of the next book.

Basterd, was the only word written outside the scroll. No Lord Snow or Jon Snow or Lord Commander. Simply Basterd. And the letter was sealed with a smear of hard pink wax. “You were right to come at once,” Jon said. You were right to be afraid. He cracked the seal, flattened the parchment, and read.

Your false king is dead, basterd. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.

Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, basterd. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.

I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, basterd, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your basterd’s heart and eat it.

It was signed,

Ramsay Bolton, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.

As promised, a treatise on the Pink Letter, that vulgar bit of cliffhanger that left the fates of Stannis, Jon, and the Watch itself in doubt. Supposedly written by Ramsay, I’ve seen the rumors floating around Tumblr. Some posit that it was written by Stannis, but I’ve seen every suspect from Mance to Bowen Marsh. On the most recent episode of A Podcast of Ice and Fire they jokingly wonder if it was written by Littlefinger. Now, the suggestion of Stannis makes a certain amount of sense in some regards, yet absolutely none in regards to others.

First of all, telling Jon that unless he does the unthinkable, surrendering women and children to a confessed murderer of women and children, he’ll be killed is sure to spur a response. Namely, a march south with a host of men. This would certainly help Stannis out, provided they brought along provisions and supplies suitable to reinvigorate his levies. But then, what do we make of the rest of the letter? It sure sounds like Ramsay’s tone. And he knows about Mance, and the number of spearwives that went with him. I don’t believe that Stannis knew about Melisandre’s little ruse (Melisandre remembers Stannis being angry over Jon having the Watch kill ‘Mance’ before he burned, which doesn’t make sense if he knew it had only been Rattleshirt), and he wasn’t there for the plan to rescue ‘Arya Stark’, regardless. There are those that argue that Stannis questioned Theon about Ramsay, using someone who was his captive for a year to gain information. There’s a case to be made there, of course. He never refers to ‘Arya’ as Arya, for instance, only calling her ‘my bride’. Theon, in his last chapter, shows a refusal to call her Arya. But, like Stannis, Theon never learned that Mance was Abel, so he’s out as well. But of course, there’s another strike against Stannis or any of his allies writing it.

Faking your death is a fine, crafty strategy, when it’s done to your enemies. To your allies, faking your death makes little to no sense. At best, it hurts morale. At worst, it can be severely disheartening. For all you know, you just convinced your followers to sue for peace and make common cause with your enemies. When you reveal your ruse, they turn against you.

On the other hand, suppose Stannis did write it. Would he really want Jon to come down from the Wall to settle a personal grievance? The man that is fighting a losing war for a throne he doesn’t really want, just because the law says he’s the heir? You could argue, of course, that Stannis isn’t likely to see a preemptive strike against someone that threatened the Lord Commander as oath-breaking, which I’m sure is the justification that Jon told himself before he planned to do it. Well, if Stannis wrote the Pink Letter, then Jon would have no grounds to attack the Boltons in the first place. That’s not a loophole, that’s outright fact. And that, I feel, is all the proof required that Stannis wouldn’t write the letter himself.

But what of the Theon preview chapter? Stannis has something planned for the ravens he captured from the Karstark traitors. What are they for, if not to send off a fake letter to Jon? Even more telling, he warns Justin Massey that while the latter is in Braavos hiring sellswords, he’s going to hear reports of Stannis being dead. ‘They may even be true.’ He says. That sure sounds like foreshadowing for Stannis to fake his death, doesn’t it? I agree completely.

I believe Stannis defeats the force that Roose has sent against him, and sends a phony message to Winterfell with the captured ravens. Either ‘we have defeated Stannis in seven days of battle, please send supplies’ or ‘we have defeated Stannis, please come guide us back to Winterfell’. Ramsay, upon hearing that, writes his peevish little note. This explains both the knowledge in the letter, and the gaps in that knowledge. For instance, Ramsay doesn’t mention Asha, or even killing her. He seems to think that Theon is still alive, and at the Wall, when the Winds preview ends with Stannis planning to execute him. Even if that got interrupted, we can assume that Theon would still be in chains close to Stannis. Now,maybe Asha escaped with her crippled brother in tow, but I doubt it. More likely Stannis didn’t mention it in his original letter, so Ramsay just assumed that Theon went with ‘Arya’ to the Wall. Why Stannis would include that tidbit, I’m not sure. It could be proof that Stannis really did die. But there’re enough gaps in that explanation to leave some hope.

Race For The Iron Throne

The PINK Letter

stannisisthefury:

A word of warning, this post contains spoilers for every book in the series, up to, and including,
The Winds of Winter
. This means that not only should you hesitate to read it, you should keep in mind that it will likely all become bullroar upon the release of the next book.

http://stannisisthefury.tumblr.com/post/55536906268' rel="external nofollow">

Agreed overall, but just to add some complications: "I believe Stannis defeats the force that Roose has sent against him, and sends a phony message to Winterfell with the captured ravens."

Stannis actually has multiple methods of false information:

  • He’s got the Winterfell ravens, so that he can send a message back from the Karstarks saying their betrayal plan worked and probably also the “send supplies" thing.
  • He’s also got access to the illusion ruby bracelet technology, so it’s possible that Stannis actually fakes his death on the field, say to provoke a rash charge from the Freys across a weakened section of ice.

  • The Manderlys can also bring false reports back, which I think works if Wyman gets the chance to (after his men charge the remaining Freys from the rear) say to Stannis - “I didn’t kill Davos, I sent him off to Skagos to bring back a Stark. Here’s the letter he left with me." This would explain the magic sword thing - Stannis could have handed his glowing sword to Wyman to bring back to Winterfell as further proof.

To me, the biggest proof of Stannis’ victory is the “seven day battle" thing. In medieval warfare, you don’t get seven day battles on open ground; sieges can last for a while, but not out on open ground. For extended battles, you need very good logistics to keep soldiers fed, clothed, and supplied so they can fight instead of spending their time foraging. You also need something of a bias to defense so that battles are less likely to end in a conclusive assault - a lot of U.S Civil War battles lasted several days because one side would dig in and the other side would launch a lot of failed frontal assaults because they hadn’t adapted to the technology shift of massed rifles instead of smooth-bore muskets.

However, given that Stannis is seven days away from Winterfell when the battle starts, the story makes a lot of sense if he marched on Winterfell and is waiting right outside the gates to launch a surprise attack.

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I don't think he was foreshadowing anything, it wasn't very subtle. Everything Jon was doing was the antithesis of what the Night's Watch stood for. He lost sight of his purpose. Not only had he taken vows to never get involved with the problems of the realm, he was voted by his peers as the Lord Commander, charged with the duty of making sure that nobody else broke their vows either.

Letting a host of Wildlings settle at the Wall, allowing the free practice of a foreign religion that many people in the North thought to be blasphemous at the Wall, and attempting to ride on Winterfell with an army of Wildlings and Night's Watchmen to re-take lands that never belonged to him in the first place.

Jon lost sight and got Julius Ceasared.

This is how I feel. With every agreement, compromise, he went so far against everything the night's watch stood for. It became kind of infuriating reading it, but it was enthralling at the same time. I get it form GRRM's perspective, he can't just have chapter after chapter of battles with the wildlings or rangings beyond the wall.

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I felt the same way about the Catelyn thing. When I first read the epilogue I was like hoooooly shiiiiit when they revealed it to be her. I thought Catelyn Stark coming back as Lady Stoneheart as some sort of avenging angel of death was really badass, but then I started thinking about what her purpose would be if she ever succeeded in destroying House Frey.

The sweetest form of poetic justice that I could think of is that it's actually her that passes on the fire of life to Jon, just as Berric did to her. The woman that so despised Jon for everything that he was using her own life to bring his back so he could save the realm just sounds so perfect. Which is probably why it won't happen, not to mention the logistics of it don't exactly make sense. She's in the Riverlands with the Brotherhood executing anything and everything that had to do with the Red Wedding and he's at the Wall.

One way that I could see Catelyn Stark being at the Wall in order to do this is if Jamie Lannister agrees to take the black and the Brotherhood escorts him there. Because in his one and only chapter in ADwD, he gets a visit from Brienne who says she knows where to find Lady Stoneheart. Jamie Lannister taking the black, restoring the Night's Watch to its former glory, and becoming the 1,000th Lord Commander seems a very fitting end to his redemption arc.

There is also a fair amount of attention brought to the storage rooms beneath the Wall. Jon thinks in one of his chapters about how remarkably cold it is down there, and we know that there is ancient magic in the Wall itself and that the Wights nor the Others can pass it. Also there is the matter of the magical door deep beneath the Wall that Coldhands couldn't pass for the same reason, and the door can only be opened by a member of the Night's Watch. I'm thinking that the storage rooms are definitely cold enough to preserve Jon's body.

There are just so many mysteries and prophesies to comb through it's almost exhausting. I got to the point to where I actually had a small notebook that I would write down every prophesy or dream I came across and would always have it with me so if I read something that piqued my interest I could go back and look to see when the prophesy was told or the dream was had and who it may have been about. These little riddles are the entire backbone of the story.

Holy **** that would be an incredible story arc for Jaime. I don't think Lady Stoneheart would entertain the idea of letting him take the black for half a second though, she is a disgusting creature driven solely by hate and need for revenge.

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Well you're quite welcome. I had a lot of help myself from a friend of mine who may be more obsessed with the details of this series than I am, not to mention the internet is just ripe for some truly fascinating discussion about the books.

The things I'm looking most forward to finding out more about in the next 2 books:

The Crypts of Winterfell. Something is down there, it draws far too much attention from too many different characters for them to have no importance and the books tell us that the crypts go much, much further down than anyone has even bothered to explore as of yet. From Rickon's infatuation with the crypts, to it being the first place Mance/Abel went with his spearwives upon arriving in Winterfell, to Jon having his terrifying reoccurring dream of being pulled further down before waking up, to Lady Barbrey Dustin giving a whole lot of attention to it while walking with Theon- there's something there. Maybe the true Horn of Joramun that has the power to bring down the Wall? The truth about Jon's heritage? The stone dragon that is apart of the Azor Ahai prophesy?

Where is Robb's letter? Someone in the North has possession of Robb's letter legitimizing Jon as a Stark and naming him Lord of Winterfell and King In The North. My guess is Lady Dustin, or at the very least she knows who does. She was entirely too adamant about telling Theon of her hatred for Eddard Stark. It almost seemed like she was drilling it into his head so he would relay the message to Ramsay and avoid suspicion. The entire North is conspiring against the Boltons and it's only a matter of time before the entire plan comes into view.

What is Wyman Manderly's plan? Before leaving for Winterfell, he sent Davos to the island of Skagos to bring back Rickon after finding out that that is where Osha took him. He left White Harbour with an enormous surplus of food and 3 Freys that were supposed to arrive with him but never showed up. Manderly later serves up 3 enormous pies to the Boltons and Freys at the wedding of Ramsay Bolton and "Arya Stark" while laughing hysterically and asking Abel (Mance) to sing about the Rat Cook. According to legend, the Rat Cook was a cook at the Nightfort who served an Andal King a pie that was made of bacon and, unknown to the King, the King's own son who the Cook had killed earlier. He then provokes a fight with the Freys at the wedding that results in Roose Bolton ordering the Freys and the men of White Harbor to be the first ones out of the gates to ride against Stannis Baratheon.

So we know someone in the North has Robb's letter, everyone in the North hates the Boltons and the Freys, White Harbor has a secret pact to pledge allegiance to Stannis as long as Davos returns with Rickon, Manderly likes to make Frey pies and serve them to their kin, and now the men of White Harbor have the Freys all by themselves out in the open, away from Winterfell and the Boltons. Also, the Liddles and the rest of the mountain tribes loyal to the Starks know that Bran is still alive, as he stayed with them on his way to the Wall. I just can't wait until it all falls into place and the entire North drops the ******* hammer on House Frey and House Bolton. The North Remembers, indeed.

Basically I'm just really ******* intrigued by everything going on in the North right now.

I completely forgot about Robb's letter. Interesting that Robb had already ordered it when Stannis offered it to Jon (though it wouldn't have had any real effect).

I haven't thought the crypts were significant until this post, but it makes sense.

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Agree on all counts

And I'm with you, I don't think Jon is dead either....at least not permanently.
I think he needs to die and be reborn to shed his duties to the Night's Watch so he can go elsewhere in the realm as the story needs. It's been frustrating, even despite all of the action there, that he's been stuck at the wall.

I wonder where Sam's story will go as well

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lol, I'm actually about to begin A Game Of Thrones tonight and do a complete re-read of all the books. It should be way more interesting the 2nd time through.

Brienne is definitely taking Jamie to Lady Stoneheart. In her last chapter of Feast, Brienne is about to be hanged until she screams out one final word (Which Martin himself has confirmed was "SWORD!" meaning that she was willing to once again pledge her sword to Catelyn and retrieve Jamie Lannister).Then she arrives in Jamie's tent, telling him that she knows where to find the Brotherhood.

And remember, the last words Catelyn Stark hears are "Jamie Lannister sends his regards" right before Roose Bolton plunges his sword into Robb's chest.

Also bob, one more thing I'm interested in seeing happen:

All the stars seem to be aligning for a final showdown between the Clegane brothers. Assuming of course that Robert Strong is indeed the re-animated Gregor Clegane, and Sandor Clegane is the Gravedigger of Quiet Isle. Cersei has chosen Strong as her champion, and I believe that The Faith will choose Sandor to face him in the trial for Cersei's life.
I forgot about the grave digger, and never put two and two together it might be Sandor.

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Jon was doing the right thing - the ultimate purpose of the Watch is to defend the realms of men against the Others. Those that conspired against him were Lord Commander candidate also-rans and people that the likes of Jeor Mormont and Maester Aemon never really thought that highly of as leaders. And they ensured their own demise in doing so; Jon was the glue holding the Wall together and it's about to be a total bloodbath there.

Melisandre - "I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows me only Snow."

"When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone."

Under a bleeding star (Ser Patrek that Wun Wun ripped apart had a star as his sigil), amid salt (Bowen Marsh’s tears) and smoke (Jon’s wounds “smoked” in the cold air).

"Kill the boy within you, I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born." The old man felt Jon's face. "You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born."

Born again hard, like in Full Metal Jacket.

Jon is the Keanu Reeves-figure of this series.

RhhkkBJ.jpg

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Jon was doing the right thing - the ultimate purpose of the Watch is to defend the realms of men against the Others. Those that conspired against him were Lord Commander candidate also-rans and people that the likes of Jeor Mormont and Maester Aemon never really thought that highly of as leaders. And they insured their own demise in doing so; Jon was the glue holding the Wall together and it's about to be a total bloodbath there.

Melisandre - "I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows me only Snow."

"When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone."

Under a bleeding star (Ser Patrek that Wun Wun ripped apart had a star as his sigil), amid salt (Bowen Marsh’s tears) and smoke (Jon’s wounds “smoked” in the cold air).

"Kill the boy within you, I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born." The old man felt Jon's face. "You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born."

Born again hard, like in Full Metal Jacket.

Jon is the Keanu Reeves-figure of this series.

RhhkkBJ.jpg

Yeah that's why I definitely think he "dies" and Melisandre is conveniently right there to raise him. Though I don't imagine the Night's Watch will give her immediate access to him, and will want to burn his body. Selyse has no love for Jon, but if Melisandre tells her she needs Jon she'll listen. Whether Melisandre will realize he's Azor or not I don't know, and even if she figures that out she can't dare tell Stannis or Selyse.

I do wonder what Stannis' ultimate fate will be, especially if Melisandre has been wrong about him. I wonder if Jon will actually get light bringer from him, or if Long Claw become become a sword of fire once he's reborn.

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I can't say whether I think GRRM can really wrap everything up in 2 books until I read Dance. If the 2 books equal close to 3000 pages, I guess he can. You can't force art. I hope he has good doctors.

Unless POV characters start dying, it will be tough to wrap things up, there are so many different story lines intersecting at the end of Dance. Then again, if he doesn't have ******* Hotah as a POV character, that might be a little easier to accomplish.

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Yeah that's why I definitely think he "dies" and Melisandre is conveniently right there to raise him. Though I don't imagine the Night's Watch will give her immediate access to him, and will want to burn his body. Selyse has no love for Jon, but if Melisandre tells her she needs Jon she'll listen. Whether Melisandre will realize he's Azor or not I don't know, and even if she figures that out she can't dare tell Stannis or Selyse.

I do wonder what Stannis' ultimate fate will be, especially if Melisandre has been wrong about him. I wonder if Jon will actually get light bringer from him, or if Long Claw become become a sword of fire once he's reborn.

I don't think Stannis would have a problem acknowledging who the real Azor Ahai is. The Jon-Stannis bromance is second only to Davos-Stannis.

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"... nothing to kill or die for."

No religion, too.

I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. In King’s Landing, the High Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men.

CLAYTON SUGGS: A sacrifice will prove our faith still burns true, Sire.

GODRY THE GIANTSLAYER: The old gods of the north have sent this storm upon us. Only R'hllor can end it. We must give him an unbeliever

STANNIS: Half my army is made up of unbelievers. I will have no burnings. Pray harder.

I can see Stannis giving up his claim to the throne if presented with evidence of someone with a better claim than him. That's all he really wants, though he wants justice brought to the realm, starting with cleaning out Kings Landing. I think he'd have a hard time swallowing someone with a legitimate claim better than his, but who he knew would be corrupt.

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Here's how I think The Battle in the Ice will go down...

Near the end of DANCE, Roose Bolton sent the Frey and Manderly forces out to find Stannis. Some of the Frey's fell into a trap set by Crowfood Umber, who had been waiting outside the walls of Winterfell, blowing horns, banging drums, and digging booby traps. The Manderly's will kill all remaining Frey’s, then find Stannis and let him know that they are on his side. It's also possible that the Manderly's will wait longer to reveal their true allegiance, and the Frey's will be tricked into fighting on the frozen lake where Stannis is encamped. In the Theon sample chapter from WINDS Stannis received the message that Jon Snow had sent by way of the Braavosi banker that Arnolf Karstark was planning to double cross him, so the Karstark's are no longer a threat and Stannis has use of the ravens that the Karstark's had secretly been using to send word of their position to Roose.

Manderly and Stannis plot how to best fool the Bolton's, and possibly use the bodies of dead Karstark's and/or Frey's to pose as Stannis' forces when Manderly returns to Winterfell to inform the Bolton's of Stannis' defeat. Manderly and Stannis further plot how best to ultimately defeat the Bolton's and retake Winterfell for the North. Upon his return to Winterfell Manderly arrives with his forces "decimated" (though they actually remain behind with Stannis) and word that the Frey's were completely wiped out in the battle. Manderly presents Roose with the bodies/ heads of Stannis' captains as well as Stannis' sword, Lightbringer. Ramsay asks Manderly, "Where are Reek and my bride?" to which Manderly replies, "Stannis sent them to the Wall before we arrived." At this point Ramsay sends the Pink Letter to Jon at the Wall.

The only people who could possibly know all the information contained in the Pink Letter are Ramsay, Mance, Mel, and a combination of Stannis/Theon. I have trouble imagining the circumstances that would allow Mance to have sent the letter, and it just doesn't feel like the type of tactics that Mel would use. So I lean towards the theory in the previous paragraph that Ramsay wrote the letter. However, the next most likely explanation is that after the Frey's have been defeated Stannis wrote the letter with Theon's help (and also probably the Mandrely's) with the intention of provoking Jon Snow to march on Winterfell and aid their cause.

In the Theon WINDS sample Stannis sends Ser Justin Massey to accompany the Braavosi banker so that he can acquire at least 20,000 sellswords (free companies) as well as ships from the Free Cities of Essos. Stannis tells Massey the following:

“It may be that we shall lose this battle [Winterfell],” the king said grimly. “In Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true. You shall find my sellswords nonetheless.”

Every Northern lord currently in Winterfell (including Lady Barbrey Dustin) is about to reveal that they were never on the Bolton's side. The gates will be opened for Stannis, and the Bolton's will be slaughtered.

I'm not sure when Davos will arrive back on the scene with Rickon, and I don't know how Robb's will is going to play into things.

I wish that in the end the Iron Throne could belong to Stannis, but I just don't think that's where the story is headed. Out of all the feasible candidates I feel that only Stannis and Jon Snow are fit to rule over Westeros. After Stannis defeats the Bolton's I think he might die fighting The Others. However, I think there could be another endgame for Stannis. Jon Snow was the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. I don't expect the 999th to live long. Stannis will become the 1000th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.

Whoah.

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ok, so Jon is Rhaegar and Lyana's, and also Azor Asai - how is this revealed in the books? Who, that is currently living, will know this and be able to tell Jon? Mostly as far as the R + L reveal. I'm sure Melisandre will be able to tell he's Azor. I saw somewhere online today a theory that maybe Bran could see it through a weirwood, but their union/consummation would happen at the Tower of Joy, so I dunno.

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