A Song of Ice and Fire books

Discussion in 'Books and Music' started by Buford The Sly, May 12, 2011.

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  1. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    Oh you lucky bastard!:argh:

    Haha hope you have fun, and impress upon GRRM that we are eagerly awaiting the next book.
     
    #676
  2. Victarion

    Victarion Iron Captain

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    Punch him in the dick for Sawyer and me. :cmad:

    Ask him what is favorite subgenre of Sci-Fi is; he wrote quite a bit of it prior to ASOIAF.
     
    #677
  3. Roose Bolton

    Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    Start crying and tell him that slaves of Volantis are waiting for him.
     
    #678
  4. CrypticOne

    CrypticOne Poetic Violence

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    What's GRRM doing having book signings?! He needs to be working on The Winds of Winter. NOW!
     
    #679
  5. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    I just read this really interesting theory with compelling evidence that Robert's Rebellion may have been in the planning years before Rhaegar stole Lyanna. It is a theory born out of Lady Barbrey Dustin saying Eddard had "southron" ambitions. In summary, it is believed it was intended for Westeros to unite together with Rhaegar and force the Mad King out of power. It wasn't supposed to be a violent overthrow of the dynasty but Rhaegar's abduction of Lyanna, Tywin's resigning the handship and going to brood in Casterly Rock and the death of both Rickard and Brandon were serious setbacks. It's possible Ary's got wind of this and this is why he killed Rickard and Brandon and demanded Robert and Eddard. If you have read ADWD then read this:

    In A Dance with Dragons, we learned that Lady Barbrey Dustin hates the Stark family and especially Eddard Stark for first not letting her marry Brandon Stark and then dragging her forced husband into the rebellious war of Robert Baratheon. While it may seem possible that the anger about her dead husband is only a surrogate for something she doesn't wish to reveal, she tells Theon some conspiracy theories that make more sense than they should, and which fill the reader with a sense of unease. In short: there seems to be more about the outbreak of the rebellion than we originally knew. It seems like Aerys' summoning of people to the court was not just the product of an insane mind, but also the very real backlash against something that was going on before. In fact, what Lady Dustin calls "southron ambitions" of Lord Rickard Stark seems to be not so much a conspiracy theory of hers than reality. And it's rewarding to go into it.

    First, let's recollect what we think to know about the rebellion. When Rhaegar Targaryen abducted or seduced Lyanna Stark, Brandon rode to the Red Keep with his companions, challenging Rhaegar to duel and was instead imprisoned. Rickard was then summoned to court and executed together with Brandon. Aerys then demanded Eddard and Robert, both wards of Jon Arryn, who refused and instead rebelled. Eddard rallied the North, Robert conquered first the Stormlands back in the three battles of Summerhall and then marched to meet with the armies of Eddard and Hoster Tully. The latter had changed sides to the rebel's cause for the marriage of Jon Arryn to Lysa Tully and in turn conquered his own Riverlands before. In the Battle of the Bells, they managed to unite their forces and then win the final battle at the Trident, the result of which prompted Tywin Lannister, who had stayed neutral, to side with the rebels.

    Now, some things about this are odd. One does not wonder about them initially, since none of the characters do; for them, it's just how things happened and no survivor is around to ask. But there is actually a prelude to these events. Let's go a few years before the tourney of Harrenhal. Not many, just three or four at most. There are several great lords, all knowing each other better than usual because they fought together in the War of the Ninepenny Kings a few years prior. Jon Arryn, Steffon Baratheon, Rickard Stark, Hoster Tully and Tywin Lannister are all war buddies. With the exception of the latter, they seem to have taken kind of a friendship out of this war. At least this would explain why they sent each other wards: Eddard and Robert both went to the Eyrie for fostering. Robert was in love to Lyanna and talks of a betrothal were conducted. And Hoster wanted to wed his daughters to the heirs of Winterfell and Casterly Rock, respectively.

    This is highly unusual, but again, for the protagonists of the novels this is just how it happens, and they don't seem to spend a lot of thought about it. If we look into the relations of the great houses under normal circumstances, they rarely marry each other. In fact, they normally marry with their own bannermen. Hoster Tully, for example, wed Minisa Whent. Tywin Lannister even wed into his own family with Joanna Lannister, a cousin of his. Steffon Baratheon wed Cassana Estermont. Rickard's wife is unknown, but her mother was of Clan Flint. Mace Tyrell wed Alerie Hightower. Balon Greyjoy was married to Alannys Harlaw. On a smaller scale, the same is true most of the time for the bannermen themselves; they rarely marry into other kingdoms. This is important, because the political influence and stability in their own domain is of paramount importance for all of the lords in a kingdom. Marrying others is only useful in two cases: if you want to seal a peace or if you want to seal an alliance. Otherwise, you don't do this, because gaining or retaining influence with your own vassals is more important. This is especially true of a remote kingdom like the North.

    And yet, suddenly, Lord Rickard marries one son with House Tully and sends the other to foster with House Arryn, both happening to be the direct neighbors of the North. There is no peace to seal, and just being buddies with both lords by war doesn't exactly justify this. Thinking of the matter like that, Lady Dustin's claim that Rickard harbored "southron ambitions" suddenly can be viewed in a wholly different light. What exactly was happening in these years that five major houses at least considered forging an alliance? Remember, Jaime Lannister was supposed to marry Lysa Tully before he took the white of the Kingsguard! This would have brought the Lannisters into the alliance as well, leaving out only House Greyjoy, which is irrelevant, and House Martell, which can't be trusted from their perspective, and House Tyrell. The latter had no children in the right age bracket to be included into the alliance making, which may be a contributing factor to why they were left out, and they couldn't stand against five united houses anyway. But what was the intent of this alliance?

    To understand this, we have to go back into A Feast for Crows, in which Jaime remembers Rhaegar leaving the Red Keep for the Trident. Rhaegar announced that once the battle was done, he intended to call a council to make changes. We never learn what changes he wanted to make since the battle turned out badly, but it's not a long shot to assume that he wanted to get rid of his father and to include all the major houses in it - which could be just what the five houses had in mind, too. With their power combined, they could exert political pressure without really going to war or undertaking other drastic measures like this, and force Aerys to either make concessions or to resign for Rhaegar. It's unlikely that they had a change of dynasties in mind; that turn of events was Aerys' doing when he killed Rickard and Brandon and demanded Robert and Eddard. It drove the stakes higher than anyone imagined before. But the idea of a political alliance against Aerys to turn the realm into something better would fit into the picture.

    Let's dwell in that idea for a while. Until now, we just looked at the persons representing the major houses and what they did, but there are at least two persons behind the scenes of which we know who also seemed to have agendas that fit into this: Varys in King's Landing and Rickard's Maester Walys. The former we all know; the eunuch in King's Landing is there like forever and whispers into Aerys' ear. His constant claims that he wants only to keep the peace and his attempts of restoring the dynasty with a boy specifically groomed for the job make them something like believable. It would fit into the picture that Varys did indeed fuel Aerys' paranoia by pointing out people standing in the way of this scheme. This would mean that Aerys got rid of the people that would have been able to protect him. Even the idea of taking Jaime from Tywin to estrange him from Aerys could have been a part of this broader scheme. Of course, this is highly speculative, and it requires the existence of yet another person, at least, with whom to scheme.

    Lady Dustin's contempt for Rickard Stark and the Stark family in general is only topped by her loathing for Rickard's maester, Walys. This person whom we'd never heard of prior to A Dance with Dragons is made responsible for the Tully marriage and thus fueling Rickard's ambitions. We don't know much about Walys, but it's not too unlikely that he was able to communicate with Varys somehow, and even with Grand Maester Pycelle, who saw himself as a true servant of House Lannister which was viewed as an ally at that time.

    Since this story is A Song of Ice and Fire, even plans made by Varys and comparable master schemers fail. If this big plan was ever constructed like that, it clearly failed. Rhaegar's abduction of Lyanna, Tywin's resigning the handship and going to brood in Casterly Rock and the death of both Rickard and Brandon must have been a serious setback. Suddenly, the potential alliance of five was reduced to only two. The Starks were personally involved and could not draw back anymore, but Hoster Tully was all but a very loyal man: obviously, the marriage between Brandon/Eddard and Catelyn did not move him to go to war instantly. He instead bartered with Jon Arryn. Arryn himself was ready and picked up the cause when Aerys commanded him to turn over his wards. But one question remains unanswered still: why did Aerys demand Robert Baratheon in the first place?

    If we accept the idea of a scheme being hatched and Jon Arryn being a vital part in it, we have to acknowledge the idea that Robert did not meet Lyanna Stark by chance. Most likely she visited her brother Eddard at the Eyrie at some time, and there Robert learned to know her. We know that Robert easily loves something and wants to have it badly, and perhaps he was even encouraged subtly. Rickard, who may well have been in contact with Jon Arryn, could have already brokered the idea of a marriage between the two. That way, House Stark would have been married to two great houses - Tully and Baratheon - and bound to another by wardenship. Since Elbert Arryn was a constant companion of Brandon Stark, without us ever knowing why, the theory gains even more ground. It's never explicitly mentioned but possible that Elbert Arryn was a ward or at least guest in Winterfell for quite some time. The relations between the three houses of Baratheon, Stark and Arryn were stronger than most relations in the Seven Kingdoms ever become. Since Robert was the adolescent overlord of the Stormlands, influencing him had to be an easy exercise for Jon Arryn. Of course, Aerys doesn't seem like the guy to make such rational thoughts. If we accept Varys or someone else to be a part of this, giving Aerys the idea to demand Robert too and place the Stormlands into the camp of Arryn and Stark is just the move you want to make - or not to make, if you are a Targaryen king facing a rebellion.

    The demand of Aerys immediately put three houses together on one side. They counted on the Tullys, too, and perhaps hoped for Lannister neutrality or alliance. The Tullys were not as eager to go into it, which may be attributed to their exposed geographical position and the fact that the outbreak of the rebellion was nothing like they planned (if they planned), so he may have felt betrayed and/or at least used, since the Riverlands were likely to get the first blow. The whole affair was terribly rushed and chaotic, but Jon Arryn had crossed the Rubicon. Eddard and Robert, both adolescent and by fate now heads of their houses and kingdoms, were both mere pawns of Jon Arryn, too young and inexperienced to notice what happened, especially since it was in their best interest (Eddard's, at least). Both regarded Jon Arryn as a larger-than-life father figure even as late as A Game of Thrones, fifteen years later. That's a fierce devotion, which had to be even stronger in the days when they actually lived with him. Jon Arryn brokered the alliance with House Tully by marrying Lysa, and now the alliance was four houses strong. Two others stayed outside of the conflict - Lannister and Greyjoy - and one - Martell - was doubtful and had to be convinced into the war by Rhaegar himself, since Aerys had estranged the Dornish over and over again. Only Tyrell was true to Aerys, but Mace Tyrell didn't take a terribly big risk by taking a huge part of his host to Storm's End and sitting there.

    It's not entirely clear what the war aim at that point was. Perhaps Arryn and other schemers still hoped to overthrow Aerys and to restore Targaryen dynasty, perhaps with more freedoms and privileges for the kingdoms, strengthening their autonomy. All these plans went out the window when Lyanna died and Rhaegar was slain, however. Eddard's fury was second only to Robert's, who would not suffer one Targaryen to survive and grew into the natural contender for the throne in exchange for the Targaryen dynasty as a whole. Perhaps Jon Arryn still hoped to be able to broker a compromise after the Trident, restoring some peaceful order under Targaryen rule, but it was blown to hell when Tywin Lannister made his own step and conquered King's Landing, murdering all Targaryens present in the city. No one anticipated that move, but it created a fait accompli. There was no turning back, and the Targaryen dynasty had to be removed as a whole.

    Whatever Rickard Stark's "southron ambitions" had been, however, they had not come into fruition. Eddard retreated to Winterfell, grieving over the death of Lyanna and with no taste for power, returning Winterfell into an essentially isolationist position without any stakes south of the Neck. Jon Arryn brokered the marriage between Robert and Cersei Lannister, thereby creating a new alliance to rest the new dynasty on, an alliance that would prove very unstable. The loss of his own heirs Elbert and Denys weakened his dynasty severely, and the bad marriage with Lysa Tully let it face extinction. Hoster Tully too seems to have reverted to his own business, Mace Tyrell was excluded from the affairs anywhere, and the peace Jon Arryn made with Dorne was basically treating Dorne as if it was no part of the kingdoms at all. If the houses had ever aspired a better foundation for a lasting peace in the whole realm, this dream was shattered at the end of Robert's Rebellion. The "southron ambitions" had brought no benefit for the North, and the affairs of the realm stayed in the hands of those willing to take it. Jon Arryn was content with upholding a peace that became more and more facade, and his inevitable death finally destroyed the balance of power, giving way to the Lannister rise and the demise of Houses Stark and Baratheon.

    http://towerofthehand.com/blog/2012/01/05-southron-ambitions/index.html
     
    #680
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  6. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    Actually checked the date again and it's this weekend. My bad. I'll be sure to punch him in the wiener and say "This is for Sawyer and Mr. Wooden Aligator!". :yay:
     
    #681
  7. CrypticOne

    CrypticOne Poetic Violence

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    It's weird to know where Varys and Littlefinger fit into this too. What are their true agendas? I mean, Littlefinger basically started the A Song of Ice and Fire series, yeah?
     
    #682
  8. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    I hold to the theory that Varys [BLACKOUT]is a Blackfyre rebel[/BLACKOUT] along with Iryllio. Littlefinger, who knows what his motivations are? He thinks with his d*ck a little too much if you ask me. Will probably be his downfall.
     
    #683
  9. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    I'm leaning towards this as well. Varys has been masterminding stuff since the reign of the Mad King. He practically invented the Game of Thrones and the rules it runs on. Everyone else is just a pawn in Varys' schemes. I really can't wait for the moment when everyone steps back and says "Damn that eunuch ****ed us good!" Its really poetic considering his lack of manhood.
     
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  10. CrypticOne

    CrypticOne Poetic Violence

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    Varys must be someone, I agree. He has minions all throughout the Seven Kingdoms. All these people wouldn't blindly follow him and tell him of everyone's plans.
     
    #685
  11. Sawyer

    Sawyer High King

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    I'm gonna really need to pick up the pace with my reading. I've gotta get to ADWD so I know what the hell y'all are talking about.
     
    #686
  12. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    The epilogue in ADWD had me going :wow: It was one of my favorite moments in the whole series cause it just comes out of nowhere and is so badass. Yes, you must read faster.
     
    #687
  13. Victarion

    Victarion Iron Captain

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    I'll be honest--I haven't gotten past GOT yet, though its certainly not because the book is unreadable. Martin's prose is fairly snappy. Your discussions are leading me to consider dropping the Malazan Book of the Fallen to get through the 5 ASOIAF novels.

    Do any of you recommend Armageddon Rag?
     
    #688
  14. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    I've never read it, but Martin himself has talked about it being an unimaginable failure that nearly ended his novel writing career. The publisher thought it would do bukoos of sales and gave him a big advance but it didn't sale for ****. After that he couldn't get much of an advance on anything. A Storm of Swords is what got him back on track.

    Lol so you could give it a shot.
     
    #689
  15. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    Saw the great GRRM yesterday. Got to hear him read two chapters of the Winds of Winter. [BLACKOUT]Barristan and Tyrion[/BLACKOUT], both were good. He mentioned that the new book opens with [BLACKOUT]two big battles one in Mareen the other in the North.[/BLACKOUT] Someone asked the [BLACKOUT]is Jon Snow dead question.[/BLACKOUT] He issued a quick "no comment".
     
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  16. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna make a guess about the North. [Blackout] Tormund Giantsbane and others aren't too happy at Jon being stabbed in the back and proceed to lay waste to those who did it and the queen's men.[/blackout]
     
    #691
  17. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    Or [BLACKOUT]Stannis against the Boltons[/BLACKOUT].
     
    #692
  18. CrypticOne

    CrypticOne Poetic Violence

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    My thought as well.

    What was Tyrion's chapter about?
     
    #693
  19. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    It's been read before according to the Westeros boards. However it basically was:
    Tyrion and Brown Ben Plumb playing Cyvaas and having a battle of wits while the trebuchets outside their tent is flinging bodies infected by the "pale mare" into Mareen. Tyrion basically is thinking that he can never lose to Brown Ben in this game or he will think that Tyrion is not as cunning as he appears to be and kill him because he'll have no use for someone that is not as smart as he is. Tyrion is trying to convince Brown Ben to flip back to Dany's side as opposed to the Yunki because she has Dragons. They get interupted a couple of times by some dude that keeps telling them about ships approaching off shore. Brown Ben dismisses him by saying those are the Volantis ships coming to the aid of the Yunki. Then at the end of the chapter Mormont comes in and says those ships are flying black sails with Golden Krakens on them, Greyjoys! Tyrion is like WTF?!
    GRRM said at the end of the reading "and shortly after this the ***** hits the fan".
     
    #694
  20. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    He also confirmed that [BLACKOUT]none of the Gods that anyone worships will show up at any point in the story[/BLACKOUT]. Which seemed kind of obvious but someone asked.
     
    #695
  21. CrypticOne

    CrypticOne Poetic Violence

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    I can't wait to read the Greyjoy's tearing things up! WAR VICTARION!
     
    #696
  22. Spidey-Bat

    Spidey-Bat Ours is the Fury

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    [BLACKOUT]We know the Old Gods exist...sort of.[/BLACKOUT] Which is kind of ironic.

    By the way, I just thought about this earlier. Is there some sort of heaven-equivalent in the Faith of the Seven? I can only recall characters mentioning seven Hells.
     
    #697
  23. CrypticOne

    CrypticOne Poetic Violence

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    Seems like R'hller or whatever its called is the realest religion.
     
    #698
  24. Buford The Sly

    Buford The Sly Hit'n the deck

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    Well the [BLACKOUT]Children of the Forest[/BLACKOUT] are real in the story. However we will never know that the [BLACKOUT]Old Gods[/BLACKOUT] actually exist.
     
    #699
  25. Marvolo

    Marvolo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not even sure that would count as a battle. More like two crippled old goats hitting head on.


    Victarion is going to tear **** up! I hate the man, but I he gets **** done lol.

    Oh and I really wish GRRM would change it up and stop dragging chapters out and then ending on a cliffhanger right as things get good . He said in interviews that he learned that technique in TV as a way of getting viewers to stick around through the commercial break because they wanted to see what happened. The problem is that some chapters meander for the first 2/3 and then end as things are getting good and then this character won't show up for a hundred pages and when they do the good stuff is over and we are reading the aftermath. I wouldn't mind it every once in a while but for every freaking chapter it is annoying. He doesn't have to get me to stick around every single time. I'm reading his book already and I ain't going anywhere. It makes for a very choppy pace.

    ADWD felt like a book of cliffhangers and I got tired of waiting a hundred pages or more to see what happened to a character so I mapped out the chapters and came up with a chapter order I could better enjoy. Not saying GRRM is wrong. It is his books, but for my own enjoyment I had to tweak it a bit.
     
    #700
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
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