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  1. #46
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I believe Stannis is already dead about as much as I believed that Manderley had really killed Davos back in Feast. Which is to say, not at all.
    Exactly. No chapter about the battle means it's completely open to speculation. If we had, say, a Theon chapter or an Asha chapter where they run of after watching Karstark turn their banners, then okay. But we didn't...
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  2. #47
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Also... why was Bowen Marsh *crying* as he stabbed Jon? I never saw any love between the two, and Jon repeatedly rebuked Marsh's advice. So his crying strikes me as rather odd - stone-faced I could see. But crying?

    Something's amiss there.
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  3. #48
    Senior Member Sheldon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valmore View Post
    Also... why was Bowen Marsh *crying* as he stabbed Jon? I never saw any love between the two, and Jon repeatedly rebuked Marsh's advice. So his crying strikes me as rather odd - stone-faced I could see. But crying?

    Something's amiss there.
    I think he's being controlled by some powerful warg.

  4. #49
    Administrator Expletive Deleted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valmore View Post
    Also... why was Bowen Marsh *crying* as he stabbed Jon? I never saw any love between the two, and Jon repeatedly rebuked Marsh's advice. So his crying strikes me as rather odd - stone-faced I could see. But crying?
    Even if the Lord Commander needs to die for the greater good, he's still the Lord Commander and a Sworn Brother.

    It didn't strike me as terribly out of place.
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  5. #50
    Give Me Your Sins Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon View Post
    I think he's being controlled by some powerful warg.
    Possible. But Jon can sense skinchangers and he only picked up the one with the boar.
    Slayven ftw.

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  6. #51
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expletive Deleted View Post
    Even if the Lord Commander needs to die for the greater good, he's still the Lord Commander and a Sworn Brother.

    It didn't strike me as terribly out of place.
    Except we've seen the worth of the majority of these men, which is to say not much - and by all accounts Bowen Marsh supported Janos Slynt for Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. And Jon Snow beheaded Janos Slynt.

    No, if it were Sam crying with the dagger in his hand, or Dolorous Edd, I could understand the crying. Bowen Marsh crying makes little sense.
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  7. #52
    Administrator Expletive Deleted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valmore View Post
    Except we've seen the worth of the majority of these men, which is to say not much - and by all accounts Bowen Marsh supported Janos Slynt for Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. And Jon Snow beheaded Janos Slynt.
    Yes, but he's not killing Jon as revenge for Janos Slynt. He's doing it for the good of the Watch.
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  8. #53
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expletive Deleted View Post
    Yes, but he's not killing Jon as revenge for Janos Slynt. He's doing it for the good of the Watch.
    Well and good of the Watch, sure. But it still makes little sense to me. I could be overthinking it, which can be easy to do considering Martin's work. But something about it still seems off to me.
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  9. #54
    Magnificent Bastard worstblogever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I believe Stannis is already dead about as much as I believed that Manderley had really killed Davos back in Feast. Which is to say, not at all.
    See, the path Stannis is on...

    I'm wondering if he IS dead, but will be back. The same way Beric Dondarrion, Catelyn Stark, and Gregor Clegane (who has GOT to be Robert Strong) are.


    Past that, Arya's still fascinated. She's been indocrinated into a cult of assassins, who seem to be pushing her away from her own vendettas and towards their own kills. Which makes me wonder at one point her story becomes full circle. Do they send her after someone on her hit list or... does she end up being given a target like Littlefinger, and end up reuniting with her sister?

    And I marked out like crazy when Drogon returned to Dany like he did. And at all the Barristan Selmy chapters that followed. Barristan might be the next "good" POV character I'll enjoy, after Ned Stark, Sam Tarly, and Jon Snow.

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  10. #55
    Give Me Your Sins Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by worstblogever View Post
    See, the path Stannis is on...

    I'm wondering if he IS dead, but will be back. The same way Beric Dondarrion, Catelyn Stark, and Gregor Clegane (who has GOT to be Robert Strong) are.


    Past that, Arya's still fascinated. She's been indocrinated into a cult of assassins, who seem to be pushing her away from her own vendettas and towards their own kills. Which makes me wonder at one point her story becomes full circle. Do they send her after someone on her hit list or... does she end up being given a target like Littlefinger, and end up reuniting with her sister?

    And I marked out like crazy when Drogon returned to Dany like he did. And at all the Barristan Selmy chapters that followed. Barristan might be the next "good" POV character I'll enjoy, after Ned Stark, Sam Tarly, and Jon Snow.
    Remember that Catelyn came back wrong because her body was too far gone. If the Bastard of Bolton can be believed he has chopped off Stannis's head, which is even worse.

    The common theory is that Arya will be saved by a reunion with Nymeria.
    Slayven ftw.

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  11. #56
    Magnificent Bastard worstblogever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Remember that Catelyn came back wrong because her body was too far gone. If the Bastard of Bolton can be believed he has chopped off Stannis's head, which is even worse.

    The common theory is that Arya will be saved by a reunion with Nymeria.
    "Came back wrong" would be a great name for a heavy metal song, by the way. It's very "Pet Sematery".

    I like that Arya theory, I'd like it even more if there was a combination of mine and that one.
    Last edited by worstblogever; 07-22-2011 at 10:25 AM.

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  12. #57
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    Remember that, when the kind man made her get rid of her "treasures," Arya saved Needle, and hid it under the steps by the docks. That, combined with her wolf dreams of Nymeria, is symbolic of her connection to her old identity. As long as those still exist, she won't be fully gone.

    Me, I think she'll run away when she hears about Jon's "death."
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  13. #58
    Give Me Your Sins Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by worstblogever View Post
    "Came back wrong" would be a great name for a heavy metal song, by the way. It's very "Pet Sematery".

    I like that Arya theory, I'd like it even more if there was a combination of mine and that one.
    It is a good name, come to think of it. Heh.

    I'm all for a Sansa/Arya reunion, though. They hated each other so much in their innocent days that it'll be sweet to see them together again.
    Slayven ftw.

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  14. #59
    optimist moebius's Avatar
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    Here is something that has really bothered me about ADWD upon further reflection: It is a book where 2/3rds of the stories (Tyrion & Danerys) have no complete arc. They start somewhere, they travel much of the distance, but they never reach a satisfying end point. Only the Jon chapters feel like they have a beginning, middle and "end":

    -Jon: Begins the book as the new, green Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Moves through the book becoming an inspirational, progressive leader, but also alienating his Sworn Brothers. Ends the book by being betrayed by former allies less progressive than he was (and for forgetting his vows in his hubris).

    -Tyrion: Beings the book in exile in Pentos, depressed and directionless. Moves through the book taking on a quest to reach Danerys (which introduces us to some great new characters, reintroduces some missed old ones, and gives us a great window on Pentos, Volantis and the Rhoyne). But then...he NEVER GETS TO DANERYS, nor really does much of anything other than plot with the Second Sons.

    -Dany: Starts the novel as the Queen of Mereen, learning how to govern. Moves through the novel dealing with the Harpy's Sons, the Yunkish invasion force, and a host of suitors. But then...SHE NEVER DOES ANY OF THIS, and at the end of the novel appears no closer than before. At best, Barristan Selmy becomes a lead character who makes up for Dany's immaturity by taking over rule of the city and preparing to break the Harpy and the siege, but HE NEVER GETS THERE.

    This isn't really a criticism that "nothing happened" in ADWD. Lots did, and it was immensely enjoyable. But from an editing and pacing standpoint, it was fairly poorly done, and it shows that Martin failed to properly plan out the "middle third" of his series.

    A series like this has to have an arc, but each piece of the series also has to have its own complete mini-arc. Consider:

    Lord of the Rings: A quest to destroy the One Ring.
    -Fellowship: The threat is established and the Fellowship gathers. Gandalf dies, and the Fellowship is broken.
    -Two Towers: Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and Gandalf defeat Saruman; Frodo and Sam find Gollum and reach Mordor.
    -Return: The Fellowship defend Gondor and break Sauron's forces; Frodo and Sam reach Mt. Doom and destroy the One Ring.

    Martin's first three books, the "Fellowship" of ASOIAF, adhere fairly well to this "act" structure, both as individual works and as a complete telling of the War of the Five Things:

    -Game of Thrones: The Starks uncover the Lannister conspiracy, but are defeated, and the North secedes from the Seven Kingdoms; Dany grows from slave bride to Khaleesi. The characters start somewhere, go on a journey, then end up with a new status quo.

    -Clash of Kings: The Baratheons are defeated in the War of the Five Kings; Dany searches for answers in Qarth, then begins a new journey West; Jon learns the truth of the Wildling threat in his ranging and becomes a "turncloak". Has a "middle book" feel.

    -Storm of Swords: The Starks are defeated in the War of the Five Kings, but the Lannisters also lose when Joffrey and Tywin die; Dany breaks the slavers of Slaver's Bay and becomes Queen of Mereen; Jon Snow & Stannis Baratheon end the Wildling threat to the Wall. By the end of ASOS, there is a sense that a bigger story has been told (the War of the Five Kings), but also that the characters have grown and changed from their starting point.

    Martin does fairly well with this in AFFC, but with ADWD it becomes clear that he failed to complete the stories for many of his characters. In retrospect, Martin would have been better off putting the chapters for Arya, Cersei, Jaime and Brienne in AFFC, since they represent better stopping points for those characters, or saving them for The Winds of Winter.

    As it is, those characters take up so much space in this book that he can't finish the story he seemed like he wanted to tell, which was to get all of the Esseros characters (Jorah, Tyrion, Victarion, Danerys) in one place and get Dany out of Mereen and on her way back to Westeros. We already know that Martin had to cut out some chapters in ADWD due to length.

    Most likely, this will be accomplished early in The Winds of Winter by Selmy and Tyrion defeating the surrounding army, possibly with Victarion's help, then Dany returning from her "walkabout" in the Dothraki Sea with a better understanding of her place in the world.

  15. #60
    optimist moebius's Avatar
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    Two more things:

    1. It's unlikely Aegon is a fake, given that we get to be inside Jon Connington's head as a POV, and he doesn't seem like the type to accept a fake. More likely, Aegon will die trying to take Storm's End. Most likely, Varys kept Aegon separate from Viserys and Danerys so he could "build" a proper King for the Realm and the others were just his backup plan.

    2. One possibility that I hadn't though about much before: Maybe Mance Rayder wrote the Bolton note to Jon, as a way to get him to intervene in the conflict on Stannis' side? He's the only one who would know the entire situation.

    On the other hand, if Jon or Dany are Azor Ahai and/or the Prince Who Was Promised, Stannis has to die or renounce his claim at some point.

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