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  1. #61
    Give Me Your Sins Jack's Avatar
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    Just because Connington believes that Aegon is really Rhaegar's son doesn't mean it's actually the case. Connington would be useless as a gamepiece if he knew that he was raising a fake. As for Viserys and Dany being the backup plan to Aegon... I really think it's the other way around.
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  2. #62
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Of course, that's assuming Dany survives her bout with the flux. It seems to have a really high mortality rate, and the Targaryens are mortal, no matter how much they like to think of themselves as dragons. And members of that house have succumbed to diseases over the generations. And with adding another Targaryen to the mix, who seems to have the backing of of Varys, seems to allow Martin some leeway to picking which dragon he wants to succeed, if any do at all.

    And really, it's not like Stannis has to renounce any claim to being the Prince Who was Promised or Azor Ahai. If he dies than Melisandra "saw it wrong" and the prophecy is fulfilled in another. Prophecies are, if anything, negotiable.

    And I like Selmy Barristan as well. I liked his reflection on the fact that he loved Ashara Dayne but couldn't have her because of his vows and her love of Eddard Stark, though I'm not sure how he dishonored her, other than Ned slept with her when they were both single. Ned was never supposed to have Winterfell, and a match could have been made with House Dayne and House Stark, which would have strengthened both sides. But then Robert's Rebellion happened and made an end of all that. And it seems to possibly eliminate her as Jon Snow's mother, since she had a stillborn daughter. (Which still leaves the likely theory that Jon is the offspring of Prince Rheagar and Lyanna Stark.) And Selmy's a badass with honor. Small wonder Lord Tywin was pissed that Joffrey and Cersei removed him.

    So the Kingsguard is now Crippled Jamie, a Kettleblack in prison, Balon About to Die in Dorne Swann, Knock Knock Knockin' On Heaven's Door Loras Tyrell, Fatass Boros Blount, Slow and Cruel Merwyn Trant, and Supposedly Headless FrankenGregor. Yeesh. That's a terrible Kingsguard. And I still wonder when FrankenGregor becomes uncontrollable and starts rampaging the countryside.
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  3. #63
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    He already did that.
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  4. #64
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P View Post
    He already did that.
    Well, yeah, but he was just regular old Gregor then. This is FrankenGregor.
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  5. #65
    Greasy Love Dance leonaozaki's Avatar
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    A few years ago I went thermonuclear on Martin after A Storm of Swords. I am now fully prepared to eat crow (see what I did there?). I reread 1-4 to be ready for 5 and I can better appreciate what Martin's doing. Anyway. I loved, loved, loved 5. Yes, the internet is all up in arms about cliffhangers, but whatever. That last image of Dany, eating the horse with Drogon as the Dothraki appear out of the smoke, not to mention the epilogue...wow.
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  6. #66
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    Heh... FrankenGregor.

    I dunno, I feel like Dany and Tyrion got arcs, just very small ones. And I agree, Tyrion's especially felt cut short... it seems implied that both he and Penny will be caught in a battle soon, and I'm guessing poor Penny won't survive it. But her death may serve in some way to help Tyrion grow as a character (I hope).

    Dany began as an amateur Queen, tried to be good at it, even unto attempting a political marriage, and lost it all. It's likely that the Mereen she returns to won't be salvageable to her, and she'll be finally forced to move forward with what remains of her followers.

    I guess this is part of "The Mereenese Knot" that had ol' George tied up for the last ten years... he couldn't figure out how to get her to leave Mereen without making her abandon the very people she'd saved. In the end, he had to take it from her by fire and plague.
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  7. #67
    NUTS! Valmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkthinker View Post
    Heh... FrankenGregor.

    I dunno, I feel like Dany and Tyrion got arcs, just very small ones. And I agree, Tyrion's especially felt cut short... it seems implied that both he and Penny will be caught in a battle soon, and I'm guessing poor Penny won't survive it. But her death may serve in some way to help Tyrion grow as a character (I hope).

    Dany began as an amateur Queen, tried to be good at it, even unto attempting a political marriage, and lost it all. It's likely that the Mereen she returns to won't be salvageable to her, and she'll be finally forced to move forward with what remains of her followers.

    I guess this is part of "The Mereenese Knot" that had ol' George tied up for the last ten years... he couldn't figure out how to get her to leave Mereen without making her abandon the very people she'd saved. In the end, he had to take it from her by fire and plague.
    I'm curious as to why the now-late Ser Kevan even allowed Qyburn to hang around, especially since we know Pycell wouldn't want him around, and that he was a Bloody Mummer with a revoked chain. The only excuse I can think of that with more pressing matters, running off Qyburn fell really low on the list of priorities.

    It appears Dany, in her flux-induced state, is realizing that she can't make a difference in a land where she isn't wanted. So the question remaining is, if she survives, how does she cross the narrow sea to Westeros now, and what's left to follow her?
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  8. #68
    Greasy Love Dance leonaozaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkthinker View Post
    Heh... FrankenGregor.


    Dany began as an amateur Queen, tried to be good at it, even unto attempting a political marriage, and lost it all. It's likely that the Mereen she returns to won't be salvageable to her, and she'll be finally forced to move forward with what remains of her followers.
    I don't think Dany lost it all. She lost what didn't matter. Quaithe tells her "remember who you are." And by the end of the book she's learned (learning?) to control Drogon. My guess is Khal Jhaqo's khalasar will belong to her by the next book.
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  9. #69
    Magnificent Bastard worstblogever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moebius View Post
    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.
    1. "Prince Who Was Promised" really sounds like Aegon. And no matter what happens when Dany and Aegon return to Westeros... Dany will not restore the Targaryen dynasty for long, if she remains barren from the curse in "Game of Thrones". Unless after the prophecy is complete, of course, and the world is reborn, she's gonna be fertile again, in some super-turbo-happy-ending, of course. That would point to Aegon...

    2. Who's probably going to die at Storm's End. He's just too cocky a little guy, it's practically being telegraphed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Just because Connington believes that Aegon is really Rhaegar's son doesn't mean it's actually the case. Connington would be useless as a gamepiece if he knew that he was raising a fake. As for Viserys and Dany being the backup plan to Aegon... I really think it's the other way around.
    Where Varys is involved... there's a gambit in here somewhere. If Dany was Plan A, it was because in reality, Viserys was plan A. Aegon was plan B, somewhere else. Dany was plan B2. Once Dany got three Dragons... well, she may have leapfrogged to Plan A, and left Aegon as a Plan B... now more of a pawn to be sacrificed to distract the Lannister ruling family in Westeros long enough to get Dany home.

    I dunno. The Spider's too awesome. Figuring out his motives is the greatest mystery of these books. First eunech I've ever rooted for, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valmore View Post
    Of course, that's assuming Dany survives her bout with the flux. It seems to have a really high mortality rate, and the Targaryens are mortal, no matter how much they like to think of themselves as dragons. And members of that house have succumbed to diseases over the generations. And with adding another Targaryen to the mix, who seems to have the backing of of Varys, seems to allow Martin some leeway to picking which dragon he wants to succeed, if any do at all.
    Seems anti-climactic to kill her off as she poops her pants though, doesn't it? That's like having someone like Harry, Snape, or Voldemort die of dysentery in Deathly Hollows.

    And really, it's not like Stannis has to renounce any claim to being the Prince Who was Promised or Azor Ahai. If he dies than Melisandra "saw it wrong" and the prophecy is fulfilled in another. Prophecies are, if anything, negotiable.
    And as we saw about Sansa/Arya being revealed as a young Lady Umber riding in on a gray mare (and the gray mare in Mereen) not only can the prophecy be interpreted wrong... but sometimes it has a double-meaning, in two places. A literal, and a figurative one.

    So the Kingsguard is now Crippled Jamie, a Kettleblack in prison, Balon About to Die in Dorne Swann, Knock Knock Knockin' On Heaven's Door Loras Tyrell, Fatass Boros Blount, Slow and Cruel Merwyn Trant, and Supposedly Headless FrankenGregor. Yeesh. That's a terrible Kingsguard. And I still wonder when FrankenGregor becomes uncontrollable and starts rampaging the countryside.
    I will mark out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P View Post
    He already did that.
    Technically, yeah, he did, didn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valmore View Post
    Well, yeah, but he was just regular old Gregor then. This is FrankenGregor.
    Hopefully someone realizes that he's gonna hate fire.

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  10. #70
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    Huh... you know, it probably will be fire that ultimately takes him (FrankenGregor) down. Maybe dragonfire...

    It's what he karmically deserves for what he's done to Sandor.
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  11. #71
    Give Me Your Sins Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by worstblogever View Post
    1. "Prince Who Was Promised" really sounds like Aegon. And no matter what happens when Dany and Aegon return to Westeros... Dany will not restore the Targaryen dynasty for long, if she remains barren from the curse in "Game of Thrones". Unless after the prophecy is complete, of course, and the world is reborn, she's gonna be fertile again, in some super-turbo-happy-ending, of course. That would point to Aegon...

    2. Who's probably going to die at Storm's End. He's just too cocky a little guy, it's practically being telegraphed.



    Where Varys is involved... there's a gambit in here somewhere. If Dany was Plan A, it was because in reality, Viserys was plan A. Aegon was plan B, somewhere else. Dany was plan B2. Once Dany got three Dragons... well, she may have leapfrogged to Plan A, and left Aegon as a Plan B... now more of a pawn to be sacrificed to distract the Lannister ruling family in Westeros long enough to get Dany home.

    I dunno. The Spider's too awesome. Figuring out his motives is the greatest mystery of these books. First eunech I've ever rooted for, I think.



    Seems anti-climactic to kill her off as she poops her pants though, doesn't it? That's like having someone like Harry, Snape, or Voldemort die of dysentery in Deathly Hollows.



    And as we saw about Sansa/Arya being revealed as a young Lady Umber riding in on a gray mare (and the gray mare in Mereen) not only can the prophecy be interpreted wrong... but sometimes it has a double-meaning, in two places. A literal, and a figurative one.



    I will mark out.



    Technically, yeah, he did, didn't he?



    Hopefully someone realizes that he's gonna hate fire.
    Well, like I said - I think it's likely that Aegon will end up on the Iron Throne; I just don't believe he's actually Rhaegar's son. And really does Westeros need another Targaryen dynasty? Seems like the best thing for everyone would be if someone without their tainted blood became King.
    Slayven ftw.

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  12. #72
    Magnificent Bastard worstblogever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Well, like I said - I think it's likely that Aegon will end up on the Iron Throne; I just don't believe he's actually Rhaegar's son. And really does Westeros need another Targaryen dynasty? Seems like the best thing for everyone would be if someone without their tainted blood became King.
    Sure. Removing the Lannisters from the power structure might not be a bad thing, either. The direct imbreeding, and all that, on Myrcella and Tommen.

    The real question is, who is fit to rule? (which is one of the points of the series)

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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by moebius View Post
    Some thoughts on ADWD:

    However, I do wish Martin would have cut down on some of the annoying character tics and moved the plot along. Do we need to know every time we see Tyrion (and we see him a lot) that he killed his father with a crossbow? Do we need to constantly hear about Dany's three betrayals? Given that we started with Meereen threatened, and we ended there, I was disappointed by Martin's pacing and his inability to relieve the siege of Meereen (through an attach by Selmy, the Ironmen, and Tyrion turning the sellswords) by the end of the book. He's got two books to resolve the Iron Throne and the others, and I hope he spends his time on those things, not Dany pining for Daario.

    4. Barristan Selmy is a complete badass. "This coward is about to kill you, ser." and "Break the truce? I mean to shatter it" are fantastic lines.
    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.
    If you want to be charitable, you could say that it's all one long novel so it shouldn't particularly matter whether all the mini-arcs are completed to satisfaction within one particular book. Martin's said he ideally would have liked another year to tweak the book more and you can tell the Essos chapters would have definitely benefited from that.

    Also Tolkien wrote LOTR as a complete work in one go and it was only on publication that it was split into separate volumes. It's easier to shuffle things around so plots have natural breaks when you have the whole thing in front of you, and publishers and editors aren't breathing down your necks for the next volume.

    It seemed apparent that the siege of Meereen was going to end with a Drogon-borne Dany storming back to assault her enemies in the rear after taking over Jhogo's khalasar. That will also take a certain amount of storytime to detail and it probably wouldn't have fit into ADWD given how much space was needed for Jon's chapters. She needs a big, major victory and a big army to cement her claims to being a plausible contender for the Iron Throne. The ridership of the other two dragons will also be resolved at that stage.

    Dany will go to Westeros with her Unsullied, the Second Sons, her khalasar, the Iron Fleet, the dragons and whatever other allies she can gather from Essos.

    Then the rest of Winds Of Winter will deal with the setup of the war with the Others which will be resolved in A Dream Of Spring.

    Agree about Selmy being a badass. "This is not the pit" was a great line. In an ideal world, he'd be laying down some serious hurt on FrankenGregor.
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  14. #74
    Magnificent Bastard worstblogever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactusmaac View Post
    If you want to be charitable, you could say that it's all one long novel so it shouldn't particularly matter whether all the mini-arcs are completed to satisfaction within one particular book. Martin's said he ideally would have liked another year to tweak the book more and you can tell the Essos chapters would have definitely benefited from that.

    Also Tolkien wrote LOTR as a complete work in one go and it was only on publication that it was split into separate volumes. It's easier to shuffle things around so plots have natural breaks when you have the whole thing in front of you, and publishers and editors aren't breathing down your necks for the next volume.

    It seemed apparent that the siege of Meereen was going to end with a Drogon-borne Dany storming back to assault her enemies in the rear after taking over Jhogo's khalasar. That will also take a certain amount of storytime to detail and it probably wouldn't have fit into ADWD given how much space was needed for Jon's chapters. She needs a big, major victory and a big army to cement her claims to being a plausible contender for the Iron Throne. The ridership of the other two dragons will also be resolved at that stage.

    Dany will go to Westeros with her Unsullied, the Second Sons, her khalasar, the Iron Fleet, the dragons and whatever other allies she can gather from Essos.

    Then the rest of Winds Of Winter will deal with the setup of the war with the Others which will be resolved in A Dream Of Spring.

    Agree about Selmy being a badass. "This is not the pit" was a great line. In an ideal world, he'd be laying down some serious hurt on FrankenGregor.
    Is Varys pulling strings to make threats of the realm battle themselves to ease in the return of the Targaryens and dragons and dragons home, or is his overall goal just to weaken Westeros with eternal squabbling to benefit the Others? There's a great question... I lean towards the former, but the latter might not shock me.

    I will give my eye-teeth to see a honorable knight like Selmy (the line about his thoughts on what he'd have done if he saw Tywin Lannister present the body's of Rhaegar's children really cements it, if it wasn't plain already) to see him get to take on an evil bastard like FrankenGregor. Although, the Hound is still out there with unresolved brother issues...

    As far as the Siege of Mereen is going... if the bloody flux was bad before, once the Yunkai start catapulting plague corpses around, things will get f***ed up in a huge way. After all, that was the tactic used by raiders in the 14th century in the real world Siege of Caffa that made the Black Plague a near global pandemic. Dany better get her ass back home quick, before everyone dies of the flux.

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  15. #75
    Give Me Your Sins Jack's Avatar
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    I wonder if Marwyn knows an effective treatment for the flux..
    Slayven ftw.

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