Author Topic: Week 1. Discuss Prologue to Ch 10 (Davos), read Ch11 (Theon) to Ch 20, (Tyrion)  (Read 1547 times)  

Offline jason10mm

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For our first week of discussion we will discuss the Prologue to Ch 10 (Davos), location 2757, page 124. Read Ch11 (Theon) to Ch 20, (Tyrion) location 5400, page 243 for next week.

1.   What does the red comet represent? Every character seems to have their own opinion. What do you think it means?

2.   We meet Lord (King?) Stannis for the first time, as well as Lord Davos the "Onion Knight". Davos helped Stannis survive a siege during the rebellion against the Targaryens, yet Stannis still took some of his fingers as well as knighting him. What does this say about Stannis?

3.   Tyrion asks Cersei if they should eliminate the Small Council completely and start fresh. Why do they persist in using Pycelle and Varys when these men served the Targaryens?

4.   Lord Mormont gives a brief history of Maester Aemon. The first part of this tale is covered in the short story "The Hedge Knight". We also hear mention of the Apple Green Fossaways, a house created in that story.

5.   Should Robb let Theon go to the Greyjoys for assistance? Is Catelyn right to keep him as a ward/hostage?

6.   Cersei is killing Robert's [illegitimate persons], even sending men after Gendry who is going to the wall. Why is she doing this, what threat do these [illegitimate person] children pose?

7.   What do you think of Robb's terms for peace with Joffrey? Are they reasonable? From what we know of Joffrey and his actions so far, is he likely to accept the peace? Is Tywin or Cersei?

8.   What do you think of Melisandre, the priestess of R'hllor and her influence over Stannis? Her prophecy, "...In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Light bringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again..." is a crucial one for ASOIAF.

Edit: Adjusted the end location to cover Davos, instead of ending right before it. Checked the other locations and they look to be accurate. And by the GODS! I just discovered that with my K3 if I press the left/right sides of the 5 way button it jumps right to the next chapter! This makes navigating through the book WAY easier! Did everyone else know this already or am I a kindle pioneer?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 06:40:07 am by jason10mm »

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    Offline VondaZ

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    Hi - I just finished reading GoT last week and found this book club accidentally when I went searching to see if there was a GoT thread where I could discuss a theory I have about Jon without getting spoilers about what happens in later books. Didn't find any talk about that - so I will put that on hold until more develops. Anyway, I was able to catch up with the current week's reading - although I am also juggling a second unrelated book that I borrowed from my dad after GoT - so hopefully I can keep up with both.

    I will take a stab at answering some of these questions:

    1.   What does the red comet represent? Every character seems to have their own opinion. What do you think it means?

    To me, the red comet will always be connected with Dany and the dragons since that is where we were first introduced to it in GoT. However, it was definitely evident that everyone seems to have thoughts about the comet and its significance and that those thoughts are varied and different. At this time, I didn't find the true meaning of the comet quite as significant as what each individual's interpretation of the comet says about them. Are they wary/cautious/foreboding (an omen of trouble to come)? Are they overconfident (an omen of victory) or egotistic (a sign of their greatness). Is the comet about them personally or about the world in general?

    2.   We meet Lord (King?) Stannis for the first time, as well as Lord Davos the "Onion Knight". Davos helped Stannis survive a siege during the rebellion against the Targaryens, yet Stannis still took some of his fingers as well as knighting him. What does this say about Stannis?

    I think this says that Stannis is kind of cold and aloof and requires a metered justice. He does not forgive for nothing - there is a price that must be paid. But if it is paid, then he will accept you. This conflicts with what we see of Joffrey - who was to accept Eddard's "confession" and allow him to take the black, but who instead beheads him anyway. It also is in contrast to what I might think of Eddard's form of justice, which seemed to me to be more forgiving (eg, his efforts to save Dany and Viserys from plots against them despite their potential threat). Davos seemed to respect Stannis' decision - I think he may have felt that he was able to pay for his past crimes and thus he needn't carry them any longer (despite the views of the other lords).

    3.   Tyrion asks Cersei if they should eliminate the Small Council completely and start fresh. Why do they persist in using Pycelle and Varys when these men served the Targaryens?

    Honestly, I don't have much of a handle on Pycelle. Varys doesn't seem to have any allegiance that I can tell - he is not loyal to anyone and no one can trust him. He is useful because he provides information that no one else can provide. On the other hand, he is always gathering information and you may employ him to supply you with info, which he will provide, but at the same time he is supplying someone else with information about you. I don't know that he really cares who comes out on top, as he can be as useful to one lord as to another. Keeping him close, keeps you informed - but it also puts you at risk that he will expose you to someone else.

    4.   Lord Mormont gives a brief history of Maester Aemon. The first part of this tale is covered in the short story "The Hedge Knight". We also hear mention of the Apple Green Fossaways, a house created in that story.

    5.   Should Robb let Theon go to the Greyjoys for assistance? Is Catelyn right to keep him as a ward/hostage?
    No idea at this time.

    6.   Cersei is killing Robert's [illegitimate persons], even sending men after Gendry who is going to the wall. Why is she doing this, what threat do these [illegitimate person] children pose?
    As far as I know, [illegitimate persons] have no claim to the throne - but Cersei probably wouldn't want to take any chances. But I think the real threat is in exposure. Those who see Robert's [illegitimate persons] then look upon his supposed heirs realize that they couldn't be his children because all of his children share certain characteristics. If they are exposed, then they lose claim to the throne as well as support from the other lords.

    7.   What do you think of Robb's terms for peace with Joffrey? Are they reasonable? From what we know of Joffrey and his actions so far, is he likely to accept the peace? Is Tywin or Cersei?

    Joffrey seems to think he is absolute and can do anything he wants regardless of what anyone councils him. Based on this, he is unlikely to accept peace terms that would diminish his power. I find it hard to believe that Tywin or Cersei would accept peace that didn't include the return of Jaime and they also lack the ability to return Arya - which is one of the terms. However, if they are desperate, then they may - but I doubt it would last.

    8.   What do you think of Melisandre, the priestess of R'hllor and her influence over Stannis? Her prophecy, "...In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Light bringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again..." is a crucial one for ASOIAF.
    Melisandre is another one of those characters that gains power by controlling others. To me, she makes Stannis weak. He doesn't stand on his own and allows himself to be controlled by her and his wife, despite the fact that he has no real faith in her God. Actually reminds me a bit of Robert, who also allowed himself to be controlled too much by his wife despite having no real love for her. If the prophecy is crucial, I do not believe it is being fulfilled by Stannis. He is not the hero type.

    Offline jason10mm

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    Welcome! Good discussion, I agree with your analysis of the differences between stanis, Robert, Joffrey, and Ned. Well see if Tyron can hit the perfect balance between justice, ruthlessness, kindness, and ambition. Alas, I feel littlefinger is going to be the optimal "GRRM approved" manager :)

    If you have a theory about Jon based just on AGOT and ACOK so far, go ahead and tell us. We try not to spoil any future events. There are several first time readers who would be interested in it as well.

    Offline VondaZ

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    This may be obvious or it may be impossible (I have not studied the timeline of the past events to figure out for sure if this can be), but regarding Jon, I was wondering if anyone thought that perhaps he wasn't Eddard's son at all. I just can't buy Eddard cheating on his wife given how much importance he puts on his honor and how much shame it seems to bring him. I could see it maybe if it happened before he was married, but not after. And it definitely would not be for a whore. Maybe if there was some lost true love that could never be - but we don't see anything like that in his dreams or flashbacks, and that kind of storyline would feel out of place to me in this book. I kept waiting to hear something from Eddard that would give us some clue as to why he would have done this, but I was so disappointed that we never get that.

    When Eddard was in prison, he kept having dreams and flashbacks about his sister Lyanna. He promises her something, but as far as I remember, we do not know what he promised. It is my thought that Jon may be Lyanna's son with Rhaegar and Eddard claimed him as his own to protect him from Robert who was intent on killing all of the Targaryans and would have killed Jon as well (or at least Eddard would have believed so, since he believed that Robert would have murdered Cersei's children which he had raised as his own if he knew the truth - he believed this well enough to make the foolish mistake of warning Cersei to flee with her children). At any rate, in the end, Eddard spends a lot of time thinking about Lyanna and she has been dead for a long time - so if not this, then why. There is definitely something we don't know about her?

    It is not like Eddard to lie and dishonor himself in the process, but we see him do it at the end to save Sansa. If he would do it for his daughter, he might also do it for his sister and her child. And if Lyanna was Jon's mother, that would explain why Jon looks like a Stark without making him Eddard's son.

    The more I think about this, the more I become convinced of it. I thought it odd that Lyanna would survive her abduction all that time only to die from the abuse as soon as she is rescued. I think maybe instead, she died from childbirth. And this also got me to wondering if she was really raped at all because Ser Jorah says something to Dany when she tried to stop all the raping after battle that she was like Rhaegar - which I completely did not understand at the time, since he was supposed to have raped and killed Lyanna.

    The only thing I don't get is, if this is true, why Eddard didn't tell the truth to Catelyn - unless he didn't trust her enough to keep the secret. It seems like it would have spared her a lot of unnecesary pain. If Jon is his son, I understand why he wouldn't reveal the mother to her, but if he is not, it seems like he and Catelyn had an otherwise strong enough relationship that he could trust her.

    Oh, and since the name of the series is Song of Ice and Fire - if the Starks represent Ice and the Targaryans represent Fire, this theory means that Jon embodies both in one person. As far as I know, he would be the only character who does. And he somehow manages to find himself in the end under the supervision of a Mormont (like Dany) and a Targaryan (Aemon), after having been raised as a Stark. It just seems to fit somehow.

    This is all speculation - I have not read past this week's reading assignment and I haven't seen the TV series either since I don't have HBO. I don't want to know what happens, but I am curious if anyone has thought the same (I didn't see any speculation about Jon's parentage in the GoT forum - but I skimmed a lot of the messages). Or, if this is not possible because of the timeline of events, I would be interested in that as well. And if you don't think this is possible - I would be interested in hearing other thoughts because I just can't figure any other reasonable explanation for Jon's existence.

    Offline foreverjuly

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    That's an interesting theory, VondaZ, though it does take away the one chink in Eddard's armor of honor. Would Martin really want him to be perfect? The stuff about the promise and his sister is good. It would definitely be interesting if somehow Robert was the father, with Jon's black hair and all.

    As for the OP questions, I'm pretty sure any of Robert's [illegitimate persons] would be a threat to Cersei and the throne as soon as it got out that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen were born of incest. It would at least be enough of a claim to justify a challenge (which obviously doesn't take much). More than that, I would even say that for Cersei it wasn't enough that she killed Robert once. She wants to kill him again through his [illegitimate persons] and stamp out his entire family.

    As for the small council, it's amazing how few people there are that can really even be plausible replacements in those positions. How many knights are good at accounting? If someone was so entrenched in town gossip, how could you trust them with any information about the behind-the-scenes kingly stuff? A new measter wouldn't be that hard to find, but Pycelle is pretty harmless. Keeping them on probably does something to help legitimize Joffrey as well.

    Offline jason10mm

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    VondaZ, you have hit on one of the biggest "what if" conspiracy theories in ASOIAF, just who are Jon's parents? Ive picked out the hints as they arise, over the course of the books we will see many guesses, assumptions, and contradictory stories. This is why Howland Reed is so important, at this point he is one if the few, if not only man, left who might know the truth since he and Ned fought Arthur Dayne to free Lyanna at the Tower of Joy.

    FOREVERJULY, I agree that we meet precious fee men who don't make their living swinging a sword, but presumably most castles have stewards who could manage sums like littlefinger. Sure, he is an investment genius but I cant imagine he is the only one. Still, I'm glad GRRM leaves the particulars of the economy of westeros out, wouldn't want to get economics lessons along with all the heraldry and culinary detail :) ill accept that littlefinger proves his worth, stays under the radar, and blackmails to defend his position.

    Offline DYB

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    For our first week of discussion we will discuss the Prologue to Ch 10 (Davos), location 2442, page 124. Read Ch11 (Theon) to Ch 20, (Tyrion) location 5400, page 243 for next week.

    I am a little bit confused on which chapters we are to read/pages/locations.  I am looking at my page 124, 13%, Location 2530 - and it's an Arya chapter, right after Tyrion has began his "quest for justice," let's call it, and meeting with Varys.  So far no chapters for Davos or Melisandre's prophecy.  So is there a discrepancy in the count??  Should I be further along?

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    1.   What does the red comet represent? Every character seems to have their own opinion. What do you think it means?

    Did the comet appear at the end of AGOT?  I'm not remembering some of these details.  Or is it making a first appearance in the second book?  At this point it just seems to me to be more of a reflection on the characters in the story - it says more about them than it does about whatever the actual meaning might be.  VondaZ is right in her summary.  The various interpretations offer us some interesting insights into the various characters.


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    2.   We meet Lord (King?) Stannis for the first time, as well as Lord Davos the "Onion Knight". Davos helped Stannis survive a siege during the rebellion against the Targaryens, yet Stannis still took some of his fingers as well as knighting him. What does this say about Stannis?

    Oooh, he's rough.  And surprisingly young (35).  He was much talked about in the first book, but mostly people joked about his rigidity.  He has his own brand of honor, perhaps not even much different from Ned's.  But unlike Ned, Stannis has no compassion or kindness in him.  His treatment of his old Maester is awful.  Disrespectful for one.  But considering that the Maester all but considered Stannis his own son - he raised the 3 boys - it's vicious and cruel.  So what does it say for Stannis' honor?  There really isn't much, I think.  He's just selfish and cruel; a psychopath and/or a sociopath. 

    Disfiguring Davos is just a taste of his cruelty.  It's a way for him to utterly humiliate and own his "enemy," break him, before granting him what he would consider "mercy."  It's interesting that Davos insisted Stannis do the cutting himself - and that Stannis did.  In a way it connects to Ned's credo that if you are to sentence a man to death you must execute him yourself.  But Ned performed his duties with sadness.  One gets the feeing Stannis performed his duties with...indifference.


    Quote
    3.   Tyrion asks Cersei if they should eliminate the Small Council completely and start fresh. Why do they persist in using Pycelle and Varys when these men served the Targaryens?

    Did I miss this conversation?  I guess maybe it comes beyond the point I thought we were stopping?  Tyrion meets Cersei and tells her Joffrey needs to be reigned in.  Was there anything beyond this?  In any case, starting over isn't a bad idea, but I also wonder about Pycelle and Varys.  Pycelle seems like a kindly old man, but consider his behavior towards Ned before his death and to Sansa after.  He's just a mean old man, hanging on to life and his comforts.  He seems harmless, but I don't trust anyone to be harmless!  Varys - I said it in one of the discussions of the last book - I want to like him and trust him.  He seemed to be sincere with Ned when he tried to help. But since it would be a bad idea to trust anyone I suppose we won't know if Varys is good or bad until we really know it.  Assuming one way or another is perilous!


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    4.   Lord Mormont gives a brief history of Maester Aemon. The first part of this tale is covered in the short story "The Hedge Knight". We also hear mention of the Apple Green Fossaways, a house created in that story.

    Sort of interesting, but I started spacing out a little.  Names being thrown around left and right - names that sound the same even if they're not.  All I got was that Aemon was offered the Throne and he turned it down, choosing the Wall instead.

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    5.   Should Robb let Theon go to the Greyjoys for assistance? Is Catelyn right to keep him as a ward/hostage?

    Theon is an odd one.  He's grown up with the Starks and has been treated better by Catelyn than Jon was.  But where are Theon's loyalties?  To his father and family, probably.  There's a reason he was taken as a hostage in the first place.  Maybe Robb is letting his affection for his friend interfere with reality.

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    6.   Cersei is killing Robert's [illegitimate persons], even sending men after Gendry who is going to the wall. Why is she doing this, what threat do these [illegitimate person] children pose?

    The [illegitimate persons] are definitely a threat to Cersei and Joffrey.  If not able to amass armies of their own and attack, their existence puts Joffrey and the other Lannister spawn in danger.  If truth ever came out - and people know about Joffrey (Stannis for one, but also Varys, and Tyrion) - they can become rallying cries for Lannister's enemies.

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    7.   What do you think of Robb's terms for peace with Joffrey? Are they reasonable? From what we know of Joffrey and his actions so far, is he likely to accept the peace? Is Tywin or Cersei?

    I'm with Catelyn - the terms might sound good to Robb, but there's no way any Lannister would accept them.  They are humiliating - think the Treaty of Versailles.  Even if the Lannister accepted it now, the peace would never last.  But they would never accept it.  It's a waste of time.


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    8.   What do you think of Melisandre, the priestess of R'hllor and her influence over Stannis? Her prophecy, "...In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Light bringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again..." is a crucial one for ASOIAF.

    Ultimately, with the control Melisandre has over Stannis, Stannis just comes across as very weak minded.  Rigid, stubborn, cruel, vain and weak minded.  There's a despot in the making.  Let us all hope he does not become a king.

    I love that Renly has his rainbow guard.  If rumors of his fondness for the Knight of Flowers are true!  :D

    Also, a question: in his conversation with Lord Slynt Tyrion talks about Slynt stabbing someone.  I was confused.  Who did he stab?  Joffrey ordered Ned executed, the executioner chopped off the head, and Slynt grabbed the head and showed it off to the crowd.  What was Tyrion talking about?

    Offline jason10mm

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    I am a little bit confused on which chapters we are to read/pages/locations.  I am looking at my page 124, 13%, Location 2530 - and it's an Arya chapter, right after Tyrion has began his "quest for justice," let's call it, and meeting with Varys.  So far no chapters for Davos or Melisandre's prophecy.  So is there a discrepancy in the count??  Should I be further along?

    Ah, you are correct, 2442 is the start of the Davos chapter, not the end. Read to 2757. I'll update the info. GRRMs books are hard enough to label like this, then the book/e-book difference makes it even harder :P

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    Did the comet appear at the end of AGOT?  I'm not remembering some of these details.
    It is first noticed by Dany (well, her bloodrider, Jhogo) at the end of AGOT, right before they cremate Drogo (location 15149). She views it as a good sign. I guess my question is more along the lines of whether or not you think the comet is just incidental, or if it is key to something, like it is bringing magic back, gonna fall to earth with a magic sword inside it, etc.

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    Did I miss this conversation?  I guess maybe it comes beyond the point I thought we were stopping?  Tyrion meets Cersei and tells her Joffrey needs to be reigned in.
    I'm referring to a conversation Tyrion has with Cersei around location 977. He toys with the idea of just beheading the small council. Given the average adviser turn-over in almost every reign/administration, it boggles my mind that Pycelle and Varys have hung in there, plus Littlefinger is clearly scamming everyone. Tyrion has plans for him no doubt!

    Quote
    Also, a question: in his conversation with Lord Slynt Tyrion talks about Slynt stabbing someone.  I was confused.  Who did he stab?  Joffrey ordered Ned executed, the executioner chopped off the head, and Slynt grabbed the head and showed it off to the crowd.  What was Tyrion talking about?

    If you are referring to the discussion about Slynts bloody spear clasp (location 2130) I think Tyrion was speaking metaphorically, asking if Slynt had ever literally backstabbed someone with a spear or if he just commands others to do it for him. He may also be thinking that Slynt speared Ned stark himself. Janos cut Varly's throat and someone else speared Fat Tom in the back when Ned was taken.

    Offline foreverjuly

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    Melisandre never appeared or was mentioned in AGOT, right? It really sort of surprised me that when we started seeing more of Stannis at the beginning of ACOK he was completely in someone's grips.

    Offline DYB

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    Melisandre never appeared or was mentioned in AGOT, right? It really sort of surprised me that when we started seeing more of Stannis at the beginning of ACOK he was completely in someone's grips.

    I know what you mean.  Although they did say in AGOT that Stannis sealed himself off on Dragonstone - and nobody knew what was going on over there; it was like North Korea.  How much time would have passed between Stannis fleeing to Dragonstone and the beginning of ACOK?  If enough time has passed it's not entirely inconceivable that Meisandre could have insinuated herself to Stannis' wife and then to Stannis by extension.

    Offline DYB

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    It is first noticed by Dany (well, her bloodrider, Jhogo) at the end of AGOT, right before they cremate Drogo (location 15149). She views it as a good sign. I guess my question is more along the lines of whether or not you think the comet is just incidental, or if it is key to something, like it is bringing magic back, gonna fall to earth with a magic sword inside it, etc.

    Well, now that you mention it - I guess the magic sword could be on that comet!  Although is Martin going to introduce aliens into this as well?   :D

    Quote
    I'm referring to a conversation Tyrion has with Cersei around location 977. He toys with the idea of just beheading the small council. Given the average adviser turn-over in almost every reign/administration, it boggles my mind that Pycelle and Varys have hung in there, plus Littlefinger is clearly scamming everyone. Tyrion has plans for him no doubt!
     

    Yes, I agree that Pycelle and Varys' survival is amazing.  Perhaps they see Pycelle as just harmless - and maybe he is.  Would they execute a Maester though?  Maybe just ship him off back to the Maester school (forget what it's called.)  But Varys is surprising, especially since he should frighten everybody, including the Lannisters.  He knows way too much.  I suppose it's what you'd want on a head spy, but when you really can't be absolutely certain of his loyalties...knowing too much is bad.

    Now, what would Jon Snow do if he found out a man who was part of his father's execution was arriving on the Wall?

    Offline foreverjuly

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    Well, now that you mention it - I guess the magic sword could be on that comet!  Although is Martin going to introduce aliens into this as well?   :D

    You know, he brought that up in a long video interview he did. He was talking about how hard it was to surprise people when everybody is on the net talking about the books, and he's like "I could have aliens come down in the next book, and that would surprise everybody, but I didn't lay the foundation for that."

    So at least he doesn't think it infers the existence of aliens within the spectrum of reality for his fictional world.

    Offline DYB

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    Melisandre never appeared or was mentioned in AGOT, right? It really sort of surprised me that when we started seeing more of Stannis at the beginning of ACOK he was completely in someone's grips.

    Okay, I just read the Devos chapter and Stannis actually explains why he listens to Melisandre and his reasons are very practical.  He said because the old Gods he used to believe in have never given him anything (interesting that he's not a religious fanatic, being as rigid as he is, but I digress), because his old Gods have not helped him he thought why not give some other deity a try.  And, he points out, half of his men are even afraid to say Melisandre's name, so perhaps - he adds - she has some dark magics that will help him.  He feels like he has nothing to lose.  He's desperate enough - and bitter enough - to try anything.  Stannis' wife seems to be a whole other matter, however, when it comes to Melisandre.

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