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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
AFFC week 3. Discuss Ch16 (Jaime) 4795 – Ch 22 (Arya) stop at 6975, read Ch23 (Alayne) 6977 – Ch29 (The Reaver) stop at 9426

1. We get a little tidbit that Bronn named Lolly’s child after Tyrion. A nice final word(?) from one of my favorite side characters :)

2. I like the exchange between Loras and Jaime about the White Book. It either shows that Jaime is finally maturing or he has finally found someone more cocky and egotistical that himself! Can Jaime moderate Cersei’s excesses and seemingly terrible small council appointments? Should he have accepted the post of the Hand?

3. Did the men present Cersei with the head of the dwarf Brienne met? I think they did.

4. How is her new small council performing? Does their plan to assassinate Lord Snow show confidence and audacity or cowardice and immorality? What of her plan to have Ser Osney Kettleblack seduce Queen Margarey?

5. We learn of the bad blood between Euron and Victarion, Euron slept with Victarion’s wife and Victarion killed her for it. Can these men be reconciled?

6. Euron wins the Driftwood Crown with a show of power from a horn from Valyria and a call to war against all of Westeros. Can this artifact control dragons? Would Asha’s plea for peace have served the Ironmen better?

7. Nimble Dick describes “Squishers”. No bones about it, these are Lovecraftian Deep Ones. I love it. At one point Victarion (or maybe Damphair) muses about the olden days and how men were grander then, very similar to Tolkien’s Silmarillion and the Fall of Numenor, which is itself a reflection of the Greek belief that their ancestors were larger, more godlike beings. Nice to see where GRRM draws inspiration.

8. Brienne has made her first kills, the remnants of the Brave Companions from Harrenhall, and now she is off on the trail of Arya. Will she find the Hound instead?

9. Arianne Martell’s ploy fails (miserably). What will happen to Myrcella now?

10. What is the significance of Arya’s inability to throw away Needle? Will this help or hurt her in her journey to become a Faceless Man?
 

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jason10mm said:
1. We get a little tidbit that Bronn named Lolly's child after Tyrion. A nice final word(?) from one of my favorite side characters :)
That was kind of funny. I am unsure whether he did this as a joke or out of sincerity - probably a little of both.

jason10mm said:
2. I like the exchange between Loras and Jaime about the White Book. It either shows that Jaime is finally maturing or he has finally found someone more cocky and egotistical that himself! Can Jaime moderate Cersei's excesses and seemingly terrible small council appointments? Should he have accepted the post of the Hand?
I've always thought there is kind of a parallel between Loras and Jaime. Both handsome. Both joined the Kingsguard for similar reasons (avoiding marriage). At one time I thought Loras was in the position to be the next Kingsguard Kingslayer (when Joffrey was king). I think this exchange demonstrates Jaime dealing with a younger version of himself, so I guess that it does show he is maturing and finally caring about something other than himself.

Jaime is loosing his power over Cersei as she has turned to ridiculing him, so I doubt he has any influence over her. If he tries to control her, she will just rebel further against him. I don't think anyone can temper her anymore. Jaime is better off separating himself from Cersei and figuring out who he is without her - so he is better off turning down the position of Hand.

jason10mm said:
3. Did the men present Cersei with the head of the dwarf Brienne met? I think they did.
I don't even remember Brienne meeting a dwarf. Must have spaced out there.

jason10mm said:
4. How is her new small council performing? Does their plan to assassinate Lord Snow show confidence and audacity or cowardice and immorality? What of her plan to have Ser Osney Kettleblack seduce Queen Margarey?
The plan to assassinate Jon sounds pretty typical of a Lannister plan. But it shows that Cersei still fears the Stark's power if she is that afraid of a bastard Stark after the Stark family has been pretty much thoroughly desecrated.

I have doubts that Margarey would fall for the seduction plan. She seems pretty astute and aware of her circumstances and she also seems willing to do her duty and do what needs to be done politically even if that means sacrificing her own personal happiness. Of course, we haven't ever really seen the world from her eyes, so who knows.

jason10mm said:
5. We learn of the bad blood between Euron and Victarion, Euron slept with Victarion's wife and Victarion killed her for it. Can these men be reconciled?
No. I predict there will be no reconciliation.

jason10mm said:
6. Euron wins the Driftwood Crown with a show of power from a horn from Valyria and a call to war against all of Westeros. Can this artifact control dragons? Would Asha's plea for peace have served the Ironmen better?
Everyone seems to think that they can control dragons, but so far, Daenarys has been the only one I've seen actually do it. I will believe it when I see it.

When I read this section, I kept thinking to myself why they would even want all of Westeros. It doesn't bring anyone anything but grief. Cersei wanted it and she has it, but she has lost pretty much everything that was important to her in the process and I doubt she will be able to hold on to it. Renly and Stannis wanted it and it only tore them apart and Renly is dead and Stannis is in the grips of a crazy sorceress. Really, what do they hope to gain? They would be so much better off accepting peace - but that requires compromise and Euron's speech promised them everything.

jason10mm said:
7. Nimble Dick describes "Squishers". No bones about it, these are Lovecraftian Deep Ones. I love it. At one point Victarion (or maybe Damphair) muses about the olden days and how men were grander then, very similar to Tolkien's Silmarillion and the Fall of Numenor, which is itself a reflection of the Greek belief that their ancestors were larger, more godlike beings. Nice to see where GRRM draws inspiration.
I was wondering what the squishers thing was about. I have read Lovecraft (got about 40% through an anthology, but stopped because the stories started getting repetitive). I would like to actually see one.

jason10mm said:
8. Brienne has made her first kills, the remnants of the Brave Companions from Harrenhall, and now she is off on the trail of Arya. Will she find the Hound instead?
That was pretty funny that she started off on Sansa's trail and now has been derailed onto Arya's trail and she doesn't even know it. Unfortunately, she will never find Arya over in Braavos. She may very well find the Hound, though - but I don't know what that will get her - other than possibly the knowledge that Arya is indeed alive.

jason10mm said:
9. Arianne Martell's ploy fails (miserably). What will happen to Myrcella now?
Too bad. She wasn't as smart as she thought she was. And now Arys is dead. Not good.

jason10mm said:
10. What is the significance of Arya's inability to throw away Needle? Will this help or hurt her in her journey to become a Faceless Man?
This was huge. I was reading this thinking she needs to throw it away but despite that I want her to keep it, so I was so relieved that she did not discard it. The significance was clear - she is still Arya Stark somewhere down deep and she will always be Arya Stark. She is putting it aside for now, but she is putting it in safe keeping so that someday she can return to Westeros. And I think that is huge. It is all well and good for her to commit to becoming something new, but she can't completely erase who she was. She still has a role to play as a Stark.

That said, it will hurt her in her journey to become a Faceless Man. She will never be a blank slate. But that doesn't mean I think she can't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IIRC, Brienne meets a dwarf in a tavern who points her in the direction of Nimble Dick. I think he describes himself as a sparrow. I think all this stuff is just illustrating that Tyrion has gone DEEP, and really far away.

I suspect Needle will be how Jon recognizes Arya in some distant future. Seems like she would physically outgrow it at some point (though her subsistence lifestyle for the past few years would probably stunt her growth compared to Sansa) as it was made for a child, but if she hangs on to it then Jon could see it, assuming he would even remember it (it would at least label her as a Northman, as it bears the mark of Winterfell's smith). Or the Faceless Man knows about it and is letting her keep it, probably to use it against her in some sort of final test.

Then again, this is GRRM we are talking about, she could just leave it behind and end up repeating a phrase like "..and I left Needle behind" over and over for the rest of her chapters in the series. Jaime is already doing this with the "Kettleback and Moonboy for all I know" bit, Cersei is starting to do it, and some other characters in the next book adopt this technique as well. Not sure why Martin does it as often as he does.

Yeah, aside from the Others and the wights (and the dragons, skinwalkers, and giants, I suppose) we never really see anything fantastical. Are these snarks, grumpkins, and squishers just legends, or are they still out there? Given that the Others are real, I gotta think they are as well, it would be cool to see them, even if just in passing. There is the little dwarf woman Arya met while with Beric's gang, she is clearly from some demi-human race, probably one of the Children if not a ghost or something.
 

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jason10mm said:
Then again, this is GRRM we are talking about, she could just leave it behind and end up repeating a phrase like "..and I left Needle behind" over and over for the rest of her chapters in the series. Jaime is already doing this with the "Kettleback and Moonboy for all I know" bit, Cersei is starting to do it, and some other characters in the next book adopt this technique as well. Not sure why Martin does it as often as he does.
I don't think that Arya will do this because she hasn't left Needle behind completely. She might do this if she through it in the lake with the rest of her things, but the fact that she hid it in a safe place means she doesn't think she has left it behind. If she does do this, it is more likely because she hasn't left Needle behind and she needs to remind herself that it is still there for her if she needs it.

With Jaime, it is different. Tyrion told him a lie and a truth. The funny thing is that Jaime completely accepted the lie as being true (that Tyrion killed Joffrey) and has a problem accepting the truth (that Cersei slept with Lancel). But deep down, he knows it is true - like when something you never expected happens, but once it happens you realized you should have known all along. That is why this line keeps haunting him - because deep down it rings true even though he never thought it could be.
 

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jason10mm said:
1. We get a little tidbit that Bronn named Lolly's child after Tyrion. A nice final word(?) from one of my favorite side characters :)
Great little "Eff You" from Bronn to Cersei. Like Vonda I think it's a combination of the middle finger to the Lannisters and a tribute to Tyrion. I think the friendship between Bronn and Tyrion was sincere, even if Bronn refused to be Tyrion's champion. He knew it would be a suicide mission. I hope we see more of Bronn down the road. Tyrion doesn't have many - if any - friends in Westeros.

2. I like the exchange between Loras and Jaime about the White Book. It either shows that Jaime is finally maturing or he has finally found someone more cocky and egotistical that himself! Can Jaime moderate Cersei's excesses and seemingly terrible small council appointments? Should he have accepted the post of the Hand?
Yes, Loras is definitely the young Jaime. Egotistical is a good word. What's interesting to me is that everyone knows Loras is gay; they all know and mock him behind his back for being Renly's lover. And yet, Loras doesn't seem to mind. It doesn't embarrass him in any way. He knows he's a good fighter, I suppose. But he was beaten by Brienne, so he can be beaten. In that society homosexuality is not accepted, so Loras' seemingly complete indifference to mockery is sort of refreshing. I think the one difference between Loras and Jaime - and the reason I like Loras and used to not like Jaime - is that Loras has never shown sadism and sociopathy, the way Jaime did. And certainly Loras' affection for his sister is not abnormal, the way Jaime's was.

3. Did the men present Cersei with the head of the dwarf Brienne met? I think they did.
I remember that dwarf Brienne met at the pub and spoke with. He seemed like a really nice guy. I'm not sure how we can tell one head from the next one though. Was there something in the description of the dwarf that suggests this is the same one?

Also, is there no punishment for murdering a complete stranger who was guilty of nothing???

4. How is her new small council performing? Does their plan to assassinate Lord Snow show confidence and audacity or cowardice and immorality? What of her plan to have Ser Osney Kettleblack seduce Queen Margarey?
Well, the Council seems to perform exactly as expected, which is to say disastrously, but Cersei doesn't know it as long as they say they love her. As Vonda said, their plan to assassinate Lord Snow is exactly what you would expect from a Lannister, but Cersei is no Tywin when it comes to setting up cold blooded murders. Tywin's exploitation of the Freys was wiley and played on many years of vanity and persecution paranoia within that insane family. But it also presented very little risk to himself if the Freys changed their minds or betrayed him. The plan could have fallen apart, but Tywin would have been left no worse off. Cersei on the other hand is using literally herself as payment for a long list of offenses. Ser Osney is seduce to seduce the Queen Maergery and go to the Wall (if he makes it that far) where he will kill the Lord Commander (presumably without being punished on the spot by the other Black Brothers) - all for the privilege and joy of - wait for it - having sex with her, Cersei. It's absurd! I mean...just......absurd!

5. We learn of the bad blood between Euron and Victarion, Euron slept with Victarion's wife and Victarion killed her for it. Can these men be reconciled?
I can't imagine how that relationship can be fixed. Even Dr. Phil couldn't succeed. Plus, neither one wants to fix it.

6. Euron wins the Driftwood Crown with a show of power from a horn from Valyria and a call to war against all of Westeros. Can this artifact control dragons? Would Asha's plea for peace have served the Ironmen better?
Asha's plea for peace seems a lot more practical to me. At this point the Lannisters have won the war; only the Ironmen remain and they don't have enough friends. It would seem to me that Daenerys, having been the one to, for lack of a better word, hatch the dragon eggs would have the strongest connection to her dragons. But, of course, there are magic forces that perhaps could be at play. But where has this horn from Valyria been all this time? How did Euron find it?

7. Nimble Dick describes "Squishers". No bones about it, these are Lovecraftian Deep Ones. I love it. At one point Victarion (or maybe Damphair) muses about the olden days and how men were grander then, very similar to Tolkien's Silmarillion and the Fall of Numenor, which is itself a reflection of the Greek belief that their ancestors were larger, more godlike beings. Nice to see where GRRM draws inspiration.
I Never read Lovecraft, so I can't say. But I wouldn't object to some mermaids getting into the story!

8. Brienne has made her first kills, the remnants of the Brave Companions from Harrenhall, and now she is off on the trail of Arya. Will she find the Hound instead?
I'm actually surprised this was Brienne's first kill. It feels like she should be more battle tested. There's no way Brienne will stumble on Arya, who is across the ocean. And I just can't see how she will stumble on Sansa, who might as well be across the ocean. But perhaps the Hound. Or maybe no one at all! She's just stumbling about.

9. Arianne Martell's ploy fails (miserably). What will happen to Myrcella now?
Somebody betrayed Arianne and her plan. I'm curious to know which of her friends did it. Can the Martells keep this development secret from the Lannisters? What would Lannisters do if they found out?

10. What is the significance of Arya's inability to throw away Needle? Will this help or hurt her in her journey to become a Faceless Man?
Arya simply can't erase her entire life. The Needle is the last thing that holds her to her past and her happiest memories. If to become a true Faceless Man she needs to essentially develop amnesia - then I can't imagine she would succeed. But perhaps the last test to be a Faceless Man is to not completely erase yourself? :D We know so little about these people that who knows. But there's no way Arya can remove the Stark out of her blood. She had seen too much and suffered too much to do that. And I like Vonda's theory that the Needle is how Jon would know her one day.
 

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DYB said:
Yes, Loras is definitely the young Jaime. Egotistical is a good word. What's interesting to me is that everyone knows Loras is gay; they all know and mock him behind his back for being Renly's lover. And yet, Loras doesn't seem to mind. It doesn't embarrass him in any way.
Does everyone know that Loras is gay? I keep thinking they do, too, but the TV show kind of cemented that image in my mind. But then we get Cersei questioning how Margaery could still be a maid after marrying Renly - they obviously didn't know Renly was gay or she wouldn't question this. And if they don't know Renly was gay and Renly and Loras were inseparable - do they really know Loras is gay? Because if they did, surely they would be suspect of the close relationship he had with Renly. I am sure some people know - but I am not sure who or how many anymore. I seem to remember some aside comments being made to suggest this, but I can no longer remember who makes them.

DYB said:
And I like Vonda's theory that the Needle is how Jon would know her one day.
I'd love to take credit for this, but that was Jason's theory - although I agree. I was mainly thinking of the significance of Arya holding on to her past, but I didn't think about the significance Needle would have to Jon.
 

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VondaZ said:
Does everyone know that Loras is gay?
By the way, the reason I ask this question is not that I doubt that most know he is gay, but because I am wondering what the ramifications might be of Cersei's plan to make Margaery's claim to maidenhood look like a lie. The woman she is colluding with is trying to encourage her to believe this with talk about bloodied sheets - is she trying to set Cersei up for some humiliation with this plan? I just don't trust that woman - I can't remember her name. Cersei is supposed to be using her but I think she has let her guard down - and this Renly and Margaery plan seems like it could make her look a fool to those who know about the relationship.

Anyway, I know Stannis knew about Renly - but he was Renly's brother, so just because he knew doesn't mean others did too. As far as I could tell, Brienne did not know. Maybe this is why Brienne fell so hard for him - he was indifferent to her ugliness and also indifferent to her being a woman knight. Being gay would likely to contribute to that indifference, but Brienne might have thought it something more kindly towards her.

Sorry if some of this is from next week's reading - I can't remember anymore where last week ended and this week began anymore.
 

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VondaZ said:
Does everyone know that Loras is gay? I keep thinking they do, too, but the TV show kind of cemented that image in my mind. But then we get Cersei questioning how Margaery could still be a maid after marrying Renly - they obviously didn't know Renly was gay or she wouldn't question this. And if they don't know Renly was gay and Renly and Loras were inseparable - do they really know Loras is gay? Because if they did, surely they would be suspect of the close relationship he had with Renly. I am sure some people know - but I am not sure who or how many anymore. I seem to remember some aside comments being made to suggest this, but I can no longer remember who makes them.
I remember Cersei questioning Margery's virginity after marrying Renly, but I remember thinking it was making sense. I thought at some point there was a sort of a "He would be drunk enough to bed her" type of thought or observation. As a King he'd have to bed his wife, even though he's gay. And I always thought her "concern" for Tommen being taught by Loras had to do with her knowing Loras was gay. There was a sort of a "there's nothing I want Loras to teach Tommen" attitude from her. It does become a little hard to separate what we read in the book from some things we saw in the show. But I thought I've seen many snide remarks about Loras. (I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, so some of the specifics are a bit blurry.)

About Cersei's new "friend." Was it Tianna or something like that? Yes, I hadn't thought of it too much, but Cersei definitely let her guard down with her. Another proof of her foolishness. They know nothing about this woman. Cersei keeps thinking she's just ambitious for the sake of her children, and no doubt she is. But that doesn't mean she wants Cersei to succeed. She has a son, but she refuses to bring him to King's Landing. There must be a reason for that! She must be working for someone. Who? She definitely doens't seem to be a friend of the Tyrrells. Is she working for the Martells? Someone else we haven't met yet? Could she be Varys' spider?
 

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DYB said:
I remember Cersei questioning Margery's virginity after marrying Renly, but I remember thinking it was making sense. I thought at some point there was a sort of a "He would be drunk enough to bed her" type of thought or observation.
I went back to look up the part I was remembering. Lady Taena said that Margaery may say that Renly was too drunk to consumate the marriage, but he was "anything but weary" when he last saw it. Cersei didn't question his sexuality at this point and I was thinking Lady Taena was putting ideas into Cersei's head for some reason. Of course, she may have made other observations in other chapters - so much going on, I can't remember everything.

It just seems reasonable to me that Margaery did not consumate the marriage as the marriage was mainly political and I always assume that she knew his sexual identity and was aware of his relationship with Loras and was in some way a stand-in for Loras. Of course, eventually, Renly would need an heir, but there was no need to cross that bridge on the wedding night. And if she didn't, then it seemed like this woman is feeding Cersei with stories for some purpose.

DYB said:
And I always thought her "concern" for Tommen being taught by Loras had to do with her knowing Loras was gay. There was a sort of a "there's nothing I want Loras to teach Tommen" attitude from her.
That thought hadn't occurred to me. I assumed she didn't want Tommen being swayed by Tyrell influences. Tommen is so trusting that to have both Margaery and Loras whispering in his ear might turn him against his own mother. Especially since his mother seems to have no real love for him like she did for Joffrey. Tommen is just the tool that provides her with power. If she loses Tommen to his affection for the Tyrells, her game will be over as soon as he comes of age.

DYB said:
I thought I've seen many snide remarks about Loras. (I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, so some of the specifics are a bit blurry.)
I'm sure I have too - I just can't remember who was making them. I think there was some Tyrell who said something to Sansa that she was better off with Tyrion than Loras - I took that to mean that he knew Loras would never love her and Tyrion just might. But I am pretty sure that was a Tyrell who might have some inside knowledge.

But then again, for some reason I have always thought that Jaime knew and if he knew, surely Cersei would too. I can't remember if Jaime has ever said anything, but it is the kind of thing the old Jaime wouldn't have hesitated to do.

DYB said:
About Cersei's new "friend." Was it Tianna or something like that? Yes, I hadn't thought of it too much, but Cersei definitely let her guard down with her. Another proof of her foolishness. They know nothing about this woman. Cersei keeps thinking she's just ambitious for the sake of her children, and no doubt she is. But that doesn't mean she wants Cersei to succeed. She has a son, but she refuses to bring him to King's Landing. There must be a reason for that! She must be working for someone. Who? She definitely doens't seem to be a friend of the Tyrrells. Is she working for the Martells? Someone else we haven't met yet? Could she be Varys' spider?
I have no idea who she is in bed with, so to speak - but I am sure there is something to her. I just can't believe how Cersei has let her guard down with her, even knowing that she might be spying on her for Margaery. She must really be feeling lonely at the top and desperate for a confidant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
GRRM skirts around the homosexuality issue so well it is hard to say what Westeros feels about it. There are female characters who have lesbian experiences seemingly without negative connotations (Daenerys for starters, but of course she is in Essos and thus doesn't really count). There are a few men with seemingly open homosexuality, like the Blackfish. He says he will never marry and can understand someones reluctance to do it (when speaking to his brother before the Red Wedding) which I interpret as him admitting to being gay as opposed to just being a big womanizer, since plenty of married characters still whore around. I think Westeros' attitudes is much less negative than our own, so long as the man can still perform with a woman to get an heir. Folks do tease Loras (never to his face) but I'm assuming that is just the nature of people jealous of the status he enjoys.

Cersei does mention that if she punished the men bring in random dwarf heads they might think twice if they actually encountered Tyrion. Justice in Westeros is definitely the rule of man, not the rule of law.
 
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