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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oops, a day late. Forgot to email my question list to myself so I would have it at home.

Week 2 chapters 12-25 to location 7394.  “Reek” to “The Windblown”. Stop at “The Wayward Bride”

1.  Is Reek (Theon) now completely broken, or will he return to his former glory (such as it was)?

2. The Greenseer. Apparently a former Night’s Watch? Is he benevolent or training Bran for the side of the Children? Are the Children (and Coldhands) going to help the humans against the Others (the enemy of my enemy is my friend)?

3. Tyrion’s dragonlore. A possible role for him with Daenerys? How long until a Lovecraft book reference slips in?

4. Septa Lemore has a past. Any speculation on who she may be?

5. Does Davos have a chance of rallying troops for Stannis? What would it take for Manderly to go over?

6. Daenerys’ leadership style. Is she getting bogged down in details or learning important skills for later? Is her stalwart refusal to accept slavery hurting her? Do the slavers have a point about freemen losing work to former slaves and the reduced standard of living of ex-slaves? IIRC, these same arguments were posted in the US circa 1860s.

7. Preparation for Winter. Does this seem like a viable story element? If Westeros is so in fear of it, what about the Free Cities? Is this phenomenon limited to Westeros? The seasonal aspect has always seemed like the biggest hurdle for Martin. (Note, now that I found a sorta world map, I see that the most northern city in Essos, Bravoos, is about the same latitude as King's Landing).

8. Wow, another Targaryen lives! Do we believe this boy is Prince Rhaegar’s son Aegon or is he yet another imposter? What is Griff's (Jon Connington) plan for him? If Varys was able to fool Tywin and keep Aegon a secret why didn’t they do the same with Viserys and Daenerys? How does this impact Quentyn Martells quest to marry Daenerys? Quentyn and Aegon would be first cousins to each other  and Aegon is Daenerys nephew (if I read the family trees correctly).

9. Davos’ attempt to sway Manderly to Stannis’ side does not appear to have worked. Could he have said anything differently? Is Manderly serious about killing him or just putting on a show for the Freys and Lannisters?

10.  Jon continues to show mercy and act with dignity even over the objections of some of his advisers. Daenerys does the same. Are they good examples of leadership or doomed to failure like other honorable leaders such as Ned and Robb?

11. Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont. Is he getting taken to Cersei or Daenerys?

12. Do you agree with the Green Grace’s assertation that a Queen needs a King? Is this an admission that women can’t rule alone or merely a ploy to tie Daenerys to Meereen?

13. Tyrions advice for Aegon to go to Dorne and raise his banner, would this make him more appealing to Daenerys or not?

14. The description of the Yunkai’i nobles and their war companies (Yellow Whale, Girl General, Little Pigeon), as opposed to the professional sellswords, is pretty harsh and dismissive. Is this a reflection of Martin’s bias towards western European culture as the sellswords seem to more closely resemble Westeros knights and footmen versus the Asiatic/Persian influence of the Yunkai’i. Or is this more an illustration of the decadence of the Pentosian continent?

15. There is a recurring theme of freedmen being worth more than slaves. This is also reflected in the Northmans scorn of the Southerners and the Wildling scorn of the “kneelers” south of the wall. What is Martin trying to say? Are the Wildings the pinnacle of "freedom" in this world?
 

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I don't think I'm going to try to answer everything this time . . .

jason10mm said:
1. Is Reek (Theon) now completely broken, or will he return to his former glory (such as it was)?
Well, I'd like to see him bounce back . . . I think he probably will . . . but he's seriously messed up at this point! I suppose it's his just deserts in a way, but I really hate Ramsay a lot more than I hated Theon. Yes, what Theon did was very bad -- but Ramsay is just completely evil and insane!!

jason10mm said:
2. The Greenseer. Apparently a former Night's Watch? Is he benevolent or training Bran for the side of the Children? Are the Children (and Coldhands) going to help the humans against the Others (the enemy of my enemy is my friend)?
Minor spoiler for the Dunk and Egg stories if you have not read them, not really an ADwD spoiler (at least not as far as I know at the point I've read to!):
Well, it's probably because I just re-read the first 2 Dunk and Egg stories right before ADwD, but I recognized who the Greenseer was immediately -- he's Bloodraven, right? "A thousand eyes and one." I haven't read the 3rd story, though -- so I have no idea how he got to be in the Night's Watch or beyond the wall (or if that story even tells us that), but I know it's him!
I'm really not sure what his angle is though or what he's doing there or how it relates to anything else in the world.


jason10mm said:
4. Septa Lemore has a past. Any speculation on who she may be?
I feel like I should know --this has been bothering me. A crazy thought I had was Lyanna, but that probably doesn't make sense. Maybe Ashara Dayne? She supposedly killed herself, but it definitely falls into the "we didn't see her die" category -- but it was only speculated that she had a child. But then I was trying to think, do we know for absolute sure that Lyanna is dead? I mean, Ned often thinks about his promise to her, and that she was in a bed of blood and blue roses, but does he specifically come out and say in his own thoughts that she's dead? Maybe part of the promise was to hide that she was still alive . . . or he could think she was dead and be wrong. I need to go back and read Septa Lemore's description again, though -- it may not match. I'm trying to think of who else we know has a child that is missing or presumed dead but that we can't be sure about. I'm sure she's someone that's important. I don't think it could be Elia herself -- I'm pretty sure that people who knew her saw her dead.

jason10mm said:
8. Wow, another Targaryen lives! Do we believe this boy is Prince Rhaegar's son Aegon or is he yet another imposter? What is Griff's (Jon Connington) plan for him? If Varys was able to fool Tywin and keep Aegon a secret why didn't they do the same with Viserys and Daenerys? How does this impact Quentyn Martells quest to marry Daenerys? Quentyn and Aegon would be first cousins to each other and Aegon is Daenerys nephew (if I read the family trees correctly).
This was definitely an "OMG" moment for me! I think he was kept secret more than Viserys and Dany because Robert wanted Aegon dead a lot more than the other two. I mean, this was Rhaegar's son -- and therefore for Robert he had to die! Viserys was a lot more out of sight, and Dany hadn't even been born yet, and then the Kingsguard knight (can't think of his name right this second) ran off with them -- so they were kind of out of sight, out of mind -- but Elia and her children were right there to be used as a symbol. However, there is something about this bothering me a little -- wasn't Jon Connington with Ned at the Tower of Joy? So how did he get baby Aegon exactly? I guess maybe this could be Rhaegar's son by Lyanna, but then who is Jon . . . and I still think Jon has to be Lyanna's son because of how we're always told how he looks so "Stark-like." I do think this really is Aegon, though. My next thought after "OMG" was "third head of the dragon!!"

jason10mm said:
11. Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont. Is he getting taken to Cersei or Daenerys?
I know that Tyrion thought he was being taken to Cersei, but that's just because he didn't know Jorah very well. Dany is the only queen Jorah is interested in -- of course that's where he's going!
 

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jason10mm said:
1. Is Reek (Theon) now completely broken, or will he return to his former glory (such as it was)?
Theon will never be anything but Reek unless he can get away from the Boltons.

jason10mm said:
5. Does Davos have a chance of rallying troops for Stannis? What would it take for Manderly to go over?
Stannis' problem is he's not a Northman, and refuses to acknowledge that the Northmen do things differently. The Red God vs. Old Gods is going to be the biggest hurdle to bringing Northern troops to his side. Davos can't fix that.

jason10mm said:
6. Daenerys' leadership style. Is she getting bogged down in details or learning important skills for later? Is her stalwart refusal to accept slavery hurting her? Do the slavers have a point about freemen losing work to former slaves and the reduced standard of living of ex-slaves? IIRC, these same arguments were posted in the US circa 1860s.
An important distinction: Slaves were vital to the Southern economy in the pre Civil War era. In these books, slaves are PART of the economy. Taking away the slave trade in the east would have been equivalent to taking away half the cotton trade from the south in 1850s US. And, given the extreme size of the sub-poverty population in these books, I expect slaves do, overall, have a better standard of living than they'd get if summarily freed.

jason10mm said:
7. Preparation for Winter. Does this seem like a viable story element? If Westeros is so in fear of it, what about the Free Cities? Is this phenomenon limited to Westeros? The seasonal aspect has always seemed like the biggest hurdle for Martin. (Note, now that I found a sorta world map, I see that the most northern city in Essos, Bravoos, is about the same latitude as King's Landing).
I have a hunch we'll see more along these lines in the next book. (The Winds of Winter.)

jason10mm said:
8. Wow, another Targaryen lives! Do we believe this boy is Prince Rhaegar's son Aegon or is he yet another imposter? What is Griff's (Jon Connington) plan for him? If Varys was able to fool Tywin and keep Aegon a secret why didn't they do the same with Viserys and Daenerys? How does this impact Quentyn Martells quest to marry Daenerys? Quentyn and Aegon would be first cousins to each other and Aegon is Daenerys nephew (if I read the family trees correctly).
I think he's legit, and this is going to be a huge problem for all of Westeros to deal with. The fact that it's Connington harboring him lends a lot of credence to his legitimacy.

jason10mm said:
10. Jon continues to show mercy and act with dignity even over the objections of some of his advisers. Daenerys does the same. Are they good examples of leadership or doomed to failure like other honorable leaders such as Ned and Robb?
More fodder for the "'good' is a matter of perspective" angle in these books. Also, I think both of them have gotten a bit bogged down in their respective details while missing parts of the big picture. (Though I think Jon's problem is he's looking at the even-bigger-picture and nobody else is getting it.)

jason10mm said:
12. Do you agree with the Green Grace's assertation that a Queen needs a King? Is this an admission that women can't rule alone or merely a ploy to tie Daenerys to Meereen?
I think it's more "this is how it's done in Meereen, and you better follow along if you want to be accepted."

jason10mm said:
13. Tyrions advice for Aegon to go to Dorne and raise his banner, would this make him more appealing to Daenerys or not?
I can't see how it would hurt, but Daenerys has the dragons. I would not be surprised if the two of them compete before joining forces.

jason10mm said:
14. The description of the Yunkai'i nobles and their war companies (Yellow Whale, Girl General, Little Pigeon), as opposed to the professional sellswords, is pretty harsh and dismissive. Is this a reflection of Martin's bias towards western European culture as the sellswords seem to more closely resemble Westeros knights and footmen versus the Asiatic/Persian influence of the Yunkai'i. Or is this more an illustration of the decadence of the Pentosian continent?
I can't recall whose perspective the chapter was written from, but keep that in mind when trying to read Martin's biases into these books.

jason10mm said:
15. There is a recurring theme of freedmen being worth more than slaves. This is also reflected in the Northmans scorn of the Southerners and the Wildling scorn of the "kneelers" south of the wall. What is Martin trying to say? Are the Wildings the pinnacle of "freedom" in this world?
I'd say yes, but that it's not necessarily better. Much of this is natural cultural bias from the characters themselves. I don't think Martin's trying to tell us anything other than "this is how these folks would view those folks."
 

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jason10mm said:
1. Is Reek (Theon) now completely broken, or will he return to his former glory (such as it was)?
I think it will take a dramatic event for him to return to himself.

3. Tyrion's dragonlore. A possible role for him with Daenerys? How long until a Lovecraft book reference slips in?
Tyrion seems to be the only person with any knowledge of dragons. I'm sure the Maesters have something somewhere, but they need to be with Daenerys to be useful. So, yes, I think Tyrion's dragonlore will make him part of Daenerys council.

4. Septa Lemore has a past. Any speculation on who she may be?
Much like PinkKindle, I feel as if I should know who this is. (If she hadn't been made up for the show, I'd go with Ros.) So in addition to missing children/women believed dead, I'm trying to think of any women who have disappeared.

5. Does Davos have a chance of rallying troops for Stannis? What would it take for Manderly to go over?
It doesn't seem like it. And even if he does have the strongest claim to the throne, he's acting like a bully. I wouldn't join his cause.

Maybe bully is the wrong word. My father once told me that he likes to make people argue their point. Stannis seems to be a bit like that, at least with Jon. He makes demands of Jon and the Night Watch, but Jon stands up to him and argues his view, and Stannis gives in to Jon. He had other advisors and such killed for disagreeing, so this obviously isn't a 100% reaction.

9. Davos' attempt to sway Manderly to Stannis' side does not appear to have worked. Could he have said anything differently? Is Manderly serious about killing him or just putting on a show for the Freys and Lannisters?
Ha, I see what you did there. I read the next section before I came back to answer questions.

10. Jon continues to show mercy and act with dignity even over the objections of some of his advisers. Daenerys does the same. Are they good examples of leadership or doomed to failure like other honorable leaders such as Ned and Robb?

I think the bigger issue is that they always show mercy and act with dignity. Janos excluded... They need to learn when to be "the bad guy".

11. Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont. Is he getting taken to Cersei or Daenerys?
Without a doubt, Daenerys. I think he believes that bringing a Lannister to Daenerys will get him back into her good graces. He probably also has the sick rationale that this would make her love him.

12. Do you agree with the Green Grace's assertation that a Queen needs a King? Is this an admission that women can't rule alone or merely a ploy to tie Daenerys to Meereen?
Do I agree with it? No. Do I believe that this is what this culture believes? Yes. Even in our world, for all the talk that women are equal, there is wide doubt that a woman can rule. Women are there to make babies and continue the family/royal line. Not be involved in politics. Cersei is learning this the hard way. If she had stayed behind the curtain, she might be better off. But no, she had to let everyone know that she is the one calling the shots.

13. Tyrions advice for Aegon to go to Dorne and raise his banner, would this make him more appealing to Daenerys or not?
I think he could raise an army for her, he would become more appealing.
 

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jason10mm said:
4. Septa Lemore has a past. Any speculation on who she may be?
I had another thought on this. I'm really not sure how she'd be important, but one of the Sand Snakes (Tyene?) had a mother who was a septa. Could this be her? Again, I'm not sure why she'd be important, the Sand Snakes really haven't played a big role yet or anything, but in the couple of chapters in AFFC about them, GRRM really made a big deal about pointing that out. It would make sense that perhaps she was Elia's (and her children's) septa, and that's how she met Oberyn and had Tyene, and that's why she'd still be with Aegon. I need to go back and look at exactly how they got baby Aegon out of the city -- did his septa take him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is a rumor that the young Griff is actually Illyrio's son, which is why he appears so sad when parting ways with Tyrion. A child he had with Serra (she of the soft hands) perhaps? I don't really ascribe to this but GRRM is demonstrating how it could work with Jenye Poole (and am I the only one who thought her name was pronounced "Jenny" instead of "Jane"?). This is prompted mostly by the "mummer's dragon" bit from Dany's prophecy. I interpret that phrase as Aegon being a true Targaryen, but he has been molded by Illyrio.

I find the differences between Essos and Westeros pretty interesting. While Westeros has this "lived in" feel, where every plot of land had a farm and a lord, Essos seems to be mostly desolate, with these big cities without a lot of intervening development. Some of this may be due to climate, Essos seems much hotter and drier, but they have a LOT of folks living there without a lot of apparent support. I guess their slave economy means they have these massive farms with really dense argricultural yield and don't need to have a distributed farm system, and they seem to rely more on intercity trade than Westerosi towns. Perhaps I am just projecting Meereen, which appears to be in a desert, on to all Essos cities. I just kinda wonder if Westeros is the backwater hickville of this world, or if Essos is the fallen empire and Westeros is the progressive place.

Septa Lemore is a puzzle. If she had a strong connection to the Tyrells then you'd think they would know about Aegon, thus their mission to send Quentyn would be redundant. Sounds like she is in her early 40s (which is almost old crone age for ASOIAF, yet she seems to be still attractive) so she would be in her late 20s/30s for Robert's Rebellion. Far too old to be a maiden like Lyanna Stark or Ashara Dayne (or someone like Tysha), a woman of that age would have been married off long ago. She has had a kid, but her nudity in front of Aegon suggests she is not his mother (then again GRRM does not shy away from that sort of thing). I toyed with the idea that she is the Mother in the flesh (Illyrio or Tyrion made a comment that this once happened) but I just don't see GRRM going there. She has to be someone though. Septas are supposed to be chaste, right? I equate them with nuns but I'm not sure that was ever explicitly stated. So she had a life prior to taking up with the Seven, we just have to puzzle it out.
 

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Jeyne Poole's name is spelled with the Y in the middle -- I think that's the Westeros spelling of Jane. ;D

I still think that would put Septa Lemore at the right age to be Tyene's mother. Tyene is like 20 or 21 (older than Aegon would be). She is connected to the Martell's if she is Tyene's mother (and was Elia and her children's septa), but not necessarily in contact with them -- Griff and crew are on the run, and they don't have any cell phones! ;) I'm still kinda liking this theory -- I don't know if it's right, but I like it. ::) They clearly don't know about Aegon, though, since Doran's plan was to marry Arianne to Viserys (not Aegon) until Viserys died -- but Aegon really wouldn't be a very big secret if everyone knew about him, would he? ;)

As far as the prophecy, the "mummer's dragon" part is the part I'm still having trouble with. It could mean that Aegon is not Aegon certainly . . . and Illyrio did seem very fond of him . . . but I just don't know. Yes, I guess it could mean that he's a dragon that kind of "belongs to" mummers (Illyrio, or even just Connington and crew pretending to be other people, making them mummers) -- I really haven't made up my mind on this yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You could have a point, and I'm waiting to see the Tyrells spread across Westeros and serve up some justice.

Let's talk about Martins use of prophecy in ASOIAF. Seems to be that in fantasy a prophecy serves just a few purposes. 1, it is an external motivator for the good guy or the bad guy. The prophecy is the macguffin that drives the plot, folks are doing stuff based on their interpretation, not necessarily because they really want to, and it serves to elevate characters in a conveinent fashion (boy becomes king not because he kills his competitors but because he pulls a sword from a stone and fulfills a prophecy). 2. It is a fun wink at the reader that foreshadows pre-planned future events, but is relatively incidental to the story characters.

Do you guys think these prophecies and visions are useful indicators for plot development and crucial information for the characters to have, or are they just teasers for the readers? In the first thread it was mentioned that lots of prophecies and visions are not related to the person who hears them, but reference others. Dany is probably the best example of someone who has access to a seer giving her direct info, but in a way that is almost completely useless to her and which seems to make her more paranoid and helpless than anything else. Is Martin playing with the (IMHO) way overused trope of a fantasy prophecy or does he have a real reason for including them? Will there be a payoff?
 

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I think GRRM uses prophecy in the later way you described where it is something intersting for the readerst to think about, but it doesn't seem to drive/alter any of the character's actions.  I don't recall any character hearing a prophecy and then somehow benefiting from that knowledge.  I guess you could argue Cersei to an extent, but she doesn't seem to be in a very good spot with her "younger queen".  We don't even know for sure if the "younger queen" is Margaery, Daenerys, or maybe even Myrcella.
 

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kansaskyle said:
I don't recall any character hearing a prophecy and then somehow benefiting from that knowledge.
Benefiting from the knowledge, perhaps not, but I think Jon and Stannis are actually acting on prophecies more than the rest of the characters combined.
 
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