Welcome to the Weekly Q & A! Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the world of ASOIAF. No need to be bashful. Book and show questions are welcome; please say in your question if you would prefer to focus on the BOOKS, the SHOW, or BOTH. And if you think you've got an answer to someone's question, feel free to lend them a hand!
I am rewatching the show currently, and this is the first time I have noticed Ned seeing arya while he was walking to his death. It is also the first time I've noticed him pretty much setting up Arya's getaway from Kings Landing with the man from the nights watch.
I don't know how I ever missed that very important scene being that this is probably my 4th rewatch and I've read the books.
Have you all noticed any new things while rewatching that caught you by surprise?
I am listening to the latest Game of Owns podcast and hear the take that Jamie killing Aerys was a heroic act cast as an act of violent) villainy. However, killing the pyromancer saved the city, but Aerys was a weak unarmed man at that point. Jamie could have easily restrained him and awaited the rebel forces. This wasn't defense of himself or the people, this was murder. In his internal monolog, Jamie thinks he did it to be a hero, but I think he has reframed the story to justify his intentions when in reality, he was likely angered and vengeful due to all the evil Aerys committed (abusing his wife, holding Jamie as a sort of hostage during the war, and yes, planning to burn the city).
What are some of your favorite theories in ASOIAF that will more than likely never be confirmed or denied in the novels but exist all the same. Pieces you put together that enhance your enjoyment of the world or story, that may or may not be true but act to bolster your personal headcannon.
For myself, I've always subscribed to the Idea that Oberyn poisoned Tywin at breakfast before the Trial. I like the idea that Coldhands may have come to be when a ranger was wounded and survived by warging into a wight for his second life. Finally my grandaddy foil is that of the infamous Bolt-on, though I believe that Ramsey will die before Roose in the books and his skin swap will never come to be.
At the end of the day I don't think any of these three things are meaningful enough to the greater story to come, nor do I think they will ever have a definite confirmation/denial. Though I do believe they are all possible (the bowel locking poison, second life via warging, and faceless magic) and bring me greater fascination with the characters.
Does anyone else do this, if so what does your own headcannon look like?
The death of Renly Baratheon is obviosly a huge moment in the series. It sets up Stannis's plotline and establishes Mel as a powerful presence. It sets up Loras's and Brienne's stories. And it's an important shift in political landscape of Westeros.
But quite recently, i've been wondering about thematic purpose of Renly's death. And the more i thought about, the more obvious it seemed. I couldn't believe i missed it for years. Renly's death is a manifistation of the long summer ending.
Let's break it down.
Even as a boy, Renly had loved bright colors and rich fabrics, and he had loved his games as well. “Look at me!” he would shout as he ran laughing through the halls of Storm’s End. “Look at me, I’m a dragon,” or “Look at me, I’m a wizard,” or “Look at me, look at me, I’m the rain god.”The bold little boy with wild black hair and laughing eyes was a man grown now, one-and-twenty, and still he played his games. Look at me, I’m a king , Cressen thought sadly. Oh, Renly, Renly, dear sweet child, do you know what you are doing? And would you care if you did?
Renly is a boy, who loves bright colors and exciting games. "Live to the fullest" is his motto. Ot as he puts it "A man should never refuse to taste a peach. He may never get the chance again."
And war is just another adventure for him. An opportunity to taste another delicious peach.
The same goes to his followers. Naive, reckless, hungry for glory.
They had been babes during the Sack of King’s Landing, and no more than boys when Balon Greyjoy raised the Iron Islands in rebellion. They are still unblooded , Catelyn thought as she watched Lord Bryce goad Ser Robar into juggling a brace of daggers. It is all a game to them still, a tourney writ large, and all they see is the chance for glory and honor and spoils. They are boys drunk on song and story, and like all boys, they think themselves immortal.
Here is the problem - life is not a song. This is one of the key messages of ASOIAF. And those who believe they are in a fairy tale tend to learn this lesson in a painful way. From Sansa in AGOT to Quentyn in ADWD. This is always the case.
In this sense, Renly's death is a manifistation of this idea. Life is not a song. Men die on grand adventures.
This was usually how interpreted Renly's death on a thamatic level. But now i think there is more. Renly and his followers do not just represent naivety and recklesness of a faity tale stories. They represent the long summer, that is about to end. With all of it's hopes and dreams and bright colors. Tourneys, celebrations, tasty food...
And Catelyn adresses this directly:
The knights of summer, Catelyn thought.
It's incredibly appropriate name. Because that's what they are. And that's why they were doomed from the start
“Look at them. They’re young and strong, full of life and laughter. And lust, aye, more lust than they know what to do with. There will be many a bastard bred this night, I promise you. Why pity?”
“Because it will not last,” Catelyn answered, sadly. “Because they are the knights of summer, and winter is coming.”
And it doesn't last. A Clash of Kings is a book where the long summer ends. White Raven signals the end of it. The summer dream crushes when facing the reality. Winter is coming.
So it's only appropriate, that Renly is killed by Melisandre - the herold of the Long Night, with all its wonders and terrors.
And it's also perfectly fitting, that as the Summer King dies, his last words are "Cold".
P.S. This make me wonder, with winter finally coming to Westeros at the end of ADWD, is there a character that has to bite the dust to signal it's arrival? What do you think?
We have seen that many houses are not afraid to make grabs for new lands, especially when the locals are in a weakened state.
Most of the other houses look down on the Greyjoys. Many houses are more powerful and the most well organized Greyjoy rebellion (against Robert) was pretty easily stopped.
So why doesn't a more powerful house, with a fleet go an take the Ironborn down? It would eliminate a culture that most Westerosi look down upon and would make way for a new great house. Are the Iron Islands just not worth it?
Is there any in book explanation I may have missed that explains why no one like the Liddels, Norys, Wulls, etc., came when ravens were sent to them from the wall asking for aid?
These clans didn’t lose many men in the war because Robb didn’t have time to gather them, and these are the same men who were so eager to join with Stannis against the Boltons because winter is coming and they’d lose men to the cold anyway.
If anything the wildlings would be way more dangerous than the Boltons, considering they could swear allegiance and live. I understand they want to avenge Ned and all that, but they must hate the wildlings as much or more than that. They also knew winter was coming so at least the old heads could have gone so their families had less mouths to feed, instead of them going on one last “hunt” to never be seen again.
Just wondering if I missed something or if George just didn’t write it that way.
No, seriously, what happened to him? He all but vanishes during the Riot of King's Landing and cannot be located dead or alive by anyone sent out to find him. In A Feast for Crows, when (at least for me) Tyrek is all but forgotten, Jaime wonders about what happened to him.
What do y'all think happened? Do you think he's dead in a ditch somewhere? Being held captive? Escaped and created a new identity? And what are your thoughts on whether or not he'll end up being seen again, or maybe even significant in the future?
When Jon dies, the last sentence in the chapter is "Only the cold..."
I don't remember if any other deaths ended with an ellipses (...). Do you think this is intentionally unique? Like there is more to come?
I’ve been going through all the smaller fight scenes and Brienne vs. The Hound really stood out to me: I don’t think any small fight scene so realistically captured a desperate fight to the death.
They fought dirty, kicking each other in the nether regions. They used makeshift weapons to bash each other. They fought emotionally, unleashing primal screams. They rolled through the dirt clawing at each other. They were completely drained when it was all done, bloodied, bruised battered. It was truly a visceral and exhausting experience.
Jon Snow vs. The White Waker at Hardhome was a close second. Jon gets the crap beaten out of him, frantically tries different weapons while running away, then makes a miracle comeback.
The Viper and the Mountain was amazing, but we didn’t get to see him really tire out the big man like he did in the books.
I thought the The Tower of Joy was fine, but a little disappointing for such a legendary fight. Fighting with two swords at once is nearly impossible, and everything felt a little too clean. When the Bran mentioned that Dayne was better than Ned, you really couldn’t tell by what was happening, as it was the typical “I back you up with strokes and now you back me up” before Ned got disarmed. I hoped for a grueling, desperate fight with injuries and wounds.
I’ll also say the sword fighting seem to really make a jump after season 2. The earlier fights were a lot slower and less advanced. I’m no expert on technique or anything, so I could be wrong.
In his introductory scene with Jaime, he is gutting a stag for some bizarre reason. Perhaps it is symbolic of a Lion (Lannister) butchering a stag (Baratheon). But surely such a role was beneath him?
So Emilia Clarke just posted a picture of dragons tattoos on her wrist with the caption: #withfyreandinkbaby
Do you think her usage of 'fyre' as in Blackfyre is significant? Maybe she's going to be revealed as a Blackfyre and have Jon's claim to the throne be more real? Am I freaking out over nothing?
Have I missed anyone or got the list wrong? Also how old are each of the characters
Edit: Pycelle, Walgrave should both be up there. Jeor Mormont?
Women have many reasons to weep, as the Ironborn like to tell us
That was the way of this cold world...women brought forth short-lived children from beds of blood and pain
Even so there are three particularly important weeping women whose wombs bring bring forth not only children, dynastic contention.
We have Gilly, who weeps continually for reasons her companions don't fathom.
Though she hid her face more oft than not and kept the cabin dark, he could see that her eyes were always red, her cheeks wet with tears. When he asked her what was wrong, though, she only shook her head, leaving him to find answers of his own.
We have little Roslin Frey , now Lady Tully
"My lady is beautiful." Edmure took her hand and drew her to her feet. "But why are you crying?"
"For joy," Roslin said. "I weep for joy, my lord."
And we have Jeyne Westerling
Jaime nodded. Tywin Lannister was not a man to overlook such details. "Unhand the girl," he said, "I'm done with her for now." As Jeyne fled sobbing down the stairs, he considered her mother.
Gilly, Jeyne Westerling, and Roslin have something more in common than their weeping.
All three are associated with dynastic births, either real or suspected.
My grandsons will never be secure in Riverrun so long as any Tully heir remains alive."
She was not wrong, Jaime knew. "If Roslin has a girl—"
"—she can wed Ty, provided old Lord Walder will consent. Yes, I've thought of that. A boy is just as likely, though, and his little cock would cloud the issue.
"... Jeyne must wait two full years before she weds again." If the girl took another husband too soon and had a child by him, inevitably there would come whispers that the Young Wolf was the father.
So here are three weeping girls, all of them connected with potential dynastic concerns via their wombs.
Apart from her horrendous marriage to Ramsay Bolton, Jeyne Poole seems to be distinguished by her weeping .
At the Hand's tourney
Jeyne Poole wept so hysterically that Septa Mordane finally took her off to regain her composure, but Sansa sat with her hands folded in her lap, watching with a strange fascination.
When confined with her after the Ned's failed coup, Sansa notes
She chose a simple dress of dark grey wool, plainly cut but richly embroidered around the collar and sleeves. Her fingers felt thick and clumsy as she struggled with the silver fastenings without the benefit of servants. Jeyne Poole had been confined with her, but Jeyne was useless. Her face was puffy from all her crying, and she could not seem to stop sobbing about her father.
After her marriage, Theon hears her while he prays in the godswood
A thin film of ice covered the surface of the pool beneath the weirwood. Theon sank to his knees beside it. "Please," he murmured through his broken teeth, "I never meant …" The words caught in his throat. "Save me," he finally managed. "Give me …" What? Strength? Courage? Mercy? Snow fell around him, pale and silent, keeping its own counsel. The only sound was a faint soft sobbing. Jeyne, he thought. It is her, sobbing in her bridal bed. Who else could it be? Gods do not weep. Or do they?
And on the road to the Wall, Theon tries to cheer her up
Jeyne Poole had wept all the way from Winterfell to here, wept until her face was purple as a beetroot and the tears had frozen on her cheeks, and all because he told her that she must be Arya, or else the wolves might send them back. "They trained you in a brothel," he reminded her, whispering in her ear so the others would not hear. "Jeyne is the next thing to a whore, you must go on being Arya." He meant no hurt to her. It was for her own good, and his. She has to remember her name. When the tip of her nose turned black from frostbite, and the one of the riders from the Night's Watch told her she might lose a piece of it, Jeyne had wept over that as well. "No one will care what Arya looks like, so long as she is heir to Winterfell," he assured her. "A hundred men will want to marry her. A thousand."
This unfortunate girl has been pressured into adopting a false identity to marry the heir of Lord Bolton, Warden of the North. She's escaped, and plans have been made to take her to Braavos.
Is it possible the girl is pregnant with an heir to House Bolton and under her adopted identity, to Winterfell?
If Jeyne dies in childbirth, what proof will there be the child isn't a Stark? Things could get very complicated in the North if a scion of House Bolton can lay claim to Winterfell.
What possible outcomes are there for a pregnant Jeyne Poole/Arya Bolton?
I know its an old, popular subject but most people are interested in why the poison didn't hurt Melisandre. My question is, what was his intent?
Was it to murder suicide? Some people speculate she didn't die because she prepared either an anti poison or some how its the power of the lord of light. But I'd have to imagine if he was trying to murder her him drinking first was to show the wine wasn't poisoned, meaning he'd have to assume he'd be okay drinking the poison.
So why didn't his presumed anti poison not work? Like, Melisandre surviving aside, was his intent to kill them both? Or am I missing another piece of the puzzle. (The poison being swapped + her having an antidote, magic and somehow protecting her and making sure to kill him)
Sorry if this half is already explained some where, I couldn't find anything on it in searches from Quora, Reddit, and various forums. People only seem curious about why she survived.
Has GRRM confirmed that Jon was born after the sack of kings landing? I've been looking for information and haven't been able to find anything definitively stating he was born after the war
Why does everyone debate Jon's parentage but Dany's birth on Dragonstone to Aerys and Rhaella is never questioned by the readers ? This has always puzzled me . Please enlighten me . Could it be because in universe characters never question Mrs. Stormborn possibly? What do you think /u/markg171 For anyone interested i linked the best essay on this subject in the comments below.
Rereading ADWD and came upon this line in the final chapter, "The rocks had scraped her hands raw. They were better than they were though. She decided as she picked at a broken blister. Her skin was pink and tender and a pale milky fluid was leaking from her cracked palms. But her burns we healing."
Previously she did not feel the scalding heat of her bath in AGOT. And finally she did not succumb to the fire of Funeral pyre in the final chapter of AGOT either.
Is she immune to heat and fire that is "regular" aka not dragon fire, but not that of dragon flames? Does this have any greater significance or is this just to show how strong fire from dragons can be?
Grrm always surprises me with how the smallest sentence can ring my heart like a bell... Testament to his good character work.
Some recent lines would be:
In life, Ser Myles Toyne had been ugly as sin. His famous forebear, the dark and dashing Terrence Toyne of whom the singers sang, had been so fair of face that even the king's mistress could not resist him; but Myles had been possessed of jug ears, a crooked jaw, and the biggest nose that Jon Connington had ever seen. When he smiled at you, though, none of that mattered.
So sweet... saw this in a post about how martin describes love
[Sansa] sang for her mother and her father, for her grandfather Lord Hoster and her uncle Edmure Tully, for her friend Jeyne Poole, for old drunken King Robert, for Septa Mordane and Ser Dontos and Jory Cassel and Maester Luwin, for all the brave knights and soldiers who would die today, and for the children and the wives who would mourn them, and finally, toward the end, she even sang for Tyrion the Imp and for the Hound.
It touched me that she thought of him, and that affectionate but also pitying way to describe him...
So, what lines have you noticed recently that moved you?