1. And that scene was an exception, not the rule. Cat was just cold to Jon the rest of the time they were living at Winterfell

  2. That's not strictly true. When Robb sees Jon in the yard, he asks if Catelyn was cruel to him. It's clear Robb has seen some moments he disapproved of and felt for Jon in. However, her behavior may suggest that Catelyn can't handle how she feels about Jon, not that she harbors hatred in her heart or anything so conscious.

  3. That Robb could guess why Jon was upset means he's seen Catelyn upset Jon before. That's my whole point. That he brings it up when Jon doesn't suggests Robb has even taken Jon's side after something he's seen.

  4. I like this. Still, the couple chapters in close proximity that indicate Varys as having majorly contributed to Aerys's paranoia and instability suggest Varys was not pro-Targaryen. Barristan Selmy and Jaime both see Varys as having all but caused Aerys's fall from sanity. It's possible they're both just wrong and Varys was a perfectly good master of whispers but those chapters in succession seem to argue he meant to ruin Aerys. If so, Varys's motive would seem to have been to replace Targaryens with Blackfyres. That his speech to Kevan suggests he believes Aegon to be Rhaegar's son does call into question whether Varys did engineer Aerys's paranoia. I do consider it an open question.

  5. I think many ASOIAF characters are designed with fall away layers. There are several who we see first as extremely competent, then as totally irrational: Tywin, Daenerys, Catelyn, Tyrion... Then, people argue whether the character is totally competent or totally irrational when that isn't the major thing going on with any of them.

  6. When Brienne said the word "sword," it represented the realization that Podrick was always the one she needed to save. It had pleased Brienne's love of songs to be tasked with a quest to rescue a noble damsel in distress. But, in reality, she wasn't even able to find Sansa while she kept meeting broken men and men on their way to being broken. The Brotherhood hang them after misjudging and condemning the lost soldiers they once would have added to their ranks. That Brienne sees her own adolescent awkwardness in Podrick, as well as her innocence, means saving him exonorates the young self she'd blamed for not being all a lady should be. In a way, Brienne exchanges quests in this moment. It reminds of how, when Ser Hyle offered his fertility to her in an inn full of orphans, Brienne had to understand both that she did want to be a mother and that she could be a better one by defending the children at the inn than by accepting a marriage beneath her, as she always had been opposed to. The last two Brienne chapters set up that she is now psychologically whole and on a new quest to be a different kind of sword than The Perfect Knight and for a better reason.

  7. It was Ser Ilyn she needed to have spoken to. He'd have obeyed her. Cersei just hadn't prepared herself for the possibility Joffrey would go off script. But would she have stopped Ser Ilyn, publicly undermining Joffrey in the ceremonial event that was supposed to establish his authority? I don't think so. That's why she looked to influence Joffrey, not to stop the execution.

  8. It's a definitely a decent possibility, but I'm not entirely sure what it gains Littlefinger specifically. Alot of the theories on it I've read say he wanted Cat widowed, but I don't think that's true.

  9. As to motive, when Littlefinger warns Tyrion not to move into the Tower of the Hand for fear of the fates of the last two Hands, Tyrion says "Two? Why not say four?" This exchange suggests Littlefinger was telling Tyrion he'd kill him if he moved into the Tower of the Hand and that he considers himself to have killed Ned as well as Arryn. Given how much murder Littlefinger does and how it figures in a coldblooded way in his schemes (Jon Arryn, Dontos, Lysa) it makes sense for his motive to have been to sew discord between Stark and Lannister and possibly also to revel in his power as a manipulative murderer. The exchange doesn't speak to whether Littlefinger influenced Joffrey, but does imply he likes the idea of himself as a murderer and is not above hinting about it out loud, even in front of council.

  10. I think we see both examples and that they're combined. I think the weirwood net itself is not sinister and does not seem to be sentient. It's more like a system of phone lines or the internet. However, there is the question of who is using it. The sentient hive mind is composed of individuals linked in, mostly the benign children of the forest. However, there's the three eyed crow. At times the three eyed crow has seemed a benefactor, as when Jojen tells Bran he must take him to his true teacher beyond the Wall. However, there have been moments when the three eyed crow's identity is suddenly worrisome. Could he be an evil predator? So, the three eyed crow adds the sinister menace of the Hrangans while the children of the forest remind more of the Mudpots. In this way, the weirwood net and the Old Gods can seem both innocent and sinister.

  11. I think he would have done the deed himself with Ice. But only if he absolutely had to. He always knew that day might come, so he treated Theon well but always kept him “at a distance”. He never loved him and never got too close to him, but always treated him with decentcy and respect.

  12. Really good point. Ned might have won Theon's loyalty if he hadn't kept him at a distance.

  13. I can't guess what Ned would do, but I'm confident Robb would not have been capable of seriously considering executing Theon, had he not sent him to Pyke but Victarion still taken Moat Cailin. I wonder what attitude all involved would have taken in such a situation.

  14. Jaime and Tyrion parted, at the end of ASOS, on very bad terms. Tyrion even told Jaime he murdered Joffrey because Jaime was so hoping to hear him say he hadn't. I think Jaime is referring to his own sense of having been deceived about Tyrion's having honor. He only phrases it as Catelyn having been deceived because of context. Around the time Catelyn freed Jaime, he'd have said Tyrion had more honor than he does, too. Now, the opposite.

  15. The plan only really makes sense though if you can nullify Cersei’s children as heirs so that Margaery’s future son can become king otherwise it’s a bit of a wasted use of her as a marriage tool. Which implies Renly or the Tyrell’s suspected they were illegitimate.

  16. I'm not sure it does imply that. Margaery becoming queen gets Mace on the small council at minimum. It was worth doing, even if Joffrey remained heir, which Robert would likely not intend.

  17. There’s zero chance Robert is setting aside his first two born sons as heirs, especially not ones that are the grandsons of Tywin Lannister. That creates a monumental succession crisis. Keeping Joffrey as heir does not since the third born son from a second wife is not a strong claim to the throne.

  18. In theory Robert wouldn't set aside first first two trueborn sons, but if he can set Cersei aside and does, isn't it the obvious accompaniment? Recall how upset Robert is repeatedly described as being with Joffrey's character, even saying the reason he doesn't set aside his crown is the thought of Joffrey on the throne with Cersei at his elbow.

  19. Based on the fact that you're stalled, I'd recommend looking through the free audios on youtube to finish ADWD, then re-reading the series. With audio, you'll miss a fair amount that you'd get reading, but it will fly by and you'll remember how exciting the story is when you're not slogging through Meereenese name pronunciations. ASOIAF really takes two read throughs, maybe three to have "read" it once. There's just so much and the story gets richer and clearer every time through.

  20. Assure him they must have been mummers. Were I Catelyn, though... immediate cloak and dagger ops.

  21. I think you're right. It even seems the repopulation of the Giftlands is suggested as the natural way to maintain a line of defense, since living men with families prefer to stay where they have invested themselves. I agree the Wall seems criticized as having created an artificial distinction between peoples, making enemies where there would have otherwise been diplomacy and trade. That this foreshadows the Wall falling is startling to me and very cool. Great work.

  22. I don't think Disney wants the rights to this particular evil queen reveling in the memory of her vengeful handiwork.

  23. Not sure if it's obscure, but a favorite of mine I sometimes forget about is ASOS Tyrion III. Tywin's small council as Hand in King's Landing is shown to be largely a ceremonial performance on Tywin's part where all are informed of decisions he's already made based on private meetings. That would be bad, except it's obvious he has to do this because the committee would make nonsense decisions.

  24. Hmmm. I never considered this was a defense of Payne. Maybe those who care for nothing but killing look out for each other.

  25. Thank you, thank you. The image of Joffrey being raised by Genna will delight me every time I think of it.

  26. Remember when GRRM was SHOCKED at how much hatred Joffrey got from the readers, and expected people to be more sympathetic to the kid?

  27. To be fair to our author, there are a few subtle storylines that make Joffrey seem more helpless and pitiful: how the Hound chose to become Joffrey's dog to defend the weak but wound up training his master to sick his guards on people, and how Joffrey's lack of sword training made him a nasty coward despite that either Barristan or Jaime would have trained him the way Loras wanted to train Tommen. I think Joffrey is supposed to be hated, but also understood as a product of circumstance and pitied simultaneously as hated, giving his character a kind of roundness that definitely didn't make it into the show.

  28. Should have brought in his brother Stanis as hand, he would have cleaned up his court

  29. Sansa’s sense of justice isn’t warped, she just uses coping mechanisms to deal with the outcome.

  30. I agree. Would you say more? I see it as Sansa held firm to her idea that a lady becomes queen by being ever so good, and that Cersei and Joffrey were shining examples of courtesy and grooming. She blamed Arya, despite what she had seen happen and what she overheard in the trial, because Arya was characteristically "bad" and always ruined everything. Arya ruined Joffrey's ability to like Sansa when she'd been about to have a romance with the handsome prince. So Sansa blamed Arya. And hated Ned for killing Lady.

  31. Hoster Tully keeping his illness a secret even from Catelyn and Lysa, for fear of Tywin finding out suggests Tywin has designs on the riverlands. The raids by Clegane may have been on Tywin's backburner for years before he saw the opportunity to start the fight he expected would gain him the riverlands. That he then decided to burn them and starve houses like Blackwood suggests he sees it as the lands he's gaining, not the people. I think we are meant to see what you've pointed out: it's a poor long term strategy. Jaime is beginning to think so, as of his ADWD chapter.

  32. This quote is the primary one that led me to imagine Aegon to be a Blackfyre. That, and Varys telling Tyrion the riddle of the sellsword right after saying the Red Messenger "comes as a herald before a king to warn of fire and blood to follow."

  33. I used to put more stock in my pet theory that Littlefinger worried Renly would find out about the twincest and convince Robert to set Cersei aside for Margaery, so he arranged to make the twincest seem like preposterous and libelous speculation.

  34. The moment where Davos reads the letter from the Wall by the light of Lightbringer as Stannis prepares to behead him for freeing Edric/Gendry.

  35. Do you happen to know why Lightbringer was left out of the show? There are a few scenes it would have made massively more dramatic.

  36. When Cat takes Brianne into service, she recalls her past taking of ladies into service.

  37. It's still pretty glaringly lacking. I mean, maybe Jon could have noticed some of Catelyn's ladies entering the Great Hall when he watched the procession, or she might have thought of them herself in Catelyn I. The way it is, it feels as though Catelyn didn't bring a soul but Robb with her from Riverrun.

  38. But it makes sense. He LOATHES the Starks, so attacking them satisfied his vengeance boner.

  39. That's the thing everybody who thinks he's stupid misses about Balon: his vengeance motive. He wasn't stupid, just had a massive vengeance boner. Seeking vengeance makes people stupid.

  40. Why does he hate the Starks so much, I know helped put down his rebellion, but so did everyone else, his sons weren't killed by Starks.

  41. That's actually really close to my understanding. Taking Theon as a hostage was meant as a way to constrain Balon's defiance. He wouldn't suffer it. So, he decided Theon was as good as dead. But Balon had too much heart to just think of Theon as being dead, so he decided to blame Stark for killing all three sons. That way, it wasn't like Balon would be killing Theon by planning to rebel again but like his rebellion was already vengeance for Stark killing Theon. Adding Rodrik and Maron to the list gave him the emotional momentum to pull off the self-dupe.

  42. Asha thinks this up in the context of being hit on by Justin Massey who thinks she has more than him because of her last name. But Asha is plain broke. Theon is significantly more destroyed. Asha thinking to use Theon's claim primarily points out how meaningless claims by name are. Why would Euron attend a second kingsmoot? More importantly, what would it even do for anybody to take the Seastone Chair from the husband she never married and give it to the brother she barely knows?

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