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Questions and more questions! (ADWD spoilers)


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#1 madkasel

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:40 PM

The book was rather plodding in many ways, but caught a good stiff breeze there at the end and left us with many questions. Some of the ones I keep worrying over are:

- Can we PLEASE be done with Meereen and have everybody on one continent?

(OK... that wasn't fair, but I can't help it. Here are some real ones with my thought as to the answer....)

  • Will Jon stay dead? (No. Mel will raise him.)
  • What part of Ramsay's letter was truth and what was fiction? (I don't believe there was any 7 day battle.)
  • What happens with the NW and Wildlings? (The NW has the child hostages, so I think the detente will remain.)
  • What will Tormund and the wildlings do with this news of Mance and Winterfell? (March to war.)
  • What in the seven hells is happening at the Eyrie? (No idea, but LF is up to something, I'm sure.)
  • What role with this Tyroshi banker play? (Do they hire a faceless and this brings Arya back in?)

 

There are others, but I'll leave it at that.

 

 



#2 Saturnine

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:58 PM

madkasel said:

- Can we PLEASE be done with Meereen and have everybody on one continent?

Amen!

 

Will Jon stay dead? - Well, we're not even sure he actually died. The ending, while suggestive, is not really definitive. But I agree, if he did/does die, Mel is likely to bring him back.

Ramsay's letter -  This one is interesting, and came totally out of left field for me. I wouldn't have thought Jon was really on Ramsay's radar. And the content seems somewhat dubious. If indeed Ramsay came down on Stannis's host and defeated them, that begs the question of what happened to Theon, Asha and the Tyroshi banker, because from a meta-perspective, the way their stories have developed they clearly still have a part to play. So they would have had to seperate from Stannis's host shortly after Theon's arrival at the camp. Another (highly speculative) possibility, in my mind, is that Roose wrote the letter as part of some shrewd plan, but what that plan might be I do not know. 

NW & Wildlings / Tormund / Mance - I really don't know with this one. It'll all largely depend on what's going on with Jon (dead? alive? resurrected?). Will they march on the Boltons regardless of Jon's fate? It seems likely. Certainly seems to be more up their alley than cleaning up the Wall. But without Jon's shrewd military guidance, I would expect them to be crushed by the Boltons.

Eyrie: Really looking forward to hearing what Littlefinger is up to. I'll even take Sansa chapters, if that's what it takes.

Tyroshi banker: I really have no speculation on that. I just want to say that he is the most unexpected character I've encountered in the series. The way he's described, I imagine him like someone out of a Tim Burton movie.

 

Poor Doran. I was really intrigued by him before and imagined him to be someone to look out for. But, as it turns out, he doesn't really have more game than the others. Sending Quentyn was a joke (who quite likely was the least interesting character in the series), and he doesn't really know what's going on either, as he assumes the fleet of mercenaries sailing west is Dany's host. I now sympathize more strongly with the Sand Snakes and their impatience. I wonder how Doran will react to Young Griff.

The Tyrell's have been working hard to consolidate their power in King's Landing, it seems. Cersei is a fighter, though, so I'm mildly curious if and how she'll manage to shake things up. Obviously, she doesn't seem to be any position to make plays right now, but I can't imagine her story just ending in a whimper.

I really can't wait to hear from Sam, Marwyn and Sarella again. No word at all from Oldtown, even in the latter half of the book. :(

 

 

 

 



#3 Rubinon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:19 AM

@ Tyrells and Martells:

I find it interesting that the two great Houses that suffered least in the War of the Five Kings and are in the strongest position now were supporters of the Targaryens during Robert's Rebellion. It looks good for Young Griff, I think. (And about Meereen: I'm very happy that Griff turned to Westeros immediately. That's what I've been urging Daenerys to do for the last three books :-))

@ Jon:

I think he is definitely dead, but also think it's very likely that Mel will resurrect him. Another possibility (and less lame, I think) was hinted at in the Prologue of Dance with all the talk of the second life a warg has. Jon will definitely be "reborn" in Ghost. How he would be able to wield a flaming sword as a wolf, dire as he might be, eludes me, though.

@ the letter:

I think the only true part is that the Boltons captured Mance (and probably killed all his girls). A total omission of the battle against Stannis would be very underwhelming. (So many unanswered questions there. Arnolf Karstark should be exposed by the bankier's group. But how will the army solve the problem of winter?)

@ Wildlings:

If Jon stays dead, I could very well imaginge Tormund as a new POV character in Winds. His characterisation was very sympathetic (is that the right word?)



#4 Saturnine

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:59 AM

Rubinon said:

And about Meereen: I'm very happy that Griff turned to Westeros immediately. 

So am I. Tyrion made a compelling argument when he talked to Aegon about this. Ultimately, Aegon seems a little too green and rash for the task at hand, so I'm thinking something's bound to go terribly wrong during his (con)quest, even under the guidance of Jon C. It doesn't look like Dany is going to be of help anytime soon, either. Either way, he's likely to shake things up a bit in Westeros, and frankly, there were already enough people in/heading for Meereen.

Most if not all the Meereen storylines turned out to be rather uncompelling - towards the end, I was even hoping for a Bran chapter to take me away from there! o_O



#5 Rubinon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:07 AM

The best thing about Meereen were the things that Selmy remebered. Once again pieces of the puzzle that is Aerys' reign.



#6 madkasel

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:24 AM

Rubinon said:

The best thing about Meereen were the things that Selmy remebered. Once again pieces of the puzzle that is Aerys' reign.

 

Agree!



#7 Saturnine

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:53 AM

madkasel said:

Rubinon said:

 

The best thing about Meereen were the things that Selmy remebered. Once again pieces of the puzzle that is Aerys' reign.

 

 

 Agree!

Aye, agreed. Although I was a bit disappointed we didn't glean more of what was going on between Ned and Ashara when we read about how Selmy had the hots for Ashara; perhaps Barristan doesn't know much, though - or, quite likely, there is nothing much to know.



#8 Stag Lord

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:59 AM

I think its pretty defintive that Jon is dead. The line "He never felt the fourth blade - only the all encompassing cold" leaves littel room fro any other reading. Adn honestly - Martin shoul leave him dead. His assasination shows what comes of trying to eb a just ruler in Westeros - something that is clearly one of Martin's themes. in addition, it would make his death have a resonance we haven't seen since Robb Stark.

Nontheless - he's not going to stay dead - as madkasel points out, mel is likely to bring him back with the red Kiss a la Thoros of Myr - and he will end up being Azor Ahai Reborn. As I argue in my other thread - he fulfills three of the signs (the dragon one elaves me puzzled) and Martin worked way too ahrd as a writer to get those signs up for the reader for it not to payoff.

I thought Bolton's letter was pretty clearly  a false hood. Except for the Mance bit - he probably does have him. But the letter is demanding the return of Jeyne poole and we know she is with Stannis. ergo - he can't have defeated Tsannis or he'd ahve her and there would be no need for teh letter. bolton is guessing she ran to her brother - he never dreamed she woudl run to Stannis.

I am seriously starting to think that aegon is not a Targaryen at all. Quaithe warns dany in Danaerys 2 to beware fo several things, among them a "Mummer's dragon". If Ageon is soem construct of Varys and Illyrio - some sort of impostor (maybe they even fooled Connigton0 the rpohecy makes sense. in addiiton - the clumsy plot device fo a long thought dead realative makes a lot more sense as well - hard to beleive a writer of Martin's skill took a page out of the Days of Our Lives playbook.



#9 Saturnine

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:23 AM

Stag Lord said:

I am seriously starting to think that aegon is not a Targaryen at all. Quaithe warns dany in Danaerys 2 to beware fo several things, among them a "Mummer's dragon". If Ageon is soem construct of Varys and Illyrio - some sort of impostor (maybe they even fooled Connigton0 the rpohecy makes sense. in addiiton - the clumsy plot device fo a long thought dead realative makes a lot more sense as well - hard to beleive a writer of Martin's skill took a page out of the Days of Our Lives playbook.

Interesting thoughts, and a very good point about Quaithe's warning to Dany. Borrowing a line from Naked Gun: "Who's the best Targaryen imposter? The one who doesn't know he's an imposter." I think if he is indeed not the real thing, the only ones in the know are Varys and Illyrio (and perhaps not even Illyrio).



#10 Rubinon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:38 AM

... which would put all the theorys about Darkstar back in the game.



#11 Kennon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:38 AM

And then of course the question would still be "What is Varys' game?" After killing Kevan for actually trying to bring some semblance of peace and stability to the realm, it's quite obvious that he's not doing this "for the realm" as he's said before. Or at least, not in any sort of positive way like we've assumed. If he is truly a staunch Targaryen supporter, the question is why? He was already on the Small Council and styled a Lord, but being a eunuch unable to marry, so it's difficult to imagine that he's turned to the Targaryens as a way to raise himself higher in the realm in the style of Littlefinger's machinations. At least Illyrio made a certain amount of sense in saying that he wanted to be named Master of Coin (though I'm not convinced that would actually be any higher of a station than his current holdings) Varys doesn't even have that suggest, as he already held a Small Council position.  If he's not even truly a Targaryen supporter, then it would seem he's just working to sow chaos at this point. Again, why?



#12 madkasel

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:42 PM

Kennon said:

And then of course the question would still be "What is Varys' game?" After killing Kevan for actually trying to bring some semblance of peace and stability to the realm, it's quite obvious that he's not doing this "for the realm" as he's said before. Or at least, not in any sort of positive way like we've assumed. If he is truly a staunch Targaryen supporter, the question is why? He was already on the Small Council and styled a Lord, but being a eunuch unable to marry, so it's difficult to imagine that he's turned to the Targaryens as a way to raise himself higher in the realm in the style of Littlefinger's machinations. At least Illyrio made a certain amount of sense in saying that he wanted to be named Master of Coin (though I'm not convinced that would actually be any higher of a station than his current holdings) Varys doesn't even have that suggest, as he already held a Small Council position.  If he's not even truly a Targaryen supporter, then it would seem he's just working to sow chaos at this point. Again, why?

Good questions. I don't think personal ambition comes into it much. He's clearly all about Targ for whatever reason, and (with young Griff) was maneuvering to protect/support them even before Robert was king. When he says that he does things "for the realm" he means "for the Targaryans who should be ruling the realm." He's blind to their faults and completely sold out to them... kind of like a hardcore straight ticket  Dem or Repub voter who sees nothing but horror from one side and nothing but goodness and light from the other.

Would LOVE to have him as a prologue or whatever to get in his head for even a little bit.



#13 Kennon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:26 PM

Hmmm.... I don't know that we've seen anyone else in the Thrones novels that has that sort of hardcore belief. Certainly no one without some pretty solid reasons to base it on. So again it comes down to why? Is he a Targaryen himself? Any other missing branches of the tree that could be unaccounted for? It might explain the bald head if he were shaving it to hide his hair... Still, it's a pretty outlandish theory I admit.



#14 LaughingTree

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:59 PM

madkasel said:

 

The book was rather plodding in many ways, but caught a good stiff breeze there at the end and left us with many questions. Some of the ones I keep worrying over are:

- Can we PLEASE be done with Meereen and have everybody on one continent?

(OK... that wasn't fair, but I can't help it. Here are some real ones with my thought as to the answer....)

  • Will Jon stay dead? (No. Mel will raise him.)
  • What part of Ramsay's letter was truth and what was fiction? (I don't believe there was any 7 day battle.)
  • What happens with the NW and Wildlings? (The NW has the child hostages, so I think the detente will remain.)
  • What will Tormund and the wildlings do with this news of Mance and Winterfell? (March to war.)
  • What in the seven hells is happening at the Eyrie? (No idea, but LF is up to something, I'm sure.)
  • What role with this Tyroshi banker play? (Do they hire a faceless and this brings Arya back in?)

 

There are others, but I'll leave it at that.

 

 

 

Meereen... I agree so much it hurts. And I've been a big Dany fan especially compared to others I know. 5 books and no movement yet to Westeros? It was disappointing for no Victarion-Dany meet-up in this book which I looked forward and Quentyn was total red herring for the audience. Maybe its a big fake out and Dany is never going to Westeros. Even as a Targ loyalist I'm thinking I want to support Aegon just 'cause....

Jon... You hit the likely scenario I think but I am hoping he is either dead or survives somehow with the Red Kiss.

Ramsay's Letter...  Probably almsot entirely lies, he thought Jon had Theon and Jeyne after. He might have Mance that seems possible but I doubt Stannis is dead.

Tyroshi Banker... good question. Since SoS I liked the idea of the Iron Bank. Braavos just seems cool to me from everything written about it.  Maybe we'll be lucky and FFG will make a card of the Iron Banker with Rings picture on it :P

Eyrie.. Well I guess that was one part of the story he simply missed due to size constraints and his emerging tangent style (like what I mention below). TBH I didnt expect him to get to the Eyrie so I wasn't surprised.

On the same note, where the heck was Marwyn? I was hoping for at least something at the end of the book but nope...I hate to say it but I think Martin focused slightly too much on minor characters no gives a rats arse about-even Dany fans (the Meereen politics) and didn't give quite enough of the minor characters the audience really wants to read about...

 

 Oh and here's my question,

Who is Young Griff really? I see a lot of possibilities

A) He is really Aegon

B) He is not Aegon but is son of a female Blackfyre descendant (Malys was only the last male Blackfyre implying a living female).

C) He is fake and Illyrio's son.

D) He is fake and son of Ned Stark and Ashara Dayne.

E) He is fake and son of Benjen Stark and Ashara Dayne

F) He is really the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna

 

 

 



#15 LoneWanderer

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:41 PM

LaughingTree said:

I doubt Stannis is dead.

 

If Dance was the last of Stannis, then I will be bitterly disappointed.

To have the man who Tywin Lannister billed as "A greater threat than all the others combined", who sat out the entire first book so that Clash's prologue could introduce him and his entourage in epic Darth Vader style, just disappear with a whimper somewhere in the snow would be a total tragedy.

I know that he can't be king in the end and I realise that I'm in a minority as a big fan of 'Unhappy King Stannis and his nutty crew of misfits', but I just want to see the endless parade of misfortunes that Martin seems intent on raining on him abate for a few seconds. The guy is a man of (albeit slightly misplaced) morals, as tough a soldier as anybody in the realm, and his character desperately needs an opportunity to kick the kind of arse that he's always been billed as capable of.

Beating up a bunch of wildlings was a good start, but Stannis needs to sheathe lightbringer in a Westerosi heart before he dies.



#16 Mighty Jim

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 12:31 AM

People have mentioned elsewhere the "if it really is Jon Connington" line we keep getting repeated. Maybe neither of the Griffs are real. If young Griff reall is Aegon and the lone Dornish chapter is right in suggesting that sandsnake plotlines are going to be elsewhere in teh next book, then the Darkstar looks more pointless than ever (unless he's the REAL Aegon)

Jon can't be staying dead. In some shape or form, we'll be seeing more of him- POV characters don't die in their own chapters. Having given us a Melisandre chapter earlier on, GRRM had given himself an obvious option for a viewer of Jon being killed. Jon has to return so that the question of his parentage can be cleared up (Howland Reed where are you?!?) interestingly, if he really is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, might he ahve been named for Jon Connington? (rather than Jon Arryn as you'd expect if he were Ned's son)

also on Jon's parentage- I thought the brief mention (by Lord Manderly possibly?) to Davos of a woman called Wylla helping Ned escape during the rebellion was interesting. Still don't think Ned's the father though.

Ramsay must have Mance - there's no way he could have known who Mance was otherwise. Aside from that I don't believe any of the letter. Interestingly, in the chapter where Theon and Roose talk, Roose Bolton seems remarkably sane and sensible compared with his son.

But the most important question of all - how many years of speculation before the next been, it's been weeks already!



#17 Saturnine

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 12:45 AM

Mighty Jim said:

Maybe neither of the Griffs are real.

Jon Connington seems to be very convinced he is himself, and I'm going to trust his judgement for now. ^_^



#18 Stag Lord

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:32 AM

Lot of good stuff here.

Kennon: why do you get the impression that varys is NOt acting for teh good of the realm? i think its is pretty evdient that he is - and the good of the realm is is sole motivation. the Lanisters can't be allowed to claim the Throne. Tommen is a child of incest and adultery as is Myrcella - and these facts are in the open now. No matter what happens at cersei's trial - these alleagations cna never be put abck in teh box and as long as the Lannisetres hold teh throne - there will be no peace in teh realm. They have to go - all of them for atability to return.

Why Varys isn't supporting Stannis is an intersting question - but maybe he just wnats the stability of the targaryen dynasty back. Garnted aerys was a nut job, but they ahd plenty of good rulers before him and maybe Varys thinks with proper guidance Dany and Aegon will eb fit consorts and peaceful rulers. But first things first: the Lannisters and their tainted children HAVE to go.

LT: So well said. i too ahve been a big Daenerys fan since Book 1 - and have always found her the msot engagaing and fascinating character in the novels. Teh Meereenese Knot not only led to poor  and plodding plotting - it led to some bad writing; in terms of charcter development and what had been established. Many of dany's actions were clearly foolish and her refusal to heed the advcie of people she knew she could trsut liek slemy and the bloodriders was hard to beleive. You can see Martin's struggles with the plot very clearly and very painfully in the Meereen sections - and this sentiment seems to eb unviersal.

Lone wanderer; fully agree on Darth Stannis. There is very little i am sure about after closing teh Dance, but one thing is that Bolton's letter is mostly lies adn Satnnis does not die off screen in the dark and snow. Martin ahs invested way too much in the character for him to go out like that.



#19 Rubinon

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:59 AM

Ramsay's letter makes most sense if the Boltons have Mance, but not Stannis. Mance could have told them of Melisandre's vision of the girl fleeing to the wall, that's why Ramsay now turns his attention to Jon: He assumes like Mance that it is "Arya". He has no idea that Theon and Jeyne joined Stannis.

On a related note: How do you interpret Theon's last line (you have to know your name!) I was very impressed by his return to himself (and I really liked the path told through the chapter-headers: From Reek over the Ghost of Winterfell to Theon) but this last line reeks of the Reek in him. Is he still Ramsay's creature, deep inside, or waht daoes this mean?



#20 LoneWanderer

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:28 AM

Rubinon said:

How do you interpret Theon's last line (you have to know your name!)

I'm shunting it onto the big cart of 'You need to remember who you are' theme.

Arya needs to remember her identity in order to use her new powers for the good of her 'pack' (rather than becoming subsumed into the creepy Faceless Man identity that she's being brainwashed with)

Jon will need to remember who he is in order to get out of Ghost and back to being the saviour of Westeros (the Varamyr chapter laid all the seeds for that "eventually you forget who you are and just become the beast" struggle)

Dany needs to remember that she's the Queen of Dragons in order to get out of Mereen and back on the path to her destiny

Poor old Theon (who kind of deserved what he got, but who I'm glad gets to have some kind of redemption now) needed to remember who he really was (Ironborn, noble at heart, not Ramsay's weird little kick-toy) in order to avoid becoming Reek/A Beast completely and to give him a path back to finally being a man for once.

 

Long story short, I'm willing to bank on Theon being back on the path of righteousness now. Either his shambling grave of a body is going to help the Stark's win back the North, or else he's heading back to the Iron Isles with Asha to tie up the 'Rise of Euron' plotline somehow.






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