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Kingsguard

Your favorite haracter in the series and why?

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Just curious to hear what everybdy's favorite character in the story is and why. If you're like me you've probably got many favorites. Try and pick just one and let us know why you chose that person.

Myself, I think I'll choose Ser Arthur Dayne.

Greatest Knight Ned Stark had ever known. Sword of the Morning. I like how his method of defeating the kingswood brotherhood was to win the hearts of the peasants. His sad smile at the Tower of Joy. An honorable and compassionate knight. A Good man caught serving a bad cause.

Alright, how about the rest of you?

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I'll chime in on this one and say, The Hound.  To me, he embodies situational morality.  He seems to be a 'yes man' to some.  But, he is far from it in my opinion.  He is doing what he must.  Watching his tragic life unfold has been a real challenge and joy for me.  His denouncement of chivalry and honor are refreshing as well.

Honorable mention to Mance Rayder.   The only king I'd follow, as he does not require me to bow ;)

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I really love Ser Jorah Mormont. I'm a big fan of House Mormont in general, but Jorah is definitely my favorite of the family. I love his dynamic with Dany, and I find him a very compelling character. He's not a great man, he's a fairly bad knight as far as chivalric ideals go--how dare his loyalty to Dany not be entirely chaste!--but I can't get enough of him.

Brienne's also high on my list. I realize she's pretty unpopular with a lot of the fandom, but I for one enjoyed her chapters in Feast, and I was quite sad she only really got a cameo in Dance. Obviously I care about pretty much all the plotlines going on, but when the next book comes out--whenever that may be--I'll definitely be most excited to find out what is happening to Jorah and Brienne.

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There are a lot of characters that I like.  Narrowing down the list is pretty hard.  But I'll give it a go:

 

1.) The Stark Family - Specifically Ned and Robb.  I like Ned because he did what he needed to do, even though he knew that it was going to bring a whole world of trouble down on him.  Robb I respect for not bending the knee.  And even though he wondered if he was doing the right thing, he kept to his guns.  Too bad he died though.  I didn't quite think that fair.  But such is the hand of GRRM.

2.) Jon Snow -  Snow doesn't really shine for me until Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons.  When he becomes Lord commander, that's when we see a whole new side of Jon Snow.  A cold side, sure, but one that makes sure he protects his people and his realm. 

Honorable Mention - Ben Stark.  Would really like to know more about what happened to him.  I have a theory I'm about to post in the spoilers section, but would like a little confirmation.

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Jaime - he starts as a simple villain but once you go deeper he is a really tragic character with his own motivas and agendas

Brienne - as she never breaks despite life treating her so harsh

The Hound - at least his later incarnation from books 3-4

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anavasoothed said:

His denouncement of chivalry and honor are refreshing as well.

The hound is an intriguing character though I'd point out that I don't think he denounces honor and chivalry. He denounces knights because they aren't honorable or chivalrous in his eyes. Why would you consider it refreshing if he did?

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That's the thick of it ;)  A real debate.  Honor and Chivalry are codes.  Historically, they are used more as a tool for climbing in status than actually being helpful.  I consider them more a front.  His denouncement seems to me to be toward the fallacy of the code AND those that hold them.

You are probably more right than I, though.  Still, I don't see him taking any vows of Chivalry or Honor any time soon.

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The longer the series goes on, the more I find myself rooting for Rhaegar Targaryen. What a great king he would have been! His develodment is a bit similar to the one of Jaime mentioned eralier: He starts as the simple abductor of Lyanna, and becomes so much more.

Edit: And with "development" I mean the things we learn about him. There isn't muchh development for his character in the books.

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anavasoothed said:

 

That's the thick of it ;)  A real debate.  Honor and Chivalry are codes.  Historically, they are used more as a tool for climbing in status than actually being helpful.  I consider them more a front.  His denouncement seems to me to be toward the fallacy of the code AND those that hold them.

You are probably more right than I, though.  Still, I don't see him taking any vows of Chivalry or Honor any time soon.

 

 

I see this kind of reasoning sort of often these days. I think you're disdain is misdirected though. Yes, many knights spoke the words without comprehending but there were many more who meant it. Even in reality, for every Amory Lorch we read about in history there is also a Barristan Selmy.

If you have a problem with knights or anyone who plays lip service to great ideals while turning around and profaning them in the same sentence, don't forget that the problem is the false knight, not the ideals.

If sombody say, stabs an innocent begging for mercy in the name of compassion, does it change the meaning of compassion? No. It means the murderer is a also a liar. Nothing more.


The longer the series goes on, the more I find myself rooting for Rhaegar Targaryen. What a great king he would have been! His develodment is a bit similar to the one of Jaime mentioned eralier: He starts as the simple abductor of Lyanna, and becomes so much more.

 

Edit: And with "development" I mean the things we learn about him. There isn't muchh development for his character in the books.

 

I agree. I started out thinking Rhaegar is your classic villain. The spitefull black armored prince stealing fair maidens away from their true love. But the more the series goes on, the more you come to respect him. His bookishness, his sad songs, the doom that seems to always hang over his head. Makes you wonder if he really stole Lyanna at all. I hope we get a chance to find out the truth of it before too long.

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Kingsguard said:

I see this kind of reasoning sort of often these days. I think you're disdain is misdirected though. Yes, many knights spoke the words without comprehending but there were many more who meant it. Even in reality, for every Amory Lorch we read about in history there is also a Barristan Selmy.

 

I'm gonna take my cue from a tweet referenced over on the excellent All Leather Must Be Boiled: "Honor is the coward's substitute for morality." No doubt Barristan was very honorable in that he kept true to his vows. And yet he stood idly by as injustice was done.As Jaime so aptly put it: "So many vows . . . they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other."

I think George Martin makes a point of it that being honorable does not always equal being good, even with the best of intentions.

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Saturnine said:

Kingsguard said:

 

I see this kind of reasoning sort of often these days. I think you're disdain is misdirected though. Yes, many knights spoke the words without comprehending but there were many more who meant it. Even in reality, for every Amory Lorch we read about in history there is also a Barristan Selmy.

 

 

 

I'm gonna take my cue from a tweet referenced over on the excellent All Leather Must Be Boiled: "Honor is the coward's substitute for morality." No doubt Barristan was very honorable in that he kept true to his vows. And yet he stood idly by as injustice was done.As Jaime so aptly put it: "So many vows . . . they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other."

I think George Martin makes a point of it that being honorable does not always equal being good, even with the best of intentions.

Honor is an aspect of morality. A piece of a larger puzzle. But by no means can it replace morality because it can't truely exist without it.

Yes, Jaime does complain about the number of vows he's asked to uphold but again is it honor that asked him to make so many vows? Once more, I believe unrelated things are being mistaken for honor or chivalry. Vows the kingsguard take fall more under duty than honor and definitely chivalry.

Is it honorale to stay true to your word? To do your duty? Of course. But not if that duty requires you to act dishonorably. You can't make punching a baby an honorable thing to do simply by taking a vow to do it and following through on that vow.

So again, it's not honor or chivalry that is to blame there. Merely the short-sightedness of humans.

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 All the big characters are going to get lets of love in a thread like this, and with good reason no doubt. However, I usually find myself more interested in some of the characters with smaller roles to play. Partly due to the element of imagination that goes with trying to understand their motivations, where they came from and where they're going in the story, and also partly just to (I admit) try to be a little different from the crowd, which is pretty lame but I admit to being that way :)

 

One of my favourite characters is Arys Oakheart. Most of the Kingsguard are reviled through the books for being a poor shadow of what they should be. They Kingsguard should be the best of the realm and in the past they were. However, this bunch (with the exceptions of Jamie, and later on The Hound and Ser Loras) meant to be a relatively weak.

 

However, I like Arys because he's one of the only 'good guys' in the King's Guard and the only one who protests when asked to hit Sansa Stark. However, when he's pushed to do it anyway he does so but pulls his punches (I think I would have acted exactly the same way, without quite the guts to refuse) and later, when asked to escort Myrcella to Dorne he succumbs to Arienne Martell, just as any real man would and makes common cause over having Mycella crowned Queen. At the last, he finally shows that he's actually an exceptionally tough warrior with that final glorious charge.

 

So, in summary, he's one of the decent souls, flawed, ultimately doomed, but capable of exceptional feats of courage and endurance when it's required. Very human.

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The Red Viper is my clear favorite.  I'm sure other examples will be quickly provided to make me rethink, but to my eyes he's the only character that combines martial prowess with a truly powerful intellect.  (Rhaegar Targaryen would qualify, but it's hard to really get invested in a character from secondhand accounts.  Mance Rayder may even fit the bill, but again, not enough face time.)  There are plenty of tough guy characters who are by no means intellectual slouches (the Hound, Barristan, Jon, etc. etc.) but they don't demonstrate real cunning, the ability to dissimulate to their enemies, and to hatch air-tight schemes.

 

(spoiler alert) [do we still have to give these on this board?]

 

I think a lot of people read Oberyn's fight with Gregor as one of those familiar scenes where the guy you're rooting for crushes your hopes by taking a little too long to gloat and being undone by arrogance.  But the Viper's goal wasn't to win, it was to get Gregor to confess.  If he had to lose the fight to get Gregor to confess, the Viper had prepared a contingency, having already been resigned to the possibility of that outcome.  Gregor's life was forfeit from the get-go, and his own life for Gregor's confession was a price the Viper was happy to pay.  So many characters meet their defeat by hesitating, it puts the Viper's iron will in stark contrast.  He matched wits with the Lannisters and steel with the Mountain that Rides and came out on top.  His death is irrelevant to his victory.  Even in dying, the Viper gets to eat his cake and have it too in a way that no other sympathetic character in the series has.

 

I also love how he mentored his daughters.  His "i gave you the tools to take care of yourself" remark might seem callous, but he just realizes that he wouldn't be doing his daughters any service by making them dependent on him for protection.  Certainly Ned Stark would have been infinitely willing to defend his daughters, but that's no comfort to Sansa now.  If, on the other hand, he'd taught her to brew up a few simple poisons...

 

I think the Viper also ties in to the extremely interesting discussion on honor and chivalry, and how easily those concepts can be manipulated.  Who's honor are we talking about?  Who gets to write the codes?  The Viper is decidedly unchivalrous, but is he honorable?  Is there something to be said for delivering justice by any means, even at the tip of a poisoned spear?  Chivalry, as (among other things) a set of rules, is supposed to ensure fairness.  In practice it can stack the odds in one party's favor.  Why should the Viper put on armor and a shield and march one foot in front of the other into the Mountain, when he never agreed to play by those rules?  I actually do not believe that honor is a completely relative value, and i do believe there may be something like a "true core" of chivalry (or bushido or what-have-you) but the point is the truth is very hard to pin down.

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Kingsguard said:

Even in reality, for every Amory Lorch we read about in history there is also a Barristan Selmy.

I really have to question your proportions here. The impression I got from reading the novels is that Ser Barristan is an INCREDIBLY rare specimen in this day and age. Knights who truly respect and live up to the ideals of chivalry and honor are few and far between. By my count, we've probably met two or three in the whole series.

Which is not to say that every other knight is as bad as Ser Amory or Ser Gregor. They are clearly operating at an extreme level, but I think most of the knights we see in the books are probably closer to them than to Ser Barristan. Look at the current crop of Kingsguard; most of whom are just awful. We have the truly cruel ones, like Blount and Trant, and the scheming ones, Kettleblack and Moore. You've got critically flawed individuals, like Jaime and Arys. For crap's sake, there is in all likelihood the reanimated corpse of Westeros' most notorious war-criminal now among them. Ser Balon seems like a decent enough fellow, though I don't have much sense of his character. Ser Loras is probably the one that seems to come closest to the Sansa-ideal of knighthood, and it's all just meaningless bluster; he's obviously an extremely skilled fighter and loves the valor and acclaim that comes with tourneys and battle, but that doesn't make him a great person.

For my money, Bronn is the ultimate embodiment of knighthood in these books. He doesn't hide behind high-falutin' ideals or expensive gilded armor. He's good at murdering people and is loyal to those who can pay him. That's all he needs to be, and he is frank and forthright about it.

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Hands down, my favorite player in the saga so far has been Davos Seaworth.  He came from nothing, but has proven his loyalty to Stannis time and time again. He's a character who acknowledges that he's in over his head a lot of the time, but still struggles on anyway, with his smuggler's resourcefulness getting him through.  I'm really excited to see where the story takes him next.  That excitement, mind you, only makes the wait for the next book all the more frustrating.

On a side not, I am wondering if I'm too far into the mythos. I worked with a customer the other day whose last name was Frey, and I distrusted them from the start...preocupado.gif

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Parker said:

On a side not, I am wondering if I'm too far into the mythos. I worked with a customer the other day whose last name was Frey, and I distrusted them from the start...preocupado.gif

 

haha.  Nice.  Well played, sir.

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Nitro Pirate said:


One of my favourite characters is Arys Oakheart. Most of the Kingsguard are reviled through the books for being a poor shadow of what they should be. They Kingsguard should be the best of the realm and in the past they were. However, this bunch (with the exceptions of Jamie, and later on The Hound and Ser Loras) meant to be a relatively weak.

 

 

However, I like Arys because he's one of the only 'good guys' in the King's Guard and the only one who protests when asked to hit Sansa Stark. However, when he's pushed to do it anyway he does so but pulls his punches (I think I would have acted exactly the same way, without quite the guts to refuse) and later, when asked to escort Myrcella to Dorne he succumbs to Arienne Martell, just as any real man would and makes common cause over having Mycella crowned Queen. At the last, he finally shows that he's actually an exceptionally tough warrior with that final glorious charge.


So, in summary, he's one of the decent souls, flawed, ultimately doomed, but capable of exceptional feats of courage and endurance when it's required. Very human.

Yeah, Ser Aerys is one of my favorite characters aswell. I was so annoyed when he died. But at least he died well.

thejibboo said:

think a lot of people read Oberyn's fight with Gregor as one of those familiar scenes where the guy you're rooting for crushes your hopes by taking a little too long to gloat and being undone by arrogance. But the Viper's goal wasn't to win, it was to get Gregor to confess. If he had to lose the fight to get Gregor to confess, the Viper had prepared a contingency, having already been resigned to the possibility of that outcome. Gregor's life was forfeit from the get-go, and his own life for Gregor's confession was a price the Viper was happy to pay. So many characters meet their defeat by hesitating, it puts the Viper's iron will in stark contrast. He matched wits with the Lannisters and steel with the Mountain that Rides and came out on top. His death is irrelevant to his victory. Even in dying, the Viper gets to eat his cake and have it too in a way that no other sympathetic character in the series has.


I also love how he mentored his daughters. His "i gave you the tools to take care of yourself" remark might seem callous, but he just realizes that he wouldn't be doing his daughters any service by making them dependent on him for protection. Certainly Ned Stark would have been infinitely willing to defend his daughters, but that's no comfort to Sansa now. If, on the other hand, he'd taught her to brew up a few simple poisons...

I dunno. I think he probably had intended to survive the fight with Gregor and just careless. Doesn't make it any less courageous though really. I mean, he fought the mooutain in single combat.


thejibboo said:

I think the Viper also ties in to the extremely interesting discussion on honor and chivalry, and how easily those concepts can be manipulated. Who's honor are we talking about? Who gets to write the codes? The Viper is decidedly unchivalrous, but is he honorable? Is there something to be said for delivering justice by any means, even at the tip of a poisoned spear? Chivalry, as (among other things) a set of rules, is supposed to ensure fairness. In practice it can stack the odds in one party's favor. Why should the Viper put on armor and a shield and march one foot in front of the other into the Mountain, when he never agreed to play by those rules? I actually do not believe that honor is a completely relative value, and i do believe there may be something like a "true core" of chivalry (or bushido or what-have-you) but the point is the truth is very hard to pin down.

I have difficulty getting past the fact that he used poision when it goes to talk of honor and the viper. There's no honor in poision. There's plenty of positive things I can say of Oberyn Martel, brave and justified would be among the foremost. But honorable is not one of them.
alpha5099 said:

Kingsguard said:


Even in reality, for every Amory Lorch we read about in history there is also a Barristan Selmy.


I really have to question your proportions here. The impression I got from reading the novels is that Ser Barristan is an INCREDIBLY rare specimen in this day and age. Knights who truly respect and live up to the ideals of chivalry and honor are few and far between. By my count, we've probably met two or three in the whole series.

Which is not to say that every other knight is as bad as Ser Amory or Ser Gregor. They are clearly operating at an extreme level, but I think most of the knights we see in the books are probably closer to them than to Ser Barristan. Look at the current crop of Kingsguard; most of whom are just awful. We have the truly cruel ones, like Blount and Trant, and the scheming ones, Kettleblack and Moore. You've got critically flawed individuals, like Jaime and Arys. For crap's sake, there is in all likelihood the reanimated corpse of Westeros' most notorious war-criminal now among them. Ser Balon seems like a decent enough fellow, though I don't have much sense of his character. Ser Loras is probably the one that seems to come closest to the Sansa-ideal of knighthood, and it's all just meaningless bluster; he's obviously an extremely skilled fighter and loves the valor and acclaim that comes with tourneys and battle, but that doesn't make him a great person.

For my money, Bronn is the ultimate embodiment of knighthood in these books. He doesn't hide behind high-falutin' ideals or expensive gilded armor. He's good at murdering people and is loyal to those who can pay him. That's all he needs to be, and he is frank and forthright about it.

Bronn?! Of all the fine examples of knighthood in the book, you pick Bronn? Is that spposed to be a joke? There's some similarities I admit. Bron is a warrior. Knights are warriors. Um....I guess that's it. Knighthood is so much more than simple combat prowess.

And I wouldn't consider Aerys Oakheart to be "Critically flawed". The man's only flaw was that he broke his vow of celebacy and really, does anyone care? It's a silly rule anyways.
Parker said:

Hands down, my favorite player in the saga so far has been Davos Seaworth. He came from nothing, but has proven his loyalty to Stannis time and time again. He's a character who acknowledges that he's in over his head a lot of the time, but still struggles on anyway, with his smuggler's resourcefulness getting him through. I'm really excited to see where the story takes him next. That excitement, mind you, only makes the wait for the next book all the more frustrating.

Yeah, Ser Davos is awsome. He's bave, honest, moral and loyal. What more can one ask for in a knight? Can't wait to find out whee he ends up after Dance with Dragons.
Parker said:

On a side not, I am wondering if I'm too far into the mythos. I worked with a customer the other day whose last name was Frey, and I distrusted them from the start...

Bahaha. That's funny.
 

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Kingsguard said:

Bronn?! Of all the fine examples of knighthood in the book, you pick Bronn? Is that spposed to be a joke? There's some similarities I admit. Bron is a warrior. Knights are warriors. Um....I guess that's it. Knighthood is so much more than simple combat prowess.

And I wouldn't consider Aerys Oakheart to be "Critically flawed". The man's only flaw was that he broke his vow of celebacy and really, does anyone care? It's a silly rule anyways.

My point with Bronn was that he's a honest about what he is. He doesn't believe in honor or chivalry; honor and chivalry would just hold him back. Look at his fight with Ser Vardis, that beautiful moment at the end--I'm quoting the TV series here, because that's what I'm remembering at the moment, though I believe the sentiment is expressed much the same way in the book--where Lysa denounces him, "You fight without honor!" "No, he did." Bronn represents what is truly valued in a knight--martial skill and loyalty--not what the songs pretend is important, all the chivalry and the courtly love and the various other bits of hogwash. Ser Gregor is such a valuable instrument for Tywin precisely because he is so monstrously brutal and persistant; no one needs some the Dragonknight or Florian, they need a goddamn murder-machine.

Obviously I'm fairly cynical about the role of knights in Westeros, but I also believe that so is GRRM.

As for Arys, I'm not unsympathetic to the man. I listed him alongside Jaime, who is one of my all-time favorite characters in the books. But Ser Arys is a flawed man, and it goes beyond simply succumbing to Ariane's charms. He failed spectacularly in his duties. Let's set aside the obvious act of treason going on here, because hell, who knows who would be a better ruler, Tommen or Myrcella (I contend that either could prove to be able, maybe even great rulers, though I suspect they won't get the chance to prove themselves). He joins in Arianne's little coup for entirely selfish reasons, and when the **** hits the fan, he very nearly gets Myrcella--the one person in the world he should be doing everything in his power to protect--killed. He dies in a spectacularly stupid attack. Also, I suspected that he may have been the one to let slip what was going on in with Myrcella and the coup; if so, that's all on him.

Which is not to say I don't like the man. He's a great character; I'm a huge fan of everything that happens in Dorne chapters.

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Kingsguard said:

 

I dunno. I think he probably had intended to survive the fight with Gregor and just careless. Doesn't make it any less courageous though really. I mean, he fought the mooutain in single combat.


 

 

I have difficulty getting past the fact that he used poision when it goes to talk of honor and the viper. There's no honor in poision. There's plenty of positive things I can say of Oberyn Martel, brave and justified would be among the foremost. But honorable is not one of them.

I'm not saying the Viper went into the fight desiring death.  I said that he had committed himself beforehand to trading his life if that was the only way to get Gregor to confess.  This is made clear by his deliberate choice to use a very slow acting poison.  If all he wanted to do was win at any cost, why not use a quick acting poison?

Would there have been more honor in it if Oberyn had strapped on his armor and shield, faced the Mountain head on like he "should have" and promptly died?  Is it honor to place the satisfaction of some personal code above delivering justice by any means available?  Please be clear; if you look at my original post, I don't claim that the Viper is honorable.  I happen to think he is, but that's beside the point.  The point is that the issue of honor is by no means clear cut.  You say the oath of celibacy is a silly rule.  Why is that rule silly but all the others aren't?  i think if i had to fight an 8 foot monster who wielded a greatsword in one hand, it would be silly to expect me to play by his rules.  Why is there honor in fully exploiting advantages of physical nature, but no honor in using guile?

You seem to think there is a clear standard of honor that can be applied unambiguously to any situation.  If that's the case, what is it?

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Sansa.

Because someone has to be nice to her.

alpha5099 said:

For my money, Bronn is the ultimate embodiment of knighthood in these books. He doesn't hide behind high-falutin' ideals or expensive gilded armor. He's good at murdering people and is loyal to those who can pay him. That's all he needs to be, and he is frank and forthright about it.

Whilst Bronn's honesty is admirable, it has a lot more to do with Tyrion giving him free reign to speak. It speaks more of Tyrion's personality then Bronn's. A different paymaster would either require his silence or may punish him for speaking openly. By the time Bronn left Tyrion, he didn't really have to hide who was because he had sufficient power to speak freely.

 

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 My sentimental favorite is Arya. She is the only character whose death would make me truly sad.

Favorite character in that they are fun and intriguing to read about: it changes with every book, usually. Some of my favorite viewpoints have been Jaime, Sam and Davos. All of them, for different reasons, stand a little outside of the society that immediately surrounds them, though not as far as to make them outcasts, giving their chapters an enjoyable tension.

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"I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act."

 

There is no charcter with more depth than the kingslayer  he is the most human of all of them. Ned and Viserys read like cliches compared to the complicated mess that is jamie Lannister. His life story has more twists and turns than anyone else in the series.

 

 

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alpha5099 said:


Kingsguard said:

 

 

 


My point with Bronn was that he's a honest about what he is. He doesn't believe in honor or chivalry; honor and chivalry would just hold him back. Look at his fight with Ser Vardis, that beautiful moment at the end--I'm quoting the TV series here, because that's what I'm remembering at the moment, though I believe the sentiment is expressed much the same way in the book--where Lysa denounces him, "You fight without honor!" "No, he did."

 

There's a lot I feel inclined to disagree with here. For starters, you act like fighting honorably is suicide. It's not. You ever do much fencing? When it's you, you're opponent and a pair of swords, you'll find that tricks can really only take you so far. You'll have to fight like a man at some point. And when that point comes, you'll find the man who always fights that way to be far more comfortable with it. And besides, honor has it's own advantages in real war aswell. Although important, they usually are much more subtle.

Bronn didn't win his match because he didn't fight honorably. (Talking about the book here.) He had plenty of things in his favor before the fight even began. Location for example. Bronn's tactic of running away until his opponent got tired would never have been viable if not for the statue at the center of the room. Without a statue to run circles around, he would have been cornered if he'd tried to disengage. Sir Vardis wasn't allowed his own sword. He was forced to use Jon Arryn's sword. One he was not used to. Bronn was much younger and had the stamina of youth on his side. A crucial factor. And though it wasn't mentioned in the book, I'd say the heavy shield was problematic aswell. Who really needs a shield when you're wearing full plate? Just bring a bigger sword so you have weight and reach advantage.

alpha5099 said:

 

Bronn represents what is truly valued in a knight--martial skill and loyalty--not what the songs pretend is important, all the chivalry and the courtly love and the various other bits of hogwash. Ser Gregor is such a valuable instrument for Tywin precisely because he is so monstrously brutal and persistant; no one needs some the Dragonknight or Florian, they need a goddamn murder-machine.

 

 

If martial skill was all a knight is valued for, they'd have been replaced by freeriders and mercenaries. Freeriders have horses and swords aswell. Knights are more than that. And Bronn is by no means loyal. He works for personal gain. That's all that matters to him.
alpha5099 said:

 

Obviously I'm fairly cynical about the role of knights in Westeros, but I also believe that so is GRRM..

 

 

Perhaps the honorless characters merely kept your attention better. GRRM from what I have read is pretty neutral on most subjects. The book is full of Honorable characters prevailing at one point or another. Look at Brienne. Look at Barristan the Bold, Wyman Manderly, Daenerys, Davos Seaworth. How well are Amory Lorch, Rorge, The Mountain, Joffrey, Mandon Moore and Vargo Hoat doing? Despite not being "tied down" by honor, we find them just as dead as Eddard Stark and Arthur Dayne.

In fact I'd say it was dishonor that killed them. As Mandon Moore survived the battle of the blackwater untill he turned from honor and attacked an ally. And so he died. Joffrey died because he was honorless cruel scum. If he were a better person, he'd have not been poisioned by his Grandmother in law. The mountain would never have been called to fight Oberyn Martel if he'd spared Elia and her children. Yeah, for every character that has died for high virtues, theres one that died for his shady moves. The difference is that the honorable ones are remembered fondly while the others are justifiably spat on and forgotten.

Yeah, I'd say Martin stays pretty fair.

alpha5099 said:

 

for Arys, I'm not unsympathetic to the man. I listed him alongside Jaime, who is one of my all-time favorite characters in the books. But Ser Arys is a flawed man, and it goes beyond simply succumbing to Ariane's charms. He failed spectacularly in his duties. Let's set aside the obvious act of treason going on here, because hell, who knows who would be a better ruler, Tommen or Myrcella (I contend that either could prove to be able, maybe even great rulers, though I suspect they won't get the chance to prove themselves). He joins in Arianne's little coup for entirely selfish reasons, and when the **** hits the fan, he very nearly gets Myrcella--the one person in the world he should be doing everything in his power to protect--killed. He dies in a spectacularly stupid attack. Also, I suspected that he may have been the one to let slip what was going on in with Myrcella and the coup; if so, that's all on him.

Which is not to say I don't like the man. He's a great character; I'm a huge fan of everything that happens in Dorne chapters.

 

 

I beieve it was Myrcella's servant who let slp the secret of the coup. Check the bottom of page 441

""No," some girl was shouting, some foolish girl, "no, please, this was not supposed to happen." She could hear Myrcella shieking too, her voice shrill with fear."

So there were two girls shrieking. One of whom was not Myrcella. It's possible the book is referring to Arrianne but I don't think so. I'm thinking Myrcella's servants, probably the one they dressed up to pose as Myrcella spilled the beans.

Aerys did have selfish reasons for joining the coup but he also believed he had justifications aswell. Perhaps he was unsure about the path he took but I think it clear that if he'd believed it was wrong, he'd never have done it.

As for his attack, it's only really stupid if he believed he'd win. Otherwise it's a sacrifice. I think he clearly knew his end was near. That's why he took a moment to give Arrianne "One last longing look" before charging into the crossbow bolts. The kingsguard are sworn to defend their charges or die trying. And that's exactly what Ser Aerys did. Ser Boros took the other option hen faced with the same predicament and was briefly removed from the kingsguard. And never regained the respect of the others.

thejibboo said:

 


I'm not saying the Viper went into the fight desiring death. I said that he had committed himself beforehand to trading his life if that was the only way to get Gregor to confess. This is made clear by his deliberate choice to use a very slow acting poison. If all he wanted to do was win at any cost, why not use a quick acting poison?

 

 

You do make a good point there.
thejibboo said:

 

Would there have been more honor in it if Oberyn had strapped on his armor and shield, faced the Mountain head on like he "should have" and promptly died? Is it honor to place the satisfaction of some personal code above delivering justice by any means available? Please be clear; if you look at my original post, I don't claim that the Viper is honorable. I happen to think he is, but that's beside the point. The point is that the issue of honor is by no means clear cut. You say the oath of celibacy is a silly rule. Why is that rule silly but all the others aren't? i think if i had to fight an 8 foot monster who wielded a greatsword in one hand, it would be silly to expect me to play by his rules. Why is there honor in fully exploiting advantages of physical nature, but no honor in using guile?

 

Oberyn did strap on armor and shield and met the mountain head on. That's why his actions were so darn courageous. I'd say honor is a pretty clear-cut principle in most areas when given enough thought. But it's by no means a simple thing to lay out.


thejibboo said:

You seem to think there is a clear standard of honor that can be applied unambiguously to any situation. If that's the case, what is it?

 

Oh that sounds like a fun topic. :)

It's a bit off subject though. give me some time. I'll try n start a seperate thread for it.
Davy Back Fight said:

 

Doran Martell and Brynden Tully because they seem like level-headed "good guys".

 

 

I do very much like Brynden Tully and also Edmure Tully for those same reasons. Even if Edmure is brash and prone to compassin to a fault. Heck, that second part just makes him more likable I think.


"I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act."

 

There is no charcter with more depth than the kingslayer he is the most human of all of them. Ned and Viserys read like cliches compared to the complicated mess that is jamie Lannister. His life story has more twists and turns than anyone else in the series.

Hey now leave Ned alone. Even real life takes all kinds. Some people's behavior really does fit into cliches. It doesn't remove the importance of ther lives nor the meaningfullness of their actions. The fact that A Game of Thrones has characters with classic "cliche" roles like Eddard and Bronn for us all to respect or denounce but also more complicated people like Sandor and Jaime that makes us really think and ask questions are one of it's greatest assets.
 

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