Amph A Song of Ice and Fire: Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread (now with ADWD spoilers)

Discussion in 'Community' started by MarcusP2, Jun 28, 2011.

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  1. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

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    Oh okay. That's pretty damning. Never mind then.

    I'm wrong. Rhaegar was a prophecy pleasing dandy.
  2. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I do think he had some feelings for Lyanna, and she certainly liked him, or she wouldn't have disappeared with him, but I think his feelings were secondary to what he intended to achieve for him.
  3. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    What do you mean "noble selfishness?" Things are not because they are not selfish. As for having duties he never asked for, there were plenty of ways around that. He could have renounced his throne, like Aemon did. He could have become a Maester, or jointed the Night Watch, or sailed across the Narrow Sea and never returned to Westeros. He was living in a feudal society, where everyone was born with a bunch of responsibilities they never asked for. The only thing that made him unique is that he had more power to change his lot in life than almost anyone else alive. And what does he do with it? The most destructive thing possible.

    Though, frankly, I agree with Marcus. He likely was trying to fulfill the prophecy. I find that sick. He immolates a whole kingdom trying to validate a self-aggrandizing messianism. He uses his family in the most cynical way possible. Females are pressed into his private breeding program, while his father's mental illness provides cover so that he'll never be called out on his wrongs. Should any of them be exhausted, he leaves them for dead. When things finally do blow up--which, again, he put absolutely no effort into trying to stop--he shows no hesitance in slaying hundreds to keep up his project. Literally no one else in this entire series has come close to leaving such a trail of destruction thanks solely to their own narcissism.

    He is everything wrong with that sort of world. He is over-privileged, consumed with private fantasies, and never so much acknowledges the humanity of others as he does treat them as toys to be used or discarded at his whimsy. The truth is that there is no better thing that could have happened than having his chest smashed in at the Trident. And I would not be at all surprised if, in the moment the sternum of that reptilian spawn crumbled, anatomy confirmed the suspicion we should have held all along: he had no heart to begin with.
  4. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

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    That leads me to an interesting train of thought...

    Are the characters(and to a point, us fans) putting too much emphasis on prophecy? Sure some of them have come true and we can correlate a lot to a number of instances.....but is GRRM the kind of writer to stick to an established prophecy that we're waiting to be fulfilled? Or will he throw a lot of it out, peg it on superstition and the whole 'words are wind' thing?

    Is Azhor Ahai really an actual figure that will be reborn? Is Jon (if R+L comes true) Azhor Ahai?

    Will the Old Crone's prophecies as referring to Cersei come true?

    Jabbawocky, I'm much too intimidated to answer to that lengthy response, but think about this. Rhaegar's actions led to the overthrow of Aerys, The Mad King, who surely would have ripped the realm apart without Tywin Lannister keeping things together. Also, if R+L is revealed to be true, Rhaegar may be responsible for bringing about the savior of Westeros, Jon Snow, and if prophecy holds, Azhor Ahai reborn.

    So without Rhaegar's intervention here, what would have happened to the realm?
  5. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Well we've already seen one prophecy that was an epic failure (the Stallion that Mounts the World) but the rest have generally been quite accurate. I'd be happy to see Cersei die and her children live though.

    I think at this point Jon or Dany have to be Azor Azhai, simply so that someone can fight the Others.
  6. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    I'm actually a bit confused on that whole thing, to be honest. Who exactly was Azor Ahai, and what are we to make of him? Is he something like Haile Selassie, where he is simultaneously a figure of actual historical import and subsequently made the centerpiece of a somewhat fringe religion? Or is he supposed to be universally recognized? Is the R'hllor thing true, while the Seven are supposed to be false gods? Or was Aemon just debunking Melisandre's claim about Stannis by pointing out it didn't fit with her own prophecy, even though he felt said prophecy was stupid?

    I mean, I guess I'm confused about why anyone outside of the Red Priests seem to be expecting this fellow.
  7. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Um, duh? That's the whole reason he became a soldier. He was a poet, became disquieted over something he read, and then emerged to become the best soldier in the realm.

    I'm puzzling over why a petty, selfish emotion is good but service to duty is "damning." He knew winter was coming, and only the PTWP could stop it. If somebody is merely in love with somebody else's betrothed, they ought to suck it up and deal with it--and we know that's not the case.


    Wocky: As usual, you have no clue what you're talking about. Let's proceed.

    As for having duties he never asked for, there were plenty of ways around that. He could have renounced his throne, like Aemon did.

    He did so because he had a duty.

    He could have become a Maester, or jointed the Night Watch, or sailed across the Narrow Sea and never returned to Westeros.

    Abandoning his duty is the opposite of what Aemon did.

    He was living in a feudal society, where everyone was born with a bunch of responsibilities they never asked for. The only thing that made him unique is that he had more power to change his lot in life than almost anyone else alive.

    No, he had responsibilities--that's what having power means. I mean, I understand that in your vision of life, power exists to be used and abused but Rhaegar had to leave the life he preferred in order to fulfill his duties.

    He likely was trying to fulfill the prophecy. I find that sick. He immolates a whole kingdom trying to validate a self-aggrandizing messianism.

    This is, of course, much better than what Renly and the Tyrells did, yes? There was nothing self-aggrandizing about their drunken little procession to KL while the realm burned.

    He uses his family in the most cynical way possible. Females are pressed into his private breeding program, while his father's mental illness provides cover so that he'll never be called out on his wrongs.

    I sense somebody is sore over the fact that a certain flower has never born fruit. Perhaps she's barren?

    Should any of them be exhausted, he leaves them for dead.

    Speaking of spouses left dead. . . scoreboard?

    When things finally do blow up--which, again, he put absolutely no effort into trying to stop--he shows no hesitance in slaying hundreds to keep up his project.

    I suppose we'll next blame Iraq for daring to get invaded.

    Literally no one else in this entire series has come close to leaving such a trail of destruction thanks solely to their own narcissism.

    Obviously, you ignore the crimes of your beloved Tywin Lannister.

    He is everything wrong with that sort of world. He is over-privileged, consumed with private fantasies, and never so much acknowledges the humanity of others as he does treat them as toys to be used or discarded at his whimsy.

    Sorry, I just had a vision of the Highgarden ladies and all the frolicking they've done for the last few novels.

    The truth is that there is no better thing that could have happened than having his chest smashed in at the Trident. And I would not be at all surprised if, in the moment the sternum of that reptilian spawn crumbled, anatomy confirmed the suspicion we should have held all along: he had no heart to begin with.

    Thanks Robert./>
  8. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Well, I think Aemon at least believed the prophecy was real. Notice the only people in Westeros who talk about it are the Targaryens, who were not originally followers of the Seven or even from Westeros (and other than the Blessed I tend to think not many of them gave a **** about the Seven.) So Aemon probably believes the 'prince who was promised' of his Essos prophecy is the 'Azor Azhai' of Melisandre's Essos prophecy (and Mel seems to think this as well, based on her reaction to his question.) They may even be differing translations of the same story.

    I doubt the Lannisters/Starks/etc have ever heard of Azor Azhai.
  9. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

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    But Jello, before this discussion I didn't know that the prophecy had anything to do with his actions. I thought that he loved Lyanna and Lyanna loved him, so they ran away together. That's how I interpreted it. I didn't realize Rhaegar was acting out of the mindset that the two children that he had with Elia were only a stepping stone to giving the dragon another head.

    I'd say that the feeling he had for the betrothed was certainly a selfish emotion, and not good, but it's human and natural. He acted on it and started a war. His feeling of duty (which I didn't know until recently) to a prophecy seems pretty out there. Prophecy isn't concrete, and even if it does become true, it doesn't give you the right to do whatever you want.

    I was trying to say that in my mind, it was damning that he cared more about the prophecy than about Lyanna and his relationship, which was not my reading of the situation at the time.
  10. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I take it Wocky is a Margaery fan?
  11. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    The one doesn't foreclose the other. "Promise me, Ned" etc--there's no indication that Lyanna was unwilling.
  12. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

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    Oh sure, I'd agree, but at this point for me it's up in the air whether Rhaegar did it because he honestly loved Lyanna or simply because he needed another kid, and his fire needed some ice.

    His motivations behind it are probably a combination, though, so it's hard to narrow down exactly what was going through his head.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Cadeus makes a number of valid points.

    In addition to which, Jello, I'll point out that pretty much the whole of your defense is that Rhaegar was somehow acting out of duty to repel the Others. But we have scant evidence for this. There are a number of simple, practical steps he could have taken that he chose not to. For one, he could've given muscular aid to the Night's Watch, which was (and still is) badly in decline. Previous rulers had expanded the Gift, for instance. And raising more recruits should not have been terribly hard. Likewise, if he really saw the threats in the scrolls, might he not have told someone else? Anyone? Or made it into a national issue? At worst, people would have thought him off-kilter, but that would be nothing new for a Targaryen ruler, and they would have gone along with it long enough to see him vindicated. He might also have organized a scholarly inquest into the matter.

    Instead, according to you, he does something entirely different. Faced with an existential threat to the realm, he decides to tell absolutely no one. He instead stakes the lives of millions on the notion that he and his offspring alone will be saviors. He literally makes it impossible to develop any other contingency plans.

    That is not intelligent. It is not honorable. It is not even defensible as fulfilling one's duty. It is reckless, idiotic glory-mongering. It's just another instance of him sacrificing everything and everyone to a personal fiction where he's the beloved hero. Maybe you should just accept the fact that he was a terrible person.
  14. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Targaryens have the gift of prophecy. Have you forgotten Aenar Targaryen? Come on. Your words speak of the mad ravings of a luddite wondering how one could possibly talk to somebody by mashing keys. He found something important, and knew there were only very particular steps that could stop the Others. What, you think manpower would have helped stop them? That's just more recruits from the Others. Conventional methods don't work.

  15. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Your argument is ridiculous. There are plenty of "very particular" steps he could have taken that might've helped. For instance, he might've stock-piled Valyrian steel and obsidian. He might have, as I said before, tried to research past invasions to understand how they'd been repelled before. He could have impressed upon others that the threat of the Others was not a silly fairy tale, and was at least something to be on guard for lest they end up in. . .well, their present circumstance. If he didn't want to use conventional means, fine. But there were plenty of methods that had equal mystical/prophetic validity for use against the Others which he also made no attempt to try. Perhaps he didn't know about them. That would be marginally excusable, save the fact that he tried to do everything on his own, and never sought help of any sort.

    Ultimately, none of us know the exact details of what the prophecy prescribed to beat the Others. But I highly doubt it was having Targaryens you could count on one hand stand in the middle of an open field and beat back hordes of millions, all in one go, without help from anyone or anything. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only scenario in which Rhaegar's actions would have made sense.

    Marcus: I am a fan of the Tyrells, yes. Because they are one of the few decent Houses in the whole realm. When Sansa is trapped as a political prisoner, Margaery reaches out to her to make her life better. Having secured a marriage alliance with Tommen, they make recommendations for his education that will genuinely improve the quality of his leadership, not just make him a Tyrell sycophant. When the Iron Isles are invaded, they're the first to raise armies in defense of the realm, and likewise when they move to put out the last flames of civil war, Loras is the first to put his life on the line. They've undoubtedly risen over the course of these novels. But just as consistently, they've tried to act in a way consistent with a broader altruism. It's admirable, and Margaery embodies this ethos particularly well.
  16. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Sigh. Wocky, you persist in operating from ignorance. You're unaware of what steps he took, so you assume that he didn't take any. We don't know what he knew, and all we get are bits and pieces that are fed to us. What we do know for certain is that he's held in exceptionally high, almost saintly, regard by everyone except Robert. By persisting in your ludicrous crusade, you've basically become Robert's chief spokesperson. Congratulations.

    As far as Tyrell decency, did you forget how quickly they left Sansa to the lions once it turned out that they wouldn't get her claim to Winterfell? Their response to the Ironborn was laggardly, until they invaded the Reach. The Knight of Flowers is, of course, ever eager for glory utterly out of keeping for a Kingsguard knight--he's the next Jaime, as the man himself notes. Everything the Tyrells have done has been completely self interested, from egging on Renly in an illegal and ill advised campaign, to getting into bed with the Lannisters and pimping out Margaery to everybody with a crown. If Moon Boy and Patchface had one, she'd wed and bed them as well.

    Either Margaery Tyrell is the ultimate gold digger, or she's being whored out by her incompetent father who has no other way to gain power and influence.
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    We have quite strong evidence, actually. We have POV accounts from both Barristan Selmy and Jon Connington, two of his closest allies (the latter being the closest, period). Neither demonstrates any sort of knowledge of a coming invasion. Nor does anyone else. Do you really think it's possible he could have made preparations while absolutely no one else was aware? Really?

    First, "left Sansa to the lions" was a pretty brilliant pun. Kudos.

    I don't see what you're on about otherwise, though. They responded to the Ironborn as soon as they had news of what had happened. Sorry no one has invented long distance communication to let them no sooner? As for the issue of Margaery's marriages, you're being silly. She first wed a family friend. They supported a figure who had a good claim to the throne and seemed the best available ruler at a time of marked unrest. When that campaign failed, they turned to the next most viable candidate that could unify and stabilize the realm. Part of this included a marriage alliance. Both would be quite standard fare for any feudal house, and doesn't represent "grasping for power" in the slightest.
  18. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    We have quite strong evidence, actually. We have POV accounts from both Barristan Selmy and Jon Connington, two of his closest allies (the latter being the closest, period). Neither demonstrates any sort of knowledge of a coming invasion. Nor does anyone else. Do you really think it's possible he could have made preparations while absolutely no one else was aware? Really?


    Connington noted how Rhaegar only truly trusted Ser Arthur Dayne. . . who happened to be at the Tower of Joy with Lyanna Stark.


    Hm.

    I don't see what you're on about otherwise, though. They responded to the Ironborn as soon as they had news of what had happened. Sorry no one has invented long distance communication to let them no sooner? As for the issue of Margaery's marriages, you're being silly. She first wed a family friend. They supported a figure who had a good claim to the throne and seemed the best available ruler at a time of marked unrest. When that campaign failed, they turned to the next most viable candidate that could unify and stabilize the realm. Part of this included a marriage alliance. Both would be quite standard fare for any feudal house, and doesn't represent "grasping for power" in the slightest.

    Are you sure? It's actually not standard for a feudal house to disobey their liege lords and lead their realm into war just because they have some half-baked idea about some prancing, mincing, dandied little fop who probably went stag to his own wedding.
  19. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

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    I don't think Rhaegar could have done any of those things, to be honest. Bear in mind that the Night's Watch had fallen totally out of style by that point (even in his grandfather's time, Aegon could only send the castle's dungeons to the wall with Aemon) and everyone believed the Others gone. Trying to rally the troops to man the Wall once again would probably get him branded a paranoid lunatic, and anyway can you imagine trying to convince the various noble houses to give up their Valyrian steel heirloom swords because some old prophecy said they would be needed in a generation? It would never have worked.

    Besides, we don't know that he didn't try to convince others before he decided to take matters (and Lyanna) into his own hands.
  20. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Actually Renly probably went rose at his own wedding. Loras went stag. :p

    I don't think there's any way to justify Tyrell support of Renly other than they thought he would win and they could ride his coattails. Either Joffrey is the rightful king or Stannis is. Renly was the most charismatic and might have won...but that doesn't make what they did anything except rebellion.
  21. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Exactly. It was pure greed and opportunism.

    That said, Aegon was and still is the rightful king. :p
  22. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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  23. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    :mad:

    Connington would know better.
  24. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    He was exiled when Aegon was less than a year old, and then was presented with some child 5 years later that Varys told him was Aegon. How would he know any different?
  25. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    I see it playing out like this:

    Dany assumes this guy is a phoney because she's got the "mummer's dragon" thing knocking around her skull and, given that he's in her way, it suits her purposes to think this means "not a real Targ" instead of thinking outside the box. So she gets him assassinated, or whatever, and later discovers that Aegon VI was legit and there's all sorts of hijinks and melodrama.

    Worst. Aunt. Ever.

    Though, honestly, I'd also be quite amused to learn that Young Griff were actually the bastard of Ned Stark and Ashara Dayne. :p
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