A Dance With Dragons (MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!)

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Evil Agent, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    It isn't time travel really. It's more like a magical portal back to the other side of the bridge. The group goes through the bridge, wary and silent, and the stonemen take no notice of them. And then young Aegon confronts Tyrion about what Tyrion knows about his identity and Tyrion starts mouthing off about his own identity and Aegon's identity -- Rhaeger's son -- and Connington's and suddenly, they are back where they started before the bridge, facing the hazard again:

    "No, thought Tyrion, that is not possible." -- magic is happening.

    "We've left the bridge behind. Rivers only run one way."
    "Mother Rhoyne runs how she will." -- Weird, magical things and dangers occur on this river, especially in the areas of the magically destroyed city ruins. This has already been established repeatedly in this part of the story in what they tell Tyrion on the river journey, deliberately. That part of the river is like a haunted Bermuda Triangle. It's not a current, it's not a circle. They didn't get lost in the fog and somehow are able to go upstream against the current without noticing it or going backwards under the Bridge of Dream without noticing it. There are no tributaries that they drifted into. They had to go past the broken bridge and the somewhat dangerous stonemen as there is no way around it. They were downriver and suddenly they are upriver of the bridge again. It's magic.

    And this time, the stonemen don't ignore them, despite fog and moss. This time, the stonemen very deliberately attack them. The first two are knocked off before having time to do much. The third one has a shattered leg, but even with it he "lurched forward, reaching for Young Griff...as he tried to close his fingers to grasp. The boy stood staring..." The object of the attack is the prince. Tyrion goes to the rescue, knocking Aegon over and slashing at the stoneman with a torch, driving it back. The stoneman knocks the torch away.

    And then one of the other people shouts: "The prince! Protect the boy!" and then the stoneman charges again, which causes Tyrion to send them both into the water. Magical forces want the prince. If Tyrion had kept his mouth shut, they'd have just kept going downriver.

    Val and Jon talk about the princess and grey scale: Val tells Jon that they kill children with grey scale, that wood witches north of the Wall know that it's dangerous and will come back, that the princess is actually a walking dead person, that she is not clean. That refers to disease but also to the zombie wights -- the walking dead and lurking magic. Martin has that conversation deliberately to show that the princess is not simply a sufferer of a disease. Otherwise, why have it? Why have the princess character with grey scale at all? Why would Jon worry about it when Val is so insistent and "this was a Val that Jon had never seen before"? Martin sets it up, connecting with the stonemen on the bridge, the stonemen who attacked others, like the wights do -- those with grey scale are not safe, are dangerous and not simply as raving madmen. This is what Martin does with his ravens and wolves and trees and the legends and stories that some characters tell with great seriousness and others poo-poo. Jon has learned to listen to the wildings but this time, he doesn't really want to listen. Which never turns out well for Martin characters.

    Anyway, what the stonemen/grey scale will turn out to be and the connections with the wights are not all spelled out yet, but Martin shows that the disease is connected to things. Otherwise, he could have just given them boils. And Tyrion and his group are deliberately and magically targeted on the river to get at Aegon.
     
  2. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    I agree with KatG here. When reading ADwD, this was the feel I got from the river sequence - almost like Sean Russell's Swan War series. Not so much a time loop, as something weird or magical - i.e. unexplainable, counter-intuitive and seemingly impossible.
     
  3. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    Exactly.

    It was well established (as you so summarized) that something magical was going on. I guess the rest of us got hung up on the time loop/time travel thing. :)
     
  4. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    It's funny, that was exactly what came to mind for me when reading that sequence as well.
     
  5. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    Well, I'm the one who used loop first, I think, so I created the confusion. :) If it was another author, then I might go with grey scale being just an interesting disease thrown in for color or some side plague drama. But it's Martin, and he made a great effort in that river scene to make the stonemen attackers like zombies in many ways, and with this being a series that already has zombies -- and those zombies being the principal engine of the main plot -- there seems to be definite magical connections between them, especially with the princess in the North.

    But we don't have all the details yet. Hell, it was only in Dragons that we finally got a totally clear picture of how being a warg works and that all the Stark kids definitely are ones. And in Feast of Crows, the whole maester thing got way more complicated than it had seemed before. And now we know a lot more about the fire priests, but it just raises up a lot of other questions. Martin doles it out in little bits and coded clues.
     
  6. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    That sequence takes place in a city where the Valyrian dragons - inherently magical creatures, whose presence has a relationship with the amount of magic in the world - had been unleashed in full force, which has probably left some seriously weird things going on.

    Note that another location we have heard about where strange things happen - the ruins of Valyria - was inhabited by numerous dragons. And Harrenhal's curse could be the result of Aegon the Conqueror's attack on the castle with dragons. If we ever visit the scene of the Field of Fire, it'd be interesting to see if odd things were going on there as well.
     
  7. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    Exactly, which is why if you suddenly let drop that the heir to the dragon riders is on the boat in the river, the magic there might kick in and grey scale stonemen might attack that heir. Magical lightening takes out boats. Fen lordlings get visions and take Bran under their wing. Etc., etc. There are not a lot of coincidences in Martin's work, including in the massive back story.
     
  8. Gustaf Hagel

    Gustaf Hagel Formerly imaster

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    There's something else that connects the greyscale and the wights: the fog. In one scene, a wildling (is it the Val-scene?) tells Jon that the mists are what controls the wights, just as the fog at the river seems to somehow control the stonemen. She says something in the line of "And then the mists come, how do you fight mists my lord?".

    I, too, think that there's too much detail in common presented for these two occurrences to not be connected. And I have a feeling that the red god might not be as "good" as the priests want him to be.
     
  9. Lordwalker

    Lordwalker Registered User

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    The cold and white always return with the wights/others. I think what os meant is, how do you fight these things you can't see in the mist.
    Haven't figured out R'hollor yet. There is something I don't trust there and Melisandre is reading the ffireswrong. Stannis is not the PTWP and that's not lightbringer. It will be interesting to find out more of The Other and Brans new role above the wall.
     
  10. Gustaf Hagel

    Gustaf Hagel Formerly imaster

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    Sorry, I remembered it wrong. It was Tormund Giantsbane who said it and the quote goes:

    "You know nothing. You killed a dead man, aye, I heard. Mance killed a hundred. A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up ... how do you fight a mist, crow? Shadows with teeth ... air so cold it hurts to breathe, like a knife inside your chest ... you do not know, you cannot know ... can your sword cut cold?"

    It´s cryptic enough to be interpreted in several ways but I think the connection is quite clear.
     
  11. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    Started reading ADWD yesterday :)

    Will revisit this thread when I finish.

    *scrolled through with my eyes closed*
     
  12. Wilbur

    Wilbur New Member

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    Is wine a link between Euron and Illyrio?

    As I listened to ADWD this past week, it struck me that Euron Crow's Eye might have connected with Illyrio Mopatis during his recent travels.

    You may recall that in the beginning of ADWD, Tyrion is decanted into Illyrio's manse and wanders down into the wine cellar and the following takes place.

    "Tyrion chose a cask of strongwine marked as the private stock of Lord Runceford Redwyne, the grandfather of the present Lord of the Arbor. The taste of it was languorous and heady on the tongue, the color a purple so dark that it looked almost black in the dim-lit cellar."

    Now back in AFFC, Euron summons Victarion Greyjoy up to his rooms, formerly Lord Humfrey's chambers, after the feast celebrating the capture of the Shield Islands, and while they talk about Euron's plan to send Victarion east, Euron gives him shade-of-the-evening, the wine of the warlocks, "a strange black wine, that flowed as thick as honey".

    Given that Martin has made me a paranoid reader with all his double-blinds and long-separated passages that provide clues to the truth behind the characters' viewpoints, I began to wonder if perhaps Varys and Illyrio have been responsible for motivating Euron to seek out Dany. The connection that I made being the dark, powerful wine featured in both scenes.

    In ACOC, when Dany drinks the shade of the evening, she presents symptoms of altered consciousness, whereas neither Euron nor Tyrion seem to exhibit similar conditions. Granted, neither Euron nor Tyrion are teenage girls, so perhaps they have a higher threshhold for mind-altering liquors, and thus I am way off base.


    The substitution of infants?

    We have seen Martin use the substitution of infants explicitly in the way Jon Snow switches Gilly's baby with that of Mance Rader.

    If Jon Snow is the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, what child did Amory Lorch kill before the Mountain raped and killed Princess Elia?

    Could the child substituted for Aegon have been the bastard of Eddard Stark and Ashara Dayne? Barristan Selmy believed that Ashara Dayne gave birth to a stillborn daughter, the product of her liaison with a Stark, but perhaps he was mistaken, and Ashara leaped to her death once her child was murdered in place of Aegon.

    This might account for Ned's sadness, as well as his frequent thoughts of fulfilling his promise to Lyanna. His own child is dead, and he has a heavy responsibility in caring for the bastard child of his beloved sister and the prince he helped depose and kill at the request of his friend.

    Can anyone with a closer knowledge of the timelines for Aegon's purported death and Ashara Dayne's suicide put this possibility to rest?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  13. AuntiePam

    AuntiePam Cranky old broad

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    Nope. I'm another reader who remembers almost nothing from the earlier books, so the reveal was a surprise.

    Here are the major things I remembered, or thought I remembered from before:

    • Arya was blind
    • Jaime lost a hand
    • Catelyn was dead but came back
    • Joffrey was poisoned
    • Littlefinger pushed Lysa Arryn (sp?) through the Moon Door
    • Tyrion and Sansa got married (?)
    • Jon was with Mance Rayder for awhile, as a spy
    • Bran and Rickon aren't really dead

    That's not very much is it?

    I'm about halfway through. The book was too heavy to hold so I downloaded it to a Kindle, and when I'm finished, I'm going to re-read but what I plan to do is read the POV's all together -- all of Jon's, then Tyrion's, etc. Has anyone tried that?

    Also, even though I was spoiled for Manderly's pie, I still didn't pick up on it, because I didn't realize any Freys were missing.

    I think the story's progressing just fine. Nothing's being settled, by battle or marriage or anything else, but I guess I don't care. It's enough for me to be traveling through this world, and at times, Martin's writing just soars.
     
  14. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    Stayed up until 5 this morning to finish the book. Currently reading through this thread and I will soon make replies to alot of posts. Plus my own speculations and I will do my best to convey how my own ADWD experience went. Still trying to cool off, the end of the book and this thread are helping. I was way too wrapped up in Dany coming to Westeros...very frustrating.
     
  15. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    I'd love to know the answer to this as well.
     
  16. Riothamus

    Riothamus Registered User

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    All I can say is that I hope Jon Snow survived the stabbing some how. He's one of the only characters I don't want to see killed off. I'm also praying for the Starks to come back with a vengeance and kick some Lannister ass. I know a highlight of the whole series is the grey scale morality of the characters and the world they live in, but it seems like no matter what I was always able to feel sympathy for the Starks and absolute disdain for the Lannisters with a few exceptions like the rather tragic Tyrion. I don't know why, but I've always perceived the Starks as more "good" and the Lannisters as downright evil despite this emphasis on the grey.
     
  17. Asimovking

    Asimovking "Dime Store Rock"

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    I really think this series will go 8-9 books unless the pace picks up considerably and TWOW and ADOS are 1200 pages each.

    5 star rating:

    AGOT: 5
    ACOK: 5
    ASOS: 6
    AFFC: 3
    ADWD: 2.5

    Things I missed:

    1. Manderly's Frey pies
    2. Theon is Reek (barely caught on right before the reveal)
    3. Mance Rayder and the spearwives in Winterfell. By the way, Mance previously bragged about sneaking into Winterfell. In ADWD he goes by the name Abel. So does Abel=Able?
    4. Melisandre's visions were telling her Jon Snow is AA.

    I was incredibly frustrated with the Dany chapters. They seemed completely pointless to me. I realize it helped develop her character further, but still. This and the slow plot advancement in AFFC and ADWD wouldn't even bother me if we weren't facing a 3-5 year wait for TWOW and again for ADOS. Meereen needs to wrap up at the beginning of TWOW.

    I don't care about Asha. I would love to see Victarion join up with Dany and head for Westeros :)

    I really think Dany will return with a Khalassar and destroy Yunkai and Meereen and then finally head for Westeros. Picking up Victarion along the way and sailing for King's Landing to unleash hell.

    I love that Connington and Aegon were revealed.

    Are we positive Theon was gelded? Can I get a quote or page number on this?

    Barristan Selmy is one of my favorite characters now. I loved his fight scene. In his last few POVs I couldn't help but imagine him speaking in a dramatic Liam Neeson voice :p

    I believe Tyrion is Lannister and Jaime and Cersei are Targaryen. I think another clue is that Tyrion is the only of the three whose name starts with "T". Tyrion (son) Tywin (father) Tytos (grandfather). Tyrion is my favorite character. I love his humor in ADWD and I smiled every time he said "Where do whores go?"

    I think Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon Snow's parents and if it is revealed as anything other than this it would be ridiculous.

    Jon isn't dead. I'm with you guys on him slipping into Ghost's skin. I think Melisandre will heal him and he will lead a wildling army to Winterfell. Stannis is alive. Maybe him and Jon join their armies? I've been rooting for Stannis the whole way, never as who I'd most like to see win the throne though. I don't believe Stannis will win the throne, but he's gonna make one helluva go of it. If GRRM doesn't give Stannis an army then hopefully he killed him off in the Winterfell battle because it would be pointless for him to survive it.

    I do believe Jon will find Robb's will and be renamed Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North.

    I want to see Rickon in TWOW. I think GRRM has something epic planned with him and Davos. Plus I love the name Rickon. GRRM is great at coming up with names you would want to give your children. Robb/Rickon Stark, Robert Baratheon, Tyrion Lannister.

    The three heads of the dragon are: Dany, Aegon and Jon Snow (but wait, how can he be one of the dragon heads and Lord of Winterfell?)....maybe it will be Rickon who is named Lord of Winterfell.

    I believe Ramsay is lying in the letter. How much? I'm not exactly sure.

    I think the Green Grace is the Harpy.

    Benjen Stark is definitely Coldhands. I never believed Benjen was dead.

    I think fan feedback effects how GRRM writes the books. He knew exactly what everyone expected and wanted to happen in ADWD (like Tyrion and Dany meeting up) and he chose to go a different route.

    Ok we have two thoughts on the One Eared TomCat: Ayra and Bran. Which do you think it is, if anyone?

    I loved the Ayra chapters. I can't wait for her become a super assassin. Who kills Cersei? Ayra or Tyrion?

    Robert Strong of course is Gregor Clegane. I really want to see a good bit of action out of Gregor and Sandor in TWOW. Such as: Gregor wins as Cersei's champion, Sandor does something significant and not related to this and then Gregor and Sandor fight eachother one on one....with Sandor being the victor of course :)

    The Wall: I was rooting for it to fall in ASOS and I think it will fall. The Others have the Horn of Joramun. We are in for more action in the remaining books than the first five combined....it's just the waiting on the books that will be the hard part.

    I have to throw this in: Before reading ADWD i had read somewhere that Ned Stark was in it. Turns out it was in a flashback. But it got me thinking, so I'm going to make this ludicrous prediction: In TWOW or ADOS we will see the return of Eddard Stark. You heard it here first :p

    WINTER IS FINALLY HERE! THE WINDS OF WINTER WILL BE BRUTAL INDEED!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  18. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    Asimovking, that was fun reading your assessment!

    I don't think Ned Stark coming back is ludicrous at all. Matter of fact, isn't that what the Others are?

    Also, Arya will kill Cersei, of course. Arya is already my all time favorite assassin in fantasy fiction (that I've read). I see great things for her.

    (Better keep that quiet, eh? Otherwise, GRRM will kill her.)
     
  19. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I agree with most of your observations. I did manage to catch the Frey pie thing, but just barely. I knew Theon was Reek right away, however, considering we've known the Boltons were holding him prisoner and torturing him since Book 3. As for him being gelded, I don't have a quote or page number, but it was pretty heavily hinted at, multiple times in multiple chapters. There were several lines about him not being a "real man" anymore, and he was always terrified at the thought of someone seeing him naked because they would see... (he always stopped his line of thinking before actually spelling it out).
     
  20. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    I agree that everything GRRM wrote and hinted heavily about would lead us to believe that he is gelded, but he never actually writes that. And no one ever actually says it. So...you never know. Maybe it's just mangled...or something. :eek: