Thursday, June 6, 2013

My stance on various ASOIAF conspiracy theories, Part 32

Thursday is theory day.
This is the thirty-second article of the series. Since there are a lot of theories floating out there and I'm asked often enough what I think of them, I thought I write it down. You can then laugh about me when I am totally proven wrong by "The Winds of Winter" or something like that. Rules are as follows: you put a question about any theory or plot element (really, let's stress "theory" a bit for the sake of interesting questions) either in the comments of any theory post or by mail (stefan_sasse@gmx.de) and I will answer them in an upcoming post. And if you now ask "Stefan, isn't this a shameless rip-off of Sean T. Collin's "Ask me anything"?", I would tell you to shut up, because you are right.
Prepare for part 32. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously. 

What is undead Catylen's end game?
Why, killing every last living Frey and Lannister, of course. I have to say, I still don't have any clue as to why Beric gave her the kiss of life and committed the Brotherhood to brutal slaughter. Did he see it in a vision? Is this somehow the will of R'hollor? If so, it's pretty strange. Lady Stoneheart has only one agenda left, knowing every friend and relative is either dead or captured in a place she can't reach. And frankly, she has nothing to live for anymore. Plus, she went mad! In the last moments of the Red Wedding, she cracked. And Lady Stoneheart is the result of that, a mad, undead person that carries on with the last thing she did before being killed: killing Freys. She started with Jinglebell, and she won't stop until she gets every last one of them. And since she heard Bolton say his infamous line about Jaime Lannister sending regards, I'd guess she wants to kill him as well. This agenda can't end well, by the way. Not only doesn't she differentiate at all between innocent bystanders and perpetrators, but she also drags the whole brotherhood into it, who became a dark and broody lot, which falls together with them seeing the war lost and them being as good as dead. Lady Stoneheart is already dead, the Brotherhood can hear their clocks ticking, so what exactly is to be expected to happen here? They will continue to hang everyone they can get their hands on until they are hacked to pieces by someone.

What would of happened of Jamie didn't kill the Mad King? 
King's Landing would have burned. As for the rest, let me quote Robert "Damn, Ned, someone had to kill Aerys." And someone would have. Can you imagine Tywin Lannister, of all people, to sack the city and see his army burning (provided he survives the initial blast) and letting the mad guy who started the fire live? And if Aerys' plan would have gone as intended, Aerys would have burned in the Red Keep and died there as king of the ashes, the last ember on the cinder. But there's no way this could have ended with anything other than his death. Jaime just ensured that no one else (besides the pyromancers, of course) had to die. I guess you have to pose the question in a different way if you want counterfactuals: what would have happened if Rhaegar prevailed on the Trident? Tywin would have pulled a Walder Frey on him ("too bad you already won, but here's my army to mop up what's left") and quitely encouraged Rhaegar in his council plan, but surely not before some heads rolled - Stannis and Renly, for starters, Jon Arryn of course, Benjen Stark, every living Tully and many, many others.

What will Dany be like if she wins the Iron Throne, since she hates almost every major house for betraying Aerys?
She doesn't hate every single house. She has inherited Viserys' hate for "the usurper's dogs", which means primarily Lannister, Stark, Tully and Arryn. She has no  beef with Tyrell or Martell, and I think she will be able to differentiate between those who actually played a part (like Jaime or Stannis) and those who didn't (like Robert Arryn or Tyrion). The War of the Five Kings wiped out most of the people who served in the rebellion and made place for their heirs, and they were kids in the cradle in most cases. And if someone finally comes around to tell Dany the story about Rickard and Brandon Stark, I can even imagine her to forgive the Starks altogether. So I don't really see major problems there. But, words to the wise, it all depends on who the new Dany who will emerge on Drogon from the Dothraki Sea will be, exactly. We don't have any clue about her personality. Will she become a bloody conqueror? I'm pretty sure she won't be Aegon reborn (who wasn't the warrior so much as the politician), but more like Visenya or, if the experience really shook her, Maegor. Pose the question again when we had a chance to read "The Winds of Winter".

8 comments:

  1. Heartsbane of HornhillJune 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    @stefan: Re: Stoneheart: if she finishes off every Frey, and Lannister, does she rest? Or would she turn towards the North and start cleaning house?
    I'd love to know if she meets any of her surviving children, would she RIP?

    Also totally random but did you spot the Manderly sigil on the left breast of the man sitting near Robb in the show? He had no lines but exciting to see none the less.

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    1. She'll never rest. I guess she'll always find someone new to kill.
      Oh, I loved it!

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  2. Here's my question/theory. Did Mirri Maz Duur try to kill Drogo from the start? Drogo did not follow her instructions and actually did the things she forbade him to do. So, I wonder if she was really trying to kill him or just say it happening and figured she's wipe out Rhaego while at it with the black magic. I know after she seemed to claim it was all a plan but reading it, it seems like she tried to save him and then her mood soured.

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    1. Perhaps. We'll never know. But it seems to me she more or less jumped at the opportunity only when her magic was needed.

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  3. How much of the War of the Five Kings was divine retribution for Robert's Rebellion, specifically for killing Rhegar. Similarly the Ironborn attacking the reach as retribution for the Tyrells killing Joffrey.

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    1. Depends whether or not you believe in the existence of gods. I don't.

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  4. "I still don't have any clue as to why Beric gave her the kiss of life..." Because he has made it clear beforehand that repeatedly being reborn has taken a dreadful toll on him in body and mind, and he longs to be rid of this "gift." A better question is, "Why regift it to Catelyn?" Presumably, Beric recognized her corpse and would have heard news/rumors of the RW, so sympathy played a role. Also, he would have no way of knowing that she had gone mad and would morph into Lady Stoneheart rather than the Lady Catelyn he (presumably) knew.

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