Thursday, January 30, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 12

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 12 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Sean T. Collins, blogger at All Leather Must be Boiled, co-author of the "A Game of Thrones Annotated Edition" for Subtext with Elio Garcia and co-host of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour with Stefan. He also blogs at Attention Deficit Disorderly and freelances for numerous sites, including The Rolling Stone.


What will Dany and Jon's interaction be like? When and where will it occur?

Main Opinion: Amin
If Dany and Jon interact, it will likely be first at the Wall, at Winterfell, or at least somewhere in the North. I don’t see Jon travelling somewhere to the south to meet Dany. Dany will probably arrive in Westeros sometime late in The Winds of Winter, but may not meet Jon until the following book. It is hard to predict the physical and mental state that Jon will be in that time. The nature of their interaction may largely depend on whether Jon’s true heritage is openly known and out on the table. Dany might yield before Jon’s superior claim through Rhaegar, but she may be quite used to ruling and she also has her own dragon enforced claim, so perhaps not. Many people have interpreted Dany’s visions at the House of the Undying to suggest some sort of romantic relationship will form between the two, with a subsequent betrayal. If Jon is the third mount then something like that will happen, but in a typical Martinesque fashion. Only one of them will survive the end of the books, if that.

Dissenting Opinion: Stefan
I don't see Dany and Jon fall in love. This seems just strange, given the change they experienced at the end of "A Dance with Dragons"and, most likely, the beginning of "The Winds of Winter". I am confident that Jon will be the third head of the dragon, but I don't see a cartoonish love relation between them developing just to fulfil the trope. In my eyes, they'll work together to prevent the second Long Night, and one of them at least won't survive. I'd be surprised if they'd much interaction at all. Since I don't believe that Jon will assume a claim to Iron Throne, the relationship with Rhaegar shouldn't really be relevant for the two. It's importance seems to be in making Jon a Dragonseed.

Dissenting Opinion: Sean
Am I alone in hoping that it's love at first sight? Or perhaps even some more emotionally (and narratively) cataclysmic variant thereof? While it's possible they may not meet until the final book, I full expect a mutual recognition of their shared prophetic destiny to factor into their intellectual, political, and emotional assessments of one another. I also expect them to fall in love, fuck, and die. Call me a fatalist.

Final Verdict: Whatever happens, they won’t live happily ever after.

Do you think we will see unicorns, krakens, or even other dragons in the rest of the series?

Main Opinion: Amin
Unicorns exist on Skagos. There may not be anything particularly magical about them, they may just be another interesting creature like lizard lions or zorses. We may very well see them directly on screen at Skagos, we’ve already seen them described indirectly. Krakens probably exist in some form as well, but are just similar to giant squids. I suppose they could be skinchanged, which would be interesting. There are no other dragons left in Westeros or most of Essos. Possibly they could exist in the East, but I am not sure if they would ever make an appearance. Just the three right now are enough for the story and enough to have another Dance of the Dragons if even one of them was stolen away.

Dissenting Opinion: Stefan
I always thought of lizard-lions as crocodiles, and zorses a zebras. So, no unicorns and krakens. Bad news for Liam Neeson, but they are all Red Herrings.

Concurring Opinion: Sean
Unicorns certainly exist, though not the white horses with nice little spiral horns of your Lisa Frank notebook covers, as we've seen via Bran. I get the sense that krakens exist as well, as they do in the real world, though in the world of Westeros they probably actually live up to their fearsome medieval reputation instead of being the product of tall tales by drunken sailors. I expect to see at least one in action. Dragons...you know, it's tough to figure out how to reconcile Bran's vision of dragons in the far far east with the narrative necessity that Dany's be the first, last, and only dragons in the world. Then again I'm open to the idea that flightless dragons are responsible for the ancient carnage at Hardhome, so who knows.

Final Verdict: The world is full of strange creatures, and we will see unicorns and krakens at least.

When do you think Nymeria will make her appearance again? Will Sansa or the other Starks be able to warg her? (Obviously Bran can)

Main Opinion: Amin
I think we will continue to hear of Nymeria’s wolfpack in the background description of events in the Riverlands and that general area. I am not sure if she will make an on-screen appearance again, although it is certainly possible. I don’t think Sansa will be warging her, only Bran or Arya will be doing that. By the end of Jon’s current ordeal he may have the conscious ability to do so as well, but I don’t think he’ll be in the position to do that or have the idea to look for Nymeria.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
And why would he? Nymeria is just a big wild direwolf, and even if Jon crosses paths with her and even if he recognizes her, what is he to do then? Cool, he can warg into her - perhaps. I don’t think she’ll take it kindly, and he lacks the training besides Ghost. For Sansa, we have seen no warging ability whatsoever yet, and Arya has yet to do more than use the eyes of a beast. And Bran has better things to do then to chase after the feral direwolf of a sister presumed dead.

Dissenting Opinion: Sean
I think Nymeria's wolfpack will indeed be seen again, and play a pivotal role in some riverlands-area battle in the remaining two books. It seems as though she's acting in ways that are broadly congruent with Arya's wishes, so I don't think an out-and-out act of warging is even necessary to marshall her and her group to the cause, should it come to that.

Final Verdict: They may play a role again, but Sansa or Bran will not have anything to do with it.

36 comments:

  1. Jon snow may be stuck in ghost after what happened to him. Maybe his only option will be to join up with nymeria's pack.

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    1. That would be awesome! But Ghost would need to escape Castle Black and travel South nonstop for a few months to even reach her.

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    2. Guys, please consider this for a moment. THE ADVENTURES OF GHOST AND NYMERIA? What the heck? And how would that even work? "Day 3: I ran all day." "Day 8: Still running." "Day 11: Cool runnings. Heh."
      Never ever.

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  2. Yeah boooooooy! Another SCoW, awesome! You guys rock!

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    1. I would high-five you if for the distance. :)

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  3. Hello, I would like to know what you think about Lady Stoneheart and her role on the "Northern Conspiracy" which I'm sure you all have heard about. So my question is:

    What do you think about the "Northern Conspiracy" either as an actual plan or just a sentiment among the Northern Houses? And if Lady Stoneheart has an actual agenda to free the North and the Riverland, which contradicts the popular opinion that she is just a revenge demon at this point.

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    1. If there is a Northern Conspiracy (which I doubt, but we will get to that in an early summer SCOW), then Catelyn has no chance to know about it and they don't have a chance to communicate with her.

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    2. You have scow planned out all the way to summer already? Wow, impressive organization and question collection.

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    3. Yep, we get many questions :)

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  4. Some questions:

    * Two more books, or three?
    * Just what did happen to Benjen?
    * Daenerys Targaryen: Spit or swallow?

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    1. If you ask me, 2 books sound about right:
      WoW- Agon becomes King. Stannis wins over the North and prepares to get back the Riverlands while strengthening the North to face the Others. Things at the Wall go bananas while the Others somehow start to invade. Daenerys starts to gather her forces and takes care of all her remaining business before leaving for Westeros in about 2/3 of the book. The Lannister/Tyrell alliance loses and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces of their Houses. Sam witnesses the final battle and outcome of the Ironborn invasion while solving the mysteries of the Citadel. The Riverland guerrilla forces put in motion their plan. Westeros is finally invaded by the others just as Daenerys reaches the continent at the end of the book. Jon comes back one way or another. Bloodraven dies and is up to Bran to gather forces for the first counter-attack.
      DoS: Half of the book will deal with the conflict between Dany and Aegon, and the rest will be about the united kingdom against the others in an epic battle of life vs death. A sh*t ton of characters die.

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    2. - Two, but we answer his in an upcoming post already.
      - I think there was a ruling on this before in the age of Stefan's Theory Hour.
      - What does this even mean?^^

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    3. Actually, my main problem with two books is Dany. She's spent three books in Slavers' Bay now, and is not even done there. I find it hard to imagine how she could get her own Khalasar again, win at Mereeen, and then supposedly take the demon road and/or use any ships remaining, do something to Volantis, possibly do something to Pentos, and at least be ready to sail to Westeros, all in one book. At least not using the standard story-telling pacing GRRM has been using so far. The only reason I don't think she'll be as stretched for time in Westeros is that I imagine she might bypass the throne in order to go straight for the Others, and even *then*, that book will be pretty hefty content-wise (I would imagine all three "for love" prophesies will happen in it).

      However, I obviously see the pressure to get the last two books in in time to synch with the end of the TV series (season 7 or 8?) - I just can't see how it can be done without radically altering the pace of events.

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  5. Sorry, but Sansa does briefly skinchange with the old blind dog she encounters while on the road with Littlefinger. I believe at his wedding feast, before Marillon walks over to dudebro up the proceedings.

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    1. No, she never did such. It has been discussed a lot but at no point she skinchanges on the old dog. There IS a bond, yes, akin to a first stage on the process of taking control of an animal, but she never goes that far. I think all the stark children have the potential and that Sansa may yet skinchange into a bonded animal (maybe even the old dog) but so far she still has to make the final jump when her connection is strong enough.
      If you wonder why the dog came to Sansa when she thought about the Hound it can be for simple reasons like the fact the dog was never far from her since she liked to pet him and she has a way with "hounds".

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  6. I don't know how I would feel about Jon and Dany hooking up. It would feel weird if Jon is half Targ (evn if he is more Stark) because of the incest thing, and because they don't seem to have a lot in common beyond the interest in doing what's right for the people. They might not fall in love but if the political needs of Westeros call for a marriage between the two it would turn out like Ned's and Cat's, dutiful at first and turning into love as they get to depend more on each other.

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    1. I might be overestimating how important this is, but doesn't Jon not really seem like Dany's type? She's loved Khal Drogo, been attracted to Daario ... neither have much in common with the dour Jon.

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    2. That's why I said that the only thing they have in common is a desire to protect those who can't defend themselves, in other words, a sense of duty based on what's right.
      Jon is not always solemn, if you remember there are scenes in the books where he has gotten cocky, furious and violent, and very passionate where Ygritte was concerned. If Dany gets the chance to see "that" Jon she might find him attractive, Jon is not bad locking.
      Dany seems to like badass, passionate men...but with Drogo she had no other choice since she had to learn to love him or be unhappy, and isn't like she had any better choices than Daario later on. She wants passion and love, and we saw Jon giving that to Ygritte.
      If Jon and Dany were to fall in love, the conditions would have to be right for them to see the "true self" of each other. Martin would have to work really hard to set them up in a beliavable way.

      It doesn't matter how much Dany might have loved Drogo, or how much Daario makes her happy, they would make really sh*tty kings for a war-torn Westeros. They were only good at killing and war making, Dany needs a King who puts the good of his subjects before his.

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  7. I'm calling it right now...

    Unicorns = Wooly Rhinos

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    1. That's brilliant.

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    2. And/or narwhals. (In case you didn't know, Denmark was medieval Europe's main exporter of "unicorn horns", due to narwhal fishing. This is the utterly awesome unicorn throne of Denmark: http://dkks.dk/assets/Uploads/_resampled/pageimageoverlay-Kroningstronstol2.jpg )

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  8. How Tyrion and Dany interact ? is it possible a love relation (I know ... but would not be this a big surprise, like the Red Wedding) ?

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  9. I saw Dorian theory about Jaime being AA ; does this holds any water ?

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  10. Conidering the fact that the show will probably finish before the books, do you think that GRRM made a mistake by selling the rights to HBO when he did and not later?

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  11. If you'd have to bet: there is only one Azor Azhai, two (one Azor and one The Prince that was...) or 3 (3 heads of the dragon)

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  12. Do Sam and Randall ever meet again? I don't see Randall living through the books and wonder if Sam will ever get some sort of comeuppance.

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  13. Hello there Stefan, I have a "what if" I was interested in hearing your opinion on. I am re-listening to ASOS and have just finished the Red Viper's battle with the Mountain. Before the fight he is talking to Tyrion about coming down to Dorne, how he and Doran would get along, and how Myrcella could use his council when she is crowned. So what do you think would have happened if Oberyn had survived the fight and Tyrion had travelled down to Dorne instead of fleeing for the Free Cities?

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  14. Do you think Viserys gets a bad rap? I have been thinking about his behaviour in relation to his history & the tech level, and am starting to think we judge him very harshly.
    As far as I can see, his only major (though ultimately mortal) mistake was failure to respect a foreign culture. Prior to this, he managed to keep himself and Dany alive and largely uncompromised for a very long time. And really, isn't it the role of a princess to be sold for the political/financial gain of her family?

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  15. I like this SCoW deal you have going on and enjoy reading it but what is up with some of the ridiculous questions you are fielding? Who cares about Nymeria? Unicorns and Krakens? Just stick to questions pertaining to the main plot points such as Northen Conspiracy, Vic's effect on Mereen etc, Lannister vs Highgarden, Jamie, Brienne and Stoneheart, Pink Letter and how it pertains to the battle of Winterfell, the Others, What happens to Jon etc etc

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    1. Given the number of questions coming in (we're full until July 10th already), this might become necessary. For now, though, I'd stick with answering whatever is of interest to fandom. Often enough, we're able to make a more general point of seemingly unimportant, minor details (granted, not krakens).
      Only discussing "major plotpoints" holds its own dangers, namely running around in circles.

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