Thursday, April 7, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 124

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, 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.
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And now, up to ruling 123! Our guest judge this week is Jody Lent, a Chicagoan whose hobbies include board games and raising his son and two daughters in good Dornish fashion: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

What’s Loras’ endgame?

Main Opinion: Stefan
It all depends on whether or not you believe the news from Dragonstone. If he was indeed wounded that way, he’s not long for this world. But if it all was just a ruse, then he will of course return in time to try and defend his beloved Margaery, in which case he is likely to die in the cataclysm of King’s Landing when Daenerys arrives, but be around for the length of “The Winds of Winter”. In any case, I don’t think he’s going to survive the series.

Concurring Opinion: Amin
It is likely the injuries were exaggerated somewhat, to keep Loras from having to return to a volatile situation in KL. He lives for a while but ultimately may die before the end of the series.

Concurring Opinion: Jody
I find "he died in a fire" to be absolutely perfect Cersei-bait. She's both a pyromaniac and intensely eager to see here enemies eliminated in a fashion SHE believes cannot lead back to her. This fits both. I believe he's alive--though he won't be when spring finally dawns. From a thematic perspective, Loras is the paragon of the "knights of summer," even to the symbol of his house. A rose does not survive the fire, nor the winter, and both are coming. Given that GRRM has told us Willas and Garlan have larger roles to play in TWOW & ADOS, I expect that this rose will perish with the summer--whether by fire or ice is up to you.

Final Verdict: He won't survive the series, but may very well survive Dragonstone. 

How will Melisandre reconcile Jon’s rebirth and Stannis as Azor Ahai?

Main Opinion: Stefan
I don’t see why she shouldn’t. Berric Dondarrion was revived, and he isn’t Azor Ahai, and neither is Catelyn. Being revived doesn’t mean you’re Azor Ahai, it means that someone who really has access to R’hollor’s powers thinks you’re a valuable tool that can’t be let go just yet. Azor Ahai doesn’t die, after all, right? The moment of reckoning for Melisandre will be the siege of Winterfell, when sacrificing Shireen and waking stone dragons won’t do shit to stop the Others.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin
Jon being reborn in and of itself may not end Melisandre’s faith in Stannis as Azor Ahai, particularly if Stannis comes out on top at the Battle of Winterfell. However, Melisandre will ultimately realize her mistake in relation to Stannis, whether as a dying insight or something she figures out earlier.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Jody
She won't. We're going to see Mel change her mind in TWOW, the only question is how. I can envision two ways: if we see Stannis' Agamemnon-like sacrifice of his daughter FAIL, it's a case of shell shock, possibly followed by madness. I find it equally likely, though, that she drops Stannis like a dumped boyfriend, and becomes EQUALLY fanatically sure that this-time-he's-The-One. Honestly, she reminds me of a teenage girl believing her boyfriend is meant to be by the gods.

Final Verdict: Those two can't really be reconciled ad infinitum. There has to be a reckoning. 

Will Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail return to the Starks or will they find the original Ice?

Main Opinion: Stefan
I’m not quite clear what “the original Ice” is supposed to be, but no, I don’t think the swords will return. It’s also not necessary. The obsession with swords is not exactly a healthy trait of Westerosi society, and I seriously doubt that Queen Sansa will have any much thought for what sword her family will carry. She’ll have different stuff on her hands. Besides, it might just be that Oathkeeper will get lost with Brienne or, if she survives, that she will simply keep the thing. As for Widow’s Wail, who really cares? It’s a child’s sword, and you can inherit it for your teenage years.

Dissenting Opinion: Amin
I don’t think Ice will be reforged, but it seems that at least one of the swords will make it back to the Starks. It will symbolize that the Starks have been under great strain and changed during the course of the war and its aftermath, but have preserved in some altered form, as has Ice.

Concurring Opinion: Jody
Refresher: Ice was melted and reforged into WW + Oathkeeper--see this for one of D&D's better opening scenes. WW: No one knows. No one cares. Oathkeeper: I could see GRRM tossing this in as a fitting/honorable conclusion* to Brienne's arc, perhaps even it being gifted to her permanently by Queen Sansa as a new Lady Commander(-dress?) of the Queensguard. Think of something in the same vein as the acknowledgement of true knight Dunk and sending him off with Egg, followed by his eventual ascension to Lord Commander as Ser Duncan the Tall. The (possible/probable?) lineal descent helps this thematically, and we've already seen her carry his shield.

Final Verdict: Most likely not. 

*In this particular case, "conclusion" is pronounced "fan service"


  1. I wrote the Ice question. To clarify there was a sword named Ice before the Valyrian Steel one that is in the story now. The original Ice was lost at some point in time. Some people speculate that the Nights King, if he was a Stark, took it when he defected. Some people think it is/was in the crypts of Winterfell. The Valyrian Ice has only been with the Starks for 400 years, before that there was another which has disappeared.

    1. Ah ok. Never caught that. TWOAIF, I guess?

      But to supplement the answer, no, I don't think they'll find the original Ice. It's lost to the mysts of time, as so many things are. Finding a magic ancestral sword doesn't sit right with me. We have Dawn, that's enough.

  2. What about Longclaw? Do you think there is a possibility that it takes the place of Ice in the Stark family? Or, depending on where Jon ends up, it becomes the sword carried by the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch (depending on the circumstances of Jon's resurrection) or is wielded by whomever leads what is left of the seven kingdoms (or whatever entity is rises from the rubble at the end of ADOS)?

    1. It's incredibly likely that Longclaw will get lost at the Heart of Winter.

  3. Court questions:

    - Did House Frey have enough motivation for staging the Red Wedding? They are well-known for being cautious. And getting some minor marriages and Riverrun -- in name alone -- in exchange for the emnity of just about all houses in the North and the Riverlands seems not the greatest deal.
    - What should Viserys I have done to prevent the Dance of the Dragons?
    - Should we assume by default Mushroom's account of historical events is the correct one? If not, when should we believe him?

  4. Do you think the Liddle who Bran met in the cave has or will in the future, inform people of Bran still being alive?