Friday, May 13, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 129


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.
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And now, up to ruling 129! Our guest judge this week is Seth, a member of the community.


What happens if Tommen dies as long as Myrcella is still unhurt in Dorne, but after Joffrey?

Main Opinion: Stefan
In that case, the Martells hold the heir to the Iron Throne in their hands. I would expected a big bit of pressure on Doran to immediately transfer her to Westeros - basically what happens in Feastdance, but with more force behind the argument. At the same time, Arianne’s plan has become obsolete, because Myrcella now is going to be crowned queen. She would likely argue to keep her in Dorne and try to arrange something to that effect. Meanwhile, forces in the capital and in the Westerlands would pressure for the next eligible male heir (I won’t even try to discern who that would be) instead of a girl, especially an underage one, but I can’t imagine Cersei letting Myrcella get robbed of this right because it threatens her own powerbase at well, so she will quell all such talks.

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin
Arianne wanted to crown Myrcella for two main points: to shore up what she thought was her threatened claim to Dorne and to start a war of revenge with the Lannisters. The first point is no longer relevant as she knows her claim is accepted by Doran and the latter plan is shelved with her rapprochement with Doran. In this scenario, Doran needs to decide whether he wants to claim the Throne via Trystane, Quentin, or Arianne. Doran's plan is to support Dany, which runs counter to marrying Trystane to Myrcella. He'll probably recoil from Quentin's death and go in the other direction with Aegon, which suggests an Aegon/Arianne pairing that doesn't support a Trystane/Myrcella pairing either. So ultimately, Myrcella is sent back to KL in this situation unwed, which is kind of where the plotline is going anyway at the moment.

Concurring Opinion: Seth
Justice Stefan lays out convincingly both Dorne and Cersei’s reactions to Tommen dying before Myrcella. Dorne would try to use it to their advantage and Cersei would use it to hers. Cersei’s advantage means both as a mother and as an aspirant to power herself. I would further predict that this is the most likely scenario. I make this argument for two reasons. Tommen is already on the throne so it makes for a much more interesting story if he dies before Myrcella. If Myrcella dies first, Tommen stays King for now and not much else changes. Tommen dying brings Dorne heavily into the plot. The fact that Dorne has both Myrcella and a vote coming on the small council make succession a matter of great intrigue. It also puts Cersei into a position of potentially greater suffering, watching a second son die on the throne under her nose. That has narrative purpose as well as the Maggy the Frog prophecy slowly eats her alive by coming to pass. The other reason this makes sense is that GRRM has given us sufficient background on Westerosi reaction to female heirs to make us very curious to see how this will play out. This is especially true with a portion of the realm having reason to question the legitimacy of Cersei’s children as heirs regardless of gender. Throw Dorne, a female heir, and questionable parentage into the pot, stir it up, and you have some future chapters worth reading.

Final Verdict: An awkward alliance between Cersei and Doran. 

Have we seen the last Jon Snow POV chapter?

Main Opinion: Stefan
No, we have not. Most likely, we will see a “Ghost” POV chapter before returning to him. Maybe there will be other oddly named chapters in between, but we will certainly see “Jon” again.

Concuring Opinion: Amin
I agree with Justice Stefan on this issue. We'll see Jon as the titled chapter again, if after an intermediate change in names for his chapters.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Seth
I am 100% clear that we will see more Jon chapters. I am far from 100% clear that they will be called “Jon.” Despite multiple theories, we still don’t exactly know GRRM’s system behind changing POV names from proper names to pronouns and nicknames while characters are in major identity flux. So, Jon will be resurrected, will spend time in Ghost, and will have chapters. I would guess one or more will be called “Jon” but can’t say with complete certainty.

Final Verdict: No, we haven't. 

Are there too many prophecies?

Main Opinion: Stefan
I don’t think so. In the end, there aren’t that many, and they’re restricted to the main characters. Prophecy and vision - hard to seperate the two - are long established tropes of literature, and so far, with the notable exceptions of the Azor-Ahai-prophecy and Maggy’s, they have been pretty much in the background. Also, they aren’t simply eastereggs for the reader to discern, they serve a narrative role, as I have layed out in my essay “Under the Bleeding Star".

Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin
I don't think there are too many prophecies, though some of the established ones appear a bit too much on the mark for my taste. Justice Stefan makes an excellent point on the similarity of prophecies and visions. I'll also make the distinction between prophecies and narrative foreshadowing: I don't like prophecies because the character's within the story may feel they have no free will because of a prophecy, whereas foreshadowing is something for the reader rather than any of the characters to pickup.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Seth
As Justice Stefan said, there are really only two. The Azor Ahai/Prince that was promised combo that shows up in a bunch of spots and Maggy the Frog. The rest of it is characters with foresight on specific events but not full-fledged prophecy. I think these two prophecies running through the story add to the intrigue as character fail in both achieving and avoiding their assumed fate in prophecy. The relationship between agency and prophecy and the foreshadowing value they present greatly improve the story.

Final Verdict: There aren't actually that many, so no. 

2 comments:

  1. Some questions to keep you guys and gals busy:
    - What could have happened at Summerhall that George wants to keep secret and presumably will be relevant in the remaining novels?
    - Would the Golden Company ever support a non-Blackfyre Targaryen?
    - Who's the best fool in the books?
    - What will be the biggest surprise in TWOW?
    - What's behind Robert Strong's helmet?
    - What woke Dany's dragons? Was is the sacrifice/magic of Mirri, or Rhaego, or Drogo, or Dany entering the pyre, or the return of magic to the world, or something else?
    - Who is the funniest character in the novels?

    ReplyDelete
  2. -The Maesters killed everyone to prevent dragons hatching.
    -They already think they're supporting a real Targaryen.
    -Mushroom.
    -Then it wouldn't be a suprise.
    -Thick black blood.
    -A combo of all of the above.
    -Dolorous Edd of course.

    ReplyDelete