Thursday, July 7, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 137

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.
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.
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And now, up to ruling 137! Our guest judge this week is Joe, who has been a long-time fantasy and science fiction fan who has been reading A Song of Ice and Fire since early 2010 and has in the past been a frequent poster and is still a frequent reader of and ASOIAF Reddit. He lives in Minnesota with his dog (Ser) Duncan. You could find him at twitter @JoeTwheets.
Will we see another trial by seven in the remaining story? If so what is the most likely scenario that we would see one?

Main Opinion: Amin
I don’t think we see a trial by seven. They are very rare, with Dunk’s trial being the last recorded one we’ve heard about. Cersei’s trial seems a possibility, but she already has a great single champion, why go for seven? There’s no reason to do that. On the other hand, it was Aerion who pressed for the trial by combat to be a trial by seven in Dunk’s situation, even though Dunk was the accused. Therefore, if Cersei wants trial by combat, the Faith might be tempted to go with 7 on 7 with the hope that Cersei has inferior numbers for the rest or for some reason can’t fill out the full number.

Concurring Opinion: Stefan
I think it’s unlikely. Cersei’s trial will most likely be the last trial-by-combat of the series anyway, as the rest of the conflicts should be taken out by dragon and army, and the Trial of the Seven was always considered more of an oddity by most people.

Concurring Opinion: Joe
I do not think we will see a trial by seven. I believe Cersei would win any trial by combat. If the royal family must be defended by the King’s Guard than would Cersei need to be defended by all Seven King’s Guard in a Trial by Seven? I think it is more likely that the High Septon actually believes the gods would not let a monster defeat a holy knight, or he will try to force Cersei’s trial before a panel of Septons forcing Cersei into a corner.

Final Verdict: No more Trial of Seven forthcoming.

If the Others are defeated and rendered extinct, will there be any reason for Bran to remain a god? Will it cause some revival in the North of sacrificing to the old Gods? Will the few Children left still care for his immobile body? I'm assuming the wall is down in this scenario, so will whichever Stark is left in charge of the North have a relationship with Bran after all is said and done?

Main Opinion: Amin
I don’t think Bran can just give up the powers he’s acquired, if he’s still around at the end of the books. Taking a part in causing or organizing the restoration of Winterfell would make sense given his name, but I don’t think he will be actively in the spotlight after that. Whether he can truly take a break from it all or he is tempted to continue to micromanage everything from a distance remains to be seen.

Dissenting opinion: Stefan
For a long time I was of the opinion that Bran wouldn’t ever leave the cave again, but Steven Attewell and Emmet Booth sort of convinced me to the opposite. Bran will likely return to Winterfell and aid its restoration, maybe even take the reigns of power. I see him forming a partnership with Sansa, though it’s hard to say who will be the commanding part of the two. Given that Bran can’t have children anyway, this seems to be Sansa, but I’m equally unsure as to how much such considerations will even play a big role after the Others’ defeat.

Concurring Opinion: Joe
I don’t believe Bran will ever not be a Greenseer and I think the trees and Greenseers were worshiped by the Children before the Others, so why wouldn’t they be worshiped after. Who knows if the Others will even be destroyed. Maybe they will be forced into hibernation again, or wherever they went after the last Long Night. I think our series epilogue will be from Bran as he sits in a tree, either under Winterfell or far in the north, as he watches time pass by and characters live, age, and die after the final battle.

Final Verdict: Bran will become a tree. 

If Bran can warg into a human, what prevents him from warging into a wight? Or an Other?

Main Opinion: Amin
Skinchanging into a wight might not quite match up with regular skinchanging and Bran may lack the skill. Maybe he can be taught it, maybe only an Other can do it, or maybe he just hasn’t given it a try yet and he will succeed when he does. An Other seems quite difficult as they are both sentient and magical by nature, while also in an alien state to regular life and far older than Bran (if that has anything to do with resisting skinchanging), so probably difficult or impossible even for Bran.

Concurring opinion: Stefan:
What prevents Frodo from using the ring against Sauron? It’s really a dumb idea to do things like this to magical, apocalyptical and god-like entities. When you warg into something, you also always share a bit in it. Would you really want to try to take over the hijacked mind of a dead person? Or the utterly alien mind of an Other? Even if you were able to do it, which I highly doubt?

Concurring Opinion: Joe
I don’t think we know enough information yet. But if I had to guess I think Bran would have to break some kind of barrier that holds the minds of the Wights in order to skin-change them (Is this how Coldhands was created?). Will Bran ever do this or attempt it? I don’t know. I don’t believe it will be possible to skin-change an Other. I believe they are too strong in old-god magic and far too intelligent to be controlled by even a strong Greenseer like Bran. I lean towards the Others using something related to skin-changing to control their Wight army.

Final Verdict: Likely, it's a dumb idea and/or impossible.

1 comment:

  1. Will Bran use his warging powers to release a dragon from Euron's control, assuming Euron manages to capture one with the horn?