Thursday, October 20, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 146

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.
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 146! Our guest judge this week is Bobby, who is a member of the community who occasionally posts about ASOIAF at

Martin has said there is a method behind the madness of his alternative chapter titles (e.g., 'The Prophet', 'The Princess in the Tower'). What could this method be?

Main Opinion: Amin
The titles reflect where the character is at in the moment, how they see themselves in the world and how they are seen by others,particularly at the start of the chapter. The Princess in the Tower reflects Arianne feeling her failure and contemplating her life at that point. The Prophet is a good introduction to Aeron’s role and what he is up to that point Theon’s change into Reek and then back into Theon is a good example of a character going through transition. I suspect the title of chapters will be changed to reflect Jon’s current state and transformation (‘Ghost’ at some point?). The special chapter names are also useful for one-off character chapters.

Concurring opinion: Stefan
FeastDance is a lot about identity, the shifting of identity and taking it on. To further some examples: Arya as “The Blind Girl”, Sansa as “Alayne”, Arys as “The Soiled Knight”, Areo as “The Watcher”, Victarion as “The Iron Captain”, and of course Theon’s transformations all showing perceived identities. And of course the most identity-thriven of them all, Quentyn, with his four sole chapters. In his case especially we can see Martin using the chapters to comment on his personality in this moment, even if Quentyn tries to cling to a fantasy he doesn’t really believe in (the hero and adventurer). Just look at them: The Merchant’s Man, The Windblown, The Spurned Suitor, The Dragontamer - there’s a whole character arc right there in the titles!

Concurring opinion: Bobby
I don't believe there's much of a secret code to crack in the chapter titles, but they do tell you a bit about what the POV character will be thinking and feeling as the chapter begins. I think Martin is giving readers a window into the character's psyche or their position at the point where the chapter takes place in the story.

Final Verdict: It shows the perceived identity of the characters.

What did Tom O'Sevens tell Edmure after Jaime left them?

Main Opinion: Amin
Tom O’Sevens is working undercover for the Brotherhood without Banners. It is possible that he told Edmure that Catelyn is still ‘alive’ as Lady Stoneheart but I think that it is not worth the risk of blowing his cover solely to make Edmure feel better when Edmure can’t do anything to help him. He probably said nothing but is staying as an operative in Riverrun as the Brotherhood plans to crash the upcoming Lannister/Frey Wedding there or in the area. Edmure himself might be rescued by the Brotherhood later on anyway.

Concurring opinion: Stefan
I don’t think he told him much. Edmure isn’t a vital part of the operation, and him knowing beforehand might bring more danger than it’s worth. The only scenario I see is where Tom convinces him to do what Jaime wants, but really, that works better on a literary level with the threat than with the secret masterplan, so I stay with him not telling. Plus, he doesn’t like Edmure anyway.

Concurring opinion: Bobby
I doubt he told him anything. Revealing any of the Brotherhood's plans would put them at risk and I don't really see Tom endangering the mission.

Final Verdict: Nothing.

What do you think of the "stone beast, breathing shadow fire" Undying prophecy? Most theories (JonCon, Marwyn, literal stone dragons) fail to keep into account the "slayer of lies" part. Only guess I havem is that Daenerys will slay Melisandre's lies... but I'm hazy on the details. Thoughts?

Main Opinion: Amin
Two main thoughts on this one. First, that it may relate to Jon Connington, as he is a griffin, is infected with greyscale, and may spread that infection around Westeros. The burning tower may relate to Storm’s End or something in that area, and the shadowfire relates to his (unknowing) support of a Blackfyre. The other possibility may be since Jon is already related to Aegon who is covered by the cloth dragon vision, then this vision deals with another one of Dany’s enemies to be, specifically Euron. Not sure how it quite fits Euron beast wise or for shadow fire, but if he somehow sacks Oldtown then we may have the burning tower.

Dissenting opinion: Stefan
The questions omits the first part of the prophecy, which says that the stone beast will take wing from a smoking tower. So what’s the smoking tower? It’s not Griffin’s Roost, because there’s really not much of a tower there to take wing of, so the maybe Storm’s End, but the thing is so massive that a “tower” doesn’t really quite cut it. Plus, they take it undamaged, so why is it smoking? If it is because Dany burned the stuff down, there’s not much stone beast left to take wing. If Connington really spreads greyscale, he’ll do so before Dany arrives, not after. While I can see the griffin being a “beast”, why should he breathe “shadow fire”? Nah, none of this adds up in my book. Also, this would be two warnings about Aegon and Connington, which seems a bit much, and given the timeline, Dany doesn’t need to be warned of the greyscale because she can’t prevent it and will surely learn of it beforehand. There is, however, another tower that’s quite distinctive and likely to be burned, which is the Hightower, and we have a guy who really wants himself a dragon, using dark magic, who is in the vicinity. Therefore, I think this warns of the other great Westerosi threat Dany faces other than the Others, which is Euron.

Concurring in part, dissenting in part: Bobby
I had always taken this to refer to Jon Connington being patient zero for a grayscale epidemic in Westeros. Aegon is already covered in the prophecy, but so are Melisandre's lies—at least regarding Azor Ahai—with the blue eyed king. I'm not sure I see a clear connection to Euron here either, though. I think it's possible that there isn't necessarily a one-to-one correlation with every piece of the prophecy and a particular character or event.

Final Verdict: Jon Connington and a greyscale epedemic or Euron and his dragon. 


  1. Guys, you missed the point ;-)
    I can buy the beast being Euron (why "stone beast"?), it works on a narrative level. But the point is: what lie should Dany slay about him? This is definitely the most mysterious of the Undying prophecies, no explanation is really satisfying. I guess we'll see!

    1. Good point, but Euron tells a whole host of lies.

  2. What about Tom O Seven telling Edmure to tell the Blackfish where the remnants of the brotherhood were hiding? Then the Blackfish would have somewhere to go besides just roaming the countryside. It's been awhile since I read that scene so it might not fit.