One of the revelations to come out of the recent blow-up of Ashley Madison is that nearly all of the site’s female users are fake profiles. Relative to the number of men using the site, the number of real women actually interacting with men looking to have affairs is nearly zero. Annalee Newitz then invites us to ask whether Ashley Madison deliberately set out to create a site in which married men paid for the privilege of pursuing non-existent women, or whether they simply ended up operating that way after they failed to attract a non-trivial number of women to the site. Either way, the end result is that tens of millions of men are putting money into Ashley Madison and almost no extramarital affairs are resulting from those expenditures. The site is just ripping off tens of millions of married men who want to cheat on their wives. You have about as good a chance of winning the lottery as a man has of scoring an affair through Ashley Madison.
On the topic of “where Sandor Clegane may go later in the series,” assuming he’s alive (and I think he is), I’ve done a little research, and that’s taken me back to the scene in A Clash of Kings where Sansa finds Sandor in her bedchamber during the siege of King’s Landing. Now I see it; up to now, I didn’t take SanSan seriously, but now, I get it. I don’t like the pairing, but GRRMartin does appear to be writing them as a viable relationship. If Sansa is still alive by the end (I think she will be), and if she has a romantic partner, I think it’ll be Sandor Clegane.
I will focus on this scene because of how much it says, in so little time, about who Sandor Clegane is.
While I was writing the previous entry, I saw the news on Twitter and Facebook that we’ve had another shooting. This time, at a news crew during a live broadcast. Two people dead, last I heard.
*grabs NOPE blanket*
Would any other countries like to adopt me? I’m not perfect, but I’m good with kids, I care about the environment, I pay my bills on time, including taxes, and I’m open to learning a new language. I can be entertaining. Any takers?
We have a bit of news for Game of Thrones S6, as reported by Twitter-Block on the Wall, that they’re looking to cast a baby, age 9-12 months and with blond hair, in Canet de Mar.
The significance of this casting call is, according to Sue the Fury:
Canet de Mar is the home of the Castell de Santa Florentina, the medieval castle that has been the subject of speculation since it was confirmed as a season 6 location. Baby Sam in Canet de Mar presents a strong likelihood that Castell de Santa Florentina is Horn Hill, the Tarly family home. We know from casting breakdown spoilers that we’ll be meeting Samwell Tarly’s parents and siblings in season 6, so it seems likely he and Gilly will stop by Horn Hill on the way south to Oldtown.
At first read, I thought maybe this was assuming a bit too much on squishy evidence, but I went and looked at Castell de Santa Florentina online, and I agree: that looks like Horn Hill. The landscape looks like southern Westeros, but not so far south as Dorne. Some of the interiors use Islamic designs, which is a more Dornish aesthetic, but the production can pick and choose which interiors it uses for filming. It does not look like Essos. Honestly, I can’t think of a better setting for a vassal family’s castle in the Reach. Horn Hill, it is! A blond-haired baby age 9-12 months could be any one of several characters, but if the baby is needed at Castell de Santa Florentina, then it’s probably Baby Sam with his mother Gilly. Horn Hill + Blond Baby = Sam introduces Gilly to his family. I’m on board with that.
So now I see a lot of people complaining that a) Baby Sam should be much older by now, because 1 season = 1 year, and b) why should Gilly’s baby have blond hair?
Since we have signs of Sandor Clegane reappearing in Game of Thrones S6, there’s a fan theory going around my fellow Throners that goes basically like this: the healed and reborn Sandor Clegane turns up in King’s Landing as the Faith’s champion in Cersei’s trial by combat, whereas Cersei’s champion is Ser Robert Strong, who is very obviously a re-animated Gregor Clegane. Thus, Cersei’s trial by combat is the premise for the Ultimate Showdown of the Clegane Brothers. We call this theory Cleganebowl.
I admitted yesterday that I don’t like Cleganebowl, but I didn’t really have an argument against it. Since then, I’ve given it some thought, and now I have an argument against it. I don’t think this is going to happen. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but I think it’s an extremely unlikely scenario, in both books and show. Let me tell you why. The arguments against Cleganebowl are, from least to most important, as follows:
Jaime gets back to King’s Landing and goes about smacking the Kingsguard into shape. For example: he doesn’t want to hear any more about Kingsguard knights beating little girls just because the juvenile king commands them to do so. What?, they ask. You don’t want us to obey the king? He says: the king is eight; our duty is protect him, including from himself. So here’s a handy rule of thumb for how to respond to little King Tommen’s commands:
“If Tommen wants you to saddle his horse, obey him. If he tells you to kill his horse, come to me.”
I love it because it brings up this image of a Kingsguard knight coming to Jaime and telling him, “Lord Commander, your
son nephew is asking me to kill his horse. What should I do?”
Oh, boy oh boy oh boy.
Over the past few days at Watchers on the Wall (aka They Blocked Me On Twitter, But No Hard Feelings), there are TWO juicy bits of speculation fodder for me to chew on. Oh, yes. Oh fucking yes.
A little while ago, I made the case for Brienne’s protection assignment still being viable. Here’s a little addition to that.
First: “A complication does not release you from a vow.”
Second: “Catelyn Stark’s death does not release me from an oath.”
Third: “My fuck-up does not release me from a promise.”
She’ll hate herself when she finds out how Sansa escaped the castle, but she’ll keep on busting her ass until she makes it right.
I regard this as one of the Top 10 Jaime Moments of how he’s written in the books. He’s just returned to King’s Landing in A Storm of Swords, and right after he fucks Cersei next to Joffrey’s body (doing so in somewhat less reprehensible a manner than on the show), he goes to see his father. Lord Tywin wants him to quit the Kingsguard and return to Casterly Rock with Tommen as his ward and squire. He’s trying to arrange for Cersei to marry Oberyn Martell, and he suggests Margaery Tyrell as a wife for Jaime, not realizing that Mace Tyrell won’t accept anything less than a king for his only daughter. Which is a moot point, because Jaime is not having it. No, he’s not on board with this plan at all.
“No. No. No. No. No. How many times must I say no before you’ll hear it? Oberyn Martell? The man’s infamous, and not just for poisoning his sword. He has more bastards than Robert, and beds with boys as well. And if you think for one misbegotten moment that I would wed Joffrey’s widow…She can die a maiden as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want her, and I don’t want your Rock!”
And that was the part where Lord Tywin disowned his first son.
He’s not quite right about Oberyn Martell; he has exactly half as many bastards as Robert, and the younger half of those are Ellaria Sand’s daughters. He does like to fuck dudes, though. Maybe that’s the reason why he doesn’t have as many bastards as Robert. It’s pretty funny that Jaime Lannister, of all people, thinks he can sneer at Oberyn Martell’s choices in sex partners.