She’ll be fine. I’ll put a wager on it.

I’m confident Brienne of Tarth will make it through The Winds of Winter alive and healthy. Who wants to take me on?

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This is a gentle reminder that Brienne HAS established a protector relationship with Sansa on the show, whereas she hasn’t even met Sansa in the books. This suggests there’s more left for Brienne to do before her story is finished.

BFish’s list of POV characters to die in TWOW:

Theory for Brienne’s death:

I’m not posting this to pick on BFish; there are lots of fans who think Brienne will be among the body count in Book 6, and they lean towards her dying in the Lady Stoneheart encounter via deliberately losing a fight to save Jaime. I’m here to challenge that theory.
So I’m all like, “COME AT ME, FISH!”:

(I’m also fairly sure Theon will be okay, but I’m more invested in Brienne, so it’s more fun to be right about her.)

But he wasn’t having that:

Context: I’ve taken one bet against BFish. We bet on whether Lady Stoneheart would show up in Season 6. I won. I’m confident enough to bet in favor of Brienne’s survival.

So now we know, BFish is confident enough about Brienne dying to put it on Twitter, but not quite confident enough to bet against your blogger. Honestly, that’s a legit position to take.

I still want to bet against someone, though.

The terms are:
1. If Brienne survives TWOW, I win.
2. If Brienne dies in TWOW, you win.
3. If Brienne and Jaime are kept out of TWOW altogether, it’s a draw. This is unlikely, but I’m willing to hold space for the possibility. If Brienne’s status is ambiguous at the end of TWOW, it’s a draw.
4. If I win, I choose your Twitter profile pic and you have to use it for 3 months. If you win, you choose my Twitter profile pic and I have to use it for 3 months.
5. Also, the loser has to write an explanation (250 words minimum) on how they got this matter wrong, and it must be posted online.
6. If you’d like to take this bet and you don’t have a blog, I recommend using IO.
7. I will allow ONE chance to call off the bet. If more evidence appears before we get TWOW (like, say, Season 7), and you decide Brienne is more likely to survive, it is okay to back out. I will make sure there is a public record of your surrender, but surrender will be accepted. However? There’s no going back and forth on this. I will not agree to revive the wager after you’ve backed out.

So…who’s up for a friendly wager between fans?

Of course I have room to obsess over multiple questions.

I need someone to discuss this with me.

I was re-reading Jaime’s last couple of chapters in AFFC last night because I need to take detailed notes for the last section of my Jaime essay, and something popped out at me.

The Freys assume Raynald Westerling (Robb Stark’s brother-in-law in book version) died at the Red Wedding, but they can’t verify having seen his body. The last anyone saw of him, he was wounded and hopping into the Green Fork. At the time, Raynald was not aware that his mother was making a deal with Tywin Lannister, so he was fighting for the Starks, not knowing they’d been screwed over with help from his own family. It’s an awkward situation for Lady Westerling, shall we say.

I think Raynald will turn up in TWOW, very much alive. And not loyal to the crown. The first assumption of where he’ll be is with the Brotherhood Without Banners, which means he may have interacted with Brienne off-page, but surely we can some up with some ideas aside from him running around with Lady Stoneheart?

Did anyone else pick up on this? I don’t see anyone else talking about Raynald Westerling, but I’m pretty confident he’s still out and about. Who’ll talk with me about him?

Also: Jaime Lannister would bitchslap Trump until his golden hand broke in half. It is known.

 

GRRM’s idea of a good leader

Winter posted this long-ass video interview with GRRM today. I have not watched the video because my attention span isn’t that long, but they also posted some edited highlights, and there are some really interesting answers there. I’m actually nowhere near as interested in what he says about the content of Winds of Waiting (it’s not really giving me any useful information) as much as his answer of who “deserves” to get the Iron Throne.

I don’t know that ‘deserve’ is really an operative word. The Iron Throne doesn’t necessarily go to who deserves it, but to who has the power to take and to hold it. But there are things in the books where I indicate what a king should be, what separates a good king from a bad king…It should be a public service position. The king’s job is the land, the people of the land, to make them prosperous, to protect them, to defend them, to provide them with justice. And that’s what the ideal king should be. There have been previous few of them in human history, sad to say.

Actually, I love this answer, because we can gather something about GRRM’s worldview from how he approaches this question. I think GRRM is an is/does/will sort of thinker, rather than building his narrative around matters of “should” and “deserve” and “right.” He’s thinking in terms of outcomes, rather than moral abstractions. The role of king/queen is a job, not a prize. The leader serves the people, not the other way around. A good leader is one who makes good things happen for the people, regardless of what that leader as an individual “deserves.” Furthermore, part of the king/queen’s job is to hold the throne. It doesn’t matter how morally upright and principled they are, how generous or gentle or clever, how hard they’ve worked to win that position; if they cannot stay on the throne for very long, they cannot look after their people.

What this tells me is that the endgame of ASOIAF will revolve around questions of who makes the metaphorical trains run on time, rather than deciding who deserves what.

Miss me?

O HAI, everyone!

In case you’re wondering, I am following the leaks for Game of Thrones Season 7, but I’m not hanging on every word like I did for Season 6. I definitely see some interesting things happening, though.

For a brief digression, I had a birthday a couple weeks ago, and as a present to myself, I decided to get a new friend. I spent the midday of our holiday Monday at PetSmart, and this one came home with me:

This is Ser Purrion Lannister of Catterly Rock, but mostly I just call him Kitty, Baby, Honey, or Furry Little Weirdo. He is completely indifferent to treats and catnip, and he’s not interested in sitting on my lap, but he loves belly rubs, being held and hugged like a baby, getting all over my feet, and sleeping next to me. I watched Gods of Egypt on HBO Now yesterday because I had to see its awfulness first-hand, and I found the movie wasn’t nearly as compelling as watching Purrion go ballistic on his new tassel toy.

(They were all out of tan-colored long-haired kitties who like to get drunk and antagonize the neighbors’ Husky pups, so I got the little tuxedo guy who enjoyed cuddling and shoving his face into my elbow.)

I’ve only had him for a couple of weeks, and I’m already finding that having a pet is like having a tattoo: once I have one established, I’m already thinking about getting another.

In other news, I have another big writing project for ASOIAF fandom! It’s not quite finished, but I’m posting it as I go. Let me present…

The Cloak Soiled Him: the Life and Times of Jaime Lannister.

 

Why Jaime doesn’t think about Bran—UPDATE

I’m reading through racefortheironthrone’s archives at the moment, and he took this ask earlier this month:

Anonymous asked: While Jaime seems to genuinely regret not being able to save Elia & her children (“I never thought he would hurt them!”), why is it that he never seems to feel any real regret to pushing Bran off the tower? He barely even thinks about it in his monologues.

Because direct personal culpability is worse than accidental neglect.

It’s finally happened.

I have reached the stage of ASOIAF/GOT fandom at which I feel viscerally, personally offended when people vilify my favorite characters. Like, it’s become a question of whom I can trust, if they have choosing-to-be-wrong ideas about certain characters. It’s not just reading comprehension anymore, it’s wondering how this reflects on your treatment of people in real life.

Also, I’m just as vicious a curmudgeon as ever.

Lady Olenna is not one of the good guys.

Winter quotes an interview with Diana Rigg, in which she talks about playing Olenna. One of the things she says about her character is that she’s “pretty evil.” Dan Selcke responds:

Rigg may have been speaking with her tongue planted in her cheek, but that’s one way to read Olenna’s actions. She did commit regicide, albeit against someone few would miss. But generally speaking, Olenna’s motives are sympathetic, even if she’s done some questionable things in the name of her family’s well-being.

I don’t think Rigg was speaking tongue-in-cheek at all. Lady Olenna is at best a deeply, morally ambiguous character. We like her because it’s so much fun to watch her rip into Cersei and say horrible things about her male family members, but still, we’re talking about someone who’s been in cahoots with Littlefinger.

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Freeing Tyrion was not Jaime’s idea

PoorQuentyn fielded this question on his blog a couple days ago:

Do you think Varys set up Tyrion to kill his father? If so was Varys planning on releasing Tyrion on his own even if Jaime hadn’t made him do it?

To which PQ answers:

Yes and yes.

I was unfamiliar with the idea of Varys having set Tyrion up to kill Tywin, but a little Google search reveals there’s plenty of support for it.

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