In which our assumptions leave other matters unresolved

Over on Twitter, I see PoorQuentyn having this discussion with Queen Regent NFriel about the Valonqar prophecy, and this is the part where I’m tempted to slide in and ask: “Have you considered some other scenario entirely?”

They’re picturing a showdown in which the three Lannister siblings get back together and kill each other, showing everyone what a great legacy Tywin Lannister left behind, and the idea is that Casterly Rock would be so much better a setting for this devastation than King’s Landing.

Whereas what I’m picturing is that the difference between Casterly Rock and King’s Landing as the site of Cersei’s death is irrelevant, because it won’t be her brother who shows up to kill her. Suppose it isn’t even a Lannister who does her in? The idea of anyone other than Jaime being the Valonqar is the sort of idea that tends to elicit pointing-and-laughing on Twitter, and I can’t very well complain that’s unfair because I point-and-laugh at anyone who thinks Cleganebowl will be a thing, but anyway. The point is, the assumption of Valonqar Jaime presupposes other situations not in evidence. Such as this question here, also by PoorQuentyn:

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I expect ASOIAF will cause self-embarrassment for literally everyone.

One of these days, I’ll write a post that isn’t about GoT or ASoIaF. What do we say to the God of Real Life? “Not today.”

The more I follow the loosely-defined crowd I will nominally call the Smart People of ASOIAF, the more I realize it is a mistake to think there are any thought leaders in GOT/ASOIAF fandom. The people I’m thinking of ARE generally viewed as thought leaders, I don’t begrudge them that, I’ve learned a lot from them and I think they’re really great people who know what they’re on about, but there are some areas, and they are some fairly significant areas, where I think their view of the endgame is way off. And they’re such an influential bunch of people that a whole lot of other fans are going to end up being wrong in the same fairly significant areas.

Of course I’ll probably be wrong about a lot more of the endgame, and where I’m right will owe a lot to my having learned from Smart People, but where I’m wrong, there won’t be many other people who are wrong because they listened to me. In the meantime, the more I follow Smart People, the more I learn from disagreeing with them. Their arguments help me refine my ideas! But I’m still in disagreement, and I don’t feel bad about that.

At the end, we’ll all be wrong about some major things, and we’ll all have point-and-laugh material for each other. I will have screenshots to hold up in certain people’s faces, and they will have screenshots of my blog posts to show me where I was wrong in every possible way.

For now, though, I am super-excited about show!Jaime getting dismissed from the Kingsguard. Like, I’m gonna compile some quotes from the books and I’m gonna write another essay and have way too much fun with this.

Now I see the gun on the wall.

I’m gonna do a couple of ASOIAF posts back to back. Both have to do with Dany.

First is that after months of reading posts by the Wars and Politics writers assuming that of course King’s Landing is getting burned to the ground when Daenerys returns to Westeros, Brynden BFish has finally convinced me that the city will be at least partially destroyed. He Tweeted this link to his Reddit post today, and it reminded me that there are some things I’ve missed by having read only parts of the first three books.

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I look forward to reading his obituary.

I was looking at PoorQuentyn’s blog, and I just came across…THIS ask:

Randyll is the embodiment of “tough but fair,” with his gelding rapers and cutting off thieves’ fingers. Maidenpool is only safe because of him. Sam wasn’t fit to inherit so he sent him to the Wall, like daughters go to the sept. That’s the world.

The most charitable way to read this objection is that someone has neglected large chunks of the text. You notice how he does “justice” in Maidenpool but you don’t notice how he talks to Brienne? You remember his reasoning, in his terms, for sending Sam to the Wall but you don’t remember Sam talking about the way his father treated him? Really? The way Lord Tarly talks to Brienne is so fucking foul I don’t even want to quote it here. The way he treated his son Sam is up there in Tywin Lannister levels of child abuse. Hell, even Tywin let Tyrion reach adulthood before he started trying to kill him.

I co-sign every way that gotgifsandmusings answers the question. First:

But even ignoring his treatment of Sam for one minute (which trust me, I’ll be coming back to), Randyll’s treatment of Brienne betrays entirely what a biased, misogynistic, irrational toad he is. This isn’t just the rape apology either. His brain literally cannot allow a reality where a woman slew three outlaws. When Ser Hyle offers a mild defense of Brienne, Randyll fires him because that’s how pissed off this makes him. And apparently Brienne’s biggest crime is leaving her house, or something.

Then there’s the rape apology, which is so blatant and unfair that it earns him that middle name for me. Like, even for Westeros, it’s unfair. The gross hymen wager made by the knights in Renly’s camp was all Brienne’s fault, clearly. That’s just how men are, and she was acting like a camp follower! Has the man been reading Camille Paglia? And then of course there’s his “Go where you want and do as you will… but when you’re raped don’t look to me for justice. You will have earned it with your folly.” Yeah, wow, how Tough but Fair™. Really committed to doling that justice…unless it challenges his world-view.

That is the most Randyll Tarly Rape Apologism I will show on this blog. Second:

Even if it’s somehow justifiable to disinherit Sam (it’s not), the fucking kid wanted to be a maester. Problem solved right there. But no, Randyll “my fear of emasculation rivals Vic’s” Tarly couldn’t have a maester for a son. I mean, then he’d be reading, and getting ideas…it’s just not natural!

Finally, there’s the fucking abuse. Sam wasn’t martial so he took it upon himself to beat him into it. He chained Sam to a wall for merely suggesting he might enjoy a certain profession. And that super nice send-off to the Wall was more or less because he was sure that would kill him. He even told people that Sam was dead.

I would like to add that Randyll literally forced his son into the Watch by threatening to kill him. When you consider that he had the option of removing Sam from the line of succession by allowing him to become a maester, like Sam wanted, and which would not have put him nearly so much in harm’s way, that excuse of “that’s the world” becomes even more absurd.

I hope Dany feeds him to her dragons.

House Tarth words

Nina Friel aka Good Queen Aly of the Wars and Politics of ASOIAF bunch, has a feature at her Tumblr in which she speculates on the mottos of Westerosi families. I missed this one a few weeks ago, but found it today: her idea for the Tarth motto! I’m really hoping GRRM gives us the Tarth motto in TWoW (yes, I saw the sample chapter he released today), but for now, Good Queen Aly’s idea for House Tarth is In Darkness We Rise.

The more I think about it, the more I love it. In isolation, it sounds rather ominous, but in context, in which we see the situation in Westeros and we’ve seen enough of Brienne to see she’s a good person and her father is known as a decent guy, it sounds really optimistic.

Yes. In darkness, they rise. I like the sound of that.

Vows, redemption and choosing battles

Remember when I made my last book-show comparison off PoorQuentyn’s analysis of Arianne Martell in AFFC? Yeah, well, now I’m going to show where I disagree with him. A little disagreement can be productive, and all that.

PoorQuentyn basically tells us Jaime isn’t really doing anything good in his Riverlands adventures because he’s still serving a bad regime and that’s what really matters. Where I disagree is not really on the impact of the regime’s actions in the Riverlands, but the idea of what Jaime’s decisions say about his motivations and his culpability in the war.

For example, this here is a good point:

The Tully men are 100% justified in despising Jaime and considering him a pathetic hypocrite. Put yourself in their shoes: imagine your loved ones were viciously murdered, your cause broken in a truly heinous and taboo-breaking fashion…and then the killer’s son shows up at your door saying all he wants is a peaceful resolution, and y’all really just need to be reasonable and surrender yourself to the regime that massacred your friends and family. Would you be impressed with him? Would you say he’s redeeming himself? Because I’d tell him to go fuck himself, as Brynden and Edmure do.

Okay, this much makes sense. As far as how the Tullys and their allies view Jaime’s intervention, that point is taken. They have every reason to be unimpressed.

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I’m showing you the Lannister tents at the Riverrun set because I love the sight of Lannister tents at Riverrun.

Then there’s the question of what role Jaime played in the situation that needed to be resolved, where PQ says:

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There must be a cute literary nickname for this.

The Wars and Politics of ASOIAF peeps are doing the Seven’s work, and if you don’t already follow their WP/Tumblr/Twitter, I suggest you start, but I don’t ever seem to respond to them when I agree. Mostly because when I think they’re right, I have nothing to add. But when I think they’re wrong…well, that’s the sort of occasion where I think a little disagreement can be productive.

Today there was an ask from someone asking about where Jaime’s headed in the last two books, and Queen Regent’s answer was basically, “Of course I could be wrong about this, but what I’m picturing is…”

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