A Song of Ice and Fire

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A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 22nd 2010, 10:37 pm

SO I GUESS AT THE MOMENT THIS IS REALLY JUST A THREAD FOR NIKKI AND I BUT WE DIDN'T WANT TO CLOG UP THE OTHER THREADS, SO I MADE US ONE.

Holyshit Nikki.
I'm freaking out.
The HBO series? YEAH. FIRST RELEASED SONG OF SOUNDTRACK, I THINK.
There's a heavy metal band called The Sword.
They have a song they released two years ago.
What's it called?
"To Take the Black."

YES, IT'S WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.
THE LYRICS, YOU SAY?

Cast out from the lands of their births
Banished from hearth and home
All brothers must swear the oath
Forsaking all they've known

If you choose to take the black
Bid farewell to comforts great and small
Those who do, don't come back
Prepare yourself for life on the wall

Night gathers and the watch begins
The wind carries an unnatural chill
There are things beyond the northern borders
Mere steel can't kill

Men who choose to take the black
Rogues and rangers, one and all
Those who do, won't come back
Prepare yourself for life on the wall

I'M FREAKING OUT. THIS IS THE BEST SERIES OF ALL FUCKING TIME.
ALL. FUCKING. TIME.


AHALGHWJTAEJTJWAETJEWOITUWAE'


Also, I have come to the sudden conclusion that if Sandor and Drogo were to get in a fight, Pansy would win.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 22nd 2010, 10:48 pm

I AM ABOUT A HUNDRED PAGES AWAY FROM FINISHING THE SECOND BOOK. CATELYN IS DRIVING ME UP A WALL. She thinks she is strong, but she isn't. -eyeroll-

SONG LINK? WHERE CAN I GET IT? OMROMROMR THAT SOUNDS AWESOME.

I CAN'T TOP RAPING THE BMK.

AND YES, PANSY WOULD WIN.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Pansy Parkinson-Malfoy on August 22nd 2010, 10:48 pm

Percy Weasley wrote:Also, I have come to the sudden conclusion that if Sandor and Drogo were to get in a fight, Pansy would win.


Hahahahahahahahahaha.
I still need to read this. It's sitting on my bookshelf. It's next in line, after I finish the first Bartimaeus book.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 22nd 2010, 10:53 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjtXEJ64C8I&feature=search
I DON'T LIKE THE BAND BUT MY CLOSE FRIEND DOES, AND HE SHOWED ME THIS SONG. HE LOVES THE SERIES TOO.

ALSO I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! I HATE CATELYN! HATED HER SINCE THE OPENING CHAPTER OF BOOK ONE!
ALSO NO SPOILERS I HAVEN'T READ PAST CH 1 OF BOOK 3 AND ID ON'T REMEMBER IT,
I'M REREADING, ALMOST DONE WITH BOOK ONE AGAIN.

i'm losing my laptop for a while so i'll end up reading night and day instead and catch up.

OMG NIKKI.
OMG.

Also, I'm awwing right now, I'm in the middle actually of book one, I went back to read something I skipped, and I'm just... AWW, JON AND SAM <3 I forgot that he went to Master Aemon for Sam... that was so sweet. Are they gonna get married and adopt little bastard babies and get old together? I really hope so. They're just so adorable.

I still want Jon and Robb in my bed at the same time. I mean, they're only half brothers, right?

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 22nd 2010, 11:29 pm

I LOVE THE SONG!

What really annoys me is how she is oblivious to the world around her. She in convinced she can unite Renly and Stannis, but if she opened her eyes for a second, she would know that is impossible. She tries for peace because she is afraid for her children, but when she can't make it, she thinks she was being strong in her suggestion and the males are being weak in submitting to fight. NO! Without the war, a completely evil woman holds the throne and shit will hit the fan. She is so screwed up.

I am starting to like Sansa... she gets such shit. When Joffrey made his 'knights' strip and beat her with their swords, I cried. She is younger than me n the books, and I would be so humiliated I would like to die. How horrible must it have been for her? I never thought I would say this, but she is brave for surviving such treatment. I just got to the part where Cersei tells her if their army loses, both she and Sansa will be killed. -is freaking out-

Arya... I love that girl. Would it be bad to name my first daughter Luna Arya, in honour of some of my favourite literary women? I am dying to know who that creepy killer guy was! -is in intense suspense-

WHO IS JON'S MOTHER? I MUST KNOW!

Theon... is t just me or has he gotten sexier? I mean, yes he is an asshole who would have killed Bran and Rickon, but he is all anger and sex. HE HAS TO BE GOOD IN BED. I think I would want Theon and Jaime in my bed... imagine that... -drools-

I really need to stop judging the sexual prowess of FICTIONAL men...

JON/SAM WOULD BE SO FUCKING CUTE. I WOULD LOVE IT.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Romilda Vane on August 22nd 2010, 11:37 pm

Pardon my interupting, but what is this series even about? I've seen you two raving about it and I wanna read them, but knowing about it a bit would be cool.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Pansy Parkinson-Malfoy on August 22nd 2010, 11:43 pm

According to wikipedia:

The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world, primarily upon a continent called Westeros but also on a large landmass to the east, known as Essos. Most of the characters are human but as the series progresses other races are introduced, such as the cold and menacing Others from the far North and fire-breathing dragons from the East, both races thought to be extinct by the people of the story. There are three principal storylines in the series: the chronicling of a dynastic civil war for control of Westeros between several competing families; the rising threat of the Others who dwell beyond an immense wall of ice that forms Westeros' northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of a king who was murdered in another civil war fifteen years previously, to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. As the series progresses, all three storylines become increasingly interwoven and dependent on each other.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Song_of_Ice_and_Fire
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Fleur Delacour - Inactive on August 23rd 2010, 12:20 am

Others makes me think of Lost.
That is all.
XD

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 23rd 2010, 12:51 am

NIKKI, I JUDGE THE PROWESS OF FICTIONAL MEN EVERY GODDAMN DAY.

Let's talk about this in bullets.

1. Finally, you see the light about Catelyn. Matt still loves her, calling her a strong female character, but I feel like I saw her for what she was from book one. Granted, he's ahead of me in the series, so I don't know if she changes, but she is a falsity, a shadow pretending to be what Cersei is. Yes, Cersei is the epitome of evil, but she is a strong woman, with wit, intelligence, and pride. She knows how to play the game, while Catelyn deludes herself, saying that there is no game at all. War is necessary, and she has always been a fool not to see that. She and Cersei love their children, but Cersei knows what it means to protect hers. Catelyn tries, but Cersei wins.

2. I told you to give Sansa a chance. Matt still hates her, and so does my friend who is also named Matt, but I can't. I see myself in her, and so I dislike her, but I understand her fears and loves. I understand her hatred, that she just wants everything to go according to plan, that for once, she wants a knight in shining armor, a prince charming. Joffrey pretended to be that, and while in her heart she knew what he was, she needed to believe in something good. Sansa has been surrounded by empowered, masculine women; look at Catelyn, her mother, and look at Arya-- they're the female warrior stereotype. Sansa doesn't WANT to be that. She wants to be the housewife in pretty dresses, and they don't respect that. There is nothing wrong in not wanting to be a feminist woman, and I respect her for that. It's almost the opposite of what Eowyn faced in LOTR.

3. WILL WE EVER KNOW WHO JON'S MOTHER IS??!? EVER!?!?!?!?!???!!?!?!!?!?!?

4. No way. Theon definitely got sexier. I used to hate Robb/Theon shippers like I hate Drarry shippers... but it's a pairing that's growing on me. Oh hell, I wanted Theon in book one, when we first meet him and he's all "HEY ROBB GUESS WHAT THIS ONE GIRL DID IN BED WITH THIS OTHER GIRL LAST NI-- oh hi, Robb's little seven year old brother. Oops."

5. JON/SAM FTW. I THINK IT MIGHT BE CANON. YOU COULDN'T CUT THE TENSION WITH A BATTLEAXE.

6. SANDOR/SANSA SANDOR/SANSA SANDOR/SANSA

7. THE LANNISTERS ARE THE MALFOYS, ONLY WITH MORE MONEY, BETTER LOOKS, BLONDER HAIR, AND WITH THE INTELLIGENCE OF SEVERUS SNAPE, GELLERT GRINDELWALD, AND DUMBLEDORE COMBINED.


ALSO THAT WIKIPEDIA THING. NOT REALLY EXPLANATORY.
YOU CANNOT EXPLAIN THIS SERIES.
IT'S GOT ABOUT 12 MAIN CHARACTERS, ALL WITH THEIR OWN CHAPTERS.
THEY'RE ALL SO DIFFERENT OMG.
WARNING. THIS SERIES IS NOT FOR THE WEAK OF HEART OR STOMACH.
IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY. IT WILL MAKE YOU PUKE.
IT WILL MAKE YOU SCREAM. IT WILL.
It is also better than Tolkien. You read that right, Eowyn said something was better than Tolkien. Write it down.

Nikki, I just want to say, I got to where King Robert is dying, and Ned confronts Cersei about the twincest with her and Jaime, and she says her epic line.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground!

Literal chills go down my spine whenever I read that line. That, and when they say "Winter is Coming."
Nikki I am officially developing a phobia of snow.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Romilda Vane on August 23rd 2010, 12:56 am

I am totally reading this now. *skips off towards the library*
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 23rd 2010, 1:53 am

YAY for bullet points.

1. I agree. the fact she thinks war is unnecessary makes me despise her. She has suffered so much because of the people n power, and yet she doesn't want to rise up against them. WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE WOMAN? Also, Catelyn tries to protect her children by deluding herself there is nothing to protect them from until proven otherwise, and then she collapses. Cersei finds ways to protect them from things that may happen.

2. Her little fantasy about that knight, Ser somethingorother, rescuing her in Book Two makes me so sad. She just wants to get out, from the abusive environment, from the people who killed her family, that she is willing to put her life in the hands of an incompetent knight. I can't even hate her for not taking steps herself because that isn't who she is. She is a damsel in distress, and to ask her to try to save herself is asking her not to be herself. I agree about her environment. I think that if she had been raised as a Tully, it would b easier for her. No threat of winter, just beautiful southern lands and pretty dresses and being as feminine as possible. Her story is so tragic to me... she just wants to be loved and be a little housewife, but she can't. She isn't asking for much, and she still can't get it.

3. I sorta think she may be a Targaryen, just because Ned refused to talk about her. It drives me nuts I don't know. If she was important enough to not be spoken about, she must be a key point of the plot. I refuse to believe she was just a whore. She HAD to have been important.

4. Why are all the guys in this book so sexy? I am getting such unrealistic expectations in men between Disney, Harry Potter, and this. I am not pleased. Who is ever going to be my Prince Charming/Ron Weasley/Draco Malfoy/Sirius Black/Charlie Weasley/Theon/Robb/Jon/Ned/Jaime?

5. Jon/Sam... the vows never said anything about men. Just no wives and kids. See the loophole? Oh yeah. IT BETTER BE CANON. THE SEXUAL TENSION IS CRAZY.

6. Yes. He even gave her his cloak when fuckface (Joffrey) stripped her in front of everyone. I HATE THAT SCENE. IT IS TRAUMATISING.

7. The Lannisters are... but you forgot sexier. Also, thoughts on Tyrion the Imp? I like him, but I cannot for the life of me decide is he is a good guy or a bad guy or some combo of the two. He is so complex it is ridiculous. He isn't really working for anyone but himself, but he is trying to preserve the realm. I can't even find the right words.

8. Bran/Summer. LOLJKJK. Because it would be advanced masturbation. It is nuts how they are like, half of each other. Bran is a warg... and I totally thought of the Hobbit when I read that and freaked out. Also, I almost killed Theon when I thought he killed Bran and Rickon. WHY DOES BRAN ALWAYS HAVE THE DEATH SCARES? NOT COOL. I WAS IN A RAGE. IT WAS THE MADDEST I HAVE EVER BEEN. And then I flipped through the book, looking at chapter titles until I saw one of Bran's, just so I knew he was still alive.

9. THAT LINE! I got chills. So intense and epic. Cersei is such a BAMF. And I am also developing an phobia of winter, which is bad because I already hated it. When it snows, I may have a panic attack.

10. It is better than Tolkien and Harry Potter and anything I have read. This may be the best book series ever. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SHOW ON HBO!
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 23rd 2010, 2:04 am

1. Agreed.

2. Agreed.

3. HOLYSHIT, TAGARYEN!? BUT THAT WOULD BE SUCH AN EPIC PLOT TWIST!

4. Men in this series I want: Jaime, JAIME, JAIME, Robb, Theon, Jon, Eddard, Jaime, Loras, Drogo (STFU YOU KNOW HIS COCK IS HUGE AND HE DEFINTIELY KNOWS HOW TO USE IT), Jaime, and did I mentione Jaime? Oh, and Sandor, but don't judge me, he's like Snape, ugly but amazing.

5. EXACTLYYY. I bet so many guys on the Night's Watch are gay.

6. Sandor loves her. You know he does, he loves her so much. She's so blind, because he's not beautiful like Joffrey or Loras.

7. The Imp... I love him. He's a favorite character. His wit, his intelligence, his bamf and sarcasticness! It's all amazing. I don't think he is a 'good' or 'bad' guy. He's just Tyrion.

8. BRAN SUMMER WHAT THE HELL IT'S LIKE MASTURBATION AND BESTIALITY ALL AT ONCE. WHAT THE HELL. ALSO HE'S LIKE EIGHT.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 23rd 2010, 4:52 am

3. YES! And then there would be another Targaryen on the Watch and maybe Dany could ally herself with them... -wonders- My other guess is that is is Catelyn's sister's kid, because that would ruin her and be sorta funy.

4. I agree, except for maybe Sandor, he can have Sansa. I ship Theon/Me/Jaime. Just saying.

5. YES! Except all the rapists. Maybe they are just in denial?

6. I agree.

7. He is. I agree that he isn't good or bad, merely himself. But then when i try to figure out what he is going to do, my head explodes because YOU NEVER KNOW WITH HIM.

8. I know... which is why I was so shocked my mind came up with it. -cackles- On a serious note, I cannot wait to find out more about this whole shapeshifter three eyes thing.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 23rd 2010, 5:08 am

1. Jon would never ally with a Tagaryen, even if he was one by blood. His loyalty is to his father.

2. Uh, I ship Robb/Me/Theon, and Jaime/Me/Cersei.

3. Let me know when you get to the Bear Song in book three. You'll know what I'm talking about. Just... just ignore this, until you get there. It's the beginning. There's a song about a bear with a lot of hair who goes to a fair to find a maiden. Just... just read, okay? George R. R. Martin has a sense of humor apparently, who knew?

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 23rd 2010, 5:10 am

I have so little left in the second... but I am absolutely terrified to finish it. I know it is going to blow my mind and be awesome and sad and I am scared about what is going to happen.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 24th 2010, 4:41 am

... Sam is blushing like mad while looking at Jon, and Jon is smirking about it.
This is so canon.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 24th 2010, 6:18 am



NO
FUCKING WORDS

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 24th 2010, 6:21 am

YES.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 24th 2010, 5:33 pm

NIKKI.
I SPENT ALL MORNING THINKING ABOUT WHO JON'S MOTHER COULD BE.

It comes down to one question, really.
Why would Eddard cheat on his wife?
He's no ordinary man. The normal excuses don't apply.
His honor was too great.

There are only two reasons I can think of.
1. He was deeply in love with whoever this woman was.
2. He needed to ensure that a blood line lived on.
3. For whatever reason, he *needed* a bastard, possibly *needed* to have it with whomever this woman was. For love, to ensure this woman lived on in some way? Or to go back to reason number 2?

The first one could mean anyone.
The second two? Tagaryen. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. He knew that they would try and kill the rest of the survivors.
It just makes sense.

I don't know, I've not been awake that long and maybe I'm just messed up.
But I can't think of any other reason. Can you?
And I don't think it would be the

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 24th 2010, 5:42 pm

The only reason I think applies is the third. Not that I don't think he could fall deeply in love with someone, but I think that is too simple for George R. R. Martin's mind. Secondly, Jon is the oldest of all his children, so it would be a bit preemptive if he fathered a kid just to have one. Except, now that think about it, he was at war. So it could have been a hasty decision, but that seems very un-Ned.

The reason I like the third reason is it points pretty clearly to the Targaryens. Which would make Jon half ice Stark and half fire Targaryen. Title of the series, A Song of Fire and Ice. Maybe? Also, he has already been attacked by the Others (ice), and the dragons have been reborn and are marching on the realm (sorta). So maybe it is indicative he has to fight them as well.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 24th 2010, 5:45 pm

I KNOW. ALL OF THAT.

I just think if Jon found out he was half Tagaryen, he would be... just beyond devastated. He's a traitor to the realm simply by being born, then. Just... Well, I was going to speak mudblood here, but I can't do it. I just can't.

So....

MIND BLOWN.

Also I think that no matter how much we speculate, the truth will blow our minds, because nothing we can think of will be as complex as George R.R. Martin's reality. He's just too damn complex.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 24th 2010, 6:12 pm

Would he be devastated? I mean, Dumbledore supports the idea of actions and choices being your identity, rather than birthright. I know, wrong series, but still, Aemon seems like a very Dumbledore-esque figure, and it wouldn't surprise me if he told Jon something similar. Especially since he himself is a Targaryen. So, it could be that his parentage will bring the two closer together, and then there would be even more drama when Aemon dies. And he has to die. All wise characters in a war series must die. Truth.

And yeah, George R. R. Martin will blow our minds every time. I wish I knew if there is any possible way for us to know. Ned didn't tell anyone, I think, and now he is dead. So the only way would be if we got a chapter from the point of view of the mother, or a character bumped into the mother and she revealed herself. Both scenarios seem unlikely, even if Jon is Targaryen, because THAT FAMILY HAS BEEN KILLED. So, just for purposed of revealing, it would be insanely complex and hard if Jon was Targaryen.

I THOUGHT OF SOMETHING CRAZY! You know how there are three dragons? What is Jon was Targaryen, so a dragon is called to him? And if there is another Targaryen someone who gets a dragon? Then all three would be claimed, just like in the old days. And Jon could use his to defeat the Others. That could be a way of revealing his parentage without introducing the mother!
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 24th 2010, 7:38 pm

1.While I agree that Aemon is the Dumbledore/Gandalf figure in this series (despite his playing a far smaller role than either of the other two) I don’t believe that Jon would understand, not on his own. He would view his birth as an abomination, not a blessing, while if he spoke to Aemon, which I don’t think he would, Aemon would show him the light. But we don’t even know if Aemon lives in the next two books that are out, and I know for a fact that to date, no books have been published that detail who Jon’s mother is. It is quite likely we will never find out because…

2.Exactly. Absolutely. There is almost no way for this to happen, but if GRRM wants us to find out, he’ll make some insane plot twist and do it, because he’s GRRM, and nothing in this series is predictable. The more I think about it, the less I know. Tagaryen is so unexpected, that by this point, we expect it. But I think GRRM knows that we would suspect it, and so it’s there to throw us off. But then he’d know that we’d know that he knew that we knew, so I don’t know. The other candidate is the mysterious Lady Ashara (spelling?) and that it is so obvious, that it can’t be her, unless he’s made her obvious on purpose so we disregard her.

3.HOLYSHIT. YOU’RE ONTO SOMETHING. DEFINITELY. BY ALL MEANS.

4.I am at the climax of the first book, and I wanted to quote something and ask what you thought of it. It’s the most moving chapter for me, really—Eddard’s chapter, when he’s imprisoned, and Varys calls on him.

A chill pierced Ned’s heart. “My daughter…”

“Surely you did not think I’d forgotten about your sweet innocent, my lord? The queen most certainly has not.”

No,” Ned pleaded, his voice cracking. “Varys, gods have mercy, do as you like with me, but leave my daughter out of your schemes. Sansa’s no more than a child.”

“Rhaenys was a child too. Prince Rhaegar’s daughter. A precious little thing, younger than your girls. She had a small black kitten named Balerion, did you know? I always wondered what happened to him. Rhaenys liked to pretend he was the true Balerion, the Black Dread of old, but I imagine the Lannisters taught her the difference between a kitten and a dragon quick enough, the day they broke down her door.” Varys gave a long weary sigh, the sigh of a man who carried all the sadness of the world in a sack upon his shoulders. “The High Septon once told me that as we sin, so do we suffer. If that’s true, Lord Eddard, tell me… why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones? Ponder it, if you would, while you wait upon the queen. And spare a thought for this as well: The next visitor who calls on you could bring you bread and cheese and the milk of poppy for your pain… or he could bring you Sansa’s head. The choice, my dear lord Hand, is entirely yours.”

HOLYSHIT. SO DISTURBING. The mental image of Rhaegar’s children terrifies me. They say that they bashed their skulls on the stone walls, Nikki. The thought of the Lannisters doing it to the Starks as well as the Tagaryens disturbs me to no end. Would they do it? I don’t know. Cersei wouldn’t, but her lover? Jaime would without a doubt, and he’d laugh for it. Tyrion? Not a chance, but his father, he’d laugh as well. But what sticks out to me most from that whole section of the book is the line that I bolded. I think of the gods and religions in the series as Christianity versus the pagan religions, almost. The cutting down of the weirwoods is similar to the burning of the forests of the Wiccans, etc. I was wondering your opinion on this, though I don’t know your religious background. I’d like a Christian to read this series, simply to see their take on some of the things discussed. This has been a major theme throughout the series—karma and sin. As an atheist, I agree with Varys; Eddard and the rest have always viewed Ned as an honorable, just man, but is he really, in his heart of hearts? All he has done, he has done for the good, but good for whom, might I ask? For the realm? Or for his family? Is Eddard truly a good person after all, when you look at all the people who suffered for his choices? But then, if he hadn’t taken his actions, would there be more suffering at the hands of Lannisters? And does that matter? Is Eddard truly a ‘good’ hero?


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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Guest on August 24th 2010, 7:40 pm

ALSO MIND BLOWN.
I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO BALERION THE BLACK KITTEN.
REMEMBER THAT BLACK CAT ARYA CAUGHT?
THAT'S THE ONE.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Post  Nikki Orwell on August 25th 2010, 3:53 am

1. Aemon is an incredibly fascinating character as well. The fact he had to question himself three times and decide where his loyalties were is astounding. The fact each time he chose in favour of the Black Brothers also says something. I hate to draw this comparison, but I feel like it is apt. Do you think they are like a cult? The whole once you go in you leave behind your family and become on of them forever thing, the forsaking everything that isn't part of the brotherhood, the oaths to serve it make me feel like it is. Any thoughts? And I agree with your idea about Jon.

2. The other idea I just had is the sorceress/priestess Melisandre. Even though every book I have read with a Melisandre (On a side note, have you read Kushiel's Dart? It is about a masochistic high end prostitute who has to save a nation, and has a plot and smut.), she is evil. I think it would give Jon an interesting spin to be her son, but I can't see Ned getting with her because he is so tied to his old gods.

3. I can't wait for more dragon action! It is going to be epic!

4. I think Cersei would do that, if she had to. She is a lot like Narcissa in my head, a devoted mother who is hell-bent on protecting her children. Only, Cersei has a ruthless streak. I can't see Narcissa killing anyone, but I can see Cersei killing. She wouldn't enjoy killing someone like her father or Jaime might, but she would do it. I think that is one of the major differences between her and Catelyn. Cersei can and will kill if cornered. She may not bash a head out, but she will make an enemy dead.

Pre-5. As a Jew, I am not sure how I feel about the religions. I am a reform Jew, and I have strong ideas about the God I worship. Er... I am going to need to get philosophical for a moment. Martin Buber writes about a God that exists only through relationships. So, using that as my base, my God is in people and my interactions with them. Additionally, I like Isaac Luria's idea that to create the universe, God had to pull away, and therefore God is a self-limiting God. Here is a quote I found online about that.
Like previous Kabbalists, Luria begins and ends his theosophical system, with the one, infinite God, who is beyond being, existence and time, yet who contains and sustains within itself all that ever was, will, or could be. This godhead, the Kabbalist’s Ein-sof (The Infinite, literally “without end”) is Ayin (nothingness) prior to creation but is potentially and actually the All. Ein-sof is the potentiality, source, substance and goal of everything that is, and Ein’ Sof’s “light”, the Or Ein-sof (Light of the Infinite) is the energy that pervades and sustains the cosmos. However, in order to complete itself as both Ayin and Yesh (nothing and being) Ein-sof must manifest itself in a world. It does so through a paradoxical process by which it negates, withdraws, contracts and conceals its own infinite being, thereby providing an opening or place for finite existence. In an act that Luria termed Tzimtzum (concealment and contraction) Ein-sof withdraws from a point within itself, yielding the “metaphysical space” for an indefinitely large series of finite, seemingly independent worlds (ha-olamot) that are nonetheless dependent upon Ein-sof for their substance and continued vitality.
Also, I believe in Abraham Joshua Heschel's idea of God in search of man, which makes me feel like it is not my sole responsibility to find God, that it has to come from both ends. This ties back to my idea of God in relationships, because all relationships work both ways. Finally, one of my favourite quotes from Jewish thought.
God is the meaning beyond absurdity. Wherever I go I encounter absurdity. But there is a meaning beyond it. That is God.
In conclusion, I believe in a God, just not an active one, which confuses people. I believe there has to be something, but it doesn't interact with our world. I don't believe God is a person or a personality, but something.

5.Okay, so now that I have given you a snapshot into how I view religion, I can now talk about how I saw the religions in the book. Sorry if that annoyed/bored you. I just wanted you to know where I am coming from.
I think there is a lot to say for the Christian/Pagan comparison. Only, it half seems like the two religions can co-exist. And from what I know of Christianity and pagan battles, that was not the case. To be fair, all of my knowledge comes from the Avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley, which you should totally read if you haven't.
I think Ned is an honourable man, in of the fact he strove to live his life well. He had strong and solid interactions with people, he loved deeply, and he doesn't seem to hate. He doesn't condone the horrible violence that happened during the takeover, nor did he condone the violence done by the Targaryens. He did work for good, but I think it is clear he tried to help as many people as he could. He treated Jon extremely well, which he didn't have to, considering he was only his bastard son. He treated his wife with utmost respect, which I feel like I can say even though I hate cheaters. He loved Catelyn passionately, even if he also loved Jon's mother. He loves his daughters, and proves he would give his life to ensure their safety. He doesn't let himself die for his principals, he thinks he is going to live for his family. He seems to even let his principals and morals change so he can keep his family alive. I don't think many people suffered for his choices either. He did everything he could to keep people from suffering. It is only after his death that everything spirals out of control.
But then, if he hadn’t taken his actions, would there be more suffering at the hands of Lannisters? And does that matter? Is Eddard truly a ‘good’ hero?
Yeah, I am quoting your question because I think I am going off topic, and you bring up some really important issues. I do believe if he hadn't forced Cersei's hand, he may have lived. But, she and the Lannisters would have gained power sooner or later. So, his actions may have minimised suffering, but I will have to judge that once I finish the series.
Your question of whether Ned is a 'good' hero is my favourite though. I would say he is an incredibly well written hero. Ned is human, so he can't be all good or all bad. He does what he believes in, he tries to protect those he loves. He fights as cleanly as he can, he abhors unnecessary violence in allies and foes alike. I think that he is a good person. Not perfect, but if he were a scale, I would say his good side is heavier. But, I love that GRRM doesn't make him perfect. Part of what makes him such a great protagonist is that he has flaws that make him less good at times.

6. YES ABOUT THE CAT!
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Nikki Orwell
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