Monday, November 24, 2014

Game of Thrones

Spoiler Alert I have read the 5 published volumes of "A Song of Ice and Fire" Heptology. In this post, I will not try to avoid spoilers. I will discuss the books not the TV series. I think that when they differ, the plot of the series is not inferior, but I know the books. OK this is no longer a spoiler, since it has been widely discussed on the web. Who is Jon Snow's Mother? What did Eddard Stark promise Lyanna Stark as she was dying ? In volume 1 "The Game of Thrones" these two questions are often asked but never answered. I guess that the answer is that Lyanna Stark made Eddard Stark promise to tell no one that she was Jon Snow's mother. So Jon is Eddard's nephew not his son and Rhaegar Targaryen was Jon Snow's father. Rereading I note Eddard thinks of promises (plural9. I guess the second is that she ran off with Rhaegar voluntarily and was not kidnapped and raped. Among other things, this resolves two incongruencies. Rhaegar is highly praised by all who knew him (except Robert Baratheon who regrets killing him only once). Rape just doesn't fit. Also Eddard Stark is very honorable (even a bit rigid). Breeding bastards may be consistent with Medieval or Westerosi ideas of honor, but it doesn't fit the character. Another problem is that there are 3 dragons and only one known dragon rider. There is a shortage of Targaryons (semi spoiler there are two living Targaryons at the end of book 5). Whatever happened to Jacquen Higuar ? I am fairly confident that he is the guy who is teaching Ary to be a faceless person. The reply to her question is always "there is no one who goes by that name here" which is not "the man you knew by that name is not here." What with the one eared black tom cat ? Arya is chasing this cat when she finds Dragon skulls and Varys conspiring with Illirio Mopatis. Tommen complains about this cat thousands of pages later. A bit of local color (although colorless ?). I note on re-reading that Rhaenys Targaryon had a little black kitten which she called Balerion. The cat doesn't seem to like Lannisters. We will know (there being greenseers and wargs about). Robert Arryn being fostered. There is a hint about the true killer of Jon Arryn based on the fact that he proposed sending his son to be not over-protected on Dragonstone by Stannis Baretheon (a bit throwing the kid in the deep end I'd say). Lysa Arynn's reaction to her sisters' proposal to take Robert Arryn to Winterfell is another hint. Mormont's

1 comment:

JimV said...

I think you are right about Jon Snow. Other thoughts:

I think the HBO series has given up on G.R.R.M. ever finishing the story and decided to tack on their own ending which then gives them license to make a lot of other plot changes. I don't think I am going to like their ending, but I am not confident in G.R.R.M. coming up with a good ending either, at this point. I appreciate the skill and effort and imagination it took to get this far, but for me the story is foundering on too much added detail. When you know everything about a fantasy world, it becomes mundane. Hemingway's Iceberg Theory works better, for me anyway.