Why did Benjen take the black?

At least once a month, if not more on /r/asoiaf someone asks…

Hey guys – does anyone know why Benjen Stark took the black?

I mean, House Stark had just been decimated and sure, Ned was married but he only had one (legitimate) son and his wife was pretty pissed with him for bringing home a bastard… wouldn’t it be more prudent for Benjen to hang around, get married and supply some spare Starks?

Without fail. Every few weeks.

YES THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION. But from now on, I’m just going to copy/paste a link to this blog as my response.

Continue reading “Why did Benjen take the black?”

Advertisements

The problem with Rhaegar

320px-rhaegar_twoiaf

They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert’s hammer stove in the dragon and the chest beneath it. When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor.

Rhaegar Targaryen is, to put it mildly, problematic.

At worst, he’s a kidnapping, prophecy-obsessed rapist. At best, he’s a fool in love who forgot everything political he knew (or ought to have known) to run off with 15 year old Lyanna Stark.

Continue reading “The problem with Rhaegar”

None so blind as those that will not see: Dany and the Mad King

This was my entry for the /r/asoiaf annual tournament. I was beaten by Something Like A Lawyer of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire fame. Now I’m out of the tourney, I can publicly post my entry, and amend it to look further than just the assigned chapter. (And taking on feedback from /r/asoiaf to adjust the essay is good too 🙂 )

48911fd9_edit_img_facebook_post_image_file_41510706_1464793176

Continue reading “None so blind as those that will not see: Dany and the Mad King”

House Targaryen, dragonriding and genetics

A popular belief amongst fans, perpetuated by commentary from characters in the books to show that it is widely believed in-universe, is that House Targaryen only ever practised incestuous marriage.

They certainly were fond of incest, and this was because of their Valyrian heritage. More particularly, their dragonriding heritage. This recently came up on /r/asoiaf where a new fan believed they had cracked a theory, but it’s actually just stated directly in the text: the dragonlords practised incest to maintain their ability to control their dragons.

What is not stated is why this was necessary, but from what we do know about taming dragons, there is more than a component of blood magic. But it’s not always necessary.

That’s the why. This blog is about the who.

Continue reading “House Targaryen, dragonriding and genetics”

Quick post: bastard names

Something that is often brought up by new fans, and I sure as hell was one of them, is the realisation that if Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark = Jon Snow, then our dearly beloved bastard of Winterfell isn’t actually a Snow!

Right?

Yeah nah. Not how bastard names in Westeros work.

Here is a quick guide to my interpretation (opens to feedback otherwise!) about how GRRM intends bastard names to work in Westeros.

Continue reading “Quick post: bastard names”

Who are the main players in the Game of Thrones after AFFC/ADWD? (Part 2)

Alrighty. Let’s do this!

brooklyn99insider-terrycrews-tackle-terrysback2

Part 1 is here for those playing along at home…

Who else remains as a core, important character or plot as at the end of AFFC/ADWD?

SPOILER ALERT: I do refer to S6E1 in this post, so if you’re planning to remain completely unsullied…. don’t read.

Continue reading “Who are the main players in the Game of Thrones after AFFC/ADWD? (Part 2)”

Who are the main players in the Game of Thrones after AFFC/ADWD? (Part 1)

The War of the Five Kings, and its ignoble ending at the Red Wedding, eradicated a lot of the claimants for the Iron Throne or any regional thrones in Westeros.

As we prepare for the launch of season 6 GOT, let’s review where we left everyone at the end of A Feast for Crows/A Dance of Dragons – specifically, those main characters that many think (or hope!) will go on to be future pawns in the Game of Thrones, or major players.

NB: I’m not up to date on the TV show. I’ve monitored Buzzfeed and Tumblr, and have a reasonably good idea of the deviations in plot and major points, but I haven’t actually watched past season 2 GOT myself. It’s on my To Watch list and I recently got the 5 season box set… but I haven’t actually sat down and binged yet as I’ve had stuff to do.

Continue reading “Who are the main players in the Game of Thrones after AFFC/ADWD? (Part 1)”