Multiple PoVs covering same location = Better quality?

Alternating PoVs after the cast left Winterfell. Not counting one-off PoVs (Areo, Melisandre, prologue/epilogue characters etc).

AGOT

Ned/Arya/Sansa: Kingsroad and KL

Tyrion/Catelyn: Kingsroad and Vale

ACOK

Bran/Theon: Winterfell

Tyrion/Sansa: KL

Tyrion/Sansa/Davos: Battle of Blackwater

ASOS

Jaime/Arya: Riverlands

Catelyn/Arya: Red Wedding

Bran/Jon: Queenscrown

Jon/Sam: Aftermath of Wildling attack, LC election

Tyrion/Sansa: KL, Purple Wedding

AFFC

Jaime/Cersei: KL

Aeron/Asha/Victarion: Kingsmoot

Sam/Arya: Braavos

ADWD

Tyrion/Dany: Daznak Pit

Quentyn/Barristan/Tyrion: Meereen

TWOW

Tyrion/Barristan/Victarion: Battle of Meereen

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Mother of Dragons, Daughter of Gods

Posted earlier today on Reddit. Posting here with slight changes.

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Image taken from facebook.com/AryaFromHouseStark

Been re-reading Arianne II of TWOW. Despite the travelogue nature, I really liked this chapter, because we learn a lot about Stormlands. Came to share a few thoughts on this passage.

Arianne had once heard her father and Maester Caleotte arguing with a septon about why the north and south sides of the Sea of Dorne were so different. The septon thought it was because of Durran Godsgrief, the first Storm King, who had stolen the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind and earned their eternal enmity. Prince Doran and the maester inclined more toward wind and water, and spoke of how the big storms that formed down in the Summer Sea would pick up moisture moving north until they slammed into Cape Wrath. For some strange reason the storms never seemed to strike at Dorne, she recalled her father saying. “I know your reason,” the septon had responded. “No Dornishmen ever stole away the daughter of two gods.”

On the surface, it is about magic vs logic. The septon argues that it was the wrath of gods that caused the difference in climates of the two sides of Sea of Dorne, while maester and Doran chooses the more scientific explanation which is also applicable to many dry places in our own planet earth.

All the same, this is a fantasy world, so we should not be too quick to discard magic or gods, who are at least some names men gave to magical phenomena.

According to myth, Durran’s wife, Elenei, was the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind. We don’t know if these were part of the Old Gods of the nature, or the gods First Men used to worship before the pact marking the end of Dawn age. Durran and Elenei lived during age of Heroes, but Bran the Builder was only a boy when Storm’s End was raised, so they could have seen both Dawn Age and Age of Heroes. At any rate all these are but stories. The only First Men gods whose name we know of are Lady of the Waves and Lord of the Skies. If the Ironborn are First Men descendants, then the Drowned God and Storm God are also First Men gods. So we have different gods of different gender for Sea, Wind, Storm, Waves, Water and Sky. Sea and Water can be condensed to Water. Storm and Wind could be condensed to Wind/Air. Waves could be sea, or it could be wind (as wind brings the waves). Sky is an odd one.

A. Stormlands Myth

  1. Sea God : Water, Male
  2. Wind Goddess : Air, Female

B. Three Sisters (First Men)

  1. Sky God :Sky, Male
  2. Lady of the Waves :Air, Female (Could also be goddess of the sea)

C. Ironborn

  1. Drowned God : Water, Male
  2. Storm God : Air, Male

Overall, we have two male water deities and two female air deities. Is it possible that A and C are the same pair, and the Ironborn ‘male chauvinists’ decided to have a god instead of goddess because having a woman opposing the drowned god will not do? We may never know.

Mythology aside, does the title quote have any significance in Arianne’s story? Her brother is a Dornishman who has gone on a mission to ‘steal’ (wildling word for wedding) the daughter of two or maybe three gods – Daenerys who was called ‘child of storm’ and ‘daughter of death’. In Dany’s case, if she can really be called the daughter of any god, it is the fire god, since she was reborn from Drogo’s pyre. It was a mysterious event where we don’t know what sacrifice saved her life. She’s called Stormborn because she was born during a storm. Anyway, if Dany can be called daughter of two gods (Storm God and God of Death), Quentyn failed in stealing her. And there aren’t many Dornishmen left to steal her. Except perhaps Darkstar. Edric Dayne – too young. Arch Yronwood – too big. Gerris Drinkwater – too lowborn. Maybe a Northman born in Dorne might succeed?

A speculated family tree of Gods

Older Gods

Plot Armour Revisited

Following BryndenBFish’s Ultimate Winds of Winter Resource, my spirits are elevated in general about TWOW expectations. Mainly because I’m more hopeful about Dany/Tyrion meeting and ‘cooperation’. I don’t care if Tyrion causes the second Dance – I just want to see him by Dany’s side. He deserves that position better than anyone on TeamAegon, in my opinion.

But the worrying thing was GRRM mentioning there will be a lot of deaths, including PoVs. I am worried about the main five – Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya and Bran – especially Dany because GRRM did not mention her in a post where he listed a lot of other characters, but there is a more than 50% chance that she’ll survive TWOW.

“the viewpoint characters are occasionally meeting up with each other now and being in the same point at the same time, which gives me a lot more flexibility for killing people.” – GRRM

GRRM said ~13 will be the initial PoVs. That does not add up. Let’s see who are meeting up and facing death.

1. Bran: From the show it seems he won’t stay at the cave forever, but even so it will be a long time before he reaches any other PoV. And Bran is the character I personally rate as the most likely to survive the series. My bet is he’s safe. [0]

2-3. Jon/Melisandre at the Wall: We don’t know if Jon will return as a PoV, but if Melisandre gives her life for resurrecting Jon (the show may have kept her alive to fill the role or Marwyn or Moqorro), we will need Jon back as a PoV. Shireen’s burning will happen in the books, but it could be just Stannis doing it (making it holy-shit). [1]

4-5. Theon/Asha: We already have one PoV chapter from Theon in TWOW, but his prospects for living did not look bright in that one. Redditers analyzing GRRM’s photo in front of his monitor have concluded he was writing an Asha chapter. It is possible that Asha chapter occurs after Theon was executed, though personally I want both of them to survive. [1]

6. Davos: He’s off to Skagos, and GRRM confirmed we’ll see more of Osha, so Davos must return as a PoV and he’ll be safe until he is near/around another PoV. [0]

7. Alayne: She’s amidst a lot of dangers and people plotting in the Vale, but it seems we’ll see a lot of interesting stuff going on in Vale, so I’d bet Alayne is safe for at least the first half of the book. [0]

8-9. Jaime/Brienne: Last seen near Pennytree. Brienne agreed to take Jaime to BwB, so the next time we see them will be in one of the BwB lairs. LSH would want Jaime dead, but she may also use him for Red Wedding 2.0. Between Brienne and Jaime, Jaime’s fever dream from ASOS suggests Brienne will survive, but the valonqar suggests Jaime will survive. But chances are high for at least one of them to die. [1]

10. Cersei: Eventually she’ll meet with Arianne, Jon Connington or Jaime, but before any of that, there are a lot of things that must happen in King’s Landing. The trials and the Sand Snakes reception mainly. But Cersei is doomed to die, and the next book must be more about the war for the Dawn in which Cersei has no role to play. I think she’ll die in TWOW, but not necessarily in KL (we’ll see Casterly Rock sometime), and not likely  during the first half of the book. [1]

11-12. Arianne/JonCon: JonCon is afflicted with Grayscale, but he still have a few years. Arianne has a penchant for getting into dangerous situations. Both of them seem to have more stories to be part of, but if GRRM is on a POV killing spree, one of them could be expendable. [1]

13-14. Aeron/Sam: Right now they are not in the same area, just the same kingdom (Reach). There will be at least one more Aeron chapter (in addition to the Foresaken). While we all would love Sam to have some happy time at the Citadel, well-set plans rarely come true in the series, so it is more likely that Oldtown will be raided and Sam will be forced to flee or serve Euron. This is pure speculation on my part, but I don’t see any other way we’ll get a PoV around Euron or the regions attacked by Euron. Maybe Sam is how we’ll meet Willas and Garlan, though my initial guess for Highgarden PoV would be Arianne (trying to recruit lords for Aegon). I definitely don’t see Aeron surviving TWOW. [1]

15. Aero Hotah: He could get killed by Obara or Darkstar. But we lose all info on Dorne then (not that I’d mind). He will have at least one PoV in TWOW, but I have no idea whether he’ll survive or not. Since he is an isolated PoV and no other is likely to go to Dorne in near future, I’d keep him on the survivor list. [0]

16. Arya: Arya is another isolated PoV, and a main character, so even if I expect her to return to Westeros by end of TWOW, I’m sure she’ll survive this book. [0]

17. Dany: GRRM hasn’t confirmed Dany will return as a PoV, but he said we’ll revisit Dothraki, so it has to be through Dany PoVs. She’ll survive the Dothraki and return to Meereen or Volantis and meet with Tyrion where he’ll tell about Aegon and Targaryen history (Blackfyre rebellions). Dany may be doomed to die, but I don’t think it will be in this book. [0]

18-20. Victarion/Barristan/Tyrion: All three have PoVs in TWOW, but Barry and Vic seem doomed to die. At least one of them will die in the early chapters of the book. [1]

That makes 13 locations with 20 possible PoVs of which at least 7 could die, meaning at most 13 PoVs will live. If Martin was right and there will be fewer than 13 PoVs by the end, I’d expect Hotah, Barristan, and Jaime to bite the dust sooner or later. Davos is also not very safe if Shaggydog story is to be taken into account. Overall, my guess is that 10 PoVs will survive TWOW.

Where in the world is [character X] ?

My guesses regarding the whereabouts of the various characters MIA in the series.

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Class I. Characters whose location I’m pretty certain

  • Jaqen H’ghar – At Oldtown, disguised as Pate
  • Sarella Sand – At Oldtown, disguised as Alleras the Sphinx
  • Sandor Clegane – Quiet Isle
  • Aurane Waters – The Stepstones
  • Edric Storm – Lys

Class II. Characters whose location I can guess confidently

  • Hot Pie – Inn of the Kneeling Man
  • Howland Reed – At Greywater Watch
  • Gendry – Inn at the Crossroads

Class III. Characters whose location I can guess with slightly less confidence than II

  • Benjen Stark – North of the Wall.
  • Mance Rayder – At Winterfell, alive.
  • Galbart Glover – At Greywater Watch
  • Maege Mormont – At Greywater Watch
  • Podrick Payne – Hollow Hill or another BwB lair
  • Hyle Hunt – Hollow Hill or another BwB lair
  • Blackfish – River road, on way to Casterly Rock, waiting ambush Forley Prestor’s party

Class IV. Characters whose location I have a rough guess about

  • Jaime Lannister – Hollow Hill or another BwB lair
  • Brienne of Tarth – Hollow Hill or another BwB lair
  • Marwin the Mage – On way to Meereen
  • Stonesnake – With Benjen (he was with Qhorin and Jon, then went missing. Probably found Benjen but both of them got trapped the same way)
  • Alliser Thorne – Lost, or plotting with Bolton men at Dreadfort to have Jon killed.
  • Areo Hotah – Searching for the Darkstar with Obara Sand.

Class V. Characters whose location I have no clue about

  • Gerion Lannister 
  • Tyrek Lannister – Probably somewhere under Varys’s custody
  • Sheila Whent – Probably dead
  • Gerold Darkstar Dayne – Probably somewhere in Dorne.

Plot Armour

Incomplete.

Meereen (Tyrion, Barristan and Victarion)

  • I’m certain Tyrion will come out of Meereen alive. Tyrion is wanted for murder, and in the middle of a war. Despite all these, him dying in Meereen makes no change to any other part of the story. Cersei will be glad, Jaime might be sad, Dany would never have known him. The only major thing is Sansa becoming a widow. I doubt GRRM will kill off Tyrion just to make Sansa a widow, especially she is in the care of Littlefinger who can find other ways to annul their marriage (by producing Tysha)/
  • Victarion so far has been safe, but I assumed he will be soon dead, because of the ‘corpse on the prow of a ship’ vision. From Aeron I sample chapter, it is almost certain that this corpse will be Aeron. Between the Dusky Woman, Euron, Moqorro, Slavers and dragon, Vic is walking thin ice and could get killed, but if Aeron dies, Vis is our only Ironborn POV  (someone with good access to Euron) in outside the North.
  • Barristan is in very precarious position. He is the Queen’s Hand, and has been involved in everything that happened in Meereen in Dany’s absence. He unmade king Hizdahr (for good or bad), he made the deal with Dornishmen and Windblown. And he is in the forefront of the Battle. With Jorah already in Meereen, we have someone in Team Dany to interact with the Unsullied and we can watch Jorah through Tyrion’s POV. Things are not looking good for Barristan. Except that Barristan is one of the few people who knew Rhaegar well, and this knowledge may come to use.

Braavos (Arya)

  • Arya was safe ever since she escaped King’s Landing. As long as she is isolated from all other POVs, killing her off will only help to sadden the readers. GRRM is not JK Rowling to kill major characters off-screen and mention it one line (Lupin and Tonks) just for the sake of emotional turmoil, so it is safe to assume that Arya will live until her story shifts to near some other character. In case of Bran, at least Sam and Gilly knows the truth, not to mention the others who escaped Witnerfell with Bran, but the only people who know Arya is alive are the Facelessmen (and probably Bran). Both these have no direct ties with other characters. Rest of the world believes Arya is dead or married to Ramsay. Real Arya is safe for now.

North of the Wall (Bran)

  • Valyrian Steel plot armor. Only his companions know he is alive, and others (Osha, Rickon, Wex, etc) can’t know for certain if he is still alive, or even access Bran. World believes him dead. Him really dying have serious impact on the long run, but no one is affected visibly.