Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Game of Fire and Ice


Fire and ice. That is what George R. R. Martin has been trying to reconcile for a few years now. I agree with spikesleman that Martin has been procrastinating not because he's  been gallivanting around the world, going to cons, and spending time filling his theater in Santa Fe with famous guests and great movies, not to mention bits of commentary on all things football and censorship, but because he doesn't know how to get to the end. He's stuck on a path between so many possibilities, many of which he created himself, and can't figure out how to tie it all together in a final book that solves all the problems, ties up all the loose ends, and ends the war he began. 
Maybe he intends to live another 150 years or more and wants to spin this out into a hundred years war like the one in Europe that claimed so many lives. He would have the benefit of a whole new generation or three of readers beginning the journey at Game of Thrones and follows it through to the end -- whatever that will be. Many, many fans would die in the interim years, not gifted with long life and endless patience, but there it is. What else is one to do with more than 200 years of life but live it to the fullest, if not only in books. This is why I am more and more reluctant to begin a series. The writer may never end it or I will get bored with the increasingly hackneyed writing and quit before I get to the end. That has happened with some really great series in film and books.

That is not why I'm here today. Martin does figure in this post, but only because he wrote the story (has almost written the story) and because I have been ruminating on spikesleman's contention that Lyanna Stark's reputation was sullied in A Dance With Dragons.

I spent a great deal of time today searching ADWD to find out what she meant about Lyanna's reputation being maligned, and also to ruminate a bit on what others have speculated regarding Jon Snow's birth. On that point, I have never had a single doubt that Jon's parents were Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Not a single doubt from book 1 on. Ned tells Jon that he is a Stark, and not Ned's bastard by way of a romance on the wrong side of the blanket during the war against the Targaryens, and there are the many comments and memories from Ned that he promised Lyanna to lie beside her brother and father in the family crypt. There is a hint in that promise that Ned not only bury her body in the crypt, but also her secret, that Jon is Rhaegar Targaryen's son. Robert Baratheon would not have let Jon Snow live, so Ned protected Jon by letting people thing he had blacked his honor and betrayed his marriage to Cat.

I've no doubt that Lyanna loved Robert Baratheon, but she was a wise woman. She knew Robert would never be true only to her, no matter his love for he. Robert was a lusty man who couldn't pass up a comely wench or a well turned ankle, full breasts, lovely arse, and feminine parts. His love for Lyanna has made him forget that any other woman existed, but Lyanna was no fool, except where Rhaegar was concerned. She may have loved Robert like a brother, and even as a woman loves a man, but she fell hard for Rheagar when he laid the winter roses in her lap at the tourney, making her the queen of love and beauty. He was already married to a Dornish princess, Elia, which Ser Barristan thought was not a patch on Ashara Dayne, her handmaiden.

Rhaegar's marriage was a political one and he did his duty as all royalty must and do. When he saw the wild northern girl, Lyanna Stark, his heart was lost -- and so was hers. Robert may have believed Rheagar kidnapped Lyanna, but the truth is that she went willingly with him, forsaking family honor to be with the man she loved. Her decision set the war horns sounding and ended with the death of the Targaryens and their rule over Westeros, thus opening the door between Westeros and the far north, setting the White Walkers free from their imprisonment by the Targaryeans and their fire dragons. That set the stage for what Rheagar had been desperate to achieve, the coming of Azor Ahai.

The Red Woman, Melisandre,  believes that Azor Ahai is Stannis Baratheon, but it is more likely that Daenerys Targaryen is Azor Ahai, the Lightbringer, reborn. Dany brought dragons back into the world and with it came magic. Dany is also impervious to fire where her brother, Viserys, was not, as evidenced by his death by molten gold, the crown that he bargined for when he sold Dany to Khal Drogo to enlist his hordes to cross the bitter water and take back the throne of Westeros. Dany is the only Targaryen able to withstand the fire and command dragons again.

There has been speculation that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai. He does after all have Targaryen blood, but if he was impervious to fire he would nto have burned his hand when he saved Commander Mormont from the wight when he set it on fire. No, Jon is the blue winter rose Dany saw growing out of the wall of ice in her vision. He is her kin, her equal and opposite. He is the embodiment of his Stark blood through Lyanna and thus the mating of fire and ice in the flesh. He is the bridge between the worlds of the White Walkers and the Dragons, but how he will be that bridge is yet to be revealed. He is important and there is no doubt about that.

While Stannis has some Targaryen blood, he is not Azor Ahai, but at least he came to the aid of the Watchers on the Wall, the brothers of Castle Black and the defenders of the wall. He is not the king nor will he be the king in the end, though I do believe the leeches he fed to the fires took out his main opponents: Joffrey Baratheon (Cersei and Jaime's bastard), Rob Stark, and Balon Greyjoy. He'd already killed his brother, Renly, so he wasn't a problem. Stannis is just one more left over king, but not THE king of Westeros however Melisandre may deceive him, and has obviously misread the prophecies and deceived herself.

There it is in a nutshell. Daenerys is Azor Ahai (no one said the Lightbringer had to be a man) and Jon Snow is the winter king that his half-brother Rob was not. Being a man of the Night's Watch will not affect that since I do believe there will be  no more need for them after the final battle and the marraige of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen when the fire and ice dragons come together. There is also the possibility that Dany will give up the throne and go be with her unborn son and Khal Drogo, but inevitably it will be Lyanna and Rhaegar's son, Jon, who will end up ruling, and maybe not from the iron throne. One never knows with these things.

So, to recap, Lyanna was not really kidnapped and Robert started a war over being cuckolded before he was wed, but, as with most situations, his actions set the necessary gears in motion to bring about the end of the war between fire and ice and the dawn of a new age when the north and south (winter and summer) at last come together and end the war that has raged for 1000 years. As with all else in life, everything ends and from those endings new beginning spring.

By the by, Lyanna was not a wanton woman, but she was a woman in love. Love is not always wise, but it is always, as the Chinese say, the motive force that brings interesting times.
Btw, spikesleman, this information comes not from ADWD but from the boards. There was no mention in any of the books, or even a hint, that Lyanna was not as dutiful as was believed by Roberth Baratheon. I will, however, concede the point that she knew Robert could not be faithful to her or to any woman. She loved Robert like a brother and she would not have married him family or no, Rhaegar just happened to complicate matters. No, Lyanna was not kidnapped nor was she raped, but you know how rumors get started and how one's point of view changes what one sees when one sees and does not merely look.

That is all. Disperse.

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