Game of Thrones "Predictions" #5
I'm about halfway through A Storm of Swords and I have to say it is a big improvement, easily my favorite of the three books so far. (The Tyrion chapters were pretty much the only good thing from A Clash of Kings.) Anyway, I have more hilarious "predictions" coming.
Right now here is where it stands. Arya has been captured by Sandor Clegane and he's revealed to her that he's not taking her to King's Landing but to the Twins to return her to her mother. Robb and Catelyn are heading toward the Twins in an endless downpour, and Robb has laid out plans to attack the ironmen. Sansa is married to Tyrion but they still haven't done it. Daenerys has captured Yunkai relatively peacefully. Jon has escaped the wildlings and rode on ahead to Castle Black to warn them. Samwell has encountered a mysterious Night's Watchman. Jaime has been released by Roose Bolton, then returned to rescue Brienne from the Bloody Mummers. Davos has been made Stannis's Hand.
A couple of my predicitons did turn out to be hilariously wrong.
- I predicted that the Melisandre's shadow child was Patches, mainly trying to think of the most unlikely person possible. Based on Melisandre's words as she was trying to seduce Davos, clearly the child was Lord Stannis.
- I predicted Jon Snow's mother was a Targaryen, thinking it was the only person Ned would want to cover up so bad. Now we've been told it's a servant called Wylla in the house of Dayne, and that Ned apparently made a pretext of loving Ashara Dayne to get to Wylla, and that Ashara killed herself over it. Ouch, no wonder he kept it secret.
But I was right on a couple:
- Correctly predicted who was alive and dead at the end of the second book.
- Correctly predicted a stalemate between Lannisters and Starks as the Starks went to deal with the ironmen.
A word on religion. I doubt it'll ever be resolved explicitly, but it appers that the gods are taking an active role in the events of Westeros. The problem is, we don't know if it's the gods, or mere magic, or what. For instance, it's not said if the pyromancers are invoking any gods to do their alchemy, but then they imply that the presense of dragons in the world might be helping their alchemical skills to be more efficient implying that it's more than just alchemy.
- The God of Light, R'hllor, seems to be the most powerful god in the story. If it was only Melisandre doing it, I'd guess that she is just a powerful sorceress, and that R'hllor wasn't real. But Lord Beric and Thoros also follow R'hllor and they seem to get revelations the same way at least, and Lord Beric survives assassination attempts.
- However, R'hllor is not all-powerful, and even Thoros admits that in some locations the old nameless gods are stronger. The old gods have been credited with enough that I'm inclined to think they exist also. The direwolves, answering Samwise Tully's prayer, and the revelations of the old woman on High Heart. However, none of these are certain.
- I have yet to see anything that suggests the new gods (Mother, Father, Crone, etc.) are real.
- The gods in the east are implied to have some kind of power, and some knowledge of magic (such as through the maegi) is there, but nothing is certain. Technically, R'hllor is an Eastern god (Melisandre is from Asshai) but I'm not counting him.
The thing that's not clear at all is whether different god are more or less powerful, or if people are more or less skilled at channeling the gods.
My prediction is that the latter is true: the gods may or may not have varying powers, but the primary determination is the skills of the person in channeling that power. Melisandre is powerful witch who is better than anyone at channeling, even if R'hllor himself is a relatively weak god.
One wrinkle to this is that the influence of the gods (or general metaphysical abstractions, which may be the same thing) reflects their global popularity. The pyromancers became more powerful ostensibly because dragons had been born a continent away, which made Fire a more influential "God" all over the world. Likewise, Thoros was self-admitted bad priest, until one day he was suddenly able to resurrect Lord Beric. Could it be because Melisandre was gaining power with R'hllor at the same time, or is it also connected to the dragons, or both?
The meeting at the Twins is probably going to turn into a royal mess.
- I am suspicious of the Frey's motives.
- Arya's headed there, so is Roose Bolton. When Sandor Clegane delivers her, Roose will recognize her as the person who stole three horses and killed a sentry (which, if you think about it, makes Arya a grand hypocrite when it comes to Clegane). Robb and Catelyn will not hear anything of having Arya be punished fir this. This will likely honk of Roose and they will pull out of the northern alliance.
- Roose's delivery of Jaime to the Lannisters will likely honk off others in the North as well. (Although it's not certain he'd want to admit this, but he might after he gets slighted.)
- Robb will probably do something stupid like turn down Sandor's service and just pay him gold, probably a lot more than he has to as well.
- I'm guessing Robb doesn't leave the Twins alive.
- And probably would have if Roose hadn't left.
- Which means that Jon Snow becomes Lord of Winterfell, even though all of Robb's brothers and sisters are still alive. Disinheriting Sansa might have been a good idea, but given that Arya's status was still uncertain, he shouldn't have disinherited her.
- So now there's a succession crisis over Winterfell, and the Pykes still attacking.
Among other reasons why I think Robb is doomed is the curse the Stannis placed on them. He burned three leeches, one for each usurper: Balon, Joffrey, and Robb. Balon already died under strange circumstances. So I predict that Robb does as well. On the bright side, this also means Joffrey dies.
I'm a little skeptical of this, though, because I think the ability to cast curses on people over great distances like this would upset the balance in a story like this. Another reason: Robb's old gods have some power and might be able to protect him from the curse.
Robb thinks that there will be succession crisis in Pyke now that Balon has died, but remember this is based on information from the idiot Theon Greyjoy. Based on the text it sounds as if Asha might not actually have any rivals as heir, so the North attack might take them in at a vulnerable moment like they thought.
Rosalin will turn out to be beautiful. The story is clearly implying that Edmund Tully and everyone else expects her to be a ugly hose beast, which is why I'm predicting she won't be.
Gendry will start to get his own chapters. This will allow us to continue to follow Lord Beric and Thoros and the outlaws.
Sansa still has hope in escaping. We are told that her marriage to Tyrion is still annullable because they hadn't had relations, so of course we are going yo think she's going to get with Dantos again and escape as they originally planned. Which is why I think it won't happen that way. I'd guess things are going according to plan when she gets raped (or sillier, she loses her mind and has sex with someone like Ser Loras), thus can no longer prove her maidenhood and so can't get an annulment).
The person that rescused Samwell? Benjen Stark. We are led to believe he shared the fate of Waymar Royce and others who became wights, but they never found out what happened to him.
Jaime is clearly enamored with Brienne in spite of himself. (We know Jaime would think nothing to treaterously kill his enemies, so when he leaves her alive despite several opportunities to eliminate her, we know something about her attracts him.) I guess he reunites with Cercei and suddenly finds her lacking in some way. She'll find him lacking in some way, too.
Jaime wouldn't be able to release Sansa, although he had decided to.
Children of the Forest? The Others? Same thing.
I had written earlier that the Lannisters were boring because they were a stereotypical evil family. However, I did opine that maybe they were acting the role deliberately, and from the Jaime chapters it is clear that is the case for him at least.
I was very happy to see that the first chapter of this novel was a Jaime chapter, because he seemed like a character with so much potential. He rocketed to be my favorite character when I read these lines: "Jaime had decided that he would return Sansa, and the younger girl as well if she could be found. It was not like to win him back his lost honor, but the notion of keeping faith when they all expected betrayal amused him more than he could say."
Davos is probably the least believable character in the whole series. I find it hard to believe that this timid, honest-to-a-fault man was once a fearless smuggler.
The Daenerys story was so interesting in A Game of Thrones. After she hatched the dragons, I was expecting an exiting story of conquest as her little khal slowly reconquered all of the Dothraki. But she spent all of the second novel and half the third novel running from city to city trying to gain favors, and it got lame and stayed lame. Then she attacked Astapor and it instantly got real interesting again. Took long enough.
I hope Asha gets her own chapters.