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You call yourself the hypeslayer, yet this post has only fed the fires of my excitement for WINDS! Bravo, BFish.
For people who want the specific timestamp where he confirms the Brave Companions will return, it’s https://youtu.be/u5pJkldtAh0?t=562
The plothole-finding-thing is obvious once you think about it. If GRRM could have done the same with every book, he could have made all much tighter and neat, and I’ll give just one example, yet enough to get my point:
If we all remember, the reason that Ned got arrested was essentially that he was unwilling to scare children from their beds and shed blood when Robert was yet alive. But here’s the thing: He has this unwillingness because he is traumatized by the memory of Rhaegar’s children. And yet… wasn’t the entire reason for such a trauma that he could not possibly get in time to King’s Landing before Tywin? As it has been suggested, Tywin possibly had his army already halfway the Goldroad, waiting news of the Trident (hard given that the raven would not directly reach him, but the supposed rider would not have enemies in-between) and so there was no way for Ned to get before him, but anyway, this would have made Ned not only wary, but anxious to act… yet all he did was nothing. Literally hoping that Cersei banked her children’s safety to her children’s rule. Yet if he knew Tywin for such a worse-than-a-viper babysitter, he could not possibly have allowed that, much less someone of Ned’s prudent nature.
So all of this is a subtle yet big enough plot hole when you come to think about it. Ned should have used his authority as hand way before Robert got the boar (he had been there for quite a time) to get Cersei and her children seized and sent on a ship to a Free City of his choosing, and it is not like he is a stranger using authority even in King’s Landing (he had been quite authoritative about the false knight “Ser” Gregor “Has given us well service and no man is so feared in the realm” Clegane) and… oh yeah all the precedent of direct, undeniable Lannister violence such as Jaime brawling or Tywin murderraping the Riverlands AND Beric’s party.
So why does all this happen? Because, however much GRRM wants to deny it, he’s always been quite plot-driven: Ned had to die to raise the stakes for the rest of the family. Catelyn had to die and rise undead again. Bran had to flee Winterfell and Winterfell had to fall no matter how flimsy an assault. Joffrey had to die poisoned and never learn of his identity because originally Joffrey was not supposed to be born of incest (in fact Cersei only existed in her personality within Jaime), and therefore his place in the plot was (as originally envisioned) that of a “sullen and brutal boy king”. And yes, I am aware GRRM has changed a lot, which is my point: with MORE time, just imagine how even better would it be. That doesn`t mean Ned wouldn’t have been arrested, but it means he would have gone in a far more awry way than literally “don’t want to scare children so I’ll give their bloody mother all the time in the world… for the boar to get through my friend”.
Speaking of friend, originally the friend was supposed to be JON ARRYN, not King Robert
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