Category Archives: ASOIAF Meta

The Ravenry: Week of 1/11/16

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Hello, you awesome people!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

With yours truly on vacay, it was a quieter week at Wars and Politics Headquarters. The Hand, as usual, did a fantastic job, keeping up a very steady pace of great answers all by himself; his thoughts on the various fighting styles favored by each region is particularly smart and very well-informed worldbuilding. I was more focused on the Dance this week, with not only an essay (the first of the year, hooray!) on the murder mysteries of the Year of the Red Spring but a Tumblr piece on the real winners of the Dance (that is to say, no one).

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of January 11:

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The Ravenry: Week of 12/21/15

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Salutations once again!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. It was a quieter week for us at Headquarters with the holiday, but we still managed to get in a few asks. The Hand wrote an excellent piece questioning why the Faith has not diversified more over the Seven Kingdoms (I helped out with the idea for Mother Rhoyne, but there are a ton of creative ideas in that one that are totally his), and spoke at length about the similarities between dour, dutiful Maekar and dour, dutiful Stannis. As for me, I looked at why Westerosi lords would marry Essosi ladies, and thought about how Valarr Targaryen might have been as a king had that dread Spring Sickness not taken him prematurely.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of December 21:

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Episode 11: The Three Heads of the Dragon Recap

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Happy Christmas Eve Eve, lovelies!

If you’ve been following the blog for the last 8 months (I know! I can’t believe it’s been that long either!), you will almost certainly have noticed a long-ongoing series tracking the rise and fall of the royal Targaryens. Called “The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders and the Ladies of Fire”, the series grew from a simple idea – to write political analyses of all the kings of House Targaryen – into the blog’s very first multi-author series, a comprehensive look at united Westeros’ first royal dynasty from its conquest origins to its fiery end. SomethingLikeaLawyer started us off back in April with Aegon the Conqueror, and just last week Militant_Penguin closed with Aerion Brightflame, the Dragon Who Burned. We’ve written about heroes and monsters, brilliant leaders and hopeless fools, beloved queens and reviled tyrants; the Targaryen coin of genius and madness has been flipped both ways throughout these many colorful essays.

So, in continuation of our Christmas Week festivities, we present to your our latest podcast episode, The Three Heads of the Dragon Recap. In Episode 11, we delve into the politics and personalities of the dragonkings, the ladies who shaped and influenced the dynasty, and the pretenders who sought that most glorious of Westerosi royal prizes, the Iron Throne.  BryndenBFish, who did not join in writing pieces for the series, played moderator, providing a number of thought-provoking questions about the characters and events explored throughout this series. From the brilliance of the Conqueror to the caprices of the Unworthy, the Great Councils to the Dance of the Dragons, the greatest Targaryen moment to the moment the dynasty was doomed, we cover the whole nearly three century span of Targaryen rule. We also rank the Targaryen kings as well, from greatest to least (each of our lists shares a few placements in common; points if you guess them beforehand!). It’s a great way to close out a truly massive essay series (in a truly massive way; this is a three hour-and-change podcast, kids).

Listen to us here or at iTunes and Podbean!

Check us out on social media as well!

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The Ravenry: Week of 12/14/15

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Salutations, lovelies!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

Today marks the beginning of Christmas week here at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire. It’s an ordinary Ravenry post today, of course, but we’ve got good stuff coming for you every day (including presents from your faithful Tumblr answerers). Still, there’s some neat stuff in this week’s Ravenry as well. The Hand dove more into the complex life of Maekar Targaryen, spun a neat tale of consequences if Arya whispered Tywin’s name to her faceless friend, and even dabbled in an alternate telling of the Dance of the Dragons. As for me, though I had some IRL stuff this week that diverted my attention, I got to reemphasize why Catelyn shouldn’t be thought of as a dick to Jon.

Without further ado, here’s the Ravenry for the week of December 14: Continue reading

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The Wolf’s Honor: Brandon Stark

Introduction

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Ice (image credit to John Goodenough)

“Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King’s Hand and a father to queens.” (“Catelyn II”, A Game of Thrones)

By the time A Song of Ice and Fire begins, Brandon is nearly 20 years dead; the only physical memory remaining of the onetime heir to Winterfell is the solemn statue of him in the ancient seat’s crypts. Brandon is remembered for his hot-headedness and quick temper – that particularly Stark “wolf’s blood” which led him and his sister Lyanna to early graves. What is often overlooked with Brandon, however, is how southron the heir to Winterfell had become by the time of his fateful meeting with King Aerys. From a young age, Brandon – under his father’s watchful eye – had been steeped in southron-looking and overtly southron customs: a competent jouster, friend to riverlords and Valemen, with a young squire and a Tully fiancée, Brandon was almost indistinguishable from the heir to any great southron seat.  What would distinguish him was the inborn Northern vengeance that – combined with southron modes of chivalry – drove him to challenge a grievous crime against his sister, with fatal results.

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The Three Heads of The Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire: The Dragon Who Burned – Aerion ‘Brightflame’ Targaryen

 

Artwork by Mathia Arkoniel

Introduction

Hello again readers. Today I present you with the final entry in the Three Heads of the Dragon series, Aerion ‘Brightflame’ Targaryen. Prince Aerion Targaryen, also known as Aerion the Monstrous or Aerion Brightflame, born the second son to King Maekar Targaryen, may not be a pretender in the most traditional sense, he still had a role to play under the banner of the pretenders of House Targaryen.

Aerion was an unusual character in the Targaryen dynasty and had distinct ties with both the central kings, princes, and contemporaries of the dynasty, and the various pretenders seeking to oust them. He was a precursor to the Mad King Aerys, he was the despised monster of the family, an enemy of Ser Duncan the Tall, the likely murderer of Haegon Blackfyre, and the drinker of wildfire. Aerion Brightflame was the dragon who burned and his actions still affect Westeros to this day.

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The Ravenry: Week of 12/7/2015

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Welcome back one again!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, NFriel and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

So every Monday we present to you The Ravenry.  We collect the questions we’ve answered during the previous week over on the Tumblr in post form, with a brief description of each, and publish it here, and link that post on Twitter and Facebook as well. Lot of at-length questions and responses, with some lengthy meta on Barristan Selmy, Euron Greyjoy, Dragonstone as a holding, three certain pies, a new theory on why Jaehaerys bypassed Rhaenys the Queen-Who-Never-Was, and a 1,500 word piece on why Robert’s Rebellion and Renly’s Rebellion were different beasts.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of December 7:

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The Ravenry: Week of 11/30/15

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Hello, lovelies!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

Here’s the thing. You never know what you’re going to get in the inbox on any given week (other than a guarantee that the queue will be at least a hundred questions longer than it was the previous week, despite your best efforts to answer questions). Some questions are straightforward. “What makes Lyanna the likeliest candidate to be the Knight of the Laughing Tree?” “How long is a day’s ride?” Stuff like that. But what I love – I won’t speak for the Hand – is when we get questions that require pondering, but the best kind of pondering. When I get to reference Shakespeare on the usage of “cousin” – when the Hand waxes quite eloquent on Stannis’ and Davos’ fates – when I get to talk about all the great ladies I love in the series – those are really good weeks. So not a shit-ton of answers this week, but some really really awesome ones.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of November 30: Continue reading

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The Ravenry: Week of 11/23/2015

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Hello seekers. If you’re an American, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. If not, well, I still hope you have something to be thankful for,

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, NFriel and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

So every Monday we present to you The Ravenry.  We collect the questions we’ve answered during the previous week over on the Tumblr in post form, with a brief description of each, and publish it here, and link that post on Twitter and Facebook as well. So, if you’ve got a lot of questions about actual or potential marraiges, or you want to see a few theories have their glaring errors exposed to the world, this is the week for you.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of November 23:

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Queen of Woe: Rhaella Targaryen

Introduction

Hello and welcome once again to The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire, the first multi-author series for Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire.  In this series, SomethingLikeaLawyer, MilitantPenguin, and I have explored the Targaryen dynasty from its rise in the Conquest to its fall in Robert’s Rebellion.  My pieces, the Ladies of Fire, have analyzed the queens and princesses of House Targaryen, as well as those ladies who had a substantial impact on the dynasty itself.

For over two and a half centuries, the Targaryen dynasty had seen its fair share of ladies. Rhaenys and Visenya were celebrated as founding, conquering matriarchs of the royal house, while Jaehaerys’ queen Alysanne was universally beloved for her clever goodness. Alongside the good, of course, were those ladies less pleasantly remembered – tyrannical, usurping Rhaenyra, or defiant Daena, whose son caused many decades of grief. Whether they were considered paragons or fiends, however, both sorts of ladies played into the inheritance of the Targaryen female: a well-bred marriage pawn she might have appeared to be, but a dragon princess was still the descendant of warriors, through whose veins ran the exalted blood of mighty Valyria.

Such was the burden placed on the delicate shoulders of the last of these dragon princesses, Rhaella. It was her duty to live up to this inheritance – to be the hope of a dynasty which, by the time of her birth, was already slipping into decline. Yet Rhaella, more than any of her lady predecessors, seems to have incurred the wrath of Fate; her life, at least since the age of 14, was an almost unmitigated, relentless tale of woe. It was hers to watch the collapse of everything she had ever relied on – a stable marriage, a role as royal mother, her very kingdom – and hers to endure the cruelties of marriage to the Mad King. It was hers, most of all, to be given glimmers of hope for the improvement of her lot, and then to watch them be snatched away one by one, until the Stranger finally relieved her of her tragic burden.

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