Tag Archives: Faceless Men

Chasing the Dragon, Part 1: Analyzing an Alchemist

Foreword

the_dragon_and_the_crow_by_risachantag-d65cow6

Artwork by Lisa Rye

So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls—and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution. (George R. R. Martin, Vanity Fair Interview, 2014)

George R. R. Martin’s books are filled with clues that, when put together properly, can give us a much deeper understanding of the story. Some of his mysteries are easy to solve, because they only require combining a handful of clues. Examples like “What’s the secret ingredient in Wyman Manderly’s meat pies?”

But the solutions to simple mysteries can become clues themselves, and form a complex network of connections that’s much more difficult to untangle.

In this series, we’ll dive deep and find out what we can about the creatures that make up half the equation of A Song of Ice and Fire: Dragons. Which clues have we been missing, and what can they tell us about their ultimate role in the story?

If we want to solve the big questions, then we need to start small. One wrong conclusion can lead to the next, and before we know it, we’re speculating about the story based on completely false assumptions.

So we’re going to try a fragmented approach and explore various issues, one at a time. We’ll take the text as basis, and only draw conclusions that we can be reasonably certain of. If we can not find an answer to a question that’s well-supported by the text, then we won’t try to force a solution. Instead, we’ll put these questions aside, in hope that we can answer them at a later point. In future parts, we’ll need to be ready to revisit our previous conclusions, whenever they don’t line up with the new evidence.

In time, we will try to find answers to questions like these:

  • Which characters are shaping up to become more imporant?
  • Who wants Dany’s dragons, and for what purpose?
  • Can prophecy ever be trusted?
  • Why is the Sphinx not the riddler?
  • What glory awaits Victarion Greyjoy?
  • Do the brightest flames cast the darkest shadows?
  • What is the Song of Ice and Fire?

I’m not yet sure which twists and turns this journey is going to take. But let’s get started with our first topic and see where it leads us.

Introduction

Ever since his appearance in A Feast for Crows, the mysterious Alchemist has been a popular subject of fan speculation. While fans have put together some of the clues that George has scattered through his books, there’s still no consensus about the Alchemist’s intentions and how he ties into the larger story.

In this essay we’re going to focus on the Prologue of A Feast for Crows. We’ll see if we can find any themes and connections that could tell us more about who the Alchemist is, what he’s doing, and who he’s working with.

A solid theory needs solid legs to stand on, so first we’ll re-establish some facts from the Prologue that we might have forgotten about.

Then we will see which conclusions we can draw, and determine if they tell a story that’s consistent within the larger narrative, as well as being supported by evidence from the text.

Finally, we will evaluate our theory and come up with some ideas about where to go next.

Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Mystery

The Ravenry: Week of 3/7/2016

tumblr_nmyx2fR1Ob1roumhko1_500

Hello, everyone!

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.

Another productive week for us in the Tumblr-verse. The Hand always has the best answers to meta questions because he is all kinds of brilliant, and his answer to favorite aspects of ASOIAF warfare is no exception.  Just as well, the Hand tackled the false assertion that the Freys were justified in enacting the Red Wedding, and dreamed up some excellent alternate histories about Aegon IV dying before the follies of his reign and Jaime Lannister protecting Elia Martell. As for me, I wrote another essay – The Windblown Grass, all about terrible strategist Doran Martell – thought up some Blackfyre words, and added a defining character moment for Theon to Tumblr friend Poor Quentyn’s excellent post to the same.

Without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of March 7:
Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Character Analysis, ASOIAF Espionage, ASOIAF History, ASOIAF Military Analysis, Ravenry

What if Game of Thrones, Season 5 was Good, Like Really Good? Part 1: King’s Landing, Braavos and Castle Black

Game of Thrones Season 5 is the most controversial season of the show so far. Many factors went into this. Whether it was the show perhaps passing the books in some storylines, the show’s deviation from the source material or the way that the show adapted scenes from the books, fans had mixed reactions to the season. In this podcast episode, we delve into Season 5. But instead of simply hating on the show, we talk about the parts of the season that we liked. And we liked some of it quite a lot. But there was some that we didn’t like.

In this 1st of 2 parts, we talk about 3 locations, the 3 locations that we thought had the best plot-points from Season 5:

  • King’s Landing: Cersei & the Tyrells, the Faith Militant, Tommen and Qyburn
  • Braavos: The Faceless Men, the House of Black and White, Meryn Trant and Mace Tyrell
  • Castle Black: Jon & Stannis, Samwell, Jon’s Election, Jon as the Lord Commander of he Night’s Watch, Hardhome, “For the Watch”

We also mentioned the 2016 ASOIAF calendar during our intro which can be purchased here!

So, listen to us here or at the following spots:

Thanks so much for listening, and let us know what you think! Were our criticisms fair, accurate? Did our changes make sense? What changes might you make?

Final note: We’re coming up to our 10th(!!!) episode, and we all thought it might be fun if in our 10th episode, we answered any questions or addressed any theories that you all might have for us on the blog. So, if you have questions about ASOIAF (or really anything, within some reason) or a theory that you’d like to get our opinion on, leave a comment below to this post or send us an e mail at warsandpoliticsoficeandfire@gmail.com, and we’ll answer or discuss anything you all want to hear analyzed or discussed!

I invite you to follow us on twitter, facebook, tumblr or itunes to stay up-to-date with every last thing that we are getting into!

15 Comments

Filed under ASOIAF Podcast

The Murdered and Missing Part 1: The Murdered

A Faceless Man” by Fantasy Flight Games

A Song of Ice and Fire starts with 2 major mysteries. In the Prologue, we discover that the Others have mysteriously returned and in the King’s Landing chapters of A Game of Thrones, Eddard Stark investigates the death of Jon Arryn. Through it all, George writes mysteries but especially murder mysteries and strange disappearances with some relish. In this 2-part podcast series, the Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire podcast team investigates some of the famous and not-so-famous murders and disappearances in A Song of Ice and Fire. Today’s episode covers the murder side of the series. Today we cover the motivations, suspects and all the intriguing clues and possibilities of some of these infamous cases:

  • The Death of Ser Hugh of the Vale
  • Balon Greyjoy
  • Domeric Bolton
  • Little Walder Frey
  • The Meereenese Weavers
  • The Murder of Elia Martell

We also get to argue about Tywin Lannister at the end. Finally, we’re looking to have part 2 out in fairly short order as it’s already written!

Listen to us at the following places:

25 Comments

Filed under ASOIAF Character Analysis, ASOIAF Mystery, ASOIAF Podcast, ASOIAF Speculation