Tag Archives: Winds of Winter

Blood of the Conqueror, Part 11: An Alliance With God



Artwork by Marc Fishman

From Visenya’s Hill, the call went out to the faithful that Maegor’s Laws were undone; the Faith of the Militant had been reborn. Granted extraordinary powers by the crown, knights flocked the banner of the Warrior’s Sons while smallfolk men and women gathered under the Poor Fellows. Meanwhile on Aegon’s High Hill, Cersei Lannister began her preparations to undercut the growing power of Highgarden and bring about the downfall of Margaery Tyrell. None of these parallel political movements and conspiracies accounted for the wildcard of Aegon’s coming.

Across the Narrow Sea, Prince Aegon and his party made their final preparations for their invasion of Westeros. Prince Aegon had a strong force in the Golden Company, but he also had another weapon in his arsenal: ideology. Aegon had been shaped for rule since his youth, and part of his royal instruction included a strong religious education. When the young dragon landed in Westeros, he would bring his army of sellswords to bear against the might of Highgarden and Casterly Rock, but he would also present a striking ideological alternative to the ruling elite of King’s Landing. To the High Sparrow, this would present a difficult choice on whether to back Aegon, but to the young dragon, if he were to stand a chance at taking King’s Landing, he would need the support of the High Sparrow.

Meanwhile, with the Tyrells and Lannisters in near open conflict with each other, the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant were quickly becoming power players in Westeros, and their growing power in the capital itself made the them the most powerful political actors within the city itself in advance of Aegon’s final approach to the city.

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Filed under ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis, ASOIAF Speculation

Writ Small: Character Evolution in The Winds of Winter Part 2: The Evil

Mother of Dragons by Donato Giancola

In Part 1, we talked about characters whose arcs in The Winds of Winter seem to be moving in good or neutral directions. But this time, we’re moving into the dark side where characters that we previously thought were good and noble are moving in ignoble directions. Or maybe they were never noble to begin with. But George RR Martin isn’t simply painting a black and white tale. There are shades of gray in these characters. Moreover, these characters turning to the dark side have both historical inspiration (within the universe) as well as ambiguity which colors all of Martin’s work. 

Today, we’ll cover:

  • Tyrion Lannister: From Tyrion to Tywin (again)
  • Daenerys Targaryen: From Rhaegar to Aerys III
  • Cersei Lannister: From Rhaenyra to Robert Baratheon
  • Jon Connington: From Rhaegar’s lieutenant to Tywin’s Shadow
  • Barristan Selmy: From Gerold Hightower to Criston Cole

If you don’t care to listen to the podcast through wordpress, you are welcome to listen to us at the following places:

As always, check out our notes on google drive to follow along with us as we talk! Thanks for listening/reading!


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The Dragon’s Mercy: The Violent Future Path of Daenerys Targaryen, Part 4: The Embers of Essos

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for The Winds of Winter. If you haven’t already, please check out the first 3 parts prior to reading this part, check ‘em out! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)


Mercy, thought Dany, They shall have the dragon’s mercy (ADWD, Daenerys II

Artwork by Tomasz Jedruszek


Fire and blood. Dany’s arc in A Dance with Dragons ends with her recognition that dragons plant no trees and that her words are “fire and blood” – not just as the house words of her dynasty, but as her personal motto validating her rediscovered turn towards the mother of dragons and a violent vision of prophecy.

In The Winds of Winter, that recognition and acknowledgement of her true self will morph into action. Early through her Winds of Winter arc, she’ll bring her mother of dragons persona and vengeance to Khal Jhaqo & the Dothraki. But after she unites a giant khalasar by fire and blood, she’ll turn her dragon’s mercy to Meereen. Nor will her full wrath end at the pyramids of Meereen. Instead, I believe that the city  will be a mere stepping stone to the full expression of the dragon’s mercy.

Aiding Daenerys in her conquest will be new advisers and groups whose personalities and aims look to keep Daenerys’ footing firmly tied to her identity as the mother of dragons.

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Meta, ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Speculation

All the Spice You’ll Want: An Analysis of the new Winds of Winter Sample Chapter

As many of you know, George RR Martin released a new Winds of Winter sample chapter on April 2, 2015 from the perspective of Alayne (Sansa). So, of course we had to analyze it. In this special edition of the Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire podcast, the entire team delves into the chapter and the various plots, themes and characters revolving around the chapter including:

  • The history of this Winds of Winter chapter
  • The Conflict of Identity between Alayne & Sansa
  • Lynception
  • Myranda Royce, Frenemy
  • The Hunger Games of Lord Littlefinger
  • The Controversy Surrounding this Chapter (and the controversy about the controversy)
  • Our predictions for the future of Sansa Stark

Listen to us at the following places:

Thanks so much for listening and being our And if you’d like to follow along with the podcast, here are the notes that we used when we recorded!


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

The History of Westeros: Battle of Ice Part 2

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Filed under ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis, ASOIAF Speculation

A Dragon Dawn: A Complete Analysis of the Upcoming Battle of Fire, Part 5: The Burning Pyramid

Fair warning: This part and part 6 contain significant Winds of Winter Spoilers. If you’re attempting to read TWOW unspoiled, check back here in a year (hopefully!), and laugh about how wrong I am.



“Dawn will be on us soon.”

“A red dawn,” said Jokin of the Stormcrows.

A dragon dawn, thought Ser Barristan. (TWOW, Barristan I)

Artwork by  Mike Capprotti

At the end of A Dance with Dragons, the cords of the Meereenese Knot were chaotically coming together in Meereen. Plague-ridden corpses were flying into Meereen, sellswords were plotting betrayal, Victarion and the Iron Fleet were sailing into battle and two dragons were loose in Meereen. To put it mildly, the situation in and around Meereen was fluid. To add further chaos to the scenario, battle was finally at hand. And it would be a battle that will likely leave tens of thousands dead — and not all of them from sword, spear, arrow or lance.

In this section, I’ll break down the factions on the eve of battle, estimate army sizes and dispersions and then talk about the loyalty of all the factions involved. And then, I’ll go into the battle plans, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the battle plans and then leave this part off moments prior to the start of Barristan’s attack on Yunkai’s lines. In part 6, we’ll jump right into the battle itself, talk about all we know from the sample chapters, speculate on the outcomes and who will lie dead on the battlefield and then finally do a broad “What does the future hold for Meereen and the characters in and around Meereen.”

Spoiler Warning: Previous sections contained spoilers from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, but just to re-iterate, this section will consist almost entirely of material taken from the sample chapters from The Winds of Winter.

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Filed under ASOIAF Military Analysis