Chapter-By-Chapter Analyses:

A Game Of Thrones: 72/72 complete

A Clash Of Kings: 69/69 complete

A Storm Of Swords: 58/81 complete

A Feast For Crows: 0/45 complete

A Dance With Dragons: 0/72 complete

The Winds Of Winter: 0/X complete

A Dream Of Spring: 0/X complete

World of Ice and Fire: 7/7 complete

Fire & Blood, Vol I:

Guest Essay Series on Tower of the Hand:

Hands of the King: 5/5 complete

Hollow Crowns and Deadly Thrones: 5/5 complete

A Laboratory of Politics: 6/6 complete

The Blacks and Reds: 4/4 complete

Politics of the Seven Kingdoms: 9/9 complete

HBO Episode Recaps: 

Season 1 Video Recaps: 10/10 complete

Season 2 Video Recaps: 10/10 complete

Season 3 Video Recaps: 10/10 complete

Season 4 Video Recaps: 10/10 complete

Season 5 Video Recaps: 10/10 complete

Season 2 Episode Discussions: 9/10 complete

Season 3 Episode Discussions: 1/10 complete

34 thoughts on “Archive

  1. Kaylei says:

    ***major spoilers to follow

    Having been utterly late to this party (your website… not the books) I fear I am not familiar enough with your headlines to know what exactly has been discussed thus far. I am noticing though a lack of one of the biggest cliff hangers GRRM has given us, Jon’s lineage. For any reader the obvious conclusion (“promise me Ned”) is that Rheagar and Leanna are his parental units. (Yes… I know GRRM never states this but you know it’s true)

    I must hand it to GRRM here. Not because this revelation somehow caught me off-guard… but, because I appreciate the emotional conflict that this story arch provided.

    For those who read the first book the story appears as a romance of the ages. A man goes to war to rescue his betrothed from the sinister enemy. The reader gives no thought to the perspectives of the other parties involved. We’re told Robert loves his fair maiden and we grieve for his loss and we feel a justice is served by his actions.

    However if attention is paid to the conversation between Robert & Ned on their journey to KL… one begins to see that something isn’t adding up. Ned seems to profess respect towards the slain/conquered Rheagar. Not a courtesy I’d imagine most brothers would pay to their sister’s rapist.

    It’s Meera that provides the key to the lineage and the lie. Jon is the result of a forbidden love between the daughter of Winterfell and the gallant young Dragon. Leanna having no love for the brutish Robert runs off with the espoused Prince. “Promise me Ned” is given meaning. Leanna loves this baby and knows the truth of his paternity will mean his death. We now see Robert’s tale for the sham it truly was… and if other readers are anything like me we feel a touch of shame for blindly following Robert.

    I suppose what I’m trying to get across here is an amazement with GRRM for creating such a huge world then turning it upside down so that we finally glimpse the “reality” behind the games. The same can be said for Jamie’s tale. By SOS I could care less that he pushed a 7yr old out a window… he’s a bit of a hero in my book.

    • stevenattewell says:

      Well, L+R=J hasn’t had a huge amount of political or historical context yet, hence why I haven’t really focused on it.

      I’ll do a bit more when we get to the “dragon has three heads” business.

      • Kaylei says:

        Yea… I stumbled across your website and blustered around for nearly 2min before writing to you. I just saw this morning that your subtext was the political analysis of the series. Regardless – I guess I just wanted to rant. I cannot find anyone who’s read the series past GOT (more often it seems people around me only watch the show) and I just feel like I’m going to burst if I don’t get to discuss events and people beyond that point.

        So sorry to have invaded your site with non-politic topics – but as you mentioned the 3 heads will most likely out that situation in the near future. Thanks for letting me babble!

        • stevenattewell says:

          No worries. If you’re interested in debating, I’d also really recommend’s forums, and the asoiaf reddit isn’t half bad.

  2. Andrew says:

    After the Hollow Crowns and Deadly Thrones essays, are you going to write essays regarding the ruling styles of Cersei in AFfC, and Dany and Jon in ADwD?

    • stevenattewell says:

      That’s not a bad idea.

      I do want to do something about Dany and Jon’s paths in ADWD and how Martin’s building something of a thesis about the nature of reform, but…I’m not sure.

      It feels like it needs a third, but Tyrion’s story is more about personal, internal reform. Not sure if it will gel with the other two. I might use Stannis instead.

      Cersei I’ll cover when I get to ACOK and AFFC.

      • Andrew says:

        It may be that Jon tried to force reform too fast, but that was because he lacked a certain asset: time. The reforms should have been instituted years ago, but with the Others advancing, Jon seems to have little choice.

        Toynbee wrote that the main reason for the collapse of a society was the masters or elite of the society being reluctant to make the necessary changes for the society to survive until it is too late. This seems to be the case for the NW.

        If LC Mormont was still alive Marsh may have been less vocal, but Jon is another case. Marsh likely sees Jon who had only been a member of the NW for less than two years as too young, green and underqualified for the position of LC that should be Marsh’s. Marsh had likely been aiming for the post himself for a long time, he probably fought at the Bridge of Skulls to give himself some military credentials for the post. I think Jon’s assassination was planned given the Julius Caesar reference, and Marsh has the wildling hostages under his control to prevent any retaliation from the wildlings.

        Dany on the other hand, she was a foreign invader reminiscent of the dragon-wielding Valyrians, the ancient enemies of Ghis, and made hardly an attempts to learn the culture, history and power players in Meereen.

        • stevenattewell says:

          It’s not just time though. Jon fails to create a strong constituency within the Watch in support of his reforms – and that’s the key element of any program of reform. Indeed, thinking “kill the boy let the man live” he sends away his closest followers and refrains from creating any new ones.

          Dany’s problem was less that she didn’t try to learn the culture, it’s that she couldn’t make up her mind whether to go full Reconstruction, eliminate the nobility and raise up the freedmen into a new society, or whether to try to assimilate to Meereen culture and get the nobility on her side.

  3. Andrew says:

    Okay for Jon, but if Dany wasn’t going

    What’s your take on Marsh?

    • Andrew says:

      Dany wasn’t going to remove the nobility, if she wasn’t than she should have at least made an effort to learn about the different power players in Meereen.

      • stevenattewell says:

        Why not remove them? It’s the logical Machiavellian step, in the best sense.

      • Andrew says:

        I’m saying if she didn’t’, which is what she did in ADwD, then she have done what I described above.

        • stevenattewell says:

          Right, but what I’m saying is that leaving them in place was the fundamental error. Their identity, their economic and social standing requires them to oppose her.

          It’s the same mistake the U.S made with Reconstruction when they didn’t redistribute the land and fully disassemble the planter class.

    • stevenattewell says:

      A man of limited vision too set in his ways to understand his world was changing, but not personally malicious.

  4. Abbey Battle says:

    Lord North? Jefferson Davis? Grampa Simpson?

    Ahem, pardon my delusions of humour; I actually popped up here to remark that I entirely sympathise with your attitude r.e. Dragons as expressed at Tower of the Hand – when it comes down to a choice between dragons and people you have to go for Humankind, for the only sensible choice when confronted by a man-eater.

    ‘Occasional child or shepherd’ my eye: however beautiful or magnificent, whether it be the last of it’s kind or one of a multitude, when it starts chewing man’s-flesh YOU PUT THE BEAST DOWN.

    Admittedly I’d probably make an exception for a guard-dog doing it’s duty, but a guard dog is neither the size of a heavy bomber nor able to spit napalm.

  5. Abbey Battle says:

    To be fair there is a fairly long tradition of benevolent Dragons to be found in The Orient (where I believe there are known as ‘Lung’), but then those are very different creatures to the Napalm Death Dinosaurs of Westeros (and Essos!); for one thing they are sentient, so far as I know.

    But then so was Smaug the Terrible, Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities!

    On a more serious note Maester Steven, I would like to seek your advice and your opinions concerning a though experiment which I am undertaking at the moment – I am seeking to work out seven-plate series of illustrations for the ‘Histories’ of Westeros (to be specific The Dance of Dragons, based on ‘The Princess and The Queen’ as well as Robert’s Rebellion, The War of the Usurper based on what we learn throughout the series), but would appreciate a second opinion on my ideas and would value your own most of all.

    Would you be willing to see some of my ideas and if you are so willing, might I please ask where I should post them?

  6. Abbey Battle says:

    If I might explain my strange-seeming request you are the most learned Maester of ASoIF background with whom I have any personal acquaintance (also Deviant Art scares me – I lose entire afternoons there even though I am not yet a member!).

    I shall in all likelihood send you my ideas (if you are still quite willing to receive them) once I have learned the ways of this strange new part of the world known as … ‘reddit’

    Stay Well and best of luck in your drive to finish with ‘A Game of Thrones’ and please be warned that I shall be loyally following this blog every step of the way until the final chapters (barring a sudden onset of blindness or some other unpredictable accident!).

  7. Abbey Battle says:

    Unless of course you don’t actually LIKE what I’m just starting to type as I post this … !

  8. Abbey Battle says:

    I work mostly on paper, so it takes me a little while to work my ideas into a form fit to post.

    Just call me a Luddite and I’ll leave things there, with apologies for distracting you.

  9. Winnie says:

    Something I’ve been wondering about lately since it came to my attention…one of Bran’s visions is about Arya and Sansa and

    “there were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both, loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness, and thick, black, blood.”

    Now, the first shadow, obviously is the Hound. The second is almost certainly Jaime, though some argue for Oberyn and the third is clearly Robert Strong. The real question is why these shadows are surrounding Sansa and Arya.

    Now the Hound clearly had a great impact on both girls. Jaime (so far) has been more indirect but still Cat *tried* to trade Jaime for her daughters, he sent Brienne after Sansa, etc. etc.

    But why is Robert Strong near Sansa and Arya?!? Why not have a vision of Ser Strong in some other context? Unless his storyline somehow intersects with one or both of the Stark sisters even if they never encounter him face to face…what do you think?

    • Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Arya did spend time around Gregor Clegane, so there’s that, but Sansa didn’t at all and probably won’t spend any time around Robert Strong.

      • Winnie says:

        Or will she?

        It’s enough to make me wonder if Ser Strong might play a role in future events regarding Sansa or Arya-events that might not take place in KL.

        Clearly D&D consider him important to upcoming events, given that they’ve already laid the groundwork for the character so it does make me morbidly curious about what’s going to happen there. ESPECIALLY since they’ve been ruthlessly cutting out so many other things like Stoneheart, Aegon, and Arianne its certainly…suggestive that Ser Strong makes the cut.

  10. The Queen Who Never Was says:

    I’m new, so please forgive me if I’ve overlooked a section. Are you ever going to do an analysis of the politics leading up to and during the Dance of the Dragons? There is a surprising amount of published material now which could be unpacked: The World of Ice and Fire, The Rogue Prince, The Princess and the Queen. It would be interesting to read an essay on the greens and the blacks. Also, based on what Archmaester Marwyn claimed in ADWD, the Citadel may have had something to do with the downfall of the dragons (i.e. perhaps through its alliance with House Hightower?), and consequently, the removal of magic from Westeros for over a century.

  11. Eric Bennett says:

    My friend… When are you going to fix your archive page to show your updated ASOS chapters?

    I love you’re blog and i’ve read every chapter of your chapter summaries and many of your essays and this one mistake on your archive page hasn’t showed your wonderful updated chapters for a long, long time.

  12. Dustin says:

    Just caught up with your CBC Analysis. It’s been wonderful companion reading on my 8th readthrough. Are you still working on the essay series, or have you taken a break to work on other things?

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