OzMoot (Melbourne, 2013)

Posted: November 30, 2013 in Literature
Tags: , , ,

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Well, lords and ladies, the first ever OzMoot was held last night, in a comfy little cocktail bar off Spring Street, in the Melbourne CBD. Four vassals were in attendance: two Aussies (me and jesicka309), one Romanian (marius), and one Brit (Bina007). We drank blood-red wine, feasted on sausage rolls and lemoncake, shared stories and theories beneath the imaginary flag of House Manwoody… and then dispersed back into the night. I had a really amazing time, and it was so cool meeting forum members in person.

It’s a shame we couldn’t record something for the podcast, because we had a pretty long and in-depth discussion of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Unfortunately, the bar was too loud, and my iPhone simply wouldn’t have been able to capture anything. However, I’ve been wracking my brain, and here’s some of the stuff we settled on throughout the night:

[SPOILERS]

  • Jaime and Sansa are the true heroes of this story, because, despite their mistakes in the early books, they are actively learning how to be good leaders in a practical, political and compassionate sense.
  • Given her claim to Winterfell (through Robb), Castlerly Rock (through Tyrion), and the Eyrie (through Harrold Hardyn), Sansa will end up ruling Westeros, and what’s more, she’ll be a kind and noble queen.
  • One question is: how does Littlefinger plan to reveal Alayne is Sansa Stark after she marries Lord Harrold? Won’t she still be married to Tyrion, or will Littlefinger somehow annul that marriage, perhaps due to non-consummation (as was possible in medieval Europe)? There are no examples in the books of a divorce or a marriage being annulled. The closest we get is Prince Doran and his wife separating.
  • Martin wrote Arya—and Tyrion—to be everyone’s favourite character (and a bit of a Mary Sue), so that he could undermine expectations, and transform them into dark, sociopathic human beings.
  • The Faceless Men are basically the League of Shadows (from Batman Begins): an order of highly-skilled shape-shifting ninjas who act as a check against all of the great powers of the world. Whenever a civilisation reaches the point of its decadence, and becomes a breeding ground for suffering and corruption, they step in to restore the balance. Like Valyria before it, King’s Landing’s power is poisoning the rest of the world, so the Faceless Men are plotting to tear it down, so that it can be reformed anew.
  • The Kindly Man is R’as Al Ghul, and Varys is his point-man in King’s Landing, and once the city has been scoured, Aegon Blackfyre will be installed to restore order and peace to Westeros and the Free Cities.
  • Ilyrio Mopatas’ wife was a Blackfyre (the last of the female line), and so he sent Dany and Viserys off to die in the Dothraki Sea.
  • Arya will be either sent to assassinate Dany (as a serving child); Tommen (as the black cat); or Sweetrobin (where she’ll be reunited with Sansa).
  • Or: Arya is Batman, and after witnessing both her parents being murdered, she must learn to control her rage, and seek out justice, rather than vengeance
  • There are series of secret tunnels which run beneath the narrow sea from Westeros to Essos, and are used by the secret order of the merlings (NOTE: this is now canon and cannot be disputed).
  • What will happen to the Hound? Will the two Clegane brother finally face one another (albeit from beyond the grave), with Sandor (the cowled monk) acting on behalf of the Faith, and Ser Robert Strong acting for Cercei? While this is certainly the more exciting and romantic option, everyone agreed that it would be far more elegant to leave the Hound on Quiet Isle, where he has found some level of peace. Moreover, that it’s better to let some characters and mystery’s fade away.
  • Given how much Martin draws from real medieval and classical history, can we predict future plot developments by tracking European development?
  • Maybe the whole feudal system of Westeros will be overturned by a peasant revolution, possibly facilitated by the Faith Militia. Given the way the smallfolk have been treated during the war, we may see a pro-democracy movement (ala the Magna Carta), or a religious takeover (ala the Holy Roman Empire), or even a shift beyond medieval culture, and into a series of pre-modern city-states… Or perhaps the Others will just decimate everything, and regress humanity back to the stone-age.
  • While initially satisfying, giving Jon and Dany a crown has actually made them less interesting, because their headspace has been completely colonised by solving external and overarching problems, and describing the physical drain of that process (rather than actual character development).
  • The Dornish are entertaining but ultimately tangential and irrelevant to the plot (filling in the 5-year gap?). Unless, of course, Quentyn’s death actually spurs the Martells against the Targaryens. But who would they ally with? Cersei might make a good match, given that she is pro-female rule and has been disgraced and ousted by her own family.
  • After the arrival of Queen Daenerys and the realisation that he is not Azor Ahai reborn, Stannis Baratheon will give up his claim to the Iron Throne, and become 1000th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
  • Rickon Stark will turn out to be a feral, unfit to rule anything, and Davos and his son will sail home to their castle in the Rainwood (after Stannis has joined the Watch).
  • Sansa will accidentally give Sweetrobin a fatal dose of sweetsleep, and slip into suicidal depression, before realising that Littlefinger is behind everything, seizing power in the Eyrie, and defeating the “giant in the snow”. Also, that Littlefinger has a blindspot for her because of his creepy infatuation.
  • When the powder-keg finally blows in Westeros—Dany’s landing/the Other’s attack—King’s Landing will be abandoned, and people will fall back to places like Winterfell and Casterly Rock, where their true loyalties lie.
  • Greywater Watch is the only place left in the North to go, so we might see it soon (possibly in a prologue). Like Barristan, Howland Reed could be a potentially great source of information, but he won’t necessarily reveal everything. There is something great about not every little mystery being resolved, because it leaves room for rereads, different interpretations and endless speculation.
  • Once the Wall is broken (possible now that Jon [aka Azor Ahai] has been killed), the Others will begin their assault on the Seven Kingdoms. Moreover, while the North will be attacked first, the magic of the Others will spill all the way south, and the thousands of slaughtered soldiers and smallfolk will rise up and attack the living. Dead Stark and dead Lannister will fight side-by-side for the Others. Will this be the thing that forces the rival families to put aside their blood-feuds and fight together?
  • While the wights are bound by human biology, the Others can evaporate into cold mists, and then solidify again at any moment (e.g. Tormund: “how do you fight fog”). They are the “winds of winter” given physical form.
  • Or: they are predator-like creatures who have crash-landed on Westeros, and only seek out worthy opponents (like Waymar Royce or Samwell Tarly… wait nevermind).
  • Or: they are like dark elves who live in ice palaces and ride ice dragons, and drink iced coffee.
  • Brienne will never return home, or find Sansa. She’ll go to the Quiet Isle, and live with the Hound, and the other broken men of the war.
  • The series will end with Jon and Dany planting a lovely garden in the ruins of Valyria (also canon).

[/SPOILERS]

Anyway, it was a great night, and I loved meeting everyone. Here are some photos to prove the meeting actually took place: ;)

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The original OzMoot Four: Marius, Bina, Duncan, and Jessica

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Let them eat lemoncake!

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