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Posts posted by Thyroid

  1. He dies on page four, although I think we're going full circle soon and re-arriving at the fateful night at the doughnut shop.

    Skippy's one of my best friends, although thankfully he hasn't died. I see a lot of myself in Howard.

    Great book.

  2. Even if they didn't, the idea of having a shoot-out in school shouldn't even come-up. I sometimes see my baby cousin, who is six, off to school. I expect her to come home knowing a couple of new things, having made new friends, developed a crush on someone, maybe gotten a bruise on her knee from the playground. She's off to school to get started in life, not to witness other people, coming at her with a pistol, getting shot at by the guy who waves her into school each morning.

  3. Oh, politics.

    I was reading-up a little bit on the tragedy at Sandy Hook, specifically the response to it. I saw something that I initially thought was parody, but it couldn't have been because it was a transcript of a press conference by the NRA.

    The press conference's point was that the NRA is proposing a new program, called National School Shield Program, that places professional, armed guards at school doors. The idea is that, because we live in a world of polar good and evil, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," as if that's the only way this scenario could play out. It turns schools into potential shoot-outs.

    There's a part I found genuinely bemusing. After similar tragedies in Australia and the United Kingdom, both countries passed and enacted laws that effectively squelched any similar tragedies taking place again. They were thorough, swift, and unyielding. So why does America not take this up? Why end-up with stuff like this? How many more Emmett Tills does a country need?

    What do you think? Am I raving mad here, or being sensible?

  4. I'm reading Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray, which is a wonderful, absorbing, and perhaps even poignant work.

    I think it has also become one of my favourite novels; being four hundred pages in and with two hundred pages left, it's hard to be 100% sure yet. Nevertheless, it's hard not to think of it like that, since it's stuffed with characters that all feel real, and are all vastly different: teachers, students, priests, drug dealers, school bullies and that odd girl who likes to project that she's the shit but who suffers from severe self-consciousness issues. You'll know the characters as soon as they start talking because of how well-defined they are. It has some meditation on relationships (there was something on page 85 of my British paperback that actually made me put the book down in realization that I was reading about myself), some stuff about string theory, what it's like to be fourteen, drug use, being in love for the first time, etc.

    It's wide, complex, brilliant, funny and sad. Do give it a look.

  5. Well, it depends. I mostly read one at a time, to give each book the concentration and respect I think I can only give by reading it as such.

    But occasionally, I'll be reading a long, dry piece of non-fiction that I find absorbing, but that I need a break from, say every four hundred pages. When that happens, I wash it down with sporadic readings from something pulpy, a good paperback thriller or a children's novel or what-have-you.

  6. GRRM released a new book six chapter yesterday, replacing the old one on his site. It's obviously spoilerific, but it's kind of glorious. All the released material from book six is here, and some of these are transcripts of readings, but it gives a good idea of how the various arcs come together.

  7. I'd like one, but I can't buy the damn eBooks. I can't even accept gifts. It is annoying. I know I like them, though, because that's how I read the classics.

    My wife is the polar opposite, and loves impulse-buying books on her Kindle—which is really annoying because it totally torpedoes our ability to share books. My fault, but urgh.

    Or, you know, hers. I'm sure she can grab a paperback and skim it.

  8. Like I said, there's more. I think I threw the "mayhaps" one in this thread somewhere. Prophecies are covered here.

    Two more:

    - Melisandre sees Stannis butchering a stag, as well as Stannis being crushed beneath King's Landing by Renly's army (Renly himself, in armour, at the helm), thinking the two mutually exclusive. Well, you know how those went.

    - According to the Ghost of High Heart, Sansa slays a giant in a castle made of snow. There are various theories on that, from Gregor Clegane to LittleFinger, whose grandfather's sigil was a giant (Titan of Braavos). Most believe the scene with Robert at the end of A Storm of Swords (the one that ends with Lysa's death) to be a red herring.

    And there's more. It's been over a year since I finished the series, and I've read plenty of good books since, so my memory's dimmed on it, even if my appreciation and love of the series has not.

  9. Just finished Dance with Dragons. Thumbs! WHAT DO I DO NOW?!?!?

    Did you ever figure-out the other thing about the "Prince Of" chapter?

    That Abel is Mance.

    I wish I could remember all the little stuff. Here's a few I'll run off in the few minutes I have (all books spoilers):

    - "Aegon Targaryen" is most likely a fake, a Blackfyre (bastard sub-house of Targaryen) sired by Ilyrio Mopatis. This was hinted at many times, including at the House of the Undying. My favourite little hint comes in A Feast for Crows, in a Brienne chapter:

    He forged a new sign for the yard, a three-headed dragon of black iron that he hung from a wooden post. The beast was so big it had to be made in a dozen pieces, joined with rope and wire. When the wind blew it would clank and clatter, so the inn became known far and wide as the Clanking Dragon."

    "Is the dragon sign still there?" asked Podrick.

    "No," said Septon Meribald. "When the smith's son was an old man, a bastard son of the fourth Aegon rose up in rebellion against his trueborn brother and took for his sigil a black dragon. These lands belonged to Lord Darry then, and his lordship was fiercely loyal to the king. The sign of the black iron dragon made him wroth, so he cut down the post, hacked the sign to pieces, and cast them into the river. One of the dragon's heads washed up on the Quiet Isle many years later, though by that time it was red with rust.

    Red on black is the sigil of Targaryen; black on red of Blackfyre. It seems a blackened dragon arrived at Westeros, reddened with rust.

    It was likely the character was inspired by Perkin Warbeck.

    - Jon gets stabbed because he stops flexing his hand. It's too stiff for him to pick-up his sword in time, costing him his life.

    - Unless he hasn't died. There are several hints throughout that he's warged into Ghost, including Melisandre's visions in the fire. There's also the theory that Melisandre will resurrect him; after all, Dany does see a blue rose grow from a wall of ice in the House of the Undying.

    - Alleras the Sphinx is likely Sarella Sand. He's described as boyish, has a thing for Dornish wine, has dark skin, etc.

    - Septa Lemore is probably Tyene Sand's mother.

    - Arya is being trained to be a Faceless Man.

    - The alchemist who kills Pate at the opening of A Feast for Crows is Jaqen.

    - Hodor accidentally eats a member of the Night's Watch.

    - The dead Night's Watch members Bran sees One Eye and his pack feasting on are the deserters from Craster's.

    - How did Arya figure-out it was the Kindly Man who was sneaking-up on her? She warged into a cat and watched him.

    - The parallels between Cersei and Daenerys, up to and including their final walks, were intentional.

    - A bunch of characters see or hear Bran in the weirwood. In A Clash of Kings, Jon actually glimpses his face for a second.

    - Wex's presence at Winterfell, surviving the sack, was hinted at in A Clash of Kings. The wolves hear someone hiding in the Weirwood tree.

    - Rickon is in Skaagos.

    - Some of the people Bran sees in his visions are people from Winterfell; one of them, kissing a tall knight (Ser Duncan the Tall; he was mentioned in passing in book three, having died at Summerhall), is the woman who grew-up to be Old Nan.

    - The Three Eyed-Crow is a former Targaryen named Bloodraven; you can get some extra details on him from the Dunk and Egg stories.

    Gosh there's so much more. It's pretty dense. I can't remember a lot of it right now.

  10. "This game will murder your face." -

    "This game wins the competition. Game over, man, game over." -

    "I came, I saw, I conquered, I came again." -

    "This game. This game."


  11. There are quite a few hints throughout the series, but that's the first, albeit most hidden, clue. More here (books 1-3 spoilers).

    Hence the lovely sad scene where (book 3):

    Jaime asks Loras why join the Kingsguard after Renly's death, and Loras replies that once the sun has set, no candle can replace it.

  12. There's a nice little detail you picked-up that should make one early scene in book one slightly sweeter.

    Book one:

    It's the scene where Loras Tyrell crowns Sansa queen of beauty at the tourney.

    Book two:

    Loras doesn't recognize Sansa.


    Well, Renly was sitting behind her.

  13. As Greg Brown was saying on Twitter, try John Williams's novel Stoner. I'm reading it. When I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about it. I echo Greg's sentiment about it being a deep well of introspection.

    If we're going to take some hyperbole, it's been described as something rarer than a great novel: it is a perfect novel. Apparently.

    I'll let time decide where it fits between "good" and "perfect" in my own head, but I suspect it's at least "great". Which isn't so bad, if you think about it.


    Read this.

  14. Today I chucked some men in the ocean for the Drowned God and burned others for R'hllor in the hopes that The Winds of Winter comes-out soon, and is as good as I want it to be, because I am so stoked.

  15. I'll tell you one of them.

    Wyman Manderly served Roose Bolton and co. some Frey pie. Rhaegar Frey and some others go missing a few chapters back, Manderly's cooks "pork pie" (of which he lavishly eats), and Wyman drunkely mentions the "Rat cook" at the end, urging the singer to sing about him. To quote A Storm of Swords:

    “It was not for murder that the gods cursed him,” Old Nan said, “nor for serving the Andal king his son in a pie. A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a guest beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive.”

    The Rat Cook, as Jojen and Meera tell Bran, kills a prince and feeds him to his father. Wyman Manderly has done the same to a bunch of Freys.

    Just one of GRRM's great touches.. As for the other thing, you might figure it out before the book's out, although I certainly didn't. But think really hard.

  16. Aye. That part. Notice anything about that part?

    Say, for example, the identity of a certain bard, or the ingredients of a certain pie?

    If you don't figure it out, it's OK! I'll let you know when you're done reading.