The-Loop-Closes

stannisisawesome  asked:

I dislike it that people often claim that "honor gets you killed" is the main point of asoiaf, and I feel you share the same view. Could you write something about it, and what do you think the point of Ned's and Robb's arcs are in that case?

Ultimately, it’s a complex set of factors that brought both Ned and Robb Stark down. It’s easy to point at Ned giving Cersei a warning or Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling as the moments it all went wrong for father and son, but fact is that a variety of dangerous elements were already reaching the boiling point for the respective Stark men. Indeed, both (but especially Robb) were in part brought low by events completely beyond their control.

Which is all part of the existentialist tinge to the narrative: the universe isn’t a tightly closed loop where your fate is a precise reflection of your actions. There are elements of chance and contingency and plain bad luck at play, and GRRM tends to zoom in on how his heroes struggle with that. And Ned and Robb have a variety of reactions, in both cases doing some fairly dishonorable things themselves along the way, for better or worse.

So, on just a basic structural level, the thesis you’re talking about breaks down, because it’s a very superficial reading of AGOT and ASOS to say “honor gets you killed” is what’s going on. Thematically, of course, it’s frankly risible, and couldn’t miss the point more completely. While of course any code of ethics or morals has trade-offs and blind spots, and can ultimately lead you to make things worse if followed rigidly or stupidly, GRRM is so very not saying that trying to do the right thing is stupid. He’s saying it’s hard

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The Loop Closes by How To Destroy Angels

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