You called the reaving in ACOK Theon III his moral event horizon. I can see the point, but what does that mean for Asha? After all, at the same time she did the exact same thing on a larger scale somewhere else. Asha is generally portrayed and viewed favorably. So do I have to picture Asha surveying the carnage, with women being casually raped left and right as she walks by? Does the fandom or even GRRM have a blind spot there?
It’s definitely a reason to be more skeptical of her speech at the ‘Moot. Yes, “Peace. Land. Victory.” sounds like a great reforming agenda, but remember that it’s built on a foundation of holding Sybelle Glover and her children hostage and somehow persuading the North to forget invasion, murder, and pillage all across their western coast.
I think the key moment where we see that part of Asha’s dream fall apart is the attack on Deepwood Motte, where the Flints, Norreys, Wulls, Liddles, and Mormonts come storming out of the woodwork to take back the North, and where Sybelle Glover, one badass lady who needs more respect, who breaks her promise to Asha the first chance she gets and immediately raises her banners for King Stannis despite her children still being held at Harlaw. (Although I’ll bet dollars to donuts that part of her deal with Tycho Nestoris is to get her kids back) And of course, Asha gets hit in the face with this when she talks to Alysane Mormont, who reminds her that “what we are is what you made us. On Bear Island every child learns to fear krakens rising from the sea.” (emphasis mine)
There’s a great bit in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall that’s apropos (emphasis mine):
“The English will never be forgiven for the talent for destruction they have always displayed when they got off their own island. English armies laid waste to the land they moved through. As if systematically, they performed every action proscribed by the codes of chivalry, and broke every one of the laws of war. The battles were nothing; it was what they did between the battles that left its mark. They robbed and raped for forty miles around the line of their march. They burned the crops in the fields, and the houses with the people inside them…they found out the families of the dead and demanded that the living ransom them; if the living could not pay, they torched the corpses before their eyes…
“This being so, the kings may forgive each other; the people scarcely can.”