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*sigh* I almost regret reading the ASoIaF books after the end of S1, because watching the show certainly was more fun when it didn't have the feel of the books on fast forward, plus the sadly inevitable not-quite-how-I-imagined-it effect. (There's also the fact that I started to read them because I wanted to know how the story would go on, and a couple of thousand pages later I'm stuck in much the same position, and probably will be for the next decade(s?), along with everyone else... Damn it.)


To be perfectly honest, I'm not even particularly invested in who ends up on the Iron Throne in the end. Or even what happens to Jon, although I enjoyed his chapters in ADwD, because I doubt he is actually, really dead, since this would result in the kind of chaos on the Wall they really can't afford at this particular stage of the story.

What I am invested in however:

# Let me preface this by saying that I'm not too fond of how Jaime has been handed a redemption arc, while Cersei is turned into a complete psychopath, and a stupid, short-sighted one at that, as well as being called a whore about ten times per Jaime pov chapter, but there's no denying that losing his hand did wonders for Jaime's character (and arc). So, I'd really like a moderately happy ending for Jaime and Brienne. You could probably argue that she deserves better than the guy who pushed Bran out of the window, but on the other hand there isn't a man in the entire books who respects her even a fraction as much (and vice versa, I guess), and I don't want to have her yet another unrequited crush.

# Asha on the Seastone Chair and her revolting uncles on the bottom of the ocean. Bonus points if Daenerys is involved in Victarion death. Ramsey Bolton is a psychopath, but at least everyone agrees on that. The Greyjoys with their casual violence and misogyny creep me out almost worse. Actually, this is the part I'm almost daring to hope might happen. Asha has been repeatedly shown to have both common sense and a modicum of compassion, and after her uncles' grand plans will have inevitably and spectacularly failed, the Ironborn might be more willing to appreciate her pragmatism. And Theon, even if he should survive, simply isn't fit to rule.

# Daenerys to succeed in Meereen before she leaves for Westeros, and a wide-spread, ultimately successful slave revolt. Now I don't actually understand why anyone would want the Targaryens back, much less why Varys is so very busy intriguing and murdering on their behalf, since even they themselves seem to acknowledge that they are rather prone to be mentally unstable, but since Denaery is clearly going to play a pivotal role... If the ending of the series is going to be as bleakly depressing as it's been so far, obviously it doesn't matter much, but if it's going to be a (moderately) happy ending, if she's going to fulfil some sort of prophecy, then she needs to fix the mess in Meereen first, rather than simply use the city as a stepping stone on her way to the Iron Throne. If she leaves a bloody mess behind her there, she has no legitimation to rule in Westeros, as far as I'm concerned. I have the vague impression that I'm one of the few people who liked Daenerys's chapters in ADwD, but I think what she's learning there is absolutely necessary if she's going to be queen.

In any case, better her than the (probably fake anyway) Aegon, who is bound to make all the mistakes she (as well as every single pretender to the throne) has already made, and has learned absolutely no humility yet, despite what Varys says about his upbringing, because you don't learn that kind of thing alone on a boat. And even if Connington is going to stick around for a while yet, he's too biased to oppose him much.

# A bit of a minor point, but for Loras to survive, which I actually think will happen, because he's spent too much time dying by now to actually die. Granted, he's mostly been an arrogant ass with few redeeming virtues so far, but as Jaime remarked, he's still young, so there's potential for growth there. And it'd be nice to have one gay character who is neither dead nor doomed.

(And a propos that, why does GRRM for some reason feel obligated to write his gay characters so ~subtly~ gay that judging by the forums a good part of the books' readers will miss that completely? Even I did a quick google search about Connington after ADwD, just to make sure I wasn't imagining things. None of the heterosexual characters are ever this discreet about their feelings, not even Jaime and Cersei, who certainly would have reason to.)

# What I'm genuinely interested in is how Arya's arc is going to fit into the bigger picture, and what kind of a role the Faceless Men are playing.

# Can't decide about the Martells. I used to rather like them, but I lost quite a bit of respect for Doran Martell and his clever intrigues when Quentyn got himself stupidly, pointlessly, painfully killed half way across the world for his father's revenge. Ellaria Sand got it right, it has to stop somewhere, but unfortunately no one is listening to her.

# Also lost all respect for Varys for killing Kevan and triggering yet another cycle of chaos and violence, just when things had a chance to finally calm down.

# Cersei will probably go on digging her (as well as her children's) grave until the prophecy is fulfilled; I suppose there is little point to hope for a different outcome.

 

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