Post by danl on Mar 5, 2020 21:54:00 GMT
I wasn't meaning to suggest that the Faceless were involved in that attempt on Bran's life, or Euron's on his brother. Just that the ambiguity of 'mercy' is a theme that is found in the text. Maybe the first of the Faceless killed slaves who begged for death, but maybe they killed slaves they thought were better off dead. So assuming the is truth in the Faceless origin story, it is possible that even then, the Gift was not welcomed.
The argument that Bran would be better off dead is probably a strong one in Westeros culture, but for Cersei and Jaime, it was certainly a self-interested one. Euron thought his brother wanted death, but he also saw fear in his eyes, so it is likely that it was Euron who wanted him dead or wanted to watch him die, then imagined that was what he wanted.
Of course, we have examples of people asking for (even begging for) the mercy of death, but even there, there is sometimes ambiguity. Would the Hound have been better off dying before finding peace as the gravedigger (iassuming he has found peace)? Did Luwin have some objective in mind in his death other than ending his pain?
So assuming there is truth in the Faceless origin story, it is possible that even then, the Gift was not welcomed.
I am drawing a distinction between those who think the god(s) hear and maybe respond subtly and those who expect a direct, observable result for specific, costly sacrifices. If I pray for someone who is entering surgery, at best I hope that there will be a divine thumb on the scales, improving the odds of survival. If I make three sacrifices of king's blood, expecting three kings to die, that seems like a qualitatively different level of expectation.
I think the Faith of the Seven, in that respect, is similar to mainstream, European (including US) Christianity. Cat thinks someone is listening and may somehow shape events, but she really doesn't expect the Mother to plan her day around her prayers. She hopes for events to be shaped in her direction but does not expect identifiable divine action. There may be outlyers like Baelor who expected something for obvious, but they are not the usual
I think it is real in the sense that series of accurate photographs is real, although they may be arranged to give a false impression (or arguably false). The visions could be entirely accurate reflections of particular historical moments, but stripped of essential context.
In LotR, Denethor(?) the Steward of Gondor has a palantir that he uses to spy on the armies of Sauron. However, Sauron is able to control what he sees. His visions are accurate, but present of misleading picture of the strength of Sauron's forces. The visions are accurate but misleading. I think Bran's visions may be similar.
There may be truth here. Even records of the middle kingdom are extremely limited and, when the curtain is pulled back and the source material revealed, what we know about that period involves some tinfoil construction
There is quite a bit about that family that seems bizarre
True. But the Ptolomies may have adopted Egyptian garb with the expectation that their practices would be tolerated if they seemed like they came from a different world