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Fanart: apoiaf cosplays! *finished 
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I finished it! Well I finished it a week ago but then I got caught up with a little youtube project...so my apologies. I've learned a lot about photoshop so maybe you'll see a digital fanart in the future...........

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Sun May 20, 2012 2:06 am
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maesters of the citadel
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That is all kinds of awesome. Great work!

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Sun May 20, 2012 5:55 am
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omg, that is so awesome! you're amazing. Can i post it on my facebook? :P


Sun May 20, 2012 7:12 am
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Great stuff!

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Sun May 20, 2012 9:56 am
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Ashley wrote:
omg, that is so awesome! you're amazing. Can i post it on my facebook? :P



SECONDING THIS.

this is gorgeous- can i post it on my facebook as well?

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Sun May 20, 2012 2:53 pm
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Sylva Neeps Santagar

Great artwork!

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Sun May 20, 2012 3:41 pm
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Yup! It was for you guys so post it anywhere. Unfortunately it's too big to be attached to this post. Maybe I'll email it to you guys?

*Edit: I've emailed it to the staff- and -amin @podcastoficeandfire.com emails


Sun May 20, 2012 4:07 pm
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That's great, good job.

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Sun May 20, 2012 6:53 pm
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Now I am going to have to play and redeem Darkstar in our next audio reading :geek: Challenge accepted 8-)

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Wed May 23, 2012 1:03 am
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Amin wrote:
Now I am going to have to play and redeem Darkstar in our next audio reading :geek: Challenge accepted 8-)

Actually, I had no idea anyone disliked the Darkstar, until I heard you guys talking about it in an older episode recently. I always thought Darkstar was pretty cool, but now... "he is of the night", LOL. :lol:


Wed May 23, 2012 1:06 am
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Here is a copy of a defence of Darkstar someone (Jaosn? wrote a while back (a listener was kind enough to send to me when I was trying to find it). I need to read it in detail but there were some interesting points in there, though it may be outdated (I think it was written pre-ADWD):

Spoiler: show
The Dorne Identity – George R.R. Martin’s DARKSTAR


A lot of people hate this dude.

If he ever would don the White it would probably be mirrored in the White Book. For this level of infamy Darkstar is the initial first appearance subject from a book, following the footsteps of comic book inductee David Lapham’s Defiant Mongrel. For myself, the first word that popped into my head was EXTREME, which should never be confused with just “extreme”. Let me explain. By A Feast for Crows (this would be where common sense tells you whether you should read on — there is also a single line pertaining to A Dance with Dragons) sure, George R.R. Martin has had some crazy shit occur in his Song of Ice and Fire series, but the tune was still pretty straight. Weird was going on but by in large they were happening to normal people who could have walked out of a Katherine Mansfield collection. The people who dared do fantastic deeds in a series of fantasy novels had the decency to be… weird. We’ve met several characters that would be deemed reprehensible by the majority of upstanding folk, but I think we’ve been exposed to habitual daughter(s) fucker and infant killers who didn’t turn off people as immediately as one Ser Gerold Dayne.
Thus it should surprise no one that I like him. Partly because I don’t wholly understand what exactly people are reading. Don’t get me wrong, I think any characters can be nitpicked to death. We see it even with the more central and loved characters in A Song of Ice and Fire, it is part of the fun of series as well as an immersion tool, but Gerold Dayne represents one of the few examples where our goal is the joke itself, not a means to understand him, even when he’s clearly put in a position to draw out other questions imperative to the maxi-story in the series. I think the distinction is that we treat and have elevated Martin’s creations as flawed people. Darkstar seems like an unusually and quite rare flawed character in this series, left for us to ridicule.

A great deal of this just involves the name. Much like I said about VALIANT’s Ninjak I think Gerold suffers a great deal for his call sign. EXTREME. I mentioned above that for the most part Martin plays this series pretty straight. The appearance of Darkstar made me consider a 1990’s Rob Liefeld IMAGE character suddenly appearing in some lame black and white, probably critically acclaimed, slice of life comic. A tunic with mad cross-stitched pouches, 600 teeth that fit in a standard mouth, a Final Fantasy 7 sized sword, and towering over lesser people in such a way you could never catch a frame with his feet in them, people feared hearing the words “of the night”. These Dorne kids were out of the box with big plans but left their Junior Woodchuck Guide back at the Water Gardens. For this reason I wondered WHAT were these chapters for? For many it became fuel to mock Ser Gerold (a fine name), and while viewed in a vacuum they range from undeniably damning to damn hilarious, though it doesn’t truly add up. Martin’s practice in red herrings and false doors is well-known, but he rarely deals in utter uselessness. Reader perception versus in-world perspective is something A Song of Ice and Fire fans tend to be masters at differentiating, which is why Darkstar is very much a conscious and a bit too welcome blindspot.

I certainly felt something different when Dayne was being described and while it wasn’t lost on me that he seemed out-of-place, I went back and reread that chapter several times (I’ve reread the book several times) and found that the textual evidence doesn’t seem to support it.

The Crimes…
No. Men call me Darkstar, and I am of the night.

I was weaned on venom

I’m not sure if I’ve come across two none-hate spewing lines of fiction that have caused more hate — even in good fun — for a character. If random guy came up to me and called himself the Sword of the Morning (in Westeros, defined as badass) or the Mountain that Rides, or admitted they were searching for the Prince Who Was Promised, I’d be as prone to avoid them as if somebody said they were Darkstar. In a real world sense they are all kind of silly, but these types of names were very common even in our own history, one that Martin is a fan of. Darkstar is without question a bit overboard, but the idea of him having this name really isn’t. The most infamous man in Dorne is called the Red Viper, his bastard children are called Sand Snakes. Hell, one of the most prized sons of the generation walks around honored as the Knight of Flowers. The crime here, if any exists at all is that he calls himself Darkstar.

… but that’s still kind of okay.

Martin sets it up well enough, having Arianne mention him as Darkstar several times before he utters his infamous line. The truth is that there is probably nothing wrong with Darkstar and I often wonder how we would view Gerold if he was introduced as such by someone most of us like, say Oberyn Martel. “That’s my dude Darkstar, and he is of the night… motherfucker” (I don’t view Oberyn as Samuel L, but I think it would be hilarious if Sam’s voice was Oberyn’s while he was acting stupid in his fight with Gregor). There would probably be a Hot Topic line based on the guy by the time you finished the chapter. Indeed, in his own words, Gerold tells us “men” call him this.

The second quote is often taken out of context. By itself, unprompted and just thrown out there among normal people, “I was weaned on venom” is really bizarre and worthy of extreme mockery. Unfortunately Fortunately Dayne is probably not an awkward high school kid, indeed NOTHING in the text presents him as such.

Watch where you set your feet,” Drey cautioned. “It has been a while since Prince Oberyn milked the local vipers.

I was weaned on venom, Dalt. Any viper takes a bite of me will rue it.” Ser Gerold vanished through a broken arch.

In context it looks to me like Gerold is just having his brand of fun with a child. He’s saying it before he goes and takes a piss, a traditional and time-honored time of male ribbing. Translated it just means I don’t worry about shit, shit worries about me. It’s not like he is goodkinding it here, Zack Morris-froze the world, stepped up on a nonexistent podium and made some official speech out of it as the rest of the book and world waited. Guy just said snakes don’t fuck with him and then took take a piss (if he had his junk out at the time, it even could have been a dick joke). Considering what I’ve heard about A Dance with Dragons, I find this very statement to be particularly interesting since Obara seems headed his way in The Winds of Winter. It would be epic if he relieved himself on a Sand Snake, completing the circle and making Martin a literary genius (again).

In a series full of and obsessed with physical characteristics to a degree I’ve never seen before (LOVE that!), I’m not sure one streak of hair color has ever been more scrutinized. So much so we kind of forget what’s actually being said. For many (and admittedly many times it’s in good fun/ jest) it feels like we now perceive Gerold as some misfit loser.

He is highborn enough to make a worthy consort, she thought. Father would question my good sense, but our children would be as beautiful as dragonlords. If there was a handsomer man in Dorne, she did not know him. Ser Gerold Dayne had an aquiline nose, high cheekbones, a strong jaw. He kept his face clean-shaven, but his thick hair fell to his collar like a silver glacier, divided by a streak of midnight black. He has a cruel mouth, though, and a crueler tongue. His eyes seemed black as he sat outlined against the dying sun, sharpening his steel, but she had looked at them from a closer vantage and she knew that they were purple. Dark purple. Dark and angry.

Translation? To Arianne, a dime-piece Princess of Dorne, Gerold Dayne is a hot piece of ass on at least a regional level. Have you ever been the best looking guy in a room? Feels nice right? This guy can’t walk far enough in any direction for a few days and not be confident in knocking Vince Chase-standard boots. Guy is or could be a straight up pimp in a part of the world where the pickins’ seems prime and welcoming? Sure, he’s the part of a minor branch of the family but he has his own (a big deal in those times) and he’s the lord of it. If your house has a name and you don’t pay rent to anyone in it, you’re doing okay.

Damn, but at least he’s an upper-middle class emo-esque pussy…

No, Sorry, but Ser Gerold is probably a BADASS…
The one piece of physical evidence that everyone points to is that he attempted to and failed to kill Myrcella, a helpless child… a girl. Let’s for the moment assume that Gerold was trying to kill her and that Doran’s account is actually true (wait a minute, there were eyewitnesses — STOP — all of whom who were shipped off while Arianne sat in a room). Arianne saw NOTHING. We don’t really know if Gerold swung the blade and even if he did, if his attempt was to kill, BUT let’s assume that he in fact did try to kill her and he in fact missed. Here is Doran’s account:

All eyes were on your white knight so no one seems quite certain just what happened, but it would appear that her horse shied away from his at the last instant, else he would have taken off the top of the girl’s skull. As it is, the slash opened her cheek down to the bone and sliced off her right ear. Maester Caleotte was able to save her life, but no poultice nor potion will ever restore her face.

Of course, everyone who has ever swung a blade at a target on moving and living animal actually hits their target every single time they have tried, even when under the duress of an ambush sprung on you by superior forces sent by the cat who runs the kingdom you LIVE in. Note that Doran says the maester was able to save her life, meaning that it wasn’t a given. Sometimes you just miss. A Horse, a beast of probably quality stock, did what you’d think it would do and the guy failed to land a killing blow in a heated situation. Oh, and by the way he also found the time to GET AWAY.

That’s what we the reader can see above, though the truth is we see NOTHING. They are words told to Arianne by Doran, we do not know if he has reason to be truthful or not. What other thoughts do we get of Gerold in the two chapters he’s in?

If he gives me such a look when Arys is here, we will have blood on the sand. Whose, she could not say. By tradition the Kingsguard were the finest knights in all the Seven Kingdoms. but Darkstar was Darkstar

Arianne is a not a veteran of wars, she is not a knight, she is obviously not a tactical genius. She does not train or lead men into battle. That said, those truths mean very little here. Arys could be the worst fighter in Westeros, it doesn’t really matter. She’s weighing it against the idea that the members of Kingsguard should be asskickers. The reader knows the truth that some are better than others, and some are even mediocre but the veracity of Arianne’s thought doesn’t hinge on that truth. She is assuming that Arysmight be a badass because he is Kingsguard, but even if he IS that ideal she’s saying “Darkstar is Darkstar.” The only thing she could be describing is her thoughts on his ability to defeat a member of the Kingsguard representative of the “finest knights”, not just Arys. To her, perhaps the most immediate of the Kingsguard are her own countrymen, Lewyn Martell and the Sword of the Morning. Does anything in this chapter make you feel like Arianne thought she was scraping the bottom of the barrel in martial skills in getting Gerold?

We need him,” Arianne reminded them. “It may be that we will need his sword, and we will surely need his castle.

Even Doran’s own words tell us the rest of her band were “foolish children” (we will get back to that), so in comparison Gerold merely being a capable adult would allow for this statement to be true and not mean much more. Still…she said it to placate them of their need for him. Arianne could surely get other random swords, she chose Gerold even when he’s a wildcard by most accounts and obviously not favored be her own inner circle. She sold them on his (known?) competence.

Last, but first in valor, I give you Ser Gerold Dayne, a knight of Starfall

This guy is not a coward. Sure, it’s for presentation and show, but at any moment does it seem flummery, like she’s just talking out of her ass and making shit up? She’s talking to he person she would crown. And MOST important…

The Yronwoods might declare for Quentyn, but alone they were no threat. If they went over to Tommen and the Lannisters, she would have Darkstar destroy them root and branch.

Who cares, right? Maybe the Yronwoods are a bunch of minor upstart lames. Mayb…

The most powerful of the Dornish lords was Anders Yronwood, the Bloodroyal, Lord of Yronwood and Warden of the Stone Way, but Arianne knew better than to look for help from the man who had fostered her brother Quentyn

Oh, damn. the Yronwoods are Dorne heavyweights. Well at least we don’t have anyone else’s thoughts on Gerold. Oh…

Darkstar is the most dangerous man in Dorne. You and he have done us all great harm.” - Doran Martell, the Prince of Goddamn Dorn

This is another of one of most debated sentences. We don’t know in what context Doran is speaking. It’s more likely that Gerold has the 8th best chance to be linked to a dead Targaryen prince and prophecy that Doran just decided to throw out there in conversation at that moment just to add spice to an otherwise casual pop and daughter chat. Even if for some baffling reason he is, it doesn’t take way from everything else we’ve read, nor are the two mutually exclusive.

Leave your scarecrow at home…
The worst of the discussions I’ve seen are those that dismiss him as a character and future player ENTIRELY because he took a swing at Mycrella. This is, of course, is asinine for numerous enough reasons that everyone knows and I’m not even going to bring up in story examples like Jaime and Sandor, both of whom have strong fan bases and I’d describe as favorites in the series. It’s just a fundamentally stupid angle to have and admit to in general and I’m not even sure why these people exist. We don’t need people to tell us that, yeah, a guy who takes a swing at a little kid is pretty jacked. This is a fantasy novel. He’s not real. He’s part of a fictional story. We are debating the potential of his place in pretend land. You can not treat him as “people” in this regard, bug then go treat him as a character when talking about his name or hair. It’s one or the other.

The worst case scenario…
Is that this guy is an exotic looking potential Mr. Dorne contestant with available and wealthy members at the highest levels of aristocracy who wants to fuck him and daydream about what their kids would look like. Lounges in his own castle, he has the leader of his nation specifying him as the most dangerous dude in the zip code.

Damn this guy is lame.

In 2006 some of Martin’s thoughts on Darkstar were reported:

Oh … and George doesn’t seem to have known that Darkstar isn’t very popular. ;) He thought that a “bad boy” character would go over well, since people seem to love the Hound and even Theon Greyjoy so very much. We will probably have to have a discussion about this at the Brotherhood without Banners ‘BwB party.

While a fan of ancillary writings on works that merit it — I love the History of Middle Earth volumes and The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien and such — I am of the mind that an author succeeds and fails from what is in-book. As noted above, while I don’t at all agree that Martin presented a character that should be mocked, it doesn’t change that many seem to have perceived him as worthy of such. It represents what seems to at least be a partial and self-admitted authorial failure. The text doesn’t reveal anyone that deserves our japes though it does perhaps present one that is uniquely open to such by reader, which is absolutely a responsibility of the author. Neither Sandor nor Theon seemed forced on us. In fact it feels likes we intruded upon them, and though I actually think Theon wasn’t so well liked (I liked him) the manner of that distaste was earned, he was able to win and lose us many times over, and we decided. Jaime is probably one of the great characters in fantasy fiction in this regard. Darkstar awesomeness just kind of landed on us. A Song of Ice and Fire fans like foreplay.

Interestingly, the admission by Martin shot down an initial thought I had regarding this quote:

They trembled,” said Ser Gerold, “then they killed him. If I led a quarter of a million men to death, would they call me Gerold the Great?” He snorted. “I shall remain Darkstar, I think. At least it is mine own.” He unsheathed his longsword, sat upon the lip of the dry well, and began to hone the blade with an oilstone.

I thought this might have been a message of self-awareness for both character and author, but it seems Martin wouldn’t have felt the need to have done that.

The Misc.
I have a couple of random and jumbled thoughts relating to Gerold.

We are expected to examine names in this series. Sometimes a name is just a name but often because of the looming presence of Arthur and Ashara Dayne we focus on his last name. I wonder if he was named after Gerold Hightower, the White Bull and Lord Commander of Aerys 7.

Gerold is the Knight and Lord of High Hermitage. Hermitage has a couple of meanings . One, roughly a secluded monastery-like location. Two, it’s a name of an asteroid, which is interesting because Ser Arthur Dayne’s sword was said to be forged from the heart of a falling star.

Arianne Martell arrived with Drey and Sylva just as the sun was going down, with the west a tapestry of gold and purple and the clouds all glowing crimson. The ruins seemed aglow as well; the fallen columns glimmered pinkly, red shadows crept across the cracked stone floors, and the sands themselves turned from gold to orange to purple as the light faded. Garin had arrived a few hours earlier, and the knight called Darkstar the day before.

This could just be a geographical circumstance, but it always struck me that he arrived first. I couple this with the fact that he somehow got way from what we think is an extremely capable Areo Hotah, and Doran’s words of “All eyes were on your white knight so no one seems quite certain just what happened” seem odd to me when the presence of the “most dangerous man in Dorne” was there. Hotah, who again, we assume is a capable veteran would KNOW that. I don’t know, this never added up to me and the idea of Doran not having a player like Gerold in his pocket seems out of character. He has long term plotting issue for sure, but he had ruled Dorne for a long time. SOMEBODY told, and Doran says:

Aside from Darkstar, your fellow plotters were no more than foolish children

It strikes me that the possibility of Gerold causing harm to Mycrella was brought to Arianne AND the reader by Gerold himself. Was he setting her up as a part of a bigger lie? What does Doran gain from a disfigured Lannister, one that he can claim was not his fault? Also, recall the animosity between the Daynes and Oakhearts. Gerold said this to Arys when they were ambushed:

Darkstar’s laughter rang out. “Are you blind or stupid, Oakheart? There are too many. Put up your sword.

The best way to get rid of a witness, without witnesses, and unprovoked by the ambushers. Earlier in the series Ned gave similar words to Robert about his desire to participate in the melee. From the very beginning Gerold is either a well trained. prepared soldier or was expecting trouble:

He unsheathed his longsword, sat upon the lip of the dry well, and began to hone the blade with an oilstone.

The others are really doing not much more than playing a game that is over their heads. Gerold is here for a purpose beyond friendship. Whose purpose is still something I’m not quite yet decided on.

Unquestionably, I think even without Martin’s words above we could see that Gerold was supposed to mean something more to us. The name Dayne is such a loaded term for the faithful because of Arthur and Ashara. Martin knows our scrutiny and interest would instantly focus on him in a crowd. Throw in Targaryenish features and that’s stuff forum threads are made of. When we go to him we were given every reason to believe he could handle, not to mention his playgirl status. He then is described as doing something extremely big time (taking a swing at a member of the royal family, his country’s ward) in an extremely revelatory chapter (one of my favorites at least). He was set up to be a wave of awesome but may have to settle for just being worthy of Critical Immunity’s regard. I’m thinking to be Darkstar is not such a bad thing and I often think of him as being set-up the way Bronn (my official straight man crush) wants to be. Hmm…Bronn. Another fan favorite who I think would off a child without hesitation for the right reasons.

Most importantly, and where I have to get serious for a moment, we are making fun of Ser Gerold more than we are The Chronicles of Blood and Stone, and that in itself should tell you that the world is not in proper balance, not to mention disclosing a heinous breach of literary responsibility by the speculative fiction community. Darkstar would be Newcomb’s Hamlet.

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Wed May 23, 2012 1:13 am
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Ashley wrote:
omg, that is so awesome! you're amazing. Can i post it on my facebook? :P


I thirdsie this. Or is it fourthalate? What ever the count, I love it. You rock Rosie.

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Wed May 23, 2012 1:20 am
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Kyle wrote:
Ashley wrote:
omg, that is so awesome! you're amazing. Can i post it on my facebook? :P


I thirdsie this. Or is it fourthalate? What ever the count, I love it. You rock Rosie.


It is my facebook profile pic :D I'm adding it to the site gallery now, also is on the post for the last episode.

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