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No. 85: A Song of Slides and Laser Pointers

A Song of Slides and Laser Pointers

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Strip by: Ian Boreham

title: A Game of Crows

{Bran Stark and the Three-eyed Raven are standing side-by-side in a shared vision, watching a scene from times past.}

Bran: OK, I get that you've been stuck in a tree for a thousand years or whatever...

Bran: But, before we embark on a protracted sequence of obscure time travel visions, if there's something I really need to know, could you, like, just give me a quick PowerPoint summary first?

Bran: [trailing off] You know, just in case something bad happens...

The author writes:

SPOILERS ahead for anyone who hasn't seen season 6 of Game of Thrones, if you hadn't guessed. Nothing too egregious, though, I hope.

I was going to call this "A Clash of Crows", but I realised that non-Game-of-Thronesers might find it harder to even identify the subject of parody. Also, this is more snarkiness than a proper clash.

So, why is it so hard in fiction to just teach a "Chosen One" what he/she needs to know? And why is it so hard in this case for the Three-eyed Raven (Three-eyed Crow in the books) to just say "while we're there, don't touch anything or talk to anyone, because X will happen, and that's bad. And don't do things on your own yet, because your inexperience will cause Y to happen, and that's bad."

Wouldn't teaching Bran how to end a vision when desired be a good idea? One approach to teaching machine tool safety is to teach students where the Big Red Stop Button is, and get them to practice switching the machine off, before they've ever even switched it on or used it. When the fate of the world is at stake, learning how to drop out of a dangerous vision immediately before causing a disaster ought to be a high priority, surely?

As usual, one of the Stark family makes a poor decision, and brings down a rain of suffering as a result. That seems to have been the cause of most problems to date.

I came across a wealth of fan theories about the Three-eyed Raven in researching this. Some people seem so staunch in their beliefs that I suspect they would tell George Martin that he was wrong if he wrote a different explanation in a later book.

There's also an enormous amount of discussion out there about how long the TER/C has actually been stuck in the Weirwood tree.

Assembled in Inkscape using screencaps.