EDIT: After reviewing this, I'm not sure this is really a Sansa theory, but it does include predictions for her.
I once stumbled upon a blogspot page detailing why A Song of Ice and Fire is roughly based on the Norse story of Ragnarok. I thought it raised a few good points even though some of it fit poorly. (The link: http://gameofthrones...f-ice-fire.html) I recommend anyone interested have a look at this.
I think ASOIAF is definitely influenced by Norse myth, and Greek myth, history, stories from all over the world, and fictional stories from the modern era.
One character who seemed kind of illusive to me was Ser Shadrich. He has appeared twice in the story so far, and as a knight in Littlefinger's small retinue he is probably going to appear again, even if in a minor role. He may be just a red herring (he even has red hair...), but I think he's more than that.
The first thing to look at when examining this character is his name and mannerisms. He is named Shadrich. Where and why did George R. R. Martin take this name from?
A list of possible sources and why:
1. The Spectacular Scarlet Spider - This is a comic book series which briefly replaced Spiderman. In the series there is a character named Gregory Herd, who was originally a villain named Override, but after coming into the employ of The Green Goblin he gains the power of immolation, and becomes known as Shadrac. This power is slowly killing him however.
Herd/Shadrac joined the Goblin because he was heavily in debt trying to save his sickly wife.
Shadrac was actually the alter-ego of a character called Dolman, who was possessing Herd. Dolman was an immortal with some pretty mystical powers.
He joined The Goblin during an event known as the Great Spider Hunt - wherein a massive bounty was placed on Spiderman. Sound alot like the search for Sansa Stark?
There are alot of parallels here between Shadrich of the Shadyglen and Gregory Herd. I'm not a fan of fake identity theories, but the parallels between the two debter mercenarys might stretch far enough to include identity change.
Shadrac eventually fights Spiderwoman and defeats her easily. Brienne of Tarth?
The problem here is that Shadrac/Dolman was very tall (and a skeleton), not short and stocky. EDIT: Herd is the Mouse's height.
It's my hypothesis that Shadrich of the Shadyglen has always had the same name, and probably has been using the same Mad Mouse gimmick for some time.
The comic book character himself was probably based on two other sources ( * ), which are also candidates for George R.R. Martin influencers:
2*. The Calydonian Boar Hunt - This is a Homeric epic about a boar that's ravaging the greek countryside, and a great hunt is called to stop it. Among the hunters include a young huntress named Atalanta, whose beauty attracts many many suitors but she turns them all down, saying she will only marry the one who can beat her in a footrace. (obviously Brienne of Tarth, substitute beauty for being the heir to a prosperous island) Another hunter is called Meleager. He is in love with Atalanta like many others.
What's interesting about Meleager is that his fate is entertwined with a brand that's said to kill him when it's consumed by fire. His mother hid the brand when she heard about the prophecy. In the story Meleager goes around killing people who insult Atalanta, including his own brother. He even killed two centaurs who tried to rape her. (In Westeros there is the House Caswell, sworn to Highgarden - Their sigil is a centaur. Two Caswell men were spotted at Maidenpool by Brienne.)
He eventually wounds the boar, and Atalanta kills it. He gives her the prize since she killed the boar.
When Meleagers mother found out he killed his brother, she put the brand in the hearth and Meleager died. In Westeros kinslaying is a terrible curse. Could be Shadrich will/did kinslay and is destined for some really bad luck. Maybe he will serve Lord Baelish faithfully and be rewarded Harrenhal?
There are some parallels here. Obviously Atalanta is a rough equivalent to Brienne. Meleager seems to be pretty good with killing, much like the Mad Mouse. Both the Mouse and Meleager are involved with fire (The Battle of the Blackwater, the brand and the hearth), and most notably - Shadrich tells Brienne he'll split Varys' coin with her if she'll help him find Sansa.
2.1. There's another character in the Boar Hunt named Hippomenes or Melanion. I think the name Hippomenes means 'Horse Hand', and the name Melanion indicates a dark complexion. Hippmenes/Melanion like many others falls in love with Atalanta (or in Westeros, with the prospect of becoming the Lord of Tarth) but knows he cannot beat her in a footrace (or in Westeros, beat Brienne in a duel) so he asked Aphrodite for help. She gives him three magic apples which are irresistable. Whenever Atalanta gets ahead of him in the race, Melanion tosses an apple ahead of her and she is distracted. (Sansa's name literally means apple, but I'm not sure what exactly that has to do with this)
Melanion and Atalanta get married, but Melanion forgets to pay back Aphrodite. One day Melanion and Atalanta are visiting the temple of Cybele, a god heavily associated with maternity and lions (Cersei?). Aphrodite casts some magic on M & A while they are in the temple, and this causes them to start having sex right there in the temple. Cybele is furious and turns them into lions.
I'm not really sure if Shadrich and Brienne are going to get married and become Lannister bannermen, but that's what might happen if GRRM bases them off of this particular story.
3*. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three biblical dudes were at one point cast into a blazing furnace for worshipping idols but survived. Battle of the Blackwater? The Mad Mouse says he fought in it. What about Morgarth the Merry and Byron the Beautiful, the other two hedgeknights entering Littlefinger's service?
There are alot of other characters named Shadrach out there. Alot of them are portrayed as soldiers and mercenaries.
4. Sula - This Shadrach was WW1 survivor. He returned to America really messed up in the head. He invents a holliday called 'National Suicide Day'. There's not much here.
5. Perdido Street Station - An award winning fantasy novel. George R.R. Martin may very well have read this book. There are two Shadrachs here. One is a street. Yes, Shadrach Street. It's a loud and busy street.
The other Shadrach is a human mercenary. He is interestingly introduced along with two other mercenaries, Pingefinchess and Tansell. All three were described as 'swaggering, ruthless, and arrogant'. But Shadrach was described as 'the hard man of the group', and also the shortest of the humans in the group. Shadrach had a really fine carved pistol with a daemonic face at the end of it's barrel. Could be The Mad Mouse comes into possession of the Westerosi equivalent: a valyrian steel sword. Probably Brienne's.
And now for the Norse mythology, which I believe GRRM draws inspiration from more than any other stories.
6. Poetic Edda - As you will read in Dorian the Historians blog, there are alot of characters in ASOIAF bearing similarity to Norse myth characters. There's Thjazi. A giant who transforms into an eagle and kidnaps Idunn, a goddess of youth and beauty associated with apples. (Littlefinger changed his sigil from the Titan of Braavos to a Mockingbird, Sansa's name means apple). Thjazi takes Idunn to his mountain stronghold. Idunn is eventually rescued by a falcon.
Interestingly Thjazi is not the only shapeshifting giant. There's also Hraesvelgr, a giant who takes eagle form and sits at the edge of the world causing the wind by beating his wings. Sounds like Littlefinger sitting at the Eyrie causing all sorts of mischief.
Hraesvelgr also sits between the eyes of an eagle. (I know what you're thinking, these norse characters are all over the place doing weird things. That's because there are alot of different stories that use the same characters)
Anyway, he sits between the eyes of an eagle (regency for Robert Arryn) and is regularly receiving scandalous messages from Nidhogg, a terrible dragon villain gnawing at the roots of the world tree. A squirrel called Ratatoskr carries these messages.
Squirrels are red. Shadrich has red hair. Ratatoskr means 'rat-tooth' or similar. It might be too blatant to give Shadrach a squirrel for a sigil, but he has a rodent all the same.
Nidhogg is similar to Jormungandr, the world serpent. Dorian says that Jormungandr is best represented by Daenerys. I dont see how Shadrich is travelling back and forth from Meereen to the Eyrie with messages, so maybe when Daenerys comes to Westeros he'll play a part? I don't really see it.
Maybe Nidhogg is Lord Lynderly (doubt it), or maybe he's Varys. I don't know. I'm inclined to think he's Aegon, the mummer's dragon.
The important part here is that Ratatoskr is heavily involved in a kind of war being waged by the wise eagle and the villainous dragon.
Ratatoskr is the one stirring up all the trouble by spreading slander between the two biggest players in the 'Game of Ragnarok', even though he's just an insignificant little squirrel. This little squirrel is really the one who initiates Ragnarok - The Song of Ice and Fire.
My 'conclusion' based on these stories:
I think Shadrich is going to do something that provokes a series of events that wreak havoc on the lands of Westeros.
Maybe when Littlefinger reveals Sansa at her wedding Shadrich takes his moment and kidnaps her, bringing her back to Kings Landing. Brienne is likely going to be involved in this, perhaps she's the one who takes Sansa.
However it goes down, the Vale is entering the war - against the Iron Throne. Quite the opposite of what Petyr was sent there to accomplish.
What happens next for the Mad Mouse I'm not sure.
What I'd like to see as a Shadrich fan is him marrying Brienne and becoming the new Lord of Tarth, then die heroically fighting the Others - but not before getting a son on Brienne to continue his line.
Oh and one more thing.. Where is Shady Glen?
Edited by Bujeyne, 05 February 2014 - 02:37 PM.