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High Sparrow


127 replies to this topic

#1 CROW'S 3YE

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:15 PM

Does any think Martin will pull the same thing he pulled with Barristan? Having him be a recongnizable character but not to the POV's that are in his story line? Do we think that he can be some one previously mentioned in the series the reader just doesn't know it yet? And if so who? I find it odd that he takes the time to name every character even random background characters but didn't name a seemingly important character.

#2 Gronzag

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:38 PM

If it turns out that HS was indeed some previously mentioned character than it would only make the ASOIAF world look smaller. 



#3 daario's man

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:39 PM

I saw a thread that said he was Howland Reed, I didn't believe it but it was pretty funny and well put together. I almost hope it is true.



#4 SuperTechmarine

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:48 PM

No. 



#5 HelenaAndTheMachine

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:48 PM

I think we saw him earlier in Feast for Crows than Cersei's PoV, but he is what he claims to be. I think he is one of the begging brothers that Brienne passes on the road, there was one in particular but i dont remember which now. Perhaps the one with the Smith's hammer round his neck but i could be mistaken

#6 Don Roberto

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:13 PM

If he was someone who already know, the community would have (conclusively) found out by now. Howland Reed was at the tourney of Harrenhal, and rode with Ned during the war, hardly someone who'd pass unnoticed beneath the eyes of the entire realm.

 

George has played this hand many times before, so we're all a little tending to match everyone to everything, but sometimes a sparrow is just a sparrow.



#7 SpringKing

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:13 PM

Does any think Martin will pull the same thing he pulled with Barristan? Having him be a recongnizable character but not to the POV's that are in his story line? Do we think that he can be some one previously mentioned in the series the reader just doesn't know it yet? And if so who? I find it odd that he takes the time to name every character even random background characters but didn't name a seemingly important character.

 

On the way to Baelor's Sept, Cersei and Taena make a fair bit of noise about not knowing the High Sparrow's name because its tradition for the HS not to use one. Which of course is only meant to pique the reader's interest in his name. Even though Cersei is expected at Baelor's Sept, all the septons, including HS, are cleaning the floor. In effect, the floor is a swamp of dirty grey water. "The queen knew that she should kneel, but the floor was wet with soap and dirty water...".

 

When the HS refuses to anoint Tommen as King saying "The hour is not yet ripe" Cersei wonders "Are you a priest or a greengrocer" The greengrocer line is a subtle reference to greenseer. The crannogmen are noted having been close to the children of the forest and their greenseers. HR's son Jojen is evidence that greensight is a Reed family trait. Cersei's riffs on the word 'ripe', but HS's meaning is about timely consideration, which is what greenseers do - consider events in times past, present and future.

 

Then there is the symmetry between the Knight of the Laughing Tree story and Howland Reed=High Sparrow:

  • Lyanna anonymously becomes something she's not, an armed knight, whose symbol is religious (weirwood tree) to right the injustice done to HR. 
  • HR anonymously becomes something he's not, religious leader, whose symbol is not religious (armed sparrows) to right the injustice done to Ned.

Additionally, the HS's appearance matches what we expect a crannogman to look like:

"shorter than the queen by several inches and as thin as a broom handle...His face was sharply pointed, with deep-set eyes as brown as mud. His feet are bare, she saw with dismay. They were hideous as well, hard and horny things, thick with callus."
 
The HS is the same septon that Brienne meets heading from to Duskendale from Rosby. That septon asks Brienne and her companions to join the sparrows headed to King’s Landing. "The septon had a lean sharp face and a short beard, grizzled grey and brown. His thin hair was pulled back and knotted behind his head, and his feet were bare and black, gnarled and hard as tree roots.
 
Credit to roadsiderose for a remarkable bit of sleuthing.


#8 Don Roberto

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:47 PM

Except that Lyanna, if the Knight of the Langhing Tree, was likely in plate and full helm, as befits a mystery knight. The High Septon is wearing only plain robes, everyone can see his face and Howland Reed is hardly an unknown nobody.



#9 SuperTechmarine

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:53 PM

Except that Lyanna, if the Knight of the Langhing Tree, was likely in plate and full helm, as befits a mystery knight. The High Septon is wearing only plain robes, everyone can see his face and Howland Reed is hardly an unknown nobody.

 

In the North maybe. But in the South. Well that's a different story.



#10 Don Roberto

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:03 PM

 

In the North maybe. But in the South. Well that's a different story.

 

As I said, he was at the tourney of Harrenhal, and fought the war with Ned. Though not a famous person that would be recognized everywhere he goes, like Jaime, the risk of him being recognized by someone, especially being a High Septon, is enormous. The Freys have a very thorny relationship with the crannogmen, likely they'd be the first to reveal the farse.



#11 Lady Arya's Song

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:18 PM

Spring King Thank you for posting the link to Roadsiderose's post about Howland Reed being the High Septon. Awesome details and I would like to add another possible hint to the mix.

 

In ADWD Tryion on the Shy Maid with the crew, they are discussing turtles.

Martin gives us a huge list of various turtles (which are symbolic metaphors for people in the story) but then a roar is heard and one huge horned turtle dark green shell mottled with brown and overgrown with water moss and crusty black river molluscs. The turtle comes to the surface and bellows.  A roar louder than any war horn Tyrion has ever heard.  Notice Ysilla crying we are blessed..much like the sparrows of the faith and notice Lemore is there another hint about the faith of the Seven.  Everyone is hooting and Halden comes out to see what the commotion is about.

The OLD MAN OF the River.  It was him cried Yandry!  Tyrion...and why not Gods and wonders always appear to attend the birth of kings.

This is a beautiful picture of Howland Reed I believe and he will surely attend the birth of a king but it won't be Tommas. :)



#12 The Prince of Newcastle

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:29 PM

Sometimes I can't tell if a theory is genuine or just trololololol....

I really hope R+L=J is a massive GRRM troll but I know it's not.

#13 SpringKing

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:29 PM

Nice catch Lady Arya's Song. roadsiderose would appreciate having The Old Man of the River added to his post.

 

A couple of other clues:

 

What we know of the KLT story is from Meera, which lends a little more of the 'personal' to the parallel between KLT & HR=HS.

 

The Reed kids are called "Mudmen” by Little Walder. The HS's eyes are "brown as mud".

 

The Reed children also match the HS's appearance - short, slender, hair in a knot:

"she was slim as a boy, with long brown hair knotted behind her head ... Both Reeds were slight of build, slender as swords and scarcely taller than Bran himself." 
 
Its been 16 years since Howland Reed has been seen. He was a young man then, now a grizzled adult. Doubtful he'd be easily recognized except by those who knew him well since he's not exactly the social sort. Plus he seems to be holed up in the Baelor's Sept most of the time.


#14 GrumpkinsAndStarks

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:36 PM

 

 

On the way to Baelor's Sept, Cersei and Taena make a fair bit of noise about not knowing the High Sparrow's name because its tradition for the HS not to use one. Which of course is only meant to pique the reader's interest in his name. Even though Cersei is expected at Baelor's Sept, all the septons, including HS, are cleaning the floor. In effect, the floor is a swamp of dirty grey water. "The queen knew that she should kneel, but the floor was wet with soap and dirty water...".

 

When the HS refuses to anoint Tommen as King saying "The hour is not yet ripe" Cersei wonders "Are you a priest or a greengrocer" The greengrocer line is a subtle reference to greenseer. The crannogmen are noted having been close to the children of the forest and their greenseers. HR's son Jojen is evidence that greensight is a Reed family trait. Cersei's riffs on the word 'ripe', but HS's meaning is about timely consideration, which is what greenseers do - consider events in times past, present and future.

I had always taken Cersei's dull witticism at face value. I don't outright reject the possibility of a double-meaning but I think we may be giving a bit too much credit to the author here. It is clear the GRRM is deliberate in his writing and fills the narrative with details that can be cited after the fact for supporting evidence. He is clearly into foreshadowing, but c'mon could anything be this complex?

 

I am reminded of the poet who is confronted by a student who'd studied his work. After a brief discussion of the student's interpretation of the poet's work the poet remarks "My god, i had no idea I was so profound" Something like that anyway, you get the gist.



#15 Jojen Dayne-Reed

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:53 PM

 
As I said, he was at the tourney of Harrenhal, and fought the war with Ned. Though not a famous person that would be recognized everywhere he goes, like Jaime, the risk of him being recognized by someone, especially being a High Septon, is enormous. The Freys have a very thorny relationship with the crannogmen, likely they'd be the first to reveal the farse.


Why would anyone recognize the short guy who hung out with the younger stark son? They would have been focused on Lyanna and Rhegar. No one would even notice him.

Also It's also like 15 years later. So he's unimportant and 15 years older. I don't think it's unbelievable that no one recognizes him.

And who at KL was at Hartenhall at this point?

No one would be expecting him. Didn't you listen to Syro? No one would see a haughty Lord when they were expecting to see a lowly priest.

I'm not saying it's true but I don't think anyone in KL would recognize him. Jamie was at Harrenhal but got sent home early (to KL) right? Everyone else is dead

#16 SpringKing

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:53 PM

I'd be skeptical too if it were only a possibility of seeing double-meaning in 'greengrocer' where there was none. But, in the context of the other clues about the High Sparrow's identity, and GRRM's proclivity for revelatory word puzzles, I'd have to quote Ian Fleming:

 

"Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action.”



#17 The Prince of Newcastle

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:57 PM

I hope Howland makes an appearance in the books but it would be amazingly trollish if he didn't. It would be hilarious.

I think the high sparrow is either a secret Targ or just the high sparrow.

#18 SuperTechmarine

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:04 PM

[...] a secret Targ [...]

 

*sigh*



#19 Hutch

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:07 PM

 
*sigh*


Why not? Everyone else in Westeros is.

#20 GrumpkinsAndStarks

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:07 PM

To be sure, "roadsiderose's" theory is well supported and is far from pure crackpot. I had wondered why the enigmatic HR had not shown his face in 5 books and this presents a hopeful answer.