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The Trial of Joy


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#1 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:46 PM

(all credit goes to those who contributed and believed in this theory: Lady Arya's Song, forestchilde, three-eyed monkey, Eggshell Joe, Jojen-Dayne Reed, Ser Eric, kiasyd, Lady Woodland, HoboJed, Edmure's Floppy Fish, Ser Duncan the Small, Blackfyre Gateau, Ulthosian Stark, Watcher_inthe_Woods, Lady Flandrensis, DeriicStarKatheon - you are all as much of this thread as I am...  And most importantly,

 

   :bowdown: Roadside Rose  :bowdown:  

 

If not for your brilliant observations, all this would never be.)

 

 

Theory

 

Cersei’s declaration for a Trial by Combat will backfire, when the High Septon, disguised as Howland Reed, grants a Trial of Seven instead.

 

 

Motive

 

To supplant the Lannister rule, avenge the Starks, and position Jon as King.

 

In the twilight of his campaign, Robb made his thoughts clear on who he planned to succeed him:

 

“Mother.” There was a sharpness in Robb’s tone. “You forget. My father had four sons.”

 

They argue about Jon, and Catelyn realizes:

 

He is set on this.

 

They continue to argue over inheritance laws and precedent, when Robb finally says:

 

"Jon is the only brother that remains to me. Should I die without issue, I want him to succeed me as King in the North."

 

And so he has decided.  Later, Robb declares his intentions to his bannermen:

 

“One more matter... I’ve thought long and hard about who might follow me. I command you now as my true and loyal lords to fix your seals to this document as witnesses to my decision.”

 

A king indeed, Catelyn thought, defeated.

 

Robb’s bannermen bear witness to the naming of Jon as heir, as Catelyn feels notably defeated.

 

During this same meeting, Robb commands Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover, two of his most loyal bannermen, to travel up the Neck:

 

“Go upriver flying my banner. The crannogmen will find you. I want two ships to double the chances of my message reaching Howland Reed. Lady Maege shall go on one, Galbart on the second.”

 

Shortly after, Robb and his host are murdered, and his two remaining faithful bannermen (with their knowledge of the heir apparent; Jon), go missing into the Neck…

 

“But they will not fail. My father knew the worth of Howland Reed.”

Edited by pobeb, 03 August 2014 - 02:46 AM.


#2 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:47 PM

The “Faithful” Northmen

 

Roughly two months (11/23/299 - 1/28/300) after the Northern parties go missing, Brienne and her company travel North to Duskendale.  Along the way, they encounter a suspicious band of armed and bearded Sparrows:

 

A group of begging brothers led the way, scruffy bearded men…

 

Several of the men had axes, and more had crude wooden clubs and cudgels.

 

Interestingly, there are only three characters who address Brienne and her hedge knights:

 

“Poor fellows,” said a big man with an axe. Despite the chill of the autumnal wood, he was

shirtless...

 

“We are marching to the city,” said a tall woman in the traces of the wayn…

 

“Join us, friends,” urged a spare small man in a threadbare septon’s robe...

 

It is my impression that these three distinct characters represent the missing Northern bannermen:  House Glover, House Mormont, and House Reed.

 

 

Axes that fit like a Glove'r

 

The axe is a choice weapon among the North.  So much so, there are even certain Houses which brandish an axe as their sigil i.e. House Dustin, House Cerwyn - no other House bears a sigil of an axe.

 

The home of House Glover is situated in the Wolfswood; it is, undoubtedly, surrounded by more trees than any other House in the entire story.  In fact, the Glovers’ are so beset by trees, they crafted their seat from them - Deepwood Motte.  

 

As such, it stands to reason that these hairy, lumberjack-esque, northerners would prefer axes as weapons.

 

Interestingly, many of these sparrows favor axes:

 

Several of the men had axes

 

We encountered ruffians on the road as well. Filthy, unkempt creatures, with leather shields and axes...”

“They call themselves sparrows...”

 

She had only two knights amidst a sea of sparrows. She saw staves and scythes, cudgels and clubs, several axes.

 

Some had spears and some had longswords. More favored axes

 

… the sparrows came pouring into the Great Sept with their leader on their shoulders and their axes in their hands.

 

“Your sparrows have clubs and axes…”

 

The Poor Fellows ... Begging brothers of a sort, though they carried axes instead of bowls.

 

And mingled in with them were the Poor Fellows, filthy, unshaven creatures armed with spears and axes.

 

When Jaime visits his cousin, Lancel, he sees many of these same bearded sparrows occupying Castle Darry:

 

A dozen bearded men with axes stood guard...

 

There were axes in evidence as well, and he spied several bearded men with red, seven-pointed stars sewn onto ragged, filthy tunics. More bloody sparrowsWhere do they all come from?

 

Jaime glanced about the yard, at the bearded faces of the sparrows. Too many.

 

Three sparrows sat upon its steps. When Jaime approached, they rose. “Where you going, m’lord?” asked one. He was the smallest of the three, but he had the biggest beard.

 

“...  you can’t go in unless his lordship says you can.” She hefted a spiked club, and the small man raised an axe.

 

So, I think it’s safe to say these “sparrows”, have similarly shaggy beards and carry axes as often as any northmen.  Speaking of which, let’s draw our attention back to the big, axe-wielding man Brienne makes note of:

 

a big man with an axeDespite the chill of the autumnal wood, he was shirtless

 

Despite the noted chill of the woods, this man is walking around shirtless - suggestive of a northman; being resilient to the cold.

 

During the exchange between the sparrows and Brienne’s company, Duskendale is mentioned, and the sparrows, the big one in particular, have an unreasonably angry reaction:

 

“We are bound for Duskendale,” Ser Illifer said flatly.

 

One of the begging brothers spat, and a woman gave a moan. “You are false knights,” said the big man with the star carved on his chest. Several others brandished their cudgels.

 

Why so serious?  Well:

 

(Robb) shook his head, bewildered. “A third of my foot, lost for Duskendale?”

“... the Lannisters hold my brother,” Galbart Glover said, in a voice thick with despair. Robett Glover had survived the battle, but had been captured near the kingsroad not long after.

 

These bearded “sparrows”, who wear ragged clothes and armor, favor axes, and harbor an unexplained rancor for Duskendale, seem awfully suspicious... don’t they?

 

If Galbart Glover took his men south, with Howland and Maege, these suspicious sparrow traits would definitely match his unaccounted party.

 

Speaking of Maege...

 

 

- The unBEARable Septas

 

Catelyn: “You are braver than I am, I fear. Are all your Bear Island women such warriors?”

Maege: “She-bears, aye...”

 

In Cersei’s mad attempt to flee the Sept of Baelor, she is captured by a group of suspiciously strong septas:

 

She ran as far as the sept, but no farther. There were women waiting for her there, more septas...

 

but the septas … were stronger than they looked.

 

“Stronger than they looked”?  That sounds familiar:

 

We are stronger than we seem, my lady,” Lady Maege Mormont said...

 

After Cersei’s capture, she is held in confinement, with three of these deceptively strong septas as her gaolers:

 

Septa Unella was big-boned and mannish, with callused hands and homely, scowling features.

 

Septa Scolera was thick-waisted and short, with heavy breasts, olive skin, and a sour smell to her, like milk on the verge of going bad.

 

Septa Moelle had stiff white hair and small mean eyes perpetually crinkled in suspicion, peering out of a wrinkled face as sharp as the blade of an axe.

 

Interestingly, these septas share some striking similarities to the She-Bear Mormonts:

 

(Dacey) was tall and lean, (Maege) short and stout...

 

Her proper name was Alysane of House Mormont, but she wore the other name as easily as she wore her mail. Short, chunky, muscular, the heir to Bear Island had big thighs, big breasts, and big hands ridged with callus. 

 

Let’s list and compare these traits straight from the text:

 

She-Bears:

 

- short

- stout

- chunky

- muscular

- big breasts

- big hands ridged with callus

 

Cersei’s Septas:

 

- short

- thick-waisted

- big-boned

- mannish

- heavy breast

- callused hands

 

However, aside from these glaring similarities, there is one unifying parallel of these septas which cements them as She-Bears - the She-Bear carving on the gates of Mormont Keep:

 

Dacey“There’s a carving on our gate”

 

“A woman in a bearskin…”

Septa Unella ... with callused hands and homely, scowling features … would growl when she shook the queen awake.

 

“... with a child in one arm suckling at her breast…”

Septa Scolera ... a sour smell to her, like milk on the verge of going bad.

 

“... In the other hand she holds a battleaxe.”

Septa Moelle ... a wrinkled face as sharp as the blade of an axe.

 

Interestingly, we have seen other female captives accompanied by a She-Bear.  Examining them more thoroughly, we can see a pattern develop:

 

female captive (Catelyn) is kept in the company of She-Bears (Maege, Dacey)

 

female captive (Asha) is kept in the company of a She-Bear (Alysane)

 

But what about when the captive is a male, or better yet, a male lion? In ADwD, we are given the possibility of this interesting parallel:

 

male lion captive (Tyrion) is kept in the company of a He-Bear (Jorah)

 

female lion captive (Cersei) is kept in the company of ____________

 

Fill in the blank  ;)

 

Asha’s description of Alysane:

Even in sleep (Alysane) wore ringmail under her furs, boiled leather under that

 

Cersei thinks this of Septa Moelle:

This one still has her maidenhead, I’ll wager, Cersei thought, though by now it’s hard and stiff as boiled leather.

 

 

Where there's a Wells, there's a way

 

On Cersei’s second visit with the new High Septon, she is escorted into the Sept by certain person of interest:

 

“His High Holiness has been expecting you. I am Ser Theodan the True, formerly Ser Theodan Wells.”

 

Their captain knelt before her. “Perhaps Your Grace will recall me. I am Ser Theodan the True.”

 

Theodan Wells, of House Wells, sworn to the North.  Funny that a northman has risen to such a prominent position as captain of the Warrior's Sons.


Edited by pobeb, 04 August 2014 - 03:27 PM.


#3 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:48 PM

High Septon Howland - Reed'ing between the lines

 

(The crannogmen) were a cowardly people ... and preferred to hide from foes rather than face them in open battle.

 

We come now to the centerpiece character of this theory:  Howland Reed

 

Before we contrast him to the High Septon, let’s first explore everything we definitively know about Howland Reed:

 

- Howland is the Lord of Greywater Watch

- Howland is a crannogman (people renowned for deceptive combat)

- Howland is short

- Howland is brave

- Howland was one of Ned’s most trusted bannermen

- Howland survived the Battle at the Tower of Joy with Ned

- Howland saved Ned from Arthur Dayne

- Howland has two children:  Meera and Jojen

- Howland has a wife:  Jyana

- Howland is “grown to manhood” when he departs for the Tourney at Harrenhal (19yrs ago)

- Howland is referred to as “my father’s man” by Lyanna (19 years ago)

- Howland prays to the Old Gods

 

This is, definitively, all we know about Howland.  There’s no indication of how old or young he might be, other than the fact that he is a man during the Tourney at Harrenhal.

 

Now, let’s take a look at this High Sparrow:

 

The High Sparrow is the leader of these, bearded, axe-wielding, cold-resilient sparrows.  We first see him in Brienne’s travel to Duskendale.  Here is how she describes him:

 

… a spare small man …

 

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...

 

His, at one point, brown hair is “knotted behind his head

 

There’s only one other person ever mentioned to have brown hair tied in this fashion:  Meera

 

Though near Robb’s age, she was slim as a boy, with long brown hair knotted behind her head

 

The High Sparrow explains to Brienne and her party:

 

“Septs have been despoiled, maidens and mothers raped by godless men and demon worshipers. Even silent sisters have been molested. Our Mother Above cries out in her anguish. It is time for all anointed knights to forsake their worldly masters and defend our Holy Faith.”

 

This “small man” is appealing to Brienne’s party to help defend the weak and helpless.  

 

This sounds familiar to Meera and Jojen’s pledge to Bran:

 

“Grant mercy to our weak, help to our helpless, and justice to all, and we shall never fail you.”

 

Later, this “small man” forcibly takes the new position of High Septon, as Cersei notes:

 

… Septon Luceon had been nine votes from elevation when those doors had given way, and the sparrows came pouring into the Great Sept with their leader on their shoulders and their axes in their hands.

 

The new High Septon sets up residence in the Sept of Baelor, and refuses to leave.  As such, Cersei is forced to come to him:

 

“This is absurd.”

 

“It is, Your Grace,” Lady Merryweather agreed. “The High Septon should have come to you.

 

Upon meeting the new High Septon, Cersei is again forced into his terms:

 

When he knelt before the altar, she had no choice but to kneel beside him … It would seem they must confer upon their knees. A small man’s ploy, she thought…

 

This is important to note.  Not only is she highlighting the High Septon’s cunning, but this small man is once again making Cersei do what he wants.

 

Cersei notes his features:

 

His face was sharply pointed, with deep-set eyes as brown as mud.

 

Now, Jojen has green eyes.  But, as we’ve seen in Ned and Robb, or Rhaegar and Jon, eye color isn’t necessarily an indicator of parentage. However, the way in which the eyes are described is very similar:

 

The High Septon has eyes as brown as mud

 

Jojen’s, twice described, “eyes were the color of moss

 

In both cases, a simile is used to describe the eyes as things one would find in the Neck:  Mud and Moss

 

A couple more earthy descriptions of the High Septon:

 

his feet were bare and black, gnarled and hard as tree roots.

 

“ … this new (High Septon) was born with filth beneath his fingernails.”

 

Cersei is notably disgusted with the High Septon’s filthy appearance and filthy followers:

 

“Have you seen what they have done to Blessed Baelor’s statue? They befoul the plaza with their pigs and goats and night soil.”

 

Night soil can be washed away more easily than blood, Your Grace. If the plaza was befouled, it was befouled by the execution that was done here.”

 

He dares throw Ned Stark in my face?

 

The High Septon emphasizes how terrible Ned’s murder was - it is worse than shitting over the entire plaza.  Sentiments of a bitter friend, perhaps?

 

During their meeting, Cersei questions why the High Septon has refused to bless Tommen:

 

“Your Grace is mistaken. We have not refused.”

 

“You have not come.”

 

“The hour is not yet ripe.”

 

Are you a priest or a greengrocer?

 

Cersei can’t seem to budge the High Septon as he, ever so slyly, pushes Cersei into a conversation about re-establishing the Faith Militant:

 

“Maegor’s laws—”

 

“—could be undone.” She let that hang there, waiting for the High Sparrow to rise to the bait.

 

He did not disappoint her. “The Faith Militant reborn . . . that would be the answer to three hundred years of prayer, Your Grace.

 

So, from their first meeting, the High Septon has forced Cersei’s hand three different times:

 

- He gets her to come to the Sept

- He gets her to confer on her knees

- He gets her to give him massive power by re-establishing the Faith Militant

 

And he achieves each of these by simply being unwilling to move.


Edited by pobeb, 02 August 2014 - 08:57 PM.


#4 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:49 PM

Hermit's Hole and Religions Crossed

 

Interestingly, there was another septon once, who took up residence in a similarly described sept:

 

“It is called the Hermit’s Hole. The first holy man to find his way here lived therein, and worked such wonders that others came to join him.”

 

Hermit’s Hole had been a damp, dark place, floored with dirt and echoing to the sounds of dripping water

 

Inside the Sept of Baelor, Cersei notes other septons:

 

They had pails of soap and water, and were scrubbing at the floor.

 

The queen knew that she should kneel, but the floor was wet with soap and dirty water

 

“Is this how you greet me? With a scrub brush in your hand, dripping water?”

 

After their meeting, the Faith Militant is born again.  Cersei’s plot to frame Margery goes underway, but again the High Septon remains unmoved.  When called to court to answer for abducting Margery, the High Septon instead sends the She-Bear-like septa, Moelle - with armed guards, no less.

 

When Osfryd Kettleback asks if he should clear the crowd gathering to protest Margery’s imprisoment, Cersei answers:

 

“No. Let them shout until they’re hoarse, it will not sway the Sparrow. He only listens to the gods.”

 

“Only listens to the old gods”?  Seems similar to:

 

but before (Howland) slept he knelt on the lakeshore, looking across the water to where the Isle of Faces would be, and said a prayer to the old gods of north and Neck . . .”

 

After meeting with Margery, Cersei finds the High Septon in a curious place.  

 

She found the High Septon waiting for her in a small seven-sided audience chamber.  The faces of the Seven had been carved into the walls. Cersei thought the carvings crude and ugly, but there was a certain power to them, especially about the eyes … that somehow made the faces come alive.

 

Let’s compare this room, line by line, to the aforementioned similar sept, “Hermit’s Hole”

 

The room was sparse and plain, with bare stone walls, a rough-hewn table, three chairs, and a prayer bench.

The furnishings were strange but simple; a long table, a settle, a chest, several tall cases full of books, and chairs.

 

The faces of the Seven had been carved into the walls.

wide doors carved with likenesses of the Mother and the Father

 

Cersei take close note to these strange faces on the wall.  Calling them “crude” and “ugly”; saying that the eyes had “power” which made “the faces come alive”.  Sound familiar?

 

You guessed it, weirwoods.

 

But, why is GRRM calling our attention to weirwoods intermingling with The Faith?  Well:

 

The High Septon walked slowly, leaning on a weirwood staff topped by a crystal orb.

 

As you can see from the imagery, beneath the crystal orb of The Faithlies weirwood "stick" of the Old Gods.

 

Howland, posing as the High Septon, would be hiding beneath the guise of The Faith, and twice described as “thin as a broom” or as thin as a "stick"  ;)

 

As Cersei prepares to leave, she is given a very cold response:

 

No,” said the High Septon. It was only a word, one little word, but to Cersei it felt like a splash of icy water in the face.

 

Cersei could feel the eyes of the Seven staring at her … a sudden shiver of fear went through hercold as ice.

 

Any other guilty parties noted to feel cold in the eyes of the Gods?  Sure:

 

Varamyr could see the weirwood’s red eyes staring down at him from the white trunk. The gods are weighing me. shiver went through him.

 

So, if Howland is the High Septon, and his purpose is to dethrone the current rulers and establish Jon as the new king, we see a massively strong parallel to the massive turtle Tyrion witnesses on the Rhyone:

 

It was another turtle, a horned turtle of enormous size, its dark green shell mottled with brown and overgrown with water moss and crusty black river molluscs.

 

We are blessed,” Ysilla was crying loudly, as tears streamed down her face. “We are blessed, we are blessed.”

 

“It was him,” cried Yandry. “The Old Man of the River.

 

And why not? Tyrion grinned. Gods and wonders always appear, to attend the birth of kings.

 

As Howland (The Old Man of the River) attended the birth of the King (Jon).

 

When Jaime is traveling the Riverlands, he makes camp, and some of his mean are "play-fighting" with some women:

 

Jaime bet a copper star on the blonde girl riding Raff the Sweetling, and lost it when the two of them went down splashing amongst the reeds. Across the river wolves were howling...

 

Cersei (the blonde girl) will use UnGregor (Raff the Sweetling), but lose when the two of them are defeated by Howland Reed (splashing amongst the reeds).  And across the Riverlands, the North will cheer in triumph (wolves were howling).


Edited by pobeb, 03 August 2014 - 04:23 AM.


#5 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:49 PM

The Trial of Joy

 

Cersei is captured and stands accused of terrible crimes, as Qyburn explains:

 

“You are to be tried before a holy court of seven, for murder, treason, and fornication.”

 

Qyburn continues to explain that all Cersei’s work and plans were being undone.  Hearing this, Cersei feels lost and defeated, but Qyburn gives her a way out:

 

“I am lost, Qyburn.”

 

“No.” He took her hand. “Hope remains. Your Grace has the right to prove your innocence by battle.  My queen, your champion stands ready. There is no man in all the Seven Kingdoms who can hope to stand against him.”

 

This time she did laugh … “I am forbidden to make use of him. I am the queen, Qyburn. My honor can only be defended by a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard.”

 

So, Cersei knows her only way out of this is by a Trial by Combat.  However, she assumes it will be a one on one trial.

 

It’s questionable if the High Septon shares this assumption, as he didn't specify the parameters of a Trial by Combat or Trial by Faith, but simply the parameters of a general trial:

 

“Perhaps the Faith should conduct the trial?”

 

The High Sparrow steepled his thin hands. “I have had the selfsame thought, Your Grace … A sacred court of seven judges shall sit upon this case. Three shall be of your female sex. A maiden, a mother, and a crone. Who could be more suited to judge the wickedness of women?”

 

“... To be sure, Margaery does have the right to demand that her guilt or innocence be proven by wager of battle. If so, her champion must be one of Tommen’s Seven.”

 

“The knights of the Kingsguard have served as the rightful champions of king and queen since the days of Aegon the Conqueror. Crown and Faith speak as one on this.

 

Take note, Cersei specifies “one of Tommen’s Seven”

 

But the High Septon does not do this; he simply agrees that the king and queen must be defended by the Kingsguard.

 

Furthermore, he specifically says: “A sacred court of seven judges shall sit upon this case.”

 

And Cersei explains:

 

The new High Septon—or High Sparrow, as Moon Boy had dubbed him—did everything by sevens.

 

So, it stands to reason that "everything" would include a trial by combat.  Thus, a Trial of Seven.

 

But, is there precedent for modifying the rules this way?  

 

Definitely.  

 

The only other time we’ve ever seen a Trial by Seven was in “The Hedge Knight”, in which Ser Dunk stands accused by Aerion Targaryen.  Prince Baelor explains to Dunk that he will not win a regular trial, so he must call for a Trial by Combat:

 

“You have another choice, though,” Prince Baelor said quietly. “Whether it is a better choice or a worse one, I cannot say, but I remind you that any knight accused of a crime has the right to demand trial by combat."

 

To which, Aerion counters:

 

A trial of seven,” said Prince Aerion, smiling. “That is my right, I do believe.”

 

So, we see evidence that the accuser (Aerion) can alter a trial by combat to a trial of seven - it is apparently their right to do so.

 

Looking at this objectively, we can begin to see various similar scenarios: the accused calling for a trial by combat, only to have the accuser modify the terms of the trial to fit their best interest.

 

That is the criteria in which we draw the parallels:

 

The accused (Dunk) calls for a trial by combat, and the accuser (Aerion) modifies the terms of the trial (changes Dunk's trial by combat to a trial by seven) to serve his best interest (since a 1v1 would be a slam Dunk  ;) )

 

The accused (Rickard) calls for a trial by combat, and the accuser (Aerys) modifies the terms of the trial (chooses fire, a non-human champion) to serve his best interest (to kill the traitorous Starks)

 

The accused (Tyrion) calls for a trial by combat, and the accuser (Lysa) modifies the terms of the trial (Tyrion must choose from the court available, and is denied Jaime) to serve her best interest (make the bad man fly)

 

So, as you can clearly see, there is precedent for an established pattern.  You don't have to agree that Cersei's trail will go this way, there's obviously multiple outcomes to this plot-line, but I don't think you can deny that, objectively, there is evidence for a suggestive pattern.

 

Given the circumstances in the current story:

 

The accused (Cersei) will call for a trial by combat, and the accuser (High Septon) will modify the terms of the trial (to a trial of seven) to serve his best interest (handicap Cersei's chances)

 

Handicapped because, of the Seven Kingsguard, only these are available to Cersei:

 

Meryn Trant

Boros Blount

Robert the Strong

Jaime Lannister (lost in the riverlands)

Loras Tyrell (gravely injured on Dragonstone)

Balon Swann (hunting Darkstar)

Osmund Kettleblack (in a dungeon cell)

 

As we can see, by the rules the High Septon has suggested, Cersei can only, by default, call three champions to her side.

 

We've seen something similar during Dunk’s trial, as Daeron explains:

 

“My father has commanded the Kingsguard to fight with him.”

 

“The Kingsguard?” said Dunk, appalled.

 

Well, the three who are here … They have small choice in the matter,” said Daeron. “They are sworn to protect the lives of the king and royal family…”

 

However, although Maekar was participating, he was not on trial, and as he explains:

 

“If a cause is just, good men will fight for it. If you can find no champions, ser, it will be because you are guilty.”

 

And Lord Ashford clarifies:

 

“If you cannot find another knight to take your side, you must be declared guilty of the crimes of which you stand accused.”

 

So, does this mean Cersei will automatically lose her trial?  Certainly not.

 

Under normal circumstances, Cersei would undoubtedly be guilty, as the text proves.

 

But, these are not normal circumstances:

 

1) Cersei is the Queen, and as such, the High Septon has clearly indicated both his intentions (to do everything by seven) and his views on the conditions of the trial.

 

“The knights of the Kingsguard have served as the rightful champions of king and queen since the days of Aegon the Conqueror. Crown and Faith speak as one on this.

 

2) The accuser can set whichever rules they prefer as we've seen with Aerion and we've certainly seen with Aerys:

 

Lord Rickard demanded trial by combatand the king granted the request. Stark armored himself as for battle, thinking to duel one of the Kingsguard. Me, perhaps. Instead they took him to the throne room and suspended him from the rafters while two of Aerys’s pyromancers kindled a blaze beneath him. The king told him that fire was the champion of House Targaryen.

 

Aerys doesn't even use a real person.  As such, it stands to serve that the High Septon's unfair Trial of Seven against Cersei’s Three, isn't such a far-fetched possiblity.

 

Seven of the Faith, against three of the Kingsguard... Seven against three… Haven’t we seen this before?

 

Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.

 

Cersei’s Trial of Seven will parallel the battle at the Tower of Joy, where Howland and six others battle three Kingsguard, for a woman and subsequently her son.

 

Rhaegar:  I will require a sword and armor.  It appears I must be a warrior.

 

The Warrior's Sons' symbol is a  "crystal sword shining in the darkness

 

Jon:  I am the sword in the darkness.

 

At the Tower of Joy, Howland flew the banner of the future King (The Stag - Robert).  At the Trial of Seven, Howland will again fly the banner of the future King (The Sword in the Darkness - Jon)

 

Thus, The Trial of Joy.

 

“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne...

 

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.”


Edited by pobeb, 03 August 2014 - 07:50 PM.


#6 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:54 PM

reserved for "Avatars of the Seven"

 

Proposed list (definitely subject to change):

 

The Father - Howland Reed

The Mother - Maege Mormont

The Builder - Galbart Glover

The Maiden - Tyene Sand

The Crone - Nymeria Sand

The Warrior - Brienne of Tarth

The Stranger - Sandor Clegane

 

explanations to follow...


Edited by pobeb, 03 August 2014 - 04:24 AM.


#7 Victarion Chainbreaker

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:22 PM

Great job! What do you think about the TWOWspoiler

Spoiler


#8 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:38 PM

Great job! What do you think about the TWOWspoiler

Spoiler

 

I'm not certain of the exact time-frame in which that chapter occurs, but I think it's safe to say the trial hasn't happened.

 

Kevan sends Ser Humphrey Swyft to Braavos at the end of ADwD.  As no one is discussing Kevan's death, I doubt Swyft or his men are aware of what's going on in King's Landing.



#9 Skinchanging Sweetrobin

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:46 PM

In Dunk's trial, they clearly say that failing to enter seven is disqualification and proof of guilt.

Granted, Cersei has no control over this, but the entire principle of trial by seven is to appeal to the public for support. Kingsguard are required to fight. The principles just seem to conflict.

It's a neat idea, but we have no precedent for such a fight.

Edited by Skinchanging Sweetrobin, 02 August 2014 - 08:58 PM.


#10 Lord Carson

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:53 PM

Wow, this is really well done. A lot could be simple coincidences of course, and I'm not sure if the specifics are exactly correct about the trial rules, but still a really interesting read!



#11 willofDorne

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:05 PM

In Dunk's trial, they clearly say that failing to enter seven is disqualification and proof of guilt.

Granted, Cersei has no control over this, but the entire principle of trial by seven is to appeal to the public for support. Kingsguard are required to fight. The principles just seem to conflict.

It's a neat idea, but we have no precedent for such a fight.

This is exactly what I thought. It's seven, or no go. Failing to produce seven is the same as losing the trial outright. Also, some of your fighters aren't even knights. All participants will need to be recognized and blessed in light of the Seven as knights, if they are to participate in a trial by combat. Bronn may have gotten away with this in the Vale, but this will not fly in the southern court. 



#12 Universal Sword Donor

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:12 PM

This is exactly what I thought. It's seven, or no go. Failing to produce seven is the same as losing the trial outright. Also, some of your fighters aren't even knights. All participants will need to be recognized and blessed in light of the Seven as knights, if they are to participate in a trial by combat. Bronn may have gotten away with this in the Vale, but this will not fly in the southern court. 

 

Baelor, Aerion, Daeron, and Maekar were not knights.

 

That said, if Cersei does demand trial of seven, the KG will fight for her plus whomever she can get (maybe the kettlebacks?).

 

She'd be an idiot to bet on even getting to 7 instead of having Robert Strong fight whomever the Faith gets 1 v 1.



#13 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:15 PM

In Dunk's trial, they clearly say that failing to enter seven is disqualification and proof of guilt.

Granted, Cersei has no control over this, but the entire principle of trial by seven is to appeal to the public for support. Kingsguard are required to fight. The principles just seem to conflict.

It's a neat idea, but we have no precedent for such a fight.

 

This is exactly what I thought. It's seven, or no go. Failing to produce seven is the same as losing the trial outright. Also, some of your fighters aren't even knights. All participants will need to be recognized and blessed in light of the Seven as knights, if they are to participate in a trial by combat. Bronn may have gotten away with this in the Vale, but this will not fly in the southern court. 

 

The principles certainly do not conflict.  As I've explained, rules regarding any trial by combat are given special conditions in regards to royalty.

 

Yes, if a common person fails to gather Seven to their cause, they are guilty.  But Cersei is royalty, not common, and GRRM has made very deliberate and specific notes of how the rules apply different to royalty.  

 

It's not that Cersei is unable to gather men.  If she wasn't bound by her royal constrictions, she could gather 100 knights.  But this is not the case.  She must be defended by the Kingsguard, but their absence is not a failure on her part.  As such, she is defaulted to three.

 

And the parallels between this trial and the ToJ are not a coincidence ;)


Edited by pobeb, 02 August 2014 - 09:18 PM.


#14 Universal Sword Donor

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:19 PM

 

 

The principles certainly do not conflict.  As I've explained, rules regarding any trial by combat are given special conditions in regards to royalty.

 

Yes, if a common person fails to gather Seven to their cause, they are guilty.  But Cersei is royalty, not common, and GRRM has made very deliberate and specific notes of how the rules apply different to royalty.  

 

It's not that Cersei is unable to gather men.  If she wasn't bound by her royal constrictions, she could gather 100 knights.  But this is not the case.  She must be defended by the Kingsguard, but their absence is not a failure on her part.  As such, she is defaulted to three.

 

And the parallels between this trial and the ToJ are not a coincidence ;)

 

Cersei is not limited to the KG. If she were, then Maekar and Fossoway would not have been able to fight in the Trial of Seven at Ashford.



#15 pobeb

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:23 PM

 

Cersei is not limited to the KG. If she were, then Maekar and Fossoway would not have been able to fight in the Trial of Seven at Ashford.

 

I am the queen, Qyburn. My honor can only be defended by a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard.”

 

“... To be sure, Margaery does have the right to demand that her guilt or innocence be proven by wager of battle. If so, her champion must be one of Tommen’s Seven.”

 

“The knights of the Kingsguard have served as the rightful champions of king and queen since the days of Aegon the Conqueror. Crown and Faith speak as one on this.

 

 

The point is, "crown and faith speak as one on this".  Howland is asserting that, however the rules apply, THIS is how it's going to go down.  And judging from his resume, Howland is doing practically anything he wants.

 

Speaking of which, you can even see traces of his trap being set up, during Cersei's conversation with the she-bear-septas:

 

Had Margaery Tyrell somehow wriggled free of the accusations of fornication, adultery, and high treason? “Was there a trial?”

“Soon,” said Septa Scolera, “but her brother—”

“Hush.” Septa Unella turned to glare back over her shoulder at Scolera. “You chatter too much, you foolish old woman. It is not for us to speak of such things.”

 

Unella, a she-bear, is basically saying "Hey, Scolera, don't give her any ideas about replacing Kingsguard members!"


Edited by pobeb, 02 August 2014 - 09:28 PM.


#16 Ser Greg of House House

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:25 PM

Very interesting. This is the kind of stuff I keep visiting the forums for.



#17 Universal Sword Donor

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:25 PM

 

I am the queen, Qyburn. My honor can only be defended by a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard.”

 

“... To be sure, Margaery does have the right to demand that her guilt or innocence be proven by wager of battle. If so, her champion must be one of Tommen’s Seven.”

 

“The knights of the Kingsguard have served as the rightful champions of king and queen since the days of Aegon the Conqueror. Crown and Faith speak as one on this.

 

 

The point is, "crown and faith speak as one on this".  Howland is asserting that, however the rules apply, THIS is how it's going to go down.  And judging from his resume, Howland is doing practically anything he wants.

 

Notice how he is talking about a trial by combat, not a trial of seven.



#18 Skinchanging Sweetrobin

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:27 PM

The entire point of trial by seven is that a just cause can find men. Requiring men to fight and not allowing people that find the cause just to fight is in contradiction to the whole point of a trial by seven.

#19 lyannaisalive

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:28 PM

WOW awesome post I never once considered that all the sparrows about could also include Crannogman which is brilliant on Howlands part because it can effectively give him an unknown army inside KL if it turns out he is the high sparrow. Everyone thinks the sparrows are just peasants with weapons are don't suspect some might actually be trained. If all this is true then Ned was certainly right to put all his trust in Howland Reed 


Edited by lyannaisalive, 02 August 2014 - 09:43 PM.


#20 Howling Mad

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:28 PM

Interesting theory but it does not fit my expectation for Howland's big entrance.  Perhaps that makes the theory more likely true :dunno: