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[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Asha - Spoilers for ADwD


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#1 Ran

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:15 PM

For Regina. :)

#2 Regina

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:37 PM

Thanks, Ran!

Okay, here are my notes from the reading at Boskone. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of details, as it was a long chapter. I thought I could at least start us off with some sort of framework, and other people who heard it could help add to it, and clarify things I may have missed or misunderstood.

Asha Spoiler Chapter, ADWD

"The Wayward Bride"

Asha is at Deepwood Motte with a force of about 200 men. At the beginning of the chapter, Asha receives a letter, sealed in pink, which includes a scrap of Theon’s flayed skin, which gets referred to as “a piece of Prince.”

As the chapter progresses, we gradually learn that Asha is newly wed. Apparently, after Asha fled the Kingsmoot, Nuncle Crowseye decided to marry her off to old Erik Anvilbreaker (who Asha had embarrassed at the moot). Word has it that there was an actual wedding performed, in which a seal stood in as proxy for the missing bride. ;) So now Asha has yet another reason to avoid the Iron Islands.

In the meantime, Asha is involved with Qarl the Maid, in what can only be described as a rather intense relationship. There is a vivid sex scene, which initially sounds like rape, but turns out to be consensual.

Tris Botley is also about, still mooning over Asha, and refusing the advances of other women. Tris asks Asha to consider going away somewhere with him. Apparently the Iron Men do not have a very secure position in the North at all. I believe they have lost Torrhen’s Square, MOAT CAILLIN among other problems. Asha obviously can’t go home, but also can’t hold the North forever. She could become a pirate or even a trader, but doesn’t seem to seriously consider either option.

During this conversation about her options, Asha comes to a revelation. According to the laws of the Iron Islands, since she failed at the Kingsmoot, Asha is apparently not allowed to try to dethrone Euron. It seems that you get one shot, and one shot only. However, there is precedence that if someone is not told about an impending Kingsmoot, and is therefore unable to make a claim, they can come back and potentially win the Seastone Chair.

We are told a story in which a King’s son is away raiding, misses the Kingsmoot, and loses his father’s throne to a relative. However, he comes back later and eventually ends up on the Seastone Chair, ruling successfully for 40 years. While she doesn’t say so in so many words, Asha obviously realizes that she needs Theon so he can make a claim, which he can do as he was not informed of the moot in which Euron won the crown.

Just as she comes to this realization, a force of five Northmen attempts to raid the castle to rescue Lady Glover. It soon becomes clear that a large force of Northmen is about to attack the castle. Lady Glover and the maester of the castle offer her surrender as an option. Asha could be traded for the Glover children currently being held for her by the Reader. She refuses, as she expects most of her men to be killed in the end, excepting the very few with high enough birth to be ransomed. Also, if she lets herself be traded back to the Iron Islands, she will end up facing her new husband and Euron.

The choice is therefore between trying to hold the castle (which she knows can be taken, as it has already fallen once to her own men) and running. Asha decides to run, to try to reach her four ships on the coast, hoping the Northmen haven’t already dealt with them.

As they flee, Asha hears trumpets. She thinks this is odd, as Northmen don’t usually use trumpets, but obviously has no chance to investigate. Her forces go out a back gate, into the night, with no torches to guide them in the woods, as torches would lead the attackers right to them. Eventually they have to stop, however, as they still don’t dare light torches, but can’t see to continue.

The northerners are able to find them and sneak up on them. They also had no torches, but they have the advantage of knowing the area. A long fight scene follows, which includes fighting by a naked Iron Island woman (who had been off having some fun in the woods when the attack happened). ;)

On a more serious note, Asha is eventually backed against a tree by a large opponent. She takes a blow to the head just as the chapter ends. But she has heard the trumpets sounding again, and “dreams” of flames and stags. The implication is that a third force, belonging to Stannis, has arrived. part of the force(s) attacking are men belonging to Stannis.


ETA: This felt like a long post as I typed it, but in retrospect, this barely qualifies as the cliff notes version, lol.

Edited to fix my reference to Torren's Square, which should have been Moat Caillin, and to make the last line less misleading (as to how many forces are actually involved).

Edited by Regina, 21 February 2007 - 04:03 PM.


#3 Ser Hippie

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:46 PM

*salivates*

The whole political situation in the North is what I'm most looking forward to.

Thanks, Regina.

Edited by Ser Hippie, 19 February 2007 - 03:57 PM.


#4 Ran

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:49 PM

During this conversation about her options, Asha comes to a revelation. According to the laws of the Iron Islands, since she failed at the Kingsmoot, Asha is apparently not allowed to try to dethrone Euron. It seems that you get one shot, and one shot only. However, there is precedence that if someone is not told about an impending Kingsmoot, and is therefore unable to make a claim, they can come back and potentially win the Seastone Chair.


Hah! It's what I always figured, more or less -- she's going to get ahold of Theon to contest the Seastone Chair and be the power behind the throne.

#5 Harry the Heir

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:54 PM

In the discussions about whether Euron will be tailing after Victarion to pick up the dragons, one consistent refrain is that he would never leave the Iron Isles alone to be seized by his rivals. But Euron is smarter than that: Aeron, quite accidentally, has disqualified from the Seastone Throne almost every other contender to the throne. (Interestingly, Aeron doesn't seem too hung up on this in "The Reaver"; this is either a continuity error or his submerged issues with Euron coming to the fore.) What's more, Victarion will be overseas, Aeron doesn't want the job, and Asha is--we're now finding out--effectively exiled. So excluding Theon from consideration--since Euron has no reason to believe that he's alive--I'm not sure that this objection holds water.

BTW, is there any implication that Asha knows that Theon is still alive by the time this chapter comes around? She didn't know as of her chapter in AFFC; if she's found out since, then it would be interesting to know from whom.

#6 Regina

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:55 PM

Hah! It's what I always figured, more or less -- she's going to get ahold of Theon to contest the Seastone Chair and be the power behind the throne.


Well, what pieces of him she can get hold of, anyway. ;)

ETA:

BTW, is there any implication that Asha knows that Theon is still alive by the time this chapter comes around? She didn't know as of her chapter in AFFC; if she's found out since, then it would be interesting to know from whom.


She certainly seems to hope he is, at the very least. When she comes to understand that Theon still has potential to claim the throne, she never stops to worry that he might be dead. Granted, she doesn't really have time to dwell much on the larger political problems after this point in the chapter.


BTW, what, if anything, do we know about this marriage by proxy idea? Do we know if other cultures in Westeros would also do such a thing? It seems like this could be a useful tool for a corrupt leader.

Edited by Regina, 19 February 2007 - 04:03 PM.


#7 Jughead of the Round

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:57 PM

Thanks, Regina!

That was an awesome chapter summary. It must take place a substantial amount of time after The Reaver chapter, since in that chapter Victarion hopes Asha will marry some Northern lord. In this one, she's already 'married.' Nice move on Euron's part.

I knew that Moat Cailin would fall to Bolton's forces quickly, but it seems like Torrhen's Square has also. Stannis did take some good advice and went for the Motte, but I wonder what his next step will be.

Obviously, Asha and Stannis will probably come to an agreement, or maybe even an alliance. Theon is Asha's only hope, so perhaps the next step will be the Dreadfort. However, Stannis making alliances with both wildlings and ironmen may not sit well with the northmen.

Plus, if Stannis does help Asha rescue her bro, what will Jon think, when Bran and Rickon's 'killer' is let free? Obviously, lots of drama to come!

Edited by Jughead of the Round, 19 February 2007 - 04:06 PM.


#8 Harry the Heir

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:06 PM

And hopefully, if Melisandre is still at the Wall while Stannis makes this alliance, the chance of Asha being burned alive because of her royal parentage will be minimal.

#9 Ran

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:07 PM

Historically at least, marriage by proxy was not unknown. I believe it was not uncommon for the Romans, since Roman nobles would often be away on campaigns. And I know of some medieval examples.

That said, I'm not sure it's entirely kosher as far as the Faith is concerned, since consent on both sides is a requirement for a marriage to be valid. It makes an interesting situation if a corrupt leader has sufficient control of the priesthood to basically make marriages stick regardless of the consent of the intended, but that's generally not the situation in Westeros.

I can't imagine we'll get further than seeing Theon sprung from the Dreadfort by ADwD's end -- if that.

Edited by Ran, 19 February 2007 - 04:20 PM.


#10 Werthead

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:18 PM

Seems like the ironborn campaign in the North is on the ropes now. With Deepwood Motte and Torrhen's Squre both lost, that just leaves Moat Cailin and any forces they left on the Stony Shore. That will just leave them Stannis' forces to mop up afterwards. Not sure if the wildling numbers bolstering Stannis' army will be enough to overcome a disciplined large force of troops, many of them recently battle-tested in the war to the south.

So an alliance between Stannis, the wildlings and the ironborn could be a good move at this point.

#11 Markus

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the summary, Regina!

Is Asha wearing a helm?

Do we learn who exactly is trying to retake Deepwood Motte? Any hint that Mormonts are involved, for example? And does Asha know who has retaken Torrhen's Square? Tallhart men or the Bastard of Bolton or yet others? And what does she know of Dagmer Cleftjaw?

Does Asha have any more information about the political situation in the north? Such as who has allied himself to the Boltons and who hasn't?

Edited by Markus, 19 February 2007 - 05:57 PM.


#12 Ran

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:23 PM

that just leaves Moat Cailin and any forces they left on the Stony Shore.

Moat Cailin is almost certainly already out of the hands of the ironborn, if Cersei's remarks in AFfC are any sign:

Roose Bolton and his bastard son were closing in on Moat Cailin from south and north. Once the Moat was theirs, they would join their strength and clear the ironmen out of Torrhen’s Square and Deepwood Motte as well.



#13 Benjen

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:15 PM

Very exciting stuff. Thanks for the summary Regina.

I have also been going on with the assumption that Asha and Stannis might link up at some point. But isn't Jon with Stannis too? I doubt Jon would be keen on saving Theon, considering what has been let out about Bran & Rickon. I also wonder how Stannis would react.

He choose to take Deepwood Motte (at Jon's advice IIRC) to remove the Iron Men and prove to the North that he is a King that has their interests in mind. Stannis is also rigid to a fault when it comes to justice, and Asha is the one who took Deepwood in the first place. How is she going to convince Stannis not to execute her and instead attack the Dreadfort and help her save Theon?

To give Stannis a loyal ruler on the Isles? Hmmm, don't know about that. Maybe Stannis will like the fact that Theon has "king's blood" in his veins? But then, so does Asha.

Of course, when Jon finds out that "Arya" is at the Dreadfort....

PS - The fact that GRRM mentioned that the chapter was originally intended for AFFC might support the theory that Jorah is the New POV.

Edited by Benjen, 19 February 2007 - 05:19 PM.


#14 Ran

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:21 PM

Asha followed the command of her liege lord, Balon Greyjoy, who falsely claimed he was a king ... but then, he was ordering her to attack another false king. I don't think things are so clear cut that Stannis will necessarily see her as a traitor needing execution or something of the sort, not least because of the fact that she's a woman and was doing as her own father bid her (Stannis knows which side he picked, when he had to choose between family and duty).

I think Asha will present the case that if Stannis will support Theon's claim to the Iron Islands -- which would be, in Stannis's mind, entirely legitimate given that the law says Theon was Balon's heir (the Kingmoot was not a legitimate exercise according to the law of the "green lands"), if we look aside from Theon's actions during the War of the Five Kings -- then ironborn unhappy with Euron will flock to him and will fight in Stannis's side against his enemies.

Edited by Ran, 19 February 2007 - 05:22 PM.


#15 The Pale Griffin

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:25 PM

Maybe this is a stretch, but couldn't he use the captured longships and their crews to threaten White Harbor, for two reasons. To remove the threat of Bolton sailing around Moat Cailin and to free Seaworth if he is in fact still alive?

#16 snake

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:44 PM

White Harbour is on the other side of Westeros so its quite safe from the ironborn for now. Stannis' best hope for White Harbour is the Onion Knight and we'll find out if his demise is for certain in ADwD.

I think Stannis will use Asha or Theon to claim the Seastone Chair and I think Asha will go for it.

Good summary by the way. Makes me itch for more. :)

#17 Benjen

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:49 PM

Yeah, I can see why Stannis may be lenient with Asha. But Theon the Turncloak, murderer of children? Stannis cut off the end of Davos' fingers for smuggling. What would he do for the murder of the "Stark" children? I guess it doesn't really matter. Stannis wants the Boltons out of the way, and Theon's (or Arya's) presence the Dreadfort may give him the excuse he needs. But in the end I still think Mel will burn Theon anyway.

#18 cybroleach

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 02:19 AM

Moat Cailin is almost certainly already out of the hands of the ironborn, if Cersei's remarks in AFfC are any sign:




Hmm... that quote of Cersei's makes it interesting to wonder what's going on here, Are there two attackers: northerners and Stannis? Or just Northerners with Stannis? If not which northerners locals? Or is Roose making good on his plan to drive out the Ironborn if it was him at Torrhen’s Square then logically he'd be quick to attack Deepwood Motte. And if that's so Stannis might just win the north right here taking Roose with his pants down.

#19 urizen

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 03:58 AM

a few :rolleyes: questions...

Asha Spoiler Chapter, ADWD

Asha is at Deepwood Motte with a force of about 200 men. At the beginning of the chapter, Asha receives a letter, sealed in pink, which includes a scrap of Theon’s flayed skin, which gets referred to as “a piece of Prince.”


200 men? what happened to tthe rest of them? WaaaY back in ACoK she sets of for Deepwood Motte with 30 longships.

In the meantime, Asha is involved with Qarl the Maid, in what can only be described as a rather intense relationship. There is a vivid sex scene, which initially sounds like rape, but turns out to be consensual.


So, is it just sex between them or do they actually have feelings for eachother?

Tris Botley is also about, still mooning over Asha, and refusing the advances of other women. Tris asks Asha to consider going away somewhere with him. Apparently the Iron Men do not have a very secure position in the North at all. I believe they have lost Torrhen’s Square, among other problems. Asha obviously can’t go home, but also can’t hold the North forever. She could become a pirate or even a trader, but doesn’t seem to seriously consider either option.


Which women are those? I thought Asha only took warriors with her when she attacked the north?
When did the Ironborn lose Torrhen's Square? In AFFC we don't hear about the Ironborn losing anything. Also, What's the word on Dagmer Cleftjaw, dead? I kind of liked old Cleftjaw.

During this conversation about her options, Asha comes to a revelation. According to the laws of the Iron Islands, since she failed at the Kingsmoot, Asha is apparently not allowed to try to dethrone Euron. It seems that you get one shot, and one shot only. However, there is precedence that if someone is not told about an impending Kingsmoot, and is therefore unable to make a claim, they can come back and potentially win the Seastone Chair.

We are told a story in which a King’s son is away raiding, misses the Kingsmoot, and loses his father’s throne to a relative. However, he comes back later and eventually ends up on the Seastone Chair, ruling successfully for 40 years. While she doesn’t say so in so many words, Asha obviously realizes that she needs Theon so he can make a claim, which he can do as he was not informed of the moot in which Euron won the crown.


The problem with this is that unless he do something fairly momentous Theon wont get support from enough IB's since they see him as greenland bum (and rightly so I might add)

Just as she comes to this realization, a force of five Northmen attempts to raid the castle to rescue Lady Glover. It soon becomes clear that a large force of Northmen is about to attack the castle. Lady Glover and the maester of the castle offer her surrender as an option. Asha could be traded for the Glover children currently being held for her by the Reader. She refuses, as she expects most of her men to be killed in the end, excepting the very few with high enough birth to be ransomed.


Who are the Northmen? Mormonts, vassal's to the Glovers?
What's Lady Glover doing back at DM? In AFFC she was at Harlaw with her newborn girl.
Who are the highborn Ironborn with Asha? Who supports her? Most seem to have fallen in with Euron, At least on surface.


As they flee, Asha hears trumpets. She thinks this is odd, as Northmen don’t usually use trumpets, but obviously has no chance to investigate. Her forces go out a back gate, into the night, with no torches to guide them in the woods, as torches would lead the attackers right to them. Eventually they have to stop, however, as they still don’t dare light torches, but can’t see to continue.
The northerners are able to find them and sneak up on them. They also had no torches, but they have the advantage of knowing the area. A long fight scene follows, which includes fighting by a naked Iron Island woman (who had been off having some fun in the woods when the attack happened). ;)


Who's Stannis attacking, the other Northmen? That won't endear him to the North.

On a more serious note, Asha is eventually backed against a tree by a large opponent. She takes a blow to the head just as the chapter ends. But she has heard the trumpets sounding again, and “dreams” of flames and stags. The implication is that a third force, belonging to Stannis, has arrived.


A blow from what? an ax or a mace to the head and Asha might be dead or at best sitting on the sidlines for the duration of the books.

By the way, how's Asha's fighting skills?

#20 Ran

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 04:39 AM

Benjen,

I still think Mel will burn Theon anyway.

Balon was a false king, in Stannis's eyes. I'm not sure that he (or even Melisandre) would suppose that he actually has king's blood. Stannis seems to have accepted, OTOH, that Mance was a king among the wildlings, as they were never sworn to the Iron Throne.

Cybro,

Are there two attackers: northerners and Stannis?


I think it's pretty clear that given Torrhen's Square is lost, that the initial attackers against Deepwood are northerners under Bolton, and that the second lot of attackers are Stannis's men. There may be some northern clansmen and wildling with Stannis, but the trumpets clearly indicate that he has his southron knights and soldiers with him as well.

urizen,

WaaaY back in ACoK she sets of for Deepwood Motte with 30 longships.

A number of possibilities come to mind. A lot of the men may have taken ship to join Euron once he was selected as king and promised tremendous wealth to his followers, for example, especially when Asha made it clear that she was in opposition to him and that King Euron was not particularly interested in the North (i.e., he wasn't going to be sending them any backup). Those who remain must be her crew of the Black Wind and some others who are loyal to her. It's funny, we all sort of assumed she'd just manage to keep all those people, but of course that doesn't make a lot of sense when Euron makes it plain as day that he thinks fighting for the North is a waste of time until he gets his dragons.

The problem with this is that unless he do something fairly momentous Theon wont get support from enough IB's since they see him as greenland bum (and rightly so I might add)


It depends on how many get disillusioned with Euron. I expect Aeron would prefer Theon to Euron, and he seems to have enough cachet to bring some others with him. Half the Iron Islands is unlikely to rise up to support him, but Stannis is presently at the point where anyone who can bring him a couple thousand soldiers is going to be very welcome indeed.

Who's Stannis attacking, the other Northmen? That won't endear him to the North.


He's planning to fight Bolton and Bolton's supporters. It's not exactly a black-and-white situation these days, where all northeners are hand-in-hand singing "Kumbaya". Some northerners like some other northerners but dislike others.