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Jojen Reed's fate? (ADWD Spoilers)


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#1 starkloyalist

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 01:29 PM

I recently reread the Bran and Reed chapters in the COTF caves with Bloodraven and a sneaking suspicion I had in my first read through has solidified into something I would be surprised to find out not to be true. This being: Jojen Reed was sacrificed to the Old Gods and then fed to Bran in the weirwood paste in order to awaken his latent ability to warg into weirwood.

Now, you have to read between the lines in order to come to this conclusion, but I believe the hints are disturbingly clear in retrospect. Jojen's deepening gloom and sense of his impending demise, Bran seeing ancient Men sacrificing humans to the Old Gods and then tasting their blood, Bran's initial perception that the weirwood paste had blood in it and his initial revulsion at its taste, and finally Bran's looking for Jojen and Meera as his last chapter in the book closes and not finding them. Also, to a lesser extent, the ancient bones of animals and humans scattered through the caves.

Add on top of this a broader theme in Martin's work; that magic comes with a price. Dany's sacrifice of her unborn child to "save" Drogo and burning of the witch to wake the dragons. The burnt human sacrifices that the Fire God's disciples give him for power. Craster sacrificing his sons to the Others. Bran having to partake in a human sacrifice for his expanded powers would fit perfectly into this pattern. Which is why, along with the context clues in his chapters, I believe Jojen was that sacrifice. Which is dark. And creepy. And kind of pretty freakin' cool.

Thoughts? Counter arguments? I also realize that this is probably not a original take on this chapter, but I have not seen it discussed recently and am curious to see how many people had the same idea that I have about it.

Edited by Angalin, 22 August 2011 - 09:55 PM.


#2 starkloyalist

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:51 PM

bump. started on third page.

#3 Kadence

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:00 PM

Odd...although speculative, isn't the topic title spoilerish?

Anyway, this has been speculated elsewhere and I do have the fear this disturbing notion is true. That chapter is creepy and the "could taste the blood" or whatever line rings major alarm bells.

However I have a hard time envisioning how this makes logical sense. Turning Jojen into paste is definitely not the right way to win Bran's friendship. That would seem extremely stupid of Bloodraven. It's not like Bran couldn't figure something out if Jojen suddenly went missing or turned up dead, and there was this mysterious blood paste, combined with Meera likely having suspicions if her brother died. Especially with Bran being a potential uber-greenseer - there would be the risk of Bran finding out the truth no matter no how well they hid it, at which point Bran could rebel. I don't see how they'd explain this to Bran without alienating him.

So while it seems quite possible based on textual evidence, it would seem like an unusually foolish and risky move for the extremely slick Bloodraven.

Edited by Kadence, 22 August 2011 - 10:00 PM.


#4 lockesnow

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:23 PM

I think you're just inventing rather than reading between the lines. If Jojen dies, it might be to act as a decoy to take Bran's place so Bran can escape. but I see no reason at all why Bran can escape, Bran is a useless game piece unless he is exactly where he is right now. Bran was given weirwood seeds, its entirely possible he can't leave the hill any more (that would be an interesting side effect). He wouldn't or shouldn't leave, he'll live and die beneath the ground but be so much more with skin-changing, tree-seeing, and warging. He may well skinchange to Hodor more permanently if the Reeds have to leave the cave. But it is life threatening to leave the cave at this point with winter rising. it's unlikely the reeds will be able to leave until after Winter Solstice, or a few years down the road. Jojen may well die saving Meera, or trying to prevent Bran from skin changing to Hodor, but I don't think he's dead yet or part of the paste Bran consumed.

#5 Fire Eater

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 11:16 PM

Bran III

"He wants to go home," Meera told Bran. "He will not even try and fight his fate. He says the greendreams do not lie."
"He's being brave," said Bran.


Jojen was said to be getting weaker as they traveled beyond the Wall, and from ACoK to ADwD he says "Today is not the day I die." He must know that the day he dies is coming soon.

Edited by fireeater22, 23 August 2011 - 12:03 AM.


#6 starkloyalist

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 11:24 PM

I do not think I am "inventing". I am more than willing to accept that Jojen may still be alive but I think to believe that Martin didn't leave the question of whether or not he was in that weirwood paste open to interpretation on purpose is wrong. There are plenty of indications toward that outcome and if Martin did NOT intend for his readers to wonder if Jojen had survived, it would be sloppy and pointless writing. And, let me be clear, I do not think this was sloppy writing.

Why was Jojen so nervous and apprehensive during these chapters? Why did we see Bran receiving the vision of human sacrifice and tasting blood? Why the specific allusions to the weirwood paste have a blood like substance in it? There may be other explanations but Jojen becoming a sacrifice is certainly among them. And its not as if, as I noted before, that human sacrifice in order to access deep magic is foreign in ASOIAF. To the contrary, it is common.

#7 Dragons Dancing

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 11:48 PM

Martin is known to misdirect. As a reader, you are constantly wondering if the clues are valid or not. Much of the speculation on this board is whether we are being misdirected. I agree that the clues could lead to Jojen being sacrificed for the weirwood paste but I do not believe this happened.

Not only would Bran be very angry with Bloodraven if this were true and probably refuse to go any further with him, but Bloodraven and the children would likely lose the future support of Howland Reed and his people. The cranogmen believe in the power of the old gods, have provided greenseers, supported the North who have helped maintain the Wall and NW and it is doubtful they would countenance one of their own greenseers being sacrificed.

I can't think of any reason that the blood had to have come from Jojen. The blood could have come from an animal or even one of the children sacrificing some blood. The human bones could be the bones of children through the 8,000 years since they moved north of the wall.

I wasn't surprised that a blood sacrifice was involved with the old gods as this is feature of most religions.

#8 starkloyalist

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:02 AM

Thanks for the response DragonsDancing.

As to your points: Bloodraven and the COTF could easily tell Bran that Jojen wandered off and was lost to the wild or something. There is no reason they would have to come out and tell him that they sacrificed him. However, Jojen has clearly had greendreams about his death and destiny and what if those greendreams had led him to accept that he had to be sacrificed for some yet unknown "greater good"? Maybe he has always known somehow that his death would involve helping Bran gain greater powers to fight the Others, so he went semi-willingly to his demise. Or something along these lines, I am just spitballing.

As to your point why they would have to kill Jojen and not just some animal, I believe it has already been established that the death of a human being is believed to hold great power to the "Gods" of Westeros. Dany's unborn child, those burned in the fires for the Lord of Light, the Drowned Men, etc. Furthermore, it has also been established that certain human's blood, when sacrificed, holds greater powers than "normal" humans. Example: those with kingly blood. An idea could be that if a human with the greendreaming ability (Jojen) is sacrificed for Bran, it would hold more power than an ordinary human...and far more than an animal.

#9 Dragons Dancing

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:26 AM

Jojen's sulleness could be that he foresaw his death or it could be because he and Meera are now stuck there with nothing to do except wander the tunnels. Your speculation is a possible scenario. I think it is likely a misdirect by GRRM. I do think that either he or Meera are sacrificable characters, I would like to believe that GRRM would sacrifice them in a slightly more noble manner than as food for Bran, mainly because they acted nobly in saving Bran's life and takeing him to Bloodraven. They do not seem to have a role now that Bran has been delivered but maybe they will be given a new purpose with the Other's attack.

#10 dreamcatcher

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:25 AM

There has been a lot of speculation about this already in other topics. I think it could be true. Some people just refuse to believe, though, and act as if this is the unlikeliest theory of all. If so many people came up with this theory on their own, I can't see why it would be unlikely.

The quote that did it for me is when Jojen says BRAN's not the one to be afraid.

#11 StarkofWinterfell

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:32 AM

There has been a lot of speculation about this already in other topics. I think it could be true. Some people just refuse to believe, though, and act as if this is the unlikeliest theory of all. If so many people came up with this theory on their own, I can't see why it would be unlikely.

The quote that did it for me is when Jojen says BRAN's not the one to be afraid.


This would paint a very bad picture on the cotf.

I don't imagine Howland Reed would be pleased

#12 the_black_flame

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:21 AM

This would paint a very bad picture on the cotf.

I don't imagine Howland Reed would be pleased



a couple things to bring up about howland reed....he hasnt had contract with jojen or meera since probably there time at winterfell and is hundreds of miles away in the Neck, dealing with alot of his own problems i imagine. i dont think he can do anything to the COTF, even if he wanted too

Edited by the_black_flame, 23 August 2011 - 03:22 AM.


#13 StarkofWinterfell

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:24 AM

Perhaps he could renounce the Old Gods ans burn down all the weirwoods?

That he could surely do

#14 Wouter

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:29 AM

I do not think I am "inventing". I am more than willing to accept that Jojen may still be alive but I think to believe that Martin didn't leave the question of whether or not he was in that weirwood paste open to interpretation on purpose is wrong. There are plenty of indications toward that outcome and if Martin did NOT intend for his readers to wonder if Jojen had survived, it would be sloppy and pointless writing. And, let me be clear, I do not think this was sloppy writing.

You are not inventing things, the suggestion in the text is there and quite a few people have now suggested something may be up - or at least that Martin wants to give that impression (possibly as a red herring). If it is a red herring though, it seems to have failed as most people on the board seem to really hate this theory and it tends to get very dismissive reactions style "this is the dumbest thing I've ever read on this board". I guess it's a touchy subject?

Why was Jojen so nervous and apprehensive during these chapters? Why did we see Bran receiving the vision of human sacrifice and tasting blood? Why the specific allusions to the weirwood paste have a blood like substance in it? There may be other explanations but Jojen becoming a sacrifice is certainly among them. And its not as if, as I noted before, that human sacrifice in order to access deep magic is foreign in ASOIAF. To the contrary, it is common.

Maybe Jojen was so sullen because he knows he has to stay in the cave and even do the tree thing eventually - but that seems rather Bran's fate (or they may well all return to the north come spring, or even before if those underground passages lead somewhere as seems hinted at). Another thing that has been suggested is that Jojen and Meera have already spent a long time in the cave, with no (obvious) way out and unlike Bran they really don't have anything to do. Anyone would have a problem with that, though Meera does react quite differently from Jojen (who is afraid of something).

Not only would Bran be very angry with Bloodraven if this were true and probably refuse to go any further with him, but Bloodraven and the children would likely lose the future support of Howland Reed and his people. The cranogmen believe in the power of the old gods, have provided greenseers, supported the North who have helped maintain the Wall and NW and it is doubtful they would countenance one of their own greenseers being sacrificed.

Bran will be very angry if this happened, and he will find out (if so). But, if Jojen was sacrificed then I suppose it was likely voluntarily on his part. Many people are speculating about "Nissa Nissa" relative to AA, apparently in that case a sacrifice may be acceptable as an idea for the reader (as long as it is around Jon and/or Dany), but not in this case?

Could Jojen have decided to sacrifice himself for the good of the north and the world? He knew the day he would die, apparently, and his greendreams may have told him things. It would also explain his anxiety; nobody wants to die. Still, he may have given in at some point.

Granted, one would think Meera would try everything to stop it, tell Jojen he was crazy and use violence on the children of the forest. If Martin had only shown her in those last couple of pages of Bran's last chapter...

I can't think of any reason that the blood had to have come from Jojen. The blood could have come from an animal or even one of the children sacrificing some blood. The human bones could be the bones of children through the 8,000 years since they moved north of the wall.

Jojen is a greenseer. Melisandre is always telling us there is power in King's blood, though this appears to be bullshit as blood from a random Florent seems to work as well in practice. But maybe there could be quite real power in a greenseer's blood? Something not there in a random sacrifice? This paste did cause a serious "level-up" for Bran. And aren't greenseers supposed to have short lifespans, at least those among the children of the forest?

But maybe you're right and nothing happened to Jojen at all, and he was afraid for another reason. Maybe the Reeds are scouting out the caverns and on their way to find a way out. I just wish Martin didn't write this chapter in such a way that I can't dismiss the possibility out of hand.

Edited by Wouter, 23 August 2011 - 05:31 AM.


#15 Miriamele

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:37 AM

What can Bran do there all alone? They probably think, even if he rebels on the short term, they have the time, to bring him around.

I hope Jojen is alive though. Does Bran have to eat weirwood paste every time before seeing visions, like shamans before their trips? I know he saw one back in his cave but I think it was on the same they under the paste's effect. Because if he has to, than maybe Jojen and Meera are alive and held captive somewhere,they took some blood from one of them and are keeping them for further use. Bran could find them while warged in Hodor. That would be a reason to escape.

How sure is Jojen interpreted his dream of his death correctly? Like Melisandre saw a girl coming and believed it was Arya but it was Alys. Maybe Jojen saw them cutting him with a knife, and believed it would be his death but it really wasn't, he could regain some of his fight.

Of course GRRM does kill of characters, so if Jojen is dead and Meera would be the next sacrifice, it would also be a reason to escape. If Bran doesn't have to eat more paste, because his powers are now awakened, he could operate from somewhere else too.

#16 KCenturion

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:13 AM

Jojen is a greenseer. Melisandre is always telling us there is power in King's blood, though this appears to be bullshit as blood from a random Florent seems to work as well in practice.


Didn't the Florents always have tension with the Tyrells because they believed they were more closely related to the King's of the Reach (The Gardeners) during the Conquest? If this were true, it is still has a link to King's Blood no matter how small.

#17 Wouter

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:46 AM

What can Bran do there all alone? They probably think, even if he rebels on the short term, they have the time, to bring him around.

Bran could be brought back around on the grounds that Jojen is now death anyway and his sacrifice shouldn't be in vain - I suppose.

I hope Jojen is alive though. Does Bran have to eat weirwood paste every time before seeing visions, like shamans before their trips?

I don't think so, this weirwood paste seemed like a one-time only thing to me. He again had visions after he went to sleep (and didn't find Meera as he'd hoped ... /unsure.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':unsure:' /> ), and he didn't have another paste right before that.

How sure is Jojen interpreted his dream of his death correctly? Like Melisandre saw a girl coming and believed it was Arya but it was Alys. Maybe Jojen saw them cutting him with a knife, and believed it would be his death but it really wasn't, he could regain some of his fight.

Misinterpretation is possible, he also saw Bran and Rickon dead. Having said that, it seems to me Jojen knew already then than Bran would survive anyway; otherwise his whole venture to Winterfell was for naught.

Of course GRRM does kill of characters, so if Jojen is dead and Meera would be the next sacrifice, it would also be a reason to escape. If Bran doesn't have to eat more paste, because his powers are now awakened, he could operate from somewhere else too.

Since Meera is not a greenseer, she probably is quite safe - unless she actually defended Jojen and was hurt herself in the process. Assuming something did happen with Jojen, of course.

Some relevant quotes from the chapter:

The moon was a crescent, thin and sharp as the blade of a knife.


When singers die they become part of that godhood.”
Bran’s eyes widened. “They’re going to kill me?”
“No,” Meera said. “Jojen, you’re scaring him.”
“He is not the one who needs to be afraid.”


“He wants to go home,” Meera told Bran. “He will not even try and fight his fate. He says the greendreams do not lie.”
“He’s being brave,” said Bran. The only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid, his father had told him once, long ago, on the day they found the direwolf pups in the summer snows. He still remembered.
“He’s being stupid,” Meera said. “I’d hoped that when we found your three-eyed crow … now I wonder why we ever came.”
For me, Bran thought. “His greendreams,” he said.
“His greendreams.” Meera’s voice was bitter.
“Hodor,” said Hodor. Meera began to cry.


“It is time,” Lord Brynden said.
Something in his voice sent icy fingers running up Bran’s back. “Time for what?”


The boy looked at the bowl uncertainly. “What is it?” “A paste of weirwood seeds.” Something about the look of it made Bran feel ill. The red veins were only weirwood sap, he supposed, but in the torchlight they looked remarkably like blood. He dipped the spoon into the paste, then hesitated. “Will this make me a greenseer?” “Your blood makes you a greenseer,” said Lord Brynden. “This will help awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees.”


had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as acorn paste. The first spoonful was the hardest to get down. He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother ever gave him.


And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man’s feet drummed against the earth … but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.



#18 Dolorous J

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:53 AM

Maybe the real Jojen has just been switched out for a glamoured Dolorous ed ???/leer.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':leer:' />

Edited by Dolorous J, 23 August 2011 - 06:53 AM.


#19 the Scorpion Knight

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:04 AM

I think jojen will sacrifice himself to awake/resurrect the rest of the COTF

#20 Kennit

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:27 AM

Jojen is a greenseer.


No, Bran is the Greenseer. Jojen's just having greendreams, which is apparently a different ability.

Edited by Kennit, 23 August 2011 - 07:27 AM.