OK, I'm not sold on the idea, but it's something i've been thinking of lately.
I dont wholeheartedly believe it, theres so little evidence, (so dont hammer me for the suggestion - i'm just stiriing the pot). I'm posting this to see if it was possible and collect ideas for motives. Maybe there is something to it that will come out in the stirring.
I dont believe Joff did catspaw Bran. Jamies conclusion that it was Joff seemed like it was based on shakey evidence - on the assumption Joff picked up the valyrian dagger and wanted to please Robert. King Robert had said that its better to be dead than crippled and so Joff decided to do the dirty work (by proxy).
Tyrion suspects Joff for the crime, conluding his nephew, at one time, owned the offending weapon:
Tyrion was staring at his nephew with his mismatched eyes. “Perhaps a knife, sire. To match your sword. A dagger of the same fine Valyrian steel... with a dragonbone hilt, say?”
Joff gave him a sharp look. “You... yes, a dagger to match my sword, good.” He nodded. “A... a gold hilt with rubies in it. Dragonbone is too plain.”
However, this might be the same trap Jamie fell into.... just because Joff OWNED that dagger, it doesnt neccessarily folloew that he hired the catspaw. Mance is quite clearly a hustler of the highest order, a plain faced, 'mediocre' looking man who has accumulated so much power. He is a player of the highest order and a trickster.
He could have WON that dagger off Joff in a bet. He could have stolen it from his person. He could have blackmailed Joff after witnessing him doing something untoward. Joff might be seriously ashamed that he was disarmed, one way or another, by a crusty travelling singer.
Joffs slight embarassment/recognition/suprise/anger to Tyrions assertion might just be that his embarrassing secret regarding the loss of the blade might be out. Joff might actually know nothing about the catspaw, and this is one of George's clever diversions.Thats my idea anyway.
Also, we here the catspaw say....“You weren’t s’posed to be here,”
There was a plan, a well conceived/thought out plan to this. Bran was lucky Cat was so obsessive in her care for him. Ask yourself... is Joff really capable of instigating such a plan???Does he know winterfell so well, or is he preoccupied with petty squabbles i the training yard.
Netherthless, Joff was never *directly* confronted (he died too soon), and the way this quite speculative explanation was given to the reader as a 'fact' got my spider senses tingling. I think there's another twist/layer to this story that we've all long forgotton about.
So, we learned Mance Rayder was right there, in Winterfell at the time of the Kings trip to see Ned. Mance Rayder even ate at the feast, watching indisguise as a musician. He claims he wanted to se the King, but perhaps he really wanted to see Ned and Winterfell. Maybe he never wanted to be the King of Westeros at all, but the King of the North and ruler of Winterfell.
We still dont know too much about him and his motives, very enigmatic. We know he's very very cunning and clever enough to be a 'game player'. If he wanted to cause serious unrest among the Stark camp, be might have tried to have Bran killed. Or, he might have wanted the catspaw to FAIL on purpose, so Bran lived, but war was sparked. Funnily enough that catspaw was a MAJOR trigger in the downfall of house Stark.
Being a musician hanging around the Kings/Joffs carriages, could he have grabbed the valyrian dagger? This would be perfect as it would frame a Lannister as the killer and start a battle the starks could only lose from.
Being a trickster, would it of been hard to find a catspaw, and vanish away, regardless of the consequences - leaving behing carnage and a weakened Winterfell? Knowing from afar that he's pushed a major domino.
Did Mance want to cross the wall to take winterfell?? Was Jon Snow left to live because he saw him as a pawn in his game?? Does he have premonitions, and can therefore play this game better than anybody had imagined.
Now Mance is in Winterfell and we have received a VERY strange letter - is it his work???
I put the words Mance Rayder into 'ANAGRAMMER'... (for finding DERIVATIVE anagrams)
The best match that doesnt have any non-used letters is MERCENARY
If this is a clue...
who is Mance working for?
Did he really do the catspaw?
Did he actually want the catspaw to fail, so Bran lived, but was was sparked?
Did he get captured on puropse?
Did he know the future already?
Can anyone think of supporting evidence?
Mance purposefully formented the Stark war, pushing pawns like Littlefinger/Varys. He tried to castpaw Bran, maybe even knowing it would fail. I suspect the combination of Stannis and Mance (not a 'purposeful' alliance, just coincidental) have driven/tricked the Boltons out of Winterfell, to go to the Dreadfort. IIRC Mance still has a RUBY and if he knows how to glamour can pull off serious tricks. I think he might want Jon to deliver a garrison to his new Castle/Throne, and knows Jons weaknesses enough to manipulate him to bring his rightful army of Wildlings to his doorstep.
Thanks for reading, and BTW i'm a huge Mance 'the mercenary' fan.
Edited by yolkboy, 07 August 2012 - 09:55 AM.