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  1. Why women don't take black

    There is nothing that indicates that female criminals are offered the option of joining the Silent sisters. It seems that in Westeros, female criminals have no option but the imprisonment/dismemberment/death that the Kings Justice demands. The Silent sisters are an option for widows with no resources to provide for themselves, or (as Theon suggests to Asha) whose menfolk won't provide for them. Their tongues are cut out, not as a punishment or atonement, but so their silence is non-optional (unlike the brothers on the Quiet Isle, which would be a fairer comparison than the Night's Watch). I'd say the cut out tongue is a strong sign the silent sisters are for life, too. Wow, your assessment of the capacity of female labour is lower than that of the 18th century British penal system, and the 18th century British industrial system. They had women breaking rocks, building roads, working in coal mines, labouring in brick works, cotton gins, wool mills, and on farms. The law did not segregate prisons by age or sex or offence. The convict colonies had no problem with dispatching women to the furthest outposts. They were not exactly a model for equity and women's rights, but working class women (and children) were expected to work, and yes, they were builders. ETA: “I have heard that in the Sunset Kingdoms men take solemn vows to keep chaste and father no children, but live only for their duty. Is it not so?” “It is,” Arstan said, when the question was put. “There are many such orders. The maesters of the Citadel, the septons and septas who serve the Seven, the silent sisters of the dead, the Kingsguard and the Night’s Watch …”(ASoS, Ch.23 Daenerys II) Strongly implies that all the above are intended to serve for life. Although it is Barristan, who doesn't always remember things straight. ETA:“The silent sisters never speak,” said Podrick. “I heard they don’t have any tongues.” Septon Meribald smiled. “Mothers have been cowing their daughters with that tale since I was your age. There was no truth to it then and there is none now. A vow of silence is an act of contrition, a sacrifice by which we prove our devotion to the Seven Above. For a mute to take a vow of silence would be akin to a legless man giving up the dance.”(AFfC, Ch.31 Brienne VI) OK, they don't have their tongues cut out, and the speechlessness is an act of contrition. But not one that is offered to criminals instead of a death sentence.
  2. Why women don't take black

    Well, not every woman wants to take the black: But seriously, Yeah, only the black brothers are allowed to talk, and visit their families, and keep their identity and do heaps of things other than tend their dead. On the other hand, maybe the silent sisters have a few tricks of the trade for dealing with the wights.
  3. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

    Wow, yes. There is no sign of it in Storm of Swords: But then, Jaime doesn't notice her thickening waist at any time, and he is the only PoV outside Cersei that looks at her body, apart from the odd pervy leer from Tyrion. Jaime is the only brother that sees her naked. Although, I don't think he is the only one who notices anything - Boris Blount might be a fat alcoholic, but he is not stupid: and maybe Jaime is, a bit. After his argument with Cersei: Or too much a Knight of the Kingsguard not to look the other way, regardless of what he privately thinks of his Commander's lusts. So Ser Boros, and possibly Ser Balon, have heard from their own mouths the long, treasonous history of the twincest, and the time in the sept by Joffrey's corpse, and about Jaime defenestrating Bran, from his own mouth. Because Jaime chooses not to reveal Brienne's name to Boros, it sounds that, in addition to his monstrous crimes, the Kingslayer is also getting Ser Loras to pimp for him, or to send message of his assignations, anyway. I had always supposed that Kevan had formed his notions from Stannis' letter and Lancel's experiences, rather than knowing for a certainty, but maybe Boros has told him. He has to tell someone, at some stage. Balon as an independent confirming witness, makes Boros an excellent witness for the prosecution at Cersei's upcoming trial...but it looks as if someone is slowly killing Boros, unknown to Jaime and Cersei. If we look at what happened in the great sept, after the High Sparrow took over, there was an argument where Jaime loudly denied being the father of Joffrey and Tommen, while Cersei begged him to be hand. In the time of the Old High Septon, it is possible Jaime was observed in a more compromising position. Lancel's confidant was the Old High Septon, not sure how he feels about the High Sparrow, or what the High Sparrow has on Jaime. Cersei's weight gain isn't the only sign either - there are more than a few clues before it that seem intended to give the reader the notion that Cersei is with child. She had bloody dreams and wakes nauseated, she is lightheaded and emotional when she is sent to see her father. She blames the wine, and we might blame grief, except for the cold way Cersei asserts herself as Regent when she finds that she was the last to know her Hand was dead, and her brother escaped: Boros notices the Queen's condition: there is no weight gain at the time: A little off-topic:'no time'! Seriously, Queens, like diplomats, always need to have a funeral outfit at hand. Preferably one that can be altered to match a particular funeral within a few hours. These weepers must be at least a year old. Maybe she wore them for Jon Arryn? Or maybe her mantua-maker (and the six seamstresses and twelve apprentices under her) had time to whip up a couple of options for Robert's funeral while she scouted about for a catspaw. They got Sansa's complete bridal trousseau out in less than a month, and Cersei would have wanted a gown ready if King Robert had died in the melee, a whole month before the hunting expedition. By which time the weeping Rhaegar-rubies frock was ready. Unlike weddings, funerals are about honouring the dead, not the dress. Cersei honours her father with a lot more statescraft in this old thing as Regent, than she ever did in the better funeral gowns: allowing Lady Graceford to call her progeny 'Tywin' but not Lollys, deflecting Lancel's ill-timed courtship, deciding Taena would be her spy, appointing Gyles avoiding Garth as master of coin, telling the Queen of Thorns to go back to her own country, giving Qyburn carte blanche and the Mountain. Interesting to note here that Pycelle might be immune to the Grey plague, or know how to treat it. So what if she looks a little Cruella de Ville? Cersei is on fire, the frock fits. Cersei's third chapter starts with the weight gain, Joyclean lacing her up. She attributes her irrascibility to Tommen's wedding, her morning nausea to her miscarriage-prophetic breakfast: Her mood swings continue and her nausea: and her light-headedness: There is miscarriage-foreshadowing imagery (we know it is,because it was used for Dany) and we are told of Maggi and Melara But after Cersei V, the pregnancy hints stop. Or almost stop. There is a mother-like aspect to one of her captors: and on the walk itself there is this: and this: and this as well as several references associating her with motherhood and motherhood with a stretch-marked belly and saggy breasts. Perhaps somebody who didn't get all their sex education at a Marist Brothers boys school managed to persuade GRRM that it really wasn't plausible that a woman who correctly identified her first pregnancy before it showed, would be unaware of her fifth at the beginning of the second trimester. Or perhaps the time line was blowing out a bit and he realised that, no matter how deluded Cersei herself was, there was no way the clerical legal eagles and all the citizens of Kings Landing would miss the fact that Cersei was six months pregnant when she did her walk of shame. Or maybe he was inviting the reader to notice Cersei's weight gain in order to disguise a whole trail of clues that tended to some other less clichéd purpose. In addition to the pregnancy symptoms, Cersei has red eyes: A little exertion leaves her breathless and exhausted: which parallels: Cersei seemed to be in withdrawal when she is locked in the Sept: she is over the worst of it by the time she confesses: Although the shivers return on her day of atonement, after a few days of better food and blankets: Which might just be the cold, except she starts hallucinating people who are not there, too. Tywin, Melara, Ned, Sansa, Lady, Tyrion, Joffrey. and she is breathless still when she starts heading uphill: Another symptom that isn't usually associated with pregnancy is the thickened tongue and dry throat: Both Cersei and Boros Blount drink wine, unlike Tommen. And it seems to be slowly making them sick. Almost every non-violent death (and quite a few of the violent ones) could be attributed to 'poisoned wine' Jon Arryn (Lysa confirmed Baelish gave her Tears of Lys, but also mentioned his rotten breath, Pycelle mentions Jon's partaking of iced wine), King Robert (gored by a boar, but his stomach was wrapped in wine-soaked bandages and gave out a rotten stench),Tywin's (that he was on the privy while Shae was in his bedchamber implies he had stomach troubles before the crossbow incident), Tyrion serves Nurse wine as well as soup, Daenarys is offered poisoned wine at Vaes Dothrak but nobody drinks it, Fat Belwas is served chilled wine with his locusts, and so on. The poisoner's weapon of choice seems to be Arbor Gold. So much so, that the Redwynes must know at least that their most select vintages have historically been used by poisoners. Or perhaps were traditionally made to the specifications of a historic poisoner. But (with the possible exception of the cask that Dany was invited to take at Vaes Dothrak), the wine doesn't come out of the barrel that way. Dany doesn't refuse the next cup she is offered (by the captains of the Quicksilver and the Greyhound, Tyrion guzzles it at Illyrio's, and offers it to Oberyn while imprisoned in the Red Keep. Petyr Baelish gives a cup to Sansa, Sansa serves the Lords Declarent. Hizdar, Xaro, Lord Manderley, Lazy Leo, Margaery, drink without unexpected effects, Dancy, Jayde, Alayaya. and Anguy, bathe in it, and live. Cersei isn't so lucky. Tyrion observes and she was already breathless before he condemned her to the privy for a day. In fact, Cersei usually asks for a pinch of something herself- she drinks spiced wine and hippocras more than anyone. Looking at it, I think there is a link between lemons, wine and poison. Jon Snow lets us know there is lemon in the southern version of spiced wine: And so many suspect poisonings are not lemon free. Joffrey dies pointing at the lemon cream on the pie: In Dorne, Darkstar prefers it to wine; At the temple of the god of many faces, Cat bathes in it, and Arya is given a tart lemony drink before she changes faces; At the Red Wedding, Catelyn suspects Ser Ryman Frey had bathed in it, as Roose sips hippocras on her other side; Stannis has lemonwater with his boiled eggs, and Lord Commander Snow offers him wine or lemonwater. Doran sips his special spiced strongwine in Water Gardens redolent with the smell of lemons as well as blood oranges. Yezzan serves wine but drinks lemonwater, Illyrio smells like he bathes in it. I'm also starting to think that is a prophesy about Jaime and Cersei. Or perhaps the bones are the bones of the holy dead, piled up at Baelors Sept. But the lemons are associated with poisoning, I'm sure of that. I already suspect Kezmya Pahl of serving Fat Belwas poisoned wine to avenge the death of her uncle, the champion of Meereen, and now Kezmya is serving the Green Grace lemon drink (and the Green Grace returns from dealing with the Yunkai complaining of a sore throat). If the Green Grace dies like Jon Arryn, I'm guessing it will be a lemon/wine poisoning. And iced wine could be as easily flavoured with lemon as mulled wine (although the heat is needed to bring out the oils of dried spices like cinnamon and cloves). Jon Snow wasn't particular about his mulled wine, so Satin probably put lemon in it, being from Oldtown. In Cersei's case, my eyes are on Joyclean Swyft: she gives Cersei the lemonwater when she wakes, and she brought Sansa 'Cersei's favourite scent' that smelled of roses on top, and lemon underneath, for Sansa's wedding. I can't imagine she loves her job, her dad is dodgy and while Cersei is locked up, he and Pycelle rule the realm. Varys and Littlefinger are, as always, suspect. When Tyrion surprised Varys at his own quarters, he smelt of lemons, and Petyr Baelish loves serving lies and Arbor Gold. The walk of Shame just happens to be following the same route as the riots of Kings Landing, and had some similarity of incident, and the crowd seemed seeded with shills (eg. pie and kebab sellers slowing down the pace of the walk) that could belong to either of them.. Also, I'm almost certain one or both of them is in league with the Tyrells (with my money on Petyr Baelish) and the High Septon (Varys for preference here). In the days of the King's Landing riots, Petyr Baelish supplied the Red Keep from the farms along the Rosby road. By the sea, across the river, on little boats, Margaery's entorage can send message to other boats, attached to ships attached to Baelish. The seamstresses, singers, goldsmiths, beggars, pie sellers and common tradesmen could as easily be the former associates of Antler-men, with loans contracted to Baelish. The High Septon freeing up the cloth of gold and crystal of the faith for food for the poor is a thing that could go Baelish or Varys. Varys is more likely to know the poor, but Baelish is more likely to know the cloth and crystal merchants, and the food merchants that would give them a good price. Coming from Rosby way, the High Sparrow and Baelish might know people in common. And this selling off of Church chattels is a godsend for anyone who wants to sell the Fat Septon's crown, but couldn't because it was too hot. Also, the High Sparrow is bringing charges of Regicide and Deicide against Cersei. Presumably Lancel will have something to say on this, but I'm wondering if he has Tyrek in reserve, sequestered in some holy house, ready to support what Lancel says about serving wine to the King, or refute it, and spin what he knows about the septon that died in the riots for good measure. Also depriving the Red Keep of its taxes and taking the flesh trade to places closer to Baelish's keep. Baelish and the High Septon both might agree that was for the best. Also, looking at fat Cersei and her current whisperer, I'm almost certain the Blue Bard is Willas Tyrell in disguise, the high boots concealing his maimed leg. the Blue Bard would not be moved from the cells of the Red Keep to the ones at Baelor's sept, with Osney, if he sang no song but the one his torturer taught him. I don't think the miscarriage metaphors in her walk of shame are foreshadowing a miscarriage, but they might foreshadow Cersei's death. After the walk of Shame, Cersei spends a lot of her time soaking in the tub. Soaking makes her skin very white, wrinkled, and bloated. It also gives her wet footprints when she gets out of the tub. That is in keeping with the prophecy. And for the valonquer - whose brother? The prophesy doesn't specify. One last thing I noticed now you mentioned Cersei's weight gain, is and The false bastard and the mother of bastards have gone twinsies! I wonder if Cersei knew Lysa had the same dress in her wardrobe. Although motherhood and being in kings landing had left Lysa too pale and bloated and mentally unstable to fit into it.
  4. Mistakes/Contradictions in the books?

    I have a dry red from the Arbor, crisp and delectable. Please, let me give you a cask. ... He filled two thimble-sized tasting cups, pouring so deftly he did not spill a drop. Ser Jorah lifted a cup and sniffed at the wine, frowning. “Sweet, isn’t it?” the wineseller said, smiling. “Can you smell the fruit, ser? The perfume of the Arbor.”(AGoT, Ch.54 Daenerys VI)
  5. @Cridefea, not just snow. Mud too. Krakatoa was a mud explosion. So Winterfell's geothermal springs have all Melisandre's Snow symbolism, and all the Tully's Mudd associations inviting them to go off. @Therae, thank you. Thank you for reading that long post. I'm still trying to get a better answer to Illyrio's question. Unfortunately most Queensland plant people don't have much to do with snow, and I want to be careful not to destroy my own credibility or seem to be trying to diminish the professional credibility of the best botanists I meet, by raising a question whose superficial scientific interest is just a trojan horse designed to draw in people who would sincerely object if they knew I was really asking not from any concern about global warming or how we were going to feed the world, but because of some popular fantasy novel that takes up far more of my mind than I can really spare.
  6. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

  7. Penny at the Wedding

    Tyrion is really drunk at the Purple Wedding. He recalls Bethany Fair-fingers as 'Bessa the Barmaid', and calls the bard who follows her and sings the Rains of Castamere "Collio" even though Collio of Tyrosh preceded her. By the time the dwarfs perform, he can barely stand and his perceptions are so askew he thinks people are laughing with him, when they are laughing at him. He knows about Renly and Loras, so the sexual joke would make more sense to him if the dwarfs were both male. It takes Tyrion more than a long, close, sober look at Penny to overcome the prejudice and ego that decides her gender and significance for him: Tyrion assures Haldor indignantly that he does not pipe, when Haldor tells him to shut up - but maybe there isn't so much difference between a young male dwarf with a highish tenor voice, and a female dwarf. Penny was wearing a full set of mummers mail when he saw her at the wedding - and I don't think Tyrion has ever seen Brienne of Tarth or considered a female knight could be a thing. A pair of trousers is all it takes to sustain Tyrion's prejudice. I don't find this unbelievable, and if it is a retcon, it is well done. I loathe Penny as a character, find her and most everything she implies unnecessary. Find the idea of the Widow of the Waterfront standing by while Jorah takes her as a slave (and her pig and her dog, and all her baggage) because his slave told him to, and because Penny couldn't look after herself but Jorah and slave could look after her, and Jorah had no trouble finding the coin to pay her passage (and her livestock, and baggage, and her dead brothers baggage) even though he got one of the cheapest rooms at the Merchant's House, and one of the cheapest gifts for the Widow, deeply implausible. But that Tyrion's head is fixated too far beneath his self-pitying melon to see either of the dwarves at the wedding as anything but an insult to himself, that he has sworn to avenge, does not surprise me at all. I don't think he has forgotten that aspect of things when he makes enquires about who hired her for the wedding, either. ETA: Also note that Penny does the melon trick when they entertain the Yunkai outside the walls of Meereen. She has the mummer mail, the dog, the pig. She knows all the tricks. She has the story of how her brother was killed. That there was a male dwarf standing in for her at the Purple Wedding seems a bit much in the circumstances.
  8. Oh my. Thanks for this. One of the creepiest qualities of the vampires of Dracula was their ability to evaporate into a Cornwall fog, blow in through an upstairs window, or between the joins of a door, and rematerialise. And of course, as soon as I read of Hardhome I though of those They could also use this power to prevent their ship from leaving port until the count had finished his business on land. They also had the ability to 'come in on moonlight rays as elemental dust', to warg into any form, to see in the dark: Like Stoker, GRRM has taken care to have a number of examples of this eeire property before The Winds of Winter blow the deathships down from Hardhome, and also dropped a number of clues as to the laws that check the powers of the undead. It seems to me now that the Last Kiss of the Red God might be a way of inviting misty others to re-animate a corpse...and share the habitation of it, until it is killed again. In fact, I'm wondering if the Red God is really an enemy of the Others at all - in Westeros he seems to draw his strength from the power of the Seven and the Old Gods and the mortal, to grow stronger on the talismans that would otherwise be employed keeping Others at bay. And he manifests as a deadly shadow (possibly with the face of Stannis - although that could be Catelyn's imagination). There is a hint in the culture of the wildlings (ie. "Kissed by Fire" is a lucky sign) And if fire is not the enemy of the Others, what will Dragonfire do? In Garin's case, the water wizards specifically cursed the dragonlords. @Pain killer Jane your theory that Greyscale (Which, oddly enough, the wildlings know about - wildling mothers being inclined to amputate or murder their children rather than attempt to cure it) only affects those with the blood of Old Valyria seems really plausible to me. We know Shireen has 'Kings blood', and it would be reasonable to assume that Serra, with her Valyrian looks, did too. Volantis would have a fair amount of Dragonlord blood in its population, especially considering Fused stone, with no crack or cranny for the fog to seep in. A wall. Black stone, It is of the same era (give or take a few thousand years) as Storms End, which withstood the wrath of the Storm Gods, the same Gods who dragged Steffon Baratheon and his turtle wife to their watery grave. Perhaps also of the same era as Moat Calin which did not withstand the wrath of the River Gods, and where the Ironborn who held it were slaughtered by foul miasmas. The fused nature of the stone, and the lack of any mention of oilyness makes it more like Dragonstone, although, like the other fused-stone artifacts we know of (the Valyrian roads, the inner walls of Tyrosh, the fort at Naath), Dragonstone was built after, possibly long after, the Black Wall. ETA: And now I'm seeing them everywhere
  9. Yes, but more than this. Don't forget, for example, that the crabs almost choked Lord Commander Mormont. Searching for 'crab' and 'turtle', I notice that, with one or two exceptions, turtles nearly always appear in crab references, and while Tyrion is a magnet for both, and a certain group of Black Brothers, including Ser Alliser also, they are not the only ones. But I'll start with crabs, and with Tyrion. (Incidentally, if anyone knows a keyboard shortcut for quotes, it would be most appreciated. Sorry not to reference chapters here, I might come back and do it when I have more time) When Tyrion bribes Mord to carry his message to Lysa: On coming to Kings Landing: And of course, after this meal, Lord Janos is shipped off the Wall, along with those of his Goldcloaks he recommended (not including Aller Deem) While surveying the Mud Gate he sees: and dashes their hopes by destroying their markets. During the Battle of Blackwater: At the Purple Wedding In Pentos, the crab references become King references And he notices: With Davos, crabs are more about religion than royalty. They crop up a lot when he is in prison, but then, he is imprisoned a lot: Then he feels for his fingerbones, "the fire took my luck as well as my sons". He prays to the Mother for mercy, and hears her reply “You called the fire,” she whispered, her voice as faint as the sound of waves in a seashell, sad and soft. “You burned us … burned us … burrrrned usssssss.” and after some more maternal remonstrance, and a nod to the burnt old gods, he finds the strength to climb out of his cave and hail his rescue ship. Defiant, after he attempts to assassinate Melisandre: When he dines confidentally with Lord Godric of Sweetsister: Lord Manderley's use of crabs is noted by Davos: Davos is not the only one to notice Lord Manderley's crabs. Bran was impressed by them: And, when thinking of Osha: Ramsey seems to have held similar hopes, from Theon's overhearings: Theon also helps us associate crabs with the Myrham: But he does have a crab reference that is uniquely his own: The Greyjoys mention crabs frequently. Usually talking of people being eaten by them, especially but not exclusively Victarion's salt wife. Aeron makes an atypical observation: And it isn't the first crab reference associated with caves and tunnels and subterranean places. Euron mocks the prayers of those he predates on: when he claims the Seastone chair. Hoster Tully knows this problem. He tells Catelyn: and the Captain of the Myaham uses Euron's return to escape and tell Catelyn and Robb: Sansa's crab references also have a regal theme: And that course of the feast during the Battle of Blackwater is not unlike the Pentoshi Tumbler course of the Purple Wedding...crab followed by trenchers of mutton. I wonder if they came from the Sisters, seeing as the fishmarket at the Mud gate is otherwise occupied. Sansa also makes careful note of the captives brouth before the king after the battle: By their precedence, and the later fate of Ser Bonifer, I gather Lord Celtigar (the red crab) and Lord Estermont (the green sea turtle) had changed their allegiance during the battle. Jon, like Sansa, pays attention to sigils: While the stewards prepare to knife him. In the Frostfangs before he 'steals' Ygritte, and in the battle against the Thenns at castle black, Before beheading Janos Slynt, he gets a good look at his mutinous fellows I'm guessing these men have no love of wildlings, and are all Dragon men beneath their superficial loyalty to rank and patronage. Patchface tries to warn him: But he can dream up his own uneasy prophecies: Sam, however, is alive and able to have crab references of his own: That galley being [ETA: actually, I'm not absolutely sure what the galley is, although Stannis's war galley Old Mother’s Son or Oledo(ADwD, Ch.09 Davos I) would be my best guess, and Elephant, Lysene companion of the Goodheart (ADwD, Ch.45 The Blind Girl) second best guess.] When he gets to Braavos, Sam's crab observation is about the geography and layout of the city. Arya's crab references are also mostly about the layout of the town and its waters, although there is one that relates to the Night's Watch: I'm inclined to believe she fed him to the eels rather than the crabs, but when her penance for that is over: So maybe it isn't always a choice between crabs and fire. Brienne's crab references are intimately connected to the social and physical geography of Crackclaw point and the mouth of the Trident, but as I'm ignoring the other post that is about these for the second day in a row, I'm not going into it in this one. When the Cinnamon Wind is almost at Oldtown, the captain of the Huntress tells Sam of the depredations of the Ironborn: Cersei has a single distinctly unqueenly crab reference, while she does her walk of shame: The reference in Arianne's point of view, where Garin of the Greenblood explains the enmity between the Old Man of the River and the Crab King, could count as a queenly reference, as he is explaining to the newly crowned Myrcella. Dany also has a single crab reference, part of an inane internal dialogue she has with herself on the Dothraki sea: Although there seems to be a parallel to this in Jaime's single turtle reference: Tullys were once as staunch supporters of the Dragonlords as Crabbs, until Hoster had a bellyful of them. Blackfish never agreed with Hoster, although Dany's is a fat fish, so maybe she gets Edmure as an ally. There are far fewer turtle references, and they are usually part of a crab reference. Although the first turtle reference comes long before the first crab reference: Dany has more to do with turtles than crabs. She destroys her three ships to make a turtle to sack Meereen, and before the sack began: Most of Jon's references to turtles are to Mance's less successful siege weapon: He and Sansa and Catelyn note the turtle of the Estermonts, in the shieldhall before he is stabbed, in the vanguard of Stannis's forces on the Blackwater, and among Renly's knights at Storm's End. Sam explains the Estermont sigil to Gilly: Quentyn and Arya both note turtle and crab as part of the cuisine of Volantis and Braavos respectively, but it is Tyrion, his trip on the Shy Maid, from the Sorrows to Selhorys, that gets the lion's share of turtle references. The actual turtles on the banks of the river have some resemblance to Dany's dragon eggs: Tyrion seems to find them threatening, kind of predatory, though sea turtles, big as they are, have no teeth, and eat seagrass and algae. Even if Duck calls the river turtles 'bone snappers' and Tyrion is cautious, and GRRM does his best to impress us with their size, it is as difficult to buy into the ferocity of a slow-moving toothless creature. Also, who can fear Lord Estermont? At his most ferocious, he bows to Doran's wish and marrys a Santagar. His wife might be able to get up to something in his name, but he doesn't strike me as someone who might surprise us. He is no Lord Frey (for a start he is twenty years younger, and his wife ten years older than Frey's wife) There are other Tyrion turtle references, apart from the ones associated with the Shy Maid. Tyrion plays cyvasse at the Painted Turtle, he asks Moqorro if Selaesori Qhoran was a triach or a turtle, and in his first tilt with Penny, on the Selaesori Qhoran before the storm, he slid off Pretty Pig and Like a giant bonesnapper on his back, no doubt.
  10. This chapter was a highlight of my first read of ADwD. I was so tired when I started it, words seemed to be just falling in a litter on the floor of my brain as they came to my eyes, I was nodding off and re-reading lines and thinking maybe I should just go to bed. And then this. It was riveting, even in the state I was in, a vivid scene that stuck with me, even after For the Watch. I thought the time dilation thing was a direct lift from the Lord of the Rings, where Tolkien has (at least) two motes of First Age Middle-Earth that can be reached (by Frodo and co, at least) in Third Age Middle-Earth. The first was across the Withywindle, in the Dingle, the lands of Tom Bombadil and the barrow-wrights, and seems to end at the boundry dike shortly before the East Road, that Bombadil tells them marks the end to an old kingdom in Arnor (Cardolan?), although from later information it seems likely the boundary pre-dates the kingdom, and Arnor, and even Eriador. The second was between the Nimrodel and the Anduin, Galadriel's Lothlorien. Time passes slower there, we are told, and powers that have vanished from the rest of middle-earth linger. It is understood that the powers of the Elven rings and the One ring have some kind of protective influence (and indeed, even the rings of the mortal men grant a kind of immortality, allowing Kings from the past to influence the present) but there is an older spell or power that kept these places above the seas when others were destroyed by Godly Wrath. Arwen's story suggests that after the Ring Bearers had left, the Straight Road to Aman was lost and the seas bent forever, and the power that had kept Lorien on first age time faded, or collapsed like an eddy in the flow, leaving Arwen an ordinary, but rather beautiful forest to die in. Both of them protect the Hobbits from Sauron's forces in their own way. The battles of the Valyrians and the Rhoynar in Essos, and of the first men and the elemental gods of Westeros, have echos of second and first age goings-on in Middle-Earth. So I assumed the Bridge was a place where ancient sorceries still had power. It never occurred to me that there was anything or anyone on the Shy Maid that had disturbed those forces, but now you mention the Kingfisher, it does seem a bit fishy. And logically, it would be Valyrian blood (not necessarily Targaryen blood, but very likely dragon-rider blood) or news of the same, that had Garon grab Tyrion and Griff, laughing at one, and giving the other greyscale. I'm not sure if he cared about Aegon, as he didn't touch him directly. On the other hand, Tyrion has won Aegon's trust by the time he reaches Selhorys, and proves himself a powerful rather than a good counsellor, when he advises Aegon to turn West with the Golden Company and conquer Westeros before seeking an alliance with Daenarys. And giving the already hasty Griffin a greyscale deadline (literally deadline) might have gone a long way to committing him to this unwise strategy. Maybe, the spirit of Garin was utilising his limited powers very cleverly against Aegon. Or Daenarys. Maybe it is because I am writing this post when I really should be exercising my limited powers on one about the Trident between the Ruby Ford and the Saltpans, but there seems to be a lot of parallels between Garin and Stoneheart, as far as mists and unseasonal floods are concerned, and also between the Trident and the Rhoynar. The mouth of the Trident is lousy with Targaryen sorceries, thanks to Visenya and Dragonstone, but there are clearly older powers, Gods of Storm, and river, and mist, and mud (I'm thinking of the storms of the bay, and the unseasonal floods, and on the North bank of the Greenfork, the Neck, that seems to be still full of mist and mud magics) and the Old Gods (there is still a detectable wiernet through the riverlands eg. the young and thriving weirwood at the whispers, the stump that Jaime dreamt on before rescuing Brienne from Harrenhal, and possibly the one he had his hand cut off on near Maidenpool, the Gods Eye, the cave of the BwB near Stoney Sept, and on the north bank of the Green Fork, the Neck is full of mud and mist and river with eeire effects, and crannogmen who still remember how these ancient powers work, that are strongly accused by the Freys of sorcery. As to the 'oh no, not magic, not space-time dilation' protest [ETA: by @Yeade, in the older thread], too late. From Chapter one, when Rob heard Ghost call to him, from the prologue, where Will had sensed in the bad weather, the cold wind, the trees that rustled like living things (GRRM, or at least, Will, seeming to think that trees are not living things), the gaze of something cold and implacable that loved him not. What is warging but a kind of magic that allows one to enter the conciousness of another? And there are strong hints that the Others that slayed Will and Waymar are the same ones that existed in the time of the Long Night, eight thousand years ago, before we learn anything about Targaryens and their not unmagical Dragons. Turning Tyrion's encounter with Garin into a dream is a clever step - it leaves room for the skeptical to consider more explicable mechanisms for the return to the bridge, without confirming Garin's existence in the present, or invalidating the belief that he might. A couple of Trident-Rhoynar parrallels: Mother Rhoyne runs where she will. And we know (from Septon Meribald) that the Inn at the Crossroads, the Inn of the Clanking Dragon, a black dragon turned red by the river, was once on the bank of the Trident, until the river turned away. The other: At sunset at Nysar, when the Old Man of the River blesses Ysilla and Yandry, impresses Duck and Young Griff, and bellows in a way that reminds Tyrion of a War Horn (winded for himself and/or Young Griff?). Lemore was on deck, but might have missed seeing it, while Old Griff was not present (still asleep below?) and Haldon Half-maester was below ('with turtles crawling out of his arse' according to Tyrion). Also, by the by, note that Lemore, Duck, and Tyrion have all put their heads under the waters of the Rhoyne that fine morning. And that Lemore notes, on Tyrion returning to the boat, Anyway, it reminded me that Princess Arianne's greenblood friend Garin had explained the Old Man of the River to us earlier: And it seems to me that the Celtigars, sworn to Dragonstone, claiming Crackclaw point, might have their claws cracked by a river deity from the Trident. (I've put this part very poorly, partly because I only just noticed the Dornish v Dragonstone references in the Brienne chapters of AFfC today, and have been considering what they mean as I write up this post. Also I'm feeling a bit guilty about spending my precious Westeros time writing up this post, when the investigation of Brienne's travels along the Trident is part of an overdue reply to a poster in the other thread, that common courtesy demands I answer as promptly as I am able, rather than buying into this bright shiny thing with vague notions and suspicions of old spells and powers stirring now the Others and the dragons have awaken. So maybe the parallels between the Trident and the Rhoyne are only the attacks of my own guilty conscience.
  11. The dead near Saltpans

    Great spot. My guess is axes: Cerwyn, Stark allies, were in the attack on Duskendale. Could be Dustin too, but don't think they were part of Robett's force? arrows: Sarsfield, Lannister allies, with Tarly's host. More doubtfully Norridge, of the Reach, whose sigil is burning arrows: Not Hunter of Vale, as there is no other indication any of them have strayed to the Saltpans. salmon: Mooton, now allied with Tarly. Pine tree: Tallhart, Stark allies, were in the attack on Duskendale. Mollen are another Stark ally with a pine tree sigil, but they don't appear to have gone anywhere near the Saltpans. Orkwood and Hoare also have pine trees, but no other sign that Ironborn are in the Saltpans at that time. oak leaf: Oakheart,Reach allies, likely in Tarly's host. beetles: Bettley, Lannister allies, Brienne identified some in Tarly's guard at Maidenpool. bantams: Swyft, Lannister allies. This is interesting, because I would have thought Harys's forces were rather small, and that they would stick close to him, as he sticks close to the Lannisters of Casterley Rock. So I would expect to see them around Cersei at King's Landing, to have left Harrenhal with Tywin, and not to have ventured into the Saltpans. Boars head: Crakehall, Lannister allies. Probably not the main branch of Crakehalls, but a scion, like the unknown family of red boars we see in the quarters of the Vikary shield. I think the Crakehall sigil could be more easily truncated to 'boars head' than the Vikary, and as both have strong Lannister/Westerland associations, I think it is safe to assume a 'boars head' sigil more probably originates from the Westerlands than any other part of the seven kingdoms. Still, like the tridents, it doesn't quite make sense. tridents: This is the most puzzling. House Teauge, Kings of the Rivers and the Hills, were based at Maidenpool, but they are extinct. However, perhaps there are locals with old Teauge shields around. House Haigh of the Riverlands have crossed three-pronged pitchforks as a sigil, and they accompanied Ser Arwood Frey to respond to the Brave Companions raid on the Saltpans. Maybe Brienne misread the pitchforks as tridents? I doubt she would miss the merman holding the Manderley trident, and there are no Manderleys of White Harbour spotted in the area. And of course, a Lion-helmed Lannister. So, on the whole, these do not look like broken men. They look like casualties from the Lannister force. Most likely part of the force Randyll had taken to Duskendale (Hence Tallhart and Cerwyn armour, scavenged, the way Septon Meribald suggested Podrick take the lion helm). And while it is obvious, I'm guessing they were killed in their attempts to deal with the Brotherhood Without Banners, as there doesn't seem to be any casualties from the other side. This is a clue that the smallfolk are aiding one side, so they are not taken by surprise, and their dead are collected and given a respectful burial. I can't suppose they would do that much for the Brave Companions, or the Northmen, the two other forces known to have razed the area. As @Clegane'sPup has already said, the salt stuffed in the mouth looks a lot like the ruthlessness of LSH. (If we compare and contrast with the men at Stoney Sept, the smallfolk approve of additional nastiness, but Lord Beric demanded they hang them cleanly.) I don't think this has anything much to do with Rorge and his Brave Companions, apart from that LSH's crew might be tracking him down as they wreak their way through the Saltpans. Randyll has done a lousy job of freeing the Riverlands from the depredations of broken men, and especially from the Brave Companions - three of the worst of them had been hiding out Maidenpool, right under his nose, and Shagwell still in his motley, for goodness sake. But they were never huge on arson, and their priority is leaving Westeros with their plunder, so why alienate the smallfolk of a port, or identify themselves when they have no backup? None of these hanged men match the description of any Brave Companions. Most are Lannister or Tarly forces, judging by the sigils. It is possible that they have broke from Randyll's men and Randyll's justice, but I doubt it, because there are so many sigils on display. Some broken men might display their Lord's sigils, but I imagine most would either disguise or obscure them. Especially if there were enemies stringing up men wearing that sigil. Randyll has kept his forces concentrated in defensible and strategic places (Maidenpool and Duskendale), where he can enrich himself by getting the ports open and marrying off his son, and from where he can march straight back to Kings Landing and take over if the need arises. He guards the main roads and sends out sorties that hunt down the odd outlaw, several against one. There is no good reason for him to disperse his forces throughout the Saltpans, merely to chase broken men. It works better for him if the areas outside his protection are dangerous and lawless - as long as the areas that matter to him strategically are protected, it serves to show the smallfolk they would be better off allying with him, if given the opportunity. Given the number of people Brienne sees sliding off the main road when his men approach, it is not too hard to avoid his men if you want to. So, I think it is more likely that these men were either sorties commissioned by Randyll to go into the saltpans after broken men, or they were a force that had been sent out from Maidenpool to secure the Saltpans. Given they are still green and hanging, except where despoiled by carrion (ie. weeks old), rather than strips of leathern black flesh and dry white bones beneath the trees (ie. months old), and given the sigils from Randyll's forces from the Reach are there, and Northern ones that might have been scavenged at Duskendale, and most of the sigils in Clegane's forces from Harrenhal are not represented, it seems more likely they came up from Maidenpool fairly recently, rather than down from the Trident earlier, like Arya and the Brave Companions. If LSH was assisted by the locals, it shows that even after the massacre at the Salt Pans, the locals don't identify Randyll's occupying forces as friendly to them. Or maybe Randyll's forces made that clear with their behaviour. Judging by the guards at the gates of Maidenpool, they seem an undisciplined lot, and as fond of throwing their weight around, if not as sadistic as the Brave Companions. And I suppose the ones that had reason to be furthest from Randyll would be more likely to volunteer for a march to the Saltpans. It is interesting too, that Randyll doesn't seem to have said anything, or know anything about them. I'm wondering if he is aware of a largish contingent of his forces being wiped out in the Saltpans, but has preferred not to mention it to anyone - preferring not sully his name with news of a defeat, until he has turned it into a victory or found a proper army to blame it on, even if it means failing to alert his overlords to a threatening force. Or maybe he hasn't heard back from them yet, and isn't aware of the threat because there is no-one left to report it back to him, and he left Maidenpool before enough time had lapsed to cause him concern. Maybe you are onto something here - he wants to blame the massacre of the Saltpans on the Brave Companions, but knows his own forces were involved and dead men tell no tales? GRRM has said something about Chekhov's giant wolf pack featuring in Winds of Winter. I'm guessing the carrion feeders that attacked the corpses here were wolves (They were clearly ground-based, no crows). LSH's version of the BwB is a metaphorical wolf pack, banding together in the winter. Maybe in the next book, Cersei (or Randyll) will become aware that quite a lot of Lannister troops have gone into the black hole between the Trident and the Saltpans and not reported back. Randyll might have trouble dismissing the threat when Cersei finds Jaime is gone. ETA: re:"I would also mention that Arya in her last chapter in SoS boarded the Titan’s Daughter at Saltpans. The ship was bound for Braavos. Saltpans a tiny minor little port of call what’s a Braavosi ship doing there." @Clegane'sPup Are you sure she is at the Saltpans? She supposes so, but I think she might have overshot the Saltpans, and caught the Titan's Daughter from Maidenpool. As you say, why would they put in at the Saltpans? On the other hand, Maidenpool has just opened up, allowing traders trapped there to leave. ETA: Just following up on the possibility of the Haigh pitchforks being confused with tridents. Re-reading Ser Arwood's 'eye-witness' account of the Mad Dog's massacre in the Saltpans, it occurred to me that he is, after all, a Frey, and that a disciplined force of half a hundred Freys could better go about and get away with razing a town, than a couple of dozen 'mad dogs' who want to find a ship back to Essos with their plunder before Lord Tywin catches up with them. Arwood claims the hound killed twenty men, and then goes on to claim he killed the entire townsfolk of Saltpans: "The rest is bones and ashes. A whole town. The Hound put the buildings to the torch and the people to the sword and rode off laughing."(AFfC, Ch.30 Jaime IV) Both versions are delivered as if by eye-witness, although he only set out from the Twins after reports arrived, and came upon the town after it was razed, after "the mad dog" had left. Sandor doing anything with fire is a typically implausible Frey lie (like Sansa turning into a bat and flying out a window, or Robb warging into a wolf) Perhaps the Freys had something to cover up at the Saltpans. They are at Darry when this tale is told, and there are a lot of sparrows, as well as a lot of Freys hanging around Darry. Of course, we think because of Lancel, but maybe because the monks of the Saltpans intend to keep a watchful eye on the Freys at Darry. Darry has strong associations with razings that are known to have occured, but that might have not been the work of the accused. For example, Darry castle, where the Tallhart and Glover forces razed the castle, put their Lannister captives, to the sword, and marched to Duskendale, believing they were acting on Robb's command, but really on the orders of Frey's son-in-law Roose Bolton (ACoK, Ch.64 Arya X). Ser Raymond Darry was responsible for accusing Ser Gregor Clegane of razing of Sherrer and Wendish Town, and Mummers Ford, resulting in the formation of the BwB. Ser Gregor was in the area, but I find it difficult to believe, as Eddard did, that he was acting on Tywin's orders. He was returning from the Tourney of the Hand, and Tywin was at Casterley Rock. So I have difficulty seeing where or how Tywin could have sent him his orders. More likely, if Ser Gregor was acting on orders, or riled by some kind of intelligence, they were orders given to him in King's Landing. Ser Raymond died at Mummers Ford, before they lost their banners, and his castle was taken by Ser Gregor, the remains of his men and his young heir slaughtered by the Mad Dog. That was very probably on Tywin's orders. Note he didn't burn the Darry area. Then Tallhart's men had taken Darry from Clegane's men, after a short siege. At the time, Tallhart's men were the ones that Edmure, acting on Roose Bolton's advice, had directed "to join him with the garrison Robb left at the Twins"(ACoK, Ch.39 Catelyn V), after Roose had sent him news of his marriage to Lady Walda. I can see how blaming a Clegane (Sandor, because Ser Gregor was not available) suits a treacherous Frey narrative. Darry seemed, at the time Joffrey bequeathed it on Lancel, destined to enrich his widow, his Frey widow. The razing of the Riverlands is very much Ser Gregor's style (if we believe Ser Redmund Darry), but it is Ser Amory Lorch Arya actually witnesses razing the Riverlands (and again, there is an issue of identity, where Ser Amory refuses to accept that the holdfast is only peopled by Nights watch and non-combatants.) Still, it is more likely that people would believe that Gregor, who burnt his own brothers face, would raze a town, than Sandor. The people these stories seem intended to convince ( Jaime, Cersei) would have to overlook all they know about Sandor's issues with fire, in order to believe he had turned to arson on leaving Kings Landing. I suppose the smallfolk of the Riverlands probably regard one Clegane as very much like another, and were more inclined to believe that the Starks were Wargs, too. The Brave Companions are also a good force to blame, even if their reputation is more for sadism and bloodshed than fire. Like the Cleganes, they have Lannister/Westerland associations rather than Riverland associations, and so would be useful for a Frey/Bolton coverup. Although I can't place exactly what the Freys and/or Boltons would be attempting to cover up. Most of the sigiIs could fit with former inhabitants of Darry castle (Tallhart, Cerywn, Bettley, Swyft, were all in the area: the Mooton sigil might have been dropped by one of Ser William Mooton's men when they tried to hunt the she-wolf from around the Gods Eye.) The Oakleaf sigil of Oakheart doesn't fit neatly into a Bolton/Frey conspired slaughter of Harrenhal Lannister allies. The Oakhearts seem to be pretty much completely on the Bitterbridge-Tumbler's Falls-Kings Landing-Duskendale path with Tarly, well away from Darry, the Saltpans, and the Godseye, and the Kings Road between Harrenhal and Duskendale. The Haigh pitchfork doesn't fit into this narrative either - unless the Freys saw some merit in stringing up some of their own forces along the way. Even then, Ser Harys seems to have been very much alive and present both at the time this deed would have been done, and . He was fighting alongside Ser Hoosteen at the RW, and there is every sign that the Haighs are totally trusted partners in crime to the Freys. And Ser Donnel Haigh isn't particularly good at identifying the Hound (ASoS, Ch.50 Arya X). For what it is worth, none of Perianne's children are mentioned in the appendix of Dance of Dragons, as being categorically alive or dead. ETA: Just noticed, when the Freys at Castle Darry tried to tell Jaime it was Sandor's doing, he reacted with instant scepticism: And the only problem with it being Gregor's work, is that Gregor was apparently dead from his poisoned wounds at the time. But he could be carrying the can for a lot of Riverland razing done by others. I'm pretty sure he was framed for the killing of Elia and the babes, too. Although it seems pretty clear that he did kill Lady Amerei's first husband, and being a Frey, her grandfather wasn't likely to let her forget that slight.
  12. Dancy is Tywin's Bastard

    I thought their mother might be of Velaryon blood (explaining the silver hair and Rhaegar-like looks of Aurane, and temperament of Marei) but also thought Marei and Aurane both could be Petyr Baeilish's biological children, being the only characters having grey-green eyes, other than him. Petyr's sigil is the cuckoo, and what could be more cuckoo-like than passing off his own offspring as that of some other lord, and having them take over the nest of the older, more esteemed houses, and oust the legitimate heirs from them? Aurane is acknowledged as the bastard of Driftmark, and while the colours of his house are sea-green and silver (and Monford often wears or displays these colours), the colour of their eyes is more characteristically purple or lilac (and the eye colour of the legitimate lord and his heir are not mentioned). Marie, I believe knows Petyr is her father. Marie's education might be due to her mother being well educated, or to Petyr ensuring she had some education. She might have been brought up with her mother in one of Petyr's brothels, where he could offer them protection and support, but obscure his paternity. That way, he has his hidden dagger in Chataya's, that he knows won't fail him, even though Chataya is who pays her. Or maybe the solemn girl knows her mother is effectively a hostage to Petyr. Passing Aurane off as the bastard of Driftmark might give him another hidden dagger too, if Aurane knows his true paternity, or at least, if he knows his mother and sister. In both cases, the tall silvery Velaryon/Targaryen looks distract people from the grey-green eyes and calculating manner of their unacknowledged father. Marei (I believe) had noticed that Alayaya was suspiciously well rested and making excellent progress in her reading, in spite of her exhaustingly long sessions with Tyrion, and Tyrion's strong attachment to Alayaya. She tipped off Petyr, and Bronn brought Alayaya to the Red Keep and to Cersei. ( Bronn is Petyr's man - Petyr Baelish hired him and Chiggen from Essos as spy/sellswords, and probably Marillion too. They went with Catelyn to the Eyrie because they were paid to follow her, rather than winning the melee at King's Landing, or, in Marillion's case, earning easy money from the crowds at King's Landing, rather than risking his life and his harp-fingers in a melee against the wildling clans in the Mountains of the Moon.) Perhaps Petyr suggested Tywin have Alayaya questioned discreetly before she was whipped and released. Maybe she confessed about the tunnel, or maybe Varys rolled over before she had the chance, to ensure Tywin did not suspect him of disloyally keeping anything the Hand wanted to know from him. Pretty sure Tywin witnessed Shae and Tyrion together in ASoS Ch.12 Tyrion II, and that Shae understood that she would get her silks and furs and jewellery (ie. her PAY) back by doing so. Although, Tywin could have known about Shae long before Alayaya. Or maybe she did not. Varys and Petyr seem to be playing a cat and mouse game over hidden tunnels and secrets and spies, anyway. Each tends to come up and question other characters about the other, while pretending to offer information, and blaming Cersei (eg. AGoT, Ch.25 Eddard V; Ch.30 Eddard VII). I suspect it was Petyr's notion to burn down the tower of the Hand with Tyrion's possessions (and Shae's booty - which he might still have thought was Alayaya's). His secret tunnel doesn't run to the Tower of the Hand. Aurane could have been useful to Petyr as an informer and influencer in Stannis's fleet. There are hints that he might have been collaborating: Lord Velaryon agreed with Sallador Saan that they should attack Joffrey at King's Landing, not Renly at Storm's End. At that time Petyr seems to have had a lot of secret friends in Renly's court, and had lost influence in Joffrey's court, thanks to Tyrion, whom he seems to have some genuine antipathy for (possibly the only genuine emotion Petyr has ever shown), taking over his goldcloaks. Although, Velaryon wouldn't need Petyr's counsel to know it was better strategy to attack King's Landing while Lord Tywin was preoccupied with Riverrun and Harrenhal, than to make an enemy of Renly and besiege Storm's End, the castle that has legendarily withstood siege even from the gods. Later, we know someone put the idea of Aurane as Master of Ships into Cersei's head, and it wasn't Jaime.(AFfC, Ch.16 Jaime II) Cersei's notion that Aurane is an anti-Tyrell pick is negated by Aurane's shmoozing with Elinor at Tommen's wedding.(AFfC, Ch.12 Cersei III). Critically, it is Aurane that suggests the ten Dromonds that can be afforded by suspending payment to the Bank of Braavos (AFfC, Ch.17 Cersei IV). At the time, Petyr is (supposedly, most of the time) at the Eyrie, and the Gates of the Moon, and Gulltown, writing his ravens into the wee hours of the morning, and gleefully reporting to Alayne that "Cersei stumbles from one idiocy to the next, helped along by her council of the deaf, the dim, and the blind."(AFfC, Ch.41 Alayne II). The council are Pycelle, Qyburn - whispers, Rosby - treasurer, Merryweather - justicar, Swift - Hand, and Aurane - admiral. Qyburn's whispers seem to originate from the docks, but he isn't hearing things on the docks that Aurane is hearing (eg. about dragons, and the Golden Company (AFfC, Ch.17 Cersei IV)), and it seems likely to me that he is getting his information from other sources. Other Baelish sources. So he is 'deaf'. Merryweather I suspect is 'blind' and Swift is 'dim'. Rosby is dying, and Cersei is over him, Pycelle is indignant, and Cersei has no time for him either. Cersei has a lot of time for the handsome bastard of Driftmark, who seems to be neither blind, nor deaf, nor dim. And Petyr does his best work in absentia. I'm not saying Aurane is without flaws: his seem to be similar to those of Lord Velaryon. Monford Velaryon's temperament is proud but not especially loyal (looks at Stannis, not the fire, and would not confide his private thoughts to a lowborn, although he does give Lord Seaworth a curt nod, rather than ignoring him completely ( ACoK, Ch.10 Davos I)), he is hot-headed (ACoK, Ch.42 Davos II ) and young and handsome (ACoK, Ch.00 Prologue) and most probably dead, although, as Tyrion found himself fighting Velaryon spearmen, and we learnt earlier that Prince of Driftmark, between two Lannister runners, forming part of the snarl of boats that became the bridge across the Blackwater, with Dragonsbane at its foot on the North bank. It is conceivable, if unlikely, that the Lord of Driftmark might have crossed from the deck to land incognito and survived. (ACoK, Ch.61 Tyrion XIV; ASoS, Ch.25 Davos III). Although it is unlikely - he is worth money, and people know him. Still, Aurane made it to shore and survived the battle.(ACoK, Ch.65 Sansa VIII). Aurane's jibe about Stannis taking a 'turnip knight' (AFfC, Ch.17 Cersei IV) as hand, and his reforms of Cersei's navy (AFfC, Ch.24 Cersei V) show he is contemptuous of Davos's low birth, and his decisions as an admiral show the same direct, hot-head style as Monford. For my theory to work, he has to know his biological father is Petyr, not Lord Velaryon's father. Otherwise he has no particular reason to be loyal to Petyr over Stannis and Cersei. On the original post, about Dancy and Tywin and hair colour- it seem perfectly possible. Tywin doesn't have the emerald-green eyes of magical mystical Lann the clever, his are 'pale green flecked with gold'. His side-whiskers are 'wiry golden hair' and while we learn his hair was once 'thick and golden', he shaves his balding head so we have no idea if he is a strawberry blonde, or if his hair was curly or straight. I suspect his hair was straight, as he doesn't act like a man haunted by the troubling prescient dreams that disturb the sleep and sanity of Jaime and Cersei. Also, we don't get to know Genna's hair colour, and while we are told Kevan is a portly balding blond when we first meet him, we don't know if his hair was curly or straight either, beyond what we can guess from his oldest son having sandy hair (dark blond/ light brown - no hint of red), and Tyrek having the long golden curls, and both of them being handsome, unlike their chinless mother. Of Tytos, we only know that he was portly, like Genna and Kevan. And craved the approval of his elders, like Kevan. All we know of Tygett is that Jaime fights like him. Gerion smiles like Jaime and has a sense of humour and wild dreams of Brightroar. Maybe he had curly hair. I suspect the reason we are not told about the curl of his father's hair, or his sibling's, is because Tywin's hair is straight, and he looks nothing like his twins. (Or maybe that should be 'his' twins). Dancy could dye her hair, though there is no reason to suppose she does. Alyane (and, I guess, Lysa) darkens her auburn hair. Tyroshi dye their hair green, blue, pink, purple. Illyrio dyes his yellow. When you think of it, it makes sense that a whore would dye her hair, if customers are more likely to choose a girl whose hair was a particular colour. And we know from Oberyn that two customers, at least, were curious to see a blonde whore (although, they seem to have picked Alayaya over her, when it came to it). Apparently, they don't have blondes in Dorne. In Volantis, the 'sunset girl' sex slave that Tyrion used had 'freckled cheeks and tight red curls upon her head, which gave promise of freckled breasts and red hair between her legs'(ADwD, Ch.22 Tyrion VI), so red hair is characteristic of Westeros, as well as blonde. Freckles go better with a natural red-head, or strawberry blonde, rather than golden blonde, unless they are very light. The Willing Maiden held a girl with "red-gold hair and freckles on her teats", which shows that GRRM has described strawberry blonde hair as gold. She was ostensibly from Lys. Anyway, it shows your explanation is perfectly plausible and precedented.
  13. Mistakes/Contradictions in the books?

    Sansa on Ellaria's children in Storm of Swords: As they were crossing the yard, Prince Oberyn of Dorne fell in beside them, his black-haired paramour on his arm. Sansa glanced at the woman curiously. She was baseborn and unwed, and had borne two bastard daughters for the prince, but she did not fear to look even the queen in the eye. (ASoS, Ch.59 Sansa IV) It isn't until Feast for Crows we learn unambigously: I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maidenhood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them.(AFfC, Ch.40 The Princess In The Tower) Sansa isn't the only one who is confused: Oberyn Martell? The man’s infamous, and not just for poisoning his sword. He has more bastards than Robert, and beds with boys as well. (ASoS, Ch.62 Jaime VII We don't know how many bastards Jaime thinks Robert has. There are contradictory reports on their number, too: Catelyn armored her heart against the mute appeal in her husband’s eyes. “They say your friend Robert has fathered a dozen bastards himself.” (AGoT, Ch.06 Catelyn II) “Robert’s bastards? What of them?” “He fathered eight, to the best of my knowing,” Varys said as he wrestled with the saddle.(ACoK, Ch.15 Tyrion III) “Will the king and I have children?” she asked. “Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you.”(AFfC, Ch.39 Cersei IX)
  14. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

    Bingo. I don't have any conclusions to add, but would like to follow that thought a bit further - if the box and it's possessions were Oberyn's, the lock of blonde hair might be Tyene's Septa mother. Given the setting of the Prologue of Feast for Crows, and the bag of silver, we might suspect that Obara's mother plied her trade at the Quill and Tankard, too. Stretching it a bit further - could Obara's mother be Walgrave's sister? Apart from the key and the portrait, the contents of the box seem to have little to do with Walgrave. Or maybe, Walgrave's daughter - as he must be considerably older than Obara's mother to remember when Cressen was a young man at the Citidel. So maybe he inherits her effects when she drinks herself to death? Most if not all the things in it are not hers, but there is a theme in this chapter about stolen things. Maybe Walgrave never did have the key because it was never his box, a fact that might have slipped his memory when he broke into it - although he remembered the glove when he saw it. An abandoned or jealous lover might seize on things like a lock of hair not hers, for proof of infidelity (to confront him with, or his other lover, or for the purpose of blackmail). Or maybe the box was in her keeping, but she did not have the key to it either. Apart from who owned the box and how it got to the ravenry, I have (at least) three further questions, assuming the contents are love-tokens:- who was the lover that Oberyn took the gauntlet from/gave the gauntlet to? What is the story with the silver? Obara's mother is a whore, so it could represent her, but she doesn't seem to have had much reason to save for the future in her last year, beyond the simple fact that drinking oneself to death isn't cheap, and, as Illyrio has established, takes an unpredictably long amount of time to do. In Christian cultures, a bag of silver symbolises betrayal. In the Song of Ice and Fire, the catspaw that attacked Catelyn apparently left a bag of silver. Mance had one about the same time, when he visited Winterfell to see King Robert, disguised as a bard. Lord Beric paid a bag of silver to the brothers of the Sept outside Maidenpool that was ravaged by the bloody mummers. Sam had one when he arrived in Braavos. 'They say' Eddard paid one to the girl who might have been Wylla who brought his boat across the bite in Robert's Rebellion. Catelyn paid one to the oarsmen of the Storm Dancer, too. In all these instances there is an element of assumed identity (eg. Utt pretending to be a Septon, Daeron taking on his new role as a Braavosi singer, Catelyn was paying not just for speed but secrecy, probably unwisely, but still, attempting to conceal her identity at the time.) In this chapter, there is also an element of assumed identity in the faceless man and in Pate's transformation from novice to thief to the faceless man's new identity. In this chapter, silver also represents the link of healing: and poison My third question would be, why did Walgrave keep the key in the glove? Was it really his archmaester's key, or was it stolen from someone else, like the box and its other contents? Is it actually a skeleton key to all the doors of the citidel, as Pate believes it is? From it's description, I would suppose the locks of the Citidel could be picked easily enough without it. So now I doubt the motive of the faceless man - did he really want the key, or was that just a ruse to strip Pate of his identity? It seems cruel that he was obliged to give up any pretence to scholarship or honesty, to become what Maester Gormon had always claimed he was, immediately before his death. The key is black Iron. Black Iron is for ravenry, and more generally for spikes, and statues, and fortifications, armour, manacles, and protective jewellery - there is a military theme, a defensive one, in the general use of black iron, although it is used for kettles without any military implications. The coin Jaqen Hagar gave Arya was of black iron. The ravenry is the heart of the citadel, originally constructed as a naval citadel, for military defense, not a place of learning or communication (although there was a weirwood there since before the citadel was raised). Marwyn is quartered in the North tower, Walgrave and Pate in the West, below the white ravens. Thinking in terms of Sand-snake associations, apart from Obara (the bag of stags) and Tyene (the blond hair), the gauntlet might possibly be associated with Elia (called, possibly by her father, Lady Lance, and obsessed with jousting). We know her mother is Ellaria, and Ellaria is the blood of Lord Harmen Uller of Hellholt, who, like his brother Ser Ullwyck, were also companions to Prince Oberyn - perhaps Oberyn got the glove from one of them. Although Oberyn himself was a jouster, so there isn't really a need to look for a lover who was a jouster, that Elia might have inherited her love of horses from. Apart from his moustache, we know nothing about Archmaester Walgrave's appearance but that it is that of an old man, and that it resembles the woman in the portrait. None of the Sandsnakes have a moustache. It seems unlikely that it could be associated with Lady Nym's mother, or Sarella's. Although, as Walgrave is associated with the Citidel, and Sarella is insatiably curious and loves Oldtown as much as Obara hates it, if the portrait was of a particular Sandsnake mother, it seems more likely to be hers than Lady Nym's. More probably, Oberyn had paramours we don't yet know of. There is one we do know of, though, the one he took at sixteen, Lord Yronwood's paramour, who earnt him his Red Viper moniker. Maybe the Walgrave-like portrait was her. They say poison is a woman's weapon, too. The heir to Yronwood seems not to have held any grudges - or at least, Doran was confident that he would not harm Quentyn when he fostered him there. If even one of the contents of this box is Oberyn's, there is a strong association with it and with poison. Perhaps the key, rather than the coin that Pate bit, was poisoned. Perhaps that was why it was kept in the gauntlet. That Walgrave kept any of Oberyn's stuff might imply there was a secret channel of communication between him and Doran, as we know there was between Varys and the Citadel. Perhaps this collection of love tokens was not made to provide proof, but to remove it. Oberyn isn't the only poisoner Walgrave knows, either, he knows Cressen too. Anyway, the ravenry seems to be the position a spy who rose in the Citadel would naturally wish to infiltrate. (Historically, the postmaster general was a spy first and a manager of postal services second). It seems that Walgrave's wits have only started wandering in the last year (judging by the incidents Pate relates - Walgrave could feed and dress and clean himself when Pate started to serve him, and the order of the events he relates implies Maester Gormon took to serving in Walgrave's place, under the Iron mask, after the incident in the library, only half a year earlier.) Oberyn came to the Citidel sometime after he turned sixteen (going by Obara's age, and the thing with Lord Yronwoods paramour happening before he went there, according to Tyrion's knowledge (ASoS, Ch.38 Tyrion V)) although he was also in Oldtown when Tyrion was born, and, at the age of fourteen, complained that the women at Casterley Rock were 'too chaste'. So it is possible he found a lady at Oldtown that was none too chaste, before he was obliged to visit Casterley Rock. He might have returned to Oldtown after he had grown bored with the Citadel, too. (It seems more likely he would have met Lady Nym's mother in Essos, and that at least four years had passed between his bedding Obara's mother, and Obara taking up the spear.) * A couple of things I never noticed until today: results in Well, it was Obara that said Also, that line in the same chapter: seems to be a direct parallel to: