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  1. .(ASoS,Ch.58 Tyrion VII) Guess the Freys trusted the Tullys not to turn into supernatural zombies. Devil you think you know, and all that.
  2. Me neither. It seems to me to be all for show. Remember (ACoK, Ch.45 Catelyn VI) We know how that turned out - Roose co-ordinated his arriving at Harrenhal with Tywin's leaving, and was more fiercely protective of his bastard than Ned ever had been of Jon. The lives that would be given turned out to be those of all Catelyn's true-born sons. It is not certain how much of this message is actual lies: Harrenhal was a strong castle - even though it has a history of (even a curse of) being easily and unexpectedly defeated. (It's also a Strong castle,or at least, it was between the times it was held by House Towers and House Lothson). Tywin garrisoned it well. Too well, when we consider that he was also supposedly battling Roose's forces at the Ruby Ford. And his leaving Harrenhal with only 100 of Lorch's men and 100 Brave companions, who he knew did not get on with Lorch's men, and who promptly turned up with 100 Northerners and took the castle from Lorch's men ... it is almost as if Tywin had intended Roose to take over. And Roose seems very confident of the accuracy of his information on Tywin's movements (ACoK, Ch.31 Jaime IV) Tywin likewise seems to be aware that the Red Fork will be well guarded, and not at all bothered by the risk that he will be wedged between Edmure's forces and Roose's when he left Harrenhal. It is almost as if he knew that Roose would also prefer to keep Harrenhal well garrisoned, rather than go out and fight the main enemy of the North when he directly threatens Riverrun, whence the King in the North must return after razing the Westerlands. Almost like he knows Roose has his back. Roose's Frey goodbrothers clearly don't feel as sure about what Tywin will do as Roose does. (ACoK, Ch.64 Arya X) We catch Roose in one deliberate, treasonous act of deception in the above chapter: (ACoK, Ch.64 Arya X) The King in the North knew nothing of this command. Sansa has been married to Tyrion and the Red Wedding Plot is afoot (well, Lame Lothar has left the Twins for Riverrun, not actually on foot) before he hears of it: (ASoS, Ch.35 Catelyn IV) But the Hand of King Joffrey had been following this development with interest while Tyrion was still single and recovering from his injuries in the Battle of the Blackwater (ASoS, Ch.04 Tyrion I) Tyrion's wedding might even have been a deliberate stratagem Tywin's, to make Tyrion look a liar in the eyes of Lady Stark (as well as his avowed one of preventing the Tyrells gaining a Stark interest by keeping Sansa permanently in the Lannister fold.) In any case, Tywin doesn't honour Catelyn's deal with Tyrion. The host that bring Jaime to King's Landing makes Cersei look less a liar by returning to Winterfell with fArya, gone to marry Ramsey, who has turned up alive and well, another key to Winterfell. Although by that stage, only Jaime and Brienne are interested in keeping Tyrion's promises. Tywin wasn't even slightly interested in what Lady Catelyn would make of that. Roose was more bothered with sharing his prunes with them than with Tyrion's promises (ASoS, Ch.37 Jaime V) even though Roose has assured her Arya was alive, when Jaime and Brienne dined with him, after Robb's marriage to Jeyne, and before Edmure's wedding. Of course, what he says about Arya is ambigous and full of dramatic irony. It is likely he is lying about Arya, that he means fArya. The real Arya left Roose's protection the night before Jaime arrived at Harrenhal, obliging her betrothed to serve at table instead. So she did not witness Bolton's second observable act of treason: (ASoS, Ch.37 Jaime V) He trades Ser Jaime back to the Lannisters. Roose knew his bastard son was alive and taking over Winterfell from Theon, who killed Bran and Rikon, before he ordered Arya to pluck the leeches off him, before he committed his first observed treason. He might have marched on Harrenhal, but after Robett Glover and Vargo Hoat had opened the doors for him, and there was no need to kill every living soul in the castle. (Amabel lived to find a pink silk gown to give to Qyburn to present to Lady Brienne, for instance). "Tainted blood is ever treacherous" is interesting, coming from someone who leeches himself incessantly to "purge himself of bad blood". Roose makes a point of telling Theon that Ramsey poisoned Domeric, and will kill any future trueborn sons, but Maester Uthor said Domeric died of a bad belly, and Domeric was in the care of the Redforts at the time. How could Roose be so certain it was poison? Roose's having nothing to say to the Redforts, and his bringing Ramsey to live with him at the Dreadfort after he killed Domeric seems a strange way of dealing with the murderer of his trueborn son and heir. In the tale he tells Theon, he seems to blame Domeric for deciding to visit Ramsey as a grown man the once, notwithstanding the drastic price he had paid for his disobedience. Given the propensity for people to be other people when the Boltons are around ( Ramsey and Theon as Reek, the millers boys as Bran and Rickon, Jeyne Poole as Arya, Mance and his wildlings as Abel and his washerwomen, the sentry who stood in as Roose when he met Ramsey at Moat Cailin) I'd suspect Ramsey was really Domeric, and it was rRamsey that died of a bad belly, after Domeric drove a sword through it, execept for the face to face mutual animosity of Lady Dustin and Ramsey. Roose's casual acceptance of his past and future sons fate is all for the benefit of the listener. I mean, look at the way Ramsey is dressed when he is reunited with his father Who gave him the wolfpelts? Who asked the King to make him heir to the Dreadfort? (ADwD, Ch.32 Reek III) Roose knew about fake Bran and fake Rickon before he reunited with Ramsey at Moat Cailin. He knew to blame the Ironmen for the work of the Dreadfort before he not just recognised, but legitimised his son. Long before he spoke so 'carelessly' to Theon about his kinslaying 'bastard'. Roose knew Stannis was a real threat to him, and he wants Stannis defeated from Winterfell, not Barrowtown. With Ramsey as the Prince of Winterfell, not himself. But he wants Lady Dustin's co-operation, and she wants to see Theon Greyjoy. Roose did not become Warden of the North by accident. He scented the opportunity when Robb first called the banners. From the start he was one of those who pressed Robb to march to Moat Cailin when Robb's father's orders would have been for Robb to stay at Winterfell while the archers of Galbert Glovers and Helman Tallheart held Moat Cailin. From the start, Roose has been quietly steering Robb by his own advice, and by influencing Robb's bannermen behind his back, to depopulate the lands around the Dreadfort, to have their Lords killed first (Cerwyn then Hornwood, then Karstark), clearing his way to Winterfell, and ensuring the neighbours at his back, have his back. It wouldn't surprise me if he had Stevorn Frey killed in his sleep, either. And Roose chose to have Ramsey as his castellen at the Dreadfort. It seems unlikely that the man who could resent his dead trueborn son going to visit his bastard after living six years away from him, would tolerate Ramsey doing as he pleased with the Dreadfort while he was fighting in the south for the North. More likely they have been in communication since Roose first departed, that Roose had informed Ramsey of the deaths of Lord Hornwood and his heir, possibly before Lady Hornwood knew, possibly even before Daryn had joined his father. (ACoK,Ch.16 Bran II) We know Roose has had at least one communication with Ramsey before the Red Wedding A pack of lies, although that may be the real reason Roose wants Theon alive. Roose treating with Euron Crows Eye. The mind boggles. Bolton's lies are less obvious than Frey lies, but they are like them in that their non-Stark allies don't trust or especially believe them, any more than they contradict them. And really, the Freys (and the Greyjoys) are simply pelts Roose can wear to work his evil deeds through, they happily own the blame and the enmity for carrying out his plans, and tend to believe that they are their own. What he tells them (or Jaime, or Theon) as they carry out his plans, is less than he knows, and only what serves him. What he told Theon, his mention of Domeric, of his wife's 'fertile feel' and her pleasure in him, seems entirely to rile Ramsey. Bolton's caution, his prunes and his leeches, are those of a man who has every intention of living longer than the seventeen years it would minimally take for Walda to raise a true-born son to adulthood. Ramsey is the one who lives like there is no tomorrow. I don't understand why Lady Dustin demanded Roose Bolton bring Theon Greyjoy to her that night. Or how it served Bolton to oblige her. But most of what he said is directly contradicted by what he does, and he has form from lying, and what he says on the way to Barrowtown is of a piece with it.
  3. I've got a theory, but it isn't fully formed, doesn't click into the facts of the book satisfyingly (at least, not yet). It goes: there is a prophecy in Malleon, that relates to the Eyrie and Robin Arryn and explains why Ayrs II suddenly became so keen to behead the Lords Royce, Mallister, Stark, Arryn, and all their heirs and any who would ally them. My guess is this somehow turns SweetRobin (or perhaps his blood) into a war engine that guarantees victory to the possessor, or perhaps only to the possessor of Dragonstone. Hence Jon Arryn (and Stannis, who got from this that he was destined to be the rightful King and to seek the truth of the prophecy in Asshai) wanting SweetRobin at Dragonstone. Varys also knows of this magical prophecy, and might even have come to Westeros solely to prevent it coming true, or make it work in his own interest. He told Arys, who of course suspected the then Prince of Dragonstone, Rhaegar, of fomenting rebellion against him, and was just as keen to get rid of him and his heirs as any of the ancient lines of the North and Vale. I don't think Tywin ordered the death of the babes, I think he came across them. (My reason for this is that Gregor scaled the Armoury wall, and from what I can gather of the layout of the Red Keep, which admittedly is deliberately vague in places, and not comprehensive, the nursery and living quarters of the Crown Prince are not accessible from the armoury wall, where Gregor was sighted. Shortly after, a Lannister flag flew over the gates of the Red Keep - and these were directly accessible from the roof of the armoury via the Traitors walk. Varys also has a watching brief over the book, in the form of his little bird, Pycelle's mute serving girl. People who get to the prophecy don't live long. Petyr Baelish might have escaped because he carefully waited until the book was not in the possession of Varys' little birds, and out of their line of sight. He only flipped the front cover and read the title, but Petyr Baelish is most deeply interested in whatever he does idly, and uses quips to disguise his interest. Eddard thinks he said nothing, but he revealed to Baelish the essential fact that it is the same book that had absorbed his old master, that Pycelle had taken away before he had time to inspect it's contents. Of course, he couldn't resist taking a peek at the book that had caused such a fuss, that had necessitated his tracking down every copy and destroying. He is bold enough to take a peek, and wary enough to take no more than a peek. Varys, who knows all the secret ways of the Red Keep, and who has his network of little birds patrolling them, could get from the secret door below the Iron throne to the Crown Prince's nursery, if he flew along a route more like the one Arya chased Balerion the cat along. He was the one who wanted to be sure there was no heir but the one he took with him, hence he needed to kill Elia, and also her eldest child, who, by the old rules and by the Dornish rules, could have a claim, and whose existence might provoke a council that preferred her to Viserys, if she existed. Tywin walked into this bloody mess and cool headedly turned it to his advantage by owning it, seeing immediately that he had been set up as a traitor to the Targaryen King by whomever did this, and presuming that was their purpose - perhaps suspecting Arys of doing this. Perhaps, until this point, he had merely marched his forces to the Red Keep and taken it over. Now he had a brief conference with Jaime (sworn to secrecy), who changed into his gold Lannister armour and went into the throneroom to kill the King, who tried to escape through the same rat hole beneath the Iron throne that Varys had used in a more timely fashion, doubtless locking strategic gates behind him. Once Jamie had gone to the tower of the guard to change out of his whites, Tywin sent orders/permission out to his generals to sack the city and (more importantly) ally with the Northerners. Some of them might well have started sacking on their own initiative before that, and some of them might not have participated in the sacking - but King's Landing is unlikely to remember that. The critical thing was, that Eddard's forces came upon the Red Keep without resistance and without attacking the Lannister men at arms - so Eddard, or at least, the bannermen under Eddard's charge, knew not to attack the Lannisters, knew the Lannister host was on their side by the time Eddard rode into the throne room. When Eddard rode into the throne room, he knew already what he had come to see - the tributes of fealty from the Lannisters. Kevan remembers Twyin laying the bodies at the foot of the Iron throne, next to Arys, for Eddard to inspect and take ownership of. And Varys makes sure to remind Eddard of what he took ownership of, when Eddard protests "leave my daughters out of your schemes". Rhaegar knew of the prophecy, that it pertained to the Prince of Dragonstone, and his heir, the Prince that was Promised, who will overthrow the King on the Iron Throne, whose song was the song of Ice and Fire. But I don't think Rhaegar knew what Malleon's book revealed about that prophecy - what linked it to the Vale and the North. Petyr Baelish was, of course, responsible for getting the copy of the prophecy in the Winterfell library burnt, and the Catspaw was sent to remove Catelyn and her conflicting story of the message from her sister and how the myrish lens turned up in the library. The Catspaw had not wanted to kill her in front of her son, so it was a mercy that Bran wasn't concious. I'm not sure why he thought Catelyn 'weren't s'posed to be here' when she hadn't been anywhere else for months. I'm not even sure if he is trying to murder her or just to remove some pages from her book of accounts. But I'm pretty sure he obtained the dagger from Petyr Baelish, who got it without Ser Aron Santagar's knowledge. Although he might have learnt something about the dagger between the time Ser Rodrick visited, and his death in the riots at Kings Landing. There is a chance that the particular books that Varys wanted burned were not in the Winterfell library - perhaps Tyrion had taken them to read on the way to the Wall, where he had left them. Or perhaps he returned them to Winterfell when he stopped by with Bran's saddle. If they were taken by Tyrion there is a good chance the prophecies tie in with the prophecies Rhaegar discovered in his extensive reading about dragons, the doomed prince one. The prophecy in Malleon is not about the Targaryens, however, but concerns older families. There is a copy of the fatal book (or a related book) at Harrenhal. Roose either burns it after flipping through it to find out why it needed burning, or he has been using it as a code book in his correspondence with Tywin, Lord Frey, Ramsey et al. and flips through it just for fun prior to leaving the castle to Lord Tywin's goat, Amory Lorch, and Gregor. I'm darn sure that he doesn't just do it so GRRM can show us he is the type of person that burns books. Don't care what the SSM says to the contrary about that. If it is a prophecy that Varys is attempting to avert or destroy (with assistance from Baelish), then there should soon be an incident in the Oldtown library, too. And anywhere else that is likely to have a copy of Malleon's book, or the particular thing it refers to. I expect that the Kings Landing copy will be destroyed (currently it has wax and Pycelle's brains all over it, so it is probably ruined anyway, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Rookery was set on fire and Kevan burnt along with the book). Hopefully Marwyn has taken the Oldtown copy with him. Also, I'm guessing there will be a book burning fire at Castle Black. In the time I have taken to write this, there have been half a dozen replies to this thread, so I'm clearly not the only one who thinks the burnt book is significant. Hopefully this isn't an exact repetition of one of them, although if someone else has a better articulated version of this theory, I won't mind a bit.
  4. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

    ACoK, Prologue Indeed. I've looked at where various jade objects come from, and suspect there is a shared meaning for jade and other green things (eg. clothing, Green Grace, Renly, Tyroshi hair, Myrish liquor, Northern expression for inexperience, Velaryon, Ermesande etc) but these are new angles for me. Thanks for your insightful post.
  5. Wow, I never noticed that v.15

    Also note the silver goblet - the only silver goblet not directly associated with the Starks (Although Tobho Mott owns the ones he uses to have a drink with Eddard, we know Eddard has his own silver goblets decorated with direwolves - Bran drinks from one of his father's at the Harvest feast. At Riverrun, Catelyn toys with a silver goblet as she listens to Rymund the Rhymer. And poor Jeyne Poole clutches one at her wedding feast at Winterfell. Probably a Stark direwolf one, although Ramsey drinks from his father's goblet, which could mean that Roose brought goblets (or a goblet) with him, or merely that Ramsey has taken over the cup set for his father, which is actually Winterfell silver. There are a few silver cups. Lysa offers her a silver cup of Lord Hunter's orange wine on the day of Tyrion's judgement, and after Lysa dies, Petyr and Nestor Royce drink Arbor Gold in the Eyrie's silver cups, and the Lords Declarant have mulled wine from the same. They are engraved, although with what we know not. Lady Stark notes that Renly has some silver cups, matched ones, although there is no mention of them being engraved. Euron drinks from a silver cup in Lord Hewetts bedchamber on Oakenshield, although Ser Harras Harlaw is drinking from a golden cup in the hall at the same feast. The Elder Brother has found silver cups in the waters of the bay, although they drink from unmatched driftwood cups as he tells them of the river's gifts. Donal Noye had a single silver drinking cup, perhaps the one Jon leaves on the forge. The Freys cups clatter, hinting they are made of wood. The wildlings have niello cups and golden goblets among their treasures. Sometimes there is no distinction between a cup and a goblet. There are some generic goblets: Jaime drinks from one at his second trip to Harrenhal, and at Castle Hayford on the way there. With Bolton, on his first trip to Harrenhal as well. Tyrion poured Yezzen's wine into one for Ben Plumm. There were golden goblets at Tommen's wedding, Petyr had generic goblets on the Merling King, Xaro has goblets in his manse. The Tickler obtained a dented goblet with garnets set on it, King Robert drank from a jewelled goblet at the feast of the Hand's Tourney, and of course, Joffrey had that monstrous jewelled goblet at his wedding. The goblets of the Merchant's house are made of green glass. Also, while there are many places that use jade, flakes of jade seem to be a Qartheen speciality. The widow's gifts are all of them quite interesting.
  6. Is Mace Tyrell actually competent?

    Very capable, and very greedy. He held Storms End at siege for an entire winter - historic medieval sieges collapsed in winter due to exposure of troops and supply chain logistics problems. But Mace had Storms End continually surrounded, and feasted in front of its gates every day. Stannis did well to survive it (and if Randyll had pushed Robert's forces back to Summerhall, forcing them to retreat back to Storms End, rather than allow them to escape while grabbing the questionable glory of Cafferen's head for Arys, and Ashford for himself, Stannis and Robert and all those extra mouths would be forced to die or fight or surrender to Mace- Mace might have won the siege, but for Randyll's myopia and lack of strategic understanding, and self-aggrandizing tactics). Eddard Stark ended the siege, in negotiation, without bloodshed. Stannis doesn't give him credit for that, and doesn't give Mace credit for negotiating with Eddard, either. He isn't big on negotiating himself. Isn't big on gratitude or giving people credit for doing their duty either. Especially he isn't good on giving credit to people who do their duty to kings that are not him. No way he would negotiate, or turn enemies into friends, or, for the sake of the lives of some traitors or enemies, concede an inch of ground that was his by rights, or that his duty demanded he hold. Mace is a different kind of commander. He likes to give the young men a go. He likes to give his bannermen a chance for glory. He is always ready to cut a deal. He knows what side his bread is buttered on, and he supports that side - as long as it butters his bread. Look how he ended Robert's Rebellion: in spite of being a Targaryen loyalist to the very end, at the very end, with Storms End as his hostages, he managed to come out of the war with all his lands and banners. While Rykker and Thorne barely escaped the wrath of Lord Tywin, the Tyrells enjoyed the clemency of Robert and used Stannis as a bargaining chip for the justice of Eddard, not vise versa. Everyone remembers how late and how reluctantly the Lannisters and the Freys came to the rebellion, and resents the various concessions made to keep them on side, distrusts them. Nobody forgets Darry was a Targaryen ally until the end. Or Griff. Yet Lord Tyrell maintains a reputation for being a staunch and trustworthy alliance worth cultivating, and keeps all his lands and wealth, while doing very little more than keeping the war from touching either, in spite of the proximity of the Storm King's land to his own fiefdom. If Mace had been a bit keener on winning the war for Arys, he might have sussed out Lord Tywin's disposition and inclinations, and warned Arys ahead of time that Tywin's banners were massing on the boundries of the Westerlands, but not moving beyond them. Also, it would be very difficult for Robert to get to Riverrun unmolested with his fresh troops, if Tyrell had been more determined to prevent Robert getting to Hoster Tully in the Riverlands. If Randyll had been ordered to chase Robert's troops into the hostile Riverlands, harassing them and bleeding them and preventing them from joining Hoster's, if Mace had sent reserves up to stregthen them, that could have resulted in the rebellion becoming a decisive victory for Arys. But there was nothing in it for Mace, having his bannermen die defending the king on hostile land, rather than having them unthreatened, containing the threat of Stannis to Storm's End, and protecting the South from being razed. Yet he was considered a loyalist. The first council Tyrion shared with him after the battle of Blackwater Rush shows his style - he knew the value of Tyrion's chain, knew that it was Tyrion's chain, and was quick to praise Tyrion Really, the chain was an important detail. But just a detail. Likewise the trebuchets, and the wildfire (and Cersei deserves some of the credit for the wildfire and for the defence of the walls, even if, without her brother's assistance, she would have stuffed it all up.) Tyrion is very prickly about not getting recognition. Tyrion is envious of Mace and vanguard getting all the credit for saving Kings Landing. But Tyrion doesn't know or care about how others contributed. He hasn't really thought through the logistics of how the vanguard got from Bitterbridge to the gates of Kings Landing (I suspect Tywin helped, and that Mace had his bannermen in Highgarden take their barges on a surprisingly convoluted path, upstream to Golden Grove, then Silver HIll, then onto mining trucks and through a maze of tunnels under the mountains, coming out not too far from Tumblers Falls. Some of those with Renly's host may have gone overland from Bitterbridge to meet them (eg. Oakheart and Tarly)). It is a mammoth task, moving that many that quickly, one that required Tywin's ingenuity as well as Mace's and Willas's to bring about. Mace shows himself a bigger man than Tyrion. Like Tywin, he doesn't need applause. He is happy to give Lord Renly all the glory of leading the vanguard of his vanguard (and wasn't that a master stroke, when it came to reconciling the smallfolk of King's Landing to a queen that was so recently the wife of a traitor). Mace ensures that Lord Tywin Lannister, as the commander that led the forces, gets full credit for the victory at Blackwater Rush, even if the battle was already decisively won by Mace's vanguard before Tywin's forces made it to the battlefield. But Mace does care about getting paid. His loyalty comes at an affordable but increasing price. A place on the council, his daughter as queen, his sons as great lords with great lands, his bannermen with coin and titles and honours, great prices for the wayns of food that Highgarden brings to Kings Landing. The roses twine themselves around Kings Landing and the Lannisters, because it is so much easier to besiege your allies than your enemies. Notice too, how quickly he and Lord Redwyne return to an excellent understanding - the awkwardness they might have had when Redwyne refused to join the Tyrells due to Horas and Hobber's situation is undetectable. The only hint that there might ever have been any is in Lord Redwyne's request - no additional lands or titles (that would be taking spoils from Lord Tyrell and his banners), just a concessional tax arrangement on certain vintages of their own wine (which could, in the long run, be worth a great deal more - and which might stick in the craw of the Dornish vintner that made the wine that Tyrion shared with Slynt, but won't be making them any enemies among Stannis's bannermen). The might of Highgarden provides the Redwynes a buffer against their enemies by land, and the Redwynes know it. The Redwyne navy provides Highgarden with protection against enemies by sea, and Highgarden knows it. And there are ties of blood and marriage that bind them. Lord Redwyne might harbour some quiet ill-will against the Lannisters for holding his sons, but his alliance with the Tyrells is stronger than ever. Also, at that council, we get to hear what Mace thinks - or at least, what he voices in front of his Lannister allies: Tyrion has to bite his tongue, but Robb does in fact head North for Moat Cailin. Tywin knew of the Robb's marriage, and the Frey wedding plans, we have no reason to believe Mace does. Yet Mace is right - Robb does believe that he must join his forces to Roose Bolton's and throw all his strength against Moat Cailin Note the way Mace delivers it as well - he appears only to be being a yes-man to the Great Military Commander Lord Tywin, subtly removing any necessity for Tywin to reply to the importuning questions of Lord Rowan, and at the same time, asserting his authority over Lord Rowan - Tywin might have bought Rowan's loyalty, but Mace Tyrell is not letting a situation develop where Tywin deals with Rowan directly. His reasons for leaving the Eyrie alone might be sexist and spurious, but as far as Lady Lysa is concerned, he happens to be right again. Tyrion, wrapped up in his own injured ego and self importance, says something that is rather rash and bloody and not especially necessary. In his personal sense of grievance, he has forgotten the history he knows perfectly well. Mace would not gainsay Tywin but he is perfectly happy to remind Tyrion: The 'leave fighting to the fighters' and 'better men than you' are inflammatory, but 'we know your worth' could be taken as a softening compliment for a hearer that did not like the Lannister honour mocked, and wasn't Tyrion. And here, Mace is right, and Tyrion is wrong. Also, Mace has anticipated Tywin's intentions towards Lysa, although, as Tyrion observed, neither he nor Lord Redwyne were terribly keen on Petyr Baelish as the solution. I think Mace has a scheme for Lysa and the Warden of the East, just as he has for Sansa and Warden of the North. Mace doesn't stop Lord Rowan expressing his pointless doubts about Baelish bringing peace to the vale. I'm wondering if they planned to marry Lysa to Horas or Hobber, or if they have some alliance with the Lords Declarant, some scheme that would result in Lord Rowan or Redwyne becoming Warden of the East, or Keeper of the Gate - something like that, that would give Highgarden influence in the Vale. We know they are not really keen to let Balon have the North, either. Maybe for now, they would rather the Ironmen raze the North than turn their eyes to the fat lands to the South, but the North is too large a slice of the Kingdoms to leave in the hands of the Ironborn. And the history of Highgarden tells them that, the further inland they move, the less able the Ironborn are to hold territory. Mace might not want to shed the blood of his own banners for the sake of Northmen right now, but he and his bannermen are very quick to drop the subject of the North almost as soon as it is raised. They don't want Tywin alerted to their scheme, until Willas is married to Sansa and there is nothing their Lannister inlaws can do but agree to such a practical arrangement. I suspect Tyrell, Redwyne and Rowan had consolidated their position on the North before the council. Tyrion here sees them as sheep, unaware of how neatly they had been shorn, but really, he is the one that wasn't at the previous meetings, he is the one that did not know that he was destined to take Petyr's place as Master of Coin. The moral of this chapter is Just as Stannis is incapable of appreciating the strengths of a commander so unlike himself, Tyrion sees Mace as a fool. But Mace proves himself to be a clever, clever fool, one with a good grasp of strategy, considerable subtlety, and endless greed. Tywin has his measure, though, and has already foiled his potential alliance with Winterfell, and (with Petyr Baelish's assistance) his potential alliance with the Eyrie, both of which would bind the Starks to Highgarden.
  7. I don't know - but perhaps Petyr Baelish does. And Satin might, and ^ yeah, Marwyn. Not Alleras, but Leo might have lighter pockets for knowing. Now you mention it, the cocksucking is a bit odd too - not just hiding in the brothel, but working, and not working generally, but specialising. Are they suggesting that he is disguised as a woman? Or that he has somehow lost his parts? Or is it done in some kind of under-the-table way where he can work without being identified? Also, if there was a dwarf mummer in Braavos who knew nothing, or who had vanished because there was a price on dwarf heads, Cersei would be left none the wiser It is only if her man in Braavos discovers that there isn't and has never been mummer dwarfs in Braavos that Cersei would know she is being manipulated. And even then, she might just think her messenger was incompetent. To prove the existence of someone is easy enough - you can take them to the doubter, or take the doubter to them. To prove the absence of someone is quite hard, because of course you have nothing, but that doesn't prove they don't exist. It works for God, why wouldn't it work for dwarfs? I'm wondering if all three informers came from Petyr - he loves it when the people in power strip off their own defences (eg. Ned sending his men to supplement the Goldcloaks, Tyrion taking Cersei's guards to Riverrun.) He would be delighted at the way Cersei sent away Balon and Jaime and Loras (and probably Arys - Tyrion made the match with Doran, but he might have been able to send her off with a competent sword that was not a knight of the Kingsguard, except it had to be someone Cersei could sort of trust, and not someone like Bronn). Then she got Osmund incarcerated, and delighted in the idea of Margaery having to choose between Boros and Meryn, if she wanted a champion. Or maybe it was Varys that wanted Cersei to send her men east, north, and west. He is the one still hiding out in Kings Landing, he is the one who has only whispers to rely on. If the informants were all Baelish plants, they would be sure of pay and protection, and not so perturbed by Cersei's threats. Varys isn't in a position to make promises, and making promises is more Petyr's style than his anyway. But he is well placed to spread rumours, and Cersei is offering the reward.
  8. I found this in a medieval leechbook. It is a metrical charm - a medical procedure that included or was an incantation to ward harmful spirits, or for the healing of the spiritual part of the patient after harmful spirits have attacked them. In verse. Exactly what it was prescribed for is debatable, but the scholarly consensus seems to be against nightmares/ reduce a fever/ to induce sound sleep/ anticonvulsive therapy/ boot off any dwarf that might be witch-riding the patient. (To the Anglo-Saxon originator of this charm, dwarves were mythical supernatural beings, like elves or imps). As you can see, it has both Pagan and Christian elements. It is written in Old English, by a now unknown Christian scribe, c.1000 (plus or minus 25 years) and was probably used in the 900's. The reason I have scanned the original that terrible way, with no regard for sense or metre, even breaking lines off mid-word, is to make it easier to follow the original (click on the link in the quote), that was written line for line like that (although with less punctuation, and with some words run together, or emended). And the italics are mine, to distinguish the incantation from it's instructions. And here is a spoken version on Youtube To top it off, the names on the wafers are those of the seven sleepers of Ephesus. This is the original Rip-Van-Winkle story, and in the medieval, people prayed to these saintly martyrs for sound sleep. In ASoIaF, there are elements of it in Grendel's children, in Bran and company entering BR's cave, and also in the tale of Arson Iceaxe. ETA: I've found another translation of this, by Dr Hostetter of Rutgers University. Most translations interpret 'hamen' as 'clothing', hence 'his cloak/robe/garment/ dress in his hand'. But Dr Hostetter prefers 'his skin in his hands' ie: that the spider-wight is a skinchanger. Another possible meaning for 'harmen' is the covering one puts over a draught horse, to attach the traces, bridle, and other constraining or controling devices to. So it could also be interpreted as something like "with his harness in his hands, saying you were his steed/ he attaches his yoke to your neck" Also, it occurs to me that if the patient's fever had not broke in a day or two, they were very likely to cool into an eternal sleep. So one way or the other, the charm is foolproof.
  9. Moon Tea

    No, I think a woman drinking tansy tea in the middle ages would not see herself, or be seen by others, to be attempting to terminate a pregnancy. She would take it because she felt unwell, or to bring on a period. But yes, now you mention it, I do think that for some women, the magical moon tea would be administered only when there were visible signs - we have two examples of it being administered to women without their knowledge, against their will (Lysa and Jeyne Westerling). It is quite possible medieval women would wait an extra sixty days after their period - even in the early 19th century the medical profession were arguing amongst themselves about whether missed periods were a reliable symptom of pregnancy, and even the physicians that believed they were relied more on changes in the cervix than on what women said. People miss periods for a variety of reasons, and have spotting and breakthrough bleeding and miscarriages that can be mistaken for periods. And the medieval mind did not believe women laid eggs, or that periods necessarily had anything to do with pregnancy.
  10. Moon Tea

    Yeah, I referenced a few more in this post, and I think there are a few more than I mentioned. But all from Cersei's pov
  11. Gosh you are good. The stuff in the milk has a burmed taste, and a bitter aftertaste. I don't know what it is. but it ain't sweetsleep (Bran's milk is sweetened with honey, so he only catches a chalky taste. Sweetsleep does not have a chalky taste, Although what Bran gets might not be the same thing). I think you are right - blindeye for Arya. SweetRobin and Dany too, but in a different dosage. Maester Colemon checking with SweetRobin for loss of sight.
  12. Yeah, Colemon doesn't really know how to use it. But Mirri does I would guess from this that it stopped blood loss. knocked the patient out and left them with a sore throat. Also, the faceless men know how this works: And possibly Maester Luwin does too:
  13. I don't think Cersei's symptoms are a good match for Jon Arryn's. The only reason to suspect Tears of Lys is in Maester Coleman's 'upset digestion, chill on the stomach' idea Not really a perfect match for the fever, the inability to speak above a whisper (the slurred speech might be due to the milk of the poppy) Lying in his bed too sick to rise doesn't seem at all like Cersei's illness - she was unable to get off the privy. Also, not a very quick poison like the strangler - although according to Varys, the tears of lys mimic a natural death: . The text implies that it is greycap, because it is the only powder mentioned. The medicinal uses of greycap are not mentioned. So it is implied that the laxative was a pinch of greycap. Until now, I had not realised a. That the poison that got Jon Arryn might have been sprinkled on the powdery pages of Malleon's book. b. That somebody could poison Lysa's face powder. c. That when Varys confirms the theft of the poisons, we know it didn't happen, and that no little bird saw the actual theft. Also, its the first time I've noticed Varys reporting something we know never happened. Also, Varys is always powdered and sweet-smelling (perhaps to conceal the real purpose of the powder?) d. That the Selaesori Qhoran is a reference to Tywin, the stinky steward. He was probably poisoned with Widow's Blood. Check out all occurrences of constipation in the books: On the Locusts, I think it was Kezmya Pahl with the chilled wine. She was put up to it by her family, who smuggled in the poison when Dany's planiquin halted in front of their pyramid so a planiquin bearer could be tended to. The Pahls wanted to avenge the death of Oznak zo Pahl. Belwas was saved by his extreme bulk, and by his greedy interest in the locusts. The sweetness of them helped negate the deletirous effects of the hot pepper, that acts like a purge when combined with the poison. It means that all the main characters are suspicious of each other, believing Dany to be the target. It also means that the cupbearers are far more dangerous than any of them believe. Barristan, Dany, Hizdahr, the green grace, all accept drinks from the cupbearers unthinkingly. Shakhaz tortures the daughters of the tradesmen of Meereen for kicks. He fines the old rich families, but he doens't take their daughters. He doesn't need a real reason. Likewise Reznak only wants to know who is winning so he can determine who to flatter.
  14. Moon Tea

    pelvic infection can result in permanent infertility even when expulsion is complete. While the main cause of PID is chlamydia, there are other bacteria (and even threadworms) that can get in when the cervix opens, causing scarring of the uterus and of the fallopian tubes, forming cysts on the ovaries. Women with pelvic inflammation are more likely to have etopic pregnancies (where the egg embeds in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Such a foetus will miscarry, and if the woman survives it, her fallopian tubes will be severely and permanently damaged, if they were not before). If there is lots of scarring in the uterus, even if the fallopian tubes do their job, the egg is less likely to implant in the endometrium (almost half of all fertilized eggs do not successfully implant, anyway - but the scarring decreases the odds of a successful implanting) and if it does implant, there could be problems with placental attachment, causing the fetus to miscarry when the egg sac is exhausted because it did not get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, or not enough of them. Wormwood and pennyroyal are extremely toxic, tansy less so, but all can cause convulsions and brain damage and kidney damage as well as liver damage, if the concentration of thujone (the active ingredient) is high enough. The concentration of thujone in the plant varies depending on environmental conditions (a stressed plant, eg. one that has survived frost or drought, could have four or five times more than it did before it was stressed.) So it was possible for a druggist to make up a recipe using exactly the same amounts and techniques, of exactly the same types of plants, yet have an end product that was five times less or more effective. By far the most common effect of tansy tea was that it made no detectable difference. Women took it to bring on a period, rather than to terminate a pregnancy. We know that when it worked it was because it terminated a pregnancy, but to medieval thinking, the start of the second trimester was when pregnancy started. The quickening was a sign that a divine soul had infused with the vegetative mass that had congested the womb and was shaping itself into human form. So first trimester abortion was seen more as a purge of the filthy blood that was festering in the womb from some disorder of the humours, than as an abortion. Or just as a remedy for nausea or an upset tummy. There is not a lot of evidence to suggest women were taking it 'to keep their belly flat'. It wasn't reliably good at doing that, anyway. The start of the second trimester, when the belly starts to curve, and the pregnancy is just visible, and when to the medieval mind pregnancy begins, is at least six weeks too late. A woman who didn't know the minutiae of pregnancy symptoms,(had never had a child or didn't have pronounced symptoms in their first pregnancy) might not realise they were pregnant until it was too late anyway. But in Westeros there is this hyper-aware modern (well, nineteen seventies) style of sexual awareness, so single girls like Asha know very well how to whip up a brew of moon tea, which always does the trick, without pain or harm, and any woods witch can show you how to brew it, and even Tormund knows that, along with every wildling girl. In real life, child bearing was such a risky and mysterious business that it was hard to distinguish even very deliberate attempts to abort from accidents. The first abortion laws were in the 19th c. and were designed primarily to convict men who violently attacked their pregnant wives or girlfriends in an attempt to rid himself of the inconvenience of providing for or being known as the father of an unwanted child. There were strict laws on the birthing of bastards, which became stricter due to the Elizabethan poor laws. for example, midwives had to get the name of the father before participating in the delivery of a child, so the parish should not be burdened with the cost of raising his bastard or legitimate child while he had the capacity to earn money. Even where the child was raised by the parish, the putative father was expected to pay its expenses. Of course, a man could discipline his wife by whatever means he chose, if he felt she was out of order. He and she were considered to be the same person, the law could not protect a person from himself, however, the unborn child, while not a person, was clearly not bound by the marriage contract. So the first abortion laws were really intended to deter men from committing horrific kinds of domestic violence against pregnant women. The short title reflected it's purpose - it was the Malicious Shooting Act 1803. It's full title "An Act for the further Prevention of malicious shooting, and attempting to discharge loaded Fire-Arms, stabbing, cutting, wounding, poisoning, and the malicious using of Means to procure the Miscarriage of Women; and also the malicious setting Fire to Buildings; and also for repealing a certain Act, made in England in the twenty-first Year of the late King James the First, intituled, An Act to prevent the destroying and murthering of Bastard Children; and also an Act made in Ireland in the sixth Year of the Reign of the late Queen Anne, also intituled, An Act to prevent the destroying and murthering of Bastard Children; and for making other Provisions in lieu thereof." It did not apply to women attempting to induce an abortion on themselves, and it did not apply to any man or woman attempting to induce an abortion in the first trimester, before the quickening. Since the Tudor era there were laws against exposing or abandoning or murdering newborn bastards, or abandoning babies, as well as punishments for women bearing bastards, and sometimes the men who sired them as well. Although going into marriage without the expectation of having children one day was grounds for the annulment of marriage, the church and civil courts had laws that forbade the annulment of marriage or the abandonment of a wife who failed to bear children (ie.was 'barren' or had passed childbearing age, or repeatedly miscarried). It also didn't count if the things a woman did or ate or drank caused miscarriage, and the medieval church encouraged celibacy in marriage in many ways - by banning sex on fast days (half the liturgical year was fast days) for example, or by allowing men and women who were married but celibate to join abbeys and (men only) enter the priesthood. The ecclesiastical courts were very down on begetting bastards and on fornication, but there was no legal grounds for "drunk of moon tea, to murder the fruit of her fornications in her womb". In the real medieval, a marriage like Margaery and Tommen's was not legally binding until Tommen was old enough to consummate, and Tommen not being of an age to consummated it was sufficient grounds for annullment. In the real world, Margaery's fornications, if discovered, were punishable, but not treason, especially as she was not trying to impose bastard children on anyone. Tansy was mostly used as a culinary herb (actually, all the herbs mentioned as part of moon tea had culinary as well as medicinal uses, but the other three were used more sparingly). It gives a bitter taste, and a greenish colour. Easter puddings, called tansy puddings or just 'Tansies' used it as an ingredient because it recalled the bitter herbs mandated in the bible for the passover meal. It is like an omelette, only green and bitter. It is not an especially accurate translation. I'm not sure if white grece here means any white fat or clear oil that doesn't have a strong taste of its own, or if it refers only to the fat of fig-pecker birds, which was a luxury ingredient, rendered down from hundreds of tiny fattened birds. Duck fat might work as a substitute. Brode leches, 'thick slices' might mean trenchers of stale white bread, or it might be toast. Fraunche mele is a type of bread pudding made with breadcrumbs and sheep tallow coloured with saffron and flavoured with spices, boiled or roasted in a sheep stomach, and then cut into slices. Or sometimes it is made with spiced eggs and cows-milk cream and light meats (eg veal), but still coloured with saffron and cooked in a sheep's stomach. O├żer metis are 'other meats' but 'meat' did not necessarily mean meat - it was a general term for 'foods'. On the other hand, meat was included in both savoury and sweet courses, and as an Easter treat, after a month and a half with no meat but fish, the other meats might very well be meat. But other types of pudding, or sweet (and optionally meaty) porridge type things (eg. frumenty, blandissory) might do as well. The not great rhyming scheme is all mine. Sorry. All the recipes in the original manuscript are in verse. By the 17th century cooks were cutting down on the bitter tansy, and using sorrel or spinach to make it really green rather than a pale yellow. Sometimes they left tansy out of the tansy altogether, and sometimes the sorrel or spinach too. By Peyps time a tansy was any sweet solid custard or eggy kind of pudding or cake, optionally green and not bitter (except especially for Easter). Here is an 18th c. tansy (an Easter one) and a tansy-free Apple Tansy (very popular in colonial Virginia, where settlers grew apple trees to prove their land was inhabited and to keep their land claim). Tansy tea was used as a tonic in spring, to stimulate the appetite and prevent indigestion, and also as a cure for various complaints like colds, sea-sickness, rheumatism. Tansy is plentiful in spring, while poppy tea is made from the seed capsules of white opium poppies that ripen in autumn in the fens, (north eastern English swamplands, nor unlike the Neck, before they were drained in the 18th c.), so it is possible that the use of tansy for colds/flu/chest congestion, and as a spring tonic, was more about being out of poppy tea and having nothing else that would serve that early in the year. Because the tansy had a bitter taste, and the fens had endemic malaria, it was used to treat ague (fever, typically malarial fever) too. It was also used to purge worms (quite a few of the herbs to make periods regular are also used to shit out threadworms), and paradoxically, as a fertility potion. The fresh new shoots in the spring are the least toxic and most edible. In France, tansy and other bitter herbs infused in water were used as a mouthwash, or with a toothpick, to remove the remains of food between the teeth, and keep the breath smelling fresh. So, in real life there would be lots of non-scandalous reasons why Margaery would have a moon tea-like preparation made up for her. Even if she was taking it for scandalous reasons, it would be the fornications that were scandalous; the broken maidenhead, not the drinking of herb tea to keep her periods regular. And neither would be sound legal proof - for prosecuting a case of fornication, actual witnesses of fornication would be required, or evidence of an actual bastard child. Evidence of avoiding having a bastard child didn't count, unless there was witchcraft involved. And then the charges were witchcraft, not drinking tansy tea. It is still used as one of the bitters in bitters. In the 18th century it was added to various kinds of distilled alcohol as a health-giving tonic, with other bitter botanicals. In the middle of the 19th century, wormwood and tansy and pennyroyal were all used in Absinthe, the thejune in them supposedly having a mild psychotropic effect and was credited with driving people insane. It might have contributed to the brain and liver damage, but Absinthe also had concentrations of alcohol more appropriate for cleaning than for drinking. Of course, it was supposed to be served with water, which diluted it. Even so, absinthe was a good way to absorb a lot of alcohol quickly, quite enough alcohol to cause brain damage, psychosis, liver damage and addiction all by itself with no assitance from the botanicals that colour and flavour it. The tansy contributed to the green colour and the bouquet of the botanicals, although overall, the liquorish taste of the fennel predominates.
  15. Moon Tea

    I recently noticed (and mentioned in the 'wow I never noticed that' thread) that Cersei since AFfC (but not in ASoS or earlier) has lost her waistline, developed red, irritated eyes, pasty skin, sagginess. Also, possibly, mood swings (hard to tell, as we have, on the whole, seen Cersei through the eyes of other PoV up until AFfC, and it is hard to tell whether it is external circumstances, combined with the fact that she is a nasty, nasty woman, or if it is mood swings. With Lysa it is clear the woman is unstable - other characters (including Cersei) observe she is a crazy imbecile and chalk it up to the miscarriages and the obsessive love she has for SweetRobin. Cersei gets a lot of credit from people like Ned and her brothers for influencing the king, and plotting to be regent. She is viewed more as proud and ambitious rather than mentally unbalanced. There are plenty of signs that she might be, but they all have potentially rational reasons. Sansa sees her becoming a nasty drunk and doing stuff like bashing Lancel in his chest wound and spreading doom and gloom about how they are all going to be raped tonight during the Battle of Blackwater Rush, but it seems more to show that Cersei was drunk and gave in to despair when it looked like they were done for, rather than that the woman is like, bipolar. Tyrion quizzes her about why she did crazy things like execute Ned, which reveals that, while it happened on her watch, she had been expecting that Joffrey was going to graciously spare Ned's life and send him off to the Night's Watch. So even while she has to wear the responsibility as Regent, we can't take that decision as a fault of her judgement - she knew it was a crazy idea to kill Ned on the steps of the sept, but his head was off before she could intervene, and she had enough sense not to undermine her position still further by ranting at Slynt and Joffrey in public, which was sensible, not deranged. Letting Barristan go ronin was not a great decision, as Renly and Tyrion and Tywin were quick to identify. And that it was done as an indulgence for her darling Joffy, a pat for the dog, so that does seem a bit Lysa-like. But it is surrounded by examples of Cersei being across things in ways that may be mean, ruthless, power-hungry, but are not irrational if the aim is to keep her family in power. Also, she is in power. She is paranoid but we know for a fact that people are out to get her. When we first hear her bitching to Jaime about how he should be hand, what she says not only seems to be rational reasoning, it does in fact come to pass, as she foresaw - when it is Joffrey's turn to succeed to the Iron Throne, Ned makes up excuses for not following Robert's command and intention, and tries to bastardise Joffrey and have him cast out as an abomination. There was the time she picks up Tyrion and swings him around and kisses him, after being furious with him, when he announces that Renly and Stannis are at war with each other, but external factors could explain that violent mood swing. Ditto when she breaks down in tears because he is shipping her daughter off to Dorne. Once we are in her own head, however, we learn that Cersei is utterly irrational, totally delusional, psychotic. And the mood swings are in fact only tangentially related to what is going on outside her head. She wants to strangle Senelle because she is just like that Melara. Even when she imagines she is the boar that tusked Robert, ripping into Taena, she still can't get off. Her paranoia is every bit as loony as Lysa's. This is not what a nasty rational person would think. For Cersei, the puffy face, expanded waistline, sobbing, come with a lot of miscarriage imagery (ie. imagery that has already been used to describe Dany's actual miscarriage). Also, she becomes breathless climbing stairs. Her eyes are red and her throat is sore as well. She shivers and trembles violently in AFfC where she never did before. Still, I'm not sure that the moon tea is the reason she is the way she is - SweetRobin is also pasty, red-eyed, paranoid, with mood swings and tremblings, long after the time he stopped drinking his mother's milk (which might have been full of moon tea, for all we know). Catelyn has irrational moments that involve shaking fits, and bad judgement (eg. the whole time she was caring for Bran - ignoring Rickon and the house, laughing with relief as the library burnt down, obsessively guarding Bran, and then racing off to King's Landing before he was concious...and she had a trembling kind of fit at the time, too.) Sansa had a trembling fit (just before she built the snow castle), and remembers things that may or may not have happened. Boros Blount is also getting fat and puffy and red eyed, he is irascible, becomes red faced when angry, and looks increasingly grey-faced and saggy as Tommen's food taster, as well as becoming increasingly breathless. He doesn't tremble but he quivers. Robert Baratheon also became bloated and jowly, had dark circles under his eyes, massive sudden mood swings, and was puffing even when walking down stairs. He shivers (although it is ambiguous- it is cold in the crypts, and on the barrowdowns, and while his deathbed was warm, he had lost a lot of blood). He had a milk-pale face in the end, too. And a raspy voice. On the other hand, Asha apparently brews up a moon tea whenever she feels the need (not hard to lay your hands on tansy, wormwood and pennyroyal when you spend your life on the seas, going to all kinds of climes and places, apparently.) and she is fighting weight and 'flat as a boy'. Arianne is curvy, and not pregnant and that is the only symptom of moon tea drinking for her. Jeyne Westerling is tearful enough, but quite capable of running out of rooms and still slim and lovely. Also slim and lovely is Margaery, who apparently has had Pycelle make up moon tea for her several times. Although Cersei never gave him the opportunity to tell us why. If not for herself...who? why? Lollys was not offered moon tea, although it seems she was delivered of a healthy baby at seven months... Cersei knows what moon tea is, and what it is for, but where in the text does she explicitly claim to have taken it? 'clense' could be any method of abortion. Interesting mission for Jaime, who has never slept with a woman other than Cersei. I should imagine her other brother would have found what she needed faster - presumably whores use moon tea regularly. Although not Barra's mum, obviously. Or S'vrone. When Tyrion lectures Lancel about coitus interruptus, Lancel tells Tyrion that Cersei had already insisted on it. So apparently she wasn't using moon tea there. Her rational for assaulting Taena Merryweather also suggests she is not using moon tea. To the best of our knowledge, she has slept with Osmund not at all, in spite of her confession and what Tyrion claimed to Jaime. Osney she has slept with once - and no sign that she took any moon tea after. We don't see her asking Pycelle to make her any moon tea, and he doesn't accuse her of asking him. Lysa too does not seem to have made a habit of taking moon tea. We know there was the one time that Hoster made her take moon tea. But the miscarriages after that the very fact that Catelyn knew Lysa had miscarried, when she had not been around to observe her sister, but did not know she had taken moon tea when she was around to observe her sister, suggests that Lysa had not intended to avoid those pregnancies by taking moon tea. If it had been deliberate, why would she wait until it was clear she was with child? Why would she write to her sister with the news? Why would her uncle know about it? It is possible that the first dose of moon tea left her prone to miscarriage, but it seems to me that if she didn't want a child to Jon Arryn, she would have taken the moon tea days or weeks after having sex, not months. And nobody would know she had been pregnant. Also, there is no reason to suppose Lysa has been taking moon tea after she became a widow. There is a long time when Lysa is in the Eyrie and Littlefinger is in King's Landing, where Lysa is fat and powder-faced and mentally unhinged, but apparently celibate. (Or maybe she has been fucking Eon Hunter, Nestor Royce, and Lyn Corbray, for all I know.) When she marries Petyr Baelish, she doesn't seem to be using any contraception and indeed, she claims that after her father had tricked her into terminating her pregnancy to Petyr Baelish, she wanted no truck with moon tea So, all in all, I'm inclined to suspect that Cersei and Lysa were being slowly poisoned by wine, or at least something other than moon tea. Maybe accidentally (the way, in real life, mercury and arsnic were taken as medicines and tonics. with all kinds of drastic side effects) or maybe by someone who knows what they are very gradually doing.