Lollygag

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  1. This has been an especially interesting thought to muse on. I had assumed somewhere along the way (GRRR on accidental headcanon ideas) that we'd learn about Winterfell and the history of the Starks though one of the Starks themselves, but the idea that we may learn from Stannis, Asha and Theon is much more intriguing. Theon probably knows as much about Winterfell as the Stark kids. Stannis is from Storm's End which was also built by Bran the Builder. That could be significant.
  2. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Stannis isn’t long for this world because he's not being discussed at all anymore. But if so, then Stannis’ inclusion in the HOTU vision as a lie which she must slay seems a waste if he’s to die well before Dany reaches Westeros. It implies that Stannis will live past the point of Dany's arrival in Westeros. Any ideas? Glowing like sunset, a red sword was raised in the hand of a blue-eyed king who cast no shadow. A cloth dragon swayed on poles amidst a cheering crowd. From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire. . . . mother of dragons, slayer of lies Edit: I was questioning Stannis' longevity based on Jon being set up to leave the NW (making Stannis in Jon's way plot-wise?) and Stannis' condition in the books: too many shadow babies, Stannis is already thin and now he's been thoroughly starved by the trek from Deepwood Motte to Winterfell, and then having to survive the Battle of Winterfell. Finally! putting 2+2 together and thinking the HOTU vision implies that Stannis lives well beyond the Battle of Winterfell and past Dany's arrival. Edit #2: Keep in mind that slaying the lie does not necessarily mean slaying the person. It just means doing something to make people no longer believe the lie.
  3. I hope so! I really hate the bastard stigma and I really hope GRRM turns it around. Given that the bastard stigma is rooted in maintaining the integrity of the feudal system, I'm expecting this to be the case. I think the end of the series will show at least the beginnings of the end of the feudal system in Westeros, as it should be. Agree and I'll add: If Jon uses his position as KitN to support the NW which he will, and do it much more effectively than as LC, then is he really breaking his oath? Essentially he'd be breaking the lesser parts of his oath (which only exist to reinforce the most important part of the oath) to support the only important part of the oath. This has been the core of Jon's challenges thus far in his arch. I'm not sure if the Old Gods care that much about lawyer-esque technicalities so much as outcome. The NW oath makes me think of how the Church denied the priests marriage rights to stamp out nepotism. It was a lesser vow which was meant to support the most important part of the priest's work. But somehow the marriage rights issue has become so important that it's now interfering with the most important part of a priest's work. It's now working against its original intent. Me too!
  4. I don’t disagree with your argument. I just disagree with the weight it carries against other arguments. A lot of what you state above also results if you set the precedent of naming a non-blood heir, only worse. Chaos from an elevated a bastard would only be relevant to isolated incidents. Naming a non-blood heir potentially affects every transfer of power for every house. If you think the Game of Thrones is bad now... Robb's views on Jon have been perfectly clear. If you disagree with Robb's opinion, that's a different topic. Robb did it. Everyone signed. The question is what he did, not whether you or anyone else agrees with it. I didn’t hear any problems from anyone but Cat, and we know where she’s coming from, and Cat isn't the one making the decision, it's Robb. Are you really suggesting that all of the Lords of the Riverlands and all of the Lords of the North combined can't come up with 100 men or whatever price the NW demands? They're really not in a position to turn down any good offer and Robb knows that. Robb never suggests Jon should be an oathbreaker, and besides, the Northererns don't care as much about oathbreaking as you do, and neither does Robb, just ask Jeyne Westerling. See my earlier post on Robb and the Greatjon and how the Northerners presumably break their oaths all the time to the Kings of Winter by rebelling. This is what you think, not what Robb or any other thinks. Robb and the rest of the Northerners wanted Jaime kept in captivity. Robb was not ok that Jaime was released, but he couldn’t lash out because he had just made the same mistake by marrying Jeyne Westerling and Robb commanded that no one criticize Catelyn, so we wouldn’t know of direct condemnation, but if you read her chapters carefully, it’s definitely there along with the ramifications of what she did. Some of the people sympathized with her decision as a mother, sure. But the decision that a monarch should make is often in conflict with one a parent should make. Catelyn made the decision of a parent, not a monarch. That's what the Mormont women sympathized with. And that's why it disqualifies her as counsel to the King, and by extension, as monarch. She put her own needs over that of her people. Robb made the same decision for love over his duty as king, and look where he is now. ASOS Catelyn I Ser Desmond Grell had served House Tully all his life. He had been a squire when Catelyn was born, a knight when she learned to walk and ride and swim, master-at-arms by the day that she was wed. He had seen Lord Hoster's little Cat become a young woman, a great lord's lady, mother to a king. And now he has seen me become a traitor as well. … Edmure: "You do not understand. Highgarden has declared for Joffrey. Dorne as well. All the south." His mouth tightened. "And you see fit to loose the Kingslayer. You had no right." ASOS Catelyn II "Aye, my lady." Lord Rickard Karstark pushed past the Greatjon, like some grim specter with his black mail and long ragged grey beard, his narrow face pinched and cold. "And I have one son, who once had three. You have robbed me of my vengeance." Catelyn faced him calmly. "Lord Rickard, the Kingslayer's dying would not have bought life for your children. His living may buy life for mine." The lord was unappeased. "Jaime Lannister has played you for a fool. You've bought a bag of empty words, no more. My Torrhen and my Eddard deserved better of you." "Leave off, Karstark," rumbled the Greatjon, crossing his huge arms against his chest. "It was a mother's folly. Women are made that way." "A mother's folly?" Lord Karstark rounded on Lord Umber. "I name it treason." "Enough." For just an instant Robb sounded more like Brandon than his father. "No man calls my lady of Winterfell a traitor in my hearing, Lord Rickard." When he turned to Catelyn, his voice softened. "If I could wish the Kingslayer back in chains I would. You freed him without my knowledge or consent . . . but what you did, I know you did for love. For Arya and Sansa, and out of grief for Bran and Rickon. Love's not always wise, I've learned. It can lead us to great folly, but we follow our hearts . . . wherever they take us. Don't we, Mother?" ASOS Catelyn III "Near three hundred riders and twice as many mounts, melted away in the night." Robb rubbed his temples, where the crown had left its mark in the soft skin above his ears. "All the mounted strength of Karhold, lost." Lost by me. By me, may the gods forgive me. Catelyn did not need to be a soldier to grasp the trap Robb was in. For the moment he held the riverlands, but his kingdom was surrounded by enemies to every side but east, where Lysa sat aloof on her mountaintop. Even the Trident was scarce secure so long as the Lord of the Crossing withheld his allegiance. And now to lose the Karstarks as well . . . If you’re angling toward LSH’s power being expanded, possibly greatly, from the BwB, then I think this is entirely possible. The Varamyr prologue chapter hints that Jon will be side-lined and spend a lot of time in Ghost. If things become a lot more chaotic and no Stark materializes, then LHS could become the de facto leader in the void. If Rickon, Bran or Arya materializes before Jon, we could see one of them rule with a LHS regent of sorts. It’s really hard to tell right now. But will LHS attain any power through Robb’s will, nah. Plus, she becomes more interesting to me anyhow if she does what she does without hanging on legalities of Robb’s will. Rule by conquest always makes the more interesting story.
  5. Discussing the nature of the trap and what Robb actually did was interesting - I assume it'll impact the future plot somehow hence why it's not specified, but I completely agree that the Catelyn as heir rules-Jon as heir drools discussion at this point is pretty pointless.
  6. Ha! No, but that would have been a fun read. Just that there will be some tie together later in the series concerning whatever Rhaegar was up to, the Others and these mysterious houses which are all connected to magic. It could be just placing related things together which will be placed together again in the future in a different way. Or it could be that Dayne, Whent and Hightower personally may have chosen to guard the TOJ because they and their houses know something the reader doesn't and it concerns Rhaegar's plans and the Others. I don't think this is something Ned thinks, or he wouldn't have gone South. Just using a dream to tell the reader something.
  7. Ah, gotcha. But all of this is a non-issue for Robb since there are no more true born Starks who are not married to a Lannister. Jon's being a bastard doesn't trample the rights of any true born, he's just a back-up. If you're arguing that some will have problems with Jon's being a bastard after Bran, Rickon and Arya are found alive and/or if Sansa's marriage is annulled, then I agree there because true borns become relevant to the discussion again. But Robb nor the Lords know this (yet). If you break it down, the Winterfell kids are a major succession clusterf*** which seems to be the intent. Very well crafted as all of the kiddos have major strengths and also major weaknesses. Robb already argued about the NW situation and everyone seemed fine with it. Cat let Jaime lose because she missed her kids. I understand, but that was weakness from their view. It really hurt their position in the war and put lots of lives at stake. In fact, that was a HUUUGGGEEEE show of weakness. And to use your word which is very appropriate, she's shattered, despondent, not even able to eat well. When Bran was hurt, she couldn't even function as Lady of Winterfell, Robb had to step up and do the job for her. Robb made her feel defeated - and she accepted the defeat. Contrast Cat/Robb to Robb/Greatjon in the passage I quoted earlier. Rather than an inspirational and strong leader, she's more of a wet blanket lately. Catelyn herself questions her own capacity to function in the North. ASOS Catelyn V Catelyn knew of whom they spoke; Jorah Mormont had brought his second wife to Winterfell for feasts, and once they had guested for a fortnight. She remembered how young the Lady Lynesse had been, how fair, and how unhappy. One night, after several cups of wine, she had confessed to Catelyn that the north was no place for a Hightower of Oldtown. "There was a Tully of Riverrun who felt the same once," she had answered gently, trying to console, "but in time she found much here she could love." All lost now, she reflected. Winterfell and Ned, Bran and Rickon, Sansa, Arya, all gone. Only Robb remains. Had there been too much of Lynesse Hightower in her after all, and too little of the Starks? Would that I had known how to wield an axe, perhaps I might have been able to protect them better.
  8. You and @Dorian Martell's son are quickly becoming my favorite ship, even over any of the actual characters.
  9. I don't recall any Northerner criticizing bastards to the degree that Southerners do. Nor do I recall any Northerner having a problem with Jon being at Winterfell and openly declared son. If you're recalling something I'm not in regards to Northern bias towards bastards being at the same level as Southern bias of bastards, I'd be very interested in seeing it. I disagree about Ramsey's treatment when compared to the general treatment of Southern bastards. I don't recall anyone objecting when Ramsey was acknowledged. No one criticizes the Mormont women either - quite the opposite, they're respected. Imagine if the Mormont women behaved that way as a Southern house. The thing about the Northern treatment of bastards is that no one seems to object to their being a member of the legit family. Cat didn't have a problem with Jon or any bastard existing out of sight and out of mind, she had a problem with him being in the main household. I don't want to go into it much, but "NW deserter" is a very strict interpretation of the rules, and one which GRRM wants us to rethink (Jaime, Ned, and Jon have all had big oath conflicts). The Northerners have problems with authority and rules in principle so I disagree that they'll be strict about these rules. Survival means doing what the situation calls for, and strict adherence to any rules works against that. I know that some people are big sticklers about rules and if you're also one, we're just not going to see eye to eye on this. When the only other options are Catelyn who has no Stark blood and is showing lots of unacceptable weakness when uber-winter is coming and Tyrion, I think the Northerners are going to be especially open to breaking rules. I agree that these issues may be a bigger point of contention with some Southerners.
  10. I feel like this view is more reflective of traditional Southern views than Northern ones. Northerners do stigmatize bastards, but not as much as Southerners. Both Ned and Roose openly had bastards in their houses and no Northerner really cared. Other houses as well have showed a more casual view of bastardy than Southerners. Catelyn notes the difference in the North and in the South. AGOT Catelyn II He did more than that. The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him "son" for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence. The North is also less preoccupied by Knightly honor than the South. Ned's sense of honor was derived more from House Arryn than the Starks. Cold, harsh climates where life is very difficult see honor and other knightly ideas as a luxury one can't afford when one's family and friends are freezing to death and survival itself is a struggle. It's actually not in the Northerners interest to embrace honor so much that it hurts their odds for survival. And, just my impression, but the Northerners haven't fully assimilated into the rest of Westeros at all. As they interact more and more with the Wildlings, I suspect that they'll find that they still have more in common with the Wildlings than the Southerners and they will in turn revert to some degree back to their pre-Aegon ways. There are strong indications that this is already the case as Robb was first declared King of Winter, not King in the North. The title The King who Knelt sounds a lot like Wildling speak. I think the crown speaks to this: gold, silver, and gemstones sound like knightly, romantic things to me. Iron and bronze sound like survival. AGOT Catelyn XI Maege Mormont stood. "The King of Winter!" she declared, and laid her spiked mace beside the swords. And the river lords were rising too, Blackwood and Bracken and Mallister, houses who had never been ruled from Winterfell, yet Catelyn watched them rise and draw their blades, bending their knees and shouting the old words that had not been heard in the realm for more than three hundred years, since Aegon the Dragon had come to make the Seven Kingdoms one … yet now were heard again, ringing from the timbers of her father's hall: "The King in the North!" ACOK Catelyn I The ancient crown of the Kings of Winter had been lost three centuries ago, yielded up to Aegon the Conqueror when Torrhen Stark knelt in submission. What Aegon had done with it no man could say. Lord Hoster's smith had done his work well, and Robb's crown looked much as the other was said to have looked in the tales told of the Stark kings of old; an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men, surmounted by nine black iron spikes wrought in the shape of longswords. Of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold. ASOS Catelyn VI "Bronze and iron are stronger than gold and silver," Robb answered. "The old Kings of Winter wore such a sword-crown." World of Ice and Fire There upon the south bank of the Trident, he knelt, laid the ancient crown of the Kings of Winter at Aegon's feet, and swore to be his man. He rose as Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, a king no more. From that day to this day, Torrhen Stark is remembered as the King Who Knelt... Song and story tell us that the Starks of Winterfell have ruled large portions of the lands beyond the Neck for eight thousand years, styling themselves the Kings of Winter (the more ancient usage) and (in more recent centuries) the Kings in the North. Their rule was not an uncontested one. Many were the wars in which the Starks expanded their rule or were forced to win back lands that rebels had carved away. The Kings of Winter were hard men in hard times. I think that Jon acting out of survival rather than honor will grant him even more Northern King of Winter cred. Robb was the true-born eldest son of Eddard, yet he was still was forced to prove himself before some would be loyal to him. The Greatjon cares nothing of oathbreaking though Robb hurled that threat at him, but he cares a lot about having to follow a weak green boy. Robb also doesn’t bother pressing his point by going into the gravity of oathbreaking, he proved himself by demonstrating that he wasn’t weak. This looks way more Wildling than Southern. Note that Robb also wasn’t declared King of Winter/King of the North until he demonstrated that he could actually win. AGOT Bran VI And when Lord Umber, who was called the Greatjon by his men and stood as tall as Hodor and twice as wide, threatened to take his forces home if he was placed behind the Hornwoods or the Cerwyns in the order of march, Robb told him he was welcome to do so. "And when we are done with the Lannisters," he promised, scratching Grey Wind behind the ear, "we will march back north, root you out of your keep, and hang you for an oathbreaker." Cursing, the Greatjon flung a flagon of ale into the fire and bellowed that Robb was so green he must piss grass. When Hallis Mollen moved to restrain him, he knocked him to the floor, kicked over a table, and unsheathed the biggest, ugliest greatsword that Bran had ever seen. All along the benches, his sons and brothers and sworn swords leapt to their feet, grabbing for their steel. Yet Robb only said a quiet word, and in a snarl and the blink of an eye Lord Umber was on his back, his sword spinning on the floor three feet away and his hand dripping blood where Grey Wind had bitten off two fingers. "My lord father taught me that it was death to bare steel against your liege lord," Robb said, "but doubtless you only meant to cut my meat." Bran's bowels went to water as the Greatjon struggled to rise, sucking at the red stumps of fingers … but then, astonishingly, the huge man laughed. "Your meat," he roared, "is bloody tough." And somehow after that the Greatjon became Robb's right hand, his staunchest champion, loudly telling all and sundry that the boy lord was a Stark after all, and they'd damn well better bend their knees if they didn't fancy having them chewed off.
  11. Backing this idea. I noticed that the Stark kids are aligning with the 4 elements and Sansa with air.
  12. That was my take. I think Jason may be a bit ambitious, but with the way Jason is described and how Cat sees him, I took this as a missed opportunity for Catelyn to find a measure of happiness again.
  13. @Prof. Cecily covered a lot of it, but there's more. It's no proof but it just adds up to form a picture which passes the logic test. On my first read, I expected Cat and Ned to have more children because it was clearly stated that Catelyn wanted more children, that she was young enough for more children, and still beautiful. It felt like it was going somewhere. Later in AGOT Catelyn IV, it seemed that Catelyn maybe had a bit of a crush on Jason as she studies him boldly despite the risk of getting caught and her description is flattering. That Jason’s gifts were lavish could mean that Jason was intrigued by Cat or that he was ambitious. It’s possible that he was just generous, but I don’t see anything about generosity elsewhere. Also, maybe some Stoneheart foreshadowing here with the hood and not being recognized perhaps hinting they’ll pass each other by (romantically) because Catelyn is fated to wear a hood. In ASOS Catelyn V, she again studies Jason boldly and calls him handsome. With two instances of Cat studying Jason and finding him attractive, I’m speculating that Robb has noticed that Catelyn was soft on Jason. Jason may have been soft on Catelyn in turn given how he speaks to her, but maybe he was sucking up. I’m not sure. It was Jason Mallister who offered to keep her at Seagard, not Robb asking. The young king with an heir problem and problems conceiving has a mother who is still young enough for more children, very fertile, and very attractive. No doubt a lot of widower subjects of Robb have been inquiring about Catelyn hoping to make a very lucrative match. Hoster is dying, Edmure was just now getting married, the Blackfish will have no children, and Lysa is another matter. With Cat’s children believed dead or Lannisters, Cat is a few timely deaths away from a claim to Riverrun. AGOT Catelyn IV They followed the sounds around a lazy bend of the road and saw them; a column of armed men noisily fording a swollen stream. Catelyn reined up to let them pass. The banner in the hand of the foremost rider hung sodden and limp, but the guardsmen wore indigo cloaks and on their shoulders flew the silver eagle of Seagard. "Mallisters," Ser Rodrik whispered to her, as if she had not known. "My lady, best pull up your hood." Catelyn made no move. Lord Jason Mallister himself rode with them, surrounded by his knights, his son Patrek by his side and their squires close behind. They were riding for King's Landing and the Hand's tourney, she knew. For the past week, the travelers had been thick as flies upon the kingsroad; knights and freeriders, singers with their harps and drums, heavy wagons laden with hops or corn or casks of honey, traders and craftsmen and whores, and all of them moving south. Catelyn made no move. Lord Jason Mallister himself rode with them, surrounded by his knights, his son Patrek by his side and their squires close behind. They were riding for King's Landing and the Hand's tourney, she knew. For the past week, the travelers had been thick as flies upon the kingsroad; knights and freeriders, singers with their harps and drums, heavy wagons laden with hops or corn or casks of honey, traders and craftsmen and whores, and all of them moving south. She studied Lord Jason boldly. The last time she had seen him he had been jesting with her uncle at her wedding feast; the Mallisters stood bannermen to the Tullys, and his gifts had been lavish. His brown hair was salted with white now, his face chiseled gaunt by time, yet the years had not touched his pride. He rode like a man who feared nothing. Catelyn envied him that; she had come to fear so much. As the riders passed, Lord Jason nodded a curt greeting, but it was only a high lord's courtesy to strangers chance met on the road. There was no recognition in those fierce eyes, and his son did not even waste a look. "He did not know you," Ser Rodrik said after, wondering. "He saw a pair of mud-spattered travelers by the side of the road, wet and tired. It would never occur to him to suspect that one of them was the daughter of his liege lord. I think we shall be safe enough at the inn, Ser Rodrik." ACOK Catelyn I It had been at Edmure's insistence that Robb had given the river lords leave to depart after his crowning, each to defend his own lands. Ser Marq Piper and Lord Karyl Vance had been the first to go. Lord Jonos Bracken had followed, vowing to reclaim the burnt shell of his castle and bury his dead, and now Lord Jason Mallister had announced his intent to return to his seat at Seagard, still mercifully untouched by the fighting. ASOS Catelyn V Lord Jason Mallister caught up with them amidst the bogs of Hag's Mire. There was more than an hour of daylight remaining when he rode up with his column, but Robb called a halt at once, and Ser Raynald Westerling came to escort Catelyn to the king's tent. She found her son seated beside a brazier, a map across his lap. Grey Wind slept at his feet. The Greatjon was with him, along with Galbart Glover, Maege Mormont, Edmure, and a man that Catelyn did not know, a fleshy balding man with a cringing look to him. No lordling, this one, she knew the moment she laid eyes on the stranger. Not even a warrior. Jason Mallister rose to offer Catelyn his seat. His hair had almost as much white in it as brown, but the Lord of Seagard was still a handsome man; tall and lean, with a chiseled clean-shaven face, high cheekbones, and fierce blue-grey eyes. "Lady Stark, it is ever a pleasure. I bring good tidings, I hope." … "Your part is to stay safe. Our journey through the Neck will be dangerous, and naught but battle awaits us in the north. But Lord Mallister has kindly offered to keep you safe at Seagard until the war is done. You will be comfortable there, I know." ... "Seagard will be brightened by your presence, Lady Catelyn," said Lord Jason Mallister. "You would make me a prisoner," she said. "An honored guest," Lord Jason insisted.
  14. Robb doesn't need Catelyn's approval or support to name Jon heir. He can just do it. But if Robb dies and Catelyn is very vocal in her objections to Jon as heir, and she would be very vocal, then she could potentially really damage Jon. If Robb has commanded her to remarry as the text hints, then her lack of support of Jon as the King in the North would not be as a Tully-Stark, it would likely be as a Tully-Mallister. Then Catelyn’s opinion of Jon as Robb's heir will hold as much weight as the wife of any other Lord so long as her blood is not an option as heir. Robb legitimized Jon and if he in fact ordered Catelyn to choose a new husband, he is de-legitimizing her as a Stark. She’ll always be Robb’s mother, but Robb can see to it that she is no longer part of his court or even part of the Stark family. If he can’t get her to support Jon—truly support him—then he can make her opinion just not matter by having her no longer be a Stark.
  15. I don't think he'll really remember Winterfell or his family at all due to his age, but I think the emotions will leave their mark. Hoping Osha and living in a community which accepts warging will help keep Rickon from going out of control, but I'm not really confident about that. I take this a foreshadowing of Rickon actively betraying his family and/or his heritage. ACok Bran I: Finally Rickon came running into the godswood, Shaggydog at his heels. He watched Turnip and Little Walder struggle for the stick until Turnip lost his footing and went in with a huge splash, arms waving. Rickon yelled, "Me! Me now! I want to play!" Little Walder beckoned him on, and Shaggydog started to follow. "No, Shaggy," his brother commanded. "Wolves can't play. You stay with Bran." And he did . . . . until Little Walder had smacked Rickon with the stick, square across his belly. Before Bran could blink, the black wolf was flying over the plank, there was blood in the water, the Walders were shrieking red murder, Rickon sat in the mud laughing, and Hodor came lumbering in shouting "Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!" After that, oddly, Rickon decided he liked the Walders. They never played lord of the crossing again, but they played other games—monsters and maidens, rats and cats, come-into-my-castle, all sorts of things. With Rickon by their side, the Walders plundered the kitchens for pies and honeycombs, raced round the walls, tossed bones to the pups in the kennels, and trained with wooden swords under Ser Rodrik's sharp eye. Rickon even showed them the deep vaults under the earth where the stonemason was carving father's tomb. "You had no right!" Bran screamed at his brother when he heard. "That was our place, a Stark place!" But Rickon never cared. Here, we have Rickon associated with a list of Stark enemies: the Freys, the Ironborn (plundering kitchens), Wildlings (racing around the wall), Ramsey Bolton (tossing bones to the pups in the kennels), and Lannisters (I think of Joff and Robb fighting with wooden swords here moderated by Rodrik). All in addition to letting the Freys into the most sacred of Stark places: the crypts (revealing Stark secrets to the enemy). Bran actually sees this as a personal betrayal. Rickon never cared.