Faera

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  1. I will be the first thread I’ve ever started myself and I want to thank @Curled Fingerand @LynnS for their encouragement in helping me in finally plucking up the courage to start a post of my own (rather than always twiddling my thumbs and hoping someone else will have a similar idea I can post on) as well as @kissdbyfire and @Cridefea for extra positive reinforcement and patience. (Sorry, also @Seams for taking so long to actually press the 'Submit Topic' button on this)! Incidentally, the thread that prompted me to post this theory was ‘Sorcerers and Swords’ started by Curled Finger: It presented the argument for the Targaryen ancestral sword Dark Sister being associated with, and likely destined to, fall into the hands of a magic user – a sorcerer. This is something of a Prologue to my first post there where I touched on my reasons for why I think, if that sword is going to be wielded by anyone any time soon, it will be be Bran - or the Bran-Hodor. Bran has always fascinated me and something that has always struck a cord with me is whether he is on the verge of becoming morally corrupt due to the influence of Bloodraven or his own choices. I understand why the debate circles around Hodor so much particularly their relationship in terms of Hodor being one of Bran's “skins” and how they might be changing each other as a result despite the very practice being, as Haggon would tell Varamyr, "abomination". It has been on my mind for a long time. Thanks to Bran’s reliance on Hodor to get around we get allusions to them working in tandem early on even before the first skin-changing incident in Queenstower. It is primarily Hodor who fulfils the tasks Bran can’t do himself anymore, from getting dressed to getting about. He was a ‘gentle’ pair of hands, ‘always smelled faintly of horses’ and ‘trotted’ around Winterfell with Bran in a specially designed wicker basket, much like the special saddle Bran uses to ride Dancer. Despite being a man and ‘not a mule to be beaten’ (Bran VII, AGoT), sometimes Hodor feels like an animal companion, like a noble steed that carries the knight (a dream that Bran can no longer fulfil) and also makes up for what Bran has lost physically. This isn't lost on Bran: The second quote is, it goes without saying, loaded with more connotations than we can swing a cat at. As far as my theory goes, despite Luwin's insistence that it will only break his heart, Bran never lets go of his secret desire to be a knight (even in 'A Dance with Dragons' he still laments over it), factors Hodor into his "bargaining" ways to still be a knight, and even acknowledges that Hodor has the right strength and gentleness that would make a great knight of the sorts of stories Bran enjoys. So, there are two sides to this early Bran-Hodor -- the broken knight and his surrogate horse (especially after Dancer dies, he becomes Bran's only form of transportation) and as the replacement "bottom-half". It is all very much the prelude to what eventually happens as well as an allusion to Hodor becoming a knight or Bran-Hodor becoming a knight together. The only way to truly allow to them become one, singular knight (of course) is through Bran's ability to skin-change. There is no denying the sinister aspects of what their relationship becomes once Bran starts actively skin-change Hodor, taking away his autonomy. Though the first time was an accident, latter attempts stem from two motivations -- Bran's altruism towards his friends (one in particular but I'll get to that later) and a personal desire to be strong again. The Bran-Hodor skinchanging dynamic truly begins for Bran "like trying to pull a left boot on your right foot...fit all wrong, and the boot was scared too, the boot didn't know what was happening, the boot was pushing the foot away." (Bran IV, ASoS) yet as of his final chapter in 'A Dance with Dragons', as far as I can see, the process of Bran and Hodor becoming "one" (or "Bran-Hodor") is nearing completion: The fight has pretty much gone out of Hodor now though this is the end result of what was a long process. Their 'struggle for dominance' is not dissimilar to the way Jojen sees the Bran-Summer dynamic. He asks Bran to “remember who you are” (Bran VII, ACoK), as a separate being from Summer in a stern attempt to keep Bran from essentially ‘letting Summer win’. There is not only the physical risk but the mental one: Here, Jojen seems to fear that Bran will become more 'Summer' and less 'Bran' as Bran forgets to consciously do things to assert himself (like scratching the trees), allowing Summer to rule what they do. This worry is not unfounded as Bran's thoughts drift off to the desire to become the wolf again because he understandably enjoys the mobility and freedom he enjoys as Summer compared to his own crippled body. "Bran the broken. Better Bran the beastling. Was it any wonder he would sooner dream his Summer dreams, his wolf dreams?" (Bran VII, ACoK) Yet, by the start of ADwD, Bran has a greater the dominion over Summer, reminding him of their "pack" and mentally scolding him for salivating over Coldhand's elk. There are even times when he "grew tired of being a wolf" (Bran I, ADwD), prompting him - essentially out of boredom - to slip into Hodor's skin instead. All this considered, it makes sense that the Bran-Hodor dynamic would mirror the Bran-Summer one. Much like he has asserted dominance over Summer, he has done so with Hodor. The likeness of Hodor to a dog in the above quote might even be to underscore their similarity, as is the boot simile. As Varamyr remembers from Haggon's teachings, that a wolf can "even be broken" and dogs are "like putting on an old boot, its leather softened by wear" (Prologue, ADwD). Taking Hodor with such ease now is not only demonstration of Hodor having given up the fight but Bran's growing power. It is interesting to consider whether Hodor's fight was easier for Bran to overcome become because Hodor is "simple" or because Bran is significantly more powerful than other skinchangers such as Varamyr who also tries to take Thistle's body. I say this because Hodor does struggle and win out against Bran in certain circumstances. The first time Hodor is skin-changed, it only lasts a few seconds with Bran barely understanding what he had done. "He had been Hodor for half a heartbeat. It scared him." (Bran III, ASoS) as well as the fact that Bran feels him "pushing [him] away" the second time... It is Bran’s own fear that allows Hodor to push him out to regain control. Both are frightened and, I suppose, the home team always wins. Even in the wight skirmish outside Bloodraven's cave, despite having a much greater hold over Hodor, Bran still loses his grip on the skin-change because seeing Leaf reminds him of Arya, invoking sadness. Again, it is not unlike Bran initially finding it difficult to stay in Summer after his injury by the wildling group. Ultimately, the calmer and more assured Bran is the more he is able to assert himself. The braver Bran becomes, the greater his hold on Hodor. The more Bran-Hodor get used to the process, the more fluid the skinchanging becomes. It is easy also to argue that Bran's choice to skin-change Hodor now and then on their way to Bloodraven's cave is a cruel act because of how much it disturbs Bran yet at the same time there is no denying that through Hodor Bran is able to keep the team safer than it otherwise would be. I feel this is reinforced quite a bit in the skinchanging incident outside of Bloodraven's cave. While struggling towards the cave, Bran hears Hodor whimpering and suddenly finds himself "not Bran, the broken boy crawling through the snow, suddenly he was Hodor halfway down the hill." (Bran II, ADwD) It's an interesting moment because it is ambiguous whether Bran actively chose to take control of Hodor or whether his "reaching" cave instinctively made him reach for Hodor, his 'mount' who could get him to the cave. Yet even then Bran does not opt to save himself. By skin-changing the meeker Hodor he saves him from the wight attacking him and then violently decapitated it with Hodor's (the unnamed Stark King's) longsword. "Deep inside [Bran] could hear poor Hodor whimpering still, but outside he was seven feet of fury with old iron in his hand." (Bran II, ADwD) He is then promptly saved in turn by Meera twice: she disables the wight attacking "Bran-Hodor" and then goes back to retrieve Bran's buried body in the snow, protected throughout the attack by Summer. As for Bran-in-Hodor, rather than saving his own body he opts to carry the equally helpless Jojen, weakened by their long journey. Despite putting Hodor's body through a lot, the ends justified the means -- Bran's act of bravery saved Meera, Jojen and Hodor, potentially abandoning his own body to do so. This altruism Bran feels towards his friends is recurs throughout his plot and it seems reasonable to believe it will happen again. Yet this selflessness extends a lot more to his other companions, more so than it does to Hodor. The character it is often targeted towards is Meera. It is no secret to the reader that Bran has had a precocious infatuation with her since first meeting her. He generally enjoys her company more, admires her and takes her advice often seeming more susceptible to her 'charm' (of persuasion). Bran's choice to skin-change Hodor at the Night Fort is born out of his fear of what might happen to her if she fights the 'rat cook' alone, thinking he "can't let her fight the thing alone" (Bran IV, ASoS). Then in the wight skirmish, he is filled "with a sick sense of helpless terror" (Bran II, ADwD) when during the wight fight when he realises she is walking straight into the fray with unconscious Jojen in tow. It is a little worrying as in these cases where Bran took Hodor’s skin out of necessity it can feel he puts a higher value of Meera’s life and Jojen's life than he did his own or Hodor's. When he skin-changes him he almost ceases to see Hodor as anything other than the soul quivering in fear in that deep place where Bran can't reach him. Bravery aside, Bran does not hesitate to put Hodor’s body in danger as if it were his own. Hodor has become like Summer - Bran loves Summer but he sees his wolf and himself as "one". Hodor is becoming that, too. Meera and Jojen are people separate from himself while Hodor and Summer are his vassals. Take all of this how you wish but it certainly makes me think that Bran will not only continue to take the "child-man" as a skin but he will do it at least once more in order to fight. (As a side note, I have seen it put forward in a few threads and other places that Bran might be moving onto "better game" with his skin-changing. "She was right there, only a few feet from him, but so far out of reach it might have been a hundred leagues." The whole in the semi-infamous campfire scene when he might have accidently slipped his skin and "touched" Meera, prompting her to run out suddenly, might mean she's going to work out that Bran-Hodor is a thing. Especially since I really don't see him actually taking control of her.) As Bran skin-changes Hodor more, I really wonder if Bran would ever able to change Hodor? Just as the wolf can change the warg (you might even argue the source of Bran's developing bravery and more aggressive side is Summer), can the Skinchanger change the Skin? A defining aspect of Bran in contrast to Hodor is his bravery and willingness to use "their" strength" to fight when the infantile Hodor, probably with a younger mental age than Bran at this point, wouldn't hurt a fly. Is it possible for simple Hodor to ever willingly make a brave stand without Bran forcing him to? I'm not sure but it's something to think about... This is where my speculation from the Sorcerers and Swords thread come in: I'm a little apprehensive about simply reposting the Dark Sister aspect verbatim but to summarise, if we presume that Bran or his companions come face to face with the Others at some point then the swords the stolen from the Winterfell crypts might all end up becoming broken as Waymar Royce's sword in the Prologue of 'A Game of Thrones'. Leaf could equip them with dragonglass but it is just as possible that Dark Sister is somewhere in Bloodraven's cave and will be of use to them. It has long been a headcanon of mine that if "dragonsteel" does refer to Valyrian steel that it will be someone in Bran's team who will demonstrate this fact. To me, it thematically makes sense for Bran to use Dark Sister while using Hodor's body to wield it. Essentially, I want to go over the possibility of Bran-Hodor becoming "one" in the same sense that Bran is "one" with Summer; how Hodor has become (and perhaps always been) an extension of Bran, and why I ultimately feel thematically it makes sense that the Bran-Hodor skin-changing plot might culminate in them wielding fighting as one entity will one day lead directly or indirectly to Hodor's death. In other words, the last question I'm wondering is... will losing potentially being the direct cause of Hodor's demise cause a part of Bran to die too? If they change each other slowly and their souls become more mingled... what other parallels might there be? Anyway, I have actually been really nervous about posting this. So, I apologise if this feels a little all over the place.
  2. "Phone posting", aha! I thought that was just my thing. Back on topic, yes, that's sort of what I meant and in fewer words. Jon/Sam put the idea out there, Bran/dor could prove it correct as an "independent discovery" for us readers.
  3. Sorry, I wasn't really clear. What I meant was that Jon and Sam put the idea out there to us readers that there could be a connection between "dragonsteel" = Valyrian steel, and the payoff could be someone in Bran's team happening upon Dark Sister (since BR is the last known wielder it could be there) and using it effectively against an Other, thus proving the hypothesis is correct. I'm personally not on the Arya train myself but I've certainly seen it put forward a lot so you're not alone in your hoping.
  4. Ah, I see! Yes, that could be the case. We might have already seen Bran on the verge of skin-changing another human being if the theorists are correct about his "reach" for Hodor accidentally creeping on Meera's skin instead in Bloodraven's cave. I think she's too tough for Bran to ever snatch accidentally and I simply don't see him ever actively doing that to her. Theon is a different case entirely. The dog thing aside, he has been broken down a little so it might make sense for Bran to be able to "reach" him and take control of him. Like you say in your original post, Bran has some very useful knowledge he can pass to Stannis but he's not going to be taking it from those ravens he wants to shut up. Another excellent point. Plus, as I think I've said before, Egg had no reason to believe that Dark Sister wouldn't be returned to his family upon Brynden's death. He was a legitimised Targaryen bastard who had given his life in service to the house. I have long suspected they are the same, or similar, but that perhaps "dragonsteel" was not made by the Valyrians but developed independently by the people in Westeros around during the Long Night. The big million gold dragons question is -- how will the gang come to leave the cave? It is presented to us that Bran is expected to get hooked up onto the weirwood after BR finally dies, even though he doesn't want to. Of the people in the cave the only one who actively wants to leave it and go home is Jojen. I don't see Meera wanting to leave because 1.) she knows going home = Jojen dying and 2.) I think she would feel guilty leaving Bran there. Then, we have the protective barrier on the cave is keeping dead things like Coldhands and wights out and presumably the Others, too. The only thing I thought might lead to them infiltrating the cave's defensive barrier is them using the underground river system that Leaf tells them not to go down to but Meera, Jojen and Bran-Hodor do anyway... but it's a stretch. In other words, something would need to "smoke them out" so to speak. Another possibility is that Jojen somehow wears Meera down and convinces her to go home with him (As you can probably tell by this, I utterly reject "Jojen Paste") and they take Hodor with them, though he would probably be skin-changed frequently by Bran throughout the journey. In that case, if BR has Dark Sister, he would need to actively hand it over to them. Bran might very well think the sword looks stupid in Hodor's hands, too, but it won't matter if they get caught by an Other RE: characters using Dark Sister, I guess I see it simply as a case of necessity. I've seen plenty of people speculate on who is going to wield these sorts of weapons and very often it's all the "big" characters, which I understand though because I'm sceptical about DS turning up anyway, I tend to focus more on how it could be unearthed in the first place to even be used rather than the end result of "who gets it?". That's why I tend to favour characters in Bran's plot, who I think realistically could find it in BR's cave, getting their mitts on it over more popular choices, like Jon Snow for incidence. While I acknowledge they could then act as a gateway to Dark Sister ending up in the hands of [insert desired character here], it is just as likely they will find it, use it and keep it.If we must employ the "rule of cool", now you have introduced the idea of the Bran-Theon (or "Braneon"!) to me I find myself liking the idea of DS simply being passed between Bran "the Bodysnatcher's" skins. See, now my pragmatism is breaking down! As for Meera making use of it... as much as I love her, feel she is seriously under appreciated (Seriously, I could go on forever about my thoughts on what she represents in Bran's weird little "Five Man Band") and admit it would be cool, a big part of me would be really, really sad if her spear broke because it feels a part of her -- seeing it break would almost feel like breaking her...
  5. I think the big thing for Dany is she needs to stop defining herself by Rhaegar who, when all is said and done, sew the seeds of his own destruction and destroyed his family. She idolised him in her dream partly because Viserys clearly idolized his big brother, too, and saw what happened to him as a tragic love story and not the completely selfish act it really was. So, yes I have hope that Dany will let go of her hate for the Houses and hopefully will understand there are two sides to every story. Giving up on the Iron Throne will be hard for her but getting past her sense of entitlement would be a massive step for her. I think she'll get there in the end but only by seeing for herself that her perception of "me and them" is wrong.
  6. Having watched S7 again, I things really started to "go wrong" when they bashed out S5 in a hurry rather than taking a hiatus to really focus on negotiating the actors' contracts and really think about how they were going to use the time left. I get they were in crunch mode but it resulted in quite a few half-baked plotlines they never saw through to the end. S7 to me was the end result of three years with the accelerator left on out of fear they'd lose their "top tier actors" when, in reality, they could have simply reduced their screen times or even killed them off if they really couldn't make them stay. Oh, and maybe get in a few more writers to keep in fresh. Writing the same stuff non-stop for years probably would leave anyone wanting to smash their heads against a wall. Plus, canon consistency would have been better... like remembering dragon glass doesn't work on wights.
  7. I didn't particularly care much for Catelyn's character even when she was alive and not a zombie hell bent on revenge but her death was one of the most disturbing for me in the whole series. I find the Uncat interesting because I like to speculate where her reign of terror is going. I don't want to see Jaime or Brienne just kill her -- I'd like her to be put to rest in the knowledge that all her children (aside from Robb, of course) are alive. Also, it would be nice if instead of dosing out revenge she dosed out proper justice. So, yeah I want her to die but I want her to get stuff done and did in peace as Cat's death was horribly traumatic and brutal.
  8. I agree that he probably won't stay in the cave forever but I don't think he will walk again. Bran's paralysis is physical and while he is able to twist, hoist and drag himself about his two legs are essentially hanging dead weights with no sensation whatsoever. I think there is a chance that paralysis is not the only debilitating thing about poor Bran's legs - loss of muscle mass and damage from the fall are also very real. Unless he is magically healed and undergoes a modern-day rehabilitation process, even if he were able to regain movement or even just sensation in his legs they will never be the same again. As for who will be Lord of Winterfell, I suspect Jon will to counteract the "you can't be Lord of Winterfell" thing. If not him Sansa is a contender or even Rickon though I suspect he will have gone full-blown feral warg/wildling/Skargosi. Though I agree in principle that there is a chance Bran will at some point leave the cave (I'm thinking 1:3 chance of him leaving), I think his destiny is very much as the new wizard, God of the Trees, Prince of the Green etc. If he doesn't stay with Bloodraven he'll probably end up on the Isle of Faces or something. At this point it would feel odd if Bran were to suddenly give up his Jedi training to become Lord of Winterfell. I'm not against him returning to Winterfell one day since I disagree he will die or become permanently wired into the weirnet, just not as Lord and not to stay. Then again, every day is opposite day in asoiaf land so if people think in-story Bran won't ever do something because he is crippled, he very possibly will using his skin-changing abilities. People think Bran can never be a knight? Well, "hold his weirwood paste" so to speak because he could take control of someone else to do it.
  9. Thank you... You wouldn't believe how much I overthought this bloomin' thing before I let it go. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing what you have to say, "Arnie"! Yes, I loved you idea that Dunk might be a great-grandfather to Hodor or something (I'm guessing "great-grandfather" since I think Young Nan was probably the one Dunk did the nasty with and I think she's supposed to be Hodor's great-grandmother), for the same reasons you proposed in the Dark Sister thread. It would be interesting if Bloodraven senses the blood or something. Either way, the way Bran factors Hodor into his rationalisation of how he could still be a knight, the way Little Walder mocks Hodor by calling him the "ugliest horse" and Bran's acknowledgement that Hodor could have been a great knight himself... it really feels like they are destined to be together on this. Hm, training wheels? I haven't read the whole thread but I've seen the initial post with the allusions between dogs and Theon. Personally, I always thought that might a hint that the dogs would be more loyal to Theon between him and Ramsay, leading to Ramsay being eaten by his own dogs. Yet the principle is still the same -- Theon is becoming a dog. His sensitivity to the sounds around him and Bran's voice through the weirwood in ADwD points to Theon himself having some low-level powers of his own. I think I said in the Dark Sister thread somewhere that if Theon lives it would be nice if the Bran-God makes good on Theon's prayer for a sword. Yes, like going into the crypts. He was only frightened at that one time. If Ned's ghost was hanging around down there as in Bran and Rickon's dreams, he might have sensed it because he is 'wired' into something. As for the lightning blast... Maybe Old Nan embellished the tale by having the crows eat the boy's eyes but but a young Hodor was, IDK, climbing the heart tree when lightning hit him or something. I absolutely agree with everything here. The sad truth might not be that Hodor is being skin-changed when he obviously doesn't like it but that his life always belonged in some way to Bran. By BR's cave, Hodor is no longer fighting him but burying himself away in a spot where Bran cannot reach him... yet they are still aware of each other. When Bran happens across that room filled to the brim with CotF and has his unnerved "Hodor" moment, he feels the real Hodor stirring in his pit... perhaps suggesting that he senses something is wrong and is letting out some sort of "warning" signal. IDK,though, it depends on how much you trust all those CotF. I made the same point in the post I made on the linked DS thread. As far as I can see, there are two realistic outcomes for the sword based on its absence after BR's usage of it; BR was allowed to keep it as Aegon had no real reason to assume he'd never get it back once BR died or it was destroyed beyond recognition in disaster at Summerhall. We go over it a little more in the original thread. The fate of DS changes the likelihood of a character getting hold of the sword (or a weapon refashioned using its metal). Both here and in the original thread, @Curled Finger made a good point to me as to why we cannot possibly make clean cut judgement calls on whether BR kept DS or it inevitably "went down with the ship" with the other Targs -- and perhaps got repurposed. Ultimately, the Bran-Hodor using DS is really just a fun thought experiment and is an "easter egg" to the Bran-Hodor aspect as far as I'm concerned. I see though two fighting as one whether they use DS, continue to use Hodor's mysterious rusty old sword, or finally use Bran(don)'s Sword. You are right. It's kinda why I always envisioned the use of Dark Sister as a "last resort" for if Hodor's longsword that they currently use breaks. I see the only reason Dark Sister being introduced at all would be to test Jon and Sam's hypothesis that "dragonsteel" refers to Valyrian steel. So, their use of it could only be because "Brandor" see the sword, grab it and stab the Other before he realises what is happening. It's also why I feel that if Bran-Hodor find Dark Sister and use it, they won't keep it. Most likely Bran would give it to Meera who has more need for a small sword built for a woman, especially if her spear breaks. Perhaps a sword exchange will take place? Bran-Hodor use Rickard's sword that Meera finds too heavy (even though they lose their advantage) while giving her DS?
  10. I definitely agree that the Bran-Hodor connection is about more than some muscle -- during that wight skirmish, Bran basically goes full-blown "Papa Bear" mode. I like the idea that it is a combined effort some how, light there is a long standing connection between the greenseers and the giants. I really like that idea of the psychic link and Hodor's distress might have spiritually called Bran to him. Much like how Bran slips into Summer when he sleeps, so the president of a skin-changer inadvertently being pulled into one of their skins exists. Given we know that Bran can talk through the trees and his whispers might be audible in the past (as with Ned) then this idea of Hodor having been "prepared" for Bran might be because Hodor has been hearing Bran's voice all his life, so he instinctively feels close to him? Either way, the deeper the psychic link between the more tragic it feels by how much the process disturbs Hodor and the risk that Bran's use of him might lead to him getting hurt or killed.
  11. Got to admit, I'm interested in F&B 1 mainly for some more details on Visenya. Not all that interested in Aegon the Conqueror but I still hope it comes out this year. I have a asoiaf void that needs filling!
  12. I got a buzz! It's nearly done, I promise! Been a little poorly the last few days so fell a little behind. (Once I actually get it posted, I'll also come back and give you a proper response. I especially love this idea of Brienne drawing a strength from her heroically named brother but him also representing a type of ideal that she'll never truly obtain because it doesn't exist. Yeah, I will be back!)
  13. I guess I'm a bit shy... Though I guess I'll take the plunge in the next few days and actually post it.
  14. Oh, it’s just my initial post to this thread so I might be using “theory” lightly at this point... It is only the seedling of a theory I have yet to develop properly on how Hodor fully becomes one of Bran’s skins and how they could change each other as a result. This post sort of touches on that but it mainly focuses on the thematic qualifiers for Bran-Hodor short becoming like a single person and how they could end up using Dark Sister.
  15. I think you both make a good point here. Brynden was legitimised and was going to the Wall. They weren't to have known that he would go missing on a ranging and never be seen again, so the Crown might well have expected to get the sword back once he died. Of course, I am bias as I really want Dark Sister to a.) Appear in the story and b.) Be used by Bran-Hodor at some point (before ideally being gifted to Meera, the antithesis to a 'Dark Sister'), in case my long post didn't make that clear. Slightly OT but if Hodor is a descendant of Dunk, and perhaps Brienne is too, they could be third cousins or something! I dunno I just really like that for some reason. Ah, what you need m'dear is a tier system. I hate quantifying but when you work in a university as I do, you do or cry! Don't treat it like an exact science because this is book club but it might be a fun thought experiment, like people who do tiers to work out who the best fighters are. You can make your clauses however you want based on what you think is important to consider. I would narrow the list down based on certain criteria like (off the top of my head): - Logistics: is the character close to the last known or probable locations for Dark Sister or is there a reasonable way they could obtain the sword from someone who has likely access to the sword? - Viability: can this character fight or are they trained in arms or has used a sword/has need of a sword and could use it? - Need: this refers to situational and personal need. How likely is this character to require a weapon like Dark Sister? (i.e. If dragonsteel = Valyrian steel, are they front line in the war with the Others). Does Dark Sister have attributes that are benefiting this character? (i.e. It is smaller and lighter, made for a woman's build). - Theme: this is where your wizard stuff comes in! Does it make thematic sense for this character to wield Dark Sister? ...aaaaaaaaand so on. So, in my list, someone like Daenerys might fit the thematic sense of a female Targaryen queen who rides a dragon and plans to conquer Westeros, as a "second Visenya" but it breaks down after that. She's unlikely to come across DS in an organic sense, she is not trained in arms, and she doesn't need a sword because she rides Drogon now. I would rank Dany very, very low. Compare to another wild card, Sarella. She is unlikely to come across the sword if BR has it but she might gain access to a reinforged/renamed DS if the Martells somehow got it after Summerhall. She used a long-range weapon so she has knowledge of arms - though I would argue one of her sisters - Obara, Nymeria or even Elia - feel more suited to a sword like Dark Sister simply due to her being more studious while they are more active warrior-like women. Sarella is unlikely to have a direct need while she has her bow... though if she comes face to face with some Iron Born... a Valyrian steel sword would be handy. Thematically, all you say is true. I would argue that we could also make the same case for a character like Theon Greyjoy. In fact, now I think about it... Theon is in the North with Stannis and not too far from the Wall. While unlikely to come across DS himself it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a character such as Bran or Meera to give him the sword if they returned. What did he pray to the Heart Tree (i.e. Bran) for? A sword and the chance to die as Theon. He was better known for his archery skills but Theon is undoubtedly trained in arms. He does have a need for a sword because, as we know, Ramsay took some of his fingers meaning that he might no longer be able to shot an arrow. Thematically, he is more in tune to the magic of the weirwood than some, he is a "crippled" archer, and he is a dark figure who committed terrible crimes against his foster family. He's not a sister but he is a "Dark Brother" in a way. Wow, this is weirdly fun! To me it isn't just about cool people swinging a famous sword but about a story but about what a sword might mean for them. Longclaw is a huge part of Jon's story, Oathkeeper is a huge part of Jaime/Brienne's story, and I've before it was reforged as Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail, Ice was a huge part of Ned's character with his habit of cleaning it at the Godswood. I would agree that Meera is the frontrunner but I really, really like this weird idea I have of Bran-Hodor getting to use it first. Plus, after @kissdbyfire pointed out the possible Dunk connection... Yep, want it even more. Or ideally both in the long term. If it is, then it would have to be Hodor's. The other swords are very new in comparison. It would be interesting if the reason that rusty old sword is so tough is because it was made to really, really last. There is no way any of them were Dark Sister. The only way I could see that working is if it was somehow in Lyanna's tomb or something but seeing as Rhaegar never used Dark Sister, that is probably a piece of circumstantial proof that Bloodraven took it with him when he went to the Wall - since there is no evidence Aerys or Rhaegar ever used it. I just think those swords are going to break. Perhaps, ironically, Hodor's old rusty blade will be the one to hold out the longest. The other swords all belonged to Rickard, Brandon and then the one Osha took was meant for Eddard's tomb. My love for OLC is eternal, and is my love for his daughter who is one of my favourite characters. Hey, you can read my Bran-Hodor theory post any time and tell me your thoughts. I might even want to expand it at some point...
  16. I don't think Dany would believe it was him, even if it was him. She has no reason to believe him alive and, if anything, might see it as a cruel slight to bring up her lost baby.
  17. @Curled Finger, once again you do what I can't find the courage to do - start a thread with a new idea! Great topic! Love this idea of Dark Sister being like this dark, magical sword to be used by a fantasy style "Dark/Black/Magical" Knight. What you say is interesting. As far as I can estimate, Dark Sister either had two fates: destroyed at Summerhall or it is still with Bloodraven and he has it in his cave. It presents the question of whether the Targaryens would allow their ancestral sword to go with him to the Night's Watch or not especially since the reason he was there was for a crime. Yet we don't hear about it again after him so... it is odd. If it is around, it is in one of the two (maybe three) possible locations that to me don't lead to either of them having the sword. While a resurrected, dreamer and skinchanger Jon or a Faceless man Arya might be considered "sorcerers", they have their own weapons of significance. I know I'm being overly romantic here but I feel Dark Sister shouldn't just be a cool weapon for one of our favourite characters or [insert Targ here] to swing around. I would prefer Dark Sister to fall into the hands of a character without a named "companion" sword. An unlikely wielder. If it was destroyed or is in pieces somewhere in the Red Keep or Dorne, then if it reappears it will likely be as an all-new weapon and we won't fully realise it. So, let's assume Bloodraven has it and it is still in his weirwood root cave. That gives us four possibilities for wielders, all of whom are in some ways magically inclined one way or the other. I have obsessed thought way too much a lot about the swords from the crypts of Winterfell for a long time and whether they will ever be used, like Chekhov's gun, or used a promptly broken, leading to the need for convenient Dark Sister. Jojen is unlikely as we have never seen him wield a weapon though we can't rule him out in life of death situation as he is the only one of the gang unarmed. Plus, he is a type of "sorcerer" with his dreams. Bran-via-Hodor or Hodor might make sense. However, I do feel that if Hodor's sword were to break from him using it, he would probably just panic and curl up in a ball as he often does, so I feel it would have to be our significantly braver Bran to find an alternative weapon for them. Bran, as you said, is very much a type of sorcerer and Hodor is becoming "one of his skins", making them more and more like one entity. Hodor, surprisingly enough, is pretty married to this rotten old sword he took from the crypts: His sword is very old and rusted. Even when Barb and Theon go down to the crypts to note the four missing swords, Theon notes, "Streaks of rust remained to show where it had been." So, it might well break not just against an Other but simply from the stress of hacking at wights to pieces. We know that whenever Bran uses Hodor's body, he goes for Hodor's sword, which is in the gentle giant's belt: I wonder if this sword will break sooner rather than later due to day-to-day play fighting, leading to "Hodor's" new sword being Uncle Brandon's sword (Bran's), embelic of them becoming one person. However, if Brandon's sword breaks too in a crucial confrontation with an Other this could lead to "convenient Dark Sister". It has long been a headcanon of mine that if "dragonsteel" does refer to Valyrian steel that it will be someone in Bran's team who will demonstrate this fact. If the Other has already destroyed one, two or even all three of the crypt swords the gang brought with them, he might get a little cocky like the ones who taunt poor ol' Waymar Royce in the beginning, only to get the shock of his life when Dark Sister is used. Thematically, for Bran to use Dark Sister while using Hodor's body to wield cements the dark-sorcerer aspect of that sword perfectly, especially if the use of Hodor in this conflict somehow leads to him getting seriously hurt or even dying. Using a sword that has been used for a lot of injustice and evil while doing what is arguably a dark and evil act of taking autonomy from another human being might not be totally lost on Bran. Finally, there is Meera. Logically, she is the one who seems most likely to use the sword aside from Bran-in-Hodor. While not a sorcerer per se I have always seem the prized crannogmen abilities to "breathe mud", "fly through trees" and have those super sensitive senses are almost super-natural. Besides, she is the daughter of a sort-of sorcerer character , Howland (his name is probably a reference to Wizard Howl from DJW's books) who doesn't have traditional greenseer abilities but, in fact, seems like a more complete version of what Meera herself might one day become. As for "why Dark sister?" In the same way Hodor's sword is too old, Meera's sword - Lord Rickard Stark's sword - seems to have never been used by her because it is far too heavy: She always uses her slender, three-pronged spear even when fighting the wights. In a life or death situation, if her spear is broken or destroyed, Rickard's sword will not make for a good alternative. Dark Sister, a smaller sword made for a woman's build, is a much better alternative. Plus, it is possible that at some point she might take the sharp, sharp sword from the unruly Hodor (or Bran-in-Hodor). This probably reading too much into it but I'll leave this as food for thought: In conclusion, I think both ideas of how Dark Sister could be employed in the Bran storyline if BR has it could be used in tandem. As I said, it makes sense in terms of your observations of a sorcerer - especially one using "dark arts" - wielding the weapon. Bran is destined to be the next "wizard" to succeed Bloodraven as "a wizard, dreamer... last greenseer" who himself was the last wielder of Dark Sister. However, if his use of the sword is tied intrinsically to his use of Hodor, and that ends badly, then he might choose to give up the sword to someone more deserving and who does not conform to these images of darkness. This might be an alternative way Meera gains use of the sword. It is more suitable for her body and she is anything but dark -- in many respects she is a symbol of light and love for Bran. In other words, she might be the "bright" sister to counteract the Dark Sister. ...OK, I'll stop now.
  18. "Gonna need a lot of dilution." Check! Most YT videos I watch are background noise to me so I might give it a go while I'm doing a write up later. Rh'llor, give me strength! I think I'm going to need to be in the right mood to watch this video. I like a bit of tinfoil as much as the next girl but there are limits. I have actually binged some of Order's videos on the past, before they got famous, and some of their ideas really did get me thinking, even prompting me to go back to the books to investigate further - and therein lies the rub. Trouble is next to none of their theories stand up to close scrutiny and rely far too much on a great deal of "theory stacking" (i.e. if you don't agree with them on one thing, the whole house of cards come down). I think their latest thing is calling all the Andals liars or something and some of the points they present are just left hanging or are unfinished. I actually don't know a lot about Ideas of Ice and Fire. I've definitely seen his videos in the past though I can't think of one theory/idea he's known for off the top of my head. I'm going to have to check him out again.
  19. I have often surmised that the reason why Arthur Dayne, Oswell Whent and Gerold Hightower were still hanging out at the ToJ is because Rhaegar told them to remain there until he returned and perhaps act on some extra orders if he did not. If we are correct in our conclusion that Lyanna was pregnant, after word reached them that Rhaegar had died, she might have been too heavily pregnant to move her safely so they were waiting until she gave birth before acting on whatever Rhaegar's "Plan B" orders were. Presuming he left any (I'm going to say he probably did). Even if he didn't, if their final order was to protect that Tower, they weren't going to move. My best guess is that if Lyanna died, the KIngsguard would have buried her or even arranged for her bones to be returned to Winterfell, possibly would the aid of House Dayne. If she gave birth to a living child, they might have taken the child and taken it somewhere else if they felt there was a risk of the Tower being uncovered. If Rhaegar gave them specific orders on what to do if he never came back, they'd do that.
  20. After the Prologue, my best guess is that the beginning of the novel will centre on one of the already released chapters - possibly a Tyrion or Barristan chapter to focus on the Battle of Fire, and paralleling that with the Battle of Ice in the North with Theon and Asha chapters. We might get a Euron update in the midst of that. I think that GRRM indicated somewhere that TWoW would hit the ground running with battles galore or something.
  21. Are you sure that would be enough? (So, you watched it all or... far enough?)
  22. Seems like winter has got so bad now that they need some big, sweeping shots of desert snows. I agree that Winterfell being burned again isn't all that massive. Heck, the opening titles of GoT for a long time just showed Winterfell smoking. After being, y'know, on fire. I get that the "Burning Troy" trope is a big hurdle a lot of sweeping stories like to jump over but I don't see it as this big nihilistic thing because Winterfell has seen worse than a fire. It is an interesting idea. I wonder why Cersei would send what little men she has to Winterfell when it's better for her to just stay south of the Neck and holdfast to see who emerges. The only way I see the GC going North would be if Euron has stolen them and taken them North himself. That leaves Cersei pretty much out of the action entirely then. Like, she'll just be twiddling her thumbs until either Dany or NK burn down King's Landing with their respective dragon. Delete as applicable. Huh... well, I doubt the validity of these rumours but I guess in show-verse the idea of Sansa and Tyrion getting back together isn't too far-fetched. Perhaps Euron picks the Golden Company up from Bravos?
  23. Sounds... riveting. If there is a TL;DR that sparks my interest I might take a look at the full thing...
  24. Can we give prompts to those First Men who decided to remain in the Neck even after the CotL decimated it with the Hammer? They looked over those fens, bogs and swamps and said, “Don’t worry, guys! We’ll make this work.” It really highlights the human ability to live anywhere and adapt. On a practical level, if the Neck is magical, then the environment - the magic in the earth, water and ecosystem as a whole might have also affected the crannogmen after thousands of years, much like how the environment or chemicals in it can change us after being exposed to it. It is ironic that the people who are referred to as “the least” of people in the World book might be some of the most powerful. (I think I suggested in P1 that despite not having green-dreams, the description of Howland and Meera’s skill, i.e. breathing mud, flying through trees/running on leaves, grace of movement and dexterity, make it sound like their very bodies might be magically blessed.) Yes, Jojen. That little killjoy! It makes you wonder how much Howland indulges Jojen’s dreams. He sent his kids to Winterfell to investigate the winged wolf dream. We don’t know if Howland knew this would lead to the 3EC plan or whether this is Jojen acting all on his own. It ties in a little to Jojen’s "death countdown". Meera as good as told us that it will occur at Greywater - I hate the "Jojen Paste" theory and sincerely hope that it remains a creepypasta fan theory - so, perhaps Howland sending his children to Bran might have been a way to give Jojen a “long way around” to his death. Even then he might not have trusted Jojen to decipher them himself. Howland, as a God’s Eye alumni, would probably be better equipped to understand what the signs are saying. As for why the Green Men were willing to train Howland— that is a good question. Either they foresaw his coming and understood how important he would be, or Howland surprised them. Getting to the Isle itself seems to be an amazing feat. I wonder if at some point in Bran's story he and any of his remaining companions have to make the journey up the Green Folk to the Trident and then slip across the Riverlands to paddle to the God's Eye themselves. The fact Meera described the LC's method in her story is like a teaser or an instruction booklet for it to be done again one day. PS: Re - Crannogmen and Green Men: The nasty little Walders who threw out those very iffy remarks about the "Mudmen" said they're supposed to have moss on their arms instead of hair and their teeth were supposed to be green. (The Freys as a whole seem to really hate crannogmen). It all revolves around the colour green. Both Reedlings have green-coloured eyes - Jojen's being "dark like moss" (to paraphrase) - and Jojen himself dresses from head-to-toe in green, even his boats are dyed green. Very green. I pretty much agree. Of all the things Howland could clarify for us, that's one thing I don't want to know. Unless we have to find out because the answer is one of the more tin-foil ideas, like Bran-is-Howland-playing-KotLT or something. There is no reason for Howland to bring it up other than "Rhaegar and Lyanna met at Harrenhal, I was there - here's what happened." After all, Bran has no real reason to bring up the KotLT to him if they ever meet because in the grander scheme of things it doesn't matter. It is enough to know R+L met at Harrenhal and how it progressed from where, something Howland could well give privy to. Unmasking the knight as Mad King Aerys wanted to do would just... spoil the surprise! Heck, he seems to have thought it was Jaime. It would love to know whether any of the other likely witnesses. There is Barristan Selmy, Jorah Mormont, or Wyman Manderly, for example. We know Mace Tyrell was there, too. Doran Martell might have been present if his brother and sister were. Maybe Stannis was there? If the tourney comes up at any point I'd love to see if they came to conclusions about who it was.