Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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    Definitely somewhere in King's Landing

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  1. Daenerys's Fate

    Wasn't Jon Snow infected with greyscale in ADwD? After all, he did interact with Shireen.
  2. The Wex Pyke problem

    Yeah, I'm in complete agreement there. And rereading the whole thing just today there is an important point there made by Marq Piper that Renly was the crowned king when they were discussing this issue while Stannis was still sitting on Dragonstone doing nothing and not declaring his intentions. A coronation is an important part of becoming a king which is why Aegon is still a prince right now and Viserys III died a king despite the fact that he never sat the Iron Throne. But this has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I'd also add that the Robb's kingdom was doomed from the start. Neither Renly nor Stannis would have suffered another king in their Realm if they had won at the Blackwater. Renly would have had the numbers to retake the Riverlands easily enough and then they would have dealt with the North. And Stannis would have possibly sent a shadow assassin after Robb just as he did with Renly and Cortnay Penrose. As to your plot device idea: I'm not sure Wex is just that. He was actually introduced as a pretty funny side character in ACoK and I'm expecting to see him again in future Davos chapters. Perhaps he is even reunited with Theon and Asha later in the story? That was my argument above as well. I addition I find the idea that Wex might have joined them for a while compelling because the idea that a single person could do all the work for herself and Rickon throughout the entire journey somewhat far-fetched. She would have to sleep, and we know Rickon is a very wild and unruly boy. Would he always do as he is told? Wex could have built a camp while Osha searched for food, or vice versa. I read that but isn't Torrhen's Square closer to Winterfell? And isn't Dagmer Cleftjaw - the man who was originally part of Theon's party - there? If Wex knew maps he must have known that trying to get to Moat Cailin could be more dangerous considering that the quickest way would be the Kingsroad. I think if he wanted to rejoin the Ironborn he would have gone west not south. Well, I think nobody maintains that idea that Osha and Bran crossed the North without anybody seeing them. Yet it is quite clear that vast reaches of the North are pretty much empty and if you can read the signs indicating that settlements are around you can avoid them. Osha would have done that. I find it actually very irritating that the Liddle man who may have guessed that Brandon Stark is still alive had no meaningful impact on the story as of yet. But then, perhaps this guy was just some hermit in the middle of nowhere who just didn't care all that much (or didn't even recognize them because he never heard about those direwolves the sons of Lord Eddard run around with). Again, you don't have to know the land all that well to avoid settlements. And Osha might have known the land somewhat. We don't know how much time she spent in the North before she was captured. I think she and her band crossed the Bay of Ice making it not very likely she knows the eastern reaches of the North all that well.
  3. The Wex Pyke problem

    Lord Wyman explicitly refers to Rickon as his liege lord, not as his king, and then he promises Davos that he'll declare for Stannis if he brings Rickon. That whole thing settles the issue, in my opinion. Not to mention that the Manderlys switching sides and declaring for Stannis during the coming battle should also seal the deal. We have little reason to believe White Harbor of all places wants a fragmented Realm. It would be very bad for trade and you have to keep in mind that those Northern lords have grander ambitions of their own. A Lord of White Harbor was once betrothed to a Targaryen princess and Torrhen Manderly both served as a regent and Hand to Aegon III. The Riverlords will take their lands back but I'm with you that they have little reason to take another Stark king. Not if there is a great chance to declare for one of the Targaryen pretenders (Aegon or Dany - most likely the former since he is already there) to get their revenge on the Lannisters. Well, Jojen and Meera didn't knew the land, either, yet they got to the Wall all by themselves. All Osha needed to do is stay out of sight and go to a place where she could catch a ship. Yeah, we have to assume she either knew about that or found out about such a place on the way but then - we don't know anything about her. If Wex teamed up with Osha and Rickon for a time he might actually have a token on his person that made it clear he came from Winterfell or was connected to the Stark. Say, a piece of Rickon's clothing depicting the direwolf of House Stark. The biggest problem I see there is Wex even establishing contact with the Manderlys. He is not stupid enough to let it slip/allow them to realize he is Ironborn against his will so they should have no reason to arrest him. And Lord Wyman or anybody important would never have bothered interacting with a mute boy unless the boy had been willing to tell them stuff. But why should Wex Pyke tell Lord Manderly where Rickon and Osha are? What are they to him? Why does he care? He clearly wants to communicate with them. The idea that things aren't as they seem is even more difficult to believe. Any other scenario could have been introduced without a witness of the events at Winterfell. If Rickon and Osha had reached the Umbers or White Harbor they would have had their audible testimony about what had transpired and Wyman could have just relayed that to Davos. Instead we get Wex and a lot of incomplete answers based on a yes-no interrogation procedure. There is a lot of stuff unknown to both Wyman and Robett and the story they tell to Davos is incomplete, too. We don't know how Wex came to Lord Manderly nor why exactly they think Rickon is on Skagos. But there should be some good answers to those questions. Perhaps. But then - how good were Lord Wyman's chances to get away with his Frey pie plot or with whatever he intends his men to do during the coming battle against Stannis? Not very good if you ask me. It is all dependent on the tide turning against the Boltons. I don't get the impression that they actually know where on Skagos Rickon is - nor whether he is still alive. The point is to find that out. This is not a pickup mission but really a search-and-rescue mission.
  4. Daenerys's Fate

    I brought the Drogo vision up earlier on. It is indeed he who hatches the dragon eggs with his whip, making this actually a more 'real event' than people think it is. It was really the sacrifice of Drogo which did it, not Mirri Maz Duur's, and that also makes it exceedingly likely that Drogo was Dany's Nissa Nissa. And I really see this as Drogo's parting gift for Daenerys. They will not see each other again. She needed him to get her dragons. That was his purpose in her life. But I don't think that Dany is going to go to the night lands. She isn't a Dothraki. She is the blood of the dragon, and her destiny is much greater than simply the Dothraki. They are a tool in her hands. Drogo and his people inadvertently destroyed the girl she once was and shaped her into the queen she is now but when they meet again the power dynamic will be reversed, and Daenerys is most likely going to destroy the Dothraki and their entire way of life. Drogo is also not the only man in Dany's life. She has gotten over him by now. Daario greatly helped with that, and down the line she will have other lovers and husbands. If she ever dies Drogo is most likely not going to be a very prominent memory. While she was having her visions in the Dothraki Sea in ADwD Viserys and Jorah came to her, not Drogo. In that sense I'm not very convinced that her end (if she dies)will be in any way connected to Drogo. She was always bigger than that.
  5. What the Heck Happened to Baby Maegor?

    Well, but little Maegor was an infant when that happened. And back during the first Great Council when Laenor Velaryon was passed over in favor of Prince Viserys this did not lead to some permanent rift between these two families despite the fact that Laenor could remember the humiliation being seven years at the time and him having the support of his long-lived, rich-as-hell parents his entire life. Maegor also lacked a father who could fuel his hatred, and we don't actually if his mother Daenora yet lived (she could have died in childbirth) or what kind of person she was. I have the feeling that Aerion's faction - perhaps led by her and her resentment that she, the daughter of Prince Rhaegel of the elder Targaryen branch, was passed over in favor of Maekar in 221 AC - must have been pretty strong in 233 AC else there would have been no threat of another Dance. However, with the assembled lords making it very clear that they would not support an infant child of Mad Aerion's the cause of little Maegor would have died in infancy - just as the Velaryons understood in 101 AC that a majority of the lords would not not rise in Laenor's name. Knowing Aegon V I find it very unlikely that he did treat his cousin and little nephew unkindly or sidelined them in an aggressive way. The problem with Aerion's role during the Third Rebellion is that Aerion could have killed some close kin of Illyrio's with his own hands. I mean, why would Varys Targaryen, the son of Prince Maegor, want to supplant the Targaryen dynasty with some half-Blackfyre? He could easily enough have arranged a marriage between his sister, the ominous Serra Targaryen, with Prince Rhaegar to finally help to seat a Targaryen born from the elder line on the Iron Throne. That's what Viserys I tried to do when he married Laenor Velaryon to his daughter and heir, Princess Rhaenyra. But then, such an idea only works if you believe that Varys and Serra are brother and sister - which I do not. Not really. Some loose ends can just remain loose ends. We don't have to get a complete overview on the Targaryen family tree. And Summerhall works perfectly fine as an explanation for the end of Maegor and his line. I think we already discussed this once, didn't we? We don't know whether Varys' master was Westerosi or Essosi. Talented Lysene slaves could easily enough be sold to some mummery show and receive a free education there - after all, as slaves they would then make money for their master, never being able to earn an income in their own right. The fact that the boy was eventually sold to the sorcerer is a strong indication that he was a slave at this point. But then, if Varys obscured his own origins later in life he could even have erased the fact that he was born in Lys. If we go by that he could have been born anywhere. However, the fact that secret Aegon conference where Varys, Illyrio, Myles Toyne, and Jon Connington where all present (and Illyrio eventually handed the boy to Connington) took place at Lys of all places could be a hint that Varys is actually really connected to Lys in some fashion. It could also have been Pentos, Myr, or Tyrosh, after all. This connection also makes it rather likely to me that Lysono Maar is Varys and Illyro's new man in the Golden Company, tasked to ensure that things go into a direction they want it to go. People usually wonder whether Varys/Illyrio would have been in favor of Aegon's invasion if they had been there. I think they would. Going to Meereen is risky and could easily enough postpone the thing again, and Westeros might recover in time. In addition the whole thing might actually help to draw Daenerys to Westeros so that they could forge an alliance there. I'm pretty sure even Varys and Illyrio will underestimate the speed in which Aegon will succeed in Westeros. And then they will began to wonder what the hell they need Daenerys for, after all. Just to clarify: If Varys is the legitimate child of a Blackfyre he must be the son of a female Blackfyre unless we assume Illyrio and Yandel both lied when they said House Blackfyre is extinct in the male line (Yandel might simply not know better but Illyrio certainly would). Varys certainly could easily enough be a Targaryen or Blackfyre bastard, though. Those people do not really count. As a bastard he could even be Aerys II's half-brother or something of that sort (although I'm not sure Jaehaerys II entertained any mistresses). If we go with Illyrio being a descendant of Daemon I and Bittersteel through Calla and a bunch of daughters (as I do) then Varys certainly could be closer to the male Blackfyre branch, being a son or grandson of a daughter of Aenys Blackfyre or the son or a sister or daughter of that unfortunate fourth Daemon Blackfyre who was killed by Maelys. The chance that he is closely related to Maelys himself is unlikely, in my opinion, because the line of the last Blackfyre would have been watched rather closely. But then, we still have no clue who the two younger Blackfyre sons were nor how they fit into the family tree. There are much more loose ends in the Blackfyre family tree than there are in the Targaryen family tree.
  6. The Wex Pyke problem

    The evidence is that Wex Pyke tells Wyman, Robett, and Davos that Rickon is on Skagos. There is also circumstantial evidence of the sort that George promised us that Rickon and Osha would eventually return and that it makes little sense to have a POV character look for him on Skagos if he isn't there. If Lord Wyman had Rickon in his custody and he did not want Davos to interfere with his plans he could have executed him in truth or let him rot in his cells until the series is over. There was no need for him to free Davos and send him on some mission. Yet he did. And even if the animal Shaggy killed in Jon's dream isn't a unicorn (in my opinion that is a pretty good guess) - what makes you think Shaggy could maul some goat wherever you think Wyman is hiding him? If Rickon was with the Manderly fleet up the White Knife he would most likely be on a ship, not out in the wild. And the idea that they would allow Shaggy to hunt and kill domesticated animals like goats isn't very likely if they want to keep Rickon's presence a secrets. If rumors about a direwolf in the vicinity spread the Boltons will soon enough learn where the hell one of Ned's surviving sons is. As to Northern independence: A lot of the people who proclaimed Robb king are either dead or down in the South. Of there northern lords there were only Galbart Glover, Maege Mormont, and Rickard Karstark at Riverrun for the proclamation. The rest where all Riverlords. Now, Robb is later clearly implicitly acknowledged by all the absentee lords northern lords and Riverlords as their king yet one cannot but wonder whether the likes of Wyman Manderly, Barbrey Dustin, etc. would actually have support the whole king thing back then. I doubt they would have. The King in the North thing was a mad idea of the Greatjon who was a huge Robb fan - but that isn't representative for the entire North (nor all the Riverlands). Thus I see no reason to believe a majority of the Northmen are now intending to continue the secessionist game which essentially cost them their victory in the War of the Five Kings. 'King Robb' was a major reason why they could not reach an understanding with either Renly or Stannis during the war, and if they had done that they could have defeated their common enemies, the Lannisters. And as I've laid out above, the Umbers as a collective are neither great Stark fans nor necessarily all that loyal. The Greatjon was, his uncles may be much more pragmatic. That would have been the plot if that was the plot. The fact that Manderly doesn't talk about the Umbers at all makes it clear that neither they nor Lord Manderly had any hand in Rickon reaching Skagos. They might have ships to get there but Lord Wyman says he needs a smuggler. Now, that makes it likely that he expects that the ship going there has to land somewhere in secret without being seen by the Skagosi. It might just be a precaution because of the reputation of the Skagosi. Davos is very tempted to return to his cell after he learns he has to go to that place, after all. If we stick to the novel then it is clear that Wyman only knows from Wex that Rickon and Osha went to Skagos. That's a pretty big island and they might have to search for Rickon for quite some time. The approach Lord Wyman takes involving a man like Davos suggests that he is very cautious, having no idea where on Skagos Rickon actually is nor having any close or intimate contacts with any Skagosi. Well, part of the role of involving Davos in this is apparently connected to Wyman wanting to actually establish a Stannis-Manderly alliance. By having Davos' Hand save the Lord of Winterfell they are essentially in this all together without even choosing to do so. If Davos hadn't come Lord Wyman might have done nothing because he wouldn't have gotten his son back. But even if he had eventually he most likely would have found some other unlucky fellow to go to Skagos and try to find Rickon.
  7. The Wex Pyke problem

    Well, we have more and better evidence suggesting that the boy is on Skagos than that he is hiding somewhere up the White Knife or somewhere else in the Manderly lands. The last Davos introduced an entire Skagos plot involving a search for Rickon Stark. I think we can be reasonably sure that George is continuing/introducing the Rickon plot through Davos as POV. If the boy was with the Manderlys we would have to assume that his story is going to be continued without a POV. And that's not very likely.
  8. What the Heck Happened to Baby Maegor?

    Yeah, the whole thing goes back to THK and the idea that there might be bastards of Aerion's in Lys. People have been looking for hidden Targaryens since the 1990s. But then, George was once even asked about that possibility, and casually agreed that there might be such bastards - but there might also be bastards of many Targaryen princes and kings running around. We know Aegon II had at least two. Nobody is searching for their descendants. The important part there is that there are possibly four male and an unknown number of female branches of House Blackfyre. Varys and Illyrio could easily enough be cousins from two branches of the Blackfyre family tree. With the rise of the Blackfyres the chances that the Targaryens have anything to do with Varys and Illyrio grow less likely. And that fixation on Aerion and Maegor is really kind of odd considering that we also know nothing about the whereabouts of Maegor's mother, Princess Daenora, Daeron's daughter Princess Vaella, or the descendants of Egg's sisters (I assume one of them married into House Tarth but we know both of them had offspring). Vaella and Daenora and Daella and Rhae are all much older than Maegor, and thus much more likely to be able have children who have grandchildren who might be connected to Varys and Illyrio. Prince Maegor could very well be as much a dead as Egg's third son, Prince Daeron, was. And if this Maegor is more than just an obscure footnote in the story he might be involved in one of the many rebellions Aegon V faced during his reign only to meet an ignominious end before he got any chance to breed. I assume Varys has at least to be in his twenties by the time Aerys II hires him after Duskendale. That would put his birth in the late 250s or so. Maegor would have to be his father - he could only be his grandfather if he began fathering children as early as Viserys II. And since I see no reason to doubt the idea that Varys began his life as a slave I doubt he was Maegor's son. Even if the man rebelled against Aegon V (which I don't really believe) I don't see Egg blaming the son for his father's deeds. He would have raised Varys at court, not sold him into slavery. On the other hand, we hear about infighting between the Blackfyres at some point after Bittersteel's death. Maelys killed his cousin Daemon Blackfyre and we don't know what happened to his family. Neither do we know what happened to Aenys Blackfyre's family after the man was killed by Bloodraven. Nor have we any idea what the Blackfyre daughters (aside from Calla, possibly) did. And there is very likely a reason why the Blackfyre family wasn't really investigated in TWoIaF. We only got the names of the pretenders, and little else. In addition, there is this odd remark of Yandel's that the branches of House Targaryen were cut down at Summerhall. Now, Prince Duncan's branch was no longer eligible to inherit the throne so they wouldn't have been important. Daeron had already died childless. Rhaelle's son was a Baratheon, and the Tarths aren't Targaryens, either. The only other male Targaryen branch aside from Aegon V's own descendants would have been Maegor's, suggesting that he and his children might have died at Summerhall. And we have a serious problem on the motivational side - why the hell should Maegor's son make common cause with a Blackfyre? Presumably Prince Aerion played a rather decisive role in crushing the Third Blackfyre Rebellion in 219 AC.
  9. What the Heck Happened to Baby Maegor?

    The problem with tying Maegor into Aegon's parentage is that it overly convoluted and very hard to sell. The man would have to be either Illyrio's or Varys' (or Serra's, if she ever existed) father, considering his age. Keep in mind that the man would have been barely 27 at Summerhall. It would be very hard to hide if Varys or Illyrio had a Targaryen father. In addition, there is most likely a reason why George gave Daemon Blackfyre seven sons and an unspecified number of daughters. That makes for a very complicated family tree and should enable some female branches to disappear from the radar of the Iron Throne. But Aegon V most definitely would have kept an eye on his nephew Maegor had the boy lived, and Jaehaerys II and Aerys II would have done so, too. If the man held any grudges against the branch of Aegon V they would have been very wary of any attempts from that side to reclaim the throne that was withheld from him.
  10. Daenerys's Fate

    Well, I read George literally there, meaning that those core characters will live until the grand finale. They might not survive that but they are not going to die early on. There is a reason why Tyrion and Jon became friends, a reason that's going to pay off in the war against the Others. I know that you think that but it is actually pretty clear that you are wrong there. You put way too much emphasis on imagining and speculating about the middle arc than about the endgame. I'm with you there, up to a point, because we have really no clue about the political situation during the endgame because it is way too far away right now, but it makes no sense to actually predict the deaths of characters that are likely to live a lot longer than we can right now. Anybody trying to imagine the deaths of Arya, Jon, Dany, or Tyrion right now is essentially basing his ideas on baseless speculations. Most of the ideas you can read try to predict stuff relying on incomplete knowledge and contrived notions. I'm not saying any of those characters have to survive the series. But I feel quite confident neither of them is going to die fighting Aegon, Euron, or Stannis.
  11. The Wex Pyke problem

    Yeah, but aren't they risking the Greatjon's life by doing this kind of thing. And wouldn't they still be sort of on the winning side if they later just declared for Stannis? You know, the way the Freys did after the Trident? I mean they have the excuse that the Freys are keeping their lord as a hostage. I'm sorry, but the Umbers didn't even gave a damn about the fact that Theon Greyjoy had taken Winterfell and murdered Robb's younger brothers. They are not at the top of my 'we are fiercely loyal Stark men' list. The Greatjon (and the Smalljon) apparently were - Hothor, Mors, and the Umbers possibly not. Rickard Karstark and his three sons also all were loyal Stark men - but Arnolf and his brood only care about themselves. The idea that the Umbers have an agenda to crown another King in the North is no way in evidence. I'm not saying it is impossible that there is not another Stark king but I very much doubt that there is a hidden agenda to accomplish that goal. Manderly speaks of Rickon Stark as his liege lord not as his king and he promises Davos that he will declare for Stannis should Davos bring Rickon back to him. Unless you can prove to me that Lord Wyman is lying there I'm going with the assumption that he is. Well, on the one hand you talk about desperation and the Umbers being 'afraid' and then you tell me stuff about them having big dreams about crowning young children. What is it? It can't be both. Men who ship their future kings of to a place like Skagos don't aren't very loyal, brave, or adventurous in my book. And if they all intend to use or go with Stannis they just could do that by giving him (and Jon) Rickon. That way they could first have him as the new Lord of Winterfell and then later as a King in the North once they no longer need Stannis. Giving Roose valuable time to consolidate his power is just stupidity. The North isn't independent in all that. Robb was proclaimed King in the North and King at the Trident. The Trident is as much part of his kingdom as the North. The idea is 'very much alive'? What is your evidence for that? Lyanna Mormont's letter? Wylla Manderly's brave speech? She advocated for joining Stannis, not for crowning a new King in the North. With the way things stand now we have little reason to assume the Lords of the North intend to go on another futile secessionist adventure in the middle of winter. They want their revenge, aye, and they want the destruction of the Boltons and Freys and the restoration of House Stark but they don't want another war with the South they cannot hope to win. Hm. I agree it is difficult to swallow right now. But we have to admit that we pretty much no nothing about the eastern coast of the North. If there are hidden smuggler ports on Crackclaw Point the wildlings could have similar places along the eastern coast of the North - or at least know about such smuggler hideouts from their dealings with smugglers. All we need to presuppose is that Osha knew about such places and decided to try her luck at such a place rather than risk a meeting with those treacherous and infighting northern lords. Now, perhaps her goal was to get Rickon to the Riverlands and his family at first - but then when she reached such a place she also received word of the Red Wedding. Then she decided to go to Skagos instead because she knows people there and/or concluded that Rickon would be safer there than anywhere else. Wex would left her then because she might have felt that some loyal Stark followers should know where Rickon was. If nobody learned the truth things could go very ill for Rickon in the end even if he lived for the time being. That would make sense if we go with a political story about petty civil wars and the like in the majority of the remainder of the series. I think by the time Rickon and Jon meet each other - if they ever meet each other again - the war against the Others will have entered the next phase. A phase where Northern independence and civil wars will look even more petty and stupid than they are already looking. I mean, Maester Luwin didn't even believe in the Others yet even he realized how stupid they are were shortly before his death in ACoK. You should really reread what he has to say about the petty wars in the North. Oh, and no, Wex isn't a Faceless Man. The boy was with Theon the entire time in ACoK and would have had no opportunity to get to Pyke and back to White Harbor in ASoS. Also, Wex is a Botley bastard. He can't speak but that doesn't mean somebody ripped his tongue out.
  12. R+L=J v.163

    Does this mean we soon will get a new book to read? Welcome back! Good to read you again!
  13. The Wex Pyke problem

    It took we roughly about the same time. The way it goes you two new paragraphs and then the quote boxes split in two, magically creating to 'this guy wrote that this time ago' on those two boxes. Well, if they serve the King in the North I don't see a good reason why they would even care about Stannis. But again, why should they? Why not hide them somewhere in the Umber lands? Do you really think the Boltons could have found them there if the Umbers had out their energy into concealing them? Or that the Boltons couldn't have found out that they went to Skagos if they could track to the Umbers? Your entire scenario seems to be without a good foundation. You don't give a good explanation why the Umbers should have been 'afraid'. Only Lyanna Starks knows only one king whose name is Stark. None of the others say something of that sort. And no, a good deal of the Northmen acknowledge the Iron Throne and the rule of King Tommen - pretty much everybody who is with Roose right now. The North doesn't have the strength to actually fight against the Iron Throne but the Iron Throne also has little incentive to provoke another war with the North. If an assembly of the Northern lords decided to oust the Boltons from power and proclaim Rickon Stark the new Lord of Winterfell the Iron Throne most likely would have no issue with that as long as they did not continue their whole secessionist thing. Keep in mind that Rickon is just 4-5 years old now. There would be a long minority council overseeing the North in his name, and if Cersei or the Lannisters intended to put him down they could also do that next spring. They have no need to rush things there. In addition, you have to keep in mind that the best way to prevent the rise of new regime (i.e. the Boltons) is to prevent it before they can consolidate their power. Not attacking Roose by producing Rickon and proclaiming a rival Stark pretender before the Arya-Ramsay wedding takes place was a huge mistake. Now it will be much more difficult to depose the Boltons. It will become a bloody affair while in the other scenario Roose and Ramsay could very well have just sat alone with Lady Dustin and the Frey in an empty castle. And that would then have been the end of Roose's ambitions to rule the North. You are the Free Northman guy. Most of the actual Northmen we meet in the books seem much more pragmatic to me than you think they should be. How do you mean this whole 'protect thing'. Protect the Umbers from what? From Davos (who can't talk to anybody) from learning this? Why use Wex for that? Why not claiming that Manderly himself shipped Rickon to Skagos because the boy came to his city? That way nobody would even think about the Umbers. Nobody thinking about them or pointing in their direction anyway. Especially not Davos. Sure, but if we go with the assumption being tossed around that Wex was captured by Manderly men close to Winterfell Osha and Rickon could have found close to the castle, too. Not to mention that the White Knife and the ships on the river could provide them with a quick means to reach the city. It doesn't have to be a secret. The Targaryens were safe in Braavos, too. The world does not consist of some large troupe of agents who want to kill the surviving Starks. You sound as paranoid as Viserys III ;-). The news that Rickon Stark is still alive could even lead to many Northmen declaring for him and resisting the Boltons in his name. The way things are now pretty much nobody knows he is even alive (unless we stupidly assumes everybody knows but acts as if he doesn't for no good reason). Again, the desperation thing makes no sense. No sense whatsoever, I'm sorry. If the Umbers were desperate why not give the boy to Stannis or Jon Snow at the Wall. That way they would have kept their hands clean. But Manderly isn't lying about anything there. Wex tells them what he saw and where Osha and Rickon went but not what he did in thereafter. We get Robett speculating that he must have evaded Shaggy in the whole thing but that's just his guess. Wex never says anything about that. And we don't know why he told Wyman what he knows nor how he ended up at White Harbor. As of yet those things are mysteries. And the conversation clearly wasn't over. Wyman had little time and only told Davos the core of what he needed to know. He and Robett most likely continued to talk to him after the cliffhanger reveal of Skagos at the chapter's ending was delivered. I don't think this story was particularly rushed. If George wanted to rush things Rickon would have been 'the lad' Robett brought in, not Wex. I'm with you here, I think Davos, Robett, Osha, and Rickon are about to have quite some adventures on Skagos. They might even end up tying directly into the Others story if they end up leaving the island to end up beyond the Wall rather than south of it. If George wanted to utilize Rickon as a political factor early on in TWoW he would have been in White Harbor, not on Skagos.
  14. Daenerys's Fate

    We know that there are supposed to be at least four POVs - Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Bran, Arya - who live until the very end. I doubt that this did change. There is no reason to assume Dany is not going to play a crucial role in the War for the Dawn, most likely at Jon and Tyrion's side. The idea that any of those core characters is going to bite the dust during the Second Dance is very unlikely.
  15. The Wex Pyke problem

    That is a valid point. But they could just sacrifice him. He is just one guy. The Smalljon is dead, but there are other sons of the Greatjon at Last Hearth one of which could become the next Lord Umber. We are talking about his uncles here, both rather old and very hard men. And by the way - Mors teaming up with Stannis certainly doesn't help the Greatjon, or does it? Yet this didn't lead to his immediate execution as far as we know. But let's say I grant you that they are intimidated by this hostage routine and actually believe they could get their nephew back in one piece - why the hell do they actually send men to both Stannis and Roose, weakening themselves? Why don't they give both of them excuses and do nothing? They certainly should have been able to get away with that. In the meantime, they could work on this secret conspiracy of theirs. There is no reason they should send a son of Eddard Stark's to Skagos. They could easily enough use such a child as figurehead by handing him to one of their many co-conspirators who doesn't have a hostage in the Twins. Like the Glovers or the Mormonts or whoever else. If they can send him to Skagos they could also have sent him to some other place. In addition, you have to keep in mind that King Tommen is still working with the Starks. Lady Arya is the new Lady of Winterfell. Nobody ever granted Roose or Ramsay the title or the castle. Producing the rightful male heir of Lord Eddard and King Robb would not necessarily be seen as treason. In fact, if the Bolton betrayal of the Starks back when Winterfell was destroyed became public knowledge the Boltons could have been quickly ousted as the new de facto rulers of the North and the Iron Throne might even have supported that - because there was nothing they could do about the whole thing. Cersei also didn't give a damn what the Lords Declarant did with Littlefinger as long as they did not intend to kill him. The idea that the Greatjon would be killed just because the Umbers (or somebody else) publicly revealed Rickon Stark isn't very convincing to me. There is no treason in presenting a living Stark to the world, or is there? You overestimate the passage of time between the end of ACoK and ADwD. Bran scarcely made it to Bloodraven in that time, suggesting that Rickon and Osha aren't very long on Skagos. In fact, considering they seem to be there in Jon's first ADwD chapter I'd say they have to have gone pretty quickly to the coast, possibly in a more or less straight line from Winterfell. And wherever they caught a ship they must have caught it pretty quickly. There is also no reason to believe the Umbers or Manderlys have any clues what's going on on Skagos. If they did, there would be no need to use Davos. Why don't the Umbers go in some boat or small ship to Skagos? That is just an ad hoc explanation, I'm sorry. That's why too deep in speculation territory for me. Not to mention there would be essentially no reason to keep any of that secret from Davos. The man cannot talk to anybody while he is surrounded by Manderly's men. The Freys weren't in White Harbor when Rickon escaped. Robb was still alive when Rickon escaped. And if Osha actually went to White Harbor she would have been there before everything was as fucked up as it is later on - or at least Lord Wyman had not yet known that his king and younger son were dead. As to Braavos - why not? Ships can carry dragons why not direwolves? I did not say Manderly should say he has sent Rickon to Braavos (or another Free City) I just suggested he could have arranged that in secret. Just as Davos arranged Edric's journey to Lys. Any place but Skagos would have been safer for Rickon. I don't know but considering that we don't yet know how George is going to spin this we cannot just assert that they could only get to Skagos via White Harbor or some (speculative) Umber or Flint harbor. This is an important plot line and he can certainly introduce new plot elements on the fly as he is prone to do. The fact that Rickon and Osha seem to have gotten alive to Skagos isn't evidence for some far-reaching conspiracy. Especially the last point is very odd. Not so much time has passed (see above) and why the hell shouldn't they want to give him up? How are they even communication with those Skagosi? Apparently there are no maesters on that island. There is no need for a cover story. Davos was at Lord Wyman's mercy. He could just have said to him 'you go to Skagos because I say so'. Not to mention that Wex effectively is no cover story at all. Davos doesn't know the boy and has no way of verifying anything Manderly tells him. Wex is a plot device that explains to the reader why Lord Wyman knows where Rickon is. We, the readers, know the boy. Davos has no clue who the lad is. And thus it is very unlikely indeed that the one single element which is definitely true in this whole story (Wex being there at Winterfell when the Starks emerged from the crypts) is part of some conspiracy to obscure the truth. If Lord Wyman cannot trust (many of) his own men he should better not try to turn against Roose. And we know he must have men he can trust. Who do you think killed and butchered the three Freys and baked them into three pies? Lord Wyman didn't do that all by himself. And if he wants to betray Roose and eventually join Stannis he cannot do that if he can't trust his men, either. That depends when exactly Rickon reached Manderly. If Wex was captured near Winterfell Osha and Rickon could have been captured there, too, and would thus have reached White Harbor a lot quicker than if they went there on foot. Just keep in mind how much time passed in the South in the same time - Robb returning to Riverrun, the negotiations with the Freys, the slow crawl to the Twins, etc. Rickon and Osha could easily enough have been there (or with any other loyalist Northern house) long before the Red Wedding. And only after the Red Wedding is there any good reason why Rickon Stark should have been hidden. While Robb was still alive he could have been used as a tool to bring about the downfall of Ramsay and House Bolton.