bemused

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  1. Val is screwed.

    Unless, of course, he orchestrating the mutiny..
  2. Yes, I saw that .. very interesting, no? But for now I'm mainly looking at Shadrich...some cool bits began to surface for me.. I like all these possibilities, too ( and really admired your thread, BTW)
  3. We were kicking some of this around recently on another thread (and I'm currently working on something about Shadrich) ..a thought that occured in the process is that , if there is to be a real occasion when Sansa slays a giant (LF) in a castle made of snow.. Snow is now falling even in king's landing soon every castle may look like it's made of snow. I like the point about the fact that at the Eyrie , Sansa didn't "kill" the "giant" until after her castle was ruined. Harrenhal is a ruin, though still habitable and what with LF's and Sansa's individual ties to the place (Sansa through her Whent blood).. she could fulfil the prophecy there.
  4. Merging Story Lines

    I think this is a bit of an overstatement, but I'm not here to argue with anyone about it. I simply used the points you made as my point of departure, since I had no time to develop my earlier post fully. I don't really care all that much. I certainly have no "wishes". I'm just pointing out (to anyone) that GRRM has actually given the reader reasons to be unsure.. these ambiguities, etc., will not all be accidental on his part. Jeyne's a minor character that we only have reports of through Cat and this scene (or two, with Jaime) and there are a number of reasonable interpretations. Her main function going forward may only be as part of bringing other more important characters together and safeguarding Robb's document.
  5. Merging Story Lines

    Yes, my bad... I was doing a quick wiki check but took a phone call in the middle and read a Raynald line for Gawen. (Next time, I won't answer the phone .... stick to the important stuff, right?) However, this is a relatively small detail.. There may still be grave doubts that Gawen and Sybell see eye to eye. Now that I have a wee bit more time, I'd like to make a few more points. Lets go back a bit.. We all know that the BF was very likely being disingenuous when speaking to Jaime on the topic of Jon. Now we come to the chapter in question AFfC, Jaime VII. Jaime is questioning Edmure on the BF's escape. Can we be sure Edmure is telling the truth ? I know Edmure's not a very good strategic thinker, but BF is, and he's had time to exercise his brain. All Edmure has to do is stick to the story. When Robb left Jeyne (his Queen), he didn't leave her in her mother's care, but in the care of BF. Aside: I don't know if I've said so here.. (I have in other places).. but I think Robb's "will" went to Jeyne and Blackfish. The captain of the Myraham could have easily dropped off a Mallister courier at a point on the coast adjacent to Riverrun. It's the most sensible course of action. If Jeyne had become pregnant, his child would be his heir, but it only stands to reason that if Jon would be his second choice as heir, Jon would also be his first choice for his child's protector and regent. Jeyne couldn't be expected to rule the North, Robb has had good reason to doubt Cat's judgement under some circumstances, and he knows she won't support his wishes re:Jon. She made that abundantly clear ("Never.").That means he has no choice but to sideline her, which he does. He would not have trusted Cat with the document. And he would not have taken it with him into battle. And I don't believe he would have left it in Walder Frey's dubious care (considering their history). It needed to be with his Queen and a trusted commander. But back to Jaime... He's just asked Edmure where BF would go, when ... “Lord Commander?” A guardsman stood in the open door. “Lady Westerling and her daughter are without, as you commanded.” Jaime shoved the map aside. “Show them in.” At least the girl did not vanish too. The whole Jeyne episode is book-ended by "At least the girl did not vanish too." and the possibly contradictory "Jeyne never saw him at all." I think George does this kind of thing quite often to show that the POV character's assumptions might not be 100% correct. Consider the Tully words, Family. Duty. Honour. Robb was his nephew and his King, so now Jeyne is his niece and his Queen. Robb has left her under the BF's protection.Not only does he have a familial duty to her, but an additional duty to his King's command/trust. It would be a terrible smear on his honour if he just escaped himself, and left her in enemy hands. Earlier he raised the spectre of Jaime's kingslaying.. I don't think that was merely a taunt, because hand in hand with that bit of history, goes the treatment of Elia and her children, and that too was a Lannister act. Everyone is aware of this. When Jaime asks if Jeyne is pregnant, she tries to flee. Some people think the BF is still in the castle. If so, it's possible they're both there (will and crown in hand). As Bran & co. hid in the crypts until the fighting was over.. they could be secreted away somewhere, until Jaime leaves and the ridiculous Emmon has command. In their case, some Tully retainers would still be there to assist... (Just one possibility.) In another possible parallel, the rescue of the other Jeyne (Poole) featured disguising her as a servant. In this case, a servant could take her place, or her sister's place... So Jaime may have met Jeyne, may have met her sister,.. but who he sees riding away as either Jeyne, Eleyna, or both, could be someone else entirely. Back when Daven first mentioned the Westerling children to Jaime ... Jaime had met Jeyne Westerling, he thought, though he could not recall what she looked like. ..(he had similar musings when he met Jeyne Poole "Arya" on his return to KL). George has planted plenty of seeds of doubt. The question is would the Westerlings play along ? I think yes, if Elia's fate is at all in their minds. In spite of Jaime's assurances, could they trust that the Lannisters would wait to see if Jeyne was pregnant ? Or might they worry that the Lannisters would just do her in to be on the safe side ? Here's what we're told.. The Westerlings were an old House, and proud, but Lady Sybell herself had been born a Spicer, from a line of upjumped merchants. Her grandmother had been some sort of half-mad witch woman from the east, he seemed to recall. And the Westerlings were impoverished. After it became plain that Kevan didn't think Jeyne was good enough for his younger sons, would even an impoverished proud man of an old family want to enter into the kind of haggling that his wife engaged in?.. or might he not want to be rebuffed again and/or suffer further wounds to his pride ? Even Sybell, who sees nothing wrong with bargaining, is affronted at the promise of the bastard Joy for Raynald. So I think Gawen's "grave nod" to Jaime is ambiguous and Sybell's icy stare might be for more than Jaime's personal insult to her. A rescue on the road would be difficult, and Jeyne and her siblings would be at risk. The Westerlings may think it's best for Jeyne's safety to say she was "abducted" after their return to the Crag. I don't think any of this is outside the realm of reasonable possibility. ETA: I don't know if we need BOTH crowns, but Jeyne might need hers as part of her proof (and trappings) if BF intends to take her north to safety at some point. Suppose all those who came into close contact with her are dead by that time?
  6. [TWOW SPOILERS] Theon I, part vi

    @Nevets.. It's quite possible that the survival of the Stark boys may be revealed at the tree. Bran is definitely (IMO) trying to communicate to and/or through Theon. Many of us feel he'll succeed Stannis really only wants to execute him to please the northmen . I'm quite convinced that they will ask that Theon be taken to the tree ,as well. They (say, Alysanne or Middle Liddle) probably advised Asha to make the request. .. perhaps because they believe "no man can lie before a heart tree" Yes, they have more to hate Theon for, but are they executable offenses?.. and if so, would they be satisfied with offering Theon the chance to "take the black" (as Luwin once did)? He took WF, but Ramsay was the one who put it to the torch. .. And remember that even though he didn't stop it, and went so far as to dress their dead bodies, he didn't even kill the miller's boys. Ramsay did. Before going to the tree, Stannis may think Theon killed the boys, but he also thinks Theon helped rescue Jon's little sister. We know how Stannis punished the wrong Davos did, while rewarding the good. For Theon, being sent to the wall would be the punishment and reward rolled into one. Stannis particularly wouldn't care that Theon destroyed hope of victory for Robb, since Stannis never considered Robb a legitimate king, but a rebel trying to carve away a large chunk of what Stannis sees as his own kingdom.
  7. Merging Story Lines

    In for a mad dash.. Has Jeyne already been rescued ? It seems to me there could be a missing Westerling daughter. Without getting into too much detail, right now... Here's the wiki on Eleyna Westerling : Eleyna becomes part of King Robb Stark's retinue when he marries her elder sister, Jeyne. She stays at Riverrun with her mother, Sybell Spicer, younger brother, Rollam, and Jeyne when Robb goes to the Twins for the marriage of Lord Edmure Tully. When discussing the marriages promised by Tywin with lady Sybell... Jaime had to wonder how much Lord Gawen knew about his wife’s scheming. How much do we men ever know? He may have found out after joining Robb's retinue , and exerted some authority.. Jaime doesn't meet the younger daughter, or take note of her when the Westerlings leave... Lord Gawen nodded gravely as he passed, but Lady Sybell looked through him with eyes like chips of ice. Jeyne never saw him at all. The widow rode with downcast eyes, huddled beneath a hooded cloak. Underneath its heavy folds, her clothes were finely made, but torn. It may be just my suspicious mind, but the underlined sentence is a bit suspect for me, knowing how finely GRRM parses his sentences at times."At all" may be extremely important, and really, the whole sentence is redundant ... unless George means to slyly imply that the girl Jaime met wasn't Jeyne at all, or that this is not the girl he met. Her "downcast eyes". alone, tells us she doesn't look at Jaime as they depart. If he wanted an extra sentence for emphasis, he could have written "Jeyne never looked at him." So often, hooded cloaks are hiding identities. She was only with Jaime for a brief time. The hood and downcast eyes don't assist recognition, but the torn clothes shout her identity... maybe a bit too loudly.
  8. [TWOW SPOILERS] Theon I, part vi

    I absolutely agree. Stannis believes he would lose his Northmen , but the clans all know the boys are alive... remember, they were watching Bran as he travelled north (he saw them through Summer's eyes) And when Bran met the Liddle in the cave, the Liddle seemed to think Rickon was alive too.He implied that the Boltons were still looking for both of them. Also... Yes, they have Wex, at least .. and there's some reason to believe that they may have actually had a hand in getting Rickon to safety .. that sending Davos for him was in order to keep Davos from giving Stannis the information too soon. They don't really want Stannis to have Rickon, and they don't really want Stannis to have WF. They want Rickon and WF to be in Stark/Northern hands ... then they may ally with Stannis against KL. I think they'd all be more likely to send Theon to the wall, rather than execute him.
  9. The Ultimate Winds of Winter Resource

    .. Hold on.. for me, the fact that we're seeing Asha's POV, not Theon's, fits well with my opinion that Stannis does take Theon to the tree and changes his mind, sending Theon north with Tycho, after all. He wrote the letter to Jon(as Ramsay) warning that Ramsay would attack, and Thorne and Marsh intercepted and "Bastard"-ized it. Fascinating as it is, I don't think it shoots down any of the letter theories (except if there's anyone that thought Mors wrote it)
  10. Mance is Rhaegar, MR=RT

    I don't think Mance is Rhaegar.. I think too many hurdles have to be jumped over, too many rationalizations made, to come to the conclusion. His name follows the style of noble bastards in the rest of Westeros, and I think that's what he is. My own theory is.. I think this is much more traceable, but know you may not be interested in other possible options. Broadly speaking, I don't see what purpose or role Rhaegar would fill in the story if he was revealed to be alive at this point.
  11. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    Thanks for the witch search.. Back when I wrote my Val thread, I didn't have access to search (except by page turning) ..as more came to my attention over the years (reading and discussing), I didn't always go back to update.. so I'm really glad that you brought up the MMD quotes again, because I want to add a "wisewoman" / "wise woman" list. I'll take them in order. Going back to Mance and his cloak... 1. “One day on a ranging we brought down a fine big elk. We were skinning it when the smell of blood drew a shadowcat out of its lair. I drove it off, but not before it shredded my cloak to ribbons. Do you see? Here, here, and here?” He chuckled. “It shredded my arm and back as well, and I bled worse than the elk. My brothers feared I might die before they got me back to Maester Mullin at the Shadow Tower, so they carried me to a wildling village where we knew an old wisewoman did some healing. She was dead, as it happened, but her daughter saw to me. Cleaned my wounds, sewed me up, and fed me porridge and potions until I was strong enough to ride again. And she sewed up the rents in my cloak as well, with some scarlet silk from Asshai that her grandmother had pulled from the wreck of a cog washed up on the Frozen Shore. It was the greatest treasure she had, and her gift to me.” ...ASoS, Jon I This is the first time "wise" and "woman" are used together or as one word. She only did "some" healing, so it wasn't only healing that made her a wisewoman. Her daughter may have been a wisewoman in her own right, or on her way to becoming one, but she knew enough healing to save Mance. (I also want to point out that in mythology and literature, spinning and sewing are often part of magic spells worked by women.) Having read right past the MMD quote many times, I always used to argue that the red silk was indeed salvaged - because the alternate view being put forth at the time asserted that Val and Dalla were foreigners from Asshai (and maybe secret R'hllorists, too) and that seemed patently wrong, to me. However, later - taking MMD into account, it's possible that the grandmother may have traveled to Asshai, like MMD. It's still very odd that the healer gave Mance a gift of her greatest treasure, instead of Mance giving her something in return for her services. Unless, of course, she already had some prophetic sense of what Mance would become. 2. Mance gave her a fond smile. "It's a wise woman I've found. A true queen." ... ASoS, Jon X I've already referred to this one in this thread, and it immediately follows the wisdom Dalla gave Jon about "sorcery" being a sword without a hilt... The next example seems only to relate to Cersei's storyline, except if we take note of a couple of key words... 3. Maggy the Frog seemed to float before her eyes, wrinkled and terrible and wise. All old women look alike, she tried to tell herself, that's all it is. In truth, the bent-back sorceress had looked nothing like the Queen of Thorns, yet somehow the sight of Lady Olenna's nasty little smile was enough to put her back in Maggy's tent again. ... AFfC, Cersei III Maggy is "wise" and a "sorceress", and we know that what upsets Cersei so much is Maggy's gift of prophecy. 4. A small, malicious, treacherous man, as stupid as he is cruel. Jon did not believe for a moment that he would keep faith. He wondered what Val was feeling as she watched him kneel, forgiven. Lesser leaders followed. Two clan chiefs of the Hornfoot men, whose feet were black and hard. An old wisewoman revered by the peoples of the Milkwater. A scrawny dark-eyed boy of two-and-ten, the son of Alfyn Crowkiller. Halleck, brother to Harma Dogshead, with her pigs. Each took a knee before the king. ... ADWD , Jon III GRRM mentions Val in close proximity to "wisewoman", putting them in our minds at the same time. He tells us the old woman was revered by the peoples of the Milkwater. "Reverence" is not what one usually feels for a doctor, repected and trusted though they may be. Reverence is usually reserved for a prophet or spiritual / religious leader.... next we move on to Jon with Mel... 5. She (Mel) has power. The thought came unbidden, seizing him with iron teeth, but this was not a woman he cared to be indebted to, not even for his little sister. "Dalla told me something once. Val's sister, Mance Rayder's wife. She said that sorcery was a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it." "A wise woman." Melisandre rose, her red robes stirring in the wind. "A sword without a hilt is still a sword, though, and a sword is a fine thing to have when foes are all about. ...ADWD, Jon VI George is being tricksy.. He puts Mel, Dalla and Val along with "sorcery" all in one paragraph. I think we'd be foolish to ignore that, by this point. ... and then, Mel goes on to identify Dalla as a "wise woman" , though we don't know whether or not she understands or intends the implication. .. Last, but not least,we come to this... 6. "My lady wife mislikes travel. Lannisport is her place." "It is a wise woman who knows her place." He did not like the sound of that. "Say what you mean." ... ADWD, Epilogue, Kevan and Cersei So, though superficially, it appears to be unrelated, that's where George leaves the question of Val (and Jon and Val) at the end of ADWD.. Considering that he's about to kill Kevan off, it's very doubtful that wherever Dorna (who has never appeared) feels is her place will affect the story at all. Certainly, it relates to where / what Cersei feels is her place, and we know that is Queen. The only two previous uses of "a wise woman" (I've checked) including D&E, TWoIaF and the rest to be found on https://asearchoficeandfire.com/ , are the ones I've quoted here. Both referred to Dalla. Here,Cersei uses Mance's turn of phrase - the only other place it's used, that I can find. Val seems to think / know her place is with Jon, even as his queen , if he is to become a king. "Say what you mean." !!?!! (George, George, George....) I think our rascally author has been slyly saying what he means since ASoS, if we're paying close attention. Greyscale is connected to Garin's curse, which was called down upon the Valyrians.(Dragon Lords) I don't think the resurgence of magic in the world, especially since the birth of Dany's dragons bodes well for Shireen. And I still think Mel and Selyse are much more an immediate threat to her than Val.
  12. Is the Hooded Man actually The Hooded Man?

    I don't think Roger was killed and replaced, because I think the ruby, and the spell Mel put on it only work for Rattleshirt/Mance. But even if it did work as canteuse suggested, wasn't the idea that it would be used to get Mors inside to be the HM? But I'm already convinced it's BJ, and I think Mors is pretty busy outside , digging holes, keeping tabs on Stannis, watching for escapees, listening for the first horn to be blown - signalling him to start up the drums, etc. Without a glamour, I think Roger's absence would definitely be noted. Roger and Rickard look alike and may even be twins, for all we know. Theon says he can't tell them apart in Reek II, when they arrive after Moat Caillin .. But look, they didn't go south with Robb and they're a bit older; probably not of an age to be close friends like Cley Cerwyn or Benfred Tallhart, so Theon might not have seen them all that often (or seen them together). Later, at WF, after being around them for a while, he identifies them without hesitation, These jewelry or object clues are not always used to the same purpose.. e. g. Littlefingers mockingbird pin, or the silver wolfshead worn by Bran earlier, have nothing to do with a glamour. But George has given many clues in the WF chapters that show the nature of a character or their intent. Roger's iron horsehead brooch tells us that he's strong, agressive and warlike (for us, Iron is associated with Mars, or any war god, really) Barbrey is pale-faced and severe (cold, unforgiving) and ... Aenys Frey stood near the fire, pinched cheeks flushed with cold. ...He's feeling the effects of the northern cold, literally and figuratively. These aren't much in the way of facial descriptions at any rate, saying more about the person's attitude than what they look like, so Roger's brooch fits right in. ... Roose is there and his face isn't mentioned either. sable black and silver ? (apart from silver being magic-friendly?) ... Do tell
  13. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    Flint and Norrey are still there, and.. Each had brought a tail of fighting men—five for Old Flint, twelve for The Norrey, all clad in ragged skins and studded leathers, fearsome as the face of winter. They were at the wedding when the horn sounded announcing Val and Tormund's arrival, and at Jon's meeting atop the wall after returning from negotiating with Tormund.
  14. Val is Jon’s true Queen. Part trois.

    I agree that the visit of Alysanne and Jaeherys was significant and the cause of much that you identify(changes in attitude re: marriages, etc.) ... However, I think the disappearance of the direwolves south of the wall is actually tied to an earlier event - The Conquest and the kneeling of Torrhen Stark (strongly objected to by his brother, and no doubt others). We don't hear (e.g.) of a sudden cull, or purging, or a bounty being placed on direwolves, or a sudden exodus of direwolves past the Shadow Tower ... though it's possible we just haven't heard of anything like that yet, I suspect something more gradual. Considering the relatively sparse population of the north, it would take years, perhaps a generation of men or more, for the direwolves to either be killed off through being hunted at a normal rate, or to be starved out due to men taking over their territory and protecting stock animals, or competing for prey. So, 200 yrs. coinciding with Alysanne's visit is a bit too precise to be realistic, for me. It's very possible that, costly as the result may have been, Torrhen's bastard brother Brandon Snow had the right of it, magically speaking .. and that Torrhen unwittingly caused a deterioration in the magic when he knelt. Your second paragraph presents an entirely reasonable scenario, but I have suspicions (only suspicions, but strong ones) that there's more at work, specifically magic. As @kissdbyfire points out, GRRM doesn't want to discuss the genetics of the Starks (and he's said similar things on other occasions) which I think means - if it's explained too fully, it ceases to be magic and becomes science.. so he may never completely satisfy our curiosity. Something is in play, just not genetics as we know it. I can't help feeling that there is a magic specific to Starks .. perhaps a sort of blood magic... that is more than, or somewhat different than, whatever-it-is that makes your "everyday" skinchanger. I don't think there can be a doubt that there's some sort of magical resonance (at least) between the magic of the Wall and Starks, which seems to come to the fore particularly at times of a perceived threat (originally, from the Others).. As knowledge / fear of the Others recedes over time (because they're in abeyance), a new threat is perceived in the wildlings .. And a sense that it's best to have a Stark in command in troubled times could still persist - explaining the many Stark LCs, even boys - when rationally, men should be preferable. I imagine some components combined to create the magic might be - blood/sap of weirwoods (more or less immortal) for keeping the magic alive for as close to forever as possible, even through periods of dormancy ... Starks, for whatever reasons, depending on whether the magic was worked before or after the long night, and on whether the last hero was a Stark. (I tend to think he was.) .. and a third component.. (3 is a very magic number) It's worth noting that TLH's last companion to fall was his dog.. TLH may or may not have been a skinchanger, but we can glean something of his character, - his dedication and determination, and his ability to command extreme loyalty. All his companions followed him through years and hardships, even to their deaths. ... So, I think a third component of the spell would involve direwolves - a stronger animal than a dog, or even a regular wolf,and I think, an animal very difficult to skinchange, if not normally impossible .... Varamyr thinks Ghost would provide a second life fit for a king - This is often seen only as foreshadowing for Jon, but direwolves are the sigil / companions of the Kings of Winter, and the Starks are well known north of the Wall. Varamyr forces himself on some impressive animals, but not any of "mythic' proportions. Leaf tells Bran... "...this is our long dwindling. The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well.." ... Leaf equates these animals with unicorns , which we equate with magic. She explains how the situation stands, now .. but it might have been foreseen long ago. Magical steps may have been taken to ensure that if a future hero should be needed, a direwolf would be one advantage he would have over the Last Hero. This brings me to TWoIaF, Kings of Winter ..... Chronicles found in the archives of the Night's Watch at the Nightfort (before it was abandoned) speak of the war for Sea Dragon Point, wherein the Starks brought down the Warg King and his inhuman allies, the children of the forest. When the Warg King's last redoubt fell, his sons were put to the sword, along with his beasts and greenseers, whilst his daughters were taken as prizes by their conquerors. From this, some readers deduce that the Starks acquired their skinchanging abilities through marrying the Warg King's daughters, but I disagree. I think the Stark who brought TWK down was already a warg, himself, but bonded with a direwolf, not merely a wolf. I suspect that there might have been divergent, not necessarily directly opposing factions among the CotF. I don't think "his inhuman allies, the CotF" should be taken to mean that all the CotF were his allies and the use of "his beasts and greenseers" ..makes that plain, IMO. Obviously, not all beasts and not all greenseers were "put to the sword"... only his. His sons were put to the sword, but not necessarily brothers, sisters, cousins, etc.. and so the daughters that were taken as "prizes" may not have been taken as wives, at all.. but as hostages, to ensure good behaviour on the part of other relations. It sounds to me like his CotF allies and greenseers were a splinter group that was backing the wrong horse. All the use of the possessive "his" makes me think of Stannis and "his red witch" and the way Stannis at least started out taking advantage of her magic to further his ambitions without truly buying into her belief or agenda. .. I'm feeling a hint of this vibe from The Warg King (probably the same figure as " the skinchanger Gaven Greywolf and his kin" felled by a Stark "in "the savage War of the Wolves," " I'm not saying that the Starks were not ambitious (hard men in hard times), but their long struggle to gain rulership of the North took place after the Long Night, so if they are incorporated into the magic of the Wall, it's not only their own ambitions driving them. Their ambitions are compatible with, or even possibly essential to the CotF ambition to preserve life. If the Stark skinchanging ability only materializes when there is a threat to that magic, then not only the Others, but even a human threat to Stark rule would threaten the Wall magic, and invoke it (Hence,there must always be a Stark in WF) .. and I postulate that it would take contact with direwolf to fully trigger it. Coming back to Val, among the ways she might be "a good fit" for Jon and be important to the story going forward, is the suggestion that she senses that there's a certain (perhaps undefinable) interchangeability between Jon and "wall magic", when she double checks whether Jon killed Jarl -echoed in the fact that Jon sees himself reflected "inside" the wall of the ice cell, and the way he thinks that if the wall hadn't killed Jarl, he might have.(Yes, it fits with the way the action might have developed, but doubles as a hint at the Stark connection to the wall.) I think there must be a Wildling version of the Long Night story and/or hero prophecy. So many people have one, and the First Men were on the front lines. Dalla told Jon,"We free folk know things you kneelers have forgotten." ... I suspect we'll learn a good deal of that through Val. In Tormund's joking about stealing Val, something about Val is being held back from Jon, not because of Jon, but because of Mel. Dalla's caution .. "..The Horned Lord once said that sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it." .. is in the same vein as Val's.. "Fire is a fickle thing. No one knows which way a flame will go." (the quote continues) Val put a foot into a stirrup, swung her leg over her horse's back, and looked down from the saddle. "Do you remember what my sister told you?" "Yes." A sword without a hilt, with no safe way to hold it." This connects Val's statement to the scene where Mance calls Dalla a "wise woman" and "true queen" Then, Dalla dispensed wisdom to Jon (and no doubt had, to Mance); now, Val does.
  15. Is the Hooded Man actually The Hooded Man?

    This was a theory put forth (for me very convincingly) by a poster named redriver , who I haven't noticed posting recently. (It's probably in the archives from about 2013, but I can't remember the title and he may have developed it in a thread opened by someone else) Roughly, it goes ... Mance asked for 6 young pretty spearwives to accompany him and supplied names. Edd bought them to CB from Mole's Town. When they get to WF, one is older grey haired, deep voiced. rr speculates that Mance ran into Torren Liddle (The Liddle) just as Bran & co did. From ASoS... “The wolves will come again,” said Jojen solemnly. “And how would you be knowing, boy?” “I dreamed it.” “Some nights I dream of me mother that I buried nine years past,” the man said, “but when I wake, she’s not come back to us.” .. and he concludes (from this and other things) that Myrtle (probably the name of his old mother) is The Liddle, and the one who connects Mance to the resistance.. From this point we differ a bit - he thinks the spearwives did the killings, I don't (except for m-m-maybe the naked, grizzled Frey squire)... He thinks "Myrtle" is the HM, I don't (too many changes of clothes). I remember discussing with him re: the clans .. The Flint and The Norrey are at the Wall with Jon (and NW ranger, "Big" Liddle). The Wull and "Middle" Liddle are with Stannis, ..Probably "Little" (Rickard ) Liddle has been left holding the fort, and The Liddle (Myrtle) with Mance and the Northern malcontents inside WF. ... (Also, for us, the shrub myrtle can be symbolic of immortality, so in a way, Torren's mother lives on. ) I'll respond to more tomorrow. Late, here.