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  1. @Lady BlizzardbornThanks for tagging me.. I haven't had time to read all the way through, but I've skimmed .. and I'm loving it. I had done some of the same research, myself.. but I can see you've gone much farther. I started out being unsure if it was a random Valeryan, or Blackfyre or Brightflame connection I was sensing about Daario, but as I progressed , Blackfyre definitely took over. I think you have half the puzzle here, but I think there's another half (completely compatible, to my mind), which I ought to have up in a couple of days.. I had two parts of the hypothesis up in 2015.. then delayed to see what would happen with the board changes, then - rabbit hole. I have to retrieve my original OP from the archive and add the mountain of other stuff from my notes and quotes.. (OMG) I imagine you're as amazed as I have been by the absolute reams that can be connected to Daario, about whom it first appears we're told so little. I'll link to this thread in mine, if that's OK. And I can't wait to have the chance to go back and read through all of this in detail.
  2. Well, there's no mention, no evidence of a Cerwyn castellan. And there's no mention of Jonelle after the scene with Robb's bannermen (If under Roose's protection, why was she not in Harrenhall?) ... Medger's announcement of his intention seems like a trial balloon to me - of a kind with the ways the other lords are testing Robb's resolve and decision making at the time. Overall, there are some possible hints that are easy to overlook (including by me, previously)... First, from Roose.. "I left six hundred men at the ford. Spearmen from the rills, the mountains, and the White Knife, a hundred Hornwood longbows, some freeriders and hedge knights, and a strong force of Stout and Cerwyn men to stiffen them. Ronnel Stout and Ser Kyle Condon have the command. Ser Kyle was the late Lord Cerwyn's right hand, as I'm sure you know; my lady. ...ASoS, Cat VI And looking back to AGoT... Lord Cerwyn had actually brought his daughter with him, a plump, homely maid of thirty years who sat at her father's left hand and never lifted her eyes from her plate. ... Bran VI, AGOT It seems to me now, that there's reason to doubt Jonelle even went as far as Moat Cailin. Kyle was Medger's right hand and Jonelle is called his left hand - by using language that is commonly used to denote political power or authority. George is not just describing seating arrangements. Why does Jonelle never lift her eyes from her plate? .. George plays with this by telling us she's plump, but doesn't describe her tucking in with relish... Is she so painfully shy ? ... He doesn't call her shy .. Is she embarrassed by being used (in whatever way Medger is using her)?.. Is it silent protest?.. Sadness? We can't say for sure, but a noblewoman who "sits at her (lord) father's left hand" is very unlikely to be his cook. There may even be some slight fodder for shippers here. Right+ left , dexter+sinister, male+female, Kyle+Jonelle. Now I say Theon was only teasing Robb, and there's no physical sign that Jonelle ever left the north. Either she was Medger's de facto castellan as Cat was Ned's .. (Cat didn't leave a castellan over Robb either, only appointing Rodrik when there was just Bran and Rickon left in WF.) .. or Jonelle was just an able, mature assistant for Cley, who was slightly younger than Robb.
  3. I don't buy Theon Durden at all. There's no real disassociation going on. Theon is always reminding himself to be Reek out of fear. There are no hallucinations, unless you count Bran's face on the weirwood, and that could be magic. It's much more likely that Theon believes the person he meets to be dead, one of the many ghosts he senses in WF... and I'm sure there must be many men with hooded cloaks inside WF. No...But I don't think the HM is committing any of the murders.. I think the culprit is Ramsay, Theon's first suspicion - perhaps excluding the death of Little Walder (I don't think BW acted alone).. He's hooded,visibility is poor and he's not seen anywhere where people are gathered. Yes, I think we do. Many people have noted that the storm seems to emanate from WF (it begins after Roose occupies the castle), and many think it's because there is no Stark in WF. I think it's because there is a Stark in WF, and whatever magical wards may help protect the castle only function when a Stark is present. I don't say Roose would allow it.. I'm saying it would be difficult for even a man of Roose's competence to prevent, under the circumstances. There are many loose ravens, some presumably wild, some not - all free to fly about - and three maesters tasked with trying to get Luwin's sorted out and caught... with the confusion of ravens and the snowstorm hampering visibility, I think it would be very possible for a Cerwyn or Slate raven to head for home without being noticed. (Why are these maesters and their houses identified, we may ask...) Roose has scouts out, but after a while they stop returning ..and they're scouting for Stannis approaching from Deepwood, which is in a totally different direction from Cerwyn. I don't think we're talking about a 5000 strong army moving en masse anywhere.. I'm going to call them Robett's men for now, and I think they make up a much smaller force.. maybe not more than 1500 .. but enough that, when added to the northmen with Roose (after he has sent out the Freys and Manderly's men), and having the advantage of surprise, they'd have a decent chance of vanquishing him, or at least driving him out of WF. The level of the crypts we do see apparently extends well beyond the perimeter of the castle, so who knows how deep and how far the lower levels extend.. who knows how long an entrance/escape tunnel might be? I'm talking about moving much smaller numbers in increments - 100 here,100 there - first to Jonelle, and then on to WF, so there's never what you'd call a standing army at her seat. In reverse order : "Lord Cerwyn means to take his daughter south with us. To cook for him, he says. Theon is certain I'll find the girl in my bedroll one night. I wish … I wish Father was here …" We don't know if Robb thought of some way of disuading him before they left, but meaning to do something is not doing it ... Even if he did take her, as I say, I'm sure she would have been sent back once Robb became engaged. It's not likely she would have done much cooking, at home..(surely the Cerwyns had cooks).. And why is she not mentioned, even in passing, thereafter ... until she signs the documents in Barrowton.. Your suggestion implies that Roose would have had her with him at the red wedding, then just let her off the hook once they were home... rather unwise, for someone who's trying to hide his own involvement. Who is this Cerwyn castellan? No castellan is ever mentioned. Who would have appointed him? Probably not Cley since, when he joined Cassel outside of WF.. it appeared it would be a pretty easy operation.
  4. Why? Just a hunch? Sure , like so much else, it's at least partially a hunch.. but one informed by a number of clues. First off, I think Wyman and Howland would historically think she was generally trustworthy. Their lands border hers. We hear of no disputes, or long standing rivalries between them. It's unthinkable that there wouldn't have been some regular, or semi-regular contact, certainly between Barbrey and Wyman over the years.(In contrast, contact would have been much less frequent between Manderly and the Umbers, with more exaggerated cultural differences causing their early mutual animosity.) Howland is a little more difficult to speculate on, but he and Barbrey's late husband were brothers in arms. There might easily have been, if not a visit, a message of condolence on his part, and it would be unusual if there was no contact between them over the last 16 years. Then too, Meera and Jojen would have had to cross Barbrey's territory (or at least travel along it's borders) ..No worries are reported.. And I don't think we hear northmen make sneering use of "frog-eaters", just Freys ... so while the crannogmen may be mysterious, they don't seem to be generally held in fear or disdain. .. Personally, I think Barbrey lies like a sidewalk in some matters, while being very truthful in others.. (I'm currently trying to update a thread I had about her a few years ago) .. Without going into everything that I think is suspicious about her and her stories, her attitude to Wyman is highly suggestive.. She disparages him to Theon (who she knows will not lie to Roose or Ramsey, if questioned) but then deflects blame from him during Theon's interrogation. While in the crypts with Theon she establishes... Barrowton sent men with the Young Wolf as well. I gave him as few men as I dared, but I knew that I must needs give him some or risk the wroth of Winterfell. So I had my own eyes and ears in that host. They kept me well informed. I know who you are. I know what you are. ... ADWD, The Turncloak "As few men as I dared" is cover for the benefit of the Boltons ... The important bit is that she was kept well informed. I doubt she was only being kept informed about Theon. Then, during Theon's interrogation... "Night work is not knight's work," Lady Dustin said. "And Lord Wyman is not the only man who lost kin at your Red Wedding, Frey. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers. Flints, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Slates … they all had men with the Young Wolf." "House Ryswell too," said Roger Ryswell. "Even Dustins out of Barrowton." Lady Dustin parted her lips in a thin, feral smile. "The north remembers, Frey." ... ADWD, A Ghost in Winterfell OK. So she is being kept well informed by her own eyes and ears.. which in the particular context given refers to her own men/bannermen (in that host), but taken broadly, it can also refer to her own observation, and we can see Barbrey is pretty astute. (And for that matter if she had eyes and ears "in that host" might she not also have some elsewhere?) There are no "Dustins" per se out of Barrowton.. but there is one named close bannerman of hers that we hear of - Ronnel Stout .. if, as seems likely, he was her source of information .. (Why name him and Kyle Condon if they're not to come into play again, somehow?) ... how late in the game was he able to send messages ?... And for that matter, where is he? ...I don't think those men were called up by Roose before heading north, or we should have seen or heard of either a happy reunion of Harwood and Ronnel (at best) or perhaps news of Ronnel's death (at worst). When Roose interrupts Ramsay's feast and orders everyone out.. Harwood Stout bowed stiffly and relinquished his hall without a word. ...Reek III I read strong resentment in his stiff bow and silence ... and not because he wants to continue feasting. - We know through Theon that Ramsay and his men have been eating through Stout's winter stores and Ramsay's bitches have just killed his dog, but I don't think either is enough to explain his behaviour - not when put together with the other clues. (i.e. the snowmen etc.which I'll come back to..) Barbrey tells Theon.. "Lord Bolton aspires to more than mere lordship. Why not King of the North? Tywin Lannister is dead, the Kingslayer is maimed, the Imp is fled. The Lannisters are a spent force, and you were kind enough to rid him of the Starks. Old Walder Frey will not object to his fat little Walda becoming a queen. White Harbor might prove troublesome should Lord Wyman survive this coming battle … but I am quite sure that he will not. No more than Stannis. Roose will remove both of them, as he removed the Young Wolf. Who else is there?" "You," said Theon. "There is you. The Lady of Barrowton, a Dustin by marriage, a Ryswell by birth." That pleased her. She took a sip of wine, her dark eyes sparkling, and said, "The widow of Barrowton … and yes, if I so choose, I could be an inconvenience. Of course, Roose sees that too, so he takes care to keep me sweet." .. The Prince of Winterfell Here, she's linked to Manderly by language.. WH "might prove troublesome"... she "could be an inconvenience". There's no real difference between the two. I don't think there's much Roose could do to "keep her sweet" with her sister and nephew dead. (Theon reminds us that they were the kin of the Ryswells,too... Safe to say they are following Barbrey's lead.) She also tells Theon that Roose has no real emotions - he merely plays with men, including herself and Theon. Just compare that to Theon's thoughts when Roose tells him.. "I mean you no harm, you know. I owe you much and more." "You do?" Some part of him was screaming, This is a trap, he is playing with you, the son is just the shadow of the father. Lord Ramsay played with his hopes all the time. ... Reek III ... Barbrey is no less astute than Theon, I think she can see that "the son is just the shadow of the father". She hates the son ... I doubt that she hates the father less. So, coming back to the snowmen, I think she's properly associated with Manderly, Stout and Whoresbane and none of them are actually on Roose's side of the gameboard. With the visibility in the snowstorm so poor, I've never thought the snowmen were signals to any characters in the books, but they are signals to us. They're introduced to us in The Turncloak ... A battle was being fought in the yard; Ryswells pelting Barrowton boys with snowballs. Above, he could see some squires building snowmen along the battlements. ..<snip>.. "Lord Winter has joined us with his levies," one of the sentries outside the Great Hall japed... I take the bold as a prediction. A battle will be fought in the yard. "Lord Winter" might be an obscure hint (but only if you think, like me, that Benjen is in WF secretly - an interim Stark in WF - then it resonates with Maege hailing Robb "the King of Winter". Benjen was the north's de facto lord during RR) More snowmen had risen in the yard by the time Theon Greyjoy made his way back. To command the snowy sentinels on the walls, the squires had erected a dozen snowy lords. One was plainly meant to be Lord Manderly; it was the fattest snowman that Theon had ever seen. The one-armed lord could only be Harwood Stout, the snow lady Barbrey Dustin. And the one closest to the door with the beard made of icicles had to be old Whoresbane Umber. I assume the rest of the dozen snowy lords also stand in for real characters, even if the squires never modeled them after anyone, and even if the number of Northern Lords present for the wedding don't number a dozen. Then, by the time the rescue mission is underway.. Outside the snow still fell. The snowmen the squires had built had grown into monstrous giants, ten feet tall and hideously misshapen ..Theon I Lord Winter's levies have grown much larger (greater) than they were at first seen to be, have taken on a different shape and an ominous aspect.(I would say, preparatory to the coming battle in the yard.) Barbrey points out something else that we should think about - the maesters ... Three of them had entered together by the lord's door behind the dais—one tall, one plump, one very young, but in their robes and chains they were three grey peas from a black pod. Before the war, Medrick had served Lord Hornwood, Rhodry Lord Cerwyn, and young Henly Lord Slate. Roose Bolton had brought them all to Winterfell to take charge of Luwin's ravens, so messages might be sent and received from here again. ... The Prince of Winterfell ...and she launches into her diatribe against Walys and maesters in general. Informative as it is, we can still think of some maesters who have been loyal, even devoted to the families they serve.(Cressen, Luwin,e.g.)... We don't know how loyal Medrick, Rhodry and Henly were to their lords, and I haven't found any clues to their own houses in their names, but it's possible Medrick and Rhodry served for a long time.. Henly is young, but served the Slates who once ruled the Wolf's Den (of fierce reputation).. maybe their lords could trust them - but I'll bet Roose can't . At first I thought the only importance in their being in WF was that no messages would be coming to Roose from their houses, but no, they're present in part, so messages might be sent, which is important to what I think is going on inside WF and the northern resistance / GNC. I don't see why they wouldn't have brought a few of their own/home birds with them. If the Hornwood has already been handed back, then probably nothing would be sent there (unless Roose ordered it), but to House Cerwyn or House Slate ?.. I can see either being very important, and I'll explain more later. Side Note on Jonelle Cerwyn.. @Lost Melnibonean, I don't think she's "under Roose's protection" at all, if by that you mean, Roose brought her back north with him. I think Lord Cerwyn would have sent her home with some kind of escort, as soon as Robb agreed to marry a Frey. The way home was unrestricted at that point. Why drag her into war for no reason? Home cooking was never really what Lord Cerwyn wanted. Theon had that situation sussed out pretty soundly, IMO. ... If she wasn't at home when Cley was killed, how is it either Manderly or Ramsey didn't take her seat under "protective occupation"? There were Cerwyn men with Ramsay at Moat Cailin; who sent them, if not Jonelle? Moving on.. Why? Because he comes into the story later ? ... I think there are definite clues that he's the Liddle, himself : In the paragraphs preceding the meeting in the cave Meera has asked if there are people in these mountains, and Bran has listed off the clans, finishing up... Lord Wull came to Winterfell once, to do his fealty and talk with Father, and he had the buckets on his shield. He's no true lord, though. Well, he is, but they call him just the Wull, and there's the Knott and the Norrey and the Liddle too. At Winterfell we called them lords, but their own folk don't." Jojen Reed stopped to catch his breath. "Do you think these mountain folk know we're here?" "They know." Bran had seen them watching; not with his own eyes, but with Summer's sharper ones, that missed so little. "They won't bother us so long as we don't try and make off with their goats or horses." It's not only Liddle territory they've been travelling through, and it's not only Liddles that the bastard's boys have been questioning. It would be hard for any watchers to mistake Bran for anyone else. Following just after this in the narrative, we meet the man in the cave... Bran figured him for a Liddle. The clasp that fastened his squirrelskin cloak was gold and bronze and wrought in the shape of a pinecone, and the Liddles bore pinecones on the white half of their green-and-white shields. There's plenty to discuss in their conversation, but strictly for purposes of identification, Jojen calls the man "My lord" and the man does not demur. He would know very well how the Liddle would be addressed by someone in WF, or by folk outside of his own who guessed his status. So if he was not the Liddle, I think he would have corrected Jojen. (Like Middle Liddle, I think he comes into the story later too, but in disguise.) I conclude that he's the Liddle and Bran's secret isn't his alone to protect. I believe you said, upthread, that he was saving Bran from further danger.. I don't see how that works. He knows about Mormont's ranging and the birds flying back silent. He may or may not know Jon is with Mormont, but in any case, Jon has very little authority at that point... and the NW takes no part , etc. ... There's something very wrong, very out of character in his behaviour. Bran said.. They won't bother us so long as we don't try and make off with their goats or horses. ..This is no doubt generally true, but shouldn't be in this particular case. ... When he's trying to track the boys, Theon tells us... Somehow Osha and the wretched boys were eluding him. It should not have been possible, not on foot, burdened with a cripple and a young child. Every passing hour increased the likelihood that they would make good their escape. If they reach a village . . . The people of the north would never deny Ned Stark's sons, Robb's brothers. They'd have mounts to speed them on their way, food. Men would fight for the honor of protecting them. The whole bloody north would rally around them. ... ACoK, Theon IV I think Theon has it right, judging by the northmen's later sentiments about (and actions on behalf of) "Ned's little girl" ... So what's going on? Not only is he letting Bran go from one danger into another, but so are watchers from other clan territories that Bran has passed through, and possibly the Umbers, with whom the clans have contact. Why does no-one try to take them into protective custody? Here's the whole conversation,hidden to save space, and note the second half of the first sentence. (Bran asks if it's far to the Wall)... In some places, the Liddle seems to be testing them, particularly Jojen. Don't forget how young Jojen must appear, because of his size. Why should the man accept that Jojen's dreams are different? When he asks,"And how would you be knowing, boy?",it could easily stand in for, I know, but how do you know? The only solution to the many questions, for me, is that the clans have been told to keep their distance and let Bran proceed.. and whose authority would they accept on that? Galbart Glover's maester had claimed the mountain clans were too quarrelsome to ever band together without a Stark to lead them. He might not have been lying. He might just have been wrong. ... ADWD, The Wayward Bride I don't think the maester was either lying or wrong, it only appears so to Asha because they're with Stannis at that time. They would accept Benjen's word that Bran needs to be allowed to proceed, but who could have convinced Benjen ?... All Bran could think of was Old Nan's story of the Others and the last hero, hounded through the white woods by dead men and spiders big as hounds. He was afraid for a moment, until he remembered how that story ended. "The children will help him," he blurted, "the children of the forest!" ... AGoT, Bran IV Also reinforced by... The best hope is Winterfell. The Starks must rally the north. ... Qhorin, ACOK, Jon V ..(true whether the adversary is wildlings, or the Others) There are many, many more clues that lead me to the conclusion that Benjen is secretly in WF (and most likely the hooded man) but the puzzling situation with Bran and the Liddle is what set me on the track. There would be no "hands off" for Osha and Rickon , and I think they were probably scooped up quite quickly by Umber and Manderly men as they ventured toward WH. They were probably sent to Skagos by ship from Widow's Watch (mentioned no less than 5 times by Manderly), thus avoiding crossing either Bolton or Karstark territory. What's up inside WF ? Benjen is there as the HM.. None of the Northmen present are really Roose's allies.. The hints planted about a secret passage are true .. It's protected by magic - similar to the Black Gate, which is how it could have been forgotten, and remained undiscovered for perhaps centuries. Benjen now knows about it through CoTF/Bloodraven. I think we're given a mini-parallel in the passage Arya & co find on the shore of the God's eye, leading into the holdfast (long tunnel, one end emerging near water) - in this case between WF and somewhere toward the branch of the White Knife. Robett Glover has been raising men much more successfully than reported - to take WF .. I believe the plan is foreshadowed in ACoK, Theon V, when Theon tells Asha... And I’ve had reports that Lord Manderly has sent a dozen barges upriver packed with knights, warhorses, and siege engines. The Umbers are gathering beyond the Last River as well. I’ll have an army at my gates before the moon turns, ... In this case, no seige engines required - the army will be inside the gates, thanks to Benjen opening the passage and Barbrey unblocking the crypt door. House Cerwyn would serve as a handy staging area situated close by the river. Ravens could be sent to house Cerwyn (e.g.) to arrange times to send supplies ,men, and so on. With all the ravens hanging about, no-one would notice. The sound of the first warhorn, that hangs over the battlements comes from inside (HM) and signals the Umbers to begin their clamour. I have to post this now, because if I lose it,I'll have to bash my head against the wall. I'll finish up tomorrow.
  5. I have 2 parts archived..I wanted to wait until after the board changes to finish, then life and distractions intervened.. now you're inspiring me to bump it up my list. (apologies to Barbrey ...) I don't want to discuss here and throw your thread out of whack.. think we may each have part of the puzzle.
  6. @Lady Blizzardborn Hi! I'm really liking this so far, Kudos. ...and so far it's not really in disagreement with my own theory (I don't know if you remember..) I'm still involved with a couple of other things before I get back to it.
  7. Aha, and oho ... I'd forgotten that (and Mormont's comment to Jon) or read past them, but they clarify some things for me... I was too tired to say more last night and planned to come back with more today. I was torn between Bear Island and White Harbor (somewhere on Manderly lands) as their location, now I'm torn between WH and GWW.. (I'll come back to this) If they didn't always know (and they might not have), I think Howland would know and Manderly would know that she was to be trusted, and both of their lands border on hers. I didn't mean to imply multiple trips for Maege and Galbart, just that they could have gone in more than one direction. It all comes down to communications again, which I'll say more about at the end. Re: Robb probably liaising with Howland.. Your "just a guess" vs. my "logical deduction".. I think it would be highly unusual, if not outright foolhardy, in a time of war, for the King to go out "scouting" alone, unless there was a very good reason. I said .. "Robb lays out his battle plans at this council. He is very certain of what part Howland is to play, which suggests he has been liaising with Howland's representatives (or even Howland himself ?)" Of course Robb would have confidence in Howland. What I was getting at was, he seems certain of the fine logistical details.. that Howland will be watching for Maege and Galbart .. that he will be ready to guide Robb's contingent (with their horses) through his lands, and that such a safe path exists..and so on. Working these things out would require discussion. We don't see any discussion, but we do see Robb riding out "scouting" alone.. When else would these arrangements have been made? As to the second, Robb may have reasonable expectations of succeeding, but his whole reason for writing the document was that he knew there was a real chance he could be killed. Jeyne knew too, to judge by her riding after him for a last tearful farewell. He may have shared his thoughts with her, up to a point, but he wouldn't leave her without proof of his final decision.(Don't forget he hadn't yet fully sounded out Cat,or taken steps to keep her from opposing his wishes.) I don't think either Robb (or George) would put such a valuable document in the hands of some unnamed ,unseen steward after all the thought and work that was put into it. There is some room to doubt they have Jeyne. Maybe, maybe not (I can't decide).. I'm not just talking about the question of the width of her hips, but the fact that her sister came with her to RR, and is not noticed .. not even mentioned by either Sybell or Jaime (though I believe all of Sybell's other children are mentioned). It's curious, but it could go either way. Brynden could have used a leather pouch or tube encased in wax, or tar, or any of the materials we used to use to make a watertight seal, before we had Ziplocs. Yeah, sorry - that was where I had to quit, finished or not, to save my hands.. Re: communications, I think probably as soon as Theon took WF and certainly by the time Ramsay sacked it, the northern leaders would have made a point of sending couriers along the existing lines of communication, clandestinely, where necessary. A network could be built fairly rapidly - e.g. A trusts B, but not C and D .. A sends important news to B .. maybe B agrees C is not trustworthy, but knows D is, and so relays the message to D .. etc. We've been given some important points of connection : Clans<->Umber<->Manderly. ... Looking at the map, another logical point of connection would be Wull<->Mormont. Everyone in the north would know pretty quickly that Ramsay sacked WF. The Liddle tells us.. There's squids in the wolfswood, and flayed men ride the kingsroad asking after strangers." The Reeds exchanged a look. "Flayed men?" said Jojen. "The Bastard's boys, aye. He was dead, but now he's not. And paying good silver for wolfskins, a man hears, and maybe gold for word of certain other walking dead." He looked at Bran when he said that, and at Summer stretched out beside him. Liddles were not the only watchers Bran and Summer noticed on their way north. Additionally, anyone sent to survey the scene at WF could easily have noticed the same clues as Osha and Bran.. At first Bran thinks that Theon has done it.. "No. Look." She pointed across the yard with her spear. "That's one of his ironmen. And there. And that's Greyjoy's warhorse, see? The black one with the arrows in him." She moved among the dead, frowning. "And here's Black Lorren." He had been hacked and cut so badly that his beard looked a reddish-brown now. "Took a few with him, he did." Osha turned over one of the other corpses with her foot. "There's a badge. A little man, all red." "The flayed man of the Dreadfort," said Bran. Furthermore, we know from Stannis' letter to Jon that there were survivors from the battle outside the gates of WF, and I simply cannot believe that he was the first person they flocked to. (Knowledge of the red wedding would only have intensified their activity) The Clans are the first know that Bran survived, and the Umbers/ Manderly seem to have picked up Osha and Rickon.. I believe the first part of Wex's story - how he hid and that he set out following Osha and Rickon, but I don't believe he could have followed them for long without being discovered. Not with Osha's skills and Shaggy's senses. I think they all were taken in by Manderly/Umbers, probably by men attached to the ship-building project. Wex may know they're on Skagos, but not because he followed them there. Robett Glover is an ideal way for Manderly to secretly make contact with other lords. He's in WH "legitimately" .. supposedly trying to raise men to help him retake DM . He can come and go and be seen talking to all kinds of people without raising suspicion, so I think Manderly's intentions can be passed on at any time. I don't think he needs Davos to retrieve Rickon. Umbers could see to getting him when the time comes. I think it's a way of keeping Davos out of the way of the northern resistance and to keep from giving an outright refusal to Stannis. Once again I think Manderly GRRM is being tricky with language.. He says .. Smuggle me back my liege lord, and I will take Stannis Baratheon as my king. ...He doesn't actually call Rickon his leige lord, although I'm sure he knows Davos will take it that way. I'm sure he has no intention of taking Stannis as his king ...what if his liege lord doesn't accept Stannis as his king ? (I have a wee bit more, but I'll have to come back.)
  8. I suppose this all starts with the question of how Mama Direwolf came to be where she would be found by the Starks, when no direwolf had been seen south of the wall in 200 yrs... And I suppose most people would say Bloodraven had a hand in it (I suppose I say or would have said so,too.).. But when I got to thinking about it, I realised that might not be the only possibility.. He may have been one of two greenseers involved, or the task might have been wholly delegated to another greenseer ... (I'm trying to put my thoughts in some orderly fashion - I hope I succeed ... ) For what sent me down this track, we have to skip ahead (past ACoK) to ADWD, Jon I, which opens with Jon's wolf dream 2 ... I'll hide it here to save space... (sigh! the whole rest of the post got on)
  9. OK, here's the can of worms as I see it.. Maege, Lyra and Jory could be one of 3 places, Bear Island, GWW or with the forces Robbett Glover has been gathering at/around White Harbor. I don't think that Barbrey Dustin and her brothers are actually supporters of Roose. but are playing a double game, so it would have been very possible for the Mormonts to travel (incognito, of course) from coast to coast, if they chose above the Neck. (The same would go for Galbart) Re: the will / decree - I don't think it went to GWW or was ever at The Twins.(I've posted the following in more detail in another discussion) 1. At Tristifer's tomb, Robb and Cat discuss whether Jeyne might be pregnant and argue over Robb wanting to name Jon as his successor. Robb believes that if he dies and Jeyne is pregnant, even if he names Jon, Jon would never try to usurp Robb's child. (This implies that Robb trusts that Jon would either act as regent or name the child his heir.) Cat is adamant that she would never support Jon. Robb leaves her in anger. 2. As they journey onward, Robb barely speaks to Cat, but he rides up and down the column talking to one or another of his various lords and officers. (Not just passing the time of day, IMO) They are riding through marshy territory across the river from GWW (such terrain as Howland's scouts might move through easily) and sometimes Robb rides out scouting alone with Grey Wind. Unusually risky behaviour for the young king, unless he's sending messages back and forth with Howland.(This is when/how Robb would have sent word to Howland to watch for Maege and Galbart) 3. Jason Mallister comes to meet Robb's contingent while they're still in Hag's Mire, bringing the Captain of the Myraham, who tells of Balon's death, Euron, etc. .. Robb asks the Cpt. to wait outside and Mallister will escort him to his ship after their council .. promises the Cpt. will be rewarded. 4. Robb lays out his battle plans at this council. He is very certain of what part Howland is to play, which suggests he has been liaising with Howland's representatives (or even Howland himself ?) ... He commands that Cat be "kept safe" at Seagard for the duration of the war. This means that not only will she be safe, but unable to argue against or interfere with Robb's plans, should he be killed in battle. (During the scene, Robb points out for us that the Ironborn will be squabbling over their succession, and Cat's thoughts (again, for our benefit) hark back to when she acted against Robb's orders about Jaime. Robb is avoiding either possibility.) 5. At the end of the council he says... “One more matter. Lord Balon has left chaos in his wake, we hope. I would not do the same. Yet I have no son as yet, my brothers Bran and Rickon are dead, and my sister is wed to a Lannister. I’ve thought long and hard about who might follow me. I command you now as my true and loyal lords to fix your seals to this document as witnesses to my decision.” ... He doesn't request, but commands what Cat's role will be and that his bannermen witness his decision re: his succession. 6. Though many of us think the will went with Robb to the twins, I want to point out that the Myraham would be travelling south along the coast, from Seagard to Oldtown. The Captain has been assured that he will be rewarded, and he displays a willing attitude to Robb. ... It would be easy for the Captain to stop at the mouth of the river that passes Riverrun (Tumblestone?), and put off a Mallister courier taking the will to Jeyne and the Blackfish.(Or even act as courier himself) It would be logical for Robb's Queen (and possible heir) to have possession of his will. He makes the will because he plans to be riding into battle immediately after the wedding, so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have it with him, where it could be lost or destroyed. 7. With Jeyne possibly/probably falling into Lannister hands (We'll likely find out in the TWoW prologue) I think the will is with the Blackfish, and his scornful attitude to Jon in his exchange with Jaime is misdirection. I don't think he'd let it fall into Lannister hands.. 8. It's quite possible that the document not only names Jon but makes reference to Robb's plan on how to release Jon from his vows. Robb seemed to be aware that there was some, or a precedent for that, though more precedent existed for a legalized bastard to rule. I think he would have taken care of both matters. Robb obviously had given the whole matter a lot of thought, and was trying to satisfy all contingencies beforehand. (In this SSM, I doubt George is referring to the release of Barristan, but probably older cases. ) So the Greatjon, Maege, Galbart Glover, Jason Mallister, Edmure and probably Raynald Westerling all knew the contents, and at least some of them would know where it was sent, if it was sent... (If Reynald Westerling survived, there's a potential for others to know, depending on who might have rescued him..) Yes, I think so, in the fact that while Galbart despaired over Robbett's capture earlier - in ADWD when speaking to Davos ... "Glover. Your seat was Deepwood Motte." "My brother Galbart's seat. It was and is, thanks to your King Stannis. He has taken Deepwood back from the iron bitch who stole it and offers to restore it to its rightful owners. .. Robbett expresses no reciprocal despair over Galbart's whereabouts and "was and is" implies he knows very well that Galbart survived the red wedding. I think if Lyra and Jory had gone south with their mother, there would have been some mention of them. I don't think there's a chance that Maege would have left Bear Island under Lyanna's command and not even solely under Alysanne.. Looking at her conversation with Asha in ADWD... "Five, we were. All girls. Lyanna is back on Bear Island. Lyra and Jory are with our mother. Dacey was murdered." "The Red Wedding." "Aye." Alysane stared at Asha for a moment. "I have a son. He's only two. My daughter's nine." ...Alysanne would have been highly pregnant when Robb called the banners (If the boy is two he was born in 298). Considering the frequency with which women die in childbirth Alysanne wouldn't have been left alone. My bet is that both Lyra and Jory stayed and have joined Maege since her return..(or she has joined them, but is lying low). The first letters Stannis sent out asked/ demanded that he be recognised as King. The Mormonts were not about to swear to him so they had Lyanna answer. It's unlikely Stannis would go to the trouble of making war on a child off on some island, when he had more pressing concerns. The clans never bent the knee, but agreed to help Stannis for the sake of "Ned's little girl", opening a door for Alysanne to join under the same terms.. as an ally, not a subject. I agree with this. We've been shown or told of many means of communication. Everyone wants the news, even in normal circumstances. Umbers use clan lands for grazing and contact is made, both habitually have watchers out because of raiders.. and Umbers are working with Manderly along the White Knife... there are boats, riders, signal fires, traders (real or otherwise) bearing news (and perhaps messages).. ravens for those who can, or can safely use them...There's no shortage of means of communication. There's a good chance Roose knows exactly what Maege and Galbart know, and would not want them to live to tell it. Robb has a meeting with him at the twins which we were not privy to, because Cat was only there for part of it.
  10. Tormund's armbands

    I think the symbolic death of the NW (or, should I say the former hierarchy of the NW) is the most important point. Complicating the issue is the fact that there are more than 2 men who possess last names still at CB, and more still in the whole NW (So, I have to ask if Mallister's shield would ever have been there?) ... And then, unless a man was already a fighter, he wouldn't have a shield (see Sam) ... How long has the hall been out of use ? ... There could be men from noble houses whose shields were never hung there.. ..But the fact that there are still 2 shields implies those men are still alive.
  11. Tormund's armbands

    My real hopes would be Thorne and Marsh for 1 and 2. I'm not sure the Weeper will act quite yet.. but as @The Fresh PtwP notes, he'll be coming right along .. I think well before the Others.. I don't think Yarwick was ever really in on the conspiracy since the choosing. We're told he's a follower... Well, the more I think about him, I think he chose who to follow right then. I'm sure he must have voted for Jon. He framed the choice as between Jon and Slynt, but didn't throw his votes to Slynt as Thorne and Marsh expected - and went further by pointing out some negatives about Slynt. He partakes enthusiastically of Jon's personal hospitality and says it was good of Jon to offer... Bowen always refuses to partake.. We're encouraged to see them as cronies when we see them together with Jon, but they're together because Jon needs to see them both, or they both want to see him at the same time. A lot of his "opposition" to Jon seems to me to stem from pure superstition, which can gradually be overcome. (Eventually, even Yarwick is bound to notice that Wun Wun eats vegetables, not men).. He's already given the wildlings grudging credit for having a few good woodworkers. ..But Bowen's hidebound resistance to new ideas and political fears and Thorne's deadly intent are not so easily overcome. You may know by now that I feel very sure Thorne is there, but I won't derail this by airing my reasons again(unless invited,of course).
  12. Tormund's armbands

    They'd have to be nobles .. Mallister? (yipes, the Weeper!) Thorne? Benjen?(No-o-o) Edd?(No-o-o) Who else ???
  13. Tormund's armbands

    Yes, I like this .. sorry I'm just nipping in, I'll have to go back and read from the beginning (thanks for the tag, @The Fattest Leech) Related : I've often wondered when someone will come forward to read the runes.. I've also wondered exactly where Tormund's armbands are.. if they have actually been sent to Braavos.. probably not, since Tycho's ships have been put to use.. And I've wondered if the giant's horn was actually burned, or if that was a glamour too ..and how that might connect to Tormund Giantsbabe. Two hornblasts.. wildlings.. hmmm.. I was noticing the other night while working on something else, that in the shieldhall, after Tormund has blown his horn and Jon has asked Is there any man here who will come stand with me (I think people often forget what Jon actually asked the free folk)... The roar was all he could have hoped for, the tumult so loud that the two old shields tumbled from the walls. ... I thought this symbolic of the last vestiges of what the NW was falling away.. My pollyanna side chooses to think that Jon is forming a new NW with a new understanding of the original vows, and it may make a huge (yu-u-uge ) difference that this is happening before the onset of a new possible long night, rather than at the end of it, like last time.
  14. Greenseer, yes.. greenseer king.. m-m-m-aybe ... it wouldn't be out of the question for George to have it cut both ways, referring to Jon and to Ghost's ghost. My bet is that Satin is an ally..I'm thinking along the lines of @The Fattest Leech about George moving characters to Jon just when they're needed. At the same time, in spite of the apparent "whore" connection between him and Littlefinger and in spite of Lyn Corbray's predelictions (or maybe because of them) I sort of feel he may have been in Gulltown to assess what they were up to.. This is all because I think Satin may actually be a Hightower bastard, and not a whore at all.. I humbly offer the following.. It's my thread, but incognito..(and if you want to read it, please scroll down to post #4 for the real OP ...I somehow managed to open two identical threads, and when I asked Mods to amalgamate the two, they posted the responses from the second thread at the top) (maybe it's time I updated this as well....) I have this feeling that representatives of all the oldest bloodlines, or magical bloodlines are moving to come together at the wall... I don't think Pyp and Grenn would have stayed resentful. Time and again, we see Jon meet with the people he's sending elsewhere and explain their postings. It's a pattern. Slynt thinks his is beneath him, Thorne assumes Jon wants to kill him on the ranging.. Giant is flattered, Emmett and Edd delighted (lucky boys), and the only thing marring Sam's, is his fear of his father. We don't see a meeting with Pyp and Grenn, but I'm sure there must have been one, and I doubt if Jon would only have wanted to discourage familiarity, but think of some worthy position they could fill as well. We just don't know what that was yet. @Curled Finger HI, nice to see you.. (and thanks!) Too tired to post more tonight... I'll be back, as the saying goes.
  15. Songs that Make Us Think of A Song of Ice and Fire

    Indeed I did ! ..And here's one that I've loved for eons. The books remind me of the song,.. every time we read of some young thing being married off to a geezer Maids When You're Young Never Wed An Old Man ..Everybody, now !... He's got no fallurum , he's lost his ding duram da.. Maids when you're young, never wed an old man ! ETA: Besides, the boys look like they belong on the Wall...