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    Art, dance , film ,books, archaeology , history, politics. hockey, figure skating, dogs ..and on and on.

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  1. I know the feeling.
  2. OK, I can't resist . I think there are distinct signs that Jon is not dead and that he will not go mad, but will more fully display the battle madness of a GRRM version of an Úlfhéðinn (Ulfhedinn) - a wolf berserker, when he truly bonds with Ghost ... an event which I suspect will be sudden and is imminent. Early signs have been shown throughout the books, getting stronger as the story progresses and as Jon grows closer to Ghost. I laid my thoughts out (including a dissection of the assassination attempt) and had helpful discussion with others in this archived thread : If it turns out I'm right, it's quite possible Jon's Targaryen blood nudges his Stark/wolf blood more strongly in this direction. ETA: And if I'm right, it may been a good thing that Jon has avoided a full bond with Ghost until he became mature enough to handle it and had access to wildling knowledge and experience close at hand.
  3. We don't know this to be the case. It may be unlikely for men who have been sentenced to the watch for a crime, but for men like Jon, who volunteered, it may be much less unlikely. Cersei seems sure she can send men to the NW to do her bidding and bring them back at will.
  4. Yet in the text (as per my post above) Robb and even Cat seem to have an awareness that such a case ,or cases have been known to occur in the past. And George's very general confirmation .. .. to a fairly specific question probably hints at an example yet to be revealed.
  5. At Tristifer's tomb, in conversation with Cat, Robb seems sure there is some precedent for releasing Jon from his vows.He thinks exchanging 100 men for Jon should be accepatable. That this particular solution comes to mind may signal that a similar trade off has been made before. As they continue to argue, Cat allows that there would be more precedent for legitimising Jon ... but she doesn't claim there is no precedent for releasing him. (Of course she vows to oppose Robb in naming Jon, anyway.) Off page, George says there have been cases of men being released, though rarely. And it's not only the strenghth of Jon's Stark blood that counts for Robb (though that makes him far more suitable than any distant cousin), but Robb knows he can absolutely trust that Jon would never harm, nor usurp any child Robb may leave behind.
  6. Yes, it does that.. but it's hardly necessary for the reader to be told the letter would be wet as well as the raven. The reader knows those in WF have been speculating about exactly where Stannis was .. their scouts had not been returning... then many assume he's close outside the gates when the horns and drums begin, and so on. So when Theon sees Rhodry, bird on arm and Roose, letter in hand, suddenly announcing Stannis' location, we know the message has just arrived, anyway. Just as Rhodry dutifully delivers the letter even in the midst of mayhem, Clydas has previously been very prompt in delivering letters to Jon - at the practice yard, during Alys' wedding feast, etc. ... All of this makes me think it's intended to be a clue. Acording to the vídeo there are 18 days between alys/tycho arriving and alys wedding. It is enough time for tycho to arrive at the Wall on the same day as her and be long gone when she marries. The raven you are talking about isn t the one in the Theon chapter? I think it is believed they are trying to interfere with theon's fate so there isn t really a reson for us to assume that the ravens of winterfell are also being controled... Perhaps I need to watch again I thought PJ had Tycho at the wall or just leaving at the time of the wedding .. With the ravens, we come up against my assumptions/predictions .. which differ from his. Yes, I am talking about Arnolf's WF ravens in the new Theon chapter. In WF, it appears that Bran is able to reach Theon to an extent and in WF are many ravens, some Luwin's birds and some wild ones. I'd suggest there may even be some of the CotF ravens among the wild ones (in other words, easily inhabitable). Through the tree, Bran will have witnessed Theon and the spearwives discussing the escape plan. A raven (or two) could follow Theon and Jeyne as we've seen them follow other characters. In ADWD, The Sacrifice , Asha emerges from the dining hall to see a raven pecking at one of the burned corpses.Then Tycho, Theon et al arrive. Then we move on to the Theon chapter with Arnolf's ravens demanding with Asha that Theon be taken to the tree. I've come to think that Stannis will have changed his mind and sent Theon with Tycho and Jeyne... and that somehow he'll become convinced that those ravens can fly to Castle Black. I think Theon will be proved right and that Ramsay will arrive, only to follow on Theon and Jeyne's trail. Then (supposedly dead) Stannis will try to write to Jon (purporting to be Ramsay) to warn Jon that Ramsay is on his way using one of the ravens. This letter would arrive wet, as would any letter written by Mance or Ramsay.
  7. Oh, PJ,,, (sigh).. Kudos for attempting to track the moon so closely, but there's still wiggle room, and the assumptions get in the way. e.g.. Tycho was at the wall when Alys arrived but would have been long gone by the time of the wedding and Val's arrival. And for me (Har!), assuming the letter must have been sent from WF is premature. The smarter white raven speculation is bizarre, considering he completely ignores that Arnolf's apparent WF ravens begin to behave just like Mormont's raven, and might be guided by Bran and Bloodraven ...
  8. Another hint for those who think the pink/bastard letter was edited and re-copied before it was delivered to Jon ... from ADWD, Theon chapter ... "I see you all want blood," the Lord of the Dreadfort said. Maester Rhodry stood beside him, a raven on his arm. The bird's black plumage shone like coal oil in the torchlight. Wet, Theon realized. And in his lordship's hand, a parchment. That will be wet as well. If Arnolf's message to Roose was wet, the parchment given to Jon certainly should have been and should have been one of the things immediately noticeable about it. Travelling much farther, it should have been pretty sodden, but no-one present comments on it and Jon doesn't even think of it. I must have read past that tid-bit a gazillion times without noticing, though I subscribe to the editing theory for plenty of other reasons. I can't think why GRRM would have Theon take note of it, except for comparison, later. It doesn't make a whit of difference to Theon's storyline, but can be very relevant to Jon's.
  9. I do believe that Ser Shadrich (possibly Howland Reed) is there to rescue Sansa rather than kidnap her. Chances are that he will have help in Ser Morgarth (possibly Elder Brother) and Ser Byron (possibly the Blackwood heir, Brynden). I don't think Shadrich is after the KL reward ... but his conversation with Brienne was in part, to let her know that a reward for Sansa had been offered (and so to be more wary) ... and in part, to judge from Brienne's reactions whether her intentions were honourable. (In much the same vein as the Liddle's conversation with Bran and Jojen - giving information while testing them obliquely.) Yohn Royce (and even Randa Royce) might act in Sansa's interests, for different reasons ... and Sansa gives us something to think about in the Alayne chapter when she wonders if Lyn Corbray is really Petyr's bought ally pretending to be an adversary or if he's a true adversary pretending to have been bought. If Shadrich and his two companions arrived together, it was probably on one of the ships Brienne noted at Maidenpool. There was the Gulltown Girl and the Seastrider. She and Podrick Payne made the rounds of the ships that remained. The master of the Gulltown Girl took Brienne for a whore and told them that his ship was not a bawdy house, and a harpooner on the Ibbenese whaler offered to buy her boy, but they had better fortune elsewhere. She purchased Podrick an orange on the Seastrider, a cog just in from Oldtown by way of Tyrosh, Pentos, and Duskendale. "Gulltown next," her captain told her, "thence around the Fingers to Sisterton and White Harbor, if the storms allow. She's a clean ship, 'Strider, not so many rats as most, and we'll have fresh eggs and new-churned butter aboard. Is m'lady seeking passage north?" ... AFFC, Brienne V Shadrich (and perhaps Byron) may already have been aboard since Shadrich had been headed to Duskendale. Until the situation with the Corbrays comes into sharper focus, I wouldn't rule out an escape through Gulltown. Lyonel's young wife is the daughter of a rich Gulltown merchant who might be susceptible to persuasion.
  10. From the "Even now, little things I've missed suddenly jump out at me" department .... (As I've probably said somewhere upthread, among other places) I've long held the opinion that Stannis most likely wrote a letter to Jon from the field, but that it was intercepted at the wall by the conspirators (including Thorne) and Jon received an altered version - edited to suit the conspirators' ends. I won't rehash all the possible clues in this chapter (Theon's opinions, ravens,etc.) or in Jon's last ADWD chapter (the appearance of the letter, Clydas behaviour, etc.) ... but a few days ago, while browsing the Theon chapter in ADWD, I noticed this.. "I see you all want blood," the Lord of the Dreadfort said. Maester Rhodry stood beside him, a raven on his arm. The bird's black plumage shone like coal oil in the torchlight. Wet Theon realized. And in his lordship's hand, a parchment. That will be wet as well. Any letter sent to Jon at Castle Black from Stannis, or anyone at Winterfell would have travelled much farther in the snow storm and would certainly be wet, but neither Jon nor Tormund take note of this, in spite of noticing many other details. Just one more sign that whoever wrote a letter to Jon, Jon did not receive it as it was originally written.
  11. Again, not to derail this thread, but just to explain where I'm coming from : for me, it's not settled that Syrio was alive in 298 AC, though someone who claimed to be Syrio was. (I don't think GRRM is lying to us when he implies that Syrio is dead ... but I do think he's being slippery.) I'm generally agreeing with you that details of D&V's expulsion from Braavos could come through the person we met as Syrio, or through Arya (perhaps via some interaction with Phario Forel).
  12. These are both thought provoking. It occurs to me re: her mind's eye , that Viserys had been telling her tales of Westeros for years, and though he must have heard a lot from Darry, he was old enough to have clearer memories of Westeros than Dany does of living in Braavos. Random thoughts about her dream - I think the dragon is Drogon. He is wet and slick with what she senses is her blood .. as a baby is at birth (Mother of Dragons).She is responsible for his birth. Similarly, when grown, he is responsible for her rebirth when he flies her out of Daznak's pit - precipitating the new fierceness she seems to be embracing in her last chapter in ADWD. Just my own crackpottery (and I don't mean to derail the thread), but I suspect the Sealord of the pact died about the same time as Willem and that Syrio was his first sword, who also died at that time. Regardless, whatever happened to Syrio, we now know about Phario Forel from the Mercy chapter. I don't know if this is still necessary, but... Phario may also know things about his kinsman Syrio that Arya does not .. I can't believe Arya won't meet him. The set up just seems too ripe.
  13. Besides being able to put a lemon tree in a pot, we can easily tell that from the time Dany was roughly about three, Westeros was entering into a 10 yr. long summer and potted trees would probably not even need to be brought indoors. My search and quote functions are somewhat glitchy at the moment, so I'll just point everyone to the wiki to back up my points... We know that there are trees in Braavos in the "courts and gardens of the mighty". It seems unlikely that Dany & co would be sheltered anywhere but the environs of the mighty while in Braavos. We know that ships from the Summer Isles dock and trade in Braavos. Elaborate decorative carvings would probably be something they trade and something likely to be collected by the wealthy. It's quite possible that Dany's memories could be a hodge-podge of multiple places she has been, but also possible that she really does remember a specific door in Braavos. There may be an intersting hint in the way colours are used as a significator in Braavos e.g. the purple harbour , the House of Black and White (which actually has black and white doors) and the house of the red hands being where healers are found. I'm waiting to see if the red door is possibly connected to or affiliated with the house of the red hands... Dany would have been an infant when she arrived ,Ser Willem was already half blind and ill...
  14. We haven't seen any.. but Benjen told Jon that rangers heard them from time to time beyond the wall ... In the Not-a-canon-answer-but-my-bet-anyway department, I suspect that direwolves only bond with members of the Stark bloodline.
  15. I don't think Sam would ever hate Jon. He has an understanding of the difficult decisions Jon has had to make and has himself practiced deceptions in varying degrees in service to a good cause. (I'm referring to Sam's role in Jon's election and to keeping his knowledge of Bran's survival from Jon.) But beyond this, I think there are signs that the babies may never have been swapped at all. ... I stress "may" because I'm still somewhat of two minds on the matter ... I lean more toward not swapped, but wouldn't entirely rule out swapped. I laid out most of my reasoning in an old thread of mine, in the last few posts on page 9 ... I've come to think that Gilly can go against her own warning about naming infants and enter into her discussion with Sam of eventually naming the baby Aemon Battle-born because, though Sam thinks she's talking about the baby with them, she is talking about the baby at the wall ... and she has no expectation of actually having to name him. It's all speculation. After her tearful conversation with Jon, where would Gilly have turned for advice on her dilemma, but to Val ? (All the more if Val is a "wise woman") Val says Mel knows who "Monster" is, and I believe that's a truthful answer...."He's no kin to me." may also be completely truthful if, as may be, Val and Dalla are not blood sisters but sisters in an order or through their vocation - as in The Silent Sisters, e.g. - or like the various non-blood brotherhoods... even extending to Borroq calling Jon "Brother". Mel knows that Mance didn't become a king based on his bloodline. Why would she think his son possessed king's blood? By contrast Robert's (and therefore Stannis') claim relied on his Targaryen ancestry ... and we know that Mel wanted to burn Edric for his king's blood.