If Ned is Jon's father, he'd still pray that Robb and Jon grow up close as brothers, and he hopes Catelyn forgives his betrayal. If Lyanna is Jon's mother and Ned is his uncle, he'd still pray that Robb and Jon grow up close as brothers, and he hopes Catelyn forgives his betrayal and his lies. I think Wylla was always employed at Starfall the whole time. Ned had to come up with a fake introduction at the start of the Rebellion to fit Jon's timeline, but using her name as Jon's mother does imply that the Daynes are fully complicit in the lie.
Been rereading Dunk and Egg and really struck with Dunk's thoughts about Bloodraven. He was a feared sorcerer and spy and believed to be the true power ruling the realm. His position as greenseer was a way for him to extend his influence, and I wouldn't expect that he's abandoned any of his aspirations from when he was Hand.
We can only speculate the contents of the book, but whatever it was, Roose deemed it dangerous enough to burn. Most of the books we hear about are histories, and I'm thinking that it might be logical to conclude that it was a historical record. What historical record would Roose want to keep hidden? In order to answer that question we have determine what Roose wants. He's the Warden of the North. He has Winterfell. He has an heir to the Dreadfort. He has a pregnant wife. What else does he want? Does he aspire to the Iron Throne? If he is able to exterminate the Lannisters, whoops, I mean Baratheons, who would be left to stand in his way?
I don't recall if Heresy has attempted to draw any clues from the War of the Roses?
According to the letter to Ralph at the beginning of your thread, GRRM says that this is ultimately a story about the enmity between House Lannister and House Stark. In the War of the Roses we have Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose), both are cadet branches of the same royal House Plantagenet which originated in France. Is it possible that the Lannisters (gold and crimson) and Starks (grey and white) are cadet branches of a much older royal House as well? Or maybe the Targaryens are meant to be the stand in for the Plantagenets, and Valyria is France?
Hersey has theorized the possible origins of House Stark before and how they secured Winterfell, but has anyone proposed that they were once a cadet branch too?
Yes, that book Roose Bolton burned is certainly mysterious. We really don't have a lot of clues other than it may have been found at Harrenhal. Not saying that Roose is a man that doesn't travel with books, but you wouldn't bring a book with you raping and pillaging just to burn.
Harrenhal was built on the shore of God's Eye in close proximation to the famous green men of the Isle of Faces. Houses/people that have resided/stayed there include: Harren the Black, later the Whents (Shella Whent was dispossessed by Lord Tywin and she died in exile). Petyr Baelish was given the castle but never lived in it, next came Lord Bolton, but departed after a short stay giving it to Vargo Hoat. Gregor Clegane took it from Hoat, and lastly Jaime Lannister was there for a short stay leaving Bonifer Hasty as castellan.
Looking at the list above, who most likely left the book that Roose found? Did Shella Whent know what she had? Was it a mouldy old book that nobody noticed until Roose read and burned it?
Does the location of the book indicate it's importance? Anybody have any speculations?
I agree with this. I too have understood that "wolf dreams" are not dreams per se, but rather an unconscious or passive warging while sleeping. Varamyr was sleeping then awoke, shivered, coughed then licked his lips remembering the "dream", but Varamyr understood that it wasn't a dream and that he was inside his wolf while asleep.
Yes, and I agree with your assessment of the Others, and that the term must include whomever is creating the White Walkers, as well as all the other "undesirables".
Regarding where humans obtained the ability to skinchange...perhaps the Others are credited, but as a way to disparage skinchangers? Certainly the gene came from somewhere, but it's difficult for me to imagine White Walkers having the ability to reproduce if they are shadows drawn from something living, like if they are indeed drawn from Crasters sons.
To expand on the idea that Howland as the Knight of the Laughing Tree may have had some help via Green Men from the Isle of Faces, perhaps he in turn tried entering Arthur Dayne confusing him enough for Ned to kill him? Thistle actively fought Varamyr off, but she was aware he was a skinchanger so she knew what he was trying to do. Arthur would have been caught off guard and distracted enough that it would have been easy for Ned to kill him.
I agree that the skinchanger is changed by the relationship. Wolves being predators would increase the aggressiveness of the warg, but wouldn't you agree that the Borroq also took on characteristics of his boar?
I fail to see a significance to the bonding other than a benefit to making the skinchanging easier. Who's to say Borroq didn't have a bond with his boar, Briar with his shadow cat, and Grisella with her goat?
Varamyr was getting weaker and weaker so he may not have had the strength to choose which wolf he lived his second life in. One Eye was the oldest and likely ridden the most and therefore the easiest to enter.
All this discussion about skinchanging caused me to wonder if the Knight of the Laughing Tree wasn't being skinchanged much like Bran inside Hodor?
“Whoever he was, the old gods gave strength to his arm. The porcupine knight fell first, then the pitchfork knight, and lastly the knight of the two towers. None were well loved, so the common folk cheered lustily for the Knight of the Laughing Tree, as the new champion soon was called. When his fallen foes sought to ransom horse and armor, the Knight of the Laughing Tree spoke in a booming voice through his helm, saying, ‘Teach your squires honor, that shall be ransom enough.’ Once the defeated knights chastised their squires sharply, their horses and armor were returned. And so the little crannogman’s prayer was answered . . . by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?”
Whether you believe the KOTLT was Howland or Lyanna, it does seem as if the Knight was being actively inhabited. Howland's prayer directed at the Isle of Faces was likely a request and permission for the connection. This is one explanation for how someone so slight could become so strong.
Sansa wasn't actively warging Lady. We don't even know if she had wolf dreams. Lady took on Sansa's temperament, but that's really the only information we know. She's an untrained warg, so she likely didn't feel the actual death.
I think Varamyr was a powerful warg who basically taught himself to skinchange many different animals by applying Haggon's earlier lessons. I think that qualifies him to be one of the greats mentioned by Jojen:
“No,” said Jojen, “only a boy who dreams. The greenseers were more than that. They were wargs as well, as you are, and the greatest of them could wear the skins of any beast that flies or swims or crawls, and could look through the eyes of the weirwoods as well, and see the truth that lies beneath the world."
A skinchanger is a person that can enter and control an animal. It is easier if there is a bond as instructed by Bloodraven, but with practice the power of the skinchanger grows. The interaction between human and animal will effect the behavior and personality of both, but if the skinchanger doesn't learn to fight off the baser instincts of the animal there can be negative effects. Jojen was trying to teach Bran how to take control of Summer and remind him of who he is instead of letting Summer take control of Bran.
“Jojen, what did you mean about a teacher?” Bran asked. “You’re my teacher. I know I never marked the tree, but I will the next time. My third eye is open like you wanted . . .”
“So wide open that I fear you may fall through it, and live all the rest of your days as a wolf of the woods.”
“I won’t, I promise.”
“The boy promises. Will the wolf remember? You run with Summer, you hunt with him, kill with him . . . but you bend to his will more than him to yours.”
“I just forget,” Bran complained. “I’m only nine. I’ll be better when I’m older."