the trees have eyes

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  1. Um, yes you were . Allowing for the fact that I threw out a dozen or so examples off the top of my head you specifically said Coldhands had served his purpose. Now you're backtracking on that. Do you really not see that the dagger has served it's purpose and so has the extent of LF's influence over Joff (who is now as dead and gone as Gerion and Tysha are as unproven to be for that matter). Oh I have an appreciation for the author, very much so. Your unintentional irony is getting better and better as it's your unwillingness to accept the solutions he provides - as they are somehow inadequate to you - that leads you into constructing your own version of the story that is more pleasing to you and yet you act as if in doing so you are truly appreciating the author while those who actually appreciate his work are doing him a disservice. I think you have it backwards but those who insist they are always right without anything at all to back up their imagined version of events are forced into this type of torturous and twisted reasoning. And don't be ridiculous: every author uses plot devices to move the plot forward. Our characters chase the dagger around for two books before realising it was Joffrey - and none of us realised it was him before this either - so your objection is totally contrived. Joffrey is 14 and doesn't expect to be caught. The dagger is to be used in the way GRRM wants it to be, in sowing distrust and confusion but eventually being traceable. Two separate things going on here, surley you can wrap your head round that! Oddly, only you seem confused by this. Now you could be smarter than everyone else, you could be reading into the deeper mystery that GRRM has planted for 20 years despite it being unnecessary and utterly irrelevant now. Or you could be wrong. What ya think? A Myrish lens is rare and valuable though. Not as rare as a dragon egg or as valuable as a Valyrian steel blade but rare and valuable all the same. And it is left mysteriously, no? No note, no messenger, no one even saw the person who delivered it. So your objections look totally contrived again. Of course this is done so that Luwin will be curious, even suspicious! Because he needs to be curious and suspicious in order to find the hidden note.... Otherwise the note isn't found and the plot doesn't move forward... Duh, it's like you want to argue that water isn't wet out of sheer stubbornness. It's only fortunate for LF if you fail to accept that leaving this particular gift in this particular way for this particular man will make him look further into this. This is necessary for the plot to move forward and GRRM is at pains to make us realise this is not an unusual reaction by having Catelyn immediately suspect something too. The fact that you refuse to accept this is beautiful irony as you are indeed faulting the author's skill while attempting to lambast those who have not bought into your arbitrary assertion that is was "lucky" for LF. And that is everyone else..... You realise that this happens in one of the first chapters in the first novel right? We have not had the characters built up yet (or even been introduced to LF) so unless you want hundreds of pages before anything happens you'll have to accept the mysterious gift is intended to get the ball rolling. Every author does this, it is absolutley absurd to pretend that this minor and early scene is somehow a failing on GRRM's part as compared to "professional authors"!! It seems you would rather shoot from the hip and the lip rather than reach a more reasonable conclusion. I'm not accusing GRRM of being a lazy writer though you are...... As to lazy reading? Lol. I don't think you are a lazy reader, you clearly think about things a lot (like any conspiracy theorist too much imo) but you have clearly constructed this scenario where LF was involved in ways that he does not need to be and we have no reason to believe he was and having taken that vulnerable position you have to find methods to back it up. We're lazy reader, we don't appreciate the author. We're not, we do, we like his story better than your version.... And why was Sansa allowed to go off unaccompanied by any of Ned's household guards? If even grown men have a tail when they leave camp how is Sansa able to ride off without so much as a single guard or Arya able to sneak off and play at swords with Mycah? Come on man, you are fabricating things.... This has nothing to do with LF having convinced Joffrey to try and do Sansa some harm and everything to do with the author getting Joffrey, Sansa, Aryah and Mycah into a setting without adult supervision so we can have the trouble on the Trident. No doubt you will refuse to accept this, no doubt you will assert there are hidden undercurrents here as (LF's manipulation of Agent 00Joff) otherwise it would be "bad wirting" and that "professional authors" would have found a better way to construct this scene but the lack of guards is to allow the scene to play out the way the author wants. I'm happy enough, I like the dramatic scene and the later follow up at Castle Darry. How about you? Still wedded to your conspiracy theory I imagine. This lacks all plausibility. If Joff is to be manipulated by LF to try and murder a Stark he needs a solid reason. If the reason is solid he will wonder why none of Robert, Cersei or "Uncle Jaime" see it and one word, one query from him alerts them and they realise LF is meddling and it's curtains for poor Petyr. LF is not going to risk putting his head on the block. Why do you think the letter from Lysa to Catelyn is so elaborately concealed? Answer: so it can't be tied back to him at all. And yet you think he personally manipulated the crown prince into attempted murder and risked his life on a headstrong and careless 14 year old? I'll have what you're smoking please. Actually, no, I won't!! I'd say Arya had her fair share of luck though of course her experiences are pretty terrible. Syrio sacrifices himself to allow her escape, she does indded find Needle just as she is being cornered in the stables, Yoren finds her before anyone else does and smuggles her out of KL, Nymeria aids her escape from Harrenhal (despite Arya driving her off earlier in story) and all of Yoren, Jaqen and The Hound act as protectors as much as imprisoners. I just don't have a problem with any of that, the author knows what he wants to put Arya through and as it's so terrible he needs to give her some "luck" or some asssitance or her escape and survival would not be plausible. There are indeed larger forces stirring but how and where they are at work is pretty obscure in AGOT. GRRM deliberately keeps magic mysterious and indefinable to avoid it being "science and technology" rather than mystical and unpredictable. I approve, it leaves the door open for pretty much anything and so gives him room for manouevre or to construct any scene he wants to. Having said that we are five books in and I feel there would have been more to tie any mysterious forces to Bran by now, or their opposition to him rather. We have after all finally met the Children of the Forest and the three-eyed crow, we have had a good look at the Red Priests through Mel, Thoros and Benerro, we have seen the warlocks in Qarth and the House of the Undying. If powerful forces were reaching out against Bran as early as AGOT I feel they would have tried again since. The Maesters may have an anti-magic bent to them but Luwin did everything he could for Bran so I don't see any Citadel-driven animosity as holding merit. Who else? The Maegi and Shadow-binders are too mysterious and peripheral to the story even at this point. Mance would surely have targeted someone other than the 7 year old second son of Ned Stark. Robb would seem the more dangerous of the two. And if targeting young children, why only Bran and not Rickon too? They are both wargs. If Bran's third eye could open could the same not be true for any of the Stark children? Indeed. It's like Arya didn't spend half the journey through the Neck playing at swords with Mycah or wasn't doing exactly that same thing totally unspervised when the equally unsupervised Joffrey and Sansa found them. No one kicked up a fuss about it, only that 1) it was unseemly for Arya to consort with a peasant and 2) Joff was injured by Arya in an ugly squabble that turned into something far more serious. It's clear what the author wanted to show us and that adults needed to be out of the way for that to happen.
  2. There's so much with this I don't agree with... First, I'm not missing your point I just don't agree with it and think you are focusing on the wrong things. It seems however that you missed my points as Second, Joffrey does not give him a sharp look and twice stumble over his reply because Tyrion has offered him another present, Joff demands another present after all, he gives him a sharp look because he accurately describes the dagger Joff stole right after Joff boasts of being no stranger to Valyrian steel and he realises Tyrion has busted him. It's your dismissal of the importance of this scene and attempt to offer unconvincing alternative explanations for Joffrey's reaction that is the problem. What throws Joffrey off his stride and to struggle to find something to say? He was all confidence and exuberent arrogance just a moment ago in boasting and chopping up the book, now he can barely string his words together. Something gave him a nasty surprise and it wasn't Tyrion offering a new present at Joff's prompting, it was the description of the knife he thought no one knew he was familiar with. Third, and I'm repeating myself here, half of KL saw Ned's execution so by your reasoning half of KL can boast of being no stranger to Valyrian steel. That is an entirely unsatisfactory explanation to me as none of those thousands of people has ever held Valyrian steel and thus are in fact strangers to Valyrian Steel just as I am a stranger to the Crown Jewels despite having seen pictures andd tv footage of them many times. Joff on the other hand is holding and using a valyrian steel blade when he makes his boast, his claim to familiarity, and a much more natural explanation is that he has held or tested the edge of a Valyrian steel blade before. This makes a lot more sense and fits the text so much better than a reach to witnessing Ned's execution that any stable boy or street vendor could make. Fourth, if the dagger was not easily memorable it could not be a plot point in the way that GRRM uses it because no one would be able to distinguish it from any other blade or recognise / remember it when described. This makes perfect sense. What you quibble with is that Joffrey would not use a memorable dagger to which it must be repeated for the umpteemth time, the assassin was not meant to be caught or the dagger found and recognised. A smarter operator like LF or even Cersei would not have used this dagger (or this bungling footpad for that matter) but a wilful, less careful and less experienced 14 year old boy did not make the same calculations. He does after all fire a crossbow from the Red Keep at starving subjects deamanding bread and almost gets the royal party lynched by a street mob after Myrcella's departure: this is not the shrewdest operator or the deepest thinker in the game.... Fifth, Tyrion's logic shouldn't be reduced to this one leap and Joff's reaction to it. The question of who had means, motive and opportunity is one that has exercised most of the characters in the first three books and the false leads - Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion himself - have all been discounted. It has to be someone from the royal party who had access to Robert's treasury / personal belongings and was unwise enough to take a Valyrian steel dagger and entrust it to an unrealiable footpad. Does this point to Joff? Not on it's own, no, but that is why his reaction to Tyrion's sly question is so key. And to repeat myself again we have Jaime's later deduction of the same thing which is the author telling you not that Tyrion was wrong but that he was right. I still don't see why you think this is central to the story any more. I know asking you to guess at possible developments is to invite a fool's errand that would tend towards fanfic but with all the ways the story has developed in AFFC and TWOW revisiting one of the plot points from AGOT (1996) that was used to set the Lannisters and Starks at each other and was cleared up in ASOS (2000) seems about as unlikely as can be.
  3. 1) The "Valyrian Steel Reveal". The pertinant point is Tyrion's description of the dagger sets Joff aback. It is the accurate description of the knife, and the dragonbone hilt is as much a distinguishing characteristic as the valyrian steel blade. Joff stumbles over his reply to Tyrion and this is what confirms Tyrion's suspicion. Tyrion later reflects: It seems clear enough that i) Joffrey chose a knife Robert never used and would not miss and ii) Tyrion has read Joffrey's reaction as confirmation. He may wonder at the motive and Joffrey's knowledge of Valyrian steel but not that Joff did the deed. 2) As to Joffrey's familiarity with Valyrian steel he wasn't when he chose the dagger and it's arguable whether he is now or not. The point is GRRM uses his comment / boast as the means / prompt for Tyrion's deduction - just like he did with Ned deducing the paternity of Cersei's children from Sansa's outburst "Gods, out of the mouth of babes". As for your assertion that Joffrey's familiarity with valyrian steel comes from Ned's execution, that holds little water: half of KL could claim familliarity with Valyrian steel based on witnessing that. The familiarity comes from handling it, however briefly when he stole it something he thinks no one knws and that he can cryptically boast about (no stranger) while showing off (demolishing the rare, almost priceless, book for fun). 3) "Nobody swings a dagger like that". Joff is holding a sword and as someone who has been trained to use a sword he wields it just like he has been trained to in demolishing Tyrion's present. It would be pretty funny if a trained swordsman tried to use it like a knife, no? Not sure what you think that brings to your argument Ok, if you think every step of Tyrion's deduction is completely flawed and unreasonable, including how he reads Joffrey's reaction to the dagger's description (dragonbone hilt and all) then there's not much point saying more and we'll have to agree to disagree. Still hard to see where you think the dagger might make a reappearance and how it would be relevant the story now. How would exhonerating dead Jofrey in Tyrion and Jaime's eyes achieve anything? I disagree that Robert is implicated. He pities Bran and feels bad for his dear friend Ned but his drunken mumblings are hardly a smoking gun along the lines of "who will rid me of this troublesome priest". Unless you are overheard by a psycopath like Joffrey.... Cersei is not implicated at all. Any more than Jaime is. They are both correctly suspected of causing Bran's "fall" and are therefore suspected of the follow-up but the only person implicated in ASOS, and twice over, is Joffrey. Future Bran, Mance, Myrcella, Robert, The Maesters, AN Other, are all leftfield or crackpot speculations because people find Joffrey an unsatisfactory solution even though it is the one presented. I've never paid much attention to the Mance did it idea so I won't say too much about arguments I'm not familiar with. All I would say is that if Mance wanted to weaken the North he would allow Ned to depart and target his heir - Robb. Targeting his second son who is only 7/8 and risking Ned remaining in the North seems ineffective in the first instance and counter-productive in the second. The characters in story who come to the conclusion - Tyrion and Jaime - do accept it. Cersei as a grieving mother and a narcissist to boot simply doesn't care whether Joff did or not. No other character considers that it was Joff and then refuses to accept it. I'm glad I can say what I like lol, but I still don't see why you think this has future plot relevance. I'm sure everyone feels that way from time to time. It's largely because they fail to convince people of their arguments because we (generalising) find the conclusions faulty. Also, when something has been debated over and over again for getting on for 20 years it's hard to reinvent the wheel and act like it's a new idea that has to be dicussed and rebutted or proven. That may be frustrating but that's what happens when we get into v.20 or v.100 of a debate and why in this case people reach for GRRM's SSMs or e-mails quickly. It's meant to be a short-cut to skip the back and forth over Joffrey / bad writing but even they don't make folks happy if they have had an idea and want to debate it, quite the opposite they seem to anger people who regard it as cheating somehow to reach beyond the text. I'll just say again the text stands on it's own - though clearly not for everyone - and the out of story stuff from GRRM is meant to end the matter for the doubters. Clearly doesn't work but then some of you have said you won't give up on the dagger to the very last page of the story or constructed versions that remain "intact" even if nothing further is ever written on the subject. That's weird to me but it is what it is I guess. I love how you dismiss the genuine unknowns such as Ben Stark's fate and Jon's parentage as resolved or irrelevant to the plot but fight tooth and nail about LF manipulating Joffrey to murder Bran or Sansa without a shred of evidence behind it. I particularly love how you dismiss a genuine mystery - Coldhands's identity - because it has served it's purpose and there is no reason to reintroduce it [sic] into the story. I am falling off my chair laughing that you can dismiss genuine puzzles like this and yet use the very same words re the dagger that I and others have use in this thread regarding one that has been resolved. The irony is strong in this one!! I know you're beyond dogmatic when you have planted your feet (and it's no surprise that the poison was in the pie has reared it's head again ) but GRRM said he would solve the dagger mystery and that of Jon Arryn's killer and move on to other mysteries. That you twist this quote to mean that the other mysteries must relate to the dagger (but not to Jon Arryn's killer because this doesn't interest you any more while the former does) rather than to mysteries unconnected to either of these early story plot points is you fooling yourself. But carry on holding out hope that on the very last page of the series you'll read in 2026 will prove you right! Or let it go maybe? Bingo. It has to be distinctive to be remembered and it has to be notable enough that key characters recognise it and can talk about it changing hands and to present such a confusing trail to poor Ned and Cat. Clearly it is too confusing as Tyrion's wonderings about why Joffrey chose it have really confused some folks here. Bingo again. Luwin receives a mysterious and also a rare and expensive gift with no explanation, there is not even a messenger to hand it over and none of the servants saw who left it! Here's a puzzle GRRM has set up very clearly for Luwin to look into more than your average junk mail or pre-approved credit card application. Whether people find Luwin's curiosity reasonable or not, and the poster quoted below clearly doesn't, this mysterious and cryptic gift is a device to move the plot forward. A secret message has been smuggled into WF for Catelyn and the method of doing so is quite clever. Too clever perhaps so GRRM has to work hard in the text to explain why Luwin found it suspicious and he uses Catelyn's unease to corroborate Luwin's suspicious reactions while using Ned' obliviousness (poor Ned indeed) to indicacte that it was clever and well hidden. This all helps to build dramatic tension before the devastating message in secret code is revealed - the murder of Jon Arryn. Agent Joffrey or 007 as you like to paint him is simply playing the big man in front of Sansa. Like any other teenager he gets some booze and tries to act older than he is to impress her. Probably would have gone ok if Arya hadn't shown him up and he hadn't shown himself to be a dick. I'll just say again, LF can encourage Joffrey to execute Ned and humiliate Tyrion with the jousting dwarfs because these are things Joffrey enjoys and he needs little encouragement. Convincing Joffrey to murder a highborn boy or girl, the girl his betrothed no less, and both the children of his father's best friend is an incredible risk for LF. One word from Joffrey to Robert, a simple question as to why Robert is making an enemy his Hand, and the truth comes out and LF is dead. One word to Cersei about why Ned is a danger to them and LF's manipulations come out and Cersei keeps her precious Joff on a tight leash and LF is busted as a dangerous maverick who probably gets a visit from Jaime "sword through bowels" Lannister for his temerity. There is no credible scenario in which LF risks his schemes and his life on a wilful, petulant and cruel 14 year old boy and he has no reason to at all (the letter from Lysa is the bait for Ned, to whom Jon Arryn was a second father). Agent Joffrey plotting Sansa's murder? Just no, however many times you dream it up. Borderline fanfic.
  4. It's not about "oathbreaking" for Marsh et al. Surely you realise that. Whatever the truth of the pink letter they think Stannis has lost and Ramsay has won the civil war in the North and they intend to be aligned with the winning side. Taking out Jon before he leads a wildling force (no men of the NW) in response to Ramsay's unmeetable demands, and let's bear in mind Ramsay would have killed this son of Ned Stark anyway, is a way of showing Ramsay they are on his side. Not that they weren't before with their correspondence with Tywin and attempt to elect the candidate the IT wanted, one Janos Slynt, but it's just more of the same. And I keep pointing this out but the NW amounts to 200 or 300 men with most of the rangers, the fighting men, dead and a few builders and stewards left cowering in three castles. They're militarily insignificant. There is nothing left to preserve other than the crutch of the identity and purpose they have wrongly believed for most of their lives. For Marsh it's a comfort blanket and a false reality he can't shift out of: we see that repeatedly with Jon splashing the water in front of his face but he can't see that their real purpose is achieved by allying with Stannis and the Wildlings to build up manpower and resources for the coming storm. Jon has the right of it tactically and, allowing for the dubious veracity of the pink letter, meets Ramsay's threat to cut his heart out in the best way possible but a man with a beard threw us a curve ball and left us hanging off a cliff as he so loves to. "It stopped a madman from starting a war that the watch could not win" Duh, that would be why he took none of the remaining men of the militarily insignificant NW with him (it's probably 100 at most at CB now he has started garrisoning the other castles and the men from The Shadow Tower and Eastwatch have returned to their posts). This "madman" left the stewards and builders to cower in their castle and count their stores while he took the fighting men, the wildlings, to meet the threat from the south. And of course this frees him from the accuastions of abusing his position as LC to use the NW as a private army and involve it in the power struggles of the realm. Well it should but not around here......
  5. Indeed. But fact checking is as welcome in a thread like this as after a Donald Trump twitterstorm. Kudos for patiently relying on the books, reason and logic but that is no match for emotion and the obstinate desire to stand one's ground come what may. I am curious as to whether these kind of threads will continue after TWOW. The head says they shouldn't but the gut says they will.
  6. Wait a minute... You actually quote GRRM and then misuse the quote..... Some other questions, i.e. questions other than Bran and the dagger and Jon Arryn's killer because those questions are resolved. His words as you so helpfully illustrate. You may call this truly logical thinking on your part, it looks more like wishful thinking and selective reasoning to me. Sorry, I just think you're too attached to this to really evaluate objectively.
  7. Oh, there are plenty of surprises to come and even a few mysteries to be cleared up yet (Jon's parentage, what really happened at the ToJ, what happened to Benjen Stark, who Coldhands is, where Hallis Mollen ended up with Ned's bones, where Rickon and Osha are, the truth or otherwise of the Pink Letter, who Aegon really is, what happened to Tyrek Lannister, the identity of the Hooded Man, who killed Big Walder, hell you could even throw in what happened to Tysha or Gerion Lannister). GRRM will have lots of surprises in store for us, some major reveals and lots of new twists as well. I just find it baffling that the dagger has such a hold on some of you. It was explained in ASOS. You want more, i get it. Don't be too disappointed if you don't get it and were chasing moonbeams the whole time.
  8. Indeed they can. Now square your contention that they are wrong with GRRM saying he would resolve the mystery of the dagger in ASOS with absolutley no other instigator being mentioned other than Joffrey. You can't. You only get yourself into this twisted pretzel of a knot because you don't want to accept the explanation given in story so you then have to reject the out of text nail in the coffin to your arguments as well. I still find it hard to see why you think this is the central mystery of the entire series and not a major but resolved matter from AGOT.
  9. Ok.. In general, the resolution to mysteries is shocking and satisfying but there can't always be an emotive payoff, sometimes it just doesn't hit the same heights, particularly for some readers, as this case in point proves! As I stated before this is something GRRM is aware of and Nittanian helpfully linked GRRM's quote in which he acknowledged that readers might reach conclusions to the mysteries that were more satisfying or "better" (a subjectively loaded word here) in their opinion. This is what we have here. Also, it's not the driving mystery of the first book: that is who killed Jon Arryn and the mystery that Ned goes to KL to resolve which in turn leads him to the even more explosive secret of the royal children's patentity. Bran's "fall" and the subsequent dagger mystery are personal tragedies for the Starks that set them on a wild goose chase and on a collision course with the Lannisters, muddied by both LF's opportunist meddling and the fact of Jaime's guilt in the first instance but not the second. Joffrey's motive is not to do with mercy. A number of posters have said this but it's part of his twisted psychology: Robert may regard it as a mercy that men should but are too weak to give their crippled children but all Joffrey cares about is that this is something Ned and Robert are too weak to do so he resolves to do it himself. We see plenty more of this in KL when he has the reins of power and we see it too when he executes Ned after publicly declaring that both his mother and Cersei have asked for mercy for Ned but that is for the weak. We see him tell Tywin of all people that a strong king acts boldly. Joffrey, the man of action has no weaknesses (and also no boundaries) and will prove that strength to himself through action. I see a lot of criticism of GRRM here about the reasoning being laughably week or bad writing, etc.... as if people cannot accept it. I dunno what to say to that: just because it is not what we want to hear doesn't make it any less the case. I've never had a problem with the idea that is was Joffrey and honestly don't see what the fuss is. The death of Jon Arryn is revealed by Lysa herself, the instigator of the dagger plot is decuced by both Tyrion and Jaime independently to be Joffrey, both things happen in ASOS, both mysteries are closed satisfactorily or not and have no further place in the character arcs or plot developments of the next two books. Those stories are done and the larger story or multiple stories of ASOIAF have moved on. I genuinely don't understand the thinking behind the bolded part of your post. ASOIAF is not the story of the dagger plot on Bran's life, that's a small twig on the tree GRRM has been growing for over two decades. Why are you giving this such importance as if there is a major part of the story that you are missing out on or even ruining the story for you? I don't get it. Sorry, I didn't mean to address my point to you, I was using your very helpful quote from GRRM in a reply to another poster to show how apt GRRM's statement is. It has all been explained multiple times. What doesn't makes sense to you? You don't like it I get it but that is what the text gives us. I think it's fairly straightforward whether or not a more satisfying explanation could be given. As it's Joffrey and he's dead there can be no confession as with Lysa over Jon Arryn, there can be no interrogation as with Ned questioning Cersei in the KL Godswood or Cat questioning Jaime in the cells of Riverrun over Bran's "fall". Instead the author needs a different method and he uses Tyrion's pov to plant the idea with the Valyrian steel reveal on Joff's birthday and Jaime's pov to cement it with an independent realisation as confirmation. You want forensic evidence? That seems a little OTT, it is a story not a court case. What about the Frey pie theory? Do you accept that narratively that makes sense - and is far more subtle than the dagger reveal - yet has no "evidence" for it. And so on.... I know you want to exclude e-mails or SSMs but those are not the argument, they are introduced to underline the argument when you reject that argument. So you reject them too Why? Again: the dagger was a mystery for Ned and Catelyn to unravel yet they never did. LF sent Cat off on a wild goose chase by falsely accusing Tyrion so Tyrion took up the investigation in ACOK / ASOS before realising it was Joffrey. Cat's interrogation of Jaime at Riverrun led him to talk with Cersei and then realise it was Joffrey. Why have two characters independently come to the relisation of this point if not to drive it home. The author even replied in a message that the mystery would be resolved in ASOS and there we have it. The dagger is as irrelevant to the ongoing story as Robert and Ned, it played it's part, we have moved on, the dagger plays no part in the story of AFFC or ADWD and we should not expect it to rear it's head again. What is the reasoning behind a determination to cling on to the belief that the dagger is still a relevant plot point and there is a reveal to come out of the blue at some point? Surley the story is large and rich enough for this not to be the central narrative of the entire story? Clearly it's not so why hold on to it? There may have been a different explanation for Joffrey's actions but not in the story GRRM wrote. I understand you think your reasoning is logically consistent and not ruled out by anything in the text. Sure, we can all do that, sometimes with more success than at other times. But the story is GRRM's and to refer to Nittanian's quote again, just because you came up with a "better" explanation for something than the author did does not make it real. I never enjoy the game of 1) if it isn't in the text but isn't specifically disproved by the text it's fair game (see the Myrcella posts) and 2) here's an elaborate explanation of what might have happened but even though it's not in the books the books aren't done so it could still happen so it's fair game. I prefer to stick to what's written and I'm afraid the idea that while Robert rode north to WF to make Ned his hand and marry Joffrey to Sansa, Joffrey was all the time plotting how to undermine that and maim or murder one of Ned's children, possibly including his bride-to-be, all at the behest of LF who was reckless enough to entrust his schemes to a 14 year old boy and turn him into an secret agent and a murderer without considering that one word from Joff to anyone about this results in LF's head on a spike is your story, not GRRM's. Sorry, but no. Master manipulator? Sure. But he led Joff where Joff wanted to go: the dwarf joust and Ned's execution are things Joffrey wants to do, revels in even, and notably are only possible when Joff is in power and has no one to rein him in effectively. It's an entirely different picture your suggesting in using the crown prince as a proxy to commit murder; Lysa may be under LF's thumb at the start of the story but Joffrey is Crown Prince not LF's desparate paramour. How so? The Jon Arryn murder was not "cleared up": a solution, Hugh of The Vale, was presented to Ned by Varys but this was misdirection and in any case the sponsor behind his actions was never revealed so it is wide open. Tyrion continues the investigation in ACOK and Pycelle confesses he sent Colemon away as the Queen needed Jon Arryn to die. Again, it's not clear who killed him only who wanted him dead and who, Pycelle, had a part in it. That's a prallel with the dagger: first the Lannisters are suspected by Cat but she thinks either Jaime or Cersei as Tyrion was hunting on the day Bran fell but then LF points the blame at Tyrion; in ACOK Cat accuses Jaime in Riverrun but he denies both his and Cersei's involvement until in ASOS it is revealed to be Joff. Both times, we are given false suspects (Hugh, Cersei; Jaime, Tyrion) before a leftfield reveal is presented: Lysa, Joffrey. And since the resolution in ASOS there is not a whisper of a suggestion in story that there is anything more to say on this. And in this particular case we even have the author saying ASOS would clear it up. I don't mean to be rude but it looks like you're using ledgerdemain to suggest that he didn't. It's hard to see why this would be worth doing. If you read your last few posts there's only one guy trying to bounce someone out of the discussion.... How is it illogical? Do you mean Tyrion makes a leap of logic in connecting Joff's words and actions about Valyrian steel? That's the start of it, it's his reaction when Tyrion describes the dagger to him that seals it. Decuctions or leaps of logic are ok, surely you've had one yourself at some point. The clearest two to my mind are 1) Ned seizing on Sansa's remark to Arya "he looks nothing like that stupid drunk king" [sic] to finally realise the paternity of Cersei's children and 2) Cat deducing that Bran did not fall but was pushed out of the tower window. It's a method GRRM uses to reveal things that are shocking - either to us or to characters in story. And he of course gave us a second independent realisation from Jaime's pov. Why if not to reinforce this and confirm it to any doubters?
  10. I thought Mel was aware that Jon had "tricked her" or rather she knew that he "thought he had tricked her". I can't think of a way this would make sense other than she knows he got The Monster away from The Wall in place of Gilly's baby (the trick) and yet he has not pulled her claws as she still has Shireen for king's blood (the trick not kyboshing her plans).
  11. I've seen you make this argument a number of times. While it may be more satisfying to you, you surely have to acknowledge that this is not what GRRM wrote and that although you may have preferred him to write the version you approve of more he actually wrote the version in print. As a poster helpfully linked, this is something he is aware of himself. This seems a case of you thinking you have come up with a better answer than GRRM in fact did. You're not alone in this: I see a few in this thread who are seldom satisfied with what the answers the author comes up with but each to their own. But again none of this is in the books. In the version of the story you find most compelling it is logical and reasoned and will in due course be revealed but we can all let our creative imagination run ahead of the text if we let oursleves. The only story in town is GRRM's and when asked about this - and it's worth highlighting this was around 20 years ago - he told us the answer to the catspaw killer was dedutcible from the first two books and would be cleared up in ASOS. Now I know you can say that there is more to it and that at some point LF's hidden influence on the Crown Prince will be revealed but you also have to acknowledge that there isn't anything in text to even hint at this. Joffrey is dead and nothing in story has hinted at him being an agent of LF's stalking the Stark children at Winterfell and afterwards to achieve his master's instructions. Lysa gave us the answer of the mystery of Jon Arryn's death and a nice unexpected bit of exposition for the reader it was too but there is no hint he was behind the hit on Bran as well. Why clear up one mystery if actually you didn't clear it up? The version written does not have this and it does not need this. To truncate your statement all this can happen without LF and it seems that's the way GRRM sees it too. Amen. The books are written as stories to be enjoyed and while careful reading and rereading can uncover new aspects or hidden gems - the "I didn't notice that when I first read it" or "I only truly appreciate that passage or plot development now I know what happened next" - this is a testament to GRRM's skill. The idea is not to leave the reader ignorant of what really happened (save for the few who study the text and uncover the hidden meaning locked within it of course) but to reveal the truth in a satisfying and usually shocking way. It's not as dramatic as Lysa's revelation of poisoning Jon Arryn but there it is. In general, I see Mance, Robert, Myrcella (troll alert) being argued for as the instigators in this thread but the only person who is considered in the text of ASOS as a suspect - and this is deduced by two POV characters independently, one of whom happens to be the boy's father - is Joffrey. The author told us it would be resolved in ASOS and voila: QED. It may be fun to speculate that someone else did it but the guy with the beard moved on from this mystery two decades ago and so should we.
  12. Well, that might make Selyse happy at least
  13. It's not much of a question though if he has already lost to her. It's not a free choice: either he bends his knee like his supporters did after the Blackwater or he gets his head chopped off. It's a much more interesting question if he has the ability to choose and to work out what is the right choice - as he did when agonising over whether to support Aerys or Robert during the Robellion.
  14. The NW pre-Jon was a few hundred men, mostly builders and stewards, clinging on to three castles. Post-Fist of the First Men it's dwindling out of existence and has become militarily insignificant. Under Jon's leadership it has hundreds, potentially several thousand new recruits, mostly fighting men, and in conjunction with Stannis it has allied forces of several thousand more. It is garrisoning the abandoned castles and reaching out to Braavos - note Braavos due to the dereliction of the IT and Warden of the North who are concerned with securing their political position - to try and ensure provisions for their expanded numbers. The NW is in a critical position but despite it's recent setbacks Jon has it looking in the best shape it has been in for generations - it has more numbers and it has finally rediscovered it's purpose and identified it's real enemy. As long as you don't channel your inner Marsh that is and continue to think that 1) the Wildlings are still the real enemy and Jon, horror of horrors, is allying with them or 2) political neutrality is the purpose of the NW that must be maintained at all costs, rather than a simple operating guideline to leave it intact and focused on it's true purpose in the event of any civil wars at it's back. If it's abandoned by the powers at it's back you might consider that fulfilling it's true purpose, defending the realms of men, requires making what allies it can that are prepared to help in that objective, be they wildlings or R'hllorists I'm constantly surprised by the myopia of those who adopt the full Marsh mindset without wondering what 200 men would achieve on their own other than to seal the gates with ice and hope nothing bad happens. Mel sends Mance to recover (F)Arya), a grey girl on a dying horse near Long Lake. Whatever motivations either Mel or Mance have that Jon is not privy to and whatever the truth of the Pink Letter, the next thing we have is Ramsey threatening to cut out Jon's heart eat it if he does not hand over all of Selyse, Shireen, Mel, Val, The Monster, Reek and (F)Arya. Jon apologists tend to think that Ramsay is neither rational, reasonable or trustworthy and that giving into the demands that can be met (the guests who are present at Castle Black) would not forestall a psycopathic bloodbath any more than the Ironborn's surrender at Moat Cailin did. Clearly the IT wants Jon dead, clearly Ramsay and Roose want a son of Ned Stark dead, clearly Marsh et al reach the conclusion that Jon dead makes their lives easier with the forces they fear. This is all comprehensible enough but we are not meant to root for Cersei and Tywin, Roose and Ramsay, Marsh and Thorne. Assassinating Jon will set off a powder keg at Castle Black and a best case scenario has the wildlings heading south at will, a worst case has them taking over Castle Black and allowing as many of their people through the Wall as posisble without any of the oaths and hostages Jon secured for good behaviour. From a Marsh POV that is a disaster either way you look at it. Fom the perspective of humanity shattering the coalition that Jon has build up to defend the Wall is the worst possible thing that could happen. And, no, half a dozen adult men who had a motivation to kill Jon do not need to be warges, should that even be possible which I doubt. People are responsible for their own actions unless and even if they are effectively manipulated but we don't need BloodRaven the master puppeteer or some equivalent to be behind every event.
  15. I'm never convinced that Stannis would be so very dead set on fighting Dany for the throne, should that scenario arise. Consider If we take him at his word (and there are many who think he has far more ambition than his talk of duty and law would suggest) then the reasons he is set on the throne are that it is the law, it is his right as Robert's heir and his it is his duty to his House (to both Robert and Shireen). He claims he doesn't want it and his duty to his House is easily met by securing Storm's End and passing that on to his daughter so is it really that hard to imagine he would conclude that as Aerys's daughter Dany had a superior claim to him? It also allows him to expiate his guilt over abandoning his liege for his blood by now supporting that King's daughter. It seems entirely possible to me though I know Stannis has a following on this forum or who will not countenance any compromise or "yielding" on his part. He's actually a more complex character than he is often presented as - sometimes he is reduced almost to a meme for intransigence or determination (pick your flavour as you will) - and it actually introduces some uncertainty and a dilemma into his arc. Remember that GRRM talks about Faulkner's idea that the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. How is that clear in Stannis's arc if he is simply dead set on being king and certain of his every action from first to last? That little scene with Davos shows how his decision to abandon Aerys still weighs heavily on him so having him torn over fighting or supporting Dany looks like exactly the sort of thing GRRM would drop on him. Would his ambition win out I wonder?