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  1. @JLE True, Shireen will never be “king” but she can be queen, sort of a matter of semantics. I don’t think gender of the word is the important thing here. After all, isn’t queen simply the word for a female monarch as king is the word for a male monarch? If Shireen inherits the Iron Throne by right of birth she will be the queen regnant, unlike Cersei for example who is only queen consort since she herself has no king's blood and is only queen by marriage. On another note, Maester Aemon himself says they were wrong to believe TPTWP could only be male when a princess is just as valid. I know he chalks it up to the Valyrian gender-neutral word for dragons but perhaps the notion can still be applied to Shireen’s case. To be honest, if the word "queen" was used instead of "king" then I'd never consider the phrase could be applied to anyone but a female. However, linguistic conventions generally lean towards male nouns as the go-to terms when gender is otherwise unspecified or to encompass more than one gender (Man, mankind, etc). It still happens in modern English and most certainly would happen more often in a patriarchal society such as Westeros. So, when they say "king" or "king's blood" I figure it could be applied more generally to refer to "monarch" or "monarch's blood" regardless of gender. This ^ does sound very interesting and quite possible. I agree with you that Theon Greyjoy is another very likely candidate since he was not directly rejected in the kingsmoot and could still be considered the rightful king of the Iron Islands. My doubt in regards to Theon dying anytime soon stems from the fact that everybody seems to expect it, as we have so many times already, yet he is still alive. I remember at some point in ADWD someone asking Theon how is it possible he is still alive and Theon answered that the gods are not yet done with him. Then he senses a presence in the godswoods and seems to see Bran in the heart tree. Finally, the books made a big deal over Asha’s discovery of a precedence that may enable Theon to challenge the kingsmoot... These are all reasons I’m inclined to think Theon’s story is far from over. Could be wrong though, since you never know with GRRM haha. And the bit about Stannis making a different choice and sacrificing himself instead of Shireen (his nissa nissa) is great. I would have never expected that! One possible problem with your scenario, however, is the timing and concerns over Jon’s body. Who knows how long it takes to travel from the Wall and WF especially in the snow, wouldn’t Jon’s body be in danger then? If Jon has died, the NW are burning their dead and if they don’t burn Jon then decomposition is likely, not to mention the risk of Jon’s spirit staying in Ghost for too long. If Jon’s body is merely comatose then perhaps there is a better case for him being out of commission too long, except for his spirit staying too long inside Ghost (if he has warged which I think he has). @Lord Varys Indeed, nobody will be interested in bringing Jon back except for perhaps Bran and the Three-Eyed Crow which is why they might take an interest in helping Jon’s spirit back into his body. If Mel performs the kiss or there is any sacrifice at all, Jon’s awakening will most likely be an unintentional consequence. And yeah there is no reason the kiss shouldn’t work on Jon, perhaps if Mel performs the funeral rites she accidentally resurrects his body just as Thoros did before with Beric. But there is no reason it should work like it did for Thoros either. Perhaps Mel never even performs the funeral rites for Jon since he was not a follower of R’hllor. I have a feeling Thoros only did so for Beric because of the difficult situation they were in, Beric was a friend and he was the only priest of any religion around. With Jon, however, there is a septon in Castle Black and weirwoods in the forest beyond the Wall (though taking Jon’s body there for a funeral is highly unlikely). The way I see it, could go either way… It’s not certain whether Melisandre will feel the need to give Jon the kiss any more than a scenario in which Selyse or Mel become desperate enough to make a sacrifice that accidentally helps awaken Jon’s body. So, the two sacrifices I mentioned are not necessarily the only way to save Jon but they are what might happen given the situation, fulfilling “two kings to wake the dragon” even if by accident.
  2. @LynnS Val believes Melisandre is aware of the swap. I’m inclined to agree with her but if she’s wrong and Melisandre doesn’t know then Val is still around to tell them the truth, that the baby isn’t Mance’s son. That’s why I don’t think Monster is in danger, only Shireen. @Lost Melnibonean Wow, I never thought this could allude to Shireen and Melisandre (if not Melisandre then Selyse perhaps) but makes sense. Now that I’m thinking it over, could also be applied more broadly… We’ve seen it countless of times in the series, children who’ve been or will be victims of adults and their machinations. The Stark children, Rhaegar’s children, King Robert’s bastards, Lommy Greenhands, Sweetrobin,Tommen, Myrcella, Shireen, the many child hostages in Westeros and even Dany’s cupbearers who the Shavepate is so keen to use against the Harpy… and all the thousands of other children we don’t know about. The “marching into the sea” bit linked to Stannis supposed “death” is interesting... but I’m not convinced of the rest, or Sansa’s description of the galley being more than coincidence. I don’t see how Stannis will ever be able to reach out to Aurane Waters nor do I think the Riverlords (however much they might want to) will risk angering whoever is in King’s Landing now that they have their sons as hostages. We know the Lannisters-Tyrells took hostages, so unless they are returned, the Riverlords will be unable to openly aid the northerners or Stannis. I always understood the above quote to mean Dany will eventually battle the Others. The dream is mirroring her own future fight against the Others to Rhaegar’s past fight against the rebel host. At least that’s my interpretation haha. Finally, The moment Stannis decided to go to the Wall was such a powerful turn for his character that I don’t believe he will ever be marching back south to King’s Landing before fulfilling what he sees as his duty to save the kingdom. He no longer troubles himself with what’s going on in KL, his more immediate concern is unifying the North and get more men to fight the Others. If Stannis survives the siege of Winterfell he’s more likely to stay close to the Wall where he knows he is needed.
  3. Ok, so I know there are a lot of Jon Snow resurrection theories out there but bear with me. Before anything else, I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to argue whether Jon is dead or just in some sort of comatose state. So, for convenience sake, instead of "resurrection" I'll call it "rebirth" or "awakening". The purpose of my post is to discuss how will Jon's awakening come about, particularly who will the sacrifice(s) be. I've read some pretty cool theories out there - Blood Raven & Bran, Mel, warging, wights or any combination of them, etc. - but here's a twist I'd like to add. So, here's my theory: Someone will be sacrificed for Jon to live, because well, "only death can pay for a life" seems to be a recurring theme. I believe there is some merit to the idea that two different sacrifices might be required to awaken Jon: A sacrifice by ice and a sacrifice by fire. So, who will be sacrificed and how? Shireen, Theon and Asha all seem to be pretty popular candidates and I've read of others but, (correct me if I'm wrong) I've never yet heard of Stannis considered a possible sacrifice. Two kings to wake the dragon Much is said about waking dragons in the books, Stannis and Mel were quite obsessed with the idea. I find it ironic that Stannis might just be one of the kings sacrificed to wake the dragon (Jon) Mel keeps speaking of. Sacrifice to the Old Gods: At the moment, Stannis is getting ready to fight the host sent by Roose in the village between the two lakes (three days ride from Winterfell). He is interestingly close to two known heart trees, the one over the frozen lake and the one in Winterfell. I've reason to believe Stannis will come out victorious and move forward to siege Winterfell so the tree in WF is more likely to become the place of sacrifice. His siege ends in victory but he won’t live to taste it. After all his failures in the south, his epiphany and voyage north, after marching through the blizzard, securing allies, and nearly starving to death... finally when the Boltons are on the brink of falling, when victory and Winterfell (which represents the consolidation of his power in the North) are within his grasp, Stannis is mortally wounded in battle. He'll be wounded either right before the heart tree or perhaps drags himself over to the heart tree after being wounded and dies. Since Theon seems to see/hear Bran and feel a presence in the godswoods perhaps he will act on their behalf so I like to think Theon will be present and possibly even deliver the finishing blow to an already wounded Stannis. Sacrifice to R’hllor: Meanwhile, the Wall is in chaos. Either Selyse or Mel (or both) become crazy enough to burn the last person with king's blood around: Shireen. I don't think they'll do so on Jon's behalf, Shireen is sacrificed in a desperate attempt to save AA who they believe is Stannis. Or perhaps Mel finally does realize Jon is AA, who knows? Now, I believe the Pink Letter wasn't entirely truthful and sent before the Siege of Winterfell, but regardless of whether Stannis was dead or not when Jon received the letter, he is dead now. Even if he dies a minute before Shireen that is enough because the moment Stannis dies, Shireen becomes queen ("so both die kings"). Whether male or female is irrelevant, just swap 'son' for 'daughter' and 'king' for 'queen', the words may be different but the idea behind them is what's important. There is so much foreshadowing for Shireen, plus Jon's attempts to get everyone with king's blood away from Mel unwittingly makes Shireen (the only one Jon didn’t have the power to send away, or never thought would be in danger) the last person with king's blood left in Castle Black. This scenario, however sickening, also provides an explanation for Selyse and Shireen's presence at the Wall. Why are two sacrifices necessary? After all, Beric and LS didn’t require that much and if Jon’s not even dead to begin with then why is more needed in his case? Given his unique heritage, the warging and the possibility that this moment (his stabbing and subsequent awakening) is his birth as AA, it might take more than the "kiss of life" because Jon's awakening will be different to what happened to Beric and LS. Perhaps the fire sacrifice serves to save his body and the sacrifice to the heart tree will fuel a connection of sorts between the weirwood, Three-Eyed Crow, Bran and Jon’s soul, even if it’s very brief. So, when Jon wargs back into his own body he will have some sort of dream or vision and awaken with new knowledge… which I suspect might be related to the secrets of his birth. One king to pay for his life but two kings to wake the dragon. Why do Stannis and Shireen make more sense as sacrifices? Asha was a king's daughter so she technically does have king's blood but it all seems rather weak to me, especially after the kingsmoot where she was outright rejected as queen losing all claim to the Iron Islands. In addition, the Seastone Chair is not necessarily hereditary making king's blood somewhat irrelevant in their case. Theon does make for a better case since he was not present to be rejected at the kingsmoot and could therefore still be considered the rightful king. However, I think his story is not quite finished so he will probably be alive for quite some time still. Also, it's interesting how Maester Aemon says "there is power in a king's blood." Grammatically speaking, "a" is a determiner. He is referring to the blood of an actual king, someone who is king/queen him/herself, not those who happen to be related to him/her. Which disqualifies quite a lot of people. We all know Stannis is not AA. We assume Melisandre was led to Stannis so he could, in turn, lead her to the true Azor Ahai and the true fight over at the Wall. Yet one thing I never understood is why she ever needed Stannis to take her to the Wall and Jon Snow in the first place. Couldn't her fires just directly show her Jon from the very beginning? Couldn't she have just gone up there herself? Why did Stannis specifically have to be there too? Taking his own daughter with him. To me, Stannis becoming the sacrifice just brings it all in full circle. There is a deeper purpose to Stannis and Mel coming together. Melisandre saw Stannis in her fires because he was more than just the means to get to Jon. Anyone could have served that purpose. Stannis may not be AA but his fate is indeed tied to the prophesied hero. His blood and his daughter's blood will become necessary to awaken the dragon, they are necessary so that Azor Ahai can be born. Thoughts? I'm really curious about what other people make of this.
  4. Hmm, that does make a lot of sense... But wouldn't he go through all that internal struggle when he initially becomes King in the North or King of Westeros before the books end? We know how conflicted he was when Stannis offered to legitimize and make him Lord of Winterfell. So in the next book, when Jon does finally give up on his old notions and values to see himself become king despite always thinking little of himself as a bastard, that's when his story takes the powerful twist. There's still plenty of time for Jon to watch his loved ones die before him. He'll still be the bastard, previously looked-down upon by everyone (including himself), that became the king forced to make tough decisions along the way. Jon will still have to choose to become that king so his death at the end doesn't necessarily have to take away from that. Jon dying will be like the final sacrifice of the series as a whole (not his own personal sacrifice). That being said... I do understand how having to survive winter - especially after so many died - might be hard on Jon who will possibly be left with some sort of survivor's guilt. I guess that qualifies as bittersweet too, haha. And indeed, "dying a hero" does seem easy like you said... I might have misspoken hehe He will be a hero that dies, not become a hero by dying. Not sure if that makes more sense(?) His own personal sacrifice will not be dying, its everything that happens in between Jon becoming king and the end of the books, that's what will make him the hero.
  5. It is known that Jon knows nothing. So he can't know that he was speaking of his own fate I'm inclined to agree with this sort of thinking. ^ The glory awaiting the king after taking King's Landing is just Davos interpretation of what he saw. I understand the "maidens garbed in yellow silk" to be fire surrounding the king. Whether the great king is burned or survives the flames I'm not sure... Could be Castle Black as easily as King's Landing. Though the quote could simply foreshadow Jon and Arya meeting again (or sharing similar fates) not necessarily mean they'll meet in a literal castle. However, I do completely agree Jon will become king at some point or the closest thing to a leader/hero of the story in the final books. But ultimately, I have this unexplained feeling he will not survive. GRRM promised a bittersweet ending, perhaps that's the source of it. The bastard boy becoming king with a happily ever after and a long life just doesn't seem to fit with what we've seen so far. However, the bastard boy/hidden king dying a hero makes more sense to me. Perhaps Jon will be the ultimate sacrifice at the very end. Even more frustrating, so far it seems like Jon would make for a much better king than any of the other possible candidates. My consolation is that Jon will be a fine winter king (in contrast to someone like Edmure Tully who was a good-hearted man and might have been a great lord in peace time (spring/summer) but was ill-suited for war), Jon will be capable of weathering through the most difficult times (winter) which is when men like him will be needed the most.