So there are plenty of theories on how this occurred, but what if it is just relatively simple? We know Howland was a very curious man, and that he visited the green men on the Isle of Faces. He also knew exactly how to counsel his son Jojen, when he found out that Jojen had green dreams. Perhaps Howland simply had a green dream about their encounter, in the same way that Jojen had a green dream about the ironborn invasion of Winterfell.
The Eyrie is unimportant when it comes to control of the Vale, but the Gates of the Moon are not. The combination means that the Lord or King of the Vale can stash his wife and kids and valuables in the Eyrie without worrying about them getting snatched. Besides, the topography of the Vale indicates to me that raising large armies there is not really sustainable.
Storm's End's seaside location means that only part of the castle is exposed. I also don't see a spot in the Stormlands that would be better.
Oldtown might not be on the Mander, but it is closer to the Arbor and home to the Citadel, as well as less of a trip for Essosi vessels. In addition, the Mander has traditionally been raided heavily by the Ironborn.
He'd be made Lord of the Iron Islands, and he'd be married off to a Northern girl, but likely not Sansa or Arya, as I'm fairly sure Ned intended to send both of them south. Theon's Northern wife would serve as a hostage and a marriage alliance (oh how romantic were the olden days), and Theon's friendship with Robb would incline him towards Northern interests. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a trade in sons as wards between Theon and Robb later on to try and cement the Stark-Greyjoy alliance for another generation. Predicting its effect on the Wot5K, however, is difficult. The Greyjoy fleet would be an existential threat to Lannisport, although likely not Casterly Rock, as well as raiding the coastal Westerlands castles, making many of the Lords keep more men at home. The likely effect would be a weakened Lannister host in the attack of the Riverlands, but the end result depends on whether or not Edmure Tully capitalizes on this, and is able to either stop Jaime at the Golden Tooth, or mount an effective defense of Riverrun, or protect his southeastern lords before disorganization in that area prevents him from raising any troops there. Then you have to consider its effects on Robb's planning, whether it affects the plans of Littlefinger, Varys, Lysa Tully, Renly, and Mace Tyrell.
Considering Westerosi don't really have the idea of humanism, and that peasants are considered by nearly all nobles to be less than themselves, using that type of standard for Kevan isn't really realistic. I don't know how that type of readers gets through these books without being miserable. Do people think Robb Stark didn't pillage the westerlands?
Kevan's mainly known for being kind. He was kind to Tyrion, he was king to Tommen, he saved Podrick Payne's life and got him a job as Tyrion's squire. He loves his wife, even though she is described as not conventionally attractive, and he wants the best for his sons. By Westerosi standards, he's a good man. By Post-war western values, well of course he isn't.
Tywin to me has always been a fascinating character. Here's a man filled with wisdom and pragmatic thinking, but who is fundamentally incapable of overcoming a few mental blocks. These blocks constrain his otherwise effective thinking, and create his doom.
While a lot of people will call Tywin stupid for starting a war with what literally could have been every single other Kingdom in Westeros...Tywin won. That alone takes brilliance. While Tywin, like any war leader, made some tactical mistakes along the way (deploying forward to attack Roose Bolton's force, placing in command in the hands of Stafford), his diplomatic strategy and basically sound military strategy, along with basic preparedness, paved the way to victory for the Lannisters. On top of this you have his tenure as Hand, in which he was more popular than the King, ruled well, and built a strong reputation, and the basic preparedness of the Westerlands for warfare as opposed to the other regions. Tywin is able to quickly assemble and deploy a force of 35,000 men. Then, later, he raised thousands more. That's called preparedness, and the North and the Riverlands just didn't have it.
Yo E-Ro, I told you why the last time there was a Daario thread. He got the pretty girl all the fanboys (and some of the fangirls too) like and "doesn't deserve her". Its pretty funny though to see all the Dany fans criticizing her choice in men when clearly the lady knows what she wants. Daario is just a typical sellsword. People make make noise about him not being able to back his stuff up (WE HAVEN'T SEEN HIM FIGHT IN FRONT OF US) but if he's a sellsword and alive, he's probably a decent enough fighter. Ser Barristan doesn't like him, but Ser Barristan seems to have a thing against the pretty boy type, he dislikes Gerris Drinkwater too. Its just the fact that people are in their own way jealous of Daario or someone like Daario they knew beforehand.
Also where did anyone get this idea of dany as some prudish innocent? GRRM specifically wrote this character as very sex driven. After all, she says "yes" and is all ready to go the first time with Drogo, she has Irri pleasure her and it seems like its happened a few times, her internal dialogue is focused on how much the slave porn stars get her going, etc. etc. etc. etc. People are then surprised by Daario?
Look, we all know girls like Dany. These girls are focused primarily on looks, and that's their prerogative, even if I can self-righteously argue against the wisdom of it, especially for a woman who is important and powerful, she's still allowed. Catherine the Great killed her husband, stole his throne, and had several lovers and they still call her "the great" don't they? People have long focused on guys like Daario and blamed them for seducing and corrupting girls they like, oblivious to the fact that women have active sex drives as well and some of them are just dying to act on theirs.
Would I be friends with Daario in real life? Perhaps, peacocks like Daario tend to attract girls, who usually have friends who are interested in a different type of guy than daario, but my group of friends probably has enough vanity already. He is a pretty funny character and his advice to Dany is like sneakier, less brutish Shavepate, which perhaps makes him her best advisor.
Does Lyanna still run away with Rhaegar if its Stannis? Her primary objection to Robert was his penchant for sleeping around. After that, you still have tons of counter-factuals. How does the battle of Summerhall go with Stannis instead of Robert, or does Stannis send Robert with their army to fight that battle? How about the Battle of the Bells, does Stannis still manage to get cover in a brothel and avoid Jon Connington?