John Suburbs

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  1. Yes, it's all very sketchy and requires a number of assumptions, which is why I only suspect this. We don't have any history of Brandon shagging a Mormont, Karstark, Umber etc., but we do have a relationship with one Ryswell daughter. It may or may not prove relevant to the story; we'll just have to wait and see. It isn't necessary, but to become a master horseman it sure would help. Lyanna had the same trait, Starks can warg animals, so this would be one of those connect-the-dots things. Sorry, I cannot imagine even the most cold, calculating, despicable lord letting his bastard son off scot free after murdering his only trueborn son and heir in cold blood. Dom would have done nothing but brought fame and honor to House Bolton and probably would have fetched himself a roundly advantageous marriage to boot. So any way you look at it through the lens of Dom being Roose's blood, this was a devastating blow to Roose both personally and politically, and it defies convention that he would calculate way back then that someday Rams might come in handy when it would have been a simple matter to take a new wife and father a new heir. I have a lengthy theory as to what is really going on with Roose and why he needed to get rid of Dom and make Rams his heir, but if you can't grab on to this small part of it due to lack of evidence then you're never going to buy into the whole thing. It's on the board, though -- search if you want. But don't expect to find proof of anything, just suspicions.
  2. I'm not saying they are broke. They have plenty of wealth, including income from the crossing. I'm just saying that crossing itself is no longer the critical military/commercial junction that it once was, and is no longer the primary source of their wealth.
  3. I think Roose knew that Dom was not his in exactly the same way he instantly knew that Ramsey was: his eyes.
  4. Absolutely, there is no reason to think that just because he looks like a Stark doesn't mean he can't have a Targ father. Most of the Stark children look like Tullys. It's just that it would make it a lot easier to pin a Targ label on Jon if he exhibited just one Targ feature or quality, but I guess that would kind of spoil everything. One thing about his eyes, though: they are so grey as to be almost black. Several Targs were said to have eyes that were so deeply purple that they looked black, and Rhaegar himself had eyes that some called indigo. And I'll also note that Rhaegar was not the only Targaryen at the time who could have fathered Jon. We don't know what shade of purple Aerys' eyes were.
  5. Lol, I burned my mouth on pizza the other night. I am definitely not a Targaryen. But more to the point: If, and I stress the word if, Dany has some kind of fire resistance, wouldn't it make more sense that it comes from her Dornish heritage, than her Targaryen heritage? Think about it: who would have a greater interest in infusing their blood with some kind of anti-fire ability, the ones who control the dragons or the ones who oppose them. The Rhoynar fought the Valyrians for more than two centuries, and the Rhoynar were steeped in water magic. After their defeat, they wound up in Dorne where the Martells can trace their ancestry right back to Nymeria herself. Dany, in fact, is a fifth-generation Martell (Dareon II m. Mariah Martell), and a fourth-generation Dayne (Maekar m. Dyanna Dayne). So there is that, plus the fact that we don't know for sure that any Targs actually burned at Summerhall, just that they died. Burning wood roofs crashing on your head will kill you even if the fire doesn't. And Dany feels heat and burning as well, so Quent's reaction to the flame is not necessarily evidence that he would die in a fire attack. Dany suffered burns on her hands after Daznak's Pit, but she was largely unscathed despite have all her hair burned off again -- so that aspect of the magical one-off event has apparently happened a second time. But like dragon dreams and, supposedly, a Targaryen resistance to illness, it would seem that none of these traits are universal, since some Targs have died of illness and, like you said, some may actually have burned to death at Summerhall. So the fact that Jon does get burned should in no way rule out his possibility as a Targ. But on the other hand, Jon seems to exhibit no shred at Targaryenness -- not the hair, the eyes, fire abilities, and I think he had all of one dream with a dragon in it. But he does show multiple signs of being a Stark.
  6. No, it was a good call. They were long gone by the time the Freys showed up and the Reeds were in charge of the Marshes by then.
  7. Well, if you are talking narrative-wise, then the simplest narrative would have been for Renly to defeat Stannis, march on King's Landing and execute all the Lannisters, then make peace with Robb so they can both converge on Harranhal and put an end to Tywin and his army. Arya and Sansa would have been rescued, and all the remaining Starks could have returned to Winterfell just in time to alert the kingdom to the impending threat north of the wall. The whole series could have been wrapped up in three, maybe four, books, with Dany flying in to rescue the living just as the hour seemed darkest. Then she could have established herself as Empress of the Known World overseeing the King on the Iron Throne and the sub-king in Winterfell. The practical problem with Robb declaring for Stannis at that point in the story is that Stannis is still sitting on Dragonstone with his piddling little army of maybe 5k. So even if Robb does draw Tywin west, there is no reason to expect that Stannis will be able to take King's Landing considering Renly outnumbers him by 8:1. No one can imagine how the Red Woman will rearrange the board with her magic. So in the end, Robb declaring for Stannis would likely mean that eventually he would alone face at least three hostile armies: Tywin's 20k, the remnants of Jaime's host at Riverrun, soon to be reassembled at Oxcross under Ser Stafford, and the Renly/Tyrell host of at least 80k. Not very good odds.
  8. I think that, given enough evidence, Ned would at least geld Ramsey, if not execute him, and Roose would probably give him up rather than risk his seat. Remember, it wouldn't just be a war against Winterfell but pretty much every house in the north, none of whom have any great love for the Boltons. But having said that, mayhaps Roose might try to pull a fast one by executing a false Ramsey? That would complicate matters when it comes to legitimizing him and naming him the new heir, but there is no reason why he couldn't acknowledge another bastard. "Hey everyone, meet my natural son, Roscoe Bolton."
  9. OK, nix the marsh kings.
  10. Agreed. Anyone outside of 10-15 miles of the twins would be more likely to send goods downriver. If this is just local traffic, then the crossing would only be worthwhile if there was a better market on one side vs. the other. It would have to pay quite the premium for goods because traders from across the river would not only have to give up a percentage of their cargo on the first crossing but then pay the passenger toll coming back. But this is unlikely because there is no reason why goods produced on one side should be any more valuable on the other -- unless, of course, the Freys are deliberately buying up supplies on one side to create an artificial shortage...? But like FMR said, this would only be milking your own territory, not bringing in wealth from the outside. I do wonder if the Freys are allowed to stop river traffic coming from their north. If anyone is harvesting timber in the forest west of the marshes, that would pretty much have to move by riverboat, so would the Freys have a right to stop and tax some of this cargo? Maybe, but that wouldn't be income from the crossing, just their hold on the river. Another potentially lucrative commodity from that part of the realm would be lizard-lion skins, but I've never seen anyone wearing alligator leather, even though it would probably make fairly decent armor.
  11. Not really a screw up, because for a good 300 years after it was built, the crossing would have been a fairly lucrative source of income for the Freys. At any given time, there was war between the marsh kings, river kings, vale kings, storm kings and even iron kings, not to mention the Brackens, Blackwoods, Mallisters, Vances and any other house looking to expand their territory. So the need for armies to cross the GF quickly was much greater than it is today, and it would also produce a steady stream of refugees desperate to escape the fighting. At the same time, it would make shipping goods up and down the various forks much more hazardous because you would never know if you had crossed into hostile territory where your entire cargo could be "foraged." Today, we can see from the map that the primary flow of goods moving overland would come to Kings Landing and then north on the Kingsroad. The Freys would get the traffic heading to their piece of the riverlands, but the bulk of the territory would be served by boats plying the rivers -- now that this is all one big peaceful kingdom, this is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to move goods between this region and the main shipping ports on the Narrow Sea. So, sure, they are making some money off the regional traffic using the crossing, but the vast majority of wealth moving within and without the kingdom is passing them by. And sorry, but I don't see how we can say for a fact that the Freys are loaded. Every other lord, lord protector, cheesemonger and slaver is presented with copious descriptions of their fine clothes, fancy jewels and the resplendency of their halls and manses, but not the Freys. Most lords do this because it presents an image of their wealth and power, and the Freys have always resented the fact that they are looked down upon. So if they have all this wealth at their disposal, why don't they show it? I am certain they have quite a bit of money. I am just arguing that the main source of this wealth is no long the crossing, but their lands and holdings -- just like any other house.
  12. Well, proof is in the eye of the beholder. If there was undisputed proof, there would be no reason to discuss it. But there is this: Brandon was a lusty guy. He did Barbrey Ryswell, so it's not that much of a stretch to think he also did Bethany Ryswell, Domeric's mom. Domeric was a master horseman: If there is any truth to Stark warging capabilities, then Dom may have had the same sort of mind-connection to horses that Lyanna (and maybe Arya) may have had. Roose also could care less that his bastard son murdered his "trueborn" son and heir, a man who had all the makings of being a champion jouster who would have brought honor and glory to House Bolton. Mayhaps he knew all along that Dom was not of his blood? (I think there is actually a whole lot more to this, but this will do for now.) But before you come back with "this is not proof of anything" let me state again that I know it's not proof. This is why a say I suspect, rather than I know.
  13. If there was a seaport of note on the western end of the Bite I would agree with this. But there isn't, so this can't be a significant trade route. This is puzzling, I'll admit, but that's what we have. Back in the day the Sisters Islands were full of pirates, and they still like to play nasty tricks on passing ships, so maybe this is enough of a discouragement for trade. So if you are going to move goods anywhere in the westerlands to Essos, wouldn't it make more sense to just head downriver on either the Red or Blue fork to Saltpans or Maidenpool? Why take the slow, difficult route all the way to the Twins -- handing over maybe 10 percent of your cargo to cross -- and then either north up the causeway (a two-week journey) and then all the way to White Harbor, or then back down the kingsroad to, well, Saltpans or Maidenpool. There are robbers and brigands on the roads as well as the seas, and it costs a lot to feed draft animals. I can see how the crossing would be convenient for the trade originating in the vicinity of the Twins, but anyone involved in cross-continent or multi-continental trade would be foolish not to take the quick, easy and duty-free river straight to the key markets serving Essos, no? So it still seems that the Freys are only getting a trickle of side action while the majority of wealth is passing them by.
  14. You can ask the same about Tyrion. But I do suspect we have heard of at least one bastard child of Brandon Stark; he went by the name of Domeric Bolton.
  15. The word Jon gets from the wildlings is that Mother Mole saw "a fleet of ships arriving to carry the free folk to safety across the narrow sea." So even if those are her exact words, the slavers from Lys and Volantis would still be an accurate interpretation: they would be safe from the wights and Others, enslaved but safe. And now that Arya has informed the higher ups in her temple about this plan to return to Hardhome and get more slaves -- a tale that city officials will likely have heard as well -- it's a safe bet that Braavos will get its own fleet to Hardhome first. Plus, we have Cotter Pyke there with his six ships, which MM may or may not consider a "fleet", and they will at least be carry wildlings south of the wall. Given that wildlings don't like to kneel, however, I'll bet not many will consider this much better than slavery, but at least they'll be safe.