John Suburbs

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Everything posted by John Suburbs

  1. Howland Reed, most definitely. In fact, I think Howland is the only person alive who knows the truth. I doubt all of House Dayne, or anyone for that matter, knows. Edric Dayne doesn't seem to know. I don't see any reason to tell anyone but Ashara, and even then it would depend on what she already knows. Wylla is an unknown. She may just be a name that Ned gave up to Robert to squelch his curiosity. Wylla might not even know she is involved at all. Leyton Hightower? How do you figure? This is Ned's most carefully kept secret. If he can't even tell Cat, despite the shame this lie brings to her, then there is no reason to tell anyone else.
  2. Um, Robert is pretty convinced that Rhaegar raped Lyanna "hundreds of times." When you kidnap someone, particularly when a man kidnaps a woman, it's a pretty safe assumption that he's not going to just lock her away somewhere, give her flowers, and then go about his normal day. The story being put out is the Rhaegar is overcome with lust and has kidnapped Lyanna to have his way with her. This may not be the true story, but this is what the realm believes. Eddard has to return to KL with a plausible story as to how Lyanna died, so unless he is going to tell a whopper like he just found her in a streambed or something, then he has to tell of the events at the ToJ. Three of the realm's finest knights are dead, including the Lord Commander of the KG, plus five of Ned's bannermen, and Ned has returned Dawn to Starfall. So how on earth is he supposed report to KL that Lyanna is dead but he has no idea what happened to the rest? If Lyanna had been raped and killed months before, I'm stumped as to how Ned would explain why three kingsguard would sacrifice their lives protecting her dead body. We do know what the characters know. It's the history of the realm. Jaime sees that the White Book needs updating with the deaths of Mandon Moore and Preston Greenfield. Does it say that the White Bull rode off one day and was never seen again, or that Arthur Dayne's whereabouts are unknown but his sword was returned by Ned Stark who has no idea how it came to be in his possession?
  3. I think it's got legs. The idea that a character could start out good and noble but end up doing bad things is clearly established, ie, Arya, Bran, Mad Aerys, -- as is the idea that a character could start off a prick but end up doing, or at least trying to do, good, Jaime, Theon... We also have the story of Nissa Nissa to show that when trying to create a magical super-weapon, the sacrifice of a loved one, or even your most-cherished loved one in the whole world, is necessary. So Aegon turning to extremes to produce a dragon that would allow him to rule, coupled with Dunk betraying his king to protect innocent life, are both well within the realm of plausibility. To me, it's beyond silly that people would dismiss the whole thing because "it doesn't say so in the book." There isn't a theory on this board that can be "proven" since, duh, then it's not a theory, it's a fact. So I say let those with no imagination stew in their own mire; I'll take creative thinking over dogmatic arrogance any day.
  4. That shouldn't matter. If Jon is not essential to Varys' plans, he could very well be essential to someone else's plans that could majorly interfere with Varys' plans. If Jon can be proven to be a legitimate son of Rhaegar, as in, say, some sort of marriage document in Lyanna's tomb, plus a certain silver-stringed harp, then he could press a more plausible claim to the throne than someone like Aegon who only has the word of people like JonCon and Varys.
  5. I think you're reaching on this one Sandman. If she was magically protected from the fire, it would be kind of silly that she would just die from lack of oxygen. Kind of like Dolorous Edd's story about Watt, missing the rocks below the Bridge of Skulls but still dead from the axe in his head. I also don't see how Viserys could be a death that paid for a dragon's life. Viserys is nowhere near them, and if any death no matter where or when could pay for life, then the Faceless Men's entire business model is a shambles because anyone could walk into the House of Black and White, ask for a life and pay for it with the death of their mother's uncle's father's sister's grandmother who died 50 years ago from the pox. If there were any deaths at the pyre to pay for the lives of the dragons, it was Drogo, Rhaego and MMD -- Drogo and Rhaego because their spirits had not yet been set free in the Dothraki way, and MMD because she died in the fire. And if you look at the dragon's personalities, you can almost see the spirits within: Drogon, strong, fierce, independent- Drogo; Viserion, clingy, cries when Dany pushes him away, like a baby seeking the comfort of his mother - Rhaego; and Rhaegal, somewhat aloof, leery, almost suspicious of Dany - MMD. I think if there is anyone we can consider to be dead-and-reborn without knowing it, it's Davos. The dead body next to him when he wakes on the little island in the Blackwater, his own perhaps? And Mel's cryptic response about using someone's possessions to create a glamour: "The bones remember. The strongest glamors are built of such things. A dead man's boots, a hank of hair, a bag of fingerbones." Davos' own bag of fingerbones, of course, is missing.
  6. I always took Fire and Blood to refer to the types of magic that were fused to bind dragons to the Valyrians. So Targaryen blood is literally fused with dragon (Fire) blood. So if we assume that Stark blood has been fused with Other (Ice) blood (through the Night's King perhaps?), and we further assume that RLJ is true, then you would literally have the Song of Ice and Fire (Magic) bound up in the blood of a single character.
  7. Mayhaps, but from what she's revealed of her visions regarding him, it isn't clear whether Patchface himself is the danger or that danger surrounds him in some way. So from that perspective, it might be that acting against him will either be irrelevant to, or might instigate, whatever danger he is associated with.
  8. Sorry, your syntax is a little jumbled, but I'll try and answer. No, Oberyn doesn't know the truth, but Tyrion also does not know what Oberyn knows or does not know. So if Tywin does not lay out the truth to Tyrion, then Tyrion cannot be trusted to just blurt out what he, Tyrion, thinks is just an accepted fact -- that the mountain and Lorch killed the children, and maybe even the fact that Tywin ordered it. By having this conversation, Tyrion knows exactly what is truth and what is lies, and what is to be revealed and what is to be kept secret. He raised his voice and ordered the tent cleared when his bannermen displeased him with their whining about the loss at Riverrun. He "brusquely" dismissed Cersei when she tried to defy him about remarrying. He sent the king to his room when he threw a tantrum at a council meeting. Tywin does not suffer challenges to his authority lightly. No, he did not raise his voice to Jaime, but your fooling yourself if this is on par with "even you will not accuse me of giving that command, I would hope": Sure, which demonstrates my point that Tywin is not reacting out of pettiness or perceived insults to him personally, but to the affront to House Lannister. He simply cannot let another house kidnap his child, even a dwarf, without retaliating in a meaningful way. To do otherwise would send a signal to other lords, great and small, that House Lannister can be pushed around, which is exactly the trap that Tywin saw his father fall into. I don't recall Tywin ever saying that Robert would not do it, just that he was relieved that it had been done. But regardless, the fact that Rhaella, Viserys and now Dany are still alive is irrelevant when it comes to Aegon and Rhaenys. These are the children he has in his possession right now, so just because killing them does not end the Targaryen line forever does not alter the fact that they are still Targaryens, descended directly from the king, and can be used to foment future rebellion, willingly or no. So their deaths are not useless; they just don't provide complete fulfilment of the objective. That was to come when Robert sent Stannis to take Dragonstone. And, sorry, but none of this can be taken to mean that Tywin ordered the killings just to spite Aerys -- there are clearly political and military objectives in mind. Because death is final and permanent. If he just hands the children over and a counter rebellion does emerge, it's possible that he could just retake them and hand them over to the new rebels. Laying their bodies at Robert's feet shows that House Lannister has severed its loyalty with House Targaryen forever, unquestionably and irreversibly. Sorry, but oh so wrong. 15 years is an extremely long time to be raising two royal wards in captivity when half the realm is calling you "usurper" and dreaming about the good old days when the Targaryens ruled instead of a fat, drunken oaf. Nobody would think him magnanimous -- they would be thinking about the poor Targaryen children locked away in a tower someday to be shipped off to the wall or forced to marry their conquerors against their will. Talk about a PR nightmare. Besides, since Tywin did the murdering, Robert does not have to carry that stain. This is why it was the only viable option at the time. Have you read the book? Aegon was killed as an infant and there was no shitstorm. Robert wasn't even in the capital at the time, and Tywin had not even sworn fealty to him yet, which is why to this day the murders are pinned on the Lannisters, not Robert. And sorry, but when cities are taken, the castles are taken as well and non-belligerents, ei, women and children, are raped and killed. This is why all the women flocked to Maegor's Holdfast during the Blackwater -- in hopes that Queen Cersei could protect them when the Red Keep fell. It's beyond silly to think that when soldiers are fighting and dying trying to take a castle that the women and children could just go about their daily lives knowing that people of their rank are somehow protected from the realities of life and war. What you are proposing is that, in order not to be seen as complicit in the murders, Robert himself orders Aegon confined to a tower first, and then during that imprisonment he ends up a eunuch and a clubfoot. Regardless of whether they pass one off as an "accident" and the other to his natural Dornish rapaciousness (as if that would go over well in Dorne) it's going to look bad for Robert. This is what the North Koreans tried to pull off with Otto Warmbier. And I utterly fail to see how any of this will help with the idea of how "magnanimous" Robert is or how confident he is in his victory. Well, I was speaking in terms of how JA appeased the Dornish after the actual murders. But, yes, they may have been able to leverage them to their advantage, but the downside is that they become the focal point of future hostility from Dorne. It's bad enough that they've wanted revenge all these years, but if they had actual living descendants in need of rescue you can bet that the level of hostility would be much higher, particularly if Aegon is getting sliced and dissected as you propose. She might. She's a daughter of Dorne. All of the Dornish women I've seen so far appear to be feisty, obstinate, full of fire. Her situation would be markedly different from Sansa's. With all her male relatives either dead or attainted traitors, it fell to the king to make her match, which he did through Tywin. Rhaenys still has male relatives present who could object to the marriage, which would carry weight with the church. And it would not have anything to do with ensuring that Rhaenys gets her wish but what is most politically efficacious for House Martell. So it would be a tricky thing at best, and sure to cause even more friction with Dorne, which, as I said, is the last thing a new dynasty needs in the aftermath of a bloody civil war. No matter how you play it, the children's continued existence presents nothing but a series of bad options for Robert. But since Tywin took the necessary step of removing them at the time and in the way he did, he shielded the new king from responsibility for their deaths, cemented his previously shaky ties to Robert's cause and ensured that, from these two sources at least, no future rebellion could come back to destabilize the realm. It was a strategic decision; it had nothing at all to do with paying Aegon back for past slights. Tywin simply does not think in those terms.
  9. Yes, highly probable. And since the only account of what happened at the ToJ came from Ned, and maybe his strange little cranno-bannerman Howland Reed, Ned suddenly appearing with his own baby boy after squelching the idea that Lyanna birthed a child for Rhaegar should have drawn the suspicion of someone like Varys whose very life is based on puzzling out the secrets of others.
  10. We're not talking about Ned's status at the beginning of the war, but at the end. By the time he returns to Winterfell with his baby boy, Ned is the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. But even then, Varys doesn't need to concern himself so much with keeping track of Ned, but of Jon. And it's not a matter of spying, but taking well known information and connecting the dots. The possibility of Rhaegar fathering a child on Lyanna should have been first and foremost in Varys' mind the whole time they were together. Legitimate or not, such a child would have great implications for the future peace and stability of the realm. So when Ned declares his bastard, I'm sorry, but a smart guy like Varys should have considered the possibilities. Knowing other people's secrets is the nature of his service. That is why he is a member of the small council, why they call him lord, why he is Illyrio's point man in King's Landing. And I doubt Ned would be able to convince anyone that Lyanna died long before he reached the tower. What possible reason would there be for three kingsguard to remain there, let along sacrifice their lives? So the only two possibilities are that Varys did not know, or that he knew but didn't care. Either way, it was a major boner. But remember, all of this is based on the idea that Jon is actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Mayhaps we are all looking at this completely wrong and RLJ is not true, and Varys knows for a fact that it is not.
  11. Varys should know. This is exactly the kind of info that a Master of Whispers should concern himself with. He knows everything else about everyone else. Others know about the bastard of Winterfell -- Tyrion, Robert -- and the tale about Ashara is known down south, since that story is unlikely to have originated in Winterfell. And yes, it is probable that Ned stumbled, and most people are apt to believe a salacious lie rather than an uncomfortable truth, but Varys is not most people. The possibility of another Targaryen bastard should have been first and foremost in his mind throughout the entire war, so the news that one had not been produced should have come as either a great relief or a great disappointment, depending on where his true loyalties lie. The moment he first heard that Ned returned to Winterfell with a baby boy he claims is his own should have raised major red flags for Varys. So either he got royally snowed by a rank amateur in the art of politics and deception, or he completely blew off the fact that Targaryen blood, and perhaps the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, has been hiding out at Winterfell this whole time. Either way, major bad on Varys' part.
  12. This one's a bit of a puzzle. On the one hand, it seems inconceivable that a man who has spies and informants across the land, and across the seas, would not be tracking the development of a Targaryen son, bastard or not, if he knew his true identity. And while there certainly is no evidence to suggest that Varys has any inkling about Jon, we can't be certain that he doesn't either. But assuming that Varys does not have Jon on his radar, the question is why not? Like virtually everybody else in Westeros, the damage that Targ bastards can cause the realm are well known. They had just finished off the last of the Blackfyre pretenders not 20 years before, so when word got around that Rhaegar had kidnapped Lyanna and was holding her in secret for however many months, virtually everybody, and certainly someone like Varys, should have been terrified (or overjoyed, depending on their POV) that a whole new generation of rival claimants to the throne is on the way. So when Ned returns to KL and reports that Lyanna is dead and that's the end of it, the fact that she did not produce a child should come as a huge relief/disappointment. But then Ned returns to Winterfell and news trickles out that the most honorable man in the kingdom fathered a bastard during the war, well, a supposedly smart man like Varys should be expected to put two and two together. So IMO, it was a pretty big blunder by Varys either way. If he knew of Jon's origins, then it was hugely derelict of him just to blow it off, since he has no idea whether Ned or anyone else plans to use him someday to take the throne. If he didn't, then that means he was outwitted by someone who later proves to be utterly inept when it comes to political intrigue and the game of thrones.
  13. He will fly, but will he also breathe fire?
  14. Love the idea. Don't waste your time arguing with the killjoys on this board who ask for unimpeachable truth for every suggestion. Even when you give them plain, simple facts, they'll deny that they are real because, you know, magic can explain or refute anything. And trying to peer into the subtext to perhaps see what is really going on behind the scenes is, like, hard. Life is long and people can change, especially when they unexpectedly become king at a relatively young age and carry the burden of running a kingdom for so long. Aegon faced a number of uprisings during his reign, many of them from proud lords who felt Aegon was interfering with their rights to manage their realms, and their smallfolk, as they saw fit. So rebirthing dragons would have done a lot to help Aegon rule as he wanted, and if the World Book is any guide, he was obsessing over dragons by the end of his reign. Plus, we have to take into account that when a woman is nearing the end of pregnancy in this time period (or any time period, for that matter), the last thing you want to do is send them on a long, bumpy journey to some far-off castle just to celebrate the birth. So it seems to me that extremely pregnant Rhaella was there for a reason. But I also keep going back to the dream that Duncan had in the Dornish Marches where he and Aegon are trapped in a pit of sand and no matter how hard he digs the sand keeps pouring in. We can see from Tyrion's tour of the Guildhall that they make the wildfire in special cells equipped with levers that cause sand to pour into the room, smothering the flames in case of a mishap. If they rigged up a similar system in Summerhall, then Dunk could very well have died trying to save Aegon while tons of sand came pouring in from above. So mayhaps, even after foiling the plan and rescuing Rhaella before anything happened to her and Rhaegar, Dunk went back in to rescue the king that he still loved?
  15. Tyrion and/or Tommen will both rule as lords regent of Winterfell, and either of their sons will rule as the undisputed Lord of Winterfell. Tyrion, and I would expect Tommen, can both be expected to rule with a fair hand, building loyalty over time. But sure, they may or may not be able to gain substantial support for any immediate warring to the south. This is an existential threat, not an immediate one. 20 years is a blink of an eye when we are talking about noble dynasties that date back centuries. Whether Tywin is alive or dead is irrelevant because the power will reside in Casterly Rock, and throughout the ages CR has been a weaker, largely benign neighbor to the north. All of that has been upended in the past 20 years, and Lady Olenna knows that if Highgarden expects to remain secure for her descendants then Casterly Rock must not be allowed to become the new hegemon. She is playing the Game of Thrones, the struggle for power in the realm. Highgarden is diminishing while CR is ascending, and this wedding, right here and right now, is her only opportunity put the brakes on this trend by killing the man who would put Tywin's grandson in the high seat at Winterfell. The Tyrell/Gardner-Hightower-Redwyne family has maintained Highgarden's hegemony in the region for literally thousands of years. If future Lords of the Rock have the wits the gods gave a goose they will reinforce their marriages to Starks, Freys, Baratheons and anyone else to maintain their power. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but Lady Olenna knows that if she can remove Tyrion now, then the north, at least, will not fall under Lannister influence for some time, if ever. The Tyrells and Lannisters are sitting on an extremely fragile alliance at best. How could you possibly argue that there is no reason for the Tyrells to commit murder and in the next breath say they did exactly that by murdering the king no less and throwing the alliance into jeopardy? This is a marriage of convenience for both houses, and the smart people in the realm know this. And talk about having nothing. What information do the Tyrells have that Joffrey is a threat to either Margaery or the realm? Please show me the text where either Lady O or Margaery exhibit even the slightest bit of concern about Joffrey. Please show me the text where Joffrey exhibits even the slightest hostility toward Margaery. Please show me the text that even provides a plausible reason why Joffrey would want to hurt Margaery. I can show you the text that demonstrates the exact opposite for all three counts. And in what way is the realm in jeopardy? Because Joffrey beheaded a traitor lord and gave his daughter a few bruises? Please. This is the house that supported the Mad King to the bitter end and beyond, and he was roasting high lords in their armor with wildfire while their sons struggled to save them, killing themselves. Joffrey is the fulfilment of a decade-long quest to put a Tyrell on the Iron Throne. Even if he did have a mind to give Margaery a beating, big deal. Plenty of queens have suffered far worse for their crowns. And if this were to become unbearable for Margaery, then there are plenty of ways to get rid of Joffrey that don't require poisoning him in front of a thousand witnesses at a time when your entire extended family save one is surrounded by Lannister guards. And by then, of course, Margaery will be Queen Mother to the crown prince and would rule as regent until he comes of age. So not only is there no reason for them to want Joffrey dead, there is certainly no reason to do it now when all they have to do is wait a little while, see if a problem actually develops, and then take full control of the most powerful political weapon in the realm, all for themselves.
  16. I like the Valyrian connections. It seems to tick a lot of boxes. If the Faceless Men are to be believed, then the Red God and the Drowned God are merely aspects of the God of Many Faces, so PF could be a vassal for all the gods. "There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ... Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, that presents the difficulties." The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
  17. Good point. Mayhaps he was planning to do just that as he was planting a bastard in her belly. I doubt even Joffrey would be stupid enough to admit to that crime in front of witnesses.
  18. Tywin will control the north through Tyrion first, then his son, who will be the undisputed Lord of Winterfell. This is how it is done. It is how the Tyrells, and the Gardners before them, maintain their status as the single most powerful house in the region -- through their extensive inter-marriages with the Redwynes and Hightowers. With first his son, then his grandson, seated at Winterfell, Tywin will control, through marriage alliances -- a contiguous block that connects the north, the riverlands, the westerlands, the crownlands and the stormlands -- easily more than half the realm. House Lannister will be the most powerful house in the realm, able to field armies that dwarf any other house, including the Tyrells. As for Littlefinger, he needs to have Sansa free of any marriage entanglements, since, if she is still married, she is of no use to anyone. So while his motivation for killing Tyrion remains strong, he still needs to murder Tommen, and he is smart enough to realize that the Tyrells do too.
  19. As I said, my comments speak directly to the OP's question because if Tywin had married Sansa to Tommen instead of Tyrion then Tommen would have been the target for the poison at the Purple Wedding because it is through Tommen that Tywin would gain control over the north and displace the Tyrells as the most powerful family in the realm. Look at history: Highgarden has been the hegemon in the region for centuries due to the inter-marriages between the Tyrells/Gardners, the Hightowers and the Redwynes. They are all one, big extended family and this is the reason Highgarden is able to field the largest army compared to any other single realm. Over the past 20 years, however, Tywin has used conquest and marriage to expand Lannister control past just the westerlands to include the stormlands, the crownlands, and the riverlands, not to mention his grandson on the Iron Throne. Add the north to that mix, and Casterly Rock will have the ability to field an army that dwarfs anything Highgarden could produce, and conflict between the two houses is inevitable due to the large, ill-defined border they share. And when you go up against Tywin Lannister, he doesn't just march his army into the field for a nobly fought battle in which the loser just bends the knee and submits. He burns your lands to the ground, sacks your cities, murders your smallfolk by the thousands, razes your castles to the ground and exterminates your house for all time. These are all facts clearly and definitively spelled out in the text. So if anyone has hijacked this thread, it is those who toss unsupported theories out of their heads that have no backing in text, no backing in fact and run completely counter to the motivations and objectives of the principal plotters.
  20. Sorry that people keep filling up this thread with non-facts and non-logic, but all I did was answer the OP's question: What if Tywin had Sansa Marry Tommen? Answer: Tommen would have been the target at the Purple Wedding, not Tyrion. You have an Ignore Button for these types of situations.
  21. I'll add another thought here if you don't mind. Littlefinger might not care if the dagger is found, and might not even be aware that this particular dagger is being used, but Joffrey might. Remember, Joffrey does not know about the Arryn letter, so he does not know that Stark suspicion of the Lannisters is already piqued. So if Joffrey's goal is to prevent Ned from becoming hand, then the best way to do that would be to murder a Stark child and sow distrust between Ned and Robert. Since the knife is Robert's and has no known connection to the Lannisters (because Joffrey would also not know of the lie that Littlefinger will tell in the future), then discovery of the knife after the murder would cast suspicion on Robert, especially if his comments about putting Bran out of his misery were to come to light. So I doubt even Joffrey would be so obvious as to tell the catspaw to murder the boy and leave the dagger sticking out of his chest, but he might instruct him to toss it out the window or arrange it so that it looks like someone tried to dispose of it but will most certainly be found.
  22. Uh, OK. But gravity can be observed and measured, whereas we have observed no raising of wights by Others, and the only interaction we see is a very brief moment where an Other is riding an already dead horse that does not seem to be controlled any differently from a live horse. I'm not saying the Others are not the ones reanimating and controlling the wights, it's just odd that we are five books deep into a seven-book series and this basic assumption on the part of virtually the entire reading community has yet to be shown. Also, for what it's worth, here is Melisendre's take on the wights: So death pays for life, but is death necessary to animate dead flesh?
  23. Joff hasn't not done anything (bad syntax, sorry). He's probably already hired the catspaw and given him the knife. But with the royal party still in the castle, even Joffrey would see that it would be wisest to wait until there are fewer people about so there is a better chance that the fire decoy will allow the CS to get to Bran unseen. From Littlefinger's perspective, the intent of prompting Joff to kill a Stark is not to prevent Ned from becoming Hand. That's just what he tells Joffrey to get him to act. Like Tyrion, LF probably knows that if Robert wants Ned to be hand, Ned will be hand. For Ned to refuse would introduce a source of distrust between them, and it would probably mean that Jaime Lannister becomes Hand, not Ned. For this reason alone, Ned will probably take the job, Bran or no Bran. But even if he doesn't, it still suits LF's purposes because now there is unease between Ned and Robert, unease between wolf and lion due to Lysa's letter, plus he has hot-headed, brute-force-loving Jaime as Hand. Plenty of opportunities to cause chaos in that scenario. If the murder of Jon Arryn is enough to draw Ned to KL, then I fail to see why the murder of his own son would send him running back Winterfell. It would send a very clear message to the other lords that Ned is unwilling to defend the honor of his house when it is attacked in the most despicable, cowardly way imaginable. So with the one-two punch of the letter drawing suspicion on the Lannisters for the Arryn murder, followed by an attempt on Bran (which no one would have any reason to pin on the Lannisters if not for the letter), LF has set it up so Ned will most certainly take the job because now the threat isn't just against House Arryn it is aimed at House Stark directly.
  24. Well, sorry, but I'm going to throw a curve at part of your theory by pointing out that we have yet to see a White Walker actually raising a wight, nor have we seen a WW controlling a wight in any way, and, in fact, we have not even seen walkers and human wights in the same place at the same time. The closest we get is the dead horse that Sam sees during the encounter in the Haunted Forest, but it's not like that horse had a maniacal compulsion to kill the living -- it just meanders off like any other horse. So it doesn't appear that the walker is controlling it any differently than a normal horse or that the horse would balk at carrying a living human rider. But aside from that, all of the wights we have seen appear to be recently dead. They still have flesh, eyes, clothing, etc. So if only death can pay for life, then I think it stands to reason that their own deaths are what paid for their reanimations. And that is if this death-for-life thing is universal and that the wights can be considered "alive" just because they are walking around and killing things. They still appear to be technically dead, just that something is causing them to rise and become active. Are Craster's sons being killed. Who knows? It seems to me, though, that the old woman who talks about the sons returning knows a thing or two about the cold gods and how they operate. And unless the death of one baby can pay for the lives of thousands of grown wights, then there must be thousands of Crasters all over north of the wall sacrificing babies every day by the score.
  25. Well, look at it from Joffrey's perspective. First, he wouldn't necessarily be targeting Bran right from the start. He challenges Robb to spar with live steel first, and he knows that Robb is not likely to kill the crown prince, but mayhaps Joffrey's sword just cuts a little too deep on Robb...? What a tragic accident that would be. But when Bran fell it would seem that the problem had resolved itself. When Ned comes south anyway, Joffrey sent the catspaw back to finish Bran off hoping that it would prompt Ned to change his mind. And when that failed, I have a deep suspicion that his next target was to be Sansa on their little ride near the Trident. Good thing they came upon Arya and Mycah instead. I agree on the Varys thing, though. Varys is the one pleading for time here, so he would have no reason to add fuel to an already simmering fire by revealing his suspicions to Ned. And he certainly would have no reason to send the catspaw or prompt Joffrey to do so in the first place.