John Suburbs

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  1. My thinking on Roose takes a little explaining, but I will get the leeches as quickly as I can. I believe Roose, or at least, the creature that we now call Roose, is the last surviving son of the Night's King. Born thousands of years ago, this being, who is half-human and either half-other or half-wight, was rescued by Joruman and the King of Winter just before he could be sacrificed to the Others, al la Craster. Being the only descendent of the NK, he naturally inherited has lands and titles from before the NK joined the Night's Watch -- probably the Dreadfort, maybe Winterfell. Since then, this creature has survived through the ages by fathering children on human wives, waiting until they come of age, then killing them, flaying them (hence the Flayed Man sigil), and then donning their skin to form a perfect likeness of the new host, which would naturally become the new lord of the house since the previous lord has just died. The disguise is perfect except for the eyes, which remain the same pale milky color. This explains a number of things: He has virtually no hair. He never sweats. He is able to quiet big boisterous louts like the greatjon with barely a whisper. And it explains why he knew for certain that Ramsey was his merely by looking at his eyes. It also explains why he rewarded Ramsey with lands and titles even after killing his "trueborn" son, Domeric. My hunch is the Dom was not a Bolton but a Stark, probably the son of Brandon Stark, which would make him ineligible as a host. Ramsey is of his blood, so Roose had to set Rams up as his heir, and now Lord of Winterfell no less, in order to maintain power after he sheds his Roose body and takes over Ramsey. As for the leeches, this is how he keeps the blood from congealing in his extremities, the way it does with normal wights. I also suspect that Roose and Brandon "Ice Eyes" Stark are one and the same. And this, of course, is what gives the Starks their "Ice" blood, being descendants from Others and/or wights, which is complemented by the "Fire" blood of the Targaryens, which are mingled up in the blood of Jon Snow to form the Song of Ice and Fire. So at some point in the next two books, I expect Roose to die. Once that happens, look for Ramsey to calm down, start speaking in whispers, start leeching himself and people will notice that his eyes are slightly paler than they remember. You'll know the switch has been made.
  2. Yeah, maybe. I'm assuming that "means something" has to do with the plot rather than character development, but that part is unclear. But since we already know that this is a false memory, the mere development that Sansa comes to realize it will not further our understanding of her character, just further her understanding of herself. So if this can then be parlayed into a new, more resolute, attitude for Sansa, then I would consider that meaningful. But I guess we'll have to wait to find out for sure.
  3. It also comes from joining the thread that's already a week old, commenting on a few select posts, then dropping out again for a weeks, rejoining again, commenting on a few more select quotes. To get a full understanding, you might want to try reading all. Joffrey is dead, but Littlefinger and Bran are still alive. Let's just wait until the story is concluded before we claim with unvarnished certainty that we know exactly what will happen going forward. Deal? Well then why do you keep coming back to the dagger? For that matter, if you're all done with this, why do you waste your time on chat boards arguing about things that you think are concluded? If this is ever to come to light, it can be done without the dagger, so why do you keep obsessing over it? Point of correction: I think it is possible that LF manipulated Joffrey into planning to murder a Stark child, and that such a motivation would be more in character for both LF and Joffrey. Whether or not this actually happened remains to be seen. And yes, I do hold GRRM in higher esteem than you because I think he is far more skillful and intelligent than you give him credit. If you are happy with mediocrity, power to you brother, but don't pin that mediocrity on GRRM and then claim to admire him as an exceptional writer. Good, so we are agreed that GRRM presents false candidates for things like murder. So why is it so all-fire impossible for him to plant false candidates for Joffrey's motivation for the catspaw? How about you let Martin finish the story before you claim inside knowledge about what he thinks and where the truth lies? You've based your unshakeable conclusion on a long list of assumptions regarding the POVs, what the SSMs mean, what the characters are thinking, all to arrive at a conclusion that you and virtually everyone else thinks is inadequate. Perhaps try waiting until the story is finished before you declare with certainty what is and is not factual -- just like it would have been better to wait until Storm came out before declaring unequivocally that Cersei murdered Jon Arryn. You just might surprise yourself. Lol, for someone who insists on being allowed to make his own arguments, you sure don't hesitate to make mine. Since you are so fond of SSMs, here are Martin's own words on the subject: In other words, Martin does not fix a rigid plot and the create situations in order to advance the plot. He plants characters as seeds and allows them to grow in whatever direction is most natural. His characters make decisions based on what they are thinking as characters, not on what Martin thinks would be best for the plot. This is why he has Dany camping out in Meereen rather than heading straight to Westeros -- it would have been much better plot-wise if she was already home. It's why Brienne is out chasing false leads looking for Sansa, rather than finding her straight away. It's why we have fAegon instead of just letting him lie dead, not to mention both the Dornish and Ironmen arcs. The whole story would be so much more compact and compelling if Martin would just stop making the logical, character-drive decisions instead of whatever was needed to drive the most exciting plot. Heck, the whole series would probably be over by now. As I've said umpteen times: the problem is Luwin's jump to the conclusion that the lens is telling him to disassemble the box. He has not even looked into the myriad innocent explanations as to how it got there and he is already assuming a plot. This is a highly illogical thought process for a man who turns out to have thought processes that are highly logical -- too logical, in fact. This was an incredibly lucky break for LF -- one in a long list of many. So if we are to give him a pass on this one, it becomes harder to assume mere luck for all the other breaks the LF gets, which indeed, many of them are not breaks at all but carefully contrived outcomes created by LF's ability to manipulate people and events, primarily Joffrey. So all I'm saying is that if he can easily manipulate Joffrey on so many other occasions, it is not out of the realm of possibility to think that he manipulated him in this one as well. Again, who knows what LF had planned? He might not have been counting on Luwin finding the message so quickly, or mayhaps he had some follow-up to help lead him a little better. Or mayhaps Luwin would have grown more suspicious when he had something to actually be suspicious about, such as an attempt on the life of one of the Stark children. All I can say for certain is that the letter is so cleverly hidden that it is iffy at best that anyone ever reads it, let alone take it seriously, while the letter coupled with an actual hostile act directed at the Starks provides exactly the kind of one-two punch needed to get the ball rolling. To argue that LF would in no way be involved with the catspaw because he had laid all the groundwork he needed just with the letter is highly specious reasoning. We have no POVs for Littlefinger, don't claim to know what the man was thinking. Like I said, you base your absolutely certain conclusion on a long list of assumptions. Honestly? Can't you see that Bilbo didn't just happen to find the ring, the ring found Bilbo? You know the ring is intelligent, right? It has mind-control powers. The ring purposely betray Isildur by falling from his finger so he could be slain by orcs. It purposely caused Sméagol to kill Deagol and then led Sméagol into the mountains to become Gollum. Honestly, I don't know whether your inability to see the subtext is a good thing or a bad thing. You seem awfully certain that your opinion and your opinion alone is the correct one and treat other people's ideas with a great deal of hostility, so I guess it's a bad thing. The parts where Tyrion and Jaime try to puzzle out Joff's motivation take place in their POV, and both of them are dissatisfied with the guesses they make. And your text for this is? Tyrion tries to attribute it to Joff's "simple cruelty", but he puts a big question mark on that idea. Again, for someone who has the inside lane into Martin's mind and the truth of all things Westeros, you sure do lean on a lot of assumptions. Yes, it's how a sophisticated, intelligent writer would carefully set the stage, by allowing the reader to glean the truth from the subtext. But you obviously think Martin is capable of writing in only one dimension, devising one lame "plot device" after another to the point where crown princes and their virgin brides are allowed to just wander off anywhere they want, do whatever they want, and nobody gives a hoot. Please. They talk about it in private, as we've seen. Cersei may even have bad-mouthed the Starks to Joffrey himself. None of this is absolutely necessary, of course. All that's needed is for LF to make a convincing argument to Joffrey. Talk about being argumentative. Glad to here that you are so satisfied with yourself. But you go beyond arrogance when you claim that your answer is the one and only correct one, that your interpretation of text, characterization, statements by the author etc., are correct and there is no room for discussion. Others like myself beg to differ. If the case is closed in your mind and there is nothing to see here, by all means, please move along and stop wasting all of our time. The connection with Nymeria is obviously not broken because Arya still has dreams of doing all kinds of things as Nymeria, including pulling her mother's body out of the river. As I said, none of this is lucky in the sense that it is furthering Arya's long-held plans. In fact, most of what happens to her continually jams up her desire to reunite with her family. Your argument is that completely random, utterly unpredictable events like Joffrey deciding all on his own to kill Bran, which dovetail perfectly with LF's goals of continental conquest, just happen for no other reason than the author wants them to happen. Sorry, but I contend this is a fundamental misreading of Martin's literary style, which, unfortunately, only further reading will demonstrate. And you're overlooking entirely the one piece of blind luck that does happen to Arya: that in all the inns in all the riverlands, she and the hound enter the one inn at exactly the right time to encounter Polliver, who is still holding Needle. Now that was truly a lucky stroke for Arya. So yes, characters get lucky sometimes. But no one is lucky to have the most unlikely, unpredictable of events happen in their favor over and over and over again. Agreed, he has a plan. And it involves manipulating the pieces in order for him to win the game. Maybe he manipulated this particular piece in this particular way and maybe he didn't. But there is nothing you have presented here to say this is an impossibility. Not only is it possible, but it is exactly how these characters behave subsequently in the story. So your certainty is based on nothing but your own opinions, and your conclusion is iffy at best. I'm merely presenting the possibilities. I believe it is possible that LF prompted Joffrey to kill Bran. Your contention that this is an impossibility is not in accordance with the known facts. It's the difference between knowing what you don't know and not fully comprehending what you think you know. I think what you meant to say is, "how the author is still writing it." I don't present anything as the most probable, other than the fact that the story is not yet finished and, as per the author's own words, not all questions were resolved in SoS. Submit your rebuttal, but don't expect a reply. This is getting tedious.
  4. Even in the Red Keep, Joffrey is constantly shadowed by the Hound and/or members of the KG. At best, we have him sending the Hound to escort Sansa home after the riverside dinner during the Hand's Tourney, but that was only so he could go immediately to his mother, not wander off into the night. Joffrey is simply too valuable to be without protection, especially in the wide open countryside.
  5. Of course everyone gets lucky. And nobody has even mentioned the single biggest stroke of luck for Arya: that in all the inns in all the Riverlands, she and the Hound choose this particularly inn at this particular time to encounter Polliver, who is holding Needle. And Littlefinger has moments of luck too. The quick discovery of the letter is one. More than likely, it would have been found eventually, but Luwin's jump to such an unlikely conclusion without first exploring the more mundane possibilities was extremely lucky. So was the fact that Cat ran into Tyrion and whisked him away to the Eyrie before he could return to KL and put LF on the spot for the lie he told. But to go on and assume that he was lucky because Joff just happened to decide all on his own to kill Bran, that word just happened to reach LF that Cat was in town, that Joff just happened to decide to execute Ned, all the way up to Joff just happening to place the chalice directly in front of Garlan, not a foot to the left or to the right, giving him the only chance in a million to poison it, -- nobody is this lucky. We've already seen, or surmised, how LF can make his own luck by manipulating Joff, having informants everywhere and using countless other tricks, so why draw the line at the catspaw? LF could very easily have put the whole thing in Joff's mind. He does this kind of thing all the time.
  6. Haven't you noticed? GRRM is very careful with words. It's kind of how he makes his living. So when he says the matter of "Bran and the dagger" have been resolved, then that is what he is referring to, not necessarily Joffrey's motivation behind it -- and this is assuming that he is even referring to Joffrey to begin with. You don't like it the explanation we've been given. I don't like. Nobody in the reading world likes it, which ought to be your biggest clue that GRRM is not finished with this little detail and that "other questions" have yet to be answered.
  7. There are still two books to go, so who knows how it could come back. Maybe Tyrion puzzles it out. Maybe Bran sees it in a vision and that's what dooms Littlefinger. Maybe LF confesses it in an attempt to save his skin. So now you are here to tell us what the author thinks? Excuse me Mr. Martin.
  8. Arya, stubborn girl that she is, does this despite strict orders from Ned: She also dresses like a small folk, so nobody gives her a second glance. Believe what you will. As I've said before, I am not saying LF's involvement is an unimpeachable fact. I'm just pointing out that it is not necessarily true that LF could not have been involved just because he did not know about Bran's fall. He doesn't have to know. Here's how.
  9. Sorry if you missed my sarcasm, but I guess it was buried in the subtext, so my bad for not making it absurdly obvious. My point was that just because something has taken place in the past does not mean it cannot become relevant to the future. I don't know why you keep going on about the dagger. LF's involvement can be revealed in all sorts of ways even if the dagger is never seen again. Sorry, but I think you vastly underestimate the author, consistently. He does not contrive his plots by having characters make decisions or take actions that go against their nature. By your reasoning, Littlefinger had nothing to do with the Arryn murder because he gave us the "solution" time and time again. If he used simple contrivances to move the plot forward, Dany and Drogo would have been in Westeros by the middle of Storm with three full-grown dragons. Dany's arc progressed the way it did because she made decisions that were consistent with her character, not to drive the plot forward. I know that many authors use plot devices. Martin does not, and your insistence that he does reveals your failure to appreciate the true genius of his work. You say you've already figured out the mind of this great author, but did you ever stop to consider that you could be wrong, just the way this line of thinking would have been wrong about the Arryn murder? What ya think? Again, you are failing to appreciate how Luwin's jump to that conclusion runs counter to his characterization as a rational, logical thinker. Yes, it's mysterious, yes he would be curious. But before he concludes that the whole thing is a plot, he would take steps to find out where the box came from. Did Poole send it? Did Ned? He does none of this, immediately tearing open the box to find a hidden message. That is a huge rational leap for a many who is later revealed to be anything but irrational. And you also seem to be under the misapprehension that I am trying to argue that this is not what happened. Clearly it did, but it was an extraordinary stroke of luck for LF. So if we are to believe this story about the box, and that Joffrey happens to try to kill on his own, that LF just happened to hear about Cat landing in KL, that Cat just happened to run into Tyrion on the Kings Road.. you're not just talking about devices to move the plot along, the entire plot has not become one long device as LF get's one imaginable lucky break after another. How can you honestly say you appreciate an author who is this lazy of a writer? Again, the only reason Cat is suspicious is because Luwin is in her bedroom in the middle of the night talking about lenses and messages. You can't possibly think that if Cat saw a box on a table she would immediately think it contained a secret message. If you get a letter without a return address label on it, do you automatically assume it contains anthrax, or did the label just fall off? This is not a minor scene. This is the event that kicks off the entire Stark storyline in GoT. And just because we have not gotten to know Luwin yet does not mean the man would behave one way up until this moment and then suddenly convert into the font or rationality going forwards. Talk about absurd. And I do not consider any of this a failing on GRRM's part. The failure is yours. Contriving plots around unrealistic actions and motivations, that's pretty much the definition of lazy writing. Believing that a writer who takes such considerable time and demonstrates such considerable skill in weaving plot, character, theme, setting and a host of other literary elements, including subtext and backstory, into an intricate tapestry, would then simply invent things just to move the plot along, yeah, that's lazy reading. Rather than delve into the text, you'd rather just skim along the surface and cherry-pick whatever answer requires the least amount of effort on your part. Jaime and Tyrion say Joffrey did it? OK, there are other possibilities, but who am I to question? That he did it out of kindness or need for affection? Goes directly against character, but whatever, it's needed to move the plot along. My question exactly. This would not have happened unless it was meant to happen. Sansa does not need a guard in camp because, well, it's the camp and there is protection all around her, and she has her direwolf. But the moment she and Joffrey leave, alone, they are at the mercy of the wide, wide world, with no one to protect them, from anything. Arya dresses like a small folk and sneaks off all the time, against orders: "You're not supposed to leave the column," Sansa reminder her. "Father said so." Again, how you manage to square Martin simply creating these situations to advanced the plot with the author that you claim to hold in such high admiration is beyond me. Don't you realize that if you were to tell Martin, or any author, that this is what he is doing they would take it as an insult? Cersie and Jaime are heard discussing this very thing in the Burned Tower, so how can you be so sure Joffrey did not overhear a similar conversation at any time prior to this? How do you know he did not voice these concerns to anyone and they just patted him on the head and told him not to worry? Do you honestly think that his next words would be, "well I'm going to have one of the Starks killed when we get there." Please. I'm starting to see why you think Martin lacks imagination in his writing, because you lack it yourself. As I've already explained to you, we can see plainly from the text that LF is a master manipulator who can put ideas into people's heads and make them think they are his own. No reason at all why he could not do this to Joffrey, especially since we have a first-hand account of him doing this very same thing to Joffrey later in the story. If it every did get back to Littlefinger, we have also seen how he can admit guilt but avoid the responsibility. "I'm sorry, your grace, it is all my fault, but I never imagined that the prince would take it upon himself to commit such a horrible act." It's not rocket science, dude. It's all perfectly logical if you'd just stop settling for the easy answers. Syrio's sacrifice was not luck, it was honor. It was extremely unlucky that they chose to attack during her dancing lesson, otherwise they would have had no idea where to find her. She was unlucky that she was discovered in the stables at all. Yoren spotted her above the crowd on the statue of Baelor, nothing lucky about that, unless you're now going to argue that it was lucky Yoren wasn't blind. You think Nymeria was in the area just by accident? Are you sure you're reading carefully enough... oh, wait, sorry, no need to even ask that question. Jaqen befriended her for the kindness that Arya did and the lives taken from the Red God, nothing lucky about it. And if you want to call being taken by the Hound lucky, well I hope I never experience that kind of luck. As I mentioned in another post, this is completely different from the kind of luck that LF enjoys. LF has a specific plan intended to bring about conflict between carefully defined targets. Time and time again he is the beneficiary of utterly improbably, seemingly random and highly uncharacteristic actions by other people, and it always fits his plans to a T. You call it plot devices. I call it cleverly hiding the truth in the subtext. But I will also add that I think you are misunderstanding me about one thing: I am not arguing that LF was most definitely behind the catspaw and that anyone who does not agree is an idiot. All I'm saying to those who say LF could not have been involved because he had no way of knowing about Bran's fall, he doesn't have to know. This is how it could have gone down, but the possibility for other solutions still exists, even yours.
  10. Sorry, but no. The crown prince is the second most important person in the realm, behind the king. Just because Ned, the only adult POV we have to this incident, doesn't connect these dots doesn't mean others think this was all perfectly normal. Ned is a bit thick. Yes, the question of "Bran and the dagger" has been resolved: Joffrey did it. But you're stretching things extremely thin by assuming that this applies to Joffrey's motivation. Your belief that the "other questions" are about a completely different matter is just that, a belief. The other questions could very well refer to this added dimension to the assassination attempt, which would then be directly related to the Arryn murder because they both came from the same source (Littlefinger) and both aimed at a single outcome (conflict between wolf and lion).
  11. I'm having trouble seeing how Lady O could kill Luthor and make it seem like he rode off a cliff. (I think we can safely dispense with the skinchanger theory). A much more simpler way would be to poison him -- maybe his wine, or perhaps even his pie.
  12. That the poison was in the wine at the Purple Wedding and Joffrey was the target.
  13. The biggest was weakening his household guard, first to the Gold Cloaks and then to Beric Dondarrion. Without that, he would have had enough swords in the Tower of the Hand to repel Cersei's attack. There was not much he could do about the list you mentioned, since that was all in place before he got to King's Landing, although he did fail to appreciate the political machinations and consequences to his own security. But this isn't exactly a mistake -- more like the result of his inexperience with royal politics.
  14. Yes, it is entirely plausible. So in order to pursue this line of thought, the next question is how will this "eventually mean something" in the story? If it's just a false memory brought on by trauma, then at best we will have a moment with Sansa when she realizes that it never happened and, oh my, isn't that curious? Hardly meaningful. This is why I suspect there is more than meets the eye. A warg-mind connection at least has the potential to introduce additional layers of characterization and may even influence the plot in some way.
  15. Lol, Cersei happy to spend the entire afternoon gossiping with Renly, as if they are the best of chums. Honorable Barristan the Bold trading gossip like a schoolgirl. And Payne, well, no need to even consider him. Sorry, but no. Not a chance. There are brigands, unscrupulous small folk, not to mention wild animals like the shadowcat they tracked ... all kinds of dangers in "friendly country." Plus there is the need to maintain Sansa's purity in order to make her a fit consort for the future king. So, again, no way, no how would these two be allowed to just wander off on their own. Their jewelry and finery alone is enough to make them targets, and Joffrey is in no way capable of defending himself against a band of determined men. If you have any text the shows Joffrey is even mildly proficient at swordplay, please share. The only time we ever see him actually using a sword is the time it took him half-a-dozen cuts to slice up Tyrion's book with a Valyrian steel blade, and he was "breathless" after such a brief exertion. Joffrey does not know how to use a sword. There is no sign of any outriders, or even a mention of an outer perimeter: So they are out riding swiftly for hours, finding all sorts of remote, secret places, all the way to a holdfast that is so far away they find it by its smoke. Nobody else is around, certainly no outriders. And if the realm is so peaceful and blissful as you say, why would they even need outriders? Arya dances with Syrio every day, and when she's not dancing she is chasing cats or tumbling or readying herself in some way for the next lesson. It was actually quite unlucky for Arya (and Syrio) that she was having a lesson at the time because otherwise she would have been somewhere else in the Keep when the trouble started and nobody would know where to find her. She found the secret way out of the castle after chasing the black tomcat. Setting aside the likelihood that this cat may very well hold some essence of Rhaenys Targeryen and that her trip to the dragonroom might not have been entirely accidental, Arya's penchant for exploring and dressing in plain clothes led to that discovery, not dumb luck. Yoren is an honorable man. He recognized Arya on the statue of Baelor, and did what was right. Was it lucky he spotted her? Probably, but this is a completely different kind of luck from what LF has. LF has a specific goal in mind and is out to sue conflict and chaos in between precisely defined targets. It is simply not conceivable that time after time people make completely random decisions and take the most unlikely of actions that just happen to fit his desired outcomes to a T. And since we've already seen how Joffrey in particular is subject to LF's manipulations, it is not that big of a stretch to think that he did so in the matter of Bran's near-death. Exactly. He makes his own "luck" and is an exceptional opportunist. And one of the ways he does this, particularly with Joffrey, is through subtle manipulation. So since we've already seen LF making his luck by getting Joff's buy-in for the dwarf joust, which led to the conflict that got Tyrion framed for regicide, then why is it so completely impossible for him to do the same thing here? He needs enmity between wolf and lion and he sees the perfect opportunity to make this happen through Joffrey, so, as you say, he takes it. Now we have an explanation for the catspaw the conforms perfectly with the characters that Martin has created: an opportunist and a manipulator, and a arrogant, gullible tool who cannot see the true ramifications of his actions. With the Arryn murder, we had point after point after point in which the blame was pinned directly on Cersei/Jaime, right up to Pycelle basically confirming to Tyrion that she wanted him dead, against only a few casual comments about where Robin was to be fostered. The real contradiction was Cersei's actions toward Ned when he discovered the truth. Why would she kill one hand but then confess all to another who is basing the accusation on the same flimsy evidence? And later, she admits to all but killing Robert, but not Arryn. Many readers did wonder about the Westerlings switching sides, but in the end it was a way for a failing house to regain status under a new liege. Plus we had Raynald Westerling, heir to the house, dying at the Red Wedding, so who would think that the Westerlings were plotting against Robb?. I think the potion is self-evident: Sybell knows enough to make whatever she was giving Jeyne to prevent conception; it isn't out of bounds that she would have her grandmother's love potion recipe as well. Robb was not stupid. He knew what failure to marry a Frey would do to his war. This was not a case of bad judgement; he was drugged. Hindsight is always 20/20. If this turns out to be true, you'll have things like LF's subsequent manipulations of Joffrey, Cersei's desire to forestall Joff's marriage for someone more to her liking, and Joff's complete lack of mercy, kindness or admiration of his father as clues to what really happened -- subtle clues, yes, but no more subtle than a few side comments about a fostering. Actually, I don't think we are too far apart on this. Is there enough evidence to definitively conclude that LF was behind it? No. But does the possibility exist? Certainly. My point is not to prove that this is what happened, just to point out that the mere fact that LF was not in Winterfell and did not know about Bran's fall does not mean he could not have been the instigator. This is how.
  16. OK, but the point of this speculation is exactly that: Sansa's abilities are so slight that she doesn't even realize she has them, and she wasn't with Lady long enough to develop them properly. This, then, is why she would recall the kiss later as a false memory, because it wasn't really her thought to begin with. But that's a far cry from saying that she has no ability at all. But I wish I had gone back and read the chapter in Clash like @Lady Dacey did. Clearly, the thought pops into her head at the moment, and a second later she has a knife to her throat. So what we have here is a terrifying, sexually charged moment between a giant of a man and a slight 13yo girl. So in all honesty, she is probably just burying the fear she experienced at the moment with something a little more palatable, psychologically. But how this would play a part later in the story is still a puzzle. One way is that the initial thought wasn't really her own, but it is by no means the only way. Um, and yet horses are castrated all the time without biting anyone's ears off. Are you suggesting that horses and other animals know they are about to be castrated? I'm thinking you're suffering from just a little anthropomorphism here. Stranger is not in battle, he is at the Quiet Isle, and Brother Gillam is the same guy who grooms the horses, feeds them, cleans their stalls... So why Stranger would pick this moment to freak out is unusual at best. So no, Sandor was not intentionally "beaming" his thoughts to Stranger, but if the warging ability that is so prevalent in the Starks can in any way be traced to the Cleganes somehow, then Stranger would have known what was happening simply because Sandor knew. That's how it works.
  17. I'm not dismissing these unknowns as either resolved or irrelevant. I'm merely pointing out that there are many elements in this story that have yet to be revealed, so just because Joffrey is dead and the dagger, for all we know, is gone doesn't mean that LF's involvement is irrelevant to the future story, any more than the fact that Ned, Lyanna and Rhaegar are dead or that Coldhand's contribution is seemingly over means that their secrets won't be revealed as well. There are still two novels to come, plenty of ways in which the assassination attempt may come back into play. Read the SSM again. He did not say the "dagger mystery" would be "solved" and that he would move on to "other mysteries." What he said was: and So the "question of Bran and the dagger" was resolved: Joffrey did it. The "some other questions will not be resolved" could refer to something completely unrelated, or it could refer to Joffrey's motivations and the fact that the two PoVs in SoS speculate on completely unsatisfactory explanations. We also have "some of you are bound to guess the answers before I reveal 'em ... and others may come up with better answers than I do," so maybe LF-as-instigator is the answer before it is revealed or maybe it is the better answer. The person who is fooling himself is the one who wraps himself in arrogant certainty that it is one without even bothering to consider the other. These comments indicate a complete lack of appreciation for the author. Plot devices just to move the plot forward. Good grief. As if Martin has Joffrey thinking to himself: it would be colossally stupid of me to use a knife that can be traced back to me or my family, but everyone else in this fictional story I'm in need a way to follow the dagger through the plot. After all, it's the only way to build dramatic tension. A myrish lens is neither rare nor mysterious. Luwin already has one, so does Aemon and most likely virtually every maester at even a half-decent seat throughout the realm. "The lenscrafters of Myr are without equal." They may be expensive, but they are not rare and there is nothing suspicious about them. It is odd that nobody saw who left it, but there are countless innocent explanations as to how it got there: maybe Manderly got a set in White Harbor and sent one to Winterfell where Poole would have had it delivered to the observatory; maybe Ned requested one, maybe Catelyn; maybe Benjen acquired one at Eastwatch and brought it down; maybe it was a gift from King's Landing and the note was lost somewhere along the 2000-mile journey to Winterfell... Luwin dismisses all of these and jumps right to the conclusion that it is a plot between houses and he needs to rip the box apart for clues. I'm not saying that this is not what he did, just that it was extraordinarily fortunate for Littlefinger that an otherwise rational man would leap to such a conclusion. So now, if you are going to assume that this piece of luck is followed by Joffrey's completely independent decision to kill Bran, then the incident on the Trident, Cat's run-in with Tyrion on the King's Road, Joffrey's decision to kill Ned ... and that all these things are just sheer luck that Martin writes in as "plot devices", then why on earth are you reading such a piece of trash as ASoIaF? Martin is obviously incapable of using characterization, motivation, circumstance and countless other literary means that are used by professional authors all over the world to advance their plots -- when he wants something happen, he just invents it out of whole cloth and counts on his readers to buy into this blatant manipulation. As I said above, people who accuse Martin of being a lazy writer are simply covering up for the fact that they are a lazy reader. And the Hound? He is Joffrey's sworn shield, duty-bound to protect the prince at all times. Why was the Hound allowed to simply blow off the entire day just because Joffrey told him to back off of Sansa? His head should still be rotting on a spike for putting his charge in such danger. Even Ned and Robert, grown men armed and armored, have a tail when they leave camp. With Martin, you ignore the obvious at your peril. Littlefinger knows better than to simply tell Joff to murder a Stark. You can see how he manipulates him first-hand with the dwarf joust: "... you can lead a king to water, but with Joff one had to splash it about before he realized he could drink." LF is a master manipulator who knows how to plant ideas in people's heads, like he did with Mace and Loras joining the Kinsguard, and make them think that they are their own. He also has a proven ability to accept blame for what happened without being held accountable, like his "confession" over Lysa Arryn's murder. So spare me this notion of how risky this would be for LF; there is virtually no risk at all because the man knows what he is doing.
  18. Really? Martin, not a careful writer? This excuse comes up all the time whenever the facts don't jibe with someone's theory. Martin goofed. Martin didn't think this one through. Martin needed some plot contrivance to further the story... Sorry, but I contend that this is not lazy writing, it's lazy reading. Time and time again people get whipsawed by unexpected plot twists, and only on the reread do they see that the truth was in the subtext all along. Cersei does not need all afternoon to catch up on the gossip of King's Landing, and she most certainly does not need to do this with Barry, Renly and Ser Illyn -- none of whom she is particularly close to. Joffrey is the crown prince and Sansa is the daughter of one of the most powerful lords in the realm. Regardless of what Cersei is doing, these two simply would not be allowed to just wander off into unfamiliar country with no chaperone and no protection. Even Ned and Robert have a tail when they leave camp. At the very least, Septa Mordane would have been dismissed and the Hound's head would have been on a spike the next day. Fortuitous events? Arya? What fortuitous events would those be? That her father was arrested and beheaded, her entire house killed, she had to fight for survival on the streets? If you are talking about her near-miss at the docks, that was smarts, not luck. That Yoren happened to spot her in the crowd at the sept? She climbed up onto the statue of Baleor where virtually everyone could see her. And please explain all the "lucky encounters" afterward. Being captured by the mountain, not knowing day to day if she was going to live or die, force-marched to Harrenhall, made to work her fingers to the bone... Are you talking about Jaquen? Many people believe that was not luck at all, but we'll see. Then she escapes, only to be taken by the Brotherhood, which seems lucky until it turns out they consider her a hostage too. Then with the Hound, to the Twins where her mother and brother are brutally killed... So please, spare me about all this "luck" that Arya has been blessed with. She's lucky to be alive, that's about it. Littlefinger's "luck" is a completely different animal. Time and again, people's actions fit right in which his desire to drive a wedge between Stark and Lannister: the discovery of the letter, the attempt on Bran, the incident on the trident, Cat's encounter with Tyrion on the King's Road, Ned's execution... Over and over again we see supposedly random events all working out perfectly for LF, right up to the point where Joffrey places his chalice directly in front of the only person who has even the slightest chance of dropping the poison in unseen -- I mean, literally, a foot to the left or right and the whole plan would have collapsed -- and then walks away from it. No one is this lucky. If you believe that Martin is just doing this to advance the plot, then in what possible way could this series appeal to you? This would be about the worst kind of writing imaginable. People didn't overthink the Arryn murder either, since it was so obviously Cersei and/or Jaime. But if you read carefully, you would have noticed that their actions and characterizations did not line up, and the text kept referring back to the matter of Robin's fostering. Same thing with Robb and Jeyne W, which it turned out was due to plotting and love potions, not bad judgement. So by all means, keep underthinking the text, and whenever these kinds of discrepancies come up, go right on assuming that Martin is a crappy writer who doesn't take things like plot, characterization, motivation and innumerable other factors into his story. At least you'll have that moment when the cowl is ripped from your eyes and the story and characters that you thought you knew turn out to be completely false. Those of us who can puzzle things out ahead of time will only have the satisfaction of realizing that the story is, in fact, as amazing as it appears to be.
  19. I know you didn't say he betrayed Petyr. What I'm asking is, why didn't he? He ratted out Cersei quick enough. He's trying to preserve his manhood at this moment, so why continue to protect LF? Sorry, I just don't see it. Pycelle has been Tywin's man in KL for decades. LF is a relative newcomer. So either Petyr does not know of the Pycelle/Tywin connection or he doesn't care that Tywin will learn that LF and Lysa are the ones who poisoned Jon Arryn and tried to murder Bran and then attempted to blame it on the Lannisters. Neither assumption has much weight.
  20. Well, you're taking it to extremes. I think it is hinted at strongly that some people have more of a connection to animals than others, and this can be used to puzzle out all kinds of things. A case in point: Lyanna Stark is mad about horses and is an expert rider. It also happens that Dom Bolton has the same trait, so does this lead to the possibility that Dom was not a Bolton but actually a Stark, maybe Brandon's son? Maybe, maybe not. But it would explain a lot as to why Roose cared nothing about Dom's death, and even went so far as to reward his murderer with lands and titles. And sorry, there is something more than just being "good with animals" when we look at Sandor and Stranger. He doesn't seem to be good with any other animals, but Stranger seems to behave a lot like Sandor, and it was very odd for a horse to start freaking out when men were coming to cut his balls off -- almost like he knew what was going on. Don't use magic any more than necessary? Agreed. But do use magic when normal explanations fall short, I say.
  21. That's my take as well. Cersei has to speak with "the good counsellors" (Barry, Renly and Ilyn) until Robert and Ned return, which won't be for hours. What could she possibly need to discuss with these three, only two of whom can actually speak? Talk about suspicious. And then the Hound, Joffrey's sworn shield, is AWOL for the entire day and nobody questions why he has derelicted his duty? So Cersei probably intended for Joffrey to smirch Sansa's reputation in order to scuttle the betrothal, but I think Joff, at the instigation of LF way back in King's Landing, was thinking about doing her in. The only connection would be Riverrun, but that is weak. Petyr was just a boy and of too low a status to bring a maester with him. And later, Luwin seems pretty devoted to the Starks, particularly Bran and Rickon. But I don't see any connection between LF and Pycelle. Pycelle is Tywin's creature, and LF would have no problem getting some Tears of Lys and a Myrish lens on his own. And Pycelle gave up Cersei quickly enough when Shagga was threatening to chop his manhood off, so why would he risk protecting LF at this point? Pycelle has betrayed a number of people, but it was all for House Lannister, not House Baelish.
  22. I assume your talking about the fact that Lady did not seem to pick up on the notion that she was about to be killed, but I don't know if we can attribute this to a lack of connection between her and Sansa. All of the direwolves acquired the particular characteristics of their assigned Stark: Greywind: bold and faithful Lady: gentle and trusting Nymeria: stubborn and wild Summer: loyal and patient Shaggy Dog: angry and untamed Ghost: silent and brooding We can also see the wolves picking up on the states of mind of their own Stark, and other Starks as well: Greywind, Summer and Shaggy's reaction to Bran's coma and Tyrion's return to Winterfell Ghost attacking Tyrion the moment he upsets Jon Nymeria refusing to be brushed by Arya, who doesn't like to be brushed either. Shaggydog biting Little Walder after hitting Rickon with a stick Summer snarling at Jojen when he upsets Bran We even have examples of this working in reverse: Rickon tries to bite people who try to cut his hair, and this from Jon: So it's probably fair to say that Sansa is not a strong in the mind connection with Lady, but it is there. And the fact that Lady does not seem to believe that Ned is about to kill her could very well be a reflection that perhaps Sansa did not believe it either.
  23. Hmmm. Not bad. And we can also see the psychic bond that exists between skinchangers, such as Jon and Arya finishing each other's thoughts. Is Sandor a skinchanger? Probably not in the fullest sense, but if you look closely he does seem to have a connection with Stranger: their personalities are very similar, and Stranger seemed to know when his balls were about to be cut off.
  24. Well, that's the whole point. The POVs aren't wrong about it being Joffrey: he did hire the catspaw, all by himself. He did select Bran as the target, all by himself. Littlefinger had no involvement whatsoever with any of this. All he did was provide the motivation for Joff to act, which conforms to Joffrey's own twisted little psyche, along with LF's proven ability to manipulate said psyche, and even the SSMs where GR says ASOS will resolve the question of Bran and the dagger. This is why I keep trying to find some connection between Luwin and Littlefinger, or some reason why Littlefinger might not have expected the note to be discovered so quickly. But I haven't so far, so I can only chalk it up to sheer luck. It matters because no one can be lucky all the time. And if we look at all the lucky breaks LF has gotten, it starts to lose credibility. So at each turn, we look for ways in which he could perhaps be manufacturing his luck, or at least improving his odds, and lo and behold, we can usually find them: the incident on the Trident could have been arranged, perhaps not to the degree to which it unfolded, but in some way that would have led to further enmity between Starks and Lannisters; ie, Joffrey defiling, or even murdering, Sansa. Cat's arrival at KL, which he would have gleaned from his informants at the docks Ned's beheading, which could very well have been instigated by Littlefinger even Tyrion's near-death on the Blackwater, which came at the hands of Mandon Moore, a very weird guy who was appointed to the KG by Jon Arryn and on and on. So my question back to you is, since we have no problem seeing LF's influence behind all of these events, why do we draw the line at the notion the he manipulated Joffrey before he left King's Landing? No possibility that it could be revealed later? Not through Bran? Not through some kind of confession by LF trying to save his own skin? Not through a smart guy like Tyrion finally puzzling it out? He would have known if the box was not there before he went to sleep. If he wasn't certain about that, then there is even less reason to be suspicious. Questioning the servants would be the first logical step, which makes it even odder for Luwin to then make a complete detour into illogical thinking just because none of the servants saw anything. There are countless possible explanations for the sudden appearance of a box, which he summarily dismisses in favor of a secret-plot theory. Very uncharacteristic of the Luwin who later emerges on the page. I can't see the catspaw as the deliverer either, unless his appearance in Bran's room was a disguise. All I'm saying is that if LF does have someone in Winterfell with this much knowledge of his goals, then it stands to reason that this person would have hired the catspaw. Unless, of course, we chalk it up to just dumb luck that Robert or Mance, or Joffrey, would take it upon themselves to kill Bran. Cool. I'll be sure and ping you the next time the argument comes up. It get's tiring being the sole person trying to talk sense to people who insist the text must blatantly confirm every tiny aspect of the pie while they are at liberty to make up all kinds of notions about diluted wine, trained pigeons and magical greenseer powers.
  25. I doubt very much that the lemon tree of Dany's recollection is potted. It would have to be rather small to be brought inside during winter, and it would most like whither over the long winter due to lack of sunlight. So that leaves us with the greenhouse idea, because if lemons can grow outside in Braavos than they would be as common as dirt throughout Westeros south of the Fingers. The problem with the greenhouse, of course, is that for Dany to remember a red door and lemon tree but not realize she is surrounding by glass walls means that the greenhouse would have to be so freakin large that it would qualify as one of the wonders of the world. It would rival the Titan as a unique feature of Braavos and it would be easily seen on whatever hill the Sealord's palace sits on. Since neither of these things is mentioned in the book, the most likely conclusion is that young Dany was not aware of where she actually was during her early exile.