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  1. GRRM definitely does have meaning in his names, but often I think to him more than to others. He does use history so yes Jofrey and Sansa relate to Jeoffre and Sancia Other names obviously have a mythological significance - Bran and Hodor are obvious and is Old Nan. The Freys too but possibly counter intuitive. Some names sort of deliberately link to foreign parts of Europe so Sandor and Gregor have a very Russian or Slavic feel. He also uses Old Germanic/Saxon naming patterns so that within one family there will be Rickard and Rickon and Benjen and Benfrey and Lyanna and Lyara, Eddard and Edwyl. My own thinking is that the MAIN characters represent Nordic or Welsh gods or heroes, so that the Celts worship the Old gods. we have Bran (Bran the Blessed), Arya (Arianwyn - welsh godess), Ned (Nudd or LLud), possibly Nay (Danu). Jaime also seems to be Nuada but it is complicated. Jon snow could well be Jack Frost Nordic gods have suggestive names seem to by Tywin and tyrion (Tyr god of war), Hodor (Hodr), Nan (Nanna) , Frey,
  2. Oddly enough in our real world the Y chromosomes are passed on down the male line virtually unchanged while female mitochondria are passes from female to all children with little change.. So if we assume (other than the Bael story) that the stark line went from father to son then the current stark boys have the SAME Y chromosome as Brandon the Builder. Just as guys on this site have the same Y chromosome as some long gone grandfather. Now with the girls it is different We know nothing of the earlier generations but it is reasonable to assume that some stark daughters went into all of the early houses and ESPECIALLY the Blackwoods. If female DNA matters then it could be anywhere but should that DNA ever be reunited with a stark then perhaps then you get special warging ability.
  3. The ages stuff is just colour so we know how old each child is. However there are significant associations with numbers that seem to link to magic or religion or perhaps invasions Obviously the Targs are linked to 3 - Dragon heads, three original dragons, Dany child of three etc. The 7 is linked to the Andals and to the Kingdoms before the Targs arrived. We hear also of 7 wanderers in the night sky (shades of Roman mythology here) Nine is linked to the North and the first Men and to the King of the North with his 9 swords in his crown. There is a weirwood circle of 9 trees 12 is linked to the constellations and may be significant (as in our world 12 (plus 1) is pretty magical still 100 is linked to the CoF and the pact with the first men.
  4. We know that Ned looks like Jon and Arya, thus he looks like the Starks. The Karstarks separated many thousands of years ago in the male line anyway. i think it is VERY possible that Starkness is passed on via the FEMALE line, and I rther think that the King of Winter is in fact passed on just like the old celtic method ie from Uncle to nephew The female line matters so the KoW is the eldest son of the eldest girl. When the King of Winter dies his son does not inherit but the son of his eldest sister does. This was the old Pictish inheritance method of which GRRM would be very well aware. Thus Lynara Starks if she had had one would have been the previous KoW, but since she had no brother the brother of her mother (A flint) would have been the KoW. Since Lyanna had just one son (probably) the next KoW would be the son of her sister Brana id she has one or the son of her daughter if she has one. Now Mitochondrial DNA is passed on ONLY via the femalie line (OK there may be occassional odd ball exceptions, but basic gnetic history assumes passed mother to child. Thus this element of Starkenss may be mother related. Not how many times we see stark girls marrying starks ie matching the female line with the male line. It is not incest as for the Targs, but still a lot of cousin/second cousin marriages. However there is also the stark NAME which we assume is Y chromosome inheritance. I suspect BOTH are important. With the Bael the Bard story I am assuming that Bael was himself a Stark descendant - possibly a bastard from one of the many Starks on the wall or perhaps from a marriage to a deserter. Sir names do not seem to be used much in the Wilding society.
  5. I think that GRRM is trying to show that fundamentally Sandor is not a bad man, but is the product of his era and upbringing. We see him first loyal to Joffrey, but in the way of all soldiers- he is paid to be loyal and joffrey is his Lord etc (or Tywins grandson) However for some reason he changed - or more precisely became aware of who he was and would become. I think it was actually the slaying of Micah that started the change - we are told his eyes glistened and we sorta assume it is with malice but I think it was tears. After all he WAS exonerated in the trial by battle. Legally he was in the right. He was following orders to capture and kill a fugitive who had laid a hand upon his master. The fact that it was a lie was irrelevant to him as he was doing his duty. The fact that it was in fact a 10 year old boy disturbed him, just as we know today soldiers ordered to kill children via guns, bombs, drones etc often suffer PTSD. Then he falls head over heels for Sansa - someone sweet and mild who stands up for him and says Gregor is no knight. He hates and despises his brother in any case. I think he somehow wants do do something right - to be a hero in the eyes of Sansa,
  6. Well in addition to the subjects we know ie healing,Magic,Maths, Astronomy, Ravens we have History (which is copper) since taught by Perestan. The other disciplines which we could assume would be: Geography and languages (possibly AM Gallard) Agriculture Building and masonry Ship building Alchemy/chemistry/alloy making Music and poetry Literature Statecraft Warcraft Weather prediction
  7. Obviously very few can forge the Valyrian steel link. It would be much easier to forge a link than a large sword. Understanding enough of the magic to forge a small link that need not be sharp or even very strong is a huge difference from forging a whole sword.
  8. Well I rather hope that little rickon will have a garndma and maybe a great grandaddy to help him. Since we have NOT heard about their deaths i think we can assume that Lynara stark and her dad rodrik the wandering wolf are still alive. Lynarra Stark would probably be about 56 by now in the books and her father while much older would still probably be younger than Aemon or Walder Frey and of course could be much younger eg about 80 or so.
  9. I basically fully agree with this post but i think as time has moved on Dorne in particular has swung from a celtic nation to a Spanish one. I also think that the river-and are partially inspired by Ireland and some of the names eg Tully reflect this. I would add into the iron Islands the Shetlands and most of the outer pats of Scotland and even Island. Their invasion of the riverlands is a little like the danish invasion of Ireland. I think it is also not unreasonable to include Scandinavia in the whole heptarchy concept, given how very close the two areas were as well as Ireland
  10. I fully support this theory but with a few modifications. 1. Jon was NOT conceived at Harrenhall. He is too young to be that child. I think that child is in fact Aegon, the child of Ashara and Aerys. Ashara turned to a Stark for help in escaping Aerys, which probably explains why Aerys was so hostile and why Lyanna was kidnapped. probably the child was left with Elia as a substitute for HER stillborn daughter 2. Jon is a second child of Ashara, fathered by Ned (yes the timelines work) and I agree he married her via the heart tree so that Jon is legitimate. Jon would therefore be about 15 months younger than baby Aegon which is fully consistent with Aegon's assumed age when he was supposedly killed ie a baby of 15 months or so. 15 months between children is a very common age gap or it was in the days before the pill. (eg my own brother and sister). 11 months is also very possible (I know several with this age difference). My assumption is that Ned and Ashara got together some time during Ned's flight home and that Ashara was perhaps indeed the "fisherman's daughter" - where was he father at the time? 3. Why did Ned then marry Catelyn? I think it is because Catelyn was ALREADY pregnant via Brandon. This would explain why Ned accepted the situation - he would feel that Brandon's son was the rightful heir in any case. Probably Ned was not aware that Ashara was indeed pregnant when he married Catelyn but it explains why he married her. Thus Jon is about 2 months younger than Robb. Ned could never tell Catelyn the truth, nor indeed Robert if the truth also involved those close to the Targs. However
  11. OK I think way back there is a point to the Stark plus dayne+ Valyria or more to the point Dragons. Dragons aka valyria maybe in fact the real Light bringer. Back before the wall there were starks. This we know. There were also wild dragons. My vague theory was that it took the Warging blood (Gene) of the Starks plus the special blood of the people of the Dawn (Dorne) to create the Valyrians ie people who could tame and ride dragons and use them to defeat the others. Significantly too it may take someone of Dornish (Daynish) blood to become the true mother of dragons. i suspect that Dany is either the child of Ashara Dayne and Ned or Rhaella and Arthur Dayne. Jon is the child or Ned and Ashara.
  12. GRRM based much of his story on actual history of the wars of the Roses. In this case the cadet branches DID effectively die out. The Plantagenet had many sons - Edward III had about 8 sons and five daughters but in the end the Throne went to Henry Tudor the whose mother was a descendant of John of Lancaster's bastard sons, legitimised but low in the order of succession (sorta like Jon). These families often did not breed well or sons were lost to war and accident and women to childbirth. Some of the heirs were obviously gay and reluctant to marry. Of course if women were infertile then many a marriage would produce no heirs (eg Henry the VIII). So NO cadet branches is very, very, very possible. Actually i think it is part of the story line - ALL the great houses are failing. Time for renewal. I think EVERY kingdom will be inherited by a bastard (of some kind), or at least people rejected by their fathers. I think it is the story line 1. Stormlands - inherited by Gendry a bastard unknown even to his father, but still with the Baratheon strength (but I suspect his mother may be also an original descendent of the pre Targ family) 2. Westerlands - inherited by Tyrion (or his descendents) bastards in his father's eyes and a very non noble figure. However he too is a throw back I suspect to Lan the clever 3. The Reach - already lost to the original line ie the Gardiners, but probably be inherited by another family reject - Sam Tarly who is already third in line for the throne if you assume that the Tyrells were usurpers in the first place 4. The Vale - probably inherited by a boy who is not really the heir ie son of LF. Another bastard 5. Riverlands - well who is the rightful family - the Mudds probably - Ii suspect a wanderer from the Golden Company will take that crown - Either that or Rickon/Bran. Edmure is a "floppy fish" ie he cannot get it up - Roslin is preganant by a Frey 6. Dorne is complex but I suspect that the Daynes will inherit - possibly married to one of the bastard Martells 7. Iron Islands - inherited by Asha - a girl - pretty out there for these warriors 8. Finally of course Jon Snow, the bastard son to inherit the North
  13. i think there is a very clear assumption that the Royces and the Blackwoods are Old God worshippers. Recall that the FIRST Sept ever built at Winterfell was for Catelyn, so it must be assumed that the various Royce and Blackwood women who married and came North either had no religion or were Old God worshipers. Now we can sort of guess that many if not all the Blackwoods have links to the old Gods and are skin changers, and we NOW know that they were originally a Northern House driven south because of their skin changing. I have always assumed that the Royces, wearing their runes etc also are worshipers of the Old Gods - at least in part. Moreover we know that the extension of the faith of the 7 to Northerners is quite recent, given that Ser Jeor's father and his sisters follow the Old Gods. Indeed I have a vague theory that it was Ned's decision to allow a Sept at Winterfell that allowed the Other to rise again by weakening the power of the Old Gods. Same for any Manderley, except that they are worshipers not exactly of the Old Gods but of one of the First men gods ie Garth Greenhand. This is of course critical to the story line. There are dual elements as in most ancient European religions - Summer and Winter, Spring and fall, Life and death,night and day,and of course ice and fire. Now we see the representations of the ancient themes everywhere in GoT Summer: Bran and his wolf,/Winter: Most of the Starks Summer fertility or the King of Summer: Garth Greenhand (also we know the Manaderlys (who are knights of his order) and I think SAM Jack Frost: aka Jon Snow or the King of Winter
  14. Tmifairy This has been addressed a thousand times. Jon CANNOT be Brandon/Ashara's son given he is roughly the same age as Robb. We are told that he is two months younger than Robb at which time Brandon was rather dead by three months or so when Jon was conceived. Even if you assume that Jon is a month older than Robb are we to believe that Ashara and Brandon were hitting it off in the Riverlands while Brandon and Cat were a courting. Harenhall was at least six months before Ned's marriage so Jon would need to be at lest 6 months older than Robb, which he clearly is not. You can fudge a toddler's age by a nonth or so but certainly NOT 6 months.Why would Ned hide the truth of Jon from Catelyn if this were the case - She may have fancied herself in love with Brandon, but there was no need to say Jon was his. Why hide from Robert
  15. Ashara is not dead. I do not think she is Septa Lemore. i am rather inclined to think she is one of the courtesans - probably the one who hides her face. We know she is very beautiful.