Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

willofDorne

High Septon = Howland Reed 3.0

402 posts in this topic

Original thread can be found here: V1, V2
(credit: Roadside Rose)

(Disclaimer: Criticisms are just as important as the theory itself, so there will be a post immediately following the theory to highlight each argument against. I encourage you to bring the holes to my attention, so they can be listed in the aforementioned adjoining post.)

Theory

Howland Reed is posing as the new High Septon.

Motive

To supplant the Lannister rule, avenge the Starks, and position Jon or another Usurper as King.

In the twilight of his campaign, Robb made his thoughts clear on who he planned to succeed him:

“Mother.” There was a sharpness in Robb’s tone. “You forget. My father had four sons.”

They argue about Jon, and Catelyn realizes:

He is set on this.

They continue to argue over inheritance laws and precedent, when Robb finally says:

Jon is the only brother that remains to me. Should I die without issue, I want him to succeed me as King in the North.

And so he has decided. Later, Robb declares his intentions to his bannermen:

“One more matter... I’ve thought long and hard about who might follow me. I command you now as my true and loyal lords to fix your seals to this document as witnesses to my decision.”

A king indeed, Catelyn thought, defeated.

Robb’s bannermen bear witness to the naming of Jon as heir, as Catelyn feels notably defeated.
During this same meeting, Robb commands Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover, two of his most loyal bannermen, to travel up the Neck:

“Go upriver flying my banner. The crannogmen will find you. I want two ships to double the chances of my message reaching Howland Reed. Lady Maege shall go on one, Galbart on the second.”

Shortly after, Robb and his host are murdered, and his two remaining faithful bannermen (with their knowledge of the heir apparent; Jon), go missing into the Neck…

“But they will not fail. My father knew the worth of Howland Reed.”

This was copied directly from the original post.

The following is another addition, something I'd consider required reading for anyone arguing for or against this theory. It's important to go through the action in these four chapter to see HS/HR's entire rise to power.

this provides a nice through line of HS/HR's actions, starting here. (At the exact moment when the entire northern host is separated at the Twins)

Just before the Red Wedding, GRRM sets this plot in motion

http://awoiaf.wester...ords-Chapter_45

Brienne encounters the plot in action, the HS and company making their way to KL (Is it Howland Reed?)

http://awoiaf.wester...Crows-Chapter_4

Cersei encounters the force of the HS (or HR?), and they have grown overwhelmingly larger.

http://awoiaf.wester...rows-Chapter_28

Howland Reed springs his first trap, letting Cersei for the first time sink deep into the bowels of her own treachery. (Or maybe this is some random High Septon?)

http://awoiaf.wester...rows-Chapter_43

Do not be surprised if the discussion veers into literary figures such as Robin Hood, The Green Man or some crazy order of monks from the middle ages. All ideas and additions are welcome, even those including Lancel Lannister.

edit: Green Man connection was interestingly suggested by Luddsthirdmorph

Another popular thing to consider is the Faith Militant.

We've seen people swear to the Night's Watch(Jon Snow), the Kingsguard(Jaime Lannister), and even to houses, such as the Hound swearing to Lannister, also we've seen knights taking vows to the Seven. The Faith Militant is as far as we know sworn to the High Septon, so this could be a very big factor in the coming books 6/7, and another thing to consider.

Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”
“So power is a mummer’s trick?”
“A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The “Faithful” Northmen

Roughly two months (11/23/299 - 1/28/300) after the Northern parties go missing, Brienne and her company travel North to Duskendale. Along the way, they encounter a suspicious band of armed and bearded Sparrows:



A group of begging brothers led the way, scruffy bearded men…

Several of the men had axes, and more had crude wooden clubs and cudgels.


Interestingly, there are only three characters who address Brienne and her hedge knights:

“Poor fellows,” said a big man with an axe. Despite the chill of the autumnal wood, he was
shirtless...

“We are marching to the city,” said a tall woman in the traces of the wayn…

“Join us, friends,” urged a spare small man in a threadbare septon’s robe...


It is my impression that these three distinct characters represent the missing Northern bannermen: House Glover, House Mormont, and House Reed.


- Axes that fit like a Glove'r

The axe is a choice weapon among the North. So much so, there are even certain Houses which brandish an axe as their sigil i.e. House Dustin, House Cerwyn - no other House bears a sigil of an axe.

The home of House Glover is situated in the Wolfswood; it is, undoubtedly, surrounded by more trees than any other House in the entire story. In fact, the Glovers’ are so beset by trees, they crafted their seat from them - Deepwood Motte.

As such, it stands to reason that these hairy, lumberjack-esque, northerners would prefer axes as weapons.

Interestingly, many of these sparrows favor axes:

Several of the men had axes

We encountered ruffians on the road as well. Filthy, unkempt creatures, with leather shields and axes...”
“They call themselves sparrows...”

She had only two knights amidst a sea of sparrows. She saw staves and scythes, cudgels and clubs, several axes.

Some had spears and some had longswords. More favored axes…

… the sparrows came pouring into the Great Sept with their leader on their shoulders and their axes in their hands.

“Your sparrows have clubs and axes…”

The Poor Fellows ... Begging brothers of a sort, though they carried axes instead of bowls.

And mingled in with them were the Poor Fellows, filthy, unshaven creatures armed with spears and axes.



When Jaime visits his cousin, Lancel, he sees many of these same bearded sparrows occupying Castle Darry:

A dozen bearded men with axes stood guard...

There were axes in evidence as well, and he spied several bearded men with red, seven-pointed stars sewn onto ragged, filthy tunics. More bloody sparrows. Where do they all come from?

Jaime glanced about the yard, at the bearded faces of the sparrows. Too many.

Three sparrows sat upon its steps. When Jaime approached, they rose. “Where you going, m’lord?” asked one. He was the smallest of the three, but he had the biggest beard.

“... you can’t go in unless his lordship says you can.” She hefted a spiked club, and the small man raised an axe.



So, I think it’s safe to say these “sparrows”, have similarly shaggy beards and carry axes as often as any northmen. Speaking of which, let’s draw our attention back to the big, axe-wielding man Brienne makes note of:

a big man with an axe. Despite the chill of the autumnal wood, he was shirtless…


Despite the noted chill of the woods, this man is walking around shirtless - suggestive of a northman; being resilient to the cold.

During the exchange between the sparrows and Brienne’s company, Duskendale is mentioned, and the sparrows, the big one in particular, have an unreasonably angry reaction:


“We are bound for Duskendale,” Ser Illifer said flatly.

One of the begging brothers spat, and a woman gave a moan. “You are false knights,” said the big man with the star carved on his chest. Several others brandished their cudgels.


Why so serious? Well:

(Robb) shook his head, bewildered. “A third of my foot, lost for Duskendale?”
“... the Lannisters hold my brother,” Galbart Glover said, in a voice thick with despair. Robett Glover had survived the battle, but had been captured near the kingsroad not long after.


These bearded “sparrows”, who wear ragged clothes and armor, favor axes, and harbor an unexplained rancor for Duskendale, seem awfully suspicious... don’t they?

If Galbart Glover took his men south, with Howland and Maege, these suspicious sparrow traits would definitely match his unaccounted party.

Speaking of Maege...


- The unBEARable Septas

Catelyn: “You are braver than I am, I fear. Are all your Bear Island women such warriors?”
Maege: “She-bears, aye...”


In Cersei’s mad attempt to flee the Sept of Baelor, she is captured by a group of suspiciously strong septas:

She ran as far as the sept, but no farther. There were women waiting for her there, more septas...

but the septas … were stronger than they looked.

“Stronger than they looked”? That sounds familiar:

“We are stronger than we seem, my lady,” Lady Maege Mormont said...

After Cersei’s capture, she is held in confinement, with three of these deceptively strong septas as her gaolers:

Septa Unella was big-boned and mannish, with callused hands and homely, scowling features.

Septa Scolera was thick-waisted and short, with heavy breasts, olive skin, and a sour smell to her, like milk on the verge of going bad.

Septa Moelle had stiff white hair and small mean eyes perpetually crinkled in suspicion, peering out of a wrinkled face as sharp as the blade of an axe.

Interestingly, these septas share some striking similarities to some other She-Bears:

(Dacey) was tall and lean, (Maege) short and stout...

Her proper name was Alysane of House Mormont, but she wore the other name as easily as she wore her mail. Short, chunky, muscular, the heir to Bear Island had big thighs, big breasts, and big hands ridged with callus.

Let’s list and compare these traits straight from the text:

She-Bears:

- short
- stout
- chunky
- muscular
- big breasts
- big hands ridged with callus

Cersei’s Septas:

- short
- thick-waisted
- big-boned
- mannish
- heavy breast
- callused hands

However, aside from these glaring similarities, there is one unifying parallel of these septas which cements them as She-Bears - the She-Bear carving on the gates of Mormont Keep:

Dacey: “There’s a carving on our gate”

“A woman in a bearskin…”
Septa Unella ... with callused hands and homely, scowling features … would growl when she shook the queen awake.

“... with a child in one arm suckling at her breast…”
Septa Scolera ... a sour smell to her, like milk on the verge of going bad.

“... In the other hand she holds a battleaxe.”
Septa Moelle ... a wrinkled face as sharp as the blade of an axe.

Interestingly, we have seen other female captives accompanied by a She-Bear. Examining them more thoroughly, we can see a pattern develop:

A female captive (Catelyn) is kept in the company of She-Bears (Maege, Dacey) Depreciated


A female captive (Asha) is kept in the company of a She-Bear (Alysane)

But what about when the captive is a male, or better yet, a male lion? In ADwD, we are given the possibility of this interesting parallel:

A male lion captive (Tyrion) is kept in the company of a He-Bear (Jorah)

A female lion captive (Cersei) is kept in the company of ____________

Fill in the blank ;)

edit, (This can also be a play against the "Bear and the Maiden Fair" song in ASOIAF lore) - WillofDorne

Asha’s description of Alysane:

Even in sleep (Alysane) wore ringmail under her furs, boiled leather under that

Cersei thinks this of Septa Moelle:

This one still has her maidenhead, I’ll wager, Cersei thought, though by now it’s hard and stiff as boiled leather.

Aero Hotah thinks about the day he was branded:

Keep your longaxe sharp, the bearded priests had told him, the day they branded him ... He could still recall the sounds of the three bells, the way that Noom’s deep peals set his very bones to shuddering, ... when they went to see the bears dance down the Sinner’s Steps.

Septa Unella stepped forward. “A sinner comes before you,” she declared.

She had to move. Naked, shorn, barefoot, Cersei made a slow descent down the broad marble steps ... Septa Unella, Septa Scolera, and Septa Moelle followed.

Septa Scolera rang her bell, singing, “Shame, shame, shame upon the sinner, shame, shame.”

“Shame, shame, shame on the sinner,” chanted the septas ... Bells were ringing, ringing, ringing.

(credit: Lady Arya's Song)
- Where there's a Wells, there's a way

On Cersei’s second visit with the new High Septon, she is escorted into the Sept by a certain person of interest:

“His High Holiness has been expecting you. I am Ser Theodan the True, formerly Ser Theodan Wells.”

Their captain knelt before her. “Perhaps Your Grace will recall me. I am Ser Theodan the True.”

Theodan Wells, of House Wells, sworn to the North. Funny that a northman has risen to such a prominent position as captain of the Warrior's Sons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
High Septon Howland - Reed'ing between the lines

(The crannogmen) were a cowardly people ... and preferred to hide from foes rather than face them in open battle.
We come now to the centerpiece character of this theory: Howland Reed
Before we contrast him to the High Septon, let’s first explore everything we definitively know about Howland Reed:
- Howland is the Lord of Greywater Watch
- Howland is a crannogman (people renowned for deceptive combat)
- Howland is short
- Howland is brave
- Howland was one of Ned’s most trusted bannermen
- Howland survived the Battle at the Tower of Joy with Ned
- Howland saved Ned from Arthur Dayne
- Howland has two children: Meera and Jojen
- Howland has a wife: Jyana
- Howland is “grown to manhood” when he departs for the Tourney at Harrenhal (19yrs ago)
- Howland is referred to as “my father’s man” by Lyanna (19 years ago)
- Howland prays to the Old Gods
- Howland is in his 30's
Now, let’s take a look at this High Sparrow:
The High Sparrow is the leader of these, bearded, axe-wielding, cold-resilient sparrows. We first see him in Brienne’s travel to Duskendale. Here is how she describes him:

… a spare small man …
The septon had a lean sharp face and a short beard, grizzled grey and brown. His thin hair was pulled back and knotted behind his head...
His, at one point, brown hair is “knotted behind his head”
There’s only one other person ever mentioned to have brown hair tied in this fashion: Meera

Though near Robb’s age, she was slim as a boy, with long brown hair knotted behind her head
The High Sparrow explains to Brienne and her party:

“Septs have been despoiled, maidens and mothers raped by godless men and demon worshipers. Even silent sisters have been molested. Our Mother Above cries out in her anguish. It is time for all anointed knights to forsake their worldly masters and defend our Holy Faith.”
This “small man” is appealing to Brienne’s party to help defend the weak and helpless.
This sounds familiar to Meera and Jojen’s pledge to Bran:

“Grant mercy to our weak, help to our helpless, and justice to all, and we shall never fail you.”
Later, this “small man” forcibly takes the new position of High Septon, as Cersei notes:

… Septon Luceon had been nine votes from elevation when those doors had given way, and the sparrows came pouring into the Great Sept with their leader on their shoulders and their axes in their hands.
The new High Septon sets up residence in the Sept of Baelor, and refuses to leave. As such, Cersei is forced to come to him:

“This is absurd.”
“It is, Your Grace,” Lady Merryweather agreed. “The High Septon should have come to you.
Upon meeting the new High Septon, Cersei is again forced into his terms:

When he knelt before the altar, she had no choice but to kneel beside him … It would seem they must confer upon their knees. A small man’s ploy, she thought…
This is important to note. Not only is she highlighting the High Septon’s cunning, but this small man is once again making Cersei do what he wants.
Cersei notes his features:

His face was sharply pointed, with deep-set eyes as brown as mud.
Now, Jojen has green eyes. But, as we’ve seen in Ned and Robb, or Rhaegar and Jon, eye color isn’t necessarily an indicator of parentage. However, the way in which the eyes are described is very similar:
The High Septon has “eyes as brown as mud”
Jojen’s, twice described, “eyes were the color of moss”
In both cases, a simile is used to describe the eyes as things one would find in the Neck: Mud and Moss
A couple more earthy descriptions of the High Septon:

his feet were bare and black, gnarled and hard as tree roots.
“ … this new (High Septon) was born with filth beneath his fingernails.”
Cersei is notably disgusted with the High Septon’s filthy appearance and filthy followers:

“Have you seen what they have done to Blessed Baelor’s statue? They befoul the plaza with their pigs and goats and night soil.”
“Night soil can be washed away more easily than blood, Your Grace. If the plaza was befouled, it was befouled by the execution that was done here.”
He dares throw Ned Stark in my face?
The High Septon emphasizes how terrible Ned’s murder was - it is worse than shitting over the entire plaza. Sentiments of a bitter friend, perhaps?
During their meeting, Cersei questions why the High Septon has refused to bless Tommen:

“Your Grace is mistaken. We have not refused.”
“You have not come.”
“The hour is not yet ripe.”
Are you a priest or a greengrocer?
Cersei can’t seem to budge the High Septon as he, ever so slyly, pushes Cersei into a conversation about re-establishing the Faith Militant:

“Maegor’s laws—”
“—could be undone.” She let that hang there, waiting for the High Sparrow to rise to the bait.
He did not disappoint her. “The Faith Militant reborn . . . that would be the answer to three hundred years of prayer, Your Grace.
So, from their first meeting, the High Septon has forced Cersei’s hand three different times:
- He gets her to come to the Sept
- He gets her to confer on her knees
- He gets her to give him massive power by re-establishing the Faith Militant
And he achieves each of these by simply being unwilling to move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
- Hermit's Hole and Religions Crossed
Interestingly, there was another septon once, who took up residence in a similarly described sept:

“It is called the Hermit’s Hole. The first holy man to find his way here lived therein, and worked such wonders that others came to join him.”
Hermit’s Hole had been a damp, dark place, floored with dirt and echoing to the sounds of dripping water…
Inside the Sept of Baelor, Cersei notes other septons:

They had pails of soap and water, and were scrubbing at the floor.
The queen knew that she should kneel, but the floor was wet with soap and dirty water…
“Is this how you greet me? With a scrub brush in your hand, dripping water?”
After their meeting, the Faith Militant is born again. Cersei’s plot to frame Margery goes underway, but again the High Septon remains unmoved. When called to court to answer for abducting Margery, the High Septon instead sends the She-Bear-like septa, Moelle - with armed guards, no less.
When Osfryd Kettleback asks if he should clear the crowd gathering to protest Margery’s imprisoment, Cersei answers:

“No. Let them shout until they’re hoarse, it will not sway the Sparrow. He only listens to the gods.”
“Only listens to the old gods”? Seems similar to:

but before (Howland) slept he knelt on the lakeshore, looking across the water to where the Isle of Faces would be, and said a prayer to the old gods of north and Neck . . .”
After meeting with Margery, Cersei finds the High Septon in a curious place.

She found the High Septon waiting for her in a small seven-sided audience chamber. The faces of the Seven had been carved into the walls. Cersei thought the carvings crude and ugly, but there was a certain power to them, especially about the eyes … that somehow made the faces come alive.
Let’s compare this room, line by line, to the aforementioned similar sept, “Hermit’s Hole”

The room was sparse and plain, with bare stone walls, a rough-hewn table, three chairs, and a prayer bench.
The furnishings were strange but simple; a long table, a settle, a chest, several tall cases full of books, and chairs.
The faces of the Seven had been carved into the walls.
wide doors carved with likenesses of the Mother and the Father
Cersei take close note to these strange faces on the wall. Calling them “crude” and “ugly”; saying that the eyes had “power” which made “the faces come alive”. Sound familiar?
You guessed it, weirwoods.
As Cersei prepares to leave, she is given a very cold response:

“No,” said the High Septon. It was only a word, one little word, but to Cersei it felt like a splash of icy water in the face.
Cersei could feel the eyes of the Seven staring at her … a sudden shiver of fear went through her, cold as ice.
Any other guilty parties noted to feel cold in the eyes of the Gods? Sure:

Varamyr could see the weirwood’s red eyes staring down at him from the white trunk. The gods are weighing me. A shiver went through him.
But, why is GRRM calling our attention to weirwoods intermingling with The Faith? Well:

The High Septon walked slowly, leaning on a weirwood staff topped by a crystal orb.
As you can see from the imagery, beneath the crystal orb of The Faith, lies a weirwood "stick" of the Old Gods.
Howland, posing as the High Septon, would be hiding beneath the guise of The Faith, and twice described as “thin as a broom” or as thin as a "stick" ;)
So, if Howland is the High Septon, and his purpose is to dethrone the current rulers and establish Jon (or Someone else?) as the new king, we see a massively strong parallel to the massive turtle Tyrion witnesses on the Rhyone:

It was another turtle, a horned turtle of enormous size, its dark green shell mottled with brown and overgrown with water moss and crusty black river molluscs.
“We are blessed,” Ysilla was crying loudly, as tears streamed down her face. “We are blessed, we are blessed.”
“It was him,” cried Yandry. “The Old Man of the River.”
And why not? Tyrion grinned. Gods and wonders always appear, to attend the birth of kings.
(credit: Lady Arya's Song)
As Howland (The Old Man of the River) attended the birth of the King (Jon).
When Jaime is traveling the Riverlands, he makes camp, and some of his mean are "play-fighting" with some women:

Jaime bet a copper star on the blonde girl riding Raff the Sweetling, and lost it when the two of them went down splashing amongst the reeds. Across the river wolves were howling...
Cersei (the blonde girl) will use UnGregor (Raff the Sweetling), but lose when the two of them are defeated by Howland Reed (splashing amongst the reeds). And across the Riverlands, the North will cheer in triumph (wolves were howling).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FAQS:

Q: Howland was confirmed by GRRM to be in his 30's, yet the High Septon has grey hair, a lined face, and is described as an "old man" both by Cersei and in the Appendix of AFoC and ADwD.
A: His beard is described as grizzled grey/brown, so not full grey. Crannogmen are small, and Cersei's interpretation is usually quite negative, so she may see him as a frail old man, when he's not. Also, people are known to age prematurely in ASOIAF for various reasons, and Howland has been practicing magic and participating in war, which may add years to a man's life. The age argument has been put forward again and again and answered, but some still persist.

edit: The appendix is not a tell all guide. There are mistakes and intentional misdirection for spoilers in there. Examples forthcoming.

Q: Howland's efforts would be better directed to other causes - helping the North against the Boltons, or helping the Riverlands against the Freys

A: See Faith Militant, and the results of what he's already accomplished, effectively sacking a store of riches provided by the Lannisters, and infiltrating a small army which may be growing in KL. Howland is also known to fight unfairly, or indirectly. Exploration of his motives here should still be encouraged, as well as explanations of what he may be doing to take back Winterfell if he were in the north, etc.

Q: How does Howland learn the Faith so quickly?

A: "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies" Being a lord, he has access to resources most commoners do not have. He had exposure to southern traditions as early as the KotLT incident, and could have countless stores of books on the Seven, being a lord and rather far south already on the map for a northerner. The wall has 1000's of books, Winterfell had hundreds, who knows how many books Howland had as lord of the neck?

Another possibility is that he doesn't use extensive knowledge of the Faith, but rather confirmation bias, good acting and his mob, as odd as that would seem.

Q: The timeline seems to not be enough for Howland to learn the Seven so well and then gain a following as he does.

A: If this bothers you, you may want to consider that it's possible Ned sent Howland on a recon and healing mission to the Riverlands, to discover the true nature of the Mountain's motives and actions. Howland is his most trusted bannerman, and his wife's house is undoubtably important. This extends Howland Reed's actions to cover all five books, as well. There are many things to consider. The timeline for this action would coorelate to directly after Ned's fever dream which includes Howland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing aboug ghis theory is at face value I dont believe it, once I read thru it it seems so probable I just don't know if anyone else feels like that? The one qiestion I have what happens during the reveal? The faith is shall we say crazy religious? Now what woukd the footsoldiers do if they find out the high sparrow is an old god wprshipping lord and his closest advisors are mormonts theo wull ect u know what I mean. I guess after howland leave the faith all hell breaks loose in kl is that what he wants? U guys follow what im asking?

I didnt do a good job of explaining myswlf I ment say it becomes known that hr is the hs what happens? Id assume all hell breaks loose is rhat part of their plan to dirther fuxk up kingslanding? If the teory is true he has to have an end game he isnt gonna stay hs for longer than he has to. What happens when he has tona of pissed off southerners after him? Does he just retreat to the neck and let the swamp do what it does and swallow up the knights? We do have foreshadowing for this to happen so I guess yeah its possible someone help me out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the Mormont lady tells Cat "we are stronger then we seem, I believe she is referring to Robs host, not Mormont woman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No im being serious iirc one of the points to the theory was the septas who take cersi were strong big hands ect basicay he theorized that they were northern women

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I havent read thru both threads but I did read the original post and that was part of it. Basically im asking what people think would happen if hr=hs then what is his ends game after the fall of lannisters obviously the faith militant are gonna be pissex at being duped so what dors howland do after that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing aboug ghis theory is at face value I dont believe it, once I read thru it it seems so probable I just don't know if anyone else feels like that? The one qiestion I have what happens during the reveal? The faith is shall we say crazy religious? Now what woukd the footsoldiers do if they find out the high sparrow is an old god wprshipping lord and his closest advisors are mormonts theo wull ect u know what I mean. I guess after howland leave the faith all hell breaks loose in kl is that what he wants? U guys follow what im asking?

I didnt do a good job of explaining myswlf I ment say it becomes known that hr is the hs what happens? Id assume all hell breaks loose is rhat part of their plan to dirther fuxk up kingslanding? If the teory is true he has to have an end game he isnt gonna stay hs for longer than he has to. What happens when he has tona of pissed off southerners after him? Does he just retreat to the neck and let the swamp do what it does and swallow up the knights? We do have foreshadowing for this to happen so I guess yeah its possible someone help me out

I don't know, Howland is a mysterious man! Perhaps he'll just disappear into the neck like you say.

Welcome to the boards, Mike Hunt! :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I said in the previous thread, I would dearly love for this thread to be true. However, it is likely untrue, for the following reasons:



1. Howland Reed has no reason to pretend to be a septon in order to fuck shit up. He is fucking shit up for the ironmen perfectly well, as it happens.



2. Howland Reed is no septon. In fact, if what little we know of of him is true, he is deeply into the religion of the Children of the Forest/Old Gods/Green Men, which has ACTUAL MYSTICAL POWERS, rather than the Fot7.



3. Howland Reed is sworn and duty-bound to the Starks. He takes this very seriously. Therefore, his first objective will be to a. protect remaining Starks and b. restore Starks to the lordship of the North.



Against this, we have:



1. Howland Reed is a BAMF. We don't know what went down at the ToJ, but somehow, Howland Reed prevented the BEST KNIGHT IN THE WORLD from killing Ned. That means that Howland is a BAMF, no matter how you slice it. He can do stuff.



2. He can do the hoodoo. Every reference to Howland suggests that he has magic powers.



3. Only Howland knows what happened at the ToJ, and he hasn't shown up yet. (cough cough) ahem (cough cough) Howland, we need some exposiition here please?



Conclusion: The story needs Howland Reed, and soon. The High Sparrow being Howland Reed would be delicious in many ways, but doesn't seem to work out Sadly :( I'd rather it did. But Howland is too young, too foreign, and too focused on other shit to be the High Sparrow.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maege: ''Galbart, WTF?!''



Galbart: '' I've carved a seven-pointed star into my chest with this rusty knife, thus my faked devotion to Faith of Seven seems to be more convincing.



Maege: ''I see what it is. You know you can get blood poisoning from this, and die painfully.''



Galbart: ''Yes I know''



Maege: .........................*sigh* ''Better put your shirt on for now, idiot.''


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did we really need another thread for this? As I said before the defense of this theory far exceeds the merits of its argument.
It's an interesting idea and I don't fault anyone for posing the question and there was a lot of effort put into finding textual hints.
But under scrutiny of the previous threads the argument is not convincing to me nor to many others. Those who believe are unlikely to have their faith shaken by continued discussion nor are us skeptics likely to be convinced either.

But when I'm here I may as well join in the discussion.

"To supplant the Lannister rule, avenge the Starks, and position Jon or another Usurper as King."

Nobody has approached Jon about this plan and he would likely refuse to go along with such a plan in any case. What other candidates would you suggest they could supplant on to the Iron Throne? Do they have a hidden Targ, Blackfyre or similar pretender hidden away?

This is a very dangerous plan with slim chance of success. They have gone to a lot of effort with no actual end game in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It occurs to me there's other links we've not yet explored.



What of the "Fifty men Ned sent after the Mountain to bring him to the King's Justice?"



Is it possible Ned rather kept his own council and sent Howland Reed? When Littlefinger says to Ned at one point, "Is there anyone you trust with your life" does Ned say, "HOWLAND REED!" No, he doesn't. We may be vastly underestimating his true worth, which only Ned knows.



It's possible when hell breaks loose in the Riverlands, Ned sends Howland Reed to bring healing. Howland Reed being a good person, decides to pose as a Septon with Poor Fellows, rather than go in with the full might of the North seeking vengence?



It's a VERY interesting scenario and well worth exploring mentally, and gives a much better timeline than the previous "it all starts at the Red Wedding" TL.



Also, I saw this meme on Twitter today which was entitled, "Littlefinger is Sherlock!" and that may be what's jumping my mind around to different books now. If memory serves, this happens after Ned awakens from his fever dream. A dream where he dreams of Howland Reed. Also... Howland Reed is a "Wraith" in his dream, or better yet, a shadow. And we know a small man can cast a very large shadow.




edit: This also gives possibly more meaning to when Edmure did not allow the Mountain to cross the bridge.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for a bigger Billy Goat Gruff to deal with this one...


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi willofDorne,



first of all - FTW theory! realy mindblowing - first I was like nah another crackpot that can not be ... but I have to admit you have a nice thread here and the arguments are also convincing - especialy the "leaning on a weirwood staff topped by a crystal orb" part.



But as much as I want this to be true - it is not ...



Reason:



The producer of the tv show most likley know if the HS is HR and they choose to cast Jonahtan Pryce for it .... and this guy is for shure not HR - or I hope he is not! (Only option would be a glare spell but I dont think so)


here the link to "Game of Thrones: Season 5 – New Cast Members" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH2ri8RhSnw


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It feels like Howland Reed is less of a person and more of a box that we just put everything into that we don't understand or that we want to happen. There's so little about him in the text that I think he'd be hard to include in any theory.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of time for this theory (although maybe not all of the detail discussed). Indeed, I hoped to discuss it when I joined this forum.



I started to think something was suspicious about the High Septon when I read about the faces in the audience chamber - the similarity with the weirwood faces struck me immediately.



However, I am not claiming that this theory is definitely right. The High Sparrow may indeed be an unknown holy man raised to power by the masses by a combination of circumstances. But I also think that it is entirely possible that this man may be Howland Reed.



I've not made any detailed posts on here before, so please bear with me as I collect my musings for a few points in support of the OP.



Howland Reed can 'weave words'.



Knowing (as we do from the story of the KotLT) that Howland Reed is not a fighter, I have often wondered how he saved Ned from Arthur Dayne. Was it guerilla tactics, or did he 'weave words' in some way to save Ned? I wonder what 'weave words' means.



Does this mean he can bewitch with his words or that he is a very charismatic orator or a persuasive man? I don't know, but I think it will prove important. However, being charismatic would certainly help to gain followers along the way, to persuade them and maybe even manipulate them into following him.



Whether it's religion or politics, charismatic leaders can and do obtain extraordinary loyalty from their followers.





Howland Reed worships the Old Gods.



True. And yet I don't have the huge problem with this as some others do. As has already been already said, Howland Reed is a lord and probably educated to a degree (although it is not known in canon to what degree).



If he's been educated as other lords are, I have no doubt he learnt of other religions (as the Stark children did) and political history.



Even if he's not educated to the level we see with various lordly families in the series, as long as he can read, he is still better educated than smallfolk, and he can learn about the faith of the Seven and political history if it suits his purposes.



It is also worth remembering that he is posing as an itinerant septon - a hedge priest, if you will. Historically, hedge priests (such as Lollards) didn't have parishes (septs) or even established orders, and some were unable to read Latin (as was usual for priests then) or could even uneducated all together. Theirs could be a 'rough' unlettered version of theology, aimed at the uneducated of the countryside. I think a weaver of words would be capable of this type and level of imposture.



This imposture is not a holy calling but is a means to an end, a way of building an army (even a guerilla one) within King's Landing itself. There is plenty of precedent for peasants being roused to revolt by charismatic men, especially by religious men - see John Ball (a Lollard priest) and the Peasants' Revolt. The aftermath of war is the very time for charismatic leaders to gain followers from amongst the dispossessed. The followers themselves may not even be completely motivated by religious fervour, but by many other emotions that can be manipulated, such as anger, revenge, or a desire for justice or reform, etc.



There have been imposter priests in history, just as there have been pretenders to the throne.




On the basis that Howland Reed is the High Sparrow, how did he contrive to be High Septon from the outset?



My view is: he didn't.



There were already vagabonds and dispossessed in the countryside and vagrants making their way to King's Landing following the various battles and their violent aftermaths. I suspect he could have been informed of this and set out with a number of crannogmen and Northmen to King's Landing under the disguise of an itinerant septon and followers as a way of blending in, in order to infiltrate King's Landing. My feeling at this stage was that he picked up followers along the way from amongst these disaffected and the dispossessed.



As their journey progressed, and his following increased exponentially, his plans probably developed with this, and he took advantage of the opportunities presenting themselves to him. What may have started out as an infiltration mission may have developed by pure opportunity into an overt power grab for high office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of time for this theory (although maybe not all of the detail discussed). Indeed, I hoped to discuss it when I joined this forum.

I started to think something was suspicious about the High Septon when I read about the faces in the audience chamber - the similarity with the weirwood faces struck me immediately.

However, I am not claiming that this theory is definitely right. The High Sparrow may indeed be an unknown holy man raised to power by the masses by a combination of circumstances. But I also think that it is entirely possible that this man may be Howland Reed.

I've not made any detailed posts on here before, so please bear with me as I collect my musings for a few points in support of the OP.

Howland Reed can 'weave words'.

Knowing (as we do from the story of the KotLT) that Howland Reed is not a fighter, I have often wondered how he saved Ned from Arthur Dayne. Was it guerilla tactics, or did he 'weave words' in some way to save Ned? I wonder what 'weave words' means.

Does this mean he can bewitch with his words or that he is a very charismatic orator or a persuasive man? I don't know, but I think it will prove important. However, being charismatic would certainly help to gain followers along the way, to persuade them and maybe even manipulate them into following him.

Whether it's religion or politics, charismatic leaders can and do obtain extraordinary loyalty from their followers.

Howland Reed worships the Old Gods.

True. And yet I don't have the huge problem with this as some others do. As has already been already said, Howland Reed is a lord and probably educated to a degree (although it is not known in canon to what degree).

If he's been educated as other lords are, I have no doubt he learnt of other religions (as the Stark children did) and political history.

Even if he's not educated to the level we see with various lordly families in the series, as long as he can read, he is still better educated than smallfolk, and he can learn about the faith of the Seven and political history if it suits his purposes.

It is also worth remembering that he is posing as an itinerant septon - a hedge priest, if you will. Historically, hedge priests (such as Lollards) didn't have parishes (septs) or even established orders, and some were unable to read Latin (as was usual for priests then) or could even uneducated all together. Theirs could be a 'rough' unlettered version of theology, aimed at the uneducated of the countryside. I think a weaver of words would be capable of this type and level of imposture.

This imposture is not a holy calling but is a means to an end, a way of building an army (even a guerilla one) within King's Landing itself. There is plenty of precedent for peasants being roused to revolt by charismatic men, especially by religious men - see John Ball (a Lollard priest) and the Peasants' Revolt. The aftermath of war is the very time for charismatic leaders to gain followers from amongst the dispossessed. The followers themselves may not even be completely motivated by religious fervour, but by many other emotions that can be manipulated, such as anger, revenge, or a desire for justice or reform, etc.

There have been imposter priests in history, just as there have been pretenders to the throne.

On the basis that Howland Reed is the High Sparrow, how did he contrive to be High Septon from the outset?

My view is: he didn't.

There were already vagabonds and dispossessed in the countryside and vagrants making their way to King's Landing following the various battles and their violent aftermaths. I suspect he could have been informed of this and set out with a number of crannogmen and Northmen to King's Landing under the disguise of an itinerant septon and followers as a way of blending in, in order to infiltrate King's Landing. My feeling at this stage was that he picked up followers along the way from amongst these disaffected and the dispossessed.

As their journey progressed, and his following increased exponentially, his plans probably developed with this, and he took advantage of the opportunities presenting themselves to him. What may have started out as an infiltration mission may have developed by pure opportunity into an overt power grab for high office.

Fantastic post! This reminds me of something...

apparently we've missed one of the best quotes in the book which supports this theory.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.