Gwindor

Lady Stoneheart is actually Robb Stark

121 posts in this topic

 

See, I don't wanna be facetious because god knows original ideas around here are dwindling down by the minute, and this crackpot, at least, is something I hadn't seen before. 

But to paraphrase Max Landis (there's a sentence I never thought I'd typed), sometimes you gotta look at things from a writer's perspective. Like, you can come up with a crackpot that makes some sort of sense on a technical level. Robb warged Cat? Technically possible, why not? But why would Martin go that way? What's the thematic meaning behind it? Why Robb lives on while Cat goes insane? 

Wouldn't it make more sense that Cat, who in life spent a big chunk of the books advising men around her and getting ignored, now in death gets to call the shots and lead her band of Not So Merry Men? Doesn't it make sense for her final moments to be the very picture of insanity after realizing all of her children are probably dead? Could it be that Robb's last words being "Grey Wind" meant a reconciliation with the direwolf and by extension with the Stark identity as a whole after he shunned the animal thinking his kin hadn't helped Bran and Rickon and weren't a gift from the gods? Isn't it better to have a thoroughly bitter reunion between Cat and Brienne, now both of them incredibly changed from the last time they met, the former a long way from the kind mother figure, the latter no longer the idealistic young girl with dreams of knights? Don't you think the weight of the oaths Cat and Brienne swore to each other might matter?

But you would lose all this in favor of a cheap, schlocky possession anime twist, that's the problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Althought I don't agree with your theory OP because it has many arguments against it (a you can see in the post above me), I want to thank you for coming with an interesting, original theory, based in some textual evidence. I find many threads that are more about personal tastes, and threads like this, with theories to discuss, are very entertaining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Gwindor, When I first saw the title of the thread, I'm almost ashamed to admit that my first thought was what crazines is this? Then I read your OP and, wow! Although I can't pretend to be completely convinced, you do make a rather persuasive argument. A lot of the arguement against it seems to be that Robb would be unable to warg a second time from Greywind. However, we don't know for sure at what point Greywind might have been killed. As Arya hears the wolf howling prior to hearing The Rains of Castamere begin to play, which signaled the inside attack, Robb muttering Greywind might be him recognising the fact that Greywind has died. The only insight we have on what might have happened comes directly from a Frey, who would have every reason to lie. Which then raises the question, what happens when a warg dies with no familiar alive to enter for a second life?

The only thing that does make me question this off the top of my head, is Theon's dream about the feast of the dead.  At the very end, Robb and Greywind enter. Would this have occurred if Robb had found a second life elsewhere? I'm not sure. 

@evolett, I really enjoyed your contributions!

Edited by Lady Dyanna
typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1.2.2016 at 7:15 PM, Shuvuuia said:

i'm 80% sure the thread is a parody of R+L denials and "it's too obvious" argument in general.

But it's still too simple. I propose that Robb warged into Cat who warged into Beric who timetravell-warged into unGregor who warged into Coldhands who warged into RobbWind...and so on

You forget the warging into Quentin Tarantino somewhere in between, otherwise it would be totally impossible and absurd that UnCat went on a revenge-killing spree.

 

;)

 

No, but for real though, It could be totally possible that Robb unknowingly tried to warg into Cat, and by doing so, left something behind. I started a Thread a few days ago about the nature of skinchanging where I ask similar questions 

Wether Robb succeeded is another issue. I don´t think he did. In Cat´s POV we see no indication of a fight for her consciousness, but then again, she was going insane right there, so her thoughts don´t have to be reliable...

 

Cheers

Edited by Flying Cat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read the post for the first time. Haven't got time to read all the interaction after it yet but to the OP I'd say that was a great read. Very interesting and something I'd not heard of before. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, I'm not so sure anymore about who is serious and who is trolling and who is trolling whom in this thread.

Robb trying to warg his mom instead of his wolf...is someone studying history of psychoanalysis this year?

I'd troll and say that he tried to warg into her womb, but missed and time-travel-warged into Melisandre's. So the shadow baby was Robb. And then he time-looped, so the second shadowbaby was also Robb. Evidence? Well, Dany saw a wolf-like shadow in the tent back in book 1. That's the proof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lady Dyanna said:

@Gwindor, When I first saw the title of the thread, I'm almost ashamed to admit that my first thought was what crazines is this? Then I read your OP and, wow! Although I can't pretend to be completely convinced, you do make a rather persuasive argument. A lot of the arguement against it seems to be that Robb would be unable to warg a second time from Greywind. However, we don't know for sure at what point Greywind might have been killed. As Arya hears the wolf howling prior to hearing The Rains of Castamere begin to play, which signaled the inside attack, Robb muttering Greywind might be him recognising the fact that Greywind has died. The only insight we have on what might have happened comes directly from a Frey, who would have every reason to lie. Which then raises the question, what happens when a warg dies with no familiar alive to enter for a second life?

The only thing that does make me question this off the top of my head, is Theon's dream about the feast of the dead.  At the very end, Robb and Greywind enter. Would this have occurred if Robb had found a second life elsewhere? I'm not sure. 

@evolett, I really enjoyed your contributions!

@Lady Dyanna What happens when a warg dies with no familiar alive to enter for a second life? That's the million dollar question. As Varamyr approaches death he begins to think about his second life, in fact he's preoccupied with the thought. He regrets not asking Mance to allow him Ghost (a second life fit for a king), he had considered a number of people within the fleeing wildling army as possible hosts and it seemed to me his choices were based on particular criteria. He knows his wolves are available but would have preferred a human body so he tries Thistle. When I stand back and look at this with an open mind, the question of whether a warg's spirit must find another host after his death does arise. Remember Varamyr died nine times in all. Each time he dies in a different host. And each time he saves his spirit (that's how we can view this) by entering another host. Now, he was an experienced skinchanger who received training from Haggon. That means he had quite a bit of control over his spirit and knew what he was doing. Remaining in the dead host animal would have meant his final, irrevocable death as well. 

 

Since we don't have a Robb POV, we can't be sure his relationship with Grey Wind extended to warging but that connection is there in all the Stark kids. Different characters state that warging is a blood trait, it’s in the blood, so perhaps in times of extreme danger or emotion, even an untaught warg will instinctively 'do what wargs do'. In this scenario, with Grey Wind dead, Robb's soul is compelled to find another host. Varamyr failed with Thistle because she was spiritually aware of what was happening and strong enough to resist it. I think Bran succeeds with Hodor precisely because Hodor is mentally handicapped - the giant man simply doesn't have the strength of mind to fight an intruder. 

In Robb's case, the new host needn't have been his mother but it's clear her 'defences' were down. She was psychologically and emotionally devastated by what had transpired, making her 'easy prey' for a spiritual takeover and I'm certain the author conveys this by including that reference to cutting hair. Far Eastern philosophies believe in the concept of ‘soul flight’ and of the danger of being penetrated by an alien spirit. They have developed a whole range of spiritual and physical defences to prevent this sort of thing from happening. This idea is not new.

The idea that a warg spirit actively looks for its host is implied by Jojen’s teachings as well. He states:

 

Quote

You have your eye closed tight whenever you’re awake, but as you drift off it flutters open and your soul seeks out its other half. 

 

So even in dreams when a warg is not consciously aware, his spirit actively seeks out its other half. This certainly suggests that a warg is compelled, perhaps even driven to finding a host – usually this will be the corresponding familiar animal but if it’s dead or otherwise unavailable (captured by another warg for instance, as Varamyr does with Haggon’s wolf), then the spirit will need an alternative.

Theon's dream thus suggests and perhaps confirms Robb’s 'rising from the dead'. Catelyn lay dead for three days before she was raised. Had Beric not transferred his remaining ‘life fire’ to her, both she and Robb (if his spirit was indeed within her) would have remained well and truly dead. Perhaps there has been a blending of their souls – I think so, mainly because LS remembers Brienne’s oath and gives her a choice.

 

I totally agree with and understand your sentiments, @Good Guy Garlan   but I do feel this ‘craziness’ fits in with the greater story-line quite well. The author is quite merciless in respect of the pain he imposes on his characters - if this is true, it doesn't surprise me at all. 

 

 

 

Edited by Evolett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lady Dyanna said:

Which then raises the question, what happens when a warg dies with no familiar alive to enter for a second life?

The short answer is they die.

"He was nine times dead and dying, and this would be his true death."

"Haggon's rough voice echoed in his head. 'You will die a dozen deaths, boy, and everyone will hurt...but when your true death comes, you will live again. The second life is simpler and sweeter, they say.'"

"Haggon was weak, afraid of his own power. He died weeping and alone when I ripped his second life from him."

A warg's true death is the death of their human body, the body that makes their warging possible. Once that body dies, the warg's consciousness can continue on, if and only if they still have mental control over another being. Varamyr initially tries to take over Thistle's body, but because no mental connection previously existed, he has to fight to take hold, and, even in her complete terror fleeing from the Others, she is able to fight him off. Varamyr moves onto One-Eye, the leader of the three wolves who are his only remaining skins, and is there still. If Varamyr's body had died before he transferred his entire consciousness to One-Eye, Varamyr would have been denied his second life. And once the body chosen for the second life dies, the warg dies as well - when Jon Snow killed Orell, Orell's consciousness transferred to his eagle, after Varamyr also took over the eagle, Orell was in there still. When Melisandre killed the eagle, Varamyr survived because his human, warg-abled body still lived, while Orell's second life ended.

 

2 hours ago, Evolett said:

He [Varamyr] regrets not asking Mance to allow him Ghost (a second life fit for a king), he had considered a number of people within the fleeing wildling army as possible hosts and it seemed to me his choices were based on particular criteria. He knows his wolves are available but would have preferred a human body so he tries Thistle.

Varamyr's criteria seem largely based on who will have the greatest chance of survival (one of a pair of twins, a large, scarred man, or a boy kissed by fire), and little else. He only tried Thistle because she was the only human nearby when his true death came calling. He even thinks, "She is just some ugly spearwife, I am a great man. I am Varamyr, the warg, the skinchanger, it is not right that she should live and I should die." 

Quote

When I stand back and look at this with an open mind, the question of whether a warg's spirit must find another host after his death does arise. Remember Varamyr died nine times in all. Each time he dies in a different host. And each time he saves his spirit (that's how we can view this) by entering another host. Now, he was an experienced skinchanger who received training from Haggon. That means he had quite a bit of control over his spirit and knew what he was doing. Remaining in the dead host animal would have meant his final, irrevocable death as well. 

When one of Varamyr's "skins" dies, he survives because his human body remains, so the portion of his consciousness which had been in the dying skin simply returns home, it does not immediately latch on to a new skin:

"Even that had not been so agonizing as the fire in his guts, crackling along his wings, devouring him. When he tried to flee from it, his terror fanned the flames, made them burn hotter. One minute he was soaring above the Wall, his eagle's eyes marking the movement of the men below. Then the flames turned his heart into a blackened cinder and sent his spirit screaming back into his own skin, and for a little while he'd gone mad." 

Quote

 

The idea that a warg spirit actively looks for its host is implied by Jojen’s teachings as well. He states: 

Quote

You have your eye closed tight whenever you’re awake, but as you drift off it flutters open and your soul seeks out its other half. 

So even in dreams when a warg is not consciously aware, his spirit actively seeks out its other half. This certainly suggests that a warg is compelled, perhaps even driven to finding a host – usually this will be the corresponding familiar animal but if it’s dead or otherwise unavailable (captured by another warg for instance, as Varamyr does with Haggon’s wolf), then the spirit will need an alternative.

 

When Ghost remains north of the Wall, Jon cannot sense him, but he does not start dreaming as another creature, and neither does Sansa, even though she has lost her wolf. Bran and Arya both have shown the ability to warg other creatures, but that is something each of them did - Bran sought out Hodor, Arya sought out a pair of eyes - and they both still dream as their wolves. Jojen is trying to teach Bran to open his third eye while he is awake, to remain as himself while also seeing the world through Summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eden-Mackenzie said:

The short answer is they die.

Yes, of course the warg dies when there's no familiar animal to warg into. The point is, if there is another familiar animal around, the warg's spirit can seek that out. Varamyr had a choice of three wolves. Haggon died weeping and alone. He only had the one wolf and that one had been ripped from him by Varamyr. So he dies. Orell is not said to have had any familiar besides his eagle but the likelihood that he warged into his eagle on death is high. Varamyr eventually takes over the bird and still feels Orell's strong emotions regarding Jon Snow. 
 

So the question still arises and is still valid - what happens to dying wargs who no longer have their familiar animal but recognize an opportunity to  latch onto another suitable host? This could be a different non-possessed animal or even a defenceless human. Varamyr clearly thinks he might have chosen other people besides Thistle. And when I say there might be criteria (perhaps some people are easier to penetrate than others), it's not off the top of my head. Note among those he considers is a boy kissed by fire. Catelyn too happens to be kissed by fire. She has auburn hair - just another expression for red hair. This is not proof but it's a parallel that may not be a coincidence. 

Regarding Jon and Ghost - they are separated by the Wall. The Wall is infused with magic. Is it not possible that this magical force might prevent a warg from sensing his familiar? The quote above suggests Jon is used to sensing Ghost's presence. This doesn't means he actively wargs him but it does indicate he subconsciously feels Ghost or seeks for him in a spiritual sense.  So as far as I am concerned, the case isn't closed and the possibility that a dying warg might seize another host can't just be settled by assuming they die and that's it. Varamyr's example certainly suggests other alternatives are possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Evolett said:

Yes, of course the warg dies when there's no familiar animal to warg into. The point is, if there is another familiar animal around, the warg's spirit can seek that out. Varamyr had a choice of three wolves. Haggon died weeping and alone. He only had the one wolf and that one had been ripped from him by Varamyr. So he dies. Orell is not said to have had any familiar besides his eagle but the likelihood that he warged into his eagle on death is high. Varamyr eventually takes over the bird and still feels Orell's strong emotions regarding Jon Snow. 

That was the question I was answering ;). I'm not disputing the existence of the second life, we have two examples of second life in the books: Orell in his eagle and Varamyr in One-Eye.

Quote

So the question still arises and is still valid - what happens to dying wargs who no longer have their familiar animal but recognize an opportunity to  latch onto another suitable host? This could be a different non-possessed animal or even a defenceless human. Varamyr clearly thinks he might have chosen other people besides Thistle. And when I say there might be criteria (perhaps some people are easier to penetrate than others), it's not off the top of my head. Note among those he considers is a boy kissed by fire. Catelyn too happens to be kissed by fire. She has auburn hair - just another expression for red hair. This is not proof but it's a parallel that may not be a coincidence. 

I think Varamyr shows us exactly what happens: unless you have already established a mental connection you are not likely to succeed. The amount of effort required to take over another's consciousness appears to be extraordinary, depending on the creature, and a person hovering near death does not have that sort of strength, or they would not be dying.  Note that as he is dying, Varamyr only has his wolves remaining to him; Haggon taught Varamyr dogs and wolves are the best animals to warg, as they are the most accepting.

In the books, we have seen exactly one example of a successfully warged human: Hodor. Hodor, who is simpleminded and not kissed by fire. At the moment of Varamyr's attack, Thistle is mad with fear, fleeing from the Others. Some people may be able to maintain full control of their mental faculties while running for their lives from ice zombies, but I would guess those people are few and far between. Even in her mentally compromised state, Thistle is able to throw off Varamyr's advances (which ultimately is good for Varamyr, as we know Thistle later joins the ranks of the Others).

Again, Varamyr appears to have considered taking over the bodies of people he believed would have the greatest chance of survival: "I should have taken one of them when I had the chance. One of the twins, or the big man with the scarred face, or the youth with the red hair." Twins could be reasonably expected to look after one another, two people working together usually have better chance of survival than one person working alone - tha pack survives after all. A big man with scars could be expected to be strong and well acquainted with fighting for survival and winning. And a youth with red hair is young, hopefully with a long life ahead of him, and being kissed by fire makes him lucky, increasing his chances of having that long life. We have zero indication Robb is aware of the "kissed by fire" status he and most of his family have attained. We also have zero indication of Robb's warging abilities. What we do know is Robb routinely ignores/discounts Grey Wind's opinions regarding the trustworthiness of certain individuals/situations, and that while Grey Wind joins in the fighting, he is doing so as Grey Wind, and not as Robb, as evidenced by Robb being actively involved in the fight.

Quote

Regarding Jon and Ghost - they are separated by the Wall. The Wall is infused with magic. Is it not possible that this magical force might prevent a warg from sensing his familiar? The quote above suggests Jon is used to sensing Ghost's presence. This doesn't means he actively wargs him but it does indicate he subconsciously feels Ghost or seeks for him in a spiritual sense.  So as far as I am concerned, the case isn't closed and the possibility that a dying warg might seize another host can't just be settled by assuming they die and that's it. Varamyr's example certainly suggests other alternatives are possible. 

Yes, I believe it is the Wall which prevented Jon and Ghost from maintaining their connection. My point in mentioning their separation was to show that while separated from Ghost, Jon felt no compulsion to reach out to other beings, while sleeping or awake.

Varamyr failed in his attempt at an alternative, he is living his second life as One-Eye, not as Thistle. Perhaps, maybe, a powerful and trained warg could take a brand new skin as they breathed their dying breath, provided their target was weak enough to be overcome by a dying mind, but there is nothing to suggest this is the situation with regards to Robb and Catelyn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This whole thread leads me to believe there could be tons of people walking around Westeros who are not who they appear to be.

Specific to Robb...and acknowledging this theory is insane and unlikely  -  he could also very well be the missing Raynald Westerling.  Ray released Grey Wind just before his death.  If Robb's consciousness attempted to overtake Grey Wind only to find him dead already, he could have jumped into his buddy instead.  

Regardless, I hope Raynald turns back up in the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2016 at 6:33 AM, Gwindor said:

Oh, come on! "Daario=Euron" theory has absolutely no evidence in the books, not a slightest hint that might push a reader to think this way. It is based entirely in fantasy.

This theory has some potential clues in the books, at the very least.

 

Yeah... I'm really surprised with all the outright denials here.

Remember that guy that posted the three gifs in the first page, "i went mindblown then hahalol then facepalm" or whatever? My reaction was pretty much the opposite. Honestly, I clicked on this thread thinking I was about to read a Nedbert type of joke thing, and by the end of the OP, I couldn't help thinking it made sense and I liked it.

I wouldn't say I'm sold like I am for some other theories, but the OP was brilliant, well written and OP himself went out of his way to say the usual explanation was still an option and he was just putting this out here. Well, anyway, it sure got me thinking and I think it definitely deserves a proper discussion (like some posts against it have brought forth, at least).

Just a few observations of my own:

- GGG, I get where you're coming from with the Brienne/Cat thing, but there is also room for some really, really strong and complex and... I dunno, "GRRMy" things to be written if that theory turns out to be true. Top of my head: you know all these predictions that the BwB is gonna kidnap/free Jeyne Westerling? Well...

- It's been mentioned already, but I'd like to emphasize this again: it is not clear when exactly Grey Wind was killed. So, even if we take everything Haggon said as gospel, if Grey Wind was dead dead when Robb got killed, he might have warged straight into Cat, completely unconsciously. It is obvious he was reaching out to Grey Wind, but what if he couldn't find him?

So there is no need for him to go from Grey Wind to Cat.

- I think it's also really important to remember we never had the PoV of someone being warged. We see what Bran feels when warging Hodor, and what Varamyr feels when warging Thistle, and of course that gives us a few hints as to how "the warged" feels at these times, but the words we read ultimately still came from "the warger". So I really wouldn't say what we read from Cat's last PoV is incompatible with the idea of it really being Robb possessing her... As the OP pointed out, though, it can definitely be read as something possessing her. And, as was already brought up, Cat might not feel as strongly about feeling Robb's mental presence as our other two warged humans did, and I really don't see how, things being what they are, she could have possibly understood what was going on and taken the time to think "oh hey my dying son is possessing me that's a little weird"

- I'm beginning to doubt this as so many of you seem so confident about this, but in my reading, it was always very obvious that it was meant to be ambiguous whether or not Robb actively skinchanged Grey Wind. Yes, we know he actually fought his battles in his human self, so that bit wasn't just him, but that scene with the Greatjon? All the rumors about him "riding" Grey Wind or turning into him and all? I dunno, to me it felt like exactly the kind of things people in-world say about skinchangers cause they don't get it.

I'm not saying I think Robb was a Bran-tier skinchanger, just that to me it was never clear he was in a Jon-like denial type of deal either. There's this SSM where GRRM says all the Stark kids have the gift, just some of them are better with it and some of them are more conscious about it. Well, we have Bran at one end of the spectrum, Sansa at the other, Arya's in between with her cat thing, Jon too, and I always thought it was meant to be a bit of mystery where exactly Rickon and Robb landed.

All this to say: we have no idea how good a warg Robb was, whether or not he realized what the ability was, therefore I see no reason to assume warging somebody (who is obviously not in her best mental state at that moment) is "too hard" for him. Especially since, surely, his bond with his mother can make this easier than the two other cases of human warging we witness.

Edited by Roddy Darwin
tapatalk messed up my quoting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Roddy Darwin said:

- I'm beginning to doubt this as so many of you seem so confident about this, but in my reading, it was always very obvious that it was meant to be ambiguous whether or not Robb actively skinchanged Grey Wind. Yes, we know he actually fought his battles in his human self, so that bit wasn't just him, but that scene with the Greatjon? All the rumors about him "riding" Grey Wind or turning into him and all? I dunno, to me it felt like exactly the kind of things people in-world say about skinchangers cause they don't get it.

I'm not saying I think Robb was a Bran-tier skinchanger, just that to me it was never clear he was in a Jon-like denial type of deal either. There's this SSM where GRRM says all the Stark kids have the gift, just some of them are better with it and some of them are more conscious about it. Well, we have Bran at one end of the spectrum, Sansa at the other, Arya's in between with her cat thing, Jon too, and I always thought it was meant to be a bit of mystery where exactly Rickon and Robb landed.

All this to say: we have no idea how good a warg Robb was, whether or not he realized what the ability was, therefore I see no reason to assume warging somebody (who is obviously not in her best mental state at that moment) is "too hard" for him. Especially since, surely, his bond with his mother can make this easier than the two other cases of human warging we witness.

When Tyrion returns to Winterfell, the direwolves are less than thrilled to see him, and appear to be prepared to attack. Robb and Bran call off Grey Wind and Summer, but Shaggydog continues to growl at and move towards Tyrion. It's only when Bran calls out to Rickon and Rickon "remembers himself" and calls off Shaggydog. I've always taken this as an example of Rickon warging Shaggydog, since Rickon does not appear to be aware of what is going on around him, just as when Bran wargs Summer while awake. 

This is in contrast to the Greatjon-Grey Wind situation, wherein Robb gave a command and Grey Wind attacked instantaneously. Based on the limited interactions we have seen, Robb's relationship with Grey Wind seems to be more based on Robb training Grey Wind to respond to commands, rather than warging. This is not to say Robb never wargs Grey Wind, but I just am not sure we have seen it happen. We do know all the wolves adopted their owners' personalities, even Lady and Nymeria, which I think is due to the Starks' warging abilities. 

I do agree with you that the OP was very well-written and actually thought-provoking, which was a lovely change, but at the end of the day I personally think the textual evidence for is outweighed by the textual evidence against. Also, if no one is who they say they are, what is the point? Cat as Lady Stoneheart seeking to avenge her children has more meaning than Robb looking to avenge himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because the Freys slit Robbs throat and then didn't glue grey winds head to his neck. How would we have all been so blind 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When Tyrion returns to Winterfell, the direwolves are less than thrilled to see him, and appear to be prepared to attack. Robb and Bran call off Grey Wind and Summer, but Shaggydog continues to growl at and move towards Tyrion. It's only when Bran calls out to Rickon and Rickon "remembers himself" and calls off Shaggydog. I've always taken this as an example of Rickon warging Shaggydog, since Rickon does not appear to be aware of what is going on around him, just as when Bran wargs Summer while awake. 

This is in contrast to the Greatjon-Grey Wind situation, wherein Robb gave a command and Grey Wind attacked instantaneously. Based on the limited interactions we have seen, Robb's relationship with Grey Wind seems to be more based on Robb training Grey Wind to respond to commands, rather than warging. This is not to say Robb never wargs Grey Wind, but I just am not sure we have seen it happen. We do know all the wolves adopted their owners' personalities, even Lady and Nymeria, which I think is due to the Starks' warging abilities. 

I do agree with you that the OP was very well-written and actually thought-provoking, which was a lovely change, but at the end of the day I personally think the textual evidence for is outweighed by the textual evidence against. Also, if no one is who they say they are, what is the point? Cat as Lady Stoneheart seeking to avenge her children has more meaning than Robb looking to avenge himself.

Excellent point about Rickon, I'd never thought about the Tyrion attack scene as him actively skinchanging.

Imo, there is still room for interpretation in the Greatjon scene though:

Yet Robb only said a quiet word, and in a snarl and the blink of an eye Lord Umber was on his back, his sword spinning on the floor three feet away and his hand dripping blood where Grey Wind had bitten off two fingers. "My lord father taught me that it was death to bare steel against your liege lord," Robb said, "but doubtless you only meant to cut my meat." Bran's bowels went to water as the Greatjon struggled to rise, sucking at the red stumps of fingers … but then, astonishingly, the huge man laughed. "Your meat," he roared, "is bloody tough."

It obviously happens very fast, but to me it reads as Robb saying a quiet word, THEN Grey Wind does his thing. All eyes were probably on the wolf at this time, including Bran's, and I don't think it would look strange if Robb himself went all passive for these few seconds.

Only once the deed is done does he speak again - if anything, if it really was Robb actively and consciously slipping into Grey Wind's skin here, the fact that he goes from one body to the other and then back in such quick succession proves that he is already a very talented warg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Roddy Darwin said:

Excellent point about Rickon, I'd never thought about the Tyrion attack scene as him actively skinchanging.

Imo, there is still room for interpretation in the Greatjon scene though:

Yet Robb only said a quiet word, and in a snarl and the blink of an eye Lord Umber was on his back, his sword spinning on the floor three feet away and his hand dripping blood where Grey Wind had bitten off two fingers. "My lord father taught me that it was death to bare steel against your liege lord," Robb said, "but doubtless you only meant to cut my meat." Bran's bowels went to water as the Greatjon struggled to rise, sucking at the red stumps of fingers … but then, astonishingly, the huge man laughed. "Your meat," he roared, "is bloody tough."

It obviously happens very fast, but to me it reads as Robb saying a quiet word, THEN Grey Wind does his thing. All eyes were probably on the wolf at this time, including Bran's, and I don't think it would look strange if Robb himself went all passive for these few seconds.

Only once the deed is done does he speak again - if anything, if it really was Robb actively and consciously slipping into Grey Wind's skin here, the fact that he goes from one body to the other and then back in such quick succession proves that he is already a very talented warg.

It is definitely possible that Robb warged Grey Wind in that instant, but I personally don't think that is what happened. I know several people with trained German Shepdherds or Dobermans, and to me that scene reads exactly the same as when those dogs are given commands, they respond instantly.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, let me sincerely thank all the recent commenters. Seems like the discussion is finally turning to a constructive phase. :)

Concerning Robb's warging abilities. While I was reading Lady Evolett's essay on warging (a very profound piece of work, if perhaps difficult to verify at some points due to scarcity of information we have), I've noticed a great emphasis put onto the so called 'abominations' and the effect their employment have on a skinchanger's abilities, particularly, eating human flesh (and, maybe especially) heart while in wolf. Then I remembered a little exchange between Catelyn and Martyn Rivers from ACOK, Catelyn V:

Quote

Rivers lowered his voice. "There's some say that after the battle, the king cut out Stafford Lannister's heart and fed it to the wolf."

"I would not believe such tales," Catelyn said sharply. "My son is no savage."

"As you say, my lady."

"Yeah, sure!" a reader thinks, along with Catelyn, on their first read (on the second also, maybe more, it was three times in my case :) ), "our valiant King in the North acting like a savage. Seriously, the tales those stupid, ignorant, superstitious people spread!" Now, however, I am convinced those rumors actually mean something.

Is Robb a savage? That's rather irrelevant. Robb is a show-off. That unsheathed sword while talking to Tyrion in Winterfell and to Cleos Frey in Riverrun. Remember how he was on one occasion sharply ridiculed by ser Rodrik Cassel for unsheathing a sword with no intention to immediately use it. After all, he's fifteen or sixteen, freshly made King, on a vengeance mission of paramount importance - showing off just fits in here naturally. And that incident with Stafford's heart happens in the West, when Catelyn is not nearby, nor is ser Rodrik, nor actually any real authority figure for Robb. Only his bannermen are present. Rickard Karstark. The Greatjon. The Blackfish. Wouldn't they like such a show? Wouldn't Robb know they'd be impressed? Would he be able to resist such a temptation with no one nearby to restrict him?

Robb's relationship with Grey Wind is changed upon his return to Riverrun. Ostensibly, that is because the wolf scares his wife, and generally behaves unfriendly towards the Spicers. But there could be an additional reason. Like, their connection strengthened during the western campaign, and Robb became scared of what he was becoming. Note also, that unlike Bran he had no mentor to explain what was happening. All Robb knows is Summer and Shaggydog seemingly failed to save Bran and Rickon (like they were kind of expected to), and his own wolf influences him in a creepy way. In fact, such changes in Robb's opinion seem most likely to me:

1. Summer saved Bran, Grey Wind helped me negotiate with the Greatjon. Thank gods we have those wolves! Gotta make a constant good use of my own wolf.

2. Shit, this is scary. What am I becoming? What if anyone knows I am such a monstrosity? Still, Summer saved Bran, there's a reason we have those wolves, we need them.

3. Bran and Rickon dead... The wolves failed... And Grey Wind scares me even more. DO we need them??

Note also, that both Bran and Arya consumed human flesh, if only in a wolf dream in the latter case. With Varamyr's emphasis on 'abomination', I am pretty sure this is to be expected a significant narrative theme.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we actually know almost nothing about Robb's warging abilities. He has no POVs, we never saw him first-hand in the West, and if he really made some progress in warging, and then got scared of it and tried to shut it (like Jon, btw), then there's actually no way anyone could know: he wouldn't talk about it to anybody, including (and maybe especially) his mother.

Now, as to narrative relevance.

To those of you saying that Catelyn coming back from the dead to avenge her children makes more narrative sense than Robb coming back from the dead to avenge himself, I'd say you're not doing your best trying to imagine the consequences :) 

See, it's not like Robb wakes up in Catelyn's body and goes "Woohoo, I live once more! Now I've got some unfinished business, let's go kill some Freys." It is a soul which has experienced tremendous, unimaginable horrors: murder of himself and his wolf (it is, btw, correct that we don't know the exact sequence of events, so Robb might or might not have been able to warg into Grey Wind during the slaughter at all), the shock of finding himself struggling with his mother for control over her body (I do now firmly believe in the later addition to my theory, that it was Robb's consciousness that was controlling Catelyn's hands and clawing at her face in terror and confusion), then another murder (btw, in this case we could perhaps call UnCat/Robb 'a child of three deaths', a possible reference to Dany's visions in THotU, but I'm adding that just as an offhand remark), and then resurrection in the same horrendous condition, in the same alien body, now terribly damaged and starting to decay, and maybe still sharing it with his mother's consciousness. It is not about a second chance for revenge. It is about the loss of identity, definitely an important narrative theme in ASoIaF, and if we assume my theory true, for a moment, than that's about as far as the loss of identity gets.

When, for example, Jaime loses his sword hand, he has a very serious identity crisis. "I was that hand." Yet, horrible as his loss is, he still has the rest of his body, his name, his social status. Yes, he wonders at the question who he is, but at least he's still human. But who is Robb, if he's stuck in the body of his dead mother? Indeed, what is he? Most importantly, what could possibly be the purpose of existence of such a creature? Humans have difficulties figuring out their own purpose, and they've had hundreds of generations to contemplate on the subject. But Robb's condition actually defies some of the most basic knowledge about the world. This cannot be, this should not be, yet it is.

Forgive me, my friends, but this is anything but absence of narrative purpose. :) 

Frankly (but that's just an IMHO), I always found Catelyn's resurrection somewhat disappointing. I don't actually think it is that much better than Gandalf's resurrection, as GRRM himself seems to think. In a way, it is even somewhat cheaper.

When an author breaks the rule that what is dead, stays dead, he'd better do it for a damn good narrative reason. Elsewise, is Lysa dead? Is Maester Aemon? Rhaegar? Renly? Tywin? Joffrey? Balon? The Old Bear? Ser Rodrik? The list goes on and on.

Now, I realize that many people here are big fans of Catelyn, and positively rejoice at the idea that she can finally get vengeance or justice or her daughters back or something similar. But, attachment to characters aside, that makes a pretty lame narrative. Resurrect a relatively random character just so she could have her vengeance. I do feel a certain urge to put the word 'wishful' in here somewhere :) 

But, if instead of "Go Cat!" we focus on the questions of identity and purpose of existence of such a creature, then that makes a much stronger narrative, and definitely more GRRM-style. And the creature which is a dead man's soul occupying a dead body of his dead mother, or sharing it with her seems much more interesting to explore in terms of identity, than 'just' a resurrected dead woman.

Edited by Gwindor
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gwindor said:

But, if instead of "Go Cat!" we focus on the questions of identity and purpose of existence of such a creature, then that makes a much stronger narrative, and definitely more GRRM-style. And the creature which is a dead man's soul occupying a dead body of his dead mother, or sharing it with her seems much more interesting to explore in terms of identity, than 'just' a resurrected dead woman.

Thank you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now