Macgregor of the North

Re-opening an old can of worms on an Old Nan topic for fresh analysis. (Novella content).

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Posted (edited)

Quick reminder at the start, I am personally not sold on this but every time I return to the topic I can't seem to shoot it down. 

Recently I took a wee detour from my usual cycle of reading the main Novels and delved into the world of the Novellas again and re read the Mystery Knight. 

My interest in a topic I've spent some time on in the past has been reignited so here I am. I will lay out some questions, quotes, thoughts and theories to see if I can get to some kind of clear ground on this matter and see if there really is some decent possibility that what I have speculated on in the past, may well indeed be true.

Like my thread on it last year, this is mainly  for shits and gigs. A bit of good fun, and because I like researching the books. I find the idea of this possibility quite funny too so I'll launch right in. 

Is Old Nan the Lord Walder Freys older sister, the sexually adventurous young lass who was married off to Lord Ambrose Butterwell after her younger brother caught her having sex with the kitchen scullion at the Twins. 

Timeframes & Timelines

First let's match up years. Always a good place to start. In 211AC when the Frey daughter marries Lord Butterwell she is 15 years old. This places her birth likely in 196AC. If this girl is indeed Old Nan that would mean Nan is now like 104 years old. That is actually plausible since Aemon was born in 198AC and lived until 300AC, and means that in regards to years and age we have a match that can not really be disputed too much.

"No one really knew how old she was, but his father said she'd been called Old Nan even when he was a boy. She was the oldest person in Winterfell for certain, maybe the oldest person in the Seven Kingdoms."

Next timeframe I will look at is Nans arrival at Winterfell. In two very extensive timeline pieces I did on the Stark family tree from the WOIAF book, I found that the possibility that the death of Willam Starks son Brandon's mother happening around the time Dunk and Egg head to Winterfell is actually quite high. The earlier part of the 210's is Infact a very plausible time for this to happen. If we remember that the Great Spring sickness had killed thousands in the realm not long before, then its worth keeping this in mind when we think that there may have been a lower number of available wet nurses to call on in the North at that time. Which opens up the possibilities even further that a lactating young woman from the South could have filled the role and been viewed as a godsend at the time. 

Questions and Queries 

A few questions on what happened concerning this young Frey girl in 211AC. She was damaged goods, with no Maidenhead intact and passed on to old Lord Butterwell, they were wedded and bedded before the treasons came to light at Whitewalls. What became of the Frey daughter next then?. If we analyse the text the answers may be there. 

When we learn of Ambrose Butterwells fate, we also learn a deal of what's to happen with his young wife. Ambrose is bleating away to Bloodraven on his knees while the girls father, Lord Frey is sitting in the same company. Lord Frey is not in the same hot water as Lord Ambrose evidently but it seems he is more than willing to leave his daughter to the same fate as Butterwell and makes no effort to take her back to the Twins. It seems he sees her as property of Ambrose Butterwell now and no longer part of House Frey. Rightly so I suppose, since they were married and bedded to seal it. 

"Egg stood before him, freshly bathed and garbed in princely raiment, as would befit a nephew of the king. Nearby, Lord Frey was seated in a camp chair with a cup of wine to hand and his hideous little heir squirming in his lap. Lord Butterwell was there as well… on his knees, pale-faced and shaking.

"Treason is no less vile because the traitor proves a craven," Lord Rivers was saying. "I have heard your bleatings, Lord Ambrose, and I believe one word in ten. On that account I will allow you to retain a tenth part of your fortune. You may keep your wife as well. I wish you joy of her."

"And Whitewalls?" asked Butterwell with quavering voice.

"Forfeit to the Iron Throne. I mean to pull it down stone by stone and sow the ground that it stands upon with salt. In twenty years, no one will remember it existed. Old fools and young malcontents still make pilgrimages to the Redgrass Field to plant flowers on the spot where Daemon Blackfyre fell. I will not suffer Whitewalls to become another monument to the Black Dragon." He waved a pale hand. "Now scurry away, roach."

"The Hand is kind." Butterwell stumbled off, so blind with grief that he did not even seem to recognize Dunk as he passed.

"You have my leave to go as well, Lord Frey," Rivers commanded. "We will speak again later."

"As my lord commands." Frey led his son from the pavilion.

Only then did the King's Hand turn to Dunk."

Ok so, Lord Frey departs with his son  leaving an old done Ambrose Butterwell who only has a tenth of his fortune left and no Castle. He keeps his young wife who is no longer wanted as part of House Frey it seems. 

The Butterwell line is dead now by the looks of things with no names present in the current times in the books so I'm not so sure if the Frey daughter and Ambrose Butterwell settled down to a happy family life and had many sons and continued the Butterwell line going. 

What is a possibility that happened though is that Lady Butterwell, not having any ties to House Frey anymore apart from her blood, which her father seems to care nothing at all for, decides that she no longer wishes to be with an old done man with no Castle, a broken reputation, and a fraction of his wealth. 

Mayhaps this feisty young lass wants adventures and to be in the company of the big Knight Ser Duncan. We have already saw that Dunk got aroused holding her half naked at the bedding and im sure she could feel the tension between them and noticed big Dunks arousal, and also, she has had her eye on Dunk from then on, flirting cheekily with him before his tilt with Ser Uthor.

"She looked hot, bored, and uncomfortable, but when she saw Dunk, she pushed out her chest in a way that turned him red beneath his helm. He dipped his lance to her and her lord husband. Ser Uthor did the same. Butterwell wished them both a good tilt. His wife stuck out her tongue."

So maybe the lass is drawn to Dunk now and wishes to join his wee company for adventure. 

A few things could happen here.

She could petition to the Royal Hand and maybe even Egg that she wants the marriage scrapped, which is a possibility, which leaves her free to go her own way and latch on to Dunk and Egg when they head North to Winterfell. 

Or, she could simply sneak off and leave Ambrose, and make her own way after Dunk and Egg while they head North and attach herself to them, making such a nuisance of herself, or win them over in sympathy to her plight that they can not just turn her away and she becomes a part of their party in the journey North. 

Or, she can leave Ambrose and make for the Twins begging leave of her father to be let back in to the Twins and be a part of House Frey again. If her father turns her away and puts her out, she may well still encounter Dunk and Egg and attach herself to their company as they will be headed in the direction of the Twins as they head North. 

There are scenarios here for certain that could see young Lady Butterwell wish to become part of Dunk and Eggs party and it actually happen. This young woman may well find herself wishing for a fresh anonymous start, since she is no longer wanted as part of House Frey and possibly does not wish to be a part of House Butterwell. She may well just end up a homeless girl with no personal allegiance to anyone. 

More questions and queries.

Let's proceed under assumption that this girl is who we are theorising she is for now. For fun.

What I want to look into next is how this lass finds herself in the position of being a lactating young mother and in the fortunate position of being able to act as wet nurse for a Stark of Winterfells son. If the girl is Nan, we know she's fertile so that's solved as we know Nan had sons and also daughters. What we would need to determine is who placed a baby in her belly to set her on the course to being in a suitable position (lactating) to perform this service for House Stark when she arrived in the North. 

There are two culprits. Lord Ambrose Butterwell at the bedding, since we know he can produce children aplenty there's no issue there, and he could have easily impregnated his young bride on their wedding night. 

Or Dunk himself perhaps. 

Let's say she was impregnated by Ambrose. She may not know she is pregnant until into the journey North and it may come as a sudden surprise to her, and also Dunk and Egg. So as the party travels through the North nearing Winterfell and hears of the dire need of House Stark for a lactating mother for baby Brandon, this may end up being fortunate timing for all involved. We must again remember that the Great spring sickness had killed tens of thousands in all regions save the Vale and Dorne not long before, so it may not have been so easy to find a wet nurse in the North as it usually would have. 

A question arises now that possibly @The Weirwoods Eyes  can help me with. If the girl has been lactating already for a while in her pregnancy (I know some mothers can begin quite early) could she begin feeding baby Brandon while still pregnant with her own child?. I'm not too clued up on that matter but i can't see why not really because mothers have premature babies that they nurse don't they?. 

I'll await that answer but go right ahead and speculate on Dunk being the father. If Ambrose for whatever reason could not place a baby in his young wife's belly then perhaps Dunk himself has the honour. Maybe the lass takes a bigger shine to him than she already has early in the journey and they share some time together which sees Dunk get some action. We know he had no problem getting aroused carrying her to the bedchamber half naked at the bedding, and that she had been flirting with him before the tilt so why not?. 

This could be what leads them to some kind of romantic involvement which ends when Dunk and Egg have to take their leave from Winterfell, while Nan gets to stay on in service to the Starks and Dunk and Nan share that kiss in front of the Weirwood tree. Providing that is definitely them, which there is still a high chance it is. Let's leave that there for now. 


If Nan is from the South then why does she seem so Northern and have a wealth of information about the North.

First up, if Nan has been staying with the Starks since the 210's and came there basically a nobody looking for a fresh start, then becoming like a Northerner wouldn't have actually taken that long really. Theon had been at Winterfell for like ten years and his father instantly thought he seemed too Northern. Nan will have lived there for over 80 years. 

And it's not just Northern knowledge Nan holds. She knows about the Red Keep in detail, the Kingsguard and all the names of the famous older ones, Florian the fool, Dragons, she seems to associate them with Comets. She has extensive knowledge on Harrenhal also. She tells of its building and how they put blood in the mortar, how there are fiery spirits still roaming the castle and tells of its destruction in Dragonflame in great detail to the Stark kids. 
She has knowledge of the Ironborn and Dagmer, a tale about Knights and their ladies sleeping in a single bed with a blade between them for honors sake, and the titan of Braavos. 

Basically, Nan is more like a general knowledge type of gal. Her Knowledge isn't just on one region specifically so I'm not so confident we can use her knowledge of all things Northern as a hint that she was born in the North. Infact, it may even be looked on as strange that a girl born of the North would know so much about things in places out with the North, so in conclusion, all her Northern Knowledge she has could simply be because she has lived in the North for over 80 years and gathered so many stories that she is now the ultimate story teller. 

I think we have just about covered everything really. There is the curious naming of her Great Grandson. The Stable boy who goes by the name of Hodor, as we all know, was given the name Walder upon his birth. Anybody who sees that name on page in ASOIAF thinks of the Freys at some stage and it's certainly a thought provoking choice for a name by GRRM. 

Did Hodors mother learn of her Frey heritage somehow and hope to curry favour with Lord Walder? We know that happens even in the times we are reading about now as per Walder himself. 

" heh, I don't recall … he might have been another Walder, they're always naming them Walder so I'll favor them,"

I suppose we can't even be certain that Hodor was born at Winterfell. Maybe he wasn't and was sent there to live with his Great grandmother?. Many possibilities. 

I think I am done here. I'll part by saying that I'm not sold on this but upon in depth analysis, it's really not actually that easy to debunk if I'm honest. And as always, it's fun to research the books. 

Edited by Macgregor of the North

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22 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Ok so, Lord Frey departs with his son  leaving an old done Ambrose Butterwell who only has a tenth of his fortune left and no Castle. He keeps his young wife who is no longer wanted as part of House Frey it seems. 

The Butterwell line is dead now by the looks of things with no names present in the current times in the books so I'm not so sure if the Frey daughter and Ambrose Butterwell settled down to a happy family life and had many sons and continued the Butterwell line going. 

What is a possibility that happened though is that Lady Butterwell, not having any ties to House Frey anymore apart from her blood, which her father seems to care nothing at all for, decides that she no longer wishes to be with an old done man with no Castle, a broken reputation, and a fraction of his wealth.

 

The Butterwells build Whitewalls only 40 years before when Ambrose grandfather was hand of the king, so we can savely assume they had an other castle before Whitewalls. Ambrose would still have this castle together with 1/10 of his wealth (since he was very rich that means he still has an reasonable amount of money) he would still be a Lord but a minor one instead of an important one (hence no mention of them in the main series). Also a wive leaving her husband is not that easy, so here running off is not very plausible.

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10 minutes ago, direpupy said:

The Butterwells build Whitewalls only 40 years before when Ambrose grandfather was hand of the king, so we can savely assume they had an other castle before Whitewalls. Ambrose would still have this castle together with 1/10 of his wealth (since he was very rich that means he still has an reasonable amount of money) he would still be a Lord but a minor one instead of an important one (hence no mention of them in the main series). Also a wive leaving her husband is not that easy, so here running off is not very plausible.

Of course I see where your coming from but tell me, if the girl no longer wanted to be part of the marriage and took her plight to Dunk and Egg, who could then produce the ring from his boot, or even call on Bloodraven to step in, what is Ambrose seriously going to do? As the text shows he is done, finished and petrified of losing his head. What fight would he put up, or even be able to put up?. I think he would give her up with no fight and let her go personally. 

Also, if the girl just runs off from him, catching up to Dunk and Egg, never to be seen again how would he ever know what happened to her? And In his current state what great search party could he muster with any great enthusiasm?. I personally think he would just view it as more bad luck and retire to whatever holdings he has left to sulk and let the Butterwell name die with him, which it seems to have done. 

I have thought long and hard on this and I don't see any great obstacle here in regards to the girl getting an out if she wants it.

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1 hour ago, direpupy said:

 Also a wive leaving her husband is not that easy, so here running off is not very plausible.

Had a wee think to myself on the Direpup and I don't really agree with you. 

This is how easy things are done or undone in Westeros by those who are in power, whether they are legitimately in power or no. 

The Lannisters decide to make Roose warden of the North and legitimise his bastard. They put the papers down in front of a young boy born of incest, he scribbles, it's done. 

Stannis, who is not even ruling from the Iron throne in KL, simply decides he could remove Jon's bastard tag and raise him high. If Jon said the word, it's done. 

Bloodraven himself decided whether or not Ambrose Butterwell got to keep his wife. If he decided otherwise, marriage is over. If we then find out later the girl no longer wanted to be part of the marriage, all she needs to do is get Dunk and Egg onside with her plight and the mere mention of Bloodraven and the marriage is done. Ambrose would stand down easily. Who's he gonna run to? The crown? Egg is nephew to the King, Bloodraven is the Hand and can decide Ambroses fate on a whim.

Basically, the girl wants out, she gets out. 

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1 hour ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Of course I see where your coming from but tell me, if the girl no longer wanted to be part of the marriage and took her plight to Dunk and Egg, who could then produce the ring from his boot, or even call on Bloodraven to step in, what is Ambrose seriously going to do? As the text shows he is done, finished and petrified of losing his head. What fight would he put up, or even be able to put up?. I think he would give her up with no fight and let her go personally. 

Also, if the girl just runs off from him, catching up to Dunk and Egg, never to be seen again how would he ever know what happened to her? And In his current state what great search party could he muster with any great enthusiasm?. I personally think he would just view it as more bad luck and retire to whatever holdings he has left to sulk and let the Butterwell name die with him, which it seems to have done. 

I have thought long and hard on this and I don't see any great obstacle here in regards to the girl getting an out if she wants it.

In a society where a woman is more or less the property of her husband, this is simply not going to happen. Also why would Dunk and Egg even want to help her?

Not to mention that even if they did want to help her, setting aside a consumated marrige is not an easy thing, even an unconsumated marriage can only be set aside by the High Septon or a Council of the Most Devout. I personnaly think someone like Bloodraven is not even going to try thats why he lets him keep her because taking her from him is more trouble then its worth.

Sorry but i honestly think your theory is based mostly on wishfull thinking.

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2 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Basically, the girl wants out, she gets out. 

You posted this as i whas typing so i did not include this in the post but my point stands i do not think she has a say, and neither Bloodraven nor Dunk and Egg have a reason to help her.

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Just now, direpupy said:

In a society where a woman is more or less the property of her husband, this is simply not going to happen. Also why would Dunk and Egg even want to help her?

Not to mention that even if they did want to help her, setting aside a consumated marrige is not an easy thing, even an unconsumated marriage can only be set aside by the High Septon or a Council of the Most Devout. I personnaly think someone like Bloodraven is not even going to try thats why he lets him keep her because taking her from him is more trouble then its worth.

Sorry but i honestly think your theory is based mostly on wishfull thinking.

This isn't my theory and ive already said im not personally sold on it so don't presume that "my theory is wishful thinking thank you".

Bloodraven himself tells Ambrose that he may keep his wife. This is clearly showing us that if Bloodraven had decided that a Blackfyre supporter guilty of treason wasn't getting to keep his wife then he wasn't, and the decision was Bloodravens. Ambrose could do nothing about it at all. If he protested BR could simply chop his head of is he desired. Whos to stop him?. 

I think you are overlooking all this because you don't believe the theory, which is cool with me but don't attempt to debunk with weak evidence.

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4 minutes ago, direpupy said:

You posted this as i whas typing so i did not include this in the post but my point stands i do not think she has a say, and neither Bloodraven nor Dunk and Egg have a reason to help her.

Dunk and Egg are people of the people and suckers for helping people, and Dunk is a sucker for the ladies bigtime. If she runs to them wanting out, and they decide to help her. She gets out. Butterwell is petrified of Egg enough to let the girl go on Eggs Royal status alone I think, but if they mention Bloodraven Ambrose is likely to throw some gold in and wish the girl well on her travels haha.

Seriously, I see this part of the theory one of the easiest parts to believe.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

This isn't my theory and ive already said im not personally sold on it so don't presume that "my theory is wishful thinking thank you".

Bloodraven himself tells Ambrose that he may keep his wife. This is clearly showing us that if Bloodraven had decided that a Blackfyre supporter guilty of treason wasn't getting to keep his wife then he wasn't, and the decision was Bloodravens. Ambrose could do nothing about it at all. If he protested BR could simply chop his head of is he desired. Whos to stop him?. 

I think you are overlooking all this because you don't believe the theory, which is cool with me but don't attempt to debunk with weak evidence.

It was not meant insulting i gave my personal opinion on the theory so please keep your unwarranted butt-hurt to yourself. As i said the reason he lets him keep his wive is because in order to take her he has to go trough the faith and thats more trouble then its worth.

That the Faith is they only one who can set aside a consummated marrige is well established in the books, Bloodraven's remark on letting him keep his wive does not change that.

As to overlooking how about you overlooking that neither Bloodraven nore Dunk and Egg have a reason to help her.

I did not give weak evidence the theory is weak.

10 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Dunk and Egg are people of the people and suckers for helping people, and Dunk is a sucker for the ladies bigtime. If she runs to them wanting out, and they decide to help her. She gets out. Butterwell is petrified of Egg enough to let the girl go on Eggs Royal status alone I think, but if they mention Bloodraven Ambrose is likely to throw some gold in and wish the girl well on her travels haha.

Seriously, I see this part of the theory one of the easiest parts to believe.

Wanting to help maybe , im not sold on that. But the main problem is can they i think your overlooking the fact that in a medieval society taking someone's wive is a crime.

And you are assuming she want to give up on her noble status, even if he lost a lot of wealth and land Ambrose can still give her a good live, wearase with Dunk and Egg she is just a girl living off of the charity of others. She is use to the comforts of the Twins why would she give up the live of a noble lady to roam the countryside.

Edited by direpupy

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There's an additional variable that could make both of you right: if Lord Butterwell dies soon after the events of the story. "Lady Frey," as she is referred to in the Wiki might then decide to look for a new home or a way to support herself.

There is a motif that I think is overdue for analysis that could offer some clues: dairy. Lord Butterwell's family makes most of its money from dairy cows. @MotN, I think this is a clue that Butterwell's wife might choose to become a wet nurse when (if) she needs to find a way to support herself (and a new baby), so two points for Gryffindor.

The dairy motif might also tie into the childhood of Dany and Viserys, who were under the protection of Lord Darry when they escaped Westeros. But dairy also includes eggs: there is obviously a dragon egg that is central to the plot of this novella, and another thread (somewhere - sorry, can't remember where) laid out the probability that Whitewalls itself is a symbolic egg. (I had forgotten the detail that Bloodraven is going to crack it AND salt this egg. I think we later see the Kindly Man eating an egg with salt, and I have always thought of him as a possible Bloodraven parallel.)

For the direwolf re-read, I just re-read the chapter where Catelyn and Brienne talk about the similarity between knights dying in combat and women dying in childbirth - except no one writes songs about women who die in childbirth, Brienne points out. There is a lot in that chapter about bastards and how their fathers treat them, as well as a hint that Brienne might have a younger half-sibling born to a traveling singer who slept with her father. This is still unclear in my mind, but I think it all ties into the "nipples on a breast plate" saying that comes up repeatedly in the books. Brienne is a woman in armor. (She is also a descendant of Dunk.) Babies really do need breast milk, and male knights can't give it to them. So nipples really would be useful, even though Westeros people use this saying to mean that something is completely useless. If we can sort out this whole set of symbols around milk brothers, wet nurses, nipples on a breast plate, skin as white as milk, etc. then I think we might be able to understand who the wet nurse "knights" are, and what their role is in protecting children. (I think the character Nurse, who works for the noble Yezzen is also part of the wet nurse motif, and there are several metaphorical references to cows in connection with Ilyrio.)

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42 minutes ago, direpupy said:

As i said the reason he lets him keep his wive is because in order to take her he has to go trough the faith and thats more trouble then its worth.

Prove that please. Prove to me that Bloodraven lets him keep his wife for that reason, as it seems you plucked that reason out of thin air, and don't quote a separate instance that involves the high septon, just use this scenario with Bloodraven and Ambrose. With a weak King on the throne Bloodraven is basically at the top of the tree in Westeros. He is the Kings hand and in the Kings trust to dispense justice around the realm without needing to run to the King for any permission on any matter. He has the power of the King to do as he sees fit and he lets Ambrose keep his wife because he decides to let her, the text shows that, not for any other reason. He doesn't once mention how much of a nuisance it would be to take the case to the high septon. Ambrose is caught up in a Blackfyre plot to overthrow the crown, if Ambrose said that he wished his case to be brought to the high septon, his head would have rolled on the floor, its that simple.

And lets say Bloodraven even entertained the idea, all he needs to say to Ambrose is something like this, if you force me to take this to the High septon your head will roll for being a traitor to the realm. Seriously, Ambrose will let the girl go if she wants. A man whos head is going to roll for treason will never go against the crown, lest he finds he can no longer enjoy said wife with no head on his shoulders.

The man is finished. If the girl wants away all she needs to do is act on that impulse and there are very easy ways out of that marriage. Including simply running away so the man never sees her again, ever.

54 minutes ago, direpupy said:

Wanting to help maybe , im not sold on that.

Dunk and Eggs Novellas are massively about helping people, its what they do. If the girl went to them for aid, and they wanted to help her, which its very possible they would, she could be taken out that marriage without the need for a high septon since the husband is a Blackfyre supporter accused of treason. Ambrose would not even request the case be taken to the high septon out of fear.

56 minutes ago, direpupy said:

i think your overlooking the fact that in a medieval society taking someone's wive is a crime.

Hardly, im using the book text to show that it was Bloodravens decision to let him keep his wife. And a crime against who? The crown? a bigger crime than treason and supporting a Blackfyre rebellion?. The High septon does not come into this, Bloodraven makes his own rules, we saw that when he had the last Blackfyre pretender beheaded. The high septon would not even come into it in this scenario, Bloodraven made that decision because he could.

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12 minutes ago, Seams said:

If we can sort out this whole set of symbols around milk brothers, wet nurses, nipples on a breast plate, skin as white as milk, etc. then I think we might be able to understand who the wet nurse "knights" are, and what their role is in protecting children.

My immediate word association is Craster's sons... the brothers... coming to claim the new born babies, protecting the CotF.

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Posted (edited)

44 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Prove that please. Prove to me that Bloodraven lets him keep his wife for that reason, as it seems you plucked that reason out of thin air, and don't quote a separate instance that involves the high septon, just use this scenario with Bloodraven and Ambrose. With a weak King on the throne Bloodraven is basically at the top of the tree in Westeros.

And this is where you show that the theory is weak. If we can not use evidence from al the books but just the novela's then yes it works, but if you take the fact that both Littlefinger and Tyrion state in the main series that in order to annulle a marriage performed by the faith you have to either go tru the High Septon or a council of the Faith it falls apart.

And you do not answer the question on why she would give up the life of a noble lady for a life on the road with Dunk and Egg, it would make more sence that she would go to Bloodraven and ask him to help her convince the Faith to annulle her marriage to a traitor and then ask the king for asylum at court (or in this case Bloodraven since you have to go tru him to get to the king).

44 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Dunk and Eggs Novellas are massively about helping people, its what they do. If the girl went to them for aid, and they wanted to help her, which its very possible they would, she could be taken out that marriage without the need for a high septon since the husband is a Blackfyre supporter accused of treason. Ambrose would not even request the case be taken to the high septon out of fear.

So what? How does she even know if Dunk and Egg are willing to help her.

She interacts with Dunk on two occasions and in neither do they actually speak to each other, so even if she finds him atractive she has no reason to assume he would help.

She does not interact with Egg at all they never meet face to face, so again no reason for her to asume he would help her.

This is also the part i meant when i said that i think the theory is wishfull thinking, she has no reason to asume they would help and they have no real reason to help her even if she does come to them.

 

Edited by direpupy

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27 minutes ago, direpupy said:

And this is where you show that the theory is weak. If we can not use evidence from al the books but just the novela's then yes it works, but if you take the fact that both Littlefinger and Tyrion state in the main series that in order to annulle a marriage performed by the faith you have to either go tru the High Septon or a council of the Faith it falls apart.

And you do not answer the question on why she would give up the life of a noble lady for a life on the road with Dunk and Egg, it would make more sence that she would go to Bloodraven and ask him to help her convince the Faith to annulle her marriage to a traitor and then ask the king for asylum at court (or in this case Bloodraven since you have to go tru him to get to the king).

So what? How does she even know if Dunk and Egg are willing to help her.

She interacts with Dunk on two occasions and in neither do they actually speak to each other, so even if she finds him atractive she has no reason to assume he would help.

She does not interact with Egg at all they never meet face to face, so again no reason for her to asume he would help her.

This is also the part i meant when i said that i think the theory is wishfull thinking, she has no reason to asume they would help and they have no real reason to help her even if she does come to them.

 

So it does work you say yes?.

We only need to use Bloodraven, never mind Tyrion or Littlefinger. Bloodraven plays by his own rules we know that. He always has. There is no hint whatsoever  that Bloodraven would or has consulted anybody on what's to he done with Ambrose. He decides that he keeps his head, and how much of his fortune, simply because he uses the number ten lol. He is making every rule as he goes here and in regards to Ambroses wife he simply says that HE will let him keep his wife, as in, if he decided otherwise, the wife would not be getting kept and Ambrose could do nothing about it. 

If Bloodraven knows that he couldnt take away the wife without the high septon why even say it? Why is that even in the exchange? Why is the wife brought up at all?. The high septon is not even mentioned once in the whole exchange and does not even seem to be in Bloodravens thoughts. He is basically flexing his power and what he says goes. I really don't think you have a leg to stand on in this instance because we are dealing with Bloodraven here. When it comes to dealing with Blackfyre sympathisers, I think he would say the high septon could go fuck himself.

As to the next part, are you implying that a young girl would rather spend her days with a traitor accused of treason with a tarnished reputation, no beautiful White Castle and a fraction of his wealth. She doesn't know how much he has left, she could think he's broke. The man is an old craven and she would rather have him pumping away in her than perhaps chase after the tall handsome Dunk and the chance of adventure? We will have to see how that plays out but I can personally see no issue with this part of the theory. 

I see no obstacles regarding the lass wanting out the marriage, her appealing to, or simply attaching herself to Dunks company, and her never having to be Ambrose Butterwells wife. All these things seem plausible to me, I wouldn't have reopened the topic if they didn't. 

I can see that you don't find them plausible but our disagreement is a healthy thing direpup, weve disagreed before and it's always been cool. 

I'll say though, you play by the rules too much, always with the rules. Rules are made to be broken and nobody in Westeros actually completely abides by the rules. 

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

So it does work you say yes?.

We only need to use Bloodraven, never mind Tyrion or Littlefinger. Bloodraven plays by his own rules we know that. He always has. There is no hint whatsoever  that Bloodraven would or has consulted anybody on what's to he done with Ambrose. He decides that he keeps his head, and how much of his fortune, simply because he uses the number ten lol. He is making every rule as he goes here and in regards to Ambroses wife he simply says that HE will let him keep his wife, as in, if he decided otherwise, the wife would not be getting kept and Ambrose could do nothing about it. 

If Bloodraven knows that he couldnt take away the wife without the high septon why even say it? Why is that even in the exchange? Why is the wife brought up at all?. The high septon is not even mentioned once in the whole exchange and does not even seem to be in Bloodravens thoughts. He is basically flexing his power and what he says goes. I really don't think you have a leg to stand on in this instance because we are dealing with Bloodraven here. When it comes to dealing with Blackfyre sympathisers, I think he would say the high septon could go fuck himself.

As to the next part, are you implying that a young girl would rather spend her days with a traitor accused of treason with a tarnished reputation, no beautiful White Castle and a fraction of his wealth. She doesn't know how much he has left, she could think he's broke. The man is an old craven and she would rather have him pumping away in her than perhaps chase after the tall handsome Dunk and the chance of adventure? We will have to see how that plays out but I can personally see no issue with this part of the theory. 

I see no obstacles regarding the lass wanting out the marriage, her appealing to, or simply attaching herself to Dunks company, and her never having to be Ambrose Butterwells wife. All these things seem plausible to me, I wouldn't have reopened the topic if they didn't. 

I can see that you don't find them plausible but our disagreement is a healthy thing direpup, weve disagreed before and it's always been cool. 

I'll say though, you play by the rules too much, always with the rules. Rules are made to be broken and nobody in Westeros actually completely abides by the rules. 

It only works if you go by the novela and ignore everything else but since the novela is part of the bigger world GRRM is building, they answer is no it does not work.

Also Butterwell does not have to complain about his wife leaving him, Bloodraven is impopular as it is and the faith can in order to attack what they see as an evil sorcerer bring up the matter themselves.

Aerys is also not as weak as many people asume, we actually know he overrules Bloodraven on occasion. Like with the matter of what they should do about Bittersteel after he is captured after the third rebellion.

Now lets asume for a moment that she wants out of the marriage, then Bloodraven and not Dunk and Egg are the go to person so her ataching herself to Dunk and Egg just seems implausible to me. Like i said she grew up a noble lady and if she can not return to the Twins then asylum at court is her best choise to maintain the live that she is used to. Not in the least because she has no reason to asume Dunk and Egg will help her.

I just do not see any compeling evidence for this theory that can stand up to scrutany.

Edited by direpupy

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19 minutes ago, direpupy said:

It only works if you go by the novela and ignore everything else but since the novela is part of the bigger world GRRM is building, they answer is no it does not work.

And we are going by the Novella and what it shows us so it most certainly does work with what the Novella shows us. Bloodraven controls everything that happens in regards to Ambrose Butterwell in that exchange from the wealth he keeps, and the fate of his castle and also if he gets to keep his young wife as is absolutely crystal clear by the text in the books. If it was a dead issue that BR had no control over he wouldn't even bring it up but he does, because he can decide to make Ambrose lose his wife if he wishes, no problem. If he couldn't, why say it?.

And who is to bring this case to the high septon? Tell me, how is this ever brought before the high septon?

23 minutes ago, direpupy said:

Now lets asume for a moment that she wants out of the marriage,

Yes, lets. Now were talking and theorising:D

23 minutes ago, direpupy said:

then Bloodraven and not Dunk and Egg are the go to person so her ataching herself to Dunk and Egg just seems implausible to me.

Really? Why? She has shown an interest in the big handsome Knight, what is so implausible about her attaching herself to their party in the hopes of adventure and some action with big Dunk instead of a big sweaty old craven with no beautiful castle, no reputation and the taint of treason on him and all their future children slobbering over her each night? This is a girl who was sneaking down to fuck the scullion covered in flour. She loves excitement and danger clearly, why wouldn't she wanna make a break for it with big Dunk?.

 

27 minutes ago, direpupy said:

Like i said she grew up a noble lady and if she can not return to the Twins then asylum at court is her best choise to maintain the live that she is used to.

What if she couldn't care less about the life she was used to? She was sneaking down to the kitchen to have sex with a lowly scullion, obviously could not give a shit about the life she was living and openly jeopardised it. She doesn't want to be some old traitor lord who has been reduced to nothings play thing I don't think, and evidently, she wants Dunk.

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

There's an additional variable that could make both of you right: if Lord Butterwell dies soon after the events of the story. "Lady Frey," as she is referred to in the Wiki might then decide to look for a new home or a way to support herself.

There is a motif that I think is overdue for analysis that could offer some clues: dairy. Lord Butterwell's family makes most of its money from dairy cows. @MotN, I think this is a clue that Butterwell's wife might choose to become a wet nurse when (if) she needs to find a way to support herself (and a new baby), so two points for Gryffindor.

The dairy motif might also tie into the childhood of Dany and Viserys, who were under the protection of Lord Darry when they escaped Westeros. But dairy also includes eggs: there is obviously a dragon egg that is central to the plot of this novella, and another thread (somewhere - sorry, can't remember where) laid out the probability that Whitewalls itself is a symbolic egg. (I had forgotten the detail that Bloodraven is going to crack it AND salt this egg. I think we later see the Kindly Man eating an egg with salt, and I have always thought of him as a possible Bloodraven parallel.)

For the direwolf re-read, I just re-read the chapter where Catelyn and Brienne talk about the similarity between knights dying in combat and women dying in childbirth - except no one writes songs about women who die in childbirth, Brienne points out. There is a lot in that chapter about bastards and how their fathers treat them, as well as a hint that Brienne might have a younger half-sibling born to a traveling singer who slept with her father. This is still unclear in my mind, but I think it all ties into the "nipples on a breast plate" saying that comes up repeatedly in the books. Brienne is a woman in armor. (She is also a descendant of Dunk.) Babies really do need breast milk, and male knights can't give it to them. So nipples really would be useful, even though Westeros people use this saying to mean that something is completely useless. If we can sort out this whole set of symbols around milk brothers, wet nurses, nipples on a breast plate, skin as white as milk, etc. then I think we might be able to understand who the wet nurse "knights" are, and what their role is in protecting children. (I think the character Nurse, who works for the noble Yezzen is also part of the wet nurse motif, and there are several metaphorical references to cows in connection with Ilyrio.)

Seams, welcome, I thought you might pop by as I know we have spoke of the Nan/Frey angle before. A lot of the stuff you post goes over my head, and that is no fault of yours, you have great insight and see things in the books I completely miss!.

Anyhow, I see where your coming from with this cows/dairy/milk/wet nurse angle, I get where your heads at. Clever. And yes, something I had not thought to even look at. 

Cheers.

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@direpupy

Was having another think on what you said about Bloodraven being the go to for the girl if she wanted out. Ok so let's say that while they are all still at Whitewalls and the girl asks for audience with Bloodraven and wishes to be out of the marriage and done with Ambrose. Do you seriously believe that Bloodraven would take this case to the High septon?. Waste his time pleading a case regarding a traitor with Blackfyre sympathies. A man who does not even wish to be a part of the Targaryen rule that is already in place, so why use laws that would benefit him if he cannot abide by the law himself?. And we know Bloodraven doesn't really play by the laws and rules himself don't we, just ask the Blackfyre who was promised safe passage if you can find his head. 

I just can't see it anyway.  I actually think it's more plausible she brings her pleas to Dunk and Egg. Eggs word holds alot more weight than you would think and if she wanted to latch herself on to Dunk and Egg and follow them and they agreed, then even Egg could likely persuade Bloodraven that she need be let out of her situation with no need of the High septon ever knowing. Eggs word carries a good deal of weight, he could even likely tell Butterwell himself to let the girl go and he would have no choice but to do so. 

Heres Egg flexing some muscle with BR himself. 

"Yes, I've heard that tale from half a hundred lips already. The Bastard of the Pussywillows. Born of a whore and a traitor."

"Born of heroes," Egg insisted. "If he's amongst the captives, I want him found and released. And rewarded." 

"And who are you to tell the King's Hand what to do?"

Egg did not flinch. "You know who I am, cousin." 

"Your squire is insolent, ser," Lord Rivers said to Dunk. "You ought to beat that out of him."

"I've tried, m'lord. He's a prince, though." 

"What he is," said Bloodraven, "is a dragon. Rise, ser." Dunk rose.

Whether you think it or not, there's certainly an option here that could see this girl free of her situation and the case never needing to bother the High septon. 

I'll ask again. If you think that Bloodraven is so sure that the High septon and only the High septon can give his blessing for Ambrose to keep his wife, or not, then why does he even bother to bring the wife up?. What is the point at all?. If BR thought this way it would not even be a topic for discussion, the wife would just stay, end of. But he does bring it up, and clearly shows, that even that is his decision. Butterwells whole life is in the hands of the Hand of the King, from the wealth to the castle to the wife. The whole lot. 

Which is why I am personally certain that, if this girl wanted out, and brings that plea to either Dunk, Egg or Bloodraven she's as good as gone. 

 

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I'll take a shot at shooting it down.

A nobleborn lady will not become a wetnurse for other nobles. Noble ladies who fall into disgrace join the Silent Sisters, or run away to Essos, or commit suicide, or marry way beneath them, but they don't become smallfolk. Old Nan is smallfolk in my opinion.

A nobleborn lady of the Riverlands will not move to the North to be a wetnurse.

A nobleborn lady of the Riverlands who did move to the North for any reason, and spent the rest of her life there, still would not know all the things Old Nan knows about the North, the Long Night, the Others, the Wildlings, etc.

Old Walder is somewhere in his eighties. The older sister who married Lord Butterwell was about 15 IIRC, and thus 11 years older than Walder. We don't know Old Nan's age but if we say that Walder is 89, she'd be 100. I've always had the idea (unsubstantiated) that Old Nan is above 100 by a few years. If she's not as old as I think, then living in the North has been REALLY hard on her. And of course that's possible.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Macgregor of the North said:

And we are going by the Novella and what it shows us so it most certainly does work with what the Novella shows us. Bloodraven controls everything that happens in regards to Ambrose Butterwell in that exchange from the wealth he keeps, and the fate of his castle and also if he gets to keep his young wife as is absolutely crystal clear by the text in the books. If it was a dead issue that BR had no control over he wouldn't even bring it up but he does, because he can decide to make Ambrose lose his wife if he wishes, no problem. If he couldn't, why say it?.

So you admit that you are disregarding the rest of the books and that this is thus not a serieus theory but just an exercize in what if.

Because if we look at they other books including they other Dunk and Egg novellas and thus take everything related to such a thing into acount the theory is absolutly 100% impossible.

1 hour ago, Macgregor of the North said:

And who is to bring this case to the high septon? Tell me, how is this ever brought before the high septon?

Anyone who does not like Bloodraven and there are a lot of those so it will get to the Faith at some point, of that there is no doubt.

1 hour ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Really? Why? She has shown an interest in the big handsome Knight, what is so implausible about her attaching herself to their party in the hopes of adventure and some action with big Dunk instead of a big sweaty old craven with no beautiful castle, no reputation and the taint of treason on him and all their future children slobbering over her each night? This is a girl who was sneaking down to fuck the scullion covered in flour. She loves excitement and danger clearly, why wouldn't she wanna make a break for it with big Dunk?.

 

What if she couldn't care less about the life she was used to? She was sneaking down to the kitchen to have sex with a lowly scullion, obviously could not give a shit about the life she was living and openly jeopardised it. She doesn't want to be some old traitor lord who has been reduced to nothings play thing I don't think, and evidently, she wants Dunk.

There is a diferens between lusting for an big handsome knight and giving up your entire life to be with him.

And being a slut does not mean you are willing to give up the life luxurei you are living.

Honestly if a girl like her has a choice between a life of riches and plenty of  servants to fuck ore going with a poor hedge knight, i would think she goes with the life of riches.

1 hour ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Yes, lets. Now were talking and theorising:D

But more importantly you have not answered why she would go to Dunk and Egg who she can not be sure of will help her. So going with the asumption that she want out of the marriage i really think she would go to Bloodraven.

27 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

I'll ask again. If you think that Bloodraven is so sure that the High septon and only the High septon can give his blessing for Ambrose to keep his wife, or not, then why does he even bother to bring the wife up?. What is the point at all?. If BR thought this way it would not even be a topic for discussion, the wife would just stay, end of. But he does bring it up, and clearly shows, that even that is his decision. Butterwells whole life is in the hands of the Hand of the King, from the wealth to the castle to the wife. The whole lot.

Bloodraven was flexing his muscle to Ambrose and in part to lord frey who was also present, but there is a diferens between flexing and actually punching someone in the face. He does not need any more antagonization between him and the faith.

As to Egg flexing, Bloodraven is humoring Egg here as evidenced by the rest of the conversation you quoted. Egg is just a Prince and low in the line of succesion at that at this point in time. And its Maekar his father he takes into account not Egg himself, plus he really only gives Egg things that are easy to give, something that annuling a mariage would not be.

The rest of the quote that you left out.

Dunk looked at Egg. The ring, he saw. His father's ring. It's on his finger, not stuffed up inside his boot.
"I have half a mind to take you back to King's Landing with us," Lord Rivers said to Egg, "and keep you at court as my… guest."
"My father would not take kindly to that."
"I suppose not. Prince Maekar has a… prickly… nature. Perhaps I should send you back to Summerhall."
"My place is with Ser Duncan. I'm his squire."
"Seven save you both. As you wish. You're free to go."
"We will," said Egg, "but first we need some gold. Ser Duncan needs to pay the Snail his ransom."
Bloodraven laughed. "What happened to the modest boy I once met at King's Landing? As you say, my prince. I will instruct my paymaster to give you as much gold as you wish. Within reason."

The bolded part shows that he is humoring, he is amused not angry wich would have been the respons had he felt forced to do what Egg said.

11 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I'll take a shot at shooting it down.

A nobleborn lady will not become a wetnurse for other nobles. Noble ladies who fall into disgrace join the Silent Sisters, or run away to Essos, or commit suicide, or marry way beneath them, but they don't become smallfolk. Old Nan is smallfolk in my opinion.

A nobleborn lady of the Riverlands will not move to the North to be a wetnurse.

A nobleborn lady of the Riverlands who did move to the North for any reason, and spent the rest of her life there, still would not know all the things Old Nan knows about the North, the Long Night, the Others, the Wildlings, etc.

Old Walder is somewhere in his eighties. The older sister who married Lord Butterwell was about 15 IIRC, and thus 11 years older than Walder. We don't know Old Nan's age but if we say that Walder is 89, she'd be 100. I've always had the idea (unsubstantiated) that Old Nan is above 100 by a few years. If she's not as old as I think, then living in the North has been REALLY hard on her. And of course that's possible.

I also think Lady Blizzardborn makes some fair points here.

Edited by direpupy

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