Macgregor of the North

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

136 posts in this topic

Another very minor point. When Cat showed up at Riverrun, you'd think someone would have mentioned "Oh, Old Nan was born in the Riverlands, you might want to talk to her." so that Cat would feel a bit less like a trout out of water. Yet there's no mention of any such thing, and it would have been so easy to slip that in somewhere. A Bran chapter could include something like "Old Nan had been born in the Riverlands, like mother, but over time had become more of Northerner than even father. She knew all the stories of the North; stories that had been forgotten by even House Stark." 

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1 minute ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Another very minor point. When Cat showed up at Riverrun, you'd think someone would have mentioned "Oh, Old Nan was born in the Riverlands, you might want to talk to her." so that Cat would feel a bit less like a trout out of water. Yet there's no mention of any such thing, and it would have been so easy to slip that in somewhere. A Bran chapter could include something like "Old Nan had been born in the Riverlands, like mother, but over time had become more of Northerner than even father. She knew all the stories of the North; stories that had been forgotten by even House Stark." 

 I was always thought it perplexing that Catelyn didn't have at least _one_ Tully upper level servant or matron companion that traveled with her North after her marriage and stayed with her.  Or even how her personal maid was never mentioned. I highly doubt Catelyn dressed herself or fetched her own meals. Also, since she's a practicing Seventologist, shouldn't she have been seen in the company of her septon, too? 

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@direpupy

To this here I'll reply quickly as I usually come of the forums at this time but will be back tomorrow. Oh yes. 

Quote

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.

I am absolutely not admitting that at all. You are completely and utterly avoiding the fact that Bloodraven demonstrates in the Novella that he has decided the fate of  Ambrose Butterwells marriage in their exchange and there was not one word about High septon involvement whatsoever. We simply do not need the other book instances as we are dealing with Bloodraven who has taken complete charge of the situation and Butterwells life. 

And also, Bloodraven is a known rule breaker who will go against laws etc if he takes the fancy. That is a fact that goes very well with the Novella exchange and why you can't take that on board is beyond me. 

We will resume on the morrow and I'll hope to see you answer some of my questions I've posed to you more than once. 

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4 hours 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.

 

4 hours 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.

I like this theory.

On the annulment, it is true that only the High Septon can annul a marriage.  But you only need that if you want to marry someone new.  Many couples in Westeros live apart while remaining married.  For example, take Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce.  They hated each other and lived apart.  But they were still married, which prevented Daemon from taking a new wife.  

So Bloodraven could easily have taken Ambrose's wife away from him.  That would be a real punishment, because the wife would be a hostage held by the crown and Ambrose would be prevented from taking a new wife.  

And young Nan could easily have run away as the OP suggests.  That is what Lynesse Hightower did to Jorah Mormont, and there was nothing Jorah could do about it.  

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, The Twinslayer said:

 

I like this theory.

On the annulment, it is true that only the High Septon can annul a marriage.  But you only need that if you want to marry someone new.  Many couples in Westeros live apart while remaining married.  For example, take Daemon Targaryen and Rhea Royce.  They hated each other and lived apart.  But they were still married, which prevented Daemon from taking a new wife.  

So Bloodraven could easily have taken Ambrose's wife away from him.  That would be a real punishment, because the wife would be a hostage held by the crown and Ambrose would be prevented from taking a new wife.  

And young Nan could easily have run away as the OP suggests.  That is what Lynesse Hightower did to Jorah Mormont, and there was nothing Jorah could do about it.  

Quick return to the thread to say welcome! And you talk very good sense, cheers for the input. 

@direpupy, this ends our debate. I am not talking about full annulment or the need for a High septon and never was. But simply that if the girl wanted an out, she could leave and just because they were married, that would not mean that she had to stay put, especially if she seeked aid from Dunk Egg or Bloodraven and they agreed to help her.

The girl could have moved on even if the marriage still technically stood and had more children while Butterwell could do nothing. And when he passed away, the girl could marry again if she wished. 

Solved.

Edited by Macgregor of the North

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55 minutes ago, Daena the Defiant said:

 I was always thought it perplexing that Catelyn didn't have at least _one_ Tully upper level servant or matron companion that traveled with her North after her marriage and stayed with her.  Or even how her personal maid was never mentioned. I highly doubt Catelyn dressed herself or fetched her own meals. Also, since she's a practicing Seventologist, shouldn't she have been seen in the company of her septon, too? 

Seventologist! :lmao:

I think this falls under things the author didn't remember should be in there until later, or things that he figured people would assume anyway. By the time the story starts Cat's been at Winterfell for 14 years, so by now anyone from her father's household who came with her would just be one of the crew. They might be on a circuit for a traveling septon. That was pretty common in the middle ages. And in that case everything that happened in Winterfell was between visits from their septon.

But yeah, if we ever saw her getting dressed, and I can't recall if there are any scenes like that, there should definitely be a maid or lady in waiting of some kind.

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1 hour ago, Daena the Defiant said:

 I was always thought it perplexing that Catelyn didn't have at least _one_ Tully upper level servant or matron companion that traveled with her North after her marriage and stayed with her.  Or even how her personal maid was never mentioned. I highly doubt Catelyn dressed herself or fetched her own meals. Also, since she's a practicing Seventologist, shouldn't she have been seen in the company of her septon, too? 

Both Septon Chayle and Septa Mordane were at Winterfell, and if they didn't come with her from Riverrun, they most likely came to Winterfell at her request. Ned built the sept for her, so it's unlikely they were already there.

Also: Catelyn thought. "Brienne, I have taken many wellborn ladies into my service over the years, but never one like you (CoK, Cat V).

Honestly I sometimes wonder if GRRM didn't just throw that in there because that's what noblewomen did, since Cat never has any memories of examples of this, if any of them were with her at Winterfell, at least some of them probably came from southern families.

She does mention maids and such here and there, but never says much about them. I don't think Cat really engaged much on a personal level with her servants, so she probably did bring some maids with her when she went north, but wouldn't have thought of them as actual companions.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Seventologist! :lmao:

Not bad, right? ;)

 

1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I think this falls under things the author didn't remember should be in there until later, or things that he figured people would assume anyway. By the time the story starts Cat's been at Winterfell for 14 years, so by now anyone from her father's household who came with her would just be one of the crew. They might be on a circuit for a traveling septon. That was pretty common in the middle ages. And in that case everything that happened in Winterfell was between visits from their septon.

But yeah, if we ever saw her getting dressed, and I can't recall if there are any scenes like that, there should definitely be a maid or lady in waiting of some kind.

I realize that, but he did go out of his way to name all sorts of Stark household staffers (like the blacksmith and kennel master(and his daughter even!), for example), but I often think it an authorial choice meant to isolate Catelyn and show how alone she is without a real confidante after Ned leaves.  He gave Sansa her own little retinue, for example. I have no doubt that Catelyn has own little squadron of tirewomen and dressers and such, but I would not be surprised that GRRM decided not to mention them by design. Otherwise we'd have lots of little scenes with Catelyn sending this maidservant to go listen at doors, or that senior lady-in-waiting to deliver a message, etc....

54 minutes ago, Therae said:

Also: Catelyn thought. "Brienne, I have taken many wellborn ladies into my service over the years, but never one like you (CoK, Cat V).

Honestly I sometimes wonder if GRRM didn't just throw that in there because that's what noblewomen did, since Cat never has any memories of examples of this, if any of them were with her at Winterfell, at least some of them probably came from southern families.

This is true. Although she was married in a time of war and general austerity, I'm sure that the daughters of her father's bannermen would have been placed in her retinue at least for her wedding, and maybe, I dunno, Brenda Blackwood, would have stuck around for a while, or something. It does seem like a corrective measure on his part to have made that reference as you noted.

He never really gets into Cersei's retinue of ladies, either. Just Lady Jocelyn, mostly and maybe, to be generous, the Stokeworth gals. I would have expected that all those young, marriageable Lannister damsels to be present at court, as well as female members of Tywin's bannerhouses. He does show us that Margaery did show up with a train of ladies.

 

 

Edited by Daena the Defiant

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Daena the Defiant said:

He never -really- gets into Cersei's retinue of ladies, either. Just Lady Jocelyn, mostly and maybe, to be generous, the Stokeworth gals. I would have expected that all those young, marriageable Lannister damsels to be present at court, as well as female members of Tywin's bannerhouses. He did show us that Margaery did show up with a train of ladies.

This. Except for Margaery's retinue, Jocelyn and the Stokeworths, it seems all the ladies' maids we hear about are actually servants of the working class variety (and Marg's cousins, Jocelyn, and the Stokeworths are ladies of the court, not really maids). It doesn't seem like anyone was attempting to pass off Shae as highborn when they got her the job with the Stokeworths or when she became Sansa's maid. Also that woman (can't remember her name) who served Renly, then Tyrion, then ended up doing the wash for a brothel because no one else would have her did not seem like any kind of highborn.

Bedmaids, on the other hand, are probably highborn (though I don't think we've seen any as highborn as the person whose bed they are maiding in), but they also seem a lot more like companions than maids- or ladies-in-waiting and don't do any real work.

Oops, sorry if I'm getting a bit OT. :) But I do think it's likely that Cat probably brought at least some of her personal servants with her to Winterfell and just didn't think of them except as servants.

Edited by Therae
forgot to add something

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2 hours ago, Therae said:

Both Septon Chayle and Septa Mordane were at Winterfell, and if they didn't come with her from Riverrun, they most likely came to Winterfell at her request. Ned built the sept for her, so it's unlikely they were already there.

<snip

Ah, how could I forget about Septon Chayle? Shame on me. And I liked him too.

1 hour ago, Daena the Defiant said:

Not bad, right? ;)

<snip

He never really gets into Cersei's retinue of ladies, either. Just Lady Jocelyn, mostly and maybe, to be generous, the Stokeworth gals. I would have expected that all those young, marriageable Lannister damsels to be present at court, as well as female members of Tywin's bannerhouses. He does show us that Margaery did show up with a train of ladies.

Right.

What's more, all the noble ladies of the seven kingdoms (if it were a real life situation) would have had to take turns at court as ladies in waiting for the queen. But now that I think of it maybe they did...I've always wondered how it was that Catelyn supposedly knew Stannis' shadow as well as she knew the man who cast it. They must have met while she was at court years before. Even if Ned stayed away from KL, Cat could have taken a year or two between children...especially in the years between Bran and Rickon's births. Could be that aspect of medieval life was deemed unimportant because it doesn't advance the plot.

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Macgregor of the North said:

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?. 

Nursing while pregnant is how babies get rickets. This leads to very  un-knightly children.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets    

4 hours 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.

this makes sense 

4 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Another very minor point. When Cat showed up at Riverrun, you'd think someone would have mentioned "Oh, Old Nan was born in the Riverlands, you might want to talk to her." so that Cat would feel a bit less like a trout out of water. Yet there's no mention of any such thing, and it would have been so easy to slip that in somewhere. A Bran chapter could include something like "Old Nan had been born in the Riverlands, like mother, but over time had become more of Northerner than even father. She knew all the stories of the North; stories that had been forgotten by even House Stark." 

She mentions one major thing, that "All crows are liars."  It would seem that she would have to have some experience with the watch to have that opinion of them. why would a woman from the riverlands ever have need to interact with the watch? Maybe a black brother stayed under her roof or she met one in passing on a road? 

Edited by Dorian Martell's son

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3 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Another very minor point. When Cat showed up at Riverrun, you'd think someone would have mentioned "Oh, Old Nan was born in the Riverlands, you might want to talk to her." so that Cat would feel a bit less like a trout out of water. Yet there's no mention of any such thing, and it would have been so easy to slip that in somewhere. A Bran chapter could include something like "Old Nan had been born in the Riverlands, like mother, but over time had become more of Northerner than even father. She knew all the stories of the North; stories that had been forgotten by even House Stark." 

I think you mean Winterfell yeah?.

I see what you mean but if the Frey girl is Nan, by the time Catelyn comes to Winterfell Nan would have been there like 70 years. Maybe there was nobody alive left from that time to point that out to Cat. 

I suppose some of the newer generations may know and could have told her but we don't hear of that either. We never get any word whatsoever on where Nan came from and that may be for a reason. Maybe GRRM wants us to ponder on where she's from. In any event, he has never saw fit to tell us on page where she hails from so speculate we must, and I really think this theory is fairly plausible and not so easily shot down as I once thought.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, direpupy said:

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. 

Maybe the fact Dunk fought the crown prince for a nobody puppeteer and had to fight in a trial of 7 over it....

It is not that far of a stretch for a female needing help to go to Dunk.

Not for or against, but I think this solves your question.

Edited by the Other Wolf
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4 hours 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.

And I'll take a shot at shooting this down. 

This noble lady who fell into disgrace was married off to Ambrose Butterwell to be no longer a Frey.

If the Frey/Butterwell girl is Nan, for a start she is disowned basically by her father and left to Lord Butterwell, twice Lord Frey shows he wants nothing more to do with this girl and is happy to leave her to the same fate as Lord Butterrwell. 

"Dunk wanted to take the boy by the shoulders and shake him until his teeth rattled. This is no game, he might have roared. This is life and death. "Did Lord Frey hear all this as well?"

"Yes. He wished Lord Butterwell happiness in his marriage and announced that he was returning to the Twins forthwith. That was when His Lordship brought us here to pray." Frey could flee, Dunk thought, but Butterwell does not have that option, and soon or late he will begin to wonder why Prince Maekar and his army have not turned up. "If Lord Peake should learn that you are in the castle—"

And also.

"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."

So she is no longer wanted at the Twins as part of House Frey and will from then on cease to class herself as a noble lady of House Frey. 

She is Lady Butterwell now. But should she wish to rid herself of that tag and start a new anonymous life, I have shown how easy that would be. She may not want to be tainted with treason her whole life and have her children's name bear the taint also. Plus she digs big Dunk and is the adventurous type it seems.

This girl could easily break way from Ambrose and begin a new life. If it happens that she makes it near Winterfell while lactating she could easily step in and perform a service for the Starks and be kept on enjoy the life there, staying on and raising her own family among the Starks, while all memories of ever being a part of House Frey or House Butterwell fade away.

All plausible.

 

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4 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

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.

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.


"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."

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27 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Nursing while pregnant is how babies get rickets. This leads to very  un-knightly children.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets    

 

I'll await Weirwood eyes opinion as she's the most knowledgeable on the topic but I'm quite sure mothers breastfeed while pregnant. What I want to know is that if the girl was pregnant with her first child and had been lactating a while, could she breastfeed baby Brandon. 

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7 hours 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.

Lord Walder Frey turned 90 during AGOT. 

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Nursing while pregnant is how babies get rickets. This leads to very  un-knightly children.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets    

this makes sense 

She mentions one major thing, that "All crows are liars."  It would seem that she would have to have some experience with the watch to have that opinion of them. why would a woman from the riverlands ever have need to interact with the watch? Maybe a black brother stayed under her roof or she met one in passing on a road? 

It could happen. Remember the wandering recruiters of the NW at Harrenhal? And Yoren went all over Westeros, he just didn't have much luck outside of the dungeons in KL.

3 hours ago, Macgregor of the North said:

I think you mean Winterfell yeah?.

I see what you mean but if the Frey girl is Nan, by the time Catelyn comes to Winterfell Nan would have been there like 70 years. Maybe there was nobody alive left from that time to point that out to Cat. 

I suppose some of the newer generations may know and could have told her but we don't hear of that either. We never get any word whatsoever on where Nan came from and that may be for a reason. Maybe GRRM wants us to ponder on where she's from. In any event, he has never saw fit to tell us on page where she hails from so speculate we must, and I really think this theory is fairly plausible and not so easily shot down as I once thought.

Indeed I did. Thank you for pointing that out. 

Well yes, but you'd think someone else would know about it, having been told by Old Nan herself, if not someone who hears that Old Nan said once.

That very well could be.

3 hours ago, Macgregor of the North said:

And I'll take a shot at shooting this down. 

<snip

 

A fair shot it was. But, do we think Lady Butterwell took Lord Butterwell's child with her? Presumably Ambrose wasn't told about her little fling with the groom (or whatever he was) back at The Twins. Old Nan has more than one child, so either she took an entire brood with her when she left, or she took up with another man/other men while she was technically still married to Lord Butterwell (because there's no way he divorced her and nobody in the Seven Kingdoms heard about it).

Lady Butterwell was used to living in comfort throughout her first 15 years. It's unlikely that she'd have a clue how to break away from her husband and survive long enough to end up at Winterfell (unless she paid her way by whoring). Ambrose was allowed to keep a tenth of his fortune, so he wasn't destitute. Very few wives leave their husbands in the upper class of Westeros. 

It's not impossible, but I have a hard time reconciling Old Nan the Aemon of the North with some lightskirt from the Riverlands. Besides which you'd think Cat would have thought of Hodor having been named after Walder when she was at the Twins to treat with his great-great-uncle. Or Sansa could have had that thought after learning about the Red Wedding.

We don't know that it's Old Nan kissing Dunk in that vision. It could be, but it could also be a Stark girl or a girl from another House who was visiting. The only strong clues we have in the series for a Dunk descendant point to Brienne, and IIRC GRRM said there was a Dunk descendant in the series, not several. Could be wrong about that bit though.

I still don't think even in 70+ years of living in the North she'd know all the stories...even the Wildling tales. I live in the 21st century in an area where some people are still a bit suspicious of anyone whose grandparents they didn't know. How much less likely would it be in medieval Westeros that a Riverlands girl of the smallfolk (cause she wouldn't tell anyone she was noble if she had run away) would be not only accepted in the North, but gifted with the oral tradition of millenia of their history? I'd be less surprised to learn Old Nan was a previous generation's version of Osha. Remember how Mance mentioned Dalla knowing things that other people didn't know? Could be a particular line of Wildlings were tasked with retaining the knowledge, passing it down from mother to daughter through the millenia.

52 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Lord Walder Frey turned 90 during AGOT. 

Ah, thank you. That should make his sister 101. At least during AGoT. It would help if we knew how old Old Nan is.

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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Doesn't Old Nan agree with Bran about all crows being liars and offer to tell him a story to prove it? But he doesn't want to hear that kind of story...

Could be that a three eyed raven (who also would become a crow) lied about letting Ambrose keep his head. Or at least, let him hold onto his head after it was removed from his body once they were away from the public eye...

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Posted (edited)

 

@Lady Blizzardborn

On my mobile so my quoting will look a tad strange but I'll answer some questions here.

Quote

But, do we think Lady Butterwell took Lord Butterwell's child with her?

Lord Butterwell has no issue producing babies. His sperm is some A+ shit, so no issue there. If the girl is Nan we know she's super fertile too, so yeah, Ambrose could have easily popped a baby in there at the bedding and she doesn't know about it until sometime into her journey North with Dunk and Egg. (I go into the full possibilities on how she finds herself on that journey in the OP and throughout the thread).

There is also the chance she seduces Dunk early in the journey, who knows?. 

Quote

Presumably Ambrose wasn't told about her little fling with the groom (or whatever he was) back at The Twins.

It became very much common knowledge at the wedding that the girl was spoiled by the kitchen scullion before he married her, if he didn't know before the wedding then he would have found out by the rumour mill or the bedding where her Maidenhead was not intact. 

Quote

Old Nan has more than one child, so either she took an entire brood with her when she left, or she took up with another man/other men while she was technically still married to Lord Butterwell (because there's no way he divorced her and nobody in the Seven Kingdoms heard about it).

All the girl needed was one child. There's three years until Brandon dies. After Dunk leaves her and they part under the Weirwood with a kiss, Nan simply has to meet another local guy and settle down to birth more children and voila. Old Nan stays on "with her own children". And yes, she can still sleep with people while she is technically married to a treasonous Blackfyre supporter and no harm will come to her at all.

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Lady Butterwell was used to living in comfort throughout her first 15 years. It's unlikely that she'd have a clue how to break away from her husband and survive long enough to end up at Winterfell (unless she paid her way by whoring). Ambrose was allowed to keep a tenth of his fortune, so he wasn't destitute. Very few wives leave their husbands in the upper class of Westeros. 

When she was just a Frey girl she stuck two flour covered fingers up to her cosy noble life by sneaking down to fuck the kitchen scullion. I dont think she gave a shit about her noble Frey life as she openly jeopardised it, and ended up outcast and thrown out to be left to Ambrose. She is no longer classed as Frey nobility by her own father. 

Yes, she then becomes Butterwell nobility but that comes with having to suffer an old done man pumping it into her each night further tainting her and her future children with treason. Plus the guys lost his beautiful castle, and is left with a tenth of his wealth, which for all she knows could be shit. What would you do? Stick with that shitty life or make a break for it and catch up to the big hulking stud you have had your eye on throughout your own wedding and seek help and adventure with him?.

All she needs to decide is that this is not the life for her and either run away and latch on to Dunk and Egg heading North and Ambrose never sees her again, or appeal to Dunk, Egg or Bloodraven at Whitewalls for their aid to get her an out. There doesn't even have to be an annulment, Ambrose is done, who's he gonna take his case to? The crown? He's lucky he has his head. He simply lets the girl go I believe. 

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It's not impossible, but I have a hard time reconciling Old Nan the Aemon of the North with some lightskirt from the Riverlands. Besides which you'd think Cat would have thought of Hodor having been named after Walder when she was at the Twins to treat with his great-great-uncle. Or Sansa could have had that thought after learning about the Red Wedding.

Actually quite plausible. Yes you would think they would mention Hodors true name in all the Frey fiascos wouldn't you but they don't, and that is whether Nan was the Frey girl or not. They simply just do not think about it and that's GRRMS decision alone for whatever reasons. Maybe they have more pressing thoughts to the front of their minds at the times we read of them on page. I agree it's hard to envision the knowledgable Old Nan as a wee Frey Harlot but hey, it was a long time ago, like over 80 YEARS, girls change, even the fun adventurous ones I remember from my crazy youth. There all settled down now and it certainly hasn't been 80 years since I was a young carefree wanderer. 

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I still don't think even in 70+ years of living in the North she'd know all the stories...even the Wildling tales.

Why not? 80 years is a long time. This is Winterfell, where there will have been raiders from beyond the Wall aplenty and stories flying around everywhere of them. Also, loads of harsh Winters where's there's nothing to do but sit and talk by the fire and learn of the old stories such as the Long Night. Honestly, I don't see an issue, if I went somewhere to live for 80 years, I'd be a master of the place. People listen, and people learn, and people become just like the people they surround themselves with. It's not too much of a stretch to believe this really. 

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We don't know that it's Old Nan kissing Dunk in that vision. It could be, but it could also be a Stark girl or a girl from another House who was visiting. The only strong clues we have in the series for a Dunk descendant point to Brienne, and IIRC GRRM said there was a Dunk descendant in the series, not several. Could be wrong about that bit though.

Correct. But it's still a very much alive theory so it's impossible not to submit is as a form of evidence when talking about this theory. The next Winterfell Novella isnt that far away, we will actually read it in a matter of years, so this should clear some stuff up concerning this I think.

I'll end with a wee word on Nan being a Wildling. If you re read Nan stuff on your next cycle (I'm not sure how you re read the books) read about her feelings toward Wildlings, I've never really got the feeling she was born among them. She hates them. I think she may have settled down with a Northern man after Dunk left, maybe even an Umber and she has a strong feeling of dislike toward Wildlings. Total speculation here.

Maybe raiders stole away with her mans kin??. Who knows, but she doesn't like Wildlings anyway. Also, I know there may have been a shortage of wet nurses due to the Great spring sickness but the Starks of Winterfell allowing a Wildling to nurse one of their babies is something I find less believable than a lass from the South getting the job. 

People have said that she was a spearwife captured at Long Lake in 226AC but after very extensive research I'd stake my entire next wage that Lyanne Glover dies in the 210s before Long Lake in 226AC so the need for a wet nurse is before that battle. 

Also, Nan has taught all the generations the saying "dark wings dark words". As per Tormund, the Wildlings have never heard the term and don't use Ravens, I take that as a clue that Old Nan was not born among them. Of course she may have been and simply learned the proverb after coming to Winterfell but I don't buy the Wildling angle, and I have done my own extensive research on the angle. I just can't see how it's plausible.

This theory though, stays plausible. Infact even more so after extensive discussion on it. There's nothing any of you has said that has shot it down in flames and it still burns bright. 

Sorry, that was long! Your likely yawning now. 

Edited by Macgregor of the North

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