40 Thousand Skeletons

The COTF Master Plan: Part 3

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Posted (edited)

TL;DR just skip to the “Crackpot Logic” section and read that

I posted Part 1 and Part 2 a while ago, so feel free to go back and read those first if you want, but I have summarized them here for your convenience. (Part 3 will be the final part of this theory)

In Part 1 I argued that the “Old Gods” are not dead greenseers with their spirits absorbed into the weirnet for eternity, but rather that they are actually living greenseers, all directly hooked up to weirwoods for life support in exactly the same manner we find BR. I argued that in fact, every single weirwood has a living greenseer hooked up to it, that their leaves are red from blood, and that their sap looks like blood because it is blood. I theorize that BR and the other greenseers in the weirnet have been manipulating many of the events in our story to eventually dominate mankind, and their main motivation is simply survival. They want the weirnet to survive, and they will do anything they can to protect it.

In Part 2 I made a more focused argument detailing the reasons why I think 1) that prophecies are not truly prophetic and are instead visions sent by other people meant to manipulate characters, particularly the Old Gods, and 2) that time travel exists and that the Old Gods likely have this power. Having time travel abilities is sort of like an “I win” button in the game of thrones, since you can just go back in time and correct your mistakes until you get the desired outcome. However, I speculate that the Old Gods will ultimately lose because Bran will eventually choose to destroy them instead of joining them, and they will lose their time travel ability when they are destroyed. But the ending is less important. On to Part 3!

 

Part 3

Why Does Howland Reed Matter?

The genesis of this whole theory came from one line from Meera in ACOK:

“Why would the gods send a warning if we can’t heed it and change what’s to come?”

A fantastic question Meera. What’s the point of characters having prophetic visions if the future can’t be changed? Melisandre also echoes this sentiment later in ADWD:

“On the morrow. In a moon’s turn. In a year. And it may be that if you act, you may avert what I have seen entirely.” Else what would be the point of visions?

I concluded that the future probably can be changed, and that the whole point of sending visions to someone else is to manipulate their actions. But if that’s true, then what the hell is BR up to? Is he really just trying to train Bran to help him defeat the Others? Or is it something more sinister? I’m betting on sinister. So if we assume BR is up to sinister things, what in the world could he be trying to do? Since he is directly hooked up to the weirnet, it stands to reason that his motivations are in line with those of the Old Gods, and since it seems that the Old Gods might actually all be alive like BR, it would make sense if their goal is survival.

The question that really lead me down the rabbit hole was this: Why did Howland Reed go to the Isle of Faces and then the Harrenhal Tourney? Was his adventure just a random sequence of inconsequential actions taken of his own accord? Or was HR doing the bidding of the greenseers on the Isle of Faces? Meera’s story about the event in ASOS seems super important. The Harrenhal Tourney is the place and time where the stories of our current characters were really set into motion. GRRM has purposely left us with the impression that if things had only gone differently at that tournament, maybe history would have been changed. Maybe Rhaegar, Brandon, and Lyanna would all still be alive, and maybe the rebellion wouldn’t have happened at all. Dany and Viserys wouldn’t be on the run, and Jon wouldn’t have to be a fake bastard. Rhaegar told Jaime he had meant to call a council, presumably to remove his father from power.

Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime's shoulder. "When this battle's done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but... well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return."

And then Rhaegar died at the Trident and that council was never called.  If only Rhaegar hadn’t defeated Ser Barristan and crowned Lyanna! ...But all that shit at Harrenhal did happen.

So how does HR fit in? His story is notably the only eye witness account of events at the tournament, so I have to think it’s important. Let’s review the story:

  • HR grew up in the Neck, and one day he “decided” to visit the Isle of Faces to find the Green Men
  • He spent “All that winter” on the isle. That winter was almost 2 years long according to TWOIAF. Then when the year of false spring came, he “knew the time had come to leave” and went to Harrenhal, where there was coincidentally a super-important tournament happening with potentially monumental political moves taking place behind the scenes
  • HR is strolling along when he gets spontaneously beaten up by 3 squires, and he is saved by Lyanna, who takes him back to their tent to clean him up, and he meets Brandon, Ned, and Benjen. Lyanna invites HR to attend the feast with them that night
  • At the feast, Rhaegar sings a song that makes Lyanna cry, a black brother asks for men for the NW, Robert Baratheon defeats Richard Lonmouth in a drinking contest, and HR watches Ashara Dayne dance with Ser Barristan, Oberyn Martell, JonCon, and Ned… but only after Brandon speaks to her first
  • HR then spots the squires who beat him up, and Lyanna points them out to her brothers. Benjen offers use of a horse and armor, but HR has no skill at jousting. Ned offers him a place in his tent that night, and before bed HR kneels at the edge of the lake looking toward the Isle of Faces and prays to the old gods
  • On the second day of jousting, the KotLT (probably Lyanna) defeats the 3 knights whom the mean squires served, and instead of asking for ransoms, demands they teach their squires honor. HR’s unspecified prayer has apparently been answered
  • The next day the KotLT disappears. Rhaegar is sent by his father to find him but only finds his abandoned shield, and then Rhaegar wins the tournament

So that’s Meera’s whole story. And then we all know what happened next. Rhaegar crowned Lyanna, and later ran off with her to ToJ, and the rebellion happened. So, did HR accidentally stumble into the events at Harrenhal and plant the seeds of the rebellion? Or was it a mission from the Green Men? I think a mission from the gods is more likely. Since Jojen has been driven north to bring Bran to BR because of his “green dreams”, it’s likely that HR was sent dreams to make him seek out the Isle of Faces. After all, we are told that no one ever goes there and that it is basically impossible to get there. What made HR think he would even make it to the isle? After he makes it to the isle, he spends almost 2 years with the Green Men. I guess learning about important stuff.

So if we reexamine Meera’s story with the assumption that HR was on a mission, what was he trying to accomplish on behalf of the green men? Well, HR basically does 2 things in the story: first he gets beaten up by squires, leading Lyanna to be the KotLT and Rhaegar to be sent to reveal her identity, which is likely how they met and when Rhaegar decided Lyanna might be useful for making prophecy-fulfilling babies. This was obviously a major factor in the rebellion. The second action of HR was to stare at Ashara Dayne for a while but not dance with her himself. This simple act may have been enough to make Brandon and Ned both notice Ashara and spark some romance. It is implied that Brandon and Ashara had sex that night. And I personally think that Brandon and Ashara had sex again later when Brandon went to KL and that’s when Ashara got pregnant. So essentially, HR’s mission to the Harrenhal Tourney helped spark the rebellion and created potentially 2 babies (possibly more if twins were involved). So these must have been a couple of super-important babies if that was the main goal of the Old Gods here. What am I getting at? Well, I claim that those 2 babies were Jon and Dany, and that the actions of Howland Reed at Harrenhal were taken in order to create Jon and Dany, because that’s what the Old Gods wanted. And just to clarify, I think that Dany is the daughter of Rhaegar + Lyanna, and Jon is the son of Brandon + Ashara. But this theory is equally compatible with R+L=J and B+A=D. It’s also compatible with R+L=J and Dany=Dany (no secret identity), but that doesn’t fit quite as well with my analysis of the story of HR.

 

The Master Plan

Why would the Old Gods want Jon and Dany to exist? Well, the likely explanation is that the Old Gods wanted to create people with powerful genetic abilities to use in their long-term plan for winning the war against mankind. Rhaegar, Lyanna, and Brandon all had potentially powerful genes, and I’m betting that Ashara Dayne did too. So what is this plan exactly, and why are Jon and Dany so important? Well, I don’t think we have enough info to make any solid theory about that, but I will speculate. Obviously Jon and Dany are both becoming huge players on the world stage, and the Old Gods may have manipulated events to make that happen. My best guess, based mostly on GRRM’s other stories, is that the Old Gods basically have a 2-step plan to dominate mankind. Step 1 is to create genetically powerful people and make them the leaders of much or all of the human race. Step 2 is to create a greenseer powerful enough to skinchange humans and then absorb him into the weirnet in order to skinchange the new all-powerful leaders of the human race. My basic thinking is, even if absorbing Bran into the weirnet gave the Old Gods the ability to skinchange humans, I still don’t think they would be powerful enough to skinchange every human all the time, or they may be limited to only being able to skinchange people with certain genes. However, if there existed some sort of all-powerful dynasty who also controlled 100% of the dragons in the world, it would basically be like if a single royal family on earth controlled all the world’s nuclear weapons. Whoever controls that family controls the world.

But what do I mean exactly by “creating” these 3 characters, and what am I talking about with GRRM’s other stories? Well, in the Thousand Worlds Universe, the reality in which a bunch of GRRM stories take place, we are introduced to the idea of advanced genetic engineering with the Ecological Engineering Core. And we are introduced to the idea of a hive-minded telepathic race utilizing skin-changed creatures to fight a war against mankind with the Hrangans. I think GRRM has basically combined these 2 concepts into a single antagonist. We already know that the weirnet is a type of hive-mind and that greenseers in the past used skin-changed animals to fight a war against mankind. My theory is that, while the Old Gods don’t necessarily have genetic engineering technology, they have been acting as sort of primitive genetic engineers, possibly by causing natural disasters like the Long Night to cause genetic mutations (or just using some form of magic to do it), and manipulating people with the right mutations into procreating, ultimately to produce Jon and Dany (other characters with powerful genes like the other Stark children are also important, but Jon and Dany seem to be the most important). It’s also likely that the Old Gods created the Others and possible that they were directly or indirectly involved in creating the first dragons as well.

As for Bran, I’m not sure if he is actually naturally more powerful than other skinchangers and his siblings (which he could be), or if he has, say, the same natural abilities as Arya but has had his powers amplified by being crippled. Similarly, Jojen started having green dreams after he almost died of illness. Perhaps greenseers are no more than regular wargs and skinchangers who undergo intense “training” in the form of illness, or maiming, or something else. Arya, for instance, had her skinchanging abilities improved by being blinded and frequently attacked by an unknown assailant until she finally saw him through the eyes of a cat. Perhaps Bran’s fall and Jojen’s illness were caused on purpose to improve their abilities. Or maybe those things just happened, and the Old Gods are using it to their advantage.

Now, if I’m correct about all this stuff about Jon and Dany and Bran being special it has huge implications for the story. Namely, the Old Gods have been manipulating events in order to guide the lives of these characters along the paths we have witnessed. And this would mean that the Old Gods either have absolutely insane powers to be able to predict and influence tons of events (and make sure Jon doesn’t get hit by a stray arrow or something like that), or that they have the power to go back in time and fix their mistakes as they go along. With this theory, either one is technically possible, but I am leaning heavily toward the idea that they can travel back in time. As I argued in Part 2, it seems that there are simply too many moving parts and unknown variables and things that could go wrong with the plan to pull off without time travel being involved. And really, if they had that much control over human events already, the whole plan seems kind of pointless, because they would effectively already have dominance over mankind.

So, if I am correct and the Old Gods have been manipulating events throughout history, I am betting that we should be able to see lots of these potential manipulations in the text. More specifically, since GRRM loves to write stories that encourage rereading, I think that if he reveals a bunch of this stuff in the final books, we should be able to do a reread and pick up on the clues that he left behind for us. Lysa murdering Jon Arryn is a perfect example of this in ASOIAF. There are a few big clues that she was responsible in AGOT, but they were a lot less obvious until we got to the end of ASOS and heard her confession. Assuming my theory is at least partially correct, I have combed through ASOIAF and compiled a list of the majority of events that were potentially altered by the direct or indirect actions of the Old Gods. In Part 1 I went over the evidence showing that the Old Gods may have been responsible for King Robert’s assassination, the assassination attempt on Bran, and the assassination attempt on LC Mormont. But that was just a tiny sample of my giant list of events. For the purposes of this list, I have assumed that the Old Gods are using 3 main powers (in addition to time travel): sending dreams, skinchanging animals, and controlling the weather.

 

Telepathy Explained

The mechanics of telepathy in ASOIAF can be difficult to decipher, but luckily we have some other stories written by GRRM to help give us insight. Let’s start with the basics. Obviously the first explicit example of telepathy in the story is when we see the Stark children begin to bond with their direwolves and have wolf dreams. Later this knowledge of warging is expanded so that we are now aware of general skinchanging of animals, dragon riding, and Bran’s creepy ability to skinchange Hodor. So one big component of telepathy in the story is skinchanging/dragon riding. Skinchanging is a big part of GRRM’s Thousand Worlds universe. Particularly, an enemy of mankind called the Hrangan Minds utilized telepathy to control various slave races of creatures and wage war against humans.

Jojen Reed introduces us to the second big component of telepathy, prophetic dreams. It seems that certain people can receive prophetic dreams, including at least Bran and Jojen. And it seems that a weakened physical/mental state can trigger the onset of these visions, like Bran in his coma or Jojen with his near-fatal Greywater fever. And the concept of sending dreams to manipulate characters has been used by GRRM before, particularly in the story And Seven Times Never Kill Man, in which men are tricked into burning their winter food supply and killing their children, which is essentially what the War of the 5 Kings was in ASOIAF. Additionally, a common characteristic of characters who receive dreams or spend time skinchanging is that they tend to forego eating, namely Bran, Melisandre, Lancel, and Maester Aemon. And if that’s true, it implies that Baelor the Blessed, who died of fasting and is generally thought to have been a bit crazy, was likely receiving many powerful visions as well.

Third, we are introduced to the general concept that telepathic abilities can be trained and/or amplified, particularly by darkness and trauma. The best example of this so far is probably Arya’s training in the House of Black and White. Arya is made blind, intermittently attacked by an unknown silent assailant, and surrounded by cats. Finally, after suffering a good deal of frustration, Arya is able to skinchange into a cat while awake and identify her assailant as the Kindly Man. Similarly, Bran is able to train his warg powers while in the darkness of the WF crypts, and he takes full control of Hodor for the first time when they are attacked by wights and in mortal danger. Additionally, it may simply be the fact that Bran is crippled that makes him powerful enough to skinchange Hodor. And just to drive this point home, we are explicitly told in TWOIAF that the priests of Boash back in the day wore eyeless hoods, because: only in darkness, they believed, would their third eye open, allowing them to see the "higher truths" of creation that lay concealed behind the world's illusions.

Fourth, we are introduced to the concept that drugs can affect telepathic abilities, namely sweetsleep for dampening telepathy, and shade of the evening and weirwood paste for enhancing it. This concept has been used by GRRM before, particularly in the story Nightflyers.

Fifth, we are introduced to the concept that dead telepaths can send their consciousness into something else when Varamyr dies and goes into first the weirnet, and then his wolf. Presumably, many COTF may be living second lives inside the weirnet and the animals of the woods. More specifically, it is implied that the dead COTF skinchangers actually jump from animal to animal over time. The reason I think this is because BR tells Bran that there are COTF inside 100% of the ravens around their cave. Given the scarcity of skinchangers (purportedly 1:1000) and the relative youth of these ravens, that must mean the COTF skinchangers are forever trading in dead ravens for new ones in order to live basically infinite “second lives”. Because if the COTF only got to live a single “second life” inside a single raven, there should really be zero ravens with COTF inside them. And considering that Varamyr’s blood went into the weirnet when he died, and that there are tons of COTF bones lying around the cave around weirwood roots, it seems that the weirnet is facilitating the process by providing a sort of permanent storage vessel for the souls of the COTF. This whole process may sound weird, but keep in mind that in Nightflyers, telepaths were actually able to basically download their consciousnesses into an advanced computer upon death, so really anything could happen. It’s GRRM.

Now, one aspect of telepathy that has not yet been made explicit in ASOIAF is telekinesis, or teke as GRRM calls it in his sci-fi work. It may be that whatever force is animating the wights is doing so with teke. We have examples of wights moving around without brains, like Othor’s severed arm clawing at Jon during their fight and a headless bear decapitating Thoren Smallwood. So it appears that this is not some kind of skinchanging similar to what we have seen, as the wights are dead and presumably lack consciousness, especially if headless. Additionally, the wights are clumsy, while reanimated people like Coldhands and Beric appear fully coordinated and conscious. This last detail in particular makes me think that teke is the likely explanation for how the wights move around, because it reminds me of another clumsy corpse from Nightflyers.

The last significant aspect of telepathy, and one that hasn’t yet been made explicit in ASOIAF, is the concept that telepathy is intrinsically linked to our emotions and to love. Specifically, in Nightflyers, it is stated explicitly that having sex with someone is the most potent method of forming a telepathic bond with them.

For the purposes of explaining the Master Plan of the Old Gods, the most important aspect of telepathy to focus on is the concept that darkness and trauma can unlock, amplify, and train telepathic abilities. And I also want to point out, since Red Priests play a significant role in the story, that staring into flames for hours on end is basically the same thing as being in darkness. Have you ever tried staring at a fire for a long time? It blinds you. If you don’t want to take my word for it, just listen to my good friend, Ser Davos Seaworth:

The guards will huddle close to those torches. A little warmth, a little light, they're a comfort on a night like this. Yet that will blind them, so they will not see us pass.

And here is another Davos quote:

He lifted his eyes to stare up at the torch. He looked for a long time, never blinking, watching the flames shift and shimmer. He tried to see beyond them, to peer through the fiery curtain and glimpse whatever lived back there... but there was nothing, only fire, and after a time his eyes began to water. God-blind and tired, Davos curled up on the straw and gave himself to sleep.

If staring into flames is effectively the same as wearing an eyeless hood, then Mel’s visions (as well as those of Thoros, Moqorro, and Benerro) may actually be from the Old Gods, and fire may have no special magical properties other than facilitating temporary blindness. So while most readers assume that Mel is using some sort of “fire magic” and that greenseers use some totally different type of magic, I really don’t see any functional difference between Mel staring into flames and Bran being in the crypts.

Anyways, I already mentioned the training of Bran, Jojen, and Arya, but there is a notably long list of characters who may have undergone some telepathic training/enhancement in order to influence their actions, primarily through powerful dreams/visions:

  • Dany was given shade of the evening and trapped in darkness with a group of powerful telepaths.
  • Ned had his leg badly broken and was later trapped in darkness in the black cells with little food or water.
  • Doran Martell has gout and is crippled in a manner sort of similar to Bran. And it appears he is at least able to receive communications from Marwyn via glass candle.
  • Bloodraven lost use of an eye, as did the whore Yna and probably Euron as well.
  • Varys was given a potion that paralyzed him and had his genitals removed (and heard a voice speak from the flames).
  • Similarly, the Unsullied have all had their genitals burned on the altar of their Great Goddess who’s name only they know, not to mention all the other traumatic things Unsullied go through in their training. Considering they have all received a universally high degree of telepathic training and will hypothetically obey their Great Goddess should she call upon them, the Unsullied are prime candidates for being enslaved by the horn Dragonbinder at the beginning of TWOW.
  • Theon has also had a few body parts removed, ostensibly including his penis, and his actions are definitely central to shit going down in the North.
  • Jaime had his hand cut off and almost died.
  • Tyrion had his nose cut off and almost died.
  • Little Finger was terribly wounded in his duel against Brandon.
  • Mance Rayder was mauled by a shadowcat.
  • Harlon Greyjoy was suffering from greyscale, couldn’t speak, was trapped in a windowless tower, and telepathically called out to Euron (who was likely blinded in one eye by that same greyscale epidemic) begging for death.
  • Euron’s crew of mutes have all had their tongues removed, in what appears to be a successful attempt by Euron to replicate his experience with Harlon. And then Aeron Damphair is tortured and kept in darkness by Euron to unlock his telepathic abilities, which will presumably be utilized in the upcoming naval battle to protect Euron’s ship from the krakens that Euron will summon to destroy the enemy fleet.
  • And speaking of mutes, Wex might be carrying out the marching orders of the Old Gods. He is certainly central to negotiations between factions in the North.
  • The Mad King was kidnapped and tortured at Duskendale. We don’t know the exact details of his torture, but we do know he descended fully into madness after this episode.
  • Jon was stabbed and reached out to Ghost as he died.
  • Robb was shot by crossbow fire and reached out to Grey Wind as he died.
  • Beric, Catelyn, and Coldhands all died and were somehow reanimated. Additionally, it may be that their blood was absorbed into the weirnet (like Varamyr) and that this was a necessary step in their reanimation (though that doesn’t really help explain wtf is  going on with UnGregor).
  • Patchface also died and came back somehow and now recites prophetic nonsense to people.
  • Maggy the Frog seems to also be a reanimated corpse based on Cersei’s description, and death may have helped her to receive visions of the future.

Finally, I would like to point out an interesting parallel that GRRM has made. You know that feeling you get when you are reading a super good book and you basically block out everything else going on around you and just fall into the page? I think GRRM considers that in itself to be another method of telepathic connection, the only difference being that it’s a one way connection. The reason I think this is because we get a description of Sam and his time spent in the library at Castle Black:

Sam did not know how long it had been since last he’d slept, but scarce an inch remained of the fat tallow candle he’d lit when starting on the ragged bundle of loose pages that he’d found tied up in twine. He was beastly tired, but it was hard to stop. One more book, he had told himself, then I’ll stop. One more folio, just one more. One more page, then I’ll go up and rest and get a bite to eat. But there was always another page after that one, and another after that, and another book waiting underneath the pile. I’ll just take a quick peek to see what this one is about, he’d think, and before he knew he would be halfway through it. He had not eaten since that bowl of bean-and-bacon soup with Pyp and Grenn.

So again we see the same symptoms of losing sense of time, not sleeping, and not eating. A good book is effectively like a good telepathic connection. And along those lines, a library is comparable to the weirnet. In fact, you could make the case that the collection of human knowledge at the citadel may rival, or in a sense may even be a competitor to, the collection of COTF knowledge in the weirnet. The real difference is that the humans who accumulate that knowledge all die eventually, while the greenseers of the COTF may all be very much alive. And on a more interesting meta level, you could interpret this info to mean that GRRM himself is the ultimate puppet master telepath in ASOIAF, and that he is trying to manipulate all the readers into thinking certain things with his awesome telepathic powers.

 

An Argument For Weather Control

Now, controlling the weather is way less important, especially if you can travel through time and know exactly what the weather in the future is going to be, but this power would certainly help a lot. I do think based on the small amount of evidence we have, it is likely the Old Gods have this power. First off, there is this line from TWOIAF about the Isle of Faces:

Whether the green men still survive on their isle is not clear although there is the occasional account of some foolhardy young riverlord taking a boat to the isle and catching sight of them before winds rise up or a flock of ravens drives him away.

So there are 2 reasons mentioned for boats not being able to make it to the Isle of Faces: winds and ravens. If the Old Gods or green men are controlling the ravens, they are probably controlling those winds too. And if they can really do things like call down the Hammer of the Waters or cause earthquakes, controlling the winds and potentially other forms of weather seems like a reasonable power to have. Secondly, we have this significant dialogue between Osha and Bran:

“No, stay,” Bran commanded her. “Tell me what you meant, about hearing the gods.”

Osha studied him. “You asked them and they’re answering. Open your ears, listen, you’ll hear.”

Bran listened. “It’s only the wind,” he said after a moment, uncertain. “The leaves are rustling.”

“Who do you think sends the wind, if not the gods?” She seated herself across the pool from him, clinking faintly as she moved. Mikken had fixed iron manacles to her ankles, with a heavy chain between them; she could walk, so long as she kept her strides small, but there was no way for her to run, or climb, or mount a horse. “They see you, boy. They hear you talking. That rustling, that’s them talking back.”

Oddly enough, we get confirmation that Osha is basically correct about all this when Bran enters the weirnet in ADWD. But if the Old Gods can send enough wind to rustle the leaves, who’s to say they can’t do more than that? In fact, Osha’s comment implies that the Old Gods are responsible for all wind generally. She didn’t say “Who do you think sent the wind”, she said “Who do you think sends the wind”, meaning all the time. Now I don’t know if the wind on Planetos is a mixture of “natural” wind and wind “sent by the gods”, but Osha was right about everything else she said there. Obviously different mythologies often use gods to explain events in nature, and the mythologies in ASOIAF are no different. We have the legend of Durran Godsgrief and the construction of Storm’s End, the Ironborn worship the Drowned God but fear the Storm God, and even Melisandre thinks that burning people alive can convince the Red God to give them favorable winds.

Lastly, using weather control as a weapon was a concept introduced on the first page of the first story GRRM ever published, The Hero. The story opens up with the protagonist describing a military assault on a less advanced civilization. This is the beginning of The Hero:

The city was dead and the flames of its passing spread a red stain across the green-gray sky.

It has been a long time dying. Resistance had lasted almost a week and the fighting had been bitter for a while. But in the end the invaders had broken the defenders, as they had broken so many others in the past. The alien sky with its double sun did not bother them. They had fought and won under skies of azure blue and speckled gold and inky black.

The Weather Control boys had hit first, while the main force was still hundreds of miles to the east. Storm after storm had flailed at the streets of the city, to slow defensive preparations and smash the spirit of resistance.

When they were closer the invaders had sent up howlers. Unending high-pitched shrieks had echoed back and forth day and night and before long most of the populace had fled in demoralized panic. By then the attackers’ main force was in range and launched plague bombs on a steady westward wind.

 

Key Points

Before I list everything out, here are the key points of the theory reiterated:

  • Greenseers don’t really die or get their minds absorbed into the weirnet forever. Instead, they are all physically hooked into the weirnet and on life support like BR, and conversely every living weirwood tree has a living greenseer attached to its root system. The reason COTF think the weirwoods are literally the Old Gods is because it is literally true. It seems the COTF have long lived underground based on their eyes. Strange that they worship trees and carve faces above ground for greenseers to see through. It would make more sense if they actually worshipped powerful greenseers who were living underground with them. And the entire thing with hooking BR up to a tree for life support seems like they have done it before. Sure enough, Bran found a whole room of sleeping singers enthroned like BR. The main reason to try to protect every tree, as opposed to say only having to ensure that a single tree survives, is because killing the trees kills the greenseers, and this weakens the power of the Old Gods in the weirnet. The ultimate motivation of the Old Gods is survival. And not the survival of their species or children necessarily, but survival of themselves, literally cheating death like the Undying of Qarth claim to do.
  • Visions and prophecies are sent by players (primarily the Old Gods) to manipulate people into doing what they want.
  • Time travel exists, and the Old Gods probably have the ability to go back in time and correct their mistakes.
  • The Old Gods have been manipulating history to produce people with useful genetic abilities, primarily Bran, Jon, and Dany. They have manipulated recent events to make Jon and Dany super powerful leaders of mankind, possibly by setting them up to defeat the Others in a great battle (and it may be that they ultimately want Jon and Dany to get married and start a new incestuous dynasty of powerful warg dragon riders), and they will use Bran to absorb him into the weirnet and gain the ability of skinchanging humans. Then they will be able to skinchange Jon and Dany (and their children) and achieve dominance over mankind at last. This point is highly speculative on my part and I’m really only confident that the story of HR was important and that the Old Gods wanted Jon and Dany born for some reason.

 

CRACKPOT LOGIC

Just to make my crackpot logic super clear, here is my basic line of reasoning as to why this theory is potentially correct:

  • Jon and Dany are parallel characters in the story in many ways. It appears that they may both control sizeable armies in the near future, and this is in large part because of Dany’s dragon genes and Jon’s warg genes.
  • B+A=J and R+L=D, and the 2 couples both met and fell in love at the Harrenhal Tourney, the event in the story that was the catalyst for the rebellion, and an important turning point for all the major characters.
  • Our only witness of events at the tournament is HR (other than really brief snippets from people like Ned and Jaime). Oddly enough, he seems to have been indirectly responsible for both R+L and B+A, effectively causing both Jon and Dany to be born in the first place.
  • HR mysteriously visited the Isle of Faces for an extended period of time right before the tournament. It would make the most sense if the Green Men or the Old Gods themselves actually sent HR on a mission to make sure Jon and Dany were born and to make Rhaegar crown Lyanna, the pinpointed moment that made the rebellion a reality.
  • If the mission was to create Jon and Dany, and the expected result was what we are seeing play out in the story (Jon and Dany both becoming powerful military leaders), then there must be some player who is so powerful they can either manipulate all the events of Jon and Dany’s lives, or time travel to change the future, or a combination of both. And this player would probably be the weirnet itself. And if the weirnet/Old Gods is responsible for all the events in the lives of Jon and Dany and Bran, and even the rebellion itself, it would make sense if the Old Gods were responsible for other significant things like the Doom and resulting conquest of Aegon, the Starks getting their dire wolves, the death of King Robert, and the attempt on Bran’s life.
  • Then we have to ask the question: Why Jon and Dany? Why not their ancestors? Is it just timing, or are Jon and Dany genetically special? I think the most likely answer is that at least one of them is special in some way. And for full disclosure, I don’t agree with Preston Jacobs all the time, but I do subscribe to the premise of his Genetics of War and Dragons theory (which I stole a bunch of points from for this theory), which is that skinchanging genes and dragon-riding genes are actually X-chromosome linked genetic mutations and thus are always passed from fathers to daughters and have a 50% chance of being passed from a mother to her child. And it may be possible that these genes are actually interchangeable, or could be combined in one person for some new fantastic ability we haven’t seen. According to this PJ theory, Jon would take a special X-chromosome from Ashara, and Dany would take one from Rhaegar and one from Lyanna. Rhaegar’s gene would have originally come from either Maekar’s wife Dyanna Dayne, or Egg’s wife Betha Blackwood. Dany would then have a combination of the Stark version of the gene (wherever that came from) and either the Dayne or Blackwood version. What will Dany be able to do with this genetic combination? I’m not sure. Maybe skinchange a dragon? For a dragon suicide mission? Really it could be anything. And if you don’t subscribe to PJ’s theory, that’s OK. The only thing that really matters for my theory is that Jon and Dany are somehow genetically special, and that their being born was super important to the Old Gods.
  • So if the current “Master Plan” of the Old Gods has been taking place for at least the past couple decades (back to Harrenhal), how long exactly has it been going on for? Well, if the Old Gods are in fact acting as primitive genetic engineers, that would probably entail at least a few generations of breeding, if not dozens or hundreds or even thousands of generations to achieve the desired genetic result. If they are responsible for manipulating the events to produce Jon and Dany, it would make sense if the current plan stretched back at least as far as the time when BR was HotK. Half of Dany’s genes come from Egg and his wife, and Egg somehow became king, even though it was so unlikely that his moniker was “The Unlikely”. It looks like BR acted as an agent of the Old Gods to put Egg on the throne for some reason. And that reason may have been to continue a genetic experiment that would eventually lead to Dany. And if they are responsible for events 100 years ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were responsible for things like the Doom or the Long Night, or whatever caused the skinchanging gene to mutate into existence in the first place. However, it may be the case that they have only been manipulating events this closely since they have had influence over BR. Or it could be that BR is just a super-badass who can see into the future and knew what had to be done to save humanity so he has been causing all these things to happen because he’s so great. But since BR is now hooked up to a weirwood tree for life support, the weirnet itself is probably the real player behind the scenes. And in a sort of separate line of logic outlined earlier, I think the “Old Gods” are actually all alive and hooked directly into the weirnet in the same manner as BR.
  • I could possibly see the Old Gods pulling off this long-term plan without the use of time travel, but I think there are far too many moving parts to make sure things play out how they want. If you’re the Old Gods, it’s no good to just produce Jon and Dany and hope your genetic experiments get really lucky and end up in the political positions you want. You need to manipulate their lives to your liking. And like I said earlier, if the Old Gods do have the powers necessary to micromanage Jon, Dany, and Bran’s lives to this extent without time travel, it would imply they are so powerful as to make this whole complicated Master Plan pretty unnecessary.
  • If the Old Gods can travel through time and use their powers of skinchanging, sending dreams, and controlling weather, we should be able to see events in history that may have been altered by their mischief, and so I have compiled a list of such events. Obviously they may have other powers, like teleporting people/things or even being able to directly influence the genetic makeup of a fetus in the womb (GRRM has done this in another story), but the list is long enough as is, so for now I’ve mostly kept it to just skinchanging, dreams, and weather.

 

List of Events

Finally, here is the giant list of many of the events the Old Gods may have altered in roughly chronological order, with a brief explanation for each event. I doubt the Old Gods were responsible for every single event in this list, but I consider every individual event at least a possibility.

Major Events Before ASOIAF:

Garth Greenhand allegedly lead the First Men into Westeros

  • It is possible, if say Garth was a greenseer, that the Old Gods had something to do with this. From TWOIAF: Garth was the High King of the First Men, it is written; it was he who led them out of the east and across the land bridge to Westeros. Yet other tales would have us believe that he preceded the arrival of the First Men by thousands of years, making him not only the First Man in Westeros, but the only man, wandering the length and breadth of the land alone and treating with the giants and the children of the forest. Some even say he was a god.

The Long Night

  • I’m not sure if the Old Gods caused the Long Night on purpose, but there is a good possibility. I think the Blood Betrayal, the sacrifice of Nissa Nissa, and the Qartheen myth of the exploding moon are 3 different versions of the same story. I subscribe to the idea that the Long Night was caused by the second moon getting destroyed by a comet, and the Old Gods are the prime suspects. The description of Moat Cailin is evidence that the Hammer of the Waters was literally meteors being brought down to Planetos by the Old Gods, and crashing a comet into a moon to destroy it would be a similar power. Here is the Moat Cailin description: And the tall, slender Children’s Tower, where legend said the children of the forest had once called upon their nameless gods to send the hammer of the waters, had lost half its crown. It looked as if some great beast had taken a bite out of the crenellations along the tower top, and spit the rubble across the bog.

The creation of dragons and Others

  • We don’t have much evidence, but it is definitely possible the Old Gods had a direct hand in creating both dragons and the Others. They seem to be central to the Master Plan, so it would be odd if the Old Gods weren’t responsible for them. In fact, I’m betting they actually caused the Long Night for the express purpose of creating the Others and dragons and using them to kill humans. And if the exploding moon was actually the cause of the LN, the Qartheen myth would imply that dragons were born during the LN. Dragons seem to be genetically mutated wyverns, or wyverns that have somehow been bred with fire wyrms. I think the BSE/AA somehow was able to use the “black stone that fell from the sky” he allegedly started worshipping to breed dragons. There had to be something special about the stone for him to start a new religion based on worshipping it.

The creation of ancient prophecies

  • It’s certainly possible that some or all ancient prophecies on Planetos came about naturally. For instance, if Azor Ahai was a real person who actually fought the Others, it would be logical for people of the time period to prophesize his return. However, since all of these ancient prophecies directly affect the characters in ASOIAF, we should also consider the possibility that some or all of these prophecies have been planted by the Old Gods by invading people’s dreams. The AA prophecy guides the actions of a ton of characters, including many Targaryens and all the followers of R’hllor. The Stallion Who Mounts The World prophecy forces the Dothraki to keep a sacred capital city, and they have all been culturally primed for a leader like Dany to unite 100% of them under her rule and have them follow her like a god. The Valyrians allegedly had a prophecy that the gold of Casterly Rock would destroy them, and this may have kept them from invading Westeros.

The Pact

  • GRRM is pretty vague about what exactly led to The Pact between the COTF and the First Men, but since it put a stop to cutting down any more weirwoods, it’s likely the Old Gods played a part, maybe by sending visions to the First Men to get them to worship them, similar to the plot of And Seven Times Never Kill Man.

Andal Invasion

  • Although the invasion of the Andals seems to go against the interests of the Old Gods, the Seven Pointed Star says that Hugor of the Hill had a vision of a bountiful “golden land amidst towering mountains”. Perhaps the Old Gods sent visions to the leader of the Andals to make them invade.

Founding of Braavos

  • Braavos was famously found by the Moonsingers, who prophesied that the escaped slaves must travel far north to a forlorn corner of Essos.

Targaryen migration to Dragonstone

  • The Targaryens moving out of Valyria right before the Doom is beyond suspicious. The story we are told is basically that Daenys the Dreamer received prophetic dreams and was warned of the doom. It’s possible that the Old Gods knew the doom was coming and wanted the Targaryens and their dragons to survive, and so they sent dreams warning them to GTFO.

The Doom

  • The Old Gods may even have caused the Doom on purpose. One likely reason for this is that if the war against the Others has been set up by the Old Gods, they kind of had to even the playing field. Hundreds or thousands of dragons vs the Others would probably be a fast and easy victory for the dragons. You lose the whole “savior of mankind” effect. Or maybe the Targaryens had a particularly useful version of the dragon riding gene that they wanted to isolate.

Aiding the conquest of Aegon by controlling weather, particularly at the Field of Fire and the battle against the Storm King

  • Simple actions like making the wheat fields super dry and windy for Aegon to burn and making the battlefield rainy in the fight against the Storm King (to ruin his cavalry charges) may have made all the difference in Aegon’s conquest.

High Septon’s crowning of Aegon

  • The High Septon allegedly prayed for 7 days and had a vision that if Oldtown took up arms against Aegon, Oldtown would burn, and the Hightower and Citadel and Starry Sept would be destroyed. This vision may have not only guided the actions of Oldtown during the conquest, but also guided the actions of the Hightowers and the Citadel for the last 300 years. This has big implications like giving the maesters the motivation to kill off the dragons and overthrow the Targaryens, and giving the Hightowers the motivation to never fight against Targaryens directly in war.

The actions of Addam Velaryon in the Dance of the Dragons after he allegedly visited the Isle of Faces

  • Addam Velaryon essentially changed the whole outcome of the Dance by embarking on a valiant suicide mission after visiting the Isle of Faces. Did the Old Gods give him guidance?

Daeron the Drunken’s dreams about dragons returning and potentially all the other Targaryens who had dragon dreams

  • We know that at least several Targaryens have had various dragon dreams, and this has certainly impacted the lives of the brothers Daeron the Drunken, Aerion Brightflame, Aemon, and Egg. This makes me ask: If the Old Gods are responsible for sending all those dreams, are they limited to sending dreams to people with certain genes? Or do they choose to send dreams to various Targaryens because those are the important people to influence and they are tricking people into thinking some Targaryens can see into the future?

Daemon II Blackfyre

  • Daemon II tried to start his entire rebellion based on a dream that a dragon would hatch at Whitewalls (which turned out to be Egg becoming a badass). This was a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. If he had never had that dream, the rebellion wouldn’t have happened, and Egg wouldn’t have “hatched” at the tournament. Daemon trusted his dreams in the first place because he dreamed the deaths of his brothers, and they didn’t believe him when he told them.

everything BR did to put Egg on the throne

  • I basically consider BR to be, like Daemon II Blackfyre or LF, a catspaw of the Old Gods who is sent dreams to manipulate him into fulfilling their desires. So in a way, all the actions of BR could be seen as the Old Gods directly messing with history. Specifically, the fact that Aegon The Unlikely became king was super suspicious, and BR may have been responsible for making him king by orchestrating many of the events that eliminated people ahead of Egg in the line of succession. First we have Baelor dying, which was wicked suspicious because Maekar does not remember dealing the blow that killed him. There could have been some off-screen murdering going on. Then we have the Spring Sickness which killed Valarr and Matarys (and King Daeron himself, leading to BR becoming Hand right after). Then there is the fact that Aerys shunned his wife and never tried to have children. A septon even accuses BR of all of these things as well as the stillbirths of Valarr’s sons. Then Rhaegal chokes to death, Aelor is “slain in a grotesque mishap”, Daeron dies of an STD, Aerion dies by drinking wildfire, the Great Council called by BR passes over Maegor Brightflame, and Aemon abdicates to remain a maester. It’s likely that most or all of these events were caused by the Old Gods and BR to make Egg king.

Prince Duncan marries Jenny of Oldstones and abdicates

  • The Ghost of High Heart, who is in direct communication with the Old Gods, goes to KL with her friend Jenny of Oldstones. Prince Duncan abdicates the throne in order to marry Jenny, leading Jaehaerys to be king. Later Jaehaerys forces his children Aerys and Rhaella to marry after the GoHH says the PtwP will be born of their line.

Summerhall

  • I’m not sure what the point of Summerhall was if it was on purpose. Obviously it killed a lot of people at least. But if it went against the plans of the Old Gods, I think they would have gone back in time to prevent it from happening. The may have pushed Egg toward the disaster of Summerhall by sending him dragon dreams.

That “strange fog” from Cat’s childhood

  • Back in the day, strange fog causes Cat and Lysa to get lost on the way back from Seaguard. Lysa starts to cry, but they are found by LF, possibly causing Lysa to start having feelings for LF. We don’t have a lot of specific knowledge about Lysa’s childhood or the origins of her feelings for LF. I think this story is supposed to be important. Young LF saves his damsel in distress Cat just like a fairy tale, but instead of Cat, Lysa ends up being the one in love with him. Perhaps this incident was powerful enough to spark Lysa’s feelings, ultimately giving LF one of the most important weapons in his arsenal, Lysa, who poisoned Jon Arryn, got Ned to go to KL with her letter, and married LF. Cat even comments on the trees “reaching out to grab” them in the fog.
  • “Last night I dreamed of that time Lysa and I got lost while riding back from Seagard. Do you remember? That strange fog came up and we fell behind the rest of the party. Everything was grey, and I could not see a foot past the nose of my horse. We lost the road. The branches of the trees were like long skinny arms reaching out to grab us as we passed. Lysa started to cry, and when I shouted the fog seemed to swallow the sound. But Petyr knew where we were, and he rode back and found us..."

Maggy the Frog tells Cersei her future

  • It seems that Maggy the Frog is actually dead and has been reanimated by the Old Gods in a Coldhands-esque fashion. The reason I think this could be the case is because Cersei distinctly remembers how “queer and cold” Maggy’s mouth was on her thumb. That makes me think that Maggy was actually a corpse and was therefore room temperature, making her mouth feel “cold” to Cersei. Cersei also notes the odd smell of Maggy’s breath.

Jasper Waynwood is kicked in the head by a horse

  • If you recall LF’s long-ass explanation about why Harry the Heir is “the Heir” to the Eyrie, one of the many incidents involved was when young Jasper Waynwood was kicked in the head by a horse. Anytime a horse directly changes an important line of succession, I am suspicious.

Denys Darklyn takes King Aerys hostage

  • Taking King Aerys hostage was a completely insane action to take, especially when the Hand is Tywin. WTF were they thinking? It’s possible the Old Gods sent dreams to someone like Denys’s wife to make them kidnap the King. This is obviously the event that pushes Aerys over the edge into full Mad King mode and may have significantly changed history.

Rhaegar’s actions trying to fulfill prophecy, specifically having kids with Elia then Lyanna

  • Marrying Elia and later running off with Lyanna were not the best moves politically. Rhaegar may have just been fulfilling the desires of the Old Gods by breeding with women who had special genes.

Howland Reed goes to the Isle of Faces

  • Obviously I already detailed this event as it is the basis of the theory

Mance Rayder unites the wildlings

  • Mance Rayder had awfully good timing to unite the wildlings just in time for the war against the Others. Maybe this was simply because the Others were already attacking wildlings, so it was a natural alliance. But it’s possible the Old Gods sent Mance dreams to lead him down his path. They could have even skinchanged the shadowcat that attacked Mance, allowing them to connect with almost-dead Mance telepathically and getting him to leave the Watch in the first place.

 

Major Events During ASOIAF:

a stag kills the pregnant dire wolf

  • Obviously a lot of people have commented on this one before me, but... Really? A stag just happened to kill a direwolf that happened to be pregnant and wandering around south of the Wall? And this just happened to be on a day the Starks were out riding past that spot for something? And the stag and direwolf are the sigils of the houses Stark and Baratheon who coincidentally are about to metaphorically destroy each other? Well, there are basically 3 possibilities. 1) GRRM stuck it in there as a totally contrived plot point that was necessary for the story to move forward (I highly doubt it). 2) Actual omnipotent Gods are real in some form in the story and they made that shit happen for the sake of destiny and fulfilling prophecies and whatever. 3) A player with the ability to skinchange animals made the direwolf get pregnant at just the right moment, go south, and get killed by a stag on that day at that spot for the Starks to find. It is extremely likely the Old Gods were directly responsible here. It is the event that both gives the Starks their direwolves and makes Cat start to be super afraid about the future and King Robert. It is also possible, since Jon initially failed to find Ghost, that Ghost was being warged, and either called out to Jon literally or telepathically to be found. It is notable that Ghost was the only pup with his eyes open.

someone informs LF about the Cersei-Jaime incest

  • By power of deduction, it seems that LF was the original source of the info about the Jaime-Cersei incest and that he told the other members of the Small Council. The entire council except for Ser Barristan knew about it, and no one other than LF had a motive to tell everyone else about it. Varys talked about it to Illyrio, Renly plotted to make Margaery the new queen, Stannis brought the info to Jon Arryn, and Pycelle let Jon die because he knew that Jon knew. And LF himself seems to have known based on his lack of reaction to the news from Ned. So they all knew, and someone on the council must have been the original source, but only LF would have motive to tell the rest of them. In fact, LF’s entire plan in AGOT seems to have been to get Ned to come to KL, lead him on a murder mystery to make him figure out the truth about the incest, and then have Ned lead a coup so that LF could offer the gold cloaks to whoever offered him Harrenhal as a reward (which turned out to be Cersei). But if that’s all correct, then LF’s plan in AGOT would revolve entirely around the fact that Cersei and Jaime were lovers, and my question is: How the fuck does LF know this info? Considering how few people knew about the twincest, it’s possible that the Old Gods themselves were the ones who somehow communicated the knowledge to LF in the first place. And like I mentioned earlier, LF was almost killed in his duel against Brandon. I theorize that it was while he was recovering from his wounds that he was first visited in dreams by the Old Gods and began to transform himself into the LF that we know, a master player of the game.

Bran is crippled

  • As I have mentioned, crippling Bran seems to be key to the Master Plan. His falling from the tower accomplishes many things. First, the crippling of Bran and subsequent assassination attempt are important catalysts for the Wot5K. Cat goes to KL and later captures Tyrion because of the dagger, and Ned refuses to make peace with the Lannisters because of the dagger. Second, it keeps Bran in WF when he would otherwise have left for KL, obviously vital given the events that transpired in KL shortly after. Third, being crippled completely alters Bran’s character and makes him give up his dreams about being a knight. Bran can no longer climb, or even walk, and he is understandably super depressed about this, making the idea of becoming a greenseer much more attractive. Third, being in a coma and then crippled seems to be a purposeful mechanism to unlock Bran’s telepathic abilities. Fourth, the fall itself seems to have been an event contrived to unlock Bran’s power of telekinesis, or “teke” as GRRM calls it. In the story Nightflyers, central to the plot is the fact that increased gravity makes it much more difficult to use teke, while being in space (with no gravity) or being in freefall makes it much easier to use teke. So assuming for a moment that the Old Gods were able to orchestrate the event of Bran climbing the tower while Jaime and Cersei were having sex, one could potentially predict 1) that Jaime would push Bran out the window and 2) that the combination of facing death and being in freefall would force/facilitate Bran to unlock his teke ability to cushion his fall.

Failed assassination of Bran

  • I elaborated on this in Part 1, but I will reiterate here. I refuse to accept that the assassin used LF’s dagger by coincidence. It’s the event that effectively causes the Wot5K and the dagger itself was super important to the plot, so I’m 99% sure it’s not a coincidence. And if I’m correct about that then the following logic applies: The identity of the dagger’s owner is only important if the assassination attempt FAILS and the dagger is left behind as evidence. So for LF’s dagger to end up in Cat’s hands (no pun intended) and lead to her eventual capture of Tyrion, whoever sent the assassin must have planned for failure. Otherwise there is no reason to use LF’s fancy dagger as opposed to any random insignificant dagger. In fact, if you really want the attempt to succeed and not raise questions, the best plan would probably be to go in with no dagger at all and smother Bran with a pillow like how Dany killed Drogo. So who could have planned for the attempt on Bran’s life to fail? Well obviously, the Old Gods/BR would be the only likely answer, since the attempt is ultimately foiled when Summer tears out the throat of the assassin. Burning the WF library may have also served an important purpose for their plans that we don’t know yet. But in a more big picture sense, BR really needed to separate Bran from his family members and burn WF in order to motivate him to go north. And this is also the event that makes Cat leave WF and makes Ned refuse peace.

Bran receives his first dream from BR

  • In his coma, Bran receives his first dream from BR, in which he learns to fly and sees the “heart of winter”. BR also tells him to block out the memory of his fall. It appears that the main purpose of Bran’s coma, opening his third eye, has been achieved and he wakes up, again similar to Arya skinchanging a cat for the first time and then getting her sight back right after.

Cat seizes Tyrion

  • It always struck me as odd that Cat’s entire murder mystery adventure lead to her coincidentally running into Tyrion at the inn and taking him prisoner. I do have one potential explanation for this “coincidence”. Basically, once Tyrion headed off on his own, all the Old Gods had to do was get Cat to go to KL and then make sure Cat and Tyrion make it to the inn at the same time by controlling the weather. As long as you time the attempt on Bran roughly correctly (for controlling Cat’s departure date), I’m betting that just by using rain you could delay either Cat or Tyrion’s arrival at the inn by a specific number of hours or days, causing them to meet as they did. They also had Cat’s time on the ship to work with, since ships are easily pushed around by wind. Obviously there are still some other variables here, including Marillion causing Tyrion to notice Cat, and that’s why I lean toward the Old Gods having time travel abilities, so they can adjust things until the timeline plays out correctly for their plan.

Ned breaks his leg

  • Ned breaking his leg was actually important to the plot. It puts him out for a few days, keeps him in KL, and prevents him from riding out to fight the Mountain himself. Did BR warg Ned’s horse and break his leg on purpose? Mayhaps…

Osha and friends attack Bran and Robb

  • I’m suspicious of this one mostly because of how important Osha is to the story. Oddly, the wildling assault on Bran is facilitated when Summer and Grey Wind run out into the forest and Robb goes after them, leaving Bran alone. More specifically, first the wolves run off into the woods, causing Robb and Bran to search for them instead of going back to the castle. Then the rest of the party is slowed down by Luwin’s donkey, and Theon spots a turkey and decides to go after it. Finally, Summer and Grey Wind howl after killing something which causes Robb to leave Bran alone, and Osha shows up with her soon-to-be-dead friends. Did the Old Gods skinchange the wolves and the turkey? The donkey? The animal that the wolves killed? Mayhaps...

Ned dreams about ToJ

  • I’m generally suspicious of all POV dreams. Dreams make people (especially Jojen) do things. In this case, Ned had a dream about the TOJ and then decides to remain HotK. Did the Old Gods break Ned’s leg on purpose with that horse so that he would be given painkillers and it would be easier to send him a dream? Mayhaps…

Robert goes hunting hoping to capture a rare white hart

  • This one I actually think is super likely. Most people forget the Robert didn’t actually go out to hunt the boar initially. He was hunting a white hart that had been sighted in the kingswood. Ultimately the hart is eaten by wolves, making Robert furious… until he hears “talk of some monstrous boar deeper in the forest”. And then, spoiler alert, he gets killed by the boar. And since he stabbed the boar in the eye and called it a bastard and said it was sent by the gods, I’m betting that at least BR is responsible. I elaborated on this point a bit in Part 1. And think about it, if you were BR, and you needed to kill Robert for some reason, and your main power was the ability to control animals, that would be a pretty decent plan. Simple but effective, and you can do it basically whenever you want. Skinchange into a white hart, run around until you get noticed, lead Robert into the woods, warg some wolves to eat the hart, skinchange a monstrous boar and get noticed by the hunting party, and kill Robert.

Tyrion dreams of killing his father

  • Tyrion, right after leaving the Eyrie, has a dream where he is driving is father over the edge of a sky cell. Since Tyrion does in fact kill Tywin later, I have to wonder if this dream was a seed deliberately planted by the Old Gods.

Ned hears the bullshit story from Piper, Vance, and Darry that starts the Wot5K

  • This begs the question: did Lord Darry (or someone else involved) know that Robert would die hunting? It seems like a pointless effort otherwise, as Robert could have restored peace. The story we hear from Piper, Vance, and Darry about the Mountain attacking villages sounds like bullshit. It’s full of holes, and we know Lord Darry is a hardcore Targaryen loyalist who hates the Starks and Lannisters and would probably love for them to kill each other. They played on Ned’s own bias against Gregor and manipulated Ned to sentence him to death and summon Tywin to KL. But if the story is bullshit, and they just want to start a war, their plan is not very good. Robert is going to get back from his hunt and likely restore peace, since Ned is his best friend and he’s married to Cersei. Their plan would only make sense if they knew ahead of time, via a prophetic vision, that Robert would die hunting.

The white hart gets eaten by wolves

  • Robert is initially angry but then hears about a monstrous boar and decides to hunt after that instead.

Ned dreams about the crypts and his promise to Lyanna

  • Any dreams are suspicious, and this one is right before Ned decides to attempt the coup, his fatal mistake.

Robert is mortally wounded by the boar

LF organizes the coup (and betrays Ned)

  • LF keeps Ned in KL and leads him on a murder mystery, and saves his life (after fighting Jaime) to eventually facilitate the coup. It seems that LF’s entire plan in AGOT was basically to cause this coup so that he could sell the loyalty of the gold cloaks in exchange for Harrenhal (and Cersei paid up), which begs the question: did LF know that King Robert would die in the near future, allowing for the coup in the first place? If King Robert had stayed alive a while longer, LF’s plan would have been destroyed, because LF only controls the gold cloaks in the event of Robert’s death. Ned probably would have left KL one way or another, and the coup wouldn’t have happened. LF’s plan really only makes sense if he knew Robert was going to die. And we see no attempt from LF to assassinate Robert himself.

Jon and Sam take their NW vows north of the Wall. Ghost ventures out into the woods and returns with Jafer’s hand

  • Would Jon and company have ever found the bodies of Jafer and Othor if not for Ghost? I highly doubt it. First, Ghost takes it upon himself to bound off into the woods, tear off Jafer’s hand, and show it too Jon, and then he actually leads them to the bodies. Ghost was probably being warged here.

Upon inspection of the bodies, everyone assumes it was the Others’ work, but the Others may have been framed.

  • If the Old Gods were trying to start another war, it makes perfect sense for them to stage an assassination attempt and use Jon to “save Mormont” to boot. So if we reexamine the events from this perspective, it appears that the Old Gods planted the bodies by killing Othor with ravens and killing Jafer with Other, and they utilized Ghost to get the bodies into Castle Black. Then Jon mysteriously falls asleep in his room (while imprisoned) while staring at a candle, and he doesn’t wake up even when the guard right outside his door is killed. Ghost wakes him up, and Jon fights zombie Othor. Jon is rewarded with a Valyrian steel sword, and saving Mormont gave Jon serious street cred and probably helped make him LC later. Additionally, if the Old Gods want Jon to lead a fight against the Others, it would help a lot to make him biased against them. The fight against Othor was a seriously traumatic near-death experience that also gave Jon a severely burned right hand. And recall that it was actually Mormont’s raven, obviously being skinchanged, who yelled at Jon to burn the wight. In case you forgot just how scary fighting Othor was, here’s the text from the worst part: Dead Othor slammed into him, knocking him off his feet. Jon’s breath went out of him as the fallen table caught him between his shoulder blades. The sword, where was the sword? He’d lost the damned sword! When he opened his mouth to scream, the wight jammed its black corpse fingers into Jon’s mouth. Gagging, he tried to shove it off, but the dead man was too heavy. Its hand forced itself farther down his throat, icy cold, choking him. Its face was against his own, filling the world. Frost covered its eyes, sparkling blue. Jon raked cold flesh with his nails and kicked at the thing’s legs. He tried to bite, tried to punch, tried to breathe … And suddenly the corpse’s weight was gone, its fingers ripped from his throat. It was all Jon could do to roll over, retching and shaking. Ghost had it again. He watched as the direwolf buried his teeth in the wight’s gut and began to rip and tear. He watched, only half conscious, for a long moment before he finally remembered to look for his sword … … and saw Lord Mormont, naked and groggy from sleep, standing in the doorway with an oil lamp in hand. Gnawed and fingerless, the arm thrashed on the floor, wriggling toward him. Jon tried to shout, but his voice was gone. Staggering to his feet, he kicked the arm away and snatched the lamp from the Old Bear’s fingers. The flame flickered and almost died. “Burn! ” the raven cawed. “Burn, burn, burn!”

Bran and Rickon dream of Ned being in the crypts

  • Bran’s dream about Ned in the crypts right before the raven arrives with the news is one of the first actions that really convinces Bran to trust in prophetic dreams. But really, this dream is just revealing info from far away and not the future, since Ned is already dead at this point.

Ghost gives away Jon’s position when he attempts to flee

  • After Ned’s death, Jon attempts to flee the NW and join up with Robb. When his friends come after him, he hides in the woods, but Ghost gives away his position, and his friends convince him to go back to the Wall.

Melisandre at some point comes to believe that Stannis is Azor Ahai and comes to Westeros

  • At some point Mel becomes convinced that Dragonstone would be the birthplace of AAR, and that Stannis himself is AAR, and she proactively joins up with Stannis. Since her whole thing is staring into the flames seeking truth, I’m betting someone sent her visions to convince her Stannis is AAR. Mel even sees BR and Bran in the flames and thinks to herself He sees me. And if the Old Gods are trying to prop up Jon as a savior (who has come back from the dead), it would be super useful to control the actions of Mel. After all, Jon’s actions in ADWD are greatly affected by Mel’s visions. You could certainly argue that Mel’s visions got Jon stabbed.

Jojen almost dies of greywater fever

  • Jojen, like Bran and a million other people, has his telepathic abilities unlocked by a near-death experience. Similar to Bran’s coma, Jojen’s state of mind during his illness was probably what facilitated the Old Gods to send him visions for the first time

Jojen dreams his own death

  • At some point, presumably before we (the readers) met him, it is fairly certain Jojen had a vision of his own death. Jojen famously said to Meera 3 different times “This is not the day I die.” This statement is really the epitome of the relationship between Jojen and Meera. Jojen, confident in the truth of his green dreams, sometimes acts recklessly or is unjustifiably optimistic. But Meera, who is a skeptic, tries to warn Jojen of danger and keep him safe. And this death dream is vital to getting Bran to go north. The actions of Jojen, mainly traveling north of the Wall, are absolutely insane. But since he is convinced his dreams are true, he presses onward no matter how crazy it is. Similar to how Bran being crippled motivated Bran to go north, being resigned to an unavoidable death seems to have given Jojen the motivation to give his life purpose and to act like a crazy person.

Jojen dreams of a winged wolf bound by chains, and a 3EC pecking at the chains

  • Jojen’s next super important dream that we know about his the one that brings him to WF. He dreamed of a winged wolf (Bran) bound by chains and knew it was his job to go to WF and help Bran unlock his abilities.

Jojen dreams about the meals served to Bran and the Walders

  • We can never know what green dreams were sent to Jojen back in the day to make him have such faith in them, but we sort of get an idea by the sequence of dreams sent during ACOK. This is the first of 3 dreams sent to Jojen to make Bran convinced of the validity of green dreams.

Ghost leads Jon to the dragonglass weapons buried at the Fist of the First Men

  • Ghost, for some reason, leads Jon to a cache of recently buried dragonglass and what appears to be the fabled Horn of Winter. I’m betting Ghost was being warged by BR. We don’t yet know the full implications of this discovery, but one of those dragonglass daggers was used by Sam to kill a WW not much later.

Grey Wind leads Robb around the Golden Tooth

  • In the very next chapter, we see yet another potential instance of BR warging direwolves. In one of the most suspicious events in the Wot5K, Greywind miraculously is able to find a trail around the Golden Tooth, allowing Robb’s army to take the Lannister force by surprise and slaughter them. If this wasn’t BR warging Greywind, it sure was a stroke of unbelievable luck for Robb. Tyrion even foolishly concludes that no sorcery was involved and actively dismisses the mystery of how Robb bypassed their sentries as unimportant.

Jojen dreams that the sea will come to WF and that Alebelly, Mikken, and Septon Chayle will drown

  • For his second trick… Jojen correctly predicts that the ironborn would come to WF and that Alebelly, Mikken, and Septon Chayle would die. But there are a couple issues with this. First, we don’t actually see Septon Chayle die. It is possible that the well he supposedly drowned in is connected to the pool in the godswood. Osha oddly notes that she couldn’t touch the bottom of the pool when she tried, and Septon Chayle tells us he learned to swim in the White Knife and is a strong swimmer. Additionally, a rotting corpse should have made the well unusable, and we never hear any talk of fishing a corpse out of a well. But what is far more important about Jojen’s dream is the fact that simply telling Ser Rodrik about the dream helped to facilitate the outcome, because Rodrik, being extra cautious, took all the men he could away from WF. In this sense, the dream was a self-fulfilling prophecy. And of course, this is the second of the 3 dreams sent in ACOK to convince Bran to trust Jojen.

Ramsay (as Reek) is captured by Ser Rodrik

  • This is super suspicious, and the story Ramsay tells makes no sense. Why go out hunting in fancy clothes with no guards when you are a wanted man and other northern soldiers are riding around nearby? There is no reason to take a bunch of fancy clothing hunting, and Ramsay shouldn’t be stupid enough to go hunting with no guards (or at all) in the first place. Unless, that is, Ramsay was trying to get arrested and brought to WF on purpose. Could Ramsay be receiving visions that are guiding his behavior like Jojen? Well… yes. In fact, it seems they received some of the same or similar visions in ACOK. In the very same chapter that Jojen tells Bran about the sea coming to WF dream, Ramsay is captured and brought to WF. Ramsay likely also dreamed about Theon coming to WF and made himself a prisoner on purpose in anticipation of this. After all, the events in WF and up playing almost perfectly into Ramsay’s hands. That sure would be damn lucky if Ramsay was captured by accident but just happened to be in the right place at the right time to sack WF and frame Theon for murder.

Jojen tells Bran he dreamt of Reek skinning the faces off him and Rickon

  • For the third seemingly prophetic dream, Jojen dreams of Ramsay skinning the faces off Bran and Rickon. This ends up becoming true, and Bran is effectively convinced of the “truth” of green dreams.

Ramsay somehow knows ahead of time they wouldn’t find Bran and Rickon and brings a bag with their clothes hunting.

  • This appears to be a second instance of Ramsay and Jojen receiving the same dream. Ramsay shouldn’t have necessarily anticipated the hunt would fail, and even if he did, he shouldn’t know about the miller’s sons nearby who happen to be the right age/size to take the place of Bran and Rickon. Additionally, pretending to kill Bran and Rickon makes everyone in the realm think they are dead. This helped Ramsay by allowing him to later claim WF through his marriage to fake Arya, and it helped the Old Gods because no one hunted for Bran, and Bran was motivated to keep his life a secret, which kept him from going to seek help from other northerners or the NW. Again, if this wasn’t an intentional Old Gods conspiracy, it was some astounding luck and foresight on Ramsay’s part.

Mel sees a vision of Ser Cortnay’s death

  • Mel claims to see Cortnay’s death and says that they will need Edric Storm, motivating Stannis to take Storm’s End

House of the Undying

  • What in the heck happened in the HOTU? I’ll try to explain. First, I would like to point out that when Bran ate weirwood paste, he was likely consuming greenseer blood, because (as I pointed out in Part 1 of this theory) the greenseers are all alive and hooked up to the weirnet, and the red sap and red leaves are the result of red blood being pumped through the trees like giant sci-fi lungs. I am going to make yet another crazy but related claim: shade of the evening is made from the blood of the Undying of Qarth, and the Undying themselves are hooked up to their grove of trees in a manner similar to BR and the other greenseers with the weirnet. “Hold on a minute,” I hear you thinking. Didn’t we see the Undying? And didn’t Drogon burn them all alive? Did we really? Did Drogon really kill them? Spoiler: No. So what actually happened? Well first we get a description of the HOTU. It is a grey and ancient ruin, long and low, without towers or windows, coiling like a stone serpent through a grove of black-barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of shade of the evening. I am betting that the Undying have basically done in Qarth, above ground, what BR and the other COTF greenseers have historically done below ground, and with a different species of tree. The HOTU itself is windowless. You don’t make a building windowless on purpose unless you want it to be dark. And since being in darkness is the best thing for telepaths, what is inside the HOTU is likely a bunch telepaths (the Undying) hooked up to the root system of the grove of trees BR-style, permanently residing in darkness and using the warlocks as servants, similar to how the Old Gods use COTF as servants. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Undying consulted the COTF for this knowledge, because the person who actually serves Dany the shade of the evening is “the smallest dwarf Dany had ever seen” and is possibly part COTF. So did Dany actually kill the Undying or not? I don’t think she did. Primarily, I think Dany was still in full-on hallucination/telepathic connection mode at least until she made it outside, back into the light. Because Dany, after ostensibly killing the Undying, thinks that there is no door out of the passageway in the HOTU, and the floor “seemed to move slowly under her feet, writhing as if to trip her”. And then “suddenly the door was there ahead of her”. These are still false visions, illusions being put in her head. Now you may be thinking, wasn’t she on drugs? And I would argue, not really, I don’t think shade of the evening is hallucinogenic or anything like that. It simply opens up the mind to your own memories and to telepathic connections, which if true means that the illusion of “a floor that seemed to move slowly under her feet” must have still been part of the visions sent by the Undying themselves. And the entire audience chamber scene with the floating heart was just a false vision. And when Dany gets slapped in the head by Drogon and the visions are “ripped away”, she was still experiencing the original vision. So it seems that what actually happened is basically 1) Dany drank the blood of the Undying, which facilitated a strong telepathic connection between herself and the Undying. 2) Dany, after having pre-conceived notions put into her head by Pyat Pree about what to expect inside, walked into a windowless pitch dark building with the all the Undying around her. 3) The Undying sent her a bunch of visions and then scared the shit out of her and forced her to “escape”. 4) A small amount of smoke seeping through the roof paired with the (planned and totally fake) reaction of Pyat Pree fully convinces Dany the Undying have been defeated. Because really, why bother sending Dany all those visions if you are just going to absorb her into your telepath collective and/or kill her? It seems pointless. And why would the Undying leave themselves so vulnerable to immediate destruction? You would think that with so many years of wisdom they might take more precautions around a dragon, like maybe have some sort of fire extinguisher system at the ready. And most importantly to my Master Plan theory, the HOTU had a huge effect on Dany’s actions, so it makes a lot more sense if it was all a big trick and the Undying are in cahoots with the Old Gods, or are themselves another pawn. The explanation we are provided with at surface level, that the Undying were killed super easily and wasted their time showing Dany otherwise-irrelevant visions, is too full of holes for me to believe.

Theon starts having crazy nightmares

  • ACOK Theon V starts and ends with nightmares, and Theon explicitly thinks to himself: All his dreams had been cold of late, and each more hideous than the one before. Due to the timing of these dreams, I’m betting the purpose of them was to make Theon refuse to leave WF with Asha, which is the main event of this chapter.

Wights attack the Fist of the First Men

  • Sam’s storyline with regards to the Others is unbelievably suspicious, and it all begins at the fist. First, Ghost finds the dragonglass and the horn that are given to Sam. The horn is likely the Horn of Winter and will be vital to the story in some fashion, and the dragonglass dagger is later used by Sam to kill a WW. Then, the wights attack the fist. Our first glimpse of the attack is in the ASOS prologue, from the pov of Chett. Chett is about to kill Sam, but Sam is miraculously saved by an army of wights attacking the Fist. Then we get the details of the attack from Sam’s inner monologue as he is wandering through the snow, some period of time later. In the opening paragraph, GRRM hits us over the head with the idea that the Old Gods may be meddling here when Sam thinks: They’re not my feet, they’re someone else’s, someone else is walking, it can’t be me. I’m not sure if the Old Gods are somehow inside Sam’s head here, but I will point out he acts amazingly stupid. Before recalling the details of the attack for us readers, Sam laments his current situation. He is sobbing and can’t go on. The snow won’t stop, and it is already up past his knees. And it has been vaguely some amount of time probably more than a day since the attack with no rest. Sam notes that he has to pull up his sword belt every 4 steps because his scabbard weighs it down, except he also says that he lost his sword, so why is he keeping the heavy useless scabbard instead of just throwing it away? Similarly, he is keeping a heavy chainmail hauberk on even though he is exhausted and his shoulders are in “agony”, and he only has a loose surcoat and a cloak over the chainmail. But Sam fears the cold, because apparently it is really damn cold where he is. Keep in mind that Jon is pretty close by at this point and it is only snowing lightly, while Sam can only see 3 yards in front of him. Jon even notes shortly after the attack that it is colder on the eastern bank of the river (near the Fist). It seems like the weather is being manipulated by someone, though it is unclear if it is the Old Gods or the WW. Similarly, we aren’t sure who is controlling the wights either. Although the general belief is that blue-eyed wights are being controlled by the Others, we don’t have any proof of that. Anyways, Sam recalls the details of the slaughter, and we get some more suspicious horse activities. Once the wights breach the ringwall, Mormont sounds the call to mount up and Sam runs over to the fire, though he doesn’t remember running. Then a riderless horse came by and kicked Ser Ottyn Wythers in the face. Sam then remembers being on a horse - maybe the one that killed Ser Ottyn - but doesn’t recall mounting up either. Then Sam manages to clear the ringwall even though he has never jumped a horse before. After walking for an unknown length of time, Sam is tripped by a tree root, falls down, and cannot stand back up. Grenn tries to kick Sam into standing up, but fails. A moment later, Small Paul is there and makes the insane decision to carry Sam. Why did Small Paul do this? Well, probably because BR had been manipulating him for some time through a telepathic connection via Mormont’s raven, and so Small Paul asks Sam if he can have one of his ravens. Sam tells Paul that all the ravens flew away at the Fist and apologizes. But a few minutes later, when some nameless brothers tell Paul to leave Sam behind, Paul says Sam promised him a bird, and that he wants a bird that talks and eats corn from his hand. After they fall behind the rest of the NW, they are attacked by a WW. Small Paul charges it and conveniently manages to pull the sword out of the WW’s grip when he dies. Sam takes advantage of the moment to kill the WW with the obsidian dagger Jon gave him, and he and Grenn catch up with the rest of the NW. So to summarize, the attack on the Fist accomplished many things, including: a WW is killed by the NW (increasing motivations for war and giving the NW the knowledge to kill more), Sam’s life is ironically saved, the mutiny is delayed, and the wildling army is left untouched on its way to the Wall. And the events surrounding Sam were facilitated by Ghost finding the cache of obsidian weapons, the wights attacking, a suspiciously murderous and athletic horse, and a suspiciously insane bird-obsessed Small Paul. It seems that Sam’s journey is vital to the Master Plan, and this is just the beginning for him.

Nymeria and the wolf pack kill the Bloody Mummers hunting Arya

  • After Arya’s escape from Harrenhal, 4 Brave Companions come hunting after them. Arya, as Nymeria, kills them with the help of her wolf pack, likely saving her life.

Davos survived the Blackwater

  • Davos somehow survived the battle and washed up on an island. This is suspicious since he appeared to be drowning when we last saw him. Did the corpse he washed up with save his life via being skinchanged? Did the corpse perform CPR on Davos like Aeron Damphair? Because that would be hilarious.

Arya’s position is given away by her horse

  • In yet another example of suspicious horse actions, Arya’s position is rudely given away by her horse while trying to hide from the BwB. She even ironically prayed: You old gods, you tree gods, hide me, and make him go past.

We learn that Beric has been killed multiple times and somehow is being resurrected over and over

  • Obviously Beric has been killed and resurrected, and the big question is: what force exactly is resurrecting him? And Why? And is he still in fact Beric Dondarrion, or is his body just a hollow vessel for someone else? Well, the first significant detail is that Beric, like Cat, Coldhands, and the Mountain, does not have blue eyes, so whatever force is animating him is a different mechanic from the blue-eyed wights. Additionally, these 4 undead people also do not eat or sleep, and at least Coldhands doesn’t even need to breathe. This makes sense, since the main purpose of breathing is to get oxygen to your blood, and Coldhands’ blood has definitely stopped moving and congealed in his extremities. So it seems that while Beric and these other folks have been “resurrected” in a sense, they are still technically dead and are probably not rotting for the same reason that the corpses of Jafer Flowers and Othor did not rot. Whatever force is reanimating them is also preventing rot. The mechanics are mysterious, but nonetheless, it seems clear that the BwB is working to advance the agenda of the Old Gods, though they probably don’t know it themselves. For starters, you can’t ignore the fact that Beric in one scene is a one-eyed corpse on a weirwood throne in a hollow hill, just like BR. Secondly, the BwB routinely checks in with the GoHH. They even visit her twice in the short period of time Arya is with them. And why do they visit her? Well for knowledge of course. The GoHH is often troubled by dreams from the Old Gods and relates those dreams to the BwB. This is basically a direct communication line from the Old Gods to the BwB leadership. Additionally, the BwB are spreading the religion of the Red God, which may come in handy when Jon and/or Dany is gathering followers for the fight against the Others.

Cleos is killed by his horse

  • In yet another suspicious act by a rogue horse, Cleos is killed when his horse drags his head along the ground. This has the immediate effect of sparking the fight between Jaime and Brienne and their subsequent capture at the hands of the Brave Companions. And it also may have changed who will end up with the Darry lands, as Cleos was married to Jeyne Darry and had a good claim. Not to mention he was also a Frey and potentially could have claimed the Twins if enough Freys die.

Thoros fights the Hound with a flaming sword

  • What?! We have been waiting to find Lightbringer this whole time, and there is Beric fighting with an actual flaming sword via blood magic. Lightbringer found! In all seriousness, I doubt that sword was Lightbringer, but it really begs the question: how did Beric light his sword on fire with blood? And did the Old Gods help? And why can’t Stannis do that with his sword? I don’t know how the sword is on fire, but I’m betting the Old Gods did make it happen, since it seems they are responsible for everything else the BwB is doing.

Stannis sees a vision of the battle at the Fist in the flames

  • In an odd twist, Stannis himself claims to have seen a vision in the flames, specifically the NW battle at the Fist. Mel claims this vision means the Great War has begun.

Hodor panics from the thunderstorm, causing Bran to skinchange Hodor for the first time

  • I’m not sure if the Old Gods caused this event on purpose, but it was certainly a crucial step in Bran’s training. A violent storm causes Hodor to panic with wildlings nearby, and Bran is forced to skinchange into him to make him quiet.

Jon escapes the wildlings

  • After his escape, Jon thinks that it was ironically lucky he got shot in the leg, since otherwise the arrow would have killed his horse. Could this be an instance of BR using time travel to skinchange the horse and make sure he times it just right so Jon’s leg gets hit? At a minimum, this is one instance where any long-term plans for Jon were inches away from being destroyed by that arrow. I personally wouldn’t risk such a huge plan on moments like that if I lacked time-travel abilities.

Thoros sees a vision of Riverrun coming under attack

  • This vision turns out to be accurate, but more relevantly it makes Arya run away from the BwB and she is immediately captured by the Hound, effectively keeping her from getting caught up in the RW

Jaime has a crazy dream about Brienne and goes back to rescue her

  • Jaime has recently had his hand cut off and is still suffering from a fever at this point. We don’t know the details of Jaime’s other dreams, but he does mention that “the fever dreams were all so vivid”. Regardless, Jaime has a crazy dream that Brienne is in, and after waking up he immediately decides they need to go back and rescue Brienne

Sam and Gilly are rescued by Coldhands

  • Upon arriving at a random wildling village, Sam ironically prays for the old gods to protect them. Then they are attacked by wights who kill their horse. Miraculously, right before Sam and Gilly are killed, they are saved by a bunch of ravens, and the raven on Sam’s shoulder tells him to run. Finally, they are rescued by Coldhands.

Arya and The Hound take the ferry at Lord Harroway’s Town

  • All the rivers in the area are flooding due to abnormal levels of rain. The Hound and Arya use the ferry to cross the Trident and pay the ferrymen with the paper note from the BwB, ensuring there is no way to follow them across. Without all that rain and flooding, the BwB might have had a good chance of catching the Hound and recapturing Arya.

Jojen has a green dream that they will find a way through the Wall at the Nightfort

  • If Bran is to continue his journey north, he needs a way through the Wall that bypasses the NW. Luckily, Jojen receives a vague dream about a way through at the Nightfort, and Sam is on his way to help!

Coldhands brings Sam and Gilly to the Nightfort

  • This is the second big event (after killing the WW) that makes me think the Old Gods are directly manipulating Sam’s journey. Sam conveniently opens the Black Gate for Bran and co, and Coldhands guides them north. But think about that for a minute. First off, Coldhands is clearly a necessary companion for the journey north of the Wall. And Bran needed a way through the Wall that bypassed the NW to not get captured. Fortunately there is the Black Gate, but you need a brother of the NW to let Bran through. And Coldhands just so happens to rescue a stray NW brother on his way to the Black Gate… Wow… And as a bonus, Sam was about to die and promises to keep Bran a secret in return for being rescued.

Nymeria pulls Cat from the river

  • I have already mentioned how the BwB are basically doing the dirty work of the Old Gods. And at this point in the story, Nymeria pulls their new leader, LSH, from the river.

Dany takes Meereen

  • While it has been raining copiously in the riverlands, over in Meereen it has apparently not rained for over a month. This lack of rain allows Dany’s sewer scheme to work perfectly, and she conquers Meereen.

Ghost somehow makes it to Castle Black

  • In a rare heart-warming moment, Jon is reunited with Ghost, who somehow made it back to CB on his own. Now, I might believe that Ghost actually made it back on his own, but the timing of his return is just ridiculous. Literally at the very moment that Jon decides to accept Stannis’s offer, Ghost comes running out of the woods and changes his mind. This is also right before Jon gets elected LC, and having Ghost back probably didn’t hurt his chances.

Mormont’s raven helps get Jon elected LC

  • The final nail in the coffin that got Jon elected was the raven in the kettle. When Clydas takes the lid off of the voting kettle, Mormont’s raven bursts out and lands on Jon’s shoulder. Pyp even remarks that “it would have mucked everything if the bird had decided to perch on Janos Slynt’s fat head”. It seems exceedingly likely the raven was being skinchanged to first get it into the kettle and then land on Jon and get him elected.

BwB led by LSH kills Petyr Pimple and Merrett Frey

  • Once LSH becomes the new leader of the BwB, their primary new task seems to be executing Freys. Obviously we have yet to see the fallout of the coming Frey civil war, but I think we can safely infer that killing a few key Freys will have a big impact on the fighting around The Twins, Riverrun, and Castle Darry.

Cersei has a nightmare about Tyrion (AFFC Cersei I)

  • In AFFC we finally get the pov of Cersei, and it’s at this point that she really begins her descent into madness and paranoia. And her dreams may have had something to do with this. The very first Cersei chapter begins with her dreaming about Tyrion laughing at her while she sits the IT naked, and she is being killed by the blades of the throne. The timing of this dream is suspicious, as it came at the perfect moment to exacerbate her paranoia over Tyrion. She is woken up from her dream only to learn that Tywin is dead and Tyrion has escaped. If this were a regular dream, you would think Cersei would have such a nightmare about Tyrion after his escape, not right before his presumed execution.

Cersei dreams about Maggy the Frog

  • Later in AFFC, we finally get the full details on Maggy the Frog when Cersei dreams of the event, and the dream ends with Tyrion strangling her. This dream helps further elevate her paranoia about Tyrion and Margaery.

Ryman Frey killed by the BwB

  • Ryman is the next Frey to be killed by the BwB, and this murder comes with the added bonus of retrieving Robb’s crown for LSH.

LSH gives Brienne a choice between killing Jaime or being hanged

  • We don’t yet know the implications of Brienne’s actions, but we can at least assume that Jaime will be brought before LSH and put at her mercy.

Jaime has a weird dream about his mother

  • After having a weird dream in which Joanna cries over what has become of her children, Jaime receives the letter from Cersei professing her love and pleading for help, and he decides to burn the letter and not help her. This decision will free him up to go off with Brienne and pay a visit to LSH.

Ser Gunthor Hightower has a private conversation with Qurulu Mo

  • On their way to Oldtown, shortly before arriving, the Cinnamon Wind is inspected by the captain of Huntress. The crew is told that the ironborn recently attempted a Trojan horse tactic, and so all incoming ships are being inspected. But then oddly, they must submit to inspection again when they arrive at Oldtown, this time by Ser Gunthor. Suspiciously, Ser Gunthor has a private conversation with Qurulu Mo (whoever the fuck that is). This is purportedly because Gunthor studied at the Citadel for several years and learned the Summer Tongue, but that seems like a dubious excuse. We don’t even know who Qurulu Mo is, as he is suspiciously not included in the AFFC appendix next to Quhuru Mo and Kojja Mo, but we can try to puzzle it out. Given the name similarity to Quhuru along with the fact that he doesn’t speak the common tongue, it seems likely that Qurulu is Quhuru’s father. Which means that while Quhuru is technically the captain of the Cinnamon Wind, its true master may be Qurulu, which in turn mean that Ser Gunthor had a secret conversation with the man in charge of the ship. And given the association between the Cinnamon Wind and Marwyn (who is concerned with the contents of prophetic visions), I am betting the topic of discussion was the latest visions of Ser Gunthor’s sister, the Mad Maid Malora. And if the Old Gods are sending Malora her visions, that means they may be directly guiding the journey of the Cinnamon Wind.

Ramsay kills Little Walder to serve his plan, but the timing of this act was dependent on a prophetic vision

  • In ADWD, Little Walder is brutally murdered, and his frozen corpse is brought into the great hall at WF. Big Walder blames the Manderly men, and a fight breaks out. Luckily, Roose has recently received a map with Stannis’s position via raven, and he sends the quarreling Frey and Manderly men out of the castle to fight. Long story short, Ramsay killed Little Walder and coerced him into blaming the Manderlys in order to “win the game of thrones” in the north. Ramsay wanted to spark the fight and force Roose’s hand into sending the Freys out to die. Ramsay is planning on killing his father and taking the Dreadfort as his seat, but the Freys in the north are only loyal to Roose and his new wife Fat Walda, not Ramsay. So before killing Roose, Ramsay needed to rid himself of the Freys, and Stannis has provided him with his opportunity. But if this was in fact Ramsay’s plan, it was all dependent on murdering LW right before the map arrives, and the only ones who would be able to communicate such knowledge would be the Old Gods. So I think that was Ramsay’s plan, and I think he received a dream/vision letting him know the right moment to kill LW.

Melisandre has been having visions about Jon, as well as a vision of Alys Karstark coming to Castle Black

  • Mel’s visions and corresponding actions have a huge impact on Jon and basically lead to him getting stabbed. Since Jon getting stabbed was likely a key part of the Master Plan, it seems Mel’s visions are being sent by the Old Gods.

Coldhands leads Bran, Jojen, and Meera in circles

  • One of the most suspicious parts of Bran’s journey north is when Meera claims they have been going in circles. Since that is an odd claim to make if untrue, I am going to side with Meera on this one and assume she is correct. More specifically, Meera claims that  a river they are crossing is the same one they crossed 4 days previous. That means Coldhands may be deliberately making the journey way longer than necessary. This would make them run out of food, and it would make the trio believe they are much further from the Wall than they really are, providing extra motivation to stay in the cave with BR. Coldhands also warns them against lighting fires for some reason, possibly because they are still far south enough to be seen by people, or maybe just because he wants them to suffer from the cold and not get any relief to make them more desperate. This would be exactly what Sam went through as well before he was “rescued” by BR and friends. Coldhands then kills some of the NW mutineers and feeds their flesh to the trio, which may be another step in Bran’s training.

After leaving the Wall Salladhor Saan’s fleet is smashed by storms

  • A simple storm is enough to push Salladhor to finally abandon Stannis, and Davos is left on Sweetsister to fend for himself.

Bran and friends are attacked by wights at the entrance to the cave

  • Bran is forced to skinchange into Hodor to help fight off the wights. Similar to Arya’s training, this was likely just a big training exercise to make Bran more powerful. The COTF easily fought off the wights with fire, but for some reason they weren’t standing by ready to go when the fight started with a small army of torches. Keep in mind that Coldhands has been in communication with BR during their journey via ravens, and there is explicitly a raven next to them right before the attack, so BR and all the COTF should be well aware that the group has arrived and is about to be attacked. And the fact that there is one COTF there to help confirms they knew the group had arrived. Why not meet Bran with the torch at the bottom of the hill? Why not have 2 COTF with torches to help? It is unbelievably careless to risk Bran’s life like that. So unbelievable, that I think it was on purpose.

Benerro has a vision of the giant storm

  • With the info from Benerro’s vision, Tyrion and Jorah are able to make it to Meereen, and Moqorro joins up with Victarion, both presumably key events to what is about to play out around Meereen. Moqorro’s knowledge will allow Victarion to use Dragonbinder. And if I’m right, that means Victarion will steal the Unsullied army away from Dany.

Melisandre sees more visions

  • This time we actually get Mel’s pov, and she has more influential visions, including the dead rangers, towers by the sea being swept over by a dark tide, skulls, dragons, BR and Bran, her own past, Hardhome, and Jon with daggers all around him. Particularly, the vision of towers by the sea makes Mel think Eastwatch is in danger, which makes Selyse bring Shireen to CB. Ironically, this may ultimately lead to Mel sacrificing Shireen for her kingsblood since Jon sent everyone else with kingsblood away from the Wall.

Moqorro sees visions of dragons in his flames

  • On the other side of the world, Moqorro is also busy looking into flames for guidance. While on the ship with Tyrion he claims to see “Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of all.” We have yet to see the consequences of Moqorro’s visions.

Bran goes through his next stage of training

  • Bran is fed weirwood paste, which is extremely similar to shade of the evening, and he sees visions of WF and Ned. This seems to be the first step to bonding a greenseer with the weirnet.

Mother Mole sees a vision of rescue at Hardhome

  • After the battle at the Wall, Mother Mole leads thousands of wildlings to Hardhome. Ultimately, these wildlings are mostly killed, and Jon sends ships to Hardhome, which are presumably destroyed. This one vision may have provided the Others with a massive influx of dead soldiers.

A giant storm blows Tyrion’s ship of course and destroys it

  • Since Benerro had a vision of this storm, and the storm was particularly violent, it would make sense if it was yet another weather event perpetrated by the Old Gods.

The big winter storm hits WF

  • The big snowstorm in ADWD seems to be somehow centered at WF, with the wind blowing outward from there in all directions. Of course, I think there is an important greenseer down in the crypts, and he/she may be the one directly creating this storm. After all, the name of the castle is Winterfell. The storm facilitates Theon’s escape and presumably Stannis’s future battle plan. The snow also helps collapse the roof of the stables and may later collapse the new roof over the great hall

2 Lyseni pirate ships are driven north by a storm and find wildlings at Hardhome

  • This ends up having a couple different consequences. One ship was damaged in another storm on the way back and forced to dock in Braavos where it is seized by the Sealord. And later when Jon’s rescue fleet shows up at Hardhome, one of the ships is attacked by wildlings and the wildlings call them slavers.

The fleet Jon sent to Hardhome is initially delayed in leaving Eastwatch due to bad weather

  • Perhaps to buy time for the Others to get to Hardhome, the rescue fleet at Eastwatch is delayed by bad weather.

Storms scattered Victarion’s fleet on the way to Slaver’s Bay

  • We don’t know what the rest of the Iron Fleet is up to or if they have secret orders given to them by Euron, but we do know that the ships were largely scattered by storms on the way east, and this may end up facilitating even more mischief from Euron.

Jon’s fleet is trapped at Hardhome by storms and requests help by land

  • The final nail in the coffin for Jon’s rescue fleet is more storms preventing their return. They request help by land, which will likely never come.

A storm scatters the Golden Company fleet on the way to Westeros

  • We don’t know the consequences of this yet and if it will ultimately help or hurt fAegon’s invasion, but the storm forces their ships to land at all different places and separates Aegon and JonCon from their elephants

Stannis has been spending a lot of time alone staring into flames

  • We have no idea if Stannis has seen any visions, but he sure spends a lot of time alone staring into a fire at the end of ADWD. We know he has actually seen a vision in flames at least once successfully, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Old Gods are manipulating his next moves directly here.

Wun Wun attacks Ser Patrek

  • It is not clear at all what happened in the events leading up to Jon’s stabbing. I’m betting that Ser Patrek was not stupid enough to attack a giant, though. I assume Wun Wun was the aggressor, but what made him attack Ser Patrek? I assume the Old Gods played a part simply because Jon’s death and resurrection is almost certainly essential to the Master Plan if in fact there is a Master Plan.

Heavy rains in Meereen prevent the city from being consumed by fires caused by Viserion and Rhaegal

  • Viserion and Rhaegal destroy the pyramid of Hazkar, and Barristan thinks to himself: Perhaps the gods are not deaf after all, Ser Barristan Selmy reflected as he watched those distant embers. If not for the rain, the fires might have consumed all of Meereen by now.
Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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Interesting stuff.

I don't think the Weirnet has "Time Travel" exactly, they are simply capable of experiencing time in a non-linear way. This may be a sort of tow-may-to tow-mah-to sort of distinction I suppose, but it's important to remember that the Weirnet isn't all-powerful: the humans have managed to destroy a large percentage of the Weirwoods, something that likely would not have been possible if they were truly able to send their consciousness back in time and get "do overs" the way you describe. For example, if we accept the given story of the "Breaking of the Arm of Dorne" is generally what happened then it shows a clear example of an instance where the Weirnet probably would have wanted to use the ability to go back and break the arm sooner, before the hooligans arrived at all, but they didn't.

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20 hours ago, Damon_Tor said:

Interesting stuff.

I don't think the Weirnet has "Time Travel" exactly, they are simply capable of experiencing time in a non-linear way. This may be a sort of tow-may-to tow-mah-to sort of distinction I suppose, but it's important to remember that the Weirnet isn't all-powerful: the humans have managed to destroy a large percentage of the Weirwoods, something that likely would not have been possible if they were truly able to send their consciousness back in time and get "do overs" the way you describe. For example, if we accept the given story of the "Breaking of the Arm of Dorne" is generally what happened then it shows a clear example of an instance where the Weirnet probably would have wanted to use the ability to go back and break the arm sooner, before the hooligans arrived at all, but they didn't.

Yes, the biggest point against the idea of the weirnet having time travel abilities is definitely the fact that the Andals managed to destroy the trees at High Heart (and many other weirwoods) before their major military incursions stopped. So the weirnet is definitely not all-powerful. But I do have 3 potential explanations that fit with my theory:

  • The actual specific greenseer with the time travel ability (assuming that the abilities of the weirnet as a whole derive the abilities of the individual greenseers in the net) was not at High Heart and doesn't care about going back in time to save them because he/she is a selfish asshole.
  • High Heart was basically sacrificed because for some reason its destruction was an unavoidable consequence on the path to achieving the goals of the weirnet collective.
  • The powers of the weirnet wax and wane over time (maybe due to the proximity of the Red Comet aka the Volcryn of Ice and Fire), and the weirnet was simply not powerful enough to fight men for a large period of time, making the destruction of many weirwoods unavoidable.
  • Or some combination of those 3.

This is specifically why I am not 100% sold on the idea of the weirnet having time travel myself. But GRRM has written stories in which the past can be altered, and he likes to write about crazy conspiracies, so I am betting the antagonist at the center of the story is a godlike sci-fi hive-minded telepathic mutated group of tree-people going back in time to manipulate everyone through dreams. It is exactly what we should expect from him as an author ;). At a minimum, I think Bran will utilize the weirnet to change the past.

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Posted (edited)

Hiya @40 Thousand Skeletons, how's it going?

So, I have read the OP in full. Quite long, innit. :D

I have a few specific things I'd like to reply to, but much like Jack I'll have to "chop it up" one bit at a time...

On 23/05/2017 at 10:37 AM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

The question that really lead me down the rabbit hole was this: Why did Howland Reed go to the Isle of Faces and then the Harrenhal Tourney? Was his adventure just a random sequence of inconsequential actions taken of his own accord? Or was HR doing the bidding of the greenseers on the Isle of Faces?

 

On 23/05/2017 at 10:37 AM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

HR grew up in the Neck, and one day he “decided” to visit the Isle of Faces to find the Green Men

I think you're being disingenuously selective here... You seem to be forcing an interpretation for Reed's motivations, but the thing is, we know why he decided (and not "decided") to go to the IoF. 

ASoS c24 Bran

“Once there was a curious lad who lived in the Neck. He was small like all crannogmen, but brave and smart and strong as well. He grew up hunting and fishing and climbing trees, and learned all the magics of my people.”
Bran was almost certain he had never heard this story. “Did he have green dreams like Jojen?”
“No,” said Meera, “but he could breathe mud and run on leaves, and change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word. He could talk to trees and weave words and make castles appear and disappear.
“I wish I could,” Bran said plaintively. “When does he meet the tree knight?”
Meera made a face at him. “Sooner if a certain prince would be quiet.”
“I was just asking.”                                                                                   “The lad knew the magics of the crannogs,” she continued, “but he wanted more. Our people seldom travel far from home, you know. We’re a small folk, and our ways seem queer to some, so the big people do not always treat us kindly. But this lad was bolder than most, and one day when he had grown to manhood he decided he would leave the crannogs and visit the Isle of Faces.”
“No one visits the Isle of Faces,” objected Bran. “That’s where the green men live.”
“It was the green men he meant to find. So he donned a shirt sewn with bronze scales, like mine, took up a leathern shield and a three-pronged spear, like mine, and paddled a little skin boat down the Green Fork.”

So, we know Howland Reed was already into magic and apparently quite good at it, and that he wanted to learn more. That is, imo, reason enough for him to seek out the Green Men at the IoF. 

Of course, you can argue that it was the evil weirnet/Old Gods/Bloodraven who made him good at all those things and directly or indirectly spurred him into seeking out more knowledge. But then where does it stop? That's actually one of, if not the, biggest problem I have with this theory in general. If they (weirdnet/OG/BR) are so powerful and their manipulations so effective, why is it taking them thousands of years to achieve their goal(s)?

Side note: when asked some sci fi-ish question regarding ASoIaF some years back Martin said something along the lines of, "if I wanted to write a sic film novel, I'd write a sic film novel". :)

Wonky formatting 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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A lot of research here, and a good list of key points in the story.

Like all conspiracy logic, this theory falls flat on teleology. 'Teleology' here meaning 'ends-based.'  That is to say, the key argument for any of this is, "All this stuff happened this way, therefore it HAD TO happen this way." Because there was some invisible hand guiding it. Then we decide who the invisible hand was (in this case the COTF) and suddenly everything feels orderly and our anxiety goes away. 

That is simply poor interpretation. It's a fallacy -- I mean that literally: there are lists of logical fallacies where you can look it up. 

There isn't really in-story evidence for all the claims you made here. Faulty logic has made you look for causes in the wrong place. There IS an invisible force guiding the events! But we all know his name.

Basically, what you have here is a pretty decent list of the mysyeries of the series, but you wrote 'the Old Gods' instead of 'the author.' It's a common mistake. 

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5 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

A lot of research here, and a good list of key points in the story.

Like all conspiracy logic, this theory falls flat on teleology. 'Teleology' here meaning 'ends-based.'  That is to say, the key argument for any of this is, "All this stuff happened this way, therefore it HAD TO happen this way." Because there was some invisible hand guiding it. Then we decide who the invisible hand was (in this case the COTF) and suddenly everything feels orderly and our anxiety goes away. 

That is simply poor interpretation. It's a fallacy -- I mean that literally: there are lists of logical fallacies where you can look it up. 

There isn't really in-story evidence for all the claims you made here. Faulty logic has made you look for causes in the wrong place. There IS an invisible force guiding the events! But we all know his name.

Basically, what you have here is a pretty decent list of the mysyeries of the series, but you wrote 'the Old Gods' instead of 'the author.' It's a common mistake. 

No, I am not employing a logical fallacy, and you have mischaracterized my logic. ;)

My key argument, to boil it down, is: All this stuff happened this way, it involved a fair number of hard-to-believe coincidences, and GRRM historically has not relied on such contrived coincidences (i.e. Joffrey choosing LF's dagger by sheer coincidence) in his previous work. Additionally, the weirnet has many similarities to other hive-minded, telepathic organisms he has written about, and those have mostly fought against humans by secretly manipulating events and sending visions to the leaders of men. THEREFORE it is likely that GRRM has, yet again, written a story where a hive-minded, telepathic organism is manipulating events and sending visions to the leaders of men for nefarious purposes.

So the argument boils down to: do you believe that it is more likely that GRRM has been using a bunch of contrived coincidences (like LF's dagger) or is it more likely that GRRM has written another story where a nefarious telepathic being has been manipulating everything? I personally think the latter is infinitely more likely given his history.

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12 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

contrived coincidences (i.e. Joffrey choosing LF's dagger by sheer coincidence)

Unfortunately, I just think that particular episode you referenced, namely the solution to the mystery of the assassination attempt on Bran, is what it seems -- bad writing!  

14 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

is it more likely that GRRM has written another story where a nefarious telepathic being has been manipulating everything?

There's a manipulative telepathic being.  However, that doesn't mean its power is unlimited.

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Just now, ravenous reader said:

Unfortunately, I just think that particular episode you referenced, namely the solution to the mystery of the assassination attempt on Bran, is what it seems -- bad writing!

I agree that if in fact Joffrey sent the assassin and picked LF's dagger by sheer coincidence, that would be bad writing. But I refuse to entertain the notion that GRRM would write something that bad. If TWOW or ADOS proves me wrong, I will buy a hat and eat it. :commie: 

2 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

There's a manipulative telepathic being.  However, that doesn't mean its power is unlimited.

Very true, and I definitely don't think the weirnet has unlimited power. Then there would be no story. I just think the weirnet has potent skinchanging and green dream-sending abilities, probably some "teke" and weather-control abilities, and possibly time-travel, and it is a master player of the game.

I sort of go back and forth on the time-travel thing. My gut tells me that the weirnet lacks the power to change the past and that time-travel powers will be exclusive to Bran (or no one), but then I ask myself questions like: how did Jojen correctly predict that Alebelly would be killed by the Ironborn attack? That is one impressive prediction. And how would they ensure that Bran's fall is cushioned just enough so he survives? And how do they prevent Jon from getting killed by a stray arrow or whatever? Is it all just teke and master planning? If they can already micromanage events so effectively, do they really need this convoluted master plan? Maybe...

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Bran's fall is part of this plan too? Summer acts distressed and as if he's trying to get Bran to stop climbing and come back to the godswood.

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Posted (edited)

oopsie daisy

Edited by kissdbyfire

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5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Hiya @40 Thousand Skeletons, how's it going?

So, I have read the OP in full. Quite long, innit. :D

I have a few specific things I'd like to reply to, but much like Jack I'll have to "chop it up" one bit at a time...

Going well, working on my next OP. Yes, this was quite a long one. I applaud you for reading the whole thing :D

5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I think you're being disingenuously selective here... You seem to be forcing an interpretation for Reed's motivations, but the thing is, we know why he decided (and not "decided") to go to the IoF. 

ASoS c24 Bran

“Once there was a curious lad who lived in the Neck. He was small like all crannogmen, but brave and smart and strong as well. He grew up hunting and fishing and climbing trees, and learned all the magics of my people.”
Bran was almost certain he had never heard this story. “Did he have green dreams like Jojen?”
“No,” said Meera, “but he could breathe mud and run on leaves, and change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word. He could talk to trees and weave words and make castles appear and disappear.
“I wish I could,” Bran said plaintively. “When does he meet the tree knight?”
Meera made a face at him. “Sooner if a certain prince would be quiet.”
“I was just asking.”                                                                                   “The lad knew the magics of the crannogs,” she continued, “but he wanted more. Our people seldom travel far from home, you know. We’re a small folk, and our ways seem queer to some, so the big people do not always treat us kindly. But this lad was bolder than most, and one day when he had grown to manhood he decided he would leave the crannogs and visit the Isle of Faces.”
“No one visits the Isle of Faces,” objected Bran. “That’s where the green men live.”
“It was the green men he meant to find. So he donned a shirt sewn with bronze scales, like mine, took up a leathern shield and a three-pronged spear, like mine, and paddled a little skin boat down the Green Fork.”

So, we know Howland Reed was already into magic and apparently quite good at it, and that he wanted to learn more. That is, imo, reason enough for him to seek out the Green Men at the IoF. 

Of course, you can argue that it was the evil weirnet/Old Gods/Bloodraven who made him good at all those things and directly or indirectly spurred him into seeking out more knowledge. But then where does it stop? That's actually one of, if not the, biggest problem I have with this theory in general. If they (weirdnet/OG/BR) are so powerful and their manipulations so effective, why is it taking them thousands of years to achieve their goal(s)?

I see your point, but I assure you I am not being disingenuously selective. I just skimmed over some details because this post is long enough already. ;)

I put "decided" in quotes, because the explanation is rather lacking. As you quoted above:

Quote

But this lad was bolder than most, and one day when he had grown to manhood he decided he would leave the crannogs and visit the Isle of Faces.

I understand that the purported reason was so that he could learn more "magics", but why did he visit the Isle of Faces to do that? Why didn't he go, for instance, to the Citadel? You might say, the crannogmen have historically been closer to the COTF so he was seeking out more COTF knowledge specifically, but how did he know he could get to the IoF at all? Bran specifically objected to Meera's claim stating, "No one visits the Isle of Faces."

If Bran is correct, and TWOIAF is correct, that no one visits the IoF, then HR's journey there is extremely suspicious. The obvious answer is that HR, like his son Jojen, received some sort of dream or vision of the IoF from a greenseer which motivated him to make the journey. I certainly doubt it was a coincidence that HR "decided" to visit the IoF and get in some training right before the tourney at Harrenhal.

Side note, most of the "magics" that HR learned back home probably weren't magic at all. At least, we have no evidence that they were anything beyond man-made technologies.

  • "breathe mud" probably refers to some sort of snorkeling device to hide in the mud (perhaps simply by breathing through reeds)
  • "run on leaves" might refer to some kind of tree-traversing equipment for moving around quickly in the tree-tops
  • "change earth to water..." sounds like using sluice gates to flood or drain a moat
  • "talk to trees" may simply mean to discern information from trees by knowing a lot of info about trees
  • "weave words" just sounds like lordly diplomacy
  • "make castles appear and disappear" is actually an interesting one. Everyone says that Greywater Watch moves. But what if it doesn't move at all? What if they simply have a way to camouflage the castle at will

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1 minute ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Going well, working on my next OP. Yes, this was quite a long one. I applaud you for reading the whole thing :D

May I ask what's the subject of your next OP? :)

It's long but an interesting read, as usual. 

1 minute ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I see your point, but I assure you I am not being disingenuously selective. I just skimmed over some details because this post is long enough already. ;)

I put "decided" in quotes, because the explanation is rather lacking. As you quoted above:

Hmmm. I don't find the explanation lacking at all. As a matter of fact, I find it pretty straightforward and credible. But that's just my take on it, 

1 minute ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I understand that the purported reason was so that he could learn more "magics", but why did he visit the Isle of Faces to do that? Why didn't he go, for instance, to the Citadel? You might say, the crannogmen have historically been closer to the COTF so he was seeking out more COTF knowledge specifically, but how did he know he could get to the IoF at all? Bran specifically objected to Meera's claim stating, "No one visits the Isle of Faces."

The Citadel? That place where most despise "magic" and don't understand it at all? You're right, I will say, the crannogmen are closer to the CotF than to some Andal institution of learning that is notoriously against magic. On top of being geographically much nearer. As to visiting the IoF, "no one visits the Isle of Faces" doesn't necessarily mean that no one can visit it. And there may be a number of reasons for that, like good old superstition, for instance. 

1 minute ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

If Bran is correct, and TWOIAF is correct, that no one visits the IoF, then HR's journey there is extremely suspicious. The obvious answer is that HR, like his son Jojen, received some sort of dream or vision of the IoF from a greenseer which motivated him to make the journey. I certainly doubt it was a coincidence that HR "decided" to visit the IoF and get in some training right before the tourney at Harrenhal.

While I think it is possible that HR received dreams prompting him to go to the IoF, I don't think these dreams are necessarily part of an evil plan. :)

 

1 minute ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Side note, most of the "magics" that HR learned back home probably weren't magic at all. At least, we have no evidence that they were anything beyond man-made technologies.

  • "breathe mud" probably refers to some sort of snorkeling device to hide in the mud (perhaps simply by breathing through reeds)
  • "run on leaves" might refer to some kind of tree-traversing equipment for moving around quickly in the tree-tops
  • "change earth to water..." sounds like using sluice gates to flood or drain a moat
  • "talk to trees" may simply mean to discern information from trees by knowing a lot of info about trees
  • "weave words" just sounds like lordly diplomacy
  • "make castles appear and disappear" is actually an interesting one. Everyone says that Greywater Watch moves. But what if it doesn't move at all? What if they simply have a way to camouflage the castle at will

I agree this is possible. Then again, it could also be proper magic! :P

 

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2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Bran's fall is part of this plan too? Summer acts distressed and as if he's trying to get Bran to stop climbing and come back to the godswood.

Summer does act distressed. I think he is probably not being warged by BR in that moment and senses the imminent danger to Bran. Summer's distress did not have an effect on Bran's actions.

But yes, Bran's fall was a key part of the plan. I talked about why crippling Bran was crucial in the OP, but allow me to elaborate slightly on their nefarious method of orchestrating the fall itself, as it seems like a rather random event at first glance.

So hypothetically, assume for a minute that the OG are effectively responsible for Brandon's death, Lyanna's "kidnapping", Robert's Rebellion, Cersei becoming Robert's queen, Ned and Cat marrying, and the twincest. That is, they can plan for the scenario that unfolded at WF, because they are responsible for setting up all the chess pieces on the board in the first place. There is evidence for all this, and I outlined a bunch in the OP, but for the sake of this short response, I am focusing on the text in the chapter that Bran falls.

The chapter opens with King Robert and everyone important, even Tyrion, leaving to go hunting:

Quote

The hunt left at dawn. The king wanted wild boar at the feast tonight. Prince Joffrey rode with his father, so Robb had been allowed to join the hunters as well. Uncle Benjen, Jory, Theon Greyjoy, Ser Rodrik, and even the queen's funny little brother had all ridden out with them. It was the last hunt, after all. On the morrow they left for the south.

Bran had been left behind with Jon and the girls and Rickon. But Rickon was only a baby and the girls were only girls and Jon and his wolf were nowhere to be found. Bran did not look for him very hard. He thought Jon was angry at him. Jon seemed to be angry at everyone these days. Bran did not know why. He was going with Uncle Ben to the Wall, to join the Night's Watch. That was almost as good as going south with the king. Robb was the one they were leaving behind, not Jon.

So right off the bat we have a somewhat predictable situation: the king wants to go hunting before the final feast at WF and anyone who is anyone (including Tyrion) is joining the party, Bran is left behind for an unspecified reason (probably his age), and Jaime takes advantage of the opportunity to have sex with Cersei in the one deserted (and therefore inconspicuous) place inside WF, the abandoned First Keep.

Quote

"Did I tell you to throw him out the window? If you'd gone hunting as I begged you, nothing would have happened. But no, you had to have me, you could not wait until we returned to the city."

"I'd waited long enough. I hated watching Robert stumble to your bed every night, always wondering if maybe this night he'd decide to claim his rights as husband." Jaime suddenly remembered something else that troubled him about Winterfell. "At Riverrun, Catelyn Stark seemed convinced I'd sent some footpad to slit her son's throat. That I'd given him a dagger."

Hypothetically, if the OG could predict that Robert would be king with Cersei as queen and Jon Arryn as Hand and the twincest happening, and they caused the death of Jon Arryn via their pawn LF, and they predicted Robert and the twins would come to WF to make Ned the new Hand, and they predicted Robert and everyone else would go hunting on the last day there and give Jaime an opportunity to finally have sex with Cersei, and they predicted Jaime and Cersei would have sex in the abandoned First Keep, THEN... it would give them the opportunity to set up a situation where they lured Bran to witness the twincest and get pushed out a high window. I know it sounds far-fetched at first, but that really seems to be what is going on.

Continuing on to the important part of the chapter, Bran finally decides to go climbing and gives us his climbing background while he is at it:

Quote

Finally he got tired of the stick game and decided to go climbing. He hadn’t been up to the broken tower for weeks with everything that had happened, and this might be his last chance.

He raced across the godswood, taking the long way around to avoid the pool where the heart tree grew. The heart tree had always frightened him; trees ought not have eyes, Bran thought, or leaves that looked like hands. His wolf came sprinting at his heels. “You stay here,” he told him at the base of the sentinel tree near the armory wall. “Lie down. That’s right. Now stay.”

The wolf did as he was told. Bran scratched him behind the ears, then turned away, jumped, grabbed a low branch, and pulled himself up. He was halfway up the tree, moving easily from limb to limb, when the wolf got to his feet and began to howl.

Bran looked back down. His wolf fell silent, staring up at him through slitted yellow eyes. A strange chill went through him. He began to climb again. Once more the wolf howled. “Quiet,” he yelled. “Sit down. Stay. You’re worse than Mother.” The howling chased him all the way up the tree, until finally he jumped off onto the armory roof and out of sight. The rooftops of Winterfell were Bran’s second home. His mother often said that Bran could climb before he could walk. Bran could not remember when he first learned to walk, but he could not remember when he started to climb either, so he supposed it must be true.

We learn some important things here. First off, Bran climbing is another predictable situation, and it is potentially due to the direct influence of the OG. The rooftops are Bran's "second home" and Cat says Bran could climb before he could walk. Why would an infant be so sincerely interested in climbing? Did baby Bran receive dreams about climbing, or about flying, similar to the dreams described by Euron? It's suspicious. Anyways, Bran decides to go climbing because it might be his last chance, and he hadn't been up to the broken tower for weeks. So the 2 coinciding events, the twincest and Bran's climb, were both predictable given the setup, which the OG are potentially responsible for. They could predict that Jaime would be anxious to have sex with Cersei and would take advantage of the final hunt to do so, and they could predict that Bran - who for some reason loves climbing - would take advantage of the final hunt to go for one last climb.

The other important info to be gleaned from this passage is that the OG are watching. Bran specifically avoids the heart tree on the way to his climb, because it has always frightened him. And then as he begins his ascent, a "strange chill" goes through him. Summer probably felt it too, which is why he was howling. And then a few paragraphs later we get this quote:

Quote

Bran did his best, although he did not think he ever really fooled her. Since his father would not forbid it, she turned to others. Old Nan told him a story about a bad little boy who climbed too high and was struck down by lightning, and how afterward the crows came to peck out his eyes. Bran was not impressed. There were crows’ nests atop the broken tower, where no one ever went but him, and sometimes he filled his pockets with corn before he climbed up there and the crows ate it right out of his hand. None of them had ever shown the slightest bit of interest in pecking out his eyes.

This is, of course, essentially what ends up happening to Bran. He falls from the tower and his third eye opens. In his coma, a crow even pecks through his forehead right before he wakes up. And what is lightning? It is an act of god. This story from Old Nan, included right before the climax of the chapter, seems to be a clue about what is happening here.

But how could they get the twincest and Bran's climb to physically cross paths? Well, they could have easily predicted that Jaime and Cersei would choose to have sex on an upper floor of the abandoned First Keep. The twins couldn't exactly leave the castle, and they needed a place where there was no risk of anyone barging in on them (ironically). So all the OG had to do was lure Bran to the windows of the First Keep. How did they do this? With some friendly crows of course!

Quote

He liked the birds: the crows in the broken tower, the tiny little sparrows that nested in cracks between the stones, the ancient owl that slept in the dusty loft above the old armory. Bran knew them all.

Most of all, he liked going places that no one else could go, and seeing the grey sprawl of Winterfell in a way that no one else ever saw it. It made the whole castle Bran’s secret place.

His favorite haunt was the broken tower. Once it had been a watchtower, the tallest in Winterfell. A long time ago, a hundred years before even his father had been born, a lightning strike had set it afire. The top third of the structure had collapsed inward, and the tower had never been rebuilt. Sometimes his father sent ratters into the base of the tower, to clean out the nests they always found among the jumble of fallen stones and charred and rotten beams. But no one ever got up to the jagged top of the structure now except for Bran and the crows.

He knew two ways to get there. You could climb straight up the side of the tower itself, but the stones were loose, the mortar that held them together long gone to ash, and Bran never liked to put his full weight on them.

The best way was to start from the godswood, shinny up the tall sentinel, and cross over the armory and the guards hall, leaping roof to roof, barefoot so the guards wouldn’t hear you overhead. That brought you up to the blind side of the First Keep, the oldest part of the castle, a squat round fortress that was taller than it looked. Only rats and spiders lived there now but the old stones still made for good climbing. You could go straight up to where the gargoyles leaned out blindly over empty space, and swing from gargoyle to gargoyle, hand over hand, around to the north side. From there, if you really stretched, you could reach out and pull yourself over to the broken tower where it leaned close. The last part was the scramble up the blackened stones to the eyrie, no more than ten feet, and then the crows would come round to see if you’d brought any corn.

Bran was moving from gargoyle to gargoyle with the ease of long practice when he heard the voices. He was so startled he almost lost his grip. The First Keep had been empty all his life.

“I do not like it,” a woman was saying. There was a row of windows beneath him, and the voice was drifting out of the last window on this side. “You should be the Hand.”

So Bran's favorite "haunt" was the broken tower, and whenever he went there the crows (which he liked) would come round to see if he had corn. And the "best" way to get to the broken tower involved swinging across the gargoyles on the blind side of the First Keep, something Bran has obviously done many times based on his description.

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

May I ask what's the subject of your next OP? :)

I am sort of working on 2 at once while doing another reread. One is basically an incomplete list and short discussion of plot-obfuscating coincidences in asoiaf, i.e. Tywin was already fatally poisoned when Tyrion killed him, but because Tyrion killed him we never found out about the poison. It is my opinion that GRRM has used this mechanic a lot in asoiaf to hide the "true" plot from readers.

The other is a basically new version of this thread about Bran's assassin, now with my full theory written down and posted for context and reference. I elaborated on the idea within my grand theory, but I want to post an update that blames Mance Rayder as the man specifically responsible for hiring the assassin and setting the library on fire, and it goes into the idea of Mance generally being a pawn for the OG like LF. I have already mentioned the idea of Mance being involved, but it is only recently that I have reexamined all the evidence and become convinced that Mance is definitely the most likely culprit.

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

The Citadel? That place where most despise "magic" and don't understand it at all? You're right, I will say, the crannogmen are closer to the CotF than to some Andal institution of learning that is notoriously against magic. On top of being geographically much nearer. As to visiting the IoF, "no one visits the Isle of Faces" doesn't necessarily mean that no one can visit it. And there may be a number of reasons for that, like good old superstition, for instance. 

I agree this is possible. Then again, it could also be proper magic! :P

Well, I don't think HR was learning magic (at least before his trip to the IoF). I think he was just learning knowledge, and the Citadel is a great place for that. Every time I see the word "magic" explicitly used by GRRM, I cannot help but remember the notorious charlatan from Bitterblooms, Morgan full-of-magic. She was (spoiler)... not full of magic. She mostly just had a nice TV in a world where TV didn't exist anymore. :D  

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

While I think it is possible that HR received dreams prompting him to go to the IoF, I don't think these dreams are necessarily part of an evil plan. :)

Well, yeah, they could have sent dreams to lure HR to the IoF due to altruistic motives, but I have read too many GRRM stories to think that is likely. :P 

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Posted (edited)

@40 Thousand Skeletons, I will have to reply tomorrow, no time at the mo. But I wanted to say something I don't want to forget...

I always took the "chill" Bran feels when Summer howls for a pre-3rd eye early warging experience. Summer is distressed and what he feels in that moment causes a physical reaction or response in Bran. 

ETA: so now it's not BR, it's "Mance did it!" :P

Seriously, I'm sure the new OPs will be interesting reads, even if we don't often agree! :cheers:

Edited by kissdbyfire

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

@40 Thousand Skeletons, I will have to reply tomorrow, no time at the mo. But I wanted to say something I don't want to forget...

I always took the "chill" Bran feels when Summer howls for a pre-3rd eye early warging experience. Summer is distressed and what he feels in that moment causes a physical reaction or response in Bran. 

You may be correct, and I think you probably are, since we obviously know that Bran's 3rd eye has not yet "opened". And we know that even in the first chapter, Summer can already "sense" danger.

Quote

“No matter,” said Hullen. “They be dead soon enough too.”

Bran gave a wordless cry of dismay.

“The sooner the better,” Theon Greyjoy agreed. He drew his sword. “Give the beast here, Bran.”

The little thing squirmed against him, as if it heard and understood.No!” Bran cried out fiercely. “It’s mine.”

So the most likely explanation, in the context of my theory, is that Summer sensed that something was wrong and that Bran was in danger (because, in fact, Bran was in danger and the Old Gods were about to cripple him), and then like you said, what Summer felt caused a reaction in Bran. This is another good example (like Grey Wind at the Twins) as to why the Kings of Winter kept direwolves; their wolves could sense danger.

On the other hand, if the Old Gods are not doing anything nefarious in this scene, and Bran getting crippled is just a "random" event, then Summer should have no reason to be distressed. Bran goes climbing all the time, why should Summer have a problem with it? The only other explanation, really, is that Summer can magically predict the future. I suppose this is possible, but I doubt it.

Edit: side note - keep in mind that according to my grand theory there is actually a greenseer, potentially the most powerful/important greenseer, connected to the heart tree at WF, literally like a few dozen yards (?) from Bran and Summer when this event is taking place. So Summer may be able to sense the intentions of the OG simply due to his proximity to the WF heart tree.

Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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40K, you and I are like teyn and betheyn together to the old gods stories :P

But what I am seeing here is you bringing up more questions than there are answers. I am not saying don't explore the books, I do and I come up with some crazy ass shyte quite often, but if it creates more problems and disconnects to the other half of the story, then you might be off on a few things.

Allow me to quote Jon V1.0.;) "I liked your guess about the gas giants," Royd said. "Sadly, the truth is less dramatic..."

I waver about the gods and who does what almost weekly. Are there two gods? Then what Jamie and Cersei do should fall under the fire god... or would it be the new seven gods? Maybe there is one god and it is the humans who decide whether to use the powers/gifts for good or evil. Maybe there are no gods. Personally, I do tend to overwhelmingly favor a fire (R'hollor, if that is his name) and ice (old gods) dichotomy... despite how "grey" George wants his story to be.

I think the example you used with BR not warging Summer at the moment before the fall sounds a little too convenient to fit with the rest of your theory.

46 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Well, I don't think HR was learning magic (at least before his trip to the IoF). I think he was just learning knowledge, and the Citadel is a great place for that. Every time I see the word "magic" explicitly used by GRRM, I cannot help but remember the notorious charlatan from Bitterblooms, Morgan full-of-magic. She was (spoiler)... not full of magic. She mostly just had a nice TV in a world where TV didn't exist anymore. :D  

I love Melisandre full-of-magic! Errr, I mean, Morgan full-of-magic. THOSE BOOTS!:lol:

 

2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Side note, most of the "magics" that HR learned back home probably weren't magic at all. At least, we have no evidence that they were anything beyond man-made technologies.

  • "breathe mud" probably refers to some sort of snorkeling device to hide in the mud (perhaps simply by breathing through reeds)

Agree

2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:
  • "run on leaves" might refer to some kind of tree-traversing equipment for moving around quickly in the tree-tops

Agreed. I think we see this in the Arya chapter when she goes with the BwB and meets the Lady of the Leaves.

2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:
  • "change earth to water..." sounds like using sluice gates to flood or drain a moat.

Agree. There are a lot of rumors and tales in the story that are known for becoming living in-world myths.

2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:
  • "talk to trees" may simply mean to discern information from trees by knowing a lot of info about trees
  • "weave words" just sounds like lordly diplomacy

These I think are probably more magic influenced here. I think this could be more of a connection to the actual Green Men and their talents.

I would trust the Green Men of the story to tell the truth and teach anything useful way, way, way before I would trust the Citadel and most maesters.

2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:
  • "make castles appear and disappear" is actually an interesting one. Everyone says that Greywater Watch moves. But what if it doesn't move at all? What if they simply have a way to camouflage the castle at will

Could be. I always thought that the castle disappearing was because of how it moved on water... however... in a thread a few months back I wondered if the "weave words" does mean a spell that can move things (Greywater Watch over water), and that is how Howland was able to help with "tearing down" the Tower of Joy. Howland helped make that tower disappear. The Tower of Joy does not look like an easy thing for two war weary men to tear down by themselves, and then to make eight cairns out of before they ride out of there with a baby bunting.

However, now I have the picture in my head of Howland making the ToJ invisible like Wonder Woman's jet, and some knight on horseback unknowingly rides straight into the side of it (klunk!), and then Wylla pops her head out of the top window and shouts down, "the door is the the right."

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9 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

However, now I have the picture in my head of Howland making the ToJ invisible like Wonder Woman's jet, and some knight on horseback unknowingly rides straight into the side of it (klunk!), and then Wylla pops her head out of the top window and shouts down, "the door is the the right."

LMAO!!!!!

:bowdown:

 

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Posted (edited)

On 7/10/2017 at 10:31 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

40K, you and I are like teyn and betheyn together to the old gods stories :P

HAHA! nice reference :P 

On 7/10/2017 at 10:31 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

But what I am seeing here is you bringing up more questions than there are answers. I am not saying don't explore the books, I do and I come up with some crazy ass shyte quite often, but if it creates more problems and disconnects to the other half of the story, then you might be off on a few things.

Allow me to quote Jon V1.0.;) "I liked your guess about the gas giants," Royd said. "Sadly, the truth is less dramatic..."

I waver about the gods and who does what almost weekly. Are there two gods? Then what Jamie and Cersei do should fall under the fire god... or would it be the new seven gods? Maybe there is one god and it is the humans who decide whether to use the powers/gifts for good or evil. Maybe there are no gods. Personally, I do tend to overwhelmingly favor a fire (R'hollor, if that is his name) and ice (old gods) dichotomy... despite how "grey" George wants his story to be.

Yeah, I am probably bringing up more questions than answers, but I blame that on GRRM's ultra hard-to-decipher style of writing. LOL "Jon and Val version 1.0"

As for the gods, I have a slightly different take, and I am probably projecting my own opinion onto GRRM a bit here. I think there are certainly no "all-powerful" gods. I also think there are certainly no "righteous" or morally neutral gods per se. If there is a fire god/ice god dichotomy, which there may be, then I think both "gods" are nefarious players working toward their own conflicting goals, with a general disregard for the suffering of mankind. Though I do think it is also possible that the weirnet is trying to "save the world from mankind" in a sense. Like in And Seven Times Never Kill Man, are the pyramids "good guys" or "bad guys"? It is really hard to say. On the one hand, they keep the native Jaenshi living in sustainable harmony with their environment, and they defeated the clearly "evil" and militaristic followers of Bakkalon. On the other hand, they effectively kept the entire race of Jaenshi permanently enslaved. The Jaenshi obviously act quite differently when not under the influence of their pyramids; they act like humans, constantly eating and having sex without much restraint. I'm guessing that GRRM is not satisfied with either reality. Slavery is wrong, but humans (left unchecked) generally progress toward the destruction of their natural environment and the over-consumption of resources.

And if there is a "fire god", then I think such a god would be contained within the "fire-net", aka the literal stars themselves. All life ultimately comes from the stars. The matter in our bodies is comprised of star dust as well as necessary elements created within super-novas, and most of the energy necessary for life is transferred via light waves from stars to planets (a small amount of energy coming from the gravity of the planet itself, i.e. deep sea life forms that siphon their energy from geothermal vents). And we can infer that telepathic connections are somehow linked to electromagnetic energy. When the wights are being controlled, their eyes (or in the case of Thistle, her eye sockets) burn with bright blue light. Similarly, the eyes of the Jaenshi glow when they are under the influence of their pyramids. So if "souls" go into the weirnet when someone's blood is absorbed into the roots of a weirwood (not confirmed, but this is my belief), perhaps souls go into the fire-net when someone is burned alive. And taking that to the ultimate conclusion, perhaps 100% of the souls on Planetos (including the ones in the weirnet) will be transferred into the fire-net when Planetos is eventually consumed by the sun expanding (like the fate of Earth).

The moon is also super-relevant here. The moon may be utilized as a satellite for telepathic communication. There are several instances in the story where the characters feel they are being "watched" by the moon, wolves of course howl at the moon, and Doran has a famous incident where he declines milk of the poppy because he wants his wits about him, but all that he ends up doing is falling asleep in his chair once the moon rises. Maybe he was expecting a telepathic "phone call" from Sarella or Marwyn via their glass candle and wanted his wits for their conversation. And then of course, there is the Qartheen legend that there were once 2 moons in the sky and the destruction of one of those moons caused the birth of dragons. I subscribe to the theory that there were in fact 2 moons, and that the destruction of one moon was not only the indirect cause for the birth of dragons, but was also the cause of the Long Night, because I think that the Qartheen myth, the Blood Betrayal, and the story of Nissa Nissa (which can be translated as "Moon Moon" or "2 moons") are simply 3 different versions of the same event. I personally also blame the weirnet/OG for this event taking place, and in the context of the ice god vs fire god dichotomy, this act could be seen as a way for the ice god (weirnet) to strike a blow to the power of the fire god (the sun and stars) by destroying one of 2 vital satellites orbiting Planetos and plunging the world into darkness for a generation. And an event like the destruction of High Heart could be seen as the fire god striking a great blow to the power of the weirnet.

Fundamentally, this is one of biggest questions I deal with in the context of my grand theory. I am extremely confident that the weirnet has been nefariously manipulating events throughout history. But is there a second powerful and nefarious player at work? If there is, it certainly makes it much harder to figure out the moves of either player, since we can't just pin the blame for everything suspicious on one single player.

On 7/10/2017 at 10:31 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

I think the example you used with BR not warging Summer at the moment before the fall sounds a little too convenient to fit with the rest of your theory.

I see your point. If it was a one-time thing, I would agree that it sounds too convenient. But rather, I think BR is not warging Summer the vast majority of the time, including in that scene. Basically, people ask: if BR is setting up Bran to be crippled, and BR also has a history of controlling Summer (both claims made by me), then why does Summer's behavior conflict with BR in that scene? And the basic answer is: BR does not need to warg Summer for the plan to work, so he doesn't bother. And in fact, Summer's behavior actually supports my theory, because Summer has no apparent reason to act that way unless he can telepathically sense BR's plan. There is no particular reason to worry about Bran climbing, or for Bran to feel that second-hand "chill" going through him, without the knowledge that Bran is about to be crippled as part of a nefarious plan.

EDIT: Compare Summer's emotions in this scene to how Grey Wind acts toward Rolph Spicer and the Freys. Rolph and the Freys are planning on betraying Robb with the RW. Grey Wind can telepathically sense their plan, and so he exhibits his distrust by growling at them and attacking them. Similarly, Summer can sense BR's plan to cripple Bran, and he tries to stop Bran from climbing. The wolves are not magic and cannot see into the future, but they can sense when someone intends to harm their masters.

On 7/10/2017 at 10:31 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

These I think are probably more magic influenced here. I think this could be more of a connection to the actual Green Men and their talents.

Definitely possible. I only doubt that magic is involved because the first few examples were almost certainly non-magical, like snorkeling.

On 7/10/2017 at 10:31 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

I would trust the Green Men of the story to tell the truth and teach anything useful way, way, way before I would trust the Citadel and most maesters.

Personally I wouldn't, but I think HR would probably share your attitude.

On 7/10/2017 at 10:31 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

Could be. I always thought that the castle disappearing was because of how it moved on water... however... in a thread a few months back I wondered if the "weave words" does mean a spell that can move things (Greywater Watch over water), and that is how Howland was able to help with "tearing down" the Tower of Joy. Howland helped make that tower disappear. The Tower of Joy does not look like an easy thing for two war weary men to tear down by themselves, and then to make eight cairns out of before they ride out of there with a baby bunting.

However, now I have the picture in my head of Howland making the ToJ invisible like Wonder Woman's jet, and some knight on horseback unknowingly rides straight into the side of it (klunk!), and then Wylla pops her head out of the top window and shouts down, "the door is the the right."

:lmao: 

I subscribe to the theory (80% credit to PJ on this one, though I don't think it was his originally) that the ToJ was brought down via wildfire.

  • the main clue is when Cersei brings down the Tower of the Hand with wildfire
  • some wildfire went missing during the rebellion
  • Ned's physical method of bringing down the tower without a crew of workers and proper tools is unexplained (as you mentioned)
  • Rhaegar may have been intending on sacrificing Lyanna as part of some perverse AAR prophecy-fulfilling act
  • If the KG at the ToJ had orders to kill Lyanna, that would explain why Ned had to fight them
  • Rhaegar was born at Summerhall, another Targaryen-created inferno probably intended to help fulfill the AAR prophecy
  • Lyanna may have tragically committed suicide to avoid her fate via winter rose, aka hellebore (which is poisonous if ingested)
  • the plan of killing Lyanna would explain a wet nurse already being present at the ToJ (if that was the case)
Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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Some interesting points, @The Fattest Leech and @40 Thousand Skeletons

As usual, no time at the mo for a proper reply but just wanted to say something on Gods in ASoIaF. 

Red Rahloo is clearly a fire god. We hear about the Great Other only from Mel, iirc. Is there a Great Other? Or at least in the sense that there *is* a Red Rahloo. By that I mean that we know Red Rahloo has temples and priests and priestesses. Does the Great Other do too? Where? I honestly have no idea but tend to think there's no such deity/power/whatever. I have two main reasons: Mel gets too much wrong too often, even if some visions are spot on; we never hear about this Great Other, from anyone else. Like, ever. Do we? 

So, fire god, check. Ice god? Maybe, maybe not. And the weirnet/Old Gods are neutral. Earth. Perhaps balance? And no, I do not mean they are cutsie tree-huggers, like @Black Crow likes to call them. :P

I mean in the sense of representing nature. But nature as it is, ruthless and violent, and beautiful and precious, and everything in between. :)

That's all I have for now, I need my ice cream fix! :D

 

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