LordImp

What should we expect from the Vale?

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I feal that Sansas Vale storyline is the hardest story to predict because it can go in so many directions .

- Will Sansa just stay in the Vale and learning how to play the game?

- Will Sansa take the KOTV North? Or will Littlefinger use them to get controll over the Riverlands?

- Will the mountain clans attack ? 

- Will Mad mouse kidnap Sansa?

- What to expect from Harry the heir? Is a evil prick who will rape Sansa?

- Will Sweetrobin die?

- Lyn Corbray , what will he do?

- Will the vale lords turn on LF?

- What will happen at the tourney?

- How will the Vale react to other events in the realm such as Aegons campaign ? 

Taking this questions into consideration where will the Vale storyline lead? 

 

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Lyn kills Harry in the tourney to cause trouble for LF who he now doesn't like. Yohn knows Lyn is LF's man and so assumes he is still acting for LF. He responds by calling the banners and attacking the gates to kill or expel LF and seize Robert. He succeeds by way of goat tracks. With no other option, in a bid of desperation LF forces Mya to take them back up. She does, they succeed. A stalemate follows, Sansa and Robert trapped up in the Eyrie, besieged by Yohn.

Tyrion arrives on Viserion with grand ideas of taking the Vale, burning Lysa and killing Robert. Instead he finds the described scene and his wife Sansa. Sansa lauds him for coming to their rescue, her rescue, Robert's rescue, portrays him as the winged knight, noble and heroic. Tyrion laps it up, this is what he truly always wanted to be, he came to be the villain but Sansa has manipulated him into playing the hero. Robert gets a dragon ride and the Vale is taken, bloodlessly or near bloodlessly by threat of dragon's fire. Sansa is taken to KL by her husband, to play another day.

And somewhere along the way, whilst at the Eyrie, Sansa works out LF is truly the responsible party for the destruction of WF and kills him. 

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On 8/12/2017 at 8:43 PM, LordImp said:

Taking this questions into consideration where will the Vale storyline lead? 

Sansa is in the Vale only because Littlefinger took her there, and she has no way to leave.  She has no real ties to the Vale, nor any reason to remain once she has the ability to leave.  I expect that she will spend some time learning techniques of influence and manipulation from Littlefinger, and use those to advance her own interest, which are, I think, based in the North.  Given the amount of imagery of Winterfell, wolves, and the like, plus the fact that the story as a whole seems to be headed North, I would anticipate she will head there.  I also expect the Others to attack the North before long, so Sansa's role could be to obtain help for the North in the form of troops and food.

I don't see her going to KL,, unless the Mad Mouse takes her, which is possible but unlikely.  There is nothing for her there but trouble, and even if Aegon takes over, I don't see what he can really offer her as her only interest in the IT is to stay as far away as possible.  The Riverlands are also unlikely.  They are in a state of war, and there is nobody there that she knows.  LF also has no interest in the area.  Lord of Harrenhal is a nice title; he sure as hell doesn't want the responsibility of actually occupying it, though.

I do not believe that she will marry Harry, or anybody else.  She has no interest at this time in marrying anybody, and a well-founded suspicion that any interest in her would be for her claim on Winterfell.  As for Harry, she will flirt with him on Littlefinger's orders, but not any further.  Harry seems more Robert than Joffrey, so he would be happy to take her maidenhead if she gives it (which I doubt) but won't do so by force.

At some point she will come to the conclusion that LF really is a bad guy and/or will come into conflict with him on his current actions, and will take him out of the game, likely by killing him.  This will be made easier by Littlefinger's underestimation of her abilities and his inability to recognize that she actually cares about other people.

12 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

And somewhere along the way, whilst at the Eyrie, Sansa works out LF is truly the responsible party for the destruction of WF and kills him. 

While the is a litany of sins that can be laid at the feet of Littlefinger, this is actually not one of them.  Winterfell's destruction is the responsibility of Theon and Ramsay.  While LF did do his part in getting the war going, and much else, the destruction of WF was an unintended and unexpected collateral consequence of that war.

 

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26 minutes ago, Nevets said:

While the is a litany of sins that can be laid at the feet of Littlefinger, this is actually not one of them.  Winterfell's destruction is the responsibility of Theon and Ramsay.  While LF did do his part in getting the war going, and much else, the destruction of WF was an unintended and unexpected collateral consequence of that war.

The text clearly lays the sin with LF. WF's destruction is the result of LF's apathy towards everything and everyone in the wake of his ambition. He is the savage (one who does not care for the consequences of their actions) giant who bypassed WF's walls (had Lysa send the letter).

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I agree that this is a very complex storyline that is hard to predict.  So many variables.

I don't see Sansa marrying Harry.  I also don't think LF leaves the Vale alive.  I think Sansa kills him and comes into her own here.  Whether she betroths herself to Robert or what idk.

I am a big fan of @chrisdaw's theory that Sandor ends up with Lady Forlone.

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For some time Sansa stays in the Vale and learns to be manipulative with her wits and beauty as LF, Catelyn and Cersei have taught her. Harry will die in the tourney and Sansa will remain single for Winds. From what I have seen he is a womanizer not a monster. Sansa will manage to full control Robert (whose health will improve under her protection) and do as she wants. Same for Lothor Brune and Kettleblack and Lyn Corbay. The mountain clans will attack and during the chaos,Mad Mouse will abduct her and take her to Kings Landing only to find that Cersei has fallen.Aegon will set her free and she will return to the Vale.She will publicly reveal herself as Sansa Stark and persuade the Vale lords to head North. 

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9 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

I agree that this is a very complex storyline that is hard to predict.  So many variables.

I don't see Sansa marrying Harry.  I also don't think LF leaves the Vale alive.  I think Sansa kills him and comes into her own here.  Whether she betroths herself to Robert or what idk.

I am a big fan of @chrisdaw's theory that Sandor ends up with Lady Forlone.

I like the idea that Sansa kills LF in the Vale and comes into her own there.  I do not think she will stay there.  There are too many connections to the North in her story.  Her story is a Northern one, and I think she will go there, whether that is to take power in her own right, or to help her half-brother with the Others' or something else, I don't know, but she's going.  I'd bet on that much.

1 hour ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

For some time Sansa stays in the Vale and learns to be manipulative with her wits and beauty as LF, Catelyn and Cersei have taught her. Harry will die in the tourney and Sansa will remain single for Winds. From what I have seen he is a womanizer not a monster. Sansa will manage to full control Robert (whose health will improve under her protection) and do as she wants. Same for Lothor Brune and Kettleblack and Lyn Corbay. The mountain clans will attack and during the chaos,Mad Mouse will abduct her and take her to Kings Landing only to find that Cersei has fallen.Aegon will set her free and she will return to the Vale.She will publicly reveal herself as Sansa Stark and persuade the Vale lords to head North. 

My biggest problem with this is with the Mad Mouse.  If the Mad Mouse does take Sansa, I don't see a simple round-trip to KL.  That wold be anti-climactic and ultimately pointless.   I would expect either Sansa to attempt escape or to turn Shadrich to her side.  Or, if they do reach KL, imprisonment by either Cersei or the Tyrells.  Tbh, though,I think Shadrich is a red herring.

Also, while I do expect something to happen at the tourney, I think Harry survives.  There is too much story potential there, although I doubt she will marry him (or anybody else, for now.) 

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The Mad Mouse isn't going to abduct Sansa. That would be ridiculous. He cannot take her and leave the Vale alive. This is not some fantasy land (pun intended), this is a realistic setting. If Sansa goes missing for so much as a few hours Littlefinger will send out ravens, huntsmen, hunting dogs, and riders. He'll mobilize the entire Vale. They could not flee through the mountains and Littlefinger should have his people in every harbor and port.

But what Ser Shadrich can do is to put certain ideas into Sansa's head and look how things unfold between her and Littlefinger.

As to how things continue - the Vale will enter the game, after all. They will declare for Aegon, most likely, a campaign in the North is possible but far less likely considering that it is winter.

That they wait for Daenerys or until winter is over before they do something is very unlikely.

And of course Littlefinger is not going to die soon. He is far too interesting and Sansa really has to learn some stuff. Playing around in the Vale is just the beginning of her training, she has to return to the big stage - King's Landing. There she can then play with the really important people.

Edited by Lord Varys

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Mad Mouse isn't going to abduct Sansa. That would be ridiculous. He cannot take her and leave the Vale alive. This is not some fantasy land (pun intended), this is a realistic setting. If Sansa misses for a few hours Littlefinger will send out ravens, huntsmen, hunting dogs, and riders. He'll mobilize the entire Vale. They could not flee through the mountains and Littlefinger should have his people in every harbor and port.

This is my biggest problem with the idea of Shadrich abducting Sansa.  It would be essentially impossible to get her out of the Vale.  Even if he did so when LF was out of town, he couldn't get her away in time.  And LF's enemies are led by Yohn Royce, a noted Stark supproter. He would likely help Sansa simply because of who she is.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As to how things continue - the Vale will enter the game, after all. They will declare for Aegon, most likely, a campaign in the North is possible but far less likely considering that it is winter.

That they wait for Daenerys or until winter is over before they do something is very unlikely.

Unless Aegon is a lot more successful that I expect him to be, I would expect the Vale to remain neutral, and lay a waiting game.  They are isolated and hard to get to, so needn't fear attack.  I expect the situation to still be in flux when Daenerys arrives, which should take maybe a year, story time.  At that point, all bets are off.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And of course Littlefinger is not going to die soon. He is far too interesting and Sansa really has to learn some stuff. Playing around in the Vale is just the beginning of her training, she has to return to the big stage - King's Landing. There she can then play with the really important people.

Oh, I expect Littlefinger will be around for awhile, at least long enough for Sansa to learn a few useful tricks.  Although I think it is a foregone conclusion that he will go down, and Sansa will be responsible.

I do not believe that Sansa has any interest in the IT - or power in general, for its own sake.  If she goes to KL, it will be to seek assistance for the North, which with Winter and the likely imminent Others' invasion, is likely to need it.  Whether or not she actually goes North (and I think she will), her story is of the North.  The vale is a detour; a place to rest and learn.

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22 hours ago, Nevets said:

My biggest problem with this is with the Mad Mouse.  If the Mad Mouse does take Sansa, I don't see a simple round-trip to KL.  That wold be anti-climactic and ultimately pointless.   I would expect either Sansa to attempt escape or to turn Shadrich to her side.  Or, if they do reach KL, imprisonment by either Cersei or the Tyrells.  Tbh, though,I think Shadrich is a red herring.

Also, while I do expect something to happen at the tourney, I think Harry survives.  There is too much story potential there, although I doubt she will marry him (or anybody else, for now.) 

It will not be pointless if Sansa manages to escape trial with her wits or persuade Aegon to set her free by promising him support from the Vale/north. Harry's presence in the Alayne sample chapter shows how much Sansa has changed.she found the ideal husband but doesn't seem too eager to marry him.

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6 hours ago, Nevets said:

This is my biggest problem with the idea of Shadrich abducting Sansa.  It would be essentially impossible to get her out of the Vale.  Even if he did so when LF was out of town, he couldn't get her away in time.  And LF's enemies are led by Yohn Royce, a noted Stark supproter. He would likely help Sansa simply because of who she is.

Indeed, nobody would help these two people, and Sansa most certainly would not want to go with this creep. Littlefinger she knows ... this Mad Mouse character she does not know. And quite honestly Sansa becoming another mindless pawn or another character hitting the road for what might be an entire book is not exactly a plot I'd be looking for. And neither would George, most likely. He had Arya hitting the road. And Sansa could have hit the road if she had gone with Sandor.

6 hours ago, Nevets said:

Unless Aegon is a lot more successful that I expect him to be, I would expect the Vale to remain neutral, and lay a waiting game.  They are isolated and hard to get to, so needn't fear attack.  I expect the situation to still be in flux when Daenerys arrives, which should take maybe a year, story time.  At that point, all bets are off.

Well, there must be a reason why we get all those young and valiant knights to the Gates of the Moon for a tourney. A tourney is a social event, and such events can gain a momentum if certain unforeseen and unexpected news arrive suddenly.

The Lords of the Vale were not looking forward to war back during the War of the Five Kings. But there were some houses, like the Royces, pushing to support Robb.

The West has bled considerably and Lord Tywin is dead. The Lannisters are without a strong leader. The Tyrells and the Reach are occupied/distracted due to the Ironborn threat. The Riverlords are preparing to take back what is theirs. And now a Targaryen pretender arrives with the Golden Company to lay claim to the Iron Throne.

They don't have to declare for him outright. They could just assemble a sizable army, and move with their ships from Gulltown across the Bay of Crabs to Crackclaw Point. It is not that far. They could come to the aid of King Tommen or to help seat Prince Aegon on the Iron Throne.

They can now be much more influential in a conflict in a conflict considering that their potential enemies have all been weakened.

If Connington or Aegon sent them a letter to the Gates of the Moon they would have to make a decision. And deciding to sit on their asses again, doing nothing, doesn't sound like something they would do now. That would be cowardice yet again.

Young men like those Waynwoods and all the others that came for the tourney would want to prove their valor in battle, not just some tourney. And Harry sure as hell might want to avenge Jon Arryn to ensure that he is a true Arryn after all.

Littlefinger is not Lysa. He cannot hope to command the Lords of the Vale if push comes to shove. If they want to do something he has to put himself at the top of that movement or risk losing influence and power.

And then there is Sansa herself. If she gets the chance to drive a dagger in Cersei's heart by supporting a pretender who may have the power to destroy her - what would she do? Wait for her to die of old age? Littlefinger told her that they have to lay low and bide their time in the Vale while the Lannisters still rule - now they could have a chance to help topple them and they do ... nothing? That's simply not very likely.

This doesn't mean Sansa-Littlefinger have to form some sort of eternal alliance with Aegon. They could just try (perhaps fail?) to use him for their own ends. But if the new Targaryen king were indebted to the Vale and Sansa-Littlefinger they sure as hell could get Littlefinger confirmed as Lord of Harrenhal, could get Sansa formally installed as Lady of Winterfell, etc. while at the same exerting massive influence in the capital of the Realm.

And from there Sansa could end up in a position where she eventually returns back home, bringing an army with her (or not). But I don't think she is going to go up there while Stannis is still king. And with Davos bringing Rickon back it would get a little bit crowded up there, anyway.

6 hours ago, Nevets said:

Oh, I expect Littlefinger will be around for awhile, at least long enough for Sansa to learn a few useful tricks.  Although I think it is a foregone conclusion that he will go down, and Sansa will be responsible.

I'm not sure we'll see Littlefinger being killed or executed by Sansa. I really think he is going to have some last meeting with Catelyn and might even destined to see Edmure again. But Sansa might certainly be responsible for a major defeat or loss he is going to suffer, but I actually don't think this is something we should look forward to. Sansa is not unlikely to become a very talented apprentice of Littlefinger's, making her as much a duplicitous person as he is. What this could mean in a 13-year-old girl I'm not sure, but her whole approach to push away/ignore the clearly bad/potentially horrible consequences of her actions (like the death of Lord Robert) seems to be more or less Littlefinger's own way to deal with 'unpleasant things'. I mean, the man must know that a lot of things he does are very wrong, but he has found a way to justify them to himself. And if Sansa ever learned and internalized that lesson she would truly be his daughter after all.

And it is not that this kind of thing is not likely going to help her along the way. Whatever she is going to do, she is likely going to face a lot of dangers, is going to be forced to lie to and betray various people.

6 hours ago, Nevets said:

I do not believe that Sansa has any interest in the IT - or power in general, for its own sake.  If she goes to KL, it will be to seek assistance for the North, which with Winter and the likely imminent Others' invasion, is likely to need it.  Whether or not she actually goes North (and I think she will), her story is of the North.  The vale is a detour; a place to rest and learn.

Well, if we go with the two book scenario one should expect her to go straight to Winterfell once she leaves the Vale. After all, things would then be heading for the grand finale. But with Aegon having arrived right now and Dany most likely not exactly showing up in Westeros in the next book chances she would basically have to hang out in the Vale for a very long time - doing essentially pretty much nothing there - or she would have to do the same in the North. Sansa is not exactly a character that is likely going to excel in managing a castle in the middle of nowhere. She is the one who is made for court intrigue - especially if she continues her lessons with Littlefinger. And that could work much better in KL - or perhaps even Highgarden or Storm's End - than at Winterfell or in the North. There people should be pretty snowbound and unwilling to travel even while the Wall still stands. All she could do there is to interact with a limited number of people in some castle, writing and receiving letters her only means to find out what's going on outside.

I don't think that would make all that much of a story. Especially since she would have great trouble helping to get assistance from elsewhere up there to fight the Others, etc. if she herself is already up there. Then she would certainly have some men with her but it is not that likely that many men would be willing to join her up there in the middle of winter if the stunningly beautiful and charming Sansa Stark does not try to convince them in person.

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On 8/17/2017 at 3:41 AM, Lord Varys said:

The Mad Mouse isn't going to abduct Sansa. That would be ridiculous. He cannot take her and leave the Vale alive. This is not some fantasy land (pun intended), this is a realistic setting. If Sansa goes missing for so much as a few hours Littlefinger will send out ravens, huntsmen, hunting dogs, and riders. He'll mobilize the entire Vale. They could not flee through the mountains and Littlefinger should have his people in every harbor and port.

But what Ser Shadrich can do is to put certain ideas into Sansa's head and look how things unfold between her and Littlefinger.

As to how things continue - the Vale will enter the game, after all. They will declare for Aegon, most likely, a campaign in the North is possible but far less likely considering that it is winter.

That they wait for Daenerys or until winter is over before they do something is very unlikely.

And of course Littlefinger is not going to die soon. He is far too interesting and Sansa really has to learn some stuff. Playing around in the Vale is just the beginning of her training, she has to return to the big stage - King's Landing. There she can then play with the really important people.

Mad mouse can also just send word to Varys that Sansa is in the Vale. 

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4 minutes ago, LordImp said:

Mad mouse can also just send word to Varys that Sansa is in the Vale. 

That might be difficult, seeing as how Varys has disappeared and is no longer on the small council.  He could send a message to Cersei instead, or more likely, threaten to do so.  Although I would expect blackmailing Littlefinger to be an excellent way to find yourself in a secret grave.

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57 minutes ago, LordImp said:

Mad mouse can also just send word to Varys that Sansa is in the Vale. 

I'm pretty sure Varys already knows that Sansa is in the Vale.

He didn't sent Shadrich to get her out of there, he did sent him there to manipulate events in Varys' favor. The Aegon-Dany plan was about to go enter its final stages at the end of ASoS/beginning of AFfC/ADwD. Varys had Tywin killed and went underground.

Litltefinger is in the Vale, and the Vale has to support Aegon or at least not turn against him.

Shadrich is going to ensure that things run smoothly there. And Littlefinger has no idea that Aegon is Varys' pawn, so he has no reason not to try to jump on the bandwagon and try to high jack him for his own plans.

He seems to have done his old little mouse routine in the Alayne chapter already. Sansa noticed that the windows in Littlefinger's study were open and the wind had apparently messed up his papers a bit. That was not the wind. Knowing what Littlefinger is up to is the first step. The second would be to ensure that Littlefinger does not oppose the idea to declare for Aegon - something that could be a rather popular idea with the young knights when the first ravens from Storm's End arrive in the Vale.

And that's where Shadrich could reach out to Sansa - indicating to her how rewarding a victorious Targaryen king could be to them but especially to her. If Sansa asked Littlefinger to have the Vale declare for Aegon he won't refuse. He wants to make her happy.

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> Will Sansa take the KOTV North? Or will Littlefinger use them to get controll over the Riverlands?

I think both. Littlefinger will use the army of the Vale to bring order to the Riverlands, then Jon comes back and the Grand Conspiracy restores the Kingdom of the North and the Trident and the Vale will join as the third constituent state. After that, the knights head north with Sansa.

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On 8/18/2017 at 6:01 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'm pretty sure Varys already knows that Sansa is in the Vale.

He didn't sent Shadrich to get her out of there, he did sent him there to manipulate events in Varys' favor.

If Shadrich is Varys's agent, then why is he taking service with a disagreeable, cheapskate merchant like Hibald and telling anyone who will listen that he is on the lookout for Sansa Stark and offering to share the reward?  These are the actions of a free-lancer desperate for money, not an agent of somebody like Varys.  The only person Shadrich is working for is Shadrich.

And you have a lot more faith in Aegon than I do.  While he may sit the IT for a while, I doubt that he will ever win a decisive victory of the Lannister-Tyrell forces.  (And while I think that alliance is shaky, Aegon's presence, will, if anything, help to unify it.)

On 8/18/2017 at 6:01 PM, Lord Varys said:

Varys had Tywin killed and went underground.

Varys had nothing to do with this.  Tyrion did that on his own, after Jaime forced Varys to help him get Tyrion out in the first place.  Varys had no way of knowing, or even suspecting, that Tyrion would go kill his father.  

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1 hour ago, Nevets said:

If Shadrich is Varys's agent, then why is he taking service with a disagreeable, cheapskate merchant like Hibald and telling anyone who will listen that he is on the lookout for Sansa Stark and offering to share the reward?  These are the actions of a free-lancer desperate for money, not an agent of somebody like Varys.  The only person Shadrich is working for is Shadrich.

Why not? Varys' more important agents most likely do not travel with the royal navy or something of that sort. And chances are that he went to Duskendale to catch a ship there to carry him to Gulltown due to the fact that the harbor in KL wasn't working normally at that point. 

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

And you have a lot more faith in Aegon than I do.  While he may sit the IT for a while, I doubt that he will ever win a decisive victory of the Lannister-Tyrell forces.  (And while I think that alliance is shaky, Aegon's presence, will, if anything, help to unify it.)

There is no longer a Lannister-Tyrell alliance. That ended with Cersei/Mace had Ser Kevan Lannister murdered. And Aegon is only going to take the Iron Throne if he beats the Tyrell army marching against Storm's End. If does that the Reach is not going to march against him a second time. At least not while they are still sworn to Tommen. Reach Lords joining Euron might march against him eventually but not those sworn to Tommen. Tommen is a joke and also greatly angered the Reach when he did not send them immediate aid against the Ironborn.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Varys had nothing to do with this.  Tyrion did that on his own, after Jaime forced Varys to help him get Tyrion out in the first place.  Varys had no way of knowing, or even suspecting, that Tyrion would go kill his father.  

This isn't the topic here, but it is pretty obvious that Varys manipulated/expected both Jaime and Tyrion to do what they did, and he most certainly would have killed Tywin himself if Tyrion hadn't done - to blame this murder on Tyrion, too.

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On 8/17/2017 at 10:09 PM, Lord Varys said:

If Connington or Aegon sent them a letter to the Gates of the Moon they would have to make a decision. And deciding to sit on their asses again, doing nothing, doesn't sound like something they would do now. That would be cowardice yet again.

While some houses feel very anti-Lannister, there's not been any indication the Vale is full of war fever, let alone that they'd feel compelled to join a rumoured House Targaryen pretender, who they previously helped overthrow.

Littlefinger's strategy thus far has been to let his enemies slug it out and wear themselves down, and I don't think Aegon arriving would affect that.

The Vale has been set up as a relatively self-contained stage with its own set of actors for Sansa to start learning to play the game on.  She's not going to be rushed elsewhere into some other plot.

22 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Why not? Varys' more important agents most likely do not travel with the royal navy or something of that sort.

Secret agents don't go around telling people they're secret agents.

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12 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

While some houses feel very anti-Lannister, there's not been any indication the Vale is full of war fever, let alone that they'd feel compelled to join a rumoured House Targaryen pretender, who they previously helped overthrow.

Quite a few Lords of the Vale originally stuck with the Targaryens - the Graftons and Shetts, at least, but possibly more. They now have the chance to reap huge rewards and royal favors if they finally show their hands and make a king. Such a king would be indebted to them. Sitting on their asses is going to gain them nothing. And neither would they profit from helping Sansa - after all, invading the North without the permission of the Iron Throne is inevitably going to cause them problems. But if they decide who sits the Iron Throne they can get everything they could possibly want.

12 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

Littlefinger's strategy thus far has been to let his enemies slug it out and wear themselves down, and I don't think Aegon arriving would affect that.

Littlefinger won't make the final decision there. If enough knights and lords make it clear that they want to go to war he can either go along with them or risk losing everything. He is just the Protector, and his position is contingent on the people remaining positively inclined towards his rule.

12 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

The Vale has been set up as a relatively self-contained stage with its own set of actors for Sansa to start learning to play the game on.  She's not going to be rushed elsewhere into some other plot.

That would mean we would have another 3-4 Sansa chapters (or even more) where essentially nothing happens. Sure, plotting in the Vale is interesting but only because Littlefinger is involved. Littlefinger would also be interesting if they were on the Fingers or spending an entire book on some farm.

12 minutes ago, Colonel Green said:

Secret agents don't go around telling people they're secret agents.

He doesn't tell he works for Varys. He wants to find out for whom Brienne works. He does know for whom she is looking, after all.

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The Vale...Can't remember if I've commented on this thread or not. I probably have, but it's moved on in the meantime, if so.

Basically the focus is shifting gradually closer to the Riverlands. The POV has left the Eyrie, and now there is this tourney closer to the Bloody Gate, if I recall correctly. At some point the Knights of the Vale are riding forth. I can't imagine that they are going to engage in a naval war, and yet I also seem to recall that the snows may or may not have closed the High Road into the Vale. Maybe it's just closed off the Eyrie, while the land army can still move through the Bloody Gate into the Riverlands.

Anyway, they have to come into play somehow.

The fascinating part is the purpose of Harry the Heir. Was he merely a device to give Sansa's arc a plausible "goal", which is then replaced by something else when Harry dies unexpectedly in the tourney or some such twist? Or is he the vehicle through which Sansa gains power over the Vale? My problem has always been that without Harry, Sansa has no claim to power whatsoever in the Vale. Even if she reveals her identity, she is just the daughter of Winterfell. That does not  bestow any status to her in the Vale.

So she NEEDS Harry, for the Vale's future actions to be influenced by her arc. I don't see a way around that. Whether she manipulates him with her charms, without actually marrying him, to the point that the infatuated dunce "launches a thousand ships (knights in this case) to earn her favour, or whether she actually marries him and becomes Lady of the Vale, that I haven't figured out.

But that her route to power lies through Harry seems pretty conclusive to me.

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