Black Crow

Heresy 203 and growing suspicions anent the Starks

384 posts in this topic

On 10/14/2017 at 11:43 AM, JNR said:

Well, assuming you're right and he only discovers Lyanna was his mother, thinking the above might depend on his command of the timeline of Robert's Rebellion.

Jon has a birthday and knows both it and his age.  He also surely knows when Robert's Rebellion happened and that it lasted a year.

So this would mean Jon believes, confidently, that he was born around the time Robert's Rebellion ended.    Ergo, he also believes he must have been conceived about nine months earlier, and therefore, he could only be the son of Ned if Ned had encountered his sister Lyanna and had sex with her some three months after the war began.

I think he'd be skeptical of this event having happened since it was never mentioned or documented anywhere.  Lyanna isn't said to have disappeared, then turned up in Ned's company after multiple months, then disappeared again for multiple months, then finally found before she died.  So in conclusion, I think Jon might surmise that if Lyanna is in fact his mother, Ned cannot be his father.

Ned not being Jon's father is relatively obvious to the reader, and should be to Jon for the same reasons, especially if he knows Lyanna is his mother.  There is no social taboo against incest in Westeros, or at least not on the level of our world.  So he probably won't believe he is the son of Ned and Lyanna, but if it does, it won't be much worse than believing he is the Son of Ned and a mystery woman.  I agree that I doubt Jon cares much about being Rhaegar's son.

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Just going through Heresy 203 and realizing once more that GRRM has written himself in at least one corner too many.

What may also factor in on Jon's reaction to his parentage is his assassination and how it will play out in the books if they are ever written.

I still assume that Rhaegar and Lyanna having offspring is what triggered the rise of the White Walkers and Jon is whom the Night's King wants.

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6 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Ned not being Jon's father is relatively obvious to the reader, and should be to Jon for the same reasons, especially if he knows Lyanna is his mother.  There is no social taboo against incest in Westeros, or at least not on the level of our world.  So he probably won't believe he is the son of Ned and Lyanna, but if it does, it won't be much worse than believing he is the Son of Ned and a mystery woman.  I agree that I doubt Jon cares much about being Rhaegar's son.

I'm not expecting "trouble" over this one. Whether Jon's father was Rhaegar or a stableboy, his mother being Lyanna is sufficient to justify Ned adopting him as his own, and the fact that he was brought up by Ned as a son of Winterfell and that his mother was a daughter of Winterfell is going to far outweigh the name of Prince Charming

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59 minutes ago, alienarea said:

Just going through Heresy 203 and realizing once more that GRRM has written himself in at least one corner too many.

What may also factor in on Jon's reaction to his parentage is his assassination and how it will play out in the books if they are ever written.

I still assume that Rhaegar and Lyanna having offspring is what triggered the rise of the White Walkers and Jon is whom the Night's King wants.

I don't believe that the Nights King does want Jon. He's just a legend from the land of long long ago

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23 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I'm not so sure about the white walkers, but I agree as to the wights.

Well, he certainly calls out the Popsicles in particular as a threat:

Quote

"No one's here," said Bran, bravely. "Look at the snow. There are no footprints."

"The white walkers go lightly on the snow," the ranger said. "You'll find no prints to mark their passage."

We can choose to believe him that they're a threat, or not believe him, as we see fit.

23 hours ago, Black Crow said:

notwithstanding the mummers' version I'm not sure that they do anyway, they may just be the cold servants of whatever does it

On this, we have GRRM's own word for it that the Popsicles do raise the wights, or they did as of October 1993:

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The greatest danger of all, however, comes from the north, from the icy wastes beyond the Wall, where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead

Of course, he may have changed his design since then... though I don't think he did.

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23 hours ago, LynnS said:

Isn't it the white walkers who are supposed to come for the babes?

That's the claim from Craster's wives, but we have no way to know if the claim has any foundation.  

They aren't the ones who dump babies in the woods -- we're told all the rangers know Craster does that.  It's Craster who claims he's a godly man, and who apparently has the Popsicles in mind in referring to gods.  If Craster told the wives this was happening, that the babies were picked up by Popsicles to become more Popsicles, the wives would likely believe him.

So has Gilly ever actually even seen a Popsicle?  In any way, let alone a Popsicle in the act of picking up a baby?

Jon thinks she has... because she knows what color the Popsicles' eyes are -- blue.  

But what this means is that  Jon is just awful at logical interrogation or reasoning.  

Because Jon also knows the Popsicles have blue eyes and yet he has never seen a Popsicle in his life!  He knows that tidbit purely from things he was told.  So too might Gilly.

You'd think this would be obvious to Jon, but as with his decision to join the Watch, he is just not using his head.

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14 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

There is no social taboo against incest in Westeros, or at least not on the level of our world.  So he probably won't believe he is the son of Ned and Lyanna, but if it does, it won't be much worse than believing he is the Son of Ned and a mystery woman.

Well, I think there is a taboo; Cersei and Jaime have certainly always known that, ever since they started fooling around and were caught and stopped (for a while anyway).  

Only the Targs openly and routinely commit brother/sister incest as a social norm in Westeros.

But timeline problems will also make it impossible for Jon to believe his parents are Ned and Lyanna, unless he also finds out he's months older than he thinks, which is a more speculative matter IMO.  

The RLJ camp is fond of arguing that if he were that much older, it would also mean he was significantly older than Robb, and it would have been obvious to Catelyn in contrasting Jon and Robb as infants when she got to Winterfell.  The RLJ camp might be right.

Edited by JNR

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8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I don't believe that the Nights King does want Jon. He's just a legend from the land of long long ago

Yes, as far as we know there has been no sign of this entity for thousands of years, and even in the stories, he was only a human being who was the LC of the Watch.  Doesn't seem likely he would still be around.

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2 minutes ago, JNR said:

Well, I think there is a taboo; Cersei and Jaime have certainly always known that, ever since they started fooling around and were caught and stopped (for a while anyway).  

Only the Targs openly and routinely commit brother/sister incest as a social norm in Westeros.

But timeline problems will also make it impossible for Jon to believe his parents are Ned and Lyanna, unless he also finds out he's months older than he thinks, which is a more speculative matter IMO.  

The RLJ camp is fond of arguing that if he were that much older, it would also mean he was significantly older than Robb, and it would have been obvious to Catelyn in contrasting Jon and Robb as infants when she got to Winterfell.  The RLJ camp might be right.

Cersei and Jaime's incest matter for a different reason.  Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen only have a claim to the throne based on Robert being their father.  If the incest were discovered, they'd be bastards with no royal blood.  GRRM having Cersei love Jaime is far more compelling a story for the reader, but the situation would be the same for the book characters if Cersei loved Arys Oakheart, for example, instead. 

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8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I don't believe that the Nights King does want Jon. He's just a legend from the land of long long ago

Someone wants Jon dead.  I reread the pink letter.  

 

Quote

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.  Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall.  Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.  I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.  I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess.  I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.

Take a look at the demands/requests of the letter:

1) Tell his read whore
2) Come see heads on of the walls of Winterfell
3) Give Sansa back
4) Give Melissandra, Selyse, Val, Mance's son and Theon.

So this is a list of demands increasingly unlikely to be met, and from the tone of the letter, its intent clearly is not meant to obtain what is asked for, but rather to goad Jon south.

Of course, Ramsay could still have written it.  It certainly isn't in his interest militarily, and I think Ramsay's smarter than this, but it wouldn't be too far out of character.

At first I thought someone on the Watch such as Bowen Marsh thought this up, but he is probably illiterate and not clever enough. 

Now I wonder if someone knew who Jon was and wanted him dead.  I am not suggesting the Night's King from the mummer's version wants him dead.  But what if someone is using the Others?

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Qyburn seems to be behind the plot to assassinate Jon:
 

Quote

 

A Feast for Crows - Cersei IV

"Our new dromonds will need oarsmen," said Aurane Waters. "Let us instruct the lords to send their poachers and thieves to me henceforth, instead of to the Wall."

Qyburn leaned forward with a smile. "The Night's Watch defends us all from snarks and grumkins. My lords, I say that we must help the brave black brothers."

Cersei gave him a sharp look. "What are you saying?"

"This," Qyburn said. "For years now, the Night's Watch has begged for men. Lord Stannis has answered their plea. Can King Tommen do less? His Grace should send the Wall a hundred men. To take the black, ostensibly, but in truth . . ."

". . . to remove Jon Snow from the command," Cersei finished, delighted. I knew I was right to want him on my council. "That is just what we shall do." She laughed. If this bastard boy is truly his father's son, he will not suspect a thing. Perhaps he will even thank me, before the blade slides between his ribs. "It will need to be done carefully, to be sure. Leave the rest to me, my lords." This was how an enemy should be dealt with: with a dagger, not a declaration. "We have done good work today, my lords. I thank you. Is there aught else?"

 

 

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1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

So this is a list of demands increasingly unlikely to be met, and from the tone of the letter, its intent clearly is not meant to obtain what is asked for, but rather to goad Jon south.

As an observation on this, the letter uses the phrase "black crows" (as opposed to just 'crows') to refer to the Night's Watch--a phrase that is, beyond the instance of the Pink Letter, only ever used by wildlings, and Jon when he is adopting the 'voice' of wildling sentiment to speak to them.

This is far from damning, as anyone that is intending to goad Jon might use similar language, but I do think that of all the potential non-Ramsay candidates that might have written the letter, Mance might be the one with the most to gain from goading Jon; if Jon comes south with a substantial contingent of wildlings at his back, he would essentially be reuniting Mance with his army, while also delivering himself as a valuable hostage.
 

1 hour ago, JNR said:

...and even in the stories, he was only a human being who was the LC of the Watch.

Well...only a human by day:

Quote

He did not like that notion very much at all. Night's King was only a man by light of day, Old Nan would always say, but the night was his to rule. 

That turn of phrase alone might suggest that he was something more than "only a man" at 'night'--which, IMO, could be read in literal terms or in reference to times of long winter, when the Others are at their most dangerous.

That said, much as I'm a proponent of interpreting the ancient Starks as having had dominion over the Others, in this instance, I believe the story is being framed to evoke the idea of the Night's King as a warg, "binding his brothers with sorcery," and ruling the night in his wolf dreams.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

Qyburn seems to be behind the plot to assassinate Jon:
 

 

I can't believe I missed that in my rereading.  But Qyburn's plan is to send men to the Wall under pretense of joining the Watch but to kill Jon - so he stops aiding Stannis.  Whoever wrote the pink letter knew Stannis already rode South, so it is too late to kill Jon for the reasons originally stated.  I need to reread and find out if Cersei sent anyone to the Watch and who.  And we need someone literate to have written the letter, Qyburn could have done so, but how would he know all the details in the letter?  Did the watch in general know Mance's plan to steal Sansa or Mance's son?

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Upon further rereading, it is Osney Kettleblack that Cersei and Qyburn planned to send to the Wall and kill Jon.  But he never gets sent, he botches his confession and remains a prisoner.

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56 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

Upon further rereading, it is Osney Kettleblack that Cersei and Qyburn planned to send to the Wall and kill Jon.  But he never gets sent, he botches his confession and remains a prisoner.

Were they only sending Osney, or were there others involved? I vaguely recall Cersei talking about the plot to assassinate Jon by sending men under the guise of responding to the Night Watch's request for more men in order to sneak them in.

It would certainly be interesting if the coup has some possible outside influence. 

1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

This is far from damning, as anyone that is intending to goad Jon might use similar language, but I do think that of all the potential non-Ramsay candidates that might have written the letter, Mance might be the one with the most to gain from goading Jon; if Jon comes south with a substantial contingent of wildlings at his back, he would essentially be reuniting Mance with his army, while also delivering himself as a valuable hostage.

 

I remember that flittering through my mind on my last re-read, too. I always suspected that whoever wrote the letter wanted to lure both the wildlings and Jon down for alternative reasons. Now, I can definitely see Stannis sending the letter to beef up his army some more or even Wyman Manderly doing it because he wants to gather his pieces together. However, Mance not only would want his wildling army as far south of the Wall as he can get them but he might hope to exchange Jon for his son (though, obviously, it won't be his son) or even to try and extract demands from the Northern Lords.

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9 minutes ago, Faera said:

Were they only sending Osney, or were there others involved? I vaguely recall Cersei talking about the plot to assassinate Jon by sending men under the guise of responding to the Night Watch's request for more men in order to sneak them in.

It would certainly be interesting if the coup has some possible outside influence. 

We don't know if there were others sent.  When Osney didn't make it, it makes sense they would send someone else.  But if AFFC and ADWD happen at the same time, Jon probably was killed before they got the chance.  Qyburn's plot of Jon killed for treason does sound suspiciously like what happened.

9 minutes ago, Faera said:

I remember that flittering through my mind on my last re-read, too. I always suspected that whoever wrote the letter wanted to lure both the wildlings and Jon down for alternative reasons. Now, I can definitely see Stannis sending the letter to beef up his army some more or even Wyman Manderly doing it because he wants to gather his pieces together. However, Mance not only would want his wildling army as far south of the Wall as he can get them but he might hope to exchange Jon for his son (though, obviously, it won't be his son) or even to try and extract demands from the Northern Lords.

I don't see Stannis sending the letter at all.  He is far too honorable, and isn't clever enough.  And if Jon marched South with the Watch, they'd see Stannis's banners over Winterfell when they got close, and wouldn't be so happy when they arrived.

Manderly makes more sense, assuming he had a wildling give him information - he wouldn't otherwise know everything in the letter and he wouldn't use wildling terms.  He is clever enough, but is more likely to wait patiently and not take risks.  And if Stannis already lost, Jon probably wouldn't be much of a threat to Bolton, and if Stannis won or was still fighting, Jon would know he was lied to on arrival.

The more I reread, the less it makes sense that this was someone who wanted the Watch to attack Bolton and the more it seems like it was meant to get Jon killed exactly the way it did.

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55 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

We don't know if there were others sent.  When Osney didn't make it, it makes sense they would send someone else.  But if AFFC and ADWD happen at the same time, Jon probably was killed before they got the chance.  Qyburn's plot of Jon killed for treason does sound suspiciously like what happened.

It's the signatures and seals that are appended that would seem to support Ramsey sending the letter.

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

He turned to find Clydas standing beneath the broken archway, a parchment in his hand. "From Stannis?" Jon had been hoping for some word from the king. The Night's Watch took no part, he knew, and it should not matter to him which king emerged triumphant. Somehow it did. "Is it Deepwood?"

"No, my lord." Clydas thrust the parchment forward. It was tightly rolled and sealed, with a button of hard pink wax. Only the Dreadfort uses pink sealing wax. Jon ripped off his gauntlet, took the letter, cracked the seal. When he saw the signature, he forgot the battering Rattleshirt had given him. 

Ramsay Bolton, Lord of the Hornwood, it read, in a huge, spiky hand. The brown ink came away in flakes when Jon brushed it with his thumb. Beneath Bolton's signature, Lord Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own marks and seals. A cruder hand had drawn the giant of House Umber. "Might we know what it says, my lord?" asked Iron Emmett.

 

They were all present for Ramsey's wedding.  They seem to have carried their seals with them but what about this letter?   The next letter sent to Asha has the same seals and signatures done in maester's ink. The similarities are interesting.   It's almost as though several blanks were made with the signature  and seals.  By whom?  Was Lady Dustin or the Ryswells around when Ramsey sent this note to Asha?
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - The Wayward Bride

"Ramsay Bolton, Lord of Winterfell, he signs himself. But there are other names as well." Lady Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own signatures beneath his. Beside them was drawn a crude giant, the mark of some Umber.

Those were done in maester's ink, made of soot and coal tar, but the message above was scrawled in brown in a huge, spiky hand. It spoke of the fall of Moat Cailin, of the triumphant return of the Warden of the North to his domains, of a marriage soon to be made. The first words were, "I write this letter in the blood of ironmen," the last, "I send you each a piece of prince. Linger in my lands, and share his fate."

Asha had believed her little brother dead. Better dead than this. The scrap of skin had fallen into her lap. She held it to the candle and watched the smoke curl up, until the last of it had been consumed and the flame was licking at her fingers.

And here is the gathering place to collect all those seals and signatures:
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

"No, my lord." Clydas thrust the parchment forward. It was tightly rolled and sealed, with a button of hard pink wax. Only the Dreadfort uses pink sealing wax. Jon ripped off his gauntlet, took the letter, cracked the seal. When he saw the signature, he forgot the battering Rattleshirt had given him.

Ramsay Bolton, Lord of the Hornwood, it read, in a huge, spiky hand. The brown ink came away in flakes when Jon brushed it with his thumb. Beneath Bolton's signature, Lord Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own marks and seals. A cruder hand had drawn the giant of House Umber. "Might we know what it says, my lord?" asked Iron Emmett.

Jon saw no reason not to tell him. "Moat Cailin is taken. The flayed corpses of the ironmen have been nailed to posts along the kingsroad. Roose Bolton summons all leal lords to Barrowton, to affirm their loyalty to the Iron Throne and celebrate his son's wedding to …" His heart seemed to stop for a moment. No, that is not possible. She died in King's Landing, with Father.

 

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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6 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

We don't know if there were others sent.  When Osney didn't make it, it makes sense they would send someone else.  But if AFFC and ADWD happen at the same time, Jon probably was killed before they got the chance.  Qyburn's plot of Jon killed for treason does sound suspiciously like what happened.

32 minutes ago, Faera said:

It makes me wonder, therefore, if word of Jon's assassination by a cackle of panicked men of the Night's Watch will reach them before his inevitable resurrection. If in TWoW it is revealed that the Mutiny at Castle Black was somehow orchestrated by Qyburn - we only know two of the conspirators by name, after all, both of them in tears - I would not be surprised.

19 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

The more I reread, the less it makes sense that this was someone who wanted the Watch to attack Bolton and the more it seems like it was meant to get Jon killed exactly the way it did.

With that in mind, it makes me wonder all the more if it was, indeed, Mance who wrote it.

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5 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Perhaps Lady Dustin is the instigator of the pink letter given her animosity towards Ned and Starks in general:

Quote

Possibly, though when it comes to Lady Dustin "the lady doth protest too much, methinks".

Edited by Faera

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21 minutes ago, LynnS said:
Quote

 

 Beneath Bolton's signature, Lord Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own marks and seals. A cruder hand had drawn the giant of House Umber. 

 

 

Just out of curiosity. Where do you get the Lord Dustin from ? The ice and fire search says Lady and I would call it correct as there is no known Lord Dustin alive.

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