Chrissie

A Who Sent the Catspaw Theory

237 posts in this topic

On 21/11/2017 at 8:40 PM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

There is no valyrian steel reveal!

Joff is using a sword forged from Ice, he even calls it a "great sword"... then he hacks down on the book two handed, like an executioner (however it takes him many swings, like a bad executioner)... he's familiar with it because it's forged from the sword that cut of Ned's head in front of Joff and at his command. That's why Joff is familiar with Valyrian Steel.

Nobody swings a dagger like that, in fact why would the dagger make Joff familiar with how sharp it is? Is there any reason to think he used it? No, because there isnt even evidence he's ever had anything to do with the dagger.

So... All we have are Tyrion's accusations... and for verification, the closest thing we get is a "sharp look"? And I'm supposed to take that as Joff admitting guilt? Not just being surprised? 

The same chapter has Tyrion questioning his leap of logic and Sansa basically defending Joff's lack of motive...

There is no reason to believe that Tyrion's suspicions are confirmed here... 
In fact... just a little later in the same chapter...
 
Sansa doesn't know what happened at Winterfell... Bran didn't fall... Theon didn't kill him... Tyrion didn't send the assassin and neither did Joff...
 
After rereading the chapter, not only do I still not see any proof, I see even more reason to doubt Joff had anything to do with it.
 
Later, Tyrion has a contradiction filled consideration of his suspicions about Joff.

If nothing else, I hope others can agree that this is a contradiction...

Tyrion is saying Joff must have been a stranger to Valyrian Steel to pick Littlefinger's dagger, since picking it means he didn't recognize the value/identifiability that is Valyrian Steel. But at the same time, For Joff to say this quote, and have it be about the Valyrian Steel dagger, means he did recognize it as Valyrian Steel. Makes no sense.
 

1) The "Valyrian Steel Reveal".  The pertinant point is Tyrion's description of the dagger sets Joff aback.  It is the accurate description of the knife, and the dragonbone hilt is as much a distinguishing characteristic as the valyrian steel blade.  Joff stumbles over his reply to Tyrion and this is what confirms Tyrion's suspicion. 

Tyrion later reflects:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Tyrion VIII

The blade Joff chose was nice and plain. No goldwork, no jewels in the hilt, no silver inlay on the blade. King Robert never wore it, had likely forgotten he owned it. Yet the Valyrian steel was deadly sharp . . . sharp enough to slice through skin, flesh, and muscle in one quick stroke. I am no stranger to Valyrian steel. But he had been, hadn't he? Else he would never have been so foolish as to pick Littlefinger's knife.
The why of it still eluded him. Simple cruelty, perhaps? His nephew had that in abundance. It was all Tyrion could do not to retch up all the wine he'd drunk, piss in his breeches, or both. He squirmed uncomfortably. He ought to have held his tongue at breakfast. The boy knows I know now. My big mouth will be the death of me, I swear it.

It seems clear enough that i) Joffrey chose a knife Robert never used and would not miss and ii) Tyrion has read Joffrey's reaction as confirmation.  He may wonder at the motive and Joffrey's knowledge of Valyrian steel but not that Joff did the deed.

2) As to Joffrey's familiarity with Valyrian steel he wasn't when he chose the dagger and it's arguable whether he is now or not.  The point is GRRM uses his comment / boast as the means / prompt for Tyrion's deduction - just like he did with Ned deducing the paternity of Cersei's children from Sansa's outburst "Gods, out of the mouth of babes".  As for your assertion that Joffrey's familiarity with valyrian steel comes from Ned's execution, that holds little water: half of KL could claim familliarity with Valyrian steel based on witnessing that.  The familiarity comes from handling it, however briefly when he stole it something he thinks no one knws and that he can cryptically boast about (no stranger) while showing off (demolishing the rare, almost priceless, book for fun).

3) "Nobody swings a dagger like that".  Joff is holding a sword and as someone who has been trained to use a sword he wields it just like he has been trained to in demolishing Tyrion's present.  It would be pretty funny if a trained swordsman tried to use it like a knife, no?  Not sure what you think that brings to your argument

On 21/11/2017 at 8:53 PM, Banner Without Brothers said:

I did a long post (well long for me) on it a few pages back where I point out that every step of his deduction is completely flawed and unreasonable. It's made while he's drunk and furious with Joffrey. Leaps of faith are logical fallacies for a reason, it's faulty logic built upon a faulty premise, which generally leads to a faulty conclusion. That's my premise that Joffrey is innocent. That Martin is showing that because Joffrey is the bad guy that we, like Tyrion, will happily jump to conclusions over evidence that is wholly fallacious. 

I'd say your first example is not a leap of faith. I would say it's a moment of realisation where all the evidence starts to come together. Making it a hypothesis rather than a faulty premise. The second example is absolutely a leap of faith and a good point which is why I've said previously that Tyrion could be right on the wrong reasoning. But it's not a pattern, I struggle to think of others in ASoIaF or his other work, that doesn't mean they're not there, just I can't think of any. We also have examples going the other way Cersei accusing Tyrion off the top of my head.

Just to recap on Jaime. He enters the conversation by asking Cersei if she did it. He's firing in all directions, he again like Tyrion is happy to pin it on Joffrey but for completely different reasons. Tyrion thinks it's because he's stupid, vicious and arrogant Jaime thinks he did it because he's insecure and desperate for approval, approval that Jaime couldn't give him, Jaime's premise could be seen as being based more upon his own desires to have been more of a father to Joffrey. From the same conversation

As I said in my last post and previously others are implicated in that conversation. Namely Robert and Cersei. Cersei either lies in that conversation or it's an author error. She claims she had a conversation with Tyrion about the dagger which as far as we know didn't happen. If it's not an error and she is lying then it makes everything she says in that conversation suspect. That means we can't be certain if Robert said what he said or if Joffrey heard it. Meaning Jaimes reasoning would be built on a false premise. I can't quote the whole conversation but just read that part again from the perspective that Cersei could be lying. If she's lying then it implicates her strongly. I'm not saying that it's definite at all but it's fishy. 

 

Ok, if you think every step of Tyrion's deduction is completely flawed and unreasonable, including how he reads Joffrey's reaction to the dagger's description (dragonbone hilt and all) then there's not much point saying more and we'll have to agree to disagree.  Still hard to see where you think the dagger might make a reappearance and how it would be relevant the story now.  How would exhonerating dead Jofrey in Tyrion and Jaime's eyes achieve anything?

I disagree that Robert is implicated.  He pities Bran and feels bad for his dear friend Ned but his drunken mumblings are hardly a smoking gun along the lines of "who will rid me of this troublesome priest".  Unless you are overheard by a psycopath like Joffrey....

Cersei is not implicated at all.  Any more than Jaime is.  They are both correctly suspected of causing Bran's "fall" and are therefore suspected of the follow-up but the only person implicated in ASOS, and twice over, is Joffrey.  Future Bran, Mance, Myrcella, Robert, The Maesters, AN Other, are all leftfield or crackpot speculations because people find Joffrey an unsatisfactory solution even though it is the one presented.

On 22/11/2017 at 2:12 AM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I can't and won't speak for another man, but you are trying to vaguely quote a message from before multiple books ago. I could contend that Mance's admission of traveling to winterfell with a bag of silver was that reveal. The point is, the case isn't closed.

The characters in the story don't seem to accept the explanation, why should I, it doesn't make sense. 

You can say what you will about the importance of who sent the assassin. But I'm not going to simply forget it.

I've never paid much attention to the Mance did it idea so I won't say too much about arguments I'm not familiar with.  All I would say is that if Mance wanted to weaken the North he would allow Ned to depart and target his heir - Robb.  Targeting his second son who is only 7/8 and risking Ned remaining in the North seems ineffective in the first instance and counter-productive in the second.

The characters in story who come to the conclusion - Tyrion and Jaime - do accept it.  Cersei as a grieving mother and a narcissist to boot simply doesn't care whether Joff did or not.  No other character considers that it was Joff and then refuses to accept it.

I'm glad I can say what I like lol, but I still don't see why you think this has future plot relevance.

On 22/11/2017 at 6:08 AM, Banner Without Brothers said:

I'm noticing a common theme in this debate. I present my argument based on the text. Then I get accused of not arguing from the text while my actual post regarding the text is not debated at all. Instead the immediate comeback is to run back to the e-mails. This is the third time it's happened.and it's very frustrating. Either it's tacit agreement and there is no counter argument and they agree that Tyrion's reasoning is rubbish and that Jaime and Cersei's conversation is suspect at best. Or they think it's too ridiculous. Meaning I haven't explained myself well enough. So please if you don't understand any part of my argument or disagree with it challenge me on it so I can have the opportunity to explain myself better.

I'm sure everyone feels that way from time to time.  It's largely because they fail to convince people of their arguments because we (generalising) find the conclusions faulty.  Also, when something has been debated over and over again for getting on for 20 years it's hard to reinvent the wheel and act like it's a new idea that has to be dicussed and rebutted or proven.  That may be frustrating but that's what happens when we get into v.20 or v.100 of a debate and why in this case people reach for GRRM's SSMs or e-mails quickly.  It's meant to be a short-cut to skip the back and forth over Joffrey / bad writing but even they don't make folks happy if they have had an idea and want to debate it, quite the opposite they seem to anger people who regard it as cheating somehow to reach beyond the text.  I'll just say again the text stands on it's own - though clearly not for everyone - and the out of story stuff from GRRM is meant to end the matter for the doubters.  Clearly doesn't work but then  some of you have said you won't give up on the dagger to the very last page of the story or constructed versions that remain "intact" even if nothing further is ever written on the subject.  That's weird to me but it is what it is I guess.

On 22/11/2017 at 9:07 PM, John Suburbs said:

It's got nothing to do with the dagger. It's all about Joff's motivation at this point. Almost all of the things you mentioned are also old news and irrelevant to the story at this point: Ben Stark is dead and gone, Coldhands has served his purpose, Tysha and Gerion are long gone -- no reason at all to reintroduce them into the story. Virtually every POV and non-POV says Jon is Ned's son. Why do you take POV speculation about Bran as the full and final truth but just toss all of these other POV statements into the wind?

Sorry, wishful thinking is imagining things that are not there, so believing that these "other questions" are related to anything other than what Martin is talking about, the attempt on Bran and JA's killer (with are both related), is the definition of wishful thinking. You're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

I love how you dismiss the genuine unknowns such as Ben Stark's fate and Jon's parentage as resolved or irrelevant to the plot :P but fight tooth and nail about LF manipulating Joffrey to murder Bran or Sansa without a shred of evidence behind it.  I particularly love how you dismiss a genuine mystery - Coldhands's identity - because it has served it's purpose and there is no reason to reintroduce it [sic] into the story.  I am falling off my chair laughing that you can dismiss genuine puzzles like this and yet use the very same words re the dagger that I and others have use in this thread regarding one that has been resolved.  The irony is strong in this one!!

I know you're beyond dogmatic when you have planted your feet (and it's no surprise that the poison was in the pie has reared it's head again :D) but GRRM said he would solve the dagger mystery and that of Jon Arryn's killer and move on to other mysteries.  That you twist this quote to mean that the other mysteries must relate to the dagger (but not to Jon Arryn's killer because this doesn't interest you any more while the former does) rather than to mysteries unconnected to either of these early story plot points is you fooling yourself.  But carry on holding out hope that on the very last page of the series you'll read in 2026 will prove you right!  Or let it go maybe?

On 23/11/2017 at 1:58 PM, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

I feel that when this issue is discussed we forget some of the reasons why this dagger has to be so special.

George had to choose a unique dagger so it would be easily remembered and recognizable to the characters. The dagger is the only clue left behind for the characters to try to connect the dots. An ordinary dagger would not have been remembered by mere description when Cat confronts Jaime. LF would have had to be more creative in pointing Cat towards Tyrion if it were an ordinary dagger. Tyrion's description of the dagger to Joff would have no result when Tyrion comes to his conclusion in SoS. A unique dagger works much better to move the plot forward.

In story perspective: is also important to remember that the perpetrator most likely did not expect his catspaw to be caught. He probably thought this would be the last time anyone ever saw this dagger. He probably never worried about anything being traced back to him or anyone else. After all, he told the assassin that 'no one was s'posed to be there'. 

Bingo.  It has to be distinctive to be remembered and it has to be notable enough that key characters recognise it and can talk about it changing hands and to present such a confusing trail to poor Ned and Cat.  Clearly it is too confusing as Tyrion's wonderings about why Joffrey chose it have really confused some folks here.

On 29/11/2017 at 4:03 PM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I'm all for finding mystery where none exists but come on... 

If you find an expensive gift, from a distant land, anonymously left for you, it's totally reasonable to be suspicious.

Presumably people aren't leaving Lewin gift boxes on the regular... So unless Lewin had a Myrish mistress sending him presents we never heard of, he had every reason to be super suspicious.

The rest is explained in your quote in plain English. Upon inspecting the box he found the note.

Bingo again.  Luwin receives a mysterious and also a rare and expensive gift with no explanation, there is not even a messenger to hand it over and none of the servants saw who left it!  Here's a puzzle GRRM has set up very clearly for Luwin to look into more than your average junk mail or pre-approved credit card application.

Whether people find Luwin's curiosity reasonable or not, and the poster quoted below clearly doesn't, this mysterious and cryptic gift is a device to move the plot forward.  A secret message has been smuggled into WF for Catelyn and the method of doing so is quite clever.  Too clever perhaps so GRRM has to work hard in the text to explain why Luwin found it suspicious and he uses Catelyn's unease to corroborate Luwin's suspicious reactions while using Ned' obliviousness (poor Ned indeed) to indicacte that it was clever and well hidden.  This all helps to build dramatic tension before the devastating message in secret code is revealed - the murder of Jon Arryn.

15 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

That's my take as well. Cersei has to speak with "the good counsellors" (Barry, Renly and Ilyn) until Robert and Ned return, which won't be for hours. What could she possibly need to discuss with these three, only two of whom can actually speak? Talk about suspicious. And then the Hound, Joffrey's sworn shield, is AWOL for the entire day and nobody questions why he has derelicted his duty?

So Cersei probably intended for Joffrey to smirch Sansa's reputation in order to scuttle the betrothal, but I think Joff, at the instigation of LF way back in King's Landing, was thinking about doing her in.

 

Agent Joffrey or 007 as you like to paint him is simply playing the big man in front of Sansa.  Like any other teenager he gets some booze and tries to act older than he is to impress her.  Probably would have gone ok if Arya hadn't shown him up and he hadn't shown himself to be a dick.

I'll just say again, LF can encourage Joffrey to execute Ned and humiliate Tyrion with the jousting dwarfs because these are things Joffrey enjoys and he needs little encouragement.  Convincing Joffrey to murder a highborn boy or girl, the girl his betrothed no less, and both the children of his father's best friend is an incredible risk for LF.  One word from Joffrey to Robert, a simple question as to why Robert is making an enemy his Hand, and the truth comes out and LF is dead.  One word to Cersei about why Ned is a danger to them and LF's manipulations come out and Cersei keeps her precious Joff on a tight leash and LF is busted as a dangerous maverick who probably gets a visit from Jaime "sword through bowels" Lannister for his temerity.  There is no credible scenario in which LF risks his schemes and his life on a wilful, petulant and cruel 14 year old boy and he has no reason to at all (the letter from Lysa is the bait for Ned, to whom Jon Arryn was a second father).  Agent Joffrey plotting Sansa's murder?  Just no, however many times you dream it up.  Borderline fanfic.

 

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18 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

 

19 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

The "Valyrian Steel Reveal".  The pertinant point is Tyrion's description of the dagger sets Joff aback.  It is the accurate description of the knife, and the dragonbone hilt is as much a distinguishing characteristic as the valyrian steel blade.  Joff stumbles over his reply to Tyrion and this is what confirms Tyrion's suspicion. 

It seems clear enough that i) Joffrey chose a knife Robert never used and would not miss and ii) Tyrion has read Joffrey's reaction as confirmation.  He may wonder at the motive and Joffrey's knowledge of Valyrian steel but not that Joff did the deed.

2) As to Joffrey's familiarity with Valyrian steel he wasn't when he chose the dagger and it's arguable whether he is now or not.  The point is GRRM uses his comment / boast as the means / prompt for Tyrion's deduction - just like he did with Ned deducing the paternity of Cersei's children from Sansa's outburst "Gods, out of the mouth of babes".  As for your assertion that Joffrey's familiarity with valyrian steel comes from Ned's execution, that holds little water: half of KL could claim familliarity with Valyrian steel based on witnessing that.  The familiarity comes from handling it, however briefly when he stole it something he thinks no one knws and that he can cryptically boast about (no stranger) while showing off (demolishing the rare, almost priceless, book for fun).

3) "Nobody swings a dagger like that".  Joff is holding a sword and as someone who has been trained to use a sword he wields it just like he has been trained to in demolishing Tyrion's present.  It would be pretty funny if a trained swordsman tried to use it like a knife, no?  Not sure what you think that brings to your argument

You clearly missed the point I was trying to make...

Tyrion leaps to conclusions that we should question because he, and others in the story, so often come to the wrong conclusion.

So when Tyrion uses this as his logic:

Quote

 

I am no stranger to Valyrian steel, the boy had boasted. The septons were always going on about how the Father Above judges us all. If the Father would be so good as to topple over and crush Joff like a dung beetle, I might even believe it. 
He ought to have seen it long ago. Jaime would never send another man to do his killing, and Cersei was too cunning to use a knife that could be traced back to her, but Joff, arrogant vicious stupid little wretch that he was . . .

 

 
Which basically boils down to Joff is a shitty enough person to send an assassin after a kid...
 
And then believes this to be confirmation:
 
Quote

 

"Now there are three." Joffrey undid his old swordbelt to don his new one. "You and Lady Sansa owe me a better present, Uncle Imp. This one is all chopped to pieces."
Tyrion was staring at his nephew with his mismatched eyes. "Perhaps a knife, sire. To matchyour sword. A dagger of the same fine Valyrian steel . . . with a dragonbone hilt, say?" 
Joff gave him a sharp look. "You . . . yes, a dagger to match my sword, good." He nodded. "A . . . a gold hilt with rubies in it. Dragonbone is too plain."

 

Joff giving him a sharp look is hardly confirmation of anything... He just chopped up Tyrions gift and instead of being his usual self, Tyrion offers another present...

especially since Tyrion has every reason to be biased in his judgement, as joff is actively being a spoiled shit.

The whole Joff experiencing Valyrian Steel during Ned's execution point is that it simply fits the facts better than Tyrion's leap of logic to the dagger, regarding Joffs comment.

Why would Joff think of a knife he was supposedly too stupid to realize was significant and say it?

Meanwhile Ned was executed relatively recently, the sword Joff is holding is made from Ned's sword, and he swings it like he saw Ned get executed... Joff referring to this makes way more sense to me.

 Tyrion's "logic" is all bulit on the premise that Joff is guilty, he doesn't use any real evidence... and this off hand comment which could easily and more plausibly refer to something totally different isn't proof of guilt.

The case against Joff is basically that he may have had access to the knife, overheard other people's opinions, and is a bad person.

However, he lacks motive and is even quoted as dismissing Bran's fate as unimportant to him before he event. This is misremembered later by Tyrion and again used as false evidence of Joff's guilt...

Sending a unique dagger at all still doesn't even make any sense for Joff.

Could it still be him, yes of course, and it's possible we'll never hear about it again. But I don't think the case is closed, I don't think there is real evidence pointing toward Joff, and I certainly think it could still be relevant to the plot. 

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8 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

You clearly missed the point I was trying to make...

Tyrion leaps to conclusions that we should question because he, and others in the story, so often come to the wrong conclusion.

So when Tyrion uses this as his logic:

 
 
Which basically boils down to Joff is a shitty enough person to send an assassin after a kid...
 
And then believes this to be confirmation:
 

Joff giving him a sharp look is hardly confirmation of anything... He just chopped up Tyrions gift and instead of being his usual self, Tyrion offers another present...

especially since Tyrion has every reason to be biased in his judgement, as joff is actively being a spoiled shit.

The whole Joff experiencing Valyrian Steel during Ned's execution point is that it simply fits the facts better than Tyrion's leap of logic to the dagger, regarding Joffs comment.

Why would Joff think of a knife he was supposedly too stupid to realize was significant and say it?

Meanwhile Ned was executed relatively recently, the sword Joff is holding is made from Ned's sword, and he swings it like he saw Ned get executed... Joff referring to this makes way more sense to me.

 Tyrion's "logic" is all bulit on the premise that Joff is guilty, he doesn't use any real evidence... and this off hand comment which could easily and more plausibly refer to something totally different isn't proof of guilt.

The case against Joff is basically that he may have had access to the knife, overheard other people's opinions, and is a bad person.

However, he lacks motive and is even quoted as dismissing Bran's fate as unimportant to him before he event. This is misremembered later by Tyrion and again used as false evidence of Joff's guilt...

Sending a unique dagger at all still doesn't even make any sense for Joff.

Could it still be him, yes of course, and it's possible we'll never hear about it again. But I don't think the case is closed, I don't think there is real evidence pointing toward Joff, and I certainly think it could still be relevant to the plot. 

:agree:

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19 hours ago, LynnS said:

Pycelle's a player.  I didn't say he betrayed Petyr.  All I'm saying is that if anyone was involved sending the box with letter and lens; or colluding in Jon Arryn's death; it would be Pycelle since he knows about the book of lineages and most likely Jon Arryn's investigation.  He's the likely source of the poison used and it wouldn't be unusual for him to send the box with the letter through his own channels.     

I know you didn't say he betrayed Petyr. What I'm asking is, why didn't he? He ratted out Cersei quick enough. He's trying to preserve his manhood at this moment, so why continue to protect LF?

Sorry, I just don't see it. Pycelle has been Tywin's man in KL for decades. LF is a relative newcomer. So either Petyr does not know of the Pycelle/Tywin connection or he doesn't care that Tywin will learn that LF and Lysa are the ones who poisoned Jon Arryn and tried to murder Bran and then attempted to blame it on the Lannisters. Neither assumption has much weight.

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15 hours ago, Nevets said:

This is ridiculous. We are not dealing with the real world, but a work of fiction, and one that, especially at this point, was not particularly carefully written.  George probably wanted to have Joffrey and Sansa to spend some time together, and used Cersei's meeting as an excuse to give them some free time.  Of course, if you really want an in-story answer, they have been out of the capital for several months, so I expect Cersei is interested on catching up on what everybody has been doing (gossip, if you will).   All I see otherwise is a boy trying to impress a girl, and give her a good time.

The same goes for Littlefinger's run of good luck.  The story is full of fortuitous coincidences.  Jon was twice rescued in the nick of time.  A few minutes difference, and he would be doomed.   Arya needed an whole series of fortuitous events and meetings just to get out of King's landing, and that's not including all her later lucky encounters (BwB, Saltpans, etc.). 

With a story like this one, it's probably best if you don't try to overthink it, or you find yourself down a rabbit hole, wandering a maze of your own making, and getting nowhere.

Really? Martin, not a careful writer? This excuse comes up all the time whenever the facts don't jibe with someone's theory. Martin goofed. Martin didn't think this one through. Martin needed some plot contrivance to further the story... Sorry, but I contend that this is not lazy writing, it's lazy reading. Time and time again people get whipsawed by unexpected plot twists, and only on the reread do they see that the truth was in the subtext all along.

Cersei does not need all afternoon to catch up on the gossip of King's Landing, and she most certainly does not need to do this with Barry, Renly and Ser Illyn -- none of whom she is particularly close to. Joffrey is the crown prince and Sansa is the daughter of one of the most powerful lords in the realm. Regardless of what Cersei is doing, these two simply would not be allowed to just wander off into unfamiliar country with no chaperone and no protection. Even Ned and Robert have a tail when they leave camp. At the very least, Septa Mordane would have been dismissed and the Hound's head would have been on a spike the next day.

Fortuitous events? Arya? What fortuitous events would those be? That her father was arrested and beheaded, her entire house killed, she had to fight for survival on the streets? If you are talking about her near-miss at the docks, that was smarts, not luck. That Yoren happened to spot her in the crowd at the sept? She climbed up onto the statue of Baleor where virtually everyone could see her.

And please explain all the "lucky encounters" afterward. Being captured by the mountain, not knowing day to day if she was going to live or die, force-marched to Harrenhall, made to work her fingers to the bone... Are you talking about Jaquen? Many people believe that was not luck at all, but we'll see.

Then she escapes, only to be taken by the Brotherhood, which seems lucky until it turns out they consider her a hostage too. Then with the Hound, to the Twins where her mother and brother are brutally killed... So please, spare me about all this "luck" that Arya has been blessed with. She's lucky to be alive, that's about it.

Littlefinger's "luck" is a completely different animal. Time and again, people's actions fit right in which his desire to drive a wedge between Stark and Lannister: the discovery of the letter, the attempt on Bran, the incident on the trident, Cat's encounter with Tyrion on the King's Road, Ned's execution... Over and over again we see supposedly random events all working out perfectly for LF, right up to the point where Joffrey places his chalice directly in front of the only person who has even the slightest chance of dropping the poison in unseen -- I mean, literally, a foot to the left or right and the whole plan would have collapsed -- and then walks away from it. No one is this lucky. If you believe that Martin is just doing this to advance the plot, then in what possible way could this series appeal to you? This would be about the worst kind of writing imaginable.

People didn't overthink the Arryn murder either, since it was so obviously Cersei and/or Jaime. But if you read carefully, you would have noticed that their actions and characterizations did not line up, and the text kept referring back to the matter of Robin's fostering. Same thing with Robb and Jeyne W, which it turned out was due to plotting and love potions, not bad judgement.

So by all means, keep underthinking the text, and whenever these kinds of discrepancies come up, go right on assuming that Martin is a crappy writer who doesn't take things like plot, characterization, motivation and innumerable other factors into his story. At least you'll have that moment when the cowl is ripped from your eyes and the story and characters that you thought you knew turn out to be completely false. Those of us who can puzzle things out ahead of time will only have the satisfaction of realizing that the story is, in fact, as amazing as it appears to be.

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5 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I love how you dismiss the genuine unknowns such as Ben Stark's fate and Jon's parentage as resolved or irrelevant to the plot :P but fight tooth and nail about LF manipulating Joffrey to murder Bran or Sansa without a shred of evidence behind it.  I particularly love how you dismiss a genuine mystery - Coldhands's identity - because it has served it's purpose and there is no reason to reintroduce it [sic] into the story.  I am falling off my chair laughing that you can dismiss genuine puzzles like this and yet use the very same words re the dagger that I and others have use in this thread regarding one that has been resolved.  The irony is strong in this one!!

I'm not dismissing these unknowns as either resolved or irrelevant. I'm merely pointing out that there are many elements in this story that have yet to be revealed, so just because Joffrey is dead and the dagger, for all we know, is gone doesn't mean that LF's involvement is irrelevant to the future story, any more than the fact that Ned, Lyanna and Rhaegar are dead or that Coldhand's contribution is seemingly over means that their secrets won't be revealed as well. There are still two novels to come, plenty of ways in which the assassination attempt may come back into play.

5 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I know you're beyond dogmatic when you have planted your feet (and it's no surprise that the poison was in the pie has reared it's head again :D) but GRRM said he would solve the dagger mystery and that of Jon Arryn's killer and move on to other mysteries.  That you twist this quote to mean that the other mysteries must relate to the dagger (but not to Jon Arryn's killer because this doesn't interest you any more while the former does) rather than to mysteries unconnected to either of these early story plot points is you fooling yourself.  But carry on holding out hope that on the very last page of the series you'll read in 2026 will prove you right!  Or let it go maybe?

Read the SSM again. He did not say the "dagger mystery" would be "solved" and that he would move on to "other mysteries." What he said was:

Quote

The problem with all this speculating is that some of you are bound to guess the answers before I reveal 'em... and others may even come up with better answers than I do. Well, those are the risks one takes with such a project.

I will tell you that ASOS will resolve the question of Bran and the dagger, and also that of Jon Arryn's killer. Some other questions will not be resolved... and hopefully I will give you a few new puzzles to worry at.

and

Quote

There's a couple of additional things to be revealed in SOS... but I think the answer could be worked out from the first two books alone, yes... though of course, =I've= known the truth all along, so in some ways it's hard for me to judge.

So the "question of Bran and the dagger" was resolved: Joffrey did it. The "some other questions will not be resolved" could refer to something completely unrelated, or it could refer to Joffrey's motivations and the fact that the two PoVs in SoS speculate on completely unsatisfactory explanations.

We also have "some of you are bound to guess the answers before I reveal 'em ... and others may come up with better answers than I do," so maybe LF-as-instigator is the answer before it is revealed or maybe it is the better answer. The person who is fooling himself is the one who wraps himself in arrogant certainty that it is one without even bothering to consider the other.

5 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Bingo.  It has to be distinctive to be remembered and it has to be notable enough that key characters recognise it and can talk about it changing hands and to present such a confusing trail to poor Ned and Cat.  Clearly it is too confusing as Tyrion's wonderings about why Joffrey chose it have really confused some folks here.

Bingo again.  Luwin receives a mysterious and also a rare and expensive gift with no explanation, there is not even a messenger to hand it over and none of the servants saw who left it!  Here's a puzzle GRRM has set up very clearly for Luwin to look into more than your average junk mail or pre-approved credit card application.

Whether people find Luwin's curiosity reasonable or not, and the poster quoted below clearly doesn't, this mysterious and cryptic gift is a device to move the plot forward.  A secret message has been smuggled into WF for Catelyn and the method of doing so is quite clever.  Too clever perhaps so GRRM has to work hard in the text to explain why Luwin found it suspicious and he uses Catelyn's unease to corroborate Luwin's suspicious reactions while using Ned' obliviousness (poor Ned indeed) to indicacte that it was clever and well hidden.  This all helps to build dramatic tension before the devastating message in secret code is revealed - the murder of Jon Arryn.

These comments indicate a complete lack of appreciation for the author. Plot devices just to move the plot forward. Good grief. As if Martin has Joffrey thinking to himself: it would be colossally stupid of me to use a knife that can be traced back to me or my family, but everyone else in this fictional story I'm in need a way to follow the dagger through the plot. After all, it's the only way to build dramatic tension.

A myrish lens is neither rare nor mysterious. Luwin already has one, so does Aemon and most likely virtually every maester at even a half-decent seat throughout the realm. "The lenscrafters of Myr are without equal." They may be expensive, but they are not rare and there is nothing suspicious about them. It is odd that nobody saw who left it, but there are countless innocent explanations as to how it got there: maybe Manderly got a set in White Harbor and sent one to Winterfell where Poole would have had it delivered to the observatory; maybe Ned requested one, maybe Catelyn; maybe Benjen acquired one at Eastwatch and brought it down; maybe it was a gift from King's Landing and the note was lost somewhere along the 2000-mile journey to Winterfell... Luwin dismisses all of these and jumps right to the conclusion that it is a plot between houses and he needs to rip the box apart for clues.

I'm not saying that this is not what he did, just that it was extraordinarily fortunate for Littlefinger that an otherwise rational man would leap to such a conclusion. So now, if you are going to assume that this piece of luck is followed by Joffrey's completely independent decision to kill Bran, then the incident on the Trident, Cat's run-in with Tyrion on the King's Road, Joffrey's decision to kill Ned ... and that all these things are just sheer luck that Martin writes in as "plot devices", then why on earth are you reading such a piece of trash as ASoIaF? Martin is obviously incapable of using characterization, motivation, circumstance and countless other literary means that are used by professional authors all over the world to advance their plots -- when he wants something happen, he just invents it out of whole cloth and counts on his readers to buy into this blatant manipulation.

As I said above, people who accuse Martin of being a lazy writer are simply covering up for the fact that they are a lazy reader.

5 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Agent Joffrey or 007 as you like to paint him is simply playing the big man in front of Sansa.  Like any other teenager he gets some booze and tries to act older than he is to impress her.  Probably would have gone ok if Arya hadn't shown him up and he hadn't shown himself to be a dick.

I'll just say again, LF can encourage Joffrey to execute Ned and humiliate Tyrion with the jousting dwarfs because these are things Joffrey enjoys and he needs little encouragement.  Convincing Joffrey to murder a highborn boy or girl, the girl his betrothed no less, and both the children of his father's best friend is an incredible risk for LF.  One word from Joffrey to Robert, a simple question as to why Robert is making an enemy his Hand, and the truth comes out and LF is dead.  One word to Cersei about why Ned is a danger to them and LF's manipulations come out and Cersei keeps her precious Joff on a tight leash and LF is busted as a dangerous maverick who probably gets a visit from Jaime "sword through bowels" Lannister for his temerity.  There is no credible scenario in which LF risks his schemes and his life on a wilful, petulant and cruel 14 year old boy and he has no reason to at all (the letter from Lysa is the bait for Ned, to whom Jon Arryn was a second father).  Agent Joffrey plotting Sansa's murder?  Just no, however many times you dream it up.  Borderline fanfic.

 

And the Hound? He is Joffrey's sworn shield, duty-bound to protect the prince at all times. Why was the Hound allowed to simply blow off the entire day just because Joffrey told him to back off of Sansa? His head should still be rotting on a spike for putting his charge in such danger. Even Ned and Robert, grown men armed and armored, have a tail when they leave camp. With Martin, you ignore the obvious at your peril.

Littlefinger knows better than to simply tell Joff to murder a Stark. You can see how he manipulates him first-hand with the dwarf joust: "... you can lead a king to water, but with Joff one had to splash it about before he realized he could drink." LF is a master manipulator who knows how to plant ideas in people's heads, like he did with Mace and Loras joining the Kinsguard, and make them think that they are their own. He also has a proven ability to accept blame for what happened without being held accountable, like his "confession" over Lysa Arryn's murder. So spare me this notion of how risky this would be for LF; there is virtually no risk at all because the man knows what he is doing.

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3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Cersei does not need all afternoon to catch up on the gossip of King's Landing, and she most certainly does not need to do this with Barry, Renly and Ser Illyn -- none of whom she is particularly close to. Joffrey is the crown prince and Sansa is the daughter of one of the most powerful lords in the realm. Regardless of what Cersei is doing, these two simply would not be allowed to just wander off into unfamiliar country with no chaperone and no protection. Even Ned and Robert have a tail when they leave camp. At the very least, Septa Mordane would have been dismissed and the Hound's head would have been on a spike the next day.

I'm sure that she would be happy to spend however long it takes to get caught up.  And Renly is probably the sort of person who would know the sorts of things she's is interested in (births, deaths, marriages, romances, arguments, etc.).  Besides, it's who they sent.

Robert's tail is probably there more as a "trapping of power" - as Melisandre put ii - than a real need for security.  The Hound as well, I expect. They are in friendly territory. the land is at peace, and there is no real opposition to the king at this point.  As for Joffrey and Sansa, the same applies.  It is friendly territory, and there are going to be outriders guarding the outer perimeter (and given the size of the party, it is likely a very large perimeter)  And Joffrey does have a sword which he does know how to use.  And security wasn't an actual issue.  Arya is not the sort of threat they're guarding against

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Fortuitous events? Arya? What fortuitous events would those be? That her father was arrested and beheaded, her entire house killed, she had to fight for survival on the streets? If you are talking about her near-miss at the docks, that was smarts, not luck. That Yoren happened to spot her in the crowd at the sept? She climbed up onto the statue of Baleor where virtually everyone could see her.

She just happened to be "dancing" with Syrio who just happened to be willing to get killed for her; she knew a secret way out of the castle; she had met Yoren, otherwise he would have recognized her; he was willing to take the risk of taking her along (he's supposed to be neutral, and she's a girl as well).  Any of this doesn't happen, she's stuck in the Red Keep, most likely.

 

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Littlefinger's "luck" is a completely different animal. Time and again, people's actions fit right in which his desire to drive a wedge between Stark and Lannister: the discovery of the letter, the attempt on Bran, the incident on the trident, Cat's encounter with Tyrion on the King's Road, Ned's execution... Over and over again we see supposedly random events all working out perfectly for LF, right up to the point where Joffrey places his chalice directly in front of the only person who has even the slightest chance of dropping the poison in unseen -- I mean, literally, a foot to the left or right and the whole plan would have collapsed -- and then walks away from it. No one is this lucky. If you believe that Martin is just doing this to advance the plot, then in what possible way could this series appeal to you? This would be about the worst kind of writing imaginable.

Littlefinger is a consummate plotter.  And an exceptional opportunist.  When he sees an opportunity, he takes it.  To a large extent, he makes his own luck.  He also has lots of balls in the air.  Not everything will work out, but he has enough going on that some will.

 

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

People didn't overthink the Arryn murder either, since it was so obviously Cersei and/or Jaime. But if you read carefully, you would have noticed that their actions and characterizations did not line up, and the text kept referring back to the matter of Robin's fostering. Same thing with Robb and Jeyne W, which it turned out was due to plotting and love potions, not bad judgement.

So by all means, keep underthinking the text, and whenever these kinds of discrepancies come up, go right on assuming that Martin is a crappy writer who doesn't take things like plot, characterization, motivation and innumerable other factors into his story. At least you'll have that moment when the cowl is ripped from your eyes and the story and characters that you thought you knew turn out to be completely false. Those of us who can puzzle things out ahead of time will only have the satisfaction of realizing that the story is, in fact, as amazing as it appears to be.

I am perfectly willing to consider alternate ideas to what is believed.  But I need good reasons to do so.  With Arryn, there were contradictions already coming out about what was going on with the fostering.   With Robb, a careful reader (or family member of Robb) would have wondered why the Westerlings were willing to have her marry at all, given Tywin's likely wrath.  We should have asked the same questions Tyrion asked.  (I don't believe a potion was involved, though)

Here, we have been given no concrete reason to disbelieve what has been presented.  No previous attempts by Joffrey on the Starks.  No indication from Cersei that she had it in for Sansa prior to Joffrey's murder.  No recent hints that there is something different about the Trident incident.  Essentially, we got nothing.  

To be honest,, I would be happy to entertain the idea that LF himself sent the catspaw if I could make the timing work.  It's the kind of thing I could see him doing.  But I think that Joff doing it because of some suggestion by LF isn't really on.

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25 minutes ago, Nevets said:

She just happened to be "dancing" with Syrio who just happened to be willing to get killed for her; she knew a secret way out of the castle; she had met Yoren, otherwise he would have recognized her; he was willing to take the risk of taking her along (he's supposed to be neutral, and she's a girl as well).  Any of this doesn't happen, she's stuck in the Red Keep, most likely.

I'm don't believe LF influenced Joff but to say LF's situations were not lucky for him & that Arya's were seems pretty backwards to me. She didn't just "happen" to be dancing - She has a dancing instructor that she trains with often. Syrio didn't just "happen" to be willing to die for her. He was the first sword of Braavos. He may have believed he could win the fight but either way it would be totally out of character for Syrio to hand Arya over or flee. Yoren spotted her because she climbed the statue & it is no surprise he is willing to take the risk considering she is Benjen's niece & Ned's daughter & he was willing to take the risk for Gendry who is no one to him. There's no mystery as to how or why any of this happens. It's explained clearly & logically in text. 

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Quote

As she crossed in back of the wagon, a fallen chest caught her eye. It must have been knocked down in the fight or dropped as it was being loaded. The wood had split, the lid opening to spill the chest’s contents across the ground. Arya recognized silks and satins and velvets she never wore. She might need warm clothes on the kingsroad, though … and besides …

Arya knelt in the dirt among the scattered clothes. She found a heavy woolen cloak, a velvet skirt and a silk tunic and some smallclothes, a dress her mother had embroidered for her, a silver baby bracelet she might sell. Shoving the broken lid out of the way, she groped inside the chest for Needle. She had hidden it way down at the bottom, under everything, but her stuff had all been jumbled around when the chest was dropped. For a moment Arya was afraid someone had found the sword and stolen it. Then her fingers felt the hardness of metal under a satin gown.

“There she is,” a voice (stableboy) hissed close behind her.

I'd say Arya was pretty lucky to find Needle in this situation. Just in the nick of time, as well. 

 

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19 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Ok, if you think every step of Tyrion's deduction is completely flawed and unreasonable, including how he reads Joffrey's reaction to the dagger's description (dragonbone hilt and all) then there's not much point saying more and we'll have to agree to disagree.  Still hard to see where you think the dagger might make a reappearance and how it would be relevant the story now.  How would exhonerating dead Jofrey in Tyrion and Jaime's eyes achieve anything?

I disagree that Robert is implicated.  He pities Bran and feels bad for his dear friend Ned but his drunken mumblings are hardly a smoking gun along the lines of "who will rid me of this troublesome priest".  Unless you are overheard by a psycopath like Joffrey....

Cersei is not implicated at all.  Any more than Jaime is.  They are both correctly suspected of causing Bran's "fall" and are therefore suspected of the follow-up but the only person implicated in ASOS, and twice over, is Joffrey.  Future Bran, Mance, Myrcella, Robert, The Maesters, AN Other, are all leftfield or crackpot speculations because people find Joffrey an unsatisfactory solution even though it is the one presented.

Well, I must say that enjoying this debate and your logic is quite convincing.  I will beg to quibble just a little bit on the dismissal of cracked pots.

For one thing, six direwolves have suddenly appeared that have not been seen in 200 years.  That will draw attention from anyone with knowledge of their significance.  I suspect that Mance didn't just show up to have a look at Robert.


Then there is this dream of Bran's that suggests that he is in danger from unknown forces and that he is still not safe:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran IV

In his dream he was climbing again, pulling himself up an ancient windowless tower, his fingers forcing themselves between blackened stones, his feet scrabbling for purchase. Higher and higher he climbed, through the clouds and into the night sky, and still the tower rose before him. When he paused to look down, his head swam dizzily and he felt his fingers slipping. Bran cried out and clung for dear life. The earth was a thousand miles beneath him and he could not fly. He could not fly. He waited until his heart had stopped pounding, until he could breathe, and he began to climb again. There was no way to go but up. Far above him, outlined against a vast pale moon, he thought he could see the shapes of gargoyles. His arms were sore and aching, but he dared not rest. He forced himself to climb faster. The gargoyles watched him ascend. Their eyes glowed red as hot coals in a brazier. Perhaps once they had been lions, but now they were twisted and grotesque. Bran could hear them whispering to each other in soft stone voices terrible to hear. He must not listen, he told himself, he must not hear, so long as he did not hear them he was safe. But when the gargoyles pulled themselves loose from the stone and padded down the side of the tower to where Bran clung, he knew he was not safe after all. "I didn't hear," he wept as they came closer and closer, "I didn't, I didn't."
On the surface, this dream seems to be about overhearing Jaimie and Cersei; but I suspect something else is watching Bran using fire magic - their eyes glowed red as hot coals in a brazier, the key qualifier.  These twisted things present a danger to Bran and he recognizes that he is still being hunted, no longer hidden from view, that he is still not safe.
At this point in the story, we know nothing about glass candles, but we do learn later through Quaithe, that it's possible to communicate with someone over a distance.   
The catspaw seems to point to Joffrey but that isn't entirely satisfying for the reasons that you state.  Tyrion does comes to the wrong conclusion about Joffrey, but it seems the most logical solution given the information that he is given and that the reader has at their disposal. 
Bran's dream suggests that there are other players at work. Something more relevant to Bran or more specifically what he will become.  The next move is to get him across the Wall to Bloodraven's cave, where no one can see you in the dark.
 
Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon VII

Don't be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them. But first you have to open your eyes. See? Like this. And the tree reached down and touched him.

So why would anyone want to kill a sweet little boy?  I think the answer is that he is a player in the larger game and a significant threat to someone other than Cersei and Jaimie.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Bran VII

"The godswood." Meera Reed ran after the direwolf, her shield and frog spear to hand. The rest of them trailed after, threading their way through smoke and fallen stones. The air was sweeter under the trees. A few pines along the edge of the wood had been scorched, but deeper in the damp soil and green wood had defeated the flames. "There is a power in living wood," said Jojen Reed, almost as if he knew what Bran was thinking, "a power strong as fire."

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

"Nay," said the dwarf. "You're not. The black fish holds the rivers now. If it's the mother you want, seek her at the Twins. For there's to be a wedding." She cackled again. "Look in your fires, pink priest, and you will see. Not now, though, not here, you'll see nothing here. This place belongs to the old gods still . . . they linger here as I do, shrunken and feeble but not yet dead. Nor do they love the flames. For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists." She drank the last of the wine in four long swallows, flung the skin aside, and pointed her stick at Lord Beric. "I'll have my payment now. I'll have the song you promised me."

 

Edited by LynnS

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19 hours ago, Nevets said:

I'm sure that she would be happy to spend however long it takes to get caught up.  And Renly is probably the sort of person who would know the sorts of things she's is interested in (births, deaths, marriages, romances, arguments, etc.).  Besides, it's who they sent.

Lol, Cersei happy to spend the entire afternoon gossiping with Renly, as if they are the best of chums. Honorable Barristan the Bold trading gossip like a schoolgirl. And Payne, well, no need to even consider him. Sorry, but no. Not a chance.

19 hours ago, Nevets said:

Robert's tail is probably there more as a "trapping of power" - as Melisandre put ii - than a real need for security.  The Hound as well, I expect. They are in friendly territory. the land is at peace, and there is no real opposition to the king at this point.  As for Joffrey and Sansa, the same applies.  It is friendly territory, and there are going to be outriders guarding the outer perimeter (and given the size of the party, it is likely a very large perimeter)  And Joffrey does have a sword which he does know how to use.  And security wasn't an actual issue.  Arya is not the sort of threat they're guarding against.

There are brigands, unscrupulous small folk, not to mention wild animals like the shadowcat they tracked ... all kinds of dangers in "friendly country." Plus there is the need to maintain Sansa's purity in order to make her a fit consort for the future king. So, again, no way, no how would these two be allowed to just wander off on their own. Their jewelry and finery alone is enough to make them targets, and Joffrey is in no way capable of defending himself against a band of determined men. If you have any text the shows Joffrey is even mildly proficient at swordplay, please share. The only time we ever see him actually using a sword is the time it took him half-a-dozen cuts to slice up Tyrion's book with a Valyrian steel blade, and he was "breathless" after such a brief exertion. Joffrey does not know how to use a sword.

There is no sign of any outriders, or even a mention of an outer perimeter:

Quote

And so they left her direwolf and his bodyguard behind them, while they ranged east along the north bank of the Trident with no company save Lion's Tooth.

... Joffrey's mount was a blood bay courser, swift as the wind, and he rode it with reckless abandon, so fast that Sansa was hard-pressed to keep up on her mare. They explored caves by the riverbank, and tracked a shadowcat to its lair, and when they grew hungry, Joffrey found a holdfast by its smoke and told them to fetch food and wine...

So they are out riding swiftly for hours, finding all sorts of remote, secret places, all the way to a holdfast that is so far away they find it by its smoke. Nobody else is around, certainly no outriders. And if the realm is so peaceful and blissful as you say, why would they even need outriders?

19 hours ago, Nevets said:

She just happened to be "dancing" with Syrio who just happened to be willing to get killed for her; she knew a secret way out of the castle; she had met Yoren, otherwise he would have recognized her; he was willing to take the risk of taking her along (he's supposed to be neutral, and she's a girl as well).  Any of this doesn't happen, she's stuck in the Red Keep, most likely.

Arya dances with Syrio every day, and when she's not dancing she is chasing cats or tumbling or readying herself in some way for the next lesson. It was actually quite unlucky for Arya (and Syrio) that she was having a lesson at the time because otherwise she would have been somewhere else in the Keep when the trouble started and nobody would know where to find her.

She found the secret way out of the castle after chasing the black tomcat. Setting aside the likelihood that this cat may very well hold some essence of Rhaenys Targeryen and that her trip to the dragonroom might not have been entirely accidental, Arya's penchant for exploring and dressing in plain clothes led to that discovery, not dumb luck.

Yoren is an honorable man. He recognized Arya on the statue of Baelor, and did what was right. Was it lucky he spotted her? Probably, but this is a completely different kind of luck from what LF has.

LF has a specific goal in mind and is out to sue conflict and chaos in between precisely defined targets. It is simply not conceivable that time after time people make completely random decisions and take the most unlikely of actions that just happen to fit his desired outcomes to a T. And since we've already seen how Joffrey in particular is subject to LF's manipulations, it is not that big of a stretch to think that he did so in the matter of Bran's near-death.

19 hours ago, Nevets said:

Littlefinger is a consummate plotter.  And an exceptional opportunist.  When he sees an opportunity, he takes it.  To a large extent, he makes his own luck.  He also has lots of balls in the air.  Not everything will work out, but he has enough going on that some will.

Exactly. He makes his own "luck" and is an exceptional opportunist. And one of the ways he does this, particularly with Joffrey, is through subtle manipulation. So since we've already seen LF making his luck by getting Joff's buy-in for the dwarf joust, which led to the conflict that got Tyrion framed for regicide, then why is it so completely impossible for him to do the same thing here? He needs enmity between wolf and lion and he sees the perfect opportunity to make this happen through Joffrey, so, as you say, he takes it. Now we have an explanation for the catspaw the conforms perfectly with the characters that Martin has created: an opportunist and a manipulator, and a arrogant, gullible tool who cannot see the true ramifications of his actions.

20 hours ago, Nevets said:

I am perfectly willing to consider alternate ideas to what is believed.  But I need good reasons to do so.  With Arryn, there were contradictions already coming out about what was going on with the fostering.   With Robb, a careful reader (or family member of Robb) would have wondered why the Westerlings were willing to have her marry at all, given Tywin's likely wrath.  We should have asked the same questions Tyrion asked.  (I don't believe a potion was involved, though)

Here, we have been given no concrete reason to disbelieve what has been presented.  No previous attempts by Joffrey on the Starks.  No indication from Cersei that she had it in for Sansa prior to Joffrey's murder.  No recent hints that there is something different about the Trident incident.  Essentially, we got nothing.  

To be honest,, I would be happy to entertain the idea that LF himself sent the catspaw if I could make the timing work.  It's the kind of thing I could see him doing.  But I think that Joff doing it because of some suggestion by LF isn't really on.

With the Arryn murder, we had point after point after point in which the blame was pinned directly on Cersei/Jaime, right up to Pycelle basically confirming to Tyrion that she wanted him dead, against only a few casual comments about where Robin was to be fostered. The real contradiction was Cersei's actions toward Ned when he discovered the truth. Why would she kill one hand but then confess all to another who is basing the accusation on the same flimsy evidence? And later, she admits to all but killing Robert, but not Arryn.

Many readers did wonder about the Westerlings switching sides, but in the end it was a way for a failing house to regain status under a new liege. Plus we had Raynald Westerling, heir to the house, dying at the Red Wedding, so who would think that the Westerlings were plotting against Robb?. I think the potion is self-evident: Sybell knows enough to make whatever she was giving Jeyne to prevent conception; it isn't out of bounds that she would have her grandmother's love potion recipe as well. Robb was not stupid. He knew what failure to marry a Frey would do to his war. This was not a case of bad judgement; he was drugged.

Hindsight is always 20/20. If this turns out to be true, you'll have things like LF's subsequent manipulations of Joffrey, Cersei's desire to forestall Joff's marriage for someone more to her liking, and Joff's complete lack of mercy, kindness or admiration of his father as clues to what really happened -- subtle clues, yes, but no more subtle than a few side comments about a fostering.

Actually, I don't think we are too far apart on this. Is there enough evidence to definitively conclude that LF was behind it? No. But does the possibility exist? Certainly. My point is not to prove that this is what happened, just to point out that the mere fact that LF was not in Winterfell and did not know about Bran's fall does not mean he could not have been the instigator. This is how.

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44 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

There are brigands, unscrupulous small folk, not to mention wild animals like the shadowcat they tracked ... all kinds of dangers in "friendly country." Plus there is the need to maintain Sansa's purity in order to make her a fit consort for the future king. So, again, no way, no how would these two be allowed to just wander off on their own. Their jewelry and finery alone is enough to make them targets, and Joffrey is in no way capable of defending himself against a band of determined men. If you have any text the shows Joffrey is even mildly proficient at swordplay, please share. The only time we ever see him actually using a sword is the time it took him half-a-dozen cuts to slice up Tyrion's book with a Valyrian steel blade, and he was "breathless" after such a brief exertion. Joffrey does not know how to use a sword.

There is no sign of any outriders, or even a mention of an outer perimeter:

"What were those kids doing riding around the countryside without any escort at all?  Somebody could have harmed them.  Who authorized this, anyway?"  Said by - um, nobody at all.  Because that's not an issue.  Not then, not since, not ever.  If George were going to have this matter, he would have given us some sort of indication from other characters that they shouldn't have been out there.   He's actually pretty good about that sort of thing.  So I think that what we saw is all there is to see.

 

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On 07/12/2017 at 5:05 PM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

You clearly missed the point I was trying to make...

Tyrion leaps to conclusions that we should question because he, and others in the story, so often come to the wrong conclusion.

So when Tyrion uses this as his logic:

 
 
Which basically boils down to Joff is a shitty enough person to send an assassin after a kid...
 
And then believes this to be confirmation:
 

Joff giving him a sharp look is hardly confirmation of anything... He just chopped up Tyrions gift and instead of being his usual self, Tyrion offers another present...

especially since Tyrion has every reason to be biased in his judgement, as joff is actively being a spoiled shit.

The whole Joff experiencing Valyrian Steel during Ned's execution point is that it simply fits the facts better than Tyrion's leap of logic to the dagger, regarding Joffs comment.

Why would Joff think of a knife he was supposedly too stupid to realize was significant and say it?

Meanwhile Ned was executed relatively recently, the sword Joff is holding is made from Ned's sword, and he swings it like he saw Ned get executed... Joff referring to this makes way more sense to me.

 Tyrion's "logic" is all bulit on the premise that Joff is guilty, he doesn't use any real evidence... and this off hand comment which could easily and more plausibly refer to something totally different isn't proof of guilt.

The case against Joff is basically that he may have had access to the knife, overheard other people's opinions, and is a bad person.

However, he lacks motive and is even quoted as dismissing Bran's fate as unimportant to him before he event. This is misremembered later by Tyrion and again used as false evidence of Joff's guilt...

Sending a unique dagger at all still doesn't even make any sense for Joff.

Could it still be him, yes of course, and it's possible we'll never hear about it again. But I don't think the case is closed, I don't think there is real evidence pointing toward Joff, and I certainly think it could still be relevant to the plot. 

There's so much with this I don't agree with...

First, I'm not missing your point I just don't agree with it and think you are focusing on the wrong things.  It seems however that you missed my points as

Second, Joffrey does not give him a sharp look and twice stumble over his reply because Tyrion has offered him another present, Joff demands another present after all, he gives him a sharp look because he accurately describes the dagger Joff stole right after Joff boasts of being no stranger to Valyrian steel and he realises Tyrion has busted him.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Sansa IV

"Your Grace," Ser Garlan Tyrell said. "Perhaps you did not know. In all of Westeros there were but four copies of that book illuminated in Kaeth's own hand."
"Now there are three." Joffrey undid his old swordbelt to don his new one. "You and Lady Sansa owe me a better present, Uncle Imp. This one is all chopped to pieces."
Tyrion was staring at his nephew with his mismatched eyes. "Perhaps a knife, sire. To match your sword. A dagger of the same fine Valyrian steel . . . with a dragonbone hilt, say?"
Joff gave him a sharp look. "You . . . yes, a dagger to match my sword, good." He nodded. "A . . . a gold hilt with rubies in it. Dragonbone is too plain."

It's your dismissal of the importance of this scene and attempt to offer unconvincing alternative explanations for Joffrey's reaction that is the problem.  What throws Joffrey off his stride and to struggle to find something to say?  He was all confidence and exuberent arrogance just a moment ago in boasting and chopping up the book, now he can barely string his words together.  Something gave him a nasty surprise and it wasn't Tyrion offering a new present at Joff's prompting, it was the description of the knife he thought no one knew he was familiar with.

Third, and I'm repeating myself here, half of KL saw Ned's execution so by your reasoning half of KL can boast of being no stranger to Valyrian steel.  That is an entirely unsatisfactory explanation to me as none of those thousands of people has ever held Valyrian steel and thus are in fact strangers to Valyrian Steel just as I am a stranger to the Crown Jewels despite having seen pictures andd tv footage of them many times.  Joff on the other hand is holding and using a valyrian steel blade when he makes his boast, his claim to familiarity, and a much more natural explanation is that he has held or tested the edge of a Valyrian steel blade before.  This makes a lot more sense and fits the text so much better than a reach to witnessing Ned's execution that any stable boy or street vendor could make.

Fourth, if the dagger was not easily memorable it could not be a plot point in the way that GRRM uses it because no one would be able to distinguish it from any other blade or recognise / remember it when described.  This makes perfect sense.  What you quibble with is that Joffrey would not use a memorable dagger to which it must be repeated for the umpteemth time, the assassin was not meant to be caught or the dagger found and recognised.  A smarter operator like LF or even Cersei would not have used this dagger (or this bungling footpad for that matter) but a wilful, less careful and less experienced 14 year old boy did not make the same calculations.  He does after all fire a crossbow from the Red Keep at starving subjects deamanding bread and almost gets the royal party lynched by a street mob after Myrcella's departure: this is not the shrewdest operator or the deepest thinker in the game....

Fifth, Tyrion's logic shouldn't be reduced to this one leap and Joff's reaction to it.  The question of who had means, motive and opportunity is one that has exercised most of the characters in the first three books and the false leads - Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion himself - have all been discounted.  It has to be someone from the royal party who had access to Robert's treasury / personal belongings and was unwise enough to take a Valyrian steel dagger and entrust it to an unrealiable footpad.  Does this point to Joff?  Not on it's own, no, but that is why his reaction to Tyrion's sly question is so key.  And to repeat myself again we have Jaime's later deduction of the same thing which is the author telling you not that Tyrion was wrong but that he was right. 

I still don't see why you think this is central to the story any more.  I know asking you to guess at possible developments is to invite a fool's errand that would tend towards fanfic but with all the ways the story has developed in AFFC and TWOW revisiting one of the plot points from AGOT (1996) that was used to set the Lannisters and Starks at each other and was cleared up in ASOS (2000) seems about as unlikely as can be.

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On 12/7/2017 at 3:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

Read the SSM again. He did not say the "dagger mystery" would be "solved"

What? This is almost exactly what he says.

The only real difference is he says resolve instead of solve. 

Resolve means: settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter). Compare that with solve: find an answer to, explanation for, or means of effectively dealing with (a problem or mystery). The words are synonymous.

Quote

The problem with all this speculating is that some of you are bound to guess the answers before I reveal 'em... and others may even come up with better answers than I do. Well, those are the risks one takes with such a project.

I will tell you that ASOS will resolve the question of Bran and the dagger, and also that of Jon Arryn's killer. Some other questions will not be resolved... and hopefully I will give you a few new puzzles to worry at.

When George moves on to "Some other questions" he is talking about completely different questions unrelated to the dagger mystery (Benjen, Jon's parentage, etc.). This makes sense because he quickly goes from dagger issue to Jon Arryn (separate issues).

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On 07/12/2017 at 10:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

I'm not dismissing these unknowns as either resolved or irrelevant. I'm merely pointing out that there are many elements in this story that have yet to be revealed, so just because Joffrey is dead and the dagger, for all we know, is gone doesn't mean that LF's involvement is irrelevant to the future story, any more than the fact that Ned, Lyanna and Rhaegar are dead or that Coldhand's contribution is seemingly over means that their secrets won't be revealed as well. There are still two novels to come, plenty of ways in which the assassination attempt may come back into play.

Um, yes you were :rolleyes:.  Allowing for the fact that I threw out a dozen or so examples off the top of my head you specifically said Coldhands had served his purpose.  Now you're backtracking on that.  Do you really not see that the dagger has served it's purpose and so has the extent of LF's influence over Joff (who is now as dead and gone as Gerion and Tysha are as unproven to be for that matter).

On 07/12/2017 at 10:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

These comments indicate a complete lack of appreciation for the author. Plot devices just to move the plot forward. Good grief. As if Martin has Joffrey thinking to himself: it would be colossally stupid of me to use a knife that can be traced back to me or my family, but everyone else in this fictional story I'm in need a way to follow the dagger through the plot. After all, it's the only way to build dramatic tension.

Oh I have an appreciation for the author, very much so.  Your unintentional irony is getting better and better as it's your unwillingness to accept the solutions he provides - as they are somehow inadequate to you - that leads you into constructing your own version of the story that is more pleasing to you and yet you act as if in doing so you are truly appreciating the author while those who actually appreciate his work are doing him a disservice.  I think you have it backwards but those who insist they are always right without anything at all to back up their imagined version of events are forced into this type of torturous and twisted reasoning.

And don't be ridiculous: every author uses plot devices to move the plot forward.  Our characters chase the dagger around for two books before realising it was Joffrey - and none of us realised it was him before this either - so your objection is totally contrived.  Joffrey is 14 and doesn't expect to be caught.  The dagger is to be used in the way GRRM wants it to be, in sowing distrust and confusion but eventually being traceable.  Two separate things going on here, surley you can wrap your head round that!  Oddly, only you seem confused by this.  Now you could be smarter than everyone else, you could be reading into the deeper mystery that GRRM has planted for 20 years despite it being unnecessary and utterly irrelevant now.  Or you could be wrong.  What ya think?

On 07/12/2017 at 10:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

A myrish lens is neither rare nor mysterious. Luwin already has one, so does Aemon and most likely virtually every maester at even a half-decent seat throughout the realm. "The lenscrafters of Myr are without equal." They may be expensive, but they are not rare and there is nothing suspicious about them. It is odd that nobody saw who left it, but there are countless innocent explanations as to how it got there: maybe Manderly got a set in White Harbor and sent one to Winterfell where Poole would have had it delivered to the observatory; maybe Ned requested one, maybe Catelyn; maybe Benjen acquired one at Eastwatch and brought it down; maybe it was a gift from King's Landing and the note was lost somewhere along the 2000-mile journey to Winterfell... Luwin dismisses all of these and jumps right to the conclusion that it is a plot between houses and he needs to rip the box apart for clues.

A Myrish lens is rare and valuable though.  Not as rare as a dragon egg or as valuable as a Valyrian steel blade but rare and valuable all the same.  And it is left mysteriously, no?  No note, no messenger, no one even saw the person who delivered it.  So your objections look totally contrived again.

Of course this is done so that Luwin will be curious, even suspicious!  Because he needs to be curious and suspicious in order to find the hidden note....  Otherwise the note isn't found and the plot doesn't move forward... Duh, it's like you want to argue that water isn't wet out of sheer stubbornness.

On 07/12/2017 at 10:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

I'm not saying that this is not what he did, just that it was extraordinarily fortunate for Littlefinger that an otherwise rational man would leap to such a conclusion. So now, if you are going to assume that this piece of luck is followed by Joffrey's completely independent decision to kill Bran, then the incident on the Trident, Cat's run-in with Tyrion on the King's Road, Joffrey's decision to kill Ned ... and that all these things are just sheer luck that Martin writes in as "plot devices", then why on earth are you reading such a piece of trash as ASoIaF? Martin is obviously incapable of using characterization, motivation, circumstance and countless other literary means that are used by professional authors all over the world to advance their plots -- when he wants something happen, he just invents it out of whole cloth and counts on his readers to buy into this blatant manipulation.

As I said above, people who accuse Martin of being a lazy writer are simply covering up for the fact that they are a lazy reader.

 

It's only fortunate for LF if you fail to accept that leaving this particular gift in this particular way for this particular man will make him look further into this.  This is necessary for the plot to move forward and GRRM is at pains to make us realise this is not an unusual reaction by having Catelyn immediately suspect something too.  The fact that you refuse to accept this is beautiful irony as you are indeed faulting the author's skill while attempting to lambast those who have not bought into your arbitrary assertion that is was "lucky" for LF.  And that is everyone else..... 

You realise that this happens in one of the first chapters in the first novel right?  We have not had the characters built up yet (or even been introduced to LF) so unless you want hundreds of pages before anything happens you'll have to accept the mysterious gift is intended to get the ball rolling.  Every author does this, it is absolutley absurd to pretend that this minor and early scene is somehow a failing on GRRM's part as compared to "professional authors"!!  It seems you would rather shoot from the hip and the lip rather than reach a more reasonable conclusion.

I'm not accusing GRRM of being a lazy writer though you are......  As to lazy reading?  Lol.  I don't think you are a lazy reader, you clearly think about things a lot (like any conspiracy theorist too much imo) but you have clearly constructed this scenario where LF was involved in ways that he does not need to be and we have no reason to believe he was and having taken that vulnerable position you have to find methods to back it up.  We're lazy reader, we don't appreciate the author.  We're not, we do, we like his story better than your version....

On 07/12/2017 at 10:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

And the Hound? He is Joffrey's sworn shield, duty-bound to protect the prince at all times. Why was the Hound allowed to simply blow off the entire day just because Joffrey told him to back off of Sansa? His head should still be rotting on a spike for putting his charge in such danger. Even Ned and Robert, grown men armed and armored, have a tail when they leave camp. With Martin, you ignore the obvious at your peril.

And why was Sansa allowed to go off unaccompanied by any of Ned's household guards?  If even grown men have a tail when they leave camp how is Sansa able to ride off without so much as a single guard or Arya able to sneak off and play at swords with Mycah?  Come on man, you are fabricating things.... 

This has nothing to do with LF having convinced Joffrey to try and do Sansa some harm and everything to do with the author getting Joffrey, Sansa, Aryah and Mycah into a setting without adult supervision so we can have the trouble on the Trident.  No doubt you will refuse to accept this, no doubt you will assert there are hidden undercurrents here as (LF's manipulation of Agent 00Joff) otherwise it would be "bad wirting" and that "professional authors" would have found a better way to construct this scene but the lack of guards is to allow the scene to play out the way the author wants.  I'm happy enough, I like the dramatic scene and the later follow up at Castle Darry.  How about you?  Still wedded to your conspiracy theory I imagine.

On 07/12/2017 at 10:50 PM, John Suburbs said:

Littlefinger knows better than to simply tell Joff to murder a Stark. You can see how he manipulates him first-hand with the dwarf joust: "... you can lead a king to water, but with Joff one had to splash it about before he realized he could drink." LF is a master manipulator who knows how to plant ideas in people's heads, like he did with Mace and Loras joining the Kinsguard, and make them think that they are their own. He also has a proven ability to accept blame for what happened without being held accountable, like his "confession" over Lysa Arryn's murder. So spare me this notion of how risky this would be for LF; there is virtually no risk at all because the man knows what he is doing.

This lacks all plausibility.  If Joff is to be manipulated by LF to try and murder a Stark he needs a solid reason.  If the reason is solid he will wonder why none of Robert, Cersei or "Uncle Jaime" see it and one word, one query from him alerts them and they realise LF is meddling and it's curtains for poor Petyr.  LF is not going to risk putting his head on the block. Why do you think the letter from Lysa to Catelyn is so elaborately concealed?  Answer: so it can't be tied back to him at all.  And yet you think he personally manipulated the crown prince into attempted murder and risked his life on a headstrong and careless 14 year old?  I'll have what you're smoking please.  Actually, no, I won't!!

On 08/12/2017 at 1:27 AM, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I'm don't believe LF influenced Joff but to say LF's situations were not lucky for him & that Arya's were seems pretty backwards to me. She didn't just "happen" to be dancing - She has a dancing instructor that she trains with often. Syrio didn't just "happen" to be willing to die for her. He was the first sword of Braavos. He may have believed he could win the fight but either way it would be totally out of character for Syrio to hand Arya over or flee. Yoren spotted her because she climbed the statue & it is no surprise he is willing to take the risk considering she is Benjen's niece & Ned's daughter & he was willing to take the risk for Gendry who is no one to him. There's no mystery as to how or why any of this happens. It's explained clearly & logically in text. 

I'd say Arya had her fair share of luck though of course her experiences are pretty terrible.  Syrio sacrifices himself to allow her escape, she does indded find Needle just as she is being cornered in the stables, Yoren finds her before anyone else does and smuggles her out of KL, Nymeria aids her escape from Harrenhal (despite Arya driving her off earlier in story) and all of Yoren, Jaqen and The Hound act as protectors as much as imprisoners.  I just don't have a problem with any of that, the author knows what he wants to put Arya through and as it's so terrible he needs to give her some "luck" or some asssitance or her escape and survival would not be plausible.

On 08/12/2017 at 11:26 AM, LynnS said:

Well, I must say that enjoying this debate and your logic is quite convincing.  I will beg to quibble just a little bit on the dismissal of cracked pots.

For one thing, six direwolves have suddenly appeared that have not been seen in 200 years.  That will draw attention from anyone with knowledge of their significance.  I suspect that Mance didn't just show up to have a look at Robert.


Then there is this dream of Bran's that suggests that he is in danger from unknown forces and that he is still not safe:

On the surface, this dream seems to be about overhearing Jaimie and Cersei; but I suspect something else is watching Bran using fire magic - their eyes glowed red as hot coals in a brazier, the key qualifier.  These twisted things present a danger to Bran and he recognizes that he is still being hunted, no longer hidden from view, that he is still not safe.
At this point in the story, we know nothing about glass candles, but we do learn later through Quaithe, that it's possible to communicate with someone over a distance.   
The catspaw seems to point to Joffrey but that isn't entirely satisfying for the reasons that you state.  Tyrion does comes to the wrong conclusion about Joffrey, but it seems the most logical solution given the information that he is given and that the reader has at their disposal. 
Bran's dream suggests that there are other players at work. Something more relevant to Bran or more specifically what he will become.  The next move is to get him across the Wall to Bloodraven's cave, where no one can see you in the dark.
 

So why would anyone want to kill a sweet little boy?  I think the answer is that he is a player in the larger game and a significant threat to someone other than Cersei and Jaimie.

 

There are indeed larger forces stirring but how and where they are at work is pretty obscure in AGOT.  GRRM deliberately keeps magic mysterious and indefinable to avoid it being "science and technology" rather than mystical and unpredictable.  I approve, it leaves the door open for pretty much anything and so gives him room for manouevre or to construct any scene he wants to.

Having said that we are five books in and I feel there would have been more to tie any mysterious forces to Bran by now, or their opposition to him rather.  We have after all finally met the Children of the Forest and the three-eyed crow, we have had a good look at the Red Priests through Mel, Thoros and Benerro, we have seen the warlocks in Qarth and the House of the Undying.  If powerful forces were reaching out against Bran as early as AGOT I feel they would have tried again since.  The Maesters may have an anti-magic bent to them but Luwin did everything he could for Bran so I don't see any Citadel-driven animosity as holding merit.  Who else?  The Maegi and Shadow-binders are too mysterious and peripheral to the story even at this point.

Mance would surely have targeted someone other than the 7 year old second son of Ned Stark.  Robb would seem the more dangerous of the two.  And if targeting young children, why only Bran and not Rickon too?  They are both wargs.  If Bran's third eye could open could the same not be true for any of the Stark children?

17 hours ago, Nevets said:

"What were those kids doing riding around the countryside without any escort at all?  Somebody could have harmed them.  Who authorized this, anyway?"  Said by - um, nobody at all.  Because that's not an issue.  Not then, not since, not ever.  If George were going to have this matter, he would have given us some sort of indication from other characters that they shouldn't have been out there.   He's actually pretty good about that sort of thing.  So I think that what we saw is all there is to see.

 

Indeed.  It's like Arya didn't spend half the journey through the Neck playing at swords with Mycah or wasn't doing exactly that same thing totally unspervised when the equally unsupervised Joffrey and Sansa found them.  No one kicked up a fuss about it, only that 1) it was unseemly for Arya to consort with a peasant and 2) Joff was injured by Arya in an ugly squabble that turned into something far more serious.  It's clear what the author wanted to show us and that adults needed to be out of the way for that to happen.

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26 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

Indeed.  It's like Arya didn't spend half the journey through the Neck playing at swords with Mycah or wasn't doing exactly that same thing totally unspervised when the equally unsupervised Joffrey and Sansa found them.  No one kicked up a fuss about it, only that 1) it was unseemly for Arya to consort with a peasant and 2) Joff was injured by Arya in an ugly squabble that turned into something far more serious.  It's clear what the author wanted to show us and that adults needed to be out of the way for that to happen.

Good points. Are there any quotes in the Darry chapter where anyone objects to the kids being out on their own? I don't think there is.

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22 hours ago, Nevets said:

"What were those kids doing riding around the countryside without any escort at all?  Somebody could have harmed them.  Who authorized this, anyway?"  Said by - um, nobody at all.  Because that's not an issue.  Not then, not since, not ever.  If George were going to have this matter, he would have given us some sort of indication from other characters that they shouldn't have been out there.   He's actually pretty good about that sort of thing.  So I think that what we saw is all there is to see.

 

Sorry, but no. The crown prince is the second most important person in the realm, behind the king. Just because Ned, the only adult POV we have to this incident, doesn't connect these dots doesn't mean others think this was all perfectly normal. Ned is a bit thick.

4 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

What? This is almost exactly what he says.

The only real difference is he says resolve instead of solve. 

Resolve means: settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter). Compare that with solve: find an answer to, explanation for, or means of effectively dealing with (a problem or mystery). The words are synonymous.

When George moves on to "Some other questions" he is talking about completely different questions unrelated to the dagger mystery (Benjen, Jon's parentage, etc.). This makes sense because he quickly goes from dagger issue to Jon Arryn (separate issues).

Yes, the question of "Bran and the dagger" has been resolved: Joffrey did it. But you're stretching things extremely thin by assuming that this applies to Joffrey's motivation. Your belief that the "other questions" are about a completely different matter is just that, a belief. The other questions could very well refer to this added dimension to the assassination attempt, which would then be directly related to the Arryn murder because they both came from the same source (Littlefinger) and both aimed at a single outcome (conflict between wolf and lion).

 

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10 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

The other questions could very well refer to this added dimension to the assassination attempt, which would then be directly related to the Arryn murder because they both came from the same source (Littlefinger) and both aimed at a single outcome (conflict between wolf and lion).

You say this, yet say I'm stretching things thin? 

George resolves Joff's motivation in SoS, just as he said he would. I believe him.

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16 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Sorry, but no. The crown prince is the second most important person in the realm, behind the king. Just because Ned, the only adult POV we have to this incident, doesn't connect these dots doesn't mean others think this was all perfectly normal. Ned is a bit thick.

You're missing the point. If George wanted Joff and Sansa's trip to be out of the ordinary he would have had someone say something about it. You're placing your own thoughts on the matter into the story. In story, no one says anything about it, therefore George does not want the reader to believe it is wierd that they were able to go on this date.

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