Chrissie

A Who Sent the Catspaw Theory

308 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

It does seem rather like Peter is genuinely pleasantly shocked to see the knife. Like he didn't expect it but instantly realized what happened. Im torn too. 

I got more the impression that he saw how he might use it in the future.

I'm one of the people who rather hotly wants to disbelieve that Joffrey did it, or at least that he did it for the reasons ascribed to him, because as a mystery reader, this conclusion is so unsatisfactory. 

So I'm open to a Littlefinger-Joffrey conversation influencing Joff to murder a Stark kid that took place before the king's party left for Winterfell, which Littlefinger had little hope would pay off so was delightfully surprised when it did. But if Ned didn't go to KL, seemingly the purpose if LF put Joff up to it, that would kind of defeat LF's whole other purpose in trying to bring him there, so it would seem to me he was working at cross-purposes, John?

But something so unlikely, a kind of whispered influence designed to create enmity, create havoc,perhaps keep Ned from accepting the Hand position, or just destabilize the realm in general - it could be Littlefinger but to me that would have Varys written all over it.

LF wanted Ned in KL to figure out the Lannister incest; Varys did not.  For LF, Ned was the target.  For Varys, the kingdom for Aegon is the goal. Varys says it himself to Illyrio, that things were heating up too quickly in KL, getting out of control, mainly because of LF's meddling and Ned.  Varys wouldn't want Ned around for a couple of reasons - he might stabilize things too much like Kevan Lannister, or he might destabilize them too much. It's a delicate balance. For Varys it's all about timing, and he has things right where he wants them before Ned comes to KL.  He himself can use the Lannister incest card whenever he wants.  The realm is almost bankrupt. He wants to keep the infighting going but he doesn't want it to spill over for a few years when Aegon will be ready.

So a few whispered conversations to Joffrey from one of Varys's tools or accomplices, someone whom Joffrey would want to brag to, with a possible outcome of keeping Ned in Winterfell, why not give it a try? If that was part of the scheme, the dagger came from Robert's belongings - if Ned wasn't furious he'd at least be suspicious, creating a wedge in the Ned-Robert alliance, destabilizing the realm yet again but not enough to bring things to a head, and Ned would likely have stayed in Winterfell. But if Joff thought of the dagger all on his own, well, Ned left when he thought Bran was in an accident and there was nothing to do but wait; the attempted murder of any of his children would have been a whole other matter, with or without that dagger being found, or what kind of weapon was used.

So I guess I think that if either man did gamble on a game of Russian roulette with Joffrey before he left for Winterfell, it was more likely Varys because he wouldn't want Ned in KL while LF clearly did. Varys serves the same point as LF in your argument too, John Suburbans, in that while ASOS might have cleared up the culprit and the dagger, as George told us it would, it still leaves many questions as to motive, and possible scheming behind Joffrey's actions. 

Still open to LF, or anyone or anything else for that matter, except that Joffrey set up the murder with the motives ascribed to him. If George leaves the mystery with no other explanation, it will be kind of a fail for me (though not for others, I know, so please don't jump on me), but only this part!

Is anyone else thinking they might want to review some of the inexplicable things that happen in the stories in light of the fact that at the end of the series to date, Varys finally shows his hand and his motives.  Stabilization/destabilization in a balancing act until the timing is right for Aegon to sweep in.  For me, it's maybe worth another look.

Edited by Lady Barbrey

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8 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

got more the impression that he saw how he might use it in the future.

I

I agree here with you & @AlaskanSandman.  

 

10 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

So I'm open to a Littlefinger-Joffrey conversation influencing Joff to murder a Stark kid that took place before the king's party left for Winterfell, which Littlefinger had little hope would pay off so was delightfully surprised when it did. But if Ned didn't go to KL, seemingly the purpose if LF put Joff up to it, that would kind of defeat LF's whole other purpose in trying to bring him there, so it would seem to me he was working at cross-purposes, John?

But something so unlikely, a kind of whispered influence designed to create enmity, create havoc,perhaps keep Ned from accepting the Hand position, or just destabilize the realm in general - it could be Littlefinger but to me that would have Varys written all over it.

LF wanted Ned in KL to figure out the Lannister incest; Varys did not.  For LF, Ned was the target.  For Varys, the kingdom for Aegon is the goal. Varys says it himself to Illyrio, that things were heating up too quickly in KL, getting out of control, mainly because of LF's meddling and Ned.  Varys wouldn't want Ned around for a couple of reasons - he might stabilize things too much like Kevan Lannister, or he might destabilize them too much. It's a delicate balance. For Varys it's all about timing, and he has things right where he wants them before Ned comes to KL.  He himself can use the Lannister incest card whenever he wants.  The realm is almost bankrupt. He wants to keep the infighting going but he doesn't want it to spill over for a few years when Aegon will be ready.

As to LF vs Varys I've gotten the impression LF is more of a 'plan it as you go' guy. Climbing one rung of the ladder & then the other, using the situation at had to his advantage & changing his the way he gets there as needed. While Varys is a chemist of sorts. He has concocted a potion that requires perfect checks & balances. A little more of this, a little less of that etc. So in that regard I agree Varys is a more likely suspect. And as you said it appears Varys has the better motive. My issue always comes back to the knife & the CS muttering about Cat not s'posed to be there. Was the knife meant to be found? It would seem there would be no reason for LF or Varys to have Roberts knife used if it wasn't meant to be found. Joffrey, however, would have picked a knife easily accessible to him. If it was meant to be found that takes Joffrey out of the equation &, along with Cat not s'posed to be there, suggests the CS was given some very specific instructions by someone who 1. Had motive to blame the murder on Robert or the Lannisters & 2. Knew Bran would or should be alone in that room - which would only have been known by someone who knew he fell. 

20 minutes ago, Lady Barbrey said:

Is anyone else thinking they might want to review some of the inexplicable things that happen in the stories in light of the fact that at the end of the series to date, Varys finally shows his hand and his motives.  Stabilization/destabilization in a balancing act until the timing is right.  For me, it's maybe worth another look

I agree. It's always worth another look. I'm finishing up my 4th or 5th reread & still discover things that didn't dawn on me before. 

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3 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

So I guess I think that if either man did gamble on a game of Russian roulette with Joffrey before he left for Winterfell, it was more likely Varys because he wouldn't want Ned in KL while LF clearly did.

That is a very good point as LF is the one who seemed to want Eddard there and just when Eddard was about to leave, he tells him finally of the bastard.

 

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3 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:
3 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

s anyone else thinking they might want to review some of the inexplicable things that happen in the stories in light of the fact that at the end of the series to date, Varys finally shows his hand and his motives.  Stabilization/destabilization in a balancing act until the timing is right.  For me, it's maybe worth another look

I agree. It's always worth another look. I'm finishing up my 4th or 5th reread & still discover things that didn't dawn on me before. 

Agreed. Ive already tried to go a little at Varys but still alot to look at really

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4 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I agree here with you & @AlaskanSandman.  

 

Snip

My issue always comes back to the knife & the CS muttering about Cat not s'posed to be there. Was the knife meant to be found? It would seem there would be no reason for LF or Varys to have Roberts knife used if it wasn't meant to be found. Joffrey, however, would have picked a knife easily accessible to him. If it was meant to be found that takes Joffrey out of the equation &, along with Cat not s'posed to be there, suggests the CS was given some very specific instructions by someone who 1. Had motive to blame the murder on Robert or the Lannisters & 2. Knew Bran would or should be alone in that room - which would only have been known by someone who knew he fell. 

I agree. It's always worth another look. I'm finishing up my 4th or 5th reread & still discover things that didn't dawn on me before. 

Yes, I get stumped by the dagger every time too. The other things not so much - all the Lannisters including Joffrey knew Bran fell, where he was, and that a distraction would be needed to get people out of his room (well, Cersei and Jaime knew a distraction would be needed because they couldn't get near him to finish the job ). George did say CoK would resolve the culprit, so I am playing along with John's point that that doesn't mean someone wasn't behind Joffrey, and if it was someone back in KL I like Varys better as the schemer.  Still not satisfied with either answer though.  George was told the Littlefinger theory and agreed it was something LF might do "but he wasn't at Winterfell and that had to be remembered".

Doesn't that make you think, well who was at Winterfell, a schemer, who might have put Joff up to it, and wanted the dagger to be discovered or at least didn't care if it was.

You know, every time I look at this, I remember that I discounted Cersei for some reason, but really, since Bran's murder attempt, we've discovered time and again how horrible she is and that she LIES.  So did I discount Cersei because of what other characters thought or saw, or because she said something in her POV that convinced me?  I'll have to go back to see because unless it's in her POV, I truly believe she should be the prime suspect as I'm sure we all initially thought.

I do know she tells Jaime she wouldn't be so stupid as to use that dagger and that convinces him, as well as him thinking she would tell him.  But is either really true?  Take the dagger.  If she can distance herself from it enough, it would not lead back to her.  It was Robert's and lots of people in his train had access in any case.  Who stands to gain if Ned and Robert have a falling out about the dagger?  Cersei.  She hates Ned and wants Jaime to be the Hand. Not only the murder of his son, but Robert's ownership of the murder weapon would mean Ned grieving and suspicious and certainly not taking the Hand position. If Ned and Robert actually came to blows, she might get rid of Robert even and all power in the Lannister hands with all blame on Ned. Also, who gains most from Bran's death?  Jaime and Cersei of course.  They couldn't get access to Bran's bedroom or they would have made sure he died, Jaime even tells Catelyn that.

Why would she have set Joffrey up to think it was his idea?  Deniability. She wants Bran dead, she wants Ned to stay home so Jaime becomes Hand, she wants a wedge between Robert and the Starks (her hatred of Lyanna is not false at any rate), she wants no suspicion to attach to her and Jaime, so Jaime himself can't even know about it. She and the family hear Robert say when drunk that Bran should be put out of his misery.  She plays this up to Joffrey, letting him think himself brilliant and compassionate to hide his real glee over the cruelty of killing a defenseless boy in his bed.  She points out the Valyrian dagger in the baggage. So sharp. Perfect weapon for a compassion killing.  Her smug smile when she sees it missing.  Oh how those Starks and servants were hovering over that poor dying crippled boy.  You'd have to set a fire to get their attention.

So Joffrey carries out his 'brilliant' scheme.  If the death is clean, Bran is shut up for good and Ned returns, rejecting the Handship and looking for the murderer.  If the Valyrian blade is discovered and traced to Robert, a permanent breach might be accomplished.  And if it all leads back to Joffrey, who says he did it because his father told him Bran should be put out of his misery, then it's a definite breach.  Joffrey is okay, he's the heir, he's just a kid, thinking he was doing the right thing as per his dad.  Ned completely blames Robert.

Why doesn't Cersei tell Jaime?  Because she used their son Joffrey in her vicious little scheme and even Jaime would balk at that.  

Makes sense to me.

All of these theories - about Varys or Cersei - are my attempts to gel with George's SSM but give a better motive and solution to what happened.  But I still don't know. Maybe there's nothing else.  What I said here about Cersei could all be for naught if she disclaims involvement in her own POV.  It's just so hard to believe she wouldn't have made sure Bran was dead.

If you're on your fourth of fifth read, look out for that bit, will you?  I read the first book when it first came out. Each time another book comes out I reread skim the prior ones.  So I've read four or five times too but over twenty years at five year intervals! I won't do it again until Winds of Winter comes out!

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2 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Agreed. Ive already tried to go a little at Varys but still alot to look at really

Yes, as stated above, I won't do a reread myself until just before Winds of Winter.  But I should start making a list of things as they occur to me that I should look out for as I read next time!

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2 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

You know, every time I look at this, I remember that I discounted Cersei for some reason, but really, since Bran's murder attempt, we've discovered time and again how horrible she is and that she LIES.  So did I discount Cersei because of what other characters thought or saw, or because she said something in her POV that convinced me?  I'll have to go back to see because unless it's in her POV, I truly believe she should be the prime suspect as I'm sure we all initially thought.

I go back to these two passages:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Arya III

"And when he learns the truth, what will he do?" a second voice asked in the liquid accents of the Free Cities.

"The gods alone know," the first voice said. Arya could see a wisp of grey smoke drifting up off the torch, writhing like a snake as it rose. "The fools tried to kill his son, and what's worse, they made a mummer's farce of it. He's not a man to put that aside. I warn you, the wolf and lion will soon be at each other's throats, whether we will it or no."

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard XII

"My son Bran …"

To her credit, Cersei did not look away. "He saw us. You love your children, do you not?"

The fools (Cersei and Jaime) botched the first attempt to kill Bran and Cersei admits that they tried to kill Bran because 'he saw them'.  Although Cersei urges Jaime to do something about Bran, she takes no responsibility for it when she berates Jaime for pushing him out the window.  So it does seem likely to me that she purloined Robert's knife to implicate him and sent the Hound with a bag of silver to find the assassin in the kennels.  Joffrey would like to take credit for the deed because he compensates for his cowardice this way and he likes to think that he's clever enough to come up with such a plan. Cersei isn't even above implicating her own son because 'everyone who isn't us, is the enemy.'  Joffrey would like to take credit for being the mastermind. He may have been involved in some small way; but Cersei is the one with the most to lose.

Edited by LynnS

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17 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

You & I have danced this dance & come to some what of a truce I think. You have managed to convince me things could have happened the way you suspect, & correct me if I'm wrong but you are under the assumption that the dagger was meant to be found even if the catspaw succeeded no? At any rate I think in order to believe LF influenced Joff one would have to believe the dagger was meant to be found other wise it accomplishes nothing in the way of adding to the Starks suspicions regarding the Lannisters. 

Not necessarily. The one-two punch of the letter fingering the Lannisters for the Arryn murder followed by the sudden death of a Stark child might be sufficient to raise the tension between the houses to a desired level. I doubt even Littlefinger wants open war at this stage, just suspicion.

And since the selection of the dagger and the hiring of the catspaw both came from Joffrey, Littlefinger might not even be aware that the dagger is being used. For what it's worth, he claims not to know anything about it when Cat arrives in King's Landing.

Besides, as is mentioned above, the dagger is not a Lannister weapon, it is Baratheon. So just finding it would not be enough to connect it to the Lannisters, it required Littlefinger's lie. The only reason Cat suspects the Lannisters right from the start was because of the letter from Lysa, which was also Littlefinger's lie.

But I'll also point out again that I have no proof of any of this. All I can say is that this provides a more compelling reason for Joff to send the catspaw that he wanted to be merciful to Bran or impress his father with his daring.

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16 hours ago, Euron Lannister said:

I am also interested in discussing, but a discussion doesn't work if you dont read my posts.

You said LF had to know about brans fall, while i said from the beginning that he would have send the cs to kill one of the younger starks, to piss of robb etc. the CS could have chosen between arya rickon and bran, but because bran was crippled he was an easy target.

for the rest of your post.:

Yes, war is chaos and chaos is a ladder (to make it easy).

in a war, many people die and fall in misstrust, so new people can rise, littlefiger would never got harrenhal or the riverlands or the vale/lysa if there were no war where he can prove himself as good as he could in our story.

he builded the Lannister-tyrell alliance, which wouldn't be needed if the lannisters had no two/three front war.

With the mistrust through the Lysa-latter and the coincidence that shortly after the lannisters leave a stark child dies, especially catelyn would directly suspect the lannisters, and Ned as well, as LF said, he is easy to read and easy to play.

this leads to Littlefinger as well, with his obsession for Catelyn he would have told the CS that she should not be killed.

theon is a wild card there, i doubt LF would have known how Balon would react to him, but tht he might return home was also predictable since Robb is not Ned (so he doesn't know so much about balon and just sees his friend theon asking to see his father) and allies are needed in wars, with theon back, Balon has no reason to stay calm, especially when half of the realm is in war with each other.

which side he attacks is almost irrelevant.

I'm with you on this, brother, but I would just make one change: Littlefinger does not need to send the catspaw directly. He merely needs to convince Joffrey that a Stark child must die, and Joffrey did the rest.

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15 hours ago, Lady Barbrey said:

So I'm open to a Littlefinger-Joffrey conversation influencing Joff to murder a Stark kid that took place before the king's party left for Winterfell, which Littlefinger had little hope would pay off so was delightfully surprised when it did. But if Ned didn't go to KL, seemingly the purpose if LF put Joff up to it, that would kind of defeat LF's whole other purpose in trying to bring him there, so it would seem to me he was working at cross-purposes, John?

But something so unlikely, a kind of whispered influence designed to create enmity, create havoc,perhaps keep Ned from accepting the Hand position, or just destabilize the realm in general - it could be Littlefinger but to me that would have Varys written all over it.

LF wanted Ned in KL to figure out the Lannister incest; Varys did not.  For LF, Ned was the target.  For Varys, the kingdom for Aegon is the goal. Varys says it himself to Illyrio, that things were heating up too quickly in KL, getting out of control, mainly because of LF's meddling and Ned.  Varys wouldn't want Ned around for a couple of reasons - he might stabilize things too much like Kevan Lannister, or he might destabilize them too much. It's a delicate balance. For Varys it's all about timing, and he has things right where he wants them before Ned comes to KL.  He himself can use the Lannister incest card whenever he wants.  The realm is almost bankrupt. He wants to keep the infighting going but he doesn't want it to spill over for a few years when Aegon will be ready.

So a few whispered conversations to Joffrey from one of Varys's tools or accomplices, someone whom Joffrey would want to brag to, with a possible outcome of keeping Ned in Winterfell, why not give it a try? If that was part of the scheme, the dagger came from Robert's belongings - if Ned wasn't furious he'd at least be suspicious, creating a wedge in the Ned-Robert alliance, destabilizing the realm yet again but not enough to bring things to a head, and Ned would likely have stayed in Winterfell. But if Joff thought of the dagger all on his own, well, Ned left when he thought Bran was in an accident and there was nothing to do but wait; the attempted murder of any of his children would have been a whole other matter, with or without that dagger being found, or what kind of weapon was used.

So I guess I think that if either man did gamble on a game of Russian roulette with Joffrey before he left for Winterfell, it was more likely Varys because he wouldn't want Ned in KL while LF clearly did. Varys serves the same point as LF in your argument too, John Suburbans, in that while ASOS might have cleared up the culprit and the dagger, as George told us it would, it still leaves many questions as to motive, and possible scheming behind Joffrey's actions. 

Still open to LF, or anyone or anything else for that matter, except that Joffrey set up the murder with the motives ascribed to him. If George leaves the mystery with no other explanation, it will be kind of a fail for me (though not for others, I know, so please don't jump on me), but only this part!

Is anyone else thinking they might want to review some of the inexplicable things that happen in the stories in light of the fact that at the end of the series to date, Varys finally shows his hand and his motives.  Stabilization/destabilization in a balancing act until the timing is right for Aegon to sweep in.  For me, it's maybe worth another look.

The purpose behind influencing Joffrey in this way is not to prevent Ned from taking the job, it's to foster distrust between wolf and lion. LF is smart enough to know that Ned will accept the position no matter what, largely along the same lines that Cat suggested: if he refuses, it would foster distrust between Ned and Robert. In fact, now that the threat has hit House Stark directly, that is all the more reason for Ned to come south rather than hiding in Winterfell.

But even if Ned does exactly that, I don't see it jamming up LF's plans too greatly because he'll likely get hot-headed, brute-force-loving Jaime Lannister as Hand, offering up all kinds of ways to sow chaos throughout the realm -- something that Varys most certainly would not be pleased with.

And if Varys is motivated by a desire to keep things peaceful until his plans ripen, then the last thing he would want to do is send the crown prince to Winterfell with ideas of killing the child of its sitting lord.

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2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

But I'll also point out again that I have no proof of any of this. All I can say is that this provides a more compelling reason for Joff to send the catspaw that he wanted to be merciful to Bran or impress his father with his daring.

I don't think he was trying to impress his father.  I think he was trying to convince himself that he was strong enough to do what it took, something his father was unable to do.  Admittedly not terribly satisfying as a solution, but nothing else is either.

I don't buy the Littlefinger in absentia theory, in part because Joffrey didn't do anything until after Bran's injury, which occurred the very day before they were scheduled to leave Winterfell, which is a bit late.  As for not having an opportunity, he is in a castle that is, by modern standards, probably a safety inspector's nightmare, and has children in it who like to do hazardous activities ("hey Bran, want to show me a cool climbing route?"  "he just ... fell!").

As for Varys's statement  that Arya overheard, he may well believe that the dagger means Jaime or Cersei was responsible, but doesn't want Ned to know because he isn't ready for the conflict that that would bring.

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21 hours ago, Nevets said:

I don't think he was trying to impress his father.  I think he was trying to convince himself that he was strong enough to do what it took, something his father was unable to do.  Admittedly not terribly satisfying as a solution, but nothing else is either.

I don't buy the Littlefinger in absentia theory, in part because Joffrey didn't do anything until after Bran's injury, which occurred the very day before they were scheduled to leave Winterfell, which is a bit late.  As for not having an opportunity, he is in a castle that is, by modern standards, probably a safety inspector's nightmare, and has children in it who like to do hazardous activities ("hey Bran, want to show me a cool climbing route?"  "he just ... fell!").

As for Varys's statement  that Arya overheard, he may well believe that the dagger means Jaime or Cersei was responsible, but doesn't want Ned to know because he isn't ready for the conflict that that would bring.

Well, look at it from Joffrey's perspective. First, he wouldn't necessarily be targeting Bran right from the start. He challenges Robb to spar with live steel first, and he knows that Robb is not likely to kill the crown prince, but mayhaps Joffrey's sword just cuts a little too deep on Robb...? What a tragic accident that would be.

But when Bran fell it would seem that the problem had resolved itself. When Ned comes south anyway, Joffrey sent the catspaw back to finish Bran off hoping that it would prompt Ned to change his mind. And when that failed, I have a deep suspicion that his next target was to be Sansa on their little ride near the Trident. Good thing they came upon Arya and Mycah instead.

I agree on the Varys thing, though. Varys is the one pleading for time here, so he would have no reason to add fuel to an already simmering fire by revealing his suspicions to Ned. And he certainly would have no reason to send the catspaw or prompt Joffrey to do so in the first place.

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32 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Well, look at it from Joffrey's perspective. First, he wouldn't necessarily be targeting Bran right from the start. He challenges Robb to spar with live steel first, and he knows that Robb is not likely to kill the crown prince, but mayhaps Joffrey's sword just cuts a little too deep on Robb...? What a tragic accident that would be.

And yet on the last day before they are scheduled to leave Winterfell, he still hasn't done anything?  Joffrey hasn't exactly struck me as the patient type, and by that time plans would be pretty well set in stone.

The other problem is that I see no reason to believe that Littlefinger was opposed to Ned coming to KL.  His murder of Jon Arryn opened up the post of Hand, and Ned is the logical candidate to fill it.  And the message accusing the Lannisters of Arryn's murder would logically induce Ned to want to investigate his friend's murder.  Plus, Littlefinger didn't do anything to encourage Ned to leave.  In fact, he fed him information to keep him investigating.

I still think that Joffrey doing it to prove something, either to himself or Robert, makes more sense than Littlefinger giving amorphous instructions to Joffrey, an unreliable vessel at best, that would appear to be contrary to his actual interests.

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9 minutes ago, Nevets said:

And yet on the last day before they are scheduled to leave Winterfell, he still hasn't done anything?  Joffrey hasn't exactly struck me as the patient type, and by that time plans would be pretty well set in stone.

The other problem is that I see no reason to believe that Littlefinger was opposed to Ned coming to KL.  His murder of Jon Arryn opened up the post of Hand, and Ned is the logical candidate to fill it.  And the message accusing the Lannisters of Arryn's murder would logically induce Ned to want to investigate his friend's murder.  Plus, Littlefinger didn't do anything to encourage Ned to leave.  In fact, he fed him information to keep him investigating.

I still think that Joffrey doing it to prove something, either to himself or Robert, makes more sense than Littlefinger giving amorphous instructions to Joffrey, an unreliable vessel at best, that would appear to be contrary to his actual interests.

Joff hasn't not done anything (bad syntax, sorry). He's probably already hired the catspaw and given him the knife. But with the royal party still in the castle, even Joffrey would see that it would be wisest to wait until there are fewer people about so there is a better chance that the fire decoy will allow the CS to get to Bran unseen.

From Littlefinger's perspective, the intent of prompting Joff to kill a Stark is not to prevent Ned from becoming Hand. That's just what he tells Joffrey to get him to act. Like Tyrion, LF probably knows that if Robert wants Ned to be hand, Ned will be hand. For Ned to refuse would introduce a source of distrust between them, and it would probably mean that Jaime Lannister becomes Hand, not Ned. For this reason alone, Ned will probably take the job, Bran or no Bran. But even if he doesn't, it still suits LF's purposes because now there is unease between Ned and Robert, unease between wolf and lion due to Lysa's letter, plus he has hot-headed, brute-force-loving Jaime as Hand. Plenty of opportunities to cause chaos in that scenario.

If the murder of Jon Arryn is enough to draw Ned to KL, then I fail to see why the murder of his own son would send him running back Winterfell. It would send a very clear message to the other lords that Ned is unwilling to defend the honor of his house when it is attacked in the most despicable, cowardly way imaginable. So with the one-two punch of the letter drawing suspicion on the Lannisters for the Arryn murder, followed by an attempt on Bran (which no one would have any reason to pin on the Lannisters if not for the letter), LF has set it up so Ned will most certainly take the job because now the threat isn't just against House Arryn it is aimed at House Stark directly.

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1 hour ago, Nevets said:

And yet on the last day before they are scheduled to leave Winterfell, he still hasn't done anything?  Joffrey hasn't exactly struck me as the patient type, and by that time plans would be pretty well set in stone.

The other problem is that I see no reason to believe that Littlefinger was opposed to Ned coming to KL.  His murder of Jon Arryn opened up the post of Hand, and Ned is the logical candidate to fill it.  And the message accusing the Lannisters of Arryn's murder would logically induce Ned to want to investigate his friend's murder.  Plus, Littlefinger didn't do anything to encourage Ned to leave.  In fact, he fed him information to keep him investigating.

I still think that Joffrey doing it to prove something, either to himself or Robert, makes more sense than Littlefinger giving amorphous instructions to Joffrey, an unreliable vessel at best, that would appear to be contrary to his actual interests.

As you should. GRRM told us he'd give us the solution and we get two POVs that point the finger at Joff for that exact reason.

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Joffrey’s supposed motive still completely baffles me...

Why would he want to send an assassin after Bran?

Presumably he doesn’t know Bran oversaw anything... re: Jaime/Cersei

Tyrion misquotes him talking about sending a dog to kill a dog, talking about Sandor’s offer to kill Summer because of the howling. Tyrion somehow conflates this with Joff wanting to assasinate Bran. Which is more than a little bit of a leap. 

Cersei claims Robert was drunk and said killing a cripple would be a mercy, Jaime basically says the same thing in Winterfell when having breakfast with Tyrion, Joff, Myrcella and Tommen.

But none of this gives Joff a motive!

The idea that Joff did anything out of mercy is comically unlike him, and frankly, is completely counter to the why people assume it was Joff and not Myrcela who sent the assassin. 

And if no one was sposed to be there Joff can’t expect to be lauded for this.

But, this just circles back around to the number one reason people accuse Joff... because people he’s a jerk and don’t like him.

Tyrion convicts him based off of a surprised look when Tyrion is acting uncharacteristically nice.

When it comes down to it there isn’t even any hard evidence against him.

The whole idea that he would bother to steal a unique dagger to give to a lowlife assassin doesn’t make any sense.

The guy got paid already with a bag of silver, why give him the priceless knife?

The dagger was in a place where a number of people could have gotten access, and clearly nobody noticed it was missing...

I don’t understand the case against Joff... 

I think GRRM gave us Mance.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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21 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think GRRM gave us Mance.

I think Mance makes even less sense than Jofrey or even Littlefinger in absentia.  Besides, he has a kingdom to run.  He should have been long gone by then.  The royal party was planning to leave the day after Bran's fall,, so there would have been no reason for Mance to still be there.  Plus I can see no motive for him to do so.

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16 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I think Mance makes even less sense than Jofrey or even Littlefinger in absentia.  Besides, he has a kingdom to run.  He should have been long gone by then.  The royal party was planning to leave the day after Bran's fall,, so there would have been no reason for Mance to still be there.  Plus I can see no motive for him to do so.

Mance himself would have been gone, but when he returned north of the Wall (presumably minus his bag of silver) he did so with two blonde haired blue eyed beauties, Dalla and Val. The assassin also had blonde hair and blue eyes.

The timing isn’t an issue, Joff wasn’t there at the time of the assasination attempt either. The assassin was left behind in the stables to lie in wait.

Mance does have a motive for using the dragonbone and Valyrian steel dagger, unlike Joff.

Using an identifiable dagger from the Kong’s baggage would pit the southern (south of the wall) lords against each other. Since Mance plans to invade the Seven Kingdoms this directly serves his purpose. This is on top of the simple yet understandable goal of killing a Stark.

This makes more sense to me than Mance going all the way to Winterfell just get a look at Robert.

He also may well have had reason to burn the library in Winterfell... given that his next destination was to look for something in the Frostfangs, digging up ancient crypts.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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6 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Mance himself would have been gone, but when he returned north of the Wall (presumably minus his bag of silver) he did so with two blonde haired blue eyed beauties, Dalla and Val. The assassin also had blonde hair and blue eyes.

The timing isn’t an issue, Joff wasn’t there at the time of the assasination attempt either. The assassin was left behind in the stables to lie in wait.

Mance does have a motive for using the dragonbone and Valyrian steel dagger, unlike Joff.

Using an identifiable dagger from the Kong’s baggage would pit the southern (south of the wall) lords against each other. Since Mance plans to invade the Seven Kingdoms this directly serves his purpose. This is on top of the simple yet understandable goal of killing a Stark.

This makes more sense to me than Mance going all the way to Winterfell just get a look at Robert.

He also may well have had reason to burn the library in Winterfell... given that his next destination was to look for something in the Frostfangs, digging up ancient crypts.

Many problems with this.

The assassin's comments indicate that he was hired specifically to kill Bran after he fell and was in a coma.  "You weren't supposed to be here" and "It's a mercy" for example. Bran's fall was just before the scheduled departure, so Mance would presumably not have been there to hire the guy.

There is no reason to believe the dagger was meant to be discovered.  The assassin was probably planning to take it with him.  No dagger, no problem with Robert.

He didn't go to Winterfell just to get a look.  He wanted to find out what he could about the guy.  With a bag of silver, he can buy lots of drinks and collect lots of potentially useful information.

There is also the obvious possibility of Ned returning North with the death. This would make Mance's position worse.

Sorry, not buying it.

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8 hours ago, Nevets said:

Many problems with this.

The assassin's comments indicate that he was hired specifically to kill Bran after he fell and was in a coma.  "You weren't supposed to be here" and "It's a mercy" for example. Bran's fall was just before the scheduled departure, so Mance would presumably not have been there to hire the guy.

We didn’t even know Mance was there at the time, and he arrived with the kings party, so we have no reason to believe he would be gone already.

8 hours ago, Nevets said:

There is no reason to believe the dagger was meant to be discovered.  The assassin was probably planning to take it with him.  No dagger, no problem with Robert.

But there is no reason to give he assassin the dagger, since he’d been paid already, except for the chance he was caught... let’s say the assassin gets away, they find Bran dead after putting out the fire. Who would they suspect? Probably someone from the King’s party.

8 hours ago, Nevets said:

He didn't go to Winterfell just to get a look.  He wanted to find out what he could about the guy.  With a bag of silver, he can buy lots of drinks and collect lots of potentially useful information.

Or to witness the divided politics of the south, root around the Winterfell Library, and hire an assassin.

8 hours ago, Nevets said:

There is also the obvious possibility of Ned returning North with the death. This would make Mance's position worse.

Sorry, not buying it.

Not if Ned marched his armies south, which Rob did, and left the North unattended and ripe for Wildling invasion. Mance knows the Watch’s strength, his worry is being stopped by the armies of Winterfell like so many King’s Beyond the Wall before him.

But that’s just my take, seems a way more plausible motive than Joff just being dickishly merciful out of spite. Clearly both had opportunity and we lack hard evidence.

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