PrettyPig

Gods Are Not Mocked: Deals with the Devil at Harrenhal

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32 minutes ago, The Chequered Raven said:

Not directly.

But after his prayers were answered Lyanna disapeared and the final outcome of this was Roberts rebellion.
Lots of lives for the MFG...

Yea but what correlation is there between Howland  and the Mystery Knight to Lyanna's abduction. How do you know the Mystery Knight is involved in Lyanna's abduction? How do you know the Mystery Knight put Rhaegar up to it? How do you know the Mystery Knight and Howland ever even spoke. Why would Howland's prayers included Lyanna being abducted? 

Im lost. That just seems like a lot to put on Howland. 

Especially when linking it to Arya saving three men from death, one of which now tells her that death is owed three lives to balance out things. We do not know Arya's prayer is what brought Jaqen to her right then or if he was already coming to her because of the lives owed since he is a faceless man. I like the mirroring of events but that doesn't mean all parts fit. 

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8 hours ago, PrettyPig said:

The Devil wears many disguises, after all...what's stopping him from manifesting as one of the Seven?  Food for thought!

Well, ARE there really different Gods? Or is it just one with just different names in different countries or regions?

One may even go further and ask if there are really a God and a Devil? Or are these two just a different point of view of the one and only supernatural beeing?

Edited by The Chequered Raven
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16 minutes ago, AlaskanSandman said:

How do you know...

I don't!

For sure - all we can do is speculation...

Maybe it works somehow this way: Arya claims three deaths, so her "payment" is three deaths.
Howland claims a favour, so his payment is another "favour" (Don Vito Corleone comes to mind...). Do we ever discover what this favour was or will be? I don't know.

Or maybe the difference is that Howland asks for Justice. Maybe the price for Justice ist somehow different as if one asks the God's aka Devil for a personal benefit...???

And Arya doesn't ASK for anything, she STEALS the three lives!

Edited by The Chequered Raven
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5 hours ago, LynnS said:

The 3d wish is the hook and Arya has taken the bait by receiving more deaths than were offered.  Her account is now in arrears and she owes a debt to the god of the FM.

Yes, yes....I like very much!

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46 minutes ago, The Chequered Raven said:

Maybe it works somehow this way: Arya claims three deaths, so her "payment" is three deaths.
Howland claims a favour, so his payment is another "favour" (Don Vito Corleone comes to mind...). Do we ever discover what this favour was or will be? I don't know.

Right - Howland received assistance in the form of the KotLT...but what was the payment required for that assistance?   Sure, his request may have been relatively benign, but the Devil is always going to get the bigger & better end of the deal.   What could it have been?

Nobody rides for free, not even a little crannogman fresh off the Isle of Faces.   Perhaps the payment was something related to that - secrets of the Green Men?   Just spitballing...

 

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2 hours ago, The Chequered Raven said:

Well, ARE there really different Gods? Or is it just one with just different names in different countries or regions?

One may even go further and ask if there are really a God and a Devil? Or are these two just a different point of view of the one and only supernatural beeing?

I think it's curious that Jaqen refers to his god as Him of Many Faces but also refers to Him of Fire in the course of naming all the gods, old and new which I take to be every other manifestation of these two.  Melisandre also seems to think there are only two gods.  

Although the song is (about balancing) ice and fire;  I'm once again drawn to Patchface's patchwork cyvasse board tatooed on his face in red and green.   Does the order of the firey hand have a counterpart in the order of the green men?

We're told that Howland went to the Isle of Faces to meet with the green men and learn their magic.  Meera also tells us that Howland can weave words something that both Arya and Melisandre describe as glamoring.  Face changing is a form of glamor.  So I see a comparison between Arya and Howland in this way, although we don't know if Howland can actually change faces at this point.  His pilgrimage does take him to a place where the trees were given faces as part of the pact or perhaps to seal the pact.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

"Yes," said Meera, "but that's another story, and not for me to tell. My prince asked for knights."

"Green men are good too."

"They are," she agreed, but said no more about them. "All that winter the crannogman stayed on the isle, but when the spring broke he heard the wide world calling and knew the time had come to leave. His skin boat was just where he'd left it, so he said his farewells and paddled off toward shore. He rowed and rowed, and finally saw the distant towers of a castle rising beside the lake. The towers reached ever higher as he neared shore, until he realized that this must be the greatest castle in all the world."

So the Green Men have a reputation for 'good' and Jaqen H'gar plays the role of the friend and helper.  He reminds Arya that she is bereft of friends and that she could have a friend if she wanted one. 

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Arya II

One of the men in irons was talking to her. Warily, Arya approached the wagon, one hand on Needle's hilt.

The prisoner lifted an empty tankard, his chains rattling. "A man could use another taste of beer. A man has a thirst, wearing these heavy bracelets." He was the youngest of the three, slender, fine-featured, always smiling. His hair was red on one side and white on the other, all matted and filthy from cage and travel. "A man could use a bath too," he said, when he saw the way Arya was looking at him. "A boy could make a friend."

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Arya IX

"You swore. The gods heard you swear."

"The gods did hear." There was a knife in his hand suddenly, its blade thin as her little finger. Whether it was meant for her or him, Arya could not say. "A girl will weep. A girl will lose her only friend."

"You're not my friend. A friend would help me." She stepped away from him, balanced on the balls of her feet in case he threw his knife. "I'd never kill a friend."

Jaqen is literally no one's friend.  Howland also has the ability to 'talk to trees' and presumably receive and answer.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Arya X

For a long moment there was no sound but the wind and the water and the creak of leaf and limb. And then, far far off, beyond the godswood and the haunted towers and the immense stone walls of Harrenhal, from somewhere out in the world, came the long lonely howl of a wolf. Gooseprickles rose on Arya's skin, and for an instant she felt dizzy. Then, so faintly, it seemed as if she heard her father's voice. "When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives," he said.

"But there is no pack," she whispered to the weirwood. Bran and Rickon were dead, the Lannisters had Sansa, Jon had gone to the Wall. "I'm not even me now, I'm Nan."

"You are Arya of Winterfell, daughter of the north. You told me you could be strong. You have the wolf blood in you."

Arya's coin is also her shield. When she presents it to any Braavosi they are quick to come to her aid. They also recognize the meaning of the coin, that she has been chosen or marked. 

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Arya II

"Death is not the worst thing," the kindly man replied. "It is His gift to us, an end to want and pain. On the day that we are born the Many-Faced God sends each of us a dark angel to walk through life beside us. When our sins and our sufferings grow too great to be borne, the angel takes us by the hand to lead us to the nightlands, where the stars burn ever bright. Those who come to drink from the black cup are looking for their angels. If they are afraid, the candles soothe them. When you smell our candles burning, what does it make you think of, my child?"

We're given something of the FM mission statement in the story of the dark angel or GRRM reaper. The FM are the personification of death. In this case, the Kindly Old Man refers to the Many-Faced God rather than Him of Many Faces and I wonder if there is a difference.

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Arya II

"Didn't the slaves rise up and fight?"

"Some did," he said. "Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first Faceless Man was one who did."

"Who was he?" Arya blurted, before she stopped to think.

"No one," he answered. "Some say he was a slave himself. Others insist he was a freeholder's son, born of noble stock. Some will even tell you he was an overseer who took pity on his charges. The truth is, no one knows. Whoever he was, he moved amongst the slaves and would hear them at their prayers. Men of a hundred different nations labored in the mines, and each prayed to his own god in his own tongue, yet all were praying for the same thing. It was release they asked for, an end to pain. A small thing, and simple. Yet their gods made no answer, and their suffering went on. Are their gods all deaf? he wondered . . . until a realization came upon him, one night in the red darkness.

"All gods have their instruments, men and women who serve them and help to work their will on earth. The slaves were not crying out to a hundred different gods, as it seemed, but to one god with a hundred different faces . . . and he was that god's instrument. That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given."

It's seems to me that Him of Many Faces, the first faceless man is a servant of the Many-Faced God. Whether or not the first faceless man exists any longer is a good question.  But each faceless man could also be called him of many faces.  Who is the god with a hundred different faces?

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

"I thought the greenseers were the wizards of the children," Bran said. "The singers, I mean."

"In a sense. Those you call the children of the forest have eyes as golden as the sun, but once in a great while one is born amongst them with eyes as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of the forest. By these signs do the gods mark those they have chosen to receive the gift. The chosen ones are not robust, and their quick years upon the earth are few, for every song must have its balance. But once inside the wood they linger long indeed. A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. Greenseers."

Bloodraven has gone almost completely into the wood at this point and I don't think it's a coincidence that the Kindly Old Man and Bloodraven have a similar appearance.  The CotF say he is the last greenseer but perhaps more specifically, he is the last greenseer who is Him of Many Faces.

If every tree of the Isle of Faces was given a face; was the KotLT also given a face?

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

"No one knew," said Meera, "but the mystery knight was short of stature, and clad in ill-fitting armor made up of bits and pieces. The device upon his shield was a heart tree of the old gods, a white weirwood with a laughing red face."

Is the mystery knight no one?

Edited by LynnS

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I guess it's possible that even after the knights chastised them, did the squires learn how to be honorable? Does the debt payment have to be followed through on the other end? If the ransom was to teach honor and the pupils don't learn the lesson, then perhaps the ransom was not paid?

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5 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I guess it's possible that even after the knights chastised them, did the squires learn how to be honorable? Does the debt payment have to be followed through on the other end? If the ransom was to teach honor and the pupils don't learn the lesson, then perhaps the ransom was not paid?

If Howland bargained for power to overcome the knights without honor; the question is what price does he have to pay? 

Edited by LynnS

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@PrettyPig Great Topic!

I reading it I have to say it echos some of the “deal with the devil” themes I’ve noticed myself, especially in regards to Harrenhall, final resting place of Hoares.

But I want to throw one more into the mess. Aerys:

Quote

It was a good story, Bran decided after thinking about it a moment or two. "Then what happened? Did the Knight of the Laughing Tree win the tourney and marry a princess?

"No," said Meera. "That night at the great castle, the storm lord and the knight of skulls and kisses each swore they would unmask him, and the king himself urged men to challenge him, declaring that the face behind that helm was no friend of his. But the next morning, when the heralds blew their trumpets and the king took his seat, only two champions appeared. The Knight of the Laughing Tree had vanished. The king was wroth, and even sent his son the dragon prince to seek the man, but all they ever found was his painted shield, hanging abandoned in a tree. It was the dragon prince who won that tourney in the end."
 
Aerys, who hadn’t left the Red Keep in years, attends the Tourney at Harrenhall, the seat of kings, but sees threats everywhere and doesn’t trust his childhood friend or even his son and heir.
 
He takes his childhood friends son, Jaime, into the Kingsguard, as insurance against Tywin. I also think it’s interesting how Aerys appears to have mocked Tywin for years... and perhaps even begat Tywin’s doom.
 
Quote

King Aerys II was not a man to take any joy in mysteries, however. His Grace became convinced that the tree on the mystery knight's shield was laughing at him, and—with no more proof than that—decided that the mystery knight was Ser Jaime Lannister. His newest Kingsguard had defied him and returned to the tourney, he told every man who would listen.

Aerys sends his own son to unmask the mystery knight who was “mocking” him.

But did this act in fact doom Rheagar? And would Rheagar have won if Jaime was allowed to compete?

Did Aerys take Tywin’s son in exchange for his own? In his desperation for security did he seal his own death?

His best efforts to change his fate in fact ensure his downfall. Taking Jaime, sending Rheagar out, forbidding Jaime to compete, and Rheagar winning... these two knights of white and black present a nice dichotomy, especially for a deal with the devil (bog devils?)

Quote

He remembered Jaime Lannister, a golden youth in scaled white armor, kneeling on the grass in front of the king's pavilion and making his vows to protect and defend King Aerys. Afterward, Ser Oswell Whent helped Jaime to his feet, and the White Bull himself, Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower, fastened the snowy cloak of the Kingsguard about his shoulders. All six White Swords were there to welcome their newest brother. 

Yet when the jousting began, the day belonged to Rhaegar Targaryen. The crown prince wore the armor he would die in: gleaming black plate with the three-headed dragon of his House wrought in rubies on the breast. A plume of scarlet silk streamed behind him when he rode, and it seemed no lance could touch him. Brandon fell to him, and Bronze Yohn Royce, and even the splendid Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning.

And of course so much of the series is ripples from the events of Harrenhal.

Finally, I want to throw out there that Robert may have mocked the gods himself... and it seems it could be related.

There also may be a lesson in here from Ned, who is expressly silent (sounds like another wolf I know). It may be wrong to speak for the gods in the same way it is wrong to mock them. After all I have to ask, was punishing the three squires worth the trouble caused by the Knight of the Laughing Tree? Perhaps mockery is best left to gods and fools. But trying to act out the will of the gods may be equally misguided. 

I especially like that Robert probably has no right to the throne and he ends the conversation by riding over a barrow (king’s tomb?)

Quote

"You avenged Lyanna at the Trident," Ned said, halting beside the king. Promise me, Ned, she had whispered.

"That did not bring her back." Robert looked away, off into the grey distance. "The gods be damned. It was a hollow victory they gave me. A crown … it was the girl I prayed them for. Your sister, safe … and mine again, as she was meant to be. I ask you, Ned, what good is it to wear a crown? The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike.
"I cannot answer for the gods, Your Grace … only for what I found when I rode into the throne room that day," Ned said. "Aerys was dead on the floor, drowned in his own blood. His dragon skulls stared down from the walls. Lannister's men were everywhere. Jaime wore the white cloak of the Kingsguard over his golden armor. I can see him still. Even his sword was gilded. He was seated on the Iron Throne, high above his knights, wearing a helm fashioned in the shape of a lion's head. How he glittered!"
"This is well known," the king complained. 
"I was still mounted. I rode the length of the hall in silence, between the long rows of dragon skulls. It felt as though they were watching me, somehow. I stopped in front of the throne, looking up at him. His golden sword was across his legs, its edge red with a king's blood. My men were filling the room behind me. Lannister's men drew back. I never said a word. I looked at him seated there on the throne, and I waited. At last Jaime laughed and got up. He took off his helm, and he said to me, 'Have no fear, Stark. I was only keeping it warm for our friend Robert. It's not a very comfortable seat, I'm afraid.'"
The king threw back his head and roared. His laughter startled a flight of crows from the tall brown grass. They took to the air in a wild beating of wings. "You think I should mistrust Lannister because he sat on my throne for a few moments?" He shookwith laughter again. "Jaime was all of seventeen, Ned. Scarce more than a boy." 
"Boy or man, he had no right to that throne."
"Perhaps he was tired," Robert suggested. "Killing kings is weary work. Gods know, there's no place else to rest your ass in that damnable room. And he spoke truly, it is a monstrous uncomfortable chair. In more ways than one." The king shook his head. "Well, now I know Jaime's dark sin, and the matter can be forgotten. I am heartily sick of secrets and squabbles and matters of state, Ned. It's all as tedious as counting coppers. Come, let's ride, you used to know how. I want to feel the wind in my hair again." He kicked his horse back into motion and galloped up over the barrow, raining earth down behind him.
Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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2 hours ago, The Chequered Raven said:

Well, ARE there really different Gods? Or is it just one with just different names in different countries or regions?

One may even go further and ask if there are really a God and a Devil? Or are these two just a different point of view of the one and only supernatural beeing?

 

I tend to be in agreement with this, and that Him of Many Faces is just one god. Fire and ice are just two sides of the same coin and yet it's still just one coin.

 

25 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I think it's curious that Jaqen refers to his god as Him of Many Faces but also refers to Him of Fire in the course of naming all the gods, old and new which I take to be every other manifestation of these two.  Melisandre also seems to think there are only two gods.  

Although the song is (about balancing) ice and fire;  I'm once again drawn to Patchface's patchwork cyvasse board tatooed on his face in red and green.   Does the order of the firey hand have a counterpart in the order of the green men?

We're told that Howland went to the Isle of Faces to meet with the green men and learn their magic.  Meera also tells us that Howland can weave words something that both Arya and Melisandre describe as glamoring.  Face changing is a form of glamor.  So I see a comparison between Arya and Howland in this way, although we don't know if Howland can actually change faces at this point.  His pilgrimage does take him to a place where the trees were given faces as part of the pact or perhaps to seal the pact.

So the Green Men have a reputation for 'good' and Jaqen H'gar plays the role of the friend and helper.  He reminds Arya that she is bereft of friends and that she could have a friend if she wanted one. 

Jaqen is literally no one's friend.  Howland also has the ability to 'talk to trees' and presumably receive and answer.

Arya's coin is also her shield. When she presents it to any Braavosi they are quick to come to her aid. They also recognize the meaning of the coin, that she has been chosen or marked. 

We're given something of the FM mission statement in the story of the dark angel or GRRM reaper. The FM are the personification of death. In this case, the Kindly Old Man refers to the Many-Faced God rather than Him of Many Faces and I wonder if there is a difference.

It's seems to me that Him of Many Faces, the first faceless man is a servant of the Many-Faced God. Whether or not the first faceless man exists any longer is a good question.  But each faceless man could also be called him of many faces.  Who is the god with a hundred different faces?

Bloodraven has gone almost completely into the wood at this point and I don't think it's a coincidence that the Kindly Old Man and Bloodraven have a similar appearance.  The CotF say he is the last greenseer but perhaps more specifically, he is the last greenseer who is Him of Many Faces.

I wonder if Howland is Jaqen? If he is like Arya a Faceless Man, he likely gave all to become No One like she is. Presumably if Howland went and stayed with the Green Men he surely received an education and knew what he was getting into when he prayed?

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20 minutes ago, LynnS said:

If Howland bargained for power to overcome the knights without honor; the question is what price does he have to pay? 

I did not miss and I like very much your point that Howland "cheated" in order to get his revenge. No matter if he was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, or had any part of it, or even if the knight was a Green Man - he had extraordinary help beyond just doing it alone.

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1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

I tend to be in agreement with this, and that Him of Many Faces is just one god. Fire and ice are just two sides of the same coin and yet it's still just one coin.

There is the bar sinister; the hurricane force storm that chases Tyrion across the sea:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion IX

Might be we'll make Meereen after all, Tyrion thought.

But when he clambered up the ladder to the sterncastle and looked off from the stern, his smile faltered. Blue sky and blue sea here, but off west … I have never seen a sky that color. A thick band of clouds ran along the horizon. "A bar sinister," he said to Penny, pointing.

"What does that mean?" she asked.

"It means some big bastard is creeping up behind us."

He was surprised to find that Moqorro and two of his fiery fingers had joined them on the sterncastle. It was only midday, and the red priest and his men did not normally emerge till dusk. The priest gave him a solemn nod. "There you see it, Hugor Hill. God's wroth. The Lord of Light will not be mocked."

 

Moqorro attributes the bar sinister to the Lord of Light.  I believe the bar sinister is a reference to a the reverse sigil of a bastard.  A big bastard or great bastard to use Tyrion's turn of phrase.  So I wonder if this is a reference to Bloodraven and the storm is a manifestation of the power of the old gods.  It would be a curious thing if BR is R'hllor.  

There is an inside joke to the bar sinister as well ( "Bar Sinister" is a macaronic play on words (wordplay combining words from different languages) :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bar_Sinister

1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

I wonder if Howland is Jaqen? If he is like Arya a Faceless Man, he likely gave all to become No One like she is. Presumably if Howland went and stayed with the Green Men he surely received an education and knew what he was getting into when he prayed?

I wonder if he is actually the High Sparrow:

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Brienne I

"The sparrow is the humblest and most common of birds, as we are the humblest and most common of men." The septon had a lean sharp face and a short beard, grizzled grey and brown. His thin hair was pulled back and knotted behind his head, and his feet were bare and black, gnarled and hard as tree roots. "These are the bones of holy men, murdered for their faith. They served the Seven even unto death. Some starved, some were tortured. Septs have been despoiled, maidens and mothers raped by godless men and demon worshipers. Even silent sisters have been molested. Our Mother Above cries out in her anguish. It is time for all anointed knights to forsake their worldly masters and defend our Holy Faith. Come with us to the city, if you love the Seven."

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Cersei VI

The draperies swayed back and forth in a wash of crimson silk. "Orton told me that the High Septon has no name," Lady Taena said. "Can that be true? In Myr we all have names."

"Oh, he had a name once. They all do." The queen waved a hand dismissively. "Even septons born of noble blood go only by their given names once they have taken their vows. When one of them is elevated to High Septon, he puts aside that name as well. The Faith will tell you he no longer has any need of a man's name, for he has become the avatar of the gods."

"How do you distinguish one High Septon from another?"

Quote

A Feast for Crows

On the Rosby road, Brienne of Tarth spots a group of sparrows led by a septon with feet that are "bare and black, gnarled and hard as tree roots", a lean face, and grey-and-brown hair, who is going to King's Landing with bones of septons killed in the Riverlands. This septon is probably the High Sparrow.[1]

An avatar of the gods who prays to the Mother for mercy:

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Cersei II

Lancel nodded, plainly miserable. "When it seemed that I might die, my father brought the High Septon to pray for me. He is a good man." Her cousin's eyes were wet and shiny, a child's eyes in an old man's face. "He says the Mother spared me for some holy purpose, so I might atone for my sins."

There is the religious imagery of Lyanna's statue wearing a crown of roses and weeping tears of blood (the stigmata).  Does Lyanna represents the mother of mercy? Is Lyanna part of the price? 

Edit: Just one other thing about Howland's magic - walking on leaves.   Lady Dacey explained this very well in Curled Finger's thread on the crannogman.  A knowledge of the land such that one avoids the hidden dangers of the swamp beneath the leaves.  Septon Meribald does the same thing when he show Brienne the path of the faithful and guides her to the Quiet Isle through the mudflats.

Edited by LynnS

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29 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

reading it I have to say it echos some of the “deal with the devil” themes I’ve noticed myself, especially in regards to Harrenhall, final resting place of Hoares

Oooh, and that just triggered a thought... resting place of Hoares.    Hoares/whores wordplay here, whores being those who provide services - services that satisfy base and selfish desires  - in exchange for payment....sometimes cheap, sometimes dear, depending on quality and expertise of the whore.    (There’s a great thread on this here somewhere, can’t link from my phone right now.)

That association sort of brings it back around to Black Harren Hoare and potential for a malevolent “god” at Harrenhal, willing to provide a service for a price.

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33 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I did not miss and I like very much your point that Howland "cheated" in order to get his revenge. No matter if he was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, or had any part of it, or even if the knight was a Green Man - he had extraordinary help beyond just doing it alone.

I don't know if he cheated, but there is always a price to pay for sorcery.

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11 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Oooh, and that just triggered a thought... resting place of Hoares.    Hoares/whores wordplay here, whores being those who provide services - services that satisfy base and selfish desires  - in exchange for payment....sometimes cheap, sometimes dear, depending on quality and expertise of the whore.    (There’s a great thread on this here somewhere, can’t link from my phone right now.)

That association sort of brings it back around to Black Harren Hoare and potential for a malevolent “god” at Harrenhal, willing to provide a service for a price.

...where DO whores go? Maybe this is the answer? :D

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I don't know if he cheated, but there is always a price to pay for sorcery.

What sorcery? Was there magic involved at all?

Or is this a case of a person taking the “will of the gods” into their own hands, in other words, speaking for the gods? 

And in doing so, does this person end up begetting a whole series worth of suffering?

Was teaching squires some honor worth causing Robert’s Rebelion? (I realize this is a gross simplification, but still...)

Also, out of everyone, what price did Howland pay? It seems to me it was everyone else who suffered...

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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9 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

What sorcery? Was there magic involved at all?

Or is this a case of a person taking the “will of the gods” into their own hands, in other words, speaking for the gods? 

And in doing so, does this person end up begetting a whole series worth of suffering?

Was teaching squires some honor worth causing Robert’s Rebelion? (I realize this is a gross simplification, but still...)

Also, out of everyone, what price did Howland pay? It seems to me it was everyone else who suffered...

All I'm saying is that IF there was sorcery involved then there is a price to pay for it.  

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43 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Also, out of everyone, what price did Howland pay? It seems to me it was everyone else who suffered...

Edited 24 minutes ago by LiveFirstDieLater

Maybe that WAS his suffering... watching all this bad stuff happen to other people, but being helpless to do anything about it for whatever reason.  

Arya isn’t at Winterfell to help resist Theon raze her home.   She watches the Hound kill her champion Beric (only mostly dead, lol) at the “trial”, allowing the Hound to prevail and not serve justice for Mycah.   She and Sandor get to the Twins right as her family and people are being slaughtered, and gets conked by Sandor before she can “help”.  On and on, always too little and too late.   Howland might have experienced the same.   

ETA:  Arya feeling helpless and powerless is what led her to make the contract with Jaqen in the first place...and then for the rest of her journey, she is reminded over and over again of that same helplessness and powerlessness—until she breaks down and uses the iron coin that bonds her in servitude.      I don’t think it’s a reach to consider Howland experiencing the same.   

That sort of deliberate taunting, salt in the wound, is the work of a crueler god.

Edited by PrettyPig

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38 minutes ago, PrettyPig said:

Maybe that WAS his suffering... watching all this bad stuff happen to other people, but being helpless to do anything about it for whatever reason.  

But he lives to ride away and has two kids who he lives to raise, and he sends them to Winterfell when one has a green dream.  Considering that basically everyone else named at he tourney of Harrenhal died or ended up as bitter as Lem, or is punished like Jaime (loosing the hand which killed the king, at the place he swore his oath)...

That’s my kind of suffering.

Of course, we haven’t met Howland yet (that we know of, Septons aside!) so it’s hard to judge...

Quote

Arya isn’t at Winterfell to help resist Theon raze her home.   She watches the Hound kill her champion Beric (only mostly dead, lol) at the “trial”, allowing the Hound to prevail and not serve justice for Mycah.   She and Sandor get to the Twins right as her family and people are being slaughtered, and gets conked by Sandor before she can “help”.  On and on, always too little and too late.   Howland might have experienced the same.   

That’s one way of seeing it I suppose...

But again I’m inclined to see it in a more positive light:

Theon didn’t kill Bran and Rickon.

Beric “I’m not dead yet” Dondarrion makes it long enough to breath life into Arya’s mother.

Sandor saves her from the Bloody Wedding and Jayne Poole’s fate.

Jaqen saved her from the Bloody Mummers.

Yoren saves her from the Gold Cloaks.

Jory saves her from the Queens men near the Trident.

You say too little too late and I see one jump ahead of the lawmen... (sing Aladdin here)... As far as I can tell Arya’s luck has been pretty great (the luck of her saviors, less so, did they pay for her life?)

Now I don’t think she’s done dealing with the devil, and I’m hoping she makes it out of the house of death intact. (Where she is maybe doing another cheating the devil act by using the eyes of cats to see...)

 

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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13 hours ago, PrettyPig said:

Oooh, and that just triggered a thought... resting place of Hoares.    Hoares/whores wordplay here, whores being those who provide services - services that satisfy base and selfish desires  - in exchange for payment....sometimes cheap, sometimes dear, depending on quality and expertise of the whore.    (There’s a great thread on this here somewhere, can’t link from my phone right now.)

That association sort of brings it back around to Black Harren Hoare and potential for a malevolent “god” at Harrenhal, willing to provide a service for a price.

Dont forget that his brother was the L.C. of the Blackgate and the Nightfort at the time. 
We are told he stayed out of the war, yet this is odd as Harren is ruling from the God's Eye at Harrenhal. I suspect them of working in unison or at least more to this story than we understand. 

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