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Bormon

Howland Reed = Knight of the Laughing Tree?

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Lyanna had 3 brothers who could be warriors so there was no need for her to learn.

Reasons are not important. If you cling to that logic, replace "Lyanna" by "Arya" in your sentence and see how it panned out. You were talking about whether or not female fighters were accepted in westeros, and it turns out that they are indeed tolerated... From Ygritte to Brienne, there is no lack of them.

That isn't to say the SoIaF society isn't fundamentaly mysogin, as even said by GRRM himself, but a woman learning some fighting basics isn't as rare an occurence as some would think. And of course all nobles learn horsemanship, male and female alike, jousting being mostly about how to stay on your mount, it really is the easiest to learn for women. It's not as is it was duelling or meleing.

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Reasons are not important. If you cling to that logic, replace "Lyanna" by "Arya" in your sentence and see how it panned out. You were talking about whether or not female fighters were accepted in westeros, and it turns out that they are indeed tolerated... From Ygritte to Brienne, there is no lack of them.

That isn't to say the SoIaF society isn't fundamentaly mysogin, as even said by GRRM himself, but a woman learning some fighting basics isn't as rare an occurence as some would think. And of course all nobles learn horsemanship, male and female alike, jousting being mostly about how to stay on your mount, it really is the easiest to learn for women. It's not as is it was duelling or meleing.

brig is a wildling its very common there that they fight.

But i can see i am flogging a dead horse here so i will leave it

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What about Asha Greyjoy, the sand snakes or meera Reed, then?

It's not really that dead a horse, Randyll Tarly or Stannis Baratheon would not tolerate women using weapons, for example. It's just that I think GRRM made his world while trying to keep each of his character thinking differently, and that would be why unconventional stuff like a girl being taught the way of arms can happen while being something generally frowned upon in the westerosi society. Good thing for the Stark girls that Ned and his father were not like Randyll Tarly, heh ;)

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What about Asha Greyjoy, the sand snakes or meera Reed, then?

It's not really that dead a horse, Randyll Tarly or Stannis Baratheon would not tolerate women using weapons, for example. It's just that I think GRRM made his world while trying to keep each of his character thinking differently, and that would be why unconventional stuff like a girl being taught the way of arms can happen while being something generally frowned upon in the westerosi society. Good thing for the Stark girls that Ned and his father were not like Randyll Tarly, heh ;)

yeah thats true. i still maintain that benjin should be the knight and then he should be cold hands as well, cos that way makes a lot of sense that he would know all about that sort of thing, a champion for the children of the forest.

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i still maintain that benjin should be the knight and then he should be cold hands as well, cos that way makes a lot of sense that he would know all about that sort of thing, a champion for the children of the forest.

I personally think there is a good chance it was Benjen, I'm just sure it wasn't Howland Reed. ;)

-Will

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I throw my choice to Ashara Dayne, if for the only purpose no one ever considers her as the possibility (though I really do think it was her).

Artanaro

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I personally think there is a good chance it was Benjen, I'm just sure it wasn't Howland Reed. ;)

-Will

Not sure why in the telling of the story they would make mention of the "wolf pup" separately if that's who is the KoLT is in the first place.

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Howdy all! It's my first post. I am currently re-reading the books before I read Feast, and just read the Knight of the Laughing Tree chapter a couple of days ago. I went back and read it several times.

Why does no one think it's Ned? It seems to me that it is much more believable that Ned would beat three knights as opposed to Howland or Benjen beating them. Ned is older, stronger and had more years of training.

Ned's famous 'honor' would be a good motivating force for him. It wold explain why he would do it in the first place. His honor would also explain why he would remain a mystery knight; revealing himself, or jousting as himself, would defeat the purpose of teaching the squires. He knew if he jousted as Ned Stark, the attention would be on him and not on the three delinquent squires. Ned would not seek the glory of the victory, nor the notoriety that would go with it.

The Reed children seem surprised that Bran has never heard the story. If the KotLT was Benjen or Lyanna, I would bet that Ned would have told the story to his children. If Ned was the KotLT he wouldn't tell that story, it would be too much like bragging, and Ned wouldn't brag.

I confess that on my first read through of SoS, I devoured it so quickly, I must have missed the significance of the story due to sleep deprivation. However, I did always wonder why Ned held Howland Reed in such esteem, and vice versa. Why does a "frog-eater", as most Northmen thought of the crannogmen, follow Ned all the way to Dorne to do battle with three of the greatest warriors of their time (Tower of Joy)? That's a long way for a cranogman to go. Howland, and his two children are the only crannogmen mentioned in the books, so it follows that they rarely travel.

If Ned was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, it would go a long way in explaining the the Reed's loyalty to the Starks, and particularly, Howland's loyalty to Ned.

I can also see the KotLT being Howland, with assistance from the greenmen/children of the forest/old gods (take your pick). I can also see it being Lyanna for all the reasons already mentioned. Benjen? I think he would have been too young to pull off the jousting. "Oh, but Barristan Selmy did it at age 10, so it could have been Benjen," you say? It's possible, but highly unlikely. Benjen turned out to be a damned fine ranger, but knights and rangers are like apples and pears (you thought I was gonna say oranges, didn't you! :P ). They're similar, but there's still no mistaking one for the other.

I think the best fit for the KotLT is Ned, followed by Lyanna and Howland in that order

So there's my crackpot theory! Tear it apart! :cool:

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Getting tired of editing overquoting, folks... you've all been warned. - m

I just now re-read it and I think it's extremely plausible. Howland and Ned slept together the night before, Ned adored his sister, the honor thing, Howland and Ned being together through the fight against the Kingsguard and at Lyanna's death bed.

Ned being a devotee of the old gods and the Heart Tree would make sense for the sigil on the shield.

BTW I don't think it's Howland.

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anyone got a page number and book of when meera tells bran the story of the knight of the laughing tree? I cant seem to find it to re-read

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Why does no one think it's Ned? It seems to me that it is much more believable that Ned would beat three knights as opposed to Howland or Benjen beating them. Ned is older, stronger and had more years of training.

I too leaned toward Ned, for all the reasons you stated. Its almost like the Tyrell brothers, Loras and Garlan. One is the swordsman (Benjen, Garlan), the other the jouster (Ned, Loras).

And Ned being Ned, wouldn't brag. Not being particulary interested in tourneys, and having nothing to prove, his southern peers might never have clued in.

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I've always believed it was Ned, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were Ben. Either way, it shows how private Ned felt it was when the Reed children were grilling Bran, not believing Ned had never mentioned it.

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I do find there are problems with the choices being either Ned or Benjen. First, saying their motivation was simply for honour's sake seems too easy. Second, if Benjen or Ned is the person, there is no reason to hide their identity. I really think the person is either Lyanna or Ashara Dayne. The motive for concealing their identity is the most understandable in these cases.

And so I give the wave to Ashara Dayne, because though Lyanna may have been a good horsemen and done some practice with a lance, to defeat three champions would require a much more significant amount of skill. You don't defeat three of the best lances by getting lucky. And being a northerner would also put Lyanna at a disadvantage in a tourney, so I have to go with Ashara. She is a dornish woman after all, and in their society, there is no problem with a woman wielding a sword (or lance).

And her motive would be more than simply wanting to avenge Howland Reed for honour sake. Defeating the knights could win the heart of Ned. So I vote Ashara Dayne.

Artanaro

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I confess that on my first read through of SoS, I devoured it so quickly, I must have missed the significance of the story due to sleep deprivation. However, I did always wonder why Ned held Howland Reed in such esteem, and vice versa. Why does a "frog-eater", as most Northmen thought of the crannogmen, follow Ned all the way to Dorne to do battle with three of the greatest warriors of their time (Tower of Joy)? That's a long way for a cranogman to go. Howland, and his two children are the only crannogmen mentioned in the books, so it follows that they rarely travel.

Actually, the Crannogmen are banner men to the Starks, and Starks NEVER refer to them as "frog eaters" Freys do that.

Ned becomes the Head Stark, fights some battles, goes looking for Lyanna. As a bannerman, Reed would accompany him. Reed met all the Starks when Lyanna broght him back to their tent to dress his wounds. If Lyanna was the KoLT, that's one more reason for Reed to stay with Ned when he goes to the ToJ.

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Well, lets get some facts injected into this discussion.

For starters, Lyanna had no “formal†training. In Meera’s story to Bran it specifically states that when Howland was being attacked by the squires Lyanna “….laid into the squires with a tourney sword, scattering them all.†One girl against multiple enemies- probably some “shock value†in her attacks, but she did “scatter them all.†So, she can fight and WITH a sword. So, she has some basic knowledge.

She is spirited and emotional. When Rehagar plays his harp, she cries “sniffles†and when Brandon laughs at her, she pours wine on his head. So, she has it in her to do something....rash. She has guts.

The KotLT is “short of stature, clad in ill fitting armor…†Sounds like a girl in bad armor to me.

And the booming voice is EASY through a helm and just lower it an octave. That, combined with crowd noise and confusion- sounds like a man.

It is unclear how Lyanna could have unhorsed three seasoned champions so… easily. However, as Dany’s chapter’s attest, (and Cat’s to a lesser degree) tourney’s are unsure things. Horses slip, laces move, shields falter. Etc etc etc. It was part chance and…

…and she was small. Think about it. Lyanna- AS A TARGET –is about 2/3 the size of a man. Even with a shield and some armor, she’s smaller and harder to hit. It’s a SMALL advantage, but an advantage non-the-less.

I also am a HIGE believer that this is when Rheagar fell in love with Lyanna. He is sent off to find the KotLT by his crazy father (“… the face behind that helm was no friend of his…†if only he knew…). He finds the KotLT and it turns out to be the really attractive northern princess. And she is full of energy and life and Rhaegar (who was by contrast dour and determined) loves that. He talks to her, he gets to know her, probably knocks boots with her, and low and behold- names her the Queen of Love and Beauty the next day. And a disaster is born (YIPPIE!).

I think it was Lyanna. Yes, absolutely, it could have been someone else. But I think LOGICALY Ned and Brandon do NOT make as good a choice and Howland would have had no reason to hide. Lyanna meets all this criterea and I think it was THE moment she and Rhaegar fell in love... and doomed a society.

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I think it was Lyanna. Yes, absolutely, it could have been someone else. But I think LOGICALY Ned and Brandon do NOT make as good a choice and Howland would have had no reason to hide. Lyanna meets all this criterea and I think it was THE moment she and Rhaegar fell in love... and doomed a society.

Rockroi, everything you say can be applied to Ashara Dayne as well. Why don't you think she is the one?

Artanaro

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Rockroi, everything you say can be applied to Ashara Dayne as well. Why don't you think she is the one?

Artanaro

For me, its the Stark/Reed connection. Ashara whould have no reason to defend Reed, while Lyanna would be looking after one of her father's sworn men.

Lyanna was also the one who knew which squires had attacked Reed.

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For me, its the Stark/Reed connection. Ashara whould have no reason to defend Reed, while Lyanna would be looking after one of her father's sworn men.

Lyanna was also the one who knew which squires had attacked Reed.

If Ned and Ashara fell in love at Harrenhal, that's a pretty good reason to defend Reed. Also, Reed told everyone in the Stark camp who attacked him.

Artanaro

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Rockroi, everything you say can be applied to Ashara Dayne as well. Why don't you think she is the one?

The Knight of the Laughing Tree bore a weirwood on his(her) shield. Pretty odd choice for a Dornish noblewoman, even if defending a northerner.

Besides, we have textual evidence that Lyanna a) had at least enough skill with a sword to scatter squires, B) was a brilliant horsewoman (and horsemanship is apparently what jousting's mostly about) and c) was wild and somewhat tomboyish. We have no evidence that Ashara was in any prone to such stunts at all or had the skills to do so. Zip, zilch, nada.

We do know Dornish noblewoman are more liberated than women in the rest of Westeros, but that liberty seems to consist mostly of inheritance rights and more sexual freedom. Other than the Sand Snakes, who are bastards, I'm not aware of any evidence that prominent Dornish noblewomen are trained in arms. We know so little about Ashara that she could have been quite easily been delicate and lady-like -- unwilling or incapable of such actions.

The evidence fits Lyanna. Besides, if the story was about Ashara...someone who Bran knows nothing about...why would the Reed children tell him the story and be surprised he'd never heard of it? The story is about Howland and a Stark...that's why they told it.

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My vote's for the man himself, Howland.

Yes, the facts back up Lyanna, and possibly even Ashara, but Howland's just freakin' cool, so I'm hoping it's him.

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