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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] Bran 3

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Does Brans little trip to the Godswood of winterfell confirm that R+L=J. I can't see how else we can reconcile things. Also seems a convinient plot device for GRRM to be able to go back and view events of the past, even if all protagonists are dead.

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Are we supposed to know who all the people are in these visions at the end? Can anyone fill in the blanks for me? Or do we not know yet?

We've got:

-pregnant woman who wants a son to avenge her

-young girl kissing very tall knight

-dark eyed youth who makes 3 arrows

-the bearded man, white haired woman, and a captive

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I definitely did not get R+L=J out of this chapter. I think Bran saw

  • Ned at the beginning of GoT, after Bran I and just before Catelyn I
  • Ned just after the war, having brought baby Jon back to Winterfell
  • young Lyanna fighting one of her brothers (Benjen seems likely)
  • and then back through generations of Starks and stories I don't know

If Ned really is talking about Robb and Jon in the second vision, then "grow up close as brothers" could mean they're cousins (if R+L=J is true), or that they're half-brothers (if Ned really is Jon's father). "Let my lady wife find it in her heart to forgive" could mean that Ned is Jon's father and hopes that Catelyn will forgive him the infidelity, or that Jon is Ned's nephew and he hopes that Catelyn will forgive him the lie as well as the fake infidelity. So I can't see any confirmation either way.

What I'm curious about is whether Bran can change the past. Ned clearly heard something when Bran tried to talk to him. So if we had GoT Catelyn I from Ned's perspective instead, would we have seen him react to something he thought he heard? Or did Bran actually travel back and "talk" to Ned in a way that didn't happen originally?

In other words, is this "Lost"-style time travel where you can't change the past, or is it "Back to the Future"-style time travel where you might be able to (but maybe only a really, really powerful greenseer could do it)? Or is it not even time travel at all?

Anyway, it's all very interesting, and I really liked this chapter.

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I don't know, I'd still consider a half-brother to be a brother. To say 'as brothers' there makes me think they're not brothers at all.

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It was weird having Ned as an actual talking character again, even for so short a moment

Seemed like Bran was maybe 'talking' through the tree-faces which made Ned look up?

Interested who the white haired woman and the captive were....

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Are we supposed to know who all the people are in these visions at the end? Can anyone fill in the blanks for me? Or do we not know yet?

We've got:

-pregnant woman who wants a son to avenge her

-young girl kissing very tall knight

-dark eyed youth who makes 3 arrows

-the bearded man, white haired woman, and a captive

The young girl and the tall knight is speculated to be Dunk and a young Old Nan, since we know the next Dunk & Egg story is set in Winterfell, and it would explain Hodor's height. The pregnant woman is something I really want to know more about - its positioning in the sequence shows that it's relatively recent historically. Maybe the son is Lord Rickard?

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Those flashbacks were awesome. I also think that the grow up as brothers thing means that Jon is most likely not his son. Doesn't confirm R+L=J but it certainly makes it seem most likely that ?+L=J with R being the most likely candidate.

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That was more fun that I expected it would be 8 years ago.

I think this passes the sniff test on being an ass-pull because we've always known the trees have had some significance. Being able to see through them has long been speculated. I would prefer Bran finding out Jon's origin this way, and telling Jon himself so Jon knows its true over "and the Howland Reed showed up" any day of the week.

And I don't think Bran can actually change the past. Bran himself has heard the leaves rustling when he's near the weirwoods, and I'm everyone else has too.

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The young girl and the tall knight is speculated to be Dunk and a young Old Nan, since we know the next Dunk & Egg story is set in Winterfell, and it would explain Hodor's height.

OMG, thank you! I had forgotten that the next D&E story will be set at Winterfell, so couldn't work that out.

Also, I did a re-read of the first four novels, but not of the D&E stories, and I'm regretting that now.

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I think the line could be used as some very light evidence toward R+L, but it also is something that, if it turns out Jon actually is Ned's kid, is easily explained away as simply "Hey, he's a bastard and especially in this society, bastards are considered much lesser". We don't usually see bastards and trueborn sons growing up really close, as far as I can remember. Jon's the exception.

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I loved the flash backs as well.

I can't get over how alike Lyanna and Arya are, not just physically even their speech mannerisms are similar. Even down to the "That's stupid".

I thought it was really cool as to why ravens are used as messengers in Westeros. This also makes me wonder about Mormont's crow as a warg. I never really bought into the Old Bear as a warg theory, but now I wonder.

The weirwoods as a place where "memories" are stored reminds me of the movie Avatar!

Forgot to add:

I love the contrast between Mel's chapters and Bran's with respect to their "religions"

Mel: The night is full of terrors.

Bran/Greensear: Never fear the darkness

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I thought Lyanna was supposed to look like Sansa, not Arya

Ned tells Arya she reminds him of Lyanna in both attitude and looks.

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I'm now epically worried for Bran's fate. Is anyone else hesitant about trusting the Children of the Forest?

I mean, I know the flashbacks are interesting, but out of that chapter I started to get really concerned about Bran's path. I want him to return to Winterfell, but did I get the impression he never will? That he'll be like the three-eyed crow and live forever under the hill?

...I don't like that at all. the Children seem slightly sinister to me, they're dying out, so what purpose do they have with Bran?

From the Faery folk lore I know, trying the fae is one of the worst things you can do, so I just have this huge hesitancy around it and have this desire for Bran to get out of there, and get out fast.

Anyone else thinking the same?

Also, out of the flashbacks, the one scene of importance I think was the heart tree needing to be sacrificed blood, which coincides with the mention of entrails on a heart tree made by another character earlier. I just don't know why we need to know these things yet, I suppose we'll find out soon.

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I was hoping to death that when Bran was watching Ned pray, that he was gonna hear Ned say something about Jon's birth. But I guess that would be too good to be true. Who knows, Bran might be able to go back in time to see how Jon was conceived, and who his parents are.

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Bran seems destined to remain in this place for eternity. And no one will learn of his fate

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I don't know, I'd still consider a half-brother to be a brother. To say 'as brothers' there makes me think they're not brothers at all.

Yep. Sounds likely.

Although with some of the surprises GRRM has sprung in his books so far, I wouldn't be surprised if J turns out to be Tyrion's mother.

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Bran seems destined to remain in this place for eternity. And no one will learn of his fate

Pretty much. It seems sad that his story seems to end here.

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Loved this chapter, it was very interesting to learn about the children of the forest and the greenseer.

I loved the contrast with the Mel chapter, as someone pointed out. I don't think that the Cotf are bad, or involved with the Others - but there is something sinister about them.

I'm sure in ACoK, Jon is at a weir wood that looks like it is weeping, that is interesting because Bran might be watching him for some reason.

AND ANOTHER THING:

Was there not a dream sequence Jon has in ASOS where he communicates with Bran, when Bran is a tree? I'll have to go look it up.

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