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AleksandrSnow

Ned Stark is alive? Spoilers for all 5 books.

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Varys is a Red Priest who has glamoured the real Jaqen H'gar to look like Ned. It's Jaqen who's killed by Ilyn Payne. Syrio (a Faceless Man) takes Jaquen's place in the Black Cells. Syrio and Ned (now looks like Biter) wind up in that cart with Joren on the way to the Wall. Later they switch places with Hot Pie and Gendry.

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Ned is Septa Lemore who is a secret Targaryen and also The Prince That Was Promised and Quaithe.

Honestly, though, Ned is dead as a doorknob. 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This Ned is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't put 'im on the spike 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-EDDARD!!

LOL. A monty python reference = always awesome.

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Thanks for letting me know the 5 hours I spent in a drunken crazed stupor believing Ned was alive was all for nothing

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eddard stark is dead. syrio forel is dead. old gods rest their souls.

And Death rest Syrio's soul as he believed that Death was the only god.

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While I would like Ned to be alive and to tell Jon and everyone his real parentage (from just about the most honest man in Westeros), I just can't buy it.

The continued observations of Ned Stark's body and skull being 'smaller' does have me half-convinced.

Let's say Ned wrote his letter in the black cells, Varys reads it and realises there's a new Targaryen to push for and swaps Faceless Man Syrio Forell and Ned, gets Ned to Greywater March where he can heal in peace. All the Starks seem to be killed whilst Ned is recovering, but Ned is aware that Bran and Rikon, at least are alive by Greywater March greenseers via the faces in the trees. He goes to Winterfell to be the Hooded Man, there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. He knows everybody are coming to Winterfell and will reveal Jon's identity there, as per Varys' plan. However, Ned is also aware about the Others and needs Jon to unite the north against them and the word of a Stark to back him up will do it.

Almost certainly fan fiction, but still, a very small chance of it being right.

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Ok, so assuming that Varys is the immensely powerful conspirator that he seems to be at the end of Dance of Dragons, who else has he roped into this game?

He pulled Tyrion into it, Jon Connington as well, Ser Barristan most likely, Illyrio has always helped him, perhaps Littlefinger as well, but what if Ned Stark is still alive and helping him?

First off, when Ned ‘dies,’ it’s from Arya’s POV, and she claims that Ned is so beat up that he barely looks alive even before his death. He was clearly injured, but (in the books) a broken leg, even if left untreated, doesn’t fuck up your face too much.

Second, Sansa claims that his head above Maegor’s Holdfast looks weirdly unlike her Father, and she believes it’s due to the tarring process, and well, decapitation.

Thirdly, Lady Catelyn says that Ned’s bones look as if to be from a smaller man than Ned, and most people (myself included) took this as her grief showing her that everyone looks smaller as a pile of bones, but what if she was being literal.

What if it wasn’t Ned?

I have believed that Syrio Forel was/is a Faceless Man ever since Arya met Jaqen and he said he was from Braavos. For a time, I thought Jaqen was Syrio, but after reading Feast I changed my mind, because I now believe that Jaqen was the Alchemist from the prologue and now the new Pate that Samwell Tarly meets in Oldtown. I think Varys has a special relationship with the Faceless Men from his time in the Free Cities.

So, Varys happens upon a severly wounded Syrio in the Red Keep after he helps Arya escape. Varys knows that Ned could help him in the long run, and asks Syrio if he could take Ned’s place, because A. Varys knows Joffery will kill Ned, or B. Syrio would be sent to the Wall and either die en route or when he arrives. Syrio knows he is going to die and agrees to help Varys. Varys then swaps the Ned’s under the Red Keep, using the same passage that he uses to get Tyrion out. He sends Ned to the Free Cities, OR and this is my prediction, Ned is somewhere in Westeros that know one, and I mean no one, goes to or even thinks about. Greywater Watch. Howland Reed is an old friend of Ned’s and would absolutely consent to hiding Ned and nursing him back to health.

Part A. in which Ned goes to the Free Cities, he goes to all of them, traveling as a page/coin maester/advisor/envoy of Illyrio, visiting people who would have no knowledge of who he is, and secretly asking for their help in Varys and Illyrio’s master plan.

Part B. Ned goes to Greywater Watch (honestly this one seems way more likely and fits into many other theories I have), smuggled in as the events of Clash of Kings are beginning. He is nursed back to health by his old war buddy Howland Reed, and there he is kept hidden, presumably only meeting a few of Howland Reed’s inner circle, including his children. When Jojen has a green dream pertaining to Bran, he has no clue what to make of it, but when he describes Winterfell, a place he has probably never seen before, and Bran, someone he has never met, Howland takes him to Ned, and Ned tells him everything he must do. Take Bran to the Wall, where he will meet Coldhands, and he even tells him how to get to Winterfell, how to stay in Winterfell, how to get Bran to trust him, where to take Bran in case of emergency, and anything else he might need to know.

This also brings into play my theory that Benjen Stark, First Ranger, is actually Coldhands, and he knew that’s what would become of himself. He confided in Ned at Winterfell when Robert came to promote him to Hand that Bran was a Warg and Greenseer, and when the time was right, would needed to be taken to him North of the Wall. Benjen knew that he would be marching to his fate as Coldhands after he returned to the Night’s Watch, and it’s also the only reason Ned allowed Jon to take the black that early. Ned and Benjen knew he was going to ‘die’ and there must always be a Stark on the Wall.

So, the theory that Ned is still alive brings into another theory as well. Why does Varys want the Targeryen’s to rule so badly, if he wants to serve the realm most of all? What does Ned being alive have to do with anything?

Well, my belief that Benjen is Coldhands, and has been secretly in contact with the Children of the Forest for years, and has known that the White Walkers are returning, and that in the next winter, they would march on the Wall. Varys, clearly having spies everywhere, meets with Benjen, presumably around the same time that he is setting plans in motion. So let’s say, 10 years before GoT. Varys asks him what is happening beyond the Wall, because he knows of Benjen, he knows of the Stark clan, and he knows that if anything is happening beyond, Benjen would know.

So Varys is bringing in a resurgent clan of Targareyn’s, whether Daenerys was ever part of it is unknown, so that the Three-Headed Dragon would be on the Iron Throne when the White Walkers march South. However, in the epilogue of Dance, Varys tell Ser Kevan that not everything has gone according to plan, but it’s still coming together as much as possible at this point.

ALL of this, and I mean all of it, also explains where Osha and Rickon are. I believe they’re at Greywater Watch, I believe that Varys somehow got a message to them as they made their way to White Harbor, telling them it was unsafe and they should make their way to Greywater Watch, maybe even sending someone from the Neck to guide them there, so they did not pass through Moat Caitlin, and the Ironborn holding it.

So, Davos, on his way to Greywater Watch, will find Osha and Rickon (maybe) and possibly Ned Stark? Hiding out this whole time?

(Honestly there could be some plot holes in this don’t rip me apart please I just finished Dance of Dragons last night)

That's pretty out there, especially for your first post :P but I like it, it seems to fit and wouldn't be the first story that a badly beaten (or stung if there are any potter fans) face is used to disguise an identity. I get that people say but what about his family and duty to the north, duty is important to Ned but I guess that depends on his promise to Lyanna, if that involved the targs in any way or them being on the throne or whatever it gives theory a lot more credence. You could argue too that without Ned's death none of the great events would be essential and so again maybe it was just more of Varys' sneak and Ned's death had been planned for a long time.

I love the cold hands part as that was my first thought the instant the character entered.

In my opinion Bravo!

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No, Ned is definitely dead. If the beheading didn't do it, the flesh being boiled from his bones most likely did.

Welcome!

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As a contrast to most people here, I see the logic in this. Well, except for the Coldhands thing. Don't really see how all of this adds up, it's just a bit too much.

Regarding Syrio, I also think he's a FM, but I do think he is Jaqen. The fact that the alchemist in Oldtown is Jaqen (yes, fact. The alchemist's face look exactly like the face Jaqen put on after the Weasel-Soup incident) has nothing to do with Syrio being Jaqen. It is in fact very likely IMO. Think about it: How does a Faceless Man, ESPECIALLY one as good as Jaqen, end up in the deepest dungeon of The Red Keep?

There's an extremely, extremely small chance that he was caught killing someone. A Faceless Man is a Faceless Man, after all.

Other than murder, I see no good reason for sending a man to the black cells. Except if he is one of the deadliest SOBs you've ever seen, who used a wooden practice sword to kill numerous trained, fully armed and armored guardsmen who came at him all at once.

That being said, let's go back to your theory, assuming that Syrio really wasn't Jaqen.

People suggested that it can't be possible, because Ned wouldn't have let Robb go to war, and he would want to go to his family, etc etc. First of all, Robb went to war when Ned was captured. And we know for sure that Ned has spent some time in the dungeon. What was done cannot be undone, Ned couldn't have stopped Robb from calling the banners and march south. Returning to his family would not be a wise move. It would draw WAY too much attention and blow this whole thing up.

I believe Ned is either with Howland at Greywater Watch, or he's somewhere else is Westeros. The Free-Cities thing seems way too unlikely.

When I read your theory, a certain place, or more precisely a certain PERSON came in mind.

Remember the hooded guy Theon has spoken to in Winterfell?

Quote:

Farther on, he came upon a man striding in the opposite direction, a hooded cloak flapping behind him. When they found themselves face-to-face their eyes met briefly. The man put a hand on his dagger. “Theon Turncloak. Theon Kinslayer.”

“I’m not. I never ... I was ironborn.”

“False is all you were. How is it you still breathe?”

“The gods are not done with me,” Theon answered, wondering if this could be the killer, the night walker who had stuffed Yellow Dick’s cock into his mouth and pushed Roger Ryswell’s groom off the battlements. Oddly, he was not afraid. He pulled the glove from his left hand. “Lord Ramsay is not done with me.”

The man looked, and laughed. “I leave you to him, then.”

This man callen Theon a "kinslayer". Ned has raised Theon like a son, which supports this theory (and kind of counteracts yours, according to which Ned knew Bran and Jojen are going north, although he might still believe that his sons and Howland's sons were killed).

We can know for sure that the hooded man, whoever he may be, is a Stark supporter. He's extremely hostile towards Theon, and he even reaches for his dagger as an instinct when he first sees him. Who has any more reason to despise Theon than Ned? For all we know, he might think that Theon and his Ironborn were the ones who put Winterfell to the torch.

Most people seem to believe that the hooded man is either Howland, Blackfish, or some sort of Theon's reflection of himself, which could explain the name of the chapter: "The Ghost in Winterfell". Howland could be an option. Blackfish, in my opinion, isn't. First of all, how did he recognize Theon, a man whom he has never seen? Second of all, how could he get to Winterfell, alone, in the middle of a snowstorm?

The Reflection thing is a bit tricky to consider, since there can be no solid proof of that. The man being Ned could also explain the name of the chapter, BTW.

Now about Rickon being in Greywater Watch. Though we cannot know for sure where Rickon is, I seriously doubt he's there. I'm pretty sure, just like most people I think, that Rickon and Osha went to Skagos. In the last Davos POV, when asked where Rickon is, the mute boy throws his knife at Lord Manderley's sheepskin map and smiles. Then GRRM mentioned something about eating human flesh. We know that Skagos is inhabited by (or is at least believed to be inhabited by) cannibal wildlings. I can't think of anywhere else that can be related to cnnibalism. Perhaps it was mentioned that crannogmen were believed to be cannibals, among many other things. I don't remember it being said that crannogmen are believed to be cannibals among the more ignorant tiers of society, but it's possible. And if it is, Rickon may well be there, though I still believe Skagos is more likely.

All in all, I really liked this theory, as unlikely as it may be. Keep searching for clues, you may find some :)

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i wish it were true but there is no way that Ned is alive, the wolves in Winterfell could feel it the moment when Ned died and Bran and Rickon's visions. Ned is gone, I hate it but he was martyred, that is what makes him even more beloved.

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Welcome to the forum.

Eddard is my second favourite character, I see him as the most honourable character and the bravest. But he's dead. He's not coming back. There were times when I read up on these types of theories about Ned being alive, but you have to face the fact that he's not coming back. His death triggers so many important things through out the books, and it would seem a waste if Robb had risen in rebellion, declared himself King in the North and gotten himself killed all for nothing. And I don't think Ned would have stayed in Greywater Watch if he got word of Bran's and Rickon's death and Robb's and Catelyn's death. He wouldn't have stayed there when he got the news.

Same here.

BTW who's your favorite?

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Same here.

BTW who's your favorite?

Tyrion. If Eddard had lived and been in more books he'd still be my No.1 favourite, he was my favourite in AGOT as well.

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While I would like Ned to be alive and to tell Jon and everyone his real parentage (from just about the most honest man in Westeros), I just can't buy it.

The continued observations of Ned Stark's body and skull being 'smaller' does have me half-convinced.

Let's say Ned wrote his letter in the black cells, Varys reads it and realises there's a new Targaryen to push for and swaps Faceless Man Syrio Forell and Ned, gets Ned to Greywater March where he can heal in peace. All the Starks seem to be killed whilst Ned is recovering, but Ned is aware that Bran and Rikon, at least are alive by Greywater March greenseers via the faces in the trees. He goes to Winterfell to be the Hooded Man, there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. He knows everybody are coming to Winterfell and will reveal Jon's identity there, as per Varys' plan. However, Ned is also aware about the Others and needs Jon to unite the north against them and the word of a Stark to back him up will do it.

Almost certainly fan fiction, but still, a very small chance of it being right.

Personally, I don't believe that Ned is alive but I like the theory that he could be Winterfell's Hooded Man.

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Personally, I don't believe that Ned is alive but I like the theory that he could be Winterfell's Hooded Man.

It would be Legen-wait for it-daryyyyy. He would retake WF be himself even before Stannis reach the gates .With GRRM we never know, it is why i ll not deny the possibility. (10-12%)

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Ned's dead baby, Neds dead.

At this point Ned being alive would be one of the worst possible twists I could think of.

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As a contrast to most people here, I see the logic in this. Well, except for the Coldhands thing. Don't really see how all of this adds up, it's just a bit too much.

Regarding Syrio, I also think he's a FM, but I do think he is Jaqen. The fact that the alchemist in Oldtown is Jaqen (yes, fact. The alchemist's face look exactly like the face Jaqen put on after the Weasel-Soup incident) has nothing to do with Syrio being Jaqen. It is in fact very likely IMO. Think about it: How does a Faceless Man, ESPECIALLY one as good as Jaqen, end up in the deepest dungeon of The Red Keep?

There's an extremely, extremely small chance that he was caught killing someone. A Faceless Man is a Faceless Man, after all.

Other than murder, I see no good reason for sending a man to the black cells. Except if he is one of the deadliest SOBs you've ever seen, who used a wooden practice sword to kill numerous trained, fully armed and armored guardsmen who came at him all at once.

That being said, let's go back to your theory, assuming that Syrio really wasn't Jaqen.

People suggested that it can't be possible, because Ned wouldn't have let Robb go to war, and he would want to go to his family, etc etc. First of all, Robb went to war when Ned was captured. And we know for sure that Ned has spent some time in the dungeon. What was done cannot be undone, Ned couldn't have stopped Robb from calling the banners and march south. Returning to his family would not be a wise move. It would draw WAY too much attention and blow this whole thing up.

I believe Ned is either with Howland at Greywater Watch, or he's somewhere else is Westeros. The Free-Cities thing seems way too unlikely.

When I read your theory, a certain place, or more precisely a certain PERSON came in mind.

Remember the hooded guy Theon has spoken to in Winterfell?

Quote:

This man callen Theon a "kinslayer". Ned has raised Theon like a son, which supports this theory (and kind of counteracts yours, according to which Ned knew Bran and Jojen are going north, although he might still believe that his sons and Howland's sons were killed).

We can know for sure that the hooded man, whoever he may be, is a Stark supporter. He's extremely hostile towards Theon, and he even reaches for his dagger as an instinct when he first sees him. Who has any more reason to despise Theon than Ned? For all we know, he might think that Theon and his Ironborn were the ones who put Winterfell to the torch.

Most people seem to believe that the hooded man is either Howland, Blackfish, or some sort of Theon's reflection of himself, which could explain the name of the chapter: "The Ghost in Winterfell". Howland could be an option. Blackfish, in my opinion, isn't. First of all, how did he recognize Theon, a man whom he has never seen? Second of all, how could he get to Winterfell, alone, in the middle of a snowstorm?

The Reflection thing is a bit tricky to consider, since there can be no solid proof of that. The man being Ned could also explain the name of the chapter, BTW.

Now about Rickon being in Greywater Watch. Though we cannot know for sure where Rickon is, I seriously doubt he's there. I'm pretty sure, just like most people I think, that Rickon and Osha went to Skagos. In the last Davos POV, when asked where Rickon is, the mute boy throws his knife at Lord Manderley's sheepskin map and smiles. Then GRRM mentioned something about eating human flesh. We know that Skagos is inhabited by (or is at least believed to be inhabited by) cannibal wildlings. I can't think of anywhere else that can be related to cnnibalism. Perhaps it was mentioned that crannogmen were believed to be cannibals, among many other things. I don't remember it being said that crannogmen are believed to be cannibals among the more ignorant tiers of society, but it's possible. And if it is, Rickon may well be there, though I still believe Skagos is more likely.

All in all, I really liked this theory, as unlikely as it may be. Keep searching for clues, you may find some :)

I had totally forgotten about Skagos, and now that would make sense, but I do recall some throw-away lines about the crannogmen that may have supported a cannibalistic aura about them. Skagos is more known for that though, so it may well be Osha and Rickon are there. Everything about Ned being the Hooded Man in Winterfell is news to me, I didn't even think about that. That's totally fuckin' wizard. That Hooded Man, even if it's not Ned, is somebody important.

Thanks!

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Ed was Be-neded.. er.. Ned was be-headed. His death provides a necessary catalyst for many of the events throughout the books. It would serve no purpose for Ned to come back to life after 5 books.

Welcome to the forums, stay awhile, use the search to read up on the many theories and discussions on this and many other topics. I appreciate the thought that went into your theory, and although it will not be popular, don't be discouraged. Keep reading and learning, after my first read I was shocked at how much I missed. This forum was a revelation.

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He won't be alive, there is too much speculation about whether or not characters really died or not, I think i might have started with the introduction of characters we originally thought were dead, i.e.Catelyn, Faegon(aegon), Mance

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I had totally forgotten about Skagos, and now that would make sense, but I do recall some throw-away lines about the crannogmen that may have supported a cannibalistic aura about them. Skagos is more known for that though, so it may well be Osha and Rickon are there. Everything about Ned being the Hooded Man in Winterfell is news to me, I didn't even think about that. That's totally fuckin' wizard. That Hooded Man, even if it's not Ned, is somebody important.

Thanks!

Then again, there isn't anything in Skagos that makes the long trip worthwhile. Not that we know of, that is.

He won't be alive, there is too much speculation about whether or not characters really died or not, I think i might have started with the introduction of characters we originally thought were dead, i.e.Catelyn, Faegon(aegon), Mance

This theory has a slim chance of being true, but reading it has given me hope... :)

I think Ned was killed to show everyone that nobody, and that means NOBODY is safe as long as he's within the reach of GRRM.

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